Wow, this is really getting bad. The Brookings Institution promoting hypocrisy as the solution to our problems. Can’t make this stuff up. It is as if it isn’t even controversial. We just need to be reminded how obviously good it is for everybody.

Why Hillary Clinton Needs to Be Two-Faced

Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, is the author of “Political Realism: How Hacks, Machines, Big Money, and Back-Room Deals Can Strengthen American Democracy.”

Compare the Coverage of Mosul and East Aleppo and It Reveals a Lot
Oct. 22, 2016

Nothing to see here. Move along.

North Dakota farmer makes crude discovery: largest oil spill on US soil

And Greer is fantastic as usual…


50 Replies to “Mosul”

  1. gb, think of all the niches being opened up by the humans. humans, at least the industrial variety, have a very short shelf life. something like that….

  2. anyhoo, what’s that old saying? eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we will all be dead. something like that….

  3. one of Gail’s responses (the last one) to Dicky Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute regarding wind and solar PV as alternatives to fossil fuels:

    Gail Tverberg says:
    October 29, 2016 at 10:51 am

    After much delay, they finally put my comment up, and after further delay Richard Heinberg replied to my comment. He sent me an e-mail saying he had responded, and his reply would be up soon. After it still wasn’t up the next day, I sent him an e-mail asking where it was. It finally went up several hours later. My guess is that some others in the organization looked at his response, before it went up.

    I put together a response to his reply, which never did go up. It was after I wrote my response, and the new response didn’t go up, that I decided I needed to write an article on the topic. I had previously stayed away from the topic, because I thought the topic was too difficult for most readers. It also had the possibility of upsetting a lot of people. My second response, that never went up, was the following:
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I think we both agree that it is not possible to add very much intermittent renewables to the grid, without causing a major problem. It is the rest of your comment that I disagree with. You have followed standard “peak oil” reasoning, much of it supported by academic papers, but I find this reasoning to be incorrect.

    One of the issues is the idea that it would be possible to very substantially reduce our electricity demand by, say, 75% or more, without completely collapsing the economy. As I explained in my previous comment, I am looking at the physics of the situation. The economy requires energy. There may be tiny energy efficiency gains we can make very slowly over time, but most of these tend to be lost through Jevons Paradox. The economy is a dissipative structure, just as a hurricane is, and just as ecosystems are. All plants and animals, including humans, are dissipative systems.

    Your idea that we can reduce energy consumption by 75% or more is equivalent to the idea that we could make hurricanes continue to exist when their heat sources have mostly disappeared—say, when they move over cold water or over land. This doesn’t happen. Your idea is also equivalent to the idea that you could reduce the food you give to your dog by 75%, or the food you eat yourself by 75%, with no ill effects. It simply can’t happen.

    The physics connection to the economy is not an easy idea to see, so models have left this out. Engineers have tended to assume that all that is important is the oil or coal or gas in the ground. In fact, the price available for extraction is terribly important in determining whether any type of energy product can be produced. This price is indirectly determined by both wage and debt levels. The economy needs to be growing fairly rapidly to allow wage levels to continue to rise. Rising debt levels can temporarily mask an inadequate rise in wages, but this is a temporary situation.

    Another point of confusion has been whether energy prices can be expected to rise endlessly. Economists, with their poor models of the economy, have not been helpful in clarifying the situation. Aude Illig and Ian Schindler have a new working paper (, which indicates that we should expect oil prices tend to first ratchet upward as we reach a peak in oil production. Prices will then ratchet downward, causing production to fall rapidly. Also, I am a co-author of a recent academic paper that discusses the possibility that high prices will be the cap on oil extraction. Both of these papers strongly suggest that the popular view of ever-rising energy prices is wrong.

    Another point of confusion is whether EROEI calculations are useful tools for evaluating intermittent energy. The issue we are dealing with is substituting greater complexity (intermittent renewables plus a larger and more complex electric grid structure) as a workaround for inadequate energy supplies. If we read Joseph Tainter’s book, The Collapse of Complex Societies, we find that growing complexity is often a proximate cause of collapse. Evaluating the impact of this increasing complexity (more debt, more hierarchical organization to create and manage the new structures) is far beyond what EROEI was intended to do. EROEI calculations are designed for the simple case where the output is nearly simultaneous with the input, and the type of output is fairly similar to a fossil fuel.

    One way of “checking our work” is to see whether wind and solar PV can pay a reasonably high level of taxes, because any source of energy that is producing considerable net energy should be able to pay high taxes to support the government—supporting the government is, in fact, the primary use of net energy. Fossil fuel energy has always paid high taxes. My conclusion is that intermittent renewables are, in fact, net energy sinks. Adding them to our energy mix makes no sense, either now or in the future.

