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  1. 35 points
    SpectrumFX

    Ghislaine didn't kill herself

    The thread tittle is somewhat preemptive, but she has been arrested by the FBI, and life moves fast. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/02/fbi-arrests-jeffrey-epstein-friend-ghislaine-maxwell-sex-case.html
  2. 26 points
    Ethiopia's total population has grown from 38.1 million in 1983 to 109.5 million in 2018. Bob Geldof should have sent boat loads of Rubber Johnnies instead of food.
  3. 25 points
    Great Guy

    Getting a bit stabby in Glasgow

    FFS, it's like the political classes are trying to troll us. The leader of Glasgow Council has said "the council from a social work point of view have made it clear that we don't support asylum seekers being housed in hotels". On the one hand British troops etc go to places like Syria and sleep under hedges etc. Then at the same time Syrians flee the fighting and complain at staying in hotels? And all the time not one mainstream politician voices any criticism of the taxpayer being expected to spend millions on people that quite frankly shouldn't be in the UK.
  4. 23 points
    maynardgravy

    White Lives Matter..

    You could defeat Marxism with one simple policy. Raise interest rates to somewhere near normal. Collapse house prices so the young have a stake in society rather than state hand outs. Job done, but the plethora of VIs would rather see the country burn.
  5. 23 points
    When we have finished with the piss taking their is a real point to be made. My father was born into a working class household of 7 kids in the early 1940's - they lived in proper financial poverty. It bares no comparison to what the government considers to be poverty in todays world. His parents were born into worse, his mother was a domestic servant in the 1920's, his father had a seriously tough life with serious injuries and illness. They got fuck all from the state, lived a financially extremely deprived life - but they got on, went to school, paid attention and have all done pretty OK in life. If you go back another generation, my great grandparents then god knows what kind of lives they experienced. Most of us come from many generations of poverty. Mlllions of people lived similar lives - I don't doubt that some probably hard it worse. Our generation have had it easy be comparison, but most of us have had to knuckle down, pay attention at school and take work seriously. But to suggest that we come from generations of priviledged white people is total bollocks. The only privilege most of us will have had is parents that love us who tried to instill a work ethic and the basic discipline not to fuck out lives up.
  6. 21 points
    NewryH

    Ghislaine didn't kill herself

    I wonder if Andrew is suddenly not sweating again.
  7. 21 points
    Wahoo

    BLM UK

    There's a huge moral issue about poaching trained NHS workers from the Third World. Their tax payers have supported the training, then we use their labour. And it's all dressed up as giving these immigrants a 'Chance in Life'. The SJW's and BLM are unable to have 'independent thought', and can't see this as exploitation and slavery.....which it is. If you want to stop exploitation.....follow the wishes of the silent majority and stop immigration. Enough is enough.
  8. 21 points
    They're all doubling down now, they have to win the election to maintain their status quo because if Trump wins they're toast for all the censorship they've forced. Google will be broken up, twitter will be nuked from orbit, and the others will have their editorial protections removed. They're acting like a left wing cabal to influence the election at this point.
  9. 21 points
    ninjaborrower

    No whites or Asians

    Stoke, if you dont want to date a black guy its your decision, dont let anyone shame you brother
  10. 20 points
    It's a nonsense isn't it. You could fix this with the will, but it isn't there. I said in another thread, in Nottingham twenty years ago, the Meadows area started suffering from a huge increase in gun crime. The Chief Constable said basically "fuck this, I'm not having it turn into Moss Side" and put firearms officers on routine foot patrols. Scratch one gun crime problem in 48 hours. It had never been done in the country before - in fact it was how I discovered that we do not need additional legislation to arm our police. A Chief Constable can arm his entire force if he wishes under existing law, although it wouldn't be politically expedient to do so, indicated by the fact the guy in question was gone a year later. They also did the same with the red light area, and practically policed it out of existence, as much as you can, with addition of a number of other measures such as properly run womens refuges et cetera. They just need to declare knife free zones, make it clear they will stop and search any fucker they please regardless of race and introduce a mandatory no parole ten stretch for anyone caught carrying a blade. And that is coming from a Libertarian who believes in government with the small g. They just haven't got the balls, they are too busy fucking kneeling.
  11. 20 points
    An unintentionally funny programme on Radio 4 yesterday. An ornithologist was describing how cuckoos made the dangerous journey from Africa to Britain, to lay it's eggs here. Clumsy analogies were made with refugees. Considering that the cuckoo arrives, kills the native's offspring and then fucks off leaving some other poor bugger to bear the cost of raising her kids, they might have chosen their metaphor more carefully...
  12. 19 points
    deathfunk

