DrumBeat: April 19, 2007

The war on oil

Coming soon to a test tube near you: America's new war.

This war won't be fought with tanks and machine guns and improvised explosive devices, though. Instead, the generals in the War on Oil will employ techniques such as enzymatic hydrolysis and dry milling.

Rather than the conventional bullets and bombs, combatants' weapons of choice will be switchgrass, wheat straw, corn and other material from the biomass.

The battle lines have been drawn and the objective is clear: Get the world's biggest oil consumers weaned from their generations-old addiction to oil and establish the United States as self-sufficient producer of energy from alternative sources.

No Problem? Shell's Patent Application for Oil Shale Extraction

Alfred Donovan, a patent lawyer whose blog covers Royal Dutch Shell, takes a look at the largest patent filing in history. Shell thinks they have a sound method for getting top quality oil out of oil shale rock, which would remain profitable as long as oil stayed above $30/barrel. If it works, it would also be better for the environment than conventional drilling.

Egypt weighs domestic energy needs as export demands grow

The cement industry's environmental impact is worrying and energy-intensive industries are eating up crucial resources - causing the government to rethink how best to allocate its natural gas reserves.

The growth of these industries has coincided with rising domestic demand for gas, putting a huge burden on the treasury as energy subsidies have swelled from E£1.2bn ($220m, €162.8m, £110.8m) in 1999 to E£42bn, according to figures on a government website.

DOE to Issue Second Solicitation for Purchase of Crude Oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced that it has issued the second of several solicitations planned to purchase up to four million barrels of crude oil for the United States’ crude oil reserve. The first solicitation, issued March 16, 2007, resulted in no awards because the Office of Fossil Energy determined that the bids were too high and not a reasonable value for taxpayers.

Innovation a must for oil and gas growth

Major Gulf producers have announced plans to increase capacity by more than 50 per cent by 2020, equivalent to an unprecedented average of 1 million barrels/day of net productive capacity per year. These plans take on new significance in light of increasing global energy demand and worldwide economic growth.

Iran seeks to make breakthrough in oil industry

"Implementation of such projects, which is in line with Iran's long-term strategy on energy, will create a giant market of dlrs 250 billion for the next 20 years.

"This will prepare an appropriate ground for activities of reputable domestic and foreign companies."

Russia's Gazprom formally takes control of Sakhalin-2 oil-and-gas project

Company representatives put their signatures on the agreement that sees Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. halve their stakes in the development on the Pacific island of Sakhalin.

Sinopec mulls 60b yuan refinery for East China

The Lianyungang plant would increase Sinopec's ability to tap demand in a province whose economy expanded 18.8 percent last year, faster than the national rate of 10.7 percent.

Turkey to Inaugurate Oil Pipeline

At an estimated cost of $1.5 billion, the 550-kilometer-long pipeline, to be completed in 2009, will carry Kazakh and Azeri oil from the Black Sea port of Samsun to Ceyhan on the Mediterranean, bypassing the congested Turkish straits.

The relocalization of sport

Hundreds of pro and college teams criss-cross the continent by plane, play in huge stadiums lit at enormous energy expense, in front of fans most of whom have driven miles to the game.

I'm a jock and a fan; I live and die with my beloved Canucks (we're just starting the playoffs). I empathize with Man U fans, Cowboy fans and Sonic fans. But the dangers from climate change and peak oil are so serious that we must reduce our use of fossil fuels radically and immediately.

The Greening of Wal-Mart Shoppers

How green are Wal-Mart (WMT) shoppers? We're about to find out. The world's largest retailer is launching a Live Better Index to track customers' purchases of five eco-friendly products: compact fluorescent light bulbs, organic milk, concentrated/reduced-packaging liquid laundry detergents, extended-life paper products and organic baby food.

Petroleum Institute Reaches Out

Red Cavaney, the president of the American Petroleum Institute had a conference call with bloggers and newspaper reporters today. The API is also doing a press tour across the country to educate the media on energy issues.

NM Senators Introduce Measure to use Energy More Efficiently

U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Pete Domenici today introduced legislation to reduce our nation's use of fossil fuels by improving efficiency in vehicles, buildings, home appliances and industrial equipment - saving consumers more than $12 billion annually.

Ghana: Can $600M get us 400 megawattsfrom nuclear 8 years?

As Ghana discusses nuclear energy, we must look to the example and success of the energy form elsewhere to inform our decisions. Despite public ignorance and government reluctance to embrace nuclear energy in past decades, it is now being heralded as the solution to energy problems the world over - economically, environmentally it seems to make sense, and The Statesman supports calls for its rapid, although cautious, implementation.

From Ethanol to Polar Bears: Energy Summit Wraps Up in Venezuela

Hours after the departure of the first president to leave, Argentina's Nestor Kirchner, diplomats were still haggling over the biofuels portion of the summit statement, though accord was reached on rebranding the South American Community of Nations as Unasur and endowing it with a permanent secretariat based in Quito.

Venezula to Only Recognize Book Value in Orinoco Deals

Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said the country only plans to recognize the book value of four extra-heavy oil projects when compensating foreign firms for the investments they have made.

Venezuela's About-Farce

Silva, on the other side of the logical spectrum, seems to have balanced politics and economic logic well. "The truth is that biofuel is a way out for the poor countries of the world," Silva said. "The problem of food in the world now is not lack of production of food. It's a lack of income for people to buy food."

Venezuela, Chile boost ties, agree to develop Orinoco fields

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his Chilean counterpart Michelle Bachelet agreed to boost energy and economic ties between their nations, forming a joint venture to develop Venezuela's oil-rich Orinoco Belt.

You are now entering an oil-free zone

Some towns aren't waiting to see whether there will be alternative energy sources when the oil runs out - they're already trying to do without it.

South American Ethanol Debate Highlights Alt Fuel Insanity

But one thing is for sure: America’s newfound love for ethanol is creating some major political and economic side effects.

Marine energy can be forecast

Any wiped-out surfer knows all too well the back-breaking power of the ocean's waves.

Now, a fledgling industry is harnessing the incessant motion of waves, tides and currents to create the world's newest form of renewable energy.

Price forecasts red hot for uranium

CIBC World Markets Inc. has raised its price forecasts for uranium oxide by 40 per cent, citing an environmentally driven renaissance in nuclear power and a gap between demand and supply for the metal.

A New Biofuel: Propane

MIT researchers say they have developed an efficient chemical process for making propane from corn or sugarcane. They are incorporating a startup this week to commercialize the biopropane process, which they hope will find a place in the existing $21 billion U.S. market for the fuel.

Excrement from elephants excites biofuel engineers

Scientists in the Netherlands have discovered a fungus that exists in elephant dung that will help them break down fibres and wood into biofuel.

Carbon tax threatens to ground Asia tourism

Asia's US$100 billion international tourism industry is being put in jeopardy by a campaign by European environmentalists to limit air travel, with politicians poised to price long-haul destinations out of the market.

Shell, Nuon Open First Dutch Offshore Wind Farm

The companies invested over 200 million euros (US$270 million) in the 108 megawatt wind park on the North Sea, which also serves as a demonstration project to gain technical knowledge and monitor the affects on marine life, they said.

High-tech features that will save gas

Buyers who want to maximize fuel economy and reduce tailpipe emission, including CO2 (carbon dioxide), might want to look for these high-tech features designed to increase fuel economy...

Dave Cohen: Deconstructing the New York Times

There is little doubt that the current and future state of the world's oil production is "an important social and political issue." Given the warning signs of a looming crisis and the large associated uncertainties, it is hard to think of an issue more critical to industrial economies than maintaining a reliable oil supply in the coming decade and beyond.

Kansas: Bistate rail idea lives on

“We have economic reasons to see light rail succeed. There is also the energy crisis itself. Even if the world settles down, the global demands (will continue) with countries like China and India requiring huge energy supplies,” he said.

Garamendi and Chiang vote against inexpensive power

What if one of the world's premier energy companies was offering to spend billions of their own capital to provide California with the fuel needed to generate inexpensive and almost zero emission electricity for the whole state?

Sounds like a pretty good deal, does it not? In one of the most stupefying votes ever, the state Lands Commission voted last Monday to deny a state land lease to BHP Billiton for establishing a facility for liquefied natural gas 14 miles offshore from Port Hueneme.

WEB 2.0 - Microsoft: Datacenter growth defying Moore's Law

Microsoft, IBM, HP, Sun and others have also formed a consortium called the Green Grid to tackle an impending energy crisis that threatens data center growth.

Udall, Enviros Want Oil Shale Development Slowed Down

Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and environmental groups are on the same page when it comes to curbing the Bureau of Land Management's ability to approve commercial oil shale leases next year: They want to revoke the authority.

Tight supply pushes gas prices higher

West Coast refineries don’t produce enough gasoline to meet demand. Because the region is isolated from other sources of supply, imports must be shipped by sea from the Gulf of Mexico or Singapore, and that’s expensive.

Pakistan: Women block road to protest power outage

Hundreds of infuriated women and children Wednesday blocked the main Peshawar-Bajaur road to protest against the non-availability of electricity in their area.

...They threatened to throw away all the mobile towers and electricity poles in the area if the government failed to restore the electricity. It would be better to die on the road instead of seeing their children dying of heat inside the houses, they threatened.

Seeds of discontent

Britain is losing its green fields, as the grass that once fattened cattle is replaced by oilseed rape. The bright yellow tide has upset lovers of traditional country views. But what about the effects we can't see? What is this chemical-hungry crop doing to the environment - and our health?

Strong growth rate in China fuels worries

Another problem that fuel worries about the economy is the developing of high energy consuming industries. As electricity shortage is basically alleviated, some of them loosened their control. Electricity consumption increased more than 16 percent in January and February period. China's top planner is urging local authorities to adopt different electricity prices toward eight high energy-consuming industries. The move aims to limit energy consumption and protect environment.

