Drumbeat: June 1, 2013

Thomas Homer-Dixon: How the oil sands industry is distorting Canada’s economy

By 2030, Canada’s output from the oil sands will reach about five million barrels a day, more than twice today’s output. Yet, by 2030, chances are also good that the world will have placed a price on carbon emissions to spur energy innovation and wean humanity off carbon-based fuels. By then, climate change’s impact on global food security will have become starkly obvious. Already, heat waves and droughts in major grain-producing regions have caused food-price shocks and political unrest around the world.

Why Canada needs to develop the oil sands

While the oil sands will likely account for a greater share of Canada’s economy in the future, they are unlikely to expand at the furious pace their critics fear. (Indeed, they have rarely matched growth projections in the past.) Rising costs, a stubborn price discount on Alberta crude and fast-rising U.S. shale oil production are likely to temper the rate of oil sands development for the foreseeable future.

OPEC to Study U.S. Shale Oil Bonanza as Export Concern Grows

OPEC signaled growing unease with the U.S. oil boom by starting a study into shale at its meeting in Vienna, where the group kept supply targets unchanged as $100 crude dulls the need to address excess production.

“It is a concern,” Nigerian Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke said yesterday after the session of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The committee will consider the effect of shale oil on the global market for OPEC crude “in the not-too-distant future,” she said.

UAE not threatened by shale revolution, says energy minister

VIENNA // The rise of North American shale hydrocarbons does not threaten the UAE or Opec, said the Minister of Energy.

"Of course we can't ignore it, but I doubt it will be a huge impact if there is a demand on the Opec," Suhail Al Mazrouei told The National as Opec began its meeting in Vienna today. "And as the UAE, our target is the East, and I don't think this will hugely impact that. We can take a longer time to debate what is the impact and what is the production, but I don't see any immediate impact."

Gulf Rigs Stand Ready as Hurricane Season Arrives

At a distance from a helicopter hovering over the Gulf of Mexico, Chevron's South Timbalier 52 production platform seems like a speck, and it is easy to see how vulnerable it would be to a ferocious hurricane. Then you land and step out into a giant facility buzzing with activity from dozens of workers, That's when you begin to get a sense of what is at stake.

With the start of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season kicking off officially on Saturday, Chevron and all the other companies operating in the Gulf are finalizing their hurricane response plans. Those plans could get a lot of use if forecasts for an active season prove accurate.

Oil Drops to One-Month Low as OPEC Keeps Output Target

West Texas Intermediate crude fell to a one-month low as OPEC kept its output target unchanged for a third consecutive time and U.S. inventories climbed to the highest level in 82 years.

Futures dropped 1.8 percent after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries maintained its objective of 30 million barrels a day at a meeting in today in Vienna. Ministers from the 12-member group will next gather on Dec. 4. U.S. crude supplies increased 3 million barrels to 397.6 million last week, the most since 1931, a government report showed yesterday. The decline in prices accelerated in the last hour of floor trading as equities moved lower.

Opec oil output falls closer to target in May

Opec crude output has fallen in May due to lower exports from Iraq and disruptions in some African producers, a Reuters survey found, improving compliance with an Opec output ceiling expected to be maintained at a meeting this week.

Supply from Opec members is set to average 30.33 million barrels per day (bpd), down from 30.46 million bpd in April, the survey of shipping data and sources at oil firms, Opec and consultants found.

Tanker Rates Have Year’s Biggest Weekly Gain as OPEC Cargo Gains

Rates for the largest oil tankers had the biggest weekly gain this year amid speculation OPEC is expanding shipments to meet rising demand as refineries return from maintenance.

Gasoline prices in Tulsa keep falling after spike in May

Industry observers had blamed refinery shutdowns and low inventories for the jump in prices, which reached the highest level seen since Tulsa's record of $3.93 per gallon in July 2008.

"The recent price drop is not unexpected," said Chuck Mai, a spokesman for travel club AAA-Oklahoma. "I thought once we got the production issues sorted out, the price would come down to a realistic level - if, of course, you can call $3.58 realistic."

Ethanol’s Discount to Gasoline Lowest Since 2011 on Higher Use

Ethanol’s discount to gasoline dwindled to the lowest level since December 2011 on concern inventories won’t be able to meet rising demand.

The spread, or price difference, narrowed 7.96 cents to 3.49 cents a gallon. Yesterday the Energy Information Administration reported that ethanol-blended gasoline made up 96 percent of the U.S. total last week and stockpiles of the biofuel slumped to 16 million barrels, the lowest level since October 2010.

Deflation, A Symptom Of Economic Illness

Prices can drop for various reasons, and this latest decline probably had something to do with food or energy. That's because when we exclude food and energy price change from the measure, the Core PCE Price Index was unchanged in April. So obviously we have isolated the issue. Food and energy prices can be afflicted by many factors, which all fit somehow within the supply/demand economic equation.

Moily launches LPG subsidy transfer scheme

Tumkur (Karnataka) (IANS) The central government's scheme to provide direct cash benefit to the poor for cooking gas got off in 18 districts across the country Saturday with its formal launch by Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister M. Veerappa Moily here.

Called the Direct Benefit Transfers for LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), the scheme would benefit over 6.7 million LPG Consumers in these districts. The subsidy on LPG cylinders would be provided directly to consumers in their Aadhaar-linked or Unique Identification Number (UID) bank accounts.

Deregulate coal sector, adopt competitive resource allocation policy: CII

New Delhi (ANI): The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has recommended that the coal sector be deregulated for competitive resource allocation. Private participation in the mining sector, particularly coal, is urgently needed, it said.

Kuwait oil revenues to hit KD 27bln FY 2013/14 - Al Shall forecasts

KUWAIT (KUNA) -- Kuwait oil revenues are expected to reach KD 27 billion in the fiscal year 2013/2014, Al Shall Economic Consultants Company's Economic Research Unit said in a report released Saturday.

"Kuwait is supposed to have achieved oil revenues during the past two months of the new fiscal year in the amount of about KD 4.5 billion," reads the report. "Assuming production levels and prices would continue at their present level, an assumption which is unrealistic on the price side at least, and perhaps the current production, too, projected oil revenues would score about KD 27 billion for the entire current fiscal year, which is KD 10.1 billion above the budget estimate."

Abu Dhabi-based global energy company Taqa completes acquisition of UK North Sea Assets from BP

Abu Dhabi: Taqa, the Abu Dhabi-based global energy company, said on Saturday it has completed the acquisition of UK North Sea oil and gas assets from BP.

In a statement, Taqa said it has taken over as “operator of the Harding field and production platform in the Central North Sea, complementing the company’s existing assets in the Northern North Sea. The acquisition is expected to add 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of production.”

EU's oil-indexed, long-term gas contracts with Russia drop below 20%: Lowe

Brussels (Platts) - The EU's oil-indexed long-term gas supply contracts with Russia have dropped below 20%, Philip Lowe, director general of the European Commission's energy department said at a conference held by European gas association Eurogas on Thursday.

"82% of European gas volumes in the first 10 months of 2012 were delivered through the hubs, compared to 74 per cent for the full year 2011,' Lowe said.

Chile wants Canada’s natural gas

Chile wants to buy Canadian liquefied natural gas to feed its energy-hungry mining industry as it bolsters its efforts to transform into a developed industrial nation and drag its citizens out of poverty.

ANALYSIS-Syrian war seen dragging on for years

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad cannot regain full control of his battered country and his rebel foes are not strong enough to overthrow him, dooming Syria to months or even years of sectarian civil war.

Bolstered by his Iranian and Russian backers, Assad has chalked up some military successes in recent weeks, defying his many critics, who have been confidently predicting his imminent downfall since the start of the uprising in March 2011.

But any suggestion his government might secure the total defeat of its disparate opponents shows little understanding of the nature of the war or the multitude of forces involved.

Iran Petrochemical Industry Targeted for U.S. Sanctions

The U.S. announced sanctions today aimed at Iran’s petrochemical industry, targeting the Persian Gulf nation’s second-largest source of foreign revenue in an effort further isolate it from the international financial system.

The Treasury Department also cited companies in Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates, saying they leased aircraft that two Iranian carriers used to move “illicit cargo” to help the Syrian regime fight its opposition.

Iran Seen Storing Crude Oil at Sea as Sanctions Disrupt Sales

Iran is storing 30 million barrels of crude at sea as sanctions hinder exports and projects that would allow it to build onshore facilities to hold oil, according to E.A. Gibson Shipbrokers Ltd.

Fourteen very large crude carriers are storing Iranian oil, the London-based shipbroker said in an e-mailed report today. Sanctions are hindering exports and preventing the Persian Gulf country from importing the steel it needs to build storage plants on land, according to the report.

Kinder Morgan shelves Texas-California pipeline

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP said Friday that it has shelved plans for a pipeline carrying crude oil from Texas to California because refineries weren't interested enough.

At an estimated cost of $2 billion, the Freedom pipeline would have been a mix of converted natural gas pipelines and new construction. The company said it could have carried up to 277,000 barrels of oil per day.

But key refiners such as Valero Energy Corp. and Tesoro Corp. preferred to continue getting crude delivered by railcar. The refiners feared being locked into long-term commitments to take pipeline oil from West Texas. Taking deliveries by rail gives them the flexibility to shop among crude oil supplies from different places including the Bakken oil field in North Dakota.

British Columbia Opposes Planned Oil Sands Pipeline

OTTAWA — A pipeline for exporting oil sands bitumen to Asia-bound tankers was dealt a severe blow on Friday when the province of British Columbia urged a federal review panel to reject the $6 billion plan.

Beetle-Bedeviled Keystone XL Needs Dead Rats to Let It Be

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service this month said that Keystone’s proposed route across Nebraska put the endangered American burying beetle at risk. The agency said the black and orange-spotted insect could be spared, and the project move forward, if proper procedure is followed.

That means pipeline builder TransCanada Corp. (TRP) will have to trap and relocate the one-inch beetles, using frozen rats that have thawed for at least three days for maximum pungency, according to detailed protocols U.S. authorities have drawn up to protect the burrowing bug.

Exposed: Canadian Oil and Gas Workers, Many Unions, Now Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline

Amidst the ongoing jobs-vs-environment debate, however, one voice is noticeably absent: the bitumen workers in Canada who are largely against long-term tar sands extraction and the building of the pipeline.

“We're diametrically opposed to the construction of it,” said David Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP), which represents 35,000 Canadian oil and gas workers, including thousands laboring in the country's tar sands. “The Keystone XL is not good for the economy, it's not good for the environment, it violates all kinds of First Nations rights.”

David Black’s grand vision: Can newspaper publisher from Victoria beat the oil industry to Asia?

VICTORIA, B.C. • It has been two years since West Coast newspaper mogul David Black started travelling to Alberta, arguing with the oil community that its plans to put bitumen in tankers would never be accepted in British Columbia, pining for support for his alternative plan to build a giant heavy oil refinery in Kitimat, B.C. to export fuels that are less environmentally harmful and enhance the Canadian economy.

Less Growth = More Happiness

The question about alternatives to the dominant western model of life and growth becomes increasingly urgent together with the looming-or already occurred-surpassing of Peak Oil.

New measurements of prosperity are improvements over the gross domestic product since they include life satisfaction, access to health care and education and environmental damage.

USA not one of 10 happiest countries in world

The residents of Switzerland are the most satisfied with their lives, according to the latest Better Life Index report, released this week by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Switzerland has moved up to the top spot, bumping Denmark to fifth. For the third year, the United States failed to make the top 10, while countries like Canada, Mexico and all the Scandinavian nations did.

Detroit Citizens Protect Themselves After Police Force Decimated

As crime hobbles Detroit’s attempts to revive itself, the city is bolstering its police department by having unarmed citizens patrol the streets in a program that costs less than annual salaries and benefits for three officers.

Volunteers given radios and matching T-shirts help officers protect neighborhoods where burglaries, thefts and thugs drive away people who can’t rely on a police force that lost a quarter of its strength since 2009. With 25 patrols on the streets, the city hopes to add three each year. Meanwhile, the homicide rate continues rising.

Oklahoma City group trying to turn U.S. Postal Service on to natural gas

An idea launched on the Internet is becoming closer to reality, thanks to the timely intervention of a former U.S. Air Force pilot.

Oilman Ron Mercer and adman Bob Hammack hatched their plan almost two years ago: Save the U.S. Postal Service from going broke by switching from gasoline to cheaper natural gas.

Futuristic High-Speed Tube Travel Could Take You From New York to Los Angeles in 45 Minutes

A company called ET3 has plans in the works for the Evacuated Tube Transport, a high-speed transportation tube that uses magnetic levitation. The ETT can travel at speeds of up to 4,000 miles per hour, and each tube seats a maximum of six people and comes with a baggage compartment. How does it go so fast? It's airless and frictionless and could have you from New York to Los Angeles in 45 minutes, as opposed to the nearly five hours a direct flight would take. It could even have you depart from New York and be in Beijing in two hours.

A Floating Wind Tower Is Launched in Maine

One reason that offshore wind has not caught on in the United States is the steep cost of erecting a tower in the water, but researchers at the University of Maine tried another approach on Friday by launching a floating wind machine. It is the first offshore wind installation in United States waters, according to the Energy Department, which helped pay for it.

U.K. Plans to Boost Renewable Heat Tariff, Cut Some for Biomass

The U.K. government proposed increasing payments made to commercial premises that generate heat from renewable sources, while cutting tariffs for medium-sized biomass boilers.

Peak Water, Peak Oil??Now, Peak Soil?

REYKJAVÍK, Iceland (IPS) - Soil is becoming endangered.This reality needs to be part of our collective awareness in order to feed nine billion people by 2050, say experts meeting here in Reykjavík.

And a big part of reversing soil decline is carbon, the same element that is overheating the planet.3

Environmentalists’ Complaint Exposes Rift Between ‘Green’ Certification Groups

WASHINGTON — The legal watchdogs at the Federal Trade Commission have been trying to police the proliferating — and often false — claims in recent years that products are “green” or “environmentally friendly.”

The agency recently brought cases against Amazon.com, Macy’s and Sears, Roebuck & Company for selling clothing purportedly made of bamboo fiber that was really fashioned from rayon, a decidedly ungreen material. It cracked down on the paint manufacturers Sherwin-Williams and PPG Industries for saying that some of their products did not produce hazardous fumes. It shut down an online firm selling “tested green” certifications for products that were neither tested nor green.

'After Earth' ponders world without humanity

A world empty of other people might sound pleasant in our over-connected, over-sharing, Internet age. No more marketing calls on the cellphone, traffic jams or radio call-in show blather.

But in After Earth, which stars Will Smith, the adventure-flick vision of the future without other people looks less ideal. Hidden deep in the "muscular" science-fiction film, says director M. Night Shyamalan, are the lessons of environmental scientists on the impact of people on our planet.

Are Republicans Warming to Climate Change?

Maybe a little bit, according a recent Gallup Poll showing increased concern over global warming among Republicans, many of whom have in the past considered climate change a false threat.

This giant chart shows where all our greenhouse gases come from

Where do the greenhouse gases that are now heating up the planet come from? Ecofys has a massive new flowchart breaking down man-made emissions by source and sector worldwide:

If This GIF of 10,000 Years of Sea Level Rise Doesn't Freak You Out, Nothing Will

Fossilized sediment from New Jersey's salt marshes contains evidence of a migrating coast line. For some 2,000 years, up until the dawn of our modern warming era around 1900, the sea level off of what's now New Jersey was rising by about one to two millimeters a year, with the coast itself imperceptibly creeping inland. Today, the sea level is rising by three to five millimeters a year.

