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.


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.


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:

A nice video summary by Varki is here:

My interpretations of the theory are here:

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

  1. Tim Watkins today with a nice big picture review of peak oil and how it is impacting life in the UK.

    I still seriously wonder if part of the reason for our over-reaction to covid is an instinctual response to scarcity. Locking down and working from home helps delay the effects of peak oil without our brains having to acknowledge reality.

    The arrival of the pandemic has been fortuitous insofar as the various lockdowns and restrictions, together with the discovery that a large number of us can work from home, produced a decline in energy demand which almost compensated for the loss of supply. But energy decline is remorseless. And in a world that still depends upon oil – and especially diesel – to power its transport networks and almost all of its heavy machinery in mining, heavy industry and agriculture, oil depletion eventually results in everything depletion.

    Europe – the first part of the world to industrialise – is in a particularly weak position. Having already depleted most of its mineral and fossil fuel reserves, the remaining oil and gas in the North Sea was the only thing preventing a Europe-wide economic collapse as the continent ran out of power. But the North Sea deposits were all too finite. Britain’s oil and gas peaked in 1999 and were producing just 40 percent of their 1999 output by 2020. Exports from Norway (with a population just 8 percent of the UK’s) obscured the problem, while the promise of opening up tiny deposits like Cambo, held out the promise of maintaining business as usual.

    In the wake of the 2018 peak, and exacerbated by the pandemic, oil companies cut their investment in oil extraction. The result was that when economies around the world attempted to unlock, demand outstripped supply; sending wholesale prices up above $80 per barrel. In the UK, this has resulted in recession-inducing fuel prices above £1.45 per litre ($7.30 per US gallon).

    Unexpectedly, it has been gas rather than oil which has created the bigger post-pandemic shock in Europe. As with oil, the simple reason for this is that there is no longer enough to go around. But this is about more than depletion. The so-called “green” energy policies adopted across the EU – and particularly in the UK – at the height of the debt-based boom of the early 2000s, created an over-reliance on intermittent forms of electricity generation. The hope had been that someone would come up with a viable – low-cost but high-density – means of storing excess energy for use in periods when demand outstripped supply. No such storage technology was invented. And so, we ended up turning to gas as backup – while claiming it to be a “transitional” fuel. This was foolish in the extreme in a part of the world which freezes in winter, and which depends upon gas for most of its heating and cooking. Nevertheless, by the autumn of 2021, European dependence upon a fossil fuel which was depleting, and which is difficult and expensive to import in compressed form from regions that still have a surplus, was enough to drive wholesale prices up by more than 400 percent! As of yesterday – 14 December 2021, the UK wholesale price of gas stood at £3.27 per therm – up from just £0.50 a year ago.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “I still seriously wonder if part of the reason for our over-reaction to covid is an instinctual response to scarcity. Locking down and working from home helps delay the effects of peak oil without our brains having to acknowledge reality.”

      I have had similar thoughts, but I was thinking that our leaders should be aware of the issue of the contraction of available energy and used Covid as a distraction or cover up for this issue. I must admit though that I am very sceptical of our leaders in general, therefore I’m very sensitive to possible conspiracies. I could also envision that this is driven on a more subconscious level as you have proposed.


  2. I’ve noticed that Youtube doesn’t seem to like comments with links in them, might want to double check that your comment actually got posted because I’m not seeing it.


  3. I watched this talk by Bill Rees a couple of days ago and agree it is excellent. I shared it on LinkedIn (I’m a recovering sustainability professional) and….. nothing.

    As a follow up I received in my inbox today an email from Megan Seibert of The Real Green New Deal initiative which Rees and Alice Friedemann are also involved in. The email included this link to a Citizens Warning on Overshoot and Collapse open to signing by any citizen of the world. The warning is a collaboration with the authors of Bright Green Lies.

    I signed it for what it’s worth. There’s plenty of cross over with your “What would a wise society do?” post.

    Rob I greatly appreciate your efforts on this site. I’ve shared links and snippets from it often amongst my former colleagues in the sustainability field. The messages are too uncomfortable for most which provides more weight to the denial of reality theory.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks kindly for the encouraging words.

      When you step back and reflect on the energy our society puts into issues that are irrelevant compared to our overshoot issues which we don’t even acknowledge, let alone discuss, it’s more than remarkable.

      If Varki’s MORT is not the correct explanation, then we need another REALLY powerful theory to explain how so many well educated brilliant minds can be vacuous on everything that matters.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I read the citizen’s warning petition. It’s mostly good but they slow pitched the population issue. It’s way too late for “equal rights for women, education, financial incentives, and free, universal access to contraception and abortion”.

      We need laws with teeth that require a permit to have a child, and only one in maybe a hundred applicants will receive a permit. If people don’t like it, too fucking bad, we’ll explain the alternative which is much worse with billions starving in the best case scenario. It’s very simple, every person not born is one less person suffering. Having a child without a permit when in a state of overshoot is functionally equivalent to assault.
      [end rant]

      I signed the petition.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. The distress in Bill Rees’ demeanor in the Zoom is affecting. He seems to be a genuinely nice fellow, and his slides are extremely well-chosen and damning – until the picture of the gulag apartment depicting humanity’s self-chosen future abode.
    Where is the picture of the political mechanism that gets us to this “controlled degrowth”? Like the picture of the homunculus inside each of us that must be produced to demonstrate the existence of free will, it’s not there in Rees’s slides because it doesn’t exist, and will never exist.
    This is the sad self-delusion that plagues the Real New Green Dealers, the Bright Green Lies saboteurs, Richard Heinberg, the panoply of polymaths and eco-thinkers and blog-activists that cannot put their toes into the waters of sociology. Charles H. Anderson did in his 1976 masterpiece “Sociology of Survival,” though I am led to believe by a commenter in r/collapse that he killed himself because, in part of course, no one wanted to hear him.
    Fossil fuel humanity is not going to transition to gulag apartment dweller. It will burn brightly, then die. That goes for me and my partner as well. That’s just the way life is going to go, my friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the book tip. I tried to find Sociology of Survival but it does not appear available as an e-book.

      All the evidence seems to agree with your prediction. No stair steps down to a simpler life ala Greer. We’re gonna shovel coal into the boiler until she blows. I still think it’s very interesting that an intelligent species can do this while genuinely believing it’s not.

      I added your quote on fossil fuel humanity to my sidebar of favorite quotes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Since it was an academic book I’ve only been able to find it through sources like open library. Some of these are free subscription services. Looks like a good read. Amazon U.S. has some hard copies available used for about $7.00


    2. Here are some of my 2-cents ideas for getting people moving on our predicament:
      – Use language like, ‘many people have this worry’ or ‘lots of people have doubts about…’ We are convinced by something the more other people believe it.
      – Use the ‘diversity of thought’ card. We give all the airtime to optimists. Isn’t it fair to give some attention to the pessimists as well? You don’t have to believe all the doom and gloom, but what if they’re right about some things?
      – Promote the ways to “get rich” in the future. Hear me out, getting people to invest in the right things for selfish reasons. Like the tall boats for shipping, setting up local mills and textile production. You won’t make a return now, but you’re positioning yourself to be a winner in the future. The fear of missing out makes people act. What if you’re missing out on positioning yourself for the future that will be?
      – Use idioms and common phrases. E.g., ‘what goes up, must come down’.
      – Find values in common and work from there. Grand theories of NTHE and ciz collapse are not palatable to many. Instead talk about worsening problems and the values we share in common, like living a good life, looking after the vulnerable. I find people one-on-one are very receptive to talking about single issue problems and are often much more concerned about these problems than media would have us believe.
      – History shows many examples where paradigms change only after the population has experienced a massive upheaval. I think some tried to inspire that with the pandemic by talking about building back better etc. But that was hijacked by globalists, and people can see the elite were just trying to do more of the same command and control. A real physical change has to occur. I have a suspicion that this will be when the first essential mineral is no longer available at all.
      – Use history to show the benefits of things changing / breaking down. Such as Roman citizens following barbarian warloads because life was actually better with them than in the failing empire. Or Europeans escaping their society to go back to a native American tribe that had kidnapped them. We need more common stories about how life outside of our own way of life isn’t all terrible and miserable. Our way of life is pretty damn good, but it’s not to say other ways of living are a disaster.
      – Use jokes about economists to keep discrediting them. E.g. Q. What’s the difference between a broken clock and an economist? A. At least the clock is right twice a day. Q. What do you call an economist who makes a predication? A. Wrong. Economists were invented to make weather forecasters and astrologers look good. Economics is the only field in which two people can share a “Nobel Prize” for saying the complete opposite.

      I would also recommend this ‘how to have impossible conversations’:

      I would recommend especially for Americans, but most Westerners, to stop thinking of your politics in terms of left and right and start thinking in terms of gloabalised/centralised/localised; or democratic/authoritarian.


      1. To use the term “humanity” in just about any context whatsoever, is to be a “globalist.”
        Every human alive now, except for the last hunter/forager remnants, are globalists in all senses of the term, from the shoes they wear to the food they eat to the oxygne they breathe.
        What the lunatic, idiotic worldwide right means in trying to use the term as a pejorative – I have no idea what’s cooking in such anti-humanist stupidity.
        I’d recommend staying away as much as possible from these morons – and that includes Peter Boghossian.


        1. I think you’re exaggerating by way of conflating a broad truth (e.g. we are all part of the same thermodynamic, climate or ecosystem) with more narrow classifications (e.g. being part of the same economic system, or subject to the same laws).

          The indigenous farmer wearing hand-me-down Nike’s he got from the Red Cross is not a globalist “in all senses of the terms” in the same way as an international corporation using the legal system to avoid taxation and simultaneous funneling money through charitable organizations to influence local politics. Rather, it’s in a more limited sense that we are all part of a global political or economic system. Some want this trend to grow, others want it to retract.

          A fine case study is the 1999 protests of the World Trade Organization, lead at the time primarily by an often uneasy coalition of left-leaning constituents.

          I think pushing for autarchy is worthwhile. This used to be a strong union position, and a major thread in various forms of anarchism and communism. You could consider this anti-globalist. It seems most who propose solutions are proposing solutions of international governmental intervention and public/private partnerships of international corporations. Since I think the risk is existential, it may be better to not put all our eggs in one basket.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. If I’m “conflating” things, I’ll blame my misuse of the air pressure gauge – press in and hold down, rather than press down and hold in?
            I also guess you agree the proverbial indigenous farmer is indeed a globalist. Maybe not in the same way as the Bezo/Musk criminal syndicate , but I’m sure the Trumpians want to do in the indigenous farmer in some manner for daring to contemplate rights and lives of folks in other parts of the world.
            The 1990 WTO action-adventure sure succeeded in stopping the rise of global transnational capital, eh?
            You mentioned autarchy, anarchism, and communism. I believe if you check for a pulse in those theories of political organization, they are all dead. And as for the eggs in one basket, there’s going to be no eggs in any basket in certain places soon – just check out r/collapse for some news item to that effect.


            1. I agree most strongly with your last statements and follow r/collapse religiously. My main contention was that you were applying a political angle where one doesn’t belong.

              Conflating means to combine – you were combining things which should (rationally) be kept separate. It may just be rhetoric, which is fine.

              But the main point is that opposition to globalization – or globalists (those supporting increased globalization) – began as a left wing agenda in the not too distant past.

              There is no cause to blame a political right in this transition of anti-globalism from one party to another. And certainly, no international political right now exists on any degree to which an international communist interest block ever existed. For instance, what right wing nation is currently supplying arms and funds to developing nations in opposition to global neoliberalists?

              And finally, autarchy is resurgent in both Brexit and Trumpism – whether it’s a reasonable goal or not, I’m not sure. But I certainly support the impulse toward self sufficiency and local autonomy, as opposed to international markets and reliance on global governance. This may just be a projection at large of my own desire for self sufficiency as a hope against future hardship.

              Again, I don’t think this is any salvation, but I like to not put all our eggs in one basket.

              And, no, an indigenous person wearing free Nikes is not a “globalist” in any reasonable sense of the world. If you simply mean “everyone is effected by global markets” that’s fine, and I agree – just no need to be so rhetorical about it.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. See the Dennis Meadows interview below for a great argument why we don’t want a global government to solve our “problems”. He says people make mistakes. That’s what we do. We shouldn’t have all of our eggs in one basket. Better to have many independent localized groups trying to navigate the collapse as the probability will be higher that a few of them may survive.

