By Bill Rees: On the Virtues of Self-Delusion—or maybe not!

Dr. Bill Rees, Professor Emeritus from the University of British Columbia, gave a presentation on our overshoot predicament earlier this month to a zoom meeting of the Canadian Association for the Club of Rome (CACOR).

I’m a longtime fan of Dr. Rees and consider him to be one of the most aware and knowledgeable people on the planet.

This is, I believe, the best talk I’ve seen by Dr. Rees and he covers all of the important issues, including topics like overpopulation that most of his peers avoid.

Presentations like this will probably not change our trajectory but nevertheless I find some comfort knowing there are a few other people thinking about the same issues. This can be a very lonely space.

The Q&A is also very good. I found it interesting to hear how much effort Dr. Rees has made to educate our leaders about what we should be doing to reduce future suffering. He was frank that no one to date, including the Green party, is open to his message. Not surprising, but sad. Also inspiring that someone of his stature is at least trying.

Summary

Climate-change and other environmental organizations urge governments to act decisively/rapidly to decarbonize the economy and halt further development of fossil fuel reserves. These demands arguably betray:

– ignorance of the role of energy in the modern economy;

– ill-justified confidence in society’s ability to transition to 100% green renewable energy;

– no appreciation of the ecological consequences of attempting to do so and;

– little understanding of the social implications.

Without questioning the need to abandon fossil fuels, I will argue that the dream of a smooth energy transition is little more than a comforting shared illusion. Moreover, even if it were possible it would not solve climate change and would exacerbate the real existential threat facing society, namely overshoot.

I then explore some of the consequences and implications of (the necessary) abandonment of fossil fuels in the absence of adequate substitutes, and how governments and MTI society should be responding to these unspoken biophysical realities.

Biography

Dr. William Rees is a population ecologist, ecological economist, Professor Emeritus, and former Director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning.

His academic research focuses on the biophysical prerequisites for sustainability. This focus led to co-development (with his graduate students) of ecological footprint analysis, a quantitative tool that shows definitively that the human enterprise is in dysfunctional overshoot. (We would need five Earth-like planets to support just the present world population sustainably with existing technologies at North American material standards.)

Frustrated by political unresponsiveness to worsening indicators, Dr. Rees also studies the biological and psycho-cognitive barriers to environmentally rational behavior and policies. He has authored hundreds of peer reviewed and popular articles on these topics. Dr. Rees is a Fellow of Royal Society of Canada and also a Fellow of the Post-Carbon Institute; a founding member and former President of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics; a founding Director of the OneEarth Initiative; and a Director of The Real Green New Deal. He was a full member of the Club of Rome from 2013 until 2018. His international awards include the Boulding Memorial Award in Ecological Economics, the Herman Daly Award in Ecological Economics and a Blue Planet Prize (jointly with his former student, Dr. Mathis Wackernagel).

I left the following comment on YouTube:

I’m a fellow British Columbian and longtime admirer of Dr. Rees. Thank you for the excellent presentation.

I agree with Dr. Rees’ prescription for what needs to be done but I think there’s a step that must precede his first step of acknowledging our overshoot predicament.

Given the magnitude and many dimensions of our predicament an obvious question is why do so few people see it?

I found a theory by Dr. Ajit Varki that provides a plausible explanation, and answers other important questions about our unique species.

The Mind Over Reality Transition (MORT) theory posits that the human species with its uniquely powerful intelligence exists because it evolved to deny unpleasant realities.

If true, this implies that the first step to any positive meaningful change must be to acknowledge our tendency to deny unpleasant realities.

Varki explains his theory here:

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-030-25466-7_6

A nice video summary by Varki is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqgYqW2Kgkg

My interpretations of the theory are here:
https://un-denial.com/denial-2/theory-short/

https://un-denial.com/2015/11/12/undenial-manifesto-energy-and-denial/

914 thoughts on “By Bill Rees: On the Virtues of Self-Delusion—or maybe not!”

  1. What is real reason for China shutting down?
    1) Legitimate concern about covid outbreak.
    2) Desire to punish US for Ukraine response.
    3) Supply chain problems caused by peak everything & war.

    h/t CTG @ OFW

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/world-economy-braces-supply-chain-chaos-covid-closes-china

    News from China over the last day shows a new outbreak of the highly contagious omicron variant has infected more than 5,000 people, the most since the early days of the pandemic in early 2020. China’s zero-tolerance approach has shuttered factories and placed some 51 million people into some form of lockdown.

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    1. Rob have you encountered the work of Peter Zeihan? He has an interesting perspective on China’s future and possibly also offers some good explanations for their current woes..

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      1. No I haven’t. Thanks for the tip.

        In his most recent video he says “falling Russian population means there are insufficient Russians to repopulate the country over the course of the next 30 years.”

        Doesn’t sound like he is overshoot aware. Falling population is a huge asset that should be celebrated.

        In his second to last video on Russian oil he argues the Ukraine war will shut in oil from the global market for a long time and oil prices will explode over $200. He seems to not be aware of Steve Ludlum’s triangle of doom which means he does not understand energy.

        Should I invest more time on him?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think his perspectives on how demographics influence the economy and political decisions are informative. E.g. when more of your population is retirement age how does your economy behave? I haven’t yet heard him express an opinion on whether or not we are overpopulated. I only just starting looking into his work. I’ll keep you posted if I find any gold nuggets. His thoughts on China: rapidly aging population, capital flight, indefensible geography, han group have struggled for 2500 years for supremacy, likely to be internal conflict between groups, covid is a good excuse to keep control of the population, leadership is full of yes-men so policy isn’t solving challenges (also can’t backtrack on covid policies), China dependent on global security for trade (which he says is going away). He predicts a declining China, which is not a position you often hear. He has also predicted wheat quadrupling in price by end of the financial year. He is predicating famine 😦

          Liked by 1 person

  2. The end must be nigh. 🙂 Mac10 today is more hyperbolic than his normal hyperbolic self.

    But wait, there’s more. Mac10 appears blind to the energy and nuclear risks of Ukraine.

    https://zensecondlife.blogspot.com/2022/03/liquidity-trap.html

    The damage is done. The Fed is now ahead of the 2 year by the most since October 2008. What pundits and investors constantly ignore is the happy feedback loop between commodity speculation and inflation expectations. When both are rising they get locked in a death spiral higher. But when they are falling, they are in a death spiral lower.

    Under these asset collapse conditions, “stagflation” is nothing more than a speed bump on a vertical path lower.

    But it’s not just the bond market that’s being ignored right now.

    China and Hong Kong are imploding in real-time. Not just their stock markets, their economies are imploding under the weight of the zero COVID policy.

    The divergence in policy between the Fed and PBOC is now the widest since August 2015.

    The elephant in the room is the impending default on Russian debt. The first default since 1998 and the first foreign denominated default in 100 years. As of this writing Russia hasn’t made the payment due today. The last time Russia defaulted in 1998, the Fed cut rates .5%. Nasdaq lows reached this current level AFTER the default, whereas this is BEFORE.

    Next, we learned yesterday that German economic sentiment just collapsed at the fastest pace on record. Faster than during the pandemic. You will note that European stocks are three wave corrective, having rallied for the past week. Given that record outflows from European stocks combined with record collapse in investor sentiment, then we can assume Europe is the next market to go fully bidless now that short-covering is ending.

    Not to be left out, the Fed is also ignoring U.S. Tech collapse which this week was on par with December 2018 which is when Powell capitulated and reversed policy. As anyone can ascertain, not only has Powell not capitulated, but speculators haven’t capitulated either.

    What today’s investors don’t realize is that the Fed isn’t worried about stocks imploding, they are worried about wage inflation. Therefore, they will continue tightening UNTIL they are convinced that wages are no longer a problem.

    And that is going to take a while.

    In summary, at the beginning this fraudulent market was running on maximum monetary stimulus – the virtual simulation of prosperity. Then it transitioned to running on maximum greed and Wall Street criminality. Having exhausted both of those sources of funds, it’s now running solely on rampant self-destructing buffoonery at the end of the weakest recovery in U.S. history.

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  3. Norman Pagett today on the meaning of life…

    https://ourfiniteworld.com/2022/03/02/russias-attack-on-ukraine-represents-a-demand-for-a-new-world-order/comment-page-18/#comment-355683

    As with all species, human beings exist in order to prolong their existence. We consume to give ourselves the strength to procreate—we procreate in order to give ourselves the means to consume.

    As with all species, in order to do that we must acquire ‘resources’ from another species. Nothing complicated involved.

    Everything else is window dressing. We over-complicate things by looking for ‘meanings’ and adding philosophical argument.

    We are able to lounge around and argue only because we have full bellies. People who don’t are out looking for sustenance.

    We draw our strength from a grain of wheat or the flesh of another animal, or both. That worked fine for millennia, we couldn’t consume more than the planet grew on its surface.

    Then someone lit a fire under a boiler, and began to extract energy from steam.

    The energy in steam allowed us to extract energy from fossilised plants and animals.

    The point of all this?

    Humankind has a survival-brain that is 10000 years behind our technical progress.

    So we will consume because that is what we are programmed to do.

    We will go on doing that until we reach the stage where we can’t. We will not stop voluntarily. We will be stopped by forces outside our control.

    Or as you say, history will take its course and the planet will adjust to a different future, probably without us.

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    1. Norm takes a lot of chit over there at OFW but still jumps in with some gems.

      FYI, just noticed James and Megacancer are back online.

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      1. Yes, I can’t participate in the OFW gong show. I feel bad for Gail. She’s pretty much the only person doing original research on the economic implications of energy depletion and anyone visiting her site will immediately conclude her ideas belong to whack jobs.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I would add to Norman’s observation that for a super intelligent species like humans to exist it must deny unpleasant realities so that an understanding of the meaning of life does not interfere with executing the meaning of life.

      Therefore a super intelligent species cannot exist without denial.

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  4. Excellent essay on the risk of nuclear war and our leaders and citizens that increase the risk by denying it.

    https://blogenkiops.wordpress.com/2022/03/17/flirting-with-armageddon-is-ukraine-leading-to-nuclear-war/

    Shortly after becoming President, the Reagan Administration conducted a highly classified exercise that has only recently become somewhat public. Known as “Proud Prophet 1983,” it had a profound impact on President Reagan and his team. What this war game discovered was that every scenario attempting to limit a nuclear conflict ended up in a general, strategic exchange at some point. In other words, tactical use led to limited use and from there a general nuclear war ensued. It so disturbed the administration that they changed their public rhetoric around the confrontation with the Soviet Union, and ultimately help lead to the INF treaty and a stable end to the Cold War. You can read more about “Proud Prophet” and its impact here on Wikipedia. It’s a fascinating story, one that is even today not well known or told in its entirety. The point here is that it is hubris to expect we can prevent a tactical nuclear exchange from escalating into a general exchange.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rob,
      I was just about to post this to your blog! I have been so depressed since I read this (and all his sub-links) about an hour ago. It’s hard not to go out and have a large drink and a cigar (and throw to hell all of my reformed, healthier living of the last 9 months). This was the most scary analysis I have read since Watson’s prior post on this subject a few weeks ago. The only solution I see is that Biden doesn’t change his mind (if there is one) on the no fly zone and Russia winds up it’s victory over the Ukrainian rulers rapidly (and there is a change in Ukrainian leadership). Even that is fraught with potential for going south. We are led by fools and are a nation (the entire West) of fools (at least 50% of us). I remember the Cuban missile crisis and the whole duck & cover era and anyone who thinks civilization or humans survive a nuclear war is an idiot.
      Perhaps this is how we end evolution’s experiment with large brains? Would this scenario even have been possible without oil/natural gas? Probably couldn’t have gone nuclear with just coal (I don’t think it would scale up enough)?
      Thanks for the blog – it’s contributed to my sanity for the last year or so.
      AJ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I too am much more depressed and stressed than normal. I have a really bad feeling about the near term. Even if we avoid nuclear war I think the economic implications will be profound.

        My understanding of our genetic tendency to deny unpleasant realities is not helping me cope with how gobsmacking stupid our leaders are.

        There is zero intelligent discussion about anything that matters.

        We are on an unstable precipice and no one sees the danger.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I told my sister a couple of months ago, that no matter how crazy the Covid hysteria was, I hoped that it continued for as long as possible, because what comes next would be worse. I knew the next thing would be bad, but I assumed a cyber attack, not a slow-motion wind up to WW3. And I have become convinced that the West is the bad guy in this drama. If it weren’t for the beautiful spring weather, I would be a complete mess.

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        2. Just on case you do decide to go off line Rob, I’d like to thank you for all your effort in maintaining this blog. You’ve had a big impact on me.
          I really do think of switching off too sometimes.