    Getting a bit stabby in Glasgow

    So they are all just a bunch of pea-brained degenerates who act like very dangerous children. This is why their home countries are shitholes. This is why we shouldn't be letting them in the country.
  13. 18 points
    Talking Monkey

    Escape from LA

    I literally had this 2 evenings ago. There were two black youths (1 female 1 male) stood in the middle of the pavement so I walked round them, as I cleared them the female shouted you're supposed to say excuse me. I turned round and she repeated herself I just ignored her and continued on and turned down a side street. I then heard her start on another bloke who must have been 20 meters or so behind me and who was now passing them, she was doing the 'what are you looking at' routine, he was middle aged and a bit pissed and she was getting right up in his face, literally looking for a fight. I turned and kept an eye to see if it kicked off as I would have jumped in, but he just mumbled some incoherent stuff and walked off. The female was just looking for a fight and using all the usual tricks to imply she had been slighted. This shit with black youths is definitely going on, the mood has changed. I live in a nice area too so fuck knows what its like in shithole areas
  14. 18 points
    Stunley Andwin

    Escape from LA

    This is very, very naughty indeed.
  15. 17 points
    I think the "grand re-opening" is going to be a bit of a dud. Some in the media I feel really don't understand the social aspect of everything - will people really want to go to the pub if you have to book in advance, leave full contact details, have a max of 4 and have to stay 1.5m apart anyways? Outside of a few artisan places in London, most places serve average quality, but importantly customer and owner are both aware and happy with that. Make it too much hassle and zero fun, people will drink Stella at home. Also from a financial side, once you take fixed costs and economy of scale for products into consideration, most food/drink and leisure venues will still be unprofitable if the regs limit them in reality to 30% of previous footfall.
  16. 17 points
    Shamone

    Hoisted by their own Petard thread

    I don’t. I feel sorry for the poor fucks that will have to work under her some day, and pay for her vile and wicked nature.
  17. 17 points
    Fuck it. I’ll do the ironing.
  18. 17 points
    ccc

    The economy is totally and utterly fucked

    I walked around central Edinburgh today and you know when things just all add up all of a sudden ? Everything is fucked. Even all these shops that are all open now that apparently people are desperate to queue to get into. Maybe the first day for a few hours. Not anymore. Mostly empty. They will be losing staff too. This will all move along to your bank's as well who haven't started on the big job losses either so far. (Aside from HSBC) . That won't be long coming. Then we have October and the job support stuff ending. And every single office block sat there empty and desolate. It reminded me of all those desperate pictures you see of Detroit. It's carnage. Absolute carnage. I fully 100% hope I'm completely wrong. I will be delighted. I just can't see it though.
  19. 17 points
    The XYY Man

    The Basket Case of the World

    Yeah, so that's the NHS - what about their patients...? XYY
  20. 17 points
    I know what you mean, at my age I should have bought (did in fact, sold it to pay business debts but that's another story). But my anger is mostly not about myself - you mention the young, I see my neices and nephews with no hope of ever having any security, of having to make a life and try to raise a family in damp, shitty rentals that they have no stake in, that they could be turfed out of with 4 weeks notice and all their disposable income being spent on rent, constant contract renewals, agent fees and moving costs every time they get kicked out. I see the people my age who bought, tied in to another 15 years in a job they despise, too scared to tell the boss to go fuck themselves because if they lose their job they can't pay their massive mortgage on their shitty Persimmon cardboard box, surrounded by social housing tenants who got theirs for free. Their only hope of ever being able to do anything for their kids relies on more HPI so they can release some equity, only then to watch them get 50k into debt for a worthless degree that guarantees them nothing more than a low end gig-economy future, and the very seed money that got them there has helped push house ownership that little bit further out of their reach - not that it matters because it was totally unobtainable anyway. And I look at the knock-on effect to the economy. Every spare quid being spent on mortgage payments, rental payments, car loans and credit card debt. The high street is dead, the hospitality industry is fucked. If cheap shit from China stops flowing we can't even fucking clothe ourselves. So I look at the future - the only possible future, which is massive inflation, outright theft of all those productive work hours, all the sweat and blood of the people who studied, upskilled, got off their arses, took risks with their own capital and built something, all washed away in a tsunami of rising prices. A future of being forced to be a gambler, when all most of us wanted was a little house with a little garden and some peace and fucking quiet. And yeah it makes me angry, but most of all it just makes me wonder whatever sort of world we've built, whatever sort of world we're passing on, what value there is in anything any more. There's nothing, no value, no point in trying to build anything, no point in doing your bit. It's all just been sucked out by the banks, the landlords, the gamblers, and instead of looking at the rot that's set in, successive governments keep stoking it and making it worse because it's easier to trick people in the short term than it is to make their lives better in the long run. What a fucking shit show.
  21. 17 points
    unregistered_guest

    White Lives Matter..