                Liked by 1 person

              2. Thanks for the considered reply.
                If you look at the Google Ngram for “conflate,” you’ll see it virtually invisible up until 1980, and thus during my formative youth. We knew “inflate” and “deflate,” and could do those actions at the convenience store air pump. The last 40 years has seen an exponential “inflate” of the use of “conflate,” and I, for one, don’t like it, even though I know what it means, thank you very much.
                And on that score, the correct spellings are “bloc” and “affected.”
                Good luck with your drive for self-sufficiency. I don’t see it happening for what John Gowdy terms an “ultrasocial animal,” but r/collapse always has relevant news and funny comments to lighten our load.


                1. I think you get more value out of a conversation when you try and get the gist of what someone is saying, rather than nitpicking at small details. I love how Rob says with everyone there is some wheat and some chaff


                  1. If the almighty fossil-fuel internet is here to spread the virtues of pabulum, then maybe so.
                    Is there anything to be said, in your mind, for “nitpicking” at the BIG details?


                    1. Your comments remind me of old school trolling on YouTube LOL. Sometimes I tell myself, “relax Mon, it’s only the end of the world.” 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

  5. A new dark spin on plastic recycling.

    In a paper published earlier this year, a team led by Janice Brahney of Utah State University and Natalie Mahowald of Cornell University found that the oceans have been spraying a steady stream of microplastics into the atmosphere, where they can float across continents and oceans before eventually settling back to earth. The work illuminates a global cycle of plastic, akin to other biogeochemical cycles like those of water, nitrogen, and carbon.

    h/t GailZ

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Changes in monetary system forces are accelerating.

    The most important thing to come out of the Fed meeting and Powell’s press conference afterwards is that everything is moving much faster than last time, that it’s moving much faster than the Fed said it would move just a few months ago: Inflation, wage increases, ending QE, hiking rates, and shrinking the balance sheet.


  7. ‘Tis the season for greatest hits.

    Cooler heads on the thread say 20 years is more probable than 3 years. Thank yahweh I’ll be dead by then.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yesterday’s holiday episode of the Post Carbon Institute’s Crazy Town podcast with Jason Bradford et al is good for a chuckle.

    No need to stress during the holidays! The “sponsors” of Crazy Town have all of your consumerist needs covered. This season you could be walking in a warming wonderland, singing the 12 Days of Overshoot, and hanging out with Frosty the Melted Snowman. Act fast, supplies are limited!


  9. Well I just got my second jab, so fingers crossed for the best 🙂 I have decided I will not be getting boosters. Just want to be covered when covid rips through NZ, then learning to live with it. Plus I can’t do summer without bars and cafes LOL. The vaccine mandates make me feel pretty anxious; I don’t like them at all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good luck – it’s a tough call. Though originally vax’d with J&J I’ve started getting pressure to get boosters, which I’d rather not. I got sick earlier this week – better now, and it wasn’t COVID. But I had my moments of doubt whether I had made the right decision re boosters – as it would have ruined my Christmas plans to travel and see family if so. Lot’s of elderly and some with high risk conditions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like you was originally vax’d with J&J. Got Covid 5 months later (probably Delta), was sick -as-a-dog for 3 days (took Ivermectin -horse paste) and recovered ok. Now I worry about antigenic SIN. Not going to get the booster. Trying to improve my health (I was already pretty fit with no comorbidities), no more drinking, less fat in the diet, more whole foods and lots of exercise.
        Boosters I am going to avoid – not sure if that is the right call.
        Good luck with whatever you choose.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you theblondbeast. I’m feeling absolutely fine after the jabs. No symptoms apart from a sore arm and that is better now 🙂 I think once you get Covid AJ you will have the natural immunity and be much better protected 🙂


  10. I have to strongly disagree with his denial here:

    43:48 “We need to implement a non-coercive family planning/population program starting with better education and economic independence for women.”

    This is both logically and physically impossible. For instance, much of the world lives under conditions in which education and independence for women is limited by law and culture in societies which can’t be influenced without coercion on the international level.

    Even if this were possible it would be way too slow.

    Not only that, but we are behaving irrationally by subsidizing the continuation of overpopulation by supporting the poor, especially the poor with children.

    Furthermore, increases in education and independence are the consequences of increasing prosperity, which will be unable to be continued.

    A third problem is that any increases in energy for education or governmental intrusion into the labor force and private relationships requires coercion of taxation, indoctrination or force.

    A fourth, and by no means final, problem is that many peoples “plan” is to have a large family and rely on various forms of government support to get by.

    I think anyone wanting to be a clear thinker has to admit that coercion is necessary for any change to happen. Stop lying about it and admit who one is willing to coerce and with what means.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. …The other side of the population issue is the death rate. I’d also add that it should be considered. Something like “We must stop providing life-extending health care to those who are not able to physically labor in the economy.”

      My basic point is that people who discuss population try retain a moral high ground through the out of assuming we can have a birth reduction policy. We cannot – people are going to suffer and die at higher rates in the future than in the recent past. This is going to happen even if we do nothing. Any of our interventions will change the mix of who is going to suffer, and how soon they are going to do so. So suck it up and be honest.

      Personally, I think we have to do it all if we want hope:

      Decrease birth rate
      Increase death rate


      Encourage no children or small families financially
      Let all large families live without recourse to outside aid (this will increase all-cause mortality and crime)
      Allow the death rate to increase naturally by limiting medical care

      If one thinks this is harsh I agree, but it pales in comparison to the alternatives as I see it.

      For instance, if we pursue these solutions in a weaker way than our military opponents they will attack and destroy us and solve the problem their own way.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Yes it is a wicked problem.

      It would be so much easier for the rest of the world if the citizens of a rich country like Canada demanded population reduction laws and we proceeded to set a good example for others to follow.

      Not gonna happen. My neighbor the environmental activist gets angry with me when I discuss the need for population reduction policies.

      I agree that coercion will be required but we don’t need any new laws. As I said above, having a child without a permit when in a severe state of overshoot is equivalent to assault and we already know how to deal with that crime.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Have we talked about pet ownership here? Forgive me if I’ve forgotten – it’s a dismal subject when you consider the amount of domestic dogs and cats (especially) we have in terms of resource use.


  11. Good discussion with Tom Murphy a few months ago.

    Galactic-Scale Energy with Tom Murphy

    Take it from astrophysicist Tom Murphy. Sure, lightsabers, dilithium crystal warp drives, and Mars colonies are a lot of fun to consider. But a physics-based perspective on energy tells us that we need to accept the limits to growth, stop chasing sci-fi fantasies, and get to work building a steady-state economy that works for people and the planet. Instead of focusing on growth, maybe we should focus on growing up.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. A 2017 interview with a great man: Dennis Meadows

    No one better distills our predicament down to a few words, nor offers wiser words of advice.

    Dennis Meadows visited the Netherlands a couple of months ago on invitation by the Club of Rome Dutch Association. He is an American scientist and together with his spouse Donella Meadows (who sadly deceased in 2001) is part of the original group of four authors who published the first edition of ‘The Limits to Growth’ in 1972 – a book that really quite literally shook the world and that was hugely influential in the rise of the global environmental movement.

    Dennis Meadows is now 75 years old, but still working and impressively so. What struck us most when talking to him was his no-nonsense attitude. No compliments, no trivia, as if to emphasize there really is no time for that – giving the state that we’re in.

    “If this isn’t collapse, then what is” – are the words that still echo in our heads.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’ll beat my drum again here – why does he only talk about birth rates, not death rates? Birth rates are lower than ever – let’s knocke ’em down a bit more, but primarily raise the death rates! Half kidding.


  13. Paul Arbair today with a global energy review.

    I once tried to figure out who Arbair is without success. His name may be a play on Polar Bear.

    It sometimes feels like China and Russia are the only countries in the world with a plan. They may not be the right plans, but at least they have a plan. The West seems to be drifting.

    There are indeed signs that we might be in the early stages of a major global energy crisis, and of course this brings back memories of the 1970s. What we’re now facing, however, is not just a repeat of what happened 50 years ago, and I’m not convinced it will have the same kind of consequences and trigger a return of 1970s style stagflation. The world economy is very different today than what it was back then, the causes of the energy crisis are also different, and its consequences are likely to be different as well.

    Besides consuming and importing more and more fossil fuels, China has also of course aggressively developed nuclear and renewables. It has the third biggest number of nuclear reactors in activity and the biggest number of reactors under construction, and it has doubled its nuclear power generation capacity in just four years, from 2016 to 2020. It has also become the world’s largest market for modern renewables, by far, and now represents about half the world’s cumulative installed capacity as well as half of global yearly additions for both solar and wind power. However, nuclear, wind and solar combined still represent less than 10% of its primary energy mix, and the recent energy crunch showed that renewables are still a long way from being able to power China’s manufacturing and exporting machine.

    The Chinese leaders have announced bold plans for further investments in solar and wind, and hence the share of renewables in the country’s energy mix should keep going up in the coming years. Yet in their minds investments in “clean” technologies are first and foremost aimed at boosting domestic energy supply and capturing market share in key fast-growing global supply chains, rather than at reducing carbon emissions. Not only does China largely lead the world in terms of renewables installed capacity and yearly increases, but it also and more fundamentally outrageously dominates the manufacturing side of the solar and wind industries. It already produces most of the world’s solar cells and panels, and captures a rapidly growing share of the wind supply chain. It also now dominates global battery supply chains and therefore is capturing a very large and rising share of the various value chains that together underpin the energy transition.

    Does it mean that China is on its way to “Green Supremacy”, which I guess means dominating a world where “green” energy and technologies are taking over? Well, if the term actually meant anything China would certainly be much better placed than anyone else to achieve it. It is the world’s largest producer and exporter of solar panels, wind turbines, new generation batteries and electric vehicles, it holds a near monopoly over the processing of most rare earth elements and critical minerals underpinning these value chains, and it is also becoming a leading player in renewable investment abroad. The U.S., by contrast, is largely dependent on imports from China for the solar panels and wind turbines it installs, as well as for rare earth elements and critical minerals. Its imports of lithium-ion batteries, especially from China, are also surging in synch with its rising appetite for electric vehicles. The Biden administration has plans to repatriate manufacturing and production of “green” technologies to the U.S., yet at this stage America is largely outdistanced in all of those technologies.


  14. Steve Van Metre today explains the symptoms of our central banks’ rock and hard place (inflation + low growth + asset bubble) but unfortunately does not understand the cause (overshoot + limits to growth).


    1. Knowing next to nothing about economics. . . these guys explanation about what is driving “inflation” – energy prices, vehicle prices and helicopter money seems to make sense. They didn’t say high energy prices were due to the falling EROEI for fossil fuels – i.e. depletion. They also didn’t address asset price inflation (housing & the stock market) which would seem to be based on the Fed. I think Mac10 has a more accurate take on both regular “inflation” and asset price inflation and how this is all going to play out. Am I wrong or is my ignorance showing??

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re right. I did not mean to imply they understood the big picture. Just found it interesting to see energy creeping in to mainstream awareness. I like Mac10 too but he also does not integrate the effects of overshoot.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, even a link back to this site in Bates’ broodings.
      He did a decent job of discussing T. Murphy’s textbook also. However, I think his conclusions – a possible 3rd way- of transitioning into some kind of “metaverse” were delusional. But then he pedaled that back with the: “while resources are still available to support the energy-intensive meta-infrastructure, and, oh, climate catastrophe could still be averted” rejoinder. Nonsense it seems to me.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Notice how el gato provides data to support his conclusions, and provides perspective so as to not generate fear when fear is not warranted. Compare this behavior to our incompetent leaders. I respect his work on covid despite his ignorance and denial of our much more important overshoot issues.

    In Denmark … those vaccinated and boosted have between a 26% and a 75% greater chance than the unvaccinated of contracting omicron.

    this data, while not dispositive, is strongly consistent with and supportive of omicron as “the variant that leaky vaccines with overly narrow immuno-training begat.” this is OAS. this is exactly the the outcome you’d expect from pinned and non-adaptive immune system training and not what you’d see from simple full vaccine escape.

    of course, this is not as horrific as it looks when you look at absolute risk increase. double vaxxed is 0.047%, up from 0.0186%. this is not exactly “holy moly, grab my bio-bunnysuit!” territory.

    and, of course, that’s cases, not anything inherently severe.

    of interest, deaths in denmark look to be dropping as omi spreads, reinforcing once more that omi is a much milder variant. all data i have seen imply this is true among vaccinated and unvaccinated alike. this implies it’s a property of the pathogen, not the inoculant, and this is born out by the sudden drop in deaths as it propagates. presuming this holds, this is what you want, it’s nature making a vaccine and a variant going fully endemic, mild, and becoming another common cold.


