By Neil Halloran: A Skeptical Look at Climate Science

I haven’t had time to write a new essay, and I wanted a new post so newcomers don’t assume un-Denial.com has shifted its focus to Covid, which is a confusing space populated by crazy people assigning complex global conspiracies to a bunch of incompetent and sometimes corrupt leaders.

Thank you to reader Frank White for providing a good reason for a quick post with a new video by Neil Halloran on climate change.

It’s my first exposure to Halloran and I’m really impressed. He targets people that are skeptical of climate change and does an amazing job of leading them to conclude we are in serious trouble and must act.

I left this comment on his YouTube channel:

Brilliant content and production! This is best video I’ve seen for persuading climate change skeptics that we are in serious trouble. Thank you.

Your next step should be to address the human genetic tendency to deny unpleasant realities.

https://un-denial.com/denial-2/theory-video/

167 thoughts on “By Neil Halloran: A Skeptical Look at Climate Science”

  1. I bought some more Ivermectin from the local feed & tack shop today. Looks like the word is getting out. I got the last tubes of the product suitable for humans. They had lots of other types with additives that you do not want to take.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Every once in a while Peter Watts writes a really good rant. Today he demolished the catholic church, which is the worst of many bad religions.

    https://www.rifters.com/crawl/?p=9941

    Five days ago, some lunatic in a truck killed four Muslims in London, Ontario. Our glorious leaders lost no time climbing over each other to see who could most loudly denounce the murders as an act of terrorism.

    Back in 2008, Canada declared The World Tamil Movement (an entity previously known mainly for earthquake relief efforts and supporting Tamil immigrants) as a “terrorist organization” because of alleged financial support to the Tamil Tigers—despite the fact that no member of the WTM had even been charged with a crime, much less convicted.

    The Catholic church has killed, raped, and assaulted thousands during its residence within this nation’s borders. It has a history of torture, murder, and inquisition dating back to the third century. The latest revelation—215 dead children hidden away beneath the soil (from a single residential school—there were over 130 off them, most under Catholic jurisdiction) is bound to be only the tip of the latest iceberg. The church—which continues, surrealistically, to tout itself as a Moral Authority to the rest of us—doesn’t even bother to deny these atrocities, even while it refuses to apologise for them.

    An act committed for a political, religious, or ideological purpose, check. Intended to intimidate, check. To compel people to do or refrain, to intentionally cause harm, to cause death or injury check check check. The Vatican’s treatment of Indigenous peoples is a classic example of terrorism as defined by the Canadian government itself.

    Four people dead: terrorism. An organization with no criminal warrants at all: terrorist.

    Thousands of dead kids with more to come, a generations-long legacy of rape, assault, and murder? Tax-free status, private schools, and a vacuous bobble-head of a PM who bleats about making things right while his own government spends $163.5 million (and counting) fighting court decisions favourable to First Nations. A PM who, even now, proclaims his Catholic identity without any apparent shame.

    What could possibly constitute a mitigating factor here? Why have we not banned this odious hate group and thrown its silly-hatted officials into jail? Why haven’t we, at the absolute least, told them to pay some fucking taxes?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tonight I watched the new BBC documentary “Building Britain’s Biggest Nuclear Power Station”.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000wnn4

    What stood out for me:

    1) They’re spending a gazillion dollars to make it safe from every imaginable threat except the threat that is near certain: insufficient diesel, surplus wealth, and the complex supply chains necessary to maintain it.

    2) The quantity of carbon via concrete, diesel, and steel to build this zero carbon power source is staggering. There must be some denial in the math.

    3) If it opens on schedule and within budget I will recant my disbelief in God.

    4) They claim that private financing shields the UK tax payer from cost overruns. I’m betting the shield melts down.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. If you enjoy non-fiction history audiobooks you will love Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast. I’ve listened to every one of his 67 episodes.

    His latest episode focuses on the harsh fighting and nuclear bombings that ended WWII in the Pacific.

    I’m very fortunate not to have been a young man during that period. So much of our good fortune is luck.

    When do spirit, tenacity, resilience and bravery cross into madness? When cities are incinerated? When suicide attacks become the norm? When atomic weapons are used? Japan’s leaders test the limits of national endurance in the war’s last year.

    https://www.dancarlin.com/product/hardcore-history-67-supernova-in-the-east-vi/

    Like

    1. So much of our good fortune is luck.

      Not “so much”. Everything depends on luck. Your set of genes, your family environment, country you were born in, time you were born…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The megacancer.com blog run by James has been down for several weeks… Usually, it’s because he neglects to pay his ISP bill. Maybe he’s on a long vacation. I suppose we won’t know unless or until he resurfaces.

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  6. Some random observation. Our local BirdLife organization did a tour where you go watch birds in a group and there I had the time to talk to our guide who is a distinguished (retired) veterinarian and honorary head of said association. It struck me how much sense MORT made to him.

    I guess ecology is a good foundation for shedding the illusion of human exceptionalism. My selection is obviously biased but many people who I introduced to MORT who weren’t immediately defensive where of that type.

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      1. Have you considered imprisoning them in the basement until they see the light? Feed them old twinkies and expired prepper rations…they’d be like “yes, I was so blind…but it all makes sense now!”

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Lots of smart people think something is broken in the banking system. Steven Van Metre here tries to explain what’s going on and why the Fed is trapped between a rock and a hard place.

    I don’t understand his explanation. The system is too byzantine for my brain to grok.

    What I do understand is that you cannot grow debt faster than the economy forever, and I understand that when debt is used to speculate on rising asset prices you create a bubble that must pop.

    Steve predicts a stock market crash and I agree, even though his reasoning differs from mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Long story short in my view:

      Fed activities are contracting financial conditions for banks, contracting their lending and putting downward pressure on yields. His prediction is that this will put downward pressure on stock prices. I’m not sure about that part – he did not explain it. I would have thought lower bond yields would increase stock prices because high valuations imply low yields. Worth a quick read: https://www.business-standard.com/article/markets/explained-how-bond-yields-impact-stock-market-what-should-investors-do-121022600179_1.html

      It would be worth asking him “Why do you think downward pressure on bond rates puts negative pressure on stock prices?”

      Sometimes folks casually misspeak about prices vs. rates vs. yield in the bond world. They also misspeak about stock prices vs valuations vs returns.

      But his thinking is that a selloff in stocks will lead to margin calls, create a need to raise cash, disrupt the money markets, and cause an exponential need for more QE, creating a death spiral.

      My opinion is that as real returns from stocks approach zero, and bond rates approach zero, and companies become zombies, the banking system will struggle with the fact that there is no underlying collateral of any real value to take risks on. i.e. collateral becomes worthless as the system winds down.

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      1. Thanks.

        I believe Steve thinks bond prices will increase and stocks prices will fall because he thinks the real economy is weak and contracting due to its debt burden (he is not energy or overshoot aware).

        His logic is that as the economy contracts, interest rates must go down, which will cause bond prices to increase, and investors will shift from stocks to more promising bonds thus causing stock prices to fall.

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        1. This is what I don’t understand: Why would increasing bond prices (lower rates) trigger a selloff in stocks? I would think it would lead to more risk taking. Unless large numbers of stock investors conclude that rates are lower for longer they are not going to selloff stocks for bonds.

          Current bondholders would benefit from the higher prices, but that doesn’t mean anybody would be interested in newly printed on-the-run treasuries.

          My prediction had been that if mid-term bond rates rise to compete with the average S&P Dividend would be the tipping point. That’s about 1.6%

          I agree with what he says: Stock selloff into a no-bid market (high leverage, low short interest) leading to margin calls and money market problems. I just am missing this connection. Hmmm….will have to watch again!

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          1. My summary of Steve’s beliefs was not gleaned from that specific video but rather from watching him for many months.

            I think he has the classic investment advisor view that bond and stock prices are inversely correlated. In an energy constrained no growth world that old model probably no longer applies. But he’s not energy aware. He does seem to have fresh insights into the consequences of Fed printing. He thinks printing constrains rather than stimulates the economy.

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  8. I’ve been thinking about what the end game might look like. My hunch is that there will be very little to buy, regardless of how much money a person has.

    Gail Tverberg today provided some ideas on how this might play out.

    https://ourfiniteworld.com/2021/05/27/dont-expect-the-world-economy-to-resume-its-prior-growth-pattern-after-covid-19/comment-page-11/#comment-299249

    There are different scenarios that could occur:

    1. Top-level governments could fail, and with them the banks that they guarantee. In fact, the problem could occur in many places around the world. World trade would greatly slow down, leading to many fewer goods and service being produced. Local people might put in place some local currency, to help facilitate barter. But unless a person has something to sell/trade, it would be hard to buy anything.

    2. Governments and banks might still be in place, but to try to get control of inflation (because not enough goods are and services are being produced in total), withdrawals from banks might be limited to an amount, such as $300 per week. A person’s bank account might look like it has money in it, but it is impossible to get most of it out. There is also not much to buy.

    3. Governments indefinitely freeze all bank accounts. Instead, they provide the equivalent of ration coupons, through some sort of new digital currency, so that everyone gets a little bit of what little is available.

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    1. I posted my thoughts on “the end” at surplus today. Dr. Tim asked “Why won’t share prices go down?”

      @Dr. Tim – “Why haven’t their share prices slumped?”

      I think the answer is one of the ironies of thinking in terms of valuations as compared to thinking in terms of prices. Higher valuations imply lower long term returns. So as real global returns approach zero I’d not be surprised to see prices approach infinity.

      This relates to thinking of money as claims or promises.

      The economy can coast in denial, believing future goods and services will exist to satisfy expanding claims to infinity until such point at which real goods and services are not available in the present. This same point coincides with the realization that money is essentially worthless in the future.

      I think political decisions will determine whether it ends in a whisper or a bang. I’m personally predicting first the former, then the latter, due mainly to ignorance and social collapse preventing cooperation.

      I think surplus energy reaches terminality when there is nothing to produce which is worth more than the cost of the inputs of production. To land, labor and capital we have to add energy. Labor can be shorted a long time in the face of increasing energy costs, but eventually either (a) labor will accept austerity willingly, (b) be forced to accept austerity, or (c) collapse the system through political action which could look like voting for doomed policies, or rebellion – both with the misguided notion of better tomorrows.

      Like

      1. Interesting insights, thanks.

        Here is the source discussion:
        https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/2021/06/07/202-the-shape-of-things-to-come/#comment-25421

        Your argument makes perfect sense to me when applied to our collective confidence in the monetary system.

        I’m not sure I agree that confidence that claims will be filled in the future justifies higher stock prices. I could see confidence being an explanation for stock prices remaining stable while returns drop and thus valuations increase. But for prices to rise as returns fall I think you need a classic debt fueled asset bubble. Which always pops. Please tell me why I’m wrong if I’m missing something.

