DrumBeat: August 12, 2007

Middle East risks fuel oil crunch period, says IEA

The International Energy Agency yesterday warned that the Middle East runs the risk of becoming a net importer of fuel oil at precisely the time worldwide output of the product could diminish.

Fuel oil demand in the region, which sits on nearly three-quarters of the world’s proven reserves of crude oil, has reportedly spiked on the back of hefty power generation requirements as gas supplies become insufficient to meet electricity demand, the IEA said.

The region’s rapid economic expansion coupled with the start of Summer has led to power shortages in Kuwait, where a power-rationing programme during peak hours is in place, and in the United Arab Emirates, where industrial users are reportedly turning to coal and rolling blackouts have occurred in the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, the IEA added.

China exports more oil products

Increasing exports with less imports aggravated short supply in some areas, as oil consumption peaked in summer.

Qiu Xiaofeng, an analyst with China Merchants Securities, said if the export was not curbed, oil prices at home would rise.

Other analysts believed the increasing exports and the ensuing short supply were due largely to the price gap between domestic and international markets.

Food banks see more need as donations fall

Dianna Kessel, family support specialist at the Safety Harbor center, and Judy Mitchell, president of Church and Community Outreach, say it is a sign of the times in Florida. Even two-income families are stressed, and increasing numbers of clients at area food pantries mention that their homes are in foreclosure.

"Even those who are not losing their homes are hanging on by the skin of their teeth," said Mitchell. "Florida is no longer a reasonable place to live."

The high cost of gasoline is a major factor straining family budgets, Kessel said. Not only do those who can't fuel their cars find it hard to get to work, but gasoline prices also have driven up food prices. Higher taxes and property insurance have impacted those who own homes, and also have led to rising apartment rents and higher prices for retail goods and services.

Coming soon: Fuel-friendly SUVs?

If you love driving your SUV but hate the cost and eco-stigma that come with it, automakers are trying to help you resolve your issues.

In the past year, sustained gas prices of $3 a gallon have led to a decline in the market for sport-utility vehicles, trucks and other large vehicles that use a lot of fuel.

To win back customers, automakers are using new technologies to improve SUVs’ fuel economy, including cleaner-burning diesel engines, gasoline-electric hybrids, special lightweight parts and even power-steering pumps that think for themselves.

Australia: Diesel can be deadly

While a tank of diesel will take you further and therefore release less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the particulates they emit can be deadly.

Hybrid technology may revitalize more efficient diesel engine

You may have noticed recently that you are hearing more and more about diesel cars.

That makes sense because diesel engines get better fuel economy than gasoline engines. With gas prices rising so much, people are interested in any technology that cuts the amount of fuel cars use.

But have you ever wondered why diesel engines get better mileage?

TxDOT may soon only maintain roads

Texas Department of Transportation faces its most severe funding crisis ever, and according to officials who met Friday at the second Northeast Texas Mobility Transportation Forum in Commerce, things are not going to get better.

TxDOT leaders, including Michael W. Behrans, TxDOT executive director, and Amadeo Saenz Jr., assistant executive director of engineering operations, told the group of city and county leaders unless new sources of roadway funding are developed, the state soon will be in a maintenance program rather than a roadbuilding program.

Putting the brakes on sales

A sales boom has slowed for the tractor-trailer truck industry.

The problem stems from new Environmental Protection Agency standards limiting the amount of emissions from trucks.

"The government has taken 10 [percent] to 15 percent of our business," said John Cerni, owner of Cerni Motors dealership in Austintown.

What’s America’s energy IQ?

The survey, conducted for the American Petroleum Institute (API) by well-known public opinion surveyors, Harris Interactive, shows that “most U.S. adults have a fundamental lack of knowledge regarding energy demand and supplies and the role of America's oil and natural gas companies,” said Dr. Felmy, API’s chief economist.

In fact, when presented with 20 multiple-choice questions, on average more than 25 percent of respondents said they were "not sure," and in many cases people “chose the response that is farthest from the correct answer,” said Felmy.

Congress should reverse oil-first energy policy

BOTH HOUSES of Congress have passed legislation this session that would mark a shift in energy policy toward federal investment in the development of alternative forms of power.

51 Zimbabwe bus drivers arrested as transport crisis bites

Fifty-one bus drivers were arrested for overcharging this weekend in the Zimbabwean capital Harare as riot police were brought in to control crowds of desperate travellers, official media reported Sunday.

Thousands of would-be travellers were stranded at Harare's main railway station, unable to catch trains for the holiday weekend, according to the Sunday Mail.

The Philippines: Gov’t eyes long-term coal supply deals

To prevent a shortage in fuel supply for the country’s baseload power plants, the Department of Energy is seeking more long-term coal supply deals.

Danes set for North Pole mission

Danish researchers are due to set sail for the North Pole to collect geological data, on a mission similar to Russia's trip earlier this month.

Trinidad and Tobago: Don't Panic - Audit shows natural gas will run out by 2019

Saith said yesterday the Ryder Scott audit showed was there was an estimated 37 trillion cubic feet (tcf), identified as gas yet to be explored even though the existing known reserves had declined.

"So it is not a simple matter as if we are running out of gas. What it is saying is that you've got to do the things necessary to get exploration going where there is gas," Saith said.

Japan: Preferential tax eyed for biofuel

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry said Saturday it plans to introduce a new preferential tax system in fiscal 2008 aimed at promoting a wider use of biofuel, which could help curtail greenhouse gas emissions.

Iran official raises prospect of free market gasoline

A senior Iranian Oil Ministry official hinted the country may start selling gasoline at a higher price in addition to the subsidized amount allocated to drivers under a rationing scheme launched in June.

Oil and Pollution at a Critical Stage

There are analysts asking if we already entered the final era of oil.

This leads to seriously think on developing new sources of cleaner energy in a world already feeling the dangers of global heating due to the massive use of fossil fuels as oil and coal.

Tanzania: Families Dig Deeper Into Pockets to Put Food on Their Tables

Prices of basic foodstuffs including cooking oil have shot up drastically in Arusha many of the traders pointing an accusing finger at the recent increase in petrol, diesel and other petroleum products.

India should tap bio-fuel sources in Africa

Large tracts of unutilised fertile land in Africa provides opportunity for India to meet its bio-fuel needs and reduce dependency on natural fuel, a senior United Nations official said here.

Jamaica: Finding alternative sources of energy is a priority, says PM

With Jamaica's oil bill set to pass the US$-billion mark this year, the need to find and utilise alternative sources of energy must become a priority, said the prime minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson Miller.

Canada: Feds hope we'll take a shine to solar-powered water heaters

Thousands of Canadians could soon have new solar-powered water heaters in their homes if their local gas or electrical utilities, homebuilders or municipalities take advantage of a federal pilot project.

Higher fuel costs a struggle

Higher prices have cost-conscious consumers focusing on how much they spend at the pump, but just think about the impact that expense has on agencies gassing up school buses, garbage trucks, police cars and other vehicles used by government officials.

You're not just paying for gas at the pump - taxpayers end up footing the bill for agencies with gas costs that would awe the average consumer.

The case for the gas tax: It could reduce fuel use more

U.S. Rep. John Dingell's pitch for a massive increase in gasoline taxes makes little sense standing next to a fuel pump shoveling another $50 into your tank. But from the boardrooms of Detroit's automakers and the halls of Washington's think tanks, it appears better than most alternatives.

Electrical costs will stay high

The operators of New England's power grid have issued a stern warning: No matter what government policies are adopted to promote conservation and alternative energy, the region's electricity rates over the next 20 years will be linked inexorably to the price of natural gas.

Even if the six states built new nuclear generators at existing nuclear plants and a slew of cleaner-burning coal plants, or were able to make up the expected 8,000-megawatt increase in power demand over the next two decades with conservation alone, ISO New England says the region will continue to suffer among the highest electricity rates in the nation unless the price of natural gas plummets. That could be achieved by permitting development of America's vast natural-gas fields offshore and above the Arctic Circle, but Congress, abetted by the Connecticut delegation, has forbidden that for decades.

Effort to build coal-to-gas plant praised, attacked

One side calls it clean-coal technology.

The other says the proposed plant to convert coal to natural gas is a recipe for more global warming and more destruction of Kentucky landscapes.

Growers scratching out a living

More than a hundred Northwest Arkansas poultry farmers are lobbying Tyson Foods Inc. for contractual agreements that give them more money, a response to what they call years of inaction by the meat giant amid skyrocketing business costs.

The group’s leaders say the Springdale company is putting off raising the payments per pound of chicken to hedge against its own growing costs. Meanwhile, rapid increases in fuel and living expenses have put these independent farms in jeopardy, they say.

The wrong extremes on biofuel

Just when you thought George W. Bush and Fidel Castro were dead – one politically, the other literally – they're back at it. Their new fight is about biofuel, the conversion of living things into liquid energy. One president says it's an assault on nature and humanity.

The other says it's an agricultural revolution that will liberate the masses. Mr. Bush is the revolutionary. Mr. Castro is the reactionary.

Ethanol has become scapegoat

The anti-ethanol chorus is growing louder, blaming all the world's problems on ethanol. The latest argument of ethanol driving up food prices sounds alarming, until you look at the facts. Sure, corn prices do factor into some foods, but to find the real culprit in the grocery-store aisle, you should look at energy costs.

High crude-oil prices translate into high fuel costs, not only at the pump, but also in the consumer goods that are dependent upon energy for processing, packaging and transportation. Corn is only a tiny fraction of the overall food-price picture.

Thousands of flex-fuel vehicles, no ethanol

U.S. automakers have stepped up production of vehicles that can run on ethanol, and El Pasoans can easily find such vehicles at some local new car dealerships.

The problem is that ethanol fuel, most of which is produced from corn, is not easily found.

'Hypermiler' is on a roll

On the hottest days of summer, Wayne Gerdes drives with his windows rolled up and the air conditioning off.

He crawls up to stoplights at a few miles an hour, wears an "ice vest" (technical equipment used in nuclear power plants) to stay cool on long rides, parks in the isolated outskirts of mall lots and turns off the engine and coasts on major highways — all in the name of greater fuel efficiency.

Woes mount for Wal-Mart

Last week, Wal-Mart reported anemic same-store sales growth of 1.9 per cent for July, the kick-off of the important back-to-school season, trailing the industry average of 2.6 per cent. Wal-Mart blames financial pressure on shoppers from high fuel prices and a weak housing market.

Venezuela's Chavez says oil headed for $100 barrel

World oil prices are headed for $100 per barrel, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez predicted on Saturday, and said he will cut supplies to the United States if the U.S. government "attacks" the South American nation again.

"I've always said that oil prices are headed straight to $100 per barrel," he said during a televised speech. "We should prepare ourselves for those prices of one hundred dollars."

Chavez said high oil prices were the sign of a "global crisis" in energy caused by voracious consumption that has vastly reduced available oil reserves.

Chavez deepens Petrocaribe oil pledges

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez pledged on Saturday to meet Caribbean nations' oil needs for years to come, and urged the region to unite and seek greater independence from the United States.

Chavez deepened past pledges to share his country's oil wealth as he addressed a summit of nations taking part in Venezuela's Petrocaribe oil initiative, which supplies fuel under preferential terms.

UAE may carve up, offer oil and gas territory: sources

Prized territory, shared for decades between multinationals and major oil and gas producer the United Arab Emirates (UAE), might be broken up in the medium term, industry sources said on Friday.

The change could follow an open contest that would bring in better technology and a greater variety of players, including Asian firms seeking to meet escalating energy demand.

Making Money vs Creating Wealth - Migrating to New Energy Paradigms Part 5

Making money is not the same as creating wealth. The objective of this article is to facilitate an understanding of this deceptively simple statement which, in turn, will facilitate an understanding of the dimensions of the problems now being faced by humanity. Hopefully, this will lead to a realization that these problems – most of them – are soluble within a relatively short space of time.

Deregulation isn’t helping consumers

A recent study of changes in electric rates state-by-state from 2002 to 2006 shows that in states where the cost of generating power was no longer regulated, electric rates shot up 35.7 percent.

In the states with regulated electric utilities, rates climbed, too, but at a much slower pace — 20.8 percent.

Kirchner warns oil companies about investments

Argentina is willing to invest heavily in the exploration and production of natural gas in Bolivia if the multinational companies, such as (Brazil’s) Petrobras and (Spain’s) Repsol-YPF, are not committed to the undertaking warned Argentine president Nestor Kirchner in Tarija.

Getting smart about land use, environment and economy

There are too many of us burning things up. It is no accident that we face extinction as we reach peak oil consumption and record population levels.

We need a general moratorium - a time-out to cool off. But that needs to be coordinated with a change in direction. We must conceive and create a world economy that does not require growth in population or increasing consumption to be viable. Anything short of that will avoid a catastrophic collapse of our civilization.

24 hours to save the planet

Can Jack Bauer save the world? News that television's secret agent, played by Kiefer Sutherland in the addictive thriller 24, is to take the war against global warming into millions of homes has been welcomed by environmental campaigners as a seminal moment in the 'greening' of Hollywood.

World Water Week to focus on climate change, biofuels

Climate change and a potential water shortage in some regions, also due to the diversion of water to crops for biofuels, will be at the centre of the 2007 World Water Week which opens here Monday, with 2,500 international experts expected to attend.

The theme of the annual event's 17th edition will be "Progress and Prospects on Water: Striving for Sustainability in a Changing World."

A little fun for a slow news Sunday,

You all might enjoy this website - where are you really in the political spectrum?


I fell right on the Dalai Lama. (Last time I took it I was just to the right of the Dalai Lama.)

I agree that I am a libertarian but the communism/neo-liberalism axis appears to be a compassion/"you're on your own" axis or perhaps a humanity/corporatism axis. Frankly, I like people to be nice and respectful of each other. I guess that makes me a communist. ;)

I would think that, after the last couple of weeks, everyone would be a little 'left' of letting the corporations do whatever they want.

Was fun thanks for the link.

As expected, I came about centre on both scales.

Economic: -9.00
Social: -8.92

You'll probably notice that a disproportionate number of people come up with results in the libertarian-communist bottom left corner relative to how much that stance is represented by the media, politicians, and our general political discourse. And a disproportionate number of political personalities end up in the top right corner. For instance, John Kerry, The Decider (known to us lowly peons as "George W. Bush), and Tony Blair all come up in the top right corner, even though two of those fellows are ostensibly on the "other side of the spectrum." There really isn't a choice in our political system.

for a long time now in the states the political spectrum has shifted very strongly to the left. that is why you hear people talking about how "free markets solve everything". That is patently false, with natural monopolies the free market fails, with monopolies and cartels the free market fails.

Typically those people who advocate only free market solutions are ignorant of the role government should play with regards to private versus societal values(subsidize items where the societal value is greater than the private, and tax those items where societal cost is greater than private). (like mandatory TB vaccinations - did you know that the reason for the no spitting taboo is because of TB, a highly contagious bacterium which resides in the lung. Someone spitting up wads of TB all the time is basically a disease machine!)

The current thinking is to slam society with the costs, and privatize the gain. Look at what it has gotten china, a ruined environment and country which will take decades to clean up.

If you have designed a TB vaccination you should let the WHO know. As of now we don't have one...

Sure we do - it's just not generally used in the US.

BCG Vaccine

BCG, or bacille Calmette-Guérin, is a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) disease. BCG is used in many countries with a high prevalence of TB to prevent childhood tuberculous meningitis and miliary disease. However, BCG is not generally recommended for use in the United States because of the low risk of infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the variable effectiveness of the vaccine against adult pulmonary TB, and the vaccine’s potential interference with tuberculin skin test reactivity.

I work with a lot of foreign born medical personnel who have received it.

TB was eliminated from the population shortly after antibiotics were discovered.

the societal prohibition against spitting lives on however, and is especially prevalent in countries were TB exists, but is not always treated.

Google MDR tuberculosis and XDR tuberculosis.

Also, please remember that:
1. People are food to disease. Disease feeds on us. The larger the human population, the more disease will seek to eat us, the larger the disease population.
2. The more closely packed together humans are, all other things being equal, the easier it is for disease to spread.
3. Disease, our only remaining natural predators, are fought off preventively through hygiene with soap, pumped water, heated water, cooking, extermination of disease vectors (rats, mosquitos) and reactively with antibiotics, healthcare, and waste disposal. All are accomplished with cheap energy to meet the needs of 6.7 billion people.

When it becomes harder to treat or prevent infection, it won't just be a breakout of XDR TB, it will include typhoid, cholera, meningitis, flu, various hemorrhagic fevers, dysentery, hepatitis, and even plague, all of which are still being ineffectively kept in check.

How effectively will we fight disease as cheap energy declines? And how will unfolding disease outbreaks affect our ability to harness more energy?

Indeed, I think disease will have a far far bigger role to play in any sort of population reduction as the result of declining oil supplies than starvation from declining food production. Especially as third world countries become increasing urbanised, living densely in horribly unhygenic slums, it will take nothing short of a miracle to keep disease rates from skyrocketing in the coming decades. It may well be enough to keep the maximum global population as low as 8 billion (as opposed to the currently projected 9-10 billion from various organisations). While this might be better for the planet, it will be nothing short of devastating for those living in such conditions.

simply put, we wont, the couple you name (typhoid, cholera) will be the worst. dehydration is the biggest killer. Remember to bring water to a boil and then let it cool to destroy pathogens.

TB was eliminated from the population shortly after antibiotics were discovered.


I work in a hospital in Silicon Valley (not the county facility)and we are seeing an increase in TB cases.

Shortly after is the key word. TB was not entirely eliminated in all countries, however its prevalence was reduced to such an extent that the current couple generations have nil risk of contracting it. The same with smallpox. As to current trends, moving from 0 to 1 or 2 cases a year is bad(of the super duper bad TB), but compared to previous ages when sanatoriums were used to ease the suffering of thousands upon thousands I will keep the modern world thankyou.

And the Xtreme TB and super extreme drug resistent TB are caused by antibiotic administration which is not 100% effective (the same resistance eventually occurs with all bacteria)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuberculosis#history seems to back me up nearly 100%

It was not until 1946 with the development of the antibiotic streptomycin that effective treatment and cure became possible. Prior to the introduction of this drug, the only treatment besides sanatoria were surgical interventions,

this obviously only applies to countries where streptomycin is available in large amounts and cheaply to boot. wiki says 2 billion people currently have TB, with pretty much none in 1st world nations.

TB was not entirely eliminated in all countries, however its prevalence was reduced to such an extent that the current couple generations have nil risk of contracting it. The same with smallpox.

Smallpox and TB are not at all "the same". Smallpox has been eliminated in the population. TB has not and is actually re surging. Here. In the first world.

And the Xtreme TB and super extreme drug resistent TB are caused by antibiotic administration which is not 100% effective (the same resistance eventually occurs with all bacteria)

It is not simply antibiotic administration that causes resistance. It is also patients that are not compliant with treatment. Antibiotics are prescribed for a certain period of time for a reason, but many people stop taking them when they feel better, not realizing that the infection has not been eliminated.

You obviously don't work in the medical field, at least not clinically.

11. Can the TB vaccine, known as the BCG vaccine, prevent XDR-TB?

The BCG vaccine prevents severe forms of TB in children, such as TB meningitis. It would be expected that BCG would have the same effect in preventing severe forms of TB in children, even if they were exposed to XDR-TB, but it may be less effective in preventing pulmonary TB in adults, the commonest and most infectious form of TB. The effect of BCG against XDR-TB would therefore likely be very limited. New vaccines are urgently needed, and WHO and members of the Stop TB Partnership are actively working on new vaccines. (emphasis added)

Source: World Health Organization

Huh? "[T]he political spectrum has shifted very strongly to the left" and "free markets solve everything" are to me incompatible - it's usually those on the left-side of the political spectrum that favour more government regulation and higher taxes to curb the excesses of laissez-faire capitalism. Of course the political spectrum has never truly been 1-dimensional anyway, but what I would describe it as is a simultaneous move towards neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism, which often occur as two sides of the same coin.

My personal position is that its not the amount of regulation and taxation that's the problem - it's the manner in which its done. i.e. I'd like to see far higher taxes on consumption and pollution (including GHG pollution), but OTOH lower income and payroll taxes. I'd argue for more competitivity regulation (to prevent monolithic companies from getting too powerful and effectively suppressing innovation to protect their own interests), and more environmental regulation, but perhaps less regulation in other areas such as price controls, zoning (where businesses are allowed to operate), workplace requirements that tend to unfairly burden small businesses and start-up companies etc. etc.
I'd also take the general attitude that before making any activity outright illegal, at least give businesses and consumers a chance to change behaviour on their own first, with tax incentives and education campaigns etc. If there's no improvement within a certain time-period, then enforce legislation.

I've no idea where all that puts me on the political spectrum!

If there's no improvement within a certain time-period, then enforce legislation.

Wiz, you just don't get it. If there is no improvement in a a certain time period its because people don't want to live that way.

And if people don't want to live that way you can't force them to with legislation. Not in a democracy. The voters will vote for the policies they like, not what's best for them.

And don't start with that crap about how people want what's best for them. Cause we all know that F150s and McMansions are what they want.

We have legislation that prevents people from smoking in clubs and restaurants. And guess what, they don't - they day after the legislation came into effect, clubs and restaurants went from smoke-filled and smelly to clean and odour-free. Most people (and even corporations) are law-abiding most of the time, whether you believe so or otherwise.

People only follow the laws they want to follow. Other wise they break the laws or get them changed.

What idiot will vote for a law (or politician) that is against their own self interest?!? Would you? Would you vote for higher energy taxes if you didn't know or care about PO?

Most people are law abiding most of the time because the laws are set up to accommodate the majority of them. If a majority didn't want a ban on smoking there wouldn't be a ban on smoking.

That is the nature of a democracy. Whatever the majority of people want is reflected in the laws. You cannot force them to live in a manner inconsistent with their desires.

I can't understand why I even have to explain this to you.

Who said I was talking about legislation that would affect the majority?

The sorts of the legislation I was primarily concerned with are those preventing a minority of corporations (who don't vote) from causing excessive environmental damage.

But here's example of why you're wrong anyway: the incumbent party here is proposing a ban on incandescent light bulbs. Now that does affect the majority - most people want the cheapest and most convenient products they can buy, and this stops them. But this ban isn't likely to make the slightest dint in their vote.

The political mood is moving fast enough that within a few years, a government will safely be able propose a law to ban cars with poor fuel economy without risk of voter backlash (indeed, the backlash even now would be minimal - the resistance to such proposals in the U.S. is coming from auto-manufactures, not from pollers). Even though if this means voters won't be able to drive Hummers anymore.

Now personally, I'm against either of those bans: I don't see any need to actually ban incandescent light bulbs or low-fuel-economy cars outright: there are occasions where they make sense. But once the cost of externalities is properly priced in, and fuel is more sensibly priced, their use will drop off, and they eventually may simply become uneconomical to produce.

And yes, I would vote for higher energy taxes (w/ lower income taxes), even if I didn't know about PO, entirely out of self-interest. For a start, I do know about climate change, and don't want to be living, or my kids to be living on an overheated planet. On top of that, I stand to benefit directly, because I already make effects to reduce my energy usage, so the accompanying income tax cuts will go towards paying off the mortgage, as opposed to being necessary to allow me to keep wasting unnecessary energy. It's not that hard to convince people that you're going to give them an extra $50 a week in tax cuts, but raise petrol and electricity prices such that they'll cost the average punter an extra $50 a week. Do they same thing 4 years in a row, and you will start to see people taking energy conservation quite seriously, once they realise how much they stand to profit from it.

What would be the point of taxing consumption if it doesn't eafect the majority?

But here's example of why you're wrong anyway: the incumbent party here is proposing a ban on incandescent light bulbs. Now that does affect the majority - most people want the cheapest and most convenient products they can buy, and this stops them. But this ban isn't likely to make the slightest dint in their vote.

No, here's why I am right anyway. The majority of people want to ban incadescent bulbs (just like the majority of people wanted that smoking ban). Its a feel good measure that doesn't impact their lives in an signifigant way. That's why the incumbent party is pushing it. It's popular.

Agian you are not going to get people to support unpopular laws. Its in the very nature of a democracy. I don't understand why we are arguing this point.

And I would make a point of introducing taxes on energy in a way that "doesn't impact...lives in a significant way", such as my $50/week in income tax cuts, to offset expected $50/week increase in energy prices.

I agree that trying to introduce laws that are obviously going to be massively unpopular is futile and will likely get you booted out of government - it may well happen to the current government here with their recent workplace laws. So you do it gradually, and in tandem with careful advertising to sell it as a positive thing for most people. The "majority" won't be significantly impacted by the change, but the high-energy users will be, encouraging them to use less. The majority will see soon enough that they stand to gain significantly if they take up energy conservation measures.

And I would make a point of introducing taxes on energy in a way that "doesn't impact...lives in a significant way"

Then don't expect to make any sort of signifigant impact on energy consumption either.

So you do it gradually, and in tandem with careful advertising to sell it as a positive thing for most people. The "majority" won't be significantly impacted by the change, but the high-energy users will be, encouraging them to use less. The majority will see soon enough that they stand to gain significantly if they take up energy conservation measures.

And if you can pull that off (doubtful look at the astonishing success efforts at reducing CO2 has been) then you don't need to enforce the changes via legislation which was the point I objected to way up at the top of this thread.

I don't expect the changes to make a significant impact...initially. The changes will accumulate over time as you gradually increase the taxes and people become more and more aware of the methods and advantages of saving energy.

If after, say, 4 or 5 years, the expected savings in energy consumption weren't happening fast enough, you could look at specific legislation to outlaw particularly noticeable forms of energy wastage.

However, in reality it's not going to happen like that. Governments inevitably seem to prefer to legislate first, think later. So we will have laws banning this, mandating that, and burying everything else in red tape. I'd love to think voters would prefer to vote in governments that promised smarter tax reform as opposed to simply more regulation and legislation, but I've seen little evidence of that.

Indeed, higher prices are going to happen anyway (certainly with oil), so the taxation plan isn't strictly necessary - I see the main advantage in being able to speed up and smooth out the process.

And that'd be a great plan if it was 1977 instead of 2007.

But simple conservation on such a minor scale as you are advocating will do nothing.

There are plenty of regions on the globe that would be glad to use any barrel of oil you would save.

OK, for a start, you only need to see a 3% annual decrease in oil/gas consumption to achieve nearly 50% over 20 years, which I personally suspect will be more than sufficient to match expected oil import decline rates anyway - one way or another, high-use oil-importing nations will be forced to cut their usage by about 50% in this time period, the taxation proposal is just a way of encouraging consumers to start early, hopefully smoothing out the decline.

As far as what other regions on the globe do - personally I suspect America will be one of the last nations on the planet that will try to introduce a taxation system to help put downward pressure on demand (the IEA has already recommended it, and from what I've read China & India are both aware of the risks of oil depletion, and how vulnerable their rapidly growing economies are).
So in all probability it will be America that will be desperately grabbing all those extra barrels of oil saved by European and Asian nations, until imports start dropping so quickly that no amount of smooth mitigation is possible.

Having done the test, I get:

Economic Left/Right: -1.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.64

However quite a few of the questions related to economic liberalism were so skewed that I don't think -1.75 accurately reflects my personal view: I'd prefer to see 0, maybe even a tiny bit positive.

economics indicates that if private value and private cost are different than the societal cost, then the government must step in to prevent market failures.

this includes vaccines, police, fire dept, health care, perhaps education, pollution, contract rights, and so forth.

most people don't understand how the incidence of tax affects them, if there is a tax on pollution (pigovean or rights based) the tax will still be distributed between the buyers and sellers of a good. Tax incidence depends on elasticity of supply and demand, with the higher elasticity (the more nessisary a good is, the lower the elasticity) items being spared the greater tax incidence. (taxes on cigs for example, hurt the cig companies more than consumers because consumers, with some effort, can simply quit to stop paying for cigs!) However taxes on food impact buyers more than sellers. Taxes also reduce the size of a market, which is bad.

Most republicans are so far left? right? that they believe in free market everything, where all costs are externalized. In this manner society suffers, because goods with higher societal value than indivdual value are not produced as the societally efficient level.

In general taxes on negative externalities should be used to fund positive externalities, and should be applied with great discretion as to not shrink the market size by a great deal.

a nicer thing to think about is the in the long run everything is more elastic (change can occur) this allows the producer and consumer to alter their habits, IF THE taxes are changed sufficiently in the past. Europe and it's gas taxes are strong evidence that a minimum of probably 5-10 years is needed before real gains are reached from gas taxation.

for a long time now in the states the political spectrum has shifted very strongly to the left. that is why you hear people talking about how "free markets solve everything".

You confuse "left" with "liberal", where "liberal" essentially means "free-market fundamentalist". Hillary is a liberal, Tom Friedman is a liberal, John Kerry is a liberal, ditto Clinton and Gore. Double ditto Bush and the neos - they are beyond fundamentalists; they are radicals. A person's worth is, well, his net worth.

But that's not "left" in any sense. It's corporate, authoritarian and ultimately fascist or totalitarian.

One of the best examples of this genre is Ben Friedman's book "Moral Consequences of Economic Growth". Thomas Frank, in "One Market Under God" doesn't address Ben Friedman, but takes on the whole uber-meme that is free-market fundamentalism.

Why did the bridge collapse? Because it wasn't privately owned and operated, etc....

The "left" in a political sense means "those who support varying degrees of social or political or economic change designed to promote the public welfare". That DOES get coopted - even a developer of a for-profit prison will talk about how he is promoting public welfare. Corporations always lie, but that is a different story.

cfm in Gray, ME

interesting, but some of the questions seem a little vague.

Economic Left/Right: -4.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.21

What looks interesting is that most current political leaders fall in the upper right quadrant. In the same time I suspect the majority of people if they took the test would be in the lower left or to the center like me.

Possible explanations: being a politician makes you authoritarian by necessity. Being right on the other hand reflects the inevitable influence of big corporations in politics. The final result: looks like there is a total disconnect between political leaders and most people about what values and goals need to be persued... Not quite a surprise, but it is interesting to see it quantified like that.

I'm an economic -6.12
social -6.36

I think you're absolutely correct about libertarians not being fit or interested in leadership. I myself can attest how I hated being a supervisor on the night shift at a small newspaper -- and that really wasn't much of a difficult leadership job. My philosophy is 'don't bother me and I won't bother you'.

Libertarian Socialism shows up on Wikipedia, and the Spanish Revolution was a one-year Libertarian Socialist experiment in 1936.

Employee-owned businesses are a great example of libertarian socialism in the marketplace.

I think the politicalcompass website saying that Ron Paul is on the authoritarian side of the compass is a bit of an error.

Most political figures will rank very high in authoritarianism. Their aim is to dominate. Download Altemeyer's The Authoritarians". John Dean relied heavily on Altemeyer's work for his book "Conservatives Without Conscience". Read it. Read it. It's important.

Full disclosure:

  • Economic Left/Right: -10.00
  • Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.90

That puts me somewhere out in the Delta Quadrant with Janeway, Q, the Swarm and Gandhi.

I wasn't sure how to answer some of the questions: "Mothers may have careers, but their first duty is to be homemakers." Homemaking is a wonderful career; more men should do it. So do I agree or disagree, strongly?

Authoritarianism vs communitarianism - that's the choice we face in Peak Oil. [At least I'd like to think so in my more hopeful moments.] In some ways, it's the difference between the US Constitution and that infinitely more glorious and null-and-void document, the Declaration of Independence.

cfm in Gray, ME

Economic Left/Right: 4.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 0.10

I didn't realize I was "middle of the road" on social issues. However, I'm in good company with the likes of Tony Blair and George W. Bush on economic issues.

I'm not surprised to see several of you fall into the Communist left. I suspect that you guys think Big Government will save us from Peak Oil and the only way out of this is heavy regulation of all business and commercial activity. Just look how it worked for the former Soviet Union!

The truly free market will solve Peak Oil for us. All Big Government has done is put on more regulations on the energy industry: banning nuclear power, banning wind power, banning drilling, forcing ethanol production, etc.

The only regulations that are necessary for corporations are (a) to control the pollution they generate; and (b) to not mislead the public with false advertising.

Erm...nice attempt at a strawman, but so far I have yet to see anyone in the upper left or even-left portion of the compass. How does having a social rating of -8.92 make me a supporter of "Big Government"? I'm aware enough to know that government has the incentive to misinform, mismanage, and screw us over just as much as other types of concentrated power (such as corporations). The only way we are going to save ourselves from a lot of unnecessary hardship in the coming years is if the populace can manage to take responsibility for fixing its own problems, realize that nobody will solve their problems except for themselves, and realize that the only way to make this happen is to decide on its own farsighted self-interest in a rational and democratic manner and then act on that.

But, of course, the people are idiots. Genetically pre-determined to screw up. Well, if that's the case, then why are we wasting our efforts here on trying to spread peak oil awareness? Basically, if you are one of the disadvantaged in society who recognizes the problems ahead but who is at the same time resource-less and powerless to mitigate against catastrophe without building a broad social response to these problems...then you're screwed. According to this reasoning, it's futile. If you happen to be privileged enough to have the resources to individually prepare for peak oil ($ for land, stockpiles, ammo, solar power, oil stocks, etc.), then I guess it makes sense to come together with the rest of the enlightened peak oil-aware elite and share individual mitigation strategies...but for most people, such discussion is irrelevant. If you think that you can guard against peak oil problems by appealing not to the masses (who actually have an incentive to change course), but instead to "the powers that be," you are barking up the wrong tree. Most politicians simply do not want to change course--they have little to lose by not doing so; at worst they will find cozy positions as lords in a new society of privation, pillage, and practical serfdom (and meanwhile the oil companies and oil states can sell their dwindling oil supplies very dearly, setting them up to be the major investors and owners in the next era's dominant form of energy). Politicians risk losing $$$ from their corporate backers, and what do they have to gain from calling for intensive peak oil mitigation? Even if a politician was truly well-meaning or "benevolent," what power would such politicians have against the establishment's consensus, against corporate power? But in any case, appealing to the "enlightened benevolence" of philosopher kings or U.S. senators does not add up to a peak oil mitigation strategy with any significant probability of success. More often than not, "benevolence" is trumped by self-interest, and this time is no difference. So, unless "the masses" really can act in a democratic, rational, and collectively-beneficial way when faced with peak oil problems (at least potentially, even if they struggle to do so now under the weight of corporate disinformation and demoralization), I am screwed. You are screwed as well, unless you have the resources to implement individual solutions and thus become one of the "pruners" instead of "one of the prunees" (like me).

So, why are we investing our time and effort on this website? For me, I'm trying to equip myself with the knowledge to set the stage, little by little, for a dramatic social shift in favor of rational peak oil mitigation in a way that benefits ME. (And then, to make it practical, I need to figure out which of these solutions that benefit me also benefit the majority of everyone else so that we have enough power to bring the common plan to fruition). That's how I approach the peak oil discourse. I don't know about some others, though.

You seem unaware of economic history, even recent history. In the northeast US electricity production was highly regulated. There was a mandated fixed percentage above the growth numbers required by all producers to build. This was met consistently and the northeast had few electrical issues once this system went into place in the early 1970s. When deregulation hit, in the first 5 years afterwards, the corporations barely made a few percent above the old buffer number and in the second five years not at all. Thus they cannibalized the resiliency of the system for greater profits.

What you fail to understand is that free markets are good at producing efficiency but efficiency is not always the goal. Sometimes reliability and resiliency is the goal and this costs more! But corporations, being insane people, only focus on profit, not on long term goals other than profit. This is precisely why corporations must be regulated in different markets. The level of regulation is directly related to the level of resiliency and reliability that we seek versus the corporation's ability to maximize efficiency for the sake of profits.

Note: I consider corporations insane because they have legal personhood status under the law but any flesh and blood person who exhibited the behaviors of a corporation would be considered psychopathic.

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

I consider corporations insane because they have legal personhood status under the law but any flesh and blood person who exhibited the behaviors of a corporation would be considered psychopathic.

completely agree (though it is straight from The Corporation)

Political compass didn't give me the option of breaking up the foreign corporations. Remember, Kucinich didn't privatize the muni. He was right and he had to wear a bullet-proof vest during that time. We need lots and lots of munis [replace the foreigns - bring the footprint local].

Unless I can't take money out of my savings this week because of the meltdown, I'm buying a large and uneconomic amount of PV array and aim to pick John Howe's excellent brain for advice. Resiliency is survival. Not that when people are shooting each other for food it will help....

cfm in Gray, ME

regulation of natural monopolies should be the perview of the government to prevent market failures as seen in the telecommunications (phone+internet), rail business, water, and electricity.

Any market which is dominated by network effects (the value of the network grows exponentially with the number of additional nodes) is a natural monopoly. Imagine that owning rail lines between 2 cities is not that great, but between 3 cities is awesome, and so on and on.

natural markets always give way to market failure because incumbents have huge advantages given to them by the network effect. Therefore the incentive to combine into large monopolies is big, very big.

I am much happier being in the segment with Gandhi, Mandela, and the Dalai Lama, than I would be if I was in the same quandrant as Hitler and Bush.

Of course, I am not happy about even being on the same planet as Bush.

Economic : -7.12
Social : -7.08

So I'm a libertarian, anarchist, leftist, communist. Wonderful. Do I need to add my name to the blacklist, or is it done automatically for me?

Social 5.88
Economic - 2.28

I would not have expected to be to the left economically, but it's anyones guess how they weigh the factors.

US warns of Iraqi 'Tet Offensive" to coincide with Petraeus Report

"With the Petraeus-Crocker report looming, some administration officials say they fear a coordinated onslaught like the Tet offensive, a surprise country-wide series of attacks that produced a psychological victory for Vietnamese Communists in 1968.

“We’re concerned about the desire of Al Qaeda to undertake some Tet offensive-style attack in conjunction with the Petraeus report to influence political opinion to the extent that people would lose their stomach for the fight,” one of the officials said."


Canada reveals previously blacked out passages showing the US sent a Canadian citizen of Syrian decent to Syria to be tortured.

"In Canada, a government inquiry completely exonerated Mr Arar of any links with terrorist groups.

The Canadian government had fought to keep the unreleased sections of documents submitted to the Maher Arar inquiry from coming out.

The Canadian government issued a formal apology to Mr Arar and paid him more than $10m (£5m) in compensation."


Iran-Iraq Sign Pipeline Deal


United States dooms it's citizens to a shorter life than in other countries(including Cuba) by not providing health care.


Cid, Iran will refine Iraqi crude and ship back to Iraq refined product...All made possible by a pipeline now in the planning stages. Some portion of the refined product will probably end up in US military vehicles in Iraq. If this comes to pass the US will be paying Iran for fuel/oil to run its vehicles in a war intended, among other things, to limit Irans influence in the region. What irony.

I went out for a walk by the river early this morning. (I like to go around 6am, because the morning light is so nice, and it's less crowded.)

I was amazed by the number of people who parked their cars there and left their engines running. At first I thought they were security and keeping an eye on me or something. (I had a camera with a humongous lens; taking photos near infrastructure like bridges and power plants can get you in trouble in these post-9-11 days.) Eventually, I realized they were just waiting - killing time. Probably waiting for their kids to get out of some activity, or shift workers on break. They were eating, reading the paper, etc. And running their car engines so they could run their air conditioners.

It was 70F! It was pretty humid and sunny, but if they got out of their cars and sat on one of the dozens of nice, clean, empty benches placed there by the river, mere steps away, it was perfectly comfortable.

Obviously, high prices haven't affected their behavior.

This is one of the reasons why global warming is not condsidered a problem by most people. Just turn up the AC.

I think another reason people don't consider climate change as a problem, is because most people in the West also live in cities, where climate change is not so noticeable. Even those that live in the countryside tend to live as though they are in a city.

With technology in the form of internal environmental control and entertainment, people just don't notice what is happening and when they do, they have no reference point to judge it by. When they do notice something, it is unusual but short lived and so presents no permanent threat. Just an anomaly that is quickly forgotten.

Only when people notice something that threatens their daily existence, will the penny drop. When they notice permanent structural change that directly impacts them in some meaningful way. Of course by then it will be too late to actually do anything constructive.

Triumvirate of collapse - Economy, Ecosystem, Energy

The other problem is the "frog in a pot" analogy, where we may get used to incrememtal changes as they occur, and will forget how different things have become over the course of several years...

"You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created."
Albert Einstein

Obviously, high prices haven't affected their behavior.

Compared to 1982's high in oil, that same barrel today would be $90.

Thus, oil is still cheap due to inflation.

If it really was expensive you'd see a decrease in its use, yet we still see an upsurge in its use. Not much of an upsurge, but still it is going up.

I don't think even $90 a barrel would change most people's behavior.

What changed people's behavior in the '70s, I suspect, was shortages. Not high prices, but the shortages that resulted from the rationing schemes/poor distribution of the times. If you're not sure you can get gas, it does cut your consumption.

Leanan and BRussel,
You are both right. But another real factor is that in the 1970's, there were still many people alive who were adults during the Depression and WWII rationing and remembered how to conserve and the strategies like car pooling that work quickly to lower your energy bills and consumption. I'm 55, and most of the people younger than I can't even conceive of going back to one car in a family, and carpooling somehow degrades them by being for poor people. We are going to have to have a real shift in attitudes and values.
There are better ways than a car for every family member. Sharing and helping each other are real family values.
Bob Ebersole

Life experiences during the formative years, 7th grade on up leave lasting impressions.

I lived in S. America in those years; we had real water rationing, left side of the street on odd days, right side on even.

It bugs me to see people getting sprinklers installed so their non-native lawn won't die in Oklahoma's summer temps. There are more important uses for water, keeping the house foundations saturated, or flushing toilets once a day or after #2.

But without something as catastrophic as a depression you're never going to get it into the society that we need to reduce the number of drivers.

Each 16 year old demands a car on his birthday.

Each immigrant dreams of having a better life than that he left behind, and that includes a nice big house and a nice car.

I could go on but I won't as you get the picutre.

I think this is largely correct. Although people who don't earn very much money are getting really stretched to the limit, nobody seems keen on cutting back very much. At least in the short term. In the longer term, people replace their vehicles and have a choice as to what the new ride will be, but that takes time...


I think that the other major reason os the pernicious inflence of advertising in our culture. Most people sneer at the idea of taking your bags back to the supermarket and reusing them, feel its beneath them to separate their garbage for recycling and a compost pile, think only poor people ride busses and subways, think only psycho's hitchhike. My old hippy values have become totally unfashionable!

Bob Ebersole

Why would I want to spend extra effort to reuse my plastic grocery bags when I get new ones for free every time I go to the store? There is no line item on my grocery bill for "plastic bags." So what's in it for me to waste my time with recycling?

I'm not trolling, but asking an honest question. Why should I be bothered when it doesn't affect me financially?

Your comments only show that your sentiments run counter to the collective mentality.

You're putting the "me" before the "we."

It could be sarcastically showing you that, while he does indeed reuse his bags.

I know several stores that take the old bags you get from the grocery and use them as their bags. I have several cloth bags that I take when shopping, or just buy items I can hand carry out.

My parents get paper bags and reuse them for just about everything, especially recycling glass and plastic and newpapers.

But I have been on this bandwagon for decades. But I know lots of people in the "Pave the world" group.

For you funny laugh of the day,

It is sort of sad some people might actually think this way.

Precisely why we are doomed.

What's in it for me? That question by all the short-sighted, self-aggrandizing, selfish people who populate the planet is indicative of our lizard brain origins.

We will continue to do exactly the wrong thing to avoid such onerous hassles as either reusing bags or buying cloth bags, to avoid a little hassle on our part to avoid healing the planet for everyone.

There is the divide mentioned in the political compass site: those who care and those who don't; those who believe in cooperation and those who would watch you starve while throwing away food; those who believe that helping people is a virtue and those who believe not helping is a virtue.

The minute we have to pay for those bags, we would stop being so damned foolish about using them. I say add one dollar per bag to the checkout. Then apply that money towards buying up wildlands to take them out of capitalism's reach.

Of course, all of the people in the fascist quadrant would immediately start crying about free markets and government intervention. Oh, boo hooo, let the markets decide. The markets are like a blind retard with a strong sense of smell looking for sweets using a sawed-off shotgun. It is amoral and totally self-interested. If getting the sweets means killing off the population, then so be it. The argument that it "gets us a better candy bar," somehow does not seem all that freaking relevant when as a result of that better candy bar the planet suffers an extinction event.

When you ask, "Why should you be bothered?" I ask, "Are you even human?"

For some reason that I cannot understand, several of you seem upset at the most basic, animal instincts of kill or be killed. Fine, we have one group of people who think they are morally superior by wasting their money buying reusable bags when you can get disposable, plastic or paper ones for free all the time at the grocery store. All that means is that your allotment of plastic/paper bags go unused and I'll gladly use them.

The same applies for all other resources on earth. If there is no economic incentive to conserve, but in fact conserving will actually cost you, then why do it? That's a very bad business practice. However, you can do as you please. I shall thank you for reducing your demand which means you aren't driving up the price and thus I can purchase more (using your share) of the product.

Economics and our animal instinct rules our lives. To not follow them would be foolish. Take and consume as much as you can before it's all gone because your fellow man is doing the same thing. All it takes is for 1 person to not follow the "commons" and it's all gone for everyone else. I don't trust every human and thus there will always be that 1 person. Therefore, I'll take and use as much as I can so I won't be the sucker left without anything because I "conserved" and willingly gave up my share. That's a sign of weakness and others will gladly take advantage of that.

The meek shall inherit the earth.

"Economics and our animal instinct rules our lives. To not follow them would be foolish. Take and consume as much as you can before it's all gone"

You are merely talking about intra-species competition, but like other mammals you also possess the instinct of species co-operation. You are simply putting the short-term "me" before the long-term "us".

"You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created."
Albert Einstein

Read The Selfish Gene. There is no intra species cooperation for the species sake. If an individual or group of individuals can gain a benefit at other individuals costs (even within the same species) its in there best interest to do so.

This is very basic to human nature. Screw that other tribe, they are not blood relatives and we can get a huge advantage for our blood relatives.

The strongest instinct is survival. And part of survival is co-operation. Co-operation is a form of self interest... not a hard concept to get your head around. Co-operation can be, and often is, a cross-species act as well.

"You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created."
Albert Einstein

There is an impact beyond your convenience in traveling between the mall and your home.


I read about that in The Hundred-Year Lie.

Yes, I completely understand what you are saying. We, collectively as humans, must do our part to save our environment or else we will all suffer. And if not us, then our children and their children.

However, that's not how the world works. There will always be people who will game the system to make it work for them and exploit those who sacrifice themselves to make the world a better place... a better place for the exploiters. So, in order to survive, you must either join them (the exploiters), or die.

Out here in the fields,
I fight for my meals,
I get my back in-to my living...

Sally take my hand…

Teenage wasteland...


Oh sorry, were you exercising your right to demonstrate your aggregate intellect to make a point while I was humming?

--travel south cross land.

Put out the fire and don’t look past my …

PP - Recent guidelines here at TOD recommend that responders not call previous posters stupid, nor resort to simplistic analyses like "you're an idiot", so I'm forced to put two and two together, and focus on your posted statements:

"Because your fellow man is doing the same thing."

Wait there's just a wee bit more

All it takes is for 1 person to not follow the "commons" and it's all gone for everyone else. I don't trust every human and thus there will always be that 1 person.

Your follow-up to this is so priceless that even I can't just copy it. One needs to go to the original source.

riddle me this - what is the meaning of marginal credibility? Marginal in an economic sense.

I don’t need to fight, to prove I'm right.

I don't need

to be forgiven..oh yea

"Recent guidelines here at TOD recommend that responders not call previous posters stupid, nor resort to simplistic analyses like "you're an idiot"

You don't know how many times I've just wanted to reply, "Your an Idiot". It seems such a waste of time demonstrating why they're an idiot.

"We're all Wasted"

Question. Why is the song titled Baba O'Rielly? I've wondered about that for decades.

Cid - Funny you ask. The source of all knowledge, wikipedia, has some answers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baba_O%27Reilly including

Pete Townshend states that the song is not about getting wasted, but about waste in general. He was inspired to write the song when the people around him complained about all of the world's problems but did nothing about it.

However, the same article notes

Just as in "Won't Get Fooled Again", many speculated what "Baba O'Riley" was actually about, and at a concert on March 23rd Pete Townshend said that even he doesn't know

In our world of endless citations, Fun Triva has a few answers, of which I like

I have heard that they asked their Guru "Meher Baba" what he thought of the Vietnam War, and he responded that it was a "teenage wasteland".


Lets get together
before we get much older..

Whether or not PP actually holds this stance, many people do. If it doesn't affect me personally right now, why should I care? And certainly, why should I inconvenience myself? What's in it for me? I think this is Kohlberg's second stage of moral development.

From Wikipedia: The pre-conventional level of moral reasoning is especially common in children, although adults can also exhibit this level of reasoning ... are purely concerned with the self in an egocentric manner.

Stage two espouses the what's in it for me position, right behavior being defined by what is in one's own best interest. Stage two reasoning shows a limited interest in the needs of others, but only to a point where it might further one's own interests, such as you scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours.

I read the other stages as well, but they are not for "moral development." All those stages do is make those who follow them weak like sheep. Look at stage four: fundamentalism. What a great way to exploit people! Create a religion, have people follow you, then extract as much money as you can from them!

I think he has those stages backwards. The higher you climb up in society to levels of power, the lower in the stages you need to go. Stage two is the best - you look out for your best interest and align yourself with others who you can benefit from. This is exactly how corporations operate - they try to knock off their competition (what's in it for me) and make business relationships with others (you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours). This also sounds like the typical politician.

The most intelligent people of society know how to manipulate Kohlberg's "moral stages of development" for their own benefits. Again, stage two is the ultimate goal.

And that is why we are in the Middle East fighting a war on "terror." That is why Russia and China and Canada and the US are fighting to control the North Pole. We all want oil and we'll be damned if we're going to give up our non-negotiable way of life and share it with anyone else. Once you take off the rosy-colored glasses, you can truly see how the world operates. All that these "moral stages" do is try to exert control over others by those who know how to use them.

Yes, I am very cynical. But it would be unwise to not be.

It's just what they told me in high school religion class. Sue me! :)

Anyway, I was only trying to point out that it's not very enlightened, considerate, respectful, or any of that BS that mature human beings are supposed to be.

Human beings can be somewhat inhuman.

And cynicism is underrated.

The "whats in it for me " mode of behavior works perfectly well for some in a growing available energy enviroment, just as it does for the more "altruistic" or "giving" members of society.
What happens then in a decreasing energy enviroment?
All these previous studies happened during a period of time when ever increasing amounts/types/sources of energy were available.
My feeling is that when Peak is known AND felt WIIFM will predominate.

Ahhh Wiki, the source of common knowledge.

But look up game theory. Or look into the theory of cooperation. Cooperators, defectors, punishers, outsiders. Look more deeply than Wiki. Gosh, search the journals. But wait. Listen...

The exodus is here.

The happy ones are near.

Put out the fire and don’t look past my ...

Yep, he IS at Kohlberg Stage 2. He tells you himself. Stage 4 is generally refered to as Law and Order. Sees the world in black and white, right and wrong. What isn't put across well in the Wiki is that each stage is a broader perspective integrating the previous stages, amending them with "qualifiers". Thus, although something might be against the law, If it is unjust, the law is irrelevant. The effect of your actions on Society and the Status Quo is irrelevant.(Social Contracts that allow the injustice are unjust.) What others think about you and your actions is irrelevant. How it benefits you personally(or not) is irrelevant. Any punishment(or reward) that might be recieved is irrelevant. Justice for each individual outweighs the needs of the society or state.
Bear in mind, these are stages of MORAL development. Justice is the core of the theory. Any further stage would be a meta-stage, with the the question, "What is just?"

There was recently on here a report on research that involved a coin game that demonstrated that "percieved unfairness" would cause an individual to take no coins rather than allow the other person to take more coins than was fair. If someone could direct me to that post? Apparently demonstrates an innate motivation to act against percieved injustice.

"There was recently on here a report on research that involved a coin game that demonstrated that "percieved unfairness" would cause an individual to take no coins rather than allow the other person to take more coins than was fair."

Cid - these are the punishers, one necessary group in game theory to achieve certain outcomes perceived as most fair, and apparently a natural phenomenon occurring in many social settings. Will try to get you some references later, but that’s my 2 cents (or 20 cents!) for now.


Those plastic grocery bags are not free -- their cost is built into the price of every item in the store. I bring in reusable paper bags to our local supermarket (Wash., D.C. / suburban Maryland area), and the checkout clerk takes off 3 cents for every bag of mine that is needed. True, it's not much of a rebate, but it is a recognition by the store that you are saving them money. For now, bringing your own is basically a "personal virtue" (thank you, Dick Cheney...) It does affect you financially -- not much now, but that may change as oil prices keep rising.

The throw-away consumer product marketing culture in the U.S. does not really want us to know what the price of packaging is. I think most people would be surprised at how much of the price of a bottle of shampoo, say, is represented by that plastic empty that goes into the trash or recycling bin.

When I was a kid (1960s), we lived in Lebanon. My mom had to bring in containers for many of the food products she bought at local stores. When we came back to the U.S. (1965), home delivery of milk in reusable glass bottles was still being done in our area -- but that stopped a few years later. The late 1960s were also the last years of the old-fashioned soda vending machines, with the side racks for empty glass Coke / Pepsi, etc. bottles to go back for reuse to the bottling plant. About that time, I remember seeing the first TV ads for "one-way" disposable soft-drink bottles...

I think that consumer product marketing will be completely up-ended in the energy-scarce future that is coming. The discarding after one use of billions of easily reusable containers will come to be seen as the huge waste that it is. We may see discounted prices for customers who bring in empty containers, and big price premiums for pre-packaged products. The advertising industry may resist this mightily, because it will fly in the face of the notion that the package is part of the product. I think this will be part of what Jim Kunstler calls "making other arrangements"; bringing in a pile of empty containers to the store will be regarded as a major inconvenience, but we here in the U.S. are going to have to completely rethink everything we now take for granted.

the neoCONS (cheney, etal) want us to think that it is unpatriotic to conserve. just wondering how we got here from the ww2 era when it unpatriotic to waste.

Every American is free to bring their own checkout bags to the supermarket. It is always possible to reuse the same bags hundreds of times. Very few people do so, because they do not wish to seem financially desperate.

In Taipei, Taiwan, it is against the law for any supermarket to provide bags at checkout. Every person in Taipei is forced to bring their own bags. Most people try hard to bring the same bags, over and over again, in order to save money.

In the last five years, my in-laws have reused the same bags, over and over, to buy groceries in Taipei. Despite the fact that they could easily afford to buy fresh bags every time.

Maybe what we need in America is... laws & stuff...


Hi Bryan,

Thank you for the post. Many Americans who have not lived overseas may not realize just how much unnecessary waste the consumer economy generates here in the U.S. I think American shoppers don't bring in their own bags because of the perceived inconvenience, or that it's not worth their while. As prices for energy and materials keep rising, though, that may start to change.


Since the 80's as well real wages have grown somewhat. therefore to have the same effect, 100+ dollar oil is a probable criteria. (anyone have an idea of real wage growth since 1982-3?)

Add that in and you have a good idea methinks.

Ermm...I'm not really sure where you get the idea that real wages have risen since the '80s...


1982: $272.74 per week
2004: $277.57 per week

The difference is negligible. If you compare with the actual years in which we were dealing with oil shocks, the trend is even more embarrassing and alarming...

1973: $331.59
1979: $298.87

In some ways, however, you get a lot more for your $277.57. Cars are bigger, food is fatter, music is louder and the TV screens!! My, the TV screeens. Big, flat, bright, and everywhere.

Some of that increased bang for the buck is obviously greater technological efficiency. But I suspect that most of it is just abusive exploitation-- of farm land, farm animals, forests, rivers, offshore workers.... We all know that litany.

The bottom line for me is that the numbers don't really matter. The sad thing is that behavior has not changed, despite the years of pummeling people with information about climate change, environmental degradation, social upheaval caused by this exploitation-- yet they (we) do nothing much. The socially conscious just pay money to go to the movies to watch more about it. And the really radical ones join the Sierra Club.

It seems to be impossible to stop drinking water out of throwaway plastic bottles, to stop eating fast food off styrofoam and throwing the residue "away." People heat their houses to 75 in the winter, and cool them to 67 in the summer. And sit in their cars with the engine and A/C on and the windows rolled up, smoking cigarettes as Leanne observed.

There is so much wasted effort and wasted oil in this system that at least up to a point, shortages of oil can only be a good thing.

False statement.

I refer you directly the the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota's own inflation calculator. A $90 barrel of oil today would have been $42.26 in 1982.

So please stop exaggerating. It was noted weeks ago that gasoline has already passed the 1982 highs per gallon. Further, since oil peaked at $38 per barrel, this translates today to $80 and change, which has been passed by certain grades of oil and very closely approached by even WTI.

Thus your assertion that oil is "cheap" compared to the prior price increase is false. Further, you seem ignorant of the potato effect during the Irish potato famine. When a basic staple rises in cost it does not always result in switching out. Sometimes it results in more being consumed to the exclusion of other things. Learn some history, sir.

By the way, why do people like you keep moving the goalposts? First it was going to be $75 per barrel to exceed 1982. Then it was going to be $80. Then $85 according to some. Now you say it has to be $90. What next? $100? When do the lies and exaggerations stop and you choose to look reality full in the face? We are currently in the midst of an energy crisis worse than 1982 and which has no arbitrary cutoff such as that one did. Things are only going to get worse from here on the energy front. Attempts like yours to downplay the crisis are both immoral and irresponsible.

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

Using the Feds stats is akin to using a Double Edge Sword. Isn't if often quoted that inflation has actually run much, much higher than the Feds 'official' rate? That would make oil effectively less expensive today when compared to the oil shocks of the 70s/80s.

You raise a perplexing and important issue: How accurate are the official inlflation statistics? The short answer is that nobody knows. Many economists believe that the numbers for inflation are OVERstated because quality improvements are not counted sufficiently. For example, TV sets are cheaper and better than they used to be--but how exactly should we weight the improvement of quality in TV sets? When we get digital TV, the quality of the picture will improve? How should we quantify this improvement?

There is a common belief that statistics for inflation are UNDERstated, and this belief is easy to understand, because many things from gasoline to postage stamps to haircuts go up at faster than the official rate of inflation.

Both the empirical and the theoretical problems of creating valid price-leve indices are immense. Oddly enough, the problems in the theory are more intractable than those having to do with the nitty gritty of getting the actual numbers.

My own opinion is that the official numbers are roughly correct--that errors pretty much cancel out one another. In any case, the official numbers are surely good enough to let us know when inflation is getting worse and when it is subsiding (just as the imperfect numbers on unemployment are also good enough to let us know what direction the economy is going in).

Economic statisticians are insufficiently praised. The job is enormously difficult and enormously important. Of course the numbers are not as good as the numbers we can get in physics or chemistry; we should not expect this degree of exactitude.

The official numbers show that the value of the dollar has diminished by ninety-five percent during the past hundred years. In other words, what once a nickel would buy now costs a dollar. Some things such as movies and haircuts have gone up way more in price than other things such as food. Relatively speaking, food is much cheaper than it used to be, say, compared to haircuts. I think Peak Oil will

1. be highly inflationary and

2. will lead to drastic changes in relative prices. Some goods will go up enormously in price due to peak oil; others will go up much less. But in my opinion the pressure on the Federal Reseve System to increase inflation (to mitigate recession or depression) will be irresistible.

Dude, what is your problem. I also went to one of those calculators and found that a gallon of gas in 1981 at $1.50, which is what it was when i was buying gas after that mean and e-v-i-l Reagan deregulated the industry should cost about $3.39. I used 1981 as the base year.

I also took last week's high of $78 a barrel and for 1981 got $34.50. Big f****** deal.

I also bought diesel for 3.19 yesterday and in 1981 dollars that is 1.41.

Sorry tool-head, my numbers are consistent.

Link to calculator.


Like I said before, when ajusted for inflation Gasoline is cheap.

Today's current average is $2.77. Ajusted for inflation in 1981; 1.23.


Man is it tough debating you. You keep nickle-and-diming me on some odd dollar. Talk about moving the goal-post.

When I turned 16, minimum wage was $1.85 per hr. Gas was 34.9 per gallon. I could buy 5 gallons of gasoline for 1 hr at minimum wage. The new minimum wage is $5.85 per hr. Average price of Gasoline $2.78 per gallon. Barely over 2 gallons for 1 hr at minimum wage.

gasoline was well below what it should be worth. Isn't that what the Europeons have always been telling us?

If inflation, per the calculation of the CPI, is based on some basket of goods and services changing in price over time, and we adjust the price of oil per the CPI, unless we use the CPI of non-energy components only, we are partially adjusting the price of oil by the price of oil.

What's more, due to the nonlinear relationship between energy, food, and resources, we cannot simply remove the effect of energy prices from the system.

If what we wanted to really measure was our ability to additionally perform services and acquire resources, given the resources we had at the time, wouldn't it be more informative to show how much gold, silver, consumer goods, metals, uranium, coal, corn, wheat, could be purchased with a barrel of oil?

The answer to the question in your last paragraph is, "No."

Using dollars we can compare apples to oranges; using dollars we can construct GDP numbers. Even with imperfect inflation adjustments, we can get a roughly correct idea of the purchasing power of a barrel of oil (which has fluctuated all over the place due to extreme fluctuations in the price of oil, e.g. at the bottom of the Great Depression compared to 1978 or 2007). After Peak Oil we can confidently expect the relative cost of oil to increase, because we almost certainly will not find good substitutes for cheap oil. Some economists say that we will find "good" substitutes for oil as the price of oil rises and stays up. I do not think that is going to happen. I do not think there are any magic wands out there. Because the substitutes for oil are so imperfect (e.g. coal to liquids, oil sands, electric cars fueled by wind turbines) I think the price of oil will double and redouble within relatively few years--say by 2020.

Result: In my opinion, extreme inflation accompanied by zero or negative economic growth--and that means massive increases in unemployment. Probably there will also be extreme transfers of wealth from savers to debtors, assuming that the rate of inflation increases greatly and unexpectedly.

In 1982, if a barrel of oil was worth G1 ounces of gold, S1 ounces of silver, and C1 bushels of corn, and in 2007 those values are G2, S2, and C2, that is not an informative measure and comparison?

If you want to compare apples and oranges, would you want to know the apple-to-orange exchange rate?

Because if the price of oil doubles twice by 2020, I'd like to know if that's good or bad, because I don't give a rat's ass about the dollar value. I want to know what actual services and resources can be had for that dollar value. The price of oil may double twice, and the price of wheat may double three, four, or five times. If oil is $300 a barrel in 2020, it makes a difference whether wheat is $55, $109, or $217 a bushel.

Currently, my hourly rate for network services is about 1.4 barrels of oil, or about 14.5 bushels of wheat. I expect the demand for whatever services I can supply in 2020 to be worth roughly 1 bushel of wheat an hour, and I expect that to be "doing very well". It doesn't matter whether that bushel, or my hourly rate, are $50, $150, or $750 an hour. What I can actually do or get with that money at that time is what matters.

Which is why I think relating the historical value of oil to the historical values of gold, food, etc., would be useful. If I have the time and inkling, I'll just go inform myself of these values. And post the results, again, time willing.

Resources and services are what we use to get resources and services. Money is either a driver, a brake lever, a passenger, or a pedestrian. And all price inflations are not created equal.

Money is not only a medium of exchange; it is also a unit of account. Even during inflationary times, money retains its highly useful function as a unit of account.

I want to know what my real income will be next year and five years hence and in 2020. To get at real income I take the nominal income and divide by the appropriate Gross Domestic Product deflator number. This works pretty well.

Now the relative prices of, for example, gold versus wheat will change a lot over time, and these changes in relative prices are interesting and informative; they certainly have some value. But in my opinion the numbers on real versus nominal income (though imperfect) are far more useful than most relative prices.

What a barrel of oil will buy in terms of wheat or in terms of hours of labor is good to know and would be very useful to know for future years. But I'm not clear why prices in terms of gold and silver are very useful. Of course if you want to speculate in precious metals, that is your business, but for economies in general the price of gold does not make much difference, though gold does have some good uses in electronics and dentistry and jewelry. If you just like ratios, take a look at how gold and silver have varied compared to one another over the centuries. At present either gold is way way overvalued (quite possible) or silver is way undervalued (also quite possible) if we are looking at the long-term history of the two metals.

I'm not interested in just gold and silver, I'm interested in the relationship between oil and most of the other physical commodities traded on the world stage, thoroughly dissatisfied with the way we look at price histories. Because like I said before, prices have a nonlinear relationship. Energy prices affect food prices affect commodity prices affect service prices affect energy prices. A good deal more complex than that, but you get the idea. So when we "adjust" by the CPI or a price deflator, we are still adjusting the price of oil by the price of oil.

And price is relative anyway. Again, if I make $80K a year, and oil is $80 a barrel, and wheat $7 a bushel, and iPods are $200, it's the same to me if I make $800K a year, oil is $800 a barrel, wheat $70 a bushel, and iPods $2K.

I read an article this morning - they found a mother, father and child dead in a car, in a garage, with their heads resting on pillows. They seem to have been sleeping in the car with the engine and A/C running.

Darwin award!

Semi Random Thoughts for a Sunday

Re: Chavez's comment on "voracious consumption". When you're right, you're right. Although I wonder what is he is doing to cut his personal consumption. Doesn't he have a Hummer? Of course, Arnie still does too.

I read in Sierra Magazine, that during World War II, some Republican politicians in Colorado decided to help the war effort (the gas effort) by hitch hiking to campaign rallies. During our era of global warming and peak oil, most if not all our national politicians use private jets to get to campaign rallies. Maybe someone should take the train to highlight how horrible our train system has become.

The candidates could do us all a favor by staying home and campaigning from their front porch. Why do they have to "be" in all these states when 99.9% of us get our information about them from electronic media, anyway. How about a virtual campaign to show their concern about carbon emissions and the environment? But nooooo!!!

Not one of thesse candidates, with the possible exception of Kucinich, walks the walk. And I hear that Kucinich stays in bed until noon doing the Kama Sutra with his new wife. Stay in bed. Have lots of sex. Save energy. Yeh, that's the ticket!!

Re: Chavez's comment on "voracious consumption". When you're right, you're right.

Hey man, thanks for sticking up for one of America's enemies. Did you take some classes under that tool Churchill?

Although I wonder what is he is doing to cut his personal consumption. Doesn't he have a Hummer? Of course, Arnie still does too.

Arnold, like 99% of the leaders in the green-movement, is a hypocrite. Al Gore, Babs, Clooney, etc. all fly around in private jets and/or drive SUVS.

Tell us something we don't know.

Chavez deepened past pledges to share his country's oil wealth as he addressed a summit of nations taking part in Venezuela's Petrocaribe oil initiative, which supplies fuel under preferential terms.


Mr. Castro has been attacking it [biofuel] since he returned from surgery this spring. "Transforming food into fuels is a monstrosity," Castro wrote several months ago in a series of angry essays. He said it would devour the world's food supply, "killing the poor masses through hunger."


These two stories are connected. Castro sees biofuels as a threat to his protege's new found, petroleum based, influence in Latin America.

during World War II, some Republican politicians in Colorado decided to help the war effort (the gas effort) by hitch hiking to campaign rallies.

Dahmers 1st victim was a hitch hiker.
No wonder such activity has just about vanished.

Link goes to Google video: "America: Freedom to Fascism - Director's Authorized Version."

(Please include a brief description. Don't just post a bare naked link, with no explanation. Especially if it's TinyURLed.)

Ah yes, more reason to be skeptical of the global-warming hoax.....from Mark Styen.

Something rather odd happened the other day. If you go to NASA's Web site and look at the "U.S. surface air temperature" rankings for the lower 48 states, you might notice that something has changed.

Then again, you might not. They're not issuing any press releases about it. But they have quietly revised their All-Time Hit Parade for U.S. temperatures. The "hottest year on record" is no longer 1998, but 1934. Another alleged swelterer, the year 2001, has now dropped out of the Top 10 altogether, and most of the rest of the 21st century – 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 – plummeted even lower down the Hot 100. In fact, every supposedly hot year from the Nineties and this decade has had its temperature rating reduced. Four of America's Top 10 hottest years turn out to be from the 1930s, that notorious decade when we all drove around in huge SUVs with the air-conditioning on full-blast. If climate change is, as Al Gore says, the most important issue anyone's ever faced in the history of anything ever, then Franklin Roosevelt didn't have a word to say about it.

And yet we survived.

So why is 1998 no longer America's record-breaker? Because a very diligent fellow named Steve McIntyre of climateaudit.com labored long and hard to prove there was a bug in NASA's handling of the raw data. He then notified the scientists responsible and received an acknowledgment that the mistake was an "oversight" that would be corrected in the next "data refresh." The reply was almost as cool as the revised chart listings.

And remember, it was Al Gore who said the skeptics were manipulating the data! No, Al, it was NASA, a strong proponent of MMGW, who has been manipulating the data all along.

Steyn is a clever and dangerous ideologue. He's good. At it, that is.

I'm not the least surprised that the Lower 48 aren't any hotter - yet. Global warming is about the polar regions, at least to start with. Tell folks up north that nothing's changed. Tell the guy in Alaska whose house is sinking into the 'tempofrost' that there's nothing going on, Mr. oh so clever Steyn.

There are few journalists that I consider completely reprehensible. Steyn, as a superb twister and manipulator is right at the top of the list just because he is so darn good at it. If he were shorter on arrogance and feigned a bit of humility he could be even better, but maybe the smugness sells these days.

Regardless of NASA and Steyn, reality will prevail. Good luck, Mark.

I'm not the least surprised that the Lower 48 aren't any hotter - yet. Global warming is about the polar regions, at least to start with. Tell folks up north that nothing's changed. Tell the guy in Alaska whose house is sinking into the 'tempofrost' that there's nothing going on, Mr. oh so clever Steyn.

Nor do you seem concerned that we've been lied to for the last 10 years.

There are few journalists that I consider completely reprehensible. Steyn, as a superb twister and manipulator is right at the top of the list just because he is so darn good at it. If he were shorter on arrogance and feigned a bit of humility he could be even better, but maybe the smugness sells these days.

Don't like the message, kill the messenger.

Regardless of NASA and Steyn, reality will prevail. Good luck, Mark.

Yes, when the data for the last ten years doesn't back up your vision of the world by all means don't reconsider your flawed world-view. Just click your heels and keep saying,"There's no place like home...."

How do you know the "corrected" NASA data isn't a lie? We've seen a lot of revisionist science in the last 7 years or so. The creationists are back at it, for example.

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

You mean like Bush, Cheney and their messengers of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and a Saddam/al-Qaeda alliance and "Mission Accomplished" and "Last Throes"?

Do you deny that the administration has been censoring scientific findings opposed to its own sick, murderous agenda?

If Bush hates to admit there's global warming, and he's been proven a liar about every other damn thing there is under the sun, and he's destroying the Constitution and our civil liberties, I have to think that there's a connection.

Like, the fatcats have known about global warming for 20 years, and they've known that they're going to get punished for it by the rest of the world unless they can keep Americans hating liberals and foreigners while they quietly install a police state.

Then one day in the near future, they will say to the American people, "Yeah, sure, we knew that our brand of capitalism is causing an ecological cataclysm responsible for hundreds of millions of lives - but now you're stuck with us, aren't you? There's blood on your hands too. If you don't help us hold the world at gunpoint and nuke everyone abroad who resists and jail everyone at home who dissents, we will collapse and the world will take all your goodies away."

Our sainted white property owning ancestors committed mass murder against Indians and Africans to create what we have today. Do you really think we won't commit one more global genocide to try to hold onto it?

Hope you enjoy your future job as a Halliburton Kamp guard. Or inmate.

You mean like Bush, Cheney and their messengers of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and a Saddam/al-Qaeda alliance and "Mission Accomplished" and "Last Throes"?

You know, its really funny. Funny in a sad way. The Admin. used the same intell that the Clinton Admin used to justify Operation Desert Fox. You remember that one don't you? Its where Clinton bombed Iraq for four straight days. Then, the administration, with support from Democrats in congress, declared regime change was the goal of the US Government.

So the Bush Admin is bad for acting upon the Clinton administraion intell and policy.

Go figure. Funny how the libs loved the policy when Clinton was doing it.

If you cannot see the difference between using intelligence to bomb a country in a limited engagement, or using intelligence to invade and take it over…

so you have a problem that science is working?

and an ill founded accusation of purposeful manipulation could be construed as 'libel'. (first you would have to prove you are trying to do no harm with the accusation, or prove that the manipulation was ON PURPOSE, as the truth is 100% exempt from this tort)

beyond that;

someone found a problem, documented it, informed NASA of what the problem is, they publicly admitted the mistake, corrected it, and updated their data?

what exactly is wrong with this picture?

science is the process of improvement through testable hypothesis.

If US surface air temperature readings are very important to climate models, wait for the republication of the journals with the different data, and then inform us. Don't simply go running around yelling shit about how science was wrong once, and therefore is irrelevant, science is often wrong, but the difference between you dismissing ACC (anthropomorphic climate change or human caused climate change) on one piece of evidence; a scientist correcting his data, is simply dumbfounding to the core.

you sir have no idea what science truely is.

(furthermore i am fairly sure this alteration has to do with where the ground level air samples were taken, cities become heat islands due to all the ashfault which strongly absorbs infrared radiation, the problem was how best to average these heat islands with the un altered landscape.)

Deny a troll any attention, it's the only way to change his behaviour.

Yes, my strategy towards BRussellNM. I no longer bother to read whatever he writes and only scan the responses to his posts by accident.

Best Hopes for Less Clutter and Wasted Bandwidth,


Ahh, Alan, your wisdom is that of one from a place that has greatly suffered, and knows which fights are real and worth engaging.

Me..I think BRussellNM is paid to say what he does here. But how would we know? The fact that the editors allow him bandwidth is to their credit, not his arguments.

BR_NM, prove me wrong and here's how: first name - last name- let's start there. Don't tell me everyone else doesn’t - there's plenty who do - ahh - like me.

Then we can get started.

Did I mention I'm on holiday and have a bit of free time?

It is kind of fishy that conservative posters all of a sudden started making their presence known.

My thought also. To ignore or not to ignore? That is the question...

I say engage them in civil intellectual discourse backed up with strong evidence and show everyone how disingenuous their posts are.

so you have a problem that science is working?

No, I have a problem when people perver "science" for political gain. And once that "science" has been exposed as wrong, or a fraud, the proporters of the junk science don't have the cajones to come out and say we were wrong.

and an ill founded accusation of purposeful manipulation could be construed as 'libel'. (first you would have to prove you are trying to do no harm with the accusation, or prove that the manipulation was ON PURPOSE, as the truth is 100% exempt from this tort)

So sue me. If not, close the old pie-hole.

someone found a problem, documented it, informed NASA of what the problem is, they publicly admitted the mistake, corrected it, and updated their data?

A "problem"? That is what you call finding out that the so-called "man-made" global warming clap-trap has been wrong? Just a small, little problem.

Fact: Global warming was worse in the 1930s than in the 1990s and 2000s. Yet, the worlds population, with almost no cars or jet planes mind you, was LESS than 1/3 of what it is during a cooler period of time-today.

what exactly is wrong with this picture?

Uhmm..you don't realize how foolish the proponents of MMGW are now that their data has contradicted their hypothesis.

science is the process of improvement through testable hypothesis.

Okay, we need a control group if we're going to run your bogus hypothesis. Where are we going to get that? Oh, let's use the 1930s when there was very little human activity compared to today. Opps! Hypothesis voided.

If US surface air temperature readings are very important to climate models, wait for the republication of the journals with the different data, and then inform us.

I'm sorry, but it is called "Global Warming", not just US warming.

Damn it must be nice having it both ways in every argument. Data contradicts one's hypothesis, don't admit it, just claim that we need more data.

Don't simply go running around yelling shit about how science was wrong once, and therefore is irrelevant, science is often wrong, but the difference between you dismissing ACC (anthropomorphic climate change or human caused climate change) on one piece of evidence; a scientist correcting his data, is simply dumbfounding to the core.

Okay Einstein, why was it hotter in the 30s than the 2000s and 1990s? Explain this using ACC.

you sir have no idea what science truely is.

Given that recent data contradicts you and not me, I would think twice before saying that.

There was a good link on The Cost of Energy yesterday, to detail that NASA had responded, made the correction of the data, and given acknowledgement to the blogger who brought all of this to NASA's attention.

By the way, the data only effected the US info, a stated 0.15% change in total for the US, and then only for the surface covered by the US, again, a stated 3% of the earth's surface. Perhaps you could look at the maps linked in the response linked by The Cost of Energy.

All of this may have been said here before, but I had been out of town, and out of touch on a rare vacation, so I thought I'd respond.


perversions in science are caught because the methodology is published along with the data. anyone is free to examine the same data and apply a different methodology.

Quit thinking that science is a big ivory tower filled with people thumbing their noses at the plebes.

I will note that you take my position of republication as if entirely new data is required. This is patently false and is giant misrepresentation. The models will simply be run on the old data (WHICH INCLUDES the surface air temps) and on the new data (WHICH IS the same as the old data, but with an altered surface air temp set). The effect of the surface air alterations can then be known!

(it should also be noted that surface air temperature will not be the ONLY input into a climate model, it's always easy to take two data points and extrapolate what you want. Hell, i'll use the Aug - Jan 2007 pair to show that temperatures are decreasing by 10 degrees per 6 months, and that we will all be dead by the next year. These models are obviously more rigorous than that)

in summation have fun being a shill, i hope the cognitive dissonance keeps you awake at night and causes you brain cancer.

Given that Petroleum deposits are the accumulation of millions of years of carbonaceous activity, what makes you think that the sudden (geologically speaking) return of this most prevalent of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere to not cause an increase in the ultimate reckoning of Man Made Global Warming?
Remember the small timeframe you are considering.

From other data, (geographical, species die-off, etc...), Man has made HUGE impacts on the state of the Earth.
Why not the atmosphere as well?
If increasing amounts of atmosphreic CO2 do not cause warming, THEN we'll have something to worry about.


This was pretty well covered on the Aug 10 Drumbeat, very near the bottom.

Try to keep up with the other climate-hoax believers. Reduncy and repeatability have opposite utility in rhetoric than in science.

The trend remains exactly the same. The change is of a few hundredths of a degree when we've see changes larger than that by an order of magnitude per year. BRussellNM is making much ado about nothing.

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

I love how you clump me in with the 'climate-hoax believers' category, despite the fact that I stated with ambiguity that I am a believer in GW. Some of you guys are crazy in your rabid attempts to ignore all things that don't agree with your world-view...

My apologizies if the net was cast too far. If I misread you I am sorry. It happens. Perhaps with ambguity you are a believer (this in itself says a lot) in GW, but.....

Let's look at one of your comments:

a decade of information was intentionally and systemically altered to show higher readings than there really were

Since you attributed this to no one else, one concludes it is your assessment or opinion. Taking the reasonable man approach, how would you read this statement?

That is what happened...

The data was deliberately manipulated for almost a decade. Thats not to say that the data was entirely false, only that it was 'inflated' to show more warming than there actually was. Notice there is still warming...

Edit: also, my above quote should state 'without ambiguity', not 'with ambiguity'. What a terrible out of context day this has been for me.

Try this link for the world temps charts.


The differences brought to NASA's attention were corrected, with proper attribution, within three days. For as insignificant difference on a worldwide basis, a sneeze in 1952 could have had just as much impsct. I doubt that the worldwide chartss can be changed perceptibly for this small of a change.


The only issue I have with what happened is that it is HIGHLY unlikely that this was just a fluke. It throws all the other numbers into a suspect category until they can be properly verified. A small change like this, measured over 80 years, is a HUGE difference.

I don't care how many years, 0.15% multiplied by 3% over any number of years, and compared to the effect on the global picture, is still 0.000045% of the global picture. That is in non-mathematical terms, one-half of one per cent of one per cent when related to the global rise in mean temperatures. Look at the charts linked and tell me how many hundred thousanths of an inch the chart would change, if any.


Re: global-warming hoax

You and James Inhofe (R, OK) are drinking buddies, I take it.

So, which rock to did you crawl out from under?

The "hottest year on record" is no longer 1998, but 1934.

Much ado about nothing.

If you want to make a fuss about manipulation of data try this instead.

from here:

***Sarcanol alert***

The major headlines in today's news:

Helicopter Ben reassures us that "Everything is under control."

We're due for a wonderful, completely painless bull market uptick any day now...

But for those of you who are still worried, yes, we will admit the possibility of a small "correction," but it will be quite the soft landing, we assure you!

Yes, it truly is morning in America!

LOL thanks for the humor injection in this time of well whatever it is..

I LOLed :)

I find it amazing that no one has commented on the lead article; it's straight out of ELM! Even the actual domestic consumption growth rates are similiar to assumed ELM figures. When I try to explain this theory (to anyone who will listen), I use the two fictional countries of "Commuterland" for the net importing country and "Sandystan" for the net exporting country, as people become very defensive when they realize what countries I'm really referring to.

Flavius Aetius


Nevertheless, if fuel oil demand sharply increases, the region will arguably be obliged to become a net importer, just when the worldwide supply of fuel oil is expected to diminish as a large amount of upgrading capacity comes on stream by the end of the decade, the agency said.


Middle East oil demand, unchanged in the new report against expectations in June, is seen reaching 6.6mn bpd this year, up 4.5% on the year, and almost 7 million bpd next year.

Flaviu Aetius

What they really need is Wind Turbines and Solar to provide energy for the refineries. Isn't life wonderful?

Bob Ebersole

With enough investment, Tuvalu will find enough oil to supply the demand from Saudi Arabia. And build sea walls.

When we start shooting people, can I shoot the economists? Cap and Quarter - maybe that's the ticket.

cfm in Gray, ME

"When we start shooting people, can I shoot the economists? Cap and Quarter - maybe that's the ticket."

Well, if you don't have a gun you can always find someone that does and Cap and Trade.

The logical solution is for Qatar & Iran to establish natural gas pipelines to those oil exporters that are short of NG and burning bunker oil instead.

Of course, why increase LNG exports, with their very high capital improvement costs and sales to "questionable" economies (long term) when they can sell pipeline natural gas to oil exporters ?

Best Hopes for Logic over Politics,


The nerve of those arabs and persians! It isnt bad enough that they live on top of our oil but now they are stealing it to use in their vehicles! We should send in the Marines and put a stop to this nonsense!

Ethanol has become a scapegoat? And the article is in the Des Moines Register - this is excellent - I'm now SacredCowTipper there as well.

I don't know if information on the corn crop was posted recently. This article is saying that corn production is now forecast by the US Department of Agriculture to be up by 24% since last year.

My impression is that weather conditions have been fairly good in the corn growing region this summer. Thus, corn may do pretty well this year.

The big drought areas this year seem to be in the West and parts of the South. My impression is that there are a lot of forests in these areas. These forests will be stressed, leading to more forest fires and possibly die offs in the future, if dry conditions continue. This problem is not likely to make headlines, even though it really is serious.

Unusually wet weather has affected Texas this year. The article above mentions that cotton production is expected to be down, because of weather conditions and reduced planting.

Yes, corn up 24%, soybeans down 15%(from '06), cotton down 20% (from '06), and wheat down 1%. In spite of these record numbers, I've heard that ethanol producers are worrying plenty about the price of corn. One problem is that wheat prices are up because of increased export demand, so that could lead to more wheat acres next year. Also, I wouldn't think the biodiesel plants would be too happy about the decrease in soybeans, since those plants are increasing capacity, too. It's also interesting about the how the increasing cost of farming is making the news lately, too.

The North American continent gets drier as the Arctic ice cap melts. The dunes in Nebraska go active again, the dust bowl days return to Kansas and Arkansas, and wheat production shifts to Iowa and Illinois. Corn production shifts north ... a bit ... but the land is different and not as productive.

You never hear any word about how a water drought leads to a biofuel drought - very telling regarding the government's real thoughts on the matter, eh?


I was talking to a friend in Minnesota. He said, "We are turning into Kansas" after observing some corn fields being plowed under due to drought.

There is a climatologist by the name of Elwin Taylor at Iowa State that discussed the USDA report on Friday. He has a call in show on the local PBS radio station (WOI) to discuss weather trends.

If I remember right he said the satellite reports show that virtually the entire lower 48 growing area is greener this year compared to last year and the last decade. Lots of timely rains in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas in particular. There was an increase in corn acres and that coupled with abundant moisture may produce a very, very large crop of corn in 2007. My understanding is they are forecasting record crops in Louisiana, Kansas, Washington, and Texas and at or near records in the traditional corn belt states.

Yes some acres were put into corn that in the past went into other crops but it looks like annual crops are going to have a very good year almost everywhere in the lower 48. Perennial woody crops (apples, peaches, berries) is a different story. My take on this is that 2007 is NOT going to be the year that shows that ethanol and biodiesel took all the food out of peoples mouths and raised prices. Yields are going to be too high.

The Midwest is getting rain along with high temps now in August. The corn is already full height (doesen't need as much water now) but the soybeans which looked stressed are now growing very fast. The indeterminant bean varieties will continue to set pods as long as they have water and heat units. Nitrogen is not a concern so they can have great flex if August weather is conducive to growth. In addition the South American soybean crop was very large and world oil stocks are at all time highs.

I am not saying we aren't on a bad path trying to replace oil with agricultural crops, only saying that in 2007 U.S. yields should not be blamed for high food prices. High oil prices are leading to high food prices because the cost of farming has gone up, independent of where that crop is used post harvest. What is really sad is that if yields are too high the farmers still won't make any money because the CBT will bid the prices down.

"High oil prices are leading to high food prices because the cost of farming has gone up, independent of where that crop is used post harvest."

Please, the cost of production has nothing, zip, to do with what farmers receive. Prices are based solely on the supply of the crop, and what demand is anticipated to be. Prices to the farm are high now because the surplus is gone, and the demand from all uses is thought to be more than the crop. If otherwise, we wouldn't get squat for our produce.

"Hey Ben, my fuel costs ate me up this summer. You gotta give an extra $40/ton for my alfalfa." Right, ol Ben will just fork it over.

There was something that struck me as *really* funny in Cosmos magazine:


We need to expand into space because Earth alone cannot sustain us. Space provides a pressure valve, but exploring it will also ensure our survival. Because one day, a massive calamity will befall our world — an asteroid strike, ice ages, supervolcanoes, solar bursts or nuclear war — and we may disappear, or our civilisation fall.

But we also deserve to continue because we have created things greater than ourselves. Not only scientific and engineering knowledge, valuable as this is — we have also created new and beautiful ways to see the world through art, music, literature and performance.

Think of the plays of Shakespeare, the concertos of Bach, the philosophy of Confucius, the epic poetry of Virgil, the suiboku ink painting of Shubun, the fado laments of Amália Rodrigues, the morality tales of Javanese wayang kulit shadow puppetry, the Islamic calligraphy of the Diwani Al Jali style, the novels of Cervantes, the harvest bhangra dances of Pakistan, the rhythms of the didgeridoo, and anything by Leonardo da Vinci.

Even if the cosmos is brimming with other advanced civilisations, we still deserve to be here. Nature in its diversity has made us as we are: we too are children of the universe, and have something to contribute.

Oddly enough, he doesn't consider the possibility that we will provide our own calamity without any needing any help from asteroids.

Well to be fair he does mention nuclear war.
But what's "funny" about that article? I agree with it fully, and have stated as much many times here before.
Although technically I wouldn't state that "Earth alone cannot sustain us" without clarifying that by "us" I mean "our advanced technological civilisation".

I guess what I find funny is the blind adoration of technology and growth, and the conclusion the author reaches is that we need to go out and despoil other planets because we have fouled our own nest. Not exactly how he put it, of course...

How is it "blind adoration of technology and growth"?
Why should we not have ambitions over and above what we have achieved so far? If we took your attitude at the end of the Roman empire, think how many wonderful outpourings of creativity, scientific understanding and technological achievement would have never had happened. Why should we not be proud of Beethoven's symphonies, of landing on the moon, or of dramatically reducing the misery and injustice of disease and premature mortality? And who knows what great things are still to come?

I'm perfectly respectful of the fact that technology has the capacity to harm as well as benefit, and that unimpeded economic growth purely for its own sake (or the sake of ever bigger profits) is neither sustainable or beneficial to society as a whole. But there are perfectly reasonable and sound arguments that technological advancement in general is a good thing, and even a necessary thing if we want to put off a catastrophic and highly unpleasant fate as long as possible. And technological advancement will always require a certain amount of economic growth, as we use up all the "easy" innovations and break-throughs and start to move into the far more difficult and expensive ones.

Oh, and btw, "despoil other planets"? Despoil according to who or what? Who gets to make a judgement about whether a planet is better left cold and unhabitated, or teeming with life and creativity?

If a path to the better there be, it begins with a full look a the worst.

Technology assisted landing a man on the moon as much as it assisted in the Spanish inquisition. Assisted in shlepping Mother Theresa across the globe, as much as it assisted every war in history. It assisted the development of germ theory, eradicated smallpox, eradicated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it helps us usher in the Holocene extinction, it helps us cause the planet's climate to shift.

Our children, our descendants will be the ones who judge how well we've done in caring for the planet upon which everything depends.

No disagreement from me there.

And like it or not, realistically we are now so far down the path of technological advancement, and so far down the path of ecological damage, that the only realistic chance we have to save ourselves is to begin to use our technological abilities to reverse the damage we've done.

With or without technological advancement, we are going to have to change our attitudes and behaviour. But without it, there are significant limits to the benefits that can be acheived from doing so. To take it to an extreme, if we gave up all technological advancement tomorrow, the process of climate change already set in progress would very likely wipe out much of the world's population within a century or two.

House foreclosures. I guess I just can’t get community spirit out of my brain. Just like those who believe in UFOS, realise it is not very rational, and yet are absolutely convinced they exist.

Why don’t some of these home owners get together, look over their properties/mortages/and whatever else relevant, create a cooperative (or other associative mechanism, don’t know how that works in the US), make some good choices, and double up (that is a built in condition!) in their largish houses / gardens, maybe rent some property, letting others go hang, etc.? With the internet, its easy and cheap to do! That’s a rhetorical question.

Part of the problem is in the word ‘community.’ It is a little old fashioned, and seems to refer to communities that are territorially defined (the quarter, the village, the district..), quaint values - when communal feasts and helping your neighbor were current coin. While such values of course still exist today, they have been much weakened, also, it has to be said, exploited by pols of a conservative stripe to get votes (attracting those who liked not only the cosiness of yesteryear but their own dominant position) thereby actually eroding them more.

There is no ‘community’ of 'poor' house owners (except in specific developments, etc.) There is no community of the poor - and no or little political choice for them. Much energy (human) has been deviated to splinter issues, gender politics, etc.

The point is, really, if grassroots, from the ground initiatives, either can’t arise or are set to be irrelevant, and if leaders, in the shape of elected officials in the West, persist in maintaining their dominant position in a doomed schema, what happens next? Nothing good. The response to ‘peak oil’ or ‘the energy crunch’ must be political, societal, cultural above all. Technology has a tremendous amount to offer, but it is regulated and planned by humans (see hydrogen hype, ethanol subsidies, etc.) and right now common sense and a putative ‘new’ basically non-existent community spirit, have been crushed in the bud.

The class war has been won. (!!)

Won't and can't happen....McMansion's are huge houses on very tiny lots. There simply isn't enough area in grow any meaningful amount of food. Even if the rooms were divided up for multi-family use, the houses themselves were way overpriced. They need huge amounts of energy to heat and cool (having pairs of furances and AC units is common practice).

Probably it have be would be better to tear down and recycle whatever materials are useful for post Peak Oil survival.

Flavius Aetius

Not in New Orleans !

Best Hopes for Community Spirit,


We housed half the population in 20% of the housing immediately post-Katrina. And a web of support & help throughout.

yes, I know, and its a good counter example. but then it was a natural catastrophe and not 'business' as usual. i was in NO for 4 days once and did feel that spirit.

...but then it was a natural catastrophe

No, it was NOT a natural catastrophe, it was a massive civil engineering failure (due to poor design, negligence and cover up) by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Absent their malfeasance, we would have had some moderate wind damage, power would have been out for 2 to 4 weeks in some areas and a half dozen or so people would have died.

Instead over 1,100 died (over 3,000 if aftereffects are considered, mortality is up 50%) and 80% of the city was severely damaged or destroyed.


If you like a little fiction along these lines you should check out Distraction by Bruce Sterling. Sterling, the founder of the Viridian Design Movement, has written a good bit about the near future with resource exhaustion and global warming often appearing as underlying plot drivers.

Sterling's fiction and Viridian Design essays are outstanding and still thought provoking. Of course, I may be a little biased because I designed the original Viridian Design website :-)

Here are all of Sterling's Viridian posts, and here is some introductory material.

Another oldie but amazingly prescient essay is Michael Swanwick's Growing Up in the Future (1996). Here's a preview:

America’s Energy Future was a teaching device which the Department of Energy had devised. It was a box containing a handful of transistors (this was before personal computers), a few potentiometers, and several simple readouts, and it represented civilization. ...

After a while it became obvious to me that not only was there no way to win this depressing game but that it was an accurate model for DOE’s energy policies. They were all based on an irreversible demand for energy that would grow at a steadily increasing rate until everything collapsed and everyone died. You couldn’t win. But if you used up all your resources without a thought for tomorrow, they wouldn’t run out until just shortly after the last middle-aged decision maker died.


As I predicted last week the china dollar thing was all hype.

They are already trading "US Dollar Credits" all over the world for hard assets, leases, and influence. Don't kid yourself. China has been divesting itself of US dollars for some time.


Oh no, not another derivative based on betting on the behavior of a shoddy deadbeat borrower.

From the DrumBeat above--

Electrical costs will stay high http://www.rep-am.com/articles/2007/08/12/opinion/277143.txt

That could be achieved by permitting development of America's vast natural-gas fields offshore and above the Arctic Circle, but Congress, abetted by the Connecticut delegation, has forbidden that for decades.

Anybody know where those vast offshore natural gas fields are? And how is Connecticut going to interfere with Arctic development? Isn't that Canada up there?

As a resident of Florida, I'm always amused by cornucopian assumptions that there is all the oil and gas the US needs right there on the Florida continental shelf.

They ignore the fact that unlike Texas and Louisiana, no large oil finds were made onshore in Florida; based on the important geological principle of Nearology, it's very unlikely there are any supergiants lurking off the coast of Florida.

Errol in Miami

For Fed watchers, this coming week should be another interesting one. Here is a link:


which gives information (updated regularly) on the Fed's open market operations.

Just click on, "show last 25 operations" down at the bottom, and you will see the Feds most recent action. On Friday, August 10th, you will see the three, separate, three-day repo purchases of 3, 16, and 19 billion dollars respectively. On Thursday, August 9th, there was a one-day repo of 12 billion, and a 14-day repo of twelve billion. On Wednesday, August 8th, there was a one-day repo of 8.75 billion.

This sight can be helpful, since the media often jumbles the nature of the Feds open market operations, making it difficult to tell if they are talking about repos, outright purchases, or what-have-you.

(The page linked above is for "Temporary Open Market Operations." If you look to the left, there is a link for "Permanent Open Market Operations," these are the outright purchases. Clicking on this link will reveal the statement, "There are no operations at this time." The last outright purchase was made by the Fed on May 3rd, so they aren't bailing anyone out yet as is implied by some media reports.)

The big number to watch, as always, is the Federal Funds Rate.

Look at the amounts that were submitted!!! My god, man, Wall Street was trying to completely bail! There may have been nearly a trillion dollars in submitted repos! Wow!

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

And presumably the ones they didn't accept are not even good enough for a bailout.

Could this be the first big Atlantic hurricane of the season?


In response to the Florida foodbanks and so forth. I cannot say I am shocked or really even surprised. However I am horrified as the people have done this to themself.

I grew up in the Florida Keys in 1994 my parents got a house there for 240k now thats the avg price across the nation today but then it was quite a bit. However the shocking thing now is that same house SAME!! goes for nearly 900k with NO change in the structure. I have said it before and I will say it without hesitation I am angry beyond belief that these people have driven the costs up so high that the people who are natives to there "fishermen, crab collectors, etc" and their children are in a dying industry that will never be the same. No middle class people will ever be able to experience what I did as a child. I CANNOT GO HOME!!! I cannot go to where I was raised as a child it is way unaffordable.

ugg I cannot talk about this it makes me so angry..

I experienced the same thing. I grew up in Algonac, Michigan. In the 1920's playground of the rich, in the 1960's small low income town. Now, again the playground of the rich. Wish I'ld bought property back then. The property my Dad paid $40,000 for in 1970, is now worth 1.7 million.(actually probably less now with the real estate crash) Point is, a 1 bedroom condo in Algonac is now over $1000.00 a month. The poor have definitely all been pushed out. My grandfather, who owned his property outright, had to go back to work in his 70's just to pay the property taxes. Thankfully, my grandparents died before they were kicked out. But, Yes it was devastating to realize about 15 years ago I couldn't afford to live in my own home town. Fortunately, my father started buying and selling real estate after he was early retired when EDS took over data processing at Fisher Body. He has NO problem affording to live there.

PS: I have 2 sisters that live in the Keys; Marathon and Big Pine. I've never been there.(And, Yes, I've let them know they will be underwater shortly. They are now both global warming and peak oil aware.)

Off target?

The Way We Live Now
Not Being There
Published: August 12, 2007
Internet anonymity can foster fantasy — or mask a manipulative, sock-puppeting C.E.O.


I was highly disappointed when I first read about this...I have a lot of time for some of Mackey's writings on what free-enterprise capitalism could be. They are still a good antidote to anyone who believes that capitalism and profit-making are inherently evil, but some of what he writes depends to a certain extent on a faith in human decency is perhaps a little naive and optimistic. Which makes his actions in this case even harder to understand.
Having said that, I'm glad at the outcome...letting companies constantly grow by swallowing up and buying out their competition is absolutely antithetical to a well-functioning, dynamic free-market economy (and indeed, one of the reasons why such a thing doesn't really exist).

The International Energy Agency yesterday warned that the Middle East runs the risk of becoming a net importer of fuel oil at precisely the time worldwide output of the product could diminish.

Wait a minute ... where exactly are they going to import it from?

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

Hello TODers,

Zoo Poo for sale!

"It's just like really rich dirt -- no flies, no smell," said Margaret Bounds, a zoo horticulturalist. "You could grow anything in it."
We need alot more thinking along these lines as hi-input energy to extract, process, and distribute synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides will inevitably deplete postPeak.

Ideally, I would like to see the closest school buy this Zoo Poo for jumpstarting permaculture classes in the plowed up baseball and football fields. A wheelbarrow and bicycle for every student, of course!

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

Bob, sorry I missed your extensive posts on fertilizers. Too many things happening news wise distracted me and I lost track. But having spent the day making my compost heaps (3 one metre cubes), my attention has again focused on soil fertility.

Most of my vegetable plot has been written off this year by one thing or another, but I believe the poor health of the soil is one of the main reasons. I unfortunately placed my vegetable plot on an area previously farmed by conventional methods, meaning the soil is totally depleted. The plants were simply too unhealthy and fell to every malady going, especially fungal diseases, probably due to the cool damp summer here in Europe.

Anyway I digress. Could you kindly list some links to your posts you consider most informative. I bought some Guano (mixed with some kind of algae) the other day in the supermarket (I'm an organic grower), something I think you've been discussing. Many thanks.

Triumvirate of collapse - Economy, Ecosystem, Energy

Hello Burgundy,

No problemo-->Hope this helps:


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

Most likely disease IS the culprit and it can lurk for years before manifesting itself, even in a "healthy" soil.
But especially in soil that has been subjected to "agriculture".

Hybrid diesels:

The 3 U.S. auto companies had hybrid diesel designs in 1999 under the Partnership for a New Generation Vehicle (PNGV) program run by Clinton and Gore. The Ford design was called the Prodigy and got 70 mpg. After Bush took the White House the project was canceled and the program was renamed Freedom Car that used hydrogen and would not be ready for 20 years or more.

This is interesting, could you provide a link or a source?

As usual, Google is your friend:


Which provides links, including the DOE site:


E. Swanson

Hello TODers,

Recall my prior postings outlining the fact that the best way for an FF-exporting country to gain a long term advantage is to go to maximum Peakoil Outreach and a biosolar existence as much as possible. This way they can continue to export ephemeral FFs to trade for the real assets that can really leverage their Paradigm Shift and future sustainability.

Sadly, Pres. Bush invaded Iraq expecting to be showered with flowers and candies. But once this 'Mission Accomplished' tactic was completed [sarcasm], he should have taken my strategic advice as outlined in the first paragraph.

So lets examine how well the 'Porridge Principal of Metered Decline' strategy is not working, then compare to a possible 'Paradigm Shift' Iraqi strategy.

Obviously, I don't need to remind you of the horrific numbers of lives lost [American & Iraqi], the ongoing eco-devastation, nor the crumbling varied spiderwebs of detritovore infrastructure. Many TODers have already posted the gory details.

From the CIA Factbook on Iraq:
Population: 27,499,638 (July 2007 est.)

[This is a running calculator link, but I took $452 billion as my cost assumption--BS]

So $452 billion/27.5 million = approx. $16,500/Iraqi

and estimates are that we are easily on track to spend $one trillion dollars of taxpayer dough in Iraq:

Cost of Iraq war could surpass $1 trillion
Estimates vary, but all agree price is far higher than initially expected.

One thing is certain about the Iraq war: It has cost a lot more than advertised. In fact, the tab grows by at least $200 million each and every day.

Therefore, $1 trillion/27.5 million = approx. $36,500/Iraqi

Easily one can see that Bush should have instead showered the Iraqis with a massive Peakoil Outreach Program, and a huge influx of wheelbarrows, bicycles, RR + TOD [Go Alan Drake!], humanure recycling, massive dispersal of solar hot-water heaters, PV panels, wind-turbines, birth-control programs, guano shelters, and all the other excellent biosolar ideas discussed here on this forum.

If a country is not dependent upon FFs, they will very peacefully sell their ancient sunshine for lots more harvested sunshine in the future. Duhh!

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

Hello TODers,

So let's assume the average Iraqi house has 7 people living in it and we reach the USD $1,000 billion taxpayer expenditure in a few years.

7 people: 2 grandparents, Mom & Pop, 3 offspring

7 x $36,500 = $255,500 per home

Metered Decline Strategy: their home looks like this after massive US taxpayer investment,


Paradigm Shift Strategy: their home looks like this after massive US taxpayer investment,


If Bush had undertaken an Iraqi program of sequential building and expansion of biosolar habitats these past four years [possibly starting in Basra, then working north], then our troops might now be showered with candies and flowers instead of bullets and IEDs. Such is life.

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

Oman Oil Production Falling

Efforts to find new fields and to use EOR in old fields have not stopped a decline in Omani oil production.

Gulf Times Article

Hello TODers,

Asia's Central Banks Stand Pat as BOJ, RBA Add Cash (Update1)
Round Two of the liquidity crunch?

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

Hello TODers,

Found an interesting link, that if true, really helps justify my speculative posts on our stockpiling FF-fertilizers to help bridge the Paradigm Shift, building guano shelters, going full tilt into humanure recycling and household composting, and other biosolar permaculture methods to help extend the inevitable depletion of high energy input mined agri-minerals:

Can Organic Really Feed the World? Activism Disguised As Science

Central to this entire debate is the shortage of organic nitrogen fertilizer, a.k.a. manure. Currently, there is only enough animal manure to support one fifth of current global crop production. They only way to get more organically is to devote more land to legume crops or animal pastures that fix more nitrogen—which would require billions of acres of additional farmland the world doesn’t currently have.

This would mean that 4/5ths of our crops are totally dependent on long distance, high energy NPK and other spectrum minerals. Yikes, I thought that well over half the crops worldwide were organically grown already--this revelation certainly adds to my fast-crash realist mindset.

Priced Guano lately? The War of the Saskatchewan or the Uralkali may be sooner than we think if WT's ExportLand Model makes extractive mineral mining sources deplete faster than the inherent geologic constraint.

You just can't process and ship megatons of NPK as easily as you can process and ship lightweight movie-DVDs, videogames, and software. I think we need all the Peakoil Outreach we can muster.

Don't forget we still have aquifer depletions, plus climate change droughts and flooding to reduce yields too. =(

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

You don't need animal manure to grow crops. See this link.

If we lose half the world's grain crop we lose 20% of the grain crop that humans eat, not 80%.

Yeah, that is a very fine and dandy for small farms, 40 acres or less, but lets see you use it for 1000 acre plus plots. That sure is a big compost pile! And growing green manures means taking one crop out of the rotation in many areas, making the land less profitable, or not profitable at all. My area rotates between soybeans/corn/wheat. The operative word here is scale. What works in my back yard does not work on a five acre plot (believe me I know), what works on a five acre plot doesn’t work on a 100 acre plot, and so on. Without fertilizer inputs large farms are impossible.

Bob, firstly look at the author of the article:

DENNIS T. AVERY was a senior policy analyst for the U.S. State Department, where he won the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement. He is the co-author, with atmospheric physicist Fred Singer, of the book Unstoppable Global Warming—Every 1500 Years, available from Rowman & Littlefield.

The article is obviously a piece of propaganda, especially with the slight at Cuba and I wouldn't trust the author's word on anything (National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, phew!). Now, having said that, the best propaganda relies on the truth. I never even read the original article about organic farming feeding the world, it was obviously nonsense.

In my effort at organic production I buy in manure, I also gather material from my land to make compost. So my current experimental area of say half an acre of vegetable plot actually requires some multiple of that area to produce fertilizer and compost to sustain it. So even at a ratio of 1:1 - which it certainly isn't, it's much higher - then significantly more land is required to farm organically.

Obviously, with more efficient use of the available resources a better ratio can be achieved, but it will never, ever, reach the same equivalent ratio of conventional farming with chemical inputs. And if I produced my own biofuel to run my machines the ratio would go through the roof.

Without food and water nothing else matters.

Triumvirate of collapse - Economy, Ecosystem, Energy

Though most are asleep...

Monday morning the Bank of Japan had to add another 800 billion Yen, reason given again the US subprime initiated credit crunch making its way through the markets.

Will be interesting to see in 6 hours what the Fed will have to do...

They will follow Rove. Make the "ultimate sacrifice" for God and country, and abandon ship. The timing just happens to be right for these things.

Rove just resigned. Does that mean he now has to respond to the subpoena issued by Congress?

Miers hasn't.