Drumbeat: June 5, 2013

BP’s Oil Spill Deal Sours as Claims Add Billions to Cost

BP Plc’s $8 billion settlement with victims of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill may have hurt Europe’s second-largest oil company more than it helped.

The company is relying on a U.S. appeals court to rein in awards by the settlement’s claims administrator for what it considers to be unreasonable demands, such as a $21 million payout to a rice mill 40 miles from the coast whose revenue rose the year of the spill.

BP has protested in court filings that administrator Patrick Juneau’s interpretation of last year’s settlement may add billions to the $42 billion bill for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. BP has appealed U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier’s order agreeing with Juneau’s interpretation of the settlement.

WTI Futures Rebound as U.S. Crude Inventories Decline

West Texas Intermediate traded near its highest intraday level in four days amid signs of a reduction in U.S. crude inventories.

Futures gained as much as 0.7 percent in New York. A government report today will show supplies declined by 800,000 barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey. The American Petroleum Institute said yesterday that crude stockpiles shrank 7.8 million barrels last week, the most since Dec. 28. The U.S. will today extend waivers from sanctions for nine nations that import Iranian oil, a U.S. official said.

British wholesale gas prices gain as exports rise

LONDON (Reuters) - British wholesale gas prices on Wednesday rallied from their lowest point in five months as exports through a continental pipeline hit a one-month high to take advantage of high prices in mainland Europe, offseting stronger flows from Norway.

Rhine River Barge Traffic May Resume This Week on Dry Weather

Oil product barge traffic on the Rhine River may resume this week amid forecasts for drier weather after rains caused flooding in Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria.

“The industry is hopeful that the water levels will decrease again and that things will come back to normal in the next few days,” Joachim Hessler, operations manager at Maintank Schiffahrtsgesellschaft mbH, a barge-owner based in Woerth near Frankfurt, said today.

North American shale boom may erode Opec's influence

Opec's real concern should not be nationalist politics, but the fact that the United States and some other nations may eventually not care.

The rise of fracking technology in North America and the vast oil and gas reserves it has unlocked - North Dakota today pumps as much as Ecuador - makes the issue of Opec supply less of the all-consuming concern it was just a few years ago for Americans. Opec's share of the global market is set to decline as increases in demand are met by North America, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the watchdog of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Yet faced with the prospect of eroding influence, Opec is taking a wait-and-see approach. Lulled by Brent oil prices of about US$100 a barrel, members chose to keep its output target the same as it has been since December 2011. An informal survey of its leaders reveals a group that is as slow to respond to shale as the wildcatters who drilled in the Bakken, which stretches from central North Dakota into the north-eastern corner of Montana and upwards into Saskatchewan and Manitoba in Canada were quick to exploit the area's resources.

U.K. prepares for U.S.-style shale gas boom

LONDON (CNNMoney) - The United Kingdom could be one step closer to a U.S.-style energy renaissance as new estimates show there is a massive amount of untapped shale gas in the Northwest of England.

Energy firm IGas released estimates this week showing there could be as much as 170 trillion cubic feet of gas in its license area - a monumental amount given that the U.K. uses only 3 trillion cubic feet each year.

Statoil Delays Castberg Oil Project Amid Unexpected Tax Rise

Statoil ASA delayed the investment decision for the Johan Castberg oilfield in the Barents Sea amid uncertainty over costs and resources and after the government unexpectedly raised taxes on oil and gas producers.

The tax increases reduces the attractiveness of marginal fields and those which need new infrastructure, Oeystein Michelsen, Statoil’s executive vice president for development and production in Norway, said in a statement. “This has made it necessary to review the Johan Castberg project.”

Petronas blames RAPID delay on Johor

KUALA LUMPUR — The RM60 billion Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project will not be completed on time due to delays by the Johor government, state oil and gas company Petronas said today.

The mega project was previously slated to start operations in 2016, but Petronas announced today that the date has been pushed to early 2017.

Japan's Idemitsu to proceed with $9 bln Vietnam refinery project

(Reuters) - Japan's Idemitsu Kosan Co said it would proceed with a $9 billion oil refinery project in Vietnam as it had reached a final investment decision with co-investors Mitsui Chemicals Inc, Kuwait Petroleum International and PetroVietnam.

Idemitsu, Japan's third-largest refiner, said construction of the 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) Nghi Son refinery and chemical complex would start next month.

BP stabilizes Azeri ACG crude oil production at 660,000 b/d

Baku (Platts) - Crude oil production at the BP-operated Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field complex offshore Azerbaijan has stabilized at 660,000 b/d, a senior BP official said Wednesday.

Gordon Birrell, BP's regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, stressed at a conference in Baku the importance of continued investment and the application of the most advanced technology in stabilizing output at the giant field.

Key Syria town of al-Qusayr falls to government troops

AMMAN, Jordan – Syrian rebel fighters and wounded civilians were forced to flee al-Qusayr Wednesday, as Syrian troops, supported by Hezbollah militia, advanced on the strategic city close to the Lebanese border.

The Free Syrian army, which had held on to the city for months through increasingly fierce bombardment and attacks by the regime, killing hundreds, conceded that they had to make a retreat from the town that lies on a key supply route.

Iran Outmaneuvers U.S. in the Syrian Proxy War

Syria’s uprising offered the possibility of a strategic defeat of Iran. In this scenario, Iran would be weakened by the collapse of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, its single Arab ally and a vital link to Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia. Isolated, Iran would become more vulnerable to international pressure to limit its nuclear program. And as Iran’s regional influence faded, those of its rivals -- U.S. allies Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia -- would expand.

Instead, events in Syria are spinning in Iran’s favor. Assad’s regime is winning ground, the war has made Iran more comfortable in its nuclear pursuits, and Iran’s gains have embarrassed U.S. allies that support the Syrian uprising. What’s more, Iran has strengthened its relationship with Russia, which may prove to be the most important strategic consequence of the Syrian conflict, should the U.S. continue to sit it out.

Park Defender Helped Set Off Turkey’s Crisis

The government’s plans to convert a park in Istanbul into a mall designed like an Ottoman-era army barracks sparked protests that exposed a fault line in Turkey.

China Coal Import Ban Unlikely on Cost, Indonesian Miners Say

China is unlikely to implement a proposed ban on imports of lower-quality coal, according to three mining companies in Indonesia, the world’s biggest exporter of the power-station fuel.

The National Energy Administration’s plan to halt overseas purchases of coal with a relatively low heating value and high sulfur and ash content probably won’t happen, officials from PT Harum Energy (HRUM), PT Permata Energy Resources and PT Adimitra Baratama Nusantara said yesterday in Bali, Indonesia. The officials cited conversations with unidentified customers in China, saying they’re concerned their costs will increase.

Fears of blackout spreading fast

The government Wednesday issued a level 2 warning of a possible electricity shortage for the first time this year, following the issuing of a level 1 warning on the previous two days. There are five levels of warnings but the series of earlier-than-usual issuances have raised concerns over a power blackout during summer.

The Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO), the state-run distributor of electricity, issued the 2 warning after the country's power reserves temporarily dipped below 3.5 million kilowatts at 11:20 a.m.

Worries have arisen as the warning was given in early June, although the summer peak season for electricity demand hasn’t even started yet.

The main reason for the early issuances is that two nuclear reactors were taken offline last week because faulty components were found to have been used in them.

Abe Vows to Spur Investment in Japan Power to 30 Tln Yen

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to spur investment in the nation’s electricity industry to about 30 trillion yen ($299 billion) in the next decade as he seeks to revive the world’s third-biggest economy.

Investment in wind, geothermal and other renewable sources will be accelerated by “drastically” speeding up environmental assessment processes, Abe said in prepared comments for a speech in Tokyo today to preview his government’s economic growth strategy to be detailed next week.

French government opposes advised jump in power tariffs

PARIS: France's energy minister said on Wednesday it was out of the question to apply a sharp rise in power tariffs this summer recommended by the country's energy regulator to help utility EDF cover its production costs.

The country's energy regulator CRE said earlier on Wednesday that electricity tariffs for households should rise between 6.8 percent and 9.6 percent this summer to cover the mainly state-owned, former monopoly's costs.

Black & Veatch Builds Texas Water System in 12 Months

Midland rushed to finish the project after drought and a surge in population attracted to the region for work drained two of its three water supply reservoirs and reduced the third to a critical level, Black & Veatch said. An oil boom made Midland, hometown of former U.S. President George W. Bush, the fastest-growing U.S. metropolitan area in the year ended July 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The project comes at a time when Midland imposed water restrictions Jan. 1, punishable by a $500 fine, that limit lawn irrigation to two evenings a week. “The water restrictions will continue for now but this buys us another 40 years, if not 50 years, of a dependable water supply,” Midland Mayor Wes Perry said today in a phone interview.

Alberta First Nation loses lawsuit over B.C. oil and gas rights sales

VANCOUVER — Members of an Alberta First Nation lost their bid to stop the sale of oil and gas tenure in neighbouring British Columbia, but they did win recognition from the judge that they must be consulted.

The Dene Tha filed the lawsuit against the B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines, Nexen Inc., Penn West Petroleum Ltd., and Vero Energy Inc., claiming the band was not adequately consulted on the B.C. government’s sale of subsurface exploration rights on 21 parcels of land three years ago, most for shale gas “fracking” development in northeastern B.C.

Tesla's challenge to dealerships sputters in Texas

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Elon Musk has been riding high lately, but he's suffered a setback in the Lone Star State.

Texas' state legislature failed to vote on a bill backed by Musk's Tesla Motors (TSLA) that would have loosened the state's restriction on dealerships owned by automakers. The legislature concluded its most recent session last week, and won't be back until January 2015.

EU Hits China With Solar-Panel Duties in Dumping Dispute

The European Union imposed tariffs as high as 67.9 percent on solar panels from China in the largest EU commercial dispute of its kind, seeking to help revive a withering industry in Europe.

