Water is flowing uphill. Why?

El gato malo does more intelligent analysis in a week than the idiots in our governments do in a year.

Today’s analysis suggests Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche was correct in predicting that applying a leaky vaccine effective at preventing sickness in the middle of a pandemic was a very bad idea.


all a virus wants is to replicate. “make a copy of me and pass it on.” that’s the biological imperative of the selfish gene. excel at it, you win. fail, you disappear. simple as that.

killing or harming the host is maladaptive to viral spread. it’s like burning down your own house with your car in the garage. now you have nowhere to live and no way to get around. that’s not a recipe for reproductive fitness.

so viruses evolve to become less, not more virulent. they do not want to kill you. ideally, they’d like to help you. figure out how to be a useful symbiote, and you get a huge boost in propagation. (mitochondria were probably bacteria that were so useful, all our cells incorporated them.)

so seeing case fatality rate (CFR) rise in a variant of a virus is like watching water flow uphill. it’s not supposed to do that and when it does, you need to suspect some external force acting on it.

and we’re seeing water flow uphill here.

Key points:

  • Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is rising for Delta and is probably not caused by Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE) or Original Antigenic Sin (OAS) because CFR is rising in both vaccinated and unvaccinated, and is not rising in previously infected, and Vaccine Efficacy (VE) for deaths remains good.
  • The most probable explanation is Vaccine Mediated Evolution (VME) in which a leaky vaccine that keeps the host healthy causes the virus to evolve to a more deadly variant.
  • Vaccine Efficacy (VE) on spread is negative (bad) because infected people don’t know they’re infected which accelerates spread.
  • Everyone is harmed but unvaccinated are worse off creating the illusion that the vaccines are a good idea.

it’s just simple math. if we do something to one group that makes their death rate rise from 1 to 2 per 100 but that also makes the death rate in another group rise from 1 to 4 per 100, that looks like a VE of 50%. in reality, it’s killing 100% more vaxxed people and 300% more of the unvaxxed.

mistaking that gas pedal for the brake and pushing ever harder when you fail to slow would represent an accelerating disaster curve.

I like that el gato malo seeks to prove himself wrong. That’s a strong signal for someone with integrity and intelligence that we should trust.

it’s still, or course, possible that i’m wrong, but this is looking more and more like it has to be the answer. i can find nothing else fits the facts and the facts themselves are weird enough that “it’s just normal” does not look like a satisfying explanation either and we have enough features here that we can really start testing our puzzle pieces. this one aligns in an AWFUL lot of places.

for something this odd to happen, it takes a truly uncommon exogenous stressor.

i’m just not seeing what else it could be than vaccine mediated selection for hotter variants driving pernicious delta evolution.

so, i’m putting this out to you all to see if you can find some other explanation for what’s going on that fits these facts.

looking forward to the peer review as, honestly, i hope i’m wrong here. this is not an outcome that anyone wants. it’s the nightmare scenario both as a pandemic and as a political horror in the making as if this was an “own-goal”, what would the experts and politicians that pushed this plan not be willing to do to avoid accepting the blame?

because this is career or pharma franchise polonium, and that’s if you’re lucky.

I also very much like that el gato malo does not subscribe to crazy conspiracies that lack evidence. I would of course augment el gato malo’s explanation by including an element of genetic reality denial in our leaders.

“But what is the end game if purposefully designed this way?”

i don’t think it was. i think these fools really thought mRNA and adenovirus carrier vaccines would be sterilizing.

they pushed them as herd immunity.

having it all fall apart cornered them but by the time they knew it, they were “pot committed” and had already vaxxed 100’s of millions of people.

this has been this shiny tech they have been trying to make work (and recoup money on) for decades and failing over and over.

i doubt this was deliberate. it was just stunningly arrogant and reckless.

So now the million dollar question:

Assuming a better explanation does not emerge, what should an unvaccinated person do?

Prioritizing self-preservation this analysis suggests one should either:

  • get vaccinated, or
  • acquire natural immunity by deliberately getting infected before the variants become more deadly, and apply early treatment protocols to maximize the probability of a successful recovery.

Choosing to get vaccinated makes the most sense if:

  • you are in a high risk group (old or obese)
  • you do not care about worsening the overall outcome for both vaccinated and unvaccinated.

Choosing natural immunity makes the most sense if:

  • you are in a low risk group
  • you are concerned about the yet to be established long term health effects of the novel vaccines
  • you want to be a good citizen and do what is best for everyone.

I’m old but not obese which makes the choice difficult.

I’m going to watch the data and hope for a better explanation to emerge for a while longer before making a decision.

You can’t make this shit up: observe that our “leaders” are pushing hard in exactly the opposite direction of what wise leaders would do if this VME hypothesis is correct:

  • stop further vaccination of low risk people
  • start collecting the data necessary to prove or disprove this hypothesis
  • promote healthy immune systems (vitamin D, weight loss, etc.)
  • aggressively evaluate and deploy promising early treatment protocols (Ivermectin etc.)
  • aggressively investigate root causes and modify policies to prevent a recurrence.

One more observation to make you admire our “leaders” even less:

the same NIH that was funding the GoF research in wuhan miraculously had the viral code to drop into the moderna mRNA vaccine in under 2 weeks.

that always smelled like a sushi bar dumpster.


17-Oct-2021 Addition

In a paper today, Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche argues that boosters will probably boost the virulence of Delta rather than long term protection from severe disease.

Israel is misreading their booster results by only tracking booster effectiveness for 12 days.


17-Oct-2021 Addition

El gato malo reviewed new UK data today which supports his Vaccine Mediated Evolution (VME) hypothesis.

Rate of cases down 30% from a year ago. CFR up 3x since June.

getting 50% protection from a tripling in virulence caused by the vaccines is still a net loser for the vaccinated. and it’s savage for the unvaccinated. everyone loses. and this evolution is ongoing.

establishing what is going on here should be the all hands on deck mission of global public health right now.

none of us want to be living in the world where we leaky-vaxxed ourselves into a second pandemic by reversing the evolution of one that was about to go endemic and harmless.

that’s a terrible place to be.

but if that IS where we are, we need to know, and we need to know right now.


I keep searching for a rational reason for the obsession with 100% vaccination, other than assuming every health official in every country of the world is corrupt, because that seems improbable.

What if they’re aware of the Vaccine Mediated Evolution (VME) trend and know that their mistake of vaccinating more than the high risk with a leaky vaccine will kill many more unvaccinated than vaccinated?

They can’t disclose the real reason for the push for 100% because they would lose their credibility and jobs.

This would also explain why they’re so willing to accept possible long term vaccine side effects in low risk children.

It’s analogous to continuing to print money long after it no longer provides a net benefit, because you know if you stop many will be harmed on your watch, and if you continue, many more may be harmed in the future, but it will be on someone else’s watch, and maybe someone will think of something by then.

210 thoughts on “Water is flowing uphill. Why?”

  1. Dr. Bossche on the same topic today.


    Keep asking the wrong questions and we’ll never tame this pandemic

    Experts, Public Health authorities and politicians are all the time asking the wrong questions.

    Questions like: “Who shed more, the vaccinated or unvaccinated?” or “Who is better protected, the vaccinated or the unvaccinated?” are simply completely irrelevant when it comes to understanding the real challenge posed by this pandemic. Everyone should know by now that ALL of us could shed ‘more’ or ‘less’ virus than anyone else or could be ‘more’ or ‘less’ susceptible than anyone else, regardless of our vaccination status.

    So, what are then the right questions to ask?

    The right questions ‘they’ should be asking themselves is: “How can we impact viral infection/ transmission in ways that dramatically and durably reduce overall viral spread of more infectious Sars-CoV-2 variants in the population (i.e., in all of us)?” and “How can we impact host immunity in ways that dramatically and durably increase overall protection against disease in the population (i.e., in all of us)?”

    The answer to both questions is actually rather straightforward and simply based on common sense:

    Population-level viral spread in highly vaccinated populations could dramatically and durably be reduced by massive antiviral chemoprophylaxis of all healthy individuals, subsequently followed by enrichment of these populations with healthy, unvaccinated individuals (hence why we will need a baby boom and encourage the influx of young & healthy unvaccinated immigrants).

    Population-level immune pressure in highly vaccinated populations could dramatically and durably be reduced by massive early treatment of all individuals contracting Covid-19 disease, which would (automatically) be followed by long-lived acquired immune protection.

    Both of the above proposals will effectively contribute to building herd immunity, which is the one and only solution to tame a pandemic. Or are the stakeholders of the current mass vaccination program still convinced that – contrary to all scientific evidence – it is mass vaccination that will ultimately end up generating herd immunity and that the virus will spontaneously tone down its virulence, regardless of all immune and infectious pressure currently exerted by the increasingly vaccinated and virus-exposed population, respectively?

