Drumbeat: June 29, 2013

China media warns Philippines of "counterstrike" in South China Sea

(Reuters) - China's state media warned on Saturday that a "counterstrike" against the Philippines was inevitable if it continues to provoke Beijing in the South China Sea, potentially Asia's biggest military troublespot.

The warning comes as ministers from both countries attend an Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Brunei, starting Saturday, which hopes to reach a legally binding code of conduct to manage maritime conduct in disputed areas.

At stake are potentially massive offshore oil reserves. The seas also lie on shipping lanes and fishing grounds.

U.S. House Backs Bill to Expand Coastal Oil, Gas Drilling

Oil and gas exploration off U.S. coasts would be expanded under legislation the U.S. House of Representatives passed over the threat of a presidential veto.

The vote on the bill, H.R. 2231, was 235-186.

The measure would require the Obama administration to conduct additional sales of oil and gas leases off the coasts of Virginia, South Carolina, southern California and Alaska over the next five years, reports Bloomberg BNA.

Crude Falls for First Time in Five Days as Dollar Gains

West Texas Intermediate crude fell for the first time in five days as the dollar strengthened to a three-week high against other major currencies. WTI narrowed its discount to Brent to the least in two years.

Futures dropped as the Dollar Index climbed after data showed consumers were more confident than forecast in June and Federal Reserve Governor Jeremy Stein made comments on monetary stimulus. The U.S. benchmark rose for the third time in four weeks and the first month since March. For the quarter, it declined 0.7 percent.

U.S. Rig Count Falls to Lowest Level in Two Months

The U.S. energy rig count declined to the lowest level in two months this week, according to Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI)

The total count fell by 11 to 1,748, the Houston-based field services company said on its website. Oil rigs dropped by 15 to 1,390, a nine-week low. Gas rigs rose by four to 353, the first increase in six weeks.

A resurgence in U.S. gas and oil output, driven largely by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, helped the nation meet 89 percent of its energy needs in March, the highest monthly rate since April 1986, Energy Information Administration data show. Soaring supplies and more efficient techniques such as pad drilling have driven the energy rig count down from more than 2,000 in early 2012.

Shell Buys Forties; Primorsk Urals Exports Halted by Tug Dispute

Royal Dutch Shell Plc bought North Sea Forties at a lower price than yesterday. Statoil ASA failed to buy Russian Urals crude at the same price of a three-year high traded June 20.

Russia plans to ship less than a million barrels a day of Urals crude from Primorsk port in July, near the lowest in more than five years, a final loading program showed. Shipments from the Baltic port were interrupted today by a tug-boat dispute.

Transneft Seeks to Resolve Dispute at Baltic Oil Port

OAO Transneft, Russia’s pipeline operator, and OAO Rosneft, the nation’s biggest oil company, are trying to resolve a tug boat dispute that disrupted exports at Primorsk port, a Transneft spokesman said.

Some tankers are loading again, after a halt yesterday at the Baltic port, one of two handling Russia’s seaborne crude exports to northwest Europe, though the dispute wasn’t yet settled as of noon Moscow time, Igor Dyomin, a spokesman for OAO Transneft, said by phone.

BP Ranks Iran as Top Holder of Gas Reserves

In its Statistical Review of World Energy, BP put global proven gas reserves at 187.3 trillion cubic meters as of the end of 2012, enough for about 56 years of global production at current rates.

BP's annual review of energy statistics, first published in 1951, is considered an industry benchmark. Last year's report put gas reserves at 208.4 trillion cubic meters. The cut of 21 trillion equals roughly seven years of global gas use.

Repsol Rejects Argentina’s $5 Billion YPF Compensation

Repsol SA, Spain’s largest oil driller, said its board rejected an offer by the Argentine government meant as compensation for the expropriation of a 51 percent stake in YPF SA in April 2012.

Repsol was offered a 47 percent stake in a joint venture in the Vaca Muerta shale formation valued by Argentina at $3.5 billion, as well as $1.5 billion toward development, according to a filing sent to Spain’s securities regulator. The proposal “does not equal the losses suffered by Repsol,” the Madrid-based company said. YPF would hold a 51 percent stake, while Petroleos Mexicanos SA would own 2 percent in the venture.

Oil Imports From Iran Double in Japan Despite Western Sanctions

Japan’s crude imports from Iran more than doubled in May from a year earlier despite sanctions against the Persian Gulf country.

Crude imports rose to 1.09 million kiloliters, or about 222,000 barrels a day, up from about 523,000 kiloliters in May 2012, according to data today from the Ministry of Finance. Purchases from Iran in April of this year were about 530,000 kiloliters.

OPEC Governor: No Discount in Crude Sales

Iran's OPEC Governor and NIOC's Director for International Affairs Mohammad Ali Khatibi denied a report by a website stating NIOC is selling oil under special terms giving discount.

"Damaging NIOC’s reputation could take different forms including publication of disinformation about the NIOC selling and marketing policies," Khatibi told Shana.

"There are some elements who intend to hurt Iran’s oil market by resorting to psychological means and speculate that Iran gives discount for selling its oil," he added.

With heat on, NV Energy employs ‘peakers’ to help keep us cool

With weekend temperatures threatening to reach record-breaking numbers, it’s no surprise that NV Energy technicians have a plan to keep up with projected and equally record-breaking energy demands.

What’s interesting, however, is how they plan to do it.

Rather than buy extra power on the expensive energy market, NV Energy will rely on peaking units — supplementary power stations that, in less than 10 minutes after being fired up, can provide enough energy to power more than a third of a million homes, said Lloyd “Andy” Anderson, operations manager of NV Energy’s Edward W. Clark Generating Station.

If the lights ever go out so will this Government

Remember the petrol lorry drivers’ strike in 2000?

In a matter of days the country was at a standstill. And the response of voters was dramatic.

For the only time in his 10 years as prime minister, Tony Blair fell behind in the polls and William Hague’s Tories soared ahead.

The same message was delivered to the government: if you can’t keep control of the basics, you serve no useful purpose.

If the worst does indeed happen – and there is no reason to be optimistic that it can be avoided – then David Cameron will deserve to go the way of Edward Heath.

A prime minister who presides over the collapse of energy supplies – worse, whose policies wilfully bring it about – is a prime minister who deserves to be kicked out of office.

States with the most dangerous bridges

David Goldberg, communications director with Transportation for America and a co-author of the report explained that a large number of U.S. bridges were part of the transportation projects initiated shortly after World War II. "A lot of these bridges were born with the baby boomers." He said. "Like the baby boomers, they are nearing retirement age." Transportation for America projects that in 10 years, one in four bridges in the country will be at least 65 years old.

For most states, gasoline taxes are one of the most important sources of funding for bridge construction and repair. Not surprisingly, many of the states with structurally deficient bridges have lower gas tax rates than other states. For instance, Oklahoma charges just 17 cents a gallon in taxes, lower than all but four other states. Meanwhile, Missouri charges 17.3 cents, lower than all but five other states. Both states are on this list.

Attorneys Openly Revolt Against General Counsel Over Failure To Punish PG&E For Pipeline Explosion

A deadly explosion killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes in San Bruno, California on September 9, 2010. The cause of the destruction was a natural gas pipeline owned by Pacific Gas & Electric that ran underneath the homes.

The subsequent investigation turned up a litany of failings on PG&E’s part that contributed to the explosion. PG&E’s regulator, the California Public Utilities Commission, issued a recommendation that PG&E pay no fine, noting that the money the company was spending to modernize its pipelines to prevent future accidents was punishment enough.

This is when a number of CPUC attorneys took a stand against their boss, and their boss clumsily aired the office turmoil in public. And, yes, this all eventually involves the Taliban and a gun-toting enforcer...

Tepco Will Not Pursue Compensation from GE, Other Suppliers Over Nuclear Disaster

Tokyo Electric Power Co. shareholders rejected a proposal to look into pursuing claims for compensation against companies that supplied parts for the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, including General Electric Co.

Shareholders at Thursday’s annual general meeting for the company known as Tepco voted down the motion, proposed by Greenpeace, to study whether suppliers can be held liable for damages incurred during the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster.

China at center of Asia nuclear energy expansion

ST. PETERSBURG - China is at the center of the nuclear energy expansion in Asia, says Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

During an interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of a high-level nuclear power conference here, Amano praised the fast-growing nuclear industry in China and the high safety standards adopted by the country.

Missing nuclear material may pose attack threat: IAEA

(Reuters) - Nuclear and radioactive materials are still going missing and the information the United Nations atomic agency receives about such incidents may be the tip of the iceberg, said a senior U.N. official.

Any loss or theft of highly enriched uranium, plutonium or different types of radioactive sources is potentially serious as al Qaeda-style militants could try to use them to make a crude nuclear device or a so-called dirty bomb, experts say.

Lake Urmia's water level decreases by 28 cm

Lake Urmia's water level has dropped by another 28 centimeters compared to the same period last year, the head of the department of water and water resources of Iran's Ministry of Energy, Alireza Daimi said, the İRNA agency reported on Saturday.

According to Daimi, the increased use of water from the lake for irrigation of agricultural fields as well as a decrease in rainfall has led to a decrease in the lake's water level.

Obama: Make climate change a must for your vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is urging Americans to make climate change a political litmus test, asking them to declare they won't vote for any politicians who don't protect future generations from environmental devastation.

Obama says Americans are already paying the price for climate change, including in lost lives and hundreds of billions of dollars. He says America will be judged as a people and a nation by how it responds.

World Bank chief faces challenges on poverty, climate change

WASHINGTON (AFP) - In his first year as president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim has tried to refocus the institution on fighting poverty and climate change -- but challenges lie ahead.

Food and climate are our greatest global challenges

The world's population is 7 billion. By 2050, it is forecast to be 9 billion. The pressures to feed and sustain this increase in people can only magnify in coming decades, unless world leaders can take meaningful and long-lasting action.

There need to be aggressive moves on tackling climate change, ensuring food and water supplies, fostering democracy and lifting people out of poverty. To do nothing is to condemn their lives and future generations; and in the inaction lies condemnation of this generation.

Insurance commissioner urges companies to adjust to extreme weather

PASADENA - Rather than adjust to the extreme effects of climate change, many insurance companies are simply not insuring properties in low-lying coastal zones due to the threat of flooding and are canceling policies of homeowners living near hillsides that may catch fire, said insurance and government experts Friday.

Goodbye, Miami

By century's end, rising sea levels will turn the nation's urban fantasyland into an American Atlantis. But long before the city is completely underwater, chaos will begin.

Jeffrey Brown (TOD expatriot(?) "Westexas") is interviewed on this week's KunstlerCast.

[Note: You may need to hit reload to get the podcast to start.]

thx for this heads up!
Great pod-cast - Kunstler is a very skillful interviewer and WT is propelling "the message" in a professional/impressive way - the sad thing though (I guess) is that mostly already informed people listen to this ....

"...the sad thing though (I guess) is that mostly already informed people listen to this ...."

Yeah, well this is our story and we're sticking to it. Who knows? Maybe a couple of hundred years from now some graduate student will dig this stuff up and laugh his ass off over a few beers with his buddies, realizing that some folks had this figured out and there wasn't a damn thing they could do about it.

It was good to be reminded of the close time frame we are now in. It is all very very close in, now. We are on the plateau, and production or available export decline will start in earnest quite soon. Scary stuff.

Prepare folks...do something for an ease of transition to, as Jeff said..."we become a society of needs, and not wants." Of course, some of us have already structured their lives this way...at least with very very deliberate consideration of purchases and lifestyle focus.

I also appreciated the comparison of the Indian farmer purchasing fuel for irrigation as opposed to a salesman filling his SUV with gas to run some purchasers out to view a MacMansion.


I think two things that westerners, especially in the US and Canada, discount (or don't account for at all) is the comparative utility that the developing world gets from its oil, and the importance/liability that the discretionary economy holds in western economies. In the US, we're basically being held hostage to wasteful, consumptive discretionary uses of resources. While some folks posit that this is fat that can be cut, doing so is essentially the same as a large corporation downsizing, closing factories and laying off 50% of its employees. Not sure what that percentage really is, but finding full employment for the workforce in a needs-based economy will be problematic. Seems to me that needs-based segments of the economy are also the more productive; think agriculture - a tiny percentage of the workforce and their energy slaves already providing enough food to feed the whole (and then some).