          Liked by 3 people

        3. Hello Rob and friends,

          I hear you and join in the commiseration for our self-exalted species, now clearly endangered. Hang in there, stalwart un-deniers! Maybe also being pushed to the brink of stupefied incredulity for how everything is unfolding has led me to ponder the issue from a new perspective: could it possibly be that the world events are actually transpiring to meet an agenda long set and planned, one that is fully cognisant of the overshoot predicament and is a concerted attempt to re-direct the course of human existence as restitution? Maybe instead of thinking our leaders are utterly inept, could it be that they are working under the pull of a hidden hand which has placed all the players on the chessboard for their ability to accomplish their part of the mission? It all begins with the question of how else to address our overshoot for energy dependence except to simultaneously reduce our population and collapse the economy? Isn’t what is happening (pandemic, real or otherwise, the subsequent vaccine mass experiment, expanding war arenas and the geopolitical, economic fallout) leading to these two very outcomes through increased morbidity and mortality, globalized supply and production meltdown, and energy scarcity which will ultimately implode our economic house of cards. This will lead to ever more morbidity, mortality and conflict but eventually secure the goal of severe reduction of population as well as energy consumption. We gather here together to bemoan the fact nothing is being done about what needs to be done, and nothing is being said what needs to be decried from every mountaintop, but perhaps the wheels are already in motion to do the very stuff that no-one can speak or admit out loud. For how would the reaction be if world leaders openly declaimed our inevitable predicament with the predetermined twin solution of immediate population reduction policies and controlled collapse of the material world as we know it. Every pandemic would be seen as a planned extinction event, there would be no hope of enticing unsuspecting masses to experimental vaccines, and a general societal collapse due to disintegrating trust in every system would ensue—that is if humans truly can overcome their erstwhile saviour and panacea, Denial, which at this point remains debatable! Perhaps denial is our saving grace after all, because if the masses can and do wake up, chaos and anarchy most likely will be the first and irreversible reaction. Thus, I have come to accept that this truly is a topic which cannot and must not be named, if there is any hope of a staged, controlled contraction of our human dominion. Once this realization came into my consciousness, I took on the mind game of being world leader pretend who actually is trying to balance ultimate survival of the planet and humanity–how better to effect my agenda without reveal than to hide it in the open where the denial-bedecked masses will just come to accept as their lot in life, living in these perilous and changeable times. We can understand war (even nuclear), pandemics, disease, famine, scarcity, reduced fertility, and natural disasters because permutations of these events have plagued humanity from year dot–they have made and destroyed empires and levelled populations in a manner that offends but not obliterates our sensibilities. And perhaps this is even where I can convince myself that progressive but ultimately controlled destruction is the more humane effort and in the final analysis leads to less overt suffering. Is it more compassionate to spare the masses from knowing and experiencing the catastrophic fate that awaits with certainty if no intervention was attempted and just usher them through the remainder of what seems a reasonable life given the circumstances, albeit shortened, less prosperous and more turmoiled? I do not begin to presume that I can even can begin to know, but perhaps some other entity who actually has that prerogative and power has already cast the die and the game has begun in earnest. Is this something to mark with solemn approbation or abject horror? Would any one of us cast the first stone in judgement for that which we have no other recourse? I am but a humble witness as well as participant to this unchartered reality.

          It has taken not a little courage for me to wear my mind’s eye on my sleeve but I offer the above musings to this august company for your perusal and rejoinder which I wholeheartedly welcome in hopes that we may arrive at yet another interpretation that will engender consolation for our collective sympathies.

          We approach the Autumn equinox here in the southern hemisphere, and most of you are welcoming the return of the sun. How we crave both equanimity and the light to help us through these strange and interesting times! Best wishes for peace, joy, and beauty in every day to you all. Thank you, Rob, for that uplifting reminder of the overflowing benisons of nature. Your video brought me immediately to Pink Floyd’s Learning to Fly lyrics “Can’t keep my eyes from the circling skies, tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I” Very apposite! In fact, I think I will just listen to that on full bore now! That should shake off a bit of the doldrums.

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          1. Hello Gaia gardener, thank you for contributing and welcome.

            I’m not sure if you are suggesting a hidden hand of nature in play, or conscious actions by our leaders?

            If the former, I agree with you. Nature always corrects overshoot.

            If the latter, others share your view that covid and Ukraine might have been planned by our leaders to deal with overshoot. I personally think this is unlikely for several reasons:
            1) There are simpler more probable explanations, like for example a mistake made in the Wuhan lab, which led to an opportunity for leaders who are worried about economic collapse to opportunistically get some tools in place like vaccine passports to manage the coming social unrest.
            2) Events like pandemics and nuclear war are too complex and too unpredictable to ensure a desired outcome.
            3) Our leaders, like ourselves, and primarily concerned with self-preservation. If what you say is true, how would our leaders guarantee their own survival from a virus or nuclear exchange?
            4) Too many people from different countries would have to be involved in the plan for it to remain secret for long.

            I do strongly suspect that the WEF’s Great Reset is in fact a plan to deal with economic collapse. A person can be ignorant of and/or deny peak oil, climate change, ecosystem destruction, etc. and still be confident that the economy will collapse because the mathematics of a debt back fractional reserve monetary system guarantee a collapse at some point. I do think many if not most of our leaders understand the problem of unsustainable debt.

            I’m totally open to evidence supporting your theory and am interested in what others think.

            Enjoy Pink Floyd and thanks for dropping by.

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            1. Hello there Rob,
              Thank you for taking on board my thoughts and your considered reply. I think you are being far too generous in referring to my ponderings as a theory. What I truly wanted to express first and foremost, and perhaps in my scattered abstractions I did not make very clear, is my inkling that the overall concept of overshoot, its catastrophic repercussions and equally drastic rectification will never be openly discussed and debated by anyone in a position of power, especially if they are aware of it. In my mind, it beggars belief that they would not be aware, seeing as geopolitical control is their sphere of influence. However, this silence in no way means that nothing is being done about it, whether through Nature’s hand or human. In the end analysis, in the global scale we are contemplating, it matters not how or why decisions are made, as long as they lead to the desired result of returning to homeostasis. I tried to explain my reasons for this conclusion (that those who are in power know but cannot say), but I do not think I was too convincing so let me give another analogy. Let’s suspend disbelief and go to the movies where this has been played out in widescreen and surround sound, what if there really was an asteroid on course to make an apocalyptic collision with Earth and there was nothing that could be done to avoid it, special effects aside. Only the top level astrophysicists and world leaders know it will happen with 99.9% certainty within 10 years time, and they know only a small percentage of the population can be saved in underground bunkers. Should it be policy to let the rest of humanity know as this event nears to give everyone a chance to work out their own survival, or in doing so, would unmitigated Hollywood style chaos be unleashed, thus dooming humanity even before the main event? What is the likelihood that we would all link hands and sing Kumbayah as doomsday arrives or would 8 billion people be suddenly thrown into total anarchy and even more suffering? Is the most compassionate and ethical choice to not tell whilst working sedulously and surreptitiously to create those bunkers to save a few and plan for the aftermath? In a way, this is the same dilemma with coming clean with overshoot, depopulation, the great planned reset and simplification, even if we can break through people’s denial, the reaction could be more incendiary than can be controlled, and once the social fabric is totally rent, the chances of building back better are slimmed. So, the choice left is to continue to work towards the goal in a way that can be construed as a natural evolution, using all the methods already in place. Whether this is through Nature or guided by human machinations (ultimately Nature will still claim us as her own) is fodder for more diversion but can it be concluded that we are now firmly in the active correction phase of our overshoot? Is this a victory that the pendulum is beginning its swing back to centre? Alas, my lamentation is I feel only distress in what is occurring whilst at the same time I know it must happen thus. I suppose I am just trying to reach out to this sympathetic band for some validation and consolation.

              And now I will try to respond to your key points using my intuitive faculties and my lens of interpretation of what I have gleaned from various sources. Thank you for indulging me this opportunity to dialogue.

              1) Whatever happened at Wuhan or earlier ultimately and rather concertedly led to fundamental changes in governing humans including challenging sovereignty of one’s own physical body. A mass medical experiment remains on-going, even as the virus loses virulence, this is an unprecedented response but the result has paved the way for further control, and likely increased morbidity through all age groups. Continued pressure to inoculate children without convincing justification for benefit and no guarantee for longer term safety leads me to think there is another agenda. Also continued boostering with the same vaccine which is no longer current with the variant makes absolutely no sense. Never has early treatment been advocated by the main stakeholders, not even a mention of other therapies as simple and crucial as Vit D. There is more than enough evidence now that these shots are neither safe nor effective, yet they are still mandated. 10 billion doses have been served, so whatever damage, present and future, has been well and truly done. What else to think than there is something not adding up here? Pandemics and the aftermath lead to decreased population and contracted economies, both are top of the menu for how to balance overshoot. Therefore, the Covid epic has been multi-purposed, whatever the mechanism, and has served well in addressing overshoot.
              2) If the desired outcome is decreasing population in a relatively controlled but decisive manner, then pandemics and war will have the proper effect. Ensuing economic and partial societal collapse will ensure the ushering in of a new world order which will have the tools to keep the population in balance with energy expenditure as a new global structure is re-made. The answer to population growth, any percentage growth is unsustainable once we understand the power of exponentials, is negative growth, which means more deaths and less births. Unless most of us choose to die sooner and the younger amongst us choose not to procreate, and neither prospect is likely to happen, nor in a timely manner. Then, the remaining options to effect this which are understandable and can be tolerated as living in these challenging times are disease (including pandemics), war,(possibly nuclear) famine, accidents (possibly nuclear), natural disasters, decreased fertility and whatever else ills we generally wish to avoid.

              3) Too easy, they get the proper early treatment and avoid the damaging vaccines and then go hide out in those bunkers they built for the asteroid collision. Seriously, there’s no guarantee for any of us from anything, only more or less likelihoods. I think self-preservation is over-rated when we are talking extinction-level scenarios, even world leaders might find the courage to lead by example like the kings of old who led the charge in battle—or am I back in fantasy land again?
              4) There’s no secret to hide, it’s all in plain sight but Denial is our blinkers. I know you’re meaning what’s the proof of collusion of world leaders in the nefarious agenda, but it’s simple really, the brief is to contract your economies and populations using whatever means you can whilst maintaining as much social order as possible until the last minute when a new social order will rise up. That’s pretty much what is already happening now, whether you’re in the in-club or not. I have absolutely not a shred of proof that this is orchestrated, it is only my mind games that tell me there is equally not a shred of proof that it isn’t, only conjecture of a different colour. On all levels we are players, some are Queens with more power and choices, but most of us are pawns, whether we know it or not. I have a sense that the game of Chess is an apt metaphor for current world events!

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              1. Thanks Gaia for clarifying your views. I understand now.

                Many if not most aware people agree with you that broad awareness of our predicament would make things worse. I’m stuck on the belief that extending and pretending business as usual will worsen the inevitable outcome and so if our goal is to minimize total suffering then it would wisest to rip off the bandage and take our lumps now. I acknowledge there’s a good chance I’m wrong, especially if you believe very little of value will remain regardless if we crash now or later, so best to enjoy as many good days as possible. It probably doesn’t matter who’s right because our little band of aware people will have zero impact on what the majority does.

                On covid you are correct there is a ton of circumstantial evidence for a coordinated plan. I still lean to it being a subconscious emergent behavior. First off, I don’t think our health professionals are bright enough to plan anything on this scale, and I do think they are stupid enough to believe their vaccine stories. They have many core beliefs that are simply wrong, for example sugar, cholesterol, and statins, and seem incapable of absorbing evidence that contradicts their beliefs. Second, subconscious behavior can easily be misconstrued for conscious behavior. For example, the birth rate usually falls as available calories decline, not because wise aware people say “it looks like scarcity is on the horizon so I better have less sex so my fewer kids have a better chance of surviving”, but rather because our genes have evolved to reduce fecundity with caloric scarcity.

                I think what’s happening with Ukraine is another emergent behavior. From an evolutionary perspective it matters not a wit who is in the right in this conflict. What matters is that we sense scarcity and know we’ll have to fight soon to survive so we are choosing our tribes and stirring up the loyalty emotions.

                Thanks again Gaia for contributing and I’m glad you’ve joined our little tribe.

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  5. Mac10 is more specific today on the how and why the markets will crash soon. He doesn’t mention Russian energy being removed from the global economy which probably means reality is worse than he thinks.

    https://zensecondlife.blogspot.com/2022/03/all-signs-point-to-crash.html

    The ubiquitous delusion is that the Fed can easily pivot back to cutting rates again. There’s only one problem with that fantasy: the Fed funds rate is at .25%, whereas in 2008 it was at 5.25%. There is nowhere to go on the downside.

    In 2008, in addition to a U.S. 5.25% interest rate reduction (i.e. 21 serial rate cuts), China’s economy was still booming. It was China that dragged the world out of recession. This time they are leading the world into recession.

    All of which means that QE alone will not be enough to revive the global economy. What will be required is a combined fiscal + monetary super stimulus similar to what took place during the pandemic. Which will be challenging with a gridlocked Congress in a mid-term election year. When all else fails, I assume they will get it done, however, it won’t be nearly as easy as during the pandemic.

    And then there will be the protests and rioting. Why? Because a generation of Millennials is about to get financially wiped off the map. When that happens, one can assume that a TARP style bank bailout will be off the table. Which means that financials will be bidless. All of which means that the “just in time” bailout hypothesis which is propagated by all of Wall Street and most financial pundits, is lethal bullshit.

    Go figure that Wall Street would not predict the wholesale collapse of their own industry.

    But really who knew that a global pandemic and two year lockdown wouldn’t lead to stronger global growth?

    Not this Idiocracy.

    When the wheels came off the bus in late 2018 however, it was Trump who commanded Powell to pivot on rate hikes. Whereas this time, there is no chance Biden will interfere in monetary policy on behalf of stock gamblers. And Powell has already shown via the Nasdaq that he doesn’t care if stocks implode.

    In each of the past major market events, gamblers were reaching for hedges. However, in this event with global markets ALREADY in meltdown, there is no reach to hedge. In addition, this is the least likely time to get bailed out due to the Fed’s hawkish stance.

    This is beyond any level of risky risk-seeking we’ve ever seen.

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  6. Nate Hagens today on nuclear war.

    An important dialogue with Chuck Watson on:

    1) Why the U.S. public is naïve about what nuclear war means
    2) The mechanics on how nuclear war with Russia could actually happen
    3) How bad would nuclear war short and long term effects be?

    Links discussed in our conversation:

    Pew Survey showing 35% of Americans willing to risk nuclear war
    https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2022/03/15/public-expresses-mixed-views-of-u-s-response-to-russias-invasion-of-ukraine/

    Proud Prophet 1983 nuclear risk
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proud_Prophet#Outcome_of_Proud_Prophet

    Devastating effects of Nuclear War
    https://thereader.mitpress.mit.edu/devastating-effects-of-nuclear-weapons-war/

    Go to https://www.thegreatsimplification.com/episode/04-chuckwatson
    to hear the prior podcast with Chuck Watson “From MAD to NUTS: Risk, Nukes, & Climate Change”, Chuck’s bio, and related show notes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, 2nd censorship today, this time on YouTube. I left the following comment on Nate’s video. A few minutes later it was deleted by YouTube.