  16. Geert Vanden Bossche is very worried about our policy to boost against Omicron. This is a very complicated email exchange between Bossche and another knowledgeable person trying to understand what’s going on. It’s too complicated for my brain but I detect expert people with good intentions.

    I think that after this, I am going to keep quiet (in terms of articles) for a little while.
    I am beyond worried about mass vax against Omicron.
    I cannot emphasize enough how a complete lack of understanding of viral evolution is now dominating the scene.

    The fitness cost is pretty high if you want to implement changes within a narrow domain (RBD) that is also subject to physicochemical/ steric constraints for binding to a specific receptor (Ace-2). On the contrary, any mutation that enhances binding to another cell surface determinant (that is already in use, at least to some extent) will not be facing these constraints as it doesn’t need to deal with any of the (previously) neutralizing Abs (those can just bind as before).

    That’s why I am beyond fearful that the catastrophe (ADE) could occur very fast after mass vax with anti-Omicron starts.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. On a different thread Perran posted this interview with the CEO of a small Australian vaccine manufacturer confirming from the inside of the vaccine industry the insanity that we on the outside are witnessing. I’m 2 hours into the 3 hour interview and it’s a definite must listen. I’m reposting it here so more people see it, and I may elevate it to its own post after completing the interview and thinking more.

    The issue my brain keeps returning to is how is it possible that so many countries are synchronized with:
    1) government policies that ignore science and do not optimize for maximum public health with minimum risk and cost;
    2) opposition parties that do not criticize or offer alternate policies;
    3) scientists that mostly remain silent;
    4) journalists that have abandoned their responsibility to question;
    5) citizens that mostly support the obviously flawed policies;
    6) no meaningful well intentioned intelligent debate by anyone on anything to do with covid.

    What is the explanation for this remarkable global phenomenon?

    Is it:
    – a mass formation (aka psychosis) as proposed by Mattias Desmet; or
    – an emotional response from the majority who took one for the team in the early days, and that now deny emerging unpleasant realities associated with their decision, and that believe “if I took some risk for the greater good, then everyone must now do the same, regardless of whether it’s the right thing to do”; or
    – scared social primates rallying around their “official science” tribe leaders; or
    – just another manifestation of “technology will save us”; or
    – an instinctual response to impending overshoot collapse and scarcity by slowing down and controlling the population; or
    – business as usual for clever but unwise homo sapiens that is also globally synchronized on denying overshoot while pressing on the accelerator as the cliff approaches; or
    – something else?

    Please weigh in if you have any thoughts on the troubling global synchronicity.

    Nikolai Petrovsky is Chairman and Research director of Vaxine Pty Ltd, an Adelaide-based biotechnology company focused on vaccine development, together with being a Professor of Medicine at Flinders University and Director of Endocrinology at Flinders Medical Centre. Over the last 16 years he has been principal investigator on five NIH vaccine grants totaling over 50 million dollars, with a focus on development of vaccine adjuvants and pandemic vaccine platforms. He has authored over 200 research papers and has won prestigious awards including 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. His current focus is development of the Covax-19 vaccine against COVID-19.


    1. I finished the interview and can confirm it is excellent and worth your time.

      I thought of another possible explanation for the madness:

    2. Senior bureaucrats acting on bad advice from organizations like the WHO and FDA made some initial decisions in the heat of the battle that with time have proven to be wrong. Now for fear of losing their jobs they are unwilling to admit the errors to change course and instead are doubling down on their initial decisions and are seeking scapegoats to blame.
    3. Like

  18. Tom Murphy today revisits climate change from first principles and laments that the right encourages denial.

    Brainwashing, Perfected

    I must say that part of me admires the clever and effective manipulation that right-wing media outlets have perfected. Rather than studying political science, international relations, and history, politicos on the right often study marketing, psychology, and communications. The recipe that hooks the audience is to hammer the messages:

    1) The condescending elitists on the other side think you’re dumb.
    2) We know that you’re smart (wink; we’re experts at lying).
    3) In fact, we can trust you to understand the following insight that the elitists will label as conspiratorial: you will know it (in your bones) to be true, being as smart as you are.
    4) Only we can be trusted to tell the truth: don’t bother even looking at the pack of lies in all the the “lamestream” media outlets, even if they are all oddly and independently consistent with each other (see: conspiracy!).

    I left the following comment:

    Denial of unpleasant realities is not a left right thing. It’s a genetic thing that emerged with behaviorally modern humans about 200,000 years ago.

    Note that those who accept the reality of climate change almost universally deny what it would actually take to make the future less bad.

    And almost everyone, including those that accept climate change, deny that the real problem is human overshoot.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yep. The left’s current version of this is that “sustainable growth is possible and wind and solar will save us.” To their credit, it’s the consensus of experts who are in denial here and are primarily to blame.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. The right have become really good at taking half a truth and adding another half of spin. For example, they’ll say our civilisation can’t work without oil (correct), so that means peak oil and climate change aren’t true (what logic!).
      The left on the other hand, have trashed themselves over the last 10 years with nonsense and absolutism, e.g., sex is a spectrum, vaccines are 100% safe, solar panels can save the planet, blah blah blah…
      I suspect that whichever parties get braver about telling the truth, will do better over the coming decade. But I ain’t taking bets on that LOL. I’m a swing voter so it always is hard for me to understand how people can be so loyal to a political side

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I wish you were right (re: telling the truth). I have predicted and continue to expect quite the opposite: I expect rampant mass delusions. Our predicaments will be blamed on politics, gods, and any manner of idiocy.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Sadly, I think it will be mostly blamed on the “other” group (whatever tribe is not talking). Rarely does the left blame itself (it’s Trump!) or the right (left wing elitists!). When you are in the other group you are in danger.

          Liked by 4 people

      2. There is a lot of denial going on in the whole political spectrum. At least the so called right wing sees that the current energy policy only leads into decline of living standards. Unfortunately, they do not draw the right consequences from this by insisting to just go on with burning the remaining fossil fuels and extend nuclear power, which brings with it its own major problems.

        Liked by 2 people

  19. Those clever scientists seeking fame and fortune MAY have made another boo-boo.

    Our “leaders” have had 2 years to stop gain of function research but they’ve been too busy trying to vaccinate children that don’t get sick with a vaccine that doesn’t work against another virus that may have leaked from gain of function research.

    Omicron is not normal. No immediate progenitors are known; its closest relatives are viruses last seen in early- to mid-2020. The orthodox explanation for this awkward fact, is that it has spent the last 18 months lurking “in a geography with poor genomic surveillance … or … in a chronically infected individual.” The simpler explanation is that it leaked from a laboratory.

    As el gato malo and others have indicated, evidence is strong that Omicron circulates preferentially in the vaccinated. In all likelihood, it is the result of gain-of-function research, in which SARS-2 was passaged repeatedly through convalescent or vaccinated plasma, in the hopes of helping the virus evade acquired immunity. The purpose of this research would be to anticipate future immune-escape variants that vaccines might target.

    Omicron carries a series of highly unlikely and suspicious mutations in its spike protein. It is hard to imagine that these mutations can have arisen via natural processes, because all but one of them are nonsynonymous – that is, they code for different amino acid sequences. Starkly mutated variants favoured by natural selection should have a great many meaningless synonymous mutations as well.

    Omicron’s ancestors may have spent a significant amount of time adapting to mouse cells, before re-entering human hosts. Omicron appears selected to replicate primarily in the bronchial tract. Deeper in the human lung, it functions far less efficiently than Delta or the first strains from Wuhan. This is probably why it causes mostly mild illness, and it is reminiscent of techniques used to make live attenuated influenza vaccines safer for use in humans. Such vaccines are cold-adapted, that is, selected to circulate primarily in the cooler upper respiratory tract rather than in the warmer, more vulnerable lungs.

    The balance of the evidence is that Omicron leaked from a lab engaged in SARS-2 vaccine research. There are many possibilities: It might represent a live, attenuated virus vaccine used informally among researchers, that mutated back to virulence and escaped; it might have been released accidentally; it could even be an attempt to develop a self-spreading vaccine to immunise animals or third world populations.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have skimmed through the presentation. They sum up very well my primary doubts about the Pfizer vaccine trials:
        1. Improper composition of participants (age and co-morbidities)
        2. No effect on all-cause-mortality in the vaccine group

        What they have missed from my point of view is the low number of participants that died due to or with Covid (only 3 out of 44000 people in a period of 6 months). This should also be an indicator that Covid is not that dangerous for younger, healthy people.

        What was new to me is the issue with the large number of persons with a suspected but unconfirmed outcome. They dwarf the group of confirmed cases. How is this even possible?

        Liked by 1 person

  20. In summary, we’ve got el gato saying Omicron is good news and the evolutionary end of our virus troubles with no need for further inoculations or lockdowns.

    And Geert Vanden Bossche saying boosting against Omicron will probably breed a deadly new virus immune to our immunity.

    Both are smart experts not captured by our insane group think so we can conclude that the outcome is probably unknowable and dependent on chance.

    Both agree that inoculations should not be applied to healthy young people.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. And now for something completely different…..longtermism. Have ya heard of it? Denial dovetailing into SF fantasy? or is there something to it? My gloss on it…a lot of these dudes, Bolstom et al are channeling Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy and H. Seldon. The Galactic Empire wet dream. No need to worry about overshoot and global warming on planet Earth. Thems just growing pains.

    Excerpt – Phil Torres:
    “To summarise these ideas so far, humanity has a ‘potential’ of its own, one that transcends the potentials of each individual person, and failing to realise this potential would be extremely bad – indeed, as we will see, a moral catastrophe of literally cosmic proportions. This is the central dogma of longtermism: nothing matters more, ethically speaking, than fulfilling our potential as a species of ‘Earth-originating intelligent life’. It matters so much that longtermists have even coined the scary-sounding term ‘existential risk’ for any possibility of our potential being destroyed, and ‘existential catastrophe’ for any event that actually destroys this potential.

    Why do I think this ideology is so dangerous? The short answer is that elevating the fulfilment of humanity’s supposed potential above all else could nontrivially increase the probability that actual people – those alive today and in the near future – suffer extreme harms, even death. Consider that, as I noted elsewhere, the longtermist ideology inclines its adherents to take an insouciant attitude towards climate change. Why? Because even if climate change causes island nations to disappear, triggers mass migrations and kills millions of people, it probably isn’t going to compromise our longterm potential over the coming trillions of years. If one takes a cosmic view of the situation, even a climate catastrophe that cuts the human population by 75 per cent for the next two millennia will, in the grand scheme of things, be nothing more than a small blip – the equivalent of a 90-year-old man having stubbed his toe when he was two.”

    h/t Thomas Metzinger


    1. I do agree that we should be much more aware of, appreciative of, and careful with what I expect is an extremely rare gig in the universe. Unfortunately after we’ve fought over the remaining drops of fossil energy and a few tribes remain, their amazing intelligence will be constrained to building pyramids and other stone structures by hand. Not what I expect the longtermism people have in mind.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The needle on my optimism Geiger counter registered slight movement at the mention of pyramids. It must be the Christmas season that you are not forecasting total annihilation and leaving open the possibility of a Paleolithic future.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s a rarely commented on fact that early civilizations converted all of their surplus wealth into piles of rocks they believed would transport their leaders to immortality with the gods. Later we used all of our surplus wealth to build cathedrals also to deny death.

          Think about that for a bit and then you might begin to understand why I think Varki’s MORT is so important.

          Liked by 3 people

      2. I keep thinking of Richard Duncan’s Olduvai theory page on, with the quote by Fred Hoyle:

        “It has often been said that, if the human species fails to make a go of it here on Earth, some other species will take over the running. In the sense of developing high intelligence this is not correct. We have, or soon will have, exhausted the necessary physical prerequisites so far as this planet is concerned. With coal gone, oil gone, high-grade metallic ores gone, no species however competent can make the long climb from primitive conditions to high-level technology. This is a one-shot affair. If we fail, this planetary system fails so far as intelligence is concerned. The same will be true of other planetary systems. On each of them there will be one chance, and one chance only.” (cosmologist Sir Fred Hoyle, University of Washington, 1964)

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Nice, thanks.

          Hoyle wrote that 57 years ago and 99.9 percent of us still don’t understand it and/or deny it, including all of our famous intellectuals.

          How is that possible without MORT?


  22. About 15 years ago I visited Israel a few times on business and worked with an Israeli division of my employer for several years.

