DrumBeat: February 26, 2007

Iraqi Cabinet approves draft oil law

Iraq's government has agreed on a plan to divide the country's oil wealth and open the industry to international investment, a move seen as necessary to a political settlement of the nearly four-year-old war, ministers announced Monday.

Norsk Hydro makes significant new oil and gas find in Barents Sea

Norsk Hydro ASA has made a significant new oil and gas find in the Barents Sea which could dwarf the mammoth Goliath field nearby, according to Norwegian paper Dagens Naeringsliv.

The paper, which quotes oil industry sources, says geological tests have show that the Nucula well could contain 300-500 mln barrels of oil.

Mexico Oil Barrel Costs near Double

Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) is currently facing an oil-extraction cost increase, from $2.20 to $4.20, per oil barrel, which means a 91-percent increase, according to statistics of the company.

This increase adds to a decrease in production, volatility of prices and an important drop in success of drilling prospect wells, going from 57 to 42 percent, between 2000 and 2006.

Gore's `An Inconvenient Truth' Wins Best Documentary Oscar

The best-documentary award may further stir talk that Gore, a former Democratic senator from Tennessee and 2000 presidential candidate, might make another bid for the White House.

Renewable energy in the mix

Following are figures on world energy supply by fuel in 2004 and projected supply in 2030, according to the International Energy Agency, energy adviser to the industrialised world.

States beat Washington to renewable energy

In Texas, home to some of the world's biggest oil companies, you might think the case for renewable energy would be tough to make. As it happened it was tough, but not impossible.

It was simply a case of showing that technologies like massive wind turbines and solar roof shingles would do the job with costs that were in line with power generated from fossil fuel, said Jim Marston, of the Texas office of Environmental Defense, an advocacy group.

Climate draft allows spike in oil-sands emissions

Greenhouse-gas emissions from Alberta's oil sands would be allowed to rise dramatically under a draft version of the government's long-anticipated climate-change plan obtained by The Globe and Mail.

The internal documents appear to underestimate significantly future oil-sands development as a way of producing more positive figures, said two environmentalists who analyzed the documents for The Globe.

Red tape thwarts wind revolution

They were hailed as our new energy source. But local objections have left wind farms in jeopardy.

How will thirst for biofuels affect global hunger?

Experts are talking about a permanent change in food economics.

"We're into a new structure of markets," says British food aid expert Edward Clay. "It could have profound implications on poor people."

Will Cellulosic Ethanol Take Off?

Fuel from grass and wood chips could be big in the next 10 years--if the government helps.

Europe and the IT industry seek energy-efficient data centres

The European Commission may ask data centre operators to become more energy efficient, and the IT industry - including recently formed body The Green Grid - is stepping up to the plate.

Boom seen for energy pipelines

China plans to extend its oil and gas pipelines by nearly 63 percent by 2010 to meet rising energy demand, according to the nation's key pipeline builder.

Iran Oil Offer Pleases Turkey But Not U.S.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki's offer to open natural gas and oil wells in Iran to Turkey, and even market the extra gas produced by these wells, was well received by Turkish energy circles.

However, Mottaki's offer would give rise to new problems in Turkish-American relations said Turkish ministry of energy sources.

Turkey, Egypt agree to discuss oil crisis in Mediterranean

Turkish and Egyptian foreign ministers agreed to set up delegations to discuss an Egyptian-Greek Cypriot deal that paves the way for oil and gas exploration by Greek Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean, diplomatic sources said yesterday. The agreement came during a meeting between FM Abdullah Gül and his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Abdul Gheit.

Lithuania threatens to block EU-Russia agreement

Lithuanian officials, angered by Russia’s halting of oil supplies to the country, have said that they may join Poland in blocking talks on a new EU-Russia agreement.

Each oil crisis spells a new energy future

Some scientists assert that world oil resources are near their peak and may soon decline. However, reports of the US Geological Survey point out that peak oil production may not be as close as some have previously thought: Oil reserves are still about 42 times annual production levels. Long-term, alternative petroleum resources, such as the nearly 1 million barrels per day of crude oil that Canada now produces from oil sands and Venezuela's Orinoco tar sands, are promising.

Baltic gas pipeline sparks fears in Nordic countries

A gas pipeline project linking Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea that has already prompted an outcry in Poland is also raising environmental and national security concerns in the Nordic countries.

Emirates, MIT team up for green energy

Leaders of this major oil-producing Gulf country said Sunday they were plunging into the field of renewable energy, announcing a joint research venture into green energy with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Saving Starving Children Should Trump Global Warming Concerns

Nobel Peace Prize-nominee Al Gore told a New York University audience last September that, “Our children have a right to hold us to a higher standard when their future… is hanging in the balance.”

But the future for 18,000 hungry children extends about 24 hours. What’s our planetary hero doing about that?

A Conservative Conservationist?

When George W. Bush, The Post and the insurance giant Lloyd's of London agree on something, it's obvious a new wind is blowing. The climate change debate is here to stay, and as America warms to the idea of environmental conservation on a grander scale, it's vital that conservatives change the debate before government regulation expands yet again and personal freedom is pushed closer toward extinction.

Cars not needed on campus

I'm tired of hearing people complain about the parking situation on campus. When more than 80 percent of students live within a mile of campus, there is no excuse for using your cars.

An Open Letter To Cindy Sheehan

We do not have the luxury anymore for shortsighted policies which benefit the few. Our reliance on cheap oil, our subsidization of corporate agribusiness, and our death-kiss to family farms have made us incredibly vulnerable to famine. Our unchecked consumption, our devotion to technology, and our car-dominated sprawling lifestyles have been ravaging the planet. Global warming is a huge threat to all of Earth's inhabitants, while peak oil threatens our economic system and will completely end the standard of living we have grown accustomed to. Ecologically speaking, the 6 billion people of the planet can likely not be sustained without cheap oil, and most certainly not without dramatic social reorganization.

Michael T Klare: Three US reasons to attack Iran

Some time this spring or summer, barring an unexpected turnaround by Tehran, US President George W Bush is likely to go on national television and announce that he has ordered US ships and aircraft to strike at military targets inside Iran.

Nigerians not benefiting from foreign debt cancellation, says CITN

He listed some of the woes recorded in the country in spite of increased earnings from crude oil sales at the international market to include: the pervasive infrastructural inadequacies which inhibited the operations of businesses and the attendant business closures; the escalating energy crisis and incessant increases in the prices of petroleum products which make the cost of manufactures goods very prohibitive and incomparable with those of other economies globally.

Global warming worries to boost renewables

Three decades after former U.S. President Jimmy Carter experimented with solar panels on the White House roof, grim U.N. warnings about climate change may kick-start wider global use of renewable energy.

Aramco signs Chinese refinery deal with Exxon, Sinopec

An Official at Saudi state oil giant Saudi Aramco announced that the company has signed an agreement with Exxon Mobil and China-based Sinopec for a project to triple the capacity of the Fujian oil refinery in southern China, the Peninsula reported.

Gas Rationing Begins At Some Stations As Fuel Shortage Worsens

A few Petro-Can stations that are running low on reserves are at least temporarily restricting drivers to just 75 litres [20 gallons] of fuel per fill-up.

Pumps have been set to shut off once the magic number is reached and you won't be able to squeeze any more out of the nozzle.

In some instances, stations have completely run out of super, leaving high-end vehicle owners with no choice but to put in what regular they can get.

Gas prices up almost 13 cents nationwide

Gasoline prices soared nearly 13 cents a gallon on average nationwide in the past two weeks as the price of crude oil rose.

Shell cuts flow to 16 Oregon gas outlets

Shell Oil Co. has cut the flow of gasoline to 16 Oregon stations - 11 in the Eugene area - because the stations' operator is behind in its payments, a Shell spokeswoman said Friday.

Hydrogen Storage Gets A Boost

Three papers published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society now report a significant milestone in hydrogen storage: the first definitive evidence for H2 binding to open metal coordination sites in nanoporous metal-organic frameworks (MOFs).

Uganda: $160 Million Palm Oil Project Stalls As Bidco Waits for Promised Land

One year down the line, Bidco Uganda Ltd is still waiting to get land for the Bugala nucleus palm oil project.

Because of this delay, the project is expected to cost more than the initial estimate of $160 million.

Who Sucks Energy: Conventional or Organic Farming?

The London Telegraph dutifully reported the results of a study by the Manchester Business School, comparing energy use in organic and conventional farming systems. In a life cycle assessment - farm to fork - it found that many organic crops use more energy.

'End of Oil' author to speak at Embry-Riddle

"Every 24 hours," journalist Paul Roberts writes, "we burn 81 million barrels of crude."

For oil producers, it's getting more difficult to locate the large fields where oil can be cheaply pumped. So high prices will likely continue, ultimately leading to change -- be it the rise of alternative fuels or a scaling back of our consumptive practices, says Roberts, author of "The End of Oil," a celebrated 2004 book on the subject.