    As the original pandemic is now more and more evolving towards a pandemic of more infectious Sars-CoV-2 variants, we have no choice but to immediately implement a pancontinental intervention with broadly effective antivirals and early multi-drug treatment. Given the enhanced evolutionary context of this pandemic, there is no longer any place for non-sterilizing vaccines, let alone for using such vaccines in mass vaccination campaigns.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry as a educated and trained biologist (my first career was biotech/Big Pharma – later I made the mistake of going to law skool). I am not getting something.

      “all a virus wants is to replicate. “make a copy of me and pass it on.” that’s the biological imperative of the selfish gene. excel at it, you win. fail, you disappear. simple as that.

      killing or harming the host is maladaptive to viral spread. it’s like burning down your own house with your car in the garage. now you have nowhere to live and no way to get around. that’s not a recipe for reproductive fitness.”

      AND evolution is a random process of mutation of a genome (right?).
      “The most probable explanation is Vaccine Mediated Evolution (VME) in which a leaky vaccine that keeps the host healthy causes the virus to evolve to a more deadly variant.”

      Wouldn’t random evolution cause both less virulent variants AND more virulent variants? And then those variants “that burn the house down” fail??

      I’m not getting something (maybe it’s just old brain syndrome??)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. People over simplify how bacteria and viruses evolve and then get ‘unexplainable’ results. The little buggers are clever and complex in how they test ideas, communicate and share information with each other. Here’s a consideration: viruses also need people to get sick enough to go out and spread viral loads – so coughing, sneezing etc. If the host has a very poor (or very strong) immune system, they could still die. If the virus has already spread to 10 people by the time the old host dies, why would they care? Another thought, if a virus gets rid of unhealthy and old animals from the host herd, they are optimizing the longevity of the host herd which would help the virus in the long-run too. It will be way more complex in real life than we can explain in a short blog. And we shouldn’t oversimplify viruses just because they are very small

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Good question AJ. Unlike you I’m not a biologist so my electrical engineering speculation may be wrong.

        I think you’re correct that both more virulent and less virulent variants will result from a leaky vaccine.

        If the vaccine is somewhat effective but not perfect at preventing spread, then there will be pressure on the virus to evolve more virulence.

        If the vaccine also does a good but not perfect job of reducing sickness and death, then more of the virulent variants will survive to kill more of the most vulnerable or unlucky vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

        I’m also wondering (but don’t recall Bossche or el gato malo saying this) if those variants that evolve to make the host a little sick, so that coughs & sneezes help spread it, will outcompete those that don’t, and this also will tend to kill more of the most vulnerable and unlucky.


    2. “. . . subsequently followed by enrichment of these populations with healthy, unvaccinated individuals (hence why we will need a baby boom and encourage the influx of young & healthy unvaccinated immigrants).”

      What the hell? No, we don’t need a baby boom and and an influx of “young & healthy” unvaccinated immigrants. That is insane overshoot bullshit-talk. The first part of his first proposal (massive antiviral chemoprophylaxis) and his second proposal of massive early treatment are on point and well-taken.

      Rob, you’re suggestion of intentional infection as long as it’s combined with prophylaxis and immediate early treatment protocols and current/future good health and lifestyle is thought-provoking. How could one intentionally infect oneself with the lowest viral dose/load possible, or at least the lowest dose needed to cause an infection which will provide durable immunity? Because if you fuck that up (i.e. inadvertently get a large viral dose/load) you could be in big trouble (potential for breathing/O2 concerns, chronic fatigue, Long COVID, death, etc.).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good grief I’m reading too fast these days. Bossche tends to repeat the same message over and over so I read the intro and conclusion but missed his new idea calling for an inflow of unvaccinated people.

        I have a hunch he’s not proposing we increase the population. Rather he may be hinting that we should expect an unavoidable die-off in the highly vaccinated and obese rich countries, and that to rebuild their economies they will need immigrants from the less vaccinated poor countries.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I understand. There’s so much important content on a bunch of essential topics to read and process right now as overshoot is picking up steam. Thanks for clarifying and you’re probably right about Bossche’s thought process as regards recouping population if rapid die-off does occur.


      2. With respect to intentional infection, I don’t know what is the best method, I just started thinking about this after wondering what I should do if el gato malo is correct.

        I suppose it might involve nothing more than exposure to lots of different people in not too dense situations, with not too little movement of fresh air, for not too long a duration. Maybe like hanging out at the mall. Attending choir practice in a small church might be a bad idea.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Meanwhile, other disasters we’ve caused continue with less social media awareness…


    The American Bumblebee Has Vanished From Eight States

    In two decades, the insect’s population has declined by nearly 90 percent due to a combination of threats, including habitat loss, pesticides and diseases

    The American bumblebee (Bombus pensylvanicus)—once abundant and found lazily floating around in grasslands, open prairies, and some urban areas throughout the United States—now face a rapidly declining population.

    According to a proposed rule released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the species’ population has dropped nearly 90 percent and could qualify for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Independent’s Graeme Massie reports. Despite dwindling population numbers, the American bumblebee is not protected in any state or by federal law.

    American bumblebees are a vital pollinator for wildflowers and crops, and their decline could have severe consequences for the environment. The species has completely vanished from eight states, including Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Idaho, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Oregon, Ben Turner reports for Live Science. The bumblebee species have declined by 99 percent in New York. In the Midwest and Southeast, population numbers have dropped by more than 50 percent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In Memoriam of the Victims From the the Sixth Extinction. To the ones we lost, you’ll always be a part of the Walking Dead, I mean Planet Earth Family.


      Liked by 2 people

    2. I live in northern NH and can tell you bumblebees are here and happy. We had a large nest under our porch all summer.
      I see them on the wildflowers in our farm fields. So all is not lost. They are fun to watch this time of year landing on the fall asters.


  3. On another note entirely. What has happened to Albert Bates??? https://peaksurfer.blogspot.com/

    He used to be uniformly depressing – he saw extreme overshoot, climate change catastrophe and a collapse of industrial civilization around the corner.

    Now he has gone all techno “green” stuff will save us?? Fake food, electric cars/ride sharing apps for all?

    Is this just denial?

    Liked by 2 people

        1. We might differ on this. I think climate change is so serious that no one should be flying, especially green people who should know better. A person does have to make a living. Permaculture teaches that it’s possible to have a profitable farm will few inputs so why not make a living applying your knowledge to set an example, and then teach the locals to do the same? Maybe he’s already doing that, I don’t know, but he shouldn’t be flying.

          Liked by 3 people

            1. I have studied permaculture, and taken a small scale organic farm course, and have worked on several organic farms. I think permaculture’s claims exceed what is possible in most situations. You can make more money teaching it than farming it.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Permaculture is a scam that, like the mainstream religions, provides a quick and easy solution, which of course is wrong.

                For people that are thinking about paying $5000 for a weekend to learn permaculture – why don’t you ask any old person from a traditional community and you will learn the same techniques but with more realistic hopes.

                In my case, I compared permaculture with the traditional gardening/homesteading in Eastern Europe and everything is there: combining trees with gardens and animals, care of the earth, natural pest removal etc.

                And the methods they used in EE are proven over thousands of years.

                And when I see people (like the person above in this blog) saying: “at least he’s doing some good”, I know that permaculture is yet another cult, like the cult of Greta or Musk.
                I remember the old people saying “do what the priest says, not what the priest does” – I always hated that!

                If a person does not walk their talk, they are not doing good. In fact, they are quite evil and they will turn away many people like me.

                Liked by 5 people

          1. Albert was holed up in the Yucatan for the last year and a half because of covid. Hard to tell from his posts if he’s gotten out. If he has, good for him, but EV-utopia won’t solve our problems.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I’m not sure in the grand scheme of things that it matters, tho I agree in principle it is better not to fly. But maybe I’m just virtue signaling.


            1. It’s an open question. A good argument can be made that positive feedback loops beyond our control have taken over. You can also argue that we can still act to make a bad situation less bad. I favor the latter because it also keeps some fossil energy in the ground for the grandchildren.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. It’s not an open question Rob.
                Forget about the physical impact of flying/not flying.
                The important thing is that people that pretend to care about the Earth and say “we have to reduce our footprint” and then fly everywhere (or worse, take a private jet to a CC conference) – those people convince billions of regular humans that they are lying and AGW is either a scam or real but not important.

                Again, think about Greta – a children of privilege, making millions of dollars, in bed with the most corrupt and evil psychopaths. But she is making the right mouth noises, isn’t that something?
                No, because most people are smart enough to look at her actions not her lying words.

                Out of 8 billion hairless monkeys, I know many millions that pretend to be “green” but exactly one that walk his talk – that is John Michael Greer.
                As for me – I am too cynical at this point to even try.

                Liked by 5 people

                1. I am under the impression that Greta is a good person trying to do the right thing, but is young and hasn’t yet figured out that economic contraction and population reduction are the only good paths forward. Can you point me to something that shows she’s corrupt?

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. That’s another proof of how well propaganda is working.
                    I could point you to investigative journalists that show that Greta is a PR scam designed from the ground up by corporations (for example “The Making of Greta Thunberg”).