Perhaps that still doesn't sound like much. But this is the point of taking a very long view of history.

Picturing possible Hudson River drowning of land

Albany = It is one thing to hear how rising seas fueled by global climate change might affect the Hudson River. It is another to see that future on a map, showing which particular streets might be flooded, what homes could be lost, and which sewage treatment plants might be ruined.

When Winter Came for Kings

In his epic "Global Crisis," Geoffrey Parker addresses the question of why long-oppressed populations during the 17th century—across Europe and elsewhere as well—rebelled in unprecedented numbers.

...At the heart of "Global Crisis" is an emphasis on climate change. Using a range of new methods and evidence concerning past meteorological shifts—a "natural" and human archive that includes dendrochronology (the science of dating from tree rings) and archaeology, as well as written records—Mr. Parker demonstrates that the 17th century experienced a period of sustained cooling, with prolonged freezing winters and colder and damper summers in much of Europe and China. Iran was scourged by more than its usual share of "droughts, high winds, violent hailstorms and earthquakes" in the second half of the century. There were four monsoon failures in India. Climatologists speak of a "little ice age."

The effects for 17th-century populations were often catastrophic. In some cases, whole societies were on the move to escape the weather or climate-related shortages. Across the globe, the crisis destroyed wealth, and the vulnerable starved. "The rich," as one contemporary Chinese aphorism had it, "become poor; the poor die." Disease, especially smallpox, the plague, typhus, measles and various fevers, carried off many who had been weakened by starvation. War, which both caused and aggravated many of these afflictions, did the rest. Mr. Parker reckons that the population of the world was reduced in this period by as much as a third.

From the University of Waterloo website:
Global warming caused by CFCs, not carbon dioxide, study says

"Conventional thinking says that the emission of human-made non-CFC gases such as carbon dioxide has mainly contributed to global warming. But we have observed data going back to the Industrial Revolution that convincingly shows that conventional understanding is wrong,” said Qing-Bin Lu, a professor of physics and astronomy, biology and chemistry in Waterloo’s Faculty of Science. “In fact, the data shows that CFCs conspiring with cosmic rays caused both the polar ozone hole and global warming.”

"Most conventional theories expect that global temperatures will continue to increase as CO2 levels continue to rise, as they have done since 1850. What’s striking is that since 2002, global temperatures have actually declined – matching a decline in CFCs in the atmosphere,” Professor Lu said. “My calculations of CFC greenhouse effect show that there was global warming by about 0.6 °C from 1950 to 2002, but the earth has actually cooled since 2002. The cooling trend is set to continue for the next 50-70 years as the amount of CFCs in the atmosphere continues to decline.”

So they got my attention.

Any of you more versed in statistical analysis than me (and I'm pretty sure that's all of you) care to read his paper (published in the International Journal of Modern Physics B ) and say whether you buy it?


"the earth has actually cooled since 2002. "

No, it hasn't been cooling since 1998 (or '02). Even if we ignore long term trends and just look at the record-breakers, that wasn't the hottest year ever. Different reports show that, overall, 2005 was hotter than 1998. What's more, globally, the hottest 12-month period ever recorded was from June 2009 to May 2010.


'10 is tied with '05 for the hottest year.


See Qing Bin Lu, Cosmic-Ray-Driven Reaction and Greenhouse Effect of Halogenated Molecules: Culprits for Atmospheric Ozone Depletion and Global Climate Change.
Note especially:

Remarkably, a statistical analysis gives a nearly zero correlation coefficient (R2=-0.05) between corrected global surface temperature data (by removing the solar effect) and Co2 concentration during 1850-1970. In striking contrast, a nearly perfect linear correlation with coefficients as high as 0.96-0.97 is found between corrected or uncorrected global greenhouse effect of halogenated gases during 1970-2012. . . .A slow reversal of global temperature to the 1950 value is predicted for the coming 5-7 decades. . . .

Also Lu's other recent paper:
QB Lu, On Cosmic-Ray-Driven Electron Reaction Mechanism for Ozone Hole and Chlorofluorocarbon Mechanism for Global Climate Change

The strong contrast between QB Lu's and IPCC's models will provide a relatively clear way to test their predictions per the scientific method. May the best model win!

A review of cosmic rays and climate: a cluttered story of little success

There was never any solid support behind this claim: in fact, as noted long ago, there has been no trend in GCR [galactic cosmic rays]. Furthermore, any resemblance between GCR/clouds and the global mean temperature is lacking.

There isn't much of a model behind Lu's explanation for the recorded warming since the 70's other then a statistical one and correlation isn't causation. Otherwise one might conclude that the amount of sold Mars bars caused global warming....

There is no physical model and we already know (from downward looking satellite LW radiation measurements) that CFC's form a much smaller part of the change in the earth’s radiation budget.

On a sensational note, it is noteworthy that 'International Journal of Modern Physics B' happens to be the same journal that published the famous and equal hopelessly flawed Gerlich and Tscheuschner paper. And one might wonder why a journal on solid matter physics would publish a supposedly landmark climate paper...

Re the "warming stopped in year X" claim:


We’ve often dealt with this subject, but since it’s so common, and seems to come from real skeptics as well as fake ones, we’ll address it once again.

Global temperature evolution 1979–2010

The close agreement between all five adjusted data sets suggests that it is meaningful to average them in order to produce a composite record of planetary warming. Annual averages of the result are shown in figure 8. This is the true global warming signal.

Quantitative Global Temperature Trends since January 2001
Readers are encouraged to look at the actual global temperature graphs.
Lucia Liljegren evaluates the global temperature trends Jan 2001 to Mar 2013 and compares them with model projections.
GISTemp 0C/decade
HadCRUT4 -0.02C/decade
NCDC -0.02C/decade

You need 20-30 years of annual data to infer a climate trend: Results on deciding trends.

Barton Paul Levenson has a nice page on this: No warming for 15 years!.

re 20-30 years to infer climate trend.
Ben Santer opined:

In order to separate human-caused global warming from the “noise” of purely natural climate fluctuations, temperature records must be at least 17 years long, according to climate scientists.

Consider the "trend" of a sinusoid with data relative to wavelength. With a 60 year Pacific Decadal Oscillation, you properly need > 60 years of data to distinguish "climate" from the rise and fall of PDO variations. See the impact of 17 and 30 year trends.

Please don't refer to Whatsupwiththat, they are not a credible source.

Watts' "analysis" is really funny. Take his figure 1, in which he plots 30 year linear trends. His first point is stated to be the linear trend for 1900-1929, which he places on his graph at 1929. The other points are computed using a sliding data range. But, the calculated values corresponds to 30 years of data, so the point should have been placed half way between 1900 and 1929, at about 1915. The peak shown at about 1946 should have been placed at about 1931, which would reflect other data that pointed to warming around that time period.

His figure 2 plots his trend data on top of the "raw" temperature data and the date distortion makes his conclusions completely bogus, IMHO.

Oh, BTW, he ignores the effects of volcanic eruptions, such as that of Soufrière Saint Vincent in 1902, Soufrière Hills Montserrat, El Chichón, Pinatubo, etc...

E. Swanson

One thing to note here is that the compared model projections are ensembles and therefore are averages of many climate realisation runs. Think of these ensembles as many parallel virtual Earth's, each with a slightly different initial climate configuration and -as a result of that- different climate realisation. Many individual climate realisations in these ensembles show periods of no apparent warming for up to 15 years while still showing the same long term warming trend as the ensembles.

So, as we've known from the past and also as shown by the models; 10 - 20 year periods exhibit significant internal variation and a short 'hiatus' period does not disprove our knowledge about the greenhouse effect.

I would welcome any references you could provide to any models that have "many climate realisation runs". Almost all published models average five or fewer runs, some only one. Yet the run to run variation can differ by an order of magnitude.
See S. Fred Singer Overcoming Chaotic Behavior of Climate Models
Singer finds 400 run-years are needed to reduce the major chaotic uncertainty. eg 20 years x 20 runs.
If you examine the IPCC reports, ALL the models are running systemically hotter than subsequent global temperatures. Projections since 2000 already border on +2 sigma hotter than actual temperature. That does not engender confidence in their ability to predict 100 years.

Lucia Liljegren compares measured temperatures (i.e. the realised model run) with the mean of the IPCC AR4 and AR5 climate models for which many dozens or even hundreds of model runs are used.

You know that Fred S. Singer is one the original climate contrarians? Singer, who devoted his post-cold war life to defending the free-marktet? You sure make very perculiar choices in your sources, if you don't mind me saying so.

According to a presentation on Arctic Feedback Dynamics by David Wasdell (on youtube parts 1 and 2) the climate models do NOT take into account positive feedback loops. An example of such a loop is evidenced by the Arctic sea ice death spiral, involving albedo, warmer water, thinner ice melting quicker, etc. A bit terrifying actually.

Ofcourse models include different feedback loops, including positive ones. Indeed, prominent examples of such feedbacks are the amount of water vapor and albedo changes.

The methane hydrate feedback is not included in current models as it is still a large 'known unknown' factor. I can understand Wasdell being nervous about this feedback but we simply don't know enough about this to be sure about anything.I agree this is something to be weary about as the methane potential is indeed huge.

But the existence of positive feedbacks don't necessarily mean that we will have a runaway greenhouse. In fact the positive feedbacks are necessary for the liveable world as we know it.

To bring the topic back to energy, the climate consequences of methane hydrates is the reason why I'm very worried about the recent attempts to 'mine' the methane hydrates from the ocean floor. There is about 10.000 GT of carbon locked in these hydrates, compared to about 5.000 GT in all fossil fuels! Burning the fossil fuels is more then enough to wreck the climate, the carbon in methane hydrates are capable of doing this a few times over. Like coal and tar sands, we really need to leave the hydrates in the ground and the primary tool to ensure this is to simply *not* develop the means and infrastructure to mine these resources.

Unfortunately I can see billions being pushed into developing the means to extract hydrates. Billions that could have installed working renewable resources. Renewables pushed to the side to make way for these new wreckers.


What’s striking is that since 2002, global temperatures have actually declined – matching a decline in CFCs in the atmosphere,” Professor Lu said.

If that is true, then why has Arctic ice volume and extent continued to decline since 2002? Why was there a new low ice extent record in 2005, exceeded by a new record in 2007, exceeded by yet another new record low in 2012? Wouldn't cooling mean more ice, not less? Watch the short Utube video below showing consistent ice loss in the Arctic particularly since 2002.

If that is true, then why has Arctic ice volume and extent continued to decline since 2002?

Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) show conclusively that "the rate of global warming ... has been remarkably steady during the 32 years from 1979 through 2010. There is no indication of any slowdown or acceleration of global warming, beyond the variability induced by known natural factors."

You avoided answering the question. How can GW be steady if arctic ice is declining? Did you even watch the video?

I'm supporting your argument. :) Foster and Rahmstorf show that the warming trend has a constant upward slope, so we should expect Arctic sea ice to decline.

From the science we would have expected the sea ice to "slowly" decline, with of course shorter term fluctuations. Other explanations are needed to explain why the decline has been so rapid.

Some candidates.
Changes to the circulation (jetstream) that means more heat is advected to the arctic.
Greater atmospheric moisture due to GW, means more latent heat is advected to the arctic.
Greater atmospheric moisture due to GW, means more greenhouse gases in the arctic atmosphere (noting that water vapor is a potent GHG).
Greater atmospheric moisture due to GW, means more arctic clouds, which especially in winter hold in heat.
Feedbacks to arctic warming, such as changes in vegetation and snow/ice cover have been seriously undermodeled.

I suspect it as all of the above in some combination, that will have to be worked out.

No problem Barrett808, my error. Speaking of which we are not suppose to consider all these recent tornados as part of climate change (ahem, ahem), but today there were more twisters in Oklahoma and people panicked because of what happened recently in Moore, Oklahoma and hit the roads only to get stuck in gridlock. One woman's car was lifted off the ground and dropped back down into a ditch. And who could blame people for panicking (except Inhofe, Senator from Oklahoma) after the recent E5 ripped houses into splinters?

There is actually evidence to indicate climate change is increasing tornado intensity, as amplification increases, colder air mixes with warmer air increasing the size and speed of the winds in the twisters. But according to the news there's nothing to see here, move on from thinking it has anything to do with AGW. Ok, whatever you say MSM! Ha!

When you or someone else says that that the surface temperature has been cooling since year X, then you make a statistical claim.

When you want to make a statistical claim you need to do the maths first: determine the noise in the data, the trend and confidence intervals. When you do this, and many have done so including the World Meteorological Organisation many decades ago, you will come to the conclusion that the average surface temperatures exhibit significant year to year variation, aka noise. You therefore need many years of data to determine whether the trend over the time period of choice is statistically significant.

In other words: you need a lot of years to get a meaningful trend. For surface temperatures about 20 years is needed, 30 years is even better. A linear trend based upon 11 years of data has very large uncertainty, the real trend could be anything.

Well said.

Certainly, Styno. But there may be other factors at work here, beyond system noise. In the global budget, increased heat does not necessarily (in fact, does not ever) heat all parts equally and evenly. The poles in particular have seem to have warmed disporportionately to the rest of the planet. It's possible that during the last decade, the portion of increased heat being absorbed by the ocean, or migrating to the poles, has grown relative to the portion of increased heat present worldwide in the atmosphere. Ocean currents in many cases can fall into discrete modes, where the available momentum is diverted according to other factors. What we know as the Gulf Stream/North Atlantic Drift, which currently carries warm water northeast toward the North Sea, can also exist as zonal current which heads due east from roughly North Carolina. This switch is known to have occurred several times. It's very possible that the coupled atmosphere/ocean system switches between multiple modes as well. Quite a bit has been written recently about the likelihood of major climate mode switching in the not-too-distant future as the atmosphere and ocean continue to absorb more heat.

See Lucia's +/- 95% boundaries on the IPCC's models compared to the subsequent data. Models unable to predict temperatures within +/- 2 sigma leave something to be desired!

Models are doing well against observed data: 2012 Updates to model-observation comparisons

The conclusion is the same as in each of the past few years; the models are on the low side of some changes, and on the high side of others, but despite short-term ups and downs, global warming continues much as predicted.

David, you link to graphs cherry picked by Anthony Watts, the first of which are results from the MSU and AMSU instruments on polar orbiting satellites. Those satellite data for "lower troposphere" from UAH are seriously flawed and the presentation both sets of "middle tropospheric" data includes a large influence of the trend from the Stratosphere, which is known to be cooling. The RSS Lower Troposphere effort is likely to be the best of the satellite data.

Unless one has taken the time to study what Spencer and Christy did at UAH, one can not understand the flaws. Watts just throws those up there without any discussion and expects people like you to swallow the data no questions asked. You've been misled, sad to say...

E. Swanson

This has all been discussed repeatedly in the past. This is not a climate blog. I'm leaving it in case someone learns something from it, but I'm declaring a moratorium after this thread, at least for awhile. In particular, enough with the links to WUWT. There's a reason we have RealClimate on our sidebar but not WUWT.

Thank you Leanan

As sympathetic as I am to those worried about the climate - I was attracted to TOD because of its emphasis on energy and some of the high quality posters who were extremely knowledgeable about our energy systems. That focus has changed significantly as the climate people have increasingly conducted their debates here. Coupled with the increasingly strident political rants and accompanying decrease in civility it is harder for me to stay interested.