        I like and agree with your energy dependency summary. I explain it as follows:

        Our standard of living (including food) is created by machines. Interest is the cost of buying machines, and energy is the cost of operating machines. As the cost of energy goes up due to depletion, interest must go down for there to be enough profit to buy and operate machines, including the machines that extract energy. When interest reaches zero, the machines will begin turning off.

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        1. Hi Rob – I think it is a bubble and do think it will pop. But it’s not a traditional bubble – It’s actually much worse. Sorry if I was obtuse. The valuation similarity is ironic to me, not claiming it’s actually causal.

          There are at least two different types of “justification” in the same way there are at least two ways of looking at security values.

          A stock can be priced at the discounted present value of a future stream of cash flows (in dividends). But most people think and invest in terms of price change, irrespective of traditional valuation (i.e. momentum, or price increase). Even brokers wind up talking in terms of % increase of the market cap or index. But if earnings don’t increase the price isn’t “justified” by valuations, only by speculation, or put more nicely “price movement.”

          These can be looked at as two components of price

          So the price could be
          Pm=Pv+Ps
          Pm = Market price
          Pv = Price based on cash flow valuation
          Ps = Price based on speculation

          A traditional bubble happens when Ps becomes much larger than Pv. And the bubble pops when Pm backs down to Pv, or dips below.

          I say our situation is much worse because even bears like Hussman (https://www.hussmanfunds.com/comment/mc210315/) expect that Pv (based on earnings/profits) is going to continue at historical trends. You and I probably both expect CocaCola is not going to have the same revenue, earnings or profit 20 years from now. But the “floor” markets expect in corrections is that firms will continue increasing revenues, earnings or profits into the future based on historical trends.

          The markets aren’t over-valued, they are actually worthless, in that they are not going to deliver the stream of cash-flow which even a very conservative valuation would predict.

          We could have another leg down first (Ps correction). That bubble will pop when people are convinced it isn’t growing anymore. The bigger bubble will pop when it is clear that, broadly speaking, most all companies will no longer be able to repay investors with future cash flows. In the same way I think hyperinflation will happen when people are convinced there won’t be more goods and services available in the future. They will only be convinced of that when it happens in the present, I believe.

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          1. I should have added: And corporations won’t be able to pay shareholders when it is no longer possible to produce anything which can be sold for a price above the cost of inputs.

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          2. Got it. Thanks. I understand and agree with you.

            The permanent end of growth changes everything. I suppose that’s why the majority so aggressively deny energy constraints, including many intellectuals like physicists that should know better.

            Our complete radio silence on energy depletion fascinates me to no end. It’s the most important force in play for the thing everyone cares the most about (wealth) and nobody discusses it except a few fringe blogs.

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    1. Great indeed 🙂 .
      I closed my FB account around 2011, two or three years after I opened it.
      I was not even doomer at this time (at least I was not full-scale doomer), just the stupidity and emptiness of it as a whole disguised me already then.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Total sense. I like the WMD 2.0 comparison. Possibly bigger than that. At least only (primarily) Americans were bamboozled by WMD1.0. I think it will take international pressure for this to crack. I wonder if other EU nations might just push this who are less invested in the coverup than U.S?

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Rob,

    This was new to me. “The Importance of Understanding the Nonspecific Effects of Vaccines.”

    https://quillette.com/2021/06/09/the-importance-of-understanding-the-nonspecific-effects-of-vaccines/

    Exerpt: “Aaby was taken aback by what occurred following mass vaccination against measles: the rate of all-cause mortality among the children dropped by far more than could be explained by the measles decline alone. Children were not only not dying from measles, but they weren’t succumbing to a number of other diseases either. In an interview at the 2019 European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (ECCMID), Aaby pointed out that measles epidemiological models predict a mortality decline of 15 percent in the first 12 months. Instead, Aaby witnessed a reduction in all-cause mortality in children of more than 50 percent. Aaby had stumbled upon the NSE of a vaccine. This discovery prompted the creation of the Bandim Health Project (BHP), a health and demographic surveillance system.”

    Like

    1. Interesting, thanks.

      A lot of humility and a lot of testing should be prerequisites for any modifications we make to a hyper complex system that we don’t understand.

      Thank you to the billions of people that volunteered to test the vaccines for the billions of us waiting to review the test results.

      Like

      1. My wife and I (both 72 plus) got the first dose very next day it was started and the second dose after 21 days. Since we work in a hospital, though not interacting directly with patients, we are required to take the shot and we also wanted to play safe. We had only mild reaction. It may be due to our health and physical conditioning. One may argue that a healthy person will tolerate the vaccine but also is not likely to be infected. On the other hand, an obese person with high blood pressure and sugar level will have adverse effects from the vaccine, but also face higher probability of catching the virus.
        Whatever the origin of the disease and whoever makes billions of dollars, as a scientist I admire the science behind the development of the vaccine in a short time .

        Like

        1. Yes, the technology and speed of bringing these complex vaccine products to market was very impressive.

          I used to manage the design of complex computer hardware and software products and so have some insight into the challenges of developing products destined for high volume manufacturing. Despite best efforts we never launched a new product that did not have defects that needed to be corrected.

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        2. What’s your view of the long term studies on auto-immune disorders developing due to the covid vaccines?
          What is your view on the long term studies of the effects on the female reproduction system and full term pregnancies?

          Oh yeah there are none.

          Which side of the debate within MIT are you on that the mRNA could potentially be reverse transcribed into DNA making insertions into our DNA. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33330870/

          Looking forward to results, we’ll talk in five years.

          Rob, you may find this interesting.
          https://www.aestheticsadvisor.com/2021/05/steve-kirsch-NIH-WHO-covid-treatment.html

          Like

          1. Thank you. Momentum seems to be building for low cost effective prevention and treatment.

            I’m curious how long the WHO and NIH resist and how they try to save face when they fold.

            Our “leaders” that accept WHO/NIH recommendations are a disgraceful bunch of unthinking ass covering administrators.

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            1. Well aren’t you generous in your summation of our leaders.
              Maybe you meant a disgusting bunch of ass stinking cowering administrators.

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  10. BBC Horizon is almost always good. They just produced a new documentary on the inside story of developing the vaccine.

    Rips are up at the usual torrent sites.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000x2tf

    The extraordinary inside story of the biggest scientific challenge of our age – following a small band of vaccine scientists around the world who took on Covid-19 and ultimately delivered the weapon to beat it.

    As news of the coronavirus broke around the globe, a small group of scientists jumped into action to tackle one of the greatest medical challenges of our time: to create a vaccine against a virus no-one had ever seen before and to do so in record time, all during a deadly, global pandemic.

    Like

  11. Today’s interview of Chris Martenson by James Howard Kunstler was a pretty good big picture review of what’s going on the world. Kunstler tried to draw Martenson into his favorite partisan conspiracies but Martenson did a good job of staying on the high unbiased ground.

    I respect Martenson very much but I observe that his need for paying subscribers still makes it difficult to discuss unpopular topics like energy depletion, climate change, and the need for population reduction. It seems to be ok to discuss depleting aquifers and a doomed currency but not ok to discuss a permanently contracting economy and food supply due to diesel depletion.

    https://kunstler.com/podcast/kunstlercast-345-jawing-about-covid-19n-stuff-with-chris-martenson/

    Like

    1. Thanks Rob,
      I generally avoid most everything that Kunstler does now days as it is soooo partisan. But with your review I listened to the podcast and it was generally good. Your take on Martenson’s need to keep paying “members” is spot on. No discussion of population driving all of our overshoot.
      Thanks,
      AJ

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I take part of it back. Martenson is occasionally willing to discuss peak oil, but if you pay attention to the quivers in his voice and the soothing qualifiers like “don’t worry, there’s plenty left after peak oil” you can see he is not comfortable. No mention of not being able to feed 8 billion without diesel for tractors, combines, and trucks, or natural gas for fertilizer.

      We need more adults discussing reality.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I remember a joke about a thrifty cold Polack that unraveled the wool from one end of his blanket so he could lengthen the other end of his blanket.

    https://wolfstreet.com/2021/06/17/holy-moly-feds-reverse-repos-spike-to-756-billion-undoing-6-months-of-qe-in-opposite-direction-feds-qe-pushes-assets-past-8-trillion/

    Holy Moly, Fed’s Reverse Repos Spike to $756 Billion, Undoing 6 Months of QE. In Opposite Direction, Fed’s QE Pushes Assets Past $8 Trillion

    The Fed sold a record $756 billion in Treasury securities this morning in exchange for cash via overnight “reverse repos.” This was up by a stunning 45% from yesterday’s operations of $521 billion. There were 68 counterparties involved. Yesterday’s overnight reverse repos had matured and unwound this morning, to be more than replaced by today’s tsunami.

    Even as the Fed was busy draining cash from the system, it continued to add cash to the system via QE. The Fed’s total assets on its balance sheet for the week through Wednesday, June 16, jumped by $112 billion from the prior week, to a new mind-bending record of $8.064 trillion.

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  13. Apparently China has decided its recent loosening to a 3-child policy is not enough to keep their Ponzi scheme going so they’ve decided to remove all restrictions on family size.

    Lawyers must be replacing the engineers they used to have in their leadership positions.

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  14. Sabine Hossenfelder jumped the shark today with an optimistic review of how to get rich by mining asteroids.

    She takes a deep dive into all the issues except the only issue that matters: how will space adventures be possible without plentiful affordable fossil energy?

    A brilliant PhD physicist who ignores thermodynamics and limits to growth can only be explained with Varki’s MORT.

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    1. Ugo Bardi (geologist) said something about asteroid mining recently (I can’t seem to find it). To paraphrase him(and probably badly) – only one a biologically and tectoniclly (sp?) active planet are minerals concentrated enough to make them economically viable to mine. Forget asteroids – SciFi delirium.
      AJ

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Better than I feared – as a long time admirer of the Hossenfelder. Decades to achieve-when all we have is -well who knows? I think she has children which naturally just accentuates the optimism bias in those lacking the un-denial gene.

      Like

  15. Panopticon today with a worldwide summary of heat waves and drought:
    https://climateandeconomy.com/2021/06/18/18th-june-2021-todays-round-up-of-climate-news/

    Here at home on Vancouver Island my government weather service posted this alert today:

    Short-lived heat wave set to arrive the South Coast on Father’s Day.

    Risk: Temperatures 5 to 10 degrees above seasonal.

    Locations: Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Howe Sound, Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Southern Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island

    Timespan: Sunday and Monday.

    Remarks: After a relatively cool start to the weekend, temperatures will be on the rise again on Father’s Day. The current guidance indicates that the day time temperatures will peak in the low-thirties through Monday at locations away from the immediate coast. The ridge associated with this warm spell will start shifting inland on Tuesday, ushering the hot air into the Interior.

    I don’t remember these hot spells as a kid here.

