# Apocalypse Soon?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Futilitist, Jan 1, 2013.

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1. ### CEngelbrechtRegistered Senior Member

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Right, 'cause riots is a sure fire win every time. The problem with the world's corrupt leaders is that their disgruntled minions would do exactly the same if in their shoes. 'Cause we all piss and shit the same way.

3. ### Beer w/StrawTranscendental Ignorance!Valued Senior Member

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But can't dark energy and expansion, entropy and disorder be viewed like some kind of perpetual motion? Leaving the collapse of civilization as having the whole universe and constituents tear itself apart and become some gelatinous soupy goo?

If that were the case, perpetual motion is the collapse of civilization.

5. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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Yes, that always applies. Given that, it is unfortunate that you do not understand the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

7. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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You also predicted that the collapse would begin two years ago, with global unrest starting in the summer of 2013 followed by a massive (and inevitable) economic collapse. And yet the economic recovery continues.

You also predicted 16USD/gal gas by 2015 and 32USD/gal gas by 2016. And yet here we are halfway through 2015 - and US gas prices are well under 3USD.

In your case, past performance _is_ indicative of future results.

8. ### KondratieffRegistered Member

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You can find all of them if you google "Triangle of doom oil" in Google Images.

For example, Steved forecast in Dec 2013 was: "After the end of next year (2014) the cost of new fuel will be greater than what customers can afford"

Well, in fact the author of the ETP model (that Futilist is trying to present, something which I think it's really complicated if you don't have a scientific background and you don't have complete access to the model data) thought in 2013, and the first half of 2014, that prices were going to sky-rocket because of all this load of expensive and unconventional oil entering the market. Then, he corrected the data and created the ETP model months before the oil slump.

However, Steve Ludlum (his blog, I have to say, it's pretty modest and doesn't get a lot of visits), forecast the price slump in 2012... and more, he forecast the exact moment. He said that he ordered a copy of the ETP model few months ago and has been in touch with the author, but so far he hasn't posted anything about it yet.

The Great Recession has been over for the USA.

But what happened to Spain , Italy, Greece, Ireland, Cyprus or Portugal? What happened to Libya, Egypt, Syria or Tunisia? Have all of them recovered their previous living standards?

Steve has a name for this: "Conservation by other means"

9. ### KondratieffRegistered Member

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I am going to quote what Steve posted when the Oil slump occurred (Dec 2014):

Since 2008, the world has become poorer; what remains of purchasing power has been diverted away from ordinary customers toward elites. Monetary- and fiscal policies around the world have amplified this flow making it difficult for customers to buy industrial goods including oil. By catering to crony ‘friends’ the central banks and governments have been working against their own stated interests, precipitating the very crisis they have been working so hard (?) to avoid.

The hope: more easing => lower money cost for drillers => price bubble ‘hedge’ against high- and increasing crude price => more financial market support for drillers. Finance makes money lending to all concerned.

The reality: more easing => more tycoon ‘success’ => more customer insolvency => lower crude prices => deflation => finance-lender bankruptcy => driller distress leading to more easing. Finance fails as customers are unable to retire firms’ debts and they (firms) default.

Because there are no organic returns from fuel use, customers must borrow.

There is a constant need for individuals to take on more debt; even as globalization has expanded the number of debtors it has not expanded their means. The world’s credit market is inundated with obligations that outweigh the ability of humans to retire them by way of labor. Reduced means = price declines. The elites cannot- or will not support a mass-market enterprise like oil consumption: they will lend some of their own (borrowed) funds to participating firms but refuse to squander a meaningful proportion of their wealth to simply buy and waste fuel. As the non-elites imitate their betters => price declines.

The economic arguments against inequality have narrow merit: the success of elites of grabbing more for themselves offers diminished returns. Non-elites’ obligation include servicing and retiring the elites’ debts, they do so by borrowing- and buying overpriced goods. From a wider viewpoint, elite success at pauperizing the bulk of the human race is a crude form of resource conservation. Greed undermines our consumption economy; this is a blessing in disguise! Pillage-to-breakdown gives our planetary life support system what small chance remains for it to do its job through the balance of the millennium … until we can learn to husband our capital wisely.