Oil Glut Hidden by Rig Dearth Makes Drillers Good Bet

The rise in rig costs contributed to the five-year jump in oil prices by driving up production costs, hindering the discovery of new deposits and slowing the development of existing finds. There is some 3.02 trillion barrels of crude oil left under the ground, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The oil left underground in the U.S. alone is enough to replace every barrel pumped from Iran for the next 20 years, according to statistics compiled by London-based BP Plc, Europe's second-biggest oil company.


Left in the ground is not the same thing as recoverable.


right, interesting choice of words: "deposits"

Norsk Hydro makes significant new oil and gas find in Barents Sea
300-500mbl - million barrels, right?
That mean 4-7 days of world oil consumption. Or have I missed something?

Just to add to PeakPlus: my point is that a find of 0.3-0.5 GBl is a pin prick and that during earlier times nobody would have made a big deal of such a find.

What these journalists should do if they're at all professional is to put their reports into perspective: tell the readers how small the find is compared to previous years and let them know (1) what the hype threshold would have been back then (say, 1970s) and also, as PP notes, how many days that is in terms of either the world consumption or the US/EU consumption.

Bruce Scott in Duesseldorf

drift wave turbulence: http://www.rzg.mpg.de/~bds/

This hype and lack of basic math skills is also the reason why ANWR oil development continues to make the "addicted to oil" talking heads in Washington salivate.

ANWR is 25 times more than this discovery. That is enough to matter. It is almost inevitable that this area will be developed eventually. But it will be a lot more valuable post peak when we are all driving micro-mini cars or taking public transit.

ANWR may be or may not be 25 times more than this discovery. As I understand, the SWAGs for ANWR are just that, Scientific Wild-Ass Guesses.

There was a test well. That makes the estimate 10 gb better than a SWAG.

one test well 10 gb ??????? roflamo

I also understood that there had been one test well drilled in ANWR, but that the findings were not public.

I did a fairly intensive search of the EIA, though, and could not find any reference to the test well. Instead estimates of oil resources seemed to be based on comparisions of other areas with similar geographical structures.

Does anyone have any more solid data on what we actually know about potential resources in ANWR?

the 10 gb figure is apparently the mid range of usgs estimates, based on very limited information, making lots of assumptions and applying monte carlo simulation.
when i first started learning fortran* the prof had a saying "gigo" (garbage in garbage out)

* that was back in the days when programing was done on punch cards (shortly after we graduated from basic programing - the programs were saved on tickertape)

Here are a couple of links on KIC-1 'The only test well drilled in ANWR' with its results still held confidential by Chevron.


Like I said, SWAG, unless somebody has news of a more recent, and public, exploratory effort.

No realistic estimate that I can find goes beyond 7-800 kbd, and many go lower. Which is a lot, but still maxes out at just 3% of US daily use (today's consumption, no growth included).

And it's an optimistic number, and disregards the costs and uncertainties inherent in the operation. Look at what happens at the Sakhalin projects, how the deep freeze differs from normal extraction. Cost predictions double every 2 years, Putin gets angry etc etc.

If, for example, the ANWR oil turns out to be twice as expensive to extract as the oilsands, what will happen? What if the oilsands' oil gets twice as expensive as it is now? Hard to predict, except that the price'll move upward, not down.

All of these estimates are on the "happy"side, but we will be in for some nasty surprises.

What's going to happen to ethanol fuel prices if the cost of corn, or grains in general, quadruples?

Might as well get your investment advice in Vegas.

Oil in the ANWR

Numbers are bandied about by both sides - those for drilling say that there is 30 years-worth of Saudi imports of oil available, and that drilling will enhance the national security and lessen dependence on imported oil (especially from the volatile Middle East.) Opponents say that the ANWR will supply less than 3% of US annual oil use, and that the price for drilling this small amount of oil will be the destruction of unspoiled land and the ANWR's flora and fauna.


The estimates of the technically-recoverable oil (i.e. ignoring the market price) in the 1002 area are as follows: There is a 95% probability of being able to technically recover 4.254 billion barrels of oil, and a 5% probability of recovering 11.8 billion barrels of oil. The mean expected estimate is of being able to technically recover 7.7 billion barrels of oil. Using the graph on the right we see that at an oil price of below $13/barrel no oil is commercially recoverable, while at an oil price of $30/barrel the 95% probability estimate is 3.2 billion barrels of oil, the 5% probability is 10.4 billion barrels of oil, and the mean expected estimate is 6.4 billion barrels of oil. At an oil price of $24/barrel the mean expected estimate comes in at 5.2 billion barrels of oil.

OK, I will buy 7.7 gb as a reasonable estimate. By the time this comes on line, the price will probably be well over $100/barrel. It's hard to imagine the technical/economic problems there being more challenging than deep water oil, or tar sands.
There is no environmental free lunch for oil (except conservation) The potential environmental nightmares for oil shale and stripmined tar sands are probably worse than ANWR. Chronic marine oil spills have a comparable impact.

That mean 4-7 days of world oil consumption. Or have I missed something?

I think that is correct. But 500 million barrel of oil also translates into 30 billion dollars (at the current price of $60 per barrel), and maybe thats the countervalue oil companies prefer to think of.

What I found strange is how this "news" made it all the way to Forbes. Because when I read the original article, I definitely got the impression that the 300-500mbl number was pure speculation ahead of the Norsk Hydro information that is to come out sometime in march. (I haven't had time to check out the printed edition though). Similarly there has been speculation that Eni's Goliat field may actually contain as much as 900mbl (from memory) rather than the present 250mbl.

Concerning "Each oil crisis spells a new energy future"...

Here's another journalist with the same problem... no perspective. He thinks this is like the 1970s where all we need is more effort and some new mentality. So what if there's a lot in the reserves? How much is there actually, in terms of days at current production? Just how much does this "shift the peak?

Not knowing the data or how to get it, I'll take a guess: of order 100 days.

Now, in the history sea-change that peak oil represents, what is 100 days? Or 500 days, for that matter?

The overall numbers involved in the currently rising demand (IEA says we need 120 Mb/day, right?) are such that these tiny considerations are meaningless and the journalists writing "upbeat" pieces about them are pretty unprofessional.

Bruce Scott in Duesseldorf

drift wave turbulence: http://www.rzg.mpg.de/~bds/

There's a great article in today's ASPO Peak Oil review:
Commentary: Smoke and mirrors
By Aage Figenschou

Any chance it could be an article on TOD?

The article is "Smoke and mirrors"
by Aage Figenschou is posted now on Energy Bulletin.


Indonesia drops balls into mud volcano

But they've had a setback. Broken equipment is delaying the ball-dropping.

This is going to keep a small army of engineers busy for a while. Der Spiegel notes that "the plume occasionally contains larger amounts of hydrogen sulfide," which, I suspect means that the sediments themselves are rich in sulfides. They will have to figure out how to keep the sediments saturated or they'll have a huge acid-runoff problem. See some pictures here.

He's correct.

That's why we're going out there to get it as we speak. Which, when you think it over, is also a form of independence: having the biggest guns.

As Homer so famously said in the Odyssey:



I guess I don't understand the value of having the "biggest guns" to fight constant, multiple, oil wars around the world when those big guns (our military) are the largest consumers of oil on the planet. How is that going to save US from peak oil? (Although it might save Dick and George's butts -at least for a while.) EROEI still applies here, whether it's an energy source or an energy user. Doesn't it?


Big guns are needed when your goal is world domination. The energy situation today is what we've been building towards for some time now. As the world's most powerful nation, we are also the world police. (nice perk) And, when the energy source the entire human world has built its modern civilization upon begins to decline... with no plan B in hand... the handling of which requires (forced) control... well, you get the picture.

To remain the police requires loads of energy. The next president, whoever that person is, will be only the next in line to try his/her hand at being the commander-in-chief... of the world's police.

Its not supposed to save you. Its supposed to make some oil company executive rich.

Translation: "Who's your Daddy?"

Well...the oil is not foreign if you take over the country now is it?

So we are making ourselves "independent" by taking ownership of the remaining oil reserves that we can get our hands on.

(being sarcastic :)

It would be an interesting exercise to look at exactly what America would need to do, if it lived entirely within its own resources for oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear power, and renewable energy. Compared to world per capita resources, America's are still very good - but much lower than what we have grown accustomed to.

A top priority should be to look at what we can do with only our own production of natural gas, since imports from Canada are sure to decline and we cannot hope for much help from LNG. I expect a huge scramble for other heating arrangements if U. S. natural gas production declines as rapidly some are predicting. If people try to switch to electric heating, this could have a major impact on the grid - at the same time others are trying to add plug-in electric autos.

You mean no OPEC no FSR no Nigeria? I've been toying with something similar except I limited enegy use when the US oil peaked in 1971.

Why do this? (Underlying premise alert)
B/C if the world is now in fact where the US was in 1971 ,as WT Simmons and others propose, THEN substantially living within our 'production means' is the reality we may now face. (just in case that other idea doesn't look like it has much future)

My alternate future started like this...

Today 36 years later we in the US would already be running
our society on 12MBPD oil production +coal et all (maybe a bit more) or maybe substantially less.

