Peak Oil is You

Donate Bitcoins ;-) or Paypal :-)

Page added on September 27, 2017

Bookmark and Share

Gail Tverberg: Why political correctness fails – Why what we know ‘for sure’ is wrong

Public Policy

Most of us are familiar with the Politically Correct (PC) World View. William Deresiewicz describes the view, which he calls the “religion of success,” as follows:

There is a right way to think and a right way to talk, and also a right set of things to think and talk about. Secularism is taken for granted. Environmentalism is a sacred cause. Issues of identity—principally the holy trinity of race, gender, and sexuality—occupy the center of concern.

There are other beliefs that go with this religion of success:

  • Wind and solar will save us.
  • Electric cars will make transportation possible indefinitely.
  • Our world leaders are all powerful.
  • Science has all of the answers.

To me, this story is pretty much equivalent to the article, “Earth Is Flat and Infinite, According to Paid Experts,” by Chris Hume in Funny Times. While the story is popular, it is just plain silly.

In this post, I explain why many popular understandings are just plain wrong. I cover many controversial topics, including environmentalism, peer-reviewed literature, climate change models, and religion. I expect that the analysis will surprise almost everyone.

Myth 1: If there is a problem with the lack of any resource, including oil, it will manifest itself with high prices.

As we reach limits of oil or any finite resource, the problem we encounter is an allocation problem. 

What happens if economy stops growing

Figure 1. Two views of future economic growth. Created by author.

As long as the quantity of resources we can extract from the ground keeps rising faster than population, there is no problem with limits. The tiny wedge that each person might get from these growing resources represents more of that resource, on average. Citizens can reasonably expect that future pension promises will be paid from the growing resources. They can also expect that, in the future, the shares of stock and the bonds that they own can be redeemed for actual goods and services.

If the quantity of resources starts to shrink, the problem we have is almost a “musical chairs” type of problem.

Figure 2. Circle of chairs arranged for game of musical chairs. Source

In each round of a musical chairs game, one chair is removed from the circle. The players in the game must walk around the outside of the circle. When the music stops, all of the players scramble for the remaining chairs. Someone gets left out.

The players in today’s economic system include

  • High paid (or elite) workers
  • Low paid (or non-elite) workers
  • Businesses
  • Governments
  • Owners of assets (such as stocks, bonds, land, buildings) who want to sell them and exchange them for today’s goods and services

If there is a shortage of a resource, the standard belief is that prices will rise and either more of the resource will be found, or substitution will take place. Substitution only works in some cases: it is hard to think of a substitute for fresh water. It is often possible to substitute one energy product for another. Overall, however, there is no substitute for energy. If we want to heat a substance to produce a chemical reaction, we need energy. If we want to move an object from place to place, we need energy. If we want to desalinate water to produce more fresh water, this also takes energy.

The world economy is a self-organized networked system. The networked system includes businesses, governments, and workers, plus many types of energy, including human energy. Workers play a double role because they are also consumers. The way goods and services are allocated is determined by “market forces.” In fact, the way these market forces act is determined by the laws of physics. These market forces determine which of the players will get squeezed out if there is not enough to go around.

Non-elite workers play a pivotal role in this system because their number is so large. These people are the chief customers for goods, such as homes, food, clothing, and transportation services. They also play a major role in paying taxes, and in receiving government services.

History says that if there are not enough resources to go around, we can expect increasing wage and wealth disparity. This happens because increased use of technology and more specialization are workarounds for many kinds of problems. As an economy increasingly relies on technology, the owners and managers of the technology start receiving higher wages, leaving less for the workers without special skills. The owners and managers also tend to receive income from other sources, such as interest, dividends, capital gains, and rents.

When there are not enough resources to go around, the temptation is to use technology to replace workers, because this reduces costs. Of course, a robot does not need to buy food or a car. Such an approach tends to push commodity prices down, rather than up. This happens because fewer workers are employed; in total they can afford fewer goods. A similar downward push on commodity prices occurs if wages of non-elite workers stagnate or fall.

If wages of non-elite workers are lower, governments find themselves in increasing difficulty because they cannot collect enough taxes for all of the services that they are asked to provide. History shows that governments often collapse in such situations. Major defaults on debt are another likely outcome (Figure 3). Pension holders are another category of recipients who are likely to be “left out” when the game of musical chairs stops.

Figure 3 – Created by Author.

The laws of physics strongly suggest that if we are reaching limits of this type, the economy will collapse. We know that this happened to many early economies. More recently, we have witnessed partial collapses, such as the Depression of the 1930s. The Depression occurred when the price of food dropped because mechanization eliminated a significant share of human hand-labor. While this change reduced the price of food, it also had an adverse impact on the buying-power of those whose jobs were eliminated.

The collapse of the Soviet Union is another example of a partial collapse. This collapse occurred as a follow-on to the low oil prices of the 1980s. The Soviet Union was an oil exporter that was affected by low oil prices. It could continue to produce for a while, but eventually (1991) financial problems caught up with it, and the central government collapsed.

Figure 4. Oil consumption, production, and inflation-adjusted price, all from BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2015.

Low prices are often a sign of lack of affordability. Today’s oil, coal, and natural gas prices tend to be too low for today’s producers. Low energy prices are deceptive because their initial impact on the economy seems to be favorable. The catch is that after a time, the shortfall in funds for reinvestment catches up, and production collapses. The resulting collapse of the economy may look like a financial collapse or a governmental collapse.

Oil prices have been low since late 2014. We do not know how long low prices can continue before collapse. The length of time since oil prices have collapsed is now three years; we should be concerned.

Myth 2. (Related to Myth 1) If we wait long enough, renewables will become affordable.

The fact that wage disparity grows as we approach limits means that prices can’t be expected to rise as we approach limits. Instead, prices tend to fall as an increasing number of would-be buyers are frozen out of the market. If in fact energy prices could rise much higher, there would be huge amounts of oil, coal and gas that could be extracted.

Figure 5. IEA Figure 1.4 from its World Energy Outlook 2015, showing how much oil can be produced at various price levels, according to IEA models.

There seems to be a maximum affordable price for any commodity. This maximum affordable price depends to a significant extent on the wages of non-elite workers. If the wages of non-elite workers fall (for example, because of mechanization or globalization), the maximum affordable price may even fall.

Myth 3. (Related to Myths 1 and 2) A glut of oil indicates that oil limits are far away. 