Retirement of loans requires productive activities that gain returns that can be applied against principal; productive activity is where ‘means’ are supposed to come from. The gargantuan amounts of debts today indicates there are really no productive activities at all, only borrowing platforms and (false) narratives. Debts are not retired with the output of industry but rather with new rounds of lending. Debts multiply exponentially as old debts drag from coffins like vampires-plus-interest. At the same time, new credit is always needed to fund the latest fashionable failing enterprises. Our dead-money debts are worthless claims against a rapidly diminishing capital account. Not just citizens but the world entire economy is insolvent: the oil price tells us that we can no longer borrow against the promise of future productivity … because there is no such thing.

Technology makes every sort of outlandish promise but is never able to simply pay its own way. Technology-related costs expand faster than returns, at the same time tech pushes aside forms that might serve to retire some of these costs: the voracious power demands of Internet data centers must be met with coal, Internet companies such as Amazon that perpetually lose money replace profitable ‘brick and mortar’ stores that provided the revenues which enabled the online firms’ rise in the first place.

The price for crude oil does not measure the worth of extraction but rather the worth of consumption … over the past six months there has been the downward repricing (depricing) of consumption by 35%. At the same time, reducing the price of inputs does not increase the solvency of the world’s bankrupts. A society cannot borrow- or consume its way to wealth. Only the careful husbandry of capital produces wealth. Industrialization is the strip mining of our capital and hunt for more. What propels the wasting process is the false promise that the mining process ‘creates’ capital rather than annihilating it.

The same folks who are needed to push up the price of crude are on food stamps, have lost 35% of their wealth in Japan, have ‘slowed’ in China; are mired in depression in southern Europe … and in northern, eastern and western Europe as well. Because a car cannot be paid for by driving the car, the world is ruined by way of its 1 billion cars.