In dollar terms lower to middle income families would be working less, shopping less, and sheltering less. In human terms we would have been caring for basic needs for a lot more people. (I hope)

We would have passed or still be in a 'most difficult financial period'. So most wealthy Americans would also see downturn. Those shrewd enough to invest in 'winning' energy strategies did better.

Exploratory and production drilling on the OCS, ANWR, and GOM
would have yielded up it's fruits ,at whatever monetary
aesthetic and environmental costs necessary.

Feasible and politically acceptable opportunities in light
rail, wind, micro hydro, biofuels, solar and nuclear may well
have been explored, exploited, and developed.

Alternately if inefficient technologies would have been explored
and developed in favor of workable ones we would be reaping
those consequences as well.

(We would be well on our way to understanding the difference)

Voluntary or involuntary conservation would have been in
effect for many years already. The consumption 'fat' would be
coming off. Think post-USSR Cuba w/o Venezuela to the rescue.

Society would have been become more contracted and less
mobile and neighborhood models would be more sustainable in some areas.

Alternatively where people were less inclined to collectively
work on solutions, social upheaval, crime, and income
inequality would be ruling the day.

Course this alternate reality will never be because the US has continued to 'expand' it's economy for those 36 extra years and now we will have to 'break off' from a higher level of dependancy. So if you buy peaknow, whatever you come up with as a US domestic energy constrained future certainly is relevant thinking.

Blankets maybe??

US continental (lower 48) wind resources are estimated at about 1.2 TW average, while the continental shelves are estimated at about 900 GW average.  If we grabbed 50% of this, we'd generate about 1.05 TW average or 9200 billion kWh/year, over twice what we use today.  That would be more than sufficient to power all our electric stuff plus all our ground transportation, with plenty left over.

Then you've got the US biomass energy potential (so-so if you turn it into liquids to burn in piston engines, but potentially another 3-5000 billion kWh if you use the best known conversion technology), and that doesn't even begin to touch the solar potential.

We'd be in lousy shape if we switched today, but we could live mighty well on RE alone if we set our minds to it.  This does not include the 5 million bbl/day of oil we're still pumping, the billion tons/year of coal we mine, etc.


Samsara posted this yesterday. It's about reports of threats by top US generals and admirals to resign if Bush orders an attack on Iran.

I discussed this last year. I thought that we would eventually see something akin to a mutiny, or at least mass resignations, in the US military.

... reports of threats by top US generals and admirals to resign if Bush orders an attack on Iran.

That would be very bad indeed. Their places would subsequently be filled by individuals much more likely to be ideologically coherent with the power centres in the administration. I shudder thinking of heads of commands being of like mind with BushCo as an attack against Iran unfolded.

What is much more serious is that the Democrats will keep on funding the entire theatre.

The US has a bit of reason and principle left in individuals, but not in politics, or for that matter in any organization that matters. The Democrats are nothing more than the other side of the same coin.

We can drool over Barack Hussein Obama and Albert Arnold Gore, Jr as much as we want, but no-one gets elected in the US without the $millions that come from always inevitably the same people and interests. Don't be surprised if Hillary presides over the next phase of warfare. She's ready. So is John McCain. Don't count him out.

And there's always another general and colonel and soldier to be found.

2.2 million people in prisons, and 2x 2.2 million in deep sucker mortgage debt.

Take your pick.

And than there's this:

Pearl Harbor or Waterloo?

A candidate will step forward who will speak the truth and risk the assassin's bullets. The wealth of the Truth Candidate will not be measured in the dollars criminals can pour into their campaign funds. That candidate is going to tell it like it is. That candidate will run the risk to lead the nation out of its misery and on into the future that will be the New American Century, but on our terms. That candidate will be a real leader of humanity.

The truth is, we do not need the oil. It is not just poisoning the world; it is poisoning us as well. We are Americans and we will survive without it, if that need be. It isn't likely it will need to be however, because as Americans we can set the price of oil at $20 a barrel simply by proclaiming that is all we will pay for it. If the oil producers won't sell it for $20 a barrel, then we can find another way to get along without it. That effort will bring the world to a better place any way.

"as Americans we can set the price of oil at $20 a barrel simply by proclaiming that is all we will pay for it."

Ahhh... the Wal-Mart Principle: As the biggest customer, you set the price that you are willing to pay and the rest of the world has no choice but to dance to your tune.

Sump'n tells me it won't work.

The truth is, we do not need the oil. It is not just poisoning the world; it is poisoning us as well. We are Americans and we will survive without it, if that need be. It isn't likely it will need to be however, because as Americans we can set the price of oil at $20 a barrel simply by proclaiming that is all we will pay for it. If the oil producers won't sell it for $20 a barrel, then we can find another way to get along without it. That effort will bring the world to a better place any way.

This is about the dumbest damn thing I have read in a while. We do need the oil if we expect industry and agriculture to keep churning and producing food and products. If the oil disappears then the food and products will disappear. And if we declared that $20 is all we will pay for imported oil, we would not get very much oil. The sudden shock of imported oil drying up would drive up gasoline prices to $10 a gallon and cause a near insurrection.

It is just plain stupid to declare that we can simpld declare, by holy fiat because we are Americans, that oil prices will go no higher than $20 a barrel.

Ron Patterson

This, of course, supposes that America launches an unprovoked attack. If you read between the lines of Michael Klare's AT piece, I think you can envision a scenario or two in which Iran "provokes" America into an attack. And under those circumstances, I think it would be very difficult for ANYONE in the Pentagon to resign.

All it takes is a few "false flag" operations to be carried out and everyone will be back on board.

If they did resign I would say finally someone is being a patriot. The rise of the military complex has left most Americans subservient to their continued existence. The current article in Vanity Fair about SAIC gives an excellent account of how the revolving door perpetuates poor decisions. The same people make the decisions in and out of government, it is in their economic and power interests.

The person that should have fallen on their sword to make a change for the world should have been Colin Powell, who joined in to get us where we are today. If you believe in the Neocon view, the US is perfectly positioned to control the ME resources. It appears we are in with the Saudis and Israelis to control the rest of the rabble. If you believe that the world should come together to solve the problems, there are no options available at this time.

I would not give much credibility to the news stories about threats of US generals and admirals to resign if ordered to attack Iran.

Some of these stories trace back to an article Seymour Hirsch wrote last year about the U.S. planning to launch a nuclear attack on Iran. I remember reading Hirsch's book, "The Samson Option", in which he described how Saudi Arabia was covertly trying to develop a nuclear capability in the 1980s. The U.S. found out and decided to keep this secret from the Israelis, but the Israelis found out through their spy in the U.S., Jonathon Pollard. The Israelis then launched an attack on the Saudi airbase housing the nuclear complex in which they dropped pig carcasses on the base using C-130s, essentially saying, "We know what you are up to and disapprove." The Saudis quietly shut their nuclear research down and everyone kept quiet about it. In summary, it was a fascinating, page-turning account by Hirsch, but after some reflection it seems unlikely that much of it was true.

If Bush attacked Iran without first getting a congressional resolution in support, he would be impeached and he knows it. Barring a remarkable event, he's not going to get any such resolution. He won't get any U.N. resolution of support either. Let's not forget that when the second Iraq War started, Bush had both a congressional resolution of support and some older U.N. resolutions on the subject.

Finally, it is considered dishonorable in the military to resign under orders. If one suspects he will be given an order with which he cannot comply, the expectation is to resign ahead of time, as was done by Robert E.Lee before the American Civil War, when he was told that he might be placed in command of a U.S. army that would attack Virginia. To threaten to resign in the face of an order that has not been given would be a career-ending maneuver as well.

I might be wrong, but the story just doesn't ring true to me.

I agree.

It really makes little sense for senior officers to resign since very few of them get killed in places like Iraq. In fact, I would go as far as to say that nearly all the casualties are non-officers over there.

The military is the ultimate beauraucracy and the guys running it do have to think of their pensions!

"There was talk in the officer corps of a military putsch, but only talk. Hitler's contempt for the Prussian officer caste, which he held til the end of his life, proved quite justified. It had accepted, with scarcely a murmer the officially condoned murder of Generals von Schleicher and von Bredow. It was swallowing supinely now the cashiering of its senior officers. Was not Berlin swarming with younger generals eager to replace them, eager to serve him? Where was the vaunted solidarity of the Army officers? Was it not a myth?" (p. 320)

""From now on I take over personally the command of the whole armed forces.""
Feb 4, 1938 - Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) Adolph Hitler (p. 318)

Shirer, Rise and Fall of the 3rd Reich

It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush (Hardcover)
by Joe Conason (Author)


It's 11:55. Do you know where your country is?

Umm. My country is in the land of wishful thinking, hoping for a general's coup, because no one believes anything can be done to prevent the madmen at the top from doing as they please?

It seems to me that C-130's would be extremely easy to shoot down.

Donning latex gloves, I clicked on the link about the "Starving Children" and found it was written by Steven Milloy, CEI courtesan.

Leaving aside the sheer distastefulness of the argument considering it's peddled by an apologist for Philip Morris, the upside is CEI's paymasters must be hissing at them "Do WHATEVER".

