The bumpy road ahead for the world economy

In the post-World War II era, the US has been known for its hegemony–in other words, its leadership role in the world economy. According to one definition, hegemony is the political, economic, and military predominance of one state over other states. I believe that the US is not far from losing its hegemony. The conflict over future hegemony could lead to a major war.

Hegemony is surprisingly closely tied to leadership in energy consumption. A country with a high share of the world’s energy consumption doesn’t have to depend on imported goods and services from around the world. It can manufacture weapons of war, if it chooses, in as large quantities as it chooses, without waiting for outside suppliers.

One part of today’s problem is the fact that the world’s fossil fuel supply, particularly oil, is becoming depleted. Extraction is not rising sufficiently to keep up with population growth. In fact, total fossil fuel extraction may begin to fall in the near future. In some sense, the fossil fuel supply is no longer adequate to go around. To relieve the stress of inadequate supply, some inefficient users of energy need to have their fossil fuel consumption greatly reduced.

My analysis suggests that the US and some of its “Affiliates” tend to be inefficient users of fossil fuels. These countries are at great risk of having their consumption cut back. The result could be war, even nuclear war, as the US loses its hegemony. After such a war, the US could mostly be cut off from trade with Asian nations. In this post, I will elaborate further on these ideas.

[1] Hegemony is closely related to energy consumption because energy is what allows an economy to manufacture goods of all kinds, including armaments needed for war. The energy consumption of the US as a percentage of the world’s has been falling since 1970.

Data on energy consumption by part of the world is readily available only back to 1965, rather than 1945. Based on this data, US energy consumption as a percentage of the world’s total energy consumption has been falling since 1965.

Figure 1. US Energy consumption as a percentage of world energy consumption, based on data from BP’s 2022 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Figure 1 shows that the US’s share of world energy consumption amounted to 33.3% of world’s energy supply in 1965, but only 15.6% in 2021. In other words, in 2021, the US’s share of world energy consumption in 2021 was less than half of its 1965 level.

There are some economies that have much in common with the US. The countries in this category are advanced economies that have democratic governments. I expect these countries would tend to follow the US’s lead, regardless of whether its actions really make sense. The selected economies are the EU, Japan, Canada, the UK, and Australia. For convenience, I call these countries Affiliates.

[2] Affiliates consumed over 35% of the world’s energy supply in the 1965 -1973 period, but this has fallen in recent years.

Figure 2. Energy consumption for selected advanced economies (referred to in this post as Affiliates) as a percentage of world energy consumption, based on data from BP’s 2022 Statistical Review of World Energy. The EU is based on 2021 membership.

Figure 2 shows that Affiliates consumed 35.5% of the world’s energy supply in 1965. By 2021, their consumption fell to 17.6% of the world’s supply. This, too, is less than half of the 1965 percentage.

[3] The energy consumption of US plus Affiliates as compared to the energy consumption of Rest of the World has shifted remarkably since 1965. The consumption of the Rest of the World has been soaring, while that of US plus Affiliates has shrunk.

In Figure 3, I add together the amounts in Figures 1 and 2 and compare them to the indicated energy consumption of what is left, which I call, “Rest of the World.” It is clear that there has been a huge shift in which grouping consumes the majority of the world’s energy supply.

Figure 3. Comparison of total energy consumption as a percentage of world energy consumption for US + Affiliates and Rest of the World. Amounts based on data from BP’s 2022 Statistical Review of World Energy.

We all know that if a political party has the support of almost 70% of voters, it is likely to be dominant. There is a similar issue with energy consumption. Energy consumption is used in every aspect of the economy. It is important for manufacturing goods and transporting them to their destinations. It is also important for creating jobs that pay well.

If world energy supply is growing, it encourages growth of the world economy. Growing energy supply indirectly allows debt to be paid back with interest. In general, the faster the world’s energy supply is growing, the higher the interest rate that can be supported.

Without growth in energy supply, an individual economy is forced to become a service economy. It is forced to import almost all of the manufactured goods that it needs, even armaments needed for war. Such an economy is forced to place an emphasis on growing debt and growing complexity. Unfortunately, both of these things are subject to diminishing returns. As growth in energy supply turns to shrinkage in energy supply, we should expect debt bubbles to pop.

A country is likely to stop making advances in the sciences as it shifts to a service economy. This linked chart by Visual Capitalist analyzes patents in 2021 by the country of the individuals listed on the patent applications. On this basis, China’s patent count was more than double that of the US. China is also the major producer of many clean energy technologies because it has both the resources and the technology.

As a service economy, the US has tended to specialize in healthcare, with spending in this sector accounting for 18.3% of GDP. Yet the US’s healthcare results are dismal. US life expectancies have fallen behind those of other advanced countries. The recent covid vaccines, which were strongly advocated by US health authorities, worked far less well than had been hoped. In February 2022, the New York Times published an article, US Has Far Higher Covid Death Rate Than Other Wealthy Countries.

[4] US data shows that its energy consumption was rising rapidly in the 1949 to 1973 period. Such rapid growth in energy consumption would make other countries envious. It would tend to expand America’s hegemony.

Figure 4. US energy consumption for the period 1949 to 2022 based on EIA data with fitted exponential growth indications for periods chosen by author.

Figure 4 shows how quickly US energy consumption was growing, starting in 1949, using EIA data. Energy consumption growth averaged 3.5% per year in the 1949 to 1973 period. This rapid growth is what we would expect of a country that was an energy leader for the rest of the world. Standards of living could rise. Parents could often afford to raise several children.

