Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Eye-Rolls of Summer

There isn’t much to report that I haven’t already reported. What goes on is more of the same but the attitude seems to have changed. A new development is the Global Eye-Roll and at this rate it may turn into an Olympic sport before long.

The US is on autopilot, cruising toward collapse, swamped by debt and politically dysfunctional but still trying to bully the world. In response, the world has been practicing the coordinated global eye-roll: the Americans (and/or their proxies) damage some oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and blame it on Iran—time for an eye-roll. Since this doesn’t have the intended effect, the Americans (and/or their proxies)… decide that it’s time to damage some more oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and blame it on Iran—time for another eye-roll. Meanwhile, there are lots of US navy ships steaming about the Persian Gulf, and that’s a sure sign that open hostilities with Iran will be avoided because those ships are very expensive, there is no money to replace them, and given Iran’s very advanced rocketry they are sitting ducks.

Another eye-rolling occasion arises whenever US officials talk up their hydrocarbon exports. The only reason the US has a temporary surplus of hydrocarbons is because of the fracking industry, which is drowning in red ink and will never be made whole because the prices it requires are higher than what the world can afford. Shale oil is but a temporary blip, and what comes next is what happens after Peak Oil—which is anyone’s guess, because that’s where all the best economic models and forecasting tools stop working, but my guess is that the world will separate into energy haves and energy have-nots, and the have-nots will have a hard time maintaining anything like a first-world lifestyle by serving each other overpriced caffeinated beverages or psychoanalyzing each others’ pets.

Yet another eye-rolling occasion is Trump’s war on Huawei, which has led Google to deprive Huawei smartphones of access to its Android operating system. Now, get ready for an eye-roll, because operating systems are at this point free items floating about in the public domain. With the exception of Microsoft Windows, which is absolute, total crap, they are all based on either Linux (as is Android) or BSD Unix (Mac OS, etc.) and these are both free. Making Linux work on a smartphone, or a fridge, or a toaster is a matter of writing a whole bunch of interfaces and device drivers, and that's something that a million monkeys with typewriters can come up with a million times faster than just one monkey toiling alone. And so there are now not one but two Android replacements in the works—one Chinese, one Russian—that will still support all of your favorite apps. Meanwhile, Google will be renamed to Booble and all of its brilliant Russian employees will move back to Moscow. OK, you can roll your eyes now.

The weather has certainly been wild. In the US, much of the farmland has been underwater, the planting for corn and soy has been much reduced and much delayed, and just one early frost will spell disaster for the harvest. Weather has been equally wild on the other side of the planet, in Russia, which is the other huge agricultural exporter. It’s snowing in Norilsk, egg-sized hailstones and torrential rains have caused flooding in the south, endless forest fires in the east and sweltering temperatures in the middle. Climate models aside, there are some indications that given this wild weather feeding everyone may become a problem. No doubt the rich will respond by trying to get the poor to eat each other (eye-roll, please) and the poor will respond with their own plan, which is to eat the rich (eye-roll) but once they’ve eaten all the rich they will end up eating each other anyway (snort).

Some people are clamoring that we stop before it’s too late or various words to that effect. There is an obsessive-compulsive Swedish girl, Greta is her name, I think, who’s been making the rounds, her lavishly funded media campaign financed by the usual globalist oligarchs (Gore, Soros, etc.) telling people that we have to stop burning fossil fuels, eating meat, etc. To be perfectly consistent, the way obsessive-compulsives are compelled to be, she should stop breathing because when she exhales she produces carbon dioxide which warms the planet.

Also, somebody should tell Greta that if the world stopped burning fossil fuels the planet’s average temperature would rocket up anywhere between 1ºC and 1.5ºC—a huge amount, because of a phenomenon known as global dimming. All the smog from burning fossil fuels is limiting the amount of solar radiation that reaches the planet’s surface. Add to this the 0.5ºC of warming that’s been achieved since the start of the fossil fuel age, and there’s your 2ºC which everyone has been saying would be catastrophic. And so, when someone starts going on about how “We must stop global warming” it may be time for another Global Eye-Roll. We’re past all that “Inconvenient Truth” stuff; consider yourselves royally inconvenienced.

Speaking of inconvenienced, where I am now, at the Orlov compound at an undisclosed location, we haven’t had a good soaking rain in at least two weeks and so I am off to… water the potato field. That’s what the world has come to: we have to actually water the damn potatoes, because, you know, we like to eat. Feel free to do an eye roll.


Michael Dowd said...

In time of war the sitting President is usually re-elected. Now Trump wouldn't do a thing like that, would he? Say it isn't true Orlov.

jal said...

"So assuming that won't be done what's coming?"

