That’s what happens when theory fails to take account of reality


The worldwide energy shortage is beginning to show its teeth, and threatens to literally bankrupt many businesses and consumers unless a solution is found.  The Financial Times reports:

Across the world, politicians are ever more desperately looking to contain the explosive consequences of the energy crisis. In those parts of Asia, the Middle East and Africa already mired in multiple economic and political difficulties, the crisis is proving catastrophic.

Those who import liquid natural gas must now compete with European latecomers to the LNG market seeking an alternative to pipelined Russian gas. In early summer, Pakistan was unable to complete a single LNG tender. In poor countries, a large proportion of the state’s resources go on subsidising energy consumption. At prevailing prices, some cannot: earlier this month, the Sri Lankan Electricity Board imposed a 264 per cent increase on the country’s poorest energy users.

In Europe, governments want to alleviate the dire pressures on households as well as energy-intensive and small businesses, while letting spiralling prices, pleas to consume less and fear about the coming winter drive down demand. Fiscally, this means state funding to reduce rising energy bills by subsidising distributors, as in France, or transferring money to citizens to pay those bills, as in the UK.

What is not available anywhere is a quick means for increasing the physical supply of energy.

. . .

The only way forward is realism for the short term, recognising that there is no way back to cheap energy, allied to radical, long-term ambition. A grasp of geopolitical realities is also essential … This coming winter will bring a reckoning. Western governments must either invite economic misery on a scale that would test the fabric of democratic politics in any country, or face the fact that energy supply constrains the means by which Ukraine can be defended.

There’s more at the link (article is paywalled).

There’s more and more money chasing the world’s limited supply of natural gas.  That’s why US natural gas prices have jumped so high:  it’s because our producers are selling as much gas as they can onto the international market, where they can get much higher prices than they can achieve domestically.  The only limiting factor to how much gas they can export is the restricted availability of LNG tankers, all of which are already booked solid.

Here in the USA, we’re extremely fortunate in that we produce most of the fuel we need.  Most of the rest of the world isn’t so fortunate;  and that’s going to be a contributory factor to international instability for years to come.  Consider Pakistan, mentioned in the excerpt above, which has not been able to conclude a single contract for LNG because the price is too high and/or the tankers needed to ship it there are already busy elsewhere.  Imagine if you were living in that country now, and didn’t know how you were going to cook or heat your home this winter.  Imagine if your electricity supplier told you he couldn’t guarantee you’d have power, because he can’t get fuel for his power station.  Imagine millions of Pakistanis getting angry, frustrated, cold and hungry, and demonstrating in the streets . . . and now remember that Pakistan has nuclear weapons, and is filled with (and surrounded by) religious fanatics.  How secure are those weapons in such an unstable environment?

It’s not just the Third World, either.  A few days ago Bloomberg reported:  “Six in 10 British Factories at Risk of Going Under as Bills Soar“.  If you work at one of those at-risk factories, that’s your job and your income you see disappearing into the distance.  Thousands of UK pubs and restaurants may be forced to close because of skyrocketing energy bills.  The same bad news is cropping up all over Europe.

Karl Denninger puts things into perspective.

Europe — and the US — believed that shutting down coal-fired plants when coal has had a 100 year history of reasonably-stable price and none of the alternatives save nuclear, which both also refused to replace it with, was able to be replaced with a “green energy” nirvana.  That was a lie; Europe is now facing electrical power costs four, five or even ten times what it was just a year or two ago … Literally everything — down to the provision of water and sewer service for those living in towns and cities — relies on reasonably-priced electrical power.

. . .

Tell me ladies and gentlemen — if that crap comes here and your $100 electric bill becomes $1,000 a month can you pay it?  Can everyone else pay it?  If they can’t pay it, including the store, the delivery driver and such at his apartment or home what happens?  How do you get food when the grocery store can’t pay that bill — when that power is what keeps the chiller cabinets running for meats, dairy, eggs and frozen items — and thus closes?  Do recall that once you shut down a plant and let it sit for a while restarting it on short time is impossible and once you take a bulldozer to it you can never restart it.