An article in the Oxford University Press says that the US’s proliferation of major military bases overseas was developed in the 1950s and 1960s to contain communism and to provide global defense of US interests. Such a huge build-out of bases during this period would not have been possible without the rapid ramp-up in US energy consumption.

Between 1960 and 1969, the number of miles of high-voltage long distance electricity transmission lines tripled. This was evidence of the rapid growth in electricity production that the US was achieving; it was a pattern that other countries would want to emulate. It added to the hegemony of the US.

Statista shows that between 1951 and 1973, the number of US automobile sales per year more than doubled, from 5.16 million to 11.42 million. With this increase came a need for more paved roads and more pipelines to carry oil products. With its growing energy consumption, the US was able to accomplish all this growth. Growing energy consumption also allowed the US to manufacture nearly all the vehicles sold in the US in this period.

[5] US hegemony faced a major challenge in 1970 when US oil production hit a peak and started to fall.

Figure 5. Monthly US oil production through February 2023. Chart by EIA, with notes by Gail Tverberg.

US crude oil production rose rapidly until 1970, when it suddenly started falling. Work was quickly begun on oil extraction from the North Slope of Alaska. This oil offset most of the decline in oil production from the lower 48 states through the mid-1980s.

US hegemony depends upon the quantity of energy products US businesses and citizens consume. When oil prices become unaffordable, citizens and businesses buy less. Figure 6 shows that oil prices had been amazingly low prior to 1973, averaging only $16.31 per barrel, even after adjusting for inflation to 2021 price levels.

Figure 6. Average annual Brent spot oil prices, together with average prices for the fitted growth periods shown on Figure 4. Based data from BP’s 2022 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Comparing Figure 6 to Figure 4, we see that once oil jumped up to an average of $73.14 per barrel in the 1973 to 1983 period, US energy consumption flattened out. At this high price, efficiency became more important. Smaller imported cars, often from Japan, became popular. The US and several other parts of the world started building nuclear power plants to replace electricity created by burning oil. Within a few years, oil production was ramped up in other parts of the world, such as the North Sea and Mexico, relieving the tightness in oil supply.

Once oil prices began to rise again in the 2005 to 2008 period, US oil from shale became available in response to higher prices. The catch was that at these higher prices, oil tended to be unaffordable by the American public. Oil was still affordable in most of the Rest of the World, however.

These “Rest of the World” countries tended to use oil much more sparingly in their energy mix. They often had other advantages as well: warmer climate, lower wage levels, recently built factories, and an energy mix that emphasized coal (which tended to be inexpensive). These advantages helped bring down costs of both manufacturing and resource extraction for the Rest of the World. The shift in energy consumption shown on Figure 3 could occur.

This shift in manufacturing and resource extraction away from the US and Affiliates creates problems, however. If the US and Affiliates are increasingly at odds with countries outside this group, it becomes much harder for the US to exert hegemony over these countries. The problem is that the US depends upon the countries it is at odds with for necessities. Even in making munitions for the Ukrainian conflict, the US needs to depend on China and other Asian countries for parts of its supply lines.

[6] The world economy is now headed for a bottleneck. The world economy is similar to a Ponzi Scheme, with growth in the output of goods and services necessary to fund financial promises of many kinds. There are limits to the amounts of fossil fuels available at affordable prices, and the world is hitting those limits now.

Because the world economy follows the laws of physics, the growth in the output of goods and services depends upon the continued growth in the production of energy products.

Figure 7. World Energy Consumption by Source, based on Vaclav Smil estimates from Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospects and together with data from BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy for 1965 and subsequent. Wind and solar are included in “Biofuels.”

We have known for a very long time that fossil fuel output is limited. Back in 1957, Rear Admiral Hyman Rickover of the US Navy gave a speech warning that world-wide fossil fuel energy supplies were expected to become unaffordable between 2000 and 2050. High oil prices seem to have been a major factor underlying the Great Recession of 2008-2009. This especially affected the US, with its large amount of subprime housing debt. The problems experienced since late 2021 with spiking prices of oil and high prices of imported coal and natural gas are also evidence of the limits the world is reaching.

Figure 8 shows my view of where future world energy supply is headed. While this chart was originally prepared in 2020, the forecast still seems to be reasonable, especially if regulators get their way in mandating the reduction of (unaffordable) fossil fuel use.

Figure 8. Amounts for 1820 to 2020 similar to those from Figure 7, above. Amounts after 2020 assume an average reduction of 6.6% per year to 2050.

If energy consumption falls this rapidly, the world economy will have to adapt in many ways. Economies that cannot tolerate high oil and energy prices are likely to be squeezed out. Based on what already has been happening in Figures 1, 2, and 3, the United States and Europe are especially likely to be adversely affected. The countries that are likely to fare better are ones that don’t require as much energy per capita. These countries are likely to be in warm climates and have relatively poor populations, such as those in Southeast Asia.

As energy supplies fall, business failures and debt defaults can be expected to soar. Governments will be tempted to backstop every financial promise, including failed banks and pension plans. If they do this, other countries will be unwilling to trade using their debased currency. With too much money and few imports, the result is likely to be hyperinflation. If the governments simply allow bankruptcies to take place, the result is likely to be deflation as banks and businesses fail.

[7] The US has been having increasing difficulty in its hegemony role. Some countries have come to believe that the US is now acting unfairly.

