Nov 192022
 


Rembrandt van Rijn The resurrection of Christ 1639

 

Towards the Real New World Order (Batiushka)
US Lectures Allies Over Poland Missile Incident – Politico (RT)
‘The US Won’t Sacrifice Chicago For Warsaw’ (Misnik)
A Smoldering Fuse (Jim Kunstler)
‘Aid To Ukraine,’ the US Democratic Party And The Collapse Of FTX (Livshitz)
FTX Boss Accused Of Using Offshore Funds After Bankruptcy (RT)
Ukraine – Switching The Lights Off (MoA)
Ukraine Has Lost 40% Of Energy System As Kyiv Sees First Snow (ZH)
Ukraine Is ‘War Between West And Russia’ – Turkish Official (RT)
Former Trump Advisor: Biden Admin Has No End Goal For Ukraine War (JTN)
Russian Oil Price Cap Idea ‘Ridiculous’ – Former US Treasury Secretary (RT)
DOJ Appoints Special Counsel For Trump Probes, But What About Hunter? (JTN)
MTG Says Kevin McCarthy, House GOP Will Defund Trump Special Counsel (JTN)
G20 Pushes Vaccine Passports For All Future International Travel (ZH)
Colin Campbell: A Tribute To The Father Of The Concept Of “Peak Oil” (Ugo Bardi)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Jones

 

 

 

 

Meloni

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Kiev, Warsaw, the Baltics and in London, they should remember what the Americans did to Hussein and Bin Laden. They are quite capable of doing the same again, pulling the plug on them all.”

Towards the Real New World Order (Batiushka)

Now we are talking about a real ‘New World Order’. This is being fought for in the Ukraine and in world political and economic fora at this very moment. And its ideological and military leader is the Russian Federation, the only country with the guts to lead the real New World Order. This will be to its credit for as long as the world lasts. In this context the Saker has written an excellent article, titled with the following hypothetical question: “What would a Russian Defeat Mean for the People of the West?” Although the Saker has given an excellent answer, I would give my own, which is a summary of his. This is: A Russian defeat at the hands of the ‘Combined West’ would mean the end of the world and therefore no New World Order.

Fear not, since Russia is not about to be defeated, the world is not going to end just yet and there is going to be, and there already is, a New World Order. Let us be frank, the Combined West has attacked Russia again and again in history. Many do not know that the Teutonic Knights in the thirteenth century were international, pan-Western. The Napoleonic Invasion of 1812 was carried out by twelve Western nationalities. The Crimean War, i. e., the 1854 Invasion of Russia, was carried out by the French, the British, the Ottomans and the Sardinians. As for the Austro-Hungarian Army and the Kaiser’s Army in 1914, that too was an effort of the Combined West, and if it had not been for the Revolution, Russia would have taken Vienna and Berlin later in 1917. And Hitler’s invasion 27 years later was equally multinational.

And such is the case today, with the Kiev regime’s mercenary army, armed by multinational NATO. Today the US mentors of the Kiev regime are desperate for peace talks to begin. Peace could have been had at any time between February 2014 and April 2022. The US did not want it then and did not allow it then, so now they will have to pay the price. The US elite knows that they are about to lose big time. This is their last chance and the last chance for the former Ukraine – for that is what we are talking about now. Like so many, these Americans have big mouths, but when it comes to it, it is all just hot air. And although Russia is talking at the US request in order to keep channels open, it is ignoring ridiculous American demands.

Today Russia has no reason to talk. It is successfully fighting against and so demilitarising NATO in the Ukraine. Everybody knows it. However, we are also at a dangerous moment because the US is losing control of its puppets. Just as it promoted Hussein in Iraq or Bin Laden in Afghanistan, ISIS in Syria and any number of Latin American gangster-puppets and then lost control of them because they refused to behave as puppets, so they risk losing control now. The lickspittle Kiev regime and its allies in Poland, the Baltics and even in the UK (there they have been singing even pop songs with an American accent for over sixty years) are being more American than the Americans. The pupil is worse than the teacher.

The recent provocation of a Ukrainian missile landing in Poland and the Poles and Latvians claiming it was Russian is an example, The Americans refused to fall for it. Before that the threat of a dirty bomb being prepared by the Kiev regime was another example. Alarmed, the Americans stopped that nonsense. The UK’s anti-German destruction of the Nordstream pipeline was yet another example. The culprit was covered up, just as the Americans covered up the culprits of MH-17. In Kiev, Warsaw, the Baltics and in London, they should remember what the Americans did to Hussein and Bin Laden. They are quite capable of doing the same again, pulling the plug on them all.

Read more …

Warsaw and Kiev try to drag the US directly into war, but the US refuses.

US Lectures Allies Over Poland Missile Incident – Politico (RT)

US officials have called on their European and Ukrainian counterparts to tread lightly when commenting on a deadly missile blast in Poland, Politico reported on Thursday. According to three Western officials interviewed by the outlet, over the last couple of days US officials have asked their European colleagues and the office of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to be careful when speaking about what caused the blast. They also reportedly made a series of urgent phone calls in which they requested that their NATO allies not make any definitive statements until an investigation is carried out. The outreach efforts come as Western and Ukrainian officials have been at loggerheads about who was responsible for the explosion in the Polish village of Przewodow close to the Ukrainian border that killed two people.

While Western officials have said that the blast was probably caused by a Ukrainian missile, Kiev insists that it was Russian in origin. According to Politico, these statements “illustrate one of the first major divergences in opinion between Washington and Kiev” since the start of Russia’s military campaign in the neighboring state in late February. US officials are trying to downplay this rift, but new fissures between Washington and Kiev may emerge as the conflict drags on, the report says. According to Heather Conley, a former State Department official, the “confusion” surrounding the Poland missile incident was a “really important test run” for the US, NATO, and Ukraine. “I think we all learned a pretty valuable lesson in [that] you cannot say something right off the bat until you understand what it is … because the stakes are so high right now,” she told Politico.

Following the Tuesday blast, Zelensky pinned the blame on Russia, calling the incident “a very serious escalation” and describing it as an attack on NATO and demanding a response. Later, however, he toned down his claims, admitting that “we do not know 100%” what caused the blast. The Russian Defense Ministry denied any involvement in the incident, saying its military experts had analyzed the photos from the scene and identified the debris as parts of an S-300 air defense system missile used by Ukraine.

Read more …

And here’s why the US refuses.

By Lidia Misnik, a Moscow-based reporter focused on the political process, sociology and international relations.

‘The US Won’t Sacrifice Chicago For Warsaw’ (Misnik)

“We approached the moment of truth in the confrontation between the collective West and Russia. When it happened, it became clear that an attack by Russia could be claimed. This situation tested the effectiveness of NATO’s strategy for ensuring the security of the collective West,” Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for US and Canadian Studies Vladimir Vasiliev told RT. He noted that the incident itself featured an element of happenstance, but that it helped shed light on a long-standing question: To what extent is the West prepared to invoke Article Five to defend NATO members? As Vasiliev noted, in this situation, the West “put the brakes on everything,” and the US quickly took cover behind the version that it was a Ukrainian rocket.

“There was always a question about the extent to which the US would be prepared to intervene on behalf of Riga, Vilnius, or Warsaw, and in doing so sacrifice Boston, Chicago, or California. And now it becomes clear that there is a problem and that the US is not willing to sacrifice its own security, its own territories,” Vasiliev said. In his words, this episode is extremely important for Russia, because it shows that the US is not prepared to invoke Article Five until there is a danger to the country itself or at least to some of the most important member states of the bloc, primarily Western Europe. “There is a certain understanding that conflicts such as this one should be resolved by others. The US will gladly put Poland, the Baltic States, Bulgaria, and Romania in the line of fire while itself staying out of the war zone.

That’s where the entire NATO architecture begins to crumble. Domestic politics will always take precedence,” Vasiliev added. From this situation, he believes, a far-reaching conclusion can be drawn: Ukraine in any shape or form is not wanted by NATO. Vasiliev says it is clear that the US is playing a geopolitical game against Russia by using Ukraine, which is expendable. This allows the vital interests of Washington to remain untouched. According to him, the countries of Eastern Europe are equally considered not to be vital interests, as are Finland and Sweden, and likely Türkiye.

The calm before the storm in Ukraine – MacGregor

Read more …

“This complex fraud will smolder for a few weeks before it explodes into an extinction-grade event for the Democratic Party..”

A Smoldering Fuse (Jim Kunstler)

Thirty-seven billion more dollars for Ukraine? (That’s thirty-seven thousand millions of dollars, by the way.) Bringing the total this year to a click-or-two over ninety billion (ninety-thousand millions), on top of whatever Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX company funneled through that sad-sack international money laundromat — soon to be the darkest backwater of a European failed state since Field Marshal Melchior von Hatzfeldt of Westphalia left Bohemia a corpse-strewn wasteland after the Battle of Jankau (1645). It really doesn’t matter how much more money we pound down that rat-hole, you understand, because by the time various parties — the weapons-makers, Volodymyr Zelensky, sundry members of the US House of Representatives, the Biden family, the World Economic Forum — are finished creaming off their fair shares, poor Ukraine won’t have enough cash-on-hand to replace six fuse-boxes in Zaporizhzhia.

Against this backdrop, the USA enters a holiday season near-death spiral as unspooling scandals battle a collapsing economy for supremacy of the alt news sites. Case-in-point: the aforementioned FTX monkey business, a metastasizing tumor of the body politic. This complex fraud will smolder for a few weeks before it explodes into an extinction-grade event for the Democratic Party. The usual suspects among the mainstream media are trying strenuously to ignore it, but the shreds of this exploding money-borg are already sticking to guilty parties far and wide across the political landscape like so much rotting flesh.

FTX commander-in-chief Sam Bankman-Fried remains at large after steering the crypto-currency trading platform into a bankruptcy so hideously tangled that the assigned liquidator in court proceedings, one John Ray III, who oversaw the Enron aftermath years ago, was boggled by what he’s found so far (and it’s early in the game): Namely, a company run by a handful of twenty-something drug freaks with no idea what they were doing, no record-keeping, and a slime trail of misappropriated investors’ funds leading to Kiev and Geneva through various crooked American political action committees, and the halls of Congress — with echos in ballot harvesting shenanigans which shaped the outcome of this month’s US elections.

Read more …

“Bankman-Fried has boasted of meeting policymakers in Washington “every two or three weeks for the last year.”

‘Aid To Ukraine,’ the US Democratic Party And The Collapse Of FTX (Livshitz)

Bankman-Fried is a very well-connected figure indeed in US politics. Over the course of the 2020 presidential election cycle, he contributed $5.2 million to two super PACs supporting Joe Biden’s campaign, and was the overall second-largest individual donor to Biden that year. Such extravagant spending appears trivial today. In 2021/22, he provided tens of millions to Democratic causes and candidates, becoming the party’s second-largest donor, behind only “spyless coup” specialist George Soros. Bankman-Fried has boasted of meeting policymakers in Washington “every two or three weeks for the last year.” Over 2022, this has included multiple audiences with senior government officials and top Biden advisers at the White House. These meetings escalated in volume around the time that the Ukraine conflict began.

On March 7, exactly one week before Aid for Ukraine was launched, his brother Gabe Bankman-Fried – who directs his political operations – visited the White House along with Jenna Narayanan, a Democratic strategist who once worked for the Democracy Alliance, which has been called the “most powerful liberal donor club” in the US. Bankman-Fried himself then visited the White House on numerous occasions in April and May, concurrent with him donating $865,000 to the Democratic National Committee. In early June, mere days after his last recorded White House meet-and-greet, Bankman-Fried announced he would invest up to $1 billion in further funds between then and 2024 to guarantee Biden – or whoever might take his place – won the next presidential election. These activities have been interpreted by many as an attempt by Bankman-Fried to ingratiate himself with politicians to further his commercial interests.

It is certainly true that, at the same time, he and FTX high-rankers were attempting to influence US lawmakers on crypto regulation, to make the market more favorable for his company. In this context, the promised $1 billion appears to be a dangled carrot, an implied promise of future financing if Bankman-Fried got his way. Accompanying him on some of these visits was Mark Wetjen, FTX head of policy and regulatory strategy, who previously served as commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under President Barack Obama – but only some. Were the other meetings related to Ukraine? If so, the $1 billion pledge may have reflected what Bankman-Fried thought could be secretly skimmed from Aid for Ukraine for Democratic Party purposes. It’s conspicuous that in mid-October, he completely disowned that enormous commitment, saying, “That was a dumb quote. I think my messaging was sloppy and inconsistent in some cases.”