Are you willing to take that risk?  Europe did and bought into the crap run by a teenager with no more grasp of the complexity of what she was screaming about than a two year old who just was told they couldn’t have another candy bar.  How did it turn out?  How many tens of millions of people will go broke or even freeze to death this coming winter and how many businesses (that’s jobs, income and economic output) will fail as a direct result?  How many governments will fall to civil unrest or even revolution and what leads you to believe whoever takes over will be better rather than even worse than what they have now?  How many of those nations have nuclear weapons?

This is not speculative with a timeline five or ten years down the road.  It is real, it is fact, it is happening now and, due to the decisions made over the last several years that are irreversible in a short period of time the consequences for Europe are going to occur, like it or not, starting within the next few months!

Again, more at the link.

It’s going to be a fun and interesting winter . . .



  1. IOW (as WE know), the "energy crisis" was brought on by 1) the Greens; and 2) the West's desire to crush Russia, who responded by shutting off the valves.

    The essay you quote doesn't seem to have that understanding.

  2. When things start to become unbearable – when food and heat and power become scarce – we'll see lots of greenies talking about how this has to be the new way, that the old way of cheap heat and food were unsustainable.

    And then we'll see those greenies dropping to the guns of the people no longer able to feed or protect their kids.

    The greenies think that they can be witnesses to the pain of the dispossessed, that they'll be able to watch and comment and maybe commiserate while plugging in their Tesla. They're wrong. They're going to feel that pain in an immediate way.

  3. The Gods of the Copybook Headings are coming for their bloody due.

    "And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more

    As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
    There are only four things certain since Social Progress began:

    That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her mire,
    And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

    And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,

    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!"

  4. @Dad29, trying to pressure Russia to give up its invasion of Ukraine is not a "desire to crush Russia". Russia could end the sanctions by withdrawing to the lines status quo antebellum. Putin chooses not to. Just because Ukraine is rotten and corrupt doesn't mean Russia must be better. Far from it.

  5. This is all by deliberate design, nothing else is plausable now. The elites won't feel the pinch of this but the rest of the world will and what would they care of some paupers and commoners die in the winter? Centeral planning at it's finest.

  6. There is no energy shortage, there is regulatory action forbidding further drilling in the US, there is a regulatory structure in the US and Europe establishing the market that is now being manipulated (Remember ENRON and Calfornia not that many years ago?) and then there is our 'best ally' in Eastern Europe who is on the recieving end of a (completely unprovoked) naked war of agression that has resulted in an undeclared economic war by the US and Europe (Not joined in by BRICS or a whole lot of other countries).

    Putin got the Russian army shot up and is stalled in Eastern Ukraine, but he's sure winning the economic war.

  7. In '94 the west & Russia signed an agreement, part of that was NATO was going to be limited to east Germany.

    The west doesn't seem to be doing too well in that agreement and it does n look like they were squeezing Russia. It looks like Russia reacted.

    I've no idea why the west is so set on getting Russia but it sure looks like they are.

  8. Peter – there may be a solution to the energy problem arriving fairly soon, though probably not before this winter. See for some published experimental results. There are also some other experimental results and groups/individuals that are either unpublished or hard to find that produce thrust using electricity alone without using reaction-mass, where I've had enough conversation to trust the results are real. Such devices can be adapted to produce energy from *nothing*, by attaching them to a generator and running it fast enough. Yep, this violates both Conservation of Momentum and Conservation of Energy, so the mainstream physicists consider them impossible even though the simple experiments (as explained in Mike McCulloch's blog) could be easily replicated, and even though a thruster based on this principle will shortly be available for sale by IVO. I'm working on a modification of this that requires a low voltage and should be able to be made on the kitchen table, so if it actually works I'll be telling people exactly how to make one.