    My general impression of Israelis and their leadership was that they are intelligent, no-nonsense, aggressive, independent, and VERY focused on making themselves and their country successful.

    So I find it interesting that Israel is the most aggressive country on vaccination.

    What’s going on? Have the Israelis lost their minds over the last 15 years? Or are Fauci/Gates et. al. correct but unable to articulate clearly why they are right?

    Israel’s COVID team recommends fourth shot for elderly, medical workers

    Israel was the first in the world to provide a third shot and will lead in giving a fourth shot too, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett noted.


    1. This was a very interesting video. It’s sad the the video had to start with one of those terrible intros with Hawking making nonsense about god. This is a phenomenal feat of engineering. If it works it might even surpass the Martian landers. They too had engineering that had to work and had could never be tested on earth AND the Martian lander programs had many failures. Rob, I know you think putting people on the moon was tougher, but I think that is debatable. Sadly the lead engineer ends the program with all that Star Trek fantasy stuff (building telescopes in space in the future). NASA must have an official denial theme by refusing to see the impossibility of never enough energy for those dreams. Denial is strong.


      1. You’re probably right that Webb is a bigger technical challenge than Apollo, although making a mistake does not kill 3 people.

        Can you imagine after working on the Webb project for 20+ years the tension you’d feel on launch day?


    2. Hi Rob, HNY, thanks for your blog, I’ve learned a lot here.

      This telescope is fascinating. I keep thinking that mankind will figure it all out about 10 minutes we snuff ourselves out; the big AH HA moment followed quickly by the big KABOOM!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I remember in my early days of learning about peak oil the most persuasive argument was that we’re burning more than we’re finding.

    Global oil and gas discoveries in 2021 are on track to hit their lowest full-year level in 75 years should the remainder of December fail to yield any significant finds, Rystad Energy analysis shows. As of the end of November, total global discovered volumes this year are calculated at 4.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) and, with no major finds announced so far this month, the industry is on course for its worst discoveries toll since 1946. This would also represent a considerable drop from the 12.5 billion boe unearthed in 2020.


  24. Merry Christmas to all of you.

    Despite our challenges there’s still a lot to be grateful for. Most people throughout most of history would happily trade places with us.

    Stay well and be nice to the people you care about.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Rob,
      Thanks for this web site, it is a friendly harbor in the storm of collapse. I remember a post by someone years ago who lived in San Francisco. They talked about leaving work and going out to their 6oo sq.ft. house in the Sunset District (close to the beach on the Pacific ocean in SF). They talked about stopping at a small local market and after some time thinking about what they wanted for dinner buying a bottle of red wine some chicken and assorted vegetables. At his house he then prepared the dinner and thought that in his life (and the choices presented) he had more material comfort and satisfaction than almost any king in any age up until the present. AND he was satisfied.
      Amazing what a little fossil energy will do for you.
      Merry Christmas

      Liked by 3 people

    “Last year, it was the pandemic,” William Rees agrees. “Before that it was climate change and before that it was the economy. The human brain evolved in very simple times when you only had a few people to deal with and you lived in a relatively small space that you couldn’t influence that much. There’s been no natural selection to think in systems terms. Humans cannot anticipate the nature of behavior of most complex systems. We don’t know about thresholds and tipping points until they occur. The COP negotiators, who were policy wonks, economists, and politicians not climate scientists, had no real understanding of the complexity of interacting climate, economic and ecosphere systems—or else they wouldn’t have come to the conclusions they came to.”

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I’m on the hunt for intelligent overshoot aware people that support our governments’ covid policies. My assumption is that if someone is capable of breaking through their genetic tendency to deny unpleasant realities to understand human overshoot then the odds are good they may have a clear understanding of the covid picture.

    I have high regard for Tad Patzek as I have written on several occasions:

    Today Patzek wrote an essay saying unvaccinated people tend to be right wing and stupid.

    I found his argument to be lame. The only data he provided to support his claim is that a higher percentage of people are dying from covid in red states than blue states. Anyone that has dug into the dozens of complex issues casting doubt on our governments’ covid policies will know that Patzek has not studied the issue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. After wasting an inordinate amount of time reading Patzek’s post I came to the conclusion he doesn’t understand how tribe oriented he himself is. He self-identifies with the Democratic party and makes them the intelligent tribe whereas the Republican party is the stupid tribe. I see this thinking in many Dems. The problem is not understanding the evolution of tribe identification, psychology, and group think. All tribe thinking has both stupid and intelligent thinking in it (with a lot of denial of opposing views having any legitimacy). Better to be a non-tribe person and look for other non-tribe people and then see if you can have a rational, not steeped in denial, conversation with them. It works at this website and a few others, but obviously not with Patzek.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s worrying that so many previously wise people have lost their ability to think and instead seek to blame.

        Portends bad things when energy depletion and economic collapse soon pick up steam.


      2. So you think you’re special do you? Above it all? What do you think you’re doing when you’re attracting and curating the views of like-minded “rational” un-denial types? ya got yourself a little tribe here Robbie boy.


            1. I was pointing out what I see as an inconsistency/fallacy in AJ’s comment, “better to look for OTHER non-tribe people.” I dunno…sounds like a social group to me. Some would call it a tribe.


  27. …it occurs to me that if super-transmissible Omicron ultimately winds the pandemic down in, say, the Northern Hemisphere’s spring, we could potentially see such an aggressive burst of additional inflation that the major central banks have no alternative but to really crank up interest rates. Needless to say, this could tip up is into a full-blown, financial crisis, given the amount of debt sloshing around the system.


  28. Listened to Lex Fridman interview Ray Dalio, a rich and famous finance guy, talk about “important” matters like the future of Bitcoin. Not because I expected to learn anything but I’m interested in hearing what our “best and brightest” are thinking.

    Both completely missed the most important point about Bitcoin:

    What is the value of Bitcoin when the internet becomes unreliable because the electricity grid is unreliable because we’ve burned all of the affordable fossil energy? Zero.

    Denial is amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Denial is amazing.
      So is hopium, religion, and a multitude of other human foibles. Kinda depressing (or maybe its SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder – weeks of no sunlight in the PNW). I too am amazed reading all the economic blogs where no one can see the problems with endless growth, limited resources, Ponzi schemes, rampant inequality or how it is all tied to declining low EROEI fossil fuel and it’s polluting byproducts.
      Or Covid: where conflicts of interest are never mentioned (unless it is a blatant illegal kickback); integrity is a dirty word; and conformity to the dominant narrative is rewarded.
      The whole of Western Civilization is a Megacancer (to borrow a phrase from James) in denial.
      Maybe the sun will come out tomorrow (hopium).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I’d go crazy without a plausible explanation like MORT for the insanity I see.

        We got another 8 inches of snow last night. The trees are beautiful and the sky is clear. Birds are mobbing my feeder. I’m going for a walk.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Yes, the power walks for 5 or 6 miles (with some sun) are great. The fact that we have had 7 days of rain and snow straight are good for the drought but bad for walking. Have to get out soon for another (endorphins are great).
          MORT makes the insanity easier to bare/understand on an intellectual level, but it is still psychologically isolating to see all the denial and lack of rationality.

          Liked by 3 people

  29. Sometimes I don’t know what to think?
    I understand (?) denial and MORT, or think I do. It just seems that when you are faced with brilliant individuals who have credibility (in their fields) that espouse crap you just have to shake your head.
    I have over the years read the yearly column (more like a mini-book) of David Collum. Chris Martenson who I respect and has a lot of integrity, always posts Collum’s screed (unfair pejorative?) on his website at the first of the year. By posting it I think it calls into question his credibility too??
    Oh well, here’s the link to Collum’s screed:
    Although I find that Collum has some interesting insights, what taints the whole thing is that he is basically a anthropogenic climate change denier. A few years ago he did an “analysis” of the climate change debate and came away with climate change is not a problem (am I wrong in this characterization?). I have problems with PhD’s making bold statements outside their fields of expertise (even Richard Feyman and Steven Hawking were wrong once in a while). Not that every consensus is correct and that the consensus must never be challenged, BUT if there is anything that appears close to ironclad it would be that humanity is in serious ecological overshoot and climate change is one of the results. Am I wrong?
    Am I wrong about Collum? I’m not one to think that I have all the answers, but that I’m here to learn too.


    1. I haven’t read this year’s Collum yet but I agree with you. He has the occasional good insight into world political affairs but his chaff to wheat ratio has been rising and is now too high for my tolerance.


        1. I’ve read Collum every year since he started about 10 years ago. In the early years he got peak oil and overshoot and spent a lot of time talking about defensive strategies. Some number of years later his denial circuit engaged (I’m guessing grandkids may have had something to do with it) and he decided fracking solved peak oil and climate change is a hoax. Now he mostly focusses on left/right politics and how to get rich from the everything bubble. He’s no longer my cup of tea.

          Liked by 1 person

  30. My brains struggles to keep the many threads of covid incompetence and/or malfeasance memorized and organized.

    The synchronicity of insanity between western rich countries is still what troubles me most. I don’t care and am not surprised that American leadership is corrupt. I do care that my little Canadian province mimics American policies without any independent rational thought.

    It’s very very troubling.

    Dr. Robert Malone’s recent interview with Joe Rogan is a much listen:

    Kunstler today does a nice short round-up of the issues without too much partisan politics:

    The year of sickening global psychosis ended with virologist and vaccine-uberspecialist Dr. Robert Malone truth-bombing the Internet with three hours of straight talk about the US health authorities’ campaign to destroy the lives of at least half a million US citizens (so far) and, leading by example, to harm multiples of that number of innocent people across all of Western Civilization. Podcaster Joe Rogan assisted skillfully in an interview that is finally rocking the world out of an epic consensus trance. (Listen.)

    By health authorities I don’t just mean Dr. Anthony Fauci, the designated National SARS-CoV-2 Coordinator, or his accomplices in the Dept. of Health and Human Services agencies, CDC, NIH, NIAID, etc., but also the purblind US medical establishment of actual doctors in clinical practice, researchers, hospital administrators, and pharma executives who acted with a collective stupid malevolence not seen since the crematory-stuffers of the Nazi bureaucracy carried out their final solution.

    We know what you did. You engineered and patented a gain-of-function virus at the same time you conspired with pharma companies to devise and patent pseudo-vaccines, and then you loosed both of them on the public. You didn’t just fail to adequately test the “vaccines” cooked up by Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, but you deliberately botched the trials and lied about it. You created rich $$ incentives for hospitals to mis-treat Covid patients by failing to use known, safe, effective anti-virals. You conspired with social and news media to suppress information about those common anti-viral drugs that would have informed many patients’ decisions and saved thousands of lives. You treated late-stage patients dying of Covid-induced vascular disorder with the ineffective and toxic drug remdesivir that Dr. Fauci had developed unsuccessfully for an ebola outbreak years ago. (Nurses turned so cynical about the remdesivir protocol that they nicknamed it “run-death-is-near.”) You prompted government officials to lockdown society, force useless masking, and now to coerce “vaccination” by threatening to deprive citizens of their livelihoods.

    The US Supreme Court will entertain arguments this Friday, January 7, to enjoin against “Joe Biden’s” mandates to coerce “vaccination” in companies that employ more than a hundred people and a separate mandate forcing vaxxes on staff at Medicare / Medicaid certified “providers” (meaning most hospitals and doctors’ offices). There’s a pretty good chance the court will decide against the mandates. They’re expected to rule Monday, January 10, the day that the mandates are supposed to take effect.

    The government’s actions around the Covid-19 event look more and more to be deliberately and maliciously intended to harm lives and cause social and economic breakdown. In the last weeks of 2021, federal public health officers even blocked shipments of monoclonal antibodies around the country, despite their proven efficacy. The CDC scheduled the use of PCR tests for Covid-19 to end on December 31, after declaring them unreliable in August. Why the five-month lag? (To keep case numbers jacked up, that’s why.)

    Every effort is being made to extend emergency use authorizations for unsafe and ineffective “vaccines” in order to sustain shields against liability for the benefit of their manufacturers. Pfizer refuses to release in the USA its FDA-approved comirnaty version of the EUA-protected BioNTech product for that reason. The Pentagon has lied and confabulated its use of the two Pfizer products in order to illegally force unapproved BioNTech vaccinations on enlisted men and women. Hospital directors, doctors, and their professional associations continue to persecute colleagues who speak publicly against the “vaccines.” The “vaccine” makers refuse to disclose the exact contents of their products, and were permitted to withhold data on safety trials until a half-century into the future. The obvious conclusion is that they don’t want the public to be informed about any of this. The net effect is that medicine in the USA has destroyed its own authority. Who can trust his doctor knowing that they’ve gone along with all this epic dishonesty?