Read more …

“BAHAMAS GOVT ORDERED BANKMAN-FRIED TO HACK FTX SYSTEM AND TRANSFER ASSETS TO THE BAHAMAS GOVT ACCOUNT: COURT FILING”

BAHAMAS SECURITIES REGULATOR SAYS IT ORDERED FTX CRYPTO WALLETS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO GOVERNMENT WALLETS

SAM BANKMAN STOLE $300 MILLION OF THE $420 MILLION FTX RAISED FROM INVESTORS LAST YEAR IN OCTOBER. (WSJ)

SBF’s lawyers at Paul Weiss have dropped him as a client: “We informed Mr. Bankman-Fried several days ago, after the filing of the FTX bankruptcy, that conflicts have arisen that precluded us from representing him”

FTX Boss Accused Of Using Offshore Funds After Bankruptcy (RT)

The collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX has provided court evidence suggesting that its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, had transferred digital assets belonging to the company to regulators in the Bahamas just after filing for bankruptcy. In a bombshell emergency court filing on Thursday, FTX claimed that the government of the Bahamas directed Bankman-Fried to gain “unauthorized access” while in custody. While thousands of clients have been denied access to their funds, millions of dollars in crypto reportedly continued to be drained from FTX wallets over the weekend through a back door in the Bahamas. The filing cited an interview published by Vox on Wednesday, in which Bankman-Fried expressed disdain for regulators. “F**k regulators,” he said in the interview, adding: “They make everything worse. They don’t protect customers at all.” “You know what was maybe my biggest single f**k up?” he asked. “Chapter 11.”


The motion lodged by FTX in the US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware says the alleged conduct puts “in serious question” a request by regulators in the Bahamas for recognition as liquidators in the bankruptcy. “[I]n connection with investigating a hack on Sunday, November 13, Mr. Bankman-Fried and [FTX co-founder Gary] Wang, stated in recorded and verified texts that ‘Bahamas regulators’ instructed that certain post-petition transfers of Debtor assets be made by Mr. Wang and Mr. Bankman-Fried (who the Debtors understand were both effectively in the custody of Bahamas authorities) and that such assets were ‘custodied on FireBlocks under control of Bahamian gov’t,’” the filing said. FTX, which is based in the Bahamas due to the relaxed tax laws, collapsed on November 11 in a scandal that has cost investors more than $11 billion. The debacle followed reports of mishandled customer funds and abandoned acquisition plans by rival exchange Binance. The scandal has triggered a crisis of confidence in the cryptocurrency market and caused the value of assets including Bitcoin to sink.

Read more …

“The clobber list also includes this curious item: “The strike has resulted in the neutralisation of the production capacities for nuclear weaponry.”

Ukraine – Switching The Lights Off (MoA)

The careful destruction of energy systems in Ukraine continues. From today’s clobber list as provided by the Defense Ministry of Russia: ” On 17 November, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation launched a concentrated strike, using high-precision long-range air-, sea- and ground-based weapons, at the facilities of military control, defence industry, as well as related fuel and energy infrastructure of Ukraine. The goals of the strike have been reached. All the missiles have accurately stricken the assigned facilities.” I have no idea if the last line is true but it does not matter much. The targeting of 330 kilovolt transformers in various switching stations has cut some 50% of the distribution capability of Ukraine’s electricity network. These transformers weigh up to 200 tons.

There are no replacements. You do not buy them at the next corner but will have order them with years of lead time. As far as I can tell Russia is currently Russia the only producer of transformers of that type. Isn’t it a war crime to destroy the infrastructure that supplies civilians? It depends. If the infrastructure is used exclusively for civilian purpose the destruction is illegal. But the electricity and transport infrastructure in Ukraine is used for civilian AND military purposes. In a recent Politico piece Ukrainian officials are even confirming that: Ukraine tells allies it may not be able to recover from more Russian attacks on energy systems: ” An unreliable energy sector could have deadly consequences, Ukrainian officials say. In recent conversations, they’ve added that it could halt food production and transport operations — critical services needed to support military operations.”

The clobber list also includes this curious item: “The strike has resulted in the neutralisation of the production capacities for nuclear weaponry.” I wonder where and what that has been: “One depot of artillery armament, delivered by western countries and prepared for being sent to troops, has been destroyed. The redeployment of the reserve forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), and the delivery of foreign armament to operations areas have been frustrated.” The last sentence describes the real purpose of the attacks on the energy systems.

The lack of energy is degrading the railway network that brings weapons from the west to the eastern front. It makes redeployment of units from one front section to another very difficult and time consuming. It will give the Russian forces the advantage when they change the Schwerpunkt of their attacks from one corner of the frontline to another. Another effect of the strikes on the electricity systems and the blackouts in the big cities that follow them is a renewed stream of refugees that will want reach western Europe. It will over time change the public opinion and the political priorities of those countries. If they fail to end the war they will have to carry the burden.

Read more …

“The New York Times notes the continued emergency that the country’s vital nuclear power plants are facing, given they themselves must rely on the national grid for aspects of their normal operations.”

Ukraine Has Lost 40% Of Energy System As Kyiv Sees First Snow (ZH)

Ukraine’s largest city and capital of Kyiv, with about 3 million residents, saw half its home and businesses plunged into darkness following Tuesday’s largescale Russian airstrikes which once again targeted energy infrastructure nationwide. Much of the electricity was restored in the capital city Wednesday, while much of it remained off in many other parts of the country. In a rare occurrence, most of the western city of Lviv had also been plunged into darkness this week, after what authorities called the biggest wave of Russian strikes on power facilities since the invasion began. “Photos of Kyiv draped in darkness have become a shareable illustration of winter in Ukraine this year: dark, cold, dangerous,” observed The Hill.

“Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is under attack from Russia, which has failed to defeat Ukrainian forces on the battlefield and is now once again targeting civilians.” An estimated 100 missiles had rained down on Ukrainian cities over the span of just a couple hours on Tuesday, chiefly targeting the energy grid. President Zelensky had already earlier in November warned that 40% of the country’s energy system has been destroyed. One Kyiv resident, Vladimir Yanachuk, was cited in NPR as saying, “We are not afraid about this. Ukrainians are not afraid about this,” while acknowledging: “Winter will be hard. But this winter will be hard not only for Ukrainians, but for Russian soldiers too.”

Temperatures in the capital and other parts of Ukraine have dipped below freezing this week, with the first snow fall of the season dusting Kyiv. The AFP reports, “The first snow of the winter falls on Maidan Square in Kyiv, blanketing its statues and anti-tank obstacles as the Ukrainian capital faces blackouts and power outages from a fresh series of Russian strikes targeting the country’s energy infrastructure.” Meanwhile The New York Times notes the continued emergency that the country’s vital nuclear power plants are facing, given they themselves must rely on the national grid for aspects of their normal operations.

Read more …

“What we want is an end to this war. Someone is trying not to end the war. The US sees the prolongation of the war as its interest.”

Ukraine Is ‘War Between West And Russia’ – Turkish Official (RT)

The West is using Ukraine to wage a war against Russia and has gone so far as to sabotage Turkish diplomacy that sought to negotiate an end to it, the deputy leader of Türkiye’s ruling AKP party, Numan Kurtulmus, told CNN Turk on Friday. “This war is not between Russia and Ukraine, it is a war between Russia and the West,” Kurtulmus told the outlet, adding that “the US and some countries in Europe” are prolonging the conflict by supporting Ukraine. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is talking to both Moscow and Kiev, said Kurtulmus, and in March managed to organize negotiations in Istanbul that looked promising. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky, “were going to sign” a deal, but “someone didn’t want” that to happen.

According to Ukrainian media, Kiev received a message in April that the West was not interested in peace with Russia, which encouraged Zelensky to break off the talks. The messenger was reportedly none other than the UK prime minister at the time, Boris Johnson. “There was progress on certain issues, and we were reaching the final point, and then suddenly we saw that the war accelerated,” Kurtulmus told CNN Turk on Friday. “What we want is an end to this war. Someone is trying not to end the war. The US sees the prolongation of the war as its interest.” In his opinion, the conflict has made much of Europe clamor for NATO to become more active against the perceived threat from Russia, which benefits Washington.

According to Kurtulmus, the “balance of the world system disappeared” with the demise of the Soviet Union, and a “fierce power struggle” is currently taking place. “It is essential to establish a global political system. It is necessary to establish new institutions that will ensure world peace,” he said. Kurtulmus is a former Turkish deputy prime minister, who has been Erdogan’s deputy at the head of AKP since 2018. His comments came as Russia agreed to extend the Turkish-negotiated deal for exporting grain through the Black Sea by 120 days, on the condition Kiev doesn’t use the sea corridor to carry out more attacks.

Read more …

No coincidence. If you don’t want an end, you’re not going to define an end goal.

Former Trump Advisor: Biden Admin Has No End Goal For Ukraine War (JTN)

Former Donald Trump advisor Victoria Coates said the Biden administration doesn’t have an end goal for its involvement in the war in Ukraine. “I think it’s a lot of confusion within the administration,” Victoria Coates said on Friday’s edition of the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show. “You’ll hear the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Milley saying he wants to negotiate. Then we hear from the National Security Council that we don’t want to negotiate. So there’s friction within the administration. Unfortunately, I think that means we don’t have strong direction from the top.” Coates speculated that conflicting agendas within the administration were undermining Washington’s response to the conflict. “They’re all arguing about what kind of weapon weapon systems they may or may not give the Ukrainians,” Coates said. “They’re arguing about whether or not they should negotiate. It’s very confusing.”


Coates said that this inevitably will lead to scrutiny from the next Congress. “This is why you have a lot of concern out of the new Congress for these huge supplemental requests that are coming in,” Coates explained. “What’s the purpose here? Because if we have a strategy to win, and I think the Ukrainians have shown the will to win, how do we get them across that finish line sooner rather than later so the American people aren’t still feeling the pain of this conflict?” “We’re up against $100 billion of support to Ukraine over the course of the last 10 months,” Coates said. “Now, maybe I would spend more money if it means we’re going to defeat Putin, but I don’t hear that from the President. So I’m wondering why, in these difficult times, we’re spending all this taxpayer money.”

Read more …

“..the market is going to set the price. So if you put sanctions on at higher prices, in a way you’re just making the situation worse.”

Russian Oil Price Cap Idea ‘Ridiculous’ – Former US Treasury Secretary (RT)

Former US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has criticized the Group of Seven (G7) plan of capping the price of Russian oil in an interview to CNBC. The measure, which is due to be implemented early next month, is “not only not feasible, I think it’s the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard,” Mnuchin said. The former official said that “the market is going to set the price. So if you put sanctions on at higher prices, in a way you’re just making the situation worse.” The G7 countries, comprising the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Japan, earlier agreed to set a fixed price limit on Russian oil. The measure takes effect on December 5.

While the price level is not yet known, reports indicate it will be set at around $60 per barrel. The current market price on Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, is around $86 per barrel. Under the plan, Western companies will be banned from providing certain services for shipments of Russian oil that is purchased at a price above the cap. The list of services includes insurance and facilitating payments. The mechanism, which had been pitched by Washington, is intended to limit Russia’s revenues from energy exports, which, the West claims Moscow uses to fund its military operation in Ukraine.

Moscow, meanwhile, has increased oil exports in recent months to countries outside of the West, particularly China and India, by offering discounts to secure buyers. Analysts say that in order for the price cap to have the desired effect, the G7 would have to make sure these countries join the scheme. However, Russian officials have repeatedly stated that the country will not sell oil to buyers that agree to the price cap, which may make many reluctant to participate in the mechanism. India, for instance, recently said it sees no “moral conflict” in importing Russian oil and will buy it “from wherever” to ensure the country’s energy stability.

Read more …

This puzzles me: Garland said:“Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.”

See? They’re both candidates, but only one gets a special counsel. Where in his words is the logic? It’s not as if there is no reason to probe Hunter. And FTX should be probed too, but yes, that too is linked to Biden.

