DrumBeat: October 30, 2007

World oil output struggling, say Arab experts

Leading figures from the Middle East oil industry added their voices on Tuesday to those warning that the world is struggling to sustain rising oil production.

"There is a real problem -- that supply may not be possible to increase beyond a certain level, say around 100 million barrels," Libya's National Oil Corporation chairman Shokri Ghanem said at an industry conference.

"The reason is, in some countries production is going down and we are not discovering any more of those huge oil wells that we used to discover in the Sixties or the Fifties."

Sadad al-Husseini was a key architect of Saudi Arabian energy production policy for more than a decade whilst a top official at state oil firm Saudi Aramco. He was even more pessimistic, saying world oil production had already plateaued.

"We are already three years into level production," Husseini also told the annual Oil & Money conference, a gathering of top executives.

The views are far more conservative than those of the International Energy Agency, adviser to consumer countries, that supply will rise to 116 million bpd by 2030 to meet demand, from about 86 million bpd now.

Recession risk rises with record oil

Economists say economic expansion that shrugged off $70 or $80 oil could finally be tripped up by oil above $90 a barrel.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- There was a time when economists predicted that $60-a-barrel oil would cause a recession. Then they said $70 oil would. Then $80.

So it might be tough to take the recession threat of $90 a barrel oil very seriously. But some economists say that would be a mistake. They note that the current record-high oil prices are hitting when the economy is at its most vulnerable point in years - with the housing downturn, credit crunch and sliding value of the dollar posing threats that weren't present when oil passed its previous benchmarks.

"The whole game has changed," said John Silvia chief economist of Wachovia. "If they're sustained here, going into the holiday season, you're going to have a pretty horrendous fourth quarter."

OPEC President Says Group's Spare Capacity Is Currently 3.5 Million B/D

OPEC President Mohamed Al Hamli said Tuesday that the cartel's "spare production capacity is 3.5 million barrels a day" though he gave no details on how that figure, a key number watched by analysts, is broken down.

The Paris-based International Energy Agency said in its most recent monthly oil market report that the 12-member group's usable spare capacity, which strips out the spare volumes in troubled oil producers such as Nigeria and Iraq, is around 2.66 million barrels a day.

Spare capacity rises if producers cut back production levels to more closely match demand, and it is Saudi Arabia that possesses the most usable spare capacity, with around 2.15 million barrels a day on tap at short notice.

Global warming opens Arctic seabed to the search for oil and gas

Large, discovered oil and natural gas reserves totaling 233 billion barrels of oil or its equivalent can be found in the Arctic Basin, according to a recent study by two British consulting firms, Wood McKenzie and Fugro Robertson, "with potential additional resources estimated at 166 billion barrels of oil equivalent."

The study, "The Future of the Arctic," found that natural gas accounted for 80 percent of all available reserves, and that 69 percent of it belonged to Russia.

Oil sands seen as 'threat No. 1,' as U.S. may target dirtier fuels

Canadian oil sands producers should brace for further bad news - this time from south of the border, as the U.S. government moves toward a national climate change policy that could target dirtier fossil fuels such as the oil sands bitumen, a former U.S. energy official said yesterday.

Mud, sweat and tears

The vast tar sands of Alberta in Canada hold oil reserves six times the size of Saudi Arabia's. But this 'black gold' is proving a mixed blessing for the frontier town of Fort McMurray, fuelling both prosperity and misery.

A Dose of Reality for NPC’s EOR Projection--Where EOR Succeeds and Where it Does Not

With their projection, NPC perpetuates the misguided belief that EOR might be successfully applied to the full spectrum of oil fields worldwide, thus extracting additional oil from formations that have been depleted of primary and secondary reserves. Royal Dutch Shell promoted the same belief in 2006. In its webcast, Shell declared that extracting an additional 10 percent of original oil in place (OOIP) from the world’s oil fields with EOR, also called tertiary recovery, would yield another 500 billion barrels of oil.

Repeat of 1970s oil crisis not expected

Fast rising oil prices are bringing back uneasy memories of the 1970s, but there is optimism a return to the economic darkness can be avoided.

Pollution blamed as China confronts surge in number of deformed babies

An alarming rise in birth defects was acknowledged by China yesterday, amid concern that heavy pollution is damaging the country’s children.

Kremlin concerned over Kiev inaction on oil refinery raid

A Kremlin source said Moscow was concerned about Ukraine's inaction over an oil refinery, which was raided October 19 as part of an ongoing row between Russian and Ukrainian shareholders.