    The country is heading into an agonizing reality-test at a scale and speed never seen before in world history. You can already assume that government has lost control of the Covid-19 story. The Omicron scare is failing miserably. Lots of cases, few deaths, mild symptoms. Government’s credibility is shot. In the months ahead, we’ll learn just how harmful those “vaccines” were — especially among American children — as deaths mount from damage done to people’s organs and immune systems.


  31. So I haven’t watched “Don’t Look Up” yet but I’ve been reading the reviews and I’m pretty sure I already know one of the things my review someday will say.

    The producers think they’re clever and aware by satirizing our species’ denial of climate change.

    Thing is, low cost energy depletion is going to take out modernity and most of our population long before climate change.

    Once again, the amazing power of human denial as explained by MORT is on full display.

    Even those who think they see reality, don’t.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I really enjoyed the movie. I did think it funny that the makers of the film are concerned about climate change, and yet chose to burn lots of carbon making a dumb movie that avoids the issue they really care about, while making fun of people for exhibiting the same behaviour. how meta! I wonder if Leo is still flying private jet to climate change conferences…


    2. My family and I got COVID last week (all doing fine, minor cold) so I had time to watch it. I agree with all the criticisms about the movie, but I also enjoyed it more than I would have thought. Hipocrisy, denial, etc. is all true – but you can only ask for so much if you’re looking for entertainment these days!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Glad your covid experience was mild. Same experience for a close relative. Maybe we’ll get lucky and omicron will be the vaccine we hoped for at the beginning.

        I will watch DLU. I find it remarkable that almost everyone that worries about our future is oblivious to the threat that is the most certain, the closest, and the most destructive to modern civilization. FYI, I lump war in with peak oil because it will probably be energy induced scarcity that causes a nuclear exchange.


        1. Yes, I agree with you fully. Doesn’t the US posturing (like we are still the predominant superpower) toward Russia about Ukraine seen kinda stupid/suicidal? I imagine we would sanction them for an invasion and they would turn off all the oil/gas to Europe. Hypersonic weapons anyone?
          Nukes in response?
          Scary indeed.


  32. There were a lot more impressive space achievements this year than this 60+ year old brain was aware of until now. Viewed from an un-denial perspective, we’re celebrating our ever more creative ways of burning the remaining fossil energy even faster, without even dimly acknowledging the consequences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s commonly said the Arctic is warming up twice as fast as the rest of the planet. Try doubling that.

      “We demonstrate the Arctic is likely warming over 4 times faster than the rest of the world, some 3-4 times the global average, with higher rates found both for more recent intervals as well as more accurate latitudinal boundaries.”

      Peter Jacobs NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

      Liked by 2 people

  33. A good example of the fragility of poor countries to energy depletion and price inflation.

    Subsidies were removed from propane used for car fuel causing the price to rise from US$0.14 to $0.28 per liter in Kazakhstan resulting in violent riots with many dead.

    Imagine what would happen if they had to pay US$0.69 per liter of propane that I pay here in Canada.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nice tweet by Tim Garrett on the events in Kazakhstan
      “Wondering if mass riots are accounted for in Integrated Assessment Models that prescribe carbon pricing”

      Also news of a new podcast with him on Planet Critical today.

      Also Art Berman has a fantastic article imo on overshoot, population renewables etc. Well worth a read

      Too much information-hard to keep up. I think I need to make a list of essentials (starting with denial of course) to which I always go back to, in the face of the avalanche of information. It sometimes feels like we’re amusing ourselves to death not with trivialities, as feared by Neil Postman, but with information although, of course, that is probably trivial in the scheme of things as well.

      Hopefully James has forgotten to pay as usual or even better is preparing a new article and needs a bit of peace and quiet.

      The population of Kazakhstan tripled between 1950 and 2020 which is about par for the course.

      The Methane chart you posted is pretty eye-catching in a bad way. If the permafrost is giving up its methane reserves because of the heat up North then that seems to be a bit of a problem .

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for the Art Berman link. Very good.

        I think Berman underestimates the oil supply decline rate once the debt bubble pops, and the export land model bites, and social unrest disrupts infrastructure, and wars begin over what remains, but Berman is much more knowledgeable than me so I may be wrong.


      2. I listened to Garrett’s interview.

        His use of the term “capitalism” muddies and confuses the issue. Capitalism includes among other things property rights, contract law, and an opportunity for personal reward. The issue that is central to Garrett’s thesis is the monetary system.

        We should focus on whether it is possible to switch from a debt backed fractional reserve monetary system (which every country uses and requires infinite growth) to an energy backed full reserve system (which might be sustainable).

        Every “ism” (communism, socialism, fascism, etc.) uses a debt backed fractional reserve monetary system and they’re all unsustainable. Capitalism is the best system for achieving growth when there are no limits to growth like affordable energy depletion and climate change.

        The core issue now is how to shrink the economy without destroying civil society and worsening our destruction of the planet’s ecosystems.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. After the tide went out we had a beachcombing bonanza today. Most amount of driftwood anyone has seen here.

      I got over a dozen 16′ 4×4’s. I bet they’re worth $100 each. A bundle may have broken loose from a barge.


    1. I liked el gato in this piece. He lays out all the data and then says Sweden’s ACM (all cause mortality) is down and they are vaxing about the same as their neighbors. AND like a true scientist he says he doesn’t know why and solicits ideas from readers. Seems like a true lack of hubris there!


  34. Some more hope from el gato.

    Notes from a call with Edward Ryan MD, Director of International Infectious Disease at Massachusetts General Hospital:

    1 Close to 100% of the positive cases in MA are Omicron. Delta is almost completely gone from New England.

    2 This surge will peak sometime between 1/10 and 1/21 and then begin a quick downhill journey of two to four weeks.

    3 We will end up with a 20-50% positivity rate.

    4 February will be clean up mode, March will begin to return to “normal”

    5 Omicron lives in your nose and upper respiratory area which is what makes it so contagious. It isn’t able to bond with your lungs like the other variants.

    6 The increased hospitalizations should be taken with a grain of salt as most of them are secondary admissions (i.e. people coming in for surgery, broken bones, etc. who are tested for COVID)

    7 We won’t need a booster for omicron because they wouldn’t be able to develop one before it’s completely gone and we’re all going to get it which will give us the immunity we need to get through it.

    8 COVID will join the 4 other coronaviruses we deal with that cause the common cold, upper respiratory infections, RSV, etc. It will become a pediatric disease mainly affecting young children with no immunity.

    9 40% of those infected will be asymptomatic

    10 Rapid tests are 50-80% sensitive to those with symptoms, only 30-60% sensitive to those without symptoms

    11 Contact tracing is worthless because we’re all going to get it and there’s no way we could keep up with it.

    12 We are fighting the last war with COVID and should be pivoting back to normal life, but society isn’t quite ready for it yet.

    13 There is no need to stay home from work or to be a hermit unless you’re immunocompromised or 85 or older, but he does recommend staying away from large gatherings for the next six weeks.

    14 Spring/Summer will be really nice


  35. More good news and some really good insights into the flawed thinking of humans from el gato.

    In summary, there’s a good chance the pandemic is over, and there’s a near certain probability that most citizens will not have learned a single useful thing from their covid experience.

    human fear response in a pandemic is a function of gompertz expression of disease prevalence and this predictably leads to panic right when things start getting better.

    people then mistake whatever their panic reflex was for an intervention that saved them.

    it becomes ingrained superstition and forms a kind of societal antigenic fixation whereby failed responses are mistaken for solutions.

    this is how a society trades science for superstition.


  36. Anyone feels that the house of cards (also known as economy) will be able to keep up another year? Or will reality set in? I’m a permabear for at least a decade, so a fool in other words, but I’m amazed that somehow there is not a global depression by now.

    Liked by 3 people

  37. Rob I’d just like to thank you for putting me onto the great cholesterol con. I love cream. All these years of guilt and moderation are now over. I actually feel cheated in a way. I keep thinking how the hell did I get sucked in by all the low fat bullshit!

    Along these lines I’ve been listening to prof Tim Noakes the last couple of days and found him very interesting. Here’s a link to one of his many YouTube lectures.

    It’s amazing the lengths people in certain professions with opposing (wrong) views have gone to try to discredit him.


    1. Thanks for the tip on Noakes, I’ll check him out.

      The more I listen to Dr. Malcolm Kendrick the more I respect him. He is a wise truth seeker.

      I’ve lost what little respect I had for the health care profession. Their leaders are not very intelligent, nor open minded to new evidence, nor ethical.


  38. The word is getting out that Dr. Fauci & Co. knew more than they were letting on:

    Click to access Letter-Re.-Feb-1-Emails-011122.pdf

    and EcoHealth Alliance was playing fast and loose and not following the rules:

    If it wasn’t for conspiracy theories, I would have no idea what was really going on…


    1. Thanks I saw that. It’s mind boggling that the guy in charge of fixing the problem is also the guy that was unethically or illegally involved in creating the problem. Shame on our leaders for not acting to restore integrity.


      1. Part of the problem is that our leaders have convinced themselves that they are part of a meritocracy. They have become leaders because they are the smartest in the “room”. So they trust the “scientists” in the same “room” because they must be the smartest too. Sadly they just got to where they are by luck, perseverance and maybe enough intelligence to be dangerous – AND a heaping big dose of denial (on anything that challenges consensus thought). Sad state of affairs.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Any non-catatonic citizen still in possession of their faculties ought to be smelling a veritable mass grave of rats by now. There are too many contradictions in the “N-arrative”. For an interesting take on the bizzaro world of what we are supposed to perceive as ‘leaders’ and ‘officials’ and ‘experts’ in this insane trajectory try reading Julius Ruechel’s interpretation. This is no longer about “Public Health” and I am increasingly questioning whether it ever was.

          Who’s in Charge? The Rule Makers, Power Brokers, and Influencers of Lockdown Wonderland


            1. And by definition the issuance of EUA for the ‘vaccines’ required that there not to be any alternative interventions – passive or active. I think we’re way beyond the threshold of mere incompetence or blundering stupidity here as some kind of logical explanation, although that still plays a part in it. We’re in a kind of “seal the exits” scenario.

              I don’t know if you pay attention to any form of MSM. But if you don’t, you should, if only because that is what the mass of your fellow citizens are tuned in to. And when I take the pulse of public sentiment as promulgated and portrayed by the MSM, I can only conclude that I no longer recognize what I though was my country. People, leaders, institutions – have all gone batshit crazy.

              Mattias Desmet’s explanations for all this are becoming more intelligible by the day.

              some pertinent examples:






              and here is a short, patronizing (and dare I say chilling) clip from our provincial health minister


              and so on.


              1. Thanks. Every once in a while I dip into MSM like my local CHEK TV to see what they are thinking. It makes me sick to my stomach. They are unthinking morons who believe the latest cute cat story should be the headline. Zero discussion of data or evidence nor probing questions about anything.

                I observe that my few close friends and family mostly agree with what MSM is telling them. I guess it’s a good thing I’m comfortable with my own company.

                El gato wrote a interesting piece today making the case that citizens cannot blame our leaders and MSM. We are receiving the leadership and information we demanded. We need to look in the mirror for whom to blame.



          1. I liked Ruechel’s piece. The problem he has identified in this “Alice in Wonderland” that we find ourselves in with Covid, is that the powers that be can’t afford to not stay in power because if they are out of power they may be held to account for their actions. Here in the U.S. I’m sure that there are plenty of republicans who would want to impeach Biden or prosecute Fauci for what they have done, re: Covid. So, one suspects that something that distracts from Covid shenanigans might be in order: War with Russia (or China or both), economic collapse/depression. Both those would make Covid a fast forgotten memory. IMHO.


      2. Here’s a strange thing: If you dig in to our literary inheritance as a culture, you’re likely to unearth gems like this which fortify the old adage “Life imitates art”.

        This passage, more or less well known, is a prime example:

        “Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity. ”
        ~ George Orwell (aka Eric Blair), 1984


    1. With gas supplies so dependent on Russia, I would think there would be more push back in Europe to any U.S. war posturing with Russia over Ukraine? But then Europe might fell like they are between a rock and a hard place?


  39. Yeah I’m not either although that is by luck really. If I’d lived in Western Australia or Victoria I’d have been forced to. If I’d worked in health care, aged care or been a teacher I’d have been forced to. It’s totally fucking nuts.


  40. Good news. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick has decided to end his self-imposed silence and is writing about covid again.