Albert Bates, guide for our post-petroleum, globally warmed future

The April issue of Vanity Fair-online features The Farm, an intentional community in Tennessee. Albert Bates gets a lot of ink in that article, as he has spent most of his life on The Farm making his mark in both publishing and education. There, his original skill set as a lawyer and horseman in 1972 was expanded to include Permaculture design, and he became an author (Climate in Crisis, introduction by Al Gore, 1990). He became a global authority on ecovillages, founding the Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology. He directs the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm, where he has instructed students from over 50 nations since 1994.

Tom Whipple - The Peak Oil Crisis: Have the Troubles Begun?

In recent years, numerous books have been written about life after world oil production peaks. Most depict radical change, as oil-powered transportation, suburban living, and large-scale food production and distribution wither. The truth is nobody really has a good idea about what is going to happen. The world has never been to peak oil before. There are many complicating factors -- rates of oil depletion and production, the state of the world’s economy, and the gap between rich and poor nations to name a few. Making a meaningful projection of what life will be like five, ten, or 20 years from now is, as usual, fraught with uncertainties.

The one thing everybody agrees on is that all sorts of “bad” things are bound to happen as we transition from plentiful oil to scarcity. For the sake of a better term, let’s call these bad things “the troubles.”

Kunstler: Oil Futures Bidding To Heat Up As Energy Crisis Looms

Oil ended 2006 roughly where it began, at just over $60 a barrel. This reassured the public that all talk about Peak Oil was hysterical blather from a lunatic fringe. It was reinforced by the publication of the mendacious Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) report issued this fall - a tragic document put out by a giant public relations firm representing the oil industry - with the mission of staving off windfall profits taxes and other regulatory moves that a true resource emergency might recommend.

But beyond this debate, in the background, another ominous trend can account for the stalling of oil prices in 2006 - totally unrecognized by the public and ignored by the news media: Prices on the oil futures market leveled off because the Third World has effectively dropped out of bidding for it - and using it. They cannot afford it at $60 a barrel.

Iran Oil Minister: Iran Not Supplying Extra Oil to the Market

Iran's oil minister said Wednesday the country hasn't been increasing oil output to the global market as prices firmed.

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have held back some 1 million barrels a day of crude oil output in recent months in reaction to what they said was an oversupplied market.

But this month tanker trackers expect members to loosen the reigns and leak oil back into the market, as demand and prices firm. Tracker Oil Movements estimated daily exports by OPEC, excluding Iraq, will rise almost 400,000 barrels a day in the four weeks to April 21, compared with the same period to March 24.

Ethanol: Energy Panacea or False Promise?

Ethanol, more commonly known as drinking alcohol, is touted by some as a viable alternative fuel for vehicles. Although its energy content is roughly two-thirds that of gasoline by volume, ethanol is increasingly flowing into gas tanks, with some one out of every eight gallons of gas sold in the United States containing 8 to 10 percent ethanol.

Yet there is heated debate among scientists as to whether or not ethanol really is good for the environment.

Top Russian minister defends oil, gas decisions

Sergei Ivanov, Russia's powerful first deputy prime minister, has defended the return of oil and gas assets to Russian control, the Financial Times said.

"They are our resources and how to develop them and where to get funds from is our business," Ivanov -- seen as a potential successor to President Vladimir Putin -- told the newspaper in an interview published on Thursday but given on April 12.

Nissan senses US market for small, cheap cars

Sensing an untapped market, Japanese automaker Nissan is "seriously" mulling the launch of a small car in the United States priced under 10,000 dollars, top executive Carlos Ghosn said Wednesday.

World needs to axe greenhouse gases by 80%: report

The world will have to axe greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, more deeply than planned, to have an even chance of curbing global warming in line with European Union goals, researchers said on Thursday.

Dodd favors corporate tax for emissions

Sen. Chris Dodd, splitting with his Democratic presidential rivals over the best way to cut pollution and curb global warming, wants to tax corporations for their carbon dioxide emissions.

Doing right thing isn't easy, even for those who want to

Most Americans believe that dramatic steps are needed to conserve energy and reduce the threat of global warming, but they are willing to go only so far in changing their lifestyles to "go green."

Tom Whipple...the master of getting the "Big Picture" without sounding alarmists.

He's one of the wisest voices out there in printed media and manages to boil down a lot of information into layman's terms...easily digested.

Another great article by Tom.

Earlier this week, the IPCC released chapter 14 of its assessment on Global Warming impacts, a 67 page document describing likely impact on North America. It has received significant press coverage, for example here.

Maybe I'm just daft, but I can't seem to find the document itself. I poked around the IPCC site quite a bit with no luck. Can anyone help?

Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, that's not what I was looking for.

The document you posted is the 22 page summary of the full report. The full report hasn't been released yet, but is being released one chapter at a time. Chapter 14, a 67 page document dealing with impact on North America, was released on Tuesday. (A few more details are here. Apparently, the IPCC had a press conference concurrently with its release. Unfortunately, I can't find the document itself (chapter 14 of the full report) anywhere.

Also, although the summary you cited has been extensively covered on TOD and elsewhere, I haven't seen much coverage of the N. America chapter here or on other blogs. (If I'm wrong, someone please advise!)

Thanks for the links.

Its a bit strange, because it sure sounds like its been released. For example, the WashPost reported

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which released its summary report on global warming's overall impact earlier this month, provided a more detailed assessment yesterday of the effects on North America. The report, written and edited by dozens of scientists, looks at how global warming has begun to transform the continent and how it is likely to affect it in the future.

The 67-page report, which examines everything from freshwater ecosystems to tourism, said North America has suffered severe environmental and economic damage because of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, heat waves and forest fires.

Lots of news organizations, including some at the links you provided, are writing as if they have read it. This sure makes it sound to me like its been released. And its a bit strange, in 2007, that its not available online days after it was "provided." But I can't find it anywhere so perhaps your correct and it really isn't available online, and all these articles were just based on a press release or press conference.

The location given for the 67-page report is www.gtp89.dial.pipex.com/FGD/Ch14.pdf. It appears that .pdf file is not currently online, however, the Google cache of the document is available.

Thanks! Clearly, you are a much better googler than I :)

Interestingly, not only is the pdf not available online, but the draft at the google cache says its a "final draft for government review" and says "CONFIDENTIAL: Do Not Cite – Do Not Quote" on the top of every page. Wonder what's going on.

Interesting. And much as I suspected. Rather than modelling they are simply observing present changes and present trends and extrapolating them into the future. If the popular mind has not even gone that far and is merely denying reality that's better than nothing. But basically the best-informed are simply at saying the future will be much like the present only worse.
In other words no one knows the future. Duh. But the authors have a bad feeling.

I would like to complement Kunstler on the remarks posted above that he prepared for the "Daily Reckoning." Sometimes, his reasoning and analysis are a bit careless, and his tone is not the most appealing; but in this instance I have no complaints in this regard.

The signal failure of public debate in this country is embodied in our obsession with this particular theme - how to keep the cars running by other means at all costs. Everybody from the greenest enviros to the hoariest neoliberal free market pimps believe that this is the only thing we need to worry about or talk about. The truth, of course, is that we have to make other arrangements for virtually all the major activities of everyday life - farming, commerce, transport, settlement patterns - but we are so over-invested in our suburban infrastructure that we cannot face this reality.

Amazing that he has basically been saying this stuff since Geography of Nowhere in 1994.

A contracting U.S. economy could take some demand out of the picture, but the sad truth is that we burn up most of the oil we use in cars, and American life is now so hopelessly based on incessant motoring that citizens cannot even go down to the unemployment office without driving.

The signal failure of public debate in this country is embodied in our obsession with this particular theme - how to keep the cars running by other means at all costs. Everybody from the greenest enviros to the hoariest neoliberal free market pimps believe that this is the only thing we need to worry about or talk about

I plead innocent to the charge and offer as evidence a draft of my most recent work (not quite ready).


Best Hopes,


I first read the 'Geography Of Nowhere' after returning from a U.S. visit last summer. The book is amazing in showing how absolutely nothing has changed since its publication. Incredible - and if I still lived in America, deeply, deeply disturbing. As it is, what struck me was how insightful it was.

Personally, I wonder how Kunstler deals with the fact - apart from his belief that peak oil will be what causes American suburbia to collapse.

Obviously, if he ever had a daughter, her name should be Cassandra, if only to make an ironic joke.

PrisonerX, or someone else who might know:

Below is a post from Drumbeat on 18. April describing a special insect. Anyone know what insect being described?

I recently watch a documentary. It concerned a flower in the Amazon I believe. It had developed a way to hide its nectar. It had a very long "throat" leading from the flower petals, where the nectar was stored. This throat was way to long for common insects to be able to get at it.

Darwin said then there must evolve an insect that will have a long "device" that allows them to go down and get that nectar.

The researcher set up his equipment and waits all night. Miserable circumstances, and its almost daylight.

Then,.. an insect comes. (Its on high speed video or film).

It hovers by the flower and reveals a curled up "tongue" that it puts into the opening and unwinds it down the throat of the flower. Sucks up the nectar and off it goes. It was wild, what weird looking bug. The point was Darwin said it would evolve. It did appear.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

I must confess being very stimulated by a lot of the non-energy topics. It's fun to follow informed discussions, almost regardless of the topic.

I agree. People here want to talk about oil and energy, but that's just the appetizer IMHO. The type of person who understands and CONTINUES to come here are a certain, rare breed. For this reason, I also find it beneficial to discuss other topics requiring a bit of logic, insight, and knowledge. If someone here is so irritated by this, please tell me a board/blog where I can discuss a range of topics with the same levels of intelligence. This place is more valuable than any other board/blog I've come across. My finance boards are great for finance, but they can't connect to Science. Science is the cornerstone IMHO.