                    But here is the thing: why do I need to do that? Are you stupid?
                    Just look at her actions and stop being an emotional monkey (oh, she is just a cute kid!). She flies all over the world and is treated like royalty by the psychopaths in charge. She is the media’s darling. Germany does not allow any protests against Covid policies but they allowed and supported a big Greta protest.
                    And aside from the mouth music, what did she actually do? And if you think that at this point what people are saying is what matters, you might as well join the fundamentalists in the bible belt (saved by words) and assume that a serial killer that confesses before the electric chair will go to heaven while an innocent murdered kid will go to hell because he did not know Jesus.

                    I could go on, but again – if you are brainwashed is useless. Just try to put your least favorite politician in her place, doing and saying the same things and see if you feel the same about her.

                    Liked by 3 people

                    1. NomadicBeer As far as I know, Greta has never flown anywhere, as least not since she became climate aware. She took a sailing yacht to get to the USA once, and the rest of her time she’s been in Europe, where it’s easy to take the train.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. There were some critics that pointed out Greta’s sailing trip burned more carbon than a flight, but I think she had good intentions and does not yet understand thermodynamics of the economy, but neither do most climate scientists with PhD’s.

                      Liked by 3 people

              2. Guess I’ll have to learn how to fly an ultralight or sail to the Galápagos Islands if I want to see the mating ritual of the Blue Footed Booby, lest I earn the undying enmity of Nomadic Beer.

                Liked by 1 person

    1. Guess we’ll have to search someplace else for for our daily dose of Doom. I’m sure there’s someone out there who can deliver the goods straight up with no sugar. It’s kinda like when a comedian loses his touch and stops being funny – ya just gotta move on. Turn the channel.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Good God. In Asia, the spot price for LNG measured in a million BTU went from less than $5.00 in September 2020 to more than $56.00 this October. Dramatic.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How do you explain the Delta variant being discovered in October 2020 and the first vaccines were rolled out in December 2020?


    1. I’m not sure but it sounds like a good question to ask el gato malo on his blog. He’s pretty good at answering important questions. If I had to guess I’d say “Delta” is not a static genetic sequence but rather a strain of the virus that emerged in late 2020 and has been evolving over time in a certain direction.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, I’ll ask El Gato Malo. I thought for a long time that the vaccines caused the Delta variant until I looked at the timeline. Vaccines causing Delta makes sense but the timeline doesn’t look good for that theory.


        1. We would get variants with or without a vaccine. How the variants continue to evolve under the pressure of vaccines is what you’d look for. Delta was less deadly than original COVID when it emerged

          Liked by 2 people

    2. Also scientists have been researching vaccines for coronaviruses for a long time, especially since 2003 after the SARS outbreak. The covid19 vaccines were not brand new in early 2020.


  6. It’s remarkable how divergent world views can be among people who study our overshoot predicament. Tim Watkins believes we have 50 years of oil and gas left at our current rate of consumption. I think that’s wildly optimistic. I expect we’ll be consuming at least 30% less by 2030. There’s a huge difference in how we should respond to a 10 vs. 50 year threat.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. The problem is mixing up oil and gas, and maybe converting gas and coal into barrel of oil equivalents. If there’s only 40 years left of oil, how can we get the 100+ years worth of coal and gas?? If you added oil, gas and coal reserves together and averaged it you’d get a more optimistic picture of the future. I do think humans will continue to mine and burn accessible coal well into the future, but oil and gas are some time in the coming decades. At least I’m young enough to wait and see if I’m right hahaha

      Liked by 2 people

    2. … but further down in the same piece, he writes:

      “While we may have a theoretical 50 years or so of oil and gas available to us then, there is good reason to believe that in reality we will be lucky to have even half of this. Indeed, with oil production already falling, and given that producing gas relies heavily on oil-powered machinery, we may be lucky if we have more than a decade of gas available to us.”

      Converging with your estimate.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. el gato malo went on a rant today about employers requiring vaccination.


    I left this comment on his blog:

    We might have more success at shifting the needle if we toned it down a little and focused on the key issues.

    If the vaccines were proven safe after long term testing, and if they were sterilizing and did not promote VME, then it would make sense to encourage everyone to be vaccinated.

    But our reality is:

    1) The vaccines are effective in the short term at reducing sickness.

    2) Your analysis suggests the leaky vaccines may soon make things much worse for both vaccinated and unvaccinated, and this outweighs 1).

    3) We don’t yet know if there are any long term negative effects on health but there are some worrying signals that advise caution.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow.

      It feels like we have finally reached growth limits and begun energy descent and degrowth. Or collapse.

      And not just because of this article from Antonio Turiel on possible peak coal and gas.

      You can now read the daily mainstream headlines now and pretty much get your limits to growth and collapse news.

      So Peak oil in 2018, peak Coal and Gas now.


      COVID did result in something like a 9% drop in oil production. Therefore I assume there was a commensurate drop in extraction of other natural resources from resource stocks, including gas and coal. I have not checked in a while, but I think we are still 3-4% below pre-COVID oil production levels. The FLOW of natural resources through the economy must still be reduced however.

      So the price spikes in coal and gas might be from the loss of marginal supply in these markets.

      Might be. Can POST COVID oil production climb back to pre-COVID levels? Time will tell. My guess is no, but the resiliency of this fossil fuel powered system has been surprising.

      My guess is the actions taken be governments to paper over COVID with money might have begun the puncturing of credit bubble and fiat money illusion, and this is the beginning of the end of pulling future consumption forward through massive increases in debt. Without massive debt and valued fiat currencies, demand will drop, and then supply. (Or is it supply drops, then demand? Energy stocks like oil create provide the net energy to leverage human labor to extract natural resources and ultimately produce income for spending, that drives demand for more oil. A kind of virtuous feedback loop. Decreasing oil production becomes a negative feedback loop, decreasing income and demand, decreasing supply.)

      Maybe preventing collapse is why governments are so eager to vaccinate everyone with non-sterilizing vaccines in the middle of a pandemic. If they can just get this thermodynamic engine back up to its previous fuel burn rate everything will be ok…………


      1. Prudent of you to balance your remarks with the caveat that the price spikes might be a result of marginal supplies in these markets. Time will tell.


      2. We have created a big mess! The self-organised system is ready to collapse:

        The attempt to create a new, lower equilibrium (lower fuel burn rates, adapted to thermodynamic realities) with the support of “Covid-Measures” (Lockdowns and so on), is going to lead to unintended and chaotic feed back loops which will finally collapse the fragil system of industrial cicvilisation.
        I assume, this is the engame, the seneca cliff!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting comments on China by Jimothy.


    I’ve been to China a few times, and I speak Chinese. Yes, I think that the energy issues are real. I know people over there and I’ve seen videos I think are authentic of the outages.

    It’s absolutely stunning how much volume there is in China. The population, economy, etc are so massive, and unlike places like India, well developed. It is also extremely chaotic.

    The biggest danger in China is the lies people tell themselves, and each other. For instance, officials get promoted based on economic growth. So you have a township mayor who is incentivized to inflate his town’s economic metrics. Then the county official takes that number, and others, adds them up and inflates it further. This goes on at every level until you get to the national level, at which point no one knows anything because of all the obfuscation.

    This goes on in the power sector too, I think. All sorts of things are obfuscated including prices needed to keep running, as well as stockpiles of coal, availability of wind and solar power, etc.

    So when a crisis like this emerges a lot of things fail at once with little advance notice, and anyone who knows anything either goes to ground or gets arrested, worsening the situation.

    As we reach limits it seems that there’s a weird break that goes on between what consumers can afford and what producers need. Gail, of course, has written on this extensively. That is what is happening with coal in China and is happening everywhere with various things. The government orders coal plants to operate at a loss but without any financial bailout. They have to go bankrupt, or do things like “close for maintenance”.

    I see this happening in the US. In a way the labor shortages are a reflection of that. Workers need society to pay them more (mandates aside) but there isn’t energy in the form of wages to spare. It’s happening with paramedics, teachers, low wage laborers, etc.

    I think governments can’t really bail out the energy sector going forward anyway. It either involves taxes or money printing of some sort.

    Ultimately I think energy has peaked in China. That they are importing coal from Kazakhstan to Zhejiang province is VERY bad. It would be like shipping coal from Alaska to the South. The coal they have left in China tends to be dirtier and wetter (less energy intense) than before, so more tons must be mined than before to maintain output, let alone grow.

    Also, as one last aside, it’s been ten years since the solar craze in China really took off. I imagine those panels are nearing the end of their lives. Not that they do much, but still. And yes, I know panels should last for 30 years but these were poorly made and have been exposed to an awful lot of pollution.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Good find Rob. A lot of bad things happen in the absence of trust.

