DrumBeat: February 17, 2007

Can OPEC and Non OPEC Stop the Oil Price Rise?

Average daily oil production, by month, as a percentage of peak month, for OPEC and the rest of the world. Runs from Jan 2002 to Feb 2006. Believed to be all liquids.
Since October 2006 world oil demand, as in previous years since 2002-2003 has fallen away from the Summer Demand Peak. During the July-August 2006 summer peak, world oil demand on a wide all liquids base probably hit at least 87.5 Mbd.

...we cannot be sure that net total oil supply can attain about 88 or 88.5 Mbd by Summer 2007. This may be very close to the limit set by Peak Oil. What we can be sure of, however, is that any geopolitical incident or event, tending to cut world oil production and export supply will have a price impact that is dramatically intensified - exactly as in July-August 2006, when Israel's war on Lebanon was considered, by most observers, as the sole cause of record oil prices, rather than structural undersupply.

Valero Shuts McKee Refinery In Texas After Fire

An explosion rocked a west Texas refinery Friday, injuring at least 19 people and sparking a blaze that sent a huge black cloud billowing into the sky.

...The refinery was shut down after the blast, as were pipelines in and out of the facility, the company said. Smoke could be seen from 60 miles away.

Fighting the New Defeatism on Climate Change

Let's be clear: This proto-conventional wisdom is wrong. There's plenty we can do about global warming.

In energy conservation, California sees the light

Today the state uses less energy per capita than any other state in the country, defying the international image of American energy gluttony. Since 1974, California has held its per capita energy consumption essentially constant, while energy use per person for the United States overall has jumped 50 percent.

Biofuel dynamics mix with rural economies

Micro-winds of change

The tide is turning towards renewable energy, but is the government willing to put its money where its mouth is - and are we?

Bankers see busy oil and gas deal outlook for '07

Investment bankers expect brisk deal activity in the energy sector in 2007, as high oil prices stir stiff competition for production reserves and as capital from private equity and hedge funds freely flows into the group.

Chertoff plays down al Qaeda oil supply threat

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff played down a call by al Qaeda for attacks on U.S. oil supplies in the Western Hemisphere and said on Friday no special defensive measures were needed.

Arabs seek coherent Chinese strategy

Having been busy for decades in building relations with the West, Arab countries lack strategies in dealing with new world realities in which the US alone no longer holds sway over global trends, analysts say.

India's building boom fuels coal rush

Soaring demand for cement to feed India's construction boom is forcing the country's cement makers to import much more coal, driving up prices in South Africa as cheaper alternatives dry up.

Biofuel to power Indonesia's anti-poverty drive

Indonesia is embarking on an ambitious biofuel programme which has already attracted more than 17 billion dollars in foreign and domestic investment and criticism from conservationists worried about the country's forests.

Rising Price of Electricity Sets Off New Debate on Regulation

The higher rates are touching off a fresh round of national debate over unleashing competitive forces on traditionally regulated electricity markets. Opening up the markets was supposed to lead to savings for consumers. But that did not turn out as regulators predicted. The anticipated competition among energy suppliers never fully emerged as natural gas prices more than doubled in the last decade.

Mexico's Pemex faces drying field, no funds to update refineries

The company's main Cantarell oil field in southern Mexico is drying up. There is not enough money to tap deeper reserves in the Gulf of Mexico, and much of the company's machinery is out of date. Pemex can't even refine enough gasoline to meet its national demand, forcing Mexico to send its oil to foreign refineries, then re-import the finished fuel.

Compounding Pemex's problems is the Mexican government's addiction to the billions of dollars generated by oil sales. Pemex accounts for 40 percent of the federal government's total income. Change has been made more difficult because of Pemex's all-encompassing social welfare system and a nationalism that keeps foreign investment out.

Mexico: Fiscal remedy is near

The aim of the reform package, Carstens announced at the annual meeting of the National Governors´ Conference (Conago), is to wean the federal government off using revenue from the state-owned Pemex oil monopoly to fund operating costs. The government´s dependence on oil revenues has been close to 40 percent of total income.

Smaller Footprints, Cooler Stuff and More Cash

If we want to build a society which is both prosperous and sustainable, we're going to need to innovate ways of delivering the material goods which underpin that prosperity at a small fraction of the ecological cost they exact today. We must learn to live large while leaving tiny ecological footprints.

Ministry: No Imminent Threat of Gas Production Halt

There is no imminent risk of a halt to production at gas wells in Argentina's Neuquen basin, which provides neighboring Chile with the fuel, the latter country's energy and mines ministry said in a statement, citing Argentine producers.

The area has faced union conflicts lately and it was rumored that production activities could be halted.

Oil Program Ad Labeled `Propaganda' From Chavez

In a TV commercial, former Rep. Joseph Kennedy stands aboard an oil tanker moving across the Boston skyline and promises that millions of gallons of discounted heating oil are on their way to poor, shivering families, courtesy of "our good friends in Venezuela."

What he doesn't mention is that those "good friends" include Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a socialist and staunch U.S. critic who famously called President Bush "the devil" in a speech last year at the United Nations.

Sachs warns of global warming disaster

The world faces a global warming disaster if the United States and China do not take decisive action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, a leading economist said at the U.N. Friday.

UNEP head says Europe complacent on climate change

European nations are not doing enough to fight climate change and should show more leadership before they criticize the United States and Asia, the head of the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) said on Saturday.

Relearning how to live as voluntary peasants

Part of The Farm's original vision was to build a village for a thousand people using alternative energy systems that were economically and ecologically responsible. We believed that we could design a graceful standard of living which would be attractive to large numbers of First World people, while also being within reach of all Third World people.

A new ally in the energy crisis: Termites

Researchers at universities and private companies are scanning the DNA of the microbes that live inside the guts of termites and wood-eating beetles in an effort to decipher the processes these creatures employ for turning wood into food. The same processes and enzymes could be used, researchers believe, into transforming wood scraps into transportation fuel at human factories.

Greenhouse gases hit new high

Greenhouse gases widely blamed for causing global warming have jumped to record highs in the atmosphere, apparently stoked by rising emissions from Asian industry, a researcher said on Friday.

Alberta Launches Review of Oil, Gas Royalty Regime

The province of Alberta on Friday launched a wide-ranging review of its energy royalty regime, which could result in changes in the tax structure for Canadian oil and gas producers.

Senate Democrats Ask GAO to Examine 'Royalty in Kind' Program

A pair of Senate Democrats yesterday asked the Government Accountability Office to study the Interior Department's "royalty in kind" program to assess the merits of expanding the oil and gas royalty collection system.

Sharon Astyk: Enough with the freakin' bathroom metaphor already!

Market led to shortages, not lower prices

Energy use in New England is increasing steadily, nowhere faster than in New Hampshire. Yet no major power plants are under construction in the region.

The region's wholesale electric energy pool manager, ISO-New England, projects that shortages could occur by next year. It predicts that energy demand by 2015 will require 4,300 megawatts of new generation capacity, the equivalent of about nine large new power plants.

Future shock: Asia is running out of gas

When crude oil surged past US$70 a barrel in mid-2006, Southeast Asian governments were forced to confront an inconvenient truth that might almost have come from the hand of former US vice president Al Gore: income levels could not be sustained unless new energy sources were found, and quickly.

No easy way out

We didn’t leave the Stone Age because we ran out of stones, and we won’t leave the Oil Age because we’ve run out of oil. Instead, humanity moves progressively “down” the carbon chain (wood to coal to oil to gas to nukes and hydrogen) for the sheer reason that each step we take brings us higher efficiency and less pollution — a total win-win.

Iran’s Dire Oil Straits

Among the parties with a keen interest in the nuclear standoff between Iran and the UN Security Council are foreign investors. Iran is an energy bonanza in their eyes: Its underdeveloped oil and gas fields, the world’s second largest, need outside expertise, capital, and technology. A number of development projects are under way, but investors remain skittish over Iran’s uncertain political prospects.

Researcher Ben Anthony: Oilsands Gasification Will Help Unleash Energy Riches

According to the British-educated chemist, Canada is on the brink of transforming its lower-grade hydrocarbons into useful energy on a very large scale thanks to projects now under way in Alberta's oilsands.

North Korea Passing the Nuclear Spotlight

In return for shutting down the main nuclear reactor within 60 days, North Korea will get 50,000 tons of fuel. They will gain another 950,000 tons of fuel after taking more steps toward nuclear disarmament.

But the decision by North Korea to suspend and potentially dismantle their nuclear program isn't that surprising. The eventual collapse of the program was evident. And all the signs stemmed from the country's dire energy situation.

Keeping with an Asian theme:


The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance, an independent administrative institution, have decided to jointly offer a new type of trade insurance to cover loss of overseas energy development projects by Japanese corporations due to natural disasters, accidents and political or terrorist acts, ministry sources said Friday.

The new product will be offered with much lower premiums than ordinary trade insurance to encourage the nation's private sector firms to undertake energy developments overseas and help them survive in the tough international market for energy resource development of fuel such as oil and natural gas.

Japan has been greatly dependent upon only a couple of ME suppliers, Iran and KSA. Last year's energy plan called for trying to diversify sources as quickly as possible.

Examples of where the new discounted insurance is to cover:

The new program also will offer loans for some developments at premium rates 28 percent to 76 percent lower than conventional trade insurance, depending on the countries in which the development is to take place. The rate will be 76 percent lower than ordinary trade insurance for loans for projects in countries such as Mongolia, which is coal rich; Iraq, where oil development is expected to pick up after its political situation stabilizes; and Uzbeki-stan, which has huge uranium reserves.

Hello TODers,

"It is surreal that we've arrived at a point where we are in danger of squandering a major oil boom," said Jose Guerra, a former chief of economic research at Venezuela's central bank, who left Chavez's government in 2004. "If the government insists on sticking to policies that are clearly failing, we may be headed down the road of Zimbabwe."