Did not see the program, but some of the longest feeding tubes in proportion to body size are found in "Hummingbird Moths", (Genus "Hemaris") and they have the flight abilities their name suggests

I have observed something similiar. My Mother had what she called moon flowers that bloomed only at night. The petals folded up during the day. The white flower was about 4 inches in dia. and about 4 inches deep and similiar to an Easter Lily but more full and larger. Any way at night a gigantic moth would come by that had a long rolled up tube and when it got near the flower it would unwind the coiled up tube and poke it in to the flower.
Later in the season the plant would produce large seed pods the size of golf balls with many green soft spikes sticking out in all directions.

The Insect is a moth. The flower is an orchid.


Thats the predicted bug


12 inches, thats some nose/hose.

I think the film/video must have been the first time it had been taped doing its thing.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Re: Iran Oil Minister: Iran Not Supplying Extra Oil to the Market Article

Big deal...wow...they aren't going to supply the 50,000 extra barrels a day(of oil (not liquids)) they have....oooh...we're scared.

The reality is...they probably lost much of that in decline, or if not, in internal consumption since they provided those EIA numbers.

The ONLY country that theoretically can make a difference for the next oil shock is KSA.

Of course, this is a theory...peak oil is not.

The information I have seen suggests that Iran is on a long relatively flat plateau. Their production probably is not down by that much but their internal consumption is. This is why civilian nuclear power makes sense for them - so they can sell more of their oil for cash. Of course, anyone who believes they will not also investigate weapon usage for enriched uranium is someone I would consider delusional. I am not arguing that we attack them first though. That is flat out immoral. However, if I were president of the US, I'd make sure they knew that any first use of nuclear weapons by them would be met with a response so overwhelming that Iran would cease to exist. Civilian nuclear power? Fine. Weapons for defense? Fine. First use? Down you go.

Of course that is my opinion and I am sure others will feel differently, from those who would never attack Iran even if Iran was bombing the USA directly to those who would attack Iran first because they represent a "potential threat". I have strong opinions about both such groups of people but I won't post such inflammatory thoughts here.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

I agree. Let them have nuclear power...it is very good planning.

Even a nuclear weapon program would be reasonable given that Pakistan, India and Isreal can have them...!?

But use one, and cease to exist...utterly.

But, really..."World - we will not be increasing our oil shipments"...how silly...there spare capacity is barely rounding error.

Just feather ruffing..."we are important".

At this point, Iran is the least of our worries. Russia is more a concern, IMHO. And that will only get uglier as Russia goes off a net exports cliff in the next two years.

What figures make you think that Russia will go off a net exports cliff in next two years?

I'm not saying it will or won't, as I don't have access to data to draw this conclusion myself.

Can you elaborate on this?

Read somewhere, do not remember where, that Iran already could have nuclear warheads from the ca 200 missing from Ukraina after the collaps of the sovjetunion.
Perhaps this is why the iranians are so tough in their talks??
If so what would happen to Israel if US attacks Iran??

I happen to believe that George Washington was a wise man when he told us as a nation to mind our own business and not get caught up in "entangling alliances", but having gone and done that anyway, we could at least have the sense to not start trouble. The US badly needs to NOT attack Iran unless Iran openly initiates hostilities themselves. In other words, return to what we used to do - don't hit first but be able to hit back if need be.

Unfortunately, I do not expect this to occur with this administration or with a Hillary Clinton administration. She'll just spin our presence in Iraq differently, keep us there under a different pretext, and continue to pursue the war that the multinational corporations want.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

Hans Buehler told me on the phone in 1995 that "They have nukes."


The information I have seen suggests that the United States is on a long relatively slow decline. This is why civilian nuclear power makes sense for them. Of course, they also build and maintain the largest nuclear weapons arsenal in the world, which is always able to be used at a moment's notice from a variety of ships, submarines, aircraft and land bases, and they have recently actively threatened the use of nuclear weapons against Iran. I am not arguing that we attack them first though. That is flat out immoral. However, if I were leader of a nuclear power, I'd make sure the U.S. knew that any first use of nuclear weapons by them would be met with a response so overwhelming that the United States would cease to exist. Civilian nuclear power? Fine. Weapons for defense? Fine. First use? Down you go.

[With apologies to GreyZone.]

Fiction writer Nelson DeMille's book Wild Fire is about a US nuclear response to any use of nuclear weapons against the US.

I recommend listen to the cd rather than reading the book for the reason that DeMille's books are WORDY. It is long: about 15 cds.

We barely finished listening on a Albuqueruque - Austin round trip.

Nelson DeMille's X-RATED book Night Fall is worth listening, not reading, to.

I listened to it on car trip from Albuquerque to Austin in about January 2007. I finished listening to it on a flight back to Albuquerque.

It is about what, in fact, may have happened to TWA 800.

Actually we do need to be told to sit down and behave but I'm not sure anyone else is big enough to do it.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

You're living in a dream world. Rough estimate:
Russia: 7200 active (plus 8800 "inactive reserve")
UK: 200
France: 350
China: 400
India: 60 ?
Israel: 75-130? (unknown, but they almost certainly have them)
Pakistan: 60 ?


Wikipedia is not necessarily accurate - heck, no one really knows how many weapons are out there - but "thousands, in the hands of many governments including a military dictatorship" is certainly accurate.

It totally astounds me you can concern yourself about the possibility of Iran developing nuclear weapons some time in the future and not be concerned about thousands of nuclear weapons at the ready, today.

Um, can you even read?

I said I am not worried about Iran using nukes. I'd welcome them to the nuclear club under the same rules as everyone else who is already there - shoot first and get your ass kicked. My point is that we should NOT be sticking our noses into Iran's business unless they stick their nose into someone else's business. Got that yet? Or do I need to quote my original statement just to make you actually READ it?

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

Not to mention they really do need the nuclear technology if they even think they have a shot at maintaining their society. Oil is all they have. Iran is much like the middle east, in that it's pretty barren, no? It's been inhabited roughly the longest dating back to the cradle of civilization, Mesopotamia. It's been destroyed over the centuries and now it's mostly sand. While they could hand them off to someone ala dirty bomb, I hardly think it's going to be worse than right now.

As someone stated, there are so many Russian nukes missing, I hardly doubt this marginal increase in the supply is going to realistically alter the landscape. I just get a kick out of people when the US decides something and they just go along and accept stupid conventional wisdom. Conventional wisdom is the crux of the problem. Freakonomics does a great job of explaining this in the beginning of the book and goes on to point out how wrong conventional wisdom usually is in most circumstances.

Also I think I stated this before, but if you examine the Iran/Iraq war, the Iranians, led by the same people, chose to end the conflict to spare their existence. If they wanted to destroy the enemies completely, they would have unleashed the greatest war between only two countries in modern time. Religious differences are far greater than any I've studied. It's so deep seated and ingrained, like no other fracture within religion. Did the Protestants battle the Catholics, other than Ireland? If you step back and realize they want to live too, they aren't going to launch a nuke at us head on because they know if would be the end to the country. Speaking of which, can they even hit this country from Iran? Last I knew, they can't. Passing it off to another group is a given IMHO.

Did the Protestants battle the Catholics, other than Ireland?

With all the passion and brutality you could ask for:


Aldous Huxley's book Grey Eminence is a splendid portrait of one of the key players, & how theology can fan the flames of war.

Yes, I can read. You said:

Actually we do need to be told to sit down and behave but I'm not sure anyone else is big enough to do it.

In context I assumed the "we" refers to the United States and "anyone else big enough" refers to another country with nuclear weapons. I pointed out that there are plenty of other weapons out there, and Russia (at least) is "big enough" to render the United States a radioactive disaster zone.

Point, counter-point.

Let's just let it rest. We are in agreement that the United States should not be "poking its nose" into Iran's business.

Russia (at least) is "big enough" to render the United States a radioactive disaster zone.

Really? Russia couldn't do it without sacrficing themselves in the process. I don't think counting kamikaze as a "big enough" threat to merit the level of threat needed to get the US to sit down.

So Greyzone's comment stands, there is currently no military power on the planet that can force the US to do anything, unless they are willing to be destroyed themselves. A prospect I would argue that is less attractive at the moment than simply allowing the US to have their way.

Basically the best you could argue is that America and the rest of the nucelar world are at best in a Mexican Standoff, and recognizing this fact, the nuclear world keeps one six shooter aimed at each other while they use their other six shooter to get whatever they can out of the non-nuclear world.


Yes, I'd say 7200 is more than enough.

Russia couldn't do it without sacrficing themselves in the process.

Of course. But the same is true in the other direction, as you yourself point out. If your conclusion is that no military power can force the US to do anything, then you must also conclude that no military power can force Russia to do anything.

Nuclear weapons don't work as a deterrent or as a threat if the "other side" don't believe you're crazy enough to use them. If, however, you really do look crazy enough to use them, you risk the other side launching a first strike in order to "defend" themselves.

Welcome to the insane world of nuclear weapons strategy. Endless hours of fun for the whole human race.

I think we're slightly off the topic of oil depletion, however.

Heard on a local news station (680News), that:

TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) ridership is UP 2 Million riders this year, AND they are having trouble meeting the extra demand (ie. over-crowding, missed buses/trains).

***Update - found print article: TTC: Extra riders a problem

Ridership soared above projections in January and February -- there were 800,000 more passengers than expected and 2.1 million more than the same period last year -- and transit officials are struggling to meet the demand.

Two thoughts:

1) This is good(Alan?) - people are using the system, and the TTC has great plans for expansion with the Feds kicking in significant money.

2) This is BAD - Why so many now? Has the current $1+/ltr actually started demand destruction(reallocation) to the poorer here (in Canada)?

Either way, if they are having capacity troubles NOW, they are going to have significant trouble/failure when the Oil shock wavefront arrives in earnest.

Peak: Currently 25% of Toronto households don't own a car- I would expect this % to increase.