A glut of oil means that too many people around the world are being “frozen out” of buying goods and services that depend on oil, because of low wages or a lack of job. It is a physics problem, related to ice being formed when the temperature is too cold. We know that this kind of thing regularly happens in collapses and partial collapses. During the Depression of the 1930s, food was being destroyed for lack of buyers. It is not an indication that limits are far away; it is an indication that limits are close at hand. The system can no longer balance itself correctly.

Myth 4: Wind and solar can save us.

The amount of energy (other than direct food intake) that humans require is vastly higher than most people suppose. Other animals and plants can live on the food that they eat or the energy that they produce using sunlight and water. Humans deviated from this simple pattern long ago–over 1 million years ago.

Unfortunately, our bodies are now adapted to the use of supplemental energy in addition to food. The use of fire allowed humans to develop differently than other primates. Using fire to cook some of our food helped in many ways. It freed up time that would otherwise be spent chewing, providing time that could be used for tool making and other crafts. It allowed teeth, jaws and digestive systems to be smaller. The reduced energy needed for maintaining the digestive system allowed the brain to become bigger. It allowed humans to live in parts of the world where they are not physically adapted to living.

In fact, back at the time of hunter-gatherers, humans already seemed to need three times as much energy total as a correspondingly sized primate, if we count burned biomass in addition to direct food energy.

Figure 6 – Created by author.

“Watts per Capita” is a measure of the rate at which energy is consumed. Even back in hunter-gatherer days, humans behaved differently than similar-sized primates would be expected to behave. Without considering supplemental energy, an animal-like human is like an always-on 100-watt bulb. With the use of supplemental energy from burned biomass and other sources, even in hunter-gatherer times, the energy used was equivalent to that of an always-on 300-watt bulb.

How does the amount of energy produced by today’s wind turbines and solar panels compare to the energy used by hunter-gatherers? Let’s compare today’s wind and solar output to the 200 watts of supplemental energy needed to maintain our human existence back in hunter-gatherer times (difference between 300 watts per hour and 100 watts per hour). This assumes that if we were to go back to hunting and gathering, we could somehow collect food for everyone, to cover the first 100 watts per hour. All we would need to do is provide enough supplemental energy for cooking, heating, and other very basic needs, so we would not have to deforest the land.

Conveniently, BP gives the production of wind and solar in “terawatt hours.” If we take today’s world population of 7.5 billion, and multiply it by 24 hours a day, 365.25 days per year, and 200 watts, we come to needed energy of 13,149 terawatt hours per year. In 2016, the output of wind was 959.5 terawatt hours; the output of solar was 333.1 terawatt hours, or a total of 1,293 terawatt hours. Comparing the actual provided energy (1,293 tWh) to the required energy of 13,149 tWh, today’s wind and solar would provide only 9.8% of the supplemental energy needed to maintain a hunter-gatherer level of existence for today’s population. 

Of course, this is without considering how we would continue to create wind and solar electricity as hunter-gatherers, and how we would distribute such electricity. Needless to say, we would be nowhere near reproducing an agricultural level of existence for any large number of people, using only wind and solar. Even adding water power, the amount comes to only 40.4% of the added energy required for existence as hunter gatherers for today’s population.

Many people believe that wind and solar are ramping up rapidly. Starting from a base of zero, the annual percentage increases do appear to be large. But relative to the end point required to maintain any reasonable level of population, we are very far away. A recent lecture by Energy Professor Vaclav Smil is titled, “The Energy Revolution? More Like a Crawl.”

Myth 5. Evaluation methods such as “Energy Returned on Energy Invested” (EROI) and “Life Cycle Analyses (LCA)” indicate that wind and solar should be acceptable solutions. 

These approaches are concerned about how the energy used in creating a given device compares to the output of the device. The problem with these analyses is that, while we can measure “energy out” fairly well, we have a hard time determining total “energy in.” A large share of energy use comes from indirect sources, such as roads that are shared by many different users.

A particular problem occurs with intermittent resources, such as wind and solar. The EROI analyses available for wind and solar are based on analyses of these devices as stand-alone units (perhaps powering a desalination plant, on an intermittent basis). On this basis, they appear to be reasonably good choices as transition devices away from fossil fuels.

EROI analyses don’t handle the situation well when there is a need to add expensive infrastructure to compensate for the intermittency of wind and solar. This situation tends to happen when electricity is added to the grid in more than small quantities. One workaround for intermittency is adding batteries; another is overbuilding the intermittent devices, and using only the portion of intermittent electricity that comes at the time of day and time of year when it is needed. Another approach involves paying fossil fuel providers for maintaining extra capacity (needed both for rapid ramping and for the times of year when intermittent resources are inadequate).

Any of these workarounds is expensive and becomes more expensive, the larger the percentage of intermittent electricity that is added. Euan Mearns recently estimated that for a particular offshore wind farm, the cost would be six times as high, if battery backup sufficient to even out wind fluctuations in a single month were added. If the goal were to even out longer term fluctuations, the cost would no doubt be higher. It is difficult to model what workarounds would be needed for a truly 100% renewable system. The cost would no doubt be astronomical.

When an analysis such as EROI is prepared, there is a tendency to leave out any cost that varies with the application, because such a cost is difficult to estimate. My background is in actuarial work. In such a setting, the emphasis is always on completeness because after the fact, it will become very clear if the analyst left out any important insurance-related cost. In EROI and similar analyses, there is much less of a tieback to the real world, so an omission may never be noticed. In theory, EROIs are for multiple purposes, including ones where intermittency is not a problem. The EROI modeler is not expected to consider all cases.

Another way of viewing the issue is as a “quality” issue. EROI theory generally treats all types of energy as equivalent (including coal, oil, natural gas, intermittent electricity, and grid-quality electricity). From this perspective, there is no need to correct for differences in types of energy output. Thus, it makes perfect sense to publish EROI and LCA analyses that seem to indicate that wind and solar are great solutions, without any explanation regarding the likely high real-world cost associated with using them on the electric grid.

Myth 6. Peer reviewed articles give correct findings.

The real story is that peer reviewed articles need to be reviewed carefully by those who use them. There is a very significant chance that errors may have crept in. This can happen because of misinterpretation of prior peer reviewed articles, or because prior peer reviewed articles were based on “thinking of the day,” which was not quite correct, given what has been learned since the article was written. Or, as indicated by the example in Myth 5, the results of peer reviewed articles may be confusing to those who read them, in part because they are not written for any particular audience.

The way university research is divided up, researchers usually have a high level of specialized knowledge about one particular subject area. The real world situation with the world economy, as I mentioned in my discussion of Myth 1, is that the economy is a self-organized networked system. Everything affects everything else. The researcher, with his narrow background, doesn’t understand these interconnections. For example, energy researchers don’t generally understand economic feedback loops, so they tend to leave them out. Peer reviewers, who are looking for errors within the paper itself, are likely to miss important feedback loops as well.

