DrumBeat: May 2, 2007

Renewable energy could power half the nation

Renewable energy could supply up to half the nation's current electricity demand and 40 percent of its transportation fuel demand by 2025, proponents said Tuesday.

But to do so, the government would have to commit to long-term policies that promote renewable energy.

Wind energy could play the biggest part in generating electricity, supplying nearly 40 percent of the renewable power, according to a report from the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE).

Second on the list is solar power, at 26 percent, followed by geothermal energy with 16 percent, biomass, which is energy produced from plants and garbage, comes in at 16 percent, and water - including hydro dams, tidal and wave power - rounds out the alternative-energy-source list at 3.6 percent.

Save the planet – and save some money, too

If you’re among the people who saw “An Inconvenient Truth,” felt shaken up by its message and then never got around to doing anything about it, consider this little jolt of motivation:

You stand to save some serious money while you’re saving the planet.

P&G going green

Liquid detergents will come in smaller packaging with double concentrate as the company moves to become enviro-friendly, according to a published report.

Global Oil Production Peaking: What Happens Now?

Peaking of Ghawar will occur sooner rather than later. Recent horizontal multi-lateral wells indicate the coming of a peak. Unlike vertical wells, which are able to capture the oil from its natural geologic pressure, horizontal wells are used to extract oil between the injected water and the gas cap which has formed above the oil column. This is an indicator of peaking. However, no field as large as Ghawar has been found so it is difficult to speculate the decline rates or how long a plateau can be maintained.

The U.S. Solution to Peak Oil: Ten Billion Barrels or Bust

The U.S. government's latest plan to save us from peak oil comes from the Department of the Interior. The latest ploy is to exploit offshore oil targets in Federal waters. It may not help, but at least our government's last stand against peak oil gives us another chance to reap the benefits.

Gas shoots up on tight supplies

Most terminals in Iowa ran out of unleaded gasoline on Sunday and Monday and had to turn delivery drivers away, Crowe said. But the supply problem is expected to be solved within a week, he said, and gas should be in ample supply at conveniences stores and gas stations.

Supplies are tight because of increased demand, a refinery fire in Oklahoma, annual refinery switches from winter to summer blends and production cuts by the Organization for the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Crowe said.

Oregon Fuel Prices Churn Stomachs

With the price of gas soaring so high in Oregon it’s become painful to even drive past the fuel pumps, it’s time for Bend residents to take action that will protect their bank accounts and mental health. Our advice: don’t drive at all.

The Nuclear Option

Popular wisdom holds that safety concerns, fueled by the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island, Penn., eventually shuttered nuclear construction by the Tennessee Valley Authority—the most ambitious commercial nuclear power program in United States history. Not so, says David Freeman, the former TVA chairman largely credited with putting the brakes on the utility’s nuclear construction in the 1980s. “We had to shut them down, even though they were under construction, because they cost too much,” he recalls. “We didn’t shut those plants down on account of their being unsafe. That should have been a reason, but it was the economics.”

Nigeria Group MEND: Chevron Hostages May Be Released on May 30

A well-known Nigerian militant group on Tuesday said it would release six foreign oil workers of U.S. oil major Chevron Corp. (CVX) on May 30 so long as no rescue effort is undertaken to procure their release.

Take a broader look at local ownership of biofuels

Unfortunately, local ownership has now become an increasingly divisive topic that threatens to slow the rate of renewable-energy development more broadly, just as the scientific community is telling us we have to accelerate the deployment of zero-carbon energy. Much of the divisiveness stems from how we think about this issue.

Biofuels Money 101: Mixing public, private

Q. What’s the right balance between local and outside ownership?

A. Experts disagree. Some say the industry shows better promise of expanding with a mix of investors. But research at Iowa State University also shows rural economies benefit more when an ethanol plant is owned by local investors, because those investors reinvest their earnings locally.

Aussies make solar power cell breakthrough

Researchers at the University of New South Wales ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence have developed a means of increasing the cell's light-trapping ability by up to 50 per cent.

Vancouver Company May Make Ultraclean Jet Fuel in Ohio

-A Vancouver-based energy company has generated newspaper headlines in Ohio this week with its proposed coal and biowaste fuel plant valued at $4 billion.

India may buy Algerian crude for planned stockpile

India, Asia’s third-largest oil consumer, may build strategic reserves for oil and liquefied petroleum gas to protect itself from supply disruptions and may import crude from Algeria to fill the tanks.

Ministers act to stop lights going out in 2015

Fears that Britain could be plunged into an energy crisis by 2015 will result in the green light being given by Christmas for a new generation of nuclear power stations, senior Whitehall sources are indicating.

Intl. committee to study Iran’s heavy oil

Iran and some foreign companies have established a committee to study on Iran’s heavy oil, said a member of National Iranian Oil Company’s (NIOC) board of directors here Tuesday.

Turbulent days ahead on labour front, TUC predicts

Earlier, workers defied the early morning heat and went on a procession from the Nkrumah Circle through Adabraka, UTC and High Street before finally converging at the Independence Square. Some of the workers carried placards, which read, “Solve the Energy Crisis,” “President, Ghana Consolidated Diamond Workers are Dying,” “50 Years of Light Off. Why?”

What’s Possible in the Military Sector?

The military is the only sector of the economy where emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) can be reduced by greater than 100%. This is because militarism is the only type of activity whose primary purpose is destruction.

Compost Nation - Kunstler

Another issue is the choice of materials. As you march down the decades from the 1950s, the materials-of-choice for finishing the exterior are more and more materials not found in nature. Aluminum siding was a big favorite for a while -- and you can always spot it because of the dents below the three-foot high level, where the lawnmower has shot stones at the panels for decades. After the 1980s, there is a distinct acceleration in the use of vinyl for practically everything. The vinyl clapboards, soffits, window-surrounds, et cetera, are often little more than stapled onto the house. And naturally they begin to sag and pull apart instantly. After twenty-odd years of that you end up with a house that looks like a birthday present wrapped by a five-year-old.

A Different Kind of Alternative-Energy Portfolio

No, I didn't go for unprofitable fuel-cell startups such as Ballard Power, or the new ethanol plays. I like my stocks dripping with cash flow and profit growth. But I've found other ways to invest in the energy sector while getting steadier charts than the usual suspects offer. Here's a list of lesser-known energy names I own that you might want to consider for your own portfolio.

Esteemed Scientist's New Book Urges Nuclear Power in Battle Against the Clock to Overcome Global Warming & Peak Oil

Dr. J.W. Eerkens' new book, The Nuclear Imperative, examines the various alternatives to fossil fuel from a scientific angle, and shows why nuclear power must be a crucial component in solving the impending energy crisis.

Pentagon study says oil reliance strains military

A new study ordered by the Pentagon warns that the rising cost and dwindling supply of oil -- the lifeblood of fighter jets, warships, and tanks -- will make the US military's ability to respond to hot spots around the world "unsustainable in the long term."

Gulf of Mexico oil output expected to soar

Action in the Gulf of Mexico's deep waters is growing so much that oil production could grow by more than 50 percent in the next decade, the federal agency that oversees oil and gas activity off the nation's coastlines reported today.

Iowa refinery snags may raise gas prices

Refinery snags that left two Iowa storage facilities short of fuel over the weekend are a reminder of how tight the U.S. gasoline market has become and why average prices could soon top $3 a gallon, experts said Tuesday.

..."We're in big trouble," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Alaron Trading Corp. in Chicago. He noted that inventories stand at 194.2 million barrels — or slightly above the levels reported in the days after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005 — and he predicted that that the average prices this summer will surpass the 2005 record of $3.06 a gallon.

Feds Clear Way for UT Oil-Shale Project

The federal government gave its approval Monday for the reopening of an oil-shale mine in Utah, one of the experimental works intended to boost domestic oil production on Western lands.

Energy: The Grim Future For Our Global Community

In our global community, the markets are intertwined. The energy market is the largest market in the world. Energy effect’s everyone’s day to day life. Decreasing supply and increasing demand has cause political strife and social determent even beyond inconvenience of three dollar per gallon of gasoline.

Raymond J. Learsy: Saudi Arabia's 'Oil Plot' Arrests: Targeting al-Qaeda or Our Congress?

172 Islamic militants were arrested by Saudi Security forces in an advanced stage of readiness to attack energy and high impact targets according to the Saudi Interior Ministry. "They had the personnel, the money and arms". Quick cut to Saudi television, broadcasting images of neatly lined up rapid fire armaments with ammunition clips and orderly stacks of Saudi riyal's.

Real life or stage props? Please consider the following...

Ford Charts Fuel Savings Impact of Reduced Speeds

Ford UK has provided performance data illustrating the effect of driving a cross-section of its Transit van models at governed speeds of 60 and 65 mph as a means to demonstrate the utility of a low-cost (£25) road speed limiter (RSL) it offers on its lineup.

On a Transit 260 or 280S 2.2-liter low-roof van, for example, driving 60 mph rather than 70 mph could save more than 19% on fuel consumption at cruising speeds—alongside a similar percentage cut in CO2 emissions.

Nuclear storm gathers as climate change experts meet

Few issues are as divisive as nuclear power, and the furore over its use threatens to resurface as leading scientists meet in Thailand to thrash out a plan to reduce the impact of climate change.

Melting Greenland ice could raise ocean seven meters

The world's oceans could rise by up to seven meters if Greenland's ice cap entirely melts because of global warming, climate scientists said Tuesday.

Prince Charles: climate change battle is like World War II

Addressing representatives from firms including Barclays Bank, British Airways and Rolls-Royce at Saint James's Palace, Charles said that "we need to act very rapidly indeed" to avert environmental disaster.

"We can do it, just think what they did in the last war. Things that seemed impossible were achieved almost overnight," the heir to the throne added.

Experts target rice as climate culprit

Methane emissions from flooded rice paddies contribute to global warming just as coal-fired power plants, automobile exhausts and other sources do with the carbon dioxide they spew into the atmosphere.

In fact, the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meeting this week in Bangkok concludes that rice production was a main cause of rising methane emissions in the 20th century.

Can the "Axis of Oil" Topple the US Dollar?

Were it not for its "reserve currency" status, slowly turning into a post-World War II relic, the US dollar would have already collapsed by now. A string of $4.4 trillion of US trade deficits since 1996, and a heavy reliance on foreign money to fund its external imbalance, has severely weakened America's global economic leadership over the past five years. The US dollar survives, due to America's political stability, its military might in the Persian Gulf, its large $12.5 trillion economy (28% of global GDP), and deep and liquid financial markets for bonds and stocks.

The WSJ has an article today called "A Hard Lesson in Derivatives". Some quotes:

Investors, such as macro hedge funds, hit the bull's-eye with their bet that the cost of protecting mortgage bonds against default would rise as borrowers with patchy credit struggled to meet their monthly payments. They bought such protection enthusiastically by entering into a privately negotiated derivative contract.

But they underestimated the sticky nature of these derivatives, known as single-name asset-backed default swaps, that can trade infrequently due to the complexities of valuing them.

"It looks like a great trade but it isn't a profit if you can't get out," said Scott Simon, who oversees $250 billion in mortgage- and asset-backed securities at Pimco, a Newport Beach, Calif., fund manager. Pimco is a unit of Munich-based insurer Allianz SE. "Investors had a naïve belief in liquidity thinking just because you buy it, you can sell it," Mr. Simon said.

The result is a growing divergence between the price at which investors are willing to unload their derivative contracts and the price they are actually being offered. These asset-backed default swaps protect the contract buyer against a possible default on the underlying pool of home loans.

Once folks figure out you really can't sell the things, will this be the start of "the great unwinding"?

Gail, in your monetary collapse models, do you have a scenario in which the US Dollar undergoes such a collapse due to fundamentals (exposed as it ceases to be a reserve currency), but the Euro and the Yen survive?



That's a good question. It seems like the collapse of one major currency would tend to bring the others along, because of the interconnectedness of the economies. At best, there might be hyperinflation in the US, and a lesser (but still significant) impact on the Euro and Yen.

Thats not how hyperinflaction happens though. That happens when you use the central bank to print money instead of using taxes.

You can have a sudden currency correction where it loses say 50% of its value (certainly extremely painful) if say a country dumps all of its foreign currency holdings, but absent flooding of the money supply hyperinflation doesnt occur.

Fed: Hedge funds may pose huge market risk

Could be largest risk since Long-Term Capital Management crisis in 1998 says New York Federal Reserve

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Hedge funds may now pose the biggest risk of a crisis since 1998, when the implosion of Long-Term Capital Management threatened the global financial system, the New York Federal Reserve said on Wednesday.

The statement represented the bank's sternest warning to date over the possible fate of the $1.4 trillion industry.

"Recent high correlations among hedge fund returns could suggest concentrations of risk comparable to those preceding the hedge fund crisis of 1998," according to a paper written by Tobias Adrian, capital markets economist at the central bank.

Back in 1998, the New York Fed helped bring together Wall Street tycoons who eventually cobbled together enough funds for an unprecedented $3.6 billion bailout.


SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) - April proved to be a difficult month for Ford Motor Co. as the struggling automaker posted on Tuesday a 13% decline in U.S. vehicle sales amid a slowing housing market, lofty gas prices and slumping consumer confidence.

In fact, all the brands noted declines, with exception to Chrysler, which had increased sales to fleet customers such as rental car companies.

In fact, all the brands noted declines, with exception to Chrysler, which had increased sales to fleet customers such as rental car companies

The trend for a long, long time to come: deflationary effects in auto/housing/finance and inflationary effects in food & energy.

deflationary effects in auto/housing/finance and inflationary effects in food & energy

Relative price declines for just about everything other than energy & food, really - especially for anything that is more or less discretionary. The higher prices for energy and for food (partially energy input driven, partially biofuel diversion driven, partially climate change & water supply driven) have to be paid for by cutbacks in other purchases. When we talk about "demand destruction", remember that it is not just ENERGY demand destruction.


I have often used Las Vegas and Orlando as premiere examples of American consumption.

As Jim Kunstler predicted, many of the areas that did best on the upside of Hubbert's Peak will most likely do the worst on the downside.

The most amazing statistic I have seen lately is that one out of every thirty homes in Clark County, Nevada--where Las Vegas is located--is in foreclosure proceedings.

"Cut thy spending and get thee to the non-discretionary side of the economy."

Orlando's situation is not the best, and continued suburban growth could be it's death. But we have many more natural resources (i.e. water) than Las Vegas and I think we're starting to denisify around the urban core. I see more and more bikes and scooters.

Not near as many foreclosures here as on the coast either.

From the Housing Bubble Blog ("They were simply living beyond their means"):

The Manteca Bulletin reports from California. “It is a tidy, sharp looking home. The Mossdale neighborhood west of Interstate 5 is clean and desirable. It has more than 2,200 square feet of bright living space and is less than two years old. If you had bought it 15 months ago you would have paid in excess of $600,000.”

“Now that home bought with 100 percent financing is in foreclosure. The lender is willing to take $379,900.”

“‘People going into foreclosure today aren’t losing their jobs nor did they have income reduced,’ noted Steve Roland of the Real Estate Group. ‘They were simply living beyond their means.’”

“Carol Bragan, another Realtor with extensive knowledge of the Manteca market, doesn’t mince words. ‘It’s scary,’ she said.”

I was surprised that there was no discussion of George Monbiot's article from drum beat yesterday.

George Monbiot claims that governments are aiming at much too high a target for global warming gasses. He believes that to prevent an increase of more than 2 degrees centrigrade from base temperatures, we need to keep CO2 equivalent levels below 400 ppm. The problem is that they are already at 459 ppm on this basis. To get levels down, we need absolutely amazing reductions in fuel use.

One quote:

A paper published last year by the climatologist Malte Meinshausen suggests that if greenhouse gases reach a concentration of 550 parts per million, carbon dioxide equivalent, there is a 63-99% chance (with an average value of 82%) that global warming will exceed two degrees. At 475 parts per million (ppm) the average likelihood is 64%. Only if concentrations are stabilised at 400 parts or below is there a low chance (an average of 28%) that temperatures will rise by more than two degrees.

It would be interesting to see an analysis done by someone with more time and skill than I indicating how much FF demand destruction must happen, and how quickly it must happen, to achieve these GHG goals.

All scientists are not on the GW train. Climatchanges has happened before. Perhaps 95% of the coming climatchange is caused by the sun and cosmic rays etc, and only 5% from ouer burning of fossil fuels, some scientists say.

Anyway we can not do much about it. Do you think, that for example China will curtail their use of coal??

The only thing, that we as persons can do is to prepare for PO and take the climatchange as it comes.


Amongst climatologists, human caused warming of the planet is considered proved. There is no debate, except that provided by corporate funded "science."

We should presume China is beyond reason.

Perhaps this is a groupethink?? I do not know, i am ceartainly no expert on theese matters.