DOJ Appoints Special Counsel For Trump Probes, But What About Hunter? (JTN)

Powell’s words follow Garland’s appointment of Jack Smith, a former career Justice Department prosecutor and former chief prosecutor at The Hague, to serve as special counsel to oversee two ongoing criminal investigations. The first is the investigation into whether any individual, Trump included, attempted to interfere unlawfully in the transfer of presidential power or the electoral certification process in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The second is the investigation into the documents the FBI seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in August and any obstruction of justice charges that could stem from it. Garland’s announcement came three days after Trump launched his 2024 presidential campaign.

“The Department of Justice has long recognized that in certain extraordinary cases it is in the public interest to appoint a special prosecutor to independently manage an investigation and prosecution,” said Garland. “Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.” Trump blasted the appointment as the “politicization of justice” and said he “won’t partake in it” in comments to Fox News Digital. Observers were quick to similarly criticize Garland’s decision, noting a potential double standard as the Justice Department hasn’t named a special counsel to oversee its ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden.

“By appointing a special counsel to investigate his boss’s political enemy, Attorney General Merrick Garland continues to politicize and weaponize the Biden Justice Department — all while Garland ignores smoking-gun evidence of Biden’s foreign corruption,” tweeted Mike Davis, former chief counsel for nominations for the Senate Judiciary Committee. Other legal experts thought Garland’s appointment itself was fine but took issue with not doing the same for Biden. s”Appointment of a special counsel is a significant step, but Garland is well within his rights to do so,” said Geoff Shepard, a lawyer and author who served in the Nixon administration. “The disturbing thing is that he has not already done so with regard to the Hunter Biden investigation. It reeks of a double standard and gives critics plenty of reason to object.”

“The more he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted the spoons…”

Read more …

@JulieZebrak: “Fun fact: Jack Smith and Jim Trusty both worked in the Criminal Division when I was there. Jack was the head of Public Integrity Section aka PIN. Jim was the head of the Organized Crime and Gang Section. Jim now represents Trump.”

MTG Says Kevin McCarthy, House GOP Will Defund Trump Special Counsel (JTN)

Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green on Friday said that current House Minority Leader and likely next House Speaker Kevin McCarthy would deny funding to the Department of Justice special counsel investigating former President Donald Trump. In a Tweet detailing the plan, Greene insisted McCarthy would invoke the Holman rule, a procedural measure by which the House may adjust appropriations legislation to reduce the salary of or fire specific government employees. They may also use it to cut specific programs. “Holman Rule. Look it up! [McCarthy] is going to put it in place,” Greene wrote. “That means no money for Garland’s politically weaponized Special Counsel. Don’t promise too many jobs! Whoops defunded.”

It was not immediately clear whether Greene was predicting such action or announcing that McCarthy had made the decision. Just the News has sought comment from Greene’s office. McCarthy’s office could not immediately be reached. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday that he was appointing Jack Smith as special counsel to oversee the DOJ investigations relating the former president. “The Department of Justice has long recognized that in certain extraordinary cases it is in the public interest to appoint a special prosecutor to independently manage an investigation and prosecution,” Garland said.

“Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.” McCarthy has thus far not announced any plans akin to what Greene has indicated. The California Republican this week won his party’s nomination for speaker while the party. Republicans won control of the House during the 2022 midterm elections, meaning McCarthy will likely be the one driving the lower chamber’s operations in the next congressional session.

Trump

Read more …

Game over, guys, don’t even try.

G20 Pushes Vaccine Passports For All Future International Travel (ZH)

The G20 has issued a formal decree promoting vaccine passports as preparation for any future pandemic response in its final communique. Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, speaking on the matter on behalf of the G20 host country, had earlier in the summit called for a “digital health certificate” using WHO standards. Sadikin advocated for that he dubbed a “digital health certificate” which shows whether a person has been “vaccinated or tested properly” so that only then “you can move around”. Watch his comments during a G20 Bali panel discussion earlier in the week… A somewhat more vaguely-worded version of these recommendations was included in the official G20 leaders’ declaration, which calls for digital COVID-19 certificates, or often simply called vaccine passports.

The section of the final communique, which is republished and available on the White House website, which deals with vaccines and the Covid-19 pandemic begins, “We recognize that the extensive COVID-19 immunization is a global public good and we will advance our effort to ensure timely, equitable and universal access to safe, affordable, quality and effective vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics (VTDs).” While describing the need for greater collaboration among nations during any future pandemic response, it continues in this section, “We remain committed to embedding a multisectoral One Health approach and enhancing global surveillance, including genomic surveillance, in order to detect pathogens and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) that may threaten human health.”

[..] Article 24 of the final G20 declaration begins, “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transformation of the digital ecosystem and digital economy.” And then leads into to the following statement later in the section: “We acknowledge the importance to counter disinformation campaigns, cyber threats, online abuse, and ensuring security in connectivity infrastructure.” So as predicted by many early on in the pandemic (who were all dismissed and condemned as “conspiracy theorists”), a future proposed standardized vaccine passport will be accompanied by efforts for greater standardization and policing against ‘disinformation’ – likely to include any speech critical of the type of regimen that G20 leaders wish to enact.

Read more …

“..many people misunderstood the meaning of “peak oil” and saw it as equivalent to “running out” of oil…”

Colin Campbell: A Tribute To The Father Of The Concept Of “Peak Oil” (Ugo Bardi)

Rethinking today about Colin’s legacy, we can see that he was not always right in his assessments. One of the limits of his approach was that it was focused only on oil and gas. His models were sometimes oversimplified, and, at times, he would be too quick in disparaging new technologies that could change the picture. Perhaps his main limit was to have overemphasized the importance of the peak date as a turning point for humankind and to have believed that it could be determined by models. I know that he understood that the peak was just one point in a smooth curve, and he said that several times in public statements. But many people misunderstood the meaning of “peak oil” and saw it as equivalent to “running out” of oil. For some, it was the equivalent of the religious concept of apocalypse, and that led to accusations against ASPO of being a millenarian cult of some kind.

It should go without saying that Colin’s ideas were as far from millenarism as they could possibly have been. His approach was good, data-based science, and he was fond of quoting Keynes saying, “when I have new data, I change my mind, what do you do, sir?” (actually, Samuelson said that). Colin’s capability of dispassionately analyzing data led him to avoid the mistakes that other members of ASPO made, such as putting all their hopes on nuclear energy or refusing to accept climate science as a valid scientific field. So, even though right now the concept of “peak oil” seems to be out of fashion, good ideas are like souls. They move from one generation to another, being reborn as new incarnations if they are good.

Campbell’s ideas have that power, right now they are nearly forgotten, but waiting to reappear in a suitable body, like the spirit of the Dalai Lama. We, humans, forget things so easily, especially important things. But one day we’ll understand Campbell’s main message that what we get from the Earth may seem to be free, but it must be repaid, sooner or later. And the debt recovery agency employed by Gaia is ruthless and cannot be bribed using money.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Cooling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby chimp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 082020
 


David Hockney The Pond in Autumn 1 November 2020

 

Winner of Trump-Biden Race Will Be Determined By Courts (Jenna Ellis)
Nov. 7 – Biden Hasn’t Won Yet; Trump Has A Path(s) (McCann)
Life Under Biden (Jim Rickards)
Another Election Computer Glitch In Michigan Reversed (JTN)
The GOP Did Not Carry 71,000,000+ Votes, President Trump Did (sundance)
The Kafka Election: Finding a Way Out of the Maze (Miele)
Speedy COVID19 Healers Keep Producing Antibodies After Infection (F.)
The COVID-19 RT-PCR Test (Sacré)
The Narrative Problem After Peak Oil (Watkins)

 

 

Since the US had no official institution to call an election soon after the polls have closed, and people want a result fast, it has befallen on the media to make the announcement. And by and large, this hasn’t been that big a deal. But when those same media have for 4 years relentlessly hounded one of the two candidates, it should be obvious that this “system” should not be applied. If only because it has no legal status whatsoever.

However, people both in the US and abroad don’t appear to be aware of this. So when the New York Times et al declare a winner, this is seen as an “official” announcement. It is not. That won’t come until the Electoral College gathers in December (8-14th?!). And at least until then, Trump will have every right to contest the election in court. Still, “world leaders” are congratulating the “next president”. Do they really not know how this works?

The idea behind it all is obvious, of course: to make Trump look like a sore loser, and Biden the president-elect, a title the media claim they can bestow upon him. Do remember that both Biden’s and Kamala’s campaign were considered dead in the water at one point, before they were magically resurrected by the party machine, which ensured that two people very unpopular in their own party now lead the ticket. Be careful what you wish for.

In that light. I found this intriguing. Twitter adds a warning to this Trump tweet: “Official sources may not have called the race when this was Tweeted”. I haven’t seen one instance where they attached the same warning to tweets about Biden winning and being President Elect. But wouldn’t that be the same thing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

From one of Trump‘s lawyers.

Winner of Trump-Biden Race Will Be Determined By Courts (Jenna Ellis)

Despite projections by many news organizations Saturday that former Vice President Joe Biden has won the presidential election and defeated President Trump, the media don’t have the power to decide the outcome of American elections. Legal challenges by the Trump reelection campaign, where I serve as a legal adviser, are still before the courts and we await judicial rulings on our challenges. In other words, as the late baseball great Yogi Berra said in 1973, referring to the National League pennant race: “It ain’t over till it’s over.” We all want to know who will be president for the next four years. But all Americans should want accurate results above all, no matter who they supported in the race.

So it’s important for everyone to realize that Trump campaign legal challenges must be resolved in the courts before we have an official and legally binding decision on who won the 2020 presidential election. President Trump will continue fighting to ensure a fair and accurate election result. He is right to do this, because it’s vital that we keep our elections free and fair. As Americans, we should all be able to recognize that our rule of law governs and our election process works accurately. For President Trump, the Trump 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee, the rule of law, fundamental fairness and accuracy in election results are the goals. None of the legal fights we are waging are novel arguments or anything more than an effort to ensure a fair and accurate election outcome.


Our nation went through a legal challenge to the results in Florida during the 2000 presidential election between then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush and then-Vice President Al Gore, for example. Twenty years ago, some news organizations prematurely said Gore won that very close election and would become the next president of the United States. Those news organizations later pulled back their projections. Legal challenges by the Bush campaign went all the way to the Supreme Court. The nation’s highest court determined that George W. Bush won the election. Imagine how different history would have turned out if Bush has simply thrown in the towel as soon as he heard someone on TV say Gore won the race.

Bill Binney

Read more …

Molly McCann is on Sidney Powell’s team.

Nov. 7 – Biden Hasn’t Won Yet; Trump Has A Path(s) (McCann)

The media called the election today, as many predicted would happen. As noted yesterday, the media and the Democrats were desperate to call it. They want to shift momentum to Biden and frame Trump as a sore loser, and worse, a despot attempting a coup. This election is still in play. Arizona is not fully in yet, and Trump continues to close his margin there. The latest results were still breaking for Trump with the margins he needs to close the gap and take the state. We’ll see. Georgia is going to go to a recount no matter what. Pennsylvania is a disaster zone…for the Democrats. I’m not sure if the 100,000 provisional ballots have been counted yet, but they hadn’t been counted when they called the election for Biden. Those could swing Trump back into the lead in PA. There is still so much at play. Are we looking at razor-thin margins? Yes. Has Biden won yet? No. If we could hold Georgia and Arizona outright, I think we could knock out Pennsylvania at SCOTUS. This is the actual electoral map right now:

So, does Trump have a path forward? Yes. First of all, Trump could still win in a relatively traditional manner. Because remember, even though the media is demanding Trump concede, recounts in elections happen with relative regularity. People contest results and we go through processes to make sure everything is above board. 2020 is election insanity on an unprecedented scale (I think), but procedurally, this is not some crazy aberration in politics or elections. So, Trump might still be able to win traditionally, and I pray he does. But it might take more than that.


If we lose Arizona and Georgia and Pennsylvania, then Trump will have to kick it up a notch. He’ll need to block certification and pursue more aggressive measures to win. It should go without saying that I am advocating legal aggressive measures, but given the present circumstances, perhaps best to clarify. I hope he pursues some of those options sooner rather than later.

Read more …

“Biden is running for president in name only. He has never been that bright. He has accomplished little in his almost fifty years in public service. He is physically frail and clearly suffering acute cognitive decline.”