Pain Killers.

anchyo123 said...

After the end of the shale oil boom in the US, won't the Middle East and Russia start producing shale oil ?

Jayhawk said...

As you mentioned, when humans breathe they produce CO2 which warms the planet. About 1 billion people were breathing in 1800, some 7.7 billion are breathing today. No one mentions that problem. Some people say we should stop eating meat. No one says we should stop BEING meat.

We are also real heat generating machines. Our bodies generate heat like crazy and if we cannot get rid of that heat, to the planet's atmosphere, we die rather quickly of heatstroke. About 1 billion people were adding to planetary heat in 1800, about 7.7 billion people are doing so today.

Ien in the Kootenays said...

I hope you are right regarding Iran. However, the fact an action would be humungously stupid and self destructive does not mean it will not be undertaken. Especially since the wellbeing of the world is of little concern to the nuttier theocracists waiting in the wings who are cheering for Armageddon. Otherwise, happy potato growing. My answer to all the madness in the world is to carry on gardening.

Unknown said...


No, they almost certainly don't have the geologically advantageous situation which has made the US revolution possible. Also they CERTAINLY don't have the ridiculously accomodative financial environment that allowed uneconomic wells to continue to produce whilst producing zero profits! The only profits from shale have been banking siphons on deals, not real profits.

Dave in Van said...

Speaking of games,"esports" will be a medal sport in the next Asian Games, and a demonstration sport in the next Olympic Games.

If sitting on a chair staring at screens is a sport, why not eye-rolling.

Bob said...

Speaking of Greta, your position would be that she and Extinction Rebellion are "controlled opposition?" They couldn't very well go through with that planned "Heathrow drone protest" today, could they? After the Gatwick fiasco? Your insight here deeply appreciated.

Unknown said...

Hey! Not only are 7.7 billion people breathing, they are all passing flatus. And they blame it on the poor cows for producing methane, into the atmosphere.

RB Seymour said...

OK. Since there isn't much to report that you haven't already reported and we are all just waiting around for the USA to collapse, kindly RESUME YOUR COMEDY WRITING.

Just pick ANYTHING in the news (like what Jimmy Dore does) and put the laugh track to it.

Please. I'm tired of watching first amendment auditor videos.

Antoinetta III said...

What is everyone's idea of a timeline to when we hit Peak Shale? A year or two or three? It seems like when we hit Peak Shale, we also hit Peak All Liquids. I could see within a year or two after Peak All Liquids prices creeping upward, then spiking to unaffordable levels, then crashing, like back to the $20 per barrel level. What's everyone else's take on this?


Antoinetta III

Kevin Hester said...

"Also, somebody should tell Greta that if the world stopped burning fossil fuels the planet’s average temperature would rocket up anywhere between 1ºC and 1.5ºC—a huge amount, because of a phenomenon known as global dimming."
Orlov comes to the global dimming party and Extinction Rebellion still haven't accepted it.


The Seer said...

I have two counterpoints.

First, Americans are known for doing idiotic things with catastrophic consequences even when those results are obvious to begin with. So I wouldn't say attack on Iran is unlikely to be seen.

Second, it's not the Android OS that really matters, but the Google play store with all its apps that Huawei is cut off from. No users want to sacrifice their Google apps and ecosystem. And Blackberry and Windows phones have shown how difficult it is to compete with the preexisting OS and ecosystems of Apple and Google.

On a slightly unrelated note, does no one in Russia care about the potential spying from Huawei? Not to mention the health effects of 5G? (and no, EMF radiation is not a conspiracy. I encourage everyone to do their own research).

Dmitry Orlov said...

The Seer - You don't see correctly. Anybody can set up an app store, and all the app makers will naturally gravitate there.

Russians care about spying, but more from the US than China since China is an ally while the US is a "potential enemy."

I agree that EMF is not a conspiracy (although calling it "radiation" makes one sound clueless; a hot cup of tea is then also "radioactive" since it emits infrared photons). Doing your own research is also a great idea for those who have the time, the talent and the budget to do so. But I really don't have time for research of the "I put my cactus on my wifi router and it didn't bloom" variety.

Kevin Hester - There is no party, sorry. Global dimming was established after 9/11. The short period of time that there were no flights over the US resulted in a measurable temperature increase. Plugging the data into the models (relatively simple ones) gave a 1º-1.5ºC temperature increase if all fossil fuel emissions were stopped.

Antoinetta - Peak shale comes right after peak money, since producing shale oil and gas is a matter of burning money to make energy.

Seymour - I am a very serious person. I don't like jokes, and I do not do comedy.

RB Seymour said...

