Why raising interest rates to reduce inflation may work out very badly

Are we headed for very high energy prices? Or, are we headed for a financial system that starts falling apart? The whole economic system may change remarkably. For example, what many people thought was money, or a promised pension plan, may not really be there when the time comes to get value from it. Shelves in stores may be empty when it comes time to make a purchase.

Most people do not understand that the world economy is a physics-based system, powered by energy. If the energy is suddenly much less available, there will be a huge problem. The world economy has been powered by a rapidly growing supply of energy for over 200 years.

Figure 1. World energy consumption by fuel based on Vaclav Smil’s estimates from Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospects (Appendix) together with data from BP’s 2011 Statistical Review of World Energy for 1965 and subsequent. Wind and solar are included in Biofuels.

My concern is that the current attempt to bring inflation down will lead to falling energy supply and a world economy that is rapidly changing for the worse.

Figure 2. Energy amounts for 2010 and prior equal to those in Figure 1, with a corresponding amount for 2020. Future energy for 2030, 2040 and 2050 are rough estimates based on the observation that the world is now reaching extraction limits for both coal and oil.

Everything I can see says that world leaders are not able to face the possibility that the world is already running seriously short of oil and coal. Future supplies are likely to be much lower, and much more expensive, if they are available at all. Other energy types (including natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind and solar) are simply add-ons to a system built using coal and oil.

Current world leaders do not realize that the energy situation is very much like the water level in Lake Mead. Looking at it from the top, there still seems to be water there but, in fact, the required depth is lacking. Water for watering crops will soon be exhausted. The world’s energy supply is not a whole lot different. The supposedly proven reserves do not tell us anything at all. It is the amount of fossil fuels that can be affordably extracted that is important. We have already exceeded the amount that can be affordably extracted. If central banks cut back future energy supplies using higher interest rates, we can expect to encounter major problems going forward.

In this post, I will try to explain some of the issues involved.

[1] The amount of energy the economy requires depends very much on population. The greater the world population, the more oil is needed for food production and transportation. Non-oil energy is a bit more flexible in quantity than oil, but the total quantity of energy per capita needs to keep rising to prevent very adverse outcomes.

Figure 3. World per capita energy consumption by source, with the 1950-1980 period of rapid growth highlighted. Amounts are equal to those used in Figure 1, divided by population estimates by Angus Maddison.

Figure 3 highlights the fact that the period of Rapid Energy Growth between 1950 and 1980 was a period of unprecedented growth in per capita energy consumption. This was a period when many families could afford their own car for the first time. There were enough employment opportunities that, quite often, both spouses could hold down paying jobs outside the home. It was the growing supply of inexpensive fossil fuels that made these jobs available.

If a person looks closely, it is possible to see that the 1920 to 1940 period was a period of very low growth in energy consumption, relative to population. This was also the period of the Great Depression and the period leading up to World War II. Sluggish energy consumption growth at that time was linked to very undesirable socioeconomic outcomes.

Energy is like food for the economy. If energy of the right kinds is cheaply available, it is possible to build new roads, pipelines and electricity transmission lines. World trade grows. If available energy is inadequate, major wars tend to break out and standards of living are likely to fall. We now seem to be approaching a time of too little energy, relative to population.

[2] Recently published data through 2021 indicates that energy consumption growth is not keeping up with population growth, similar to the situation of the 1930s. This says that the economy is doing poorly. Supply lines are broken; most jobs don’t pay well; many goods that normally would be available aren’t available.

Figure 4. World energy consumption per capita, based on information published in BP’s 2022 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Figure 4 shows that the year with the highest per capita energy consumption was 2018. This agrees with other information such as automobile sales.

Figure 5. Auto sales by country, based on data of vda.de

For example, the number of automobiles sold seems to have peaked back in the 2018 period. China and India are both reporting fewer automobile sales recently. The economy was already sliding into recession in 2019. The 2020 shutdowns hid the very poor condition the world economy was already in. If people were forced to remain in their homes, they could not take to the streets to protest their poor wages and pension plans. The shutdowns helped give the impression the world economy was doing better than it really was.

Figure 4 shows that even with the bounce back in 2021, total energy consumption per capita is still below the 2018 and 2019 values. This contrasts with the situation that occurred after the 2008-2009 Great Recession. By 2010, per capita energy consumption was back above the 2007 and 2008 values.

[3] We can look back and see how rising interest rates were used to slow the world economy in the 2004 to 2006 period, and how different the economic situation was then compared to now. Even with the rapid growth the economy was making at the time of the interest rates increases, the result was still a deep recession in 2008-2009.

Figure 6. Figure similar to Figure 4 showing world energy consumption per capita, except that notation has been added with respect to the timing of increases in US Federal Reserve Target Interest Rates.

It is clear from Figure 4 and Figure 6 that between 2001 and 2007, the quantity of energy consumed per capita was rising rapidly. This was the period shortly after China was added to the World Trade Organization. Manufacturing was rapidly being moved to China. China’s demand for energy products of all kinds was rising rapidly. As a result of this greater demand, oil prices were increasing between 2001 and 2007. To try to reduce inflation, the Federal Reserve raised target interest rates in the 2004 to 2006 period and gradually brought them down, starting in late 2007.

There are two things that are striking about this earlier situation:

  1. The world economy (as shown by rising energy supply) was growing much more rapidly during the 2001 to 2007 period than it is in 2022. All the world economy is trying to do now is get back to where it was before the 2020 shutdowns, in terms of energy consumption per capita.
  2. Eventually, there was a bad reaction to the higher interest rates of 2004 to 2006, but this did not come until 2008-2009. This was a much longer lag than most people would expect.

Now, in 2022, we cannot get energy consumption per capita up to the 2018 and 2019 levels. There are many unfinished automobiles, waiting for missing parts. Appliances of many kinds are not available without a long wait. Fertilizer is often not available. Broken supply lines leave many store shelves empty. It is not that demand is unusually high; it is the supply of the energy products we need to grow food and to transport many finished goods that is not available.

Raising interest rates is a way to reduce the demand for finished goods and services, such as automobiles and appliances, if the world economy is growing very rapidly, as it was back in the 2001 to 2007 period. If the problem is an inadequate supply of finished goods and services (due to broken supply lines and low wages for workers), then raising interest rates is entirely the wrong medicine. It will cause even fewer automobiles and appliances to be made. It will cause many current workers to be laid off. Such an approach, when the world is trying to deal with too few workers, will tend to make the situation worse, rather than better.

[4] The trend in fossil fuel supplies is concerning. Both oil and coal are past peak, on a per capita basis. World coal supply has been lagging population growth since at least 2011. While natural gas production is rising, the price tends to be high and the cost of transport is very high.

Most energy charts are similar to Figure 7, showing energy consumption on a total product supplied basis, without reference to the size of the population using those resources.

Figure 7. Total quantity of oil, coal and natural gas supplied based on information published in BP’s 2022 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Figure 7 indicates that coal supplies are, in some sense, the most troubled of the three types of fossil fuels. In the 2001 to 2007 period, China was able to ramp up its manufacturing using coal, but eventually those supplies ran short. In fact, coal supplies around the world started running short. Instead of telling us about the shortfall in production, we started hearing a story that sounds a lot like The Fox and the Grapes of Aesop’s Fables: Coal is a horribly polluting fuel which we don’t really want anyhow.

To understand how these quantities correspond to the world’s rising population, it is helpful to look at consumption divided by population, shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8. Oil, coal and natural gas energy consumption per capita, based on data in BP’s 2022 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Figure 8 shows that oil consumption per capita was relatively stable up until 2019. Then, it suddenly dropped in 2020, and it has not been able to fully recover from that drop in 2021. In fact, we know that as oil production has tried to increase in 2022, its price has risen further. Of the years shown, 2004 was the year with the highest oil consumption per capita. That was back at the time that “conventional” oil production peaked.

Figure 8 shows that the peak production of coal, relative to world population, was in the year 2011. Now, in 2022, the least expensive coal to extract has been depleted. World coal consumption has fallen far behind population growth. The big drop-off in coal availability means that countries are increasingly looking to natural gas as a flexible source of electricity generation. But natural gas has many other uses, including its use in making fertilizer and as a feedstock for many herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides. The result is that there is more demand for natural gas than can easily be supplied.

[5] Governments and academic institutions have gone out of their way to avoid telling the world how important energy of the right types and in the right quantities is to the economy.

Politicians cannot admit that the world economy cannot get along without the right quantities of energy that match the needs of today’s infrastructure. At most, a small amount of substitution is possible, if all the necessary transition steps are taken. Each transition step requires energy of various kinds. For example, a small amount of intermittent wind can be added to the fossil-fuel generated electricity supply, if care is taken to ramp up fossil-fuel generated electricity to offset the lack of wind when there is a shortfall in supply. Otherwise, battery or other storage is needed for the wind energy until the wind energy is truly needed by the system.

Thus, most people today are convinced that the economy doesn’t need energy. They believe that the world’s biggest problem is climate change. They tend to cheer when they hear that fossil fuel supplies are being shut down. Of course, without energy of the right kinds, jobs disappear. The total quantity of goods and services produced tends to fall very steeply. In this situation, there is likely not enough food for all the people in the world. War is likely to break out over limited resources.

[6] Once the economy starts heading downward, it is not clear that the economy can ever “catch itself” and start back on an upward path again, even for a short while.

Back in 2001, the World Economy was able to get a “bail out” from China’s rapid growth in coal production, but as we have seen, world coal production is no longer growing as fast as population.

Back in about 2010 and 2011, growth in US crude oil from shale formations was able to temporarily bail out world oil supply, but now this is also failing. Also, even the recent “growth” shown is to a significant extent from the completion of “drilled but uncompleted” wells started earlier. Eventually, there are no more “DUCs” to complete.

Figure 9. EIA chart showing US Field Production of Crude Oil through June 24, 2022.

In fact, despite all of the supposed high reserves of many kinds around the world, there is little evidence that the Middle East, or anywhere else, can actually raise production much higher.

Once the economy starts shrinking, debt defaults are likely to become a big problem. Banks will find their balance sheets impaired. They may be forced to close. Citizens with deposits may find that only part of their balance is available to spend.

Government programs will necessarily be forced to cut back to match the energy supplies that are available. For example, if road paving material is not available, roads cannot be repaved. If fuel cannot be found for school buses, students may need to learn at home.

