DrumBeat: October 8, 2007

Diet for small planet may be most efficient if it includes dairy and a little meat

A low-fat vegetarian diet is very efficient in terms of how much land is needed to support it. But adding some dairy products and a limited amount of meat may actually increase this efficiency, Cornell researchers suggest.

Why a carbon tax is a bad idea

Metcalf calculates that in 2005 a carbon tax would have cut CO2 emissions by 717 million tons. But almost 90 percent of that would come from cutting the use of coal, which releases more CO2 than oil and a lot more than natural gas. A carbon tax does a lot to push companies away from burning coal in older, more heavily polluting plants in which the cost of the tax could be more than the cost of the coal itself. But it does very little to cut oil use.

Ice melt raises passage tension

In another sign of potential friction in the warming Arctic, Canada has warned that it will step up patrols of the Northwest Passage.

Nuclear Power Primed for Comeback

But there is still a lot of worry about the economics of nuclear power. Nuclear plants are hugely expensive to build; they have long lead times and a history of cost overruns. Bottlenecks loom for key components if more than a few plants are built. The price of uranium has soared in recent years. So has the cost of construction materials and skilled labor, which is in short supply. Politicians, environmentalists and business still can't decide how to dispose of radioactive waste.

Australia in giant wind farm plan

Plans to build Australia's largest wind farm have been announced by the German company Conergy.

The project would involve installing about 500 turbines near the outback town of Broken Hill in New South Wales.

Raw material prices rise sharply

Raw material costs for UK manufacturers rose at their sharpest rate for more than two years in September.

Rising oil prices helped to drive up input prices by 3.2% in September alone and 6.4% on the year, said the Office for National Statistics.

Credit squeeze linked to Ukraine gas dispute

The latest stand-off between Gazprom, the Russian state-controlled energy group, and Ukraine over $1.3bn in unpaid natural gas bills is partly a result of the global liquidity crisis, according to one of the companies at the centre of the dispute.

Ukrgaz-energo, a trading company that controls the supply of gas to industry in Ukraine, blamed difficulties in borrowing on shaky world credit markets for its inability to pay for imported supplies.

Shell lifts force majeure on Nigeria Forcados oil

Royal Dutch Shell last week lifted a force majeure on shipments from its Forcados oil export terminal in Nigeria, a company spokeswoman said on Monday.

The force majeure had been in place since output was shut-in at Forcados and EA fields, which typically produce around 477,000 barrels per day, due to damage from militant attacks in February 2006.

Week in Petroleum: Preparing for the future

In oil markets, the degree of preparation is often measured by the amount of inventory of a particular product heading into its peak seasonal demand period.

North Korea oil exploration still an idea - Seoul

South Korea has no firm data on any oil reserves in North Korea and it is far too soon to talk about joint exploration in the reclusive state, officials in Seoul said on Monday.

Azeris look to invest oil profit in Germany

Azerbaijan plans to use its soaring oil revenues to buy stakes in German and other European companies, the country's president said.

South Korea's 1st-Half Overseas Oil Output Rises 22%

South Korea, which imports almost all the petroleum it needs, produced 22 percent more oil from its overseas projects in the first half as new fields came on stream and companies increased investments.

Inner Mongolia grasslands turning to sand

"The wild grass reached up to my knees in the past," said Chaogula, a 40-year-old herdsman as he pointed to barren fields in this remote part of China near the Mongolian border.

"But there's very little grass now. It hasn't rained here in six years and we have to buy fertilizers and feed for our livestock. We never needed these before," he said.

Oil Poised for Drop as Price Gap to Gasoline Widens

The widening gap between crude oil and the relatively low price of gasoline is signaling the first quarterly decline in oil prices in a year.

While oil has fallen in the fourth quarter during 13 of the past 20 years because of the transition from peak summer demand, the pressure for another drop in the months ahead is the most intense since 2004 and may defer any rebound to record crude prices until the first half of 2008.

Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG and HSBC Holdings Plc anticipate oil will slide from last month's record $83.90 a barrel as gasoline sales weaken to the lowest level this year and a slowing U.S. economy curbs demand. Profits from making fuels are so low that refiners have 12.5 percent of capacity off line, the second-highest rate of the past two decades for this time of year, data from the U.S. Department of Energy show.

UK: Household income sees ten-year squeeze

Households are suffering the biggest squeeze on their finances in a decade because of tax rises and higher bills, research has shown. It suggests that the Government's take from taxes has leapt by some 85% in a decade.

...Other rises since 1997 include:

• The cost of communication - telephone, mobile and broadband internet - up 76.9% to a £743 a year;

• Spending on health, up 59.2% to an average of £519, not least because of higher dental fees;

• The price of petrol, up 54.6% to an average of £1,106;

• The cost of insurance, up 51.7% to an average of £1,047;

• The price of the BBC licence fee, up by 49.6% to £138;

• Annual spending on transport per household, up 48.5% to £4,824.

UK: Federation warns of fuel rises

THE Federation of Small Businesses has announced it fears that the 2p rise in fuel duty will hit many small businesses hard.

It says prices are already high at the pump and this will make it worse.

Many firms cannot take their produce or tools on public transport.

India - Profit Charge: Oilcos refuse to lug Railways diesel load

Railways consumes about 2 billion litres of diesel, making it one of the largest bulk consumers of the fuel. It currently enjoys a discount of Rs 1,125.27 per kilolitre. With spiralling global oil prices leading to a decline in the fortunes of India’s public-sector oil companies, they are in no mood to offer sops. “We can’t give discounts to anybody when we are making losses,” a senior HPCL official said.

Australia: Motorists being 'robbed blind on petrol'

Queensland motorists are being "robbed blind" by fuel retailers who do not pass on the state's petrol subsidy, an inquiry has heard.

Australia: Petrol inquiry told small operators struggling

The Queensland Government inquiry into petrol prices in Brisbane today was told supermarket-owned operators are dominating the market.

Newton's Third Law of Motion at work in the marketplace

Every time we tinker with one commodity to make up for another, we encounter an equal and opposite reaction somewhere in the chain.

Schools squeezed by rising food costs

It is a worsening situation, school officials say, as the escalating cost of food used in school lunches and breakfasts eats away at local school budgets.

“Milk has increased at a faster rate than most other foods,” says Edward Gilbert, director of food services for Stoughton public schools.

...The school district also has “felt the hit” in the price of water, juice beverages, paper goods and dry goods because of higher costs in fuel, manufacturing and labor, he said.

Church's 'call to action' includes energy-efficient windows

In an effort to reduce their winter heating bill and environmental footprint, members of Franklin's century-old Federated Church are in the midst of a fundraising effort to replace many of the aging windows at its Main Street sanctuary and adjacent parsonage.

..."We need to meet our expenses and be responsible to the earth," added interim pastor Vicki Hammel.

Bird seed prices take wing

The price of traditional bird seeds has soared 50 percent or more in the past six months, prompting many backyard bird lovers in Metro Detroit to either bear the extra cost or switch to cheaper grub for their feathered friends.

As demand for commodities such as corn and sunflower oils grows, for reasons ranging from alternative fuel politics to healthier drive-through french fries, price increases are making themselves felt beyond the human food chain.

Options abound as winter heating season approaches

“If you have your own supply of wood, that’s the least expensive way to heat,” said Dave Somogyi, owner of Somogyi’s Coal and Supply along Route 22 near Route 219 in Ebensburg.

Cold realities: As help for homeowners lags, oil costs expected to rise

The average homeowner in the United States who uses oil heat will pay $1,834 this winter, $400 more than last year. Those costs are expected to be even higher here in the colder Northeast.

Transportation News: Rail Carriers in the Cross Hairs

If the ACC allegations are even remotely accurate, it means rail profits (and stock price) were tremendously inflated by fuel surcharge profits – with as much as 73% of profits coming from surcharges in 2006 for some carriers. It also means that success of the current or future law suits over the surcharges would have a huge impact on rail carrier financial results.

With major investments needed for rail infrastructure, this issue makes understanding rail carrier economics much more difficult than before. Rail carriers have traditionally had among the lowest returns on invested capital of any industry – one reason why infrastructure developments were slow to come. Lately, investment plans have been accelerated, based on rising demand and improving returns, but perhaps the real returns were masked by surcharge profits.

Transportation is Moving - Slowly - Toward Sustainability

The transportation sector is a powerhouse when it comes to the amount of fuel and energy it consumes. Combined, road and air transportation account for nearly 20 percent of global energy demand.

And while it appears that little can be done at this point to curb fuel and energy consumption in the commercial aviation sector, the automotive industry is poised to take great strides in the coming years.

Geothermal industry goes full steam ahead

Welcome to the Geysers, the largest single producing geothermal energy field in the world. Although the 47-year-old field is the country's largest geothermal producer, supplying almost 3 percent of California's electricity, it is virtually unknown.

Could West Texas algae curb oil dependence?

A year ago, this dusty patch of land near the New Mexico border contained little more than dirt and the odd sprig of alfalfa. Today, it is home to a $3 million laboratory that is crackling with activity.

The hi-tech lab was built for a peculiar but possibly revolutionary purpose: to explore ways algae can be used to reduce the world's dependence on oil.

N.C. examines production of state biofuels

A surplus of production and the absence of distribution mechanisms has stalled the Midwest ethanol industry, a predicament that the growing N.C. biofuels movement hopes to avoid.

A state-mandated strategic plan calls for North Carolina to produce enough biofuel to account for 10 percent of its liquid fuels by 2017.

Biofuels speeding global warming

Most crops grown in the U.S. and Europe to make "green" transport fuels actually speed up global warming because of industrial farming methods, says a report by Nobel prize-winning chemist Paul J. Crutzen.

Population theorists worry about food supplies

Why is this sort of Malthusian gloom and doom so appealing to so many? You don't have to be a farmer or an agricultural economist to raise an eyebrow over predictions of chronic crop shortages. While weather may affect crop yields from one season to the next, shortages tend to give way to surpluses, as higher prices induce producers to increase their output. And somehow man, through his eternal inventiveness, always finds a way to produce more with less.

U.S. Fails to Track Critical Minerals

Oil isn't the only natural resource we rely on to keep society humming; many non-fuel minerals are also essential to our daily lives. But neither the government nor industry has enough key information to make sure those mineral supplies are secure, according to a new study by the National Research Council.

The U.S. depends on a number of critical minerals to make everything from cellphones and toothpaste to flat-screen TVs and pacemakers, and many of those minerals are increasingly being imported from other parts of the world.

Nigeria: Conoil Gets 14-Day Ultimatum

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have given a fourteen-day ultimatum starting from last Friday to the management of Conoil Plc to reverse all anti-union measures taken by the management of Belbop Nigeria Limited.

Russia's OAO Gazprom's profit rose 14 percent in 1st quarter, helped by non-operating items

Gazprom said the profit rise reflected a 44.69 billion ruble ($1.8 billion) gain from the deconsolidation of its pension fund unit Gazfond, and a 8.59 billion ruble ($344 million) gain from disposals of financial assets.

Operating profit fell to 209.8 billion rubles ($8.4 billion) from 230.5 billion rubles, due to slower revenue growth attributed to lower demand from central and western Europe during an unseasonably warm winter.

Kazakhstan reassures Italy over Kashagan oilfield

Kazakhstan reassured Italy on Monday it had no plans to change the terms of a contract signed between Italy's Eni and the Central Asian state's government to develop the giant Kashagan oilfield.

The Deepwater Dance Marathon

Last week, the Minerals Management Service conducted the biggest Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale in over a decade. In case you had any doubt, the deepwater is still bringing in the dollars. The average bid per block touched a new record, and the total number of bids submitted more than doubled last year's total. This dance just keeps heating up.

Hungarian government not planning MOL law change after EU threat

The Hungarian government on Friday said it currently had no plans to call off a vote on a law aimed at defending its largest energy firm MOL from foreign takeover after the European Commission threatened the government with legal action.

Review: Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben

Perhaps most devastating, though, and controversial, will be McKibben’s take on the economics of depression. Just as we could do a better job of redistributing the fruits of economic growth, it is conceivable, although unlikely, that we could invent our way out of the problems of peak oil and global warming. In other words, that somehow or other we could continue to fuel not just the living standards of the Western Europe and the United States -- Americans currently use about 24 barrels of oil per person per year -- but the booming economies of China and India. But why would we want to, McKibben asks, when the growth economy -- and its avalanche of stuff -- has not made us any happier? Indeed, when it has made us decidedly unhappier? Drawing on research in the field of cognitive psychology and behavioral economics, McKibben argues that “more” does not always -- and hasn’t lately -- equaled “better” or “happier.” Despite a tripling in gross domestic product per capita since 1950, despite driving more cars, despite living in bigger houses, and despite, when not working, being constantly and instantly entertained, Americans are not considerably happier -- and in many cases much unhappier -- than either their forebears or people living in other developed countries.

Australian queue-cutting set to fuel the rising price of coal

Another surge in the price of coal is feared after the operator of the world’s biggest coal export terminal cut the number of ships permitted to load at the port of Newcastle in Australia.

Queues at the port, which exports coal from the Hunter Valley mines, reached a peak of 79 vessels in the summer as Asian power producers scrambled to fill up in anticipation of coal shortages this winter. To reduce congestion, last week the port operator cut export allocations for the fourth quarter of this year by two million tonnes.

Australia: Inquiry hears suggestions for regulating petrol industry

The first day of the Queensland Government's petrol price inquiry has heard a number of suggestions on how to best regulate the industry.

The inquiry is investigating whether Queensland's eight cents per-litre fuel subsidy is being passed on in full to motorists.

Indian industry body calls for hike in fuel prices to cut oil companies' losses

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) said a minimum price hike of one rupee and two rupees a litre for diesel and petrol respectively, along with a 20 rupees-per-cylinder hike for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), will enable oil marketing companies (OMCs) to restrict losses within about 550 bln rupees.

India: Country vulnerable to volatility in crude prices

India imports 73 per cent of oil to meet its fuel needs and faces inflationary pressure on any sharp increase in global crude prices.

Siniora & Qatar discuss a new refinery for Lebanon

Lebanon was among the first in the Middle East to build oil refineries in the 1950's, but now its facilities in Zahrani and Tripoli are inoperative making it one of the only countries in the region with no refining capacity, and consequently entirely dependent on imported fuel sources. With prices of oil soaring the cost of meeting annual energy consumption requirements is not sustainable in the long-term.

No conspiracy: Gas prices are based on supply and demand

Drivers usually get a break from high gas prices in the fall, but for the fifth straight week gasoline prices continue to climb.

Consumers often blame gas stations or a gas supplier conspiracy for raising prices without reason, but there’s more to the climbing cost of fuel than the increasing numbers at the pump.

War Without End, Amen

The Middle East -- and much of the world's oil supply -- would be hostage to one of the most unstable balances of terror the world has ever known. It wouldn't take much to spark off a regional, nuclear war. Oil prices will rise and plateau at God-knows-what because of the constant, hair-trigger tension and a world-wide recessions or even depression might ensue as prices rise because of cascading costs in the distribution chains. Food would cost more, business travel would drop, jobs would be lost, public transportation would become more expensive, etc., etc. The era of cheap oil and the lifestyle it affords would be over.

Indonesia: Car sales up 20% in September

Car sales in Indonesia increased 20% year-on-year in September 2007 to 41,000 units, pushing year-to-date volumes to 318,000 units.

China's Solar Boom Loses Its Luster

A shortage of refined polysilicon has pinched solar-cell makers in the past few years. The raw material's price has gone from around $30 a kilogram to over $250 on the spot market, creating a windfall for producers like MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR). But the higher prices have hurt China's latest solar-cell contenders, which lack established supplier relationships-which helps explain the net losses at China-based Canadian Solar (CSIQ).

Talisman's retired contrarian picks his next fight

Do you think the world has reached peak oil production?

I do - we're there or close to it. Mexico, the North Sea and possibly Ghawar [in Saudi Arabia, the world's largest conventional oil field] are all in decline. The truth is the world is producing 30 billion-plus barrels of oil a year and is finding less than 10 billion. This is the worry.

If we're close to peak oil, what is your price forecast?

The price has to be high enough to hurt demand. It has to be rationed by price. There is no real demand destruction yet [with oil near $80 (U.S.) a barrel]. It'll have to be at $120 a barrel, I think, before you'll see that.

Is oil price going to hit $100 a barrel?

“All the various components (of the global energy crisis) came together after 9/11, and 9/11 was a major factor in bringing them together. Once we realise this, many other developments fall into place: the war on terror; the invasion of Iraq; the rise of Iran; the radicalisation of Islam and the increasing sectarian tensions within Islam; the decline in American power and influence; nuclear proliferation; China’s pursuit of natural resources and its negative effect on curing the resource curse; and Russia’s use of gas supplies to suborn its former empire and the larger danger it poses for Europe. The core of the crisis is the tight supply situation for oil.” So wrote George Soros, probably the world’s most influential hedge fund manger, in 2006.

Forum will seek local solutions to climate change

The peak oil theory contends that once maximum oil production is reached, availability will decline and prices will rise dramatically.

"To me, peak oil is more compelling because at that point you're going to get people paying attention," he said.

Willits and the problem of slow knowledge

But after three years, Willits, while still a clear leader in peak oil preparedness, has not achieved nearly the progress envisioned by Bradford and other organizers. While their sense of urgency still remains, they have begun to realize that municipal governments move at what seems like a glacial pace and that public awareness is not the same as public understanding.

70s royalty hike a boom not a bust

Last time Alberta Conservatives stirred up a hornets' nest by raising oil and gas royalties, the province kept score on the aftermath.

"We heard many dire predictions," Peter Lougheed reminded the legislature in his first annual state-of-Alberta address as premier on Oct. 25, 1972.

Diesel Shortage Could Hamper N.D. Harvest

Spot shortages of diesel fuel could slow down harvest in some parts of North Dakota.

According to the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, some dealers have rationed fuel to make sure everyone can keep rolling.

GM to set up car venture in Uzbekistan

General Motors Corp (GM.N) has set up a joint venture in Uzbekistan to produce and sell cars in the central Asian state, the Uzbek state auto company said on Monday.

Africa: Workers’ struggle and capitalist nightmare

”Many features of this latest Nigerian farce, namely corruption and mismanagement, still scar many other parts of Africa. The post-colonial continent has hitherto been a colossal flop. ”

This editorial comment from the Economist magazine, following the Nigerian elections earlier this year, in spring, is typical of how right-wing politicians describe Africa today. This “colossal flop” is cynically treated as an “African” phenomenon, with no explanation given of its roots in colonialism, capitalism and imperialism.

My journey to sustainability

Does living sustainably require that we drive more? Yes, it does. Does living sustainably cost more than regular trips to the grocery store? Yes, it does. Do we feel less dependent and more fulfilled through the relationships we've established by living this way? Yes, we do. It gives us great satisfaction to know the farmers we buy things from. They are small producers and make a point of being organic and sustainable themselves. We feel fulfilled because we've taken our food purchases and health into our own hands. We also feel fulfilled by supporting a small local producer instead of a multi-national conglomerate. That multi-national won't talk to us about the health of the cows and the pasture grass when we visit, or show us how to bottle-feed a calf or move a chicken tractor. Our farmer will.

No country immune from animal disease: U.N.

No country is immune from animal diseases as the globalization of movement of people and goods, tourism and climate change favor the spread of animal viruses around the world, the U.N. food agency said on Monday.

That's pretty interesting -- I wonder if it is real, or hype. And I wonder if it is sort of like what I imagine is happening to New Orleans. Entire cities will become "gated communities" and only residents and bona-fide tourists with money to spend and return-trip tickets will be let in.

I don't think it will work -- there are always barbarians at the gates, and at least historically, they have always prevailed.

oh come on.. 'always barbarians, and they always prevail'? Enough with the dire extremes, already.

The article detailed some cities creating standards for businesses and an approach to making living intown more balanced, but how did that evolve into 'Gated' cities? New Orleans has some sad political shenanigans being played upon it to exclude a vast portion of its poorer, former residents, but how are you tying that in with this article, except to say that NOLA intrinsically has some of the qualities of a Slow-city that the article references.. It seems to me that those qualities are what make New Orleans MORE accessible to a broad range of people, not less.

The forces that would be grabbing former residents' properties and rebuilding those parishes into overpriced developments or exclusive neighborhoods cannot possibly be confused with those in Europe trying to create Slow Cities.

"Forget the power of Positive Thinking. It just doesn't work, and it never will.." Chad's Fifth Axiom- Self Help for the PostModernNihilist


The barbarians often have the most energy and the best ideas. I wasn't trying to project DOOM, and I'm definitely in favor of slowness -- but you can't sell that to my kids.

The fact that it isn't currently being sold to your kids is a problem of marketing. Major corporations don't have the profit-motive to slow consumption or the pace of life, but marketing is a concept that can also be applied by those not driven solely by profit motive. If elegant simplicity and minimalist consumption become "cool," you never know what people will go for:

Magazine Simplicity

Vernacular Zen

“Conspicuous Simplicity”. You got my vote.

When those two roads diverged in the woods, boy did we take the wrong one. And yup, that's made all the difference.

Long live the bookstore, and light to read by.

Once Upon a Time in the not too distant past, most cities were "gated" with a massive defensive wall with guarded entrances--gates--and sometimes moats. But most of today's gated "communites" have their lots filled to the brim with McMansions leaving very little room to grow food, and hardly qualify as communities when the basic essence of that word's meaning is examined.

They already have a slow city movement in Chicago, it's called congestion.

A related story. An analysis of bridge crossings by bicycle over time in Portland Oregon.


Best Hopes for Non-Oil Transportation,


The WSJ has an article called Oil Prices Could Go Either Way. It's behind a paywall, but you can read it if you go in through Google News (it should be the top link, at least for a few hours).

The battle to keep oil futures above $80 a barrel may well come to a head this quarter.

Recent price gains are largely based on forecasts for a global oil-supply deficit over the rest of the year and into 2008. If the shortfall -- which analysts suggest could be more than one million barrels of crude oil a day -- materializes, it would provide considerable incentive for the large financial investors who have played a strong role in the oil rally to stay in the market and push prices even higher.

Indeed, Goldman Sachs sees a "high risk" of an increase above $90 a barrel during the final few months of the year.

But the forecasts carry some big assumptions. If expectations for a warm Northern Hemisphere winter increase or there are signs of a sharp slowdown in U.S. growth, analysts expect some of these investors will run for the exits and push oil prices lower. That could mean prices as low as $50 a barrel.

It is cognitively dissociative to see this sort of thing on TOD --

The Oil Drum is about verifiable information which can be disseminated to the public at no cost to the public, for the benefit of the public. Hypotheses are identified, debated, scrutinized -- and the sources of information are identified.

The WSJ is about deception and feinting and obfuscation and confusion -- about suppressing information where it is to their benefit, and hiding it in plain sight when suppression fails. Sometimes there is outright fabrication, and always they charge for it -- with no guarantee of accuracy, and no way of checking on it. And not even the pretense of serving any larger public -- just the customers.

Yes, the price of oil might go up, and it might go down. you might win on red, and you might win on black. The stock market and the futures markets are a giant casino, and the house always wins

I like the WSJ. They are probably the best newspaper in the US right now. Their editorial page is full of right wing nuttery, but there's an airtight firewall between the editorial and the news departments, which is as it should be. The WSJ's coverage of the pre-Iraq war buildup was far better than the supposedly liberal NYT or WaPo.

The WSJ has not been afraid to cover the peak oil issue, either. They were among the first MSM sources to use that term.

The WSJ was the only media (MSM or other AFAIK) at the ASPO-Boston convention last year.

The role of the WSJ is to tell the truth to TPTB (IMHO), so cover-up, etc. is not part of their role. What will happen after Rupport's takeover is yet to be seen.

Best Hopes for the WSJ,


When it comes to what I would call micro-level stories - something happening at a particular company, or the latest move in interest rates, or the prospects for a particular piece of legislation being considered by congress -- I consider the WSJ to be totally objective and totally reliable. They are indeed one of the very best sources of news on that level.

When it comes to what I would call macro-level stories, though -- very big, global, long-range trends -- I am a little more cautious & sceptical about what I read in the WSJ. One must remember that there is a deep-seated cultural bias in the US, and particularly among the business and government elites that make up the bulk of the WSJ's readership, in favor of optimism. The simple fact is that people who have a pessimistic outlook hardly ever make it to the top of the ladder in the corporate world, nor do they often get elected to office or appointed to positions of high responsibility. That does not mean that the optimists are always right and the pessimists always wrong -- far from it. The history of this country is littered with high-flying optimists that got it wrong and came crashing down to earth, often bringing entire organizations down with them. But like it or not, the optimists are the top dogs right now. Because they are also the ones who make up most of the WSJ's subscriber base, do you think the WSJ is going to continue to be their favorite newspaper if they drone on with a constant litany of doom and gloom? I can assure you that they will not. The bottom line for the WSJ is that their readers will pay for what they want to see.

Therefore, I am afraid that the WSJ does reflect an underlying optimistic bias in its content. Perhaps it is so pervasive that they don't even consciously realize that it is there -- but it is. So by all means, do read the WSJ with respect. But do realize that even a news source of its quality might not be 100% reliable.

I agree, the WSJ does seem to be one of the better mainstream news sources for accurate information.

I suppose this can be attributed to the fact that their readership consists primarily of the business/dominant classes, which need to have access to reasonably accurate information in order to make self-serving decisions (maximize profit, power, etc.).

"All warfare is based on deception" wrote Sun Tzu.

It is important to understand what your opponent is saying and doing in order to counter the deception. So, reading what the Journal writes is important to understand the larger "war".

Verifiable information is why I like it, but the drumbeat serves a valid purpose, by monitoring what the MSM is dishing out.

The "verifiable information" is that the WSJ is talking about oil prices. Although we may not consider them a reputable source, many people actually trust them. So it is important to see what they are trying to spoon feed the public.

"Does living sustainably require that we drive more? Yes, it does"

That's an interesting comment. Does anyone know if there is a good cost benefit analysis out there for the kind of claims the author makes?

You don't really need it - she drives regularly to get food, which tells you all you need to know about her idea of 'sustainable.'

RE: Talisman's retired contrarian picks his next fight

Jim Buckee's comments on climate change are interesting, but not surprising, coming from an oil executive with experience in astrophysics. I wonder whether he has studied the science behind the Global Warming issue with as much intensity as that which he spent studying astrophysics. I hope that he is aware that the people that have done the AGW science are all PhD's that have put most of their professional lives into the effort to understand what is happening.

Now that he is retired, perhaps Buckee will take the time to go back over the last 30 years of research into the problem. For example, the temperature history in one region can neither prove nor disprove the AGW problem. The temperatures in the 1920's and 1930's seen in the Great Plains (including Canada) were impacted by the massive agricultural development in the area, which made these areas much more sensitive to the drought conditions known to occur with some regularity. When the drought came, the resulting Dust Bowl conditions have been blamed on these man made changes to the local environment. The idea that solar variability is the cause of recent warming has been considered at length and shown to be seriously wrong for several reasons, such as the fact that the warming is greatest at high northern latitudes, which would not happen if the cause were an increase in the solar "constant". There's quite a bit more to the situation, which are not readily apparent to the average bright guy with a PhD.

E. Swanson

He has also said that there are only 4 or 5 equations (he didn't identify them) that are truly significant in astrophysics, and the same equations govern oil reservoir engineering, so his scientific training fits in with his chosen profession. His public world view is apparently quite simple.

Also, his company was also heavily involved in making Sudan the hell-hole it is, mostly, one might imagine, because of oil, or the potential for oil-- but I am reasonably sure that he didn't go to Sudan with the intention of making it unlivable.

Mr. Buckee has graduated from science to salesmanship and has proved his prowess. Salesmanship pays better, and there is always that tantalizing possibility that you can do "good" in the world and "make a difference" when you have money-- much more so than when you are just slogging along doing science.

Oil Poised for Drop as Price Gap to Gasoline Widens

This article says U.S. crude inventory is almost 10% higher than the five-year average for this week... Come on, are we running out or not? Where do we find numbers for daily or weekly consumption? Sounds like the recession is hitting.

I think you can find the numbers at This Week in Petroleum.

Crude inventories are above average. Gasoline inventories are below average.

My take on the crude oil inventory situation follows. Before too long, I expect to see smaller, more inefficient refineries in importing countries shutting down. Also, see my frequent references to the "Iron Triangle."

Declining Net Oil Exports Versus “Near Record High” Crude Oil Inventories: What is going on?
September 14, 2007
Jeffrey J. Brown

Given this decline in net exports, It’s interesting that we have “near record high” crude oil inventories in the US, based on the five year range of crude oil inventories. In my opinion, the five year range for US crude oil inventories, as an indication of what is going on in oil markets, is highly misleading.

First, the industry has clearly gone to a Just In Time inventory system. In the Eighties, the industry maintained much higher crude oil inventories, especially in terms of Days of Supply, which have fallen to about 21 Days of Supply currently, from about 29 Days of Supply in September, 1982.

Second, we need to evaluate crude oil inventories based on Days of Supply in excess of Minimum Operating Level (MOL). In the US, the MOL for crude oil is probably about 270 million barrels (mb). At about 322 mb, US crude oil inventories are probably best characterized by Hours of Supply in excess of MOL (about 80 hours). In my opinion, recent fluctuations in US crude oil inventories merely reflect minor changes in a thin margin of supply in excess of MOL.

Refiners are unlikely to let their inventories drop below certain critical levels, and given the expectation of declining world oil exports, refiners will have two choices: (1) Bid the price up enough to keep their inventories up and/or (2) Reduce their crude oil input, thus reducing product output.

My contention is that instead of focusing on crude oil inventories, we need to focus on world net exports, crude oil prices, refinery utilization, product prices and product inventories.

I expect to see crude oil exports trending down, crude oil prices trending up, refinery utilization trending down, product prices trending up, and product inventories trending down.

BTW, to further expound on what I think is going on, let's assume that light, sweet crude oil is going for $250 per barrel, and that to make a profit, refiners would have to sell the refined product at about $7 per gallon or so.

While some consumers can and would gladly pay $7/gallon, that number is much smaller than the number who could pay $3/gallon. So, refiners curtail their utilization rate in order to match their refining output to the dwindling number of buyers that can afford the higher priced product.

Just my 2¢ worth--I think that we are just seeing demand destruction moving up the food chain, as net oil exports decline.

From a european wiew, i can´t see any demand destruction. The gasoline prices are lower than last year.

I think that we have a triple whammy here in the states: weak dollar, high per capita energy consumption and the effect of the housing meltdown.

Yes you are right there.

We here in Sweden already pay about 7 USD/gallon, and the governement has now put a higher tax on gasoline from new year.
It will not make a dent on the demand. I believe the gasoline prices should go up to more than ten dollars/gallon, before it would matter for the demand.

Debt: From disgrace to entitlement
Pamela Yip

"It's not the big hole that's taking down the financial ship," Mr. Manning said. "It's the cumulative effects of the small holes."

The turmoil in the housing market isn't over, Mr. Manning predicted.

The first phase involved urban, low-income minority consumers who exhausted their consumer credit and had no other sources of funds to help them through their financial crisis, he said.

The second wave will come in the next two years and will take down high-income, middle-class suburban homeowners with mortgages of $200,000 or more, Mr. Manning said.

"Not only have they overpaid for their homes, but they've also refinanced their credit card debt when they refinanced into their mortgages," he said. "These are the people who are going to run through their lines of credit."

It's already happening.

Consumers have boosted their borrowing at the fastest pace in three months, increasingly turning to their credit cards as a source of ready cash.

The Federal Reserve reported that consumer credit rose at an annual rate of 5.9 percent in August, the biggest increase since a 7.9 percent jump in May.

The increase was led by an 8.1 percent jump in revolving credit, the category that includes credit card loans.

Consumers have been using their credit cards more to finance purchases now that home equity lines of credit are becoming harder to obtain.

And, as the song says, what do they get? "Another day older and deeper in debt."

We all know by now, how debtridden the american households are.
In fact the US production the latest years has mostly been to produce debt, package them in fraudalent CDO:s and export them all around the world with AAA ratings.

Now this fraud is imploding, and could possibly take down the global financial and monetary system.

But it´s not only the americans who have joined this debt circus. In many european countrys the borrowing for real estate has also been rampant. Spain, GB and Irland comes to mind.
But even in Sweden the housing bubble is somewhat greater than in US, but the swedes don´t use plastic cards as much as their US friends.
So it will be interesting to se how this will play out world wide. It won´t be pretty.

Suppose that Zimbabwe and Iraq were both fully-functioning economies right now. Think the price of oil might be a little higher from their increased demand?

There's demand destruction, just not enough to cause the price to come down appreciably. Because the rest of us are literally fighting to the death to get access to what's left. Because there's nothing that will replace it for getting access to the things we need to live our lives and run our world.

How high does the price of insulin have to go before the diabetic doesn't need it any more?

How hard does it have to be to get heroin before the addict says, "ah, too much work, I'm not going to bother"?

High prices won't cause demand destruction. Destruction will cause demand destruction.

I decided on my lunch break (can’t call it an hour once it’s gone beyond 60 minutes) to have some fun with numbers, Saudi Arabia, and net exports. These thoughts have jumped from Khebab’s chart of the day last week at http://graphoilogy.blogspot.com/. Lots of lines that got me to thinking.
First, the basic assumptions that everything continues for the next three years the way they have gone for the past few years:
1) Population in KSA will continue growing the way it has in the past. This is not a minor assumption, as most countries flatten out over time—but that is due in no small part to the education and emancipation of women, which is unlikely to happen in Saudi Arabia in the next five years. Population is pegged at 22.1 million in 2000, 25 million in 2005, 27.6 million in 2007, and 29 million in 2010.
2) Domestic oil consumption will continue to grow, and perhaps at a faster rate than in the past. Consumption in Saudi Arabia has tended to grow faster when prices increase. This trend will continue, and perhaps accelerate.
3) Reserves: The reserves for Saudi Arabia are pegged at 193 billion bbl for 2000, 165 for 2005, and 148 for 2010, per ASPO’s newsletter of June 2006. I know there is a controversy about the numbers, but for this post, let’s assume ASPO is right. If you want to make other assumptions, please feel free to do so. But since this is my time I’m using, I am using my assumptions.
4) Pricing: Oil prices will continue on their trend through 2010 without a significant climb up or down, as demand destruction works its limited magic, before hitting the truly inelastic parts of the demand curve sometime in 2011. The dollar stays as a reasonable store of value through 2010. Thus, prices for 2000 are $20/bbl, for 2005 $55/bbl, and for 2010 $120/bbl. I have to have some place to stand when I use my lever to move the earth, after all.
5) I am going to assume an 8% per annum decrease in KSA production going forward from 2007. Thus, by 2010, production will have declined to 6.9mmbbl/day, from 8.6mmbbl/day in 2007. I am also going to assume that consumption continues to increase at 11% per annum, as the wealth continues to flow in, the population increases, and energy intensive industries relocate to Saudi Arabia. Thus, domestic consumption, which was 1.7mmbbl/day in 2005, turns into 3.1mmbbl/day in 2010.

Some conclusions from all of this:
In 2000, there were about 8,775 barrels of oil in reserves per person in Saudi Arabia. Those barrels had a market value of about $175,000/person.
In 2005, there were about 6,600 barrels of oil in reserves per person in Saudi Arabia. These barrels had a market value of about $365,000/person.
In 2010, there will be about 5,100 barrels of oil in reserves per person in Saudi Arabia. These barrels will have a market value of about $610,000/person. If these barrels are priced at $250/bbl, as some suggest, this number becomes $1,275,000/person.

In 2000, KSA produced 8.4mmbbl/day and exported 7.4mmbbl/day
In 2005, KSA produced 9.5mmbbl/day and exported 7.9mmbbl/day
In 2007, KSA will produce 8.6mmbbl/day and will export 6.9mmbbl/day
In 2010, KSA will produce 6.9mmbbl/day and will export 3.8mmbbl/day. If we cut the depletion rate in half to 4%, then this export number jumps all the way up to 4.5mmbbl/day.
The drop in exports from KSA for 2008, 2009, and 2010 is between 800kbbl/day and 1,000kbbl/day each year.

I do not think that I am the first person to run these numbers, but I couldn’t find them anywhere else in my brief search. I can spot some holes in my analysis: depletion in KSA may be less than 2% going forward, reversing this year’s trend. Demand destruction may become severe earlier, with a deep recession hitting worldwide in 2008. Population growth and domestic consumption increases are pretty well set in stone, unless something catastrophic happens, in which case the whole analysis is kaput. Changes in reserve numbers, unless accompanied by an increase in production, only have the effect of making each Saudi wealthier, and thus increasing domestic consumption.

So we are freaking doomed, i presume your conclusion is?

Not me. My goal is to continue to own at least five times as much oil as the individual Saudi.
More seriously, we do have to reckon with reality. I think Saudi Arabia stays incredibly wealthy for the next ten years. I think that the US has her work cut out for her. We can do it, but we can't do it with nimcompoops in charge. I think that the consequences of the incompetence of the past six years are enormous, and the failure to plan for the oil peak will rank up there, right below the failure to do anything meaningful about global warming, but ahead of Bush's bungling of Iraq and Bush's failures in New Orleans.

What the Bloomberg article neglects to mention, however, is that when you include refined products in the mix, US commercial inventories have declined by nearly 75 million barrels over the past year. It'll be interesting to see if the year-on-year inventory gap continues to increase or whether it starts to close in the weeks ahead ( my guess is that it is very unlikely to close, and that product prices are going to go higher ).

The gap won't have to close if demand for finished products continues to decline as well. There's a clear trend downward in gasoline demand but not diesel, so we'll have to see what happens with heating oil going into winter. I wonder if we may not see the crisis this season.

The yoy decline in refined product inventories is about 6-7% - that's far in excess of any demand destruction that has been observed to date in the US market. I suspect that whilst gasoline demand has dropped - as per the seasonal norm - in recent weeks, on an annualised basis, demand is either about the same or slightly higher than last year.

The big "X" factor is if the US has something approaching an "average" winter, as opposed to the recent trend of exceptionally mild ones.

As of this writing we're seeing a $2+ drop in WTI; here's Bloombergs take on why. A short term blip no doubt.

I prefer UpstreamOnline for market dadta but they don't seem to update on "holidays" (don't get me started... ;-)


The Iran war drum beats on:

"Britain is 'on board' for US strikes on Iran"

"War on Iran cannot be ruled out."

And commodities slide as the dollar gains a tiny bit of strength:

" Oil prices slip below $81 a barrel"

"Metals - Gold turns lower as dollar strengthens UPDATE"

"Chicago Board of Trade - Grain Prices" (main page prices down as I write this)

Of primary interest right here is that if the dollar gains any traction at all, oil should come down in dollars for US buyers. This doesn't mean the price of oil has changed much, just the perceived buying power of the US dollar. So before anyone crows too much about the price of oil this week one direction or another (either up or down), double check how the dollar is doing. If oil prices rise against a stronger dollar, we've got something interesting. If oil prices drop against a weaker dollar, we've got something interesting. Otherwise it looks like more business as usual this week for the dollar, oil, and other commodities.

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

Britain would support air strikes if they could be justified as a counter-terrorist operation.

So the Brown administration will agree with the Bush loonies, but not really, and draw down their troops in southern Iraq, and agree in principle to support strikes against terror related targets in Iran ... but they don't buy the U.S. Congress classifying the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.

Its grown cold here ... can someone send me a jacket with a big maple leaf on it? I'm embarrassed to be a U.S. citizen today ...


Embarrassed!! Mate, you want to try looking at your country from out here in "Restoftheworldland". Most of us "out here" once adored the USA and all it represented but the last 6 years of Bush, Cheney et al has brought down and degraded the last 200 years of American strengths, virtues and values.

You have our sympathy SacredCow, as likely as not, we will all go down with you.

Bibo (Australia)

Not to worry. We'll redeem ourselves by invading our own country, establishing a democracy where totalitarianism once stood, and by force if necessary rid the world of our WMDs. Just waiting for the event to get the american public behind it.

There are nine triangle folded flags, five Purple Hearts, and a bronze star kept by the descendants of my uncles who fought the fascism of Nazi Germany and Tojo's Japan. My father was a bit too young and the triangle folded flag in a drawer downstairs is for the time he spent occupying Germany during the Korean war. The ones who went are all gone now, the last being a man who survived a rough glider landing in the French countryside on 6 June 1944 and came home to die of a heart attack under his John Deere B while replacing a PTO shaft seal.

They're gone now, but I know what they'd say about the behavior of the Bush administration; nothing. There would be that uncomfortable, rural silence that comes when one does or says something completely unacceptable. This is usually applied to young adults who are not yet old enough to know better. When an adult is on the receiving end it means ... "Hey, loser!" with the implication being that the subject in question is a lost cause, subject to either pity or scorn depending on the nature of their failure mode. Bush & Co. are definitely in the scorn category.

We need an F.D.R., or a Churchill, or a Ghandi, or better yet someone who channels all three, and I fear that we're going to get more of the same in 2008 :-(


You are right, FDR put all of our American Japanese into concentration camps and had all persons who helped the enemy executed. Your relatives probably said nothing because they were afraid that FDR would execute them. Can you get him for us so that we can replace Bush?

Not all of them. Only those on the west coast. Who had, coincidentally, settled land no one wanted and turned it into rich farmland via hard work and a lot of irrigation. This caused some friction with white farmers.

California wanted to "do something" about the Japanese for awhile. Pearl Harbor was just an excuse. The feds didn't really want to do it, but gave in to pressure from the west coast congresscritters.

East coast and Hawaii Japanese-Americans were not incarcerated. And of course, Japanese-Americans were welcome to join the military. They had their own regiment, and became the most decorated in US history. Their motto, "Go for broke," has become a common American saying.

I have sometimes tried, over the years, to express to my American-born friends and extended family my profound sense of sadness with what has happened to America, as I think my disappointment outweighs the vast majority of those born here for one simple reason: I had a better perspective of what the US once was.

Or rather, how it was once seen.

Having been brought up during the good old days of the cold war and come of age during the eighties (I'm in my mid thirties now) I was able to watch the movie Miracle (about the 1980 Olympic Ice Hockey team) and remember it with a fond nostalgia... because there was once a time when the neutrals out there - when their own team had gone home, automatically cheered for the USA. Particularly against the red machine. I remember watching it on TV.

But not just in that... at the end of the day, despite its faults (which I think non-Americans were far more realistic about than Americans) non-Americans still looked towards America with a smile. If someone was going to be the big kid on the block, they weren't a bad option, was the consensus view.

Many subscribed to the Churchill line about Americans doing the right thing, eventually, having first exhausted all other options.

It wasn't that Europeans or other foreigners were blind to the potential critiques of American empire, it's that we were prepared to believe that something inherent to American culture kept it on track doing the right thing - even when leaders went awry.

But that was a mistake. Europeans and others are now having to finally recognise that those American failings, so long forgiven, are not going away. Those American virtues, so long admired in movies and culture, were mere marketing creations.

Indeed Europeans of all stripes have a far more reality based understanding of the threats of fascism on the rise and are prepared to call a spade a spade in this regard. I think that history will certainly make the case that fascism was never defeated in Europe, merely went quiet for a while and slowly morphed into the movement that has been spreading its tentacles through the US body politic in recent decades and appears to be showing its face more boldly this last few years.

A lot of the anger at America is sadness for what could have been, what has been squandered by a people to self absorbed and selfish to do anything else.

In many ways though Europeans could look at America with a sense of sympathy in this regard - I mean think of it this way... during the cold war the Europeans were able to live a relatively protected on-the-edge existence based on American power... and that power was based on America creating this hyper consumptive economy to power a massive military... it ended up having to position itself at one extreme of a bipolar world... and Europe never had to do that - it could flirt with a middle ground never really open to America in the same way... and Americans suffered from this as their country was pushed in the direction that led to where we are today...

But sympathy isn't enough of a motivator to set policy today. Europe - in particularly my native land of the UK - needs to re-appraise it's relationship with the US very quickly. Or it'll be dragged down in this death-cultish spiral of self-destruction (yes I think the religious right is a dangerous insane death cult which has ensnared a huge swathe of the American public)... in particular Russia is not Europe's enemy... Putin is proving to be the smartest most capable world leader on the planet today, and needs treating with respect not petulance... Europe needs a closer relationship with Russia than it has and a looser relationship with the US... but nostalgia - both in terms of an underestimation of the threat America poses and an overestimation of the threat Russia poses - is blinding European leaders on this, despite the perceived anti-Americanism in the European public

That buys the US time - there is still time to turn things around and make friends again before a global re-alignment really take hold that will put the US in a very different world to the one its people believe themselves to be.

I love my adopted homeland for many many reasons - America is very different in both good ways and bad ways from the country one perceives it to be from the outside. But I am very sad about what has been lost.

Unless people saw and experienced the goodwill towards America that once existed - say, in the 80's - I think perhaps they don't see quite what's been lost so don't understand the trajectory we're on.
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

"A lot of the anger at America is sadness for what could have been, what has been squandered by a people to self absorbed and selfish to do anything else."

Many Americans, and for sure this one, feel exactly the same way.

I am not personally responsible for the status quo americana, but I am still ashamed by it. I'm not quite sure what happened. I'm 50-something, and have been around the world, and thought hard about all sorts of things, but I still don't quite understand what happened...

I have also thought of what happened to my country..long, long and hard I have pondered it. For I grew up in a sustainable life,,and one where when photos were taken of Americans they did not pose with all those fake 'happy, shiny faces'. Their faces told the truth of what they were,
not advertising schtick.

Putting all the reasons aside I see one big marker that sticks up on the highway to what we became..

Written on it in big letters is :


Not that soccer moms alone drove us to what we are but the attitude expressed by them says it all to me.

Riding my 50mpg Harley Low Rider to a nearby city the lesson is brought home again and again as they don't try to miss me in the shopping malls,as they chatter stupidly on their constant cellphones,as they practice the ignorance of a lifestyle gone bad.

The American male is to blame also for allowing it to happen before his very eyes and in fact feeding fuel to the fire via the Sexual Revolution , but the essence of it all is still there. I pass that sign daily one way or the other,even though I am hidden out quite well in the rural outback.

Airdale-Where have you gone Phillip Wylie?

PS. Do I blame women? Only in that we looked to them for the careful upbringing of our children as the male was working providing the livielhood.

We 50-somethings are the generation at fault, though not exclusively; after all, we are more or less the ones in power. Infinite consumption, overgrowth. We're the ones eating the seed corn and our own children.

cfm in Gray, ME

I think the religious right is a dangerous insane death cult which has ensnared a huge swathe of the American public

The disloyal Christian Right (gosh, is this phrase worn out yet?) are the largest doomsday cult the world has ever seen, and they've functionally acquired nuclear weapons with the placement of George Bush in the White House. We went to Iraq to deal with terrorists and/or religious fanatics who might be getting WMDs, yet here we see terrorists (most terror in the U.S. is small scale intimidation of Planned Parenthood facilities) and religious fanatics making a mess of our country, and no one even says Boo! let alone taking the bull by the horns.

Who will sort the Christians from the fascists using their symbols?

We've fomented a civil war in Iraq and we're rather likely to get one here as a sort of national karmic payback, either white on Hispanic, or disloyal Christian Right on anyone with a lick of sense. We shall see ...


There are those who may label themselves as Christians,,but that does not mean they ARE Christians.

Study St. Francis of Assisi for one...myriad examples abound.

Just cause someone or a few stole the goal posts don't mean they will win the game.

You don't find the real Christian sitting on a throne.You might find him down in the ranks but not applauding the actions coming from the throne. More likely being hoisted on the end of a sharpened spear.

Even though the Roman Emperors did that doesn't mean it was sucessful..that history is still to be written.

Airdale-there is a real America or its vestiges still extant in the land , just much harder to find, in fact real hard but its nonetheless still there. You can see it if you attend most any small country church and watch and listen as a very young girl in a trembling voice sings a hymn standing alone in front of the congregation and observe then the silence that speaks to the heart and soul. If the people are true they do not then applaud for the gift is not to what it seems nor for the ego.

This is why I refuse to live amongst the crowded areas. This is why I still live on the land of my ancestors. Even alone I may be.

Perhaps I should do it like this:

The disloyal ChristianRight - this would visually separate them from Christians. The former insult everyone and assault those who are different from them, while the latter are good neighbors, customers, and friends for me ...

I am a little bit older than you. In fact, my first memory is of watching the first moon landing. I think back to the energy and optimism that once existed in this country, and it is all I can do to keep from crying. America sold its soul in the name of corporate profits. All we have left are memories and the ugly remains of an infrastructure nobody truly wanted.

What makes me most sad is that my kids will never know that there was once an unspoken dream of something different.

Europeans HAVE reappraised their relationship with the US - and they have chosen to sign up with the empire. Listen to the rhetoric coming out of France and Germany and the UK. The people themselves may be skeptical, but they will soon learn that their leaders do not care. Once those leaders understood that losing access to fossil fuels means the end of Western industrial society and of wealth and privilege, their reaction is the same as the US - reach for a gun to take what is left. Honestly, where do you think we learned it? This ploy that somehow the Europeans stand opposed to the US plan to deal with declining FF supplies is just that - a ploy for those not paying attention. And the Canadians are on board too. The pack may fight among each other, but they will hunt together. It's clear to me they've made their choice.

Um, I beg to differ about Germany - especially the part about 'the US plan to deal with declining FF supplies is just that - a ploy for those not paying attention.' The Germans would love to have more people pay attention - for example, you could all buy Passivhäuser components like windows, solar heaters, PV systems, or big ticket items like wind turbines, co-generation power plants, streetcars, ICE trains for high speed rail.

You could also implement German style recycling and packaging use reductions, mandatory bottle deposit laws, mandating sutainable agriculture as government policy, and, odd as it may sound, riding a bicycle every now and then. Or ride it to work half a year, and take the train the other half.

Unfortunately, regardless of who is heading the German government, and regardless of what they clearly state, the Anglo-Saxon press (who am I kidding - Murdoch's empire) will say whatever they want about them. Merkel is a 'conservative' - virtually Thatcher if you know nothing about Merkel - which means that her constant harping about how important it is to deal with climate change is something which just gets overlooked when talking about how Germany is just waiting to get on board with the plan, now that the Greens and socialists have been thrown out of office.

Expat, I'm talking about Germany's participation in the NATO military actions going on now. Yes, most of Europe is way ahead when it comes to conservation, efficiency, alternate energy, and awareness of climate change. But it won't be enough, so they've joined up with the Corporatocracy to go find more resources. There has been a clear about face in France and Germany. While I'm sure it is distasteful to behold from within, given the better understanding that most Europeans have, you are now following along with what happened here. But this is the kind of topic I decided not to comment on, and I've broken my own rule, so I'm going to leave it alone now.

The costs to America of electing Bush/ Cheney continue to rise and will never be fully accounted for. The loss of global goodwill that you mention is one of the largest unquantified costs IMHO.
After 9/11 it seemed all but a very small global minority were willing to throw in with the USA.
Our current regimes ham fisted, arrogant, ignorant, clumsy handling of international affairs since 9/11 has squandered all of that good will.
I think future generations will find themselves in an open mouthed stupor as they sit with their history books and read about our wasteful recklessness. Eyes moist with tears as they survey the wreckage around them.

The idea that the US can stop Iran from mucking around in Iraq and that a "precise" strike can derail Iran's nuclear plans is just Nutz. During the long Iran/Iraq war in the eighties we were treated to the sight of Iranian children running out into the mine fields to clear the way for the guys with the guns. We could relive those special moments but with Blackwater Boys mulching the kids.

The nascent Iranian democratic movement would suffer a setback that could continue for years, leaving the clerics with an extended period of power. For example, as much as I dislike the current POTUS, if Canada attacked us, I'd sign up proto (hell, some Kanuck's even speak French which in my book is sufficent cause for a preemptive strike).

The Straights of Hormuz would likely be blocked and the repercussions of that are obvious.

Big American sea power would be working out of an area that tactically would be like a super-sized Jacuzzi. Imagine the image of an aircraft carrier burning because of a few Chinese made surface to surface missle hits.

Now in principle I have no trouble with war, as long as it happens somewhere else and that the Powers-That-Be can generate a profit...

...Oh wait, I had a Dick Cheney moment. Dick has made a profit from the Iraq war, hasn't he?

The nascent Iranian democratic movement ...

The Iranians already have a democracy, its just a democracy built on the substrate of Islam. They don't have the benefit of having had a multigenerational war between Sunni and Shi'ia like we did, which taught us that religion and government don't mix. The only Islamic country to have a pluralist democracy like ours is Morocco and there were many special conditions that contributed to this that do not exist elsewhere in Muslim lands.

The Iranians are quite fractured internally and as soon as Ahmadinejad didn't have ol' nitwit Bush to push against internal forces would marginalize him and his replacement would be more moderate and focused on domestic issues.

No only that, but the last time (1950's) that Iran had a real democracy the US had their leader assinated for trying to nationalize the oil industry. Sometimes I think that we should just replace the phrase 'bring them democracy' for 'take their oil' in all the presidential speaches.

Worried: Whenever the neocon mouthpieces carry on about "democracy" or "freedom" they usually tie it to economic growth. Some stats:

Economic growth-GDP per capita (PPP) 1997-2006 (CIA Factbook)

Iran 58%
USA 43%
Iraq -5%

Pretty well sums it up- they want to do to Iran what they did to Iraq (and keep the sheeple distracted from what they are doing to the USA)

Military historian and professor William Lind takes a look at the past and places our current military/political stance in perspective...

On War #234
September 25, 2007

A Ticking Bomb

William S. Lind


'I returned at the end of last week from the Imperial fall maneuvers, held this year in Ostland. His Majesty's forces prevailed, for much the same reasons that Blue usually wins in American war games. As someone who has led Red to victory in several senior-level games conducted in Washington, I can assure you that isn't supposed to happen.

I don't think it possible for any historian to visit the Baltic countries or the rest of Central Europe and not reflect on the catastrophes World War I brought for that part of the world. Communism, World War II, National Socialism, the extinction of some communities and the expulsion of others, wholesale alteration of national boundaries, all these and more flowed from the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914. One pebble touched off an avalanche.

It did so because it occurred, not as an isolated incident, but as one more in a series of crises that rocked Europe in its last ten years of peace, 1904-1914. Each of those crises had the potential to touch off a general European war, and each further de-stabilized the region, making the next incident all the more dangerous. 1905-06 witnessed the First Moroccan Crisis, when the German Foreign Office (whose motto, after Bismarck, might well be, "Clowns unto ages of ages") compelled a very reluctant Kaiser Wilhelm II to land at Tangier as a challenge to France. 1908 brought the Bosnian Annexation Crisis, where Austria humiliated Russia and left her anxious for revenge. Then came the Second Moroccan Crisis of 1911, the Tripolitan War of 1911-1912 (a war Italy actually won, against the tottering Ottoman Empire) and the Balkan Wars of 1912-13. By 1914, it had become a question more of which crisis would finally set all Europe ablaze than of whether peace would endure. This was true despite the fact that, in the abstract, no major European state wanted war.

If this downward spiral of events in Europe reminds us of the Middle East today, it should. There too we see a series of crises, each holding the potential of kicking off a much larger war. There are almost too many to list: the war in Iraq, the U.S. versus Iran, Israel vs. Syria, the U.S. vs. Syria, Syria vs. Lebanon, Turkey vs. Kurdistan, the war in Afghanistan, the de-stabilization of Pakistan, Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda, and the permanent crisis of Israel vs. the Palestinians. Each is a tick of the bomb, bringing us closer and closer to the explosion no one wants, no one outside the neo-con cabal and Likud, anyway.

A basic rule of history is that the inevitable eventually happens. If you keep on smoking in the powder magazine, you will at some point blow it up. No one can predict the specific event or its timing, but everyone can see the trend and where it is leading.'...snip...

River, here's an amusing example of how the high command behaves when red wins, written in a humerous/smartass Kunstler/Dmity Orlov style:


Subtitle: why the US Navy should have no interest at all in attacking Iran...

Errol in Miami

Notintodenial, great link, thanks. I remember reading about those war games a few years back but didnt have a link. If our 'brass hats' had paid attention to the ease with which Billy Mitchell sank the surplus fleet they would have realized that technology would catch up with any and all surface ships. Instead Mitchell was court martialed and ostracized because then, as now, the brass hats are in cahoots with the military hardware manufacturers and want to keep the scam going.

What action did the US Navy take after Pearl Harbor? They fired Admiral Kimmel and smeared his name although Naval Intelligence had failed to notify Kimmel of intelligence intercepts that they were in possession of that could have led him to disperse his fleet to sea. Then again, Kimmel was not alloted enough bunker oil to send his entire fleet to sea...So, he was screwed. TPTB at the time already knew that battleships and large cruisers were a thing of the past so they were sacraficed...while the aircraft carriers were sent to sea. A hell of a coincidence, was it not?

The nuke sub commander that said 'there are two kinds of ships in the world: subs and targets,' was right on the money. The reason that I dont think that we will attack Iran rests on the fact that there is only two ways to proceed with this tactical adventure: 1) A limited attack which will result in very large losses for our navy ships (by high velocity missles) and very large losses for any ground troops that we put ashore. 2) An all out nuclear attack on Iran that will lead to WW3 and no oil from the Persian Gulf for who knows how long. The Persians have fought more than a few wars and are plenty savy enough to know the probable outcome of a limited invasion/attack...And, they know that the real PTB are not going to turn the loonies lose on Iran with nukes. For all intents it is a stalemate. Israel?...Since they could not whip the Lebonese fighters in their recent war in Lebanon they certainly are not going to take on Iran.

In Afghanistan practically every european country is bogged down with troops, so we are all in it. For example swedish troops are there supposedely "helping" the afghan people.

I can´t se a happy ending to this.

The Taliban virtually wiped out the global heroin base-some things just cannot be allowed.

Willits and the problem of slow knowledge article is one that speaks to my experience. As a member of my town's alternative energy committee I've been trying to raise awareness of peak oil, but finding it slow going. My coastal community is greatly dependent on summer vacationers for our economic livelihood and peak oil will prove devastating to us. But getting the community to fully recognize this, think about and plan ahead is difficult for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that, despite the rising price of oil, the daily dose of Disneyworld noise outweighs any impending sense of peak oil signal alarm.

The only positive step that the town is undertaking is a proposal to use town owned land to install on it three 1.5 mw wind turbines, but there are a number of overlapping government bureaucratic hurdles to overcome and the pace at which this occurs is indeed glacial. And all this is just to get a plan approved. If we're lucky it will be 2010 for these windmills to be up and running.

As nice as this might be to see happen, it is a drop in the proverbial bucket of what else should be happening now. Trying to stay positive while watching oil's magic carpet slip away from underneath us all is not easy.

Best hopes for community response in the daze ahead.

I live in Layatonville which is the next town north of Willits. We've owned land in Willits and have watched the town/area change over the last 34 years.

The reality is that Willits will never approach sustainability in anything. There isn't any agricultural land vey suitable for high volume food crops (most of the Ag land is for hay or unirrigated pasture/range). There is insufficient woodland to even provide firewood for the homes there (assuming people switched from natural gas to wood). There is, essentailly, no industry.

This isn't to say that what Jason and WELL are attempting is a waste of time but rather that their goals are not well thought out.

One area where it could be a leader is steam powered equipment. The area has a number of steam experts and a large collection of steam powered equipment. See http://www.rootsofmotivepower.com

I mention Roots because a good friend who is very involved with Roots once mentioned considering building a small 5kW steam powered generator (He already has a steam locomotive and a 1/2mile of track at his house.). This could turn into a real business for boondocks areas like mine where many people are far from the grid and depend upon gasoline/propane/diesel generators. Granted it's not polution free but they would use local wood fuel.

BTW, Sustainable Laytonville is having a 100 mile dinner this Friday and will show The Future of Food following the dinner.


The inquiry is investigating whether Queensland's [Australia] eight cents per-litre fuel subsidy is being passed on in full to motorists.

Petrol subsidy! While Australian oil production is in decline requiring ever increasing oil imports, +11.5% more in 2006. The inquiry should rather investigate how much coal the Queensland Government must export in order to finance this subsidy. It actually means we are burning coal to burn more petrol in our cars. Perverse. A climate killer policy of the 1st order. You can't have it worse than that. And quite likely those politicians who decided on this policy haven't even understood it's a problem.

Could the Bush administration be any more stupid in the handling of Iran?

This is my big question for the day. They are a regional power and they're not going to turn tail and run just because the Boy King puffs up his chest. We should be drawing them into a solution to the troubles in Iraq, along with the other regional powers that border the country. Instead we harass and attempt to intimidate(unsuccessfully), making fools of ourselves, further alienating our allies, and keeping the hardliners from the 1979 revolution in power. If we didn't give them an opponent the famously fractious internal politics would quickly blunt the sharp edges of the Islamic Republic's current regime.

Tell me again, how long until Bush is out of office?

The thing that always ties me in knots with the Bush gang is trying to figure out whether they made a mess on purpose or just don't care - there are so many messes to consider.

But consider the possibility that Ahmadinejad in fact intends to overthrow or marginalize the clerics in order to rule directly. We all have been fed a line that he is a puppet of the clerics, but the clerics don't agree with each other, and he beat a conservative cleric to get the presidency, which is not the office that controls the military anyway. The instant a US bomb hits Tehran, he can point out that he and his fellow Revolutionary Guards veterans are far better qualified to run a war than the clerics, and launch a coup.

Then again, he's not the only president in this crisis who I could imagine cancelling an election under cover of war.


Can Carter run again?

Carter is rather old and I imagine he could work himself up to an uneven trot of sorts, but I can't imaging him running.

You might find this of interest re: climate change.
Criminals And Moralists Working Together

Enron Carbon Trading And Hansen

Enron And Carbon Trading

It may turn out that this whole CO2 biz is a huge corporate scam.

Carbon trading? This is a way for scam artists to move emissions around just like they've been moving jobs around. We need objectively measurable improvements, not more shell games.

We need objectively measurable improvements...

An honorable goal, but impossible since it is not part of free market principles. As long as free market principles rule developed world democracies, there is no possibility of "objectively measurable improvements". There is only the possibility of improvements measured by free market principles, and nothing else.

People will not stop shopping at Walmart because their long supply chain uses large amounts of oil. People will stop shopping at Walmart because the prices get too high.

It may turn out that this whole CO2 biz is a huge corporate scam.

No. But M. Simon has apparently been scamed with his own permission. An ability to read a typical newspaper for the last several years would allow a person of average intelligence to verify the reality of AGW.

Please don't recycle fodder for imbeciles and fantacists on TOD.

There freekin lying to us man, they call them radiators but they heat by convection

Stop. Take a big breath:

1) AGW is real.

2) "Carbon offsets" are a scam. Our politicians' brainchild for dealing with AGW is nothing but a mechanism certain people to acquire certain amount of money.

Do you see a contradiction between 1) and 2)? 'cause I don't. The first lives in the realm of nature, the second lives in the realm of the politics and economics, where corruption, deception and cronysm are quite common. Mildly said.

As we know, German private companies made money from the gas chambers. I don't see what will stop ours profit from climate change.

You have SO hit the nail on the head. I weep for my country (that would be the USA), and I weep for the world.

There is no sign of any recognition that we're on the wrong track. None, whatsoever. I don't know what to think any more about my fellow countrymen, but what comes to mind isn't particularly flattering.

Lay = Gore

Leanan...feel free to censor this article mainly because it comes from the Centre for Research on Globalization (who are somewhat conspiracy-minded), but it's an interesting read nonetheless:

Cheney's Oil Law For Iraq Is Neocolonial Theft

From Live from the Third Rail, a review of presidential candidates' positions on mass transit:

The Democratic Presidential Candidates and Transit

Republican Presidential Candidates' Views on Transit

Based on their speeches, position statements and past records, the leaders appear to be Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson and Mitt Romney.

It is insane really, cars our are biggest cause of addiction to oil, they kill thousands of people a year, there is a massive crime network that exists from their theft. They are a large contributer to our poor health and terrible planning (sprawl) but they are still sold as the definition of freedom. Decent mass transit and bike friendly cities are the best way to overcome its influence but any politician with these views is laughed at. Lobbying should be made illegal, I think we should make a lobby to make lobbying illegal :)

Never say never.

Always remember never to say always or never.

Don't forget to remind yourself to always remember never say always or never.

Oh hells, now I is confuzed!

May the good Count Korzybski forgive us all!

Not only that, but cars stolen in the United States end up being used as car bombs in Iraq, or so it is claimed. So Bush should have declared American cars an enemy combatant! Geneva protection for Chevys is quaint! Get out the jumper cables and let's start interrogating!

And we must commit the entire military to hunting down the natural-born car bomb, the Ford Pinto!


It will take a constitutional ammendment to make lobbying illegal. But you are right. Why would I want my congressman to spend two hours meeting with a farmers' organization? That should be illegal. He should sit down and talk with every farmer individually to find out what they want. Same way with the health care - talk to everyone individually. Same way with manufacturing - talk to every employee and company individually. Wait a minute, he would have less than a second for each person and get no sleep - he would never be able to do anything else!! Okay, I guess lobbying does have a purpose. It forces "groups with a mutual interest" to get together and develop a consenseus of what they want and have it presented to my congressman by a LOBBIEST!!

Now I know how you chose your name - must be hearing this from all the people you know.

I think the objection might be to a lobbiest who can make a donation to the politicians next campaign, imply there will be high profile work in his industry awaiting the congressman, is friends with the same people, threatens to use negative press about the congressman's lack of support, etc... rather than a lobbiest who has nothing to offer but a good argument for his cause.

Lobbying is a ridiculous exercise...

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

Lobbying is done by Lobbyists, not Lobbiests. I personally don't care how you spell it, and would have preferred to send you a private note about it, but random new people wander in here all the time and this sort of thing is like a bit of bone fragment in the otherwise wonderfully prepared information sausage that is the Drum Beat and its comment thread.

Who are you replying to?

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

Barack Obama has just released his energy plan, which includes the rather vague promise to "re-commit federal resources to public mass transportation projects across the country." Obama's plan also contains smart growth guidelines for Metropolitan Planning Organizations, new conservation requirements for states receiving federal transportation funding, and equalizing tax breaks for parking and transit. These elements combined put Obama's transit position at the front rank.

Obama's plan contains no recognition of peak oil, unfortunately. It calls for reducing oil consumption 35% by 2030. The strategy is twofold: double auto fuel efficiency and ramp up cellulosic ethanol. Better fuel efficiency is a necessary first step. But from what I've read on TOD and elsewhere, cellulosic ethanol is unlikely to provide the silver BB that Obama claims.

Politicians get no points for announcing they'll reduce oil consumption, and then setting targets that are less than the natural roll off from the peak :-)

Of course, that is just my view, could be they all know and they're slowly soft peddling it to the ignorant masses.

I think either my brother or I am ignorant - I forced my Nissan Versa on he and my mother for an 800 mile road trip to see ailing relatives and I'm driving his Dodge Ram. My testosterone levels have gone up dramatically after nothing more than a run to the corner store, but I filled it from the half tank level ($44.96!) and now I can't afford to go out and seek an outlet for my newfound vigor :-(

I can't afford to go out and seek an outlet for my newfound vigor :-(

This is where the Economize and Localize talking points come into play.

Stay home and find a do-it-yourself solution.

In this way you will reduce oil consumption, reduce global warming and prevent exponential population growth.

Thank you for writing to Dear Abigoil about your personal problems.

Obama's plan contains no recognition of peak oil, unfortunately. It calls for reducing oil consumption 35% by 2030.

I think his major paradigm is still maintaining the current living arangements as kunstler would say.

Maybe not overt growth but solutions as to "How do we keep this running pretty much the same".

There is no reason for the oil drum to exist any longer. I caught a clip from Tammy Bruce this weekend and she made it very clear that we have 2000 years of oil left and we don;y need ant of this other energy stuff. So adios amigo's.

Wait a minute, why is oil at $80?

And why are supplies getting tighter? She couldn't be wrong, could she? She sounded so certain.

Maybe she meant that there's enough for her personally for 2,000 years.

Chalk one up for MSNBC. Not a horrible article looking into the causes of food price inflation:

A lot of ingredients go into rising grocery bills: Booming China, biofuels use, weak dollar mean costs will continue upward

How many cows? While some meat and dairy is beneficial we shouldn't overdo it. Cattle compact the soil or help erosion by breaking the top layer, they get sick and need organochlorines to kill parasites, they fart methane, they eat baby trees, deny pasture to cropping, foul water supplies and need lots of grain to fatten up. On the other hand we get leather, bone meal, offal for dogmeat and sausages, a manure spreading service and they eat some weeds. I see that in Malaysia cattle sometimes graze between oil palms to eat weeds and leave behind pats of nitrogen fertiliser. If we ate less meat and dairy the smaller herds could be moved around a lot more to do those kinds of services, except we should have planned for it earlier.

I don't think there's any doubt that on the whole, we eat more meat than is good for us or good for the planet.

But what I take away from the Cornell study is that "sustainable" depends on where you are. "How much meat" is good depends on where you live. The Eskimo ate an almost entirely meat diet, and it was apparently more sustainable than the Greenlanders' farming. Pastoralists like the Masai and Mongolians are also adapted to their environment, and trying to turn them into vegetarians would probably not be a good idea.

Livestock are manure machines, and manure is an essential soil amendment. If we are going to all be getting into organic gardening and farming in a big way (and we must, remember all of our discussions about peak fertilizers, and water supply is an increasing issue too), then we need to be adding lots of manure to the soil (both for fertility and to increase its ability to hold water). Farms, and even small town residential yards, need to raise a mix of crops plus livestock.

Dairy doesn't always have to mean cows; there are also dairy goats. Dairy goats might be a better choice for many of those more marginal pasture lands, and are also a more feasible small stock for non-farmers to raise on the side, especially in small towns and urban neighborhoods. Chickens are also highly productive (both in terms of eggs & meat) and very efficient in their use of land & energy.

Chickens are a great hedge, cows are not. Goats are somewhere in the middle and with them I have no direct experience.

You can raise a cow to butcher. Takes lots of room, lots of water, lots of grain, lots of hay, and eighteen months. If the cow dies ... well ... vegan is good for you, right?

You can raise two crops of chickens in eighteen months. You get a burst of protein when the males mature which can be eaten or sold, then you get a steady flow of egg protein and you've got little, edible packages just the right size for dinner roaming around just in case the need arises.

A cow will eat your garden and think nothing of it. If you plant raised beds and chicken wire around them you can turn the chickens loose in the space between the beds. They'll eat any insect that makes the mistake of getting into reach and they'll leave the fertilizer near where you need it.

I personally hate both cows and chickens - cows are basically big, stupid, four legged chickens with fur, and chickens are like small, stupid, two legged cows with feathers. I'd rather live with pigs than clean up after either of the other two species and I speak from years of experience as a "soil fertility technician".

Chickens & cows are stupid. Annoyingly stupid. Infuriatingly stupid. And pigs are good natured recycling machines. Incidentally, slightly OT, but I'm reading a great, overlooked book,'Cattle-An Informal Social History' by Laurie Winn Carlson, and she relates how all today's popular breeds of cattle originated in England app 200 years ago, mostly through the efforts of one English tenant farmer, Robert Bakewell. Fascinating stuff, but the one fact I have difficulty wrapping my mind around is the staggering size of the predecessors to todays cattle..."Before Bakewell showed that the species could be manipulated to suit man, English cattle had been categorized by their horn length:short-,middle-, or long-horned. There were more than a hundred varieties of cattle in Great Britain and Ireland, but an animals size was the main criterion for purchase...the Lincolnshire ox epitomized the ideal of the day: the animal stood nineteen hands high (seventy-six inches!) and measured four yards (twelve feet!) from his forehead to his rump." Egads!

This bull is 66" and three yards long. Not the largest I've ever seen but this would be the closest I've been to one without a fence between me and him. I was in the pasture, trying to shoo the cows away so I could photograph an abandoned building. The girls turned and ran but this one turned and looked at me like he was about to administer an etiquette lesson.


I can still weigh a hog to within ten pounds by glancing at it across the feedlot but I've never been that sharp with cattle. We had them but didn't sell enough of them often enough for me to develop that whole "eyeball scale" thing. I'll go out on a limb and guess this guy at 1,900 - 2,100, and I'd appreciate someone with better calibration taking a look. A bull 10" taller and a yard longer? He had to weigh at least 3,000 pounds ...

You didn't tip it?

Probably because they were used primarily as draft animals. Clydesdales are pretty big, too.

This is exactly why the cow is sacred in India. The bull provided the motive power, in the form of pulling the cart/and plowing the field.The cow provided the fat in the form of milk and butter. And together they held the soils fertility too by returning organic matter back to the field.
Come on, this is not new knowledge - Cornell is not to far from Emmaus PA, home of Rodale Press, publisher of An Agricultural Testament by Albert Howard - the father of Organic agriculture, the englishman who spent time in India in 1850 - his work found that the whole setup was sustainable over the long term.
Farmers for Forty Centuries, by American FH King,also published by Rodale press looked at China in the last century where night soil is used to return fertility to the soil, and could support a very large population, with low external inputs.

An interesting change in tone by Jad Mouawad, with the New York Times.

Quest for new energy supplies is becoming tougher
By Jad Mouawad
Published: October 8, 2007

"As the CEO of a major oil company told me, 'This is an industry in crisis masked by high prices,' " said J. Robinson West, chairman of PFC Energy, an oil industry consulting firm in Washington. "There are no easy barrels left. The only barrels are going to be the tough barrels."


The field is so large that it is expected to supply as much as 10 percent of the natural gas demand on the U.S. East Coast by late next year.

Does this mean no more power emergencies in the northeast?

Here is his March, 2007 article:

Oil innovations pump new life into old wells
Jad Mouawad, New York Times
The subhead ("Reports of oil’s demise are greatly exaggerated,") indicates the point of view of the reporter: anti-peak oil, echoing CERA.
first published March 5, 2007.

And a summary of responses to the March article:


When it comes to peak oil coverage and the NYTimes, that's like looking for Iraq's WMD.


"Ecuador to rejoin OPEC"


"Ecuador plans to officially rejoin OPEC at the cartel's next meeting in November as part of President Rafael Correa's promise to revive its flagging crude industry, Oil Minister Galo Chiriboga said Monday."