Additional note:There is a lot of discussion on TOD about the American obsession with the auto lifestyle. Here is Toronto a high % of the population was born outside NA (a guess would be 50%) and the auto obsession is minor compared to the home ownership obsession among this group. Renting is shunned- a huge number of family members will buy a house together, live together and pay down the mortage, then buy another one (sometimes while everyone rides the TTC).

The auto obsession - unfortunate as it is - is a result of infrastructure, life style, and politics, all of them melded together, tied to historical roots, based on geography *and* geology.

Sure, the US obsessions with cars is obnoxious - sometimes you’d think that absolutely any organic material could be transformed into something suitable for pouring into the car’s gas tank. Expect more hair raising schemes soon. :)

US society is built on that mobility, individualistic life style, travel to work (production, such as it is), use or exploitation of land (suburbia, etc. ), ‘freedom’, lack (very relative..) of Gvmt. control - an illusion of personal liberty built on a cornucopia mindset.

How it came about - well, an incredibly lush, empty continent (after the natives were killed off), with energy reserves. More could be said.

But transformation or change seem far off, or very moot, the US lifestyle is not negotiable, as is endlessly quoted, and the US seem willing to invest staggering amounts on controlling or forcing the rest of the world to extend, continue, maintain, that past state of affairs, throwing a lot of manpower, energy, cash, influence, control, into conserving a status quo mythical past position that cannot - with absolute certainty - last.

Military investment ensures domination - for a time. It is a gamble, the costs are very high; mount up and up; at some point, things crack, even if only the ‘returns’ are not considered good enough by the ‘people’... At heart, the moves are defensive and conservative, an attempt by the ‘elite’ (but that is just my reading, an interpretation, others are possible) to conserve their own power and position.

Now, Europe is no better, but handles things differently. Just to say that this was not a pure EU anti-US rant.

Thus my Step #5 to create a Strategic Railcar Reserve so that existing rail systems could surge as needed.


Except for the Lexington Avenue subway in NYC, the BART Transbay tunnels in SF and the Blue Line in LA, every other rail line I know of could carry more people at rush hour if they has more rail cars (and larger transformers/electrical supply in a few cases).

For minimal cost, we can carry far more people with more rolling stock on existing lines.

We also need to add protected bike parking.

Lack of rolling stock will be a problem going forward.

Best Hopes,


Try electric bike, its fun.


MARTA in Atlanta was designed for ninety second headways but currently runs trains about every ten minutes during peak and 15-20 minutes off-peak. Even on the section through town where two lines merge, there could be a two to three fold increase in peak hour trains. All of the stations except for a single one on a spur line can handle eight car trains but six car trains are most common with sometimes four or even two car trains running due to limited supply of train cars. Some of this is due to an ongoing rebuilding project for all older cars but in general it is unlikely that even when all cars out for rebuilding are finished that the system would be able to increase peak capacity with the existing stock of vehicles.

What really annoys me is that if you look at the numbers from the federal transit administration, MARTA has incredibly efficient per passenger mile costs for its heavy rail system but the general public and pols all claim it is a corrupt money pit, while the state DOT never ever has to account for any of its money.

Personally, I see this as predominantly good. This means people, regardless of the incomes of those involved, are trying to adjust their lifestyle. They are trying to do what Kunstler and others have advocated. I applaud them and wish Houston was in better shape.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

Either way, if they are having capacity troubles NOW, they are going to have significant trouble/failure when the Oil shock wavefront arrives in earnest.

In many cases this is true, but be careful to distinguish between fixed infrastructure capacity constraints and rolling-stock constraints. For many (most?) rail lines in North America the line itself is not a significant limiting factor, it is simply the lack of rail cars that is the problem. It is actually a strength of rail systems that such slack generally exists. How much does it cost to double the capacity of a rail line by doubling the fleet of vehicles? How much does it cost to double the capacity of a highway by doubling the width of the highway?

Having said that, the TTC is definitely close to capacity on their subway lines over the central sections. Once the fleet is large enough to reach full capacity of the line, however, there are still alternatives. Major capacity increases can be possible without major infrastructure work, simply by providing faster service on surface lines: give streetcars reserved lanes and priority at lights.

Here's a case in point: the Queen streetcar takes 15 minutes from downtown to the east end of the line in the wee hours, but more like 35 minutes during the day. Imagine no cars on the Queen streetcar lanes and traffic signal priority at each intersection making much tighter headways possible and decreasing travel time to probably 20 minutes. This would nearly double the capacity without any fleet expansion simply by achieving nearly double the average speed. Now imagine doubling the fleet as well - I think you could quadruple the capacity, if the political will existed, without spending a dime on new track.

It's all a question of politics, not of engineering limitations. Try to remove parking and add no-left-turn restrictions on Queen Street, see how far you get.

Even with competition from cars, though, look at what was possible over forty years ago:

North America's busiest carline, Bloor, had been a marvel of PCC operation, capable of carrying 9,000 passengers per hour with weekday ridership topping 200,000 passengers (more than many rapid transit lines) and requiring as many as 160 PCCs in peak hours.


(Disclaimer: I haven't lived in Toronto for years, my memory of travel times on Queen Street might be off a bit.)

Nice post.

Times aren't far off - about 45 minutes/1 hr from the Beach. I used to live right on the line.

I truly hope they can scale - they have a massive car replacement underway that is chewing capital budget as well. Hopefully they can add some capacity.

My point about the problem now, is that the Oil shock has not occurred with any teeth yet...so some work definitely needs to be done...before it gets too expensive to do it anymore.


Iraq could hold almost twice as much oil in its reserves as had been thought, according to the most comprehensive independent study of its resources since the US-led invasion in 2003.

The potential presence of a further 100bn barrels in the western desert highlights the opportunity for Iraq to be one of the world’s biggest oil suppliers, and its attractions for international oil companies – if the conflict in the country can be resolved.

For those whining about off topic, here's some finance with your oil...Besides this being a consultant firm, does anyone know the reality of what's in Iraq or is it mostly misunderstood due to dictatorship factor?

Why would Iraq have lied about their reserves before invasion? There doesn't seem to any good reason for it unless they were so incompetent in managing their exploration efforts that they just didn't know the oil was there. If it is actually there and they knew about, it makes no sense to hide that fact.

Perhaps this is the universe's way of balancing out the sudden drop of Kuwait's reserve by 50%.

I have never seen a map suggesting the possibility of significant reserves in the western desert of Iraq. As far as I know, the geology of that area does not lend itself to the possibility of large hydrocarbon deposits.

All the maps I have seen show a great swathe of hydrocarbon deposits running more or less north-south from Kirkuk in the north, down the Iran/Iraq border and into a broader area encompassing SW Iran, Kuwait, Saudi, UAE and the Persian Gulf.

I am very happy to stand corrected if I'm wrong.

Why would Iraq have lied about their reserves before invasion?

The same reason all OPEC nations had incentive to lie. It increases their quota, since the OPEC quota is based on each country's reserves.

As for what Iraq really has...who knows? I think they are more likely to have half of what they claim than twice what they claim.

ASPO reported that the U.S. did a survey of Iraq's oil reserves after the invasion. The results were supposed to be released in 2004, but so far, they're still classified. But the "whisper number" is 40 billion barrels...less than half the 112 billion barrels claimed.

But why would they lie to make their reserve numbers look smaller? I understand why they would try to inflate them to get a bigger quota, but lying to make them smaller than the actual reserves would only lead to a smaller quota.

Is anyone saying Iraq lied to make their numbers look smaller? I didn't get that from any of the articles on the IHS study.

I think he is asking why Iraq under Saddam would lie and hide this extra 100 billion barrels. In otherwords since OPEC would "reward" higher reserve numbers, why wouldn't Saddam have done the same thing as all the other OPEC members and over state reserve.

This is working on the assumption that the 100 billion barrels recently discovered actually a) exist and b) were known to Saddam.

I don't think anyone is suggesting Iraq wanted to hide any of its oil reserves. Rather, the claim is that those backward Iraqis didn't have the education/expertise/equipment to properly measure their reserves, understand the geology, etc.

Here is a link which previously has been posted on TOD. It's an compilation from 2003 of georeferenced maps of Iraq, almost entirely from AAPG publications, which estimate that the top 28 fields sums up to 41 billion barrels.

How is oil commonly distributed? Given that the largest fields contain most of the oil in an abritrary (and large) area; how can the arguments presented in ft be compatible with the estimate above?

I observe that the ft-article frequently use the words like "could" and "potentially".

news addition, didn't see it posted before...?

Study warns of health risk from ethanol

If ethanol ever gains widespread use as a clean alternative fuel to gasoline, people with respiratory illnesses may be in trouble.

A new study out of Stanford says pollution from ethanol could end up creating a worse health hazard than gasoline, especially for people with asthma and other respiratory diseases.

San Francisco Chronicle, April 18, 2007


Although sound scientifically, keep in mind the following:

The premise of the work is that every vehicle on the road in 2020 is filled with E85 - a scenario that is not likely to occur in our lifetime if ever.

That respiratory deaths due to ozone related pollution 'may' increase by 4% in the US - that's a grand total of 200 'possible' deaths p/a; a blindingly insignificant sum.

That cancer-causing effects of ethanol would be "roughly comparable to those of gasoline" - something I find very hard to believe for although acetaldehyde and peroxyacetyl nitrate increase when ethanol is burned, formaldehyde, CO, CO2 benzene and particulate matter (the latter two being gasoline's most carcinogenic protagonists) are reduced.

All in all, I support further study in this matter.

Maybe the problem isn't the ethanol part of E85 but the gasoline part may have a synergistic negative effect at these ratios. I read somewhere that a 180 proof ethanol fuel is the cleanest fuel of all because the 10% water fraction's effect of lowering combustion temps. The presence of gasoline in E85 requires water free ethanol to prevent separation in side storage tanks.

Yes, those studies...

Studies are here for doing lobbying.

The "result" of the study is cristal clear before the study starts.