Driving the car does not pay for the fuel, or the roads or any of the rest of the associated junk including the massive, intrusive governments that everyone loves to hate. What pays is hundreds of trillion$of debt … that can never be retired. The costs of housing, education, Obamacare, wars, infrastructure maintenance and entertainment (drugs) are borne by citizens who must borrow additional amounts to bid the price of petroleum products. The customers have reached their credit limits, as a consequence they are insolvent: customers must borrow to retire their own debts. Credit breakdowns caused by driller defaults will smash the customers even harder … the bid will shrink leading to more defaults in a vicious cycle: this is ‘Energy Deflation’, similar to Irving Fisher’s debt deflation model. Energy Deflation is Underway Right Now. The price will decline to the level where use (waste) of petroleum is deemed to offer a return. Because there are no returns, there is nowhere for oil prices to go but to decline. At the same time, no matter how low the nominal prices fall, they will always be a bit out of reach for the marginal customer. Ultimately, only the elites will be able to afford fuel, time will tell how much of a fuel supply- and use system elites can support. By refusing to institute voluntary stringent conservation we are set to experience ‘Conservation by Other Means™’ less fuel use by way of war, national ruin, credit and currency crises. Saudi Arabia has nothing to do with this as they are fully committed to high-priced crude to pay welfare to their millions of unemployable citizens. This is also true for the rest of OPEC. There is also no real excess supply of crude as the flow of fuel supplies is 6- or 7 million barrels per day below pre-2005 trends. This ongoing shortage does not cause price to increase, it reduces customer purchasing power, instead. This is what the economists miss: oil prices will test the 2009 low, there will be the tendency toward even lower prices. Tighten your chin straps: the next phase of the Great Financial Crisis has begun. Source: http://www.economic-undertow.com/2014/12/page/2/ I think you're leaving out of your analysis the DEBT: Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! Best Regards, PS- Futilist, I didn't want to upset you, instead I wanted to underline that you should present a topic such as the current one in a different way. So far, the author of the ETP model is the only one who can defend it to the last consequences, since neither you and I haven't seen the whole data. Last edited: Apr 24, 2015 10. ### FutilitistThis so called forum is a fraud...Registered Senior Member Messages: 1,586 Hi Kondratieff. I am not upset. I am glad you are here. Please call me Futilitist (only my enemies call me Futilist). I recently added the Etp model to the ongoing discussion of collapse. It is being treated with the same derision as everything I present here. Most of my posts have been to address intentional misreadings and misinterpretations of something I said in a prior post. Did you notice how you are defending Steve Ludlum's, B.W. Hill's, and my right to add new information logically to something we said previously? That is just an intentional misunderstanding loop to make you have to explain yourself over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. They will never acknowledge you have made a single point. Please take a look back at how all this got started to see that I began just like you did, earnestly trying to field every question, carefully explaining each point, supplying links to supporting data, and generally trying everything possible to have a serious discussion. I have been at this with these guys on this topic since Jan. 1, 2012. Three years of banging my head against a wall. It is like I have been typing to myself. Most people here still act like collapse is something to joke about. They pretend that it is outrageously ridiculous to even suggest that we might be in overshoot, or that we might be running low on energy, or that energy is actually even necessary for economic growth, etc. If you carefully examine the history of this thread, you will have a hard time finding one single serious response to any post I have made over the last 3 years and 86 pages! People here say I deserve the treatment I have received. I was a little miffed that you would so easily buy into the way I am treated here, accepting the lie that it is somehow my fault. That is why I handed the thread to you. If I do lay back and let you take over, they may be tempted to treat you differently to try to prove that I am causing the constant bullying that I have received here because my posts are just so "stupid". This might even temporarily raise the general intelligence level of the thread. If that happens, I predict they will be nice to you for a while, and call me an idiot for saying I agree exactly with something you said. Except for what you unfairly implied about my presentation skills, I do agree with just about everything you have said in the 6 posts you have made so far. Like I said before, welcome to the discussion. I do hope you will stick around. Perhaps if we work together, we can make some progress. Even for this die hard Futilitist, hope springs eternal. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! ---Futilitist Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! Last edited: Apr 24, 2015 11. ### FutilitistThis so called forum is a fraud...Registered Senior Member Messages: 1,586 Hi Russ. Here is a blast from the past for you. These quotes come from your very first post on the "Apocalypse Soon?" thread, on Feb. 1, 2013: Tracking predictions through time is a good idea. Ha ha. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! Some "revolution". It looks like that meteoric rise in US oil production is just about over, since the oil price is now below the cost of fracking. Got any more revolutionary predictions there, Russ? It would appear that Hubbert's original 1970 US oil peak prediction is pretty safe for now. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! ---Futilitist Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! 12. ### exchemistValued Senior Member Messages: 7,716 Just about everyone but you, apparently, is well aware that shale oil and gas development has eased off in response to the current oil glut and consequent price fall, and that, if demand picks up again such that prices once more rise, shale oil and gas development will increase once again. This is, you see, the operation of something we call "market forces". If you had ever working in the chemical industry, or in shipping, to give just two examples, you would realise that these cycles are common features of markets in which there is a significant time-lag between price changes and the bringing to market of additional capacity. None of this has anything to do with physics. Last edited: Apr 24, 2015 13. ### KondratieffRegistered Member Messages: 20 Well, what would happen in the event that BP discovers that there is an oil field that requires 200$ per barrel to be profitable? Do you think that we will get this oil at some point in the future?

The problem is that the access to energy (such as petroleum) ultimately determines the economic expansion. The economy is powered by the energy, Period. If there is access to cheap energy, the economy grows and there is more capital and funds to invest in new energy projects. If there is no access to vast amounts of cheap energy, the system requires to pile up more and more debt in order to kick the can down the road and do "bussiness as usual".

Oil prices need to rise now, or half of fracking will be dead by the end of this year. An author who forecast the oil price slump says that this won't happen. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...king-companies-will-be-dead-or-sold-this-year

14. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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Probably not. We'd just stop bitching about the risks of nuclear energy, and start building more reactors.

15. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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Yes, I have no doubt that at some stage in the future it will be economic to extract oil or gas from fields that require such prices. But it will be a while, and by the time it happens, we will be reserving hydrocarbons for those applications that can least readily adopt alternatives.

