DrumBeat: June 1, 2007

Africa's Oil Dreams

By some estimates, Africa holds 10% of the world's reserves, but that figure belies the importance West Africa has already achieved as a source of energy. According to Poisoned Wells, a new book on African oil by Nicholas Shaxson, an associate fellow with international affairs institute Chatham House in London, the U.S. imported more oil from Africa than from the Middle East in 2005, and more from the Gulf of Guinea than from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait combined. Nigeria, the giant of the region, supplies 10-12% of U.S. oil imports. "There's a huge boom across the region," says Erik Watremez, a Gabon-based oil and gas specialist for Ernst & Young. "Exploration, drilling, rigs, pipes. It's exploding." Ann Pickard, Shell's regional executive vice president for Africa, agrees: "The Gulf of Guinea is an increasingly important place."

OPEC oil output edges higher in May - survey

OPEC boosted crude oil output in May as higher supply from members including Algeria and the United Arab Emirates countered a drop in Nigeria, a Reuters survey showed on Friday.

Next Stop: Dow 25,224

Everything says the market should tank. But it's not tanking. The market sees something on the horizon that has it in a good mood.

What is it?

A booming China? Booming globalization? A new tech revolution spawned by iPods, online video and Web 2.0? Or is it the fact that Bush is a lame-duck prez?

Well, it's all of that, plus more.

..."To quench the world's thirst for energy, projections call for a cumulative investment in energy-supply infrastructure of over $20 trillion in real terms over the next 25 years - substantially more than was previously estimated."

Humanity must recognise our entire way of life is chronically short-termist

The costs of tackling climate change are too high and the benefits too distant for us to think we can make any difference.

Why Our Electricity System Is Headed for a State of Emergency

Most people don't realize that skyrocketing global energy demand and economic growth severely affect the supply of electricity. Between production (power plants) and delivery is an antiquated, "third-world" transmission grid that is in desperate need of hardening against breakdowns, terrorist attacks, inadequate carrying capacity, and operational obsolescence. And while electricity doesn't hold the headlines or dramatic power of oil, the ability to ensure its uninterrupted supply at a reasonable price is even more essential to global survival and prosperity.

Soaring electricity rates leave lawmakers feeling powerless

Over the past year, state legislators have made it clear there's no consensus about how to respond to rising electricity rates.

But as lawmakers scramble to act before the 2007 session ends next Wednesday, the biggest problem may not be that they can't decide what to do. Rather, it may be that there's little they can do - at least anything that will change things in the short term.

Consumers undaunted by high gas prices

U.S. consumer sentiment rose in May as consumers remained resilient despite record high gasoline prices, according to a poll published Friday.

Paying More Than Ever For Gas? Not If Buying Power Is Considered

Ask a free marketeer what government should do about rising gasoline prices and the usual reply is "nothing," because "high prices provide incentives to conserve and for companies to deliver new supplies." But as gas prices near all-time highs, consumers are hardly flinching.

Sure, they'll shake their fists at the oil companies if asked. But gasoline consumption is actually higher today (by 1%) than it was last year even though pump prices increased by 15% over the same period.

Want to save the planet? Move to a big city

Even those who have no intention of going green have an image of what an ethical lifestyle may look like - an "eco-house" surrounded by trees and fields with a patch of earth for organic greens.

But this image is a myth, claims a new book, and the road to true eco-living is much simpler - we should all move to the city.

BP scraps its carbon capture venture

BP has scrapped plans to build a carbon capture centre in Scotland after the Government's energy review yesterday delayed a decision on subsidies.

Indo-US nuclear deal faces rough weather

The first issue is the reprocessing of the used nuclear fuel. The US wants India to commit that spent fuels will not be further used. Now for a country like India, which has been reeling under acute power shortage amid high industrial growth, accepting such a condition will only aggravate the problem.

Sweden Looks to Indonesia for Biofuel

Motor vehicles in Sweden are now using as little as 3% biofuel in the form of ethanol from Brazil and the government is aiming to have cars and buses running on palm oil-based biodiesel from Indonesia and reduce fossil fuels usage to 50% by 2020 to reserve its supplies and lower the carbon dioxide level in an effort to reduce global warming.

Ethanol Industry Fights To Keep Fuel Prices In Check

According to experts, if every gallon of ethanol were removed from today’s gasoline supply, per gallon gas costs would rise an estimated 45 cents, making the national average for fuel nearly $4.00 dollars per gallon.

The Corn Conundrum: Reducing Poverty and Hunger With Biofuels

At an agriculture conference a couple of years ago, I met a Mexican agricultural economist who hoped that every last kernel of US corn would be used to make ethanol so global grain companies would stop dumping heavily subsidized US corn at below production cost in Mexican markets. Poverty and hunger in rural Mexico (and immigration to the US) increased because NAFTA and subsidized US corn displaced two million Mexican farmers.

Russia breaks into British nuclear fuel market

Russia has signed a deal to supply nuclear fuel to a British generator, local media reported on Friday, a first breakthrough into the British market for Russia's fast-expanding nuclear sector.

EU project to develop first fuel-cell aircraft

The Environmentally Friendly Inter City Aircraft powered by Fuel Cells (ENFICA-FC) project is receiving €2.9 million from the EU as part of the aeronautics and space priority of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).

No More Gushers for ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil's official mantra is that "we are doing all we can to bring more petroleum products to market to meet growing energy needs." The numbers say otherwise, and this is a company where numbers speak louder than words. The number that matters most is return on capital employed - that is, net profits divided by what's been invested in oil rigs, pipelines, refineries, etc. ExxonMobil's ratio, 32.2% last year, is consistently the industry's best. When ExxonMobil gives more money to shareholders than it spends on capital and exploration, that means its executives can't find enough new projects that they think will generate 30%-plus returns.

Reserve Bank reforms

We as a society will have to face very soon the geophysical reality of the imminent peak and irreversible decline of crude oil extraction on a global level - a phenomenon commonly known as peak oil. This would mean ever-rising crude oil prices and rising inflation and food prices.

Will the Reserve Bank continue to raise interest rates in a futile attempt to curb inflation and bring economic growth to a grinding halt?

Peak Oil Passnotes: Normalising $70 Oil

In the past week or so, we have once again seen the price of Brent crude touch $70. But now it appears that even a plateau of $70 oil is not worrying politicians and bankers unduly. There is no great hurry on the parts of central banks to raise interest rates. How did we get to this point? And when Brent breaks out of its range, which way is it going to go? Up or down?

The World As We Know It

The tech implosion created a knowledge vacuum which became filled by three beliefs that I thought would paint the future: 1) The dollar is doomed due to America's horrible fiscal irresponsibility and Asia's turn at the helm. 2) The time for commodities is now since 20 years of decimation had created massive underinvestment. 3) We are likely at Peak Oil based on Simmons' research. I employed these thoughts in 2002, and hence, the portfolio has done okay. Those tech stocks never recovered, but I have.

Australia: A numbers game that's hard to win

Motorists "know" that petrol retailers get together and fix petrol prices or, at least, think they know. Motorists also think government should "do something" about it.

KSA wants to join ranks of world's top 10 nations

"Our mission is to position Saudi Arabia among the top 10 most competitive nations by 2010 through the creation of pro-business environment, knowledge-based society and by developing economic cities."

Edwards contends with Big Oil

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards took on the oil companies Thursday while campaigning in Menlo Park, with the help of a San Jose teenager who says his friends can barely afford to fill up their SUVs and a Hummer.

Rush Limbaugh: A Petroleum-Free Society Can’t Be, Breck Girl! ("Breck Girl" is his name for presedential candidate John Edwards.)

The Breck Girl "says a wave of mergers in the oil industry should be investigated by the Justice Department to see what impact they have had on soaring gasoline prices. During a campaign stop in Silicon Valley on Thursday, Edwards will berate the oil industry for 'anticompetitive actions' and outline an energy plan he says would reduce oil imports 'and get us on a path to be virtually petroleum-free within a generation.'"

It's not possible. That is irresponsible to tell anybody we're going to be virtually petroleum free in 25 years. It's not possible, folks. It is not and anybody who tried to bring that about is dangerous! It is simply impossible. This is pure populist rhetoric during rising gas prices, and it's designed to prey on people whose knowledge of economics in general is woeful, or inept.

Our biggest challenge: Solving energy crisis

It's time our nation gets serious about our energy problem. And the usual suggestions just don't cut the mustard, as they would be little more than Band-Aids on gaping wounds, or have problems of their own that have not been resolved.

UN: Climate making forest fires bigger

Climate change is making forest fires around the world bigger and more intense, increasing the threat to people and the environment and costing countries millions in damage and firefighting expenses, the United Nations said Thursday.

Consumers should take the lead in gas crisis

While some consumers are blaming the government for higher gas prices, they need only look in the mirror for the solution. A number of factors — shrinking refining capacity, natural disasters — are fueling prices at the pump, but consumer demand drives gas prices.

Majestic town: How Williamsburg leads on wheels

Now, as other jurisdictions are recognizing the value of muscle-powered transportation, and the contest over alternative transportation funding is heating up due to the awareness of global warming and peak oil, Williamsburg commuters have muscle-powered alternatives that most of Virginia can only dream of.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers have just published the online version of their June 2007 Journal of Petroleum Technology, which is distributed to their 73,000 members and throughout the world's oil and gas industry. They have included four responses to CERA's February editorial.

A very brief summary of a paper by Phil Hart and Chris Skrebowski is one of them. Kjell Aleklett's response was printed as well.

Also included: comments from Peter Jackson of CERA.

Hart and Skrebowski's full length article can be read here (PDF).

Shanghai may face power cuts this summer

Shanghai, China's largest city, may be plunged into darkness as the city's overburdened power-distribution network lags behind its rapid economic growth, state press reported Friday.

Rig Shortage Hinders Indian Oil Exploration

India has put off an auction of oil exploration rights by five months as a rig shortage delays drilling in existing fields and slows a quest to cut dependence on imports.

Sinopec discovers new oil reserves of between 140 mln and 200 mln tons in Xinjiang

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), China's second largest oil and gas producer, has made a new oil discovery in northwestern China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region with geographical reserves of between 140 million and 200 million tons of oil equivalent, the company's official news portal China Petrochemical News reported today.

Philippine Energy Bidding Round Attracts Over 20 Groups

More than 20 local and international energy groups have expressed interest in exploring and developing oil, coal and geothermal prospects offered by the Philippines in its latest energy bidding round, the Department of Energy said Thursday.

Bush unveils climate plans that reject caps

U.S. President George W. Bush unveiled a strategy on global warming on Thursday that stressed new technologies but rejected the caps on greenhouse gases that other rich countries want.

Bush climate plan "the classic U.S. line": EU

President George W. Bush's plan to tackle climate change merely restates U.S. policy which has been ineffective in the past in cutting emissions blamed for global warming, the EU's environment chief said on Friday.

"The declaration by President Bush basically restates the U.S. classic line on climate change -- no mandatory reductions, no carbon trading and vaguely expressed objectives," EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said, according to his spokeswoman.

Japan kicks off "Cool Biz" with south islander theme

Japan kicked off its third summer "Cool Biz" casual clothing drive Friday with politicians sporting southern island fashion as the country tries to fight global warming.

The government has again asked both private and public sector workers to dress lightly and set the air-conditioning at their offices no lower than 28 degrees Celsius (82.4 Fahrenheit) during the sticky summer months.

Dave Cohen: On the likelihood of peak oil

No one can predict the future. The best we can do is to amass lines of evidence that point toward plausible scenarios. Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) claims that the oil supply will continue to grow as it has in the past. Those studying the peak oil hypothesis, so-called peakists, are not so confident that the future will resemble the past. Peakists believe that CERA is ignoring the warning signs of peak oil. Can we gauge the likelihood of a near term peak in the oil supply?

BP to Lose $18 Billion Field Amid Russian Crackdown

BP Plc's Russian venture will probably lose its license to a Siberian field with enough natural gas to supply Asia for five years as President Vladimir Putin extends state control over foreign energy projects.

Analysts split as gasoline prices slip

But analysts are far from united on what the decline means.

"I think that's a small respite from what's ahead of us," said James Cordier, president of Liberty Trading Group in Tampa, Fla.

Cordier thinks prices could climb another 20 cents to 30 cents a gallon if gasoline inventories don't increase significantly, and soon.

But others think prices have peaked.

Peak Natural Resources, History and Future

The unprecedented rate of increase in the utilization of metals, minerals and natural resources of energy in the 21st century has rendered all plans devised before now for producing these materials obsolete. The world’s industries have been caught completely off guard by the rate at which known reserves are being depleted. Businessmen can therefore no long calculate costs reliably and national planners cannot guarantee the future output of their domestic economies.

Argentina cold snap causes energy woes

A cold snap in Argentina led to electricity and natural gas shortages this week, idling factories and taxis and causing sporadic blackouts in the capital.

Beset by the coldest May since 1962, millions of residents fired up space heaters, straining Buenos Aires' electrical grid for three nights and forcing authorities to slash power supply nationwide and briefly cut domestic natural gas provisions and exports to Chile.

Turning Tar into Oil: An Economic and Environmental Disaster Looms

The invasion of Iraq has set off what could be the largest oil boom in history. All the signs are there: multinationals free to gobble up national firms at will, ship unlimited profits home, enjoy leisurely "tax holidays" and pay a laughable 1 percent in royalties to the government.

This isn't the boom in Iraq sparked by the proposed new oil law -- that will come later. This boom is already in full swing, and it is happening about as far away from the carnage in Baghdad as you can get, in the wilds of northern Alberta.

Nigerian gunmen kidnap 3 foreigners

Gunmen attacked a residential compound Friday in Nigeria's lawless southern oil region, kidnapping three Asian workers from inside, police and human rights activists said.

Militants, meanwhile, said they were waiting to see how newly inaugurated President Umaru Yar'Adua would carry out his promises to develop and calm their deeply impoverished region, where the crude in Africa's biggest producer is pumped.

Turkey deploys extra troops to Iraq border as tension with Kurds grows

A Turkish military build-up on the northern Iraq border is fuelling fears of a confrontation between Ankara and Kurdistan's semi-independent government that could further destabilise the region as US forces begin to pull back.

Victory Garden: What Is It Good For?

But where does the reduction in CO2 from a Victory Garden come from? A lot of focus is on foodmiles saved, the reduction of pounds of produce shipped in exchange for what you grow on your own. I think that is a misleading number to focus on.

Hurricane Season Begins: 2007 Atlantic Forecasts 17 Named Storms

The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season should be "very active," with 17 named storms, said Dr. William Gray, a top storms forecaster said Tuesday.

Those named storms are expected to include five intense or major hurricanes (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5) of the nine expected, according to forecaster William Gray's team at Colorado State University.

From financialsense



But this reality has not sunk in with the public. It is quite possible that if Gas Pains increase we will see Big Oil CEO’s dragged into the senate to answer the same inane questions.

One can only hope it will play out as it did in “A Few Good Men”
We start with Lt. Kaffee interviewing Rex Tillerson on why he has not built new refineries.

Kaffee: Just one more question. If you plan to increase capacity to 5 million barrels per day and Exxon always executes on time then why aren’t you building any new refineries? Mr. Tillerson? You stopped building refineries because you knew there is not going to be enough oil to run through them didn’t you? You saw your own discoveries and that of other companies, you saw that accelerating treadmill you were climbing just to stay in place and you knew we were in deep trouble. Fearing windfall taxes from hell and nationalization everywhere you spun this yarn that peak oil will arrive after 100 years. Mr. Tillerson are we at Peak oil?

Mr. Tillerson: You want answers?

Kaffee: I think I'm entitled to them.

Mr. Tillerson: You want answers?

Kaffee: I want the truth!

Mr. Tillerson: You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world of petroleum products and those products have to be produced in increasing amounts to keep our economy alive. What are you gonna do it with? Corn ethanol? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom as the acknowledgement of peak oil will itself have grave consequences for the world economy. You weep at the gas prices and you curse the Oil Companies. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that gas prices though higher than before are still cheap. And Exxon’s existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, produces 4 million barrels of oil a day for you NASCAR morons. You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me producing all I can. You need me producing all I can so that your American Idol obsessed culture can be spared the truth for as long as possible.

We use words like oil, rigs, refinery...we use these words as the backbone to the American life you have got used to living. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who consumes petroleum products 24/7 and uses those very products to protest against oil companies! I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a shovel, dig yourself an oil well and build a refinery in your bathtub. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!

Kaffee: Are we past peak oil?

Mr. Tillerson: I am doing the job you want me to!

Kaffee: Are we past peak oil?

Mr. Tillerson: You're goddamn right we are!

That's an interesting fantasy, Tom Cruise acting like Perry Mason to force Rex Tillerson to admit we are past peak oil. But its a fantasy. What you fail to realise is that the Exxon-Mobil guys actually believe their own stuff, and to a certain extent they are right. It depends purely on your definition of oil, which they keep changing. But if you include bitumen and kerogen (tar sands and oil shale) we've got enough to last through my grandchildren's lifetimes, and my son isn't married yet.
But it isn't going to be cheap enough to use wastefully in internal combustion engines. At $100,000 per level barrel of syncrude production capital investment, plus $20-$30 bbl. production costs, I suspect light, sweet crude will have to be in the $200/bbl range for the economics to work.

"That's an interesting fantasy"
Hey that is a more palatable choice than facing the crap our politicians are doing. No?


I'm with you on the politics of oil depletion. But my problem is with desseminating a work of fiction using a real live person as a character on this site unless it is clearly labeled as a fiction. We've already got plenty of enemies who label us as nuts, and I can see in my mind a talking head or propogandist for the corporatocracy like Glenn Beck totally warping the point made by that fiction to discredit us, calling us liars and frauds. They've already started by labeling us peakists and cultists.

I enjoyed fireangels fiction. Got to throw in a bit of humor now and then. WRT to the Exxon (and CERA etc...) drinking their own kool aid, I think you are right. You probably have to drink it, or hop into the peak oil closet, if you are going to go very far in these organizations. And the same applies to americans in general -- the vast majority haven't a clue, and those that do frequently love that tropical punch flavor.

This is on drumbeat isnt it? Doesnt anything go here? Now if it was an official oildrum post your concerns may be warranted.
I think the pain of peak oil acceptance is so high that a little humor may help. JMHO.

Budr, I agree we need humor, especially to offset the Spinners of the Webs of Doom that so often frequent this blog, I'm just urging caution, particularly at the top post.
As far as drinking the KoolAid, I knew the guy who mixed up the first batch in British Guiana then slugged it down. His best friend in High School was my best friend's older brother, plus his youngest sister was in my elementary school class at Edgar Allen Poe. Spooky!

Looks similar to my post the other day(Friday):

Friday morning delusion

Definitely a fantasy scenario, but fun to muse on.

An article on the importance of imports from the Houston Chronicle:

Reliance on foreign gasoline is growing

After drivers used more gasoline than expected this spring, U.S. refineries, crippled by a spate of outages, could only do so much to boost output. And when oil companies searched for imports to fill the gap, they came up short. The foreign gasoline was heading to other countries that had problems.

That pushed U.S. prices higher.

"Actually, there wasn't enough gasoline to supply the world demand," said Doug MacIntyre, an Energy Information Administration analyst.

They do go on to point out, though, that everything is going to be OK and we will all live happily ever after.

I would point out that this claim from the article is inaccurate:

The biggest suppliers of imported gasoline are a random bunch, led by the U.S. Virgin Islands, where a massive Hovensa refinery, co-owned by Venezuela's state-owned oil company, targets this market.

The Virgin Islands are #2. The UK is #1 when you count finished imports and blending components that end up as finished gasoline.

The UK is likely to continue to be a major exporter - as long as the British can reduce their gasoline consumption faster than Americans increase it. But at some point, the amount available for the refineries will be the never ending bottleneck - and then the trans-Atlantic circulation of another sort will begin to fade.

In a sense, Europeans have more or less decided that diesel is the better IC technology for the foreseeable future, while the U.S. remains very focused on gasoline - which leads to ethanol, which then entails expensive retooling and development for minimal gains and reduced efficiency - and lots of money being thrown around, with none of it hitting the ground - and little of it available for better solutions.

At some point, Americans will realize that though diesel will remain useful in a number of ways, gasoline is a pretty non-essential fuel - but that realization will be fought tooth and nail, and will only become accepted when all the alternatives have been played out.

Amazing to read about windbreak tree lines from the 1930s being cut down for increased corn planting - that is a truly unhealthy response to growing scarcity in the future.

Windbreak trees being cut down for increased planting? That's horribly irresponsible, but I'm not sure I could expect to see anything responsible being done any more, least of all from the Agri-Industry players like ADM and ConAgra. May ADM, ConAgra, and Monsanto burn... (Sadly enough, I'm sure I inadvertantly consume products from all of those companies.)

Why aren't products produced on US territory considered domestic production. The US Virgin Islands are US territory. The folks who think otherwise probably believe a passport is needed to visit Hawaii. Anybody know how to administer an online dope slap?

"Actually, there wasn't enough gasoline to supply the world demand," said Doug MacIntyre, an Energy Information Administration analyst.

While this is not exactly the same thing as saying we have a bidding war for declining exports, it is pretty damn close.

Again, as Deffeyes predicted the cumulative shortfall between what the world would have produced at the 5/05 rate and what we have actually produced is on the order of 500 mb (EIA, Crude + Condensate, the primary feedstock used to make gasoline). This had to have had an effect on world gasoline production.

Meanwhile consumption in the exporting countries is increasing, in some cases exploding (for example, a 50% annual rate of increases in foreign car sales in Russia).

While this is not exactly the same thing as saying we have a bidding war for declining exports, it is pretty damn close.

For gasoline. Yes, there is a bidding war for gasoline. That's why the price has shot up, and has had the ripple effect it has had around the world. But the price of oil is right where it was a year ago. So, I don't think we are having a bidding war there. We have had demand destruction, yes. But at these prices, the market seems to be adequately supplied with oil.

If we can work our inventories down here in the U.S. - and then the price of oil starts to climb as we try to keep the tanks full - then there is an indication of a bidding war for oil. If the Saudi's don't respond to declining oil inventories by opening up the taps, then as I have said before I will conclude that they can't. But if they do - will you admit that they are setting on some spare capacity?

RR, the Saudi's have built a lot of refining capacity over the last 25 years, and my guess is that they are cutting their exports of light crude so they can keep their own refineries supplied and make that extra $30/bbl or so.
If they are in fact declining at Ghawar, and unable to find enough light, sweet crude to replace their production loss, it would make sense that they save their good crude for their own refineries and cut supplies to their competion, the refineries that make gas for export to the US West Coast. In other words, WT's export land hypothesis.
With a finite end in sight for their flush production it makes no sense to increase their production, even if they could. So what I'm concluding is that they won't increase production unless they feel that they are irretrievably losing market share. With the declines at the other supergiant fields and total Russian production losing market share seems unlikely. They can retain their current market share with reduced production, while getting higher prices, a total win for the KSA. I have a feeling that reading the entrails of a slaughtered sheep will give more clear and undebatable results that their production in response to prices.

If the Saudi's don't respond to declining oil inventories by opening up the taps, then as I have said before I will conclude that they can't. But if they do - will you admit that they are setting on some sparecapacity?

On goes my tinfoil hat: will one know where any reported increase comes from? Will one know its not oil diverted from Iraq as mooted here sometime back? One can hardly put this kind of thing past these guys (I don't mean just or even primarily the Saudis).

Of course if you want to go that route, then what's to say that they aren't actually producing far more than they are saying, and they are only claiming the cuts just to keep the world scared so the price of oil stays high?

Hm, no, I don't get you. Why would they over-produce even if they could? They would just leave it in the ground, wouldn't they? That case could be made. But SA's influence on the market is rooted in its role as swing producer. The US is certainly interested in its maintaining that role. So there is every incentive for a SA-US collusion in such a scheme, i.e. hiding SA's peaking. Tell me why I am wrong to be suspicious.

"would they overproduce if they could"

Its possible. As I have posted before. One of the alphabets presented to Ronald Raygun the idea of asking the Sauds to overproduce to drive down the price of oil to make the Russian crude to expensive to produce.

Did that happen. The charts and prices say the Sauds might have done so. Russian oil was basically shut down, They went bankrupt, and the wall came down.

Now is there such a reason to do it again,..Perhaps.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Figure 1 shows that imported gasoline and blending components have been increasing at about 11% per year. This rapid growth is difficult to maintain, especially in light of the relatively flat world production. The graph shows Imports fell back from the expected high growth rate in 2006, and 2007 may be lower yet. In order to maintain the high growth rate, we need a lot of weeks with record increases.

Imported Gasoline +Blending Components

Figure 2 shows net US refinery inputs have been barely increaasing since 2000. With this anemic growth in inputs, it is not surprising that imports need to increase.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers have just published the online version of their June 2007 Journal of Petroleum Technology, which is distributed to their 73,000 members and throughout the world's oil and gas industry. They have included four responses to CERA's February anti-peak oil editorial. A very brief summary of a paper I wrote with support from Chris Skrebowski is one of those:


Our full length original article is available here:

The SPE also gave Peter Jackson from CERA a right of reply. Well worth a read.. Enjoy!


Thanks for the link. It seems like Peter Jackson and the head of the National Association of Realtors are the same person, because they say exactly the same things. Maybe Peter can be entered in this contest!

This paragraph from the first response published by Elmond L. Claridge, Pearland, Texas is a bit confusing:

In Jackson’s article, he points out, as has been long known, that King Hubbert’s curves for discovery and production of petroleum were based on inadequate data. It was apparent, with the discovery of the Prudhoe Bay resources plus research on methods of additional oil recovery, that his assumptions about the total initial oil in place and the fraction of this oil that could be recovered were too low. Instead of a peak in production in about 1970 as Hubbert predicted, Jackson now predicts that the peak can occur no sooner than 2030, and may well be later. Hubbert’s database was too small, but the prediction of eventual exhaustion of the world’s supply of produced crude oil, as he was first to point out, is still correct.

Do you think he meant to say 2000, instead of 1970 for Hubbert's prediction (of world peak)? The peak for US is still 1970-ish, regardless of Prudoe Bay, right ?

He obviously haven't read Hubbert's paper. No surprise there.

The 1970 prediction was for the lower 48 only.

Cordier thinks prices could climb another 20 cents to 30 cents a gallon if gasoline inventories don't increase significantly, and soon.

I am going to cover this in next week's TWIP report (which PG has asked that I start posting here as well). Those who point to increasing inventories and suggest that we are out of the woods are ignoring what historically happens starting in July. Well, actually starting in June, demand picks up and the inventory build ceases. Then, starting in July inventories are pulled down by 15 million barrels. But we don't have 15 million barrels available to be pulled down. That's why many don't think the price has peaked. Throw a hurricane in there, and you know what's going to happen.

Many may be surprised at what happens with gasoline this summer, because they don't realize what a fine line we are walking at the moment. But readers of TOD won't be caught by surprise. Well, Benjamin Cole will. The rest of you won't.

"Well, Benjamin Cole will. The rest of you won't."

ROFLMAO ! An oil guy with a sense of humor...I'm still laughing...wiping away tears...

Anyone tried googling "Benjamin Cole"?

Interesting result

So is he the cornell college student or the nut that killed his 9 month old baby?

Just curious did we ever agree on the Minimum Operating Level (MOL) number, because as you say,

But we don't have 15 million barrels available to be pulled down.

If it is 180-185 MM barrels, then the problem will be VERY significant, don't you think?

Never mind the hurricanes...there is a reason these are called Acts of G*D.

Keep up the good work, Robert!

Yesterday's Financil Times said that Colonial Pipeline shut it's main petrol line to NY, allegedly because of an "integrity check" ...


could this actually be due to the MOL or does "integrity check" actually mean something?


Another pipeline was mentioned yesterday.

Pipeline company to ration space

Colonial Pipeline Co., the world's largest operator of petroleum-product pipelines, will ration space on a gasoline line running north of Collins, Miss., to Greensboro, N.C., starting June 3.

An allocation was imposed for shipments in the cycle because orders exceeded Colonial's ability to deliver on schedule, the company said.

"This is really quite amazing," said Andy Lipow of Lipow Oil Associates, a consulting company in Houston. It means that Gulf Coast refiners are producing more gasoline "than Colonial pipeline has capacity to pump, and they pump about 1.4 million barrels per day."


As if insufficient refinery capacity wasn't enough, are we now we are running into insufficient pipeline capacity?

If the pipeline really is at capacity at 1.4 MMBPD, isn't that another example of lack of expansion (not that I agree).

However, the demand must have been visibly growing, so wouldn't someone have raised a flag. Maybe, this is the source for that story a week or so back with the barges being diverted to the North East with gasoline.

If it is true, then the "integrity check" is certainly not low level driven(MOL), but more along the lines of 100% operation driven - all out.

Definitely interesting.

Or put another way, it could fall under the "integrity check" list of reasons.

Possble list of reasons for integrity check:

Unknown pressure/level drop
- possible hole/leak
- not enough input pressure/level (ie. MOL levels)
- ???? other reasons

This will likely be the way they maintain "integrity" of the pipeline system in the face of shortfalls - by shutting down delivery legs to maintain levels in other legs - rationing/allocation.

At the end of the day, it could be just an inspection.

Hello PeakTO;
Some News on that shutdown!

Colonial Pipeline NY repaired gasoline leak after landowner noticed odor

At the end of the day, it could be just an inspection.

Seems we can get a pretty good picture of these near supply collapse events from the PAD MOLs and the buyer Group activity levels. This documents the recent Midwest event when the PAD 2 MOL first hit 46 mb. Subsequently retail price in midwest towns shot up dramatically settling $.56 above last lear.

On May 17th Fuel supply to the Midwest via the Williams pipeline hit $2.94 wholesale.

It has happened before with similar price signals.

This describes a previous Midwest price runup based on supply issues.

This statement from the EIA describes what is likely the cause.

Buyers watch weekly reports of stock levels for unusual and persistent declines in levels during
periods of high demand. If stocks are falling and approach minimum operating levels (i.e., the level
needed to keep gasoline flowing from refineries to end users), wholesale buyers sometimes become
concerned that supplies may not be adequate over the short term, and willingly bid prices higher to
assure that they have product.

Currenly MOL for PAD 1 (52mb) and 5 seem to be adequate historically. The other thing is that the South and East Coast retail price and the wholesale price for Colonial supply would likely jump contributing to a shortage picture.

I'm not sure we can inferr at this point that there is a problem but it certainly will be 'interesting' to watch throughout the coming dog days of summer. It ain't over by a long shot.

Dow Jones Newswires is reporting that BP has declared force majeure on Canadian crude supply to its Whiting, Indiana refinery.

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Extended unit downtime at BP PLC's (BP) Whiting, Ind., oil refinery prompted the company to declare force majeure on Canadian crude supply to the plant, spokeswoman Valerie Corr said Friday.

The move is official notice to suppliers that the company can't fulfill its obligations to purchase oil from Canadian suppliers to the refinery.

BP apologized to suppliers, Corr said.

"Supply and Logistics has been working around the clock to minimize disruptions to oil suppliers while Whiting's crude oil throughput has been constrained," she said.

Repairs to two of three crude units at the 410,000-barrel-a-day refinery are taking longer than expected, said a person familiar with the plant. One unit, seen back in June is now seen down as late as early July and work on the other, previously seen restarting in early July, is seen taking until August or September, the person said.

BP's Corr declined to comment on the crude unit repair timeline.

No link I'm afraid (behind paywall).

FTX, e-mail me if you would. It's about your weekly table of the gasoline disposition. My e-mail is in my profile.


A question if you will.

Talking with folks, trying to explain today's gas prices are a refining issue and not the boogeyman or whatever, I get stumped into the discussion, and usually have to wing an answer.

It's easy to see refinery issues of fires, delayed maintainence, seasonal switches, etc are the reason, and to cite additional evidence you add a glimpse at steadily rising, if not record, gas imports. But then these imports must meet reformulation requirements. How and where is this done?

Bunyonhead kindly replied yesterday that the majority of imports were blending components, not gas reformulated for a specific US market, but this still leaves the central question unanswered.

If refineries are running flat out, how and where are the components blended-not in the parking lot. Or do you just mix in the tanker truck?. It would seem that this must occur in the refineries also-which are full.

If refineries are running flat out, how and where are the components blended-not in the parking lot. Or do you just mix in the tanker truck?. It would seem that this must occur in the refineries also-which are full.

No, these components are blending at the terminal, completely independent of the refinery. For example, we will send a specific grade to some terminals for the RFG markets, and they will blend in ethanol at the blending terminal to meet RFG requirements.

Thanks alot.

Oh great. Bush wants to discuss the global warming problem for the rest of his presidency and then come up with aspirational goals but no mandates and no way to reach those goals other than a wing and a prayer.

Why Europeans have any more patience with this feckless moron is beyond me. He should be placed at the kiddies' table at the next G8 meeting. It is time that Europe issue trade sanctions against the U.S. unless it signs up for both short and long term mandatory targets which have policies in place to reach those targets.

Technology is part of the solution but the technology won't magically arrive unless their are incentives in place to implement that technology.

The recent price runups in gas prices has shown that even fairly significant increases are not enough to change Americans' travel plans. And now prices are headed back down. This is no way to deal with peak oil or global warming.

Boy, think how fast these last ten years flew by, especially for those of us who are getting along in age. Good luck to those of you who are going to be around in, say, 2050.

I think he may be mentally unstable. He never sounded particularly stable to be begin with, and the pressures of the Oval Office must be a trial for someone who's never really had to work.

CNN ran this story yesterday. It's the kind of thing that used to run only in Capitol Hill Blue.

Dallas Morning News: Friends say "Wild-eyed" Bush "thumps chest," declares "I am the President!"

Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him nearly wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated “I am the president!” He also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of “our country’s destiny.”

A collegue of mine recently labelled the USA as the United Mistakes of America. Sums it up nicely.

Re Dave Cohens piece on EB: "CERA's main argument that there is no imminent peak in production rests on what is termed reserves growth"

I read a piece here by Rembrandt that convincingly makes the point that future reserve growth will be not significant. Can't find the link though.

Edit: therefor my gesture to refer to Denial Yergin

Rembrandt's work on reserves growth is available here.

If you have not already seen it, get a copy of 'Downfall'on DVD

About the last few weeks in the bunker.

An excellent portrayal of delusional madness.

There is a chap in the bunker that beats on his chest, gets a bit wild eyed too.

Brilliant movie...scary in its reality. Heartily concur with the recommendation...

I just hope he doesn't continue...adding stupid things to this mess he has created.

I looked at him giving a speach on AWAR and he could barely finish because he was almost laughing at the part about making america energy independant.

I'm surprised 30% of the americans still like him, however given some of the other stats they have is his approval even that high?

This is in todays' Opinion section in the LA Times. (Apologies if already linked!)

Here is my favorite quotation about the Bush administration, a description of a conversation with the proverbial "unnamed administration official" by the fine journalist Ron Suskind in October 2004:

"The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.' "


Sometimes I wonder if the US has the leaders it deserves....

Given that I have heard some people say that they liked Bill Clintons smile and that is why they voted for him, I tend to agree. Vote for me, :), :0, ;-)...

That quote got a lot of ink when it was first reported in 2004. To this day, liberals at dKos and the like refer to themselves as "the reality-based community."

Maybe Bush's exit route is getting blocked. Looks like they are waiting for him in paraguay....



Why Europeans have any more patience with this feckless moron is beyond me

Well, first of all, he is the elected president of the US, twice. And if he doesn't want to play ball, he won't play. And that's the end of the story.

I believe saying that he was 'elected" twice is incorrect. The first election was decided by the Supreme Court, not by the people. Second one, I think back to song "four dead in Ohio".. so to speak.

And from my experience in Europe the common man on the street has ZERO tolerance for him, and that explains why many tell you to say you're Canadian or Australian to keep the peace and your safety when out and about in many many countries. Like France, Hungary, lots in Germany, and many more.

You seem to assume that there is no consequence for "not playing ball". Do your really believe that or just like to say it to intimidate.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

PrisonerX, the disturbing fact is that damn near half of the people who cared to vote, voted for that moron, and the rest of us lacked the cojones to get out in the street. More people care about "American Idol" than our politcs.


Well for me personally and the reading and research I have been hearing. I am not so sure I buy the fact that half the people voted for him.

First Al Gore won more than 50 percent of the vote in the first election.

Second election, I ask you to recall the "florida" surprise when all the media was hinting big time that all the polls showed that Kerry had carried FL. Then in a remarkable turn of events in the Prez's brothers home state a remarkable turnaround happened.

Then there is Ohio and the documented cases of fraud that is just stunning, which after Fl. had to happen for him to win.

so did he get such a great number of votes in the second election. Electronic voting machines, the purge of legitimate voters by the use of the scam by the "former" Atty General of Arkansa that just resigned today. Monica goodling and her work with the same man to suppress the vote using "ILLEGAL" methods.

Were the people to blame. I don't think I can go there with you. I think both elections were stolen and there is proof of it that seems solid, yet, there will not be an investigation, and the people will not rise up, because, they feel powerless, because they are manipulated by the media I used to work for to be that way imo. Look at how few of us are able to see thru the haze of the BS on the PO subject.

Even in the American Revolution people didn't do much more than complain until something finally tripped their trigger. Will that happen again. maybe, people learn from history. some so they will not make the same mistake twice.

Though I agree this time it does look bleak, but perhaps they will fool us and "them" and rise up and shout, FU M)))ther F"er. Not on my watch.

lets hope so.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Do not forget the massive amount of propaganda, manipulation and deception that went on. There was a distinct lack of "truth in advertising" where GWB was concerned, more so than is usual for political campaigns. I dare say that he is not at all the person that most of that ~50% that voted for him thought that they were getting. Many have since wised up (no thanks to the MSM), some are just not paying attention, and some are just deluded.

Re: victory gardens

If you consume 2500Cal (food measurement equal to ~4100 Kilojoules) over a 24 hour period you are the equivalent of a 120W light bulb.

If you live in a place where your food transport cost 10 times the caloric value of the food you consume to get to your plate, all of a sudden we need 1320 available watts per person per day to survive.

If one increases their caloric consumption by 500Cal a day to work on a smaller farm which can supply anything greater than 50Cal a day you break even in terms of net energy. (500Cal would be medium work for an hour a day, and 50Cal a day breakeven is quite small, thats 12.5 grams of potatoes eaten a day.)

Im pretty sure even crappy farmers can grow enough root veggies for 12.5 grams of consumption a day!

edit: breakeven would be with 125 grams of carbs. 12.5 would represent a difference in food calories and transporation calories of >500. 125 grams means you need about a kilo a week of extra food, which is 52 kg of potatoes or other root veggies a year for consumption. My family has a plot about 4x7 meters and we manage to grow ~10-20 kg of root veggies typically working 10 mins a day with weeding.

"...over a 24 hour period you are the equivalent of a 120W light bulb...."
But what about those people who are not so bright, you know more like a 60 watter? Do they burn less energy?

They make up for it by posting too much on blogs


There are many arguments for vegetable gardening. I don't think direct energy comparisons illustrate these benefits very well.
What is worth noting however is, if I'm doing a little gardening everyday, I'm probably not out driving, jetskiing, working 60hr days or otherwise contributing to the grow/consume at all costs economy as much as others who are not gardening.

A lot of the value is in household and community resilliancy. Yes, you CAN continue making your weekly trips to the grocery store, with no net reduction in your carbon footprint. But what if you CAN'T make that trip, because there have been no deliveries to area service stations for over a week? What if there have been no deliveries of food to the grocery store? At least during the growing season, you've got at least some food to eat, and so do the other gardeners in your community. If you are a serious gardener, you'll probably also have put up some food in canning jars or a root cellar. To the extent that a significant number of people in the community are gardeners, to that extent the food crisis in that community is reduced; if local government only needs to figure out how to feed some of the population, rather than all of the population, that is less of a problem for the government to have to address.

During the two big crisis times that happened within the living memory of some Americans (great depression and WWII), almost everyone raised some of their food in home gardens; many of us did during the 1970s as well. It is a good crisis management tool, both for individual households and for entire communities.

Re: victory gardens

Most today won't paint or even trim the bushes, mow the grass. These victory gardens will probably be hired out too.

Who paints bushes? ;)

Big, Gritty Chongqing, City of 12 Million, Is China’s Model for Future

Now, there's a great model.

I have friends (Americans) in Shanghai who have moved to the suburbs because they couldn't take the pollution anymore.

There is plenty confusion about Chongqing's size, many people now call it the world's biggest city, while others, like here, say there's "just" 12 million people.

Energy Bulletin happened to have this highly recommended eye-witness report from the city this week, which quotes 30 million inhabitants. That's quite a difference. No idea why the disparity, but I'd go with the eye-witness.

Going West in China

As I sat reading Steve Andrews article “An Energy Postcard from China”, I glanced out of my office window into the grey smog covering Chongqing, a city of 30 million people and have some thoughts to add on the expansion of this economy.

• The Chinese government continues the Go West Campaign, it is designed to convince those who are heading into big cities looking for work to go to the western cities and spur the same economic boom that is occurring along the east coast. This includes upgrades new infrastructure, additional energy generation, and the intensification of natural resource extraction in the western regions.

• Every road throughout the nation is being refinished with concrete. From highways to one lane roads that were formerly dirt, nearly every road in every province is being up graded to allow movement of goods and people at a faster pace. This would account for the usage of 45% of the worlds cement year upon year. This is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 8.5% (or 90 million metric tons) during the 2006-2007 period.

• Travelling by rail through Sichuan Province and everywhere else, parallel rail lines beside existing lines are being built for rapid transit and high speed delivery of goods and people. From now to 2010 the Chinese government plans to complete an additional 19,800 kilometers of new tracks and up grade 15,000 kilometers of existing routes.

• Where development and economic growth compete against environmentalism, conservation always falls on deaf ears. One of the most pristine areas in the western part of Yunnan province is the Nujiang Valley, which will have a series of 13 dams built that will cover a 700 kilometer section of the valley built by Huadian Corporation. This one of the last two major dam free rivers in China. The 100 billion kilowatts per hour of generated electricity would be for factories on the EAST coast of the country. In addition the power will be used in new factory complexes that are slated to come into the region to take advantage of tax breaks and special incentives to relocate there.

I can't even find it on a ranking of cities by population:


If you look at it from Google Earth, it looks like the city is only 25 miles across or so. This would give an area of about 80 square miles and a population density (with 12 million) of 150k. Or perhaps 450k. I hope somebody knows how to count there.

Wikipedia suggests perhaps as much as 35 million today, It depends on how you define boundaries. Megalopolises and slums, a bright future indeed.

Chongqing (Simplified Chinese: 重庆; Traditional Chinese: 重慶; Pinyin: Chóngqìng; Postal map spelling: Chungching, also Chungking) is the largest and most populous of the People's Republic of China's four provincial-level municipalities, and the only one in the less densely populated western half of China. Formerly (until 14 March 1997) a provincial city within Sichuan Province, the municipality of Chongqing has a registered population of 31,442,300 (2005), with most of them living outside the urban area of Chongqing proper, over hundreds of square kilometres of farmland. The population of the urban area of Chongqing proper was 4.1 million in 2005.

I have always liked this site re city and metro area populations:


click on "principal agglomerations."

Chongqing used to be just a city within Sichuan province until 1998. Then it was separated as a provincial-level city and given part of Sichuan's territory. (Shanghai, Beijing, and Tianjin are the other 3 provincial-level cities under direct central government control). So Chongqing today comprises hundreds of rural counties and town and small cities, along with the metropolis of Chongqing. Population numbers sometimes quote just the Chongqing metropolis; sometimes the entire provincial-level city. The larger number is misleading.

• Where development and economic growth compete against environmentalism, conservation always falls on deaf ears. One of the most pristine areas in the western part of Yunnan province is the Nujiang Valley, which will have a series of 13 dams built that will cover a 700 kilometer section of the valley built by Huadian Corporation. This one of the last two major dam free rivers in China. The 100 billion kilowatts per hour of generated electricity would be for factories on the EAST coast of the country. In addition the power will be used in new factory complexes that are slated to come into the region to take advantage of tax breaks and special incentives to relocate there.

The west is still shocked that this isn't the 1950s anymore and the developing world laughs at our patronizing illusion that the "white man's burden" is still in effect.

The Chinese don't give a damn about global warming.

They don't give a dam about pollution.

They are building Nuke and CTL plants like crazy and the west is still thinking we can run the whole place on solar power.

I think the reason the Chinese are going in such a radically different direction than the western world is that

A. Confuician culture says that what those close to you think is far more important than what those far from you think while in the west it is somewhat the opposite. Some American-expat living in China blog was using this to reason why in China people can live ten to a room and not get in fights while they have horrible manners in public like spitting and line jumping. All the west's cries about global warming, environmentalism, human rights and sustainability don't matter.

B. The Chinese missed the entire middle years of the 20th century as far as what was going on outside their country. They didn't go through the cultural revolutions that occurred in the west and are still pretty sheltered. Thus the culture of human rights, sustainable development, racial equality, the consciousness revolution, etc. didn't have much deep impact on their culture.

C. The Chinese got educated, and well over the last 20 years or so. They don't need to take any advice. The top 25% of the country education and intelligence wise is the size of the United States!

The latest blogger conference call transcript with the API has been posted:

Blogger Conference Call on Hurricane Preparedness

I was not able to make this one, but Alan Drake and Chris Miller (dryki) were there. They asked a lot of questions. The audio is also available from this one:


Add green cash to that list. A friend in hurricane country says power and phones out = no credit cards.

Hello RR,

Kudos to Alan and Chris!

So I finally added to my blog yesterday... first time in 4 months! Basically a ripoff of westexas' ELP model, but its what I usually throw around when people ask me WTF they should do about PO. It seems to alleviate some of the anxiety/depression that comes with learning about PO.


Questions: We have talked about MOL for gasoline, but is there a MOL for crude? Also, is there any data showing evidence that world crude inventories are being drawn down to satisfy the demand thats not being met by daily production?

Appreciate any feedback. Thanks

We have talked about MOL for gasoline, but is there a MOL for crude?

Yeah, there would be. Same concept. There is a minimum inventory in the pipelines and tanks that is required to keep things moving. I have no idea what that level is, though.

It's all good stuff, but shares the defects of ELP. Personal sacrifice -- well, it's not really sacrifice, it's a good way to live -- won't do a damn thing unless our gov't and the world bodies get serious about dealing with the issues. Hm, the US gov't IS serious about the issue -- it's just headed in the 180 degree wrong direction. There has to be a total restructuring our way of life and relation to the planet. Therefore it's political issue. There is no other way to get things done on a national or international level.

And of course this includes population. 12 or 20 billion of us could perhaps live in communal thatched (optimistically) huts drinking contaminated water and living to 40. Population increase will eat up all other gains. In order to live decent lives we have no choice but to deal with the problem in toto. A new thing is required: a species-based consciousness and will to act.

Regarding the John Edwards in San Jose story

Brandon Li, 18, said. "It's hard for teenagers to get enough money to put in their cars."

This is why it will take physical shortages to create real demand destruction... because teenagers (and everyone else) think they are entitled to the use of hydrocarbons just for farting around and cruising purposes.

The only time people will give up their cars is when the vehicles are dead in the driveway or dead by the side of the road.

We might see some shortages this summer, if RR and others are correct. If we have hurricanes on top of it, we'll certainly see shortages here in the U.S. *sighs* If everybody could just switch to a small car for their daily commute, we could delay all of this for a number of years.

The sooner the better. The longer and more prolonged the shortages the better. Convince the neighbor you dislike to take out a third mortgage, jet to Greenland for an eco tour, and purchase a stretch Hummer. Switching to little cars for daily commute so we can daily commute for a few more years doesn't help. Roger Daltry is right. Burn it now. The faster the better.

The Maine Legislature just overwhelmingly approved widening the turnpike. $10M/mile. It seems there are too many cars and too much airport traffic. [I would expect the problem to fix itself....]

At the same time, it appears that in its infinite wisdom, the Legislature will make riding a bicycle while intoxicated same as automobile DUI. Best hopes for Peak Wisdom.

cfm in Gray, ME

In some jurisdictions, riding a bicycle while intoxicated is already against the law. Don't recall whether the penalties are the same however...

The law was recently changed in North Carolina to make riding a bicycle or riding a horse while intoxicated a DUI. So when you're headed down to the pub in NC, you might as well leave your bicycle at home and take the car.

riding a horse while intoxicated

I would never THINK of riding an intoxicated horse!

Hello Kf5nd,

Brandon Li, 18, said. "It's hard for teenagers to get enough money to put in their cars."

If we don't build my suggested Strategic Reserves of 150 million bicycles and wheelbarrows: then I think it will be very hard postPeak for teenagers to get enough money to buy these items too. Recall my earlier posting where a $200 bicycle jumps to $4,000 in record time. Of course, this is still far cheaper than the current purchase of a donkey in Iraq: upwards of $8,000.

We need to be planning a transition to relocalized permaculture whereby 60-75% of the labor force will be actively engaged in manual production. Above all else: We are 'users of tools' -- if we cannot use a bicycle, or some other peaceful tool, then the young will reach for guns and machetes'. And pink teddybear backpacks for extra bullets.


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

I did some contract work with Burley Design Co-op in Eugene, OR a few years back and picked up a couple flat bed trailers from them.

I highly recommned these. We use the heck out of 'em and they still hold up.


Regarding ExxonMobil "No More gushers" story in Time:

Sheer numbers of wells drilled is a poor measure of how active you are in oil exploration. The use of 3D seismic has dramatically reduced the need for wildcat wells and statistical drilling. This technology came on-board in a big way in the late 1980s and 1990s, so to compare number of wells drilled between 1981 and now is really idiotic.

Also, directional & horizontal drilling have reduced the need to drill as many holes. You can hit multiple objectives on the way down, instead of drilling a seperate hole for each one as in the past.

From Leanan's lead article here,

African oil is cheaper, safer and more accessible, and there seems to be more of it every day ... No one really knows just how much oil might be there, since no one's ever really bothered to check."

Africa's Oil Dreams

Timing is everything:

Yesterday, 3 things happened:
* The White House presented its climate (non-) plan
* NASA director Griffin did this crazy interview
* NASA chief climate expert James Hansen published new climate warnings

Guess what's all over the media? Mission accomplished.

And Hansen has a nice, diplomatic, way of saying Griffin's remarks were no coincidence.

NASA climate scientist 'shocked' by Griffin
Global warming remarks also have the White House trying to distance itself from official

NASA's chief climate scientist joined policymakers from outside the space agency on Thursday in criticizing agency Administrator Michael Griffin's doubt about whether mankind should address global warming.

"I was shocked by his comments," said James Hansen, who shapes NASA's climate research as the head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. "It was a remarkable statement. I don't know if it was planned, or it just slipped out of his mouth."

Even the White House, which has been accused of ignoring a looming global crisis over a rise in temperatures linked to industrial activities, sought to distance itself from remarks made by Griffin in an interview that aired Thursday on National Public Radio's morning show.

The interview was broadcast on the same day the White House unveiled its proposal to limit the production of greenhouse gases by 15 industrialized nations, including the U.S.

"I have no doubt that global — that a trend of global warming exists," Griffin told NPR in the taped interview. "I'm not sure it's fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with."

Griffin, who is spearheading a White House initiative to return human explorers to the moon, initially characterized NASA's role in the global warming debate as limited to monitoring changes in the environment with satellites and turning the data over to Congress and other policymakers for action. Then, he elaborated.

"First of all, I don't think it's within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown," he said.

"And second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings, where and when, are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now, is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that's a rather arrogant position for people to take."

Hansen, who has charged that the Bush administration tried to tone down his views on global warning, suggested that the trend is bringing the potential for disaster.

Hansen and a team of researchers, many from NASA, published their warnings Thursday in the science journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

Dear doomers, petro-pessimists, Chicken Littles, men and maidens of melancholy: cheer up! Immense effort has been spent by the likes of SS, EM and others of their ilk in linearzing this and that, modeling that and this, poring over arid arcana, crunching squishy numbers and grinding out greasy graphs. But they have missed what is right under their noses. The problem, and therefore the solution, lies in pure mathematics, not in the dirty digitry of petroleoum soaked calculation.

In particular I refer to those two numbers well known to all who are intimate with the lofty peaks of abstraction attained by the queen of the sciences: pi and e. As is well known, all else can be deduced from these two numbers alone -- including one's birthday. (My freshman mathematics teacher, Ms. Thwackum, was ill-advised to attempt the calculation of the date her own demise -- bless her soul.)

Why do we consume too much oil? Because pi is too low! Think about it. All but the innumerate will immediately perceive that were pi twice as large, each rotation of the wheel would get us twice as far -- we would get twice the mileage on our SUVs. Needless to say, this would also apply to electric razors.

Why is population growth a problem? Because e is too high. Were e lower, exponential (and possibly other) explosions would be a thing of the past. Population growth would slow. If the present population is unsustainable, simply put e < 1, at least til the end of the century.

I therefore, with all the humility possible for one who has fathered such an insight, submit that the crunchers here at TOD redirect their efforts toward figuring out the values that these two numbers should be set at to get us safely through the 21st century.

This first. After recuperating they, should they choose, might do some of the tiresome but eventually needed theoretical work needed to get the old and outdated series for these two constants to converge to the newly assigned and necessary values and persuade the mathematical nitpickers to silence themselves and stop niggling over nuances of convergence and other trivia.

Archimedes said, Eureka. I simply say, Voila.

If the "crunchers" find this task overly onerous may I suggest they consult Messrs Greenspan and Bernanke for suggestions as to a way forward. Certain methodologies which those gentlemen have refined over time may be applicable to the work proposed by davebygolly

The water is still colder than normal in the Gulf, but a trough is forming and a flight is scheduled this afternoon to investigate.

As of now if it does form at this early time perhaps toward Florida/Ga.


Wonder how the market will react if the flight shows promise.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

I wonder what happens if tropical storm Barbara makes it across Guatemala and into the Gulf still intact


Isn't the water warmer at the moment on the western side of the Gulf?


That is definitely an interesting new direction for storms to come from - South!?

If it is still a depression or trough in the GOM, it could pose a threat. The odds must be low otherwise they probably would have started modeling it - you think???

The possibility (however low) is sobering coming a week or so after Memorial day - at VERY low levels of gasoline.

*Think cold water, Think cold water*

Every once in a great while a tropical storm system makes it into the Gulf of Mexico from the Pacific, but it is not common because the high terrain usually tears it up.

Here is a Gulf of Mexico sea surface temperature chart from three days ago: http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/gulfmex.c.gif

It shows water temperatures in the western gulf warm enough for hurricanes, though at around 27-28 degrees C, not yet especially warm. In the northeastern gulf, it's still a bit too cool (26.5 centigrade or 80 fahrenheit is about the level needed). No fear, we have no cool summers on the gulf coast. The whole Gulf of Mexico will be plenty warm enough for hurricanes in about three weeks.

Anyone have any idea how many storms traveled SOUTH after forming. From what I recall most move north along the Mexican cost and then turn west. Moving south and east has to be highly unusual. Most pacific storms don't hit the US and I don't follow them. Isn't this storming moving south and could go east.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

"The water is still colder than normal in the Gulf"

Do not believe the above statement is correct.


I was referring in context to tropical storm/Hurricane development from the statements from The stormtrack site. They said that the water was not warm enough for development of a Tropical storm because of the cooler water temp for normal development. That was that said this morning on the site. They didn't think the water was warm enough for development of storms. In previous years the water temp was higher than normal this early.

So yes in the context of all historical data and averages it is close to normal or slightly above as that chart says. The water the last few years has been above normal from my recollection and was able to fuel early storms, via "climate change" and ocean warming. so yes Cid in that context yes. Water temp along the Gulf coast is cool from what I recall. Swimming there now is not what people are used to.

Didn't we have a TS/hurricane form on the first day last year.

Perhaps we should have a "bcc or Acc. Before climate change, and after climate change.

This though does show that TS/Hurricane formation may not be as dependent on warm water as thought.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Brilliance, my friend, sheer brilliance! And, while were at it, let's raise the speed of light! Just think, intergalactic space travel within our lifetimes! Hugely improved efficiencies for nuclear plants!

We could probably bring Dark Sucker Theory (DST) into the mix here. DST suggests that instead of all of our light bulbs generating light into a room, they actually suck dark out of it. If all our light sources can be replaced with dark suckers, the possibilities are limitless :)

Would it not be better to lower the speed of light to say 55mph that way you can claim when you go above that you have conquered physics.

Take the hexagon storm on Saturn and use that figure for the calculation of Pi. why break it into so many pieces. trying to fit so many straight line in to a circle is such a human way of doing things.

So you miss an object by a greater distance from the rougher calculation,... well if you have lowered the speed of light you have plenty of time to make course corrections.

Makes things simple not complicated.

DST, hmm i though a black hole was a dark sucker. Are you suggesting using black holes to light your room. Wouldn't we have to change our vision range to make the output of black holes visible. Perhaps we should just ask for a DNA change when we lower the speed of light. Black holes should work, because with the lower speed of light we can easily keep from being sucked in by the black hole by always moving away from it by going faster than the speed of light to keep from getting sucked in.

Urban Survival, is that the site that "claims" they are using the web bots to make predictions.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

E = MC(2nd) where C is the speed of light. Increase the speed of light and up goes the enegy in a nuclear reaction. However, if the value of the exponential is reduced then all is naught. Either way you can't win.

Perhaps the problem is humans feel they must always have a winner and a loser. If that is eliminated and there is no winner and no loser, does that mean everyone is happy, sad, content or all are success or failures.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Well there is the constraint that e^(i*pi) = 1... making e smaller would require pi to be larger...I guess it all depends on what i does :)

for completeness i = square root(-1)

Ah, it's obvious now!

Simply redefine i to be the fourth root of -1.

That should allow pi to grow, and let e shrink a bit.

PS: "sarconol" is no longer a googlewhack - thanks to TOD :-)

as Alan would say, "Best hopes for creating new words"

I hope you guys saved some sarconol for me! =D

Why do we consume too much oil? Because pi is too low! Think about it. All but the innumerate will immediately perceive that were pi twice as large, each rotation of the wheel would get us twice as far -- we would get twice the mileage on our SUVs.

I remember reading of a bill that was once proposed in some state legislature many years ago to change the value of pi to an even 3 because the actual value was too difficult for the schoolkids calculations.

And due to the wonder of the internet, I have found a reference to it. It was apparently in Indiana in 1897 and did have some support before ultimately failing:


Well dont forget.

Some amplifiers go to 11.

One louder you see , just when you need that little bit extra.

An interesting story, linked at Urban Survival:


No jobs for US citizens without Homeland Security approval
Submitted by Canada IFP on Sat, 2007-05-26 18:00.Americas | United States | News

US citizens who apply for a job will need prior approval from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the terms immigration bill passed by the Senate this week.

American Civil Liberties Union pointed out that the DHS's Employment Eligibility Verification System (EEVS) is error plagued and if the department makes a mistake in determining work eligibility, there will be virtually no way to challenge the error or recover lost wages due to the bill’s prohibitions on judicial review.

Even current employees will need to obtain eligibility approval from the DHS Within 60 days of the Immigration Reform Act of 2006 becoming law.

"EEVS would be a financial and bureaucratic nightmare for both businesses and workers," said Timothy Sparapani, ACLU Legislative Counsel. "Under this already flawed program no one would be able to work in the U.S. without DHS approval - creating a ‘No Work List’ similar to the government’s ‘No Fly List.’ We need immigration reform, but not at this cost."

Yeah, un-huh, who's been saying bad things about the President here? Shouldn't have done that...

People who vote in the Democratic primaries could lose their jobs because of their opposition to the Iraq War. No jobs for those "cut and run pro-terrorist traitors."

Very Interestink.

Und maybe based on der laws passed in Chermany in der Thirties?

Any 'special' types to be excluded? und SLAUGHTERED?

I am sure Heimat-SD will take very good care of you all.

Und next, der kiddywinks will be required to write liddle reports on ze parents...

But remember: If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

I think you better get computer key boards with a Sig-Rune option.

A rare example of an encouraging article on Global Warming:

A UCLA prof has proposed a way to eject CO2 ions into space. Briefly, since ions follow magnetic field lines, this means they go up and out at the Poles. CO2 is apparently much more likely than other molecules to combine with free electrons to form ions. His proposal is to 1) zap dust particles with giant lasers (creating more free electrons, which increase # of CO2 ions), and then give them a bit of a push with large RF transmitters tuned to the resonant frequency (around the field lines) of CO2 ions. (That should nudge them high enough so that incoming particles from the solar wind will give them more of a push.)


This article is vague on detail, but it claims his calculations show a few dozen megawatts of power could "make a dent" in the total amount of atmospheric CO2, (expelling far more CO2 than was produced to power the lasers and radio transmitters).

One part I must admit I didn't follow was the energy transfer to CO2 ions. I understand that tuned RF will impart energy to ions, but its not clear to me why this becomes translational motion upwards (as opposed to, say, heat). It can't be momentum transfer because the incoming solar wind apparently has the same affect?

Anyway, I know a sizeable portion of the readership is going to have techno-fix!!! No silver-bullet!!! klaxons going off, but I did find this quite interesting. If I had the authority, I'd happily fund quite a bit more research into this. A fascinating way to harvest the energy of the solar wind.

Seems unlikely, but lets keep an open mind.

I would think that he intends to simply heat the upper atmosphere. Ions will bounce around in all directions. Some will head out towards space and not return. Those that head down towards earth will eventually suffer enough collisions that they head out towards space.

There is a large antenna in Alaska called HARP built for the purpose of heating the upper atmosphere in various ways. They could perform the experiment if provided with a laser.


Another Inconvenient Truth!
by Puru Saxena


THE BIG PICTURE - Let's face it, our planet is facing an energy crisis. If nothing is done to reduce our dependence on crude oil and if the human race is unable to find a viable alternative source of energy, the 1970's oil-shocks will look like a picnic! Most people remain oblivious to the fact that the supply of oil is struggling to keep up with rising global demand. And when you factor in the reality that over 60% of the world's top oil-producing nations are already past their peak output, the picture starts to cause some alarm. Now, I am not saying that our world is going to run out of oil tomorrow. Far from it! However, the rate at which we pump this stuff out from the ground is likely to enter an irreversible decline.

Hi Souperman2,

Thanks for that! I agree with the chart below, used by Puru Saxena, showing Saudi Arabia’s production in decline.

Fig 1 - Saudi Arabia’s Production in Decline! Source Dr. Ed Yardeni - Click to enlarge

Here is a forecast to Dec 2020. For Saudi Arabia, the annual depletion rate for remaining reserves is assumed to stay below 5.5%/yr as shown by the black line. This produced the declining production rate after mid 2009, shown by the blue line.

Fig 2 - Saudi Arabia Forecast to Dec 2020 - Click to enlarge

Fig 3 shows two production profile scenarios for Saudi Arabia. The first is ultimate recoverable reserves (URR) of 148 billion barrels (Gb), solid red line. This value of 148 Gb is implied if Saudi Arabia had no further projects and did no further infill drilling. The assumed annual production decline rate is 8% which is supported by the following source http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/2006/1017.html

While “peak oil” remains a contentious issue, it appears that the phenomenon is gaining greater credence. Citing Aramco Senior Vice President, Abdullah Saif, the Energy Information Agency reports that one challenge the Saudis will face in increasing the country’s oil production to more than 12 million barrels per day by 2009 (and possibly as much as 15 million barrels per day) is that their existing fields sustain 5 to12 percent annual decline rates. These decline rates require approximately 500,000 to 1 million barrels per day in new capacity each year just to compensate.

The second scenario, red dashed line, implies a URR of 175 Gb. This URR value might be achieved but given that the total of the post 2007 project/infill production rates will not be enough to offset an annual production decline rate of 8%, it is highly likely that Saudi Arabia has passed peak production in 2005. A possible consequence stated by Saxena: ”we may see shortages and rationing of the world’s most important resource”.

Fig 3 – Saudi Arabia: Two Production Profile Scenarios URR 148 Gb and URR 175 Gb - Click to enlarge

Here is a good bee roundup. Don't worry, Bee happy.


Mose in Midland

Anyone interested in a friendly game of chicken?

China's Olympian stock-market sprint

Current thinking is that Chinese markets will rally at a furious pace through the 2008 Summer Olympics -- and then investors should take the money and run.

....even though everyone knows this speculative bubble isn't sustainable, it's smart to keep pouring money into Chinese stocks -- no matter their price -- because the government won't intervene and risk crashing the market until after the showcase Beijing Olympics are over....

At best, the effect of all of this will be a gradual slowing of the gains on the Shanghai exchange early in 2008 as investors move to the sidelines in an orderly fashion in anticipation of the post-Olympics changes. At worst, we'll see a mad rush for an exit at a completely unpredictable point in time ahead of the games as some rumor panics investors into selling all at once. Remember, Chinese investors expect Beijing to act. They're already trying to time their exit.


There were 2007 announcements of billons of barrels discovered in Brazil (further estimate of the October 2006 Tupi subsalt discovery), China, and Iran.

If the world oil industry could replace 100 percent of their oil production; yet China, Russia, India, and OPEC nations have been buying more cars. US use of gasoline is up year on year. Brazil oil consumption was rising along with production. Some nations subsidized gasoline production and their people did not know the price of gasoline was going up.

Escape From Suburbia

Escape is officially released June 8!

The long wait to order your Escape from Suburbia DVD ends June 8. Visit the Store or Buy the DVD sections of the refreshed Escape from Suburbia website for details.

We’d like to thank all of you for your patience and support. It’s been a long, hard road to bring this film to completion but this month will see many exciting events for you:

We’ve already had some early screenings in Alberta, where energy rules the provincial economy. In regional Ontario, the first of five premieres brought out committed community activists. Fundraisers for environmental groups in Hamilton, Oakville, Guelph and Erin take place in June – see the Theatres section of the Events page on our website.

Mid June dial up the full feature length version of Escape from Suburbia on The Documentary Channel. And if you’d like to party with the director, book your ticket now for the official world premiere in Toronto June 28 at the Bloor Cinema (7 p.m.) Full details and advance ticket information on the Events page on the website.

New website! We’ve revamped our website with a sharper design and updated content so you’ll have all the latest information on the film and how to get your hands on DVDs, purchase screening sponsorships, present our premieres in your community, and more. Check it out: http://escapefromsuburbia.com/

We’ll keep you updated with important developments in future, and once again thank you for hangin’ in while we finished our film.

Dara Rowland, producer

Hello TODers,

Group warns nuke fuel dump may explode
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Ohhh isn't that interesting, don't you get all warm and fuzzy and full of confidence when a Russian Political Nuke engineer tells you all is well and they are working on the problem and they feel that its just fine. They claim its only a slight chance, yet before there wasn't supposed to be any chance.

yep mans hand and they claim they can solve all, but history shows that they fu$k it up at a much higher percentage than what they proclaimed they could do.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

The next "folksy solution": energy from hydrogen liberated from water using a reaction with an aluminum/gallium alloy. News article

I haven't tried to track this down in any detail yet, but there is no sign the energy cost of constructing the alloy let alone extracting the aluminum has been taken into account. Obviously the energy used to break the H2O bonds has to come from somewhere, so the reaction cannot just be a catalyst, i.e., the alloy must be in some way consumed in the process.

This was on the Glenn Beck show on CNN, and of course the talk about why the guy has no DOE funding was blamed on egos, i.e., one step from conspiracy theories. The professor from Purdue is said to have discovered the process in 1967; no word on what happened with it in the intervening time during most of which the future need for energy sources has been well known.

You can find more than you want to know by googling for
glenn beck hydrogen aluminum

You will also thereby find much more than you want to know about his penchant for comparing A Gore to A Hitler concerning the global warming discussion. Beck is apparently a "major sceptic" on that, and of course the conspiracy theories come out very quickly during any of his discussions on the topic.

This got discussed in a few DrumBeats a week or so ago.

The Aluminum gets turned into Aluminum Oxide - it steals the oxygen from the water, releasing the hydrogen.

So it is a kind of battery. One could do the same basic trick with sodium or potassium, and folks have.

One big problem with the Aluminum-Gallium game is that Gallium is quite scarce.

Of course, the efficiency of the complete cycle is not likely to be very good.

It's basically a parlor trick. You want hydrogen, we'll give you hydrogen!

I've been googling looking for more on Woodall and his aluminum hydrogen process. Found the slide where he writes the reaction: 3 H2O + 2 Al --> Al2O3 + 3 H2

This process is found to be endothermic. Not sure what the role of the gallium is.

Once Al2O3 is formed, energy must be re-added to recover the Al. Of course, if the cost of this is less than the gain from the first one (and it is, since you don't have to load up the H2O again), there should be a net gain.

One big problem with the Aluminum-Gallium game is that Gallium is quite scarce.

Of course, the efficiency of the complete cycle is not likely to be very good.

Exactly, that is the main point. It costs a lot of energy to get the original Al (and presumably, also gallium).

You want hydrogen, we'll give you hydrogen!


It is perhaps the lack of proper scientific documentation that leads to the DOE's scepticism. I have so far not found a real paper (of course I don't know their journals, so if it isn't easily found via google then I'm out of luck--on the other hand if there are conference proceedings or PhD theses then these should be easily found as they are in most other fields).

OK I found all the previous discussions (17, 18 and 24 May TOD)... needed to put oil drum into the google string :-)

I agree with those who say the reversal from Al2O3 back to the Al/gallium pellets is the achilles heel, energetically speaking (plus the CO2 comments). I listened to Woodall's presentation, where he does was wishful about the price of Gallium at the end. In the fusion business this is also a topic with the "first wall" materials for ITER or successors... if you use something really exotic it becomes much less likely you can scale it up out of the lab even if it works.

Let Woodall's group produce some papers where they spell it all out, including the fuel cycle, and then they can take those to DOE and ask for funding. In the meantime, the group should be able to do the paper studies on their own.

They are looking for a way to fund their group, but since they aren't claiming to be doing basic science (they claim it is already understood), they have to have a viable scenario, complete cycle, before going for serious expansion of their group. It is the same for everybody.

Aluminum is quite reactive but the aluminum oxide forms a tight skin on the surface and prevents the reactions from proceeding. Somehow, the presence of gallium alters this so that the aluminum can continue to react with water.

This is not an energy source. It is a way of storing hydrogen and making it transportable. In principle, when you fully discharged a unit of aluminum by converting it to aluminum oxide then you could swap it out for a fresh cartridge. The old unit would be reprocessed to recover the gallium and to change the aluminum oxide back to pure metal.

Hello TODers,

AS Zimbabwe slowly slides back to the dark ages, I was reminded of the old adage that "necessity is the mother of invention". Except that as a country we haven't invented anything but are adapting fast to our dire political and economic circumstances.

In street lingua, people are talking about this abiding crisis separating the "men" from the "boys".
Of course, this next link suggests that Zimbabwe is not adapting fast enough:

Zimbabwe's new wheat farmers have planted less than 40 per cent of their target hectarage this season, spelling doom for the country's food prospects, it was reported Friday.

Recall the earlier photo of the twelve year old African boy with the pink teddybear backpack: to more easily carry extra bullet clips for his AK47. Is this what distinguishes a postPeak man from a mere boy?

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

This should be fun, a preview of "Off the Grid". A little taste of post-peak living arrangements.


Mose in Midland

Just listened to a news break about the storm. The reporter claimed that it didn't have much chance of gaining strength because, "it was to close to land".

HUH>.I guess that Hurricane Charlie decided to ignore that reason.

to close to shore now. SAY WHAT.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

It should bring some much needed rain to FL and southern GA. Other than that it doesn't look like much of a storm.

Rarely appreciated little factoid: over a large portion of the Caribbean area the lower islands' flora have adapted to be succulents as rainfall can be quite scarce for long periods. Several of the orchidacae in the region are among the most rugged of orchids as they have to survive intense sunlight every day while going for months without rain. Tropical storms are important sources of rain.

Yes, currently it does not look like much of a storm, but neither did Hurricane Charlie. It went from a 2 to a 5 or was it a strong 4 in hours, as did Katrina, and recall it dropped from a 5 to only a two before it made landfall. New Orleans was not destroyed by a "hurricane" per se. The MS Gulf Coast was blasted by the huge wall of water surge from the formation in the Gulf when it was a 5.

People are using water temp as the reason for lack of development, and as has been shown with the first named storm and this one, that did not matter in their formation as usually expected. People didn't expect Charlie to develop into a monster and it did, very close to the shore, and in a remarkably short period of time. Its storm track was supposed to take it right up bay and into Tampa. It didn't and blew up into a major cane and turned east. They weren't expecting that and was not in the models. Neither was Katrina's legendary formation into a 5 in a remarkably short period of time. And if memory serves correct. When it blew into a five it had moved over water that was colder than what it had been over, that too was a surprise.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Hello TODers,

From Jan Lundberg's recent essay:

When people cannot get to their jobs or get the foods and services they require daily, any significant breakdown can escalate into violent chaos with no floor, toward complete socioeconomic collapse and failure of government.

Big government will not be able (or interested in?) helping you, especially in cities as large as and larger than New Orleans. I believe the national and state governments will retrench under stress and choose to favor saving and supplying the rural areas; they are productive, whereas consuming-centers of huge cities may be written off and become die-off zones.

This will be an interesting development, but I am not sure how this will be accomplished. For example: how do you prevent an escape of untold millions from New York City? Will the governor in Albany be able to pre-emptively order the US military to nuke or bio-attack NYC to help save upstate NY?

Kunstler hypothesizes the exact opposite: Fed and State employees won't even bother to show up at work to answer their phones.

I think my middle-ground hypothesis is more plausible than either: The dynamic of elite Mercs contesting against Earthmarines.

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

I predict they will run a 24 hour looping replay from the twilight zone (or was it outer limits) with the story about

"how to serve man" and give out instructions on how to prepare tasty sauces with common ingredients. Probably give away the McDonalds "special sauce" recipe. Mayo and ketchup mixed well.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Yesterday the optimists prevailed. Looks like the realists are back.

Oil, Gasoline Jump on Signs Fuel-Supply Deficit Won't Narrow

Even you know who is concerned.

``There's been a steady recovery in gasoline supplies but it's not enough to ease concerns about the driving season,'' said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts.

And from Antoine Halff Fimat USA

``We have been unable to build supply along the East Coast despite a dramatic surge in imports,'' Halff said. ``Refineries, with the exception of those along the West Coast, are running at a subdued rate and all in all gasoline demand has been resilient.''

Concerning Crude

``We keep hearing that supplies are adequate but they are at the same level as a year ago and we saw oil surge above $78 last summer,'' said Phil Flynn, vice president of risk management at Alaron Trading Corp. in Chicago. ``It would take only a minor disruption to see a repeat of what happened a year ago.''

What a difference a day makes!

The other news.
Colonial Pipeline NY repaired gasoline leak after landowner noticed odor

This note for Super G and Editors (from post up top),

re: "Sorry for the inconvenience."

Thanks for keeping up with things. Good luck, and much appreciation.

the fda has warned consumers against made in china toothpaste. no specific brands were named, but "the brands affected are sold at 'bargain' retail outlets" ..............( presumably, it doesnt matter to the fda what brands because 'bargin' retail outlets are favored by low income 'merikuns).