To make matters worse, the publication process tends to favor results that suggest that there is no energy problem ahead. This bias can come through the peer review process. One author explained to me that he left out a certain point from a paper because he expected that some of his peer reviewers would come from the Green Community; he didn’t want to say anything that might offend such a reviewer.

This bias can also come directly from the publisher of academic books and articles. The publisher is in the business of selling books and journal articles; it does not want to upset potential buyers of its products. One publisher made it clear to me that its organization did not want any mention of problems that seem to be without a solution. The reader should be left with the impression that while there may be issues ahead, solutions are likely to be found.

In my opinion, any published research needs to be looked at very carefully. It is very difficult for an author to move much beyond the general level of understanding of his audience and of likely reviewers. There are financial incentives for authors to produce PC reports, and for publishers to publish them. In many cases, articles from blogs may be better resources than academic articles because blog authors are under less pressure to write PC reports.

Myth 7. Climate models give a good estimate of what we can expect in the future.

There is no doubt that climate is changing. But is all of the hysteria about climate change really the correct story?

Our economy, and in fact the Earth and all of its ecosystems, are self-organized networked systems. We are reaching limits in many areas at once, including energy, fresh water, the number of fish that can be extracted each year from oceans, and metal ore extraction. Physical limits are likely to lead to financial problems, as indicated in Figure 3. The climate change modelers have chosen to leave all of these issues out of their models, instead assuming that the economy can continue to grow as usual until 2100. Leaving out these other issues clearly can be expected to overstate the impact of climate change.

The International Energy Agency is very influential with respect to which energy issues are considered. Between 1998 and 2000, it did a major flip-flop in the importance of energy limits. The IEA’s 1998 World Energy Outlook devotes many pages to discussing the possibility of inadequate oil supplies in the future. In fact, near the beginning, the report says,

Our analysis of the current evidence suggests that world oil production from conventional sources could peak during the period 2010 to 2020.

The same report also mentions Climate Change considerations, but devotes many fewer pages to these concerns. The Kyoto Conference had taken place in 1997, and the topic was becoming more widely discussed.

In 1999, the IEA did not publish World Energy Outlook. When the IEA published the World Energy Outlook for 2000, the report suddenly focused only on Climate Change, with no mention of Peak Oil. The USGS World Petroleum Assessment 2000 had recently been published. It could be used to justify at least somewhat higher future oil production.

I will be the first to admit that the “Peak Oil” story is not really right. It is a halfway story, based on a partial understanding of the role physics plays in energy limits. Oil supply does not “run out.” Peak Oilers also did not understand that physics governs how markets work–whether prices rise or fall, or oscillate. If there is not enough to go around, some of the would-be buyers will be frozen out. But Climate Change, as our sole problem, or even as our major problem, is not the right story, either. It is another halfway story.

One point that both Peak Oilers and the IEA missed is that the world economy doesn’t really have the ability to cut back on the use of fossil fuels significantly, without the world economy collapsing. Thus, the IEA’s recommendations regarding moving away from fossil fuels cannot work. (Shifting energy use among countries is fairly easy, however, making individual country CO2 reductions appear more beneficial than they really are.) The IEA would be better off talking about non-fuel changes that might reduce CO2, such as eating vegetarian food, eliminating flooded rice paddies, and having smaller families. Of course, these are not really issues that the International Energy Association is concerned about.

The unfortunate truth is that on any difficult, interdisciplinary subject, we really don’t have a way of making a leap from lack of knowledge of a subject, to full knowledge of a subject, without a number of separate, partially wrong, steps. The IPCC climate studies and EROI analyses both fall in this category, as do Peak Oil reports.

The progress I have made on figuring out the energy limits story would not have been possible without the work of many other people, including those doing work on studying Peak Oil and those studying EROI. I have also received a lot of “tips” from readers of regarding additional topics I should investigate. Even with all of this help, I am sure that my version of the truth is not quite right. We all keep learning as we go along.

There may indeed be details of this particular climate model that are not correct, although this is out of my area of expertise. For example, the historical temperatures used by researchers seem to need a lot of adjustment to be usable. Some people argue that the historical record has been adjusted to make the historical record fit the particular model used.

There is also the issue of truing up the indications to where we are now. I mentioned the problem earlier of EROI indications not having any real world tie; climate model indications are not quite as bad, but they also seem not to be well tied to what is actually happening.

Myth 8. We don’t need religion; our leaders are all knowing and all powerful.

We are fighting a battle against the laws of physics. Expecting our leaders to win in the battle against the laws of physics is expecting a huge amount. Some of the actions of our leaders seem extraordinarily stupid. For example, if falling interest rates have postponed peak oil, then proposing to raise interest rates, when we have not fixed the underlying oil depletion problem, seems very ill-advised.

Everything I have seen indicates that there is a literal Higher Power governing our world economy. It is the Laws of Physics that govern the world economy. The Laws of Physics affect the world economy in many ways. The economy is a dissipative structure. Energy inputs allow the economy to remain in an “out of equilibrium state” (that is, in a growing state), for a very long period.

Eventually the ability of any economy to grow must come to an end. The problem is that it requires increasing amounts of energy to fight the growing “entropy” (higher energy cost of extraction, need for growing debt, and rising pollution levels) of the system. The economy must come to an end, just as the lives of individual plants and animals (which are also dissipative structures) must come to an end.

People throughout the ages have been in awe of how this system that provides growth works. We get energy from the sun. This solar energy helps grow our food. It allows the physical growth of humans. It allows the growth of ecosystems and of economies. Humans, ecosystems, and economies seem permanent, but eventually they all must collapse. In physics terms, they are all dissipative structures.

Humans have been in awe of the self-organizing property permitted by flows of energy for as long as humans have had the ability to think abstract thoughts. These flows allow a newly created whole to be greater than the sum of their parts. For example, babies start from a small beginning and mature into adults. Musical notes go together to form recognizable melodies. Physical movements go together to form dances. Awe for this phenomenon seems to be one of the origins of religion.

Another reason for religions is a need for hierarchical structure within an economy. We know that animal groups very often have “pecking orders.” Adding a god provides a convenient way of adding a “top level” to the pecking order. Of course, if leaders can convince members of the group that they are all knowing and that science can provide all of the answers, then the top level provided by religion is not needed.

A third reason for religions is to help align the thoughts of members in a particular way. Most of us are aware of the power of magnetized materials.

Figure 7. Source.