If Chavez has a brain cell in his head: he needs to raise internal petrol prices to world levels, and start building biosolar habitats so that he can continue FF exports to keep enlarging these habitats.
What is it about Peakoil Outreach: bicycles, wheelbarrows, and birth control that leaders fail to understand?

Edit:changed comma to colon

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

What is it about Peakoil Outreach: bicycles, wheelbarrows, and birth control that leaders fail to understand?

bicycles & wheelbarrows:
no one likes to work. since we need to learn to live within the means of the diffuse energy output of the sun(sorry thatitimout diffuse energy sources cannot replace concentrated ones) that means one must replace all the work that is done by machines that run on the concentrated energy of hundreds of millions of years(the oil we use now comes from life that lived in the permain era up to a few million years ago) of sunlight with man power of hard dirty labor. though we have been too successful and have grown past the population levels that can be sustained on such a lower power source.

birth control:
aside from political can of worms of insults and comparabilities one would be subject to by the media if one suggested it publicly, simply put less people means less power to them.

Hello TrueKaiser,

Thxs for responding. I wonder if "Jose Guerra, a former chief of economic research at Venezuela's central bank, who left Chavez's government in 2004" has been reading my TOD postings on the 'Zimbabwe Syndrome'. I would be willing to bet that coming from a big FF exporter that he is acutely Peakoil aware--maybe he is a silent lurker here on TOD. Who knows?

Regarding the birth control component of Peakoil Outreach--don't forget Leanan's recent Drumbeat toplink on Rwanda's govt making preliminary moves towards readjusting birth rate social norms. We maybe greatly surprised how quickly this might grow globally as Peakoil Outreach spreads.

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

Only fat, stupid people don't like to work.

What is it about Peakoil Outreach: bicycles, wheelbarrows, and birth control that leaders fail to understand?

Nothing. They understand very well that these three measures would empower the people, create an economic vector of democracy and give them the ability to tend their own business. And that would make this kind of leaders obsolete.

Rising Price of Electricity Sets Off New Debate on Regulation

"People should not be in the position of choosing between keeping warm or buying medicine and food,

I bet Mother Nature got a good chuckle from that line. I think she reads this site while sitting up late at night sharpening her Nails and Teeth.

Our poor little politicians! Even in the smallest burgs the political parasites have nested. What will the poor politicians do as Homo Sap Twitches from oil and gas to electricity ????

"I remember the heating shortages following the collapse of the Soviet times. Back then the places where my parents worked had no heat. Now lots of people are buying electric heaters...

...I can't imagine coming home and having no heat, or hot food. The weather is freezing now. No gas means no life, especially in our winter. We will not survive."


I wonder if the city dwellers with their fantasies of Extreme HomeTown MakeOvers - "green" cities - ever think beyond their childishly naive assumptions.

I wonder what kind of Currency Twitching we will see in the world over the next couple years as Russia cuts gas exports to Europe and the Euro turns back into a paper pumpkin along with the dollar?

Fast Times at Homo Sap High are coming to an end.

Time to grow up kidz. The Fire Drills are over and the Real Thing is upon us... this is not - I repeat NOT - an "academic" drill.

No place to run, no place to hide (no, not even in the ivory towers - sorry). Mama Nature is not on "our side."

No gas = no life?

Yes, it's a miracle we ever managed to get out of the stone ages!

Yes, some 'miracle."

It's a good thing we had thousands of years the people of those times had the knowledge and skills and open space and resources to survive... good thing there were no cities with multi-millions who were dependent on technology and fossil fuels...

I think "childishly naive" applies to your statement. Try questioning your assumptions - all of them. Including the value of the "currency" you currently still have CONfidence in.

Your argument might have better if we were all completely dependent on OIL for our survival. Oil is presently the cheapest way to power our lives, but with various breakthroughs in Solar technology, and real discussion of massive wind farms off our coasts, the entire relevance of OIL is called into question.

And what is wrong with having cities with millions of people in them? Isn't that EXACTLY what the wheelbarrow advocate want? The more condensed we are, the less ecological impact we have overall. And there you go about your anti-technology rant. Technology is not some human construct designed to put an end to our species. Even Chimpanzees have been found to have been using tools since at least 4500 BC.

You may have better luck coning other ignorant and depressed people, but your confidence on this matter is hardly going to sway any reasonable human being.

Good luck with your godz of technology, science, markets and politicians. They make for good theater but they won't be able to pull a rabbit out of Ma Nature's Hat This TimezUP.

Question your assumptions hothgar. Look to history. Look to biology. Look at the current "geopoliTics" (not to mention the local poliTICs - they all wait in line for the one before them to make a decision... heads in the asses in front of them, just like a childs paper chain but this one made of foolz).

It's too late to avoid the Pain of Birth of whatever is coming next. Hopefully you survive to see the next equilibrium and your Optimism can be used to fuel our next form of civilization.

In the meantime, batten the hatches ;)

("ALL" is not lost, just the Delusion of eternal growth and a few billion excess bipedal carbon-based life forms with Big Brainz and Grand Delusions of themselves and their place in this Universe.)

Your argument might have better if we were all completely dependent on OIL for our survival.

Lets see:
6 billion + people
Various economies based on oil production/consuption
Use of oil for making stuff and providing watts for food, heat, cooking.

Please show that you are not just blowing hot air and show how 6+ billion people can continue to function without OIL.

Now you were asked to clarify in the past.
Is there a reason you are unwilling to actually respond to a question directly asked of you?

umm you have to realize to the people in the article, compared to our early ancestor's have long since forgotten the knowledge they spent many generation compiling. mainly how to adapt to a region's climate using only the natural renewable resources available.
they do not know how to start a fire without matches or a lighter, how to keep it going and alive to a point where it would keep them warm but not eat up too much fuel. how to cloth themselves with hand made cloths out of the fur from the animals they eat. etc.

And, more importantly, there weren't 6.6E9 of those people, either.

RE: Market led to shortages, not lower prices

Leanan, I don't recall market economists ever mentioning the option that the invisible hand would end up in our pockets. What's up with that?

That's not supposed to happen, right? I mean, Kenny-Boy wasn't a Vermonter, after all.

New England has only one hope left: Hydro Québec. But while through another finely tuned democratic decision making process, the dictate was finally finely rammed through to sacrifice another pristine river (the last) to outdoor Christmas decorations, the blackouts will start way before Rupert River is finished off and left to die (at least 10 more years).

The article talks about building natural gas plants, that kind of gives away the level of understanding of the problem that exists today. By the time any such plant would be constructed, there'll be no more natural gas. You'd think that with New England's newly built power plants, in the past 2 decades, all being gas-powered, someone would ask questions. Not.

Oh wait, even the conservative Canadian government have had their fill, they refuse to let two Maine LNG terminals have tankers sail through Canadian waters.

Canada, U.S. on course for LNG collision

It'll get better before it gets better. But if you're in New England, do get a wood stove, and a wind turbine, and some solar.

What? Why, those darned Canucks. They're just asking for regime change, I tell ya...

(Edited your post to fix the link.)

We have only one "natural" enemy and that is the USA. We realise we have no military solution to that so we tend to buy protection with resource exports and now a couple of thousand troops in Afganistan. I don't know what our defence strategy will be when our resources get lower but it will probably involve becoming states 51 to 61. However the world economy will likely crash before then and who knows where that chaos willlead.

During the Clinton years, continentalism was on the rise in Canada and some talked openly about seeking to join the Union.

I can't see the republicans ever going for it, though, since practically the entire Canadian political spectrum would fit comfortably into the Democratic party.

Even my contacts among the Canadian religious right who follow US politics get cold feet about the Republican party.

Even my contacts among the Canadian religious right who follow US politics get cold feet about the Republican party.

Wow, really?

Maybe the U.S. will split into Red America and Blue America. Then Blue America could join Canada.

I love B.C. myself. If I were independently wealthy, I think I'd move to Vancouver.

Maybe the U.S. will split into Red America and Blue America. Then Blue America could join Canada.

Culturally, it would make complete sense. Though we might lose Alberta to the Reds.

However, since red and blue have the opposite connotation up here, I'm sure they could be tricked into keeping the oil with the good guys. :-)

I'm very fond of BC and Vancouver myself. Shame what those storms did to Stanley Park.

BC is very pretty, and drive north - wow! Lake Louise!! The provincial parks are absolutly spotless not even a gum wrapper or cigggy butt, when we were there last.
I like thier $2,000.oo fine for littering and well placed garbage cans along the road.

Kudo's to the Canadians, a very nice place to visit, imo.

Did have some fun with the young border gaurdwoman about the gun I was carrying to Alaska. Asked me if I was going to shoot anyone with it?
ummm no! Maybe a bear...

The bears sure love the garbage bins. I was driving through BC and our kids and I watched a young bear empty a garbage bin in case there was any food in it. It made a mess but I'm not clear how it would pay a $2000 fine.

Leanan wrote:

Wow, really?

I would add that the religious right up here, in addition to simply being far too few to make a difference, are distinct in other respects from their US brethren.

Many have a pacifist streak and others have it as a point of doctrine that the faithful should not get involved in politics. "In the world but not of it"

All love their universal health care.

But our evangelicals, like yours, love to proselytize. And they find it tough going to sell Jesus and bible believin' when the brand has been tainted by the US religious right, Bush and the war.

I've personally recently seen an evangelical leader I know twisted in knots over this, ranting (in private) using quite unChristian language. I suppressed the urge to ask him who he hated most, GWB or Darwin. :-)

"In the world but not of it" used to be the way it was in the States too. Since Reagan the born agin participate but rigorously maintain deep ignorancee of the outside world.


JHK wrote about a trip there. He said they've ruined it with sprawl and cars. He was particularly saddened about it too. From Clusterwhat on June 19th...

"Vancouver is a very appealing site for a city, but it is in the process of being utterly pranged (as they like to say) by massive hyper-mega-overdevelopment."

