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The Economic Hunger Games

Tyler Durden's picture


Authored by Paul Donovan of UBS Global Macro,

The Hunger Games trilogy of books (and rapidly expanding film franchise) is set in a dystopian future of depleted natural resources, with humanity clinging to survival in the wake of unspecified environmental apocalypse. The Capitol governs what remains of North America, with its citizens enjoying a lifestyle redolent with material possessions - albeit often financed by debt. Meanwhile the populations of the Districts toil in dangerous conditions, generally without basic political rights, to provide the Capitol with the consumer goods that its citizens demand. The parallels to modern society are not stretched too far here. Substitute the OECD for the Capitol and a number of emerging markets for the Districts, and we are viewing the world today reflected back from a distorting mirror as a grotesque image of modern reality.

The environmental credit crunch

The challenge faced by humanity today is the unsustainable nature of modern living. This is all about credit – but about environmental credit. The world is consuming finite resources at an unsustainable rate. An example is using tomorrow’s standard of living to raise today’s standard of living (if you heat a house by burning a barrel of oil today you raise your living standard, but you can not burn that barrel of oil tomorrow, and so deny yourself that standard of living in the future). Borrowing future standards of living to enhance current standards of living is all credit is about. Here the currency is energy (or water resources, or industrial metals) rather than financial credit – but the consequences are essentially the same.

The strains of the environmental credit crunch are already visible in the global economy. Food riots, discussions of fuel poverty, export restrictions for key resources, debates over resource security – these are all manifestations of the same thing. For the first time in perhaps two generations the availability of resources might turn out to be a constraint on economic growth.

The financial credit crunch

The heroine of the Hunger Games trilogy was basically a free market economist with archery skills (most heroes and heroines turn out to be economists in disguise). One of the points of the books was to demonstrate that humanity can adapt to the constraints placed upon it. Human ingenuity leads to the more efficient use of scarce resources.

There is a caveat. Most human ingenuity requires investment. That can be investment in education. It can be investment in capital. The heroine of the Hunger Games needed both training and a bow (capital equipment) to adapt to and innovate. In the modern world, efficiency tends to require financial credit to fund the investment required. Financial credit is not necessarily the only condition, but it is a big part. Consider agriculture: economic and environmental efficiency can be achieved through upgrading agricultural infrastructure (introducing GPS to fertiliser application worldwide could save huge amounts of energy and reduce nitrogen pollution substantially).

This is where the true damage of the financial credit crunch may come in. As humanity faces up to an ever more virulent form of the “economic problem” (finite resources and infinite desires), the challenge of providing a solution to that problem will undoubtedly involve investment. The financial credit crunch limits the availability of that investment, and raises the cost – itself a further form of credit rationing.

Wrong time, wrong place

There is a risk of a double protectionism coming into place at the same time. The protection of natural resources, in particular food and energy resources, is driven by political expediency. Throughout history, populations have responded strongly to threats to food and energy supply, and the political bias to seek autarky in these areas is understandable, if regrettable. With China’s pig population due to fall ill again soon, with extreme weather changing harvest yields, and with energy poverty an increasing reality in many parts of the developed world the drive towards autarky is unlikely to diminish. This is now accompanied by a protectionist threat to the globalisation of capital flows. With government debt burdens increasing, and with the cost of capital also rising, governments are seeking to retain what capital they have within their own boundaries (naked protectionism that is often characterised by the euphemism of “financial repression”).

We therefore have an increased demand for capital to tackle the environmental credit crunch, but a reduced supply of capital because of the financial credit crunch. Investment is needed in those areas of greatest environmental stress (generally those with the least economic development), but more and more barriers are being put in place on the free movement of capital. A global problem is at risk of being overwhelmed by the forces of economic nationalism.

This is hardly an optimistic note on which to conclude the year, and we should not become too depressed. There are some grounds for optimism. Innovation can occur as an unintended consequence of other actions (the use of GPS in agriculture is a good instance). The lower trend rate of global growth may slow resource demand and delay the full force of the environmental credit crunch until such a point as human ingenuity can contain the problem. On the other hand, the most important characteristic, as the Hunger Games indicates, is the ability to adapt and change in the face of changing circumstances. Politicians tend not to be so good at doing that.


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Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:09 | 3079440 catacl1sm
catacl1sm's picture


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:14 | 3079456 CH1
CH1's picture

The entire system is corrupt and irredeamable.

Best to let it crash

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:15 | 3079461 economics9698
economics9698's picture

autarky = war.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:19 | 3079482 CH1
CH1's picture

If you really think self-sufficiency is death, go suck up to any big man you prefer, but leave me alone to live as I prefer.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:27 | 3079512 El Viejo
Wed, 12/19/2012 - 16:11 | 3079997 trav777
trav777's picture

stop spamming this sh!t.

I live in the capital, fools...I will enjoy eating your crops!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 18:35 | 3080535 TwoShortPlanks
TwoShortPlanks's picture

"An example is using tomorrow’s standard of living to raise today’s standard of living (if you heat a house by burning a barrel of oil today you raise your living standard, but you can not burn that barrel of oil tomorrow, and so deny yourself that standard of living in the future). Borrowing future standards of living to enhance current standards of living is all credit is about."

TwoShortPlanks Fri, 07/06/2012 - 20:22 (You've Seen It Before, And Here It Is Again: "The Chart That Tears Apart The Stimulus Package")
I wrote: "for the past 20-30 years (especially the 15 years pre-GFC) the western world and some sectors of the emerging economies, have lived beyond our means, and (temporarily) brought forward a standard of living we were meant to enjoy 30-50 years into the future. The natural advancement of standards of living and wealth creation are (should be) as physically real an event as the purification of physical metal from the earth ie. it takes time, manpower, energy and intelligence to extract and purify something in the ground into something we can use, or store as assumed value. There is no magic in that, there is no circumventing time, energy and knowledge (fact and natural law)...So, the real issue here is that paper money can act like a Time Machine, actually, more like a Virtual Particle where, time and energy can be circumvented for a brief period, and the fruits of labour and energy can be artificially and magically emulated, but then the natural balance of things must be restored. This is true for the economy as well as the physical universe in which it resides. During the 20 or so years before the GFC we effectively brought forward a future lifestyle and wealth epoch into the present day, but now that balance must be restored."

Is this coincidence, or am I getting through to someone?!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:38 | 3080777 Seer
Seer's picture

I've been there for a long time now...  It's good to see other folks on the same road.

BTW - You CAN circumvent time.  In essence that is what energy does- it speeds up a more natural rate of things.  But, I suppose that what you're really meaning is that there is no NET gain when all is said and done and measured (unless you close the window of observation before the eventual decline and reversal goes into effect).  Also, money isn't so much a time machine as it's a means whereby we can justify short-term "gains" (we're only in to marble counting so we attempt to obtain as many marbles as possible).