What happens when a huge segment of society realizes that they're 'productivity' is neither needed nor affordable, that their incomes were waste-based? How much of our tax base is derived from discretionary, waste-based enterprise?

Hostages to consumption we are....

Well, Ghung, you will have guessed the reply to that one, Just shows the nutty base of our present no-work-no-pay social system.

I had fun with a Quaker kids group I tutored a while back by positing a paradise island found by a lifeboatload of starving people. The first guy to jump off the boat to the paradise declares it is now all his, since he discovered it, and everybody else gets nothing unless they work for him.

So, kids, what do you think of that? And how would you fix it?

The kids thought it was silly, and fixed it right now, and so could we.

What a great lesson! But how did the kids fix things? It seems to me that the situation you describe is inevitable for any society where the idea of property can extended beyond personal possessions.

Their fix was super-simple, as befits 10-13 yr olds as yet uncorrupted by education.

Decide things as a group, and be fair.

Of course, we all know that won't work--don't we?

"Decide things as a group, and be fair."

The 'be fair' part is usually where things get complicated. There is a large gap between 'might makes right' and 'from each according to his abilities, to each according to his need.' For that matter, we have been arguing about 'need' to since at least the beginning of writing, and probably before that.

Hostage to the host?

There was this show I watched - a documentary I can't remember the name of - traced the course of this one girl for a number of years. She was an A student, loved to play music, going out with her friends...then puberty hit. Grades tanked, "boys boys boys", slutty clothing, all of her friends were suddenly "bitches"...it seriously looked like she'd had a traumatic brain injury.

What is a close time frame? I have heard lots of talk about how sloowww everything will happen or is happening but at some point won't things start happening very fast due to the intrinsic nature of our systems?


Perhaps sparky, but I suppose it depends on how fragile the connections within our system really are? It seems slow to me because of my sense of time. Probably in retrospect our change will be very rapid. Perhaps this will also depend on where you live?

I grew up on my Dad's stories of the Great Depression. In his case the hardships were pretty much BAU because they were poor, at least by today's standards. Their clothes were repaired/patched, they grew most of their own food, and my Grandpa had to work away from home when he could find work. But, they still had the schools and post office. They played cards at night in the kitchen where the oil stove was and 7 kids shared 2 bedrooms. My Grandpa started out the Depression with an oil business, but as the customers couldn't pay he gradually went broke and had to work in a slaughterhouse in the Twin Cities.

I can see unrest as folks realize a decline simply will not stop and seems more than cyclical. Everything will have to be adjusted, from pensions to wages. Politicians will be blamed. Will the 1% be able to hide? I don't know.

I do think our decline will be a downward sloped sine wave as opposed to staircase. I don't think it will be this massive crash, but then opinions are just that. There will be problems, but with improvements the growth drums will be dusted off. More triggers or bubbles start more change, and all the while renewed prosperity never returns to previous heights.

In my province of BC, when I was a kid forestry was 65% of every dollar produced. Of course it is very cyclical, with good times and bad....but the highs never returned to what it was like in the late 60s and 70s. Today, it is booming, highly mechanized, and runs 12 hours per day 7 days per week. It is very shaky with tight margins and fierce competition. Many workers are employed as contractors. Union contractors are always under pressure. If China's building boom burps, it will collapse. Just like that. It is also only 35% of today's economy. It isn't that we are that much more diversified, we simply lost our manufacturing system (mills) like the US did.

Big protests in Egypt today. They have lots to protest. We still live very good here for the most part. If that changes I suppose we will see similar events. Today I am heading to town to pick up some used double pane windows my buddy wants to give away. I am going to build a stackwall cabin on our property, supposedly for kids to come and stay in for visits/camping, but in reality I am building it in case there is a dire need for someone to live in it as the future unfolds. If it sits empty it doesn't matter because I will build it out of cordwood and used/free fixtures. But it will be there. It can always be fixed up and added on. When my old town resurrects a shoe repair business I will know that change is reality. We lost that 15 years ago.


Well I am getting nervous...I have developed a lot of useful skills in anticipation...Log house builder, carpenter, Journeyman Electrician, Solar Installer, Gardener.all skills that the elite trust funders around me look down upon..but now I am worried because I live way up north and it is hard to grow up here especially with climate change...we have some days warm and then a drastic drop in temp...one year I had my best garden and then a hail storm destroyed it all. I listened to one of Gail's podcast recently and she said that it would be easier to live in a warmer climate but then Nicole Foss lives in a cold climate...seems like it takes much more effort in cold climate. I guess no man is an island you have to have community...but I think in a post peak oil environment a lot of people will have to shift to the center of the country again and large populations----massive migrations would have to happen.

Think of a cold climate as a security feature. You'll be a lot safer if you are one of the few people who can survive there.

Yes but look at Greece all the wood will be quickly cut down and the all meat quickly eaten.....In my state we used to grow more than 80% of our food....now we import more than 85% and the population is more than double what it was 60 years ago all a product of cheap available oil. I have seen many wealthy here heat their driveways in the winter! There is a scapegoat..but then they are the 1%, they will be safe...

Sparky - build a bending jig (Johny's Seeds sells the jigs premade) to bend inexpensive conduit into hoophouse hoops. rerod makes excellent hoop anchors - pound them in a couple feet and slip the end of the hoops over them. Reuseable forever. Plastic sheeting is cheap in volume sufficient to last many years. An inexpensive way to shelter large gardens.
Frost/hail problem cured.

A bigger problem is gaining experience with insect pests and plat diseases. I would not want to face starvation because I could not stop Colorado potato beetle (with experience, you will realize that if you are growing enough potatoes to be a family staple, you cannot stop this particular insect by hand picking, even with unreasonable effort).

Its odd how some issues that seem insurmountable in theory can be easy in practice, some that seem easy in theory can be the killers in practice. If a person is to depend on something in the future, that person must get out and do.