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  16. Carbon dioxide peaks near 420 parts per million at Mauna Loa observatory

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Atmospheric Baseline Observatory peaked for 2021 in May at a monthly average of 419 parts per million (ppm), the highest level since accurate measurements began 63 years ago, scientists from NOAA and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego announced today.

    https://research.noaa.gov/article/ArtMID/587/ArticleID/2764/Coronavirus-response-barely-slows-rising-carbon-dioxide

    Like

    1. Another one bites the dust. I think it was his March 2019 blog when he finally held his hands up

      I’m calling the game over. I just cannot see a solution that has humanity going on in any kind of lifestyle that we have grown accustomed to in the 21st century.

      Its all about the trends and relative rates of change. Its all about the momentum. Global warming is baked into the cake at this point. Even if we were to miraculously find a way to extract and sequester CO2 from our atmosphere we still could not prevent catastrophic warming. We waited too late to react.

      I’ve taken as many factors into account as I can. I’ve processed the data as best I can. I hope I am wrong in my conclusions, but so far I haven’t been (except for thinking I would be gone before all of the s**t hit the fan). Go back in the archives of this blog if you don’t believe me. I’ve called it and it is coming to pass. I’m very sorry I could not have been more effective in convincing more and more influential people that these systemic issues were coming to a head.

      My advice is head for the hills.

      Well he tried mightily but here we are. Hopefully James at Megacancer hasn’t gone permanently hors de combat as well.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. It’s kind of sad watching people like Mac10 flail around and make up stories to explain the insanity because they don’t understand Varki’s MORT, thermodynamics, or overshoot.

    https://zensecondlife.blogspot.com/2021/06/there-is-no-safe-space-from-reality.html

    There Is No Safe Space From Reality

    One thing both the far left and far right have in common is an extreme aversion to reality. Since 2008 central banks have sponsored this vacation from reality by consistently bailing people out of their own stupidity, which has encouraged ever greater stupidity. Now this Idiocracy is painted into a corner with no way out. It was inevitable they would come to believe that markets drive the economy, instead of the other way around. Yet, no one wants to question this paradigm of moronism, because they don’t want to look stupid. They believe in the strength of numbers…

    The reason why this society doesn’t see this ending is because they are now fully addicted to cheap money. This latest global housing bubble is exhibit A of a gambling addiction that has far more fear of missing out than of bubbles crashing. This week, global risk markets had a taper tantrum over the prospect of higher Fed interest rates TWO YEARs from now. What a joke. At any other time in history, these interest rates would be considered a disaster from an economic and financial standpoint. Dire emergency measures indicative of ZERO future economic growth. Today these record low rates are considered an opportunity to ignore valuations and bid asset values to infinity. The value of a perpetuity over 0% is theoretically infinite according to Finance 101. Unfortunately, in the real world there is no such thing as a perpetuity. When the cycle ends, the cash flow on insolvent assets turns negative. The value of an insolvent asset at the end of the cycle is ZERO. Today, as the global economy struggles to re-open amid massive amounts of new debt, gamblers are bidding up their own assets like it’s 1929. There is now an entire generation of gamblers who believe that bear markets are a relic of the past. Defeated by free money and infinite leverage.

    This week the Fed monkey hammered the reflation trade by merely suggesting that a rate hike could happen in 2023, almost two years from now. Never before has there been such a long runway given for a planned rate hike and yet it still caused a major market selloff. The question on the table is, did it kick off the final meltdown? Gamblers are now caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of a moribund economy and risk assets bid to record valuations in anticipation of strong economic growth. There are two paths this can take – imminent economic collapse to justify low interest rates, OR sustained growth justifying higher interest rates. These monetary addicts want low interest rates and high growth and now they’re having a temper tantrum because both does not exist in the real world.

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    1. Ha! He made the same point I did a few days ago: “Today these record low rates are considered an opportunity to ignore valuations and bid asset values to infinity. The value of a perpetuity over 0% is theoretically infinite according to Finance 101. Unfortunately, in the real world there is no such thing as a perpetuity. When the cycle ends, the cash flow on insolvent assets turns negative. The value of an insolvent asset at the end of the cycle is ZERO.”

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Good (and rare) thread on over population at OFW…

    https://ourfiniteworld.com/2021/06/18/how-energy-transition-models-go-wrong/comment-page-1/#comment-300252

    John R. says:
    June 21, 2021 at 11:38 am
    Gail said: . . . But the fact that it seems like some outside force is paving the way for me to do what I am doing is one of the things that makes me believe that there is a Higher Power, somewhere, pulling the strings on what is happening.
    ——————-
    Why hasn’t the higher power helped out Dennis Meadows in a more viable way, especially since he has reached millions? His work concerning overpopulation is truly on the side of the angels.

    Dennis: “I spent 50 years trying to help people understand their realistic options and choosing a bit more wisely for the long term. I would say by and large I have failed. I don’t think the planet is going to evolve any differently from my having been around than it would have if I had not been conceived.”

    Gail Tverberg says:
    June 21, 2021 at 12:56 pm
    Having children provides a great benefit to parents. In poor countries, children can help in the fields, from an early age. As the parents get older, the children provide a safety net in parents’ older years. If one parent dies, the other parent can often move in with the child and his family. Or perhaps both parents can move in. Some writers talk about intergenerational debt. Parents take care of children while they are young; in return, children are expected to take care of their parents when they are old.

    If there is a “strong” government that wants to get more women in the workforce and limit births, it can implement programs which will supposedly take care of older people in their later years. This takes away much of the supposed benefit of having children.

    Dennis Meadows’ belief that he could somehow change childbearing patterns, based on his model, was simply unrealistic. He needed strong governments around the world that could see a real threat from overpopulation. They would need to implement a one child policy, like China did in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In fact, it is possible that leaders in China did learn from what Dennis Meadows and the team said, and it may have influenced their thinking. Of course, any guarantee is only as good as a country’s ability to make their economy function long term, as resources deplete.

    It is possible that what Dennis Meadows said did influence China’s one-child policy, but they never mentioned this connection. Of course, China needed to greatly ramp up its use of coal to allow their economy to be rich enough to sort of provide retirement benefits.

    In a world with limits, it is hard to see how any country can provide retirement benefits, long term. With less energy, pretty much everyone will have to work indefinitely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To actually answer John R.’s question, yes, I would think that the higher power would have exerted more of an effort on changing world governments’ attitudes on human breeding.  Meadows made a beautiful effort, and any god worth its weight would have arranged human affairs differently in order to enhance his influence.  I mean, after all, it is supposedly all-powerful, according to the myth.

      Liked by 2 people

  19. New paper from Bossche…

    https://www.geertvandenbossche.org/post/why-the-ongoing-mass-vaccination-experiment-drives-a-rapid-evolutionary-response-of-sars-cov-2

    The naked scientific truth on why the ongoing mass vaccination experiment drives a rapid evolutionary response of SARS-CoV-2

    The ongoing denial by WHO, public health agencies and governments of science-based evidence on how to mitigate the already disastrous global and individual consequences of this pandemic are beyond mind-blowing. Whereas a number of medical doctors are now doing the utmost to make highly successful early multidrug treatment broadly accessible, I am contributing my part on analyzing the epidemiologic and health consequences of the ongoing mass vaccination campaigns and sharing – in all transparency – my insights with the broader public. From the critical opinion article below, it becomes already obvious that several scientists who are studying the evolutionary biology and genetic/ molecular epidemiology of this pandemic know too well that this pandemic is not over at all and that the global health risk posed by variants is very substantial. So, why do they keep silent?

    I realize that the scientific language is not easily accessible to laymen. I hope the way I structured the article will, however, help them to grasp the key message.

    It is almost impossible to believe that scientists studying the genomic/ molecular epidemiology or evolutionary biology of Sars-CoV-2 would not understand that mass vaccination campaigns promote natural selection and propagation of immune escape variants when they all come to the conclusion that selective immune pressures exerted by antiviral host immune responses provide fitness-enhancing mutations with a transmission advantage enabling their adaptation to the infected host (tissue)-specific environment. In light of all scientific evidence provided and the sinister perspective of the current evolution when put in an immunological and vaccine context, knowledgeable scientists should feel a moral and ethical obligation to loudly voice their concerns publicly. It is appalling that some leaders of the very institutes disclosing some of these critically enlightening data on the evolutionary molecular dynamics of circulating variants seem to be denying the observations of their co-workers and continue to blindly advocate for mass vaccination. Instead, some of them are even bold enough to encourage arrogant and scientifically illiterate fact-checkers to misrepresent compelling scientific evidence as a hoax and debunk experts who put their career on the line in making this critically important information accessible to the broader public.

    Compassionate scientists who have been taking a deep dive in these complex matters are now increasingly left with the impression that health authorities and advising experts will simply continue to deny that they are desperately wrong, no matter how compelling the scientific evidence that has been brought to the table and no matter the consequences this unprecedented public health experiment may involve for many years to come.

    Like

    1. Hi Rob

      Thanks for continuing to provide interesting and relevant links on COVID, and of course the usual topics.

      Regarding Bossches’s thesis…I ask, with no expertise in virology…

      Is there any limit to how virulent this SARs virus could become under evolutionary pressure? If yes, perhaps there is still an acceptable risk-benefit trade-off from mass vaccination, particularly if there are long term effects of COVID a significant percentage of people who get infected?

      Can the wide-spread use of anti-virals like Ivermection also put evolutionary pressure on the virus? Could this be the case even if the anti-virals are used in only severe cases, considering the large number of severe cases that would eventually occur in 8Billion people even if the severe case rate is only 1-2%?

      Has the reduced infection rate in countries like the U.S. been more about the vaccination campaign, or natural immunity after infection, a waning of the viruses virulence? It appears – so far – that the vaccination campaign in the U.S. and some other countries has been successful. I am unclear of how Bossche would respond to that….I think he would say fine for the U.S., but without co-temporaneous vaccination of 8 billion people, new variants will spread and we will play whack-a-mole with vaccines and virus for years ahead?

      But aren’t we always in some kind of evolutionary race with virus and bacteria (diminishing effectiveness of anti-biotics) unless we allow our species immune systems to address the viruses and bacteria, and change over time through death and survival?

      Finally, more of a statement, but I continue to think no one has a “model” of how this virus will move through a highly mobile global population of 8Billion people. And from that model what are the best choices for minimum amount of harm. Maybe such a model is beyond our capacity to make in a short time period. Or at all, given it might present the kind of decisions that have to be made by battlefield generals, or farmers with their herds.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All good questions and I don’t know the answers.

        Another question to ask about the reduced infection rate is are we experiencing a seasonal decline common with corona viruses that might reverse this fall?

        I think Bossche answers questions on his site so you might try posting them there.