      Thank you Nate.

      In case anyone is not aware, a leading voice for the Russian perspective is The Saker blog. You might not agree with everything he says but it is useful to understand what the Russians are thinking.

      Today The Saker is at least as worried as Nate is about the risk of nuclear war.

      http://thesaker.is/day-22-where-do-we-go-from-here-two-decisions/

      Like

  7. If you ignore his usual partisan politics, Kunstler does a nice job today of describing our insanity.

    Amid an all-out campaign of contrived World War Three hysteria, our country aims to send about $14-billion in aid to Ukraine post-haste, including more javelin anti-tank missiles and weapons described as “kamikaze drones,” posing some thorny questions for curious observers.

    How do we propose to get these things into Ukraine? Fly the stuff in on USAF C-17 Globemaster transport planes? To what airfield, exactly? And with what assurance that they can make delivery without encountering, shall we say, induced mechanical failure before landing? Drive the weapons across the border from Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, or Moldova? Do you not suppose that Russia has satellite surveillance of the limited number of road crossings along that frontier, and will be watching for truck convoys?

    https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/shadows-within-shadows/

    Like

  8. Wow, they are ratcheting up the censorship.

    I posted this on Twitter. Then a few minutes later I decided to delete it because at the end of the essay El Gato claims climate change data is as fraudulent as covid data.

    My tweet was gone. Twitter seems to have auto-deleted it.

    Just because our leaders grossly distorted covid data to push an agenda doesn’t mean we should distrust them on Ukraine. We’re the good guys so we can’t be wrong.

    https://boriquagato.substack.com/p/cdc-reports-of-historical-covid-deaths?s=r

    Like

    1. Just to be clear, I’m sure that some climate data has been distorted to push agendas in the past. But my understanding of the evidence today is that we are grossly underestimating the climate change risk to civilization and so El Gato once again demonstrates a fatal blind spot on overshoot.

      Like

  9. The Saker’s also feeling increased stress today.

    http://thesaker.is/day-22-where-do-we-go-from-here-two-decisions/

    I hope that I am wrong and that the US+UK+PL are not as terminally blinded by their hatred of Russia as to risk an actual full scale war in Europe.

    But I have to admit that this hope is small and getting smaller by the day.

    It is therefore quite possible, maybe even likely, that in the not too distant future we will see US and Russian military personnel meeting in combat. If that happens, not only will the risks of a fullscale nuclear war go sharply up, but it would place me personally in an impossible situation: I would be a guest of the USA (“Green Card” – I only have a Swiss Passport) while my country of ethnic origin would be at war with the USA.

    I have therefore taken the following decision: if there is a war in Europe, I will continue to cover it until 1) Russian and US soldiers meet in battle and/or 2) a nuclear strike happens anywhere. If we reach either of these points, then this will not only prove that the Saker blog failed in its main mission (avoid war) but it will also place me personally in an impossible situation.

    If either of the two events happen, I will then “freeze” the blog until the war stops.

    I don’t like to have to take the two decisions above, in fact I very much regret them both, but things are quickly getting out of hand and I need to prepare, both the blog and my personal life.

    I also see another parallel: remember how the USA forced Japan into a war and then wrapped itself in the mantle of an innocent victim and declared “this day shall live in infamy”?

    That is exactly what the USA just pulled off in Europe. And the consequences might be just as immense.

    Like

  10. Herring roe is the energy gradient. Why is there so much roe on the beach? Because herring prefer to lay their sticky eggs on kelp, but most of the kelp beds on the east coast of Vancouver Island are gone, so the herring apparently resort to laying their eggs on the ocean bottom which does not work so well. Why is the keystone kelp species gone? Experts don’t know for sure but they suspect some big force like a change in the pH or temperature caused by climate change.

    I have been visiting this same beach since 1960. When I was kid, kelp and many other plant and animal species were super abundant. Today, although the beach is still pleasing to the eye, most of the life is gone. To my eyes it looks like the surface of the moon compared to what it was 50 years ago.

    Like

    1. Tasmania has also experienced a 95% die off of its giant kelp forests in the last 10 years. First triggered by ocean warming and now ignobly finished off by sea urchins. The beaches here are also still looking pristine but just under the surface it is a wasteland. The silver lining is efforts are being made to “replant” the kelp by tying seedlings to the reef but how will these survive with continued rising temperatures and the now ubiquitous urchins? Methinks the real urchins are we. I can’t agree more with you that Nature will always find a way and bats last.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Rob:

      I retired last year from the BC Ministry of Forests and Lands. They now have staff dedicated to issuing licenses for Kelp but no one overlooking the harvest. It’s typical government if they can make money at it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Peter, I didn’t know they were allowing the harvest of kelp.

        There were persistent rumors here that a fisheries authorized experimental kelp harvest in the 70’s was the cause of the destruction of the kelp beds here in Comox. I enquired at the fisheries office and they said they were aware of the rumors but had no record of a harvest. I then went to a talk by biologists studying the problem and learned that kelp is disappearing from the entire east coast of Vancouver Island and so harvesting cannot be the sole explanation. They guessed pH or temperature.

        Like

  11. The Russian invasion of Ukraine heightens the terrifying prospect of nuclear war. Three experts on nuclear weapons and Russia will discuss the dangerous steps the U.S. and Russia are taking on the ladder of escalation. Russia is on nuclear alert.

    The United States became a co-belligerent after the invasion by systematic delivery of arms to Ukraine. Putin responded by declaring arms convoys legitimate military targets. Trade has virtually ended. Russian finances are crippled by terminating SWIFT and seizing Russian foreign exchange reserves. In a Reuters poll, 74% of American support a no-fly zone which would move America from state of co-belligerency to belligerency.

    Whom the Gods would destroy, they first endow with nuclear weapons. Former Pentagon senior nuclear advisor and MIT Professor Ted Postol will discuss the asymmetry in military technology between the U.S. and Russia that could precipitate Armageddon predicated on Russian error. The two powers have demonstrated a willingness to employ nuclear weapons and risk extinction. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings were superfluous to Japanese surrender without a bloody land invasion. The U.S in 1958 flirted with nuclear weapons against China in defense of the long-forgotten islands of Quemoy and Matsu. President Kennedy contemplated nuclear weapons during the Cuban Missile Crisis to remove Soviet missiles 90 miles from our shore while the United States brandished an equal Jupiter missile threat to Russia on its Turkish border.

    Putin has poisoned his domestic political enemies and reduced Chechnya and Georgia to rubble. Through congressional abdication, our imperial presidency has usurped the war power. In flagrant violation of the Declare War Clause and the NATO treaty, Biden bugled on the day of the invasion: “the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of American power.”

    During the Cold War, Ted Postol was a principal advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations on nuclear weapons systems, nuclear war planning, Russian and U.S. anti-missile defense countermeasures, strategic anti-submarine warfare and Navy and Air Force Strategic Nuclear missile systems. Postol will elaborate on his discovery of the inferiority of Russia’s early warning systems cited in the Committee’s first Ukraine salon, viewed over 750,000 times, and how this could trigger what Dr. Strangelove referred to as the “Doomsday Machine.”

    Cynthia Lazaroff is the founder of Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy and NuclearWakeUpCall.Earth. An award-winning documentary filmmaker and author of Dawn of a New Armageddon, Cynthia is an activist dedicated to a world without nuclear weapons and serves on the boards of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and the American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord.

    Joe Cirincione is another voice of sanity among a war-drunk mob. He is distinguished fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. He was long-term President of the nuclear nonproliferation Ploughshares Fund and author of Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late and Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons.

    Like

      1. I could only watch the video for a while. The sound was so bad that when you turn up the playback speed it was hideous. This just still reinforced my feeling that we (in the U.S.) might not be around in a few weeks. Odds are not good if anyone uses even one nuke. Putin will not back down and the U.S. thinks they can fight a nuke war or limit it to Europe. What fools on the U.S. side. Nuclear winter is not to be trifled with. The chance that Russia goes nuclear because of a poor early warning system is scary. Why are people such idiots. I think without fossil fuels civilization would never have gotten to this stage. Without denial we probably wouldn’t have either (it allows very risky behavior).
        AJ

        Like

  12. What’s more scary than US leaders who think only their country is entitled to a Monroe Doctrine?

    US citizens who don’t even know what the Monroe Doctrine is and want their leaders to nuke Russia.

    Like

  13. Feeling like my head is going to explode.

    Here is a recent must listen podcast with Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche and Dr. Peter McCullough, two of the covid heavyweight experts that have earned the right to be trusted.

    Bossche is about to release a paper arguing that our vaccination policies which to date have forced the evolution of more infectious variants like Omicron, are about to take a nasty turn because we are now forcing the variants to be more virulent (i.e. dangerous).

    We need an immediate U-turn in policies but they see no hope of that happening because science is now dead in the public health arena. Our health officials have so much of their personal reputations invested in the current narrative that nothing will change until their children begin to die.

    What the hell has happened to our ability to think? How can this insanity be global? It makes me crazy.

    This is the anniversary interview of the landmark session we convened with Dr. Peter McCullough and Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche in March 2021. The two distinguished experts discuss the most current developments and issues with COVID-19, vaccination and early treatment. Specifically discussed by Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche is Omicron and its implications. Despite its short duration, the interview is packed with some of the most relevant information for understanding the possible evolution of COVID-19. Both experts also formulate their most urgent recommendations.

    https://covexit.com/anniversary-interview/

    Like

  14. Off on another topic here, but this just came to my attention – apparently, piston-driven propeller aircraft in the U.S. still use leaded avgas, at the thousands of local general-aviation airfields across the country. Leaded fuel in propeller aircraft is the major source of airborne lead pollution in the U.S. I came across this report:

    Click to access FOE_Avgas_report_FINAL.pdf

    According to the report, the countries where leaded avgas is still allowed are: Algeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar, North Korea, Yemen and … the United States. Boy, are we in great company.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Joe Blogs is working hard to bring a video every day looking at the economic implications of Ukraine.

    Today he takes a big picture view of energy prices and makes the case we had a big problem before the war, and now things are much worse.

    Buckle up.

    Like

  16. The whole structure for gauging how well the various nuclear fusion research centers are progressing appears to be built on what a cynical person might describe as willful mass delusion.

    An aware person would replace “willful mass delusion” with “genetic denial of reality”.

    I’ve tried on several occasions to make this guy aware of Varki’s MORT without success. Denial of denial is the strongest form of denial.

    Like

    1. “An aware person would replace “willful mass delusion” with “genetic denial of reality”.”

      Absolutely – whether we have “will” or not pales in comparison to the fact that we do indeed have drives. Varki elegantly provides a modern explanation of why these drives have a chief side effect of denying reality.

      Like

  17. Gail is finally telling off Fast Eddy LOL.
    Gail Tverberg says: Perhaps you need to slow down your comments. We don’t need so many of them.

    Like

    1. She’s not doing it on her own initiative. Somebody complained earlier in the day. Has happened in the past and things become sane for a few days and then it goes back to “normal”. Really is a shame the damage that is done to Gail’s good work.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Honestly her blog would be helped immensely if he was just banned. It would probably help him too, it can’t be healthy the amount of time he spends looking at all those links and writing all those comments.
        JMG shared this article about how to spot forum spies and forum disrupters. I’m all for having differing view points, but Fast Eddy and his ilk are disrupting the discourse, whether intentionally or not.
        https://cryptome.org/2012/07/gent-forum-spies.htm

        Like

    2. He’s clearly round the turn. You know I think most of the crazies on OFW are New Zealanders … weird huh? I saw recently we have the highest google search rate for the term ‘peak oil’.

      Like

  18. Dr. Kendrick today on Pfizer.

    Seems consistent with Nate Hagen’s self-organizing superorganism description of civilization. Nobody’s driving the bus to grow at any cost but that’s what it looks like.

    Someone once said to me that I really must despise the pharmaceutical industry. There are certainly times when this is true, and my anger with them is sharp … and hot.

    But yet, and yet, I know many people who work in the industry, and they all seem nice, concerned about the world, caring. Trying to do good. The industry itself has also produced some great innovations and medications. Without which the world would be a much scarier and more unpleasant place.

    In truth, I find the industry is a bit like capitalism. Both fantastic and dreadful. Which is a bit like humanity itself. Both fantastic and dreadful. Capable of the most amazing things, yet the darker side can be very dark indeed. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

    To be frank, my personal problems with the pharmaceutical industry have mainly centred around cholesterol lowering. Various companies have made billions, nay tens of billions, nay hundreds of billions, pushing LDL-Cholesterol reduction with all their might.

    However, I have oft sat with my head in my hands in despair at such nonsense. Pfizer with Lipitor (atorvastatin) pushed the hardest and made the most … and horribly distorted the entire world of cardiovascular disease research in so doing.

    https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2022/03/21/pfizer-and-me-best-buddies/

    Like

  19. A possible reality is hovering on the horizon in which 4+ million Russian oil barrels are stuck on Russian soil and the market is unable to find a substitute for them. If Saudi Arabia and the UAE are not able to supply that much-needed 2-3 million bpd to Western markets, oil prices will soar to unseen heights. A potential failure to find a swing-producer would not only lead to a real energy price crisis but would also undermine the current strategic power OPEC holds. Geopolitically, OPEC producers’ attractiveness to others (financial markets, manufacturers, and investors, but also defense/security) is linked to their oil and gas supply capabilities. Without this, the entire geopolitical equation will change.

