The Universal Depression Is Nigh: ‘Cosmic GDP’ Crashes 97% As Star Formation Slumps

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Global Macro Monitor

The Collaspe In Cosmic GDP


Peak oil.  Peak food production.  Now (11 billion years ago) peak star production.

The Royal Astronomical Society writes,

Cosmic GDP’ crashes 97% as star formation slumps


While parts of the world experience economic hardship, a team of Portuguese, UK, Japanese, Italian and Dutch astronomers has found an even bigger slump happening on a cosmic scale. In the largest ever study of its kind, the international team of astronomers has established that the rate of formation of new stars in the Universe is now only 1/30th of its peak and that this decline is only set to continue. The team, led by David Sobral of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, publish their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society…


Dr Sobral comments: “You might say that the universe has been suffering from a long, serious “crisis”: cosmic GDP output is now only 3% of what it used to be at the peak in star production!”

The decline in the universe’s star production appears structural and secular to us. Could be cyclical depending on your time horizon, however.

The universe must be suffering from not enough demand, too much austerity,  and thus needs the cosmic central bank to engage in some QE.   That is,  Quasar Easing.

Krugman, weigh in!

Hat tip Guardian Science via Twitter.

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Wed, 12/19/2012 - 11:14 | 3078595 orkneylad
orkneylad's picture

No I'm not a creationist, I'm agnostic & do not expect ever to be able to 'know' the ineffable.

We are mortal beings. Our lives are linear and each of us have had a beginning and will have an end. Because of this, we -in the west- tend to interpret the world in the same way; we assume the Universe had a beginning, and therefore, will also have an end.

To my mind this has been -and remains- a major handicap of our western culture; marinated as we are in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the millenarian concept of ‘the end of time’ plagues us at every turn, along with it’s flip-side, the promise of a paradisiacal utopia to come in its wake.

The AGW movement has always played heavily upon this, and belief in the so-called Big Bang remains high in the west precisely because it conforms to this anthropomorphic principle; if we must come to an end then we demand that everything else must end too. Such children we are!

The ancient Egyptians, the Greeks, Mayans, our modern-day Hindu friends, all consider time to be cyclical & without end, yet this idea still remains a provocation to our western sensibilities.  Perhaps the idea of a infinite Universe -a place with no beginning nor end- will always remain anathema to the majority of westerners.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 12:37 | 3078920 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yes, but we do experiments and amass data... Theories are discarded on their ability to explain empirical phenomena. There have been many wonderful elegant ideas that ended up in the trashbin because they were wrong... 

In other words, we have moved beyond metaphysics...

You should read the tale of Einstein and the Cosmological constant and why he inserted it...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 13:37 | 3079252 orkneylad
orkneylad's picture

Quite, which is why the BB is busted unless it can explain the observational problems that arrise from redshift assumptions:

Arp's 'finger's of God' for instance:

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:07 | 3079331 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Sorry but your friend Arp is a crank...  Probably well intentioned, but a crank nonetheless...

Spend some time being a real skeptic and root around for *everything* related to his claim....

Edit: I did a little digging, it looks like he refused to let go of his pet theory, maybe getting pwnd by Schmidt was too much for him... Sad when that happens...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 06:01 | 3077833 orkneylad
orkneylad's picture

flakmeister -   On Nobel gongs, they gave them to Al Gore, Obama & the EU too . . . . were they right?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:45 | 3078124 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You might want to look into what selection committee selects what prizes, Peace and Econ are very different beasts from the others...

Nice try... aren't you late for Bible study class??

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 13:40 | 3079273 orkneylad
orkneylad's picture

And yet you used the Nobel as an example of rectitude without any qualifiers.   shifting goalposts much?

The empty ecumenical digs are tiresome, please stop.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 13:52 | 3079357 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

And so is playing disingenuous word games on your part. No doubt fueled by your complete lack of any grasp for objective reality...

The Nobel Prize in Physics is nothing like the Peace Prize...

Good bye....

