In 2014 I published a book entitled Twilight of Abundance. The book detailed the problems for the world that were coming in the 2020s:
- Cooling climate with consequent lower agricultural production
- Starvation in the belt from Morocco to Afghanistan
- Pakistan’s nuclear bomb program
- Chinese aggression
- Peak oil
Eight years on and it is all happening on schedule but with some extra unforeseen complications which will make the task ahead quite difficult indeed. At least one world leader has recognised that the good times are over. Last week French President Emmanuel Macron warned of an ‘end of abundance’ and hoped that French citizens wouldn’t become too upset at having a lower standard of living.
In terms of the book’s predictions, in climate the temperature of the planet has been essentially flat for the last thirty years. Peak temperature was in 2016 with a downtrend since then. Solar activity is much lower, as predicted, and so the downtrend will continue.
The important squeeze is on the US Corn Belt. Back in the mid-19th century there used to be frosts in midsummer in the area of the Corn Belt. A return of those frosts will force agriculture south to land that is far less productive. Belief in global warming is a self-indulgence of a rich elite and a return to paganism in the form of nature worship. Humans are hardwired to believe in a religion (see Nicholas Wade’s The Faith Instinct) and global warming is the religion of choice for militant atheists.
With respect to starvation in the Middle East-North Africa belt, the US has ended its attempt to turn Afghanistan into a copy of Switzerland so they no longer have any interest in keeping them fed. It has been cheap to keep a person alive. The Middle East largely lives on wheat which has a near perfect amino acid profile for human consumption. And wheat has been cheap.
The highest per capita consumption of wheat has been 280 kg per annum in Tunisia. With wheat at only U$500/tonne, it only costs US$150 to supply the bulk of a person’s annual protein and calorie requirements. The world is on the cusp of an enormous increase in the cost of nitrogen fertiliser prices and diesel. Large chunks of the planet spend 30% to 60% of their income on food so when the price of food doubles, their discretionary income disappears.
The Pakistani nuclear weapons program is still chugging along. The Pakistanis have built a fourth reactor to make weapons-grade plutonium at their Khushab complex. After the raid to kill Bin Laden in 2011, Pakistan responded by building a wall around the complex with watchtowers every 300 metres.
Pakistan sends terrorists across the border into India every so often to kill Indians but they are not expected to use their nuclear weapons in a first strike. The focus on nuclear proliferation has shifted to Iran which is expected to nuke Israel as soon as they are able to do so. The puzzle with Iran is why it has taken them so long to produce a weapon.
Nuclear weapons are cheap. Pakistan spent US$20 million per annum for ten years and so their whole program was some US$200 million until their first bomb. Similarly, South Africa spent US$250 million and produced six gun-type U235 free-fall bombs by the late 1980s. They dismantled those bombs at the end of apartheid rather than hand them over to the new ANC government. Dirt-poor North Korea now has a stock of nuclear weapons. All the worst people in the world now have nuclear weapons except for Iran. It doesn’t make sense.
The next major war theatre will be the Indo-Pacific. The South Korean public has shifted to being in favour of nuclear weapons with 70% now wanting them. Japan is also now talking about developing a nuclear weapon capability. Japan will need nuclear weapons to stop China from using them. Elite self-loathing is degrading the US and so the nuclear umbrella that the US provides may not always be there.
Any country that doesn’t want to be subjugated should develop nuclear weapons. I have been quoted US$100 per gram for weapons grade plutonium so enough for a 40 kiloton device (6 kg with tritium boosting) would only cost US$0.6 million.
The view that China is nasty, aggressive, evil and a thoroughly malign influence on the world was relatively fresh in 2014; it is now mainstream. They lie, cheat and steal. They are irredendist and are plotting to take chunks of territory from all their neighbours. What is amusing is that the extent of Chinese claims can be determined from Google Earth which is run by Chicom engineers, based in California, talking to each other in Mandarin.
So if you look at Pakistan, for example, on Google Earth you see the current border and another line which is where the Chicoms want the border to be. As a Russian naval analyst said, any Chinese territorial claim not being actively pursued is merely in abeyance.
