DrumBeat: October 11, 2007

Australian government report: Peak oil is real, get ready

“The focus of the report was the concept of peak oil – the point at which maximum world oil production is reached - which is predicted to lead to shortages and consequent significant price increases.

“If nothing changes in our energy mix and demand patterns after that point, we can expect significant liquid fuel price increases, and price increases in those things that are made from oil such as fertilizer and plastics and those things that rely on oil such as agriculture, construction and transport.

“The Taskforce sought to present the most likely time frame for peak oil, to assess its impact on the mining, transport and primary industry sectors, and then recommend options to minimise the impact on Queensland.

“The report concludes that the overwhelming evidence is that world oil production will peak within the next 10 years.

UN rapporteur calls for biofuel moratorium

Only two years ago, with the twin spectres of peak oil prices and climate change looming, biofuels seemed the ideal alternative energy.

Now it is the poor who have to contend with the flip side of biofuels: spiralling cereal prices, say experts.

Waking up to the truths of oil’s past, present and future

THE makers of A Crude Awakening mince their words only slightly, describing their investigation of the peak oil phenomenon as “a naïve quest to examine the world’s dependency on fossil fuels” and the results as “a bit of a downer”.

But Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack have the look of film makers who have heard all the questions before — and answered most of them — in the three years since they completed the film. But installed in a modish glass room in a London advertising agency they give every impression of being as enthusiastic about their project now as they were then.

Olympics Clean Air Push Dampens Beijing Fuel Demand

Oil traders counting on a one-off leap in Chinese oil demand ahead of next year's Olympics Games, hosted by Beijing, may be disappointed as plans to boost air quality will instead cut fuel use in the capital.

Gas Output To Plummet

A major downturn in drilling for natural gas in Western Canada will shrink Canadian supplies of the clean-burning fuel by as much as 15% in the next two years, the National Energy Board predicted yesterday.

Canada's energy regulator said it expects Canadian production to plummet to as little as 14.5 billion cubic feet a day by 2009, revising earlier predictions that gas deliverability would stay flat at around 17 bcf/d, or roughly where it has been since 2000.

Petrodollars fuel rally in U.S. government bonds

The biggest quarterly rally for U.S. government securities in five years is getting an extraordinary lift from the burgeoning reinvestment of petrodollars by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

UK: Dodgy diesel to crackdown

Detection teams will dip cars in supermarket car parks and petrol stations in a bid to catch motorists running on red and green diesel.

The UK-wide operation is being launched because a test run by Revenue and Customs recently found that one in five diesel cars was running on illegal fuels.

India: No fuel hike; but bonds to help oil firms

The Indian government has decided not to hike fuel prices despite the fact that oil companies have been accumulating losses thanks global crude oil price rise.

Taiwan: Decline in gas sales as drivers complain of cost

Gasoline sales have declined slowly amid a rise in gas prices and driver complaints about rising costs at the pumps.

According to local media, the main reasons behind a decline in fuel sales are the completion of the Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR), drivers' desire to save money, and a recession in Taiwan's economy.

Australia: MP says Bruce Hwy, fuel prices behind food price rise

The Member for Thuringowa, Craig Wallace, says the Bruce Highway and petrol prices are to blame for a steep increase in the cost of food in north Queensland.

Queensland Health Minister Stephen Robertson says the average cost of a basket of healthy food has risen by 54 per cent in the region since the year 2000.

Man charged in theft of $20,000 in gas

A Henrico County man yesterday was indicted for larceny stemming from what Richmond prosecutors say was the theft of more than $20,000 in gas through city fuel cards issued to the Richmond Ambulance Authority.

Power Giants Start Price War

SCOTS customers are set to reap the benefits after energy giants sparked a price war.

Two of the country's biggest power suppliers have cut charges in a fight to stay at the top of internet price comparison websites.

It could see customers' bills slashed during what is forecast to be the coldest winters in years.

The public face of nuclear power in the U.S.

I won't use the word energy independence because I don't think the country will ever really get to energy independence, but secure is a different matter. The fuel necessary for nuclear generation comes either domestically or from friends like Canada, Australia--not exactly the same group of people that provide (fossil fuels).

South Korea to put $17 mln into Canada uranium project

A South Korean consortium led by Hanwha Corp. plans to invest 16 billion won ($17.46 million) in a Canadian uranium project, South Korea's energy ministry said on Thursday.

Electricity made from trash

Wicomico County Public Works Director Rai Sharma unveiled the Lower Shore's first gas-to-energy power plant to the public Wednesday morning and generate 6 megawatts of electricity daily for local use.

A sea change: the wind farm revolution

Giant turbines are rapidly becoming a feature of the landscape. And now a wave of applications is poised to make Britain the world leader in offshore wind power generation. But there's one hurdle in the way of this breakthrough for renewable energy: bureaucracy.

Ethanol co-products more valuable for fuel

When looking at the energy balance in ethanol production it is more effective to use its co-product DDGS as a fuel source than to sell it for animal feed, concludes Nicholas Zeman in the latest issue of Ethanol Producer magazine.

UK Coal agrees five-year supply deal with Eon

UK Coal has capitalised on record prices for the fuel as it agreed to supply almost six million tonnes to Eon, Europe's largest energy group, in a five-year deal understood to be worth about £350m.

Report links energy crisis to security

An energy crisis could pose security risks for Australia by pushing fragile states in the region towards collapse, a report has warned.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute said in the report that such a threat should be factored into foreign and defence policy.

It said the increasing dependence of the world on energy from unstable regions like the Middle East meant obtaining an adequate supply of affordable energy would become a bigger part of most nations' security plans.

Shell Says Russia's Offshore Reserves Need Foreign Energy Majors

Royal Dutch Shell said Russia needs foreign expertise and investment if it is to profit fully from offshore oil and gas reserves estimated to be seven times larger than those in the North Sea.

China drives shipping costs to record high

The cost of shipping raw materials such as iron ore and coal has soared to a new record as the economic boom in developing economies like China sucks in natural resources to fuel their breakneck industrialisation.

Motorists in Venezuelan city panic after fuel shortage

Venezuelans formed long lines yesterday to buy gasoline in a major provincial city after outages at a refinery prompted rare worries of supply shortages in one of the world's largest oil exporters.

Fuel shortage grounds priests

The Roman Catholic Church in Manicaland says the shortage of fuel in the country is crippling its relief and pastoral work in and outside the eastern border city.

"This is a very serious matter. We have failed to hold Sunday outstation mass for months in areas such as Himalaya. Our priests cannot access the areas as we do not have fuel," said Bishop Patrick Mutume this week.

Low-cost, hurricane-proof housing made with ecomaterials

The concept covers a broad range of building materials, whose common denominator is the use of local raw materials or the recycling of waste products like sugar cane bagasse.

Strong results have been obtained locally with micro-concrete roofing tiles, pozzolana (CP-40) cement -- named for the volcanic ash of the Pozzuoli volcano in Italy -- made with the ashes of sugar cane straw, pre-cast hollow concrete blocks in which Portland cement has been partially replaced by CP-40, and low-energy fired clay bricks using bio-waste products as fuel.

CP-40 is an alternative binder that requires less energy than traditional Portland cement and therefore reduces climate changing carbon dioxide emissions.

Rough waters ahead for the ferry system

Leo von Scheben, the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, told the Marine Transportation Advisory Board that the ferry service faces many challenges in the years ahead as state oil revenue declines, federal dollars dry up and prices for construction and materials skyrocket, placing more stress on the state general fund. Fuel and labor costs for the ferries also have been on the rise.

Vehicle User Groups Call for Fuel Economy Gains That Don't Ignore Consumer Transportation Needs

A U.S. Congressman, a former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, and representatives of vehicle users groups urged Congress to set realistic fuel economy goals that do not unreasonably raise prices nor diminish the utility of popular motor vehicles that many consumers need.

Some Say Coal To Liquid Fuel Is A National Need

Southern States Energy Board Director Ken Nemeth says if we don't find a way to create our own fuel and be less dependent on foreign countries, we could see an energy crisis in the future. He wants to see a coal to liquid fuel plant in Eastern Kentucky and says it will have zero emissions, but environmentalists don't think that's the answer.

Low prices idle North Dakota ethanol plant

According to Alchem President Harold Newman, the high cost of corn and low price of fuel ethanol have caused unfavorable market conditions and will lead to the shutdown which will last until ethanol prices rebound. Although the shutdown is indefinite, company officials say they are hopeful the plant can reopen by the beginning of 2008.

Uganda Pres: Oil Discovery Blessing, Instead of Curse to the Country

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has refuted allegations that oil discovery in the western region could be a curse to the landlocked country, saying the oil revenues would be used to fast track development.

Saudi meets OPEC pledge with more oil to Asia

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia will raise crude sales to major Asian refiners by a tenth in November, making good on OPEC's pledge to boost output in an effort to cool prices, industry sources said on Thursday.

...Sources at two Japanese refiners and one in South Korea said Aramco would supply the entire volume agreed under the refiners' annual contract, the first 100 percent allocation in a year.

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute: From the Executive Director

The average commuter drives 50 miles round-trip. Most cities in the United States are automobile cities, meaning they have sprawled outward from a city center making it much easier to drive than take mass transit or walk. Change won’t come easily from the public or from fleets. Fleets, whether they are distributing goods from a new ship that has just delivered merchandise from China, or the U.S. Postal Service distributing mail throughout the country, need reliable transportation. Isn’t cleaner, more fuel efficient, transportation today better than waiting for a silver bullet technology or energy source that may never come? Worse yet, is it really an option to continue polluting and gobbling up oil until some climactic event grounds us to a halt?

UK: Newquay airport expansion

CoSERG welcomed the report released last week “Newquay Airport Expansion: The Case Examined” by Groundswell analysing the issue of expanding Newquay airport. The report concludes that “in the light of the current threat of peak oil, the damage to the environment, and the questionably contribution to Cornwall’s economy the case for expansion is not made. Moreover the plans send a clear signal that Cornwall does not take climate change seriously.”

Some recent SUVs less safe than cars

Crash tests of some popular midsize sport utility vehicles turned in an unexpectedly mixed performance in side-impact tests, a leading insurance group said on Thursday.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found some late-model SUVs performed worse than cars, a result that challenges a belief among consumers that sport utility occupants are safer in some crashes because they are heavier than cars and occupants are seated higher.

Guyana Vows no Special Favors for Canadian Oil Company

President Bharrat Jagdeo said Tuesday that Canada's CGX Energy would not have an edge over Spain's Repsol-YPF and other foreign oil firms because it provided $8.9 million to fund Guyana's ultimately successful litigation with neighboring Suriname over the two countries' maritime boundary.

"I am very grateful to CGX for footing the bill because it didn't come from the treasury, but that doesn't mean that CGX has any preferences in terms of our agreements," Jagdeo said.

Biofuels plans may cause water shortages

China's and India's plans to produce more biofuels could cause shortages of water, which is needed for crops to feed their growing populations, according to study results released Thursday.

U.S. ethanol rush may harm water supplies: report

The U.S. ethanol rush could drain drinking water supplies in parts of the country because corn -- a key source of the country's alternative fuel -- requires vast quantities of water for irrigation, the National Research Council reported on Wednesday.

The Peak Oil Crisis: Confusion

So what does peak oil have to say about all this? While usually looking at the supply side of the equation, many following peak oil are starting to worry that a major recession could reduce demand so much that the fact of global oil depletion will get lost in the clutter and that efforts to mitigate falling oil production will be put off until it is too late.

Those of us who are reading the fine print in U.S. government and OECD projections for the oil markets have noted a change in tone in recent months. Earlier this week, the U.S.’s Energy Information Administration released its Short-Term Energy Outlook for October. Keep in mind that one of the EIA’s unstated “prime directives” is not to scare the pants off Wall Street with loose talk of oil shortages. If one reads between the lines however, the report paints a rather pessimistic outlook for the year ahead.

Record oil prices seen denting demand

World oil demand will grow more slowly than expected in the fourth quarter as record-high oil prices prompt some consumers to seek alternatives, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday.