    In case you don’t know Kendrick, he has shown that all of the advice given by our health profession on cholesterol and heart disease is wrong.

    OODA stands for. ‘Observe, Orient, Decide Act.’

    It was developed by the Air Force Colonel, John Boyd.

    What John Boyd taught was simple. If you don’t know what is going on, do not make immediate decisions. First, work out what is happening, then orientate yourself – before you decide what to do. That way you avoid most, if not all, stupid mistakes. For many years, without knowing anything of OODA my own medical strategy has tended towards ‘don’t just do something, stand there.’

    Unfortunately, the medical profession has always battled ferociously against doing nothing. It has always greatly favoured the ‘You must do something, anything, I don’t care what it is so long as it sounds like a good idea. Chaaarge!’ Strategy.

    This, the ‘do something strategy’, has always proven far more seductive, and almost always wins. It is easier to attract followers to do something, than to than to do nothing. Why not whack a hole in the skull and split the brain apart to cure various mental diseases? Why not… indeed. Ah yes, the good old pre-frontal lobotomy.

    The best part of the essay was the following open letter from Professor Ehud Qimron, head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Tel Aviv University and one of the leading Israeli immunologists:

    Ministry of Health, it’s time to admit failure

    In the end, the truth will always be revealed, and the truth about the coronavirus policy is beginning to be revealed. When the destructive concepts collapse one by one, there is nothing left but to tell the experts who led the management of the pandemic – we told you so.

    Two years late, you finally realize that a respiratory virus cannot be defeated and that any such attempt is doomed to fail. You do not admit it, because you have admitted almost no mistake in the last two years, but in retrospect it is clear that you have failed miserably in almost all of your actions, and even the media is already having a hard time covering your shame.

    You refused to admit that the infection comes in waves that fade by themselves, despite years of observations and scientific knowledge. You insisted on attributing every decline of a wave solely to your actions, and so through false propaganda “you overcame the plague.” And again, you defeated it, and again and again and again.

    You refused to admit that mass testing is ineffective, despite your own contingency plans explicitly stating so (“Pandemic Influenza Health System Preparedness Plan, 2007”, p. 26).

    You refused to admit that recovery is more protective than a vaccine, despite previous knowledge and observations showing that non-recovered vaccinated people are more likely to be infected than recovered people. You refused to admit that the vaccinated are contagious despite the observations. Based on this, you hoped to achieve herd immunity by vaccination — and you failed in that as well.

    You insisted on ignoring the fact that the disease is dozens of times more dangerous for risk groups and older adults, than for young people who are not in risk groups, despite the knowledge that came from China as early as 2020.

    You refused to adopt the “Barrington Declaration”, signed by more than 60,000 scientists and medical professionals, or other common-sense programs. You chose to ridicule, slander, distort and discredit them. Instead of the right programs and people, you have chosen professionals who lack relevant training for pandemic management (physicists as chief government advisers, veterinarians, security officers, media personnel, and so on).

    You have not set up an effective system for reporting side effects from the vaccines, and reports on side effects have even been deleted from your Facebook page. Doctors avoid linking side effects to the vaccine, lest you persecute them as you did with some of their colleagues. You have ignored many reports of changes in menstrual intensity and menstrual cycle times. You hid data that allows for objective and proper research (for example, you removed the data on passengers at Ben Gurion Airport). Instead, you chose to publish non-objective articles together with senior Pfizer executives on the effectiveness and safety of vaccines.

    Irreversible damage to trust

    However, from the heights of your hubris, you have also ignored the fact that in the end the truth will be revealed. And it begins to be revealed. The truth is that you have brought the public’s trust in you to an unprecedented low, and you have eroded your status as a source of authority. The truth is that you have burned hundreds of billions of shekels to no avail – for publishing intimidation, for ineffective tests, for destructive lockdowns and for disrupting the routine of life in the last two years.

    You have destroyed the education of our children and their future. You made children feel guilty, scared, smoke, drink, get addicted, drop out, and quarrel, as school principals around the country attest. You have harmed livelihoods, the economy, human rights, mental health and physical health.

    You slandered colleagues who did not surrender to you, you turned the people against each other, divided society and polarized the discourse. You branded, without any scientific basis, people who chose not to get vaccinated as enemies of the public and as spreaders of disease. You promote, in an unprecedented way, a draconian policy of discrimination, denial of rights and selection of people, including children, for their medical choice. A selection that lacks any epidemiological justification.

    When you compare the destructive policies you are pursuing with the sane policies of some other countries — you can clearly see that the destruction you have caused has only added victims beyond the vulnerable to the virus. The economy you ruined, the unemployed you caused, and the children whose education you destroyed — they are the surplus victims as a result of your own actions only.

    There is currently no medical emergency, but you have been cultivating such a condition for two years now because of lust for power, budgets and control. The only emergency now is that you still set policies and hold huge budgets for propaganda and psychological engineering instead of directing them to strengthen the health care system.

    This emergency must stop!

    Professor Udi Qimron, Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University7

    The letter is very good but I observe he neglected to mention other important points. Such as not providing advice for strengthening immune systems, ignoring early treatment protocols, distorting safety data used to approve the vaccines, and not punishing those responsible for creating the virus.


    1. The satire was sooooo good. He does a good job of taking down all those bureaucrats (aka scientists?), politicians and the MSM that have used the Covid pandemic to attempt to control society for their own power/money. Too bad its kinda a distraction from collapse that appears to be accelerating.
      Winter is cold in the UK, and Europe doesn’t have enough natural gas. Russia and China see a weakened U.S. with a failed leadership elite. What better time to have a war? The problem is that nothing humans do go according to plans. Things spiral out of control. The short term is looking more bleak and with it the long term looks positively like . . . -and here we want to interrupt with DENIAL (things will really get better (yeah, we could only hope)). Denial seems to be the way everyone around me responds. I think (IMHO) that war is coming and we are in mid 1939. Good luck everyone. One day soon we may have no internet and will truly be on our own.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. A resource war seems to be low on people’s list of things to worry about. I agree with you AJ, it seems inevitable.
        Wait for the cries of, “no one could of seen this coming!” face palm


    1. Thanks, first I heard of this trend. The rich and poor worlds are equalizing, but not in the direction most hoped. Our western rich governments are also behaving like banana republics. Imagine what it will be like when collapse shifts a gear with a stock market collapse and oil scarcity.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I agree w/ your comment and I’m personally offended because I’m still waiting to take delivery of my pizza scissors, quirky egg minder, levitation floating globe and “as seen on TV hat.” It’s been months. Inconsiderate bastards.

        Liked by 2 people

  41. I find the threads started by by HHH at pob interesting.

    HHH: Without government fiscal stimulus coming down the pipe in 2022. With FED monetary stimulus being taken away. What exactly is there to pull economy forward in 2022?

    The savings glut has disappeared. Consumers credit is blowing out to all time highs as wages aren’t keeping up with inflation.

    I get the supply side argument for higher oil prices. Higher energy prices. But high prices in an over leveraged economy are ultimately deflationary. Because consumers just can’t afford price increases that outpace wage increase.

    Long term only way prices don’t crash is if we get lower interest rates. That allow for growth in credit.

    If you look at TIC data which is the flow of money from overseas into US treasuries. We’ve seen 4 months that on a net basis outflows exceeded inflows. Most view this as money front running FED tightening. Or some even see as money trying to avoid US assets. I don’t see it that way.

    When both Saudi Arabia and Norway are selling US debt on net basis. It means they need US dollars. It means there is a dollar shortage even when oil prices are tripled what they were.

    And with no stimulus either fiscal or monetary. That is deflationary money. And we will likely see more net selling of US debt to obtain US dollars to service dollar denominated debts going forward.

    I don’t see the pressure underneath oil prices lasting rest of this year.

    China just did cut rate again. When they get to the zero bound on interest rates look out because money in search of yield will no longer flow to China. And China demand for everything will fall off a cliff.

    China might have a lot of rare earth metals. But if their economy is in free fall at the time when those rare earth metals are needed the most don’t count on them being produced. My guess is they’ll have to import a lot of energy just to mine and bring to market and in an energy crisis those metals largely stay in the ground.

    Uulenspiegel: Can Biden create the much needed stimulus by a bunch of presidential orders?

    HHH: I think the answer is no Biden can’t. Not to say there is nothing that won’t come. It just won’t be near enough.

    If the FED ever gets to quantitative tightening. And actually allows balance sheet to shrink. That blows up REPO market as it means less bank reserves or cash and it also means less collateral less ability for banks to make loans. Don’t think we will ever see quantitative tightening though.

    In all honesty though while what happens with US fiscal and monetary policy absolutely matters. One thing I think that matters more is what is going on in the Eurodollar market.

    Eurodollar market is 3 times as big as the US onshore dollar market. 3 times the amount of US dollars are created outside the US as there are inside the US. FED doesn’t have a monopoly on the dollar.

    And the banks that are making all these dollar loans outside US are telling us by the inverted Eurodollar yield curve that extends from 2023 to 2026 that they believe something extraordinarily bad is coming just over the horizon.

    The dollars that leave the US via trade deficit are just not enough to service all the dollar denominated debt that exists outside the US. There is a global dollar shortage.

    Hole in Head: There are only 3 actions possible .
    1. Raise interest rates . Problem is at 2% the interest payment will double and eat up all tax revenues . Crash of market and deflation .
    2. QT . Do QT and take the wind out of stock buybacks . Suck USD from the Euro Dollar market and crash the world economy .
    3. Don’t do anything . Let inflation run wild . Result .Crash the Biden administration and democrats which will become a precursor to a social unrest and bring out the pitchforks .
    The Fed is now passing time . Doing small increments of 0.25% x 4 times or 7 times is going to fail when entrenched inflation is running at 7 % . The emperor has no clothes moment is here .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, there has been an increasing awareness in the last ~1year or so of an expanded understanding of the role of central banks. Between 2009-2019 I was in the very common mainstream camp of “They are printing money.” I think the latest round of inflation concerns gave rise to a counterpoint of people understanding CB operations better. The Eurodollar/shadow banking system is at the heart of many of these questions.

      HHH has great comments. I read every comment at POB but mostly lurk as the oil technicals are still beyond me. I do chime in occasionally on the “wind and solar will save us” side of things.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I dislike the debates over whether printing money is actually happening. They’re muddled I think because everyone has a different definition of printing money. I think it’s much clearer to say they are loaning money that cannot be repaid from real economic growth, and can only be repaid with more loaned money.

        It’s not money printing while everyone pretends that the debt will be repaid from growth, but the reality is that we’ve hit limits to growth and so we are buying 1 dollar of growth with several dollars of debt. When we reach the end of this can kicking the effect will be the same as if the money was printed. Do you have a different understanding?

        I don’t understand the Eurodollar system. I assume it means European banks loan $US but I also assume that means they do so under the control of the Fed, just like the big US commercial banks. Is my understanding wrong?


        1. Rob – the Eurodollar system is loosely the “shadow banking system.” It means that banks outside of the USA make loans denominated in US dollars. These loans are not regulated by the US banking system and much of the data is not available. The issue that makes this important is that the dollar value of these shadow banking transactions is actually much more than that of the onshore banking system. So we are in some ways only ever seeing the tip of the iceberg in financial markets.

          Regarding your first point I am prone to agree. Money is loaned into existence. In the past this expansionary effect could take place so long as there were profitable activities (the ability to repay principal with a stream of future income). At some point I assume the financial result of the limits to growth means that there are no longer any legitimately profitable activities because the inputs of energy or resources are too expensive to be affordable to consumers.

          While things may fall apart sooner for other reasons I think the farthest we can stretch this is best captured by Lacy Hunt: We can continue down this path until debt and declining productivity lead us into deflation, or we can change the laws governing central banks and destroy the currency by backstopping consumption. The underlying reality remains the same – there will be less stuff. Whether or not there is simultaneously less money or way too much is hard to say.

          I posted on Tim Morgan’s site about this recently: Who can say what would happen if the concept of degrowth/limits entered the broad consciousness? It seems to me the banking and financial systems would collapse overnight. In this environment I doubt intervention would be possible without the use of unprecedented force and coercion.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks, I agree with Lacy Hunt. I like to say the only thing we can be certain of is that we will be poorer. Whether poverty comes with less money or money that is worthless is a political decision that cannot be predicted.

            I clearly do not understand shadow banking. I like to try to distill the essence of things. I thought the essence of a bank (including shadow banks) was that it is a business legally permitted to simultaneously add offsetting assets and liabilities to it’s balance sheet, provided it abides by rules regarding reserves and collateral.