To some extent, the same power exists when the belief systems of groups of people can be aligned in the same direction. For example, teachers find it much easier to teach large groups of students, if parents have emphasized the importance of school and the need for respect for teachers. A military leader can attack another country, if soldiers follow orders. A group of generally uncivilized people can learn the benefit of working with others, if proper instruction is given.

What has been astounding to me, as I have looked into the situation, is that the scientific evidence seems to point in the direction of a literal Higher Power governing our Universe. It is not clear whether this higher power is the Laws of Physics, or whether it is some outside “God” that created the Laws of Physics.

In the past, many researchers assumed that the Universe was a closed energy system, irreversibly headed toward a cold, dark end. Recent research indicates that the Universe is ever-expanding, and in fact, seems to be expanding at an accelerating rate. While individual dissipative structures are constantly encountering more and more entropy, the universe as a whole is perhaps expanding rapidly enough to “outrun” growing entropy. Thus, it can behave as an always-open system. This always-open energy system allows many types of objects to self-organize and grow, at least for a time. These objects behave as dissipative structures, each having a beginning and an end.

We really don’t know whether the Universe had a beginning. Some research suggests that it did not. Others believe it began with a Big Bang.

Within the Universe, the earth seems extremely unusual. In fact, it is not clear that there is any other planet that has exactly the right conditions for complex life. A recent American Scientist article discusses this issue. The book Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe points out the huge number of coincidences that were necessary for complex life to form and flourish.

Within the Earth, and perhaps within the Universe as a whole, human economies are the most energy-dense form of structure found.

Figure 8. Image similar to ones shown in Eric Chaisson’s 2001 book, Cosmic Evolution: The Rise of Complexity in Nature.

Thus, in some sense, we humans and our economies may, in some sense, represent the current upper bound on development in the Universe.

We humans live on Earth. It is easy for us to think that our primary purpose in life is to care for and protect the Earth. Unfortunately, with our need for supplemental energy, this is not possible. Even at an early date, our need for resources exceeded what was sustainable. Joshua (in Joshua 17:14-18 relating to the period around 1400 BCE) instructs the tribes of Joseph to clear the trees from the hill country to have enough land for his tribe. This practice was clearly unsustainable; it would lead to erosion of the soil on hilltops. Even at that early date, high population and the need for resources to provide for this high population was conflicting with earth’s sustainability.

If our God is either the Laws of Physics, or some force giving rise to the Laws of Physics, then our God is really the God of the Universe. The limitations of the current Earth are no problem. God (or the Laws of Physics) could create a new Earth, or 1 million new Earths, if He chose to. Thus, from God’s point of view, it is not clear that there is any point to today’s environmentalism. There is a need not to poison ourselves, but “saving the earth” for other species after humans, or for a new set of humans who somehow will use much less energy, doesn’t make much sense. Humans can’t use much less energy; even if we could, our energy use would always be on an upward slope, headed to precisely where we are now.

There are many things that we can’t know for certain. Does this God want/expect us to worship him? Does this God plan an afterlife for some or all of the humans on Earth today? Obviously, if God (or the Laws of Physics) could create the Earth, God could also create other structures as well–possibly a “Heaven.” It is not clear to me that any one of today’s religions has a monopoly on insights regarding what is expected. A person might argue that we need not worry about religion at all, except for the fellowship it provides and the insights it offers regarding how early people coped with their difficulties.

Myth 9. The texts of religious groups around the world are literally true.

The texts of religious groups are true in the same sense that peer reviewed scientific literature is true. They represent, more or less, the best thinking of the day on a particular subject. This certainly does not mean that they are literally true.

We need to read religious texts in the context that they were written. In the earliest days, religious texts represented stories that people passed down from one generation to the next. These stories represented insights that these early people had gained. No one at that time was too concerned about authorship. If a story says, “God said,” it could also mean, “We think that this is something that God might have said.”

Literary styles were very different, back in an era before people pretended to have scientific knowledge. People created stories illustrating some aspect of a particular phenomenon. These stories were not supposed to fully describe what happened. This is why Genesis features two different creation stories.

The Bible makes liberal use of hyperbole and exaggeration. It is hard for people who are not familiar with the original language to understand how stories were intended to be interpreted. Is the concept of Hell added, primarily to provide a contrast to Heaven? In the Old Testament, the number of words in the ancient Hebrew language is much smaller than in today’s languages. This, by itself, makes direct translation difficult.

The earliest religious stories explained how God was perceived at that time. As people became more settled, their views changed. People were getting more “civilized.” Population densities were rising. The best beliefs in an early period may not have had relevance for a later period. This is why most religions have had reformers. Sometimes new writings are added. At other times, the way the writings are interpreted changes. This is why there seems to be a bizarre progression of stories from the Old Testament to the New Testament; new stories needed to be added to supplement and replace old ways of thinking.

Some of the things that early people discovered have not been understood by environmentalists. Genesis 1:28 says,

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

The early people had figured out that humans were indeed different from other animals and plants. Their use of supplemental energy gave them power over other creatures. Their numbers could (and indeed, did) increase. Early authors were documenting how the world really worked. We later humans have been too blind to see the real situation. It is more pleasant for us to think that somehow we are just like other animals, except perhaps smarter and more in control. With our greater knowledge, we could somehow have avoided an increase in our numbers, if we had only planned better. The laws of physics say this cannot happen; our higher energy use dictates who will win the battle for resources.

The early religious stories were not too different from Peak Oil and Climate Change. They were sort of right. They gave partial insight. They were the best the authors could do at the time.

The ancient religious documents could not tell the whole story at once. New groups would gradually add more insights to the developing story, providing a better understanding of what was truly important for people living in a later period.


In practice, people need a religion or a religion-substitute. People need a basic set of beliefs with which to order their lives.

Our leaders today have proposed the Religion of Success, with its belief in Science, and the power of today’s leaders, as the new religion. This religion has appeal, because it denies the limits we are up against. Life will continue, as if we lived on a flat earth with unlimited resources. This story is pleasant, but unfortunately not true.

Donald Trump, with his version of conservatism, presents another religion. This religion seems to be focused on justifying the allocation of wealth away from the poor, toward the rich, through tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. This is part of the process of “freezing out” the poor people of the world, when there are not enough resources to go around.

It is hard for me to support Trumpism, even though I recognize that in the animal world, the expected outcome when there are not enough resources to go around is “survival of the best-adapted.” If our concern is leaving energy resources in the ground for future generations, transferring buying power from the poor to the rich is a way of collapsing the economy quickly, while considerable resources remain in the ground. The fact that wealthy people are favored ensures that at least some people will survive.

