DrumBeat: October 12, 2007

OPEC exports to leap 670,000 bpd to Oct. 27

OPEC oil exports, excluding Angola, will jump 670,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the four weeks to Oct. 27, marking the biggest rise so far this year ahead of peak winter demand, an analyst who estimates future shipments said on Thursday.

Roy Mason of Oil Consultancy estimated OPEC 11 seaborne exports would rise to 24.49 million bpd, compared with 23.82 million bpd to Sept. 29 Mason said most of the extra supply was heading from the Gulf to Asian refiners.

Asked if the oil could represent the extra 500,000 bpd pledged by OPEC in September to the market from November 1, he replied: "No. I don't think so, it could much more be to do with the UAE's announcement on maintenance at a field in November."

From whale oil and beyond

FOR THOSE concerned about improving international security, fighting global warming, and reducing pollution, the petroleum era cannot end too soon. But that end will not come until other energy sources beat oil at its own game. While this may seem to be an impossible dream, a look back at the whale oil industry provides a measure of perspective and encouragement.

West geopolitics factor of oil scarcity-Total CEO

As global demand for oil and gas rises, consumer countries cannot afford to blacklist producing countries on geopolitical grounds, the head of Total, which is present in Iran and Myanmar, said on Thursday.

Total to Shut Feyzin Refinery in France for Repairs

Total SA, Europe's third-largest oil company, will shut down its refinery in Feyzin, France, for about seven weeks of maintenance starting Oct. 19.

Belarus offers Gazprom free gas transit if it builds pipelines

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko proposed that Russia start to build a second leg of a pipeline delivering natural gas to Europe, and offered free transit for five years.

Russia won't re-open oil pipeline, Lithuania says

Russia is unlikely ever to re-open its oil pipeline to Lithuania, closed in 2006 for repairs, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus said on Thursday.

Gazprom after new projects in Venezuela

Gazprom discussed its possible involvement in new projects in Venezuela at negotiations in the South American country, Russia's state-controlled natural gas giant announced on Friday.

The story of Iranian oil and Israeli pipes

Iran is trying to locate property and assets belonging to the Israeli government and three Israeli oil firms abroad, and Israel is trying to thwart it. This affair arises from an international arbitration that determined more than three years ago that the Paz, Sonol and Delek oil companies must compensate the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) hundreds of millions of dollars.

ConocoPhillips to Start Two North Sea Oil Fields This Weekend

ConocoPhillips plans to start two North Sea oil fields this weekend after a three-week maintenance shutdown. The fields feed into the benchmark Ekofisk blend.

Offshore oil: Two weeks on the ocean wave - A row over working hours could spiral out of control

At issue is the question of what exactly counts as work. Under the directive, workers are either at work, at rest or on holiday. Employees are guaranteed 11 hours of rest in every 24, and are entitled to four weeks holiday every year. The contractors argue that workers are resting on their oil rigs when they are not on shift, and that, since they spend as much time onshore as off, they already get the equivalent of 26 weeks' holiday a year.

Not so, say the unions. Even asleep in their bunks, they assert, employees cannot spend their time as they wish.

Korea Construction Giants Ride Oil Boom

Market players seeking innovative ways to benefit from higher oil prices might consider exposure to South Korea, whose construction companies are being hired to build the refineries, petrochemical plants, offices, and infrastructure springing up around the Middle East.

SimCity adds global warming to the mix

SimCity Societies -- the forthcoming installment in the classic urban simulation franchise -- will include a global warming variable. If your SimSocieties aren't carefully balanced, they'll swamp their environments with greenhouse gasses and die off. The module is produced with BP, who, I guess, are trying to figure out what a giant oil company does next.

EPA to issue CO2 sequestration rules

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday it plans to develop geologic carbon dioxide sequestration regulations.

EU Eases Hurdles for Hydrogen Cars, Funds Research

Hydrogen-powered cars will be cleared for sale in a uniform way throughout the European Union under new rules proposed by the European Commission on Wednesday.

Palm oil taking a breather, set to soar

Palm oil has lost 6.4 percent from record levels it hit in June but prices will rebound soon and test new highs by the end of the year, as the world’s appetite for biofuels grows and production remains stagnant.

Palm oil furore could stymie green fuel plan

THE rush to replace carbon-emitting petroleum with "clean green" biofuels is threatening to stall in the face of rising food prices, Federal Government disincentives and growing opposition from environmental groups sounding the alarm about large-scale deforestation to support fuel crops.

Nuclear-Free Sweden is Still Only a Dream

Nearly thirty years after Sweden voted to phase out nuclear energy, firms are quietly increasing plant capacity and there is no end in sight for a power source still providing half of the nation's electricity.

Niger: Uranium - Blessing Or Curse?

Niger, an impoverished country on the southern fringe of the Sahara desert, has one of the world's largest reserves of uranium, the main source of nuclear fuel - but virtually nothing to show for it.

Instead, say local and international organisations, uranium mining by foreign-dominated companies has caused environmental damage and health problems in the far north of the country.

The mining operations are also causing domestic political tensions: one of the main demands of an armed militia that has been fighting Niger's army since February, the Niger Movement for Justice (MNJ), is a more equitable distribution of the revenues from uranium mining.

At home: Here's a house that's 'ecological and fabulous'

"My mission is to show people that they can be ecological and look fabulous," says Joaquin, 37, who, before joining House & Garden, wrangled models in Milan and helped launch ecofabulous.com. "In college, I was the annoying person telling people to recycle. Now it's nice to see so many people want to go green."

Vietnam's Coal-Fueled Boom

Dao Duy Dang remembers the night in 1963 when the lights came on in Uong Bi. "People were so excited," the 70-year-old tea-shop owner says, recalling the cheers that rang through the northern Vietnamese town after one of the country's first coal-fired power plants began operating. "Their whole lives they had wished for electricity." Be careful what you wish for. Soon after the plant opened, Dang's wife developed a cough from the thick black smoke from the power plant that hung over the town. His children had near-constant runny noses and neighbors reported other nagging health problems. When Vietnam's government announced plans to add a second coal-fired generator in 2005, villagers didn't celebrate. "The people cried out," Dang says.

Green fuel gets a black name

It is a sickening picture. A photograph of six soft-eyed baby orang-utans stamped with the words "Orphaned by Palm Oil companies". The image, along with scores of others showing adult apes staring out through the bars of cages, has created a public relations disaster for global companies buying the oil that many hoped would fuel a green energy boom.

Kill king corn

A successful biofuels industry will not be based on digestible starch from staple crops such as corn.

China: Biofuel expert allays food-shortage worries

A biofuel expert yesterday rejected an international report claiming that China's plan to produce more biofuels could lead to food and water shortages in the country.

OECD report takes a closer look at future impact of biofuels

In Snapshot 34, we described how Brazil had, after 30 years of effort, achieved energy self-sufficiency by means of a massive program to convert sugar cane to ethanol. Now, in an attempt to reduce dependence on oil and become “greener,” many other countries are jumping on the ethanol bandwagon, too.

However, a recent Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) paper entitled Biofuels: Is The Cure Worse Than The Disease? raises some serious questions regarding the costs of the increased reliance on ethanol as a petroleum substitute. In particular, the environmental costs in terms of the degradation of land by the use of more fertilizer and pesticides and increased air pollution were considered.

Global-warming skeptics: Is it only the news media who need to chill?

In the 1970s, mainstream media outlets published stories about a coming age of "global cooling" and the climate disaster it would trigger. Headlines of the time proclaimed "The Cooling World" (Newsweek, 1975), "Scientists Ask Why World Climate Is Changing: Major Cooling May Be Ahead" (The New York Times, 1975), and "Earth Seems to be Cooling Off Again" (The Christian Science Monitor, 1974).

Today, skeptics of global warming sometimes point to what they call the "global-cooling scare" of the 1970s as a reason to discount what they hear now. If the news media 30 years ago hyped "global cooling" and were wrong, skeptics say, doesn't it follow that "global warming" coverage might prove equally wrong?

Al Gore's $100M climate ad blitz

Rising energy prices have done little to curb consumption. Can a big ad campaign from Al Gore do the trick?

Going green with window shutters and tiny cars

With oil prices stuck above $80 (U.S.) a barrel and utility bills rising to painful levels, Europeans are paying more attention to conservation. The good news is they are already much more sensible users of electricity, cooking gas, auto fuel and water than the gourmand North Americans, thanks to high energy taxes and sheer force of habit. We moved to Italy six months ago and we’ve picked up their conservation lessons in a hurry. We’re amazed at how fairly modest changes in lifestyle can add up to a lot of savings.

UK: Anger as island’s fuel prices reach all time high

Fuel prices on Arran have reached an all time high, cranking up the financial pressure on businesses and motorists.

Price inflation makes Ramadan, Eid difficult for many

Last year, Maryam Juma marked the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in style.

She spent US$40 on a goat, roasted the beast to perfection and invited 10 relatives over for a feast to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the festival at the end of Ramadan. She bought colorful new clothes for each of her children.

But this year, skyrocketing prices for staple foods and other goods have eaten into her budget, making celebrations she plans for Saturday much more low-key. Juma's story is being played out across the Muslim world due to soaring global grain costs, unstable fuel prices and other rising costs on the world market.

Shell gasoline-making unit at Singapore plant

Royal Dutch Shell has shut a 33,000 barrels per day (bpd) secondary processing unit at its Singapore refinery since a week ago due to an outage, forcing the major to buy fuel oil and has firmed up the gasoline market, industry sources said on Friday.

Charities prepare for cold

Last year especially was difficult because a fuel oil shortage led many vendors to refuse to serve any but regular customers, forcing the agency to “scrimp and save” and “call everybody possible,” Ciesielka said.

Iraq insurgency: Defending the railroads

Instability in central Iraq has cut al-Qaim off from Iraq's main supply lines.

Lt-Col Bohm would like to use trains to transport oil from the Baiji oil refinery to ease a fuel shortage.

Platts: OPEC Output Bolstered by Iraqi Volumes

Total crude-oil production from the 12 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose 300,000 barrels per day (b/d) in September, to 30.76 million b/d from 30.46 million b/d in August, as Iraqi volumes recovered and several other member countries further relaxed existing production constraints ahead of a formal output hike in November, a Platts survey showed October 11.

Greenland ice cap melting faster than expected

The ice cap in the northern hemisphere is melting a lot more rapidly that scientists thought, according to new research published Thursday by the Danish National Space Center.

"Until 2004, the glacier mass in the southeastern part of the island lost about 50 to 100 cubic kilometres (12 to 24 cubic miles) per year. After this date, the melting rate accelerated to 300 cubic kilometres per year. It's a jump of 400 percent, which is very worrying," National Space Center head researcher and project chief Abbas Khan told AFP.

Oil and metals fuel Canada's economy

Canada has tapped into a literal "underground economy" of oil and metals, suggesting it's no longer true, if it ever was, that we're a country of "hewers of wood and drawers of water," Statistics Canada said.

Canada has rediscovered its resource base over the last five years, thanks to the longest and strongest surge in commodity prices ever, Statistics Canada said Thursday in a report that focuses on the resources that are powering the Canadian economy early in the 21st century.

PEMEX tender contracts for approximately 12 billion pesos

As part of the integrated strategy that PEMEX has put forward towards the reinforcement of transparency and accounting of its activities, Petróleos Mexicanos is announcing six international public tenders for the execution of works in the facilities of Pemex Exploration and Production, (PEP).

Pemex Contract Worker Dies, Two Missing in Transport Ship Fire

Petroleos Mexicanos, the Mexican state-owned oil monopoly, said a transport ship carrying 176 workers caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in one death and two people unaccounted for.

Cheaper car insurance for eco-friendly drivers?

While many are attracted to the environmental aspects, improved fuel consumption, cheaper tax and lower car insurance bands are an additional attraction, managing director of motorinsurance.co.uk Paul Cosh said.

Singh May Forego U.S. Nuclear Deal to Save Government

The prime minister's comments signal he's prepared to allow the agreement, the centerpiece of renewed ties between the U.S. and India, to lapse. That may deny India access to the nuclear fuel and technology it wants to upgrade its reactors and step up electricity production in a country that faces a 13 percent shortage of power during peak hours.

Oil and gas: 'In a bit of a limbo phase'

The sustainability of the global energy industry is increasingly under scrutiny in an age where apocalyptic fears about global warming and peak oil production are creeping into the public's imagination.

Apart from the damaging effect on the environment caused by the release of carbon dioxide during the extraction and end use of oil and gas, there are a whole raft of other issues towards which shareholders have become more sensitive.

Steady Energy Supply Faces Big Challenges

The signs are indeed ominous. Spiraling costs are already starting to impact. A recent report said ConocoPhillips was reconsidering its joint venture refinery project with Saudi Aramco in Yanbu - apparently a casualty of rising cost. The project cost has almost doubled to $12 billion from the initial estimate of $6 billion, reports said. This project was of crucial importance to the global energy balance, as its scope included processing heavy crude, which does not have many takers in the current scenario.

A conflict with Brazil could be brewing

In a few words: a huge conflict around the Bolivian gas issue can break out in South America at any time, and Venezuela would have to be involved as a belligerent force.

New Zealand: Questions And Answers with Michael Cullen, Minister of Finance

Does he agree with the internationally acclaimed peak oil expert, Richard Heinberg, who has just finished his presentation on peak oil in the Beehive theatrette at lunchtime, and who is present in the gallery today, that New Zealand needs urgent expansion and electrification of public transport because liquid fuel production worldwide, even including oil from unconventional sources, peaked more than a year ago and now appears to be in decline?

Ecoshow gives glimpse of future

As decades of environmental despoliation begins to elicit a response from nature - in the form of global warming and all it entails - people will have to learn to adapt to a new set of rules governing the environment, says Ecoshow director Bryan Innes.

Storms will get stronger, droughts will be longer and some food crops will fail; what it now comes down to is how we respond to the coming challenges, he says.

Enter White, The Green Candidate

Portland Peak Oil activist Randy White says he will join the increasingly crowded race for Sam Adams’ city council seat.

OCCA honors Otsego lawyer

Edward Lentz of New Lisbon has been named conservationist of the year by the Otsego County Conservation Association.

At OCCA's annual dinner and meeting at the Otesaga Ballroom on Oct. 25, Lentz, 52, will be honored for his environmental work, which ranges from raising awareness about the world's declining oil stocks to asking probing questions about Catalyst Renewables.

Wind farm idea is floated

A New Jersey-based company wants to build about 150 wind turbines, each more than 40 stories tall, in the Atlantic Ocean 12 miles from the tourist-packed beaches of Ocean City.

Pentagon backs plan to beam solar power from space

A futuristic scheme to collect solar energy on satellites and beam it to Earth has gained a large supporter in the US military. A report released yesterday by the National Security Space Office recommends that the US government sponsor projects to demonstrate solar-power-generating satellites and provide financial incentives for further private development of the technology.

Gore, UN Climate Panel Share 2007 Nobel Peace Prize

Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their work to raise awareness about global warming.

In a statement, Gore said he was "deeply honored," adding that "the climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity."

The former vice president said he would donate his half of the $1.5 million prize to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a U.S. organization he founded that aims to persuade people to cut emissions and reduce global warming.

U.S. Government Seeks to Exchange Crude for Cash

The U.S. Department of Energy issued a solicitation seeking contracts to exchange up to approximately 13 million barrels from Federal leases in the Gulf of Mexico for crude oil that meets the specifications of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Bids are due by November 6, 2007.

Resource nationalism

Interestingly, an examination of resource nationalism through a theoretical analogue shows that, far from being irresponsible, it may be a feature of the underlying structure of global economy.

Oil sands as an industry saviour? The numbers tell the real story

The theme of this year's World Energy Outlook is surging Chinese and Indian demand and how it will be met (or not). The oil sands, relatively speaking, will probably not get much ink in the report. And that's the point. The IEA doesn't believe the oil sands, in spite of their rapid growth, will make anything more than "an important dent" in the global oil market - this from an IEA official who did not want to be named ahead of the report's publication. On the supply side of the equation, what the IEA cares about most is OPEC production, with special attention on Iran, the potential target of American fighter-bombers (more on Iran in a moment).

Alberta Oil Sands Group Makes Royalty Recommendations

A concerned group of in situ oil sands development corporations submitted a letter to the Government of Alberta in a joint response to the Report of the Alberta Royalty Review Panel. The companies assert that the Report fails to account for the many ways in which Alberta's smaller, entrepreneurial firms contribute to our economy by taking on huge risks and driving the technologies that make the Alberta Advantage possible.