        Like

        1. Thanks Rob. A further note…

          I found this video last night… “Natural immunity key in US” – YouTube Dr. John Campbell. Some interesting take aways…even if numbers are only ballpark estimates…

          On March 21st 2021 the Seroprevalence in donated blood in the U.S. was 49.1%, when only 13.7% of the Over 16 were vaccinated. So herd immunity was rising rapidly without the vaccine…

          as of 21 March https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-trac… Deaths were 550,559. The estimated 162,000,000 Infection fatality rate by March 21, so the fatality rate is 0.4% (0.33985). From my memory, the fatality rate from the yearly seasonal flu (different every year) is about 0.15%.

          BUT….this COVID 19 fatality rate was only kept this low because we shut down significant part so of the economy, so that the 2,255,380 hospitalizations were be spread out over a year or so rather than occur in some much shorter period of time. So COVID-19 ended up at 3X the seasonal flu, but only so because we shutdown travel, instituted wide-spread masking, social distancing, plexiglass installed everywhere, etc. etc.

          Dr. John Campbell wonders/estimates that perhaps another a million of the 2,225,380 hospitalizations might have been deaths without economic shutdown, as the hospitals would not have been able to handle to load.

          So, without the economic shutdown, the fatality rate of Sars-cov-2 would have been much higher than the seasonal flu. Maybe 9x?

          Other questions: What would the death rate have been if we had instituted the use of Ivermectin etc. early in hospitalization, or even as a general prophylactic.

          Lots of counterfactuals to deal, with, but still interesting to ponder.

          A final note. The consensus is growing that Sars-cov-2 results in a vascular disease. COVID-19 is a vascular disease not a respiratory one, says study | Euronews. I don’t know my experience supports that idea, but when I was symptomatic with COVID19 last October, I experienced an increase in my blood pressure. (Also loss of smell). These sort of changes have never happened to me with the seasonal flu. COVID19 felt very real, and weird.

          Hopefully my grey matter is still largely intact, but as it now seems COVID19 can affect the decrease brain tissue, please let me know if the quality of my comments to your site starts to diminish. 🙂
          https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/study-suggests-covid-19-harms-parts-of-the-brain-even-in-mild-cases/ar-AALhq2s?ocid=uxbndlbing

          Liked by 2 people

  20. I missed this episode of Sam Harris’ podcast when it was streamed 2 months ago but listened to it today and it’s very interesting.

    P.S. Neither Harris nor Reid are overshoot aware and both are on my list of polymaths in denial.

    https://samharris.org/podcasts/special-episode-engineering-apocalypse/

    In this nearly 4-hour SPECIAL EPISODE, Rob Reid delivers a 100-minute monologue (broken up into 4 segments, and interleaved with discussions with Sam) about the looming danger of a man-made pandemic, caused by an artificially-modified pathogen. The risk of this occurring is far higher and nearer-term than almost anyone realizes.

    Rob explains the science and motivations that could produce such a catastrophe and explores the steps that society must start taking today to prevent it. These measures are concrete, affordable, and scientifically fascinating—and almost all of them are applicable to future, natural pandemics as well. So if we take most of them, the odds of a future Covid-like outbreak would plummet—a priceless collateral benefit.

    Rob Reid is a podcaster, author, and tech investor, and was a long-time tech entrepreneur. His After On podcast features conversations with world-class thinkers, founders, and scientists on topics including synthetic biology, super-AI risk, Fermi’s paradox, robotics, archaeology, and lone-wolf terrorism. Science fiction novels that Rob has written for Random House include The New York Times bestseller Year Zero, and the AI thriller After On. As an investor, Rob is Managing Director at Resilience Reserve, a multi-phase venture capital fund. He co-founded Resilience with Chris Anderson, who runs the TED Conference and has a long track record as both an entrepreneur and an investor. In his own entrepreneurial career, Rob founded and ran Listen.com, the company that created the Rhapsody music service. Earlier, Rob studied Arabic and geopolitics at both undergraduate and graduate levels at Stanford, and was a Fulbright Fellow in Cairo. You can find him at http://www.after-on.com, or on Twitter at @Rob_Reid.

    Like

  21. China recently ordered a halt to bitcoin mining. This apparently reduced electricity consumption by about 8 GW which is the equivalent of about 4-8 coal fired plants.

    Gail Tverberg says peak coal is in the rear view mirror for China.

    Coincidence?

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Does anyone remember between 2014 and 2016 when Guy McPhearson was telling people we’d all be dead in 10 years? He hasn’t got long left for that prediction LOL

    Like

    1. Yes I remember LOL. I never believed his NTHE thesis. On the other hand, he got a lot right and our children and grandchildren are going to have one hell of a time with climate change (and de-growth forces like fossil energy depletion which McPherson ignored/denied).

      Most thinkers in the overshoot space have some wheat and some chaff. McPherson had a lot of both.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Martenson today discusses Bossche’s thesis and concludes it is plausible but not proven and should be investigated with urgency due to the profoundly negative consequences for society if Bossche is correct.

    Martenson also does an excellent job of explaining that Bossche’s credentials and experience place him at the top of the list of experts we should be listening to.

    Like

  24. I’m watching the new BBC documentary series by Brian Cox titled Adventures in Space and Time.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000wtdj

    Brian believes we are at the start of a new age of space travel, where space flight is on the verge of becoming routine. In this episode, he explores the latest science and takes a new look at his old films and asks: how far can we go in our exploration of the cosmos?

    I have in my library all 6 documentary series that Cox has produced over the last 15 years. They’re usually very good. Cox is a smart and articulate physicist.

    And yet…

    How is it possible that not one in a thousand physicists has a clue about the human overshoot that has resulted from the very core of their discipline: thermodynamics?

    It’s not possible without Varki’s MORT theory.

    I’ve added Brian Cox to my list of brilliant polymaths in denial.

    On Famous Polymaths

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Just today I’ve read an interview with one of “famous” economist from “new ecological economy” school.
      He mentioned energy once – “there is plenty of energy in the universe, just waiting to be used” :).
      It is like throwing somebody into deep water and repeating: “just breath! there is plenty of oxygen in the water!” :).

      They really don’t have a clue…

      Liked by 3 people

  25. Wow. Joe Rogan interviewed Dr. Bret Weinstein and Dr. Pierre Kory today.

    This should shift the awareness meter. Get your pitchforks ready.

    Dr. Pierre Kory is an ICU and lung specialist who is an expert on the use of the drug ivermectin to treat COVID-19. Bret Weinstein is an evolutionary biologist, visiting fellow at Princeton, host of the DarkHorse podcast, and co-author (with his wife, Heather Heying) of the forthcoming “A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century.”

    Like

  26. New rip of an important documentary is now available at the usual torrent sites.

    It’s amazing that a wealthy, civilized, educated, democracy like Germany did what it did.

    I’m thinking genetic reality denial must have played a role in the majority of citizens that stood by and watched.

    April 1945. In Germany, as World War II was drawing to a close and the Allied Forces were swarming into Berlin, groups of freshly trained combat cameramen documented the gruesome scenes behind the recently liberated Nazi concentration camps. Named “German Concentration Camps Factual Survey”, the 1945 documentary for the British government was produced by Sidney Bernstein, with Alfred Hitchcock’s participation. For nearly seven decades, the film was shelved in the British archives and was abandoned without a public screening–for either political reasons or shifted Government priorities–to be ultimately completed by a team of historians and film scholars of the British Imperial War Museum, who meticulously restored the original footage. Intertwined with interviews of both survivors and liberators, as well as short newsreel films and raw footage from the original film, the 2014 documentary chronicles the atrocities that occurred in the concentration and labour camps of Bergen-Belsen, Auschwitz, Majdanek, Dachau, and Buchenwald, also including footage from Soviet cameramen. Without shying away, the camera pans on the German SS officers, lingering on the bony, emaciated faces of the piled-up-like-dolls bodies of men and women who were mercilessly thrown into pits during the mass-grave digging operations. However–even though the film documents a world of nightmare, exposing the undeniable truth of what has been going on within these camps–it also focuses on the healing process of the completely dehumanised survivors, in an attempt not only to serve as a testimony of the Nazi crimes, but also as an important lesson for all mankind.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3455822/

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Review by Frank Kaminski of Alice Friedemann’s new book “Life After Fossil Fuels”.

    https://mudcitypress.com/lifeafterfossilfuel.php

    Fossil fuels are the lifeblood of modern industrial society, and they’re steadily being depleted. Eventually, their rates of production will cease to grow and will begin to permanently decline, spelling disaster for a civilization dependent on ever-increasing quantities of ever-cheaper fossil energy. Their supposed replacements are pitiably inadequate, possessing nowhere near the necessary abundance, concentration, versatility, transportability and/or commercial viability. Given how long it takes to build an entirely new energy infrastructure, the time to begin doing so was decades ago. Since we didn’t do that, we now face not a continuation of our present lifestyles courtesy of alternative energy sources, but an involuntary “simplification” of every aspect of our lives, to quote energy researcher and author Alice Friedemann.

    Friedemann’s analysis starts with the most concentrated and widely used fossil fuel, petroleum (aka oil). She succinctly chronicles the evolution of the oil industry, from that first big gusher in Spindletop, Texas, in 1901 to the money-losing proposition that is the present-day U.S. tight oil (i.e., shale oil) industry. She goes on to reveal the profound degree to which oil has enmeshed itself into every part of our lives, having become the lynchpin of cement and steel production, road construction, automobile manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare and countless other things. And she wonderfully conveys a sense of the sheer energy density of conventional oil, along with the implications of its 2005 production peak, steadily shrinking energy return on investment (EROI) ratio and present decline rate.

    The book’s appraisal of alternative energy sources is comprehensive. It begins by considering potential replacements for diesel fuel in commercial freight transport. Options examined include liquefied coal, liquefied natural gas, hydrogen, power-to-gas (P2G) and biodiesel–only the latter of which meets the requirement of being both renewable and commercial. Friedemann refers to biodiesel as “the great hope, our main hope, to replace diesel for transportation and fossils in manufacturing.” Unfortunately, it has serious shortcomings, including its poor EROI and inability to travel in pipelines or serve as a drop-in replacement for conventional diesel. Thus, it’s anything but a true “alternative” to the latter.

    Friedemann also enumerates the many failings of a host of proposed schemes for running manufacturing, electricity generation, public transit, agriculture and other critical sectors on alternatives. We learn that battery-powered commercial transport is a nonstarter because the batteries’ energy density is too low and their cost, weight and charging time far too great. As for the use of overhead electric catenary wires to power commercial trucks, this is still in its infancy and would be extremely costly to implement. Using electricity or renewables to fuel manufacturing would be impracticable because manufacturing processes require high temperatures that can be generated only through onsite furnaces, kilns and boilers fueled by either fossil fuels or wood. Nor is there a clear path toward transitioning the electrical grid to renewables.