Effective controls on CO2 emissions and consequent constraints on XOM et al. might be nearer than the pessimists think.

What a slimy piece!

Maybe I'm being hopeful, but I have to think there's a strong odor of desperation in such a sniveling commentary. But I do think enough people can read through this, that he's as good for the environmentalists as Rush and O'Reilly are for the Left..

Like the Senator Inhofe bringing Michael Crichton in to testify to congress on Climate Change..
"We bring scientists, YOU bring a Rock Star!"

The faux of junkscience.com featured on foxnews.com; and the admin.gets his pardon WRT all the US & Iraqi men, women & children disfigured or deceased.

Public assistance rolls increase

The welfare state is bigger than ever despite a decade of policies designed to wean poor people from public aid.

The number of families receiving cash benefits from welfare has plummeted since the government imposed time limits on the payments a decade ago. But other programs for the poor, including Medicaid, food stamps and disability benefits, are bursting with new enrollees.

The result, according to an Associated Press analysis: Nearly one in six people rely on some form of public assistance, a larger share than at any time since the government started measuring two decades ago.

There are two side-by-side articles in the WSJ today about electric cars. One is free.

I liked this part:

Unlike golf carts, NEVs meet federal and state requirements to drive on residential streets in more than 40 states. Lincoln [Calif.], which is in danger of violating federal antismog rules, is installing special lanes for them on major roads that have speed limits exceeding 35 mph.

Retrofitting the suburbs with dedicated lanes for low-speed electrics was a strategy I mentioned in the TOD discussion for Stuart Staniford's "A few more transit stats." Some posters seemed to feel the idea was unrealistic, but at least in Lincoln, Calif., they're moving ahead with it.

Andrew posted this, on yesterday's drumbeat, early this morning. And because of the posting time, I suppose most people missed it. So I beg your forgiveness for posting it again, but I thought it important for those internestd in the denial of global warming.

It is called The Denial Machine and will air tonight.

Ron Patterson


"This report from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation investigates the campaign to deny the science of global warming and slow international action against it. "The Denial Machine", 8.30 pm on ABC TV."

edit: for those of you in australia : This program will be repeated about 11.35 pm Wednesday 28 February; also on ABC2 digital channel at 9.30 pm Wednesday and 8 am Thursday.

I believe that show was made available for free viewing online at the CBC Web site, when it was first aired (in Canada). Dunno if it's still there, but it might be worth a look, for non-Australians who are interested.

Here's a link. Be forewarned, upon opening it may hijack an existing Internet Explorer window already open on your screen. To be safe, you might want to copy and paste the link into your browser.


I saw it and it was good. Selected quote: 'Canada's emissions increases make the US look good'.

There isn't so much GW denial in Australia seeing as how the rivers are all drying up. I think the fear is that we'll pay twice ie less water and less cheap energy.

With my magic sleight of hand, (yeah, I'm good at this),
I can make anyone look good, US, Canada, Australia,

There's just one exception, and wouldn't you know, they're all supposed to be green over there:

Irish greenhouse gas emissions up 140%, report finds

Greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland grew by 140 per cent between 1990 and 2004, according to a report published this morning.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) report said Ireland's growth rate was well above other countries' growth rates, with the average across 32 European states being 25 per cent.

Better planning, greater investment in public transport and a greener approach to taxation would have prevented such a shocking increase
FG environment spokesman Fergus O'Dowd

The Republic was only surpassed by Luxembourg, which saw growth of 156 per cent during the period. The figures exclude emissions from aviation and marine traffic.

Prof Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the EEA, said technical advances, such as cleaner, more fuel efficient engines, were "very important, but we cannot innovate our way out of the emissions problem from transport".

Quotes for today:
CL M07 6332 6387 6291 6309 -23
CL Z07 6650 6675 6589 6590 -28
CL Z08 6782 6793 6771 6771 + 25
CL Z09 6752 6771 6735 6735 + 16
CL Z10 6700 6710 6680 6680 + 21
CL Z11 6615 6670 6615 6660 + 51
CL Z12 6580 6640 6580 6600 + 21

The other day someone brought up the idea of living within our solar footprint. I did some calculations based on the assumption of per capita power use of 5kw and an average solar input of 35 watts/sq ft. At my current residence in a trailer park it just wouldn't be possible. But when I looked back at my previous home with a lot size of about 1/10th of an acre there is more than enough to do the job given a 15% conversion efficiency. It would require constructing a canopy of PV cells over the entire lot and a way of moving some of that power to the businesses, farms, and industries which provide my family with the goods and services we use. It looks like living within our solar footprints can provide everyone on Earth with a very good quality of life.
Of course it would take a few changes in the rules of the game.

You might want to clarify those numbers a bit. 5kW is a load, not an amount. 5kW-hours is an amount. Also, that amount should come in a specified time frame...i.e. 5kW-hours per day. Same goes for "solar input" or "insolation." 35 watts/sq. ft. is a load, or how much might be falling on one particular square foot at an instant in time. You want to know how many kW-H is possible per day. This NREL insolation chart on wikipedia gives the amount of kw-H/m^2/day (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Us_pv_annual_may2004.jpg). You'll see that the majority of the US can catch at least 4.5 kwH/m^2/day to 6.5 kwH/m^2/day. Those poor souls high in the north are down around the 3.5 range. Now, these figures are at 100%, and solar cells are generally on the order of 15% efficient...which brings it down to something like 675 wH/m^2/day to 975 wH/m^2/day for most of the US. So using the 675 figure would put you around 7.5 m^2 or 80 sq.ft. for 5kW-hours/day.

Jeezum Crow! Yes, 5kW-hours is an amount (of energy). And then you say "that amount should come in a specified time frame...i.e. 5kW-hours per day". So you're back to units of power rather than energy. But using a rather akward unit. Why can't people simply use watts (as thomas deplume did)? Furlongs per fortnight, anybody?

For those who still puzzle over this:

1 kilowatt = 1000 watts.

1 watt = 1 joule per second = 1 watt-hour per hour (how's that for a truism) = 24 watt-hours per day.

Now back to the original number: 5KW per person. Do we really need that much? I think we can live comfortably on much less than that. My personal electricity use is more like 200 watts (4.8 KWH/day for those of you who can't stand the simpler unit). Then we have: heating, cooking, transport... and of course growing and processing food. But even with those the total truly needed shouldn't be more than 5, or 10, times that much, given a sane lifestyle, and buildings designed for efficiency rather than short-term profits.

"5KW per person. Do we really need that much?" Dunno - how long are you gonna use it for?

It is conventional to use energy, kW-hrs, which is what you're billed for. 5kw is an expression of instantaneous power, which doesn't mean much in this context. Yes, you could infer that 200W is an expression of average continuous power use, and then you can work it to 4.8kW per day. However, that leads to confusion, as in the original post where (I believe) the figure of 5kW was intended to be "per day". I could flick on a 200W bulb for 5sec, and it would yield rather less than 4.8kW per day - in reality, most loads are intermittent.

The 5KW is an expression of average power, and is mathematically and logically equivalent to 120 KWH/day. I thought I settled that "issue" above... And the original post clearly was talking about average power.

Don't you love it when journalists describe the new power plant (or wind turbines or whatever) as generating enough to "power X homes for a year"? As if the power plant is designed to self-destruct at the end of the year? :-)

I realize you believe you settled it, but I'm a stickler for the correct use of units, and watts cannot be used as an measure of energy. Yes, 120 KWH/day equates to 5kW for 24hrs, and as such is a measure of POWER, not ENERGY. Therefore 120 KWH/day is still a measure of instantanous power, and implies nothing about the energy used. I can use 120 KWH/day for 60 sec or for 1 hour.

Ok, I flubbed..."oops" But! I at least know saying 5kW-H/day is more descriptive of the power usage and we've already proven why. Does anyone know for sure what the original poster meant? Did they mean a 5kW continuous load amounting to 120kWH for one day? Or did they mean 5kW-H for the one day? 120kWH is HUeueueueuege for one day...that's like 3,600kWH in a month or $324/month at $0.09/kWH! Now the real clue is that the original poster said "Per Capita"...and I seriously doubt there are any families of 4 out there with power bills around $1,300/month...so the original figure must have meant 5kWH/day for a per capita figure. It might still come around to be a figure for average load, but the non-reduced information makes it make more sense.

The 120 kwh/d/per family of 4 includes the embodied energy in all the goods and services an average family uses in one day. $324/mo is very close to my last total of all my utility bills last month. Yearly average is closer to $180/mo but that doesn't include gasoline use or our share of Walmart's energy use and that used to produce all the food we ate.

What I'm talking about is the average level of energy use over the course of a year. It works out to 43,830 kwh/yr. Power is the average rate at which energy is used or supplied.

"Restrained by a worse-than-expected slump in housing, the economy will grow at the slowest pace in five years in 2007, leading economic forecasters say. They predict consumers will get a break on inflation from falling energy prices."

- should I laugh or cry?

Posted on the Vermont Peak Oil Network web site: a three-part review of Monbiot's book "Heat", its applicability to Vermont, and the connection to Peak Oil.