  4. Some very poor penalty shooting. The one shot where the shooter just stands, steps once and push passes it low into the right corner with the keeper diving the wrong way is pretty cool, though.

  5. Conclusion:

    If oil prices remain low, no one knows how long oil companies will survive. They are not charity organisations. Even if oil prices were to come back to $100 over a period of several years (which would kill the global economy for good because of the high debt accumulated during the previous high oil price episode), earnings would be unlikely to come back to pre-2008 levels. It seems that the international oil supply system is financially unstable. Governments should heed the warnings coming from analysing oil company data. As a minimum no more oil dependent infrastructure should be built. Better of course are rail projects but the time is running out.

  6. yeah, as an individual “investor”, all i really care about is one more payout. i’ll use the payout to “invest” in what some might call “hard assets”, land, livestock, maybe a tractor or two, maybe a horse or two. etc. the end of industrialism is baked into the cake. why even the debate? silly. stupid. etc.

    the only question, in my mind anyway, is how i can turn that end to my own, albeit temporary, advantage? the answers seem almost infinite…

    my question to gail, et al, might be, why are you debating the details of a done deal? fucking stupid…

  7. yeah, why even engage the likes of Heinberg and Kunstler, et al. (let alone the idiot economists like Krugman)? they want to sell books. that’s why they have blogs. Gail just wants to be of service in assimilating and getting the truth out. she doesn’t need the money.

    i think i have a lot of my academic colleagues on edge now. they know i know. it would be too easy to accuse them of selling hope, so i don’t. besides, the rot goes all the way to the top.

  8. getting spare parts for the tractors might be an issue. maybe buy a rural hardware/feed store, keep it well stocked, and then use the inventory for yourself and your tribe. guarded, of course.

  9. i wonder what could be the stupidest position to be in? how about living in a high-rise condo, say above the 30th floor, in the middle of a city of over one million people, on an island located thousands of miles from the nearest land ports, with only airline services, no boats unless your own a personal one, with over 90% dependence on imported food and goods and only a two-week supply (on average) if the ships and planes stop coming?

    that’s me except i don’t live in a condo, but in a house about 500 feet up a ridge, totally dependent upon the grid for electrically-pumped fresh water. i guess we could drink the swimming pool water in a pinch. catchment is a sick joke here with an asphalt tile roof and low rainfall.

  10. yeah, i really shouldn’t deride gt, or anybody else for that matter. just a mood of a moment…

    we all just live a life…

  11. i think that gt mischaracterizes the old peak oil argument. i don’t think anyone has ever said, “…energy prices can be expected to rise endlessly.” i don’t think. i could be wrong.

  12. so, i do go to jhk every monday am for my weekly dose of politiks. always good for a laugh, or at least a chuckle…

  13. i think of gt’s work as attempting to educate the less impaired morons out there, like moi. hopefully, good for a few laughs on her part. she doesn’t need the money or the fame.

  14. could not open above link.

    dave, i’m currently in NYC, staying with my oldest son near Columbia U., upper west side. will be traveling to Nashville on Sun., back in NYC next Friday. have time to meet you next Sat., if you are up for that. maybe offer contact details on FB.

    currently jet-lagged from long hell flight here.

  15. i think it’s kinda funny that often enough i’m accused of being a misogynist. i often enough correct this misapprehension and tell such accusers, “no, i’m a misanthrope”.

    “My saying this will bring forth much squeaking and gibbering to the effect that I am insecure and fantasizing about Marlboro Man, remembering a macho world that never was, a latent transgender, and that I hate everybody. Only the last comes close.”

  16. “In the 1950s and 1960s, young people didn’t have to leave for college, move to another state, or join the military, putting their lives at risk (in sharp contrast to most of their more educated or affluent fellow Americans), in order to find a job that paid enough to raise a family. Businesses didn’t demand tax breaks from their towns and then move away as soon as the tax break expired. Your kids could follow in your footsteps and do better than you, just as you had done better than your own parents.

    Since that time, however, working families have experienced downsizing, outsourcing, and the relentless destruction of middle-wage jobs, with their reinvention as lower-wage jobs. They lost homes or home values in the deepest recession since the Great Depression and have since watched a “recovery” that has mainly benefited wealthy urbanites.”

  17. sure, i sent you a fb message. can you meet earlyish in the day? i definately have to be back in new haven for 7pm…

  18. ya know, i think it’s kind of funny that anyone thinks the american middle class economic phenomenon can somehow be not be perverted, that it can endure in some way.

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