China has been preparing for war but the planets are not aligning for them. The evolution of electronics over the last 20 years has favoured the defence. Taiwan will be too difficult to invade so they are likely to revert to invading Vietnam.
If you look at the situation in South Asia from the Chinese perspective, they have built seven bases in the South China Sea and claim all of it but Vietnam has 30 bases in the South China Sea which make a mockery of that claim. The Vietnamese manning those bases have been told that a war with China is coming and that they will be fighting to the death.
China’s most likely course of action will be to invade Vietnam on the same axes they used in the 1979-1990 war. One of the conditions of the peace settlement would be that Vietnam abandon all their bases in the South China Sea.
But Vietnam is likely to chew up the invading Chicoms, as the Ukrainians have done to the Russians, but even easier because of the jungle terrain instead of open plains. When antitank missiles were developed in WW2, their effective range was about 30 metres and taking on a tank with them was near suicidal. The range is now over four kilometres.
The Chinese economy is also facing a number of headwinds. The biggest is that their peak oil production was in 2015 and they are now at peak coal production. China’s coal consumption of four billion tonnes per annum is the energy equivalent of 50 million barrels per day of oil.
Production cost starts rising rapidly once half of a resource is consumed. China has now burned through half its original coal endowment. To keep burning coal at their current rate China will have to import one billion tonnes per annum by 2040. Modern China has been built on cheap coal. Macron’s end of abundance is going to constrain them.
World peak oil production was in 2019 just before covid hit. It was originally supposed to happen about 2005 but the US tight oil boom gave the world another 15 years to party. The US tight oil companies are running out of drillable locations and so US tight oil production is expect to tip over into a decline about as steep as its rise. Rising oil prices will drag up other energy costs with them as they are semi-substitutable.
Just as China was built on cheap coal, US competitiveness has benefited from cheap natural gas. Current natural gas production of 91.5 billion cubic feet per day in the US is the energy equivalent of 15 million barrels per day of oil. It is a pity that it has been used to displace coal in power generation because natural gas can be used just about straight out of the ground as a transport fuel whereas transforming coal into a transport fuel is far more capital and energy intensive.
The US is blessed with large amounts of thermal coal from the gulf up to North Dakota. All they have to do is hydrogenate that coal to produce their transport fuel needs. When coal runs out those hydrogenation plants will switch to using biomass. The energy for this should come from nuclear plants. But not from the current dominant technology of U235-burning light water reactors which are inherently unstable.
As a civilisation we need to commercially develop plutonium breeder reactors. The book Twilight of Abundance highlighted the potential of thorium reactors. We have run out of time to pursue that path and the neutron economy may be unfavourable at any rate. We should set out to develop the best plutonium breeder technology possible, as soon as possible.
That is not an original observation. King Hubbert wrote a paper entitled Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels in 1956 which contains this figure:
As that figure from 66 years ago shows, our fossil fuel endowment was enough to get civilisation started, to show us what was possible. It would have been difficult to go directly from horse-drawn carts and sailing ships to nuclear power.
If we don’t develop the right form of nuclear power then we will end up at horse-drawn carts and sailing ships. Every day’s delay in developing the right form of nuclear power makes the task ahead more difficult.
Much is made these days of the potential of electric vehicles. It may be though that the cost of recycling tips the scales in favour of using electric power from nuclear plants to making hydrocarbon fuels as a way of storing that energy rather than charging batteries.
It could be that carting around a 471 kg battery (the weight of the battery in a Tesla 3) and dissolving it in acid every ten years to recycle it takes more energy than providing an internal combustion vehicle with liquid hydrocarbon fuel. By comparison the weight of the engine in a Honda Civic is 138 kg with much simpler recycling.
In a world in which people are stupid enough to belive in global warming, which is easily disproved with high school-level physics, we have an added complication in that a number of elites have chosen to release plagues on the rest of us. We will start of with one of the simpler ones.
Sweden was a happy, successful monoculture with a high standard of living thanks to advanced manufacturing. But the Swedish elite is disdainful of ordinary Swedes so they decided to import, unnecessarily, a whole lot of Muslim immigrants just to rub their noses in it. The result is that Sweden now has a much higher level of crime that has degraded life for the Swedish elite as well as ordinary Swedes. This paper says that 1% of the population of Sweden are responsible for 63% of the violent crime. The situation in Sweden is likely to end in civil war.