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:45 | 3077606 gwiss
gwiss's picture

The electric universe theory seems to be the next paradigm.  It will take a while for science to admit it, though.  But, I do have a question.  As I understand it, it is very difficult to explain the distribution of matter after the Big Bang, hence the need to rely on "inflation" to put things roughly where they are and to get the distribution of matter right, as simple light speed is way too slow.   But, what is the speed at which quantum wavefronts collapse?  Much faster than light, no?  What if the expansion of the universe actually represented a wavefront of quantum pluripotentiality collapsing from multiple simultaneous possibilities down to just one?  What if the big bang represents the insertion of a pinpoint of determinism into an undifferentiated universe of quantum possibilities, with a deterministic universe expanding outward from this point at the speed of wavefront collapse, whatever that is?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:45 | 3077614 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Space is expanding, not matter moving during inflation. They was not matter in any conventional sense during inflation...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 01:48 | 3077685 gwiss
gwiss's picture

Sure, but doesn't that seem a bit convenient?  I mean, we have no real explanation for why or how inflation would occur.  Basically, we can't get from a singularity to what we see today, so we invent a period of time during which space itself "inflated" due to the mediation of an "inflaton" particle, after which point the inflation stopped and the inflaton went away, and now we can proceed with the universe as we see it.  You certainly can't prove it wrong because it leaves no trace.  So inflation is just a giant fudge factor because we really don't understand how we got from there to here because our physics doesn't work to get from there to here.  Hence the need for the equivalent of an epicycle to make the whole thing work.


And I mispoke, I should have said plasma cosmology in my previous post, guess after a little research that the electric universe and plasma cosmology are not at all synonymous. 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:45 | 3078106 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Fine, so you don't like inflation, please explain the isotropic and flat nature of the Universe in a matter consistent with observation...

There are alternatives but they have bigger issues....

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 11:18 | 3078599 orkneylad
orkneylad's picture

Recently, scientists from Durham University announced that the theories of dark matter and dark energy are most likely based on incorrect assumptions about WMAP observational analysis. Professor Tom Shanks noted: “If our results prove correct then it will become less likely that dark energy and exotic dark matter particles dominate the Universe. So the evidence that the Universe has a ‘Dark Side’ will weaken.”

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 11:24 | 3078631 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Well, let see what happens with their followup...

The fact we have heard nothing since 2010 is a bit of a tell..

Note that they are not disputing the WMAP data, only the i.nterpretation...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 00:31 | 3077529 blindman
blindman's picture

there was never a singularity, there was never
a singular original big bank, though there have been many
big bangs, and all protons and electrons are new since
"time" (past/future) does not exist at that scale. our models and theories are projections of our bias, wishes or fears or some combination, mostly. that is my opinion
at this particular moment in space.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:07 | 3076302 fireangelmaverick
fireangelmaverick's picture

Ben is buying Milky Way Backed securities to boost production. The problem is all stimulus is so far going down a black hole. His.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:24 | 3076357 ball-and-chain
ball-and-chain's picture

Good citizens of Metropolis!

There is no hope.

Please pack your things and run to the hills.

I repeat!  The sky is falling.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:51 | 3076232 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Ben better get a few more printers.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:56 | 3076258 chump666
chump666's picture


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:16 | 3076328 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Bubble Bernanke and the Fed will only be happy when they get inflation into hyper-drive.

When we are there there isn't a thing they can do because it will kill government borrowing.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:51 | 3076233 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Peak gravitational collapse.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:52 | 3076237 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

entropy tax and cosmic outsourcing

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:55 | 3076248 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Ruined the galaxy. Future generations will not forgive us.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:53 | 3076238 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

More government turd counters working hard for the taxpayer!!!

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:52 | 3076239 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

The future is cold and dark...  ...until it isn't.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 21:22 | 3077085 Hulk
Hulk's picture

The future is completely unknown. But if it turns out that when we die, our soul turns into nothingness and we are gone forever and ever, I'm going to be seriously pissed...

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 21:26 | 3077092 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Be sure to let us know how it turns out...

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:59 | 3076246 moonstears
moonstears's picture

Al Gore will fix it!(he's pro'lly a closet "expert")


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:55 | 3076251 ZFiNX
ZFiNX's picture

I thoroughly enjoyed this post.


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:58 | 3076262 Rainman
Rainman's picture

I get it...once these political morons took over the universe, even the stars made a run for it

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:58 | 3076264 chump666
chump666's picture

So does that mean the universe will get darker?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:37 | 3076416 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture


Not only are we not getting as many new stars, but most galaxies are actually accelerating away from us due to the mysterious and pervasive "dark energy", which makes up the bulk of the universe (even more than dark matter).  In a few hundred billion years it will be impossible to figure out that there ever was a big bang.  There will still be stars because red dwarfs are ridiculously fuel-efficient.  Some of them will live for over a trillion years.