The duties punish Chinese manufacturers of solar panels for allegedly selling them in the 27-nation EU below cost, a practice known as dumping. Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., Wuxi Suntech Power Co. and Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co. are among the more than 100 companies targeted.

Close to Its Home, Walgreen Tests Energy-Saving Ideas

CHICAGO — As the Walgreen Company expands its sales items to fresh salads, Redbox DVD rentals and digital photo scanners, among other products, its consumption of power keeps inching up.

While the company cannot significantly reduce its electricity use in all stores immediately, it is building an experimental “net zero energy store” just north of Chicago that it hopes will produce more energy than it consumes.

As Vandals Deface U.S. Parks, Some Point to Online Show-Offs

“It was too much,” said Mr. Bolyard, a park ranger. The same sort of symbols one might see on a subway train were scattered along the spiny forest last month. Rangers eventually found at least 45 graffiti tags in the park, including 16 on the slow-growing and fragile saguaro, the paint obscuring part of the green skins where the plants store the chlorophyll to draw nourishment from the sun.

It was the latest example of a trend that has been unnerving park officials from Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado to Arches in Utah and Joshua Tree in California. Just as drought and rapid development have caused a rise in encounters between humans and wild animals on the edges of many American cities, the wilder side of urban life — vandalism, graffiti and litter — has found its way into the wilderness.

The cause of this recent spike in graffiti on public lands is unclear, but some park personnel say there is reason to believe that it coincides with the rise of social media.

EU Commissioner warns of imminent ‘environmental recession’

Europe must not make the same mistakes it did in the run-up to the economic crisis if it is to avoid an environmental recession too.

That was the stark warning from European Environment Cmmissioner Janez Potonik at the opening of Green Week in Brussels.

Rivers recede in wake of Missouri levee breaches

The levee failed around noon (1 p.m. ET). By evening, authorities were scrambling to bolster about a three-quarter-mile section of levee near Portage des Sioux, about nine miles upstream from West Alton.

The area is home to a nearly 1,000-megawatt coal-burning power plant, and officials were hauling truckloads of stone and heavy earth-moving equipment to the site in an attempt to prevent the levee from failing.

As Floods in Germany Continue, Officials Urge More Evacuations

PIRNA, Germany — Officials in eastern Germany’s river cities and towns on Wednesday urged citizens in vulnerable areas to evacuate their homes as the Elbe River and its tributaries swelled ever higher, amid some of the worst flooding that some regions have seen in centuries.

More than 600 residents of Dresden, where the floodwaters were expected to peak later in the day, were brought to safety, city officials said. Electricity and water services to the city’s affected center were cut off. Farther north in Bitterfeld, some 10,000 people were asked to leave their homes after a levee on the Mulde River burst.

One Meteorologist's Come-to-Jesus Moment on Climate Change

So what changed? Ostro's conversion was gradual, but the clincher was the stupefying hurricane season of 2005. Remember when forecasters ran out of letters of alphabet to name storms—Katrina, Rita, Wilma—and ultimately had to resort instead to the Greek alphabet (Epsilon, Zeta)? By the end of the next year, Ostro had decided, as he put it in an email, that he could "no longer accept the mantra of ‘individual weather events can't be connected to global warming.'" Rather, he now views climate and weather as intricately connected—you change the one, you inevitably change the other. Or as he puts it in his mega PowerPoint presentation: "Climate is a book, weather is chapters and pages."

India's green mission caught in funds' crunch

New Delhi (IANS) - India's ambitious plans to fight climate change by enhancing the forest cover at a cost of Rs. 46,000 crore by 2020 have been stuck with no funds available since it was cleared by the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change in 2011.

The Green India Mission, one of eight such under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), had aimed to increase the forest cover by five million hectares and improve the quality of forests on another five million hectares.

U.S. Tailors Regional Climate Plans to Help Farmers Beat the Heat

A U.S. effort that will tailor climate-change relief for farmers by region may help build support for efforts to cut carbon emissions tied to global warming, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

Vilsack will introduce U.S. Department of Agriculture programs today to combat the effects of climate volatility. As a Corn Belt drought, the worst since the 1930s, is replaced by the wettest Iowa spring on record, farmers need resources and research to make better choices on planting and dealing with threats from the weather, he said in previewing a speech today at the National Press Club in Washington.

“You’re going to see a lot more stress” on crops and livestock from climate change, he said yesterday in an interview. “You’re going to see crops produced in one area no longer able to be produced, unless we mitigate and adapt now.”

Rising sea levels, stronger storms fueled by climate change will threaten us through end of century, coastal panelists say

With the United States coastline, its residents and businesses vulnerable to trillions of dollars of losses from catastrophic storms during the next 75 years, in part fueled by climate change, it’s time for the nation to focus on coastal resiliency, according to Lindene Patton, a risk management specialst with Zurich Insurance Group.

Speaking Tuesday at the three-day Capitol Hill Ocean Week at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Patton said a recent study pegged the potential cost of disasters during the next 75 years at between $1.1 trillion and $5.4 trillion, in line with a similar $4.7 trillion shortfall in Social Security benefits in the same time frame.

“We have a resilience gap,” Patton said, “a circumstance where we have a rising number of catastrophic events. They are not just coastal events, but they are dominated on this continent by coastal events.”

About a report from the Bristish ministry of Defense :


Rising energy prices will challenge western way of life – MoD report

Or on Nafeez Ahmed blog :


but isn't that what is happening now?

oil , brent , is still over $100 and theres just another uptick in the C&C graph , where as econ 101 said we'd have lots of new supply by now.....

oh well , pass the popcorn , the show has taken another turn...


We do have lots of new oil supply now, and it costs $100/barrel to produce it. Exactly what economics says should happen. That's why supply, demand and price are all stable just now.

Now that is not what certain pundits said would happen, but that's because they failed to take economics.

Money shortage.

Currently the economics seems to have the same problem to figure out where the money went. Once upon a time not to far ago a lot more time was spent to grow food.

Excellent article. Thanks. I will send it on to my doubting friends.


The US military, British military, Swiss and German.. Soon France's?

Does anyone here have links to these studies? I've read the German military report and just now found the British military report but I haven't seen the US military report or the Swiss.


The Swiss one: .dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA556169 (for a US military academy)

US: .jfcom.mil/newslink/storyarchive/2010/JOE_2010_o.pdf

But there are more (.karavans.com/USArmy.html)

There was a list on energybulletin.net, but I can't find it anymore and it is probably outdated now anyway.

Add http://www to the links, avoiding spam filter.

From the Swiss paper:

According to Joseph S. Nye, the anarchic system of states describing today's world politics is characterized by the absence of a common sovereign.48 He refers to it as international politics. In this configuration, a balance of power appears between states motivated by different national interests, as they try to get others to do what they want them to do. In order to extend their influence and imposition, states need resources. Nye calls power conversion “the capacity to convert potential power, as measured by resources, to realized power, as measured by the changed behavior of others."49

Interesting observation that we get to see the virtues or faults of anarchism play out in the relations between sovereign states.

Interest from military analysts re. peak oil seems to have vaporized during 2011. I wish that military analysts had stayed on top of the recent analyses of tight oil, tight gas and export decline (eg. the excellent research of David Hughes, Art Berman, Jeffrey Brown, etc) but this does not seem to be occurring, at least not as reflected in the publicly-available literature (DTIC, CNA, DRDC, etc).

I'm not sure they haven't. I don't know how many areas of Military Culture are steeped in same the kind of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' approach that we've seen around other thorny issues.. but it could just be working under more camo now.

After the public lashings that the Navy got from some in Congress for trying to be good sailors and set up some alternative fuels, it stands to reason that such programs and philosophical underpinnings, if they are even continuing at all, would probably at least forego the Bugle calls and Press Junkets..

This is the report referenced in the news article :

It's the DCDC 'shocks' assessment on the southern asian region which takes a military perspective on where problems may arise from on the MoD planning horizons.

Skimming through it I'd say it was so-so. The assumptions and conclusions are generic and pretty much predictable BAU. That it points up the UK gov lack of public perception of the peak oil risk is only by default (can anyone seriously expect rising or flat production out to 2040?)

It's lacking in the interesting insight of system level impacts and any real shocks. It should be expecting much more in terms of upheaval events. Either the DCDC is lacking in smart input, or there is another classified report with the interesting bits.

@ garyp

re: "It should be expecting much more in terms of upheaval events. Either the DCDC is lacking in smart input, or there is another classified report with the interesting bits."

Great comment. Now, let's just guess about a few of those events from the outsider perspective.
Iran....Syria draw in....poor grain harvests....weather events....and my all time favourite....massive economic correction.

There is no spare resilience because everything is tight and running flat out to project "all is well". I absolutely marvel at the ability of people to assume there is a real recovery and long term prospects when it takes massive infusions and almost zero interest rates to project this anemic response.

It is much more palatable to believe that all is well and will only get better. I am pretty sure military planners have a better hand on the pulse than politicians. I have to believe there are detached professionals. I have to believe there are some professionals out there that know what is going on beyond our few voices.

There must be some other reports and studies. Or perhaps to author such a report is the 'professional kiss of death' and career minded professionals go with the flow? I guess we'll see before too much longer.


Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending May 31, 2013 [PDF]

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged about 15.5 million barrels per day during the week ending May 31, 2013, 433 thousand barrels per day above the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 88.4 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production increased last week, averaging over 9.3 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production increased last week, averaging 4.8 million barrels per day.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged just under 7.3 million barrels per day last week, down by 549 thousand barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged over 7.7 million barrels per day, about 1.2 million barrels per day below the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 514 thousand barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 143 thousand barrels per day last week.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) decreased by 6.3 million barrels from the previous week. At 391.3 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 0.4 million barrels last week and are near the upper limit of the average range. Finished gasoline inventories increased while blending components inventories decreased last week. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 2.6 million barrels last week but remained in the lower half of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories increased by 1.9 million barrels last week, and are in the middle of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased by 1.2 million barrels last week.