I frankly think that is why Rockman and WestTexas moved on. I am still very interested in the consequences of our looming energy scarcity. But I am no longer getting it here so I will be moving on also - but not to Peakoil.com. It is too lame for me.

Not that I will be missed - I am mostly a lurker :-)

I agree about the increasingly strident political hysteria and the decreasing level of civility here, and with Rockman and WestTexas gone, the signal to noise ratio is approaching zero. I don't think it's worth reviewing the comments any more.

I don't care about the climate debate - If I want to know what the climate is going to do, I just have to look in the petroleum geology textbooks. When you are drilling oil wells, you are drilling back in time, so you can see it all in the well cores, and it's all happened before.

I also don't care about Arctic ice because I've written software to calculate the probability of Arctic drillships being crushed by ice and know more than I want to know about Arctic ice. I don't care about the retreat of glaciers because I've walked on retreating glaciers, but I've also walked on glaciers that aren't on the map - they weren't there when the map was drawn. I don't care about polar bears because I can watch the Aboriginal People's TV Network and listen to what the Arctic Inuit think about them ("We've never seen so many freakin' polar bears up here!"). But if I mention any of this I get jumped on by the Politically Correct Global Warming is REAL! crowd.

I know a great deal about oil sands and non-conventional oil and gas because that's what I spent most of my career doing, but if I post something here, I get a "Tar Sands - EVIL, cause Global Warming!" or a "Fracking - EVIL, set water on fire!" response rather than some kind of intelligent conversation.

The latest leading edge technology is using rocket engines to generate steam for oil sands production. This is not a joke, it is in the pilot stage. You wouldn't believe the amount of steam a rocket engine can produce if you inject water into it, and if it's water cooled it can run for years. The former engineers from the defunct Space Shuttle program have built the rocket engines for steam injection, they have demo'd them to the oil companies, and a major oil company is considering spending millions to test it in the oil sands.

But if I post it here, I will get dozens of people repeating, "Tar sands EVIL - cause Global Warming!" I really don't need that. I think I will go somewhere else.

Congratulations Rocky, you reached zero well and clear with this one. Too bad the useful days of strawmen is well gone, you've got a whole army of them in this post...

Going by the fact that you did post it here I'll have a go at some (hopefully) intelligent debate or to be more specific questioning.

How cost effective would the new steam injection method be? Is it one of the technologies that relies on a high price of oil to allow it be viable or would it be more cost effective than other methods. From previous posts I thought oil sands were quite efficient in their production as the gas they produced as a by-product were used as a fuel source in the production process.

Another consideration would be the water efficiency - would the tech be more or less demanding on water reserves?

Water /steam is also formed by combusting fuel and can be delivered downhole.

I suppose it's "human nature" to object when one's basic belief structure is challenged. After all, we still see many examples of such conflicts based on different religious world views and that doesn't even include the secular/scientific vs religion differences. It's difficult for the ordinary person to see the small changes in climate, given the large daily swings in weather, thus both sides of the question can make wild claims for political gains. But, there remains the prospect of much larger changes in future and the only sure way to stop those changes is to limit emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

I think that the only way to sort thru the issue is for open discussion of what data and analysis is available. However, that also leaves open the prospect for disinformation from those who have some financial interest in the outcome, as a result, the scientific understanding has been buried by denialist propaganda. Most people aren't able to sort thru the science, let alone understand the lies hidden within the propaganda. I wish things were different, but we are all self centered and suffering isn't something we willingly accept, especially when it involves the immediate survival of family and friends due to loss of income in our consumer driven society.

It appears humanity will ride the techno train until the fuel is gone and the train runs off the tracks. It appears that you are still enjoying the ride, so to speak...

E. Swanson

May as well - after that post your credibility with me at least is pretty much gone. Basically, what I read is that you've personally seen all that is necessary to understand what is happening, and the things you've seen are all that data that matter.

I second that - a perfect example of a blog-Harakiri.
What i find strange is that AGW-deniers brother to frequent TOD and/or climate sites for that matter -- because I for one is not running down the doors of sites where religion, knitting recipes or bonsai-trees are discussed. I'm puzzled.

The difference is the amount of $$$ at stake, many, many orders of magnitude.

The only $$$ the US has spent so far on AGW is to fly in delegations to Conferences and say "we pay nothing" ... and "have a good day, y'all - bye".

And this is thanks to the sentiments of RMG and his ilks - $$$ saved today ok, but if AGW is real what will the cost become tomorrow? Can RMGs cough up tomorrow?
Also - one more thing - if US made it illegal to produce and sell SUVs from tomorrow - and that herafter only snmall cars using less than 0.5 liters/10kilometer would be allowed sold - who in the general public (apart from carmanufacturers) would spend/loose monies ? The CO2 footprint would plunge per Capita in the US -- year by year just from such a decision - everything else held fixed. No $$$ spending needed for thisone ..

Written by:
... if US made it illegal to produce and sell SUVs from tomorrow - and that herafter only snmall cars using less than 0.5 liters/10kilometer would be allowed sold - who in the general public (apart from carmanufacturers) would spend/loose monies?

Carpenters, plumbers, gardeners....

Your imagination is narrow BT- also I can of course allow for handymenn to use a trimmed down van or else they can just put a suitable trailer onto their small car...
If you believe "your" Carpenters, plumbers, gardeners.... actually need a SUV (gas-guzzler) to do their works you have a problem - but my appeal was aimed at personal transport - a place to start if you like.

- next!

Can one haul lumber, bags of premixed concrete and 20 feet long pipes in a vehicle that gets 0.5 liters/10 kilometers = 47 miles / gallon of gasoline? Maybe their cargo capacity will have to be 1/4 ton (227 kg), including the weight of the driver, to get that fuel economy in a vehicle made of plastic. Trailers are not suitable if an underpowered engine can not pull it up a hill. If the worker has to make extra trips to haul in the equipment and supplies, he is losing money and wrecking the fuel economy.

These claims are often exaggerated. My country has a lot of hills (New Zealand) but people seem to get by just fine using a lower capacity diesel. Carrying a large load up a hill may not be possible at highway speeds for a smaller engine, but that doesn't make doing so impractical. I see people towing over 500KG loads along the highway with less than a 2L engine and I have myself taken a 3 ton vehicle (load inclusive) with a 3L petrol engine over some of the steepest hills in New Zealand.

I just get the suppliers to drop them off as they boost their efficiency by delivering multiple drops in a single run instead of doing one run, one drop.. Also it means someone else does the lugging.


I agree about the increasingly strident political hysteria and the decreasing level of civility here, and with Rockman and WestTexas gone, the signal to noise ratio is approaching zero. I don't think it's worth reviewing the comments any more.
I don't care about the climate debate ....
I also don't care about Arctic ice ....
But if I post it here, I will get dozens of people repeating, "Tar sands EVIL - cause Global Warming!" I really don't need that. I think I will go somewhere else.

And I don't care if RMG goes somewhere else because the occaisional good points he makes are largely obscurred by his constant and repeated use of hyperbole, exageration, distortion, right wing political hysteria, and half truths. I really don't need that so if he goes somewhere else I really won't miss him.

Alaska Geo, if both sides aren't represented then what would become of the discussion we have here? If everyone agrees then there is nothing to discuss and a serious limitation on the experience offered on this site. If we didn't have interesting debate like for instance between Greenish (Greenpeace incarnate) and Rockman with both respect and wit we would be neither challenged or enlightened.

A challenge I wish to give you for you to post more. Tell us of your experiences because since Rockman has gone we don't have the same geologist perspective which I know from your previous posts you can offer.

I appreciate Rocky's comments about the state of the tar sand development very much. I also appreciate the economic arguments which are subject to ideology and preferences and thus debatable.

But there is absolutely no need to have a discussion between ignorance and science.

Science is not politics where one's view is equal to another one's view, it is about the balance of evidence which is overwhelmingly in the AGW-is-a-threat basket. What is there to learn from hearsay about some Inuit claiming to see a lot of polar bears when there are several scientific studies actually monitoring and counting them, or that a majority of glaciers aren't disappearing because somewhere a 'new' glacier exists, other then a psychological insights in denial?

Spouting climate denialist talking points while simultaneously demanding an intelligent conversation is kind of contradictory don't you think?

I think it's likely the Inuit are seeing a lot of polar bears.

But the question you have to ask is why. Is it because there's been a population boom...or has melting ice driven the bears to land, where they encounter people more often?

Right, and it is the obvious question which points out why one cannot just rely on the things one person has seen. It's the old blind men and the elephant story - we are too limited in our directly experiences, which is why we study things using scientific methods.

When I see people who are clearly educated and experienced in science using such methods it makes me wonder why.

Is it wrong for someone to offer a counter perspective? I have never seen him deny AGW or the wider implications. What I have seen him counter is the idea that the Alberta oil-sands are both the straw that will break the camels back on climate change and one of the only major straws worth talking about. No one country comes out of the climate debate smelling of roses because there are degrees of guilt and past transgressions. There are always unexpected or unforeseen consequences even when going down the 'right' path as we can see with Greece's fall into chaos.

My own country is guilty of doing more than its 'fair share' in terms of altering the climate. If New Zealand were to cease producing so much food then net global exports which can feed 30-50M people go off the market. There will be consequences and it isn't exactly clear that an equivalent quantity of green-house gasses would be mitigated because we are one of the most efficient producers in the world. Is it even right to divide allowances based on population size given the fact that it is population itself which is a major part in the equation of human impact on our world.

I didn't say that RMG should leave. And I did note that he occaisionally makes good points. I merely said that I (speaking personally) won't miss him, because I (again speaking personally) find his signal to noise ratio is too low.

Rocky, I would be very sorry to see you go. I used to think of this place as the home of the two rocks, Rockman and you, so it wouldn't feel the same without you. Even though I am a card carrying member of the New Zealand Green Party (no cards are given out unfortunately) I can distinguish between you and those who have an inhuman devotion to stupidity. There are always consequences to human behaviour, but unfortunately a lot of people have lost sight of perspective. I think of you as a representative of what the best of the 'right wing' side of humanity has to offer and if you take you leave I will miss your contributions. Someone has to take up the challenge of putting up an argument from your side of the fence, but unfortunately it seems so hard to find someone with your views who isn't literally incompetent.


Richard Watts.

Compliments on astute observations.
Thanks for the heads up on Clean Energy Systems (CES). They start with air separation to oxygen and then use oxy-fuel combustion.
For a better/cheaper alternative see VAST Power Systems, Inc.

More and more TOD is moving away from its mission statement ".... seeks to facilitate civil, evidence-based discussions about energy and its impacts on the future of humanity.....". On some occasions there were over 100 comments and not a handful concerning energy, especially oil. Last week I tried to cancel my membership but there is no button for this. So, I will cut back in following TOD discussions since it is very cumbersome to browse through the many comments that discuss irrelevant topics.

I am against censorship but to publish every junk is not responsible with respect to the reader.

Peak oil and climate change seem to be largely disjoint topics. If the more dismal peak oil projections occur, then oil will not contribute greatly to large, sustained changes in climate.

The commonality seems to be in the areas of societal collapse, its effects, and coping mechanisms, even if the causes of collapse are largely different.

The common areas I see, and the reason I include climate change in the Drumbeat:

- Climate change is how governments talk about energy

- Climate change is going to affect how we deal with peak oil - everything from the water needed for energy production to how we'll feed people in a drastically changed climate to what we'll do if our current infrastructure ends up under water - literally

- The way entrenched interests try to undermine climate science is a preview of what peak oilers will face should peak oil ever become as accepted as climate change now is

I see all of that as on topic for "energy and our future."

Arguments about whether climate change is happening and why are pointless, IMO. Everyone's already heard it all, and no one will change their minds at this point. It's just aggravating.

Arguing over the details of climate science and climate models is also not relevant to this site, IMO. While those may not be completely settled yet, the average reader here does not have the background to understand it, and most don't have that much interest, either. Take it to a climate blog, of which are there many - far more than there are peak oil blogs.


It might be useful to take one of the old comment threads from 6+ years ago and put it up as a key post so that new(er) people could see what TOD used to be like. It might inspire them.


With comments turned off so people can read but not add to the discussion.


Why don't you pick one and post a link here?

To be honest, I do not see what you see. I remember the past as being far more "bare knuckles" than the present. We've cracked down, and despite some of the comments in this post, I think overall it's far more polite here than it was six years ago.

Remember when Vinod Khosla had a key post? I don't agree with him, but I was embarrassed at the comments to him.

Ok, here's one from 2008 by Robert Rapier - Tis the season for Top 10 stories, and here are what I think were the Top 10 energy stories of the year.


First of all, note how few comments there are. Second, note how many of the posters are long gone.


Good post, but do you really think it's that different from a key post today?

The Drumbeats have always been wild and woolly compared to the key posts. Indeed, one reason for the existence of the Drumbeat was to keep the crap out of the key posts.

As for the turnover in posters...that's the nature of the net. People lose interest and wander off. Most online forums have a very high turnover rate.

As I remember that was being aggressively pruned. What we see is not the same that TOD staff sees.

I agree with you, Leanan. I remember an awful lot of hardword people, like EP, who I enjoyed talking with because he knew a lot, but was sure mighty rough on people.

I think there is a really big and useful theme this group can do good work with here, like this:
Peak oil may be delayed a bit, but is essentially certain anyhow, so all those things we talk about are going to happen
Meanwhile, we are betting the farm on climate change-a very very bad bet
which means we just have to get off ff- quick, regardless of plenty at a cost.
and if we don't do it some huge whammy will come along and knock us into doing it anyhow.
BUT- we also know that solar and wind are plentiful, cheap and bound to get cheaper--fast.
And so we talk about how to do this revolution gracefully, and who has done what and how did it work

Thanks again for all your good work. You seem to me to be an admirably sane person.

To be honest, I do not see what you see. I remember the past as being far more "bare knuckles" than the present.

I agree, especially wrt climate science discussions. Events have overtaken the debate; only the most partisan still deny the results of climate science. It takes a special kind of willful ignorance to claim that "Arctic sea ice is recovering" against all the evidence.

- Climate change is how governments talk about energy

It's doubtful that most politicians are concerned about the long term consequences of AGW. Politicians are concerned about keeping their jobs in the relatively near future (i.e. until they retire with honors). My somewhat cynical view is that the governments most vociferous about climate change are using it to conserve and extend domestic fossil fuel reserves and/or to reduce fossil fuel imports and the requirements for earning foreign exchange.

It may be appropriate to limit discussion of government actions to those which limit fossil fuel production and use or which promote and susidize alternative energy production and decrease demand for fossil fuels. The scientific, economic or political merits of the actual or hypothetical motivations of the governments is probably not appropriate for discussion.

- Climate change is going to affect how we deal with peak oil - everything from the water needed for energy production to how we'll feed people in a drastically changed climate to what we'll do if our current infrastructure ends up under water - literally

If peak oil occurs in the near term, then climate change will be a second order effect. Lack of fossil fuels for tillage and transportation, lack of fertilizer and pesticides derived from petrochemicals and so forth will be the main impact on food production and on other economic processes. Precipitation does not seem to decrease globally, since warmer SSTs cause more evaporation, but the distribution of precipitation changes according to predictions - more in the temperate to polar zones, less in the tropics, and a little more at the equator generally speaking.