Life Under Biden (Jim Rickards)

This was a historic, turning-point election. Turning-point elections are the most historic because they put the country on a different path: Party Politics in 1800, Populism in 1828, Civil War in 1860, Liberalism in 1932, and Conservatism in 1980. Every 100 years, America gets a president who shakes the establishment and cleans out the Washington sewers. In the 1800s it was Andrew Jackson. In the 1900s it was Teddy Roosevelt. In the 2000s, it’s Donald Trump. There is no doubt that Trump and Biden would lead America in almost opposite directions with profound consequences for the future of the country and for future elections. If Trump had won, we would have gotten more of the same, which is saying a lot.

Trump would offer more tax cuts (or at least preserve the tax cuts we’ve received). He’d offer less regulation, a major accomplishment of his first term. Trump would continue the trade war with China and expand it in ways that would move jobs back to the United States (or at least get them out of China into friendlier countries such as Vietnam and India). He would also curtail Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property and cut off Chinese tech investment in the United States. Trump has also stopped foreign installation of sensitive 5G telecommunications systems from Huawei and ZTE, which are hidden arms of the Chinese military. Trump built alliances to constrain Chinese expansion efforts. His main breakthrough was the Quad Alliance of the U.S., Japan, Australia and India that effectively surrounds and can interdict China’s sea lanes to the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Trump also made great strides toward Middle East peace with the first two Israeli-Arab peace treaties in twenty-five years – one with the UAE and one with Bahrain. Other peace treaties with Israel may have followed. Finally, Trump was imposing crippling sanctions on Iran that would have forced it to negotiate in good faith on its nuclear program or crush its economy in ways that would also impede its efforts at terrorism and nuclear weapons. With Trump, what you see is what you get: Lower taxes, less regulation, more jobs, no new wars, peace in the Middle East, and peace through strength in confronting Iran and China. With four more years, Trump could have accomplished his goals and perhaps be ranked among the ten most significant presidents of all time.

Biden is another matter entirely. First of all, Biden is running for president in name only. He has never been that bright. He has accomplished little in his almost fifty years in public service. He is physically frail and clearly suffering acute cognitive decline. If Joe Biden does win, he’ll be 78 years old when sworn in and 82 years old at the end of his first term. Both marks are the oldest in U.S. history for a president. Some individuals are still sharp in their late 70s. Biden is not one of them. The result is that Biden will never be president de facto. With Trump out of the picture, Democrats wouldn’t need him anymore. Steps would be taken at some point to remove him from office on the grounds of mental incapacity under the Twenty-fifth Amendment. Nancy Pelosi recently proposed legislation to set up a commission to do just that as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution.

But while he remains in office, who will be the real president in a Biden administration? There are three camps contending for power: The first camp is the Biden family led by Joe Biden’s wife Dr. Jill Biden, his son Hunter Biden, and Joe Biden’s brothers Jim Biden and Frank Biden. These are the individuals who have been enriched through association with Joe Biden by using or selling access to Biden’s power to win lucrative investment management roles, consulting engagements, construction contracts and other remunerative pursuits. The Biden family will want to keep Joe in power (with Jill Biden pulling the strings) in order to keep their shakedown operation intact and avoid scrutiny.

The second camp is led by Kamala Harris and those who control her, including the Obama crew and the Resistance. If Biden is removed under the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, Harris becomes Acting President. If Biden resigns under threat of removal, Harris becomes the president. She would be a front for the Obamas and Valerie Jarrett who would operate through a cabinet consisting of Obama family retainers including Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Sally Yates and Eric Holder.

The third camp is led by the extreme left wing of the party including Bernie Sanders, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (and The Squad), Elizabeth Warren and radical organizations such as BLM. This group is already embedded in the Biden campaign as part of a deal whereby Bernie Sanders agreed to end his primary campaign and endorse Joe Biden in exchange for Biden adopting most of the Sanders platform. The most likely outcome is that the Obama crew and the Bernie Bros will join forces and run the Biden family off the road. The Bidens will be allowed to keep their Chinese and Russian money and will not face any scrutiny or prosecution in exchange for going away quietly.

Healing- “burn down the Republican Party” – Jennifer Rubin

Read more …

“County Worker Reportedly Submitted Two Sets Of Absentee Ballots Twice”

Another Election Computer Glitch In Michigan Reversed (JTN)

A Michigan Republican received a welcome shock when his apparent loss at the polls was reversed due to the county’s fix of a “technical glitch” that originally had him losing the election. Adam Kochenderfer was originally declared the loser in his race against Democrat Melanie Hartman for a position on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners. The narrow race appeared to end with Hartman the winner by just 104 votes. Yet the county clerk soon discovered that a set of absentee ballots had actually been reported in the voter totals twice. Once the duplicate set was removed, Kochenderfer came out ahead by 1,127 votes.


“This is proof that our process of checks and balances works,” County Clerk Lisa Brown said after the discovery. “A methodical canvass is an essential tool to ensure an accurate count and precise results.” Kochenderfer’s was the second race in Michigan so far in which a glitch was revealed to have displayed the incorrect outcome of a race. An alleged software glitch in Antrim County, Michigan earlier this week incorrectly awarded thousands of winning votes to Joe Biden; a recount of ballots subsequently revealed Trump was the county winner.

Soros voting machines

Read more …

Can Trump set up that long-awaited third party?

The GOP Did Not Carry 71,000,000+ Votes, President Trump Did (sundance)

As the republican establishment contemplates positioning themselves amid President Trump’s resolute intent to highlight a 2020 election filled with with demonstrable fraud, they would be prudent to check their political ego. President Trump has created a movement and collected the largest factual constituency of voters in the nation. This is the hill we stand upon, there is no other fallback position. As of this writing the indefatigable leader of the MAGA movement gathered 71 million votes for his re-election, and still climbing. Subtract the fraudulent and manipulated ‘mail-in’ ballots from the Biden operation and you have a reality of 71 million MAGA army members staring toward an opposition front containing battalions of cardboard cutouts.

No amount of media spin is going to change the reality of that political landscape. Regardless of whether Donald Trump’s legal arsenal is able to overcome the entrenched media operations drum-beating a deafening noise to distract from the 2020 fraud, that MAGA army is solidly behind our leader…. so consider this: If President Trump takes that army into a new political party of his choosing, that new party is structurally set to lay waste to any candidate within both wings of the Democrat and Republican assembly. A Trump inspired new political party can wipe out the illusion of the Democrat/Republican two-party system; specifically because much of the Trump movement consists of former democrats and brand new voters.


The MAGA coalition is the most diverse, widest and deepest part of the entire American electorate. President Trump’s army consists of every creed, color, race, gender, ethnicity and orientation. It is a truly color-blind coalition of middle America patriots and middle-class voters that cuts through the political special interest groups. Quite simply Trump’s MAGA army is the ultimate political splitter party. No Republican will ever hold office in the next decade without the blessing of President Trump; and there is absolutely no current confidence that President Trump will not lay waste to the system if the GOP acquiesces to the transparent fraud that exists behind the Biden-Harris sham.

Read more …

“News channels don’t count a damn thing. They just report numbers shipped out by election offices in various counties across the country, and if CNN or any other news outfit were actually doing their jobs, they would be alert for patterns suggesting fraud in the numbers..”

The Kafka Election: Finding a Way Out of the Maze (Miele)

The 2020 election is a nightmare from which I — along with millions of others — am trying to awake. Like many dark dreams, it is uncertain exactly what is happening. Phantasmic ballots come and go. Seemingly insurmountable Republican victories disappear into the mouth of a vote-munching machine and come out the other side as excremental — oops, I mean incremental — Democratic leads just beyond the reach of a recount. And as in any nightmare worth its salt, just when you think it’s about to end, a new trap door opens and you fall into yet one more level of confusion and chaos in a maze with no exit in sight. But this is America. It’s not supposed to be a Kafka novel.

So how did we get to a place where, days after the election was held, despite many proclamations by news organizations to the contrary, we still don’t know who won, we don’t know who voted, and we don’t know for sure whether the rules were followed in either voting or counting? Various irregularities have been reported in five big cities, all in strategic states, and particularly in Detroit, Mich.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Atlanta, Ga.; Milwaukee, Wis.; and Las Vegas, Nev. The allegations range from mysterious ballot drops that seem to show tens of thousands of votes for Joe Biden and zero votes for President Trump, inexplicable record turnouts in late-counting counties (all Democrat-dominated) that far surpass turnouts in counties in other states where the votes were counted on a timely basis; and of course the illegal banning of election observers in those very counties where the most outrageous anomalies are reported.

Democrats tell us that there is nothing to see here, and the compliant media dutifully moves along, unwilling to investigate on its own or even express any concern about potential wrongdoing. Even Fox News has turned into a lapdog for the Democrat Party, calling Arizona for Joe Biden long before anyone could know for sure which way the state would turn. On Thursday night, as Fulton County was just about to swing Georgia into the Biden column, CNN’s John King arrogantly lectured Donald Trump: “Guess what, Mr. President? We’re gonna count the votes, and if they favor you, we’re gonna show that. And if they don’t, we’re gonna show that. That’s how democracy works. We’re just counting the votes.”


Um, no, that’s not the way it works. News channels don’t count a damn thing. They just report numbers shipped out by election offices in various counties across the country, and if CNN or any other news outfit were actually doing their jobs, they would be alert for patterns suggesting fraud in the numbers they report. If “just counting the votes” were all that it took to have a democracy, then Vladimir Putin’s Russia would be a glorious example of democracy, as would the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Read more …

We’re 11 months into a pandemic. And still we know so little.

Speedy COVID19 Healers Keep Producing Antibodies After Infection (F.)

New research has identified a group of Covid-19 patients who are capable of speedy recoveries and can produce protective antibodies for months after their initial infection, a finding that runs counter to a lot of recent research showing that antibody levels — and, potentially, immunity — rapidly decline following infection and points to the possibility that some people have immune systems that are better able to fight the virus. Researchers, led by a team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, found that almost one in five coronavirus patients sustained antibody production for several months after infection, in contrast with other patients who experienced a rapid decline in antibody levels.

These patients also tended to recover faster than other Covid-19 patients, cutting their recovery time by about a third, as well as showing differences in two types of immune cell that play key roles in the immune system, the researchers wrote in Cell, a top scientific journal. It is unclear whether the findings are representative of the population as a whole, and the researchers themselves stressed that future investigations must look beyond the limited demographic they studied, with most volunteers being adult white women with mild Covid-19. Dr. Duane Wesemann, one of the researchers and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, said the immune response of these quick healers was like an insurance policy — “it’s the immune system’s way of adding a potential layer of protection against future encounters with the virus,” he said.

Wesemann added that it was possible the findings “point to a type of immune response” that is better at dealing with Covid-19, which could be important in the fight to control the virus. Understanding how the immune system responds to Covid-19 over time is a vital component in controlling the pandemic, underpinning public health measures, treatments, and how vaccines are developed and administered. A lot of early attention has focused on antibodies, proteins produced by the immune system that can lock onto the virus, with research generally showing sharp declines following infection. These are relatively easy to study, but do not give a complete picture of the body’s immune system.


There is a lot that remains unknown about how immunity to Covid-19 works and how that changes over time. To date, many studies show sharp declines in antibody levels in the months following infection, though antibodies, or the lack thereof, do not necessarily indicate immunity to infection. Reinfections, though rare, have been reported, with some reports suggesting that the second infection is worse than the first.

Read more …

This is good. A bit long and opinionated and all over the place, but a lot of useful information.

The COVID-19 RT-PCR Test (Sacré)

All current propaganda on the COVID-19 pandemic is based on an assumption that is considered obvious, true and no longer questioned: Positive RT-PCR test means being sick with COVID. This assumption is misleading. Very few people, including doctors, understand how a PCR test works. RT-PCR means Real Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction. In French, it means: Réaction de Polymérisation en Chaîne en Temps Réel. In medicine, we use this tool mainly to diagnose a viral infection. Starting from a clinical situation with the presence or absence of particular symptoms in a patient, we consider different diagnoses based on tests.

In the case of certain infections, particularly viral infections, we use the RT-PCR technique to confirm a diagnostic hypothesis suggested by a clinical picture. We do not routinely perform RT-PCR on any patient who is overheated, coughing or has an inflammatory syndrome! It is a laboratory, molecular biology technique of gene amplification because it looks for gene traces (DNA or RNA) by amplifying them. In addition to medicine, other fields of application are genetics, research, industry and forensics. The technique is carried out in a specialized laboratory, it cannot be done in any laboratory, even a hospital. This entails a certain cost, and a delay sometimes of several days between the sample and the result.