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:47 | 3080853 TwoShortPlanks
TwoShortPlanks's picture

Yes, I think everyone's getting a pretty clear picture as to what is happening...before too long some of those Economics books will need some additional chapters.

My use of 'Time' was purely metaphorical. I wanted to show a specific attribute of the universe, that there's no such thing as a free lunch and then relate that back to steady wealth creation as opposed to instant [fake] wealth via the printing press (when credit expansion exceeds economic growth).

Yes, sub-atomic [virtual] particles jump forward and backward in time as part of their nature HOWEVER, and it's a big however, there is a tendency to proceed forward by virtue of the second law of thermodynamics (something I wrote about years ago).

What I wanted to draw simile to was the deficit created when doing so (energy, money, whatever), in that although there seems to be a bit of leeway given, it must be filled eventually. Holding-out makes matters far worse and far more violent when the clock strikes 12.

Yes, there’s no NET gain. Everything must be earned. Much like: Energy cannot be created nor destroyed; it may only change from one form to another. Creating wealth the old fashioned way is sustainable, creating wealth through the refining of ore into Gold is sustainable too....but printing money from nothing is showing itself to be akin to digging a hole in the future. The GFC was us falling into our own hole, and cannot get out.

I also wanted to show how the production of Gold into the financial economy prevents the digging of those holes (prevents standard of living time-travel).

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:42 | 3080902 TwoShortPlanks
TwoShortPlanks's picture

"You CAN circumvent time. In essence that is what energy does- it speeds up a more natural rate of things"

Energy and rates of change?...I think you’re talking about Special Relativity, in which case it would be Energy and apparent change.

I don't believe Time Travel exists and nor will it ever exist. I believe only that Time Dilation (SR) is possible, but that's not Time Travel at all, and when you boil it down (both Time Dilation and Lorenz Contraction), it’s merely a contradiction in observations about simultaneity (like Parallax Error is merely a contradiction in observations about measurement).

If you want real Time Travel, you need only arrange all the particles in the universe to positions and states which match an earlier or future period...which is impossible!

Relating this back to the thread: The manufacturing of 'positions' and 'states' within sectors of the global economy is exactly what they are attempting to do. They brought forward a future standard of living to today. It is unstable. Now, they are trying to rearrange and support all the failing parts to form a stable reality; have their free lunch...and it is failing, miserably. The forces behind the rebalancing of the global economy are not economic, they’re fundamental to the entire universe…so I say, good luck!

This global economy will eventually collapse as it should not, cannot, and will not exist in its current state. Mathematical inevitability must be allowed to correct the anomaly, an anomaly which we created. Fighting this correction process is like fighting the tide; Tidal Forces due to the mere existence of a moon creates the tide, not the water, and you cannot make the moon vanish, so failure is inevitable.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:28 | 3079513 DCFusor
DCFusor's picture

But incomplete.  Sure, the hugest percentage of borrowing is to live beyond one's means (or one's company or country's means).  But you could also start a productive business....just that hardly anyone does.  That's why we created this wonderful stock market - a way to borrow money you never have to pay back...Just get to IPO and you win.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:41 | 3079591 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Yeah ~ You could start a 'productive' business [like making Chevy Volts]... Have one idiot buy one, channel stuff the rest of them, then put the US taxpayer on the hook for the rest where you bail out the company & divest of the shares at a 50% LOSS a month after you got the UNION vote secured...

What a great country!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:19 | 3080708 ForTheWorld
ForTheWorld's picture

There's only one truly necessary area where productive businesses are required, and that's food production. Not Mac & Cheese type food, but fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices (if you can grow Saffron, it's worth more than Gold by weight) and livestock for meat and dairy production. If you can do it in a sustainable way that provides consistent, high quality produce, you'll never run out of customers.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:49 | 3080810 Seer
Seer's picture

Um... you're missing the entire point of this article.  What the article is trying to introduce to those who may not yet get it, is that this is a PHYSICAL world, and that our economics is really based on the PHYSICAL world- along with that massive credit expansion that we undertook was the increase in extraction of PHYSICAL resources.  Not only did we borrow from the virtual world (debt), we borrowed from the PHYSICAL world: both actions are claims on the future.  We're so caught up in the virtual that we have lost track of the PHYSICAL; and when it's the PHYSICAL, not the virtual, that keeps us alive, well...

When ever anyone says "productive" I've got to ask what is their definition.  The financial folks think they are "productive."  Folks building bombs to blow up others believe they are "productive."  I look around and I don't see that we've done a very good job understanding opportunity costs.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:47 | 3079624 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

"Hunger Games" is just a watered-down, PG-13, Americanized (lobotomized) version of the true masterpiece (from Japan) "Battle Royale" provided here in full length for your viewing pleasure:

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 16:13 | 3080004 trav777
trav777's picture

does it have PC overtones like our movie did?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 17:00 | 3080136 busted by the b...
busted by the bailout's picture

Gotta call BS on this one. 

 1.  The problem now is not a financial credit crunch.  We are up to our eyeballs in liquidity.  The problem is excess capacity and too little demand causing a dearth of good capital investment opportunities to make.

2.  “As humanity faces up to an ever more virulent form of the “economic problem” (finite resources and infinite desires), the challenge of providing a solution to that problem will undoubtedly involve investment.”  Desires are not the same as needs.  The problem is too many desires, not too few resources.  We can live sustainably if we choose to.

3.  “An example is using tomorrow’s standard of living to raise today’s standard of living (if you heat a house by burning a barrel of oil today you raise your living standard, but you can not burn that barrel of oil tomorrow, and so deny yourself that standard of living in the future). Borrowing future standards of living to enhance current standards of living is all credit is about.”  No, we are not borrowing from the future; we are using what is most economical now, and we will use something else later:  solar, natural gas, electricity, wind power, wave or hydroelectric, geothermal,  coal, wood, nuclear, methane, plant ethanol.  Some are finite resources; some are not. 

4.  Etc.


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:57 | 3080840 Seer
Seer's picture

"We are up to our eyeballs in liquidity.  The problem is excess capacity and too little demand causing a dearth of good capital investment opportunities to make."


The biggest players, the financials, are plenty liquid?  Where are you pulling this from?  My take is that they are sucking all available "credit" to plug the holes in the reserves.

Can't push on a string.  Can't force people to buy/spend.  People are BROKE.

Ever wonder if the "capital" that's out there is becoming worth less and less when it comes to the fact of PHYSICAL realities?  "Investments" are virtual concepts that are dying on the virtual vine.  No, there's no significant returns on investment anymore because the planet isn't coughing up resources like it once did and people are BROKE (and demographics have us all aging).