Even with a model of peak oil that plateaus over 2 or 3 decades and a gradual decrease thereafter, the effects of climate change over that time horizon prior to 2050 do not seem to be very pronounces. I think that the bigger problem is the rise of population to 9 billion or so by 2050, along with increasing aspirations for global living standards.

In short, the exhaustion of crude oil seems like a decade or two phenomena, and alternative fossil fuels such as natural gas, tar sands, ultra-deep oil, etc. mean significantly rising prices in the next few decades. The economic and social impacts of this play out well before the several decade time frame when climate change effects become as large.

That said, I think that energy conservation and the more efficient use of energy apply both to extending the supply of fossil fuels and to living in an energy constrained world, and that alternative energy technologies apply to coping with declining and more expensive fossil fuels. These two topics are also beneficial in limiting carbon dioxide emissions and delaying climate change.

- The way entrenched interests try to undermine climate science is a preview of what peak oilers will face should peak oil ever become as accepted as climate change now is

This is Politics 101, and the art of influencing people is probably not an area where many of us have much expertise. Engineers require extensive rehabilitation before becoming politicians.

Written by
... the exhaustion of crude oil seems like a decade or two phenomena....

You are asserting that the peak in production occurs after we have extracted about 90% of URR. Perhaps you are asserting a fast collapse that leaves a majority of the remaining economically extractable oil in the ground.

I anticipate things to play out more slowly over this century. A system is most likely to collapse when it is subjected to maximum stress. One such point would occur if global peak natural gas production coincides with global oil production at the inflection point on the falling edge (maybe 2040's). NG production will be roughly constant with a high price while crude oil production will be declining at its fastest rate, maybe about 1 Mb/day/year, making it expensive and scarce. If we do not adapt proactively, then that situation will affect cooking, home heating, electricity, corn ethanol, nitrogen fertilizer, plastics and transportation. Natural gas is used for critical applications through out the economy while crude oil mainly affects transportation.

I don't believe that there is anything close to 90% of URR of conventional crude oil left. The curves published on this site previously do not predict that unconventional sources will expand quickly enough to offset the drop in conventional production. Discussions about the political blocks to expanding oilsands or tarsands production and the expense and rapid production declines of fracked wells in tight oil and shale gas fields raise significant doubt whether they will provide globally significant amounts of relief.

But coming to grips with the geology, microeconomics, trade policies, and governmental policies related to crude oil and other fossil fuels, and then formulating a rational expectation of future production would seem to be the first topic of business for this site.

If the expectation is one of the more dire sharkfin or stairstep models, then climate change is moot. Indeed, those in northern latitudes may welcome the warmer climate in their unheated buildings.

I don't believe that there is anything close to 90% of URR of conventional crude oil left.

Agreed. I think there is between 40% and 50% of URR remaining or about 1 trillion barrels. More than 20 years will be required to extract that much.

Peak oil will not necessarily make climate change mute because there is a trend to extract heavier crude oils that release more fossil carbon and switch transportation fuel to natural gas with a corresponding likely increase in leakage (methane as a greenhouse gas is more potent than CO2). If coal to liquid fuels is pursued or electric vehicles gain popularity without making electric power generation renewable, then CC may become the show stopper.

I do not think the issue has been settled over whether resource depletion or pollution will be our undoing.

Thank you Leanan for clarifying TOD's high level interests.

Re: "Energy and our future"
One critical Peak Oil/Climate issue I see is the magnitude of the current anthropogenic contribution to global warming, and the magnitude of the projected anthropogenic vs natural warming in light of "peak oil" and "peak coal" constraints on available hydrocarbon fuels.
(i.e. the issues of % anthropogenic vs natural and climate sensitivity compared to geophysical & economic constraints.)
I recommend posts linking to recent published studies on this issue.

Re: "Take it to a climate blog"
Serious professional discussions / debates are now being proposed between the Royal Society (RS) and the Global Warming Policy Foundation.(GWPF) e.g., for serious discussion see What exactly are we debating? at Climate Etc.

The truth is that they are highly joint topics, basically through the combustion of fossile hydrocarbons being the main engine of current society/economy :
CnHm +O2 ---> Energy + CO2 + H2O

However to me in the last 2 decades or so the resource contraints/peak oil aspect has had a very serious communication deficit compared to climate/CO2, in particular towards the general public. Not too surprising as the "code word" for the peak oil aspect is simply "energy security".

Plus there are, and were, very clear political pressure behind that :

And it seems to get worse, now being under some kind of Omerta or something.

That the IEA is now becoming some kind of propaganda office with respect to a supposed "US Energy boom"(and its related financial needs), is truly getting disgusting.

One thing I have always found regarding TOD is that the editorial line has always been kind of "technical contemplative" that is discussing the data and maybe possible outcome, some times about technical alternatives, but never about possible non technical policies, that is basically fiscal policies such as increasing taxes on fossile fuels decreasing taxes on work. Also not much about pushing the subject on the public place, not much either about getting the "oil geopolitical history" a bit straight, such as the basic reason for the first oil schock being much more US 1970 peak than the so called "embargo"(almost a non event in terms of barrel taken out of the market, never existed from KSA to the US for instance).

Which is "fine"(anybody is responsible to define its editorial line), but another thing can be noticed, all "non technical" policies to adress peak oil or peak fossile also converge on the CO2/climate aspect.

[..] but another thing can be noticed, all "non technical" policies to adress peak oil or peak fossile also converge on the CO2/climate aspect.

Here in the Netherlands, in my community, we are a pretty long way in setting up a local cooperative renewable energy company that provides biogas/electricity/heat from rooftop PV, a local pig farm, cow farm and the municipal wastewater treatment plant to locals. The members are locals too and it's interesting to see why they take the trouble to get such a complex operation going.

The reasons are (among others):
- Peak oil/gas (our biggest-by-far gas field is projected to be empty in 20 years)
- Climate change
- Energy independence (from Russia, Middle East, world fossil fuel price shocks)
- Aversion to monopolies by large multinational utilities
- Clean air (i.e. no coal)
- Local economy, local jobs

Even when people don't give a flying pig about the climate they may still have an interest in working together in this cooperative with those who do. The reasons can be either technical, geopolitical, economical or hippie feel-good, but they all converge into less reliance on fossil fuels and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Energy policy and climate are linked together.

First power was delivered to customers by March 1st :D

"First power was delivered to customers by March 1st :D"

Interesting !
Any site/blog about this cooperative ?
How to join ? :)

The site (in Dutch) is here.

The cooperative is owner of the energy company.

There are two ways to join:
- Become a member of the cooperative. You'll need to buy at least one participation (€ 50,--) and a yearly members fee (€ 25,--). These funds are used to run the cooperative and fund renewable energy projects. In return you get a say in decisions about the cooperative and the energy company.

- Become a customer of the energy company. This works just like any other energy customer relationship except here you get the chance to visit the sites where your energy is coming from. You don't get a say about the direction of the energy company.

Ofcourse you can do both and most members are also customers.


I happen to be working with a number of communities in Ireland with similar objectives, the most advanced to date is situated on the Aran Islands, 3 small islands in the Atlantic ten miles off the western coast. They have now formed their energy co-op and the only energy resources available are wind and ocean technologies, but an achievable plan has been put together to make this community fossil fuel optional by 2020.

If the Aran Islanders can achieve this state of affairs with the natural constraints which apply to them, then it can be achieved anywhere.

Very ambitious, I like! :D

The municipally I live in has about 155.000 inhabitants and quite some industry/offices so the scale is a bit different. Despite the fact that we can't utilize wind turbines (too close to an airport) which sounds ideal for the Aran Islands, I suspect we have more biomass then the Aran Islands in the form of pine forests.

What energy sources are you going to uses? Wind, wave, tidal, biomass, PV perhaps?

Any special lessons you want to share with us?

Just read a few things about Aran's plans. A mild climate (it seldom freezes and not too hot), plenty of wind and possibilities for pumped hydro storage make these islands quite ideal. I'd say: if they can't do it, noone can ;-)

Are they discontinuing ferry and air service?

"The islands have an unusually temperate climate. Average air temperatures range from 15°C in July to 6°C in January" according to Wiki.

Just_The_Facts is the one crowd sourcing references and providing direct links to the best online graphs at WUWT resources. If you have better, please submit the links.
Spencer & Christy and RSS have steadily corrected and refined the UAH temperature measurements. Now "RSS and UAH TLT are now within 0.003K/decade of one another."

But thats exactly what the disinfomers don't want to do. They'd rather give the impression that they are doing the maths, whilst in reality they have used some combination of cherry picking of data -or of simply drawing hand fits to the data. Since the intended audience is mostly math averse, it tends to work.

It could be just a time lag, CFC's persist a long time and are only now just starting to drop. If this CFC theory is correct, we could be near the lower limit for arctic ice, and it should start to recover in a few years.

The ozone layer blocks UV. So, I guess I can see how a hole could let in more UV and cause more heating. Also, the poles have been heating up faster than the rest of the planet. But, the holes form in the Winter, they close up in the summer when it might make a big difference.

I don't really buy it, but it should give the deniers plenty of ammo to stop any kind of CO2 reduction efforts.

The electric hybrid was also introduced in 2002. I am sticking to my theory that hybrids have stopping global warming. Yea.

"The electric hybrid was also introduced in 2002."

1997 with the Prius and also 1999 with the Honda Insight both of which were only available in Japan at that time.

Also the year solemn observances of Talk Like A Pirate Day began.

Hi Everybody.
Thanks for all the comments. The reason I'm so interested is that this guy has been on the CTV news network and a bunch of other sources in the past day or two. It's kind of big news up here- a professor at a respected University saying, in a peer-reviewed paper, that global warming will soon start to reverse itself. More crap (like "fracking will save us!") I have to refute when dealing with my relatives.


I wonder if the news would be so big in Canada if Canada wasn't creating such enormous amounts of CO2 polution. It almost sounds as if he giving a Candians a reason not to feel bad about what is happening in front of the worlds eyes, a CO2 catastrophy.

That was exactly my reaction... this is an exercise in guilt reduction. Nice try...

Ugh! I hope I don't end up being too embarrassed to admit that I have a University of Waterloo Physics degree.

Curiously, Roger Pielke gave a talk at the university a couple of years ago. My recollection is that it was sponsored by one of the banks.

This is the sort of oil company funded obfuscations that they've been trying to push into the literature. Correlation does not prove causation, and a plausible explanation is needed -as well as an explanation for why CO2 and other greenhouse gases don't work. As well as having some explanatory power for paleoclimate (like the ice age cycle). This one was creative, add CFCs to the other disproved alternate explanation -its all cosmic rays......

CO2 traps heat, it is a simple scientific fact.

It's actually not some mysterious voodoo and no one is quite sure what (if anything) is causing temperature rise. Other gases also have this common property, and it is why the earth has what we call a hospitable climate, as opposed to the moon for example.

You might want to dig into Paloe-Climatology to understand what happened, what is happening and what is to come:

Doctor Prof. Julie Brigham-Grette presents Lake El' Gygytgyn Research (International Project)

Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YxbOSB7zDgY

and then ask yourself after watching the following video, if we stand a chance:

Video Arctic Emergency:


Anything else is just ludircous small talk from here on....grab your popcorn and enjoy the short time that is left

The Lake El' Gygytgyn video was very interesting. Not only has it been insanely cold for the last two million years (with warm intervals), it's been insanely insanely cold for the last half-million. But even in the merely insanely cold periods, there have been times the West Antarctic ice sheet has gone away, and the Greenland ice sheet may have been gone as well. And none of that was expected based on the current crop of climate models.

I'd heard that the lake sediments from there had thoroughly discredited a bunch of climate models. And now I see why. I guess an advantage of computer models is that they can be deleted with a keypress, rather than stacked up in the courtyard and burned. This does improve air quality.

It's also interesting that the Arctic routinely heats up to 7 or 8 degrees above what we consider normal, then temperatures crash down again. It's just not a stable climate configuration.

For those prone to panic at the thought of a 2 degree rise in global temperature, that video should be reassuring. the planet has been there and done that multiple times since the big cooldown began at the end of the Pliocene (which is really impressive on one of her first graphs). Which is good since it appears that the opportunity of staying under a a 2 degree rise is shot, if it ever existed. On the other hand, exceeding a 4 degree rise would put us above the Pliocene's warm period, so that would be new territory. The last time it was warmer than that (in the Mid-Miocene) the ocean circulation was very different. But staying under a 4 degree rise is still a plausible outcome if oil stays expensive and solar/wind continue to expand.

the washer just stopped, so I'm out to hang up the clothes.

Well, you need to watch that video again, there are a couple of caveats you did not state in your comments: right now, we are at 400ppm CO2, and according to the El' Gygytgyn team, when this happened in the past, the Arctic was 8 degrees warmer than today. Why is it not so right now? Well, it's called "rate of change", the entire climate system "runs" after our turbo-emission of CO2, but eventually, the climate will catch up in the near future. Worse: we will not stop at 400ppm, nor will mother nature: we are in the most rapid climate change this planet has ever witnessed, and the changes will accelerate from here into a "runaway feedback" with all the methane hydrates melting and being released under the arctic sea (watch the 2nd video carefully: the melt has already started !) So, guaranteed no more West Antarctica Ice Sheet, no more Greenland ice sheet, 5 Billion peoples on the run from at least 15 to 25 meters of sea level. This will happen, sooner than anybody expects.
Just as a sideline: 30 years ago, everybody in the "specialist community" was sure the worst case scenario for the Arctic Ice Sheet was to melt in a 1000 years. 10 years ago, the IPCC told us that the worst case scenario would be by 2100, but surprise,surprise: right now during summer, the Arctic ice sheet is almost gone. That's called a exponential progression actually. It will not stop (absolutely no reason) on that ever acceleration path anytime soon. Extrapolate a bit !!
We are in for very very bad surprises, very soon.

"In the end I always come back to Waslowski and Wadhams and their prescient 2007 statements. Maslowski predicting a 2013 summer melt out and Wadhams commenting:

"The implication is that this is not a cycle, not just a fluctuation. The loss this year (2007) will precondition the ice for the same thing to happen again next year, only worse.
"There will be even more opening up, even more absorption and even more melting.

"In the end, it will just melt away quite suddenly. It might not be as early as 2013 but it will be soon, much earlier than 2040."

Posted by: Kevin O'Neill | June 02, 2013 at 17:00

Maslovski said 2016 +/- 3 years ;-)

Given the estimated trend and the volume estimate for October–November of 2007 at less than 9,000 km3 (Kwok et al. 2009), one can project that at this rate it would take only 9 more years or until 2016 ±3 years to reach a nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean in summer. Regardless of high uncertainty associated with such an estimate, it does provide a lower bound of the time range for projections of seasonal sea ice cover. (We do note that other published estimates also have large or indeterminate uncertainties.)

This is merely my personal local climate observations, here in coastal B.C. Canada..

Winter temperatures have seemed to have warmed, while the summers are cooler. In the past few years. We no longer have winters cold enough to give a good dormant period for proper fruiting of trees and in the summer fail period I can no longer get the temperatures or sun needed to mature the squash. As well springs seem to be more cloudy and possibly wetter.

I, of course, do not know what to expect for sure how temperatures will be in the future, as while temperatures for the time seem overall warmer I think that they will also be more caotic and make things harder to predict as far as gardening goes.

I am moving more to cole (cabbage type) crops and early maturing beans. I think this year I will put some squash in a greenhouse along with the peppers as nothing beats the taste of ripe buttercup squash at Christmas, with a gravy, as while very flavorful, are a bit dry on ripening.

