Canada in for a Rough Patch Even if Rates Stay Low for a Long Time

The Loonie is tumbling and Canadian bonds rallying as the Bank of Canada backs away from its rate hiking plans in ‘surprise’ over the slowing Canadian economy.
Meanwhile, a new report from the National Energy Board brings good news for the planet (that is bad for Canadian GDP in the short and medium run). See: Canada’s demand for fossil fuels will max out in 2 years: NEB
The National Energy Board says Canada’s addiction to fossil fuels will peak in two years… The board’s annual energy futures report for the first time says with climate change policies and growth in clean energy, Canada’s consumption of fossil fuels to run cars and heat homes will max out before 2020, start to decline slightly and then flatline over the next two decades. Here is a direct video link.
At the same time, the NEB says it thinks (hopes) that falling domestic oil demand will be offset by increasing oil exports, and thus not hurt Canadian GDP. This is unlikely.
In reality, it’s not just domestic demand that will peak much sooner than previously estimated. The trend towards higher efficiency, renewable energy, and electric transportation, is global and only just getting started. In addition, new oil production technologies are enabling increased supply in most countries, including our historical oil export buyers.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 10/30/2017.

“Sacre Beurre” – Global Butter Prices Triple As Shortages Hit France

It’s not received much attention, but global butter prices have roughly tripled since Summer 2016 as production cuts have hit supply…
According to Bloomberg, global butter prices have almost tripled to 7,000 euros ($8,144) a ton from 2,500 euros in 2016, according to Agritel, an Paris-based farming consultancy. In Europe, prices peaked at about 6,500 euros a ton in September, the highest since the European Commission began collecting such data in 2000… The problem can be traced to the end of (EU) milk-production quotas in April 2015 that led to a glut early last year in Europe, and a drastic drop in prices. This prompted production cuts by spring this year. The reduction coincided with other global milk products exporters curbing their own output: the U. S. stopped selling abroad to address higher domestic demand while New Zealand, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, experienced lower production due to droughts, Pierre Begoc, an Agritel analyst, said in a phone interview.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 30, 2017.

Global Cooling is Killing Penguins – Not Global Warming

Contrary to Global Warming, the reality of what is going on is serious and these fakes scientists have distorted the cyclical nature of our world for personal gain that they are leading us down a path of serious destruction. The ice has expanded so much that there is a major catastrophe in the penguin community. All but two Adelie penguin chicks have starved to death in their east Antarctic colony. Nature scientists are calling this breeding season as ‘catastrophic’ because the unusually high amounts of ice late in the season, has made adults penguins travel further for food.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Oct 19, 2017.

It’s Always About the Money

In Sweden, the government has realized that if fossil-fuel cars were to disappear, the government would lose around SEK 50 billion a year in tax revenues. Just like cigarettes, the government realized that stopping smoking is costly for them. So what did they do? They imposed taxes of e-cigarettes. And if everyone stopped e-cigarettes, they will probably have to tax air.
Sweden used the Global Warming issue to tax people driving cars to help the environment.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Oct 14, 2017.

Threat Of Devastating ‘Supervolcano’ Eruption At Yellowstone Is Greater Than Previously Thought

Scientists from the US Geological Survey who breezily informed the public that there’s ‘nothing to worry about’ with regards to the Yellowstone caldera, a supervolcano that should it erupt could cause potentially hundreds of thousands of deaths, should be eating their words.
Since about mid-July, the earth beneath the volcano has been shifting in a sign that magma could be rushing into the caldera’s main chamber. Since then, there have been roughly 2,500 small-scale earthquakes recorded near the volcano, the largest stretch on record. Previous estimates had assumed that the process that led to the eruption took millenniums to occur.
The same estimates that USGS based their warning on.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 12, 2017.

Spike In Airborne Radioactivity Detected In Europe, Source Located In Southern Urals

In late February, concerns about a potential nuclear “incident”, reportedly in the vicinity of the Arctic circle, emerged when trace amounts of radioactive Iodine-131 of unknown origin were detected in January over large areas in Europe, according to a report by the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, the French national public expert in nuclear and radiological risks. And while Norway was the first to measure the radioactivity, France was the first to officially inform the public about it.
“Iodine-131 a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in tiny amounts in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January”, the IRSN wrote in a press release.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 6, 2017.