Hello All,

I am looking for information that will help me settle in the New Orleans area. Specifically an area roughly triangulated by New Orleans, Slidell and Pearl River.

Quebecor, my employer, has decided to close the Lincoln NE plant as part of the company's North American Magazine Upgrade Platform.

I am viewing this as an opportunity to take one step closer to a more sustainable

I would appreciate email correspondence with any clues that will make this transition easier. Please insert 'TOD Drumbeat' in the subject.

Thanks in advamce !!


you're in luck

Alan Drake, the future mayor of New Orleans !!!
is a much appreciated contributor here

to contact him

Yes, I read the original thread regarding the future Mayor. I also read earnietheattorney.com who lives in New Orleans and has written about the sad state of the local politico's.

Sounds like a bang up idea to me !

I have taken a passive approach to this request in order to not become a hinderance to those individuals that may not be interested in responding.

I would be glad to talk to you AND show you around "America's Most Unique City". Try and catch American Experience on PBS, their episode on New Orleans. They got 5 of our 58 facets correct.

Best Hopes,


In today's print edition of "The Wall Street Journal." there is an interesting page one article by Greg Ip that reveals how the Federal Reserve System regards upward moves in oil prices as temporary. Herewith the first couple of paragraphs:

"Low Jobless Rate No Longer Tops Fed's Worry List: Officials see Looser Link Between Employment and Inflation Picture.

For decades, a simple rule has governed how the Federal Reserve views the nation's economy: When Unemployment falls too low, inflation goes up, and vice versa.

But Fed officials have rethought that notion. They believe it takes a far bigger change in unemployment to affect inflation today than it did 25 years ago. Now, when inflation fluctuates, they are far more likely to blame temporary factors, such as changes in oil prices or rents, than a change in the jobless rates."

What I find especially noteworthy is that (almost by definition) upward changes in oil prices and rents are regarded as temporary. A big factor driving rent increases is rising costs of heating (i.e. rising natural gas and oil prices). Now the Fed regards upward movements in oil and natural gas as temporary--following the CERA line. If such price fluctuations are temporary "noise," then the Fed will tend to ignore upward movements in price level indices driven by rising oil and natural gas prices. Thus the tendency will be to continue easy money policies despite increased inflation driven by rising oil prices.

The role of expectations is key. So long as expectations say that current oil prices are only temporarily high, then expectations for a stable (i.e. no more than two percent annual increase) price level will persist. The sixty-four trillion dollar question is what the Fed will do when expectations change. What will the Fed do when increasing oil and natural gas prices drive inflation up to the three to four percent level? Will they continue their easy money policy in a rigid expectation that oil prices will fall back to Yergin's $38 per barrel level? Will they accept increased inflation as less bad than a tight-money caused recession even when rising oil prices are seen as a long-term rather than a temporary phenomenon? Or will the Fed slam on the monetary brakes when inflation breaks decisively above a two percent annual rate based on new expectations of increased inflation caused by permanently increased oil prices?

Also, I wonder what it will take to change expectations as to the "temporary" nature of oil price increases at the Fed.

Now the Fed regards upward movements in oil and natural gas as temporary--following the CERA line.

Don--I'm not convinced. Ben just never looks that happy and I don't think he's oblivious to the true oil situation. I think they're more afraid of contributing to a recession, which is impossible to turn around compared to inflation, which would solve a lot of their problems anyway.

Seems the R word enters someone's thoughts

"Greenspan warns of likely U.S. recession"


"We are now well into the contraction period and so far we have not had any major, significant spillover effects on the American economy from the contraction in housing," he said.

Hey Mr. Greenspan, would you mind sharing your definition of 'major, significant spillover effects'? Oh, and while you're at it, throw in a few examples just so we can recognize them should any appear in the future.

Greenspan talking about a "Possible" recession.

I have somewhat harsher words and opinions of Greenspan and his Bankster ilk.

But I will let Doug Noland say it nicely.


It may take some time before mortgage tumult expands to the point of significantly impacting the general economy. However, recognition that the unfolding subprime debacle is an Indictment of Contemporary Wall Street Finance should be more immediate. The almighty Wall Street securitization and distribution machines were directly responsible for millions borrowing more than they could reasonably be expected to ever repay. The issue was never that it didn’t make sense for an individual borrower to bury himself in debt to participate in an obvious Bubble. Instead, it was all about whether scores of such loans could be pooled together and structured in a fashion that ensured that holders made above-market returns for awhile – and, later, with the eventual blow-up, that risks had been spread sufficiently so that nobody suffered too big a hit.

We’ll wait to see how effectively risk was dispersed and how well related Credit “insurance” markets function. And let’s see to what extent Wall Street can simply pack up its gear and move it on over to the next nascent Bubble.

As for the Fed, they were happy to take a hands-off approach as long as most subprime risk was seen to be dis-intermediated away from the banking system.

The subprime debacle is certainly an Indictment of Federal Reserve policy. The Greenspan Fed knowingly fueled the mortgage finance Bubble (post-tech Bubble "mop-up" reflation).

Worse yet, I am convinced that Mr. Greenspan promoted variable-rate mortgages to the masses as part of a strategy to extricate potentially catastrophic interest-rate risk associated with normalizing rates after an extended period of ultra-accommodation (especially for the highly-exposed GSEs and derivatives markets!). The sophisticated were certainly forewarned and well positioned to profit immensely from Fed (telegraphed) policies, while so many less fortunate

    destroyed themselves
financially at the grimy hands of housing Bubbles and “teaser-rate”, “option-ARM”, negative amortization and zero-down mortgages.


...Thru this life you travel,
you'll meet some funny men.

Some will rob you with a sixgun,
and some with a fountain pen.

Thru this life you'll ramble,
Thru this life you'll roam.

But you'll never see an outlaw,
Take a family from their home.

Pretty Boy Floyd
by Woody Guthrie

The Cranes of Dubai (Stephen Roach)

"According to construction trade sources, somewhere between 15% to 25% of the 125,000 construction cranes currently operating in the world today are located in Dubai."

"The comparison with Shanghai Pudong -- China’s massive urban development project of the 1990s -- is unavoidable. I saw Pudong rise from the rice fields and never thought anything could surpass it. I was wrong. Based on industry sources, 26.8 million square feet of office space is expected to come on line in Dubai in 2007, alone -- more than six times the peak rate of completions in Pudong in 1999 and nearly equal to the total stock of 30 million square feet of office space in downtown Minneapolis."

Dubai, before oil, had date palms, camels that grazed on desert shrubs, a little fishing and a few pearl divers. It was also on the travel route for incense traders from Oman. After oil, it will return to its past. And as for all those beautiful giant skyscrapers:

After a few generations, they might come to believe that the rubble amid which they live is the remains of cities built by gods.


Ron Patterson

Was someone saying that it was unlikely that we would see large parts of suburbia abandoned? Imagine what will happen with every one dollar increase in gasoline prices. (JHK warned us)

From The Housing Bubble Blog:

The US News and World Report looks at Colorado. “In pursuing the American dream, Hector Garcia figured he was doing everything right. He bought his first house 4 1/2 years ago in Denver’s Montbello neighborhood. Garcia took out a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 6.5 percent interest, bought a three-bedroom home for $207,000, and began fixing it up.”

“But two years ago, interest rates reversed course, sales slowed, and developers began discounting the homes they’d built nearby. Buyers with adjustable-rate loans saw their monthly payments rise. Some fell behind and were forced to sell or face foreclosure.”

“The worst result is the sort of vicious cycle of ‘for sale’ signs, foreclosures, then more ‘for sale’ signs that is all but devastating Montbello. Bank-owned properties now represent more than 80 percent of all homes on the market there, putting even seemingly stable homeowners like Garcia up against a financial wall.”

“‘I just can’t take it anymore,’ he says of his street’s overgrown yards, abandoned houses, and declining property values. ‘I put so much into this house and this community, but I don’t have no equity.’”

“Garcia’s house two years ago ‘would have gone for $210,000, maybe more,’ says David Cabrera, the real-estate agent whom Garcia hired last fall to sell the home, now priced at $195,500. ‘But nobody’s buying now with all the foreclosures.’”

Apples and oranges. It is an African-American/Latino neighborhood. The houses are still probably overpriced for the median income of that demographic. Denver will probably be a better than average place to live in 20 years. It's cool enough to live without air conditioning, and should have enough water for basic needs.

My mother tells me that when she was a young girl growing up in Florida, shady traveling salesmen used to go through the black communities selling poor-quality goods out of the trunks of their cars, at inflated prices. Some things don't change, I guess.

Oil prices settle at 2-month high

NEW YORK - Oil prices settled at their highest level in more than two months on Monday as snowy weather in the United States spurred expectations for strong heating oil demand.

Top scientist seeks halt on coal plants

One of the world's top scientists on global warming called for the United States to stop building coal-fired power plants and eventually bulldoze older generators that don't capture and bury greenhouse gases.

But 159 coal-fired power plants are scheduled to be built in the next decade or so, generating enough power for about 96 million homes, according to a study last month by the U.S.
Department of Energy.