China and Japan both have what are close to state religions, created by their leaders. School children learn stories regarding what is important, based on what state leaders tell them. In Japan, school children visit religious sites, and learn the proper religious observances. They also learn rules about what is expected of them–always be polite; respect those in charge; don’t eat food on the street; never leave any food wrappers on the ground. In many ways, these religions are probably not too different from today’s Religion of Success.

I personally am not in favor of religions that originate from political groups. I would prefer the “old fashioned” religions based on ancient documents from one or another of the world’s religions. We are clearly facing a difficult time ahead. Perhaps early people had insights regarding how to deal with troubled times. Admittedly, we don’t know for certain that heaven can be in our future. But when things look bleak, it is helpful to see the possibility of a reasonable outcome.

Furthermore, religious groups offer the possibility of finding a group of like-minded individuals to make friends with. We need all of the support we can get as we go through troubled times.

Our Finite World

47 Comments on "Gail Tverberg: Why political correctness fails – Why what we know ‘for sure’ is wrong"

  1. Revi on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 8:02 am 

    I really don’t get the religion part, but I agree we need to have a little faith to get through these troubled times.

    I don’t agree that the rich will survive either. They are the most obvious targets when times get tough.

    I prefer to think that the meek will inherit the earth, but it will take a while and what’s left won’t be worth inheriting anyway!

  2. Darrell Cloud on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 8:07 am 

    Gail is an actuary. I respect her ability to crunch numbers. Her articles are usually incredibly long and convoluted. She is correct in her assertion that the body politic has embraced the religion of modernism. The religion of modernism is best revealed in the Star Trek series where we have earth and a host of other planets and species, warp drives and replicators. There is no limit to the Star Trek horizon, and the modernist’s belief is that all of us in time will go there. The concept of overshoot has no place in the Star Trek religion.

    The sad truth is that everything including ourselves is finite. Those of us who have paid attention realize that the whole world is caught up in a massive Ponzi scheme that must be perpetuated indefinitely. Anybody who looks at the debt clock of any major city, state, or nation understands that this debt will never be repaid. The hope is that massive default is somewhere over the horizon.

    The reality is that cities, territories, and pension funds have already defaulted. These defaults are on the periphery but they reveal the rot that is at the core of our entire financial system. The aware know we are living on borrowed time.

    The truth in the energy sector is revealed by the simple fact that we have resorted to steam cleaning sand to extract bitumen. Bitumen is a thick tar like wax that cannot be pumped unless it is heated or diluted with a hydrocarbon thinner. This is not the light sweet crude of old boys and girls. It is a psyop to even refer to bitumen as oil. This is the last rung of the ladder for the oil producing sector. There is no proof whatsoever that the net energy from these operations is sufficient to keep the lights on in this ravenous world.

    The current low oil prices resulting from the miracle of shale oil is a flash in the pan. These wells have an extremely short life span when compared to the legacy fields in the Middle East. A look at the volumes of sea water pumped into Saudi wells should be a tell on where those wells are in their production cycle. The declines in the North Sea and Mexico are flashing red lights. We are quite simply at the end of growth.

    We as a species are incapable of recognizing our limits. We will inevitably rush head long into overshoot. Systemic collapse will correct the imbalances. Populations will collapse in Europe, in Asia and in the Americas. Hedge accordingly.

  3. MASTERMIND on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 8:11 am 

    This article has coined the name on reddit.’when Gail went off the rails.”

  4. MASTERMIND on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 8:14 am 

    You should have just stopped when she said ‘science says it know everything”…I knew were she was going…It’s like those really dumb people who get hurt all the time. And they somehow end up doing way better than what the Doctors predicted they would do. Notice they always have to shove it in the Doctors faces. And they will say ‘The Doctors said I would never walk at all etc”….Religious people always are trying to one up scientists and intellectuals..Its sad.

  5. Duncan Idaho on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 8:30 am 

    Gail, and the Alt-right boys club over at her site, are getting more and more crazy by the day.
    Climate Denial, embracing religious superstition, story and myth rather than observation and critical thinking.
    It is humorous to check it out– really simple ideas, from simple minded individuals.

  6. deadlykillerbeaz on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 8:31 am 

    Satanism would be a religion to embrace.

    A daily ritual of human sacrifice would reduce the population much faster.

    There could be a new inquisition, Christians are good at that.

    Islam, the religion of peace, would be another choice worth considering.

    Maybe not.

    Me thinks Ms. Tverberg flew over the cuckoo’s nest this time around.

  7. Ghung on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 9:16 am 

    “What has been astounding to me, as I have looked into the situation, is that the scientific evidence seems to point in the direction of a literal Higher Power governing our Universe. It is not clear whether this higher power is the Laws of Physics, or whether it is some outside “God” that created the Laws of Physics.”

    Either way, science and/or God are utterly indifferent to what we do and how we do it, and to whether or not we exist at all.

  8. Cloggie on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 9:40 am 

    Myth 4: Wind and solar can save us.

    Exactly the prevalent attitude here: if it can’t be done in three months, it can’t be done at all.

    Realizing a renewable energy base will take until 2050 and requires long term thinking.

  9. dave thompson on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 11:25 am 

    Yea Cloggie you say; “Realizing a renewable energy base will take until 2050 and requires long term thinking.” Just like clean fusion power is just a decade or so away and takes long term thinking.

  10. Cloggie on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 11:38 am 

    Yea Cloggie you say; “Realizing a renewable energy base will take until 2050 and requires long term thinking.” Just like clean fusion power is just a decade or so away and takes long term thinking.

    Fake comparison.

    Solar and wind work already, fusion doesn’t.

  11. Antius on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 12:06 pm 

    “Myth 4: Wind and solar can save us.
    Exactly the prevalent attitude here: if it can’t be done in three months, it can’t be done at all.
    Realizing a renewable energy base will take until 2050 and requires long term thinking.”

    Pie in the sky schemes that won’t mature until 2050 are of no use if the economy is close to catastrophic collapse, i.e. within the next few years. That is the position that we seem to be in. The huge amount of debt that most economies have accumulated trying to stimulate their economies out of the last crisis, has effectively pissed away our ability to mitigate the next crisis.

    Switching to an intermittent energy supply requires substantial changes to infrastructure in every part of society, especially end-use infrastructure. It will require an entirely new transport infrastructure, one that is capable of working using stored energy and is much more energy efficient than the one we are using. It will require that heating in towns and cities make use of stored heat, which will need to be distributed using district heating networks. It will require a new infrastructure within industry that stores energy in heat and chemical change and redesigns some equipment to work on batch processes, which can be completed using short-term blasts of energy. It will require a new means of demand-side control that allows loads to be switched on/off to match supply.