I look around and the planet that you and I are looking at don't be the same.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:14 | 3079453 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

I see a different future, one where the people in the capitol are wearing chains, and those in the hinterlands enjoy a more prosperous life.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:21 | 3079488 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

History responds that you are incorrect. But think what you like.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:30 | 3079525 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

What did the Western European world look like before explosive growth, before the Enlightenment, and before liberalism (the classical definition: unregulated markets, individual liberty, and rational thought)? That's a lesson of history that I think will be quite instructive.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:34 | 3079556 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

There was a very good reason why it was called the Enlightenment...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:41 | 3079599 Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

There was a time when religion ruled Western Europe, it's called the dark ages.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:55 | 3079657 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

yeah-The Renaissance sucked-idiot

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:59 | 3079945 malek
malek's picture

The Renaissance was when the religion rule was started to get thrown off-idiot

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:26 | 3080737 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Be easy on him, it just hasn't been the same since that Il Duce thingie...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:09 | 3079723 JR
JR's picture

The Declaration of Independence was a declaration of war. The signers knew what their fate would be if the Revolution failed. They literally pledged their lives when they signed their names. Americans have reaped the benefits from the liberties for which these men risked so much. Many again will chose the risk of fighting to retain these liberties for their fellow man.

This is the inscription above the churchyard grave of Abraham Clark (1726-1794) New Jersey, 14th signer for independence:

“Firm and decided as a patriot, zealous and faithful as a friend to the public, he loved his country, and adhered to her cause in the darkest hours of her struggles against oppression.”

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:10 | 3080874 Seer
Seer's picture

Not sure if the DC folks will be wearing chains...

If anything, one can stay that the country provides for life: cities don't, they have to import from the country.  Enjoy?  Prosper?  It's tough.  It will, however, likely beat the alternative.  When faced with reality it starts becoming more obvious:

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:16 | 3079462 80miltrustfundkid
80miltrustfundkid's picture

I heard a rumor an algo is about to shitstorm the sheep. just a rumor

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:16 | 3079466 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture


Just buy the Russel 2K! Look at her just levitate at will every day!

That'll buy alot of corn meal!!!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:15 | 3079467 the mad hatter
the mad hatter's picture

this is why corporations are hoarding cash and the fed is trying to devalue it as fast as possible. it's an uncertain future ahead of us and everyone should be stashing resources like squirrels. what the fed is doing is devaluing the dollar to get people to spend it now.

be smart and instead of hoarding dollars, hoard precious metals.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 17:33 | 3080257 Bag Of Meat
Bag Of Meat's picture

In times of great inequality and extreme monetary crises the black markets rise, and guess what: they dont care about the "fair prices", and they send the relative prices sky high. You might be sitting on top of a mountain of gold, but the black markets are still going ask all of it for a loaf of bread. If you find the prices relative to gold too high, what are you going to do? Eat it?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:12 | 3080891 Seer
Seer's picture

My wife and I "produce" food.  She does bake bread, though for our own use.  If there is extra and we need fuel for the tractor I suppose that we'd trade for some PMs to help facilitate the purchase of what we really need (if a direct barter isn't possible).

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:16 | 3079469 Cursive
Cursive's picture

UBS allowed this to be distributed?  It more or less questions the underpinnings of global finance.  Hmm.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:48 | 3079630 GottaBKiddn
GottaBKiddn's picture

Paul Donovan writes as if hunger was a classroom project, and has the attitude of one who has much on his dining room table. Given that the people in his profession are stealing at an increasing rate, and evading prosecution, that dining room table might be in jeopardy.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:17 | 3079475 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

The mis-allocation and mal-investment of capital and resources is apparent in the growing "financial services" sector which is now over 35% of the GDP in America.  Remind me, what product of real value do these paper-pushers produce again?


I remain long black markets, trustworth neighbors/employees, tradesmen, and any physical asset that these fuckers can't devalue.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:26 | 3079501 gjp
gjp's picture

Bang on LoP +1

In fact, not only do they provide no real value, they subtract from value through the misallocation of capital that you refer to.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:34 | 3079558 CH1
CH1's picture

I remain long black markets, trustworth neighbors/employees, tradesmen, and any physical asset that these fuckers can't devalue.

I often disagree with you LoP, but I'm fully on-board with this.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:19 | 3079479 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

There are 7 billion people in the world. Most of those came into place during an era of abundant energy (fossil fuels) that made food production and transportation easy, and created other enhancements to life such as modern hospitals and education. Those 7 billion will not be sustained at peak oil (where we are now) and let's not talk about what happens when the oil production rates start to actually drop.

The world can probably support 2 billion humans, given access to water, healthy farm land and conventional fuels like wood. These being in turn the product of the solar output from the sun.

What happens to the other 5 billion is hard to say. My guess is that over the next 50 years they work themselves to death trying to be among the 2 billion that end up inheriting the planet from the techno-utopians.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:22 | 3079490 catacl1sm
catacl1sm's picture

Not enough wood for 2 billion people. Wood availablity weas becomeing a problem in Europe at the advent of fossile fuels. Fossile fuels kept what had become a resource problem from manifesting.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:25 | 3079507 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Ah. Well there will be a lot of fiat paper to burn. Maybe that will make up the difference.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:28 | 3079800 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

A Jackson has the same BTU content as a Benjamin though....

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:31 | 3079532 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Soylent Green.

A dried out body would probably burn pretty well too.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:35 | 3079557 malikai
malikai's picture

The fatter the better. You can turn them into diesel and minerals too, if you so desired.

Thermal Deploymerization.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:40 | 3079589 BlueCollaredOne
BlueCollaredOne's picture

I read somewhere that you can turn peoples fat into soap as well....

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:43 | 3079609 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Nasty, the whole lot of you! ;-)

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:55 | 3079666 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Hey. First rule of Project Mayhem, bud.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:31 | 3079538 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

Malthus said something similar 200 years ago, though his numbers were much smaller.  The fact that the sustainable number is increasing faster than petroleum reserves says something.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:36 | 3079566 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

For one last time, reserves do not matter, flow rates do...

Does having $10 million in a trust that pays you $1000 a month make you rich?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:38 | 3079576 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

Flow rate is dependent more upon price than technology.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:42 | 3079607 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

True, but only to a point...

There is a very good reason why Canada does not produce as much oil as SA despite having very similar claimed reserves...

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 01:55 | 3081741 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

Because it's too damn cold, and the oil won't flow through the dammed frozen pipes?

The population is so small that they can't get any good cooks/hookers/camp followers to support an oil-drilling town?

Canadians won't work for 25lb bags of rice and pinto beans?



Wed, 12/19/2012 - 16:18 | 3080017 trav777
trav777's picture

never a more utterly wrong statement was uttered...peak oil spits in the face of this nonsense.