Governments at all levels have promised pension plans. In fact, many employers have promised pension plans. Without a growing supply to cheap-to-produce energy, these promises are meaningless. Somehow, governments will find it necessary to cut back on their promises. Perhaps, Social Security and Medicare programs will be handed back to US States to fund, to the extent that the states have funds for these programs. Governments around the world can expect to face similar problems.

With less energy supply available, the whole world economy that we know today seems likely to start falling apart. Fewer goods will be available through international trade. It is cheap energy that has allowed today’s economy to function. Once this cheap energy is depleted, the world economy will need to shrink back in many ways, at once.

We don’t really know precisely what lies ahead, and perhaps, this lack of knowledge is for the best. We cannot even imagine a world economy changing rapidly for the worse.

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, News Related Post and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3,945 Responses to Why raising interest rates to reduce inflation may work out very badly

  1. Fast Eddy says:

    Financial Times Censors Criticism of Vaccine Article

    Earlier today, the Financial Times removed a comment from a reader calling himself ‘Mykonos Mike’ underneath an article about why COVID-19 infection and vaccination are only partially effective – and, in some cases, completely ineffective after a certain period of time has passed – when it comes to reducing a person’s likelihood of becoming re-infected, infecting others, and ending up with a severe bout of the disease. The reason given for removing the comment, in spite of the fact that it was the most liked and commented on, was “violating our community guidelines”, although, needless to say, no more detail was provided.

    In light of this, we thought it was only right to republish Mykonos Mike’s comment in full.

    https://dailysceptic.org/2022/07/05/financial-times-censors-criticism-of-vaccine-article/

    https://archive.ph/TfzVH

  2. Fast Eddy says:

    YES!!! The sweet stench of VAIDS!!!

    Hospitals Bring Back Masks and Social Distancing as Covid Admissions Surge

    https://dailysceptic.org/2022/07/05/hospitals-bring-back-masks-and-social-distancing-as-covid-admissions-surge-but-two-thirds-are-in-hospital-for-something-else/

    Get some Remdeathisnear into these f789ers!!! Drive the deaths up — follow with Fear Headlines — offer the Magic Booster (again).

    Yes yes yes!!! Hoorah

  3. Walter says:

    Some good points here. However, since a tremendous amount of energy is wasted producing goods and services we don’t need, the effects of reduced energy consumption will be mitigated. The key is how to manage a contracting economy. World leaders will likely “blow it.” You, the individual, can adapt more quickly. Preppers will be seen as intelligent children. Sustainable farmers like myself will survive.

    • Good luck! There will be others willing to steal from you, I expect.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        If there is food … they will find it… unless you live in a very remote place with nobody living nearby and no easy access.

        I understand that there is a mega wealthy guy who built a house that can only be easily accessed by helicopter — it’s about 20 minutes out of town towards Glenorchy… Clearly a doomsday residence that will be well-stocked…

        However the builders and helicopter company employees know where it is.. and they will know it’s filled with food… if it can be reached by foot through the bush… not hard to image a squad of men with families in tow … heading his way with rifles…

        So even remote might not cut it…. there is always someone who knows you are there — and that you have a LOT of food.

        He’s out there somewhere — like Kurtz…

        https://media.audleytravel.com/-/media/images/home/australasia/new-zealand/places/istock_856588830_new_zealand_glenorchy_800x2400.jpg

        • come clean eddy

          we all know its you

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Fast Eddy would not be considered mega wealthy … he’s been burning through $$$ on a 10+ yr bucket list… and investing in nothing … and doing barely any work… he’s trying to time it …

            If HE mistimes he’ll approach and anna and offer to p im p her out to wealthy men who have a fetish for burned out hags with serious mental problems… it’s all in the marketing

            • there goes that lesser spotted eddywit again

              easily distinguished by the fact that it never rises more than waist height above the ground

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Things we don’t need… can you name some of the things we don’t need.

      You will not survive. You will be torn to pieces by the ravenous hordes. Your women will be raped. Your children/grandchildren will be roasted and eat… the best you can hope for is that the mob does not arrive before the rough men with lots of guns… the rough men might enslave you so you stay alive.

      But then there are the spent fuel ponds – 4000 of them — how do you keep those cool? You don’t.

      Try humming Kumbaya while you read this :

      There are 4000 Spent Fuel Ponds Around the Globe…

      If you don’t cool the spent fuel, the temperature will rise and there may be a swift chain reaction that leads to spontaneous combustion–an explosion and fire of the spent fuel assemblies. Such a scenario would emit radioactive particles into the atmosphere. Pick your poison. Fresh fuel is hotter and more radioactive, but is only one fuel assembly. A pool of spent fuel will have dozens of assemblies.

      One report from Sankei News said that there are over 700 fuel assemblies stored in one pool at Fukushima. If they all caught fire, radioactive particles—including those lasting for as long as a decade—would be released into the air and eventually contaminate the land or, worse, be inhaled by people. “To me, the spent fuel is scarier. All those spent fuel assemblies are still extremely radioactive,” Dalnoki-Veress says.

      It has been known for more than two decades that, in case of a loss of water in the pool, convective air cooling would be relatively ineffective in such a “dense-packed” pool. Spent fuel recently discharged from a reactor could heat up relatively rapidly to temperatures at which the zircaloy fuel cladding could catch fire and the fuel’s volatile fission product, including 30-year half-life Cs, would be released. The fire could well spread to older spent fuel. The long-term land-contamination consequences of such an event could be significantly worse than those from Chernobyl.

      http://science.time.com/2011/03/15/a-new-threat-in-japan-radioactive-spent-fuel/

      The Chernobyl accident was relatively minor, involved no spent fuel ponds, and was controlled by pouring cement onto the reactor. This was breaking down so a few years back they re-entombed.

      Estimates of the cancer burden in Europe from radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl accident

      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16628547/

  4. Fast Eddy says:

    Vaccinated persons have greater mortality than the unvaccinated in New Zealand: “The Rollout of COVID-19 Booster Vaccines is Associated With Rising Excess Mortality in New Zealand”

    sssshhhhh, we will keep that quiet for now, don’t want to offend my family and friends and neighbors who have shots sticking out their ears and eye balls and want more…more I plead, may attack me

    https://palexander.substack.com/p/vaccinated-persons-have-greater-mortality

    https://econpapers.repec.org/paper/waieconwp/22_2f11.htm

    • nikoB says:

      I was reading undenial today.
      https://un-denial.com/2022/06/29/the-great-reset-an-alternate-theory/comment-page-1/#comment-64934
      Seems Mike is hanging there. Though he commented that he didn’t see the benefit of vaccines with the current variants.
      James T says you miss him FE.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I don’t see the benefit of vaccines with the current variants, that’s all. If there is a benefit to more vulnerable older folk, it seems to be minimal and yet to be demonstrated to me. For young children, there seems to be no benefit. That’s all. My views change with the data. That’s not true of FE. I’m surprised so many over there put up with his insulting behaviour and fixed opinions (including the high opinion of himself).

        As for the rest, it’s true that we generally don’t think about who may have suffered to bring us our daily pleasures but can cry about a sob story on the news. It has to be in our face for most of us to be affected, I think. We’re all contributing to the crazy messed up world but find it easy to blame others.

        I suspect people put up with FE because they enjoy watching HIM mock and ridicule mike and norm (who are both Pro Vax clowns deserving of mockery)

        At least mike doesn’t want to vax the kids… norm?

        This poor father … The Chemist https://www.mixcloud.com/fasteddynz/

  5. Fast Eddy says:

    And in keeping with that discussion with The Chemist:

    oh oh, seems in Austria, the minister of health is blaming doctors for the COVID vaccine harms, shifting blame to them; yet Rauch knows if doctors did in Austria and US etc. tell truth, will be fired
    Now that harms & deaths due to the COVID shot are clear, the rush is to blame doctors for not informing their patients. Doctors must now for the first time, band together & take govns down!

    https://palexander.substack.com/p/oh-oh-seems-in-austria-the-minister

  6. ivanislav says:

    Oil fell big-time today, supposedly on recession fears. I think it may instead be linked to Russia’s announcement of victory in Luhansk and Donetsk, on account of players mistakenly taking that to mean the war is ending.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      LPR has been fully liberated, but DPR not yet.

      (onward to Odesa!)

      WTI is at $100 so still very much in the range of 94 to 124 since the Great Day of 2/24/2022.

      https://www.atlantafed.org/cqer/research/gdpnow

      Atlanta (!) Fed has GDPnow at minus 2% for Q2.

      so after the July 4th holiday weekend, the WTI price drop is possibly due to this.

      it’s all good.

    • Wet My Beak says:

      Gold is way down too. Possibly caused by recession fears compounded by factors surrounding the liberation of the Ukraine.

      • Alex says:

        It’s mostly the strong USD which is the outlier. Gold in EUR, GBP, or JPY holds very well.

  7. Adonis says:

    The elders plan seem to be extremely high prices at 380 us dollars a barrel what does that mean for ones fuel bill in Australia maybe 10 aussie dollars a litre that should make electric cars look attractive so just imagine their plan is very high permanent prices for everything on top of that maybe high interest rates are their plan also so they can own the entire real estate house of cards when mortgage holders go under is 10% interest rate at central bank going to be permanent fixture all part of their great reset plan to control and create new world order .

    • CTG says:

      USD380 per barrel will not happen. At USD200, the economy would have collapsed.

      • Foolish Fitz says:

        “USD380 per barrel will not happen”

        JP Morgan Chase say otherwise and they seem to believe it as well, so probably best to ignore.

        “Analysts at JP Morgan Chase, the US investment bank, said last week that Russia could also cause “stratospheric” oil price increases if it used output cuts to retaliate. It said, “The tightness of the global oil market is on Russia’s side.” Analysts wrote that prices could more than triple to $380 a barrel if Russia cut production by 5m barrels a day.”

        https://www.indianpunchline.com/eu-economies-are-down-on-their-knees/

        • CTG says:

          Experts cannot be trusted… “We did not see it coming”. All my life, I never trusted any “experts”. In fact, if he/she is an expert from great universities, I will put in my defensive wall immediately.

          That by the way is a birth defect. I am supposed to be compliant and believe in everything. I cannot see why I must trust my parents/ children. There is a “blind trust” by people on experts

  8. CTG says:

    I think Lenin (true?) said that there are decades that nothing happened and there are times when decades happened in weeks.

