DrumBeat: June 8, 2007

Why we need big hybrid SUVs

Think a GMC Yukon Hybrid sounds silly? It can save more gas than a Civic Hybrid.

Outrage. Disbelief. Downright disgust. Those were readers' reactions to our recent story about 13 great fuel efficient cars, which featured several trucks and SUVs.

Many of the emails went something like this: "Did you sell your soul to Detroit? Since when is 16/24 'great' fuel-efficiency?"

Honda Civic tops teen driver list

SUVs are becoming less popular among teen drivers and performance cars don't make the list.

Drilling jobs scene bleak

Thousands of rig hands in Western Canada are waiting for callbacks from their drilling-company employers, but industry observers say the high Canadian dollar and a crash in the royalty trust and junior part of the oilpatch mean they could be idle for a long time.

Iraq: Pipeline Strike Reaching Crisis Point

The Iraqi military has surrounded striking oil workers in southern Iraq, labor organizers report, as the workers’ remained defiant in their action to block strategic pipelines near Basra.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has vowed a harsh response as the shutdown’s effects begin to ripple through Iraqi markets, and at least one neighboring province braces for worsening fuel shortages.

Garrison Keillor: Making a case for simple life in a small town

You look at the Amish and you see the past, but you might also be looking at the future. Our great-grandchildren, faced with facts their ancestors were able to ignore, might have to do without the internal-combustion engine and figure out how to live the subsistence life. Maybe someone will invent a car that runs on hydrogen or horse manure, or maybe people will travel on beams of light like in old radio serials, but the realist in you thinks otherwise.

Azerbaijan Announces Oil Reserves

The resource-rich Caspian Sea nation of Azerbaijan has an estimated 1.35 billion metric tons (9.45 billion barrels) of proven oil reserves, a top official in the state oil company SOCAR said Thursday.

Dave Cohen: The little sheikdom that could

Middle East proved oil reserves numbers are suspect. Each country's estimates made questionable leaps in the past, and then remained constant, all the while disregarding all the oil produced over the years. Qatar provides the most recent example. Examining this small sheikdom's reserve numbers underscores some of the problems in assessing the world's proved oil stocks. Qatar could take a step toward resolving this uncertainty by allowing an independent audit of their reserves numbers. They seem to have little to hide.

Iran Seeks to Undermine U.S. Energy Plan for Europe

Iran plans to import more oil and gas from Central Asia as it seeks to undermine a U.S.-backed project to build pipelines from the Caspian Sea to Europe.

US House Panel OKs Bill to Force Renegotiation of Oil Leases

The U.S. House of Representatives' Appropriations Committee approved an amendment Thursday to an Interior budget bill that would require oil companies to renegotiate 1998-99 lease contracts that neglected price thresholds to obtain future exploration leases.

The Government Accountability Office estimates that around $1 billion in royalties have already been lost as a result of the omission, and could cost tax payers an additional $9 billion in future royalties.

CNBC's Yergin: What the U.S. Can Learn From Brazil About Ethanol

Brazil is ahead of the US but not in terms of volumes. The U.S. produces more, and output is growing fast. But Brazil is ahead in terms of experience -- 30 years of commercial activity-- and cost. It's great advantage is that it is by far the low-cost producer.

Pumping Palm Oil

IOI's Lee Shin Cheng is a master at squeezing every drop from his vast plantations. The craze for biofuels is driving up prices, but caution is the watchword at this Malaysian company.

The Business of Peace

This morning I sat down with the founders of the Arava Power Company. Yossi Abramowitz is a bespectacled American-born Israeli with plenty of hair. Suleiman Halasah is from Karak, Jordan, and his shaved head is not framed by glasses. At Kibbutz Ketura, a cooperative agricultural settlement and renewables laboratory in southern Israel’s Arava Valley, Suleiman lives with his “kibbutz father” Yossi as both work on a bi-national solar power project with major profit potential.

Greenest energy is energy saved

There is a quicker, cheaper and more effective way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions that can be applied right now: energy-efficient technologies that are commercially available and proven. Energy efficiency is the low-hanging fruit in the campaign to protect the environment because the technologies exist and we know the savings they will deliver.

Top CEOs Release Energy ‘Blueprint’

Business Roundtable, an association of 160 CEOs of leading U.S. companies, has released an energy plan calling for a more diversified and domestic-based energy supply mix, increased energy efficiency and greater investment in new energy technologies.

Biofuels no threat to Opec, says IEA

Biofuels will provide only a small proportion of the world’s demand for fuel in the next decade, the developed countries’ energy watchdog has said in an attempt to reassure Opec that the need for oil will continue to grow.

Africa: Rwandan President Unveils Biggest Solar Energy Plant on Continent

As Rwanda marks 25 years of cooperation with the Federal State of Rhineland Palatinate of Germany, President Paul Kagame yesterday inaugurated Africa's biggest solar energy plant. The infrastructure, which is installed at Jali hill in Gasabo District, was funded by the German state through a company called Stadtwerke Mainz and Rhineland Palatinate citizens to the tune of Euro one million (approx. Frw700m).

Investors in 'fuel-from-algae' scheme left high and dry

De Beers Fuel, which had promised South Africa biodiesel produced from algae, to date seems not to have made good on any of its pledges.

Most investors in the company, who invested up to R6-million each in biodiesel plant, in what was trumpeted to be the world’s first fuel-franchising scheme, today have nothing but paper to show for their money.

As far as Engineering News can establish, not one plant has been built.

Lisa Margonelli: Time to shift gears, step on gas myths

Whew, gas prices are high. Higher than they've ever been. During the week of May 21, the Lundberg Survey, a biweekly gas price tracking service, put the average cost of a gallon of unleaded at $3.18. Adjusted for inflation, that topped the 1981 price spike that had held the record for 26 years. Prices have since slipped a bit, but many predict they'll stay up near the stratosphere all summer. Wondering why? The answers may not be what you think. Here are five common myths about why we're paying so much at the pump.

Nigeria: We′ll Shut Down the Economy, Says NLC

Labour unions yesterday called for mass protests and strikes for as long as it takes to get the government to withdraw what it calls "anti-people policies".

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), warned Nigerians to start stockpiling food and carry out bank transactions before the strikes come into effect on June 18.

They want the government to return Value Added Tax to 5 per cent, reduce the price of fuel, rescind the sale of refineries, stop the sack of civil servants and pay those who have already been sacked their severance pay.

Four Companies to Jointly Work on Gulf of Mexico Pipeline Repairs

Four companies that work in the Gulf of Mexico oilfield have formed a partnership they say will allow them to dramatically expedite deepwater pipeline repairs after a hurricane or other emergency, though the equipment won't be available for this storm season.

Drought endangers crops and electric supply

Unless South Carolina sees some serious rain soon, farmers and power customers will be paying the price.

Building up biodiesel

As interest in biodiesel to fuel vehicles and heat homes and businesses in Maryland grows, the state is ramping up efforts to make the alternative renewable fuel more accessible to the public and less expensive.

Is America Headed for a Food Shortage?

A new study suggests that ethanol production could drive up corn prices, leaving U.S. grains and meat in short supply

House Appropriations Panel Rejects Expanding OCS Gas Drilling

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee Thursday rejected a proposal that would open up more of the U.S.'s Outer Continental Shelf to natural gas exploration and development.

By a vote of 39 to 25, the panel voted down an amendment by Rep. John Peterson, R-Penn., to end the moratorium on drilling for natural gas exploration beyond 25 miles off the coasts of the United States.

Trinidad-Tobago: Fuel shortage grounds TnT Express

Passengers had purchased tickets for the 12 pm sailing. However, at 2.24 pm the passengers had not yet boarded. Passengers who travelled from Rio Claro and Penal waited for five hours before the authorities offered an explanation. Passengers heard over the public sound system that the ferry did not have any fuel and steps were being made to have fuel sent from NP’s Pointe-a- Pierre service station.

Gasoline and food supplies running low

BC, CANADA - Gas pumps were dry and some grocery shelves empty in the city on Thursday as Highway 16 remained closed in both directions due to flooding.

"We have run out of gas," read the signs Shell gas station manager Brenda Kinney posted over her pumps Wednesday evening.

...She explained the Petro-Can had just run out, and the Esso station was saving its fuel for emergency vehicles only.

British Airways increases fuel surcharge again

Customers will pay an extra £5 on one-way long-haul trips, taking the surcharge to £38 for flights under nine hours and £43 for longer flights.

This is the second rise that the airline has announced in six weeks and the seventh in about two years.

Utilities, Miners Bitterly Divided on Uranium Price Rise

It lacked the body slams of a WWF wrestling championship, but the World Nuclear Fuel Market conference, held this past week in Athens (Greece), emphasized the bitter divisions between uranium buyers and sellers. Underlying the gentility often found in a typical major mining executive and his utility counterpart, spectators witnessed verbal fencing, if not articulated pugilism, during some of the less self-centered presentations.

From Russia With Love

Gazprom desperately needs to invest massive amounts of capital into mitigating production declines at its existing properties. Companies that provide drilling services, drilling equipment, and enhanced recovery technology stand to benefit. At first glance, many would say that this projection going out to the year 2020 is too pessimistic since it doesn’t include much of a bump from potential future discoveries.

This may be true, but in order to bring potential discoveries into production, Russian operators will require more drilling and more rig equipment. It’s not a stretch to assume that the Russian rig fleet is old, overtaxed, and must be refurbished in order to accomplish a very busy future.

Has OPEC Lost Its Moorings?

Perhaps Mr. Badri can explain to us how the private companies might invest and presumably operate in a group of countries that, with few exceptions, prohibit such activities. For now, however, I'm treating this latest surprise from the cartel as yet another indication that mankind's ability to keep up with global energy demand in the coming years is anything but guaranteed.

Poverty Amid Plenty - Why?

The challenges for the natural resource sector in the 21st century are numerous and closely interrelated. They include: macroeconomic conditions (terms of trade, investment regimes), climate change, high consumption rates, peak oil, energy security, social and environmental impacts, corruption, human rights abuses, and conflict resources.

Visclosky bill ups funding for new energy research

With gas prices hovering at record levels, U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, is using his position as chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development to address this nation’s energy needs, a statement released by his office on Wednesday said.

In his energy and water appropriations bill, Visclosky has boosted funding for investments in biofuels, vehicle technologies, renewable energies, and energy efficiency, the statement said.

China grants three firms oil products wholesale license

The ministry said in a statement that the two Sinopec joint venture companies to win oil product wholesale rights are Fujian Petrochemical Co, which is in partnership with ExxonMobil Corp and Saudi Aramco, as well as their marketing joint ventures.