Look at China during it's cultural revolution. The communists manipulated people to blame others and as part of it the leaders (other than a few top communists) were viciously attacked, they actually went through several purges in which they repeatedly cleansed those in power.

During times of strife it has been shown to be very easy to find a scapegoat and do away with them.

Landowners and nationalists (to begin with) in China following the Japanese invasion of the country and later party officials, artists, musicians etc who were later blamed for the crises that rocked the country.

Teachers and intellectuals, even as far as those wearing glasses in Cambodia when the Vietnam war spilled over the border.

Jews in Nazi Germany due to the economic depression caused by the first World War and the rise of communism in Europe.

Tutsis in Rwanda although that had it's root deeper in the society and was only partly caused by the widening of divisions during colonial rule. I'm not too familiar with the Rwandan conflict so there may have been other factors leading up to the genocide.

The Bosnian's during the break up of Yugoslavia.

Our recent history has shown that on almost every continent our cultures have very quickly disintegrated when times get hard. I'd say the 1% will try to hide but there will be angry mobs roaming every continent and the simple fact that they will be trying to use their wealth to escape will label them as a target wherever they go - obviously that is if our society collapses, if not the 1% can carry on happy as lambs.

Although we are not close to being in the 1%, we have a financial adviser friend (long story) who works with them, and is sincerely alarmed at the amount of anger and resentment being directed toward them even at this early stage. She is warning them to be careful and that the pattern is similar to the situation of the Jews in Germany pre-WWII. BTW I had made her peak oil aware years ago but also kind of jumped the gun in predicting a faster collapse than is actually developing. So while things are unfolding more slowly than I had originally expected, they are also trending in a different direction than she would have originally assumed.

Well, we're essentially heading in the direction of Mexico right now. People there if they have any decent money buy armored cars - if they go out, they're a target. There are plenty of incidences of ransom kidnappings. When "haves" allow society to fall so far - and make no mistake that it is them that causes this - then they set themselves up as targets. Marie Antoinette.

Quite clearly, the government isn't preparing from some long, slow catabolic collapse. Rather it is preparing for something of short duration.

As to how soon, look at the increase in the "baffle with BS" talk/articles over the past year. Look for another, but really major, false flag operation to occur. Alternatively, their could be a "forced" war whereby the US pushes another country into a corner that is unacceptable to that country so they fight. My guess is five years at the max.

There's more but TOD isn't the place to discuss it.*


*In fact, given government spying, the only place to discuss it is with a friend in person - with their cell phones, etc. turned off.

Quite clearly, the government isn't preparing from some long, slow catabolic collapse. Rather it is preparing for something of short duration.

Perhaps the government does not see it as their mandate.

It seems folks need to be self-prepping as best they can, unless they just want to have a scapegoat for when things fail and they did nothing to prepare.

I don't see much reason to worry about the government repressing the peak oil/transition/prepper movements. If they're even slightly rational, they'll see that people who think that the system is doomed to collapse all on its own aren't going to make any effort to challenge the powers that be.

Maybe a couple of hundred years from now some graduate student will dig this stuff up and laugh his ass off over a few beers with his buddies

TOD is in bits and bytes on some server, it will disappear when the internet powers down so there will be nothing to dig. I hope enough PO books survive in dead tree format or maybe we need to etch Hubbert's peak on some stone tablet.

I know that Leanan reminds us this isn't the place to archive anything, but I hope and tend to think that there are people doing just that with the material. I personally printed a fair amount of hard copy of this stuff in the early days and still have various portions of oil drum content saved to pdf files here and there. I think more of it may be around to be discovered than one would expect.

It makes for a very good introduction/summary of the whole situation. They make the whole mess very simple to understand.


The feed don't work for me. Is there a way to just download it?

yes >> goto Ghungs first post , the post you just replied to >> rightclick "KunstlerCast" >> then save target as > ... downloaded within a few seconds

Verkar funka. Tack.

Jeffrey Brown (TOD expatriot(?) "Westexas") is interviewed on this week's KunstlerCast.

Listening to it now!

Regarding States with the most dangerous bridges, above, those of you in the US can search for deficient bridges within 10 miles of an address here:


After a bridge near my home that provides the only access into an area (with some fairly upscale homes) was found to be quite deficient and was cut from the State budget for replacement (all public roads and bridges in NC are State owned/maintained), the affected property owners hired a contractor to replace the bridge (at less than the state's estimate) and deeded the bridge back to the State after completion and inspection. I'm unshure of the financials involved, but I expect we'll see more local action on some of these projects as States are forced to prioritize. The (old) bridge is still on the list.

In NC, we periodically see these projects delayed, even cancelled, after an Atlantic hurricane slams the coast, destroying roads and bridges.

Test-- Are comments broken? --Test

The website works fine. Looks like interest in peak oil has died. Here in Canada, everyone's enjoying the long weekend. Very likely, we'll be burning lots of gasoline over the next three days.

I posted a couple of comments this morning; spam filter got'em. Came in for some refreshment and was surprized to see zero comments. I'm sure most folks have better things to do on a fine day such as this. Got to go repair a lamp myself. Thanks Frug..

I have had a higher than normal amount of computer problems, access denied and other issues I have never had... fwiw.

Me too. I just got newer, faster internet and thought I'd have fewer access problems, but still getting an unusual number of error pages.

I turned off my PC after 30 min of waiting for it to do something, the Mac is working fine.

Ghung -

Your bridge story reminds me of the Vancouver First Narrows Bridge which was built during the depression by the Guinness (yes, like Beer) family & sold it to the province decades later. So perhaps private infrastructure is not such an improbable idea.

I tried to make a post yesterday, and it too got "spam-filtered" into oblivion.

It didn't get "spam filtered into oblivion."

It got caught in the spam filter. I freed it fairly quickly. You then edited it, so it went back into the spam filter. It had to wait until someone came along to free it again.

If a comment gets caught in the spam filter, don't edit it once it appears. That just hides it again.

Point of curiosity about the spam filter dynamics >>

It had to wait until someone came along to free it again.

Do you mean, someone had to reply to it ?

And your account, is not recognized as a qualified reply, if you were to do so, to 'free it' ?