    We have a lot of commenters here in this post and so many things happened between this post and last post (Thanks Gail)

    Aren’t you all entertained ??

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      Russia has liberated the Luhansk.

      Norwegian gas workers are striking and prices are spiking.

      VZ is up, and SL is down.

      euro = $1

      the Pound is getting pounded.

      Brit “leaders” are jumping ship.

      Just Stop Oil protesters glue themselves to a famous painting in a British museum.

      and yet Wimbledon plays on, as if all is well.

      William and Kate watching from the Royal Box under sunny skies.

      yes the Centre is holding.

      the Q3 entertainment level is off to a good start.

      onward to Odesa!

    • Fast Eddy says:

      I am not entertained… yet… I need MORE rioting!!!

      • Tim Groves says:

        Well, the wokies are planning to lynch Justice Clarence Thomas if they can get their fangs and claws into him. That’s should start some fireworks because Black Lives Matter.

  9. Fast Eddy says:

    Australia gives up on jabbing the unvaxxed… focuses on giving the MOEONS MORE https://t.me/TommyRobinsonNews/37163 hahahahaha

    The shooter https://t.me/TommyRobinsonNews/37179

    Hmmm.. a tank? Where would they get it? https://twitter.com/TheRealKeean/status/1544465282957189120?t=PU4Ktyf4IT8jNVN52ICFZw&s=19

  10. Fast Eddy says:

    OMG Israel!! https://t.me/goddek/1839

    I suspect this is a false flag … again they are destroy the fabric of civilization https://rumble.com/v1b7zm9-residents-in-downtown-minneapolis-last-night-sprayed-fireworks-at-public-an.html

    Dr. Clare Craig on if Justin Bieber’s Facial Paralysis Was Caused by a COVID Booster

    https://rumble.com/v1b8p5r-dr.-clare-craig-on-if-justin-biebers-facial-paralysis-was-caused-by-a-covid.html

    Dr. Clare Craig Says Pfizer’s Data Shows More Kids Got Severe COVID in the Vaccinated Group

    https://rumble.com/v1b8pe3-dr.-clare-craig-says-pfizers-data-shows-more-kids-got-severe-covid-in-the-v.html

    When do we get angry enough to KILL? https://t.me/TommyRobinsonNews/37161

  11. CTG says:

    The World’s Third-Largest Economy Is Facing A Looming Energy Crisis

    Japan is facing an energy crisis that can severely hurt the world’s third-largest economy as it is forced to tackle a combination of a weak local currency, the fallout from the Ukraine war, and a heatwave.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/worlds-third-largest-economy-facing-looming-energy-crisis

    Let us hope Tim Groves has all the energy he needs…..

    • CTG says:

      Looks like it is a close race between Japan and EU on systemic collapse (??)

      Place your bets?

      • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        Japan is unique with an ageing and declining population, and they have been doing their financial trickery for decades.

        it seems to work in their situation.

        Europe, ah, self harming Europe!

        Davos Men have messed with their heads, and USA/NATZO have their boot on the EU neck.

        it looks like a runaway “victory” for the EU by winter.

      • drb753 says:

        Japan has one good card in the hole, 12GW of unused nuclear power they could switch on tomorrow. Europe is likewise ageing, with millions of emigrants weighing on the economy. It is not a given that Japan will collapse first.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      When Japan goes we follow – they are a key pillar of the supply chain.

  12. Fast Eddy says:

    (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10984219/Chinese-city-13-MILLION-shut-week-avoid-Covid-explosion-just-18-cases.html)

    Chinese city of 13 MILLION people is shut down for a week to avoid Covid ‘explosion’ after just 18 cases are recorded

    Businesses, schools and restaurants in Xi’an will close for one week after the Chinese city logged a handful of Covid-19

    hahahaha… and cuz lockdowns work too!! and masks!!! hahahahah it would be So Much Worse SMW without them

    • ivanislav says:

      What do they know about COVID that we don’t? Or are they simply normalizing government control over mobility and all else?

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Have you seen the video of the man supposedly dying from covid — who falls face first then ‘dies’ in Wuhan…. of course if you look at it in slow motion – he breaks his fall with his hands.. hmmm – and you’d be wandering the streets with a severe flu and die? I don’t think so

        People are so f789ing stoooopid – they look at this and they don’t think hmmm… why is he outside?

        https://im.indiatimes.in/content/2020/Jan/Wuhan-3_5e33c7e4142ac.jpg

        And pray tell why Covid did not spread past Wuhan in 2020 — recall millions of people from that area headed to out for the Chinese New Year… I remember thinking at the time — if this is what they say it is — this is gonna tear through the entire country.

        But it didn’t. cuz?

        Cuz we are outta cheap energy and the world is collapsing and China is on board with UEP just a are all nations…

        These lockdowns are likely dry runs for the Global Holodomor that is to come – you know — when people are dying like flies and everyone else is ordered to remain in their homes … (and starve)

      • Bam_Man says:

        They are using COVID lockdowns as an excuse to try to forestall bank runs. There is a financial meltdown and banking crisis going on in China right now, as their epic real estate bubble is imploding. Not going to work, IMHO. The cure will be worse than the disease – in both cases.

      • Or trying to hold down energy consumption?

  13. Self inflicted power crisis in Australia

    15/6/2022
    Australia East Coast power crisis (part 2: NSW coal plants maxed out)
    http://crudeoilpeak.info/australia-east-coast-power-crisis-part-2-nsw-coal-plants-maxed-out

    10 Jun 2022
    Australia East Coast power crisis (part 1: NSW demand peaks)
    http://crudeoilpeak.info/australia-east-coast-power-crisis-part-1

    • Fred says:

      Same delusional green BS as everywhere else.

    • Thanks for your write-up of Australia’s electricity problems. NSW in particular has been headed in the current direction for a long time. Intermittent power cannot be relied upon. Trying to buy electricity from elsewhere doesn’t necessarily work. Closing more coal fired power plants, without opening more, is asking for trouble.

      It always amazes me that there are aluminum smelters in an area without reliable electricity supply.

  14. Mike Roberts says:

    My concern is that the current attempt to bring inflation down will lead to falling energy supply and a world economy that is rapidly changing for the worse.

    Gail, I couldn’t see, in your post, where you made the argument for the above. How would rising interest rates lead to a falling energy supply (as opposed to falling demand)?

  15. Fast Eddy says:

    Norm –https://www.bitchute.com/video/zQHsaeYLNET6/

    Biden https://t.me/TommyRobinsonNews/37156

    The foundations are completely severed now https://t.me/TommyRobinsonNews/37157

  16. Fast Eddy says:

    See this – this is what we will be swarming over your fence to get at your veggies – your animals – your family

    https://twitter.com/matthewbennett/status/1540765431383965696?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

    https://johnwaters.substack.com/p/diary-of-a-dissenter-a-week-from-0c0

  17. Fast Eddy says:

    Hey! You wanna come to New Zealand? It is a great place to visit! Please come on over – we would be delighted to see you. But there is just one thing. We are slightly short on workers right now, so how about… you change your own sheets? We’ll give you a discount on your nightly fee, so – what’s not to like?

    https://thebfd.co.nz/2022/07/06/tourism-hits-an-absolutely-new-low

    • “Room service” is pretty limited in the US, also. If there is a restaurant, a person needs to check to see what hours it really is open. Cutbacks are very normal.

  18. Malachi says:

    This is a good article but it is hampered because the author did not consistently apply their insight that the economy is a physical system that relies on the supplies of physical goods, such as energy. The shortages in energy are physical shortages and responding with fiscal/monetary policy, as they suggest, exacerbates the problem.

    I suggest the following lecture to help explain the interplay between real scarcity and monetary policy: https://youtu.be/-3PKHVbOet8

    At https://youtu.be/-3PKHVbOet8?t=3500 Hoppe responds to an audience member and his response is instructive as a response to the author’s (correct) observation:

    “There are many unfinished automobiles, waiting for missing parts. Appliances of many kinds are not available without a long wait. Fertilizer is often not available. Broken supply lines leave many store shelves empty. It is not that demand is unusually high; it is the supply of the energy products we need to grow food and to transport many finished goods that is not available.”

    Per Hoppe: “If you engage in an investment project then these investment projects can not all be completed because there are just not enough saved up funds there in order to feed the workers during that time.”

    Essentially the physical scarcity (of energy) is the fact that we should be planning around, but the monetary policy disguises this fact and leads to poor investment, because price discovery has been crippled and there will be more waste because the people involved in making these investments will be able to get cheap credit and begin their projects, but the physical scarcity will catch up to them and they will be unable to complete them.

    • I agree that it is definitely a physical scarcity problem. Leaders may frame the problem differently. For example, shutdowns are a way of saving energy of many kinds.

  19. the blame-e says:

    “Everything I can see says that world leaders are not able to face the possibility that the world is already running seriously short of oil and coal.”

    They know. They know. Somebody must know about how much energy was burned up fighting World War II. And how those facts have never been made public. Probably because somebody must have done some number crunching and said: “Hey, were in deep trouble.”

    All wars are resource wars. If you take the sanctions and proxy war as “Acts of War” against Russia then World War 3 has already started. Ukraine is simply being terraformed to support an invasion of Russia through the Ukraine by the United States, the UK, the EU, Europe and NATO.

    The addition of Sweden and Finland to NATO is just more Russian bearbaiting, to be added to the Kaliningrad blockade, the sanctions, and the proxy war bearbaitings.

    The west needs the natural gas, oil, coal, minerals, and rare earths Russia has in “shameful abundance.” The West’s economies, already on the brink of collapse, needs Russia’s resources to replace what they have mostly exhausted themselves.

    Taking Russia’s energy resources is a matter of survival — economically, socially, culturally, and politically — and has become an existential threat to all parties, on both “sides.” The West has no place else to go for these resources, at this point.

    Russia is going to take all of the Ukraine. It should reach the Polish border just as the first snowflakes fall. Christmas of 2022 will tell the tale.

    What our leaders may not have considered is how: “May you live in interesting times,” is a curse.

    • Thanks for your comment. Many leaders definitely know that something serious is wrong, but they cannot explain it to citizens.

      I am not sure that everyone really understands the problem, however. The story about “renewables will save us” and “climate change is our biggest problem” is so prevalent that many people are confused.