The third company is Langfang Rongli Oil Storage Co based in northern China's Hebei province, it said.

Pakistan: Citizens and traders protest power outages

Protests against power outages continued on Thursday as citizens and traders took to the streets in various parts of the city.

After an eight-hour long power outage, Tariq Road shopkeepers closed their shops at 3 p.m. and marched towards the Dubai Shopping Center where they staged a sit-in and blocked access to Tariq Road for over three hours. The protesters shouted slogans against the KESC and demanded an immediate solution to the electricity problem.

Cyclone Gonu wanes after slamming Oman and Iran

Oman's Mina al Fahal oil terminal resumed operations after a three-day closure after tests on the pipes. Petroleum Development Oman said on Thursday that operations and facilities had escaped damage.

PDO, a majority state-owned firm, produces most of Oman's crude. PDO expects its output to decline by around 20,000 bpd this year to between 560,000 and 570,000.

The main liquefied natural gas terminal at Sur, which was badly hit, was not operating, a shipper said. Sur terminal handles 10 million tonnes per year of LNG.

A drought for the ages

Drought, a fixture in much of the West for nearly a decade, now covers more than one-third of the continental USA. And it's spreading.

Prices at pump stinging retailers

Wal-Mart and its customers are hurting as high gas prices hit the world's largest retailer harder than almost any other retailer.

How Oil Companies Saved the Electric Car

Outrageous gas prices and worldwide concern about global warming have spurred a new wave of automakers to make the long-awaited dream of practical -- and yes, stylish -- electric vehicles a reality. These green machines will soon be coming to a showroom near you.

Oil Pipeline Politics Steadily Intensifies

While the "mission was accomplished" in a manner not befitting the planners of "shock and awe," a new and aggressive search for incremental and secure energy supplies continue all around. This energy-rich region continues to enjoy the global focus, yet other energy rich areas could now increasingly be witnessed on the global radar screen.

The craving to dominate these new emerging areas also could be deciphered all around. Indeed when Michael Collon said, "If you want to rule the world, you need to control oil, all the oil, anywhere," he has a point.

US oil company abandons Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said a US oil company has abandoned oil wells in Venezuela during his nationalization drive this year.

..."There is one Yankee company that left and left the wells abandoned," Chavez said at a political event with university students, without naming any company.

Hong Kong winters may vanish in 50 years: weather expert

Hong Kong's winters could vanish within 50 years, with the number of cold days declining virtually to zero due to global warming and urbanization, the head of the city's weather observatory warned on Friday.

Looking for Leadership

President Bush has now finally moved beyond denial on climate change. But his proposal for a conference of 15 of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters can hardly be called global leadership. It pins its hopes on wishful technological breakthroughs and sidesteps mandatory ceilings.

A new Round-Up has been posted at TOD:Canada.

Biofuel boondoggle: US subsidy aids Europe's drivers

Fast-rising worries over global warming have created a biofuel boondoggle.

Called "splash and dash," "touch and go," or an unfair trade practice, it features biofuels traders who exploit a US tax credit, European drivers who get cheaper diesel fuel, and American taxpayers, who are footing the bill.

It also illustrates a cautionary tale of how government incentives, no matter how well-intentioned, can sometimes be subverted into windfalls for the few.

The maneuver begins with a shipload of biodiesel from, say, Malaysia, which pulls into a US port like Houston, says John Baize, an industry consultant in Falls Church, Va. Unlike domestic diesel-biodiesel blends, which typically contain from 1 to 10 percent of biodiesel, the Malaysian fuel starts off as 100 percent biodiesel, typically made from palm oil.

Then, the vessel receives from a dockside diesel supplier a "splash" of US petroleum diesel. It doesn't take much to turn it into a diesel-biodiesel blend that is eligible for US subsidies.

If the ship holds roughly 9 million gallons, it takes only about 9,000 gallons of traditional diesel (0.1 percent of the total) to make the entire load eligible for the blenders tax credit.

The US importer of the load applies to the Internal Revenue Service for the credit – a dollar for each of the 9 million biodiesel gallons, Mr. Baize calculates. The next day the tanker can set sail – dash – for Europe. There, the US importer resells the biodiesel, taking advantage of European fuel-tax credits that, in effect, keep biodiesel prices above US prices.

excuse me as .

ahsdhahahfhfhahahahahahahhaahaaloalaolololoooo olololajl

Now everyone, this is why subsidies do not work, some enterprising individual will be able to make big money exploiting the edge cases.

The article on drought was interesting. We consider the opposite of drought to be the norm because it suits our needs. In an area that receives more than enough rainfall for our purposes, a drought is a relief.

When Boeing [BOEing?] designs an aircraft it designs for the worst case; extreme turbulence, hard landing, etc, but we seem to be designing our living sytstems for the optimum and calling the outliers a disaster.

In 1857 a surveyor named Palliser recommended that the Canadian Pacific Railway be run through Edmonton as the land futher south was totally dessicated and agriculturally unuseable. It was referred to as Palliser's Triangle. When the line came through in the 1880s Palliser was written off as wrong and the line went through Calgary instead. By 1932 they discovered what he had been referring to.

While it is simplistic to attach a pattern to the phenomenon, if there is one we should be about to experience it. Maybe it's every seven sunspot cycles or whatever. Regardless, I'm not surprised nor would Palliser be. GW will no doubt be the bogeyman as it seems to have become for every other weather 'event' these days.

What is more disconcerting is the possibility that the snow lines are moving further up the mountains. When your water supply is dependent upon mountain runoff and you are getting even the same depth of snow on a smaller cone on a consistent basis, then you are in serious long term trouble.

Meanwhile British Columbia has a major flood problem due to heavier snowpacks in the north and west. It looks as though a persistent high over the US west diverted the wet lows over northern BC. A 120 foot diameter pipeline to Utah would be nice about now.

Re: From Russia With Love

Note that this chart shows declining natural gas production. It does not show the much sharper drop in net gas exports, i.e., the Export Land Model.

In North America, we are looking at a similar situation regarding Canadian natural gas exports.

The article has a "nice" graph for US natural gas as well:

For more excellent coverage of Gazprom troubles, see also the Bloomberg piece that Whiskey and Gunpowder refers to:

Gazprom May Thwart Putin Drive for Russian Energy Dominance

The situation in Canada is similarly bleak. The National Energy Board is no better at forecasting than the EIA.

Canadian wells peak quickly and decline at an alarming rate. The NEB is suggesting we will have flat NG production with a small YoY increase from CTL.

Meanwhile, the MacKenzie pipeline is stalled, the government has put an end to the favorable tax structure the NG producers relied on, new NG is stranded in difficult terrain, costs are skyrocketing due to the tar sands, and drillers are idle this year.

My spouse is in Ft. McMurray this week on a federal government fact finding mission. She has met with oil industry executives, community groups, native groups, provincial and municipal leaders. Her focus is primarily on the municipal situation, which frankly, appears to be a disaster.

When she gets back I'll write up anything she shares with me.

Thus far, I've learned that the average income in Ft. McMurray is $81,000 and the poverty line is $71,000. Some days the local schools have to shut down due to the strong odors from the tar sands.

The most amazing thing to me about the tar sands play are the huge, virtually permanent, wastewater ponds, filled with contaminated oily wastewater. No one I know in the Texas oil patch would do that for two reasons: (1) It's irresponsible and (2) The regulatory authorities wouldn't let us do it anyway.

Good article by Byron King (2006 ASPO-USA) on the Tar Sands Play: http://www.energybulletin.net/22358.html

olol 25km^2 of tailing ponds!


Could you email me at Stoneleigh2006(at)msn(dot)com please?


I would like to draw your attention to a post of mine last April 28th.

High Speed or just 110 mph Rail between Calgary and Edmonton ?

There has been some talk (and the province has even bought spaces for stations) of true high speed rail between Calgary and Edmonton. Cost Can$12 billion.

Ed Tennyson (retired transit expert with a nearly epic resume) posted the following:

Since money is the problem, be rational about it, Calgary and Edmonton do not have Japan's population, You can not do what they did or what France did. No one can juatify $12 billion for this, Those opposed can prove it should die.

I am not opposed to good passenger train service between Calgary and Edmonton but it must fit the market.

You will need electric eMU cars with very comfortable appertances but no locomotives,. Cruising speed would be 110 miles per hour, Just double track the present railroad and upgrade the track quality, New Jersey eMU cars have cruised at 104 miles per hour for 30 years, Getting to 110 is no big deal but that is the limit for standard track and power bills Such cars cost only $ 400 per hour to operate and maintain and can average about 88 miles per hour so the cost per passenger-mile will be only 12 cents per-mile using a conservative load factor wth some empty seats on most trips. Albertans will probably pay 25 cents per mile for such service so there will be 13 cents per passenger-mile to amortize the capifal. We can't subsidize everything.

With two million annual passengers there might be $ 37 million a year to support the capital investment. That would support $ 400 million in bonds, It would save a lot of oil that could be sold to tne USA for a good price to help pay rhe rest.

E d T e n n y s o n

Using standard costs, I came up with less than US$500 million to build a second track (with extra sidings), the stations, barn, a fleet 40 EMUs and to electrify the line.

About 2 hours city center to city center, Add a few minutes for a stop in Red Deer. Phase II could be from Edmonton to Fort McMurray.

Just a real world example,

Best Hopes,


I know of an Alberta utility that would be willing to install and maintain the electrical infrastructure and sell "power at the wire". Perhaps Phase II, Edmonton to Ft. McMurray could be Phase I ?

My eMail address is Alan_Drake at Juno dott com.

Best Hopes for Electrified Transportation solutions,


Some sort of mass transit is needed. Highway 63 is bumper to bumper. The current plan is to double it. My spouse was very impressed with the mayor. Perhaps she will be willing to put you in touch with her and the two of you can take it from there.

Stoneleigh, give me a few days and the three of us can get together. I'll email next week.

Right now, I have to go pick her up at the airport. Spent the morning cleaning the house :)

Regenerative braking with trains and hills? Does regererative braking already exist such as in MAX our light rail?

It is more or less standard on modern light rail lines. But I am not sure about MAX. Stops are the biggest source of regenerated power.

Portland Streetcar did not have it at first but they were talking about adding it during a tour I was on.

Best Hopes for Energy Efficiency,


Dave Cohen's keypost "Running With The Red Queen", on this site about 6 months ago, covered this issue very thoroughly.
The fast decline rate coupled with the drilling slowdown this year is why I expect gas prices will go through the roof if a hurricane hits the central/northwest quadrants of the Gulf of Mexico, and probably by next winter anyway. The Rigzone survey linked on this site a couple of days ago said that most oil companies were expecting the same-prices of between $10-$15 mmbtu over the next five years, contrasted with the current price of $8 mmbtu.

Looking at this NG graph it seems pretty obvious that is a big difference between the pre-1990 well production rates and today's well production rate...

But WHY are they different?

Does the mechanics of the well or pipeline connections just let the gas flow faster?

Are the deposits just that much smaller?

Or does the "Pre-1990" portion of the graph just contain so many years worth of wells all lumped together that the all the skinny little tails join together to make a more healthy looking long-term flow than from the 1 year sections?

Greg in MO

Are the deposits just that much smaller?

Yes, I think so. The lowest-hanging fruit is picked first.

The flow of a gas through rock is much different than the flow of a viscous fluid, with the consistency between motor oil (good) and cold syrup (not so good).

Hopes that helps,


Speaking of Russian gas....
I am puzzled that the issue of Russian gas to Europe has not been brought up in the context of the recent brouhaha about NATO putting missiles in Poland and Czech Republic. Why can't Putin simply tell these countries, "You get missiles, you get no gas."

He can but that means lost revenue for himself as well. It is far better for him that he "play the game" by trying to negotiate and after all that fails, when he finally does take action it can be seen as caused by the American position.

If the US & NATO are truly concerned about rogue mideast states launching missiles, then Putin's newly proposed location for an anti-missile shield makes perfect sense. So there is that angle for Putin as well - if a missile shield gets built and actually works, he may want his nation shielded too.

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

If the US & NATO are truly concerned about rogue mideast states launching missiles,...

Impossible. No one is worried about Iranian or N Korean missiles. It would be instant suicide for Iran even if she were so inclined, but there is zero evidence that she is. That N Korea even gets mentioned in a European military context shows how unreal the whole thing is.

I don't understand all the nuances of the games being played. But they are dangerous, maybe more so than during the old Cold War.

Note the qualifier "if"... I don't believe the US and NATO are thinking seriously about rogue state missiles as much as they are thinking about Russian missiles but they don't want to admit that.

Consider several facts. First, Russia had a working ABM system that ringed Moscow under the old ABM treaty. It was rather brute force but it probably would have worked. It used, as I recall, nuclear warheads to destroy incoming nuclear warheads. The amount of fallout from such an action at high altitude would have been nearly zero. Of course there would have been EMP, etc., but Russia probably figured it would be easier to replace electronics than completely rebuild a destroyed city. So Russia has prior experience with working ABM systems.

Next consider how you would react if you believed that the anti-missile system would not work. Your opponent would be blowing a huge wad of resources and capital on a useless white elephant so you would want to find ways to encourage that since resources spent on the white elephant project are resources that are not spent on projects that might truly threaten Russia. But Russia has not acted like that. Instead Russia, probably based on their prior ABM experience, sees this as a threat to them.

Now how could this threat manifest itself? If Europe felt that it's well-being was threatened by Russian activity in the energy market, NATO might declare such actions as hostile. Well, lo and behold, NATO has already done exactly that. And that might lead (not immediately but ultimately) to military confrontation with Russia.

Well the problem then is that Russia has all these missiles, don't they? So to make the possibility of a war against Russia winnable, you need your missile shield so that both your conventional forces and your nuclear forces can be used concurrently (or threaten to be used) against Russia.

This appears to me to be the general train of thought in the Bush administration and in western Europe regarding foreign policy towards Russia. I think it is wrong, bone-headed, and extremely dangerous but hey, I am not the guy in the White House so my opinion doesn't matter very much.

In fact, IF the US and NATO were worried about rogue Middle East missiles disrupting Europe's economy then it becomes almost a mandatory thing to include Russia behind the missile shield to ensure the safety of Europe's energy supplies, doesn't it?

So no, I don't believe the official line on this and yes, I agree they are playing some very dangerous game, probably something along the lines that I have outlined above. And this may be why Putin has responded as he has. Russia probably rightly now sees itself as a major factor in Europe's overall economy even if it has not been offered NATO membership. And thus, by that reasoning, it deserves the same shield if one is going to be built. And contrariwise, if a shield is built that excludes Russia then I must conclude that the shield is against Russia as well as any other named threat.

And strangely enough, even though I am an American, I agree with that position.

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

Putin has responded as he has because he understands that ABM systems are essentially offensive systems. They make it so that if you attack, targeting the other side’s retaliatory force, you are able to use the ABM system to handle the few missiles that survive.

The ABM system does not do you much good as a defensive system. If a major power attacked first, they could easily overwhelm your ABM system. If a rouge state attacked first, they would be much more likely to use a sneak attack so that you might not know against whom to retaliate. Like put it on a third country freighter and sail into New York harbor. The idea that such a country would initiate a direct missile attack from their territory against a US or allied target is not credible. But if Bush wanted to preserve the ability to attack Iran, having an ABM system would potentially help a lot.

Putin is right about the placement. In Central Europe, we are threatening him. In the Caucasus, we could only use it again countries in the Middle East. I think it is clear to Putin that that is why Bush will not go along with his idea but it is good for Putin to call Bush on it.

"ABM systems are essentially offensive systems. They make it so that if you attack, targeting the other side’s retaliatory force, you are able to use the ABM system to handle the few missiles that survive."

This works only if the other side doesn't have the same thing.

If they do, then an opponent's ABM system then the certainty of completing an attack to successfully remove the other side's retaliatory force is far diminished. Of course both sides have submarines too.

Let's come back to the big picture.

Russia is pursuing and building a new, modern strategic nuclear weapons system with improved capability---and now threatening Europe with it.

The U.S. hasn't done so since the (supposed?) end of the cold war.

Their existing Topol-M missiles are already better than any missile the US has, and the new missiles they are building will be better still.

Amazing that people can believe Putin's disingenuous crap.

Now, I believe that the US ABM is probably an enormous waste of money.

Unfortunately the new Russian missiles are likely to work very well.

Hundreds of half a megaton nukes are genocidal insanity whoever has them.

I think Russia itself is the prize, and has been for 150 years. At 17 million square kilometers, it is almost 12% of the world's land area. If you count the breakaway Central Asian republics, it was much more than that.

Before the invention of the railroad, Russia was too vast to be an imperial prize worth conquering, even if your armies could march halfway around the world, how would you bring that wealth back home? Want to ride a horse from Venice to Mongolia? Takes a special kind of people to do that.

We here all know that the Persian Gulf wars are about oil and natural gas, as well as the strategic position of the lands in question.

I think it is a mistake to think that the US Government is securing those lovely fossil fuels for the benefit of its people. It wants them for the political leverage it gives them in Europe, Japan, and China.

If I were making a documentary, I would start with a cold war map of the USSR, including Eastern Europe. Lots of red countries, with a bunch of blue countries (the "free world"). Then I would show the map after the collapse of the USSR: Eastern Europe becomes pink, then pale blue, then bits of it become dark blue. Parts of Central Asia become pink, then pale blue. I suppose you would technicaly color Afghanistan and Iraq dark blue, but they seem to be getting paler all the time. Egypt was probably pink years back, but is a pale blue. Moving the Ukraine from red to pink to pale blue is an enormous victory for the blue team.

Instead of red forces in Eastern Europe pointing at the blue countries, you have blue forces there pointing back at Russia. All without a thermonuclear war.

The Great Game.

Now there are (or are going to be) anti-missile-missiles in Eastern Europe. This gives two chances to shoot down a Russian missile. Once there (best), once again as it reaches the US (not as good).

Shooting down a handful of missiles is truely a useful defense against a North Korea, who can only manage to fire a handful. It is only an inconvience to a massively armed Russia.

Shooting down a substantial fraction of the Russian missile force is a different matter. You can expect to take out a large fraction of the Russian missile force with a first strike. Your anti-missile defenses only need to take out a majority of the missiles that survive.

We move from Mutually Assured Destruction to a "winnable" first strike capability.

They probably think they can dominate Russia once both sides realize the situation.

I don't think so. But hey, I'm not in the White House either.

This is also why I am convinced we will invade Iran, suicidal as it seems. Without it on the blue side, the encirclement is incomplete, and the US does not have the energy resources to hold Europe and Japan.

Putin: Missile shields 'could be in Turkey or Iraq'

“In this case, there will be no need to build a radar in the Czech Republic and deploy missile interceptors in Poland,” Putin said. “They could be deployed in the south – I’m speaking hypothetically since it’s necessary to conduct talks with relevant nations – possibly in US Nato allies, such as Turkey.”

“Or it could be Iraq – what they have waged the war for? There would be at least some benefit coming out of it,”

I was just reading Totoneilla's Post Peak Toilet Paper Dillema (PPTPD) in yesterdays' drumbeat.

I suggest wiping your ass with your left hand, and eating with your right hand, which is common practise in Indonesia where toiletpaper is rare.

Ahem, I found that a little to anal for my taste.

Many cultures have followed this same convention. In many of these cultures, the penalty for serious thievery was chopping off the right hand, which meant no access to the communal food bowl...

Corn cobs don't sound particularly, well, comfortable. Plenty of nice big leaves around here - just mind the poison ivy! Yow!

John Jeavons who has been researching sustainable food production in Willits, CA for 30 years mentioned at a workshop that they haven't been able to come up with a sustainable alternative to toilet paper.

Is this really all that different from the diaper problem? What would people do if Pampers were history? They'll go back to 100% cotton cloth diapers of course, and have fun hand washing them the old way. Cut up some smallish squares of cloth, store them in the same hamper when used, launder them the same way. This isn't exactly a problem of petroleum engineering complexity, you know!

In most of the world, where there are no disposable diapers, childern are 98% potty trained by 1 year but even before that, mothers intuitively "know" when the child has to go and take them to the appropriate place.

There is a very small but growing "diaper free" movement in this country. Our daughter was fully trained at 18 months but did 95% poop and 70% pee in a potty at 6 months. Many adults consider early potty training to be a form of child abuse. Mostly though, it just involves letting them go naked from the waist down and paying close attention to their signals. After a week or so, everyone gets the hang of it. It works. Diapers are a luxury.

I read that article in the NY Times about that. It said that many Americans adopting children from overseas are amazed to find their infants already toilet trained, when only a few months or even only a few weeks old.

Of course, it's gone the opposite way here in the U.S. A couple of generations ago, it was unheard for kids to be still wearing diapers at age 3. Now it is common, because parents are too busy to toilet train their kids, let alone "listen to their signals."

Americans adopting children from overseas are amazed to find their infants already toilet trained, when only a few months or even only a few weeks old.

A few weeks old? Wow! My kids were unable to lift their heads or even smile at that age. Are you sure they weren't referring to kittens, or mayflies?

As mentioned previously, it's not the kind of toilet-training we think of. Rather, the baby learns to signal when s/he needs to go, and the parents learn to be alert for those signals.

Obviously, this system only works if the parents (or nanny) are around all the time. Diapers are far more convenient when the caretakers are working parents and occasional babysitters.

... rummages about for his "dead horse" beating instrument...

Since this is clearly crazy subject matter for TOD I cannot help but ask, how did the American parents recognize the signals of their imported babies? If the American parents were already aware that this baby signalling was going on (which I wouldn't dispute), then why were they incredulous that the babies were already toilet trained? If on the other hand the American baby importers were unaware of the signalling process, then how they even know that their imported infant was signalling anything?

I apologize for dragging this silly thread out since it has little to do wth TOD, but I'm an idiot, so I can't resist.

I dunno. Perhaps it was explained to them, when the baby was handed to them fully-dressed, but diaperless. You can read all about it here:

A Fast Track to Toilet Training for Those at the Crawling Stage

Hot dog in the morning! That has to be the answer. They were told.

I wonder what the baby import market futures look like. And can fractional flow apply to their toilet habits?

Since the world turns because of oil, all subjects are fair game.... for awhile!

"...and the parents learn to be alert for those signals."

A bright red face and grunt noises are the laughed about classic at our house.

Diapers are a luxury??

Seems to me there a waste...

scenario: cousin would'nt feed their baby fresh fruit(pineapple) because it gave the baby diaper rash--

does that sound backwards?

so i said, why not take the diaper off- and feed your baby real, heathy food, instead of the jar of can-o-crap

a sustainable alternative to toilet paper.


After more than a week in South Korea and learning much about the way things were done BO (before oil) I can tell you they used rice chaff (straw) to "wipe." Which is used for all kinds of things.

I'm planning on writing an piece about Korean energy useage, their food production and what could be their future very soon.

I very much look forward to this.

Korean energy useage, their food production


Alas the pictures on the jetcompost site are gone from public viewing. But the text was something like this:

35 tons of sewage waste is processed a day for $15 in electrical power.

Night soil for gardens.

dup deleted

Reminds me of a time that another fellow and I flew into Madan, Indonesia to put on a presentation. The airport is not that large and we never realized there was a business class restroom, he went to the regular one and came out and said no paper, so I lent him a pair of socks from my carry on. Needless to say He bought the first round of beer at the hotel that evening. The Dana Toba.

...so I lent him a pair of socks from my carry on

chip, I think I would have let him keep the socks.

Good one: typing too fast

well at least you didnt give him a hand.

Re: the Iraq strike story.... Dale Allen Pfeiffer is on it:

Now the oil workers have gone on strike in an effort to stop the privatization and giveaway of Iraqi oil. The Iraqi government has responded by ordering the arrest of the union leaders, and the Iraqi military has surrounded the striking workers. The veil over imperial conquest is not just falling, it is being ripped off.

The Iraqi government and military would never take such bold actions without, at the very least, the sanction of US officials. Most likely, the US gave the order for the strike to be stopped. No doubt, the US is having the Iraqi military handle the matter so that they can ostensibly wash their hands of it. Yet, if the Iraqis cannot put down the strikers, the US will have to take direct action.

...The very silence of the US media concerning the Iraqi oil strike is itself indicative of who is directing the repression of the strikers.

In their own words:

"It has nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil." -- Donald Rumsfeld, Nov. 14, 2002.

"Today is just the beginning of our relationship between the Department of Energy and the Ministries of Oil, Electricity, and Science and Technology.” -- US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, July 18, 2006, Baghdad, Iraq

"I did make it clear that we believe it is very important to move on the issues before us in a timely fashion and any undue delay would be difficult to explain." -- Dick Cheney, May 9, 2007

My understanding is that one of the few laws Bremer didn't change was Saddam's law making strikes illegal.

cfm in Gray, ME

Yet another major driving factor in climate change that is not included in current climate modeling.

This over at The Research Channel;

The Hurricane-Climate Connection


After Katrina, the link between global warming and a perceived increase in severe weather became a critical debate topic in the science and policy arenas. Prof. Kerry Emanuel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), in his 2007 AMS Haurwitz Memorial Lecture, examines this question. While sea surface temperature plays a role in tropical storm intensity, it represents only part of the complex puzzle. He also details an emerging theory that suggests hurricanes and typhoons may play a major, and heretofore, unexpected role in climate dynamics.

THanks for the link S2

Only had time to listen to the last 30 minutes of the speech and the QA. Hope to be able to do it all in more detail later.

Yep the oceans, the seas, and the upper atmosphere.

but haven't you heard, models rule now, they are the science. Just because you have new info doens't mean the models are wrong, or does it. Speak out against the model and they take your camera away, umm I mean your funding.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Do you have any idea how science works?

All science uses models.

A "dynamical model" performs the computations which are too difficult or cumbersome to do by hand---but you, the human, put in the physics.

Isaac Newton created models for predicting the orbits of planets and tides.

Researchers show what they include in their models and why.

Prisoner X makes a common mistake clearly understandable in a culture defined more by lawyers and salesmen than anything else. He wishes an essentially unattainable standard of proof. This would be fair enough if it were in fact fair. Unfortunately, he basically assumes the premise, which itself is a risky hypothesis requiring a similar level of proof. Obviously neither premise can afford this, so one has to work within the system not of legalism but of science. The belief that there is no human induced global warming is not a null hypothesis. It is a strong belief in the ability to force the system without it responding. To a scientist it is obvious that this itself is something you cannot take for granted but must submit it to test. To a salesman or lawyer of course it is different, but that is the essential problem which especially the USA now faces, when the main problems of the day result from very complex systems and the effects are always indirect.

e=mc^2. A theory. Probably not proveable. Hiroshima was a sunspot.

What is mathematics other than a model?

cfm in Gray, ME

How about you go take some differential equations classes and try plotting by hand.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Differential_equations for a cool example right up at the top.

when the model becomes the proof, then Houston you have a problem. I am not making a mistake, it is you that believe that your models are the "proof".

you point at the model and claim, there is your proof. Which is done every single day with someone claiming CO2 by man is the culprit. The models yada yada.

Models are a tool, they are not a fact, and that is the point, but go ahead in your deluded world where you belief that if you modeled it and it fits your answer that is all you need to know.

You and others are trying to claim that models are facts. This may or may not actually be true. To make the claim that your models are correct 100 percent of the time is a complete fallacy. Models fail and new ones have to be built. Its a tool, not a fact.

Models are tools. That is not an incorrect statement or belief, but you can feel free to walk down any path you feel free to take. I don't care if its the wrong one. I just will not follow you.

You model a building or a plane, but it doesn't make the plane and it will not answer all the parameters, you think your models fill all parameters. Really, then there is a word for people like that.

Did they model the sound barrier, or did it take someone to actually do it and his experiences to come to grips with it. Models can only predict from the input that is given, you are saying that you are 100 percent positive that you have covered every single possible event, situation, known, and even the unknown in all models.


or as the WW2 general said


Ah yes, math, the answer to all. so tell me. I have two points and I need to know the exact distance between the two. Exactly how many points are there along that line. Making that model become absolute you claim is unfair. Well you can't make a foul ball fair by moving the foul line (Roger Maris).

You are only able to define your existence in space in time thru methods that are incomplete, and your failure to see that is at the basics, a flaw, is arrogance.

Me a "salesman' take your baseless but well grown personal arrogance and shove it up your patui.

Ah yes the Royal Academy had "modeled" that man could not fly, using what they knew, but yet, man could fly.

model 0 fact 1

electricity could not be transmitted and not be line of sight.

model 0 fact 1

only when the model becomes "solid" and in 3D space and part of the existence of nature then it can become a FACT.

Is matter a particle or is it a wave. Or is it a wave until it becomes observed, and then it becomes a particle.

Problem, because if its a wave and you model it then its changed and becomes a particle, and then your model for reality is incomplete, because you don't really have the true basis of the wave in the model.

ahhh, but go ahead model away, you have to have a reason for your money.

One last thing.

A computer does things using only 1 and 0. This is the digital world. it is defined, and it is constricted. It is not the real world.

The real world is ANALOG not DIGITAL. if you don't understand the huge difference in analog and digital then you are a fool.

I meet people everyday in my business that tell me a digital camera is "better" than an analog camera. Film vs digital. This is so funny that I just laugh at them now. There may be advantages to one system over the other in certain defined areas. Like multiple copies with less degradation, then digital works. but it IS NOT as good as a analog source.

They still record to tape for masters, They still shoot film for masters. They make copies of digital productions to film.

What in the future will I need to view film. A light and a perhaps a lens. What will I need to watch a DVD.

I had to follow focus on a horse with a rider running at me full speed from 200 yards. Depth of field is in inches. a built in "auto focus" will not work, because you can't models the exact path of the Horse each time and where the rider will be sitting/leaning. It can only be done by a human with experience and an understand of optics, and a great deal of experience. Models and "follow focus" will only get you so far.

My best take was actually one where I listened and judged with my ears, and "zen". Model Zen, go ahead.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

This guy's credentials as a troll are showing. A bunch of non-sequiturs and personal putdowns is not an argument, and he constantly does this. So, a troll.

James Gervais
Hope was the last ill to escape Pandora's box.

Lets see imskeptical,

YOu use non backed up statements and accuse me of being a troll, and attack without any evidence, and dont attempt to answer the basic premise. How many of these baloney detection statements can I apply to you post.

A model is a tool, not a fact. Proof that a model is a fact. Instead of blanket statements, or did I hurt snookums feelings.

Why dont you use Carl Sagans baloney detection kit to fulfill your own models and tell everyone that you have done it.

and please apply it to CO2 climate change models.


oh and troll be sure and visit the site for other info, or does it offend you, If the latter, F off,

* Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts
* Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
* Arguments from authority carry little weight (in science there are no "authorities").
* Spin more than one hypothesis - don't simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.
* Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it's yours.
* Quantify, wherever possible.
* If there is a chain of argument every link in the chain must work.
* "Occam's razor" - if there are two hypothesis that explain the data equally well choose the simpler.
* Ask whether the hypothesis can, at least in principle, be falsified (shown to be false by some unambiguous test). In other words, is it testable? Can others duplicate the experiment and get the same result?

Additional issues are

* Conduct control experiments - especially "double blind" experiments where the person taking measurements is not aware of the test and control subjects.
* Check for confounding factors - separate the variables.

Common fallacies of logic and rhetoric

* Ad hominem - attacking the arguer and not the argument.
* Argument from "authority".
* Argument from adverse consequences (putting pressure on the decision maker by pointing out dire consequences of an "unfavourable" decision).
* Appeal to ignorance (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence).
* Special pleading (typically referring to god's will).
* Begging the question (assuming an answer in the way the question is phrased).
* Observational selection (counting the hits and forgetting the misses).
* Statistics of small numbers (such as drawing conclusions from inadequate sample sizes).
* Misunderstanding the nature of statistics (President Eisenhower expressing astonishment and alarm on discovering that fully half of all Americans have below average intelligence!)
* Inconsistency (e.g. military expenditures based on worst case scenarios but scientific projections on environmental dangers thriftily ignored because they are not "proved").
* Non sequitur - "it does not follow" - the logic falls down.
* Post hoc, ergo propter hoc - "it happened after so it was caused by" - confusion of cause and effect.
* Meaningless question ("what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?).
* Excluded middle - considering only the two extremes in a range of possibilities (making the "other side" look worse than it really is).
* Short-term v. long-term - a subset of excluded middle ("why pursue fundamental science when we have so huge a budget deficit?").
* Slippery slope - a subset of excluded middle - unwarranted extrapolation of the effects (give an inch and they will take a mile).
* Confusion of correlation and causation.
* Straw man - caricaturing (or stereotyping) a position to make it easier to attack..
* Suppressed evidence or half-truths.
* Weasel words - for example, use of euphemisms for war such as "police action" to get around limitations on Presidential powers. "An important art of politicians is to find new names for institutions which under old names have become odious to the public"

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

PrisonerX, GOOD SHOW!

In replying to someone witht the moniker, "imskeptical", you prove yourself to have the real skeptical street credentials! :-)

Your willingness to show measured skepticism in "models as the absolute final proof of fact and standard of evidence would be applauded in most places (but, we are in a bit of an odd time and place here, we know that! :-)

You correctly did NOT dismiss the usefulness of models (although you were accused by implication of that), they as you rightly say are tools, just as SCIENCE itself is a tool (one can choose to use it or not).

The weakness of models is, as the great writer and thinker Albert Camus pointed out about theories, "They are only correct in so much as they are complete. A theory is false only insomuch as it is incomplete."

Of course, all models (as all theories devised by humans) are incomplete. (brief theoritical/philosophical point: If a theory or model were complete, it would represent all of existence, i.e., all the universe and all possible outcomes. This of course is by definition God. Thus, the perfect theory would be....:-), (sounds a bit like Saint Anselm, don't it?

The more complex the reality, the more difficult to model. (If I am asked for an absolutely technically accurate model of a toothpick, I can probably come up with a close facsimile with ease. But if I am asked for a absolutely technically correct model of world energy consumption, and one that updates in real time (!!), that is going to be a bit more difficult, one would presume. I can build a model that will be "somewhat" complete, meaning it will only be "somewhat" correct. Likewise, models of global climate and mankinds effect upon it. The variables are simply too many, and too complex for the model to be "absolutely complete", and thus, "absolutely correct.

Does this mean the model should not be built (either using theory or computer modeling)? Of course not. But one must admit to the limits of the model or they risk losing credibility (worship of the model becomes something of icon worship)

Does the lack of completeness of the model mean that action should not be taken based upon a well developed model? Of course not. If the model predicts "high consequence" outcomes, then it cannot be ignored.

However, one must always leave the "error" possibility in the modeling. If a course of action needs to be taken for a dozen other reasons, and the model indicates one more high probability reason, then that course of action gains great weight as the one that should be taken.

This is the case, for example, with the course of action of reduction of fossil fuels and reduction of carbon emission. Even without the existence of the "model" predicting climate change and global warming, there are already at least a dozen good reasons to attempt to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

Your list of "Common fallacies of logic and rhetoric" is excellent by the way, a great reminder of the errors we all make.

But have you noticed, we are probably talking now into thin air. I have noticed recently that a common pattern here on TOD is the "hit and run".

If a person makes an assertion differing with the "orthodoxy" here, then four or five assailants jump out of nowhere, call him or her a troll, do some character assination, throw out some weak arguments, "proving" the poster ignorant.

Then when the original poster replies with a long and well developed argument, obviously outmatching the 4 or 5 goons that rhetorically jumped on and slapped him or her around, the assailants disappear! Thus is wasted the posters time in defending him or herself, having bothered to construct a real argument (which does take time) against the non argument of bushwackers, who, make no mistake, will come back with EXACTLY the same tactic amd the same failed arguments and falsehoods on another day on another post (knowing that newbies will not be familiar with the discredited arguments they are using, and knowing that no one here will point out how discredited the goons arguments are, as long as the attack is against someone who is "sacrilegious" on issues about which the "orthodoxy" is already established.

And so it goes. Something that is almost as worshipped here as "models" are "charts". If you can deliver a pretty chart, it is accepted almost on face value.
At the close of this very string is a wonderful blue bar chart, showing in Norwegian oil production " a drop of 7.4%, as shown in the chart below".
The poster admits in the text,
"This large decline is only for one month", but then makes a spectacular leap, "but could signal the start of accelerated decline rates for the entire North Sea which includes the shares of production from UK, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands."

Now we have a drop of one month, and in only Norway, being extended to a catastrophic outcome "that could signal" accelerated decline rates for the entire North Sea (!!) And of course, he's right, it could. Or, it could not.
But the chart is so damm pretty, it must mean something!
Here's the kicker, the chart extends backward in time.....to June 2005. (!!!)

But a chart, like a model is worth a thousand words. The hope seems to be that anyone who is actually a bit skeptical of the "orthodoxy" will finally get tired of fighting off the same inane icons, and just go away.

Roger Conner Jr.
Remember, we are only one cubic mile from freedom (now, that was a model!

The Specter of Cuban Oil Haunts the Blockade

What threatens to turn the elaborate sanctions structure on its head is the specter of a Cuban oil bonanza. As the peak-oil horizon moves closer, the United States and other rich nations are forced to seek new oil sources.
"My colleagues and I have been working tirelessly," said Ros-Lehtinen, "to prevent our own companies from ruining Florida's pristine beaches and delicate ecosystem by exploring and drilling for oil off our coast. ... To now have this murderous and totalitarian regime say it wants to drill just 45 miles from Key West is beyond the pale and totally unacceptable."[8]

Besides saving Florida's beaches, the bill holds out the promise of retarding Cuba's offshore drilling until some future government returns Cuba to its pre-1959 economic system dominated by U.S. interests.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) also supports the Martinez bill, but he would go further by allowing the 1997 treaty to expire and by extending the coastal drilling ban 150 miles out into the Gulf toward the Cuban zone.Would that transform oil in Cuba's zone into "our" oil? If Cuba were to drill in its zone anyway, would that be considered an act of war? Would the United States have to retaliate to prevent Cuba from exercising sovereign rights over its coastal resources just 45 miles from the Florida Keys? Nelson has not said, but his proposal is a novel extension of the sanctions policy.

In the meantime, several foreign companies are already installed in Cuba, and it seems improbable that an executive of, say France's Total, would forego future profits from investment in Cuban oil for the right to visit the United States.

Instead of discouraging foreign companies, a bill sponsored by Sens. Byron Dorgan, Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Rep. Larry Craig (R-ID), would free U.S. companies to compete by exempting them from the sanctions. The bill would allow any U.S. citizen or resident to "engage in any transaction necessary for the exploration for and extraction of hydrocarbon resources from any portion of any foreign exclusive economic zone that is contiguous to the exclusive economic zone of the United States.[9] As for the environment, no drilling in the Cuban zone would be closer than 45 miles from the U.S. coast.

Perhaps in the belief that if you can't see an oil spill, it doesn't exist, the bill reassuringly says that drilling operations would not be "visible to the unassisted eye from any shore of any coastal State." Therefore, "the impact of offshore production facilities on coastal vistas is otherwise mitigated."[10]

This is the last thing we need.

I wonder if the amount of oil is something that would entice Putin to offer the muscle and someone else to offer the drilling expertise?

To now have this murderous and totalitarian regime say it wants to drill just 45 miles from Key West is beyond the pale and totally unacceptable.

On first read I thought she meant George Bush.

Some interesting reports from the World Nuclear Fuel Market Conference.

There's this from Scott Melbye, vice president of marketing for Cameco Corporation:

According to Melbye, the uranium industry indeed has a future shortage, looming on the horizon -– beyond the imminent shortfall through 2009, and again around 2013. This one could occur in 2025. This came about, he explained, because uranium miners suffered through years of baggage, the excess brought about opposite effects, and also because the industry is complacent about the future. His recommendation: Patience is required.

And there's this report about a presentation titled "Mythology -- Some Sad Realities":

Speaking of mythology, Dr. Haksoo Kim, Acting Director of Fuel Supply for Exelon Corp, decided to explode a few of the myths circulating around the uranium industry.

On Page 12 of his presentation, he announced ‘Some Happy Myths.” We’ve all heard them and digested them as truth. These same myths have been posted on the websites of the more promotional ‘uranium’ companies hoping to lure the unwitting investors to buy their uranium exploration story.

Dr. Kim opened our eyes.

He told his audience that fuel is four to five times the ‘hyped’ cost of nuclear power – between 20 and 25 percent instead of the mere five percent.

He announced, “At $1000/pound for uranium, a nuclear utility’s fuel cost would rise to $70/MWH compared to $5/MWH at legacy contract prices of about $20/pound.

Dr. Kim shot down the premature conclusion that utilities would rather pay the high prices instead of going through a costly decommissioning process. He said, “There is no compulsion to immediately decommission – stations can be held in standby or cold shutdown.”

Finally, he took up the matter of ‘utilities not caring about fuel costs.’ He pointed out, “Take $900 million from your company’s annual net profits. See how happy your management is.”

Because of what we've previously been led to believe, we questioned his numbers and conclusions. So we asked TradeTech’s Gene Clark for a second opinion. Clark emailed back and confirmed Dr. Kim’s calculations were accurate...


this seems very off...

what is uranium usage in terms of lbs per year for a specific power or thermal output?

from there it is a straighforward convertion to bucks.

I seriously doubt that an expensive multibillion dollar reactor will have to worry about fuel costs over the life of the reactor. The depreciation and maintenance probably cost orders of magnitude more.

If you can point out where the utility company accountants have made a mistake I'm sure they will want to speak with you.

This appears to be nothing but counter industry bluster. Cameco wants higher prices and Exelon wants cheaper U. This kind of crap goes on all the time when you get users and producers at the same meeting. Kim is "Acting Director" translation hachet man that is telling the producers we want cheaper prices and by the way consumers get ready for price hikes if you want to keep your lights on. After all we earn our return based on costs Right?
Show me some real numbers not a freaking power point. Their actions speak louder than words aren't they trying to get licensed to build 2 or 3 new nukes? That looks real freaking smart given the economics that Hachet Man just alluded too!

If you are looking for numbers, a screenshot of Gene Clark's spreadsheet is included in the write-up linked above.

And it clearly spells out as bluster.

Looks like about 5 billion lbs is needed for NOW until 2025.

at current prices that makes for 750 billion or so for 18 years worth of power?

at 1000 bucks a lb that makes for 5 trillion$ for 18 years worth of power.

Wiki says 45 trillion is the world gdp, so we are looking at ~ 00.6% of the worlds GDP each year to purchase nuclear fuel in the higher case senario!

sounds fine to me!

thanks for the link, the graphs were a little confusing but i got them now.

Here are two major weaknesses in the spreadsheet calculation, the ratio of enriched product to depleted tails, and the cost of the Seperative Work Units (SWUs).

The calculation is for processing to get 1 kg of low-enriched uranium. Typically, starting with 10 kg of natural uranium (NU), with 0.7% U235, the enrichment process gives 1 kg of low enriched uranium (LEU) at 4.3% U235, and 9 kg depleted uranium (DU) at 0.3% U235. Discounting the value of the DU, it takes 10 X $20 = $200 of NU to produce the 1 kg of LEU. The spreadsheet has $539. They assumed a very low product to tails ratio (apparently 1 to 27), consistent with cheap uranium and high SWU costs, like we had in the past, but not true now.

The SWU cost is the cost of the process that concentrates U235 into the product and depletes U235 out of the tails. The old gaseous diffusion process took about 2,500 kwh of electricity for 1 SWU, about $125 power cost. The newer gas centrifuge takes about 60 kwh, about $3 per SWU. It takes about 6 SWU per kg of LEU, so for the gaseous diffusion process, the cost is $750 and for the gas centrifuge, about $20. The spreadsheet is basing its high ($880) SWU cost on the obsolete gaseous diffusion process, while everyone in the modern world, like Iran for example, is using gas centrifuges.

On these two corrections alone, the calculated cost per kg of LEU goes from $2,500 for the spreadsheet to $1,300. It does look like those utility accountants are taking some liberties. They probably do not want to speak with me about their math, they know what they are doing.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enriched_uranium

Hey you Godless atheists, read your Bible! The great prophet Hubbert foretold these events! Reactor inventory is much higher than annual burn rate, so construction of (or even planning for) new reactors will significantly raise demand.

Well fuel cost is not just uranium from the mine, but includes enrichment and fabrication.

Enrichment now is expensive in the US since it is by legacy gaseous diffusion plant which consume lots of electricity.

Supposedly it (there is but one, Portsmouth) will be scrapped soon when centrifuge plants (much more energy efficient) are brought online.

It's pretty unlikely (read no way in hell) uranium will stay at or anywhere near $1000/pound for the lifetime of the reactor.

breaking news from the g-8 !!!!!! bush just puked on putin*.

* just kidding (but if he did he would be following in his daddy's footsteps)

What I'm sure Putin won't do is go hunting with Cheney.

If Bush did puke Blair would have been there to lap it up.

Didn't his dad puke on the Japanese Prime Minister?
I think it was while bush1 was visiting Japan, when he was still president.

I guess the bush's just don't have the stomach for foreign policy.

The Broken Record skips again..."

Iran's official news agency reported Mr Ahmadinejad saying that the world would soon see Israel's destruction...

Mr Ahmadinejad was quoted by Irna, the official Iranian news agency, as saying: "The hegemony of the occupier regime [Israel] had collapsed, and the Lebanese nation pushed the button to begin counting the days until the destruction of the Zionist regime."

"God willing, in the near future we will witness the destruction of the corrupt occupier regime," Mr Ahmadinejad said.

Don't worry, I'm sure he is being misquoted and misunderstood... again...

The broken record is you. You truly never have anything to say that does not warn about the alleged dangers of Iran. And alleged they are, since nothing has come out of Iran, and therefore out of you, but quotes of what Ahmadinejad may or may not have said. It's never about what Iran does, it's just words, and by now it matters no more whether he's said it or not. You merely spread propaganda, and never once have been able to back up any of it.

That's not just a broken record, it's an excessively poor record as well.

if the quote is accurate it sill does not indicate any overt hostility.

"WITNESS the destruction..."

The man is talking in ideas, using literary devices to convey his thoughts to the populace. It's not like they are saying "Bombing begins in 5 mins".

My how the mind of politically correct nitwits works. Your level of cultural and religious ignorance and bigotry is stunning.

Head in sand, ass in air, the both of you.

And that is the only reply you ever manage to come up with when questioned on either your zillionth post that says the exact same thing, or on your motives to post it. US media have more than enough propaganda on a daily basis, whether it's versus Chavez, Castro, Ahmadinejad or even Putin. TOD doesn't need to add to it.

You are so pathetic McFly.

Wasting time chasing your tail and your imaginary antagonists ( those meanies infliltrating TOD and spewing "propaganda" !!!)?

Are you really that ignorant of the middle east, the culture, history, religions?

"Ignorance is no excuse," says Mother Nature.

Culturally insulated or blindly politically correct, the Bigot insists the world conform to his petty mind's Delusions and he gets very cofused and angry when his ignorance is disturbed by Reality.

Go yell at thunderstorms McFly. Go yell at people discussing the effects of global flatulence on their local shrubbery, or the people counting the number of barrels of oil equivalents per pound of sandy tar for the millionth time.

Just wallow in your ignorance and go on moaning at whatever you do not understand.

"Ignorance is no excuse," says Mother Nature.

Would this be you arguing that religion is bunk?

I believe that TOD is not a 'does God exist' debate forum.

But, from Slashdot:

The universe was created by an all-powerful all-knowing being who came down to us in the form of a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father who can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

Please don't come back when you've figured out how many angels dance on pin-heads.

Eric, someday you might actually be capable of following a thread without getting distracted and wondering off on nonsensical and irrelevant tangents.

Perhaps one day you'll explain how the idea of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) doesn't work anymore.

I'm not going to hold my breath, because you are not bright enough to pull it off. But go ahead, prove me wrong.

Bwaahh! - Thank you, I didn't expect to snarf my beer through my nose tonight, but what the heck! That's a keeper.

Thanks, but please feel free to point at sendoilplease and mock.

Bigots are people who hate those who are different than themselves.

It's not like they are saying "Bombing begins in 5 mins".

No, but Ronald Reagan did!

Did he mean it? Probably about as much as Ahmadinejad did.

beats me, but Iran won't do shit cause Isreal has nukes.


Ahmadinejad also is elected(or appointed?) so he needs to keep on telling people he is doing something or planning it or at the minimum siding with the majority of the voting populaces prejuces to keep his standing high.

The Quote:

"God willing, in the near future we will witness the destruction of the corrupt occupier regime," Mr Ahmadinejad said.

The analysis:
Iran's official news agency reported Mr Ahmadinejad saying that the world would soon see Israel's destruction...

So then its OK to be a corrupt, occupying regime? If you want to debate if The State of Isreal is a "corrupt occupier regime" I'm sure other places on the net exist.

I'm sure there exists places where international law and US law can be discussed. When someone figures out the US position on fission power and the laws that are followed/not followed, come back and post that summary about who's signed what and what technologies are being sent to whom against what laws.

The Broken Record skips again...

Yea, you made another post about Iran.

while iran is not totally innocent, isrial is far worse.
isriali's have treated the Palestinians as second or third class citizens from the get go.
look up the laws they passed regarding Palestinians how they can own property, right after isiral was forcefully created they passed laws that allowed the isriali government to seize Palestinian property. all one had to do if you were a native Palestinian to run afoul of such laws was leave your house in some cases, most of the time if you leave your house and go past the city limits the isiral government considered your property forfeit and seized it, only to turn around and give it to a jewish settler who was doing his godly duty of bringing the homeland back under jewish control.in some cases these settlers were survivors of similar treatment by a certain group i won't name by name. this is to prevent some people here from invoking a idiotic mythos on the internet that actually just stifles debate.

chapter 12 of satanic purses by r.t. naylor has many more documented insentiences of such events.

Many governments do many bad things VS other humans on a regular basis.

And it is not like internal or international law seems to stop 'em. :-(

It would be nice to see such actions come to an end. But I'm not going to hold my breath.

Kaiser, I'm not trying to justify or "take sides" between Israel and Iran or others in the region.

I'm just following events - the CountDown as it were.

I think it is interesting how many western minds still cling to M.A.D., their mental security blanket, when it comes to Israel and Iran. This is another example of the bigotry of the western mind - they have no clue about the cultures, religions etc of the region and just assume everyone else thinks like they do.

Ignorance is Bliss.

Kaiser, I'm not trying to justify or "take sides" between Israel and Iran or others in the region.
Then why ARE you posting? I know I've asked you questions about your positions and you've not responded.

Either you are mentally incapable of depending your position, or you are a lying SOB that you don't have an adjenda.

Either way, I don't expect an analysis of international law or even US law.

But keep posting, so others can judge you for what you are.

Environmental cost of tar sands too high, U.S. report says

A report by the Natural Resources Defence Council to be released Monday at a symposium in Washington, has been obtained by The Canadian Press.

It repeats arguments that oil sands expansion is strip-mining vast tracts of boreal forest and draining and polluting watersheds. It also points out that one barrel of oil sands oil creates three times as much greenhouse gas as one barrel of conventional oil because it is more difficult to extract and refine.
Alberta industry observers and government representatives are skeptical about the impact of international criticism.

"You've got consumers who want to be green but don't want to put their money where their mouth is," said analyst George Eynon of the Calgary-based Canadian Energy Research Institute.

Mr. Eynon points out that California continues to buy electricity generated by coal-fired plants outside its borders.

"It won't make a blind bit of difference - the demand for oil is going to increase," he said.

"It really becomes a political PR problem."

...and while on the topic of tensions in the ME/Asia:

Iraqi Kurds: Turkey Shells Across Border

ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) -- Turkish forces shelled Kurdish rebel positions across the border in northern Iraq, Iraqi Kurd officials reported Friday, heightening fears that the fighting could flare into a larger conflict and draw in the U.S.

Turkey has been building up its forces along the border with Iraq, and its leaders are debating whether to stage a major incursion to pursue separatist rebels who cross over from bases in Iraq to attack Turkish targets. Such an operation could ignite a wider conflict involving Iraqi Kurds, and disrupt Turkey's ties with its NATO ally, the United States.

Iran has also clashed with Iranian Kurd fighters who have bases in remote, mountainous areas of northern Iraq, and Iranian forces reportedly participated in the overnight shelling.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, or PUK, the party of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, reported the Turkish and Iranian shelling on its Web site. Turkish military authorities at the General Staff in Ankara were not immediately available for comment.

Hello Peakoil Tarzan,

I wonder if the Turkish Govt. was mandated by the US/NATO into buying the new US-designed GPS-guided artillery shell--much more accurate to target military targets and reduce any undesired collateral damage in innocents and to FF-infrastructure in Kurdish lands.

My guess is Turkey would rather maximize terror, collateral lethality, and economic loss in the Kurds by using the much cheaper standard artillery shell. The 'errant shell' hitting a school full of kids has legendary effects upon the parents' optimism for the future. =(

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

I spoke with a friend in Istanbul this morning. He said that everyday the newspapers carry the news of Turkish troops killed by the PKK in Eastern Turkey. Also there continue to be bombings in major cities, the last one occuring in Ankara last week which killed seven and injured over 100. It is understandable, although not necessarily excusable, that Turkey might be targeting the PKK which has taken refuge in Northern Iraq. If the US were facing a similar threat from a group taking refuge accross the Mexican border, what do you think the US response would be?

Hello Klee,

When I hit 'Parent'--it shows that you were not responding to me but Peakoil Tarzan, but I wish to reply anyhow. =D

The US response would probably be the same, but if Peakoil Outreach ever becomes universally successful: I think any parties in a conflict would realize that a paradigm shift towards biosolar sustainability would allow greater peace and higher civilizational resiliency than wrecking each other's spiderwebs and tearing families asunder.

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

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your response. I completely agree and it was with real regret that my young friend spoke of the conflict in the East of his country. No doubt part of that regret is due to the fact that, just finishing college, he has to face military service, or seek to avoid it as best he can. But he, along with many educated young people there are also no big fans of Erdogan and the AK Party, militarism or nationalism.

On the other big TOD issue, he said that almost everyone in Turkey accepts the reality of global climate change. It did not snow at all this year in Istanbul and their water reservoirs are at 30% of normal.

Hello Klee,

Thxs for responding. Our reservoirs and aquifers are not in much better shape, but damn, you should see how often the residents here get their cars washed. God forbid that they might get a microlayer of dust on their motorized bling to reduce its reflective sheen in the blazing sun.

My old pickup only gets naturally washed when it rains, and it has been a long time since we have had a decent storm to give it a good rain-scubbing. It currently looks like hell, but I do clean the windows periodically for safety.

As the Southwestern US drought continues, we are still building golf courses, housing, shopping malls, and car dealerships like there is no tomorrow....

U.S. experiencing drought for the ages

Severe dryness across California and Arizona has spread into 11 other Western states. On the Colorado River, the water supply for 30 million people in seven states and Mexico, the Lake Powell and Lake Mead reservoirs are only half full and unlikely to recover for years.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Of course educated young people who expect to get rich hate the party of the poor. But it was the secular (pro-capitalist) parties that kept up the drumbeat for war, knowing that the Turkish Army, the most anti-Moslem, pro-American institution in the Islamic world, has two favorite hobbies: slaughtering Kurds and toppling elected governments. The war was pushed to put Edrogan in a bind and try to steal his poor supporters back to the corrupt secular parties they threw out en masse a few years ago. If he'd refused war, they would have absurdly claimed that he was being soft on fellow Moslems.
Ironic as SendOilPlease keeps blaming Moslems for all evil that this war was set up by secular Turks and Kurds to stoke nationalism as an alternate faith. Hey, only WE get to do that!

Oversimplification is sooooo easy. Everyone must be separated into black and white and good and evil. You are either for us or against us there is no grey area. Unfortunately nothing is as simple as it seems. Many people in Turkey oppose the AK because they see it as a fundamentalist religious party - not a party of the poor. It just goes to show you: secularists in the US are seen as not true Americans because they don't want to see a US dominated by Christian Fundamentalists. In Turkey secularists are seen as intolerant nationalists because they don't want the country to become, in the words of my young friend "Iran wannabe's".

After Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico President Wilson sent Black Jack Pershing into Mexico to find and capture/kill the terrorists. The whole expedition was an utter failure. Inspite of being a failure Pershing led American forces in WW1 and had a missle system named after him by Reagan.

Re: Why we need big hybrid SUVs

"Think a GMC Yukon Hybrid sounds silly? It can save more gas than a Civic Hybrid."

When I read things like that, I just shake my head.

This is why America will fall so very hard.

To formulate an answer, you will first have to understand the question. Well, not a clue, not even here at TOD. Most people are quite convinced that cars that are 10-20% more fuel efficient should do the trick, and that's all the sacrifice that could logically be asked of them.

The only way to stave of at least some of the impending boulder of a disaster that's about to come rolling down the mountain, would be a 10-year crash program starting now, that reduces car dependency and vehicle miles by some 50%, on top of a 50% increase in effiiciency. None of that is happening. Instead of a Manhattan Project to lower dependency, we have an Apollo Project for more drilling, more military, and more food burning.

But in 10 years, 50% of the population won't be able to afford, not just the gasoline, but not the cars either, or the roads. It's over. Get ready. Even if you feel confident you can hold on to your job or money, far too many won't be so lucky for any normalcy to last much longer.

Civic engagement will be then be a matter of survival regardless of what philosophy one holds - hunger the the greatest motivator.

But in 10 years, 50% of the population won't be able to afford, not just the gasoline, but not the cars either, or the roads.

Agreed. I can't even sort of maybe figure out how things might look if another ten percent lose their jobs. Even that sounds like an economic collapse. Because it's not just one thing that gets more expensive. The whole maxxed out system fails because there isn't the slack. How is my garden going to stay my garden? I don't see it.

cfm in Gray, ME

That's very true, but they won't agree it is a collapse until the stock price curve looks like that.

Remember in 1929-1932 the stock crash came first, because the problem was causes by the economic system. This time the resource base causes it and the economic system tries to follow, so the patterns of events will be different. The slow squeezing out of the middle class will merely speed up. Country by country in some cases, class by class in others. The most violence will occur when the most people who felt entitled now feel like they're being ripped off. This is most of why I think the USA will be the worst case (the greater "suburb" extreme is most of the rest).


ps they just announced gas prices are down so everyone feels better... what a short term viewpoint (CNN... they did remark in passing that it is still higher than last year)

Worse, the article completely glosses over the amount of fuel used per year, per model, and only compares the relative rate of 'savings.'

I guess this is the sort of math that led to America's economy becoming a dynamic miracle, one ARM at a time.

And it is the sort of math which doesn't change the fact that a small car easily uses half the fuel of an SUV, per year, regardless of the 'savings' involved by switching powertrains.

Why we need big hybrid SUVs

She lives in Cape Cod, Mass., where it snows heavily in the winter. She has three boys who all play hockey, a dog and a husband; and she usually has a couple of her kids' friends - and their hockey equipment - tagging along wherever they go.

Cape Code gets very little snow and has mostly very flat ground. Any front-wheel-drive vehicle with proper snow tires will do just fine. Further, a large minivan will hold as much as all but the most giant SUVs. If needed, hockey gear (which isn't all that heavy) can go on a roof rack. I grew up in a family of 3 kids, dog, and two parents; we survived with a pair of cars barely large enough to reach the compact-car mark.

"Needing" a large SUV for this type of lifestyle shows no willingness to change, no thinking about significantly different solutions, and no willingness to make any personal sacrifice.

Even as consumers have been ditching mid-sized SUVs for smaller SUVs and cars amid rising gas prices, sales of large SUVs have stayed relatively flat. That indicates that these buyers can't easily switch.

That's one interpretation. How about other interpretations... the price of fuel isn't all that high for the people who can afford to buy a brand-new $50k vehicle every 4 years. Or, consumers want the special tax loopholes that are only given to the larger vehicles. Or, consumers want to up-armor that transport to the determinant of everyone around them.

Needing" a large SUV for this type of lifestyle shows no willingness to change, no thinking about significantly different solutions, and no willingness to make any personal sacrifice.

Rubbish. I'm sure that the native americans, who lived here prior to the European invasion centuries ago, all drove SUVs. An SUV is a gods given right granted to all soccer/hockey mom's, in fact it's guaranteed in the constitution!!!!

... goes back to licking guns and huffing tailpipe exhaust ...

Snows heavily in Cape Cod....

That's how reliable the mass media is now. Rely on them to lie because their paycheck depends on it.

Is it only me, or are others noticing the plethora of news stories that directly contradict each other?

cfm in Gray, ME

the original article was an unmitagated crock of s*** and the folllow up is the same. but it will no doubt give the 'burbanites a warm and fuzzy.

I have to wonder about these mileage figures quoted in the SUV article.

I bought my last new truck, a 2000 Ford 150 6 cylinder, manual trans, 4wd, full 8 ft bed back when nobody thought of gas price or declining oil supply-Sep 2000. It was hard to find-esp with just a regular cab. Just a pickup for the myriad chores they do. I rarely get 18 mpg highway with highway tires.

One of my biggest complaints still is it is too bloated-like the population. The old workhorse had become an image vehicle rather than a tool. The bed sits up much too high for easily loading a ton of hay or grain. And adding racks puts the load up at airplane height. Almost need a foot stool to add oil.

Anyway, ending rant, it's still under 34000 miles, excellent shape with manual and 6 cylinder---24 mpg sounds awful high for suv's.

I rarely get 18 mpg highway with highway tires.

European readers can take note that this translates to a bit more than 13 liters per 100 km. A shocking figure. There are SUV types in Germany which do 8 to 8.5 which is about the same as my car (that's about 30 mpg). Cars aren't thought of as "low mileage" unless the figure is closer to 6.

Rules of thumb: 10 l is about 24 mpg
30 mpg is about 8 l


A couple pts-first the truck was bought as a tool for farm chores, not commuting or carrying passengers. US SUV's cited are large 8 cylinder automatic trans loaded luxury vehicles. I was specifically concerned about fuel economy and vehicle effiency when I bought this truck in 2000. It was by far the best I could find, and that took alot of looking in a market glutted with king cabs, automatics, 8 cylinder rigs and very cheap gas. I question whether the new suvs with their larger engines, transmissions, tires and luxury components on the same chassis are more fuel effiecient.

You're quite right about the differences, but these speak to the market in both cases (BTW don't take any of this as having anything to do with you or me). My brother once had a pickup as a 2nd car because he lived in suburbs... not far from Bellevue or Seattle but far enough. The thing was old, he used it only to haul things (branches, etc), but when it ran it might have got 10-12 mpg and did perhaps 100 times the pollution as a normal car. Why not get rid of it and buy a new one? Perhaps if someone nice coughed up 20-25k for a new one! All of that contributes to the larger problem. People do what they can afford, some of us have more margin than others, but a great many have very little margin indeed. Consider all the people doing just fine on temp jobs but are perhaps one major injury away from "demand destruction".

Consider the US: I like rather small cars with a stick but with all the safety features normally std in Europe, not least, all the mirrors. In the US you often see these only in packages. In most markets you can't do without A/C, the choices won't let you. You often _can't get_ that frugal thing you want. Also houses... just try to find a decent house with only 1000 sq ft. I tried for 800 in Austin in 1985 and there weren't any so I settled for 1100.

...a market glutted with king cabs, automatics, 8 cylinder rigs and very cheap gas...

Also in Germany, there is a significant push for ever more power. This direction dominates all the "buzz". Nevertheless, it is more possible to be frugal. Maybe in the long range there are more people who want to and therefore there is a market. Lots and lots of turbo diesels in the 80-100 HP range that are very frugal by US standards.

And even at 1.4 EUR/liter gas is probably still too cheap.


What the hell ever happened to 4-cylinder minivans?

They didn't qualify for the SUV (>6000 lb) tax credit.

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

Cape Code gets very little snow and has mostly very flat ground.

Which reminded me of this place:

They run an aquarium, open to the public. It's one of the tourist attractions in WH -- been there >50 years. Not as colorful as a tropical reef aquarium but interesting. It has a number of interpretive displays of the life cycles of various sea creatures alongside the live display tanks.

I haven't been there in 5 years or more, but last time I saw it, they allowed people to tour through the area behind the tanks, where you could see all the saltwater plumbing. Kids were allowed to touch live harmless invertebrates, such as starfish in a "backstage" sea table there.

I don't suppose it's still there in today's political climate, but at one time there was a sheet of graph paper taped to a back wall and small explanatory plaque. The graph was made by an employee who went out to the end of the jetty every day over several decades and took a temperature reading of Woods Hole harbor.

Superimposed on the seasonal variation was a clearly visible trend of about 1° C per decade, as I recall. The surface temperature of the harbor has been rising for the last half-century at least.

I've never spent the winter there but from what I understand, winter rain is much more common than snow these days. Maybe there was a lot of snow on the Cape in 1620 :)

Iraq: Pipeline Strike Reaching Crisis Point

(plant tounge firmly in cheek)

Oh, oh! Where are the links from labor unions saying that the works have the right to strike and how unfair it is to the workers in the budding Democracy?

eric blair
the Iraqui puppet government is preparing to sell the national assets of Iraq to the major oil companies of the United States. The people who know and care about their oilfields are refusing to cooperate. They're going on strike.
How about a little compassion and understanding for some workers who are acting in a patriotic fashion? I'm sure Iraqis love their country too! At a minimum I'd do the same to any puppet government and occuping army in the United States!
As far as the US Labor Movement, they've been eviscerated by the anti-union government policies of the last 50 years. The only Unions I think are doing the right thing are the Service Employees International Union and the International Workers of the World!

How about a little compassion and understanding for some workers who are acting in a patriotic fashion?

My snark was aimed at the Union bosses and their previous statements.

Odds are, somewhere, once can find a Union quote that would match what I said.

And yea, I *DO* feel bad for the mass of Iraq citizens for what they are going though. I can do nothing without having my body tossed into the meat grinder that is the Iraq issue. :-( But hey, perhaps someone else has a effective idea on app

"At a minimum I'd do the same to any puppet government and occuping army in the United States!"

That is such a simple and important statement. GWB thought he would walk into Iraq like the great white savior. This is thier home and other occupiers have come and gone, as will the US in time. History doesn't repeat itself but it does rhyme. What a waste of rescources this war.

This story should be getting more attention. The Iraqi oil workers are the unsung hero in Iraq's economic (bare) survival. They know how their antiquated systems work, they know where all the weak spots are, and they have been warning for 4 years that they will destroy the industry rather than hand it over to foreigners.

If you slaughter them, there are no educated people left to replace them. If you send the US Army to point guns at them while they work, they will sabotage everything before the uncomprehending soldiers' eyes.

My question is: how many armed groups (called political parties) are willing to take their side in a fight?

There is almost no media coverage of this story. I doubt any union leaders know about it.

UK Foreign Office issues 'leave Niger delta' warning:


Hello TODers,

As predicted by me earlier: physically manhandling jugs of water and fuel in the hot & humid desert of Oman:

Taps go dry in Muscat
[Also posted at bottom of latest Gonu thread.]

EDIT: I bet bicycles and wheelbarrows sure would be handy in Oman for moving these essentials.

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

EDIT: I bet bicycles and wheelbarrows sure would be handy in Oman for moving these essentials.

Given the environs, I'd rather have a camel.

I bet bicycles and wheelbarrows sure would be handy in Oman for moving these essentials.

Oh, please. Water is very, very heavy, which is why even highly experienced desert hikers die every now and then in the US southwest, despite the fact that in that region, every conceivable kind of equipment is available to them.
In the absolutely awful climate of Oman, if you have to go any distance to fetch water for your family, you're going to have to drink up all that you can carry, just to survive the trip in that heat and humidity, irrespective of what hand tools you might use. Which is part of why they used camels in the old days, and still do in some areas of the Middle eastern deserts. And if the roads are in rough shape, with plenty of exposed sharp little (or not so little) water-strewn rocks, well, most bicycle tires puncture at the slightest provocation.

No, what they really need to do - if they haven't already - is to requisition every functional bulldozer, make hasty temporary repairs to the essential roads, and get more of those water tankers through with grown-up quantities of water, not ineffectual hand-carried dribbles. I.e. they need to see to it that no one needs to walk (or bicycle) a long distance for water, because no one can. And they can jolly well fuel bulldozers and water tankers, since, according to the article, there's still enough fuel around that even an ordinary person can buy 20 liters.

Oh, I know, I know, back in the primitive past, they survived without such tankers. But they had only a tiny fraction of their current population, and those few people stayed close to whatever water sources there were. Or else they needed those camels to help them lug the heavy, heavy water on journeys through areas without water sources. But it's not the seventh century anymore, so not many Omanis keep camels these days.

Hello TODers,

Another link showing lots of wrecked cars--it would have been so much easier to have moved these cars to safe high ground before the hurricane came. Oh well. Sadly, the death toll is still rising too.


Hello TODers,

I just wanted to say welcome to all the new posters and lurkers we received as a result of Hurricane Gonu causing a readership spike:


TOD can be a meat-grinder, but I think we do a pretty good job of being civil to each other because we realize how truly critical energy is, in all it various forms, to all lifeforms. Peace!

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

Hi Bob;
Did it. Made me a two-wheeler-barrow for carrying my camera (Steadicam) rig around to jobs and on set! What a joy! Used some kiddie-bike wheels from last month's bulk-garbage streetside disposal day, made the framing from a steel bedframe (also a common sidewalk find, and very useful construction material), with Pipefittings and plywood, also almost exclusively 100% 'post-consumer' material. I bought the paint.

Carrying this bulky 100-plus-pound load some 12 hilly blocks to the TV station this morning and yesterday was done with one hand free to hold my coffee cup! (Which I did not make) For the TV crew used to seeing sexy, hi-tech gear all the time, this 2-day old cart and a 20- year old homebuilt steadicam rig was a source of wonder and appreciation, as they searched for recognizable source materials, and then saw it make some really smooth shots.

I'd post a picture if I remembered how. If you want to see it, my email is with my user profile.

Wait till I show you my designs for the 'RockShaw', an oversized Levering-cart for lifting and moving large stones.. (and possibly getting my dad out into our new woodlot in Western Maine!)

Keepin' it Wheel!
Bob Fiske

simple machines will win this PO race!

nice cart!

...and simple innovations!!

Hello TODers,

My recent submittal to the Editor of my local newspaper:
To the Editor & Jonathan Fink,

Thank you for this article:

Technology can help sustain desert living
In community preparation of the article series you plan to publish in the months ahead: may I recommend that you refer all possible Az Republic readers to an early study of the many Peakoil websites and books now available?

My favorite websites are: EnergyBulletin.net, TheOilDrum.com, LifeAfterTheOilCrash.net, and Dieoff.org. Many Peakoil books are listed and extensively discussed on these websites,too.

But obviously, every reader should choose their own favorites, from among the hundreds of already existing websites, books, and blogs, that best fit their personal needs in the Phx Area.

As you well know, the drought and rising energy prices suggest that time is running critically short to get the entire Arizona Community energy informed and involved in mitigation and sustainability.

Quickly bringing the readership up to Peakoil Outreach speed by my suggested method is the best way to leverage your upcoming GIOS publishing series. Thxs for any consideration and publication of this brief letter.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?
Hopefully, my Asphalt Wonderland's dominant newspaper will develop some cojones, but I am not optimistic.

Norway Crude Oil Production Drops by 7.4% - in one month

According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, Norway crude oil production declined from 2.374 million barrels/day in April 2007 to 2.199 million barrels/day in May 2007, a drop of 7.4%, as shown in the chart below. This large decline is only for one month but could signal the start of accelerated decline rates for the entire North Sea which includes the shares of production from UK, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

Norwegian Production of oil, NGL and condensate on the NCS 2005 - 2007 (million bbls per day) – last month shown is May preliminary production figures

Its only one month to be fair and these figures do bounce around a lot. UK production is still benefitting from the Buzzard field coming on line in Jan, but I believe even so that decline has restarted in the last month or so (but I have no doubt that North Sea prod. will again show a significant decline this year......

From http://www.coshoctontribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070609/NEWS...

though I have seen this sort of sentiment a number of times:

Instituting the tax increase would mean the poor pay a greater percentage of their income on a commodity everyone is dependent on.

I find it astounding that this sort of thinking is accepted in the United States. Are there no poor people who take public transit? No one walks or bikes?

(Yes, yes, everyone pays for fuel in the price of transported goods, but that is a different issue.)