What i believe though is that we can´t do anything about it. What will happen regarding the climat will happen, it´s to late to do anything. Enjoy it like we in northern Sweden, or fear it if you live in more southern areas.

"Perhaps this is a groupethink??"

It's called "science". And to rely on denialists and public relations firms for your information is called "insanity".

Back to the reservation Swede. :>

Oh, I forgot, because it is "peer-reviewed science," that would make it group think. But then what is the alternative, science reviewed by Exxon-Mobil?

A comment on science.

I have no solid opinion on the GW issue as it is not an area I have looked into in any depth, so I would go with the consensus view until convinced otherwise.

Having said that however, a large portion of science is corporate funded today. From having done extensive research into medical science there are a number of studies showing some serious problems with the current peer-review system too. I would say a reasonable proportion of everything we think we know through "science" is skewed to give us the wrong impression about things. Skewed by a mix of: corporate funding, which publishes favourable results, but rarely unfavourable; personal desire/belief on the part of the scientists who want positive results; media coverage; PR and propaganda pushing certain theories and not others; etc.

Just one of myriad examples, a common tactic of Pharmas is to mix relative statistics with absolute statistics to make their drugs look good. This is rarely questioned by doctors, but happens over and over again. Herceptin is a case in point. It has been touted as the next big thing in breast cancer treatment. Thankfully some people have being taking note of the inconsistencies with the claims about this drug, but too few judging by most news stories about it.

It is often claimed that Herceptin can decrease the mortality rate from breast cancer recurrence by 25% (and reduce recurrence by 50%). This is fine, but the statistic is a relative one. In a trial of absolute survival rates, the control group had 2.2% mortalities contrasted to 1.7% in the Herceptin group. That is, out of 1000 women who had breast cancer, 22 and 17 had a recurrence that resulted in death during the multi-year trial. A 0.5% absolute decrease, but ~25% relative decrease.

Why does this matter? Surely saving 5 people is all good?

Uh-huh. But all drugs have side-effects and all 1000 women had to take the drug to get those 5 extra survivers. Therefore when we compare benefit to side-effects we must use absolute numbers. It turns out that there was an increase of about 4% (40/1000) of woman who had heart damage from taking Herceptin, resulting in an increased number of heart attacks. When you compare 0.5% to 4% the drug no longer looks good. (Note: it has been a while since I have looked at the exact numbers - but these are approx. correct, and are used for illustrative purposes)

But PR and advertising for drugs don't dwell on these types of analysis. The studies that are released by the Pharmas contain the raw data, but the text emphasises the high % relative benefit vs low absolute % of side-effects.

Look at raw data yourself, and draw your own conclusions. If that differs from consensus then find out why.

Statistics is only one area in science that we need to be careful of. I am sure Gail or others here can elaborate on that with far more expertise. There are other considerations to take into account too, of course, when looking at claims that are based on "science". Check out the Feynman link someone posted the other day. There are plenty of other discussions along these lines available on the web or in books. I would argue that plenty of consensus science falls victim to some of the points Feynman makes too.


"You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created."
Albert Einstein

The U.S., of course, is beyond reason as well, at least as long as Bush is in office. Regardless, I believe that the Democrats, although they basically believe that there is global warming, will be engaged in their own form of denial. The Obamas and Clintons of the world will promise things like ethanol as a way to avoid the difficult choices. Others like Gore, will tell us that we can continue to grow our economy while also taking a serious stab at delaing with global warming. It doesn't help that Gore uses 50 times as much electricity as the average U.S. household. After all is said and done, you've still gotta walk the talk.

The U.S., if it took clear and effective action to address global warming would then be in a position to address the China problem. France, earlier this year, suggested a course of action, except that it was directed against the U.S. They suggested that if we didn't take action, that Europe should begin imposing trade sanctions. The same strategy could apply to China.

China's scientists are hardly ignorant of the problem. They know full well that global warming is already impacting their well being and will get much worse in the future. And yet they explicitly vow to continue to pursue their development path anyway. The worst of it is that they explicitly are on a path that pushes their domestic auto industry as a major linchpin in their development. They are building infrastructure now that makes no sense in an era of peak oil and global warming.

Shanghai is building 17 subway lines and will becoem the premier subway city in the world by any commonly used measure of comparision. Comparable developments in other large Chinese cities.

Intercity rail is also under intensive development.

Not NEARLY enough, but China appears to be "hedging their bets". Would that the US would do as much !

Best Hopes,


Wuxi, China based Suntech Power (STP) is poised to become the world's largest PV manufacturer. If you're looking for containers full of pv, I'll pass your info on to the execs at Suntech America.

I see there's 160 watt panels available on the net for $4.56 a watt. And there's somebody on eBay selling 175 watt panels for about 4.57 a watt.

In addition to this, sea level rise will seriously affect China as well as any other nation that isn't landlocked.

Check out the flood map for Shanghai:


With a 7-meter rise, most of Shanghai is under water.

China will have to come around sooner or later...


how much sea level rise has there been to date in the Pacific Ocean.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

So far, not much - on the order of an inch or so if I recall correctly.

But one of the items in the drumbeat today said that if all of the ice in Greenland melted, the sea level rise would be 7 meters. It won't happen tomorrow, but then again if we ignore the problem for 20 years such a circumstance would almost be an inevitability over time.

It has risen, do you have a link to that. I thought that it had fallen. The island that is just 12 inches above sea level, well its more than that now.

Have a link to how they claim the one inch rise.


Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

I just recall reading it somewhere - sorry - no direct link to that. They talk about it here though:


and as you can see, it is important to ask at what time you start measuring sea level.

The IPCC notes, however, "No significant acceleration in the rate of sea level rise during the 20th century has been detected."

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

True, they say they haven't detected any so far. As far as the future is concerned, the best we have available is computer models, but this is one area where the mathematical models aren't yet doing a good job - there was a story in the paper just this week:


The study indicates that, because of the disparity between the computer models and actual observations, the shrinking of summertime ice is about 30 years ahead of the climate model projections. As a result, the Arctic could be seasonally free of sea ice earlier than the IPCC- projected timeframe of any time from 2050 to well beyond 2100.

Both of you guys need to check this website and read the latest monthly report.


"No significant acceleration" in the rate doesn't mean the rate is zero. For example, the WG1 authors of the IPCC Fourth Assessment did detect an acceleration in the rate at which the average air temperature has been increasing. The rate at which temperature rose in the last 50 years was twice the rate at which it rose in the last 100 years.

The IPCC assessment of average sea level rise during the 20th century was 170 mm, which is between 6 and 7 inches. Despite this, the sea level may not have risen in your neighbourhood (if that's coastal) because of changes in land elevation brought about by geological processes. Some parts of the North American coast are moving upwards faster than the sea level rise. If you live in New Orleans, on the other hand, sea level rise is more than 7 inches because the land under the Missippi delta is sinking.

Acceleration. Read that word, PrisonerX and free your mind. Sea level has been rising throughout the entire warming period to date. There are structures in the Mediterranean that are underwater now that were docks for ports 2000 years ago.

The IPCC has seen no acceleration in the rate of rise. But it is rising, just not any faster... yet.

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

They say the rate of sea level rise is not accelerating. That suggests that its rising, just not faster than before?!?

The only people I see campaigning for global warming awareness are flying around in private jets.

In the meantime, PO is at the very least 10x a more serious issue, which is already starting to wreak havoc in 3rd world countries- of course not only with fuel supply, but food as well.


Global warming pundits fiddle....

And living in 28,000+ sq foot houses.

And riding in caravans of Chevy Tahoes & Suburbans.

You are dramatically overstating the case.

There is enough data to identify a recent warming trend. The recent trend in atmospheric CO2 is clear. All things being equal, more green house gasses in the atmosphere result in increased average temperatures. Swell so far.

However, all things are not equal. We are engaged in a great carbon experiment. In a hundred thousand years or so, [a few 22,000 year cycles and one 100,000 year cycle] some future scientist might be able to draw a valid conclusion on the impact of this increase in atmospheric CO2 from observations. Until then, we have models which may or may not describe the global climate.

For the record, I would would prefer not to participate in the great carbon experiment, but any conclusions you or I might draw from our at most my 80 years adult lifespans would only constitute guesses.

One last thing. The research grant money grab bag game currently favors those those climatologists who advocate global warming [who of course would never take on a bias based on personal monetary concerns or perceived availability of funding], unlike those evil Corporate sponsored types. Noble purposes are also in the eye of the beholder.

Did you mean to say coming climate change or past climate change. Climate scientists have carefully measured the change in solar radiation reaching the earth and have concluded that the effect of solar flux is minimal.

If you are talking about the future, I would be interested in knowing how these scientists are predicting a greater role for solar flux.

I do not agree that there is not much we can do about it, but I would agree that there is not much we will do about it. Part of the reason we are in serious trouble, however, is that we have ignored scientists like James Hansen to started warning us in the 80s. I remember it well because I worked in Washington,D.C. when he gave his orgiginal testimony. Even then, it was obvious to me that the weather was changing radically.

It doesn't help that governments are in denial about this problem, even those like the U.K. who profess to be doing something about it.

OK, i don´t know who is right or wrong in the climatchange discussion. The only thing that i know, is that we won´t do anything about it.

Personally i do not use much energy, but i do not believe that others(like China) will curtail their energyconsumption.

So some of us are doomed anyway, just get used to it. Here in northern Sweden it will benefit us with a milder climat.

Don't be too sanguine about warmer times in Sweden, Swede: If you decide to do more research into global warming/climate change, which I would recommend based on your comments, you really should look into the the results of changes in ocean currents, AKA "thermohaline circulation". It is what keeps the climate in Europe so modest given your high latitude. Fresh meltwater from glaciers threatens to shut down this warm water or at least prevent it from moving far enough north. This would affect the eastern half of the United States, too, and I live in New Hampshire...
At the end of the last ice age most of the world was warming, but an ice dam broke and flooded fresh water into the North Atlantic. The Great Lakes are the puddles that were left behind, still draining slowly into the ocean via Niagara Falls. This plunged Europe back into an ice age for 1000 years.
I repeatedly encounter the concept of "rapid climate change", also referred to as "climate flip". But just what they mean by this isn't explained without putting the pieces together. It has become clear to me that "climate flip" means Ice Age. Which can happen very quickly.
We are carrying out a vast uncontrolled experiment on our planet. The exact results cannot be known.

You're right that Sweden will play a spectator's role. But I wouldn't get too comfortable with the forecast. The key thing about climate change is the word CHANGE. You might be warmer, but you might also be colder. Changes that happen fast relative to the lifespan of trees tend to do unkind things to forests. You might get less precipitation. Or more.

If it does get nicer, lot's of other creatures will notice. People, for one. Mosquitos bearing tropical diseases another. Or perhaps tree munchers such as these:

Pine beetles poised to attack Canada's boreal forest

EDMONTON -Now that the mountain pine beetle has breached the Rocky Mountains, the next big target for the tiny forest killer is the northern boreal forest, predicts a leading Canadian bug expert.

"The absolute reality of it is that the pine forests east of the Rockies are now pine beetle habitat," forestry scientist Allan Carroll told an Edmonton audience Saturday. "It looks like large areas of the boreal forest is where pine beetles will arrive next."

God forbid someone sees a silver lining in global warming.

Yes, at the end of the last ice age, a huge pool of fresh water formed in Northeastern America, and flooded into the atlantic disturbing the gulf stream. Tell me again, where is this huge pool of fresh water waiting to burst into the Atlantic right now? Oh that's right, there isn't one.

I'm as scared of global warming as the next guy, but pointing to a threat that does not exist is scaremongering any way you look at it...


I think you replied to the wrong poster. Where is the huge pool of fresh water waiting to burst into the Atlantic? Well, there is Greenland. The IPCC reduced the assessment of the possibility of the Greenland ice sheet melting quickly enough to impact the Atlantic conveyor, but as Dr. Hansen has pointed out, the Greenland ice sheet is changing much faster than the IPCC's assessment. And as scientists have found, they really don't understand the dynamics of the Atlantic conveyor very well.

It's called Greenland.

There is a fundamental difference between greenland slowly melting into the sea, and the center of greenland melting into a huge pool of water (surrounded by ice), and then flooding out all at once....

Aye Carumba.


Actually that depends on where the tipping point is, it may be low enough to make no difference. I'll bet you have no better idea than the scientists who study it, and they don't know.

Anyway, the situation is that Greenland is melting rapidly, not slowly.

Still, the scientists' argument appears be over differences of a few hundred microns a year sea level rise (Greenland with water draining into the ice sheet), as opposed to rates of conceivably meters per week when the biggest glacial ice dams suddenly collapsed. But when we're worrying ourselves to death, what's five or six orders of magnitude between friends?

There are many who reject such a message of apathy, passivity and resignation. Paul Hawken writes in To Remake the World (emphasis added):

After spending years researching this phenomenon, including creating with my colleagues a global database of these organizations, I have come to these conclusions: this is the largest social movement in all of history, no one knows its scope, and how it functions is more mysterious than what meets the eye.

... This is the first time in history that a large social movement is not bound together by an “ism.” What binds it together is ideas, not ideologies. This unnamed movement’s big contribution is the absence of one big idea; in its stead it offers thousands of practical and useful ideas. In place of isms are processes, concerns, and compassion. The movement demonstrates a pliable, resonant, and generous side of humanity.

... The promise of this unnamed movement is to offer solutions to what appear to be insoluble dilemmas: poverty, global climate change, terrorism, ecological degradation, polarization of income, loss of culture. It is not burdened with a syndrome of trying to save the world; it is trying to remake the world.

... This movement is relentless and unafraid. It cannot be mollified, pacified, or suppressed. There can be no Berlin Wall moment, no treaty-signing, no morning to awaken when the superpowers agree to stand down. The movement will continue to take myriad forms. It will not rest. There will be no Marx, Alexander, or Kennedy. No book can explain it, no person can represent it, no words can encompass it, because the movement is the breathing, sentient testament of the living world.

There may very well be a natural trend underlying global warming. However, simple logic will suggest that you can't go digging up and burning all of the carbon that has been geologically sequestered over the planet's history without it having an exacerbating impact on the trend. In other words, burning fossil fuels makes whatever global warming we might otherwise be having considerably worse. Reducing our emissions of GHGs may not totally eliminate GW, but it will certainly help with mitigation.

Maybe or maybe not.

You've already admitted, after throwing around relatively precisce numbers like '95%', that you have no idea. So let's leave it at that. One admission that you don't really know is enough.

Even at this temp of "global warming" Swede, we can still have an ice age.

How many of you saw the story of Sir Issac Newton on Nova. I think you should watch it. Seems the assumptions about him and how "science" views him is perhaps lacking.

Maxwell and Newton, the list of scientists that invented but disagree with todays viewpoint is growing.

energy and "gravity both built on not knowing the full model and thinking of both men.

Yet Swede, they claim that physics is solved and solid proof.

I doubt that.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

You are right. The "precise number" i read in an article whas that some scientist talked about that number.

Not that I know much more than what I read. But I know that some gases retain heat better than others, so I would hold to the opinion that increases in those gases would negatively affect the earth until proven otherwise.

Kenneth wrote:

All scientists are not on the GW train. Climatchanges has happened before. Perhaps 95% of the coming climatchange is caused by the sun and cosmic rays etc, and only 5% from ouer burning of fossil fuels, some scientists say.

The "scientists" who still say this are not the same as the scientists actually working in the field. Usually they are people from other fields or are inactive former participants. Whether "oil-funded" or not is not so relevant (some of the loudest in the UK for example are not oil-funded, but independents operating mostly from belief, as correlation with other activities shows... google for the scam of the Channel 4 swindle for more).

Solar activity was brought up as an hypothesis in the 1990s but has been since then ruled out as the effects are too small and too slow to account for observations. Cosmic rays were brought up more recently but this also has been ruled out. In the meantime very good agreement was found by models which keep only earth-based radiative forcing effects (volcanic as well as anthro). If any of these forcings, themselves small, is substantially changed then the agreement is lost (i.e., showing that these mechanisms are indeed significant). The strongest forcings are aerosols and CO2, and CO2 has outstripped the aerosols since circa 2000, which is also in agreement with the temperature/CO2 signal outstripping the "noise" also circa 2000. This is the gist of the paper by Hansen et al in last year's Science which reviews work done by the entire climate science community.

Climate change with anthropogenic CO2 as cause is a done deal, absolutely rock solid since the papers published in the last 3 or 4 years. Of course there may be stragglers as some people, especially the older ones, can't quite face the results, but that is quite normal in science, even when political ramifications are not present.

It is one thing to say a lone rider might be right when s/he has brought something up which is new. But it is another thing to discuss lone riders on topics after several years in which practically everyone in the field has scrutinised the points in question with all available data and all available methods, and the error bars have become small.