    And where would they find a virgin and three wise men?
  22. 16 points
    Just somewhere to keep track off the Kamikaze lefties
  23. 16 points
    This started to occur in my area about 10 days after the market opened up again. This morning I am at the point of despair and seriously considering just fucking off to any bleak, remote county or other country where I can buy a little smallholding and live in peace and quiet, miles away from other people and this this absolute, unfathomable insanity. HPI was the greatest con trick ever played on the British public, and it's been played so well that most of them will now fight tooth and nail to prevent this basic human need from getting less expensive. The fucking housing market is like a 20 year long horror movie where the baddie just won't die.
  24. 16 points
    Have you been to Poland? I spent some time in Krakow over a year ago and I’d certainly choose to live there over a shitty city suburb and knowing that the UK economy was fucked in an increasingly degenerate London shithole. Immaculate roads and motorways, modern infrastructure, cheap cost of living and food, strong catholic family values, education etc (and pretty women). Speaking to people out there, a lot had earned enough money to build their house from working in the EU and had returned. As I said previously, the only ones I can see staying here are the real benefit brigade that Poland wanted shot of or those that have kids ingrained in the UK system. Yes asylum seeking immigrants from 3rd world countries would never return, but for EU countries with a lot to offer in relation to cost of living would be attractive to return to.
  25. 15 points
    Another life lost to Covid-19... Damn this pandemic.
  26. 15 points
    This did make me laugh.
  27. 15 points
    MrLibertyRedux

    Escape from LA

    If I lived stateside I'd be armed to the fucking teeth. There are two things I really struggled to understand when I was younger, even though I knew the history. Firstly, the Nazis rise to power and how the German populace went along and were sucked into it. Secondly, how so many Jews walked into cattle trucks and gas chambers with barely any resistance. I'm now sat here watching the contemporary equivalent of what eventually led to these two parts of history unfold in real time. Chilling.
  28. 15 points
    ad_ceng

    The Basket Case of the World

    None of the above, but we might have tagged pretty much everyone who died as covid, the figures are bollocks it will take years to know the full impact and I suspect it will be a lot less than they claim at the moment. The world has lost its fucking mind
  29. 15 points
    Depriving the President of the United States of being able to broadcast even a fraction of his voice to the people within the borders of the United States must be a criminal act of some sort. For sure there must be a law to cover it. It's tantamount to revolutionaries hijacking and taking hostage a tv station and/or a radio station.
  30. 15 points
    I agree but what i can`t work out is what do they think they are going to gain by doing what they are doing ,same as BLM and the like ,none of this is ever going to turn anyone that voted Trump I think all this stuff can only ever lose them votes ,it is starting to look like desperation is setting in
  31. 15 points
    The MSM offer all manner of excuses for the Third worlders penchant for violence such as mental illness,War and poor living conditions,in my opinion they are barbarians who ought to be shown zero tolerance. I am not aware of any 1st and 2nd World War veterans acting in the same manner as these degenerates after witnessing the horrors of War.
  32. 14 points
    1. Many fatties. 2. Many diabetics. (see 1, 3 and 4) 3. Many darker-skinned immigrants. (see 2 and 5) 4. Poor exercise infrastructure. 5. Poor climate low in sun exposure hence low Vitamin D. 6. Lots of old people maintained by constant medical intervention who have lived way beyond their natural lifespan. If in care homes, see 1, 2, 4 and 5. 7. Brits like to drink and mingle and are notoriously undisciplined while doing it. It ain't rocket science.
  33. 14 points
    SomersetMatt

    England's Lost Heritage

    And slightly OT, but I’ve always loved this photo showing Twickenham stadium in 1927!
  34. 14 points
    1 minute! have you seen any of his videos? I can go off cook and eat dinner and still come back to it running.
  35. 14 points
    I'm a bit baffled by this concept of old clothes. Mine go: Good enough to wear to meet people Good enough to wear outdoors for walks Good enough to wear indoors and answer the door / work in the front garden or drive where I will be saying hello to people Good enough to wear indoors but needing to be changed before answering the door Rags for cleaning / car work Bin
  36. 14 points
    Royston

    Non-woke "celebrities"?