Train derailment fire burns into 2nd day

Railroad tank cars carrying ethanol continued burning Thursday, more than 24 hours after a derailment and explosion drove hundreds of people from their homes, officials said.

Eight of the cars were loaded with potentially hazardous materials, mostly ethanol. One tanker that did not catch fire carried the more dangerous liquefied petroleum gas, said Garrick Francis, a spokesman for Jacksonville, Fla.-based CSX Corp.

The time has come for drastic action

There is now a growing concern among scientists that the two-degree warming cap accepted by the United Nations and European Union was based on a political compromise rather than a genuine scientific target. According to a paper prepared by Carbonequity, The Big Melt: Lessons from the Arctic Summer of 2007, which is available online, with the speed of change now in the climate system and the positive feedbacks that two degrees will trigger, it looms as a death sentence for a billion people and a million species.

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

In the US, as one door has closed on subprime lending, another has opened on credit card debt. Actually living within one's means doesn't always seem to be an option, for some due to poverty and for others due to greed. Either way, the debt hole Americans (and Canadians, and the British) are collectively digging themselves into is getting deeper by the day, and they start young.

As losses mount, the role of mortgage fraud, by both borrowers and lenders, and also potential securities fraud, is being revealed. The litigation is only just beginning, but be prepared for a storm of legal action and recriminations. The ratings agencies are looking vulnerable to European action as their ratings enabled the sale of bad loans to European institutions, under conditions of conflict of interest.

Signs of stress are spilling over from the world of high finance to the real economy, where trucking and shipping are feeling the slowdown. Meanwhile Canada (several months behind the US) is still seeing a booming housing market, but for how long?

Americans charge it as Bank of Subprime closes

The automated teller for home loans is empty and Americans are relying increasingly on credit cards to pay their living costs, indicating tough hurdles ahead for U.S. consumer spending and markets.

Federal Reserve data released on Friday showed U.S. consumer borrowing rising by $12.18 billion in August, more than 20 percent more than economists had forecast. Most striking was an 8.1 percent increase in borrowing on revolving credit lines, mostly credit cards, to a record $909 billion. Credit card borrowings rose at the sharpest rate since early 2002.

So what was it that persuaded consumers to rack up more debt during the month?

Was it the increasing press coverage, no doubt reinforced by friends and family, that their houses were worth less than a month or a year ago? Or was it the near meltdown in financial and credit markets that prompted a surge in speculation about an upcoming recession?

Quite possibly, it wasn't because they felt better, but because things had gotten suddenly worse.

And I'll say it again - there are a lot of Americans who are flat-out broke, but have credit card debt they'll never be able to pay.

That debt continues to rack up interest at 30% (it's really 30 or more per cent too)

That extra balance shows up as more "charge it!" behavior

That extra "charge it!" behavior is taken to mean more economic activity.

It's taken to be, essentially, more dollars in the "mill".....

But those dollars aren't real. I'll do my BK* and you'll do your BK and the neighbor does theirs, and suddently dollars are disappearing all over the place and we're all living on about $300 a month, squatting with friends and picking sorrel salads and having oats for breakfast, there was not only no real additional economic activity, but our consumption goes way DOWN. Kiss of death for the american system.

*Sigh. The new BK law is no problem for those below their state's median income. Which I am, in spades. Also, with no assets, one course of action is to simply do nothing until the statute of limitations makes me or someone like me judgement-proof.

Congratulations to Al Gore on the Nobel Peace Prize. Let's hope this encourages people to take the matter more seriously.

P.S. Long time lurker, first time poster. Thanks to everyone at TOD for the top class intelligent analysis and news. You people have changed my life.

Perfect timing to note that today the arctic sea ice anomaly hit a new record in excess of 2.5 Million square kilometres, although how much in excess is not clear, as the line falls off the graphs...



This will be the second time in 2 months they have to rescale the y-axis (sea ice anomoly) to include the most recent data. Nonlinearity is the name of the game.

Already the critics are complaining that climate change has nothing to do with peace. Good grief, have they been living in a cave? Even the Pentagon is warning that climate change will fuel warfare and unrest.

There's nothing wrong with climate change as a topic linked to peace. For those who don't get that one yet, just wait a few years more. But Gore and the IPCC are the exact wrong bodies to award it to. It's one-on-one the same as giving Kissinger the prize in 1973.

The IPCC has by now sufficiently been proven to be a hopelessly backward, always-late and inadequate panel. When 2000 scientists have to reach consensus on every single word published, that is no surprise, All that sort of organization requires is a handful of industry stoogies, and they'll never get anything right. It was set up that way for precisely that purpose: to be a huge failure. And that's the only part of it that actually works.

Gore waxes incessantly about the growth opportunities offered by climate change, if only we all get "green jobs". The 180 off-the-mark message, either utterly clueless or intentionally misleading. No, we cannot keep this economy rolling and save the planet's climate and ecosystem at the same time.

And, really, this was the message:

"This live coverage of Live Earth was brought to you by Chevy".

If that's not clear enough, we have nothing left to talk about.

Gore is as wrong as the IPCC is, and both are the completely and gloriously wrong parties to hand this award to for global warming. They fail in every sense there is. And hereby, so does the Nobel committee. And whatever still might have been done to prevent the worst outcomes, fades ever further into the distance, receding beyond horizons. It's not as if there were no other candidates with a connection to the subject. There are activists like Sheila Watt-Cloutier, and there are scientists like James Hansen.

The one word that truly fits the occassion is perverse.

It's amazing Hansen was passed over for the prize.

Giving Hansen the prize would have been my choice for this years prize, as the theme seems to be AGW, but that's not the way the system works. The peace prize is a tool for the nobel comittee to highlight something they feel is important, and that is in some way related to peace. Last year it was microcredit and economic development among the extremely poor, before that nuclear proliferation.

This year it's global warming. I have not seen Gore's movie, but a lot of people have. Gore is very famous, and the comittee decided that awarding the prize to him would get the most bang for the buck when it comes to publicity. The fact that he is just an ordinary politician and that the IPCC seems to be always hopelessly outdated doesn't matter, because most people doesn't know that.

Personally I believe Norway should give the prize back to sweden, the reason we got to hand it out in the first place was that Norway hadn't started a war in modern times, and it probably seemed like a nice gesture towards the Swe-Nor union's "little brother". After Norway went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan I don't see how we can credibly hand out this prize.

After Norway went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan I don't see how we can credibly hand out this prize.

Well, it is only fitting that the prize is awarded by the wrong people to the wrong people. That is an excellent way to make sure the wrong message is delivered.

Fortunately, I'm not the only one who sees the perversity.

Sharon Astyk wrote this morning:

Well, Al Gore and the IPCC won the Nobel Prize, something I'm more than a little ambivalent about. On the one hand, they both did an enormous amount to draw attention to climate change, and that's really important.

On the other hand, in re: Al Gore, I'm reminded of what Tom Lehrer said when Henry Kissinger was given the Nobel Peace Prize, that it made political satire obsolete.

I mean the man was a participant in the Clinton policies that, among other things, allowed half a million kids in Iraq to die from sanctions.

But then again, I would have thought "never was a Nazi" was a criteria for Pope, and that's clearly untrue. And obviously the "never was a mass murderer" bar for the Nobel Peace Prize, if it ever existed, is long since broken. Probably my standards are too high.

I think you misjudge him. I have evolved (devolved?) to a realist (i.e. doomer) point of view, as I do not see any "solution" that would result in making our present lives and lifestyles viable again. But painting a picture of what I think is coming our way would never work, even though I really believe it is true. The fact is that with regard to climate change, the trigger has already been pulled, and the changes are already locked in for the remainder of my natural life, and that of my children as well. But we could still help change things for the longer range, and that is worth while.

To my thinking, the discussion should really be moving to mitigation strategies, as opposed to prevention, but even there I see many problems that appear to be unsolvable. Nonetheless, how can we possibly move to a discussion of mitigation, when people still deny the possibility of anything happening? Gore's efforts are targeted at the mainstream center, and I think they are well targeted too. Al Gore is clearly a bright man, and he has been thinking about these issues for a very long time. He has access to all of this information, and I think the odds that he might fail to understand the implications are slim. But he could not possibly come out and show the more dire situation reflected by reality to the masses. The blowback would destroy the message and the messenger, and nothing would be accomplished.

So what can he accomplish? I do not know, but somehow I cannot help but feel it is right to let people know the truth, even if you don't believe they'll do anything useful with it, and even if there isn't anything useful they can do with it. And the masses will need to have their truth dispensed in small doses before they are receptive to the whole picture.

Where have we been fighting? Oh, Somalia, under great stress due to climate change, and Afghanistan, facing the same?

There is a very strong correlation between climate change that affects humans and humans affecting those around them. Any assertion to the contrary is purely Faux Noise style stupidity in motion ...

I seem to recall a Pentagon report which predicted global climate change in the future, where "Once again, warfare would define human life."


Oh, and there's this:

Gore climate film's 'nine errors'

This is one of them:

Mr Gore's assertion that a sea-level rise of up to 20 feet would be caused by melting of ice in either West Antarctica or Greenland "in the near future". The judge said this was "distinctly alarmist" and it was common ground that if Greenland's ice melted it would release this amount of water - "but only after, and over, millennia".

I don't really blame the judge; the science is moving so fast in this area. But 20' is looking like it's way conservative.

Can we have that judge stand down on the beach and litigate the tide away?

Like that medieval king, whatsisname...

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


Have you read The nine alleged errors in the film?

This judge's ancestor filled the Ozzie Penal Colony with
people stealing loaves of bread.

Exact same mentality.

1-He agreed that if Greenland melted it would release this amount of water - "but only after, and over, millennia"

1a-IPCC says Arctic to be ice free by 2013.

2-Pacific atolls "are being inundated because of anthropogenic global warming" but the judge ruled there was 2a-Leader of imperiled Maldives issues stark warning on sea level rise.
www.iht.com/articles/2007/02/04/news/maldives.php - 45k

3-the judge said that it was "very unlikely" that the Ocean Conveyor, also known as the Meridional Overturning Circulation, would shut down in the future, though it might slow down.

3a-"very unlikely" is a legal term?

4-The judge said that, although there was general scientific agreement that there was a connection, "the two graphs do not establish what Mr Gore asserts".
4a-proof that the judge is into obfuscation.

And on and on. Grasping at straws the Old Guard
slowly dies off.
Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

I assume he was just repeating what the scientist witnesses told him.

I don't know how it works in the UK, but in the US, the whole "expert witness" thing is nauseating. A lot of the "experts" don't know much about anything, except how to get lawyers to pay them big bucks to say whatever will help their case. And the judges and juries don't know enough to tell who's the more reliable "expert."

Heck, juries are chosen for their ignorance. I was once rejected for jury duty, on the grounds that I was an engineer. What's wrong with being an engineer? They were afraid I would rely on my own expertise, rather than accept the expert witnesses' testimony unquestioningly. (And they had very good reason to fear that. ;-)

I assume he was just repeating what the scientist witnesses told him.

(Because I can refute the 9 "errors" off the top of my head.)

Then the judge is being bought off by BP.

But I curse this judge and the Media for equating this
verdict with proof of being alarmist.

But we move on as does Mother Earth.

Non Linear is now the order of the day.

From PO, to Tipping Point in Climate, to Peak Grain,
to Peak Population.

The Black Swan floats into view ina ll her glory:

Under the NEB predictions, Canadian gas supplies will shrink to a range between 14.5 bcf/d to 15.8 bcf a day during 2007 to 2009. The flow of natural gas from Western Canada will decline to 13.7 bcf/d, from 16.2 bcf/d during the same period.

Daily output at Mexico's biggest oil field, Cantarell, highlights the problem. Production there dropped by a staggering half a million barrels in the last 18 months, to 1.5-million barrels from 2-million. Once the world's second-biggest oil field, it is expected to continue losing production, down to as little as 600,000 barrels a day by 2013.


USDA: Wheat Stockpiles Shrinking Fast
Friday October 12, 9:21 am ET
U.S. Wheat Stockpiles Poised to Fall to Lowest in 59 Years on Robust Foreign Demand, USDA Says

And the Big Lie continues out of Australia:

Wheat exports lie in WA crops after welcome rain

Geoff Easdown-this guy must be the Judith Miller of Ozzieland-;}

September 25, 2007 12:00am

THE nation's biggest wheat-growing region has been given a much welcome drink after a rain squall passed across a large part of the Western Australian wheatbelt yesterday.


What's really happening:


Drought continues to eat into wheat crop
2nd October 2007, 11:45 WST

Even the banks are praying for rain.

The National Australia Bank today warned of a “desperate” need for rain across much of the nation’s farm lands.

Economist Skye Dixon warned the outlook for the wheat crop, already in great stress, was only getting worse.

Ozzie satellite Infrared:


Not a cloud in the sky. Maybe 7 million tons.

BTW-you're doing great work, Leanan.


Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

Yes, non-linear does indeed seem to be the order of the day.

As I point out (and this just infuriates some people): "The numbers and the laws of physics do not care one wit what you or I think about them or whatever meaning is assigned to them or to the person discussing them.

They simple are and that's really all you need to know."

Yes, I agree about jury duty. I and a friend of mine, on different summons, were also dismissed due to education.

I made the point in the Marie Antoinette thread that just accelerating melting will release increasing amounts of water, steadily flooding coastlines over the next 15 years, yielding steady, ongoing damage.

If massive parts of the ice sheet break apart and suddenly slide off the land into the ocean, we can expect a series of destructive tidal waves, punctuating sudden large rises in sea level, likely killing millions worldwide living near coastlines, leaving tens of millions more suddenly homeless and jobless, leaving businesses large and small in ruin, possibly bankrupting the insurance industry or crushing the economy.

If peak oil doesn't do that first.

Hmmm... what would one well placed suitcase nuke be able to do to the ice shelf? One nuke can destroy a city center and contaminate a wide area but sticking it where it can cause a huge area of ice to crash into the ocean seems like it would exponentionally increase the damage. Terrorists seem to really like methods that leverage into higher degrees of damage.

Of course I could be way off on scale here about the force needed to cause such an event. I just remember a few years ago talk of part of the Canary Islands possibly breaking off and causing a tidal wave that would wipe out the eastcoast of North America.

Hello EngineerAU,

Interesting theory, but a suitcase nuke is not needed. My speculative prediction is that Mother Nature is working just fine with her Climate Change Toolset to collapse most of the Ross Ice Shelf in the next five years or less. The collapse of the Larsen Ice Shelf was just a preview of worse things to come.

Once this floating shelf is gone: the ice in the subsea Bentley Subglacial Trench [basically the size of Mexico] is free to fracture to pieces. Then the whole of the WAIS is free to slip and slide away downhill to the ever-rising sea level.

The downthread link to a graphical tool on sea level is fascinating [my thxs to the poster]. The damage from surface saltwater encroachment will be bad enough on its own, but the tool doesn't show how rising sea levels will turn many aquifers brackish. I posted much earlier on how aquifer depletion in Hermosillo, Mexico combined with porous sedimentary layers extending into the ocean have allowed seawater to migrate miles inland.

IMO, it would be interesting to have some expert hydrologists/geologists evalute our coastlines for subsurface saltwater intrusion. Could the sedimentary layers in the GoM make many freshwater aquifers far inland useless if sea levels rise 5 meters? How about the Colorado River Delta: could the Salton Sea and even Death Valley see saltwater seepage. How far would subsurface seawater migrate into the Saramento Delta? Other areas of aquifer concern: Florida aquifers, Chesapeake Bay, etc.

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

Excellent thoughts, as always, Bob. Time to get those notepads on desalination ideas again, the ones where power plants can no longer provide sufficient electricity.

Yeah, well, delta G still equals delta H minus T delta S, so it'll take energy, lots of it, to desalinate water, notepad notions notwithstanding.

This would be a very serious problem in FL, Bob. The soil is very porous (measured in feet of water movement per day typically) and we get virtually all of our water from aquifers. Already there has been saltwater intrusion to the point that the Cocoa Beach water treatment plant (which just pumps groundwater) is located a good 30 miles to the west in Orange County.

Actually, did ANYBODY on this site notice that ANTARCTIC sea ice is at an all-time maximum? The collapse of the Southern ice shelfs will take a bit longer I suppose...

Is there a reason you provide no proof for this statement?

Because anybody actually reading CRYOSPHERE TODAY would see it. Go to Cryosphere Today, http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/
(the same site with the off-the-charts graph of Arctic sea ice mentioned upthread)and scroll down through the announcements until you get to

UPDATE: Monday, October 1, 2007 - Record SH sea ice maximum and NH sea ice minimum

Just when you thought this season's cryosphere couldn't be more strange .... The Southern Hemisphere sea ice area narrowly surpassed the previous historic maximum of 16.03 million sq. km to 16.17 million sq. km. The observed sea ice record in the Southern Hemisphere (1979-present) is not as long as the Northern Hemisphere. Prior to the satellite era, direct observations of the SH sea ice edge were sporadic.

therefore, in the Arctic: high temperature =>sea ice and glaciers melt
in the Antarctic: low temperature => lots of sea ice, little melting of glaciers, West Antarctic will not "collapse" any time soon
Conclusion: total melt until 2100 will be more than people thought a few years ago, but less than the prophets of doom predict (Alpha Male Prophet of Doom was actually the name of one of the posters a few months ago)

Sea ice is made from water already in the sea.

The concern is regarding ice from land (the ice sheet, vs the sea ice) melting into the sea.

The Greenland Ice Sheet, when it melts, will contribute roughly 7m to the ocean levels.

The Antarctic Ice Sheet, if it melted, would contribute 70 meters to ocean levels.

So a 20 to 25 foot rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet is probably the minimum we can expect.

Best thoughts and actions for preventing the need to deal with a 200 foot increase in sea level.

Yes. It's been discussed at length here.

Yes, the Antarctic ice shelf has been discussed here.

  1. The new maximum is only a tiny bit higher than the prior maximum, meaning that it is statistically insignificant and the deviation is not much more than "noise" unless or until a clear trend of increases in established.
  2. The Antarctic is in the dead of winter right now which is exactly when the ice sheet is supposed to be growing the most.
  3. NASA has released evidence that melting has begun in Antarctica decades ahead of predicted schedule during their summer melt season.

The item with which you are concerned is of extremely little importance at the current time. We will need years of repeated maximums setting a clear trend before this year means anything by itself for Antacrtica. And frankly, I do not expect those repeated maximums to ever occur at this point in time. On the other hand, the Arctic low was so much lower than normal (approximately 22% lower) that it clearly is of concern which is why there is so much interest in it.

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

Thanks for the explanation, Grey.

They certainly have not read that the large melt of sea ice is not CO2 related either.



"The scientists observed less perennial ice cover in March 2007 than ever before, with the thick ice confined to the Arctic Ocean north of Canada. Consequently, the Arctic Ocean was dominated by thinner seasonal ice that melts faster. This ice is more easily compressed and responds more quickly to being pushed out of the Arctic by winds. Those thinner seasonal ice conditions facilitated the ice loss, leading to this year's record low amount of total Arctic sea ice.

Nghiem said the rapid decline in winter perennial ice the past two years was caused by unusual winds. "Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic," he said. When that sea ice reached lower latitudes, it rapidly melted in the warmer waters.

"The winds causing this trend in ice reduction were set up by an unusual pattern of atmospheric pressure that began at the beginning of this century," Nghiem said."


Note it said "winter perrenial ice". So Greyzone, why are you arguing that the WINTER permanent ice in the Antarctic is not a valid comparison. By what method are you deciding that. Winter ice in the Arctic is gone, and winter ice in the Antarctic is growing. Why are you trying to discount winter ice as a non valid comparison.

I guess the better question, is why didn't you know about this study. Or has JPL/NASA now been bought off too. And you try and call me a conspiracy theorist. Pot kettle, as they say, ehh.

eh, perhaps you might actually look at the link in GZ's post, referring to melting in the antarctic. It too was done by S. Nghiem from JPL.

Regarding your recent JPL news blurb, far be it for me to speak for GZ, but it has NOTHING TO DO WITH ANTARCTICA.

Other than that your comments are incoherent.

Foot mouth, as they say, ehh?

PS - Try replying to the correct post.

if YOU actual read his post and it would be clear that he was replying to biologist not GZ.

If you check out http://nsidc.org/news/press/2007_seaiceminimum/20070810_index.html
you can see the winds an animation of the wind described by S. Nghiem in the NASA press release in Fig 4 of the 26 September 2007 post and the ice flowing out of the Arctic basin past Greenland can be seen in the animation in Fig 4 of the 22 August 2007 post.

I don't suppose that one might consider that the wind currents which are said to have pushed the sea-ice thru the Fram Strait might also be changed due to AGW. Naa, that would be too obvious. However, there has been some suggestion that the so-called Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) may have flipped into the cold phase. Since everything is coupled, it becomes really difficult to sort thru the chain of cause and effect.

Last winter, there was an apparent change in the THC in the Greenland Sea as seen in the sea-ice data, perhaps an indication of an overall slowdown. I would look for more unusual weather this winter, especially so if there are no more tropical storms entering the Gulf of Mexico before the end of the hurricane season. All that warm water in the Gulf acts like a fully charged battery, which will dump it's energy in some direction under the right conditions. If that isn't overhead, as a tropical storm, then I think the resulting winter storms and precipitation later in the may be a shock.

As for the Antarctic, remember the Ozone Hole? Ozone is a greenhouse gas and there being less of late, the result should be colder conditions. All that cold air flows off the Antarctic continent over the ocean, which freezes. More cold air would result in more sea-ice at the end of the freeze season.

E. Swanson

I am not so sure about this whole tidal wave business in connection with tidewater glaciers.

When something that big moves horizontally it moves very fast in terms of geological time, but not that fast. I think rapid ice sheet slide is something like kilometers per day rather than kilometers per year, and probably not the many multiple kilometers per hour needed to generate a tsunami.

Calving events can and do create fairly impressive waves in constrained spaces but the energy isn't there for an ocean spanning slosh - they're impressive, but local events. The Lituya Bay tsunami is of this type, but it began at the head of the fjord, with the high sides and constrained spaces making it more impressive than had the collapsing face been directly on the sea. This was not an ice event but rather unstable rock, the similarity is found in the scope of the event.

Someone references the La Palma volcano collapse - this definitely the hand of $DEITY slapping the surface of the Atlantic, should that come to pass, but the events are totally different. When La Palma lets go it'll be similar to the event at Lituya Bay in Alaksa in that its rock, and on a much larger scale, but the physics are just not the same.

A La Palma eruption will drop a massive amount of volcanic rock from a pretty good height essentially instantaneously - E = 1/2 M * V^2. A tidewater glacier is basically a long tube of ice on an inclined plane - so we're talking about the kinetic coefficient of friction between this flexible ice mass and its fjord. Ice is brittle on a small scale and brittle when not under pressure, so the sheet won't simply slide into the sea wholesale, it'll break up as it exits the fjord the glacier has carved. The calving events may produce impressive local waves but they'll be just that; local events.

As further proof I'll offer that there are many studies regarding the effects of ice dams failing and large glacial lakes draining on land as well as current photos of glacial dams blocking fjords with locally impressive results, but I've never seen any suggestion that ocean spanning tsunamis would result from rapid ice sheet draining other than here on TOD.

I would welcome proof that this is possible, as many have seen that televised special about the Lituya Bay and La Palma tsunamis, and being able to connect the Greenland sheet draining to that simple, visual reference point might get folks moving who are currently sitting on their hands. I just don't think an ice sheet draining is an ocean sized tsunami producing event.

We didn't anticipate the moulins, either, to be perforating the interior of the ice sheet, resulting in the now-nonlinear melt.

What happens to trees when they are infested with termites? Can parts of an infrastructure-compromised tree suddenly collapse and fall off?

The idea is definitely possible.

But, you are right, and I did make the same statement. If we are talking about meltwater drainage, then no, no sudden, punctuated damage. Just a long, huge bleed.

Even if its a large mass of ice coming out fairly quickly I don't think glaciers move with enough speed to cause a large scale tsunami. The events would be limited to the maximum size of the bits calving off the front of the glacier.

We keep coming back to this whole collapse thing, but glacier lay horizontally on the land, they don't stand up like trees or mountains. What governs a glacier's movement is the angle of the grade and the kinetic coefficient of friction between the ice mass and the fjord. Glaciers are also plastic - ice is brittle on human scales, but an ice cube the size of a fjord flows like a piece of tar on a hot day.

I have been looking since this topic came up and it would appear that with the exception of discussions on TOD no one, no matter how alarmist, thinks we'll get a La Palma style event out of any glacial/ice sheet activity. The reported hazards are almost all to do with melt water lakes - lakes forming in places and then bursting, or glaciers closing off waterways and the level behind the glacier rising. Fast movement for a large glacier or ice sheet happen over seasons, not in a single instant.

If I'm not mistaken this whole idea of massive parts of either Greenland or Antarctica ice sheets (excepting the Ross Ice Shelf) sliding off the land into the ocean is impossible because they are in fact so heavy that the land mass they sit on is depressed -- in some instances below sea level!

Here's is one quick google link about Greenland describing this fact: http://www.greatestplaces.org/notes/g_land.htm

"The bedrock beneath the ice is an eastern extension of the Canadian Shield, the expanse of ancient granite rock that makes up much of Canada's vast interior lowland plain. The surface of the bedrock is far from even. In some places it lies below sea level, while elsewhere it rises up to form high mountain ranges. (The highest peak in Greenland, Mount Gunnbjorn in the eastern coastal range, reaches 12,139 feet.) In overall contours the land surface beneath the ice is more or less saucer-shaped, with a central depression bordered by mountain ranges."

The same is true of Antarctica which I read about many years ago. A little common sense and readily available geologic knowledge here should dispell once and for all this wild notion.

However, of greater concern would be the affect of weight loss displacement upon the tectonic plate system across the globe. I fully expect that more and likely greater events of earthquakes and volcanism will result from all this ice sheet loss as the tectonic system adjusts to the changing pressure from this land loss of ice.

God only knows when this may be evident, but like everything else happening in this ice sheet meltdown regard, we'll find out sooner than later.

I'm not so sure the 'saucer-shaped' contours would keep all the ice in place, but it's an interesting factoid, thanks.

I do think it's interesting to think about isostatic rebound, which this suggests doing. Basically, any land which has had a shitload of ice on it has sunk into the mantle. If the ice were to slide or melt off, the land would rise. Not immediately, but perhaps not all that slowly either. In addition to earthquakes and possibly a bit of volcanism associated with such, I winder if it might not contribute a little to sealevel rise.

Surely there are many geologists on here with more recent degrees than mine. Any thoughts on Greenland isostasy to round out that particular scenario?

thanks and good night.

You guys kill me. A little quality time with Google and Google Earth yielded this:

Jakobshavn Glacier, Greenland

If you open the photo page you'll find a small "note" in the upper left showing the location of Jakobshavn Isbrae, the place where 10% of Greenland's ice drainage happens. Its a long, narrow fjord that used to have a floating ice tongue, but that all collapsed over the last few years, leaving the glacier directly interfacing with the sea.

Jakobshavn from 1850 to 2003

The complete failure of the Greenland ice cap would add 7m to global sea levels. There isn't going to be any giant tsunami when it all slides into the ocean. Ice is plastic on a large scale and brittle on smaller scales when faced with sudden changes - the ice makes its way to the ocean, then breaks away in chunks not much wider than the total height of the face of the glacier producing them. The ice will drain, perhaps rapidly in the scheme of things, leaving a layer that lacks the oomph to reach the ocean, and that will melt in place.

The land rebound happens in geological time frames even if the ice drains very quickly. Rock flows, too, but not nearly so quickly as ice. We're 10,000 years past the Wisconsin glaciation and Canada is still rebounding at 1cm/year.


I agree that the notion of giant tsunami from ice sheet melting is not at all probable and stated as much with one simple to grasp but good reason why. So I'm uncertain as to who you are referring to with your "You guys kill me" remark. I think in this instance you're barking up the wrong tree.

But if you suppose that all this rapid Greenland ice melt will not also result in an increase in earthquake and volcanic activity (without claiming that it'll happen like tomorrow, but will be felt sooner than later across the globe) I do respectfully submit that you kill me too.


You guys kill me.... The land rebound happens in geological time frames even if the ice drains very quickly. Rock flows, too, but not nearly so quickly as ice. We're 10,000 years past the Wisconsin glaciation and Canada is still rebounding at 1cm/year.

Careful what you wish for. Why the snarky reply to my post? I'm not writing about tsunamis, I posted on isostatic rebound & sea-level rise.

I requested someone who was more on top of facts and got you? See, this is the core problem of internet dating.

Yes, I know theres a circa-1 cm isostatic rise in the wake of the previous glaciation, my geology degree isn't THAT frikkin' old.

You, however, seem to be taking the position that losing ice cover semi-gradually 10,000 years ago is analagous to abruptly losing a lot in a few decades. Is there an adult at home I can talk to?

In the meanwhile, I did a quick google and found a bunch of stuff about tectonic activity from isostatic rebound, for instance:

The ice sheet is getting swiss-cheesed and will eventually lose the internal structure needed to support its own weight.

Like termites in a tree, or osteoporosis in the bone (osteo meaning bone, porosis as in porous, as in having many holes), both of which, under the "normal" stresses of simply trying to maintain internal stability, will cause parts of the tree or bone will abruptly break, snap off, or otherwise collapse under their own weight when the structure is compromised.

The Greenland Ice Sheet will eventually break or collapse because of moulins compromising the internal structure. Whether it will fall or slide into the ocean after collapse is still an interesting question to investigate.

Please. It's only an "interesting question to investigate" for someone who refuses to understand and accept that it isn't going to happen as you keep supposing it might.

Simply stated this swiss-cheesed and softened "ice sheet" would have to "slide" up and over all the Greenland coastal mountains. It just ain't gonna happen.

Or maybe just between the mountains, as SCT suggested.

Between the mountains is how glacial tongues of the ice sheets flow into the ocean, and which are now in retreat. Even expecting that a flowing tongue portion of any larger ice sheet will suddenly let go and slide off into the ocean at once is just not likely as they quickly fracture into slices and the land surfaces are not at all smooth.

Certainly calving faces of these glacial tongues create waves, as I've witnessed first hand in Alaska, but the notion of a massive tongue letting go, sliding into the ocean to create a massive tsunami on the scale as orginally posited is IMHO near impossible.

Is it at all possible? Anything is if you want to imagine it so, but I'd rather worry about those things we know are possible and are happening now. This isn't one of them.

Godraz has it - ice sheet size, geometry, grade on which it lays, and friction with the underlying earth determine how fast it moves ... we have a serious problem with the Greenland ice sheet, but it isn't going to generate The Day After Tomorrow sized dramatic events that'll attract the attention of the MSM.

Sorry, I thought we were still talking about Al Gore and sea level rise.

If you noticed the quotation marks around 'error' then you are more observant than all of the journalists I listed above. Burton is not saying that there are errors, he is just referring to the things that Downes alleged were errors. Burton puts quote marks around 'error' 17 more times in his judgement. Notice also the emphasised part -- Burton is not even trying to decide whether they are errors or not. This too seems to have escaped the journalists' attention. (And yes, that was Bob Carter mentioned there.)

So what is Burton assessing in his judgement? Well, s407 says that where political issues are involved there should be "a balanced presentation of opposing views" so Burton states that the government should make it clear when "there is a view to the contrary, i.e. (at least) the mainstream view". Burton calls these "errors or departures from the mainstream".

So contrary to all the reporters' claims Burton did not find that there were 9 scientific errors in AIT, but that there were nine points that might be errors or where differing views should be presented for balance.

Yes, we should blame the judge.

If you have an large block of ice and a pool of water, and you melt the ice and drop the melted ice into the pool, how long does it take to raise the level of the pool?

The time it takes is dependent on the flow rate of water into the pool. Drop the water in all at once, the pool rises nearly instantaneously.

If the ice melts completely in 15 years, the water levels will rise during that time frame.

The judge cannot actually be this stupid.

20' is conservative. 20m - 35m is more like it.

As noted by Leanan, others, and myself, sea level rise only requires Greenland ice to displace ('slide') into the ocean. It won't matter how long it takes to melt to those living below 18 ft above the current sea level.

And that's exactly what's going to/what is happening:

The ice cap, located in Greenland, is melting four times more rapidly than at the beginning of the decade according to the study. Glaciers in southeastern Greenland release icebergs into the sea, corresponding to a giant ice cube measuring 6.5 kilometres (4 miles) per side.

The researchers measured ice melt with ultra-sensitive Global Positioning Systems (GPS) stations located in the mountains and along the ice cap.

The measurements indicated that the mountains hugging glaciers in the southeastern part of Greenland rose four to five centimetres (1.5 to two inches) per year, and that the banks of the glaciers thinned 100 metres per year.

The Greenland ice cap measures 1.7 million square kilometres (656,000 square miles) and is 3.2 kilometres (two miles) thick.


Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

To quote a little more from the article linked above:

"Until 2004, the glacier mass in the southeastern part of the island lost about 50 to 100 cubic kilometres (12 to 24 cubic miles) per year. After this date, the melting rate accelerated to 300 cubic kilometres per year. It's a jump of 400 percent, which is very worrying," National Space Center head researcher and project chief Abbas Khan told AFP.

The ice cap, located in Greenland, is melting four times more rapidly than at the beginning of the decade according to the study. Glaciers in southeastern Greenland release icebergs into the sea, corresponding to a giant ice cube measuring 6.5 kilometres (4 miles) per side.

"It's an alarming development," Khan said. "We do not know if it is due to global warming or other factors."

The results of the study were made in conjunction with US-based University of Colorado and published Thursday on an online edition of Geophysical Research Letters magazine.

Anyone know just how many asserts, heck large portions of major cities, as well as population, there are between 0 - 18 ft above the current sea level?

Firetree lets you plug in your own sea level rise, and see how it would affect anywhere on Google Earth.

Here's the US with sea levels 5m (18 ft) higher. (You can zoom in closer if you want.)

Thanks - great functionality. I know this was posted yesterday but using it now. WARNING - it's fairly approximate. For near coastal sites where I know the elevation, this map underestimates the area that will become part of the seafloor.

That said, every refinery and nuke plant and a number of coal and gas fired power plants in my state would be underwater.


Do you know of similar maps that would cover other areas of the world--like Saudi Arabia for example?

Que? All you need to do to look at SA is to zoom out and use the hand tool to center on the ME. At 14m rise Qatar is almost an island, and much more of KSA production is offshore. Or will receive involuntary water cuts.

My Doomer friend will be pleased to know he'll have beachfront property. I notice that 1m rise is enough to swamp parts Portland International Airport (PDX) - wonder what's in store for La Guardia and others?

YS - the map Leanan linked to covers the world. In SA, many coastal oil/gas facilities would be surrounded/under water, not to mention a fraction of homes/businesses.

At the risk of burning up more server space, here are the qualifications about the maps, where any highlighting is mine (click "ABOUT' on webpage to get this):

There are a number of significant sources of inaccuracy. All of these inaccuracies are optimistic - correcting the inaccuracy would make the consequences of sea level rise look worse. I’ve made a conscious effort to avoid ad hoc corrections for these effects. If these maps have a purpose, it is to encourage the general public to consider the consequences of global warming. If I were to make corrections that make more bits of the map shaded blue, then I would run the risk of having the whole thing discredited as alarmist.

Firstly, the model knows nothing about the tides. Since tidal variation can be 10m or more in some parts of the world, this is a major deficiency.

Secondly, the NASA data itself is not very accurate. Jonathon Stott has said that “NASA claims their height data is accurate to +/- 16m with 90% certainty”. NASA gathered the data by radar from orbit, so buildings and trees cause a systematic overestimation of the elevation of built-up and forested areas.

Thirdly, the NASA data does not extend beyond +/-60 degrees latitude. Its accuracy becomes degraded at the extremes of its range, especially in the Southern hemisphere, I am told.

Fourthly, the simulation takes no account of the effects of coastal erosion. I believe that anywhere within a metre or so of daily maximum sea level would be swiftly eroded. So areas which my model shows as future ‘coastline’ would almost certainly be quickly eroded away.

Fifthly, I don’t take any account of coastal defences. It’s obviously possible to build defences that protect habitable land far below sea level. I’ve got no way of knowing whether current defences (in Holland, say) are able to withstand an extra +1 metre of mean sea level. I imagine that the impact would depend upon how quickly the oceans rise, and how much money was available for building new defences.

Finally, there are areas of the world far from the oceans that are far below sea level. These areas are shown as flooded on my map, where clearly they are not in danger. The area North of the Caspian Sea is the most striking example.

A perfect time for geo-engineering. Just cover the ice with solar powered refrigeration units.
We are so screwed.

As noted by Leanan, others, and myself, sea level rise only requires Greenland ice to displace ('slide') into the ocean.

"Eureka" as Archimedes said when he learned that fact.

I am a strong believer in assigning credit and acknowledging precedence, so forgive my oversight. Please amend to:

As first noted by Archemedes, and recently applied to the Greenland Ice mass by Leanan and others,...

"Yes, we should blame the judge."

I've always heard that ignorance is no excuse, especially with respect to the law. I think failing to learn and think clearly really is cause for blame. Anyone who has seen the effects of ignorance through history surely knows it's inexcusable.

Mark Folsom

You have some AEI muppet on MSNBC right now blathering on about how scientists secretly in their heart of hearts believe that we either don't have a direct influence on it or at least we can do nothing about it....

....the PTB already moving away from not happening to - oh well nothing we can do now might as well continue with BAU
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

Leanan, having had "my turn" yesterday I suppose I should be quiet for another few months, but at the risk of becoming a nag here, let me add additional information to one of the themes from my post yesterday. For those who are willing to read the archaeological record , there is evidence that the Medieval warming period extended to the Arctic and if you go to the Archaeological Survey of Canada you can read an abstract of the paper "Thule Eskimo Prehistory along Northwest Hudson's Bay" by Allen P. McCartney that contains the following

The marked continuity of artifact styles found here with other assemblages from the classic Thule period in the central and eastern Arctic suggest that the spread of Thule culture from its western source was rapid. I concur with McGhee that the best model for this spread is one of climatic shifts affecting the range of bowhead whales in the Canadian archipelago. During the Neo-Atlantic or secondary climatic optimum period about A. D. 800-1200, warmer arctic temperatures caused a retreat of ice in the sounds and channels of the archipelago. With the expansion of baleen whales throughout most of the archipelago, Thule whaling culture followed rapidly and eventually reached Greenland, Southampton Island, and both the east and west shores of Hudson Bay.

Our sites are thought to have been abandoned during the early 13th century as a response to deteriorating climate. The Neo-Atlantic period ended about A. D. 1200 and the Pacific period of colder temperatures and unstable climatic conditions began.

. The Thule came along the coast from Alaska, as the Arctic ice melted.

It did it back then, and the world did not fall apart, it probably won't this time either.

Your conclusion (repeated from your previous thread) that there's little to worry about seems to ignore the fact that Greenland and Canada are not the entire Earth. While things may have been warmer in Europe or Arctic Canada, one must also take note of other situations. There was a very large volcanic eruption which dates at 1259 C.E. and an even larger one dated at 1453. The first event may be the cause of the dislocation noted in your reference as the end of the so-called "climate optimum", which has been repeatedly point to by deniers of AGW. Similarly, the disappearance of the Vikings in Greenland may have happened as a result of the 1453 event, which produced the largest sulfate spike in 4000 years seen in one Antarctic ice core. One can easily think of the trouble the Viking colonists would have faced, if they were hit with anything like "the Year Without Summer" after Tambora in 1816.

From what I've been able to learn about the Greenland Vikings, their status as European colonists meant that they did not try to adapt to the local conditions in Greenland, which were colder than their Norwegian home. Without trade goods, they had no sources for essential items and materials, such as iron for weapons and nails. They also faced a shortage of wood, especially the sort which could be used to build seagoing ships. Iceland was their nearest trading partner and Iceland was struck by the Black Death in 1402, which killed perhaps 1/2 the population. The Black Death may also have migrated to Greenland. The failure of the Greenland Viking colony can be seen in the pollen record found in sediments near their farms, which show a sharp change as the land reverted to more natural flora.

As climate changes, either naturally or as the result of AGW, there are winners and also losers. The Earth won't "fall apart", however, given the present large human population, there may be more losers than winners and the resulting social disruption may result in much danger for civilized humanity. The uncertainty is large and even the latest estimates regarding the speed of change from the IPCC now appear be too optimistic.

E. Swanson

One quibble. The Greenlanders all came from Iceland as far as history knows, not Norway. The Saga of the Greenlanders is on display in Reykjavik.

One theory is that Greenland had no trees of any size, hence no charcoal, no iron and they ran out of imported iron for their scythes to gather hay (Icelandic farmers traditionally spent all summer desperately gathering as much hay as possible to take their sheep through the winter).

It is noteworthy that the Viking village in Newfoundland had a foundry to smelt bog iron.


I sometimes take a screen shot of CNN's front page, as they're quite the collection of clowns, and today does not disappoint. They manage to get Gore's Nobel Peace Prize to the top of the list, but see the inflammatory abortion link to draw the wingers' eyes? And what kind of a news day would it be without cheapening the fare with some trailer trash custody antics?

The stuff that should have been left to the Weekly World News has been highlighted with italics.

# Al Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize 21 min
# Putin warns U.S. over missile defense 55 min
# Mychal Bell of 'Jena 6' ordered back to jail
# Weapons of missing, dead soldiers found in Iraq 9 min
# Husband in airport death pleads with police (Video)
# Abortion just as common where it's illegal
# Angry Turks ready to cut U.S. ties 44 min
# WSB: Key Atlanta water source running dry
# CNNMoney: Lipsticks test positive for lead
# Music stars: We must still fight nukes 12 min
# Writer suspected of dismembering girlfriend
# Prince Harry death statue draws fire Video
# Britney Spears worried about kids' naps Video
# Snoop Dogg to pick up trash
# Joy ride costs tot, 3, keys to toy hot rod Video


Here's a counter weight to the CNN fair.

Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007


1. No Habeas Corpus for “Any Person”
2. Bush Moves Toward Martial Law
3. AFRICOM: U.S. Military Control of Africa’s Resources
4. Increasingly Destructive Trade Agreements
5. Enslaved Workers Building U.S. Embassy in Iraq
6. Operation FALCON Raids
7. Behind Blackwater Inc.
8. KIA: The U.S. Economic Invasion of India **
(read that one)
9. Privatization of America’s Infrastructure
10. Vulture Funds Threaten Debt Relief for Poor Nations

on and on.

For an explanation, Try reading
Who Owns The Media

Gore on Top of News Stories?

Not so on Fox. You have to scroll down past stories about Anna Nicole, abortion, atheists on the radio and various celebrity features and faces before you get to the Nobel prize story.

I have to disagree about the abortion story being italicized (i.e. only suitable for WWN). I think that a study (as implied by the title, I've not read the article) about the numbers of abortions being the same in states where it's banned is important news about a national issue when there's a strong movement to ban abortion nationwide. It is, however, an argument for a different blog.

Its a lightning rod for wingers. I'd like to see Roe v. Wade overturned, but only because this hinky privacy business isn't the way other western countries have done it, and it creates endless opportunities to "mobilize the base". I'm personally against the procedure and would do as much as possible to make it unnecessary, but in the end it is an individual decision and must be kept legal and thusly safe.


My quibble with abortion is that is only a 'woman's right' and the father , whose child it would be also, is not even considered.He's dismissed as meaningless and dribble.

If my wife had ever chosen to abort one of my children I would have left her immediately at that time. Legally I think it should be considered 'joint' as per all the divorce laws concerning 'property'and the clownish lawyers who suck the blood of those who must go thru it.

Even in my state which is 'no fault' divorce the lawyers have techniques to drag it out for months upon months...and suck the blood til dry....I know for I have in the past gone thru it for over three years. The lawyers won as always.

Heres to every last abortionist and divorce lawyer swimming forever in the 'Lake of Fire'.

Actually my last lawyer fees were quite reasonable but they took my wife thru the hoops til every penny she had(color that my earnings) was spent.

Airdale-if you can't play the price, then don't roll the dice

I've often suggested that we need a shotgun and a bow season here to control that pest known as the "family law attorney". Opposable thumbs are the only thing keeping those critters from being hunted to extinction. I'm actually a bit curious to see how that whole "business" works in the world that is coming at us - a woman attaches one of those blood suckers to her husband's business out of spite and instead of a reduced standard of living she'll get no standard of living ... the destruction that goes into demand destruction.

I agree that an abortion while married would be a joint decision or there would be some serious consequences.

Readers interested in offering Al their personal congratulations or in encouraging him to go on to bigger and better things should consider clicking here: http://www.draftgore.com/.

I'll second the congrats to Al Gore, I think he's a pretty decent guy. No he didn't invent the Internet, but he sure helped get the funding for it and for its expansion. He's been big on universal access to it for decades, and a lot of poor/unemployed have access due to his actions.

I think it's the best Peace Prize choice in the last decade, probably decades - Gore's not a warmonger, despot, or Kill Whitey nutball.

Congrats, Al!

It is with a sense of gratiude that those of us whom have worked so long on this subject (and continue to work), that recognition has been given.

Greenhouse Gases and Electrification of Transportation

The most important post I have ever made was probably the second one on the October 10th Drumbeat.


Please note that following my recommendations plus a rush to renewables gives:

1) A -43% reduction in USA GHG in 17 years
2) A -50% reduction in USA GHG in 30 years
3) A -54% reduction in USA oil use in 17 years
4) A -62% reduction in USA oil use in 30 years
5) The largest US economy in 30 years.


Best Hopes,


Say Alan, never got your list of pluses for trolleybuses. Very much appreciated the caveats you provided, too.

Used a quote from you as my peakoil.com sig for a while - about 10% of oil being used during Bush 43's first term. "This is the power of exponential growth." Bowled me over when I read that.

As you say -
Best Hopes for getting the message out!

I posted a partial list of ETB +s this morning. I was thinking of what more to say, decided to eat breakfast, posted the incomplete (?) list and did not get back to it. Oct 10 Drumbeat if I remember correctly.

These things are NOT easy to write and I have a pile to do before ASPO. And a recent infected ear set me back quite a bit (trying to think deep thoughts and express them well whilst in pain ...)

And that 10% observation is Jeffrey's, not mine :-)

Best Hopes,


The other half of the observation is that during George Bush's second term, the world will, based on the HL model, consume about 10% of remaining conventional crude oil reserves.

BTW, if the ASPO guys don't object to cross promotions, I plan to finish up our presentation with a plug for your Friday morning talk. I need some kind of positive spin to what is a pretty grim forecast.

I heard you spoke to a friend of mine through a friend of your (lenny). Appreciate you taking the time.

small world

Thanks for the plug !

The Millennium Institute folk (Wednesday PM 1.5 hour breakout) will also highlight the very positive results of following my policy proposals.

I am a bit nervous ATM though,

Best Hopes,


Thanks for chiming in there, Alan. ETB negatives, for the curious. I notice you're dead set against the initial notion contained in my po.com post, of having us rig up our cars to a trolley system. Pardon the pun, I'm shocked! (I'm with ya there) One member there, gg3, brought up the WiTricity wireless power system MIT is working on, which might rewrite the rules of the game if it doesn't give everyone cancer.

How have ETB systems like the one in SF held up over the years?

Sorry about misquoting you too, Jeffery! Damn nested quotes.

The most recent ETBs in Seattle have all new bodies but the running gear was from the scrapped buses (refurbished). ETBs are lighter and their bodies last longer than FF buses.

Wireless is just not as efficient as wire. (even transformers lose @1% with wires tightly wrapped around each other).

Best Hopes,


The EIA's International Petroleum Monthly is out this morning. They have world C+C supply up by 455 thousand barrels per day in July. 289 kb/d of that was from the OPEC 12 and Non-OPEC was up by 160 kb/d.

All liquids were up by the exact same amount as C+C, or 455 kb/d.

I will look at the data a lot closer later today and figure out exactly who was up and who was down in July.

Ron Patterson

My first takeaway is that KSA's average monthly production for 2007 YTD is less than their average monthly production in 2003.
2007 7-Month Average- 8,622,000 BpD
2003 avg monthly prdctn - 8,775,000 BpD

This combined with the fact that their internal consumption is growing seems to explain why oil prices are "stuck" above $80.
Is seems unreasonable to assume that any projects yet to come online can compensate for reduced KSA exports. I'm starting starting to believe prices will be supported even in an economic recession because it seems supply can fall at a rate greater than demand will fall.

The big gainers in oil production this month were Norway, up 406 kb/d from June and Nigeria, up 150 kb/d. Production in Norway was way down in June because of maintenance.

There were no really big losers in July except China which was down 183 kb/d from June. Mexico was down 40 kb/d and Australia down 30 kb/d.

Russian June output was revised downward to 9,440 kb/d from 9,473 kb/d. 9,473 kb/d was also their production level in March 07, their all time peak since the breakup of the FSU. Their July production was 9,460 kb/d. It appears that Russia is now on a plateau and perhaps China has peaked. At any rate the EIA's Short Term Energy Outlook
has China peaking, at least in the short term, in 2007.

Ron Patterson

Regarding Russia, first the rate of increase in production showed a declining pattern. Now they are showing flat production, basically since October, 2006.

Based on the HL model, the production decline, when it comes, should be pretty sharp. In the mean time, flat production = declining net exports.

Copy of my post on the "Shape" thread:

I just e-mailed off the final version of the Powerpoint (Net Export) slides to the ASPO-USA guys. As I told the ASPO guys, this was a 90%/10% joint venture, with Khebab doing 90% of the work (and in possession of the majority of the IQ in the partnership).

In my humble opinion, Khebab has done some outstanding work.

You know, it's not often that you deliver a paper and hope like hell that the projections are wrong. Unfortunately, I don't think that they are.

BTW, I had some discussions with a Wall Street correspondent this morning. He said that they physical market is looking increasingly tight going forward. Lots and lots of buyers scrambling for light, sweet crude.

Out of the basket of prices at UPSTREAMONLINE.COM:

Only 3 are below 80 now.

TAPIS is at 86.19(atm)!!


IEA warns on falling oil inventories


The watchdog said that supplies will get “tighter this winter” as developed countries’ inventories fell at the end of August to below the five-years average, to 53.5 days of forward consumption. Inventories were at 55 days on demand in the second quarter.

“Those stocks are clearly tighter than they have been for some time, but what is driving market expectations and therefore prices is the lack of confidence that they will be replenished,” the IEA said.

aka Peak Oil production!!!

“In other words, high prices are a rational result of current market conditions and expected future fundamentals,” the IEA said.

What it isn't those pesky, non-patriot speculators hording oil. Darn.

Opec, which controls about 40 per cent of the world’s oil output, agreed last month to increase its production by 500,000 b/d in November. But the IEA and other analyst said the move was “too little, too late.”

"too little, too late" that should be sobering, if it isn't give your head a shake.

Sounds like a recipe for the G8 governments. :)

(apologies for Friday morning snark)

So, using some very approximate figures, we have drawn down OECD stocks at 1mbpd in the second quarter. Assuming MOL of zero then if we continue
drawing down at

1 mbpd - zero stocks reached in 18 months
2 mbpd - zero stocks in 8 months
3 mbpd - zero stocks in 5 months

How low can they go?

Peak: To a casual observer, it appears that IEA is somewhat more honest (less into BS) than EIA, consistently.

GWB and Cheney have less influence over the IEA than they do the EIA.

Now, wasn't that easy to explain :-P

Minimal Hopes for the next 15 months,


"The G8 has today endorsed an American plan to bring even more democracy to the Middle East."

Starting with Saudi Araibia. NOT.

Sorta like we did in Iraq I suppose.

DEMOCRACY IMPOSED FROM WITHOUT IS THE SEVEREST FORM OF TYRANNY -- Motto of the Interplanetary Relation Bureau, from The World Menders, by Lloyd Biggle Jr.

More nuggets from the same source (And yes, they are in all caps, italic in the book)



The IPR was not a military organization, so the subject does not come up in the book. Were I to apply this motto to the Mideast I would modify it a bit...


I suppose my 'world view' was somewhat formed by reading classic science fiction as a youngster, but it really seems that the world would be a better place if our leaders had done the same.

Muslims expect a government based on Islamic law - the sharia. If there is one unitary god, how can there be anything but unity in the government?

Most Muslim lands have repressive governments who play on this expectation. Iran has a democracy, but very different from what democracy is in the west. Other places have elections ... with fixes ... I'm thinking of Pakistan, where we demanded they have elections, then Musharraf had to run around and "adjust" so he remained in power. The only place that has a pluralist democratic tradition is Morocco and I believe this stems from a long, intimate relationship with France.

We, who have had the wars of the Reformation to show us that religion and good government are not connected, are quite foolish to expect the Muslims to take up our system and do as we do with it.

“My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking (meant) for others!” - Marquis de Sade

Have you had much contact with those you seek to categorize?

My muslim family does not expect religious rule. Muslim religious thinkers I know are actually closer to what we would call universalists, holding that all faiths are an expression of the same idea.

Modern islamic thought may be surprisingly progressive - we would do well to catch up rather than keep talking down to our idea of others - we may just be talking in the mirror.

Religious fanatics are common in many places, and probably more so here in the good old (well actually very young and still in diapers) US of A. Fanaticism should be avoided, whatever the label. Islam does not have the upper hand in fanaticism as far as I can tell.

It is often hard for me to distinguish thoughts that are authentically my own and those that stem from societal or cultural notions. Your post seemed to me to come from a pretty mainstream "West is Best" cultural filter while striving to appear free-thinking, unless your quote from the Marquis de Sade was meant in self-satire.

138 Muslim religious leaders send letter to Christians seeking Peace


Best Hopes !


Uhh, a Persian boss in college, an Egyptian room mate much later, ongoing discussions with another Egyptian fellow I know, a reading of N.J. Dawood's supposedly not so good translation of the Qur'an, and Albert Hourani's A History of the Arab Peoples. So some history and some personal exposure.

Where is your Muslim family? What particular branch of Islam (Sunni, Shi'ia, Alawai, Druze, etc) do you follow? You sound a bit like my Sufi Egyptian friend in your attitudes.

I agree re: fanatics - I prefer the Wahabi to the disloyal Christian Right, as they are distant and easily avoided with competent law enforcement here. Our own fanatics get far too much latitude because they look like the rest of us.

The de Sade quote was intended to indicate the foolishness of trying to transplant democracy into a soil not meant for such things.

For example. consider the democractic Mossadegh government of Iran.


As the prime minster of Iran, he wanted to convert the Iranian oil industry, then owned by British Petroleum, to national control. He was thrown out in a CIA-led and assisted coup in 1953.

The CIA then installed their tyrannical puppet, the Shah of Iran, supported by the CIA-trained evil torturing secret police, the SAVAK. SAVAK is thought to have tortured and executed thousands of Iranians thought to be in opposition to the CIA's puppet Shah.


The Iranians finally got tired of this arrangement -- and the free crude oil supplied in large quantities to Israel by the CIA's puppet government -- and overthrew the Shah in 1979.

Beginning immediately after the creation of a new government to replace the CIA's puppet dictator, the Iranians have been holding presidential elections every four years, which are at least as fairly contested as we have here between our two representatives of the corporatocracy in the US.

The ninth presidential election took place on June 17, 2005 (first round), and resulted in the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinehad, with 61.69% of the vote.


One may criticize the presence of a Guardian Council of 12 memebers, half of whom are clerics. The GC has the ability to disqualify any presidential contenders, and indeed out of the 1014 cadidates many were disqualified. The field was eventually narrowed to six candidates.


We should consider also that Iran, considering its history, knows full well that its political system and elections could be manipulated by unfriendly foreign interests (the CIA), so perhaps this is a safeguard.

All in all, it seems like a reasonable system to me, not necessarily any worse than what exists in the US, with our rigged elections and two puppet contenders from an effective one-party state.

So the Revolutionary Guard are actually freedom fighters kicking out and keeping out the imperialist U.S.?

You, sir, obviously hate our freedoms :-) I'm sure Bill O'Reilly will chastise you soundly just as soon as this is known, and then Michelle Malkin will publish your home address and phone number so real Americans can find you and tickle you until you wet your pants.

IEA warns on falling oil inventories

In a couple of other posts, someone has pointed out the dropping rates of tanker leasing (because of less crude to haul), leading to lower $ rates for leasing said tanker. I can imagine that it costs plenty just to have a tanker sitting empty and idle.

While the lower rates for leasing a tanker might not make much difference in the price of the crude at the buyer's end, it might lower the differential between different regions as it becomes almost as cheap to buy oil from afar as from nearby. Might this not change global oil trading dynamics? Opinions? Data? anyone...

It is fundamental to the arbitrage of oil from one region to the next, it is the cost of getting from a lower priced market to a higher priced market...Shipowners will charter their vessels on the routes that give them the highest return....as more oil enters the higher priced market the demand will fall along with the rates.

Tanker and freight rates in general have been very strong in recent years, the current nadir in tanker rates may not only be a function of the oil being moved but the number of ships in the market, as the number of new builds (capacity)entering the market is greater than ships being scrapped and the increased demand for carriage.

Robert Reich on Supercapitalism


"we have met the enemy and the enemy is us"

Pressures from consumer for "good deal" is pilot, corporations co-pilot leading to canabalizing of America.

Peak crime? It's a strange thing to be bringing up, but
the other day's Oil Drum discussion poked me to bring this up this
morning, since I think it's worth discussing (apropos, any cops care
to chime in?):

Many forms of common crime become infeasible without the automobile,
and that is significant enough to factor into your plans for the Long

An easy example is kidnapping. Recall the Lindbergh Baby? It was a
sensation. Stranger kidnapping is rare even now, but without the
automobile, it would be rarer. And the abduction of adults would be
impossible. Before the automobile, you could not kidnap an adult
unless your gang was powerfull enough to defy the police overtly.
To abduct and conceal an adult human being requires the ability to
move fast so the police have to look through a larger and larger
area as time goes by. Can't do it with a horse&buggy.

Another example is the common mugger. Rule #1 for a street robber is
"don't sh*t where you eat." Rule #2 is to range as far and wide as
possible, and randomize your prowling decisions so the cops don't
stake out your turf. Again, that gets a lot harder without a car.

Or how about the drugs trade? Without easy car travel, your ability
to get drugs muled about declines, and your common corner drug peddler
in an American city depends on suburbanites driving in to buy.

The way I see it, in the early phase of the Long Emergency, there will
still be fuel and cars available to people inclined to crime, and
desparation will drive many people to it. But after supplies really
dwindle, life will get a lot safer. They can't rob you or hurt you
if they can't reach you. And as gasoline gets scarce, the set of
people who can reach you will shrink. Pretty soon beat cops will have
their beats under much better control (and the decline of gasoline
will still leave the cops equipped with telephones and radios...)
What do you all think?

Apuleius: Your basic premise-fuel will be so scarce that automobile travel will be uncommon is far-fetched. This premise is raised on TOD often- I have no idea why anyone would even theorize about such a scenario. You don't need to drive 20000 miles a year to run a successful crime operation (with the exception of operations structured around long-distance transport). If you are unsuccessful as a mugger, your lack of success would not be caused by your inability to drive 20000 miles a year.

In the vast majority of crime, both the perp and the victim are from among the poor. It won't take long for a gas crunch to affect this.

CNN ran a story last night, about "Killadelphia." Apparently, Philadelphia is experiencing a sharp rise in homicides. They interviewed one woman whose 14-year-old son was a victim. He was riding his bike in the street, and was going too slow to suit the drivers behind him. So a motorist shot him dead.

CNN pegged a loosening of gun laws for the spike in murders. Guns are now very easy to get in Philadelphia, and even those who aren't supposed to be able to buy them can get them from those who can. Disputes that would be settled by cursing or flipping off someone, or maybe a fistfight, are being settled with gunfire instead.

Nationwide, the picture is more complicated. Some cities are seeing increasing violence, some the opposite.

Another example is the common mugger. Rule #1 for a street robber is "don't sh*t where you eat." Rule #2 is to range as far and wide as possible, and randomize your prowling decisions so the cops don't stake out your turf. Again, that gets a lot harder without a car.

I don't think that's true. Profilers assume the opposite: that criminals operate where they are comfortable: their own neighborhoods. They map the location of victims, and assume the suspect lives or works roughly in the middle of the area where the crimes have occurred. "Ground zero" is where he likely lives.

Or how about the drugs trade? Without easy car travel, your ability to get drugs muled about declines, and your common corner drug peddler in an American city depends on suburbanites driving in to buy.

Yeah, but it could get nasty in the meantime. That's why they were shooting at the doctors in New Orleans. That's the one reason why being a doctor could be really bad when TSHTF. If they think you have drugs, or can get them, you'll be a prime target.

They interviewed one woman whose 14-year-old son was a victim. He was riding his bike in the street, and was going too slow to suit the drivers behind him. So a motorist shot him dead.

Not having seen this my first take is there are probably no innocents involved in something like that - a fourteen year old is definitely old enough to be participating in a gang. If he was a "good kid" perhaps this was initiation into a gang on the part of the shooter.

The culture and economics of the drug trade in the U.S. will certainly change, but posters here have a very "big picture" view, with $DRUG_GANG transporting and distributing $DRUG, while $LAW_ENFORCEMENT is in opposition. The realities are much more complex ...

I'll look up the transcript later. I was half asleep when they ran it.

But they depicted him as a basically good kid. His dream was to go to college. Apparently, what happened was the cars started honking at him, wanting him to get off the road. He didn't. He may have flipped them off or something. Not smart when everyone and their sister is packin' heat.

That's the tragedy of what's going on in Philly. It's not drugs, or gangs, or anything like that. Previously, spikes in homicides generally meant gang warfare or something like that. That is not the case in Philly. It's just a lot of people with guns.

This is why a good Peak Oil occupation will be gunsmithing. As I've said before, part of the solution of overshoot is to put as many guns as possible into as many hands as possible.

There's one of the country's better gunsmithing programs taught locally, at Yavapai College - maybe in a year or two I can find a way to get funding to go to it.

Here's the story from the Philadelphia Inquirer. He apparently was an innocent victim.

Not a dangerous city? Tell it to them

She still hasn't had the strength to step foot inside her South Philadelphia home since Tykeem was senselessly gunned down July 14. He was doing what kids do on a summer day - whiling away the afternoon riding his bike with a group of friends.

Moments later, he was dead. He was only 14, a life of promise snuffed out by a ruthless, troubled gunman who aimed and fired because Tykeem didn't move out of the street fast enough for his car to pass.

The randomness of Tykeem's murder is enough to make any parent shudder. Only a half an hour before, his mother had watched her son ride down the street as she left to buy water shoes and swim trunks for her youngest child.

And here's a story from CNN:

'Anything goes' on Philly streets, teen says

"You got a good-looking girlfriend, you're going to get shot; someone wants her," said 17-year-old Andre, who asked his last name not be used for this article.

"If you're getting a little money, you're going to get shot -- someone wants that. Any way you look at it, it's just a bad situation."

People are being killed over parking spaces.

I read the details and this one is outside the norm - a white guy shooting a well behaved young black man.

Dig into this one and I bet you find the demon crystal meth's fingerprints all over it.

Dig into this one and I bet you find the demon crystal meth's fingerprints all over it.

I bet you don't. If there were drugs involved, his lawyer would have mentioned it. This looks like plain ol' road rage to me.

FWIW, the gunman was reportedly driving a friend to the hospital, which might explain why he was so angry at having kids on bikes blocking his way.

Rule #2 is to range as far and wide as possible, and randomize your prowling decisions so the cops don't stake out your turf. Again, that gets a lot harder without a car.

Less fuel (energy), higher unemployment. More unemployeed equals more people committing crimes (even the unemployeed want to eat). Higher unemployment equals less revenues for state and local gov't, and thus less money for law enforcement. Less fuel (or much higher fuel costs) leads to fuel rationing or caps for state and city workers (including police, fireman, trash pickup, etc). In the case, of law enforcement, this means fewer officers cruising the streets looking for criminal activities. You think a city cop is going to walk along down city streets at night with street gangs like MS13 on the loose? The ability of law enforcement will be severely diminish when fuel supplies decline and unemployment soars.

Higher unemployement leads to increase drug and alcohol abuse, as people become depressed about their situation. Thoses that come additted to drugs or become severely depressed feel they have nothing to lose by commiting crimes. Addiction also drives people into commiting crimes in order to continue their supply of drugs. Maybe there will be soup kitches, but I doubt their will ever be drug or alchohol kitchens to supply the addicts.

Or how about the drugs trade? Without easy car travel, your ability to get drugs muled about declines, and your common corner drug peddler in an American city depends on suburbanites driving in to buy.

Local drug production will increase as law enforcement have less money to monitor and prevent drug production an manufacturing. During the 1980s despite the large increase of funds for drug control, the prices of drugs on street fell (hense it did not prevent the supply of drugs reaching customers). High grade drugs can be worth tens of thousands of dollars per kilo. At that price, drug trafficers will have plenty of funds to pay shipping costs even if the price of fuel (soars about $20/gallon). Drug Use fell because if the higher employment rate during the 1990s and the easy credit of this decade. People has jobs and money to spend and felt better about themselves. Their future outlook was promising and the demand to fill depression with drugs declined. Sooner or later well experience higher unemployment and less credit. When the change happens the population will turn to drug and alchohol to ease their depression.

FWIW: The biggest change in crime I think will see is home invasion. Criminals will likely avoid targeting retail stores as the risk to reward is poor. Consider the average suburb home: Few police near by, fewer secuity measures (alarms, video cameras, bullet proof barriers). Homes are stocked with food, jewerly, cash, cars, you name it. Its far easier to over power a small group of home occupients then a store clerk behind a bullet proof enclosure with video cameras and customers (who might report to the police). With the home invasion, you can quickly over power the occupients, and take thier time browsing over their goods, Perhaps even sit down and have a meal in between torturing questioning your victums where they keep the good stuff, or while deciding to steal the BWM or the SUV in the garage. Personally I think, the thieves will choose the more fuel efficient vehicle what do you think? Suburbia is a theives paradise.

BTW, Cities won't escape soaring crime either. Crime will undoubtable be much worse in the cities than the suburbs. It would surprise me, most cities will enact curfews and other measures to help make up for a much smaller law enforcment presence (do little to deter crime, but make life more difficult for law abiding citizens). Those that remain employeed will constantly need to look over the shoulder and take precautions when traveling on public streets. The criminals have the upperhand. Most workers commute (walk) alone from their job to their home. Criminals on the other hand will organize into gangs and seek individuals as their prey target. A single unarmed person makes an extremely easy target for a gang. If your lucky you might be able to afford protection by paying off the local gangs or hire security escorts between your destinations.

It should be interesting to see how major cities cope with severe energy and fuel shortages. How does a major city stay warm in the winter without natural gas or cool during the hot summers without cheap electricity (especially since most building constructed after the 1950s don't have windows that can open and are dependent on AC to remain livable). Ever climb 30 stories with termperatures about 110F in the stairwell? How will cities deal with trash collection, sewage treatment and food deliveries (by truck to local shops and resturants). How will municipal and emergency services cope with fuel rationing and reduced funds. Which businesses will remain in cities (since at least a 1/3 are dependant on non-discrestionary spending to remain solvent, or are of a financial nature, dependent of high economic growth). Will business flock to cities to set up localized manufacturing or other non-discretionary spending production) when cities raise taxes to draconian levels in order to pay debts and to support municiple jobs and services. Why would any manufacturing business consider relocating to cities when they already have facilities far way where the taxes are low and they can find skilled labor that can live more confortable with lower wages because the cost of living is cheaper outside major metropolitian regions. They might also have factories set up where energy resources or raw materials are more abundant (in almost all cases, far way from urban regions).

Less fuel (energy), higher unemployment. More unemployeed equals more people committing crimes (even the unemployeed want to eat). Higher unemployment equals less revenues for state and local gov't, and thus less money for law enforcement. Less fuel (or much higher fuel costs) leads to fuel rationing or caps for state and city workers (including police, fireman, trash pickup, etc). In the case, of law enforcement, this means fewer officers cruising the streets looking for criminal activities. You think a city cop is going to walk along down city streets at night with street gangs like MS13 on the loose? The ability of law enforcement will be severely diminish when fuel supplies decline and unemployment soars.

The police can secure themselves a supply of gasoline much more easily than the rest of the population.

Moreover, as regular citizens are less able to make use of the road system they paid so much for, they will not allow the roads to become a risk to them, and will close them down wholesale.

It depends on how deep into the past we regress. The Dark Ages, not good. If people steal all the copper wiring they can get, ruining far more than they can earn, then it's likely cannabilization will spread, making infrastructure recovery impossible. (Then comes cannibalism?)

Even if we only go back 100 years, that raises visions of Victorian London, far more violent than the current version, even though the capitalist elites had the proles outgunned. (Something the NRA never talks about.) However, the book "Gangs of New York" claimed that Philadelphia averaged about 3 murders a year then, and New York a hundred times more. Since Philadelphia was begun as a cultural experiment by Quakers, we could argue that culture matters and can be improved by design.

Super: Culture is paramount. Supposedly you can leave a belonging on the Tokyo subway and it will not be stolen. The same overriding culture makes Japanese CEOs feel shame where American CEOs experience glee. I do agree with the "doomers" that parts of the USA will regress back to the jungle.

As a UK resident, I have always thought fondly of US culture, music, awesome landscape and general optimism.

However, so much of our accepted 'western' culture requires a civil agreement - even between criminals vs others. I am amazed that the distance between inside our houses and the outside world is a 4mm pane of glass. This requires an understanding by everyone that they would be worse off if they break that civil agreement - eg steal things. Part of this is the chance of being caught. This is a very fragile contract. I would guess that if unrest rose much anywhere, police would be totally overwhelmed.

Much as I like the thought of living in the US, I do not want to be where the number of bullets outnumbers the population if things get ugly.

I would guess that if unrest rose much anywhere, police would be totally overwhelmed

I believe that is why Kunstler says that the authorities will be lucky to be able to answer the phones, much less keeping the peace all over.

I saw two sizable civil disturbances when I was in college, both attributed purely to youthful enthusiasm.

Police cars were rolled while the officers were trying to control crowds, bonfires were started, and under cover of crowds and darkness the responding officers were pelted with rocks and bottles. A couple of thousand drunk students can tie down dozens of police officers ...

The second time it happened the officers were equipped with riot gear and they wisely picked a different starting position where they weren't surrounded. They softened the crowd up a bit with tear gas, then fire engines advanced with a police screen, putting out a fire that had been started.

Had there been just one sniper backing the students the whole policing effort would have instantly collapsed. An arrest is an arrest, war is war, and when you're standing on the knife edge between the two, as our law enforcement will be soon enough, you can't have it both ways.

I think there is an instructive article in a recent Foreign Affairs that basically indicates in many third world countries the capital and tourist areas are safe, while everything else has been ceded to gangs by the central government. Jamaica was a prime example of this, if I recall correctly.

The Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff's posse may be a model for law enforcement going forward. Given this country's volume of weapons and temperament I think there are many areas where a repressive move from the government simply won't work, but co-opting citizens as has been done in Phoenix will. The alternative will look like South Lebanon, where the guerrillas end up becoming the government.


I'm a volunteer for the local sheriff's posse, and I'm the first one to tell my friends that there is no way in the world that police can protect them even in the best of times.

Police fills out paperwork after the fact and hunts perps.

It's up to the citizen to defend himself.

Sorry, but as tings stand right now, I'd be more scared of staying in the UK. In my corner of the US, we have a big problem with smash & grabs of valuables left in cars. But home burglaries are rare, and burglaries of occupied houses are extremely rare.

Anyway, bullets are getting expensive, especially now that the Chinese are buying electric bikes with lead-acid batteries.

spot on

one fo the things i DON'T miss about the UK after moving to the US is the petty crime - fights outside most pubs most weekends, i don't know ANYONE that hasn't been burgled at some time (usually multiple times), car break-ins

in Houston where I've just moved from we'd never lock the door going out - in case someone dropped by

i just don't feel as at risk of mugging, burglary, car crime or random acts of violence in the US like one does in every city in the UK
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

I'm curious as to where you get your notion of Victorian London being more violent than today's. Regency London, Georgian London, yes. But not Victorian.

a lot of people mix up the 19th century periods - the image of Victorian Britain is often mistakenly substituted with the image of Dickensian Britain - a much grimmer and bleaker place... Victorian times were boom times for the empire and not the dark cruel times Dickens wrote of
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

RE 'peak crime'

Related to the topic is the oft repeated survivalist notion that ubiquitous gun ownership will do several things. One is reducing crime (a notion I find absurd), but another is the notion that ubiquitous gun ownership will deter the federal or state or local government from oppressing jq citizen.

I find it more likely that the local vigilante group will end up doing the oppressing. Picture this scenario in a rural area: Peak-oiler survivalist is busily hoeing his beans and a group of well-armed locals shows up with the message that they are going down to a local immigrant camp to 'clean it out' (read, massacre them) since them damn immigrants are the root of the recent massive unemployment problems. Does Peak-Oiler-Survivalist (POS) just #1. grin and shrug and say, "Sorry fellas, I got beans to hoe." #2. Try and deter the group, #3. Join the group. Or, #4. possibly, try and contact some (gasp) responsible government law-enforcement types to bring in the feared government military presence?

Lot's of different possibilities here depending on circumstances. It's very possible that feared government oppression will be carried out on a localized scale by non uniformed folks (think brownshirts, etc).

That's easy:
#1. grin and shrug and say, "Sorry fellas, I got beans to hoe."

Sadly, then it's mentioned that the immigrants have tortillas and gov't cheese, so you join in. You take part in the massecre, don't do any of the scalping but find yourself shooting a mother and kids (they were charging toward one of your group, your half-brother in fact, with knives) and gunning down a few of the immigrant men. You also put "coup de grace" shots into some of the downed who are only wounded, after all this is a no-prisoners deal.

While going through the camp's effects, you find a bag of beans and a doily. The bag of beans would be normally unremarkable, but they're of an odd shape/color, not too much different, but the only ones like them you've seen were grown on your cousin's place. Your cousin's place that was raided, cousin shot in the arm and little girl killed, last year. It's the doily that really sets you off - your one memory (you'd grown up looking at it) of your grandmother's burned-out farm. Grandmother had never been found.......

By any chance, is the guy who finds the beans named Jack?

I smell the blood of an Englishman,
Be he alive, or be he dead,
I'll have his bones to grind my bread."

What a retarded thread.

Brace yourself - it's going to be a retarded future.

Retarded ... but it reads like Octavia Butler's Parable of Talents. I like her writing, but I just couldn't finish that one - it hit way too close to home, and this was before I really got hip to this whole peak oil business.

Peak-oiler survivalist is busily hoeing his beans and a group of well-armed locals shows up with the message that they are going down to a local immigrant camp to 'clean it out

Don't be so absurd! So how does gun laws prevent non-law abiding people from aquiring guns? Did the US ever stop illegal drug trafficing? How about Alcohol during prohibtion? How about in the UK, did strick gun laws prevent gun access to criminals? Of course not.

Its absurd to belive that any gun control laws will ever prevent gun trafficing. At least if the PO survivalist has his own guns, he might be able to deter those from killing him by putting up a fight. An unarmed law abided person has no chance agains a group or single armed individual (and gun laws never prevented the bad guys from getting firearms)
Personally, I would be less worry about vigilante groups, than roving gangs on the proll for unarmed PO survivalists.

Second even if guns didn't exist it wouldn't prevent people from killing each other. If that vigilante group wants to remove that survivalist, they don't need no stinkin' guns to kill him. Knives, a Noose, board with nail, brick, rock, fists, bucket of water (drown), fire (wood or hay works), thrown off building or cliff, buried alive, piano wire (strangulation), poison, impalement, stavation, and list of about 5 million other methods can be used to kill someone (most of them grusome and extremely painful). Where there is a will, there is a way to kill. Personally, I would much rather be shot in the head than burned, hung, drowned, electructed, poisoned, strangled, beaten to death, buried alive, etc. The single gunshot to the head seems like the least painful experience. Plus if I am armed there is less chance that I will end up as a captive (perhaps tortured, sold into slavery, placed in a gulag, etc)

Lot's of different possibilities here depending on circumstances. It's very possible that feared government oppression will be carried out on a localized scale by non uniformed folks (think brownshirts, etc).

I would rather have own a gun than be unarmed if the government oppression occurs. Strict gun control favors militarized gov'ts over its citizens since they are less able to defend or rise up against an oppresive gov't. Gun control laws never apply to the gov't, only to their citizens, the gov't can always own as many damn guns as they please. Unarmed citizens makes oppression much easier.

Finally in the case of paramiltary or illegal military (aka brown shirts) what in creation is going to prevent these organizations from producing there own firearms? Are we going to also ban metal working tools, fertializer and any tools or chemicals that can be used in the production of or use in firearms? Even individuals can produce quality firearms and ammunition, in fact there are a large number of home machinists producing firearms as hobby.

It's harder to kidnap real fat people.

Re: Price inflation and Eid al-Fitr

I don't know how many of us here understand that for Muslims Eid al-Fitr is like Christmas in the West. Now a lot of Muslims can't afford to even have a proper festive meal or give presents to their children. This is surely a sign of how Peak Oil is kicking in in the Third World.

I will be attending Eid festivities here in Helsinki tomorrow and I will talk to people about whether their folks at home can still afford to have a party. Most of the Muslims I know are from Palestine, and there not having enough of anything is more or less an everyday occurrence, but I do want to know if things are even worse than usual this year.

I'll report on what I heard later, inshallah! :)

Christmas is going to suck for a lot of people here too. I don't mean not having enough Chinese-made Barbie stuff, I mean, this year will find a lot of families experiencing their first homelessness, their Xmas dinner in a shelter or at the Salvation Army, etc. This is all glossed over by the media, but we've had a lot of people falling into deep poverty over the last few years and this year there will be a bumper crop of these cases.

Insh'allah indeed!

Something i don't understand about fuure oil production projections:

Energy groups are projecting growth to 95MB/d and beyond. How could these people sit in a meeting opposite those proposing greenhouse emission caps?

The EIA+CERA position would have to be - "there will be no caps or moves to limit greenhouse gas emmisions" otherwise their statement of increasing supply beyond 95Mb/d are plain lies (peak oil aside for the sake of this argument - let us presume it is possible to meet fuuture production projections)
What are your thoughts?


These orgs should develop separate scenarios reflecting various levels of regulation going forward.

Remember, no one knows what future world production will be. (What would your projections have been in 1972? ) Their guesses are based on a detailed analysis of the oil biz plus some very simplified assumptions regarding demand, price, geopolitics etc.

For instance: What are ASPO's production projections worth if war in the ME spikes oil to $200 for a decade. Nothing.

Same for EIA, IAE and CERA. These projections should be compared to one another and used to develop base cases.

It's unfortunate but necessary to develop base cases with no caps. And that's how EIA, IAE, CERA and many peak oil projections should be read.

Re: Kill king corn.

Leanan must have a lot of fun bear bating with this kind of article but I'll bite anyway. The main quote at the article is "A successful bio-fuels industry will not be based on digestible starch from staple cops such as corn."

New flash: A successful bio fuels industry has already been built based on corn. And it ain't going away anytime soon. In fact the current problem is that the price of ethanol has dropped so much that some noncompetitive plants may have to shut down. Right now the price of ethanol when the 51 cent blender credit is added in is about $1 less that the wholesale gas price and should be enough to compensate for its lower energy content. Seems I remember that the resident ethanol expert here once said that ethanol would always be more expensive than gasoline. Seems to me there is some funny business going on because the retail price of ethanol doesn't reflect the low wholesale price. Someone (oil companies?) is trying to keep the price of ethanol up at retail to discourage its use IMO.

The rest of the article blaming ethanol for starvation is poor countries is just pure lies. First of all corn is little used for human food except in the most desperate circumstances. It is primarily an animal feed grain which is sold to more prosperous countries as in Asia to increase meat production. Second of all the starving poor do not have the money to buy corn or any food at any price. Third, there is plenty of corn available for them to buy if they do have the money. This years harvest is a record breaker.

Corn is stored solar energy. Rejecting it as a fuel source is just more of the "Let them eat cake" attitude often found at TOD. Doomers believe that farmers should make uneconomic decisions. It ain't going to happen. If the price of corn does not increase to reflect its energy content it will be used for ethanol rather than animal feed. The only other way out of the dilemma is for energy prices to fall dramatically so that ethanol will become really prohibitively expensive. Who here believes that will happen. I sure don't.

I like this guy. Also practical Doomers talk out of both sides of their mouth on the issue. On one side they say with a shortage of fuels there will be a shortage of food, and on the other side they say we shouldn't use food for fuel, when in fact we need fuel to make food.

Corn is a voracious feeder. It requires a great deal of fertilization because it does not have a solar "canopy" until mid-growing season. Until then, it sucks energy from the topsoil, not energy from the sun.

It is not possible to make corn a "sustainable" crop. The soil always needs amendment. And that amendment must be generated in some other field or from some other chemical source. So the notion that we are converting sunlight into fuel via corn is incorrect. What we are really doing is mining the soil, depleting it so severely it requires "fuel" (nutrients) from other sources to recover.

Could you cite a source for your extraordinary claim that corn does not have a 'solar canopy' until mid growing season. Why do the sprouts come out of the ground green implying they have chloriphyl from the start when evolution would lead to a postponement of chloriphyl until mid season?
I have been hearing of this 'soil mining' concept for decades yet Iowa is still far from being a desert. Farmers are a smarter bunch than you city folk believe and have changed their methods over time in order to maintain what little profit they can get. They are not destroying the soil.

Oh come on Thomas... once the Chem-Gro tankers stop servicing Iowa, that "smarter bunch" won't do any better than the Maya at sustaining corn.

William Albrecht (Soil Chair emeritus at U. Missouri) had some interesting things to say about fertility and management practice. Of course, he had access to a 50 year longitudinal study on cropping patterns. Get your google on.

The poster is technically correct in stating that corn does not have a solar canopy until the middle of the growing season. Corn is planted in rows spaced wide enough for tractor tires to pass between them. The plant grows mostly vertically until mid season, then it "fills in" producing interlocking leaves between the rows, blocking out the sun to any species below that survived the herbicide regimen.

The assertion that corn "sucks energy from the topsoil" confuses me a bit. Corn takes nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients from the soil but there is no "energy" being taken - it grows by photosynthesis just like any other plant.

The statement that corn is "not sustainable" is true, if you take sustainability to mean that it can't be permacultured all by itself. Originally crop rotation here in Iowa was corn, the soybeans(nitrogen fixing legume), then a year of lying fallow. This changed to corn/soy rotation way back when, and about five years ago farmers gained the ability to run "corn on corn". I think this was done due to a combination of the biofuels boom and pressure from Brazilian soy production.

Farmers are indeed much smarter than the stereotypes would suggest. They have to be agronomists, commodities traders, and an average size operation has a million dollars worth of land and a similar amount in capital improvements. The stereotype is more consistent with the "hired man" than the fellow running the operation.

The assertion that corn "sucks energy from the topsoil" confuses me a bit. Corn takes nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients from the soil but there is no "energy" being taken - it grows by photosynthesis just like any other plant.

The formation of nitrogen and some of the other nutrients found in the soil require energy to produce. As the plant extracts them, its sucking them (or the energy contant used to produce nuetrients) out of the soil. Corn indirectly removes energy from the soil.

Biofuels are a dead end since either the EROEI is too low or non-existant. Although I think we'll see the world continue to waste resources on biofuels at least for another few more years.

The crop update of nutrients that are not harvested in the combine(kernels only as the rest is ejected) are left on the field and return the update back to the soil..

Is there a problem([posters above beyond tech guy) with this?

Thats why we farm 'dirty'. We leave the residue..Taking it up for other purposes, like biodiesel or whatever,,essentially
'steals' it from the soil. We short ourselves.

Combines are very efficient..they even shatter the corn cob..and leave the roots and part of the stalk in the ground to further prevent soil erosion.

Any time you see a bare field..you are looking at an erodible field, either wind or water..thats why cutting tree lines is a stupid practice. But everyone is cutting tree lines to put more ground in production.

We someday are going to quit worrying about this notion of 'feeding the rest of the world' and mantra by ADM about 'breadbasket of the world'.

If we only grew foodstuffs to feed our own country we would have to use very little ground.

You can forget everything else as not that important,except for food and fiber. Destroying the soil and out forests is beyond ignorance. Its beyond human reasoning. We need to shut down this stupidity. Chinese trinkets are going to kill us if the soccermoms don't give it a break.

Airdale-obesity is our problem,someone needs to quit packing food into them and thereby help save our planet!

My bumper sign reads:
"Plants and animals disappear to make room for your fat ass"

No, we don't need fuel to make food. Nature does it for free when we don't fuck up the process. Aquifer depletion? Topsoil depletion? Too many people? Then extra energy in necessary to enforce our will upon the world.

When the topsoil was depleting, when the aquifers were drying up, that was the cue that we humans were doing something wrong. Instead the problems were ignored and our actions made the problems worse.

We have caused this problem, and the same old thinking will dig an even deeper hole.

With a shortage of fuels there will be a shortage of food.

Using fuels to make food to then make fuel is ridiculous. Likewise ridiculous to turn the food which the environment gives for free (where we haven't fucked it up) into fuel. In both cases there's thermodynamic loss in the conversion. Burn the corn directly and you'll get more energy out of it than the yeasts' waste energy in ethanol.

We cannot replenish in a human time-frame the cumulative effects of essentially free work done by the planet's massive geological forces for hundreds of millions of years.

Corn is stored solar energy. Rejecting it as a fuel source is just more of the "Let them eat cake" attitude often found at TOD. Doomers believe that farmers should make uneconomic decisions.

I seriously doubt anyone here wants farmers to make uneconomic decisions. Farmers would be far better off installing solar energy (PV or CSP) on a fraction of their land, particularly on racks that can be moved every few years, to give a break to some of the fields. Or install wind power if significant, for that matter.

I believe the Nature article referred to the idea of large-scale use of corn-based ethanol, not the current scale at which it is being used.

Right now the price of ethanol when the 51 cent blender credit is added...

And that is the core of the problem with corn based ethanol. Just remove that credit and let the market do the rest (some need for ethanol as a summer oxygenater in polluted areas to replace MTBE, but *WHY* waste subsidy $ on corn ethanol).

A *FAR* better use of our limited subsidy dollars would be to build Urban Rail.


Best Hopes for Fewer Subsidies for Nonsense,


Alan is dead right on this one - the 1.3:1 EROI on corn ethanol is good ... but only if you're packaging it for people to drink. The Brazilians barely make their sugar cane efforts work with a 5:1 and they've practically got slave labor to do it.

The corn ethanol creates jobs and investment in Iowa, which is good in a year before an election, but its a loser move over the long haul ... unless you intend to starve your neighbors to the south.

I am starting to suspect that Mexico was written off and the corn ethanol business is part of speeding the collapse so the United States can take over what is left of the GOM production.

Ah, where to start?
That all that record corn crop is coming at the expense of the other grains - notably wheat - that would've otherwise been planted?
That corn is so much more water- and energy-intensive than most any other cereal crop?
That subsidies always distort markets?

I don't have the patience to calmly delineate what others on this site have eloquently and quantitatively explained a zillion times: Corn ethanol has an EROEI of less than unity. Period.

I don't know that corn is displacing wheat in the field. Wheat grows in places like eastern New Mexico where there is hardly a stalk of corn in sight, while corn grows in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, etc - places that are a bit wetter than where wheat is grown.

The changes in wheat pricing seem to me to be more likely due to what happens in terms of the commodities market than what is happening in the field. Corn is being bought up for biofuels, cereal grains are fairly fungible for human and animal consumption, and the wheat price is being adjusted upwards by the suction in the corn market.

I believe that corn is displacing soybeans.

Actually, corn displaced soybeans, cotton, and especially fallow land and pasture.

Wheat acreage also increased this year, it was not displaced by corn in aggregate. Pasture and fallow figured prominently also.

As one might imagine, both grass and alfalfa hay are at record highs this fall.

Alfalfa production here is at a record low - I'm not speaking of acreage, I mean per acre numbers are just sad. I heard second cuttings are getting twenty square bales per acre. Its been a long time but that seems to me to be maybe two thirds of the north. The rains are funny - nothing for the summer, then a very wet fall.

Corn is absolutely displacing soybeans - I covered this in more detail in another post, but basically farmers are giving up on the corn/soybeans two year rotation in favor of "corn on corn".


I throughly disagree with your assertation 'corn is so much more water intensive'

If you go to www.agweb.com and check you will find that many many farmers make decent corn crops(150+ Bu/Ac) on very very limited rains...very little..

I can't recall that the ground in a corn field dries out any faster than in a soybean field or wheat field..do you think that many put extra water on corn?

You have to take genetics into the picture..

There is no record corn crop except and unless there is more harvested but on more acres than last year...the yields are down from last year but this year far more acres were planted to corn.

Not to put you on the spot but many here on TOD just spout nonsense they have read elsewhere and tell it like it gospel..they never read the real data that farmers are reporting..they just chatter on and on ..repeating stuff they leeched elsewhere.

Corn is a supremely wonderful crop...it has many valuable attributes..as well as making good bourbon but its not that feasible for fuel..as many farmers are well aware. BUT they do have to make a living and the reality is that they are not overly concerned with what is happening in third world countries..they have enough problems keeping their heads above water to not want to worry overly much about Africa or the MidEast..most farmers are extremely conserative compared to most TOD posters.

Go read some ag websites if you don't believe me. And I live in the farming community and have for many years..right where I was born and raised.

There is very little irrigation of corn in Iowa. The only places I see this done are areas near rivers. The ground in these places can be sandy and thusly(and perversely) the normal rainfall drains away quickly, making the fields closest to the river the driest ... unless they're inundated.

From east-central Nebraska and Kansas on west, where the annual rainfall thins out, all decent cornfields are irrigated. You can see the difference as you go west, especially in Kansas, as corn gives way to wheat. Ever flown over western Nebraska in the summer? Those green circles you see on the ground are round fields of corn grown within the radius of a center-pivot irrigator.

Iowa, Indiana, Illinois have it better. More rain in the average season.

No water, no corn.


I am in a region that is classified as EXTREME drought.

We have never seen it this dry.

I ride the combines on occasion. I am right in the middle of the harvest around here..working on truck electronics,keeping the sensors in the combines working..I look at the yield.

we do NOT use irrigation yet we averaged 150-180 bu/ac.

You can look at statistics from fuzzy headed folks in there university ivory towers but I am on the ground in a large corn producing region and that is what I see.

Go to www.agweb.com and read the Crop Comments and notice the yields and what the farmers say about the rain amounts..to get a perspective other than the MSM.

Our ponds are dried up,,our fields are dust yet we made 150-180..and soybeans were not that good ...30-35 average here...but thats not bad...and just a tad below normal average.


PS.Cedar, notice my handle??? Airdale? That means aviator...I have flown over many states in the past...I can spot a pivot irrigation system..the bootheel of Missouri is full of them and I go there a lot...I have a friend who was a crop duster..I am going to the bootheel today in fact...they use it due to the low water table...some do and some don't,,sometimes it makes little difference and sometimes a lot. I think they should all be destroyed in place myself...we dont' need to be pouring water out on the ground and depleting our aquifers and ground water.

Wow. You'd better break that news to the thousands of farmers who are wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on the means to irrigate their cornfields then. They should just leave it to nature.

Don't insult my intelligence with your "wiser than thou" bullshit. I'm also "on the ground" in one of the top five corn and soybean states, and the product of three generations of farmers. Maybe you've never seen it this dry in your region, but drought or near-drought is common here where my family has farmed for 65 years. I can tell you that even with today's top hybrids, yields don't even come close if you (or nature) don't provide enough water.

In the summer of 2006, the Omaha World Herald did an excellent series on the challenges Nebraska farmers face from drought and dwindling aquifer and surface water. Maybe you should read it over, smart guy. It's a six-part series. Here's a sample from part 3:

The typical irrigated farm is 47 percent larger than the average Nebraska farm. And irrigated fields produce more: Average irrigated corn yields in Nebraska since 2002 ranged from 39 percent to 168 percent higher than dryland yields.

Read the series, then come back and we can talk.


You insult your own intelligence...

Your doing 'dryland' farming. Growing corn where it will have to be irrigated...once you deplete the aquifer then your shit outa luck...

Hey do you actually get down in the dirt or are you really in a bullpen goggling all this from afar.

What I see is what I see.

I don't intend to read anything..I know what my observations are here...not there and I spoke of HERE turkey.

I am fifth generation..I beat your hand.


Thx -
for your precision. Corn-on-corn is a longitudinal problem for soils, corn-vs.-soy an acreage problem for global supply, and the subsidy drastically distorts what would otherwise be at best a marginal move toward ethanol. Personally, I don't think the 1.3 EROEI quoted above accounts for all the externalities.
And I apologize if I was spouting.

Your comment would not be well taken by Mexicans who rioted over the price of corn for for their staple meals.I think the facts of the Mexican diet show the error in your statements.{My wife is Mexican, and she had a good belly laugh at your comments.}

What I have read is that corn is the most consumed grain in the world..

Except for New Yawker carpet baggers who keep invading us and who despise grits we consume a heck of a lot of corn here in the south...we don't eat those 'hard rolls' like the yanks do even so I prefer a good bagel on occasion..

Yeh I got a good laugh out of that myself..the bullshit indicators are banging against full stop.


Gap between rich, poor seen growing

The income gap between the wealthiest and poorest Americans grew to its widest level since the 1920s, according to a report published Friday.

Citing Internal Revenue Service data, the Wall Street Journal reported that the wealthiest 1 percent of all Americans earned 21.2 percent of all the nation's income in 2005, up from the previous high of 20.8 percent in 2000.

Conversely, the bottom half of working Americans earned just 12.8 percent of all the nation's income, down from 13.4 percent in 2004 and slightly lower than 13 percent in 2000.

While the IRS data only dates back as far as 1986, academic experts told the paper that the last time the rich had this large of a share of income was during the 1920s.

While the IRS data only dates back as far as 1986, academic experts told the paper that the last time the rich had this large of a share of income was during the 1920s.

I might be wrong, but I think THIS time around, the moral fiber has eroded quite a bit. These poor folks(the current 20-35 year olds) were raised on "Grand Theft Auto" and "Bust a cap on their ass" memes.

The settling of the score(reverting to the income norm so to speak) might play out differently this time.

the anger at the baby boomers will grow and there'll be a harsh backlash from the younger brigade I suspect...
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

Wow...and this coming from CNN:

CNNMoney: Oil hits record, pushes past $84 a barrel: Declining inventories, potential trouble with Turkey and projections for a colder winter push crude to $84 a barrel

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Oil prices hit a record high Friday on news of dwindling stockpiles, potential trouble with Turkey and projections for a colder winter.

U.S. crude for November delivery rose 50 cents to 83.85 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after hitting a high of $84.05 a barrel earlier in the session. The previous trading record was $83.90 set Sept. 20.

...Turkey is making a lot of folks nervous these days...how are relations with the Turks and the Iranians?

...related stories:

Angry Turks ready to cut U.S. ties

...Putin always picks the right time to rattle the saber...

Putin warns U.S. in missile talks

Turkey is pissed off at the US right now.

Los Angeles Times reports...

Turkey recalled its ambassador to Washington on Thursday and denounced as "unacceptable" a congressional panel's vote declaring the early 20th century slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a genocide.

Even as the Bush administration scrambled to try to stem the diplomatic fallout, Turkish President Abdullah Gul castigated the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday for its 27-21 vote, saying the decision "has no validity and is not worthy of the respect of the Turkish people."

Google has some more.

If Turkey gets mad enough at us to deny our military access to their land, we are in for a world of hurt to replace that strategic location as a staging area for the Iraq operations.


IMO it's the other way around.

The neocons are pissed that the Kurds do their own oil deals effectively making passage of the Iraq oil law almost impossible, so they drag the Armenian thing out just to piss off the Turks and cause them to go at the Kurds which THEY perceive as US allies.

If all of a sudden they would go after genocide Israel would be at the top of the list.

The Turks and the Iranians agree that Bush is a dipshit and that they'd prefer their Kurdish minorities nice and quiet.

I haven't been following the flap with Turkey all that carefully, but can anyone out there tell me what on earth prompted the US Congress to put forth this resolution declaring the WW I killing of Armenians as genocide? Who introduced this resolution in the first place and what was its real purpose?

And why now .... when it should be obvious that Turkey is one of the few countries left in the Middle East that comes even remotely close to being a 'friend' of the US?

Isn't the situation in Iraq messed up enough without having Turkey against us too? Talk about shooting oneself in the foot!

The New Republic said this in 2004:

Today Turkey has become Syria's best friend, and is drawing closer to Iran than at any time since the era of the shah.


Ya...I was wondering if Turkey and Iran had struck some new deals or friendships I was not aware of.

Funny how to CNNMoney the US dollar is a constant-every reason is listed but the depreciation of the paper itself.

...oil is still slightly cheaper than the $90 a barrel or so it would have been in the early 1980s.

Does this little factoid, repeated ad nauseum every time oil pushes to a new level bother anyone else except me?

What we imported in the early 1980's is a lot less than what we're importing today. That's the story: the $billions$ disappearing off-shore. That's the inflator...

Of course if we adjust for that, we ignore the substance of the price increases.

An alternative view is the price of oil compared to average household income. The price of oil is ~15% higher than in the 1980s when calculated as a percentage of household income (23K in 1981 vs 46k today).

All the worse because that peak price was at the top of a very steep (timewise) spike. We'll have a lot more 'area under the curve' before we surpass the old record.

Still, I don't see many people giving up the Escalades until they've waited in a gas line.

If Atlanta's response to the impending water crisis is any indication of how we'll deal with future shortages, we are in serious trouble. From the article:

Lake Sidney Lanier, metro Atlanta's main source of water, has about three months of storage left, according to state and federal officials.

That's three months before there's not enough water for more than 3 million metro Atlantans to take showers, flush their toilets and cook. Three months before there's not enough water in parts of the Chattahoochee River for power plants to make the steam necessary to generate electricity. Three months before part of the river runs dry.

Keep in mind that the city only banned lawn watering about two weeks ago. With the drought forecast to continue into the winter, we're obviously walking a very dangerous line, and no one in government seems willing to take charge.

So if the worst happens, what then? Is it even possible to truck in enough water for 5+ million people to survive? And if not, how do you power down a major metropolitan area until the rains return? And when you return, how do you "power up"?

Sorry if this comes across as hysterical, but I'm making up for the lack of hysteria from those around me.

Isn't this where some technocopian inserts a link, something like...

"Man invents machine that makes water out of thin air"


Just turn the crank and turn on the tap!

I feel so much anguish over my 11 year old daughters future.

Hello thecitruskid,

Yep, this is very worrisome info. I suggest the Secessionists & Earthmarines in Cascadia, the New Vermont Republic, and the Great Lakes redouble their efforts to build exclusionary biosolar habitats before the Southern Hordes arrive. Can the Northern areas withstand a CC & drought-induced Overshoot flood of 50 million Southwesterners + 50 million Southeasterners? Inquiring minds want to know!!

Latest drought map update:


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

Hi Bob,

Y'know, the Earthmarines sounded like a great idea until it dawned on me that I might be part of the hoard they were fighting off. :-)

The Southeastern U.S. is going through a drought now, but I can't imagine they will have a long-term water problem. Atlanta gets 50 inches of rain a year. They mostly use surface water that can quickly be replenished when it does rain. The U.S. southwest is a more troublesome spot, drawing from aquifers at an unsustainable rate.

The problem comes when an area that normally gets 50 is relegated down to 15-20 with climate change. It's the changing precipitation patterns that are CC's greatest threat. Subtropical America is in the midst of a drought, though it is irresponsible to say at this point if it is permanent or part of overall manmade climate change.

Citruskid's link provided this:

"When you move into a drought like we've moved into, you'll drain the system," Stevens said.

The Corps' water releases are based on two key requirements: the minimum flow needed to operate Plant Scholtz, Gulf Power's small coal-fired facility just below Lake Seminole, and federal mandates to protect two mussel species in a Florida river."

One, another cost of coal, even a "small coal-fired facility", and the first to go, I think, endangered species.

I agree - barring anthropogenic changes that throw the whole system out of whack, Atlanta should eventually return to its regular 50" yearly rainfall. But I came across this article recently which linked the current U.S. drought to the state of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Basically it claims that the AMO decides IF the U.S. has major drought, the PDO decides WHERE that drought occurs. The AMO seems to be a 30-40 year cycle, and it's strongly positive now (i.e., in the drought position), having switched over in 1995. The southeast may get a break if the PDO goes negative (see this diagram), but if this is accurate the U.S. will be flirting with drought conditions for the next couple of decades. I guess we'll see.

Atlanta's water problem is more complicated than you suggest. The river which supplies the city has a rather small catchment area and that water is stored in a rather large reservoir. The large area of the lake gives the false impression of a large resource. Management of that reservoir has been a problem from the beginning, as the lake has become a major recreational site. Many houses have been built surrounding the lake and the freeways connect the lake area with the metro area to the southwest, thus causing a migration into the area. As a result, there's considerable political pressure to keep the lake level up in summer.

However, there is the need to keep the flow going downstream, for the reasons cited in the article and also to dilute the sewage dumped back in the river by the cities. The dam has electric generating turbines and some of the release occurs to provide peaking electricity. When I lived in Atlanta, I used to take daily runs along the river and the water levels would fluctuate considerably due to the water release. There have been cases where the quick flood from the turbines trapped people just downstream and, I recall, some died.

There has always been conflict between the stated goals of flood control, recreation, water supply and electric generation. When drought comes, these conflicts intensify. There have been several proposals to deal with the water problems, including shifting water from other basins into the Atlanta metro area. If drought becomes a permanent reality, maybe Atlanta will wake up to ideas like conservation or recycling of water. One can only hope for a positive outcome.

E. Swanson

Start using your imagination.
Use it or lose it.

Drought in SE US is tied to
"unimaginable" drought in Amazon.

With climate change past norms
matter little.

This was actually part of my post, albeit at the end, yesterday - if indeed we are going into the same type of cyclic warming that occurred in Roman and Medieval times the archaeological record suggests that the dry spell could possibly last 500 years (see yesterdays reference) thus complacency that it will rain soon in enough volume to solve the problem may be more than dangerous.

And this water crisis is where I think we should be directing much more of our attention with climate change, not just the theatrical, Day After Tomorrow, sea level changes.

Most of our major cities get their water from rivers or storage. New York's Adirondack system comes to mind, the Cedar in Seattle. No water will empty those cities as fast as a flood, and affect many more.

The tropics and subtropical areas of much of the world are in a drought, rachet it just a little longer to induce vegetation changes and then the fury of climate change will really be felt.

New York City's water supply comes from the Catskill Mountains, not the Adirondack Mountains. There haven't been any significant drought problems in New York that would impact the City's water supply, though there no guarantee they couldn't happen in the future of course.

We have been fairly dry so far this fall, but at this point that just been a short term thing. We got some pretty decent rain in New York yesterday and this morning though.

Most of the global warming predictions I've seen have the northeast getting a lot wetter. At the expense of the southwest.

Who knows if that's really how it's going to go, though.

NYC is almost through with the 3rd water tunnel, which provides needed backup for the water supply.

Gravity feed high quality water is a very sustainable part of New York City. Lower population and lower use/capita (low flow toilets & showerheads) should give the system some spare capacity.

And NYC has acted appropriately in the past to droughts, not mindlessly using up a shrinking resource, but cutting back early.

Best Hopes for NYC,



I was aware of the gravity feed for the water, and that it is of high quality. Given that, what's the fascination with bottled water?

What is free to all is valued by none.

So bottle it, brand it, and distribute it. Make bajillions.

Thanks for the correction. I thought the Adirondacks and the Catskills were the same-or rather, the Catskills were part of the Adirondacks.

I didn't mean to imply that the NE was under a drought, just that so many cities depend on rivers or reservoirs for water supply. And these flows or levels are so subject to changing precip patterns.

As I've stated previously, the east is so blessed with their precipitation regime. And high humidity levels, from a botanical standpoint, not to mention the reduced evaporation losses on reservoirs. I think it is taken for granted, their rainfall events from the Gulf, the Atlantic or systems coming across the country. It is a shame it isn't farmed as much anymore, but then, where would all the people go?

It's not all smooth and sweatless in the northeast. Upstate New Yorkers aren't too thrilled about the water going to NYC, and the restrictions that puts on them. There have been droughts that resulted in the "saltwater line" moving so far up the Hudson that people in the lower and mid-Hudson Valley were told to drink bottled water, and some wells ran dry.

There's also the problem of being downwind of the rest of the country. Acid rain from coal-burning plants and heavy industry in Ohio has long been a sore point in New England. While it's not the problem it used to be, I could see that reversing in an energy-poor future.

doug, speaking of the subtropics, S Florida is still short of rain this year and Lake Okeechobee is at almost record low levels. We've been hoping for a tropical depression (NOT a hurricane) but it doesn't look like we'll get one this year.

Lake Okeechobee is the headwaters of the Everglades; the Everglades is why Florida is not identical to Baja California, and provides the hydrostatic pressure to minimize sea water intrusion into our main aquifer.

Errol in Miami

Three square miles of Lake Okeechobee burned this summer. Not good, I think, not good at all.


The tropical and subtropical drought just seems to grow. It is one of the scariest aspects to climate change. Without the tropics and their vegetation, we are really lost.

I was googling tropical and subtropical drought the other nite, looking for a "fall" update on the Amazon situation. The world of hits and studies.....boy. I recall stories this summer of researchers crossing their fingers for the next couple months, hoping. The 2005 drought showed them more resiliency than they thought possible, but are very worried for this year and the cumulative dessication. Any links would be appreciated.

i saw this on the previous posting - so what's being said here ?

is it that they're down to 3 months backup above steady usage i.e. they get through day to day but they are dangerously low on spare water in emergencies

or are they saying they're gonna start running out of regular every day to supply to Joe and Jane Public some time in January?

i read the article but not clear in my mind

All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

They don't know what they're going to do. Unlike California, they are unused to water shortages.

CNN had a segment on "water wars" tonight. The southwestern states are looking thirstily at the Great Lakes. Michigan and its neighbors are saying, "No way, Jose. You can't have our water." They said people are welcome to move to Michigan if they want, and enjoy the water where it is, but no way are they going to let it be pumped or shipped out of its drainage basin.

Good question. Based on a letter sent from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to the Army Corp of Engineers, if the current levels of water inflow and release are maintained, the reservoir will last a little more than three months:

The current basin inflow to the ACF system is around 2,000 cfs, which means that the Corps has to use 3,000 cfs-day (or 6,000 acre-feet) of system storage to meet the flow requirements of 5,000 cfs. If basin inflow does not improve significantly in the near future, this level of augmentation will deplete the system storage in a matter of 117 days.

Letter to Army Corp of Engineers - PDF Warning

Hello TODers,

Many readers will recall my earlier posting series on NPK fertilizers. The link below says that the World Bank considers that of all commodities: fertilizers appears to be to be most vulnerable to rising oil prices. Inticing excerpt below, but please read the article:

A recent policy research working paper at the World Bank examines the effect of crude oil prices on the prices of as many as 35 internationally-traded primary commodities over the long term.

The study finds strong correlation between crude prices and those of other commodities. What is implied is that should crude prices remain buoyant — as most analysts expect — the ongoing hardening trend in commodity prices ought to last “much longer than earlier booms”.

Now, crude remains, by far, the most heavily-traded commodity internationally. But it is notable that higher oil prices are increasingly seeping into those for other commodities such as fertilisers, agricultural produce and metals. The paper finds that the passthrough of crude price changes to the overall non-energy commodity index is 0.16, implying that a 10% increase in the price of crude would induce a 1.6% rise in the non-fuel commodity price index in the long run.

Disaggregated analysis shows that the fertiliser index has the highest passthrough at 0.33, followed by agriculture at 0.17 and with that for metals shown as 0.11. Also notable is that the prices of precious metals seem to exhibit “a strong response” to oil prices. There are several reasons why the scarcity value of crude is increasingly reflected in non-energy commodities.
This only makes sense if one reconsiders my "FF-time dependency release of NPK energy-density" posting.

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

It's nice to see the good folks at the Pentagon working so diligently to provide us with new sources of clean, renewable energy (thx, Leanan):

"Pentagon backs plan to beam solar power from space"

Now what other reason but pure altruism could there be for the US miltary to propose establishing an orbiting network of lasers &/or microwave transmitters with gigawatt (or terawatt or petawatt) power-generation capability?

Revelation 13:13

You know...I would hate to see what would happen to anything that got in the way of this beam (directional?). Man...some flocks of geese are going to get crispy in mid-air!!

So they aim this thing at Turkey and hit a goose instead. What the hell, it's still Thanksgiving.

Now what other reason but pure altruism could there be for the US miltary to propose establishing an orbiting network of lasers &/or microwave transmitters with gigawatt (or terawatt or petawatt) power-generation capability?

yes, I find this story hilarious.

of course, the economics for civilian baseload power generation are stupid.

however, the potential for 'power projection' in a military sense would be huge. Being able to power a base anywhere on earth without supply lines is enough of a plus for the military. But also, by broadening or narrowing the focus, one could mess with enemy electronics & grids, or "clear out" areas without firing a shot by just bathing them in microwaves. (even just to the extent of giving people the heebiejeebies and some discomfort). Tweak the wavelength for different effects. Of course the 'laser' version is good too.

I think the fact that these would be immediately shot down before being completed might affect the commercial potential. Still, I know a rich woman who's throwing a ton of venture capital into them. D'oh.

Even if it weren't for the military angles, this would be a blind alley. If something wasn't energetically affordable in 2005, it never will be. (DJ's Law)

There isn't going to be any orbiting weapons platform program, I am sorry to report. More of that nasty asymmetrical warfare has recently been demonstrated. The North Koreans are starving to death but even they have the ability to interdict such a thing with just a few months effort at building a larger booster, and it isn't them we'd be menacing with such a thing anyway.


Dang, and it just looks like an accident when it happens, rather than being provocative.

Even a civilian sponsored space power system would eventually "need" protection against attack. The military would make sure of that.

As for your "rich woman" venture capitalist, I suppose she has no clue about engineering or science beyond whatever field she might have been educated in. Sounds like one of those who have Web Millions left over from the Dot Com days. Why is it that people who have many dollars tend to have no sense?

E. Swanson


New Technology To Turn Vast Reserves Of Low-Rank Coal Into "Green Fuel"

Turkey recalled its ambassador to Washington on Thursday and denounced as "unacceptable" a congressional panel's vote declaring the early 20th century slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a genocide.

Green Fuel can be used to power oil-fired power plants directly, or be used as a feedstock for further processing (gasification and liquefication) to produce transportation fuels (jet, diesel, gasoline), key agricultural compounds (fertilizers, synthetic petrochemical feedstocks, ammonia), industrial products (oils, lubricants, synthetics) and even consumer products (plastics, packaging, etc.).

Turkey is turning Armenians into Green Fuel? o_O

Woops Too many discussions on too many boards at once! :) How come i cant edit my response anymore?

You can't edit a post once someone has replied to it.

Hey, I gave ya a good half-hour to fix it. :)


Quit picking on the kid, you know you can fix it for him :-)

Yeah, but then that makes this whole sub-thread incomprehensible.

Even more so than it already is, I mean. ;-)

Soylent Green is Armenians!

Record WTI close and intraday trading today: $83.69 and $84.05.

Bloomberg: Oil Rises to Record on Concern Turkey May Invade Northern Iraq

Reaction from MSM...[YAWNNnnnn]

Well...at least someone in the US government admits the truth...

MSNBC: Oil prices rise to new record: $84 per barrel : Crude traders consider whether fundamentals justify extending rally

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman appears to agree, stating Friday that high prices are being driven by fundamental supply and demand imbalances, not speculative investing.

I like this bit:

Today's intraday high was less than a dollar from the all- time inflation-adjusted high reached in 1981 when prices jumped because Iran cut oil exports. The cost of oil used by U.S. refiners averaged $37.48 a barrel in March 1981, according to the Energy Department, or $84.73 in today's dollars.

Commodity traders wield a greater influence on oil prices than Saudi Arabia and the world's other big suppliers, U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said today.

``The suppliers, to some degree, have lost control of the pricing,'' Bodman told reporters in Washington.

Is Bodman actually admitting that Saudi Arabia no longer has the where-with-all to dump product on the market to lower price?!?

Now that would be interesting. But, of course, he hedged by saying "...to some degree".

Hahaha, has anyone seen this video on youtube?

Peak Oil debunked in 4 minutes

Oh, this is so hilarious...but kinda scary too, considering that there are probably people out there who think like that.

That just cracks me up, though, when that old lady in the background quips in with "tar sands!" and "abiogenesis..." and stuff like that.

two videos worth watching...

Saudi's adopt Hill Climbing as sport - http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=069_1192163025

$1,000,000,000 found in unmarked, circulated $100 bills in Iraq - http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=12a_1192149066


WAY OT but I have to ask...

Has anyone here ever rode Amtrak across the US? I plan on moving to NorCal after the new year and I was wondering if the savings from riding the train over flying are worth it. I read that I would be able to store my bike as checked baggage which is a real plus for me. I would be departing from Burlington, IA and arriving in Emeryville, CA (SanFran).

The bus is definitely not an option. I rode greyhound from Orlando, FL to Davenport, IA and it was terrible.

Thx for any reply =)

Hi spudw,

Just remember to add up the cost of your food and anything else over the time span of the trip. Perhaps someone else can comment about the quality of the connections and things like that.

They don't let you check your bike as baggage on the plane?

Amtrak: $123 + bike check fee($5) = $128
Airline: $190 + bike check fee($85) = $275

They do let you check the bike as baggage but its way more expensive. =(

I've only ridden Amtrak for short trips. The reason? Every time I've checked prices, Amtrak has been more expensive than flying.

We've taken Amtrack from Montana to the east coast, but it was many years ago. About the same as flying, as I recall, and we packed a good deal of food, getting a hot meal on board once a day.

Sleeping in the chairs was little rough, esp in the east where the track seemed so much more clackety. But it was great, overall. Had the family, and I didn't have to worry-the kids loved the vistas from the observation cars, and the adventure and freedom of the train. Very restful-we did it twice, and if I had the reason to travel there and the time, I do it again in a heartbeat, even with the kids mostly gone. You see the country, unlike the flyover of air, and areas bypassed by the interstates.

Mayor Richard Daley proposed a whopping $293 million increase in taxes, fees and fines Wednesday, including a 15 percent jump in Chicago's property-tax levy, among the biggest in the city's history.


This will fly like a lead balloon. Let the pain begin!