Total products supplied over the last four-week period have averaged slightly over 18.6 million barrels per day, up by 0.2 percent from the same period last year. Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied has averaged over 8.7 million barrels per day, down by 0.8 percent from the same period last year. Distillate fuel product supplied has averaged over 3.8 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, up by 6.0 percent from the same period last year. Jet fuel product supplied is 5.1 percent higher over the last four weeks compared to the same four-week period last year.

Pinging Black Dog.

In the week ending May 31, 2013, domestic C+C production exceeded net imports.
I'll ping you again later this year when the 4 week average crosses. Okay.


Oh, cumulative gasoline product supplied is flat year over year.

Does this mean that America is back to producing about half of the oil it consumes?

America is a net exporter of diesel, Europe is a net exporter of gasoline. There you have two whole continent who ALREADY have energy independence.

Or something :c)

You make it sound as if the US is again self sufficient. But I see domestic production is now just above half of consumption.

But maybe Texas at least is self sufficient. It was a net importer of oil for a long time. Is it still?

Hey, you talking to me? :-)

I must have made some silly comment some time back suggesting that the US was importing oil and products, thus we were a long way from energy independence. Funny thing, that's still happening, even though US production has increased and our product exports are now exceeding our imports. Also, one needs to consider how much of that exported product goes to Canada to be mixed into "DilBit", which is returned to the US as an import. One would think that the resulting increase in "refinery gains" should be accounted against the amount of product so exported, as it's just a loop...

E. Swanson

MidAmerican decides against Iowa nuclear plant

MidAmerican Energy has scrapped plans for Iowa’s second nuclear plant and will refund $8.8 million ratepayers paid for a now-finished feasibility study, utility officials said Monday.

Plans softened after earthquakes and tsunamis caused the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in March 2011. Now, with natural gas cheaper and plentiful, there is more talk about gas plants, and less about nuclear.

...Mid­American will focus on its plan to build up to 656 wind turbines in a $1.9 billion project across Iowa, which also will trim power bills by saving fuel costs.

I imagine the "fallout" from Fukushima was the straw that broke the camel's back.

No real damage to health?!

Over a third of Fukushima children are at risk of developing cancer, according to the Sixth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey.

­The report shows that nearly 36 per cent of children in the Fukushima Prefecture have abnormal thyroid growths which pose a risk of becoming cancerous.

The World Health Organization warns that young people are particularly prone to radiation poisoning in the thyroid gland. Infants are most at risk because their cells divide at a higher rate.

But what the heck would the Fukushima Prefecture Health Management know?

Oh and it's probably not a great idea to eat any fish from the local waters...

A pair of fish captured near Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have shown to be carrying record levels of radiation. The pair of greenlings are contaminated with 258 times the level government deems safe for consumption.

Hey AV, do you like your Sushi 'hot'?

But what the heck would the Fukushima Prefecture Health Management know?

"The effects of radiation do not come to people who are happy and laughing, they come to people who are weak-spirited."

The harmed - just weak willed is all.

Having no link to an actual report (and the first hit for a line from your quote coming up with the less than amazing RT.com and some tinfoil site called Disinfo.com), I couldn't say. Perhaps you could actually detail the reports which dispute what international teams have found.

After all, what would the WHO know about health, amirite?

In that case, the question becomes, 'Does the WHO say what it knows about health, or does it say what it needs to say?'

Is it a Heath organization first, or a Political one?

some tinfoil site called Disinfo.com

And what makes it a 'site of tinfoil'?

Really? These reports took dosage data, fed it into a model of human radiation exposure, and got a prediction of future cancer rates. If either the data or the model is wrong, the prediction will turn out to be wrong. So, time will tell what the full impacts turn out to be. Also, TepCo has a massive financial stake in minimizing the perception of harm, same as BP over their gulf spill.

Aside from that, how long before the surrounding areas are usable again? How long, and how much cost, to fully deactivate and dismantle the slagged reactors? And put the waste still on site in cooling pools into permanent storage? And how long before another quake/tsunami knocks out another of those old, crappy GE reactors?

Your linked article reads (to me) like raw propaganda. Cheers.

Admiral Valdemar, for that comment, I respectfully recommend you demote yourself to rank of recruit. (salutes)

In case you're not being sarcastic...

"Those who might come on here and anonymously astroturf for various industries that lay waste will be long gone to kick the crap out of by the successive generations as they struggle with their legacies. Maybe there will be a few former industry seniors left to bitch slap, if to little consolation.
Some issues are dead dogs that keep popping back up like zombies.

'The entire output of atomic power in the United States is exactly equivalent to the requirements of the clothes-drying machines.'
~ Bill Mollison

I argue that, for quality of life, we don't need nuclear, or even much else of the energies consumed, and probably never did. I think Dmitry Orlov may have alluded to the question of whether oil-use has really improved true quality of life.

In a sense, Japan isn't Japan, nor is Libya or Egypt or Oman, etc.. They are often 'represented' by those who don't exactly or democratically represent the populations that occupy those regions. These 'reps' can be seen in the faces of Gadaffi, Obama, and Nuclear Corporation Inc..

When speaking of them and their disasters that the rest of the populations end up suffering from and paying for, perhaps, like Derrick Jensen suggests ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB3uomGshQI ) we should consider being specific about who or what exactly is culpable and, as such, taking a second look at the accuracy of our usage of 'we', and taking back control...

'The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us... You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work... when you go to church... when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth... That you are a slave... Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.'
~ The Matrix

'All political systems that I know of, and most kings, have moved their whole nation to desert. And the things that we saw as most proud-- the cities and the canals and irrigation and so on-- are the things that killed their cultures. And it continues, unabated. If people don't seize power back, and make their own gardens, and sit in their own gardens of Eden, then we're all doomed, and the whole world ends in dust.'
~ Bill Mollison, from The Permaculture Concept (recommended and can be seen on You Tube)

~ Tribe Of Pangaea- First Member

Cesium? Nothing to see here.
Please read the NYTimes article, then goto Google Earth and search for the Daiichi Nuke plant. You can see the blown-up reactor bldgs. and the many tanks used to store contaminated water.


I think the fear is of economic damage. The mighty Tepco went bankrupt shortly after the Fukushima disaster.

Also, realistically speaking, what are the chance of a nuclear plant producing electricity within ten years of the decision to build it? Wind projects can be executed within months.

Not to mention their known crap maintenance on nat. gas infrastructure, shadow buyups of land for nuclear reactor (2 sites - 1 east and 1 west) and soaking customers for the reactor costs during study and tentatively during construction. Vast majority of rate payers not happy and Republicans in Iowa house and senate took a lot of heat.

Branflake can't be governor forever. Mid-Am can buy out all of the Steve King clones in house and senate in the more rural areas, but the actual legislators of much of their customers are not totally bought out by Mid-Am.

Yes, I still have a Mid-Am hat.

So they won't build a nuke, they'll burn natural gas instead.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Pick your poison. CO2 or radiation. Death by slow cooking either way.

So they won't build a nuke, they'll burn natural gas instead.

aardvark, with all the new wind turbines they are installing they probably will not be using any more natural gas either.

One more step forward for the Gulf of Maine, and floating wind-farms!


I noticed a very interesting trend taking place. Maybe other members here noticed it as well. Comments in the Drumbeat have fallen off considerably since a few months ago. Anyone have any ideas as to why this has happened?

I enjoy the comments from some of the more popular bloggers, but these have dried up as well.


Depending on how intently some have been following the comments, they might have caught some mention of the trouble of spam as the possible main culprit and TOD's attempts at controlling it. Alas, as can sometimes be the case, limbs, etc., are lost or have to be amputated/removed in the process of saving the body. Maybe that which remains will adapt; new growth will sprout or get grafted on; and/or the body will molt or metamorphose and so forth.

I'll hazard a guess that Peak Oil seems to be shaping up into Peak Plateau for the next 5-10 years. While there are interesting economic effects from perpetually high oil prices, the mainstream media remains ignorant of Peak Oil, while the oil data itself has been very predictable recently.

Most recently (in the past 6-8 months) there has been some discussion of oil and natural gas production in the USA, with posters here such as Art Berman and Rune Likvern doing a great job in analyzing the fracking phenomenon and demonstrating that it is unlikely to solve our energy problems. Jeffrey Brown's report on global oil exports was updated last year with 2011 data, and his analysis suggests that things don't start to get really interesting until 2020-2030, when global net exports are considerably more constrained. Gale has done several pieces on the declining quality of energy reserves and the influence of debt and economic constraints on energy production. Now, though, it seems like there have been very few new developments to warrant heightened interest.

At this point we've just about hit Peak Oil, and history is moving slowly, taking its sweet time. It's one thing to look at a graph of a plateau leading into decline, or even some of the more drastic Gaussian or shark fin production curves, and it's entirely another to live out the 10-20 years surrounding the peak.

Even if there is a plateau for the next 10 years, costs of extraction will continue to rise sharply. And it is those costs, and the corresponding EROEI decline, that will cause the real problems. Even if the western (and global) civilization can adjust to a supply plateau (in terms of volume), it will have a hard time to adjust to rising prices at the same time.

Strummer - I stongly 2nd your pt. And would also tweak asinine's in these ways:

"Peak Oil seems to be shaping up into have become Peak Plateau for the next last 5-10 years." Actually, make that the "current" 5-10 years starting in '05, and we'll likely be coming off it as the USDOD report above suggests, around 2015...

Also want to note dcoyne's work on the Bakken along with Rune's and Art's.

And I'd suggest that ELM is already having effects, for as long as 'chindia', as Jeffrey puts it, consumes more, the ROW is forced to consume less on this gross and especially net plateau. And again, as Strummer indicates, regarding net we are going down if gross is flat...