    As someone else said on here previously, the vast majority of allied soldiers who fought and died to defeat Nazism would now be firmly classed as 'Nazis' themselves with the views and opinions that they held at the time.
  37. 14 points
    Its quite simple Sarah. "What ours is ours and what's yours is ours also"
  38. 14 points
    Do they? In one example I’ve read about, a small town / village, population c 1000 happened to have a former army barracks nearby, In which it was proposed to house 800 illegal immigrants, posing as refugees. I can only guess that some brave members of the local population set the barracks on fire. What else could they do? There was no consultation, no court to which they could appeal. If the plan had gone ahead, the locals lives would have been turned into a living hell. Its that old ‘social contract’ thing again. When government tramples all over those it is supposed to represent, they shouldn’t be surprised when people take matters into their own hands.
  39. 13 points
    Look what happens to anybody that does. Farage for example. We need arrests and prison sentences for anybody associated with Refugees Welcome or asylum seeker farming. Bridget for a start. Lord Dubs next. Even many sympathetic to the plight of genuine asylum seekers have turned against being stabbed to death while they picnic in the park. Again the MSM sicken us by interviewing spiteful ungrateful twats moaning about their budget accommodation, uninspiring food, and weak wi-fi. Whilst they complain about their Radisson or IBIS prison cell, our homeless military veterans fill pop-up tents in TESCO Express doorways. Refugees fuck off.
  40. 13 points
    They’ve obviously seen how successful Labour have been in hoovering up millions of voters from the world’s shitholes and using them to gerrymander the voting system, now the Tory’s are trying their own version. I mean HK immigrants aren’t going to keen on left wing authoritarian policies.
  41. 13 points
    Mmm. Might need to do some more research but I am initially in favour...
  42. 13 points
    Hail the Tripod

    Pyrrhic Victories

    I love the way that after all that time and expense they just ended up with a 50:50 split.
  43. 13 points
    Two things that seriously piss me off :- 1) fly tipping 2) twats who chuck fast food cartons etc out of their car window I would happily incinerate both groups
  44. 13 points
    Happy Renting

    Woke will Eat Itself

    I hear that Black Lives Matter has $millions in it's coffers. So it's not just a movement, it's an organisation. But what is it? An incorporated business? A political party? A charity? Where is it based? Where does it pay tax? Under what jurisdiction is it based? Does it have Articles of Association, or a manifesto? Who owns it? Who decides what is in the Articles, or manifesto? Who makes it's rules? Who gets to vote? What is it's address? Who can it be contacted for an official opinion or answer? Who holds the purse strings? Who audits the accounts? Who gets to say how the money is spent? Where is the money spent? Who are it's officers? Who can be sued if it breaks the law? Any CxO, politician, journalist or protester who supports BML without knowing the answers to ALL these questions is just a Useful Idiot for BML.
  45. 13 points
    Happy Renting

    Three Gorges Dam

    Boot lock is probably activated by a dodgy Chinese 12v connector. Fuck 'em.
  46. 13 points
    https://news.sky.com/story/glasgow-attack-knifemans-family-shocked-and-hope-the-injured-recover-soon-12016749 And it looks like the food was to blame too. Vomiting after every meal apparently. I’m a gold card member at Radisson, I always thought the food and lodgings to be pretty swish (although I do usually get a room upgrade - maybe he didn’t). Maybe the Glasgow gastronomic offerings can’t hold a candle to the French cuisine at Calais. I’ll be sticking to Hilton from now on. If it’s not good enough for the “desperate 3rd world refugees escaping certain death in their home countries (via Calais)” it’s not good enough for me.
  47. 13 points
    It's all fucking bullshit. Spike in cases. Need more detail. Description of cases, age, comorbidities, where they live, travelled to Indian sub continent recently, BLM march? Tested positive per 100,000 population? What's hospital and icu admissions What's the cfr It's all fucking bollocks
  48. 13 points
    One percent