    It’s sobering to reflect on how many fixtures of early 21st-century life we stand to lose as fossil fuels wane. Because of the difficulty, in these fuels’ absence, of generating the heat needed to smelt metals and make bricks, glass and ceramics, Friedemann predicts our infrastructure will be made mostly of wood in the future. Needless to say, she doesn’t expect we’ll be making computer chips indefinitely, as their metal alloys require especially high heat. Moreover, high tech in general relies on a slew of rare earth metals that could be running short by mid-century. Another reason why computer chips, glass and ceramics–not to mention concrete, asphalt pavement, paint and abrasives–may vanish is the depletion of beach sand, which may be completely gone by 2100. The age of plastic, one of the most ubiquitous synthetic materials on Earth, likely also will end. Friedemann explains that while there are ways of making it from biomass, these face crippling problems of scale and complexity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Watkins elaborates on similar points today…

      https://consciousnessofsheep.co.uk/2021/06/23/mere-statistics/

      In the current political climate, fossil fuels are deemed to have no redeeming features. The fact that everything we take for granted, from abundant food to high life expectancy and from clean drinking water to an absence of slavery, is based on fossil fuels is entirely overlooked. The transition to non-renewable renewable energy-harvesting technologies – NRREHTs – is a matter of quasi-religious faith rather than science and data. And so we can delude ourselves into believing in a green, hi-tech future in which we “own nothing and are happy.”

      The reality, of course, is that peak energy arrived sometime back in 2018 and was already trending down long before SARS-CoV-2 began prematurely ending the lives of millions worldwide. Less obviously, since the 1970s, the energy cost of energy had been rising remorselessly; so that less surplus energy has been available to power the wider economy ever since. That may sound technical, but in common sense terms, the lack of available energy translated into falling living standards and rising precariarity for an increasing part of the population.

      Those who have vociferously agitated for fossil fuel consumption to be rapidly brought to an end, might want to consider a warning from Aesop’s fables: “Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true.”

      Liked by 2 people

  28. Tim Morgan today…

    https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/2021/06/23/203-surplus-energy-economics/

    For the World as a whole – and as the following charts illustrate – prosperity per person has been on a long plateau, during which continued growth in the EM economies has cancelled out Western deterioration. This helps explain the widespread perception that EM countries have been ‘carrying’ global growth since the GFC.

    It would be a mistake, though, to assume that this EM resilience can be a continuing facet of the global economy. Rather, lesser complexity explains why countries like China and India have been able to carry on improving their prosperity pending their arrival at higher (and hence later) inflexion points.

    Critically – and with most economies now past their economic climacterics – global prosperity per capita seems now to have turned down decisively from a plateau that has lasted since the early 2000s.

    As the third of the following charts shows, the essence of the situation is that the World’s average person is now getting poorer, a problem compounded by an unfounded, blind faith insistence that no such thing can possibly be happening.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Tim Morgan in a reply to a comment to this article:

      “As a general proposition, there’s a limit to how much self-sufficiency is achievable in complex societies. This is why I’m not a ‘survivalist’ or a ‘prepper’. We really are “all in this together”, and ‘best outcomes’ require that we persuade decision-makers to act wisely, on the basis of reality.”

      This is one of the wisest, most intelligent bits of written thought I’ve ever read.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. On the other hand, we can expect our governments to do the right things in response to the end of growth only after they’ve exhausted all of the wrong options and it’s no longer possible to deny reality.

        So it might be wise to have some supplies on hand to get through a rough patch.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sorry Rob,
          I think you’re denying the reality that our leaders will deny reality up until the bitter end (i.e. the collapse of civilization and all our deaths). They (our leaders and the 1% who have everything invested in BAU) will keep on doing what they are currently doing because that is what denial is – blindness. Maybe you are just a little too optimistic? (and I know I am too pessimistic!).
          AJ

          Like

          1. LOL, I’m thinking when they’ve exhausted every other option they’ll finally support conservation and population reduction, but you’re probably right that they’ll continue to deny reality by blaming the Russians or Chinese rather than acknowledging limits to growth.

            Like

            1. You’re most likely right, but my fear is that they will deny reality until we are all dead.

              On a side note – You recommended Nick Lane’s books.
              I have just finished reading Life Ascending and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in Science. In this book, he goes over the 10 great inventions of evolution. Each of the chapters could be an argument for why we appear to be alone in the universe (all inventions could answer the Fermi paradox).
              I thought all the chapters were excellent, but the on Consciousness was probably the best overall explanation of human consciousness that I have EVER read. I have reread the chapter twice and will continue to read it again and again. It is both profound and probably as close to correct as neuroscience (and he references most of the cutting edge research) can come at the moment to explaining why we (and animals) think and are aware. Sorry no soul, we are just chemistry in a meat package made by evolution.
              I wonder if he is denial aware. It would be great to get him together with yourself or Dr. Varki to discuss MORT.
              Thanks again.
              AJ

              Like

              1. I’m glad you enjoyed Life Ascending. It’s still my favorite book. I keep the audiobook on my phone and pull up random chapters every now again when walking. I’ve probably read the whole thing 8+ times. My favorite chapter is photosynthesis.

                Everything we value on this planet hinged on evolution solving the extremely difficult problem of splitting a water molecule with a photon.

                You should read his book “The Vital Question” next. It’s not quite as fun a read, but is actually a more important book in that he proposes a new theory for how complex life emerged.

                book review: The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life by Nick Lane

                P.S. Send me a message if you want help finding the book.

                Like

                1. We can thank photosynthesis for:
                  – preventing the oceans from evaporating away like Mars
                  – increasing the efficiency of respiration so we can have an interesting multi-level food chain
                  – enabling the synthesis of lignin used for structure so large plants and animals can exist
                  – creating all of the food we enjoy
                  – creating fossil energy so we can be having this conversation

                  Lane also believes that if we could replicate photosynthesis in the lab we would solve our dependence on non-renewable fossil energy, and solve climate change, and solve our pollution problem. Apparently lots of people are working on it but evolution is still more clever than our best scientists.

                  I think artificial photosynthesis would definitely help but I suspect the relatively low energy density (5% of 1000 watts per square meter) would mean we’d still need a much smaller population that consumes less.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. There’s a non-intuitive aspect to this story that some people miss.

                    The lifecycle of plant produces zero net oxygen because the excess oxygen that is produced during life is consumed by decomposition after death.

                    The only way to increase oxygen in the atmosphere is to have a geologically active planet that buries biomass thus preventing the consumption of oxygen for decomposition.

                    Which conveniently is also a requirement for the fossil energy needed to enable an advanced technology civilization.

                    And a geologically active planet is also a requirement for life which originates in hydrothermal vents by making a living from chemical energy until it can invent photosynthesis.

                    We really should be more aware and appreciative of our planet and our existence.

                    In this light I think population reduction policies are an obvious no-brainer.

                    Liked by 1 person

  29. Ilargi today…

    https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2021/06/the-risks-to-the-fully-vaccinated/

    A bit out of the ordinary, I thought I’d give you a piece from our Comments section yesterday, by highly appreciated commenter “Doc Robinson”. Partly because he spent a lot of time weaving it together from the CDC website, and partly because it’s relevant and even somewhat shocking.

    To see that vaccinated people are hospitalized, and die, at an almost twice higher rate than non-vaccinated people, is something that at least deserves much more attention. We have that attention at the Automatic Earth. And sure, we get it, more vulnerable people are more likely to have been vaccinated, but still: a lot of less-vulnerable people have been, too, by now in the US.

    And the vaccine story is being heavily skewed towards the “it’s all safe” point of view by media, industry, politics et al. But how reliable is that point of view, and how much of it is just propaganda? Let’s try and find out. You read the data, and you make up your mind. That’s all we ever asked. In that same vein, this is not meant as a definitive thing, we’re just asking questions.

    Doc Robinson:

    Nearly 4,000 Fully Vaccinated People in Massachusetts Positive for COVID-19

    Data for such “breakthrough cases” is being selectively released, and with major spin. I assembled some of the limited data that is available, and made some very rough estimates. It doesn’t look good for the vaccinated.

    Among those who get a Covid-19 infection that’s symptomatic, the fully vaccinated (breakthrough cases) have a significantly higher likelihood of hospitalization than the unvaccinated. And looking at the resulting deaths as a percentage of the number of those hospitalized with a Covid-19 infection, the fully vaccinated are dying at a significantly higher rate than the unvaccinated.

    Percentage of Symptomatic cases which are Hospitalized:
    – Unvaccinated 5.8%
    – Vaccinated 9.4%

    Deaths as a percentage of Hospitalized cases:
    – Unvaccinated 10%
    – Vaccinated 19%

    Below is the data and math behind my estimates (for the US).

    …snip…

    For clarification, the disadvantages of vaccination shown in my comment above are only related to Covid-19 infections, and don’t include any hospitalizations or deaths due to adverse reactions from the vaccines.

    Like

  30. Dr. John Campbell reviews a new meta-study paper that says Ivermectin probably reduces deaths by 62% and possibly reduces transmission by 86%.

    Campbell says quality of paper and its conclusions demand a response from Fauci et. al..

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Norman Pagett today…

    Good thing we don’t need slaves when we’ve got solar panels. Now we just need to figure out how to make really really big batteries and solar panels without fossil energy. Or reduce our population.

    https://ourfiniteworld.com/2021/06/18/how-energy-transition-models-go-wrong/comment-page-3/#comment-300948

    human rights do not exist where there is no cheap surplus energy

    mainly because energy extraction/conversion (until this era) has been by muscle power alone—human or animal.

    This has been the case throughout recorded history, New Testament or other times.

    Only ‘elites’ had anything that we might call human rights.

    Women didn’t. They were traded in marriage contracts. Children didn’t. they were expected to work at something from early childhood. The average man didn’t. About 98% of people worked the land. What surplus he produced was taken by his local lord. Even the church was allowed tithe by law.

    Surpluses could be extracted from slave labour. Buying a slave was the same as buying farm machinery–You used it until it was worn out. Then bought another one.

    Fossil fuels allowed that to change

    It is only temporary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We can’t get away from slaves even with solar panels. The Biden administration just banned imports of polysilicon solar-panel wafers from a Chinese company due to allegations of forced labor in Xinjiang. Turns out, that 45% of all solar-panel polysilicon is manufactured in Xinjiang – presumably from forced labor. This means that the cost of solar is going up. https://www.reuters.com/business/us-restricts-exports-5-chinese-firms-over-rights-violations-2021-06-23/

      Like

  32. Over the entire year (1 April 2020 – 1 April 2021), beekeepers in the United States lost an estimated 45.5% of their managed honey bee colonies (Fig. 1). This is the second highest annual loss on record, 1.8 pp higher than last year’s estimated annual loss (43.7%), and a 6.1 pp increase over the average loss rate (39.4%) over the last 10 years.

    https://beeinformed.org/2021/06/21/united-states-honey-bee-colony-losses-2020-2021-preliminary-results/

    Like

    1. “and a 6.1 pp increase over the average loss rate (39.4%) over the last 10 years.”