Today, since the emergence of the new disease called COVID-19 (COrona VIrus Disease-2019), the RT-PCR diagnostic technique is used to define positive cases, confirmed as SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus responsible for the new acute respiratory distress syndrome called COVID-19). These positive cases are assimilated to COVID-19 cases, some of whom are hospitalized or even admitted to intensive care units. Official postulate of our managers: positive RT-PCR cases = COVID-19 patients. This is the starting postulate, the premise of all official propaganda, which justifies all restrictive government measures: isolation, confinement, quarantine, mandatory masks, color codes by country and travel bans, tracking, social distances in companies, stores and even, even more importantly, in schools.


This misuse of RT-PCR technique is used as a relentless and intentional strategy by some governments, supported by scientific safety councils and by the dominant media, to justify excessive measures such as the violation of a large number of constitutional rights, the destruction of the economy with the bankruptcy of entire active sectors of society, the degradation of living conditions for a large number of ordinary citizens, under the pretext of a pandemic based on a number of positive RT-PCR tests, and not on a real number of patients.

Read more …

A long review of an old topic.

The Narrative Problem After Peak Oil (Watkins)

For most of the last decade, we have been sold a techno-utopian fairy tale about “peak oil demand.” Instead of “running out” of oil, the problem for the oil industry, we were told, was that the switch to “clean energy” and to technologies like electric cars and hydrogen-powered buses meant that demand for oil was declining. Within a decade or so, they claimed, our need for oil would disappear entirely as we ushered in a “fourth industrial revolution” based around digital products and services powered by renewable energy.


As with all narratives, there is just enough truth in this story to give it a veneer of credibility. Per capita demand for oil – and, indeed, for fossil fuels generally – has been declining. So that is you are a middle class metropolitan liberal – the kind of people who edit and write for the establishment media – you look around and notice your friends driving electric cars; you uncritically swallow the press statements of the windfarm owners; and you observe the declining per capita consumption of oil; and you tell yourself that this is peak oil demand in action. The data says something very different:

Despite a Herculean effort to bring non-renewable renewable energy-harvesting technologies online, they still account for less than five percent of global primary energy consumption. Worse still, they have not replaced fossil fuels; they have just been added to the global mix. And while developed states like Germany and the UK have gone a long way toward decarbonising their domestic electricity generation, a large part of their true pollution has been offshored to Asia. Only if they are prepared to forego all of the fossil-fuel powered goods they import can they truly claim to be embarking upon a new industrial revolution. Until then, the “green new deal” is just another name for the same old imperialism that they have always practiced.

Peak oil – including from fracking and tar sands – finally occurred in 2018. Hardly anyone noticed because – as happened in the USA in 1970 – everyone assumed that it would be a temporary blip. Oil extraction in 2019 was not substantially lower than 2018; but there was no month in 2019 when extraction was higher than it had been in November 2018. And, of course, in 2020 the world discovered more urgent issues to worry about. Nevertheless, oil extraction – and oil demand – plummeted as a result of the various state responses to the pandemic. Some wells will be shut permanently as the cost of reopening them is too high. Others will reopen, but only if the price of oil rises considerably. Pipelines and refineries will also have to be repaired. On the demand side, even the most optimistic economists and politicians have ceased talking about “V-shaped recoveries.” With Europe and parts of the USA embarking on pre-Christmas lockdowns, demand across the global economy is expected to be crushed. This spells lower rather than higher oil prices in the next couple of years.


It is in this that we glimpse the part of the peak oil story that was often overlooked by the first peak oilers. The simple assumption that falling oil production would lead to higher oil prices failed to examine the impact of oil prices on the wider economy. Nevertheless, the economy is primarily an energy system upon which the secondary financial economy is merely a claim. Rather than examining the price of oil, we have to understand its energy cost. If we begin with a certain amount of energy, then a fraction must be devoted to securing future energy. Another fraction must be set aside for maintaining the infrastructure required to keep the system running. A third fraction must be set aside to invest in the future energy supply. These, though, will only account for a small part of the energy available to us. The remainder will power the much larger, non-energy economy

Read more …

 

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site.

Click at the top of the sidebars for Paypal and Patreon donations. Thank you for your support.

 

 

 

 

Michelle Malkin

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime, election time, all the time. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Oct 062017
 


Jean Renoir Les Grands Boulevards 1875

 

China’s Economic Boom Is About To Be Cut Short By Peak Oil (Ahmed)
A Volatility Trap Is Inflating Market Bubbles (BBG)
China Is In ‘Lock-down’ Ahead Of Its Most Important Meeting In Years (CNBC)
Bitcoin’s Rise Happened in Shadows of Finance. Now Banks Want In (BBG)
HSBC Traders Used Code Words to Trigger Front-Running (BBG)
US Rounds On Britain Over Food Quotas As Post-Brexit Trade Woes Deepen (Pol.)
Few Tears Are Being Shed In Quebec Over The Energy East Pipeline’s Demise (BBG)
Onshore Fracking To Begin In UK ‘Within Weeks’ (Ind.)
Catalan Separatists Squeezed Further as Spain Tightens Its Grip (BBG)
Apple Gave Uber ‘Unprecedented’ Access To Secret iPhone Backdoor (BI)
Tropical Storm Nate Kills 22 In Central America, Heads For US (R.)
Pesticides That Pose Threat To Humans And Bees Found In Honey (Ind.)
Tiny Pacific Island Nation Of Niue Creates Huge Marine Sanctuary (AFP)

 

 

From China’s government.

China’s Economic Boom Is About To Be Cut Short By Peak Oil (Ahmed)

A new scientific study led by the China University of Petroleum in Beijing, funded by the Chinese government, concludes that China is about to experience a peak in its total oil production as early as next year. Without finding an alternative source of ‘new abundant energy resources’ , the study warns, the 2018 peak in China’s combined conventional and unconventional oil will undermine continuing economic growth and ‘challenge the sustainable development of Chinese society’. This also has major implications for the prospect of a 2018 oil squeeze – as China scales its domestic oil peak, rising demand will impact world oil markets in a way most forecasters aren’t anticipating, contributing to a potential supply squeeze. That could happen in 2018 proper, or in the early years that follow.

There are various scenarios that follow from here – China could: shift to reducing its massive demand for energy, a tall order in itself given population growth projections and rising consumption; accelerate a renewable energy transition; or militarise the South China Sea for more deepwater oil and gas. Right now, China appears to be incoherently pursuing all three strategies, with varying rates of success. But one thing is clear – China’s decisions on how it addresses its coming post-peak future will impact regional and global political and energy security for the foreseeable future. The study was published on 19 September by Springer’s peer-reviewed Petroleum Science journal, which is supported by China’s three major oil corporations, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China Petroleum Corporation (Sinopec), and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

Since 1978, China has experienced an average annual economic growth rate of 9.8%, and is now the world’s second largest economy after the United States. The new study points out, however, that this economic growth has been enabled by “high energy consumption.” In the same period of meteoric economic growth, China’s total energy consumption has grown on average by 5.8% annually, mostly from fossil fuels. In 2014, oil, gas and coal accounted for fully 90% of China’s total energy consumption, with the remainder supplied from renewable energy sources. After 2018, however, China’s oil production is predicted to begin declining, and the widening supply-demand gap could endanger both China’s energy security and continued economic growth.

Read more …

“Zombie companies that would otherwise fail continue to be in business, refinancing at near-zero interest rates in bond markets.”

A Volatility Trap Is Inflating Market Bubbles (BBG)

A number of markets show not only elevated valuations, but also irrational behavior on the part of investors, including a suspension of traditional valuation models, an increase in trading volumes or “flipping” in the hopes of quick gains, and financial engineering. Potential bubbles can be found in emerging-market debt, technology stocks, U.S. high yield bonds, some sovereign debt, cryptocurrencies, properties — even art and collectibles. It is becoming clearer to economists and central bankers that even though we may be experiencing a long phase of growth, stretching the cycle with monetary stimulus inspired by crisis-era toolkits may be bringing several collateral effects. These include not only asset bubbles, but also a worsening of wealth inequality and a misallocation of resources.

Persistent low interest rates in the past have helped to roll forward an increasing amount of private and public debt to future generations, but this is no longer working. Economic fundamentals are different from the post-war period. Technology is deflationary. Demographics are no longer a tailwind, as there are fewer young people able to carry a higher debt burden in the future. The generation of so-called millennials is the first that will likely be poorer than their parents in the post-war period. Productivity is low as the economy suffers from hysteresis: a financial boom-bust cycle that can leave large swathes of the workforce out of the job market. The longer the debt cycle, the longer companies and workers develop business and skills in leverage-heavy sectors (e.g. finance, real estate, energy), the deeper the scars when the bust comes.

Often the misallocation is so large that low rates are necessary to keep people in their jobs: Zombie companies that would otherwise fail continue to be in business, refinancing at near-zero interest rates in bond markets.

Read more …

Xi will need drastic measures to tackle the debt disaster. But it may well be too late already.

China Is In ‘Lock-down’ Ahead Of Its Most Important Meeting In Years (CNBC)

Although the Chinese will head back to work and school on Monday, their country is expected to remain in a holding pattern ahead of a pivotal Communist Party Congress set to start later this month. “Commentators and markets rightly assume that the authorities are consumed by this transition and that all other policy matters are on the back-burner or in lock-down until after the Congress,” Freya Beamish, Pantheon Macroeconomics’ chief Asia economist, wrote in a recent note. The once-in-five-years meeting will usher in leadership changes that are likely to see incumbent President Xi Jinping extend his term and consolidate power. The coming years of Xi rule will be critical for the world’s second-largest economy as it grapples with the fallout from three decades of unbridled growth.

As Xi — the most powerful Chinese leader in decades — embarks on a new era, the meeting will review “faulty” outcomes from the economic reforms and review if China needs a new direction, said independent economist, Andy Xie. China undertook a series of market reforms in the last three decades that propelled the Communist country to the spot of the world’s second largest economy. Market watchers, however, are concerned about the nation’s debt-fueled growth, industrial overcapacity and capital outflows that may potentially spur a global economic crisis. The Communist Party has been working to steer outbound merger and acquisition activities over the last year, but major initiatives have slowed ahead of the Congress. That push is likely to pick up again in the fourth quarter, said Chunshek Chan, Dealogic’s global M&A research head.

No matter the macroeconomic concerns, the only thing on Beijing’s mind at this time is consolidating power in the country, Xie said: “It’s much more important now to strengthen the control of the Communist Party than anything else.” “The key is to have the Communist Party as a coherent organization to control everything in the society — that seems to be the case. The people at the top worry about the stability. Stability is always number one in China,” added Xie.

Read more …

“What are they going to do if bitcoin drops for a given client and they’ve given that client a ton of leverage on margin, and that client only has assets in bitcoin?”

Bitcoin’s Rise Happened in Shadows of Finance. Now Banks Want In (BBG)

At first, bitcoin was a way to make payments without banks. Now, with more than $100 billion stashed in digital currencies, banks are debating whether and how to get in on the action. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein tweeted Tuesday that his firm is examining the cryptocurrency. Other global investment banks are looking into facilitating trades of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, according to industry consultants. Bitcoin has surged more than 300 percent this year, drawing the attention of hedge funds and wealthy individuals. “They’re clearly receiving interest from their clients, both from retail investors and on the institutional side,” said Axel Pierron, managing director of bank consultant Opimas. “It’s highly volatile, it’s highly illiquid when you need to trade large volumes, so they see the opportunity for a new asset class which would require the capability of a broker-dealer.”

But bitcoin presents Wall Street with a conundrum: How do banks that are required by law to prevent money-laundering handle a currency that’s not issued by a government and that keeps its users anonymous? The debate has played out in the open recently, with JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink saying that bitcoin was mostly used by criminals, while Morgan Stanley chief James Gorman took a more measured stance, saying it was “more than just a fad.” On Wednesday, UBS Chairman Axel Weber, a former president of Germany’s central bank, said he was skeptical about bitcoin’s future because “it’s not secured by underlying assets.” There’s even tension within some banks. On the same day Dimon trashed bitcoin, calling it a “fraud,” his firm’s private bank hosted a panel stocked with cryptocurrency investors.