I would go for a more regional approach as was suggested recently in the breakdown of America into regions. I would propose the Great Lakes Coalition which would control one great resource - Water.

I agree with Leann, I too would live in BC - Home of Blunt Bros and my two favorite parks; Hastings and Stanley.

If I had the dough and gumption, I'd go to Toronto or Montreal.


Assbias, your musing are of course completely anecdotal and reflect your own blowhard opinions.

Almost every Province has an official or unofficial separatist polticial Party. TrendLines and other research firms have polled periodically and while secession from Canada has been as high as 39% at the Provincial level, we cannot recall a single poll in three decades that revealed anything but Independence or an association of several provinces (the West).

The only american inference may have been that Yukon & BC would join in with Alaska it they left jointly. Last decade there was a movement for the Maritimes to have a closer alliance with the NorthEast, but any polls indicating more than that received no exposure.

The inference of any Canadian Province having more than 5% of its population that would wish or has wished to join the USA is preposterous and misleading.

Assbias, Please don't give our american members any false hopes.

Being a good Canadian, I'm sure your French polling was as good as your English - because Quebec is a very strange case, and there seemed to be more than a naive 5% that would accept American meddling to be able to leave the Dominion.

Of course, most of this PR was related to American interests gaining hydroelectric supplies and fresh water, which is still not allowed to be exported from Canada in massive amounts, I believe.

And Alberta is also a very strange case - considering how they feel they support the Maritimes, for example, while being hobbled in plundering 'their' land (though recently, that hobbling seems less a problem), the major commercial interests just might have accepted the idea of an American association, before they discovered what having a Texas oilman in charge of the U.S. really meant.

These days, unlike the Clinton era, I'm fairly certain that Canada would rather join the EU than having anything to do with the U.S.

Luckily for Canada, American ignorance of their northern neighbor is almost absolute, otherwise the U.S. would have invaded decades ago, to prevent socialism from threatening the freedom of Canadians.

Jografy, do NOT join the United Titbabies of America!

Try to hold out and wait until the Northern States Secede from the Union. Once the the desert SW and plains move to take Profoundly Local resources like the Great Lakes there will be Hades to Pay.

Take no prisoners (we can't feed 'em) and leave no quarry ;)

Please stop insulting titbabies.

Please stop insulting tits, too.

Please stop insulting babies, bottle-fed or breast-fed.

Tits and babies are nice, and certainly more than nice -- they are wonderful.

Please come up with a better term to describe whatever it is you think you are describing when you say "Titbabies."

Our language surely has more creative and precise possibilities to get at what you are trying to say.

I've been helping one of my clients take care of a 9 month old baby who is wonderful. Reminds me of when my two adopted children were babies. Reminds me of about 7 years of being "Daycare Daddy" to a number of children, including a number of babies -- my favorite part of that very challenging work.

We really do know how to put down women and children, don't we? not by intention, but just by habitual expressions.

If americans are overly-dependent on the Fascist Elite, the Corporatist Killers who sit in High Places and Pray Loud Lies, then let's talk about that. Surely that relationship has nothing to do with "titbabies?"

(Yes, thereis plenty of room for humour here. I say all of this in a good-natured, friendly way. I think I know what you mean, but I'll bet there are nuances i'm not picking up -- feel free to elaborate!)

I love your humor and agree both tits and babies are nice.

Titbabies = blind, helpless newborn pups or kittens or whatever mammal you choose.

It probably applies to most of us First Worlders to some degree - not just Americans. Most of us have grown up in a culture of extreme specialization with severe dependency on "the system" (whatever form of mommy government we hail from).

I don't think it's a put-down for women, or for actual blind and helpless babies though ;)

Ah, now I'm clear on that. :)

Thanks! :)

I expect economic collapse to make the whole idea moot. There is always an underlying push to join even now but it would be a bitter fight if it ever came to the top of the agenda here in Canada. At least in my grand childrens' life times I think we might see all of the imperial countries (federations like the USA and Canada) split up and they may see more rational units like the Republic of the Great Lakes involving Ontario and the Great Lakes States. Something the Mohawks were working toward at one time. Watersheds as political units would make more ecological sense in any event.

I like the "Republic of the Great Lakes" idea.

I think you might be right about a collapse making the fear moot. We may not have the energy left for warfare. Hopefully we follow the Former Soviet Union's path of peaceful dissolution - IF it happens at all.

What? Why, they had a regime change 1 year ago.
What more do you want? How many outdoor Christmas lights do you people need?

Thanx for the fix, flunked changing the link to Stoneleigh last minute, everything Canada should link to TOD Canada.

By all means link to TOD:Canada. I ran the LNG story as the headline for yesterday's Round-Up. There are plenty of other interesting stories as well :)

The one about Eastern european mortgages denominated in yen was particlarly interesting to me - "Exotic currency carry-on could hurt foreign-dollar borrowers" (near the bottom where I usually run the economic headlines). The prospect of the yen carry trade unwinding abruptly is alarming. IMO that dynamic will be an important part of the economic upheaval that I'm expecting to begin shortly.

Here's some of what what Bill Bonner had to say about it in the Daily Reckoning a couple of days ago:

"Carry on living dangerously", says the headline in The Economist.

It was talking about the global borrowing binge based on selling the Japanese yen - also known as the yen carry trade...

...Speculators borrow yen, trade the currency for dollars, and then buy Treasuries or U.S. properties or U.S. stocks. The Bank of Japan lends money at only 0.25%. This it has been doing ever since the mid '90s, when the BOJ sought to get the Japanese economy out of its funk by making money easier to get. A hedge fund, for example, can take advantage of this low interest rate by borrowing yen at, say, 1% and buying U.S. bonds at a 5% yield. Or, he can be more aggressive and go for 7% by buying New Zealand bonds.

What makes the transaction dangerous to the speculator is that the yen may rise. What makes it dangerous to everyone else is that there are so many people who owe so many yen. And what makes it so attractive to contrarian investors is that with so much money counting on the yen to go lower...it is almost sure to go up.

If the yen were to rise 6% the speculator's profit would be wiped out. And since these transactions are almost always highly leveraged, his capital could be wiped out too. This is exactly what happened when the most famous hedge fund of all time blew up in the late '90s. The yen went up.

The Russians had a financial crisis. Speculators looked at their holdings and decided to unwind some of the leverage. That meant selling their assets and repaying yen. Of course, to repay yen you have to have yen. So, you've got to go into the currency market and buy them - which pushes up the price of yen. In 1998, the yen rose about 25% against the dollar in the space of a few weeks and Long Term Capital Management went bust.

Nobody knows how much of this 'carry trade' there is...but today, there is almost certainly a lot more than there was ten years ago. Today, there are thousands more hedge funds and many more speculators - with billions more to work with - all betting that the yen will stay put.

And as we know, now even homeowners have become speculating geniuses, so we shouldn't be too surprised to find that homeowners are financing their homes in yen. Yes, that's right. According to the Financial Times, "households in Latvia and Romania have developed so much enthusiasm for
borrowing in yen that the trend has provoked surprise - and unease - from central bankers half a world away in Tokyo."

Altogether, some experts estimate the total 'yen carry trade' at a trillion dollars. And it is all short. That is, the success of all these trades depends on the yen NOT going up. Which is what makes it so dangerous to the entire world financial system...and so attractive to the investor willing to go long.

What surprises us is that America's subprime lenders have not yet caught on to the financing opportunities of yen loans. If buyers were willing to go for Neg Am, I.O., limited doc ARMs why not Neg Am, I.O. limited doc, yen ARMs?

But therein lies the risk, and the opportunity. Yen, like dollars and derivatives, are subject to 'adjustable rates.' True, the rates have not been hiked in a very long time. And true too, the yen has cooperated by going down (naturally, people have to sell the yen they borrow in order to buy higher-yielding investments). This has only heightened the risk. The lower the yen goes, the higher it is likely to bounce when it finally hits bottom. The Economist's Big Mac index, comparing the cost of buying a Big Mac around the world, finds the yen already 40% too cheap. So, there's plenty of room for adjustment.

"Now, as in 1997," Hans Redeker, who heads currency strategy at BNP Paribas, explains, "low-yielding currencies have been used as the global cash machine, pushing liquidity into asset markets. In 1997 the Asian crisis marked the end of this development. This year we suggest that emerging market assets and equity markets could set the turning point, sparking carry trade liquidation."

Very interesting. Thanks for posting it here. Doesn't make me feel any more comfortable about all of the debt that is out there.


It is almost amusing that the story you referenced, and the timeline for shortages coincide with the updated Olduvai Theory.

The game of connecting the dots is starting to become a rather scary proposition.

Anyone not doing some kind of preperation (ELP) may face an uncomfortable future.

P.S. I started to watch the news this morning and this first story was about Anna Nicole. So I got up and did laundry. Went back to the news and they were talking about Britney Spears shaving her head. Turned off the TV and gave up.

When and if TSHTF, the general public will wonder why they did not know about the important issues, and really wonder why nobody did anything about it. As the saying goes, "Ignorance is Bliss". For awhile anyway.

though i would like westexas to clear something up with his elp model..
mainly the p(produce) point, upon further thought contradicts the e and l part of it as in it seems to require you to increases what e and l tell you to decrease.


Last summer, we produced enough vegatables in the garden to meet our needs.

This spring, we will have an early garden also, for broccoli, cauliflower, spring onions, collards, and radish. Then plant the summer garden. We hope to produce all of our veggies from May to November to meet our needs.

We are starting to plant an edible landscape for the production of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.

We are moving up the timeframe for a solar water heater. We hope to produce enough hot water to meet the familiy needs from March to December.

We produce enough firewood each year to heat our home.

We would like to produce electricity from photavolatics, but the costs are still too high.

Hope that clears it up a bit.