            1. It’s a fascinating area as it has a lot of implications to the oil story. The following excerpt gives an idea. The whole article linked below is a good primer, particularly sections 2 and 3:

              “Let us look at the institutional evolution of the US monetary area more in detail. Offshore USD creation started with the emergence of the Eurodollar marketFootnote1 in 1956 (Einzig, Reference Einzig1964) – a financial innovation that did not emerge out of systematic planning, but ‘more or less by accident’ (Kindleberger, Reference Kindleberger1970: 173). London bankers, with the vigorous support of the Bank of England and the British treasury (Burn, Reference Burn2006; Helleiner, Reference Helleiner1994), invented Eurodollars as a new form of USD-denominated credit instruments that were not subject to US regulation and oversight – in particular regulation Q, a rule introduced after the Great Depression which capped the interest rates payable on onshore dollar deposits.

              In the early years, communist countries were interested in USD business without directly engaging with the US, and global oil trade was organized through the market: petrodollars are Eurodollars…”



                1. Finally got around to reading “The Big Short”. Yes, these things are complex, partly on purpose. I suspect that Eurodollars and other financial creations are just more scams and greed driven criminal or near criminal behavior as happened with CDS’s and similar back in 2005-2008.

                  Liked by 1 person

              1. Here is HHH’s take on QE and the Eurodollar system.


                Eurodollar system creates actual dollars that are injected into global economy. FED creates bank reserves that are denominated in US dollars that never leave the FED.

                It will be up to US government to spend dollars into economy. Not the FED. Good luck 😁

                Actual money in the US onshore dollar market is created by commercial banks via loans. Which FED manipulates banks to do with lower interest rates for borrowers.

                FED QE is nothing but a collateral swap. They swap bank reserves for US treasuries and MBS with primary dealers. Which allows collateral not to be marked to market. No money is injected into economy during the process.

                Banks however do use the bank reserves created by the FED at REPO to borrow collateral from the FED in the form of treasury mainly T bills. Collateral for which they use to borrow money at REPO to fund daily transactions between banks. So shrinking the amount of bank reserves or FED’s balance sheet is a no go. Margin debt used to pump asset prices takes a hit if FED’s balance sheet were to ever shrink.

                Eurodollar market dwarfs the FED and the onshore dollar market though. And when there is a contraction of lending in Eurodollar market all hell brakes loose and you get a wrecking ball dollar.

                Oil at $147 and 2008 have one thing in common. First people believe what they are told. It was high oil prices or subprime mortgage in USA that caused the crash.

                No it was smooth sailing Eurodollar market that created the dollars that drove oil to $147 and it was a contraction in the Eurodollar market that lead to the crash of oil prices and subprime and all of 2008

                People are focused on just the inflation created by supply side issues. But it’s these very supply side issues that will limit the ability of the banks the create the dollars or the loans in Eurodollar system from doing what they are supposed to do.

                China lockdowns lead to less lending. Is by far the biggest.
                European natural gas shortage if it continues will lead to less lending.


        2. I missed one key point: As I understand it the fact that the Eurodollar system is not regulated by the FED typically means that the loans are backed by collateral. In a perfect world this tends to be UST’s. However, the risk of the shadow bank system comes from the fact that they create a wild array of financial instruments to serve as collateral. This includes corporate and mortgage backed securities – and various degrees of leveraged instruments based on multiples/fractions of underlying treasuries.

          So this system has a desperate need for UST’s in order to expand, and also a desperate risk of not being able to access dollars in times of contraction.


  42. An apology from an environmentalist
    “Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to make a living by campaigning on climate change. Anyone who follows the logic through realises we are actually campaigning against industrial civilisation. For anybody in the industrialised world this is the source of all our wealth. It’s what pays all our wages. Have fun sawing down the tree branch you’re sitting on.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bingo. That’s why I think the focus should be on overshoot. Once you accept that overshoot is the key issue then you can have an intelligent debate about lifestyle vs. population. Would you prefer 100 million affluent Canadians, or 2 billion poor peasants? But be aware, whatever lifestyle you choose you can’t have 8 billion people with depleted fossil energy.

      I’ll vote again when a party has overshoot mitigation as their top policy priority. I fully expect to never vote again. Fucking morons.

      Liked by 2 people

  43. Very interesting analysis from el gato today. I love the way he thinks and criticizes his own hypotheses.

    the moralizing about “needing to be protected from the unvaxxed” is hallucinatory projection. it’s the opposite that is true. the vaxxed are the primary carrier on a per capita basis.

    there has been enough lying and misrepresentation and vilification and othering. that just piles societal poison on top of gross epidemiological malpractice.


  44. The latest episode of Nate Hagens’ podcast The Great Simplification is pretty good and focusses on the risk of nuclear war.

    My summary using less politically correct words:
    1) The short term risk of nuclear war is high and much higher than many other risks we worry about.
    2) The core problem is that our leaders are idiots because they have to be idiots to get elected.
    3) Citizens are idiots and therefore vote for idiots (see point 2).
    4) The solution is probably some form of technocracy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG was my first thought on listening to this podcast. I we survive the next few weeks with the idiots in Europe and especially the Biden administration we will be lucky. The Biden establishment doesn’t understand Russia and their concerns and basically (today) flipped off the ultimatum that Russia gave us a few weeks ago. That wouldn’t be fatal EXCEPT that U.S. official policy is NUTS (acronym for Nuclear Utilization Target Selection) and the U.S. thinks they can have a limited nuclear war (probably in Ukraine) with Russia.
      I have been trying to improve my health (lost 10 lbs, walking 5 miles a day, no drinking alcohol) but this podcast made me ask why? The future really looks bad. I should have a drink.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. LOL. Good summary of the threat. I also liked his insight that the rest of the world fears but does not respect the unethical idiot US leaders.

        I haven’t had a drink or a cigarette for over 10 years but I’ve got a nice stash waiting for me when it’s clear there’s no point staying healthy.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. NUTS is nuts.

        “There was no end to the evil schemes that a thought machine that oversized* couldn’t imagine and execute.” K. Vonnegut



        1. “So, in the interests of survival, they trained themselves to be agreeing machines instead of thinking machines. All their minds had to do was to discover what other people were thinking, and then they thought that, too.”

          ― Kurt Vonnegut, “Breakfast of Champions” (1973)

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yeah, Vonnegut takes a dim view of our big brains. LOL. Maybe shaving off a few IQ points with alcohol isn’t such a bad idea? I know my big brain had led me astray and made me do stupid stuff. Thanks big brain.

            Liked by 1 person

  45. Here’s a fascinating case study of our tendency to deny unpleasant realties.

    These guys are really smart dot connecting experts on the Eurodollar system. In today’s video they draw a connection between the mass formation (aka psychosis) the world is experiencing and the unprecedented (but unacknowledged) global economic depression the world has been experiencing since 2008.

    The amazing thing about the video is that they fumble around looking for an explanation when it’s staring them in the face: energy driven limits to growth.

    Doubly fascinating since they have viewed Chris Martenson’s work and still don’t see reality.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Lithium is useful”

      For more than batteries Rob. Could be a tool in the toolbox for that mass psychosis you all talking about. Maybe the PTB can get creative and add it to the sulfate aerosols when they do their future geo-engineering sprays.

      Liked by 1 person

  46. Nate Hagens’ podcast with Chuck Watson listed above is a must hear for everyone concerned with collapse. I subsequently went down the rabbit hole yesterday and read some more over on Chuck Watson’s blog: Enki Research. Mostly he is a risk analyst about weather/climate change (which he stated in the podcast). However, he did a blog post that is a short but even more important must read where he fleshes out our immediate nuclear risk with Russia/Ukraine. The U.S. is a weak, “old” collapsing super power that thinks it is still 1990. Nothing worse than collapsing super powers. They do foolish things, re: the U.S. “new” nuclear weapons and our intention to use them. We (the U.S. populace) are fools led by fools. I read Watson’s blog and all the links and it is bad – in the most depressing way. Maybe it’s time to break out the booze?
    I wonder, on a purely academic level, how it was at the moment of collapse in other civilizations when you could see the inevitable and you were one of the few who could (and wouldn’t deny it)?


    1. Thanks, I’ll read Watson’s post.

      The US seems incapable of empathy. How did the US respond to Russian weapons in Cuba? How would the US respond if Russia and Mexico formed a military alliance and Russia began installing weapons in Mexico? How is the Ukraine any different?

      We know from thousands of years of history that our species responds to economic stress and scarcity with war. What’s different this time are weapons that can destroy everything.

      Jay Hanson in this rare interview predicts nuclear war around this time frame.


      1. I have Jay Hanson on my blog list for one of the best explanations of the Maximum Power Principle. I will have to listen to the link you gave.
        I hate to agree with you, and Chuck Watson had some info on how out of touch the U.S. leadership is with respect to what other countries think of us and how we are seen in the World in general (very badly as ultimate hypocrites and bullies – how true). That is what so infuriates me with the Russia baiting. We (the U.S.) promised Gorbachev (and Yeltsin) that we would not expand NATO into Eastern Europe and then we did. And our response to their protestations is that we (the U.S.) said: “it isn’t in writing so we don’t have to adhere to any verbal agreement” (besides we are the sole Super Power – so there!!). No wonder Russia wants responses in writing now. We (the U.S.) don’t realize that while we wasted money and lives in the Middle East, Russia and China have modernized their weapons where ours are only the most expensive junk money can buy. The U.S. is led by fools.


          1. Maybe this is also a sign of decline of the American super power that politicians are getting dumber and dumber. President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Camacho seems not that far away in the future as predicted in “Idiocracy”.

            I still would not expect that the USA will start a nuclear war against an opponent who is capable of retaliation, as long as the problem of MAD is not solved.


    2. I also had a listen to Hagen’s interview of Watson. Watson talked about the Joint Chiefs of Staff not being in the chain of command for quite some time. It’s my understanding that during the latter days of the Trump Administration, at some point they informally reinstated themselves into the chain of command by getting the various commanders to agree to not take any action without checking with them first even if Trump ordered it. It was informal but effective.

      Re: Enki Research. Unusual name Enki, not something you encounter everyday.

      Enki was the Sumerian god of wisdom, fresh water, intelligence, trickery and mischief, crafts, magic, exorcism, healing, creation, virility, fertility. Exorcism no less!

      Chuck felt compelled to change the name from Watson Technical Consulting (WTC) after 2003 for obvious reasons. And Methaz (meteorological hazards) was also a no go, again for obvious reasons. Which brings me to The Beaver. Another name change dear to my heart.

      The plan to change the title of The Beaver after 90 years to avoid online porn blockers made Canada’s top history magazine an international media sensation — first as joke fodder for Jay Leno and as the subject of an editorial printed in another venerable publication: the British-based newsweekly The Economist.

      “The Beaver website was attracting (albeit briefly) readers who had little interest in Samuel de Champlain’s astrolabe or what Prairie settlers ate for breakfast,” the editorial dryly observed, before concluding that the “dull” new name — “Canada’s History” — was necessary to help storytelling about this country’s past escape “Internet obscenity filters” and crude references to “female pubic hair.”

      The Economist, not above a naughty pun itself, ran a picture of the tree-chomping rodent alongside its editorial, with the caption: “No, it’s not a pussy.”

      Late-night TV host Leno also cracked wise earlier this week about The Beaver, suggesting the magazine has been a hot seller among young Canadian men who were, however, very “disappointed when they got it home.”

      It’s a publicity blitz that any company rebranding itself would crave, but the attention generated by the Winnipeg magazine’s makeover has also prompted criticism from some subscribers about the banality of the new name, and made the country’s bucktoothed national symbol a global laughingstock — or, perhaps, even more of a global laughing stock.


  47. Preptip: On the energy conservation benefits of hot water bottles.

    Imagine a personal heating system that works indoors as well as outdoors, can be taken anywhere, requires little energy, and is independent of any infrastructure. It exists – and is hundreds of years old. The hot water bottle could save a great deal of energy and money without sacrificing thermal comfort.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Funny you mentioned that. One of the British natural gas companies had to apologize to their patrons who were complaining about the high cost of natural gas when they suggested that they should sleep with their dogs to conserve heat.