    Nothing like this has ever been attempted on a large scale before. It will require huge investments, not just cash investments but embodied energy investments as well. You will be attempting to build it, and fund the enormous investments required with budgets that are overstretched, whilst large segments of the population struggle to get enough to eat. You will need to maintain that effort for decades, as infrastructure slowly adapts to intermittent energy.

    You will have a tough time selling this sort of programme to a cash strapped population when they realise that they can have constant baseload power supply from new gen nuclear reactors for about an order of magnitude lower cost than it would take to power society from intermittent energy. Expensive, idealistic programmes like that will not survive the coming depression.

  12. dave thompson on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 12:32 pm 

    Cloggie first you said; “Realizing a renewable energy base will take until 2050 and requires long term thinking.”
    Then you say; “Solar and wind work already.”
    OK so which one is it?

  13. Antius on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 12:32 pm 

    Here is an article from Roger Andrews (posted by Euan Mearns) which discusses the sort of investment needed to convert intermittent wind energy into baseload power using battery storage. It is a non-starter – the final cost of power would be about 10 times greater than the ‘strike price’ of the offshore wind farm.

    Now imagine a situation where all of the energy needed to build both renewable energy converters and storage infrastructure must come from renewable electricity. That would magnify the cost of steel and other materials several fold. We would need to do this in a 100% renewable energy economy.

    Even avoiding huge electricity storage and using demand management won’t be an easy solution, because the sort of infrastructure we would need to live off of intermittent energy is very different to what we have now. On a small scale, I could design a system that would make this work. Trying to do it on the scale of an entire society is mind boggling in its scale and complexity. You are kidding yourself if you think this is going to be easy, even if we weren’t facing a new great depression.

  14. MASTERMIND on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 12:43 pm 

    Just wait until we experience a 10% or 20% drop in oil supplies. In a few years or sooner we certainly will. When it hits the economic and social damage will be catastrophic. The end of Western Civilization, from China to Europe, to the US, will not occur when oil runs out. The economic and social chaos will occur when supplies are merely reduced sufficiently.

  15. dave thompson on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 1:14 pm 

    Cloggie read this only ten years away just like fusion.

  16. Sissyfuss on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 2:24 pm 

    Darrell Cloud aka Dark Cloud gives us no silver lining because there is none. Overshoot is leading us to a cliff and none of us have wings.

  17. Dredd on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 2:44 pm 

    Oh yeah … “political correctness” of the climate change denialism sort is pop culture where the Ignorati reign (On Thermal Expansion &Thermal Contraction – 24).

  18. Davy on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 3:06 pm 

    Climate models and indeed most models today dealing with the future of civilization leave out the financial difficulties ahead.
    “Physical limits are likely to lead to financial problems, as indicated in Figure 3. The climate change modelers have chosen to leave all of these issues out of their models, instead assuming that the economy can continue to grow as usual until 2100. Leaving out these other issues clearly can be expected to overstate the impact of climate change.”

    The peak oil story peakers peddled was not right but peak oil dynamics is relevant. It is not “THE” issue it is one of the issues that will break the back of our civilization eventually. Depletion does not sleep and the economic and environmental issues related to oil are only getting worse.
    “I will be the first to admit that the “Peak Oil” story is not really right. It is a halfway story, based on a partial understanding of the role physics plays in energy limits. Oil supply does not “run out.” Peak Oilers also did not understand that physics governs how markets work–whether prices rise or fall, or oscillate. If there is not enough to go around, some of the would-be buyers will be frozen out. But Climate Change, as our sole problem, or even as our major problem, is not the right story, either. It is another halfway story.”

    I have been saying this over and over for years now there is a limit to the degree we can leave fossil fuels and the potential for collapse. This is a systematic relationship involving all aspects of society. I am more optimistic with renewables as extenders these days but this does not change significantly my view of collapse latter on. We have constructed a human arrangement with no future with or without renewables. Yet, renewables are vital to buy us time with attempts to figure out how we are going to negotiate nonnegotiable existential predicaments. The negotiations are within ourselves not with the predicaments. We can take drastic action that could maybe allow us to continue an adapted modern way of life but likely won’t because we are not able to as a global people. We are limited on the range of cooperation we are capable of.
    “One point that both Peak Oilers and the IEA missed is that the world economy doesn’t really have the ability to cut back on the use of fossil fuels significantly, without the world economy collapsing. Thus, the IEA’s recommendations regarding moving away from fossil fuels cannot work. (Shifting energy use among countries is fairly easy, however, making individual country CO2 reductions appear more beneficial than they really are.) The IEA would be better off talking about non-fuel changes that might reduce CO2, such as eating vegetarian food, eliminating flooded rice paddies, and having smaller families. Of course, these are not really issues that the International Energy Association is concerned about.”

  19. wildbourgman on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 4:38 pm 

    Good stuff Gail!

    We had just a few discussions in the Oil Drum days. I might not agree with all of your thoughts but your certainly thinking and I appreciate that.

  20. Apneaman on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 4:46 pm 

    Gail is yet another clueless fucking moron who does not understand that it is too late for the humans. Don’t matter what they do. She don’t understand the IPCC models either.

    Survivable IPCC projections are based on science fiction – the reality is much worse

    27th February 2015

    The IPCC’s ‘Representative Concentration Pathways’ are based on fantasy technology that must draw massive volumes of CO2 out of the atmosphere late this century, writes Nick Breeze – an unjustified hope that conceals a very bleak future for Earth, and humanity.

    “Dr Nutt’s conclusion points to very important factor that we can elaborate on with a rare case of certainty. There is no proposed CDR technology that can be scaled up to suck billions of tonnes out of the Earth’s atmosphere. It simply does not exist in the real world.

    This is reiterated by Dr Hugh Hunt in the Department of Engineering, at the University of Cambridge, who points out:

    “10 billion tonnes a year of carbon sequestration? We don’t do anything on this planet on that scale. We don’t manufacture food on that scale, we don’t mine iron ore on that scale. We don’t even produce coal, oil or gas on that scale. Iron ore is below a billion tonnes a year! How are we going to create a technology, from scratch, a highly complicated technology, to the tune of 10 billion tonnes a year in the next 10 years?”

    Which part of ‘TOO LATE’ don’t people understand?

    Perhaps y’all should take her advice from previous statements she has made on dealing AGW and pray.

  21. Davy on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 4:55 pm 

    I agree Wild B!