Back when the US first attained hegemony, oil and other energy supplies were inexpensive and their supply was growing rapidly. The US was experiencing great economic growth, and other countries wanted the same sort of success. The US plus Affiliates were the ones using the majority of energy products, so the interests of almost all energy users were aligned.

Things have “gone downhill” since 1970 when the US oil supply first started to shrink (Figure 5). Suddenly, the US needed help from the financial system to work around the need to import more oil. One change (in August 1971) was making the dollar a fiat currency, rather than tied to a gold standard. This enabled greater use of debt in operating the economy.

Without the gold standard, the US dollar was able to become the world’s reserve currency. Instead of gold reserves, other countries began buying US Treasuries, which they considered to be a safe store of their money. The US dollar could also play a greater role in financing international transactions. A 2021 analysis by the Federal Reserve shows the dominance of the US dollar in many areas of trade.

This dominant role for the US dollar is now being questioned after the US froze the central bank assets of Russia, as part of the sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Other countries are beginning to wonder if holding Treasuries is really a good idea, if the US can impose sanctions which make them unavailable. Countries are also figuring out that it is quite possible to arrange sales of commodities and other goods in currencies other than the US dollar.

Also, the US’s ability to win wars is not very clear. The US’s first big loss was the Vietnam War. After 20 years of fighting, that war ended in 1975, with communist forces seizing control of South Vietnam. The Afghanistan War did not go well either. After 20 years, the US abruptly pulled out. While the US claims the mission was accomplished, it is hard to see that the high cost was justified.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict does not appear to be going well for Ukraine and the allies supporting Ukraine. The US and NATO are having difficulty supplying as many armaments as quickly as President Zelensky would like. Ukraine seems to be using up its conventional weapons very rapidly. Neither the US nor other NATO countries can manufacture weapons very quickly, in part because supply lines from around the world are required. How helpful is the US’s hegemony, if the US can’t even easily win a “proxy war” in Ukraine?

There are sanctions, other than freezing assets, that are of concern to other countries. A recent list from a Chinese source lists the following types of hegemony that it considers to be problematic.

  • Political hegemony – Throwing the US’s weight around
  • Military hegemony – Wanton use of force
  • Economic hegemony – Looting and exploitation
  • Technological hegemony – Monopoly and suppression
  • Cultural hegemony – Spreading false narratives

Quite a few countries in my Rest of the World grouping are clearly getting fed up with America’s hegemony. Increasingly, Middle Eastern countries that were previously at odds with each other are setting aside their differences. They are also becoming much more closely aligned with China. Countries in this group, as well as the BRICS group of countries, are already taking steps toward trading in currencies other than the US dollar.

[8] The path ahead looks very bumpy. The US is likely to be kicked out of its role as global hegemon. Rival countries may choose to attack the US with nuclear weapons, or the US may lash out with nuclear weapons as it sees its hegemony fail.

As I analyze the world economy’s future trajectory, I see the following situations falling into place:

(a) The world economy is being stressed by inadequate energy supplies. When prices rise, it tends to cause inflation. Some countries are experiencing a second kind of stress, as well. Their central banks have raised interest rates. This is a dangerous thing to do because it tends to cause falling asset prices in addition to slowing the economy.

I expect that countries that have recently raised interest rates will have many bank failures. Partly, this will come from the falling value of long-term bonds. In time, it will also come from failing real estate mortgages and other loans, since asset prices will tend to fall with higher interest rates. Governments will be tempted conduct massive bailouts. The countries that have recently raised interest rates include the US, the UK, Eurozone countries, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, and Brazil.

Countries that did not raise interest rates, which seem to include China, India, and Iran, will find their economies less affected by bank failures. Russia temporarily raised interest rates, and then lowered them again, so Russia would also seem to be less affected by bank failures.

Countries that raised rates will be tempted to do bailouts of banks and of “too big to fail businesses.” These bailouts will greatly increase the monetary supply, making countries that didn’t raise interest rates unwilling to trade with them. This dynamic will tend to increase the trend toward two separate trading areas–one including much of Eurasia and one including the US, Canada, Europe and perhaps South America.

(b) If we think about it, cutting back greatly on trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific shipping would save a great deal of oil if there is not enough oil to go around. This will be another impetus for “Rest of the World” countries, especially those in the Asia-Pacific area, to cut back on shipping across the major oceans.

(c) With failing banks and a cutback in trade between regions, the US dollar will cease to be used as a reserve currency for a large part of the world. The US dollar might still be the reserve currency for some trades, particularly with other countries in the Americas.

(d) I expect that a block of countries will eventually coalesce, centered in Asia, that will mostly trade among themselves. China will probably be the leader of this block.

(e) The US and Europe will mostly be pushed off to the side, to trade among themselves and some geographically close neighbors. These areas may need to set up new financial systems using much less debt. These countries will not be able to produce advanced goods, such as computers, by themselves. They will not be able to build new solar electricity generation or new wind turbines because too much of the supply chain will be out of reach. While these countries have been looking at digital currencies, it is not clear that there will be a stable enough electricity supply to make such currencies possible.

(f) There will probably be war at the time of the division into the two (or perhaps more) trading areas. Nuclear weapons may be involved since there are many countries with nuclear weapons. The supply of conventional weapons available for warfare is depleted, with the ongoing war in Ukraine. According to a study done at Harvard, involving 16 cases in which a major rising power challenged an existing major power over the past 500 years, 12 cases ended in war. This analysis would suggest a 75% likelihood of war.

(g) I don’t know what the timing of all these things will be. Bank failures are just beginning. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the world economy holds together a while longer.