Anyone planting fruit trees now should, in my opinion, think carefully about what might be the situation in coming years. I have just bought a rather expensive lime tree!

Since 1986, every year without exception made it into the top ten hottest year ever list.

Here is the current list:
 Year   Anamaly(C)   5 year average                      TOP Ten Warmest
 1997      0.41      0.40                                Position
 1998      0.58      0.39                                3  
 1999      0.33      0.43     
 2000      0.35      0.46     
 2001      0.48      0.46
 2002      0.56      0.49                                6  
 2003      0.56      0.54                                6  
 2004      0.49      0.56                                11 (pos 10 knocked out) 
 2005      0.62      0.56                                2  
 2006      0.55      0.54                                9  
 2007      0.58      0.55                                3  
 2008      0.44      0.56     
 2009      0.57      0.55                                5  
 2010      0.63      0.57                                1  
 2011      0.51         *                                10 
 2012      0.56         *                                6  
 2013         *         *

Cooling trend? You decide.

Re: "Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century" by Geoffrey Parker -- The period covered is 1618 to the 1680s, which would be the middle of the Little Ice Age.

Thomas Hobbes was born 1588 and died 1679. The times he live in may have influenced his thoughts (quoted from Wikipedia):

— "Chapter XIII.: Of the Natural Condition of Mankind As Concerning Their Felicity, and Misery.", Leviathan

In such condition, there is no place for industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving, and removing, such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

The article says one of the factors was that there were so many educated people, but no jobs for them.

Mr. Parker shows that, despite geographical and cultural distances, there were striking similarities in the ways in which various polities experienced crisis. There was the same tendency toward moral panic and religious fundamentalism, which produced Puritanism in Britain, Jansenism in France and Wahhabism in the Ottoman Empire. There was a similar excess of educated men in England, Bohemia, Mediterranean Europe and China, for whom the state apparatus could find no work and who thus became its severest critics, writing coruscating political pamphlets. "Learning without a living," as one English judge remarked, "doth but breed traitors."

That was, according to some, the reason for the "Arab spring." All those young people who paid for expensive educations, but could not get jobs.

That doesn't bode well for Europe either then.

Education is a dangerous thing, you want to educate people to be useful but not educate them enough to question you.

"Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm really awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly colour. I'm so glad I'm a Beta." (And weren't beta's just chemically lobotomized alphas?)

A gramme is better than a damn. (what wide spread drugs can be use for calm?)

Let me have men about me that are fat,
sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o'nights.
Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
he thinks too much: such men are dangerous.

Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

"We are in danger of producing an educated proletariat. That's dynamite! We have to be selective on who we allow to go through higher education."

-Freeman, a Nixon education advisor

All those young people who paid for expensive educations, but could not get jobs

Pretty much on the mark. Conventional wisdom says that it's the hungry people who take up arms. Not so, the perennially hungry learn to 'adjust'. It's the newly hungry who take up arms. Most insurgencies in my country are led and managed by well to do college grads, not the impoverished.

It's a psychological thing, mismatch of expectations.

For somewhat similar but also different reasons, in America no revolution is going to come from the masses of people on disability, welfare, food stamps, and various forms of aid. They are the comfortable ones, having just enough to eat, turn on the lights, and fill up their pickup or SUV to drive to Wal-Mart. The banks make money off this churn which is why it must continue.

The revolution will come from college educated and working people who aren't part of the politically connected or financial classes who finally say they've had enough. You can see faint beginnings of this in the political fracturing and small but growing libertarian movements.

I already count myself amongst the latter. If they think I'm going to steer this Titanic while the bankers and disabled make their way to the lifeboats, they've got another thing coming.

And then they'll figure out...wait a second, we have nobody to row the lifeboats.

The revolution will come from college educated and working people who aren't part of the politically connected or financial classes who finally say they've had enough. You can see faint beginnings of this in the political fracturing and small but growing libertarian movements.

You've just described the "Occupy" movement.

You can see faint beginnings of this in the political fracturing and small but growing libertarian movements.

Talking about changing from one fatally flawed ideology to another...

In the 1970s they used to talk about "The revolution of rising expectations."

Better-educated people expect a better lifestyle. They have been encouraged and chivvied by family and society to educate themselves for the purpose of getting better jobs. And if the jobs do not materialise, to adapt an old proverb:

"The devil finds work for idle minds to do."

An "excess of educated men" would have been tantamount to an excess of clergy, since a main function of education was to produce learned men of the cloth. This was a main objective of the founding of the first colleges in the United States, such as Harvard and Yale. At the time, one could read law with another lawyer, and I'm not sure how barbers learned surgery.

Certainly in Europe there was a lot of unfinished religious turmoil left from the Wars of the Reformation, and the Defenestration of Prague was a Protestant reaction to the Emperor's attempt to reestablish Roman Catholicism. This would have had important economic impacts on which clergy received state funds.

Climate change probably exacerbated the effects of long-term economic, technological and political cycles. There were 4 large volcanic eruptions (VEI 6s) just prior and during this period. "Volcanoes that erupted during the era and may have contributed to the cooling include Billy Mitchell (ca. 1580), Mount Parker (1641), Long Island (Papua New Guinea) (ca. 1660), and Huaynaputina (1600)." There was also the decline in sunspot activity known as the Maunder Minimum, which likely influenced climate.


Smoldering Landfill Could Threaten Nuclear Waste Official: Steam increasing from underground fire, may be moving closer to radioactive waste

Boffo headlines if conventional waste fire ends up spreading radioactive waste.

MORE details:


EPA says it's "OK," though, so....

Nuclear Waste Official threatened by smouldering landfill? Yikes!

Everything You Thought You Knew About The Risks Of Nuclear Energy Is Wrong

Kamakura, Japan — Chances are pretty high, based on prevailing public opinion, that you will think my wife and I are a tad crazy, maybe even guilty of child abuse. During the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, which is a couple hundred miles from where we live, we stayed put while thousands of others fled the Tokyo area and many foreigners left Japan for good. Not only that, we buy as much of our fruits and vegetables as possible from Fukushima Prefecture, the Connecticut-size jurisdiction where the plant is located (we even specially order boxes of Fukushima produce) while millions of others in Japan take extreme care to consume only food from the far west and south of the country. And yes, our whole family, including our 12- and 10-year-old sons, eats Fukushima food. We’re convinced it’s perfectly safe, and we like helping people whose products suffer from an unjust taint.

More data for those interested in this angle of the energy discussion ;)

Yes, maybe if we wish hard enough radioactive contamination won't be harmful. Look at the health of those who live along the Techa River in Russia.

Radioactive Contamination of the Techa River and Its Effects

It is well known that high radiation exposure (> 1 Sv) over a short period of time (less than a day) leads to the so-called "Acute Radiation Sickness". The Lethal 50% dose (at which 50% of the exposed persons die) varies from 3.5 Sv without intervention to 5 Sv with medical intervention. In most countries of the world anyone who is exposed in an accident to 0.50 Sv or more is taken off duties involving radiation exposure or removed from residence in the accident area. But around "Mayak" from 1949 to 1955 this was not done and many people including workers at the reactor or plutonium extraction plant and villagers along the Techa river received high doses for several years in succession. The result was a disease, unique to Mayak and Techa, hereto unknown in the world’s official disease nomenclatures. Most members of the teams visiting the Techa villages had already gained some clinical expertise in diagnosing and treating CRS [Chronic Radiation Sickness - ed.] among the Mayak workers. Nonetheless the diagnosis of chronic radiation injury in exposed residents of the Techa River was a difficult problem. There was no information on the levels of exposure, and health status of the population prior to the exposure. It was difficult to make a differential diagnosis between general somatic and radiation pathology. It was noted that verification of the diagnoses in children was more difficult than in adults because as a rule, children are unable to clearly formulate their complaints.

This is probably the best summary article I've found on it so far, published out of Harvard. Since the Mayak complex and the resultant accidents and releases could in no way be categorized as low level (in fact, quite the opposite) comparison to Fukushima has been problematic for me, to say the least. The results of this study describe a new disorder, Chronic Radiation Sickness, and elevated leukemia and solid cancer rates against a calculated statistical background rate.

Like Hanford, and probably other sites as well, the prolonged accumulation and discharge of high-level waste at Mayak/Techa is definitely a major problem, but I don't know that it compares to Fukushima or Chernobyl. Hanford and Mayak were both specifically designed and built to produce nuclear weapons, which neither Fukushima nor Chernobyl were designed to do. The relative level of radioactivity between the two types of activities is substantial.

As always, one must form one's own opinions.

The amount of radioactive waste at Fukushima was enormous. The facility was severely damaged by the earthquake and then the tsunami, and there were multiple explosions. It's massively damaged and very dangerous and difficult to work there, there is a lot of confusion and there has been more than a little lying. It is still a wreck, still not under control and major releases are ongoing.

So no, none of us can know how it compares, but given the amounts of waste there it would be foolish to assume it is less serious than Mayak or anywhere else. It is, however, still recent and so one would not expect to see the full impact in terms of health effects yet.

I fail to see how an anecdotal story about some guy who chose to stay in a contaminated area because he is unable to directly sense the hazard and still feels OK is of much meaning.

The point in raising these in the discussion was to continue the challenge to the Linear No Threshold (LNT) model for radiation exposure. The first linked article was actually not just about a single individual's anecdotal story, but also about the new documentary, Pandora's Promise, which is about how five previously fervent anti-nuclear environmental activists came to change their mind about the technology. In no small part they were influenced by matters of energy policy, as I think will be evident when the film is released, some time this month.

It's also a continuation of the discussion on the fear surrounding low level radiation, and whether that fear is appropriate. As a discussion forum focused on energy, it seems an appropriate conversation, assuming it doesn't get out of hand. I've tried very hard to keep every post I write on a civil level, and to link out to my sources for everyone's view and critique. Lately the conversation has been civil and beneficial, or at least that's my view.

So just more food for thought. I think folks understand my basic perspective on energy options - I'd prefer renewable first, but I just don't think it's a good idea to take nuclear off the table. Especially since countries other than the U.S., Europe, and Japan are still very much pursuing it. I also feel the folks from Fukushima who are being shunned or ostracized because they happen to be from that area are getting a very raw deal.

So five people changed their minds, I bet one also could find 5 people who were previously in favor of nuclear and changed their mind after Fukushima. Great, so far I'm not impressed.

I long wonder what's so great about tackling one long lived legacy in a small way with another long lived legacy. We literally need to build many many thousands of nuclear reactors to make a dent in Climate Change (1), we need them fast (2), if developing countries are to profit from them they have to be cheap (3), we need to have the heavy manufacturing capabilities for large pressure vessels (4) and we need the highly trained workforce (5), banks/investors need to provide the capital (6). Those 5 things won't happen, not anytime soon anyway.

In my opinion especially developing countries are much more helped by renewables. Renewables scale, are cheap (compared to nuclear), require much less highly trained workforce, can be rolled out at breakneck speed, allow community ownership and don't break down in spectacular ways.

Besides, the nuclear industry shows time and time again that it cannot handle the responsibility. Yes, probabilistic risk analysis puts a theoretical core melt down in about once every 10.000 reactor years or so but e.g. PWR's have a proven track record of a core meltdown about every 600-700 reactor years. Obviously those who perform PRA's are a bit optimistic. Yeah, let's build several thousand of them and cut corners as much as possible, that'll be really smart.

Because you can not see, hear, smell, taste nor feel it, it is easy for some people to pretend nuclear radiation does not exist.

I, for one, have never heard of anyone who seriously claims that nuclear radiation does not exist. On the other hand, I feel like I have seen lots and lots of people who seem to have weird and overly fearful ideas about it. I do think its invisibility to human senses (at least unless you get a big enough amount of it over a short enough period of time) is a significant contributor to that. Also, I'm no expert, but as far as I know, it's actually pretty easy to detect with technological means.

Or because you can't directly sense it, you can become paranoid about it. I think the later phenomena is more common.

The quite literal 'greenhouse effect' of CO2 as first described by Arrhenius is irrefutable. CO2 absorbs and re-emits heat at a certain rate. Add more CO2, you capture more heat. http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm

Then there are the oceans, which have a hugely greater heat capacity than the atmosphere. This makes lags in the observable atmospheric warming. The oceans absorb heat (and CO2 thus turning them more acid) at a slow and somewhat variable rate. But they absorb a huge amount of heat. So looking at just avg. global atmospheric temps even over decades can be misleading as far as any heating going on.

Just knowing a little about those two things is enough to allow me to know that this CFC-linked study is well off base.

Temperature doesn't rise in lockstep with CO2 (nore would it with CFCs) on a short-term basis. The system is too complex for that. But over centuries, it will look much more like 'lockstep'.

You are dead right.

The below link at Skeptical Science destroys the denier argument that it is CFC's and not CO2.



Is there anyplace on the web that shows what nations that are net food exporters?

Maybe this one.

Keep in mind that quantities based on value can be misleading. There was much made of the fact that U.S. became a net food importer a few years ago, but that was based on value: we export cheap food like grain, and import pricy luxuries like chocolate, coffee, etc.

Tons of grain is probably what you're looking for.

And now with US grain having GMOs, the press reports Japan has cut imports and the EU is rumored to follow.

I wonder if the GMO effects survive being made into 190 proof booze?

EPSPS or 5-enolpyruvyl-shikimate synthase is an enzyme that catalyzes a reaction in plant and bacterial cells that is necessary for the synthesis of some amino acids. The herbicide, Roundup, can bind to the EPSPS enzyme made in plants and block its ability to work. This causes the plant to run out of amino acids which halts growth and development. The plant eventually dies from starvation. Roundup is a non-selective systemic herbicide which means it injures and often kills most plants that come into contact with it.

The version of EPSPS made in a special strain of Agrobacteria has a slightly altered shape. This alteration prevents Roundup from binding, thus allowing the resistant EPSPS to catalyze the amino acid synthesis reaction. The coding region from the bacterial EPSPS gene was cloned and transferred to plants. Plants with the bacterial EPSPS can thus be sprayed with Roundup and take it up into their cells. Now, they have a backup enzyme that gives them the ability to keep making amino acids and thus resistance to Roundup.

What "GMO effects" would you expect from booze made from grain having the Agrobacteria form of 5-enolpyruvyl-shikimate synthase?

It is an about 105,000 Dalton protein, and it is unlikely to survive the distillation process.

What "GMO effects" would you expect

Beyond marketing?

At this time "we" can't get 'the people' to agree of the effects of wheat on the diet, let alone GMOs.

As the history of booze is production from the excess production - if no one is buying the GMOed stuff there seems to be few domestic uses beyond making booze.

The countries with GMO bans are generally wealthy and/or food exporters. It's doubtful whether the wheat importers that actually buy the most wheat from the US have GMO bans.

You should check before you make such an unsupported claim.

Japan bans GMO wheat and its wheat imports totaled 6.1 Million tons in 2012 and 6.35 Million tons in 2011. S. Korea also bans GMO wheat. The EU has all kinds of GMO bans.


2012 world wheat import rankings

Japan 4th 6.1 Mt
EU-27 5th 6.0Mt
S. Korea 6th 5.5Mt

According to the USDA, Japan, South Korea and the EU-27 account for 23% of US wheat exports in the market year 2012/13. Amounts going to specific countries are highly variable by year, and wheat is fungible on the world markets, so it they aren't taking it, someone else will.