Global Warming Taxes – Or Just Another Excuse?

Now that the German elections are finished, Merkel now comes with the tax hikes. This shows the contempt for the people assume that they are just stupid so do nothing before and election, then raise the taxes after. According to a report, Germans should not expect about a 50% tax increase on electricity. As the Bild newspaper reported on that the Federal Association of Energy Consumers will raise the taxes significantly all in the name of causing people to save the planet while government lines its pockets.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Oct 7, 2017.

Ominous Earthquake Swarm At Yellowstone Supervolcano Now One Of Longest Ever Recorded

The rumblings beneath the formerly dormant supervolcano known as the Yellowstone caldera just won’t quit. And the ongoing earthquake swarm at the Yellowstone National Park supervolcano is now one of the longest ever recorded, having started on June 12.
Over the past three and a half months, almost 2,500 earthquakes have been recorded in the western part of the national park. This is on par with the biggest swarm ever recorded, where more than 3,000 earthquakes took place over three months, Newsweek reports.
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In its latest monthly update about activity at Yellowstone, the US Geological Survey said 115 earthquakes had been reported in the park during September. Of these, 78 were part of the ongoing swarm 6 miles north of West Yellowstone. The biggest event in the swarm last month was magnitude 2.3.
‘This is the sort of work that will happen in the months to come, as we gather up all of the available data and start crunching numbers,’ Poland says. ‘What we can say now is that through the of September, the University of Utah has located 2,475 earthquakes in the swarm. This puts the 2017 swarm on par with that of 1985, which lasted three months and had over 3,000 located events. end
‘[This is] certainly a fascinating event and one that we hope to learn more about through some post-swarm analysis,’ he adds. ‘There’s a lot to work on this winter, for sure.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 5, 2017.

Carbon Taxes and Economic Growth

In a recent series of posts (here and here), I amplified some of Oren Cass’s strongest criticisms of the typical case for a US carbon tax. Seeing an opportunity for a zinger, Josiah Neeley at R Street put up a post entitled, ‘Prominent carbon tax skeptic admits it could increase economic growth.’ Although I appreciate being dubbed ‘prominent,’ as we’ll see the R Street post is wrong in both title and in substance. Neeley is referring to my discussion of a capital tax cut offsetting the damage of a carbon tax, but that of course is far from saying a carbon tax could increase economic growth. Beyond that, Neeley’s advice to me to advocate politically impossible outcomes is also dubious.
The Carbon Tax and Economic Growth Though it may surprise you in light of the campaign being waged by a few vocal writers, the standard modeling results show that a carbon tax would be profoundly harmful for measured economic growth. Now to be clear, these standard models from the literature assume that greenhouse gas emissions on net pose a negative externality (at least after a certain point which they project humanity has already surpassed), and so they would conclude that some carbon tax would be justified for environmental reasons, even though it would reduce conventionally measured GDP growth and would feel burdensome to consumers in the form of higher electricity and gas prices.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on September 27, 2017.

After The Apocalypse This Weekend, Buy The Dip

The S&P500 gapped up on Monday to the resistance region we noted last week between 2507-2510SPX. And, after testing it many, many times, it still has not been able to overcome that resistance the entire week.
Not much has stopped this market’s upward trajectory over the last year and a half. In fact, even the pullbacks have been much more shallow than standard pullbacks.
As I noted last week, even some of the worst weather events hitting the United States in many decades and the threat of nuclear war has not diverted the stock market from its strong rally.
But, this weekend, we are being warned about a worldwide event which could wreak havoc upon the entire human race. David Meade, the author of ‘Planet X: The 2017 Arrival,’ has predicted that Sept. 23 will bring ‘a magnificent sign in the skies over Jerusalem, a historical event signaling an upcoming ‘Tribulation Period’ of seven years.’
He also asserted that a ‘Planet X’ will cause the ‘greatest catastrophic infliction of life upon mankind, since Noah’s Ark,’ – citing the biblical story of a great flood that wiped out much of the Earth and humanity. The Planet X will cause volcanic eruptions, a short stoppage of the Earth’s rotation, change in climate, tidal waves and earthquakes.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Monday, 25 September 2017.