There are still people who say they are scientists who cannot accept the reality of special relativity. That's just human. Not always is it a question of in whose pay they might be. But that doesn't change the fact that the science has revealed a reality and the rest of us are better off learning how to deal with that reality.


OK, OK I give up, i am flamed, but i cross my fingers.

Cheers all of you



Your piece is nothing more than opinion and admits that unless you are in the club you don't have a say.

You can shout all day, (like those that said man can't fly from the worlds most admired scientist of the day did). Yet they were wrong. The smartest minds of the early 1900's said, when the atmosphere changes in 2000 then man might be able to fly. Yep thats what they said.

You claim that the sun has been ruled out. Really, then explain all the ice core evidence, and the Nile evidence that shows such a relationship.

Are you really trying to claim that CO2 and not Water vapor drives the climate.

Oceans warm and release CO2. Is this not correct. Are you saying that you have absolute proof that the CO2 Warmed the oceans first, then released the oceans, or is it a "theory", that has more additions and clarifications to fill volumes of material.

All this volcanic activity around the globe (80 percent of volcanic activity is underwater ya know) and what is going on above the surface and all the new volcanoes and islands being found below the surface is startling. Yet, move along nothing to see here say the CO2 crowd. Might disturb THEIR FUNDING, and ruin this ride huh. Like the oil company's have spent as much as the organizations that promote and fund CO2.

You also left something else out. DUST. Space Dust.

leap seconds added, its back.

Check and I think you will also find that we have entered a part of the solar system that has quite a bit of DUST in it.

What happens when an object encounters dust. Friction, and Friction causes what.

How often in the last twenty years have they had to correct the clock for the earth. Earth slowing down, what causes that, friction, what happens to a spinning mass with a core spinning inside of it when the outside mass slows down. What does the interior mass do.

Slam duck huh, where have I heard that term before.

Also they don't explain all the other planets with atmosphere warming. The storms on other planets. The lenticular ice clouds forming above the poles (huge amounts of hexagon shaped water crystals, HEXAGON)/. As the project manager for the team investigating the water vapor at 50 miles up. Its A LOT of water vapor. WATER VAPOR is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. Care to tell Swede how much water vapor is in the atmosphere and how much CO2 is in the atmosphere.

Slam duck, done deal, yada yada,. its a theory, and a constantly evolving one that has more holes than swiss cheese.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Idiocy such as this should be called out for what it is: idiocy.

Which is why you shout about it here, and not at realclimate?

Space Dust?! WHO is seriously pushing these theories, PX? Are you content to just play the 'Nicotiene's Not Actually Addictive' game by saying there's still some cause for doubt? Enough voices in the climate science community are truly concerned about this to have been ringing the bells for a couple decades now. I don't care if it's a 'slam dunk' (.. and try to be nice to the Ducks.. it's 'Slam Dunk!') it seems reasonable to listen to their hypotheses and conclusions and consider that the perpetual fires we've been stoking planetwide for a couple centuries might be having an ill effect on our biosphere.

Just Remember.. the Duck you Slam might be your own!

Bob Fiske

go back to astro physics 101.
what your pointing out is the very slow, slowing effect the moon has on earths rotation.
in a few hundred million years this will result in a day lasting 54 hours long.

Prisoner X,

I have learned via experience not to waste time doing the legwork for people such as yourself. I gave you plenty of information you can go and look up for yourself. Whether you are motivated to do that is up to you.

I didn't put that piece up for you, but for a sincere gentleman who might not know the current status of the field but has shown more than once he is quite willing to look things up. Kenneth knows I didn't flame him actually.

The thing I've found about global warming is that the commentary literature by itself is quite worthless. And yes, that includes very well what I myself write. The _content_ that is, not the stuff to go and look up.

In this field there is absolutely, absolutely no substitute for the scientific literature. Do the homework, learn enough to understand what you read there, and get your information from the primary scientific literature. There is absolutely no shortcut on this topic.

Sort of like peak oil circa 5 years ago, when there was absolutely nothing worth reading except what the insiders were putting up and backing up with extensive analysis.


ps It was much harder when you had to chase such stuff up in libraries, but in this day and age where if you have more than a few days' experience you can find most anything you're looking for. Therefore there is no excuse not to look at the primary sources.

" Perhaps 95% of the coming climatchange is caused by the sun and cosmic rays etc, and only 5% from ouer burning of fossil fuels, some scientists say."

If that were to happen it would mean that the sun somehow is going to get much hotter tomorrow and dwarf the global warming effect from greenhouse gases. Like 20C of warming?

That's an "extinction-level event". Fortunately there's no evidence whatsoever it will happen.

Also, there is no evidence that the Sun or cosmic can explain the existing, already observed warming to any significant magnitude compared to greenhouse gases. Solar output has been measured for decades and is stable, with the expected solar sunspot cycle fluctuations, but no trending behavior.

Do you think, that for example China will curtail their use of coal??

If everybody else agrees, and pushes hard, then perhaps.

In fact, China already took the most dramatic step possible towards reducing greenhouse gases (though not for that reason): 1 child policy.

If the planet followed that we'd have a much better chance.

The Sun!

Could it be the Sun is entering into an early stage of Red Giant? Where it swells to 100 or 1000 times it's current size, and simply drys up everything?

Could it be the Sun is just getting hotter? Is the sun at the early stages of swelling? Bear in mind that this will not happen over night, but rather a very long process, a million years? a billion? who knows!

If the sun is only in the very very very early stages of swelling, then it really doesn't matter how much climate change we make, bottom line the sun will not last forever, it too has a life expectency. The oceans will eventually dry up, and our planet will be no different than Venus!

Only NASA knows, as they study the sun.

This was a disheartening article. Here I was greeting my teeth for an 80% reduction and says even that is not good enough. Without a total civilazational crash, there is no hope.

The continual drumbeat of GW denial here is making me read less. F**k these clowns.

Global warming is all talk and no cattle. Everybody talks about it but nobody does anything. Just endless rationalistic ideological babbling, ad hominem attacks and complaining. Meanwhile all kinds of rich folks are trying to figure out how to make money off of it selling carbon credits and negative EROEI ethanol. The developing world used to take the west's bad ideas and run with them (See Cambodia, Vietnam, China). Now they've wised up and won't give global warming the time of day. It's kind of like.. "You got us with central planning last time but now we've wised up"!

Meanwhile, Peak Oil is actually here and nobody is talking about it! That, and every peak oil forum/mailing list has all kinds of people trying to change the subject to global warming.

I think it's because global warming has a solution and peak oil, barring a deus-ex-machina techno-fix, doesn't have a solution.

Gail, I used that article in my testimony at the state legislature today, essentially accusing them of mass murder if they don't get proactive. There were two lines I highlighted in the copy I handed out:

"And all of them know that they have set the wrong targets, based on outdated sciend. Fearful of the political implications, they have failed to adjust to the levels the new research demands."....

"But our governments appear quietly to have abandoned their aim of preventing dangerous climate change. If so, they condemn millions to death."

I found the article stunning - they know they have set the wrong targets. DOH. But I'd not connected that in my own head. There is no more "good faith exemption" for idiocy. I've been - disappointed is not the word - by a former greenpeace activist now legislator that won't even consider banning incandescent bulbs. Like Canada, Australia and Ghana. By others for other reasons. They know. It's like the leaders in the Jewish community in the ghettos - they knew. Did they maybe cut deals for a few, what was "realistic"?

Cheney knows. Lots of them know. Maybe lots of 'mericans know too and don't care. Drowning rats climbing on each other. And if you won't play, homeland stazi and halliburton have a place for you. Get with the pogram.

cfm in Gray, ME

Way to go. Which State? Is the denial because they realize they have not idea how to actually meet those targets that are necessary. Of course, there is always the gambit of passing legislation saying we are going to cut ghg by 80% or whatever by 2050. Nice. Leave it up to our grandchildren.

In the transporation sector, I think this is doable. Not by 2050 , but by 2020. The Prius already cuts ghg by over 60% from the current average consumption. The next gen Prius is rumored to get 85 mpg. Pump that up to beyond 100 mpg with plug ins and you are there. Of course, if the majority continues to insist on continued bigger and faster vehicles, then yeh, we won't get there.

The housing sector will be more of a challenge because of all the existing stock.

Legislators need to make this the moral equivalent of world war II. Now there was a war where we truly mobilized the whole country behind one purpose.

While reading the articles posted at The Oil Drum and Peak Oil, is may be good to keep in mind that most are written by writers as opposed to technically-trained people.

Here's a great example of writing

This country today consumes about 21 million barrels of crude oil per day, about 14 of which are used for transportation. The remaining 7 million are used for heating and the manufacture of chemicals and plastics. The distressing fact is that more than 13.4 million barrels per day are imported.

The author ignores agricultural use of oil.

National Geographic in June 2004 reported, "A POUND OF BEEF TAKES THREE-QUARTER OF A GALLON OF OIL TO PRODUCE."

Mark Twain understood the writer problem

Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your HONOR. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse.

Regarding the beef question, I assume that is for grain fed beef. Grass fed beef would be another matter entirely - I suspect that as grain prices climb and climb that we will ultimately switch back to grass-fed as a step back towards a less meat-centric diet.

Some folks won't like the taste, I suppose - I guess they can eat tofu instead.

Tofu? Have you been following the melamine meltdown? Melamine and human hair - soy protein.

I'm looking at stuff in the store and unless it has the local organic certification or buy-local source, I'm going to dig dandelions instead. I realize the melamine meltdown is only one indication of limits to growth; the same thing will be happening in other areas.

cfm in Gray, ME

Saudi's Naimi making a lot of comments to the press today. I will post full article when it is ready. Suffice to say, it is not entirely credible. Best comment so far:

"Saudi Arabia will probably not need to go beyond 12.5 million BPD production capacity due to energy conservation and efficiency"

Clearly he is not on board with supply and demand growth projections from CERA et al

Austin, Texas (AP) The Texas Railroad Commission met yesterday and for the 34 straight year stated that Texas was producing at less than capacity, due to a persistent inability--for over three decades--to find buyers for all of its oil production.

14:49 02May07 RTRS-Saudi doubts need to boost capacity beyond 12.5 mln bpd

RIYADH, May 2 (Reuters) - OPEC power Saudi Arabia is on track to raise capacity to 12.5 million bpd by 2009 but does not envisage having to go beyond that level due to increased energy conservation, its oil minister said on Wednesday.

"Our feeling now with this thrust and push for conservation, efficiency and the use of alternatives is that we probably need not go beyond 12.5 million barrels per day," Ali al-Naimi told reporters in Riyadh.

He said that Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, would analyse potential future demand growth once it reaches its current capacity target.

Naimi said there was no doubt that instability in Iraq was affecting world oil markets and that producers must ensure sufficient supply and inventories were in place.

"There is no doubt that the crippling of energy because of the lack of stability affects world markets," Naimi told reporters at a meeting of oil ministers.

"If stability could be achieved, it would raise production capacity a lot."

((Reporting by Simon Webb and Andrew Hammond, Gulf newsroom,

Do you know any more details? Why can't they find buyers? How much oil do you think they are talking about?

WT was being sarcastic.

Well, thanks for clearing that up. LOL

Actually, my recurring Texas RRC version of recent Saudi comments is based on a real comment.

I was at an industry meeting in 2005 where the Texas State Geologist, Scott Tinker, stated that while Texas "may" not be able to equal its peak production, it could, with the use of "improved technology," significantly increase its oil production.

We can find--and are finding--new oil fields in mature regions like Texas. What we can't do is to offset the declines from giant oil fields like the East Texas Field. In regard to the "improved technology" assertion, so far it hasn't reversed the long term decline in either the Lower 48 or the North Sea.

I talked to a delivery driver this morning and he firmly believes that oil and coal are produced deep in the earth just like lava...
Fortunately, I was too busy to argue....just wait until they wake up - that won't be pretty.

Oil and Coal ARE PRODUCED deep in the earth like lava!!!

The problem is it takes millions of years.


So sorry I thought it was obvious. He didn't believe oil and coal are from dinosaurs and/or plant life, it is just magically created from the center...

WT These people, Texas Railroad Commision, must be on some kind of gravy train payroll that will end if there is the hint that they are no longer needed. How comical!

"Saudi Arabia will probably not need to go beyond 12.5 million BPD production capacity due to energy conservation and efficiency"

OPEC's April Bulletin gave a forewarning of this last week (not just for KSA, but for OPEC as a whole).

I posted a comment on it at the time, and my final words were:

Is this going to be the new rationale? We've got it, but we're not going to produce it because you don't want it.

Jeffrey's TRRC analogy is beginning to look more and more convincing.

Older, dangerous drivers a growing problem

Fatality rates for drivers begin to climb after age 65, according to a recent study by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, based on data from 1999-2004. From ages 75 to 84, the rate of about three deaths per 100 million miles driven is equal to the death rate of teenage drivers. For drivers 85 and older, the fatality rate skyrockets to nearly four times higher than that for teens.

The numbers are particularly daunting at a time when the U.S. Census Bureau projects there will be 9.6 million people 85 and older by 2030, up 73% from today. Road safety analysts predict that by 2030, when all baby boomers are at least 65, they will be responsible for 25% of all fatal crashes. In 2005, 11% of fatal crashes involved drivers that old.

Yet another reason why we need better mass transit. I wonder what the death toll is from seniors driving golf carts in residential retirement communities. My grandmother drove until she was 95. No accidents, but she did have a tendency to bounce around against curbs quite often.

I picked up Car and Driver at the barber shop, and found an article by Patrick Bedard advising that America build more roads. IIRC, he argues that even though population is declining, it is aging, so we need more roads so we won't be stuck driving slow behind Grandpa.

That article isn't yet on their website, but I found Bedard's April article bashing EVs:

Betting big on a battery — again

GM’s current hybrids, the Saturn Vue Green Line and the full-size Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra pickup, are incapable of moving themselves using only electric power. Toyota and Ford have leapt ahead of the basic hybrid concept by endowing their hybrids with electric-only operation under certain conditions. But in my experience, the electric-only range of a Prius isn’t more than a mile or so.

Range can be longer: Toyota says adding 11 battery packs, for a total of 12, would up electric-only range to 37 miles. It would also lift the Prius’s price above $50,000.


And this one:

C'mon everybody, let's blame cars.

It’s hard to imagine a compound more natural than CO2. Animals breathe it out, plants breathe it in. No one leaves home without it. Indeed, no one leaves this earthly existence without making a final contribution of it to the atmosphere as we return to the dust from which we started.

Um...population is not declining. Thanks to immigration, the U.S. is predicted to increase its population by almost 45% by 2050.

I only glanced at the article, but he seemed to anticipate a population decline because of the declining fertility rate. Maybe he assumes that immigrants don't count. I'll post a link when it becomes available.

Apparently Bedard has a blind spot. I found this in a google cache:

The Weight of Numbers - Brief Article
E: The Environmental Magazine, Nov, 2000 by Jim Motavalli

In a recent issue of Car and Driver, columnist Patrick Bedard opined that population growth had ceased to be all (sic) issue in the U.S. because we'd achieved a replacement-level fertility rate. So the U.S. population has stopped increasing, right?

Wrong! Bedard's column is proof that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. If fertility rates were all there was to population growth, he'd be right on the money. But because of other factors, chiefly high rates of both legal and illegal immigration, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that U.S. population could double--to an estimated 571 million--by 2100.

Maybe Bedard thinks immigrants don't drive.

If so, he's wrong. I got rear-ended a few months ago by a car driven by immigrants who had no insurance and no license.

To be fair, it wasn't their fault. They were pushed into my car by a U.S.-born woman driving a big, honking SUV, who failed to notice that traffic ahead of her had slowed for a red light. She was too busy yakking on her cell phone.

Older, dangerous drivers a growing problem

This is no joke. The guy who hit me in the back in the dark rain as I waited for a parking space to clear in 2002 was 73 with obviously poor eyesight. And he was too fast (slowed to perhaps 30 kph by the time he hit me). I wasn't completely sure to be out of the woods re neck/back until almost two years later. Not everyone is so fit.


My second wife's family suffered a loss, 3 family members killed, 2 with serious injuries. Hit head on by a lady talking on a cell phone in the rain on the wrong side of the road. All of them were us citizens, she had been drinking. It is not only the old people, or the Illegels that kill or harm others. It seems to be people who forget that they are driving killing machines. That can and do kill others when they are not handled correctly.

Cell phones are going to be the death of more drivers this year than I care to think about. I have one, I don't use it while I am driving, I hardly use it at all. I have used it to call 911, 3 times, though. It is a tool that to many people use as a toy or a walking entertainment center, and should not be stuck to everyone's ear 24/7 like it seems to have become to some people I know.

Driving tests should be given on a regular basis for all drivers, say every 5 year, or every 2 once you hit 60 years old. That could weed out a lot of bad drivers whatever their ages.