I understand that you are a very serious person and you may not like jokes. And if you assert that you do not do comedy, so be it. But you are still my favorite comedian (I mean writer).

Thank you for your patience and I look forward to your next post.

RB Seymour said...

Does this help?

Margie said...

May your potato harvest be abundant! I imagine your growing other stuff too. We have big dry spells here (Bulgaria) in July and August. For a lot of my stuff, I use "chop and drop" of the weeds around the plants I want to produce. helps retain moisture longer. but then again, you may not have weeds ;)

Rhisiart Gwilym said...

"I am a very serious person. I don't like jokes, and I do not do comedy."

Well, that raised a wry smile in itself, whether it was meant straight or with irony. One of the reasons that I pay for Orlov output (through SubscribeStar - not Patreon) is because I love the frequent LOLs and the more or less continuous delighted grins when I read a Dmitry piece. Odd that, considering how uncompromisingly dire the subjects are so often. But then, the other reason that I come to Club Orlov is for the penetrating insights into what's really happening, behind the Permanent Bullshit Blizzard (aka Western lamestream 'news'). That clarity is enough to make anyone smile. I note, though, that there's a persistent piece on the 'Russia Insider' archive called 'Why Don't Russians Smile?'. Some sort of cultural trait, I suppose... :0)

anchyo123 said...

Does anyone have thoughtful insights about my question ' After the end of the shale oil boom in the US, won't the Middle East and Russia start producing shale oil ? '

Rhisiart Gwilym said...


How about: No, because fracking is an inherently EROEI-rubbished delusion. It's never going to produce a real energy profit on energy invested. All it's doing at the moment is to burn money - rather inaccurately representing energy - to harvest less net energy than it takes to get it out and process it.

Hear Charlie Hall, one of the doyens of EROEI studies, discuss this with Chris Martenson at Crash Concepts:


The Seer said...

Orlov - That was my point. Blackberry and Windows Phone failed because they failed to woo the app developers into making their apps compatible for their own OS's. Having been a former Blackberry user, I remember how the CEO promised to deliver 100,000 apps with the launch of their new phone, recognizing that the power of smartphones laid in the apps. It still didn't prevent the company from its spectacular downfall. The same story goes for Windows phones where only handful of big apps were made compatible for them. Most app developers just don't want to bother with anything that is not Android or Apple. The fact is, Huawei is going to have a very hard time convincing people to switch from Android to their new OS rather than just buy another phone that runs Android.

I admit it discredits me in my blunder of calling EMF a radiation, but if you're interested, books like Radiation Nation and The Non-Tinfoil Guide to the EMF's do a very good job summarizing hundreds of researches into small, concise books.

Dmitry Orlov said...

Seer — You still don't see. Both HongMeng and Aurora/Sailfish support the same APIs as Android and app developers won't need to recode anything.

PatOrmsby said...

@The Seer,
It is radiation, as is the heat from your coffee cup, but it is also "rocket science" with all sorts of complicated dimensions to it, so we can't expect people to get it until they've been injured the way a growing minority has, whose lives have been completely ruined by it. But thank you for trying, and thanks to Dmitri as well letting you try.
I'm sure climate change has a bigger impact, but all of the pollinators disappeared from our vegetable field this spring, as did the crows and kites. In the greenhouse I began feeling sick sporadically--I've been electrosensitive for more than two decades. I wondered why I was getting sick where I normally go to feel better, and thought to check the houses adjacent to our field. They've been installing smart meters in our town. Sure enough, there were six of them now, on two sides of our field.
The farmers in our rural village are all having trouble this year. Smaller birds seem to be unfazed by it--barn swallows and wagtails--and the crows and kites appear to have been replaced by mobs of starlings, causing tremendous damage to outlying fields, but the latter do not visit our field.

Sid said...

Huawei = a rough phonetic spelling of 'Who are we?' The East is laughing all the way to the future, with their clean nuclear power and non-GMO agriculture. Their authoritarian governments will soon sort out any population imbalance, not if but when the time comes... when the 'hunger games' start for real. The 'free west' - itself another delusion, will more than likely follow suit. People think this sort of thing could never happen, I say just take a quick look at human history.