    Getting a bit stabby in Glasgow

    What amazes me is that many asylum seekers appear to have family back in their home country who they are still in touch with. Take the stabber in this instance, both brother and mother crawled very quickly from the woodwork to give interviews. How do you do that in a war torn hell hole?
  49. 12 points
    I don't think we've had this posted up before but I was rereading it yesterday after CP's explanation on shale and offer it up for those like me that sometiems struggle with the level of detail/knowledge from CP,DB,JT,Transistor Man etc Highlights are mine.Interestingly,he argues that energy is often seen by economists as a function of the economy but posits that actually you should see the economy as a function of energy.Of particualr note,there's a chart near the bottom where the cost of energy crosses the prosperity line (as it comes down)-interestingly chimes in timewise with DB's late 20's(Figure 8).He also argues that renewables are a function of fossil fuel energy and will never be cheap enough not to reduce prosperity. A long post this one.But well worht the time if you need to understand the issues pertaining to energy more fully. Anotehr interesting consideration is how he plots the time of optimum cheap energy around the end of WW2 which also tied in with a demogrpahic dividend as the boomer generation was born-hattip paul Hodges. https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/2020/06/19/175-the-surplus-energy-economy/ AN INTRODUCTION In response to the previous article, it was suggested that it would be helpful if we had a comprehensive statement, a sort of Surplus Energy Economics 101, for new readers. This makes a great deal of sense, particularly given how many people have joined the SEE readership since the last time the thesis was set out in this way. The plan is that the article which follows will be made available as a downloadable PDF in the near future. The aim here is to encompass two themes in a single article. The first is the basic logic informing the Surplus Energy Economics approach. This builds on the long-established principle that the economy should be understood as an energy system, not a financial one. The second is an evaluation of where we are today on the evolution of the economy as energy interpretation explains it. This makes extensive use of the Surplus Energy Economics Data System (SEEDS), which models the economy as an energy system. PART ONE: PRINCIPLE The best way to start is with the “trilogy of the blindingly obvious”. No-one new to the subject can go far wrong if they bear in mind these three principles. 1.1. The economy is energy The first principle is that all forms of economic output – literally all of the goods and services which comprise the ‘real’ economy – are products of energy. Nothing of any economic value or utility can be supplied without using energy. Energy can be defined as ‘a capacity for work’ and, historically, everything that we wanted or needed was produced using the labour (work) of humans and animals, plus some early application of the power of wind and water. That changed from the late 1700s, when we learned how to deploy the vast reserves of energy contained in fossil fuel (FF) deposits of coal, oil and natural gas. There is an abundantly clear correlation between escalating use of energy and the massive increases in population numbers, and their economic means of support, since the late eighteenth century (see fig. 1). It should be noted that other natural resources (such as foods and minerals) are energy products, too, since we can’t grow wheat, for example, or extract and process copper, without using energy to do so. Fig. 1 1.2. Of cost and surplus Second, whenever we access energy for our use, some of that energy is always consumed in the access process. We can’t drill an oil well, construct a refinery, build a gas pipeline, manufacture a wind turbine or a solar panel, or install a power distribution grid, without using energy, and neither can we operate or maintain them without it. The energy that is consumed in the supply of energy therefore comprises both a capital (investment) and an operating component. This principle is central to the established concept of the Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI or EROEI), in which the consumed, cost or invested component is stated as a ratio. In Surplus Energy Economics (SEE), the cost element is known as the Energy Cost of Energy or ECoE, and is stated as a percentage. Understood in this way, any given quantity of energy divides into parts. One of these is the cost element, known here as ECoE. The other – whatever remains – is surplus energy. This surplus drives all economic activity other than the supply of energy itself. This makes surplus energy coterminous with prosperity. We can, of course, use this surplus wisely or foolishly, and we can share it out fairly or inequitably. But what we can not do is to “de-couple” economic output from energy or, to be more specific about it, from surplus energy. 1.3. Money – only a claim The third part of the “blindingly obvious” trilogy is that money acts only as a ‘claim’ on the output of the real (energy) economy. Money has no intrinsic worth, and has value only in terms of the things for which it can be exchanged. No amount of money – be it currency, gold or any other token – would be of any use whatsoever to somebody stranded in the desert, or cast adrift in a lifeboat. PART TWO – APPLICATION This, then, is how the economy works – we access energy (’losing’ some of it as a ‘cost’ in the process); we use what remains (the surplus) to produce goods and services; and we exchange these with each other using money. Where, though, are we now, on the evolution of ‘surplus energy, prosperity and money’? 