Handling bitcoin would invite scrutiny from every major U.S. regulator, according to Joshua Satten, director of emerging technologies at Sapient Consulting. “From the perspective of the U.S. Treasury, do you classify it as an asset class or a currency?” Satten said. “If banks are starting to manage and hold bitcoin for their clients, you would have the OCC and the FDIC looking at how they classify the assets on their balance sheet and how they state the assets for the portfolio of a client.” And banks need to avoid antagonizing governments that are increasingly concerned about this area. For instance, China is cracking down by shutting cryptocurrency exchanges. Then there’s the risk that stems from its high volatility and lack of correlation to other major assets. “What are they going to do if bitcoin drops for a given client and they’ve given that client a ton of leverage on margin, and that client only has assets in bitcoin?” Satten said.

Read more …

Greed.

HSBC Traders Used Code Words to Trigger Front-Running (BBG)

A group of HSBC currency traders in London and New York feverishly jumped ahead of a $3.5 billion client order after they were tipped off using the code words “my watch is off,” a U.S. prosecutor told a federal judge. The buying frenzy was launched after Mark Johnson, HSBC’s former global head of foreign exchange who the bank chose to lead the transaction, alerted the traders via phone call that was recorded, the prosecutor said Thursday in Brooklyn, New York. Johnson is on trial for fraud. After the trial recessed for the day, prosecutor Carol Sipperly told U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis that the government wants the jury to hear the recordings on Friday, in which Johnson can be heard tipping off a trader in Hong Kong, a signal that she said eventually reached others on both sides of the Atlantic.

Prosecutors say Johnson and Stuart Scott, the bank’s former head of currency trading in Europe, along with these other traders, bought pounds before the transaction, collectively making the bank $8 million in illicit profit. Sipperly said the call involved Johnson, who was in New York that day, speaking to Scott who was in London, just before the Dec. 7, 2011, transaction for its client, Cairn Energy. “We actually have Mark Johnson telling Stuart Scott ‘Tell Ed my watch will be off,’” she said. “We have communications where the word ‘watch’ is used, and then within seconds, 20 seconds of ‘my watch is off,’ we have all that trading that’s been described. The word is instrumental in getting the information to the traders when it comes to their early front-running trades.”

Read more …

Things are getting messy.

US Rounds On Britain Over Food Quotas As Post-Brexit Trade Woes Deepen (Pol.)

The U.S. and other international trade heavyweights have dashed Prime Minister Theresa May’s hopes of a smooth Brexit by rejecting one of her core plans for reintegrating into global trade networks. Washington’s slap-down of Britain is the second big trade reality check for May in less than a fortnight. Only last week, the U.K.’s increasingly fragile position in trade disputes was exposed by the country’s inability to prevent new, ultra-high tariffs from the U.S. that could hit thousands of jobs in a plane factory in Northern Ireland. In a fast-developing second trade spat, Washington has teamed up with Brazil, Argentina, Canada, New Zealand, Uruguay and Thailand to reject Britain’s proposed import arrangements for crucial agricultural goods such as meat, sugar and grains after Brexit.

The fact that the U.K.’s opponents include the U.S., Canada and New Zealand is a significant setback because Britain is trying to style its former colonies as natural strategic and commercial allies after it has quit the EU. Since August, Britain and the EU have repeatedly insisted that they had reached an agreement on the terms under which Britain would buy in food from around the world after Brexit. Brussels currently negotiates all these quotas and tariffs on behalf of Britain and the 27 other EU countries jointly, but London will need to take independent control of these policies from March 2019. That creates a dilemma over how to divide up the EU’s current quota arrangements with other countries — agreed at the World Trade Organization — between the U.K. and the remaining 27. These tariff-rate quotas allow countries outside the EU to export certain goods into the bloc with reduced duties, but only up to a maximum limit.

The argument from Britain and the EU is that the rest of the world will be “no worse off” after Brexit — a key legal defense in trade disputes — if the EU’s quotas are simply reduced, and Britain takes a share of them. British Trade Minister Liam Fox told POLITICO in an interview that Britain had agreed to take a portion of the EU’s quotas based on the U.K.’s average consumption over the last three years. America and the six other big food exporters, however, wrote an unusually sharply worded letter of complaint dated September 26 to the U.K. and EU representatives at the World Trade Organization over the terms of such an arrangement. “We cannot accept such an agreement,” reads the letter, seen by POLITICO. The seven countries dispute the legal defense that the proposed post-Brexit arrangement would leave them “no worse off.”

Read more …

Transporting oil across thousands of miles just so you can sell it to Europe. Insane.

Few Tears Are Being Shed In Quebec Over The Energy East Pipeline’s Demise (BBG)

TransCanada had applied to build Energy East three years ago, seeking to open access for Western Canadian oil producers to the Atlantic Ocean for exports to Europe. It faced intense opposition in Quebec, where Premier Philippe Couillard said the C$15.7 billion ($12.5 billion) line posed a significant risk to its freshwater resources. Quebec has long required that TransCanada meet seven conditions before allowing construction of the pipeline. Among other demands, Quebec insisted that the project be subject to an environmental assessment and that TransCanada must guarantee an emergency plan in case of a spill, consult with communities including aboriginal groups along the route and ensure the project doesn’t reduce the province’s gas supply. Last month, TransCanada asked Canadian regulators for a 30-day suspension on its applications for the Energy East and Eastern Mainline projects, adding to doubt about the future of two major pipelines that the nation’s energy producers had hoped for.

The latest delay meant the writing was on the wall, Quebec Energy and Natural Resources Minister Pierre Arcand said Thursday. “We’re not the promoters of the project. The promoter made a commercial decision,” Arcand told reporters at the provincial legislature. “When they decided to suspend the project about one month ago, I thought we were inevitably going to go toward this decision.” Energy East “was supposed to cross more than 700 bodies of water,” Quebec Environment Minister David Heurtel said separately in Quebec City. “This is a project that raised a lot of questions. We were still in the process of getting answers to our questions” from the company, he said. TransCanada’s decision “is great news,” Jean-Francois Lisée, head of the separatist Parti Quebecois, the official opposition in the provincial legislature, said in Quebec City. “Quebec’s territorial integrity is no longer threatened.”

Read more …

Feels like the Middle Ages.

Onshore Fracking To Begin In UK ‘Within Weeks’ (Ind.)

Fracking for shale gas will begin in the UK within weeks, the company undertaking it for the first time has announced. Third Energy said it plans to complete five fracks in North Yorkshire before the end of 2017. The controversial technique involves injecting liquid into underground rock at high pressures in order to create cracks that release trapped gas. This is then collected and used to generate electricity. Fracking has been vocally opposed by environmental campaigners but permits to use the technique have been approved by government ministers. Alan Linn, Third Energy’s technical director, said the final sign-off needed for fracking to begin was ‘imminent’.

Read more …

Vote count to be published today?!

Catalan Separatists Squeezed Further as Spain Tightens Its Grip (BBG)

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy convenes his cabinet on Friday as the financial and political squeeze on the separatist government in Catalonia tightens. After a week of political drama that rocked financial markets, Rajoy will meet with his ministers in Madrid as events 600 kilometers (370 miles) to the northeast in the Catalan capital Barcelona threaten to spiral still further out of control. The region’s president, Carles Puigdemont, risks economic damage and European isolation if he pushes ahead with plans to declare Catalan independence based on a referendum that breached Spain’s constitution. CaixaBank, the symbol of the region’s financial strength, may follow Banc Sabadell in abandoning Catalonia when its board meets Friday.

For his part, Rajoy and his minority government will be loathe to risk a repeat of Sunday’s scenes of police beating peaceful voters that drew international condemnation and inflamed the separatist cause. With options to quell an increasingly bitter constitutional dispute fast running out, events may come to a head on Monday. That’s when Puigdemont had sought to evaluate the result of the independence vote at a session of the regional parliament – until it was suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court. That means Rajoy may again have to send in the police to enforce a court ruling, and Puigdemont must decide if he’s ready to again defy the law. “There will be some formula for the Catalan Parliament to convene and hold its meeting as planned,” Jordi Sanchez, who heads the most powerful group among the separatists, known as the Catalan National Assembly, said in an interview in Barcelona. “There will be a plenary session.”

As anti-independence organizers plan rallies for this weekend in Madrid and in Barcelona, Catalan separatist are seeking to avoid an immediate declaration of independence. There’s a divide in the movement’s leadership, with most leaders keen to delay that leap into the unknown to create more time for a negotiated settlement, according to two people familiar with their plans. Puigdemont’s mainstream separatist group is concerned that a move toward independence would send the economy into a tailspin, the people said. But following Sunday’s illegal referendum on secession – which the regional government said won the support of 90%t of 2.3 million voters – hardliners from the anarchist party CUP are demanding a quick break with Spain.

Read more …

What a surprise. Apple is an Uber investor.

Apple Gave Uber ‘Unprecedented’ Access To Secret iPhone Backdoor (BI)

Uber’s iPhone app has a secret backdoor to powerful Apple features, allowing the ride-hailing service to potentially record a user’s screen and access other personal information without their knowledge. The existence of Uber’s access to special iPhone functions is not disclosed in any consumer-facing information included with Uber’s app, despite giving the company direct access to features so powerful that Apple almost always keeps them off limits to outside companies. Although there is no evidence that Uber used this access to take advantage of the iPhone features, the revelation of the app’s access to privileged Apple code raises important questions for a company already under investigation for a variety of controversial business practices.

Uber told Business Insider the code was not currently being used and was essentially a vestige from an earlier version of its Apple Watch app, but it set off alarm bells among experts. “Granting such a sensitive entitlement to a third-party is unprecedented as far as I can tell, no other app developers have been able to convince Apple to grant them entitlements they’ve needed to let their apps utilize certain privileged system functionality,” Will Strafach, a security researcher who discovered the situation, told Business Insider. [..] Apple became an Uber investor through its investment in Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing. In 2016, Didi merged with Uber’s Chinese subsidiary.

Read more …

It ain’t over.

Tropical Storm Nate Kills 22 In Central America, Heads For US (R.)

Tropical Storm Nate has killed at least 22 people in Central America as it battered the region with heavy rain while heading toward Mexico’s Caribbean resorts and the US Gulf Coast where it could strike as a hurricane this weekend. Several offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico were evacuated and others had shut production ahead of the storm. In Nicaragua, at least 11 people died, seven others were reported missing and thousands had to evacuate homes because of flooding, according to the country’s vice president, Rosario Murillo. Emergency officials in Costa Rica reported that at least eight people were had been killed, including two children. Another 17 people were missing, while more than 7,000 had to take refuge from Nate in shelters.

Two youths also drowned in Honduras due to the sudden swell in a river, while a man was killed in a mud slide in El Salvador and another person was missing, emergency services said. “Sometimes we think we think we can cross a river and the hardest thing to understand is that we must wait,” Nicaragua’s Murillo told state radio, warning people to avoid dangerous waters. “It’s better to be late than not to get there at all.“ Costa Rica’s government declared a state of emergency, closing schools and all other non-essential services. Highways in the country were closed due to mud slides and power outages were also reported in parts of country, where more than 3,500 police were deployed. The National Hurricane Centre said Nate could produce as much as 51 cm (20 inches) in some areas of Nicaragua, where schools were also closed. Nate is predicted to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane by the time it hits the US Gulf Coast on Sunday, NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen said.

Read more …

Slow motion mass suicide.

Pesticides That Pose Threat To Humans And Bees Found In Honey (Ind.)

Three-quarters of the honey produced around the world contains nerve agent pesticides that can harm bees and pose a potential health hazard to humans, a study has shown. Scientists who tested 198 honey samples from every continent except Antarctica discovered that 75% were laced with at least one of the neonicotinoid chemicals. More than two-fifths contained two or more varieties of the pesticides and 10% held residues from four or five. Environmental campaigners responded by demanding a “complete and permanent” ban preventing any further use of neonicotinoids on farm crops in Europe. Experts called the findings “alarming”, “sobering” and a “serious environmental concern” while stressing that the pesticide residue levels found in honey generally fell well below the safe limits for human consumption.

However, one leading British scientist warned that it was impossible to predict what the long term effects of consuming honey containing tiny amounts of the chemicals might be. Dave Goulson, Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex, said: “Beyond doubt … anyone regularly eating honey is likely to be getting a small dose of mixed neurotoxins. “In terms of acute toxicity, this certainly won’t kill them and is unlikely to do measurable harm. What we don’t know is whether there are long-term, chronic effects from life-time exposure to a cocktail of these and other pesticides in our honey and most other foods.”