      I always felt queasy about the prolific use of phony receipts by the Chinese. There is a cottage industry of black market forged receipts over there costing the Chinese state billions in lost tax revenues. My concern was that this practice might metastasize to the West as our markets became more fully integrated.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pride goeth before the fall & the bigger the ego the harder the fall. The Chinese are shooting themselves in the foot with their ban on Australian coal. Just read that India is scooping up Australian coal stranded in Chinese ports at a significant discount.


  10. Anyone out there able to confirm or disprove these claims by Karl Denninger? I’ve already put the same question to el gato malo.


    Unfortunately what this means is that now for anyone over 30 you are more likely to get infected, yes, adjusted for the population that is vaccinated, if you are vaccinated. Indeed in the 40-49 age group you’re close to double as probable on a per-population basis.

    This means that if your employer mandates the jabs he or she can be sued for putting those who can’t get vaccinated at double the risk, on purpose, by enforcing the mandate.

    Since there are people who can’t (due to immune compromise, such as cancer patients) be vaccinated this is now intentional risk.

    In other words this is hard, scientific evidence that these mandates by employers have increased the risk of customers (and other employees) contracting Covid-19. This isn’t a natural risk (which an employer is not responsible for) it’s a man-made one created by the employer.

    That’s actionable.

    So far this is not translating into higher risk of Covid hospitalization and death on a per-100,000 basis. But that the vaccine makes you more likely to both get and give to others the virus is now established. It is fact. It is in fact true for everyone who is over 30.

    I have pointed out that preventing infection was never in the cards; it was not part of the EUA, it was not part of the studies, it was never demonstrated. But this is much worse because now we are talking about a direct threat to others.

    The CDC, NIH and Biden almost-certainly know this.


  11. Rob, this writer is amazing. I’m reading through all his posts. Who is he? Where did you find him? (I’m assuming it’s a he, of course it could be otherwise)


    1. I assume you’re referring to el gato malo and not Denninger.

      I agree. A reader here pointed me to el gato malo a little while ago.

      I don’t know much about him/her other than he was banned on Twitter earlier this year. I’m guessing that he is employed in some senior technical role in the pharmaceutical industry and thus hides his identity. He seems really bright and knowledgeable and has a libertarian political orientation.

      He’s quickly become my favorite source for covid trends because he does regular original analysis on source data, and he seems to be only motivated by determining what is true based on evidence.


      1. What do you make of his moniker- el gato malo – as in “bad cat”? Perhaps he’s trying to communicate that his state of mind isn’t good? Or he’s a bad ass? A rebel? I dunno, I haven’t read any of his stuff and probably won’t.


    1. As far as the trust issue goes, I think the “ALL you Need to Know” might be a give away. Run for the hills and stay away from this dude.


        1. Nope, can’t say as I have. Maybe I jumped the gun and he’s the real deal. I based my judgement on the inclusion of the word “All” in the title. I’m generally suspicious/critical of papers or books that make grandiose claims. Our knowledge of the science surrounding COVID is not static, new information is coming out all the time so I think it’s hubristic and probably wrong to make such a claim as to knowing it all about vaccine safety.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. I’ve read Steve’s work before and have seen him interviewed. This slide deck presentation is intended as a summary of his research and is not to be taken as comprehensive. Steve is the guy who presented concerns to the FDA recently. I had trouble finding the video of the FDA hearing but I think it’s reposted here: https://citizenfreepress.com/column-1/bombshell-testimony-from-doctors-at-fda-vaccine-booster-hearing/

          I’ve followed his work on and off and think he is well intentioned. Maybe he is mistaken, but he also has put his money where his mouth is with a $1M prize for a research project. https://www.skirsch.io/vaccine-resources/

          He has rejoindered to most “fact checkers” and rebuttals of his work that I can find. To the best of my knowledge he’s on the right track.


          1. Thanks kindly for the recommendation. I’ll pay attention to him. My one exposure via the Malone/Weinstein interview made me think he was an asshole but I don’t recall any reasons to question his competence.


    2. Just first links that suggest that one should approach it at least “sceptically”…
      As I already said I don’t engage in COVID discussions any longer as the amount of stuff one has to go through is many times bigger than one can absorb.

      Anyway – you can probably find hundreds if not thousands documents that at first sight look legitimatelly.
      I don’t want to read through that all and spend hours to validate it.
      And I think COVID is amazing opportunity for anti-vaxxers of all kinds to produce disinformation and they are eager to “fight for their cause” without any incentives.
      I just don’t believe that goverments manipulate statisics and millions of healthcare employees are part of conspiracy.

      And one anecdotal thing – when I skim-read it, page 15 took my notice. Using claims of some Ozzie cup as a “medical proof” is very funny 🙂 …


      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is very hard to sift wheat from chaff on Covid. I tend to rely on the integrity of the source these days. That’s why I asked someone to vouch for Kirsch.

        Your second link reminded me that I saw Kirsch in an interview with Malone and Weinstein. He’s a prick. Thanks for your help.


        1. I’d recommend you at least check out his FDA testimony. Also listen to the speaker before him who had the opposite concern – about lack of data. I’m relatively comfortable in 3 elements I consider factual, leading to two conclusions – one I consider strong, and the other weaker:

          I have a high degree of confidence that COVID diagnoses and cause of death have been over counted by a statistically significant margin.
          I have a high degree of confidence that the VAERS system indicates the vaccines have more risk than prior vaccines
          I have a high degree of confidence that the VAERS system underreports adverse effects, including deaths


          The public is accepting a weaker standard for COVID caused deaths than vaccine caused adverse reactions, since both have a significant problem with correlation vs causation.
          It would not surprise me at all if the vaccines are both dangerous enough and weak enough that they should be regulated to only high risk people from a standpoint of traditional medical ethics and risk management.


          1. I agree with all 3 of your points.

            el gato malo has persuasively argued VAERS grossly under reports adverse reactions.

            It might be reasonable to accept these health risks if there were compensating benefits, like a clear path to herd immunity. But evidence is mounting that the vaccines are reducing herd immunity by promoting VME. You can’t make this shit up. It boggles my mind that our leaders can be so reckless and incompetent. Every day I ask myself, am I crazy?, what am I missing?


  12. Motherf***er this young woman Whitney Webb made my head spin.

    She’s bright and articulate and rattles off hundreds of conspiracies underway without taking a breath.

    As always there are nuggets of truth mixed with crazy/improbable stuff combined with ignorance/denial of our overshoot predicament.

    Something I think a lot about when trying to understand world events is:

    If I was a powerful person at the top of the sand castle, well connected and respected, with honest and good intentions, and I was aware of the overshoot issues I discuss here, and the universal aggressive denial of those issues, what would I do to try to reduce the suffering and chaos I saw on the horizon?

    Might explain some of the weird things we are seeing.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? And your question to ponder is a good one. It doesn’t surprise me that there would be a group of “global elites” trying to forestall our crisis. My gut reaction is that these same folks are highly likely to overestimate the power of technology as a blindspot.

      I have to admit I may underestimate the power of social control and intelligence/collusion. I’ve always been skeptical of conspiracy. But if it’s true this is a blindspot of mine I would predict that many “free thinkers” in the collapse space may share this blind spot. Those who have already shucked many common delusions may conclude it is easier for others to do so than is really possible – with the implication it may be easier to fool the masses on purpose. I’d also admit my attention tends to be narrowly focused on a few issues and I haven’t dedicated time to much of this sphere of concerns.


      1. You might be right. Many a smart person has criticized me for being blind to obvious conspiracies.

        Back to my question about what a good intentioned powerful person might do, I can think of many examples that can be seen in a different light.

        For example, digital currencies are viewed as bad because they are a means for the state to control citizens. A positive way to view digital currencies is that simple mathematics will soon cause monetary systems to explode resulting in a breakdown of civil society, unless a means can be found to implement negative interest rates, but that’s not possible unless we replace cash with a digital currency.

        Another example, with energy constraining real growth, we are forced to continue to inflate assets to prevent an economic collapse. But with high asset prices most citizens will be unable to afford a house. Therefore get people prepared by starting a meme that we will own nothing and be happy.

        Another example, Cheney’s invasion of Iraq can be rethought in the context of peak oil at that point in history.


  13. Censorship in general make me cringe but this instance of silencing is particularly cringeworthy. In the “Collapse of Complex Societies” J. Tainter mentions that numeracy and literary decline as societies start unraveling. In other words the educational systems deteriorates. QED – Geophysicist Dorian Abbot was disinvited from giving a climate lecture at MIT. MIT for f…s sake. Not some back water liberal arts college that no one has heard about but MIT. You can read about it in The Atlantic.


    “Following a Twitter outcry, a scientist was stopped from giving a lecture at MIT for reasons that had nothing to do with the lecture itself.
    Dorian Abbot is a geophysicist at the University of Chicago. In recognition of his research on climate change, MIT invited him to deliver the John Carlson Lecture, which takes place every year at a large venue in the Boston area and is meant to “communicate exciting new results in climate science to the general public.”

