Author Archives: Gail Tverberg

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.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine represents a demand for a new world order

Russia’s attack on Ukraine represents a demand for a new world order that, over the long term, will support higher prices for fossil fuels, especially oil. Such an economy would probably be centered on Russia and China. The rest of the world economy, to the extent that it continues to exist, will largely have to get along without fossil fuels, other than the fossil fuels that countries continue to produce for themselves. Population and living standards will fall in most of the world. Continue reading

Posted in Energy policy, Financial Implications, News Related Post | Tagged , , , , | 5,372 Comments

Limits to Green Energy Are Becoming Much Clearer

Wind and solar don’t replace “dispatchable” generation; they provide some temporary electricity supply, but they tend to make the overall electrical system more difficult to operate because of the variability introduced. Renewables are available only part of the time, so other types of electricity suppliers are still needed when supply temporarily isn’t available. In a sense, all they are replacing is part of the fuel required to make electricity. The fixed costs of backup electricity providers are not adequately compensated, nor are the costs of the added complexity introduced into the system. Continue reading

Posted in Administrative Issues, Energy policy | Tagged , , | 3,984 Comments

2022: Energy limits are likely to push the world economy into recession

In my view, the first item listed is critical at this time: Is the supply of cheap-to-produce energy products growing fast enough to keep the world economy operating and the debt bubble inflated? My analysis suggests that it is not. There are two parts to this problem:

[a] The cost of producing fossil fuels and delivering them to where they are needed is rising rapidly because of the effects of depletion. This higher cost cannot be passed on to customers, without causing recession. Politicians will act to keep prices low for the benefit of consumers. Ultimately, these low prices will lead to falling production because of inadequate reinvestment to offset depletion.

[b] Non-fossil fuel energy products are not living up to the expectations of their developers. They are not available when they are needed, where they are needed, at a low enough cost for customers. Electricity prices don’t rise high enough to cover their true cost of production. Subsidies for wind and solar tend to drive nuclear electricity out of business, leaving an electricity situation that is worse, rather than better. Rolling blackouts can be expected to become an increasing problem. Continue reading

Posted in Financial Implications | Tagged , , , | 4,903 Comments

Merry Christmas to All

I plan to write a new post in a few days. For now, I will just leave an open thread. I hope everyone has happy holidays of whatever type you celebrate. This is a good time to be with family … Continue reading

Posted in Financial Implications | 3,944 Comments

Is it possible that the world is approaching end times?

It is disturbing to think that we may be living near the end of the world economy, but there is an upside to this situation. We have had the opportunity to live at a time with more conveniences than any other civilization. We can appreciate the many conveniences we have.

We also have the opportunity to decide how we want to live the rest of our lives. We have been led for many years down the path of believing that economic growth will last forever; all we need to do is have faith in the government and our educational institutions. If we figure out that this really isn’t the path to follow, we can change course now. If we want to choose a more spiritual approach, this is a choice we can still make. Continue reading

Posted in Financial Implications | Tagged , , , | 6,123 Comments