      • the blame-e says:

        Thank you for yet another wonderful article.

        I can’t figure out the whole renewables deal myself. Renewables take more energy to renew than how it first came out of the ground.

        Climate change. How do you explain how big a role fossil fuels play in making these EVs. charging these EVs, and maintaining these EVs.

        Same thing with wind turbines and solar panels. The useful lifespan of solar panels (25-years is nothing).

        Our government is pumping out the Strategic Oil Reserve (SPR) and exporting it to Europe. The light sweet crude is being replaced with fracked oil, which like replacing anthracite (the light sweet crude of coal) with lignite (brown dirt) coal.

      • Mike Roberts says:

        World leaders probably view our predicament as a problem and so believe it can be fixed.

      • Richard Holmes says:

        Gail you seem to be using a globalist approach and painting the whole world with the same brush but in fact some countries are energy rich and are not in danger of running out – it’s like saying the world is running out of water, but in fact a country like Canada has enough water to last until infinity. Won’t there be winners and losers?

        • There may well be some parts of some countries that do better than parts of other countries. The big issue is broken supply lines and the inability to fix pretty much anything that breaks. Once electric power lines are down, they likely will be permanently down.

          “Rich” is a current description of how the world economy is functioning. It may very well be poor people who are used to taking care of their own immediate food and water needs that do better than people who are used to sitting at home and collecting pension checks that will soon disappear.

        • energy has no use or value until it is used in some way. Saudi sat on colossal amounts of oil for 000s of years–but didn’t become rich until it was sold and burned elsewhere.

          ie–converted to a product that can be traded in physical terms to produce wages.

          The problem with that is, that ‘energy use’ must constantly increase in order that wages constantly increase.

          But that is an economic impossibility. Energy ‘increase’ cannot be infinite.

          When energy increases cease, the demand for higher wages will go on.

          The result of that will not be infinite growth but infinite debt. (which of course looks just like growth.)

          Which is exactly where were are at right now. Wage demands increase, while energy output is not there to support it.

          Which is why economic systems are in a state of collapse.

          • Rising population has also been a factor in the need for every more energy. Arable land is not increasing; somehow added complexity is needed to get more food from essentially the same land area. We also know about diminishing returns on fresh water supply and minerals of many kinds.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          You are way behind the curve in terms of understanding this situation …

          This should help http://feasta.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Trade_Off_Korowicz.pdf

          It’s like saying if the Fed did not come to the rescue during GFC… only the US would have collapsed.

          Then https://www.headsupster.com/forumthread?shortId=220

      • craig moodie says:

        IN 1973 at the WEF forum, one of the key note speakers was Aurelio Peccei, summarizing “the limits to growth” published in 1972. This should dispel any doubts as to whether ” the powers that be” are fully aware of the predicament we find ourselves in.
        Telling the truth would cause total panic, hence the “climate change” ruse.

        • You would think that the WEF people would have learned from the 1972 “The Limits to Growth,” but the report was widely criticized at the time. The Club of Rome gradually became a very “Green” organization, and the WEF has gone in a similar direction.

          I don’t think that the people in charge could admit to themselves that the situation was that bad. The story had to be spun in a way that would allow the WEF leaders to come out ahead.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Or they let the organization go kumbaya while they started to plan in secret for the End of Days…

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Yes. Absolute panic.

          As Gail has posted many times – a general in the US military made a speech in I think it was the 50’s warning of future issues with energy … I suspect the PTB have been aware that there was no way out of this trap many decades ago — and that they have been planning for the total collapse of BAU since perhaps the 70’s…

          They have most definitely been active in making policies that ensure we could squeeze out as much oil as possible — shale would never have happened without a push from the top …

          Without a doubt there is a department within the US government with thousands of employees – who are tasked with kicking the energy can and implementing a plant (UEP) to determine what to do as we run out of road. None of this would of course acknowledged – most major countries would also have a group of people who would be tasked with executing UEP in their countries.

          It would be very stressful to work on this project – but no doubt they’d see it as working to prevent ROF… exterminating 8B before they rip each other to pieces.. would be the ultimate service to the species.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      yes – they fought wars over oil and coal — they know how crucial it is … and they know what remains. And they are taking action as we approach dead pool state… UEP (of course)

      All highly guarded secrets — the last thing we need the hordes to know … is that we are on the edge of energy disaster

      Hands up those who thought our supply of gas was anywhere near peaking…

    • Rocky says:

      So why don’t they wage war against Canada given its miniscule population and massive oil and gas resources instead of turdeau and biden shutting down pipelines?

  20. Jef Jelten says:

    Per capita per schmapita!

    Half of the worlds population lives on $2.50 a day or less and do not have access to electricity.

    80% of the population of the world lives on $10 a day or less and consumes an infinitesimal amount of energy compared to the top 10% and it is sporadic at best.

    One billionaires trip to space consumes about 10% of all energy used in the world for a year.
    (55 exojoules for a trip to space vs 575 exojoules world energy consumption)
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-much-energy-needed-send-one-million-humans-mars-greenblatt#:~:text=My%20report%20also%20estimated%20the,the%20course%20of%20a%20century.

    That means MOST of the planet is not the problem except for the fact that if WE want to continue to consume at the rate we do we need to kill off about a 100,000 developing world people for each one of us Western folk in order to accomplish that.

    Option #1 kill off the top 2 billion and the other 6 billion can continue to live like they are for the next hundred years as they design a better way.

    • Ed says:

      I think you are high by about a factor of 100,000,000 on the energy required to reach orbit.

      • Jef Jelten says:

        I looked for the info and can’t find it but when you take the energy needed to make the rocket, make the system to make a rocket, make the fuel, go through all the processes needed to insure a successful launch and return, keeping in mind that much of this is single use only. Even when they land a module back on earth 90% of what has taken place is single use. Not just singling out one launch because the legacy energy use is absolute and applicable. I am not just using the arbitrary and useless metric of “…required to reach orbit”. Keep in mind that the whole process is to get one A-hole into space the rest is not applicable. The “ride” uses 1,000,000.X more energy than the average developing world person going to the park.

        • Kim says:

          Have any actual aholes gone into space? Aren’t rockets usually used to launch communication satellites?

    • Surprisingly, most energy consumption is hidden. A lot of energy goes into growing the food you (and others) eat, and transporting it to where it is eaten. Other energy goes into making roads and schools and transportation systems.

      • Jef Jelten says:

        Even with this “hidden energy” more than half the worlds population consumes only a tiny fraction of the top 10%.

        We can not allow the bottom 5 billion have their own economy, produce their own products, gow their own food, or they will consume more than the top 10% so we must keep them poor and starving. This is by design.

        The bottom 5 or 6 billion have no ability to consume less unless they die.

        The top 20% could die and the bottom 6 billion could keep going on as they are for a very long time.

        Which do you all think will happen?

        • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

          I think I will continue my top 20% lavish excess lifestyle for a while longer.

          I really like lavish excess.

          soon enough, the bottom 80% will all be dead.

          and soon enough, the top 20% will all be dead.

          basic math, 80% + 20% = 100%.

          it’s all good really.

          que sera sera.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Let’s think of some Lavish Lifestyle ideas to splurge huge energy as the Titanic Sinks!!!

            A celebration of humanity and civilization in the pursuit of pillaging and destroying this planet!!!

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Option #2 we just kill you instead for deliberately trying to undermine our own morale and to get us dead.

    • Tim Groves says:

      How about sending up billionaires into space but not bothering to bring them back?
      That should save s fair amount of energy.

      • Kowalainen says:

        What’s wrong with precious princess tryhard rapacious primate “Jetsons” reaching ET land. I’m sure the alien brethren out there wants a bunch of sanctimonious hypocrites in their ranks.

        Now that I think about it…
        Perhaps not.
        No; definitely not.
        🙉 👈👽👎

  21. Rodster says:

    “Why Economic Collapse is Inevitable” by Chris Martenson

    https://peakprosperity.com/why-economic-collapse-is-inevitable/

    Excerpt: “If you understand energy and its foundational role in making the economy happen, then you understand something that few others do. I’m not sure why this energy blindness exists, but it is as mysterious as it is widespread. Perhaps, the implications are just too profound for many people to really entertain?

    After all, if energy is that important, and it’s now winding down, what does that mean for the long march of human progress and our own sense of what the future might hold? At a minimum, it means that things simply won’t carry on as they have been. No more endless growth. No more increasingly complex systems; heck we’ll be lucky to simply keep what we’ve got now operating and properly maintained.”

    • I can see that we are talking about the same issues.

      I have known Chris for many years. He has interviewed me quite a few times.

      • Rodster says:

        His 18 minute lecture in Part 1 is very good about our energy predicament. He showed a chart on “renewable/clean energy” and it’s almost laughably non-existant.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Chris and norm are your prize plagiarizers!!!

        Chris just read your latest and he’s at his desk furiously rewriting it and is about to drop it onto his site as original content … then charge $$$ for his Doomsday Pack

    • Mike Roberts says:

      If the work of Tim Garrett, and others, is right, then falling energy supply (and consumption) means wealth destruction. A non-negative GDP (yes, GDP, not growth in GDP) is only possible if prior wealth is destroyed or deteriorates quickly enough. Actual growth is impossible. Any addition to accumulated wealth requires increasing energy supplies, even in a depression.

  22. Sunak jumping out. I wonder what Hindu will take his job to try to become the next PM of UK.

  23. Tom says:

    Gail said: “The amount of energy the economy requires depends very much on population.” In other words, either energy supply must go up or population must go down. I think that explains the covid injections. The injected have weakened immune systems. Presently, 67% of the world population has taken a jab. Pretty obvious where this is headed. Population will decline rapidly once the right disease vector is introduced.

    • Quite a few people, including me, have the concern that the COVID injections will weaken the immune systems of those taking them.

      Of course, if there are way too many people relative to food supply, some approach is necessary to try to bring population back down. It is an unpleasant subject. Maybe the problem can be put off a while.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        The substack community is interpreting UEP as a cull — billions will be hacked off the population —-
        but they don’t seem to be able to grasp that this would collapse the supply chains and the survivors would starve…

        They are incensed that the PTB would do such a thing… how dare they try to solve overshoot!

        No doubt these same people have bleating on about over population for years… and now that someone may be doing something about it … they get angry.