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/OPECs-Best-Kept-Secret-Will-Soon-Be-Revealed.html

    Like

  20. Nate Hagens advised me not to place much confidence in analysis from The Saker and said the source he trusts most for the Russian perspective is Chuck Watson @ https://blogenkiops.wordpress.com/

    I went back and read Watson’s post explaining the history that led to the Ukraine invasion. It’s very interesting, especially the explanation for why US leaders hate Putin so much. As usual, it’s all about money.

    https://blogenkiops.wordpress.com/2019/09/25/russia-ukraine-and-impeachment-some-missing-context/

    …why are US politicians so wrapped up in the Ukraine-Russia conflict? And the answer to that is simple: money.

    This brings us to the second aspect: the post Soviet economy, and the radical, rapid, wholesale privatization that was prescribed/required in order to receive western aid. The FSU became a playground for various economists to experiment with their pet theories. It was a disaster. This article in The Nation from 1998 has some good background.

    “After seven years of economic “reform” financed by billions of dollars in U.S. and other Western aid, subsidized loans and rescheduled debt, the majority of Russian people find themselves worse off economically. The privatization drive that was supposed to reap the fruits of the free market instead helped to create a system of tycoon capitalism run for the benefit of a corrupt political oligarchy that has appropriated hundreds of millions of dollars of Western aid and plundered Russia’s wealth. — The Harvard Boys Do Russia, The Nation, May 1998”

    In other words, it was the US who created the “Oligarchs” and crony capitalism system that it now decries! It was common knowledge that Clinton Administration allies rigged the 1996 election, ensuring that Boris Yeltsin would win over the communist candidate Zyuganov. The history of Yeltsin and his evolution from patriot to puppet is a short and sad one. The rise of Vladimir Putin in that environment (and the US role in his ascendance) is worthy of a separate post. But the epic corruption and looting of that time frame, from 1992 to 2001 or so, sets the stage for what has followed. By some recent estimates (such as in Tikhomirov’s “The Political Economy of Post-Soviet Russia”), at least hundreds of Billions, perhaps even trillions of dollars were looted from Russia during that time frame.

    It’s hard to overstate the resentment against the West over this. Russians see how the US treated Germany and Japan after World War II, and compare that with “aid” and “reforms” inflicted on them after the US “won” the cold war, see what was done in the looting of their country and the lawlessness that resulted, and are justifiably angry at the west, especially the US. Putin has been, and remains, popular in large part because he has brought order back to the country, and has put a stop to the worst of the looting and corruption. He is extremely intelligent, and a Russian patriot with a keen sense of history. The comic-book depictions in the US media are simply not helpful in trying to understand the situation. That is not to defend him (my thoughts on the Russian President are complex), I’m just trying to point out that from the perspective of the average Russian who survived the 1990’s, Putin rescued them from the chaos. He put a stop to the worst of the looting, and restored order within the country. But in doing so, he also cut off a lot of the massive cash and resource flows out of Russia and into the west, especially into the coffers of US vulture capitalists. And that pissed off a lot of people in the west and their partners in Russia who were making money off of it. Again, this is just a summary; the implicit Putin “deal” with the remaining Oligarchs is complex and has created ongoing corruption problems, but the essence is that it’s ok to make obscene amounts of money as long as you don’t harm Russian National Security, and don’t create a political challenge. One could probably find similar (if more subtle) “deals” in the US, but that’s another post …

    By the mid-2000’s, the fact that Russia was more in control of its vast resources, and the rise of oil prices that boosted its economy, was a major financial blow to the well-connected looters. In some ways Ukraine is a key, especially when it comes to energy. This is also a topic worthy of its own post (or book for that matter). In overly simple terms, the bottom line is the gas pipelines from fields in southern Russian and as far away as Kazakhstan are routed through Ukraine. Disrupting Ukrainian-Russian relations has the effect of hurting Russia economically. Russia is working to bypass Ukraine – which directly hurts a number of US interests, such as the Biden family, who are involved with Ukrainian energy companies. So fostering a revolution/coup in Ukraine was seen as a “win/win” by many in the US establishment: reducing Russian power and influence while boosting the profits of associates. It also explains some of the underlying reasons for the recent turmoil in Kazakhstan. In both cases, legitimate underlying popular concerns have been exploited in order to install leaders hostile to Russia and friendly to the US – even if they are not better (and in the case of Ukraine, clearly worse) than those there to begin with. And in both cases, the key are what are often called Oligarchs – those who ended up in control of the immense wealth trapped in the former Soviet Union.

    While much is made in the US media about Russian or Ukrainian “Oligarchs,” and their offshore accounts and corruption, the thing left unsaid is that while some in the FSU did become “tycoons,” “oligarchs,” or “legitimate businessmen,” an awful lot of that money ended up in the hands of western financial institutions (who, were they in other countries, would likely be called oligarchs …). And that has distorted our economic and political systems.

    The money that ended up in the system quickly found its way into the US political process. Thus, scratch the surface, you will find Russian or Ukrainian money behind many major US politicians. Now, I would be surprised if the vast majority are even dimly aware of that fact, any more than they are of Chinese money and influence within the US. But some, such as Donald Trump, the Clintons, and the Bidens, key congressional leaders such as Adam Schiff, and others, have had direct, active dealings with “legitimate businessmen” (aka Oligarchs, or Mafia, if you are running an attack ad) from the FSU, or via intermediaries like US companies that benefit from those relationships, especially in the influential energy and defense sectors. And it is hard to escape the conclusion that all of the above used their political offices to profit their allies (which is corrupt, but probably legal) or themselves and their families (which is corrupt, but maybe illegal). People like Bill Browder, who is running around singing the martyrdom of Sergi Magnitsky, attacking Putin, pushing sanctions, etc., made billions of dollars from the resources of the FSU – money that ultimately found its way in to various political campaigns. When the Putin administration cracked down on that form of corruption, it reduced a significant flow of funds into the western capital markets.

    Now, perhaps, you can see why Putin and Russia is so hated by US leaders of both political stripes, and why Russia and Ukraine have become so central to US Politics. Like most things, it’s all about money and control of resources.

    In my not-so-humble-opinion, I agree with Vladimir Putin when he said “Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster (catastrophe) of the century. ” This misunderstood comment wasn’t a lament about the fall of communism, but over how the Russian people were treated, and the country looted. It’s sad; Russia should be a natural ally of the US and stabilizing force in the world, far more so than other countries with whom we have aligned (like Saudi Arabia). But instead of acting as we did after WW II with Germany and Japan, and work to build strong economies and democratic institutions in the FSU, the US acted opportunistically and with outright malice.

    Like

    1. Another good post by Chuck Watson.

      https://blogenkiops.wordpress.com/2022/03/09/a-warning-about-ukraine-propaganda/

      We can argue over past policy all day. It is well known that I think that had we not been interfering, pumping weapons in, and giving Ukraine reason to believe we would intervene so that they felt no need to compromise, while simultaneously creating enough strategic ambiguity that we would not intervene so that Russia made the calculation they did, things would have gone very differently (as in probably no war at all). But it’s too late for that now. All we can do is not make things worse. Given how bad it is, that’s a hard thing to say.

      We simply cannot allow this to escalate into a direct US-Russia confrontation – there is just too much danger of a nuclear war. Then none of it matters. With this incident you’re hearing even more talk of a no-fly zone. And the warheads on TV are saying we can pull it off. They are wrong: a no-fly zone would be not just a step down the road to nuclear Armageddon, it would be a full-out sprint for the cliff. Even continuing to pump in military aid is only making the situation more dangerous, inflaming tensions, and getting innocent people killed. There is really only one thing we can do. Push Ukraine to negotiate, shut off the weapons flow, and rebuild the Iron Curtain 2.0.

      Yes, that means sacrificing Ukraine.

      I know what that means, but the alternatives at this point are worse, not only for the people of Ukraine, but the world, with an economic system on the verge of catastrophic collapse, much less the nuclear threat. Some will say we will be betraying the people of Ukraine, but really that betrayal happened a long time ago. We also betrayed the people of Russia, starting in the mid 1990’s – but nobody seems to want to talk about that. Again, from the standpoint of what to do in the next hours, days and months, it doesn’t matter at this point. We’ve got to stabilize this situation, fast, or it’s going to end in an outright US-Russia military confrontation, and no matter how you game it, that almost always goes nuclear.

      Yes, it’s that dangerous.

      Like

      1. Rob,
        I have read everything that Chuck Watson has written on the Ukraine war. I think he is spot on in his historical analysis and his concerns about how this could result in a nuclear war. This has led to my being even more depressed and cynical about the future. However, I disagree with Nate Hagens on The Saker. I think one needs non-Western sources of insight and information (sure can’t trust western MSM). Sure I scan Tass and RT but they are as captive as western MSM. The Saker provides a Russian perspective without being an official extension of Russia. I also think he understands the Russian mindset. I also like watching/listening to The Duran. Their analysis of the news seems to be the most insightful and they are not the stupid MSM.
        AJ

        Like

        1. Good point – I like reading perspectives and appreciate that bias is acceptable. If anything, I think it’s dangerous to believe one has found an “unbiased” source. That can lead to fundamentalism, credulity, and ultimately disillusionment.

          I read the saker and understand there may be some bias, whether from a nationalistic or Christian angle. I read Alice Friedman and Jim Kunstler, though they both wear their politics on their sleeves.

          Like

          1. I agree with both you and AJ. I still read The Saker and watch The Duran. I also respect Kunstler but skip over his political rants.

            For the record, Nate’s warning about The Saker came from Chuck Watson.

            Like

  21. Twitter suspended The Babylon Bee for making a joke about gender stuff. They won’t lift the suspension unless the Babylon Bee deletes the tweet.

    But it’s OK to openly call for the assassination of the president of a G20 country.

    I feel like we’re in a simulation, and the programmer is just fucking with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. US now sanctioning China for not condemning Russia hard enough. Seems to align nicely with policies to block effective early treatments and vitamin D awareness. A movie comes to mind.

    Apparently not content with diplomatic war on one front with Russia, the Biden administration appears ready to escalate with China following on the heels of last week’s persistent accusations that Beijing was mulling cooperation with Moscow on weapons resupplies for its Ukraine operation, as well as assistance on Western sanctions evasion.

    Monday afternoon Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced more visa restrictions on Chinese officials related to prior charges that state authorities are overseeing the ethnic cleansing of Uighurs. It’s certainly interesting timing in terms of pulling out the the human rights card, given that throughout last week the admin’s China criticisms seemed exclusively focused on its “fence-sitting” over Ukraine.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/us-expands-travel-bans-chinese-officials-hours-after-demanding-beijing-condemn-russia

    Like

  23. This is news that connects those of us here Down Under with the other hemisphere, what do you make of the fact that both poles this past weekend broke, nay, smashed, their previous temperature records by upwards of 40C (?!!?) at one location in Antarctica and 30C in the Arctic! Now that is insane.

    Apparently, attribution studies are needed to tease out the likelihood of this stunning event occurring in the absence of human induced climate change, which could take months or years to peer-review.

    Happy Equinox everyone.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/mar/21/extremes-of-40c-above-normal-whats-causing-extraordinary-heating-in-polar-regions

    Like

    1. I saw that. Really not good.

      My understanding is we can view the poles as amplifiers of climate change signals. In other words, the poles confirm the signal.

      Many threads seem to be unraveling all at once: climate, energy, food, trust, cooperation, peace, sanity, etc.

      Like

    1. George Gammon and his guest Luke Gromen understand that energy is the economy and predict the US dollar will remain the reserve currency but the global reserve asset must and will shift from US treasuries to gold priced in oil.

      What they seem to deny is that people everywhere in the world are going to be much poorer regardless of what we do, despite all of their arguments pointing to poverty as a conclusion.

      Like

  24. Brief update from Chuck Watson today.

    https://blogenkiops.wordpress.com/2022/03/23/doom-stalks-the-earth/

    And of course the Ukraine thing grinds on. Hard to know what to say about that, the level of propaganda all around is insane, and there is virtually no reliable information in the public realm. So trust no one, and stay tuned … I suspect we are in that dangerous period where things are moving to a new equilibrium, but the people who don’t want or realize that may act to blow up (literally in this case) that trend. Perhaps by early April we will know.

    Like

  25. What do you un-deniers make of people who genuinely believe we are heading into a mini ice age from a grand solar minimum? From the little bit I have read of the science, it seems that solar activity is very tricky to predict. I wonder if believing in a coming grand solar minimum is a convenient way to deny climate change? A solar minimum or solar maximum is possible, but as far as I know there is only one paper and one research suggesting we are heading for an imminent grand solar minimum.

    Like

    1. Having given it a moderate amount of time my interim conclusion is that (1) It’s obviously true the sun is the primary contributor to global climate patterns, (2) the sun has and will continue to create fluctuations which have contributed to past cold and warm periods, though the degree seems to be undecided. Part of this indecision seems to be that past periods overlapped volcanic activity (i.e. mini ice age). However, the magnetic changes during these sunspot cycles may be a contributing factor to volcanic activity due to the impact on the earths magnetic fields. (3) I do not believe in a conspiracy theory that this knowledge is being concealed in favor of advertising global warming.

      If I had to summarize it would be “possible, hard to say for sure, and irrelevant in the big picture” unless one is concerned primarily about short/mid term famines.

      In general I choose to avoid it, along with global warming, as I situate the latter as a problem under the larger context of overshoot. Global warming, or cooling being neither sufficient nor necessary to establish overshoot as our key problem.

      On Climate Change my professional society, and the data we use for mechanical engineering, shows a clear moderate increase in the volume of warm weather over the last century in most geographical areas. In some it has come down slightly. So I’m in the “real, but undecided on the most catastrophic extrapolations of the data.”

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Sorry I haven’t read anything about the mini ice age theory so can’t comment on that specifically.