It would be interesting, WHO paid for this study to be done. Maybe Exxon?

P.S.: Of course also the "professores" must have some work and earn some attention and extra money. So, just make a "study". Complete bullshit to me.

This is another article about the Stanford Study

Surprize: Ethanol as Deadly as Gasoline for Now

The article says:

''We found that E85 vehicles reduce atmospheric levels of two carcinogens, benzene and butadiene, but increase two others, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde,'' Jacobson said. ''As a result, cancer rates for E85 are likely to be similar to those for gasoline. However, in some parts of the country, E85 significantly increased ozone, a prime ingredient of smog.''

I think the point of the study is that people should not think that ethanol is better than gasoline, from a health point of view. The article indicates that the effects are expected to vary by the part of the country. California comes out worse than average because of its problems with smog.

Sorry Gail but I disagree.

Decades of scientific research cannot be simply hand waved away by 1 scientist who's observed results stem from a fictional model.

From a health point of view, ethanol is definitely better than gasoline by a wide margin and the preponderance of published data that supports my assertion is both well documented and researched.

While it is true that one study does not definitive science make, you haven't provided Gail with much besides your opinion to support your contention that the research study is flawed. Have you read the research paper? If so, you could have at least pointed to one of the author's references:

Ethanol fuelled motor vehicle emissions - A literature review

Ethanol or gasoline. Which is worse? Well, I know which one I'd rather drink. But as to what comes out of the tailpipe, I'll keep an open mind for awhile. Given the effort spent to clean up auto exhaust, some effort might be necessary to do more work for E85 and beyond, if indeed that comes to pass.

I will say, though, that I found this sentence from the study a bit odd:

Since ethanol, itself, contains 5% gasoline
as a denaturant, E85 is really 80% ethanol and 20% gasoline.

Huh? First, I thought denatured alcohol was something like:

85.75% Ethanol
13.25% Isopropanol
1.00% Methyl Isobutyl Ketone

Well, is EtOH denatured with 5% gasoline for use in the fuels market (before mixing)? Is E85 really 80% ethanol? That can't be right.

Yes I've read Jacobson's work but I did not find it flawed.

I am, however, guilty of assuming that his results and past reference material on the subject would hold bearing on the discussions that followed. Thanks for catching that.

My point of contention though, stems primarily from how this single study is being so patently aggrandized.

Note the title: Effects of Ethanol (E85) Versus Gasoline Vehicles on Cancer and Mortality in the United States.

And the results? No differences. None. The 'possible' exception being a slight to moderate increase in eye irritants and ozone pollution in specific areas under specific conditions.

No one is taking the time to actually look at the science presented and instead, we all fall victim to the MSM assigned fear mongering headlines.

Seems to be a lot of that going'round these days.

From the Tom Whipple story:

Last week US gasoline inventories dropped for the 10th straight week by another 2.7 million barrels. While this is better than the previous two weeks when stockpiles dropped by over 5 million barrels a week, it should be noted that refinery utilization is getting back close to normal. Gasoline stockpiles, however, are dropping due to increased consumption (still running 2.5 percent over last year) and insufficient imports.

As an EIA spokesman said last week, “It’s too early to panic. There is still plenty of time to rebuild inventories.” Let’s hope so, for unless those imports start picking up soon, it’s going to be a long and perhaps troubled summer.

Time for some simple math again:

If driving season, starts June 1st approx. We have 42 days to bring up gasoline stocks/production.

If KSA/Iran/Others are refusing to increase production(as mentioned today, and Monday) at this point. Then we have to assume the promised increase is still pending...so let's say - 1 week(miracle of announcement and pumping same day). So, only 35 days...

Transit time is approx. 30 days by tanker from Middle East.

5 days to unload, refine and ship. (If you think demand will pick up July 1st, add 30 days, still cutting it very close assuming they start shipping next week)

Lots of time to rebuild those inventories.

But I am glad they(EIA) will tell us when "it is time to panic". Good to know!

Meanwhile, the world is still sucking down crude inventories at a rate between 1MMBPD and 2.7 MMBPD.

Quote of the week:


But not everyone at EIA is swallowing the agency’s Kool-Aid with the requisite gusto. In a bow to reality, EIA Chief Guy Caruso openly frets over gasoline inventories, which are unusually low considering the proximity of the summer driving season.

“The volume of imports is lower than we thought,” Caruso said to a Dow Jones reporter.

Long term rate of increase in Total US Petroleum Imports:


From Tom's article:

Two weeks ago, as a number of observers pointed out, refinery utilization increased while gasoline production dropped. This may be a one-time glitch, or it could mean that sufficient quantities of light, sweet crude, that are optimal for making gasoline, are becoming difficult to find. If this is indeed the case, then the US has a problem of major proportions.

I do wish r squared would chime in on this

Why don't you ask him about it at his blog?

As I recall, Robert did comment stating that this was an issue but that he expected OPEC to increase production to meet the requirements of the refineries in OECD nations. In fact, he stated that this would be a good test, in his opinion, of Stuart's thesis that KSA has peaked. If KSA increases production significantly then they haven't peaked. If they can increase it only a small amount or not at all in this scenario, then they are probably in big trouble.

If I have misstated Robert's position, perhaps he or someone else can correct me.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

I think you have it right.

To Paraphrase in terms of timing...KSA will ramp up production(RR) soon(days), or NOT(Stuart).

They should have placed a bet on this...pretty definitive.

I think it takes at least 4 months for the oil produced in KSA to appear in our gas tanks. Considering this time lag, KSA should have increased their production during the first quarter of this year to make more gasoline available for the summer driving season. Since their production declined during the first quarter, I think we have strong evidence that they have peaked.

Or there tightening the screws on the White House because of Iraq?

I don't think so. They are cutting supplies to Asian refinaries, not the US.

Why would this bother the White House? - The White House Oil buddies are getting record profits.

Well, it is arguable the White House could be somewhat bothered if the US economy tanks and the USD collapses. Then again, they might not be...

Plenty of money gets made on the way back down....

Boy you took alot of crap over the last year but(unfortunatly) you are quite accurate as far as I can tell.

Q? Does it make sense to buy a small diesel rig, it seems diesel is more plentiful and will this hold( vrs gas)

IMO, flexibility may be the best bet. If you have two vehicles, one gasoline and one diesel might make sense. On the other hand, you do have the choice of biofuels with the diesel.

In natural gas producing areas, a natural gas powered Civic for local trips might make sense. After tax credit, I think that it is about 21K. I think that a home compressor runs about $3,000.

Also, I think that converting a diesel to run on natural gas is pretty easy. I wonder if you could modify a diesel so that it would run either on liquid diesel (petroleum or biofuel) or natural gas (or LPG). This would actually give you three ways to power the vehicle. Of course, you would need two tanks.

Not to worry.

Imported gasoline will save us!

"In the past imports have been our savior," Caruso said.

There's even a Podcast.

Whew...saved! :P

Even if it was possible, from WHO though? Just say, we are looking for and extra 1MMBPD of refined gasoline...who has the spare capacity?

Not Canada. Middle East? Definitely not Iran, or Iraq. KSA is building new refineries (for export?) but not ready yet.

Mr. Caruso is right, we have seen an exponential increase in Total Petroleum Imports, increasing at close to 5% per year since 1990.

Somehow I doubt that we will see that going forward.

I'd say the EIA's assessment seems pretty fair at present, although it's clear that gasoline imports will soon need to rise very sharply as they did last year.

Here's some comparative data to get a feel for how things need to play out over the next few weeks:

U.S. Gasoline Data 2006 vs 2007
Capacity Prodn Imports Stocks Stock Chnge
W/E 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007
Mar 31 85.9 87.0 8.1 8.8 1.1 1.0 211.8 205.2 -4.4 -5.0
Apr 7 85.6 88.4 7.9 8.5 1.1 0.95 207.9 199.7 -3.9 -5.5
Apr 14 86.2 90.4 8.1 8.7 0.9 1.0 202.5 197.0 -5.4 -2.7
Apr 21 88.2 8.5 1.3 200.6 -1.9
Apr 28 88.8 8.6 1.0 202.7 +2.1
May 5 90.2 8.9 1.6 205.1 +2.4
May 12 89.8 9.2 1.45 206.4 +1.3
May 19 89.7 9.2 1.6 208.5 +2.1
May 26 91.4 9.2 1.6 209.3 +0.8

(Note: Week ending dates are for 2006. 2007 is a day less)

Refinery capacity and gasoline production have been ahead of last year recently, but with flat imports this hasn't stopped stocks declining. Demand is surprisingly robust.

Thanks for putting together that table, FTX.

According to Caruso, EIA's base case assumes weekly gasoline imports of 1.1 million barrels a day.

Demand for gasoline is running about 300,000 barrels per day higher than the same period in 2006. Imports are flat. The increase in gasoline production recorded in the last three weeks more than offset the increased demand. If those numbers are accurate, gasoline stocks should be rising, no?

The increase in gasoline production recorded in the last three weeks more than offset the increased demand. If those numbers are accurate, gasoline stocks should be rising, no?

Perhaps truer to say that gasoline stocks should not have been falling as fast rather than rising, BP, but I think your essential point is a good one.

These numbers are from the EIA's Weekly Petroleum reports. I'll post the table again next week and in the meanwhile look around for any revisions to the 2006 data.

Regarding small and cheap cars, I get the feeling that some don't know that we have been here before. In my squandered youth I owned both a Citroen 2CV and a BMW Isetta. The 'deux cheveaux' Citroen, despite the two taxable horsepower =- imagine taxing horsepower! - actually put out twelve from its 425cc flat twin and later 18 from the 600cc version. The BMW was a 300cc single cylinder rear drive 'bubble' car with the door in the front.