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
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4,101 Responses to The bumpy road ahead for the world economy

  1. Fast Eddy says:

    This is the response to

    Fast Eddy
    just now

    Let me explain how I came across Tim Morgan….

    In 2008 the GFC smashed into a few businesses I had founded in Greater China and up until then it had been smooth sailing. Needless to say GFC put an abrupt dent in the situation.

    Initially I bought the line that it was corruption/stupidity on the part of Bernanke, the Central Banks… and the bankers. How dare they make such a mess of things these self-serving pricks.

    At the time I did not think the Fed would be able to right the Titanic and I began some serious bucket listing with my wife… but I will admit I did not understand the fundamental problem… I continued to assume it was one of venality and or incompetence. One way or the other I expected worse to come.

    2010 … I read The Big Short… I recall a veteran mortgage brokers discussing Liar Loans … he said normally it would take a month to approve financing for someone to buy a house… but now many brokerages were doing it on the spot — we had no choice — we either join the fray or we go out of business. How do you vet someone for a loan on the spot? You don’t’

    I paused after reading that — and to borrow from Apocalypse now — And then I realized, like I was shot — like I was shot with a diamond…a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought, my God…. the Central Banks KNEW — surely they knew — in fact they must have encouraged this seemingly insane behaviour. The number one rule in banking is you do not lend $$$ to dead beats. You want your money back – with interest.

    Bernanke was not corrupt – or stupid. How could I have been so stupid to have thought this!

    But why would they do this – why would they shit on their kitchen table — why would they burn their house down?

    Hours upon hours were spent digging … then… on a cold winter night in a hotel in Edinburgh (we were on a bucket list journey through Scotland) I found The Perfect Storm – by Tim Morgan.

    It’s a long paper – and it was the wee hours of the night before I finished it. And a second diamond bullet struck me — I know understood why they had encouraged Liar Loans… why interest rates had been falling … why the price of oil was $147 just prior to the GFC.

    Increasing production costs as we depleted the low hanging fruit of oil are a huge headwind on the global economy. If the Central Banks failed to act against the headwinds the global economy collapses. The Central Banks had been responding as early as the turn of the century dropping interest rates to offset the rising energy costs.

    They had also decided that pumping the housing market would provide enormous stimulus… housing prices rise + this drives economic activity (people buy furniture, appliances, they take second mortgages and buy cars/boats etc…) And this activity impacts the entire economy – everyone parties!

    And then it ended.

    But it didn’t end. The CBs bailed things out – then continued to hose the global economy with near zero cost cash…. setting off another massive bubble that continue right up until 2019.

    “The global economy was facing the worst collapse since the second world war as coronavirus began to strike in March, well before the height of the crisis, according to the latest Brookings-FT tracking index. “The index comes as the IMF prepares to hold virtual spring meetings this week, when it will release forecasts showing the deepest contraction for the global economy since the 1930s great depression.

    I had been monitoring the marco picture and thinking — they are pushing on multiple strings… one was German industrial production – the other was new car sales… despite record low interest rates — both were plunging … something’s gotta give here…. another GFC?

    Then BANG. Covid hits from outta nowhere…. WTF is this?

    Initially I was accepting the BBCCNN version that this was the new black plague… but the cracks began to appear when the folks in besieged Wuhan flooded out of the city for Chinese New Year — I remember thinking — this will rip through the entire country in a week – why are they allowing this?

    But it didn’t – I have extensive contacts throughout China … and nothing… no pandemic. Strange…

    In April contacted one of the men who would sub author Great Barrington… an epidemiologist at a top university –and we had a series of telephone conversations and emails…. he said he had the WHO data and he’d analysed it – Covid was no more deadly than a bad flu. Slightly worse for the elderly – slightly less for the young. He was asking why the lockdowns.

    A third diamond bullet hit me … we are being exterminated. I did not know exactly how and initially thought they’d frighten 8 billion humans with the plague — so that we’d not venture out for fear of death … place military units on the streets with shoot to kill orders… and promise food would be delivered ‘tomorrow’… and slowly weaken us … till we just laid down and starved…

    But then Operation Warp Speed launched — and the miracle cure was at hand – in less than a year. Hmm… safe and effective and warp speed don’t mix… a bit of research brought me here

    A 4th bullet … these are kill shots. Initially I thought Bossche would nail it – a Marek’s like disease was the goal — but when that did not happen I came across the Binary Poison theory — the shots damaged the immune system/messed with the DNA of the nearly 6B vaxxers – then when the global economy is looking to implode — they release phase two — some sort of virus that kills all the Vaxxers… the No Vaxxers starve.

    Why would there be no push back? Because the alternative is 8 billion starving angry predators on the streets – when the global economy implodes. The gates of hell open.

    Thus all the leaders of all the countries for the first time in history have reached a consensus. They have agreed to exterminate us — in a manner that involves minimal suffering.

    I have provided much more detail on what I refer to as the Ultimate Extermination Plan here

    Tim Morgan’s Perfect Storm (which originally appeared on the FT if you can believe it) is a superb essay on the energy story however authored by Gail Tverberg provides a much broader and more accurate analysis of the situation.

    The 5th diamond bullet … is that there is nothing that can be done to stop this plan — unless someone has a bigger army that the DOD – Russia – China – and every other country — because they are all committed to the plan and will stop at nothing to ensure it is completed.

    I would also say to those who desire to stop the plan from completing — be careful what you wish for … if they fail — the Gates of Hell will open when the financial system implodes.