The IEA, adviser to industrialized countries, said in its monthly Oil Market Report demand will rise by 2.03 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter from a year ago, 320,000 bpd less than previously expected.

Peak Oil Calls for Societal Change – US Expert

Peak oil and climate change, are very real threats to human society and not something we can pass off to the next generation, says one of the world's foremost peak oil experts.

Peak oil educator and Research Fellow of the Carbon Institute of Post Carbon Institute Richard Heinberg was speaking to at a lecture hosted by The Engineers for Social Responsibility, Greens on Campus and the Green Party at Auckland University on Wednesday night.

BP chief unveils 'fundamental shift' for troubled oil major

BP chief executive Tony Hayward has set out his plans to improve the oil giant's poor performance by tackling "unacceptably high overhead costs" and slimming the business to two core divisions.

In an emailed message to staff worldwide, Mr Hayward said several layers of management will be stripped out and many people will be re-deployed to front line operations with the aim of "simplifying how the company is structured and run."

In short, Mr Hayward, said: "What we are doing represents a fundamental shift in how BP works."

Valero feels pinch from lower refining margins

Valero Energy, the US's biggest refinery, said on Wednesday that its third-quarter earnings will be less than the market has been expecting because the cost of refined products is not keeping pace with rising costs of crude oil.

CNOOC Limited: Future Oil Supermajor

Overall, CNOOC’s future growth prospects are very positive -- particularly in international areas-- and therefore the company still represents good value at the current date of this writing over the intermediate to long term.

States restrict truck traffic

A move is on across the USA to unsnarl interstate highways where escalating truck traffic is adding to congestion and rattling drivers of passenger cars.

Truck-only lanes and a plan to divert some truck cargo to ships along the Atlantic Coast are among the initiatives getting scrutiny from state and federal agencies. About 75,000 more big rigs cruise onto already crowded highways every year.

Study: Rise in humidity caused by humans

With global warming, the world isn't just getting hotter — it's getting stickier, due to humidity. And people are to blame, according to a study based on computer models published Thursday.

The big melt: lessons from the Arctic summer of 2007

The Arctic sea ice is disintegrating "100 years ahead of schedule", having dropped 22% this year below the previous minimum low, and it may completely disappear as early as the northern summer of 2013. This is far beyond the predictions of the International Panel on Climate Change and is an example of global warming impacts happening at lower temperature increases and more quickly than projected. What are the lessons from the Arctic summer of 2007?

Note in the BP article above how "troops will be deployed to the front lines".

Amazing. Every oil major had district and regional offices about 20 years ago... then they all pulled back to Houston. Many 100 billion dollars in value were created by the independents that backfilled them on the front lines. Now they are moving back.

I wonder how well they will fill the ranks on today's "front lines". Certainly offers the smart young college grad some interesting lifestyle opportunities.

There is nothing new under the sun.


I don't think they are talking about Lafayette, Ardmore, Cushing and Tulsa. They are talking about taking managers and demoting them back to the level of the people they are currently managing.

I just took retirement and started consulting. I am one who has self-re-deployed. I was exploration director for China, but now, I am a development geophysicist, just picking records in front of a work station. Life is wonderful.


Weekly Petro Report...I have a bad feeling about it...don't know why.

Here is what analysts are expecting:

Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expect crude oil inventories to show a gain of one million barrels in the week ended Oct. 5. Gasoline inventories are expected to drop by 300,000 barrels.

Fairly dismall estimate, given the build that is needed.

CRUDE up above $82 already this AM.

And here's what they got:

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending October 5, 2007

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) fell by 1.7 million barrels compared to the previous week. At 320.1 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are above the upper end of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.7 million barrels last week, and are well below the lower end of the average range. Both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components rose last week. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 0.6 million barrels, and are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories increased 1.4 million barrels last week. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased by 0.4 million barrels last week, but are in the middle of the average range for this time of year.

Why are distillate inventories decreasing? Doesn't that include heating oil? Shouldn't they be building stocks this time of year?

I thought this section was interesting:

Total products supplied over the last four-week period has averaged 20.5 million
barrels per day, unchanged compared to the similar period last year. Over the last
four weeks, motor gasoline demand has averaged 9.2 million barrels per day, or 0.4
percent below the same period last year. Distillate fuel demand has averaged 4.2
million barrels per day over the last four weeks, up 1.3 percent compared to the
same period last year. Jet fuel demand is down 4.6 percent over the last four weeks
compared to the same four-week period last year.

Gasoline and Jet fuel demand down from last year.

My thoughts exactly.

Crude down as well!

Gasoline desperately needed a boost, maybe they diverted some production?

However, Distillates are very low over last year - 13.2 MILLION barrels lower than last year. 3.14 production days less.

And propane, which had a small build, is still 10.7 Million barrels lower than 2006.

UP this week to 74 Million barrels less petroleum stock than 2006, in the US. (Approx. 35 VLCC tankers worth)

Yeah right, it's speculators. (sorry carryover from previous posts - baggage)

There was an almost palpable sense of panic among the talking heads on CNBC this morning regarding the oil market. One of the talking heads said something along the following lines:

Proposed reasons for high oil prices range from increasing demand worldwide to geopolitical concerns. (Let's see, what's missing from this list?)

They then went on to propose a third reason. (Declining export capacity perhaps? Nope.)

They blamed high oil prices on the DOE's ongoing efforts to replenish the SPR. (Anything but declining oil exports.)

It gets a bit frustrating. Apparently Schlesinger, of all people, told the ASPO crowd in Cork that "we are all peakists now", and there are certainly signs that smart people are increasingly seeing how the writing's on the wall. Yet I find that the business press goes to unbelievable lengths to deny what is so obvious to most of us. Similarly, we hear more or less upbeat assessments of the economy, while there is little to indicate that things might NOT be horribly wrong in more than a few ways.

Any MSM organisation that needs to make a profit is only going to tell good news to the end user who will ultimately actually pay for the service. MSM need repeat business or they fail.

Don't blame MSM, they know their market - the punters don't want to know about anything bad - nobody makes a living selling things people don't want, it's as simple as that.

The MSM only give 'bad' news that has happened, not bad news about things that 'may' happen in the future - if you expect more, sadly, I fear you will be disapointed.

The reality of the way MSM operates is very bad news for any mitigation of peak oil, AGW etc.

Politicians are from the same mold, they only ever react to things that everybody can see and that they can't deny ... even then, they are way too slow if we did actually have a peak in 2005, as seems likely.


I was talking to a friend of mine who is a *very* high-level consultant to one of the oil supermajors. He told me that a recent strategy meeting someone brought up the idea of peak oil. The consensus of the room was apparently "yup, this is pretty much happening now or soon". I said to him - "Didn't anybody say 'Don't worry, we can increase recovery factors' or 'Don't worry Saudi will pump lots more'?" His answer - no. I was staggered that there didn't seem to have been any serious resistance to an idea that the oil majors will just not countenance in public.


Job requirements; Must have good, 'Front-Office' appearance. (read, Poker-face)

Yeah, it seems that by now honest people admit it, no matter how annoying it may be. So what the f*** is wrong with the business press??

all you have to do is read the papers after 1929 market crash - that say the same things back then that MSM would say now......its a memorized prayer not a rational discussion

Oil jumps nearly $3 as supplies fall

Oil prices jumped nearly $3 a barrel Thursday following a surprise drop in U.S. crude inventories, a strike at Chevron's operations in Nigeria, and a fire at BP's Alaska oil field.

U.S. light crude for November delivery rose $2.77 to $83.03 a barrel. Oil had traded up $2 just prior to the release of the U.S. government's inventory report.

This article gives the lowdown on why the market has reacted with such a steep hike:


Are we headed for an another all-time WTI high today ?


When did you see this weekly EIA report? I thought they came out at 10:30 EDT, but it looks like you posted it before then. The time tag on my computer says 9:26 (CDT).


TOD seems to be about 5 mins slow

Pay no attention to the time stamps on the posts. The server clock is wrong.

OK, but what about the man behind the curtain with his hands on the levers? [A new conspiracy theory in the making?] :<)

It looks like 1.7M barrels have been made into gasoline, but not heating oil. Gasoline prices are down. Is it simply that they have elected to continue producing gasoline, instead of switching to more heating oil, otherwise the price of gasoline might rise? Of course this is a conspiracy theory, but it is also a simple explanation for what it looks like.

Well...if temps stay high...this might be a safe bet. It is however turning colder now across the country. It may have been a bad decision. As usual, time will tell.

I was reviewing the oil/gasoline weekly structure the other day and noted that this "pattern" for oil and the pattern for gasoline look a lot like 2004.

Granted we haven't had the hurricane activity of 2004. But what we have had is separation of oil costs from weekly gasoline prices.

From 1991 until early July 2004, gasoline and oil prices were well-correlated. They still are from a statistical standpoint, but gasoline rapidly caught up with oil prices this spring (using 1992 average cost for each as a value of 1.0), but then oil prices climbed after a short pause while gasoline prices fell (this while gasoline inventories were at recent historic lows). If the pattern for 2007 is similar to 2004 (in 2004 that rapid growth of supply was beginning to slow), then we have several more weeks or increased oil prices before demand might decline enough to lower oil prices.

Gasoline prices seem, for whatever reason, intentionally low compared to the price of oil. If 2004 is any guide (and it might not be depending upon stocks), gasoline prices would be expected to finally climb into November, before showing a brief winter decline. Gasoline prices are already above the average for 2006 and unless gasoline suddenly dropped to $1.50/gallon, it's going to remain higher (as an average).

We'll see in a few minutes how things go.

Oil stocks down by 1.7 million barrels, gasoline stocks up by 1.7 million barrels , refinery capacity at 87.8. Distillate fell by 600,000 BBLs.

Best guess (by me): the US supply is still wandering around someplace. Oil prices to remain high for another week or two.

Isn't this the wrong time of year for distillates to be falling ?

Best Hopes for my 240D when I need to fill up 2 months from now,


Yes, it is the wrong time.

No worries, mate. Full speed ahead.

I'm not worried at all.

I think there's going to be GW induced tropical weather coming to the US this winter!

Negative. My bet is mega-cold winter once it finally comes, although I anticipate it to be a bit delayed in coming. :)
~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com/)

A couple of things here:

Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA restricted the sale of fuel to gasoline stations because of problems at the 135,000 barrel per day El Palito refinery that usually supplies the area, Diana Santiago, the head of the local gasoline chamber, said.

A union worker at El Palito said the refinery had not restarted after a power outage last week, which he said caused the supply problems. The lines stretched from gas stations into city streets disrupting traffic, residents said. Some stations ran out and many drivers lined up before dawn to obtain fuel in a country that is one of the largest US oil suppliers.

"People are really nervous. There are too many lines and many stations are running out and closing," said Elimir Hernandez, a truck driver who waited more than an hour for fuel.

Last week, PDVSA said it took key units at the El Palito refinery offline due to a power outage.

The company has still not restarted the units, a union official with knowledge of the operations said. A PDVSA refinery official declined to confirm if the units were online, although it has guaranteed supplies would be maintained. There have been repeated accidents, technical failures and power outages disrupting oil operations in the last few years."

OK. That's Venezuela. They don't know what they're doin?

But what about this?

Houston (Platts)--8Oct2007

Valero's 135,000 b/d Wilmington refinery restarted as planned over the
weekend after a shutdown last week, and by Monday was operating normally,
company spokesman Bill Day said.
The refinery was idled October 3 due to a power failure in the area that
had also knocked ConocoPhillips' 139,000 b/d Wilmington refinery out of
Portions of that refinery remain offline and it was running at reduced
rates, a ConocoPhillips spokeswoman said earlier Monday (1627 GMT).
--Matthew Cook, matthew_cook@platts.com


Prudhoe Bay production began the month at 300,932 bpd, dropped to 183,417 bpd on Sept. 13 and was only back up to 242,857 bpd at the end of the month, averaging 235,650 bpd in September, compared to 300,308 bpd in August, a drop of 21.5 percent. Prudhoe production includes western satellites Midnight Sun, Aurora, Polaris, Borealis and Orion.

Question? How come Venezuela gets badly hit on a 135 K
Refinery out for a week, but CA and the rest of the US
continue boosting gasoline after two 300 k Wilmington
Refineries have been out for a week (w/ ConocoPhillips'
still not completely up?)

And how are we making up for Prudhoe/Cantarell?

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

uhh-- abiotic oil, I believe. The U.S. has a pipeline to the mantle (or maybe it's the outer core) which is actually made of oil, and until the proper technology was discovered by the Russians (who now seem to have forgotten how to make it work) that oil just had to seep up into granite reservoirs. Now the smart U.S. engineers can just go get it directly and pump it to your local gas station.

LMAO-thanks for that.

But on a more serious note (while I'm still laughin' 8D) to all:

No fuel for export in 2008

According to the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, fuel for export declined from 112,710 bpd in 2000 to 78,450 bpd in 2004 (File Photo)
Analysts estimate that if any domestic oil refinery faced operational problems cutting production by 10 percent, Pdvsa would be forced to import gasoline components or finished fuels.

With the latest 135k refinery down, Venezuela just
hit WT's ELM.

WTI Crude at $83.30.

And -speaking of Soviet Abiotic Command Economies-US Gasoline must be in Soviet Command Economy Mode

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

Just a reminder I've been banging the drum so to speak on the concept of double export land this is the re-exporting of finished oil products such as gasoline etc. In my opinion the double export land will decrease much faster than WT crude oil export land model and will represent the canary in the coal mine so to speak for global declines in exports. So far as a leading indicator of WT export land model it seems to be doing pretty good. The next stage is when overall refining capacity is significantly over overall oil supply. I think we are at that point or very close now and we should be there by this summer.

So for sure this summer I think two peak oil conditions will exist.

1.) Exports of finished products such as gasoline will be curtailed
2.) Refining capacity will be greater than supply and we may find certain countries actually shutting in capacity thats no longer profitable because of high crude prices putting even more pressure on gasoline exports from the more efficient complex refiners.

Note how WT export land and the pressure of oil prices seems to interact in a negative manner with inefficient idled refinery capacity.

I'm pretty interested to see how the US which is heavily dependent on gasoline imports will handle this. Since I think we will see a fairly big spread between the cost of locally refined gasoline and imported gasoline. And of course what about Mexican gasoline exports from the US ?

I think it is actually much worse than that.

I'm waiting to hear what westexas and khebab have to say in their ASPO presentation on the Export Land Model (ELM).

I am fairly sure ELM has some very serious consequences for Europe.


No, I think it's EVEN worse than THAT...
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

A move is on across the USA to unsnarl interstate highways where escalating truck traffic is adding to congestion and rattling drivers of passenger cars.
Truck-only lanes and a plan to divert some truck cargo to ships along the Atlantic Coast are among the initiatives getting scrutiny from state and federal agencies. About 75,000 more big rigs cruise onto already crowded highways every year.

Dedicated lanes sounds like a great idea, but where is the money for this going to come from? You could raise the tax on diesel, but the truck drivers are howling already as is. (My neighbor drives one for a living.)

There are plenty of benefits to dedicated lanes, however. Traffic flow would be more consistant without the "four wheelers" (as they call commuters) jumping in and out of their way, reduced accidents due to the reduction of speed disparity, and as a result, probably lower insurance rates for the truckers.

On my selfish side, it will reduce my MPG for my highway driving, as I won't be able to draft behind the 18-wheelers! haha
~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com/)

Wht about a toll on all US Highways and Interstates ? Relatively low for "4 wheelers" but high enough for 18 wheelers to:

1) Pay for repairing the damage that they have done
2) Make shipping by rail more price competitive and
3) High enough to eliminate the need for extra lanes ?

Best Hopes for "Pay as You Go" in Iraq,


Alan: Great idea. #4 is that one of these 18 wheelers at 65 mph is about as dangerous to everyone else on the road as a BMW at 120 mph (stopping distance is probably the same).

I dont know the stats on BMW autos but a BMW K Series motorcycle (has a formula 1 water cooled auto engine) takes as long to slow from 120 mph to 80 mph as it does to slow from 80 mph to 0 mph...and these motorcycles have outstanding disc brakes...probably better than most autos. I have ridden several of these bikes and at night on the interstate (desolate stretch of I95) as soon as the front brakes are touched at high speed they glow cherry red. So do autos but you cant see the auto brake discs.

River: I am sure you know a lot more about this subject than myself- my point is that these giant hybrid trucks/trains are extremely hard to stop and kill auto drivers and sometimes motorcycle drivers pretty regularly in Southern Ontario. At one time the speed limit for trucks was 50 mph, 60 mph for cars (but that was when corporate power was nothing compared to today).

BrianT, I absolutely agree that as many large trucks as possible should be removed from the highways. Trains and barges are the efficient way to go. The mixture of autos and large trucks on the highways is extremely dangerous and it is getting more so because of the traffic increase.

It will be difficult for most young readers to believe but when the interstates were first opened they were very lightly traveled in most areas of the country. One could drive 10 miles down many interstates and see maybe 2-4 other vehicles. Obviously all that has changed drastically. I travel secondary roads whenever possible and avoid the interstates like the plague.


Wouldn't something like this be more to your - and, admittedly, my - taste?

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow…
— T.S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men”

Isn't there still a lot of rail freight capacity in the US?

I got the impression this is pushed to the limit too.

One the limits can be, and are in the process of being expanded.

After ASPO-Houston, I will do a little piece on CREATE.


A double track should be able to handle at least 105 trains/day with upgraded signals (The Swiss claim to be able to do 300/day). Upgrading signals is the cheapest way to increase capacity.

BNSF is finishing the double track from Los Angeles to Chicago and UP should be 2/3rds done with double tracking from LA to El Paso (where traffic splits into 3 single tracks).

Second, I had a little education from Ed Tennyson on just how the USA doubled rail traffic (and stopped using trucks) at the start of WW II. In his considered and expert opinion, adopting Canadian National operating procedures (scheduled trains regardless of how many cars among others) would use existing rolling stock much more efficiently. We could carry 40% more freight without adding a single car.

Third, the "rule of thumb" is that electrification increases track capacity by 15% (the Swiss are electrified) due to faster acceleration and braking.

Best Hopes for Expanded Rail Capacity,


I am not sure if it is true now, but post acquisition Union Pacific had a lot of trouble with train control - their system was good, the acquisition target (C&NW?) had good visibility, but there was a lot of "dark territory" - places with track but no control systems - the trains went "hail Mary" from one to the next and it was human intervention to keep the tracks (half duplex!) clear.

Scheduling trains regardless of meeting the minimum length being something that improves efficiency is good news, as that will create a lot of union engineer and brakeman jobs - much needed work as other things unwind due to peak oil.

I could well believe that. Old semaphore signals (1880s technology to tell if a track is cleared). DM &E (just bought by CP) also has those type signals, old, worn, lightweight, bolted track (instead of welded), etc.

OTOH, Amtrak a few others have high end signals that operate trains in both directions on both tracks at high speed. The Swiss plans for those L-O-N-G tunnels and approaches are works of art IMHO.

Scheduling trains largely avoids a train crew "timing out" at 12 hours. Per federal regs they stop in the middle of no where and wait for a relief crew to reach them. Waste of labor and waste of rolling stock and unnecessary delay.

Many shippers do not care so much how long it takes but care about if it will show up on some certain date that they can plan around. CN can give low cost service over 90+% certainty for a date and 98+% date + one day. Premium service is better.

CN (E-W across Canada plus old Il Central Chicago-New Orleans) has lowest costs/unit of all the Class Is. Despite running some short "inefficient" trains on occasion.

Best Hopes,


So, question time. Truckers are allowed to have cab sleepers and rotate crews using them in order to keep going. Why can't freight trains do that? One small sleeper behind the locomotive should make that kind of scheduling far easier?

Airlines do the same thing. Supposedly, railroads can change crews at established stations; but if a train occasionally does not make it ...

All in all, trains "timing out" is considered bad management, which does not stop it from happening.


I think that system(2 drivers) is rare based on what I see in the cabs..

Usually you only see one person in the cab.
All the over the road truckers I know drive single.
Some companies make you cheat on your logs and some abide by the rules.why would they pay two drivers when one can do it?

Anyway they now all have Qualcomm satellite GPS systems embedded and an antenna on the roof. They know exactly where the truck is...though I have never driven one of those..just what I am told by truckers and saw on the roofs. They can get out and cover it with aluminum wrap..to foil the spies, and some do if they own their own truck..which many do.

Its a very bad job...you don't get to see the country..all you see is some greasy truck stops and eat a lot of very bad food. Get a huge paunch and heartburn that goes with it. I don't envy none of them.

Lots of boredom followed by sometimes sheer terror. Take your eyes off the road for a bit and your rear tires go off the shoulder,tend COG shits and the trailer pulls you and the cab down the embankment..maybe into Moccasin City. Maybe into some electric poles where the high voltage wants to zap your rig and fry you as the moccasins circle. I am talking country or state roads. Not interstates. A thrill a minute.

I'm coming back a state route..unloaded and at night..I have lost my trailer lights and a buddy is behind me..Up ahead a idiot at an road tries to beat me out ,,he does but his friend in a van behind him waits too late and then jerks out in my lane making a right...I hit the air horn,,I flash the headlights, he stops dead and then finally hits reverse , I miss him by inches...my air horn still pulled my airbrakes locked and screaming...if he hadn't put it in reverse and got back I would have killed the van full right there and then...I shook for a long time after that...and its far worse when you have an 80,000 lb load of corn...

I was doing the righteous speed limit of 55..he thought for some reason I would give him the right of way. He could see my cab overhead lights and knew it was a truck ,,if the jerk was even thinking.

Something like this can happen once a month if you drive a lot..boredom and then sheer panic. Sometimes making a close river bridge by bare inches cause the fool in the moving van coming at you is a newbie and crowding the yellow line..in fact left wheels in the middle of it...happens a lot...notice the burn marks on the side...and here where one of our drivers went over the side and it was over 100 feet to the bottom.I ran the same bridge with him and asked him what did he do..he said.."Lord save me"when he hit the side and he rode the windshield , that busted out whole,,rode it like a sled down the highway with his chewing tobacco pouch siting right next to him on the windshield and the truck kept going straight down to the river bottom..he is still driving over the road to this day.

Airdale-I don't make this stuff up..Like David Crockett , I mite stretch a tale bit but I never learned to lie.

I get on freight trains on the regular and every one I've been on in the last year has had two guys up front.


Can we rely on you to post all the relevant stuff that you will present at Houston here afterwards? I'd love to be there, but I've decided it's better not to do all the flying.. :)

I am taking Amtrak from New Orleans to Houston :-)

Yes, Millennium Institute wants as much PR as possible.

I think that there is a VERY good chance of a TOD article appearing.

Best Hopes,


Wouldn't it be easier if we just went into a recession and with decreased trade we would reduce the need to truck all this stuff around?


we could start by converting one side of every interstate highway to two way rail traffic. the other side could be converted to two lane (for the terminally stubborn motor vehicle traffic)

On I-65 between Elizabethtown and Louisville I have observed 18 wheelers actually boxing in 4 wheelers and making threatening movements. Two side by side in front of the 4 wheeler and then two more behind him...

They then terrorize the guy...

They also tend to tailgate right on the 4 wheelers bumper at high speed. Whip in and out dangerously..

All that said..I sometimes drive an 18 wheeler and have a Class A CDL.

The drivers are getting more and more vindictive out there.Its very very dangerous.

I really don't care for most truck drivers and tend to not even talk to them. Some I find disgusting.

I know they used to have more sense than they do now. The only thing they do religiously , for some odd reason ,is always use their turn signals..Like maybe thats all the recall from the CDL test?

Our highways are taking a pounding from the sheer weight and heavy traffic from trucks.JIT is a madmans idea and should have been shitcanned long ago. Piggy back freight on trains is a better idea but I don't see it too often anymore.

I refused to drive this harvest for the above reasons,,only had to make one run to check out a failing truck electronics module. V-MAC...


Containers are growing VERY fast on trains (100+ cars with double stack containers each are common out of New Orleans).

Piggyback trailers on flat cars are shrinking slightly.

Containers (which are then lifted onto 18 wheel truck trailers) are much more efficient (fuel, rolling stock 2 vs 1, and even loading and unloading/containers are easier to tie down) than piggyback shipments.


for every tailgating 18 wheeler, there is probably a dozen cut in front 4 wheelers. there are bad drivers in every kind of vehicle but at least most of the truck drivers are half way professional. anyone who has worked on a major highway at night knows that drivers, including truck drivers, pay no attention to flashing lights.

and there was a major scandal in china a while ago involving a mazda 6 club out on an outing to the beach talking back and forth with walkie talkies ( imagine that scene) who boxed in a hummer because the hummer was driving agressively. the only ones charged with any offense was the leader of the mazda 6 club.

A question to those in the know:

After our local stations switched to winter-grade gasoline I noticed a big jump in my gas mileage. Think at least 5-10%. I haven't used my A/C in the past 2 months so it must not be that... I don't buy that gasoline vapors thing either.

Could the effect of ethanol additive be so huge? Or may it is my car.

Going from E10 to E0 should have increased your mileage by 4%. But individual cars do report 10% (my father thinks 7% to 9% after adjusting for all variables).


I've noticed the same thing. My last tank of gas just wouldn't run out. I'm used to getting around 450km to a tank in the city. I was over 500km before the light came on this time. Of course once I'm spinning in snow and slush, I'm sure my mileage will drop back to the normal range.

I get about 10% less mileage in the winter. Supposedly because of the higher butanol content and butanol has < btu/gal than gasoline.

Mileage drops from ~70mpg to an abysmal ~64mpg! Darn!

As the say on the commercials...your mileage may vary.

Actually, the power you save by not running the air conditioner could be robbed by the loss of aerodynamics by have 4-65 air conditioning (roll down four windows and drive at 65 mph).

Note to self: Hoard winter fuel

Re: KSA increase shipments to a couple Asian refiners to 100% of ordered.

Means nothing unless they actually pump MORE.

At this point, I would suggest it is a possibility that more fringe customers(read small and poor) HAVE BEEN pushed out of the market at $80/barrel.

We will see in late 2007/early 2008 when shipment numbers actually show up and if prices move down significantly in the interim.

Sorry if this has already been posted but I really like how Scott Ritter can put it all into perspective;

Oil, Israel, and America: The Root Cause of the Crisis


What is it they say about 1,000 cuts????

Bloomberg: BP's Hayward Will Cut Jobs After `Dreadful' Quarter

Resume Growth

Plutonio and other major projects such as the delayed Atlantis platform in the Gulf of Mexico, may help BP resume production growth after oil and gas output fell last year for the first time in a decade.

BP and BHP Billiton Ltd. have already begun pumping oil from Atlantis, more than a year behind schedule. The field, which is capable of producing 200,000 barrels of oil and 180 million cubic feet of gas a day, will be formally started by the end of the year.

BP also aims to bring its U.S. refineries back to full capacity next year. The Whiting, Indiana, refinery won't reach full capacity of more than 400,000 barrels a day until the first half of 2008. Its refinery in Texas City, Texas, the scene of an explosion in 2005 that killed 15 people, is also running below its capacity of 460,000 barrels a day.

Promises, promises, promises....

The average commuter drives 50 miles round-trip...

So the average commuter drives around 100,000 miles a year? Hmmm... seems a tad high to me.

100000? How did you get this number?

50 X 5 X 52 = 13000 less vacation

Oops, sorry about that. Fortunately my commute is far shorter and luckily I don't work in a bank:)

You math aside, a 50 mile average sounded high to me too when I first read it. My guess would be in the 35-40 mile range, at least for the median. Maybe the average is skewed by the few people commuting 200 miles a day.

I'm assuming the 50 mile average is for people that actually do drive in a daily commute, and doesn't include those that commute via mass transit.

Ouch...there's another cut!!

Bloomberg: Countrywide Says Bad Mortgages Rise, New Loans Fall

Countrywide Financial Corp., the largest U.S. mortgage company, said late payments at its servicing unit rose, foreclosures doubled and new loans fell 44 percent as housing sales slowed.

Delinquencies as a percentage of unpaid principal increased to 5.85 percent in September from 4.04 percent a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Foreclosures rose to 1.27 percent from 0.51 percent. Mortgages funded by the Calabasas, California-based company last month declined to $21 billion.

Countrywide's servicing business, which does billing and collections, serves as a barometer for current conditions in the mortgage industry. The company's report adds to evidence that the worst U.S. housing slump in 16 years is getting deeper. Nationwide foreclosures set a record in the second quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, and doubled in September from a year earlier, RealtyTrac Inc. reported today.

Oh ya...and then there is this too...

MSNBC: N.C. Treasurer seeks Countrywide CEO probe: Timing of share sales made by chief exec of mortgage lender questioned

State Treasurer Richard Moore has asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate the timing of stock sales made by the chief executive of mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp.

Moore, the trustee of a pension fund that holds more than $11 million in Countrywide shares, said in an Oct. 8 letter to SEC Chairman Christopher Cox that he was “shocked” to learn that CEO Angelo Mozilo “apparently manipulated his trading plans to cash in” as the subprime crisis was heating up.

The ghost of Enron has arisen!!

Dragon: If I remember Angie cashed in 100 million as he hit the MSM outlets in a "positive thinking" blitz. I guess he figured it couldn't hurt to encourage the schmucks to buy the crap he was dumping. I feel sorry for the employees funding any plan with this Moore schmuck as the trustee.

Why do they do this? If you get a multimillion dollar salary and you know that insiders get extra special lovin' why wouldn't you just, you know, be sensible and sell just some of your stock, and then promptly invest the proceeds into something new you're going to run? I think that would be defensible ... but they dare prison instead.

Sacred: John Roth (CEO of Nortel) did the identical thing-did a quick tour talking up the company's prospects while selling over $100 million- shortly thereafter the company and the stock price deflated like a pricked balloon. Others at the company were subsequently charged for offenses but Roth skated away clear-so I guess he was the role model for this guy.

Some background from last Friday:

Mozilo to Dump Tons of Countrywide Stock Next Week

Countrywide issued a press release today announcing that Angelo Mozilo will sell a large number of shares as one of his 10b5-1 plans. The 10b5-1 plans allow corporate executives to sell shares on a defined basis, triggered by stock prices and other events and set well in advance of the actual sale. The rule was set up to allow executives to diversify out of large stock positions in their company while keeping them from leveraging insider information to their benefit. This is, in theory at least, how it is supposed to work.

The shares remaining in his plan will be sold in equal 20% chunks next Monday to Friday

“This raises a slew of red flags,” said Andrew Stoltmann, a Chicago-based securities lawyer. “Anytime you have revisions or modified plans. . . it is extremely suspicious.”

“There are circumstances where the plans could be amended, but you better have a good reason because it’s defeating the basis of the rule,” Carroll said. “If a guy is changing his plan around, I would think that would send up a red flag. I wouldn’t allow my clients to do it.”

For the conspiracy theorists out there - this share sale is rumored to be huge and could put big pressure on the stock (which is now at about $20). If Mozilo does dump a ton of shares via this plan next week the stock could be pressured below $18, which is Bank of America’s trigger for their $2 billion cash investment made in Countrywide last month. Is this the hand over of power? Is this the sale of Countrywide to Bank of America? Depending on the amount of shares involved it could very well be…Stay tuned.

We discussed this a few weeks ago.

Mortgage Turmoil Hits Renters
Tenants Face Eviction
When Their Buildings
Go Into Foreclosure
October 11, 2007; Page D1

The mortgage mess is claiming a new group of victims: renters.

Across the country, a rising number of landlords are falling behind on mortgage payments, sending their properties into foreclosure, according to legal-services attorneys, local officials and financial experts -- and in many cases, their tenants are being forced out of their homes. Often, the tenants' first inkling of trouble occurs when they get a letter from the bank directing them to leave the premises.

"They just don't know what to do -- they leave town, move in with their mothers, end up in shelters," says Janet Merrill, an attorney with the Massachusetts Justice Project, a Worcester legal-services agency that runs a hotline for low-income people. . .

. . . In Hennepin County, Minn., which includes Minneapolis and its suburbs, there were more than 3,000 foreclosures last year -- nearly twice the 2005 number. "You just wouldn't believe it here," says Amber Hawkins, an attorney with the Foreclosure Relief Law Project, part of the nonprofit Housing Preservation Project based in St. Paul. "There are areas of [North Minneapolis] that are just decimated. House after house is boarded, vacant and abandoned. . . .

. . . Ms. Merrill says the lack of affordable rental units is a huge problem in her area of Massachusetts. "People are applying now for public and subsidized housing," she says, but the waiting lists are long and the alternatives are bleak. Even if Ms. Merrill can find her twice-evicted client another acceptable apartment, she says, "how does she know another place won't be foreclosed on too?"

I was having trouble with my water system. Twice in the past decade my well got low enough that I burned up pumps just hammering them when I was just 'sure' there should be water down there. So I finally got smart and put in a 1500 gallon storage tank that I can just fill at a slow rate when water is abundant and pump from the tank (or, Strategic Water Reserve) whenever I need it. You could call this 'hoarding behaviour'.
I would submit there is growing worldwide recognition that we have now entered a high price regime driven by geological constraints.
I would further submit that there is a logical imperative on the part of both producers and consumers in such a regime to 'hoarding behaviour'.
We see the US topping up the SPR, huge expansion at Cushing, China's plan for SPR, etc.
So, given that there is a powerful predispostion on the part of producers in a high price regime to continue production rather than shut in producing wells, should we not expect to see...manifestations of hoarding behaviour on the part of NOCs and majors ie withholding product from market?
So, my question is, what should we be looking for...low refinery utilization, orders for more tank farms, are oil tankers viable storage, does shipping info give us indications of hoarding?
It really doesn't seem paradoxical that we could soon be experiencing shortages while also seeing record high 'inventories'.

Just curious, but what do you use the water for? (This is a sneaky priming question to the next one of "Can you use rainwater harvesting to reduce the well usage?")

In theory, yes, as I have gradually replaced most of my roofing surfaces (old hippy house that was originally three smaller structures cobbled together in an aestetically pleasing but structurally problematic way) with metal roofing- asphalt roofing is unsuitable for rainwater capture. However, the house is surrounded by 200 ft fir trees that drop enormous amounts of needles, making filter cleaning a daunting chore. I have come to eschew gutters entirely in these conditions-far better design to go with steeper pitches and ample eaves and just get the water away from the house. Abundant rainfall in this area but notoriously poor wells. Hydrology, like geology, is fickle.

Dry-running.... Check out Grundfos submersibles.


Needles/leaves in your water collection system....

I grew up with gutter/cistern water. We ducted our gutters to a "collection box" made of poured cement, about 2' x 3' and a foot or two deep. Right under the input was a piece of copper screen that caught the debris. Easy to get to and clean.

Below that was a layer of charcoal, then coarse sand, then medium sized gravel.

We had an asphalt/comp roof. Somehow we lived....

(I now use well water and a Grundfos. The dry season is too long here to rely on a cistern.)

You're collection box sounds better than the other rainwater debris removal/ filters I have heard of. Did you have to do any perodic maintenance? Change the sand out annually? replace the charcoal? or was it maintenance free?

I appreciate any additional info you can provide.

Well, we're talking 45 years or so ago, so let's not put too much reliance on my memory.... ;o)

Best as I can remember...

We didn't have a big leaf problem. Certainly not a lot of overhanging limbs. But box was designed so that if enough leaves got to the screen to block the flow one could see the water escaping under the lid of the box. Quick trip out, raise the lid, clean off the leaves,....

Box was placed so that it was easy to see from the kitchen window.

A bit of clever design might make the screen self cleaning. Think of angling it down on one side. Bring the input in on the high side. Leaves would tend to get washed off. At least washed to one side which would let most of the water get through.

Might even try some sort of stainless steel grid (think refrigerator shelf) that would let large stuff slide off easier than screen wire.

Seems like my father changed the charcoal once a year or so. I imagine that it was used to absorb any unwanted tastes, but I don't know what they would have been.

I'm guessing that the sand was changed out every few years if one was feeling like water wasn't flowing through fast enough.

There was a "diverter" - a downspout "Y" that allowed one to divert the downflow away from the filter box. If we had a long spell of no rain, lots of dust, whatever, my father would switch over to 'dump' until the stuff had washed off the roof.

If I were setting up a system these days I'd definitely do my 'leaf extraction' at the ground level rather than at the top of the downspouts. If there was a bad leaf/needle problem then it might be worth putting hardware cloth over the gutters.

I don't think I'd mess with the charcoal/sand stuff. Water filters are pretty inexpensive and easy to maintain. I had a rainwater collection system on my previous house (no leaf problems/metal roof). I used an Omi(?) sediment filter followed by a charcoal filter. Probably didn't need either.

Awesome, thanks for the info

From the WSJ (you have to go in through Google News):

Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

The stalling ethanol industry wants Congress to mandate greater use of the biofuel. But many of the industry's former friends have turned against it amid soaring prices for corn and other grains.

Good News: Price Matters

Looks like consumers are adjusting to high gas prices. Oil import volumes are down quite a bit, year-on-year, for August, just as they were for July.

In fact, despite high oil prices, the total dollar value of US oil imports actually declined, year-on-year! This was also true of July.

See the latest BEA data:

We have met product demand by drawing down product inventories. I suspect that this may not continue indefinitely. However, in regard to your larger point regarding price, you are correct. I suspect that we will be increasingly be on the losing end of the bidding war for declining world export capacity.

The Big Melt: Lessons from the Arctic Summer of 2007, listed above, is a truly worry-some report. Besides the arctic melt, it talks about the possibility of Greenland melt and Antarctic melt. The graph shown above is amazing.

Two conclusions from the executive summary:

• To allow the reestablishment and long-term security of the Arctic summer sea ice it is likely to be necessary to bring global warming back to a level at or below 0.5°C (a long-term precautionary warming cap) and for the level of atmospheric greenhouse gases at equilibrium to be brought down to or below a long-term precautionary cap of 320 ppm CO2e.

• The IPCC suffers from a scientific reticence and in many key areas the IPCC process has been so deficient as to be an unreliable and dangerously misleading basis for policy-making.

It is my understanding that we are currently at something like 455 ppm CO2e, so what the report is calling for is a decrease of 30% relative to current levels. I can't imagine what it would take to accomplish this, since warming gasses tend to stay in place a long time.

Yes, that graph is really something else. It shows just how bad the models are. Or just how much worse reality is than the models. A picture worth a thousand words, for sure.

Kinda makes you wonder if it's too late, though.

A couple of years ago, someone on PeakOil.com posted a "goodbye" message. He said he still thought peak oil was a serious problem, but he thought global warming was a much worse one, and he was going to direct his efforts there instead.

I'm starting to think he was right...

I think he was.

About a year ago there was a lot of discussion on TOD that climate change got all the MSM coverage, PO was in a dark corner. Not near the case today. But what has that coverage brought?

We actively discuss solutions/mitigations to PO, from drilling techniques to THAI to rail to solar to you name it. The damning thing with climate change is the dearth of solutions at this point. One, I seriously doubt we'll stop burning FF in time. Two, are we past time? Esp given the new evidence this year and tipping points, and the monumental inertia in preventing mankind from acting.

Other than cutting out FF, highly unlikely, what are the options?

1. Land exchange with the tropics, ala Flannery.

2. Ocean seeding with iron.

3. Cap and trade

4. Carbon tax

5. Sequestration-but so far only for carbon yet to be burned, and partial removal at that.

Please fill any others that you might know of, it's obvious the workability of the 5 above are doubtful. Our hope seems to reside in the inaccuracy of our change predictions.

We were discussing James Hansen and sea level rise yesterday. The Big Melt quotes his reasoning:

The Big Melt: $1000 to a doughnut

As an example, let us say that ice sheet melting adds 1 centimetre to sea level for the decade 2005 to 2015 [this is less than the current rate - DS], and that this doubles each decade until the West Antarctic ice sheet is largely depleted. This would yield a rise in sea level of more than 5 metres by 2095.

Of course, I cannot prove that my choice of a 10-year doubling time is accurate but I'd bet $1000 to a doughnut that it provides a far better estimate of the ice sheet's contribution to sea level rise than a linear response. In my opinion, if the world warms by 2 C to 3 C, such massive sea level rise is inevitable, and a substantial fraction of the rise would occur within a century.

Although some ice sheet experts believe that the ice sheets are more stable, I believe that their view is partly based on the faulty assumption that the Earth has been as much as 2 C warmer in previous interglacial periods, when the sea level was at most a few metres higher than at present.

There is strong evidence that the Earth now is within 1 C of its highest temperature in the past million years. Oxygen isotopes in the deep-ocean fossil plankton known as foraminifera reveal that the Earth was last 2C to 3C warmer around 3 million years ago, with carbon dioxide levels of perhaps 350 to 450 parts per million*. It was a dramatically different planet then, with no Arctic sea ice in the warm seasons and sea level about 25 metres higher, give or take 10 metres.

Indeed, the palaeoclimate record contains numerous examples of ice sheets yielding sea level rises of several metres per century when forcings were smaller than that of the business-as-usual scenario. For example, about 14,000 years ago, sea level rose approximately 20 metres in 400 years, or about 1 metre every 20 years.

* Earlier this week, Tim Flannery said a new IPCC report, due in November, states that present levels are 460 ppm and rising.

Maybe the ranks are breaking in the IPCC. It was deliberately set up to fail, but it looks like some scientists are no longer content to see it, and themselves, be mocked increasingly.

Your last link goes to a related, but different
For clarity, Flannery is speaking of 'CO2
equivalent', adding the effects of methane,
water vapor, CFCs, and getting a ballpark
grand total treated as if it were all CO2.

Your last link goes to a related, but different topic.

No, it does not.

I agree with your reasoned attempt to note the discrepancy.

From today's Real Climate (10-11-07) on Flannery's article:

Implications The important number is CO2_e (Total) which is around 375 ppmv. Stabilisation scenarios of 450 ppmv or 550 ppmv are therefore still within reach. Claims that we have passed the first target are simply incorrect, however, that is not to say they are easily achievable. It is even more of a stretch to state that we have all of a sudden gone past the 'dangerous' level. It is still not clear what that level is, but if you take a conventional 450 ppmv CO2_e value (which will lead to a net equilibrium warming of ~ 2 deg C above pre-industrial levels), we are still a number of years from that, and we have (probably) not yet committed ourselves to reaching it.

Finally, the IPCC synthesis report is simply a concise summary of the three separate reports that have already come out. It therefore can't be significantly different from what is already available. But this is another example where people are quoting from draft reports that they have neither properly read nor understood and for which better informed opinion is not immediately available. I wish journalists and editors would resist the temptation to jump on leaks like this (though I know it's hard). The situation is confusing enough without adding to it unintentionally.


Wikipedia has a page on sea level rise, and it is quoted as being 3mm a year. Can you site a source for what the current sea level change is per year?

Here's the Wikipedia Site:


I live on the coast, so I'd really appreciate a link.



The Big Melt report (PDF) [worth the read, 15 pages] says:

The 2007 IPPC report's suggestion of a sea-level rise by 2100 of 0.18-0.59 m (IPCC, 2007: 820) was greeted with dismay be many climate scientists.

Before the report was released, satellite data showed that sea levels had risen by an average of 3.3 mm per year between 1993 and 2006, whereas the 2001 IPCC report, in contrast, projected a best-estimate rise of less than 2 mm per year (Brahic, 2007a).

In late 2006, research concluded that previous estimates of how much the world's sea level will rise as a result of global warming may have seriously underestimated the problem (Ramsdorf et. al, 2007).

So there are a few issues with the 3.3mm average 1993-2006:

  • The rate has been increasing. It's quite possible it was 2.1mm in 1993, and about 4.5mm in 2006, and rising.
  • Some scientists still don't seem believe even these numbers are high enough. IPCC 2001 was off by 65%, as we can see. Not a minor mistake. Are there more in the pipeline?
  • There is no doubt that the rate will accelerate greatly soon. You don't lose 22% more ice than ever before without sea levels rising faster.

    It's nice to say that we need to wait to see how much freezes over this winter, but no matter how cold it gets, the older ice, an important factor in the Arctic, is gone to a substantial extent. Younger ice melts much easier.

About West Antarctica:

The loss of the West Antarctic ice sheet would raise sea levels by a similar amount to the total loss of the Greenland ice sheet. While it is anticipated that the West Antarctic sheet is more stable at a 1-2C rise, recent research demonstrates that the southern ice shelf reacts far more sensitively to warming temperatures than scientists had previously believed, based on ice-core data showing that "massive melting" must have occurred in the Antarctic during the Miocene-Pliocene warming 3 million years ago, when the average global temperature in the oceans increased by only 23C (Schmitt, 2007).

Much of the West Antarctic ice sheet sits on bedrock below sea-level, so if the ice shelves that buttress the ice sheet disintegrate, sea water breeching the base of the ice sheet may will hasten the rate of disintegration: "We foresee the gravest threat from the possibility of surface melt on West Antarctica, and interaction among positive feedbacks leading to catastrophic ice loss.

Warming in West Antarctica in recent decades has been limited by effects of stratospheric ozone depletion. However, climate projections find warming of nearby ocean at depths that may attack buttressing ice shelves as well as surface warming in the region of West Antarctica. Loss of ice shelves allows more rapid discharge from ice streams, in turn a lowering and warming of the ice sheet surface, and increased surface melt.

Rising sea level helps unhinge the ice from pinning points. With GHGs [greenhouse gases] continuing to increase, the planetary energy imbalance provides ample energy to melt ice corresponding to several meters of sea level per century..." (Hansen, Sato et. al, 2007)


See my comment in today's coal article ("Marie Antoinette Syndrome"). Peak oil cannot be sensibly discussed without reference to climate change, period.

As for the point in the first conclusion above, it just ain't gonna happen. The point in the second is already self-evident. IMHO, the IPCC report isued earlier this year is obsolete already.

It IS possible to "pump down" CO2 from the atmosphere as described by James Hansen - you grow biofuel in a EROI-positive way (takes CO2 out of the atmosphere in growing) then you burn it for energy with carbon capture. The CO2 goes from the atmosphere to the plant to under the ground/ocean. It can be done if as well as this, you don't otherwise burn fossil fuels without carbon capture. The chances of these things actually being done are ...

After Settlement of Iceland, the deforestation released 6 billion tonnes of carbon, almost = to 1 years global release.

Reforesting Iceland (only 5.5 million trees/year) with larger trees (Sitka Spruce, Siberian larch, Douglas fir) could easily double or triple that.

I am the only non-Icelandic member of their Tree Growing Club (experimenting with new species; my thought is that new species will fit different human needs and result in more planting).

Best Hopes for Boreal Forest carbon capture,


The Iceland Tree growing Club sounds like an excellent initiative. Is there a website/email contact?

I think Iceland needs soil more than it needs trees. The soil is so thin that bushes more than a few feet high topple over in the wind in most of the rural areas.
Hey, what do you do if you are lost in a forest in Iceland and can't see the path back?
Stand up.

For the most heavily eroded areas they have a progression of grasses and nitrogen fixing flowers (lupin) followed by pioneer trees/shrubs (some are nitrogen fixers if I remember right) followed by real trees.

The President of Iceland flew out west a few years ago to hang a medallion around the first 20 m Icelandic tree. Now they have about 100 :-)

Soil is an issue after 1200 years of sheep grazing.

There is an Icelandic discussion site (in Icelandic), but that is the only web presence. eMail after ASPO Houston and I will send you more info. Too much ATM.

Best Hopes,


Our solutions need to account for:
* increasingly difficult-to-obtain resources for everyone
* rapid decline of oil from the world markets
* pandemic-induced system slowdown
* rapid-onset climate change
* escalating wars
* social chaos
* the increasing energy and resources required to properly dispose of dead bodies in order to prevent rapid spread of other diseases and disease-vectors, and further economic slowdown, when the death rate climbs from the previous six items

And so far most of our solutions seem to be aimed at:
* maintaining mobility
* keeping our way-of-life
* sustained growth in the economy
* more, more, more, me, me, me, mine, mine, mine

The Irresistible Forces meet the Irresponsible Objects.

Thanks for that graph, Gail and Leanan. It's unbelievable how far off the IPCC mean and range are from the data.

Hope you don't mind me re-posting it, for those who go directly to the comments:

I wonder if the time doesn't come fairly quickly that people just throw in the towel at trying to fix the CO2 equivalent level. The situation looks so hopeless - we are almost like a cancer patient trying to get another six months of life. Instead of doing things that help in the long term (good diet and exercise), they move to things that might be helpful in the short term (chemotherapy and radiation therapy).

If it is bad enough, and we as a civilization look to be having only a few years left, people won't care whether we burn some more coal.

I get that feeling also.

I'm starting to put together a position paper on strategic planning for climate change, for the mid-atlantic coastal region, with focus on present actions that may mitigate the worst of the consequences of inevitable sea level rise.

There's going to be a lot of assets lost and lives uprooted in the not so distant future.

Actually although the change in ice extent is worrisome its not the biggest problem the real question is how fast and how far will be the freeze up this winter.
So far although its to early to tell it looks like we will see big changes in winter ice coverage this year.

The reason this is a bigger deal is because it means next year the melt will be earlier greater and warmer and it should ensure that Greenland's ice cap may melt at a even faster rate.

So if we see big changes this winter its time to start watching Greenland closely.

My opinion is collapse of the Greenland ice sheet will be measured in years.

The amount of energy needed to melt that much ice is ~1/3 of the sunlight that the earth receives in a year.

But it doesn't have to melt to collapse.

Dump all that ice in the ocean and it will melt somewhere.

Remember, it doesn't have to melt to raise the sea level - if it slides off Greenland that is sufficient to raise the sea level as much as if it were to completely melt in place.

Sliding into the sea might occur catastrophically fast, whereas melting in situ could take decades...

Some people here will believe anything, as long as it sounds bad.

While the vast majority of people everywhere will believe anything, as long as it's good.

This is not a matter of belief. It's happening now. It's been seen and measured. And it was a real shock for climate scientists, who hadn't expected it. This mechanism - the ice sliding off rather than melting off - is why James Hansen is so alarmed about rising sea levels. Why he thinks sea levels could rise 50 feet before the end of the century.

Eventually, yes, the ice that slides off will melt. But it will take awhile. They're worried it might affect shipping, having a bunch of larger than normal icebergs floating around.

Not belief but science - if land based ice melts, the sea level will rise as the melt water reaches the ocean; if land based ice slides into the ocean then the sea level will immediately rise as the ice enters.

Melting polar ice floating on the Arctic Sea will not raise the sea level. However, as the polar ice disappears more of the energy that was needed to melt the ice will now heat the water and the polar atmosphere - by a factor of (at least) 80:1.

This is well known.

'Belief' is a button word, as are 'sounds bad'... what others do you know?

I am quite curious as to what we will see in the Antarctic this winter (their summer). If melting accelerates there as well, that will pretty much tell us where we are.

It is my understanding that we are currently at something like 455 ppm CO2e ...

Mine too - but Gavin has posted at realclimate.org a clarification on CO2 equivalents.

There was a minor kerfuffle in recent days over claims by Tim Flannery (author of "The Weather Makers") that new information from the upcoming IPCC synthesis report will show that we have reached 455 ppmv CO2_equivalent 10 years ahead of schedule, with predictable implications. This is confused and incorrect, but the definitions of CO2_e, why one would use it and what the relevant level is, are all highly uncertain in many peoples' minds. So here is a quick rundown.


Implications The important number is CO2_e (Total) which is around 375 ppmv. Stabilisation scenarios of 450 ppmv or 550 ppmv are therefore still within reach. Claims that we have passed the first target are simply incorrect, however, that is not to say they are easily achievable. It is even more of a stretch to state that we have all of a sudden gone past the 'dangerous' level. It is still not clear what that level is, but if you take a conventional 450 ppmv CO2_e value (which will lead to a net equilibrium warming of ~ 2 deg C above pre-industrial levels), we are still a number of years from that, and we have (probably) not yet committed ourselves to reaching it.

So this story evolves. Stay tuned.

I can't imagine what it would take to accomplish this, since warming gasses tend to stay in place a long time.

global nuclear war

The two top news are interesting.

#1 Canada gas output to plummet
- Of course no news to any of us following the situation and sitreps by David Hughes (Geological Survey of Canada). How does this affect Canada's export capacity?

#2 Petrodollar glut to T-bonds
- Interesting. Why would anybody be willing to buy US T-bonds now? Is this a planned supportive action towards dollar? Can somebody explain?

Don't people know this is how World Wars are started!!!!

And Turkey is nuclear. I'm not saying the resolution was not valid, but damn...these are tense times. Let's not poke at timebombs too forcefully.

Also, aren't the Turks also fighting the Kurds in northern Iraq at this moment...yikes.

The Turkish Parliament is debating whether to authorize the Turkish Army to move forces into Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish guerillas--a really swell time to aggravate the Turks.

And in related news...here's the real reason BushCo does not want to piss off the Turks...

International Herald Tribune: Turkish anger could cause logistical problems for U.S. military

Loss of access to military installations in Turkey would force the United States to send more military supplies for Iraq through other countries and could cause short-term backups in fuel shipments and deliveries of critical equipment, senior officers said Thursday.

The officers said they had contingency plan in place in case Turkey follows through on threats to shut off the United States military access to its territory if a resolution condemning the mass killings of Armenians during World War I is approved by the full House. That could mean the loss at least temporarily of Incirlik Air base, a key resupply hub for Iraq, and closing of the Turkish-Iraq border to military supply trucks.

Over time, those setbacks could be overcome, but it could take months to increase operations in other logistical hubs, including Jordan, Kuwait and at the Iraqi port of Umm Qassr in the northern Gulf, the officials said.

The Bush administration is trying to pressure the congress not to pass this resolution, but I think I disagree. It was genocide; we shouldn't deny it for reasons of political expediency.

"Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" - Adolf Hitler, 1939.

OK, but there have been an endless string of genocides since before recorded history - some of which we committed. There are some going on now. So when I see something like this action, I wonder "why this one, why now?". I haven't got the answer, but I'm quite sure there is something behind it.

I don't want to trivialize the use of the word "genocide", which is sometimes used these days to describe anybody's mistreatment of someone else. By the dictionary definition, genocide mens "the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group." This is not too common, but the Armenian genocide of 1915-1917 at least comes close to fitting this definition, as the Ottoman Turks reduced their Armenian population from 2 million to about 500,000.

Well, yes, the question of: why now? is certainly a valid one.

The Armenian genocide happened over 90 year ago, and was just as much of an atrocitiy then as it is viewed as now. So, why this sudden righteous indignation now as opposed to any time between when it actually happened and the present?

Methinks that perhaps some radical Armenian groups in the US are trying to (perhaps rightly) stick it to the Turks now that the Kurdistan situation has come into wide public view. I can see no other explanation for this old festering wound to be so publically opened at this point in time.

Never underestimate the power of an old grudge... or the willingness of ambitious people to expoit same.

Armenian genocide stuff in Congress?

I see Iraq and that includes what would be Kurdistan. I see Turkey, who has treated the Kurds as second class citizens for a good long time. I see the Iranians on the other side, not so keen to have a free Kurdistan right next door winding up their ethnic Kurds.

Pronouncing the Turkish actions in Armenia as genocide is a step towards pronouncing the impending Turkish action in Kurdistan as genocide.

The funny (but not really) bit? Kurdistan is the will of the people of the region - democracy in action. This we do thwart, because it does not meet our goal of "bringing democracy to Iraq".

The funnier thing is that the Pentagon recognized this before the invasion and recommended setting up an independent Kurdistan because it would have been friendly to us and Israel right off the bat. So rather than take the "I win" card, we do the stupider thing. (The stupid thing was to invade in the first place.)

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

How about the annihilation of the Tibetian's by China in the middle 1950ish time period???

What was it 1-3 million killed?

Let's see them put THAT one thru congress.

Not relevant, because there is no oil under Tibet.

Also not relevant because one need only look at China's water stress, the glaciers in Tibet, and recall the long, entwined history of the two.

Tibet is gone and Tibet in exile won't last unless the Gelug and Kagyu can quietly resolve their doctrinal differences and ensure a smooth power transition despite the missing Panchen Lama. I don't see the dispute between the Dalai Lama and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche as being particularly helpful in this area.

Of course, I am an ignorant, lazy householder and thusly subject to correction by those in the know ...

How would we Americans feel if the Turks decided to call the American expansion from coast to coast a genocide of native Americans?

Um...it was.

Is there somebody out there who doesn't think it was a genocide?? Raise your hands, or voices, now!

Perhaps the English and French etc. were only trying to liberate the poor Indians. Or did they have weapons of mass destruction, like loads of spears? No wait, they wanted to bring stability, so that there would no longer be evil dictators ruling over these people. What is more, European colonies had to be secured. (Initially I didn't think it would be necessary to mention that Israel is a European colony, but I just had to, because I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't have got that otherwise. BTW I'm Jewish, so don't accuse me of whatever.)

Plus ca change...

I do not think the U.S. treatment of native Americans was genocide (I am part Choctaw). It was often wrong, but there was no deliberate attempt at extermination, which is what happened in the holocaust and with the Armenians.

I guess the Trail of Tears was merely a subconscious attempt at genocide..or perhaps a poorly planned road trip.

The Trail of Tears was an example of a terribly wrong thing to do. But let's keep some perspective: 4000-6000 Cherokee Indians died, most of them lived. This number of deaths is 1000 times lower than the number of Jews killed in the holocaust.

Brazil set to invade Bolivia

Lula himself told Chávez that his military pushed him to start a war when Evo Morales nationalized the gas reservoirs and the Bolivian Armed Forces took control of Petrobras facilities.
At that moment Brazilian troops were deployed toward the border with Bolivia.
According to military agreements signed by Bolivia and Venezuela, this latter should intervene in any conflict that Bolivia may have with another country.

Is the threat of a US invasion of Venezuela credible?

Venezuela has the world's largest heavy and extra-heavy oil reserves. And Chávez has been spreading handouts among active or potential enemies of the US, like China, Russia, and Iran. Chávez has put the emphasis of the revolutionary process on energy. Since we are facing a generalized energy crisis and Chávez uses the weapons he has in hand, the situation is never going to be stable. So long as world and regional situations are volatile, his presence in power will be volatile too. He is standing on an oil and gas time bomb.


If you have been a regular visitor to my site, you will have been following the developing situation in South America. Some key recent developments:

Outcome of Paraguay elections coming in April 2008 leaning towards a Government similar Ecuador, Venezuela, and Bolivia

10/10 Bolivia asks US forces to leave country

10/10 Ecuador Attorney General moves to terminate oil contracts with foreign oil firms

10/8 South American nations act to create their own Central Bank located in Caracas

10/8 Ecuador announces it will rejoin OPEC at November meeting

10/8 Suriname agrees to construction of US Military Base

10/5 Forest Fires in the Amazon set on Brazil's border with Bolivia, sweep into Bolivia encompasing an area over 2 million sq km and threaten Bolivia's oil pipelines and natual gas fields as well as forcing closure of airports and air bases.

10/5 Ecuador announces 99% windfall profit tax against foreign oil firms.

10/5 Venezuela National Assembly determines 'fees' to be paid by foreign oil firms.

9/29 Ecuador votes to rewrite the Constitution to 'Share the Wealth'.

Hm, wonder why Saudis and others are buying treasuries when it is manifestly a money-losing proposition to do so? I mean, they are totally free to put their money anywhere they want, right? Guess they're just dumb.

Hello TODers,

Disclaimer: I am not a automotive tire engineer!

I was pondering my earlier speculative postings of the possible governmental application of Liebig Minimums to our vehicles. If our leaders vastly restricted access to tires, spark plugs, motor oil, gear lube, air filters, etc, by imposing a high price regime--it would quickly force many into carpooling to reduce vehicle maintenance expense.

Imagine $5,000 dollars for a new set of tires, or $1,000 to have all vehicle fluids replaced according to the maintenance requirements. $500 bucks just to merely change the oil & oil filter every 3,000 miles?

Alternatively, or mitigatively: I would like to see tire engineers invent very low rolling resistance, high pressure tires to maximize gas mileage if the situation develops whereby national speed limits are drastically reduced to extend fuel supplies as WT's ELM kicks in.

For example: if the speed limit is reduced to 30 mph, but very narrow rimmed, cheap 120 psi tires are available--imagine motorcycle tires and rims on your car-- how much fuel could this save nationally? Is it possible to drastically raise by 'new-thinking engineering' the Liebig Minimum for the tires on our national fleet?

Consider this Wiki-link:

To reduce both air resistance and rolling resistance on the road, tires are lightweight, narrow, and have a thin, smooth tread. They are inflated to a high pressure, typically around 8 bar (820kPa/120psi); track racing tires can be inflated up to c.14 bar.
Heavy truck tires are routinely designed to handle these high PSI pressures to support the heavy loads they haul--can the same be safely done to narrow car tires if an ELM-induced fuel emergency requires a 30mph speed limit?

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

Most cars will not get into overdrive at 30 mph, 45 or 50 would probably be more efficient. That is, unless we all get NEVs or small scooters. The problem with 120 psi tires is peoples Cadillacs would ride like skateboards.

I'm all for taxing oil, gas, car parts. I think $20 for a gallon of gas would single-handily solve our peak oil problems.

Hello Richlev,

Thxs for responding. I am not a mechanic, but wouldn't it relatively easy to change the planetary gear cluster in the rear-axle to maximize fuel-mileage efficiency at the new 30 mph speed limit? This would be much easier than redesigning/regearing the transmission.

Most cars are front wheel drive now. All of the gears and ring/pinion are in the same unit, called the transaxle.

What we need is the federal government to step in and mandate a 30 mph max speed on new cars, along with engine size and new fuel mileage requirements.(like 60 mpg) And then, give a huge rebate to trade in the old cars and properly recycle them.(paid for by the huge gas tax) And your 30 mph country wide speed limit.

Maybe 20 in urban areas to give bikes and peds more of a chance, then 55 or larger roads for max fuel efficiency. Would go down like a lead ballon in political circles though.

How about speed camaras that fine the people who are speeding and make the money payable to those who get 'caught' driving at the legal limit, but don't advertise them and keep moving them around. If you drive in the limit every so often you would find a nice £50 cheque coming through your door :)

Speed limits in New Orleans are 25 mph on regular streets and 35 mph on divided streets (those with a neutral ground).


That requires humans to behave. I think its silly, and here is why:

The city of Omaha added left turn arrows to busy intersections in 1991. These are obeyed, sixteen years on, a good 75% of the time. Those who've lived in the city their whole life seem to believe they have some grandfathered ability to turn left despite that little red arrow.

So if they're going to cheat to save sixty seconds how much will people cheat on a sixty mile trip? Lots and lots and lots.

Speeding will stop when its impossible - gas prices too high, or cars not able to move so fast.

I do agree with the speed limit change - we'd see legions of startups building 30mph hybrid kit cars out of tube steel popping up all over - this would put an end to the problem we have in Detroit.

I wish that "The Government" would require that a speed governor be installed at owner's cost in any vehicle caught speeding (perhaps with a 5-10km/h margin). And that, if said governor ever "malfunctioned", the vehicle be crushed and recycled.

A simple firmware fix in most cars, I'd guess.

Feasible, if only technically.

Build out electric light rail, and raise fuel costs a lot - let people work out how they want to travel locally. The raising fuel costs part will happen on its own, but probably without an alternative like rail to turn to.

As you note, you are not an engineer. I am.

Power is time rate of utilization of energy, thus, limiting the available power minimizes fuel use. The best efficiency of a gasoline engine happens at nearly full throttle. Given that most cars have rather large engines for the actual power requirement to travel at freeway speeds with modest grades, the transmissions tend to be set to go to highest gear at about 50 mph. Thus, the engine is spinning rather slowly and the throttle setting can be nearly wide open. The result is nearly maximum conversion efficiency. In a small car with reduced weight, the engine can be smaller for reasonable acceleration in traffic. Smaller engine size tends to minimize the fuel used during idle and limits the power available. Operating a car at speeds below that at which high gear kicks in tend to waste fuel, as air drag is not great at speeds below 45 mph, thus the power required is much less than full throttle at the higher rpm in the lower gear.

Of course, cars that achieve the best mileage also do not go very fast, but nobody would buy them, as they would be too slow to keep up with 70 mph freeway traffic. There were lots of them around in the 1960's and 1970's. Remember the old 36 hp VW's, FIAT 600 and 850, Honda 600 and MINI 850? The original Honda Civic was a 1300cc and the MINI Cooper was a 1275cc. As the price of gasoline climbs, I would expect to see many such vehicles appear on the roads again, as well as smaller motorcycles.

E. Swanson

There are I suppose 3 main contributers to the fuel consumption of a vehicle. Air resistance, wich at high speeds grows with the cube of the velocity, is usually the biggest. Then comes rolling resistance wich I think increases linearly, and finally the energy required just to keep the engine turning, perhaps this increases with the square of the RPM? I think I read that somewhere.. Combining these 3 should give a sweetspot (or several) where the fuel consumption as measured in energy per unit distance or vice versa is at a minimum. I believe in calculus this is called a related rates problem in english.

In your 30 mph scenario it may very well be that rolling resistance is what takes most energy, but since american cars are so big perhaps it's one of the other factors. IIRC the engine itself is at it's most efficient when it is running at the RPM where it produces the maximum torque, so the RPM at cruise speed should probably be a little below that RPM.

It is often said that keeping your tires properly inflated is the easiest way to increase milage, so there must be some merit to your suggestion, how much is hard to say without more data.

Auto Styling 101 states:
Big(20+) Wheels, Wide Stance-Low Profile Tire = Good
Skinny Wheel + Tire = Bad
Not only would it look like hell (imagine 4 space-savers on each car) but the handling characteristics would be so bad most cars would be too dangerous to drive.
The ultra-high mileage test vehicles some researchers have built have tire/wheel combos like you suggest but you couldn't just slap them on existing cars without enormous handling/safety issues.
Those vehicles are made specifically to get high mileage.
Remember the Flip Over Ford Explorer (Dingell was the one who got Ford off the hook) a few years back?
According to a Time mag article, it was the Styling Department who put the big tires and wheels on that caused the center of gravity to rise too high and make it prone to rollovers.
After all whats more important?
How safe a car is or how cool it looks?

Canada-Australia dominance of uranium supply.

We know from tar sands that Canada has a U-want-it-U-got-it attitude. However there is a strong chance of a change in the federal govt in Australia by year's end. The new mob is somewhat left influenced including some who want to close
the mines. However I think as with coal exports they will look away provided the nasty nukes are all overseas. Uranium importers won't have to cozy up to countries like the People's Republic of Kazakhstan..look what they did to Borat.

The new Labor Australian government about to be elected is more worried about Global Warming than about nuclear waste. They will sell China all the uranium it wants, when it wants, and have told the mining companies to expect permits to open new mines. This may be related to the Global Warming related catastrophic drought taking place in the traditional farming areas of Australia right now.
The fact that the price of uranium has gone up 18 times since they decided not to let the uranium mines open 10 years ago when they were in power may have something to do with this, as is the fact that their coal export terminals (coal is a much bigger export for Australia) are operating at the maximum possible rates and the shipping companies are also maxed out on coal carriers.

Plans have just been announced by Sonhoe for a new £2bn heavy crude oil refinery at Teesside (north-east UK).


Some quotes from the article:

“It will underpin the future of Teesside as the UK energy capital for 30 years and will prolong the life of the UK oil fields.”

“This is not a sunset industry - it is not ship building or coal. It is an industry of the future,”

“We are two years away from the position where we can start to put holes in the ground.”

“This is a major project. One of the important things is that it will extend the life of North Sea oil for possibly more than 10 years,”

Are they serious?

Oh ya...there is lots and lots of heavy crude around the world and refining this sludge will be a huge industry, but the cost will be much greater and the rate of manufacturing finished products probably much slower.

IEA warns on falling oil inventories

The International Energy Agency, the western countries’ energy watchdog, on Thursday warned of rapidly falling crude oil and products inventories ahead of the peak demand winter season.

I was wondering about the general opinion on CHP systems, they seem to be an ideal stop gap solution for using natural gas more efficiently.
They could efficiently meet many of our needs industrial and domestic, they scale well and would run along side solar thermal very well IMO.

Microturbine technology is improving, though most of the market is for cruise missiles and UAV's

If we need to house more people in high density energy efficent housing, a district heating / cooling network is an obvious addition especially if it can be contained in the same building. Gas engines can be run on biogas produced from human waste and / or biomass when supplies become tight.

ICE's can be converted to run on gas, and even a diesel CHP would make sense for backup / peaking. Some CHP systems have been trialled using a normal burner and a stirling engine, but they can be unreliable. How many good engines are sitting in cars waiting to be put to a better use?

The wankel engine fell out of favour for automotive use due to its low efficiency (high heat output) and is far smaller and simpler than the piston engine. Is there finally a good use for a very clever and funny sounding engine?

Gassy Bugs


“Generally gas and oil are jammed into a rock. You put a well bore into it … and the gas coming off the [coal] seams is harder to extract.” But the Powder River coal field seemed more like a river of natural gas rather than a lake. “It had a real-time operation,” he recalls.

Pfeiffer and his Preston Reynolds colleagues had the Powder River Basin coal tested and discovered that indeed, this wasn’t ancient, trapped natural gas, but newly produced methane. Anaerobic microbes--bacteria that live without oxygen--were generating the methane. Luca dubbed these microbes “geobioreactors.”


These anaerobes will be cultured and let loose into the environment, enabling their uncontrolled spread to other coal seams and oil fields, releasing more methane into the open atmosphere. More methane in the atmosphere will only accelerate global warming.

Why are oil companies doing so poorly? Valero, Chevron, BP, etc. You'd think this would be the best of times for Big Oil.

The reasons given by the talking heads are "lower production" and "tighter crack spread." Okay, maybe higher prices aren't making up for lower production. But why the crack spread problem? If there's a refinery bottleneck as they say, wouldn't the crack spread get bigger?

Some time ago, Matt Simmons said that he did not own any major oil company stocks--they can't replace reserves. He owned smaller independents and service companies.

Regarding the refinery question, if crude oil costs X, and if refineries really need to sell product for at least 1.2X, but their current customers, in total, won't pay more than 1.1X, I would suppose that they would cut refinery runs back to where they can sell the product to a smaller group of customers that will, or can, pay 1.2X.

I've put it this way before. If oil were trading at $250 per barrel, would US refineries be processing the same amount of crude oil that they are now?

Before too long, I expect to see inefficient refineries in importing countries shutting down.

Peak Oil: Spiritually Fulfilling- Van Jones

People say that I am hard core about some of this stuff but I know because I have been to Davos, and I’ve sat with Bill Clinton and I’ve sat with Bill Gates and I’ve sat with Tony Blair and I’ve sat with Nancy Pelosi.

I’ve sat with all these people who we think are in charge, and they don’t know what to do. Take that in: they don’t know what to do! You think you’re scared? You think you’re terrified? They have the Pentagon’s intelligence, they have every major corporation’s input; Shell Oil that has done this survey and study around the peak oil problem.

You think we’ve got to get on the Internet and say, “Peak oil!” because the system doesn’t know about it? They know, and they don’t know what to do. And they are terrified that if they do anything they’ll loose their positions. So they keep juggling chickens and chainsaws and hope it works out just like most of us everyday at work. That’s real, that’s real.

And so I’m hard on people, I try to tell a few jokes, you know, to make it go down easier, but I’m hard on people. But I will tell you why I am hard on people. This is real ball, this is the last chance, this is it. I’m not telling you that; Tracy’s not telling you that. You go to places like I go, and the Pentagon will tell you that.


“How do we build a green economy that’s strong enough to lift people out of poverty? How do we create green pathways out of poverty for people right now who are poor and who are suffering? Can we create jobs for these young people over here that are suffering ten minutes from here? Installing those solar panels so that they can be on their way to becoming electric engineers, solar engineers? Is that a commitment we can make and call people to?

Can we say that if we are going to weatherize millions and millions of buildings so that they don’t leak so much energy, can we say that we want to give those young people, those poor kids in rural America who feel they have no choice but methamphetamines or going into the Marine Corps—can we say that we want you to start weatherize these buildings? We want to give you jobs, creating the fuels of the future. Do we have a message that goes beyond the people who can afford to buy a hybrid car?”

Because everybody can’t buy a hybrid car; some people are struggling to get bus fare; everybody can’t afford to put solar panels on their house, some people are trying to get a house, trying to find a place to rent. Do they have a place in this movement? Is our heart big enough for them?

Ilargi -

Very well put, indeed!

I think it's hard for a lot of people to accept the notion that the people running the show (politically, financially, and socially) really don't know what to do. The problem we have is that natural survival instincts will kick in and thus cause the people running the show to look after themselves and their own and to totally abandon any pretense of looking after the general good.

I suppose this could be called the 'bananna-republicization' of America.

Of course, the primary objective of those running the show is social stability, and the concept of social stability in times of stress often translates into tanks in the streets, mass arrests of 'trouble makers', and detention camps for said trouble makers and other undesirables. Many Americans are appalled at the unthinkable idea of US troops rounding up American citizens, but this has been done by governments for centuries, and even by Americans, if you count the round-up of Japanese Americans during the outbreak of WW II. I think that properly brainwashed young recruits would have no problems whatsover about stuffing American civilians into boxcars.

Being that we are Americans and live in the US does not automatically innoculate us from the predations of a fearful and ruthless state desperately trying to hang onto power. Yes, it very easily COULD happen here, and a lot faster than most people think.

Has it really been done with a country as large as the US? I know there have been oppressive regimes in countries as large as the US (China, USSR), but could our military really get tanks out to all the major cities? I really don't think if there was chaos in this country, the federal government could contain it even if they wanted to. Add on to that, the National Gaurd is a bit preoccupied elsewhere these days.

Food for thought.

Dragon: IMO, the way it would be accomplished would be by getting the majority of the citizens on board (like in Nazi Germany). The MSM in the USA is far more skilled than in Germany in the 1930s so I don't think it would be that difficult (as an example, supposedly a high % of Americans think Iraq was behind 9/11- does anyone think this gang would be difficult to program?).

Well, that's exactly my point.

US troops would not be inclined to round up and for no reason persecute American citizens that looked like themselves. However, the whole thing is very situational.

What if there were another major domestic terrorist attack that dwafted 9/11, and what if it were determined that peoples of Middle Eastern background were suspect and thus considered dangerous to the safety of the 'home land'? Would you have any doubt that there would be a major public outcry to round up all those rotten 'rag heads' and 'sand niggers' and ship them all off to detention camps, where they belong?

People in general have very dark tendencies, and it doesn't take much at all to release the Dark Side. Holocaust II in the making. However, this time not Jews, but Ay-rabs.

We are going to have a string of domestic terror attacks. The authors of these will be discharged U.S. soldiers and marines. The targets may be innocent civilians but infrastructure and government facilities are far more likely to draw their attention.

We had a month of action on the ground in the first Gulf War and from that we got the Oklahoma City bombing and the D.C. sniper.

So we have way more troops active than there were in Desert Storm, they're under the gun for a year straight or more, this has been happening nonstop for five years, and their experience is urban combat - they see streets and houses as battlegrounds.

The Bush administration has just flat fucked 22,000 guys who've been there with PDO (Personality Disorder) discharges. They come home brain injured, they physically look fine, the armed forces don't want them lingering in the health care system, so they're encouraged to take a PDO discharge which is a way for them to ensure they don't have to go back. They don't get that they're not going to have V.A. health care because of this decision. A healthy twenty one year old wouldn't understand the implications and one with a brain injury? Its positively criminal ...

Much of what we know is wrong. We're aware of this at an intellectual level but we still haven't internalized it all. I think the shock of 500,000 urban combat veterans coming home to a disintegrating economy is one force that is totally underconsidered. Those guys are going to redraw the landscape here and it won't be like Vietnam with people tossing medals onto the White House lawn. It wouldn't take more than 1% of those 22,000 PDO victims sneaking around using demolition skills on gas and oil infrastructure before everyone's life would be just as miserable as any homeless vet.

The electorate isn't the only thing that is going to swing around and bite the Republicans ...

My friend the psychiatrist is outraged at the quality of mental health care given the military & veterans. The old attitude that missing limbs are "important" but damaged minds are not.

But she is also outraged at the lack of mental health beds here in New Orleans in the midst of a mental illness pandemic and the terrible choices she must make with the avoidable deaths that result. None the less she has just committed to three years in New Orleans after her residency ends. Last that I heard, she is just one of 22 psychiatrists in the Greater New Orleans area, serving 1+ million people

"The longer one lives in New Orleans, the less fit you are to live anywhere else. And that is a good thing !"

Arwen Adams, MD

Terrible news. People don't realise that these are the first real, awfully painful effects of the recession in our economies (I know officialy we are still in positive growth - but this is only because inflation is voluntarily underestimated). I am talking about the ratio of 22 psychiatrists to 1 000 000 people. With a prevalence of 12% of severe mental disease and 30% moderate and mild disease you get the picture. This probably means that more than 60% of the severely mentally ill don't get professionnal care.

The lack of mental health care for military and veterans is an old scandal, as old as the military. In time of war this problem is dealt with in the form of executing the patients. In time of peace the patients are just discarded by the system. The state and the military do everything they can to not account for these patients.

I could write a very lot about these problems which are not entirely linked to peak-oil. But the increasing misery in the diseased people for whom we are not able to care for any more is directly linked to it. Until now the system has been able to squeeze these people from the official statistics so they go unaccounted for ... but for how long ?

P.S. I wish your friend the best I can, courage, her efforts are not vain.

The statistics in New Orleans are worse. Suicides have tripled with half the population in Orleans Parish, overall mortality up almost 50% last year.

A third of NOPD has traumatic stress disorder (is not yet post). (K-Ville on Fox Mondays has more realism than I expected. What others may see as "over the top" fiction I see as reality overstated for dramatic purposes).

She has said that she would have dropped out of her residency were it not for my support. She is making a major effort and will be at the ASPO-Houston conference on Friday.

She is now working to set up a clinic in the drowned area, to replace an ad hoc one that has been struggling on a shoe string with volunteer nurse practitioners & students. Post residency she would work there on weekends on top of her weekday jobs.

Best Hopes,


My younger brother is a recently retired police officer.He had a few interactions w/Iraq vets.They scared the hell out of him.He's been in 3 gunfights,and has a rack of commendations and medals that attest to his ability to deal with the hazards of police work.But when the subject of Iraq war vets comes up,his voice gets very quiet and worried.His descriptions of some of his "interactions"give me absolute chills.

When these guys come home there will be bloody hell to pay.We as a society,will pay a terrible price for allowing this crew of pirates to man the ship of state

Nah, one way or another it'll end up being the Jews again... they seem to get it whenever there's an angry mob going around.
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

Hey guys,

I posted a speech by Van Jones, mainly because he linked his audience to a peak oil theme. and he gives a very clear description of what he thinks the people he's met, Clinton, Blair, know about the subject, and what their reaction is. Which is something new for me, for what it's worth.

But the comments to this post, which contains his words, not mine, right away move to things like US troops rounding up American citizens.

I don't know where that comes from, and I don't see the link to Jones' speech, but I do feel I should state that those are not my words, not even close. None of the words were mine, I simply posted parts of a speech. They're not Van Jones' words either, as far as I can see. So that's quite a leap of faith right there, I'd say.

If people wish to discuss these subjects, that's fine, and in the light of what goes on it might or might not be a good thing. However, I don't feel that TOD is the forum to do that in, and, again, the speech I posted doesn't seem to have any direct and clear element in it that would provoke such a discussion.

When someone says "We are going to have a string of domestic terror attacks.", I want to distance myself from that as far as possible. This being a thread in response to something I posted, I feel I even have that spell that out, even though nothing in the post hinted at anything like that.

I've heard about this terror from a member of the Maine State Legislature.. the recognition (which it's sometimes possible to overlook) that these 'leaders' are just people like us. Choosing to be in politics didn't give them a genie with all the answers any more than ourselves.. and that finally, yes.. they are terrified, too.

You see where the first thread off this went almost immediately? 'It can happen here', 'Tanks in the streets' .. I made some post about Bikes I think, yesterday, and it turned into a gun thread. That's what fear is doing to a lot of people.

What it does to politicians is gets them to make very small, safe steps.. very Bold-Sounding and yet NonThreatening, Ineffectual statements.. they don't dare move, and yet we here keep talking about how they should 'Be Leading'.. What this representative implored us 'regular folk' to consider was that the movements, the actions, the new directions need to start out here where we are free to try things, experiment, join up and rally people.. give the Legislators something to grab on to, if they find it available and ready at an opportune moment. We are painfully aware that we are not (personally) in the spotlight or at the microphone. But in a very important way, that is something that leaves many of us at liberty to actually be doing things that they would be instantly crucified for.. yet which may be the actions that we are in desperate need of doing.

I'm not saying this to give them all a pass for the crimes, mistakes and omissions of the last few years or decades, but I think it's vitally important to get a sense of what they can and cannot do 'for' us up there in the seats of 'power'.


As much for myself as for anyone, I just have to add that one thing making an 'Action Plan' incredibly oppressive is this recurring realization that it will require scads of 'BB's', as the idea has been commonly put, to try to challenge our future energy shortfall. No one of them is going to be enough or come on-line fast enough to slide us through CrunchTime.

My inclination is often like the Dog with 15 dinnerplates on the kitchen-floor to choose between, and I keep switching plates, cause another one looks like it has more on it, after a lick is gone from this one. I think it makes sense to 'pick a BB' and let that be the area you will contribute the most, trusting that others will be picking the remaining complement. So often, when one BB is being championed here, it just gets trampled 'because it won't be enough'..

While I want my own household to have inputs from a number of BB's to try to offset whatever energy I'm buying.. most of my creative time with all this is working on ways to simply and cheaply retrofit existing housing with Solar Heating, Solar Lighting, Solar Cooking, both Solar and Winter Refrigeration Rigs, and things like converting AtticSpace into Growing Space, so your Garden Plot might be the topmost (previously unused, shunted) part of your home, where Asphalt Shingles for so many families is simply working to keep all that free energy away from us.

That's where I'm trying to work some solutions.. when I'm not looking for a car to electrify or a treadmill motor to adapt to windpower.. It's simple, and it's immediately complex again!

As William McDonough has said..
"It will take all of us, and it will take forever.. but isn't that the point?"


Congratulations to Al Gore on the Nobel Peace prize. Let's hope this makes people take the issue more seriously.