    Then the campaign to cancel Abbot’s lecture began. On Twitter, some students and professors called on the university to retract its invitation. And, sure enough, MIT buckled, becoming yet another major institution in American life to demonstrate that the commitment to free speech it trumpets on its website evaporates the moment some loud voices on social media call for a speaker’s head.

    But there is more to this story than meets the eye. For although most outlets have covered Abbot’s disinvitation as but the latest example of an illiberal culture on campus, it is qualitatively different from other recent instances in which invitations have been rescinded—and suggests that the scope of censorship is continuing to morph and expand.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s another troubling issue going on in universities. They seem to be dumbing down their curriculums. I had to take 11 advanced mathematics courses over 5 years for my B.A.Sc. degree. Today they make you take 3 math courses over 4 years for the same degree. It was the math courses that weeded out weak people.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. In Germany, the whole school system – including academia – is getting dumber and dumber. My mother was a school teacher in the 60s and after a longer break resumed the job in the 90s. The difficulty of here old material from the 60s was so high that it only be used in higher grades than the foreseen grade.

        In addition, when I started my Biology studies at the University around twenty years ago, I was astonished about the stupidity of the majority of students. There were preparatory courses at the university, as there was low trust in the high school diploma. We had also a few exams to weed out the chaff (Math, Chemistry and Physics) but it was not nearly enough. When I graduated with my PhD, I was completely disillusioned about the quality of academia, especially in comparison to what I was told by my mother about the challenges, students had to face only 30 years earlier.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Universities have become factories churning out degrees that everyone thinks they are entitled to so they can enjoy an affluent lifestyle.

          All levels of the school system now seem to avoid failing someone for a lack of competence.

          Many of these incompetent people with degrees seem to end up running our governments.

          Not a good trend.


          1. Advanced education’s become a halfway house for the unemployable, not a vocation of superior and curious minds. Today’s students sense of self worth is inversely proportionate to their actual worth & many of them think it’s perfectly acceptable to approach and petition the professor if dissatisfied with their grade. That never happened in my day.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. I agree, the quantity of university degrees is way more important than the quality. I would say that this problem is already bad in some of the natural sciences. Biology seems to be the worst in the bunch because it is the easiest to achieve a university degree (at least from my own experience). The awakening comes after you graduate as every second open job position is some kind of sales job (e.g. pharmaceutical representative). There, you compete as a Biologist with a PhD with people, who most of the time did not visit a university at all (like PTAs).

            It is even worth in the humanities . I once read about a woman with a PhD in gender studies who was at the unemployment center in Germany. They offered her a job position as a strawberry picker, because her university degree was basically useless outside of academia.

            Meanwhile, you hear all the time in the media, that skilled workers are missing everywhere (e.g. truck drivers, electricians, healthcare professionals…). Craftsmen can choose their customers due to extrem high demand.
            Since most of the Germans don´t want to do any physically strenuous labor (for low pay), we then import workers from other countries to do the dirty work for cheap (e.g. construction is mainly Eastern Europeans or Turks, healthcare workers from South East Asia and Eastern Europe, etc.)

            How can a system like that work over a longer timeframe? From my point of view, this is doomed to fail due to having too many useless graduates, not enough skilled workers and no more countries to import cheap labor.

            I also agree that many of these useless graduates now flood the government. There are a lot of former humanities students in the government (some prominent ones even without a degree). Therefore, the quality of the government is also decreasing rapidly.


            1. Nicely put, especially your observation about the over production of useless elites, which is I might add, a hallmark of civilizational decline. And a recipe for revolution.


            2. If I was a young person wondering what to do, I’d get a trade like mechanic, electrician, plumber, or carpenter. As the world simplifies we will need more people that can fix things.

              I worked part time the last few years as a masonry assistant. It’s hard physical work but very satisfying work.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Have you ever worked with rammed earth or cob? I almost took a workshop many years ago. I admire the craftsmen in England who specialize in thatched reed roofs.


              2. I agree with your advice. I am 40 years old and also thinking about getting into crafts since my current office job sucks. Funnily, one of our department managers joked about leaving his “bullshit job” to join his brother´s carpentry. So, it is not only me, who is not satisfied with sitting on his ass for 8 hours in front of a pc.

                How did you get your masonry assistant position? I am intrigued in doing some woodwork, carpentry or blacksmithing. A few years ago, I visited an open air museum in Germany where old crafts are demonstrated in a restorated middle age style village. There, I had a long talk with the blacksmith about his craft. Sounded very interesting back then.


                1. I helped a friend build his house. He had to hire a mason to build a block retaining wall and the mason needed help so I volunteered. The mason apparently liked my work and then hired me for subsequent projects.


  14. For what it’s worth, I wish somebody would put something like this together for COVID or other issues. I was raised in an extreme religious environment and freed myself when I had access to the internet and could research my doubts. Among others I had doubts about evolution/creation and had only had access to bad data previously:


    I found the format of a point-by-point response to be so helpful, as denial often leads people to common rationalization and latching onto spin. Some day perhaps such effort at organizing information will be available for other topics.


    1. Yes, a cheat sheet would be helpful. There are many lines of evidence and each is complex. It’s very hard to keep track.

      Most people really do accept without question what is on TV news.

      The theme I see in family and friends is “vaccines keep people out of hospital and that’s good enough, don’t ask questions, we’re in an emergency and we need to rally around the flag”.


      1. Couldn’t agree more Rob, my wife acts like it can’t get on the evening news if it isn’t completely true. That might have been partially true back in the 1960’s with Walter Cronkite but even then I’m sure there was spin. For many people if they had to admit the MSM was lying it would require too much effort to figure out the truth so they just go with what they’re told (denial makes cognitive dissonance go away).

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Every time I’ve had personal knowledge of a story in the media, what was reported was around 50% inaccurate (just plain nuts and bolts facts gotten wrong). And those were for very specific small stories. It does make me wonder what % of journalism is plain wrong on basic facts


    1. Interesting video. I generally like the artwork of the After School videos.

      Regarding the topic of dropping sperm count, I have read an article about the work of Shanna Swan, that with the current decline rate, the industrialized nations could become infertile by 2045 (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/feb/26/falling-sperm-counts-human-survival).

      If you look at it from the point of view of declining ressources, it seems to be good that we become more an more infertile, but from the point of view of human wellbeing, it seems to be a major issue for the future of humanity.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I suggested to el gato malo that he might have a better chance of shifting the needle if he toned it down and focused on the core evidence. He’s going in the opposite direction.

    Maybe he’s right and I’m wrong ? Or maybe something else is going on.

    Perhaps a few powerful people with good intentions are trying to slow down the discretionary energy consuming components of the economy to conserve depleting fossil energy for tractors, trucks, trains and ships, and at the same time reduce CO2 emissions, so that we stand a chance of continuing to feed 8 billion people.

    Panic over a not so serious virus might be a good way to accomplish this.


    seem familiar? after the endless fear driven propaganda bombardment of the last 18 months, we’re past the point of rational. we can dig and argue and provide evidence until we’re all blue in the the face. it does not move the needle. mostly, we’re talking to one another and preaching to ever more rarified choirs.

    it keeps us from feeling alone, it keeps the gaslighting from spreading, but it cannot roll it back.

    and it does NOTHING to address this:

    going along to get along IS the problem. you cannot comply your way out of tyranny and anyone still waiting for this “temporary” emergency to end is engaging is self-delusion. it will never end.

    grant politicians unlimited emergency power, and you get unlimited emergencies, every time.

    until there is a price for them to pay, until there is clear revolt and they fear the world crashing down around them if they persist, there is NOTHING that’s going to stop them. this will be the one way ratchet to serfdom.


  16. Nice summary by TonyH…


    But the average man is not suffering because the rich are taxed too lightly, but because the manufacturing base that used to pay blue collar workers good wages, has disappeared. The structure of the economy has shifted as the EROI of its driving energy sources has deteriorated. The service economy that has grown up in the absence of a robust manufacturing economy, provides a large number of low wage jobs. Manufacturing generates exports, so the US now has a huge trade deficit. Wages also pay the bulk of taxes, so the US finds itself with huge government deficits, just as the need for social support is growing. The deteriorating energy dynamic and rising inflation makes the decline in prosperity far worse than simple dollar comparison of wages would suggest. So it tends to blindside political elites.


    1. Re: Martenson
      Anyone up for a mind virus challenge? I suggest we hit the neighborhood streets & start shaking our collective bootays ala Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever.” Start a dance plague but with a 10:00 pm curfew. Fun but safe! Get out your boom box and dance monkey dance.