Flow rates don't care about price.  Cantarell declined to oblivion during a massive price surge.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 02:02 | 3081751 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

trav, you've made some good points regarding EROEI in the past, but I'm confident if the price goes up high enough (i.e. they start pricing in gallons rather than barrels) , they would use legions of Hebrew slaves to dig tunnels all the way down to the oil and extract it by hand if that's what it took.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:39 | 3079584 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Nobody knows what the sustainable number is. An educated guess is around 2 billion, in the near absence of fossil energy. Maybe less. I can easliy see it becoming 500 million globally in the short term (200 years on) before it gets back to something historically familiar.

The modelling is pretty simple, you can do it in a spreadsheet. I don't have the time to outline the methodology but my rough estimates cannot be off by much.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:17 | 3080911 Seer
Seer's picture

It all depends on the level of lifestyle and how long that is expected.  Saying that something is sustainable forever isn't possible given that the sun will eventually burn out.  I don't think that we can calculate things as it's all way too complicated; and, if we were to believe so and get it wrong? (folks would always be willing to lie [make it rosier] in order to cash in, either with an elevated lifestyle or elevated level of power, or both)

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:09 | 3079722 centerline
centerline's picture

Malthus got run over by people who told a different story to promote perpetual growth.  Funny thing was that they were all correct to some degree.  Technology and better distribution of resources does allow for higher population.  But not perpetual growth.

Malthus likely did the best he could to get the ball rolling on this subject.  He just didn't see things that would cause the math be so non-linear.  His theory though is the larger picture, just modified by works of others to account for technology and distribution.


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:17 | 3079752 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The full impact of fossil fuels was not felt or known in his day....

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 16:20 | 3080024 trav777
trav777's picture

we need a significant improvement in batteries...either HTS or nuclear isomers are it, athough I guess fuel cells could but at the limit, they are energy-wasters of electrolysis-derived H2 or something.  Gonna need a lot of electricity, nuclear fission in Gen 4 is about the only thing that fits any bill.

There is no growth in this scenario, so I guess according to Kroc, that means we're dead.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:17 | 3080328 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Trav as you are well aware battery tecnology is getting close to the physical limits, I don't think there is much to be gained there. Hint, Laptop Li-ion batteries exploding or spontaneously combusting a la Volt after being damaged.... 

There was a study that just came at, 90% of the grid on solar/wind renewables for $0.10 per kWh, all doable by 2030...

Here is the original

It will require a massive effort that the Kochs and other coal interests will fight tooth and nail...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:13 | 3080888 ForTheWorld
ForTheWorld's picture

I've considered, and written an application as a proof of concept/model, of load balancing between renewable energy sources and traditional fossil fuel based power generation. The idea would be that when power production from solar and wind farms reaches say, an absolute minimum limit + 5%, signals are sent to coal/nuclear base load stations to increase output to ensure consistent, steady supply of power. When output from solar and wind farms picks up, the base load stations scale back power production.

Of course, this relies on base load stations being able to safely modulate power output, but rather than moving to 90% renewables by a particular point in time, I believe we could efficiently use all types of power generation in conjunction with each other. This gives us a little more time to maximise efficiency of solar panels and wind turbines.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:24 | 3080930 Seer
Seer's picture

"I believe we could efficiently use all types of power generation in conjunction with each other."

We should base our entire future on the words: "believe" and "efficiency?"

"Believe" is more about desiring something to be so.

And on the "efficiency" side of things: Jevons Paradox.

There are 4+ billion people on the planet who live on $3/day or less.  How well do you think your "believe" and "efficiency" in lifting all these folks?  Oh!  You're probably (just like TPTB) talking only about yourself.  Fine... The question then is: How LONG do you think "believe" and "efficiency" is going to hold up in the face of 4+ starving and angry people? (if you look at the US military you'll know which direction things are heading)

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 23:30 | 3081480 ForTheWorld
ForTheWorld's picture

Interesting response. I wasn't implying we need to base our future on any sort of word - I was putting forward an idea I've had about power generation and supply, which is a problem that, possibly, almost every person on the planet is either directly or indirectly affected by. The belief needs to be proven on a small scale at first, and then on a large scale. I "believe" that's how the process of innovation progresses.

Your assumption though that I'm only talking about myself is a laughable attempt to try and tarnish what I've said, and my "beliefs" and "efficiency", as you highlight, can only help people in other countries that are living on less than $3 a day if the TPTB even consider allowing them to have a chance at something better.

Regarding Jevons Paradox - people need to adjust their ideas around power consumption at the same time as making power distribution more efficient. However, people needing to reevaluate their power usage doesn't equate to some sort of oppression.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:23 | 3080931 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Sounds interesting, go for it...

I would counter that the sooner we print up another trillion or so bennie-bux to pay for it and get the hardware in place before TSHTF the better off we will be...

But seriously, polycrystalline Si has won the short term solar race, it's time has come. It ain't the sexiest solution but it will work. Wind is almost as mature.

Given the slugfest with vested interests that is in the offing, the time is now to push hard...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:32 | 3080953 Seer
Seer's picture

Now being in to farming I fully appreciate diesel engines.  I understand what makes things work: tractors, farm and hauling (trucks).  There is NO replacement for diesel.  I have no hidden agenda here.  It'll be horribly painful for me to not have diesel fuel (or the same density of power at the existing relative price).

I heat my (cheap) home with passive solar and wood.  I have gasoline fueled chainsaws and don't see them being able to be replaced by electric ones: axes in a pinch, and though they'll outlast any battery (whose replacement cost I probably won't be able to afford), I'm NOT looking forward to using them.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:41 | 3081180 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

If, and a big if, oil consumption was limited to agriculture, the US would almost be self suffiecient...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 22:15 | 3081285 Seer
Seer's picture

Yes, reducing use makes things stretch more.  But then one has to ask why all the food would be necessary because, w/o oil elsewhere (keeping mind that just about everything that we touch has likely used oil in its production) what would people do for productive work?  And when the oil eventually became too costly to extract (keep in mind economies of scale in reverse and its affect on the cost of machinery for extraction, as well as for final use), mass starvation.

It is claimed that about 1/3 of all of the world's protein can be traced to fossil fuels.

I accept the challenge ahead (if I didn't it would have been much easier to just jump off a high building).  No one said life was easy (and when you see how MANY humans on the planet live, well... poor poor pitiful me [thanks to the late great Warren Zevon for that song, which was made popular by Linda Ronstadt]).

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:40 | 3079586 CH1
CH1's picture

There is a difference between Hydrocarbons and Cheap Hyrocarbons.

Peak Oil may be upon us, and prices would accordingly rise significantly. But there are oceans of slightly more expensive hydrocarbons: Fracked gas, shale oil and others. OCEANS of it.

It will cost more, but - aside from government agents caging people who dig it up - there will be no universal shortage.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:52 | 3079637 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Sorry but you miss it...

You will be caught between EROEI and a related limit arising from the ability of economy to support arbitrarily high prices...

As for shale oil if you mean Kerogen, you have been listening to fairy tales...