Doesn’t Mexico Have Building Codes?

During the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake in Los Angeles, my mother was working in downtown Los Angeles in one of the buildings then known as the Arco Towers.
The building was of early 1970s vintage, but thanks to expensive technology introduced to help high-rises withstand earthquakes, the Arco Towers merely swayed from side to side, rather than collapse in response to the quake. That earthquake was a medium-sized earthquake (to use casual terminology), but the building is designed to withstand far larger tremors. Eight people died in the wake of the quake.
Two years earlier, the 1985 Mexico City earthquake struck with devastating results. While the earthquake was considerably stronger, the casualty totals were far beyond what we would expect were a similar quake to hit Los Angeles. While the number is still in dispute today, more than 30,000 people may have died in the quake, thanks largely to collapsed buildings.
Fortunately, the death toll in Tuesday’s Mexico-City quake looks to be much, much smaller than was the case in 1985. So far, casualty counts number in the low hundreds.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on September 25, 2017.

You’re Likely A Lot Less Prepared For Crisis Than You Realize

It seems as if Mother Nature is waking up. Either she’s trying to send humans an important warning, or perhaps she’s just out to kill us all.
Massive storms across the globe, earthquakes, and collapsing ecosystems all combine to remind us that we are indeed intimately connected to our planet’s natural systems. And that our well-being rests on staying on Mother Nature’s good side.
Well, Mother Nature has seemed pretty pissed at us of late. Her recent punishments should be taken as a disciplinary wake-up call: It’s time.
It’s time to prepare, everyone. Way past time.
And it’s time to recognize that there are multiplying failure points across the many systems we depend on for our way of life — both natural and man-made. For example:
The wealth gap between the rich and the poor is now grossly obscene and yet still growing wider. Our industrially-farmed soils are being depleted of their nutrients. Species are going extinct every single day. Global oil consumption ticks higher every year. Stock price overvaluation is about the highest it’s ever been. Bonds have never been more expensive (i.e. yields have never been lower) in all of recorded history. Debt levels have never been higher (both globally and, in most cases, locally). The planet’s population continues to explode (7.5 billion today, 10 billion by 2050) while key resources deplete at accelerating rates. Only the foolish, or the seriously self-deluded, would think that these observations and trends will be consequence-free.

This post was published at PeakProsperity on Friday, September 22, 2017,.

Earthquake Detected Near North Korea Nuclear Test Site; China “Suspects Explosion”

In what may be the latest major escalation involving North Korea – and potentially the nation’s 7th nuclear test – China’s earthquake administration said it detected a magnitude 3.5 earthquake in North Korea, which it suspects “was caused by an explosion”, raising fears that the rogue state has tested another nuclear bomb. The Chinese administration said in a statement on its website that the quake was recorded at a depth of zero kilometers, while Xinhua said the epicenter was in roughly the same place as a similar shallow earthquake on 3 September, which turned out to be caused by North Korea’s sixth and largest nuclear test.
***
However, in analyzing the same earthquake, South Korea came to a different conclusion, and said it was likely to be natural or man-made such as a nuclear test. South Korea’s weather agency assessed the seismic activity as a natural event.
“The quake is presumed to have occurred naturally,” an agency official said, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency. “A sound wave, which is usually generated in the event of an artificial earthquake, was not detected.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 23, 2017.

Active Volcano Mt. Rainer Shaken By ‘Swarm’ Of 23 Earthquakes

Don’t panic – it’s only an active volcano. What’s the worst that could happen?
Some two dozen earthquakes have shaken Washington State’s Mt. Rainer over the past two weeks – but seismologists say people who live nearby shouldn’t panic.
‘In the past, these swarms last a couple of days to a week or so and then die out,’ said Paul Bodin, of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington.
The first of the 23 quakes struck on Sept. 11 near the volcano’s summit. The largest of the quakes registered magnitude 1.6. During the same period, Mexico experienced two of the deadliest earthquakes in decades.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 21, 2017.