      1. Tough crowd.
        I guess disco still sucks.

        🎼My baby moves at midnight
        Goes right on till the dawn
        My woman takes me higher
        My woman keeps me warm🐵🎶

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Re: Martenson,
      I’m amazed at how the Dems were so fearful of Trump (and his followers) becoming a fascist dictator. I still think a certain bunch of republicans would love a theocratic dictatorship. But now we have the Dems (and a senile Biden – oops! can’t say that) wanting to demonize republicans and take away all their constitutional rights if they don’t get vaccinated (is that totalitarianism?). I’m always amazed that Dems don’t want the government telling women what they can do with their bodies (re: abortion) but have no problem telling them what vaxes they have to have to be citizens AND the republicans want to force women to have babies (and criminalize all docs who would perform abortions) but don’t want to have a vax they don’t think is necessary. Both sides are descending into madness. Listening to any tribe without critical thought is mind cancer.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. Do I know anyone who has gone insane? Are we talking “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) or meowing at strangers and other weird shit? I’m pretty sure that people who wear their mask while alone in their car have a disorder. Maybe they forgot is the most charitable explanation.


    1. Interesting. I wonder how all cause death figures in Norway, Denmark, and Finland compared. Sweden has a lot more official COVID deaths than its three neighbors.


  17. Some wise advice from Jill Winger on preparing.


    What if You Couldn’t Buy Food at the Grocery Store?

    When it comes to homesteaders, in many ways we’re natural born preppers. While we might not be preparing for the apocalypse, we’re always focused on looking down the road to be ready for any situation. One particular situation that always comes up in my head is “What if you couldn’t buy food at the grocery store?” In today’s episode, I cover the three steps I’m taking to prepare my family for any food supply related issues. I also explain why it’s important to focus on ‘prepping’ skills and tactics that also improve your life in the present instead of just preparing for some potential event that might never happen.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Interesting example of how interconnected our world is.

    You can’t run a modern diesel engine without DEF (aka AdBlue). I didn’t know you needed natural gas to make it.


    Duslo Sala in Slovakia, the biggest producer of AdBlue in Europe, which is used in the diesel cars, is stopping its production because of high prices of natural gas.


    “The largest manufacturer of AdBlue in Europe does not accept orders from new clients, the second largest has reduced its production and the third largest has even stopped completely. The reason is the high prices of natural gas.”

    “It looks like an alarm message, but the truth is that “the production of fertilizers is also linked to the production of AdBlue and Duslo is the largest producer in Europe. The second largest is in Germany and it has started to cut AdBlue production. The third largest is in Poland and it stopped production, “said Minister of Economy Richard Sulík (SaS) at a meeting with journalists earlier this week. According to him, there will be a real problem with enough products in the near future. It may even be that the state will completely ban the export of AdBlue abroad.”


    1. We took a simple and reliable diesel engine, and made it complex and fragile, to reduce soot emissions, which we actually need to prevent another degree of climate warming.

      Homo sapiens not so wise.


      1. I wasn’t aware of this – but looks like it’s a Euro zone issue for most diesel (cars only it appears) after 2015. It’s made with urea (made from natural gas). It appears to be a digital control feature of the car which prevents it from starting? I understand if you run out while driving the speed of the vehicle will be limited to limit pollution – as the adblue is injected into the exhaust stream? Interesting here as a mechanical engineer.


        1. I believe all newish diesel motors use DEF. It’s a liquid that is injected into the exhaust system to help clean up emissions. Like diesel fuel it must be regularly topped up. Our trucking network will shut down without it.


  19. Totally off topic but I found this to be provocative. I love my fruit. We have quite an extensive back yard orchard with over 100 fruit trees and do lots of preserving in the summertime.
    You’ve opened up a can of worms since you introduced me to Dr Kendrick. There’s all these things about health that I thought were true that I’m no longer sure about. I might have to attend some of Dr Fettke’s talks in the future since he is a local.


    1. I watched this and it was excellent. Thank you.

      Reinforces what a disgrace the discipline of nutrition science is. They just make shit up with no scientific evidence. They’ve killed millions of citizens with bad advice, and assume no responsibility nor try to mend their ways. And our moron leaders don’t hold them to account.

      Electrical engineers make mistakes, but we don’t make shit up.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Rob,
    You are the first (and I mean First!!) EE that I have ever respected. My ultra-conservative religious Joe McCarthy loving father was an EE. So is my stupid religious conservative son-in-law. It was always my impression that engineers had a little too much hubris because they had taken some advanced mathematics and were good at it. Engineers as a group might not make shit up, but they are as prone to denial/optimism bias and group think, as any group (except lawyers which are the most illogical conformists – I know that group too well).
    You are indeed a rare engineer – it is a pleasure discussing denial and reality with you!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Well that was a totally draining and discouraging experience. 😦

    I’m a fan of el gato malo’s intellect and analysis of covid issues. Occasionally he veers off into discussions of other problems we face and tends to attribute root causes to politics. More specifically that socialism and big government are to blame for all our ills.

    I thought to myself, here’s a really smart guy that is probably influential. I’m going to try to shift his awareness to the fact that most of our problems are underpinned by overshoot.

    I tried hard and totally failed.

    It’s quite remarkable that someone so smart can be so blind. Very strong evidence in support of Varki’s MORT theory.

    I’m pretty sure we’re going to ride this rollercoaster all the way to the bottom without ever collectively admitting, even a tiny bit, that our species was in overshoot.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Valiant effort, Rob, but hopeles! El Gato is brilliant on Covid but delusional on overshoot issues (as are many of his readers apparently).

      There being no single font of wisdom we will simply have to sip a bit here and bit there in trying to work out what is going on as we go down.

      Thank goodness for the internet that allows us to monitor progress of collapse in real time…

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Thanks. What struck me was the ultra fast emotional responses without time to view or digest the evidence I provided.

        Also of note was the venom directed at Mathusian theories. Malthus was correct. How could he not be correct? We live on a finite planet. Malthus appeared to be wrong for a little while because we increased the planet’s carrying capacity with non-renewable finite fossil energy. But that doesn’t undermine his theory. A kindergarten student can understand that, provided she’s not in denial.

        Conclusion: Our species REALLY hates to think there are any limits to growth.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. They really like to beat up on Malthus don’t they? Gets under their skin . And Erhlich too – they hate him with a similar passion.

          “In 1968, biologist Paul Ehrlich achieved infamy by publishing The Population Bomb: Population Control or Race to Oblivion?, one of the most controversial eco-books ever printed. Ehrlich has been condemned to spend eternity with Thomas Malthus, in a dungeon reserved for doom perverts. To this day, professors still use the two lads as great reasons to never take seriously anyone who asserts that there are limits to growth. We all know, of course, that humankind has no limits. We have technology!
          Richard Reese 2015


          Liked by 4 people

          1. Quite shocking when you see well educated intelligent people argue against the laws of thermodynamics or the finiteness of Earth.

            One of the main reasons I’m attracted to Varki’s MORT is that without some rational explanation for the insanity all around me I’d go crazy.

            When I’m debating someone that’s not interested in truth, I can literally see the denial shutters come down over their mind.

            Liked by 4 people

            1. I just read part of your discussion. It was noble entreaty and total waste of time 😀 .
              Now it came to my mind that there are two kinds of people: these that understand/accept that there is not something like “infinite growth” and those that don’t. In case of first ones – discussion is always worthwhile. But they are scarce minority.

              Here are two things that I noticed:

              most people believe in gravity too. are they all mired in avoidance of unpleasant realities?<<
              – this is not true; most people believe that things wih mass behave as they behave because “god orders them to”
              intellectual property growth is infinite.<<
              – “intellectual property”???? what the f.ck is even this thing? Never found it in physics or biology or any other sciences. “Intellectual property” is as real as “human rights” are. Go to Somalia and talk to people about their “human rights”.

              And here is huge portion of denial from your side, Rob 😛 :
              “So I’m trying to open your mind to some new ideas, because I think you are influential and we need more people like you with an accurate understanding of what’s going on.”
              Why we need more people? Do you really believe that even if 1% of people miraculously agree with you and rest of “doomers”, it is going to change anyhing??

              People want to believe they are only and exceptional event in the whole universe and the whole universe was designed for them. It will never change (at least for great majority).

              We have walked this planet as self-aware species for last 70-80 thousand years. It is nothing in the depth of time. We will disapear soon. If it is 30 or 300 years (or even 3000) – it doesn’t matter. Nothing changes for the universe.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. You’re right about our meaningless to the universe. On the other hand, its likely that similarly intelligent life will be extremely rare and we should be aware of and celebrating that fact.

                You’re also no doubt right about one of my blind spots. Others have also pointed it out. Nothing will change voluntarily because we are what we evolved to be.