US Auto Industry Faces Growing Headwind From High Oil Prices

The continuing rise in oil prices poses a growing challenge for auto makers already dealing with the effects of housing market weakness and a crisis in the subprime mortgage market.

Report: Cambodia vulnerable to rising oil prices

A sharp rise in the consumer price index (CPI) can be directly attributed to higher prices of gasoline, while Cambodia has been found to be extremely vulnerable to rising oil prices by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), local press reported Tuesday.

White House: Energy price too high but economy firm

The White House reiterated on Tuesday that it considered energy prices too high but said the economy would weather the impact.

"We've had high gas prices for a while. They've been too high for as many months as I can remember, but our economy has been remarkably resilient to it," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters.

Asked whether the Bush administration was considering tapping U.S. oil stockpiles to deal with the higher energy prices, Perino responded, "The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is there for emergencies and we have not played politics with the SPR."

The Right Was Right After All

There is another factor that has arisen that makes our exclusive control of the mideast oil resource even more necessary: the possibility of our reaching “peak oil” in the very near future. According to peak oil theory, we are about to reach (or have already reached) a point of no return in oil production where, just to maintain present production levels, we, like Alice, have to run faster and faster. As demand equals and then surpasses supply it will become more difficult and much much more expensive to maintain even present levels of fulfilled consumption. The greatest country on earth is not about to have to go hat in hand along with inferior nations like China to beg at the table of Mohamed (blessed be He) for our oil at a quantity and a price beyond our control. We cannot even for a moment consider playing such a cruel game of musical chairs. It is only prudent for our survival and appropriate to our rightful position as the dominant world military power, that we assume a controlling influence in this part of the world. It would be preferable to do this through diplomatic means and puppet “democracies,” but, since that appears unlikely, we must do it through military force. Such is the not so well concealed wisdom of our Neoconservative rulers. Even if we are not in a precondition of peak oil, current growing demand both in this country as well as in the developing world make our control of the worlds oil an absolute necessity.

Food or fuel? New technology offers both

The BioExx process, however, produces both oils and proteins. The extracted oil - whether from corn, canola or soybeans - can be marketed for biofuels, while the protein can be sold as fish meal for the booming fish-farming market or as additives for animal feed.

Wood could be the fuel of the future

With the prospect of oil running out some time in the foreseeable future, Swiss researchers are looking for ways of keeping our cars running and our homes warm.

They have turned their attention to a familiar ally and one of Switzerland's few plentiful renewable resources – wood.

UK: Fuel's Gold

Seven years ago the country was gripped by fuel blockades as petrol prices hit 81p a litre.

The Treasury only defused that crisis by postponing fuel tax increases.

IOC seeks increase in petrol, diesel prices

Indian Oil Corp, the nation's largest refiner, on Tuesday sought an increase in prices of petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and PDS kerosene as spiralling global oil prices had put "enormous" burden and may result in a revenue loss of over Rs 8,500 crores this fiscal.

Google's love for solar may extend to other renewables

When it comes to bragging rights and solar power, Google's on top: it has the largest corporate installation of solar-powered electricity yet.

But that apparently is just the beginning. The search giant is also considering other forms of renewable energy, according to Robyn Beavers, the director of environmental programs at Google. Google intends to generate 50 megawatts of electricity from renewable forms for its operations by 2012.

Dream of a low-carbon, rural idyll getting closer?

The falling cost of renewable energy could fuel a city stampede for the country to exchange clean air for carbon emissions, says Nick Rosen, author of a new book, "How to live Off-Grid".

Truck lines show fuel shortages in parts of North Dakota

Matula said began seeing long lines in Jamestown in late August, about the time harvest started. Diesel is still in demand as harvest continues, and he expects supplies to be lower because several Midwestern refineries are operating at reduced rates because of maintenance.

The Music of the Gears

FOR sanity’s sake, most New Yorkers try to keep the city’s cacophony at bay. But the composers Bruce Odland and Sam Auinger, who go professionally by the name O+A, insist that the time to listen is now, before it is too late. In their opinion, the bell tolls for the sounds generated by oil-fueled transportation because fossil fuels are running out.

Yet how do you say goodbye to fuel?

Carolyn Baker: Enhancing emotional wellness in a collapsing world

I recently had the extraordinary privilege of sitting down with therapist and mentor, Carla Royal, to talk about collapse and how we can enhance our emotional well being as we prepare for and navigate it. Carla's perspective is incisive and her work essential in the current milieu of climate chaos, energy depletion, and economic upheaval.

Residents look to mold future of the county

Linda Mastny, who's on the board of the sustainability alliance, recommended some ideas that are working in other places.