The third of the above 3, died today a full week after the wreck.

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending April 27, 2007

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) rose by 1.1 million barrels compared to the previous week. At 335.6 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories fell by 1.1 million barrels last week, and remain well below the lower end of the average range. Distillate fuel inventories inched lower by 0.2 million barrels per day, and are just below the upper end of the average range for this time of year. Heating oil inventories (high-sulfur) fell last week, but diesel fuel inventories (the sum of ultra-low and low-sulfur) inventories reported an increase. Propane/propylene inventories jumped by 2.0 million barrels last week. Total commercial petroleum inventories inched higher by 0.2 million barrels last week, and are in the middle of the average range for this time of year.

So...the theory that refineries are awash in lower quality crude holds for another week. We are getting all kinds of crude. It's just not very good on our refineries and is not resulting in more motor gasoline product.

It seems we have four options as to what is going on:

1. As you stated, the refineries are only getting the heavy stuff and can't process it.
2. There are operational issues and the refineries are not operating efficiently.
3. There is just way too much demand and the refineries can't produce gasoline fast enough, so there is a draw down in supplies.
4. A combination of all three above.

Does this seem like correct reasoning?

It's 2 and 3, plus much lower imports than last year. If you look back, last year was an extraordinary year for imports. This year we are way off that target.

As I pointed out in my latest blog entry, the explanation that refiners are only getting heavy crude doesn't wash. We have the data on crude quality. While there may be some exceptions, for the most part refiners are getting what they want. If they have cokers and hydrotreaters, they tend to want heavy crude.

Demand is going to have to be choked off, or it won't be too long before we see more examples of spot outages. I just don't know how high prices will have to go. I was surprised that demand was as high as it was this week.

I will update today's numbers on blog a little later.

Well...if today's market moves are any indication, all is well and gasoline prices should be falling shortly.

Message to the masses..."All is well...get ready to DRIVE!!!"

Odd isn't it? The report says gasoline stocks are down again. Therefore, NYMEX RBOB gasoline declines two and a half dollars.


I read two different studies back in 2000 that suggested that between 40% and 60% of the oil and gas professionals that were employed in 2000 would be retired by 2007.

Personnel demand has been so high that I'm sure the actual retirement number is on the low end, probably below 40%, especially for white collar office jobs, but I wonder if it is on the high end in more operational areas like refining?

I have seen some reports blaming the slow refinery turn around season on personnel issues. I wonder if a growing shortage of experienced refinery workers is causing problems for refiners.

I have seen some reports blaming the slow refinery turn around season on personnel issues.

I don't know. My former refinery in Billings just came out of a flawless turnaround. On time and on budget. But there are certainly reports of shortages of workers. That is a problem. I know some people who think we are looking at a disaster on this issue in 10 years, as a tremendous number of experienced workers - white and blue collar - retire. I just hope they don't need me to become CEO before I am ready. :-)

There's really nothing to it. You get about 2 years to run the company into the ground, and then you get to cash your stock options and get a golden parachute so that they can get rid of you.

I think all you need to do is be able to wear a suit and not look like a total fool when talking to investors.

WT-re personnel--IIRC the last 2 NucPower stations went online in the 1970's [#2 and #3 at San Onofre,Ca.

Thus those "new-hire" operating personnel are now retiring in great numbers. There is little reason to prolong retirement. Industry-wide, this is a real and increasing shortage of experienced mentors on-site.

Re refineries, piping and other vital maintenance activities compete with nuc pwr "refuelling" outages for the hi-skilled travellors [Flow Accel Corrosion, etc].

Last year, inexperienced welders found their way onto hi-press steam jobs resulting in some awesome errors.

RR: There is no way demand will be choked off- the US public is being told that the supply/demand problem is temporary (various excuses floated by the MSM)-IMO, prices could jump up 50% in three months with ZERO effect on demand. The US public will not change their gasoline habits based on a "temporary" problem. I can't see how shortages can be prevented.

I agree. A coworker of mine was commenting that he spends $400/mo on gasoline. $400/mo is a car payment and a half on a NEW CAR! I told him as much, that he could take the savings from switching to a NEW car as opposed to his truck that it would easily pay for the car, the insurance, and still leave $ left over to fuel the vehicle.

His reasoning for not switching? "Small cars are death-traps." That's OK, because he'll be paying $600/mo in a month or two. I can see a person not wanting to switch to a motorcycle or a bicycle, but being unable to switch to a car? The saddest bit is this guy actually has a few brain cells in his noggin, as opposed to the rest of the fools I'm surrounded by.

*shrugs* I have my stupid moments as well. I ate out at a restaurant today, which was a waste of money compared to me bringing my own lunch. I DO have the excuse of the fact that I'm not staying at my house this week, however. Even so, I could eat out for lunch every day and still spend less than this guy does for GASOLINE.

I agree. A coworker of mine was commenting that he spends $400/mo on gasoline. $400/mo is a car payment and a half on a NEW CAR! I told him as much, that he could take the savings from switching to a NEW car as opposed to his truck that it would easily pay for the car, the insurance, and still leave $ left over to fuel the vehicle.

It is worse than that.

Let's assume your coworker is paying around $3.00/gal. That equals around 133 galons per month.

You said they drove a truck, so we must assume pretty low gas mileage - 20mpg would be a quite generous estimate. 20 x 133 = 2660 miles per month. That's about 60 miles one way - a bit on the long side, but there are people with longer commutes so it is credible.

The IRS standard mileage rate for 2007 is $0.485/mile. This is probably on the low side, as it assumes a smaller and cheaper car than your co-worker drives, and is behind the curve on fuel prices. So to be more realistic, let's figure on $0.50/mile as the total cost of ownership at an absolute minimum. 2660 miles X $0.50 = $1,330/month x 12 = $15,960/year.

But wait a minute - commuting mileage is not deductible, so it is being paid in after tax dollars. We need to figure out how much your coworker actually has to gross to pay for his commute. Let's assume he/she is in the 25% income tax bracket, plus 5% for state income taxes, plus 7.65% FICA. $15,960/(1-0.3765) = $25,597/year

Your coworker has to earn over $25K per year JUST FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF WORKING!! This is before he/she actually gets to take anything home!

When gas prices go up to $4/gal, your coworker will have to earn an additional $2565.90/year just to stay even!

I wonder how many people are bothering to perform calculations like this?

Stefan: At the risk of redundancy, this is why I say that suburbia is finished. IMO, the USA can get through the oil depletion trip but suburbia won't make it. At $20/gallon how many can afford a long commute?

You could destroy demand overnight with the stroke of a pen if the politicians had the "attachments".

State of emergency tax, gasoline is $10.00/gal when you wake up in the morning, take it or leave it. Interest rates 10%.

With some people the carrot doesn't work, and then you need the stick.

Worried about TSHTF? No worries, better to have it out once and for all then to die the death of a 1000 cuts.

Let the games begin.

Robert, you have often mentioned in the past that we will know by summer whether Saudi production decline is voluntary or not. Since it takes several months for Saudi crude to end up as gasoline in our tanks, they should have started pumping more crude during the first quarter in anticipation of summer demand. Since we know that their production declined during the first quarter, I guess their production decline is involuntary. What do you think?

I look for Saudi Arabia to do one of the following this summer

1. Admit they are pumping all the oil they can. (are past peak)
2. Pump more oil
3. Give the world an excuse as to why it can’t pump more oil now, but will in the future.

IMHO Number 3 looks the most likely, a fire? attack?

Number 1 would cause them to “lose face” and I don’t think they can do #2

I have a friend in Exxon Mobil middle management, in the refinery area. He told me their strategy was to was to buy the heaviest, lowest quality crude they could get, because it was cheaper. They (XOM) could handle it, but not everyone else could, so it gave them a cost advantage. I realize this is anecdotal rater than quantifiable information.

I was left with the impression that the U.S. doesn't have a problem refining heavy crude, but some other importing countries do.

You can produce high value products through a combination of expensive capital equipment and cheap oil, or expensive oil and less capital equipment (or somewhere in between).

The US has the most sophisticated (complex) refining industry in the world and can handle more low cost crudes than most other countries.

China's Daqing crude is a high quality light oil, so China's refining industry has been until recently fairly simple (not complex). As they increasingly need to procure crude globally they have been investing in more complex capital equipment.

This one reason why it will be very hard for Chavez to sell Venezuelan crude to China. Shipping low quality crude around the world to a refining sector that is not prepared for it, doesn’t make much business sense.

Yes looks like crude quality has declined at some pads over 10 API in the last 20 years. In addition the monthly variability is high. This must be difficult for some refiners, especially when installing new equiptment or doing repairs while demand is very high. It'll will be interesting when the last three months' data becomes availiable too.


So is this summer driving season a bust??

Depending on your definition of bust.

Gasoline will just be more expensive.

Refineries still have roughly 3 weeks to Memorial day, but the numbers are down quite a bit now, so we will see.


Refinery utilization rates rose 0.5 percentage point last week to 88.3% of capacity, but remained well below the key 90% rate experts have said the industry needs to reach in order to start building inventories.

Thanks Leanan.

Well, the Bloomberg survey prediction of a 1.3 mb drop in gasoline stocks wasn't far off, and my expectation that things would be better than anticipated due to a lower demand figure was incorrect. Demand was 9.26 mb/d last week, so rapidly rising gasoline prices don't seem to be deterring drivers all that much.

We're running out of time to build stocks for the start of driving season, and it's beginning to look as if it's going to require even higher prices to resolve the demand/supply imbalance.

I'll keep updating this table as long as gasoline supply remains a cause for concern.

U.S. Gasoline Data 2006 vs 2007
Capacity Prodn Imports Stocks Stock Chnge Demand
W/E 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007
3/30 85.9 87.0 8.1 8.8 1.1 1.0 211.8 205.2 -4.4 -5.0 9.06 9.49
4/6 85.6 88.4 7.9 8.5 1.1 0.95 207.9 199.7 -3.9 -5.5 9.30 9.47
4/13 86.2 90.4 8.1 8.7 0.9 1.0 202.5 197.0 -5.4 -2.7 9.10 9.25
4/20 88.2 87.8 8.5 8.5 1.3 1.2 200.6 194.2 -1.9 -2.8 9.01 9.16
4/27 88.8 88.3 8.6 8.8 1.0 1.2 202.7 193.1 +2.1 -1.1 9.10 9.26
5/4 90.2 8.9 1.6 205.1 +2.4 9.35
5/11 89.8 9.2 1.45 206.4 +1.3 9.33
5/18 89.7 9.2 1.6 208.5 +2.1 9.19
5/25 91.4 9.2 1.6 209.3 +0.8 9.43
6/1 91.0 9.1 1.4 210.3 +1.0 9.37
6/8 92.7 9.2 1.4 213.1 +2.8 9.41

[Data source - EIA. Week ending dates are for 2007 (2006 is a day more). Capacity is % of fully operable. Imports, production and demand are million barrels per day. Stocks are millions of barrels]

Further comments:

  • Last week NASAguy queried why the 2006 stock figure in the above table didn't match the one published in the latest EIA weekly report. I replied that my figures are from the EIA's weekly data for last year which were likely later revised. This was confirmed by EIA Senior Oil Market Analyst Doug MacIntyre when I asked him for confirmation in comments on Robert Rapier's blog. Doug M stated that comparing weekly to weekly data has some validity too (something I agree with) and consequently I've kept the original numbers. Just bear in mind that all these data are more indicative of general trends rather than any absolute position.
  • I've added the demand numbers to give a more complete picture, but it's a bit of a squeeze (on my display). I hope it fits for the rest of you.
  • Remember that imports include blending components (which will be subsequently included in the production figure) as well as finished gasoline.
  • The biggest fall was on the West Coast, where stocks fell by 0.7 to an extremely low 26.3 million barrels.

FTX: "Economists" like to talk about supply/demand in an ivory tower setting but this real world example points out the flaws. IMO, there isn't enough time for prices to rise enough to choke off gasoline demand in the USA. Already you have consumer groups whining, when by any reasonable standard US retail gasoline prices are far too low. Should be an interesting hurricane season.


Living in the UK I don't really get a sense of how much an issue this is in the US. My impression is that at the moment gasoline price rises are a source of irritation rather than downright anger. Am I mistaken in this, and if not, at what price level will consumers be expressing outrage and politicians be suffering fits of apoplexy?

I am already outraged, outraged that is about how low prices are. I will not be mollified until they reach at least $10 per gallon.

Here is cite for ethanol-cattle-metahne plants. Ethanol produced at 46 to 1 per energy input.
Stop worrying so much


I looked at the link. The 46 to 1 ratio relates to the ratio of ethanol produced by the plant to fossil fuel used in the plant. It is therefore not directly comparable to the usual ratio one sees which considers the fossil fuel used in growing the corn as well.

It is possible to estimate the return calculated in the more usual way. In ethanol production methods using natural gas or coal, roughly two thirds of the energy used is in the biorefinery phase and one third is in the agricultural phase (based on the Berkeley study). If we assume that the energy return using more traditional methods is 1.25 to 1.00, my calculations (using the relationships above) show that the new method will have an energy return of about 3.5 to 1.0.

While this is not as high as the 8: 1 or 9: 1 ratio quoted for Brazilian sugar cane (which burns the "bagasse" in the biorefinery and uses manual labor in the field), it is a big step up.

I want to thank Benjamin for bringing this study (and an earlier one on another thread) to our attention.

In america any real outrage or pain manifests itself physcially. When you see riots, or hear about some incredible trend of people stealing gas en mass you will know that the outrage has arrived.

until then, any real outrage will only be acknowledged by the media and politicians insofar as it serves their monetary/political aims.

If the stocks fall too low, then my guess is that we may start to see spot shortages in some regions, which will lead to panic buying which will make the shortages worse. A more effective form of rationing that higher prices, really.

Panic buying, in the case of gasoline, cannot significantly contribute to shortages. This is because consumers have no where to store gasoline, except for their gas tanks. Topping off more frequently lengthen lines at the pump, but it won't increase the voume of gasoline sold for an extended period of time.

Tell that to me with my 3 cars, most of which are at 1/2 a tank at any given point. Just before Katrina hit, I filled up all 3 cars (and my GF's car as well) as I knew prices would spike in the coming days. I'm glad I did, because they did. By the time I was at the gas station for the 4th time in a 30 minute window, the attendant asked, "Do you know something I don't?" My reply to her was "Plenty."

Then again, not everybody has 3 cars like me, or two 55 gallon drums of gasoline like my bro does. (He keeps it on hand for emergency purposes, refills his cars from the drums, and then refills the drums when they're empty. He also fills up when he knows there's going to be a big price spike coming up, which is usually from me alerting him.)

We're the type of people who are prepared, so when the storm hits, knocks out power for 2 weeks, we don't care. We've got food, gas, and supplies to last us 2 months. It's come in handy in the past during ice storms and other nasty weather, and I'm sure it will come in handy again.

What is the shelf life of the current etanol laced gasoline?

I wish we could afford the life we are living.

Oh but you can...the stock market is BOOOMing...the housing crisis has bottomed out and we have all the gasoline you will ever need...so drive, DRIVE, DRIVE!!! A Hummer, an Escalade, a Pink Cadillac...Drive!

Do not wait until Memorial Day weekend to get off your ass and drive!! Start the driving season now!!

If you can't tell...I am losing it today. After three years of this, it makes me ill.

Chimp...where are you? Make me laugh...I need you Chimp.

I wouldn't recommend keeping gasoline longer than 60 days without putting fuel stabilizer in it. Even with it, I wouldn't recommend keeping it longer than 4 months. That's why we cycle through our gasoline.
I also did a quick google and found this link:

Chevron saids you can store it's gasoline for up to a year, out of the sun and under 80f. Even longer with stabilizer in it. I've stored gasoline for over a year without problems.


People can go out and buy 5-gallon jerry-cans and then store them in the garage. The fire marshal would hate it were they to know of it, of course, but this is just the sort of thing I would expect people to do if shortages were to arise. At least until a few houses end up going up in flames...

Larger 30 and 55 gallon drums are also easy to come by.

I have been known to keep 5-gallon cans of biodiesel around - mainly because I have to drive so damned far to get the stuff, but that's a lot less of a fire hazard than regular gasoline.

Thanks for your chart FTX.

I guess this week isn't the turning point for gasoline production.

Based on 2006, we should been up 2.1Million barrels. But we are down a further 1.1 Million barrels. A 3.2 Million barrel difference/shortage.

That's not pretty.

Refinery utilization was pretty much the same at 88.8 and 88.3. Production slightly up at 8.8 over 8.6. Stocks are down 9.6 Million barrels. Just under 21 days forward(using 9.26MMBPD).

However, next week looks like the real turnaround week based on 2006 numbers. Utilization needs to spike to 90.2, imports need to jump to 1.6 and production needs to approach 9.