Ditto on that. It is imperative that we do not build anymore coal plants. Maybe that is a tall order. But what are the consequences of business as usual?

There's idealism - don't build any more coal plants, and there is reality - if there's no oil growth, coal growth will take its place long before communities agree to nuclear plants in their back-yards.
Coal will win, I'm certain; and here in Australia I'm investing heavily into coal stocks.
It's because of PO that coal will be a decades long boom industry - I mightn't like the consequences, but my knowledge will help me survive the dramatic price increases in food and power ahead.

Hello TODers,

Regarding Leanan's toplink on making data centers more energy efficient:

I am not a IT guru, but it seems logical to me that eventually users will be charged by the 'byte of energy' required.

If so, I think a huge marketing segmentation opportunity exists for simple text, graph, and picture data centers. The higher energetic requirements for archiving, then streaming audio, video, and interactive video-gaming dataloads could be off-loaded to other companies that would charge more for these luxury web services.

Simple user computers, software, and data-centers optimized for such minimal operations would be largely in a shutdown mode until the next data transfer request came across the web. The fixed nature of simple text, graphs, and pictures could greatly reduce computational time and hard drive accessibility energy costs for both user and data center.

Thus the user could choose the best cost/benefit program for his needs instead of having to purchase a bundle of services. For example: for me to have high speed computer cable access-- I also have to purchase cable tv access, which I don't need. I would prefer to just pay for a very, very limited instant Wi-Max or dialup service but somehow still have the quick transfer speed of cable.

By subscribing only to these limited data centers by software user or hardware setups, you would get charged the reduced energy-saving rate, thus enabling you to surf longer and cheaper. The corner of your monitor could exhibit the current 'bytes of energy' charged so far. When you desired to go from simple download mode to interactive mode, you then would jump to a much higher 'byte of energy rate' because that would require more resources at both the user and data center. Of course, when you jump to YouTube, a music site, or a videogaming site--this would peg your displayed 'bytes of energy' speedometer, but this would be controllable by user option. But best of all: charging by the 'byte of energy' would quickly end all the ads, spam, and other junk that freeload rides across the web now on my ISP's basic energy charge that we all pay whether we use that amount or not.

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

Isn't it much simpler to charge for internet service by the byte? Then all kinds of users can use the same server / service provider, but those who use more will pay more. Sometimes the simplest method is the fairest. Just like a gasoline tax!

What costs money and power isn't bytes so much as bandwidth.  (You've got to be able to move those bytes, and what happens when everybody in town wants to move their daily megabyte at the stroke of high noon?)

Has anyone been able to locate a copy of the draft Iraqi oil law? I've been scouring all day and cannot find it...


This is from the 20th. Leaked/translated. I don't know what changes may have been make from this to the one that passed today.

Can't thank you enough.

Hello TODers,

Just a reminder to please add comments on the WSJ blog--we need the synergy! If the WSJ reads TOD--return the favor!


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

The cover of the March issue of Acres USA magazine is titled "Peak Oil and the New Agriculture" featuring an interview with Richard Heinberg. This may be available online soon, but the February issue is currently online. A few excerpts from Heinberg's interview:

The best estimates of the timing of global oil production peak are converging around year 2010, which means we're virtually there. That doesn't mean that suddenly all oil production will vanish or collapse. We'll start to see about a 2 percent per year decline in oil production from that point. Here in North America the decline in natural gas production will probably occur with greater speed, so we may in fact have a much more severe natural gas crisis at least in the early years, starting within the next few years, than an oil supply crisis. That's going to affect agriculture, it's going to affect electricity production, home heating, the chemicals industry and the entire American economy. Probably by the year 2015 or 2020 we'll see an American economy in tatters compared to anything we've known over the past few decades, simply because we'll no longer have the fuel to make it work.
ACRES U.S.A. When Douglas MacArthur became the so-called shogun of Japan right after World War II, the first thing he did was order land reallocation. About 13,000 families owned all the land in the whole country, and he required them to turn the deeds over to the government and then sold it back to the farmers. Do you envision something like that happening in the United States, where we simply must come to terms with the proposition that we have to have land reform?
Heinberg. If we were smart, that's what we would do. My concern is that what's very possible instead, even likely in this case, is that land will be held onto be banks and large corporations, while the growing hordes of jobless people will be hired as agricultural workers and become a new class of serfs.
ACRES U.S.A. And carbon dioxide, of course, is a global warming gas that's running amok. You know we have taken agriculture to high nitrogen use, not only in the United States, but worldwide, and this nitrogen is mostly wasted because it goes off into the air--especially anhydrous, less so with natural nitrogens--where it locks into the oxygen and becomes one form or another of nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide, in turn, is 183 to 212 times more polluting in terms of global warming than carbon dioxide. Yet we find that Al Gore doesn't even mention it in his film, An Inconvenient Truth.
Heinberg. That's right--thank you for pointing that out! That's yet another reason why we have to reform our entire food system, and very quickly.

It'll be really fun to watch Halliburton and Black Watch swat teams taking over everybody's farms.

My particular valley is already fully armed ... it would definitely get ugly.

On the 'lighter' side of the fuel situation:

Teens use lighter to steal petrol in the dark
(Australia) February 27, 2007 07:10am
THREE teens who allegedly tried to steal petrol from a sawmill's fuel shed have been charged with arson after they used a cigarette lighter to see in the dark - and burned the place down.
Police said a 19-year-old man, 17-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy were charged after a fire in Mungallala, west of Roma, early yesterday.
They said that at 2.30am the trio entered the Mungallala Sawmill on the Warrego Highway and used a lighter to see how much fuel they had taken from a storage shed.
The resultant blaze destroyed the fuel shed, sawmill and sawmill equipment and injured one of the teenagers.
The three are scheduled to appear in Mitchell Magistrates Court on April 24.

The fuel was probably for sniffing.

A neat editorial on why car manufactures seem so reluctant to use all these wizbang new battery technologies we see popping up.

Big battery packs that are necessary to propel a full function automobile or truck (not an NEV like the Kurrent or GEM) on a daily basis, need to bee able to withstand the abuse of different driving habits, vibrations from bad roads (or no roads), operating conditions ranging from -40 degrees to 130 degrees, sand, salt, gravel, you name it. Those battery packs are expensive, and nobody is going to want to replace one during the normal lifespan of a car. Electro-chemical batteries don't work well at low temperatures either which means that drivers in cold climates would potentially have much worse range and performance than those in warmer temperatures.

He basically goes through and explains the wide range of operating conditions cars are used in. Then points out that these new batteries have yet to be proven in real world conditions, and until that happens big car makers can't afford to use them.

That's not to say it won't happen, for it surely will. It's just going take some time to refine the construction processes to reach the necessary level of reliability and durability and cost. That will happen over next few years, we just have to be patient.


Keep in mind that these new battery technologies don't even claim to be usable in the entire range of real world operating conditions.

Jim Miller, vice president of advanced transportation technologies at Maxwell Technologies and an ultracap expert who spent 18 years doing engineering work at Ford Motor, isn't so convinced.

"We're skeptical, number one, because of leakage," says Miller, explaining that high-voltage ultracaps have a tendency to self-discharge quickly. "Meaning, if you leave it parked overnight it will discharge, and you'll have to charge it back up in the morning."
He also doesn't believe that the ceramic structure--brittle by nature--will be able to handle thermal stresses that are bound to cause microfractures and, ultimately, failure. Finally, EEStor claims that its system works to specification in temperatures as low as -20 °C, revised from a previous claim of -40 °C.

"Temperature of -20 degrees C is not good enough for automotive," says Miller. "You need -40 degrees." By comparison, Altair and A123Systems claim that their lithium-ion cells can operate at -30 °C.


It seems to me we still have a long way to go before we can electrify transportation in any reasonable way. As one commenter in the first editorial said:

One should note that batteries have been actively researched for many years. Progress does occur, but in general it is much slower than some other tech areas like CPU design or biotechnology. In the early 1990's a Li-Ion 18650 cell was good for just over 1 Ah. Today, the best 18650 is 2.6 Ah.

Al Gore’s Personal Energy Use Is His Own “Inconvenient Truth”

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh — more than 20 times the national average.

I call this the Jeffersonian Paradox. It would have been impossible for Jefferson to participate in the forming of this nation without slave labor. He needed it at the time to finance his travels and his fights for the rights of United States. This is the paradox we all face, we must use the current system to make money to complain/change the current system.

Albert Gore is no different than Jefferson in this regard.

PS - The proselytizing about how George Washington gave up his slaves is crap. GW gave up his slaves because his land was more valuable as development than as a farm. He and his heirs freed the slaves (got them off the payroll) and subdivided the property. GW was the First Sprawler in Chief.

Except the article wasn't about his travelling to promote "an inconvenient truth".

It was about how much energy his mansion uses.

I am with you. This stinks. I wrote an essay on it after I read about it:

Is Al Gore Just Another Hypocrite?