That far in the future, astronomy will be an obscure, boring and hopelessly misguided endeavor.  Things would be much more interesting if the universe recollapses.  Everyone would get to meet the long-lost neighbors.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:54 | 3076484 chump666
chump666's picture


So, if we just have these massive red dwarfs, aren't they huge gravitation pullers. Will new orbits be created? What about black holes?  Does a darker universe mean more black holes?


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:36 | 3076915 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

There are so many stars in the galaxy that their gravity blends together into an overall field that is much stronger than the field of neighboring stars.  Therefore, galactic orbits don't get perturbed due to close passes of individual stars unless they pass very close, i.e. within the solar system.  This must be rare disaster, because space is big and the planets have survived in their nice orbits for billions of years.  Maybe trillions of years is a different story.  I don't know.

The biggest influence on stellar orbits will be a collision between our galaxy and the Andromeda galaxy billions of years from now.  The result will be a single elliptical galaxy with the stars on random orbits.  Even this scrambling will be due to the sudden rearrangement of the overall field.  Close passes will still be rare. 

The universe will be dark due to emptiness and lack of fusion.  Black hole production will die off along with star production.  Existing black holes will slowly grow by eating unlucky stars.  Black holes (supposedly) evaporate due to Hawking radiation, but this process is extremely slow for non-microscopic black holes.  The biggest black holes would take a google years to evaporate (it's a real number.  Google it).  That is surely long enough for occaisonal orbit perturbations to pile up.  I am guesstimating that half the dead red dwarfs will be sucked into giant black holes at the centers of their galaxies, and the other half will be gravitationally kicked out of their galaxies and become completely isolated in their very own empty bubble-universes, due to the abovementioned dark energy.  Good luck finding any evidence anyone was ever here.

And you thought peak oil was depressing.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 21:34 | 3077113 chump666
chump666's picture

Thanks for the info.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:36 | 3076944 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

It is not that they are efficient, it is that they burn so slowly and they are purely convective....

Here is a nice link

I'd say that the first cosmic hurdle that we would have to cross would be the Sun leaving the Main Sequence, assuming we even make it that far...

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:29 | 3077262 Orly
Orly's picture

And then your "scientific paper" proof is from Wiki?

Dude.  Seriously?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 01:25 | 3077413 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

He's right.  I was using fuel efficiency as a metaphor that didn't really fit.  +1 for clarifying.  Didn't junk you.

Wikipedia isn't a science paper but it is a decent source for overviews of anything non-conspiratorial.  The CIA has to keep it that way so that when people research topics the puppetmasters care about, their discernment will be clouded by Wikipedia's accuracy on neutral subjects such as the inner workings of red dwarfs.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:46 | 3076764 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

How does this affect my SS and Medicare benefits?  Will it cause delays in refilling my EBT card?  Will it cause my disability claim to be denied?

Then I don't care.  Just like everyone else.


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:58 | 3076269 booboo
booboo's picture

While Black Hole observations indicate a widening due to probitive inducments, white dwarf stars seem to be shrinking mainly as a contirbution of inner planetary relationships. On the other hand brown star observations indicate a severe tightening especially when aligned with Banker stars. Uranus and free moon cheese men are on a collision course, brace, brace, brace.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:09 | 3076310 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Did you say something Honey?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:09 | 3076307 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Gold bitchez!


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:14 | 3076321 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Municipalities and the state is taxing the life out of us to pay for ever increasing public pensions and benefits.

On top of that corporations are raising their prices and asking for more wage concessions.

Something has to give and that's the middle class. What's left of it.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:30 | 3076703 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Above is proof that some here are actually robo-posters.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:36 | 3076948 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

This is not the thread you are looking for....

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:24 | 3076358 Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas's picture

Long on thermal death of the universe.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:31 | 3077267 Orly
Orly's picture

Long live the Universe!

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:27 | 3076374 adr
adr's picture

Stars use up all the resources and the universe dies. Existence is the same at every level.

The good news is all the matter in the universe will eventually be processed back to the base particles that give rise to the big bang and star formation will explode again.

Hmmm I guess stars aren't too big to fail.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:32 | 3076395 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You seem to know even less about cosmology than you do about everything else you post about....

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!