So, I think panic isn't in the cards...yet.

The markets don't seem to care that we are in a pickle with gasoline inventory build up.

Gasoline spot price is declining.

That's the problem with an invisible hand...it seems to be missing eyes and a brain.


Here's the rationale for the selloff according to Bloomberg , first from our old friend Mike Lynch:

"This may be the end of the bull-run," Lynch said. "There may be a problem with gasoline demand this summer. Prices are rising while people are making their vacation plans, which might end up reducing travel."

Hmm. And then this from James Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch & Associates in Galena, Illinois:

"There are four things in the report that point to lower gasoline prices: Gasoline supplies only fell by 400,000 barrels if you exclude PADD 5 [West Coast]; total gasoline output increased; gasoline supply on the East Coast, which is futures grade, increased and imports held strong."

Looking at the table I posted I'm afraid I don't share Mr Ritterbusch's logic.

Looking at the table I posted I'm afraid I don't share Mr Ritterbusch's logic.

What he needs is a history lesson. We have literally never been in this situation going into summer. Ritterbusch's point about "only falling by 400,000 barrels" ignores that we are already looking at record low inventories.

Also, what Ritterbusch is ignoring is the demand side. We are seeing record demand.

More and more...this all just leads me to believe that we, the US citizens, are on our own to figure all this crap out and decide what we will do about it.

It just pisses me off so many times...every day. I want to be proud of this country, but I find it really so damn hard some times.

Dragon: IMHO, what makes the USA so unique is that the citizens have such high expectations of the government and media (all institutions, actually). You have this wierd schizo trip where the USA is either considered the "King of the Universe" where all creative thinking resides, or it is this absolute dump of a cultural wasteland with corruption and gluttony rampant. The truth lies between the two extremes, obviously.

Hmmm...we used to have leaders...or people that at least acted like leaders...and had some kind of plan.

I don't want someone that is perfect to lead the damn country...just someone that appears to be trying instead of hiding.

I guess I need to see what Robert wrote about "The Perfect President" up top.

Anyways...pay me no mind...I'm kind of going off the deep end today.

They are not mutually exclusive. If you had a gauge for each both needles would be pointing rather high.

The real trend would show if you took the percentage of the population that fits in one group and the other and mapped it over time.

It is not possible to absorb tens of millions of illiterates that consume much more resources then they produce and not have a downturn.


It's early May and we've seen another drop in gasoline inventories while crude inventories are building. Is there enough time to avert serious problems at the pump (gasoline pushing say $3.50) by June? It looks to me like inventories will catch up later in the summer, if refinery utilization can climb. Are there any reasons refinery utilization would stay below 90% for much longer?

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

yes, there are plenty of reasons to keep refinery utilization below 90%.

The refineries have been run hard and hung up wet. The oil majors will not restart refineries that they deem as evenly remotely dangerous or unsafe (see BP Tx City or Valero Dumas both down from max capacity)

All of these refinery accidents are symptoms of the bigger problem that these are aging incredibly complex units that are being run harder than they have ever been. The oil majors cannot afford to run refineries that have been damaged before repairs and upgrades are completed, no matter what the crack spread is.


And I maintain that the lack of investment in sufficient new refineries is because upper management knows they won't have product to refine. This may be because they actually believe in peak oil or for other reasons (NOCs taking over their business) but they are not investing at the rate you would expect for a world that is supposed to crack 90 mbpd consumption in the next few years.

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

The biggest fall was on the West Coast, where stocks fell by 0.7 to an extremely low 26.3 million barrels.

Looks like in June-July we'll typically 'need' 1.7 Mbpd.


Um...that's only 16 days of supply. TTYL I'm going out to fill a gas can or two :)

Now now... theres no need to panic! =P

Iowa Gasoline Shortage

“My recommendation is that consumers do not panic or get too concerned,” she said. “Any type of hoarding or topping off tanks will make matters worse.

“Find ways to cut back. It’s great weather, it’s a great time to ride your bike.”

HAHAHA This is what I have been saying to all my stubborn, ignorant friends and family back home (Iowa) for the last year or so! I talked to my brother last night and he is very concerned about fuel supply this summer. Finally. He's going to be buying a bicycle very soon.

But seriously I did just give my organization a heads up to think about not being down too far on our local 'stores' and having a mitigation 'reduced driving' plan ahead JIC.

2 quick questions-
I have the option to connect to nat. gas now for a few hundred bucks, plus major rebates on any new appliances. I live in FL so high prices or even small shortages are not a huge problem, at least not heat wise. Would you do this? What price point does NG has to reach to make it more expensive?

Also, I'm looking into getting a solar PV system. Any recommendations on if I should get the components and find an installer or go to a one shop stop? Any good sources for solar components?
Thanks in advance!

I would go with a NG appliances. They are more efficient than burning NG in an electric plant, transmission and end use.

Perhaps run electrical service to the oven "just in case" but go with gas.

Explore solar clothes dryers (minimal installation cost :-) but have a gas dryer as a back-up.

Even with a solar hot water heater, I would install a Bosch 1600H-NG tankless NG hot water heater with a bypass valve (perhaps mounted on the bathroom wall). So even when you have a solar hot water heater, on cloudy days you can use minimal NG to have a hot shower. $300 tax credit :-)

Look into geothermal heat pumps. Perhaps the groundwater is too warm for efficient cooling. Otherwise a condensing NG furnace (Carrier has a small one with 96.x% AFUE) makes sense.

What area of Florida do you live in ? Miami is VERY different from Gainesville or inland Pensacola and recommendations vary.

Best Hopes,


Insulation is NOT sexy, but the best single source of energy. Contact me # my eMail (click name) if you would like to discuss more directly and in mroe detail.

I would go with a NG appliances. They are more efficient than burning NG in an electric plant, transmission and end use.

I am not so sure about that. An induction cooktop is more than twice as efficient as a propane one (75% vs 35%). An electrical fridge is more than 5 times as efficient as a propane one and a heat pump is 3-4 times as efficient as a propane heater.

For the oven you are correct.

Microwaves may be the most efficient means of cooking, but natural gas remains the best. Using real world efficiencies of about 50% NG plant efficiency + 10% T&T losses, and induction just equals NG. But it is a far less flexiable and controllable means of cooking at MUCH higher cost.

I agree with a modern electrical fridge. (Mine uses about 400 kWh/year). Honestly forgot about propane fridges.

I use the highest efficiency window heat pump as my primary heat source, but the climate of New Orleans is unusual. And this winter I had NG heat backup.

The most efficient (excluding wood) might be ground sourse heat pump when ground water is warm, and the next is a combination of a high AFUE natural gas furnace with an air source heat pump with a changeover between 40 F and 45 F.

In a tight, extremely well insulated home internal heat (and carry over from solar gain during the day when the blinds were up) could mean no heat required till 50 to 55 F. This leaves a narrow band of outside temperatures where air source heat pumps are significantly better than high AFUE NG furnaces.

However, capital costs for the last % of efficiency might be better spent on reflective film in the attic, more insulation, gaskets behind switches and outlets, better windows and double hex cell blinds. Etc.

Best Hopes,


Our central-heating propane unit from the mid seventies broke down two years ago. Perhaps that unit was only 39% efficient, but we replaced it with just one Japanese direct-vent, forced intake combustion wall unit which gives an honest 84% efficiency. Never again will I use central heating and I really appreciate the tech behind the forced air/exhaust. The unit is so efficient that the exhaust is only lukewarm -- exhaust heat is transferred to the incoming air because the inside exhaust pipe is surrounded by the outer intake pipe in a double-vent design.

I have an older Bosch 125 (the model which was preceeded the 1600), and like it's quality and huge savings over tank-type, but next time I would get a Paloma or a cheap Chinese unit which offers forced induction/exhaust.

I helped install a $159 Chinese tankless water heater for a retired couple, and I'm surprised how good it is. It only burns 68,000 btu's, but is plenty for their showers (we're in Northern California and the Winter nights get down in the 20s). They're delighted and are saving quite a bit of propane $$$.

That Chinese tankless hot water heater is "interesting". Add $40 for 12 week ocean shipping (more for faster) for $199.

It is 80% efficient, which is the minimum for the $300 federal income tax credit (installed in your principal residence).

I think there is an IRS rule that total costs must at least = tax credit, so include supplies for hookup, labor, etc. to = $101 minimum.

There is an even smaller LPG unit WHCIH IS $10 MORE !


And the link for the natural gas version that I would be interested in is missing.

The Chinese unit requires two D cell batteries, a small hassle (Bosch uses a hydroelectric generator).

I wonder ....

How good did the quality seem for the one you installed ?



The fit and finish was world class. I didn't take the cover off so I'm unsure of the composition of the heat exchanger. The English-language labels were silkscreened on in not-so-good quality. The burner and flame looked quite good.

I was so fascinated by the water heater that I found the manufacturer's website. They claim to make more than 2.2 million water heaters per year.

I didn't take the cover off ...

You must NOT be an engineer !

I spent 10 minutes examining the Bosch unit :-)

Best Hopes,


Microwaves may be the most efficient means of cooking, but natural gas remains the best. Using real world efficiencies of about 50% NG plant efficiency + 10% T&T losses, and induction just equals NG. But it is a far less flexiable and controllable means of cooking at MUCH higher cost.

I have a microwave too but it is in no way a subsitute for the induction cooktop. You can't fry or wok anything in a microwave. It is good for cooking potatoes, reheating food and defrosting, but not much more.

The induction cooktop is actually more controllable and faster than a propane cooktop. It is also more powerful, my three 2.8kW coils (controlling 5 zones) is equivalent to three 6kW propane burners. A 6kW burner is a BIG one... And they react nearly instantanously like the propane burner, not slow like a ceramic/halogen cooktop.

If you don't have NG already, the induction cooktop will surely be much cheaper than getting NG installed ? Here you can get smaller ones (4 zones 24in wide) from ~$1k and my large 5 zone 36in wide for about $2.5k.

The most efficient (excluding wood) might be ground sourse heat pump when ground water is warm, and the next is a combination of a high AFUE natural gas furnace with an air source heat pump with a changeover between 40 F and 45 F.

I have one, and you don't need very high ground water temperature either. Mine gets about 2C (36F) minimum temperature input in the middle of winter and then gets about a 4x efficiency factor. It also makes hot water at a 3x efficiency factor.

Mine is connected to a 650' deep well (closed loop system).

With or without insulation no heat is required when outdoor temp is 55. Wear a sweater, sleep with socks on, get closer to your significant other.

...get closer to your significant other

Cats, and not humans, determine the amount of inter-species warmth exchanged (emotional as well as physical warmth).

Best Hopes for cuddly cats,


Alan wrote:

Microwaves may be the most efficient means of cooking, but natural gas remains the best.

I agree. Pity it's so hard to get here in Germany. Gas is especially best when you use it the way traditional Chinese did... for the same reasons. With a wok you can cook hot and fast, and the total energy usage is minimised.

Plus... the food tastes better :-)


I live in Orlando. I belive we've just about seen the last of our freezing day we see once every 3 years or so.

Thanks for the input. I have some money to spend and I am trying to prioritize. However something like a PV system would require a loan and are prices going down soon?

I already have the insulation, installing this weekend (my house was built in 1940 and I just checked the attic insulation-or lack thereof) and maybe I should stick with something else small like switching to NG for now.

2 things about PV tho...Florida has a 4$ a watt rebate in addition to Fed. tax breaks, and it could come in handy after 1 week with no power after a hurricane.

Choices, choices.

I've lived most of my adult life in the midwest, but I lived in Ft.Walton Beach Fl. for about 3 and a half years and so wondered if your insulation strategy has included the reflective insulation that is mounted between the roof rafters/trusses ?

Where IS that 'Theory of Everything' ?
Here it is !

Not mine. I do know that we have used 'fi-foil' which is a reflective, and also I believe expanded polystyrene product on some commercial buildings.

Of course we also use CMU with foam insulation inside of it also now.

I mentioned reflective attic insulation.

I have always installed the kraft paper with aluminum coating on both sides (if clean one side is as good as two sided, but add a bit of dust and two sided will out perform for a few pennies more per sq ft). It is stapled to the rafters and works best with a ridge vent. From memory, leave the last 18" or so on the corners to allow air to rise from the eave vents.

They make plywood decking for roofing with aluminum on the "down" side.

Install gaskets behind switches and outlets, the cheapest and most cost effective energy saving measure (I recommend for renters, pay back < 1 year).

Seriously consider double cell hex blinds (two rows of hex cells, not just one) as a way to increase R factor for old windows, or new ones).

Shading is always good to reduce heat gain (trees to awnings, also shade cloth insect screens (made by Phifer of Tuscaloosa, AL) and reflective film on old single pane windows.

Best Hopes,


Here's my take on PV. It's invaluable. Get at least a little bit now. Now. - No Moving Parts.. VERY long lifespan. Just add daylight. The stuff works.

"Are prices going down soon?"

- Don't bet on it. They might, some, but if we hit a bump, a grid failure, a KWH pricespike.. Demand for PV may well skyrocket further than it already has.. we already KNOW Supply is constrained by an underdeveloped Polysilicon Market, and utility rate history is steadily (or unsteadily) ramping up.

I was reminded by Thom Harttman this afternoon that even if a manufacturer can lower the cost of production (in that case by offshoring labor to more conciliatory slavelike habitats), that doesn't necessarily mean the cost of the product will go down. Demand is so high, why would anyone need to discount PV's below the competition by more than a few cents? If it's an improved product, it may well cost more.

You can find a number of panels at $5/watt or under. You don't want to look back on those numbers and wonder 'WHY did we think that was a lot?' Heck, if I was going to live in Florida, I'd buy a couple hundred watts of panels, and the racking for a few Kilowatts. Then, just put sealed plywood over the rest of the racks and PAINT them to look like real solar panels until you can afford them. All the shading on your roof will be saving you money either way!

Best of Luck!

Bob Fiske

I disagree.

There are more productive investments if your $ are limited. (If nothing else buy shares in a hydroelectric producer and more juice/$).

The cost to produce PV is going ste4adily down. Prices are stable due to induced demand by gov't subsidies (Germany most of all). This increased profit margin (steadily increasing as costs of production drop) will induce ever greater production of PV at accerlating rates.

Now if the gov't subsidies are about to disappear, buy a few months before if you can afford to.

Best Hopes,


There are many areas we can/must be preparing, of course. More of my dollars have gone into insulation than panels, for example, and food security gets more hours/month of my mental time than almost anything else..

My main point from above is unchanged. Even if production costs are going down, the Supply/Demand balance could take on a number of unpleasant surprises and we might not see prices like these again. As the most low-maintenance way to get some batteries charged pretty much every day.. a very modest PV system could start you on the road to energy independence, while also offering you a daily supply of emergency power. I can do more to solve food, insulation, watersupply, even hydro/windpower and solar-heat projects with materials that are available locally.. but there's not much I can do as a substitute for a PV panel. I can't make one of those myself.(Though I've heard that Green LED's will produce some voltage in the sun, in a pinch) I feel a bit more secure knowing I have some 250 watts of PV handy. It's portable and durable.. palletable but not palatable.. alas.

Reduced production cost does not guarantee a retail price drop, or that we'll be in any position to buy anything this fancy if the bigger energy picture has deteriorated around us, along with the dollar.

Best all the same!
Bob Fiske

I did invest in a metal roof last year and have almost paid that off so I'm not too worried about shading...I do have large trees but I do not think they will affect the PV effeciency.

Plenty of crude around, that's why the price drop. Between 1979 and 1983 as a result of the price spike of the late 1970s there was an 11.2% (6.5 million b/d) decline in worldwide crude consumption. This price shock not as bad, but appears more sustained. And much more technology out there now. Bio-fuels coming on, and are mandated to make up 20 percent of Europe's diesel consumption within 15 years. India doing the same thing. Even the USA might o something.
Meanwhile, the worldwide marginal cost of lifting a barrel of oil is probably around $5, It was $3.57 a barrel back in 2003, according to EIA.
There may be "peak oil" for the light sweet stuff, but even that is a maybe in the next 30 years. But there is gobs of heavy stuff.
And do not forget demand. With plug-in hybrids on the horizon, the real story may be "peak demand" not "peak supply."
In fact, I think there may be a terrific argument that we have reached "peak demand" and i would love to see a msartie out there begin to flesh out this point.

I have tried so hard to ignore you and I know I am going to regret this.....

How much do you get paid, and by whom, to spout this repetitive garbage?

Or are you really so stupid as to believe what you write?

In fact, I think there may be a terrific argument that we have reached "peak demand" and i would love to see a msartie out there begin to flesh out this point.

Yeah baby, now we're talkin! Cuz if everybody else consumes less, then I can Consume More!! Ben Cole, you seem to be a msartie, maybe you can "flesh out this point" for us. Are you my new champion?

