Four Horsemen news picks
Ominous headlines for the slow end of summer
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a couple of weeks now. One news article after the other raising issues of almost biblical proportions, ominously swimming by just below the frontpage trawlers.
I mean, I’m the first one to point out the fearmongering of the msm, absolutely. And I do think the relentless flood of horror that the spectacle daily impresses upon our minds is both debilitating, passivising and immediately destructive. Clearly a tool of centralized digital governance if anything is.
Still, forewarned is forearmed. And these aren’t the top news stories of the day. Rather we’re dealing with something like the bloated corpses of canaries floating up from mine shafts most people had no real idea were flooded.
The dropping birth rates is of course one which has been extensively discussed from various angles. As a corrolary, there’s of course the unexplained “post-pandemic” excess deaths which the msm are attributing to lockdown effects. You might remember that a lot of us warned about the massive “collateral damage” certain to emanate from the useless lockdowns about two years ago, so it’s nice that the corporate media is finally coming around.
It’s a red herring, of course.
But the piece of news that actually triggered me here, was this rather disturbing tidbit of information:
Zinc and aluminium smelters are being mothballed in the EU due to surging energy prices. Both metals are absolutely crucial for almost all industrial activity, and factors into the production chains of everything from nails and soft drinks to aircraft and the maintenance of basic infrastructure.
You need zinc for galvanizing steel, which is essential for building frameworks and construction materials in basically every context you can think of. Without galvanization, repairing or building new infrastructure becomes very precarious.
Aluminium? You need it in the production of automobiles, aircraft, trucks, railway cars, ships. In all sorts of packaging, in specialized construction applications, in generators, motors, transformers, and capacitors. In various sorts of machinery &c. The list goes on.
This sort of fundamental disruption, unless it’s very quickly addressed, is sure to do quite a number upon the interconnected industrial economy. Just halt the flow of these key resources, and any sort of growth at all becomes almost inconceivable.
And what of that energy outlook? Well, as some of you may recall, the EU is set to halt imports of Russian petroleum (with certain exemptions) from December 5 and onwards.
As for alternatives, things look kind of bleak.
The writing is on the wall for Europe in terms of this coming winter – It's going to get ugly. With natural gas imports from Russia cut by 80% through Nord Stream 1 along with the majority of oil shipments, the EU is going to be scrambling for whatever fuel sources they can find to supply electricity and heating through the coming winter. Two sources that were originally suggested as alternatives were Iran and Venezuela.
Increased Iranian oil and gas exports to the west are highly dependent on the tentative nuclear deal, but as Goldman Sachs recently suggested, such a deal is unlikely anytime soon as deadlines on proposals have not been met and the Israeli government calls for negotiators to 'walk away.'
Venezuela had restarted shipments to Europe after 2 years of US sanctions under a deal that allows them to trade oil for debt relief. However, the country's government has now suspended those shipments, saying it is no longer interested in oil-for-debt deals and instead wants refined fuels from Italian and Spanish producers in exchange for crude.
This might seem like a backward exchange but Venezuela's own refineries are struggling to remain in operation because of a lack of investment and lack of repairs. Refined fuels would help them to get back on their feet in terms of energy and industry. Some of Venezuela's own heavy oil operations require imported diluents in order to continue. The EU says it currently has no plans to lift restrictions on the oil-for-debt arrangement, which means Europe has now lost yet another energy source (ibid).
And OPEC in general, in spite of the extremely motivating price situation, has failed to meet its production target by a wide margin (global oil production is about 89 mbpd). This is not encouraging.
In other news, we have the drought. Yeah, I know that we’re supposed to be “pivoting to climate change” right about now, but there’s obviously heavy pressure on the agricultural sector in both the US and Europe due to significant drought. “Europe’s Corn Crop Will Plummet By Almost a Fifth as Drought Bites”, Bloomberg reports, while German warships emerge from their not-so-watery graves. In the US, Lake Mead returns about a barrelful of corpse every day or so, while two thirds of the country are technically under drought conditions.
Sichuan reports the worst drought in 50 years, forcing heavy industry to halt operations due to the suppressed hydropower output, putting pressure on lithium & EV batteries and aluminium and copper:
Oh yeah, and the rice harvest isn’t helped by this either.
This sits really nicely with the loss of Russian & Ukrainian wheat, right? Synergizes quite well with the brilliant sanctions which I argued all by themselves would starve millions way back in March. And with the artificial suppression of European agricultural output through the quite timely imposition of the new “nitrogen policy”.
My humble assumption is that food prices and inflation are not going down anytime soon.
In entirely different news, Pentagon reports acts of war on sovereign Syrian territory:
And Boris Johnson appears in Kiev, encouraging Ukranian attacks on Russian territory in this proxy war of NATO, asserting that he believes “Ukraine can and will win this war”, coincidentally on the same day the US announces a $3 billion arms and training package for Ukraine.
Yeah, there’s much more, but I think the pattern is clear enough.
Get to know your neighbours, and find like-minded people. Learn to live more simply, and practice useful skills.
Pray, and grow in virtue as best you can.
No. This is somewhere to be. This is all you have, but it's still something. Streets and sodium lights. The sky, the world.
You're still alive.