(Also note so folks can find her stuff if they want, that Gale refers to Gail Tverberg)

I think there will be the rising edge of the plateau, followed by the falling edge of the plateau and then followed by the falling edge.

The interesting thing about high oil prices is that is will increase pain for a while, until suddenly certain regions "flip" towards more energy conservation.

Here's one simple example of how flipping works: Roads get slower the more traffic is on them, but railroads get faster, because more trains running means better connections, but more cars means traffic jams. So if high oil prices drive people to public transportation, it will be a sacrifice at first, but eventually it will reach a stage where it is as convenient as driving, so people will start taking trains for convenience instead of just price. That will cause a rush to trains.

We already had a rush for trains when gas prices first hit $4 per gallon in 2008.
As a daily train rider I could see trains were packed and seats were full and my train station, always in the sights to be eliminated by New Jersey Transit, parking lot
was almost full. There was between 10-20% increase in ridership within a few months.
This was happening where Rail or Buses were available all over the US.

But then NJ Transit cut 21 weekday trains in May, 2008 on my Rail line pleading the costs of diesel were forcing them to cut. Over 150 public transit systems were cut all over the US ironically when demand was highest. Sometimes with the excuse of fuel costs, but many systems had been rooked by Wall Street into interest rate swaps and they got screwed out of billions of dollars since 2008 for those. This is the subject of numerous lawsuits to get the money back. Of course it is ridiculous for Chicago to sell off its parking meters to Dubai or for systems to go for these deals when they should be upping gas taxes and funding public transit rather than try to get money for nothing from the banksters complex deals.

But I think you are right about a beneficial positive feedback loop. As more and more cities and the biggest impact will be the whole state of California build and run Light Rail systems with frequent service and Transit-oriented development it will attract businesses and people back to urban cores and even smaller cities.

Also we can expect to see major increases in car-pooling and the return of hitchhiking probably facilitated now by the "Hitchhikers Guide"-like e-thumb of smart phones...

It's one thing to look at a graph of a plateau leading into decline, or even some of the more drastic Gaussian or shark fin production curves, and it's entirely another to live out the 10-20 years surrounding the peak.

Very well put, which is similar to the difference between being a Dr. analyzing an ill patient in a detached manner and being the patient living the malady. What's unfortunate it is a slow incremental constriction. Most of us are use to living through occasional unfortunate turns of events that happen quickly, but over time will be a harsh ride indeed.

Is the spam being investigated? There is a possibility of the spam being a form of sabotage. As the amount of comments goes down on the drumbeats, I imagine the amount of hits goes down as well. An entity could be strategically targeting The Oil Drum in order to discredit/decrease popularity.

I'm curious too. What was being (is being) spammed? Is it energy related, Viagra sales, easy money in Nigeria?

Leanan can tell you more about the situation than I can.

Lately most of the spams are quite long, in English, and a mixture of gibberish along with links for Louis Vuitton bags. I'm not sure where these are coming from but they use g-mail addresses that seem to be software generated because there are lots of them that vary by a few letters or numbers. They seem to be calculated to annoy and perhaps lead to a virus-laden site, not to actually sell anything. Some don't even have links.

Spam that seems to be seriously trying to sell something are only posted once or twice, not dozens of times. It tries to blend in with other messages.

We have a handful in Chinese and a handful in Russian, if I'm not mistaken - I don't speak or read either.

The recent article about BP was bombarded with spam. So was the latest Heading Out article. Someone has an agenda.


I don't think anyone has an agenda, other than the usual link spam. It's mostly Chinese fashion spam, and many blogs devoted to various subjects have been affected by the recent surge. Most of the comments are in English, but some is in Russian or Japanese.

The point is not to get you to click on the links. It's to get their links higher in search engine rankings. The more links to your site, the higher your pagerank (at least for many search engines). The variation in the text (often random words and phrases) is meant to both fool search engine rankings, and to get past filters that block identical messages. (The comments all have links, but some of them use BBCode rather than HTML, or are poorly formatted, so the links do not work here at TOD.)

Here at TOD, I think the biggest factor is being on the front page. The spammers don't bother to go past the front page, so stories that are on the front page a long time, especially at the top, get hammered hardest.

Super G also has some countermeasures, like blocking certain domains, so that also causes fluctuations in the amount of spam we get.

Thanks for your technical expertise, Leanan.

There's at least the agenda to annoy! : / It's annoying me!

And they do return to put more spam in articles that aren't on top . . . some are never hit as hard as others, but I guess that's random even if it seems targeted. Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Monday morning are among the favorite days for the game.

One blogger I know said he was inundated by new sign-ups from the Ukraine and has to keep his registration process closed and have people e-mail him if they want to register.

I'm a web developer (mostly custom coding for wordpress sites at the moment) and I've noticed a large increase in both spamming and brute force login attempts on all websites of late. It's mostly just aimless bots that just want to advertise junk. They are not targeting sites with any kind of intelligence or personal agenda. They just go round randomly looking for any sites that have open comment sections.

Some ways of cutting down spam are surprisingly simple. For instance if you changed the word "comment" above the comment box to something else, say "elucidate" the bots simply wouldn't know there was a comment section. (Until the bot coders caught on, but they wouldn't be looking at individual sites to notice). These things are not smart, they just work by the of force sheer numbers and they never get bored.

Interestingly, this problem does actually tie into some of the theme of the oil drum, in that increasing reliance on complicated systems and procedures can eventually bog us down in complexity and things that used to work become untenable. In my opinion the internet is straining a bit at the moment, the quality content is getting lost in a sea "look at me" type spam.

I wouldn't mind elucidating, explicating, pontificating, or expounding on here. It'd probably take the spam-machines a while to catch onto an "elucidate/explicate/pontificate/expound" button. Would have to rename the new account creation something like "Create a new personality" too.

Would it help if the explicating, pontificating, or expounding button were a small gif instead of actual text?
While I really hate things like Captcha, could something be added just to the create account section that would make it much more difficult and time consuming to create a new account?
Just doing some elucidating, explicating, pontificating, and expounding here >;-)

We already have a Captcha for new account creation, and have for some time.

That didn't prevent about 100,000 spam accounts from being created.

*whistles* That's horrifying, but also kinda impressive. I wonder how the bots do it. I have a tough time decoding captcha codes.

Unless they are somehow bypassing Captcha and accessing the database directly.

My spidey sense wonders if someone at Drupal wasn't handed a memory stick full of fake names and a wad of cash.

Makes me wonder if there aren't sweatshops somewhere that have people at PC's just solving Captcha screens for 12 hours a day and a few cents an hour. Workin' for the Machine..

They probably pay people to solve the Captchas.

The going rate for the work ranges from 80 cents to $1.20 for each 1,000 deciphered boxes, according to online exchanges like Freelancer.com, where dozens of such projects are bid on every week.

So then it would take between $80 to $120 dollars to create 100,000 accounts. Seems kind of expensive for one site, but than again I don't know how profitable spamming is.

Seems to me that you guys might benefit from change your Captchas. Maybe to something that asks energy related questions like what does LNG stand for.

On a side note I can't help thinking that if human like Artificial Intelligence was ever developed and made available to everyone it truly would be the end of the Internet.

On a side note I can't help thinking that if human like Artificial Intelligence was ever developed and made available to everyone it truly would be the end of the Internet.

This already is what the end of the Internet looks like. This is an early stage of the escalating measures/countermeasures cycle that will reduce the utility and raise the cost/complexity, until it's not worth maintaining anymore. The ever rising costs of energy will only make that worse.

It's certainly going to be interesting to see what plays out, (and to have our contingency plans together in the meantime..) but so far with the utilization of more and more services and brand new functions of the internet, it seems more than a little like Yogi's great theorem.

"Nobody goes there anymore. Too crowded."

but than again I don't know how profitable spamming is.

If you can get on the front page of Google then you will get at least 10x more people to your site, maybe 100x. $80 would be well worth it depending on the business. The alternative is thousands in advertising for probably less effect.

I've seen the "louise vitton bag" spam on just about every site I regularly visit, including my own blog.

My one-fingered block button / hide message light saber technique pales in comparison.

I wish some IT genius would create bots to fight spambots. :]

I saw on (I think it was BBC), where the Chinese have rooms full of hackers for hire. They make good wages, doing mischief for the highest bidder. Where there is money to be made -and if the victims are foreigners -or otherwise people you don't care about ethics goes out the window.

I think we need one button for each of those categories, plus a button each for "troll" and for "flame". Maybe one more for "astroturf".

Then each post could be colour-coded so we could pick out the genre we are interested in.

I jest, sorta.

Thanks, I'll pass this on to SuperG.

I doubt that it's targeted spam. Most likely it's the law of diminishing returns doing it's magic on the internets. We have security threats, ads, DoS, privacy problems and spam. I remember the dial up days when people used to send messages to other IP's directly. That's prehistory now.

Part of the problem - if that's what it is- is that there really isn't a lot to say that hasn't already been said. No serious energy related disaster, the economy is ambling along and folks seem to have gravitated to basically two positions- either we are screwed or everything is fantastic and as those positions have hardened the level of name calling has increased. After all after you have made and repeated the rational arguments for each position what is there left but name calling?

Much of the "news" is just the steady drip-drip-drip of established threads. On the solar front now over 20% of new housing builds come with solar. The caiso renewables graph, just touched 2GW for solar for the first time -a result of utility scale plants being brought on-line. But these are just the slow continuance of trends, so they hardly worth major discussion.

Apparently Obama, put in a new estimate of the social cost of CO2 for government standard setting. It went for $22 to $36 per tons, and that should have an impact on regulations. Might set off a political firestorm. The correction was supposedly caused by an increase in estimated sea level rise.

"...over 20% of new housing builds come with solar."

Really? That comes as a surprise. Do you have a link?

Oh, OK, thanks. 20% in CA. That's great. But would still be way high for the country as a whole. It's a start, though.

The Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Georgia (USA) received approval to add two additional nuclear reactors to their site. Whatever your opinion is of Nuke energy, the pictures are worth a look. Follow the links at Slashdot to a photo gallery from Georgia Power and some more info.


The new reactors at Vogtle have been a defacto done deal, and construction has been proceeding apace, for some time. Recent "approval" was just a formality. Google view

Its very early days to be making any conclusions but the rate of increase in US oil production in the first 5 months of 2013 (4.1%) does seem lower than either the rate for the equivelent for the same time period in 2012 (6.2%) of for 2012 as a whole (a substantial 15% or so). Production has been stuck around the 7.3mbd mark for 6 weeks. Signs of the red queen scenario already? Or just prolonged bad weather? Far too early to say, but worth watching.

The weather in North Dakota has been harsher this year than last. The trend should be apparent by the end of summer.

I suppose we must talk about the next ten years, because we have unavoidable short-term business to deal with. But to speak as if things 20 or 30 years from now will just be extensions of the present? The status quo is unlikely to last that long. Corporations are overwhelming states now, energy costs are pricing out a majority, and environmental/climate disaster is in progress.

2020 is about conceivable, with heavy reservations. 2030-2050 is science-fiction territory, if not apocalyptic. (I'm 81, and may just possibly see the end of modern times.)

I love the older boys and girls, incidentally, and think elements of society dispense with many of them in favor of the young-and-vacuous-- global industrial culture in a nutshell. If we looked more to our elders, it is doubtful that we'd be in nearly as much trouble as we're in. And when I say elders, I'm speaking less about those self-appointed ones that form the coercive gangs we call government. They are probably the last elders that are good for us.

When I was in school, we'd rent class plays from Samuel French in which the character's age was listed as a description. You knew what a 50 yr old woman, or a 70 yr old grandmother, was supposed to look like.

No more. Age and gender are up for grabs. We know some 40 yr old fogies, and some alert and with-it 80 yr olds. I grew up and had a family, but it didn't help. I never got to maturity. My second marriage is to a man 27 yrs my junior; his friends are in university and between 30 and 50 yrs old; my kids are in their 40s. I don't claim the authority of an elder (who is that old guy in photographs?), just the forebodings of a blog consumer. I believe that the fossil fuel age is ending, population must decline along with resources, and the financial/political system is too corrupt to continue.

I've watched the result as the smarter people left religion, leaving it in the hands of the self-serving or less prescient. Billionaires aren't necessarily smart (the current crop mostly is managing inheritances), and they tend not to hire people or politicians who are any brighter than themselves.

We are in trouble, and living in hope that savings and supermarkets will be available as long as needed.

So does anyone really believe that OPEC will have so little influence in the near future due to the US shale boom that the US doesn't have to worry about OPEC anymore?

Chris Nelder certainly doesn't: http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/take/us-will-not-surpass-saudi-arabias-o...


"As Laherrère’s chart shows, it takes about 1,200 wells to increase production by 150 thousand barrels a day on the Bakken tight oil treadmill. Compare that to the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, where a single gusher can produce 250 thousand barrels per day. By this metric it would take another 16,000 Bakken wells to achieve Citigroup’s projection of an additional 2 mbpd from shale oil, or five times the existing 3,200 Bakken wells.

Initial production rates from the next-biggest shale oil producer, the Eagle Ford play, appear to be substantially higher at around 350 barrels per day (including both oil and gas) over the first month, but then they decline to less than 100 barrels per day over the first year. The costs in the Eagle Ford are also substantially higher: as much as $10 million per well. Fracking the Eagle Ford is also challenged by the enormous requirements for water, an increasingly scarce resource in drought-ravaged Texas."

The reality is it is highly unlikely the US will reach any of the mainstream production forecasts given the decline rate of these wells. OPEC will have a massive influence on the US for the foreseeable future.

Resilience.org posted the first article a while back, the subsequent article prompted me to post it

Toward Resilient Architectures 2: Why Green Often Isn't

What has now changed, however, is that we are asking newly urgent questions about the resilience of this kind of structure, at a time when we need to rigorously assess and improve that resilience. As this discussion suggests, it is not only the particular and practical issues of expansive glazed curtain walls, bulky and transparent buildings, and exotic assemblies overly reliant on petrochemical products that are the root of the problem. It is perhaps the very idea of buildings as fashionable icons celebrating their own newness, a quintessentially Modernist idea, which is fundamentally at odds with the notion of sustainability. As they age, these buildings are destined to be less new and therefore less useful, not more so. The pristine Modernist (and now Post-Modernist and Deconstructivist) industrial surfaces are destined to mar, weather, and otherwise degrade. The eye-catching novelties of one era will become the abandoned eyesores of the next, an inevitability lost on a self-absorbed elite fixated on today’s fashions. Meanwhile the humble, humane criteria of resilient design are being pushed aside, in the rush to embrace the most attention-getting new technological approaches — which then produce a disastrous wave of unintended failures. This is clearly no way to prepare for a “sustainable” future in any sense.

Frank Gehry’s latest plan to remake Toronto’s King St is best yet: Hume

The latest offering, though equally Gehryesque, explores new architectural territory. The embrace of complexity is no less evident, but now things feel more organic, integrated and fluid. Looking carefully at the towers, one sees brief moments of Euclidian order, but for the most part, these three skyscrapers — 82, 84 and 86 storeys — are loose and asymmetrical. Their undulating surfaces move in and out to a rhythm at once urban and idiosyncratic.

Heat loss is proportional to surface area!

I am negotiating to buy a "new" house. My current 1939 house is too drafty. The core of my new house was built about 1690, although how much of the timber and clunch is original is debatable.
The longstraw thatch roof will need replacing soon (in about a decade). The nearest thatcher lives a mile away, the straw will need to travel 10 or 20 miles.

Although extended as recently as 1985 in the local vernacular style, I hope to make the building sustainable as possible by replacing the oil fired furnace with a wood log gasifier stove, and putting PV panels on an outhouse to power the LED lamps I will replace the halogens with. The wood will come from a local coppice wood managed as a nature reserve, cut by hand and dragged out by horse.

The building has historical 'listing' status, which is a mixed blessing, as it has prevented it being gutted by developers, but also prevents me doing rational improvements like fitting double or triple glazing in the windows. I will have to make do with push fit secondary panels.

Solar water heating will be a problem. There is a flat roofed 1950s extension to the rear, but it gets too little sun.

The location is good, right in the middle of the village yards from the shops and pub, 200 yards to the villages allotments, but it will increase my cycle commute from 4 to 6 miles. Bus service into town runs hourly, not as good as my current 10 minute service. I will be fitter! There are both junior and senior schools in the village, so the children will be walking to school.


I'd suggest you look into using heat pump water heaters powered in part by your solar pv to heat water instead of solar thermal. It would reduce complexity too!

Here's some homework.

Sounds like it will be a nice bike ride into work.


Thanks for the links, but these won't work in this case. For one, the climate is cold and damp.
These are air source heat pumps that scavenge heat from an indoor room they are installed in, and the house will be quite cold enough without that! Also the rooms of a 1690 house are small and very low, people were shorter then, and high rooms need more heat. I have no where to put a tall boiler. Also the electric consumption is at least 50% of that of a simple immersion heater. I only have room for a small amount of PV and the winter insolance here is pitiful.

I am planning to heat water with a feed from my wood stove boiler in winter, but that is inefficient in summer. Probably I will retain the oil furnace for use as a summer water heater. Ideally I would like to fit a large heat accumulator tank so that I can heat the house without running the wood stove continuously, but I will struggle to find room for it.

Hi Ralph,
Don't know if you've heard my descriptions of a low-tech geothermal (but a bit labor intensive) home heating support device called a cool tube, which helps keeps good O2 levels for healthy people and combustion sources, a slightly positive pressure to combat leaks and draughts, brought in through enough ground below frost grade to get a temperature advantage over what would otherwise be drawn in from open winter air. Can be a nice cooling source in summer as well, as long as condensate drainage is properly set up.

If you'd like to know more about it, I'd be happy to share it. (email at my profile)



Can I suggest you use something like an Immersun device (less than £500 fully installed) for your summer hot water needs. This device measures the difference between the amount of AC electricity coming off your PV and the amount of electricity you are using in the house. When there is more PV output than you are using, it automatically redirects the excess to the immersion element in your hot water tank - works like a charm for me (in Kent). The device also allows you to "boost" the immersion element using mains electricity to cater for those times when you have insufficient PV to heat your water. My boost is set for 15 minutes at 05:45 (on Economy 7 night rates) which ensures that my tank is nice and hot for my morning shower.

With PV it pays to go to an Economy 7 tariff. In winter, I do most of my electricity-intensive stuff overnight at cheap rates. In summer, I do it all in the day when (if...) the sun is shining. When I'm at home, I also do a number of other things to boost my usage of the PV output. For example, I super-cool the freezer down to -28C when I have spare PV output. Every morning, I'll take 4 x 4 pint plastic milk bottles filled with ice from the freezer and put them in the fridge - the fridge never actually has to run to stay cool - since my freezer is vastly more efficient than my fridge (and for ~8 months of the year is power by "spare" PV) this works out to considerable energy savings.

I have 4 kW of PV at home, with winter heating provided by a 12 kW woodburning stove (fed by a combination of deadfall and coppiced sycamore and ash all sourced on my property). This year I will be putting in a 600 litre thermal buffer tank which should reduce my wood-burner run-time to no more than 4 hours even on the coldest days - unlike you however I have no space issues and my house is not listed, which has enabled me to install triple glazing and a lot of insulation. My grid electricity consumption is less than 1,500 kWh/year, of which ~35% is on Economy 7 rates. My PV generates about 3,200 kWh/year, of which I'd guess I use maybe 35%.

I'd be happy to discuss further (offline??) if you'd like. I have some expertise in renewables / energy efficiency..