      What I recall from reading over the years is that given the sun’s energy cycle we should be cooling right now, and the fact that we are warming tells us we’ve had a pretty big impact on the climate. Doubly so when you account for the energy masking effect of the soot we have put in the atmosphere. Apparently the temperature would jump 0.5 to 1 degree pretty quickly if industry collapsed for some reason.

      When I’m seeking solid ground for what to believe about climate I default to 2 things:
      1) I ignore the models and focus on the planet’s actual geologic history for which we have an excellent understanding. At all times in the past at our current CO2 level the temperature and sea level were at values incompatible with modern civilization.
      2) I trust me eyes which have seen more extreme weather in the last 5 years than the previous 58 years.

      Liked by 3 people

  26. Given the sanctions placed on Russia by the west, does anyone understand why Russia is being cautious on ratcheting up the pressure that could be applied by curtailing energy flow or demanding gold for energy? Seems like an obvious response. What am I missing?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And also maybe it’s strategic to keep your biggest guns up your sleeve until the situation warrants, just the threat that you might use it can cause the desired effect as you point out that it seems to be happening in other arenas. I am hoping that this applies to Russia’s literal biggest gun of nuclear bombs as well as shutting off the gas.

        I’ve been thinking that cash isn’t the main driver although it it may be expedient for Russia now to go along with the narrative that it may default. For some years now, the BRIC alliance has been gaining cohesion of their geopolitical and economic goals, to the point where Russia and China have jointly stated in their 4th Feb 5000 word document that “Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation”. Putin has declared the Russian-Sino relationship as one that probably cannot be compared with anything in the world. This is a definitive declaration to the world that a new world order is upon the horizon and Russia and China will be the countries to usher it in.

        https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2022/02/12/breaking-down-that-putin-xi-joint-statement-on-a-new-era/

        Wouldn’t it be a logical next step for the Russian and Chinese currencies to amalgamate as a precursor to the global currency whilst taking down the US dollar and the Euro from their eyrie status as reserve currencies? With India, Brazil, and some Middle Eastern states in this alliance, trade of nearly everything could continue between them and the West could be completely shut out. These countries have all the resources needed for a self sustaining economy (such as it is for the short term). This would be a spectacular take-down move and I can’t see why or how it can’t be done, the question is just the timing of. Which is maybe why the real effect of this war is to prepare the way for such an outcome, with markets ready to collapse like a house of cards and a new hegemony ready to take its place. The bear and dragon have been long asleep but now they both are wide awake and we have only just realised they are emerging from the same den/lair.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe Russia actually wants this to be a limited military operation and aren’t interested in escalating beyond their stated strategic objectives. They had to expect sanctions, and I would also guess that they know sanctions of energy aren’t going to be possible. Perhaps there is political value in letting the West come to that conclusion on their own – i.e. since time is on their side no need to instigate.

      Like

  27. Listening to intelligent pundits talk about the economy makes me wonder if these guys really understand anything? Or perhaps they’re all deeply in denial? Or perhaps I’m too pessimistic?

    Some big themes I’m hearing include:
    – inflation will get worse because the effects of the Ukraine shock have not rippled through the economy yet
    – central banks will be forced to raise interest rates a lot because inflation is toxic to the election of politicians
    – it will be bad for bond owners because bond values fall as the interest rate increases
    – other asset holders should be ok provided they don’t have a lot of debt
    – energy will keep flowing but with an upward trending price
    – the global monetary system will move away from the US currency but will continue to function well
    – growth will continue

    I’m thinking instead:
    – in about 2008 we hit physical limits to growth
    – we kept the (fractional reserve) wheels on by buying growth with lots of debt
    – we kept the debt affordable by buying lots of debt with printed money
    – covid brought this unsustainable game to a climax by disrupting supply chains and by forcing governments to spend lots of printed money
    – now the combined effect of energy constraints, supply chain problems, and circulating printed money have created inflation
    – inflation created tension in buyers struggling to afford energy to survive, and tension in energy sellers not wanting to be paid with devaluing currency
    – this tension erupted in a war
    – the war will amplify all of the forces that created the war with more supply chain disruptions and more government spending of printed money
    – all paths lead at best to a depression and social unrest:
    a) if central banks raise the interest rate to constrain inflation a lot of debt will default and less money will be borrowed leading to degrowth (.i.e. depression), a big drop in all asset prices, and social unrest due to shortages and/or unaffordable prices
    b) if central banks don’t raise the interest rate then banks won’t lend which will cause the economy to contract (i.e. depression), a big drop in all asset prices, and social unrest due to shortages and/or unaffordable prices

    This is of course a logical conclusion because there is no such thing as a free lunch except when you are temporarily blessed with plentiful cheap surplus energy.

    When the affordable energy is gone you can pretend there is a free lunch by spending borrowed money and assuming it will be repaid from future growth.

    Eventually it becomes impossible to keep pretending and all of the wealth created with the borrowed money must vaporize, plus a vig for friction and momentum, and another vig to pay for the resulting wars.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I genuinely don’t understand how it would be possible for an economy to be able to keep on going by creating lots of debt with printed money. That it if it’s based purely on physics (which makes absolute sense). Isn’t there a contradiction somewhere? Thanks!

      Like

      1. I think you’re right in the long term. Growing debt faster than the real economy is the equivalent of a perpetual motion machine which of course is impossible.

        What I think is going on is that our monetary system is now functioning in large part because of belief. As long as the majority of people believe that growth will continue it won’t collapse.

        Belief in infinite growth is a manifestation of our genetic tendency to deny unpleasant realities, which we know is very strong.

        This probably explains why there are so many people who believe “green” growth can continue with solar and wind, and why peak oil remains a toxic topic that no one in the mainstream discusses, despite unambiguous evidence that we have a problem now.

        The big question is when and why will the belief in growth stop?

        I’m guessing maybe never because we will always find a Putin to blame for our temporary lack of growth.

        Like

        1. Despite the believe, the system will have to crash sooner or later, right!?

          My forecast: 2025, because of energy deflation!

          You can not eat a meal you only believe in , what is not physically avialable!

          So believe will not save us:

          Like

          1. Yes, or maybe it’s crashing now, just not in the way we expected.

            I’m cautious about making forecasts on timing. I didn’t think we’d make it more than a few years past 2008 because I was unable to imagine they would print to infinity.

            Like

        2. Rob Garth Turner has a blog on the Canadian Housing Bubble. 2% mortgages are heading to 6% by fall and the Bank of Canada is talking 0.5% rate hikes instead of 0.25%. They realize they have no choice now except to further prick inflation. The cycle of cheap interest that started 20 years ago is over at least for now. That will pull all kinds of spending out of our economy as peoples HELOCS(home equity lines of credit) dry up. Particularly in our part of the world (Vancouver Island and lower mainland) people have been buying vehicles, renovations, RV’s and all inclusive trips on their HELOCS and that will end. It’s illusory wealth.

          Like

    2. One more factor-the global chip shortage. We have built a system where chips are required for everything.

      To meet current fuel mileage standards new vehicles have even more chips. Many new cars now have highly electronic 8, 9, 10 and 12 speed automatic transmissions. Most new cars now have crap like active cruise control, lane departure assist. Now we have a chip that shuts off and restarts the engine at the lights and another that deactivated cylinders when not needed.

      Now we have “smart” homes with sensors that turn off light when you leave the room.

      The energy we need to produce these “efficiencies” doesn’t factor the energy needed (coking coal) to manufacture them. I can’t see the shortage going away. This is the perfect opportunity for the auto industry to produce vehicles only by ordering them and customers paying full retail. Maybe they can go to much smaller dealer lots as well.

      Like

      1. Good points.

        A wise species would be simplifying its critical products in preparation for a certain simpler future. We’re not wise so we’re going in the opposite direction.

        Big talk now about plans to build silicon fab facilities in the US. These are mega-billion dollar multi-year projects. I wonder if they’ll be completed before the credit needed to build them becomes scarce, and before China repatriates the plants in Taiwan?

        Like

  28. My son bought covid home from school. He’s quite crook actually. I’m a bit surprised. For all the talk of omicron been mild I’m not taking any chances. Taking 6ug/kg ivm, zinc, quercetin and melatonin at night. I’m out in the sun and already had exorbitant vit d levels so not bothering with that. I’ll let you know if and how it goes.

    Like

    1. G’day Perran, I believe I’m actually your neighbour in the Huon Valley, we’ve got a small holding in Glen Huon. Nice to find you here, and once again thanks to Rob for bringing us all on the same page. Sorry to hear that your son’s unwell and your household is on high alert. A prophylaxis treatment that I do is nasal rinsing with saline, you might try that with diluted Betadine added to the salt solution. The idea is to flush/kill the virus whilst it is in the nasal passage before it can take a foothold. Hope all goes well and your family is bouncing back with health soon. Hasn’t the Autumn weather been lovely in our corner of paradise?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We can get to Glen huon without going on the bitumen by going out one of our back farm gates and trespassing through some plantation and then past the gun club. Your welcome to drop by (probably not right now though). We’re on the left at the top of the hill coming from castle Forbes Bay. We all know each other up here so the neighbours will point you in the right direction if you go to the wrong spot.
        I forgot to mention I’ve been using nasal sprays. I’ve actually been doing it if after I’ve been in a high risk setting for several months. I’m using it three times a day at moment. No symptoms yet.
        Yes the weather is great. I’m frantically getting ground ready to seed some more pasture so I hope it holds out for another week.

        Like

        1. Thank you for that invite, neighbour. You’re most welcome to our place, too, we’re just across from the old mushroom farm which you will know if you’re a local, or perhaps you’re a transplant like me? Although we’ve been here in Tassie for 23 years as refugees from the States, my American accent remains and I am only too pleased when Aussies ask if I’m Canadian. Glad to hear that all is going well in your household and it looks like you’re certainly on top of the prevention and early treatment protocol. I think I’m ready as can be for the virus but trusting that our best defence is a virgin inoculation (I refuse to call the shots vaccines) status so our own immune system can effect true longer term immunity if and when (it looks like when) we get the virus. I can’t believe they’re now recommending the 4th shot for people over 65 when they’re out scratching their heads over why there was such an jump in excess mortality in aged care homes in January and February, and not due to Covid. It seems that the Booster is certainly boosting something. Stay safe and well, everyone.

          Liked by 1 person

  29. It’ll make no difference to the outcome but somehow it makes me feel better to see the names of the leaders who killed millions with their bad ethics and judgement. How can they sleep at night? What will their grandchildren think of them?

    https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/naming-names/

    But so many other things just happened with Covid-19, rather serious things, and no one has had to answer for them, certainly not Dr. Anthony Fauci, who just days ago talked up another booster shot of his obviously defective mRNA “vaccines.” Dr. Fauci proposed that despite a raft of emerging statistics from the life insurance realm that indicate a shockingly high number of mysterious all-causes deaths for people in the prime of life. Several conditions appear to be killing them: 1) blood clotting in the capillaries of various organs, apparently caused by the “vaccine’s” main active ingredient, spike proteins; 2) heart inflammation (pericarditis and myocarditis); 3) a mystifying array of neurological afflictions; and 4) switched-off immune system toggles, including the cellular mechanism for preventing the growth of cancers.

    This developing picture of a public health catastrophe, growing more robustly detailed by the week, has somehow not alerted the general public, not least because the entire public health officialdom does not want them to know about it. In fact, as averred to above, they are all still busy promoting the “vaccines” which are responsible. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC, is rather well-known — though her duties appear limited to the public impersonation of a “concerned mom” — but whoever heard of Rebecca Bunnell, PhD, Director of the CDC’s Office of Science. Does Science play any part in the emerging disaster of sharply rising all-causes deaths? It would be good to know, don’t you think? Anyone heard from Daniel Jernigan, MD, Deputy CDC Director for Public Health Science and Surveillance (DDPHSS)? You’d think he would be out there surveilling things.

    How about Brian C. Moyer, PhD, Director of the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. He would be in charge, presumably, of the VAERS system, which tabulates adverse vaccine events. That system evidently under-reports adverse events by a shocking amount — some say only 1 percent are ever recorded. Why is that? Because it is a website that is so notoriously ill-designed and hard to use that the CDC pledged to fix it more than ten years ago and never got around to it. Why is that Dr. Moyer? Has anyone asked him? I don’t think so.

    There is the appalling and still on-going campaign to suppress Covid early treatment off-label drugs such as ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, fluvoxamine, et cetera, though the protocols have been proven highly effective in clinical practice as well as scores of internationally peer-reviewed studies. Hundreds of thousands of Americans died because these drugs were maliciously outlawed. In many states, doctors can be punished with loss of medical licenses for using these safe and effective drugs, or even talking them up.

    Who exactly in public health was responsible for this suppression? Who gave the orders for it? Or did it just happen? Was it Francis Collins, recently retired director of the National Institutes for Health (NIH)? He must have at least approved the policy. Stephen M. Hahn, MD, who was Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration from Dec. 2019 to Jan. 2021, the heart of the Covid event time-line? Janet Woodcock, who was Acting Commissioner from Jan 2021 to Feb 2022 — and was previously the longtime chief of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Or the current chief of that outfit, one Patrizia Cavvazoni, MD? Or Jaqueline A. O’Shaughnessy, PhD, the FDA’s Acting Chief Scientist? Was outlawing early treatment in their purviews? Did they even know about it? How could they not?

    Consider another killer on-the-scene: the drug remdesivir, a Dr. Fauci production, originally for Hepetitis-C, manufactured by Gilead Sciences. US public health has anointed remdesivir the standard-of-practice for patients severely ill with stage-two inflammatory Covid in the ICUs all over America. It is well-known that remdesivir destroys kidney function in as little as five days. This supposed anti-viral agent is being used after the high-viral-load stage-one phase of Covid is over. How many ICU patients have been killed by remdesivir?