WT has said in the past that the "produce" part means produce goods that others can't do without. It isn't a blanket call to produce things, but rather produce things so important to people that they'll still buy them even in a depression. You can think of it in terms of localizing and economizing as well: if everyone is economizing and localizing, produce the goods/services that they will still be buying.

Tit for Tat?

Iran to Present Evidence of Foreign Involvement in Recent Blasts

TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)-

...Director General for the political affairs of Sistan and Balouchestan governorate Soltan-Ali Mir told FNA that the US and Britain are behind the recent terrorist attacks in the city of Zahedan...


Chaos calling, someone pick up please.

You knew it was coming! :laughs:

I bet he even has pictures of Dubya planting the bomb himself!

You're not the one he's trying to convince. I'm sure the US wasn't involved in those attacks, but that is not the point. The point is that plenty of people will. On the other hand I don't believe that the US has any proof of Iranian involvement in the insurgency in Iraq either, fool me once shame on you, twice shame on me.

During the Cuban missile crisis the US presented photograps from a spy-plane as evidence that the USSR were setting up missiles on Cuba. At that time no-one doubted the photos. The idea that the word of the president of the US wasn't as good as money in the bank simply didn't occur to people.

But alas credibility is not a boomerang, it will not come back if you throw it away. To me the word of Dubya is worth less than the dirt under my boots.

Or as your fearless leader would say:

"fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

"You're not the one he's trying to convince."

If you meant me, I should clarify that I was not trying to convince anyone of anything when posting that article. The "chaos calling" remark was meant to suggest the confusion involved with the two sides trading accusations.

As you say, there is an enormous credibility gap now for all governments.

"The weapons that the terrorists have used are US and British made. Moreover, the arrested terrorist agents have meantime, confessed that they have been trained by English-speaking people."

President Bush and the Continuation of the Lies

....... So Bush distributed photos of one of the alleged "mortars" that the Iranians, he said, were supplying.

The mortar is an 81 MM shell. Khaki in color. With light gray lettering that read: "81 MM HE 3-2006."

I guess it never occurred to anyone in the public, the press or in the congress that the Iranians don’t speak or write in English. In fact, Iranians speak and write in Farsi. So an Iranian mortar shell would be printed in, well, Farsi, rather than in English, correct?

And I have another issue and I am not even a scholar in Islamic history or culture.

The date "3-2006" bothers me and it should bother you. The date represents March 2006. But the Muslims do not use the Gregorian Calendar. They don’t date things based on the same Western Calendar that we in the West use.

The year 2006, according to Muslim sources I checked with, would actually be the Islamic Year 1384-1385, because the Iranians begin their year in what is the Western month of March.

Regardless, why would Iranians identify their weapons in English?

It doesn’t make sense.

"The date "3-2006" bothers me and it should bother you"

If that bothers you, just wait until the US shows "evidence of Iranian cereal crumbs and Farsi speaking trainers" at the Valero Refinery fire in Texas.

It only bothers me if I consider myself a participant and take sides. As a spectator, it only hurts when I laugh.

For what it's worth this image from AMMUNITION AND METALLURGY INDUSTRIES GROUP, an Iranian arms maker & exporter shows English labeling on 81mm mortar rounds.

Blurb from their (english) website [http://www.diomil.ir/en/amig.aspx] here:

Ammunition & Metallurgy Industries Group (AMIG) is the largest industrial group of Defense Industries Organization (D.I.O) which is in charge of producing a wide range of ammunition from small arms up to large caliber artillery ammunition covering both western and eastern standards. Having more than seven decades of experience in manufacturing military products, AMIG has met the requirement of domestic and international markets in supplying any type of
conventional ammunition as well as all components thereto. AMIG, composing of 8 subsidiaries located in different cities of Iran is utilizing modern technology, sophisticated machineries and equipment as well as specialized personnel to manufacture qualified products in both military and non military field. This has led AMIG to achieve various certificates in ISO and other international standards. AMIG products include:Small Arms,Medium Caliber,Mortar Bombs Tank & Anti Tank,Filled Artillery and Cargo.

For those of suspect nature: Attempts to trace route to this site fail beyond hop 13 of 30, assume that's when it drops behind Irans national firewall, but the last link reporting a named id was:
vlan1.mellat.tehran.sinet.ir at IP

Beautiful, are they not?

No matter who makes them and no matter who uses them -- or why -- they represent godlike techology gone awry.

We all have better ways to spend our precious resources than building and using these things.

Michael Rivero fully exposed this amateurish fraudulent website on his blog.

He also posted an image of an Iranian made pistol with serial numbers in Farsi script and Iranian missles labeled in Farsi script.

Actually if you check his URL's I think you'll find that was another site. I was aware of his "debunking" work

There is a good reason for English markings: Iran is part of the global economy and arms trade is global - the standard language in that trade like in many others is English.

Are you shocked to find machine parts specified in SI units in the US? Same thing.

We still make weapons in Britain?



I thought we bought them from Belgium

Isn't life just wonderful? Don't miss this gem...

Dick Cheney’s Dangerous Son-in-Law

Philip Perry and the politics of chemical security.

In March 2003, when the world’s attention was focused on U.S. soldiers heading to Baghdad, twelve senior officials in the Bush administration gathered around a long oak conference table in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, part of the White House complex. They were meeting to put the final touches on a proposed legislative package that would address what was perhaps the most dangerous vulnerability the country faced after 9/11: unprotected chemical plants close to densely populated areas.

The package was the product of nearly a year’s worth of work led by Tom Ridge, head of the Department of Homeland Security (previously head of the White House Office of Homeland Security), and Christine Todd Whitman, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Both had been governors of northeastern states (Ridge of Pennsylvania and Whitman of New Jersey) with a large number of chemical plants, and this only increased their concern about leaving such facilities unprotected. EPA staff felt such fears even more acutely: agency data showed that at least 700 sites across the country could potentially kill or injure 100,000 or more people if attacked.

The basic elements of the legislation were simple: the EPA would get authority to regulate the security of chemical sites, and, as a first step, plants would submit plans for lowering their risks. One man present at the meeting, Bob Bostock, who was homeland security adviser to the Environmental Protection Agency, was relieved to see that something was finally being done. “We knew that these facilities had large enough quantities of dangerous chemicals to do significant harm to populations in these areas,” he says.

No one present was prepared for what came next: the late arrival of an unexpected visitor, Philip Perry, general counsel of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Perry, a tall, balding man who bears a slight resemblance to Ari Fleischer without the glasses, was brusque and to the point. The Bush administration was not going to support granting regulatory authority over chemical security to the EPA. “If you send up this legislation,” he told the gathering, “it will be dead on arrival on the Hill.”

No one doubted the finality of Perry’s message. The OMB, which sets the course for nearly every proposal coming out of the White House, is a much-feared department that raises or lowers its thumb on policy priorities, a sort of mini-Caesar at the interagency coliseum. But Philip Perry could boast one more source of authority: he was, and is, the husband of Elizabeth Cheney, and son-in-law of Vice President Dick Cheney. After Perry spoke, only Bostock dared to protest, though to little effect. “He was obnoxious,” Bostock recalls.


To understand the workings of Philip Perry is to get a sense of the true lines of power in the executive branch. “Perry is an éminence grise,” says one congressional staffer. “He’s been pretty good at getting his fingerprints off of anything, but everyone in this field knows he’s the one directing it. He is very good at the stealth move.” And, as it turns out, Perry’s stealth moves have often benefited opponents of chemical regulation. One of his final pieces of handiwork included coming up with what critics have called an “industry wish list” on chemical security that ultimately became law last fall. “Every time the industry has gotten in trouble,” says the staffer, “they’ve gone running to Phil Perry.”

Couple of stories from the NY Times...

They did an article on those tiny houses:

Think Small

And a story from New Orleans:

Fed-Up New Orleans Residents Are Giving Up

After nearly a decade in the city of their dreams, Kasandra Larsen and her fiancé, Dylan Langlois, climbed into a rented moving truck on Marais Street last Sunday, pointed it toward New Hampshire, and said goodbye.

Not because of some great betrayal — they had, after all, come back after losing everything in Hurricane Katrina — but a series of escalating indignities: the attempted carjacking of a pregnant friend; the announced move to Nashville by Ms. Larsen’s employer; the human feces deposited on their roof by, they suspect, the contractors next door; the two burglaries in the space of a week; and, not least, the overnight wait for the police to respond.

Saw the NYT stories too...

I kind of like indoor plumbing, myself. As shown in the picture this 'house' is no more than a fancy tent. These people aren't going to live in it year round and it isn't really a sustainable lifestyle.

Pretty cool for camping-out, though. In some places I've seen a trailer (a real one, e.g. Airstream) used as a camping-out device. The neat thing about those is, you can hitch 'em up and move 'em someplace else. Some trailers even have plumbing and such...

This thing appears to be a toy. Look at the exterior wood panelling. Cometh the first rain, and this thing is going to leak/rot.

A great marketing gimmick to sell to the typical eco-urbanite. I guess for some its possible to willingly live without a bathroom or a kitchen.

"Look at the exterior wood panelling. Cometh the first rain, and this thing is going to leak/rot."

Why would you say that? looks to me like vertical cedar with a "clear" finish. Install it correctly and it's fine, I've done jobs with it that are in service now for 15 years with no problems.

Chertoff is telling us "Don't worry, be happy."

I was reading Global Guerrillas this morning, about systems failures, lack of resilience, how the Iraqis took down their grid. What's to stop someone from walking a few hundred feet from the road in Buckfield and blowing up the gas pipeline that runs through Maine? Or a bunch of chain-saw wielding terrorists (probably white Christians seeking End Days) taking down a few sections of the grid.

That's not going to happen tomorrow. But I could easily see it happening when we're in the dark and the gas and electricity is passing through Maine to the highest bidder in Connecticut. Maybe the day after tomorrow, eh?

But the real terrorists I'm concerned about now are the corporate scalpers that cut every bit of resiliency out of the system, guaranteeing failure in the next exceptional instance. Aided and abetted by their ownership of the political system.