Hello NFE,

it does sound like you have experience I could use! I have put an eddress in my profile.

I haven't had my offer on the property accepted yet, and a thatched roof insurance specialist will only insure it if I don't use a woodburner. Doh!

If you have a smart meter, you might be able to get a computer to read it. Then simply allow the computer to actuate the circuit.

I use so little grid electricity that I don't really need a smart meter. Saving my pennies for battery storage (and waiting [in vain?] for technology to improve and/or cheapen). I think 25 kWh of storage will get me off grid for electricity, even in the darkest periods of winter.

What I'd really like is a functional micro wind turbine, 2 or 3 kW would do me. However, I can't find anything affordable that works reasonably efficiency at low wind speeds. The smallest I can find is a 5 kW model, which would cost about £26,000 fully installed, and that requires 3 m/sec cut-in wind speed.

"and that requires 3 m/sec cut-in wind speed"

The V^3 component is pretty nasty.

To get 3kW out of a turbine at 10mph looks something like this:

0.5*0.6*4.5^3 = 27.3 Watts/sq.meter (power density)
For 3kW need...3000/27.3 = 110 square meters

r = Sqrt(110sq.m./pi) = sqrt(35) = 5.92 meters

So you'd need a 12 meter (40 foot) diameter turbine to produce 3kW at 4.5m/s. At 20mph you can get that power out of about 5 meter diameter turbine.

I'd suggest that you get a home weather station - one that can hook up to your computer and log what's going on to see if you can get a good idea of whether it'll be worth it or not. You might consider the DIY route if it looks viable (though I've yet to see adequate over-speed protection on a DIY).

There are very few sites in the UK where small domestic wind turbines make economic sense. You really need to place them on a ridgeline with clear windlines to the prevailing winds (traditionally the SW but climate change is making this unpredictable). Trees within 100m of a turbine will drastically reduce its performance. Erecting one on a pole high enough to be clear of surface turbulance is likely to be refused by planning authorities, and make you unpopular with even distant nimby neighbours.

0.5*0.6*4.5^3 = 27.3 Watts/sq.meter (power density)

Thats about what a solar panel will do on a cloudy day!

I've been watching the SolarImpulse flight across the US and on the last leg they had to fly for many hours under cloud cover due to not being able to climb to high altitude because of turbulence on the way up. They still managed to power their engines off their solar generator and also bring their batteries to full charge.
I've been a long time supporter of solar technology and it is a real pleasure to be able to watch how they manage their energy. After doing that it become easier to thumb my nose at the naysayers and skeptics. Solar works right now, Biatches! Here's a screen shot of their energy status after arriving at their cruising altitude:

You might not get the wattage you're hoping for, as the others are pointing out, but to get a system that can cut in at lower speeds and cut out at much higher ones so you're at least getting a greater period of activity, you might look at the Windside Verticals (I've mentioned them a number of times, but only because it's the only established VAWT mfr. from which I've seen fairly consistent and serious information.) windside period com is their site.

Their 1kw seems to be a very modest piece of equipment to have in a residential setting, and following my more self-conscious strategies, could appear with the right splashy paint job to be just a bit of harmless/tasteless lawn art instead of a highly offensive stab right at the heart of our energy-entitled civilization.

Since playing around with energy gadgets is my hobby, I have an excuse for spending money on things that sound sort of nonsensical, from view of conventional economics, payback and all that. So I have been thinking about wind.

Where I live wind comes in two sizes- nothing, most of the time, and violent, every now and then. Of course this tempts me to make a windmill for nothing but violence. Since power goes as cube of velocity, I visualize a small, simple thing, very strong, that puts out gobs of power every now and then, and nothing, very cheaply, most of the time.

I did put up one such a long time ago. Very exciting noises. Got blown down in a violent wind. Haha.

Then there's the little problem of what to do with violent blobs of excess power every now and then. I will think about that tomorrow.

If you're heating water with wood in winter, a simple batch solar water heater is a good companion for summer. Many designs to be found here: http://www.builditsolar.com/

I design the mechanical systems for commercial buildings - HVAC, plumbing, and fire sprinkler. Whenever architects show us wet-dream building concepts such as this, we and the structural and electrical engineers also on the design team let out a collective groan. Can you imagine trying to work out reasonable structural design or piping/electrical/HVAC infrastructure in these types of buildings? We see only design/construction cost overruns, innumerable construction change orders to address, countless window leaks, and unhappy tenants with enormous utility bills.

But the architect and their building makes the front cover of every magazine...that's what's important.

We in the building-design trenches love engineering challenges and beautiful buildings - ones where we can focus our talents and energy on energy efficiency + simplicity + reliability + construct-ability. The World Trade Center towers were innovative engineering marvels with a simple structural beauty ... Gehry's concepts are monstrosities.

My Dad is a civil engineer and has commented a number of times that he wishes that architects had to have a year as a builder's apprentice before they were allowed to design anything.

There seems to be a huge disconnect between what is 'cool' and what is actually realistic.

SL, find Dr. Joseph Lstiburek's talk from the Distinguished Lecturer Series: Building Science - Adventures in Building Science. It's on Youtube, I have a hunch you'll really enjoy it!

One did a house design for me. He had a square, 2 level entrance lobby with a staircase wrapped around 3 sides going from ground to the upper level - nice. The centre stretch of stairs ran right across the front door! I can't remember the other gaffs but there were plenty.


Once ran into a guy who was responsible for inspecting roofs at all of Western Electric's locations, including various labs and office buildings, as well as factories.

He said that the greater the architect, the worse the roof leaked.

Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic "Fallingwater" home is one of them.

Given the humid environment directly over running water, mold had proven a problem. The elder Kaufmann called Fallingwater "a seven-bucket building" for its leaks, and nicknamed it "Rising Mildew". Condensation under roofing membranes was also an issue, due to the lack of damp proofing or thermal breaks. -- Wikipedia

Of the 2 - the gut issue should have the most interest.


A bee's natural food is its own honey, which contains compounds like p-coumaric acid that appear to help detoxify and strengthen a bee's immunity to disease...
The widespread apicultural use of honey substitutes, including high-fructose corn syrup, may thus compromise the ability of honey bees to cope with pesticides and pathogens and contribute to colony losses.


Antibiotics kill the bacteria we do want, as well as those we don't. These long-term changes to the beneficial bacteria within people's bodies may even increase our susceptibility to infections and disease.Overuse of antibiotics could be fuelling the dramatic increase in conditions such as obesity, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies and asthma, which have more than doubled in many populations.

Purely anecdotal: we keep bees at our house, and consciously leave them their own honey to eat during winter. We could harvest 3 times, but are happy with 2. At the end of summer we let them build up their honey supply, so no sugar+water / high-fructose corn syrup.

This spring 2 of our 3 colonies had died off, with no apparent cause. Surprisingly, only the weakest colony (the one heavily infected with a parasite even before winter began) had survived.

Every year for the last 4 years that we keep bees, at least one colony dies off, without reason.

Curious fact: We noticed we have a higher than average honey harvest, even though we keep bees in the city. It's apparently a known fact that, if your city has enough green space (which ours definitely has), bees produce more and healthier honey, due to year-round flower blooming and less use of pesticides.

I was riding my bike home from work and almost stopped and took a photo of the gasoline price. Was not expecting to see it shoot up past $4 in Indy. Looks like some Midwestern cities are setting records.


A fellow forum member routinely thumbs his nose at Americans and boasts that Canada's financial position is so much stronger because, in his mind, we Canucks are so much smarter (the ones living in Alberta, that is). Time will tell.

Canadian homes among most overvalued in the world
OECD report ranks Canadian real estate 3rd-most overvalued among developed countries

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development ranks Canadian real estate the third most overvalued of the 34 developed countries assessed by the group, based on two metrics tracking what homes cost compared to incomes and rents.

You can find the full story at the CBC News website.

Best hopes for more humility and a lot less bravado.


That's why I don't own a home here in Vancouver, where prices have risen to insane levels over the last decade. Prices have been dropping over the last year, but not enough to bring them even close to historical levels. In my opinion, this is the biggest financial bubble in Canadian history. The Canadian government is trying to prevent it from popping, but there's probably nothing they can do about it. Our vaunted banks aren't nearly as safe from collapse as most Canadians believe.

I agree Paul about Canadian prices.

However, the upfront costs of any development is beyond belief and that is reflected in all prices. Land, permits, curbs/gutters, engineer reports instead of building inspectors, property transfer taxes, GST, wages built in to all materials as trades compete against Tar Sands opportunities. Plus, people from all over the world choose to move here.

I live in a rural area and just retired. I could work full time building houses and doing renos for $25-30 per hour and not by contract/bid per project. Of course this would be for new arrivals who cannot build themselves. We have few of the upfront costs being rural but it still is quite expensive to build unless you do it yourself. When it costs $250 for a plumber to drive up and look...even to change a faucet, folks learn to do for themselves or beg others to help.

I am just finishing off a welding course and some of my cohort are moving to work in Vancouver and Victoria. (Following girlfriends). I politely tell them that if they move there they will never be able to afford a house/home. They look at me like I am nuts.


Best hopes for more humility and a lot less bravado.

Oh, I wouldn't worry too much about Canadians outdoing USians in that department...

The new Jeep now comes with a 'Launch' button right on the dashboard. I kid you not!

What does this insanely awesome button do?

"Launch," appears on the button to designate the 470-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Jeep SRT8's Launch Mode. There are no acronyms or guessing with this button. What the button does is also made clearer by the awesome depiction of a drag strip's starting-line lights, aka a "Christmas tree."...

...Jeep's launch control is standard on SRT8s for consistent, enhanced fast starts of the high-performance SUV. Launch Mode brings the engine, suspension, transmission and driveline together for fast launches from a standstill by revving the engine at a standstill and launching the 5,000-pound SUV like a rocket.

Then again, perhaps this button was designed by a Canadian, eh?

