DrumBeat: July 19, 2007

In Case You Don’t Have Enough to Worry About Already

Dr. David Goodstein, a physics professor at Caltech and one of the presenters at the summit, lays out our future pretty convincingly. His book, Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil, goes into even more detail.

“Our civilization might very well collapse because it’s so dependent on oil,” Goodstein said at the presentation.

...As if that weren’t enough, I also spoke to physicist and engineer Dr. Paul MacReady, founder of Aerovironment (www.avinc.com). MacReady is the guy who did the GM Sunraycer and Impact electric cars and the Gossamers Albatross and Condor airplanes and who is currently working on any number of projects involving extraordinarily efficient ways to use sunlight to power airplanes. Four of his planes are in the Smithsonian.

Of the many points MacReady made, the one that hit me hardest was this: The current human population of the earth is 6.5 billion and is expected to go up to 9 billion by 2050.

“Our planet can sustain maybe 2 billion,” MacReady said.

So we have 4.5 billion too many guys walking around right now, and we’re making more of them every day. And every single one of them is going to want a BMW and a stucco house.

Pipeline attacks still not solved

Four explosions in the Bajio, a central region that's the stronghold of the ruling conservative National Action Party and a major manufacturing zone, disrupted the flow of natural gas between Mexico City and Guadalajara, the country's two biggest cities, and paralyzed pipelines in Veracruz and Guanajuato states.

General Motors and Nissan are said to have lost millions of dollars in production at their plants in the region.

But as the investigation into the bombings July 5 and July 10 drags on, the mystery only grows.

Bombs put Kirkuk in line as next hotbed

The oil-rich northern region of Iraq has enjoyed comparative calm since the toppling of Saddam's Hussein's government. But Kirkuk province, which had been viewed by many as a model for the rest of the country, may be turning into the next hotbed of sectarian slaughter.

Three bombings, including an enormous suicide truck blast, killed more than 80 people Monday in the city of Kirkuk, the deadliest attacks yet in an area of rising ethic tensions among Arabs, Turkomans and Kurds.

India eyes military favors for Myanmar oil

It appears that India is not going to make it easy for China to extend its influence in Myanmar to get a share of that country's rich gas resources. While recent oil negotiations have faltered between India and Myanmar, increased military cooperation might be New Delhi's second-best option to obtain favor and influence in the secretive Southeast Asian country.

CNPC and Turkmenistan Sign New Gas Cooperation Agreement

Witnessed by Chinese President Hu Jintao and the visiting Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, China National Petroleum Corporation signed the Amudariya River right shore gas production sharing contract and gas sales & purchase agreement with The State Agency For Management And Use Of Hydrocarbon Resources, Turkmengas, in Beijing.

Japan's nuclear plans in disarray

Reports of radiation leakages at a nuclear power plant after the Niigata earthquake on Monday have raised widespread public alarm and dealt a devastating blow to the Japanese government's plans to boost the nuclear-power industry, both domestically and abroad.

"The problems now being reported from the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant are deeply alarming. They prove that Japan is not prepared for a nuclear-power disaster, especially during an earthquake, and can never be," said Professor Hiroaki Koide, a nuclear-safety specialist at Kyoto University.

Russia plans big nuclear expansion

Before the Chernobyl accident threw everything atomic into disrepute, Soviet economic planners dreamed of mobile nuclear power stations that would light up remote Arctic towns.

Public antipathy and economic woes shelved those dreams for two decades. But now, under direct orders from the Kremlin, ambitious Soviet-era expansion plans are being dusted off and rapidly implemented – including the first-ever floating atomic power station, set to begin operations in the frigid White Sea by 2010.

Oil executives sound alarm about fuel use

When executives from the world's largest oil companies say we need to cut back on our consumption, it should serve as the ultimate wake-up call about a looming energy crunch.

Gasoline demand stays hot: Record fuel use causes concerns to reverberate

Motorists may gripe about the price at the gas pump, shake their fists at the oil companies, even dial up their members of Congress — but they're still filling their tanks at record levels.

Dingell's energy bill blind spot

A MILLION YEARS of compression and heat may someday convert Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) into petroleum, just as it did the other dinosaurs. Unfortunately, by then there may be no humans left to pump a few gallons of Dingell into their Hummers, because the climate change he is so gleefully ignoring may have rendered us extinct.

New Energy Guidelines For PCs Aim To Cut Energy Use By 60%

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Program will release more stringent requirements for PC manufacturers, aimed at potentially cutting energy use by 60%. For consumers, that could mean savings of anywhere from tens of dollars to $100 a year on electricity bills.

Dubai Crude Output Dpwnn Rapidly As Govt Moves To Crimp Decline

Production of Dubai's crude oil has fallen as much as a third in the past two years and is a fraction of that recorded in some government statements, company documents show, undermining the already fragile position of one of the world's top three oil price reference points.

Current output in the booming Persian Gulf sheikdom, one of seven semi-autonomous enclaves in the United Arab Emirates, is some two-thirds below the figure released by the national government, according to calculations by Dow Jones Newswires using data from the previous operators of the fields. It has fallen as much as a third in the past two years.

The Dubai government took over operating the oil fields in April from a joint-venture led by ConocoPhillips Corp. (COP), which has since complained of poor financial returns due to the structure of the previous operating agreement.

Money Alert for Mexican State Oil

Mexican oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) faces a paradoxical financial situation with extraordinary profits but a future of great debt, PEMEX General Director Jesus Reyes confirmed on Wednesday.

Tokyo Electric Shares Drop to 9-Month Low After Quake

Shares of Tokyo Electric Power Co. dropped to a nine-month low on concern the company's nuclear facility in central Japan, the world's biggest, may be shut for a year after an earthquake caused radioactive leaks.

Fatih Birol interview in Le Monde full translation

This interview was first brought to anglophone readers in a partial translation by Jerome a Paris and has been widely reported. This is the first full translation to hand.

US Econ Adviser Urges Russia to Spur Foreign Oil, Gas Investment

A top adviser on foreign economic policy to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice encouraged Russia Wednesday to give foreign companies a bigger role in developing its vast but remote oil and gas reserves in the Arctic and Eastern Siberia.

Singing the nation electric, Part 1: Fuels and Electrical Use

Let’s assume that we will eventually live in a world without fossil fuels, that is, without petroleum, coal, or natural gas. Will we all starve to death or devolve into roving bands of barbarians? If business as usual continues indefinitely, those outcomes are definitely possible, but let us further assume that reason will prevail and we all agree to restructure society so that it could get along without fossil fuels. What would we need to do?

Report Pooh-Poohs Corn Biofuels

Corn is not a viable biofuel source, says a new report released today by Food & Water Watch, the Network for New Energy Choices, and the Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment. The report claims that the corn ethanol refinery industry will not significantly offset U.S. fossil fuel consumption without unacceptable environmental and economic consequences.

Russia and Natural Gas

It seems like the French and British will always find something to tussle over. Out of their colonies in Africa and the Middle East, now the two European giants are fighting for favor with Russia. France is winning.

It involves intrigue worthy of Tolstoy, but with key elements unique to our age of fossil fuel scarcity.

Robert Putnam: Capital ideas

With great trepidation, he has just published his first, much awaited, paper on his five-year study of social capital in the US - the biggest survey of its kind - which concludes that ethnic diversity does reduce social capital. He found that the higher the diversity in a neighbourhood, the lower the levels of trust, political participation and happiness between and within the ethnic groups, and he called it "hunkering". But what has prompted criticism is not his analysis of hunkering, which the right has seized upon with delight, but his optimistic assertion that this is a short-term problem that, with "intelligence and creativity", can be overcome.

A box to make biofuel from car fumes

The world’s richest corporations and finest minds spend billions trying to solve the problem of carbon emissions, but three fishing buddies in North Wales believe they have cracked it.

They have developed a box which they say can be fixed underneath a car in place of the exhaust to trap the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming—including carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide—and emit mostly water vapor.

Washington urges Opec to raise production

Crude oil prices yesterday jumped more than $1 a barrel after an unexpected drop in US crude and products inventories and strong demand growth.

The inventories decline, which suggests a tightening of the crude oil market, came as the US government yesterday asked the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to raise its production.

EIA's Caruso: OPEC Needs to Up Production for 2nd Half 2007

OPEC should increase crude production in the second half of the year, the head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration Guy Caruso said Wednesday.

He warned that inaction by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could cause global and U.S. inventories to fall too low.

Ghana: Load shedding may outlive September deadline

Deputy Energy Minister, K.T. Hammond, has cast the first official stone, conceding rather grudgingly that government’s September end deadline to get the energy crisis over with, may not be met.

Crisis-hit Zimbabwe scraps fuel scheme

Zimbabwe has scrapped a scheme allowing fuel purchases with foreign currency, removing one of the few remaining ways for people to acquire petrol in a country struggling with a crumbling economy.

Kenya: State, Manufacturers Seek Deal to Avert Power Crisis

In an effort to avert a possible power crisis, the Government has pledged to offer special electricity tariffs to manufacturers who shift their operations to off-peak hours.

Executive Fuel Order Extended

Commercial fuel haulers in North Dakota can continue working longer hours, and driving to South Dakota and Minnesota in search of fuel.

Governor Hoeven has extended an executive order that allows for those provisions. It`s to help deal with an ongoing shortage caused by refinery problems in the Midwest.

Report: Japan Plant Had Another Leak

Japanese regulators discovered a fresh leak of radioactive material Thursday from a nuclear power plant damaged in an earthquake this week, a report said, adding to criticism of the embattled plant operator.

Nuclear inspectors probed the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, which suffered a barrage of leaks and malfunctions in Monday's 6.8-magnitude quake in northwestern Japan. The plant was ordered shut down indefinitely on Wednesday.

Ethanol stirs fear of water shortage

The mass quantity of water needed for Iowa's booming ethanol industry - billions of gallons each year - has raised concerns among state officials who say laws may be needed to prevent a water shortage in the state.

Lawmakers Propose Reform to Pemex Fiscal Regime

Mexican political parties PRI, PRD, Convergencia, PT and PVEM jointly submitted a bill to congress on Tuesday for the reform of state oil company Pemex's fiscal regime.

The proposal calls for reform of Mexico's federal duties law in order to provide Pemex with more resources for reinvestment in current operations, development of new opportunities and research, according to the legislation, which was published in the congressional gazette.

Flip in Brent structure points to drop in oil stocks

Brent oil futures have shifted into backwardation, a market condition that points to expectations of a tighter supply/demand picture that could shrink plentiful crude stocks.

The return of backwardation -- where crude for nearby delivery costs more than crude further forward -- could provide a signal for OPEC that crude oil supplies are no longer as abundant, potentially paving the way for a production increase.

"With backwardation, the market is starting to price in a very large crude oil draw," said Olivier Jakob, of oil consultants Petromatrix.

Tom Whipple: The Peak Oil Crisis: July 2007

While waiting for the formal release of the of National Petroleum Council’s report on the prospects for world oil and gas production, it seems like a good time to review the general peak oil situation prior to what many believe may be difficult times later this year.

The underlying fact is that OPEC oil production and indeed total world liquid fuel production currently is about 1.2 million barrels a day lower than in July 2006. Demand from China, India, most oil exporting states, and some developed countries keeps increasing so obviously a lot of poor countries are consuming a lot less oil than they were last year.

Hardly a week goes by now without a new report some underdeveloped country is running short of gasoline, electricity, or both. Factories are being shuttered and tens, or perhaps hundreds, of thousands of workers are being laid off. Realistically, these furloughs are likely to last for a very long time.

Oil Execs Push Doubling Of Fuel Efficiency - Serious Shortages Near On The Horizon

The world is fast approaching a point where energy demand will exceed supply and the United States needs a revolution in energy efficiency and renewable energy within the next 25 years. The country should enact restrictions on carbon emissions, go way beyond the Senate’s recent fuel economy standards to double the fuel efficiency of vehicles and take other dramatic steps.

Oil-shale funding promoted

Funding to develop oil shale should be increased to help meet a coming shortfall of petroleum, according to a major energy report released Wednesday.

National Petroleum Council stresses urgency in energy report

The U.S. should adopt a crash program to double automobile fuel efficiency, limit carbon emissions and push as hard as it can for bio-fuels and other energy sources over the next 25 years or risk serious shortages, says a study released Wednesday.

National Petroleum Council hides the hard truths about energy instead of facing them

“Instead of ‘facing the hard truths about energy,’ the NPC report hides them,” said Congressman Bartlett.

“Secretary Bodman asked the right questions, but the NPC draft doesn't directly answer any of them,” said Congressman Udall. “While they do have some ‘hard truths’ in their report, they are surrounded in a dense matrix of mumbo-jumbo and irrelevant reassurances about how large the resource endowment is.”

Florida Senator Pronounces Oil-Inventory Rider Dead

A spending rider that would require a seismic inventory of eastern Gulf of Mexico oil and gas reserves is headed for the junkyard, according to Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).

Japan quake hurt automakers, power co.

The mammoth earthquake that ravaged northern Japan this week did more than take lives and trigger radioactive leaks. It nailed some of the most important industries undergirding growth in the world's second-biggest economy.

Details of the economic fallout were still emerging days after Monday's 6.8-magnitude earthquake shook the Sea of Japan coast. But early repercussions stretched from Japan's top automakers to the country's biggest power company.

Eat a steak, warm the planet

A kilogram (2.2 pounds) of beef causes more greenhouse-gas and other pollution than driving for three hours while leaving all the lights on back home, according to a Japanese study.

Plus Call for Posters for Conference

SAVE $50.00 with the EARLY REGISTRATION FEE DISCOUNT for General Public for the ASPO-USA WORLD OIL CONFERENCE ON PEAK OIL in Houston Texas this fall.

The registration fee is scheduled to increase $50.00 for the general public on Aug. 1. The Registration Fee includes breakfast and lunch on Thursday and Friday and the two receptions.

The Association has obtained a $154.00 + tax per night room rate from the hotel.

Conference information http://www.aspousa.org/aspousa3/index.cfm

Direct to registration http://www.regonline.com/Checkin.asp?EventId=136392

Call for Posters” from ASPO-USA for Houston Conference

ASPO-USA is issuing a call for posters at the 2007 Houston World Oil Conference this fall. People selected to present posters will be able to register at the special rate of $150.00 including all meals and receptions.

Details http://www.aspo-usa.com/aspousa3/CallforPosters.cfm

Hello Ricko,

Thxs again for the ASPO info. I hope that all conference participants will individually shout out 'Peakoil' whenever their favorite 'Nectar of the Gods' beverage glass reaches half-empty -- I am trying my best to make this a new cultural tradition.

EDIT: Perhaps the welcoming ASPO co-hosts, Jim Baldauf & Steve Andrews, could encourage this personal toast in their introductory statements?

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

When I heard about the ASPO-USA Oil Conference my knee-jerk reaction was that I wish I could go. Then I realized I have a friend in Houston, with whom I could stay for free. Wow.
How much would a train ticket cost?
Well, it was manageable. But the scheduling wasn't. It would take me two calendar days to get from Charlottesville VA to Houston by train.
Then I remembered I'd purchased the video DVDs of last year's conference in Boston for $75. What a deal!
No travel stress. A good seat. I could even munch popcorn if I wanted while watching the great speakers.

So I think I will stay at home again this year.

Plus, think of the CO2 I don't generate by not going! Kind-of like Amory Lovins negawatts.

So here's a thought: we really do have great teleconferencing and video-streaming technology these days. Why not put these technologies to work, and instead have a virtual conference. People could still be charged to participate, but the money would go to the technical back-plane enabling participation. Speakers would not have to travel from afar. Participants would not have to travel from afar. Participants' costs would probably be much lower. Speakers and participants would save time. We'd be generating much less CO2, not only by eliminating the travel to Houston (mostly by air, I imagine), but also by the reduced consumption of everything that goes into conducting such conferences. That consumption includes lots of oil-based products, including liquid fuel.

I imagine that this has occurred to ASPO.

I don't deny there are benefits to face-to-face meetings. But when are we going to change? Only when forced to? Maybe. Probably.

i plan on attending, how many of the TOD'ers plan on attending? would be nice to faces to names!

Hello Geewiz,

I cannot go, but I would sure like to reward Leanan for all her hard work on the Drumbeat by donating some funds so she could go. In return, she could provide daily ASPO updates [from her perspective] for those of us stuck at home. Any donation totals in excess of what is reasonably Conference-required [flight, hotel, food & drinks, etc]: Leanan gives to the charity of her choice. Prof. Goose--any way to get this done for our favorite Leanan?

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

I will be speaking. Tentative time early on October 19th.

Likely to take Amtrak there.

Side discussions are a major reason to attend in person IMHO. Knowledgeable and articulate TODers can sway some industry folk that came out of curiosity.

Best Hopes for a breakthrough conference,


Regarding the above article on drilling off of Florida.

"Florida's senators do not want drilling closer to the coastline of their state. Critics of the provision in question fear it would be a precursor to further loosening eastern Gulf drilling bans. "

I wish someone would say " We want to save some oil for our children and grandchildren."

An honest inventory would be good information but opening up new areas for drilling so we can waste it by continuing business as usual seems criminal on a generational scale to me.

Living in Florida, I would like to hear Mr. Nelson say that also. I know it's just a matter of time before you can see rigs from Tampa, but I don't think a inventory at this time is a bad idea either.


its very hard to see rigs producing more than 10 miles offshore, due to the horizon line, or wind turbines.

And, some of us actually think they're pretty. Offshore waters should be for the use of all the people, not just the yacht owners in the St. Petersburg harbor.
Bob Ebersole

Well, if I had my choice, I'd rather see wind turbines...

As the oil supply depletes it'll only be the yacht owners who can afford it anymore. If they do drill off Florida the "common man" won't see a drop of it by the time those wells actually start producing.

I live in Florida also and think that the main reason that Floridians and some Florida politicians do not want offshore drilling is fear of an oil spill washing onto a beach. Florida is dependent on tourisim and bad press about an oil spill would hurt businesses wherever the oil might wash ashore, not to mention what it would do to marine life.

I agree with those that think that the US should do all possible to make the most of all oil (and all energy) prior to drilling in Florida waters where the possibility of spill could do serious damage to Floridas economy. I noticed that even the CEOs of large oil companies are calling for more oil efficency in autos, homes, businesses, etc. We need an administration that will put energy efficiency at the top of their agenda. Jimmy Carter realized the energy problems and attempted to take action but Americans were too foolish to pay heed...many Americans have very short memories. The current administration is too weakened by other matters, and too discredited by bad decisions to take effective measures to implement energy efficiency. Florida is already hurting as the number two state in mortgage foreclosures, we do not need an environmental disaster. One hurricane or ship hitting an offshore rig could be a nightmare on a nearby beach.

Oil and tar on beaches in Texas are a real drag. Folks down there seem to be used to it and all the hotels and condos pass out free "tar-off" moistened towelettes. Pretty gross. Florida is right to be cautious, but I agree that a survey of what is out there would be a good idea.


You're right, oil and tar on the beach is a drag, but 99.9% is from natural oil seeps, not from shipping or production. One of the reasons that Texas was an early target for exploration was our oil seeps. Same in California-LaBrea tar pits, Iraq-the ancient Sumerians used pitch as a mortar-and many other areas of the world. If you want I could go on ad nauseum.
The Coast Guard regulations are extremely strict. A ship or rig can't even dump used cooking oil in the water. So while I understand your concern, its based on practices that were stopped 35 years ago.
Bob Ebersole

I wish someone would say " We want to save some oil for our children and grandchildren."

No kidding! I'd rather use up SA's oil now while things are easy, and have oil for us to use after SA refuses to sell it to the rest of the world due to their own supplies running out. We shouldn't use any more of our own oil until everybody else's has run out. Sure, it's selfish, but would you expect a person to be any other way?
~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com/)

You don't think most other producers are having the same thought?

The increasing occurrence of resource nationalisation tells you they are... with the exception of some countries who seem actually to believe in the concepts of globalisation and free markets rather than just paying lip service to them

Let the hoarding begin.

And now they're even hoarding uranium. The nerve!

I wish someone would say " We want to save some oil for our children and grandchildren."

There's no need to.

If the pace at which we use up the stuff teaches you one thing, it's that we possess the unbridled optimism that our children and grandchildren will be a hell of a lot smarter than we are. If we weren't confident in that, we wouldn't be doing this, right?

And after all, what's wrong with optimism? It's morning in America (and Iraq, and Darfur, and Zimbabwe). You may be too daft and thick and stupid to do anything but squander it as fast as you can, but that seed you've spawn will move seamlessly into cold fusion, free-point and sub-atomic refuting of thermodynamics.

Plus, if for some unforeseen reason they wouldn't turn out to be that gifted, if they're more like you, let's say, they'd probably only use the remaining oil to blow each other to Kingdom Come.

Better use it now, just in case. It's win-win-win.

Don't forget morning in Somolia...

As for your win-win-win scenario, you could call it the w-trifecta. Hope for the future. Optimism of the present. Fear of the past.

I'd rather see solar on roofs, wind turbines offshore and reasonable drilling. We need it all.

The Gulf is gas prone in the continental shelf areas east of the Mississippi. One big problem is gas pipelines. Florida has practicaly no sales pipelines in the central and southern regions because of no production. Doesn't Tampa already import LNG? Bob Ebersole

I would support knowing what is down there. I might not want the Oil drilled out right now, but I would certainlly want to know how much we might have there as a cushion.

We are depending on Oil from other coutries that we should not depend on, this would be our oil, not anything we would have to pay through the teeth for. Cost of extraction and if we had too, make it a state run affair. But in the end we would want to have this cushion for at least the chemicals we would get out of it.

come a future of climate change, most of Florida will be salt water marsh lands and the people will be living a bit further north in the hills of Georgia.

The NPC report gives a lot of support for the peak oil point of view. If you'll look at Stuart's graphs in the post yesterday, its pretty clear that without a massive increase in production from the Middle East we will be experiencing shortages within 2 years. They are putting their faith in discovering a couple of more Saudi Arabias and massive amounts of "unconventional" oil to keep growth in energy supplies, and new technology.
Both of these are unlikely, as are the reserves claimed by OPEC, as we all know from numerous keyposts and threads.

The NPC also gives respect to the concept of peak oil by using ASPO's projections as their low production sceneario, and giving an honest definition of the concept. See Gail the Actuary's post in the same thread.

Their recomendations include conservation, not a priority of the big oil companies in the old economy.

The short summary is, we've won respect and acknowledgement of our point of view, which is the most prudent view of the world oil supply. The new question is how to exploit our new advantage so that the world immediately embarks on mitigation to avoid the dire consequences projected by many folks.

I think we need a list of points of agreement so we can all work together with government and industry to mitigate the consequences. My short list:

Prices are going up due to increased production costs and geopolitical shortages like the ELM.

We all want national security and economic security, and energy supplies are key to these goals.

Everyone wants to have a clean world not threatened by global warming.

Not wasting energy-conservation-is key to society making adjustments.
Bob Ebersole

Looks like pretty soon we know who gets the ridicule on KSA production. I'm still feeling it isn't going to be Stuart.


I disagree with most of your post above. I don't think peak oil advocates gained any respect from the NPC report.

But, to me the real issue is your belief that there is common ground that can be plowed. In a way you are saying, "Can't we all just get along?" I think not. The issue is far deeper than just conservation. In essence, what is needed is a sea change of paradigms to a sustainable society. This drastic a change undercuts the entire power structure including goverance, finance, moral/religious belief, goods/services, etc.

Anyone reading Crossing the Rubicon by Ruppert or the Catherine Fitts essay on Dillion Reed (linked at the bottom of Chimp's LATOC link yesterday) can only come to the conclusion that there are powerful forces hidden from public view who are going to do what's good for themselves regardless of how it impacts the general population.



I think this is a huge improvement over the ridicule and disparagement from them in the past. While i think their figures are pie-in-the-sky, the fact that they've given serious attention to ASPO is great progress.

I'm not saying we should all just get along. Its my belief that people change their minds slowly, and if we antagonize them we are risking setting up such an ego-based resistance that we'll slow the process down. The world can't stand the 8 or 10 year resistance funded by them that global warming caused.

We've got to leave them an out so that they can change their minds. I think WT is right about his Export Land Model, and we'll see the results quickly. Letting the cornucopians blame "above ground factors" rather than peak oil allows them a gracious exit from an untenable position.

Todd, I agree with you 100% that we need a paradigm shift to a sustainable economy. But I'd rather get the goals of shifting to alternative fuels and conservation accomplished as quickly as possible. If it requires me to get in bed with a few devils, well, I'm very corrupt and a slut.

We've got to leave them an out so that they can change their minds.

No. No. A thousand times NO. We need to bury them as quickly as possible. They have lied long enough. They have wasted precious time. Their mantra is BAU.

You think they have irreplaceable expertise? Meh!

Hello Will,

Funny that you mention burial:

Burial in Mexico proves expensive for many immigrants

This won't last long postPeak. Recall that many Zimbabweans give a fake name when they check a dying family member into a hospital so they can't be charged for burial expenses.

I think graveyards will be plundered before landfills because a sturdy coffin relined with rags and old newspapers is a very dry and well-insulated shelter to keep from freezing to death. Strap some bicycle wheels to the frame and you have an effective camping trailer to pull behind your bicycle.

The 'rich' will have new, non-used, lightweight carbon fiber coffins with integral solar panels, rifle storage, and water filtration to pull behind their bug-out electric bike.

EDIT: Or further out the postPeak timeline: the rich will have horses or draft animals up north, camels for down south to pull their luxury sleeping quarters.

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

The truth will set you free. :-)

I've been observing this and many other sites and literature on this topic for some time as part of my consulting practice in the plastics industry. I have spoken now several times on this topic as well as economic trends to plastic industry groups. The combination of energy, other economic growth headwinds, demographics, and now climate issues add up to a not very pleasant looking future for domestic plastic companies. I haven't had anything really to add to the apparently well-researched material until now.

However, I would add one item to Bob's list. My item is to end the hangup on whether the supply shortage looks like a peak or a plateau. This is distracting from what is largely an agreement in principle that there is a probably problem of demand greatly exceeding supply.

I note comments I made over a year ago to Kjell Aleklett at ASPO regarding the December 2005 congressional hearing on Peak Oil. I provided him the copy of the transcript that is on the ASPO site.

Late in the hearing, one of the congressman, Mr. Allen, asked CERA's rep at the hearing essentially whether there was a problem or not. The CERA guy, Mr. Esser, then acknowledged fully to the congressman that there was a problem of demand exceeding supply only that the graphical form of the shortage wouldn't be a peak but the oft-stated "undulating plateau". Presumably, this plateau is somewhat later and the supply/demand gap develops more slowly but the structural problem is still there and acknowledged by Mr. Esser. This exchange seems to have gone unnoticed but yet points in a potentially positive direction.

My observation to Kjell then, and to you now, is that I think it would be better to focus on the structural principle of impending shortage and limited time with which to address it than to continue the hangup over the shape and exact timing (which no one agrees on anyway). This would arguably help policy makers, who are no doubt somewhat confused by these details in the debate, to come to grips with the broad agreement that there is a problem and market forces won't solve it.

Here is the relevant exchange from pages 82-83 of the transcript. The transcript of words from an active conversation where grammar and wording aren't 100% perfect and requires some minor interpreting but I think I'm reading it correctly. Mr. Esser continues after my cut-off with an amplification of his answer that supports CERA's view that it's later and less severe but that there is still a problem. I presume the transcript is still on the ASPO site to see for yourself. If not, I can provide it.

MR. ALLEN. Thank you, Ms. Chairman.
And thank you all for being here.
I do have a different view here. I mean, I think that the great challenge we face is not a date. When King Hubbert made his predictions in the 1950’s, he was regarded as a crank in the industry but he turned out to be right on the money in terms of when peak oil would occur in the United States. There are all sorts of people making projections today and most of them are going to be wrong either one side or the other but it is going to happen.
And I thought, Mr. Esser, just a quick question for you. It seems to me that the issue, I do not think many of you have talked explicitly much about price. We do lots of wishful thinking up here in this Congress these days but you have not talked so much about price. If it is an undulating plateau or a peak with a sharper decline, who cares? It seems to me the problem is that when the moment comes and I am not saying it is going to be one moment, it is going to happen, you know, relatively gradually over a period of years. It will be too late to take the kind of
action that we need to take today. That is the problem. And Mr. Esser, if you could talk a little bit about the undulating plateau, I read your remarks and you said our outlook shows no evidence of a peak in worldwide oil production before 2020 and you said, you know, maybe that is the earliest date you are willing to countenance but that is a scary date because in 15 years knowing the way this Congress operates, there is no possibility. We did not do a balanced Energy Bill in my--from my point if view. We need to act appropriately in relation to the risk not something that we may think is balanced but appropriately in relation to the risk. And the risk I think correct me if I am wrong is a dramatic rise in price that fundamentally changes our economy and makes the United States as the most dependent on oil at great risk in our competition and with other countries and that is what worries me.
MR. ESSER. It does that with the undulating plateau because once you are at this flat area and demand is still rising, that is your problem.
MR. ALLEN. So you did not mean for us to take comfort in the thought that it might be an undulating plateau--
MR. ESSER. That is right. It is certainly not. It is just that we do not see an isolated peak with a pretty sharp drop off after that.

My apologies if I incorrect, politically or otherwise.

This would arguably help policy makers, who are no doubt somewhat confused by these details in the debate, to come to grips with the broad agreement that there is a problem and market forces won't solve it.

Au contraire, the Market does offer a solution. Just not a nice one.

We can choose to do the easy thing, or we can choose to do the right thing.

Do the CERA guys ever discuss how much the price of oil will 'undulate' when we reach the undulating plateau?

Supply may undulate, but prices will stair-step upwards.

Glad to see that even CERA is now on record as admitting that prices are going to soar. Can we now start discussing what we are going to do about that fact?


Ace's post this morning kind of looks like CERA's undulating plateau for the first 5 years with a 1% drop off per year. We're really not all that different in our predictions.

I do have a serious disagreement with what the cornucopians call oil. I consider oil to be a liquid that is produced in the ground and flows without further treatment, not something produced out of a mine like tar sands or shale. The whole scale of costs is different, plus different environmental concerns. But its really not worth argueing over-we need to spend the time and mental effort on mitigation strategies.

The problem is that everything has to go just right for the NRC best case scenario to work; we've got to step up oil discoveries by 400%, we've got to invest huge amounts of money in tar sands processing and shale processing-its in the trillions of dollars, we have to moderate our useage, technology of tertiary recovery has to make a quantum leap and we have to be willing to pay escalating prices. In the mean time, considering the immensity of the problem we should have started yesterday.

I'm a landman, a guy who negotiates contracts. So my perspective is one of compromise and trying to find a common ground. To be halfway good at my job I have to listen to what the other person is really saying, listen to what my client wants and often persuade both sides to a reasonable position. In negotiations, people seldom get everything they want, so I need to compromise and even concede unimportant BS. So if they want to consider it an undulating plateau instead of a peak, fine. If they are concerned with ego factors-oil company exec's to a man consider themselves hero's , not villans-OK by me. They've made the prosperity of the modern age possible through cheap energy.

The last week has had two extremely important policy reports, The IEA midterm and the NPC report. It seems to me that they've made a big overture towards moving forward. Its time for us to counter and get some concessions. I think if we could all agree that Alan Drake's electric rail plans will really help conserve energy and our economic prosperity and get their help, I'd be delighted. If we could get endorsement for rapid development of wind and solar, and carbon sequestration, I'd be delighted. If we could all agree that energy security is a huge consideration for both national security and economic security we'd be better off. If we could get electric cars and hybrids fast-tracked the whole world will benefit, and they need to be manufactured here so that Detroit gets on board.

Professor Goose has a thread for legislative suggestions, and I think we all need to get a concensus and get on board. But, we'll get nowhere if we keep up constant bickering. This is just too urgent. Even if its wrong, we need to get rolling because its a lot easier to change course than to overcome initial inertia.

We're really not all that different in our predictions.

oilmanbob, how could you possibly mean that? CERA's undulating plateau lasts for a decade or more and doesn't start until 2030, when production has hit 120 mbd.

From CERA: Peak Oil Theory – “World Running Out of Oil Soon” – Is Faulty; Could Distort Policy & Energy Debate

Look again at their chart, Calorie. We think that if the peak is now, then conventional oil, crude + condensate, peaks out at about 75 million barrels. They (CERA) think it plateaus out at 85mbopd about 2030 and the other 35mbopd is unconventional oil. In other words, they think production can rise by about 1/8th and plateaus in roughly 22 years, then last another 20 years before there's a decline.
Its a huge difference in ultimate recovery-Hubbert suggests 2 trillion barrels, they give it another trillion bbl, but its just not that long a time, about 15% longer if you consider the oil age as starting about 1850.

Unconventional oil, by their definition is going to have to grow 4,000% for their projections to work, and tertiary production efficencies grow by about 50%, while discovery rates climb to a level not seen in the last 30 years.

All in all, their rosy scenario counts on everything going exactly right. But, its a pollyanna picture as we well know. They don't deny we will eventually run out of oil in the lifespan of every baby on the planet. Their spokesperson, Daniel Yergin has already begun to state that "above ground considerations" may interfere with their projections, a flip-flop by Fox News Standards. And, this is from the guys who have most ridiculed the peak oil position.

So look at it from the perspective of a Congressman. They're probably going to split the difference between competing points of view-so they're going to believe that the greatest oil flows will occur by say 2020, while demand is exceeding supply now. There may be an "undulating plateau", or a fairly sharp decline. That's not far enough to ignore when you consider National Security or economic security because we're talking about 40% of the energy used in the world.

Some arguements aren't worth winning, I think this is a perfect example. Prudence argues that we start doing something now. The timing of the peak or plateau doesn't matter much, 20 years after it happens no one will care who was right.
Bob Ebersole

20 years after it happens no one will care who was right.

So, you're talking about the year 2030, right? Seriously, though, as long as the ball gets rolling, as you say, then it's at least a step in the right direction. I hope the policy makers read the Stern report...

We can choose to do the easy thing, or we can choose to do the right thing.

Its a huge difference in ultimate recovery-Hubbert suggests 2 trillion barrels, they give it another trillion bbl, but its just not that long a time, about 15% longer if you consider the oil age as starting about 1850.

Unconventional oil, by their definition is going to have to grow 4,000% for their projections to work, and tertiary production efficencies grow by about 50%, while discovery rates climb to a level not seen in the last 30 years.

Which gets to my big question: Are the investments actually being made that are consistent with this scenario? Because, given the types of lead times involved, and the risks of dry holes and technology failures and unexpected problems and "above ground factors", the necessary massive investments really do need to be already well underway.

I know that there is some development going on with the Alberta oil sands, but is it on a big enough scale already? What about Orinoco -- hasn't that been derailed? Are we really on track with offshore drilling? Have the additional rigs required even been ordered yet? How much exploration is really underway in those new arctic fields? Are they counting on ANWR being opened up? What's the likelihood of that actually happening? Is there even a viable plan on place for oil shale yet, or are we just hoping against hope that somehow a technological breakthrough will happen in time?

I won't even get into the enhanced recovery issues, I'm sure that there are plenty of experts here that could append their own questions.

Even when it comes to just plain old drilling of smaller fields, do we know that there is sufficient equipment and expertise and money to ramp up that drilling activity?

Finally, as I'm sure others will note, even if the massive investment capital can be deployed, the equipment built and moved into position, and the know how employed (in spite of massive aging and retirements of experienced personnel), and even if CERA's best case scenario could somehow be realized, isn't it time somebody mentioned that that projection would be for GROSS production, not for NET. Our old friend EROEI now makes its appearance. We all know that these enhanced recovery techniques and these unconventional resources will all take massive inputs of energy to develop and extract and process, resulting in lower EROEI than was the case for conventional petroleum. Subtract out the oil (or equivalent) that must be consumed in the process, and you will undoubtedly be left with net figures that might look slightly better, but not really all that significantly different from the models we typically work with here.

Bear Stearns Says Battered Hedge Funds Are Worth Little

The more conservative fund, the High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Fund, was down 91 percent by the end of June, investors were told. The High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund, which used extensive borrowings and assumed more risk, has no investor capital left, the firm said.


Maybe oil will hit $100USD/barrel soon. Just due to the USD tanking. Maybe we should start worrying about the price of oil in Euros...

Well, if you want a good energy price check, don't turn to another fiat currency for it. One way to do it would be to compare it to gold, but gold is already rising sharp. I'd advise you to compare it to a general commodities index.

Total petroleum inventories were up 1.3 million barrels, yet a drop was reported. There is some bias hiding the surplus inventory of crude in the world's largest oil consuming nation.

The cost of operating a vehicle for commuting increases exponentially as one gets further from one's job. Eventually any economic advantage of cheaper land prices in the country will be negated by the costs of owning and operating a commuter vehicle for the long distance trip to work.

Increased gasoline and diesel taxes might be used to pay for the roads. It directly taxes those who use the roads the most. It also might lower the trade deficit as it would encourage people to seek fuel efficient vehicles. People wanted to drive on the roads without paying for them.


Giuliani: More ethanol, nuclear power

SIOUX CITY, Iowa - Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani argued he can lead the country away from reliance on foreign oil with increases in ethanol production and nuclear power....

Every politician who seriously wants to win the Iowa caucuses panders on ethanol. It's as predictable as the sunrise.

Regarding the "size" of the mortgage backed securities mess, a new line suddenly appeared in this week's federal report on Assets and Liabilities of Commercial Banks in the United States. (Note that this link will go out of date as soon as the next week's report is assembled and then you will need to look in the historical links for July 4, 2007.)

George Ure reported this item as something caught by one of his own readers. On page 13, there is a new line, line 34, which has never appeared before. It appears that the federal government is now going to categorize the mortgage backed "securities" as real securities and subject to federal bailout.

The total figures are $1.211 trillion for large banks and $41.1 billion for small banks giving an estimated total of $1.252 trillion dollars.

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Dr. Albert Bartlett
Into the Grey Zone

Does that mean a federal subsidy for millionaire hedge fund investors who lose their money?

How much of the mone is tied to Marvin?

Yes, that is how I read this - as a prelude to bailing out the investors but of course not the mortgage holders. Now personally I am not very much in favor of bailing out the mortgage holders either but I really am against bailing out the investors. If they got their noses ripped off, let them learn to breathe through their mouth. Then they'll be far less likely to make additional stupid investments. But bail them out and they will go something even more stupid.

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Dr. Albert Bartlett
Into the Grey Zone

Eat a steak, warm the planet

A kilogram (2.2 pounds) of beef causes more greenhouse-gas and other pollution than driving for three hours while leaving all the lights on back home, according to a Japanese study.

So, we should shoot all the wildebeasts and water buffalo also?
The framing of the beef issue is always misleading. Japan raises the most confined, specialized beef in the world. There is a huge difference between grass-fed grazing keeping the land in pasture and plowing and planting corn to feed confined cattle (or making beer to feed cattle). There is a lot of land in the world that would be better off with cattle grazing it than to plow it up for ethanol production.
Definitely not a beef/no-beef issue. Especially when we are going to have a lot of people looking for jobs. We've spent the last 100 years replacing farm labor with petroleum. Might we not replace petroleum with human labor again? Raising beef, then butchering it and salting it in the fall for winter food is better than flying salads 5000 miles from S.Africa.

Buy less, buy local, grow it yourself.
"Use it up, wear it out, repair it."-WWII advertisement

I hope they aren't talking about Kobe Beef there!

Japan doe snot have the land to raise cattle for beef steaks, they have land for sheep, and goats though. What beef cattle run on for grassland usually can not be farmed because the elevations are not suited for farm trackers and such.

We should not be making corn into ethanol if we can help it. Corn is not the best grass that can be grown on most land. There are plenty of other crops that can be grown to feed humans, we have become the mono-cultures that many Gardeners know can kill your production. We have big agri-business killing the ideas of many-cultures verses the mono-cultures of their business model.

Killing water buffalo would be wrong because they are for their area the best animal for the people using them.

6.5 billion people are depending on the agri-business and the mono-cultures for their food and soon we will see that this model is a piss poor model and is doomed to failure.

Grow local where you can. Eat Local where you can. and pray a lot.

Additional quote from the NewScientist blog(quoting the original article, I think):

Most of the greenhouse gas emissions are in the form of methane released from the animals' digestive systems, while the acid and fertilising substances come primarily from their waste. Over two-thirds of the energy goes towards producing and transporting the animals' feed.

Possible interventions, the authors suggest, include better waste management and shortening the interval between calving by one month. This latter measure could reduce the total environmental load by nearly 6 per cent. A Swedish study in 2003 suggested that organic beef, raised on grass rather than concentrated feed, emits 40 per cent less greenhouse gases and consumes 85 per cent less energy.

Beef or Dairy makes some difference, but confinement feeding and using energy to harvest and transport feed and manure, rather than letting the legs they are born with be put to use is a bigger issue. Some argument can be made for the use of land that would otherwise not be used, but only if the animals are on pasture. The high impact evaluated in the article was for confinement feeding, and when referring to 'beef production', that means not utilizing marginal lands because 600 HP tractors with 120' discs don't climb mountains or go around boulders very well.

Actually, dairy cattle on those pasture lands would be considerably more energy efficient than beef cattle. On the really poor pasturage switch to sheep and goats.

Japan really had no tradition of eating meat, until fairly recently. They ate fish; that was about it.

Leanan, I am really tired of hearing that old myth. I lived in Japan from 1955 till 1958 and bought beef from a Japanese butcher on a regular basis. I had to bargin for my mom because she didnt learn a word of Japanese and the only way to buy anything was to bargain for it. The beef was excellent. When we moved to Fukaoka I found another butcher shop. When we departed Japan from Tokyo I had the best steak I have ever eaten in the hotel we were staying in. Butcher shops were not a recent invention when I arrived in Japan.

I think when she says until fairly recently she meant the middle ages.

Walk Score

Score the walk-ability of your home, current or future


My score was only 77 out of 100, despite everything except movie theaters being within a third of a mile.

An address very close to my home (I decided not to post my actual home address on the internet) in 1350 St. Andrew, New Orleans LA 70130 if you want a comparison.

They also got wrong the nearest school. It is a public school that teaches Grades 1 to 6 in French (teachers supplied by the Republic of France) or Spanish. English is taught in English, not French, as is Geography (students should know that Deutschland is called Germany and not Allemagne).

I would be interested in other's scores. (I was expecting in the 90s for my home).

Best Hopes for Walk Ability,


Alan: In midtown Toronto I got a 69. Like your case, the program had some major errors. Closest school was 38 miles away-there is a school right around the corner and within 38 miles there are probably over 3 million students attending school when in session.

I do not doubt that they missed a school, but are you sure that it was not .38 Miles and not 38 miles ? One can click the sidebar and get the 5 closest locations in that category (2nd to 5th closest schools, bars, etc.).

I always put a leading zero in front of the decimal point to avoid this readability issue; i.e. 0.38 mile.

I suspect that downtown Toronto is tied only by downtown Vancouver for Canadian walk-ability, except perhaps for some small towns.

Best Hopes,


Hi Alan: Montreal is also quite compact-don't know if you've been there, but you would probably like it.

I got a score of 62 in downtown Halifax, and the system doesn't seem to know where the local movie theatre, school(s), and daycare are, so I suspect it should be much higher (I'm giving it an arbitrary 75). If the cutoff really is half a mile for no points, well, that's pretty harsh. Half a mile is less than 10 minutes away for a regular walker. Oh, and I hereby deduct 25 walkability points from Toronto for the heavily polluted air (yes, I lived there for years, and yes, it is that much worse than anywhere else in the country).

Adam: Actually, the lousy air quality covers all of the Golden Horseshoe (from Buffalo to north of Barrie).

GIGO --- I also live in Toronto and got a 6 (SIX).. from my window I can see three schools when the trees aren't in leaf yet none were listed -- all are within a 1/2 mile. There is a massive multi mile long park with extensive bicycle paths directly below that also wasn't included. The nearest large grocery store less than a block away wasn't included ( though 4 other further away ones were) nor the additional 10 restaurants (none good so possibly a correct score there :-)) within a block to half a mile away. Don't know what else got covered since I apparently also have none of those--- I'll agree that there isn't a movie theatre close by but we have a community centre and at least three churches in the half mile radius and a department store a block away -- also a bowling alley a block away.

From the outskirts of a small, formerly industrial city in the northeast...37.

I have at least one of everything within less than a mile, but I suspect quantity is what counts. Six restaurants isn't enough, they want to see 20 or 30 for walkability. Y'know, just in case you don't like the Chinese restaurant across the street or the Italian deli next door.

The Theory of Walk Ability used in Public Transit planning (US version) is that everyone will walk a quarter mile, no one will walk over a half mile routinely and the % varies between 0.25 and 0.5 miles.

I suspect that this is where the walkability #s come from. If EVERYTHING was less than 0.25 miles, score = 100. Locations a third of a mile away get docked because some people will not walk that far. Past a half mile, I suspect zero points (I would get a zero for movie theaters, and that is true. I never walk to one, I take a streetcar instead).

No points for Urban Rail service (0.15 mile for me :-)

Anyway, that is my guess as to how they score,


And what is wrong with 30 superb restaurants within a mile (including a half dozen James Beard Award winners) ?

No one will walk over half a mile routinely? They gotta be kidding. I walk 2 miles routinely. And I suspect a lot of big city residents (Boston, NY) walk at least half a mile routinely. Easier than trying to park a car.

I would go car-free where I am, except for other people in their cars. :-P

No, I think "they" are right. My wife complains that we walk maybe half a mile to where I park my car for the week. I just joined a swim club a mile away and she thinks she'll be too exhausted by the time she gets there. I'm shopping for a tandem.

*My parents' house in an old residential neighborhood in Springfield, MO.....51
*My college dormitory in Cambridge, MA.....75
*My girlfriend's mom's house in a new, McMansion gated community on the outskirts of Springfield, MO.....0

Yes, that's right. 0. DEAD. F*CKING. SERIOUS.

That's perhaps being a little hard on that neighborhood, though. I mean, hey, you'd only need to walk, let's see...2.63 MILES to get to the nearest pharmacy, along some of the most pedestrian-unfriendly arterial roads in existence!!! Good grief!!!

I happen to know for a fact that those McMansions go for 400k-900k. That equity is living on borrowed time, and with it much of the apparent increase in this country's wealth over the last 5 years. But hey, on the bright side, this particular gated community has a nice, big 18-hole golf course that they can turn into goat-pasture and cornfields when the need arrives...

I sure hope they didn't dump too much long-lasting poison on the golf course. You know there's a tendency to do that, to maintain their monoculture turfgrass domain.

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

My address still isn't in the database. However, I would expect my score to be high as the closest school is 8 miles and the closest movie theatre is 27 miles, while all the amenities of my village--shopping, restaurants, post office, local government--are within a half mile walk.

Not in the database. I figured it wasn't, being that it is a gravel road in the country seven miles away from the closest town (pop. 1300) I wanted to see if I would get a zero. I often bike to town. My former residence in Chicago would probably score high. On the other hand, it is also walking distance for street gangs and thugs who have nothing better to do than steal your possessions (my car was broken into three times the last two years), or vandalize them, or shoot innocent bystanders (my best friend’s cousin is now in a wheelchair after a drive by on Morgan - he was on leave from the army). No thanks.

The system was crashing when I tried, but I know some of this for a fact, because I have walked almost everywhere in this and Little Rock.

The nearest school is less than 1 mile from here. 1-6 grades, the mid-level grade school is just over 1.25 mils and the EZ-mart is less than .25 miles, the nearest krogers is a bit over 1.5 miles away, as are some nice resturants and the fast food joints.

I can easily walk 7 miles in a few hours so I can get to a mall and back again inside the afternoon.

But there is no movie houses inside a mile of my place. not that I even watch TV for that matter.

This house is paid for, so I am not worried about the banks trying to get it back, I guess I will deal with having to walk everywhere in a few years.

I can easily walk 7 miles in a few hours so I can get to a mall and back again inside the afternoon

Yes, you can walk there BUT do you routinely do so ? 90% of the times that you go to the mall, do you walk there ?

I have some issues with the 1/4 mile-1/2 mile rule (I think students and military routinely walk further, and elderly less) but it is what the FTA requires in ridership projections.

IMVHO, the percentage of "outliers', those will not walk 1/5th of a mile or ROUTINELY walk a mile rather than drive is fairly small. For myself, the 50% walk, 50% drive or take streetcar mark is a bit over a half mile (perhaps 0.6 miles). Of course weather, pushed for time, etc. are my excuses for driving. And I have beautiful and interesting neighborhoods to walk through.

OTOH, I cannot think of a time I have driven from home to Zara's grocery (0.14 mile away). If I buy too much, I make two trips :-)

Just because someone CAN walk somewhere does not mean that they WILL walk there.

Best Hopes for Walking,


I don't go to the mall, both times I passed the mall going somewhere else further along.

I park in little rock, and walk about all day long, up to and past the 7 miles a day mark. I have a van that I use for helping the homeless mostly when I am in Little Rock. But I am on foot most of the day and it is easier to be on foot and live out of my backpack than to live out of my van, hunting for parking spaces.

I offer my van as rides for several homeless folks that are part of the willing to help themselves not be homeless. I work with an ogranization called HUSH. Homeless United to Save the Homeless. If you want to milk the system, we won't help you, you have to want to help yourself, and we will help you find the resources to do so.

I usually park in free parking down by the River Market area, off by the east side where the Clinton Library is. I walk as far as a 3 mile radius from that location. I do this everyday 5 days a week, sometimes on saturday and sunday too, but that depends on other issues.

I am healthy, I am not my mother who would have trouble walking the 0.25 miles. My dad at 71, could keep up with me most days, not that he would want too, he is moving heavy loads and working full time.

When I talk to the Homeless about walking x-distance most of them laugh at me. Most of the people I know don't have acess to cars or have bus fare, they walk everywhere in the city not really made for walking.

The Joe-citizen would faint dead away if they had to live like most homeless live. It is a fact of life that I am finding out as I get more involved with the people living on the edges of the rest of the world.

The site doesn't like my address, I've tried several different nearby addresses too. Galveston isn't on their radar.

My address is only fair. Most of Texas is pretty spread out. But, my neighborhood was walkable before cars became common, and we have lots of residents who have only a car or bicycle and our busses.
Bob Ebersole

Check again later. I have tried several times to check the rent house I own part of a few blocks away and cannot get a response.

I think their server is over loaded.

Best Hopes for Critical Computing Functions,


Hello AlanfromBigEasy,

Your Quote: "I think their server is over loaded."

Perhaps the NSA/CIA overloaded the website while they compute the 'walkability numbers' for the future Halliburton work camps? =(

Please don't forget that Nate Hagens and I, both being so tall, get first dibs on the longest bunks. =)

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

Bunks!? You're goin' to the showers and delousing station, ole buddy. :^)

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

LOL! I hope it is at last Unisex: you just can't beat that final smell of Chanel #5 and Zyklon B! =(

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

Walkability realistically only applies to urban/suburban living. It doesn't make sense to do this (measure walkability) if one lives a rural lifestyle. The challenge in a rural lifestyle is making a living without commuting.
How far, for example, would you have to walk to arrive at the place where your food is produced? This might be more realistic in the future.

After numerous tries (it is really annoying to get an error message that says "either I can't help you at all or I'm just busy at the moment, no way to determine which"), I got a 12 for my home at the edge of but within the city limits of Milwaukee, WI. It's a fairly crude measure. Still, while I'm in a pretty decent bicycling location, it is a lousy walking location. There is a gas station and convenience store right down the block, which is a dubious asset. The drug store is in practice a pretty nice walk along the riverside trail. The nearest public archery practice area is just a kilometer away, and a nice walk. On the other hand, the restaurants are not only a bit distant for routine walking but the route is so comically pedestrian unfriendly I put together this photo set documenting it. There is a single bus route running right past, which goes into downtown at roughly twenty minute intervals, and which is as fast as cycling if you don't count the waiting time against the bus. My cycling trip to work is very pleasant and takes about 40 minutes, just ten minutes longer than driving the car. The one-transfer way out of the way and then back again bus trip is 1.5+ hours and very non-competitive with cycling.

Alan, thanks for the walk-score post. My score was 14...can anyone get below that? It appears I was heavily penalized for movies, coffee shops, bookstores and day care. Since my wife and I are retired and the last movie we attended in a theatre was Farenheit 911, I think the scoring should be done on a basis that would not penalize retired people. I dont go to coffee shops, I dont go to bookstores (my local used book stores sells most of the books that would interest me on Ebay). I order dvds and books from Half.com, Amazon, etc. I make my own coffee...no way am I going to pay $4 or more for a cup of coffee. My three daughters now have their own families so I dont need day care. I often walk to and from a Publix grocery to pick up a few items... It is 3.4 miles roundtrip which I consider a reasonable walk. If I want to take a bicycle or motorcycle I have those economical options. One size (or test) obviously does not fit all.

I live in Albany, NY ... scored an 18 ... obviously I don't live downtown ... the nearest anything is more than 0.5 miles from my address ... very useful tool for scouting future locations

Small to midsize university town in the South. I'm 3/4 of a mile from work and I walk about half the time. 1/4 of my distances were under half a mile, 1/2 were between a half and a full mile, and another 1/4 were over a mile. My score was only 34.

My apartment in Federal Hill got an 83, probably because there isn't a movie theatre all that close. We have about forty bars, none of which I've been in yet, and dozens of restaurants, many of which I've tried out. We have the Cross Street Market, with many small vendors, but the nearest supermarkets are about a mile away.

The fellow next to me got a 92 for Hampden, much farther from the city center. He says Hampden is notable for Cafe Hon, which features the beehive hairdo as part of their logo, and other kitsch establishments.

My house in Altoona got a 29. Altoona has signs that prohibit pedestrians from crossing the main drag. Ever.

Interesting web site, Alan, thanks for the link. I'll try it again later when they get it up and running.

The creators deserve an A for concept and effort. But the execution is flawed to the point that one's "Walk Score" gives only the roughest of estimates of actual walkability. (Note: I'm not talking about technical issues.)

For example, I may live within walking distance of an enclosed mall with all the retail one could ever ask for. But if that mall is on the other side of a freeway or a river with no bridge, I'm never going to walk there.

The idea applies in less absolute situations as well, for instance if hills are steep, or if blocks are too large necessitating long detours away from the straight-line path. Also, if a roadway is excessively large with high speed traffic, pedestrian travel is severely curtailed -- this was formalized as "impedance" by Marc Schlossberg in Comparing Transit Oriented Developments Based on Walkability Indicators.

The creators of Walk Score recognize this on their How It Doesn't Work page. My own definition of "walkable," presented in the PedShed FAQ, gives "Destinations close by" as an essential element -- that's what Walk Score covers. But 2) Direct and convenient routes, and 3) Comfortable and interesting pedestrian ways, are equally essential.

The 1/4 mile pedestrian shed is also a very rough rule of thumb and is too short in some contexts. Recent research by Schlossberg et al. found the mean distance pedestrians will walk to a light rail station is half a mile, especially if the route is convenient, safe and pleasant. The walking distance to school is usually considered at one mile -- but note this new study:

WEDNESDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Even though one out of three American children live within a mile of their school, barely half of those students regularly bike or walk to class, researchers report.

The decline of school walkability is usually due to pedestrian impedance mentioned above. It's just not safe for kids to venture out on to the suburban arterials where traffic is moving at highway speeds.

A useful scorecard for rating the walkability of development is the TND Design Rating Standards. The principles outlined in the Standards have been used to assemble the Town Paper's TND website list, and can also be applied to existing neighborhoods.

In particular, playing around with it I see that they can't really determine walking distance, instead something more like bird flying distance. Sure that coffee shop is just a half mile away---on the other side of the river. Three times that distance to actually walk.

As someone who routinely walks long distances in the downtown core, I'll say that "comfortable and interesting pedestrian ways" is important. On a recent trek across a h-u-g-e parking lot to get from one shop to another (I'm just not going to drive across a parking lot) the walk looked like it was going to be very, very long, but the actual time needed, the actual distance, wasn't long at all. It would have seemed quite trivial walking along the sidewalk past other shops in the city instead of trekking across the expanse of parking lot.

I trek across Little Rock all the time and I rarely use the sidewalks when I can cut across a parking lot. Most of the older parking lots in the areas where I walk are little more than 1/10th used for parking. from about 5th up to 12th streets nothing much is used in the Older down town. If I get on over to the Capital then I hit high usage parking, but most of that area is high rise parking decks.

What is so sad about all this is that i also go walking for fun over the River Walk Bridge down by Murray Lock and Dam. It is 4225 feet long one way, and I walk over it and then back again in about 35 minutes. Great veiws up and down river and a great place to watch the sunset. The river is very high and part of the River trail has been closed due to flooding.

Like I said earlier, the homeless folks that walk a lot, kind laugh at me a non-homeless person talking about walking a lot. I work with people that live out of sleeping bags under bridges and with people that have 4,000 square foot homes, the differences make for odd talking points at times.

What happens when more people become homeless, that is my big thought for the days coming up. The system barely handles how many are out here now. And can't handle to many more.

Fun. My place gets a 6, probably because I can walk to the coffee-shop .6mi away (but it closed 6 months ago).

Most stuff is about 2 miles. Just fine on bikescore.com. :-)

cfm in Gray, ME

Well, my small town only scored a 34 -- plenty of things within what I would consider a reasonable, safe & pleasant walking distance, but downtown is 3/4 miles from my house, and there are a couple of things like movie theatres that we don't have. They got a lot wrong, though - I live less than a block from a park/golf course, but they didn't pick up on that.

I hope in version 2.0 they will give the people that know the area a chance to do some edits to correct obvious errors, and maybe to assign their own weighting. It really seems like they are biased very heavily toward dense city neighborhoods.

89, dragged down mainly by the 0.39 miles they have for the nearest bar. Luckily for me, there're a few bars down the block that they missed in their database ;)

More seriously, I was very surprised that they don't take into account access to rail transit -- proximity to the subway and commuter rail was extremely influential for me when I found the place I'm in now. A 200m walk gets me to both, and it's wonderfully liberating!

I've been playing around quite a bit with ideas for a more general interface to GIS analysis that would be accessible to groups interested in jointly creating and tweaking their own metrics for walkability / PO suitability / opposite-gender appeal / name your interest. Something that would leverage ease of use and wiki-type collaboration for data management and model creation and provide a persistent workspace for same with strong attribution and provenance. If I end up pursuing such a creation in the short term, I'd appreciate input from all of the armchair and more-than-armchair dataologists here at TOD... more to come, I hope!

If you need GIS help e.mail me.

It couldn't find my street address. Showed me as being in Memphis instead of NW Texas. When I just used zip code it located me a few miles from where I actually am. Gave me a score of zero! Which is probably about right. Miles to nearest town. Nearest neighbor is over one mile. To get to 20 restaurants would be 50 miles.

43 and 48
Both places are most definitely in what people would define as suburbia, and one of them is isolated and surrounded by mountains.

BTW, the graphics, format, etc on the site inmediately made me think "Zillow", so they probably have the same type of errors built in.

They do have a tough grading system. I have everything within half a mile except a theater and I only get a 60.

It is cool to see all the stuff around your house. I could definitely lose my car and never miss it.

By the way, Bush's crawford ranch gets a score of 0. He is going to have to walk 22.88 miles to get to a bookstore, and 14.85 miles to get to a bar.

A bar or a bookstore.. That would be a tough choice for the old boy.

We have another winner. According to the odometer on my "Whizzer" it is just over 1/2 mile to my mail box out at the road. Can't really see another building from here. Score: 0


It (erroneously) gave me a score of 35. I'm in Barrhaven, which is a suburb of Ottawa, Ontario.

Here's some of my results, and all the bad results:

Grocery store
They were pretty good with this one:

0.06 Mi Your Independent Gr
0.16 Mi Bulk Barn
0.23 Mi Sobeys
0.28 Mi Loblaws Supermarket
(plus a few more)

This one was pretty good, too.

0.05 Mi Mcdonald's Restaura (I think they use the term "restaurant" loosely here)
0.06 Mi Broadway Bar & Gril
0.06 Mi Barhaven Vietnamese
0.23 Mi Quizno's Classic Su
0.24 Mi Joeyôs Only Seafood
0.24 Mi Barley Mow The
0.31 Mi Winner House Chines
0.34 Mi Shawarma Heaven

Closest coffee shop: 38.7 miles (there's at least two about 0.4 miles away)

Dairy Queen is a bar?
Apparently they meant Ice Cream Bar for this result.

0.24 Mi Dairy Queen Brazier (ice cream)
4.04 Mi Lois 'N' Frima's Ho (ice cream)
4.07 Mi Silver Dollar Exoti (strip club)
5.39 Mi Dairy Queen (ice cream)
5.75 Mi Keg Restaurant (not ice cream)
6.63 Mi Baskin-Robbins 31 I (ice cream)
6.74 Mi Dairy Queen Brazier (ice cream)
6.78 Mi Dairy Queen Brazier (ice cream)

Movie Theaters:
None found.
(they missed the one that's 0.3 miles away)

Apparently there's no schools in Canada. Closest one is across the US border. 36.85 miles away.

7.94 miles away was the closest.. although they missed the Barrhaven branch of the Public Library, which is maybe just over 1 mile.

Wizard's Tower: 2 Miles
..except I wouldn't call it a bookstore.

(Indigo is 0.4 miles away)

Drug Stores:
No drug stores in Canada, sorry. 41.73 miles away.
Oh wait, there's one 0.2 miles away.

Hardware Stores:
Home Hardware Store: 3.97 Miles.
Yes, let's go there instead of Home Depot (0.3 miles)

Some of this stuff is rather chilling. And if you read the comments, a lot of them are from religious wack-jobs who are planning and predicting the course of the coming war from scripture. Of course, that probably describes the current U.S. administration as well.

It's really a pity that there's so much oil in that part of the world.

Cannot find the Admiral Kuznetsov. Does anyone know where it is?

Isn't it still under refit with the Northern Fleet?

Admiral Kuznetsov

The Armageddon-speak in the last link does not represent the views of this poster.

More info about Israel's "Samson Option" and nuclear threats/blackmail can be found here:


looks like a serious report, no religious wackos stuff there...

Sweet. Syria will hopefully be better able to defend itself when/if Israel attacks.

And a link to a racist, eliminationist web site. Nice.

Question is, If Israel attacks in the near term, will there be Syrians in those cockpits or Russians?

Well, if the US/Israel/British axis of warmongers start WW3 with coordinated assaults on Iran/Syria/Lebanon I believe they will probably sooner if not later find Russia and China very active on the opposing side.

Perhaps the more pertinent question is "will those pilots be forced to use the old Russian tactic of ground-controled-intercetpt, or will they use the tactic that the US and Israelis have long relied on, and Russia more recently moved towards, of pilot independence?" Pilots flying Mig-31s with GCI tactics tend to be incapable of finding their own ass in the air. Even with AA-12s (big IF), they will get their ass handed to them by the IDF. I'll only change my take on this if we get word that the Syrians also got Gardenia jamming pods from Russia--that's where they may gain a tactical advantage against the IDF. The Russians are developing some scary new air-to-air technology--follow-ons to the Gardenia, better Ifra-Red Search and Track (IRSTS) systems, high quality BVR radar guided missiles, and excellent off-boresight IR missiles. But they generally don't export the full suite, along with modernized tactical training, that is necessary to successfully take on a modern, western air force like Israel's.

From a broader perspective, Syria's interest in acquiring the Mig-31 is odd. It is an outdated airplane--the latest mods of the Su-27 or MiG-29 are far superior. An interceptor, like the MiG-31, is exactly what they don't need. They should learn the lesson of the recent conflict in Lebanon and focus on arming Hizb'Allah and other militias, using defense-in-depth against the IDF. Instead, it looks like they may fall into the classic guerrilla trap and think that their recent asymetrical success means that they will be equally successful in a conventional engagement. Not so.

That was my immediate thought. The MIG 31 is a high speed, high altitude interdictor and with only a few of them, what earthly use are they?

The only two options I could come up with were:

a) Syria has agreed to keep a lookout for Israeli jets taking off on the way to bomb their reactors (like they did as Osirak) and have agree to interdict them before they reach Iran.

b) They are looking for a launch platform for a big long range cruise missile.

Either way, I think that they have a missile armament to back it up that we don't know about.

If Israel attacks in the near term, will there be Syrians in those cockpits or Russians?

Why would Russia fight to defend Syria? Of course Syrians would have to defend their land if they are attacked. Maybe they'll get some help from Iran, but that's it.

Russia has moved significant elements of the Black Sea fleet into the Med. They have 2 ports in Syria they use for resupply. They have also been beefing up defense forces for those bases. Syria is Russia's foothold in the Middle East, a better one than the US has as they have been welcomed and not having to fight to stay there. They have been dredging the ports to make a permanent base for the Black Sea fleet as the Ukraine wants them out. Looks like if the shit breaks out US and Israel may be going it alone. Europe is now dependent on Russia for fuel for winter. (Second choice Iran). I would imagine NATO will sit this one out. Turkey has been buddy buddy with Iran. They may join the other side. Also, Russia and China both have ground forces in Lebanon. Doesn't look good for the home team. My mistake, I think we're the away team.

Turkey, Syria & Iran all have restive minority Kurdish populations, and none of them like quasi-independent Iraqi Kurdistan one bit. They thus have a common interest, and are probably increasingly inclined to look out for each other.

IIRC, there was a hugely anti-American film that played in Turkey a few months ago, very widely seen and well received over there. I suspect that there has been a far more substantial shift in Turkey than most Americans realize. They have little reason to feel particularly threatened by Russia any more, but they may now be starting to see the US as more of an enemy than an ally.

I wouldn't be surprised if, right in the thick of things (if the shooting starts), Turkey were to tell the US that it could no longer use Turkish bases or overfly Turkish airspace, even for routine resupply of our forces in Iraq. I also wouldn't be surprised if Turkey took advantage of any hostilities between Syria/Israel and/or Iran/US-Israel to launch an invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan.

If Turkey breaks with NATO and the EU countries secumb to Russian intimidation to sit this one out, I doubt that NATO will survive as a trans-atlantic alliance.

Russia has no bases in Syria, so it can't be moving it's ships there. It currently has a base in Ukraine that is leased till 2012. Russia is also building a new base for it's black sea fleet near the city of Novorosiisk (in Russia), which should be ready by 2012.

I did a search on the web and I found some unconfirmed statements that Russia is dredging the ports there, but there is nothing to indicate that it's for war ships, or more over for a new Russia base (other then some guesses).

Most likely Russia wants to make sure that ports are viable and can be used in case of need, but this is different from setting-up a base.

You found some unconfirmed statements, eh?








It would seem that there are more than a few reputable sources that carry the same story. This isn't proof, of course, but given that Russia has a former Northern Fleet officer in Tartus overseeing the construction there, along with several hundred Russians working there, it certainly should at least raise questions, shouldn't it?

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Dr. Albert Bartlett
Into the Grey Zone

Yep you right. Can't argue with such a list.

Although I just found another link where that base is explicitly denied:

Considering that all reports seem to refer to the same source which is known for false statements (Komersant) I change my mind back to not believing that there will be a base.

To me in order to build a base Russian would need to give some guarantees of security to Syria. Considering that Syria is in frozen conflict over Golan Heights that Israel occupied any kind of gurantees would be an hugely expensive proposition for Russia. What if Syria atacks Israel? There is no way Russia would fight on Syrian side in that war. Too much trouble and too little to gain. I actually can't imagine any gain for Russia in this. There is hardy any use for it for Russia as well. Russian black sea fleet is meant to protect Russian black sea coastline and if will not be able to do that if it's stationed so far away. To get back it would have to swim though Bosporus... No benefits only issue after issue. No sorry I can't believe that.

China is also supporting Syrian claims to the Golan Heights.

I think you misunderstand how the game is being played and what the end game will be. Russia and China are not interested in ideologies, conquest or even outright victory; they're interested in changing the world order from unipolar (US centric) to multipolar (a multifarious mix of Powers shifting the centre of power to Asia).

To achieve their aims, Russia, China, et al, don't need to defeat anyone or destroy the US and its allies. They only need to change their behaviour and curb/disrupt US power projection.

As shown in Iraq and Lebanon, a way has been found to nullify superior military might. I suspect that Russia and China are hoping that the US and Israel have not yet learnt this lesson and are willing to again use military force to try and achieve their objectives.

Triumvirate of collapse - Economy, Ecosystem, Energy

Israel is a strategic US asset in the Middle East. Sooner or later it has to be taken out of play so the US unipolar world order can be effectively dismantled.

The stakes are high, but probably not high enough, yet, for Russia to use its own pilots. However, Israel must be taken out of the game, so its likely Russia and China will give a great deal of support to Syria and Iran. The game as far as Russia and China are concerned is to hobble US power without any direct confrontation. All they have to do is wait for the US to act and then counter it clandestinely through proxies.

The US empire is hemorrhaging and all the anti-unipolar powers need do is keep the wounds open. When it is sufficiently weakened, it can join the new multi-polar order.

Triumvirate of collapse - Economy, Ecosystem, Energy

Strange, but I feel safer if the Russians present a check against the Bush/Cheney neocon madness.

This is something that Soviet Union would be interested. I really doubt that Russia has any interest at all in checking anybody less alone president and vise president of thee USA. There is no fight of ideologies. There would be no benefit for Russia in it.

Russia will gladly sells weapons to states that are not seemed by the world as aggressive (in other words there are no UN weapons sanctions). But that just a way to make money. Not based on ideology at all.

I disagree, Russia would like to see the new NATO countries on their border in Eastern Europe become neutral. These countries were former Soviet sattelites and we promised we would not entice them into NATO but we have gone back on our promise...also, Putin is ticked about the intention of the US to place anti-missle missles in Poland. Putin knows that the US is overextended and he will apply pressure wherever necessary to insure that the US does not succeed in turning the mid east oil producing countries into puppet states of the US. The game continues.

Interesting point. I was already wrong above (about Syrian base )so I can be wrong here as well

Seriously dude. You need to stop posting on the Interwebs if you are just going to politely acknowledge other people's points of view and be open to changing your mind or admitting someone else could be right... it just isn't done... at least start typing in all caps or something.
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man


More calls for OPEC to increase production, near panic'd estimates from Goldman Sachs, crude inventories slipping, gasoline inventories tight, distillates/fuel oil not building as expected...

This fall needs more oil production, yet if we wait until September to start shipping(OPEC meeting) and continue reductions(KSA), the oil will not be here in time to meet demand(45-60 day lead).

So, Goldman is predicting up to $95 per barrel without OPEC shipping (at max no less).

1) Production capacity/supply not there(or is it?)

2) Hurricanes?

3) Conflict (Iran/Israel/Syria/etc)

4) Economic Mess (hard crash into deep recession reduce demand significantly)

Sure looks like $100 a barrel is a high probability in the next 6 months.

A couple of possible outcomes;

1) KSA ramps like mad and we all are saved (for a few more months)

2) Supply can't/won't meet demand and oil will skyrocket.

3) Above ground factors intervene and cause an even greater spike in prices...with unknown duration and aftermath.

Based on a data table and chart that "Mr. 5%" did (posted on Ace's discussion), for every 20 barrels of total liquids that the major net exporters exported in September, 2005, we have already lost one barrel, as of March, 2007, down 5% in 18 months. The major (one mbpd and more) net exporters account for close to 90% of total net exports.

Sell 85 MBPD at $70 or sell 80 MBPD at $95... hmmm... $5.95 billion/day sales or $7600 billion/day sales? Better still, 85 * ($70-$25) = $3.825 billion in profits verses $5.6 billion. Why would OPEC want to raise output?

On top of that, the less they sell the longer it's going to last.

Won't or Can't...doesn't make a difference to us.

I figure at least a 66% (prob)chance of $100 bbl oil in the next 6 months.

Japan will be in serious trouble if Nuclear Power is too unsafe for their country.

I think what people find unnerving is that Japan is the last country you'd expect to be having safety issues. Japanese engineering is known for its excellent quality control. You can see that even in DVDs or laser discs. The Japanese versions are strikingly sharper and crisper than the American versions.

Plus, because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they're kind of paranoid about nuclear.

And yet, they're still having safety problems.

Has anyone seen reports on how much of the site has been inspected? Most of what I've read talks about spills in storage areas, which is kind of like finding mud in your wheel-wells -- have they had a chance to look under the hood yet?

The world's biggest nuclear plant is closed indefinitely. Full inspections will take a while. Will it ever re-open? Japan has no choice but to evaluate all their plants, and thoroughly.

In the meantime, today:

Japanese Inspectors Find New Leak at Nuclear Plant

Japanese nuclear inspectors say they have discovered a small, new radiation leak at a nuclear power plant damaged by a strong earthquake earlier this week.

Officials said Thursday inspectors have discovered that radioactive materials leaked from an exhaust pipe at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant after it was hit by an earthquake Monday.

Officials from the Tokyo Electric Power Company, which runs the plant, had earlier admitted that radioactive water leaked into the Sea of Japan and that barrels containing radioactive material had fallen open during the quake. Officials initially under-reported the level of radiation in the water

Er... I'm not sure most of the readership has any idea how inconsequential these leaks are.

They're measured in microcuries. You get that from eating a banana. Whats curiously absent is the reporting on the damage done to the chemical plants or natural gas terminals.

After 37 refuelings at 17 nuke stations ,I have pretty good understanding of systems,ect

They dont appear to have the kinda damage that I would worry about in a american station w/that size of quake.

Missed a bullet,{miss is as good as a mile}

Hello Snuffy and other TODers on this minithread,

I think the primary reason for this plant shutdown is not the damage, or the leaks, or the unanticipated high amount of shaking, but the mounting evidence the place is built right atop a large fault:

Japanese nuclear plant may be on quake fault line

Akira Fukushima, of Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said no irregularities had been found in critical areas of the plant, but added: "It is possible that the epicentre fault line does run beneath the power plant."

Inspectors reportedly identified four fault lines in the area while conducting a geological survey before work began on the Kashiwazaki plant in 1980, but concluded that they were inactive.

The Citizen's Nuclear Information Centre said that the fault believed to have triggered the earthquake was not discovered during pre-construction surveys. "Clearly Japan's earthquake safety standards are inadequate," it said in a statement.
Disaster body urging N-plant safety rethink

The National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention discovered the east end of the fault line is highly likely to extend under the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power station.

Hey TODer BostonGeologist--you out there? Know any seismo-geologists that could comment here briefly, or even better: write a keypost on this? Billions & Billions of Yen, and much hardship will politically swing on the huge levels of required seismic research to decide the future of this giant nuke facility.

Aerial view and location map:


Geo-Tectonic website & Itoigawa-Shizuoka Tectonic Line (ISTL) and Fossa Magna:


ISTL & great graphics:


Basically, you just can't have a running nuke plant torn in half by a sudden quake. But I am no expert in this matter.

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

how inconsequential these leaks are.

Sure, so inconsequential that the Japanese prefer to close the plant in spite of the energy shortage.
And it could very well be that the leaks ARE inconsequential but are the symptoms of deeper damage.
Not everybody is a criminal idiot like you.

Whats curiously absent is the reporting on the damage done to the chemical plants or natural gas terminals.

We are waiting for your links on that matter...

Not everybody is a criminal idiot like you.

Tell me how you really feel.

We are waiting for your links on that matter...

That sort of was my point, but some things I suppose need to be spelled out.

I dunno

I heard on the BBC news tonight that they'd released a statement saying they'd miscalculated and the leak was far more serious than first reported.
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

The problem isn't engineering or construction, it is the siting.

It is NOT TRUE that one can plop down a nuclear power plant just anywhere. The siting requirements to be truly safe are actually quite restrictive -- no where close to active fault lines, for example.

The sad fact is that there probably isn't ANYWHERE in a country like Japan, situated right on top of the Pacific "Rign of Fire" that is really sufficiently safe to site a nuclear power plant. In retrospect it was quite foolish that they even tried.

The same holds true for all of the US west coast as well.

This is not a NIMBY or BANANA sentiment; I believe that there are sites that ARE suitable for nuclear power plants. France, for example, does have a number of such sites, and this is one reason why nuclear has worked pretty well for them. But their experience cannot just be replicated for every country on earth, because the underlying geology differs.

This is one of the problems with calls for crash programs to ramp up production of nuclear power plants: where are we going to put them? There just aren't that many good sites, and some of the countries that need them the most (like Japan) have no good sites at all.

Japan and other quake prone areas can build to fit for the Geology.

Keel bottomed buildings, that float on the liguids the soils become during earthquakes. Frank Lloyd Wright designed several buildings for Japan. The featured the Keel like bottoms of boats so that they would float during an earthquake. We have the knowledge to do this, and they have the engineering to do this. Just look what they did for the Airport in Tokyo harbor.

Pebble bed reactors would be another solution but to many people just won't use the easy fixes for these problems.

France, for example, does have a number of such sites,

And aren't those sites along the border with Germany?

Probably not the engineering, but more the siting and the maintenance. Anything involving water is a maintenance nightmare, requiring a lot of operating capital just to stay even.

In the Forbes article:
About 400 million Becquerels have been released from the plants so far, about 10 milliCuries. As an undergraduate in upper division physics lab, we did a Mossbauer spectrometer experiment with a source about this size. We were careful not to touch the source, but we very casually worked in very close proximity to it.

Another perspective: 400 x 10^8 Beq corresponds to about 1,000 rem/year if totally absorbed (swallowed and inhaled). The typical radon exposure in the US is about 0.2 rem/year. If 5,000 US citizens were to swallow or inhale an equal portion of the released materials from the plant, they would receive radiation exposure equivalent to what they get sitting at home, breathing in the radon decay products.

Comment on the Asia Times article: At the end of the article Kiode is cited as saying hydro power is much more suitable for supplying Japan's electrical needs, rather than earthquake-unsafe nuclear power. This is a confused statement, since hydropower is probably much more risky in an earthquake zone than nuclear. A large broken dam could kill thousands in minutes.

You shouldn't make a blanket judgement about Japanese engineering based just on some of their manufactured consumer goods. Japan is subject to a range of quality just like other countries. Certainly the top tier firms are some of the best in the world. Japan also has enormous bureaucracies which cause all sorts of problems as well as slowing things down.

As if we needed more problems... don't recall hearing too many problems from Angola lately...
Franc (penguinzee)


Total says output from Angola's Dalia oil platform halved due to electrical glitch
By Lananh Nguyen
Last Update: 7:13 AM ET Jul 19, 2007

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Total SA (TOT :

84.71, +0.72, +0.9% ) has nearly halved output at its Dalia oil platform in Angola due to an electrical problem, the company said Thursday.
Current daily production at Dalia stands at 127,000 barrels of oil, compared with average daily production of 240,000 barrels, a Total spokeswoman in Paris said.
The company also declared force majeure on oil exports from Dalia.

Couple of depressing stories on CNN this morning.

The big one, of course, was "Time bombs under the street." A steam pipe blew up in Manhattan, during rush hour, right by Grand Central Terminal. At least one person died. It was an eerie echo of 9/11, with people running away in a panic, leaving their shoes behind. Our infrastructure is a mess, and I fear peak oil will not improve things. (And traffic must be a nightmare in Manhattan today.)

The other was a short piece about a woman in Missouri who had her scooter stolen from her. She was sitting on it, when two men ran up, pushed her off, and took the scooter. The incident was caught by a security camera.

That, IMO, is a big reason people are reluctant to walk or bike. There are security issues, beyond fear of being hit by an SUV.

From today's Rude Awakening:

Sometimes, you can't help but think -

No one ever planned for it all to last this long or get this big.

Errr...no one ever planned maybe.

They did plan. But, as psychologists have noted, human beings are really lousy at predicting the future. Even when they have previous experience to draw on, and should know better, they tend to be far too optimistic. (Hence the phenomenon of second marriages. ;-)

I have seen some of the original plans for the interstate system built in the '50s and '60s. They did plan for the future. They bought extra land, for future expansion, and even did some grading and excavation work, figuring they might was well while they were there.

And yet...the roads and bridges they imagined would be built one day never were. The widening they expected didn't happen.

Probably the biggest planning failure was that they did not realize that the boom times of the '50s were temporary, and would not last. They built all that new infrastructure with a 30-40 years projected lifespan, because they figured we'd want to replace it by then...and we'd have plenty of money to do it.

They also failed to predict how much more difficult and expensive it would be, once we were dependent on the new infrastructure built. We can't shut down highways or power lines or water lines for repair without incredible headaches. The infrastructure spurred new development, and now there are subdivisions and schools and shopping malls where once there were apple trees and chicken coops. Building a new highway has become a far more difficult proposition than it used to be, and expanding an existing one is worse.

So it's a double whammy. They didn't realize that the future might be poorer than the past. And they didn't realize how much harder it would be to build stuff once people were dependent on it.

Thanks Leanan.

I am sure they did plan, but our (in general) failing is failure to see the growth, costs(inflation) and over-extending lifetimes.

Multiple whammmy...yes.

I get sick to my stomach when I see them building new subdivisions at the edge of the city and complaining about straining the sewage system and dewatering(really nasty) the ground so they can put in new infrastructure. They seem to be thinking only about how fast they can build it.

Jared Diamond discusses this in Collapse. Humans tend to assume that how it is now is how it will always be. So we settled the Gulf Coast during a period of unusually low hurricane activity, and settled the west during an usually wet period, not understanding that things would eventually revert to a norm we didn't realize existed.

The '50s were a time of rapid technological advancement. And naturally, they thought it would go on forever. A lot of perfectly respectable and well-educated people thought that by now, cars would be obsolete. We'd be flying to work, not driving. Assuming we even worked, and robots weren't doing it all for us. Why build highways that last for a hundred years, when they might not be needed at all in fifty?

They didn't realize that the future might be poorer than the past

We are RICHER today than we were in the past, not poorer. Two car families were rare (and rich) in the 1950s. Average new home size (from memory) was between 1,000 and 1,200 sq ft. Air conditioning (window units) was a luxury. And on and on.

The delta is our willingness to tax ourselves for public benefits. The highest marginal income tax rate then was 90%. We added a nickel (half a silver dime) gallon tax to pay for the Interstate Highway system. Adjusted for inflation, that would be like a new 35 cents/gallon tax on gasoline.

The issue is NOT wealth per se, it is what we spend our wealth on.

Best Hopes for Higher Taxes, With Taxes spent on Worthwhile Projects and Programs,


Alan: What people forget is how left-wing the USA was in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Both parties were far left of where the Dems are now. In 2007, any Presidential candidate proposing a 90% top rate wouldn't even get out of the starting gate. Politicians had to listen to union power then, now it is somewhat miniscule. Wall Street fought Main Street, and Wall Street won by a knockout.

It's not unrelated to peak oil. What caused the shift in the balance of power was globalization, which was in part driven by peak oil USA. Manufacturing started moving overseas, where resources, including energy, were more readily available. Union power is miniscule now because corporations can just move the jobs overseas if the unions give them any trouble.

I found a graph for average size for new construction single family residences from 1950 till 1992.

1,000 sq ft in 1950, 1,100 sq ft in 1958, 2,100 sq ft by 1992 and 2,495 sq ft (other sources) in 2006. 250% growth in home size as the size of the average household shrinks.


Home size affects energy use and residential density (see Walk Score).


"250% growth in home size as the size of the average household shrinks."

That's one of those trends that just sneaks up on you. Wow!

As far as walkability, I won't even bother with the website. I know mine is zero - I live way out in the sticks. Though I can walk to my barn and get all the eggs I need, and walk to my woodlot and get all the firewood I need. :-)

1,000 sq ft in 1950, 1,100 sq ft in 1958

I remember when I was a child in the 50s in a small TN town, the town doctor built a 2000 sq ft house which caused a small scandal. Everyone said "Why does he want such a BIG house for only 5 people?" It was considered a mansion in those days. Today it looks tiny compared to the houses surrounding it.

I saw an article yesterday from Bellevue, Washington. It was about the building boom there. People who had grown gardens for years watched them die, as they were shaded by the McMansions going up next door.

They interviewed one guy who wondered how they were going to heat the monstrosities in the future. He didn't actually say the words "peak oil," but it was implied.

Cheap energy is a big reason houses are so big here.

We are RICHER today than we were in the past, not poorer. Two car families were rare (and rich) in the 1950s. Average new home size (from memory) was between 1,000 and 1,200 sq ft. Air conditioning (window units) was a luxury. And on and on.

We have more stuff, but that's because women now work outside the home. We're working a lot more hours than we were to support this lifestyle.

The delta is our willingness to tax ourselves for public benefits.

The delta is that 30-40% of tax revenue came from corporations in the '50s. Now, it is about 7%. They just decamp overseas and incorporate in a PO box in the Cayman Islands.

And yes, this is peak oil related. We have a tax system built in the '30s that's ill-suited for the current global economy. And a big reason the economy is global is because we've used up a lot of our resources, and globalization lets us use up everyone else's, too.

We have more stuff...but that's because women now work outside the home. We're working a lot more hours than we were to support this lifestyle

More women working outside the home is part of it, but slightly less than half of the source of our increased wealth (my SWAG) with longer hours today vs. 1950 hours being a small portion of the increase.

Improved technology (CAD CAM vs slide rules and drafting in our area) is a major source of increased per capita wealth as is increased capital stocks.

Best Hopes for more Public & Private Infrastructure Investment and less private consumption,


I would leave the S off that SWAG. ;-)

Try reading The Two-Income Trap, if you haven't. We really aren't wealthier than our parents. In many ways, we are worse off.

We may have bigger houses, but we're working a lot harder for them. And aren't you the one who is always complaining that these big new houses are pieces of crap compared to older homes? McMansion is the word for them. They're big, they're fast, but how long will they last?

This debate regarding whether we are wealthier than our parents is very interesting. I've read all the stats about (more) cars, tvs, garages, sqft, etc... but it sure has come along with a pile of debt, hasn't it?

I've been trying to figure out lately how many months from bankruptcy the average homeowner is, in the event of a job loss. I don't have #s yet, but it is as short as 6 months using most people I come in contact with as examples (assuming they cannot borrow more money).

That sure wasn't the case with our parents.

That is what The Two-Income Trap is all about.

The authors started out studying bankruptcy. They thought they would find that people who went bankrupt were the ones running up their credit card debt on luxuries.

But that wasn't the case. The people who got into trouble were the families with young children, and it was often a medical problem that drove them to bankruptcy. Even fairly wealthy families with insurance are vulnerable, because insurance doesn't cover everything, and there's often a cap on coverage. One sick child can wipe out insurance for the whole family.

Weirdly, the people running up their credits cards to buy big screen TVs and the like were less vulnerable to bankruptcy, because when crunch time came - when they lost a job or got sick and couldn't work - they could easily cut back on their spending. While the ones who didn't buy a lot of junk couldn't cut back anywhere, and found it very difficult to live on less income.

Leanan: I just watched SICKO. By my estimation, I was pretty cynical before watching the film and it was still an eye-opener. IMO, a culture that would encourage such a system is likely not well equipped to deal with drastic energy reduction (not that most posters at TOD were not already aware of this).

But that same culture is willing to go and has gone to war for oil. That same culture is willing to kill its own middle class for that oil. That same culture is willing to kill even more foreigners for that that oil.

This is why the world should be very, very afraid. Because it doesn't matter if Europe is busting its chops to get ready for resource scarcity if the US is willing to start lobbing nuclear warheads to get what it wants. And that is exactly what the Seymour Hersh articles about the US plans to use B61 bunker busters amount to - disclosure of a plan to employ first use nuclear weapons to continue the "happy motoring" lifestyle.

We're talking insanity here. Utter insanity and the most insane are those who hold the most nukes, those who have used nukes before, and those who are threatening to use nukes now.

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Dr. Albert Bartlett
Into the Grey Zone

I imagine the rest of the world must be terrified and trying desperately to find a way to deal will someone so unstable, in control of enough nukes to end the game for all of us many times over.



We are RICHER today than we were in the past, not poorer.

That is not obvious to me, Alan. The sum of our human made wealth + natural wealth (do it per capita) is less now in 2007 than it was 40 years ago. [I'm thinking of the spaceman on dieoff's Olduvai Gorge page.] So we have an incinerator burning trash and dumping it in the water and air, so we have fish we cannot eat - if we can find fish at all - and we get sick and spend our income with the disease care industry.

The "we" part fudges it too. Among those who are indeed richer - or much richer - is that "we" or "they"? If "we" want to spend on an interurban, will "they" pay? "They" own the police, the military, the government, the food, the water.

Much of what might be called wealth is infrastructure (manmade wealth) that depreciates and requires upkeep. That upkeep demands an increasing share of our diminishing resources (natural wealth) and requires a certain scale of throughput.

If one accepts as a premise that our economy has expanded to fill all of the world, then every moment we get poorer. Knowledge might help, but we could only get MUCH richer when there were unaccounted-for externalities.

cfm in Gray, ME

They did plan. But, as psychologists have noted, human beings are really lousy at predicting the future. Even when they have previous experience to draw on, and should know better, they tend to be far too optimistic. (Hence the phenomenon of second marriages. ;-)

But The Oil Drum has the future all figured out? Forgive me if I laugh out loud for a while.

My original Net Oil Exports post (1/27/06):

Steve Andrews just sent this to me:

You should like the article about CIBC in this morning’s Peak Oil News. Jeff Rubin is singing your tune about exports bumping into increasing domestic consumption by oil exporters.

“$100 Oil Could be a Reality by the End of Next Year”
Jul 18, 2007
TORONTO, Jul 18, 2007 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- Increasing consumption and slowing production in developing countries support steady ascent in oil prices, says new CIBC World Markets report Triple digit oil prices are on the horizon and may be permanent as major oil-producing countries in the developing (non-OECD) world reduce exports to meet soaring demand at home, according to a new report by CIBC World Markets. The situation is intensifying the world's oil supply gap which shows no sign of being filled anytime soon by new supplies or by rising prices that normally choke demand, says Jeff Rubin, Chief Economist and Chief Strategist at CIBC World Markets. "All of a sudden, major oil-producing countries are becoming major oil consuming countries," notes Mr. Rubin. "One has to look no further than price to see why," he adds, pointing to Venezuela, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries where gasoline is sold at 20-80 cents a gallon, a fraction of the world price. That cheap and abundant gasoline is fuelling "some of the fastest growth in domestic demand anywhere in the world…"

No, they don't. Most here are way too optimistic. Putin is buzzing London with bombers, the U.S. is deploying B-1 bombers (nuclear) to Iraq, and Bush just commissioned a whole new generation of hydrogen bombs.

See, I am with you on this... I hear all this talk of doomer this doomer that - but I see most people here just not getting the severity of the situation...
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

London have been notified of Russian training half a year ago and training itself is very regular. If that the most that we have to be afraid of, then there is really nothing to be afraid of.

But The Oil Drum has the future all figured out?

Nope. Did anyone ever say we had it all figured out?

If we're at all like normal human beings, we are probably being way too optimistic.

They built all that new infrastructure with a 30-40 years projected lifespan, because they figured we'd want to replace it by then...and we'd have plenty of money to do it.

Nah, everyone knew that we'd be zipping around like the Jetsons by the year 2000 8^)

We can choose to do the easy thing, or we can choose to do the right thing.

The same kind of problem exists in some places in Sweden. One of the strongest reasons for building at least one of two proposed very expensive highway tunnels in Stockholm is that a set of bridges for the major highway E4 thru Stockholm probably has to be renewed within a decade or two.

Why not just let E4 decay and close it down ?

Every time a freeway has been closed in the USA, it was a success.

Spend the monies instead on a rail alternatives.

Best Hopes for Shrinking Freeways,


post-Peak Oil, I cannot see a positive return on investment for a new freeway tunnel.

We dont have that much redundancy in our road network and it is very nice to both have quick rail and road transportation. It were realy good for about 20 years before it filled up and queues accumulated.

If the "Essingeleden" part thru Stockholm closed the traffic would fall back to older bridges and roads and compete with public transportation and make the city center less nice. The city center busses would be bogged down and it would leave no space to reintroduce tramways or more bicycle

Being able to drive past central Stocholm has also made it acceptable to introduce congestion taxes in teh city center wich is a very intresting experiment.

If I were king over infrastructure investments I would aim for a larger version of the situation we hade during the 70:s. That Stockholm would become a 2 million pop city with neglible queues on the road system due to good electricity driven public transportation, bicycle paths, the inherent cost in driving a car and new roads. I would happily sink billions in concluding the road network to an easily navigated redundant structure with even quality that we then have to live with for 100+ years. But that is only a happy thought if the public transportation is built out in parallell. There are good suggestions for additions to the subway network, intermodal rail-road freight and new tramways.

Overall regarding road investments we have a lack of capacity in a handfull of large cities, a number of towns lack bypasses, there is a backlog of maintainance and reinvestment but at least the reinvestment in numerous minor bridges is ok, key roads have uneven standard mixing 1+1, 1+2 and 2+2 lane standard with and withouth direction separating wires and the initiative to get rid of hazards alongside the roads can go on for decades.

The number of additional km of road needed isent large but better standard would be very good all the way down to the capilary road system reaching out to the biomass resources in our countryside and the parts of our physical rural culture that is alive. These needs cant be filled with rail but rail is very valuble for keeping down the cost of long range transportation and old towns with good passanger service will prosper more then other towns.

Check out "Limits to Growth: The 30 year update" this kind of depreciation catching up with society is one of the failure modes leading to peak and downturn.

It seems like we're well along the path of Greer's "Catabolic Collapse".

Yeah, that thought has crossed my mind. We are definitely facing declining marginal returns.


My previous postings are being borne out by reality. The techno dream is faltering, reality is coming back to roost, and we are left sputtering about how rich we used to be.

This site will be arguing its pointless technodreams even as the Internet starts to wobble. It will be in denial right up until the Internet is re-militarized.

The great unraveling has begun and will proceed apace in the fall.

Say goodnight, Gracie.

Geronimo (!)

To paraphrase Yoda: "Begun, the Resource Wars have."

We can choose to do the easy thing, or we can choose to do the right thing.

Couple of depressing stories on CNN this morning.

The big one, of course, was "Time bombs under the street." A steam pipe blew up in Manhattan, during rush hour, right by Grand Central Terminal. At least one person died. It was an eerie echo of 9/11, with people running away in a panic, leaving their shoes behind. Our infrastructure is a mess, and I fear peak oil will not improve things. (And traffic must be a nightmare in Manhattan today.)

A few years back the New Yorker ran a story on the ongoing water tunnel construction. The NYC water system is a nightmare waiting to happen.

Here is the rosy official view:

And here is an abstract of the New Yorker article:

Notice the difference in perspectives?

Dear Friends,

I have grown tired over the past several years in what I saw as a lack of Freedom being pushed by the political parties of America, The monies being used to push Ideals that I did not support and Funds making the Man or Woman running cowtow to the people with the money and their personal issues.

I am running as a Write in Canidate for President of the USA in 2008. My "Free Right Now" Party has as it's basic ideal that We are a free people, We can have any God we want, I am a Christian and I am Free right now and will be free for all time. Politics should have been free all along and not hinged on who had the most money. We are a free nation, let us stay as free as we can and keep big money out of Political office.

I do not support abortion. I do not support lobbies in washington. I will not take retirement for my time in office. My salary will be reduced to my lowest amount needed to keep my bills paid. I will do more for the families of those serving in our armed forces, they are doing a job that needs the support of the country. Protection of these men and women is second to nothing. I will not support bills that limit the freedoms so hard won in the past to make this nation the nation it was meant to be. I do not support harm to others. We do not have to have people homeless in this nation. As a Christian I am honor bound to my faith in Christ first and foremost, but that faith does not limit me from serving as President.

We as a nation are going through changing times, from Climate change to Energy source changes and we have to be prepared for these changes. Is the information you are getting from the Main Stream Media, and From your elected officals the information that will help you as free peoples have a bright future or will it limit how you will live in the future?

I would ask everyone that gets this mailing to please think about it before you just delete it and go on. Think about it, and ask yourself, do you want to go on with the status quo as it now stands? Do you want to at least have a chance to change things. I do not expect to win, I expect to make a dent in the way people think about things. I am a ripple in the pond, but ripples hit the shore and move the volume about in ways only God would know about. As it is still allowed to run for public office in this country by someone that can get the signatures in some states to be a write in canidate, and in others just enough people to use the name. I am asking you to please ask me what else I stand for and to pass my name along the lines of the internet and locally in your areas.

I will not be taking money from you, if you want to support this effort spread the name and linkages.


And let me speak for myself. If you are to send me money all funds will go to help the Homeless in central Arkansas. So save your money, help your own little slices of heaven and help your fellow citizens be free.

Thank You for your time and energy in reading this message.
Your next President Charles E. Owens. Jr.

Also I am PEAK OIL Aware.

Oh, puuuhhhlease!!!

You stand for nothing as far I can tell.

I would not support anyone who proclaimed their allegiance to a 2000 year old myth that was a copy of the 10,000 year old dying god/man myth.

Americans must be the most religiously ignorant people in the world.

To them, simply clicking their heels together and repeating whatever blather they heard in Sunday school is good enough for a religion.

This sort of religious/superstitious hoohaa points directly to the reason that we will not agree to the painful reality of peak oil, that we will suffer a dieoff. The really sad thing is a dieoff will propagate even more crackpot religious people.

We are sooooo screwed.

Thanks for the post. But I don't stick my head in the sand like you might think. I know the world as we know it is coming to an end, I am working on a local level to fight the doom and coming gloom. I don't think I'll get more than a few votes of the tired masses, and I don't think you will vote for me even if you could.

The point I am making is that Politics as usual can't solve the problems we have.

I have been Peak aware longer than Than I have known about the Internet, and that was back in 1981. We live on a Finite Ball of rock in space, I was reading Sci-Fi back in the early 70's wondering when we would get off this rock, and failing to see that happen, knew the doom and gloom before I was introduced to the Internet in my first years of college.

I am not a Rapture is going to save me christian either. Sorry if anyone has thought that of me in the past. Nor am I of the mindset of the Born-agains of my regional locale.

Politics should never have gotten off the free for everyone mark that it did once money was making things happen.

I'd just as soon live like the Rainbow Family tries to do than not, but at thise time in our countries history in the making, we can't even stick our heads in the sand of the Rainbow Families picnic.

We are going to have rock hard trouble in the coming years and most of us are not going to make it out of the next 2 decades alive.

Thanks for the debate, If you want to continue, e.mail me.

Now I'm sure not to vote for you given your diplomatic politician-like reply. If you had told him to go screw himself that might have made me take notice. The last thing we need now is mealy mouth do nothings like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. These problems are going to require someone with fire in their belly, or at least portrays fire to cover a calculating persona (I’m re-reading Schlesinger’s “The Age of Jackson” about another president who knew how to show fire) not someone who is scared they might offend someone


Re: CEOJr1963

In the US, we spend more on chewing gum in any given year than we do on politics in an election year. When you can get the money out of chewing gum, then maybe it would be time to look at politics - after, all, I guess our democracy is worthless. (The amount we spend on bottled water dwarfs the amounts spent on either chewing gum or politics. If we take the amount spent on bottled water and spend it on water projects, we will never have to worry about water.)

CEOJr1963, Hi, you just lost my vote. 'I think people should be free.' Then you state that you do not support abortion! So, its not ok for women to be free from your moral decisions? On what basis would you disallow abortions?
Brother, we are going to need one hell of a lot of abortions to reduce the world population from 6.5 billion to 2 billion. How do you propose we go about it without abortions? Not only are we going to need a lot of abortions we are going to need some family planning with teeth!


Family planning with teeth sounds like a ringing endorsement of oral sex!

Or, as my father taught me "you need perspective on everything in life except oral sex!".

Bob Ebersole

Family planning isn't about teeth nor oral sex.

Err, Bob, that didnt come out exactly as I meant it. lol But, I think you got my drift? BTW, been doing any fishing?

No, dammit, too much rain. We get a lot of turbity up the block at my favorite wade fishing spot, and I don't know why I'm too lazy to drive down to the end of the island by the ship channel where the water clarity is better.

The end of the island's a good spot. Lots of bull reds and drum. I don't keep big black drum or reds-too tough and too many worms-but they are sure fun to catch and release.

How about you? Getting any fishing in? I won't ask about the oral sex! Glad you can take a joke.

Bob, No, I have not been fishing recently. We have had a string of rain and lightning storms in recent days. This is the time of year to plug for trout and snook right at daylight along the edges of the oyster beds in the intercoastal. I might give em a try Monday morning.

Brother, we are going to need one hell of a lot of abortions to reduce the world population from 6.5 billion to 2 billion.

I am with Charles on this one. I think it is much more humane to let them be born then starve to death in the gutter than abort them with such drugs of the devil as RU486.

And freedom is for men only. After all God is a man, and if it had not been for that damn bitch Eve we would all still be living in the garden of Eden.

Ron Patterson

I am a Christian and I am Free right now and will be free for all time.

Sorry to contradict and not willing to start an off-topic rant, but...
You aren't free you are in self-imposed servitude, but servitude nonetheless, you have to abide by rules you cannot change according to circumstances.

I owe no one anything. I have no credit card debt. I don't need the van I own, if push came to shove. I know where all the water sources are within a 10 mile radius of this house and the best out door sleeping places in any kind of weather. Um, so how am I not free?

Yes at this time I have a roof over my head. But it is in a paid for house. Nothing is owed on it that can not be paid with make do work. I can cook for myself, and know how to fix most anything that breaks in it, with hand tools, not power tools.

What servitude do you mean kind person( sir or madame)?

As to others, I did imply that if you wanted to debate me, to e.mail me.

How many days on the trot does this crap have to be posted before this troll gets booted?

When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

Charles Owens means well. Lighten up. He has been posting here for more than a year in between supporting his parents and helping homeless people.

Thanks. Always nice to see oneself get defended by a regular poster.

My helping the homeless in my area has taken a bit more of my time than I had first thought. That and sorting out my 3rd marriage and its road to hell in that handbasket.

Bows politely.

It's good thankless work. And good on you for doing it.
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

I agree.

The perspective of the homeless (many with mental health issues) is under-represented here. And post-Peak Oil, they are likely to be the fastest growing demographic.

Best Hopes for Tolerance,


New Orleans has a reputation for being the most socially accepting city of the mentally ill. Less shunning and distancing, a trait that has served us well post-Katrina.

If I am a troll, I have been around a lot longer than most of them. Thanks for asking, or even looking up the name in the TOD datebase. Pushing 2 years I think. I have posted under the name Dan Ur, for most of that time. But this was my first ID.

My e.mail address was listed in the post, you could have sent me e.mail.

Back to the doomer land and gloomer cityscapes in my next posts.

I was being cranky - shrug it off...

When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

Chickens Must Find a New Home

The Kettering City Council ruled during its July 10 meeting that the city's Board of Zoning Appeals correctly interpreted the city's code concerning pets. Because of this ruling, the Haro family, who live at 1420 Barney Ave., will have to find new homes for its five pet chickens.

Noel Haro, who lives at 1420 Barney Ave., came before Kettering's City Council on Tuesday, June 28, to appeal the decision of the BZA that ruled his five chickens would not be considered as pets under the city's code.

Haro told council during that earlier meeting that the five chickens that he keeps in his backyard are pets.

This is one of the reasons we are swimming against a rip tide. I email everyone of these council people once a month about energy and zoning changes, to no avail. This kind of leadership makes one understand Pol Pot's tactics.

The time will come when chickens are legal everywhere, but it will take a while yet before we get there.

This points out something: people living in non-rural areas should be careful about getting visibly too far out in front of one's neighbors. Don't be the first in the neighborhood to get a rooster, for example! ;-)

The folks in this situation would have been better off to start off with rabbits (which hardly anyone would ever notice), and prepare to add chickens later.

A good idea is to put up a privacy fence around as much of one's yard as one can. Once the neighbors can't see what you are doing, then you can get away with a little more.

Yes, but those rabbit eggs are not very tasty - kind of small too.

The city council is operating in the here and now, rather than in some as-yet-hypothetical future in which a lot of people may or may not want to raise chickens in residential neighborhoods. Not too many property owners want to hear a racket under their bedroom windows every day when the sun rises, and that's what one is likely to get from multiple animals of any sort (even if said animals' owner is deaf to it.) The article doesn't say, but I would expect that probably a neighbor complained.

I have always admired goats. I would love to have a couple of goats around the house to keep the grass down. I could get rid of my lawnmower and make a contribution toword engergy efficiency. I can see it now...the wife and I, three cats, and two goats, all in our king size bed. The wife certainly would not leave them out on a cold Florida night!

Goats are pretty worthless for eating grass. They will however be happy to eat anything you do not want them to!

As will sheep. They can do a lot of damage in a very short time.

For lawn mowing, I still say you can't beat a horse. My horse does a nice, even, thorough job, and sticks to the grass.

Goats, sheep = browser
horse = grazer

Not sure how a cow would work.

Cows having no top teeth just saw the grass off and don't do as neat a job of it as horses. A horse can starve a cow if they share the same pasture. Also both cows and horses are pretty selective about eating grass, so any woody non-tasty weeds get left to multiply.

Well, if goats would do what I dont want them to do, they should fit right in around here!

Uhm, if you'd read the article cited, you'd have learned that the family had 5 HENS, no roosters.

Us urban chicken owners don't like the sound of roosters crowing at dawn any more than the next guy. But those fresh eggs sure do taste good!


"When chickens are outlawed, only outlaws will have breakfast!"

One potential benefit of peak oil will be that our local governments will become so impoverished that they will no longer be able to enforce their arcane zoning ordinances.

Not only the zoning laws, but the stupid laws that fill up jails with guys/girls that got caught with a bag of weed. We have full time cops around here that do nothing but stand on the street at night pretending to be male/female prostitutes so that they can bust anyone that attempts to pick them up. That is really a waste of time. Do the cops think they are going to stop prostitution? I believe we could do with a lot less inmates and jails and I will be glad when the cops are forced by budget constraints to stop the nonsense arrests.

What if the arrests become sources of revenue, like the DEA drug busts now?

cfm in Gray, ME

The arrests are already a source of revenue. Heck, a few decades ago while stationed at Ft. Hood, I attended a town meeting of one of the nearby towns. They openly debated purchasing a third cruiser based on how many traffic tickets it would bring in per month. And this was a tiny town. Go figure how the big city police departments calculate the value of every fine.

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Dr. Albert Bartlett
Into the Grey Zone

We mustn't forget the "protection fee" that made the mafia great.

We can choose to do the easy thing, or we can choose to do the right thing.

Heard on the news last night that a large underground lake has been discovered in Darfur. Irrigation is planned which should lift the locals out of poverty, I suppose. Maybe they could grow biofuels.

Whether this lake is being fed from somewhere or is just a fossil water teaser wasn't mentioned. Peas in our time will be enough. Judging by the landscape, my guess is that the water is 'old' and a one time thing.

I wonder if they were looking for water or just hit it on the way down looking for guess what? I'm expecting that any part of Africa that hasn't been suitably perforated soon will be.

Fossil fuel notwithstanding, our dependence on fossil water will be a limitation regardless of what energy form we use to pump it.

Irrigation is planned which should lift the locals out of poverty, I suppose.

Sure, and they will "prosper" (i.e. multiply) until the water is exhausted too.
People will NEVER learn not to abuse the good times.

I am confused, or possibly just hard of hearing. I swear I heard the talking heads on CNBC a couple of days ago explain that oil futures going into backwardation means the price of oil will moderate in the coming months.

This morning I read in Reuters Flip in Brent structure points to drop in oil stocks at http://www.reuters.com/article/reutersEdge/idUSL1882774120070718 that Brent oil futures have shifted into backwardation, a market condition that points to expectations of a tighter supply/demand picture that could shrink plentiful crude stocks, and "With backwardation, the market is starting to price in a very large crude oil draw," said Olivier Jakob, of oil consultants Petromatrix.

Seems to me that indicates the price might be going more up than down. Who's right?

Sam Penny
the Prudent RVer

A few days ago I posted that the most interesting development in the oil market for me has been the flip from a contango (for the last few years) to a backwardated market. Such a profile exhibits prompt strength which should see a reduction in stocks, since the market no longer pays to keep it in tank so use whats in stock now rather than buy expensive spot bbls...

Contango or backawardation is not going to tell you how the flat price will move over time but it does point to strong prompt fundamentals.

The fact that we moved into backwardation at almost record price levels and a tightening stock situation going forward, should in this instance, lead to higher flat prices...

Last years levels where reached in contango which suggested more geo political risk premium than real fundamental strength. This year we do not have the same geo pol risks as last year but do admit they seem to be on the rise again...

All roads lead to OPEC in September...can they increase production, even if they can, does anybody want the spare heavy sour since we are already refinery capacity constrained (unless the US goes from 91% to 97-98% by the end of the summer, unlikely)?

Hurricanes, refinery outages or a cold start to winter will just exacerbate the situation going forward..

I am of the opinion that we are seeing a shift in the mentality about hedging, which does not require taking delivery, just mitigating risk. I have hedged before and used the contracts in situation like the last Pres. election, where nobody knew what might happen if either candidate won.

What I think is happening is an unwillingness to sell/buy to hedge and lock in a price on either side. If the price gets outside of a range perceived as acceptable by either side in a hedge, the number of transactions drop, and the buyers are essentially saying, "I'll take my risk at market, because I don't like the price I'm locking in at."

I don't think that the market, with it's oversized mind, is smart enough to anticipate anything other than increasing demand and the attendant higher prices. But... the buyers are willing to take the market risk of waiting.


I did a little research on the link Leanan posted above on Dubai. This quote is from that link:

Daily output in the first three months of this year fell to between 65,000 barrels and 80,000 barrels against the 240,000 barrels stated on the U.A.E. government's Web site.

Duabi produces about 6% of the total oil produced by the UAE. Abu Dhabi produces 90% of UAE’s total. But the official web site, according to the quote above, says Dubai produces 240,000 barrels of oil per day. Six percent of current UAE production (EIA C+C) would be 157,000 barrels per day. (The EIA says the UAE produced 2,611,000 bp/d in April.) But none of these figures are correct according to the above link on Dubai; they are producing only 65 to 80 thousand barrels per day.

Bottom line, no matter whose figures you choose to believe, Dubai’s oil production seems to be dropping like a rock. And I would bet that Abu Dhabi will soon be having similar problems.

From "the best laid plans" dept, the following was written in late 1999.

The UA E ’s oil production is limited by quotas agreed within the framework of OPE C to 2 million barrels per day (mbd). Production capacity, however, will rise to around 3 mbd in the year 2000. There are plans to boost that level to 3.6 mbd in the year 2005 and 4 mbd in the year 2010.

Ron Patterson

The UAE was the only one of the top five net exporters that showed an increase in net exports from 2005 to 2006 (EIA), and it was only by 90,000 bpd.

To put 90,000 bpd in perspective, Saudi Arabia's consumption increased by 114,000 bpd from 2005 to 2006.

Meanwhile, the Export Land Model gets -anonymously- popular, even in Canada's rightwing press and banking system. They all pretend they thought of it first.

There's a twist here: ELM is solely caused by low domestic prices.


With the price of oil rising in recent weeks, expectations that crude will reach US$100 per barrel is gaining plenty of traction. Technological advances were long touted as a way to dig up cheap crude and boost supply. Meanwhile, high prices were expected to limit demand.

But both of those arguments against US$100 oil appear to be falling by the wayside, as prices have doubled in three years and demand appears to be accelerating, says CIBC World Markets' chief economist Jeff Rubin. So what about those forecasts for so-called "demand destruction?"

While high gas taxes and alternative fuel subsidies have led to reductions in oil consumption for the past two years in "carbon-conscious" Western European economies, this is being overshadowed by rising demand in developing countries, Mr. Rubin says in a report.

In fact, he cites forecasts from the International Energy Agency that the developing world will consume more oil than the developed world in the next decade. Oil producing countries appear to be a key source of this consumption growth.

"Fill up your tank in the Middle East and you will soon see why," Mr. Rubin says. "With gasoline selling at as little as a tenth of North American prices, there is no danger of ethanol displacing oil in any of these markets."

If this continues, he expects export capacity for producing countries will be cut by as much as 2.5 million barrels per day between now and the end of the decade. While it may be unclear who will fill this expected void, if the gap is not filled, Mr. Rubin thinks it is obvious that triple-digit oil prices will be here to stay.

PS just see you posted a different version of the same upthread,WT. Oh, well..

My continuing disclaimer, Simmons thought of it before I did, but it does look like a chain reaction has started.

My goal in trying to start the chain reaction is to use it to push Alan Drake's plans.

"If we did it in 1908 (largely without oil), why can't we do it in 2008?"

"If we did it in 1908 (largely without oil), why can't we do it in 2008?"

One look at the financial pages should provide a sufficient answer for that, I'm afraid. It's simply too late in the game. I've never seen Alan's numbers for the cost of building rail systems in the first 1000 US towns and cities, but do we need to know? It's not there.

Earlier posts in this thread about collapsing water delivery systems are yet another clue. We don't have the money to repair our existing infrastructures, let alone build entirely new ones.

And there's a quaint paradox hidden in there. We can't do it now, because we don't have enough time (=money). However, if we had that time, we wouldn't do it; the necessity and urgency woudn't be there. In order to conserve something, an upcoming shortage has to be evident. That's simple biology.

That same paradox pervades the whole Peak Oil issue. We don't act till it's too late. That goes for 99.9% of us. You didn't promote electrified rail 25 years ago, either. That's not a personal jibe, we're all victims of the same perverted and institutionalized educational, political and media systems, which exclude the few who do wake up in time.

Yes, there's always the issue of political will. Well, that's not there either. The system is simply stuck. And ideals and dreams concerning rail systems won't get it back rolling. We need a new system, not adaptations to the one that has already failed.

Talking about not having the money:

Senate set to approve record Pentagon budget

By Friday, the Senate is expected to authorize a record-breaking $648 billion in defense spending for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

Even adjusted for inflation, the Pentagon budget for the coming year would be the largest tab for national defense since the end of World War II.

Driving the increase is the continuing war in Iraq, where more than 3,610 U.S. troops have been killed and 26,700 wounded, according to Pentagon figures.

As percentage of GDP, the war is being fought with pocket change...

The graph also shows how capable the nation was of a sudden and extreme effort during WWII. And don't forget it was still feeling pinched by the Great Depression.

Right now the US has enormous resources for building out a post-peak infrastructure, if it so chose.

if it so chose.



Look at our debt obligations (currently 59 trillion) and tell me we have enormous resources

Hey, it's not like we intend to actually pay that debt, right? I mean, it's all just fiat currency floating in the electronic aether, no?

We can choose to do the easy thing, or we can choose to do the right thing.

I've posted before about how important it is going to be to jump directly to the right paradigm. Relatively low-tech, electrified urban rail might work. But if we spend money bailing out every hedge fund, war profiteer, and highway project along the way - let alone trying to rebuild our automobiles - it's not going to happen.

It's not going to happen.

I don't have a clue as to how to "prepare". ELP is not enough when armed bands (the police) are in your garden.

cfm in Gray, ME

ELP is not enough when armed bands (the police) are in your garden.

Do ELP and be part of the "police" :->

And in 1908 there was such a thing as "the people of the US"

In 2008 all you have is forced diversity gone wild, targeted failures to enforce existing law and radicalized special interest groups.

that post makes no sense
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

Senate set to approve record Pentagon budget

By Friday, the Senate is expected to authorize a record-breaking $648 billion in defense spending for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

The US have to spend such money - in order to secure "their oil overseas".
Why can't the Senate just pass another law along the lines of this fabulous NOPEC-law ?
- Simply just denying other nations to purcase YOUR oil overseas ...

THAT IS MUCH CHEAPER - and much more humane

This will seem wildly offtopic to some and annoying to others, but it's not like I have a huge body of credible work here to tarnish, and I do mean well.

So I'll recommend a brief article by Max Tegmark on the 50th anniversary of the many-worlds interpretation of QM theory. http://arxiv.org/abs/0707.2593

I am currently reading Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb (since his more recent work The Black Swan isn't at my library
yet). I have found it unexpectedly delightful largely because in addition to being a fun read, it does a nice job of describing the way he has trained himself to view the world, which is identical in many ways to the way I have. And yes, it has practical parallels with the article linked, though coming at things from a different direction.

I find this absolutely relevant to peak oil on all levels. However, perhaps only a small fraction of folks would agree. It is for those that I post this; there are a number of very bright people here.

That's the whole message, no debate necessary!

You'd get further by spelling out whatever the heck is QM theory. Quixotic Madness?? I'm still pumping for official recognition, whatever that consists of, for TMA - Too Many Acronyms.

Do we really have to train ourselves to view the world? Someone just in from Mars with no advance warning or training whatsoever might do pretty well at it by observing the situation. As Yogi Berra purportedly said, "You can observe a lot just by watching."

Quixotic Madness??

Close enough.

QM theory is "Quark Movement" theory. It is the theory of how quarks move about inside sub-atomic particles.

No, actually I was curious so I googled it. It really stands for Quality of Motivation theory. Now I think that at least one out of every 10,000 people should have heard of that theory. Anyone should feel free to use acronym with that kind of recognition. And if you are not that one out of 10,000 people, tough.

Seriously, we should stop using acronyms that are so vague everyone must guess at what the hell they mean or look it up on the net. I mean we got LOL and TLC and outside of those two, spell it out!

Ron Patterson

I figured QM was quantum mechanics... petrosausus is right, fewr acronims, more time spelling it out!

I kinda liked Quixotic Madness, myself.

Mea culpa. QM=Quantum Mechanics.

I hereby take the No More Acronyms Pledge (NMAP).

Best hopes for doing better in alternate universes,


Hi greenish,

You might enjoy this: http://www.arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0508290

A programming note:

At 4:30 pm (EDT) on CNBC there will be a likely unsatisfactory encounter between Lee Raymond, chairman of the NPC and Maria Bartiromo.

Everyone has to drink every time you hear the phrase "so-called peak oil "theorists""

"Everyone has to drink every time you hear the phrase "so-called peak oil "theorists""

Excellent - there's one now! Down the hatch!

About Kirkurk, following the link

This article is a mess, a lot of garbage piled up on more.

Many think that Kirkurk is the main city or the ‘capital’ of Iraqi Kurdistan, a semi prosperous, calm region. I have often seen it quoted as an example of US success in Iraq.

The problem is that Kirkurk is *not*, and has never been, part of the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan, or the Kurdistan Region, or Kurdistan Iraq, terms vary from Saddam to Bremer to Maliki.

Also not so not so for cartographers, Int’l orgs., the UN, the present Iraqi parliament.

The Kurds of course claim it, or have been trying to for 40 years.

One of the few (?) demands the Kurds made for the New Constitution of Iraq (Bremer’s opus) was to be allowed to add article 140 (? memory may not serve) which stipulates that a referendum in ‘Kurdish’ Iraq would allow the possibility of annexing or taking over Kirkurk, which was accepted by the US.

The referendum is scheduled for the autumn.

Turkomen, Shiites, Sunni Arabs, others, and generally speaking the inhabitants of Kirkurk, with all their divided loyalties, are not happy, to put it mildly.

This first bombing is a presage of things to come.

-- How would ppl in the USl feel if California had the right of referendum to annex a pleasant, prosperous city outside its state lines, set in stone in the Constitution? Pick a place...How does that work?

I have not followed closely, not looked up the relevant law texts, of which of course many versions exist, news articles, so this is off the cuff. Look it up. It is control of oil, after all.

Noizette, the Turks are dead set against the Kurds claiming Kirkuk and its oil wealth. I believe the Turks will invade northern Iraq to stop such an eventuality.

Only if the Americans allow it.
For now, no chance, we need the Kurds far too much.

I’m divided about Turkey’s future actions. Still it is very bizarre to think of the US defending a border that they pretend does not exist! I realise that is a kind of outdated geo-real-politik mindset.

If you want one player to stay on the sidelines while the robbery is in progress then you have to pay them off.

If the player can be convinced that the payment will never happen then he has to play for your side, if just temporarily.

SFGate is also several orders of magnitude to the left of Marx.

SFGate is also several orders of magnitude to the left of Marx.

I so hope that is a joke. You mean Groucho, right?

That's it. Barely closed above 14,000. If they didn't get out before the close you can bet they are strapping on their parachutes as we speak. PPT can't save you now. Can't imagine staying in over the weekend. That would be insane.

And so it goes... (Remember all those light rail plans announced a bit ago?)

Massive cuts coming to Toronto transit: commission chair

The Toronto Transit Commission is planning to close the Sheppard subway, drop 21 bus routes and raise fares because of city funding shortages, chairman Adam Giambrone said Thursday.
All transit expansion plans will also be put on hold, new buses will be mothballed and layoffs are under consideration.

This call for cuts in spending comes from the Mayor's office after his plans to raise additional revenue through a land transfer tax and a vehicle registration fee for city residents were sidelined by City Council earlier this week.

There's probably some brinksmanship, some raising of the city funding issue into the upcoming provincial election campaign, and the usual standoffs between opposing groups within the council.

My vaguely comforting thought is that at least the Stubway (as the Sheppard line is sometimes referred to) is dug; it'll still be there in a few years when it becomes painfully obvious that it's needed.

I think it would be better if Canada would raise the tax on tar sands development and use that money to subsidize mass transit.

Canada has a schizophrenic federal system. Provinces have way too many rights (e.g. Alberta actually thinks the tar sands, gas and oil belong to it and not to Canada and it only came into existence in 1905) and there can be more hindrances to trade between them than trade with the US. The federal government is afraid/unable to tax resources such as tar sands in Alberta to subsidize mass transit in Ontario. Toronto is one of the few places in North America where the municipality fully shoulders the costs of its mass transit (with a few gifts of buses every so often from the other levels of government).

Alberta actually thinks the tar sands, gas and oil belong to it and not to Canada and it only came into existence in 1905

If it's in (or near) North America, then the U.S. "owns" it, of course, just like the Northwest Passage. Not my personal view, understand, but that's how things are shaping up, I'm afraid. The Rush Limbaugh-listening Neocon neanderthals are rabid, and are a danger to us all.

We can choose to do the easy thing, or we can choose to do the right thing.

Hello TODers,

Genetic link found to Restless Leg Syndrome [RLS]:


I am not a geneticist, but perhaps this is a DNA-leftover from our ancient nomadic hunter-gatherer beginnings. Those, whose RLS signals urged them to keep ceaselessly moving, gained a reproductive advantage as they stayed one-step ahead of the predators. This increased urge for mobility would have also tended to drive upright erectness from the initial four-limb movement process.

These RLS people might prove to be ideal offspring generators for our postPeak future of walking everywhere. Now we just need to find the gene, then manipulate it, whereby a detritovore becomes physically impelled against the desire to use fossil fuels or burn wood.

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

There was an interesting piece on NPR about sleep patterns. Many animals, e.g., dolphins, sleep with one-half of their brain, while the other half of their brain is awake.

They have noticed the same pattern in ducks. When three ducks are sitting on a log, the two on the ends have their outer eyes open, with their inner eyes closed. Periodically, they turn around and let the other half of their brains sleep.

Apparently, humans lost the ability to keep one half of their brain awake, presumably because we could hide away in caves, while we slept.

The researchers noted that sleep appears to be a physical necessity, otherwise evolution would have eliminated the need for it.

I don't know. Was Ronald Reagan ever functioning on more than half a brain? I know GWB isn't.
Bob Ebersole

From my own studies on sleep and talking to others that study it in the offhand world of info-junkies. You can not do without sleep if your brain is wired for it. There are some people who have their brains wired to actually not need sleep. but they are very very few and far between. But there are methods to get the needed sleep per night that can be had for far less than the 8 to 10 hours that your doctor tells you, that you have to have.

You have to know how to first relax at a moments notice, relax to the point that your heart rate goes to 60 or lower. You have to put yourself into a self induced trance like state and you can get REM sleep for up to 4 to 10 minutes, While still being aware of where you are and what is going on around you.

Relaxation seems to be the key to most of your bodies needs, but also a few minutes to an hour or so of brain download time via the REM sleep. All this is helped by having watchers in your pairings or small groups. People that can keep you safe while you are out and about. If you are alone you will need a save shelter, Caves work, but Pine and Cedar undergrowth helps better, Plus they are warmer in cold temps than rocky caves that need external heat sources to keep you warm.

If the average human does not get enough REM sleep they will become a danger to themselves and to others within 24 hours without it.

There are several Special Ops groups working on Chemicals that eliminate the need for REM sleep for given periods of time, but the info on this is sketchy at best.

Happy sleeping.

Hello TODers,

I guess Mexico didn't get the Peakoil memo:

MEXICO CITY, July 18 (Reuters) - Mexico will construct three new airports serving beach resorts and build thousands of miles of new roads as part of a $37 billion transport facelift launched on Wednesday.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Hey Bob,

Yes, you're right, that's an interesting theme.

But now you've opened up yourself to a whole new quandary, you poor man :)

It could be good though. You see, for some reason your post makes me think back of the recent list here of countries that have experienced shortages of diverse forms of energy.

This Mexico post suggests a second list, a dual one even:
1/ Countries that abandon infrastructure projects over energy issues
2/ Countries that introduce new such projects, despite it all.

Obviously, public transport does not fall under 2/.

• Mexico, is one for number 1/.
• England another with all their airport expansions (though Gatwick was cancelled (?!) recently).
• Holland is a third, they plan new highways plus expansions
• Canada, the fourth, has multi-billion highway projects planned all over.
Even though a post above says "Massive cuts coming to Toronto transit", that's not for energy reasons.

Anyway, the idea is clear. The load should shift quickly from list 2/ to 1/.

Maybe they are going to be the 'Dubai of the west' with Cactus shaped islands..

Coffeyville Journal: Refinery to restart production in September

COFFEYVILLE, Kan. — Coffeyville Resources announced Wednesday afternoon that its Coffeyville refinery, offline since it was damaged in flooding two weeks ago and leaked thousands of gallons of oil, will restart production in mid-September.

Keith Osborn, executive vice president and the refinery's general manager, said in a news release that the company faces "extensive repairs" to pumps, motors and control equipment at the refinery. But, he added, "we are fortunate that our preliminary assessment indicates there was no major damage to our large, engineered equipment and processing units."

The plant was inundated when the Verdigris River topped its banks on June 30 and July 1 and flooded a third of Coffeyville. A malfunction while attempting to shut down the plant led to about 71,000 gallons of oil leaking into the floodwaters, further complicating citywide efforts to recover from the disaster.

The company said it has hired about 1,000 contract workers to help refinery employees with the repairs. Spokesman Steve Eames said the company isn't releasing a cost estimate for the repairs.

Hello TODers,

Seems like more reporters in the press are waking up to the writings by TODers WT & Jeff Vail [Westexas's ExportLand Model [ELM] and Jeff's insurgent blowback effects]:

Violence in Mexico could threaten U.S. oil imports

Recent bombings of Mexico's energy infrastructure could be the sign of more attacks to come -- which would directly impact the U.S. economy
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Hey Bob,

Some news from your backyard:

Pheonix has a 10 month supply of homes

Hello PeakTO,

Thxs for the info. I should take photos around my neighborhood of all the shuttered stripmall businesses and gas-stations. Some corner 7-11s or Circle K convenience stores are now Payday Loanshark businesses, and my local Goodwill Store usually has more shoppers than the Mervyns or Target stores.

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

I was waiting for John Robb at GlobalGuerrillas to weigh in on infrastructure attacks in Mexico. I don't know if these are the earthmarines; maybe they are just smart and pissed off at being ripped off. Robb's take:

...very sophisticated. Not only were the bombs well constructed....

That's way different than the mainstream reporting I've seen - all of which smelled funny because too much was missing.

Maybe it was well planned. Maybe they got lucky. Maybe Mexican infrastructure is as lacking in resilience as that in US.

Maybe BushCo is right. Al Quaeda is going to be attacking U.S. on its own soil: that it will be native, anti-corporate "earthmarine" - might as well be Pigasus, Saddam or Monty Python "I piss in your face" resistance - to them it's all the same.

I don't yet see how the North American Union helps the powers that be solve this.

cfm in Gray, ME, Atlantica

Bob, Leanan had an interesting article up page about the pipe line sabotage in Mexico. Seems to be turning into a real whodunnit. I am surprised that Bush hasnt accused Al Queda of being the perps.

Hello River,

Thxs for responding. Yep, I already read Leanan's toplink and some other googles.

I have no proof, of course, but just this speculation:

This pipeline bombing might have been an internal job to establish the condition for Pemex's future private army to protect their infrastructure from desperate Mexicans that cannot later afford their petrol products anymore. Thus, the EPR insurgents might have been 'setup' to take the blame as the fallguys.

C4-plastic explosive is just not that readily available, and your average mexican insurgent probably wouldn't know/care if the embedded chemical markers provided traceability. Hell, it is highly likely that they don't know the first thing about C4, they would give it to their kids thinking it was Play-Doh!

Now if it doesn't have these markers--hmmm? Private professional mercs that later hope to have a booming business protecting this infrastructure?

Recall that not long ago us TODers were discussing newslinks such as this:

Gazprom to raise its own private army to protect oil installations

Gazprom will create its own private army after Russian lawmakers gave the gas utility and Transneft, the state oil pipeline monopoly, the power to create armed units to defend their installations.

The move provoked a storm of protest against the creation of private armies within Russia’s largest corporations. Gennadi Gudkov, a deputy in the Duma who had opposed the Bill, called it a “Pandora’s box . . . This law envisages the creation of corporate armies. If we pass this law, we will all become servants of Gazprom and Transneft.”
Sadly, Pemex will forced to the same condition as Gazprom in order to secure their assets sufficiently to continue the resource extraction and distribution.

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

Really off topic but noteworthy. This year's Arctic ice cover has declined much faster than in previous years. Today it is where it was a month later in 2006. The archive at http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/ does not have a similar pattern going back to 1979 so this is something new and supports the recent study in GRL that the Arctic will be free of ice during summer by 2020. But that study was based on data through 2006. If the ice loss is going to exhibit regime changes like in 2007 then it will be gone even faster. The reduced albedo is going to increase the warming trends.

Interesting article at Reuters:

Economic growth in China, the world's second-largest consumer, accelerated to 11.9 percent in the second quarter, a 11-1/2-year high, and crude imports for June rose 20 percent from a year ago.

Crude imports by South Korea, the world's fourth-largest buyer, rose 3.8 percent from a year ago in June.

Steadily rising demand in the United States

All of that makes me think that oil is rather cheap. With such rapid demand growth I would expect oil to be much more expensive. I guess this means that there must be some significant demand destruction going on in poorer countries.

Using Dr. Paul MacReady and Aerovironment to reinforce a doomer perspective is the height of irony. Aerovironment is the company that has independently tested Altairnano's battery technology and testified to the California Air Resources Board about its capabilities. Here is a quote from an EVWorld article about it

[Aerovironment] has been quietly testing the batteries, first at the cell level, then at the module level and finally at the pack level.

To date, AVinc, has run 50 ten-minute fast charging cycles at the module level with a 120-minute discharge to simulate travel at 60 mph, So far, the module has shown no degradation whatsoever, which leads AVinc to conclude that pack life appears to be following the extended cycle life they've observed at the cell level.

AeroVironment's findings appear to confirm Altairnano's claims that the battery should be good for tens of thousands of cycles equivalent to 500,000 miles of vehicle travel.

That's 500,000 miles on electricity alone, versus 25,000 gallons at 20 mpg, or $81,250 of gasoline at $3.25. Altairnano is asking $65,000 per battery pack to fleet buyers.