San Miguel County has a Sustainability Department. Berkeley, Calif., is looking at allowing people to install solar panels and pay for them through property taxes, and Portland, Ore., has created one of the country's first peak-oil plans. A peak-oil plan, she said, addresses how the city will handle decreasing oil production and the resulting rising prices.

The Green Goals of the Delta-Montrose Electric Association

Delta-Montrose Electric Association is gaining a reputation as both an iconic, and ironic, rural co-op.

Located between Aspen and Telluride in west-central Colorado, the co-op is determined to at least partially unhitch its wagon to centralized coal-fired electrical production. It is studying local renewable resources with the goal of generating 5 percent of electricity from those sources. At the same time, Delta-Montrose earlier this year attracted broad attention in the Rocky Mountains when it turned a cold shoulder to a new coal-fired power plant proposed in Kansas.

Inventing a sustainable city

Meyer started the Abundant Iowa City campaign, which, he said, seeks to create a self-reliant, permanent community that enhances the health of its people and environment. The group has had three meetings, which are breeding ground for further outside discussion with other activist groups.

The climate change censor

IT IS A RACE against the eraser. By the end of the Bush administration, we could all be rubbed out.

Utterly unashamed, the White House heavily deleted yet another major document on global warming. It blanched out the Senate testimony of Julie Gerberding, director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Our Moderate Climate Crisis

Ours is a truly strange global warming crisis. The warming has been only about 0.7º C, spread over 150 years. Our ancestors lived through much more dramatic climate changes.

Just 10,000 years ago, insect fossils tell us, air temperatures dropped as much as 20º C over a few centuries. Then temperatures zoomed back up to levels warmer than today in perhaps 50 years, according to Dr. Dorothy Peteet of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York.

That period, at the end of the last major Ice Age, was also when humans killed off the last of the massive cave bears--because we wanted their caves. The caves were the best-insulated places for humans to live, so hunters risked their lives to attack the groups of massive bears with nothing more than stone-tipped spears.

Some 'Vampires' Prefer Energy Over Blood

A force as insidious as Dracula is quietly sucking a nickel of every dollar's worth of the electricity that seeps from your home's outlets.

Insert the little fangs of your cell phone charger in the outlet and leave it there, phone attached: That's vampire electronics.

Nuclear Renaissance In Russia?

Russia, the world's second nuclear power, has long had an active nuclear-energy industry, including exporting reactors to countries such as India and Iran. Yet until recently, the Kremlin devoted far less attention to nuclear energy than to the country's massive and profitable oil and natural-gas industries. In 2005, President Vladimir Putin indicated his interest in the sector by appointing former Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko to head Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom).

Answer to energy crisis is blowing in the wind

Environmentalists tend to swoon over Scandinavia's progressive green policies. Stories about the region's sustainable communities have achieved near mythic proportion. And indeed, eco-towns like Övertorneå, in Sweden, have become 100 per cent fossil-fuel free. Eco-cities like Malmo, also in Sweden, feature entire neighbourhoods using renewables and waste, including human waste, to produce their energy.

But it is not just Northern Europe that excels in sustainable urban development. Canadian communities like Vancouver and Quebec City show up on lists of the world's greenest cities.

Pakistan: Energy crisis and the industrial sector

In the wake of the looming energy crisis in the country, the supply end has to be substantially increased on a war footing in order to avoid any severe consequences that such a massive shortage of energy as experienced in the recent months could damage the socio-economics and the sovereignty of the country. The multi-dimensional ongoing energy crisis has been having a knock on the life of every Pakistani and has shaped up into a matter of national concern. In the present age, without sufficient energy the wheel can't run on roads, industry and agriculture can't sustain, hospitals and operation theatres can't function, schools and laboratories can't work and public and private sector businesses can't operate. This is indeed the situation we are facing in Pakistan. The shortage of sufficient and affordable energy has not left any of the above-mentioned institutions operate smoothly.

All About: Waste heat

For all the bad mouthing we dish out to the auto and manufacturing industries for the foul pollutants they force us to breathe, a wealth of evidence is suggesting that we should be looking a little closer to home for the other villains of global warming.

It turns out that our homes gobble up 25 percent of the world's energy and are to thank for 19 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions (that's 4,400 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, or CO2), according to a recent McKinsey report, "Curbing Global Energy Demand: The Energy Productivity Opportunity."

Electricity Company Shifts Generators To Maintain Even Energy Flow In Zimbabwe

In a bid to minimize the damage caused by the rising energy crisis in the country, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority or ZESA, has now started shifting the few remaining transformers from one area to another, to ensure a steady supply of power.