[..] The new research published in the journal Science could not have come at a more sensitive time in Europe. EC policymakers are right now discussing whether to make the ban permanent and more wide ranging. A total ban would have a huge impact on cereal growers in the UK. For the study, an international team of European researchers tested almost 200 honey samples from around the world for residues left by five different neonicotinoids. [..] While in most cases the levels were well below the EU safety limits for human consumption, there were exceptions. Honey from both Germany and Poland exceeded maximum residue levels (MRLs) for combined neonicotinoids while samples from Japan reached 45% of the limits.

Read more …

“This commitment is not a sacrifice, it is an investment in the certainty and stability of our children’s future..”

“..the palm-dotted island’s name in the local language means “Behold, the Coconut”..

Tiny Pacific Island Nation Of Niue Creates Huge Marine Sanctuary (AFP)

The tiny Pacific island nation of Niue on Friday announced the creation of a huge marine sanctuary, saying it wanted to stop overfishing and preserve the environment for future generations. While Niue’s landmass is only 260 square kilometres (100 square miles), its remote location about 2,400 kilometres northeast of New Zealand means it lays claim to vast tracts of ocean. The government said that 40% of its exclusive economic zone, about 127,000 square kilometres representing an area roughly the size of Greece, would be set aside for the marine sanctuary. Premier Toke Talagi said his government wanted to stop the depletion of fish stocks and give the ocean space to heal to protect the environment for the next generation.

“This commitment is not a sacrifice, it is an investment in the certainty and stability of our children’s future,” he said. “We simply cannot be the generation of leaders who have taken more than they have given to this planet and left behind a debt that our children cannot pay.” Known locally as “The Rock”, Niue was settled by Polynesian seafarers more than 1,000 years ago and the palm-dotted island’s name in the local language means “behold, the coconut”. The British explorer captain James Cook tried to land there three times in 1774 but was deterred by fearsome warriors, eventually giving up to set sail for more welcoming shores and naming Niue “Savage Island”.

Read more …

Jul 192016
 
 July 19, 2016  Posted by at 3:13 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  14 Responses »


M. King Hubbert

It’s been a while since we posted an article by our friend Euan Mearns, who was active at The Oil Drum at the same time Nicole and I were. Is it really 11 years ago that started, and almost 9 since we left? You know the drill: we ‘departed’ because they didn’t want us to cover finance, which we said was the more immediate crisis, yada yada. Euan stayed on for longer, and the once unequalled Oil Drum is no more.

On one of our long tours, which were based around Nicole’s brilliant public speaking engagements, we went to see Euan in Scotland, he teaches at Aberdeen University. I think it was 2011?! An honor. Anyway, always a friend.

And there’s ono-one I can think of who’d be better at explaining the Peak Oil Paradox in today’s context. So here’s a good friend of the Automatic Earth, Euan Mearns:

 

 

Euan Mearns: Back in the mid-noughties the peak oil meme gained significant traction in part due to The Oil Drum blog where I played a prominent role. Sharply rising oil price, OPEC spare capacity falling below 2 Mbpd and the decline of the North Sea were definite signs of scarcity and many believed that peak oil was at hand and the world as we knew it was about to end. Forecasts of oil production crashing in the coming months were ten a penny. And yet between 2008, when the oil price peaked, and 2015, global crude+condensate+NGL (C+C+NGL) production has risen by 8.85 Mbpd to 91.67 Mbpd. That is by over 10%. Peak oilers need to admit they were wrong then. Or were they?

 

 

Introduction

 

It is useful to begin with a look at what peak oil was all about. This definition from Wikipedia is as good as any:

Peak oil, an event based on M. King Hubbert’s theory, is the point in time when the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum is reached, after which it is expected to enter terminal decline. Peak oil theory is based on the observed rise, peak, fall, and depletion of aggregate production rate in oil fields over time.

Those who engaged in the debate can be divided into two broad classes of individual: 1) those who wanted to try and understand oil resources, reserves, production and depletion rates based on a myriad of data sets and analysis techniques with a view to predicting when peak oil may occur and 2) those who speculated about the consequences of peak oil upon society. Such speculation normally warned of dire consequences of a world running short of transport fuel and affordable energy leading to resource wars and general mayhem. And none of this ever came to pass unless we want to link mayhem in Iraq*, Syria, Yemen, Sudan and Nigeria to high food prices and hence peak oil. In which case we may also want to link the European migrant crisis and Brexit to the same.

[* One needs to recall that GWI was precipitated over Kuwait stealing oil from Iraq, from a shared field on the Kuwait-Iraq border, leading to the Iraqi invasion of 1991.]

The peak oil debate on The Oil Drum was a lightning conductor for doomers of every flavour – peak oil doom (broadened to resource depletion doom), economic doom and environmental doom being the three main courses on the menu. The discussion was eventually hijacked by Greens and Green thinkers, who, not content with waiting for doomsday to happen, set about manufacturing arguments and data to hasten the day. For example, fossil fuel scarcity has morphed into stranded fossil fuel reserves that cannot be burned because of the CO2 produced, accompanied by recommendations to divest fossil fuel companies from public portfolios. Somewhat surprisingly, these ideas have gained traction in The United Nations, The European Union and Academia.

It is not my intention to dig too deeply into the past. Firmly belonging to the group of data analysts, in this post I want to take a look at two different data sets to explore where peak oil stands today. Is it dead and buried forever, or is it lurking in the shadows, waiting to derail the global economy again?

 

 

The USA and Hubbert’s Peak

 

The USA once was the poster child of peak oil. The Peak Oil theory was first formulated there by M. King Hubbert who in 1956 famously forecast that US production would peak around 1970 and thereafter enter an era of never-ending decline (Figure 1). Hubbert’s original paper is well worth a read.

Figure 1 From Hubbert’s 1956 paper shows the peak and fall in US production for ultimate recovery of 150 and 200 billion barrels. The 200 billion barrel model shows a peak of 8.2 Mbpd around 1970 that proved to be uncannily accurate.

Looking to Figure 2 we see that Hubbert’s prediction almost came true. US production did indeed peak in 1970 at 9.64 Mbpd while Hubbert’s forecast was a little lower at 8.2 Mbpd. The post-peak decline was interrupted by the discovery of oil on the N slope of Alaska and opening of the Aleyska pipeline in 1977 that was not considered in Hubbert’s work. Herein lies one of the key weaknesses of using Hubbert’s methodology. One needs to take into account known unknowns. We know for sure that unexpected discoveries and unexpected technology developments will occur, it’s just we don’t know, what, when and how big.

Figure 2 In red, US crude oil production from the EIA shows progressive growth from 1900 to 1970. The oil industry believed this growth would continue forever and was somewhat aghast when M. King Hubbert warned the party may end in 1970 which it duly did. The discovery of oil in Alaska created a shoulder on the decline curve. But apart from that, Hubbert’s forecast remained good until 2008 when the shale drillers and frackers went to work. Hubbert’s 1970 peak was matched by crude oil in 2015 and exceeded by C+C+NGL that same year.

Following the secondary Alaska peak of 8.97 Mbpd (crude oil) in 1985, production continued to decline and reached a low of 5 Mbpd (crude oil) in 2008. But since then, the rest is history. The shale drillers and frackers went to work producing an astonishing turnaround that most peak oil commentators, including me, would never have dreamt was possible.

Before going on to contemplate the consequences of the shale revolution, I want to dwell for a moment on the production and drilling activity in the period 1955 to 1990. 1955 to 1970 we see that total rigs* declined from 2683 to 1027. At the same time crude oil production grew from 6.8 to 9.6 Mbpd. It was in 1956 that Hubbert made his forecast and in the years that followed, US production grew by 41% while drilling rigs declined by 62%. No wonder the industry scoffed at Hubbert.

[* Note that Baker Hughes’ archive pre-1987 does not break out oil and gas rigs from the total.]

But then post 1970, as production went into reverse, the drilling industry went into top gear, with operational rigs rising sharply to a peak of 3974 in 1981. But to no avail, production in the contiguous 48 states (excluding Alaska) continued to plunge no matter how hard the oil and its drilling industry tried to avert it. Hubbert must surely have been proven right, and his methodology must surely be applicable not only to the US but to the World stage?

The oil price crash of 1981 put paid to the drilling frenzy with rig count returning to the sub-1000 unit baseline where it would remain until the turn of the century. The bear market in oil ended in 1998 and by the year 2000, the US drilling industry went back to work, drilling conventional vertical wells at first but with horizontal drilling of shale kicking in around 2004/05. Production would turn around in 2009.

Those who would speak out against peak oil in the mid-noughties, like Daniel Yergin and Mike Lynch, would argue that high price would result in greater drilling activity and technical innovation that would drive production to whatever level society demanded. They would also point out that new oil provinces would be found, allowing the resource base to grow. And they too must surely have been proved to be correct.

But there is a sting in the tail of this success story since drilling and producing from shale is expensive, it is dependent upon high price to succeed. But over-production of LTO has led to the price collapse, starving the shale drilling industry of cash flow and ability to borrow, leading to widespread bankruptcy. In fact informed commentators like Art Berman and Rune Likvern have long maintained that the shale industry has never turned a profit and has survived via a rising mountain of never ending debt. Economists will argue, however, that improved technology and efficiency will reduce costs and make shale competitive with other sources of oil and energy. We shall see.

Herein lies a serious conundrum for the oil industry and OECD economies. They may be able to run on shale oil (and gas) for a while at least, but the industry cannot function properly within current market conditions. Either prices need to be set at a level where a profit can be made, or production capped to protect price and market share. This of course would stifle innovation and is not likely to happen until there are queues at gas stations.

 

 

2008-2015 Winners and Losers

 

BP report oil production data for 54 countries / areas including 5 “other” categories that make up the balance of small producers in any region. I have deducted 2008 production (barrels per day) from 2015 production and sorted the data on the size of this difference. The data are plotted in Figure 3.

Figure 3 The oil production winners to the left and losers to the right, 2008 to 2015. The USA is the clear winner while Libya is the clear loser. About half of the countries show very little change. Click chart for a large readable version.

What we see is that production increased in 27 countries and decreased in the other 27 countries. One thing we can say is that despite prolonged record-high oil price, production still fell in half of the world’s producing countries. We can also see that in about half of these countries any rise or fall was barely significant and it is only in a handful of countries at either end of the spectrum where significant gains and losses were registered. Let’s take a closer look at these.

Figure 4 The top ten winners, 2008 to 2015.

The first thing to observe from Figure 4 is that the USA and Canada combined contributed 7.096 Mbpd of the 8.852 Mbpd gain 2008-2015. That is to say that unconventional light tight oil (LTO) production from the USA and LTO plus tar sands production from Canada make up 80% of the global gain in oil production (C+C+NGL). Iraq returning to market in the aftermath of the 2003 war makes up 18%. In other words expensive unconventional oil + Iraq makes up virtually all of the gains although concise allocation of gains and losses is rather more complex than that. Saudi Arabia, Russia, The UAE, Brazil, China, Qatar and Colombia have all registered real gains (5.258 Mbpd) that have been partly cancelled by production losses elsewhere.

Figure 5 The top ten losers, 2008 to 2015.

Looking to the losers (Figure 5) we see that Libya, Iran, Syria, Sudan and Yemen contribute 2.828 Mbpd of lost production that may be attributed to war, civil unrest or sanctions. I am not going to include Venezuela and Algeria with this group and will instead attribute declines in these countries (0.979 Mbpd) to natural reservoir depletion, although a slow down in OECD technical assistance in these countries may have exacerbated this situation. That leaves the UK, Mexico and Norway as the three large OECD producers that register a significant decline (1.687 Mbpd) attributed to natural declines in mature offshore provinces. Let me try to summarise these trends in a balance sheet:

Figure 6 The winner and loser balance sheet.

We see that these 20 countries account for 8.463 Mbpd net gain compared with the global figure of 8.85 Mbpd. We are capturing the bulk of the data and the main trends. In summary:

  • Unconventional LTO and tar sands + 7.096 Mbpd
  • Net conventional gains + 2.592 Mbpd
  • Net conflict losses -1.225 Mbpd

The sobering point here for the oil industry and society to grasp is that during 8 years when the oil price was mainly over $100/bbl, only 2.592 Mbpd of conventional production was added. That is about 3.1%. Global conventional oil production was all but static. And the question to ask now is what will happen in the aftermath of the oil price crash?