I have read all of your comments on the TOD and I appreciate your thoughts, but I always look for the Freudian slip and the data seems to indicate that dmatthew1 had a point. You were quick to jump on Gore, the only politician that has voiced any concern and you are a blog that the Wall Street Journal is reading.

PS The Oil CEO gives TOD the offhanded comment.

Whatever, dude. I was also quick to jump on John McCain when he did the ethanol flip-flop. But some people believe what they want to believe, and pay selective attention in order to reinforce their preconceived notions.

You were quick to jump on Gore...

I have also been highly complimentary of Gore in the past, and I have recommended his book. I freaking supported him for president, for crying out loud!! I also support his message. But if you don't think this stinks, well I don't know what to say. Some people can't see past partisan politics. I can. I will call out hypocrisy when I see it. You can't call on America to conserve if you are a profligate personal consumer of energy. The moral authority in that case is questionable.

But, given that you think that Dave "ad hom" Mathews had a point, reasoning with you is probably a wasted effort. But understand that not everyone who thinks that this looks very bad has a hidden agenda. My agenda is that I hate hypocrisy, and I am very disappointed in Gore here.

Jefferson on Slavery - The Wolf by the Ears = "The moral authority in that case is questionable." Jeffersonian Paradox

I am disappointed in Jefferson for his views on Indians and slavery, but like Gore he is flawed and a man of his times. (Please do not think that I think Gore is anywhere close to Jefferson, yet)

Robert - The timing and the source of the information is questionable. No?

Rationalization or hypocrisy is how we humans get through the day!

I am disappointed in Jefferson for his views on Indians and slavery, but like Gore he is flawed and a man of his times. (Please do not think that I think Gore is anywhere close to Jefferson, yet)

A man of his times? What does that mean? That men in these times - men who are fully aware of the impact of high levels of fossil fuel usage - can be expected to use high levels of fossil fuels? He has preached against this for years, for crying out loud.

I am sorry, I don't buy that. I call on people to conserve, but I practice what I preach. If I can't sacrifice, why should I expect the next person to do so? Or maybe I am not a man of my times.

Robert - The timing and the source of the information is questionable. No?

That is not the issue. Are his enemies out to get him and embarrass him? Of course they are. Should you hand them the rope to hang you with? That’s what he has done here. And I think you underestimate how serious this is. This is not like what happened with Kerry. I think Kerry was unfairly smeared with lies. I think Gore was smeared, but it looks like the smear is true.

That is not the issue.

Uh. Yes it is the issue. The funding of the anti message and kill the messenger is stock and trade of the conservative group"think tanks" and we should not slaughter our potential messenger.

PS - I just found out that Sam Staley from the The Buckeye Policy Institute, Reason Foundation and apologist for sprawl is from my hometown. (I am a little sensitive on the smear subject as I write letters to the editor that do not get published and he writes guest editorials on the problem of congestion, whose solution is more roads - AHHHHHH) I am disheartened to find the devil so close to home. No wonder this town is dying.

Gore is wrong and the left should call him on it or the right will do it for them.

By the way, in 2001, an article came out about the George Bush ranch and its environmentalism:


The ranch is only a fifth of the size of the Gore estate and it uses 75% less energy than the average person, not 20 times the average person like Gore.

Gore probably thinks his carbon footprint is pretty low compared to John Edwards, who has a 29,000 sq. ft. estate:


As I just said on your blog, hold off just a bit.

Forget for a minute what Gore is consuming.  Consider instead the ratio of consumption to activity.

Seriously, he's probably running the activities of a good-sized office out of his house.  If you consider what that office would consume if it was stand-alone, his personal footprint might be far more reasonable than raw figures suggest.

Or maybe not.  But without getting the facts and crunching the numbers, you'll never know if the accusation is on-target or completely bogus.

From the article: "Gore’s mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES)."

Nonsense regarding your paradox. He doesn't need this mansion to help him fight global warming. He needs to get rid of it; if he did, he would have more time and resources to fight global warming. It saddens me that these people, including every major candidate for Presdient can't seem to walk the talk.

Well, if he decides to run for president you guys can release a film about his excesses. You can trash him like the "Swift Boat" crew trashed John Kerry. Then we can elect another George Bush.

Ron Patterson

I like Gore. I'm not out to trash him.

But he does illustrate the futility of the conservation movement. People will by and large live just within the limits of their means. They will use as much resources and energy as they can possibly afford (and yes, I know there are exceptions to this).

If Al Gore, one of the most passionate activists for GW, can't/won't limit the resources/energy that he uses what's the chance of getting Joe Preppy to give up his exurb McMansion and Hummer?

Do you know what Gore has done to reduce the carbon footprint of his home? Here's a hint: http://thinkprogress.org/2007/02/26/gore-responds-to-drudge/

You don't need to switch to hair shirts to walk the talk.

Yes I did know that.

I guess it just triggered a pet peeve of mine. People will consume as much as they can. Always have, always will. Al Gore is no exception. If buying carbon offsets settles his conscience than good for him. I'd have been far more encouraged if he downsized his lifestyle.

I see peak oil as a social problem. Its human nature to consume as many resources as quickly as possible. How many people do you know have a house too big for them? Do you know anybody living in a house smaller than they can afford?

I guess I cut Al some slack because of his position. Rich, powerful people tend to need larger homes because the game they play is one of expectations, and that's one of the ways you get the other playas to take you seriously.

I understand your point though, and I agree that most of us are at the mercy of our genetic imperative to consume to the limit. Algore is as much a genetic being as you or I.

You now know one person living in a smaller house than they can afford. Four years ago I moved out of a 3500 sq ft Kunstlerian nightmare - a 3-car-garage suburban uberhome with two people living in it, and a BMW 540i/6 and a Civic SiR in the garage. I now live in a 1500 sq ft urban bungalow without a garage, and there's a used Jetta TDI in the driveway. It can be very satisfying to tell your genetics to take a hike.

One can change their focus of consumption.

Last night had a wonderful dinner with a charming psychiatrist (female) that I helping get back into her flooded home (Sunday we moved 1/2 her stuff back in). Walking distance from my home, we chose it because of their charity efforts (all restaurants have good food here :-) I had puppy drum (local fish), she had shrimp gumbo (also local; eating local is NOT a sacrifice in New Orleans !).

I have been driving my 1982 M-B 240D (31 mpg city, manual transmission) much more lately as we finish repairs and energy efficiency upgrades (insulation, tighening, tankless water heater) on 480 sq ft "shotgun" house for elderly gentleman. Net energy gain, so no guilt.

I live in a beautiful neighborhood with friendly & helpful neighbors in a (need to measure !) ~500 sq ft apartment in cut-up ~1890 home. Monthly electric + gas level bill is $35. Streetcar 2.5 blocks away, 5 places to make groceries within 6 blocks, etc. I consume music, friendship, good food, helping others, community meetings, etc.

My life is richer, more fulfilling and more pleasureable than that of my suburbanite brothers, on ~1/10th the energy budget.

Best Hopes for realizing that low energy need not = sacrifice. There IS a better way :-))


I agree you don't need hair shirts--but 20 times the national average?! How? I mean, aren't his kids out of the house by now, and doesn't he travel constantly? Who is doing what to use that much energy? He may buy offsetting carbon credits but it seems less sound than not using that much energy to begin with....

My work has been in residential construction, helping to build McMansions. It’s always seemed to me to be a huge waste of natural resources, and for what? Vanity, greed, or to be like the rest of the “crowd?” Guess so, I can’t explain it. Mudlogger said it best: “In a world where the possession of objects takes precedence over possession of knowledge.” When I finally sold a mid sized home and left the rat race, I told the real estate lady, “I’ve lived the American Dream, and I’m sick of it!” She gave me a funny look. Feels good to be debt free, and less concerned about “things.”

could you provide us with references to your claims about Geeorge Washington?


Please note the location of Mount Vernon with respect to Monticello and then read the last will and testament of George Washington. It is quite lengthy but the descriptions of potential worth of each parcel with respect to farming or development is enlightening. It would also be entertaining to look at the development of Mount Vernon.