      Well, that feels like one of those moving baselines. I wonder what the winter colony loss rate was in say the 1950s?

      Before the mass application of pesticides across America. “Glysophate/Roundup was introduced to the consumer market in 1974 as a broad-spectrum herbicide and quickly became one of the best-selling herbicides since 1980. In 1987, only 11 million pounds of the chemical were used on U.S. farms, but now nearly 300 million pounds of glyphosate are applied each year. Feb 2, 2016”

      And before most of the 1C+ global average temperature warming occurred circa from 1975. 1C+ warming is 1.9C warming over the continents. With that, over the continents you get significant changes: higher high temperatures, higher low temperatures, with changes in dew points, migration of habitation zones for plants (upon which insects live), changes in weather patterns (due to reduced strength of polar vortex/jet streams, ocean circulation patterns, etc.), probably changes in ground level UV radiation for atmospheric ozone loss (due to warming and atmosphere changes), etc. etc. All to fast for animals and plants to adapt.

      Ok, I suppose a few folks will say I am wearing my tin foil hat with this possible contributing factor. But note, our wireless communication world did not really get going in mass until the early 1980s. Wide spread global cellular coverage not till the 1990’s? Cellular Network coverage has become ubiquitous only in last 10-15 years….roll outs correlate somewhat with insect declines? Cell Tower/microwave range – radiation – from 20 and up to ~45 miles from tower/station. Coverage range varies by technology. A significant percentage of the world is now blanketed in coverage from cell towers, cell sites, cellular base stations, etc. Per Wikipedia, there are 2,134 communications satellites in Earth’s orbit.

      There are a dozen other environmental stressors I could list that could be contributing to insect declines. Light pollution, extreme ecosystem fragmentation, road networks and vehicle traffic, pollution from multiple sources, ground level ozone from combustion engine activity, loss of natural biomass and the a reduction of the natural web of life, etc. etc.

      The integrity of the habitable-for-life-zone of our spaceship earth has been compromised and possibly ruptured. Only a small? percentage of we humans could now survive in that life zone without the use of fossil fuels to prop up our supply of water and food.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I wonder what the winter colony loss rate was in say the 1950s?

        I have some anecdotal evidence. I took a bee keeping course and the teacher talked about the good old days when very little skill was required to successfully produce honey. Today most amateurs fail.

        Today I never have to clean the bugs off my car windshield. When I got my licence in 1976 cleaning the windshield was a regular necessity.

        My reading on the topic suggests neonicotinoid pesticides are one of the biggest culprits.

        But I agree with you that there are many forces.

        The beach in front of my home is dead compared to that which I enjoyed as a child in the 60’s and 70’s.

        I Remember…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The “toxic load” of current-use pesticides has increased considerably, so it is quite clear where some part of the stress/impact comes from. Here is the study, published in Science, that shows the data and the impacts: “Applied pesticide toxicity shifts toward plants and invertebrates, even in GM crops” Science 02 Apr 2021: Vol. 372, Issue 6537, pp. 81-84, DOI: 10.1126/science.abe1148, https://science.sciencemag.org/content/372/6537/81.

          We know where the impacts come from, not just for this one, but for many others as well. This is not about a lack of knowledge – not at all. Willful ignorance and denial, again and again.

          Liked by 2 people

  33. Israel’s campaign to promote the coronavirus vaccine – now focusing on young teens – is going full steam ahead, in spite of statistics presented by government officials showing that half of those recently infected with Covid-19 were fully vaccinated, Behadrey Haredim reports.

    Head of Public Health Services, Dr. Sharon Alray-Price, revealed the disturbing facts at a media presentation on Wednesday. According to her data, of the 891 cases of coronavirus confirmed in the last month alone, half had received both doses of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine.

    It is clear that officials were already aware that the vaccine does not provide sufficient protection, as quarantine regulations for those returning from abroad have recently been changed, requiring even those fully vaccinated to self-isolate upon return from certain countries.

    In addition, military intelligence has been warning of such a scenario at least since January, when a report was published that suggested a mass vaccination campaign would lead to vaccine-resistant strains of Covid-19 emerging.

    https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/308653

    Like

  34. It’s endlessly fascinating that almost all of our vanishingly few aware people discuss everything except the one and only policy that would improve every one of our overshoot related problems: rapid population reduction.

    It’s got to be the genes talking.

    https://consciousnessofsheep.co.uk/2021/06/28/climate-change-relegated/

    For a quarter of a century, a particular – “bright green” – version of climate change has been allowed to drown serious discussion of a predicament in which 7.8bn humans are attempting to continue growing on a planet that could not sustain an eighth of that population without the energy we derive from fossil fuels. Those who warned that technological solutions could not work – not least because the technologies are themselves dependent upon fossil fuels – were ostracised and censored. Nothing, it seems, can be allowed to hurt the feelings of those who – with no grounding in physics or engineering – insist that we can run a modern industrial economy solely on sunlight and wind. And so discussions about the true sacrifice and hardship involved in weaning ourselves off fossil fuels were pushed to the fringes; even as we continued to increase our fossil fuel consumption. And as a result, the gathering storm which we now see looming before us – of a rapid economic simplification – is going to be far harder than it need otherwise have been.

    It is all too easy to be a vegan in an economy in which the supermarket shelves are overflowing. It is just as easy to protest fossil fuels in an economy which has more than enough energy to go around. Being a social media activist is easy when there is enough surplus energy to free you from the drudgery of non-industrial food production. And virtue signalling about green new deals is easy while industrial agriculture still ensures than people’s bellies are full. As the disintegration of the global economy gathers pace though, these will be overtaken by more visceral concerns. Already we have seen that as the costs of climate policies exceed people’s ability to pay, they rebel. From Australian voters rejecting an overtly green Labor Party manifesto to French workers violently opposing a rise in diesel duty and the polite Swiss public voting against environmental policies in a referendum, the trend is clear; ordinary working people are increasingly unprepared to pay the bill for implausible responses to climate change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Rapid economic simplification” Huh? Come again? You aint saying I have to give up my Starbucks Triple, Venti, Half Sweet, Non-Fat, Caramel Macchiato? Hot showers? Sushi takeout? No way man. The American way of life is non-negotiable.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Fascinating and perhaps a glimpse into the future of rich counties.

    There’s no need for 18 wheel tanker trucks or paved roads when you have a 125cc motorcycle.

    Hidden deep in the mangrove swamps of the Niger Delta lie hundreds of illegal refineries, “cooking spots”. It’s the stronghold of hostage takers and armed groups. For some ten years these men have been spreading terror in the region. Few cameras have been able to penetrate the closed worlds of these oil thieves. For one month with the assistance of one of their number we managed to film the everyday existence of the traffickers.

    On the one side, Nigeria. An extremely unstable region with economic and political stakes on a global scale. It’s the biggest oil producer in Africa and one of the ten biggest producers in the world. 95% of its revenues derive from this “black gold”. On the other side, Western countries, major consumers of fuel, for whom oil is indispensable. Between the two, the inhabitants of the Niger Delta, cast aside from this manna and the enormous profits generated by the “black gold”. Driven by a sense of dispossession, they engage in increasing armed action to deviate a part of the oil production.

    Nicknamed “Bonny Light”, it’s one of the purest crude oils in the world. It is so pure, they say, that you could run an engine with it without any refining… exactly as it is extracted. However, the robbers of the Delta still have to refine it. They put the “crude” into drums that have been cut in half, heat it and sprinkle it with chemical products. It’s a dangerous operation. It can explode at any moment. So that their clothing doesn’t catch fire and turn them into human torches, the traffickers work naked, in a choking atmosphere, without the slightest protection. They have no other choice. To survive, they must take risks. Once refined, the fuel is put into buckets before being transferred into cans. It is then refined by traditional methods and distributed on the parallel markets of neighbouring countries. This “black gold” road passes via Cameroon, Benin, Togo and Ghana.

    However, in the Delta, oil is above all a plague. The water is filthy. The earth, fields and forests are polluted. Here, oil is a curse. All the villagers live below the poverty line. In the village of Okrika there is no drinking water or electricity. So, in order to survive, most of the farmers have a strange occupation. They fish for sand. Such is the case of Daniel, 55, who in order to feed his family tirelessly scours the beds of rivers for sand. It’s an unthinkable job, harsh and exhausting, for this new Nigerian slave. Every day, and sometimes at night too, and totally naked, he dives to depths of 5 metres to fill his buckets with sand. When his boat is full, he has to deliver it far away, at the mouth of the river. Once his boat has been unloaded, he must start his labours all over again.

    Once the oil has been stolen and refined, it has to be delivered. Neighbouring Benin is a major consumer. In the south of the country, along the border, oil trafficking is a real industry that supplies 70% of national consumption. Every day, 25 year-old Antoine risks his life to transport stolen oil on his motorbike. A real “bomb on wheels”, he carries more than 700 litres of oil on each trip, with the sole protection of the Voodoo gods!

    Like

  36. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/heat-wave-dome-2021-seattle-portland-weather/

    The heat wave baking the U.S. Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, Canada, is of an intensity never recorded by modern humans. By one measure it is more rare than a once in a 1,000 year event — which means that if you could live in this particular spot for 1,000 years, you’d likely only experience a heat dome like this once, if ever.

    Portland, Oregon, has already broken its all-time record hottest temperature at 108 degrees on Saturday and the peak of the heat wave has not even been reached yet. Canada is expected to register the nation’s all-time highest temperature before the event is done. These are extremely dangerous numbers, especially in a region not used to heat like this, where many people do not have air conditioning.

    For the past week, as computer models have consistently forecast seemingly unbelievable numbers, meteorologists struggled to grasp how a heat wave of this magnitude could even be possible, given this region has never experienced anything of this magnitude before. Were the models wrong? Or, given climate change, should we now expect the unexpected — is this now just becoming routine?

    Turns out, the models were correct and we should expect extreme heat waves, even unprecedented ones like this to become more routine. “There is no context really, in the sense that there is no analog in our past for what we are likely to see this week,” says Dr. Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University and author of the new book “The New Climate War.”

    But calling it a new normal does not suffice says Mann, “Some people called this a ‘new normal. But it is worse than that,” explained Mann. “We will continue to see more and more extreme heat waves, droughts, wildfires and floods as long as we continue to warm the planet through fossil fuel burning and carbon emissions.”

    Like

  37. Good comment by CTG @ OFW.

    https://ourfiniteworld.com/2021/06/18/how-energy-transition-models-go-wrong/comment-page-7/#comment-301446

    In the 1970s, when oil peaked in USA, extraction technology has to go into overdrive to extract out the difficult-to-extract oil. If there is no excessive debts or money printing, then physical limits will be hit. It is not a surprise that Nixon took USD off the gold standard at the time when oil peaked in USA.