Latest on the "import crisis" from the EIA:

  • 4 week averages up 3.5%
  • YTD daily averages up 0.1%

Both numbers are for crude + product imports, 2007 v 2006.


Published on 18 Nov 2006 by Wall St Journal. Archived on 23 Nov 2006.
As Fuel Prices Soar, A Country Unravels

by Chip Cummins

Conakry, Guinea

The impact of today's energy crunch on the poor is plain in rich nations such as America: Expensive gasoline and soaring heating bills make a hard life harder. In impoverished countries such as Guinea, where per capita income is just $370 a year and surging gasoline prices have helped spark bloody riots, the energy shock has become a matter of life and death.

As I warned over a year ago, we are clearly seeing lower crude oil exports worldwide, and the steep increase in Brent crude oil after 5/05 (presently about 75% above the average in the 20 months prior to 5/05) was necessary to balance reduced production and exports against demand.

Whether one region is currently in a crisis mode is largely a function of income. I always find it interesting that many Westerners are utterly indifferent to deaths, because of a lack of energy in poorer countries, as long as we can still get gasoline for our vehicles.

Presently, it does appear that the US is having difficulty in getting enough gasoline imports to meet current demand. Since we have had a negative Personal Saving Rate since 5/05, I am not optimistic about our ability to outbid China and the EU for declining crude and petroleum product exports, especially with a declining dollar.

Yes, and we euoropeans with ouer gasoline taxes could lower the taxes, and have no pain by the pump, and easily take higher oilpricis. Thereby outbidding the americans, who are whining already about high gasoline pricis. LOL

So you americans do really have only the military option to grab the oil.

Yeah, and then our famous social programs unravel even if we weren't in deficit in primary and manufacturing. It just takes one more budget cycle to show.

First we had 'Global Warming'. Now it has been euphemized to 'Climate Change'. What we actually have is Global Lack of Thermal Reradiation', but that's a hard sell.

I see the denier camp latching on to whatever chinks they can find in the science and also making assumptions which redefine the questions. Regardless of what they may say, current observations are pretty solid that we have reduced the capacity to reradiate heat back out into space. For some nincompoop to observe that maximum temperatures haven't changed significantly is missing the point; they don't have to. All that is required to alter a climate is to raise the minima.

Rather than cite and analyze the daily maxima as evidence, we must consider both temperature and time. If the minimum is higher, then probably the maximum will be achieved earlier in the day and maintained longer. In the same manner that a cloudy overnight period will often result in a sooner but not higher following day's maximum, the thermal blanket of carbon is not expected to raise daily highs much in areas that are temperate to tropical. To cite such evidence as debunking GW is assuming that such an increase was ever expected by the scientific community. Unless we integrate temperature over time, the statistic is bogus. After all, it is temperature over time that freezes or thaws things.

Global Lack of Cooling or GLC would be a better acronym, but an acronym - like a belief system - has become entrenched. I'm astounded at the change that I have seen in arctic minima in the last half century. Up there it is 'the overnight' for several months at a stretch, as the sun barely rises, if at all. It will always be -40 at the pole in winter, but that used to go all the way to Montana in January. Last winter I had to look all the way up to Ellesmere for temps like that and Alaska barely got a week of it from what I saw. The fact that a weird loop in the jetstream managed to freeze some oranges in California is irrelevant. There are no glaciers at risk in Socal.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation or CBC has done several shows on the communities in the Canadian arctic, and the PEOPLE WHO LIVE THERE are having a hard time adjusting. These folks aren't funded to take a particular tack; they are just hunter gatherers who, well, live there.

You can have any belief system you like and expound at length as you will, but I'll take the word of the people living there. Unwitting reporters in the field.

Last summer I seem to recall a 'heat wave' on the Mackenzie delta, with highs of 28C or mid eighties. It's a treat to beat your feet on the Mackenzie mud, as a paraphrase of the old song. Air conditioners were considered for the first time. I suppose I should be documenting this sort of stuff, but the gist of what I'm saying is that some bozo spouting off about historical maximum temperatures in Philadelphia not only misses the point but the location. However, for the vast majority it sounds pretty credible. It just isn't relevant to the problem.

Global average temperatures are regularly cited, even by Al Gore, but does Greenland give a crap how cold/warm it is in St Louis? By averaging in the much larger non polar areas we have managed to dilute the really relevant data. This is like the canary in the coal mine being caged with a bunch of crows.

From an atmospheric POV, the really relevant data are to be found at high latitudes and altitudes. The rest is just dilution and noise. From what I have seen, the evidence of higher snowlines and icelines is all we need to know. That seems to be conclusive from Chile to the Himalayas to Alaska. Observation trumps belief.

It appears as though the ice cover on the arctic ocean is about normal in extent this year. See, no GW. But how thick is it? Just because a lake is frozen doesn't mean you can drive over it. Temperature over time. Area times thickness is volume. What's the volume of ice this past winter? I don't know, but the annual ice road in Manitoba had to be relocated further north due to lack of, well, cooling. Lack of cold in Manitoba is past odd.

Global Lack of Cooling; nah, it'll never sell.

All good points. It should also be pointed out that it takes a lot more heat to get from -1C to +1C than it does to get from +1C to +2C, because it takes a lot of heat to change H2O from solid (ice) to liquid phase. The reason that we are not seeing even higher atmospheric temps right now is that the extra heat is going into melting polar and glacial ice. That ice operates as a sink buffering global temperature variations. Once it is gone, the temps will soar.

It should also be pointed out that it takes a lot more heat to get from -1C to +1C than it does to get from +1C to +2C, because it takes a lot of heat to change H2O from solid (ice) to liquid phase. The reason that we are not seeing even higher atmospheric temps right now is that the extra heat is going into melting polar and glacial ice.

But of course. The former is a 2 degree change while the latter is only a 1 degree change. I know that is not what you meant and your point is well taken. The ice acts as a heat sinc and absorbs heat as it melts, this keeps global warming from soaring. But once the ice is gone, or more accurately, the less ice there is to melt, the faster global warming will happen. And this is still the case even though the average temperature is well above the freezing point. It is a kind of positive feedback, as the ice disappears the warming air temperature warms at a faster rate.

Ron Patterson

Dont forget the loss of Albedo. Which in turn may lead to a loss of libido in the 6 billion clever monkeys...

There are now 7 billion clever monkeys. We just passed that threshold recently.

No we did not.
6.7 billion is a fair estimate

Not all 7 billion homo sapians are "clever monkeys". GWB comes to mind ...

Best Hopes for not slandering our simian cousins,


And in honour of all 7 billion, a limerick:

The was a young woman called Gaia
Her temperature soared ever higher
She lost her Albedo
It killed her libido
And the fate of children went dire.

7 billion! Wow! There will be massive ammounts of skeletal fossil remains to dig up in a few million years. For all our cleverness we will be quite common...:-/

The ice acts as a heat sinc and absorbs heat as it melts, this keeps global warming from soaring. But once the ice is gone, or more accurately, the less ice there is to melt, the faster global warming will happen.

I have heard this one before, and it is a myth. Sea ice in fact acts as an insulator, and it's role is more complex than you describe. The climate models already account for latent heat of the ice, so there will be no surprise over and above existing predictions.

The volume of ice is tiny compared to the volume of ocean and atmosphere, so any latent heat effect is insignificant overall.

Not sure where you heard that sea ice is greater in volume than fresh water ice but your assumption can't be correct.
The percentage of ice that is salt water (sea ice) is quite small compared to freshwater ice when GW is mentioned. The sea ice in the Arctic is not very thick (two to five meters) although it covers a large area in the winter. The ice covering Greenland is very thick (up to 1000 meters thick) and covers tens of thousands of square kilometers. So as this huge heat sink melts it absorbs a lot of heat (latent heat or enthalpy in thermodynamic terms). Same is true for Antarctica, except the fresh water ice covers about five million square kilometers.

The decline of sea ice will have the detrimental effect of causing polar water temps to climb in the summer as the exposed water absorbs the sun's energy instead of having it reflected by sea ice. Arctic ocean temps can rise in summer, then when ice forms in the winter the water will retain more of its warmth as the ice does act as an insulator.

Ok, you missed the point too, and also misread what I said.

The ice covering Greenland is very thick (up to 1000 meters thick) and covers tens of thousands of square kilometers. So as this huge heat sink melts it absorbs a lot of heat (latent heat or enthalpy in thermodynamic terms).

Even if you take all of the world's glaciers and polar ice caps combined, they still add up to 1.74% of the Earth's water. 96.5% of the world's water is in liquid form in the world's oceans. Thefore, the ice covering Greenland is not a "huge heatsink", it's a tiny heatsink.

Also, you and others seem to suggest that the warming first melts all the ice, then starts heating the water, which is absurd.

As you correctly say, sea ice is important for its albedo effect, but in terms of heatsink effect, polar caps and glaciers are insignificant. In fact, the "huge heatsink" is the oceans.

Regarding the article Pentagon study says oil reliance strains military, I get some hope from this article that our military will run out of fuel and, in the process, be unable to bully the rest of the world indefinitely.

Ensuring access to dwindling oil supplies also carries a big price tag. The United States, relying largely on military patrols, spends an average of $44 billion per year safeguarding oil supplies in the Persian Gulf. And the United States is often dependent on some of the same countries that pose the greatest threats to US interests.

I like how the word "safeguarding" is used above. Kind of like the school bully who "safeguards" his candy money by stealing lunch money from others.

The empire is fading...

Tom A-B

I guess that the concept of EROEI also applies to the use of militaries by empires to extract energy resources.

Be careful what you wish for. In any country, the military is always the last to run out of fuel.

U.S. oil production dropping.

Looking at the US weekly oil production numbers, the four week running average, reached a post Katrina high of 5,362,000 barrels per day the first week in January. Since then they, (the four week running average), have been falling a little each week and the current four week average stands at 5,130,000 barrels per day or 232,000 barrels per day below their peak in January.

This has been happening without any major outages, to my knowledge anyway. In June of 2005, before Katrina, Rita and Dennis, the four week average stood at 5,534,000 barrels per day. So since then we have dropped just over 400,000 barrels per day.

Production for the week ending April 27th was 5,089,000 barrels per day.

Ron Patterson

I guess we would need to check a HL plot to see where it should be.

I would gather that is should be falling at some rate(far post peak), but what rate is the question?

Anyone got a US HL plot handy? WT?

The Lower 48 has had a long term decline rate of about 2% per year since peaking in 1970, the overall US decline rate has been a little lower, probably around 1.8% per year.

The key problem is our expectation of a continued exponential increase in total petroleum (crude + product) imports, as our domestic crude oil production declines and as our product consumption, on average, increases each year: http://www.theoildrum.com/uploads/28/Data_4weeks.png

So we should be off by about 200,000(1.8%x2yrs) barrels, so the 400,000 is a bit odd.

Tanks full in Cushing.Prob some WTI shut in.Also,Alaska had some maint.

THEM/THEY are pushing for the the next stage of
"total world domination"

i stole this from another forum so sue me.

April 30 --The May/June 2007 edition of the New York Council on Foreign Relations' journal, {Foreign Affairs}, has published an open call for the end of sovereign nation-state control over currency. In a signed article by Benn Steil, Director of International Economics at the CFR, titled "The End of National Currency," the Council, in effect, endorsed the end of economic sovereignty and demanded the total capitulation of all nations, rich and poor, to unbridled globalization.

In the essay, Steil argued that the solution to currency crises "is not to return to a mythical past of monetary sovereignty, with governments controlling local interest and exchange rates in blissful ignorance of the rest of the world.

Governments must let go of the fatal notion that nationhood requires them to make and control the money used in their territory. National currencies and global markets simply do not mix; together they make a deadly brew of currency crises and geopolitical tension and create ready pretexts for damaging protectionism. In order to globalize safely, countries should abandon monetary nationalism and abolish unwanted currencies, the source of much of today's instability."

If there was any doubt that Steil was calling for a new form of super-imperial domination in a post-Westphalia, post-sovereign nation-state utopian world, he made that point clear, by citing the late 19th century period, leading into World War I, as the high point of earlier globalization--precisely the period when the British Empire was at its apex.

"The lessons of gold-based globalization in the nineteenth century simply must be relearned," Steil wrote, "....Since economic development outside the process of globalization is no longer possible, countries should abandon monetary nationalism. Governments should replace national currencies with the dollar or the euro, or, in the case of Asia, collaborate to produce a new multinational currency over a comparably large and economically diversified area.... Most of the world's smaller and poorer countries would clearly be best off unilaterally adopting the dollar or the euro, which would enable their safe and rapid integration into global financial markets. Latin American countries should dollarize; eastern European countries and Turkey, euroize."

Steil's final warning: If governments, including the United States fail to take his advice, "the market may privatize money on its own."

Translation: "Quick! The dollar is falling! If we don't tie in the rest of the world ASAP, then we're SOL!"

As the price of oil continues to rise, the dollar will fall, and so will our actions have less to do with the rest of the world.

ELP is the antithesis of the push for globalization of fiat monetary units, with what you receive being a product of what you've actually generated. (I see trade being a bigger thing in the future as opposed to pay in dollars. I'll fix your bicycle if you give me a box of potatoes.)

As far as I'm concerned, the CFR can get bent. Part of that Iron Triangle and all. ;)

As I recall the lesson of the Victorian Age was:

the world was forcibly herded into multi-ethnic empires, each ruled by one stable gold-based currency that caused such brutal deflations during the down end of the economic cycle that the poor turned to Marxism and anarchism to plot revenge, forcing the rich to crank up a propaganda machine of imperialism, racism and militarism to keep the poor in line. So the real power of voters in democracies was stolen by the fatcats, nationalism got worse, the remaining non-white lands were targeted in increasing frenzy and hostility, and tabloid news did the bidding of big arms merchants in fabricating foreign "threats" to justify the weapons used for resource imperialism. Then in 1914 there was one wrong move.

Compare and contrast.

"the market may privatize money on its own."

What does that mean? Increased amounts of local currencies?

Most of the world's smaller and poorer countries would clearly be best off unilaterally adopting the dollar or the euro, which would enable their safe and rapid integration into global financial markets.

Swampland in Florida and bribes to DOJ/DHS apparats is sold only in dollars or euros, I guess.

cfm in Gray, ME

Homosexuality is not a "peak oil" issue, of course, but the chief executive of a major international oil company lying in court is. If this, what else? Prudhoe Bay?

From today's Peak Oil News, available as a download at ASPO-USA after a login -- I'm trying to change that -- Dave.

Browne Quits BP After Lying to Court
By Ed Crooks, Carola Hoyos and Nikki Tait
Financial Times
May 1 2007 15:37
The career of one of the world’s most respected business leaders crashed to an ignominious end on Tuesday as Lord Browne, chief executive of BP, resigned immediately after revelations that he had lied to a high court judge. Court documents released on Tuesday showed Lord Browne admitted he lied about how he met Jeff Chevalier, his lover from 2002 to 2006, as he sought an injunction to stop a UK tabloid newspaper printing his former lover’s allegations of improper business conduct and details of their relationship. Lord Browne’s once-stellar reputation had already been sullied by a fatal explosion at the Texas City refinery and other safety problems in BP’s North American operation. But the manner of his departure was described by Peter Sutherland, his chairman, as a tragedy for a man who had done so much to build the company.

Lord Browne of Maddingly

There are all sorts of links. Do a Google New search for "Browne+BP+Chevalier"

BP Chief Quits in Rent Boy Scandal -- You just gotta love the British press sometimes. Sic 'em, Boys. Let the innuendo begin!

And Thunderhorse is still not on stream.

Where will they be able find another Leprechaun to replace this guy?

Is it just me or does this guy kinda look like GWB?

I think too, maybe the smile is different though..

It has beeen noted many times that the UK has the best and the worst press in the world.

Basically... if you are not linking to one of the serious "broadsheet" newspapers (Times, Telegraph, Independent, Guardian, FT)... don't bother.

For U.S. TODers here is a famous old guide to the British press...

The Times is read by the people who run the country.
The Mirror is read by the people who think they run the country.
The Guardian is read by the people who think they ought to run the country.
The Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country.
The Financial Times is read by the people who own the country.
The Daily Express is read by the people who think the country ought to be run as it used to be.
The Daily Telegraph is read by the people who still think it is.
The Sun is read by the people who don't care who runs the bloody country as long as she's got big tits.

Thanks for the tip. I'm a "US" guy who likes to read the Guardian. What about the Independent?

Lies over gay liaison sink BP's top executive

John Browne, the visionary head of one of the world's largest oil companies, abruptly resigned Tuesday after a British judge found that he had lied in court during a battle to keep secret the details of a four-year love affair with a young Canadian man.