    Nobody wants that. Again – UEP goes into detail…

  2. Fast Eddy says:

    Hoolio update

  3. Ed says:

    In two weeks with the next post the summer riots and burning of cities slums will be underway in the US. No one will really care the middle class and up have moved out. The SMO in Ukraine will grind on. Zelinsky will still be on global tour avoiding assassination by angry Ukrainians. Maybe some Muslin rioting in France.

    Basically no change. See you soon.

  4. Mirror on the wall says:

    Alex and Alexander discuss a major central Asian summit that is getting scant media attention in the west.

    The long and short is that a Eurasian economic bloc is forming from China, including all of central Asia, to Russia.

    USA long-term policy is to avoid a coherent Eurasia.

    The west has tried to disrupt its formation of late, and to draw central Asian powers away, but it has failed to do so.

    And Russia and China are becoming ever closer in ways that seemed unimaginable just a few years ago.

    The Biden administration totally messed up in UKR, pushed Russia and China together, and hastened relative western decline.

    Their ties are now global, in the Middle East, southern America, and everywhere.

    In sum, western hegemony is waning and the world heads for multipolarity, the formation of regional blocs, here with the emergence of Eurasia, and a rewired global order.

    Biden’s historic geopolitical mistake

    • Alex and Alexander say that Biden’s plan was to defeat Russia. Break it apart, affect regime change. Take over their resources. But this cannot work. The Asian block is gradually being formed. The latest step has been a meeting in Xian, which was the capital of China during part of its history.

      • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        of course the decisions are being made behind the scenes by the puppeteers.

        though it’s borderline Schad that the Biden name will be forever attached to the accelerating failure of the EvilEmpireofLies.

        those puppeteers surely are not getting any restful sleep lately.


        the Hegemon is crumbling, and though this is also a slooooow process, it is amazing to see it unfolding in my lifetime.

  5. Mirror on the wall says:

    Alexander brings us up to date on the UKR SMO.

    An estimated 50,000 UKR forces were KIA in Bakhmut, which Russia codenamed Operation Meatgrinder for a reason.

    The SMO is conducted as an attrition war, and the prolonged Bakhmut scenario entirely makes sense in that context.

    Thus Russia pursues its objectives to de-militarise UKR, attriting both its manpower and its equipment, and to secure the absence of a non-neutral UKR.

    Clearly Russia calculated that attrition war is the best way to secure those objectives.

    And it all seems to be working out very much to plan for Russia.

    Russia Defeats Belgorod Suicide Mission, Claims 50K Ukr KIA Bakhmut, Mulls Offensive; Xi, Russian PM

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      Vlad the Great.

      though we get to see very little of the actual warfare, there is enough overall evidence to show the mounting losses of the Ukraine/USA/NATO side.

      and very little evidence that there will be a reversal of the heavily skewed one-sided Western losses.

      it is a beautiful thing.

      the Universe unfolding in all its splendor.

  6. Ted Kaczynski says:

    Deadly “brain-eating” amoeba infections usually strike people in southern U.S. states, but thanks to climate change, the brain-invading organism has expanded its range northward. In light of this trend, the Ohio Public Health Association recently published a case report to raise awareness of the disease among health care providers in the state.

    “Increased incidence of N. fowleri [a species of brain-eating amoeba] in northern climates is but one of many ways climate change threatens human health and merits novel education of health care providers,” the case report authors wrote in a paper published May 16 in the Ohio Journal of Public Health.

    Naegleria fowleri is a single-cell organism that typically lives in soil and warm fresh water, as well as the occasional water tank, heater or pipe, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In rare instances, the amoeba can infiltrate the human brain and spinal cord by first entering a person’s nose — but it cannot reach the brain if swallowed in a gulp of water, for instance, and it doesn’t spread between people. N. fowleri causes an infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which is nearly always fatal.

    Deadly “brain-eating” amoeba infections usually strike people in southern U.S. states, but thanks to climate change, the brain-invading organism has expanded its range northward. In light of this trend, the Ohio Public Health Association recently published a case report to raise awareness of the disease among health care providers in the state.

    “Increased incidence of N. fowleri [a species of brain-eating amoeba] in northern climates is but one of many ways climate change threatens human health and merits novel education of health care providers,” the case report authors wrote in a paper published May 16 in the Ohio Journal of Public Health.

    Ohio public health professionals should take note of the incidence of N fowleri infections in northern states including Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota, as well as common vacation destinations for Ohioans where N fowleri infection has been reported, such as Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida,” the new case report noted.

    No doubt we will see a vaccine given to all that’s safe and effective for the protection of the all the public

    • How to drum up more business for the pharmaceutical industry.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      no doubt that mRNA-damaged immune systems will also contribute to increases in these types of infections.

      • drb753 says:

        Yes, once the immune system is weakened you get a plethora of infections, viral, bacterial, fungal and what not. You get all sorts of cancers. Gluten does the same for that matter. But why state it in two sentences, like I just did, when you can painfully list one at a time, Fast Eddy style?

  7. Student says:


    Brazil enters first in the new black hole vortex of the ‘bird flu’
    Let’s see who will jump in next

    ”Brazil declares bird flu emergency”

  8. Mirror on the wall says:

    Politico reports that the Biden administration is discussing a long-term ‘freeze’ of the UKR SMO like in 1950s Korea, in which boundaries on territories are set, while not ‘official’ borders, there is no ‘winner’ to the SMO, and the war is not ‘officially’ over, which could be palatable to the USA and its allies.