No, I mean someone on staff had to notice it was hidden and un-hide it. Typically, that is me or Kate. I would have un-hid again if I were around, but I wasn't. Contrary to popular belief, I am not a cyber creation, and do sometimes go out, away from my computer and TOD. ;-)

Leanan meant that either she or I or someone else with editorial capabilities had to release it again.

The spam feature has no white-listing capability, unfortunately.


Thanks for the replies, Kate, Leanan.

Drupal has this functionality though : Whitelist - do not check for spam if user is on whitelist


Are you planning to make a white list of longtime TOD contributors who would not be subjected to SPAM filters? It appears that a few key contributors have left this site specifically because of the SPAM filter.

Leanan mentioned in the past that the spam filter being used doesn't have that feature. I don't think the spam filter is entirely to blame. IIRC, Rockman rarely (if ever) posted links, so the spam filter wasn't an issue for him. He was one of the first to jump ship. I think it's just the way online forums work; people come, people go, and many of the issues we discuss either have no viable resolution or have been discussed to death (at least for the purposes of discussion). People move on...

For the record regarding Rockman - yes the spam filter wasn't an issue for him.

What was as issue for him, was a correspondence from a TOD staff member that he mentioned. He left, at least in part, as a result of that.

If that's the case...then yes, the spam filter is the reason. Rockman may not have realized it, but the spam filter was the reason.

And just a reminder, folks - it's not just links that get posts filtered. Some posts with links go through just fine, some without links end up in the moderation queue. Posts that are very long, posts that are very short, posts containing certain key words, posts with images, posts with blockquotes...those are some of the things that seem to trigger the spam filter. But not all the time, and sometimes I can't figure out why a post is filtered. Don't try to read too much into it.

I have a solution. Recruit some trusted posters who are then given editorial powers for the sole purpose of approving spam queue posts. A "spam squad", doing "spam duty". Increase the pool of approvers.

Kate and Leanan,

I ran into a quiz type challenge similar in nature to a Captcha in which a question was posed without a question mark. The statement was not grammatically correct but any person could understand it. It went like this: Body related too. and the 4 picks were: toad, pyramid, bicycle, torso. My email would not go through if I responded incorrectly. To me this is a lot easier to use than a Captcha and maybe easier to disguise.

Have you all looked into something like this?

By the way, thanks for all your hard work and dedication. You have made a difference.

You are quite welcome! :}

Leanan can tell you more about our captcha - it's not a feature that I can see and I didn't know TOD employed it for posters until recently.


Not from where I am sitting, although I do grant you that PO is wearing a nice disguise, affordability.

I got lots of replies from TODsters recently when I suggested an email exchange re community energy projects but I haven't been able to get started on that yet because I have been helping so many people deal with energy poverty issues, which are an increasing demographic in Europe at the moment.

I have posted here before on the dangerous ground being trod by Canada and Australia, expensive to produce and get to market hydrocarbons will not turn either country into the next Saudi.

Sorry, it appears something was broken. I did not see these comments at all until now. And I did check to make sure there weren't any stuck in the spam filter. There weren't, even though yours are time-stamped for shortly after this thread went live.

Weird. I have never seen anything like this problem before, in all my years here.

My computer (WIN7) and my gracious Host's (MAC) have both been acting very erratically this week.

Might be a good exercise in playing through just what each and any of us and our essential systems would be missing if there was all of the sudden some successful attack or failure on the Internet, and computers that were online and vulnerable.

some successful attack or failure on the Internet

What that would mean is actually reading the READMEs before installing software VS going through the motions and using a search engine to figure out why it failed.

But that data channel not being there is gonna hurt alot of 'markets'.

http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/ found when looking for http://survivalnerds.com
http://hack3rcon32012.sched.org/event/4e441e650c31bcf17c29444ac453f3ef#.... for an example of a talk.

some successful attack or failure on the Internet

Depends if the NSA systems are 'log while the data flies by', or use passthru.

If passthru, then maybe they are a bit backed up lately.

; )

Tks for the Kunstler podcast heads up.

I'm sitting on a beautiful beach in North East Brazil... between work and preparing for a very important soccer game today which may well have implications on the general unrest happening here in Brazil. This may even have implications as to who wins the next presidential election in Brazil.

So TOD has taken a bit of a back seat on my list of priorities for the moment. For today at least, I'm more interested in the ethanol content of my beer than I am in anything to do with energy >;-)

Sounds Enviable, Fred. Enjoy!

I spent five hours on the Hot'n'Sweaty Subways last night, photographing the wide range of Mosaic Artwork at different NYC stations, to give my Daughter a booklet of Reference Photos to go with a Mosaic Kit for her big 10th birthday. A different sort of vacation, for the cost of a Token and a few AA batteries.. so my energy use was fairly acceptable.

Slow day

So the Chinese are getting more and more aggressive. Now it's outright threats of violence if other countries want some of that oil. If you look at some of the flashpoints, a lot of them are really far, far away from China.

Not really acting all that different from the ascendent United States in the 19th and 20th century.
Still, amusing that so many thought China would be 'different'. That was always a fairy tale.

The question is if all this aggression will push Vietnam, Philippines and other states closer to America. Japan is almost jumping into America's embrace, whether the U.S. wants it or not.

If you count India there too, you got yourself a nice containment alliance. Just what China fears, and for good reason.

The Expendables: How the Temps Who Power Corporate Giants Are Getting Crushed

Across America, temporary work has become a mainstay of the economy, leading to the proliferation of what researchers have begun to call “temp towns.” They are often dense Latino neighborhoods teeming with temp agencies. Or they are cities where it has become nearly impossible even for whites and African-Americans with vocational training to find factory and warehouse work without first being directed to a temp firm.

In June, the Labor Department reported that the nation had more temp workers than ever before: 2.7 million. Overall, almost one-fifth of the total job growth since the recession ended in mid-2009 has been in the temp sector, federal data shows. But according to the American Staffing Association, the temp industry’s trade group, the pool is even larger: Every year, a tenth of all U.S. workers finds a job at a staffing agency.