        They get particularly angry about the suggestion that the injections sterilize them hahaha

        Reminds me of the dynamics at play in Utopia.

        • Tim Groves says:

          You will enjoy this one, Eddy. Neat graphs!

          An important research study entitled Sharing CD4+ T Cell Loss: When COVID-19 and HIV Collide on Immune System correctly associates COVID-19 with AIDS by comparing host characteristics and hyper-inflammatory responses between the patient groups’ respective CD4+ T cell counts.

          Remember Biden promising the unvaxxed a horrible winter? Well:


          If Ba5 causes 2 infections per vaxed person over 4 months, they’ll lose as much as 10% net of their immune system.

          If Ba2.75 which is 9 times as contagious does the same thing come fall, the vaxed who are infected twice by it as well, will lose another 10% of their immune system.

          Heading into winter cold and flu season their systems will be at least 20% less effective, not counting damage from the vax.

          The combined repeat infections (even though mild), will leave their immune systems unable to fight off normal winter viruses that will turn into pneumonia.

          It WILL BE A HORRIBLE WINTER due to the cumulative effects of the many variants and the Vaccine.

          https://2ndsmartestguyintheworld.substack.com/p/repeated-reinfections-vaids-and-the

    • Alex says:

      Wishful thinkers like yourself will need to think harder, because after almost two years, the results of your wishful thinking are quite pathetic.

  24. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/venezuela-economy-seen-growing-most-154034478.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall

    “Venezuela’s economy is forecast to expand at its fastest pace in 15 years, marking a rebound for a country that recently emerged from the deepest recession in Latin America.”

    after a severe plunge, a partial rebound is possible.

    for now.

  25. 2023 will see a lot of misery people didn’t notice in the advanced world since the days of Queen Victoria, and Social Darwinism and Malthus will have their revenge.

  26. Lorraine H Sherman says:

    I think Gail and Chris Martenson are channeling each other. Chris gave a short but eye opening presentation on the state of energy/oil in the world. We’ve had something like 8 consecutive quarters where the world consumed more energy then was produced. It really looks more and more like the lock downs were meant to destroy energy demand and less and less like some kind of health strategy. Gail’s essay is right on point with Chris’ presentation: the energy crisis of all energy crisis’.

    It’s exciting and scary at the same time. The unraveling of this complex society is going to be epic. I just hope we don’t nuke ourselves to death in the process.

    On a personal note, we could make it for a while, we’ve got food growing and stored, we’ve got a handpump for fresh water, we have a tight knit neighborhood gardening community, and our neighbors have a lot of guns and ammo. It’s hot in north central florida, but water and a fan solves that problem.

    I’ve been prepping for this since 2011, but nothing can truly prepare us for a world with less and less oil, gas and diesel.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      I’ve taken a different approach. F789 growing sh7t. That’s what farmers do – and as we know from history — farmers are always under the boot of tyrants.

      I prefer to be a tyrant. I’ve got case and cases and cases of ammo — and an arsenal of shotguns and high powered rifles. Lots of knives too.

      One of my neighbours has sheep and chickens and a big garden …

      I’ve created a coterie of hard core mates… and we’ll start there…

    • the blame-e says:

      Or Chris Martenson is (cough. cough) plagiarizing Gail Tverberg

    • rufustiresias999 says:

      I recommend to watch again the wonderful Akira Kurosawa’s movie “7 samurais”

  27. Charlie says:

    interesting article, thank you very much!

  28. A permanent bifurcation between the rich and poor is now set in stone.

    An uncrossabe river, forever.

    It is over for most of the world’s poor.

  29. Alex says:

    Our politicians have all subsisted off QE fiat money, they think wealth comes from a hole in the wall. Likewise, they believe energy comes out of a socket in the wall.
    They believe if they pass rules for more renewable energy, then bingo, there is more energy!
    They are “cargo cultists” totally absorbed in magical thinking, they are mentally ill.

    • the blame-e says:

      And our politicians are measuring their wealth and status on money that has no value, hence no meaning.

      Between 1913 and 2008 the value of the USD fell 98-percent. Common knowledge. Maybe 96-percent. In the Crash of 2008 – 09 the last 2-percent went away. The value of the USD fell to zero. Since 2010, the USD has been worth nothing. We have been living a delusion, based upon habit and dependency for well over 10-years.

      That’s why prices have been soaring. The dollar no value. It has no meaning. Only the spectacle of greed and avarice, the open and wanton criminality, on so full a display.

      This is worse than the games in the Roman coliseum.

      In this environment shame has no value. Pride has no value. Character has no value. Honor has no value.

    • Our schools certainly don’t make a point of teaching how the economy really operates and the importance of energy. I have pointed out Hyman Rickover’s talk from 1957 many times. This story was known way back then.

      https://ourfiniteworld.com/2007/07/02/speech-from-1957-predicting-peak-oil/

    • rufustiresias999 says:

      My office is in the neighbor building of UE’s parliament house. They’re voting today the new energy taxonomy (to label gas and nuke ‘green’ – so these energy get subsidiesed – France negociated to have nuclear labeled green, in exchange Germany can have gas labeled green, because Germanys plan was to replace dirty coal plants by gas plants – that was before Ukraine war).

      There are demonstrators on the street against the taxonomy who demand gas and nuke to be labeled not green. They want renewables instead. They set billboards : WE DEMAND BOLD RULES FOR RENEWABLES. They should better pray God for new physics laws to improve renewables.

  30. Jon F says:

    “We don’t really know precisely what lies ahead, and perhaps, this lack of knowledge is for the best.”

    Amen.

  31. Minority of One says:

    Difficult to see how Sri Lanka recovers from its current dark place:

    UK reinstates warning against travel to Sri Lanka
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-62053927

    “The UK government has reinstated advice against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka as a severe economic crisis has sparked civil unrest.

    A shortage of basic necessities including medicines, cooking gas, fuel and food has sparked protests and violence in the Asian country.

    Sri Lanka’s government said it only had enough petrol to last one day as it faces its worst crisis in 70 years.

    … Visiting countries against Foreign Office advice would be likely to invalidate your travel insurance, the Association of British Insurers said.

    … Nearly 200,000 Britons travelled to Sri Lanka in 2019, but this figure dipped to 55,455 in 2020.

    But Sri Lanka’s government exacerbated its foreign currency shortage in 2021, when it banned imports of chemical fertiliser.

    Widespread crop failure forced the country to import food from abroad, compounding its foreign currency crisis.”

  32. Mirror on the wall says:

    “Recently published data through 2021 indicates that energy consumption growth is not keeping up with population growth, similar to the situation of the 1930s.”

    Hello Gail, a very interesting article. The Gods of War….

    You may remember that we recently saw associations of war and fertility (and strength, light, abundance, happiness) in the Indo-European pantheons, like the Germanic and the Slavic, and that gods of war also tend to be associated with fertility and the storm. So Thor, Jarovit and various others.

    The storm seems to be the organising metaphor, as it contains both violence (war) and water (fertility). In other words, a people needs land and other natural resources, and those are generally obtained through struggle and conflict.

    These days, we tend to associate ‘god’ with all the ‘nice’ things like ‘love’ and ‘charity’, but that sort of view of how the world works depends on adequate energy and other resources to go around. Modern Westerners express their own security and comfort in their religio-moral conceptualisations.

    Anyway, and you may remember that we found that all the same associations of God, war and fertility, the storm, light, happiness are present in the Old Testament, eg. Psalms 18 and 144.

    I have been researching that further. It turns out that it is totally historical to interpret the OT in ‘pagan’ terms.

    The ancestors of the ‘Jews’ were originally simply Canaanites, and they worshipped a pantheon with El as the supreme ‘Father’ of the other gods, a bit like Odin. It is all in the OT if you know what you are looking for. ‘Israel’ is actually named after El, as with many other names in the OT.

    Yahweh was originally a war (and storm) deity, probably of the Edomite pantheon, and who was introduced to the Canaanites through trade networks. The earliest passages of the Bible recount his arrival from the south.

    “Yhwh, when you went out of Seir, when you marched forth from the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped; yea, the clouds dropped water. The mountains quaked before the presence of Yhwh, the one of Sinai; from before Yhwh, the God of Israel.” – Judges 5:4-5

    And his very earliest mention, in an Egyptian manuscript, likewise attributes Yahweh to Edomites.

    He was incorporated into the Canaanite pantheon as one of the sons of El. El had 70 sons, and each one was supposedly attached to one of the 70 different peoples as their ‘patron’ god or ‘mascot’. That is also recorded in the OT.

    “When Elyon [El] gave the nations as an inheritance, when he separated the sons of man, he set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. For Yahweh’s portion was his people; Jacob was the lot of his inheritance”. – Deuteronomy 32:8-9

    So, polytheism is given monolatric expression, the particular worship or dependence on one god amongst many recognised, and that later shifts to monotheism, with the Yahweh-alone party, likely for political rather than theological reasons. The Yahwehites become genocidal to their neighbours, as the OT recounts.

    Sadly I have ‘known’ the Bible all my life and this stuff was never pointed out to me, although I do remember a priest asking me what I understood by the Psalm in which ‘Yahweh sits in the council of the gods amongst the sons of El’ (82) but which had been translated otherwise.

    Anyway, the point is that the same associations of god, war, storm, light, fertility, happiness are all found in the Semitic as well as the Indo-European pantheons, and that is not an eccentric reading. And it seems likely that monotheism is a potentially extreme expression of that.

    These are some links if you want to read more about the Canaanite origins of the Bible. I have skipped lots of stuff for brevity.

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

    This is a major book on the subject – Yahweh and the Gods and Goddesses of Canaan

    https://ia800701.us.archive.org/18/items/YahwehAndTheGodsAndGoddessesOfCanaan/Yahweh%20and%20the%20Gods%20and%20Goddesses%20of%20Canaan.pdf

    • There seems to be a whole lot of overlap among religions. Also, religions change over time, as conditions change. This was pointed out to me when I visited China. It is certainly true in the United States as well.

      There is also a fair amount of archeological research that has been done with respect to Ancient Israel, suggesting that ancient Israelites had “other gods.” “Thou shall have no other gods before me” doesn’t imply one god; it just implies that “Yahweh” wants to be before the other gods. Lutheran Sunday School classes sometimes talk about what the archeological research shows.