                Nevertheless, when I see someone like el gato, who is clearly bright, and who is trying to influence people to make the world a better place, but is going in the wrong direction because he doesn’t understand what’s going on, I’m motivated to engage. Many people are worried and want to improve the future. If they all pushed in a useful direction maybe we could pull the probability of success up a little from the current zero.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Wow, that was a truly noble effort at education. Sorry it went nowhere.
                  I was impressed at how little people really understood the rising cost of obtaining energy (EROEI). Also interesting was the optimism bias – we will always find some new energy source (yeah! what geology and physics are they using on what planet?). Some of this I blame on Star Trek thinking – Di-lithium Crystals are right around the corner.
                  Again, my complements a heroic effort in the face of a lot of ad hominum attacks.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. I had the same impression 🙂 .
                    I read the part about the energy a bit later and I can understand that overshoot itself might be complex subject for the fresh-starters.
                    But I was absolutely stunned when I saw that people who claim being knowledgeable about energy defy simple facts like EROEI or finiteness of something material…

                    Liked by 2 people

                2. We are of course meaningless o the universe, but my comment was a bit to harsh probably.
                  The meaning is within us – it is infinitesimally small and short-lasting of course – but there are still some things we can do (putting aside discussion about free will). For you it is trying to educate others, for me it is trying to minimize suffering of other beings. So I have one child (I wouldn’t have him if I knew what I know now – although I trully love him) and for sure I will not have anothers. I am vegetarian and I try not to be to awful shit ass to others.

                  And my biggest dilema when meeting other people is – should I keep smile and chime in or should I destroy their good moods with “doomish” discussions. I hardly do the late one nowadays…

                  Liked by 4 people

                  1. Keep smiling Madbobul and put up a brave front especially for your child. You never know the inner psychological state of someone so best not to add to their burden. Think of it this way – if a plane is going down b/c of technical difficulties does it help if everyone knows hours in advance? Trying not to be a shit ass to others is about as noble as you can be. Good on you for that.

                    Liked by 1 person

              2. Intellectual property cannot grow forever – a good fact to point out to El Gato could be that discussed by Joseph Tainter regarding the diminishing returns on the patent process:

                “We looked at a database of over five million patents over the period from 1974 through 2005. In every field we looked at, the productivity of innovation is declining, and it is declining because innovation becomes more and more complex and more and more costly to achieve. This is Planck’s principle of increasing effort.”

                Also The Rise and Fall of American Growth is excellent on this subject.

                But overall I think nobody will ever get it. We’ll overshoot and collapse. Most people will blame the sinners, or God, or the jews, or the liberals will blame people for not getting vaccinated when the next wave shows up – or those opposed to vaccinations will blame the WEF for conspiring with governments to shut down the economy for the great reset. And everyone will be sure that if “they” had just done it the right way BAU would have gone on forever.

                Liked by 3 people

                1. Good idea about IP, I’ll try to remember to use it next time.

                  I see diminishing returns in my computer hobby. In the early days, speeds doubled every couple years. Now we’re lucky to get a 5% improvement per year. Ditto on hard drive capacities. I suppose the good news is we’ve got all the performance and capacity we need to enjoy computers now so it doesn’t matter if improvements stop. I’ve got spare parts to keep my system going until I die.

                  Liked by 2 people

                2. Your point about blaming the wrong actors is very important. I tried to make it to el gato. When people have legitimate reasons to be upset but don’t understand the cause of their pain, it’s a very dangerous situation because wars and revolution become probable.

                  Liked by 1 person

            2. The shutters come down because there is no evolutionary advantage to seeing reality. It’s doesn’t aid in reproduction or finding food. Evolution does not have foresight – it only cares about immediate challenges.

              Liked by 4 people

        2. I would say that our leaders are, maybe only subconsciously, aware of the limits of growth but their solution is to expand into space to continue growth instead of staying within our (in the future much reduced) means on earth.


            1. How does Bezos know it won’t work? FFS WW2 wasn’t that long ago. Rationing austerity worked very bloody well. More like, ‘I can’t stay insanely wealthy when the majority are on rationing and austerity’.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Even in the 70s, some kind of rationing worked, even though it was fuel back then. I just talked today with mother about the oil crisis of 1973. She said, that it was a big shock for everyone and all people went along with not being allowed to drive. She was at university back then and just took the bike instead of the car.

                Unfortunately, everybody resumed BAU after the crisis was over.

                Liked by 2 people

        3. People want to thrive – something about well-being connected to growth. I’d guess any kind of experience of thriving would involve creating a surplus. And that surplus of everything creates a larger metabolism of the system, requiring yet more surplus to maintain and feel like thriving. Seems so Sisyphean, but alas here we are.


          1. Yes, the behavior encoded by genes in all life is probably biased to surplus, but the human desire for surplus differs from other life.

            Almost everyone that wants growth does not understand the real reason they want growth. They think the reason growth is good is that tomorrow will be a little better than today.

            The real reason is that with growth, TODAY is much more plentiful, because with growth we can consume much more than we produce through the magic of credit, and credit needs economic growth to be plentiful.

            The best example is a young person today can save 5% of the value of a home and then enjoy 100% of the home through the magic of a mortgage. Mortgages will be scarce or unavailable in a contracting economy. Most young people will probably live with their parents until their parents die like we did before exploiting fossil energy.

            Why We Want Growth, Why We Can’t Have It, and What This Means

            Liked by 2 people

            1. I’m sure you’re right – somewhere in Vorki there is a difference that humans have a consciousness of futurity that is both absent in other critters, and also entails an awareness of mortality, therefore denial, and an attentional bias toward an imagined future.

              Liked by 3 people

        1. A misunderstanding of energy is at the core of much of our incorrect thinking about reality.

          Given that energy is THE most important thing in our economy, it’s remarkable that energy is not taught in grade school and most university curriculums. Neither is how we create our claims on energy, money.

          Every person on the planet wants more money, and less than 1% understand how money works.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. A thought on denial: Marx noted that for capitalism to be profitable some factor of production had to be “discounted.” He thought this was labor. I think it’s energy.


            Discounting is related to denial, I suppose. It’s part of the explanatory process. People under-attribute energy as a causal factor (to say the least) and grossly overattribute human intention, particularly moral intentions.

            I can see discounting and attribution at work in your conversation with El Gato. Readers discounted the possibility that you were sincere, and instead attributed other motivations to you. The way this generally goes is that you make someone feel defensive, then they attribute to you that your intent is what is causing the feeling of defensiveness. This usually quickly morphs into accusations that the other person is being stubborn or defensive (projection). All for the protection and aggrandizement of the ego.

            I used to run a blog on psychoanalyses, then took it down when I said all I had to say.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. Interesting. Perhaps Marx was right because labor is energy.

              I might expand your hypothesis on discounting of energy to include all natural resources, although maybe you’re right because other resources are implicit with energy.

              Of course Tesla is all about innovation and green energy and has nothing to do with mines digging up shit with diesel machines made from steel produced with coal.

              You’re understanding of what goes on in another brain is much more sophisticated and nuanced than mine. I just see denial of reality.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. I have seen a few snippets of Joe Rogan talking with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. I’ve never seen anyone squirm in a conversation like Gupta. Joe Rogan didn´t let him off the hook. I did not have a high oppinion of Rogan before, but I was thoroughly impressed, how he trapped Gupta in a corner, where he could not escape without losing his face.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. The theme of friend Panopticon’s roundup of economic news today is food and energy.


    I’m watching staples in the grocery store like a hawk. The combination of energy shortages, supply chain breakdowns, and the climate shifting a gear has got to impact food in a big way soon.

    I’m not seeing big increases in prices yet, except for beef and some fats. What are you seeing?


    1. I’ve seen it mostly in meats and fresh produce, less so in processed foods. I’ve been adding to my canned foods. I used to buy staples from augason farms in #10 cans – last I checked most of my list (rice and beans etc.) were unobtainable. I like to get the #10 air sealed cans of stuff we use regularly and rotate them through.


      1. Thanks. I considered #10 cans but I couldn’t find affordable sources in Canada. I decided to go with 5 gallon pails and mylar bags.
        I’ve noticed that the quality of imported produce from California is down. Local produce is still good.


  23. https://zensecondlife.blogspot.com/2021/10/the-hardest-landing.html

    …the Chinese government just announced today that they will not be bailing out Evergrande, because it’s a “unique” situation. They see no risk of contagion and therefore they have conveniently ignored what is now officially the largest property asset bubble in human history.

    “According to Rushi Advanced Institute of Finance, condominium prices in the southern city of Shenzhen are now 57 times the average annual income, and 55 times that of income in Beijing. Even at the height of Japan’s bubble economy in 1990, Tokyo condos were 18 times the average annual income”

    Picture a middle class family in the U.S. with household income of $80k per year. At 55x they would be buying a home worth $4.5 million on leverage. You get the idea.

    The other crazy statistic is the fact that real estate/property development is 25% of China’s GDP. In the U.S., it’s 6% of GDP. So imagine the magnitude of dislocation if the Politburo is wrong in not attempting to stop Evergrande from imploding.


    1. I still wonder why nobody has bought this place:


      What a nice hideaway, in upstate New York – when it comes time to head for the hills, the perfect place in the hills to head to. I’d rather live here than in a half-million-dollar condo in Surfside, Florida, in a high-rise building shoddily constructed for drug-cartel money laundering. No mortgage needed – an affordable cash purchase.