While both worked fine, the Citroen was by far the better of the two as a functional vehicle. Mine was a camionette or small van model, thus aerodynamically challenged, but still delivered somewhere between fifty and sixty five mpg as I recall; at those figures and 30 cent gas I didn't really care. It carried my brother and I and two race bikes faithfully to the races despite no parts or dealer network to speak of. Nothing went wrong except a condenser failure once, but then there wasn't much there to screw up. You just had to remember to leave early.

Performance was non existent, but that was a foregone conclusion. Top speed for the sedan was maybe 50 mph and 60 for the 'big' motor. Durability was until the whole body rotted away, as the motor was too gutless to wear anything out. A friend has one that went over 300,000 on the original motor and still runs.

Perhaps the best feature of these small motors is that they use so little fuel idling. Inherently, a 600cc motor at idle will use a fifth the fuel that a 3 litre motor will. Japan had a 360cc class of cars and also a 550cc and 800cc limits.
There is no reason whatsoever why we can't get around on 50cc motorbikes and 500cc cars. The rest of the world has beeen doing it for half a century and more. And yes, I drove both cars over the great divide quite a number of times. The world's altitude record for cars was held by a Citroen 2CV at something like 19 thousand feet in Peru, as I recall. My friend drove his to Argentina and back.

The original 1959 Honda 50 would get 150 mpg or better. Remember, these are early engineering and production from war torn countries. We don't need a 'breakthrough' in engineering, just in society. If we are going to devote farmland to fuel instead of nature, we need to move forward to the past, so to speak.

There is no reason whatsoever why we can't get around on 50cc motorbikes and 500cc cars.

Yeah! I love the picture of GWBush and his entourage putting around on 50cc mini-bikes. Well, maybe the POTUS would rate 60cc.....

this POTUS rates a pogo stick (up his ass preferably)

I found this intersting. I was sifting through the news about one of my trades and read this. Would this be an example of Jevon's paradox (I believe that is what it is called). More efficiency engenders more consumption.

Whirlpool Gold(R) Dishwashers With PowerScour(TM) Technology Earn Good Housekeeping Seal
Energy-Efficient Whirlpool(R) Brand Dishwashers Provide Reliable Cleaning Power So You Don't Have To "Do" Dishes
PrintE-mailDisable live quotesRSSDigg itDel.icio.us

Last Update: 8:00 AM ET Apr 19, 2007

BENTON HARBOR, Mich., April 19, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Whirlpool brand's ENERGY STAR(R) qualified line of Whirlpool Gold dishwashers has been granted the Good Housekeeping Seal. Recognized for their ability to eliminate the need to soak, pre-rinse or hand-scrub dishes, Whirlpool Gold dishwashers also save consumers valuable time over hand washing - almost 230 hours per year or enough time to drive cross-country six times.

Yes, incidentally enough, a dishwasher is more efficient than hand-washing, assuming you use hot water when you wash your dishes. The reasoning is that it filters than re-uses the water, thus retaining the heat in the water, versus when you do it by hand, it goes down the sink. Of course, all the power saving is negated if you use that heated drying feature.

Similar things with other devices.. Washing clothes, for instance. The front-loading washing machines spin at a higher RPM than top-loading washing machines, getting more water out of the clothes. This reduces drying time, and in essence makes your drying cycle more efficient as well.

I think the Jevon's Paradox part was spending the time freed up driving across the country six times. Not a literal correlation, of course, but that the author chose to measure time saved by equivalent driving time says something.

Of course the catch will be that while on your 2nd or 3rd crossing of the country, the fuel costs will have left you without enough cash to pay for your fine Rt 66 diner dinner, and guess how you'll be paying for your meals from then on?

I'm still handwashing the dishes, using hot water only for a soapy bowlful to wet the sponge and soak the utensils in, and with warm water in the rinse side. Plates are wet-down to loosen dried food, but don't sit in a sinkful of soaped water (which only kills the soap content and shares the greases/oils onto every possible surface). As with the Bath, the water isn't drained until it's cooled to room temp, so the heat is (essentially) recaptured into the home.

Thought I'd share..

Bob Fiske

bf, i did a calculation for an acquaintence who does that, lets the bath cool before draining, and it came out to $0.11 worth of natural gas. this guy commutes 90 mi rt to work.

No doubt. The REAL savings is in how rarely I bathe!

I work in the basement, most days. One (30mpg) car between my wife and I, so I hope I'm being somewhat Poundwise as well as Pennywise.. a lot of different habits to reanalyse and adjust. We're just hearing that the whole Microwaved Foods issue might be another carcinogen-factory.. we've killed a lot of good organic broccoli and sweetpotatoes in that bloody box!

The thing I like about my dishwashing method is that it's Quiet. I don't like hearing that rushing water, on and off, so dishes has become a mellow, radio-news time for me. Not that the Radio News does much to calm me lately! But as with the Bathing (joke, really).. a bigger point is the amount of water I use for the process overall, which I suspect is well-below the average. It took some work to get past rinsing with running hot water, which is really a sort of compulsive habit, and must add up to a lot of H20.


Rinse with cold water. I learned this from a guy who worked in a brewery where they have to wash gigantic stainless steel equipment. It does a much better job with less water.

Drying time doesn't matter if you hang your clothes on a line to air dry in the sun.

When I was a kid everyone in the neighborhood hung their wash out in the back yard. I didn't notice exactly when that changed. Maybe around 1965.

Now we have a gas dryer but rarely use it.

In the humid air of New Orleans it does !

The "extra spin" cycle of a front loading washing machine saves hours of clothes hanger time. And that can mean getting them dry before sundown. (Drying rate slows dramatically after dark on a humid night).

Best Hopes for front loading washers,


Yes who really needs big autos. Mostly only one ore two persons sit in the cars.
Myself i have a small Hyundai Atos, 0,5 litre per 10 km.
It has everything that bigger cars have;ABS, airconditioning etc. If i some times need moore space to transport stuffs, then i use my trailer, and hook it on to the Atos.
And it is cheaper to buy, cheaper insurance etc.

No more Oil Price Quotes on Sidebar

Several weeks ago the oil price quotes disappeared from the sidebar without explanation (AFAIK).

I miss the quotes !

What is going on ?

Best Hopes for Financial Information and Real Time Tracking of the effects of TOD posts,


You mean those charts? I still see them.

Hi Alan,

I can still see them!? Did you change browsers/computer?

I have a older Windows 2000 machine in the lab. I haven't updated it and it can't see them either. Most likely browser version.

In fact, it shows the price dipping below $62...still about 9 cents a cup.

OK, my Apple crashed :-((( and I dusted off my old Windows NT computer. (I thought of donating it, but decided to keep it for emergency backup).

Best Hopes,


Aniya had a question about agricultural land.

Disclosures: I am certainly no expert, and I can barely keep houseplants alive, but I always thought the following article about urban gardening was interesting:


Iny any case, in general I think that it is a very good idea to buy farmland, especially farmland that does not require irrigation, or at least does not require heavy irrigation. Ideally, it would be nice to be close to rail lines.

I have previously suggested that people consider putting together joint ventures to buy 40 acre tracts. If nothing else, in the short term you might lease the land out to an organic farmer. Your return on investment will be poor, but the key point, IMO, is to try to secure access to future food supplies.

If you don't have the money yourself, you might look into getting an option to buy some land and then get an investment group together that would carry you for 10% to 25% of the cost of the land, in exchange for you putting the deal together. 100% equity would be best, but debt financing, IMO, would be worth the risk in this case.

In the January issue of Barron's, Marc Faber's #1 investment recommendation was farmland.

In the January issue of Barron's, Marc Faber's #1 investment recommendation was farmland.

I haven't seen the article, but I am wondering if his recommendation was fuelled by the Ethanol hype/craze.

If not, kudos to him for foresight.

It was the Barron's Roundtable.

I think that he was talking about the twin demands for food + fuel. If you had put equal amounts of money into his 2006 recommended investments, you would have had a 25% return on investment in one year.

Faber described the 30 year US Treasury bond as the "World's worst investment." He is firmly in the inflation is coming camp.

Thanks WT,

But Did he inflation is coming? As in future tense!

Inflation is here...Housing bubble burst is next...Hyperinflation anyone.

And then...financial armageddon. What a great book title. Seriously thou, it is a good listen(FSN interview).

Here's the link To Faber's 2007 portfolio from Jan '07 he titled "My 2007 Portfolio: Cash, Farmland, and Precious Metals"-


Here is an excerpt from the 1.29.07 Barron's issue Westexas is referring to:

Barron's: Hasn't the price of farmland risen along with corn prices?

Gabelli: The price of good farmland in Iowa or Illinois has gone up about 40% in the last three or four years.

Faber: But it started from very low levels. In Argentina and Brazil, depending on quality, a hectare of farmland costs $1,000 to maybe $3,000. In Switzerland, it costs about $50,000. A few years ago I recommended Cresud (CRESY:NASDAQ), an agricultural company that owns farmland in Argentina. The stock was $4 at the time. Now it's $18, but it's still Ok.
Zulauf: It is cheap.
Faber: I would prefer to own the physical farmland than paper assets... On the short side, the 30-year U.S. Treasury bond has to be the world's worst investment, if you hold to maturity. You are buying it in a structurally weak currency. also, the U.S. central bank has said it will print money if asset prices go down. I cannot see how you would lose money in the long run by being short 30-year Treasuries.

I think that you do not need so much farmland to feed for example a couple with vegetables. Think of the victory gardens.
A bigger problem is to get enough proteins and fat. Carbones you could essentially be without, or do not need so much of.

Either you could rase chicken or rabbits etc, or have a home by a water with fish(i am lucky to live by a clean river with fish). Then if you have money(preferably gold), there should be food for sale even if TEOTWAKI and TSHTF happens.


There's plenty of protiens and fats on the hoof (feral hogs) ready for the taking. Well in significant #'s in the southern states.

BBQ anyone?