2.1. The short version If you want a succinct answer to this question, it is that ECoE (the Energy Cost of Energy) is rising, relentlessly and exponentially. The exponential rate of increase in ECoE means that this cannot be cancelled out by linear increases in the aggregate amount of total or gross (pre-ECoE) energy that we can access. The resultant squeeze on surplus energy has been compounded by increasing numbers of people seeking to share the prosperity that this surplus provides. As a result, prior growth in prosperity per person has gone into reverse. People have been getting poorer in most Western advanced economies (AEs) since the early 2000s. With the same fate now starting to overtake emerging market (EM) countries too, global prosperity has turned down. One way of describing this process is “de-growth”. In recent times, we’ve tried to use financial gimmickry – credit and monetary adventurism – to counter this adverse trend. Since money acts simply as a claim on economic output generated by energy, this is wholly futile, and can be likened to “trying to fix an ailing house-plant with a spanner”. We’ve been piling up financial excess claims on prosperity at a rate that guarantees a crisis in the financial system. This crisis must take the form of value destruction, which may happen through ‘hard’ defaults, ‘soft’ inflationary destruction of the value of money, or some combination of both. 2.2. The ECoE process The Energy Cost of Energy (ECoE) at any given time is a product of four factors or ‘drivers’. Each of these evolves gradually, so ECoEs need to be understood and applied as trends. The first of these is geographic reach, and the second is economies of scale. Both of them push ECoEs downwards, and both can best be illustrated by reference to the petroleum industry. Starting from its origins in the Pennsylvania of the 1850s, the oil industry spread across the globe in search of new, larger, lower-cost sources of production. At the same time, growth in the size of operations reduced unit costs by spreading the fixed costs of operations across a larger amount of oil produced, processed and delivered. Accordingly, the ECoE of petroleum supply fell steadily through the contributions of reach and scale. The third ‘driver’, which pushes ECoEs upwards rather than downwards, is depletion. Quite logically, the most profitable (lowest cost) sources of any resource are accessed first, leaving less profitable (costlier) alternatives for later. As this process unfolds, ‘later’ arrives, with low-cost resources exhausted, and replaced by successively higher-cost alternatives. This is why depletion drives ECoEs upwards. The four ECoE-determining factors – reach, scale, depletion and technology – can be put together in an illustrative parabola (fig. 2). In the early part of the sequence, ECoEs fall through the combined effects of reach and scale. As these drivers are exhausted, depletion takes over, forcing ECoEs back up again. Fig. 2 Technology helps to accelerate downwards trends in ECoEs in the early part of the parabola, and then acts to mitigate increases on the upswing. It’s extremely important that we don’t get the role and potential of technology out of context. Technological potential is always limited by the ‘envelope’ of the physical characteristics of the resource. For example, advances in fracking techniques have reduced the costs of extracting shale oil to levels lower than the cost of producing that same resource at an earlier time. What this has not done is to turn shales into the economic equivalent of large, conventional oil fields in the sands of Arabia – technology, then, cannot overcome the differences in physical characteristics between these resources. 2.3. The irresistible rise in ECoEs As we’ve seen, the ECoEs of FFs have progressed along a historic parabola, and are now rising relentlessly. This trajectory is illustrated in fig. 3. It must be stressed that the earlier part of the chart, shown as a dotted line, is simply illustrative – we don’t have enough data to know what ECoEs were in 1800, for example, or in 1900. We do, though, know enough about historical events, and about the processes involved, to have a pretty good general idea about where ECoEs were in earlier times. Evidence strongly suggests that a low-point – an ‘ECoE nadir’ – was reached in the two decades or so after 1945. This makes it wholly unsurprising – and not remotely coincidental – that this was a ‘golden age’ of growing prosperity. Fig. 3 Looking at this historically, it’s noteworthy how two factors, not one, favoured the development of the Industrial Economy through a very extended period. Just as ECoEs were falling (thanks to reach, scale and technology), so the total supply of FF energy was increasing as well. This meant that we enjoyed a ‘virtuous circle’ in which the supply of surplus (ex-ECoE) energy was rising more rapidly than the total (‘gross’) availability of energy. The situation today, though, is that the reverse applies, with a ‘vicious circle’ rather than a virtuous one. Just as trend ECoEs are rising relentlessly, so our ability to carry on increasing the gross supply of energy is being undermined, not just by the depletion of resources but also by the way in which rising ECoEs are undercutting the economics of the energy industries themselves. To remain viable, these industries need to sell energy at prices which are both (a) above costs of supply, and (b) affordable to the consumer. The situation now is that, whilst costs are rising, increases in ECoE are also undermining affordability, by impairing the prosperity of the consumer. In the period immediately preceding the coronavirus crisis, the consensus assumption was that total supply of energy was going to carry on rising at rates not dissimilar to those of the recent past. Three authoritative suppliers of forecasts agreed that, by 2040, consumption of oil would be 10-12% greater than it was in 2018, that the use of gas would have grown by 30-32%, and that even the use of coal would not have decreased. Along with this would go an increase of about 75% in global vehicle numbers, and of about 90% in passenger aviation. To those of us who understand the energy economy and the trends in ECoEs, these were never realistic projections. 