    Why not ask Judith A McMeekin, Pharma D, the FDA’s Commissioner of Regulatory Affairs? Or Sam Posner, Acting Director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases? Or Rima F. Khabbaz, MD, Director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. Or Debra C. Houry, MD, Acting Principal Deputy Director of the CDC and, since 2014, Director of the Center for Injury Prevention and Control? Or the CDC’s Chief Medical Officer, Mitchell Wolf, MD. Or Nathaniel Smith, MD, CDC’s Deputy Director of Public Health Service and Implementation? Or maybe Jay C. Butler, Deputy CDC Director for Infectious Diseases?

    You see, there are real people in high places with exalted credentials who must in some way be responsible for the epic blunders committed during the Covid-19 saga. Or else they allowed these actions to happen on-purpose. Will any actual persons answer for any of this?

    Like

    1. I’m no Sherlock by any means but I can’t help but return to this quote when confronting questions like these. “When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Whether deliberate or guided, all these people (and our world governments) have effectively let this catastrophic response unfold, the question really isn’t any more on-purpose but rather for what purpose? I just can’t get away from this conclusion. Why hasn’t any in this crowd come forward even though they know by now that they must have gotten something wrong? I saw a recent interview given by Rochelle Walensky at her alma mater university, just shocking and I was nearly made nauseous by her flippancy.

      https://peterlegyel.wordpress.com/2022/03/21/clueless-cdc-admits-they-never-suspected-waning-vaccines/

      It must be that they think they have safety in numbers, as long as no-one goes down or comes clean, they are all protected. Of course there’s an overdose of denial happening here, too–I think that’s long overtaken religion as the opiate of the masses.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nice find. Sickening.

        You are right, it is remarkable that not one has broken ranks.

        Covid has deeply scarred my view of our leaders. I will never trust them again on anything for the balance of my life. Even the political opposition stuck to the pharma script.

        Reasonable people might disagree, at least in the early days, about the benefits vs. costs of the vaccines, but the aggressive blocking of disease prevention and early treatment is worse than a war crime, and it appears the criminals are going to get away with it and retain their nice pensions.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I understand your feelings. I started the pandemic thinking that the “authorities” were just misguided. But after awhile I was certain they were at least fools or idiots; but now think they are all captive to “group think” and denial of reality. Then we pivot to Ukraine and I am certain they are ignorant and malevolent. I will never vote again (I wasted all that time thinking democracy was responsive to the people and that the best and brightest would rise to the top). Such disillusionment. Now I only respect science and rationalism.
          AJ

          Liked by 2 people

  30. Richard Heinberg today with an excellent peak oil perspective on the Ukraine war.

    On balance the essay is excellent but I thought it a little light on how we will manage to keep the wheels on as debt defaults and energy declines.

    Reading between the lines suggests another possible motivation for Russia’s decision to invade was an awareness that Russia is now at peak wealth and power and therefore now is the best time to secure its border.

    https://richardheinberg.com/museletter-349-after-the-ukraine-invasion

    Major oil companies, including ExxonMobil, Shell, and BP, have announced that they will cease collaborating with the Russian petroleum industry, which includes state-owned energy giants Lukoil and Gazprom. This will likely have implications more far-reaching and long-lasting than President Biden’s ban on imports of Russian oil and gas to the US. Russian oil and gas resources and production are enormous (the country supplies over a tenth of the world’s oil and 7 percent of the world’s gas), but many of the country’s oil and gas fields were initially developed decades ago and are no longer able to maintain former rates of flow. In 2021, the Russian Energy Ministry forecast that the nation was at peak petroleum production levels and would probably never exceed pre-Covid rates of output. For many years, Russian producers have depended on the expertise of giant foreign companies like ExxonMobil to help manage depleting fields and keep production up for as long as possible. Production cooperation agreements required years of negotiation, along with the transfer of key personnel and billions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure. With those agreements now in tatters, it is unlikely that Western oil companies will revive them, even if a relatively quick resolution to the Ukraine war ensues. Whether export embargoes continue or not, Russian oil production will begin to decline, and, unless the Russian oil industry quickly obtains investment and expertise from China and India, the declines may happen faster than almost anyone would have predicted.

    This comes at a time when global oil production has remained below November 2018 levels for the past 27 months. Demand has been whipsawed by the pandemic, leaving companies wary to start new projects. At the same time, the industry is running out of places to drill. Oil discoveries have been declining for decades; discovery levels for 2021 were the lowest in 75 years.

    Like

  31. Eric Weinstein today for a nice change is wise.

    Click for a thread of important observations.

    Like

  32. Panopticon’s roundup of climate news is a doozy today.

    https://climateandeconomy.com/2022/03/26/26th-march-2022-todays-round-up-of-climate-news/

    “Satellite data shows entire Conger ice shelf has collapsed in Antarctica. An ice shelf about the size of Rome has completely collapsed in East Antarctica within days of record high temperatures.

    “The Conger ice shelf, which had an approximate surface area of 1,200 sq km, collapsed around 15 March, scientists said on Friday.”

    Like

  33. Steve Kirsch is challenging the authorities to a debate on covid. I haven’t followed Kirsch much since he first appeared with Malone on Rogan’s podcast and proved to be a bit of an arrogant prick, which in fairness he apologized for.

    Today Kirsch published 20 questions he’d like our health leaders to answer. They’re a nice concise summary of the issues if your brain ever needs a refresher on the many dimension of the vaccine insanity.

    I observe his 20 questions do not address prevention, effective early treatment, dangerous late treatment, conflicts of interest, lab leak, etc. so our leaders have even more questions to answer.

    https://stevekirsch.substack.com/p/20-questions-they-dont-want-to-answer?s=r

    An open letter to the White House, Surgeon General Murthy, Twitter censors, Medium censors, LinkedIn censors, YouTube censors, the medical community, the mainstream media, all members of US Congress, world leaders, all public health officials anywhere in the world, all “fact checker” organizations, and members of the California legislature especially Assemblymember Evan Low and Senator Dr. Richard Pan.

    Dear folks,

    I know you want to stop COVID misinformation. I agree. It’s a problem.

    In my view, you are the ones spreading it, not me.

    Unfortunately, not everyone sees it the same way. According to CCDH, who is arguably a world authority on misinformation spreaders (they created the original Disinformation Dozen list relied on by the White House), I’m one of the worst offenders: I’m #3 on their list.

    The problem I have is simple: the data clearly shows that it is the CDC and other government agencies that are spreading misinformation, not me.

    In order to resolve the conflict, I’m going to make the following offer in good faith: I will happily stop spreading “misinformation” if you all would just take a few minutes to answer a few questions for me. Fair enough? Will you do that?

    Like

    1. Steve Kirsch´s substack was one of the first that I encountered during my research regarding the Covid issue. Since then, I took a deep dive into substack and subscribed to way too much substacks. I did a clean-up a few days ago, but Steve´s substack still remains as I find him very informative. I fully support his 20 questions catalogue.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Well my son has now nearly fully recovered. He was quite sick for two days being very lethargic and slept most of the two days. Started recovering on the third and by the fourth day 100%.
    So far no one else in the house has shown symptoms. We live in a small one bedroom house and my other son shares his bedroom with his brother. I made no attempt at reducing contact while he was sick. Ivm? Vit d? Zinc? Spending lots of time outside? Luck? Fuck knows but so far I’ve avoided it.

    Like

    1. Thank your parents for providing you good hearty stock and well done on figuring out the rest on your own. Great news that all is well and now your immune systems are primed properly and stronger for it when it comes time for variant XYZ.

      This will be a confidence booster (if I may use that term) for your sons so they will know in future to trust in their own common sense and do their own research before listening to the main stream narrative, especially when it comes to their health. Also this has given them invaluable experience to trust in their own innate body wisdom to heal. Sometimes all our bodies ask for is a bit of patience and tolerance for some inconvenient and uncomfortable symptoms whilst it gets on with the job of fighting infections and cleaning house. Rest, hydration and sometimes fasting (which is often secondary to our bodies mounting fevers) have always been time honoured methods since time immemorial for healing. So well done and thank you for helping instil this wisdom for them.

      Like

  35. Wolf Richter is another really smart finance guy that thinks the Fed is going to do what it takes to get the most pressing problem facing the world, inflation, under control.

    My guess is they’ll try with a few small hikes and then will quit when all hell breaks loose. Very curious to see who is right.

    Like

    1. Rob, I listen to Wolf and I think he nailed the whole problem. The FED either props up the market, housing, and the US economy or it props up the US dollar as the global reserve currency . If they don’t raise interest rates to kill inflation then no one will have any faith in the US dollar. (However that faith may have just been destroyed by US sanctions on Russia and us confiscating their reserves that are not in Russia. Many countries are now trying to get rid of US Treasuries because they fear the same could happen to them-the US may have destroyed the global reserve currency on its own).
      So the Fed is really between a rock and a hard place, blow up the US economy or destroy the dollar as the world reserve currency? Correct me if I’m wrong.
      AJ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think most people agree with you AJ but I’m not so sure the Fed has a choice this time between protecting the US economy or the value of the dollar. I suspect they’re stuck between a rock and hard place and things will unfold as they unfold.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I suspect the power to do anything about inflation now lies with congress and how large a deficit they choose to run. This might explain why they announced a new tax this morning on capital gains before the gains are realized. A long time ago I argued they should have implemented such as tax as soon as they embarked in QE to prevent a widening socially destabilizing wealth gap.

        Like

  36. How many times can you spot reality denial in this 8 minutes of Elon’s wisdom?
    How is it possible that someone so smart can understand nothing that matters?
    It’s not possible unless Varki’s MORT is true.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. My biggest question is where is all the energy for his space ventures going to come from? fusion? oil? di-lithium crystals most likely. He initially offended my by reading Carl Sagen and they dismissing his wisdom. Is he smart? Is a con artist smart? I think he has been incredibly lucky (Ebay, Paypal, Tesla, and a fixed stock market propped up by the Fed) and people think that is genius. When the market crashes he’ll be forgotten. So much denial he proves MORT just by himself.
    AJ

    Liked by 3 people

  38. It’s quite troubling that censorship is getting more aggressive every day. Unfortunately it seems to be working. I asked a friend for his assessment of Ukraine today and quietly listened. He basically echoed all of the mainstream talking points with zero nuance or skepticism. Ditto on covid.

    Democracy does not work with a corrupt news media and citizens that do not think.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. I share this today if you want to read some good old fashioned denial dressed up to look intelligent. For some reason the author, David McEwen, has focused on weight, while ignoring the basic principles of energy; like there’s always waste every time you convert energy (don’t get angry, that’s just how the universe made it). There are so many faults in this article, just about every line has something infuriating in it. #wishfulthinking
    Energy to Waste – Fossil Fuels’ Dirty Secret: https://illuminem.com/energyvoices/011290d4-686c-4d4b-a0cd-e7cc7c56dec3

    Like

    1. Thanks, very good example of denial. If what he said is true then he should be able to point to one country, or one province, or one city, or one neighborhood, or one house somewhere in the world that has a modern lifestyle with zero fossil energy.

      Liked by 2 people

  40. I remember talking to a neighbour once and I commented how it will be impossible to run the fish farms without diesel. When diesel gets scarce the fish farms will go out of business. I was immediately told that we would find alternative solutions. I very much doubt it.
    I became aware of peak oil in 2006. For quite a few years I deluded myself that we would find solutions. Since about 2015 I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no alternative solutions. I don’t think there is such thing as a sustainable civilisation. All civilisations are dependant on agriculture and any society that is dependant on agriculture for its sustenance is ultimately doomed. This is because agriculture is essentially a mining operation. Sure you can delay the depletion of soil nutrients but you can’t stop it altogether and eventually soil becomes depleted of nutrients and the gig is up. Even Jack Albert’s plan would be doomed because of this.
    We’re headed back to the stone age in my view and denial will be an vital ingredient for good mental health in such an world.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I believe Jack Alpert has acknowledged that his plan still requires a technology breakthrough like fusion because the hydro dams his small modern population depends on will silt in after a couple hundred years. I can’t remember what Jack’s plan was for food but I imagine you could create ammonia fertilizer with abundant hydro electricity, or maybe he assumes some natural gas use will continue.

      Perran, even though you’re probably right in the long term I still think a wise species would proactively reduce it’s populaiton to reduce suffering and to buy time and options.

      But we’re not wise and we deny our situation.

      Liked by 3 people

  41. Your right about getting the population down. In many respects it’s not the inevitability of collapse that gets me down. It’s what 8 billion hungry humans are going to do to the biosphere in the process. There simply won’t be a tree left standing in many areas. I hate to think what is going to happen to the countryside surrounding Australia’s largest cities once we’ve burnt through the last of the coal and natural gas.

    This is a very long read but well researched. Made me mad
    https://joomi.substack.com/p/i-was-deceived-about-covid-vaccine?s=r

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, the impact of 8 billion desperate hungry humans on other species will be brutal.

      That article is an excellent compilation of the covid issues.

      Of late the focus of my anger has been shifting away from our leaders towards the majority of citizens who support bad covid polices. I’m thinking our leaders are just alpha versions of idiot citizens.

      Like

      1. What do you think of his approach (Ernst Gotsch) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ST9NyHf09M ?
        And him (Masanobu Fukuoka) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2goMfMEf6TY ?
        Shouldn’t we try, at least ? (feeding ourselves while being of use to other life on the planet. Simple, morally sound life, for a change.)

        Being even more radical, it is also the possibility of recognizing that despair is only possible through the lens of our identification (with the human body, human kind, etc…) But, one can identify with the whole planet, or more. Aren’t we as much a part of the system as the system itself ? (aka, a golden necklace is still gold, a wave is also in a way the ocean, a flower is a flowering of the field)
        Because denial, is only denial for a mind identified with humanity. Don’t you think ?
        Isn’t this the opportunity for a galilean revolution : instead of seeing the world as revolving around humanity, to recognize there is much more to it than just that. The end of anthropocentrism (rather than the end of the anthropocene)
        Ultimately, I believe humans can’t understand a thing. And it’s not really denial. It’s just that humans are so limited. So little things. We are not meant for understanding the world. We are meant for experiencing it (as humans) for a little while.