As for tight oil, aka the Bakken, I suggest you study very carefully figures 13, 14 and 15 here...

The ensuing discussion is also a good read....

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:51 | 3079639 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

If there is ever a universal shortage of cheap hydrocarbons then the game is over.

My operating assumption is that we shortly find we cannot get the stuff out of the ground cheaply enough for every day uses. Uses such as vacations, driving the kids to school and shopping out of town. Including maybe, uses in large-scale agriculture and materials shipping. At that point the prescribed uses may be limited to fueling imperial aggression and related border conflicts, which will only serve to consume remaining reserves all the quicker.

The government might even tax fuel not for budget purposes but as an incentive for people to learn how to live without it, making worse a bad situation.

There are so many ways this can go very badly it's hard to sustain much optimism.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:07 | 3079710 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

details matter.  There are lots of hydrocarbons everywhere, it's oxidation state of the carbon that presents a problem.  Burning to release energy in order to do work requires that the input fuel isn't already oxidized.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:06 | 3079700 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Unfortunately, the flux of that carbon and the energy required to convert the carbon you speak of into the state required to burn it isn't there.

Yes, there is pleanty of carbon (in a useless OXIDIZED state), it the energy to reduce it  that is missing.

Same thing with the conversion of two protons (not useful as a fuel) into hydrogen gas (very useful fuel) 2H+ and 2e- --> H2    Protons are trillions of times more abundant than anything else on the planet, it's the low potential electrons (both at -400 mV) required to drive the process that are lacking.

Unfortunately, math matters.  There is no problem associated with "digging anything up".  Put the strawman away.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:42 | 3080982 Seer
Seer's picture

"There is no problem associated with "digging anything up"."

Um... you have to use ENERGY to dig (I do plenty of ditching, in which case I understand that there's an energy cost in digging).

But, yes, processing and transporting are big energy suckers (more so than digging [in all cases?]).

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 16:22 | 3080028 trav777
trav777's picture

nah, there ain't, and this has been explained to you 50,000 times, bum.

Oil flows according to geological attributes of the ground it's doesn't CARE what the price is that we apply to it.

You cannot turn shale into a 5mbpd resource like Ghawar is; the oil is physically DIFFERENT.  It is higher-hanging fruit.  Fruit further up the tree BY DEFINITION has different EROI

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:01 | 3079688 harami
harami's picture

All the while big oil has been actively repressing alternative energy technology and big brother has been using its liberal agenda to make people think there is a population and resource problem WHEN THERE FUCKING ISN'T!  The banks and oligarchs are actively enriching themselves at the expense of the entire planet and you want me to fucking think the problem is all the poor bastards starving around the world?  Fuck that. 

This clap trap is nothing but propaganda dressed up by Malthus enthusiasts and New Age Eugenicists to push their agenda of population control.  I'm not going to argue that our rate of consumption doesn't need to be reigned in but please spare me the doom and gloom you've bought into.  The mystical number of 500 million that has been getting pushed around lately would be far easier to control than the 7 billion that currently inhabit the planet. 

If we put as much effort into helping our fellow man as we did fattening our wallets there wouldn't be an issue.  It's about priorities for fuck sake, and ours as a species are clearly fucking backwards.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 18:27 | 3080516 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Last time I checked the food distribution system did not run on electricity and the fact that there are zero commercial reactors currently operating on a thorium fuel cycle should tell you something...

And there is this is little issue:

Sorry, and there is that little problem that any nukes are a hard sell right now... Any ideas why?

Bueller, Bueller?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:51 | 3081025 Seer
Seer's picture

Malthus, for the idiots out there that don't get the basic gist of what he was trying to convey, was saying that we're on a finite planet that can only accept growth for so long before the planet cannot provide for our needs.

Believing that there are no limits, that we can just pump it up (technology or whatever [never mind that technology is not a RESOURCE it's a PROCESS]) is that same logic/principle that Keynesian economics operates under/by.

Again, the math/test is simple: IS THE FUCKING PLANET ROUND?  IS IT EXPANDING?  If you give any other answers than, first, YES, and then, second, NO then you deserve the Darwin award.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 23:04 | 3081418 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Proving yet again that:  "The surface of a planet is NOT the correct place for an expanding, technological civilization."  R.A. Wilson

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:10 | 3079721 TPTB_r_TBTF
TPTB_r_TBTF's picture


What happens to the other 5 billion is hard to say. My guess is that over the next 50 years they work themselves to death

The Plan calls for more than 5 billion to perish, and it wonT take no 50 years. The Plan is for 500 mil sheeple.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:19 | 3079480 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

Yes and Mr. 7airconditionerGore will be happy to explain all of this and why we need carbon tax credits and genocide for $1,000,000.00 per half hour.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:55 | 3081039 Seer
Seer's picture

Exactly.  Further, any "dollar" figure will be meaningless because no one will be able to utilize it anyway (burn it in autos that got repo'd? and most roads no longer exist?)

Mother Nature will take care of the genocide part...

"Men argue, nature acts." - Voltaire

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:22 | 3079486 Mercury
Mercury's picture

We therefore have an increased demand for capital to tackle the environmental credit crunch, but a reduced supply of capital because of the financial credit crunch.

Are you high? We have too little environmental based regulation and fantasy projects and not enough easy money?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:22 | 3079494 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

The fault with the post is supposing that there is a rational way out of this. There is not.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:26 | 3079509 Mercury
Mercury's picture

How about we get the hell out of the way for once, let markets clear, put central planning on the shelf for a while (like this guy does not seem to want to do) and see what happens?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:32 | 3079542 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

What happens is you run out of oil anyway, probably sooner. Maybe even a lot sooner. And clean water and arable land and the whole thing. Poof. Gone up on a big bonfire of opportunistic frenzy.

I can't care either way. The day of reckoning lay not far off, and nothing we can do will hold it back, and if we screw up it will arrive all the sooner.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:51 | 3079635 Almost Solvent
Almost Solvent's picture

Exactly. Fucktards "in the know" (not anyone commenting on this board) will know when to start freaking out because the real shit is about to hit the fan.

50 years from now will probably more resemble 250 years ago than anything else, save those fucktards "in the know" hoarding what's left of the industrial revolution for themselves.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:57 | 3079672 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

"250 years ago" would be a walk in the park. I'm looking at 1,200 years ago, except everyone remembers a better day even last year and they are clawing each others eyes out in frustration and regret.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:17 | 3079755 Almost Solvent
Almost Solvent's picture

I don't disagree, just the timeline.

Our wonderful (/sarc) buildings and sewers and dams erected over the last 75 years or so should last at least 50 more years or so, although they won't hold up well without maintenance. I can see people using the infrastructure built up over the last 75 years for pure survival (i.e. dismantling & burning abandoned houses for heat). Once that infrastructure is used up, then it’s back to 1,200 years ago.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:38 | 3079856 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

50 years sound right to me.