      • NomadicBeer says:

        Here is a very short history of judaism:

        A nomadic tribe happened to be in Egypt at the time of Akhenaten (first person in history trying to impose monotheism). Some of the tribe’s leaders got involved in politics so they had to run away after Akhenaten died and his ideas got erased. And by the way, they were never slaves.

        The tribe ended up in Babylon. A thousand years later some scribes collected a lot of legends and half-remembered stories that mix up Egyptian and Babylonian creation myths and legends of the gods.

        Because this particular tribe was trying monotheism they changed some names but the editing is so bad (as expected from mostly illiterate desert dwellers) that most of the bible contradicts itself on the same page. Just look at the Genesis and answer: how many days of Creation, 7 or 8?

        Do you know that “moses” was a typical Egyptian name ending (prefixed by a God’s name) – for example Thutmose, Rameses etc. So the jewish scribes just removed the prefix.

        The ridiculous part is that both Egypt and Babylon (Sumer) had a long written culture and religions for more than 2000 years by the time these latecomers started stealing their stories and presenting them as their own (see the flood myth for example or the Egyptian ogdoad). And yet, none of the Egyptian or Sumerian books survived (they had to be rediscovered), while the distorted and childish mishmash in the OT was considered the greatest book ever…

        I expect in a thousand years there would be some sacred books written by people living in the Great Desert in the middle of US that will misinterpret today’s science and philosophy – it would be funny but sad to read how little and how wrong they will remember us.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        Yes, and it connects with another subject that I have been researching and thinking about – why are Christians so uptight about whether they are themselves polytheist?

        The Trinity in a ‘settled’ form comes from the Athanasian creed, and the Nicaean council, with the language of ‘three persons’, ‘one substance/ essence’ (‘ousia’ in Greek).

        A lot of Christians still feel tied in a fundamental way to that creedal language. But ‘ousia’ was never a clear concept and it was translated into Latin as ‘substance’ or ‘essence’ by Tertullian and Augustine, two different concepts – both of which are simply pagan Greek metaphysical interpretations of reality.

        Three god-persons is obviously polytheism. AFAIK polytheists do not claim that their gods have a different ‘ousia’. Like, if ‘ousia’ is understood as ‘essence’, like ‘lucy has a human essence in common with other humans; lucy, jack and sharon are three humans with the same human essence’ – ‘three humans’, that is how language logically works.

        And likewise, ‘the son has a divine essence in common with other divine persons; the father, son, and holy ghost are three gods with the same divine essence’ – ‘three gods’. If you have three things with the same essence, then the sum of their number is three, and the commonality of essence does not make them just one. Again, it is just how language logically works – otherwise there would be only one human or anything else, which is logical nonsense that confuses number with essence.

        The reasons for being uptight about polytheism are likely just historical, like the continuity with the OT (which is itself now known to not be consistent on that point).

        If I were a Christian then I would not be uptight on that matter, and just say, ‘yes it is true, Christianity has three god-persons, and there is no point in saying that they are not three gods. That is how language usually logically works, yes. Who even cares if there are three gods? Who says that monotheism is correct, or superior? Why would it be, and the answers would no doubt be logically circular and assume the point in the first place. But really God has no number….’

        Really, by the time of the Renaissance, with the scholastics, the whole matter should have been seen as redundant. God was understood (sic) as ‘incomprehensible’, and that he could be described only analogously with the creation. That should have put an end to questions of personhood or plurality. But the medieval RCC was never going to abandon creedal dogmatism for obscure metaphysics in which nothing can really be said about God.

        Kant finally draws the logical conclusion with his ‘noumena’, that none of the categories of the understanding apply to the in-itself of things. That understanding is present in the scholastics, but no one (‘decent’) draws the conclusion about the Trinity, presumably because of the creed and the power of the Church.

        So, the bottom line for a modern Christian might be that God is spoken of only with metaphors in the Bible and in creedal dogmatism, and that it is not worth getting dragged into disputes or postures about what is only metaphorical. ‘Noumentheism’, to coin a phrase, rather than poly or mono.

        And if the noumena is unprovable as well as incomprehensible, then ‘noumenskepticism’ rather than Trinitarianism. Likely some modern Quakers would go for that sort thing more than most other churches lol. They are dogmatic liberals, and they chase after the latest ‘woke’ like on g/nder, which I suppose gives them some kind of topical ‘focus’. It is really up to other people what they do….

  33. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    https://www.barchart.com/futures/quotes/TG*1

    European base natural gas 165!

    in energy equivalence, that’s like $300 barrel of oil.

    it’s happening.

    we’re actually seeing Europe collapsing.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      Sunak resigns.

      abandon ship!

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Party hard… the Fat Lady is warming up

    • the blame-e says:

      Yeah, well, the United States is not very far behind Europe. Just last week, JP Morgan said they expect the price of oil to get as high as $380 barrel — here the United States. Can you imagine?

      • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        why yes as a matter of fact I can imagine that.

        but now WTI is 101, not 380.

        EU gas is selling at 165, which equals about $50 in the way the USA prices gas.

        actual USA gas is selling at about $5.50

        Europe is nearing a collapse.

  34. Sam says:

    I talked to two different people yesterday about our energy crisis. The first was a liberal who thought we have so much sun the answer is solar panels on peoples houses
    . The second a conservative who thinks the whole problem is based on Biden and his policies! Neither one truly understands the problem! Both are intelligent people with advanced degrees!

    • Lorraine H Sherman says:

      Hello Sam, same here. I recently spoke to a very educated, academic couple at my Airbnb and the nice lady said something along the lines of ‘screw oil’ and ‘we have electricity.’ I was shocked by the shallow understanding. I took the opportunity to give her several resources for more info and actually said that civilization as we know it will end without oil and gas.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      The makers of the mass psychosis have done a very thorough job with both of them

      You will never be able to undo this … it’s like it’s impossible to change the mind of a AGW psychotic

  35. woodchuck says:

    Huge dramatic drop in the price of oil today. WTI down below $100. Gold down below $1800.

    Man the life boats the ship is going down. Oops I forgot, there are no life boats.

  36. ursel doran says:

    The massive ignorance of the population buying into the Mythical HOAX of the “Green New Deal” is beyond comprehension, but is exceeded by the blinding stupidity of the powers that be.
    When the Demented One, Biden, scurries up to a group of kiddies at a rally and says, “Look into my eyes, I promise you I an going to eliminate hydrocarbons.” He then shuts down a Canadian pipeline bringing in over 800,000 bbls a day, and now is full on begging OPEC to pump more, IF THEY CAN. Absolutely clueless is an understatement.
    It is trivially obvious to the most casual observer that he is a long living parasite that has been living in a cocoon of government grifting all his life and NEVER has had to go to a grocery store, or buy his own gas for his getting around.

    • The lack of understanding is amazing.

      Even EROEI is not very helpful. It does not include “population” as a variable. It is an attempt at figuring out “price,” without calling it price. The issue is the correct quantity of the correct types of fuels. The EROEI “equivalence” leaves a lot people confused. Substitution doesn’t work. It misses the quantity point all together.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I can’t imagine that they do not understand…

        If they are ‘shutting’ down energy flows… it’s because there is no energy to flow — or if there is it’s too expensive to be viable.

        Nobody in any position of power believes we are transitioning to renewable energy. That is very obviously impossible (they obviously understand the issue of zero output when the sun is not shining…)

        The reason renewable energy exists is to convince the hordes that the transition is possible.

        So they blow a few hundred billion on the mirage… how is that any different than building amusement parks and ski lifts… or how about Ghost Cities…. it’s all useless ‘economic activity’ … it’s all ‘wasted’ inputs…

        As we head over the cliff the PR Team will howl even louder about how we are on our way to an EV heaven – they’d been at a high pitch for some years now even informing us how ICE vehicles will be banned shortly

        It’s all spin… it’s all about calming the MOREONS as they are prepped for the Meat Grinder

  37. banned says:

    In the USA we have a very deep belief in the superiority of the superiority of our military technology. Consider this. Russia has fielded operational hyper sonic missiles for four decades while the USA has not even got a prototype to fly. Hollywood provides us with fictional examples obviously any USA aircraft is capable of shooting down five or six MIGS and a couple of Sukhoi. And this is not totally without basis as in Libya and Iraq Russian aircraft were ineffective.

    IMO it is not possible to catch up to a four decade lead in a technology. Now consider the growing trend of hypersonic missiles carried by submarines. Sure AUKUS can deploy subs. Without hypersonic missiles what is the point? What would be the effect of a single submarine carrying a payload of 50 hypersonic missiles on a carrier group?

    There is another factor. Where will the fuel come from for a NATO – Russia war? How will fuel get to the front lines in a world with hyper sonic missiles?

    A biological war is not effected by hypersonic missiles or need for fuel. What would a biological war look like? It appears to me that the ability to quickly develop biological immunity through the use of genetic manipulation in a nation state population would be desirable. The side effects of a genetic manipulation would hardly be noticed compared to the effects of a real biological agent. Thats how I perceive what a biological war would look like. Waves of biological destruction through populations only mitigated by whatever protection possible through rapidly deployed and untested genetic manipulation. Whether nuclear arsenals would ultimately be unused is a consideration but the fact that it is very hard to prove origins of biological “diseases” might keep deployment in check.

    The idea that seems to be floating is that of a Europe with fleets of F-35s that would be able to wreak havoc on Russia with no ground war. I find that premise questionable and the premise of effectiveness of a biological war less questionable when considering how war , economic, industrial and kinetic is waged and the current capabilities.

    • There seems to be a lot of confusion over how a war might be won. I agree that biological warfare is one of the things that is most likely being considered. The problem is two-fold:
      (1) A virus quickly mutates away for its original target form
      (2) It is clear that our people are very clumsy when it comes to creating a vaccine that actually works.

      I am sure that big scary fleets of aircraft are an idea as well, but likely won’t really work.

      • the blame-e says:

        Man-made virus. Man-made crisis. Man-made lockdowns. Man-made masks (that don’t work). Man-Made vaccines (that don’t work). Man-made vaccine complications (40-percent increase in non-COVID related death rates reported by insurance industry).