After the liaison ended last year, his 27-year-old lover, Jeff Chevalier, issued a “thinly veiled threat” against Lord Browne that he would embarrass the BP PLC boss, according to a court ruling released yesterday. Mr. Chevalier had made allegations in court that the chief executive had used BP money to support him and his business interests, and also shared company secrets.

A lovely story.

Moral- Never put it too somebody who has less too lose than you or as Chevalier knows always boink upstream.

Gasoline Shortages In Iowa

DES MOINES, IA - A shortage in the supply of unleaded gasoline has caused certain terminals in Iowa to run out of gas Tuesday.

That's according to Bruce Heine of Magellan Midstream Partners. He says terminals in Iowa City and Fort Dodge had no unleaded gas Tuesday.

Magellan has an 8,500 mile refined petroleum pipeline system including 47 terminals, with eight in Iowa. Heine says larger volume terminals in Des Moines, Mason City, Omaha and Kansas City will have fuel, so truckers may have to drive farther to get fuel to supply gas stations.

Heine says the scenario is, "simply one where supply is not meeting demand."

Dawn Carlson is with the nonprofit trade group Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa. She attributes the problem in part to last Friday's fire and explosion at a refinery in Oklahoma. She also says demand is much higher now than it was a year ago.

More of this come across the US? Who was it who said... "Wash, Rinse and Repeat..."?


Ya...wasn't too long ago I remember reading about shortages at Denver filling stations due to Oklahoma refinery issues?


As the Law of Receding Horizons stipulates, the reality of oil sands exploration is starkly different from what it's assumed to be. The article below suggests that eventually only the big oil companies will be left to compete in Alberta.

Really? The problem is quite clear: costs are rising faster than rates of return on investment. Big Oil may add some resilience and efficiency, and be able to borrow capital at slightly lower cost, but that's all the advantages they have.

There is no indication that the rise in costs will come to a halt, or that Big Oil would be exempt from it. In fact, the rise seems to accelerate. The Synenco upgrader cost more than tripled in less than 2 years. And there's no reason to assume it's an isolated incident.

Moreover, there are strong indications that interest rates will move higher, and various levels of Canadian government will demand more in tax revenue, as well as more protection of air, land and water (which will cost real money).

Why do Statoil and Shell, among others, still decide to sink billions into the tar? Simple: they have lots of capital, and no other reserves left. It's the ultimate gamble for the industry. If they can't make this work, they're history.

The oil sands prospects are fast moving beyond any and all horizons.

Oilsands project shelved

Costs on the rise; Synenco drops proposal, may put itself up for sale

Synenco Energy Inc. is shelving its $10.7-billion integrated oilsands project to search for a less-expensive development strategy, a process that could see the company sold outright.

It is the strongest signal yet the Canadian oilsands sector, plagued by rising costs and growing risk, may be too much for anyone but the world's oil majors to work in.

Synenco, which turned public only 20 months ago, yesterday said it is halting engineering and design work on the downstream portion of its Northern Lights project, an upgrader the company now estimates would cost $6.3-billion, more than triple the estimated 2005 capital cost of $1.9-billion.

Calgary-based Synenco "retracted" a 2011 start-up date for the project's mine north of Fort McMurray and said construction at the site will not begin next year as planned.

Todd Newton, president and chief operating officer, said the entire project's internal rates of return of between 8.5% and 9.5% are below what Synenco's board and management believe it will cost to take on debt or raise equity to finance construction.

In other words, said one analyst, "if your cost of capital is 10% and your rate of return is 9.5%, then you're destroying value by investing."

Congrats to Baard Energy.

In case one missed it from the Vancouver WA story above, Baard Energy is proposing to build a $4 Billion (yup that's a 'B') coal/biomass gasification plant to produce 35,000-50,000 barrels of synthetic/biofuels per day.

There were some errors in the RedOrbit write up -annual feedstock tonnage for instance- but just the same... a step in the right direction if not proof positive that we now live in a post-peak world.

My one weekly post follows. I only spend enough time here to get a general drift of what the topic writers have to say and a fast browse of some Drumbeats on ocassion.

First country news. The red oaks are not doing well. They still are not putting out any new leaves that I can observe. Perhaps they will but driving around the countryside they appear to be lifeless. The April 6,7,8,9 deadly freeze blew away our wheat crops and just beat the living hell out of some trees. The paulownias are looking decimated such that I cut my 20 footer down rather than see it struggle so pitifully. The pecans show no new leaves. Its not pretty.
My 150 yr old white oak is in full foliage. A miracle. The 25 ft high ones I planted myself from it are as well but all round the red oaks look bad.

Not a single honeybee to be found. Not on blooming blackberries, not on blooming clover. Its like they never existed here. The bumblebees are nonexistant as well.

The squirrels and turkeys and other mast foragers will likely just lower their heads and walk off into death at the end of the path. How they will winter over if any survive is beyond me. All the young squirrels which were running all over the blacktops appear to be disappearing as well. What the hell can they eat?

My last observation to those who are praying for big gas/fuel prices here. Why do you moan and whine about the chaos in 3rd world countries and wring your hands over it all? Like the corn prices in Mexico say?

Then have the audacity to want to wish it on your fellow countrymen? With glee you apparently wish to see many who are on fixed incomes began to starve and die off earlier than need be.

Shame on you. Your ego and misplaced attitudes are obvious.

Therefore may doom and chaos visit you in your nice suburban enclave with your six figure salaries. May you die while quaffing cake and giggling at Oprah.

Ignorant asswipes.

People sacrifice out here in the netherlands and on low wages so you can waddle about with your fat asses and grievous attitudes. You are the ones who have brought this upon us.

Its currently $3 already. You will get you wishes for $4 shortly. What comes after it all starts you will not find pleasant. If your penning your wishes from another country? Please remain there.


Airdale: Your handle is an insult to the intelligence of that particular canine breed.

No, it's not.

Airdale is a rare voice on this forum who's grounded in real life, and everyone here should handle him with a lot more respect than your dumb voice just gave him.

HeIs: Have fun hunting rabbits with Elmer Fudd.

His act is getting tiresome, though. Everyone but good country folks are fat and lazy, and the only reason any of us are alive is because of good country folk like him. When TSHTF, it will be the good country folk who will have the survival skills that the rest of us will wish we had. And these good folk simply can't deal with higher gas prices right now, but boy when peak oil hits, they are going to be just fine. Wait and see. Just don't raise prices right now, because that would be a hardship. I have pointed out this contradiction to him before. And don't dare criticize America. We aren't doing anything wrong. The rest of the world would do well to adopt our policy on cheap energy, says me. That way Airdale could find out how well his Peak Oil scenarios would play out much sooner than he otherwise might.

I think the whole song and dance is pretty pretentious. My family - in fact my entire extended family - is made up of good country folk. I myself grew up on a farm. And I can tell you that these people are not self-sufficient. They owe plenty to people who work in other industries, and they will be in the same boat as the rest of us when the gas starts to run low. There will be advantages to having land and being able to grow your own food, but it is a small minority of country folk who are self-sufficient. In fact, pull their fossil fuel usage out from under them and Airdale will quickly come to realize just how dependent the good country folk are on the good ole petroleum industry.


Calling it an act is not too useful, I think. There's people who would accuse you of the same, and you don't think of yourself in those terms (neither do I).

Airdale has his view of the world, and I'm not saying it's perfect. He is what he is, and sees what he sees. And a lot of people here could learn a lot from him. That an older gentleman has views that are somewhat unmoveable, and different from 20-year olds, it comes with the territory. Most of all, though, respect comes with the territory. When Airdale tries to share his views here, and gets shouted down by people much younger than him, that's already crossing a few lines of good behavior.

I greatly value his and Todd's impact and input, and what I find way more tiresome, for instance, are the endless postings about more efficient future cars of whatever kind, and all other vacuous techno-fix.

At least Airdale has a pretty accurate idea of what's looming, even if he expresses it in ways that don't necessarily please everyone. And yes, he sees no need to speed up the downward move. I understand that too, even though I doubt it can be slowed down. He would like to have a bit more peace and quiet, and I hope it will be granted to him. And the rest of us. But neither Airdale nor me think it will.

Calling it an act is not too useful, I think.

I don't mean "act" in that I think he is pretending. I recognize that he is sincere. That's the problem. But I should have said "shtick" instead of act.

While I value his contributions when he is telling us about rural life from his perspective, I do not value the constant stereotyping. I do not value things like "I don't much care for the Japanese" and referring to Muslims as "Islamic trash." I have 4 Muslims currently working for me. Three of them are from Iran. They are very educated, and hard-working people. I won't see them denigrated in this way.

He even stereotyped me in his reply below. He doesn't know a thing about the circumstances in which I grew up, but that didn't stop him from suggesting the people he knows have it so much worse:

This is the outback. Not the nice clean hands like Robert talks of. Cocks crowing in the dawn,another happy day on the ranch...all a big crock.

I must say that the man has never been to Southeastern Oklahoma. It is one of the poorest areas in one of the poorest states in the country. This is where I grew up, in a farmhouse that has since fallen down because it was old to begin with. We were dirt-poor, and my clothes were homemade. Except for my jeans, which were patched and repatched until they were nothing but patches. Do you know what I thought a nice restaurant was when I was growing up? Long John Silver's. I am dead serious. But this sort of life was apparently luxurious next to the "real people of the earth" of which Airdale speaks.

I must confess that I also used to have that “Country Boy Can Survive” mentality. Until I was 15, and had to have medicine for strep throat. It wasn’t a country boy who made that medicine, and strep throat can kill people who can’t get medicine. Furthermore, the vehicle that Airdale surely drives was not made by a country boy. The fuel in his vehicle wasn’t. He needs to realize that others have survival skills too. Some of those “city slickers” he loves to denigrate make the medicine that keeps people alive into old age. And while he may not value those survival skills, he is dependent upon them regardless.

The irony of the situation – in which these country people have all of these survival skills yet can’t cope with more expensive gasoline – seems to be completely lost on him. He would apparently rather see the sort of unpredictable and uncontrolled rise that we are seeing now, rather than a planned rise in which people have time to adapt. Europeans pay over twice what we do for gasoline. They aren’t dying off. Why? Because they have adapted. It is no coincidence that they use half the energy that we use in the U.S. Airdale’s philosophy of keeping prices low is going to end up harming far more people in the long term.

Finally, I love my country as well. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be ashamed of certain aspects. I bet you have been angry or ashamed at someone you love. I think the world can learn a lot from the U.S. But what Airdale can’t appreciate is that the U.S. can also learn a lot from the world.

If you boil acorns you get the tannic acid out of them and might be able to make something out of acorn flour like porridge. I think people would rather have survival skills of living on irrigated wheat bread, hot house tomato, with poultry barn raised chicken sandwiches.

The U.S. got 1/10 of 1 percent electricity from windpower.

I did not see any solar panels on people's roofs after many miles of driving.

Who could get windmill permits to build windmills on federal lands and give the federal government royalties? I do not believe we have such a program yet.

Tidal power generation was attempted by Portugal. It is not yet harnessed in this area.

Where are you going to build a dam?


Alaska yet had dam sites open, but public opinion shifted away from hydroelectric power. It is yet the form of electric energy with the cheapest operating costs.

I reckon Airdale doesnt quite understand why we wish to see higher fuel prices. Its not that we want our fellow Americans to suffer, we just want them to be brought back down to Earth before they are violently thrown down.

Im an Iowan, born and raised. So needless to say I am a country boy. Before I moved to the LA area I was completely oblivious to how things worked in the big cities of our country. Now I have seen for myself what the problem is. I think you only really notice when you have moved from big city to country or vice versa. My girlfriend had completely written off PO before she came out here. Now she is always on the phone trying to convince her friends and family that things cannot continue as they are. Of course, they refuse to believe her, just like my F&F refuse to believe me.

If all youve known are corn fields then you cant fully understand what is happening around the world.

And traveling around the world back in the 50s or 60s doesnt count either. Things have changed alot since then.

Every time anyone proposes a scheme to conserve anything that involves higher prices through taxation or otherwise, there is always the objection that this will hurt the poor. The location of the poor is irrelevant, it is always the poor. More often than not, those who are complaining about the impact on the poor are not poor and have no intention of sharing any of their wealth with the poor through higher taxes or otherwise.

Well, yes, it is obvious that higher prices will hurt the poor. Therefore, what? That we do nothing? That seems to be the logical conclusion. Let us do nothing and wait until the weight of mass shortages and even higher prices come down on our heads whether we engineer them or not. Let us wait until the planet heats up beyond recognition or bearability. Where will the poor be then? They will still be up shit creek and will have a lot more company.

This isn't a diatribe against the poor. It is a diatribe against those who wish to do nothing, using the poor as the excuse.

Well, let us address this directly. The problem with the poor is their lack of money. Obvious, but true. If the poor are going to be seriously impacted by higher prices, let us give them money to handle those higher prices. But let us also help prepare them for those higher prices by providing things lke insulation assistance. If they have gas guzzling trucks to commute 50 miles to work, let us help them get fuel efficient autos. Let us also do things like support solar energy for the poor people on the reservations of Montana, which I have done, and which makes a nice Christmas present. Further, after all is said and done, let us provide them energy vouchers so that they can get the energy they need. Let's make those vouchers transferable so that they can make money off them if they find a way not to have to use them. Let's also create a society where income is more equally distributed. Object to that? Ok, let's keep the poor poor and then complain about how onerous higher gas taxes are.

In the mean time, let us have policies that encourage people to make choices where they will be in a better position to endure higher prices.

If the poor is what is holding up a change in energy policy, don't we have the collective intelligence to address that problem? This problem is too important to have the poor or the rich keep us from solving it.

You make a very good point, it reminds me when we were told of the need for genetic engineering of crops, to help feed the world's hungry. Why didn't Monsanto just donate a few shiploads of grain to the needy, instead of waiting to perfect terminator technology? How many people starved to death in the interim?


I think what Airdale is expressing is more frustration and exaspiration with MSP (Mainstream People) than pretension. I, too, live in the boondocks and know how he feels. A local buddy and I talk on the phone most mornings about the state of the world and what's going on locally. The reality is that there isn't really any good news. Even the local sustainability committee (I'm in the town north of Jason Bradford's.) isn't doing well and slowly dying.

I personally believe that Airdale is a survivor with skills and I would welcome him as a neighbor and friend. That is more than I can say about many other posters here; not because they might not be good people but rather because when it all comes down there won't be time to teach people everything they need to know.

This book was online but I don't know if it still is. I think it exemplifies how many of us plan to get by. The title is Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and With (almost) No Money by Dolly Freed. http://www.f4.ca/text/possumliving.htm

I believe Airdale would agree with its suggestions.

Finally, I can live reasonably with a loss of FF. It would be anything but fun. But, I'm willing to bet that Airdale and I get by,

Todd; a Realist

I personally believe that Airdale is a survivor with skills and I would welcome him as a neighbor and friend

Thanks Todd, that's all I'm trying to say. That and respect.

I personally believe that Airdale is a survivor with skills and I would welcome him as a neighbor and friend

Is that because his survival plan is to shoot anyone he doesn't know personally?

That *IS* the logical outcome of a 'go into the woods and forage response', is it not?

That and respect.

If he can't defend his positions, he should just 'be respected'?

Does he deserve 'respect' when he makes a post with the same theme for 3 days, then when someone else makes a similar point he points out 'I've been saying that for 3 days' like he's looking for kudos, a pat on the back, warm fuzzies...whatever "we" were supposed to do to make him feel his posts over the last 3 days were 'somehow worthwhile'?

People who can 'show their work' and defend a position are who 'deserve respect'. If they can change minds, they 'deserve respect' in an electronic forum.

Posting about 'how I'm old, and seen a lot' (appeal to authority) or how 'I had such a high level clearance the name of the level is secret' (authority appeal again) is worthy of pity, not respect.

Posts about the local crops are an interesting datum point. but if that is all it takes to be impressed, the whole InterNet must just knock your socks off.

He deserves a lot more respect than you do for not saying anything, not contributing anything and not being anything.. Tony.

He's a man. You?

That text is still online. I can't possibly read it thoroughly before this thread goes even more stale, but I already see one little problem. I seriously doubt that that sort of survivalism is scalable. For one thing, every edible wild plant and animal in North America would be extinct in a season, if any large fraction of 330 million people tried to seriously supplement their diets by foraging. And for another, if it came to the point where a large number of people had no other option, any already-existing farmettes of the sort described would be overrun in short order. As in Zimbabwe, the hoodlums would just keep coming and coming and coming until hardly any food was left growing - and the hoodlums are a hell of a lot less teachable than ordinary ignorant folks.

So I do think that Airdale's seeming apotheosis of rural folks is off-base (although that sort of thinking does seem to drive city Congresscritters to vote farm subsidies that somehow manage, at immense cost, mostly to fail to do much for plain ordinary rural folks.) RR is absolutely right that the interdependence works both ways; I think following the text would reduce its magnitude but would not even begin to break it. In Western countries, anything resembling a true autarky ceased to exist centuries ago, and will be unrecoverable at anything like current population densities.