2.4. Renewables – imperative, but not an economic ‘fix’ As the ECoEs of FFs continue to rise, and as concern increases over the threat to the environment posed by emissions, many believe that a “transition” to renewable energy (RE) sources will transform the situation. We should be in no doubt that, on economic as well as environmental grounds, transition to REs is imperative. Continued reliance on FF energy might or might not wreck the environment, but would definitely wreck the economy, as the ECoEs of oil, gas and coal continue their relentless increases. There are, though, two reasons for doubting the ability of REs to underpin economic prosperity by driving overall ECoEs back down the parabola. The first of these is that RE remains essentially derivative of FF energy. We cannot (yet, anyway), build a wind turbine using only wind power, or a solar panel using solar energy alone. For the foreseeable future, the development of RE capacity will remain reliant on inputs whose availability depends on the use of energy sourced from FFs. This limits the potential for further reductions in the ECoEs of energy sources such as wind and solar power, tying these ECoEs to the (rising) energy costs of fossil fuels. This is why, as shown in fig. 4, it’s unrealistic to assume that the ECoEs of REs will fall indefinitely, the likelihood being that the linkage will limit further declines in RE ECoEs, and could start to push them back upwards. This linkage is reflected in the truly gigantic costs (which have been put at between $95 and $110 trillion) of transitioning from an FF to an RE economy. It doesn’t help, of course, that we’re reluctant to accept that the structure of an economy powered by RE electricity must differ from one powered by FFs. In the transport sector, for example, the portability of oil has favoured cars, but trams would make far more sense in an economy powered by electricity. Fig. 4 The second limiting factor for a transition of the industrial economy to REs is that their ECoEs may never be low enough. SEEDS modelling indicates that prosperity turns down at ECoEs of between 3.5% and 5.0% in the advanced economies, and between 8% and 10% in the less-complex EM countries (see fig. 8 at the end of this report). The likelihood is that the ECoEs of renewables may fall no further than 8% (at best, with 10% more probable). This would certainly make REs competitive with FFs (on a straight ‘ECoE to ECoE’ comparison), but it wouldn’t be low enough to stem, still less to reverse, the decline in prosperity that is already taking place. This leads us naturally to the subject of prosperity, but it’s necessary, first, to look at how financial manipulation (‘adventurism’) has simultaneously (a) failed to shore up “growth”, (b) obscured what’s really happening to the economy, and (c) created enormous systemic risk. 2.5. GDP – a victim of distortion As we’ve seen, money acts simply as a claim on the goods and services produced by the energy economy. Unfortunately, though, the energy basis of all economic activity has never gained recognition at the level of official decision-making, which instead continues to adhere to, and act upon, the belief that economics is ‘the study of money’, and that energy is ‘just another input’. Accordingly – and heavily influenced by the contemporary fashion for deregulation – the authorities responded to the onset of deceleration in the 1990s by labelling it “secular stagnation”, and trying to ‘fix’ it using monetary policies. In the period preceding the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC), the emphasis was on ‘credit adventurism’, which involved making debt ever cheaper, and ever easier to obtain. The result was that, though the economy appeared robust, what was really happening was that apparent activity was being inflated by increases in credit. At the same time, world debt grew far more rapidly than reported GDP (see fig. 5), whilst risk not only increased, but became ever more diffuse and opaque. When these trends triggered the GFC, the authorities set their faces against any kind of “reset”, opting instead to enact various forms of ‘monetary adventurism’. This hasn’t worked either, which is why the world entered the coronavirus crisis with (a) the financial system dangerously over-extended, and (b) no available policies, than those which have already failed so spectacularly. From a surplus energy perspective, the critical point here is that borrowing has far exceeded “growth” through a twenty-year period in which average annual “growth” (of 3.5%) has been made possible by rates of borrowing which have averaged 9.5% of GDP (see the right-hand chart). Fig. 5 This in turn means that a large proportion (more than half) of this “growth” has been cosmetic. This goes far beyond the simple ‘spending of borrowed money’, important though that has been. Monetary manipulation drives asset prices upwards, boosting the incomes of all of the many activities which are tied to assets. It also enables governments to provide services that, on an ex-borrowing basis, they could not afford to fund. Even those people who haven’t piled on extra personal debt almost invariably have customers, or an employer, who has, whilst governments, by definition, borrow on behalf of all citizens. The situation now is that, if debt was held at current levels (that is, it ceased to increase), global “growth” would slump, from a pre-crisis 3.5% to barely 1.0%. If we tried to reduce debt to prior levels, much of the intervening “growth” would be reversed. This leaves us with the third option of continuing to increase our debts, enabling incremental credit to keep flowing into the economy. Unfortunately, this process creates a tension between liabilities and incomes which must result in one of two things happening. Either borrowers default on debts which they can no longer afford to service (let alone repay), or the authorities have to push so much new liquidity into the system that the value of currencies collapses in an inflationary spiral which constitutes ‘soft’ default. Along the way, the collapse in returns on invested capital has played a major role in creating enormous gaps in pension provision, a situation that has rightly been dubbed a Global Pension Timebomb. 