Poor outlook for grain stokes fight over biofuels

FOOD producers who rely on feed grain stepped up their attack on biofuels yesterday as the forecast for Australia's grain harvest was slashed by another 4.5 million tonnes after two more months of exceptionally warm, dry weather.

No real alternative to oil: Rise in demand seems unavoidable

The largest reservoirs, or "super giants," are the cheapest to develop, in terms of cost per barrel. But the last true super giants were discovered in 1967 and 1968, according to a paper by Robert Hirsch, Roger Bezdek and Robert Wendling that has become seminal to "peak oil" theorists, who argue that reserves will soon peak at a maximum production rate, and decline thereafter.

The 2005 paper, "Peaking of World Oil Production" collated estimated dates for the peak, ranging from last year to beyond 2025. It concluded that government intervention to slow demand was required, "because the economic and social implications of oil peaking would otherwise be chaotic."

...Still, "this is the fifth time that the world is said to be running out of oil," said Yergin, the chairman of Cambridge Energy. Each time, "technology and the opening of new frontier areas has banished the specter of decline. There's no reason to think that technology is finished this time."

Please don't blame us for $93 oil: OPEC

OPEC has no power over many of the factors buffeting oil markets and the group is worried by record high prices that are threatening the world economy and future demand growth, OPEC ministers said on Tuesday.

"Please don't blame us for $93 oil," Qatari Oil Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah told reporters on the fringes of an international energy conference.

"The market is out of control."

EIA Head: Extra OPEC Oil Could Relieve Pressure In Oil Markets

Additional oil from Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could relieve some of the pressure in global oil markets where prices have topped $90 a barrel, the head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration Guy Caruso said Tuesday.

CERA: Market Just 1 Or 2 Events Away From $100-Plus Oil

Cambridge Energy Research Associates Chairman Dan Yergin believes the "oil market may be only one or two events away from $100-plus oil," adding they have become increasingly decoupled from the fundamentals of supply and demand

Libya Oil Head: Global Oil Output Can Only Reach 100 Million B/D

Global oil production can go no higher than 100 million barrels a day, the head of Libyan oil policy and Chief Executive of Libya's National Oil Co. Shokri Ghanem said Tuesday.

"There is a ceiling or 100 million (barrels a day) and the world cannot continue to produce oil indefinitely," Ghanem told an energy conference in London.

Once that ceiling is reached, global oil production will start to decline, Ghanem said. He didn't specify where the data came from.

Kenya: Shell Executives Forecast New Era in Africa After BP Takeover

BP's takeover has opened a new era in the firm's operations in Africa, where big multinationals are walking out due to the loss of market dominance positions in wake of an onslaught from smaller oil distributors.

Energy analysts say the foreign multinationals and their subsidiaries are no longer profitable in Africa due to higher overhead costs, including branding of fuel stations, fat-pay cheques for top executives and other emoluments.

BP refinery safety violations revealed

A 5-month investigation of BP's Whiting refinery following a deadly explosion at a Texas refinery owned by BP found untested fire hoses, broken equipment and outdated safety procedures, The Times of Munster reported.

Chris Skrebowski on alarming new peak oil report (transcript of previously released podcast)

Julian Darley: Are you foreseeing, in fact, an earlier peak for tar sands' output?

Chris Skrebowski: I think, I think at this stage it is just too early to tell; but, it is a plausible and ultimately a respectable argument to say that if you can't get the economics to add up well as the ores become leaner, you probably would have a tar sands peak, and that it would decline.

Jeff Randall's Interview With James Smith - In Full

JEFF RANDALL: What do you mean by peak oil?

JAMES SMITH: Well that somehow people are saying that oil is running out, as part of your question, I don't think that's the case. Probably the easy oil has been found, the big fields with the light crude that's easy to produce and what we are looking into a future of is very substantial hydro-carbon resources but those hydro-carbon resources are going to be more difficult to produce, they are going to be heavier ?

Connecticut Legislative Caucus Holds Peak Oil Hearings

Co-founders of the Connecticut Legislative Peak Oil and Natural Gas Caucus State Representative Terry Backer (Stratford) and Senator Bob Duff (Norwalk, Darien) announced an informational hearing will be held on November 1st 2007 12:30PM room 2A Legislative Office Building Hartford CT.

According to Representative Backer and Senator Duff Peak Oil is the event when oil supply reaches its maximum production, plateaus and then falls into terminal decline. There has been consistent evidence that the world's oil supply either has or will reach peak production in the near term. The impact on the economy of the State and its people could be dramatic, enough so that more information is needed to plan appropriately by state leaders.

North Korea to split aid between fuel and goods

Regional powers agreed on Tuesday to give half the aid they promised North Korea for disabling its ageing nuclear plant to help refurbish the communist state's dilapidated infrastructure.

Panel urges Bush to drop nuke waste plan

A panel of the National Academy of Sciences urged President Bush on Monday to abandon an ambitious plan to resume nuclear waste reprocessing that is the heart of the administration's push to expand the civilian use of nuclear power.

A 17-member panel of the Academy's National Research Council said the proposed Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, or GNEP, has not been adequately peer reviewed and is banking on reprocessing technology that hasn't been proven, or isn't expected to be ready in the time the administration envisions.

Power plants are focus of drive to cut mercury

Despite decades of government attempts to regulate it, ban it and erase it from household use, the poisonous metal mercury remains a threat to the environment and public health, especially to children and to women of childbearing age.

Opposition takes on coal plants

BLAKELY, Ga. — Sammy Prim says he always thought environmentalists were "a little bit nutty."

Then a New Jersey-based utility, LS Power, decided to build a $2 billion coal-fired power plant here, just a few miles across the Chattahoochee River from his rural Alabama home. If built, it could emit up to 9 million tons of carbon dioxide, the primary gas blamed for global warming, every year.

"I've been a Republican my whole life, but I'll be doggoned if Al Gore isn't right," says Prim, 64, a retired radiologist. "Is it fair for you and me — this generation — to pollute for all the generations to come when we're already seeing the effects — global warming, mercury, particulate matter?"

Schwarzenegger regrets US's poor effort on global warming

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told a conference in Lisbon on Monday that he regretted Washington's lack of engagement on global warming but insisted it was not ignoring the issue.

"Just because you don't see Washington leading this issue, don't be thinking that America is shirking its responsibilities," he said in a video message transmitted for an international conference on global warming.

Countries launch carbon trading market

Senior officials from the European Union, three U.S. states, Canada, Norway and New Zealand launched an international effort Monday to fight climate change by building a global carbon trading market.

The International Carbon Action Partnership aims to add momentum toward low-carbon economies by grouping countries and regions that cap and trade environmentally damaging carbon dioxide emissions.

Children particularly at risk from global warming: report

"Anticipated direct health consequences of climate change include injury and death from extreme weather events and natural disasters, increases in climate-sensitive infectious diseases, increases in air pollution-related illness, and more heat-related, potentially fatal, illness," the report presented at the annual congress of the American Academy of Pediatrics said.

"Within all of these categories, children have increased vulnerability compared with other groups," it said.

Past the threshold for dangerous warming

One of the main headlines in the first week of the election campaign was Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd's announcement that Labor would sell additional Commonwealth land, much of it in outer metropolitan areas, to help ease the housing crisis. The Howard Government has a similar plan.

While there is a need for affordable housing, these policies will promote further urban sprawl and, in doing so, undermine measures to tackle climate change.

How a Fed rate cut raises oil prices

Several "second order" effects.



Jim Rogers: US economy "in a state worse than recession"

"The US economy is undoubtedly in recession," he said. "Many parts of industry are actually in a state worse than recession.

Mr Rogers' comments are followed slavishly by many members of the international investment communities, and his view that the US economy is in a worse state than that suggested by most economic commentators is likely to add to pessimism in some quarters about its health.


Fed rate cut will make matters worse.

Alan that's easy - each Fed rate cut decreases the dollar's value, makes the dollar "smaller" so it takes more of them to buy a barrel of oil.

So GWB should announce the 40.5 gallon Freedom (tm) barrel ?

To be followed by the 39 gallon Liberty (tm) Barrel.


Alan with a sip of sarconal

Sweet! We'll be at 115 MB/D in no time!

BTW, the other evening there was a talk show host talking about the rise of a dictator in the Weimar Republic -- someone who promised to "make the trains run on time."

How ironic that we in the USA will soon be clamoring for a leader who can "make the trains."


LONDON : Some countries may have to implement retail price controls on food in the near future because of rising prices for consumers, the UN's food chief said in an interview published Monday.


Early results of a 12 million pound, 4-year EU study on the benefits of organic food suggest that some of them, such as fruit, vegetables and milk, are more nutritious than non-organically produced food and may contain higher concentrations of cancer fighting and heart beneficial antioxidants.

Some more on Food:

Poor outlook for grain stokes fight over biofuels


FOOD producers who rely on feed grain stepped up their attack on biofuels yesterday as the forecast for Australia's grain harvest was slashed by another 4.5 million tonnes after two more months of exceptionally warm, dry weather.

The dairy, pork, egg and feedlot beef sectors said the global demand for grain to produce ethanol was causing record grain prices, food inflation and job losses.