  22. JuanP on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 5:12 pm 

    Maybe this bitch needs a religion; I believe most people have a biological need to believe in crap. That is why we are where we are, because we choose to live our lives based on ignorant beliefs instead of scientific facts. We are fucked; that is a fact, accept it!

  23. Boat on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 5:28 pm 

    Wind and solar will save us.
    Electric cars will make transportation possible indefinitely.
    Our world leaders are all powerful.
    Science has all of the answers.

    I read this kind of crap only on sites doomers occupy. Doomers minds seem to love the fight against common sense. Who makes these kinds of claims.
    Show the rest of us the links that make these claims. Russian? Chinese? N Korean?

  24. Cloggie on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 5:53 pm 

    Apneaman as per usual f* up the thread again with his long link. He can’t remember the simplest thing, yet pretends to know the fate of humanity over hundred years.

  25. makati1 on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 6:24 pm 

    Cloggie, get a real PC an not that little i-junk. It will ruin your eyes. Bad news if you wear glasses after the SHTF and they are not available any more.

  26. dave thompson on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 7:33 pm 

    Cloggie first you said; “Realizing a renewable energy base will take until 2050 and requires long term thinking.”
    Then you say; “Solar and wind work already.”
    OK so which one is it?

  27. Ghung on Wed, 27th Sep 2017 9:19 pm 

    Both, because they aren’t the same thing?
    That would be my guess.

  28. Theedrich on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 4:58 am 

    Political correctness starts with religion.  While there are all kinds of knee-jerk bibliolatry among large segments of the U.S. population, only a minuscule percentage knows anything at all about the actual history of the Bible.  Few have even heard of scholars like Ziony Zevits who explained the myth of the Garden of Eden, or Ann Killebrew who showed that the “Exodus” was not a case of Israelites leaving Egypt, but of Egyptians leaving Canaan.  Nor do most know even of the first Jewish War (described by Josephus) which severed the Jesus movement from Judaism and created Christianity, nor about pseudoepigraphy through which most books of the New Testament were compilations under false names, nor the “charter myth” of the Acts of the Apostles, a pious lie invented out of whole cloth, nor about Marcion, the author of the first New Testament (around A.D. 144) composed of an early (gentilized) version of Luke and ten letters of Paul, or the four centuries it took to establish something resembling a “canon.” (See The First New Testament:  Marcion’s Scriptural Canon by Jason D. BeDuhn.  Also Dennis E. Smith and Joseph B. Tyson, Acts and Christian Beginnings: The Acts Seminar Report, plus Bernard Brandon Scott’s The Real Paul: Recovering His Radical Challenge.)

    One of the bases of religion, purposely overlooked in today’s anti-religious academic discussions, is the matter of the paranormal.  (And yes, Virginia, there really is a paranormal undergirding to nature.)  The “scientific” bunch likes to dismiss it as the ravings and delusions of idiots, etc., and refuses to consider any part of it.  Because they might lose their government funding and/or the approval of their equally cowardly colleagues.  But in spite of their denials, there are in fact such things as hauntings, as premonitions, as telepathy, and so forth.  Of course, most of such phenomena are misinterpreted not only by the ignorant, but by people who should be analyzing such things.

    There are, for instance, strange things which happen in history.  Strangest of all are those that seem to be driven by the mass unconscious of a species, submitting all its individuals to the will of the group soul, things similar to the “murmuration” of birds, fish and other types.  (A related phenomenon may be seen in the often-noted common behavior and telepathic connection between identical human twins.)  What with the movement of North Korea toward building a thermonuclear-tipped ICBM, we may be slouching toward a point where the group unconscious of homo sapiens may suddenly reduce mankind to the earth’s carrying capacity.

    The best explanation of this cosmic undergirding is given by biologist-philosopher Rupert Sheldrake with his theory of ultra-dimensional morphic fields.  These are tantamount to what human beings in part experience as memory.  (A good introduction is his The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Memory of Nature.)  But evidence for the paranormal can be seen almost everywhere and throughout the history of mankind and animals.  Another researcher who contributed much to the persistent, “disembodied” quality of memory is U. of Virginia’s Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Ian Stevenson’s Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect, a summary of his massive, two-volume opus, Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects, among many other works.  And, of course, the history of man’s religions is replete with references and addresses to a transcendent and intelligent reality or realities underlying human existence.

    To cut to the chase:  life on earth follows the path of evolutionary epistemology, which incorporates knowledge and learning in the morphology and behavior of living beings.  Life is matter which learns.  Although the atheist types like to claim that everything (e.g., the Big Bang, cosmogonic inflation, the supernova which produced the elements composing us, the early moon bouncing off the early earth, then circling it, the unexpected emergence of primitive life, the Cambrian explosion, the dinosaur-extinguishing comet of 65 million years ago, etc., etc.) is just all happenstance, the “cybernetic” nature of intensifying, incarnate knowledge argues against that thesis.  Bizarre paranormal occurrences such as poltergeist phenomena, “ghostly” appearances experienced by many, especially women and young children, all reinforce Sheldrake’s view.  Never mind the universal reports of those who have had Near-Death Experiences in which individuals suddenly recall their entire lives — that is, recognize themselves to consist essentially of memory.

    All of these things, and far more, indicate that there is an underlying Mind which predetermines cosmic teleology.  Knowledge is our nature, our essence and our destiny.  Unless, of course, we nihilistically choose to regress lazily to the primitive state whence we arose, as we seem to want to do.  It would do us well to remember that when a species refuses to grow and adapt to new ecological circumstances, it goes extinct.  And if we do not adapt, this planet will be finished as far as intelligent life is concerned.

  29. dave thompson on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 6:28 am 

    OK Ghung “they are not the same thing?”
    Yet, solar and wind work, but at the same time, will take thirty years to “work” as the “base’ with “long term thinking”.
    So if we all put on our magical wishful thinking caps, long term, with solar and wind already working, in thirty years solar and wind will be the “base” power “working”. Even though solar and wind are already “working”
    So we could say, like fusion, that is already working (the sun) in ten years fusion will be up and running as the “base”, just like solar and wind will be up and running in thirty years as the “base”?

  30. Cloggie on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 7:02 am 

    Cloggie first you said; “Realizing a renewable energy base will take until 2050 and requires long term thinking.”
    Then you say; “Solar and wind work already.”
    OK so which one is it?


    The functioning technology is there and the equipment to install it. Now it is 30 years of gradually installing turbines and panels until they have completely replaced fossil.

    You don’t want to do it too fast because you want to transit economically and not prematurely write off brand new power stations. And we need some time to develop storage facilities.

  31. dave thompson on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 7:12 am 

    What does gradually mean? At the current rate of FF burning year over year FF use increases. Not decreases.