        Sorry for packing so many things in a comment. For a rational mind like yours, this will be probably dismissed as “pseudo-spiritual claptrap”. If you see it that way, that’s fine with me. I guess this is all just an invitation of looking at the world from a different (but still sensical) standpoint.
        Enjoy.

        Like

        1. Hi Charles,
          It’s Gaia Gardener here wanting to say I see and hear you and share your viewpoint. I completely understand what you mean when you say we’re at once infinitesimally insignificant and yet part of the whole at the same time. Just having consciousness to appreciate this does my mind in, like staring up at the night sky and just losing oneself to the incomprehensible vastness. In my humble and so limited human experience, I have come to the conclusion that I find the most joy and meaning in the simple things which allows me to find connection and share kindness in each aware moment. It took a while to come up with my moniker but I am most at home with calling myself a caretaker of this earth, as best as I can wherever I am planted. I’ve read Fukuoka’s One Straw Revolution, now there’s an inspiring manifesto of how to tread softly on our earth and finding our place upon it. I trust you and your family are well, tending your inner and outer garden and reaping the bounty of your labours.

          Like

        2. Hi Charles, Fukuoka is inspiring. I also find David Holmgren and Wendell Berry inspiring.

          Let’s hope that those who remain after our population drops to a sustainable level are able to live like that.

          Like

          1. Agreed to all that.
            Just out of intellectual curiosity, what would be the sustainable world population? 1 billion as in before the industrial revolution? Less because of the various damages to the planet since? Or more, because of yet another agricultural revolution in the doing, of which natural farming, regenerative agriculture, agroforestry, syntropic agriculture, insect farming, algae farming, synthetic food are all various premises (or to summary by diminishing the energy losses in farming or reducing our trophic height)?

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            1. The sustainable population level is probably unknowable give the complexity of the system, and it will definitely be dependent on lifestyle and consumption.

              I’d guess maybe 50 million living as middle class Canadians or 1 billion living as poor peasants.

              Like

              1. Thank you. Great answer. Indeed lifestyle is a crucial factor.
                Just to get an idea of the scale of change you envision: how long do you think will it take us to get to the 50 million/1 billion range?
                10 years from now, as in a brutally fast crash? Or not before 2100? It makes a world of difference, don’t you think?
                I don’t want to influence your answer, but I personally believe this is going to be very fast (something like less than 20 years starting from around 2025). Phase transitions occur rapidly and we did everything to postpone the inevitable (in my eyes, the Seneca effect appears to be a valid model).

                Like

                1. I don’t know but I lean to a fairly quick collapse. Everything we have done to extend and pretend growth and business as usual will result in a steeper downslope.

                  For example:
                  – instead of gradually shrinking government expenditures to align with what we can afford we have created a dangerous debt bubble that will do much damage when it pops
                  – instead of gradually making do with less oil as conventional reserves deplete we force them to produce at a high rate with water injection causing a eventual abrupt end
                  – instead of adjusting our agriculture to align with sustainable resources we draw down non-renewable aquifers until they’re gone
                  – instead of reducing the complexity of the infrastructure and products we depend on to survive we have increased the complexity and fragility of everything
                  – instead of reducing the wealth gap in preparation for scarcity we have increased the wealth gap which guarantees dangerous social unrest
                  – instead of building trust in the institutions that lead us in preparation for difficult decisions we have permitted special interests and corruption to destroy trust
                  – etc.

                  Like

                  1. Interesting and so true. I was however expecting a rather more pessimistic answer.
                    Because this seems to leave room for a less dire scenario. That of a two speed collapse. We would lose the industrial civilization pretty quickly, but still retain the ability to feed most (at least for a while).
                    As I see it, our modern economy is largely inefficient and not integrated: parts of the system are working against other parts of the system. We could lose transport and yet the population could disperse across the countryside. We could lose large scale agriculture, and have everybody work intensively, in small-scale food production units, rather than pushing virtual papers around an electronic world to loot state funds backed by debt. Of course, we would also lose big pharma and this would have consequences (both negative and positive for human health as we have seen lately :). We would lose the ability to produce computers and high tech weapon system, airplanes, space launches, networks, water treatment, aquifer extraction. And so really what? Cities are doomed. OK.
                    Yet we would also lose the associated pollution, our ability to impact the environment on a massive scale rapidly (cutting trees manually is a whole different work than using the chainsaw)
                    These last two years, I have sensed increasingly fast changes from the people (of course our government and institutions are rotten to the bones and mostly counter-productive). But people are moving away from the cities. Seeds and plants businesses have never been so flourishing. Young people have less babies or delayed. Community gardens have incredible success. Permaculture and trees are trending. Alternative medicines (plant based, or chinese traditional) are gaining traction. etc…
                    And as some have demonstrated, even deserts can change into forests in less than a generation (<30 years).
                    We won’t have much positive action from the top. That’s for sure. That’s where most of the denial lies. Probably because this part of the population profits the most from the existing system and fears change.

                    How probable a two speed collapse would seem to you? How integrated does the modern economy seem to you (I mean would losing a part of the system necessarily mean losing everything at once)? Does it largely depend from country to country on the current demography and geography. Or does it all boil down to belief (according to which, we can collectively either choose to create deserts or forests)?
                    Do you see the same kind of change in your part of the world?
                    Interesting time, isn’t it? Full of opportunities 🙂

                    Like

                    1. Hi Charles,

                      I really appreciated your positively cheerful, nearly buoyant summary of much of what I have been trying to practise for some years now, not originally as a reaction to the overshoot (because until relatively recently, say in the past 5 years, I didn’t truly get the full picture of it and the finer points with MORT and MPP have only been elucidated since finding Rob’s erudite site with all generous-minded company included) but because we sought purposely to live an examined and more self-reliant and simplified life. We chose to leave the city to make a new start in a rural environment, trying to get back to the land as sanctuary and sustainment for body, mind and spirit. We have been experimenting with different ways to provide our immediate physical needs of shelter, warmth, water, and food (and oh boy, does it take an awful lot of resources to even begin to attempt self-sufficiency, an ironic oxymoron if there ever was!) We’ve learned that every tree planted needs Fort Knox caging from wildlife, composting toilets have their serious drawbacks which shouldn’t be mentioned in polite company (but amongst our secret-handshake club here, I’m most happy to elaborate if anyone is curious), and the threat of bushfire is constant and catastrophic. It has been back-breaking, relentless work in all seasons and weather, whilst one of us still has to maintain a full-time job outside the homestead, necessitating travel of 100km return and almost 2 hours of commuting daily (we get some brownie points for taking the bus). I’m totally into alternative medicine, after renouncing allegiance to allopathic medicine in which I was trained. Along the way, we have chosen not to have children and since we are both only-children, it seems like a fitting way to collapse our family tree and make some more room for other humans and fellow creatures. But 23 years on, the fruit trees are more than mature and have given back thousand-fold, we have been able to contribute to our community which adopted us, and we get to sleep totally exhausted but fulfilled every night under a starry sky. I am gobsmackingly grateful that we have been the luckiest devils (actually Tasmanian, no less) to have had an opportunity to experience this self-directed journey earlyish in our adult lives and in relative peace, prosperity and security for so long, but now the piper must be paid by all of us. I have a conscience which reminds me every day that the fact I have all these boons (and mostly just because of accident of birth, era and place of birth) does not give me equanimity nor contentment if most of my fellow human earthlings have not this chance nor ability to make different choices for their own well-being. And in the final analysis and reckoning, those of us who have more and have perhaps prepared a few steps ahead of the teeming masses, will be asked to be as generous of spirit to our fellow neighbours as the sun has been to all of us in giving light and life, asking nothing in return. For when the collapse inevitably comes, whether like a thief in the night or with an almighty crash and bang, do you not suppose that all the panicked and impotent masses will flee the cities when the lights turn off and sewers overflow to come to our doors, bidden or not, and ask for shelter, warmth, water and food? Properties in the countryside will be the destination of the throngs jumping like rats from a sinking ship, even without petrol it will only be a matter of walking a few days to reach our perceived idylls. And how can we turn another human being in need away, knowing that their suffering and doom is also our own, and kindness is the last vestige of our humanity we can save. Even if I may not live to see this eventuality, I feel it is my responsibility all the same to prepare for it. If I can help another to survive another day, that is the same as my own survival, in the universe’s evolutionary perspective, which at this stage of the game, is probably the only realistic perspective to aim for.

                      Speaking for me, at least, continuing to live every day to the fullest now includes trying to expand my awareness and attitudes to encompass the needs of others not in my immediate circle and how that will be in reality. I exercise these kind of mind thoughts: Being a person who guards her solitude, can I share our small house with several other families? (Ugh, that means more compost toilet woes!) The more food I have stashed, the more I will be compelled to share, will I do so happily and how far will it last? Will we be able to work together on the land in a cooperative and democratic fashion, even if the skill sets are so variable? And the ultimate test question, even if my life or my family’s is forfeit through violence, can I accept that possibility and fate with detachment for any particular outcome? Whew! Who knew overshoot, or more precisely, the undenial of, would require so much inner as well as outer readjustments? I am loving the intellectual foray encouraged by this congenially scrappy band, and I am ever more motivated to make an action to balance all the theoretical side which has us irrevocably pointed down the Seneca cliff face. For the past few years now, I have put away as much of our food as I can, saved seeds for a community level farm, invested in more sets of critical hand tools, added extra water tanks, collected books on permaculture and self-sufficiency, not just trying to secure a bit of a future for ourselves, but in the case of our demise, whoever finds these will be able to possibly benefit, even if for a little while longer. In the days we have remaining to us, I find great solace and purpose in these small but defining intentions. If there be a collective invisible hand that binds all of us, but distributes the largesse so unevenly, this is a small portion of the bounty I have received to offer back, and with all my heart.

                      It’s lovely to meet kindred spirits thus, once again, so much gratitude to Rob for opening this door.
                      All the best to everyone, and may we find courage, wisdom and compassion in equal measure as we need it.

                      Like

      1. Hello Monk, how are things on your side of the Tasman? That was sobering, thank you for sharing what our agricultural experiment might lead to if we don’t stop taking nutrients and organic matter out of the soil and returning chemicals instead. It’s basically desertification which is synonymous with starvation. It looks like North Korea is a modern reprise of Easter Island, one is staggered to wonder what the inhabitants were thinking when the last tree on the island was felled, their soil eroded beyond repair, and therefore their long term survival prospect was doomed. I came across a good definition of modern agriculture–the use of land to convert petroleum into food. Well, we know where that will lead! In our little permaculture experiment here in Tasmania, we’re trying to use compost to keep up fertility and a more wilderness garden approach to grow food, which we are grudgingly but surely sharing with all manner of wildlife. It’s a learning curve for sure, but there’s nothing more satisfying and frustrating at the same time.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I find that if I “share” my garden, the wildlife (deer, moles, jays, and slugs) will not share. They insist on eating everything and letting me starve.
          AJ

          Like

          1. LOL. The wireworms here are particularly greedy because they kill much more than they eat, and they laugh at us because our organic status prevents us from retaliating with chemicals.

            Like

        2. I really feel for the people of North Korea and am amazed they somehow maintain such a huge population with such terrible living conditions.
          I moved out to a small country property last year, trying to get prepared for the ‘living of the land future’ that awaits us. I’m loving it but lots of hard work. I’ve got a lot of weedy problems to tackle and very tempted to get out the glyphosate(!) My soil is very fertile though which is a plus 🙂 Every day I feel so thankful to live in Aotearoa, as I’m sure you do for living in Tassie!

          Like

          1. Congratulations on your getting back to the land; what a fulfilling life mission you’ve embarked. I wish you all the best in your journey, may abundance be yours and your family’s in every way. 23 years ago we city folk left San Francisco to settle in a 4 acre property in a village of 300 people in Tassie, not even knowing how to start a fire in the woodstove–apparently locals were punting that we would give up and leave after 6 months and now we’re considered nearly locals! I think reading as much as possible from those who have worked out what works would be one piece of advice I would have heeded sooner, but then again, gaining one’s own experience from learning opportunities (mistakes) can’t be beat, it just may take a few more seasons! What’s growing in your garden now? As our climates are probably similar (we’re 43 degrees south), we’re expecting our first frost any night now which means the end of tomatoes in the hot house. It was super dry here this summer, but having a spring-fed dam is a boon! According to permaculture principles, reasonable access to the property is criteria number one, and having reliable water is second. If there is any way to manage it, having your dam at the top of your property (if you are lucky to have a slight slope) so water can be gravity fed down the entire course would be ideal. Enjoy every moment on the land, it’s really all our birthright.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Thank you so much! Very similar climate here to Tasmania, but a bit warmer where I am. We have a bore well, so lots of good water. I was fortunate to grow up on a farm and off grid, so hoping I can fire up those old skills and learn some new ones. Good skills in the one form of wealth no one can take away from you

              Like

  42. Interview (recorded just before Ukraine invasion) of Dennis Meadows by Hate Hagens.

    On this episode, we meet with Professor Emeritus of Systems Management and author, Dennis Meadows.

    Meadows revisits Limits to Growth 50 years after it was published. Looking back, how does Meadows view the book? How much of the response to his description of overshoot was based in fear?

    Meadows offers advice to current leaders based on the models he developed in Limits to Growth. Why is it important to develop success indicators, and how can they be clearly communicated to the public?

    Further, Meadows explores the available leverage points to avoid the worst types of collapse at our current stage of crises.

    About Dennis Meadows
    Dennis Meadows is the Emeritus Professor of Systems Management at MIT and the co-author of Limits to Growth and Beyond the Limits.

