DrumBeat: July 4, 2007

Shortage fuel for concern

Motorists are feeling the effect of fuel shortages at pipeline terminals across the nation: higher prices and tighter supplies at service stations.

“We’re starting to see the impact of the shortage,” said Gene LaDoucer, spokesman for AAA North Dakota.

Saying Goodbye to Peak Oil

As I continued reading, I found that he felt the only reason the peak oil theory was wrong was because CERA said so. Forget the hazy reserve data from the middle east, or even the declining production rates around the world.

After all, according to them, the world has well over three trillion barrels left--almost a century's worth of oil. Why should we worry now if we have enough in the ground to last that long?

Warning over Ireland's oil dependence

Ireland's over-dependence on supplies of oil poses a significant burden to the economy and a threat to future energy security, a major international report published today revealed.

UK's gadget-mania blamed for surge in emissions

The surging boom in new technology for home entertainment, from CD players and DAB radios to flat-screen televisions, is taking up huge amounts of energy and undermining the fight against climate change, a report claims today.

China's energy consumption grows faster than world's

China's primary energy consumption rose sharply by 8.4 per cent in 2006, six per cent more than the growth rate of global consumption as the economy boomed, a report released by BP said here.

China to impose tariff on energy-guzzling products

China will impose an export tariff on highly energy-consuming products as part of an effort to deflate the ballooning trade surplus and improve the safety of the nation's export products, Wei Jianguo, vice commerce minister, said yesterday.

Canada's oil sands a blessing and a burden

As demand for oil surges in Asia, companies are raising the stakes in their oil sands investments.

Old clean coal

FOR its supporters, the idea of growing single-celled algae on exhaust gas piped from power stations is the ultimate in recycling. For its detractors, it is a mere pipe dream. Whoever turns out to be right, though, it is an intriguing idea: instead of releasing the carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels into the atmosphere, recapture it by photosynthesis. The result could then be turned into biodiesel (since many species of algae store their food reserves as oil), or even simply dried and fed back into the power station. Of course, if it were really that easy, someone would have done it already. But although no one has yet commercialised the technology, several groups are trying.

Congress stalks ethanol corn

Ethanol made from corn may be the sexy starlet of the nation's alternative energy policy but its cellulosic cousin is the young ingenue about to take center stage.

DOE Invests $125 Million in Synthetic Life to Develop Biofuels

Working at a central lab facility in the San Francisco Bay Area, researchers will create new forms of life that will produce ethanol with unprecedented efficiency. This field of science -- synthetic biology -- will be used to make crops that are extremely tough and productive. Optimized plants will push the limit of fuel production per acre of land. The same laboratory techniques will be used to design organisms that convert plant material into fuel in the most cost-effective manner possible.

Oil & Gas UK Says Government Reforms Needed

Whilst total spending on exploration, development and production of oil and gas reserves grew by 20% to £11.5 billion in 2006, production struggled to respond, and in 2007, continuing cost inflation and sustained low gas prices are putting the competitiveness of the UK continental shelf (UKCS) under severe pressure.

Oil Prices above $70, Big Ramifications for Currency Market

If you want to know why the Federal Reserve refuses to budge from their hawkish inflation bias, all you have to do is look at the price of oil. Since the beginning of the year, crude prices have increased over 40 percent with the price per barrel now back above $70. Oil prices have a big impact on inflationary pressures both here in the US as well as globally.

Oil markets keep wary eye on US hurricane season

Oil markets will keep a wary eye on the US hurricane season even after an uneventful first month, with the outlook complicated by unreliability of recent weather forecasting records.

You may not realize today but ten years from today you will acknowledge George Bush is America’s best President

Ten years from today when you drive the hydrogen fuel cell driven cars with zero emission, you start thanking this great American President.

Uganda: Will Gov't Nationalise Power Sector?

One way to look at this economic and political quagmire is to ask if the privatisation policy of the government, which led to the unbundling of Uganda Electricity Board, has succeeded. It would appear not and such is the view expressed by Hon Syda Bbumba, the long term Minister of Energy.

Venezuela's Oil Nationalization Tests Chinese Oil Companies

Will Chinese oil companies survive from Venezuela's move of nationalizing its oil industry? Or will they get more benefits from such kind of move? Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on May 1 announced the nationalization of his country's oil industry. The Venezuelan government has reclaimed oil resources of the Orinoco Belt, the world's biggest heavy oil deposit, from companies such as BP, ExxonMobil and Total.

India: Petroleum Ministry seeks oil bonds to compensate refiners

The Petroleum Ministry is seeking Rs 19,000 crore worth of oil bonds to partly compensate refiners who are selling fuel below the cost.

Biofuels to buoy farm prices in next decade: OECD/FAO

The rapid growth of the world's biofuel industry is likely to keep farm commodity prices at high levels in the next decade as it will boost demand for grains, oilseeds and sugar, a major study said on Wednesday.

High gas prices changing summer vacation plans

Over 60 per cent of drivers surveyed in a BCAA web poll last month say current high gas prices are causing them to rethink their summer vacation plans.

Officials investigate 'hot gas'

Maryland Department of Agriculture inspectors are adding thermometers to their calibration tools as they make their routine rounds at gas stations.

Oil may hit $100 a barrel

A leading Norwegian economist and one of the oil-producing country's major investors think oil prices will keep rising until alternative energy starts paying off. That can mean prices of more than USD 100 a barrel within a few years.

Analyst: Refinery Closure to Hike Prices

Midwestern states that depend on fuel supplies from a flooded refinery in southeast Kansas will see some of the highest prices in the nation for gasoline and diesel this summer, industry experts said.

"It is really bad timing, it is bad luck. ... For all intents and purposes it looks like that refinery is not going to be contributing any gasoline or diesel fuel for the rest of the summer," said Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service.

Kansas Fuel Sellers Seek Waiver; Refinery Flood Tightens Supply

Kansas fuel marketers are seeking a temporary waiver from truck-driving regulations to boost supply in the region following the shutdown of Coffeyville Resources LLC's oil refinery.

Cost of gas may rise after flooding

The flooding in southeastern Kansas may mean higher prices at the gas pump for drivers in most Midwestern states.

But analysts disagree over how much prices will rise after floodwaters closed the Coffeyville Resources refinery.

Plains States Feel Supply Pinch Most After Refinery Flood

Fuel sellers north of Kansas are expecting to feel their supply pinched in the days ahead as the fallout from a flooded oil refinery reverberates throughout the regional market.

While the full effect of Coffeyville Resources LLC's refinery shutdown has yet come to pass, some states have more to worry about than others. The Plains states have seen the plants they traditionally rely on for fuel suffer repeated breakdowns this year, depleting the region's cushion of oil-product inventories. Officials in neighboring Oklahoma and Missouri, meanwhile, are more confident about getting gasoline and diesel.

North Dakota: Fuel shortages at pipeline terminals continue

The manager of a chain of gas stations in Fargo-Moorhead says he's never seen anything like it.

Kent Satrang with Petro-Serve is talking about fuel shortages at pipeline terminals in the region.

He says both wholesalers and retailers are scrambling to get what gasoline they can.

Gulf oil producers should keep dollar-peg, says IMF

The International Monetary Fund said Gulf oil producers, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, should keep their currencies fixed to the dollar and will not come under pressure to revalue.

“A fixed exchange rate is best for these oil producers,” Mohsin Khan, the IMF’s director for the Middle East and Central Asia, said in a telephone interview from Washington on Monday. “Their main export is priced in dollars, it makes it easier for them to hedge.”

Analysis: Oil-rich Nigeria short on fuel

Fuel shortages will persist in oil-rich Nigeria, with no end in sight, as long as gasoline lines form and refineries slow production.

Petrobras Makes Proposal to Workers to Avoid Strike

Brazil's state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR), or Petrobras, Tuesday made a new proposal to unions aimed at avoiding a strike that could start Thursday, a company press official said.

A strike would affect oil production, as well as refining and distribution.

Kuwait seeks quick development of disputed gas field

State-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) said a treaty with Saudi Arabia over a disputed gas field should be implemented quickly as the Gulf state struggles to meet demand for gas.

Ration-hit Argentina admits energy crisis

Argentina has at last admitted that the energy sector – the Achilles’ heel of its economic policy – is in trouble.

For the first time, President Néstor Kirchner used the word “crisis” to describe the severe shortages that have forced the government to ration gas for factories to guarantee enough energy for heating homes.

Government provides loan guarantee to NOC

With the aim of resolving the problem of petroleum shortage, the government has decided to provide guarantee for loans worth Rs 1.2 billion for Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).

Balance needed to relieve world food crisis

What we are seeing in Mexico and in central Africa and other parts of the world is that millions are undernourished and have little hope of improving their lives in the face of rising demands for resources that are being depleted. This is a precursor of what much of the world will look like in the future if radical changes are not made in the way that we organize our society and economic models.

Expanding our agricultural activity over more area has become counterproductive, and producing the energy that our societies require to maintain themselves in the present fashion is making things worse. Not only is energy production fouling the atmosphere and changing the climate, switching to food resources for energy production could starve millions.

Oregon group forms to discuss energy depletion topics

County citizens concerned with the issue of energy depletion are invited to the launch of a new citizens' group.

The group, Washington County Peak Oil, will kick off with a free screening of the film "A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash" at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 10, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 22785 NW Birch St., Hillsboro.

Climate deals turn up heat in Indonesia's dark peatlands

Investors around the world are dreaming of the billions the festering carbon-rich bogs could bring in as the world battles global warming. Peat bogs are the new black gold, some say.

Barack Obama’s Nuclear Ambitions

The Gore effect is like a bad hangover: all headache no buzz. The purported solution to the imminent warming crisis, nuclear technology, is just as hazardous as our current methods of energy procurement.

Carolyn Baker - Happy Independence Day: YOU HAVE NO GOVERNMENT

Many individuals love to debate whether collapse will be “fast or slow”. According to the “slow burners”, those who say it will be sudden are delusional, whereas those who insist on its suddenness reject the collapse as a gradual process. Even the issue of collapse is replete with the distractions of a conflict over “slow” or “sudden.” Western Civilization and Christianity in particular have left their mark on us in the polarization that we can’t seem to extricate ourselves from, even over the issue of collapse. It is, in some respects, that very duality that has created the end of civilization as we have known it, yet we cling to the polarization as if our lives depended on it.

Collapse, on a more metaphorical level, is a form of apocalypse, and apocalypse is simply a Greek word meaning, “the lifting of the veil.” When veils are lifted, reality is seen for what it is, and given that definition, apocalypse has been going on for a long time. Think of the veils that have been lifted just in the past seven years: The 2000 election, the crimes of 9/11 perpetrated by the U.S. government, Enron, Peak Oil, climate change, the incomprehensible levels of corruption in the U.S. government, the trillions of dollars of missing money, the deceptions of the Iraq War, the coverup of Pat Tillman's death — the list could go on and on. The biggest veil to be lifted is that humans are the superior life form on planet earth and that they have a right to conquer, rape, pillage, and own its resources. Collapse, which in my opinion has been going on for at least thirty years, is lifting the veil of that illusion and will reveal incontrovertibly the lie that it is, but for some, the lie cannot be allowed in their consciousness until there is nothing — and I mean nothing, left to lie about.

Why the U.S.' Oil Dependence is Bad for the U.S. Economy

Energy policy -- or more specifically U.S. oil dependence -- comes and goes in media focus. Its prominence usually increases in direct proportion to the current price of oil or gas. In addition, there has been a growing movement called the "peak oil" movement, which argues world supplies are actually at or near their highest and will continually decline from here on out. While I can't comment on the veracity of peak oil's claims, I can state without a doubt that the U.S.' national energy policy -- and specifically our oil dependence -- is economically disadvantageous.

Auto sales wobble in June, GM plunges

General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM - news) on Tuesday posted a steeper-than-expected 24 percent drop in U.S. sales in June as local automakers lost share to Toyota Motor Corp. (7203.T) and other Japanese brands, and demand sputtered overall in the face of high gas prices and a weak housing market.

Shell Chairman Ollila Works to Recast Company

Western majors see their future in the high-tech prowess they say sets them apart from state-owned rivals: their proven expertise in managing big development projects and deploying advanced technology. In Shell's case, that includes exploiting "unconventional" plays, such as squeezing petroleum out of gooey oil sands or turning natural gas into diesel fuel.

George Monbiot: Stop doing the CBI's bidding, and we could be fossil fuel free in 20 years

Prospects for renewable power are promising. But it means nothing if the public interest is drowned by corporate power.

Schwarzenegger struggles with air board

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger moved Tuesday to quell the furor over the departure of two leaders overseeing implementation of the state's landmark global warming law, appointing a replacement for the chairman he ousted.

Merkel rejects call to moderate emissions cuts

Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected industry criticism of her plans to cut Germany's greenhouse gas emissions by a third by 2020 and dashed its hopes of a deal to prolong the use of nuclear power.

Nuclear expansion is a pipe dream, says report

The Oxford Research Group paper, funded by the Joseph Rowntree charitable trust, says that the worldwide nuclear "renaissance" planned by the industry to provide cheap, clean power is a myth. Although global electricity demand is expected to rise by 50% in the next 25 years, only 25 new nuclear reactors are currently being built, with 76 more planned and a further 162 proposed, many of which are unlikely to be built. This compares with 429 reactors in operation today, many of which are already near the end of their useful lives and need replacing soon.

For nuclear power to make any significant contribution to a reduction in global carbon emissions in the next two generations, the paper says, the industry would have to construct nearly 3,000 new reactors - or about one a week for 60 years.

'Free energy' device to be revealed

An Irish company will today reveal controversial technology that allegedly defies basic laws of physics to produce free power.

Steorn, which is based in Dublin, claims to have discovered a method of creating clean, constant energy, which it claims could end the global fuel crisis.

Called Orbo technology, it is based on the interaction of magnetic fields and has yet to be conclusively proven.

BP and Shell in Merger Talks

BP and Royal Dutch Shell are said to be in merger talks that would create a £250 billion oil giant, according to the Times of London.

Oil majors have bit more life in them yet

The bottom line is that the oil majors are struggling to replace their reserves at anything like the same rate as they are expending them. For the oil majors at least, the oil truly does seem to be running out. The sort of successes in far-off lands being reported by smaller players such as Cairn, though not to be sneezed at, would only amount to a few days' production for the big boys.

Oil reserves are drying up rapidly

A worldwide oil shortage is due in four years -- not 40 years.

Argentine Power Cuts Threaten Economy, Kirchner Image

Argentina's energy rationing may chill South America's second-largest economy -- along with President Nestor Kirchner's political popularity.

As the southern hemisphere's winter sets in, cutbacks in electricity and natural gas are leaving potatoes to rot at McCain Foods Ltd.'s French fry plant in Buenos Aires province and workers idled at Fiat SpA's car factory in Cordoba. Energy supplies in Argentina have failed to keep up with surging demand, exacerbating shortages to the point where there's no quick solution, analysts say.

World's Biggest Palm Oil Trader Shamed

Wilmar, the world’s biggest trader in palm oil, is illegally logging rainforests, setting forests on fire and violating the rights of local communities in Indonesia, according to a new report published today by Friends of the Earth Netherlands.

$70 a barrel keeps Faroes dreaming of oil wealth

Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands, dreams of becoming the Kuwait City of the North -- enjoying oil riches that would free these wind-swept North Atlantic volcanic rocks from depending on fish, sheep and ruler Denmark for survival.

Iraqi Kurdish, Sunni leaders complain not consulted about new oil law

Iraq's Kurdish and Sunni leaders today complained they had not been consulted over the amended oil bill which has been approved by the cabinet and is set to go before parliament.

Shell says Nigeria oil-exploration rig attacked, but output unaffected

A crude oil exploration rig located in the Soku Field, Nigeria, has been temporarily shut down and personnel evacuated following an attack by a militant group but output has not been affected, Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Wednesday.

Occidental Has Unplanned Maintenance at Plant in Sundown, Texas

Occidental Petroleum Corp. had unplanned maintenance and flared some gases at a plant in Sundown, Texas, according to a report on a state-administered Web site.

The flaring started yesterday at 9 a.m. local time as part of a process to regenerate catalysts at the Slaughter Gasoline Plant after a decline in its sulfur recovery efficiency, the report on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Web said.

Happy Independence Day! Or maybe that should be "Happy Dependence Day." July 4th is the day Americans drive the most. And they aren't letting high gas prices stop them.

news of the wierd: "russia gives oil monopolies right to maintain armed units" http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUKL0463747420070704?rpc=44

i suppose american oil monopolies already have this "right"

Yes, the units are referred to as "the Pentagon". But here the oil monopolies don't have to pay for them.

We don't have a monopoly in the oil business. An oil company that controlled all the production and sales is a monopoly, like Standard Oil in the US in the late 19th Century. A national oil company like Pemex in Mexico is a monopoly. Whoever wrote that headline needs to learn how to use a dictionary.
Bob Ebersole

By definition you need complete control of all sales to be called a monopoly, but I think it is obvious that the effects of monopolistic practice become visible long before the 100% mark.

It is widely expected that Vladimir Putin will take the leadership of Gazprom after his term as President nominally ends.

Apparently he'll have a personal militia as well.

And I believe that after 4 years, he can run for President once more.

Blackwater can pay for the best. So can Gazprom.

What do you expect, illiterate conscripts guarding vital infrastructure when there is reason to believe some western countries would try to sabotage them?

The German government, utilities and industry just had another "energy summit". They don't mention peak oil, of course, instead the reasoning is about Global Warming.

Merkel is calling for a 3 percent annual increase in energy efficiency in Germany as well as a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 by up to 40 percent in comparison to 1990 levels.

One of the main ways the government wants to achieve the energy efficiency goal is through better energy savings in buildings. A government energy working group is calling for subsidies for building improvements -- like better insulation -- to be increased from €1.4 billion to €3.5 billion a year.

Germany also wants to increase the number of co-generation plants that are capable of delivering both electricity and heat to consumers, as well as adhering to the EU goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions in cars from an average of 160 grams per kilometer to 120 grams.

Industry captains this week described Merkel's plans as overly ambitious and "unrealistic." But on Tuesday, Merkel rebutted: "I say it again that, if we take climate protection seriously as a factor, then in some places we have no option but to implement the reduction targets."

In order to achieve the government's goal, energy efficiency will have to be doubled by 2020 over 1990 levels. In addition, Germans will have to use 11 percent less electricity than they today. But Merkel said responsibility for meeting that goal should not just fall to industry and utility companies. Cars must also become more fuel-efficient, with more equipped to use greater amounts of biofuels; and homes must be better insulated to save energy. Additionally, renewable energies must play a far greater role in the country's energy mix."


Better insulation of buildings is definitely a good strategy to reduce CO2 emissions and also helps to save natural gas and oil. Biofuels in Germany will not play a substantial role, food costs are already rising. I also don't buy that we will be able to reduce our electricity consumption, simply because I think we will get a share of electrical cars until 2020.The efficiency goal is very controversial - maybe unrealistic.

So, most of the plan is quite unrealistic. Merkel knows that very well. She clearly hopes for a nuclear revival after the 2009 elections. A lot depends on offshore wind. The projects in the North Sea are all delayed. Costs are too high. At least, now it is clear that the utilities have to pay for the sea cables. If the government wants to scale up offshore wind, they will have to raise the fixed price for offshore wind power from 9ct/kwh to maybe 12ct/kwh.

Co-generation means more coal plants. Not too good, unless they will be able to implement C02 sequestration.


I wonder if Global Warming is being used as a code word for "Peak Oil" and "Depending on the Russians too much".

Like the previous Swedish gov'ts goal of being oil free by 2025, "failure" is still a success.

If Germany increases energy efficiency by, say, 1.8% every year, failing in the goal of 3% annually, it is still going to better off in future bidding wars for energy, or just getting by with less energy. (Remember that they are starting from a high level of efficiency already).

Best Hopes for the USA improving energy efficiency by 1.8% annually,


Minimum energy efficiency for new construction in Germany requires R-49 walls, very efficient windows (with limits on how much), etc. Retrofitting older buildings is where the challenge is.

Hi, Alan!

The current energy efficiency rate is 0,9% according to the CEO of BASF, a large chemical producer. If we could double that, it would be a great success indeed.

The US should be able to achieve 1.8% more easily.

We have about 30 big old coal power plants that need to be decommissioned soon. Three years ago, the utilities planned to replace half of them with natural gas and steam combined plants, but now, it's going to be coal again. Not so smart by the Russians?

The government also plans to auction 10% of the CO2 certificates next time.

Retrofitting old buildings: There is a major incentive problem. You might know that about 50% of all Germans are renters rather than owners. Currently, the owners have to pay for the new windows and walls and so on, while the renters profit from such measures. Owners can only hope they can achieve higher rental payments if they improve insulation.

If the government solved that incentive problem, they would not have to subsidize, and in the end, both owners and renters would be happy...

I don't know if GW is a code word for PO. GW is real, at least the Alpine glaciers make that very obvious each year. While a single year means little, during the last 12 months, it was 3K warmer than usual in Germany.

Global Warming is certainly real, but so is Peak Oil and German concerns about Russian control.

Politicans can talk about GW, but not the other two. Better insulation helps all three, so talk up GW and work on that, and mention the other two only in private.

More insulation, so simple, so low technology and so effective !

Best Hopes for savings *SO* much NG that we can use it for transportation,


More insulation, so simple, so low technology and so effective !

You forgot passive solar! (not on your radar as heating isn't a issue typically in NO)

the problem with passive solar is that it is largly a building design problem, and with the "half life" of houses being more than time it will take to use 1/2 the remaining oil, it isn't that practical, as it will only have a minor effect of a few percent efficency on a few percent of houses a year.

(in Australia, with a passive solar house, livable in outside temperatures of min 5, max 40 with no air conditioning (basically just a good orientation, wide eaves, and insulation in the roof) )

The real problem with passive solar is that most houses are built by developers that insist on orienting houses to the winding roads in their new developments. Perhaps some of them make some adjustment to the sun, but usually you can find the same house plan facing N, E, S or W.

Hi Alan,

In the year prior to our purchase, the previous owners of our home (family of four) consumed 5,700 litres of heating oil and I believe something in the order of 16,000 kWh of electricity. Last year, our heating oil consumption came to a little less than 830 litres and our electricity use topped out at 11,321 kWh (we're a two person household).

Much of this improvement can be credited to generous insulation and careful air sealing (e.g., our attic had just 6 cm of fibreglass insulation - R7; it now stands at R60). We also installed a high efficiency oil-fired boiler and indirect hot water tank, as well as a Tekmar control system. Two years ago, in an effort to further trim our fuel oil consumption, we installed a small ductless heat pump. Even in our relatively cold Canadian climate, it provides an average of 2.5 kWh of heat for every one kWh of electricity consumed; to date, it has cut our fuel oil use by a little over 2,000 litres.

Our new goal is to bring our electricity consumption under the 10,000 kWh/year mark. Next to the heat pump, the basement dehumidifier is our most energy-hungry appliance and during the summer months it often runs non-stop. Although an Energy Star model, it accounts for about two-thirds of our daily demand. I now closely monitor indoor and outdoor RH and open windows and doors to take advantage of natural ventilation whenever possible. So far, the results are encouraging; last June, we used an average of 27.3 kWh/day and this June, with the reduction in run time, we're down to 16.2.

Best regards,


I suspect most of the moisture in your basement is working it's way through the concrete slab and foundation walls, tape a piece of poly to a section of exposed wall or floor to confirm this. Cutting off this source of moisture may well help you cut dehumidifier use.

Hi btu,

You could be right, but I should add that we live in a maritime climate and so humidity levels run extremely high this time of year. For an overview of last month's weather, see:


Note the humidity data listed in the daily observations table located at the bottom of this page. For the month of June, our daily average fell anywhere from 56 to 96 per cent. As you might imagine, if we don't run the dehumidifier, mould and mildew can quickly become a serious problem.

Thankfully, there were no visible or telltale signs of moisture migration when we finished the basement level (the walls and floor were in excellent condition). The outside walls are now insulated with two inches of Styrofoam (R10) and an additional 3.5 inches of fibreglass insulation (R13). I carefully applied a 6 mil vapour barrier on the warm side, as is recommended practice in our climate, prior to installing the drywall.

For peace of mind, just in case we did run into water issues down the road, I went with a DRIcore subfloor.

See: http://www.dricore.com/en/eIndex.aspx

Best regards,


Thank you for the additional information, you have done well with your energy retrofit. Exterior grading, gutters and downspouts to get bulk water away from the building also play a very important role in building durability. I am also in the process of making my house in Minneapolis more energy efficient, have cut natural gas usage for heating in half from 1,040 therms per year to 520. June electrical usage was 398 kwh, have not used AC in 2007. It is 90F outside today but 79F indoors. My R-100 attic insulation is starting to pay off.

Hi btu,

You're most welcome and congratulation to you on your own accomplishments. Cutting your natural gas consumption in half is a remarkable achievement and your electrical usage at less than 400 kWh per month is probably just one-third that of your neighbours. Good job!

Just to compare notes, our home is a 2,500 sq. ft., 40-year old Cape Cod and in terms of heating demand, Halifax and Minneapolis are virtually the same (both come in at about 7,800 HDD). In addition to the above-mentioned upgrades, I replaced our windows and doors with Pella Architectural series low-e/argon units (there are a six large, fixed pane windows that were not replaced, but they're equipped with exterior wooden storms and two 3M window films). I also gutted the entire house and all exterior above grade walls are now insulated to R23.5.

To expand on this last point, I caulked and sealed the exterior sheathing, inserted a half-inch of Styrofoam (R3) inside the wall cavity and caulked the joints and edges to make the wall structure airtight. I then added three and half-inches of fibreglass insulation (R13), a six-mill polyethylene vapour barrier and an additional inch and a half of Styrofoam on top (R7.5). As a last step before dry walling, I carefully taped the seams, electrical boxes, heating pipe penetrations, etc. with tuck tape.

Here are a few pictures of work done on the dining room, from start to finish:

This is one of the second floor side bedrooms:

In addition to making our home more energy efficient, I wanted to ensure we had access to multiple heat sources in case of a disruption in supplies or a dramatic shift in cost. Thus, we have an oil-fired boiler, a ductless heat pump, four propane fireplaces and in-floor electric radiant heat; this provides us with three (mostly) independent fuel types -- fuel oil, propane and electricity -- in addition to passive solar (unfortunately, the house is oriented east-west and our southern exposure is heavily shaded by a densely wooded rock face, so our passive solar gain is severely limited). To better cope with extended power outages (all too common in these parts), the boiler is wired to a backup generator and all of the major appliances, including the kitchen range, are propane.

I'll quickly add in closing that our small, 14,000 BTU/h ductless heat pump satisfies roughly 80 per cent of our annual heating requirements. A lot of folks will tell you air source heat pumps don't work well in colder climates; quite honestly, our own experience suggests otherwise.

This is a picture of the inside air handler:

Best regards,


When you told of the previous energy bills of your home and current usage, I knew you did more than simple weatherization. For the record, our house is a 1,664 sf rambler with a full unfinished basement, 3,328 sf total, built by others in 1978. The good points about this house are a good southern exposure, the walls are 2x4 with R-11 fiberglass with an inch of Styrofoam sheathing (R-5), R-16 total. I measure energy usage in btu's per sq. ft. per heating degree day, btu/sf/hdd, I am currently at 2 btu/sf/hdd. The only real changes I have made to date are adding R-10 Thermax to the interior basement walls, insulated and air sealed the rim joist, did a comprehensive air sealing of the attic before adding an additional R-60+ to an existing R-38 batt insulation. Changed the original 65% furnace to a 95% Lennox with a variable speed blower (ECM motor). I too have some windows that could be upgraded, will go with a triple glazed, two low E coating window on the North, East, and West, South facing windows, I have not decided. My goal is to cut again in half the heating use which will put me in superinsulation territory, may consider PV and solar hot water along with a masonry heater for ambiance and when the natural gas runs out.

Best wishes to you,

Thanks, Doug, for providing us with this additional information as it helps all of us better understand the things we can do to make our homes more energy efficient and comfortable. So many of my friends complain about their high heating costs, and yet do nothing to bring them under control. And as you well know, improvements such as caulking and weather-stripping and adding loft insulation are simple and inexpensive for the average do-it-yourselfer and extremely cost effective.

My only regret so far is replacing the original boiler and oil-fired hot water tank with another oil boiler. In hindsight, I should have bumped my 100-amp service to 200 amps and installed a small electric boiler and an electric hot water tank. Our heating demands are now so modest and with the heat pump supplying 80 per cent of our needs, I only require backup heat during the coldest two to three weeks of the year -- the rest of the time the boiler sits idle. The one saving grace is that the Tekmar only turns on the boiler when the indirect hot water tank calls for heat. This vastly reduces the stack and standby losses (the old boiler use to fire up two or three times an hour to keep itself at temperature, whereas this new boiler fires up only once or twice a day). During the spring, summer and fall, our fuel oil consumption runs between 1 and 1.5 litres a day, all of which DHW related. Nonetheless, an electric hot water tank would be more energy efficient (no stack and only minimal standby losses) and here in Nova Scotia both fuels are similar in their cost per BTU (we currently pay $0.85 per litre/$3.20 per gallon for heating oil and $0.1067 per kWh for electricity). The only other consolation is that I can operate the boiler on the backup generator, so if we do lose power in the dead of winter, running the generator one or two hours a day would supply us with all the hot water we need and keep the house at a safe and comfortable temperature.

Best regards,

Question on insulation retrofits:

The previous owner poured in celluosic insulation between the attic rafters. I would like to increase my R value. I'd prefer not having to remove the existing celluose. Suggestions or recommendations, anyone?

Nothing wrong with cellulose insulation, I used fiberglass because I wanted a high R-value and cellulose can get heavy at this level and bow the ceiling drywall. Energy efficiency happens on two levels, increased insulation to cut conductive heat loss and just as important, air sealing to minimize heat loss from air infiltration. Depending on the amount of cellulose you currently have, I would consider removing it and doing a comprehensive air sealing to the attic. My house has a 4 mil poly vapor barrier in the ceiling but I still pulled all the insulation back and with urethane sealant sealed every attic bypass. If you can stop infiltration at the attic level and add insulation as well, the upgrade in efficiency to your home will be dramatic. Also air seal where you can in the lowest level to stop the "stack effect", the chimney like, continuous flow of air in buildings. If you have a decent air barrier at the ceiling level just add insulation and lengthen the air chutes from the eaves.

"nothing wrong with cellulosic insulation" except that it is heavy, settles to 1/2 the original thickness and is a fricken nightmare to work with if any additional work is needed. we should have other uses for recycled newspaper, maybe put it in a landfill and collect the methane.


I am no fan of cellulose but there is a faction that swears by it for the low embodied energy. Have always used fiberglass in very high volumes with good results. If the cellulose insulation industry calls me looking for a spokesperson I will not send them your way.

thank you i appreciate that, and i am happy to see you have a sense of humor.

get a humidity monitor and find out where it all comes from!

or get some good old hydroscopic/hygroscopic NaOH (Lye) and put it in a bucket, attach a digital scale to it and repeat in a couple different locations!

Hi Gilgamesh,

Actually, I have an electronic monitor and I keep a pretty close eye on it. As btu suggests, some of this moisture may be wicking its way through the concrete floor, in which case there's probably little I can do. I did apply two coats of sealer prior to installing the subfloor, but I have no idea if that made any real difference. Again, there are no visible signs that water is making its way into the basement, so I have to believe the main source is air borne.

In past years, I would often leave one or two windows open on the upper level to help keep the house comfortable during hot weather. This year, I'm keeping the windows closed during periods of high humidity and running the heat pump in "dry" mode as required. This is an effective way to remove moisture without over cooling the house, so it works well in cool damp climates like our own. My suspicion is that those open windows (even though they were two floors up) could be to blame. I've also stopped running the heat recovery ventilation system during the summer months as it too would be another source of moist outside air.


We have a dehumidifier in the basement as well. People lived not too long ago without them. Maybe the solution is simply to make peace with humidity in the basement, combined with an occasional airing out via fans, doors, windows etc. Don't store anything that could be potentially damaged by humidity there -- clothes, books and papers, furniture, etc.

For us, a couple big floods over the past couple years has largely wiped out all the water-damageable stuff from the basement, incentivizing a mandatory cleanout. Not much left there that would suffer from humidity.

Hi econguy,

Our basement level is fully finished and we've learned the hard way that if we don't keep humidity in check we'll have a serious problem on our hands -- books, clothing, furniture, area rugs, etc. are all subject to potential damage.

Whenever the RH outside drops below 55 or 60 per cent, I open the windows and let the place air out on its own; above this, they remain closed. If the RH inside starts to climb much above 60 or 65 per cent, I'll run the dehumidifier until such time as we can open things up again. I'm starting to think 45 to 55 is a better range, so I'll probably be a little less aggressive in terms of cutting back on the runtime; for the small difference in operating cost, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Best regards,

Don't decide by the relative humidity. It's the dewpoint that matters. E.g., if it is warm and moderately humid outside and you let the air into a cool basement it may condense moisture as the RH of the incoming air may increase to 100% due to the cooling. The way to tell it's a basement-ventilation day is when the dewpoint outside is lower than the temperature inside the basement.

Hi vtpeaknik,

Your point is well taken. The lower level can be several degrees cooler than the outside ambient air temperature, so condensation/moisture absorption on cooler surfaces is a real possibility.

Is there an easy way to calculate dew point or are there electronic monitors that provide such readings? Or can one apply some sort of fudge factor to compensate for the difference in temperature? Generally speaking, it should not exceed 5C (9F).

Best regards,

the temperature of your basement floor and walls will generally be not much warmer than the ground temp below frost line (unless they are well insulated). about 58 degrees f at 40 degrees latitude. i would bet that is a good estimate of yours as well. you can get a non contact thermometer that will read the surface temp of any surface instantly. i bought one for about us$40. it has a laser pointer as well. it is useful in locating the source of heat loss from your walls, doors, windows, etc. (a semi low tech energy audit) on a cold day outside, the windows surface will be several degrees cooler than the walls for example. if you shoot the temp outside, the opposite will be true * , i.e. the windows will be warmer than the walls.

* proof for disbelievers that heat flows downhill temperature-wise

Hi elwoodelmore,

I appreciate the additional info; thanks! This is a lot more complicated than I initially thought and I'm now wondering if I should simply leave the windows closed and rely solely on the dehumidifier to do the job.

FWIW, I'm at 44.5 degrees latitude and I have no idea of the temperature below our basement floor, but my guess is that it would likely be in the range of 10C (50F). I used an electronic indoor/outdoor thermometer to take a few measurements, which I will share with you now. With the outdoor probe, I was getting a room air reading of 18.8C (~65F). Next, I taped the probe to an outside wall (insulated to R23) and covered it with bubble wrap so that it would better register the surface temperature -- this number came in at 18.1C (~64F). The floor temperature between an area rug and the DRIcore subfloor was 17.1C (63F) and, lastly, the bare concrete floor in the laundry room registered 15.1C (59F). As of 09h00 this morning, the outdoor temperature was 15C (59F) and the relative humidity, 84 per cent; our expected high today is just 18C (64F).

I want to underscore one of btu's earlier comments. Proper insulation is important but don't overlook air leakage. Our home has a central chase or cavity wall about 12 feet wide that extends all the way up from the utility room on the basement level to the attic floor (three stories). The chimney runs through this space as well as various ducts and utilities. We had *huge* (as in 10 ft. long) icicles or "daggers of death" as I use to call them from one end of our roof to the other and I couldn't figure out why. When I went up in the attic to investigate, I discovered there was no heat shield between the brick chimney and the wooden frame around it. This left a two-inch air gap all around the perimeter and vast quantities of warm air was being sucked out the attic. When we did a blower door test we discovered yet another surprise. Inside the master bedroom one of the dormer closets was missing a drywall return above the closet door, so warm air was being sucked up a 48-inch wide gap between the knee wall and the roof rafters. Fixing these two previously hidden problems dramatically reduced our home's heat loss and added considerably to our overall comfort and, as you might guess, no more icicles.

Best regards,

R-49 walls! Now that's a real solution, rather than this delusional fantasy about powering SUVs from algae byproducts.

I wonder if Global Warming is being used as a code word for "Peak Oil" and "Depending on the Russians too much".

In the sense that GW can provide a scape goat for 'misdeeds of the past' sure. One would also have to accept that there are 'powers that be' which are more than just the handholding of large government and large corporations and a few wealthy groups who'd like to hold onto their wealth and grasp the levers of government to steer the steamroller of government (and the lumpenprol) away from them.

George Ure is pitching that Global Warming is the way by which excess fiat dollars can go into an investment bubble. Guess that beats the normal 'bubble' of War - and if you are in the right place on GW you'll make alot of money anyway.


If one thinks that the 'powerful' are all under some unifying banner(s):
Now we're talking a 'conspiracy theory'!

For the above to be true, one would have to accept that TPTB know that somehow the gig will be up soon, and need some way to blame other parties for the lack of cheap energy, the mis-management of the fiat money supply, government totalitarian control, (insert conspiracy here cuz I'm sick of thinking of the big ones) and perhaps overpopulation.

Thus far I've not seen the 'over unifying' conspiracy from my normal sources of conspiracy because they all believe that 'peak oil' in an engineered fraud. But somewhere out there is the reveled plan how GW is a fraud to cover the actions of TPTB!

Frankly the conspiracy theorists might be right that the sun output is increasing. But that doesn't mean threat there is not a CO2 aspect to GW also.

I wonder if Global Warming is being used as a code word for "Peak Oil" and "Depending on the Russians too much".

Global warming as an issue is acceptable, because it is world wide, it is partly mysterious (at least as conceived by many), it involves physicalities outside of human control (melting ice, sun rays, etc. etc.), it is slow, and has both upsides and downsides (seen as such, I mean.) Weather is traditionally the province of the Gods, not human agency.

I don’t think pols. and others are using it as a code word for ‘peak oil’ - simply, it is convenient, it is ‘green’, taking it on is ‘friendly’ to all the earth’s people, it shows attention to world issues, the ‘ecology.’ We also need more ‘organic agri’, and making fuel out of corn is clever, even sorta ‘back to nature’! Oh and a carbon tax, defina-tly, we need that!

Meanwhile, business as usual can proceed...

Moreover, the concern manages to channel ‘doomerism’ disquiet and provide a cause for such unhappy facts like the steep rise in vegetable prices.

Whoa, eric! You do not have to accept that they are all marching lockstep under some unifying banner at all. It can be as simple as a majority converge on a common viewpoint and then agree to act in a given direction (though not necessarily identically). The net result of such general consensus would look very much to some folks like conspiracy. There's more than one way to skin that cat.

As for global warming, if the sun alone is responsible for this, we better worry lots. There is nowhere in the fossil record of the last several million years showing the sun doing what is alleged right now (the speed of temperature increase). Prior warm ages did eventually get warmer than this but at rates slower than this. So the conclusion that there is a human component to the global forcings in warming is very solid.

It is common folklore that climate shifts take thousands of years. Geoscientists believed this too until abrupt climate change was solidly proven in the 1990s. The evidence is in now that the climate can "flip" from ice age to warm age or from warm age to ice age in a few decades total.

This is the ultimate danger of human induced global warming. All of our infrastructure for 6.5 billion people depends on the existing climate, sea levels, etc. Something like a quarter of the world's entire population lives within 300 feet of sea level and depends on the ecosystems of such regions. Further, our great grain baskets of the globe have not always been so fertile under other climate scenarios.

Unfortunately, there is little to be done about the mess now other than ride it out. Technical solutions abound just as for peak oil but every single one of you can see the foot dragging political responses that try to avoid absorbing the costs of corrective action. And every passing day that corrective action is not taken brings us closer to (or takes us further beyond) some unknown tipping point where nothing we do will really change anything. With global warming the real problem is again political - a human problem - not technical. The techies don't get this just as they don't get it about peak oil (or simply refuse to accept it).

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

You do not have to accept that they are all marching lockstep under some unifying banner at all.

Almost all the 'conspiracy theories' have that feature however.

As far as 'whoa' - I thought the idea of 'people in power wanting to stay there' rather covers it.

No grand conspiracy - just the normal run of the mill small conspiracies. *wink*

So the conclusion that there is a human component to the global forcings in warming is very solid.


Unfortunately, there is little to be done about the mess now other than ride it out.

Mere 'riding it out' isn't good enough - the efforts that brought us to this point will have to change.

The method of terra perta does look to be a way to reduce atmospheric Carbon. Alas, models like BEST
still want tons of material a day - so trucking/transport will still have happen.

That is the unfortunate part, eric. We're going to change whether we like it or not. We have the choice of controlling the change now or getting kicked in the ass later. Unfortunately, it appears that global civilization is choosing to be kicked in the ass. I've concluded that there is a highly masochistic component in human psychology. ;)

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

It strikes me as the same kind of thinking by the low level drug dealer - The guy I'm replacing was stupid, I'm smarter and therefore won't get caught.

low level drug dealers and greater fool "investors"

Technically, there was a period where the temperature did rise at least as quickly as did now - at the end of the younger dryas event, about 12000 years ago. Some evidence points to about 7 degrees warming in a few years.
But it is very much an anomaly, and certainly wasn't due to increasing solar output. Also, it was coming off a "low" base, well below today's temperatures.
And while humanity did obviously survive that event, if it were to happen again today, the consequences would be unthinkable.

Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

The end of the Paleocene (55.5 to 54.8 Mya) was marked by one of the most significant periods of global change during the Cenozoic Era. A sudden global climate change, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), upset oceanic and atmospheric circulation, leading to the extinction of numerous deep-sea benthic foraminifera and a major turnover in mammalian life on land that marked the emergence of mammalian lines recognizable today.

In an event marking the start of the Eocene, the planet heated up in one of the most rapid and extreme global warming events recorded in geologic history, currently identified as the 'Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum' or the 'Initial Eocene Thermal Maximum' (PETM or IETM). Sea surface temperatures rose between 5 and 8°C over a period of a few thousand years, and in the high Arctic, sea surface temperatures rose to a sub-tropical 23°C/73°F.[1] In 1990, marine scientists James Kennett and Lowell Stott, both then at the University of California, Santa Barbara, reported analysis of marine sediments showing that, not only had the surface of the Arctic ocean heated up about 10 degrees at the beginning of the Eocene, but that the entire depth of the ocean had warmed, dramatically changing its chemistry. Oxygen content in deep sea waters was dramatically reduced, causing 30 to 40% of deep sea foraminifera to go extinct. Geologist Jim Zachos of the University of California, Santa Cruz connected the Eocene heat wave to drastic changes in ocean chemistry that caused the massive worldwide die-off.[2]

Rapid Acidification of the Ocean During the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

Global Warming 55 Million Years Ago Shifted Ocean Currents http://news.softpedia.com/news/Global-warming-55-million-years-ago-shift...

Current thinking, giant fart. There are several large craters, as much as 62 miles across, in the seas off Norway. There are volcanic ribbons at the base. The ocean floor lacks any carbonate, showing severe acidosis. Methane and methane clathrates were ignited by lava, causing a big bang. Most of the methane was combined with oxygen under water, eg burned, and converted to CO2. Turned the ocean there very acid. Didn't help life in the area that most of the O2 had been consumed, too.

'...Global Warming is being used as a code word for "Peak Oil" and "Depending on the Russians too much"'

No, though having multiple reasons for doing something is quite normal.

Germans are quite worried about climate change, and many companies which rely on mass consumption in Germany are quite worried that their customers will start putting their money where their feelings are.

Well, not all companies - a number of grocery chains seem to be heavily focusing on providing regional products as a way to distinguish themselves without cutting into their margins.

Oh wait - if seen through a peak oil lens, then this renewed emphasis on local production to feed local populations almost looks like preparation for the future.

Of course, it is preparation for the future - less chemicals and fertilizer, local production, and people who walk or bicycle to local stores.

Peak oil does not really seem to be much of a German concern (apart from the car companies, who have been aware of it for a long time). What is a German concern are dwindling finite resources in combination with pollution. And whether Germans responsible for energy planning are more concerned about the Russians or the dominance of the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf can be framed as follows - 'nations don't have friends, they have interests.'

Which is why home insulation is considered a good place to concentrate - it at least allows for a certain balance to be reached between renewable energy sources and not freezing in the winter.

The other reason it is considered good is jobs, of course - much of German politics hinges on jobs, and a proposal which provides a steady stream of income for various small businesses is harder to oppose, even by major energy companies. And saving money through reduced energy use is easily justified in the eyes of anyone who rents or owns a house - except for those connected to the major energy companies. And reducing emissions is considered good, unless a major energy company feels it is unfairly unburdened by these requirements. Also considered good are reneweable energy sources, unless a major energy company is forced to purchase such energy. A certain theme may be emerging here.

Thanks for that insightful comment, Expat.

The "major energy companies" - especially power and gas - have really pissed off everybody - the consumers and major industries with the "unfairly" increasing prices and record profits, the regulators for discriminating against independent power vendors, the anti-trust authorities because of unreasonable price differentials, and finally the leading politicians.

There are even plans to expropriate the grids.

Assuming the Export Land Model is correct, a worldwide oil shortage will not wait 40 years, and it will not wait 4 years either.

I just wondered if this will lead to militairy conflict involving China within that timeframe.

Pauls: I wouldn't hold my breath. The top 1% in the USA make more money if China prospers than if the USA prospers.

Thanks for responding Brian T.

China prospers to a large extend because they have been supplying the west with their stuff, financed by cheep credit. Now that it looks like the US economy, which largely depends on consumer spending, might be going down in a tailspin (dragging the rest of the world down with it), I don't know how long China can continue to prosper.

Alas, when US consumption shrinks, the Chinese have less to sell, which can cause some serious energy demand destruction on both sides, and thus slowing the decline in available net exports.

Personally I don't see a way out of the energy scarcity that awaits us except for a severe worldwide economic recession/depression. I have more something of a Lovelockian vision.

wouldn't a reduction in America's economy result in an oversupply of the export market, even though it shrinks?

sure a fraction of Chinese go bankrupt, however that happens due to oversupply, so the rest of the world could possibly have a few years of relatively cheap goods to help realise the changes that need to be made.

I think we're beginning to see China move desperately to diversify its markets. It's making big gains in trade with the EU, the Arab oil monarchies, and South Korea, and it's up to something in Central Asia so big that we can scarecely comprehend it. However, there may not be enough time to avoid the crash.

In reality all these countries prop up American consumption by deferring consumption and sending the surplus to buy US debt. The question is, is there a clean way they can break off with the US and do the logical thing, send money and goods to each other instead? It sounds simple and yet apparently America's leaders are holding it off with a blackmail threat: we can wreck the world faster than you can cut us off. Perhaps that's why we're actually increasing the rate at which we borrow money, like a bank robber strapping more sticks of dynamite onto his chest as more cops gather outside.

Doesn't that depend on the kind of war, the duration, etc.? Your comment is a bald assertion, sort of like the ones that would have been made about Ford or GM before WWII, yet both of them (and other corporations) made huge money by selling to both sides in that war.

Further, are you sure that China would not prosper in such a war? Maybe the US would lose and China would get to play the center of the next global "Marshall plan" style rebuilding?

I do not think the situation is as simple as you believe.

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

I would love to be the Chinese defense planner in charge of the next war. The superpowers have so twisted other countries' ideas of what a cost-effective weapon is that we all were surprised that cellphone-triggered roadside bombs could defeat Bradleys. Our entire arsenal is loaded with battleships waiting to meet their Pearl Harbor. There's an ocean current just waiting to deliver a few million smart mines to our West Coast shipping. About 50 Russian-built SSBMs should deter an American nuclear sneak attack. If we think we can punish them with airstrikes like Iraq and Iran we're going to find out how arrogant and nationalist ordinary Chinese have become.

The best part is, for China that would be avenging Pearl Harbor and the Opium Wars all rolled into one. Did Pearl Harbor wreck the US economy? The war simply commandeered the economy and decreed demand. The vast costs were covered by taxing an overheated economy and selling debt to patriotic citizens at low rates. Rationing was not met with mass resistance. I've heard the scrap metal drives turned out to be unnecessary but were useful as a psychological ploy to give people a sense of involvement in the war, unlike today. In today's tight times, though, the side that can most successfully reduce its seaborne resource dependencies should prevail.

Funny that before 9/11 the neocons romanticized the need for a new Pearl Harbor, yet this time they never intended America to make any similar sacrifices.

In some senses it has already begun. The US is complaining about China's increasing military budget even though it is a tiny fraction of the US's. The goings-on in the Sudan (Darfur) are about China's oil deals having stolen a march on the US companies -- like our gov't gives a damn about starving Africans (or anyone else)? The shootdown of their own weather satellite was a message from the Chinese about US declared intentions to dominate space. The war is not hot yet, true, but it has begun.

In one sense, the US and China are very similar -- they are both heavily dependendent on oil. There's not much debate about the US being a declining a power -- the only debate is about how fast. Some think of China as a rising power. But I think it is also immensely vulnerable and in for just as much trouble as we are. I don't think history is going to repeat itself this time. I don't think there will be one or a few powers dominating the globe at the end of this century, or even well before. The end of the oil age will bring to an end the age of global empire also.

"The end of the oil age will bring to an end the age of global empire also". I believe this as well and for this reason look forward to peak oil and the resulting demilitarization.


would you care to name a 100 year window which any country anywhere in history has existed without a military force to back it up? (currently there are some that exist without a standing army of their own, but it is still the threat military force that keeps the country alive - who wouldn't like to raid the Vatican vaults :)

and wouldn't a lack of a global superpower mean that every man with a squad car and a gun could become the local "military force/defacto ruler" in his area?

It just won't be a global empire. It's hard to run an effective global military organization with clubs and knives and sailing ships.

Every river valley will be its own little empire just like in olden days. Only we have 10 times the pops now...

Or like Pakistan/Afghanistan/Colombia/Somalia/Chechnia etc


According to this article the FTC has come out against NET NEUTRALITY.

I think this site would be considered a "content" site and could be charged a premium so I could use my high speed service to get a high speed download. So I buy high speed but it will only work for sites that pay the higher rates.

and so it goes.
Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

I think this site would be considered a "content" site and could be charged a premium so I could use my high speed service to get a high speed download. So I buy high speed but it will only work for sites that pay the higher rates.

If it was that simple...

The site being a "content" site means that it will have to pay for YOUR isp to get that hight spped you are paying for... And to my isp to get the hight speed I'm paying for, and Bob's isp...

And don't forget the pay the tiers, so they don't become a speed bottleneck when TOD packages pass into their networks.

Freedom of information on the internet is key to us getting through The Looming Crisis. Without free exchange of ideas, it is game over.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided to abandon net neutrality and allow telecoms companies to charge websites for access.

The FTC said in a report that, despite popular support for net neutrality, it was minded to let the market sort out the issue.

This means that the organisation will not stand in the way of companies using differential pricing to make sure that some websites can be viewed more quickly than others.

This means that sites like TheOilDrum will have to pay, pay, pay so that we can get quick access to it. Which effectively means that the internet as we know it will slowly morph into a corporate medium controlled by TPTB.

I think that such a scenario will only go so far, as the end users may end up migrating to providers who do not give special favor to sites that pay extra. I think that the telecos think it's a great idea that won't go very far.

~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com)

I am not as optimistic as you are. Maybe it's different in other countries, but in the U.S., people make the decision on price. They won't know, let alone care, which providers favor certain sites, and which do not. Heck, they'll probably be favoring the sites they want to see, anyway.

We'll go for what's cheap and what's convenient. Just like we pushed our own jobs overseas by buying the cheapest products, not knowing or caring if they were produced in sweatshop conditions.

Glad to see you got your website started.
I've bookmarked it. I'll check it later.

Thanks. I have a bit more work to do, but at least it has begun. Installing of the BBS software was a bit easier than I thought it would end up being. Things are a lot easier now than they were when I first started making up websites. I'll be glad when I have some knowledgeable people onboard who know about good agriculture techniques.

I've pondered having a "defense" area, but I think I want to leave that for the more strategy oriented websites.

~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com/)

Hey - i had something similar in the works... I'll play around on yours first though - no point duplicating effort... though as I have a couple of areas you don't cover maybe I'll just do mine limited - easier to manage. (Just registered as Richard)
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

I like the software you're using. I've been looking at commercial stuff - but obviously something open-source is better... if you'd spare the time I'd love to chat a bit or exchange a couple of emails on how it worked out for you...
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

Just got this link on taking water and running into the wall of limits.
I was shocked that Granite Falls Minnesota dropped there aquifer by 50% in one year from the ethanol plant. Never heard a thing on MSM, go figure. Puts a crimp on there ROI I would think. Maybe a rain catchment/cistern would be a good investment for the home place here.

Water usage is a problem that is rarely addressed by ethanol advocates. In Champaign county to the north of me there is much concern that ethanol plants could help deplete one of the largest aquifers in the state - the Mahomet aquifer. This water is ancient, and unlikely to be replenished quickly if at all. Amazing how the politicians rolled over on this one. Can you say “campaign contribution”?


The state DNR either intentionally underestimated or have no real clue to the hydraulics of the aquifers since they gave the plant a three year conditional permit and felt they were conservative of the draw down the plant would impose. Now they have the plant drawing from the river, since there foot is in the door, more unintended consequences.

I got into this debate with the MN DNR a number of years ago over a proposed large scale animal confinement operation near our family farm. The DNR was ready to sign off on a 2 million gallon a day withdrawl from the area groundwater without so much as a murmur. This project was abandoned for a number of reasons, but not because of water usage.

My agricultural law professor at the University of Minnesota loved to say, "the army corps of engineers never saw a project they did not like". Guess it's the same for the DNR.

Not sure about this comment:

"The 2000 election, the crimes of 9/11 perpetrated by the U.S. government..."

I agree that Al Gore won the 2000 election, but this is not a democracy in the truest since of the word. Democracy is what Bush wanted for Iraq, until the democratically elected president of Iraq stood before the television cameras and asked the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq.

I do not believe the U.S. was directly involved in the 9/11 attacks anymore than Iraq was. Many people noticed that the hijackers were part of an Islamicist group led primarily by Saudis. The group is also illegal in Saudi Arabia. Recently an Al Qeaeda operative from Libya was killed by coalition forces:


The group was active in numerous nations.

The U.S. had similar problems with violent drug gangs. Their members were Americans, but the groups were illegal.

Happy Fourth of July. Independence from the British monarchy and the establishment of a representitive democracy with a Bill of Rights given by George Mason from Northern Virginia.

I do not believe the U.S. was directly involved in the 9/11 attacks anymore than Iraq was. Many people noticed that the hijackers were part of an Islamicist group led primarily by Saudis. The group is also illegal in Saudi Arabia.

Hmmmm, read the stuff below and follow the links and get back to me:

This one about "Bandar Bush", a close friend of the Bush family, Saudi Royals, and international subterfuge. The kicker: his wife (Princess Haifa) was transferring money to 2 of the 9/11 hijackers from a Riggs Bank account. Riggs is implicated in previous international money laundering scandals, incuding laundering Saudi money. Riggs Bank also has a Bush family member at the helm Jonathan Bush. I'm sure this is just another in a long list of coincidences and oversights, such as ignoring the Aug. 6, 2001 presidential daily brief entitled "Bin Laden determined to attack within the United States." And, oh yeah, consider this:

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released new documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") related to the "expeditious departure" of Saudi nationals, including members of the bin Laden family, from the United States following the 9/11 attacks. According to one of the formerly confidential documents, dated 9/21/2001, terrorist Osama bin Laden may have chartered one of the Saudi flights.

Quite a list of coincidences, but the above just scratches the surface surrounding the events and actors of 9/11. A lot of material for coincidence theorists to work with to claim Administration officials had NOTHING to do with it nor had any detailed foreknowledge...

You guys need to stop drinking the Kool-aide and get a bunch of anti-psychotic pills.

The Bushites are evil, no doubt. But its preposterous to think they had anything to do with 9/11 's planning or execution. And frankly, I wonder if you're not a cornucopian plant trying to discredit this site by making us all appear to be nuts.
Bob Ebersole

...I'd say with your instantaneous accusations, you are succeeding at that admirably...

But its preposterous to think they had anything to do with 9/11 's planning or execution.

Now, my position is that I simply cannot evaluate the arguments for/against government involvement.

But this kind of summary dismissal is dangerous.

Who said, "Only the small lies need to be protected. The big lies are protected by the public's incredulity" ?

Oh come on, get real. Its probable that the Bushites are traitors, but they are in it for the money and sense of control. They destroyed our personal liberties in the name of the war on terror. The Bush family owns a large part of Haliburton, thats why Cheney got a job with them when they were out of office. They're in bed with the Saudi Royals, no doubt, as well as the aristocracy of all the Persian Gulf area.
Al Quaida is a revolutionary fundimentalist group that is for an Islamic revolution in Saudi and the other Persian Gulf countries.They think that the leaders there sold out by inviting in our troops and sullying their holy ground.
I have more faith in their principles than I do in the Bushites.

I've got my own theory about conspiracies. They mostly don't work because people can't keep their mouths shut-look at all the mafia tell all snitches as a good example, or all the tales from old time Black Panthers. Conspiracy theories seem to proliferate when people feel powerless to explain the truth, and they breed amoung the same groups of people, mostly males who feel powerless about other areas of their lives. They think that the theory puts them in the know.

I'm inclined to take Al Quaida at their word-they attacked the US because of our support of Israel. And if it were true that they conspired with the US government, it would be in their interest to name names and get the knowledge out-it would discredit the USA even more to the world.

At any rate, putting out stuff that is patently weird discredits the good information shared on this website. You can believe that stuff if you want, but go discuss it on a paranoid schizophrenic website.

You can believe that stuff if you want, but go discuss it on a paranoid schizophrenic website.

Well, that was interesting.

I just told you I am agnostic about the conspiracies. But because I don't summarily dismiss them, you invite me to go to a "paranoid schizophrenic" website.

I provided links to credible information. What parts are patently weird?

I am an Engineer, a business owner and entrepreneur, and someone who never thought corruption and subterfuge on a massive scale were possible by elected officials of a democratic society. The past few years since 9/11 have shaken my faith in our institutions of government, media and big business, to the core. I am now actually afraid of the depth of corruption which I believe is out of control; and, yes, afraid of a resident evil at the highest levels of power. The fact that society now takes the serial outrages of the Bush Administration almost in stride, any one of which could take down your average government anywhere else in the democratic world with a free press, and you can see my point.

Something is wrong, very wrong.

This troubling period was ushered in by 9/11. Followed shortly thereafter by the anthrax attacks on democrats Tom Daschle (Senate majority leader) and Patrick Leahy (Judiciary committee head) when Bush-Cheney wanted the "Patriot Act" passage slammed through without questions (Leahy headed the Senate’s negotiations on the Patriot Act.) All followed by a fradulent war of aggression against one country with perhaps the world's largest true remaining oil reserves, sold to a fearful and shaken public with the media slamming anyone with the temerity to question the actual facts behind the proposed actions, including war. As the details of this massive fraud have dribbled out over the past few years, and the conspiracy to sell it to a credulous public (Uranium from Niger anyone?), corporate media rode shotgun for the Bush Administration as it continues to do today.

Just for the record, the amount of progress in finding those terrorists responsible for sending bioweapon material to government officials with power to stall the Bush-Cheney agenda at that time has been even less than that in finding Osama bin Laden. Unbef!kinglievable!!!!

And why is this on a site about Oil, Energy and our future? Oil is one of the most strategic commodities in the world. If you believe Peak Oil is just about here, then it is easy to believe that the darkest corners of real Power in this world would be responding to it.

You don't believe nefarious conspiratorial acts could be countenanced by top government officials? Well, give this a read from the National Security Archives of George Washington University. There are many more examples, of course, but its nice to see such wicked schemes as formally prepared by the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the Secretary of Defense.

I took the red pill. I'm happy for you that you prefer to take the blue pill. The red pill is very hard to swallow ;)

It was actually 9/11 conspiracy sites that led me to Peak Oil sites. For me the latter event explains the former event.

High government officials routinely meet together in secret to discuss situations and make plans. I'm not sure whether or not "conspiracy" is the right word to discuss what is in effect SOP - maybe it is, maybe it isn't, maybe the distinction between true conspiracy and government SOP is so fine as to be meaningless. What is clear is that small governments make small plans, while big governments make big plans.

Lord Acton was right: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We the people have acquiesed in the growth of the US gov't to truly monsterous proportions. It should not be surprising that the monster is now starting to act like a monster.

We have just completed our annual celebration of a country that no longer exists, except in our memories and imaginations. Ours is no longer a "government of the people, by the people, and for the people" - unless one re-defines "the people" to comprise a very tiny elite segment of the general population.

It has all been very cleverly done. The outer facade of a more-or-less democratic government has been carefully preserved, while the interior structure has been gradually, imperceptably replaced with an increasingly imperialistic, militaristic, corporatist, autocratic plutocracy. Somehow, mass media was co-opted into the project as well, preserving the illusion that we have a "free" press.

Excellent reply, OilManBob. Always a shame to see the conspiracy stuff show up here, but until it's all removed, let me say I support your comments.

What conspiracy stuff? I have provided links to credible information that raises serious questions at a minimum, and suggests a serious level of corruption in government.

Did you look at the copy of the FBI document (follow links to Judicial Watch site) that states flights immediately after 9/11 to fly Saudi nationals out of the US were either chartered by the Saudi royal family or Osama bin Laden!? And this didn't raise any red flags with anyone!?! No senior government officials? WTF indeed!!!! Wouldn't we want to have a teensy, weensy look into that one?

What about this from CNN:

A U.S. government official said it is not unusual for wealthy Saudi families to send money to less affluent Saudi students. In addition, the official said, that money often is sent through the Saudi Embassy.

Adel Al-Jubeir, a foreign policy adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, told CNN that Princess Haifa Al-Faisal, wife of Saudi Ambassador, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, is "a very generous woman" who supports many charitable causes.

The princess, however, never sent any money directly to the two hijackers, Al-Jubeir said. An investigation by her office has found the princess sent money to a woman on her charity recipient list and that woman then sent the money to the students.

Two of the hijackers got their money because of a beneficient princess, married to Bandar Bush. But, they couldn't have known about the hijacker connection because it passed through the hands of another contact first. We should accept such plausible deniability at face value? This couldn't warrant serious investigation, right?

Nothing to see here, move along....

Throwing pejorative labels can only deter people from asking legitimate questions surrounding controversial issues. I think anyone tossing Conspiracy Theorist in the face of such documentation is doing a grave disservice to the truth, justice and democracy. These troubling FACTS should have us all screaming for real answers as to WTF actually happened.

Saudi Oil money has a huge influence on American politics and geopolitical machinations. That is no conspiracy theory.

I have said my peace. I'm not here to disrupt any threads. All you readers can do with it what you may.

What conspiracy stuff? I have provided links to credible information that raises serious questions at a minimum, and suggests a serious level of corruption in government.

And then you take "serious levels of corruption" and immediately take a jump out into the left field of "perpetrated terrorist attacks on their own country" conspiracy theories.

Taking your links in order:

First link

Bandar is an unpleasant man who helped the US fund special ops in the Middle East. So not a secret they made Rambo III about that in 1988.

You claim "his wife...was transferring money to 2 of the 9/11 hijackers". Let's see what the link you provided actually says:

"Princess Haifa had been making monthly transfers, $130,000 in all, from her Washington bank account to a needy woman who relayed some of the checks to her husband and another man who assisted and funded the two hijackers"

So the wife of the ambassador gave money to a needy woman.
That needy woman gave money to someone else.
That third person gave money to two hijackers.

So you've grossly misrepresented what the available evidence shows.

Second link

A bank is implicated in laundering money. Woo.

Third link

A Bush family member is at that same bank. Guilt-by-association is tenuous at best; however, at worst that would suggest white-collar corruption, which is a far cry from terrorism.

Fourth link

Either the Saudi royal family or Osama bin Laden chartered a flight to take members of the royal and bin Laden families out of the US.


The Saudi royal can spend their money as they please, and Osama bin Laden seems to have been able to spend his own money well enough before he was conclusively tied to the WTC attacks, so I assume it's not the chartering you're complaining about, but the flights being allowed to go so early.

Consider the situation, though - Saudi nationals had just perpetrated a terrible attack on the USA, and so prominent Saudis may have feared reprisals or mob justice. If the Saudi government wished to evacuate members of the Saudi royal family out of those (not unreasonable) fears - and if the US government had decided that the people in question were not suspects or material witnesses - then why is it surprising that permission would be granted?

Moreover, the particular flight which bin Laden may or may not have chartered was (by your links) on Sept 19th, long after normal air traffic had resumed in the USA.

What exactly is your point with this link?

Fifth link

This link addresses the same claim as the first link, but notes:

"sources said there is no conclusive evidence the Saudi government intentionally funded terror activities against the United States....
A U.S. government official said it is not unusual for wealthy Saudi families to send money to less affluent Saudi students. In addition, the official said, that money often is sent through the Saudi Embassy.
...it is unclear whether any of the money transferred through the Riggs account ever reached the hijackers."

So this link makes it sound even less like the Saudis were intentionally funding any of the hijackers.

Two of the hijackers got their money because of a beneficient princess, married to Bandar Bush. But, they couldn't have known about the hijacker connection because it passed through the hands of another contact first. We should accept such plausible deniability at face value? This couldn't warrant serious investigation, right?

Like, say, an FBI investigation? Like your own link (fifth) tells us happened?

These troubling FACTS should have us all screaming for real answers as to WTF actually happened.

Let's ignore your innuendo and suppositions, and just look at the facts from your links:

  1. Bandar may have helped the US government fund covert ops in the Middle East in the 80s. Known for decades.
  2. Money from Bandar's wife passed through one or more third parties and may or may not have made it into the hands of two hijackers. Warrants an investigation.
  3. #2 was investigated by the FBI. Okay, then.
  4. Banks sometimes launder money. Doesn't every mob movie ever reveal that secret?
  5. A Bush is a bigwig in one of those banks. Yes, America has a certain amount of a class system. Icky, but hardly a secret.
  6. Saudi elites fled the US after 9/11. In their place, wouldn't you?
  7. Osama bin Laden may have chartered one of those flights. A little odd; maybe worth investigating.
  8. #7 was investigated by the FBI. Okay, then.

From the sounds of your own links, everything that should have been investigated was investigated. Unless you assume those investigations were incompetent or coverups - which would be largely circular reasoning - there's not much left.

Has Bush disposed of tht 6 billion in "excess population"? No he has not. Until he does I will not consider him a great president.;)


Your comments are worthless tripe when it comes to examining evidence of 911. You don't know anything about the facts and the science, couldn't discuss it if you wanted to because your replies show you are ignorant about the subject. You post nothing but crap as a response to peoples legitimate concerns, and those numbers grow each and every day.

So lets see,.. you say conspiracy;s don't work. You have no evidence to back that up, just your illiterate comment on the subject, Your spitefull posts show that you don't have any information on the subject.

So take this into your thoughts OIL MAN BOB.

In 1947 the ROSWELL incident happened. Now, I don't know if you know the story or not, but I guess you now the basics and the weather balloon cover up story. The Air force had a person who was told to wrihet the original press release and then had to retract it, and is shown in the crappy balloon photo. This guy had to admit that he couldn't tell the difference between that wreckage in the staged photo and what he saw. Yep he must be really stupid. But you know what OIL MAN BOB. That person sucked it up and stood in the photo and took his lumps. He kept his mouth totally shut about what happened.

Well except OIL MAN BOB he didn't keep it shut.

He just released an affidavit that is legitimate and was notarized and placed in his safe deposit box two years before he died I believe.

That story has now been opened.

Guess what OIL MAN BOB. This guy remained loyal, but he just said, you know what. It was real. There was an crash of a UFO and there were bodies and much more.

Yep OIL MAN BOB. He just stated that the story by the air force was a coverup.

Now there is a proof that conspiracy;s don't last, might take years before they are discovered. Or they might stay hidden. Oil Man Bob. Absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence and if you think you think scientifically about Peak Oil and don't follow this rule, well, then what does that say about YOU>

But wait OIL MAN BOB. maybe its more of a physop, and that means another conspiracy.

So OIL MAN BOB, why did this guy wait until he died to do this. He could have made a fortune if he had done this before he died.

and before you rail on him. You better do some research on him and his life and what he said after the incident in Roswell.

This is all fact, and what the F is going on is very interesting. There is something very very strange going on with this.

But don't worry Oil Man Bob knows all, and has his opinion to back it up and his own set of rules for scientific inquiry.

So take your closed mind and antique beliefs and let them keep you warm and safe at night, (in your dreams).


What you going to say OMB when one day someone points you to the old film that seems to pretty well show that the Head of the Secret service told the two agents that "stood" on the back of the car. You know what I mean. That had place for them to stand on the rear for the convertibles.

There is a film that seems to show the head of the agency telling those guys to get off the car. You see the agents acting in a WTF manner. Seemed VERY upset about being told to stand down and to NOT protect the President.

Now go look at the photo's of that day. Where were the agents on the back. NOT THERE. Now if they had been, do you think the shot could have been taken and made. They stood at the rear in each corner, one would have been directly behind the President

Yep OMB, keep that head in the sand.

Many people after watching that piece of old BW film shake there head, and its usually enough for most people to understand something very very bad happened that day.

I have seen the film, and its looks real to me. Very hard to fake what this shows and the people in it. Of course if you do have information it was faked please present it.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

That any rational person could believe the probability that a couple of critters from some advanced alien race (that look suspiciously humanoid) made their way across millions of kms of outer space only to crash-land on our planet was somehow significantly greater than the probability that a few overly-imaginative (or deliberately deceptive) people provided creative eyewitness reports and post-mortem affidavits is a little perplexing to say the least.

Actually, it strikes me as far more likely that if we really have had any "not-from-around-here" visitors, they'd be more likely to be Earthlings from the distant future, humans having evolved (naturally or artificially) into 4-feet-high greys with oversized heads.

Maybe someday, someone will provide physical evidence, available for all to touch and see, that simply can't be explained any other way, but I'm not holding my breath.

Um, I am not interested in the UFO discussion but have you bothered to notice that most of our own spacecraft issues involve takeoffs and landings from planetary surfaces? Such as the 2 shuttle incidents, or the various Mars landers that crashed or were lost during descent.

Assuming there is some way past the speed of light problem, deep space is relatively empty and fairly safe to navigate compared to landing on or taking off from a planetary surface. So while I cannot comment about any supposed aliens, I do know that if we return to the moon or go to Mars, there will be extensive planning about every second of landing or takeoff. There will not be extensive planning about every second of the trip from here to there once in space.

It would therefore seem reasonable to conclude that even with better technology, that takeoffs and landings would be far riskier activities than just cruising space in some form. So while I don't believe in aliens in UFOs myself, I find your argument that they should not crash just because they crossed interstellar space weak given what our own species knows about space travel. To me, it would seem a great technical danger to be landing on a planetary surface, coupled with the additional dangers of another intelligent species that has the tendency to shoot first and ask questions later. ;)

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

Oh come on. An advanced alien race in our galaxy has levels of technology that enable inter-stellar travel. No problem there...I'll give it a probability of 80% even. They somehow manage to detect our existence. Hmm, galaxy's a big place. 5% to be generous. They decide to come here. Let's say 50%. They make it all the way here successfully. 90%. Some last minute malfunction causes a problem with landing. 1%. Their super-tough advanced materials and life-support systems that have enabled them to come all this way fail to protect them against ground impact. 1%. Total probability of event occurring: about .0002%. Actually that seems too way too high, but whatever.
Probability that people make up stories: 100%. Probability that people deliberately lie: 100%.
Probability that people hallucinate or have false memories: 100%.
Probability that any of these happened in this particular case: 99.98%.
I.e., the probability of it being a routine event is about 499900 times higher than the probability of it genuinely being a crashing alien spacecraft.

Yes the numbers are made up, but I think you get the drift.

So, you made up a whole bunch of numbers about technology which does not even exist and at the same time ignored numbers about technology which does exist and which has an identifiable failure rate, particularly around takeoffs and landings.

Laughable. In fact, pathetic. No I do not catch your drift. Maybe you can mix the Red Queen and Alice in there somewhere too.

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

You think it would meaningfully change the equation if I substituted in the actual failure rates we humans, who have just barely started getting our feet wet with space travel, have experienced so far?

The only point I'm making is that it's vastly more likely that the reports are made-up or otherwise false than the event actually having occurred. I agree making up numbers proves little, but for some it helps puts things in perspective.

OilManBob's credibility is gaining ground fast, if only by comparison.

Again, good answers Bob.


Well, now, the emotions seem to be a bit high ...

I've got my own theory about conspiracies.

I've got a significant bit more than just theory, regarding conspiracy & UFO's.

I've got first hand experience. I'll try to keep this short and succinct since this IS an oil/energy board.

Oilmanbob. I enjoy reading your contribution and I offer up this information as a recognition that we all have obstructions in our view of reality.

Pertinent background RE conspiracies: see Project Bluebook. My late father's last job was as a
systems analyst for SAC. At some time in his career he had to review some files from the project. He told me this in the late '80's or so. He assured me adamantly that the project was on the up and up. I laughed and merely dismissed his belief equally as adamatly. I never told him the following ...

Because in 1972, I and 2 friends saw a UFO. It was within a few hundred feet or so. It was alternately, moving slowly, stopped, and then accelerated across the sky and out the top of the atmosphere. There are many more details but suffice for this board.

So oilmanbob, my reality includes conspiracy by our government about UFO's.

I view that as a white crow, when everyone knows all crows are black.

Best hopes for as much reality as you can handle, as Alan would say.

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

Basically what your saying is that due to being brought up in the mind set of 'the government won't willingly harm it's people'. then when it actually happens these people just dismiss it out of hand because they are not able to comprehend the deed because it goes against to what they were taught their whole life?

I wouldn't say they even need "to be brought up" in such a "mindset." It's human nature to trust those in power, and the more ruthless power brokers know how to use that to their advantage.

Think about this: "A mother wouldn't willingly harm her own child, would she?"

It's too repugnant for most people to embrace. But it's patently false as a general statement.

I have read that the Saudis have been funding militant Islamic schools around the world agitating for Islamic expansion. By one account the Saudis did not want to fund peace, love, and non-violence when they funded these schools. One of the dead hijackers was previously a Saudi Airforce officer, that made the national news. On some websites two others were reported to have received state sponsered military training.

There were most likely some business links between Bush and the Saudis. Michael Moore presented evidence the Saudi royal family funded part of the building of the George H.W. Bush presidential library. Other researchers also found documentation of deeper business ties.

The mayor of New York refused to accept a check from the Saudis to aid the 9/11 victims.

The U.S. bought oil from the Saudis during the cold war and sometimes looked the other way when the Saudis got into crises. Unfortunately Osama was trained by the CIA during the Afghan-Russian war in Afgahnistan as part of the effort to contain the communist revolution and its brutal methods. He became a rogue after the war was over and turned against his old master.

Those are all true statements. There is no doubt that the bin Laden family was aided in absconding, and that there are numerous Saudi ties to the hijackers. And our crazy foreign policy definitely aided Osama Bin Ladin when he was on jihad against the Russians in Afganistan. Our foreign policy has worked for many years against the real interests of the people of the world.
But to assert that Americans in the Government would plan and help execute 9/11 takes a lot of proof, which I've never seen. As I said, the Bushites are traitors. They fixed two elections,suspended habeus corpus, ordered torture, murder and terror, and have profited financially from the war. The real accusations are horrendus, don't weaken them by mixing them in with 9/11 conspiracy.
As far as aliens at Roswell, I'll have to get my tinfoil hat out to think about that one.
Bob Ebersole

I forgot about Steorn's little Orbo device. The consumer in me wants this to be real, the logical side of me says it can't be real, and the environmentalist in me can't decide, because it will eliminate the need for FF, but it will also mean we will have unlimited energy, which means unlimited potential to destroy the entire planet through continued overpopulation.

Yes, Happy Dependence day on FF! I'm not driving anywhere today, however. I'll be working on a new website..

Should it be true: it is not free energy, as the device would need materials to be built, and those materials would wear down. However it would have a far better EROEI than anything yet available. It uses magnets, they use various minerals, which are in finite supply etc...

Not that I buy the statements that overunity has been accomplished. Though there are legitimate people that work on it for nothing more that the research. One is John Bedini. google his name and find out what he invented and his background. The overunity is a side thing for him. But I don't see where John who keeps a low profile lies about what he is doing and has done.

Anyway I take exception to people that claim what "free energy" is and isn't. Because it has to be built yada yada/

what people discuss is OVER UNITY. More power out that what was put in.

Making frivolous statements that claim because it doesn't fit your agenda means it is not real is pretty self serving on your part, and it is a means of deception, which means people will not take you seriously.

Also there is another person that claims to have worked on the backwards engineering after the Roswell incident.

anyway he claims he is going to do and experiment that will show the ability to have an antigravity device.

He is supposed to demonstrate it very soon.

He claims the govt has a nuclear powered devices that work on this principle.

Basically he has had built some very expensive magnets for this test. Each pole of the same polarization is,.. "welded" to the other, and this is done all the way around until they are joined somehow.

He is going to put this device inside an object. He is going to have another object of the exact same weight and shape. He is going to drop them and he claims that the device will fall and strike "after" the solid object hits. He claims the govt has used Nuke power to energize them and have anti-gravity.

Pretty simple and if he does it I will post it.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

After more than 20 years of doing technology evaluations, I consider the following to be an absolute truth: anything that involves "new physics" should be regarded as a fraud (or an error, if you're feeling generous) until independently and reliably reproduced. Liquid-nitrogen temperature superconductors required "new physics" to explain how they functioned, but were fairly quickly reproduced in other labs; various nanoscale behaviors have required "new physics" to explain, but again were reproducible; I'm not sure I can remember any other "new physics" devices that have proved out.

Even so, superconductivity and quantum dots and such do not give us macro-scale violations of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Steorn has its work cut out to clearly demonstrate such exceptions to principles established and repeatedly verified over the last century. It's not that there can't be an exception, it's just that the proof will have to be very explicit and undeniable in order to be taken seriously.

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


Fluctuation theorem

Note that the FT does not state that the second law of thermodynamics is wrong or invalid. The second law of thermodynamics is a statement about macroscopic systems. The FT is more general. It can be applied to both microscopic and macroscopic systems. When applied to macroscopic systems, the FT is equivalent to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

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


RBM what the hell are you trying to say here. What the hell is the difference between free energy at the macroscopic level and free energy at the microscopic level. Methinks you are just trying to say that in certain cases the second law of thermodynamics does not apply.

But if that is not what you are trying to say then please explain yourself a little more clearly.

Ron Patterson

LOL ! I obviously posted a busted link !!

Here's the original wiki:

More context from that link:

but after the discovery of statistical mechanics physicists realized that the second law is only a statistical one, so that there should always be some nonzero probability that the entropy of an isolated system will spontaneously decrease; the fluctuation theorem precisely quantifies this probability.

Which was to address:

macro-scale violations of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Implicit in the above statement was that the 2nd law was being violated because it is absolute when it fact it is not absolute but statistical - even at the macro level.

Hope that came out right !

I'm still on a steep learning curve on the deep physics details.

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

Thanks for the fix-it !

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

And ... therefore we should believe that Steorn has won the cosmic lottery at a probability of approximately one over infinity, and now have a "something for nothing" license? Or maybe the second such license, just after Douglas Adams?

The only point I was trying to make was that they'd better have a whole lot more proof than we've seen so far, for their claim to be taken seriously.


A couple issues here.

First, "we should believe that Steorn has won the cosmic lottery" - what I believe regarding Steorn – let them prove it. So I think we agree more than we disagree on that aspect.

Second,to further support your point you reference the 2nd law of thermodynamics as absolute and there is where we disagree.

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

The question I want to ask TOD is;

With Oil trading closer to $75 Why is it a NON-story in the press?

2-3 years ago this would have been headlines in EVERY newpaper and MSM.

Gentlemen and Ladies,

We ARE indeed frogs.

The MSM are dependent on the advertisements to entice you to buy stuff. Headlines about $70 oil would spook people into not buying what the advertisers are selling and thus hurt the MSM revenues from ads, especially all the USA made gas guzzling SUVs showcased on TV. Gotta keep the spinning plates of greed, envy and denial aloft. My 2¢

We ARE indeed frogs.
A frog placed in water that is brought to a boil through gradual temperature increase will make no attempt to escape. - false

Yeah, but by that time you notice it’s hot it is too late to do anything about it in our case. If we weren’t like frogs we would notice were in a pot, in water, on a stove, hey! this is not good! Correct the problem before the symptoms start manifesting themselves.

Ah! That explains it! We're dumber than frogs. ;)

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

Naw, we just have the MSM telling us over and over again:
"It's getting cooler...
Oh look out! It's the deadly TB Guy!...
It's getting cooler...
Oh! Look out! More missing blonds!
It's getting cooler...
Oh Look - Paris Hilton! (But don't search for her videos on the web) nudge-nudge...
No, it's really getting cooler..."

I've always taken this analogy as a metaphor, not as a real phenomenon.

I can't vouch for the authenticity or exactness of this. Its from an email being passed around, but I think the tone is the important part. When the rule of law is in such a sad state. The exact things these guys fought against are now being torn away and replaced with the boot heel.

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the
Declaration of Independence?

Five were captured by the British as traitors, tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the
Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.

Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxto n of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bed side as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.

The power the citizens face will not go away from an email or a phone call to a show etc. They have to learn they need to stop their walk of commerce and throw their shoes into the machinery that binds them to take back control.

ask the French when the govt does something they don't like, what do the people do. In France the govt fears the people for the most part. They will shut the country down in a hearbeat over just about anything. Like the subways etc, if you have traveled their.

Saboteur. From the french word for shoe Sabot. The French factory workers started throwing their shoes into the gears of the machines they ran. They became to be known as saboteurs. See what you think when you see/hear the word now. What the meaning of a saboteur in context of the side and use.

Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

I see you changed the jingoistic last part of the letter. Good move! I just hate that “freedom is not free incantation that is used to send the youth to die for the avarice, ambition, and greed of the “elder statesman”, many who did everything in their power earlier in life to avoid fighting for their supposedly just cause. I’ve seen this letter for a few years now and Snopes.com did research on it.


Yeah, but if we'd stayed a colony, we'd probably have universal healthcare now. ;-)

But not until after WWII.

Over here http://www.metafilter.com/62627/Calling-all-Americans

There is a discussion on 'revolution' - might be worth watching for the interesting links elsewhere.

The India Times article linked above, about how we will realize in ten years what a great President GW is, is a real hoot! Read it if you haven't, it's mercifully short.

I'd better start saving now for my hydrogen car, right now they cost about $1,000,000. LOL

While the india times tells how great Resident Bush is,
On this July 4th, others may want to check this out.

You MUST Watch this video. The Most STRONGEST opinion given on MSM TV that I have seen.

Obermann calling for the resignation of Bush/Cheney. Impeachment. This is the strongest I have seen since...... Edward R. Merrill

Watch the whole thing.

Olbermann: Bush, Cheney should resign

Yes, it was Olbermann at his very best. Here it is again along with the text of Olbermann's communtary.


Ron Patterson

It is very good. If I had to object to something, it's that Olbermann did not have to inject an indignant tone into his speech. His words, matter-of-fact, have devastating power all by themselves.

You watch this and realize: they don't care. That is, the Bush cabal, the whole crew -- they don't care what you or Olbermann think. They do what they want, when they want it, then hire speechmakers to 'splain it to us dummies.

India Times has the same problem as other media - namely that to honestly discuss real issues would scare people from buying. And Indians are buying as India's economy expands. So India Times must tow the corporate line to get the advertising dollars.

Thus of course GW gets the red carpet treatment whenever possible because India aspires to exactly the same lifestyle as the US.

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

It's the not first time I've read something by an Indian claiming that world is truly a wonderful place after all, especially the U.S. I suppose it's a matter of perspective.

A few drumbeats past I asked for some feedback on my interest in electric tractors. http://globalpublicmedia.com/the_case_for_the_electric_tractor

A few were skeptical that an electric tractor was practical, would have enough power, battery storage, etc. I have since run across this farmer who uses an electric tractor:

A quote: "Quick 2007 Update: Several Dozen of these tractors have been built recently and people seem really happy with them. I have to say even after all these years, I can't imagine farming without them! We put a lot of hours on them and they haven't broken down (see my new note on the parts page) and the batteries still seem fine. Prices have gone up somewhat, but you also "get more" -again see my notes on the parts page."

Thanks for the link, Jason! It seems some of the former naysayers can reconsider their positions now.

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

This "electric tractor" may indeed work well and be fine for very small farms but will not begin to cover all of the land under cultivation in the U.S. Unless we go to some major type of no till agriculture, tillage of the soil takes tremendous power. I don't know much about the EROI for bio-diesel, but most of the farm based fuels may go to power farm equipment.

but most of the farm based fuels may go to power farm equipment.

Not at all. 1/4 of the photon-> work path was used back in the animal power days. PV and wind conversion is better than photon->plants->animal->work.

How many C Allis Chalmers converted electric tractors will it take to replace the current fleet of large scale diesel farm tractors? These large tractors cover 40 to 50 acres per hour, the 160 acre homestead in about 4 hours. The electric tractor would not cover the same ground in 4 weeks. While the conversion may work on paper, it will not get it done in the farm field.

That was never the question. In the prior thread there was a great deal of noise about why this would not work at all, under any circumstances, yet here it is working for a smaller farm.

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

I expect to see the following trends in agriculture that will coincide with electrified equipment: smaller farms, many more farmers, and shallow/no-till becoming the norm, wind and solar electric installations on the farm, greatly reduced farm to fork distances.


On this I can agree, smaller farms and more farmers will be the new agriculture or should I say a return to farming as we knew it when the great plains were settled. Agriculture today as with many things is not sustainable, sun and wind power sound good to me. For my small part-time farm, I use no chemicals, synthetic fertilizers and do as much labor as I can manually. My 4th of July holiday will be spent as the last dozen or so have been spent. Weeding, mostly by hand and if needed minimal equipment usage.

This "electric tractor" may indeed work well and be fine for very small farms but will not begin to cover all of the land under cultivation in the U.S.

Based on what evidence do you make that claim?

Electric tractors demonstrably work well at a small scale. Evidence suggests that electric vehicles can certainly scale to much larger vehicles. That 9-ton DHL truck is about half the weight of a modern combine, so there seems little reason to assume that the latter couldn't be made all-electric.

Electric tractors are a viable option as they don't go far from home, in the same fashion that electric fork-lifts are viable.
~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com)

Western Civilization and Christianity in particular have left their mark on us in the polarization that we can’t seem to extricate ourselves from, even over the issue of collapse. It is, in some respects, that very duality that has created the end of civilization as we have known it, yet we cling to the polarization as if our lives depended on it.

Bah, you're totally wrong, miss. It is precisely the contrary! :D

This is off-topic, but I want to warn anyone with small pets, particularly in the Northeast. I had a fisher cat in my yard last night. Didn't see it, but it sounded kinda like somebody giving off short screams in the woods. Loud! I pulled up this site, which has an audio clip:


I played the clip, and later discovered that it may have been close to the house when I played it on the computer. I have the two posts at the top from Weare, NH, on this site.

These things are dangerous as you'll see from the other comments. Many cats and small dogs have been eaten, and the fisher cats aren't at all afraid of humans, although no mention of any attacks on people. But they'll snatch a pet off a leash in broad daylight! Yikes!

I'm anti-gun, I even feel bad when I have to kill a spider in the house. But I want someone to kill this thing. I have two small dogs who will be watched even more closely in the future!

This is what happens as people move into the former woods, and habitat for wildlife is contracted.

I live in the woods in NH, and have lost chickens to fishers (and red-tailed hawks, and foxes). We have lots of coyotes around here, and so the sheep go in the barn at dusk. I bring the bird feeders in at night because of the bears. Bears will attack sheep, as well.

Coyotes love cats (for breakfast), and I'm sure small dogs would be welcome on their menu.

I have several dogs running around most of the day, so that tends to keep the predator business at bay during daylight hours.

Reminds me of an old Tom Rush song/routine where he talks about taking his wife's two little teacup dogs out for walks in the evening on retractable leashes. He called it "trolling for owls". :-)

This why in the country you keep more cats than necessary - casualties. The UPS driver for my rural area lost four cats from something last month. He figured it was probably a bobcat, but he never did see what it was. If something starts killing my critters I’ll trap it or hunt it down. Animals are smart enough to avoid areas where they could be shot. I have more problems with neighbor’s dogs than coons or coyotes. I shot a coyote last January after the fools were howling outside my bedroom window during a snowstorm. They never did return.

You want "somebody" to kill it for you and you aren't even sure what it is--you haven't seen it. These creatures have always been there, so get used to it. If it threatens your dogs they will fight it or you can shoot it.

I wish they'd eat my g*dd*mn woodchucks.

amen, brother.

Juicy Fruit gum works well as a bait for trapping woodchucks.

All this talk of woodchucks brings to mind "Caddyshack", I have 4 of them in my yard this summer, 1 adult and triplets.

The National Association of Manufacturers wants to drill ANWR.

America's energy crisis is real. We've lost millions of jobs in the United States because of high and volatile oil and natural gas prices, yet policymakers prevent development -- environmentally safe -- of our abundant domestic energy supplies.

I wonder if the comments under the article are from their usual audience...

On: Carolyn Baker - Happy Independence Day: YOU HAVE NO GOVERNMENT - link

Collapse will be between slow, as pointed out it has been going on a long time, and fast, with ricochet and general systemic effects. Overall, limping along, with crises, bumps, recoveries.

'Peak oil', and other unfortunate things (global warming, etc.) will not be handled, or even faced, by OECD countries, because doing so would involve ripping away their ideology, in effect, the world they live in, which is constant since at least WW1. The golden principles:

- of a ‘free market’ - of course no such thing exists - basically the excuse to exploit the poor, immigrants, and indulge in ‘new colonialism’ if needs be (eg. Iraq, shock and awe to grab and control resources...)

- of economic ‘growth’ as an sacrosanct, inalterable aim, glorious humanity conquers...

- of exploitation of resources without any thought out husbandry of these

- specious values concerning ‘freedom’ - the freedom to have golf courses, private swimming pools, SUVs, or free public transport and free health care...as seen from ‘left’ / ‘right’ perspectives..

The PTB cannot see their way around these things - no general ‘conspiracy’ there - dealing with the limits would involve measures that would be contrary to all these principles, such as a command economy, stiff laws about waste, brutally enforced; as fanciful examples, in the US, all ppl would have to double up in half the existing homes, health care would be denied to those over 75, etc.

As no such proposals can be accepted, die off will be the luck of the draw, laissez faire will prevail; so the prepared, the lucky, the rich, the powerful will win out.

The process is, will be, very slow.

No one knows for sure. I certainly hope for slow, but I don't really believe it will be. Sometimes tipping points are reached and then there are big changes, fast. I think we are approaching one now. We'll see.

Reading that Carolyn Baker quote, I noticed that Apocalypse and Collapse merge into Apocollapse. There's a catchy book title if ever I heard one.

Not sure who coined the term, but years ago folks who were thinking that the only way to survive TEOTWAWKI was to sort of improvise and dance one's way through it - they called it the "Apocalypso".

I think that Carolyn Baker article is essential reading. I agree with it all, sadly. But the one thing even she doesn't mention is the consequences of wider war in the ME cutting off oil supplies, bombing Iran for instance. Which is surely the plan. Soon.

I'm becoming more convinced by the day that collapse is imminent. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if we all realize by the end of this year that things really have fallen apart this time.

And please don't accuse me of wanting this to happen. Thank you. :-)

What part of "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge" do they not understand?!

Whether it's scenic or not compared to other parts of the refuge is not relevant. The key point of any refuge is that we do what we can to leave it alone and untrammelled -- by our unsatisfied needs of desire and greed -- forever!

I hope we stay out of ANWR but I'll take all the manufactured wrenchs the NAM can make so I can keep chucking them in their machines. ;-)

Several of the Wildlife Refuges along the Texas and Louisiana Coast were given to the government by oil companies, including the Aransas Wildlife Refuge, home of the Whooping Cranes. Conoco gave the surface, and had gas wells out there for years. Several have oil and gas production, and have been drilled many times.
I think we need to save ANWAR for a real national emergency, but go look at modern drilling and production operations before you pass judgement. With directional drilling the disturbance would be minimal, and we could make sure that restoration money was saved before commencing to drill.
Bob Ebersole

Bob, my objection is an ethical one. In short, I believe there are things we shouldn't do and places we should leave untouched. ANWR is one such place for us to heed this lesson of self-limitation. The oil there will not save anything that needs saving no matter what national emergency excuse is put forth. Salvation will come only when we live within our humble means and not for extending one day more our egotistic extravagant wants.

"In wildness is the preservation of the world" Henry D. Thoreau

"Ability to see the cultural value of wilderness boils down, in the last analysis, to a question of intellectual humility. The shallow-minded modern who has lost his rootage in the land assumes that he has already discovered what is important." Aldo Leopold

"Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clean air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste." Wallace Stegner

"A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself." Edward Abbey

I would like to hope it is forever, but at the very least we need to hold it in reserve for a true national crisis. Burning up our last significant reserve just to temporarilly reduce the price of gasoline by a few cents strikes me as an incredibly foolish thing to do.

I agree with them, in that going ahead and allowing exploration in ANWR is fine by me, and that opponents to such sometimes use disingenuous methods such as incorrect photos.

However, the link between energy prices and jobs "moving overseas" (as it is often put) is a weak one. The move to use overseas employees is because of total costs but especially labor costs, which will still be cheaper in Asia even if all of ANWR were drilled.

Hello TODers,

I went to a wedding yesterday and I would just like to comment on it. My cousin's daughter [one of four offspring]was getting hitched.

The parking lot was full of freshly washed and gleaming late model vehicles, with many V8 cars and SUVs, although I did spot one Toyota Prius. Some of the vehicles were blinged out with expensive aftermarket tires and wheels to further enhance the 'chrome penis' effect.

It has not rained in Phx for eighty days now, and the last rain was so sparse that it merely wet-spotted the dust to my old pickup truck. So my vehicle stood out in dirty contrast to the other vehicles. It made me wonder how many thousands of gallons of precious water were pissed away by the local carwashes and rental car carwashes, to enhance the ego of the cardrivers.

The wedding chapel, as far as I could tell, was a former giant McMansion, or a country-club clubhouse that had gone belly up financially, and the owner was trying to recoup his costs by converting it to the wedding business to pay the mortgage. The inside was packed with people from all over the world, as my cousin has lived predominantly overseas as an oil company executive, and the A/C and ceiling fans were going full blast trying to cool the packed crowd dressed in their Sunday Best.

Upon entrance to this Overshoot scene, I was immediately informed that due to the crowd size [insufficient seating inside], and for photogenic effects, the wedding would be held outside in the blazing AZ sun, so I instantly ditched the jacket & necktie to help cool my body. When it was announced that the time had arrived to go outside: amazingly, most of the men kept their ties on, [lots of them even wore their jackets in the 115F heat]-> 'genetic peacock plumage syndrome' overwhelming their common sense, I guess. I estimated the wedding size to be 200-250 people.

Thankfully, cold bottled water and frozen towells were offered to all [won't see these postPeak!], and were consumed at record rates. Kinda bizarre to see multi-dozens of people in fancy clothes with towells draped over their heads, or constantly wiping the sweat off their faces and necks. The preacher had been warned by my cousin to keep the ceremony short so that the true center of attention would be the bride and groom, hopefully not a bunch of people fainting from heatstroke.

From exiting to outside, then the ceremony, to withdrawal to the A/C reception tent was about 15-20 minutes [5pm to 5:20 pm--not quite peak heat time, but still damn hot]. The mad dash to the tent, with sweat-soaked dresses and shirts, so they could cluster by the A/C vents and gasp in the coolness was quite a sight to behold.

Luckily, nobody fainted-- good pacing by the preacher--but it was obvious that the formal wedding entourage, maxed out in the usual tuxes and female finery were thrilled to get out of the sun. Blazing and intense thermodynamic Realism was therefore instantly converted by the blasting A/C into more innate driving for the Thermo/Gene Collision.

The tent itself was huge and poorly insulated, but quite comfortably cool. Out of curiousity, I ventured outside to the back to inspect how this was accomplished. A 40ft semi-rig trailer with a huge genset/giant A/C blower unit inside, with multiple 2ft tubes running into the tent was the cooling source.

My guess is that this was rented for the occasion due to the wedding size, as normal sized weddings would have been held entirely internal in the McMansion. It must have consumed massive amounts of irreplaceable petrol for this celebration of infinite growth and more Overshoot babies to come.

The reception was the usual affair, but I suppressed my desire to talk Peakoil so I wouldn't get tossed out on my ear. Not a good day to be doomerish--delusional denial is the theme for the scene. So instead, with a sinking heart at the stupidity of the overall diorama [die-orama?], I did my part to enhance the mutual dopamine rewards of further inclusive-fitness so we can all march lockstep into disaster.

The appearance in the severely parched desert of fresh salmon, prawns, chickens, beef, booze, sushi, and the obligatory 3,000 mile crisp salad truly is more energy-miraculous than Jesus' ability to feed a multitude in the ancient MidEast.

I imagined the fate of the yeast in my wine glass, then extrapolated this process to the milling, heedless crowd pulsating to the flashing lights and throbbing electro-beat in the A/C.

I wanted to jump up and scream that I had smallpox, to empty the tent out to help save some energy, and maybe some future lives. I wanted to turn off the genset out back, then tell the people about how many children died today from heat exhaustion, diarrhea, and dehydration. I wanted to slap all my relatives silly till they agreed to buy an organic survival farm. I wanted to do something, anything...

I could not handle the mental dissonance or the energy context anymore and departed early. Downcast, I left them to eat their wedding cake.

Alas, the hum of my motor gulping ancient sunshine, and the billions of blazing city lights futilely trying to photon-illuminate my 25 mile Asphalt Wonderland drive home did not brighten my mood. So it irretrieveably goes on the heedless March of the Detritovores...

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

Breathe deeply, Bob.

I hope you have time to recover.

This dissonance between the way we could relate to our planet and the way that we actually do is something that makes me more depressed and anxious than anything else in life.

Oddly, (in reference to comments above) I do not think that the rich or the prepared will survive any better than anyone else. The ecological tsunami will combine with desperate human actions such that there will be no sure refuge.

I stumble along doing my best to prepare and to help others become aware but always with a keen sense of my limitations.

Ummmm.... Happy 4th of July, all!? Here's to Independence and to Liberty and Justice for All....

Thanks for that essay Bob... It helps me feel less alone and crazy! As I go about here in the Pacific NW, I feel like I am privileged to witness the height of the grandest civilization ever... and nobody but me knows it will mostly come to an end soon.

It's like being a time traveller, going back to Rome around 100 A.D., walking among Rome at its height, marvelling at its glory, but knowing that in a scant 2000 years it will all be ruins.

You're supposed to laugh at them. It's the only response which focusses the receiver's attention upon himself. The important part is to make the joke a secret; then everyone has to know.

In the successful revolutions, the incumbency is laughed out of office. If there's hate or derision involved it just leads to another war. When something's out of fashion, it's really gone. The human tribe understands fashion - and little else.

When oil goes out of fashion, it's over. 'Til then...

Enjoyed your post, thx.

Wonderful piece, Bob. Most serious yet hilarious at times. I think you have captured how a lot of us often feel when observing our environment from a PO point of view.

One of your best Bob.

Hello Doug Fir,

I was thinking of entitling it one of the following, but decided otherwise [in deference to my relatives]:

1. Hell of a Wedding

2. Wedded to Hell

3. Can you feel the Thermo/Gene Heat?

4. Desert Dopamine: Droughtful future, or Lust in the Dust?

...but I wish the newlyweds my very best. The future always belongs to the young, always will. It is their Destiny, come what may.

My thxs to all TODers that responded.

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

I sent your wedding tale to a friend. His question: Did he bring a gift? If so, what?
Impertinent, of course, but that's inquiring minds for you.

If I may be bold. Even if late, maybe a nice book, i.e. Kunstler's, Long Emergency, or a dvd, like, End of Suburbia, something that can be shared, or even life changing.
That sort of thing.
Could be appropriate, eh?

Hi Bob,

I know all too well the pain of which you speak. One Sunday, I was working in a large downtown Toronto office tower. I was the only one on my floor and with plenty of daylight streaming through the glass, there was no need to turn on the overhead lighting. At one point, another staff member got off the elevator, punched on *all* the lighting relays, walked over to his desk, picked up a few things and then left, leaving the entire floor ablaze (by my estimates, some 30,000 watts worth). It made no sense whatsoever. Even if it were dark, he could have turned on one or two zones and then turned everything back off on the way out. There are times when you really want to reach for a baseball bat...

Best regards,

It has not rained in Phx for eighty days now, and the last rain was so sparse that it merely wet-spotted the dust to my old pickup truck. So my vehicle stood out in dirty contrast to the other vehicles.

You've just earned my undying affection.

Excellent, I empathized with you all the way.

Recently I spent about two hours explaining PO to an old friend. Not a stupid man, he saw the logic of it and agreed that we are in a desperate situation.

Yesterday he telephoned me to proudly tell me that he has bought his wife a Mitsubishi SUV. Nothing stirred in his conscience at all, no connections were made.

I could say nothing

I could weep

I have about the same story. Discussed peak oil to a very good friend. Showed him all of the sites and he appeared convinced that this was important. A month later he goes out and buys a Ford f150 with all of the “bells and whistles” and big triton v8 to drive twenty miles one way to work everyday. To make matters worse he used a home equity to pay for it; he know I cashed out of the housing bubble and I have discussed this with him too. He used the remanding money to go on a cruise. The last time I talked to him he was singing the blues about how it’s hard to pay for the gas.

I have no sympathy for people who refuse to act sensibly when presented with evidence to be reasonable. Then again, we're all addicts to some effect. I went downstairs and got drunk at the hotel bar an hour ago... I've stopped my consumerism spending of new cars, computers, TVs, games, etc, however. The only things I buy any more that costs over $100 are guns. Electronics will be worthless soon whether or not peak oil hits..

Totonelia - A big (though atheistic) AMEN to you brother.

Yesterday I took my family down to the riverwalk for the annual Red, White and Blues festival. First thing I noticed was how many extremely over weight people there were, all with huge helpings of elephant ears ( deep fried dough dusted with sugar and cinnamon) and other such nutritional delicacies. Trash cans loaded to overflowing with same.

Then I started noticing how many babies there were. They were everywhere. Women with two, three toddlers, pushing a stroller and a bun in the oven.

As I wandered to the end of the block past the event to clear the ringing in my head I noticed a huge tractor trailer rig with the engine running, even though it was obviously blocked in for the duration. So I walked around to the back just as the driver was opening the the slide up door, I felt a heavy wave of cool, actually cold air wash over me and I looked in the back. 40+ feet of empty refer container except for three cases of yogurt for one of the food booths. I almost got sick and I had not even started drinking yet. (I did have a few later but it didn’t help much)

Walking around the “gala” event I felt like I was in an episode of Twilight Zone. I couldn’t decide who was the focus of the show, me and my psychosis’ or them and theirs.
Was I in their episode or were they in mine.

I have given up talking PO or at least bring ing it up in public. I am sick of having people come up to me and say “gee jef it seems that everything in the world is going along just fiiiiiinee”. AAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!

Anyway It’s good to now I’m not the only one who reads history, world events and the internets, or who has trouble with large gatherings.

There is accommodation in the blogosphere for tipping. I wish there was a “Buy ‘em a drink” function as that is the only thing I can think of to do.


P.S. When and/or if TSHTF I believe the so called DOOMERS on this site are going to be prepared to jump into action and help a hell of a lot of folks who may otherwise be highly competent but will be rendered impotent by the sheer magnitude of the thing. Doomer does not mean rollover and quit.

Thanks for the wedding story, Bob. I've found that I just can't enjoy large gatherings anymore, I look at everyone and wonder what will happen to them. Makes me sad.

I spent the 4th with a group fo volunteers plus some locals that were cooking for them (plus some random people) in an 1840s Orphanage turned guest house. Good time. Climbed onto the peak of a 3 story roof to watch fireworks (not that safe).

Talked PO with a mixed group for about 40 minutes. Concensus was we would ride bicycles at first as we built more streetcars and bring back passenger service on railroads. "If you can't get there by bike, you ain't going".

Move stuff by barge and railroads (they asked questions abotu electrified RRs, thought they were "cool". They worried that wind turbiens could not keep them going (I mentioned pumped storage and HV DC lines).

Worthwhile discussion with worthwhile people :-)

Best Hopes that the volumteers that say they are moving permantly to New Orleans will actually come (a number have already),


Thanks Bob. Well written, and in a way it's good to know there are others who feel the same.

A perfect piece to reflect on, this "In Dependence" day...

Bob, stop fighting. Just stop. Those that believe all will be all right will never change their minds for you. They have CERA and other such organizations to assure them that everything will be ok.

So stop trying to save them. Just stop. Don't preach to your friends. Do feel free to gloat when fossil fuel prices rise again. Do feel free to gloat when other issues surface. They've been told by people with more clout than you or I and they refuse to listen. They simply refuse to listen.

So stop fighting. Let them die when the time comes. They are choosing death so let them have it. Some small subset of homo sapiens will try to turn away and survive what is coming. A smaller fraction of that will actually make it through the bottleneck to the other side. If you are going to help anyone, help those already trying to get to the other side of the bottleneck. Those stuck on this side of the bottleneck, who refuse to even consider the bottleneck, have already decided their own fates. Leave them to that fate and focus on those trying to get through this. You will be much happier and you may even feel some small sense of accomplishment as opposed to daily frustrations.

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

Actually, I had an echo of at least one aspect of your tale last summer, driving outside of Richmond, Va., nothing but houses interspersed by malls, and the bulldozered land waiting for houses, roads, or malls, with an occasional glimpse of how a small number of people were still using the land for food - noticeable in part because it was being sold roadside, something that is now truly dying throughout Virginia, heading for extinction as surely as in Northern Virginia.

I had been writing to someone important to my past, though the writing, like the relationship, had ended - with her having no desire to communicate again. Still hurts in its own way - but when married, with children and friends, it isn't exactly important.

But driving down this road, alone in a car, seeing my childhood compressed into a couple of miles, and knowing the end of the story, the desire to tell her to escape, to get away, to run was almost overwhelming. And she did live outside of the U.S. for a couple of years, so the idea was not outlandish.

I don't know the future, but there are the changes forced on us, and the changes we make. It is seeing the coming changes resulting from not making any changes now that makes America's future so painful to contemplate.

Here, I see fields of wheat to be harvested, apple and cherry orchards, a functioning rail system, many people with skills in growing or making things. In America, truly, I see insanity.

It hurts sometimes, even after years of caring less after leaving.

Of course, being a reasonable person, questioning my own certainties is part of it - how can so many Americans be wrong? 'America is not the world' remains my simplest answer.

This being the 4th of July, I found this interesting...

Laws Require Flags to Be Born in USA

(ROSEMOUNT, Minn.)What's red, white and blue and made in China? A move is on in state legislatures to ensure that the flags folks will be flying and buying this Independence Day were made on this fruited plain.

Minnesota has passed the strongest measure, a new law that goes into effect at year's end requiring every Old Glory sold in state stores to be domestically produced. Violations are a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail. In Arizona, schools and public colleges were required starting July 1 to outfit every classroom from junior high up with a made-in-the-USA flag. Tennessee requires all U.S. flags bought via state contract to be made here, and similar bills are moving forward in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The Fourth of July is considered peak season for flag sales with millions of them lining parade routes and flying above back yard barbecues. Most of the major domestic flag makers are privately held companies that don't release their sales figures, so it's difficult to gauge the inroads being made by foreign manufacturers.
The U.S. Census bureau estimates that $5.3 million worth of U.S. flags were imported from other countries in 2006, mostly from China. That figure has been steady over the past few years. The big exception was in 2001 when $51.7 million in U.S. flags were brought into the country, most on the heels of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Great, except that what many Americans don't know is that a "Made in USA" label really means "Made in Saipan".

The island of Saipan is part of a U.S. Commonwealth, located in the Pacific, near Guam and the Phillipines. Because of this, clothes made there can carry the "Made in the U.S.A" label, although that's just a technicality. These clothes can also come into the U.S. tariff-free and quota-free, to highly-profitable U.S. markets. What Saipan doesn't have, though, is coverage by U.S. labor laws, or U.S. immigration laws, which makes this something like heaven to the garment industry, who have set up massive sweatshops and reaped huge profits. Clothes made there include Tommy Hilfiger USA, Gap (which includes Old Navy and Banana Republic), Calvin Klein and Liz Claiborne.

Here's what's going on in the sweatshops; women are recruited into them from China and the Phillipines. The women pay their lifesavings to get into them, thinking that they are going to the United States. Instead they're taken to Saipan, where the make less than half the U.S. minimum wage. Many of them have to "pay off" their entrance fee but can never earn enough to pay their "debt" so they are basically indentured servants, or slave labor. There is evidence that some of the women are forced to participate in sex rings. The ABC undercover reports on this identified one 14 year-old girl who was forced to dance nude on stage and perform sex acts. Women who get pregnant are forced to have abortions. (Culture of life, indeed.)

Here's where Tom DeLay comes in. When he was House Republican Whip, he prevented legislation to reform the labor laws of Saipan, although that legislation has already passed the Senate. Lobbyist Jack Abramoff paid for DeLay to go on a golfing trip to the U.S. commonwealth (that's illegal, BTW) where DeLay said in an address to the sweatshop owners: "You are a shining light for what is happening to the Republican Party, and you represent everything that is good about what we are trying to do in America and leading the world in the free-market system."

Now I'm suddenly really uncomfortable in all my Gap and Old Navy clothes. These are the kind of sleepless nights that the "Made in the U.S.A." label is supposed to prevent.

And here's another article on the same topic:

Lawsuit charges slave labor goods 'Made in USA'

More Holy and patriotic posturing. Manufacturing consent. Public Relations. Poisoning the stream of information with pretense catering to ancient fears and prejudices.

The Devil in drag as Righteous Capitalist American.

An American flag and a "support the troops" symbol makes everything alright in fascist America.

Does anyone have a good antidote to all this? I visit websites like Commondreams or Counterpunch to get a dose of reality and to feel that there are others out there who at least make an effort to live reality-based lives.

Any other websites or activities as antidotes to toxic culture?

I like Digby. She is a very good and insightful writer.



world's greatest newspaper

I see allot of claims of Studies etc bu no links or ref's to hard copies in those claims.

Any other websites or activities as antidotes to toxic culture?


On the sites you vist, look at their LINKS section

Financial News

by Ron Paul

Before the U.S. House of Representatives, May 22, 2007



Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit is looking for a Community Outreach Manager (a manager of themselves) to advocate for passage of a referendum financing construction of a light rail system using existing tracks which go from San Rafael up to Eureka, California.

Salary is from $75,000 to $115,000


America enslaved? A counterblast against debt culture for Independence day:


Problem is where do China etc disposed of all the US paper they have acquired? No-one else to buy it far as I can see.

Yep, we owe them too much for them to foreclose, unless they'd rather take a Trillion dollar hit.

Bob Ebersole

The U.S. is the world's largest exporter of corn. There were worries that ethanol use might rise and cut off food supplies.

In 1990 there was a Federal air pollution law requiring summer RFG, reformulated gasoline, to be used in areas afflicted by air pollution/smog. An oxegenator MTBE was used. Later some people obejected to MTBE, although it has not been shown to be toxic to humans and the Europeans use it. It boosts the oxygen in fuels, supposedly making them cleaner burning. There were others compounds in gasoline that are harmful to your health and you would not want to drink it. As MTBE use was objected to, refineries were forced towards ethanol, it might not be in the best interests of the economy to switch to ethanol as it would cause rising fuel and food prices at the same time.

The entire corn and wheat harvest of the United States converted to ethanol would provide 16% of its gasoline needs. China was a net importer of wood, coal, soybeans, grain, copper, oil and other raw materials. With the Chinese population growing by millions of people per year, their grain needs might be growing also, and their farmland areas diminishing. They knew how to turn wheat into noodles but did not have the ability to be self sufficient in their grain harvest.

The downside of the Chinese resource grab in Africa:


Top story in our local paper today:

Howard links Iraq war to oil

PRIME Minister John Howard will today for the first time link the war in Iraq to the need to safeguard the world's oil supplies.

Quite an admission from our 'honest' John.

G'Day Wiz

Its good poltics from Howard as he can easily wedge Rudd urging a pullout. He can now say to the voters. Vote for me and drive your car or vote for Rudd and loose or easy drving utopia and food on the shelves to pinch a phrase.

At the risk of this turning into aus.politics...

Yes, it will be a tough call for Rudd on how to respond.
Looks like he managed to prevent the aboriginal child-abuse issue becoming a wedge, so we'll see.
Personally, having watched a doco last night on what our troops are doing in Afghanistan (and Rudd obviously supports troops staying there), I think it would be pretty easy to convince the public that leaving our troops in Iraq is probably for the better after all. Rudd has promised to withdraw "combat troops", but may be able to come out supporting "peacekeeping" or reconstruction troops without it looking like a backflip.


Enough politics foe AUS for the morning.

Aussie Oil worker kidnapped in Nigeria


Love him or hate him, Kunstler give a great talk



We are experiencing some technical difficulties with the demo unit in London. Our initial assessment indicates that this is probably due to the intense heat from the camera lighting. We have commenced a technical assessment and will provide an update later today. As a consequence, Kinetica will not be open to the public today (5th July). We apologise for this delay and appreciate your patience.


I dont know whether this has been posted before but I would describe this as the most exhaustative and definitive pice yet on the subprime/CDO crisis gripping the US markets. Its long but very very worthwhile:


A nice discussion, but two things to keep in mind:

1) The author is a bullion seller - and gives a link to his bullion-selling website - so he has a clear financial incentive to make people nervous about the state of the financial system.

2) He puts the equity losses at about $70B, or about 0.5% of the US's GDP. That's enough to put a dent in the growth rate of the economy, but not much more. By contrast, the S&L bailout of the late 80s/early 90s cost about $150B, or about 2.5% of 1990's GDP.

So problems with subprime loans still have a ways to go before they're nearing the scale of problems that the financial system has successfully weathered in the recent past.