        1. We had something similar in Germany but the politicians weren´t that creative. They just said that if you can´t pay the heating bill, just heat less. Awesome advice…

          Liked by 1 person

  48. Please join this march if you are able to do so without burning large quantities of fossil energy to get there.

    On The Eve of Washington March, COVID Declaration Now Backed by More Than 17,000 Doctors and Medical Scientists Around the World

    Following Dr. Robert Malone’s appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience, more physicians and medical scientists have joined with their colleagues from around the world in signing the Physicians Declaration. Now with more than 17,000 signatures confirmed through a rigorous validation process, these physicians and scientists are represented by Dr. Malone as he speaks at the march to Defeat the Mandates on Sunday, January 23 in Washington, D.C.

    The over 17,000 signers to the declaration have reached consensus on three foundational principles:

    1) Healthy children should not be subject to forced vaccination: they face negligible risk from covid, but face potential permanent, irreversible risk to their health if vaccinated, including heart, brain, reproductive and immune system damage.

    2) Natural Immunity Denial has prolonged the pandemic and needlessly restricted the lives of Covid-recovered people. Masks, lockdowns, and other restrictions have caused great harm especially to children and delayed the virus’ transition to endemic status.

    3) Health agencies and institutions must cease interfering with the physician-patient relationship. Policymakers are directly responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, as a result of institutional interference and blocking treatments proven to cure at a near 100% rate when administered early.

    Led by Dr. Malone and staying loyal to the Hippocratic oath, the declaration’s signers have resisted financial inducements, threats, unprecedented censorship, and reputational attacks to remain committed first to patient health and well-being. After 23 months of research, millions of patients treated, hundreds of clinical trials performed and scientific data shared, and after demonstrating and documenting their success in combating COVID-19, the 17,000+ physicians and medical scientists who signed the declaration support the core principles Dr. Malone and many other doctors have been speaking out about since late last year.

    The 17,000+ signatures of the declaration are authentic and must pass a screening process before being officially identified as signing the declaration. Signatories are required to supply their affiliation and a link to their medical organization, facility, or profile. Nurses, non-MD practitioners and non-medical scientists are removed from the list signatories, as are duplicate entries and “bot” emails. The emails of the signatories have been separately and repeatedly tested and verified by a 3rd-party provider.

    As the number of signatures to the declaration continues to rise, we have published a select group of world famous, highly credentialed physicians and scientists who authored the declaration. Many other doctors who have spoken out against the corruption, censorship and hypocrisy by authorities have been threatened, fired, censured, lied about, intimidated, and harassed – all while saving patients’ lives daily. Never has the public been forced to become lab rats, for a vaccine 5 years away from adequate testing, violating basic principles of informed consent. Moreover, the medical and scientific evidence on the efficacy and safety of the COVID- 19 vaccine do not support mandating its use for anyone, especially healthy children.

    January 23 March on Washington

    The over 17,000 signers of the declaration will be represented on Sunday, January 23, when Dr. Malone stands with fellow doctors and scientists on stage in Washington DC, as part of the Defeat the Mandates march Sunday, January 23, 2022. At the Lincoln Memorial, they will be joined by a wide range of featured guests for a series of inspiring talks and musical performances. Join us!

    About the Global COVID Summit

    Global Covid Summit is the product of an international alliance of doctors and scientists, committed to speaking truth to power about Covid pandemic research and treatment.

    Thousands have died from Covid as a result of being denied life-saving early treatment. The Declaration is a battle cry from physicians who are daily fighting for the right to treat their patients, and the right of patients to receive those treatments – without fear of interference, retribution or censorship by government, pharmacies, pharmaceutical corporations, and big tech. We demand that these groups step aside and honor the sanctity and integrity of the patient- physician relationship, the fundamental maxim “First Do No Harm”, and the freedom of patients and physicians to make informed medical decisions. Lives depend on it. More information here:

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Curious minds want to know. How much pain will the fed endure to protect the integrity of its only product?

    Markets will on occasion reveal subtle hints, clues that can be critical when nearing inflection points. Last week’s CBB discussed the elevated correlations between the cryptocurrencies, technology stocks, and some financial conditions indicators. This suggested heightened risk of a bout of “risk off” selling that could presage illiquidity, panic and bursting speculative Bubbles. Not subtly, this dynamic gained important momentum this week.

    Bitcoin’s 11% Friday drop boosted losses for the week to 15.6%. Etherium dropped 28% this week, Litecoin 27%, and Binance 28%. It was a technology bloodbath, with the Semiconductors sinking 11.9%. There was an element of panic in many of the online trading community’s favorite stocks. A Friday afternoon Bloomberg headline: “Nasdaq 100’s Unrelenting Declines Ring a Dot-Com Bust Alarm Bell.” While there are notable similarities, the nineties was a rather petite Bubble in comparison to today’s gross obesity.

    Markets this week provided inklings of a potentially far-reaching Critical Juncture. Wednesday trading deserves special attention. Stocks opened the session higher, only to reverse sharply lower. “Risk off” was gaining momentum, with technology stocks and the cryptocurrencies appearing particularly vulnerable. But even in the face of faltering risk market Bubbles, Treasury yields were marching higher – trading Wednesday to 1.90%, the high since year-end 2019.


  50. Here’s another really smart virus guy in the same class as el gato and eugyppius, and with similar wit.

    Damn the immune system is complicated, and it’s clear our idiot leaders don’t understand it.

    The only way out of this is through this. If you are vaxxed and haven’t encountered Omicron yet, you will, and if you saw Delta last year, it will be pretty mild if detectable at all. You will need a boxed government-sanctioned test to tell you if you are ill, just as the Founders intended. 5 days later you receive the good news: if you are one of the 99.976% (or so) people who can manage to survive this bout of coof, your immunity becomes suddenly almost as good as the average pureblood. You will have MP-CTLs on tap and standing guard for any remaining viral cells that may have escaped detection. You will have IgA production in your eyes and upper respiratory tract and maybe even in your gut, standing by to ward off another round. Pity the poor vaxxers who have been lied to and in their gullible way, absorbed the deceptions as fact. To break the spell, they will need to have their own breakthrough crises and their own realization that they have been played by TPTB. But I say again, the only way out is through.

    Be of good cheer. Rona is on it’s last leg. It is coughing up blood, er, um, so to speak.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting article. I especially liked the part which talked about the business model of Substack, as I also have my problems with the payment model. I would really like to donate money to quite a few authors on this platform, but it gets expensive quickly. I currently have around 25 subscriptions at Substack. I am not sure if everyone has payments activated. Even if only 50% have payments activated, I would pay more than 50$ a month (based on 5$ per subscription.) I would never pay that much money for magazines, so why should I pay that much for Substack?

      Liked by 1 person

  51. Must watch discussion between two very good men who got covid right from the beginning and are deeply worried that the bad guys are going to get away with it and citizens won’t learn a thing from this tragic event in our history.

    Brought some tears to my eyes.


  52. Interesting comment by HHH at POB:

    Russia is building floating nuclear power plants to not only produce arctic oil but also mine lithium and copper and other recourses.

    But are they even going to make money if prices don’t go much higher and stay higher. Don’t let a trade surplus fool you. Higher nominal oil prices can make the value of their exports seem great even if volumes of exports aren’t making higher highs.

    Russia oil exports peaked in 1988. When the price of oil was $15. Russia had a second more recent peak after they recovered from collapse. Which was in 2006. And oil was $58. 2006 was 16 years ago and between 2006 and today and oil prices were much higher for a period of time between 2011-2014 than they are currently and Russia still hasn’t seen a peak in exports higher than in 2006.

    Oil exports from Russia have been on a 20 year plateau and they are starting to come off that plateau. They also need much higher prices in order to try to extend that plateau.

    And everything they have left is the hard to get to and costly variety.

    $58 in 2006 is today about $79 inflation adjusted. If the oil was there to increase exports we at the price they should be increasing at. But they are cutting exports instead.

    When Russia and Saudi exports fall a lot of dominos fall. It doesn’t really matter if production goes a little higher from here in producing countries if that doesn’t equate into more exports.

    Wheat takes a lot of fossil fuel inputs btw. Their exports of wheat will also be cut in not too distant future.

    And it’s not like exports have to go to zero for there to be a problem. Just a little less here and there and people go hungry.

    In just a handful of years at most the US will be importing on a net basis a lot more oil than we do today as shale oil production collapses. Which everyone here agrees will happen it’s just a matter of when. That means somebody somewhere gets left out in the cold.

    Liked by 2 people


    Ok, He’s Insane

    The market certainly thinks so.

    Don’t kid yourselves folks; the headline out overnight that Biden is contemplating committing actual troops to Ukraine is why the dive this morning in the markets.

    If you think any sort of armed conflict with Russia is a good idea you’re out of your mind. If you think projecting weakness toward them while at the same time doing anything that threatens their only 12-month deep-water port is going to turn out well you’re crazy enough that you deserve the collapse of civil society or even nuclear attack you’re risking.


    1. Yeah, and market-ticker goes on to say that the U.S. really hasn’t had any casualties like we had in WWII. What happens if the U.S. loses an aircraft carrier (and they are the epitome of a soft target for a hyper-sonic weapon)? Looking longingly back at the start of WWI most historians think it was foolishness on all sides. If there are any historians left in the future, will they not think the same about the U.S. now?? senile president surrounded by people who personify the “Peter Principle” (idiots who are incompetent).
      Just tell me when you start drinking your stash, Rob!!


      1. Not drinking yet. 🙂

        On a more positive note, I was really moved in a good way yesterday watching the DC protest. I’m frequently critical of US (and Canadian) citizens but there are clearly still some good & wise people out there and they spoke up yesterday.


  54. I’m thinking we might need a level lower than 1.

    Meanwhile, not a single word from the mainstream news sources I monitor on the stop the mandates protest in Washington DC yesterday. I was very impressed by the speeches and think they were fact-filled, heart-felt, and mostly non-partisan. Congrats to the organizers.


    1. I also did not read anything about the mandates protest in the German media. At least the protests within Germany were reported, but I am not sure whether the amount of protestors was counted correctly. My experience is that protests againt the government are undercounted while government approved protests (like Fridays for Future) are overcounted.

      My proprosal for a DEFCON level below 1 would be 2G++, as we already have it here in Germany. It means that you need to be vaccinated or recovered, have a current negative Covid test and wear an FFP2 mask, it cannot get more extreme. At least, that is what I am hoping.


        1. It is basically the same as when the Russians invaded Crimea. There is a big outcry in the media about the bad Russians, backed with the threat of governmental sanctions. The Green Party sees this possible invasion as a further point of attack against the Nordstream 2 pipeline. Even the chancellor said something along the line, that they will think about not putting this pipeline into operation, if Russia attacks the Ukraine.

          I would think that for most of the German citizens it is too far away to really be a concern. Even my mother, who is always watching the news, did not bring up this topic at all, when we met the last time.

          On a personal level, I am pretty disappointed by the NATO/US not keeping their promises, but based on my historical understanding, this is not an outlier. If there is no advantage in keeping the promise, it will be “forgotten” quickly.


    1. My mother once told me a story about an Iranian friend, who lived in Teheran during the Islamic revolution of 1979. The friend told my mother, that even in the center of the revolution, you did not hear anything about it, if you weren´t directly involved. So I would expect, that reporting on a revolution within the western world would be suppressed by the mainstream media as long as possible.


    1. Thanks more evidence that our leaders did everything wrong and nothing right. If our leaders were simply morons we would expect a random mix of good decisions and bad decisions, not 100% bad. Something other than pubic health must be the priority.

      The take-home lesson from this deep dive is that lockdowns and vaccines didn’t make a shred of difference to Covid outcomes, even as they delayed acquiring natural immunity and caused endless unnecessary misery. Meanwhile, the lifestyle differences that could have dramatically reduced the individual risk of severe outcomes for the vulnerable were completely ignored in favor of a hysterical obsession with vaccines, PCR tests, and suffocating social controls.


  55. A message today from Nate Hagens to his subscribers. We discussed this podcast above.

    Given what’s happening (quickly) with Ukraine/Russia, I’m emailing to highlight/recommend last week’s conversation with ‘risk expert’ Chuck Watson.

    From what I am hearing, it seems a Russian move into Ukraine is highly likely at this point – but they will most likely stop with the Eastern oblast and hopefully don’t start a larger conflict. One of the (many) downstream risks is US/NATO response -not only militarily but economically. If the mother of all sanctions is imposed on Russia, this will cause the energy crisis – and political crisis to escalate in Europe. I’m no expert on all this but am watching it with trepidation.

    Chuck and I had an intense conversation. We talked about how humans generally misjudge risk, the reflexive relationship between climate change and nuclear war and the problems/ opportunities with governance in an era of accelerating risk. Give it a listen here:

    and if you want weekly notifications of upcoming podcasts, videos and educational materials, sign up here:


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