The temp system insulates the host companies from workers’ compensation claims, unemployment taxes, union drives and the duty to ensure that their workers are citizens or legal immigrants. In turn, the temps suffer high injury rates, according to federal officials and academic studies, and many of them endure hours of unpaid waiting and face fees that depress their pay below minimum wage.

"Or they are cities where it has become nearly impossible even for whites and African-Americans with vocational training to find factory and warehouse work without first being directed to a temp firm."

That's becoming increasingly common everywhere it would seem. Our hourly people all start as temps, as do some of the engineering staff, though for them it's often as a "contractor", which gets a bit dodgy since the Professional Engineering board says you can't do that without their license. However, there are ways around that.

Given the high cost of an employee in terms of benefits and the litigation risk of a termination even of the "he just didn't work out" type, this should not be a surprise. However, a temp getting injured at your workplace does not save the employer anything compared to a full timer, the employers are still fully responsible and the recordable still gets reported to OSHA.

You still have to watch the temp agency though. The one I worked for many years ago never reported my income to Social Security, which likely means they never paid their share of the Social Security taxes either. They went out of business about the time I found out about the missing W2. Since I had my copy the SS office quickly sorted out the records.

I am in the sun getting some rays. The Philippine situation is not looking good. How much recoverable oil and Nat gas is in the south China sea actually?

For estimates of South China Sea resources, see http://www.eia.gov/countries/regions-topics.cfm?fips=SCS
Always keep in mind that these are only educated guesses, based on limited data. It is possible here could be more, and it is also possible there could be (much) less. As always, only the drill bit will determine what is actually there.

It is difficult to determine the amount of oil and natural gas in the South China Sea because of under-exploration and territorial disputes. Most current discovered fields cluster in uncontested parts of the sea, close to the shorelines of the coastal countries. EIA estimates there to be approximately 11 billion barrels (bbl) of oil reserves and 190 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas reserves in the South China Sea. These numbers represent both proved and probable reserves, making them closer to a high-end estimate. Energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie, for example, estimates the sea to contain only 2.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent in proved oil and gas reserves.

In addition to proved and probable reserves, the South China Sea may have additional hydrocarbons in underexplored areas. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) analyzed the potential for undiscovered conventional oil and gas fields within several geologic provinces of Southeast Asia in 2010 as part of its World Petroleum Resources Assessment Project. The study included a significant area of the South China Sea, which the USGS estimates may contain anywhere between 5 and 22 billion barrels of oil and between 70 and 290 trillion cubic feet of gas in as-yet undiscovered resources (not including the Gulf of Thailand and other areas adjacent to the South China Sea). These additional resources are not considered commercial reserves at this time because it is unclear how economically feasible it would be to extract them.

As the USGS assessment did not examine the entire area, undiscovered resources could be greater. In November 2012, the Chinese National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) estimated the area holds around 125 billion barrels of oil and 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in undiscovered resources, although independent studies have not confirmed this figure.

What I find interesting is that the china sea is rather large but a drill bit is only a couple of inches in diameter...
Rgds wp

500 trillion!?!?

Even if its 1/100th of that is still amazing. Wow.

Here, reading; new to site, not to the issue.

Very concerned about all of it.

Welcome, Liam! Jump right in. Things are a bit slow lately, but new minds are always a plus.

World Bank to Limit Funds for Coal-Fired Plants

Only in "rare circumstances" will the World Bank provide financing for coal-fired power plants in the future, according to a 39-page draft of a strategy document that lays out the international financial group's plans to use its investments to address the threat of climate change.

A draft of the strategy, titled "Toward a Sustainable Energy Future for All: Directions for the World Bank Group’s Energy Sector," is set to be circulated to all World Bank board members in advance of a July meeting.

also http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-26/world-bank-to-limit-coal-pow...

88°F north of the Arctic Circle http://weather.gc.ca/forecast/city_e.html?nu-16&unit=i

Kugluktuk NU Canada 67°49'32 North - Kugluktuk is located on the shore of the Arctic Ocean. The surrounding landscape is dominated by the rocky and often barren Canadian Shield. The region has a subarctic climate, but barely so, with July having an average of 10.7 °C (51.3 °F). It has very cold winters, light snowfall, and summers too cool to permit the growth of trees. Though trees do exist in the region, they are dwarfed and extremely sparse.

Juheezus. 32C! That is hard to believe. That's Coppermine on the old maps

On my weekly Kugluktuk run I always chatted to the fueler - the two weeks of mosquitos made that Inuit guy suffer, but anything over 20 made him look like he would expire. The Inuit don't sweat - my RN wife said if you see a woman in labour with sweat on her lip she is suffering.

Remember, too that the windows do not open, the houses have no A/C and by now the bugs may be out so it is not much fun to leave the doors open.
This is about when the ocean should melt; I'm curious if the ice has gone out yet. However, the ocean is near freezing whether or not it is ice covered.


The Northwest Territory will be getting worked over by a blowtorch over the next 10 days


Animate and watch the lower map (temperature is in Kevin - subtract 273)


As Illya Prigogine said in a great lecture I heard about 30 years ago, when you add energy to a chaotic system, you cannot predict any detail of the consequences, but you can say with certainty that its deviations from equilibrium will be more extreme and more frequent.
Since Prigogine got his Nobel for work on the thermodynamics of non-equilibrium, I believed him, as well as my own common sense, which says the same thing.

Now we, having added energy to the system (environment), can expect more extreme excursions from equilibrium. This of course means a lot of bad stuff will happen, as noted above, but also, that there will be more opportunity to get more energy out of all those more extreme deviations from equilibrium.

So, look around for some deviations. Easy- waves, wind, sun, lots more of all. Then work up something that turns all that potential into useful energy to do things with.

So, we get to the Energy Island idea. Pick a place where it will work best, like maybe the gulf of Aden, and make a bunch of huge long cylinders, with weights on the bottom and air the rest of the way up. Say 300 meters tall and 40 meters in diameter. These all stick straight up so are not much influenced by surface waves.

On top of these make a porous platform which supports a hanging fake seabed from which kelp grows in profusion, and little fish hide from big ones until they are big. And up above wave action, make another platform loaded with PV panels, cranking out solar electricity. And on top of all those float towers of course, huge wind turbines. And inside the towers at wave level, wave activated pumps pumping high water to low water thru hydro turbines.