Yeah, Fred, I would have thought so, too, until I got to start building out my Archetypical Portrait for the 'Canadian Cowboy'.

In everything there does seem to be an equal-opposite, eh?, and for all the humility I enjoy in many of my Northern neighbors, it seems there has to be a place for all that unspent energy to be reapportioned to.

The fact that we Northeastern US'ers make such good targets.. well, I'm used to it I guess. If I do end up freezing in the dark one day, at least I know I'll have made a certain bunch of Texans and Albertans very smug, if not actually truly happy!

I wonder if the overprice picture is equally true across the country. For my part, I think not.

Toronto and Vancouver, I can certainly see being overpriced. Edmonton and Calgary, somewhat less so. It also seems to me that the oilsands have some serious legs behind them. Why? Oil supply seems to have peaked or is near peaking. Climate concerns will not matter and won't have the impacts that reason and logic dictate because it is the economy and growing the economy before all else. Also, the developing world will buy the oil, once the pipelines are built. Don't think for a second that the federal government will not ram through the pipeline to the coast. They will.

On that basis, the cost of Albertan homes (average $380K in Edmonton vs. household income of $80K+) seems about right. Expensive, yes, awesomely expensive and economically unsustainable? No. It's not Vancouver. I'll readily admit it's climatalogically unsustainable, but that's not what I'm talking about here.

Care to point out how I'm wrong? I'm honestly interested in knowing how my analysis is incorrect. It's also a big issue as the future mother in law is planning to buy a house. Thanks!

One good was is to figure your monthly "nut" (principal, interest, property taxes, insurance and utilities) and compare that to your monthly disposable income or after tax income. In the US 25% is OK. 35% is pushing it. 45% is really gambling. Of course there are lots of other things to consider too. The oil field is a boom or bust situation.

I follow the maths of the thing.

The oil fields may be boom and bust, the oil sands, not so much. The money gets spent to build the infrastructure (hugely expensive but long term, not drill in 24 hours and gone) and that infrastructure stays operating for decades. If the money isn't spent, the oil doesn't flow. As long as prices stay high, hundreds of billions of dollars remain to be spent in Alberta, and hundreds of billions more get sunk here, so long as other investment options for oil companies don't exist. Barring all the oil producing countries becoming free and open capitalist countries, I don't know where else the money is going to go. As for the price of oil staying up, until the larger economy craters (i.e. China and India go into recession), oil is going high and staying high. Recession in Europe and anemic recovery in the U.S. has done little to drive down the price of oil, unlike in 2008 - 2009 when it went so low that capital expenditures in the oilsands were actually pulled.

As long as that capital expenditure remains strong, Alberta will be doing well. Or am I missing something?

And all over the country as well, Wet One.

I know at least 30 people who commute to Sands work from my locale. Of course the projects teem from Newfies to Wet Coasters. The money is great and it all comes home. Recently, two friends quit their 'safe' jobs and went electrical up north. One is at $70.00/hr and the other goes as high as $100.00....commisioning and bringing online new installations. One quit his job as a School District electrician and the other as a College instructor. My son is a QC electrician making 2X what I did as a high school teacher (masters deg) at the top of the salary grid. No brainer...his choice to work shifts. I tell him to have a 5 year plan, get everything paid for, then plug in and out for 2-3 months per year or work local.

We are very pleased to have Alberta as a neighbour. Indeed, I worked there in the 70s building infrastructure. Also, Canadians are Americans best of friends and I have no idea why they view us differently and snipe. They are both good countries with much going for them. If we can't get along and sell each other our products, is there any hope for any partnership? Please note I said 'sell' and not 'give'.

Incidentally, in our house we have been trying very hard to buy North American. Our three year old American brand but Chinese made toaster just packed it in. I found our 25 year old toaster oven in my shop, dusted it off and used it to replace the new fangled broken crapola. Works like a charm and made in Conneticut!! I look forward to the change Jeff Rubin has predicted. Maybe our oil will stay on the continent as well.


Well, of course even the best of friends have to be willing to give each other the bad and hard news, the tough love required when one party or the other has flubbed somehow.. in fact, that is probably what makes the best of friends, the presence of uncompromising honesty.

The trade issues in the Northeast around Lumber, Paper, Syrup and Hydro Power pricing, these bosom pals have both got their truthtelling cut out for them.

No doubt the US's reputation for honesty and sober and practical trade practises leaves us ready for some straight talk, too.. but Harper and Co. seem to be loading the table with a whole new batch of telegrams heading their way. Heaven forbid we start getting any grumbling from all those extra Polar Grizzlies. What a ruckus that would be!

If you care about global warming, Canadians and Americans are equal villains. So naturally we are coming to despise each other, since the other guy reminds us how bad the man in the mirror has sunk.

Toronto and Vancouver, I can certainly see being overpriced.

I don't think you guys are approaching this from the right angle.

I own a house in Toronto, a semi-detatched of about 1800 square feet with the largest lawn in the neighborhood, directly on a streetcar line (stops 75 feet from my house.) I am a 20-minute bike ride from downtown.

My house is worth about $500,000 at current market prices.

I bought it ten years ago for $210,000. Many of my neighbors bought in lower, some in the $110,000 range, after a market crash at the end of the '80's.

If you want the access to Toronto's jobs, transit, medical services, Universities and entertainment, and to live in a ground-level freehold structure, that's the price you pay.

Because that price is not some abstract value of what the house is worth. That's the price of getting someone to move. They are not building new single freehold structures a reasonable distance from downtown- there's no undeveloped land. Teardowns routinely sell for more than my house is worth in nicer areas. Traffic congestion continues to worsen, making houses that are close to the core and well-serviced by transit more desirable with each passing year. My time to the core hasn't changed noticeably by bike or by transit in the last ten years (not quite true...my bike times have actually decreased, because I'm a little farther out than I was, and there's been a training effect.) Traffic from the suburbs has become much worse over that time.

90% of the residents of my neighborhood could not buy in at the current prices if we were starting fresh today (I certainly couldn't.) So we stay put, or make lateral (or slightly upward) housing moves. These are mature, 100 year old neighborhoods, with many of the houses owned outright by the residents. It's not a bubble, or a recent, overbuilt development. I can afford my mortgage at 15% interest, and I know lots of people in the same position or better.

No one owes you a house in Toronto, especially one at a reasonable price. It's a simple case of supply and demand. Toronto is still growing by 100,000 people a year. As long as the jobs are here and the people keep coming, houses will continue to be a valuable commodity.

And if the value was halved tomorrow? No skin off my nose, or most of my neighbors (because the new buyers tend to run to two-income, $150,000+ total annual income families.) No second mortgage, and I don't want to move.


It's different this time
"That's the price you pay"
"It's a simple case of supply and demand."

90% of the residents of my neighborhood could not buy in at the current prices if we were starting fresh today (I certainly couldn't.)

That doesn't sound bubbly at all!

"As long as the jobs are here...(because the new buyers tend to run to two-income, $150,000+ total annual income families)"

Pretty big caveat, especially if they are dependent on high double-income earners. That essentially doubles the chance of default since if either one loses their job they're doomed.

"No skin off my nose, or most of my neighbors"

That's the thing about these bubbles...when they pop, weird things happen. You might not think it will effect you, but if the market turns and one of your neighbors loses their job and winds up getting foreclosed on then all of your other neighbors will realize their house just got a lot cheaper - even if they didn't intend to move. It'll have a psychological effect and might cause them to pull back on spending a bit - which will set the dominoes off. Then all of the new people that have recently bought will fear for their job...and/or their house will now be underwater - worth less than what they paid for it.

As far as other trends, the Canadian Price-to-Income Ratio is out of historic whack by about 30%, and Canadian consumer credit debt has been skipping along near all-time highs (USA style). Your eyes tell you one thing...but the numbers are saying something else.

Yes, price/income ratios take my attention too. In my eyes they are a good illustration of the fundamentals of current real estate overpricing. When those prices are getting exceptionally large compared to average wages, you know it's all because of credit. And realizing tat's all just ponzi as long as our economy doesn't expand, future price corrections are unavoidable.

Of course it's never as simple as that, and contexts are different, but I think the fundamentals are the same.

90% of the residents of my neighborhood could not buy in at the current prices if we were starting fresh today (I certainly couldn't.)

That doesn't sound bubbly at all!

You miss the point. (or are being obtuse.)
I am already in, and can afford much higher mortgage costs than I currently face. I have owned the house for 10 years, have payed down the mortgage over that time, and had a significant downpayment. Most of the buyers in my neighborhood are not recent first-time buyers. These homes were prudent purchases.

A sudden drop in housing prices would be weathered here the way it was in the past. While a few homes might go underwater, far more of us will weather the storm. There are higher downpayment requirements in Canada, and speculation and CDS-influenced junk mortgages are not part of the mix as they were in the states.

Most importantly, we are not over-extended. These are not speculation-driven junk mortgages. A 50% drop in value would not put my house underwater, or most of my neighbors. We don't have to sell, and don't want to sell. There are fewer houses for sale this year, and prices continue to rise. This suggests an orderly market that is under-serviced, not speculators and a bubble. And I'm not alone in this opinion: from "Why GTA housing market will stay strong in 2013" (www.thestar.com/life/homes/2012/12/21/why_gta_housing_market_will_stay_s...)

"2. The lesson from 2012
Toronto Real Estate Board statistics up until Nov. 30 show 82,200 units had sold in the GTA so far this year. In 2011, it was 84,900, and in 2010 it was 81,900. The average price on Nov. 30 was 2 per cent higher than a year ago. If anything, the market has remained very stable for the past three years.

Pretty big caveat, especially if they are dependent on high double-income earners. That essentially doubles the chance of default since if either one loses their job they're doomed.

I said that new buyers tend to fit that demographic, and indeed, they would suffer if they lose an income. Most of my neighborhood does not fit that demographic. My central thesis is that most Toronto homeowners have reasonable mortgages and live in the houses they own.