One lesson from recent history is that the oil industry and oil production had substantial momentum. It is nearly two years since the price crash, and while global production is now falling slowly it remains in surplus compared with demand. This has given the industry plenty time to cut staff, drilling activity and to delay or cancel projects that depend upon high price. In a post-mature province like the North Sea, the current crisis will also hasten decommissioning. It seems highly likely that momentum on the down leg will be replaced by inertia on the up leg with a diminished industry unwilling to jump back on the band wagon when price finally climbs back towards $100 / bbl, which it surely will do one day in the not too distant future.

For many years I pinned my colours to peak oil occurring in the window 2012±3 years. Noting that the near-term peak was 97.08 Mbpd on July 15 2015 it is time to dust off that opinion (Figure 7). The decline since the July 2015 peak is of the order 2% per annum (excluding the Fort McMurray impact). It seems reasonable to presume that this decline may continue for another two years, or even longer. That would leave global production at around 92 Mbpd mid 2018. It is nigh impossible to predict what will happen, especially in a world over run by political and economic uncertainty. Another major spike in oil price seems plausible and this could perhaps destabilise certain economies, banks and currencies. Should this occur, another price collapse will follow, and it’s not clear that production will ever recover to the July 2015 peak. Much will depend upon the future of the US shale industry and whether or not drilling for shale oil and gas gains traction in other countries.

Figure 7 The chart shows in blue global total liquids production (C+C+NGL+refinery gains+biofuels) according to the Energy Information Agency (EIA). The near term peak was 97.08 Mbpd in July 2015. The decline since then, excluding the Fort McMurray wild fire impact, is of the order 2% per annum. In the current low price environment, it is difficult to see anything arresting this decline before the end of next year. In fact, decline may accelerate and go on beyond the end of 2017. The dashed line shows the demand trajectory and scheduled balancing of supply and demand by the end of this year. By the end of next year the supply deficit could be of the order 3 Mbpd which on an annualised basis would result in a stock draw of 1.1 billion barrels. But remember, forecasts are ten a penny 🙂

 

 

Concluding Thoughts

 

  1. M. King Hubbert’s forecast for US oil production and the methodology it was based on has been proven to be sound when applied to conventional oil pools in the USA. When decline takes hold in any basin or province, it is extremely difficult to reverse even with a period of sustained high price and the best seismic imaging and drilling technology in the world.
  2. On this basis we can surmise that global conventional oil production will peak one day with unpredictable consequences for the global economy and humanity. It is just possible that the near term peak in production of 97.08 Mbpd in July 2015 may turn out to be the all-time high.
  3. Economists who argued that scarcity would lead to higher price that in turn would lead to higher drilling activity and innovation have also been proven to be correct. Much will depend upon Man’s ability to continue to innovate and to reduce the cost of drilling for LTO in order to turn a profit at today’s price levels. If the shale industry is unable to turn a profit then it will surely perish without State intervention in the market.
  4. But from 2008 to 2015, oil production actually fell in 27 of 54 countries despite record high price. Thus, while peak oil critics have been proven right in North America they have been proven wrong in half of the World’s producing countries.
  5. Should the shale industry perish, then it becomes highly likely that Mankind will face severe liquid fuel shortages in the years ahead. The future will then depend upon substitution and our ability to innovate within other areas of the energy sector.

 

 

Related reading:

 

From Rune Likvern:

The Bakken LTO extraction in Retrospect and a Forecast of Near Future Developments

Bakken(ND) Light Tight Oil Update with Sep 15 NDIC Data

Are the Light Tight Oil (LTO) Companies trying to outsmart Mother Nature with their Financial Balance Sheets?

From Enno Peters:

Visualizing US shale oil production

Dec 232014
 
 December 23, 2014  Posted by at 11:01 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  16 Responses »


John Vachon Hull-Rust-Mahoning pit, largest open pit iron mine in the world, Hibbing, Minnesota Aug 1941

This is another entry by our friend Euan Mearns, orginally posted at Energy Matters.

Euan: A few commenters have mentioned peak oil recently. I am cautious about making forecasts and predictions and prefer instead to observe and document the data as the peak oil story unfolds. I have in fact published a couple of charts recently illustrating aspects of peak oil, one showing a possible peak in the rest of the world that excludes N America and OPEC (Figure 1). The other showing the undulating plateau in conventional crude + condensate that has persisted since 2005 (Figure 2). In my last post on oil price scenarios two of those showed global oil production capacity 1 to 2 Mbpd lower in 2016 than 2014. If that comes to fruition, will we have passed peak oil but does it matter?

Figure 1 Global oil production has been split into three geo-political categories: 1) USA and Canada, 2) OPEC and 3) the Rest of the World (RoW). RoW production bears the hallmarks of having peaked in the period 2005 to 2010 and this has consequences for oil prices, demand and prosperity in parts of the world, especially the OECD. Most of the growth in oil supply has been in the USA and Canada where the market has been flooded with expensive oil. Data are crude oil + condensate + natural gas liquids (C+C+NGL) and exclude biofuels and refinery gains that are included by the IEA in their total liquids number.

The current “low oil price crisis” is providing a clear and new perspective on the nature of the peak oil problem. If low price does indeed destroy high cost production capacity then this will raise the question if the high cost sources can ever be brought back? IF low price kills the shale industry can it come back from the dead?

Figure 2 Conventional crude oil + condensate production has been on an undulating plateau just over 73 million barrels per day (Mbpd) since May 2005, that is for almost 10 years and despite record high oil prices! Note that chart is not zero scaled in order to amplify details. Click chart for large version.

The response of the oil price to scarcity in the period 2002 to 2008 was for it to shoot up. And the response of the energy industries to scarcity and high price was to develop high cost sources of energy – shale oil and gas and renewables. The longevity and permanence of these new initiatives has always been dependent upon our ability and willingness to pay. Of course, most of us who have cars continued to use them but have perhaps subliminally modified our behaviour through driving less or buying more fuel efficient vehicles. OECD oil consumption has at any rate been in decline and robust economic growth has been elusive. Is this due to the peak oil story unfolding?

The global finance and energy system is unfortunately rather more complex than that. The creation and expansion of debt is of course central to creating demand for oil and other energy sources. Without QE the global economy may have died in 2009 and demand for oil with it. Gail Tverberg produced an interesting chart that may illustrate this point (Figure 3). However, back in 2008 / 09 OPEC trimmed 4 Mbpd from their production and this equally explains why the price rebounded so strongly then. The end of QE3 may have contributed to the recent fall in demand, but the price has fallen so precipitously because OPEC has not compensated by reducing production.

Figure 3 QE appears to have impacted demand for oil and may have created the lines of credit enabling energy companies to produce high cost gas and oil at a loss. But the oil price has been equally controlled by OPEC controlling supply. Chart by Gail Tverberg.

The big picture is made even more complex by climate concern and a growing raft of energy policies in Europe and the USA designed to reduce CO2 emissions while singularly failing to do so meaningfully. And so at a time when clear engineering thinking was required on how to tackle the potential impacts on society of energy scarcity in the global economy we got instead ‘Green Thinking’. Future generations will look back on this era with bewilderment.

Against this backdrop, I will now move on to the main topic of this post which is the concept of broken markets and Hubbert’s peak. For those who do not know, Hubbert’s peak is peak oil by another name and while wise guys may want to invent a multitude of definitions I will stick to the simple definition of the month or year when global oil production reached a maximum volume or mass and thereafter went into inexorable decline. The impact of this on Mankind is normally expected to be negative since oil is the lifeblood of the global economy. The reason for this happening could be because we discovered something better than oil that substituted oil out of existence (that wouldn’t be bad) or because of scarcity oil became too expensive to produce (perhaps where we are now) or because Greens in government like Ed Davey and Barack Obama set out to undermine the fossil fuel industries which just a few years ago I would have found impossible to believe. We live in interesting times.

The world economy as we know it runs on fossil fuels and in particular a relatively small number of truly gigantic fossil fuel reserves such as the Ghawar oil field in Saudi Arabia, the Black Thunder coal field in Wyoming and the Groningen gas field in The Netherlands. Both Ghawar and Groningen are showing signs of age, along with the hundreds of other super giant fossil fuel deposits. The stored energy in these deposits flows out at enormous rate and at little financial or energy cost. It is these vast energy supplies and surpluses that provide the global economy with economic surplus. It is indeed the lifeblood. But the world has run out of these super giant deposits to exploit and we are finding it increasingly difficult to find large enough numbers of their smaller cousins to keep the wheels of the global economy well oiled ;-)

The focus has thus turned to low grade resource plays. The resource plays offer near infinite amounts of energy but require large amounts of effort to gather that energy. The ERoEI is lower than what went before, perhaps much lower, but for so long as the energy return is positive, we have indeed learned that Man’s inventiveness and commitment can exploit these resources. One of the main questions I want to pose here is, is it possible for these resource plays to participate in the global economic system as it has existed for many decades that has become known to us as capitalism?

The first example of broken energy markets I want to look at is wind power. Both onshore and in particular offshore wind are expensive forms of intermittent electricity. Wind advocates will argue that the intermittency does not matter and will point gleefully to the low electricity prices achieved when the wind blows strongly across Europe resulting in over-supply that dumps the price. Wait a minute though, high cost and low price is a toxic mix that does not jive with capitalism. The more wind resource installed on the system the greater the size the unusable surplus and economic penalty becomes.

Why have the wind producers not gone out of business? It’s because the markets are rigged such the wind producers are given priority to market and receive a guaranteed price. This is a monopoly! The consumers don’t benefit because they have to pay the guaranteed price to the wind monopoly. The losses end up in the hands of the traditional generators who see their prices dumped and need to chew on the losses whilst providing the invaluable balancing services for free.

Providing back up services for when the wind doesn’t blow is another problem newly addressed in the UK with the new “capacity market”. The government is calling this a ‘market’ while it is in fact a component part of the wind monopoly. Companies are being paid to maintain generating capacity on stand by to cover periods when the wind doesn’t blow. Again the consumer has to foot the bill. One day quite soon, UK and other European governments are going to have to explain to their electorates why they have distorted the electricity market so badly, delivering a monopoly to wind producers, destroying the traditional market participants with the bill being met by the consumer who receives zero benefits. This can only be explained if it is underlain by rampant corruption or sheer stupidity.

The second example of a broken energy market I want to explore is the US shale industry. This shares certain characteristics with the wind industry in that it is a high cost but potentially very large resource. But the mechanism for integration of this resource into the market is rather different. The problem with shale gas is that over-supply has resulted in the US gas price being dumped below the level where many shale operators can make a profit. Consumers in this case benefit through getting both secure and low priced gas. But the shale operators have reportedly racked up large losses that have been covered by expanding debt. These losses may yet come home to roost with the consumer if debt defaults result in a new credit crunch where the debts are socialised via government bailouts of the banking sector.

If it were possible to produce shale gas at $1 / million btus then everyone would be happy. Consumers would be getting secure and cheap energy and producers would be making handsome profits to distribute to shareholders. That is how capitalism is supposed to work. The system as it has operated seems broken.

US Light tight oil (LTO) production appears now to have created the same problem for the liquids plays where the entrance of expensive liquids in the market have contributed to the crash in the oil price. This has created risks for the LTO operators. It remains to be seen if the LTO sector sees mass insolvencies and default on loans that may socialise these losses. The introduction of high cost LTO has also undermined the whole of the higher cost component of the conventional oil sector. If LTO could be produced in large quantities for $20 / bbl then there would be no problem since this source would go on to substitute for the higher cost conventional sources of supply. But with costs closer to $60-$80 this is not going to happen. The conundrum for capitalism is the introduction of large quantities of higher cost energy to the system.

At this point I have to admit that nuclear power may be subject to similar limitations. It is difficult to view the Hinkley Point new nuclear build in the UK as a triumph for the consumer or the country. A better way to manage such enormous capital expenditure on vital infrastructure is via the state. The costs may eventually be socialised to the tax payer, but at least the energy is reliable and amongst the safest forms of power generation ever developed and the taxation system distributes costs in an equitable way.

A form of society could undoubtedly exist powered by nuclear, wind and shale gas. But it would be a society supported by the state with far larger numbers working in the energy industries than now, producing lower surpluses, the energy production part perhaps running at a perennial loss. Those losses have to be covered by either higher price or via the taxation system. Either way, the brave new world that awaits us will be characterised as the time of less that will be in stark contrast to the time of plenty many of us enjoyed during the 20th Century.