    2. IF Mac10 is right we are in for one hell of a ride down. Many of us will be impoverished and many will starve. I wonder if he actually thinks we will collapse completely or if some bottom is there? I personally don’t mind collapse – sooner or later we will all be back to 1750 (if we are lucky); if we are unlucky we will most all be dead and those remaining will be back at 15,000 BCE. Even that might be lucky because we might not have a livable climate anymore. We, who are living at the peak of industrial civilization have quite a view of the universe – catch the view and enjoy it before it is gone.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I used to think we would “go back” to 1750. I don’t think so anymore because the environment is trashed. We don’t have the kind of resources available that they did back then

        Liked by 1 person

            1. If we don´t have the fossil fuels for powering our society anymore, we should have a lot of people looking for work, since their old jobs aren´t feasible anymore. They could then work again in agriculture. At least, permaculture claims to have higher yields per m2 than industrial agriculture but you have to put in more human work. Is this feasible or wishful thinking?


              1. A much larger percentage of the populaiton will be required to work in agriculture as fossil energy depletes. I don’t think Permaculture’s yield claims are realistic although they do have some good ideas. We can grow food with less energy and capital by substituting labor, and we can grow food with less harmful chemicals. Feeding 8 billion without nitrogen fertilizer made from natural gas will probably be impossible. Suggest you read the Alchemy of Air for the history of the Haber Bosch process and how close we came to starvation as natural sources of fertilizer were running out. Phosphorous without diesel to mine and transport it will also be a big problem for agriculture.

                book review: The Alchemy of Air by Thomas Hager


          1. Bill McKibben suggested some years back that we should rename the Earth because humans have changed it so fundamentally. He proposed Eaarth but settled on Earth 2.0. I was partial to Earth-redux. Yeah Earth 2.0 is not Earth of 1750. Of course living systems are never in equilibrium.


  24. Nice recap of our energy predicament by Steve St. Angelo today. Kudos to him for dropping his promotion of that secret sauce energy solution developed by a friend.

    St. Angelo now says the only rational path forward is planned degrowth.


    1. Yes-very good recap although I’m still not convinced about holding precious metals.
      There’s a blockbuster post by the very impressive Antonio Turiel on the latest IEA report-World Energy Outlook 2021 trying to see the truth in what he says, by usual standards, is a surprisingly short report
      In Spanish but some of the sarcastic humour survives the translator.
      The post is very information dense covering a lot of ground but basically the curtain is being pulled back on what he thinks is going to be the narrative to cover what happens as we go down what Steve St Angelo calls the Energy Cliff.
      As Antonio Turiel says “No Hay Tiempo.”

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi Rob,

          I might be interesting to feature this Turiel’s post on the IEA report-World Energy Outlook 2021 in further comments or a separate post. There is a lot there, and a lot to read between the lines in the IEA report. My read between the lines read: “They” know. They know we are facing the energy cliff. This IEA report is drafted to support a narrative of demand for fossil fuels declining through a voluntary move to renewables, rather than involuntary energy decline and degrowth through the depletion of fossil fuels. So how much of the rest of the narrative is controlled or corrupted? My belief is their ability to control the narrative is limited, and things are now getting way out of control.

          I extracted some key notes from Turiel’s post, can send them if you want, but the key point is this…. “We are also reminded that without any additional investment, oil production from existing fields would fall at a rate of 8-9% per year…… at a rate of 9% per year, production without new investment could fall by around 40% after 5 years.”

          I don’t know how to post up a chart in comments, but the figure 6.18 might be worth posting.

          As you say, buckle up.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Yes I think they (whoever that is) have known for a long time-probably since 1973. They just didn’t know what to do about it -now they possibly think they have the answer. They are ,of course, wrong. Unwinding dissipative systems in an orderly fashion is probably impossible.
            We are now in the observing stage- nothing anyone from the highest to the lowest can do about it-IMO

            Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for mentioning the post by Antonio Turiel – very impressive indeed, and it is shocking to see the IEA’s bizarre and grotesque attempts of camouflaging the unfolding situation. This is more than denial, this is fantasizing and creating a “reality distortion field”.


        1. Agree, denial is not a strong enough word to describe this year’s IEA World Energy Outlook report. Fairy Tale is more apt.

          Expected annual oil depletion rate has increased from 5% 11 years ago to 9% today.

          Our “leaders” are going to try to pitch the fossil energy decline as a planned action in response to climate change, and any problems will be blamed on not investing enough in “clean” energy.

          We’re going to achieve Net Zero 2050, but not by choice.

          We can expect a fast collapse of modern civilization.

          Liked by 2 people

  25. Lie or noble lie to save lives?

    If a noble lie you would expect leaders to also:
    – encourage weight loss
    – ensure adequate vitamin D
    – research & support promising early treatment protocols
    – debate rather than censure conflicting evidence
    – punish rather than reward those responsible

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Got my first vax yesterday (Pfizer). No issues apart from a sore arm. Way less pain than I had with the tetanus injection


      1. Well if there’s literally anything in between you and the tower you won’t get the signal anyway LOL! 5G is pretty much useless. #diminishingreturns


    1. Hahahahhhhh. Well done, Sabine! I’ve been waiting for someone of her intellectual and scientific prowess to bring the sledgehammer down on this technofantasy nonsense. Maybe others have already done this, but I particularly enjoy Sabine’s blend of stone cold rationality and sarcasm.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I always thought that it is absurd to colonize such a hostile environment. Why don´t we start with the most hostile places on earth like the pole caps? Maybe we will do that anyways due to the changing climate.

          I am wondering how such an intelligent person as Elon Musk could be serious about Mars being our exit strategy if we f… up our home planet.

          Liked by 2 people

  27. The human species’ genetic denial of unpleasant realities on full display…


    Our ability to increase oil production is low.

    Notice how they spin this as a consequence of choosing to underinvest.

    If incomes are insufficient to afford higher energy prices, because high energy prices are suppressing incomes, because low cost energy reserves are depleted, and debt is maxed out, then underinvestment in energy is not a choice.

    Planned degrowth vs. a chaotic collapse is a choice.

    But only if we first acknowledge our genetic tendency to deny unpleasant realities.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. El gato malo reviewed new UK data today which supports his Vaccine Mediated Evolution (VME) hypothesis.

    Rate of cases down 30% from a year ago. CFR up 3x since June.

    getting 50% protection from a tripling in virulence caused by the vaccines is still a net loser for the vaccinated. and it’s savage for the unvaccinated. everyone loses. and this evolution is ongoing.

    establishing what is going on here should be the all hands on deck mission of global public health right now.

    none of us want to be living in the world where we leaky-vaxxed ourselves into a second pandemic by reversing the evolution of one that was about to go endemic and harmless.

    that’s a terrible place to be.

    but if that IS where we are, we need to know, and we need to know right now.



    1. I keep searching for a rational reason for the obsession with 100% vaccination, other than assuming every health official in every country of the world is corrupt, because that seems improbable.

      What if they’re aware of the Vaccine Mediated Evolution (VME) trend and know that their mistake of vaccinating more than the high risk with a leaky vaccine will kill many more unvaccinated than vaccinated?

      They can’t disclose the real reason for the push for 100% because they would lose their credibility and jobs.

      This would also explain why they’re so willing to accept possible long term vaccine side effects in low risk children.

      It’s analogous to continuing to print money long after it no longer provides a net benefit, because you know if you stop many will be harmed on your watch, and if you continue, many more may be harmed in the future, but it will be on someone else’s watch, and maybe someone will think of something by then.


  29. This is from a german blog, deepl translated:

    M. Püschel says:
    October 17, 2021 at 3:53 pm
    It is not a decline of civilization, but its normalization.
    Two and a half trillion barrels of oil have been burned in the last 150 years, if gas and coal are converted to oil. That’s another 750 billion people converted to human labor, working through from age 15 to age 70. Without vacation, or holidays. A crazy energy orgy, and the essential part of it took place in the last 50 years. There are supposed to be people who think that was normal.
    Well, that’s over now.
    We are now entering the electrical middle ages, or have already done so to some extent, if I look at the consensus that has been decreed. I’m pretty sure that the elites will win, and the masses will let themselves be put to sleep almost silently in Germany. There will be much more resistance from our neighbors in Italy and France, but he will fail if he doesn’t manage to get enough military potential on his side, which I assume he will.
    When that happens, it will be exciting again, because then the elites will fight each other. That will be the time to do some justice, but not too much of it.
    People like Zuckerberg will not make it either, because they have made themselves vulnerable. Their social network censorship orgies will come back like a boomerang, and they will be charged with anti-democracy blah blah and expropriated. They’re just too rich not to do that.
    But who am I telling – I’m sure everyone here has read the Ugo Bardi blog.
    The new feudal system with digital mass control will ultimately not last long. Maybe a hundred years, but hardly longer, because it depends on the availability of digital devices.

    For the “dropouts”, or better “switchers” among you, I have a simple tip: do something with horses 🙂 That has a future. And somehow that’s the good news.
    The future will be a pony farm.

    Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)


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