    Clearly war fatigue is setting into USA. It knows that it is losing in UKR.

    The Kremlin has made clear that the Biden administration must be having a giggle, and that there is zero chance of any ‘freeze’ of the SMO. Russia will pursue the SMO until its interests and all of its objectives are secured either by the SMO or some other means. Only then will the SMO have run its course.

    Reality will be de facto. The Biden camp assumes that anyone cares what it deems to ‘recognise’ as ‘official’.

    ‘Russia has not really won, because we do not say that it has.’ LOL

    Putin Stands Resolute: Kremlin won’t ‘freeze’ war in Ukraine; ‘Will Achieve Our Goals’

    • An opinion article I noticed in the WSJ today spins the battle of Bakhmut very differently:

      War is not a sporting event, and Russia’s laboriously completed occupation this week of the city of Bakhmut is not the equivalent of a touchdown.

      Probably the best way to understand the battle of Bakhmut is to think back to about week five of Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion. This is the moment when his troops gave up on trying to capture the capital of Kyiv, thereby abandoning the objective that was supposed to make the venture a paying proposition in the first place

      When the battle of Kyiv ended, the battle of Moscow began—how to disguise or explain failure and survive it. From this the battle of Bakhmut follows: Yevgeny Prigozhin, operator of the mercenary Wagner Group, apparently decided the way to increase his prestige was to announce his intention to take the city to dramatize his group’s alleged success against the failures of the Russian military.

      So, this article’s spin is from the direction of the failures of the Russian military. It does seem strange that Kyiv has been spared, so far, and that the battle for Bakhmut has gone on seemingly endlessly.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        USA MSM lives in a fantasy world.

        Russia’s objective at the start was to pressurise UKR for a settlement, and Russia withdrew from around Kiev as a condition for a settlement, which UK/ USA then backtracked on.

        Russia since then is fighting an attrition war. Bakhmut was codenamed Operation Meatgrinder, which is pretty clear.

        Bear that in mind, and it will all seem less strange.

      • All is Dust says:

        My understanding is that the initial talks in Turkey is the reason Russia pulled back from Kiev, under the premise that the UK, US and Russia would be the security guarantors in Ukraine. However, the talks failed when the UK and US would not support such a deal, which left Russia as the only security guarantor for the region – which was never going to be acceptable to Kiev.

        Furthermore, did Moscow really want Kiev? And its “unsympathetic” population? Or does it just want the Donbass region?

      • Dennis L. says:

        Disclaimer, not an expert, a guess:

        Russia’s stated goal is demilitarization of UK which means killing soldiers; this apparently is being done in a ratio of 1:7. Eastern Ukraine has the best land as well as ports on the Black Sea.

        When this is over Poland has a far right wing(they were aligned with Germany during WWII, semantics) group on their border which was put in a leadership position with the color revolution.

        With leadership like this resulting in a kill ratio that is unheard of, why take out the leadership and capital? Their actions are essentially destroying their nation and their people.

        It would appear this is all about “stuff.” Russia has plenty of “stuff” and if reports are to believed, the US has shot the wad with stuff that goes “bang.” We are out of bullets as well as being out of money with which to purchase more.

        This is a war of killing, not territory and doing so without nuclear bombs which alone is hope for some sanity in this world.

        Dennis L.

      • Student says:

        My impression is that the Russians only tried to make a sort of pressure on Kiev government to have a fall of the government itself, but they didn’t want to conquer Kiev otherwise they would have done it more seriously.
        As the government had a great support from outside they gave up.
        My impression is that WSJ, like Italian mainstream media doesn’t want to admit that the decision to provoke Russia was a mistake and that things are not going good for us.
        Of course for Russia is not making a nice walk in Ukraine, but they established a good relationship with China and good – although a little bit more neutral – with the Middle East world (Arab League + Iran) and India.
        While – we – on the G7 side, we go on shouting to everybody as if we were the Masters of the Universe, but on the contrary all the others look at us with suspect and lack of trust.

    • drb753 says:

      If you lose you try to freeze the conflict, or declare a ceasefire. But I am eager to see what the endgame is. I agree that a rump Ukraine will always be more of a problem for the West than no Ukraine. But not taking the whole coast should be seen as a sign of unstated goals. It is a lot harder to establish a common border with Hungary, since there is a lot of unsympathetic land to be occupied. Nevertheless a forward looking state should be looking to have the Rusyn rise up and further carve up Ukraine.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        It is sad that half of the population of UKR has already left. By the same token, the unsympathetic portion of the citizenry is liable to simply leave in the south if the war reaches there in earnest.

        UKR forces dig into the towns, Russia clears them building by building, the place is largely destroyed and the citizenry has left. It is a sad state of affairs, but the issue of the unsympathetic portion of the population tends to resolve itself once the war arrives due to the way that UKR forces dig in the towns.

        That in turn makes long-term Russian occupation of areas easier. UKR forces have chosen their tactics, to dig into towns and to make the war as destructive as possible, but those tactics are not necessarily inconducive to Russian end objectives. Likely it all pretty much suits Russia at the end of the day.

        UKR generally does not have a clue what it is doing, and it does not understand what Russia cares about and what it does not. Russia will simply rebuild and influx its own population according to what is strategically helpful, not to put on a flower display per se, and UKR is clearing the ground for that. Likely some towns can just be levelled away as far as Russia cares.