As for the 'theory' of global warming (invented by an earlier Swede, Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius), what is never mentioned is the hydrological cycle, exemplified in the film Aluna where the rain stops falling up a mountain because idiots have destroyed the mangrove swamps at its base by the ocean. Trees have a nasty habit of releasing thousand of tons of water vapour by evapotranspiration. Water vapour that is THE largest by volume 'greenhouse' gas on the planet (averaging about 1%), though its dependence upon atmospheric conditions to remain in the atmosphere means it tends to be most concentrated around the warmer regions, like where it is 'hotter' - and so reflects the suns radiation, before some of it making its way to the poles where it condenses releasing its latent heat where the sun don't shine half the time, like some giant air conditioning/central heating system. Water vapour is also the best at ameliorating insolation - that's why deserts are places of extremes, hot by day and cold by night, thus temperate and tropical forest is much more stable in terms of temperature variation. And no, palm oil/soya plantations do not constitute a viable 'green' replacement. Also, as far as I am aware, there are no studies on the global effects of evapotranspiration and more importantly its absence due to deforestation. Anyone studying these things? Maybe that's what they're doing in Area 51... Hey ho, just wait until the Arctic's Big Burp

Now, is it too late to put in some late spuds? Been cool here, so methinks its worth a go...

Best Wishes,

Dominique Krayenbuhl said...

Hello Dmitri,

Thank you for your blog. Concerning the present post. On pages 37, 38 of your excellent book, Shrinking the Technosphere, you write: "an even bigger one (problem) has been caused by the burning of fossil fuels, which has increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations…The last time there was so much of this greenhouse gas was 3.6 million years ago." You then explain that back then there was no ice at the poles and the oceans were 15 to 25 meters higher than today. So these conclusions are no longer valid? Another impact of increased CO2 concentrations is the acidification of the oceans.

Sid : About the role of forests re climate, see this interesting article on the biotic water pump:
Makarieva, AM, Gorshkov VG, The Biotic Pump: Condensation, atmospheric dynamics and climate, 2010 ttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/228528788_The_Biotic_Pump_Condensation_atmospheric_dynamics_and_climate

Sid said...

@ Dominique:

Quote: "Abstract: Intense condensation associated with high evaporation from natural forest
cover maintains regions of low atmospheric pressure on land. This causes moist air to
flow from ocean to land, which compensates the river runoff. Deforestation induces
large-scale desiccation by disrupting this flow. Here we overview this theory and
quantify the horizontal pressure gradients that govern the continental moisture supply.
High evaporation and large extent of natural forests guarantee both a stable and high
throughput hydrological cycle. Forests protect a continent against devastating floods,
droughts, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Sustaining natural forests is a sound strategy for
water security and climate stabilisation." ---end quote---

Thank you, excellent example. Especially:

"Remarkably, these effects of condensation/evaporation on air pressure through
the removal or addition of vapour molecules, have been overlooked by the
international scientific community. As a result, there is confusion among many
scientists over whether condensation increases or reduces moist air pressure
(Makarieva et al., 2010). A lack of theoretical concepts for the analysis of moist
atmosphere is a major obstacle for the development of atmospheric circulation theory
(Schneider, 2006). Thus, while a variety of impacts of regional vegetation cover have
been investigated, including changes in albedo and re-distribution of latent and
sensible heat fluxes (Pielke, 2001; National Research Council, 2005; Bonan, 2008),
the potential role of forests as generators of pressure gradients driving moist ocean-to-
land winds has not been subjected to a wide scrutiny." ---end quote---

Not too sure about using adiabatic models in an essentially open system, but one has to start somewhere...

Also, while 'Evapotranspiration' provided by trees may well 'create' lower pressures relative to the surrounding atmosphere due to the cooling effects of evaporating water in the macro climate, the trees themselves produce high to extremely high humidity creating a micro climate purely by the process of transpiration. In large areas of rain forest, this can return almost instantly as light rain/mist, without the need for flow from oceanic sources. In the 'Aluna' project example I gave, it was the mangroves themselves that were producing the water vapour that naturally rose up the mountain along with oceanic air currents, until they were destroyed. This supersaturated air would then fall as snow/rain at the higher altitudes, in turn feeding the rivers. While the oceanic air flow may remain, the supercharging with water vapour from the mangroves has gone. It took the Kogi Indians, a society based upon the wisdom of the mamas, seers with highly developed awareness to see the obvious, true scientists if there ever were any. The so called scientists in the film just spouted geological/academic dogma about water not flowing uphill. Doh!
Thus all the glaciers are 'melting' and rivers drying up due to increased temperatures rather than receding due to reduced precipitation... which is due to reduced humidity??? (Rolling eyes spin off into outer space!) The idealised abstract/reductionist paradigm of modern 'science' cannot grasp the simplest of concepts unless its complete obscured by academic jargonese and a soothing palliative of group think and confirmation bias.

As regards the potential for afforestation see https://youtu.be/2xcZS7arcgk

Its the whole system - from healthy soils to healthy trees locking up the water and nutrients in a never ending cycle. Take out just one link and the whole chain collapses.

Thanks again for the link,

Best Wishes,