Canadian Price-to-Income Ratio is out of historic whack by about 30%

This is a Peak-oil site, is it not? I would suggest that the increase in value in Toronto and Vancouver downtown homes is a peak-oil event- a structural change because of a changing environment (in every sense of the word.) The whole world is out of whack; to suggest that Toronto's Real estate market should follow historic norms while growing at the current rate and outpacing its transportation infrastructure is illogical.

Toronto's real estate market is becoming more like that of New York or a major European city, for good or bad.

Is a large medium strength storm in the Gulf of Mexico now not even worth a mention? Andrea is up to 50 kts.

I thought about posting a link. It is the first storm of the season. But it's not expected to reach hurricane status, and is predicted to have zero effect on oil and gas operations, so I didn't.

I found it interesting and Dr. Masters has some historical perspective on it. I think it will be most interesting in hindsight after a few months if it turns out to be a noteworthy hurricane season.

NOVA - Power Surge (53 minute Video)

This Iowa Public Television video orginally aired about 2 years ago. Much of the information is still valid.

It breaks the necessary carbon reduction to prevent climate change into seven actions. Actions include efficiency, nuclear, solar, etc.

Best hopes for tackling the climate change challenge with a number of actions.

World Food Output Growth to Slow: UN/OECD

Growth in global agricultural production is expected to slow in the coming decade, the world's agricultural output is projected to grow at an average 1.5 percent annually from 2013 to 2022. That compared to an average increase of 2.1 percent a year in the last decade, said the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2013.

"Production shortfalls, price volatility and trade interruptions remain a threat to global food security," it said.

The report blamed the output slowdown on "rising costs, growing resource constraints, and increasing environmental pressures, which are anticipated to inhibit supply response in virtually all regions".


OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2013-2022 - Summary

OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2013-2022 - Abridged Report Full publication available on 26 June 2013

... “As long as food stocks in major producing and consuming countries remain low, the risk of price volatility is amplified. A wide-spread drought such as the one experienced in 2012, on top of low food stocks, could raise world prices by 15-40 percent.” [likelihood of widespread drought = 100%]

... Rising oil prices are an important and uncertain assumption underlying the agricultural price projections. A depreciating US dollar is expected to reduce the relative competitiveness of other exporters while increasing the purchasing power of many importers.

... Cotton will continue to lose market share to man-made fibres [oil-based?].

... Ethanol production is expected to increase 67% over the next ten years with biodiesel increasing even faster but from a smaller base. By 2022, biofuel production is projected to consume a significant amount of the total world production of sugar cane (28%), vegetable oils (15%) and coarse grains (12%).

... Global milk production is expected to increase at a slower rate in the next decade as feed based dairy operations struggle with high feed costs, while pasture based systems face land competition and water shortages.

... Aquaculture is projected to surpass capture fisheries as the main source for human consumption by 2015. [... see Soylent Oceanographic Survey Report, 2015 to 2019]

... Soylent Green is in short supply, so remember — Tuesday is Soylent Green day

... Now I think you know exactly how I feel - A sandwich is a sandwich but your grandpa is a meal - Eat All The Old People

Spain Receives Ever More Solar Radiation

Solar radiation in Spain has increased by 2.3% every decade since the 1980s, according to a study by researchers from the University of Girona and the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich.

"The explanation lies in the fact that in Spain the amount of cloud has decreased markedly since the 1980s - as we have ascertained through other studies - and the tropospheric aerosol load may also have decreased," states Sánchez Lorenzo. "It seems to be very simple: fewer clouds result in higher solar radiation on the surface," he continues.

The increase in global solar radiation is a phenomenon that has been observed in other parts of the world for almost 30 years, especially in developed countries, and it has been named "global brightening". The fall in the diffuse component has also been observed in Central European and Eastern countries.

What the hay happened to Global Dimming then?


I think you can have both Regional brightening and Global dimming. The analysis was just about Spain.

Wikipedia Global dimming

Global dimming is the gradual reduction in the amount of global direct irradiance at the Earth's surface that was observed for several decades after the start of systematic measurements in the 1950s. The effect varies by location, but worldwide it has been estimated to be of the order of a 4% reduction over the three decades from 1960–1990. However, after discounting an anomaly caused by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, a very slight reversal in the overall trend has been observed.

Global dimming is thought to have been caused by an increase in particulates such as sulfate aerosols in the atmosphere due to human action.

Who you gonna believe?

Next domino ...

Financial Fears Gain Credence as Unrest Shakes Turkey

It is not often that the rock-throwing street protester and the seasoned bond investor see eye to eye.

For more than two years, a very small subset of investors and economists has warned that, as with other economic booms built on a mountain of debt — like the property spikes in Japan in the 1980s and more recently in the United States, Spain, Ireland and other European countries — the one in Turkey would reach a painful end.

Until recently, their warnings were ignored.

... Hundreds of billions of dollars of short-term loans have been flowing into the country from investors in search of higher yielding assets, financing the very malls and skyscrapers that have so dismayed the small but growing coalition of secular intellectuals, left-of-center political activists and a smattering of the professional classes.

What worries financial experts is that this so-called hot money can leave the country just as quickly as it arrived, touching off a currency crisis and, eventually, a collapse in the property markets that could threaten the nation’s banks.

... “At some point you reach a moment when the music stops.”

Borneo Stalagmites Provide New View of Abrupt Climate Events Over 100,000 Years

The new record resulted from oxygen isotope analysis of more than 1,700 calcium carbonate samples taken from four stalagmites found in three different northern Borneo caves. The results suggest that climate feedbacks within the tropical regions may amplify and prolong abrupt climate change events that were first discovered in the North Atlantic.

The researchers were also surprised to discover a very large and abrupt signal in their stalagmite climate records precisely when super-volcano Toba erupted nearby, roughly 74,000 years ago

The report is available on the SCIENCE website as an pre-publication release:

Varied Response of Western Pacific Hydrology to Climate Forcings over the Last Glacial Period


Atmospheric deep convection in the west Pacific plays a key role in the global heat and moisture budgets, yet its response to orbital and abrupt climate change events is poorly resolved. Here, we present four absolutely-dated, overlapping stalagmite oxygen isotopic records from northern Borneo that span most of the last glacial cycle. The records suggest that northern Borneo hydroclimate shifted in phase with precessional forcing, but was only weakly affected by glacial-interglacial changes in global climate boundary conditions. Regional convection likely decreased during Heinrich events, but other northern hemisphere abrupt climate change events are notably absent. The new records suggest that the deep tropical Pacific hydroclimate variability may have played an important role in shaping the global response to the largest abrupt climate change events.

Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1233797

As usual, the dating of the time series includes rather wide statistical bounds compared to the ice cores, compounded by low resolution due to the sampling process. Still, it's interesting that they claim to find evidence of the TOBA eruption in their data. Perhaps more importantly, when comparing their data to ice core data from Greenland, they find Heinrich events, but do not see evidence of Dansgaard-Oeschger (D/O) events...

E. Swanson

Netflix Now The Largest Single Source of Internet Traffic In North America

(From 2011) Netflix video streaming is now the single largest source of peak downstream Internet traffic in the U.S., according to a new report by Sandvine. The streaming video service now accounts for 29.7 percent of peak downstream traffic...

Does anyone have any updated on Netflix internet usage? Imagine the amount of internet bandwith used by all the on-line movies as well as spam.

Imagine the gas saved by people not driving to the movie theatre.

Netflix streaming is great for picture and convenience, but needs a lot more choices.

Harumph, Is that needs or wants?

We hear that a third of all internet traffic, which means just fantastic volumes of blindly spent energy, and the comment is 'More Consumer Choice!' .. There are some choices not being explored here, eh?

Is that needs or wants?

Need as in life and death, no, but want, sure. Without repeating the sentiment in a previous post that Netflix streaming should reduce energy otherwise expended by people travelling to the theatre, I was simply taking it up a notch by way of consumer demands for more choices (of course to save more energy). I'm not surprised Netflix is cleaning up because most other people we know are raving about it. Such a clean crisp picture and if you need to pause it, go back or whatever it works better than most DVD players, and there are no previews of other movies like there are if you get a Netflix in the mail. But for goodness sakes, now we all know it works, let's get more choices! After all, we all love our entertainment while the going is still good. Remember, one can be peak oil savvy and still enjoy the oil age.

You suggest it's wasted energy, however how much more efficient can it be than to have the entertainment electronically streamed? There's no wasted energy producing millions of DVD's or transporting them to consumers and it can be watched as many times as wanted without wearing something out that would otherwise need to be replaced.

It is 'wants', just demanding that we have lots of movie choices to have handy. We've become such spectators.. while Rome starts to smoulder and smoke.

I acknowledge absolutely, but what would you have the angry hoard do instead?

Oh, them. I just can't worry too much about them. If they want to keep demanding lots of distracting stuff, insisting that it is a right, like we keep posting here about the right to have an affordable, long range car.. well, that's all just part of the great distortion. Truth will out, (one hopes).

If you were in the flow of the river with the rest of the school of fish, would it pay to divert against the flow? I suppose if someone was enthusiastic enough in their vision, but to some extent it's a ride we're all on, like it or not. So along with our family having gone vegan, looking for a good solar system at present (yee haw), and planting fruit & nut trees (that I hope pollinate), in our downtime between my time on cutting edge blogs RE: peak oil and climate change (Neven's), we sit down in the evenings to stream an independent, foreign, wildlife or an issue like peak oil or AGW, but in any case they've got to up the ante with better selection - I'm doubling down. Stay thirsty (as the beer ad suggests) this Summer. Remember, there's only so much time left in the oil age before the musical chairs speed up and demand all of our attention.

How much do you actually care, and how much weight would you place on oral statements?

Because I could ask the people I know were at NANOG 58 in New Orleans. But it would be mouth to ear to keyboard data.