Ethanol industry supporters argue that grain prices have been unrealistically low for decades and the grain shortage is due to the weather.

Contains updates on Australian grain output.

Hoarders create artificial shortage to raise flour rates


Hoarders have stocked over 1 million tonne wheat to create an artificial shortage and raised prices of the commodity, officials said.


The price of wheat is $ 200 per tonne in Pakistan whereas the price of wheat in international market is around $ 400 per tonne. This gave economic justification to smugglers to send wheat through illegal ways to India, Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics

How long do you think these many countries can keep these prices low internally?!

Arbitrage is part of a free market system. If a farmer that makes only $200 per year can make $400...I bet he will go to great lengths to get it to a stronger market.

The SMH article refuses to break out the grains number ,
lumping barley, canola in with wheat.

But the 4.5 million ton drop would bring the wheat crop down to 9.5 million tons if the Ozzies are using the 13.5
million ton number.

The Oil Drum | World Energy and Population: Trends to 2100
An Ozzie said (from an FT article) that if no rain is received in three weeks, then disaster. Right now the wheat forecast is 13.5 million tons, ...


Note that most/all are still using the 15.5 ton number.

Australia needs 5 mt for domestic consuption.
Last year's harvest was 9.8 mt.

I'm still looking for closer to 7 mt.
The Oil Drum | World Energy and Population: Trends to 2100
An Ozzie said (from an FT article) that if no rain is received in three weeks, then disaster. Right now the wheat forecast is 13.5 million tons, ...


Thanx for the find.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

Next time they can toss me the 12 mil. Organic food is so much better in taste and texture; obvious results I would say.

If it was necessary to spend 12 million pounds to discern the effect, then it must be far too insignificant to justify paying triple for the foods in question. But it will give yuppie foodies something new to obsess about.

It mostly gives the global agri-business another handle to market their products. "Organic" is the new mantra -- and the US Dept of Agriculture has obligingly twisted the original (and sensible) meaning of the term to embrace all sorts of mischief. Such as factory farming spinach and pork and beef -- all "organic" of course -- that has recently been notorious for spreading disease.

Yea, my local target for example sells supposidly organic liquid milk that claims on the box it doesn't even need to be refridgerated..

I don't think UHT sterilization would preclude milk from carrying an "organic" label. Perhaps that's what they did?

I don't know it says nothing ont he label as to what processes it went through other then being labeled 'organic'

EU doesn't allow calling organic milk that has been homogenized or UHT treated. Don't know about your country.

I don't believe that, do you have any proof? It sounds like another EU "straight banana" myth.

I've seen organic milk on sale that is UHT or pasteurised, and I don't see why homogenisation would preclude an organic tag either (it's a mechanical process).

This is 2nd hand knowledge from our milk producer locally. They sell organic milk and they say EU doesn't allow for homogenization or UHT.

Also, all of our organic milk sale in FIN is NOT UHT or homogenised.

I'd have to find the corresponding directive in an EU database, to make sure it's true... :)

I tried at EUROPA > EUR-Lex > ADVANCED SEARCH , but only got error messages.

So, you could be right, but currently I go with the producer, until I get evidence of otherwise.

For "Organic" let the buyer beware. Many packaged "Organic" foods at Health Food Stores AND at Whole Foods are not labelled with the country of origin. The Grocery Store industry has fought tooth and nail to delay rules requiring country of origin labelling for foods.

Many countries use "conduit" countries for their food. E.g. the package may say Made in Canada but an importer based in Canada may have imported the food, maybe processed or packaged it and then sold it as Canadian.

A lot of feed for Organic dairy and meat animals is being imported and that is putting downward pressure on domestic prices of Organic feed. Auditing and Organic standards for foreign producers including very large and powerful countries are different and often inferior.

If you can be assured that the product is Organic then it is great for you and the environment. But it is a jungle out there.

Of course melamine is organic. You'll find it on the shelf in your organic lab. So it's all good, see?

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

The cost of organic food is the REAL cost of sustainable production. Industrial non organic farming is strip mining the soil. The 'cheapness' of industrially farmed food is a transient oil dependant phenomenon. The only food available in the future will be organically farmed, get used to it!

No it's not but it's closer to the real cost then non-organic. organic food still uses some fossil fuel inputs.

Price controls on food? So those countries want their people to starve due to the inevitable shortages? "Yes, we have cheap meat, chicken, bread, fruits, and vegetables... if you can find any."

UN Director General: Food Riots Would Not Be A Surprise

The alternitive is NOT any better, instead of not finding any they just plain can't afford it. But don't let that get in the way of your free market idology.