A Look At How Nestle Makes Billions Selling You Groundwater In A Bottle

A few weeks ago we shared with readers a lawsuit filed in Connecticut against Nestle Waters North America, Inc. alleging that the water they marketed as Poland ‘Natural Spring Water’ was actually just bottled groundwater…the same water that runs through the taps of many American households.
Now a new investigation from Bloomberg Businessweek reveals how large water bottling companies choose their plant locations based not on the steady supply of pristine, natural drinking water, as their labels and other marketing campaigns would lead you to believe, but based on which economically depressed municipalities offer up the most tax breaks and have the most lax water laws.
As an example, even in the drought stricken state of California, Bloomberg notes that Nestle was able to strike a sweetheart 20-year supply agreement with the U. S. Forest Service to pay roughly $0.000001 for the water in each bottle that consumers blindly drop a couple bucks to purchase.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 21, 2017.

32 Children Dead, 30 More Missing In Rubble Of Collapsed Mexico City School

More than 30 students have been confirmed dead, and 30 more are missing, as rescuers sift through the rubble of the Enrique Rebsamen primary and secondary school, a private school that was one of 44 buildings in Mexico City that collapsed during Tuesday’s historic earthquake. According to the Associated Press, a wing of the three-story school pancaked into a pile of concrete slabs during the quake, killing dozens and leaving dozens more trapped in the wreckage.
Soldiers and volunteers toiled through the night to try and free the trapped schoolchildren and staff. At least and five teachers, and 32 students, have been confirmed dead. The 7.1 magnitude quake shook Central Mexico, leaving at least 250 people dead in the deadliest earthquake since a 1985 quake that left 5,000 dead. Bizarrely, Tuesday’s quake occurred on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 quake. Two children were rescued from the rubble, but 30 more people are still missing, local media reported.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 20, 2017.

Dramatic Footage Of Mexico Earthquake Shows Buildings Collapsing Into Rubble

Mexico City Mayor Miguel ngel Mancera Espinosa has said that 44 buildings in Mexico city have collapsed, and potentially hundreds more have been seriously damaged, by Tuesday’s earthquake. The 7.1-magnitude quake shook Central Mexico. With 119 dead at last count, the quake is the deadliest to strike Mexico since the one that killed 5,000 people 32 years ago today…
Over the last few hours, stunning video footage depicting buildings collapsing and smoking billowing from the rubble have appeared on Twitter. Here’s a collection of some of the most dramatic videos.
In one video, what looks like a warehouse suddenly collapses, sending a giant plume of smoke into the sky…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 19, 2017.

Really Bad Ideas, Part 4: Federal Flood Insurance

As Hurricanes Harvey and Irma wreaked their havoc over the past couple of weeks, several interconnected questions popped up, the answers to which make us look, to put it bluntly, like idiots.
Why, for instance, are there suddenly so many Cat 4 and 5 hurricanes? Is this due to man-made climate change and is this summer therefore our new normal? The answer: Maybe, but that misses the point. There have always been huge storms (like the one that wiped Galveston, TX off the map in 1900, long before global warming was a thing), and barring another ice age there always will be. So the US east coast will remain one of Mother Nature’s favorite targets.
A second (and vastly more pertinent) question is why we’ve been encouraging millions of people to move into this bulls-eye in recent decades. Since 2000, Houston and surrounding Harris County have added 1.2 million people. Since 1980 Florida has added 10 million people – most of them in the coastal corridor from Miami to Fort Lauderdale.
Seems a little unwise, doesn’t it, to put tens of millions of people and millions of houses and cars where they’re guaranteed to be damaged or destroyed by inevitable future storms. But it’s not an accident. Government programs actively encourage this migration by picking up part or all of the tab for homes that are flooded by storms. The result: A massive and growing liability for future damage on top of all the other massive and growing liabilities for Medicare, Social Security, underfunded state and local pensions, etc. From last week’s Wall Street Journal:
One House, 22 Floods: Repeated Claims Drain Federal Insurance Program
Brian Harmon had just finished spending over $300,000 to fix his home in Kingwood, Texas, when Hurricane Harvey sent floodwaters ‘completely over the roof.’

This post was published at DollarCollapse on SEPTEMBER 19, 2017.