    He has received numerous awards and is the recipient of four honorary doctorates for his contributions to environmental education. He co-authored the pioneering 1972 book The Limits to Growth, which analyzed the long-term consequences of unconstrained resource consumption driven by population and economic growth on a finite planet.

    https://www.thegreatsimplification.com/episode/12-dennis-meadows

    Like

    1. I did not detect any new insights from Meadows who I deeply respect other than he thinks we should not be selfish and should share our covid vaccines with poor countries so they can also enjoy their glorious benefits. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Speaking of “benefits” of these experimental genetic therapy injections (I refuse to call them vaccines even though the definition has changed to include them), doesn’t it seem that it’s every other week that you hear of someone who has a serious reaction to these shots, most likely the booster by now? Or that any time someone you know has some new health problem suddenly crop up, your thoughts turn to “uh oh, I wonder if it’s related to the shot?” Personally, I know of: one person who got a severe case of shingles affecting the facial nerve in the inner ear so she endured unrelenting vertigo for 7 months, still not totally resolved; two people with heart symptoms of palpitations and irregular rhythms leading to chest pain, shortness of breath and anxiety, requiring full cardiac work-up, also unresolved; one person with hospital diagnosed Guillain-Barre, still needing ambulatory support after 6 months, two people with cancers in remission returning, and 3 elderly friends who fell off the perch rather suddenly, if not totally unexpectedly. All of these occurred within 2-4 weeks after getting the shot/booster (the cancers somewhat later). Nothing can be confirmed of course, but the congruity cannot be dismissed out of hand. And of course lots of friends with various symptoms immediately after the shot ranging from splitting headaches to prostrating fatigue, seemingly worse sequelae than the Omicron infection which, of course, it looks like we’ll get at some point, anyway. And yet they’re advocating a fourth and even fifth shot of the same! But today, for the first time, I read on MSM (the NYT) that there is doubt about the efficacy of the second booster (this sounds better than 4th failed shot) but this was immediately followed by conflicted advice that we should get it anyway if you’re over 65 and just try to time it so the peak protection period of 2 months before it wanes into oblivion coincides with your up-coming summer holiday. You just can’t make this up, or are we just witnessing total denial that it really is just all made up?

        Like

        1. Thanks for sharing your personal observations. I probably have fewer friends and thus a smaller sample size but one of my friends about my age recently died unexpectedly while watching television. He was vaccinated and in reasonable health. No autopsy so we’ll never know the cause. My other data point is that the few people I know who got and recovered from covid were all vaccinated.

          My current small ray of hope on covid is that insurance companies may soon force awareness of covid reality, just as they did with climate change, by raising rates.

          Liked by 1 person

  43. Fascinating. Two really smart brothers, one of them a poster child for polymaths in denial, the other a leading spokesperson against corrupt covid policies, are arguing today over the effectiveness of Ivermectin.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And here’s a press release from the flccc with more damning allegations regarding the together trial.
        https://covid19criticalcare.com/press-releases/
        This just makes me so mad. What makes doubly mad is that the average jo is going to read the hit pieces in the new York times or Sydney morning herald and believe them to be true.
        I sometimes wonder what the fuck is wrong with me. Why can I see this and nobody else can.

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  44. I really like Karl Denninger’s spin on our inflation trap today. He reinforces my belief that central banks are now powerless and the only effective tool is to reduce government spending.

    https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=245537

    Our federal spending in fiscal 2007 was $2.7 trillion. Biden has just asked for more than a clean double, at $5.8 trillion.

    We’ve gotten away with this profligacy for decades by shoving our inflation “over there”, specifically, as a result of deliberately enabling the abuse of human resource (slave-like working conditions) and natural resource (pollution of various sorts, all in the name of being “green” here.) The classical “economist” view has always been that this will never happen because as soon as a nation starts to grow economically their people will have their standard of living rise and force their government to cut it out, which in turn means their labor costs will rise to parity with the developed world.

    That has repeatedly turned out to be dead wrong — in Mexico, Vietnam, Bangladesh and of course China. In fact there is no nation in which that alleged theory has validated over time. Only in economics and weather forecasting can you be wrong 100% of the time, screw entire nations full of people and not immediately lose your job or worse.

    Unfortunately what this means in real terms is that Europe is screwed. We seem to think we could do all of this, build those dependencies, including with Russia when it comes to Europe and Russian natural gas and then participate in fomenting the Maidan revolution in Ukraine, keep poking Russia and eventually, as occurred late last year and early this, threaten to expand NATO into Ukraine directly and nothing would happen — or if Putin and the Russian Federal Assembly decided to act we could simply sanction Russia and literally break their social and political structure.

    That was wild-eyed arrogance.

    You see, Europe needs Russian energy. There is no other available means to get the natural gas to Europe in a reasonable amount of time and Europe voluntarily kneecapped itself by shutting down both its coal and nuclear plants. Then we thought we could sanction Russia — irrespective of whether we or anyone else believe we’re right on a geopolitical basis — and they’d simply knuckle under to our demands.

    Europe — and the US — were dead wrong. Russia responded by demanding payment for its gas in Rubles, which it can do. I remind you that beyond the obvious force majure when someone cuts off your payment systems and the people who cut it off are the ones who supposedly are supposed to pay suing won’t make the gas flow when the party you’re suing is a nation. They can and will tell you to either fork up payment in a form they decide is acceptable under your sanctions regime or you can sod off and there’s literally nothing you can do about it.

    You either pay them in an amount and form they will accept given the disruption in international payments you imposed or you don’t get the gas. What option do you have to force them to deliver it otherwise?

    None.

    Further, China is resource poor and would really like a long-term, stable energy system. They in fact have put the lie to the entire “green energy” nonsense along with India, the latter of which still has a decent percentage of their population that has neither reliable electricity or indoor plumbing. Anyone who thinks they’ll permanently forgo either rather than burn the coal and generate power is nuts, yet that’s exactly what all the “green energy” people are demanding. Not gonna happen folks, and China will be happy to buy the Russian natural gas. They’ve already been working on pipeline facilities and I’m sure that will be wildly accelerated.

    Economically the problem is thus: Europe has just run out of rope to finance government spending through export of its inflation to others, including Russia. The demand to be paid in Rubles instantly shuts down and in fact reverses that absorption channel.

    We’re next in the United States. Congress may not recognize it yet, and Biden certainly doesn’t, but you can bet The Fed does. They know full well that while their portion of federal debt has no real cost to Treasury (because the interest “paid” to them is returned to Treasury and thus is a net zero) that is definitely not true in the broader, non-government economy and further government deficit spending, if the Chinese absorption gets cut off, immediately forces inflation higher which in turn means rates go up or nobody will lend at all and that detonates all the firms that thought they had a “miracle” in said leverage.

    There is no way to force China to put up with this any longer and we, along with Europe, just demonstrated that we will tamper with international payment flows any time someone does something we don’t like. China is not our friend in that endeavor and never was — that absorption channel, which is all we have had for the last two decades that has enabled the credit emission our government has abused, is about to be cut off and there is exactly nothing we can do about it.

    The only answer is for the government to cut the deficit spending to an effective zero. To put real numbers on this Biden is forecasting $1.5 trillion in deficits under his budget for the next fiscal year. This is 50% higher than it was in 2019, the year before the pandemic and that assumes that all of Biden’s tax increases, including the one on high earners that has a basically-zero chance of survival, are enacted.

    Presidential budget requests have historically always been wild-eyed crazy when it comes to projected deficits; the real number has historically always been higher, and usually considerably-so. Remember that both Trump and Obama claimed they’d take a hatchet to the deficit and yet neither, in point of fact, did.

    The only place to get that sort of money in the budget is to whack Medicare and Medicaid. Literally whack it — with an axe, cutting it off entirely. Don’t believe me — go look it up yourself in the last (ending September) fiscal year. CMS (Medicare and Medicaid) spent $1.859 trillion and there is literally nowhere else you can get that sort of money.

    That won’t happen for obvious political reasons, which means the only other sane path forward is to break the medical monopolies, and you know that is wildly unlikely to happen either. If we did that would cut medical spend by 80%, roughly — which is just about enough.

    What other potential paths forward that don’t include a market collapse and possible literal failure of our society and government are there?

    If you’ve got some I’d love you to point them out because I can’t find them.

    If we do nothing that roughly $500 extra per month that every family has to spend now as a result of skyrocketing energy prices will either continue or escalate while businesses fail due to over-leverage (too much borrowing) that cannot be rolled over at terms they can pay, massive unemployment will ensue and a collapse of equities, the bond market and housing prices will occur since those without jobs don’t buy much — and can’t qualify to buy a house.

    With the collapse of housing prices municipal budgets will collapse too since property taxes are based on said values.

    The bottom line is that the United States has a short window to address its fiscal disaster, but it is both narrow and closing rapidly. I’ve tried to warn of this for the last decade, as what would happen was obvious. Rather than deal with it and cut off the myriad schemes including most-specifically those in the medical field we’ve “kicked the can” for the last 10+ years thinking as stock and house prices soared we found a free lunch — but with each kick the can has taken on more and more cement.

    It’s now the size and mass of a bridge piling and yet the foot attempting to kick it is still just a foot — and now, due to being broke, that foot has no shoe on it either.

    We still have a path to fix this but time to do so has almost run out and options are narrowing rapidly along with the consequences of failing to do so, which are exactly as I put forward a decade ago and today said consequences are clearly in view.

    Specifically if we do not act right here and now asset prices are going to contract massively, the over-levered will go bankrupt and if you’re one of those who thinks otherwise you’re in for a really rough next few years. We had a clean option to stop this back around the time I wrote Leverage and since then instead of taking forward, reasonable steps we’ve stuck our fingers in our collective ears screaming “nah-nah-nah-nah” in the belief that The Fed and Congress can keep bailing people out and forcing the inflation that would have otherwise stopped it immediately into some other nation’s lap. The prices you see in the masthead of this blog may in fact be optimistic.

    The days of leveraged game-playing and shoving the consequences “over there” have ended and all of that bad activity is coming home whether we like it or not.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. For what it’s worth, when I read that Medicare and Medicaid must be cut off to plug up the gaping deficit, in a way, perhaps it’s going to be. The excess deaths of the older population and those financially vulnerable in these past two years has yet to be fully realized but they are the beneficiaries of M and M and now there is less demand as that cohort seriously contracts. My mother, who lives with us, receives Social Security and this year her benefit was increased a whopping 6%, simply unheard of as prior year’s cost of living increases weren’t even enough to buy an extra magazine a month. Could it be that they had to spread the SS budget over the remaining beneficiaries?
        I’m afraid that cutting the defence budget has never been on the cards and never will be now that we’re perpetually in WW3. But isn’t the national debt all an illusion anyway as long as we agree that the concept of infinity allows us to keep adding more zeros. The party is over when societal breakdown reveals that no-one will exchange necessities like food and fuel for those zeros in the ether.

        Liked by 2 people

  45. Astute comment from Norman Pagett today.

    https://ourfiniteworld.com/2022/03/28/no-one-will-win-in-the-russia-ukraine-conflict/comment-page-3/#comment-358184

    it isn’t a matter of paying £xx for gasoline, its earning £xx to pay for gasoline.

    the economic reality that most fail to understand, is that we can only ‘pay’ for gasoline through the act of ‘using ‘ it.

    which is economist-speak for playing a game of circular leapfrog

    that is how our modern economy has arranged itself

    fuel is only ‘affordable’ as long as we produce even more volumes of fuel year on year

    the reason things are falling apart, is that we are not producing more year on year to support the society we have created for ourselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Chris Martenson is a good man, and a wise man. Today was his first live interview.

    It’s a long interview and nothing new or profound is revealed but it’s calm and pleasant and makes for a nice background while doing some other task.

    Like

  47. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.

    Regard for their own interest also explains why an unproven new drug technology with sketchy effectiveness and safety data can be injected in billions with tax dollars providing both the profit and immunity from liability.

    Like

  48. Jane @ OFW did a nice job a summarizing Putin’s announcement.

    Putin was perfectly logical.
    He explained the situation clearly enough for a child to understand.
    He reminded listeners that euro and dollar accounts had been frozen.
    Consequently, Russia suddenly finds that gas it sold now turns out to have been given away! Clever!
    So, no more giving gas away by accepting payment in euros or dollars.
    What’s not to “get” here?
    Pretty basic, actually.

    Like

    1. Perfectly logical.
      BUT, the west is the ruler of the world and gets to change the terms at any time (always to its advantage) and you little Russia must comply. The hubris of the west (especially the U.S.) knows no bounds. There are going to be an awful lot of unemployed Europeans (especially Germans). Or they will find rubles to pay. Seems fair.
      AJ

      Liked by 1 person

    1. No, sorry I’m stuck at about a third of the way in. I do all of my reading via audiobooks while walking or working outside. It’s well researched and well written but I find it very upsetting/depressing to read so I avoid it like going to the dentist.

      How is it possible that someone so corrupt and evil can hold a position of power and be supported by so many citizens and leaders?

      How is it possible that news journalists are not all over the book either confirming and publishing dirt, or providing evidence to discredit the book?

      Maybe I missed it but I hear silence.

      Send me a message if you want help getting a copy of the ebook or audiobook.

      Like

    2. Hi Perran, hope everyone in your house is totally over Covid, literally! From reading your past comments, I am of the opinion that it’s probably best for your blood pressure and general health that you don’t read The Real AF! Funnily enough, like Rob, I also only got a third of the way through before my focus turned to other things (like Ukraine and harvesting pears). It’s just too confronting to have all one’s worst suspicions laid out in no uncertain terms. I have some prior experience with the medic0-pharma incestuous relationship and I just couldn’t bear to relive it.
      But, if you’re really keen to get your blood boiling, I found it here in pdf form:

      Click to access kennedy_the_real_anthony_fauci.pdf

      Cheers, and hope you got your paddock seeded.

      Liked by 1 person

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