    Another friend is working on a solid-state energy generator, though it requires much more expensive kit to make it and also needs cryogenics to run. Though again this is generally considered impossible, he spent his career at NRL and is amazingly competent. Mass-production would require a chip fab but, as with chips themselves, should be fairly cheap once mass-production kicks in. He might have the lab-scale version running by the end of this year.

    Though the theory as to why these things work probably won't be understood by most people, the experimental results show that they do indeed work. Much the same as you don't need to be able to fix your car when all you want to do is drive it, or to be able to design and build a computer to post here, you don't need to know the theory here to make them.

    Thus stuff that I grew up believing was impossible may soon be not only possible but mass-produced. That changes the whole aspect of energy production and use, as well as the cost of energy – if you don't need fuel, and there's no pollution once you've built the devices themselves, and you can carry that power-source by hand, then a lot of other things become cheaper to do as well.

    Timescales: the IVO thruster should be for sale this month if they keep to their schedule. Mike McCulloch's results are published too, with experiments continuing. Other "breakthrough" stuff probably within a year from now, though I can't guarantee that. Initial experimental results may look small, but after those results are shown to be real it's a matter of engineering to improve them.

  9. @Simon Derricutt: I'm afraid so many snake-oil salesmen have tried to persuade us that they have the Next Big Thing that most of us are automatically skeptical of such claims. Yours may be genuine, and for everybody's sake, I hope it is: but I'll want to see a great deal more solid, verifiable, reproducible evidence before I'll accept it as such.

  10. The Greenies have no idea how a modern industrialized economy works. They're kids playing with something they don't understand.

  11. Here in the US our energy costs are up because of the actions the President took on his first day in office (Executive Action 7) and his continued actions.
    The European problems this winter are because of their environmental actions and Russia not selling them the natural gas (war/sanctions).
    The rest of the world's problems with the energy are cost related due to what was done by the ruling cabal in DC, the environmentalists in Europe and the natural gas shortage in Europe brought on by the war.

    I'm thinking there is more to today's problems than "they chose poorly", what we have today may have been the goal.

  12. Peter – see for what Hector Serrano is doing. He's not selling his drive to people, but instead using it to keep satellites in a very low Earth Orbit (193km) and selling the photos they can get, which will be higher-resolution and cheaper than the competition. They won't run out of fuel, since they use solar power, and thus won't drop out of orbit where they would with standard propulsion. There's also who will be selling their thrusters pretty soon.

    There are others who are not as open, but where the experimental results are bigger, and one friend is about to try building a drone using his device, thus producing a bit more than 1g acceleration. If we can do this, then we can also use these thrusters to generate energy. Lab tests are one thing, but for both of the above public companies space tests are due pretty soon.

    You're right that previous claims of "free energy" have mostly been frauds, so thinking that this time it will be true seems over-optimistic. The work that Mike McCulloch is doing is however in public, and can be replicated by anyone who wants to. In fact it has been – the IVO thruster uses his theory, and was done with Mike's input, which is a reason to trust the results even if you don't have the money to buy one and test it yourself.

    Using these thrusters to drive a generator seems obvious to me, though there seems to be a reluctance to do that among the people making them, since it's so much against the axiom that energy is always conserved. This is why I'm also doing the experiments, though, since I'm OK with heretical thoughts. With a bit of luck I'll produce a design that's cheap and easy enough for any good handyman to make. Thus you won't need to accept my word, you can build it and test it yourself. It's probably pretty important to get the information spread quickly, though, once it's proven to be working.

  13. Don't forget the GreenParties were started and encouraged by the communists during the cold war as a way of weakening the collective west.

    Having served in Afghanistan, the flooding of Pakistan and soon to occur energy drought will destabilize that country more. But remember, the tribalisms people that make up the population for the most part are barely out of the Stone Age, much like their Afghan brethren. So I doubt much of the countryside will miss electricity much.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *