DrumBeat: May 19, 2007

Scientists link world's big dams to methane and global warming

Brazilian scientists say they have found evidence that the planet's large dams emit nearly 115 million tons of methane every year, a figure that would put the water-control structures among the top contributors of human-caused greenhouse gases.

In a study released earlier this month, the scientists claim the world's 52,000 dams contribute more than 4 percent of the warming impact linked to human activities. The study even suggests that dams and reservoirs are the single largest source of human-cased methane, a gas that traps heat in the atmosphere.

Lower emissions can cut gas prices, study finds

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday released a University of California study showing that the state can cut gasoline prices and stimulate the economy by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the production of transportation fuels.

What Is Wrong with this Picture?

Yes, the United States does need to invest more money on infrastructure. But without Fundamental Change in human settlement patterns, most of the spending would be squandered.

There’s a Hole in the Bucket

That does it. Time to set this record straight.

If I get one more email petition asking me not to buy gasoline on some day or another, or from one company or another, I'm gonna scream.

For big oil, future profits lie in big gas business

As competition for scarce petroleum resources intensifies and as oil-rich nations limit access to reserves, the multinational integrated majors are beginning to evolve from Big Oil into Big Gas.

Heavy Oil May Play Bigger Role in China's Oil Output Growth

China is showing increasing interest in developing its domestic reserves of heavy-grade crude oil as it struggles to line up energy supplies to feed its booming economy.

More oil firms move into costly oil sands

More oil firms are joining the rush to tap oil from sands in Canada's Alberta province, a costly process that may secure future output but needs higher oil prices to make money.

Mexican Oil Sails in Obsolete Tankers

State-run Petroleos Mexicanos operates five rundown tankers that should have been retired since late 2006, following a 12-month grace period granted in 2005.

An isthmus oil pipeline, why not in Thailand?

Malaysia's prime minister recently affirmed his government's intention to build a peninsula-spanning pipeline to pump oil from the Middle East. This ambitious project will lower crude oil transport costs to China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan and avoid transport through Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. It will reduce the risks of tanker accidents and pirate attacks in the strait and enhance regional energy security.

Increase petrol price call urged

BAHRAIN must start charging higher prices for petrol and utilities such as electricity and water if the country is to improve its efforts to cut carbon emissions, according to experts who attended a high-profile environmental event.

Scottish Power considers clean coal conversions

Scottish Power is looking at converting its two biggest power stations to clean coal technology, the company said on Thursday.

Europe looks to a new generation of atomic energy

After the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, most European nations turned away from nuclear power - but global warming has forced a change of heart.

Why We Keep On Truckin'

It's been a rough stretch of road for the U.S. auto industry. Last Monday, we learned that Daimler had sold Chrysler for scrap metal. President Bush vowed to start regulating tailpipe emissions. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced new low-carbon fuel standards, a firm shove to the entire transportation sector. And gas prices hit an all-time high -- bad news for carmakers that keep cranking out gas guzzlers. But probably the worst moment came the week before last, on the reality TV show "Survivor," when Yau-Man gave the pickup truck to Dreamz.

Rising gas prices may fuel minicars' popularity

Will Americans ever take to minicars the way people in many other parts of the world have?

And even then, would they ever embrace one as small as DaimlerChrysler's tiny Smart Fortwo?

KazMunaiGaz to sell refined products to world markets

Kazakhstan intends to sell refined products, not only crude, in the world markets. This is, undoubtedly, more profitable. To this end, over the past few years, the country has been trying to acquire, or build, a refinery abroad. However, so far it has been unsuccessful in “opening a window to Europe.” But Kazakhstan is not discouraged, and it is now looking southeast.

Dominican Republic: Fuels up again, gasoline at all-time high

Fuel prices have gone up yet again, and with an increase of RD$2.40 gasoline is at an all-time high price of RD$149.90.

Peak Oil Now? New Data Leads to Speculation

New data from the U.S. government shows something disturbing. We may be looking at the peak of oil production, right now.

High gas prices spur some families into taking action

Soaring gasoline prices recently led David Martin to seek out an alternative.

The rural Okmulgee County resident last week bought his wife Charlotte a 2001 Chevy Cavalier designed to run on either regular unleaded gasoline or compressed natural gas. Natural gas costs 94 cents a gallon, a price unseen by gasoline customers in at least six years.

A Return to the Land, for Fuel

Here on the West Side of Maui, where lush mountainsides and the warm waters of the Alalakeiki Channel juxtapose increasingly crowded roadways and a spate of new luxury hotels, the push for renewable energy has found an unlikely advocate: the chief executive of one of the most aggressive developers on the island.

Readers Sound Off on gas prices

The price of gas is hurting everyone, pushing up the cost of everything we have to buy. The price of food has gone up, the price of material for anything we do is up, transportation surcharges are up on deliveries. The people who drive to work are seeing shrinking incomes due to these costs. And the worst part is that the oil companies have created these oil supply shortages by shutting down refineries. OPEC has been saying for years that there's plenty of crude oil available. But the oil industry is causing the shortage on purpose.

Here's how Toronto could generate a little heat

This is where the new idea comes in: Why not clean the methane where it's produced and put it into one of the natural gas lines serving Toronto? Methane is, after all, the basic component of natural gas. It's a way of "transporting" the methane, and it would allow the city to install electricity generators where the heat they produce could be used.

Australia: Power cuts, bigger bills on the way

THE water shortage across eastern Australia is now so acute it has begun to affect power supplies, and the country is at risk of electricity shortages next year.

"I think we are in denial, and are going to have brownouts in NSW if we don't get snow this winter," a source within the electricity market told the Herald.

Coal and hydro power generation require very large amounts of water, and the Snowy scheme depends on it for 86 per cent of its generation capacity.

Last Light, by Alex Scarrow

After several years of research into an issue that affects us all, Alex Scarrow has written a chilling thriller that depicts in a harrowingly convincing way just how fragile our society really is, and how we are only a hair's breadth away from its collapse. It begins on a very normal Monday morning. But in the space of only a few days, the world's oil supplies have been severed and at a horrifying pace things begin to unravel everywhere. And this is no natural disaster: someone is behind this. Oil engineer Andy Sutherland is stranded in Iraq with a company of British soldiers, desperate to find a way home to his family, trapped as transport links and the very infrastructure of daily life begins to collapse around him.

Back in Britain, his wife Jenny is stuck in Manchester, fighting desperately against the rising chaos to get back to London, where their children are marooned as events begin to spiral out of control; riots, raging fires, looting, rape and murder. In the space of a week, London is transformed into a lawless and anarchic vision of Hell.

Ahmadinejad and the petrol paradox

He is the son of a blacksmith, portrays himself as a champion of the working man and was swept to power pledging to put Iran’s “oil income on people’s tables”. But despite high oil prices, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has failed to raise living standards. Moreover, Opec’s second biggest oil exporter is venturing into the controversial territory of petrol rationing — a politically sensitive but economically essential measure that has been stalled over for a decade.

Schwarzenegger Rejects BHP Billiton's LNG Proposal

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger rejected BHP Billiton Ltd.'s proposed $800 million natural gas-import facility because it would harm the environment.

At Honda, nothing goes to waste

Honda, working with the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE), a foundation established by the government and private companies, is jointly developing a new method of producing the alcohol fuel using the parts of crops that humans do not eat.

Refiners cash in on high gasoline prices

Record gasoline prices are changing the equation of the refining business, generating unprecedented profits for the companies that transform crude oil into fuel.

Gas prices high, well suck it up

Given that Canada is forced to sell petroleum to the U.S. at discount rates, thanks to Mulroney’s NAFTA deal, yes, we do pay more than we should.

Gas prices still climbing

During the energy crisis of the 1970s, Americans responded to skyrocketing prices by buying Toyotas and Mazdas and other gas-sipping imports. Now, while hybrid-electric Priuses have become status symbols since fuel prices started rising, gas guzzlers are still popular. Just ask Bill Hopper, owner of Hopper RV in Jacksonville, where a 31-foot used motor home costs $45,000, even though it gets 8 to 10 miles per gallon.

Ghana: Old manpower devices are back in vogue

There is a saying that necessity is the mother of all inventions, and Ghanaians struggling with the constant lights-out are certainly putting this into practice, with manpower appliances increasingly taking the place of electrical-powered goods.

There are ways to alleviate high gas prices, but action is needed

Who knows, maybe when our children are grown, they'll be driving cars powered by water or by the sun. The possibilities are endless, but in order to avoid pain at the pump, we have to continue moving forward, so one day there will be a solution.

UN: No excuse for lack of action on climate change

"There is no remaining excuse for the governments not to act on climate change. We have the existing technology to reduce emissions," said Yvo de Boer, the head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), at the end of a two-week conference in the western German city of Bonn.

Midwest mulls government help with gasoline crunch

Fuel marketers in the Midwest are considering asking for government help to ease a gasoline supply crunch that has pushed pump prices in the region well above the already record-high national average.

...Fuel marketers said they are mulling requesting waivers that would allow truckers to drive more hours to get additional supplies to the market, or permission to temporarily sell gasoline that doesn't meet federal environmental regulations.

Mexico Pemex Hopes Chicontepec Zone Can Stop Oil Output Fall

Mexico hopes to boost oil production at the under-developed Chicontepec area over the next decade to help offset declining output at the country's largest field, Cantarell.

Gunmen kidnap 3 Indians in Nigeria

Gunmen dynamited the front gate of a residential compound in southern Nigeria on Saturday and kidnapped three Indians in an attack that left one Nigerian dead, the military said.

Climate and the UN: A new bid for control?

At a recent United Nations debate, the UK argued that the Security Council should take a central role in responding to climate change. But, ask Felix Dodds and Richard Sherman in this week's Green Room, is this yet another way for rich nations to protect their own borders and interests?

Live Earth's hot air, burn oil instead: Daltrey

Rock legend Roger Daltrey blasted the forthcoming Live Earth event, saying exhausting the world's supply of oil would force more solutions to be found for climate change problems, in comments published Saturday.

The Who's singer questioned the value of the July 7 concerts and said a better idea would be to "burn all the oil" to force world leaders into action.

The transcript of this week's API conference call on gas prices is up:


There are some errors in the transcript, but I intend to pull out excerpts and post them in an essay. There were 3 TODers on the call - Alan, Chris Miller (dryki), and myself.

That's it. I'm burning all my Who albums.
Isn't it great that rock stars get more media attention on peak oil then the learned editors of TOD.

How much oil is is sequestered in old albums?

I wonder how many G-5's it will take to get them there??


I agree with Mr. Daltrey, this is just more profiteering off of climate change hype. Al Gore "played" here at the local arena for $250k with a $200k sponsorship from my company and did a second "show" that night in Calgary. He flew in and out of Canada with 1/2 million in one day without smashing a single guitar.

I wasn't offended when the company I worked for sponsored the Rolling Stones to play here last summer, but Al upset me. The corporate sponsorship for the Rolling Stones for two shows brought a huge economic gain to the city. Al has nothing to say worth the $75 ticket and the last thing he needs is to be subsidized by Saskatchewan.

Roger Daltry is on the right track; if all the oil is burnt, then the economy of the elite will be in shambles--it's all about class. At least that's what I think he's getting at having listened and wacthed The Who closely over their career

"I don't care about pollution
I'm an air-conditioned gypsy
that's my solution
watch the police and the tax man miss me"

"I don't wanna cause no fuss
but can I buy your magic bus?

I want it
I want it
I want it
I want it
... you CAN'T have it!"

...permission to temporarily sell gasoline that doesn't meet federal environmental regulations

I think that we saw this one coming.

Best Hopes for Smog,


Yeah. Was it Hirsh who predicted that we'd avoid economic collapse, via environmental devastation, or some such thing?

The first to go will be the environmental laws.

That's why I have said that global warming worries me more than peak oil. We will throw all kinds of environmental concerns right out the window when it is clear that energy is depleting. We will burn anything and everything (CTL, for instance) with little regard for the environmental consequences. Some of the "easiest" mitigation strategies for resource depletion are those with the most serious environmental impacts.

We will burn anything and everything...

I thought we were burning anything and everything now.

In a world powered by petroleum, this is the "heroin is a better recreational drug than crystal meth" discussion again. I think I used that analogy before in a comment on ethanol blend vs. straight gasoline emmisions. There is a difference, but neither one are exactly healthy.

I thought we were burning anything and everything now.

Not quite. We haven't chopped down all the national forests yet. We aren't drilling ANWR...yet. And most people aren't burning plastic bottles and PVC pipe for heat, or digging up the roads to burn the asphalt.

Yeah, but they weren't burning it. There was little environmental consequence to their actions.

but they weren't burning it.

I know, but with metal price increases, metal theft is on a drastic rise and it's a forewarning of what will happen with increased energy cost. I really can't see someone ripping up asphalt and burning it scaling to an environmental issue, North American people just aren't that ambitious, but $3-4 gasoline in bulk storage is pretty tempting.

In a warming climate, our best hope for saving the temperate forests is to keep the trees on a moderately wide spacing, so the root systems will be more resistant to drought, and to concentrate on growing the more drought resistant and heat resistant trees. This is where biomass harvest can be very beneficial. In my region, the more resistant trees are ponderosa pine and black oak. Most of the white fir will die out, one way or the other, at middle elevations.

LSU (Louisiana State University) Forestry Dept. is about 5 years away from widespread public offering of salt tolerant bald cypress trees.

A small scale project where cuttings were taken from the few surviving trees after salt water intrusion (canals to service oil fields often let in salt water). These cuttings were grafted (and seed collected from these same trees, pollinated from nearby survivors). A new generation of interbreed salt tolerant trees was exposed to salt stress in the greenhouse and survivors selected from that.

Seedlings from these selected survivors are available for selected planting today and the volume is ramping up quickly for general release.

Bald cypress trees in watery swamps accumulate soil around their roots and "knobs" and reclaim land. They also prevent soil erosion and they add significantly to the friction for high winds. The wood is quite valuable, which sets up future problems/decisions. Most of the old growth cypress was cut and ended up in New Orleans homes.

Clearly, new bald cypress plantings are a carbon sink (directly for the trees and indirectly for the accumulated organic matter around them that builds up into "soil"). And, after thinning in ~70 to 90 years, the wood will likely be used for furniture or housing, half of the carbon will stay sequestered.

However, the Corps of Engineers does not believe in biological controls and opposes planting them just offshore from levees.

Best Hopes for more bald cypress trees !


"digging up the roads to burn the asphalt"

Thanks for the tip. Will make my next winter more economical.

I assume the redwood forest will make up some juicy biofuel in a not so distant future .... suitable for the Mars rockets in 2030 or so

I already volunteered for that trip - due to obvious reasons discussed at this forum

The only glimmer of hope that I see is that the most important mitigation actions for both GW and PO are the same: energy efficiency + renewables. Those who are not convinced that GW is real might be convinced about PO, and those that are not conviced that PO is real might be convinced about GW.


What about population? What about contolling it?

What worries me most is that peak oil - since we are not preparing for it - will damage our economy to such an extent that we will not have the financial capacity to replace our coal fired power plants with clean energy before we reach the threshold temperature increase for the start of the disintegration of our icesheets in Greenland and West Antarctica. That point of no return is less than 1 degree C equal to less than 450 ppm CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

Listen to NASA climatologist James Hansen:

"We had in the last 30 years 1 degree F (= 0.5 degrees C) warming but there is another 1 degree F that's in the pipeline due to gases already in the atmosphere just because it takes the climate system time to respond to the changes in the atmosphere. And there is another 1 F in the pipeline because of energy infrastructure which is in place for example power plants and vehicles which we are not going to take off the road even if we decide that we have to address this problem...you have to gradually make changes....."

"Icesheets are not as immutable as we once thought. We now have this spectacular gravity satellite which measures the mass of the Greenland icesheet and it shows that it has been decreasing by 150 km3 per year over the last few years and of even greater concern is the Antarctic ice sheet has also been decreasing at about the same rate.."

And here are some videos:

Icemelt in Greenland

Glacier Melting

Arctic Sea Ice summer Minimum 1990 to 2049

The economy will collapse by itself anyway without PO or Climate Change. What we are facing is multiple collapses; economic, energy, climate and ecological with geopolitical chaos thrown in for free. It is certainly possible that we could overcome one by itself, but not all together. Combined each one will block any mitigation of the others, meaning we will be sitting ducks, essentially defenceless. There is no escaping it, we're going to be in the grip of a positive feedback loop which is anything but positive for us.

Earth's natural defences against climate change 'beginning to fail'

Climate change may force mass migration

The entire system of civilisation is currently stuck on stupid and cannot respond to the multiple threats sensibly, so we're going to have to take the hit head-on.

"Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth." Albert Schweitzer

It's an accelerating race to the bottom.

Authentic learning ends where faith begins.
Are Humans Smarter Than Yeast?"

PaulS is exactly the sort of person representative of those who will see the world destroyed in order to fulfill their puerile neocon fantasies.

I have met so many relatively bright people who have this evil little bug in their minds that somehow protecting the environment is a political act designed not to protect but to enrich some group somewhere.

The problem is these people are bright enough to type, but not bright enough to think. Come the big dieoff, these people will be the parasites on society, and we will have to hunt them down like the vermin they are and mash them into roach paste.

Good luck, vermin.

Hey PaulS, have you ever been to the Inland Empire???

May I suggest that PaulS go and have his blood serum tested for toxins and post the results here. Otherwise, judging by this post and if I was him, I'd be worried that the results would prove beyond a doubt that he's so full of them that they're blinding him to the fact that we are all now practically certifiable as walking-talking hazardous waste sites.

Bicycle Friendly Cities

Five Communities Earn BFC Status
Cities from Austin, Texas to LaCrosse, Wis. Recognized for BicyCle Friendliness

Washington, DC – Five cities across the United States can celebrate Bike to Work Week with the news that the League of American Bicyclists has awarded them the coveted designation of “Bicycle Friendly Community.” The award, given at levels from Bronze to Platinum, recognizes those communities that are improving conditions for bicyclists and bicycling.

Five cities are awarded the BFC designation for the first time:


Austin, Texas
San Luis Obispo, Calif.


LaCrosse, Wis.
Park City, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah

Fifteen communities successfully renewed their designation.


Corvallis, Ore.


Fort Collins, Colo.
Scottsdale, Ariz.


Ada County Highway District, Idaho
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Beaverton, Ore.
Bend, Ore.
Burlington, Vt.
Cary, N.C.
Chico, Calif.
Denver, Colo.
Mesa, Ariz.
Redmond, Wash.
Schaumburg, Ill.
Shawnee, Kan.

“We salute these communities for their tremendous commitment to improving conditions for bicyclists,” said Andy Clarke, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “They are making the streets safer for bicycling, educating bicyclists and motorists to share the road, promoting a wide range of bicycling activities and even stepping up the enforcement of traffic laws to protect bicyclists.”

Notable features of this round of applications include:

Austin, Texas recently updated their 1998 bicycle plan, and included $2 million in bicycle-specific funding. The city offers weekly Road I courses, has a maintenance hotline, and promotes bicycling year round.

San Luis Obispo, Calif. has a strong cycling culture and recently created a safe and fast route into downtown from the south side of town, allowing cyclists to avoid a high-volume, narrow right-of-way arterial.

LaCrosse, Wis. has a strong education program. All schools have extracurricular activities centered around cycling, and the school district provides bicycles and helmets for use at elementary schools.

Park City, Utah is a great town for mountain bicyclists, and understands the importance of connectivity in the bike network. The community also has a Complete Streets policy that will be implemented starting this year.

Salt Lake City, Utah has a great bicycle culture and a strong Complete Streets policy that was initiated by the mayor in January 2007. With improvements planned for its cycling infrastructure and great in-town mountain biking, this city has a lot to offer cyclists.

About the BFC Program & the League

The BFC program was initiated in 2003 and has received applications from more than 170 communities. Designations have been awarded to 63 cities and counties. Applicants complete a detailed on-line form with numerous questions in five key areas: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation/planning. Local cyclists, national experts, and League staff review the applications. To learn more, visit www.bicyclefriendlycommunity.org.

The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of 57 million American cyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visit www.bikeleague.org or www.bicyclefriendlycommunity.org.

One note. I have spent months on the Phoenix/Scottsdale border helping my parents in the winter months & holidays. Superb bike lanes I agree. But outside of a few dozen weekend recreational cyclists, I have noted just 3 apparent transportation bicyclists of work weekdays.

So even though Scottsdale makes the list, usage is FAR less than New Orleans for transportation bicycling. Still, it is good to have the infrastructure in place when TSHTF.

Best Hopes,


Excerpt from a related Press release

Notable features of this round of applications include:

Jackson, Wyo. has a fantastic master plan that outlines non-motorized modes-shift goals, the total number of paths and a complete streets guide for the entire county.

Carmel, Ind. took the League’s advice to heart during its first application. In the past two years it has made significant improvements, including raising $3.4 million for bicycling projects through a bond issue.

Louisville, Ky. has a bicycle master plan that is the envy of many cities, and has begun implementing it with pride. To see their aggressive plan for success, visit their Web site here: http://www.louisvilleky.gov/BikeLouisville/bikefriendly.htm

Roswell, Ga. spent almost $1.5 million on trails and paths for bicyclists and pedestrians during fiscal year 2006.

St. Petersburg, Fla. acquisitioned 2.1 miles of abandoned rail corridor to connect the popular Pinellas trail with downtown St. Petersburg. This acquisition was the result of a two-year effort.

Sacramento, Calif. constructed many new bike trails and lanes in newly developing areas of the city.

San Jose, Calif. invested $1.4 million in the River Oaks Bicyclist & Pedestrian Bridge in North San Jose, and the project was completed and opened in May 2006.

South Lake Tahoe, Calif. has a solid infrastructure of existing trails, and the funding to maintain them through public bonds. The city also has an active community bicycle advisory committee.

Best Hopes for Non-Oil Transportation,


I recently spent nearly three years in Corvallis, OR, and did much biking. The cohesion of bike routes in that community is one thing I miss greatly (it's wonderful!)--and I currently reside in Beaverton. Biking here is ok, but I'm not sure I would have given it a bronze, given some of the challenges I have to face in places just to cycle a few miles. On some of my routes to specific parks and shopping, I sometimes have to pedal among the maelstrom of speeding SUVs and pickups that I would much rather be better isolated from. Anyway, at least there has been some decent effort here, but with room for further improvements.

I'm really tired of the drivers who swerve FAR into the bike lane after passing me. I'm sure that, sometimes (often?), this is an act of aggression. People driving large pickup trucks seem the most prone to doing this. :o|



Once I was riding from Monterey to Santa Cruz, and an oncoming Gold Suburban pulled out into my lane at some distance away to pass a car in front of him. Once he had passed the car and could safely pull back in, he instead continued in my lane and kept accelerating toward my until rode my bicycle off the pavement--then he returned to his lane.

They don't like you. You're a threat. Among other things, you spent less money to be there than they did.

Can't really reconcile that list with this list... but here's the current list


All Current Bicycle Friendly Communities

Platinum (1)
Davis, California (pdf)

Gold (7)
Boulder, Colorado (pdf)
Corvallis, Oregon (pdf)
Madison, Wisconsin
Palo Alto, California (pdf)
Portland, Oregon (pdf)
San Francisco, California
Tucson/Pima Eastern Region, Arizona (pdf)

Silver (12)

Austin, Texas
Bellingham, Washington

Chicago, Illinois (pdf)

Eugene, Oregon (pdf)
Folsom, California (pdf)
Fort Collins, Colorado (pdf)

Gainesville, Florida (pdf)
Jackson, Wyoming
San Luis Obsipo, Calif.
Santa Barbara, California (pdf)
Scottsdale, Arizona (pdf)
Tempe, Arizona (pdf)

Bronze (43)

Albuquerque, New Mexico (pdf)
Ann Arbor, Michigan (pdf)
Arlington, Virginia (pdf)
Ashland, Oregon (pdf)
Auburn, Alabama (pdf)
Beaverton, Oregon (pdf)
Bend, Oregon (pdf)
Bloomington, Indiana (pdf)
Boca Raton, Florida (pdf)
Brentwood, California
Brunswick, Maine (pdf)
Burlington, Vermont (pdf)
Carmel, Indiana
Carrboro, North Carolina (pdf)
Cary, North Carolina (pdf)
Chandler, Arizona (pdf)
Chattanooga, Tennessee (pdf)
Denver, Colorado (pdf)
Flagstaff, Arizona
Gilbert, Arizona (pdf)
LaCrosse, Wis.
Lawrence, Kansas (pdf)
Longmont, Colorado (pdf)
Louisville, Kentucky
Mesa, Arizona (pdf)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Mountain View, California (pdf)
Orlando, Florida (pdf)
Park City , Utah
Presidio of San Francisco, CA
Redmond, Washington (pdf)
Roswell, Georgia
Sacramento, California
Salt Lake City, Utah
St. Petersburg, Florida
San Jose, California
Schaumburg, Illinois (pdf)
Shawnee, Kansas (pdf)
South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
South Sioux City, Nebraska
Sunnyvale, California
Vancouver, Washington (pdf)
Washington, DC (pdf)

I’m 55 now, and am within walking range of practically everything, so I haven’t driven a bike in years. But from the time I was in the seventh grade until about 15 years ago, I rode various 10-speed bicycles EVERYWHERE, for a total of approximately 50,000 miles. I rode a Schwinn Varsity for many years, and went from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe (via Echo Summit, US 50) on it, from SF to Clear Lake four or five times, up the California coast to Ft. Bragg (where I cheated and threw the bike on the Skunk Railway and rode over the hill to Willits) and then down back to SF, from SF to Yosemite, on which voyage I slept in a gaol and got hypothemia, as well as many other three and four day trips. All this was back in the 1970’s. And nobody riding ten-speeds back then really thought about bike-lanes or places being “bike-friendly”; bikers just got out on the damn road, and went wherever they pleased. Also I recall an article in an early ‘70s edition of “Bicycling!” magazine that panned bike lanes (then a new concept) as a bad thing that would lull their users into a false sense of security. And I have never had any of the negative experiences with motorists as those described above.

Antoinetta III

An Australian company Quantum-Energy has an air coupled heat pump domestic hot water heater, similar to a heat pump pool heater that upgrades ambient air heat for domestic hot water.

They are claiming a COP of 3-4 in warmer climates. These are intended for outdoor installation, but for locations that use A/C a large portion of the year, this type of system could be used to supply domestic hot water and structure cooling.

I built a similar system last year to heat my kid's pool by adding a water heat exchanger on the hot side of my A/C compressor unit which recovers some of the A/C exhaust heat to warm the pool. It worked well and kept a 16' above ground pool at a comfortable level as well as a noticeable improvement in the A/C efficiency in the house on very warm days.

These are electric powered compressor style heat pumps. In a water heating implementation heat powerered absorption heat pump would be a more efficient water heater, but commercial domestic sized versions are a little ways off from being available.

ORNL on Heat Pumps

My neighbour has one of those heat pump water heaters. They make a terrible noise. A real stupid idea when there is plenty of sunshine for solar water heaters which have no moving parts

They make a terrible noise.

They make more noise than an A/C unit? That would be surprising or in need of service.

Do you have solar hot water?

This outdoor type of system is constant output regardless of cloud cover, doesn't require a supplimental water heater and is simpler to install than solar water heaters.

It's still not a complete system, but it's getting closer. For one thing, putting this type of air exchanger in the attic and ducting it correctly to take advantage of the roof heat would be better than sticking it in the backyard. This would be your "solar collector" without mounting panels on the roof.

But, the further "better idea":

A heat pump that provides domestic hot water and home cooling has huge energy savings potential in warmer climates.

A home in Arizona with an electric water heater would use ~15% of it's electric bill for hot water and most of the rest for A/C. If a heat pump was used to provide domestic hot water and cooling, there is a potential to cut the electric power usage of the home to less than half. In a warmer climate the issue would be more hot water than can be used and in cooler climates it would be that home gets too cold to heat enough water, and a secondary outdoor condenser would be needed to allow the system to balance cooling/hot water ratio. This is not a complicated system and a knowledgable HVAC tech. could build it out of stock components.

In the attic (primitive solar heat), a heat pump hot wwater heater needs little electricity to operate, especially in the summer (perhaps a bit at night). I would be tempetd to throw the breaker to the hot water heater for almost half of the year.

There are passive (rely upon thermosiphon effect) and active freon/water exchangers that can be added to air conditioners and heat pumps.

In cooling mode, freon heat goes to the freon/water exchanger before going to waste as outdoor heat. Adds to a/c efficiency and harvest free heat.

In heat pump mode, it harvest some of the heat that would otherwise go inside for space heating. Same COP.

I installed a passive one on a heat pump in Austin. Little worse than a solar water heater with a small pump there (perhaps breakeven in San Antonio). In New Orleans, the increased a/c efficiency might offset heating costs and it might be better than standard solar water heating (with that small pump attached).

Best Hopes for site specific efficiency solutions,


In cooling mode, freon heat goes to the freon/water exchanger before going to waste as outdoor heat.

This is what I did for the kid's pool heater. A couple of slit pvc T's, a piece of slit pipe and 2 - 1" rubber washers with narrow slits I made with a hole saw out of hockey pucks. I popped the rubber washers over the line between the compressor and the air coils and then the pipe and T's and then a couple of hose clamps and plumbed it inline with the pool pump/filter. I wired the pool pump on the relay line so it turns on with the A/C. Worked great. Apparently chlorine will corrode copper pipe and this isn't recommended, but the novelty of the pool will probably wear off before that's an issue.

The gain in A/C efficiency would depend on the water supply temperature, if the water supply temperature is well below the target room cooling temperature and sufficient flow is used, the heat pump is very efficient. The other benefit in a combined system is that the furnace fan is forcing the air through the evaporator rather than a secondary fan like the above DWH system and the exhaust heat is going into DHW rather than another fan on the A/C compressor.

Ground loops for exhausting excess heat would be more efficient than air exchangers in almost all cases. Cycling a transfer fluid through a ground loop to dump heat takes almost no energy versus a fan and air coil pushing heat into 30C air.

You all have any suggestions for A/C upgrades in the Dallas area in terms of systems? I am currently looking to replace a 10 year old 2 zone system with something much more effeicient and sustainable. I am also replacing my ducting and reworking the entire system really. Thanks in advance.

DoE Consumer Guide to Energy Efficiency is worth reading. The European Solar Thermal Industry Foundation (ESTIF) Solar Chiller (pdf) and NrCan Office of Energy Efficiency has a lot of good information.


City of Austin code (seal inside and outside separately with list of approved mastics) is excellent.

Use R-8 ducts except where there are sharp turns, then R-6. No R-4. Resize ducts for minimal air flow speed (coupled with variable speed evaporator, this means minimal energy to blow air, you can hardly tell when it is on).

Scroll compressor is desirable IF PROPERLY installed.

A variable speed evaporator (inside unit) is an excellent way to add an average 1 SEER. Consider adding humidistat to lower high humidity days (Dallas gets some).

What is ground water temp in Dallas ? And heating degree days vs. cooling degree days ?

In New Orleans, ground loop costs 3x as much and is no more efficient for cooling.

As a back-up, I would consider one wall mounted natural gas heater (no electricity) in a central location. This can keep your pipes from freezing (and you !) in an extended blackout.

More Later,

Best Hopes,


What is ground water temp in Dallas ? And heating degree days vs. cooling degree days ?

You can get detailed information from the NASA Surface meteorology and Solar Energy site (free registration). I find it easier to get long/lat from google maps than to use their locator. Find your location in maps, click "Link to this page" and the long/lat is the ll= in the url.

Dallas is ll=32.8,-96.77, data

Monthly Averaged Cooling Degree Days Above 18° C
Lat 32.8
Lon -96.767
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
10-year Average 0 1 9 36 107 197 253 277 177 56 13 2 1128
Monthly Averaged Heating Degree Days Below 18° C
Lat 32.8
Lon -96.767
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
10-year Average 413 264 159 60 6 0 0 0 9 52 211 396 1570
Monthly Averaged Earth Skin Temperature (° C)
Lat 32.8
Lon -96.767
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
10-year Average 3.07 7.73 12.4 16.6 20.9 24.4 26.5 27.4 23.5 17.4 10.1 3.68 16.2

If you take the annual average earth skin temperature, you will get a fairly accurate idea of ground temperature, which is 16.2C or 61F.

I found this link to an energy efficient model house in Dallas and they used 65F for the ground temperature.

The cooling efficiency of the ground source pump they used is 16.2 EER, which isn't very good and is not much better than high efficient regular AC. There are heat pumps with scroll compressors and variable speed fan/compressors with EER cooling of 31.1 on an open-loop 10C groundwater temp. I would guess that EER cooling of 20 with 16C groundwater would be reasonable with a high efficiency heat pump.

You have to stop and think about this a bit, too. When you need regular AC the most, that's when the outdoor air temperature is the highest and the AC is performing the worst. The ground temperature is constant and the heat pump performance is constant. Although the EER ratings are based on averages, you have less effect on peak electrical usage on your local grid by cooling with a heat pump. Regular AC performs the worst when you need it the most.

For heating in Dallas, there are more heating degree days than cooling and the COP of a heat pump is going to be better than 4.0 with 16C ground temp and a high efficient pump.

As far as energy usage, the heat pump is much more efficient than conventional A/C and NG heat. As far as capital cost, PITA to put in ground loops and finding a qualified contractor... Ground source pumps have a long, long way to go. I would think Allan's 3X is an underestimate and 4X the capital investment over traditional AC/NG forced air would be what to expect.

Right now where I live, the Canadian government has a $3500 rebate being matched by the provincial for ground source heat pumps. Even with a $7000 grant, it's still close to 2X more capital investment than NG/AC. The friends I know building new are going with heat pumps on the expectation that both NG and electricity are going to go up in price and it's worth putting up the extra $5K-$10K now.

I redid our basement slab and put in-slab hot water radiant heat in the basement and between joist on the main floor. The main floor is ceramic tile and hardwood. It's fantastic under ceramic tile and the basement. It's not that noticeable under hardwood, but the whole house is much more comfortable in winter. It's expensive, especially in a retrofit, but I did the work myself (pics) for about 1/3 of the best quote. I also did this 190' of stucco fence last year and another outdoor slab... now me and my cement mixer aren't speaking for a while.

Several points, not in order.

New Orleans has very high water tables (we bury our dead above ground :-0 and soft ground (NO rocks) which simplifies heat pump installation. 4x or slightly higher may be true for Dallas.

"Other measures" (tight and optimized flow duct work, tight windows (perhaps Low-E double or triple pane), shade trees, insulated doors, double hex cell blinds, reflective coated kraft paper stapled to the ceiling rafters, roof ridge ventilation with soffit openings, simple caulking, tankless gas water heater, etc.) are 1) better investments that geothermal heat pumps and 2) will reduce the size of your HVAC equipment.

I would expect more 120 F days (49 C) in Dallas and geothermal can work VERY well under those conditions.

I would do EVERYTHING else to reduce demand (and the size of your new HVAC system) FIRST. And then buy a slightly undersized geothermal heat pump system if you can afford it with a small wall mounted natural gas heater (no electricity) to keep from freezing and as supplemental heating on the coldest days.

Other wise, buy a high efficiency natural gas furnace and high efficiency a/c or heat pump (air source). Run the heat pump down to about 40 F and then switch over to the AFUE 94+ gas furnace.

If ground water is 16 C, assume that "heat pollution" from your unit will drop it to 15 C by late February and raise it to 17 C by late August around your unit.

Best Hoeps,


more comments:

Alan is absolutely right about reducing demand. The return on investment on a well placed tube of caulking is phenomenal.

Not completely relying on grid electricity to keep your house from freezing is another strong point Alan made. Even if thats an emergency LPG heater. The other way to go would be to have an emergency generator large enough to run the heat pump.

If you install a ground source heat pump, improving the heating performance by integrating it later with a few roof solar thermal collectors would be relatively easy.

The ground loop is going to stay close to 65F year round. On sunny days in winter, having some solar thermal panels on the roof with a secondary loop and the system switching to them during sunny periods would give you much better heating efficiency. I would have to do some research on the specs and insolation during winter months, but heating sufficient fluid past 65F shouldn't require much for solar collector area and having the system switch when the sun is out isn't too complicated or expensive.

One small point. The water table in Dallas is fairly low in most areas and one can assume that the geothermal piping (horizontal or vertical) will be in dry soil or rock AND assume the minimal piping that one can get by with will also be installed. If the assumption about teh water table is wrong, then disregard.

For a hard working system (Dallas), dry rock and soil can be heated or cooled locally around the piping over the course of the heating or cooling season. Not a major effect, but enough to adjust calculations over.

In Canada (your area), 10 C ground temps are common. Extracting heat from 16 C is MUCH easier and more efficient (after all, the end result is taking 16C and making 18 C room temperature). I wonder about the payback of solar collectors in such a case.

Best Hopes,


I wonder about the payback of solar collectors in such a case.

Upgrading 16C heat to 18C doesn't take a lot of energy. A small amount of solar collector producing 90C fluid heating a room to 18C is a steam engine.

When Carrier was testing these commercial units, they found a long spin-down time of the compressor. Someone clued in that with a few modifications they could use the system as a binary power plant on medium temperature geothermal. They have 2 of these deployed at Chena Hot Springs in Alaska.

This is interesting more than useful for the homeowner, but the COP for taking 90C solar heated water and heating an 18C room is infinite. This still might not justify the solar panels and setup if the ground loop performs well, but you wouldn't need a lot of panels to be ahead of the ground loop on sunny days.

This document (pdf) is something a Hydrogeologist sent me on modeling underground thermal storage. It's much more technical than the homeowner level, but might be interesting to the interested.

And for something right off-topic:
I watched Spike Lee's When The Levees Broke and I couldn't quite process that some of the first help to arrive after Katrina were Canadian Mounties. I still don't know if I am proud to be Canadian or disgusted to be North American.


I will look up links tomorrow.

Actually it was the British Columbian Search & Rescue teams (not the mounties) who D R O V E from BC to New Orleans and were the first relief in to Plaquemines Parish.

The US Navy could have been the first in to Plaquemines Parish. The USS Bataan was in the Gulf before Katrina. She has 600 hospital beds (minimal staff, but we had that in our stranded hospitals), tons of MREs, the ability to distill 100,000 liters of fresh water/day, a couple of dozen helos, and a detachment of Marines.

She could have gone upriver the Monday after Katrina and given first relief to Plaquemines & St. Bernard Parishes and been moored at the US Navy base in the Upper 9th Ward (a golf shot from the Lower 9th) or behind the Convention Center at the cruise ship terminal no later than Tuesday morning. Evaced the hospitals, offloaded food and water, taken the sickest aboard, added her helicopters to the rooftop rescues (roughly doubling the #) then gone back downriver to St. Bernard & Plaquemines for a day.

Instead, she was assigned to the state with the governor that was the former RNC chairman and with two senior R senators (one named Trent Lott) and, according to her commander, was "underutilized".

Instead, Plaquemines had to wait for British Columbia to drive cross-country to get any help.

FEMA's excuse ? They did not submit a proper request for help !

In the lower half of Plaquemines Parish there were three repairable buildings.

I just came back from a benefit to rebuild our firehouses. Several thousand showed up, $25/head. All donated food & music. 100% of funds to NOFD to rebuild.

France rebuilt 7 firehouses (5 within 30+ days after return, contractors gave them priority, their embassy & consulate paid checks upon completion of work stages on the curb), two firehouses so far for FEMA.

The bitterness of holding a benefit for an ESSENTIAL public service because GWB cannot get off his ass and cut a check !!


There was a quote on CNN this morning that the average household has 2.3 cars, and 2.3 children. Really really bizzare.

I figure the USA has enough scrap-iron in some time down the line ...

That will make alot of nails ... BUT for what ?
What are you gonna do with all them nails?

"What are you gonna do with all them nails?"


Perhaps a better use than nails would be rails, if we followed Alan's excellent ideas for transportation alternatives.

nevermore - you said it - rails and rakes ...

I'm having an ongoing 'discussion' on another forum with someone who claims to work in the Oil Industry who thinks that the whole Peak Oil thing is stuff and nonsense.

I know most people here on TOD think these conversations are no longer worth having but a lot of my friends hang out on this particualr place and I don't want to not be able to rebut his claims.

The first one is about the UK Petrol / Deisel issue;

Or it could be that every year companies stock pile before the winter, fuel that is very similar in refining to Diesel and takes priority hence diesel prices go slightly higher than petrol prices mid autumn. Come mid spring petrol prices go up because of the stockpiling by US companies due to the demand for the summer petrol where Europe makes a bag of money. Happens everey year and every year people say the same things because it makes good reading andhas been for the last 14 years. Usually there is still a small price difference

The only difference this year is that we have had a mild winter again, coupled with the fact that the new fuel regulations that come into effect January 2008 means that everyone and there dog wants to use up their old stockpiles of diesel before the winter which is why the gap between diesel and petrol has become closer at the moment.

And the second is a longer post which I won't quote which essentially hinges on; 1) Tar/Oil sands (relying heavily on Venezualia of all places) and 2) The 'extra' oil announced recently in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

The problems with Oil sands as I understand it is flow rate and lack of other required resources (Water, Nat Gas, Heat & Power) plus it never being economical as increased oil price pushes the price at which the sands are viable up at as well. I think I can handle that point but I would appricate any pointers.

The second point is a little more puzzling. I'm not sure how to go about rebutting that.

I'll quote two last bits;

That alone puts the oil reserves at 3,100 Billion barrels. yes its not all conventional oil but at $50.00 dollars a barrel its accessible. Problem is people only look at conventional oil volumes and previous prices per barrel and not the whole picture nor new tecnologies. There is enough there to last over 100 years at present rates.


Ooooh - North Sea oil decline - Yes its running out and will do so soon. Its amazing though that the decline in the last 4 years though coincides with the government blocking the oil companies from taking 10 Billion barrels of oil from it. They want it so that there is always 10 billion barrels there even if that means stopping production just in case.

Any pointers in the right directon of how to go about formulating a decent, evidence backed rebuttal (or not if he is right!) would be appricated.

many thanks,

10B is only a drop in the bucket. If there is a never ending supply, why would the Government want to keep 10B barrels for later? [That might be too subtle.]

Question of my own, how long could UK shut down an undersea field to save the "last 10B" and still count on getting it later? Seems to me a lot of infrastructure would have to be maintained in a harsh environment.

Point before that, google for the Law of Receeding Horizons. Suppose, for example, the energy required to mine the tarzans is 1 barrel at $50/barrel. Funny thing, it will still be 1 barrel when oil is $75/barrel or $300/barrel. Where the extraction process is highly energy dependent it doesn't matter what the price is. Google also 'emergy'.

cfm in Gray, ME

Ask him why they are going so increasingly far away and making so much fuss about the idea of "geting hold of the oil/gass-stuff"..

Normal logics in getting hold of a resource is -




Fouth and last

Ask him why BIG OIL is struggling more and more at stage FOUR ? And if he can spot a link between this and the oilprice ..

This nails it exactly. Either our exploitation of nearby and expensive difficult stuff is a ruse to maintain the illusion of shortage in order to kite the price - one for those tinfoil folks - or we are in the transition from three to four as the second option starts to wind down. How exponential the price/flow equation becomes and how long the time constraints of logistics prevail over the price signals is a very good question. I don't see the orders of magnitude increases in upstream infrastructure that would need to be apparent in order to maintain our current consumption. Before the hole comes the shovel.

Of greater concern is the almost complete absence of technical literacy within the political side of government. Scientists and technical people don't seem to 'do' politics. Probably no more than a handful of BSc degrees in the Congress, but hundreds of lawyers. I guess the lawyers will have to save the world.

The Mexico story up top has many examples of the the diminishing returns (the Law of Receding Horizons©).

The field has small pockets of oil spread out over a wide area, increasing the cost of getting the fuel to market. "Chicontepec requires and demands drilling thousands of new wells," said Suro, speaking at a conference sponsored by Bear Stearns earlier this week.

Due to the difficult geology, Pemex only extracts 6% to 8% of the oil in Chicontepec's subsoil, compared with average extraction rates of around 20% in the oil industry as a whole. Secondary recovery techniques such as natural gas injection could lift this rate to 10%.

"Higher lifting costs are expected because of production from more complex reservoirs, mature fields, and also from the evolution of the services markets," said Suro.

As oil prices have surged in recent years, so have costs of contracting oil rigs. Materials such as steel and cement are also more costly amid growing world demand.

Areas like Chicontepec will force Pemex to boost spending in coming years or watch its oil production continue to slide.

"In recent meetings with Pemex senior officials, they acknowledged that to stabilize Mexico's oil and gas production levels, the company may have to double its capital expenditures," wrote Bear Stearns in a Thursday research note.

The tar sands are no different. The cheap(er) stuff is near the surface, the higher grade stuff is being exploited first, and the whole thing is financed by an external energy supply (natural gas).

That story interested me too, so I did a little research. This is a heavy, sour crude in a huge field-about 12 billion barrels. Mexico thinks it can get 1 mbopd by drilling 10,000 to 20,000 wells. It is in turbidite sandstones of Jurasic and Cretateous age. Expected recoveries are in the 10-15% range in primary and secondary recovery.
The main problem I see with the development is cost. PEMEX provides about 40% of the Mexican government revenues, and there hasn't been enough investment for 80 years, and I doubt it will change. Mexico has great prospects and has never drilled most of them.

This is a field found in the late 1920s (from memory) with small pockets heavy sour oil scattered about. WT would LOVE to drill and drill and drill there !

Few wells produce more than 250 barrels/day of low quality crude, but many wells could be drilled. And they tend to produce for years and years as the oil seeps out.

Drilling and completing even 1,000 wells/year would be a great challenge, and I think that this field will keep Mexico self sufficient in oil, but do little for exports.

Cantarell will collapse and be abandoned before Pemex drills 10,000 new wells there IMHO.

Best Hopes for minimal Mexican oil imports,


2) The 'extra' oil announced recently in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Announced by whom? And where are these new fields located?

Simply ask him to explain the discovery curve over the last 80 years. If there is plenty of oil left then he and people like him are either lazy or incompetent. If there is not plenty of oil left, then that explains it too but since he rejects that view, he needs to take an answer from the former two.

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

Re: Empty Gasoline Stations

I posted a note yesterday about an empty gasoline station in North Dallas. I saw two more this morning (although one had a tanker trunk arriving).

I found out what is going on. A wholesaler was on talk show this morning. The supply situation in the Mid-continent is pretty severe, and the wholesale price of gasoline is about 40 cents higher in Chicago than in Dallas. It takes about a week to ship a barrel of gasoline to Chicago from the Gulf Coast, via pipeline, so wholesalers are shipping tanker truck loads of gasoline out of the Dallas market up north (to take advantage of the higher prices), causing spot shortages in the Dallas area. I posted a note a couple of days ago to the effect that I was worried that gasoline prices are too low, i.e., they aren't high enough to kill enough demand to keep some gas stations from running dry.

In regard to diesel, the guy said that there has been a slowdown in (non-petroleum) imports into the West Coast, causing a slowdown in the demand for truck and rail shipping, and thus a slowdown in the demand for diesel.

While the current problem is clearly primarily related to refining capacity, I think that the decline in world crude oil production (and thus the decline in world refined products) had some kind of effect, and I think that the crude oil problem is right around the corner. Note the Brent crude oil price.

A copy of my post from yesterday:

OECD Commercial Crude Oil Stocks, Days of Supply (Actual and Projected):

US crude oil inventories are okay, relative to recent years (but not relative to what the industry had prior to the SPR), but OECD stocks are different--not a promising trend.

Also, the cumulative shortfall between what the world would have refined at the 5/05 rate and what we actually refined, in round numbers is on the order of half of billion barrels of crude oil + condensate (EIA). I would think that this had to have had a negative impact on product inventories.

Note that the OECD numbers don't give us the world inventory situation, especially in poorer regions.

Midwest price runup investigation 2004

- An interesting piece in that it offers some precident on recurrent Spring Midwest market problems.
-Has yet another estimate of Minimum Operational levels in the in similar range as we have seen. (180 million barrels)
-Charts falling yearly days forward supply .
-Gives an implied MOL for PADD 1 of 48 million barrels

Rough but potentially useful MOL est. for predicting price spikes and/or runout

Apx. 27Mb for West, 47Mb for Midwest, 48Mb for East, 5Mb for Rockies, and 55Mb for the South

Total MOL 182Mb
Out for the day..

Will Americans ever take to minicars the way people in many other parts of the world have?

And even then, would they ever embrace one as small as DaimlerChrysler's tiny Smart Fortwo?

He he - yeah - Yiihha, I reckon an american cowboy will feel stupid inside one of them 'tinytown' small cars .... yaahhoooooo.

But if the choice stands between 10 years worth of motoring - as compared to maybe 30-50 years of the same ... the choice should be simple.

-OR am I just a stupid inside the box thinking Europeean ?

You don't know Americans very well. :-)

Other then what they might do instinctively there also are economic reasons for most people not changing.

The people on the street, and I'm not even talking of the welfare establishment or the illegals, are stuck with what they have because they are in debt to their eyeballs. Heck, they just bought hundreds of thousands if not millions of fancy trucks and SUV's and financed them for 6 or 7 years because they had a few dollars rebate on them. They all are upside down because they are worth virtually nothing on resale with gas at $4.00
With the real estate bubble they can't use their house as an ATM anymore, you could look at the vehicle stock as a car/truck bubble and their credit cards are maxed out.

As soon as enogh people start defaulting, even the ones that don't need to default will because a free ride is the driving force behind everything here.

So the question would be, what makes you think that even if they could be magically convinced to get into a little car like that, how are they going to be able to afford the 15K?

There is a real disconnect between the top 5% elite and the silent (so far) majority. Once it starts rolling it isn't going to be pretty.

The average vehicle stays on the road something like 15 years.

One of mine is 17 years old and probably still had 6-8 years of full-time use left in it, if properly maintained.

When someone buys a new (from the factory) car they sell their old car to someone else, who then drives it. Until it reaches the salvage yard, it is still on the road consuming fuel.

Once the auto showrooms have nothing in them but high-mileage vehicles, or electric vehicles, we merely have to wait for 15 years to retire the existing fleet.

As pointed out above, people can't afford to buy vehicles any faster than that.

Even though we are closing some auto plants, we can't manufacture vehicles appreciably faster than we currently are.

Of course, a government buy-back program for low-mileage vehicles would accelerate the process as far as affordability is concerned. We merely need to dip into our budget surplus to finance it.

China is a major nation moving from bicycles to autos. At least for a little while longer.

The US will be a major nation moving from autos to bicycles.

Complicating the equation are some other factors.

Accidents take a random few cars out of every category every year. Higher value used cars are SLIGHTLY less likely to be scrapped.

Cars are generally scrapped when repairs exceed their value.

Post-peak oil, the market value of used, older gas guzzling SUVs should plummet and economical used cars rise.

American iron (heavy SUVs) to not hold up that well (except perhaps to salt damage). So a required brake job (more expensive for 6,000 lb SUV) with worn rotors may send a SUV into recycling, whilst saving a more valuable (although older) 1987 Honda CRX. Brake job with new rotors should cost less for the Honda than the SUV, and the car should be worth more (Still cheap though).

Best Hopes for seeing my last Hummer (on the road) by 2011,


"plummet" is a relative term.

A quick check for a Hummer (probably not the best example) on autotrader.com shows a 2003 Hummer H2 for $36,000. It will be scrapped instead of repaired when its resale value is less than some major repair, say $500.

For its resale value to plummet that far just based on fuel costs would probably mean gasoline prices of $10 or $20 per gallon. (a couple of years fuel costs being more than the purchase price).

Not to mention that as they become more uncommon, gas hogs will become even greater status symbols.

Making a full upgrade to the vehicle fleet will take a couple of decades. Partial upgrades will only take part of that time.

Good used cars with good mileage can be expected to appreciate, or at least depreciate more slowly in the face of higher fuel prices. Particularly since there are a fixed, small pool of them.

I wonder how many existing high-end cars could be retrofitted with more efficient drivetrains. Rip out the (automatic) transmission, engine, and all electronics related to the two and fit an efficient gasoline or diesel engine with a 6-speed stick shift. Perhaps you could even devise a simple hybrid assist with engine shutoff when stopped. Wouldn't cost more than a few thousand dollars and might effectively turn a Mercedes Benz E550 into a E220 turbodiesel to raise mileage from 20 MPG to 40 MPG. Cars from the early 80s, which are already lighter and smaller than today's monsters, might also be perfect targets for retrofitting since their engines and transmission are all but worn out by now.

I would guess very few are worth the effort. Look at the curb weight of these monsters. One exception could be the small pickup (s10/ ranger) could be fitted with a small diesel engine rather easily. (many already have a 5 speed). My dream is for a diesel wrangler; but im not sure how many years of affordable diesel we have left.

If people were to just get the whole crude net export picture along with their probable future access to fuels I think they'd run from their guzzlers ASAP.

There's something like 700 million vehicles on the roads of the world today. China is on track to produce 10 million annually this year or next as I recall. Most of the vehicles that exist are in net oil importing countries

Point is there may be enough diesel fuel and gas tanks on the road right now in the consumer nations to account for all the ($10) fuel likely ever coming their way. We are literally driving the last of the dinosaurs.

As you pointed out ,depending on the vehicle, they last up to 15 years or more. As also noted because of behavioral/financial issues people may not be able to shed what they drive today or they will pass them on to others if they can.

Even if we stopped producing guzzlers over the next few years I believe we'd never need another to see the last of the (acceptably priced) fuel ever put through them. We're not even talking aircraft, ships, diesel rail, and ag/construction equiptment yet.

The estimates and assumptions are pretty dynamic, but even 700 million vehicles (including busses and long haul trucks) getting an average of 20 mpg (probably high) and each having 200,000 good miles left in them. (many road haulers go to the 1 million mark+) would burn 167 Billion barrels.

The expected miles are high cause we won't quit adding trucks, and cars tomorrow and we may be forced to drive these out further. Then we haven't counted any of the ships, planes, diesel rail and the rest. The military use is huge for heavens sake.

I buy Westexas's export land model (250 to 500 Billion barrels likely coming as imports) and I've concluded it's all already spoken for with just the vehicles we have today. Certainly with the ones we'll build in the next few years before the process slows down. The thing we have to settle on is how much we are willing to sacrifice to do this.

Alan, there will be plenty of hummers on the road. Complete with 50caliber machine guns. Enforcing order. 2011 sounds a bit late; my guess is the military response will be early on, after the first law-and-order breakdowns. It will, of course, make the breakdowns worse.

cfm in Gray, ME

Those are Humvees (same vehicle as Hummer H1 but US Army/USMC issue are Humvees). I still see them in the flooded areas and they frequently came up my street when I first returned.

Best Hopes for NO Blackwater SOBs (they were/are the worst !),


Ahhhhh !

I've been reading this site for about 4 months and that is the first link to a Global Guerrilla's I've seen.

I came across John Robb's writing just before he started GG and followed his work there. It was obvious to me immediately that his work was seminal.

Yes it can get worse.

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




The people on the street, and I'm not even talking of the welfare establishment or the illegals, are stuck with what they have because they are in debt to their eyeballs. Heck, they just bought hundreds of thousands if not millions of fancy trucks and SUV's and financed them for 6 or 7 years because they had a few dollars rebate on them. They all are upside down because they are worth virtually nothing on resale with gas at $4.00
With the real estate bubble they can't use their house as an ATM anymore, you could look at the vehicle stock as a car/truck bubble and their credit cards are maxed out.

A good example of how financial collapse intervenes in mitigation attempts to deal with an energy collapse. As I mentioned above I believe we have to deal with multiple collapses which will overwhelm our efforts to mitigate their effects. Not that we shouldn't try though.

On an individual basis we have more flexibility and stand a better chance of dodging the bullets than the monolithic system of the nation state and its institutions do. From this point of view I believe the big picture is only relevant in defining small scale action (say like ELP). Therefore, reliance on the nation state and its infrastructure should be minimised, which has major consequences on how we utilise our own resources.

The main problem in structuring a strategy for the future is timing, more succinctly, which threat to deal with first. It's no good preparing for reduced availability of energy, only to be side swiped by some economic problem which removes food from shop shelves. Trying to prepare for all eventualities simultaneously is also too much of a strain on individual resources.

It would be nice if, here at TOD, we could have a defcon, news gathering system and discussion group for each of the identified areas to help organise preparation strategies. I know these areas are already covered in a casual fashion, perhaps a slightly more structured approach would be beneficial?

What is fascinating to me is how reality seems to be just a few steps behind what World Without Oil has been doing. This experimental project was designed to be a grassroots information center for people to share what is going on in their local regions as the big "Peak" manifested. The authors state that this type of information will be critical in times of extreme crisis (i.e, Katrina) since the federal government may not be of much help.

There are educational links, mission (creative, real world actions) links, and personal stories of news and survival.

It was supposed to totally fictional, but it is not that far from what we are currently experiencing. I believe the experiment ends in a week or two.


Re: Australian coal fired power plants running out of cooling water. This is comparable to those hurricanes knocking out oil platforms. Nature is selfregulating while its equilibrium is disturbed by our fossil fuel burning activities.

"There is no goddess but Gaia and Algore is her prophet!"

-- comment on story at

It's either Gaia akbar or Gaia foobar. Your choice.

Well I'm sorry but there's no evidence Al Gore has any god/dess other than the Corporate Dollar. It will be interesting if he plays any significant part in 2008 politics.


Huge ice island to go with the floe

A Manhattan-size ice island off the northwest coast of Canada's Ellesmere Island could soon be on the move because of extraordinary conditions in the eastern Arctic, ice experts say.

Huge cracks and areas of open water have been appearing near the Ayles Ice Island in recent weeks, says Luke Copland, an ice specialist at the University of Ottawa, who is flying to the island this weekend for a first-hand look. He intends to plant a tracking device on the island so what he calls a "sentinel" of climate change can be followed in real time as it migrates around the Arctic.

The ice island formed in August 2005, when the Ayles Ice Shelf, which was up to 4,500 years old, cracked off Ellesmere Island and slid into the sea. It is 66 square kilometres in area and between 30 and 40 metres thick, making it the largest ice island in Canada in 30 years.

The big question now it whether Ayles Island, which is expected to head toward the southwest, will become stuck in Canada's Arctic islands, or head for the Beaufort Sea - a prospect that worries oil companies.

"It's really woken them up," Copland says. Representatives from one major U.S. oil company recently flew to Ottawa to meet with the ice forecasters and researchers to discuss the risk to drilling operations off the North Slope of Alaska.

Most everyone here has taken an econ101 class, so I'd like you all to think of the basic economy's cashflow circulation model, http://www.zeromillion.com/echronicle/images/chart1.gif with its various inputs and outputs.

Demand for gasoline is somewhat more than 900M Gallons/Day, but I'll round down to 900M. For every one cent rise in price, $9M is removed from the economy's cashflow and sequestered away in what I'll call BigOil's Honeypot, which from time-to-time reinjects some of this cash back into the economy, but not with the consistency and diversity of overall consumer spending. So, for all practical purposes, $9M/Day is removed from the economy for every one cent rise in price, or $3.285B/year.

Over the last six months, we've seen gas prices increase close to 70 cents/gal: .70 x 900M=630M/Day removed from economy, which if it plateaued and stayed at a .70/gal over last years price for a year would remove $229,950,000,000 from the yearly economy. In other words, consumers would have $230B LESS to spend in the overall economy.

Now, GDP will be unaffected by this as the gross numbers will remain the same. A look at how much is removed with a rise of 1.50/gal--from 2.50-4.00: 1.50 x 900M = $1.350B/day or just under a half trillion dollars per year--$492.750B.

It shouldn't take much of an imagination to see how rising gas prices will severly impact purchasing power over the economy as a whole, and how they will effect already depressed areas that cannot afford to see any more money removed from their local economies.

I would add that BigOil will reinject some of its gains into the economy--but it will be the GLOBAL economy, and even more specifically into companies operating in the global oil patch. The same economic analysis could be made for other commodity prices. That BigOil is perceived as parasitic is because it is relative to local and even national economies.

but it will be the GLOBAL economy

Most of that 230 billion has gone to overseas companies/countries. A small portion has been reinjected back in the world economy through the purchase of other commodities, but most of it has gone to one of two places. Either it is held as foreign currency reserves, or reinvested back in the States, either as the purchase of treasury debt or the purchase of stocks/equity in american companies/capital assets.

Basically, you are seeing the drain of money from the lower/middle class of america into the hands of foreign and domestic wealthy. The money that it put back into circulation is mostly staying in the hands of the worlds wealthy, and never dribbles back into the poor and middle class. The US addiction to oil is one of the prime drivers of the destruction of the economic health of much of our country.

karlof1, you are so unbelievably ignorant its hard not to believe that you are a paid troll trying to discredit TOD. 80% of the oil is produced by national oil companies, the refiners in the US purchase it from them. Only 5% of the gasoline is sold through Major company stations, the rest are owned by convenience stores and independent businessmen. The Majors refine about 40% of the gasoline, the rest is independent refiners. And they own less than half of the US production, most of the domestic wells are owned by Independents
The major companies are owned 80% to 90% by pension funds and Mutual Funds, mostly here in the US. If you nationalise them how do you propose to recompense the beneficiaries of the pension plans...oh yeah, they have the actuarily sound Social Security to fall back on (thats sarcasm, you halfwit).

how do you propose to recompense the beneficiaries of the pension plans.

Maybe if you read Chevez's latest book pick you will be able to answer your own question?

Thank you Bob. My blood pressure is still so high that is about all I can say,

Also thanks to Jon Kutz. Had he not pointed out gas numbers I would.

Your assault is wholy unwarranted. It's as if you're completely ignorant yourself of what I wrote. My post was about the macro economics of rising oil prices and its effects on the economy. I said NOTHING about who produces or sells the oil. BigOil consists of two parts--the International Oil Companies (IOC) and National OIl Companies (NOC). I NEVER stated which was getting the additional monies as you clearly imply.

I would say that you show yourself to be the fool here as your comment doesn't address ANY portion of my post.

I would add that BigOil will reinject some of its gains into the economy--but it will be the GLOBAL economy, and even more specifically into companies operating in the global oil patch.

My understanding is that BigOil is spending a lot of money purchasing back its own stock and not investing in new energy alternatives. Purchasing back outstanding stock increases the value of stock shares remaining. Dpending on ownership, options and structure, it will of course amount to a shift of wealth from general population to the rarified ownership class. As prices go up, GDP will increase. Yeah! Nothing new. Move along.

cfm in Gray, ME

Increases in stock price is not counted in GDP.

My bad for being unclear. Increases in price of fuel purchased increase GDP.

I hate to tell you, but the USA uses about 22 million barrels of oil - Note OIL - per day. There are 42 gallons per barrel so we use about 924 million gallons of OIL for all petroleum uses!
Our refineries turn out about 8.9 million barrels of gasoline per day and we import another 1.1 million barrels a day of gasoliine. Total USA usage comes to about 10 million barrels of gasoline per day x 42 gal/barrel = 420 million gallons of gasoline per day.
I won't spend any more time on the rest of your post as other s have already done that.

They just slap a turbocharger on the printing presses and ride the bubble until it blows. :-)

According to "This Week In Petroleum", http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/oog/info/twip/twip_gasoline.html Gasoline demand for the week ending 5/11/07 was 9.404 MBD. At 42 gallons/barrel, we have 394.968M gallons. So I erred by using the wrong number for demand. I appologize, but NOT to oilmanbob, who should have pointed out the error instead of going into his diatribe. At least we learned what sort of man he isn't.

We need to import some of those 'manpower' machines from Ghana ASAP.

Think of the stored energy we could be recovering from the fat@sses of America!

Oink oink!

Hello Wolverine,

I think strategic reserves of 150 million wheelbarrows and bicycles would be a good, cheap start:


This is much more useful to help future generations survive and possibly thrive above the bare, rock bottom, minimal survival level. We simply must plan ahead to have adequate numbers of essential tools that will leverage human exertion as much as possible. Relocalized permaculture with 60-75% of us laboring in the fields and garden plots is our best solution. Spiderwebriding can achieve even greater human-exertion efficiencies if we wisely plan ahead.

Hopefully, it won't be 150 million guns and machetes' in a North American Easter Island-type moshpit. I remain a fast-crash realist until huge numbers of human-powered machines and hand tools are plentiful for all. Time will tell.

Never forget: one crude barrel = 25,000 physical man-hours.

It is the Destiny of the Young to profoundly realize and accept that hard labor will be the only basis for their survival once they are priced out of FFs. I hope they have the wisdom to make smart choices. I am trying my best to alert them by Peakoil Outreach.

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

Hi Bob!

I'm 28, so I guess that makes me fairly young. I also feel like I'm pretty well aware of what's coming down the pipe, but I've done very little to prepare. I've probably forgotten all the gardening knowledge I acquired with my parents when I was growing up. My mother has allowed the garden at our house to go wild, so it is not even usable at this time.

I agree with you that we really need to start taking steps now. I have a bike, but I don't ride it nearly enough. It also has some high maintenance/petroleum dependent parts like a front shock and hydraulic disc brakes.

I also share your hope that America doesn't turn into 300 million individuals with machetes and assault rifles as oil production declines. I take decent care of myself and I can tolerate a fair share of physical labor. Sometimes I do wonder if I'll be able to get back to my folks' area of the country which is fairly out of the way when things start getting bad.



Do the best that you can to spread Peakoil Outreach to your generation every chance you get. I will be 52 this month: if TSHTF in 10-20 years, my generation hopefully will step aside, in some manner, to help increase the younger generations survival chances.

Bob, as a parent I both share and applaud your approach to the progeny.


Regarding 'stepping aside'.

IMO part of the reason we are in this dilemma is due to 'stepping aside' on raising our children. We let the Television and gaming industry take over the role of nanny.

They were left home alone with vicious toys while mom's were out working and shopping.

The culture of 'lets work our asses off and spend like fools' meanwhile leading to spoiling junior and juniorette with more and more toys to assuage the feelings of guilt induced by realizing we had really abandoned our children.

They grew up with the values they found sitting in the shopping malls. No Boy or Girl Scouts for them. Metal Music,Gameboys,Nintendos, Xbox...reality TV shows,,thats what raised our children.

Now the only ones who have a real clue are us oldsters. Generations from the cold war. Class of '5x' Those who were part and parcel of the hippie generation. Who thought of sustainability and back to the land, who hadn't yet yielded to the golden dreams of make believe and diving down the rabbit hole.

And Bob you propose we 'step aside'?

For my part I raised my children with a mother that never worked yet the toy culture stole my children to a large degree anyway...so fault is hard to access but I do know this.....This generation of youngsters,the ones I see flipping hamburgers,working at car washes,jaded and burned out, metal and rocks in their faces,tattos galore,music that is not understandable.....they are toast. They haven't a chance.

It will be THEIR children who might rule but not them. We the class of '57 and thereabouts will soon dieoff of natural causes or of the real dieoff. Our legacy will die with us.

Our causes will not be remembered.

It was a grand time. It was the best of times. What followed it was trashville.

I believe that it started with the 'yuppies' back in the 80's. The execs and CEOS accelerated the process by hollowing out all our industry for pure greed and ego. We started the death spiral and finished this country off with Outsourcing and Offshoring.

Now we are executing the final stroke as we consume the last dregs of energy. All this chatter about alternative energy, ethanol, bikes and PVs I doubt will help for we have no real moral imperative to charge ourselves with.

We are 'hollowman' come to life. Totally transparent. No real flesh and bones. Nothing left spiritually to grab onto. Just the folly of greed and ego. Or as Solomon put it.
"Vanity of vanities. All is vanity and vexation of spirit"

A dying world reaches out for one more cappachino and dreams about making it on The Amerkhun Idol shew. Or staring at the Fox News team in NYC thru the plate glass window and when the camera pans over to make idiot faces and show the news team that we really are zoo creatures and they are the keepers.

Airdale-my weekly rant

Disaster in Somalia

A couple of years ago, there were news stories about Somalia's "Warlords of the Wells." Warlords who took over wells (often dug with UN funds) and charged people for the water.

It's even worse now....

How bad is it in Somalia? Bad enough that people fleeing the capital have been reduced to renting trees for shelter.

American style free market economy???

Absolutely. It's the invisible fist of the marketplace.

Hello Capslock,

A long time ago: I posted a newslink that detailed where brother Somali clans were fighting to the death over a small stand of trees. One clan, with a short-term mindset, wanted to harvest it now for firewood. The other clan, with a proper Earthmarine mindset, was willing to protect these trees AT ALL COSTS. From memory, it was a brutal firefight.

Maybe the person now renting the shade under these trees was one of the Earthmarine clan. Good for him.

I have posted before how we need Earthmarines to protect tall trees now, so we can build tall-masted ships in the future. This will be a very long timeframe, but it will be an essential task. The first postFF nation with naval power will enjoy a tremendous biosolar trade advantage and/or a piracy advantage if raiding is required for survival.

What the famous poem: "I think that I shall never see anything as beautiful as a tree...."

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

So I'm going to have to add warlord to my list of useful skills to acquire. Is there a "Warlord for Dummies" or "Warlording made easy" book available?

If this has already been noted, well here it is again..

Since October 2006, 35 per cent or more of the United States' population of the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) - billions of individual bees - simply flew from their hive homes and disappeared.


The Joy of NAFTA

West Coast, East Coast, North Coast......

We Canucks feel your pain. Almost exactly.

For some reason, we felt Katrina more than those American metropolises.

we felt Katrina more than those American metropolises

Not as much as New Orleans.


A long time lurker, I want to thank the regular contributors to TOD for the many hours work and rigorous attention to detail in the reports for which one would expect to pay a lot of hard cash elsewhere

I am a 70yo guy from the UK and I have to say that if ever I raise the subject of PO here I am treated as if I have said something slightly boring and eccentric. On the other hand fuel prices at8 dollars a US gallon are not causing a lot of heartburn. whereas the readers comments on the "Gas prices still climbing" story above are downright scary

Given such a lack of interest here and such a lack of insight in the US how do you even begin a dialogue with people about causes and strategies?

For all the 'geniuses' on this site dissing Gore. His only curse has been to be right ahead of the curve of the rest of us. Imagine if he had rightly won in 2000, and with the Rove cabal I am sure that was a stolen election. Not the first in US history, but the ramifications have been unbelievable.

I can assure you we would not today be in Iraq, and American kids would not be getting blown up in shitty hummers, with no armor. The gasoline crisis today would at least have solutions we are working toward. Efforts at carbon reduction, is in a word about fuel efficiency. If this nation were consuming 8.5 million barrels a day of gasoline instead of over 9.5 million barrels a day, the world would be a somewhat different place. We may even have peak oil on the agenda of the government.

We would probably be still America, with the values I remember. Like human rights, being a country that does not kidnap people and hold them without trial, water boarding is not something gore does. The Justice Department would probably be law abiding, we would not be trying to 'fix' elections. We would probably not have a thug in the UN, the World Bank, FEMA, hell name a department. Endangered species would not be getting taken off the endangered species list.

Imagine it.

So I let the man speak. I need to still hear what he has to say.

This isn't a game we are playing. I think Turkel said it best, after George Bush, America is not exceptional any more.

Good job, Scot and Jen.

The neocon trolls on this site can be wearisome. These are the same weasels who lay everything they can at Clinton's feet seven years after his presidency. Clinton got impeached for lying about a BJ. Bush is still in office after murdering thousands. The difference in mindset is staggering.

To me the best analogy would be the fascists of WWII. The people who vent at Gore are the brownshirts beating up people for their "weakness" in dealing with communists. They are the people who would send you off to a camp to be tortured because of your skin color, religion, political stance, environmental views, or anything else that offends them.

After the fascists were defeated, many of them swung in the gallows, but not enough. Though I had, for many years felt that we, as the lighthouse of freedom, should hold ourselves to a higher standard and not simply line them up to be shot, I now realize our mistake. The fascists remained like roaches, hiding in the dark, waiting to rebuild and they did. They now hold the white house. Once the true light of freedom overthrows these scum, we will once again hold trials. This time I say, no guilty party escapes death. Hang them all, put them in the mulch pit. Maybe their bodies will finally serve humanity as their dark and twisted spirits never did.

Very well put!

Let it go man! You can take your concept of a stolen election and keep it yourself. It was not stolen. It was an election. The winner gets all! If I were to tell you to cut down on gas consumption while i drive away in a 05 Chevy 2300HD dualie Silverado, which gets piss for gas mileage compared to a car with a smaller engine and far better mileage. You'd say my crediblity is ruined. But Gore can get away in an airplane while he speaks of making personal sacrifice? And you still worship him? And you along with many other Gore sympathisers take him for his word? Perhaps you should have gone to Jamestown in 79. Gore is grandstanding, trying to sell his book. testing the waters for Presidency! Nothing more.

Please get more informed!

Al Gore lives in a very big house near Nashville, Tennesse. His electric bill bill is more than some people make in a year. he doesn't stand for the common man!
His idea of what the USA should do, would be dependent upon what Chirac of France told him what to do.
Al Gore was clearly not the best choice for the USA. Our elections are not based on popularity votes, or else Anna Nicole Smith or Pam Anderson (or some other Hollywood celebrity) would have been voted in!

You may despise G. Bush, (which is your right to say so)but Al Gore would have been far worse for the USA hands down. Which is why G.W. won the election!
I could go on and on about Al Gore's political BS. Dems and Repubs are no different. They are all self serving, whats in it for me, career politicans! I will never vote straight ticket again in my life, I will judge each candidate on their merits.

by the way, this site is about oil, not politics. lets keep it that way!

I didn't say I have any issue with Al Gore's GW message and I would be a hypocrite for poking at his carbon footprint being larger than mine, because mine is larger than prettymuch anyone in a developing country. I would guess that just the Christmas lights my wife insists I nail up every year powered by a coal plant cause a larger individual carbon footprint than half of the global population.

What I had a problem with is him charging $75/ticket-$250,000 for a 2 hour "show" and not being able to shake his hips like Mick Jagger. If he came and spoke for less than $125,000/hour his message would have had more impact.

If Gore would have gotten elected US president, I am pretty confident the amount of oil, NG and NH3/urea Canada shipped over the border would have been the same or higher.

I don't want to throw more fuel on a raging fire, but let me just add this observation:

If we had seen in 2000 the Al Gore we are seeing now, and if we had seen in 2000 the GWB we are seeing now, I have absolutely no doubt that the outcome would have been very different.

We were clearly deceived as to who and what GWB really was.

Unfortunately, Al Gore let himelf be controlled by his "handlers" and "image consultants" to such an extent that we really were not sure exactly who and what he was, either.

In the final analysis, it is my conclusion that the US political system has become so dysfunctional that it is no longer capable of placing someone with the requisite know-how and wisdom and character in a position of high authority. Even as we speak, it is being weighed in the balance and found wanting.

If I were to tell you to cut down on gas consumption while i drive away in a 05 Chevy 2300HD dualie Silverado, which gets piss for gas mileage compared to a car with a smaller engine and far better mileage. You'd say my crediblity is ruined. But Gore can get away in an airplane while he speaks of making personal sacrifice? And you still worship him? And you along with many other Gore sympathisers take him for his word?

That argument is just stupid and I'm tired of seeing it. Either you're just parroting because you don't have anything of your own to add, or you are intellectually dishonest.

Al Gore's "EROEI" is way better than yours... you speak to one person at the gas station, while millions have either heard him speak or seen his movie. We have to choose what to do with the remaining resources we have. Enabling a popular leader to reach a wider platform to talk about global environmental and energy issues seems like a good way to use some of our remaining resources. Even if he's burning 1000x more than your Silverado he's still reaching millions more people than yourself.

On that most iconic of late night radio programs, Coast to Coast with Art Bell,

tonight's guest is Mark Eberhart:

and the subject is addiction to oil. No doubt P.O. will come up, given that Art Bell has had as guests many of the major P.O. speakers.

Earlier this month Reuters had an interesting article on how Asian demand for naphtha might cause problems for the US gasoline market this summer as European exports are diverted East.

Taiwan, not Texas, may squeeze summer gasoline

Analysts have expected Taiwan conglomerate Formosa Petrochemical Corp.'s new 1.2 million tonnes per year (tpy) naphtha cracker -- the biggest in Asia -- to push up naphtha values when it starts up later this month, turning up to 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of the feedstock into ethylene.

But some are drawing a link between the tightening market for Asian naphtha -- which has rebounded to near the unexpected record highs of March -- and U.S. gasoline, stocks of which saw their sharpest spring decline on record mainly on lower imports.

The Formosa cracker is the latest in a string of new and expanded petrochemical plants across Asia. It will launch just days before the peak driving season in the U.S., underscoring the growing global competition for light-end oil products.

The article's well worth a read, and futher demonstrates how strong Asian growth is putting pressure on petroleum feedstock and product prices globally.

The imminent startup of Formosa's cracker has led to a close to record spread between naphtha and Brent crude because of worries over a naphtha shortage. And on Friday Formosa's shares hit a record on forecasts that refining margins could widen in the second half. China Post gave the reason why:

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. has informed Asian clients it will cut supplies of naphtha in the second half, sending prices of the petroleum product higher, the Taipei-based Economic Daily News reported, citing an unidentified official in the petrochemical industry.

So, what's behind the Saudi cut? Are they just helping the US out here, or are there other reasons behind this?

Finally, gasoline imports from Korea aren't looking so good for June according to a report from Bloomberg earlier this month:

South Korea's biggest refiner, SK Corp., won't benefit from U.S. oil product demand in June as it's scheduled to shut a 170,000 barrels-a-day crude-oil processing unit from May 10 till June 10 for maintenance. It delayed the retooling by a month to take advantage of rising profits from refining oil.

"SK Corp. doesn't have a plan to export any gasoline cargoes in June because of the turnaround," said Louis Kim, a trader at SK Networks Co., which sells fuels for SK Corp.

I can see it now -- the US public is going to soon believe that we need more refining capacity in order to increase our long term supply of fuel. The more refiners we have, the more supply! The refiners cannot keep up with all the crude oil that's available!!!

We already pay more for gas than we know. Let's get country of origin information into the hands of people that buy gasoline molecules by labeling the gas pumps. Our utility bills have RPS (renewable portfolio standard) information mandating certain percentages of renewable power generation. Let's have DPS (domestic production standard) mandates on our gas pumps!

Check out my Youtube video:

Hidden Costs of Imported Oil - Need Country Choice At Pump

Interesting and thougtful video Eddy - thumbs up!

You are putting your finger at the interwoven corrolations that make up the global financial playground as we know it. And the US has traditionally been the no.1 driving force fueling international trade (after WW2).

Now it starts to kick back on you (and other western contries), as nations like China,Taiwan,Korea,,, really are delivering the goods, at good quality and cheap price -
And as we at TOD know it all fueled by crude oil...

In my mind when looking at MSM, signals from Wallstreet and EU .... everything will continnue as today for ever, and the political scenes has no mitigations for what to expect "after power down" , as I see it. There are stories telling "something has to be done" - BUT the whole "society-market-loop" is in a dead-lock state - so to speak.

Where do you breake the loop - AND who is gonna do it ????

In Europe the left-wing parties are running FULL-fledge market-driven politics, just as the commersial right-wings .... there is a "light"-touch to it though .......

In US there are two major political-parties (Rep and Dem) - AND they look more or less the same seen from Europeean soil -

WHO is gonne break THE LOOP ?

The modern “Left” and “Right” are merely opposite sides of the same, ultimately counterfeit coin. The overarching argument between the Dems and Reps in the USA, or “Left” or “Right” or “centrist” political parties everywhere has been an issue of “fairness”, that is, how are the proceeds of overall economic growth divided up. The Left thinks that everyone should share equally in the fruits of society’s labours. The Right thinks that those who invest $$$$ in a particular effort should have their investment rewarded first and foremost. The problem is that the reason that the coin that the Left and Right sit on the opposite sides of is counterfeit is that its underlying foundation is that of more or less continuous and eternal economic “growth.” This is patently impossible in an essentially closed-system world with finite natural resources. Peak Oil is the first of many canaries in the coal-mine which will keel over; it is the death-knell to the fantasy of eternal economic growth, and is therefore the death-knell to our economic and political arrangements. And whatever emerges in the way of our new political and economic arrangements, the contemporary “Left” and “Right” will be utterly irrelevant.

Antoinetta III

When you really think honestly about it, every political party is really all about some group using the leverage of government to get something from another group. All the rhetoric and ideology is just obfuscation.

There will never be a political party that promotes the general public and national interest in an objective and impartial manner, for the simple reason that there is nothing that government does, no matter how objective and impartial and disinterested, that does not create winners and losers.

Gore speaks truth to power. It shocks me there are detractors of Gore on this site, since his message offers real solutions and speaks truth to power in a way seldom seen. The fact he actually wants to DO something is probably what makes everyone uncomfortable. We got some closet Exxon/SUV lovers on this site.

As far as criticising Gore for using a plane. That is the most Limbaughesque comment I have ever seen on this site. I heard his mother doesn't turn the lights off when she leaves the room, and he even one time changed the oil of his truck when he was a teenager and didn't properly recycle!!

Come on, we are talking about real change, real solutions. THIS is what he did in Canada, this is what he precipitated in Canada. A Country that has violated its Kyoto commitments more than any other country in the world.

Look it up. And as far as charging tickets, give me a break. The freakin Dalai Lama was in Chicago and the charge there was over $100 a ticket. I don't think he gyrates his hips either. Most of Gores money he raises goes to his WorldChanging Charity, and facilitiates greater communication of Global Warming and Environmental issues. Not a bad place to park my 75 bucks. Hell of a lot better than giving it to Rolling Stone so they can snort it up their noses.


This is what really happened in Canada:

The Harper-Baird plan was "a national embarrassment," he said.

The Minister himself subsequently made a presentation defending 'Turning the Corner,' after which Suzuki burst through the media scrum, wagged his finger in front of John Baird's face and reminded him of the promises he had made when the two had met in Ottawa the previous week.

"It's a disappointment," he said to Baird in front of all the cameras.

When Al Gore called the plan "a complete and total fraud" on the Saturday, he added that, before now, "The rest of the world always looks to Canada for moral leadership," which made the climate change plan even more "shocking."

Intensity reductions, Gore claimed, was a "poll-tested phrase" developed by think-tanks funded by Exxon

Great stuff. And TOD should support these kinds of truth tellings, and not snivel about tickets and how he got there - missing the guts of the message.

Dr. Suzuki who has spent his entire life being an environmentalist did a bus tour across Canada at about the same time. Guess what his ticket price was?

I have no issue with Gore's message or his carbon footprint. If you think a wannabee US president had some huge sway over Canadian politics, that I heard one person even mention Gore was here the next day or that the Tar Sands aren't going ahead full force or that my brother-in-law didn't pull a 12 hour shift on the big digger at the coal mine today or that I couldn't get Gore's message in 5 minutes off the internet: believe what you believe.

If he was so interested in "Spreading the Word", why did he block all media coverage? You would think he would want everyone in Saskatchewan to know what he had to say, not just the ones with $75 and the ability to go to his show on a Monday morning.

You really don't understand politics then do you.

You speak my mind Scotjen61 - thx

- Gore is misunderstood by some strange thinkers - as I see it. I see the same arguments over and over again .... Accusing the rich guy Gore for behaving different - than he preaches...

Do one have to be poor to be thrustworty in such issues ????

In knowing Al Gores long-term standing on the climate issue - it is clear to me he is genuine – most of his opponents are probably young and unknowing of this. Al Gore for president next time – there are few hidden agendas in selecting him – IT IS ALL IN THE DAYLIGHT NOW … one already understands that strong measures has to be taken – and his politics will ADDRESS PEAK OIL AT THE SAME TIME - hurrah !

And as you put last here – politics these days is a strange thing

All the best

I don't see that the issue of fairness and how to divide up the wealth goes away when the pie doesn't grow, or shrinks...

Just the opposite, if anything. In a growing system, whether private interests or the public good should have greater weight is a question that can be solved by fuzziness. Both views can find reflection in the political economic system... a little private gain, a little redistribution.

It's when growth stops, or the economy contracts that the fight promises to gets really nasty. And when that happens, the wealthy can be predicted to resort to violence and private armies, while wealth redistribution can be forecast to become a genuine matter of life and death.

The case for a communal ethics on a closed system (ie. a leftist perspective) is MUCH more compelling than in an expanding oil-fueled system in which the rising tide can lift most boats at least a little.

Interesting times are coming.

Interesting indeed. When all boats are rising, the ability of the wealthy to 'fence in' the commons was made possible.

In a world without oil, those common interests, whatever they are defined as will become increasingly important to people. The commons today will include public transportation, it will likely include public rights to renewable energy sources. The electric grid, and solar generation of electricity may be cliamed for the commons (as oil resources are being nationalized - brought back into the commons - worldwide).

Common land may become of renewed importance if we have to re localize food production. Access to waterways may be commonized. Common copyright and patents. Letting few companies profit excessively from ideas for extended periods of time will be luxury that passes. It is happening already in the area of music and movies.

I could see free public transport. Every family allocated a common lot of land for agriculture. The library will be of renewed importance. Common medicine.

It really goes on and on. The rising boat arguement has allowed alot of our common heritage to be taken away, without folks really noticing.

That WILL change.