      • Student says:

        I think that there is something deeply wrong to start a biological war thinking that we can get out from the battlefield as winners if we have an antidote.
        An antidote has always other effects on the body apart from the specific target has been developed for.
        In addition, it is the first time in human history that people start a war trusting they have the correct method to heal the wounds.
        Either with axes or guns, people didn’t start wars because they had the correct method to heal their soldiers.
        But they started a war just to destroy the enemy in the best way.
        On the contrary, with this kind of biological wars we are all destroyed, in a way or another.
        So it can be true that the only purpose of this one was to reduce the population, either with the virus or with the antidote..

    • Kowalainen says:

      “If they think your crude, go technical; if they think you’re technical, go crude. I’m a very technical boy. So I decided to get as crude as possible. These days, though, you have to be pretty technical before you can even aspire to crudeness.”
      — Johnny Mnemonic

      Yup; I’ve got the pinball machine and it is crudely technical.
      🙂👍👍

  38. MG says:

    There is really a lot of new obstacles that the generations before us did not encounter: clmt chng, ageing population, the depleted soil.

    Living day to day, one tries to find low energy solutions: we have had a terrible heat wave here in Central Europe now. I could manage to find out how to solve the overheating of the interior of the house, transforming the stairs to the attic of the house to a big suction shaft. I have realized that opening the windows on the southern or western side of the house has no meaning. I used the small window of the bathroom on the northern side for the suction of the exterior air into the house and the mentioned stairs, also on the northern side of the house for the extraction of the heat from the interior, using a wooden frame and netting for dividing the stairs from the uninhabited attic.

    It works, regulating the opening space of the bathroom window and the opening space of the door from kitchen to the stairs to the attic, I have the window and the door as the flaps. The point is that you keep all windows in the house closed, take the air from the north side of the house through the north facing smal windos and let the hot air from the house to be sucked into the hot attic, with the opened windows in the attic.

    With the chaning clmt we must take measures from other clmts, which our ancerstors in the mild clmt did not needed.

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

    I am really surprised how well this works: this “device” is situated in the northern part of the house, where the kitchen, the stairs and the bathroom are situated. That way there is no drought in the living room and the bedrooms which are in the west and the south part of the house, as their windows are completely closed. Also the humidity seems to be ok: now the temperatures went down, it is raining outside, relative humidity outside is about 75% at 21 degrees Celzius and inside 62% at 26,9 degrees Celzius. But you feel that the air is not stuck, like when you opened all windows. This sucking the hot air up into the attic and outside seems to be a great idea.

    With the rising electricity prices, there is no chance we can continue using air conditioning as it was before.

    • Hubbs says:

      I have looked into, but not implemented the use of an exhaust fan. I don’t know yet the comparative costs or effectiveness of running a simple fan vs the combined power requirements of the blower and compressor on an HVAC unit. I think that is why old southern mansions here in the US (I lived in Natchez,
      MIssissippi for 4 years) had such high ceilings.

      On another topic, I would sure love to be a fly on the wall in these war game strategy and planning sessions by the neocons to hear what the diesel fuel requirements would be to expand a conventional war in Europe. The only good thing that might come out of this energy decline may be the realization, like two drunks who are too drunk to even stand up to fight each other, that neither side will have the diesel fuel to wage a conventional war. In the alternative, trench warfare revisited?

    • Artleads says:

      This is most interesting. If you could get some hand diagrams to show up on OFW, it would help us even better. (Please notify me.)

      You mentioned topsoil depletion: it struck me that getting rid of mostly building construction, including roads would pretty much save your topsoil. And if we demolished nothing a great deal of housing and manufacturing could take place in what is already here.

      aNOTHER ISSUE IS HOW COME SIMPLE CROSS VENTILATION MADE PRE 20TH CENT buildings work well in the Tropics.

      • MG says:

        I would say that the picture

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Qanat_wind_tower.svg

        in the article

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

        quite well describes the principle:

        The air comes from a colder place and is moved up, i.e. the vertical movement of the hot air up. The air flowing through the attic helps to drive the suction of the air from the rooms below it.

        As I have made, the air comes from the small window on the north side of the house and goes up via the stairs into the attic where it goes out via windows.

        When you open all your windows in the house, you have mostly the horizontal movement and often from hot sides of the house and directly via the rooms where you spend most of the time. Which is bad.

        In my case, I use the bathroom window for intake of the air from the outside and then the air goes up via the stairs to the attic which are accessed via door in the neighbouring kitchen. Thus the draught is avoided in the living rooms, bedrooms etc. which have tightly closed windows.

        By the way, during the winter, the same stairs presented the major pathway for warm air escape. I made some wooden panels filled with insulation that I put on the top of the staircase opening to cover it. Removing one of the panels and replacing it with the netting on the wooden frame, I created this “hot summer” solution, as my attic is not insulated in any way.

        Our problem is that with the extremes of the weather, we have houses that are suitable only for one clmt. We need houses that are somewhat rearangable, having some underground shelters for hot summers. Definitely, the attics as living spaces start to be somewhat obsolete, taking into account also the ageing populations which have problems with climbing the stairs.

    • “Whole house fans” have been popular in Georgia. I know that when we moved down here, quite a few houses had fans that could be used late in the day to pull air through the house. That way, the cool evening air could be substituted for the warm air that had built up during the day.

  39. Michael Le Merchant says:

    Now Lurpak nears a TENNER a pack: 1kg tub is spotted on sale in Iceland for eye-watering £9.30 while supermarkets put security tags on ‘high value’ items cheese, meat and BABY MILK as cost-of-living crisis drives thefts

    Taking to Twitter today, one user revealed the images of the protected cheese in Aldi and the boxed meat in Co-Op.

    They said above the images: ‘If you think Lurpak is bad – the local Aldi and Coop have started security tagging food. There was a GPS protected tag on a pack of lamb chops as well #ThisMorning #CostOfLivingCrisis’.

    At Tesco, it is understood staff were forced to protect baby milk products after a spate of thefts.

    The tags operate via a transmitter that sounds out an alert when it is removed from a shop.

    They are usually removed by staff when customers pay at the till.

    There are fears struggling mums and dads are turning to crime to help feed their little ones amid the cost of living crisis.

    A spokesman for Tesco declined to comment.

    Sainsbury’s this week revealed that like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, declined by 4 per cent over the 16 weeks to June 25, compared with the same period last year.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10982919/Sainsburys-chief-warns-pressure-budgets-Lurpak-butter-price-goes-5-90-7-25.html

    • Minority of One says:

      >>Now Lurpak nears a TENNER a pack: 1kg tub is spotted on sale in Iceland for eye-watering £9.30

      I remember a couple of years ago when Lurpak ‘spreadable’ reached £3 for a 500 g tub, and thought that was extortionate. You could still get that size of tub for about £2.50 or less on special offers, if you shopped around and waited. Anyway, last year I bought a spare tub and we used it less resulting in my not buying any this year until about a week ago. It is now about £5 for a 500 g tub, everywhere (up here in Aberdeen). £9.30 / kg seems like a good deal to me. I would have thought that there is a large chunk of society who cannot afford such huge price jumps.

    • Kowalainen says:

      Crybabies gonna cry.
      £2.50 for 2kg of oats. Now that is a steal.

      https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/292990837

      Bikes are still cheap.
      Let’s get those cranks turning and legs burning.

      https://youtu.be/k4eMhddTPg4
      😑👍👍

    • Fast Eddy says:

      All adding to the overheads of the supermarkets….

  40. Michael Le Merchant says:

    Average car payment hits record $712/month as new, used car prices continue to climb

    The average car is getting less affordable for the average person, with typical monthly payments hitting all-time highs.

    According to a report by Cox Automotive and Moody’s Analytics, the affordability of new vehicles continued to climb in May for the fourth month in a row, with monthly car payments averaging $712 per month.

    “Unfortunately for the segment of the population that probably needs it the most, it’s getting more and more out of reach,” Ivan Drury, senior manager of insights at the car buying expert Edmunds, told NPR of the difficulty of buying a car.
    https://www.fox13news.com/news/average-car-payment-hits-record-712-month-as-new-used-car-prices-continue-to-climb

  41. Michael Le Merchant says:

    Euro breaking to its lowest level in nearly 20 years
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FW5o8KaWIAEjGal?format=png&name=large

    • I noticed that the Euro is awfully close to parity with the US Dollar 1.0258

      • the blame-e says:

        If the Euro and USD reach parity does it really mean anything?

        Forbes is saying: “If the euro reaches par with the dollar, we would view that as an ideal time to increase our exposure to Europe. When that time comes, we expect manufacturing firms in the region that export in-demand, high-end machinery and materials or have advantaged sales & distribution in emerging markets to be significant beneficiaries.”

        Personally, I think Forbes smoking something. We have serious supply chain issues. We have a trade war going between the US and China for a least a year. Europe is this close to a complete full-on systemic collapse. We have a better than 50/50 chance that all this Russian bearbaiting is going push Russia to completely shut down all exports of natural gas, oil, coal, minerals and rare earths to “unfriendly countries.” 100-percent. If that happens $380 per barrel of oil is going to be a pleasant memory compared to what is coming.

  42. Francesco Meneguzzo says:

    In the end, above all a psychological problem arises for most people, except the few (among whom all those reading from Gail – by the way, thank you so much!) that knew the outcome since long.
    This problem arises with all those that took and still take everything for granted, starting from the real value of money (aka, availability/affordability), often despite their low grade social/wealth position. It’s also a pity still hearing about climate change, as if we could live enough in a decent manner until the worst effects will show; the same for unlikely “rights” of the most unlikely minorities, and so on: all meaningless issues.
    I am acquainted with many people who lived the fall and breaking apart of the Soviet Union empire and what happened in those years is unbelievable for most of us. With all that they could still count on a strong real resource basis. What will happen in the western world, provided that most of us will not end leveled before, could be far worse.

    • MM says:

      Russia managed to get another step of “more energy per capita”
      Maybe it was a good move to declare bankruptcy in advance to cover up for the second column. Unfotunately the wrong guy messed up a bit but the KGB took over again and got the strategy back on track to mount a strategic position again.
      A next step will probably not be in the cards for nobody…

      Good article Gail.
      Prices are also up because the “environment” allows for price increases / inflation.
      A price “swing” in FF might signal “policy works” or “nothing works”
      Up does not necessarily mean inelastic supply / demand
      Down does not necessarily mean demand destruction.
      But could as well be both 🙂
      We will see….

  43. Yasuke says:

    You’re like James Howard Kuntsler. When is the collapse already? WHEN?? There’s no upside in pessimism. People waster years of their life waiting for this collapse. That’s no way to live. Go for a walk.