The span of time between now and then will someday be remembered as "the good old days of peace and plenty."

Imagine that.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 22:23 | 3081305 Seer
Seer's picture

Not sure at what point prudence turns into hording...  Also, what if the hoarders horde the wrong things?  I think that people know that some of the wealthy aren't exactly the sharpest tools in the drawer...

Being of lesser ability (financially) I figure I don't have a lot of room for error.  But, I also know that I've at least got a crack at erring, whereas there are lots of humans on the planet that have no such option, no bit of"extra" to attempt any boost away from the failing infrastructure.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 02:40 | 3081783 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

Prudence turns into hoarding when people who were imprudent find out about your prudence, and become covetous.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:38 | 3079564 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture


Free markets!?!?

No FED babysitter for the banks!?!?

The invisible hand allowing individuals to influence the economy!?!?


Comrades Marx, Lenin, and Mao would have sent you to a FEMA camp to make Chase Bank EBT cards!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 22:27 | 3081318 Seer
Seer's picture

"The invisible hand allowing individuals to influence the economy!?!?"

The word "economy" is starting to lose any sense of meaning...  Can we call out for something that sets it all apart from what we've had?  It'll be people doing business at a people level.  "Barter" isn't exactly the word, but it's the only thing that comes to mind at the moment.

Anyway, my point is that "economy" has become something like a false god.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:25 | 3079504 catacl1sm
catacl1sm's picture

I think, by "environmental credit crunch" he is referring to a dwindling supply of natural resources, not environmental regulations.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:28 | 3079517 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

"dwindling supply of natural resources" doesn't come with the same political flavoring. It's harder to do the familiar Red/Blue thing with that.

This is why we're mostly doomed. People enjoy their hobbies too much.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:32 | 3079536 Mercury
Mercury's picture

And how do you suppose he wants to address that environmental credit crunch? (hint: check your wallet).

Resource depletion will cause prices to rise and that will cause bottom-up innovation - which will yield better solutions than top-down mandates.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:36 | 3079562 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

Spot on.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:37 | 3079574 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Lookie here, we got ourselves a Techo-Cornucopian....

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:41 | 3079606 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Leave him alone. I like to watch them work. Reminds me of Monti Python; rational and yet somehow insane.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:59 | 3079683 Mercury
Mercury's picture

...which I'll match, against any future or past government cornucopia, any day.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:21 | 3079768 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Eh? Maybe you should have looked up what it meant first...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 18:09 | 3080419 michael_engineer
michael_engineer's picture

Maybe mercury needs his hand held as he is led to the water to see if he will drink.

Are you thirsty Merc?

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 11:24 | 3082593 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Sorry but the folly inherent in writing no-money-down mortgages to shlubs to finance $800,000 homes build on spec in the middle of nowhere has nothing to do with the price of oil.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:29 | 3079803 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

...and your solution is? Being an unproductive sarcastic asshat? More of the same shit that got us here? More whining about what amounts to engineering problems, and/or opportunities for creative solutions?

While I will admit, I don't read everypost, it's interesting to watch you troll around and berate everyone else for offering up any ideas whatsoever, yet you offer nothing of value in return. Is your sefl esteem so low, that you think eviscerating others imrpoves it? There are right ways, and wrong ways to point out innaccuracies of other people. Your methods are wrong Flak.

The idea that our ability to innovate lies solely in our past, is quite absurd. Just because nobody here has all the answers, doesn't mean there are NO fucking answers at all, ya fuckin jackwagon. FFS, What is your purpose, Man!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:45 | 3079892 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

His point (if I am permitted to say so) is that technology didn't get us into this fix and technology isn't going to get us out. You can think otherwise if you want, there is about 100 years of evidence that you would be correct. But there is 10,000 years of evidence suggesting that humans are not technolgy constrained but energy constrained, and I and a lot of others are going with that.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 17:41 | 3080282 The Joker
The Joker's picture

But he implied technology will get us out if we start with giving up a few liberties (replace your incandescent light bulbs with flourescent light bulbs).   Or is green technology not real technology?  It is technology and energy. 

I would argue that it's not the lightbulbs that are the issue though, it is billions of home that are required to have yard lights on all night.  But that is a side note.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 17:51 | 3080337 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You really do read just what you want to, don't you....

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 18:33 | 3080537 The Joker
The Joker's picture

I confess, I did there.  No foul.  HA HA HA HA

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 16:02 | 3079960 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The first part of any solution is to realize that you have a problem... Something that the vast majority here fail or refuse to accept.. Once that is done, one may move forward with constructive discussions on how to best proceed...

Given that many think the problem here is not enough empty platitudes, a meaningful discussion of solutions would be premature... Hey, if people think that banning incandescent bulbs is too much of an affront to our liberty, you know we have problems...

Early on I used to be lot nicer, that did not work and after taking the written abuse that I have had over the past few years from know nothing morons, I decided to take a different tack... I also only reply in kind....

Oh, if you are really interested, hang out at the oildrum for discussion of "solutions", warning, you may not like the implications of what really is happening...

Innovation is hardly dead, but certain laws of physics are immutable....Those of us used to doing "heavy lifting" know the difference...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 16:25 | 3080035 trav777
trav777's picture

use your aggressive feelings, boy....let the hate flow through you

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 02:57 | 3081791 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

It is so dammed hard to get people who root for the opposite team (red/blue) to admit that there is a problem.

It is then exceedingly difficult to agree on what the problem is, where Red Leader can express the problem in such a way that Blue Leader will agree that, yes, that is the problem.

If you can agree on a definition of the problem, then coming up with a solution that doesn't clearly benefit one of the teams to the detriment of the other is one hell of a trick.

If you can admit there is a problem, the sides can agree what the problem actually is, and find a solution that benefits both sides equally, you're on the right track... but you still have to get it turned into a bill, get it through committee, pass it through each branch of congress, reconcile the two now different bills, vote again to pass the compromise bill, and get the president to sign it.  And God help you if it requires rulemaking by the executive branch, or implementation by each of the fifty states.

Small wonder that we can't solve problems here in the USA.



Thu, 12/20/2012 - 01:07 | 3081676 Seer
Seer's picture

So, to dissect your offering:

"The idea that our ability to innovate lies solely in our past, is quite absurd."

Of course!  One can innovate in one's mind.  It's when rubber meets the road that is the concern.  It's actually being able to APPLY the ideas from the mind such that they operate in the PHYSICAL world.  I stress PHYSICAL because NOTHING can exist without something PHYSICAL.  And PHYSICAL is what we obtain from the FINITE planet: well, there are cosmic rays and meteorites that land here, but I'm a bit of a doubter that these would present us with anything remotely usable.  The second stressed word is FINITE.  We're on a ball/ a globe, it's FINITE.