It is rubbish to say fracking will be "dead" if oil prices do not rise. The current companies may well go bust, but so what? That's what happens in a capitalist economy. Some investors take a risk and lose. Tough. There will be others. The the fracking technique and the reservoirs will still obviously be there, so they will not be "dead" and can perfectly easily be resurrected when the price rises again.

Also the economy is not "powered by the energy, period". It is a well attested fact that the energy intensiveness of economic activity has greatly reduced. There is no one to one link between economic activity and energy consumption.

Again, none of this has anything to do with physics.

16. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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Not for a long time, since there are very large reserves recoverable below that price. However, at some point as those other sources are exhausted, AND there are uses for that high priced fuel (aviation, spacecraft etc) then it will be recovered.
No, there's no need to "pile on debt." That's just a thoughtless way to stimulate the economy. It's a separate issue from cheap energy (although cheap energy is a boon for any economy.)
"Fracking will be dead" is pretty dramatic language. What will happen is that fracking in wells that do not have oil recoverable below current oil prices will shut down. Once the price of oil rises, they will restart.

17. ### KondratieffRegistered Member

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Are you saying that if we completely stop using fuel, nuclear, renewables, etc... our society will continue to function as if nothing had happened? There are negative feed-backs if the price of energy goes up (one of them is diminishing the affordability capacity of the end-consumer, by the way) and positive feed-backs if the price of energy drops. Our economy will collapse to a stone age economy if we stop using fuel. I don't think anyone can discuss this fact.

Energy powers the economy.
If energy is expensive to produce during a period of time, the economy has to become smaller, because it affects the price of transport, production, manufacturing of most items that we consume today. Consumers react to this inflation surge by cutting discretionary spending. Jobs are lost and wages drop.
If the price of energy drops, the economy will grow again, but the cause of this drop has to be a new input of cheap energy entering the system for this to occur.
However, if energy continues to be expensive to produce, the economy will shrink to a point where it cannot longer afford to pay the extraction costs of this energy. In that case, prices drop, because what ultimately determines the final price of a good is not its cost of production or extraction, but what customers can afford to pay for it. We have good examples for this: "Clearance sales".
The end-consumer(aggregate demand, not individual demand) is willing to pay for oil and will definitely pay for it, but not at any price. Now this price stands between 70-80 $. We can be sure that there is an affordability problem if in the next two years: - Oil prices (average) don't rise and they continue a clear trend: Drop and drop. - Economy doesn't improve. - Unconventional production is phased out and never enters the market again. - Investment in future oil projects is significantly slashed. - Debt continues to grow at the same intensity. This graph depicts the relationship between economy&energy. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! 18. ### exchemistValued Senior Member Messages: 7,716 Lots of things "power the economy", not just energy, the most fundamental being human effort (mental as well as physical) and ingenuity. Of course I'm not arguing there is NO need for energy. That is a silly reductio ad absurdum. I'm not arguing that at all (obviously), I'm arguing what I said I was, which is that there is no one to one relationship between energy use and economic activity. The way we use energy today, compared to, say the 1960s, makes this perfectly plain. Western economies have shown they are able to thrive with oil at well over$100/bbl, as it was in the early 2000s. I cannot count the number of times I have read how resilient economies have become to changes in crude price. The reaction of economies to the oil shocks of the 1970s was to improve energy efficiency. Just look, for example, at the evolution in the design of cars and buildings since then.

So it is nonsense to say a rise in energy cost inevitably means a shrinking of the economy. Its growth will certainly be inhibited by rising energy costs, but depending on the degree and rate of rise, it may well be able to accommodate this without massive shocks. Free market economies adapt. Adaptation can take many forms, from increased energy efficiency (the cars and buildings example), to changed patterns of behaviour (e.g. home working instead of driving and flying everywhere to do business), to accelerating the development of alternative energy sources (e.g. the massive growth in renewables over the last decade). I would have thought this was perfectly obvious.

Look at this graph for the USA: http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=10191 This shows that energy intensity in the US economy is now two fifths of what it was in 1950. Less than half! And it is projected to go on dropping. This is from the EIA, by the way, not some Mickey Mouse organisation.

Any model that relies on a fixed relationship between energy consumption and economic output is thus manifestly wrong.