Thanks. The Philippines is a net food importer but recently the President mentioned that they are on track to be a net exporter of rice in the next two years(!?!), meaning in grains they will be - more or less - at a break even point.

My admittedly unscientific guess to why the Philippine economy is growing even with high oil prices and declining consumption (the national budget shows a modest surplus of a few million dollars) is the fact that they are exporting food to make up for it. Non GMO food.

Tons of grain is probably what you're looking for.

Imports and exports of various ag products here. The link goes to wheat imports; you can select a number of other measures and products. Unfortunately the site doesn't seem to do net imports, but still useful. The really scary thing is that the countries that are big importers are heavily dependent on good harvests in only a handful of countries.

Oklahoma tornado: is climate change to blame? by the Guardian

I think that science is out on this one although it is interesting the mention of the jet stream in regards to the tornadoes. A NY Times article mentions that the jet stream was bringing cooler air South for a longer period of time than typically occurs.

Changes to the jet stream don't seem to have had much mention, the main time I heard it's mention was in 2010 when it was attributed to floods in Pakistan and fires in Russia and Central Asia.

I wonder how long the U.S and other nations can take a battering before the battle starts to be lost. One argument is that such events cause an uptick in economic activity as infrastructure is replaced...but if you have repeated events then surely the funds (real funds) eventually run dry and economic damage occurs because of this.

Does anyone know of cases when infrastructure has not been replaced to the same degree as before an event?

I know of only examples here in Peru from the 2010 floods. The main road from Lima to Cusco was washed away and still hasn't been replaced, there is a stretch which is just dirt road adding several hours to the journey. Also one of two road bridges between Cusco and Machu Picchu was washed away and only a temporary bridge has been in place for the last 3 years.

Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!


RE: Futuristic high-speed tube transport... article above:

The tubes would be set up like freeways to prevent crowding and traffic congestion problems."

Again, should I laugh or cry?

How about neither? The bugs of (disaster) capitalism are features.

I doubt this tube transportation system would be very energy efficient. Only six people per vehicle and an enormous amount of energy required to keep the vacuum pumps and magnetic levitation going. It's not gonna happen.

Yeah, Daryl Oster is a curious case. Ten or more years ago I was reading and posting on energyresources list. Jay Hanson and Oster had these big spats about the feasibility of Oster's scheme and its energy requirements. Oster seems to think that his envisioned system would take much less energy than conventional auto or rail transport. I think he's nuts. But he sure is persistent.

I guess if your evacuated tube had a very very low leakage, it would take much energy. Use superconducting magnets to accelerate/decellerate the bugger, and it would use little net energy to operate. Now embedded energy -thats an entirely different matter!

What an engineering nightmare! I can't imagine trying to keep a vacuum vessel that large leak free while trains run through them flexing all the joints, as a mechanical engineer with some experience with vacuum systems the thought is ludicrous.

I also image the cars burning up when the inevitable leak occurs and the cars can't be slowed to reasonable speeds fast enough. This is just a dumb idea, flying cars would be easier.

The front of the car could be a nose cone and ablative heat shield to withstand the friction and aid in slowing it in the event of an air leak. The magnetic field is also a break.

How fast do air molecules move when they flow into a vacuum? If the car is moving faster than the air molecules, a leak from behind the car will not catch up.

There could be airlock doors in the tube. If a leak occurs 1000 miles ahead to the car, then a door could be shut to isolate the leak while the car stops before hitting it.

I do not see how a magnetically levitated train car would flex the joints of a vacuum tube as it passes by. It would be in a vacuum preventing vibration from transferring from the car to the tube. Because it would be levitated, it would not touch the tube. The only inside force is the magnetic field. If the tube is made from a nonferrous material, then the only forces on it would be from the outside, like static air pressure and thermal expansion\contraction from temperature change. Maybe the vacuum tube needs to be built inside of an outer conduit to minimize the outside forces.

The CERN Large Hadron Collider is a 27 km long vacuum chamber. Think of the proposal as a linear particle accelerator for people.

The tube would have to be built rather straight which would create difficulty in traversing mountains and valleys and acquiring easements. The cost of construction would probably be prohibitive. Compare it to the cost of a suborbital flight, 300 km high and 5000 km down range from Los Angeles to New York. The suborbital flight would probably be less expensive and faster.

One key oversight in your analysis.. (and not the only one, I suspect) If you put a magnet, or a string of them onto the table and allow the Magn. Field to suspend another magnetized mass over them, this bed of magnets is still transferring the force of that suspended mass onto the place they stand upon. Unless that moving rig and its passengers was phenomenally lightweight, the compression wave that would be travelling along those tubes as they progressively carried the vehicle would probably be the real stressor, that and any place where turns and accel/decel was occuring, especially emergency stops.

This tube concept is merely trying to say to us that 'trains aren't enough', and thus creating a super-duper, silver-cities train. I don't see a need that this concept fills.. just the desire for mega speed. There's plenty of time to get there; life is long. But we'd better not keep dillydallying before getting those trains rebuilt.. life is short.

Uh oh...Sheriff Jokuhl's in town. He heard that someone was trying to violate Newton's Third Law.

This, more importantly, violates the "Who's gonna pay for that?" enigma. If we can't even spend money on proven projects - high speed rail, non-high speed rail, trams, trolleys, etc...who would pay multiples more for something that basically does the same thing but a whole lot more expensively both up-front and in maintenance.

Reminds me of the Monorail episode of The Simpsons.

That force is on the foundation which would probably be, from bottom up, earth, concrete and metal which are not significantly flexible under high loads. Constructing bridges for the mag. lev. tube would be more challenging.

the cost would probably be similar to a 3000mile long accelerator. Only the business diameter of the accelerator is maybe a centimeter, while the tube car would have a diameter over a meter!

1000 mi/hour = 1788m/s if the car weighs 1000kg the energy is =1/2 mV^2=3.2GJ about equivalent to 1 tone of TNT. Magnet failures would be quite spectacular.

And there is the takedown - doesn't matter much if you can get your vacuum - the energy released in a failure will doom the idea. At least you have a shot at surviving a plane failure, car or train failure.

How is a human body supposed to survive the failure of the tube? How would you survive the conversion of that energy into friction?

Many humans do not survive when current transport fails. This may be less of a barrier than one thinks, as there seems to be ready acceptance of the current mortality rate.

However it occurs to me to ask, perhaps rhetorically, what the minimum radius of curvature for human-safe g-forces might be, when velocity is on the order of mach 6. It seems unlikely to be compatible with the current geometry and topology of US interstate highways.

Besides, who needs it?

This whole tube shoot thing was discussed several times in the past, much funwas had by all. I forgot to ask, and will now, if anybody thought about east west ok, north south not ok on accounta coriolis forces? Dashing off to see grandma from N. Orleans to Chicago while being smashed against the wall?

I await the instantaneous riposte by the local newtonians.

This is basically an orbit or projectile calculation. There is always a route having no net lateral acceleration. If you build the tube along that then with precise control of acceleration no need any repelling guidance force from the walls.

Mind you, I'd rather spend more time in a slower but more luxurious conveyance.

Assume the maximum radial acceleration in a turn is 1 G = 9.8 m/s2 for passengers although jet pilots tolerate greater forces.

ar = v2 / r

4000 miles/hour = ~1800 m/s

9.8 m/s2 = (1800 m/s)2/r
r = 331,000 m = 331 km for the radius of curvature

People would have to be strapped in like a pilot in a fighter jet.

Yeah, you either consume vast amounts of energy generating the field and cooling the coils or you use superconducting magnets. In the latter case, I really want to know where they think they're going to get enough LHe to make this work. As others have said: not gonna happen.

Are these articles written by someone who watched Futurama while on drugs.

I wasn't even tempted to read it.

%s/watched Futurama/read Ringworld/g

should I laugh or cry?

It's not worthy of either, just shake your head and walk away. Don't people get anything about complexity, failure modes, etc? We can barely maintain surface roads. Oh, and we're broke.

...and bridges keep falling down.

Yet no one (that I am aware of) has approved raising state or federal fuel taxes to pay for vehicle infrastructure maintenance.


Since 1993, the U.S. federal gasoline tax has been 18.4¢/gal (4.86¢/L).

Motorists react to Vermont gas tax hike

A 6-cent hike in the state gas tax went into effect on Wednesday, May 1, 2013.

The price of diesel will go up by two cents on July 1.

I don't even know where to start on how awesome that article is. First, pegging the tax to the price rather than the gallon is an interesting way of adjusting it for inflation without actually saying so.

But it's people's reactions that are where it gets awesome. I have a sneaking suspicion that the reporter in question might not have enjoyed this assignment and the complainypants he had to talk to. There's the one guy who wanted them to tax "detriments to society" (the examples given being alcohol and cigarrettes) - gasoline is a detriment to society! How he thinks taxing gas, which goes mostly in cars/trucks which use the roads, "doesn't make sense" is nonsensical in itself.

Under the old gasoline tax system, the rising number of fuel-efficient cars on the road and more conservative driving habits among many motorists meant the state was generating less revenue through the gasoline tax.

Once again the tired, old, "lack-of-truths" statement about Priuses killing the DOT coffers. "Conservative driving habits" - Translation: "The economy tanked and people can't afford to buy gas"

She was irritated as she pumped gas into her large pickup truck. She was in town to help her children with grocery shopping.

“Tax, tax, tax, tax tax,” she grumbled at the state officials responsible for increasing the gasoline tax. She said it was part of a pattern in the nation as a whole of bailing out other countries while not helping people here at home. “This is the thanks we get from our government,” Limoge said.

This must be one of those suckers that bought into the Iraq war as a Holy Mission and that we'd be showered with flowers and cheap gasoline in return for the kindness we showed in blowing up their country (and children, fathers, mothers). Note, of course, that she's filling up a "large pickup" to "go into town." I do wonder what "help her children with grocery shopping" means...are they jobless, car less, handicapped? What could she be "helping" with?

...Joe Clark said he understands the need to pay for Vermont road repairs...“It would be nice if it were on something that wasn’t a necessity,” he said

This is the one that takes the cake - the humdinger. It's like saying "Buying food...I suppose I can see the need for it...but I'd rather buy Blow, Booze, and Hookers."

...Joe Clark said he understands the need to pay for Vermont road repairs...“It would be nice if it were on something that wasn’t a necessity,” he said

He is saying that he wishes the tax was on something not necessary so that he could reduce or eliminate his purchase of it to avoid paying the tax. He does not think it possible to reduce his consumption of gasoline.

Ahhhh. That makes more sense. Still an interesting reaction - wants/"needs" to drive, wants a way to avoid paying for the roads.

If, as the article stated the tax went up 6 cents, and the price of gas is $3.54/gal, and he's driving something that gets 30mpg...he'd need to offset the equivalent increase on 400 gallons of gas... as one gallon is equivalent to the tax on 3.54/0.06 = 59 gallons of gasoline he'd need to (at 12,000 miles/yr) avoid buying 400/59 = 6.8 gallons worth of gasoline, or roughly 200 miles less driving.

The Vermont Legislature made the changes to the state’s gasoline tax structure to base it on price, rather than the number of gallons sold, as was the case until Wednesday.

BlueTwilight, hopefully it is a sign of the times that states will increase their gas tax to more fully fund their road budget (versus subsidizing the road fund from the general fund).

So, after 10 years of depression (ages 13-23) I've finally discovered that there's a world beyond computing, the Internet and nihilism. I've never been in a relationship with a girl, but have increasingly become able to talk to them. I have a job with numerous perks, I'm able to save 65-70% of my net income and have no financial commitments beyond rent (17% of NI) and food (10% of NI). In fact I've taken a conscientious stand to be as minimalist as can be (no car, no mortgage, few possessions, no wife, no children). My few friends don't accept my sentiments and I've stopped talking about the doomy forthcoming prospects. Even I got bored of it. I know the world as we know it is ending, one minute at a time, but so is my life. Whatever I want to experience in this life, now is the time. It's strange that I'm feeling things are looking up when this is perhaps my peak happiness/contentment. Never again will I be blessed with as high quality living standards. Since I'm not good-looking, intelligent or particularly resourceful, I surmise I shall die fairly quickly in the clashes that inevitably ensue.

I've been PO-aware for 1.5 years now. Things are about to turn sour in Norway as well. Unemployment has risen starkly and will continue to do so, all the while immigration is at an all-time high. More people seems to be the panacea to most any economic malady, even though the new stock represent a different cultural configuration than the indigenous fauna.

Does anyone else have this very ominous feeling of urgency? I want to escape it but have no been able to.

I posted as DepressedALot a few times earlier, but seem to have lost both the email registered to it and password. Doesn't matter anyway.

Well done for emerging from 10 dismal years, and good luck with the girls/boys/none-of-the above.

No, I do not share your "ominous feeling of urgency". Life continues.

Norway is paradise compared to almost anywhere, you do not need to escape. You need to accept your good fortune and figure out how you can benefit - and enable others to benefit from your very privileged situation.

Actually, you sound intelligent and rather resourceful. Can't address the good looking part but have you noticed all the not so good looking couples?

You strike me as being quite intelligent. Of course, there are geniuses who die young and some very dull people who persist and persist into old age. As a physician I know this. In fact, it's my job to keep these dull people going forever.

Find a couple of things to work on and keep talking to people even it seems futile. Set limits for yourself. You are not going to change the world but you can change some things.


I remember you. I had the suspicion you were the guy who was posting about humanity-is-a-cancer all the time. That guy is depressed ( and depressing to read)
Glad that things look better for you now. Or that your perspective has changed.

I think I remember you that well because I had the impression that we are pretty similar. Like you I've been depressed early and often and got all that self-loathing thing going. It took me a while to get rid of computers and the Internet as well (at least in private, still getting paid good money for it)

As for being PO aware. As far as I care to remember I've always thought the modern way of life is kinda bull****. I got in trouble in school because I got into a pretty heated argument with one of my teachers. It was about the ever increasing debt and compound interest. My teacher then told me that debt would never need to be repaid and would never be a problem.
Of course, I was 16 then and just looking for trouble.

I guess my point is that you can see that it's all gonna break apart pretty early, if you are an observant type. The fact that others see it too and have hard data and good models, like in PO, helps to align your feelings or guesses with you mind.

No, your are not mad, the others are.

Unless, of course, it's us doomers who just can't be happy while the world is flooding in oil and constantly getting better.

I'm not sure if it will help you but Ive found stoicism to be a good aid. These days I carry a copy of Marc Aurelius Meditations with me wherever I go. I don't feel any urgency anymore but I remember that well too. It's what you get when you are not depressed anymore. You think you have to run twice as fast because you missed so much, no? Well, or maybe not.

And as a word of caution, my depressions usually return. Make sure you know how you got out the first time, so you can get out of it again.

But maybe I presume too much. I guess not everybody feels the same as I do :P

Anyway, I was just popping in to say hello. The departure of the Great Old Ones sure seems to bring out the lurkers.
If you ever come to Frankfurt, give me a call and we go meet some girls.

Best Regards,

the guy who was posting about humanity-is-a-cancer

Pretty sure that's dopamine. Hope he's still around - we've lost so many. And I don't see him as depressed or depressing - just a realist.

I don't share the humanity-is-a-cancer sentiments. We're no better or worse than other species or life-forms. They all would've done the same given our mental facilities (and opposable thumbs). Like some guy said a few months ago, humankind is clever, but not smart. He also wrote that we're most likely endowed with predicting the future by +/- 6 months, because any longer than that isn't very pragmatical for survival due to the sheer complexity and number of parameters.