Please tell me that you do not seriously believe what you just said. If you slaughtered all of the feral hogs in the southern US, you'd barely feed the population for a few weeks max, probably less.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

Did I say anything about feeding the whole population of the US? I was suggesting feral hogs as a resource that could be exploited when a resourceful person is in need. You couldn't round them all up anyway to serve them to the consumptive masses.

Are you out to save the US from PO? That would be a tall order considering current events.

Please consider the fast reproductive traits of the Feral Hog. Almost as Fast as rabbits! Except a rabbit won't grow to 200#'s.

"First, feral hogs reproduce nearly as prolifically as rabbits. Breeding occurs at any time of the year when abundant food is available. Females can begin breeding in their 6th month of life and produce two litters of 4-10 piglets every 12-15 months. This level of reproduction can double a feral hog population in 4 months."

"We know that Texas has more feral hogs than any other state," says Billy Higginbotham, a
professor at Texas A&M University. "With 1.5 million in the state, we will never eradicate them.
The best we can hope for is to keep their numbers under control."


You understand what you are implying then? It seems we are on common ground. No, we are not going to save the US or even most of its population from the coming resource crashes.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

Grey Zone you ever here the term "A country boy can survive"? With PO I would suggest "A country boy might survive".

Some interesting facts about feral hogs. They are prolific breeders, You can't eradicate them, They eat just about anything, and they adapt to most any enviroment. You can trap them then fatten them up, hunt them with most any weapon, and there invasive traits are causeing them to spread.

Pig scat as a fertilizer? Hmmm!

They were eradicated from Britain although they have been recently re-introduced.

the preacher man said its the end of time
and the mississippi river, she's a goin dry
the interest is up and the stock market's down
and you only get mugged if you go downtown

Just wanted to add plenty of "longpig" in the state too! About 21 million, more than enough. Texas has the second most longpig in the nation. Here in NC we BBQ. Delicious!

Why do that, Greyzone?

I think it's fair to assume that he didn't mean that you should expect to feed the whole US with only Feral Hogs. Just like advocating for Solar Electric doesn't really presuppose that it is the WonderFuel for all our needs, and should blanket every acre of 'wasteland and desert'.. It's a bit overreactive of you, is all I'm saying.

It seems like he's saying that it's an undertapped food source for someone enterprising enough to take advantage of it.. not to solve world hunger for now and forever.

Peace, and a piece of pulled pork.. nice!

Hey, the island of Oahu here is basically one big city... but once you get out into the green, the wild pigs are there. They don't talk about it much, but the reason they don't look for lost hikers more than a week max is that if you're injured or unconscious, the pigs will eat you. They're pretty shy, but if you don't react to being nibbled on, they'll do away with your body.

Reckon there are probably a lot more on the big isle.

Not sure about that. It's awfully dry on a lot of the Big Island. Pigs need water. I saw a lot more pigs on Oahu than on the Big Island.

There are, however, a lot of wild sheep or goats or some such critters. Many Big Islanders hunt them with bow and arrow. There are also pheasants and turkeys, introduced by hunters.

This flock of turkeys lives in my parents' neighborhood. Kind of annoying, really. They get up at the crack of dawn, and they're loud. They stomp around on the roof and wake you up with their gobbling. And they leave crap all over the driveway.



You don't need much land to grow the food crops on, but you need a lot of extra land on which to grow the crops (and livestock) that feed the soil in your garden. The Victory Gardens required external inputs (fertilizer). There's a really big difference between growing enough food for one year, and doing that sustainably year-on-year without soil depletion.

One great way to eliminate the organic fertilizer logistics problem is to winter your animals in the garden plot and then pull them out in early spring.

I don't know much about the investment aspect - though I do remember one of the top choices from one of the money-magazine articles a few years back was "Buy a farm in Ohio." I think that was right around the time of FarmAid etc. when farm prices were driven down and they really were tremendous bargains.

But if the intent is to secure future food production, be careful not to lease the land out for current production, unless you can require biointensive techniques that increase soil fertility. Otherwise you are just letting someone take fertility out of the soil; then in a few years you have a depleted resource.

Optimal is to start about 2-3 years in advance of major crop production and farm solely to enrich the soil. This of course is very expensive, but when you do start cropping the yields will be terrific and sustainable. If you try to start cropping right away it's hard to keep the soil going without external inputs.

China stocks fall 5% on fears of tightening

China's stock market dropped nearly 5 per cent on Thursday on concerns the government may act soon to slow soaring valuations.

That was the biggest fall since February 27, when a Chinese correction was blamed for triggering a global sell-off.

Analysts said the market was reacting in anticipation of strong GDP numbers that could lead to further tightening. The economy grew higher-than-expected 11.1 per cent in the first quarter, according to data announced after the 3pm market close.

The Shanghai composite index fell 4.52 per cent to close at 3449.02, while shares in Shenzhen slumped 5.23 per cent.

Growth accelerated in the first quarter on the back of a massive trade surplus, despite one interest rate increase and three rises in the amount banks must deposit with the central bank in the same period.

Inflation was up 3.3 per cent in March, adding to the likelihood the central bank would raise rates again and possibly introduce more macroeconomic control measures.

Even after Thursday's correction the market is still up nearly 40 per cent so far this year, after rising more than 130 per cent last year, and institutional investors in particular appear to be looking for excuses to take profits.

Can anyone linked me to Dave Cohen's post on natural gas? Running with the Red Queen

I have searched but cannot find.



Petroleum engineer graduates strike pay dirt

The average annual salary of someone with a bachelor's in petroleum engineering is $80,000 this year, not including a signing bonus of $5,000 to $30,000 in cash. For master's students, the offer is $90,000 to $100,000, while Ph.D.s command low six-figure salaries.

Oil and gas companies need the graduates not only to keep up with their expanding businesses, but also to replace older employees who will retire in the coming years.

"Petroleum engineering always gets the highest starting salary among any bachelor's degree in the world," said Craig Van Kirk, head of the School of Mines Petroleum Engineering Department for the past 27 years.

Whiskey & Gunpowder email
April 18, 2007
By Byron W. King
Pittsburgh, U.S.A.

Mr. Wang thought for a moment. “If you add it all up,” he said, “there are about 40,000 or 50,000 students studying geology in China today at the university level. Maybe more, but I do not want to give you a number that is too high. Many of these students might not become geologists, because they will go into civil engineering or some related field. The Premier of China, Wei Jiabao, is a geologist, by the way, and worked as a geological surveyor in his youth. And many other students, such as those studying chemistry or physics in the university, might eventually become geochemists or geophysicists. But we are currently training about 50,000 or so geologists in China, across the nation.”

Are You Impressed Yet?

Are you impressed yet, dear readers? 50,000 students are studying geology in China today. That number is well over 25 times the number of college students who are studying geology in the U.S., which includes foreign students enrolled at U.S. institutions, and that is after something of a surge in enrollments in geoscience departments in the past two or three years. Back in 2004, according to statistics published by the U.S. National Science Foundation, there were fewer than 500 degrees granted in geology and petroleum engineering by all U.S. universities combined, and about half of those degrees were awarded to foreign nationals. The Chinese have 100 times that number in the pipeline.

By way of comparison with the number of geology graduates, in recent years, U.S. law schools have awarded an average of about 40,000 law degrees annually to aspiring lawyers. So for each geologist that U.S. academia cranks out, the law school industry mills something between 50-100 lawyers. At the extreme end of the ratio, there are 100 new lawyers graduating from U.S. universities for every new geologist coming out into the work force.

Why is it that China is training armies of geologists while the U.S. is training armies of lawyers? And is there something ominous about that fact?

And the U.S. has built up many great cities, while China is still building out its own collection of urban metropolises. Shanghai, for example, has seen the construction of over 300 new skyscrapers during the past 20 years. (One Chinese fellow once told me that it was too bad China did not use that steel to construct 300 offshore oil production platforms.) Overall, China is constructing buildings and roads and infrastructure that is the equivalent of a “new Houston,” about every month. And last year, in 2006, China added more electrical-generating capacity than exists in the entire state of California, where they have been building generating capacity for 100 years. So China is growing, and growing fast.

We live in a world in which the “easy” oil is gone, where Peak Oil looms, where the need for basic industrial resources and commodities is the key to the future existence of Western (and other) civilizations. And we live in a world in which the Chinese are training the scientific and technical cadre that will go out into the world and, one way or the other, find what their country needs and bring it home. There are armies, and then there are armies of geologists.

Australia to turn off the tap on farmers as drought bites

Australia warned Thursday that unless heavy rains fell soon irrigation water for the nation's prime farmland would be cut off, deepening a crippling drought's drag on the economy.

...Farmers said the shock move could devastate the nation's wine harvest, orchards and dairy industry by further drying out a region that grows 40 percent of Australia's agricultural produce.

But Howard said scarce water supplies were needed for urban communities facing critical shortages due to a drought scientists have described as the worst in a century.

"It's a grim situation and there's no point in pretending to the Australian public otherwise," Howard told reporters.

I agree that the irrigation system for farming in Australia is horribly unsustainable (no water, salting, erosion..)

But, let's stop growing food for the urban communities...wth? You would think that conservation would be easier in the city.

What was the crop loss last year in Australia...60% for some crops due to drought.

So...what do those urban communities EAT? Food from Brazil, Equador, Peru...

Yes we are Bumping Up Against the Walls of The Petri Dish.

Australia's cotton crop has crashed by 2/3rds, its grape crop has dropped by 30%, and it may not have a rice crop at all this year. Rice production had already plummeted in prior drought years from 1.6 million tons per year to 106,000 tons per year, a 90% loss. Australia is counting on the rest of the world to feed them while they hope to have enough water for basic human consumption.

This doesn't sound terribly sustainable, does it? Maybe it will rain next year though, eh? Somehow I think Australia is hosed.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

Why don't they use desalination of sea water? They have a very small population - around 15 million. I don't think it is that hard to generate enough electricity to desalinate water for 15 million people. That and recycling of grey water should see them through this crisis.