OTOH, I see nothing wrong with an occasional report from the country, since "biofuels" have conspired to make it on-topic. So having chided Airdale, I'll leave off because (1) even though there's not a farm-boy bone in my body, I, too, know folks who feel somewhat as he does, and (2) I do think that those who write as though they want to accelerate fast doom (by ultra high prices, horrendous artificial shortages, or other means) need to think again.

The consequences would be horrendous; and then there is the sheer mad arrogance of acting in a murderously Draconian manner, on no more basis than the mere assertion by a motley assortment of sensationalizing yellow (quasi-) journalists that a Mad Max scenario is inevitable. Most of all, there is the sheer arrogance of a few twenty-somethings who apparently think their vast experience of life has already taught them all there is to know.

I'm not on the same drugs that you are, so I feel obliged to ask you: what did you chide Airdale for, exactly?

" every edible wild plant and animal in North America would be extinct in a season"

Where did he ever mention anything remotely like that?

What drugs are those?

Please sir this bit about "tiresome act" is a bit much. You no doubt work for a multi-national and from cubicle to corner office it is all about "act." Second paragraph spot on though, that I will say.

Airdale is a rare voice on this forum who's grounded in real life,

That would be how:
Hydrinos are real.
The only way to survive the upcoming world ending ruckus will be foraging in the woods, living off the land.
Soil erosion isn't a problem.

Feel free to provide backup to his 'voice' because when challenged, Airdale was not up to the task. Perhaps the 'county living' or maybe working with IBM frames makes it hard for him to find the words.

I'm a long way geographically from Airdale but the bee shortage is on my mind too. Our apple trees are in full blossom now. They smell heavenly but bees of all descriptions are scarce, even mason bees. Fruit futures, anyone?

Here in coastal S.E. Massachusetts spring is in bloom, but I too have not seen a single honeybee out and about in the flowers. Our fruit trees will soon be in blossom and if the area wild and domestic bees do not suddenly appear in the vast humming numbers that they have in all the prior years I will consider it another nail in our coffin. At this rate of sudden decline in all manner of wildness I'm figuring on Nature will have her revenge upon us too. I can readily live without oil and gas but once the birds and bees are gone, and they are going, what's the point of living in this dumpster we've made of creation. Bah humbug!

I'm in the Coast Range Mountains of northern CA. I had a couple of hives years and years ago but we couldn't keep the bears from destroying them. Last year a swarm of honey bees moved into a oak with a hollow spot on the corner of our garden and they are happy campers. My concern is that they are so happy that they will swarm this year.

Our weather was rotten when the fruit trees bloomed so we won't get much fruit but besides the honey bees, there were at least four other species of native bees working away.

I called a friend who is the head of the extension service in the county north of us today to see if any one was doing research on local wild honey bees or bee genetics. I thought they might be interested. Nope. In CA any interest is at UC, Davis, not local extension agents. Interesting.

Thanks to a few who do see it somewhat as I do. I am appending here on Todds reply..but it is not directed at him.

There is no need to chortle about the doom that is walking our way nor wish to speed it up any faster.

Sure hydrinos may be a fantasy but right now I will take any fantasy that can save our asses.

I don't care to hide out in the woods with a weapon so I can protect what I have spent the last 3 weeks putting into the ground but if necessary that is exactly what I will do.

I would love to have another year to checkout some PV panels,maybe a windpowered generator and all the rest.

So if you keep on pushing for chaos before its time? Then I have a bone to pick with you. Let it come on its on.

Maybe someone will pull something out of the hat. Maybe just several million will die off instead of all of us.

I live in the dirt land. The dirty place most of you all don't want to think about. I work with people,some who have bad teeth, just like the sterotypes on TV, Gomers, yet they work long dirty hard hours on dirty greasy equipment so food can be on your table while you bitch with a full mouth. They can't afford dentistry nor proper care for their children.

They can't afford $4 gas for then it takes two days of hard labor just to fill their gas tank. The 'shutins' are folks who barely get by on social security. They ask for very little and get very little. Only the church folks, whom most here seem to despise, offer them any solace or a bit of canned goods.

This is the outback. Not the nice clean hands like Robert talks of. Cocks crowing in the dawn,another happy day on the ranch...all a big crock.

The southwest is in an extreme drought. The wheat crops were blown out. No one out here is getting rich nor has a 'golden parachute'.

We do , most of us , know how to put something in the dirt and get something back at harvest time. Our ancestors lives are still in our memories.

I worked for 30 yrs at the biggest computer corp in the world as a field engineer. I have seen the elephant. It lived in my front living room. I hated the elephant. The elephant is now rogue and trampling everything down. I moved away from the elephants hangouts there in subburbia,,long long ago.

Its tough out here but we are the ones who stand the best chance of survival, maybe. You other city folk are in for a big shit sandwich.

All I am saying is lets not pray for it right now. The word is getting out. TOD is doing its part. Some here seem to want it right now. That I don't understand.

Airdale-just an opinion, you don't have to love me, you can do it your way and I will do it mine but pushing extreme gas prices in the face of those who can barely get by tells me reams about those others grasp of propriety and concern..

P.S. As someone said above...he wished he could love his country. Well I still love mine. I love the soil and nature. damn those who destroy it,,damn them

P.P.S. Back to stealth mode...I have made my rant

That was me talking about wanting to love this country, but finding it hard. Mostly, what I meant was how our country is seen in the eyes of the world right now. There are things to love about this country...just not the people leading it.

Thanks for the ground level report, airdale. The rant may not have been altogether necessary, but there ya go.

Here in the burbs of Austin, the privet and photinias are abuzz with bees. They look like regular honeybees to me, but given the location they are probably africanized. Woe to those bees if it's imidacloprid making them lose their way, because the landscaping around here is positively dripping with the stuff.

Our drought of the last couple years seems to be broken, it's raining most every day. Probably means another active storm year in the GoM.

The grass is up and the trees are green, we have live oaks here in addition to the deciduous oaks. The Easter sleet didn't do them much damage. However the little green oak-munching caterpillars that were so very common in April of past years were very few this year. Probably bad news for some bird species.

The family of squirrels that nest in the juniper tree outside our bedroom window is apparently back this year. I saw one of the adults carrying a mouthful of grass clippings into the nest. I leave pecans in the crotch of the juniper for them. The dogs get all excited whenever there's a canine sighting of one of the tree rodents.

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

The squirrels and turkeys and other mast foragers will likely just lower their heads and walk off into death at the end of the path. How they will winter over if any survive is beyond me.

And the oaks. Yes. Here in Maine, the eels, 2500 per pound, and because we had a late snow, the local fishermen want to extend the season - because of hardship - so they can sell them to japanese customers for as much as $400 a pound. If the baby eels avoid that, they can come back in a 30 years to get chopped up by the hydroelectric dams on the rivers that won't spend a pittance to keep the entire atlantic eel genera (?) going. Jobs, growth, prosperity.

cfm in Gray, ME

The World Is Saved!
P&G Going Green

All is well because Tide users will be using less packaging, Tide will become a more concentrated form of death. No mention of an earth friendly formulation, is this a joke?

Of course it's an earth friendly formulation. All the elements in the detergent were here on earth before they were in the Tide package. Conservation of matter and all that jazz...

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

this is post in reply to nate's last article, not a insult even though he did indirectly insult a good amount of people here.
in his last post he asserted that those with a pessimistic view are dumber
see here:

An optimistic outlook actually is neurochemically self-fulfilling. Optimism leads to increased frontal cortical activity which itself is a strong predictor of idea generation, positive emotion and overall liveliness of thought. Similarly, sadness is marked by decreased activity in the frontal cortex, which has the negative side affect of reducing the number of overall thoughts and ideas produced.

with no scientific papers on it backing it up.

and sickly

There are good neural explanations for being optimistic. Even if the pessimistic view may be the more accurate, the stress of incorporating the particular negativity into ones worldview releases a cascade of stress-activated hormones that can seriously compromise a persons health.(6) In addition, pessimism can lead to depression, which suppresses the normal functioning of important neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which in turn can lead to reduced physical activity, mood swings, and a number of other physical symptoms and diseases.

which his only proof is a single book that can be found here.

without the needed hard proof(ie: 2 or more peer reviewed scientific papers.)
he also overstates the placebo effect(giving numbers he doesn't really back it up and citing a site which it self says it's quackery) which is mainly only found in people who did not actually have the tested disorder or illness but believe they did.

he needs to more throughly research his postings and post a apology to the people here. also depending on what others here might think he should consider stepping down.

1)Andrew Newberg MD - Professor of Radiology and Psychiatry University of Pennsylvania - "Why We Believe What We Believe" pp73-74

2) In addition to Neuroscientist Robert Sapolskys book you linked "Why Zebras Dont Get Ulcers, he has many other books discussing this and closely related topics (A Primates Memoir, The Trouble with Testosterone, Munkeyluv, etc. He is considered one of the top neuroscientists in the world, especially on primate/human cogntion. Won distinguished Macarthur Genius award,etc. I highly recommend:
Biology and Human Behavior: The Neurological Origins of Individuality, 2nd Edition which is a Teaching Company CD or audiotape of Prof Sapolskys lectures

3)Sc Segerstrom,S.E. Taylor, M.E. Kemeny, and J.L.Fahey. 1998 "Optimisim is associated with mood, coping and immune changes in response to stress. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology" 74(6)1646:1655

4)J.C.Lai, P.D. Evans S.H. Ng, et al 2005. "Optimism, Positive affectivity and salivary cortisol. British Journal of Health Psychology 10 (Part 4): 467-484

5) Numerous papers by Antonio and Hannah D'Amasio

Based on some of the main tenets of my post, I don't expect these references will change your core 'beliefs'.

1. i never really trusted nero-science to begin with or psychology either. both base their diagnosis's with computer generated then tallied lists and both have repeatedly changed their base formula for illness and diagnosis of such. remember the famous British scandal after someone did a blind study of psyc ward's in daignosisng and treating people? I was diagnosed with a.d.h.d. by these quacks when i was a kid and stuck on clonidine and zoloft from that point onward. i have since gotten off the clonidine several years ago but am stuck on the zoloft. i have since learned that a.d.h.d. and a.d.d. are basically made up disorder's either by them or the computer system they made that made the checklists that they use to diagnose people with. To my knowledge there are no long term(read 15~ years of constant use) studys of health effects.

2. it did get you to post the actual proof, or at least the names of the papers to search for. Something you should of done from the beginning and /not/ just posting a link to a pop-culture quasi science book.

3. I still think your grossly over stating the effects to shore up your own belief which shines through what you write. that people with a 'pessimistic' view of the world are stupid and sickly. This is leaving alone the whole can of worms that you made by stating such when the definitions of 'pessimistic' and 'optimistic' can vary so widely. HINT every view posted on this site is seen as 'pesimistic' by the msm and the general populace. Does that mean your dumber and sicker then they are?

4. I do know the placebo effect exists, but your way over stating the effects. It only exists in people who do not have the illness their symptoms say they do but they think they have it, and people who have said illness's but are not experiencing the real symptoms yet but are traumatized by learning they have said illness that they 'think' they have the symptoms.

so to make a long story short i still want a apology for your insult please


Somehow I doubt an apology will be--or should be--forthcoming.

For TODers in Australia, the ABC's award winning science unit has produced a 90 minute documentary called "crude" that will be shown nationwide on ABC TV later this month.

You can see a RealPlayer trailer here, and PDF promotional flyer here.

There are snippets of interviews with Sadad al Husseini, Colin Campbell, Jeremy Leggett, Lord Oxburgh and Ken Deffeyes in the trailer.

If the last years's fabulous Peak Oil story by Four Corners is anything to go by, this should be well worth watching.

From the promotional flyer...

Crude – the incredible journey of oil. Where does it
come from? When will it run out? Where is it driving us?
This extraordinary documentary travels through time:
from the birth of oil deep in the dinosaur-inhabited past,
to its ascendancy as the indispensable ingredient of
modern life. Now, as we crest the peak of production,
Crude reveals a disturbing irony: the latest scientific
evidence suggests that our headlong rush to exploit the
remaining reserves will lead us down a dangerous road
to the future. A road the planet has travelled before...

This is a sweeping adventure into the dark mystery of oil
history. From the food on our tables to the fuel in our cars,
crude oil seeps invisibly into almost every part of our
modern lives. It may make the world go round but most of
us have little idea of the incredible 160 million year journey
it has made to reach our petrol tanks and plastic bags.

Crude helps us make sense of the oil-driven world we live in.
It joins the dots between geology and economy; between
the past, the present and the future. The Oil Age we now
take for granted began less than a century and a half ago
and could be over in our lifetimes. And nearly seven billion
have come to depend on it.

Crude takes a step back from the day-to-day news to
offer a fresh perspective on the amazing fluid that powers
our lives. In doing so, it casts a new light on the Earth’s
extraordinary Carbon Cycle and the role of oil in our
impending climate crisis. Could it be that every time we
tap into the energy genie of an oil reservoir we unleash
a climate demon from the distant past

P.S. I don't work for the ABC.

Saudi Aramco gives future oil supply warning in their 2006 Annual Review


“Taking the Initiative”

This is the first paragraph:

When we look at the global energy situation today, we find a convergence of a wide range of complex challenges. These include misperceptions about future adequacy of supply, underinvestment in oil infrastructure, a mismatch between refinery configurations and the types of crude in the market, increased demand for natural gas, the need for a well-trained and innovative workforce, and stewardship of the natural environment.

Aramco starts by saying that there are misperceptions about future adequacy of supply. This could be a warning flag that supplies may not be adequate. Aramco then mentions those annoying "above ground" oil supply factors: not enough oil infrastructure, not enough refinery capacity, not enough skilled people and not enough consideration to the natural environment.

Next, Aramco indicates difficult times ahead by saying:

Perhaps never before has the petroleum industry faced such immense challenges...

...While the issue of oil supply is important today, it will become even more critical in the coming years.

Aramco also believes in conservation:

Because fossil fuels will continue to meet the lion's share of the world's energy needs for many decades to come, improving their efficiency and lightening their environmental footprint are among the most important steps that can be taken to preserve the natural world for future generations.

In the last paragraph, Aramco indicates a possible significant gap, in the future, between demand and supply:

At Saudi Aramco, we believe development of alternative sources of energy is important, and given the projected growth in total demand, contributions from all sources will be needed. However, many projections for energy supplies from alternative sources may not be realistic, and if decisions about adding conventional energy supplies are made on these projections, the world could face a significant gap between demand and supply.

And just in case the reader does not understand the warning from Aramco, the next section of their 2006 Review:


starts mentioning "above ground" oil factors again:

At Saudi Aramco, we believe the real issues swirling around oil and gas have less to do with supply — the world has abundant supplies of petroleum — and more to do with challenges on the surface: distribution, refining bottlenecks, regulatory and business concerns, and others.

And yet another statement about "above ground" oil factors from the section appropriately called "The Production Capacity Challenge":


In recent years, world demand for petroleum has continued to grow, but investments in production and processing capacity and distribution networks have not kept pace, straining world energy markets.

Yet more on "above ground" oil factors from "The Downstream Challenge"

The petroleum industry has seen tighter capacities all along the oil supply chain, resulting in a smaller margin for error and a curtailed ability to make up for supply disruptions and shortfalls, which in turn have led to greater price volatility.

Aramco’s 2006 Annual Review states that Aramco has ramped up production in the past to provide a reliable supply of petroleum. However, Aramco states clearly that the issue of oil supply will become even more critical in the future. Contributing factors include the above ground “oil factors” of infrastructure underinvestment, refinery capacity shortage, regulatory and business concerns, skilled people shortage, and environmental issues. Furthermore, Aramco indicates that conventional energy investment plans could be insufficient as these plans are being made on overoptimistic energy supply forecasts from alternatives.

Aramco has given a warning about future oil supply – the world needs to draft coordinated response plans now.


They sure are trying to blame everything except production and reserves.

And apparently there is great need for blame.

Not a good sign.

Wow, great find ace.

I definitely see this as a CYA move by Saudi Arabia.

In the future, when the World asks, "Why didn't you warn us?"

Saudi Arabia can point to this report and say, "We did."

Very interesting (but still timid) about-face on supply.

Though Aramco mentiones above ground factors, the message is chillingly clear. Thanks for this keypost, ace.

Aramco links the overly optimistic supply forcasts from alternatives to conventional energy investments. That's mighty interesting!

While Aramco talks about 'abundant supplies of petroleum' the IEA Head Voices Concern Over Lack Of Growth In Crude Stocks

Very interesting find, ace, that should be reposted in todays drum beat.