I followed up on Leanan's Homer-Dixon story of a few days past and found this Homer-Dixon at World Affairs Council mp3. He too is talking about resiliency, and the overall systems effect, how every solution we implement seems only to make the system more and more brittle and prone to failure.

cfm in Gray, ME

If you're interested in the work of Thomas Homer-Dixon, you might enjoy his latest book The Upside of Down. Click here for a review of it.

Thanks for the link to the review.

An Update on the Export/Import Situation

I assumed that the top 10 exporters showed the same increase in Total Liquids consumption from 2005 to 2006 that they showed from 2004 to 2005. I assumed that crude + condensate = 85% of Total Liquids.

Based on those assumptions, I estimate that the combined net crude + condensate exports by the Top 10 net oil exporters dropped by 2.0 mbpd (28.5 mbpd to 26.5 mbpd) from 11/05 to 11/06 (EIA Data). Of course, this was "voluntary," just like the "voluntary" declines in US and Texas oil production.

In any case, this is a net decline rate of 7% per year in net oil exports by the top 10, which suggests a 50% decline in net exports in 10 years at this rate. Note that this is month to month. Annual averages would yield a somewhat lower decline rate, but month to month gives us a good snapshot of where we are going. Note that Saudi Arabia is reportedly down to 8.5 mbpd in February, from 8.8 mbpd in November. In any case, when we get the 12/06 numbers, I'll do a year to year estimate on the net oil export decline, based on annual averages.

The US net decline rate (C+C) since 1997 has been about 2.7% per year, but more importantly, based on the HL plot, the depletion rate (the amount of remaining recoverable reserves used per year) is currently at about 5% per year.

Meanwhile, our demand for Total Petroleum Imports has been going up at about 5% per year, since 1990, as our demand has increased and as our domestic production has fallen.

To summarize:

(1) The US is currently using, based on HL, about 5% of our remaining recoverable crude + condensate reserves every year;

(2) Our demand for Total Petroleum Imports is going up at about 5% per year;

(3) Net Oil Exports (crude + condensate) by the top 10 net oil exporters have fallen by an estimated 7%, from 11/05 to 11/06.

Excellent summary. Thank You.

From the Housing Bubble article:

Most buyers in the last two years fell for the line that double digit appreciation every year was the norm. They know their truth and won’t be misled by the facts.

This is a pretty good description for people who believe that we can have an exponential growth rate against a finite resource base (which appears to be the vast majority of the population), in other words: Cognitive Dissonance.

How do you find the OPEC reported OPEC numbers compare, to EIA Washington, and IEA Paris?

OPEC reported 8.7 Mb/day for KSR. for DEC 2006.

Skip to final page, "Data Summary"


Some interesting comments on the Housing Bubble Blog.

The similarities to Peak Oil/Peak Exports are pretty obvious. In fact, given the two-thirds increase in average monthly crude oil prices since 5/05 compared to the 20 months prior to 5/05, I have argued that the increase in oil prices was the trigger that started what was an inevitable real estate meltdown in the US. But we are only in the very early stages of the real estate meltdown.


“My question is this: At what point does market frustration morph into a full blown panic? Is it quantifiable? Should we keep an eye on some key numbers/metrics that can predict the tipping point?”

“OR, Is an inevitable panic ephemeral in nature? In other words, will it just arrive out of nowhere, without warning, tsunami style?”

“The people on this board, I think, assume that everyone knows what actually, only we know. And those whose business it is to know, but aren’t telling. The comparison made here before to a car crash in slow-motion is appropo. In your cross-section of friends, acquaintances, folks you strike up conversations with, what percentage know what you know?”

And another, “I prefer the continuously zoomed out image of a snail moving toward a buzzsaw accompanied with dramatic music.”

One predicted, “Most buyers in the last two years fell for the line that double digit appreciation every year was the norm. They know their truth and won’t be misled by the facts. Only after they try to refi the loan to find out that the new appraisal is 100K less than they paid for it will they try to find someone to blame for it. Then they’ll pretend to be victims.”

One had a specific example, “Was just talking to a friend who told me about a guy who bought a 500k house at the top of bubble 2005 in Bakersfield. Now does not like it and wants to move but won’t sell because he doesn’t want to lose money, already refusing an offer (and only offer by the way) 60k below asking. Trying to rent it (he moved to Fresno) for $1,600. no takers. Very sad but starting to be more common.”

Another made this comparison. “The situation on the ground brings to mind the period during the December 24, 2004 tsunami between the earthquake and when the waves started hitting the shores around the Indian Ocean’s perimeter.”

“Meanwhile, government scientists puzzled over whether to worry about what they knew was a large-magnitude earthquake, but which they nonetheless severely underestimated. By the time the waves were hitting the beaches, it was too late to issue any warnings.”

This is not too similiar to what is happening in Sydney. The Western Suburns and South West where the majority of people drive to work and have low paying jobs are watching their wealth evaporate as higher interest rates and fuel prices have watched their ability to repay loans diminish.

The top end of town and those served by good mass transit seem to be holding up. They have also seen their wealth incease due to tax cuts and the booming stock market.


Last week the Reserve Bank of Australia (central bank) so concerned with the reposessions has aksed for a study into what proportion of house sales in these areas are due to reposessions. Partly due to the fact that banks and non banks have been reticent with the truth of tha problem.

Gov Stephens is already hinting at another possible rise. This makes for some very interesting times.


The top end of town and those served by good mass transit seem to be holding up

Even the media here has started commenting that housing closer to job centers in the Dallas area is doing much better than outlying, more remote areas. I think that we are going to see some amazing collapses in real estate values in more remote suburbs, especially since this is where many people went in search of the 100% financed, interest only (or negative amortization) American Dream, which is rapidly becoming the American Nightmare.

How long has Jim Kunstler been warning us of this?

WT ... I just have a feeling the situation with exoburb ranchettes is going to get very interesting, expecially if the feed crops keep getting appropriated for ethanol.

I'm already hearing grumbling about having to feed horses $10-a-bale hay.

Maybe they can become small-scale corn farmers instead of retired gentry.

I agree that we are still at the beginning of the housing bubble bursting. My view is that the deflation of the housing bubble, the unwinding of the carry trade and a sharp fall in stocks and commodities could all happen at about the same time, which could blow up a string of hedge funds. The derivatives market is a house of cards, or a giant Enron inflated by virtual wealth. As I have said before, I think we will see a market crash this year, and sooner rather than later. When the virtual wealth disappears (ie deflation), the debts left behind will still be very real.

It's not real money, I don't think they even count it. The lenders don't even care if they get paid back or not. In fact, they would rather if they didn't get paid back. The rich are going to kill the middle class with this lending of fictional money, but the system itself can never run out of money.

You might be interested to read about the liquidity trap.

It is a dangerous assumption that debts are not real money and that lenders don't care if they are paid back. The original lender may have passed on the debt in the form of mortgage-backed securities, but someone still owns that obligation and will expect to be paid. Of course it won't be possible to repay all the debts, hence involuntary debt liquidation reduces the money supply (ie deflation), with leverage making it worse.

...the liquidity trap. It is a dangerous assumption that debts are not real money...

I really wonder. Here is what seems to be a speech, or the speech, which earned Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke the epithet "helicopter Ben" from some (although he attributes the metaphor to Milton Friedman, of all people.) In it, he describes a plethora of ways to avoid the liquidity trap.

Last time the USA had a potential problem, it was solved by the Great Savings and Loan Bailout, which, via taxation and inflation, gave house owners a munificent free ride at the expense of everyone else. IMO history will repeat itself, because in the USA, house owners are at the right hand of God, or something like that. The only possible risk would be of overdoing it and incurring hyperinflation. That would be extremely destructive, but, unfortunately, the USA has no direct historical experience to draw on, and might not try as hard as, say, Germany, to avoid it. But given the attitudes and techniques outlined in the speech, significant deflation seems as absolutely impossible nowadays as anything partially of a political nature could ever be.

Hello Stoneleigh,

Corporate profits are made from loans that will never be paid back, except with devalued dollars. You make it sound as if there are free market forces at work, there aren't. The PTB can do anything they want with the money supply. If Fannie Mae were technically bankrupt, how would you know? What would it matter? Until the PTB decide to stop growing the money supply it can and will continue to expand. Liquidity trap assumes that somehow there are constraints, there aren't. They will keep treating money like this. The only real money is what gets collected in profit from origination fees and carry trades. Losses are irrelevant, because the are made up in dollar devaluation. There is no way that the PTB will allow deflation with the levels of debt in this country. Free money for the asking, borrow as much as you can because you never have to pay it back. It's the new paradigm.

I have argued that the increase in oil prices was the trigger that started what was an inevitable real estate meltdown in the US

There is no such connection.

The global financial picture we see unfolding presently started when Japan collapsed 15 years ago (when peak oil was a non-issue), and the Bank of Japan reacted by bringing down interest rates to 0.25%.

It took the mainstream financial markets a while to catch on, but when the US Fed lowered its own rates from 6% to 1% five years ago, in reaction to the dotcom burst, the game was on.

Money supply in the US has doubled in the past 7 years. That means we all have twice as much to spend. And we have. It also means our houses have increased in "value" by about 100%.

Of course they have not, it's juxt the inflation that comes with increasing a nation's money/credit supply. There's no accident here, our own government and Fed have wanted this to happen, and it has.

But there is no link to peak oil other than the realization by government and Fed that with peak oil approaching, it was time for one last big ditch effort to squeeze every possible penny out of the population. And they have. That was Alan Greenspan's 20-year mandate, and he obliged.

Now there's nothing left but debt. The US can't finance itself, it has to sell the plates in order to eat. But that would be true even if oil prices went down to $5 a barrel (that's where you go wrong).

In fact, that would make it worse, because less dollars would be needed on the world market. We now need high oil prices just for our economy to stay alive.