    With debts or money printing or financial shenanigan, an oil company can use that freshly printed money to improve the technology of oil extraction without actually hitting the physical limit. It is a substitute for high EROEI because money is not detached from its physical backing of “promise of future productivity”. The company used the money borrowed to improve the technology to extract more oil. There is no more underlying claims for the money YET (until the day it does, which is actually “now”). The company can either go bankrupt and the debts are extinguished. Investors lost money and the claims towards that “future productivity” is gone. However, that technology has been invented and used by someone else.

    If that company did not collapse but flourished, then, with inflation, the debts can be paid off and the “claims for future productivity” will be postponed to a date in future (which is “now”, by the way).

    A debt can be sold and passed around in a daisy chain through banks, pension funds, etc. since 1970s, financial engineering was and is crucial to the extension of BAU. Government closing a blind eye towards financial accounting trickery or changing the goal posts help move the world forward on a “financial engineering or accounting” basis since 2008. There is no productivity growth other than debt-related or debt-fuel “growth”. Debt is the center of everything now. Debt is a burden for future generations. Future generation of the 1970s is the present generation. It is a millstone around the neck of future generations (which is the present generation). For every dollar that is there, probably 50-80% are used to payoff debts or roll over new debts. Until a point where it is not possible anymore (90%+ perhaps now?)

    At this point where 50%-90% (??) of every dollar is used to pay off the debts, what is the use of cheap energy? It will cause more problems than solving it.

    Like

  38. h/t Gail

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/a-leaked-un-report-warns-worst-is-yet-to-come-on-climate-change-heres-how-you-can-help

    A leaked draft report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change paints the starkest picture yet of the accelerating danger caused by human use of coal, oil, and gas. It warns of coming unlivable heat waves, widespread hunger and drought, rising sea levels and extinction. To understand the report’s warnings, William Brangham turns to atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayoe.

    Like

    1. “A picture is worth a thousand words” LOL. Not anymore. Not that I don’t accept the above pic as real, but fact is, today you can’t always unconditionally trust what you see in a picture or video. Or hear in a recording. Not with Photoshop , video editing, deep fakes and others forms of techno sorcery.

      Like

  39. Trillions are sloshing in and out with the daily tides.

    I hope the baffles in the ballast tank hold.

    This is not normal. Notice that the idiots in mainstream news ignore (aka deny) this.

    This morning, the Fed sold a record $992 billion in Treasury securities in exchange for cash, via overnight reverse repos (RRPs), to 74 counterparties. Yesterday’s overnight RRPs matured and unwound this morning, and were replaced, plus some, by today’s RRPs. You can practically hear that giant sucking sound of cash that the Fed is draining out of the financial system.

    These cash pressures originated as a result of the Fed’s crazy and continued money-printing binge. Obviously, the real solution to the cash pressures would be to stop QE and then begin unwinding the assets on the Fed’s balance sheet. But that would be too radical a step to take. The Fed has mopped up $1 trillion in short-term cash via the repo market.

    https://wolfstreet.com/2021/06/30/feds-reverse-repos-spike-to-1-trillion-cash-drain-undoes-8-months-of-qe/

    Like

    1. I have impression that things will happen quickly now…
      Maybe not within weeks, but when people learn that “bright green future” is not there (and I guess it will be within 2-3 years maximum), the crumble spiral will be faster and faster…

      Like

      1. It’s the big question. I have no idea, but I do say that interest rates will never rise significantly (above2% on the 10 year UST for more than six months) before collapse. The authorities will frantically pull demand forward as long as possible. It’s amazing to see. It’s the one prediction in which I have a lot of confidence.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Short thoughts on what collapse looks like financially?

          Will it first be multiple countries on the periphery of this current global system falling financially or politically (food shortages, food prices as possible triggers), as the U.S. continues to “print” money to its advantage and the disadvantage of others? Or will the core of this current system, the U.S.A., suddenly reset downward to a much lower level of consumption and buying power? Can the Federal Reserve’s sustain it bond buying indefinitely? Maybe the test comes with the next geopolitical grey or black swan.

          U.S. corporate earnings still look good, but maybe it is shortages of raw materials or much higher prices for those materials that start to eat into those profits and decrease consumer consumption levels, especially for discretionary items. A willingness to believe a materially prosperous future driven by technology still seems to be there, if frayed a bit by increasing social disorder/dis-union and increasing bad environmental news. Most people have their heads in the sand, or hands over there ears/eyes, to avoid thinking about the implications of those issues. There is no other alternative than continued belief in the existing system.

          Behind all this discussion of possible outcomes of course is the invisible hand of energy supply and relentless depletion, and especially oil production. I think we are still down ~7mbpd global oil production from the November 2018 high, and if global GDP is tightly correlated, so real global GDP is down some commensurate amount. From memory the U.S. production today is something like 11mbpd down from 14mbpd. Maybe the globe and the U.S. could go back up to pre-COVID levels? But…

          Background depletion on global oil fields in production is 3-6mbpd per year, so production activity is running on a faster and faster treadmill. Apparently, OPEC has quite a bit of surplus capacity still, but from two reports I saw that slack is gone in a year or two.

          In any case, it seems like a bumpy ride from here on out in the best of economic cases. Supply chain issues from COVID will take several years to mend even if we had all the energy we needed. Then true oil shortages arrive. (Maybe they are there now, just masked by COVID. Environmental wastes including CO2 are now beginning to really impact food supply.

          Seems like there is no “out” to a normal economy ever. Maybe there will be brief periods of respite, but the Federal Reserve will be forced to continue buy bonds until it cannot any longer.

          Like

          1. Thanks. As long as there’s affordable oil and food the system seems to be quite resilient thanks to 8 billion clever monkeys all working hard to keep the system going. I’m amazed at how minor the inconveniences from Covid have been.

            Liked by 1 person

  40. The Tyee is one of the better new outlets. Nevertheless they of course do not mention the need for population reduction (fewer new homes) nor consumption reduction (smaller homes) so that we cut fewer trees.

    When I was a kid in the 70’s a 1000 sqft home was normal, now the normal exceeds 2000 sq ft. We are not happier or more comfortable today. We just consume more to keep up with our neighbors.

    The Climate Disaster Hidden in BC’s Forests

    The province doesn’t count forest emissions in its global warming plan. That’s a big, dangerous mistake, say advocates.

    Here are two key words that have been largely left out of the broiling debate around British Columbia’s old-growth forests: carbon emissions.

    Even in the recent forest policy update, the provincial government only mentioned carbon emissions twice. And that was to say forests suck up and store carbon, which environmental advocates warn doesn’t tell the whole story.

    By B.C.’s own reporting, forests are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the province — 23 per cent larger than the total emissions from the energy sector.

    To talk about forests while ignoring carbon emissions is “climate denialism,” says Torrance Coste, senior campaign director for the Wilderness Committee.

    When B.C. reports its official carbon emissions, that number excludes emissions from forests. Coste says that’s a huge problem, because “emissions associated with forests in some years surpass B.C.’s total emissions. Which is staggering. It’s like a second B.C. we don’t count.

    https://thetyee.ca/News/2021/06/24/Climate-Disaster-Hidden-BC-Forests/

    Liked by 2 people

  41. I have just read that YouTube has demonetised Brett Weinstein’s account. I find this deeply disturbing. I’m going to have to give some serious thought into how I interact with YouTube in the future.

    Like

  42. The situation in Israel is developing more or less as outlined by van den Bossche: the number of cases is increasing and the vaccine is (much) less effective than it was thought. It seems that van den Bossche is not as wrong or clueless as insinuated by some/many.

    Like

    1. Not really.

      Look at deaths in last weeks – practically 0 for last 4 weeks.
      Additionally 33 serious/critical cases in 2901 totak cases (1%) (what I can display now in worldometers.info).

      So far this is exactly what mainstream promised – 80-90% of protection against getting sick and almost 100% against being sick morbidly.

      I see nothing strange there – if we have millions of cases circulating around the world (as acive cases), you can expect that 10-20% of that get sick even after being vaccinated.

      Like

  43. A short post on the epistemology of COVID. 😊

    To function well psychologically, and socially, you must mentally simplify and accept the “truth” of many assumptions and socially accepted assertions about the nature of the world. For an individual, there is not enough time or energy to continually check or challenge these assumptions and assertions. You must accept the “truth” of things and move forward as best as one can, under the constraints imposed by place and circumstance. To continually question the truth of every foundational idea is to be frozen into paralysis by analysis or lost in an epistemological quick sand, or ostracized from ones social circles.

    So we human beings, including even scientists, will repeat assertions about the world we assume to be true, but that we do not really KNOW are true. God exists, and rides a chariot across the sky every day.

    Of course, over time, we do challenge our foundational ideas. Science provides a methodological framework for challenging assumptions and assertions about the nature of the world and finding “truths” that are more effective enabling us to leverage the natural world. Scientific “Knowledge” is hard won and can take years or decades to confirm.

    Are the these new mRNA vaccines (for just the spike protein) safe in the short term? Long term? Truly a game changing technology? Should we attempt to mass vaccinate 8billion people? Or will mass vaccination will create evolutionary pressure for more transmissible or virulent variants or not? Should we vaccinate people who were previously infected? etc. etc.

    I do not have the scientific knowledge to know the provisionally “correct” answers to all the questions about the SARs COV 2 virus and vaccinations and treatment. But I think I can see that that there are many assertions and assumptions being made about what is “true” regarding SARs COV 2, that are not backed by hard won scientific knowledge, tested over time.

    These assertions are being made by scientists, public policy folks, and the mainstream media, in order to move forward under the current circumstances and social pressures. No one really KNOWs these answers. We are in the middle of a giant science (and social) experiment, gathering the data necessary to reach some tentative conclusions, in a few years from now at best. It could be a decade or more before we KNOW the “correct” answers.

    And yet, there is certainly some science on which these consensus views and public policy are based. So today, what is provisionally true, and what is not, with regard to SARs Cov2? Should we mass vaccinate or not? On a personal level, should I get vaccinated even though I have had COVID? I don’t think so to both, but have to admit I am now wading in that epistemological quick sand on these issues. My friends and family have a much easier time of things, just accepting what they are told and taking action based on that. I know that the people in Peru, where the COVID death rate appears to be 9%, would take all the vaccines they could get right now.

    Like

    1. Well said.

      I agree with you that the issues are very complex, we don’t yet know the answers to most of the questions, and we are conducting a giant experiment.

      On the other hand, if a goal is to prevent people getting sick, we know that vitamin D helps with very little cost and zero risk.