  32. Cloggie on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 7:21 am 

    What does gradually mean? At the current rate of FF burning year over year FF use increases. Not decreases.

    I was talking about Europe only. Europe is the only one with an explicit policy to get rid of fossil by 2050.

    Germany already has 35% renewable electricity. Last year they added 2%. So 65/2 = 32 years, plus or minus at the current pace.

    Apart from the transition in Europe, European firms are also busy all over the globe, mostly in North-America (onshore), but China now also wants to begin with offshore wind.

    Endless entrepreneurial potential for Europe.


  33. dave thompson on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 11:23 am 

    OK Cloggie lets say Europe only. Why is it then that the total year over year (last twenty years) FF consumption in Europe continues to increase even with the wind and solar build outs? There has been no discernible change in GHG emissions coming out of the European sector of the world.
    This is due to growth in population and liquid FF use that is not being replaced by wind and solar. Wind and solar at this time, have not made any difference in the use of FF consumption. FF use is still growing in Europe and world wide.

  34. Cloggie on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 12:39 pm 

    Why is it then that the total year over year (last twenty years) FF consumption in Europe continues to increase even with the wind and solar build outs? There has been no discernible change in GHG emissions coming out of the European sector of the world.

    Doing your homework was not your forte, eh?

    The only thing that goes up in Europe is GDP, emissions are going down:

    Between 1990 and 2014 emissions went down in Europe with 23% but GDP went up with 46%.

    Perhaps that in the last few years emissions plateaued because of the sudden closure of the nukes after Fukushima, don’t know.

  35. dave thompson on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 12:57 pm 

    Granted The European Union may be showing a lower GHG emission. However counting the entire European sector take another look my friend.

  36. Hello on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 1:05 pm 

    >>> Granted The European Union may be showing a lower GHG emission

    I’m wondering by how much outsourcing CO2 to china factories helps europe to reduce its ‘guilt’ numbers.

  37. Apneaman on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 1:16 pm 

    Historic heat wave brings record-high temperatures to Midwest

    ” A rare late-September heat wave has brought record-high temperatures to parts of the Midwest, shattering records that have stood for more than 100 years.

    Detroit set a new daily record high on Tuesday with temperatures hitting 93 degrees — making it the hottest day of the year for the city. Nearby cities Flint and Saginaw, Michigan also saw record highs of the year at 94 degrees and 95 degrees, respectively, on Saturday.”

    Not rare – new normal, but only for a minute, then it will get worse.

  38. Apneaman on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 1:17 pm 

    Southern California wildfire forces 1,500 to flee homes

    WATCH: California Motorists ‘Driving Through Hell’ On Freeway Surrounded by Wildfire

  39. Apneaman on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 1:20 pm 

    ‘Hellish’ heat waves could become norm in Europe – study

    Will not could.

  40. Apneaman on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 1:21 pm 

    Toronto sets another temperature record as heat wave finally comes to an end

  41. Apneaman on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 1:22 pm 

    Late-September heat wave leaves climate experts stunned

    “Never been a heat wave of this duration and magnitude this late in the season,” reports NOAA

  42. Apneaman on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 1:24 pm 

    Climate Hope and Horror

    “Three degrees C warming by 2050? Catastrophe, and what we have to do to avoid it – famous American scientist V. Ramanathan from his life work & new science. Dr. Andy Ridgwell from UC Riverside on the last great warming of 5 degrees C.”

    All horror no hope

  43. Apneaman on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 1:27 pm 

    Good work rockman. Assist from clog et al killers.

    A Texas Woman Died From A Devastating “Flesh-Eating Bacteria” After Harvey

    Two others were reportedly hospitalized. The state health department said that there have not been widespread reports of skin infections.

  44. Apneaman on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 1:30 pm 

    Keep an eye on down under. Spring is just started and so has their AGW Jacked horror show.

    Tornado-like ‘fire whirls’ 300 metres high tear trees from the ground in Kimberley bushfire

  45. Apneaman on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 9:04 pm 

    “This month’s hurricanes are the storms scientists have warned us about for decades. They have arrived — causing heartbreak and agony, wrecking homes and destroying lives.”

  46. Shortend on Thu, 28th Sep 2017 9:27 pm 

    Gail is somewhat flaky. Stopped reading her posts and comment section, which have been overrun by a few jokersters. She’s really not too concerned about AGW and its banned subject. Claims scientists and peer review reseach not trustworthy.
    Anyway, damned if we do and damned if we don’t.
    Religion? Betcha we humans go back with human sacrifices. Wasn’t Jesus a sacrifice?
    Anyway too many words and too little smarts.
    Surviving will be in the hands of Lady Luck.

  47. Theedrich on Fri, 29th Sep 2017 1:39 am 

    Puerto Rico is a perfect example of overshoot.  The U.S. seized the territory in an unprovoked war of aggression against Spain (1898), a war “justified” by the “false-flag” sinking of the USS battleship Maine in Havana harbor.  The island’s Catholic population was and is predominantly Proto-Mongoloid (i.e., Amerind, with some Spanish admixture) and Spanish-speaking, and with an average IQ somewhere in the 90-95 range.  Since 1960 its population has ballooned from about 2.4 million to over 3½ million.  Given the low intelligence and gullibility of the P.R. masses, it was easy for their politicians to delude the muddy mess with Latin-American Marxist promises as promoted by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and the Vatican’s Papa Frank.  The obvious fantasy was that American Whites, through their swampy government in D.C., would bail them out when the time came to pay the bill for all the freebies.  (Political correctness made it inconvenient to point these facts out.)  But the fantasy didn’t happen, and the bondholders are now left holding the bag.

    Cometh now Señorita María with her 190-mph wind gusts.  Since low IQs are typically poor and live in shacks, and the physical infrastructure of muds’ territories is always decrepit, the hurricane had no trouble at all in whisking away their tin roofs, destroying their electric power stations, washing away roads, bridges and wiping out other amenities of civilization.

    The result has been a great wailing and weeping in Washington and the Yid media, with the Demonic Party, as expected, blaming the failure for instantaneous recovery on President Trump.  Sob stories abound, with no mention of the fact that the island’s population, like that of southeast Texas, is largely responsible for the failure to build infrastructure and take precautions against hurricanes, which visit that area annually.  It’s Mother Nature’s way of keeping populations within bounds.

    But like everything else in America nowadays, the plan is to have no plan, and to assume that Mother Nature will suspend her laws.  And, of course, to depend on Whitey to pay all the bills when the easily foreseeable, but unwished-for event occurs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *