DrumBeat: September 7, 2007

Wyoming-Illinois crude pipeline shut due to leak

Kinder Morgan has shut its Platte crude oil pipeline running from Casper, Wyoming, to Wood River, Illinois, due to a leak, a spokesman said on Friday.

...It was not clear when the pipeline would be restarted, he added.

The pipeline carries around 164,000 barrels per day of crude, according to the company's Web site.

The Platte system carries Canadian and local Rocky Mountain crude to markets in Kansas and Illinois, as well as to other interconnecting carriers in those areas.

Amtrak draws record ridership despite funding issues

The money-losing service, which relies heavily on government funding, says it is riding higher, illustrated by the hundreds of thousands of additional riders flocking to expanded routes in Illinois and California. Amtrak is chugging toward its fifth-straight record year for ridership nationwide, helped by high gasoline prices and congested highways and airports that seem to have encouraged people to keep their vehicles parked.

Scientists: Dramatic sea ice loss by 2050

An analysis of 20 years' worth of real-life observations supports recent U.N. computer predictions that by 2050, summer sea ice off Alaska's north coast will probably shrink to nearly half the area it covered in the 1980s, federal scientists say.

...In the 1980s, sea ice receded 30 to 50 miles each summer off the north coast, said James Overland, a Seattle-based oceanographer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"Now we're talking about 300 to 500 miles north of Alaska," he said of projections for 2050.

Oil Industry Flares $40 Billion in Gas a Year

Up to 170 billion cubic meters of natural gas are "flared" by the world's oil producers every year. The economic value amounts to $40 billion, but the burden on the earth's atmosphere -- in warming emissions like methane and carbon dioxide -- is enormous.

Despite rising prices, OPEC appears to be in no rush to raise its output targets

"I think prices are going to rise, and that's probably going to force OPEC's hand," Simon Wardell, a senior energy consultant with Global Insight, told The Associated Press.

"If prices go toward $80, there will be a lot of pressure on OPEC to produce more," said Eshan Ul-Haq, chief analyst at PVM Oil Associates in Vienna. "$80 is the mark they'll be looking at."

Refinery work could stoke heating oil bills

"We have 46.9 (days of forward demand cover), which is very interesting because that's the lowest in the last five years in the month of August," said Mark Routt, analyst for Energy Security Analysis Inc (ESAI).

Nigerian oil disruptions will ease in 2008 - minister

Disruptions to Nigerian oil exports should ease next year and investment in the sector will grow after the national oil company is restructured, Nigeria's new oil minister said on Thursday.

Militant attacks on Western-run oil facilities since early 2006 have cut output in Africa's top producer by at least one fifth, fuelling a global oil price rally. But armed groups in the oil producing Niger Delta have observed a ceasefire since Nigeria's new government took office on May 29.

Buzz builds for plug-in cars

The Automotive X Prize aims to promote the development super-efficient motor vehicles that would cut greenhouse-gas emissions and get the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon.

'Acceptability' is Total's growth model

Speaking to the Financial Times on Thursday, Mr de Margerie set out his vision of the right response to what he described as "a revolution" in the industry.

"The world has changed," he said. "It is not any more a concern about 'can you build more capacity and will you be faced with a problem of overcapacity?', as it happened in the '70s and '80s. It is much more a question 'can you [meet] the demand?' Because the demand is there and the capacity we have is not enough."

The reason is that the countries that control most of the world's oil and gas are granting access to the international oil companies only on their own terms.

"There is a wish of certain countries to keep their reserves for the long term. They are making sufficient money with what they produce, they have the feeling that it's good for their own citizens to keep it for the future . . . and they don't want to develop those reserves too fast," Mr de Margerie said. "And can you blame them? I am not sure."

Shell Argentina declares service station force majeure

The Argentine unit of Royal Dutch Shell plans to send letters Thursday to its service stations declaring a force majeure, citing a government order to shut down its refinery, Shell Argentina President Juan Jose Aranguren said.

Alaska: Pipeline called viable despite drop in gas use

U.S. natural gas consumption has declined for two consecutive years, but that doesn't necessarily mean chances for an Alaska gas pipeline are diminished, a BP economist said Thursday.

Gov. Ritter declares emergency to help farmers transport wheat from farm to market

This season, Colorado farmers are experiencing the largest wheat harvest in nearly 10 years – double last year’s harvest with more than 87 million bushels harvested. But many of the trucking and rail carriers formerly serving these agricultural markets have gone out of business in recent years due to the drought, low commodity prices, and high fuel prices.

The Deadly Drought

Alabama Power's hydroelectric generation is down nearly 60 percent and it's easy to see why, with low lakes all over the state barely feeding streams.

The power company is worried that a dry fall will only make the current water shortage worse, forcing them to keep using expensive fuels like coal and natural gas, with barely any cheap hydroelectric power.

Microsoft giving workers free ride

Windows, Office, Xbox, Zune -- and now, a regional bus system.

That's the surprise addition Microsoft Corp. made to its portfolio Thursday, announcing its own bus service -- complete with on-board wireless Internet access -- to shuttle its employees from their neighborhoods around the region to Redmond and back home again.

Oil and security for Iraq investors

Security in Iraq is a major holdup to investment there, sometimes second only to the lack of a law governing Iraq's vast oil and gas reserves.

The World's 'Energy Game' Hotspots

For the past few years, especially since the start of the war on terror, oil prices have gone and societies across all the major industrial states have begun to appreciate the virtues of renewable energy production. The situation on a global scale is still in flux since opposite interests drive their own agenda in order to secure multibillion dollar investments or to gain political influence through the effective tool of energy, in the form of pipelines, terminals, and offshore installations.

Gazprom Back in Talks with Japanese Bank on Sakhalin 2 Financing

Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom has resumed negotiations with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation to secure financing for the Sakhalin 2 energy project, The Nikkei learned Wednesday.

The development, off the shore of Sakhalin Island, had been led by Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. But amid pressure from the Russian government, such as its ordering that construction be suspended because of environmental concerns, the international consortium sold a majority stake to Gazprom this past spring.

New nuclear row as green groups pull out

Britain's leading environmental groups are poised to formally withdraw from a government consultation today that will determine whether ministers will be able to push ahead with plans to build a new generation of nuclear power stations.

The coalition which was asked to provide evidence to inform the debate believes the government has failed to fairly reflect the arguments for presentations that will be given to more than 1,100 members of the public that are due to start tomorrow.

More nuclear and more uranium more likely

The World Nuclear Association's Market Report for 2007 does not substantially revise its growth scenarios for nuclear power, but authors said the higher scenarios have grown more likely.

Nuclear industry does not fear competition from gas

The nuclear power industry in the United States will stay cost competitive against natural gas as long as gas prices stay above $3 per million British thermal units, senior nuclear officials told a conference this week.

North Dakotans wary of renewed interest in uranium mining; Mines shut down in late 1960s

North Dakota state geologist Ed Murphy said his office is beginning to field inquiries from mining companies interested in staking new claims — the first since the state's uranium mines shut down in the late 1960s.

Leaders back nuke power

President George W. Bush says nuclear power is a key to tackling climate change, along with new energy technologies, but green groups want Asia-Pacific leaders meeting in Sydney to commit to greenhouse-gas reduction targets.

Nuclear industry hails climate-driven "renaissance"

The nuclear power industry said on Thursday it provided a clean alternative to fossil fuels and a global warming crisis, shrugging off environmentalist concerns about nuclear waste and atomic security.

Coal-to-Liquid Is a Boondoggle

“We are simply running out of time to avoid catastrophic warming, and we no longer have the luxury of grossly misallocating capital and fuels to expensive boondoggles like coal to liquid,” Center for American Progress Senior Fellow Joe Romm told the House Science and Technology Subcommittee on Energy and Environment yesterday. Proponents claim that coal-to-liquid technologies can reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Global demand lights fire under coal

After years of stagnant demand, coal has come back to life as producers worldwide respond to rising demand from developing countries.

A tipping point came this year when China, one of the world's leading producers, for the first time became a net importer of coal.

Solar energy hopes to shine with less silicon

Solar energy specialists are forecasting a bright future by focusing on technology that uses less silicon as they move toward cost-per-kilowatt hour parity with traditional power generating firms.

BP's answer to food-based ethanol

The oil giant believes an inedible plant called jatropha can ease global fuel demands. It could boost incomes in Africa and other impoverished regions too.

Israel: Infrastructure Ministry pushes for more water, less oil

Ben-Eliezer however, is not only focusing his efforts on increasing Israel's water supply. He also is intent on decreasing the country's dependence on oil as its primary energy source. Earlier this week, the minister was in Eilat where he visited the proposed site for the construction of a renewable energy technologies park.

According to the Havel-Eilat regional council, the body that will operate the park, the facilities will included a solar thermal power plant, a wind farm, a solarized turbine pilot plant and a facility that will produce algae bio-fuel.

South Africa facing permanent import of fuel

The South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) reports that South Africa might face becoming a permanent importer of fuel, should local refineries be unable to start operating at nameplate capacity.

South Korea: GS Caltex completes new plant

GS Caltex Corp. said yesterday it completed the construction of a new oil upgrading facility about two months ahead of the schedule, aiming to quickly tap soaring fuel demand in Asia.

Comfort-loving Koreans shun small cars

Small cars have never been a very popular choice for drivers in Korea, despite the major lack of parking spaces, the notoriously heavy traffic, and high fuel prices. Even the worldwide concern about pollution and depletion of fossil fuel reserves doesn't seem to be enough to persuade the country to opt for smaller cars that use less fuel.

OPEC walks a tightrope as oil prices near a record

"The market is currently well supplied with crude oil," said Thomas Hartmann, an analyst at Altavest Worldwide Trading. He pointed out that the U.S. entered the summer with a 15-year high in crude supplies.

...So why are oil prices near record levels again?

"What we're experiencing is a restructuring of pricing for this valuable commodity," said Hartmann. "The realization that oil is of endless supply, or of cheap supply, has ended."

OPEC May Reject Calls for More Supply With Oil at $76

OPEC, the producer of 40 percent of the world's oil, may reject consumer calls to increase supplies and lower prices from $76 a barrel on concern energy demand will falter as U.S. economic growth slows.

Oil price boom brings some gloom to majors

For years, international oil majors blamed low prices for their inability to invest in hunting for new oil sources.

Oil prices near record highs now should have meant an end to their complaints, but oil majors are finding that high prices are no less of a curse.

Energy and Security in the Arab Gulf

There is enough oil in the world to meet global demand in the distant future. The problem lies in extracting oil from the ground, and ensuring distribution in the market at an acceptable price. In the face of access to oil, there are political, economic and regulatory obstacles - not geological.

Mexico's Pemex sees dip in 2008 oil output

Mexico's Pemex is forecasting crude oil output in 2008 of 3.14 million barrels per day, down 0.7 percent from current levels, according to a document being used to set the state oil monopoly's spending budget for next year.

The document forecasts production at Pemex's huge but aging Cantarell oil field falling to an average 1.312 million bpd over 2008, a Pemex spokeswoman said on Thursday. She said the figures were part of a working hypothesis and not definitive forecasts.

Weekly Offshore Rig Review: Nigerian Shake-up

Given the news of a major restructuring of the Nigerian national oil company and authorities, this week's offshore rig review will be taking a look at the rig activity offshore Nigeria.

Bangladesh: Titas Field Gas Leakage – A Big Worry

Bangladesh’s largest gas field Titas is leaking. It is leaking for a long time. The country is facing an energy crisis – gas supply crisis. The incapability of supplying gas to all the planned power plants has already given serious alarm. We are already facing gas supply problem in some areas of national gas grid. There is serious apprehension that the country’s proven gas reserve is going to be exhausted soon.

Albania’s Energy Crisis Raises Costs

Albania’s energy crisis is taking its toll on the economy, according to newly released data by the Institute of Statistics.

Transmission lines limit Colorado's renewable energy

Colorado faces potentially severe energy and economic challenges if the state’s utilities are delayed in developing planned high-voltage electric transmission lines in the next several years, a new analysis finds.

Total cuts oil output targets

Total's ability to resist the pressures on production facing its international rivals was called into question on Wednesday as the French oil major cut output targets by 20 per cent for the four years to 2010.

Christophe de Margerie, the new chief executive who took over in February, said on Wednesday that Total expected only 4 per cent growth between 2006 and 2010, against previous forecasts of 5 per cent.

It is the second time in three months that Total has been forced to rein in production forecasts and prompted a bitter reaction from some analysts, even though the group still expects to outpace rivals BP and Shell.

"We are very disappointed," said one who refused to be named. "In the end it shows they are just like BP and Shell. They may be less present in declining zones, and have a better cost structure, but they too are losing growth."

Study: Without more government help ethanol plants could go bust

Ethanol producers have friendly government policies to thank for the current boom in the corn-based alternative fuel and will need more help from Washington to keep from going belly up in a few years, says a new study.

Without a federally mandated increase in ethanol consumption, small plants could stop being profitable by 2011 and be operating in the red in 2013, according to the study by David Peters, an agricultural economist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Large plants, meanwhile, could see profits cut in half in four years before losing millions of dollars in seven or eight years and being forced to rely on reserves to cover losses.

Biofuel costs draining the field

The enthusiasm for biofuel production has cooled significantly -- and the great irony for producers is that it is the very drive for alternative fuels that has pushed raw material costs out of sight.

"We can't even come close to our capacity, and it isn't because there's not demand for biodiesel," said Ken Arnold, president and CEO of Memphis BioFuels. "We're selling everything we make."

Ethanol and the Tortilla Tax

“What’s that got to do with the price of tea in China?” my grandmother used to ask me when she thought I was veering off-topic in a conversation. Her voice came back to me recently, as I read about food riots in Mexico, and wondered what that had to do with the price of motor fuels in America.

Everything, apparently.

Oil Rig Shortage Threatens North Sea Exploration

SHORTAGE of drilling rigs represents the biggest threat to vital North Sea oil and gas exploration and appraisal activity as a surge of new entrants into the area stokes competition for resources, according to sector experts.

Analysis by consultancy Hannon Westwood shows that activity levels surged in the last two years despite sharp increases in tax rates as growing numbers of firms acquired acreage to cash in on booming oil prices.

UK North Sea Oil Cos Continue to Suffer Skills Shortage

Companies involved in oil and gas production in the U.K. continue to suffer a significant shortage of skilled personnel, contributing to cost inflation that is slowing activity in the region, according to an industry survey published Thursday by the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce.

Statoil Sees OECD Peak

Production of conventional oil in OECD countries will peak as soon as in 2010, increasing the world's dependence on the OPEC cartel and Russia, and continuing the rush to non-conventional deposits such as Alberta's oilsands, the chief executive of Norway's Statoil ASA predicted yesterday.

IEA Head Says Global Oil Market Supply Is Tightening

"The market situation is tightening, we know that," Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the agency that advises 26 oil- consuming nations, said in Paris today. "The current level of spare capacity is very low."

Oil price tests an all-time high

As US crude rose to less than $1.50 short of its record peak, Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of Total, the French oil group, told the Financial Times he expected the oil price to stay high, and suggested the cycle in the market had been broken.

Argentina Faces Fuel Shortage On Shell Refinery Shutdown

A day after the Argentine government ordered Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) to shut down its Doc Sud refinery, it was unclear how a potentially large gap in fuel supplies would be covered.

A government energy official told Dow Jones Newswires that Shell had begun to shut down the refinery after Energy Secretary officials Wednesday night ordered operations to cease due to alleged environmental infractions.

Shell is appealing the shutdown.

UN warns of food price unrest

Developing countries face serious social unrest as they struggle to cope with soaring food prices, inflation that shows no signs of abating, the United Nations’ top agriculture official has warned.

Jacques Diouf, director-general of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, said surging prices for basic food imports such as wheat, corn and milk had the “potential for social tension, leading to social reactions and eventually even political problems”.

Fuel-economy rules could kill US auto industry: union chief

Tough new fuel-economy standards now pending in Congress could lead to the dismantling of what remains of the US domestic car industry, the president of the United Auto Workers union warned Thursday.

"We're being told that we must choose between protecting our environment versus protecting our jobs," said UAW president Ron Gettelfinger as he thrust himself into the center of a contentious debate over fuel economy.

Pacific rim nations eke out climate change agreement

Asia Pacific countries have agreed a common statement on climate change after intense wrangling between rich and emerging nations, a source involved in the talks said Friday.

The document, which is not binding, contains an "aspirational" target of reducing energy intensity but also stresses the primacy of the United Nations in the fight against climate change.

Green Acres

Americans have sought out companies of like-minded souls since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, organizing around religion, politics, philosophy and--by the time the 1960s rolled around--long hair, free love and poor hygiene. But today that need for community is paired with a desire to live in harmony with the environment. The result is the ecovillage, and EVI is hardly the only one of its kind. The Global Ecovillage Network lists 379 such groups, from EVI in Ithaca to Findhorn in the wilderness of Scotland, and there are even some in cities like Los Angeles and Cleveland.

Typo on the date (although presumably everyone can figure it iout)


Japan to purchase Iranian oil in Yen

Japanese firm Nippon Oil is to start paying for Iranian oil in yen, rather than in US dollars.
The first payments to be made in the new currency for crude oil contracts will take place in October.


Another truth respecting the vigilance with which a free people should guard their liberty, that deserves to be carefully observed, is this--that a real tyranny may prevail in a state, while the forms of a free constitution remain.

Please don't reply to an unrelated post just to get higher up on the page. It's confusing enough trying to follow threads here without people doing that.

Since it was a news story and not a comment was just putting it up with the stories. If you would like I can send them to you to post, as it was relevant with regards to oil and USD.

It's a great story, and I'm glad you posted it. But please post it at the bottom, as a new comment, next time. If everyone did what you did, it would be impossible to follow the discussion.

If you really want me to post a story up top, submit it as a news story at PeakOil.com. (You don't have to register to do that.) I'll see it there.

Oops, you're giving away your secrets!

"If everyone did what you did, it would be impossible to follow the discussion."

But everyone does do what he did.

How often has someone (no names of course) posted something related to the first post or second post on a thread as the third or fourth post on the string, and returned a few hours later, to find the string whacked in half or thirds by completely unrelated conversations, and found the original third post or fourth post, completely relevant, pushed back to become the 50th post, now looking as though it is unrelated to the string of the current conversation.



But thread drift is one thing, thread-jacking is another.

We can't do anything about thread drift (and I'm not sure we'd want to, anyway), but I would like to discourage blatant thread-jacking. That's why I replied, instead of just deleting it or sending a private e-mail.

Dare I suggest a better comment user interface? Most such problems could be fixed if the interface gave users the power to expand or collapse threads, or change the order of sibling comments. I don't know what technologies TOD is implemented with, but I'd be willing to help if I could.

As you've no doubt noticed, we have a lot of issues with our user interface.

We use Drupal. If you have the skills, I'm sure SuperG would welcome some help. He has asked for help before, but there don't seem to be many people out there with the necessary skills and time.

If you want to volunteer, e-mail SuperG at the Tech Support addy on the right sidebar.

Am I correct that "Post a Comment" under the main article and "Start New Thread" at the bottom of each post do the same thing? If so, I am wondering if maybe some people are hitting "Reply" or "Reply in new window" when they really mean to be hit "Start new thread"? Would "Start new topic" perhaps be a better phrasing?

I'll take a look at Drupal and see if it's something I think I can help with. I'm not terribly familiar with PHP, unfortunately.

Most of the problems brought up (repeatedly) by TOD staff are solved in modern web forum software. However TOD is not interested in starting a forum so you are stuck with blog style comments, which are a huge throwback ignoring years and years of Usenet news and web forum development already done.

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

The comment threading doesn't really bother me. It's the database issues that drive me bonkers. The lack of caching, in particular. There's a million links on the average TOD page, and it's so easy to accidentally click one. If you do that while composing your post, you lose it, because hitting "back" doesn't get back your work. A couple of times I've done that after composing a fairly lengthy DrumBeat. Or the server chokes momentarily, and I get an error message when I hit "submit." In most other forums, you can hit "back" and get all your work back. Not here. Several times I've compiled a lengthy DrumBeat, then lost it because of the @#$* caching issue.

The caching issue also nukes all the "new" flags when you post, which is far more disruptive to discussion than any threading issue, IMO.

Leanan, I used to have the exact same problem but no more. Now I just compose everything in Word then copy and paste it into TOD. Now if something happens I still have the entire message in Word. And there is an extra benefit of doing everything in Word. The spellchecker is so easy there.

Ron Patterson

Composing in another program is a good way, but there can be formatting issues...especially when using something like Notepad. For smaller entries that don't take a lot of time I highlight all the text, and copy it, before hitting submit just in case something hiccups...if it hiccups I just have to paste and try again. If you're using the right click to do it, one needs to avoid "delete" like the plague though, or it would all be for naught(though usually you can go to Edit -> Undo and fix even that blunder). I have a sneaking suspicion that Leanan doesn't need the spellchecker in Word...the whiz-bang new FireFox contains an integrated spellchecker which checks the text in boxes like these.

As weird as it sounds, I think the blog format creates a sense of community. Because we're all squished into this one page in a series of threads we have to get along or it'd just be complete garbage. In forums where you can spawn other sections, certain sections tend to get cliquey and so you start avoiding them and other bizzare things which start to create what are essentially multiple different sites.

The caching issue also nukes all the "new" flags when you post, which is far more disruptive to discussion than any threading issue, IMO.


Not that it's brilliant, but the way I deal with this is to open a 'new window' when I want to comment, as I did just now. After posting, I just close that window and return to the page which still has the "new" flags attached.

I prefer the blog style of reading. Reading as a single list, I can easily filter any messages or threads I'm not interested in an just go on to the next. Also the highlighting of new messages makes it easy to re read thru it later on.
Overall, though there are some delays, I don't find the performance all that bad. I suppose if I was on a slow link, then the drilldown style would be preferrable.
For me and I think many others, the blog style is more usable and helps contribute to the amount of activity on the site.


Roger, I think you are misinterpreting how the list protocal actually works. When you reply to a message, that already has one or more replys, and replys to those replys, then your reply will appear at the bottom of the whold damn string of replys.

Inagin a post that has a reply, then a reply to that reply, then a reply to that and on down the line for eight or ten posts. By the time you get to the last post in the string, the subject will often have drifted to a considerable distance from the original subject. Yet your reply, to the original post, will appear at the bottom of this entire string of replys.

That is just where it winds up, not where anyone actually placed it.

Ron Patterson

I like the format of this weblog, especially for the drumbeats. The thread drift keeps all related links together. As long as you are signed in, you can space bar down the page and read the blue NEW comments when you see them. I think this format also keeps people from posting trite commentary. Quality over quantity. With the traffic through this site, around 200 posts for a drumbeat is outstanding refinement of information.

I do imagine a two week posting probation will be needed once TSHTF a bit.

Recipient of AA, Alberta Advantage

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

For all those who think that the world's central bankers have the developing credit crunch contained, look at the liquidity crisis in asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP), which is currently affecting Canada worst of all. ABCP is an impenetrable mish-mash of mortgages, credit card receivables, car loans and other miscellaneous debt that institutions were quite happy, until recently, to use as a convenient place to park short term cash. Within a month that has seen a severe attack of risk aversion, it has gone from safe to toxic, with the result that liquidity has dried up almost completely.

In Canada, banks are trying to put together a deal that converts $35 billion of non-bank short term paper, that could no longer be rolled over, into 5-year floating-rate notes, but the credit default swaps (which can be, and were, used as vehicles for naked speculation) are a huge problem. Does the deal remind anyone of the Argentine financial crisis - where short term bonds were converted to long term (and then later defaulted upon)?

Those who think the situation contained might also look to Europe at the increasing gap between base rates and three-month interbank lending rates (Libor). That gap is now at its widest for 20 years, reflecting uncertainty and distrust as to the risk exposure of other banks, and the hoarding of cash. Interbank lending is breaking down, despite the efforts of the ECB and the Fed to restore confidence.

Is there really nothing to worry about?

ABCP investors could lose half their money

The vast majority of about $35-billion of non-bank ABCP is backed by risky bets on credit default rates that are now so far underwater that investors could be looking at losses as high as 50 on the dollar, said Edward Devlin, Canadian portfolio manager for highly respected California-based bond fund manager Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC....

....Commercial-paper markets around the globe have been struggling with fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States, but the situation is worst in Canada.

"It's the one country where people couldn't get their money back," Mr. Devlin said. "There's a whole group of people who bought commercial paper [thinking it was liquid] and now they find they can't get their money back."

Here's a fascinating doc I watched last night: http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com It has a thing or two to say about the role of central banks in... well, everything we take as sacred - especially economic growth, war and power.
It's two hours. If Part I on religion and/or Part II on false flag operations puts you off in any way, don't let that keep you from watching Part III. But really, watch the whole thing. Nothing is as it seems, especially our military/political/economic structure.

And while I'm at it, go on over to Dale Allen Pfeiffer's site: http://www.mountainsentinel.com scroll down and watch the short videos there, esp. the first one on Executive Orders that have been put in place for "emergency purposes". It starts with chilling footage of Oliver North testifying before a
Congressional committee in the 80's and Daniel Inoye (I think) completely squelching a line of questioning about Continuance of Government (COG).

I was wondering when I'd see someone post the zeitgeist movie link on here. I watched it about a month ago...really made me think. Most of the material I've seen or read about before, but this movie packaged it very nicely.

I've been reading TOD for over a year, been reading into peak oil for over five years now, ever since I came upon Mike Ruppert's website. It has completely changed the way I see the world, or the world I see.? One thing I believe at this point, is that Ron Paul may be our last best hope of changing things, at least in terms of putting the brakes on the coming surveillance police state - national ID card/implanted chip - north american union - and avoiding World War III.

Peak Oil society will be tough enough without having to contend with a declared dictator (coming soon following the next natural disaster or 9/11 style false flag terror op). But with centralized control of the mainstream media, the internet is the last place to widely disseminate the truth, and it can be shut down (via a powerdown?)or censored quickly (like how china does it now).

Get to know your local farmers now, plant those victory gardens, and switch your voters reg. to republican to vote for Ron Paul in the primary election. Oh, and find yourself a way to deal with all this in your head without going crazy or getting depressed. I've found a compassion training course worked for me.

good day /moonraker

Thank you for posting this link to the Zeitgeist movie. I watched it last night and it was truly eye-opening.


Two things here:

1-Australia could be in permanent drought.

1a-Ozzie Wheat Production could drop to 14 million tons
from avg 24.

2-Hedge Funds buy hedging insurance v falling markets
by purchasing CPDO's.

Moody's and S&P assign their top credit ratings to CPDOs because of rules designed to ensure they never have to pay a debt insurance claim. The securities only reference investment- grade companies, ranked Baa3 or higher by Moody's and BBB- by S&P, and replace the contracts every six months when the indexes ``roll'' to weed out any companies cut to junk.

Credit derivatives awarded the top ratings by Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's may be as vulnerable to default as high-risk, high-yield bonds, according to independent research firm CreditSights Inc.


How much wheat did Australia produce pre-drought ? Say 2003 or so.

They are comparing this years production to last years, which was also influenced by drought.


Australia crop fluctuated around 25000 thousand metric tonnes pre 2003, falling to around 10000. It rose the following year back to 25000 levels, then fell again the next year. In the 80's and 90's it was around 15000 thousand tonnes.

The Housing Bubble Blog: The Problem Is There Are No Buyers In California

The Press Enterprise reports from California. “To cut the glut of homes on the market, the chief economist for the California Association of Realtors on Thursday urged real estate agents to refuse listings from clients who don’t need to sell or won’t lower their price to reflect declining values. . . .

. . . “Appleton-Young’s suggestion that the huge inventory of unsold homes could be significantly reduced by eliminating speculative and unrealistic sellers was received with some skepticism by Beverly Bayer, an appraiser from Moreno Valley.”

“‘The problem is there are no buyers,’ said Bayer, who attended the meeting.”

My cuz manages a CP portfolio for BONY. He says the volatility is unprecedented. CP is supposed to be the closest thing to cash there is. It's generally a very orderly,almost perfunctory mkt. He says that right now it's as wild if not more so then it has been yet. This has got to be worrisome.


Non-Farm payroll DOWN 4,000 - First decline reported in 4 years.

Bad, but the worst news was they LIED about the last 2 months, overstating June increase by 100% and July growth by a 1/3.


Markets respond profoundly finding themselves 3 MONTHS behind the 8 ball.

Lies, Lies

Light Sweet Crude heads for $77.00

Makes you wonder what the REAL decline is for August?

According to ML IMPLODE (www.ml-implode.com), more than 200,000 jobs have been eliminated in the last couple months.

But, maybe this is another tip of the iceberg as, IIRC, there are around 2.5 Million jobs as loan officers, mortgage sales, and other similar positions (non-bank).


It gets worse...the type of jobs. According to this article on CNBC: http://www.cnbc.com/id/20638344

Job losses in August were concentrated in the goods-producing sector. A whopping 46,000 manufacturing jobs were cut, the most since an 86,000-job cut in July 2003. Construction businesses shed another 22,000 jobs, up from 14,000 that were lost in July.

Service industries added 60,000 jobs in August.

The only reason more jobs weren't lost in August was because they were replaced with crap jobs. Which makes the real loss quite large.

An estimated 40% of all jobs created in the last 4 years are reported to be associated with home construction (posted the URL in prior post). Due to the housing inventory overhang all of these positions will unwind. The result will not be pretty.

The other odd part is that unemployement didn't go up. That would seem to indicate that people have given up looking for work and thus been removed from the labor pool.

- Scott
"Try sour grapes; you might like them."

That one always got me...even before things started melting down.

They drop off the rolls...look no big deal. Really...where did they go?

No more income...Home invasions maybe?!

How many of these workers were illegals that may have departed the country rather than show up in the unemployment stats?

Note that the consumption associated with these workers will depart with them and contribute to a reduction in aggregate demand.

I would think that the unemployment totals didn't go up because if you are not drawing unemployment benefits, you are not unemployed. The real complication here: The current occupant, in order to cut unnecessary wasteful government spending, eliminated extended benefits in, as I recall, 2005. Just before Christmas, if memory further serves. Previously, an additional three months of extended unemployment benefits was the norm, ever since the statistical rule change.

In other words, they not only statistically stacked the deck, they took everybody's ante before the hand was dealt.

Makes one wonder if there was an anticipation that the present circumstances might arise.

In any case, this has distorted the unemployment statistics. You can see what the numbers are now, but they do not correlate to anything in the past, although the market analysts still try to use them in that context.

The source of this change in statistics, by the way, was Richard M. Nixon, for whom I have a large measure of respect, despite this and several other failings. Wonder if GWB will be thought of as having "several other failings" ?


But, maybe this is another tip of the iceberg as, IIRC, there are around 2.5 Million jobs as loan officers, mortgage sales, and other similar positions (non-bank).

Not to mention real estate agents, who, like many of the above, are independent contractors and thus not eligible for unemployment benefits.

And the numbers are significant:

The number of people taking the real estate sales exam in California soared from a little more than 2,000 a month in the late 1990s to a peak of nearly 20,000 in April 2005, according to the California Department of Real Estate. But by July 2007, the number had dropped to 8,000. Similar patterns are seen in other states.


I guess 6% for a couple of phone calls is out of the question now?

Maybe 6% on the fries up sell?

The markets aren't reacting so quietly to this news...

DOW over 213 points down at 11AM.

Oil - unchanged essentially

GOLD up another 7 bucks. But without looking...USD down?

172 points down at 1:40PM

Have to be careful, there are usually a lot of fluctuations during the day. As nutty as it sounds it could be up by the end of the day within the last hour of trading or down even more than it is now. It's always best to wait until the end of the day and see where things settle out rather than watching it through the day and its nutty roller coaster ride.


Closed down 249 +/- (with after the bell balancing).

This is a pretty blunt Asian Times article discussing the US$ and Gold . The author notes todays oil price rise also.

"More important, central banks in the US and Europe have lost credibility with investors. They are no longer trying to prevent inflation, but appear more concerned with preserving the lot of bankers. This suggests greater value destruction for global investors, particularly for Asians investing in financial assets in Europe and North America.

Neither the US dollar nor the euro has any credibility in this situation, which means that the average Asian saver has no option but to purchase gold as a store of value. Even as US dollar bills proudly carry the motto "In God We Trust", I think it's time for Asians to put their trust in gold instead."


Perhaps the Asians should back up their words with actions and stop buying trillions of US dollars and Euros.

Light Sweet Crude heads for $77.00

Nope! This report will cause crude prices to fall just as it is causing the market to fall. People are now fearing a recession. If a recession hits this will depress oil demand and the price will do likewise.

Of course other (unknown) factors could change things around. But this news about non-farm payroll will have a bearish effect on oil prices.

Ron Patterson


My bet is that OPEC responds with a cut in production. They too will expect a decline in demand and will reduce supply to maintain price.

Perhaps but I am of the opinion that OPEC is near or at peak production right now. They will not really cut any production until the price drops in the forty dollar range.

Both Dubai and Venezuela are already claiming to produce more oil than they are actually producing. I would not be surprised if a few others are doing exactly the same thing. However I would also not be surprised if a couple are actually producing more than they claim to be producing. Virtually all OPEC members go to great pains to disguise what they are actually producing.

There is absolutely no way of telling what OPEC members can really produce, but I would bet money that almost to a member they are producing flat out right now.

Oil at this moment is moving up steadly. Hell, it may hit $77 today. Perhaps there is something else going on here.

Ron Patterson


The Iranians are taking Yen rather than dollars. The pressures on the dollar may be causing producers to have steady prices in other currencies, perhaps?
Bob Ebersole

The Iranians are taking Yen rather than dollars.

This is an example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

The US is seeking to exclude OECD banks and other institutions from having dealings with the Iranians. The Iranians may also fear a US freeze of any funds that belong to them but which reside in a US controlled account. In order to avoid US control they wish for payment in other currencies.

The irony comes from the fact that if other countries follow this lead (and Kuwait already has done so) then the postion of the US dollar as the world reserve currency will be eroded and this will have a significant negative impact on the US economy.

The biggest elephant in the room is China. As long as they continue to buy astonishing 100s of billions of dollars to keep the Yuan cheap it will force others to do the same to keep their exports competitive. The Chinese of course have refused to entertain all entreaties (from many countries) to let the Yuan float.

Bob, Iranians trading in Yen is a symbolic gesture that has no real effect in currency world. That is, it will not affect the value of the dollar or the yen.

If Iran or Saudi or whomever, wish yen instead of dollars it would take them only a fraction of a second to change dollars into yen, or euros or whatever.

Oil prices are very volatile right now. I remember last winter people were saying the OPEC cuts would reduce volatility because of the excess spare capacity it would create. As anyone can see this has not happened. The exact opposite has happened.

But it is not the pressure on the dollar that is causing all this volatility, it is the uncertainty in supply. And oil would be just as volatile were it traded entirely in yen or euros or any other currency.

Ron Patterson

I do not completely understand the relationships at work here. Years ago, certainly, oil in dollars acted as an artifical prop for the dollar. But as other entities (nations, banks, etc.) have "gained" the ability to print near money, that is, debt instruments denominated in dollars, but flowing from say euros to yen and back, the artificial prop has weakened. I do not think that it has entirely gone away, however. See, as an example, China accumulating dollars which she then exchanges for hard assets in Canada. So, perhaps the articifical prop given to the dollar by Bretton Woods has been replaced by the artificial prop to the dollar given to us by the Japanese and the Chinese.

it will not affect the value of the dollar

This is a contentious statement and is open to debate.

Countries can default on their debt. The Russians did this in the late 1990's. Those who bought Russian bonds (lent money to Russia) took a loss.

Before buying a sovereign bond issue it is wise to check the abilty of the borrower. If the nation is unable to service the debt then you will have problems collecting on your loan. All nations maintain a balance of accounts by which you may judge their credit worthiness.

The only exception to the above process is the US which presently holds Droits de Seigneurage. This effectively exempts them from the above process. This position of the US dollar as the world reserve currency was struck as part of the original arrangement between US and KSA. The US would defend the House of Saud and the House of Saud agreed to price and sell their oil in dollars.

This has worked well for the US, less well for the other nations of the world. One aspect of the current credit crisis is that it presents the possibiilty of a restructuring of the global financial system. Depending on who you are this is either a worst case or a best case outcome.

Ron is correct in that the dollar has not caused this volatility but we can expect the dollar to become more volatile and exhibit risk to the downside.

I think one of the most revealing stats at the moment is the tanker rates plummetting.

Less loads are being carried and all the newly launched VLCCs unneeded.

Hmmm...doesn't add up if we are going to 130MMBPD in dozen years...does it.

This was probably discussed Thursday, but U.S crude report indicated crude stocks down again. 2 weeks in a row now.

Was actually just commenting on the oil price at the time I posted - now at $75.76, was going up when I posted. Don't think US recession will curb world demand. Will just go elsewhere, unless...(was gonna say big recession, where is the dividing line between big recession and depression?)

It's a recession when the guy next door loses his job. It's a depression when you lose your job. There really is no clear cut line between recesion and depression. In recessions it is mostly non college grads who can't find work. During the 1930s even those with advanced degrees couldn't find work.

Depressions are economic downturns that happened prior to 1940. Recessions are economic downturns that happen(ed) subsequent to 1940. There is no economic difference, only a political convenience.

It's an interesting tug-of-war between the hurricanes and the recession, both uncertainties threatening price from opposite directions.

Nope! This report will cause crude prices to fall just as it is causing the market to fall. People are now fearing a recession. If a recession hits this will depress oil demand and the price will do likewise.

--Not much. I have a theory that hard times cause a lot of scurrying around that partially offsets any decline. I would not expect much of a decline anyways. ONly much higher prices will affect it. I'll let everyone know when the traffic goes down around here. Still waiting (and NYC is def. going into the Big R)


A new Energy and Environment Round-Up has been posted on TOD:Canada.

Exploring for Oil in the Arctic's 'Great Frontier'

These days, the frontiers of oil exploration include the waters north of Alaska. Nobody knows how much energy is hidden beneath the Arctic waves. But oil companies want to find out.

A federal court blocked Royal Dutch Shell proposal to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea, above Alaska's northern coast. But the company is still trying. And its story tells you a lot about the forces shaping the Arctic's future.

This summer, Shell assembled an entire fleet in an Alaskan harbor.

Crews were performing maintenance on a drill ship. It carries an oil derrick 190 feet high. That means it steams around with a tower taller than the Statue of Liberty, from its toes to its torch.

"This is the Frontier Discoverer. I would call it the state-of-the-art drilling rig, one of the very few that are capable of working in the Arctic today," says Vince Roes, who works on the ship, which has a reinforced hull.

Pemex predict production dip:
Basically, they're saying Cantarell will keep declining at 15% a year to the end of 2008. No details on where it's (mostly) going to be replaced from.

From the article:

The document forecasts production at Pemex's aging Cantarell oil field falling to an average 1.312 million bpd over 2008 and ending the year with output of 1.155 million bpd, a Pemex spokeswoman said.

If memory serves, Cantarell was doing about 2 mbpd in 2005. On a month to month basis, this would be a decline rate of about 17% per year, from about 2 mbpd in 2005 to about 1.2 mbpd at the end of 2008.

Mexico is the #2 source of imported crude oil into the US.

Cantarell was a 1.5Mbbl/day field for a long time, then they built the nitrogen injection plant and it shot up to 2.0Mbbl/day. That lasted ... just five years?

I wish I knew more about reservoir management.

They were developing KMZ that might go into decline sometime after 2010. They had the Chicontepec field that might peak at 700,000 barrels per day, if they are fortunate.

This article outlined some of the information.


Probably see the U.S. gasoline consumption lessen as we are past the Labor Day weekend. The big winter draws might be coming if we will have a cold winter.

I cannot remember another year when two CAT 5 hurricanes made landfall as Cat 5 storms.

Weakness in the U.S. econ. might affect China growth as they sold their stuff here.

On the other hand, that Pemex overall production is only forecast to drop 0.7% in 2008 has to be considered positive news, assuming it's true.

Regarding the two category 5 hurricanes making landfall in the same year, that's the first time on record it's happened in the Atlantic basin.

reservoir management ? unfortunately in the us of a reservoir management has been trumped by rule of capture since the beginning. and to paraphrase sonny and cher " the (waste) goes on la te da te de .........."

Volvo has started manufacturing trucks that it claims are CO2 free. The article is on the newsletter at http://ngvglobal.com , the Natural Gas Vehicle site. The trucks are actually carbon nuetral with biofuels. Its a step in the right direction for a major truck manufacturer to start this type of marketing. Bob Ebersole

I have already started my stopwatch, when will we see the first starving person “borrowing bio-soup” from a car via a purpose made long drinking-straw … in the news-headlines ?

biofools ?

My freakin head is going to explode. In the "Ethanol and the Tortilla Tax" article from the NY Times, they say

But ethanol is another way for corn producers to make money. So it seems everyone is jumping on-board the ethanol-power bandwagon - from American automakers, who desperately want their massive S.U.V.s and trucks to appear to be guzzling less gas (even when they really aren’t), to the oil industry (after all, they will sell even more oil to rubes trying to make ethanol).

"Everyone" is running to make ethanol because it is so profitable. But wait, in the Sioux City Journal Article "Study: Without more government help ethanol plants could go bust"

The study found that a combination of high corn prices, rising energy costs, lower demand for ethanol in coming years and expiring government tax credits in 2011 could cause a 40 million-gallon plant to lose $1.4 million in 2011 if the current requirement for ethanol consumption isn't increased. And the slide could begin soon: In 2009, net profits for such a plant could slip from a high of $45 million last year to about $3.6 million, with most of that coming from government tax breaks.

This is all leading to subsidies for unsustainable ways of living. Already that congressman from Ohio is proposing paying people who live 30 or miles from work. Insane.

Yup. This country is so bass-ackwards. But I knew it was going to be this way. They're going to try to bail out extreme commuters and exurban McMansions, instead of putting the money toward infrastructure that supports a more sustainable lifestyle.

The Congressman's ridiculous proposal was ... ridiculous. We don't have any of the Peterson family left to rob in order to pay Paulson.

The story about the McMansion to rooming house conversion was a bright spot, even though it was cast as a "problem" by the article.

Spotty subsidized exurbs will limp while places that lack the political will to act stupid for one more term will adjust. Tiresome, not rational in the eyes of the analytical who gather here, but that is politics at work.

Just wait, before they make it into law they'll amend it to pay long-range-commuters by "class" of vehicle. I.e., pay more to those who drive guzzlers.

Perhaps they should simplify it and just subsidize gasoline? If Iran can do it, we can do it better!

(sarcasm alert)

Sarcasm aside, that is a great idea. Propose this as an ammendment to point out the absurdness of the proposal. I think I will suggest it to my rep ! Only, they might actually adopt it!

dinopello I'm freaking to

some of these challenges are very knit together , but I've come up with some "Killer Procedures for the Renewable-Industry (KPRI), it handles all of them in tandem ;-)

The KPRI approval scheme OR scam revealing system ... hehe ?" ;-)

(quote from your link)

"Everyone" is running to make ethanol because it is so profitable. But wait, in the Sioux City Journal Article "Study: Without more government help ethanol plants could go bust"

The real core understanding of bio-fuels and EROEI - is IMO the most important as to how policies are (will be) formed today.... for the future...

Are biofuels and the calculations of their EROEI as complex as the global-warming issue (?) Personally I don’t think so.

The fundamental issue concerning Bio-fuels is their various EROEIs, in the future they have to "stand tall on their own ", so to speak

Various preliminary claims for bio EROEIs – ranges between, NEGATIVE (e.g. forget it) and 8:1 sugarcane/ethanol’s from Brazil (keep it going)…. but mostly I have been reading cites of 1,3 :1, and hold this for true (for a second)
Then, a mental and philosophical challenge follows – Just for a second try to envision planet Earth without fossil fuels – whatsoever …..
(cus’ one bright day we, or rather “they” will actually get there)

Now would the Industrial Revolution have taken place – on such a skinny bio-energy diet? Remember that 100:1 EROEI for oil, initially...way back in 1859.

Because, actually the BIO-HYPES of today are coming main stream to replace the very fueling-origins of the Industrial Revolution, namely coal, oil and gas…!

The easy way of scrutinizing ALL kinds of renewable energy producing fuels and equipments are:

KPRI test procedure -

HAVE THE BIO-FUEL, PV-SOLAR, WINDMILL PRODUCERS, AND SO FORTH …. MAKE their products made by their own produced power – THEN we will see what they are …..and the EROEI will be so easy to spot, because those going out of business do not deliver ON THE CORE-REASON FOR THEIR BUSINESS …

KPRI , as I see it!

Re: Fuel-economy rules could kill US auto industry: union chief

We may need these fuel economy rules, as the gas guzzler industry dies out. Otherwise, we won't have an auto industry which has the capacity to produce the small cars we will need, once the imports begin to roll in after Peak Oil. Maybe the automobile industry will indeed move overseas, as the union leaders suggest.

Consider what the foreign competition is like:



E. Swanson

My stopwatch has been ticking for this for some time,

Fuel-economy rules could kill US auto industry

my watch is also ticking for the Swedish car-industry, I'm so sorry Swanson...

What paralyzes me is that engine sizes and speed limits are not instantly reduced down …as of yesterday, just for starters.

When I see a Hummer (volume, mass and manufacturing energy for the same) – I can actually see “5 or more small cars” – COMBINED COSTING the overall same as one Humvee. and COMBINED USING the very same amount of fuel ---

- BUT I see these “5” cars beaming out in different directions with a slightly lower speed … No?


Hummer: Curb weight (lb): 6400
Hummer: Fuel Economy: ~10 mpg

Lupo: Curb Weight: 1,828 lbs
Lupo: Fuel Economy: 79 mpg

You're in the neighborhood...

I purposefully drive slower than usual if a Hummer is behind me and wanting to pass. I'll move over, out of the way for cars that want to pass, however. I just drive as if I'm oblivious to the fact that they're 9" from my bumper on the freeway, trying to scare me into going faster or move out of the way. Eventually, I'll put on my turn signal, and SLOOOOOOOOWLY move into the other lane. Once again, all assuming they're in a Hummer, or an Escalade, or similar haughty hulking vehicle.
~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com/)

I know people in RVs who like to do that too. That's called being an **shole. Slightly less of one because of the target vehicle, but one nonetheless. I doubt lower limits affect consumption very much. Lower limits have no impact w/o a lot of enforcement. Heavy enforcement uses a lot of energy itself and also leads to very inefficient styles of driving,ie lots of accelerating and decelerating (plus a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy). I don't know what % of State Police business involves speed enforcement, but it's a major proportion. 75% would not surprise me. How many of those highway side stations could we eliminate along w/ all the attenddant activity if we got rid of enforcement? People will tend to choose a speed that they are comfortable driving at and stay there. For me it is around 80 and my car gets perfectly good mileage there (30-32 in a 2650 lb jetta). Cars are supposed to be high-speed transportation. Incentivize people to drive more efficient cars w/ higher gas prices and mileage standards and just let people drive w/o having to worry about getting popped.


Matt , the task of TOD is to find solutions and proposals as to how to use ”the last of oil” – and in reading your reply its obvious to me ; YOU just like to fume it away as fast as possible …. Maybe within 30 years, b’cos you feel so comfy at 80 …

Largely camera enforced maximum speed limit of 50 mph strictly enforced (you get a picture taken at 55 mph, and a $250 ticket in the mail, more if faster) would certainly save oil. I suspect, and hope, that the largest effect would be from far fewer miles driven. Taking a "drive" should become a teeth gritting experience.

You comfort is a *BAD* thing. That leads to more driving. Many fewer miles driven should be the #1 goal, with more efficient cars as a secondary goal.

And since when is 30 to 32 mpg "perfectly good" highway mileage ? Perhaps 45 to 50 mpg, but *NOT* 30 to 32 !

Best Hopes for far less oil used !


And since when is 30 to 32 mpg "perfectly good" highway mileage ? Perhaps 45 to 50 mpg, but *NOT* 30 to 32 !

ha ha, seriously. When cruising at about 60mph (which seems to be minimum death-defying speed most places) I get 42 mpg in a 19 year old car! The difference between 50mph and 60mph for me isn't that much, but after 60mph it starts to drop like a rock.

One little beef, though, Alan:

I can remember back when I was a kid, my dad had a car with this nifty little device. You turned a knob to set it to the speed limit. If you then went over the speed limit, a little buzzer went off to remind you.

If I was facing the prospect of a $250 ticket every time I just forgot and drifted a little over the speed limit, I'd want such a reminder device on my car too.

Unfortunately, cars don't come with such devices now. I've searched, and you can't even find them as an aftermarket add-on.

If we are going to go to the system you describe, then I think that it is only fair that there also be some sort of mandate that some sort of device along the lines that I described be made available FOR THOSE THAT WANT THEM.

You know that I am skeptical of the JIT Technological Fairy.

However, in this one specific instance, I am confident than she will appear and bestow the solution Just in Time :-)


The Swedish motor wehicle industry more or less have three parts. Parts suppliers, truck manufacturers Volvo and Scania and car manufacturers Volvo(Ford) and Saab(GM). The parts manufacturers seems to be world class and can make parts for ansy size of car, trucks will be needed and both manufacturers are creative and work with hybrid systems and biofuels. But I am afraid that the Volvo and Saab medium size and large cars will be run over by small car competition when oil becomes expensive unless they get plug-in hybrids to work. Fortunately both work on such cars.

Btw what on earth can one do that attracts establishments of battery production, advanced electric engine production, etc?

Btw what on earth can one do that attracts establishments of battery production, advanced electric engine production, etc ?

Set up shop in China ? They have a rapidly growing solar photovoltaic industry there.


Totally agreed. This SUV/pickup thing has been driving me bonkers for a couple of decades now.

I have heard rumors of a lot of mention behind closed doors in DC of a return of the national speed limit at various speeds. So far the consensus is that it just isn't doable politically. Maybe it will be doable when family or friends of officials get ejected from their houses due to ARM resets, lol. (Defaults reportedly up again- about 15% in sub-prime and 5.8% in prime. All time highs for both...)

Eventually surely it will happen. Probably too late from the looks of it so far, just like adjustments to CAFE. The proposals are waaay to far out. Something needs to be done NOW if not yesterday to drastically reduce fuel usage.

Way back in the 1960's when Ralph Nader was pushing for legislation requiring that seatbelts be included as standard equipment on cars, auto industry executives solemnly swore in testimony to the US Congress that the cost of putting in seatbelts would destroy the US auto industry.

The US auto industry has a record of crying wolf whenever good legislation is introduced related to transportation.

It seems that in order to make a profit, one must be free to make low-quality, dangerous, high cost, and extremely high pollution products. Does not history proove this to be the case?

We can blame it on the Japanese, lol.

They began to get a real toehold in North America in the 70s as people rushed to buy smaller more fuel efficient cars after the Arab oil embargo. The big 3 did get some small models out on the market, Pinto, Vega, etc., but oil prices eased as world production increased. The big 3 basically dropped development of their most fuel efficient models and ceded that end of the market to the Japanese.

Such a huge mistake. How the GM, Ford and Chrysler execs could not see it, I'll never know. They were too busy trying to figure out how to get more dollars out of their respective companies in stock options and golden parachutes. They just didn't have time to actually invest a few bucks in R&D.

From about 1980 on as a whole the big 3 gave away market share each year. What a bunch of dumb shits. Pardon me, but I have been a car guy all my life and I was just so agravated by their lack of building a car that I actually wanted to invest in for sooo long.

So here we are 34 years after the embargo and and they have been caught with their pants down in a big way. And they know it. Am I supposed to feel sorry for them?

So here they go lobbying like crazy to be able to keep on building huge dinosaurs. Pfft, the sooner they bite the bullet and dive full time into small, light, fuel efficient vehicles the better off they will be. They may even survive if they don't waste any more resources on their present line-up.

They seem to waste more effort on blaming their present problems on labor, pension and medical costs than working on their product offerings, which are the real root cause of their present woes.

Can they switch direction fast enough to survive? Doesn't look like it so far.

Tropical storm update:



Just Issued...they (NHC) are calling for a possible TD this afternoon...west or north westerly movement...east coast caution suggested.

Isn't this the same storm you SWORE would be a TD/TS in 24-36 hours...5 days ago?

I am not predicting anything...just follow the links.

NHC is credible enough for ya...isn't it?!

Either way...back under the bridge with ya.

It's all too easy to get caught up in downdrafts of bad news on this site, and for that reason it's important to have contrary points-of-view to remind us not to get too carried away. But why oh why are those contrary thoughts so often supplied by posters with a fifth grade mentality?

PG, if you are a fifth grader, I apologize.

Re: "OPEC walks a tightrope as oil prices near a record"

"The market is currently well supplied with crude oil," said Thomas Hartmann, an analyst at Altavest Worldwide Trading. He pointed out that the U.S. entered the summer with a 15-year high in crude supplies.

Assuming a MOL (Minimum Operating Level) of 270 mb, we entered the summer with 4.6 Days of Supply in excess of MOL.

Using 270 mb for MOL, in June, 1983 we had about 7.2 Days of Supply in excess of MOL. If we prorate the MOL downward to match the lower crude oil inputs in 1983, we had about 11 Days of Supply in excess of MOL in June, 1983.

But statements like Mr. Hartmann's and OPECs in general...are not wrong.

Just not truthful. They have truthiness :-P

The standard economic supply and demand model of the markets definitely shows the market as well supplied.

It just isn't the whole picture. We will bid up oil another 10 bucks and shut off the lights in Bangledesh and a few other small, African and Asian countries. But who will notice...except them.

But our IPODs will keep on going...at least until no one takes USD for oil anymore.

Looking back someday, this will be the obvious fatal flaw in global capitalism: that it did such a goof job at keeping things well-supplied when it should have been making them more scarce.


They have truthiness

It is a strategically framed "truthy-lie".

The human brain cannot cope well with such things.
One subconscious part of the brain says, "well yeah, crude oil is supplied from oil wells so therefore it is an absolute truth that the market is well-supplied".

Another part of the brain says, "market and supply --those words fit nicely together"

Another part of the brain (the shrub part) says, "I don't like to do the hard hard fuzzy math and thankfully this expert doesn't hit me with too much, besides he is the "analyst" and I am merely the decider. I decide to trust him with whatever he says. It's easier that way"

"The market is currently well supplied with crude oil," said Thomas Hartmann, an analyst at Altavest Worldwide Trading. He pointed out that the U.S. entered the summer with a 15-year high in crude supplies.

And Doh, one more thing, 15 years ago we maybe had 300 million citizens addicted to oil

re: Total
How to lie with statistics--a 4% growth rate is not a 20% reduction in output.

good point - I dug out the original ft article and it makes the same glaring (and dissapointing from the ft)error - its the growth target, not the output target, that's down by 20%.
by my calcs the output target is down by precisely 1%, but that's not such a fun headline.

The link above, “Statoil Sees OECD Peak” is a little off the mark. I did a quick look at the data from the EIA and found that the OECD actually peaked in 1997. Of all the OECD nations only seven are major oil producers. They are Australia, Canada, Denmark, Mexico, Norway, UK and the US. So I included the category “Other” in my calculations. That would include all the other OECD nations and perhaps some non-OECD producing nations. But their contribution would be so small as not to throw my calculations off.

Using these seven nations as well as “Other”, they peaked in 1997 at 20,112,000 barrels per day. In May of this year they produced 18,122,000 almost two million barrels below their peak in 1997.

OECD will not peak in 2010 as the article predicts, they have already peaked in 1997. And incidentally the category “Other” is up 415,000 barrels per day since 1997 so including them in the calculations simply makes the peak less dramatic than it would be otherwise.

So far "Other's" peak was in May of 2006

Ron Patterson

Thanks Darwinian for this info, it’s important to reveal those professional liars.

Why “liars” – well IMHO they deceive the world and postpone measures for mitigation to what will come. Instead of mitigating measures – we will probably be left with emergency scenarios and the worse ..

The Statoil boss is still pushing the OECD-peak another 3-8 years into the future – and thus “foggifies” the urgencies for bla bla ….. you know what ;-)

Anyone have any hard estimates of URR for the UAE?

Also, wasn't there a report out recently about erroneous oil production numbers coming out of the UAE?

This was what I was looking for:


Dubai Crude Output Down Rapidly As Govt Moves To Crimp Decline
Matt Chambers, Dow Jones Newswires

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

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

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

Daily output in the first three months of this year fell to between 65,000 barrels and 80,000 barrels against the 240,000 barrels stated on the U.A.E. government's Web site.
(15 July 2007)

If Dubai were really telling the truth then 240,000 barrels per day would be about 9% of the UAE's production. But if the other figues, 65,000 to 80,000 bp/d is correct, then they produce less than 3% of the UAE's production.

But at any rate, even if Abu Dhabi is giving correct numbers and only Dubai is fudging their numbers, that would mean that the UAE's production is about 6% lower than what they are reporting. But I would bet that Abu Dhabi is fudging their numbers slightly as well.

Ron Patterson

I find it awkward that now it is a common sense that OPEC has to boost production so that to save American economy's a$$. Since when, I ask, the fate of the mightiest economy on this planet is in the hands of a handful of corrupted sheiks? Oh, right since 1973...

I'm sharing this pun, just because I'm constantly amazed at the cognitive dissonance brought by the picture presented by the MSM. So we are winning the war on Iraq, just about to build hydrogen economy, ethanol utopia (booze for everyone!) or whatever they feed us with, but a bunch of dictators make us wet our pants. When is this crap going to end? I can't wait for the time this country will experience a true oil-shock induced pain... otherwise obviously nobody is going to do anything about it.

The bottom line is that I'm praying OPEC stays on course and does not raise production. They seem to play the more saner part in this theater play, and seeing that I wonder - isn't this what is the most humiliating for the supposed-to-be "rational" West?

When is this crap going to end?

See my reference to Zeitgeist above, and the video shorts at DAP that speak to the corporate cabal that pulls the strings. And see http://www.whatawaytogomovie.com

I don't know when it's going to end, but if we're going to end it, we have to understand it first.

Of course.

Still we are just curious if they CAN.

A Wall Street Trader Draws Some Subprime Lessons: Michael Lewis
By Michael Lewis

Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- So right after the Bear Stearns funds blew up, I had a thought: This is what happens when you lend money to poor people.

Don't get me wrong: I have nothing personally against the poor.


Very funny. Very sad.

I don't think it's funny. Painting predatory ARMs as "philantropy" is obscene.

I was reading and I was trying to determine whether to believe my eyes.

The rich guys are complaining that they lent mostly other people's money to poor people that could not afford it. Than they suggest to make all those poor people work for life for $5/hour to pay them back. This should be the most pervert thing I have read lately.

I'm pretty sure it was meant as a joke.

It is intended as satire. Lewis worked as a bond trader and wrote Liar's Poker a book which is still considered one of the best introductions to the "real world" of Wall Street. The pasage below is from Wikipedia:

Lewis also attributed the Saving and Loans Scandal to the inability of small-time, provincial bank managers to compete with Wall Street. He noted that people on Wall Street are experts at fleecing and taking advantage of ignorant people, which the Savings and Loan banks provided in abundance.


Lewis...I know him. Or know of him. He's famous (infamous?) among baseball fans, as the author of Moneyball.


A couple of weeks ago in the New York Times Magazine, Lewis, who is a contributing writer for the NYT, publshed a very interesting piece about pricing "tail risk," which gets into insurance, reinsurance, and "cat bonds" for various types of catastrophes:

In Nature’s Casino

... everywhere he goes, he has been drawn to a similar thorny problem: the right price to charge to insure against potential losses from extremely unlikely financial events. “Tail risk,” as it is known to quantitative traders, for where it falls in a bell-shaped probability curve. Tail risk, broadly speaking, is whatever financial cataclysm is believed by markets to have a 1 percent chance or less of happening. In the foreign-exchange market, the tail event might be the dollar falling by one-third in a year; in the bond market, it might be interest rates moving 3 percent in six months; in the stock market, it might be a 30 percent crash. “If there’s been a theme to John’s life,” says his brother Nelson, “it’s pricing tail.”

Sorry, I guess I've lost my sense sense of humor recently.

I had the feeling it is some joke all the time, but I had not an idea that Bloomberg was publishing satire. I'm used to reading its MSM info and publications.

Regardless, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the guys out there seriously join these comments. When the heat was on the market 2 weeks ago, I encountered some guy on CNBC who was seriously furious on those "schmucks" (sp?) sitting in their houses and not paying their mortgages. God bless.

That's where judgment comes into it. The article is half satire but there also is half truth to it.

Size matters when you celebrate in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin poses in the buff to celebrate Russia's recovered influence on the world stage.


The mass production of instruments of comfort — all equally revolutionary, according to the publicity handouts — has given the most unsophisticated of people the right to express an opinion on the marvels of technological innovation in a tone as blase as the hand they stick in their pants. The first landing on Mars will pass unnoticed at Disneyland.
— Raoul Vaneigem, "Technology & its Mediated Use"

Vlad the Impaler updated.

i dunno

i kinda like the whole image in that it's like he's saying to Bush and the other world leaders - you can talk tough, but let's go mano e mano and see who comes out on top

he's going down in history as Putin the Great regardless of what we in the West have to say about it

Or as I like to refer to him... "rootin' tootin' Putin".

Him versus Cheney on a desert island.

Oh wait, that's planet Earth.

Hey...isn't that Siberia?

Probably safer to go hunting with then Cheney. :-)

A goal for the economic state?


Less well known were Hubbert's studies since 1926 on the rate of industrial growth and of mineral and energy resources and their significance in the evolution of the world's present technological civilization. 3 Clark in "Geophysics" in February 1983 states ""In recent years, he (Hubbert) has assaulted a target -- which he labels the culture of money --that is gigantic even by Hubbert standards. His thesis is that society is seriously handicapped because its two most important intellectual underpinnings, the science of matter-energy and the historic system of finance, are incompatible. A reasonable co-existence is possible when both are growing at approximately the same rate. That, Hubbert says, has been happening since the start of the industrial revolution but it is soon going to end because the amount the matter-energy system can grow is limited while money's growth is not.

I just got back from working on two difficult wildfires here in the Western US. The Incident Commander on the last one said that over the years fires have grown larger and become more resistant to control.

Having done this for 30 years now I am seeing the same thing. Wildland firefighting runs on money, fuel, and water.
With the triple threat of PO, GW, and economic breakdown we will probably see the trend toward larger and tougher fires intensify. This from yesterdays drumbeat article.

Earlier snow melts, longer summer droughts and bigger Western wildfires on federal lands are being caused more by “climatic conditions than land management techniques,” government investigators conclude.

In addition to lower live fuel moistures one large factor affecting resistance to control is fuel moisture in the large dead fuels. They gain and lose moisture in response to long drought cycles and it takes a ton of water to quell their energy release potential especially as they carry a huge moisture 'deficit' when they get into their drier % ranges.

This water is getting farther away from the fires due to earlier snow melt and lower water tables. Sources deplete faster. The transport times are longer and naturally the fuel costs are going up both from distance and dollars.

My sense is that escalating costs, PO, and GW will force managers to make increasingly tougher choices regarding limited firefighting resources including aircraft, water, and crews. This means some flanks of a fire (or some fires) are now abandoned altogether in favor of where only lives, or valuable property (like homes or commercial timber) are threatened.

These trends can't help but continue.

Add to that the trend of building more, and bigger (more "valuable") homes in places more remote and vulnerable to fires (and other disasters such as flooding and hurricanes). Perhaps that trend will break now that the housing bubble has popped?

Yes we see them everywhere on fires. Looking at million $$ homes sitting atop heavily brushed draws we note how cheap and plentiful bottle rockets are. Seems the concept of defensible space is not that widespread.

Yeah it seems based on a lot of factors such as insurance, HVAC, and long commutes such expensive outposts may not be so attractive in the approaching economic environment.

I drive up and down I-70 for my truly ridiculous commute and once you climb a little ways out of Denver headed west its very stark. The warmer weather has allowed Spruce Bark Beetle to spread everywhere. The trees along I-70 are anywhere from 10% to 50% dead, dry, and brown. Colorado is difficult, mountainous terrain from Denver all the way west to the state line.

I think the following scenario is going to come to pass.

The economy tanks due to the mortgage scam. A million construction workers are out of work by next summer. The west experiences another blistering summer due to climate change. We take a hurricane on the chin (New Orleans) and fuel supplies get funny for everyone. The practice of part time firefighters setting fires for pocket money becomes much more widespread. The wrong sparkler gets thrown at the wrong time and a quarter of Colorado goes up in a sweep conflagration.

I read somewhere that when a wildfire is intentionally set, among the first suspects are firefighters. They do it to get the overtime.

Sad but true, Leanan. In some areas whole economies transistion into firefighting because the fire danger rating gets so high the conventional harvesting operations are prevented thus making lots of potential firefighters.

There is a terror angle on this no one wants to discuss, mostly because there is simply no way to stop it.

Acquire Tracphones, motorcycle batteries, and rig yourself simple incendiaries with a remote control spark and a partially filled soda can sized container. The battery holds the Tracphone up as well as providing ignition energy.

Distribute two dozen ($1,000 total cost?) when a run of dry, windy weather is expected. You'd need a little research to find rough, unburned areas near developments and a little sense of how fire spreads to place them at the right distance, then the trouble begins. Cause enough trouble to draw out all the fire fighting resources to protect developed areas, then touch off a couple more in fuel heavy rural areas.

That al Queda hasn't been doing this every summer is purely amazing and with the coming economic crunch I wouldn't be surprised if we see the Aryan Brotherhood, the Black Panthers, the Earth Liberation Front, the People's Republic of Boulder, and the Arbor Day Foundation getting into the act, each with a different spin on how it'll help change policy here.

The weaponization of Spruce Bark Beetle kill isn't a mad fantasy, its an inevitability.

Now you know why the government wants us as fat, stupid and passive as possible.

Correction: I meant "NEEDS".

As for "WANTS", that is explained by what it intends to do to us next.

Well hee ya, let's privatize them Spruce Bark Beetles!

First, a billion $ study on how to shoot 'em to Iran by railgun.

Second, a 10 billion $ contract to Blackwater, which will change its name to Blackbeetle, to recruit Spruce Bark Beetles into security contractor service in Iraq, so we won't have to shoot 'em as far. The money will cover the great expense of magazine and TV advertising, cash bonuses and sending Marine recruiters to dead tree trunks oozing with Spruce Bark Beetle larva to give inspirational talks about patriotism and seducing female Spruce Bark Beetles with the uniform, man.

Third, we create a 100 billion $ speculative market in Blackbeetle futures - in which wild value swings caused by White House policy shifts just miraculously happen to cause huge fortunes to accrue to Elliott Abrams, Steven Hadley, et al.

Fourth, the entire Spruce Bark Beetle market collapses when it is discovered that Iraq has no spruces. Actually, several months after it is discovered - the financial media had trouble comprehending the concept of ecosystems. Losses: one trillion dollars, which are quickly replaced by the Federal Reserve giving ten trillion dollars to the financial community to prepare for the weaponization of blog avatars of fat housecats with slogans like "I can has cheezburger?"

When it happens, it will be "Al Quaeda". "Al Qaueda" means "the base". I don't see why it can't morph to express a local, indigenous, people's resistance movement. Bin Laden doesn't operate as grand marshall; it's decentralized. No doubt a number of Al Quaeda operations are false flag operations. It is violent, but perhaps that is because there are no avenues of peaceful change left open. The powers that be are doing everything they can to remove all avenues of peaceful change; that will, over the long term, spark violence. Consider what's happened to price and availability of firearms over past year. An SK was $200; now they are unavailable at anything like that price. And of course Hillary is pushing legislation to make purchase of firearms subject to secret DHS watchlists. Something is happening here.

cfm in Gray, ME

probably too late to be posting in yesterday's drumbeat by now

but this is kinda the gist of a DKOS diary i wrote:

Bin Ladenism is really just asking the question - is the current system of the world working for you? Do you want STATUS QUO - or do you want WHAT'S IN THE BOX... now you cannot peak in the box, you just have to choose it unseen, and take my word for it what's-in-the-box is most excellent.

There are enough people who worry every day about their families starving or suffering tremendous oppression, that STATUS QUO is so horrible, that they figure who gives a crap WHAT'S IN THE BOX - it has to be better.
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

That was especially so some years back, especially in Alaska and among native firefighting crews in the west. Not so certain of its extent anymore, but firefighting was often the best paying job on the rez. And some of the native crews were some of the best. Certainly high prestige.

As for this year, we've had three local fires, thus far contained to the hundreds of acre size, thank goodness. The crews have made the local park a second home, always camped out there. It's been so dry, and the fire potential has been very extreme for months.

Our most recent fire, still burning but contained, was arson set, in three spots. No word on suspects.

The biggest forest fire known in North America was the 1910 fire, or the 1910 Burn. Just about all else follows, from today's argument between property or timber, to Gifford Pinchot and the founding of the Forest Service. The standard firefighting tool of today, the Pulaski, owes it origin to that fire and the heroics of an early Forest Guard, Ed Pulaski. Seeing his men doomed by racing fire, he had them retreat into a mine shaft, and swore to shoot any who tried to leave. While the smoke and flame tore at the the mine and its creosoted timbers, he stood guard at the entrance and had them keep their face down in the mud. All but 5 would exit alive to over 3 million acres burned.

The summer started dry and continued same. Snows melted early, and rain never came. (Very similar to conditions today). Wallace, ID is said to have exploded dynamite for 60 hours to try to dislodge rain. Bill Greely, who later became Forest Service chief, counted over 3000 fires burning in his district in early Aug, 1910. That district stretched across North Idaho and Montana, and much of it was to burn. He had about 1 man per fire, yet felt things were under control, or close to it by mid Aug. The fires of that summer were primarily set by lightning and the railroads, whose coal locomotives spewed embers into the forest.

It all changed on Aug 20 with the arrival of fierce, 75 mph winds from eastern Washington, advancing on a cold front. The fires exploded and raced, blackening the skies by 4 in the afternoon. By noon the next day, it was dark from Saskatoon to Denver to Watertown New York. It was too dark for star reckoning that night for ships 500 miles out in the Pacific.

Every able bodied man was called to fight the fires, they ultimately lost 78 firefighters and 7 civilians. The fires raged for days, and eventually were put out with a rain that finally began on the 23rd. The next year, the bark beetles multiplied in the remaining dead timber, and would move into live timber by 1914, becoming a major forest problem for the next 30 years. In those years the beetles multiplied, watersheds would lose much of their topsoil. Over 3,000 million board of timber is estimated to have been lost.

A drive today along US Highway 12, from Missoula to Orofino, ID, especially along the upper Lochsa River, will still show many bare hillsides from the 1910 burn.

Additional stories at:


Like a Hayman (138,000 ac. Denver fire) '02 season rerun on steroids. OMG

I have a suggestion and a question:

Suggestion: If it hasn't been done already, a specialty post on energy storage technologies would be great, including batteries, pumped storage, hydrogen, etc.

Question: On thinking about energy storage, I was looking at an antique clock I have (Eli Terry ca. 1830) that has a weight system for 'winding' it up. I thought about this type of energy storage (basically the same physics as pumped storage). I went to
and selected 'Energy' for units, kWh for input and foot pound-force for output. I discover that in order to store 376 kWh of energy (approx 1 month's worth) I would have to lift 1 Billion pounds 1 foot (or 1 million pounds 1000 ft etc).

Am I doing this right? It seems a lot of weight to power my household electric system for 1 month? Can some clever engineer who is more current (no pun) on the physics correct my method, or corroborate it?

Your numbers seem to be correct, and that's a good way to visualize the almost-invisible "energy slaves" that we rely on. That's 16 tons lifted up a 1000-foot hill for you every day -- and that's only a half of the average household residential elecricity use in the USA, not counting all other energy uses such as transportation, growing food, industry...

Looks about right to me.

- Scott
"Try sour grapes; you might like them."


I fear you may be correct

1 kW/hr = 'about 2.655 million foot pounds'

376 = 998.28 milion foot pounds

I remember when I was younger being depressed that 10 chins was 1/2 a tomato...but I have no idea the real factors for optimum workrate/loss rate of striated skeletal muscle

376 Kwh = 1353600000 joules in SI units

potential energy= m x g x h

m is mass in Kg
h is height in metres
g is gravity = 9.8 m/s2

so, for raising a 1000 kilo weight (one metric tonne) the sum is

1353600000 / 1000 x 9.8 = h = about 138 kilometres

As you can now see ... your clock didn't use much power. Not much chance of a clockwork car anytime soon either!


Some real simple numbers for such like estimations:

1 liter of water lifted one meter in one second takes about 10 watts


1 cubic meter of water lifted one meter in one second takes about 10 kilowatts.

So a kilowatt-hour of water storage is 360 cubic meter- meters. Like for example 36 cubic meters of water 10 meters high.

Then of course you have to toss in the overall efficiency, and so you have to more or less double those numbers to get a real world result.

Scientists: Dramatic sea ice loss by 2050

These guys are in fantasy land. Take a look here:


Since satellite measurement began in '79, the trend of summer minimum has been to decline by half a million km2 per decade - 5 in the '80's, 4.5 in the '90's, 4 in the '00's. So just continuing that linear trend brings the summer min. to 1.5 by the '50's. But look at that graph. It ain't linear. Look at the winter maxes. Since '02 we've been in a different paradigm. The minimum had never gone below 4 and this year it went below 3. If the 06-07 trend just goes linear, we're ice free in 3 more summers. Even if 06-07 is an abberation, the trend since '02 is clearly moving to exponential. We're watching the last vestige of a great ice cube melt away before our eyes. Summer ice more than a decade out? Fuggedaboutit.

We can measure ice area from satellite so people focus on that, but total volume is key and in particular ice thickness. Once its too thin to stand up to wave action it breaks apart. The gaps absorb 90% of the sun's energy as opposed to the ice itself which reflects over 80%. This is how you get a million km^2 breaking up in a short period of time.

When we started running nuclear subs under the arctic ice pack the average thickness was 10'. I recall a report from the first part of this decade in which it stated the pack average was 6'. This was at a time when it has lost 14% of its total average area. This thinning has obviously progressed along with the decreasing area.

Here's a topic for future conversation:

How will the world look to North Americans once the Arctic is ice-free?

Of course the oil explorers are already swarming over the place, but it's more than that. It's as if a third ocean suddenly appeared. It means that there's no longer a forbidding icescape between us and Russia. It means that Russian ports are suddenly the closest route to the Chinese-backed economic boom in Central Asia.

It means we have to turn our gaze 90 degrees. Bet we won't do it as fast as the Russians.

Imagine, as both the Russian and Canadian grain belts move north, that the Arctic becomes the least energy-intensive trade route between the Americas and Eurasia. The sleepy Indian-run province of Nunavik is the new New York. A canal is dug connecting the furthest southern reaches of Hudson Bay with the Great Lakes, making it possible for containers to go from Siberia to New Orleans - perhaps driven partly by sail. Russia promises manufacturers that it can keep the lights on in an era of unreliable grids, and factories spring up along the Arctic.

Everyone keep a polar projection map handy to see what unfolds.

SacredCowTipper wrote:

We can measure ice area from satellite so people focus on that, but total volume is key and in particular ice thickness. Once its too thin to stand up to wave action it breaks apart. The gaps absorb 90% of the sun's energy as opposed to the ice itself which reflects over 80%. This is how you get a million km^2 breaking up in a short period of time.

I must disagree. This is conventional logic of the sea-ice/ocean albedo difference, however, the facts are different. It’s true that sea-ice covered by fresh snow has a very high albedo. It’s true that the ocean at lower latitudes has a very low albedo when the sun is high overhead, perhaps as low as 0.05. However, during the Arctic Summer, the sun can not rise high overhead, even though it is above the horizon most (or all) of the day. Thus, the albedo of the ocean rises due to the large zenith angle. The same process occurs with any transparent material, such as glass. In addition, due to the warmer conditions in summer, the sea-ice begins to melt. The water which forms has no where to go for the most part, as the ice below is still a couple of meters thick. Thus, ponds form on the surface and the average albedo drops to about 0.40-0.50. The melt pond fraction looks very much like open ocean, collecting nearly as much solar energy.

As the greenhouse gases increase, the melt ponds would be expected to form quicker and to become deeper. This process may explain some of the melting we are seeing. Also, there’s some suggestion that the sea-ice is melting from below, due to an increase in the flow of warmer water into the Arctic. One other problem is that the calculation of the sea-ice area using passive microwave data may understate the actual area, as the melt ponds may appear as open water. My preference for a metric is the total extent covered by sea-ice, as calculated by another research group. That variable is also showing alarming decline this summer, headed toward an unprecedented minimum.


E. Swanson

This graph at the NSIDC is very telling:


That the slope on the 2007 date is much more negative than even the year 2005 is obvious; what it means - was the water warmer, or the existing (from the 2006-2007 winter freeze) thinner?... these are all in the mix.

Yes, it does look like the "2050" bet is a safe one.

E. Swanson's details are more, uhh, detailed than mine, to be sure, but I will stand by my statement regarding what is key, and will do so in blockquote form:

We can measure ice area from satellite so people focus on that, but total volume is key and in particular ice thickness.

So ... we get reports on the overall area and we hang on this easily measurable number, but (famously) 9/10ths of the iceberg is below the surface. If what is on the surface shrinks by 25% did the hidden volume shrink as much? Probably not, with a very large, very flat berg, but how much of the volume is gone?

The Russians have nuclear subs capable of cruising under the ice. The Russians and others are racing to explore the arctic. They aren't racing because it'll be in free in 2050; this is a much more immediate concern. The parties involved know something we don't and they're not saying much ...

Scientists fear ice caps melting faster than predicted

Paul Brown in Ilulissat
Friday September 7, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

The Greenland ice cap is melting so quickly that it is triggering earthquakes as pieces of ice several cubic kilometres in size break off.

Scientists monitoring events this summer say the acceleration could be catastrophic in terms of sea-level rise and make predictions this February by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change far too low.

The glacier at Ilulissat, which supposedly spawned the iceberg that sank the Titantic, is now flowing three times faster into the sea than it was 10 years ago.


"These guys are in fantasy land." - agree, Clifman. As I commented yesterday, we are headed for a minimum this summer some 20% below the previous record minimum of 2005. Note that the minimum in 2005 was not reached until 20 September and the trend is the bigger the melt, the later the minimum so we won't know the minimum until the very end of this month. Even a reasonable extrapolation would mean no significant (<1 million km2) ice by the end of the next decade - some have speculated much sooner.

Note that with the huge meltdown this year, there will be a huge area of "one-year" ice at the start of the 2008 melt season which will be thin and will melt quickly - allowing the warm water to work on the older, thicker ice earlier in the season. Quite likely, the best case for 2008 is a very marginally larger minimum area than we will see this year (as with 2006 compared to 2005). On the other hand, we might just see a much lower minimum again - typical positive feedback, non-linear behavior.

An dof course NASA's James Hansen belives that no summer Arctic sea ice means irreversible - and rapid - melting of the Greenland ice sheet.

We have passed a tipping point. Yesterday's Drumbeat has a yearly August 'moving average' which plunged well below range.

Well, if the ice is all gone in 3 years or 10 or even 25, I guess you could still say they are correct in predicting that it will be all gone by 2050. That's kinda like predicting that oil will definitely have peaked by 2100.

The freaking president of John Deere is on CNBC saying that corn ethanol is more energy efficient than gasoline. What a freaking dunce. Strong are the powers of the dark side

The freaking president of John Deere is selling corn harvesting combines the size of a house.

Put yourself in one of the new 70 Series STS Bullet Rotor Combines, and see what high-octane harvesting is all about...

go over to the Deere Web-site, take a look. Very big $$$.

Twenty Burmese security officials who were taken captive for several hours by Buddhist monks have been released.

The officials arrived at the monastery in the town of Pakokku to apologise for injuries caused during a protest on Wednesday about fuel price rises.


From the store up top:

UPDATE 1-Wyoming-Illinois crude pipeline shut due to leak


Hmmm...so what happens again when we go below the MOL in a pipeline?

Don't we get some corrosion and nasty stuff messing up the pipes?

That's some seriously fast corrosion going on there.

Who knows how long they've been operating below MOL. Isn't this what happened to BP in Alaska?

Who knows indeed, just don't try to tell me that oops, we went below MOL, and bang! a leak "happened".

hi speek - How come do you have the courage to mention this MOL thing all over again... ;-).. I mean... have U recovered already ?


Ya, I recover fast, but mostly I couldn't resist dragonfly's quintessentially unreasonable invocation of MOL to explain this recent pipeline leak.

It's begun. Just like when oil reservers got low at the beginning of summer we had refinery 'problems', now as we fall below MOL, pipelines will begin having 'leaks' requiring them to be shut down. A lot easier politically than saying we're shuting down the pipeline to some region of the country for lack of supply.
Another thing, why are we shipping oil from the rocky mountain states to Illinois while at the same time we are shipping it from Texas to the rocky mountain states?

Cid Yama - smart reflections, could it be the reason ? ... possible..

Law of Receeding Horizons (LRH) at work.

SaskPower shelves clean-coal project
00:00 EST Friday, Sep 07, 2007

It was supposed to herald the era of "clean coal," but Saskatchewan now says a proposed coal-fired power plant that would capture and store carbon dioxide is simply too expensive.

Instead, the province will spend $525-million to build natural gas power plants. SNIP

SaskPower was considering an oxygenation technology, which burns the coal in pure oxygen to create a purer stream of carbon dioxide than exists in current coal-fired power plants. The CO{-2} would then be captured, and piped to existing oil fields where it would be injected underground to enhance oil recovery. SNIP

Behind a paywall at the moment so no URL

Given the projected future supply of NG I'm not sure I understand the financial logic of the project.

Hello New Account,

Thxs for the info. Yep, I agree: receding horizons apply.

My guess is they are building the generation capacity to help keep the 3300 ft deep and 5,000 miles of underground mining going as long as 'energy-slave' possible. Recall from my earlier NPK posting series that Saskatchewan has the world's largest concentration of potash mines, and is seeking to ramp up production further to meet huge global demand.

They also need to this electro-juice to process this rock to final agro-chemical NPK form, then distribute it worldwide by Canadian electrified rail to Vancouver. In short: a very energy-intensive spiderweb to short-term convert rock to maximize long-term photosynthesis yields and avoid inefficient Liebig Minimums.

Recall my earlier 'human-slave' posting on trying to mine NPK sources by bicycles, pickaxe, shovels, pedal-winches, endless stairflights, and wheelbarrows. This photo might help you visualize the process:


For comparison: fill a backpack with 50 lbs of boulders, then hike up Pikes Peak. Upon reaching the summit: proceed to sledgehammer the rocks down to the size of rice. Scoop powder back into backpack, then proceed directly, by foot-hiking only to the farmlands of Brazil, then spread your product on less than an acre. Infinitely repeat into the postPeak future. Priced guano lately?

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

Just some more info I encountered [I cannot vouch for it's accuracy, but it makes sense to me]:

From Food Shocks to Famine: The Impact Of Biofoolery and 'Global Sourcing'

Farm Input Hyperflation: Fertilizer

Hyperinflation has hit all the farm input links in the food chain, from fertiizer, to chemicals, fuel, seeds, machinery, labor, transportation, and water itself. So the idea that farmers are benefitting from the "agflation" behind high food costs is simple-minded.

Before the advent of modern ammonia production techniques via the Haber-Bosch process, developed in the early decades of the 20th Century, the world was dependent upon a laborious process of mining nitrogenous fertilizers from animal dung, guano (bird feces) deposits, and "fossil" deposits of saltpeter (originally generated by long-gone nitrogen-fixing microorganisms). The development of the Haber-Bosch process was a necessary component of the Green Revolution, allowing man to increase crop yields by synthesizing massive quantities of nitrogen-based fertilizers for crop application. Now it's the financial system and hyperinflation that threaten crops, not the lack of technology.

In the United States, nitrogen fertilizer production capacity has fallen by 35% over 1999-2006. Manufacturers have simply shut their doors, or merged with other companies. Production has fallen 44% over the same time period. Some companies that advance-contracted for natural gas, just turned around and sold it at a profit higher than they would have made from producing fertilizer. A description of this process, and a map of the dwindling number of U.S. ammonia facilities, is included in a USDA report, "Impact of Rising Natural Gas Prices on U.S. Ammonia Supply" (August 2007, WRS-0702).

U.S. farmers are ever more dependent on imports, even as their corn acreage demands are rising. As of 2007, the United States imports 42% of its ammonia requirements, with Trinidad and Tobago providing 57% of the imports, and Canada, Russia, and Ukraine rounding out the bill.

One farmer cooperative in the Dakotas, which ran out of ammonia supplies this Spring, bitterly told the press, "What do we do? Call up Kiev, and say we need to be re-stocked next week?"
I didn't know that we Americans were so dependent upon Haber-Bosch ammonia imports from these islands. Could it be our Nitrogen 'Achilles heel'?

Global Agricultural TNT?--> when Trinidad 'n Tobago cannot make ammonia anymore. Yikes!

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

Protect Federal Funding for Clean Energy Solutions


From that lefty group.

If you care, don't touch me there.

10 Reasons Why Berserkers Need Rate Cuts

Friday, September 7th, 2007 at 7:38 AM
“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall: Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty in his place again.”

Mike Johnston on the Epic Credit Bubble thread at Silicon Investor coined the ten reasons why the Fed needs to cut rates. I have slightly revised these and added my own reason why they shouldn’t for your consideration.

10) Millions of realtors and mortgage brokers are praying for it and a few thousand “capitalist Ponzinistas” are begging for it.

9) The smartest bond trader in history is losing money.

8) The emergency training course to convert auto repo men in the Brazil America marketplace into art collection “recovery specialists” in the Bully plutocratic marketplace isn’t quite completed yet.

7) Inflation expectations are “well anchored”

6) $300K/year realtors are eating meat loaf for dinner

5) Banks granted 400K mortgages to people making 40K/year and are now losing money.

4) Housing industry needs to be stimulated, because we badly need more homes in Arizona and more condos in Florida.

3) A bunch of 26 year old hedge fund managers need help, because they had no idea that once in a while stocks can have a correction and sometimes loans do not get repaid.

2) Without the cut it would be a sad Christmas this year, as many hardworking financial engineers and paper shufflers would not be able to put down a 200K waiting list deposit on a Ferrari and will not be able to afford a $50,000 Christmas tree.

1) Jim Cramer, Lawrence Kudlow and Bill Gross want it, as there are still exploding runaway crack up boom Bubbles, ‘er I mean “global” booms in gold, oil, materials, commodities, beer case hoarding, parabolic rare baseball card prices, and emerging market manias to exploit.

Now the reason they can’t:

1. Both the main and backup Speakwrite machines at the Ministry of Truth gagged and crashed when the hedonistic adjustment specialists attempted to substitute sawdust for wheat as the principle ingredient in pasta. A high level executive decision was made to defer the adjustment as it was duly noted that Italians are now boycotting pasta, thus promising eventual demand side relief for American consumers.

Speaking of boycotting, foreign central banks once again passed on taking on more US Old Maid Cards, this week reducing their holdings by $1.3 billion. There is some speculation that China is dumping.

The Wizards no doubt in response to the show down at the Crack Up Boom Corral rolled out Richard Fisher to warn Riskloves and Humpty Dumpties not to expect help.

“If you fake the funk, your nose will grow.” — Bootsy Collins, The Pinocchio Theory

More pearls of wisdom from Lee Raymond, former head of ExxonMobil, current head of the National Petroleum Council, Chair of Geo. W. Bush's alternative energy committee, Board Member of the American Enterprise Institute, among others:

Q. And this leads where?
A: Well, if you get the philosophers into the room, they will tell you that ultimately oil is a finite resource and therefore there has to be a point at which you're not able to fill this gap, so to speak . That's a little bit simplistic, because the amount of any commodity is not independent of the price.

Q: Do you agree with those who say the long-term price of oil is rising?
A: I'm a skeptic. In 40 years, I've heard at least five or six times that we are going through a new paradigm in the oil price. It has never happened.

Q: Your strategists say the non-OPEC supply is going to start falling around 2015. How does that affect your planning?
A: Well, I know what the planners say, but they come to me every 10 years saying the same thing, and the decline is always 10 years off. I just don't see it happening.

I just don't see it happening
Source: Phil Hart and Chris Skrebowski, http://www.philhart.com/CERA_SPE_debate

A: Well, I know what the planners say, but they come to me every 10 years saying the same thing, and the decline is always 10 years off. I just don't see it happening.

Neither does the guy/monkey in the middle of the picture to the right.

Saving the best for last...Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VljyWx0ivLk

(apologies to those on dial-up)

Some interesting discussions about oil production on


First 30 minutes it could be 2002. At minute 31:00 of 37 total, peak oil gets much more substantial play.

Gail provided a book review at Amazon...see her comments.

Seventies redux.

In the seventies, thru three recessions, oil never declined y/y (nom.)
This year, so far, avg price is higher than last, and firming.

This article on Ghawar is behind a paywall - would be interesting to read the rest.

The world’s most essential oil field may be in decline.

by James D. Hamilton

Running Dry


This inset of "Ghawar original and current" in the picture below, from the article, looks like it came from Stuart Staniford's Ghawar work.

"The Ghawar oil field is the kingdom’s crown jewel. Stretching for more than 150 miles beneath the desert, it is the largest known deposit in the world. It produces perhaps twice as much oil as any other field, and has doubtless accounted for more than half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production. Yet the Saudis have been removing oil from this reservoir for half a century. Sooner or later, its production must fall."

Great catch Ace. Perhaps another email to Prof. Krugman might be warrented, that includes that graphic. He did want to hear from anyone who knows what's up in SA.

Fair use, article below. Heck, I have a subscription, you should too. Note the reference and link to TOD, and the Ghawar analysis by Stuart Staniford. (Sorry, Euan):

The World In Numbers October 2007 Atlantic Monthly

The world’s most essential oil field may be in decline.
by James D. Hamilton

Running Dry

No country is more important to oil markets than Saudi Arabia. The kingdom produced roughly 9.2 million barrels of crude a day in 2006, and accounted for 19 percent of world oil exports. Many analysts expect it to supply a quarter of the world’s added production over the next few years. And as the only producer with significant excess capacity, it has played a crucial role in alleviating temporary supply disruptions, increasing daily production by 3.1 million barrels during the first Gulf War, for example, when oil production in Iraq and Kuwait dropped by 5.3 million barrels.

[Click here to view a larger image of the chart above.]

The Ghawar oil field is the kingdom’s crown jewel. Stretching for more than 150 miles beneath the desert, it is the largest known deposit in the world. It produces perhaps twice as much oil as any other field, and has doubtless accounted for more than half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production. Yet the Saudis have been removing oil from this reservoir for half a century. Sooner or later, its production must fall.

The Saudis do not release data on how much oil they are extracting from individual wells, or on the remaining reserves of individual oil fields. But the total amount that the kingdom produces has been declining, down a million barrels a day over the last two years of data.

The Saudis have claimed these cuts have been in response to weak demand. However, the big drop in production began in the spring of 2006, when the price of oil was rising from $60 to $74 a barrel; the claim that no one wanted to buy Saudi Arabia’s light crude strains credulity. The drop in production has also coincided with a huge new Saudi effort to find and pump more oil: The number of active oil rigs in Saudi Arabia has tripled over the past three years.

Frustrated by the lack of hard data on Ghawar, Stuart Staniford, a computer scientist with a doctorate in physics, has conducted a painstaking study of publicly available information. His research has been reported at theoildrum.com, a Web site that analyzes energy markets.

The Saudis have developed Ghawar by using peripheral water injection— water is pumped into the reservoir, driving the remaining oil to the surface. More details about Saudi production were available before 1980, allowing Staniford to infer that the depth of the remaining oil column in northern Ghawar at that time was about 500 feet. Evidence from many sources suggests that the water level has been rising at about 18.4 feet per year. If you extrapolate that trend, this would mean that the northern part of Ghawar is by now quite depleted.

Staniford has also built a detailed computer simulation of the Ghawar reser­voir, based on its size and shape, the porosity and permeability of its rock, and the assumed oil-extraction rates. The results of this simulation line up remarkably well with Staniford’s other calculations. Oil production from northern Ghawar has likely peaked.

Southern Ghawar still holds a lot of oil, and perhaps the kingdom’s push to find new fields will bear fruit. But northern Ghawar was developed first because it was by far the most promising field. Its production cannot be easily replaced. At about the same time that Saudi production began its decline, the new Haradh project in southern Ghawar began producing perhaps an additional 300,000 barrels a day. The Saudis have also made a huge investment to reopen the Qatif field on the eastern coast, which they had abandoned in 1995; it is now producing an estimated half-million barrels a day. With Saudi production falling despite these new contributions, the situation could be serious.

At a bare minimum, the era when excess Saudi capacity could cushion geopolitical disruptions in oil supplies may well be over, even though the threat of such disruptions is greater than ever. And if Saudi production continues to decline even as world demand keeps growing, in a few years we will look back at the summer of 2007 as the last of the days when gasoline—even at $3.50 a gallon—was still plentiful and cheap.

Thanks, John!

Hopefully TOD gets more visits as a result of Hamilton's article.

I'm still hoping JoulesBurn and Khebab can find some useful imagery vs. time of changes in oil rig locations.

Why not convert some of that natural gas to hydrogen and pump it into huge blimps and float it to market? After they are done using it to provide artificial lift that is