Would you believe it, I did a day-trip to Frankfurt May 1st. It was a dumb day to spend $200 on youth fare tickets, as nothing was happening (worker's day celebration plus some demonstrations). I quite liked it, the view from the tallest building (with the security check and entrance fee) was amazing.

Tonight I walked through 8km of night clubs and night life in the center of Oslo. Interesting to see the contemporary mating rituals in this societal configuration. Hope I'm able to partake in them before net energy closes shop.

As far as I care to remember I've always thought the modern way of life is kinda bull****.

I agree. My perspective is gauging the success of a society by it's happiness, and I don't see a lot of it in the SF bay area. It's one of the most affluent areas on Earth, yet try to find smiling faces or raucous laughter. My Mother, who I visit sometimes in Sausalito and I went to a high end grocery store to get something to make for dinner. While there we were talking and laughing and we both noticed people taken aback looking sternly at us as if we had lost our minds or something. Brought up in Marin County I've seen it from the 60's onward, and as the affluence has grown the happiness level has waned. Sure, with friends and relatives you can still yuck it up just fine like always but out there on the streets it's a dismal sight. If a stranger talks to you it's to sell you something they are selling on the side to make extra money, not to be friendly. It's probably due to greater competition for only a certain amount of available and affordable property, rented or bought (if you have quatloots of money), but it was much more enjoyable when people didn't have to work their butts off to compete so hard. Part of that competition too is being seen in a BMW, an Audi, Porsche, Toyota land cruiser or Tesla, etc. Got to be seen!!! By being seen in a fancy car the message is I'm outcompeting the rest of you that do not have as nice a car, but that's not happiness, that's ego.

Someone I worked with in the 80's said he saw a sign at the side of Hwy 101, which read; R U Happy Now? He got it right away, and so did these other people we were meeting with. So what good is all this supposed success if it doesn't also include happiness? My wife and I moved away from the Bay Area to a more rural setting and have never regretted it. People do not have anywhere near as much status or stuff, etc., but they are easy to be with, much happier and so are we. Strangers can exchange some tidbit without trying to sell them something.

I think modern living is a bust. Shut it down and retool. Let's be more like Sparta where it was illegal to be wealthy. If people could only attain a certain level of wealth they would be forced to find enjoyment other than through ego gratification and who knows maybe they would extend themselves to others in a friendlier manner.

I'm in agreeance also. Most anyone on any means of public transport in Norway have grey faces conveying as much emotion as rock. I think this is the case on the tube in London also. I can only imagine the anger of commuters spending hours moving ever-slowly in congested traffic. Maybe in western cities at large. Wish I were Brazilian or something (only bourgeois). Not only do Brazilian women have amazing bodies, they seem to display more innately human behaviour, such as hugging, dancing, kissing and being playful. Let's disregard the abject poverty and destruction of habitat for the sake of my argument. :)

Tomorrow I'm bouldering with a girl I like. Will be good times.

Glad to know that you are out of your phase...I am in the same age group as you, it's easy to observe everyone and go all monk like, say that one should be above all this. In reality we are not some divine entities, we are also animals and we have to do what other animals do. Probably best to channel our disgust into doing something constructive.

Good luck with that girl :)

Hi kireross, Also glad to see your comments again. Bouldering is a great idea - I'd recommend trying to be outside in natural light as much as possible - can really help. Exercise in general is very helpful - especially outside. Finding some volunteer work that feels really meaningful to you is good too. (I do just love to give advice..) Best Wishes, GOGal.

Kireross, Erl, and those between: Ya, I do feel that gathering sense of urgency, and most of the time it does not depress me.

And yeah, I remember when even Manhattan was full of energy and vitality... when I go back now, it's just dreary looking people in immaculate suits stomping down the street as they're staring into cell phones.

At 55, one of my unpaid gigs is being a therapist at an inner city High School in East L.A. (It's been my experience that it's becoming unusual for employers to pay for work that's actually useful; I basically live off my wife's income and an overinflated stock portfolio that will probably wind up being worth 20% of its current value when I really need it. I'm very happy to be able to spend at least a little of it now and be able to do something vaguely useful with my time.)

Anyway, a lot of the kids I work with feel the urgency as well; I can't in good conscience tell them there's nothing to worry about. I can try to build their resilience for fear, definitely, and urge them to cultivate multiple skill sets. I also frequently reframe the terror as a challenge they must be ready to meet.

Like, oh, crap-- I have never seen a wave that big in my life. If I stay right here, I will get creamed... if I paddle like hell, maybe I've got a chance.

I'm an adrenaline junkie, and I've felt pretty bored for the better part of the 21st Century. In this way, I'm lucky... whatever's coming, I don't think it will be dull.

Americans are trying to:
1) become trillionaires
2) live forever
3) "save the world"

None of those things is even remotely possible. As such, people are going to be unhappy chasing them.


I have followed a very similar trajectory, and I must agree with you.

We've lost our joy, traded it for shiny trinkets.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

What you need is a Crusade! And the more hopeless the crusade, the more effective it is for making you feel good about it.

My own crusade is getting off fossil fuels. It turns out to my slight surprise, that this is not quite as hopeless here as I had thought when I started. But in your case, that particular target in Norway just might be sufficiently hopeless to keep up your spirits, since we all know that Norway is awash in ff and the money thereuntoappertaining. If Norway can do it, anybody can.

Yep, sounds just right for you.

Now, just between you and me, all of us crusaders, when young, anyhow, know full well that the real true reason for being in a passion about a crusade is because it is probable that one can find other young crusaders just as passionate, which can sometimes make things quite cosy.

And, under those circumstances, given that your crusade is both important and hopeless, fun doing it is allowed.

After lurking on here for some time, I've taken the step of registering so as to be able to respond to your post.
Glad to hear you are through a rough patch, and are feeling more at ease. You are not the only one to take the anti-Bourgeois approach. I am 30, and have been car free for the past 5 years.
I first started to panic in late 2010, more triggered by the US debt dynamics than peak oil at that time.

As you have a job, you should already count yourself ahead of the game, what with so many young people in Europe being unemployed.
With all your money saved, you have the resources to tackle some of what is bothering you. Travel around, see more of the world. Invest in whatever draws your interest.
As for the coming difficulties, you are not helpless. Plan ahead and stockpile food, water, even weapons if you are permitted. Exercise to keep yourself fit and to better prepare for whatever uncertain world is coming. The world is changing, and will continue to do so. It is hard to change ourselves, but with effort we can improve our position.

You seem depressedalot less without that moniker! Glad to see you back - I wondered if you were okay.


Written by kireross:
... I'm able to save 65-70% of my net income and have no financial commitments beyond rent (17% of NI)....

With you saving a large percentage of your income and being minimalist, it will not be long before you could eliminate rent by owning or building a house without a mortgage.

Ha ha, I wondered what had happened to you, and just assumed you had topped yourself.

when your borne you get a ticket to the freak show.
George Carlin

I always appreciate a good Carlin quote, Smeags, and only to complement it, I'm thinking about the one attributed to Kurt Vonnegut's son, Mark;

“We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.”

Good to see our brother joining in again. It does feel like things are shifing or readying to shift. Maybe it just means I'm awake.

- Nod to Paul in Halifax, I'm staying with various friends around NYC for the summer, and changing out lightbulbs for LEDs and creating better lighting solutions for them. I'm saving them literally TENS of watts here, and not for nothing, also getting rid of lots of Hot Halogens and old 40's, 60's in these steamy cramped apartments, too.

Worth detailing the Recessed Light LED Trim that went in over a shower.. a 13 watt dimmable replaced a 50 Watt Halogen, and even dimmed all the way to the bottom, I find there's plenty of light to use the shower with.. so without metering it, I have to guess that 50 watts can be supplanted with a ~90% savings of 5 watts, and likely a good bit less.

Good for you, Bob. I was attending a concert recital at a friend's home last night; it's a beautiful, old Victorian that's loaded to the gills with 50-watt halogen PAR20s. All evening, as the other fifty or so guests were merrily sipping their wine and enjoying the performance, I kept mentally calculating the amount of coal being burned to keep these suckers going.

Last weekend, I was down at my ex's cottage and the same thing -- using the main oven when the toaster oven would have done the same job for one-third as much energy; boiling water in a tall, slender coffee pot that barely covered half the burner; running a steady stream of hot water down the sink rinsing the dishes; leaving the TV on when listening to the stereo, and so on. I kept repeating to myself, "shut-up, shut-up, don't say anything, you're a guest, leave it alone". [This is the same person who said the sweetest revenge for putting up with me for the four years we were together, would be to tie me up in front of the meter and turn on every single light in the house, one at a time, ever so s-l-o-w-l-y.]

On a more positive note, this same billing cycle last year, we used an average of 12.74 kWh a day, the bulk of which can be attributed to our dehumidifier. Now, with the Nyle heat pump water heater in place, we're running between 8 and 10 kWh a day, a 25 to 30 per cent reduction in our overall usage.


Good to hear!

My Nyle is working well, but being stuck in NY trying to pin down some work sparking 36k HMI's leaves me unable to upgrade insulation on the Water Tank, or finally getting the Copper FlatPlates up to the roof and wired in.

Here's a picture of my 'Potato Masher' LED for my Friend Annette's Kitchen Sink. (6 watt MR-16 LED) Had to use the ancient phone camera, hope it shows up ok. It's just improvised for now, with a coathangar for rigging and Test Leads for power.. but for a couple Bohemian Wackos, it's fun, and that's all that matters.. (ok, Somewhat Older Wackos with older retinas, so we can see the dishes again too. That matters as well!)




Pretty cool setup you have there, Bob. Good stuff !

Hope that your time in NYC is both productive and profitable, and that you'll be able to return home soon.


Me too!

I love the city, I really do, and I have a great number of true friends here.. I don't remember if I commented about it when somebody was talking about what to think of 'intentional community' last week, but the amount of generosity and real support that has arisen from my current experiment proves it well enough for me! Human Tribal tendencies, as well as reaching out to fortify and expand our clans (if that term isn't just too loaded now) is almost as indistinguishable from magic as are some moderately advanced technologies that I could point towards.

NY has also just deployed the big BikeShare push, so there are huge racks of blue "CITI" bikes all over town, and nowadays, every food joint seems to have two or three electric scooters/bikes outside for deliveries. 'Delivering Food for Thought' !

Be well!

Human Tribal tendencies, as well as reaching out to fortify and expand our clans (if that term isn't just too loaded now) is almost as indistinguishable from magic as are some moderately advanced technologies that I could point towards.

Very true, Bob. At the opposite end of the spectrum, population-wise, there's the tiny fishing village of Gabarus, Nova Scotia, with just seventy-eight souls. The community is facing peril because the seventy-five year old sea wall that protects the town is failing and neither the federal nor provincial government want to spend the money to fix it.

There was an article about this in the 29th of April edition of the Globe and Mail (For a Nova Scotia fishing village, there’s danger of falling into the ocean), and what's interesting to me is that the effort to save the community is being spearheaded by a gay couple who relocated there from the United States.

This is the village that Tim Menk and Gene Kersey fell in love with seven years ago when they first visited from the United States – and where the couple was married last year by retired Mountie John Danch, the village’s justice of the peace.


But no one is swinging harder than Mr. Menk and Mr. Kersey. Working from their house on the outskirts of the village – they call it Greater Gabarus – the interracial couple might know more about Treasury Board policy than some bureaucrats.

“It was God’s gift that Gene and Tim came here,” says Gloria Wilson, who grew up in Gabarus.

It's often said that rural Nova Scotians are tradition bound folk, suspicious of "people from afar" and maybe a bit aloof, and here you have an interracial gay couple from the United States who have turned that notion on its ear. That, in some small way, gives me hope for our future.

Here's to expanding our clans and working together for the betterment of our communities !


That's Glorious!

When Leslie and I were just moving up to Maine from NY, we spend 3.5 months on the road doing National Parks before settling down to parenting, and one stop was near Mesa, CO, where a Gay Couple ran a GastHaus we stayed at, and they, with His Hair Salon downstairs, and His Picture Framing Shop nearby, had taken it upon themselves to pull the town together. Get the Streets named and paved, the houses numbered.. they took turns in the role of Mayor IIRC. It's a fast-rollin', libertarian cowboy sh!tkicker town, where we were warned to keep clear of that Karaoke Bar over there unless we wanted trouble.. and lest I get in trouble for this, these guys were the Mom and Dad of the place, so it seemed to us.

You really can't make this stuff up! As Oscar Wilde said, 'There's no greatness without Audacity.'

This world is wild as an old wives' tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.

G.K. Chesterton, from "House of Christmas"


DepressedALot: I cannot and have never agreed with you. You need to find love for both yourself and someone else (male/female). I'm 28 and you my mental state is abso*******lutely crap most of the time because I have bi-polar disorder and I suffer from giant mood swings between the most powerful depression to being literally high on something like methamphetamine. The human mind cannot survive on its own without someone else to love and confide in. Remember this: A pessimist is right eventually, but an optimist will be right most of the time until he/she is wrong. You do not have an excuse to not live a life in the absence of passion no matter how screwed up your limited perspective on the world is. One of my closest friends was born with no arms and legs and yet he can find it in his heart to live, so why can't you?

USA not one of 10 happiest countries in world

Australia is still listed as the happiest place of all ... and there is no mystery really - apart from Mexico, all of the countries in the purported Top 10 are bone-cracking cold in the (long) winter, and fetid and buggy in the (short) summer.

Plus they all have terrible beaches (again, with the exception of Mexico). Seems to me that that urban and rural landscape, plus good weather, should be quite high up the index ladder (but I'm Australian, so I concede I am biased towards the warm and sunny!).

"...all of the countries in the purported Top 10 are bone-cracking cold in the (long) winter, and fetid and buggy in the (short) summer."

And they all have properly functioning governments providing a sense of community and well-funded social safety nets.

Which is yet another reason why I believe in the collapse of centralized oligarchy/government and the glorified prison of its state, and in people exercising their natural rights, such as of freedom-of-movement.

(I also wonder how or how much natives [or illegal immigrants] are factored into studies/surveys, such as on happiness, and who and what conduct them.)

Centralized power/control leads to so many and/or extreme amplifications of humanity's problems as to make any purported benefits laughable, and the longer it's allowed to persist, the worse things will get.

Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: Stop participating in it. ~ Noam Chomsky

Quote "USA not one of 10 happiest countries in world" What has this to do with TOD. Weren't people complaining that there is too much clutter here? And 15 Minute later all this goes on as before. Haven't you read that people concerned with real issues about energy are leaving? And now this junk.

And yet Cargill has been on TOD for over 7 years.

I'm not a fan of 'Happiness' studies and theories.. they seem to have easily as arbitrary and unreliable a set of guiding assumptions as those around 'intelligence' comparisons.. and yet, I don't find this to be a junk or noise topic at TOD. We regularly are looking at how cultures, and particularly US culture looks at itself, and how our wealth, power and access to energy either corresponds to or contradicts our 'fitness' as a healthy and thriving culture.

What the US culture is willing to see of itself and express, either honestly or fantastically seems to be fairly salient to the other facets of fact and imagination that guide our sorry directions.

Just sayin'..

Quote "USA not one of 10 happiest countries in world" What has this to do with TOD.

Err it was selected by management to be a topic of this drumbeat?

Yes, it was. The subject of happiness and its relationship to wealth, consumption, and government policies has long been discussed here. Gross National Happiness instead of GNP, whether having less stuff and less choice makes you happier, etc.