Survey Shows Americans Preference For TOD

Three-fourths of Americans believe that being smarter about development and improving public transportation are better long-term solutions for reducing traffic congestion than building new roads, according to a survey sponsored by the National Association of Realtors® and Smart Growth America.

The 2007 Growth and Transportation Survey details what Americans think about how development affects their immediate community. Nearly three-quarters of Americans are concerned about the role growth and development play in climate change, as well as remaining concerned about traffic congestion. Half of those surveyed think improving public
transit would be the best way to reduce congestion, and 26 percent believe developing communities that reduce the need to drive would be the better alternative. Only one in five said building new roads was the answer . . .

This is a social policy poll, not a "Do you want to live there" questionnaire.

Given the Iron Triangle (tm by Jeffrey Brown) it is interesting that the National Association of Realtors co-sponsored the poll.


Best Hopes,


That's the best news I've heard in a long time! Realtors are people, too, it seems.

Possibly the habit of being a little ahead of the curve leads us to arrogance and dismissiveness -- we are underestimating the power of people to change. People really can figure it out, once they have seen the truth, and given time to see how that truth impacts them personally.

Realtors have conflicting desires. First they wish to sell the largest properties for the largest commissions. But they do wish to remain in business and if the alternative is going completely out of business, then they will eventually adapt to selling different kinds of housing. It will take a while and some prolonged pain in the industry but those realtors who move towards selling TOD based housing may do better than their peers if the financial problems persist. If that occurs, expect the rest of the industry to notice and learn.

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

Unfortunately, concern doesn't easily translate into action. It's very easy to be concerned. It's very hard to change comfortable patterns of existence.

The key to this entire mess is always speed of our reaction against the rate of global decline. If we fall behind the rate of global decline, expect problems to develop. If we fall far behind, expect big problems.  Unfortunately, I don't see us responding at any reasonable pace yet at all, so you can imagine my concern.

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

They are also motivated by what is the next fad/trend. They understand that the old game is out and there is a new game coming...building smarter, greener and closer to intelligent infrastructure in a post-cheap oil peak world. They want to be on the leading edge to turn a buck. If turning that buck means improved housing development post peak then I'm all for it.

"This is a social policy poll, not a 'Do you want to live there' questionnaire."

Meaning what? That unlike a poll which might try to evaluate the pollees' willingness to follow their own prescriptions, this one explicitly only asks folks loaded questions about what they wish somebody else would do? Yes, indeed, that's precisely what it seems to do.

After all, most folks already have the living arrangements they apparently want, and few of those arrangements involve transit oriented development ("TOD"). They probably want decent schools, decent services, and decent safety from assaults, and aside from the Chicago Gold Coast and other districts for megamillionaires, packed urban areas are hardly ever the place to find such things.

When they are polled, "I'm all right, Jack" works fine for them. They feel free to deny their own living arrangements to others in order to appear politically correct. Best of all, they benefit financially from poll-excused regulations that create artificial scarcity by attempting to force people to live in dense urban areas. Those regs drive up the prices of places where people actually do want to live, such as the pollees' very own suburban houses.

So, other than demonstrating yet again the venality and hypocrisy of the "democratic electorate", and the monumental degree to which ivory-tower "urban planners" remain out of touch with peoples' real desires, what do polls like this actually prove?

I think that's a little harsh. People mostly try to be happy and get along with what they have. They can be agitated by some outside force to want something they don't have, or to change what they have -- that's the motivating force of the market economy. If everyone ate oatmeal and raisins for breakfast every morning of the year as I do (purely out of habit) -- then General Mills would be in a bad way.

People were once delighted by streetcars -- then they were captivated by automobiles. We can easily learn to love trains and busses again.

The purpose of most polls is not so much to find out what people think, but to find out if they are listening to what the people who are doing the poll have been telling them.

The purpose of most polls is not so much to find out what people think, but to find out if they are listening to what the people who are doing the poll have been telling them.

Bingo!!! Yes!!! You get the prize!!! Make this the TOD - in both senses - quote of the year!!!.

And this is precisely why polls are rubbish - they're nothing more than yet another commercial, promoting whatever agenda the rent-seeker of the day wishes to foist off on the rest of us in the interest of picking our pockets.

We can easily learn to love trains and busses again.

Stinky, smelly, bouncy, infrequent, disease-propagating, perpetually tardy, unreliable busses, I hardly think so. Infrequent, disease-propagating, perpetually tardy, unreliable trains, probably not. The fleeting instant in history when these were novelties is long gone, never again to return.