It's game over. So the game will move to Iran. No alternatives left. Greenspan knew this 20 years ago.

As you know, a key problem with so many mortgages is that they were priced for perfection. If nothing went wrong, the borrowers might have been able to make the payments.

But if we zoom out and look at 41 months of oil price data--20 months on both sides of May, 2005--the average monthly Brent spot price was $38 for the 20 months prior to 5/05 and it was $62 for the 20 months after 5/05, roughly a two-thirds increase.

This unexpected (to most people, including Daniel Yergin) increase in oil prices had to have an effect on consumers' ability to make their mortgage payments. As I said above, I think that the real estate collapse was inevitable; the only question is what the trigger was.

I'm with HeIsSoFly on this one. The timing is coincidental, but the causes are separate. Housing prices had been growing so much, it was only a matter of time before the latest crop of buyers/speculators couldn't find anyone to buy their overpriced investments.

Certainly rising energy costs haven't helped, however.

Good point that high oil prices help the dollar. Following this, high oil therefore lowers interest rates, and in turn increases housing prices. SO, oil declining since aug has been bad for housing purchases, not good... higher gasoline only really hurts those who bought at the peak if they lose their jobs, which has not happened yet.
Bush may be aware of this - he's not as dumb as he looks - and anyway owes his buddies big time because he helped drop oil/gasoline before the election. SO, doing something about iran meets many of his goals...
How about this; instead of bombing the nuke sites, how about embargoing iran imports, except for food/medicine? Good precedent, ala iraq before the invasion. Naturally, oil goes up...

JK: "How about this; instead of bombing the nuke sites, how about embargoing iran imports, except for food/medicine?"

Um JK, they took your advice 20 years ago. The 1987 Sanctions agin Iran have been progressively strengthened to the state where it now includes third party nations that trade with both usa and iran. The UN has also piled on.

• IMPORTS FROM IRAN - Goods or services of Iranian origin may not
be imported into the United States, either directly or through third
countries, with the following exceptions:
(a) Gifts valued at $100 or less;
(b) Information or informational materials;
(c) Foodstuffs intended for human consumption that are classified
under chapters 2-23 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United
States; and
(d) Carpets and other textile floor coverings and carpets used as wall
hangings that are classified under chapter 57 or heading 9706.00.0060
of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.
U.S. persons are prohibited from providing financing for prohibited import
transactions. There are restrictions on letter of credit transactions
involving the Government of Iran (see FINANCIAL DEALINGS WITH
• EXPORTS TO IRAN - In general, unless licensed by OFAC, goods,
technology (including technical data or other information subject to
Export Administration Regulations), or services may not be exported,
reexported, sold or supplied, directly or indirectly, from the United States
or by a U.S. person, wherever located, to Iran or the Government of Iran.
The ban on providing services includes any brokering function from the
United States or by U.S. persons, wherever located. For example, a U.S.
person, wherever located, or any person acting within the United States,
may not broker offshore transactions that benefit Iran or the Government
of Iran, including sales of foreign goods or arranging for thirdcountry
financing or guarantees.
In general, a person may not export from the U.S. any goods, technology
or services, if that person knows or has reason to know such items are
intended specifically for supply, transshipment or reexportation to Iran.
Further, such exportation is prohibited if the exporter knows or has
reason to know the U.S. items are intended specifically for use in the
production of, for commingling with, or for incorporation into goods,
technology or services to be directly or indirectly supplied, transshipped
or reexported exclusively or predominately to Iran or the Government
of Iran. A narrow exception is created for the exportation from the United
States or by U.S. persons wherever located of low-level goods or
technology to third countries for incorporation or substantial transformation
into foreign-made end products, provided the U.S. content is
insubstantial, as defined in the regulations, and certain other conditions
are met.

I think the cause and effect argument is past, what is important is this:

TIC Tock
February 16, 2007
By Stephen S. Roach | New York
The US Treasury’s latest report on international capital flows came as a shocker. Net foreign inflows into longer-term US securities fell to just $15.6 billion in December 2006 -- the weakest monthly reading in nearly five years. This stands in sharp contrast to America’s enormous external financing needs -- about $3.5 billion of foreign capital inflows each business day required to fund a current account deficit that was running at close to an $875 billion annual rate in the first three quarters of 2006. Does an external financing shortfall of this magnitude finally spell trouble for the seemingly Teflon-like US dollar?
Probably not -- or, at least not yet...

At any time your $ could begin a nasty 'correction' as some like to call it. That will cause our Aussie $ and all other currencies to go truly weird.
Probably your central bank will inflate even more rapidly than they are now and so will the Aussie CB and all the other aligned CBs (worldwide over 10%).
After that is arguable whether we have deflation or inflation - it won't really matter which because all economies will be in serious disarray until it all clears up. So will stock markets and commodity markets.
It's not doomsday, it's just a bloody mess that is going to be very painful for everyone who hasn't done something to prepare for it.
In that way it is very similar to peak oil and weather change.

I live in New Hampshire, so that's a pretty dire warning in the Concord Monitor about possible power problems next summer. And it's not just somebody's opinion, the article is written by the President and CEO of PSNH, our utility company.

Hello Gr1nn3r,

Why do they project the summer shortages being first? Tourist influx? I thought your grid problems would show up in the cold winter first. Or do most NE houses have the energy hogs of swimming pools and A/C units now? Thxs for any reply.

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

Here in Northern Iowa I think we're following ELP pretty well. Last week I signed on easement on my property for a power line which will be connected to a new wind farm with 200 turbines to be constructed by FPL. This will be the 4th and largest of the wind farms within about a 25 mile radius. Together with 4 ethanol plants within a 50 mile radius and a few more being planned, I think we're on the way to energy self sufficiency. There are also 2 bio-diesel plants under construction that I know of. The one in Mason City is near a soybean crushing plant and I suppose it will use mostly soy oil. Corn stoves, of which I use 2 to heat my house, are relatively popular and the local elevator supplies the corn for burning. I don't buy my corn there though, I grow my own.


I grow my own wood.

Did you know that the average Mexican buys 5 Tortillas for everyone she/he eats. One to eat and 4 to cook with. They say that the currently popular low fat tortillas do not burn as well.

Do some of your corn kernels get partially roasted before they go up in smoke? I bet you could salvage a well cooked kernel or two with a nice tong!

I guess this guy didn't have a lot of social capital...

Man's body found in front of TV year after death

HAMPTON BAYS, N.Y. - The partially mummified body of a man dead for more than a year has been found in a chair in front of his television, which was still on, authorities said.

Vincenzo Ricardo, 70, apparently died of natural causes, said Dr. Stuart Dawson, Suffolk County’s deputy chief medical examiner.

Police found Ricardo’s body this week when they investigated a report of burst pipes.

...“He hasn’t been heard from in over a year. That’s the part that baffles me,” he said. “Nobody sounded the alarm.”

Neighbors said they had thought Ricardo was in a hospital or nursing home.

“We never thought to check on him,” said neighbor Diane Devon.

Westexas, Leanan, Stoneleigh and other members of the TOD lunatic fringe seem particulary worked up about economic collapse this weekend. It has foundation in the revelation that final 2006 numbers coming in from a cornucopia of sources reveal yet another year of oil Supply records, annual GDP growth and continued record low unemployment. And the IPCC Climate Report has dashed their rumours of 20' sea levels and a ton of hurricanes next year.

They and their cheerleaders' desire for a housing bubble collapse has fizzled, just as Alan Greeenspan had forecast.

The folks that bought at the height of this frenzied market are not unique. They share the same gene pool of like minded individuals that bought dotcom stocks for $175 and gold at $1000. They are mere byproducts of social darwinism in play, a sort of culling.

"There's a sucker born every minute." It was true a century ago. More true today. And TOD has become a magnet for vulnerable and gullible souls.

A Recession is no closer today than when the talk surfaced at TOD in October 2005.

RE: Westexas, Leanan, Stoneleigh and other members of the TOD lunatic fringe seem particulary worked up about economic collapse this weekend.

Freddy, you are so obnoxious that it makes a sane person wish for total collapse just to get rid of you.

I have no respect for your non-value add either. Earlier today u stated:

Cheryl: "The current administration is all big oil men/women and they have installed big oil men in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is all about seizing the energy to help out big oil."

To which i asked:

"That's quite an allegation. The State Dept has announced that total oil revenue for 2006 is $31-Billion, up substantially from 2005. Could u give us a breakdown of the distribution of those funds to Bush Administration friendly Texas oilco's? I couldn't find it in their Shareholder reports."

Please just admit that u are another lunatic fringe blowhard that has joined TOD with a well stated agenda.

I didn't see your question since the thread got too long for my slow connection.

To my knowledge, the current revenues haven't got much to do with Iraq. Iraq is for the future, and pretty much all of the multinationals have big pieces of the very lucrative contracts in Iraq. So far, Halliburton and KB&R have made a fortune on their no-bid contracts. If you don't believe my allegations about the "big oil men/women" then do your research yourself. I've done mine and I know the truth whether or not I can recall all of the numbers off the top of my head. And I'm not going to waste any more time responding to a single one of your posts, EVER again.

The current revenues are due to the price of oil, duh. The retail price far exceeds the cost to produce and deliver, voila, massive profits.

And no, I'm not just another lunatic fringe BLOWHARD that has joined TOD with a well stated agenda. I have no agenda except the safety and well-being of my family and friends. Like most of the occasional posters, I am just a peon with NO agenda and NO ONE to influence. I'm just an old, retired, and crippled granny who is concerned about the future. And until all of these discussion points become history, it is still unknown who is right: YOU, the doomers, or the folks like me who fall somewhere in between. I believe the technology exists or soon will exist to solve problems posed by peak oil, but I don't believe the scope and scale of the problem make it truly solvable. It will be solved for part, but not all of mankind.

But speaking of BLOWHARDS, you just about take the cake. No wonder Dave Cohen told you to go do strange things to yourself. I rarely ever say things like this, but in your case I will make an exception. You are a pompous, egotistical ass. Goodbye.