      And if a goal is to prevent death or serious illness for those who do get infected, we know Ivermectin helps with very little cost and near zero risk.

      Yet our leaders are not promoting Vitamin D or Ivermectin. So what are their goals? And why should we trust anything they say if they can’t get the basics right?

      Like

      1. My bad. I am churning through too much information these days. The article I saw was in the English? rag “The Sun” quoting 9% of all patients dying, not of infections (IFR). That Sun article is up on the web. It is correct that Peru is currently the leading the world right now in IFR.
        https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-53150808

        O.6% is 4 times worse than the annual flu of about .15. Do they have vitamin D and Ivermectin in Peru? I don’t know. Maybe they really need more vitamin D in general if darker skin native Peruvian ancestral groups now spend far less time outdoors than there ancestors. With my British Isles ancestry, I can get all the vitamin D I need in a day with 1o minutes of summer sunshine on my face. On the other hand, I burn in the tropical sun, or at altitude.

        Like

        1. Correction to above comment.
          IFR in my above comment should be CFR…Case Fatality Rate. CFR is the number of people who have died, divided by the total number of people DIAGNOSED with the disease.
          See how Peru is in fact now at 9%. Mortality Analyses – Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center (jhu.edu) https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality
          The Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) is the number of deaths from a disease divided by the total number of cases/infections. Total number of cases in this calculation is usually estimated from antibodies in population blood samples, etc. This is the much lower figure of 0.6% above.
          How to put all that in perspective? Don’t know. Peru has a total population of about 33Million. 193,909 have died to date.
          And I should not be playing virologist on a web blog. ☹

          Liked by 1 person

  44. Sometimes the explanation for a troubling phenomenon is staring me in the face and yet I cannot see it:

    The #1 advertiser in all media is the pharmaceutical industry.

    For profit news sources are therefore unable to criticize the pharmaceutical industry.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Nice rant from Mac10 today. It seems he’s coming out the closet and is worried about much more than the stock market bubble.

    https://zensecondlife.blogspot.com/2021/07/bullshit-is-driving-global-warming.html

    Bullshit Is Driving Global Warming

    These wildfires and record temperatures across the globe are another widely ignored warning for the days to come. The cost of this delusion will be measured not in dollars, but in carbon units…

    COVID was the wake up call, so the Idiocracy hit the snooze button and went ALL IN risk assets at the end of the longest cycle in U.S. history. Gamblers to the very end.

    The leaders of this denialist paradise are the most corrupt human beings in U.S. history. They’ve profited mightily from the fact that societal moral collapse has been front-running their death spiral of depravity. And who to trust in this human disaster but the same assholes and policies that got us into it in the first place. I predict that the days of accountability are fast arriving for these serial psychopaths.

    We face an epic meltdown not just in markets but in human mental health as well. The self-indulgent consumption lifestyle has left The Lonely Crowd cleaved of any and all meaningful social connection. The end result is mental health breakdown, suicide, and addiction. Rampant selfishness is leading to societal disintegration. THIS is exceptionalism. Guns don’t kill people, psychopaths with guns kill people. What should we resolve the guns or the psychopaths, let’s vote for neither. The right is seduced by this notion that nothing has changed and we can easily revert back to the good old days, if we only had the will to do so. Unfortunately, EVERYTHING has changed. Everything has been denatured over the past decades. Which means that the good old days no longer exist in the current paradigm. We must adapt to survive. We cannot live in a Blade Runner reality soundtracked with country music.

    Adaptation means that less is more. We must no longer strive for competitive self-destruction. And yet, the system demands that we be fed into the same old meat grinder as usual. Today’s super idiots must obey the prime directive. The only vestige that remains of the past is the imperative to recycle proven failure.

    I personally don’t worry about the carbon level anymore because this sequence of events will lead to the sharpest drop off in carbon output in global history. In addition, I don’t concern myself with societal meltdown, because the Deep State has far more weapons and ammunition than their would be adversaries. In summary, I am not paranoid, I am enlightened. Because finally we see the Creator’s Plan coming together.

    And it’s not carbon neutral.

    Like

    1. Seems to me that for the longest time, Mac10 has been often right detecting symptoms of the economic illness, but wrong in the final diagnosis of the disease. His economic model was a traditional one, and assumed – using all his stock and money charts – that there would at some point be reversions to historical means (or below), and the normal business cycle reckonings of recession or depression.

      I have made this same mistake in assuming we might go through one last period of standard business and equity market cycles. Time will tell, but if Limits to Growth BAU scenario is the roughly correct scenario, if Dr. Morgan’s SEEDS model is directionally correct, if environmental and climate models are roughly correct, we are at the end of economic growth as measured by energy and non-energy natural resource flows through the economy. We are also at a point where the waste products of any additional economic activity feedbacks against material growth. (Loss of food supply due to weather pattern changes, for example.)

      Therefore, as Christopher O. Clugston states in his book “Blip,” there will never be another recession (or a depression) as conventionally understood. We are nearing the end of the economic system that began circa 1750, and organized circa 1945 into its current financial and geopolitical structure. Many of the standard assumptions about economics will NOT apply, as those assumptions were mostly devised during the period of economic growth powered by fossil fuels and in particular by oil. Correlations and analogues often used by prognosticators to predict stock market behavior are no longer relevant, if they ever really were. All those charts Mac10 puts up…

      We can only speculate what the end of this system means for equity and bond markets. My guess, just a guess, is that the central governments and central banks continue to create additional liquidity as long as possible, until the current system crashes rather completely. Equity prices remain elevated, bond yields continue to reach historical lows. Until…the system crashes in some way. Material consumption, particularly in the U.S., then resets at a significantly lower level, maybe 20-30% lower. From this lower plateau, we reset financially, socially, and politically in a domestic sense, and geopolitically from a global sense.

      What happens to stocks and bond in this crash? How do money, stocks and bonds function in a world of degrowth? Hard to say.

      Of course, it’s a little small minded of me to worry about stocks and bonds, in a world that is burning and being diminished more every day by industrial consumption and waste. But I was born and raised during The Great Acceleration, and so I am a product of that system. My brain assumes so many things about how the world works, that are probably not true anymore. I suspect only those born on the other side of the great reset, and in the great deceleration, will be able to think differently.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks. It does feel like the next correction will be a big one due to the extreme debt we have used to delay the inevitable. I’d guess a 30-50% drop in our standard of living. If we had acted like adults and accepted reality we could have climbed down more slowly and had a better chance of retaining a civil society and avoiding war. The majority will of course say that no one saw it coming.

        Liked by 2 people

  46. Albert Bates in the past has argued for peak dog. Today he makes the case for peak cat.

    https://peaksurfer.blogspot.com/2021/07/the-great-pause-week-69-one-dark-secret.html

    In the US, dogs and cats consume about a third of the animal-derived food produced. They produce about 30 percent, by mass, of the feces of USAnians (5.6 million tons vs. 19 million tons), and, through their diet, constitute about 25 to 30 percent of the environmental impacts from farm animal production in terms of the use of land, water, fossil fuel, phosphate, and toxic agro-chemicals. Dog and cat foods are responsible for release of between 80 million and 5.8 billion tons of CO2 and CO2-equivalent methane and nitrous oxide, depending on which study you read.

    At the lower end of the estimates, dogs and cats produce more greenhouse gases than 174 separate countries. At the high end of that estimate, pets would be responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions each year than energy-related emissions from the manufacturing of fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, refrigerants, and oil and gas extraction, combined. Twice as much as commercial air travel. Twice as much as cement. More than all the freight trucking. Twice as much as freight maritime transport and cruise ships. More than greenhouse gas emissions from Russia, Africa, or South America. More than any of 197 separate countries. More than Mar-A-Lago.

    If just a quarter of all animal protein used in the food of American pets was human-grade, it would provide the caloric intake average for 5 million USAnians or 50 million Syrians or Venezuelans. Dog diets are estimated to be composed of 33 percent animal protein. Cats need 99 percent. We will explore all these calculations in finer detail in next week’s post.

    The next time you think the perfect gift for your child would be a cuddly little kitten, consider all this. Which would you rather have: songbirds greeting you every morning, a climate your children can live with, or a warm ball of fur to snuggle next to in bed? (It’s a trick question. If you are willing to skin the cat you can have all three).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sorry,
      I was a little unimpressed with Albert Bates screed today. Sure pet ownership is utilizing resources wastefully and that contributes to global warming . . . but it is small potatoes compared to the global warming that is driven by transportation (planes, train and automobiles), a high fat, meat centered diet (that’s us 1st world!), and all the concrete and infrastructure for 8 billion (but probably most of it is for the top 10% economically). Once economic collapse occurs there will be far few “pets”. I went to China 35 years ago to my wife’s ancestral village. Never saw a cat, the only dogs were for eating, and NEVER saw an obese person. China probably has an advantage on us in that they can probably go back more easily to an agrarian lifestyle (if that’s even going to be possible??) than anybody in the U.S./Canada/Western Europe. We need fewer people (with fewer people there will be fewer pets too).
      AJ

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I would completely agree with this socially/culturally, but resource wise they are still in trouble. China has destroyed approx. one third of their arable land to mining (especially for rare earth mining for things like EVs and solar panels). They are one of the few countries willing to get these minerals. They have also lost a lot of top soil in the last few decades due to erosion, flooding, and the gobi dessert expansion. And the population is bigger than ever.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Albert Bates is a long-time resident of The Farm (that’s what it’s called…) in Summertown, Tennessee. The Farm was founded by Stephen Gaskin, who with his wife, Ina May Gaskin (founder of the modern midwifery movement), led a group of hippies from the San Francisco Bay area to Tennessee in the 1970s. Albert was in Mexico when Covid hit, and has been stuck there for the last year and a half. The Farm went through growing pains in the 1980s, but found new life in the sustainable-living Global Ecovillages movement. My wife briefly hung out with the Gaskin crowd before they left the S.F. Bay area. The Farm has a thing against pets – dogs and cats – regarding them as part of the unsustainable Western lifestyle. They have a point – but there are plenty of other things to be more worried about.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. No hopium 😉 – just delusion and denial in service 0f social standing (as James (Megacancer’s back!!) said – humans evolved for 3 primary things, social standing, consumption and reproduction). Gates keeps going after the social standing thing. Wonder if it’s because of the divorce “problems”?
          AJ

          Like

  47. Remember the good ol’ days when the Saudi’s used their huge surplus to buy our debt so we could live beyond our means and buy their oil?

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Huge-Dividend-Cripples-Worlds-Largest-Oil-Company.html

    Huge Dividend Cripples World’s Largest Oil Company

    The transformation of Saudi Arabia’s flagship asset, Aramco, from perpetual cash-generation machine into a debt-laden giant is set to pick up pace in the coming weeks with a series of schemes aimed at raising much-needed funding for the now-beleaguered oil and gas company.

    Like

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