The fundamental is pretty clear- it's a FINITE, PHYSICAL world.  EVERYTHING is ultimately exhaustible (some more so than others, on a timescale that is).

Look around and you'll see that the overwhelming majority of the innovations that you see are the direct result of fossil fuels (can one even touch anything that it's created by or containing, oil?).  Fossil fuels/oil is unique in that it's a physical resource and an energy resource.

"Just because nobody here has all the answers, doesn't mean there are NO fucking answers at all"

Answers are worthless if you have the WRONG questions!  And I propose that this is exactly the big problem with all those clinging on to the hope of perpetuating the perpetual growth paradigm.  If you avoid the fundamentals that this is a FINITE planet then you can pitch out any answer you like, and even ones that have all the appearance of being good/great- all WILL FAIL because they was predicated on a faulty premise.

Groups of animals face starvation and die-off.  Past human civilizations have done likewise (and let's note that humans are also animals).  Whether you want to feel that this slights your desire to be saved by some unknown force or not is irrelevant- these forces have and will always exist- we have parameters!

Wars are always about resources.  People die of a lack of resources.  Civilizations have perished because of a lack of resources.  What don't you get about reality?

"Innovation" is the same as "technology," a PROCESS.  To generate something tangible a PROCESS requires PHYSICAL RESOURCES and ENERGY.  It's the PHYSICAL RESOURCES and ENERGY parts that are problematic; and, these are the very things that have hampered every living thing on the planet.

I'm not sure that basing our entire future on the hope of pulling a rabbit out of the hat is a good thing.  There is no guarantee that the rabbit will appear (or that we even need/can use the rabbit), which has been experienced throughout all of life's existence on this planet.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 17:54 | 3080347 Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby's picture

Lookie here we got ourselves a marxist central planner who thinks our only solution is to exterminate 5 Billion people.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 18:19 | 3080472 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Thanks buddy, you just made my point...

In spades...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:50 | 3079634 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Only if the capital and resources are available to innovate.  how much technology have you actually brought to the market?  Think this is an inexpense undertaking do you?  The concept of cold fusion has been around for over 100 years.  How many cities are using fusion technology again to provide power to their citizens?  While we wait, the very real consequences of all this capital and resource mis-allocation and mal-investment will result in a much lower standard of living for all for quite some time to come.  (Hint; does if matter if the majority don't have shit in their wallet?)

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:00 | 3079685 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Related point of order: What should we be doing with the last of the $100 per barrel oil?

I don't think the answer is "Christmas shopping" but that seems to be the narrative we're given.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:09 | 3079716 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Ha!  The energetic cost to retrive the "last bit of oil" will make it prohibitive to retrive.  A non-issue.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:51 | 3079908 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Now now you avoided the question. I thought it was a good one.

Possible answers to the quesiton "what do you do with the last of the cheap hydrocarbons" include:

  • Build better cities that require less hydro carbons to live in;
  • Repair and strengthen the global electrical grid to improve energy balances;
  • Roll out more passenger rail between large cities;
  • Start mitigation efforts to forestall the impacts of expected rising sea levels;
  • Restructure agriculture to be more local and require fewer hydrocarbon inputs;
  • Decentralize governance, manufacturing and education so that people and materials travel less;
  • and etc etc etc

I could go on.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 16:37 | 3080066 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

That's lot of investment.  If you don't have the resources to invest, you won't do shit.  The decentralization will happen regardless as people do whatever it takes to get by.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 17:25 | 3080219 The Joker
The Joker's picture

Huh?  expected rising sea levels?  Isn't that theory based on climate change.  Isn't climate change based on burning fossil fuels?  Aren't we nearing the last of cheap hydrocarbons?  Looks like rising sea levels depends on circular logic, as does the rest of AGW. 


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 17:37 | 3080274 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

There are so many holes in your logic, intentional or otherwise, I barely know where to start. But since I am pretty sure that you do not desire an honest discourse on the matter, I will simply say that you are an idiot and leave it at that...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 18:23 | 3080496 The Joker
The Joker's picture

Stable carbon isotopes ( 13C/ 12C) show that CO2 in the atmosphere is in chemical equilibrium with ocean bicarbonate and lithospheric carbonate (Ohmoto, 1986). CO2 (g) + H2O + Ca (aq) ø CaCO3 (s) + 2 HCO3 -(aq).   This provides a partition coefficient for CO2 between the atmosphere and the ocean of approximately 1 : 50 (Revelle & Sues; Skirrow).  If we double the CO2 in the atmosphere there will have to be supplied 50 times more CO2 to the ocean to obtain chemical equilibrium , 51 times the present atmospheric CO2 (Segalstad).  It is possible to exploit approximately 7000 GT of fossil carbon, which means, if all this carbon is supposed to be burned, that the atmospheric CO2 can be increased by 20% at the most under geochemical equilibrium at constant present surface temperature. The atmospheric lifetime of CO2 is around 5-7 years (Segalstad). 

 Sea level rise is attributed to oceans warming due to the carbon equilibrium and melting sea ice (which is another fallacy).

Sea level rise for the last 100 years is at the rate of 1.66 mm per year.  That is less than the length of Trav's middle finger in 100 years. 

So he can scratch that one off his list of things to build in plannedopolis.



Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:10 | 3080637 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Care to discuss what the PH and temperature of the ocean would be in such a scenario? Naw, didn't think so...

It would seem that 20% figure is a tad shaky, given that pre IR was ~280 ppmv and we are at ~400 ppmv (considerably bigger than 20% and a lot longer than 7 years...

You and Segalstad should brush up on the difference between "residence time" and "adjustment time".....

Lets just say that Segalstad's claims are not mainstreeam, e.g. see Karl et al (2009) or

or if you like something a tad more technical

PS You might want to read this...


Edit: I chose to ignore the *obvious* strawmen like melting sea ice... Do you think everyone is a fool?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:22 | 3080928 The Joker
The Joker's picture

Holy shit batman.  You actually believe what comes out of the IPCC and you give everyone else flak?  They are the ONLY ones that claim CO2 has a life expectency over 10 years (100 yrs.).  They have to or their stupid GCMs would fall apart.  Keep buying the hype.


PS.  Blogs are not the best scientific references

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:08 | 3081084 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You didn't read too closely then...there were links to 2 peer reviewed papers in there, I strongly suggest you read the PNAS one...

Like I said, if your buddy was right we never could have reached the current C02 levels let alone those during the Cretaceous...

And if anything the IPCC has lowballed everything as a result of achieving a conservative consensus... 

Based on the tone of your response, you ain't serious, never thought you were in the first place and you just proved it...

I'm off as I have better things to do than bandy words with a "skeptic" of your ilk...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:06 | 3080647 CPL
CPL's picture

Everything listed here is a service for what species?


If people wish to be serious about environmental concerns and quality of life of the currently living then they would see about how population reduction can occur with the least amount of damage possible or this happens.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:17 | 3079753 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Thanks Mercury,  I am not the only one to conclude that this article reads like :


Investment needs capital, not credit. Save up capital or slave away for debt.