The Granny: "The current revenues are due to the price of oil, duh. The retail price far exceeds the cost to produce and deliver, voila, massive profits."

Oh, i see now. The "current administration" conspired to attack Iraq in order to triple the price of oil. Thanx muchly for your insight today.

Weren't there plans for killfiles at one point? That would be super handy.

Yes, it would handy. I suspect that even if banned, these folks would come back. But they would likely be highly recognizable due to their posting style.

Killfiles aren't banning - it's just where user A elects not to see posts from users B, C, and D. Those users are not even aware that their audience is diminished.

Thanks, but I did understand that. I was just making the comment that banning these guys won't really work because they'll just come back...and back....and back.

Freddy, you know someone who bought gold for $1,000?

Don, frankly we can just go down the list of the TOD lunatic fringe camp. Their aside comments about failed marriages, alienation at the workplace, dismissal by their local media & estrangement by family and relatives tells us much about their personal lives.

Their deep clinical depression comes out in their posts and likely has basis in many poor life decisions ... incl investments. It is clear they will believe anybody about anything and they are likely the senders of many chain letters that u receive. They need help...

And our forum is their last avenue for a soapbox.

So why are you here?

He needs the money.

You're even more cynical than me
Your theory does have the merit of being simple.

Is that why he hates everyone so much?

I have not counted but it appears to me that between him and hothgor one or the other takes "the point". Read the "discussion" between freddy and Ian in another thread...LOL- good stuff!
I think Freddy is getting pressured by someone to do something!!!! It seems to me that his posts are getting shrieky in thier personal attacks. Can you clearly follow his arguement layout? Muddy the waters imo. On the otherhand Dave C's lead on the cera case was very clear and easy to follow.
A very good quetion "why are you here?" hmmmm
For what it is worth.

Hi Freddy,
Please consider the following regarding us doomers: the noted psychological researcher Martin E P Seligman's research indicates that while optimists are more likely to be happy, pessimists are more likely to have an accurate assessment of circumstances.

What this means as a practical matter is that we doomers are descended from that fellow who ran around Easter Island warning everyone to stop cutting down the trees, while the "leaders" told everyone to stop worrying, he had everything under control. And descended from the woman who kept yelling at her fellow Mayans that 200' trees aren't renewable in a human lifetime, while their leaders said, "relax, the GDP is going up, everything is great!"

This implies that while the optimists are great for physically constructing a village, every village needs its pessimists to keep them from "growing" the community to death.

Dear 12-week old anonymous profile,

Please give us your list of the doomers good calls over the last five years. Mine shows about 75 that never came to fruition.

Even the poor pacifists here are having a bad week. The Senate installed the new commander for Iraq. The Senate defeated the surge proposal by a 56-34 margin.

Maybe when the Congress is Democrat controlled, the socialist left will get some traction, eh ...

Huh? What, honey? Ohhh. They have since November? Oh well, there's alway 2008, i guess.
Oh, hi Rudy! i was just thinkin' about ya. When do the Primaries start down there?

Uh... actually that's 56 in favor of NOT surging. They were actually only 4 votes short...

Speaking of the democratic socialist left, wasn't it Mitt Romney (a republican) who instituted universal health care in MA?

Dude, you gotta stop listening to Rush.

Even the poor pacifists here are having a bad week. The Senate installed the new commander for Iraq. The Senate defeated the surge proposal by a 56-34 margin,

Does this mean that the pacifists are wrong?


"A pacifist is another name for a supporter of fascism." - George Orwell

I guess the pacifist wants the US to abandon Iraq so the death rate increases from 100 a day to 500 a day and a fascist religious dictatorship gets installed after a lot of bloodshed, with the main victims being liberals, democrats, seculars, and women. The irony is just too rich.

why should we care what kind of government they want over there... oh right the mis-guided view that the united states owns the world and all the resources in it. my bad you can go back to spewing your warmongering and kool-aid spewing.

I guess the pacifist wants the US to abandon Iraq so the death rate increases from 100 a day to 500 a day

Err, please cite your source for the 100 a day death rate?

(and when exactly have American Citizens been worried about the deaths of others?)

Oh Freddy,
Why would anyone want you off this site? After our last exchange where you utterly failed to provide simple stats to back up your statements on growing capacity, I'm intrigued to have further chats with you.
But this time, I won't bother with a question. I'll give you a little information.
I guess you are fairly young because doomers seem to be a novelty to you - as though they just sprung up with PO or GW. Sorry, they've been around forever. From my point of view, after nearly 60 years on this lovely world, I've been involved in a doomsday (American) cult, oil shortages that guaranteed doom for all, Mr Kissinger promising doom by domino effect, and the end of the world because of currency defaults, bird flu, tsunamis, and falling rocket debris. And never forget doomsday 2K.
Gloomers are forever here, and always will be - and you should thank God for them, and never bad-mouth genuine people with heart-felt and totally genuine fears. Even if, in your opinion (which may be totally correct) they are utterly wrong in their doomsday theory.
Why give thanks? Because if just one time, one of those genuine concerns, from those totally dedicated and genuine people, changes a little something in the world that saves your precious backside, it will make up a thousand fold for every falacious doomsday scenario that has ever infiltrated this world.
Now, back to the year 2000: the moment a doomsday theorist said we are all doomed because of the clocks failing to reset because of the 2K computer error - the error was effectively solved. I knew, and I'm sure every other computer programmer on the planet knew that one the problem was recognised, the problem was a non-event.
Why? Because a doomer called out and rang the bell warning of the potential firestorm to come (hope you like my poetic analogy) and the problem was extinguished.
Now, I'm no doomer (I was) but I listen to doomsday scenarios like Peak Oil - and guess what. I don't believe we are all doomed. And I believe you will be right when you say doomers will be proven wrong.
They will be (I sincerely hope) but it will only be because the warning was given (hopefully in time) and the changes begun.
So, don't rubbish doomers - treasure them. They are probably the best friends you will ever have.

IDU: "After our last exchange where you utterly failed to provide simple stats to back up your statements on growing capacity, I'm intrigued to have further chats with you."

Please be fair, Ian. This was not "my statement". U asked me to interpret the Credit Suisse position. Your frustration was based on their forecast based on their premises that u take issue with. Please don't shoot the messenger.

Similarly, while my TrendLines presentation includes everybody from Hubbert to Bakhtiari to CERA; all are included for comparative purposes. The disparity of outlooks should be an indication that the presentation is not a reflection of my personal biases. In fact, when u are here at TOD longer, u will discover that i have dozens of posts in the archives that trash both extremes.

Also u should ignore Eric Blair's comments that i have failied to answer calls to define doomers. This is a fabrication and everyone here knows implicitly my views after almost two years of posts.

Hi Freddy,
Please consider the following regarding us doomers:

Hint: Donm't play his "doomer label" game. When Fredy has been asked to define what it means by 'doomer' Freddy slinks away.

Using an emotionally charged word to broadly paint a group.

When Freddy can be bothered to actully put forth an actual definition, then you its word - "DOOMER".

Till then, posts by Freddy is just dismissive handwaving.

No, but I bought at $250 and did very well. I also invested in all things related to oil back in 2002/2003 and did very well. So much for an agenda.

Oh yes, lest I forget steel, coal, and railroads...

It's how I managed to become retired. When we got the oil men/women running the country, I paid very close attention. It was pretty much a lunatic fringe slam-dunk.

Hello TODers,

Wild & Crazy Speculation ahead!

I am utterly fascinated by this newsreport of airplanes' windshields' outermost layer cracking on different planes at different altitudes:

Hodas said it was unclear whether the high winds were to blame.

"It's not exactly unusual weather for Denver," Hodas said. "We don't know what it is... It's kind of a mystery at this point."

Spokesman Steve Snyder said windshields cracked on several different makes and models of airplanes from several airlines, though he did not immediately know which and how many. None of the pilots reported flying debris, Snyder said.

"Everybody is fairly baffled by it," Snyder said.

I have no scientific expertise, so I hope the TODer geophysics experts see this post and reply back to my following WAGs:

1. Some kind of tectonic, but non-seismic, huge vibrational sound energy pulse was released in the Rocky Mountain area. Maybe a giant shift in deep magma temp or flow released a 'squeal' similar to when a red-hot piece of steel is dipped into a quenching bucket of water.

This energy release affected all planes, bridges, skyscrapers, etc, to some degree depending on spatial orientation, structural design, and energy absorption capabilities to this sub-aural frequency, but only a very few objects, in this case a few planes, physically responded in a manner to exhibit the force and effect.

The planes, that were geographically oriented in the right direction [whether on the ground or airborne] that cracked their glass acted like huge, optimized 'tuning forks'; the airframes temporarily resonated at a frequency sufficient to generate harmonic flex-forces that cracked their windshields.

Consider the example of making a wineglass squeal by running your finger around the lip; this would be an example of a plane that cracked its glass. The other planes, that had no problems, were like a wineglass that could not squeal because the person was rubbing his finger around the base, or rubbing vertically; same energy input, but no observable results.

2. A solar pulse, somehow focused? intensified? by fleeting migrational auroral magnetic flux line phenomena induced static forces in these planes oriented in the correct alignment; tuned to the correct 'radio station' if you will accept this analogy. Glass, being an insulator in relation to the metallic airframe, thus became a huge capacitor from the instantaneous buildup, then cracked from the huge discharge from the collapsing passage of the magnetic flux lines.

3. The storm had some elemental weather forces similar to the movie, "The Day After Tomorrow" that somehow combined to release a 'squeal' from rapid temperature and barometric pressure adjustment, or stormcloud static buildup was not lightning released causing stratospheric to ground level flux line distortion and buildup of electrical potential in metal airframes.


Any TODers got any other wild & crazy ideas?