2.6. The economy – coming clean What matters here is that financial manipulation, whilst it cannot (by definition) change the trajectory of energy-determined prosperity, can disguise the situation by manufacturing “growth” and “activity” through the creation of debt and other financial ‘claims’ that forward economic output will not be able to honour. (These are known as “excess claims” in SEEDS terminology, and are useful in the measurement of financial sustainability). This gives us the choice of either (a) waiting for an enforced reset through a financial collapse, or (b) endeavouring to work out what is really happening to the economy behind the illusionary data presented, generally in good faith, to decision-makers, analysts and the public. The latter course involves the calculation of underlying or ‘clean’ output by adjusting for the GDP distortion induced by credit and monetary adventurism. On this basis, we can identify clean growth, which averaged only 1.7% (rather than the reported 3.5%) between 1999 and 2019 (see fig. 6). This provides a measure of underlying output (C-GDP) which, essentially, is what GDP would fall back to if we tried to deleverage the balance sheet back to prior levels of debt and other liabilities. Because debt is included in the right-hand chart in fig. 6, both sides of the distortionary linkage are readily apparent. Fig. 6 2.7. The prosperity dimension With C-GDP established, the deduction of trend ECoE enables us to measure prosperity, whether nationally, regional and globally, either as an aggregate or in per capita terms. Prosperity data is illustrated in fig. 7, in which all charts are calibrated in constant value international dollars, converted from other currencies using the PPP (purchasing power parity) convention. The left-hand and centre charts show a situation that will, by now, be familiar, with reported GDP deviating ever further from the underlying situation (C-GDP), whilst debt escalates, and rising ECoEs drive a widening wedge between C-GDP and prosperity. When, as in the centre chart, we calibrate debt, not against (increasingly meaningless) GDP, but against prosperity, we see how financial exposure, with its growing component of excess claims, has become totally out of control. This situation would look even more acute, of course, if either aggregate financial assets (a measure of exposure), and/or gaps in pension provision, were also depicted. Rising asset prices provide no useful offset at all, because these are purely notional valuations – they cannot be monetised, because the only people to whom these assets in their entirety could ever be sold are the same people to whom they already belong. The right-hand chart shows one aspect of the challenge facing governments, as the ability to raise taxes is squeezed by deteriorating prosperity. This presents governments with the choice between curbing their expenditures, or creating hardship (and provoking anger) by worsening the squeeze on discretionary (“left in your pocket”) prosperity. Fig. 7 We can and do, of course, take this analysis a great deal further. SEEDS data and interpretation is used to spell out the implications of de-growth; the extraordinary stresses facing every sector from the corporate and the financial to the realms of politics and government; and the insights that can be gained by applying the SEE understanding to our environmental challenge. It is hoped, though, that this resumé summarises the logic, methods and conclusions of the Surplus Energy Economics approach in a comprehensive but convenient form. As a final reminder of how energy economics (and ECoE in particular) connect with prosperity, fig. 8 shows the relationships between the two, identifying the levels of ECoE at which prosperity per capita has turned down in the United States and worldwide and was, pre-coronavirus, poised to turn down in China. Essentially, once trend ECoEs rise above a certain point, the average person starts getting poorer – a trend which no amount of financial tinkering can alter. Fig. 8
  50. 12 points
    unregistered_guest

    White Lives Matter..

    OK Serious answer. I remember the '80s. The tension, a palpable fear in my generation over the very real prospect of either nuclear devastation or subjugation to the Communist jackboot. Just like today, society was manipulated and divided in its reaction to that fear. And what happened? Communism disintegrated from within. I see society polarising again. But my firm conviction is, in the words of Dame Julian of Norwich, "All will be well!" Globalism, salafism and whatever other ism that will be taken advantage of by those who seek to rule through discord and division ... they too will fall. Because their own destruction is already baked into the mix. My job is therefore to stand firm and remind others of this indisputable fact. Yes, right now, it is difficult for others to see it, but that doesn't affect the reality of what will come to pass. To me, that's what faith is about. Sorry I can't give a clearer answer - but at least I didn't post a link to a two-hour long YouTube video.
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