I included the link because it tied in to the one about economic growth and happiness, and because it was Saturday. Usually a quieter day than the others, and a day when I try to include some "softer" links if I find them, in memory of the old Campfire.

7. Austria
> Life satisfaction score: 7.4 (tied for 7th highest)
> Self-reported good health: 69% (18th highest)
> Employees working long hours: 8.8% (14th highest)
> Disposable income: $28,852 (6th highest)
> Life expectancy: 81.1 years

Sorry. Wrong country.

Electric Utilities are starting to take the impact of PV seriously.
While its common for residential meters to run backwards, its not everyday you see a local 11KV distribution feeder running backwards.

Inside a network operator: How solar changed the game (reneweconomy)

Swanston also sought to dispel a few of the myths that have been circulated in the media. One was that solar had not been having an impact on coal-fired generation. He noted that some 700MW of coal-fired generation had been sidelined in Queensland, a comparable amount to the amount of solar capacity in the state. “You don’t need to be Einstein to work out where that energy has come from,” he said.

The charts highlight the destruction of midday demand and also the opportunity for batteries to reduce evening peak demand.

The difficulty for the utilities is how to avoid the (probably inevitable) "death spiral". Domestic electricity consumption has been reducing even for those without PV.

More analysis is needed. For starters most PV displacement of coal power can only happen in daytime. Secondly there is a price effect whereby people use less grid energy partly because prices are higher to pay for PV feed-in tariffs and other costs including windpower subsidies, carbon tax and increased network charges. Thirdly is a general manufacturing downturn so that less power is demanded. For example the Kurri Kurri aluminium smelter closed for good. Fifth another effect of carbon tax is to make both windpower and gas fired electricity preferable to coal; the question being why PV should get any extra financial help (FiT, purchase rebates, small scale renewable energy certificates) beyond the carbon tax. We've also just had a warm autumn in much of Australia.

Therefore I would be careful not to heavily attribute reduced coal burning directly to PV as there are multiple factors. I think the big question is this; how much will PV help get us to the avowed 80% overall emissions reduction by 2050? Not much in my estimation.

Yes, the chart shows demand destruction around midday, with evening peak about the same.

Swanston said electricity from rooftop solar kicks in after the morning peak – to such an extent that on sunny days some feeders run backwards. Then, hey presto, the sun goes down, householders return, turn on the plasma TV and the air-con, and the load rises from 3 per cent to 100 per cent in the matter of a few hours. Swanston said there was no doubt that this was a network challenge. But it was not insurmountable. “We will fix it and we will deal with it.”

So the addition of storage batteries could be used to reduce the evening peak.

He said it was clear that more households would turn to solar, and new financing options would also attract owners of rental properties. This would continue to reduce demand from the grid. “This is a huge problem for us,” he said.
Swanston said battery storage would play a key role. The eventual solution would have to incorporate demand management – be that in storage (such as batteries), or in traffic control.
He suggested that there would need to be a revolution in the way that electricity and grid access was charged. Battery storage would be important because it could flatten the remaining peaks. Home storage, where people had options and “could make their own decisions”, was the likely future. How that pans out for tariffs and networks was not yet clear. At the moment, the opportunity for battery storage was a straight arbitrage. “How cheap can I charge it, and how expensive can I spend it.”

Its quite a candid acknowledgement by an electric utility (state owned).

BTW: Keep in mind:
* the charts are for Domestic consumption (not Industry)
* in QLD (not Kurri-Kurri NSW)
* the date was October (Spring), not Autumn.
* the overall Domestic demand is decreasing (efficiency/reduction) even for those without PV
* the sidelining of 700MW coal power generation is real (not imaginary)
* the FIT in QLD is now only 8c/kWh (down from 44c/kWh) and despite the tariff reduction PV installation is still continuing at 3000 per month.

This is an unfolding story. Under FiT people are turning on the plasma and aircon when they get home in summer knowing they have earned a generous credit during the middle of the day. That behaviour will change with the greatly reduced wholesale equivalent FiT. Now it will be 'use it or lose it'. I picture people coming home from work at lunchtime to do the vacuuming.

In Australia you can get 5kw PV fully installed for under $10k. Maybe some firms went broke doing that. The next price breakthrough has to be in home batteries or cheap EVs. There is also the social equity problem of those who don't have PV but help pay for others. A distant elderly relative in Adelaide has aircon but not PV. That person won't use the aircon in deadly 44C heat because of high electricity pricing.

I would rather the electrons went into my storage battery at lunchtime
- but if you prefer vacuuming ... :P

Yes, you can get a 5kW quality system from a reputable installer (who didnt go broke) for around $2/Wp.

Solar PV Price Index–May 2013 (solarchoice)

Perhaps your distant elderly relative should have considered the approx $7500 in network costs when she bought her air-con and spare a thought for those without air-con that are subsidizing her air-con.

Rooftop solar reduces the risk of price hikes … for everyone (theconversation)

The biggest culprit for the price hike is spending on electricity poles and wires. By 2015, network charges will have added almost twice as much to your bill as the carbon price and Renewable Energy Target put together.

the overall Domestic demand is decreasing (efficiency/reduction) even for those without PV

and on a similar note

Analysis: How energy efficiency firms are eating utilities' lunch

PARIS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - With better insulation, triple glazing and frugal boilers, new houses can cut energy use by up to 90 percent, which is good news for consumers but bad for utilities that vie with energy services firms for their efficiency euros.

An unstoppable efficiency drive spurred by EU regulations and national targets poses a dilemma for utilities.

Do they look for a profitable way to help consumers save energy or try to defend their traditional business model?

Methinks a certain genie is out of a bottle and is set to wreak havoc on certain business models.

Alan from the islands

I agree completely Alan, the Irish government have just started a big push to increase the energy ratings of every building in the state along with a requirement that State organisations increase their energy efficiency by at least 10%, perhaps Yves is correct, energy security is government speak for PO.

...and also the opportunity for batteries to reduce evening peak demand.

I think you need to 'up' your understanding on what batteries actually can do for us on a bigger scale. For instance worlds largest battery has only enough juice for around 12,000 people - for up to seven minutes. Alright this is NiCad technology - but still ...

More info via the Telegraph-link here and comments below >> http://www.theoildrum.com/node/10004#comment-964243
I am sorry to disrupt your hopes.

Your (telegraph) example is a grid scale battery for a utility.

That's not what Energex were talking about - indeed they don't think much of utility scale battery storage.
From the reneweconomy article I quoted: (my bold)

He didn’t see much interest in networks using battery storage on a “utility scale”

My take on batteries as a means of future power-storage - when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing - is the same whether it is utility scale storage at a central point or utility scale in a distributed '1 million homes' manner (your/Energex idea) . The power to do whatever - from batteries - will in principle be the same - aka very very difficult or boarding the impossible - that is if we have BAU in mind. As a powerstorage in a scaled down world - anything goes...

The Fairbanks-battery is right there as a PILOT-example on how to understand the capabilities of batteries. Nothing more- either you grasp it or you don't.

I do see a substantial difference between DS (Distributed Storage) and large utility storage. The former has the potential to reduce peak transmission loads, the later not so much. OTOH taking care of some battery chemistries requires experts, and these just won't be suitable for distributed storage. Also if there are dangerous failure modes, I think only utility-scale will be feasible.

I you asked me, I think battery storage will be viable for some small portion of the storage niche -and only for a small niche. That niche may cover frequency/voltage regulation, and perhaps matching fluctuations in load/supply to the ramp rate so dispatchable generation (and perhaps dispatchable demand response..."I need to cut your power in ten minutes, please prepare your industrial process for power shutdown as we agreed to in our prior agreement").

That's not really what the article is about.

They don't envision batteries as replacing the grid (everyone moving off-grid), but they do see it is inevitable that some people will use batteries to reduce their evening peak demand because its economic for them do to so. Its an admission by an electric utility that PV/batteries will be part of their future, so better to plan for it rather than try to ignore it. Just how much is replaced will be largely determined by the economics. If people can see that it makes economic sense for them to invest in PV/batteries then they will. Reducing evening peak demand doesn't necessarily require a large battery. The size of the battery depends on individual needs and the decisions will be based on the economics (battery cost). The irony is that with all the recent increase in electricity costs (associated with (over)investment in poles and wires) the electric utilities have actually made the case for PV/batteries more feasible.

.. and I'm just trying to hint to you what to expect from batteries ... keep expectations on the lower end of the scale in order to avoid disappointments BAU wise

Thanks for your concern, but as an industrial chemist, I have been 'up' on my understanding of batteries for several decades :)

Boof rubbishes the contribution which batteries can make to the Australian power system,perhaps he is correct but Australia has more potential pumped hydro sites than almost anywhere else in the world.

The electricity industry is changing and most of these changes will take decades to complete, however electricity CAN replace FF over a suitable timescale

This may not exactly be news, i'm not sure many people still hold the blind hope for alga biofuels, but the light is dimming.

I was not surprised to find out that Exxon Mobil was discontinuing its algae biofuels program with Synthetic Genomics. Actually, they are "refocusing" their research.

Exxon Mobil, which has invested more than $100 million to develop algae-derived biofuels, is refocusing its research with Synthetic Genomics Inc. after almost four years of work failed to produce economically viable results.

Bicycle lift in Trondheim, Norway >> http://www.boreme.com/posting.php?id=16829

The future - in progress - for hilly towns and cities.
There have been close to 100 requests from towns and cities around the world - 40 countries -for the constructors of this lift to handle... maybe it's getting a "foothold" as a serious product ?

Living in a shantytown ecovillage getting you down?

Want to be like Homer and live under the sea?

Got more money than sense? Just wait 'till the sharks move in.


Your H2OME comes complete with push-button fish feeders so that you and your guests can feed the fish as well as underwater lights to light up the sea floor for a limited period of time each evening.

Whoever dreamed that up hasn't a clue about water pressure at depth! Every 33 ft of sea water is roughly 14.7 psi or another atmosphere's equivalent of pressure. Those big beautiful flat windows just ain't going to work. Even if they did, keeping them clean on the outside would be quite the daunting task.

Plenty of reasons to find the idea laughable. I doubt the structure would last 10 years without needing to be removed and repaired.

Now a habitat like that 5 feet underwater for a space-simulation as a reminder that Man is not ment to live there and its not visitor friendly - sure. (So how's biosphere 2 working out?) As a play thing - ok, sure its your money.

But as a viable idea? Muhahahah. Just pointing out the pressure and costs of them thar big flat windows is a fine way to take the idea down.

The few research habitats we do have don't try to run at 1 atmosphere, but rather at the pressure at whatever depth they are located at. This of course means the entire crew is effectively on a long dive, and will have to go through the appropriate decompression protocols.

Most jetliners maintain their cabin pressure around 7,000 feet. I just looked up the International Space Station out of curiosity - I would have guessed them to be about the same - but nope...it appears they're keeping it at 1 full atmosphere.


For the benefit of those who are not sufficiently awed by pressure differentials I offer a better mental reference than the square inch...

A square foot is 12"*12" or 144 square inches...meaning a 1 psi difference results in a pressure of 144 pounds on that square foot. A fairly typical window in your house might be 2ft by 4 feet or 8 square feet. So a 1 psi difference on a window in your house would result in a load of 8sqft*144lbs/sqft@delta1psi = 1,152 pounds

If at 1 psi a window in your house is under a load of 1,152 pounds then at a depth of 33 feet that window would experience a load approximately 14.7 times that which is 16,934 pounds...8.5 tons.

That's like having four SUV's parked on your window at a pressure difference of just one atmosphere.

Quote from above:
Living in a shantytown ecovillage getting you down?
Want to be like Homer and live under the sea?
Got more money than sense? Just wait 'till the sharks move in.
End of quote

It is not the fault of the poster to disrespect the Mission Statement of TOD if this is allowed to be published. It is the weak blog administrator afraid to weed out irrelevant comments. No wonder people important to TOD leave.

I've been frequenting this site for a long time. This is the Drum Beat section, not a key post, and it is the weekend, and this sort of comment is nothing new and has nothing to do with certain prominent posters moving on. It is not a particularly out of line comment - it is sometime rough and raw here in the Drum beat, and this is nothing. To complain about weak blog administration strikes me as more disrespectful.

Listen, the instant even the most flagrant of trolls is moderated out, the hoi polloi go ballistic with whines about censorship and what have you. In fact, over- rather than under-moderation usually gets the blame for people leaving.

Personally, I think it's just that they got tired of keeping up with it all and found some other way to spend their time that seemed better to them. I take breaks once in a while myself.

But to dis the management, who seem to me to find a reasonable balance over the years, seems absurd.

The 'Sleeping with the Anemones' post might have been out there, but not at all offensive.. while your sniping at the mods was really unnecessary.

By all means figure out the kinds of topics you'd like to see posted in a Drumbeat and bring in something great for us to chew on together, providing anyone bites.. It's really easy enough to scroll past any one-liner's you consider a bit inane. It was not targeting anyone, so 'mainly harmless.' (..and Thanks for all the fish!)

Blah blah blah - TOD isn't what it was.

Hey - this is sorrta your forum. If you don't like what is being talked about, then start talking about what YOU want to see.

(Meanwhile - more food and one the Pangean contingent will like, the other will be poo-pooed )

"Farmers use less seeds, less water and less chemicals but they get more without having to invest more. This is revolutionary," said Dr Surendra Chaurassa from Bihar's agriculture ministry. "I did not believe it to start with, but now I think it can potentially change the way everyone farms. I would want every state to promote it. If we get 30-40% increase in yields, that is more than enough to recommend it."

Using Open Source software to act as a local food hub.

This document summarizes the base configuration we developed for food hubs. This configuration provides a starting point for each food hub implementation, saving some cost by pre-configuring items that are standardized across food hubs. Since each hub operates differently with respect to business functions, processes, and model, a significant part of the implementation will be specific to each hub.



"Blah blah blah - TOD isn't what it was.

Hey - this is sorrta your forum. If you don't like what is being talked about, then start talking about what YOU want to see."

Any chance you could tone down your offensive posting style? I suppose we could simply skip your posts but that shouldn't have to be the case.

I would like to see civil discourse, reasonable arguments, and insider knowledge about the oil industry. I also like to read about how others are dealing with Peak Oil awareness and the need for limits to growth.

Thank you.


Any chance you could tone down your offensive posting style?

What is offensive about applying Open Source itch scratching to TOD? If one doesn't see something being reflected or sees a loss of some position, what is stopping them from becoming that new source of info?

If someone felt Darwinian's summaries of production reports is important, nothing stopping someone else from reading those same reports and posting them. Other than its easier to complain.

I also like to read about how others are dealing with Peak Oil awareness and the need for limits to growth.

Alas, I screwed up the formatting but the post you responded to fell under that broadly. The rice yield/method is a response AND lowering of technological complexity and the use of Open Source software may help local farmers get local product into local hands. Who knows if the local who asked me to do a pitch will use OpenERP for a solution, or if I'm going to be dragged into it either as a tech or as the non-profit.

Get rid of the climate links from Drumbeat if you don't want them discussed.

When the only interesting think being linked on TOD is climate, thats what you are going to get discussions about.

Peak oil and climate change are two sides of the limits to growth coin. If you only feed the climate side with interesting links, thats the side thats going to capture the discussion.

Have key posts rather more often than once a blue moon. Its over a month since the last one, and that counts as a blue moon in web time.

Fix the spam filter.