There, all done. Gobs of electricity from all that non-equilibrium, just as any thermodynamics guy would have predicted.

Now sit back and enjoy your new carbon-free civilization.


Several patents on variations of the Energy Island example have recently been filed and even more are at various stages of being built, interesting times ahead in that field.

You made reference recently to local currency in a post a while ago, this concept could have legs. I posted the following in an Irish political forum and was rebuked by email by a banker friend for being stupid, which I took as a compliment. (The Punt was the currency in Ireland before we adopted the Euro)

The mistake the Wiemar republic made was printing without any predefined limit AND it was distributed directly into the economy without any intervening productive process, this was also the mistake the present system made leading up to the 2008 crash.

There would be no good reason for the Irish Government NOT to reintroduce the Punt alongside the Euro.

This Punt would only be valid for trade within the republic and its printing could be linked for example to tax revenues raised in the previous year, this would give it a limit and therefore a certain value.

The additional step required would be that it is only issued for example as a percentage of a civil servants pay or used to finance stimulus investment at local level. The civil servant would be able to use it in supermarket or the garden centre and would therefore not notice any difference to their standard of living.

In other words every punt would have done something productive before it hit the streets.

and there would be more money circulating in the Irish economy.

The Swiss are reknowned for their fiscal expertise and have operated a local currency, the Wir, alongside the Swiss Franc for almost a century, both are regulated by the Swiss Central Bank and the Wir is only convertible into Swiss Francs at a known exchange rate.

Nothing to stop a town or village from introducing its own local currency and provide its own local economic stimulis, all you need is a volunteer at the start to keep the books and it enables unemployed or underemployed people with practical skills to trade with each other as well as people for whom the economic situation is still a little brighter.

Thanks, Pat, for all this good info, I find it amazing how often my brilliant ideas are stolen by others, often even before I have thought of them myself.

Nothing to stop a town or village from introducing its own local currency and provide its own local economic stimulis, all you need is a volunteer at the start to keep the books and it enables unemployed or underemployed people with practical skills to trade with each other as well as people for whom the economic situation is still a little brighter.

That is called "Timebanking" and its been done.

http://www.cyclos.org/ as software to do that local banking.

Thanks Eric, thats a research project for next week

I trust you can find timebanking on your own, if exchanging labor on an hourly basis interests you.

Eric, I have reasonably powerful research options, google feasta dot org as an example and while you are there search for a paper titled Aggressive Mutuality by Richard Douthwaite. Sadly Richard didn't manage to live long enough to see his theory currently being put into practice in several areas of Ireland and soon in other parts of the world.

I tried working with the local clown car brigade on getting an "alternative currency" started and sat through planned meetings to "build consensus" with game playing towards a goal of getting the outcome the "leadership" of the meetings wanted. Found 2 others who actually wanted a timebank and there were 2 more circle-jerk meetings and at the end of the 2nd meeting I stated:

On this date, I will roll out Cyclos. Now on or before that date the 3 of us can file the State paperwork and leave the train station together or be left behind but I'm sick of this doing nothing but meeting after meeting.

My concession was to have timebanking.org's software instead of cyclos. After the spokesperson for the timebank was taking grant money and spending it on rent when the grant money said "not for overhead" and the board backed the spokesperson I packed up and left. Over 700 people in the timebank now.

The other "effort" of the clown car brigade - 2/3rd of the "leaders" took over a year to join the timebank.

If one wants change - just start the change and hope others join you.

Freak Afghan hailstorm grounded scores of Nato helicopters

A freak hailstorm over one of the biggest Nato airbases in Afghanistan grounded more than 80 helicopters, putting several of them out of action for more than three weeks, it has emerged.

The half-hour storm in late April split rotor blades, cracked windows, ruptured the choppers' metal skin and damaged other parts. The hail was so intense that after an intensive repair programme eight of the choppers were still inoperable more than three weeks later, according to a Nato spokesman.

God bless America but where seems to be other forces active over there. Allah is big and help us ground these pesky choppers for a few weeks.

Calif.'s Sierra a 'living lab' for climate change

... There are mounting concerns about the beloved sequoias, whose sprawling, 10-foot-(three-meter)deep root systems make them especially vulnerable to drought and heat.

Because the trees exist only in such a small region, scientists are debating whether to irrigate the 65 groves in the southern Sierra to help them endure warmer temperatures. Otherwise they fear the trees could die. During the last warm, dry period 4,000 to 10,000 years ago, their numbers were greatly diminished, according to pollen evidence collected by researchers at Northern Arizona University.

Beetle-Kill Trees Pose Increasing Risk to Recreationists, Landowners According to Colorado State Forest Service

Those living in or visiting the mountains of northern Colorado this summer should be aware that dead lodgepole pines in beetle-kill areas are now falling en masse, based on observations from foresters in Grand County.

Didn't this happen in The Road?

Dead branches and main trunks usually break and fall during high wind. When it is windy, stay out of the forest.

I'm an expat in Taiwan. A friend of mine (British expat also in Taiwan) is a reporter for our local English-language rag, and he was commissioned to write a feature story about alternative energy. He knows that I have solar panels, so he contacted me.

I put him in touch with the guy who installed my panels, who happens to be extremely knowledgeable and understands both the pros and cons of solar, and the economics of it. He gave my reporter friend a very honest and informative interview, explaining both the benefits and the limitations of solar.

So my friend wrote up a pretty decent article. It was not the typical fluff piece about how "alternative energy is wonderful" and we'll soon find ourselves living in a big eco-paradise where we can join hands and chant kumbayah.

But then the editor got his hands on it. He wanted a fluff-piece that could fit on a bumper sticker ("Green is Good - No Nukes" etc). So it was slash and burn - my friend's 2000-word article got cut to 1200 words. It was supposed to be published today, but I'm not sure if it will be. I'm waiting to see, but I have the feeling he might as well not have bothered interviewing the solar guy - he could have done his "research" on Facebook.

Would he care to have one of us "edit" his piece??? Maybe Leanan could post it for us to have a crack at it?