    • Hubbs says:

      I wonder if the only acceptable ceasefire settlement to Russia will be for her to acquire and keep those areas which have predominantly Russian ethnicity, not only the four eastern provinces and Crimea, but also Odessa. This will also require a significant costal land bridge to Odessa to ensure Odessa’s survival. UKR will wind up being landlocked. And then an opportunistic Poland may follow to reclaim what it feels it’s entitled.

      The real question will be just how wide a western swathe of land buffer will Russia demand as a fully demilitarized zone, with guaranteed access to inspections in addition to the above mentioned territories? Or the right to strike any military munitions build up in that demilitarized zone? Not an ideal truce for sure, but it would force US and NATO to keep their hands out of the cookie jar.

      I just don’t see how Russia is going to let the new territory borders exist without some neutral UKR territory held in escrow. Maybe the width depending on the range of certain western missiles, so the new Russian territories have some advance notice of any military build up west of this buffer zone?

      That’s a lot of territory, maybe 300 Kilometers, of neutral territory.

      I almost can see Ukrainians hating the US’ guts even more than the Russians when the dust settles. It will boil down to unraveling and exposing the forgivable act of Russia fearing for its existence in launching this SMO, vs the treacherous scheming of US and NATO, themselves agents of the Globalists, that caused this war.

  9. Today is the last day so I will be brief.

    Civilization is the transfer of resources from the weaker, the less smart, the poor and the less enfranchised to the smarter, the richer, the more able and the more enfranchised.

    If that stops, civilization regresses.

    The Roman Empire is a regression of civilization – the more intelligent Greeks were overwhelmed by the less intelligent Latins, who didn’t write any great literature (the only notable work written in the Roman Empire, Marcus Aurelius’ memoir, was written in Greek) , did not develop great science, etc.

    And, now, a massive regression is about to take place. This concludes my posts in this blog cycle.

    • Ted Kaczynski says:

      Remember from long ago reading from Jeremy Rifkins classic book “Entropy:A New World View”, written over 40 years ago about how we civilized advance peoples of Western Civilization misjudge the concept of primitive peoples.

      He stressed the term primitive was firstly a nonjudgmental, unless we chose to do so, but in actuality the root meaning was “FIRST”. It’s not their life ways or knowledge are any way inferior and they themselves may view us as such, especially in operating in their space. How many of us dropped in the Amazon jungle and have orientation to survive? Drop them in the middle of Times Square,; the same outcome. It’s just their knowledge and intelligence is different from our own and to set up standards to put others “inferior” is actually a means to exploit and degrade others and the environment in which they live.

      Just pointing out the obvious here. Some native peoples have expressed warning to us “advanced, civilized” as what they witness the destruction of the Earth as we consume, to consume root meaning is “to destroy”, our way to extinction

    • Cromagnon says:

      So based on the last line you agree that the brilliant, rich, entitled, aristocratic, self possessed, civilization enhancing 5% are about to be barbequed by the rabble?

      Welcome to the fold…….I recommend you start making lists of local underground constructions and the weak points of walled, gated communities.

      • What will the massive regression look like? We don’t really know. The “brilliant, rich, entitled, aristocratic, self possessed, civilization” that encompasses 5% of world population could be the wealthy of Europe and the US.

  10. Student says:

    (From tv program ‘fuori dal coro’)

    Gail, inside this web-page there is a tv-report which shows the thousands of hidden immigrants who work in the Italian agriculture sector in the black market and live in shanties without water, electricity or sewers scattered in the fields.
    Nobody know how many of them live in Italy.
    This just to report facts about the fake numbers reported by statistics. My interest is only to try to report reality of what happens.
    I don’t agree on how that website comments about facts, but, nevertheless, the facts reported on that web-page (the video part) are correct.

    • drb753 says:

      Ten years ago (it could have been a bit more) I visited Lecce, and found it to be a black city, no different from Detroit or other US inner cities. The baroque architecture was still there but the Italians had left. Bologna is similar although not so extreme, and of course there are many agr. jobs in that part of Italy.

    • I am afraid “live in shanties without water, electricity or sewers scattered in the fields” is pretty much the way people lived, before fossil fuels. Maybe they were in small communities, and walked to the fields.

      I understand that back then, making enough shoes for everyone was a challenge. They tended to be high-priced. In cold areas, they didn’t really keep a person’s feet warm.

      • Student says:

        That way of living is worse than middle age lifestyle or Romans or Ancient Greeks time as well, which were without fossil fuels.
        It is not far from ‘normal cities’.

  11. Student says:

    (Al Jazeera)

    ”Russia-Ukraine live news: Mishustin hails relations with China. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrive for a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China.
    British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says the West is prepared to support Ukraine “for years” as the United Kingdom, United States and European Union step up air defence support to Kyiv.”

  12. Student says:

    (Financial Times)

    ”Chip wars with China risk ‘enormous damage’ to US tech, says Nvidia chief”.
    ”The chief executive of Nvidia, the world’s most valuable semiconductor company, has warned that the US tech industry is at risk of “enormous damage” from the escalating battle over chips between Washington and Beijing.”

    • According to the article:

      “Huang said China made up roughly one-third of the US tech industry’s market, and would be impossible to replace as both a source of components and an end market for its products.”

      Supply lines and sales lines are very complex. Both run through China. The US technology industry can’t get along without China.

      Also, the article mentions that having only US production leaves a greater chance of temporary outages.

      • Rodster says:

        “Supply lines and sales lines are very complex. Both run through China. The US technology industry can’t get along without China.

        Also, the article mentions that having only US production leaves a greater chance of temporary outages.”