Or they could just import from places with a better climate. How this paints Australia as 'hosed' I cant quite grok.

Australia may eventually desalinate sea water, but it takes time, usually a couple years, to build an industrial scale desalination plant.

Australia's population is 20 million. Most of them live in the major cities on the east coast. Sydney has a population of over 4.5 million. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth are all in the middle of a very severe drought and the dams in each of these cities are low. It may well be that the drought is more a case of climate change rather than a regular drought. Currently the cities are using water restrictions of varying levels of intensity. They are also drawing down their underground water supplies to help reduce the rate of decline in the dam levels. Not much is being done to fix the long term problem.

In Sydney over the last year and a half there's been a fairly regular amount of rain on the coast, as the dam is inland that hasn't helped one bit and dam levels have continued to fall.

Desalination has a lot of issues. The power required is enormous, to cover Sydney's entire water supply would need over 10 million kilowatt hours a day. Nuclear power would be almost mandatory if Sydney chooses to build a few desalination plants.

Desalination plants create toxic waste and pump it back into the sea. The plants themselves are not particularly reliable, there are lots of issues with the membranes used to make them work. So they tend to spend a lot of time out of action. The one plant currently being planned for Sydney would only cover about 5% of Sydney's water usage in any case.

The better options would include providing water tanks for every house in Sydney and fixing the leaking pipes.

While Australia's own oil production rate is about to enter a very steep decline, peak water may well be the crisis that hits first.

There's a desalination plant being built on the Gold Coat, 50Km south of Brisbane as I type.

The media pretty much focuses on the output only. My wife is sick of me yelling "How much energy to run it?" at the TV! Seriouslly We are talking about reducing the output of our coal fired power stations to reduce their need for cooling water in order to have enough to drink.

To give an idea of how dry it is, the lead story in my local news paper is that is may rain this afternoon. So far this month we've had 0.4 mm of rain, the average is 88.4 mm.

Justin in Brisbane

that's worse than I've been led to believe, my heart goes out to you

I wonder how this affects that guy I read about in the Bush growing stuff....

Silk1970, this is very good information.
But how does Saudi Arabia and UAE do it?
They have massive desalination plants. UAE even has
golf courses in the desert! How can they make it work?
If they can do it, Australia can.

What was the crop loss last year in Australia...60% for some crops due to drought.

So...what do those urban communities EAT? Food from Brazil, Equador, Peru...

Well, tonight I had a steak and steamed vegetables.

Really, sometimes people at TOD just pull their facts out of their arse. Yes, we are suffering from a long drought in Australia at the moment. The rivers have run dry before, and they will quite possibly run dry this winter.

But we are one of the world's great food exporters. Droughts come and go.
The drought reduces the amount we can export to other countries. Because now we only have twice as much food as we need. But we are a long, long way from not meeting our own needs.

The article in question concerns water allocations in the Murray-Darling region, west of the divide. Most Australians live east of the divide. Different water catchment area. And there are many coastal agricultural areas which still have adequate water supplies, especially in the sub-tropical regions of northern New South Wales and south-east Queensland.

As for the country being screwed - we paid off our national goverment debt last year,unemployment is at the lowest level for 30 years, and the main worry for this year's budget is that the goverment will spend the budget surplus on excessively large tax cuts and overstimulate the economy.
So we can afford to import food if required. Like the UK, which imports half it's food. You should worry about them.

If we are to believe in things we cannot see or touch, how do we tell the true belief from the false belief?

I have a request: Does anyone know of caches of articles that people have compiled documenting the effects of "demand destruction" over the past couple years - especially in the Third World?

Leanan has posted a ton of stuff, but I think that this is the best overall article (from the 11/06 WSJ):



I considering writing a piece on this subject for a major Norwegian newspaper as I find it interesting and underexposed in Norwegian media.

If anyone know a website or good articles (like the one WT pointed to) on this, please share.

My schedule and commitments forbids me to do any extensive information-gathering in 2007, but if the information is easy available it won't take me long to write something that will get coverage within the elite. I also think this topic easily can combine commercial considerations with good content.

I saw this book some years ago. It strongly argued that aid to then-developing countries would cease to be necessary within 1990.

Anyone have any input on why the NYMEX Crude Future has dropped over 2% at 12:30pm CST? It is currently at 61.77.

One of the best overviews of the issue I've read.

"PetroDollar & Iran & Iraq"


Ummm... what is the deal with "wars" on nouns? War on drugs, War on terror, War on oil. About the only thing I haven't seen yet is a War on Wars. Apparently wars are just fine and dandy.

The War on Common Sense seems to be coming along nicely ...

The problem will solve itself.
But not in a nice way.

Didnt see this coming... =/

U.S. gun culture costs lives!

"I think if this does prompt a serious and reflective debate on gun issues and gun law in the States, then some good may come from this woeful tragedy," said British Home Office Minister Tony McNulty, an alumni of the university who graduated in 1982.

Outlaw all guns and the only people that will have guns will be the outlaws.

At which point it will be so simple to make correct calls on who to put in a straightjacket.

The medieval, pre-scientific mindset that chooses to blame things for human behavior would be amusing, were it not so threatening to life and limb.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

Well, I can tell who lives in the United States.

I do not want to get into a debate, as attitudes seem very hardened, but accusing gun control advocates of "pre-scientific" thinking is amusing, given the fallacious argument given in the same sentence. The idea is that easy availability of guns makes crimes such as these much easier. That's not a criticism of inanimate objects, it is a criticism of policy.

Statistically speaking, Doctors kill patients far more frequently than all registered gun owners killing people in general. When you consider that 42 million homes have a gun, less than a fraction of a percent discharge their weapons and kill someone. What we need is more legal gun ownership and the biggest point is we can not cave and award damages to criminals in the commission of the act.

I can't believe the story of the robber falling on the knife and winning in court. We've basically created the incentive to continue the behavior so long as you don't get caught or killed; you get something of value or hurt and you can sue later. We can trot out the studies of cities enacting concealed carry laws and how crime is reduced marginally. My state finally passed it a year and a half ago. I know crime is up in the city of STL (like just about ALL cities right now though so this is systemic, not local). I don't know about the county of STL (unincorporated out here).

I just sent this to my readers as a bulletin and posted it in my blog...

If you haven't done your homework on Peak Oil yet, now is the time. Our global economy is dependent on the Blood of the Earth. We're not about to run out of Oil, but we're about to run out of cheap Oil.

Will there be gasoline shortages? How much will our groceries cost? Will air travel still be available? What should I do to prepare myself and my family for Peak Oil? Everyone is in for a shock... life as we know it is about to end. Study Peak Oil now.


-- Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil

-- The Oil Drum - www.TheOilDrum.com

-- If you have the Sundance Channel, watch 'A Crude Awakening' this weekend - www.SundanceChannel.com/films/500068528. If not, buy it or rent it from Netflix.

-- A Crude Awakening MySpace Profile - www.myspace.com/acrudeawakening

-- Watch the first 3 minutes of 'A Crude Awakening' below or here -YouTube.com/watch?v=6HRZPpbpSjg

-- Peak Oil MySpace Profile - http://www.myspace.com/peakoil

(embedded YouTube Video)

Add the banner above to your myspace!
(embedded code to add TOD banner to profile)


1. Click the "Reply to Poster" button at the bottom of this post
2. Copy the code and paste it in a new bulletin that you create

Just bought a copy from Savinar...

it's been re-forwarded to 10,000 myspace profiles so far.

Hello TODers,

Does America have the moral backbone to seek Climate Justice? I sure hope so. Please read the top EB link:


Will this Climate Justice issue enable the politicians to now imperatively assert PO + GW and needed mitigation? I think it will be fascinating as we powerdown to a Bangladeshi lifestyle faster than Nature tries to drive us there.

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

Re: A New Biofuel: Propane

As far as the the Midwest is concerned, this is the stupidest invention ever. Propane is used primarily for heating here. Why go though the effort to turn corn into propane when corn works just fine in a corn stove? I know because I heat my house with two of them. I use propane as a backup and for hot water and clothes drying. Propane costs about $1.43/gal. here. A bushel of corn is now available here for about $3.50. Each bushel has the heat value of 5 gallons of propane making is worth about $7.15. Burn the corn and earn $3.65/bu.. Sometimes I think academics are completely divorced from the real world.

One of those annoying above ground peak oil factors - skilled people

Saudi Aramco's president Abdallah S. Jum'ah:

"told a crowd of human resource professionals that human capital would determine the prosperity of the nation and challenged"

"the nation's abundance of natural resources was a blessing but that the nation's human resources were the key to success"

"recently challenged petroleum engineers to substantially increase the recovery factor from Saudi Aramco's oil and gas fields"

Hmmmmm...So Saudi Aramco has remaining reserves somewhere between 65 and 500 billion barrels, no shortage of oil but a shortage of skilled people. If only those petroleum engineers could raise the recovery factor to 100% of the oil in place.

Why can't Aramco engineers use their geosteering centres to send instructions, via satellite, to nuclear powered nanobots to collect the oil drop by drop and deliver the oil droplets to the maximum reservoir contact wells?

Reminds me of Maxwell's Demon. This creature would sit at the juncture of two gas reservoirs. When he saw a hot gas molecule approaching from one side he'd let it pass to the other reservoir. When he saw a cold gas molecule approaching from the hot reservoir he'd open the gate and let it pass to the cold reservoir. In this way he'd use the natural distribution of molecular energies in a gas to get free energy. Eventually it was determined that it would take more energy to sense the energy of each approaching gas molecule than could be gained from the enterprise. Probably the same thing here. You'd be better off just burning the uranium in a reactor. Now, if your bots could be self replicating and if they could feed on oil that might be something. Just as long as they don't get loose and then you'd be in the position of the Sorcerer's Apprentice.