    • I just cam back from a walk!

    • Rodster says:

      No one is waiting for a collapse. Collapse happens on its own. It has happened throughout history, it will happen again and it’s beginning to take shape. However there is no upside in “sticking your head in the sand”. That accomplishes nothing as well unless you prefer to ignore all the warning signs and there’s plenty to choose from today.

    • nikoB says:

      Pessimism and optimism are two sides of the same coin, delusional thinking.
      Realism is the only way to tackle life honestly. It is OK to dabble in P and O but only when knowing that it is wishful thinking.
      Now the hard part – knowing what is real.
      The good thing is that reality has a notorious habit of asserting itself.
      Personally I think that Gail is a realist.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      The thing is …

      It’s like sitting on the side of of a highway and knowing that there is going to be a monumental pile up of cars … you are not sure exactly when but you know it’s soon ..

      It’s really hard to go for a walk … cuz you wanna see it happen .. not just the aftermath.

      This is the biggest and most fascinating event in all of history … and you want to take a walk????

  44. Retired Librarian says:

    Thank you Gail, great article. It feels like our standard of living goes down every day now, while our number of problems go up.

  45. Tara Naylor says:

    Thank you for this insight. I always learn a lot on these thorough analyses. At least on the food front I believe it is possible to structure the system very differently and significantly reduce our need for energy beyond direct solar energy. Overall, we have become energy blind and this has led us to be really stupid with a really precious resource. We need a big restructure of our human systems, the only way this is going to happen is from the bottom up. We are in for a rocky road.

  46. Rodster says:

    This is going to cause the system to catastrophically fail. You can get away with raising interest rates when the balance sheet and government is rather low. The US Gov’t debt already is well above 120% of it’s total GDP. The US no longer is a mfg Nation so its economy is service based.

    Oil is no longer cheap but takes more energy inputs and debt to extract. I believe Exxon-Mobil’s CEO said they spent $50 billion more last year than they made back in revenue. That’s troubling because the Oil industry is heading in the same direction that the Shale business went to, which is only possible by more debt, followed by more debt, followed by stock shenanigans and speculation which results in bankruptcies.

    We are already seeing what Gail has warned out in numerous articles. When the price of oil goes higher than what the people can afford, they begin to cutback which leads to a shrinking economy. Meanwhile the producers such as ExxonMobile can’t get their invest back for the costs of extraction, so they have to assume more debt, followed by more debt, to their balance sheet.

    That is a recipe for disaster, which will result in catastrophe the world over because of our interconnected, globalized economies.

  47. for the past 300 years, the economic system we created in the industrially developed part of the word is predicated on the infinite availability, year on year, of cheap surplus energy.

    I know it’s my favourite drum–but it’s the only one there is.

    Politicians are now caught in the energy trap, where if infinite energy growth isn’t forthcoming, they lose their jobs (at best), or their heads.

    So they assert that growth is forever, and gullible voters believe them.

    If growth stops, then it must be ‘somebodys fault’. There’s a secret ‘cabal’ of elite conspiring to deny infinite growth to everyone, and keep wealth to themselves.

    As the world reverts itself to the economic power of the 1700s (if we’re lucky) the result will be violent denial. Especially as the 1700s supported only 1 bn people.

    The world has been in a resource war since the 1930s, we have had a few peaceful interludes since—but the war itself has been ongoing. We think of them as ‘different wars’. Not so.
    States will lose cohesion and disintegrate into warring factions as their only perceived means of survival

  48. Rodster says:

    Raising interest rates may have a reverse effect according to Economist Martin Armstrong because the inflation we are dealing with today around the world is mostly due to supply chain disruptions and the Covid lockdowns and not fiscal or monetary policy.

    Companies were also forced to rehire low wage workers at a much higher pay rate because of the Great Resignation, again because of the lockdowns. Now Taco Bell is paying a starting wage of $16 hr in my area but their items have increased by 50-75% at the same time. There goes that pay raise.

    So what very well could happen is that raising rates may encourage people to frantically buy NOW before the price goes higher. That’s when hyperinflation could kick in.

    Keeping inflation in check is all made possible by cheap and affordable energy. Those days are long gone. With fuel prices going higher, I now charge my customers $35 just for me to show up and I explain it to them and they fully understand.

    • Hubbs says:

      My own private metric has been the price of Campbell’s canned “Chicken And Dumplings” at Wal-Mart to the extent that I have been quietly building up a stash of this and other canned goods the past 6 months. I now visit only once a week late in the evening when there are few shoppers , instead of two trips, to save on a 6 mile round trip drive. As a rule, I make sure I leave 1/2 the available cans on the shelf so I can’t be accused of “hoarding.“ So far there has been only once instance where there were none on the shelf, otherwise there have always been always at least a dozen. My “haul” is usually 6-8 cans of this and 6-8 cans of Hormel’s Chili with Beans or other Campbell’s soups in a can, as these are the only ones I can tolerate. The price for Campbell’s was $1.78 in January, then increased to $1.98 in March, and two weeks ago increased 14.4% to $2.26.

      $1.78 to $ 2.26 in 6 months represents a 27% price increase, which if annualized, is almost 54%.

      Does the government not quietly like the concomitant sales tax increase factored into these higher prices?

      • the blame-e says:

        Have you noticed how the expiration dates are getting shorter and shorter? I have seen food on shelves that has already expired. How do you build a pantry with expired food?

        • peanut butter gives the highest calorific value of any foodstuff, and doesnt expire, stuff like corned beef can go 10 years beyond date and still be ok

          • the blame-e says:

            Peanut Butter does expire. Read the container. Many peanut butter allergies were traced to children eating expired peanut butter, peanut butter that came direct from the factories past it’s due date. So much for the FDA doing its job.

            • all containers give an expiry date

              obviously my comment wasn’t intended to include anyone with allergic reactions–thats just basic common sense

            • CTG says:

              Do you know that in my part of the world, South East Asia (Malaysia to be specific), allergies are rare. Peanut allergy is almost non-existent and we do eat plenty of nuts.

              Again man-made issue, only in developed nations.

  49. Kowalainen says:

    First!

    YOLO!

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      a Finn finally #1 at something?

      • Kowalainen says:

        #1 in ice hockey, motor sports, cross country skiing and drinking vodka. No?
        And being the happiest on earth. Well, until Putin sends the pulverizer artillery up north as soon ukelele is ground to dust.

        https://youtu.be/8yHPvMA1BNE

        Btw; I’m not a Finn.
        Imma laplander.

        We’re not happy and #1 in anything.
        Those shenanigans are for tryhards.
        😅👍👍

        • santas helpers have the highest employment and skill status

        • JMS says:

          Also, and very importantly, Finland is #1 in Films by Aki Kaurismaki, IMO one of the finest sort-of-comedy directors out there.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Finland won the hockey at the last Olympics but that was only because NHL players did not attend… countries sent riff raff no name players instead…

            Canada is number one in both men’s and womens if you look at international competitions at all levels… the US is a close second … Finland is in the top 5.

            The Russians have more golds than the US at the Olympics only because under the USSR they sent their best whereas other countries best were professional athletes and not allowed

            https://www.statista.com/statistics/802074/medal-table-country-winter-olympics-ice-hockey/

            And the top paid NFL players makes more in a season (endorsements not included) that the entire NZ All Blacks team combined. Sad sad NZ

            • Kowalainen says:

              When the best leaves only the less ‘bests’ are left behind which still makes them the best in international competitions.

              🇫🇮 -> 5.5M in population.
              You do the math for Biden and Trudeauland.

              PERKELE!
              FINLAND FTW!
              🇫🇮 🇫🇮 🇫🇮 🎉

              (I’m still not a Finn)

            • Fast Eddy says:

              So their 3rd rate players won a tournament that was meaningless cuz everyone sent their 3rd rate players cuz NHL players were not allowed….

              BTW – population is not the key metric in terms of winning … recall how Australia won a shit load of medals at the Sydney Olympics… they threw huge amounts of money at their athletes… money is what is the main determinant + a very good doping programme. Notice how they have not repeated that feat since…

              If population was the determinant India should be second in the medals total at the Olympics.

              One other key determinant is if a country had a good slavery programme at some point in recent time – this is a great documentary https://youtu.be/oD2pbpibmlg

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        Finland/ Lapland is no 1 stupid, the most ridiculous virtue-signallers to ever prance the cosmos…. they really should not exist at all, and very likely that will be the outcome…. perhaps that is not fair, and they are just average patsies, which leaves them on a very crowded podium…. either way, face palm….

        > Finland’s nuclear bunker on standby as Helsinki joins Sweden into NATO accession

        Finland has a nuclear bunker on permanent standby as it joins Sweden in NATO accession talks amidst ongoing tension over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

        The news comes as the traditionally neutral Scandinavian nations break with years of history to join the soon-to-be 32-strong pact. Accession will see Helsinki and Stockholm bring in close to one million extra personnel made up of both serving and reserve forces, as well as a key geostrategic location for NATO on the very borders of Russia itself.

        Yet, the membership of the alliance comes with the fear Russia will act on its fiery rhetoric of using nuclear weapons.

        Russian media has previously boasted its SATAN 2 (Sarmat) missile – capable of carrying up to fourteen warheads, could reach Finland in seconds.

        But a nuclear bunker aimed at protecting key officials and citizens is located in Finland, with the custodian of the facility giving a tour of the bunker to cameras.

        Equipped with all vital components to survive a nuclear blast, the hidden compound boasts sports equipment, a trampoline park, a football pitch, and water and air purifying units….

        https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1635706/finland-nuclear-weapon-bunker-sweden-nato-accession-talks-russia-defence-news

        • Kowalainen says:

          Over complicated “hyparrr” jank. What’s wrong with the cauldron tactic with artillery grinding it to dust?

          Virtue signaling without the sanctimonious hypocrisy is synonymous with rubbing it in. Salty stuff for MOARon princesses and Tryhard princes. 🧂😅👍

          Oh yes, you’ve gotta test ride my new and grabby 180mm front rotors which is firmly clutched by quad pot Shimano XTR calipers. That’s some serious anchors for a road bike. How about next weekend? The coming weekend I’ll be out fishing (how vegan of me)?

          Pulling stoppies is out of this world.

          🇫🇮🇫🇮🇫🇮😅👍

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