He probably doesn't have the right to let TOD publish his own work.

I just learned something interesting over at the automaticearth.com web site.
There was a U-Tube video posted in the comment section under the "Playing Russian Roulette With Someone Else's Head" posting.

It stated that since an 1848 court ruling in England any money deposited in any bank becomes the property of the bank! The depositor becomes an unsecured creditor of the bank and the bank can do anything it wishes with those funds! The only obligation the bank has to the depositor is to return the funds on the demand of the depositor!

As an unsecured creditor the depositor is the last in line to receive funds if the bank fails! The FDIC and other forms of insurance are suppose to "backstop" depositors up to predetermined limits (as long as they have enough funds)!

This is why no bankers have prosecuted for their misdeeds because by law the were using their own money!!!

This is why no bankers have prosecuted for their misdeeds because by law the were using their own money!!!

And that is an interesting theory.

Yet when HSBC admits to helping drug dealers launder money the result was trivial fines.

The people doing the prosecution are fellow lazy human beings who don't want to have a big fight. The banks are going to put up a fight so its better to find a child who nibbled out a gun shape from a poptart and go after that kid. Or someone who writes his feelings about the banks in chalk on the sidewalk in front of the banks and go after that someone.

Go after people who lack the $$$ to fight back.

Considering HSBC was openly dealing with the profits from the opium trade when it was created perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise. The people weren't interested, because the people got cheap tea. Nothing changes. It's all so easy to blame leaders, but when it comes down to it we are all in it together, lazily complicit.

Mexico City trash-for-food market helps clean city

On a recent rainy Sunday morning in a Mexico City neighborhood, people lined up under their umbrellas with bags of empty milk cartons, plastic bottles and cardboard at their feet. The rain did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm for the Mercado de Trueque, or barter market, where recyclable materials are exchanged for points then used to buy organic food and products.

Market-goers are rewarded with green points, a bespoke currency, depending on the quantity of materials they bring in. They then take their points next door to a produce market to spend on food and other products on sale.

The scheme means no one goes away empty-handed after bringing their trash in for recycling. It was the first time Andrea Gutierrez and her boyfriend Alan Riestro came to the market loaded with newspapers and plastic bottles.

The barter market is another effort at sorting trash. It accepts a wide range of materials for recycling, from the obvious cardboard and glass to electric appliances such as old typewriters and computers that no longer work.

Eating Skippy: Why Australia has a problem with kangaroo meat

Australians' hang-up about eating their most distinctive local meat is not particularly surprising, given the deep irrationality of human food choices.

Most people in the West, for example, will eat shrimps but not insects, pork but not dog, and beef but not horse meat.

History is littered with examples of societies that suffered because they wouldn't change their eating habits, like the mediaeval Norse community on Greenland, who starved to death because they refused to eat fish and seal like the natives, but insisted on maintaining a tradition of cattle farming that was unsuited to their fragile northern habitat.

Another example of why any megafauna larger than a gerbil will not make it through the Anthropocene

I thought that guess about Greenland had been refuted long since?

We ate lots of different stuff during WWII even in UK.
I don't eat remotely as I did when younger having changed when I discovered I had very dangerous heart disease 23 years ago.

And I don't even get nostalgic about cigarettes these days.

(Try comparing rates of prostate cancer in Australia and Sri Lanka for another example and the stats can be very persuasive.)


“Planned Obsolescence” is a documentary made by Eva Vidal and Carla Casado, two sixteen-year-old International Baccalaureate students at Colegio Montserrat in Barcelona, Spain. It covers the history of companies intentionally designing products that would break or become obsolete so that consumers would have to buy their products more frequently. What impact does planned obsolescence have on society and on the environment? How much control have corporations gained over us through their omnipresent advertising and forced reliance on their new products that must replace the discarded?

Sometimes I wish our company thought that way. Electronics technology is automatically self-obsoleting, but products based on it are not.

We have four generations of equipment, some up to 30 years old, still operating in the field. You can imagine the change in capability over that timeframe. Most the G1 versions are truly obsolete, but we routinely expect to support G2 devices when interconnected with new stuff, and for some devices there are still mix-and-match replacement options for repairs. Heck, people still ask for software upgrades on stuff 15 years old, for which the tools haven't been supported in a decade, and we have to keep dongles and an old XP machine in the closet just in case we actually get talked into a minor update.

I still like old cars and tractors, and stuff I can fix myself, but I gotta say that there can be no long-lived consumer product until cost of money goes WAY up and change rate of technology goes WAY down. A new HVAC unit will pay for itself in energy saved, even though it'll be lucky to last 10 years, rather than fixing the 20 year old existing unit that with a little TLC might last 20 more. Ditto for washing machine, and probably a car.

I have a 30 year old car, with only 78K miles, and everything needs work (brakes, cooling, interior, electrical, engine.). I have a 5 year old car, with 180K miles, that has had minimal routine maintenance and it needs nothing at all.

What would be wonderful would be to use modern engineering to design a high-efficiency car that was designed to last 1M miles. I wonder if anybody would actually buy one, though

A friend of mine has a Checker (Cab) station wagon that has 1.4+ million miles on it. Not very efficient, but built to last. He can still get parts and no longer drives much, so he figures he'll keep it. Looks great with his wind surfer strapped on top. His dad bought it for him new as a graduation present in the 70s.

On Friday, I bought a new-to-me T400s ThinkPad through kijiji. The ThinkPad it replaces is a nine year old T42 that I bought off-lease some six years ago. The old guy could very well have soldiered on for another six, but I wanted something a little more up-to-date and energy-efficient, and the T400s fits the bill. In light use (e.g., web browsing), it uses as little as eight to ten watts, or about one-third that of its predecessor. I figure this new(er) hardware, plus limiting the use of the external monitor to only when required will trim our annual household needs by about 180 kWh a year. Not a huge amount, but enough to offset our entire lighting load and the operation of our electric kettle.


Didn't see anyone mention this: California gas tax is going up 3.5c / gallon starting tomorrow (July 1st).

Pretty amusing to read the comments on most news stories.

Lots of articles aggregated by Google: https://news.google.com/news?q=california+gas+tax