        Somehow i’m reading that as a, national security risk. We have to go to war with China. The US Neocons have been looking forward to a direct war with both Russia and China.

    • Ed says:

      Nvidia makes zero chips. Nvidia only designs the chips. It is 100% dependent on TSMC. Without TSMC Nvidia is out of business.

      All the companies doing big AI use TSMC chips.

  13. Student says:

    (Financial Times)

    ”The G7 must accept that it cannot run the world.
    American hegemony and the group’s economic dominance are now history.”

    • Fast Eddy says:

      haha of course it can’t.. the Elders run the world

      The Protocols Of Zion
      Published 1903

      * Place our agents and helpers everywhere
      * Take control of the media and use it in propaganda for our plans
      * Start fights between different races, classes and religions
      * Use bribery, threats and blackmail to get our way
      * Use Freemasonic Lodges to attract potential public officials
      * Appeal to successful people’s egos
      * Appoint puppet leaders who can be controlled by blackmail
      * Abolish all rights and freedoms, except the right of force by us
      * Sacrifice people (including Jews sometimes) when necessary
      * Eliminate religion; replace it with science and materialism
      * Control the education system to spread deception and destroy intellect
      * Rewrite history to our benefit
      * Create entertaining distractions
      * Corrupt minds with filth and perversion
      * Keep the masses in poverty and perpetual labor
      * Use gold to manipulate the markets, cause depressions etc.
      * Introduce a progressive tax on wealth
      * Replace sound investment with speculation
      * Make long-term interest-bearing loans to governments
      * Give bad advice to governments and everyone else

      “I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the Empire, … The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire. And I control the money supply.” Nathan Rothschild

      “Once a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes the nation’s laws. … Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of parliament and of democracy is idle and futile.” — Mackenzie King, Canadian Prime Minister 1935-1948.

      “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.” – Woodrow Wilson, after signing the Federal Reserve into existence

      “Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” ― Woodrow Wilson

      “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.” – Edward Bernays – Propaganda

      • I don’t know if this particular list of protocols has any historical “correctness,” but there certainly are a lot of elites who have an interest in making history turn out in a way that is to their benefit. The World Economic Forum is one such group of leaders who meet on a regular basis. There are no doubt others.

        The world is sufficiently diverse today that there are multiple groups of elders around the world, working for their own views of how the future will turn out. The World Economic Forum is pretty much a “US + Europe” economic forum. It might even diverge from that, as the interests of the US and Europe change. The US blowing up Germany’s natural gas pipelines must have been at least endorsed by some of the US Powers that Be.

        So it is not one monolithic group now, and it probably never has been. But each group of powerful individuals looks to influence outcomes to their own benefit. When there are not enough goods and services to go around, their clear interest is toward getting more of the goods and services to go to the elite. This is what physics predicts would happen. The physics of the system somehow tries to keep some part of the ecosystem functioning, even if not every single human can continue to be supported.

        We are up against this issue again, now, as energy per capita is becoming too low to support everyone adequately.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Well worth a read. The world is in the midst of a massive shift from USA hegemony to a multipolar world. G7 is still in denial about reality.

      The FT!!!

      > The G7 must accept that it cannot run the world

      American hegemony and the group’s economic dominance are now history

      “Goodbye G7, hello G20.” That was the headline on an article in The Economist on the first summit of the Group of 20 in Washington in 2008 which argued that this represented “a decisive shift in the old order”. Today, hopes of a co-operative global economic order, which reached their zenith at the G20’s London summit of April 2009, have evaporated. Yet it is hardly a case of “Goodbye G20, hello G7”. The earlier world of G7 domination is even more remote than that of G20 co-operation. Neither global co-operation nor western domination look feasible. What might follow? Alas, “division” might be one answer and “anarchy” another.

      That is not what the communiqué from the meeting of G7 heads of government in Hiroshima suggests. It is breathtakingly comprehensive. It covers: Ukraine; disarmament and non-proliferation; the Indo-Pacific region; the global economy; climate change; the environment; energy, including clean energy; economic resilience and economic security; trade; food security; health; labour; education; digital; science and technology; gender; human rights, refugees, migration and democracy; terrorism, violent extremism and transnational organised crime; and relations with China, Afghanistan and Iran (among other countries).

      At 19,000 words, this reads like a manifesto for a world government. In contrast, the communiqué of the London G20 summit in April 2009 was just over 3,000 words. This comparison is unfair, given the focus at that time on the economic crisis. But an unfocused wish list cannot be useful: when everything is a priority, nothing is.

      Moreover, both the “unipolar” moment of the US and the economic dominance of the G7 are history. True, the latter is still the most powerful and cohesive economic bloc in the world. It continues, for example, to produce all the world’s leading reserve currencies. Yet, between 2000 and 2023, its share in global output (at purchasing power) will have fallen from 44 to 30 per cent, while that of all high-income countries will have fallen from 57 to 41 per cent. Meanwhile, China’s share will have risen from 7 to 19 per cent. China is now an economic superpower. Via its Belt and Road Initiative it has become a huge investor in (and creditor of) developing countries, though, predictably, it is having to deal with the consequent bad debts so familiar to G7 countries. For some emerging and developing countries, China is a more important economic partner than the G7: Brazil is one example. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva may have attended the G7, but he cannot sensibly ignore China’s heft…..

      [The whole thing is worth reading.]

  14. Student says:

    Link to join collective lawsuit to the court for Mr. Burioni, Italian TV star virologist who told during Covid-19 period big and dangerous lies for the life of people:

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