None of this is physics. It is a matter of economics and of history.

Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
19. ### Beer w/StrawTranscendental Ignorance!Valued Senior Member

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I can't tell if this thread is about the apocalypse, or an organism extracting nutrients from the environment to survive and reproduce.

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20. ### danshawenValued Senior Member

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I think they're talking about cutting down the rest of the rainforests to print books and pamphlets about economics and history, or else to burn them plus a lot of coal as fuel to produce electricity to power their computers so they can go online and bloviate about the same boring subject matter. Extracting nutrients from the environment to survive and reproduce and not paying for or trying to conserve them is pretty much the description of a parasite, isn't it?

More free energy shines down from the sky than we can possibly use, yet all our cars seem to be powered by recycled dinosaurs. Whose design is that?

Must be another oil or energy tycoon or John Galt wannabe or something (shrugs). We would be better off not buying what they are selling. The sooner the energy / economic apocalypse happens, the better. They won't be able to fill up the tanks of their Ferrari's indefinitely either, but maybe, just maybe, global warming would slow down just a little bit after an energy crisis of the sort described in this thread.

21. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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True. However, we have historical data that demonstrates that \$120 a barrel is a price that people can afford to pay - and a price that is compatible with a growing economy. Which means that we have quite a large buffer.
And if the economy tanks. If the economy continues to improve, then that is an indication that oil is both cheap and plentiful enough to enable economic growth.

22. ### FutilitistThis so called forum is a fraud...Registered Senior Member

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Energy Physics for Dummies

You are 100% wrong! Available energy is always the starting point if you want to accomplish any actual work. And that has everything to do with physics.

Let's say you had a shipping company, like you just mentioned, for example. If you want to ship any actual stuff (and make some actual money), what do you need besides some trucks and some drivers? Here is a hint: The obvious answer is energy, in this case diesel fuel. Without it, your shipping company cannot possibly move the weight of goods to be shipped. And if the cost of diesel fuel is too high, your shipping company will not make a profit. Period. So, the physics of energy is very closely related to the dollars you can earn. No energy = No economy.

No one ever suggested that a rise in energy cost inevitably leads to shrinkage of the economy. That is a straw man. You go on to say that economic growth is inhibited by rising energy costs. This is logical and true because of the physics of energy, and how that relates to the economy. But you also seem to be at least implying that while economic growth can be inhibited, it cannot ever be stopped or reversed. This is clearly false.
This is the invisible hand argument. It is an economics argument, not a physics argument.

1) All markets aren't necessarily free. Have you factored that in to your claim?
2) Markets, free or not, do not have an unlimited ability to adapt to anything that comes along. If you are claiming that markets actually do have some sort of magical unlimited capability to adapt to high oil prices, then the burden of proof for that stupid claim is on you.
See what I mean? This is a very wishy washy thing to say. What if the degree and/or rate of rise is higher than can be accommodated by the invisible hand you keep invoking? What happens then? (Hint---the oil price will crash, just like it did starting in June of 2014.)

It is good that you are at least able to recognize that energy is needed for the economy.
Who said anything about about a perfect one to one relationship? That is a straw man. Here is the actual relationship between world oil production and world GPD:
http://www.thehillsgroup.org/depletion2_012.htm

That is a very close relationship, isn't it? That is because the relationship is based on the physics of energy. If the relationship between oil use and GDP has nothing to do with physics, how do you explain the close correspondence between world oil production and world GDP?

Wrong.

Wrong again.

Wrong yet again. You are so repetitive. And no one with a solid physics background would make such a stupid claim. Please re-read this post to see why your stupid claim is factually incorrect.

You still sound more like an execonomist than an exchemist.

My post here is a bit sarcastic (you deserve it, considering what you are trying to claim), but this is also quite a serious post about the physics of energy and how it is related to the economy. If you want to be sarcastic to me in kind, you are welcome to try. But please, do at least attempt to include some kind of serious answer to the physics point in question. Thanks.

---Futilitist

Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
23. ### FutilitistThis so called forum is a fraud...Registered Senior Member

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That might be the smartest thing you have said so far.

---Futilitist