Then there is elite loathing at the supra-national level, exemplified by the World Economic Forum (WEF). This is communism rebadged. Their business model is that companies run by self-loathers, such as Wesfarmers, pay to attend and this funds the indoctrination of up and coming politicians.
Fortunately the last federal election eliminated a number of WEF graduates from Parliament, mostly from the ranks of the Liberals. The ones remaining are Senator Andrew Bragg (Liberal, NSW), Scott Morrison and Clare O’Neil (Labor, Seat of Hotham, Victoria). This people should be treated with disdain and utter contempt. They would have us eat insects instead of sheep which is our birthright and tradition.
But the WEF people, Klaus Schwab and his acolytes, are amateurs at killing people compared to the gang that brought us covid – Fauci, Daszak, Batwoman and Gates. The backstory of covid is told here. The question is what to do from here. Let’s start with what’s in it and thus what it was designed to do. Covid has four inserts from HIV in the spike protein:
The inserts are labelled UR1 to UR4. So why did the designers of covid put bits of HIV into it? Bioweapons researchers think that HIV is a wonderful disease because it doesn’t kill people straight away. It suppresses the immune system so that the infected die of cancers and fungal infections and other viruses.
Nobody died of HIV in their first year of infection but everyone was dead by year 10. The problem with HIV as a bioweapon is that it is hard to transmit. It was largely a disease of gays because they had so many partners, with some averaging three new partners a day. Much the same as monkeypox today.
In the meantime SARS and MERS had been developed as bioweapons but both burned too hot with case fatality rates of 30%. As a John Hopkins document predicted in 2017, the next pandemic would be a variant of SARS with the case fatality rate lowered to 0.6% so that people could think it was no worse than the flu and that they could live with it. That prediction duly came to pass and now people are being reinfected with covid more frequently than their rate of flu infections.
So how did HIV kill over 10 years? That virus remained hidden in the immuno-privileged parts of the central nervous system so it is a persistent infection. It is the same as covid which is persistent in the central nervous system, the reproductive tract and gut. As one virologist friend puts it: “You will clear the infection when they hit the ignition button at the crematorium.” This is why the delta variant kept being found in sewage samples long after it was taken over by omicron. This is why the Chicoms used anal swabs to test for covid.
What portents can we devine from current events? From an article in The Australian entitled “Staff going missing in long covid season”:
Companies including BHP, Qantas, Telstra and rival Coles have experienced a winter surge of Covid absenteeism, with sick leave in the past six months hitting harder than previous pandemic years. The absenteeism levels are holding up even into August – a new, long tail of the Covid pandemic.
The question is does it get better or does it get worse? In the meantime excess mortality is way up and holding up. The vaccines have made people more likely to be infected (due to original antigenic sin) than if they had remained unvaccinated. And reinfections tend to be worse than the previous infection.
The early portents are that we are headed towards societal collapse unless there is some government intervention that reduces the community’s viral load and stops infections. Meanwhile the vaccines have failed (as predicted in these pages), our government is still pushing them and ivermectin remains banned for no good reason.
China has gone zero covid. Doubtless they interrogated the virologists at the Wuhan lab to find out what was put in the virus and the intent of each insert. As well as the four HIV inserts there is also the reversed sequence from a Moderna onology patent and a bit of the HIN1 virus. From form follows function. It is worth repeating that global warming has yet to kill anybody but belief in global warming has now killed millions.
The good news is that the UK and the rest of Europe is headed for a long, bitter winter, partly due to lack of Russian gas but mostly due to their own stupidity in thinking that windmills were going to save them from global warming. Some people will freeze to death but mostly it will be viral infections that make people succumb in their frigid housing. People without electric power will miss their usual nightly entertainments and have plenty of time for rioting, which at least will keep them warm.
Neither of the remaining contenders for the slot of Prime Minister of the UK have yet denounced global warming. The closest that one has come to it is Ms Truss saying that she would allow fracking. Events may move faster than that as industry collapses due to energy pricing and people find their days free for rioting too.
A latter day Cromwell might yet deliver us from the stupidity and cant of our betters.
David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare