DrumBeat: February 12, 2007

Record High Oil & Gas Project Costs Expected for ‘07: IHS/CERA Launch CPI-Like Index to Track Equipment, Materials & Personnel Costs

The costs of major oil and gas production projects have risen more than 53% in the past two years, and no significant slowing is in sight, according to a new benchmark index developed by IHS and Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA).

The IHS/CERA Upstream Capital Costs Index (UCCI), which tracks nine key cost areas for offshore and land-based projects, climbed 13% to 167 during the six months ending October 31, 2006, compared with an increase of more than 17% in the previous six months. Since 2000, the UCCI has risen 67% -- with most of the increase in the last two years -- while the Producer Price Index-Commodities for finished goods (excluding food and energy) moved up just 7.5% during the same period.

“This continuing cost surge is central to every energy company’s strategic planning and to every energy user’s expectations for supply security in the coming years,” said CERA Chairman Daniel Yergin. “Rising capital costs rank right alongside more widely recognized issues such as world market trends, geopolitics, globalization and new technologies at the top of the agenda for the energy industry,” he said. “And this will be a central issue at CERAWeek in Houston,” referring to the CERA conference that opens in Houston on Tuesday.

Is Iran’s “Oil Weapon” A Doubled-Edged Sword?

Iran has to import about a third of its petroleum. It has been dependent on imported distillates since the destruction of much of its refining capacity during the Iran-Iraq war, and it holds only about 45 days of petroleum stocks. A cutoff of oil revenues would force the government to control and distribute food to the population, to reduce the budget of an army already desperately short of spare parts, and to cut back drastically its support for allies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority and various terrorist organizations around the world.

Raymond J. Learsy: Iran and Russia Learn to Dance the Natural Gas Contango

What's worse than one bully? A mafioso of them. And if Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has his way, the world's largest natural gas producers might try to form such a mafia to manipulate markets and keep gas prices high and ever higher, just as the OPEC cartel has so successfully and destructively done with oil.

WSJ: Alternative Approaches

Since the oil shocks of the 1970s, governments around the world have paid plenty of lip service to renewable energies such as wind and solar power. But only a few governments have been able to engineer policies that have begun to bring alternative energies into wider use.

EU Grasps at Central Asia for Energy

The European Union anticipates opening four new embassies in Central Asia by 2008 in order to further its influence in the energy-rich region. However, considering the competition Europe faces from the Russians, Chinese and Americans, it appears the EU will have to up the ante if it really wants to become a major Central Asian energy player—a key component of its strategy to reduce its reliance on Russian energy imports.

Global Wind Energy Markets Continue to Boom in 2006

Japanese nuclear power steams ahead

Japan's New National Energy Strategy calling for increased use of nuclear power to generate electricity and, more controversially, the need to extract plutonium from spent nuclear fuel for future use to power reactors has run into trouble because of repeated accidents and mishaps at various plants.

So it was considered something of a victory for nuclear power generation when the Mihama-3 reactor in Fukui prefecture in western Japan resumed full-scale commercial operation on Wednesday, two and a half years after it was shut down in the wake of the nation's deadliest accident at a nuclear power plant.

Uganda: Giving Free Bulbs Starts Feb 20

The government will give three free energy saver bulbs to everyone of Umeme's domestic customers starting on February 20.

Massive Off-Shore Wind Turbines Safe for Birds

Significant cut in gasoline use is decades away

It will be decades before the world will see a significant cut in global automotive gasoline consumption, automakers and analysts said.

While there have been major improvements in fuel economy and reduced emissions through the development of technologies such as hybrids and clean diesel, consumers are not adopting them quickly enough to make a serious dent.

Oil sheds 1 percent on Saudi comments

Oil tumbled more than 1 percent on Monday after Saudi Arabia's oil minister signaled satisfaction with market conditions and some Asian refiners reported a rise in anticipated Saudi supplies next month.

Oil and War

To leave Iraq is to leave the Persian Gulf oil fields. Since Americans will have a tough time obtaining oil at anywhere near the rate they have been in an open market, the American economy will suffer a trauma from this loss. And since those in power know that Americans will not tolerate an end of the era of happy motoring, they plan to attack Iran in the hope of retaining control of the Gulf.

U.S. Energy Experts Announce Way to Freeze Global Warming

As scientists sound daily alarms about the dire consequences of global warming, Americans are asking one question: What can we do about it? The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) has an answer: Deploy clean energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies now!

Russia warns BP it may lose Siberian gas licence

Russian joint venture TNK-BP, which is 50 per cent owned by BP, has been told it is in violation of its agreement to develop Kovykta, its vast east Siberian gasfield. The move is the latest sign of Russia's tightening grip on its energy resources.

The natural resources ministry gave TNK-BP three months to fix the violations or risk losing its licence.

With biofuels, consider: Who suffers? Who benefits?

The apparent free lunch of crop-based fuel can't satisfy our energy appetite - and it will not be free, or environmentally sound. Dedicating all present U.S. corn and soybean production to biofuels would meet only 12 percent of our gasoline demand and 6 percent of diesel demand. On average, corn ethanol - the leading biofuels candidate in the United States - provides only a 13 percent reduction of greenhouse gases compared to gasoline. This advantage is lost if, as happens in South America, carbon-capturing forests are felled to make way for biofuel crops.

Australia: Coal ban would crush economy

Calling a halt to coal exports would push Australia's economy backwards, federal Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane has said.

Investors may be too complacent about climate change

The scientific consensus in favour of man-made global warming seems clear. There is also evidence that voters are increasingly inclined to believe in the phenomenon, even in America.

This might lead one to believe that politicians will be forced to take action. But, as Tim Bond, of Barclays Capital, points out, the futures markets appear to be saying something different. The forward curves for hydrocarbon fuels (such as oil and coal) are upward-sloping: higher prices are expected in future.

There Is Plenty Oil!

Global warming debate heats up in Washington

Global politicians and business leaders aim to turn the unfertile territory of Washington into a hotbed of action against climate change this week.

Oil future raises burning questions

At the height of last year's debate on oil prices, which led to governments increasing billion-dollar subsidies on LPG conversions for cars, a senate inquiry was launched into Australia's oil supply and the prospects for alternatives.

The inquiry was prompted by a question posed by the Greens: whether Australia should be concerned about "peak oil", the theory that conventional oil production will reach a peak and then begin an irreversible decline.

High petrol prices a sign of worse to come

Rising petrol prices over recent years are giving Australians a glimpse of the future, the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) warned today. The warning came as a Senate Inquiry into future oil supplies highlighted growing doubts about the ability of global supplies to meet projected demand.

Drawing a blank on housing

Such lifestyle trends are helping shape the market. It's a familiar story by now: people are supposedly busier than ever; they don't want to lose their weekends to mowing lawns and painting weatherboards. They like to eat out. Peak oil has sharpened their interest in living closer to town.

Green movement grows in area suburbs

But author James Howard Kunstler, a critic of suburban development, said the eco-friendly push has come much too late to communities built on subdivisions and strip malls.

"The horse is really out of the barn on this one," Mr. Kunstler said. "The problem is the development pattern much more than the buildings themselves. It's pitiful that they waited until now to recognize the destruction they've already caused."

Plano Mayor Pat Evans disagreed. The "Live Green" campaign will produce results, she said.

Panelists at Summit Meeting Debate Oil, Environmental Issues

“On the plus side, we as a scientific, engineering community are much more focused on energy today than a generation ago,” [Paukl] Roberts said. “However, all it takes is a drop in the price of oil for there to be a collective sigh of relief and for people to think we somehow solved our energy crisis.”

Saudi Aramco hikes March crude prices sharply

Saudi Aramco sharply raised all crude oil grade prices for March deliveries to the United States by up to 2.30 dollars a barrel and to Europe by up to 1.45 dollars a barrel and increased the price formula for most grades destined to Asia, the Middle East Economic Survey reported Monday.

The Cyprus-based weekly publication said that while the increases to western customers reflect stronger prices for sour crudes in the US and Europe, the size of the rises was greater than customers anticipated and was seen as an attempt to curb demand through pricing at a time of OPEC production cutbacks.

Putin: Russia, Saudi Arabia energy partners, not rivals

Kurt Cobb: Coin in the fuse box

Policy makers and the public are not getting the feedback they need in order to make informed judgements about such issues as peak oil and global warming.

Australian parliament recognises Peak Oil as real

The report is a most useful step forward. There is a lot of very valuable information in the depths of the report, giving a more balanced approach than the Executive Summary.

Report outlines energy scenarios for the future

"There's a tendency to look at recent history, extrapolate and forecast the future using just the last few years as a basis," Yergin said.

"But in energy, every three to four years the outlook changes dramatically. Scenarios give you a way to evaluate the major commitments you want to make."

We're saved! "The Fastwalker Effect": The Solution to the Energy Crisis, Environmental Devastation and the Elimination of Fossil Fuels

The Fastwalker Effect is the confluence between full disclosure of incontrovertible evidence conclusively establishing the presence of off-world civilizations on Earth and, the role that will be played by the sophisticated, free and non-polluting energy sources used to power their interstellar craft; ultimately eliminating humanity's need for fossil fuels, thus resolving the energy and environmental chaos facing our planet's future.

'...some Asian refiners reported a rise in anticipated Saudi supplies next month.' is in the first paragraph of the linked article from http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070212/bs_nm/markets_oil_dc_2;_ylt=Ak1m.xA0...

But if you read further, it says -

'Industry sources said state oil firm Saudi Aramco would supply them with about 7-8 percent less crude than stipulated under their annual contracts, a shallower cut than the 10-13 percent curbs it handed out for February.

Although the rise in supplies could still be offset by deeper cuts to U.S. or European refiners, who pay less for their crude than their Asian peers, the news unsettled traders.'

I am starting to get a certain through the looking glass feeling these days, both from some of the articles, and from some of the new TOD posters.

Notice, that in reality, 'Saudi Aramco would supply them with about 7-8 percent less crude than stipulated under their annual contracts' which in the first paragraph is rendered as 'a rise in anticipated Saudi supplies.' Even more interesting, even when presenting the cuts, it is described as 'rise in supplies' which could be offset by deeper cuts somewhere else.

No, it isn't a rise - it just a lesser reduction than had been anticipated, but it is still less, and to make the cuts for Asians even shallower, the West would have deeper cuts.

My measure of peak oil is what flows out of the pipeline, and my way of determining when it begins relies not only on various published statistics (and they seem to be getting a bit harder to tease apart - all liquids indeed) but also on such interesting misuses of language to obscure that reality. There is absolutely no rise in Saudi deliveries to Asia - the anticipated decline for March is 7-8%, after a 10-13% decline in February. That is, the oil being delivered by Aramco is less than previously contracted for, for whatever reason.

This reduced delivery is not being disputed, by the way, it is being presented as an increase, giving the impression to the very casual reader that oil is becoming more plentiful, while describing such trivial boring facts as 'traders said they had been notified of a force majeure that would cut seven crude oil cargoes from Nigeria's February lifting schedule and another 11 cargoes from its March program.'

The Red Queen is gaining, and hiding her race from an inattentive public is requiring some very sharp skills.

"A slow sort of country!" said the Queen. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"

I bet America could run in place 3 times as fast, without breaking a sweat, after all the practice it has had over the last couple of decades.

Note the significant increases in Saudi oil prices, in the other Saudi article that Leanan posted. I suppose that one way to hide an involuntary decline in production, it you don't want to admit that you have less oil to sell, is to keep hiking the price until buyers start refusing to buy. BTW, we are fast approaching the one year anniversary of the Saudis announcement that they could not find buyers, "even for their light/sweet oil."

Edit: I just read an interesting article in the WSJ. They quote Ali Naimi as saying that in May, 2004 the Saudis "went almost all out" to produce 9.5 mbpd, because of rising demand. I thought that the Saudis had millions of barrels of excess capacity?

Ali Naimi confirmed that production was down to around 8.5 mbpd (twice the cuts that the Saudis agreed to under the OPEC quota).

Another interesting quote: "If you are asking me if are we going to take additional cuts or increase supply, I do not know." He went on to say that there may not be any reason to change production rates.

I just read an interesting article in the WSJ. They quote Ali Naimi as saying that in May, 2004 the Saudis "went almost all out" to produce 9.5 mbpd, because of rising demand.

Interesting. Al-Naimi's comments were reported by the wire services, but not the one about going all-out. Hmmm...

Excerpt from the WSJ (two key quotes highlighted):

Saudi Oil Minister Says Market
Is Balanced, Requires No Changes

Naimi Confirms Reduction
Of 1 Million Barrels a Day
In Kingdom's Production
February 12, 2007; Page A3

Mr. Naimi said that beginning in May 2004, the kingdom "went almost all out" to produce 9.5 million barrels a day to satisfy rising demand. "We kept that level until August/September last year," he said. When the kingdom saw demand slacken in the summer of 2006, it voluntarily cut production by 450,000 to 500,000 barrels a day and then by another 400,000 to 500,000 barrels a day in concert with OPEC. "So you can say one million barrels was taken off the market," he said, "but gradually."

The drop in oil prices from last summer's highs and a surge in interest in rival forms of energy haven't forced the kingdom, the world's largest crude exporter, to rethink its investment plans.

"From what we see, the world will need what Saudi Arabia produces," Mr. Naimi said. Therefore, the kingdom will proceed with its plan to increase capacity by the end of 2009 to 12.5 million barrels a day from 11.3 million barrels.

"There is no question demand will be there in 2009," he said. "There is no reason to think otherwise."

President Bush declared in January a more-than-fivefold increase in target levels for renewable-fuel production, to 35 billion gallons annually by 2017.

"Alternatives will be needed over the next 30 years," Mr. Naimi acknowledged. The world, he added, will need every unit of energy "it can generate, whether from alternatives, conservation or greater efficiency." Still, he said, "it is a global market, so what one country does isn't really relevant."

When I hear the Saudis talking about increasing production, I am constantly reminded of comments by the Texas State Geologist, at an industry meeting in 2005 (in response to a pointed question from me): "While Texas may not be able to equal its peak production, we can, with the use of better technology, significantly increase our oil production." Of course, Texas production has fallen almost continuously for 35 years (we are still finding small fields, but we couldn't offset the declines of the old, larger fields).

That article was at the bottom, and was noticed too late - the post was getting a bit long anyways.

At some point, the reality that less is coming out of the pipeline will be unavoidable. 18 tankers less - how many destined for America? - is not exactly a blip, it is at least several million barrels (too many variables in the information easily searched for, but this snippet about the Nigeria Yoho project http://www.rigzone.com/data/projects/project_detail.asp?project_id=60 says 'The FPSO with 13 crude oil tanks and a total capacity of 2.1 million barrels of oil ... originally [the] dwt tanker “Amazon Falcon” converted to a FPSO' which suggests a large scale is implied).

However, no single reason for these production declines is proven in my mind, apart from the fact that they have been happening, they are happening now, and they seem to be reasonable to expect to continue into the immediate future also. As for that flood of oil, well, that wave is still on the cloudy horizon, which has a few less tankers sailing into the sunset these days.

What is interesting is that these declines are no reason to question anything, or get concerned, or actually start to change how we live, because the decline is less than anticipated, thus becoming a rise in supply.

The Cheshire Cat may be making an appearance soon.

More than likely, KSA simply knows that it can sell its oil closer to OPEC market price to Asian and western companies after seeing them do so at $75+ a barrel for most of the summer. It's a good thing you were not a businessman, else you would have run Saudi Aramco into the ground with this nonsense.

I feel compelled to comment on how remarkable it is when doomers talk about oil demand. They often site that demand destruction could not possibly occur because oil is an in-elastic commodity: its use is hardly curved by its price. Strangely enough, when the price of oil goes down, these same doomers remark on how people are rushing out to buy SUVs and wasting more oil because gas is cheap, then when the price rises, it's simply a vast conspiracy to cover up declining production because raising the oil prices by $12 below WTI to $10 below WTI is really going to cause a lot of demand destruction. :rolls eyes:

The hypocracy is astounding.

Hothgor, the word is properly spelt hypocrisy.


Thats a good dodge. Comment on the one misspelled word and ignore the rest of the valid points :P

Cite, not site. Your spelling errors and poor syntax fit with the near absence of logic.

Yes, let the doomer spin cycle begin! Its funny how when the 'voluntary reduction' ends, you guys still point out that they are shipping less oil out then they were before. KSA, supposedly on its 18th month or so of 8% annual decline, magically finds away to halt their supposedly unstoppable decline.

Honestly guys, their announcement completely contradicts everything you have been saying, and confirms everything that RR, FH and myself have been saying. Its sad that a bludgeoning to the head like this wont snap you all out of your doomer centric world view.

Oh well...

What end to voluntary reduction? Cutbacks in deliveries to one market are being marginally reduced, but cutbacks continue.

A doomer discussion would turn on the anticipated impact of a change in conditions, such as declining energy availability, or climate change, or a general decline in human intelligence, your contribution to TOD providing an indication of the latter. It does not turn on an critique of the reporting of comments of a Saudi official.

When you first appeared on TOD, I wondered aloud if you were a paid disinformer. I have concluded that on balance it is more likely that you are akin to an untalented graffiti 'artist', who takes pleasure in destroying things, in this case, informative discussion.

Something tells me that Mr. Rapier will shudder at his inclusion in your trio.

Hey Hothgor:

Would it be possible for you to express your views without insulting 90% of the readers of TOD in every post??

I don't read the threads every day like I used to. Too much of this sort of crap! So if your intent is to simply drive people away from this site, you're doing a fine job!

"Would it be possible for you to express your views without insulting 90% of the readers of TOD in every post??"

Seems to be "the" goal.

Um, those 18 missing Nigerian tanker loads have nothing to do with 'voluntary' cutbacks - and they have nothing to do with how sharp the business skills of Aramco are.

And the numbers from the article of real cuts to real customers in the real world concerning real contracts with real refineries involving real money are reality.

Please, don't try to impute any motives - sometimes I truly miss Oil CEO, with all his flaws, as he seemed to understand just how incredibly complex this discussion truly is - for example, I am still personally convinced that the world economy is about to suffer a large decline, akin to the 1920s boom/1930s bust, and it wouldn't surprise me if some very smart business people are doing their best to profit from it, including creating scarcity to drive prices higher before the bottom falls out. So what? As noted, my measure of peak oil is what comes out of the pipeline, and nothing else.

But a cut of 7-8% compared to a cut of 10-13% in deliveries is not a rise in deliveries, it is a reduction. Force majeure on a commodities contract is not a voluntary cutback.

Welcome to Feb. 12, 2007. But that flood of oil is just about to arrive, right? But it looks like the date got pushed back a month or two more, unless we find a few full tankers ready to go - maybe the Saudis misplaced a few that got lost on their way to those short changed Asian refineries?


Where is Oil CEO?

And can he come out to play?

Re: Mr. Naimi said that beginning in May 2004, the kingdom "went almost all out" to produce 9.5 million barrels a day to satisfy rising demand.

The significance of this remark is that Saudi Arabia went to virtually 100% of capacity at the same stage of depletion that Texas went to virtually 100% of capacity. The Texas RRC went to a 100% allowable in early 1972 (except for the East Texas Field and one field in West Texas--thus Texas "went almost all out" in 1972).

As I have pointed out several times, Saudi Arabia also started declining at the same stage of depletion that Texas started declining.

The reversal of exports was discussed last week, Jeffrey, with Charles Mackay's posting of a report that OPEC Exports had increased by 2-mbd in early February. I know this thread screws up your recent stance but your continual restating of your tired tirade will not make it come true...

"Exports from 11 OPEC members were 24.64 million barrels per day in the week ending Feb. 4, Lloyd's said. January exports averaged 22.6 million bpd, down from 22.8 million in December."

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2259#comment-158156 (see previous post by Charles Mackay also)

The topic was Saudi exports, not OPEC as a whole. That said, both Saudi and OPEC-10 exports have been dropping:

Country January December November October September
Saudi Arabia 8.750 8.790 8.800 9.070 9.100
OPEC-10 26.950 27.000 27.070 27.730 27.810

It's no surprise that exports are dropping after the announced November 1st OPEC cut. The only real question is why OPEC decided to cut exports during a period of sky-high prices (at least historically), and that I believe is what WT has been asking. It might be just to boost the price, as they've stated, but it would also be a great way to conceal a production problem. Of course they also could be bracing for something like this:

They said state oil company Saudi Aramco may have put aside upwards of a million tonnes of the aviation fuel for possible use by the US military this year, compared with around 200,000 tonnes in 2006.
“I believe that Saudi Arabia was warned in advance of the increased US military activity starting early 2007 and may have allocated 1mn to 1.2mn tonnes of jet fuel for possible use by the US military during 2007,” one source said.

Time will tell.


Please let the us know what is the set of facts and standard of proof required for you to acknowledge that the world has reached peak oil production.

Can someone who speaks Romulan translate "The Fastwalker Effect" for me?


Extraterrestrials are going to save us! They've got infinite clean energy to power their spacecraft, and they're going to share it with us.

And we were worried...

We're saved!! Dmathews can go away now!!

That's right. ETs will give us lots of non-polluting energy sources,
for free.

Why? It's so our meat is pristine and clean, and 'free range'. Increases market value significantly. :)

Seriously, even if these ETs did have this non-polluting energy source, why would they give it to us? What's in it for them?

Besides cleaner meat.

That's right. ETs will give us lots of non-polluting energy sources,
for free.

Ummm, think I'll wait until you earthlings become a bit more mature. Be back in 10,000 years or so.


If I were ET, I wouldn't give us a new energy source. The first thing humanity would do is make a weapon or steal one of their ships.

If your only understanding of our culture was television and radio transmissions, would you land here and try to make friends?

The military would attack you, the religious fanatics would claim you were demons and the corporations would steal your tech and do experiments on you.

The colored bands on the gas giants are probably alien warning signs that translate to “Danger, do not approach the third planet!”

Peak Oil mitigation relies on "savior" technologies or movements to displace our energy needs.

The Fastwalkers are putting their eggs into the “alien technology” basket. Of course it can’t be like V (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085106/) this time since we don’t have a lot of good water left to take…

I believe that as these articles push the fringe of ideas farther out the closer to reality based major problems we are. People are searching for solutions, and they are running out of ideas. I’m not sure how much farther the fringe can be pushed, especially since the last book of the Left Behind series comes out in April of this year.

Does anyone have an approximate figure for the amount of reduction in GHG required to stabilize CO2 at present levels? I see the Canadian government going through all sorts of hoopla to try to meet the Kyoto standards which, while a nice gesture, seem to only mitigate the problem as far as going to hell in a handbasket at the rate that got us into the current mess. What would it take, an 80% reduction? Is there an increased absorption rate with increased concentration or do X amount of plants and algae consume Y amount of GHG regardless?

My take is that Kyoto is a procurement contact for peashooters in an air raid. That's why I opposed it. It appears laughably irrelevant. Whether the Greenland ice sheet collapses in 2036 or 2042 won't signal a great international achievment in cooperation but a global bureaucratic boondoggle signifying nothing.

Without some sort of scientifically plausible target of equilibrium to shoot for, it seems rather pointless. What atmospheric comcentration would preserve, approximately, our curent climatic 'norm'?

George Monbiot, a writer for the Guardian, in his book Heat, says that we need a worldwide reduction of 80%. Arguing that this should be the responsibility of the richer, developed countries, this would mean that the Europeans and the U.S. need to reduce their emissions by 90%. Yes, Virginia, meeting Kyoto, while perhaps a nice gesture to get the ball rolling, would just delay disaster by a few years but not change the basic scenarios resulting from global warming.

  1. The earth, land water and air, will keep warming for at least 100 years no matter what (i.e. no more GHG emissions starting today), and the effects of that in for instance 2075 are awfully poorly understood.
  2. That means that stabilizing levels of CO2 is a receding horizon. Such stabilization is off limits till 2120 at the earliest, again with the "zero emissions after today" scheme.
  3. Your point is good and ties in nicely to Peak Oil and the braindead Oil Depletion Protocol:(sorry guys, but it's really that bad)
    • Americans emit anywhere from 10-20 times as much GHG as Chinese. So, as you say, to get balance in those numbers, we'd first have to cut emissions by 90%, and take it from there.
    • The same goes for oil consumption, for that matter Americans even use more coal per capita than Chinese.. At last glance one American burns 14 times more oil than one Chinese. So cut your oil consumption by 90%, and if you're lucky the Chinese will be willing to talk. Not before.
      You may still have a beef with Bangla Desh, who use even much less, but first things first.

      The Oil Depletion Protocol: foresees everybody decreasing their use on a percentage basis, but that only means that Americans will be allowed to use more than Chinese for years to come. Why would China accept that kind of conditions?

      Cut first, talk later.

Developed countries will never accept drastic cuts of their emissions unless they are given a "way out" to do it and preserve economic growth simultaniously. Same goes for developing countries.

Economic growth is non-negotiatable for anyone, period.

Therefore, ironically I respect more the position of US - "we will not do it because we don't want to". The position of all the rest is more like "We want to cut emissions. But we want economic growth much more than that. We don't know how to do both. There are some options how to do both but we don't want them either."

One of the most evident options is an international effort to replace all coal powered stations with nuclear in the next few decades. This has the potential of shaving off 40% of world CO2 emissions for just 30-40 years and and to eliminate much of the projected growth of CO2 from places like China and India. With standartisation and economies of scale kicking in this will also raise the living standards of everyone who joins - bringing low-cost, clean electricity within reach to both developed and developing countries.

Alas, the world lacks the level of cooperation such initiative would require. And this is exactly where USA is to blame, not for non-participationg in the Kyoto circus. Instead of assuming the role of a world leader in facing what may turn to be the biggest challange of our century, USA is persuing nothing by its short-term interest - waging oil wars, intimidating countries, sabotaging international treaties, exporting $$$ inflation, etc.,etc. All of this of course is nothing new, but is escalating to unbelievable heights with the approach of PO.

So where is this all going to lead us? It's going to lead us straight in hell IMNSHO.

Another former optimist goes over to the dark side ;-)

Kidding aside, Levin, I would have to agree with you that the US needed to take the lead in helping the world transition to a future that is less dependent upon fossil fuels. As the world's leader in per capita consumption of resources, no other country could have fulfilled this role.

Unfortunately, there is a deep distrust amongst many Americans of international organizations and agreements -- witness the vitriol that is constantly aimed at the United Nations. It is an unspoken truth of American politics that a certain portion of the populace is -- shall we say -- "armed and dangerous." And these folks do not like "international agreements." Period. Hence, any thought that the US would enter into some cooperative agreement with the rest of the world -- especially if that agreement asked that the average US citizen give something up -- is out of the question.

In my opinion, the only people that could possibly break through to red-meat America on these problems and change our thinking are our "leaders" -- the politicians and the captains of industry. And how likely is that to happen? Apart from being too self-interested, the truth is that they fear the "armed and dangerous" factions as much as the rest of the world does.

Well this is quite broad-grained discussion, but I don't really think this is uniquely US phenomenon. European and other countries with longer history have gone through centuries of distrusting their neighbours and in many cases doing all they can to destroy them, before arriving to the conclusion that this is not exactly in their long-term self interest.

Same will inevitably happen with the US as a state, but heaven knows what we have to experience in the meantime. I think that the people here are like people everywhere - there are good and bad, but the enormous majority of them would rather land you a hand than stub you in the back. It is probably my opinion only, but fierce competition is not genuinely rooted in human nature, it is our system that is encouraging it at the expense of cooperation. While in a more balanced world both need to have their place for different sets of problems.

In US, what needs to happen is the real power to be taken from the corporate elite and returned back to people. If this happens people would naturally demand more balanced and less antagonistic policy. Not that they wouldn't want it now, they are simply presented a much different picture by the corporation-controlled media. It is well-thought of propaganda machine and it works fine.
Luckily or unluckily, this country is headed full steam to a total bancrupcy, which can very well facilitate such a change... or not.

As far as Americans being armed and dangerous explosions of personal ammunition dumps during home fires are a real hazard in America.




Many more links can be found via google.

In almost all of the USA, if you're not armed you're a damned fool with no regard for your own life and that of your family and friends.

Properly stored powder, primers, and ammo are not the big problem they're made out to be - you get a nice fireworks show, but that's about it.

A much bigger problem is all the gas tanks full of gas, the gas cans "for the mower(s) and ATVs" in garages, the soon to be hoarded barrels of diesel and biofuel (or biofuel attempts) and other goodies like the solvents stored by artists, hobby and semi-pro fiberglass workers, painters, etc.

Not to mention those garaged first cars, 2nd cars, and SUVs full of gas. But we never talk about those!


There is of course a solution to this apparent impasse: The rest of the world agrees to supply the US with the resources necessary for us to continue our "non-negotiable" life-style.

In exchange, the US will promise not to subject the rest of the planet to a thermo-nuclear suntan.

Are you with us or against us?

Tarzan I have never seen anywhere, a better explanation of current US policy.

One of the most evident options is an international effort to replace all coal powered stations with nuclear in the next few decades. This has the potential of shaving off 40% of world CO2 emissions for just 30-40 years and and to eliminate much of the projected growth of CO2 from places like China and India.

With standartisation and economies of scale kicking in ....

Economies of scale is exactly why nuclear is not a large scale option.

... this will also raise the living standards of everyone who joins -

How does nuclear raise living standards, and for whom?

.... bringing low-cost, clean electricity.

Nuclear so far provides one of the highest-cost forms of electricity we know.

Why would that change for the better/cheaper in the future?

Economies of scale is exactly why nuclear is not a large scale option.

What are you talking about?

Nuclear so far provides one of the highest-cost forms of electricity we know.

I suggest you first check the facts before making broad statements by heart. Cost of nuclear electricity varies, depending on how well is it made. Countries using standartized, mass produced designs like France or Russia and even Canada are achieving low costs and others prone to experiments and poor public policy like US and UK are not surprisingly ending up as financial black holes. And of course the costs vary between projects - again due to "above ground" factors.

IMO it is obvious that times are different now and errors from the past are well taken into account - unless you suggest the utilities are having extra billions to waste. Here is an estimate how costly would be nukes with current technology:

Comparative electricity generating cost projections for year 2010 on - 5% discount rate

nuclear, coal, gas
Finland 2.76, 3.64, -
France 2.54, 3.33, 3.92
Germany 2.86, 3.52, 4.90
Switzerland 2.88, -, 4.36
Netherlands 3.58, -, 6.04
Czech Rep 2.30, 2.94, 4.97
Slovakia 3.13, 4.78, 5.59
Romania 3.06, 4.55, -
Japan 4.80, 4.95, 5.21
Korea 2.34, 2.16, 4.65
USA 3.01, 2.71, 4.67
Canada 2.60, 3.11, 4.00

Source: http://www.uic.com.au/nip08.htm

Note the comparative picture from the same site:

The only thing the calculation is assuming is that there will be a public acceptance of nuclear. Is that too much to ask if we are going to fight climate change here?

"environmentalists" have always had the same choice:
they can be anti-nuke, pro-coal, or the reverse. THere is no third choice... and, the lack of a third choice is becoming more apparent every day.


I'm sure you're smart enough to understand that yet another bunch of calculations by a pro-nuclear group makes no nada zilch impression.

This kind of stuff just never stops, and it's tiresome.

I'll start paying attention again when plants are built without ANY public funds, and with a complete rundown of all costs through the entire life cycle of plant, fuel and all other materials, including decommissioning and storage of all waste (for a million years, as US facilities have been ordered to do by a federal judge).

I have wasted more than plenty time going through this stuff, and it never fails to disregard a few crucial points. No lobby comes close to the nuclear lobby in the US.

Let's see the life-cycle balance sheet, with references for all cost calculations, and until then, don't bother.

It's not a believable story, it's had its time and failed.

No more blabbing about breeders and thorium and other non-existing tall tales, just the balance sheet.

Well I've shown you the numbers and everywhere I've gone to (except greenpeace.com) they are pretty close. You can also make a research on your own about the current costs of nuclear generation - from memory in US it is 2.5 - 2.9 c/kwth.

I don't really care that you choose to believe what you want to believe. You are not the only one, and this does not change reality a bit. Personally I am coming from a country which was close to 50% nuclear powered... until the european beurocrats closed half of our nuclear capacity. The price of electricity then went through the roof - because it was replaced with significantly more expensive lignite. As always not counting global warming and coal mine deaths costs.

Call me naive, but since Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, China, France, South Korea, Japan etc. can make it cheaper and without public subsidies, I am confident that US can make it too... it is a developed country after all, or is it not?

See, there we go again, you shoot yourself in the foot:

Call me naive, but since Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, China, France, South Korea, Japan etc. can make it cheaper and without public subsidies, I am confident that US can make it too..

None of these countries have nuclear power without public money. Not even close.

I told you, it's tiresome. As is claiming a patent on reality. Don't, it ain't worth it, it ain't worth anything. Get the balance sheet.

None of these countries have nuclear power without public money. Not even close.

Both true and false. Government has always participated in kickstarting any energy industry, not only nuclear. And I'm all for it just like I'm for subsidies for wind and solar, or at least up to a certain level.

But if you draw the line for nuclear and see how much public funds have been initially invested in research, loan guarantees, direct subsidies etc. and how much has got back in the form of taxes, jobs etc. you will get at least 10:1 ROI in any of those countries, guaranteed. I don't know about Romania, but in Bulgaria they started building a second nuke recently and the role of the government is only in licensing and loan guarantees for the utility company building the plant - no direct subsidies, no tax money at all.

Since Bulgaria can do it you can do it to. But of course I can be mistaken - after all according to Kunstler, US has railroads my home country would be ashamed of... does this apply for the US nuclear industry too?

I appreciate your effort, but at least Levink offers some links to support his claims. (Even if they are regularly from the industry).. If you have a counterclaim, you have to show us that you're not just shooting from the hip. Even if you've done it again and again, you have to support your points with references or checkable points, or you just weaken your and anyone else's opposition to Nuclear.

I still oppose it, but don't have the time to do the research, so I'm working to support the directions I do think we should advance, instead of fighting the ones I think are detrimental or poor investments of our effort and money.

Bob Fiske

That's a respectable position.

Actually I've been having second thoughts about wind recently. The fact of the matter is that if the storage problem is resolved wind can be a major energy source in the near future. The only other problem I have is that it is a bit like oil - some countries have plenty of it, others will be left in the dark. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Seems like

"Developed countries will never accept drastic cuts of their emissions unless they are given a "way out" to do it and preserve economic growth simultaniously. Same goes for developing countries.

Should read

Developed countries will never willingly accept voluntary cuts of their emissions unless they are given a "way out" to do it while maintaining their international economic status. Developing countries will never willingly accept voluntary limits on their emissions unless they are given a "way out" to do it while improving their economic status.

Still looks like a recipe for disaster, but it opens up the further possibilities that reductions won't be voluntary or will be forced. I don't know who would force such changes, but they may happen involuntarily.

OK, I stand corrected but what we don't know of, we can not rely on. There are a few feasible candidates and all of them are horrifying:
- Mother Nature - via Peak Oil then Peak Gas end then Peak Coal. Then peak tar sands and peak oil shale. This should do the job sometime in the middle of the next century.
- all-in nuclear war
- meteor impact

There are also some good ones:
- Some genius produces solar cells for less than a $1/watt and batteries for less than $100/kwth.
- aliens come to Earth and teach us how to do cold fusion
- zero-point energy, abiotic oil etc.

In the end the only thing we know that works right now without speculating about some future technological miracle is nuclear. We know how to do it properly, and we also know how to avoid the mistakes of the past so let's get on with it.

The basic misunderstanding about Kyoto seems to be that it is meant as thew ulimate solution to a global problem. It is not. Kyoto is a political treaty which aims to create consent and document political goodwill. US diplomacy has failed to understand both. Some of the political repercussions for not having signed Kyoto are obvious: the US is the Pariah of the world because what it said by not joining is essentially: "We Americans do not care about the well being of the planet. We will always put out own puny needs above those of the international community.".

Kyoto, before all, was a political test. The US and everyone else who did not sign on failed it.

To spin it any other way is simply a perpetuation of an old lie. It might feel good for the moment, but it will not bring the US back to the table of friends. Let's see how long we will enjoy being completely isolated. And moreover, lets calculate how much this isolation has cost us in the past and will continue to cost us in the future.

Well you describe well what was my initial opinion about Kyoto. Which I had to abandon as I saw the development of events.

Kyoto as a symbolic gesture was OK. But with EU and the rest insisting on the failed Kyoto-born policies I started to think that it was never designed to be either of those. Neither as a gesture of political commitment, neither as a real framework for tackling the problem. The whole justification for its existance was just one - to preserve the careers of certain subset of the global political elite, by showing they are doing something about a problem which became impossible to ignore.

To sum it up, I used to think that Kyoto is better than nothing. The way things developed, now I think it is much worse than nothing.

Let's see how long we will enjoy being completely isolated. And moreover, lets calculate how much this isolation has cost us in the past and will continue to cost us in the future.

Well, therein lies the rub. What cost?

No, really.

I suspect that the typical American writer/commenter here on TOD is very unrepresentatively international in outlook. He or she is unusually likely to be among the 25-30% of Americans holding a passport - and to have used that passport to interact with people overseas in some substantive way. (Using a tour bus as a walk-in television set for a week or two hardly counts as substantive.) As one result, he or she is unusually likely to have directly encountered some opprobrium, possibly from a member of the European elite.

The typical American voter, OTOH, does not have a passport. What is this voter likely to see? Well, actually, nothing much. The store shelves still overflow with goods from overseas. Farm goods still leave for overseas. Tourism still continues much as it has. A BBC news program is still shown on PBS...oops, never mind that, a PBS viewer is not a typical voter. And oil still flows in (so far) even from hostile regimes "addicted" to the easy money...oops, never mind that either, gas comes from a gas station...sigh.

Oh, talking heads bloviate, but what's new about that? Oh, and Europe drags its feet over substantive military cooperation, but then, what's new? A while back, the combined militaries of Europe proved themselves to be such a sick, ineffectual joke that they did not cope on their own with a postage-stamp country on their very doorstep called Serbia and its mite-sized province of Kosovo, but called in the American cavalry from overseas. Oh, and for sure, various university professors and intellectuals proclaim various sorts of doom, but, really, it was ever thus.

In short, life goes on and there is little visible "isolation". Indeed, for some, there is not yet enough isolation.

Sentiment against the Iraq war seems largely isolationist - more about withdrawing and going home and 'minding one's own business' than about interacting with the rest of the world in some presumably more fruitful way. Sentiment against global trade draws on similar feelings; if the World Trade Center had never existed, it could not be built now. Even sentiment about tourism can turn isolationist - why ever go overseas when, in a lifetime, you could never even begin to see the the USA?

The USA is a huge country, beyond the practical comprehension of many Europeans as well as others. Intellectual comprehension is one thing, but really getting that one can travel within a country at a good speed for days and days without ever crossing a border is quite another. (After all, some European countries can be traversed in at least one direction by bicycle in a day or three.) Failure to get this is an understandable and old mistake - and was a fatal one for both Napoleon and Hitler. For now, understand this much: in such countries, the rest of the world easily becomes a remote abstraction until it intrudes negatively as with the World Wars or 9/11.

In the end, I'm afraid that the calculation you ask for will be done. After all, it is already (aargh) election season. However, there is no guarantee that ameliorating the unperceived isolation will be seen as a good enough thing to call for any action, other than the cleverly-timed mouthing of a few politically-correct platitudes.

Petrosaurus, Earth is going thru a phenom called "unrealized" or "committed" warming of 0.1C/decade. co2 in the atmosphere and antarctic meltwater that has not yet come to surface shall create heating and rising sea levels.

These are the consequences of events that happened up to hundreds of years ago. The temps and sea level predicted for 2100 in IPCC TAR 2001 are pushed back only seven years if all signatories to the Kyoto Protocol live up to their commitments of reducing emissions to 4.9% below 1990 levels.

There are many here at TOD who do not understand the USA's withdrawal in 2001 from Kyoto. Next time that u u hear these condemnations of the USA, ask them how exactly the Protocol addresses the penalties against the USA upon failure to meet its commitment by 2012. The short answer is that this penalty clause was left unresolved by its European drafters in 1998. And 1999. And in y2K. And 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and in Montreal in 2005 and last year as well.

"Trust us ... we'll be fair"

The USA is resolved to formulate a new Agreement with India and China that is based on co-operation ... not deceit. Unlike the IPCC Climate Change collaborations, the Kyoto Protocol was a political measure meant from its origin to cripple the USA. That's all. Please don't confuse these two activities.

I'll bite.

I think the point that FH may be making and has been made is that
(1) Most Kyoto countries were going to ignore Kyoto anyway
(2) If the United States were to have signed Kyoto and then missed targets "world media scorn" would be directed at the United States.
(3) Therefore it did not make sense for the US to sign a treaty where the United States would be singled out for not adhering to targets.

(I believe that (2) has precedent. After all imagine if instead of Beijing it was Washington that had put 1000 dangerous pieces of space debris in a well travelled space orbit via destruction of a Satellite. The media would go on and on and we would never hear the end of it. Now the story that the media appears to be saying is that it was Washington's refusal to endorse a Satellite Weapon ban treaty that forced Beijing to go ahead with their test)

However, coming back to Kyoto, the United States should have signed on to the treaty and gone ahead and MET the very modest requirements. Driving 3000 lb instead of 6000 lb vehicles would have been sufficient to meet the requirements of the treaty AND we would not need to in Iraq and would have had a much lower crude import bill. And maybe the United States would have been the only country to meet those goals. That would have been a higher moral platform to lecture the world on the evils of Global Warming.

Very naive. Your idealism is noted. Media scorn? Try class action lawsuits similar to those filed and won agin Microsoft worldwide.

The piece above, "Oil and War", is one of the best summaries of the situation I've seen.

May I suggest that if you disagree with the major points made in this article, you're probably wrong. (!)

And he doesn't even mention the Wild Card: GW/Climate Change!

What did you make of the section where Saddam was gamed into invading Kuwait so we could move troops out of SA and into Iraq? The logic fails there... we didn't occupy.

Except for the part about us using nukes against Iran. The administration would never get away with that. None of our allies would support us. They would have to end our current form of government but that might be part of their plan. It is also not true that if we did use nukes, Iran would be uninhabitable for centuries. Japan rebuilt Hiroshima and Nagasaki right after the bombings without much ill effect to people that were not directly affected by the bombing and their immediate aftereffects.

Anyway, the military could take out all the targets it needs to with conventional weapons. Then all they would have to do is occupy the oil region, which is almost all in the south along the Iraqi border. We could not successfully occupy that area and produce the oil, but the initial military action seems possible. Also remember that these people are truly delusional.

I think the writer’s most important point is that we, in the US, are unable to discuss the real reasons why we invaded Iraq even though most people in the rest of the world understand it. People in this country seem unable to discuss grand strategy because we have to think that we only do things for altruistic reasons. And I guess that acknowledging our vulnerability it also too painful.

"And I guess that acknowledging our vulnerability is also too painful."

You nailed it.

Yeah, the whole nukes in Iran section was pointless. It might make sense for us (or more likely, the Israeli's) to use a few bunker-buster nukes for Natanz and other hardened nuclear sites, but it seems like more than that would be pointless. Anyone know if the Israeli's have nuclear bunker-buster bombs? All we need is someone to provoke Iran into firing on Gulf shipping. Then the administration could claim that the Iranians shot first.

I also agree with you about Khuzestan. We only need to capture that province, since it's most of Iraq's oil resource. How long would it take to send troops stationed in Iraq and the expeditionary strike group in the gulf into Khuzestan? Seems like Dave did an excellent write-up on Khuzestan last year sometime. [Edit] Actually, I was off a bit, the Bataan is the second ESG in the area. Here's an essay on some of the naval forces in or being sent to the Gulf.

Maybe you should do a write up. You caught two key points that the author seemed to be in left field about.

The 'Oil and War" essay IS the best summary of where we are at that I have seen.

The American public by and large KNOWS something is wrong, but they are too scared even to whisper it to anyone. They just want the PTB to "Fix" things.

I am reminded of a quote from 3 days of the Condor movie.

We don't WANT to know(not the 2% "we" that hang out here or other places, I mean the average person you see at Walmart).

You ask where the outrage is ? Stolen elections, torture, wiretapping, and on and on.
Where is the outrage?

Deep down inside we know. We have in effect told them to "Go get it for us"



(First a Comment by Mike Ruppert a couple years ago)
But there is a deeper part of human nature which covers the planet in a sickly, light-sweet-crude blanket of denial. It is best exemplified from the closing lines of Sidney Pollack's 1975 Three Days of the Condor, perhaps the best spy movie ever made. Using declassified CIA documents – we can see that the CIA was well aware of Peak Oil in the mid 1970s. Three Days of the Condor took that awful truth and said then, what few in the post-9/11 world have had the courage to say. I can guarantee you that it is the overriding rationale in Dick Cheney's mind, in the mind of every senior member of the Bush administration, and in the mind of whomever it is that will be chosen as the 2004 Democratic Party nominee. Getting rid of Bush will not address the underlying causative factors of energy and money and any solution that does not address those issues will prove futile.

Turner (Robert Redford): "Do we have plans to invade the Middle East ?"

Higgins (Cliff Robertson): " Are you crazy?"

Turner: " Am I?"

Higgins: "Look, Turner…"

Turner: "Do we have plans?"

Higgins: "No. Absolutely not. We have games. That's all. We play games. What if? How many men? What would it take? Is there a cheaper way to destabilize a régime? That's what we're paid to do."

Turner: "Go on. So Atwood just took the game too seriously. He was really going to do it, wasn't he?”

Higgins: "It was a renegade operation. Atwood knew 54-12 would never authorize it. There was no way, not with the heat on the Company.”

Turner: "What if there hadn't been any heat? Supposing I hadn't stumbled on a plan? Say nobody had?"

Higgins: "Different ball game. The fact is there was nothing wrong with the plan. Oh, the plan was alright. The plan would have worked."

Turner: "Boy, what is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth?"

Higgins: "No. It's simple economics. Today it's oil, right? In 10 or 15 years - food, Plutonium. And maybe even sooner. Now what do you think the people are gonna want us to do then?

Turner : " Ask them."

Higgins: "Not now - then. Ask them when they're running out. Ask them when there's no heat in their homes and they're cold. Ask them when their engines stop. Ask them when people who've never known hunger start going hungry. Do you want to know something? They won't want us to ask them. They'll just want us to get it for them."

Hello TODers,

YOUTUBE version for those so inclined:


Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

... And thanks to you, Bob, for bringing up 3 Days of The Condor last year. That movie gets a little more scary each year.

And is a near-infinately more eloquent version of what I've realized recently, and tried to communicate to others: That almost all Americans, if they realized it was bicycles and Birkenstocks or our current way of life, would vote to indeed kill everyone else's children in the world to keep going as we are.

Thank you for posting this! I don't often follow the links to the articles in the daily drum beat but I usually read the comments. That article and others on that site are definitely worth the read.

Hello Everyone,

Monsanto dumped toxic waste in UK

Inquiry after chemicals found at site 30 years after their disposal

John Vidal, environment editor
Monday February 12, 2007

The documents show that in 1953, company chemists tested the PCB chemicals on rats and found that they killed more than 50% with medium-level doses. However, it continued to manufacture PCBs and dispose of the wastes in south Wales until 1977, more than a decade after evidence of widespread contamination of humans and the environment was beyond doubt.

A high-level committee within the company was given the task in 1968 of assessing Monsanto's options and reported contamination in human milk, fish, birds and wildlife from around the world, including Britain. "In the case of PCBs the company is faced with a barrage of adverse publicity ... it will be impossible to deny the presence and persistence of Aroclors. The public and legal pressures to eliminate or prevent global contamination are inevitable and probably cannot be contained successfully," the committee reported.

The report, which was shown to only 12 people, said: "The alternatives are [to] say and do nothing; create a smokescreen; immediately discontinue the manufacture of Aroclors; respond responsibly, admitting growing evidence of environmental contamination ..." A scrawled note at the end of the document says: "The Big Question! What do we tell our customers ... try to stay in business or help customer's clean up their use?"

Please keep Mosanto's behavior in mind when reading any information coming from the fossil fuel industries regarding global warming, pollution, and the environmental impacts of their industrial activities. Corporations are in the business of making money, they are not humanitarian organizations, and they will lie in order protect profits and avoid regulations.

These corporations are committing a crime against humanity. They are committing the ultimate crime against humanity. They are driving humankind to extinction.

No one wants to take responsibility for their own actions. No one wants to make any sacrifices. No one wants to admit that this ten thousand year old civilization experiment is failing on a massive scale.

If the public wants to survive it must fight against the corporate and government forces which promote pollution and environmental destruction. But who has the will to fight in this culture of passive addiction?

David Mathews

Ah! It's CERA week. That's why I felt grumpy when I got out of bed this morning. I hadn't been able to figure it out.

The Gang's All There!

Dragging out all the "big guns" just leads me to believe that they are getting more and more nervous about controlling the spin and framing the arguement.


I was always taught that to find out how trustworthy someone is you have to ask yourself if you would by a used car from him.......

Sorry, these guys just don't make the cut ;)


An astonishing article considering its context (on a Conservative website which often promotes prejudice & bigotry against Islam):

Islam Is Not The Enemy!
By Frank Pastore

Last Monday on the Fox hit "24", President Wayne Palmer made the point that American Muslims are our best allies in this war against Islamic terrorism. He’s right, but you wouldn’t know it listening to the callers on my show last week. I’m still disturbed by the volume of criticism I got–especially from Christians–for merely suggesting something that seems so obvious to so many of us: that we are not at war against the religion of Islam, we are at war against radical Muslims.

Islam is not America's enemy. Islam never was America's enemy. Islam is just a monotheistic religion which differs in some trivial ways from Judaism and Christianity.

Peace requires tolerance as much as the daytime requires the sun.

David Mathews

Did you know you had a Wonder Woman picture on your website?

Hello Hothgor,

Did you know you had a Wonder Woman picture on your website?

Very astute observation there, Hothgor.

These are the Energy Wars. "Radical Islam" as an enemy is an invention of the US gov't. AKA the "Radical Christian Fundamentalists".

Sunspot, I completely agree that these are resource wars but I think its a stretch to say that radical Islam is an invention of the US government. I think it is more constructive to ask "Why has radical Islam chosen the present to wage war on the West?" And I think the answer to that is because Bin Laden, al-Zawahiri and others have correctly concluded that, due to a decline in critical resources -- primarily energy -- the West is entering a period of ever-greater vulnerability.

As long as the zealots hold the reins, the entire planet is going to be locked into a game of "last man standing." TPTB intend to see to that.

If Osama has made such a conclusion, he is about as wrong as BushCheney Rumsfeld was about how easy nation building in Iraq would be. Of course, we can never rule out that our enemies are as much a bunch of morons as we are. On the other hand, counting on it does not make us any smarter, either.

Last man standing will be Europe and China. They are both conducting business as usual by adapting their energy infrastructure (Europe) and by breeding a large middle class of well educated technocrats (China). The US does neither and the Middle East seems to be on its way back to the Dark Ages. Both are trivially losing positions.

I think you overestimate the stength of Europe and China's positions. Both are as dependent upon foreign resources as the US is -- and neither has anything like the US military machine to ensure future "acquiesence." No, the pain is going to be shared.

As for Osama, he is no more likely to get his caliphate than Bush and Co are to get what they want -- one big shiny "democracy" where everyone rolls over and gives up their resources to the guy with the biggest dock. But that won't stop him from trying.

When did Osama call for a caliphate? I know he wants to increase royalties on oil and wants the US out of Saudi Arabia and possibly the Gulf, but I don't recall any comments about a caliphate. Details please?

So the upshot then is that the crusaders are taking preventive action in case Osama or his fellow travellers decide to retake Andalusia. Good, the last thing the world needs is another Alhambra.

Actually, it could be that I have merely parroted a phrase that was "planted" in the popular press (see Bin Laden’s Caliphate: Fact or Fabrication?).

For the record, I don't believe present US actions in the ME are justified -- caliphate or no caliphate.

''the last thing the world needs is another Alhambra...''

...dont worry, I can smell sarcasm.

Or streetlights, or sewage disposal, or a knowledge of anatomy, blood circulation, mathematics, or basic hygene and sterilisation of surgical instruments, made from steel - rather than iron, or building in stone rather than wattle n daub...

Apart from these,

What did the Moors ever do for us?

Still they aint got J-DAM Bombs. So they loose.

Enter George, stage left. Cherry trees are blossoming:

'' Mah felluh Murrikens. In this time of eviltutude, I, as prusidunt must make hard choices fer the skurity of ow nashun.

Today, I auther / autthor/ awther / told the Cheif of defenz to preemptify the evil president or Iranq, the evil Armand Dinnerjacket in his evil wishes to attack us with his giant nuklear rokkits, which he bilt last fall.

We have destroyed this evil today. As I speek, we have termified the Iranq nukleah evil.

This of course will mean our nashun will remain on a war footing. For the forseib / foreseya / forever.

In our our of need, I will assume full powes as a wor presidunt.

Elecshuns are not advisitudinal in these times. Evildoers wish to assaultify our nashun.

Therefore, the constitution is now suspin / soupscon / shit-canned.

Glod bess yah.''

What was the sarcasm?

A successful Muslim Caliphate or the fact that they ruined it by "expensive military efforts"?

Sounds familiar.

Bin Laden called for a Caliphate several times. One mention here: http://jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?articleid=2369732

A Caliphate existed until 1924.

"Why has radical Islam chosen the present to wage war on the West?"

Because we, the west, led by the United States, have invaded their region to extract energy resource and in doing so we have brought enormous, wrenching change and foreign values. This impact becomes more onerous to many as our footprint there grows. Theirs is an anti-colonial struggle. That is why it is so silly for the wing nuts to say that if we do not fight them there, they will follow us here. If we just get out of their region, their dispute with us will be over. But, of course, we can not do that because we need the oil and gas.

The differences between Christianity and Islam are more than trivial. The Quran calls for killing infidels in almost every Surah. The New Testament does have a passage or two about taking up a sword against an enemy but Jesus taught that he who lives by the sword (aircraft carrier task force) dies by the sword. What the New testament repeatedly teaches is the glory that comes from being killed for your faith while letting your enemies live.

Hello Thomas,

The differences between Christianity and Islam are more than trivial.

If you say so ...

The Quran calls for killing infidels in almost every Surah. The New Testament does have a passage or two about taking up a sword against an enemy but Jesus taught that he who lives by the sword (aircraft carrier task force) dies by the sword.

The atrocities of Christianity are a great mystery, then. Christians have killed millions on behalf of their faith. These crimes were committed throughout Europe and all across the world as Christianity gained control over the entire globe during the colonial era.

What the New testament repeatedly teaches is the glory that comes from being killed for your faith while letting your enemies live.

This is not an ideal which is often practiced by Christians.

David Mathews

Oh, yes, that nasty theory vs. reality factor.
Christianity was great till human beings got their hands on it.

Both religions, as taught today, encourage their followers to believe all sorts of strange things in spite of evidence to the contrary (virgin birth, miracles, superiority of their God, etc.). However, when viewed from a spiritual perspective, Christ's teaching about forgiveness ("turn the other cheek") is superior to Islam's calls for killing infidels and severe punishments. Nevertheless, Christianity has been perverted over the centuries and used as justification for killing many.

The WSJ alternative energy article listed above, is part of a 14 page section on alternative energy. On page 2, under "Recommended Reading", they feature Matthew Simmons.

"Peak oil" theory posits that it is only a matter of time before oil output hits the height of its bell curve, but Mr. Simmons believes production may have already crested in December 2005. More urgent than the date of the peak, he argues, is the need to overhaul the way the world views transportation needs.

His two book recommendations are "Oil!" by Upton Sinclair, and "The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power" by Daniel Yergin.

Check out




Some of this is probably free, but I don't know how much.

The last link is Matt Simmons' reading list. In addition to "Oil" and "The Prize," he recommends:

Association for the Study of Peak Oil, http://www.peakoil.net

"The Future of Russian Gas and Gazprom," by Jonathan P. Stern

"Limits to Growth," by Donella Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III

"Out of Gas: The End of the Age Of Oil," by David Goodstein

"High Noon for Natural Gas: The New Energy Crisis," by Julian Darley

"Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage," by Kenneth S. Deffeyes

In his quote about "The Prize," he gets in what could be interpreted as a dig:

"This is the best history book about geopolitics and the energy business. It's not about the mechanics of oil. It's a fabulous book about the personalities of the Rockefellers and the Gettys. No one had ever done that before. No one has ever done it since. It's what Dan is best at, being a historian."

Thanks, Calorie. I was quoting the hard copy only. My point was the prominent "peak oil" reference in the section, but I listed the two books listed in the hard copy for the sake of completeness. For those unable to access the articles, some of the other titles are:
"The Bottom Line-Utilities typically have had little incentive to reduce demand for their product. States are trying to change the math."
"Texas New Tea-Houston is determined not to be left behind in the race to a new-energy future"
"Continental Quest-The refining industry in Western Europe appears ripe for a restructuring."
"Fuel Fight-Patrick Moore believes in nuclear power--to the disbelief of former Greenpeace colleagues"
"The Green Machine-Hal Harvey spends his environmental war chest with one guiding principle: winning"
"A New Playing Field-As oil-futures trading moves out of the pits, the impact may be felt far from the exchange floor"
"How to Cut Energy Costs-Buy efficient appliances, unplug your TV, and other tips for reducing your thirst for power"
"Alternative Approaches-Governments struggle to find policies that will spur renewable-energy industries-without coddling them"

Eventually, I expect the WSJ to recognise the peak oil is here. This expectation will trickle down to other major newspapers. The impact is likely to be huge - people will need to rethink what their view of the future is like.

If the recent cut in Saudi production is due to supply constraints, I would guess that the WSJ might recognize the fact that peak oil is here late in the summer of 2007. I would expect that demand would go up in the summer. If supply stays flat or goes down, prices are likely to spike. After a few of months of this, people might start to suspect that there is an underlying cause.

The impact is likely to be huge - people will need to rethink what their view of the future is like.

I'm not so sure. I think they may just continue on as usual, waiting for the Invisible Hand to come up with something.

The invisible hand has already supplied you with all the solutions you need. You can buy glass wool and triple glazed windows at Home Depot, hybrids at Toyota and Honda dealers and there are hundreds of small companies which will gladly supply you with solar panels.

What the invisible hand can not provide is the wisdom to actually make good use of the supplies you already have.

What the invisible hand can not provide is the wisdom to actually make good use of the supplies you already have.

Or the money to buy them all.

It is always a huge mistake to underestimate human powers of self-deception. Nevertheless, Gail has a strong point: If oil goes up past eighty dollars a barrel this summer as gasoline rises past $3.50 per gallon, I think that media recognition of Peak Oil together with serious discussion of its consequences is likely.

Sailorman sticks with his Fearless Forecast: For this year oil prices will be highly volatile; we've already seen that during the first two months of the year, and I expect greater fluctuations later.

Also I agree with the earlier comment that the position of "The Wall St. Journal" on Peak Oil is a critical index of when the powers that be "get it."

Also I agree with the earlier comment that the position of "The Wall St. Journal" on Peak Oil is a critical index of when the powers that be "get it."

Agreed. But the order of the WSJ's acknowledgement will be the reporting, followed by the signed op-ed pieces, followed by (if ever) the unsigned editorials. For the foreseeable future, the unsisgned editorial writers will be denying geologic peak oil and blaming failed policies, instead calling for drilling in ANWR and the Outer Continental Shelf, inducements to drill for oil & gas and to develop unconventional fossil fuel sources.

Hmmm...isn't it just as likely, or more likely, that they'll bloviate about the evil, wicked, profiteering oil companies? Wouldn't that be a more soothing story line than, well, any serious discussion of any subject whatever? Just tax the oil companies out of existence...and presto, problem solved?

Even it people recognize that peak oil is here, I suppose people can figure that it still is not peak energy - and peak energy is perhaps not peak production. Somehow, infinite expansion will continue.

Peak Oil means Peak Gasoline. Americans love gasoline, and even World War Two rationing was ineffective at curbing demand for it. According to James Kenneth Gailbraith, who was in the government controlling prices and doing rationing, by 1945 half of all the gasoline consumed in the U.S. in 1945 was "black market" or unrationed gasoline.

When stations are limited to selling ten gallons to a customer or when similar 1970s allocation schemes are reintroduced, there will be a mighty outcry in the land.

Gasoline has an intoxicating effect. Back in the 1920s, when cars were a rare status symbol, young men would soak their handkerchiefs in gasoline, because to smell gasoline on a young man had a powerful aphrodisiac effect on many young women. We are addicted to oil in general but to gasoline in particular: Gasoline means freedom, power, speed, identity, comfort, and The American Way of Life.

''because to smell gasoline on a young man had a powerful aphrodisiac effect...''

What happened when you lit one up?


Whoops! I meant JOHN Kenneth Galbraith.

I have a suspicion about the situation in Saudi Arabia. It's based on no data, but just reflects what I would do if I were an Aramco manager dealing with supply constraints. They may indeed be facing supply constraints, but have used the recent market softness to cut more than they needed. This will allow them to add production in the summer, or whenever it is seriously needed. They won't get back to peak production, but they will be able to make a measurable increase, thus extending for some time their role and image as swing producer of last resort. That role brings them very high political dividends.

If I was an Aramco manager, I would feel much better about this approach than say, the approach of Mexico, where each month you can track their decline in gory detail. It would keep me out of trouble a good deal longer.

Gail: I am always surprised by the widespread agreement by the posters on TOD that public awareness of the peaking of global oil production will have major impacts on behaviour (equities sell off, business investment drops off, etc.). Almost everyone I have explained Peak Oil to could care less-contrary to the TOD belief that the public feels that future oil supplies will increase, the public doesn't care one way or the other. Global oil production growth has been mediocre (compared to previous periods) for the last 25 years. Has this inhibited successful stock promotion? Has this inhibited global GDP growth? Where is the chart showing the (non-existent) link between global GDP growth and global oil production growth?

Well... both have grown together over the period you mention. When supplies did decline during the embargoes, the ensuing recessions pushed down gdp. So, many see a strong link. However, the reslut of the embargoes was that we became much more efficient, particularly with liquid fuels; in addition to autos becoming much more efficient very rapidly (while ford almost went under) oil use for central power stations was replaced by coal and nukes.

Personally, I think recessions and/or falling dollar will be temporary as the economy painfully becomes more efficient. The US wastes so much and has so many opportnuities to cut liquid fuels consumption in the immediate term, eg fewer trips and car pooling, that I think gdp growth can continue, with interruptions, as we cut 4%/a for decades. Of course there will be winners and losers, those that increase their efficiency the quickest, or who help others to this, will grow rapidly while those that can't may go under.

Meanwhile, we are not the only wasters; china, foe eg, takes ove twice the energy as we do to produce a ton of steel.

I think you are correct on John Q Public not understanding the connection between peak oil and economic activity. The issue of understanding relates more to those in power, who have the opportunity to make things happen.

Once oil exporting countries and other exporters who are purchasing US bonds start to understand that there is little chance of US debt being paid back in dollars that are worth near their current value, I think that the dollar will drop in value. At some point we may even see those selling oil demanding goods (like grain) in exchange. This will make a big difference in the ability of the US to continue importing large amounts of oil. This change may be already starting to happen.

Also, if bankers start to fiugre out that business conditions are expected to much worse in 15 or 20 years because of declining availability of oil and gas, the number of long-term loans will drop precipitously.

The reason there hasn't been too much of a link between global GDP growth and global oil production growth to date is that there really hasn't been much of a shortage to date. To the extent that there have been shortages, they have been in less-developed countries, where they are not as obvious to us, or they have been compensated for by importing more manufactured goods with high energy requirements from overseas. Once we start seeing annual oil production declines of 3% or more, plus local natural gas shortages, the shortages are likely to be obvious to most everyone.

At some point we may even see those selling oil demanding goods (like grain) in exchange.

Or maybe demanding oil in exchange for not pursuing nuclear weapons?

Or productive farmland with a reliable water supply in exchange for oil? The only limit of these scenarios would be our imaginations.

I agree! Good points.

Quotes for today:

June 2007 6020
December 2007 6273
December 2008 6372
December 2009 6397
December 2010 6370
December 2011 6420
December 2012 6350

Mystery Ailment Strikes Honeybees

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. Feb 12, 2007 (AP)— A mysterious illness is killing tens of thousands of honeybee colonies across the country, threatening honey production, the livelihood of beekeepers and possibly crops that need bees for pollination.

Researchers are scrambling to find the cause of the ailment, called Colony Collapse Disorder.

...analysis of dissected bees turned up an alarmingly high number of foreign fungi, bacteria and other organisms and weakened immune systems.

Another distressing example of how little we know about the world we're destroying.

That's really bad news. Honey bees in North America were already in poor shape due to the tracheal mite that was accidentally introduced in the 1980's. My brother used to work for a company that made salad dressing. The price of honey has been so high due to the tracheal mite problem that the company had to use mostly corn syrup in their honey mustard dressing. In a move typical of the corporate deception we've grown accustom to lately, they decided to put just the tiniest imaginable drop of honey into the bottle so they could still list honey on the ingredient list and call it "honey mustard".

Here's another article on the same topic:

The biggest surprise to me in that article is that they truck pollinating honey bees to the plants that need them (and they travel all over the country). Natually pollinating bees are not effective due to pesticides killing them off.

It’s monoculture for an ancillary service that our fruit crops require. And it’s being threatened.

Here’s an article I penned recently on monoculture and our food security problems:

We keep over 150 fruit trees in a small orchard. Last year was difficult-the wild bees were way down and we couldn't find a colony to borrow or buy. I noted our our primary pollonizers last spring were vespids(wasps), flies, and later, bumble bees. Cherry flowering was to early I believe for any of the flies or vespids to be out, and fruiting was sharply curtailed. Apples, pears and peaches were about normal in fruiting, having flowered later in the season. I was hoping this year would be better for bees, but we'll see.

have you tried orchard mason bees?

Nice link. Thanks. Seems a warm climate sloution, tho they are found throughout the US, so it says.

I wonder what other species will jump to fill the void with honeybee competition reduced. I doubt they'll match the orchard/crop effiency of honeybees, and I certainly miss the honey. Two birds with one stone in that bee.

There was some interesting discussion of this story in the Feb. 5 DrumBeat.

There was more discussion of Thunder Horse this weekend at PO.com. Aaron, who is in the Houston area, says he's heard the same thing Westexas has heard: that they're having serious design issues with Thunder Horse, because the extreme pressure is causing problems no one has ever encountered before. They are basically rebuilding the entire drilling apparatus. He thinks 2008 is an "irresponsibly optimistic" estimate for when they'll get it working.

Scary stuff coming out of MSNBC.

This article mentions two scary things.

First, concerning the number of aircraft carriers in the Middle East: NEWSWEEK has learned that a third carrier will likely follow.

Second, the article talks about the possibility of US harassment of Iranians in Iraq leads to retaliation from Iran, allowing the US to open a war with Iran.


Winter in Albania, summer in Zimbabwe: same difference.

Who cares about routine 20-hour-a-day blackouts on the EU's doorstep?

Sorry for the length, good articles are hard to cut.

Albania's energy problem: Switching on the lights

Not enough help from the neighbours

WINTER in Albania, Europe's second-poorest country (after Moldova), is a wretched season, bringing power-cuts of 12 hours a day in the cities and 20 hours in the countryside. Hence the brisk import each autumn of portable oil-fired generators: without their own private electricity supply, the thousands of small businesses that drive the economy would collapse.

This year the electricity shortage is worse than usual. A drought has severely reduced water levels in dams that feed the elderly hydro-power plants along the Drin river in the north of the country. Thirty years ago these were the pride of the late Enver Hoxha's Stalinist regime: Albania even exported electricity to Greece and Yugoslavia.

Now the situation is reversed: electricity demand is growing at almost three times the European average as more Albanians move to the cities and furnish their homes with dishwashers, tumble-dryers and electric heaters—paid for by remittances from relatives working abroad. KESh, the inefficient and corrupt state electricity utility, struggles to send bills to, and collect money from, people living without addresses or electricity meters in squatter suburbs around Tirana.

Albania used to get by with free or heavily subsidised electricity imports from Italy, its friendliest neighbour, and with cheap supplies from Bulgaria, the region's biggest exporter. But last month two Chernobyl-era units were shut down at Kozloduy, Bulgaria's nuclear-power complex on the Danube, as a condition of Bulgaria's accession to the European Union. That has led to Bulgaria cutting electricity exports by more than two-thirds—and so to soaring energy prices in the Balkans. Meanwhile, Albania's electricity shortage is showing up in slower economic growth and less foreign investment than elsewhere in the western Balkans.

In an attempt to find a solution, the World Bank, Italian energy companies and private consultancies have come up with a stream of proposals to modernise hydro-power plants, reduce transmission losses and build new power stations close to fast-growing towns in the centre and south of the country. But only one large project has made progress. After several years of foot-dragging by the energy ministry, an Italian company has won a tender to build a 100-megawatt oil-fired plant at Vlore in Albania's south. It should start producing electricity in 2010.

With local elections due on February 18th, Sali Berisha, the prime minister, is under attack for letting the lights go out. Voters are poised to punish his Democratic Party for not delivering on its promise at the general election in 2005 to clean up KESh and provide cheap, year-round power. Last month he made a joint appeal with Sergey Stanishev, his Bulgarian counterpart, for units 3 and 4 at Kozloduy to stay open (units 1 and 2 are already closed; units 5 and 6 are more modern and safer). Bulgarians argue in Brussels that Balkan countries need as much energy as the region can produce if they are to grow faster.

Andris Piebalgs, the EU energy commissioner, is not convinced. On February 1st he told Mr Berisha that instead of teaming up with the Bulgarians to demand special treatment he should do more to sort things out at home. This was not quite the pre-election response Mr Berisha had been hoping for.

Sorry for the length, good articles are hard to cut.

Hello TODers,

Future belongs to the young--always has, always will. Until civilization truly becomes civil and sustainable, this will become the default career:


Please make sure you see the slideshow.

How many machine gun bullets will fit in a pink teddybear packpack?

Give your children wheelbarrows and bicycles instead of guns please.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Hello TODers,

Recall my recent posting on Indonesia.



We talk alot on TOD about FF-supply, but demand destruction is increasingly obvious. Makes one wonder if the Grim Reaper is about to switch from a scythe to a chainsaw for greater efficiency in Indonesia. EDIT:[They may need lots of wheelbarrows just to remove the dead.] Do we dare to turn on a strong flashlight?


Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Hello TODers,

"Inflation, South of the Border Style"

At least gasoline only costs 25 cents a gallon.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

6 degrees over normal!! That is 6 celsius or 10.8 F. Global warming?


Could be. Here in New England we had a very mild December and you can see here that land-surface temperatures in many areas in the northern hemisphere approached 10 degrees C above normal over that period.

That is a lot of red over most of the Eastern half of the US, all of Europe and all of the Western half of Russia. Red is +10 C over normal. I see that the article mentions El Nino as the cause and that seems to be the general consensus but I wonder if there is a precedent in recorded temperature history of such a large and sustained deviation (1 month) over normal.

Shhhh, I want some snow tonight. All that's forecasted is ice, but I want snow.

That and I have the city effect working against me (always 3-5 degrees F higher in the city).

I want the winters of my childhood, where we could sled every year. Seems reality has something else in mind.

At least we are getting a good freeze. We didn't last year.

From St. Louis, MO, USA.

This is a good read, although there is nothing new here:

NY Times: Pressure Increases on Iran’s Fragile Energy Industry

Western political and economic pressure on Iran over its nuclear program has chilled foreign investment to the extent that it is now squeezing the country’s long-fragile energy industry, adding strains to a government that is burdened by sanctions and yet wants to prevent unrest at home.

The world’s fourth-largest oil exporter, Iran sits on the second-largest oil and gas reserves. But it has struggled in recent years to keep its oil production, currently running at about 4 million barrels a day, from falling.

Some analysts say that if this acute imbalance between its stagnant production and rising demand at home continues unchecked, Iran will have no oil left over to export within a decade. Its oil exports, totaling $47 billion last year, account for half the government’s revenue.

The apparent free lunch of crop-based fuel can't satisfy our energy appetite - and it will not be free, or environmentally sound. Dedicating all present U.S. corn and soybean production to biofuels would meet only 12 percent of our gasoline demand and 6 percent of diesel demand. On average, corn ethanol - the leading biofuels candidate in the United States - provides only a 13 percent reduction of greenhouse gases compared to gasoline. This advantage is lost if, as happens in South America, carbon-capturing forests are felled to make way for biofuel crops.

(credit given to Robert Rapier, R-squared)
That's why you do it with butanol, the 4 carbon alcohol that can be made from sugar beets, a cheap, easy to grow crop, that can be raised easily in northern climes. Butanol can be mixed with gasoline without modification or run straight in the place of gasoline with no modification to infrastructure, and will mix with ethanol in the same way that gasoline can. While Vinod and the rest wasted time and money with ethanol, DuPont Corp and BP went with the easy money. The alcohol wars are only beginning, and while ethanol has the early jump start, it looks like they are being gained on from behind FAST.






The bug that makes it:


This is going to be fun! :-)

Remember, we are only one square mile from freedom.
Roger Conner Jr.

EIA is predicting falling supplies? That's heresy! What happened to exenting the upward trending line into the foreseeable future?

They have the 2nd largest reserves, yet they are going into decline, how does that make any sense?

* tounge-in-cheek off

IEA's January 2007 global Supply stats:

Jan 85.5
Dec 85.3
Nov 85.3
(record 86.1-mbd July 2006)

2007Q1 85.50
2006Q4 85.3
2006Q3 85.54 (record)

2006 85.2 (record)
2005 84.5
2004 83.2

OPEC Jan 30.200-mbd
OPEC Dec 30.380-mbd

Non OPEC Jan n/a
Non OPEC Dec n/a

OECD Inventories down 50-mb (53 days - end of Dec)

Hello TODers,

Zimbabwe Update: It's fabulous to be a topdog!

ZIMBABWE’s galloping annual inflation surged to a new record of 1,593%, data showed yesterday, as the “21st February Movement” launched a fundraising campaign to raise Z$300m (about $1.2m) for President Robert Mugabe’s birthday party.

“It is the nonfood items that pulled the inflation rate upwards. The top three items that contributed most to year-on-year inflation were electricity, gas, and other fuels,” said Moffat Nyoni, acting CSO director.

One barrel of crude = 25,000 hours of human labour

$1.2 million/$25 per wheelbarrow = 48,000 wheelbarrows like this:


The way the ZIM inflation rate is skyrocketing, it just might take that many wheelbarrows to move the required currency for his birthday party. Then the wheelbarrows can later be put to a better use.

Zim $300 million/48,000 wheelbarrows = 6,250 Zim dollar bills loaded into each wheelbarrow

Recall the pre-WWII German inflation:
In 1923, at the most fevered moment of the German hyperinflation, the exchange rate between the dollar and the Mark was one trillion Marks to one dollar, and a wheelbarrow full of money would not even buy a newspaper. Most Germans were taken by surprise by the financial tornado.

The publisher Leopold Ullstein wrote: "People just didn't understand what was happening. All the economic theory they had been taught didn't provide for the phenomenon. There was a feeling of utter dependence on anonymous powers -- almost as a primitive people believed in magic -- that somebody must be in the know, and that this small group of 'somebodies' must be a conspiracy."

All money is a matter of belief. Credit derives from Latin, credere, "to believe."
Considering the Harare blackout, Mugabe & friends should burn currency instead of wasting precious wax candles on the cake, but they would rather believe than act smart.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

This short story is relevant to the site, if you like it enough to get to the end.