Jeffersonian Paradox applies, but if you want to castigate a gentleman such as Mr. Gore for maintaining his sunk cost, that is your first amendment right. The swift boaters for justice had you in mind. Connect the dots – Gore wins and some obscure group from Tennessee has the stuff in the can. From Huffington:

This afternoon, a group calling itself "The Tennessee Center For Policy Research" sent out a press release denouncing Vice President Gore for the size of his household electrical bills.
Let's start right there. How did they get the utility bills? They also didn't have the courtesy to ask Vice President Gore about them (despite their hollow claim of being non-partisan.) And why would a "think tank" possibly care about what Al Gore spends on gas?
Actually, let's start with a more basic question. Who are these people? Well , a quick check of Alexa reveals their web site gets no traffic. Are they legitimate? Well, again, they claim to be non-partisan but only link to far-right and conservative groups so regardless of what their status is with the IRS, this is a conservative, strongly-leaning Republican organization.
We will be digging through IRS documents tonight because if you follow the money, you always find the answers. We will let you know who their donors are as soon as we can.
This group drops the pebble in the lake and now the machine really goes to work.
Front page of Drudge Report at 5:16 reports this press release from a group no one has ever heard of, who may or may not have stolen Al Gore's utility bills. Now, the lie has legs.
In the last twenty minutes, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has updated its website TWICE - both with radio interviews. The damage is being done as we watch.
But guess what? We're going to fight back. All of us.
Why? Well, first of all, Al Gore turning his lights on doesn't make him a hypocrite, it makes him a human.
Second, we've seen this game a few too many damn times. The trick is for them to create doubt and distraction. They need to create doubt all around the country about Al Gore. But there is no doubt.
Al Gore is a hero.
Even heroes need help - join us, add to the comments, let's find out everything we can about these guys and stop them in their tracks. Now.
NOTE: this post is a work in progress and will be updated frequently.
The echo chamber is engaging. Instapundit, Hot Air, Free Republic, WorldNetDaily, TownHall and several others are echoing and amplifying the $mear. RedState, Captain's Quarters. More here and here, here, here, here, here, here, here. Wizbang.
A comment at DailyKos: "Hannity got the memo as well and he and Annthrax Coulter are hammering Gore for the same thing tonight."
Tennessee Center's President Drew Johnson comes straight out of the right's network, coming from Exxon-funded American Enterprise Institute and the right-wing-funded National Taxpayers Foundation.
They are part of the right's State Policy Network. According to PFAW,
"SPN is a national network of state-based right-wing organizations in 37 states as well as prominent nationwide right-wing organizations. Through its network SPN advances the public policy ideas of the expansive right-wing political movement on the state and local level."

As of Feb. 16, the Tennessee tax dept. considers them "not a legitimate organization" because of their misrepresenting themselves involving questions about the group's opposition to a state crackdown on drug dealers.
Gore Responds:
Responding to Drudge's attack, Vice President Gore's office told ThinkProgress:
1) Gore's family has taken numerous steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their private residence, including signing up for 100 percent green power through Green Power Switch, installing solar panels, and using compact fluorescent bulbs and other energy saving technology.
2) Gore has had a consistent position of purchasing carbon offsets to offset the family's carbon footprint -- a concept the right-wing fails to understand. Gore's office explains:
What Mr. Gore has asked is that every family calculate their carbon footprint and try to reduce it as much as possible. Once they have done so, he then advocates that they purchase offsets, as the Gore's do, to bring their footprint down to zero.

I can only shake my head in amazement when I read stuff like this. You don’t seem to get it, Greg. Were there ulterior motives here? Of course. Are his enemies rejoicing in this? Of course. It will be no surprise at all to find out that the whole thing was funded by some far right organization.

But you are missing the point. The key question is “Is this true?” And given that Gore's office has already made a statement on this, and did not deny it, I am forced to conclude that it is true. And if you do not see this as a legitimate issue, then I guess you are one of those partisans who think the party is right no matter what. You chose to attempt a smear on me because I think this is a legitimate issue. Well, I hate to tell you that you are going to be forced to smear a lot of people, because this isn't going to sit well with a lot of people.

I am a Democrat. I support Al Gore’s message. I supported him against Bush. But he should lead by example in his personal life. Telling everyone else to conserve, and yet using far more than the average amount of energy rings very hollow. If I told you to conserve, and you found out that I drive a Hummer, what would you think about that? Or would you have to check my voter registration card before deciding?

I am a 2nd amendment Republican and I have an 1997 Audi A8 and until recently a 1979 Cadillac Coupe de Ville. If I lived in Europe I would have neither of these cars, but in America, it is for safety, travel for work and sunk costs (rationalization, realization or hypocrisy - I report; you decide). I have no debt and no house, no children and I have fired all but one of my DOD clients. I am attempting to get a job that would allow me to limit travel and work in the community. A tough thing as Kunstler's vision of worthless sprawl is embodied in Dayton, Ohio. I want to walk to get my groceries, my coffee, my livelihood. I want my Audi to be the last car I ever own. Life is a trade off and it seems most people on this site are doing what they can and when the time comes I will do more, but to castigate Gore on a triumphal night is suspect and your leap on his hypocrisy is disingenuous. Does your jumping on Gore = the button I pushed with you on Dmatthew1? I would say yes, but someone like me is a waste of time.

Life is a trade off and it seems most people on this site are doing what they can and when the time comes I will do more, but to castigate Gore on a triumphal night is suspect and your leap on his hypocrisy is disingenuous.

We must police ourselves. I spoke out against Clinton's perjury. He set a horrible example, especially for kids who would aspire to be president. That doesn't mean I wanted the other party in power. But excusing Gore's behavior just plays into the hands of his enemies. You have to be willing to say "That's not right."

Does your jumping on Gore = the button I pushed with you on Dmatthew1? I would say yes, but someone like me is a waste of time.

Anyone who thinks that Dave Mathew, a poster with obvious mental health issues who was exhibiting stalking behavior, made some good points about me, then I must conclude that this person either 1). Was very selective in reading what Dave wrote; or 2). Is just a complete waste of time. Either way, you seriously misjudged Dave Mathew. You should have seen the disjointed and rambling e-mail he sent to Dave Cohen. The guy was certifiable. So, yeah, you pushed a button.

Please do not bring up Clinton - Again, the conservatives asked the Question. IF the question had not been asked, there would be no answer. The investigation was a goose chase and the question should never have been asked.

Clinton was under enormous pressure and there is no better release of pressure than... I wish Bush had a Monica and not a Condi, we may not be in this mess.

I apologize for pushing the button, but as I said up thread the conservative think tanks have "pushed my button" and then to see your post and the WSJ link (I know the separation between reporting and editorial, but...) I just fired.

The guy is certifiable, but I would still love to know if someone funded him. Alright I have hijacked enough.

For what it's worth, here's a statement by a Gore spokesperson:

Kalee Kreider, a spokesperson for the Gores, did not dispute the Center's figures, taken as they were from public records.

... Kreider says she's confident that the Gores' utility bills will decrease. "They bought an older home and they're in the process of upgrading the home," she said. "Unfortunately that means an increase in energy use in order to have an overall decrease in energy use down the road."

... "In addition, they are in the midst of installing solar panels on their home, which will enable them to use less power,"

Apparently the Gores purchased their house in Nashville in 2002 for $2.3 million.

I think we need a new reality series: Living With Al, in which we watch how the Gores try to live greener while neocons kibitz.

I don't think you can expect a former VP from an old money family to live like just folks. A sensible critique would compare the Gores to others of their position and income bracket.

T'would be interesting to see a history of electrical usage on the house for the last 10 years or so to see how the Gores have made progress on the consumption issue.

Interesting comment by Juan Cole in "Informed Comment" regarding Exxon/Mobil's connection to the Iraq War via its major funding of the American Enterprise Institute.

We know that Exxon Mobil is a significant funder of the American Enterprise Institute and has used it to attempt to bribe "scientists" to cast doubt on global warming. Lee Raymond, who was CEO of Exxon Mobil until 2005, is the vice-chair of AEI's board of directors.

We also know that the American Enterprise Institute is the most hawkish of the Washington "think tanks," and that its staffers were key to thinking up and promoting the Iraq War with lies and propaganda.

A=B, B=C, therefore A=C. Exxon Mobil is a big behind the scenes player in the Iraq War by virtue of its support for AEI. In fact, I think a boycott of its gas stations is in order until the company cuts off AEI and stops promoting the Iraq War and muddying the waters on global warming. (It pledged to do the latter in the past, but obviously was lying).

So the point is that the American Enterprise Institute symbolizes the intersection of Oil and War, which are the two most menacing threats to the future of America.

This is not news to most of us who are informed on the issues, however, it is always refreshing to see it spelled out in the way that Cole has done on his blog. He also mentions oil scarcity and our continued reliance on oil in relation to global warming and our own survival.


Okay, is the mbmurphy in the comments in the TR piece one of you folks here?

Whoever it was had me smiling half the day.

is 3/16 of oil/gas production sales a fair amount for a land owner?

That's great! We paid 1/8th back in the 70s. Bought a well or two where royalties were at 3/16th but weren't real happy about it..

Hello TODers,

Mexican women asking for the US to close the border and deport their husbands back home:


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

Hello TODers,

Noticed this on the WSJ Energy Blog:
Hedge Funds Join Grains Rally
By Tom Polansek
Word Count: 495 | Companies Featured in This Article: ConAgra Foods
Hedge funds may start taking a bigger role in the booming grains markets.

Following an unusual sale of two grain elevators to a hedge fund recently, industry members say other funds that trade agricultural-commodity futures may start adding physical assets, such as grain elevators, ethanol plants and farms, to their portfolios.

By controlling the operations of elevators and other assets, these lightly regulated investment vehicles may be able to affect price movements at the Chicago Board of Trade, where contracts from corn to wheat are traded, some say.

Hedge funds and other nontraditional market participants have begun trading grains recently ...
Hedge funds controlling the food markets buying farms, grain elevators, seed companies, acquifer rights, tractor companies, wheelbarrow mfgs, hand-tool mfgs..... can you see where this is going? Yikes!

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