In an ideal banksters paradise they would allocate all resources on credit

to us , ursury rates making sure we eat each other.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:58 | 3081048 Seer
Seer's picture

I think the author is trying to use "environmental" more in a way to describe "physical natural resource" than "environmental regulations" (which, where they do exist, are primarily about protecting resources for future exploitation by corporations)

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:23 | 3079496 The Axe
The Axe's picture

Is Biden going to ban by Bow now too....shit    

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:23 | 3079497 gjp
gjp's picture

We don't need financial credit to invest for the future.  We need real savings.  The dysfunction of financial markets is discouraging savings and investment at the very time we need it more than ever.  This is the core of the problem.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:00 | 3081055 Seer
Seer's picture

"We need real savings."

And just what are "real savings?"

Keep in mind that the system operates on credit/debt.  If everyone were to pay off their debts the system would implode.  I think that you're trying to save a system that cannot be saved.  Also, I'll take PHYSICAL over any "savings."

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 01:02 | 3081670 tickhound
tickhound's picture

LOL "savings"

Saving isn't even a break even anymore.  It COSTS!

The "game" is getting old on so many levels.


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:26 | 3079502 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Autarky or self-sufficiency is poison to the parasitic off-shoring corporate/government kleptoligarchy.

At the peak of growth curves societies usually address resource shortages by reducing the population (war).

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:03 | 3081064 Seer
Seer's picture

I wish that this could be bumped up to the top.  Glad that some folks get it! (and, yes, the parasitical PTB will ensure that we fight among ourselves rather than with them [xenophobia is ingrained everywhere]).

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:27 | 3079508 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Ho Ho Ho.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:28 | 3079518 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

WTF?? Stocks OFF their highs of the day? What is it, armageddon or somethin?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:30 | 3079534 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

"Sandy Hook" Elementary School is in the same town of Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins [which is a novel that glorifies killing children] for the entertainment pleasure & retribution purposes fr elite NWO types who live in an 'Agenda 21' type world]...

Several eyewitnesses have said that they my have spotted (2) other gunmen in the woods at the time of the shooting...

Other weirdo 'co-incidences':


- Hurricane 'Sandy' recently devastated the regional area

- Where are the pictures from inside the school?

- They couldn't get their story straight (had the boy confused with brother at first & mis-reported the killing of mother first)

- Perp [who is conveniently dead] had 2 9mm's.....ABC reported .223 shell casings at scene, but Bushmaster was in mom's car.

- Freshly opened Twitter accounts started calling for "gun control" within minutes after the shootings... 

- Oh ~ & this is kind of bizzare...


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:40 | 3079592 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Good work!

I just knew that the shootings were a massive NWO conspiracy to take our guns...

How much time do you think we have left before they come after us?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:47 | 3079612 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

All I did was point out some 'oddities'... [Much the same way that there were 'oddities' surrounding WT7 and other 9/11 happenings, like the 'dancing israelis']... Which, of course, the 9/11 Commission has now assured everyone that it was, in fact, towelheads with boxcutters, & that FINALLY our teleprompter in chief BROUGHT that OBL the heavy hand of JUSTICE in May of last year...


I leave it to people like you to set the record straight and convince everyone that "They're the government & they're here to help"... I'm just playing the part of Jerry MaGuire here helping ME to help YOU...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:58 | 3079675 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I defy you to find a post where I make such claims about the government....

Well maybe I have defended the NHC because they warn us about huricanes before they hit... Let me know when TWC has their own satellites...  So sue me...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 17:16 | 3080187 The Joker
The Joker's picture

francis.  Can I call you francis? You need to give this up.  Let it go man. It's going to turn into a worm and infest your brain. 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:40 | 3081173 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

1 week and 5 days & you're instantly 'board certified' to psycho-analyze francis_sawyer...

I PROMISE YOU... If I need your help inside my dome I'll make sure I pass everybody else up and ask you, personally, for it... Sorry for the time delay on the reply... I had shit to do... ZH is a 'hobby', not my LIFE...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:09 | 3081091 Seer
Seer's picture

I have no opinion other than: Does it really matter?

These kinds of things allow the System to continue.  Rather than indicting the System we'll be chasing around shadowy figures that TPTB want us to chase (but never allow to be captured [alive]).

People use EVERY big event to lobby for something.  Talking is one thing, actions and results are another: I suspect that GDP goes up on gun sales and lobbyist activities (pro/con).

While we get sucked in to hunting for the REAL culprits and arguing for/against gun control the System continues to consume us as it crashes...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:34 | 3079550 SUPERIOR BULLION

Every shortage which faces our society today, whether of credit or natural resources, is entirely contrived. We live in a World of unlimited energy and resources. Our controllers wish to keep this knowledge to themselves, so that we (the Sheeple) may remain in a permanent state of slavery.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:17 | 3079754 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"unlimited energy"


Right, I choose to be free and in order to actually do any work, I need energy.  Now where are those fusion reactors I ordered?  Talk your book elsewhere troll.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 17:01 | 3080138 The Joker
The Joker's picture

Cool.  So since your superior bullion is an unlimited resource you won't mind selling it to me for say, I don't know, two bits?  I didn't think so.  Meet me in the chat room and I'll give you my shipping address. 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:34 | 3079551 SUPERIOR BULLION

Every shortage which faces our society today, whether of credit or natural resources, is entirely contrived. We live in a World of unlimited energy and resources. Our controllers wish to keep this knowledge to themselves, so that we (the Sheeple) may remain in a permanent state of slavery.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 17:29 | 3080234 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

sounds like you didn't read the zh article "the trend most people don't understand" showing food & arable land scarcity as a fact.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:17 | 3081118 Seer
Seer's picture

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right... (thanks to Gerry Rafferty for that song)

TPTB to the left of me, idiots to the right...

FIND me ANYWHERE IN NATURE something to support your BS (and no, I need not waste my precious energy on reading crap from the brain dead).

No shit there's a hierarchy.  If you want to be in Their game then it's going to cost you: "the game" is "civilization," it's been passed down for quite a while now... (I accept the definition of civilization as being cities; so, as someone from the country I have no problem talking about it being possible to not be in the game [cities are in no way natural, nature ain't going to hold off the forces of entropy for such "civilization.")

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:54 | 3079655 MedicalQuack
MedicalQuack's picture

Consumers are screwed.  The FTC supposed to begin inquiring about the data brokers...well I said they better get their "algorithm motors' running as thats' what's movin the money these days.  License and tax all data sellers, banks, companies, social networks you name it.  Would give law enforcement legs to stand on to get the jerks out that query nonlinear data and sell it like it has value...not.  There's a lot of this sadly out there "hey dude lets go query some data and write some algos and make money"...

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