Sunday, August 5, 2012

Peak oil - peak olympics?

The thirtieth olympic games in London 2012 has the fewest contestants, approximately 10 500, since the games in Atlanta 1996.
Olympic contestants and global
oil production, all liquids

We've seen this drop in contestants before, namely during the oil crises of the seventies and early eighties. This time around, global conventional oil production peaked around 2005 and we're experiencing a plateau phase in total liquids production, including biofuels. As net energy declines with a lower EROEI for unconventional oil and biofuels, less and less energy is available for non-essential things like sports.

The olympic games peaked in Beijing 2008 and the number of contestants is significantly lower in London.
Olympic contestants and
conventional oil production. EIA
doesn't provide conventional
oil production data so data
is from BITRE up until 2006.

The world may very well have passed peak olympics, possibly as a consequence of peak oil and the limits to economic growth that is the result of resource constraints. On top of that we have the accellerating global debt crisis.

Historically it has been very expensive to travel around the world to compete in the olympics. The games in St Louis 1904, Los Angeles 1932 and Melbourne 1956 experienced dips in the number of contestants. These locations required world-spanning travel, which was extremly expensive at the time.

The rise in contestants has been fueled by cheap oil, but with peak oil we can say goodbye to cheap and plentiful oil, as well as economic growth.

In short, the world has passed peak olympics.

See also an article in Swedish.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Military vehicles for journalists 101


In case you were wondering, this post is irony. All images are from Wikipedia, see attribution and licensing in the image.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

EU gross government debt 2011


Updated overview of the EU countries (and Norway) gross government debt 2011 as percentages of GDP and debt change since 2010.

Click on the image to zoom in. Cyprus isn't usually mentioned as a problem, but sticks out together with the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain) and the UK and Ireland. It seems that being positioned in the North Atlantic or North Sea is as bad as the Mediterranean.

Monday, April 23, 2012

PIGS for real this time!


Eurostat just updated their statistics for government debt to GDP for 2011, so here is an updated graph over Belgium, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, France, UK, Netherlands, Germany and Sweden and the development of their gross government debt to GDP from 1996 to 2011.
Countries not matching the new Merkozy-limit of a maximum of 3% budget deficit were Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and ... France.

But we can forget the old euro convergence criteria of 2% deficit and at most 60% debt to GDP.

The economy of Italy seems stable at the moment, so the only countries still having serious troubles with exploding government dept during 2011 were Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain.

So forget PIIGS at the moment. It is spelled PIGS, for real this time!

The Spanish Netherlands?

The Netherlands has suffered some form of crisis as right-wing populist Geert Wilders' Party does not want to get a balanced budget, but instead want the Dutch to continue to live on borrowed money.
Gross government debt as a
percentage of GDP for
Spain and Netherlands 1996 - 2010
Source: Eurostat

Interestingly there is not much difference between government debt in Spain and in the Netherlands.

The title is of course a pun, the historic Spanish Netherlands is more or less Belgium and not the Netherlands, but it seems that the Netherlands looks a lot like Spain if you look at government debt.
Gross government debt for
the BIGPIS FUK GS-countries
1996 - 2010

In fact, Spain has achieved better fiscal discipline than the Netherlands until the financial crisis in 2008 and the following debt crisis. Both countries were able to meet the eurozone convergence criteria of 60% in debt and less than 2% of the budget deficit until 2007.

However, instead of using the official budget deficit,  I use the year over year change in gross debt as percentage of GDP.

No numbers for 2011 yet.

After all it's still april and Eurostat has not been able to produce any fake figures for 2011.