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

Hello TODers,

One other WAG addition:

For millions, billions? of years: the global magnetic flux lines and polar orientation and location evolved to the gradual flow of fixed ferrous particles in the crust and below. Could our extremely rapid, in relation to geologic timelines, mining and redistribution of these trillions of tons of conducting metals plus the continual movement of ships, trucks, cars, planes by FFs contribute to a distortional flux buildup into a Fresnel Lens that became evident today with the cracking of windshields in the Rocky Mountain area?

Kinda like a global St. Elmo's Fire version of the raging controversy if the power released from cellphones causes brain cancer?


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

Bob Shaw, Man, it must be a very busy place inside your mind! Your brain seems to go as fast as Dave Matthews typing fingers.

Bob Shaw, On the other hand maybe a butterfly flapped it's wings in Bolivia. Or maybe it was just trick mirrors. Viola, busted windshields.

My amatuerish review of solar forces this last three days indicates nothing at all unusual. Which reminds me if we had the type of solar storm experienced in 1859, the internet would short circuit, as well burn up transmission lines in the northern tier of the US and most of Canada.

The Great Storm: Solar Tempest of 1859 Revealed

But I degress, I like answer #1 the best.

Cool link!--thxs

This sort of speculation is a bit silly. Airline aircraft windscreens often delaminate and can sometimes crack with a loud bang, but usally only the outer layer.
These windscreens are bonded in multi layer thicknesses with very special adhesives and in flight are always heated, primarily to guard against bird strikes below 10,000" but also as ice protection
What has probably happened here is that sittng on the ground unheated, the outer layer has been subjected to a sudden very cold drop in temperature compared with that associated with the inner layers and this has caused them to delaminate and craze on the outer layer.

Hello Down Under,

Thxs for responding. If I read the original CNN link correctly: it happened on all kinds of different planes from empty, unpressurized planes at gate level, to pressurized planes flying high altitudes. They said it was a mystery [they know more than me]. I assume all the airlines/pilots involved have to alert the FAA/NTSB--it will be interesting to read what the report says when it comes out a year from now.

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

Was there something bad in the de-icing spray?

The inference I got was that it was airliners parked at Denver. It wouldn't happen to different aircraft in the air. It will be a temperature problem, if aircraft were airborne they would have had windshield heat on which makes the windscreen much tougher. There is normally three layers of toughned glass bonded together with a layer of gold in the middle and electrical elements for heating formed in the glass.

The fact that it happened to so many parked aircraft at the same airport would indicate this. I bet there was a savage drop in temperature and with the wind strength, unheated glass and warmer temperatures (relatively) inside the cockpit, it was thermal stress that caused it. Just a bit of trivia, even back in the 1970's a single B727 windscreen cost $28,000 to replace so that will have been an expensive afternoon.

Yow, that is a lot of money. Googling around, I found confirmation that some planes were flying, others cracked on either takeoff mode, or landing mode [so not just parked planes] when their windshields cracked:

Sun 18 Feb 2007

Airline probe after extreme weather damages planes

AIRLINE officials launched an investigation yesterday after extreme temperatures threw schedules in the US Midwest into chaos by cracking the windshields of at least 13 planes at Denver Airport.

Two of the planes were in the air when their windshields failed, although the pilots were able to land safely.

Officials believe the cracks have been caused by a combination of low temperatures and winds of up to 100mph. More than 50 flights were cancelled and many more diverted.

SkyWest Airlines reported cracked windshields on eight planes that were taking off or landing on Friday.

An airline spokesman said several different makes and models of airplanes from several airlines were affected. "Everybody is fairly baffled by it," he said.
Two of Frontier’s Airbus planes were in the air when their windshields cracked. Frontier spokesman Joe Hodas said it was unclear whether the high winds were to blame.
SkyWest Airlines, a regional carrier for United Airlines, reported 14 cracked windshields on nine aircraft, while Frontier Airlines reported cracked windshields on four planes.

Eight of the windshields on SkyWest's Embraer EMB120 Brasilia and Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet planes cracked while either landing or taking off between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Friday as gusts of up to 50 mph were hitting the airport, airline spokeswoman Marissa Snow said. The windshield on the other plane cracked while it was airborne.

"Only the outermost layer was affected," Snow said, adding they're investigating why the windshields cracked with the winds.

Two of Frontier's Airbus planes were in the air when their windshields cracked, while two cracked while at the gate. Frontier spokesman Joe Hodas said it was unclear whether the high winds were to blame.
Like I said in my original post--a fascinating mystery even according to the experts.

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

There is obviously some mis reporting here. I don't doubt the numbers of different aircraft,and if they are in the take off or landing phase, or even higher, it will have nothing to do with wind - it will be thermal stress and temperature related. Windscreens are designed to withstand normal airspeeds of 480+ knots and beyond.

When storm fronts move through like this although there can be abrupt change of wind direction and speed, it will probably be a very sharp fall in temperature that caused it. Note that the report said it was the outer panels that failed. This is consistent with what you would expect from thermal stress.

Many people are not aware of the temperature limits for lots of things in our world. For instance nearly all jets can't fly when the temperature is above about 53C - it's an air density problem to do with both lift and engine performance. It's not just windscreens that suffer from thermal stress, so do turbine blades. I am sure this will prove to be thermal stress.

I think that Britney Spears shaving her head recently will probably have a greater effect. Especially if you talk to her on a cell phone.

Seriously, the magnetic flux comes from way below with a mass of iron many, many orders of magnitude bigger than what we could ever move around up top. If we could affect it, you could be sure that Halliburton would have the contract to align magnetic north with the north pole.

Hello JoulesBurn,

Your quote: "I think that Britney Spears shaving her head recently will probably have a greater effect. Especially if you talk to her on a cell phone."

LOL--Yep, I felt the disturbance in 'The Force' too.

[sigh] If we could only build a giant stator in outer space, we could use the earth's magnetic field to supply our electricity needs and our energy problems would be solved.

I'll draw up some plans and send them to Popular Science right away!

Bob, what is HAARP?

Hello Ckaupp,

Thxs for responding.


Some think HAARP is a super advanced weapon, planetary microwave gun, changer of weather, cause of earthquakes, on & on, but I don't give it much credence because the geo-magnetic forces of the sun and earth are countless magnitudes stronger than anything we can hope to do, but I don't hold a candle to these people in the following links [some have Phds]:


The Sun flips poles every 11 years according to this link:


and the Earth's North pole can move 85km in less than 24 hours:


I am more inclined to believe some natural forces that we don't yet clearly understand broke those aircraft windshields. I am sure the FAA, NOAA, USGS, and the NTSB are extremely curious what caused all these different planes to have the exact same problem at the same time. Maybe one of my WAGS will help them pinpoint the problem before an aircraft crashes.

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

Thanks for the links, Bob! This is an interesting diversion from the current "goings on."
Pretty slick change of subject, so yes, some humans are smarter than yeast.

This will be fun to read about. I now remember hearing something about HAARP a few years ago, but didn't pay much attention at the time.

I would vote for the temperature change, but these windshields are built to sustain a wide range of temps and impacts, so it probably warrants investigation. Due to the number involved, it is rather interesting. One concern would be manufacturing defects. If they happen to all be built around the same time, there could be some kind of problem that makes them more susceptible to damage. Like so many manufactured things, different planes often use the same supplier for certain parts--even if the size/shape of the windshields are different. I suspect that is one of the angles the NTSB/FAA will investigate.

There was a cool educational program about the flipping of the earth's poles. The conclusion was that the poles are behaving in the same manner as they did in the past when preparing to flip. It's kind of like peak oil: some folks think it will have devastating consequences, others think it will merely be an inconvenience. Since it will likely affect navigation, at least temporarily, I hope to not be flying when it does.

Hello Ckaupp,

Could be very Peakoil related if whatever causes this occurs more frequently or worse, causes aircrashes. Imagine something making airflight much more risky. People would think twice about the casual jet vacation. My guess is that they can make more robust standards for windshields.

How many glass suppliers are there? Are their inputs and processes similar?

Hello TODers,

Zimbabwe Update:

Police and Army deserting Mugabe:


180,000 Civil servants set to go on strike:


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

Deffeyes says, that as of 1/1/06, we had about 1,000 Gb of conventional crude oil reserves left (crude oil = crude + condensate, EIA data). In 2006, we used about 2.7% of remaining conventional recoverable reserves.

An interesting question: out of Deffeyes' estimate of remaining 1,000 Gb of conventional crude oil reserves, how much will be exported?

Consumption in virtually all exporting countries is growing, and generally growing quite rapidly. I estimate that crude oil exports by the top 10 net oil exporters fell by about 7% from 11/05 to 11/06.

Note that Russia reported: (1) an increase in year over year crude oil production from 2005 to 2006 and (2) a 2.4% decrease in oil exports (because of rapidly rising production). Consider what will happen if, as I expect, Russian oil production starts falling this year. The top 10 net oil exporters could easily start showing a 10% annual decline rate in net oil exports.

If the top 10 do start showing a 10% decline rate, it would mean a 50% drop in net oil exports by the current top 10 in about seven years.

My WAG is that perhaps only about 250 Gb of remaining conventional crude oil reserves may be exported. Look at the number of countries that are importing, on the verge of importing, or that will become importers in a few years. Some examples: (1) Definite major importers, e.g., US & China; (2) Recent importers, UK; (3) Fluctuating, e.g., Indonesia; Soon to become importers, e.g., Mexico.

posted on wrong thread. I'll post it on the 2/18 thread


"Found this comment intereesting in the article about OPEC controling prices...

"They would also be constrained to continue increasing the year average supply of oil and total capacities to cover:

1. Average demand growth (about 2 - 2.2 Mbd/year net)

2. Loss of capacity from depletion (over 2.5 Mbd/year loss)

We can note that the increase of average daily world oil demand and consumption - that is demand growth - is a highly 'controversial' subject all on its own."

Demand growth is "highly controversial"...loss to depletion isn't.