Stinky, smelly, bouncy buses/Infrequent, disease-propagating, perpetually tardy, unreliable buses/trains

Versus hyper-expensive#, inherently dangerous (~40K dead, several hundred thousand life altering injuries/year), stinky, (stink up the entire city, MANY more deaths & disabilities that way), perpetually congested, socially isolated SUVs and cars that can gobble up half the land area of a city ?

The reason that there is not more TOD is because there is just not NEARLY enough "T" to "orient development" around !

Best Hopes for TOD,


# Not just to the driver's take home pay, but $500 billion and counting in Iraq plus 3K+ US and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

"not NEARLY enough 'T' to 'orient development' around!"

Well, yes, of course. Take a reasonably successful and inexpensive new project, at least by the undemanding standards against which these things are measured. Two-plus billion bucks, serves 17,000 people (daily ridership divided by two), and might eventually serve 50,000. So for somewhere between 44,000 and 130,000 bucks per person, we get far less than half a transportation system - only north-south on a rather slow, winding route, and only for a short distance at that. And to use it, people must live stacked on top of each other to a considerable height, at no small cost in noise and sleep deprivation.

And then we must pay and pay and pay to operate it. Roads are normally left unattended for long periods, but on a transit line, professional drivers, dispatchers, inspectors, and so on have to be paid continually at confiscatory rates every moment it is in use (this is why the late night and Sunday service on this line is a rarity). Of course the "customer" need not care about the expense since the taxpayers in general, who can't use it, pick up most of the tab for the very, very few who can.

So expect lack of "T" to remain a problem in perpetuity, as there will never be enough "tea" in all of China for it to be otherwise. Even assuming nobody in New Jersey ever needs to travel east or west, we'd still be needing another 200 of those expensive beasties to serve everyone in the state. Not a snowball's chance.

Roads are left unattended for long periods?

On the FL State Road I work on, yesterday there were people walking down the street spraying weed killer on the sidewalks. Today they are ripping out the sidewalks where the joints aren't level. There are regular accidents which require the attention of the state police. They have to mow the grass. They ripped out a turn lane and extended it (due to congestion) a month ago. Code enforcement has to go out once a week and take down all the 'snipe' signs. I don't see the street sweepers but it gets done every now and then. It's due for another friction layer of asphalt, which happens roughly every 5 years. So far in 7 years I've seen 2 spills right in front of my office, one of nails, one of drywall joint compound.

and so on....

It would help significantly if Americans could learn to build tram (light rail) systems with the speed and efficiency of French bureaucrats and subways with the speed and efficiency of Spanish bureaucrats.

But even with the current American system based on "Ration by Queue", it is still better and cheaper in the long run than the alternative(s).


people must live stacked on top of each other to a considerable height

So you have a problem with dwellings that use less energy for heating and cooling and foster social interaction with the neighbors?

Going east-west is only useful if there are destinations east or west to go to. If development is concentrated along the north-south axis, it east-west is an unimportant abstraction on a map.

taxpayers in general, who can't use it.

Anyone who can afford the fare can board a bus or a train (granted, it helps if you live nearby, hence the point of TOD). Cars are off limits to those who are too poor, too old, too young, too ill or even too habitually inebriated to drive.

How dare you call the nice choo-choo trains germy etc.

Really, I grew up hating the bus because I had to take it to get places. Lo and behold I find myself in Europe etc and traveling by bus and it's great, "get on the bus and leave the driving to Gus" lol, it's pretty great to have someone else worry about the driving, get where you're going w/o spending a fortune, etc. Same thing with the train in the Bay Area - in the US, routinely traveling by passenger train is very rare. But in the San Francisco Bay Area I got to try it, and it's pretty damn cool.

I wish we had a daily bus going from here to Prescott, that would be great. I could go to "town", do some biz, maybe stay overnight and return the next day, with minimal fuel useage and pollution. Instead for now I have to drive this huge-ass truck, and keep trips to town to once a week or less. I also have a mountain bike I could ride into town, come back the next day, but it's still not as cool as a bus. (It should prove useful for zipping around "the village" here though.)

"Build it and they will come" is really true when it comes to trains and buses and light rail etc. Build a good system and people will get out of their cars gladly.

How dare you call the nice choo-choo trains germy etc.

Can't ever point to actually getting sick from public transit, but the workplace certainly had its moments when I got to share in the joy of pathogenesis.

I agree almost on everything, except that polls can, as opinion shifters, can also be used for good aims (if one thinks manipulating people like that is acceptable).

Good aims? How about this: 52% of Americans want a war on Iran.


Is this even plausible? None of the Americans I have spoken to think it is.

All depends on the framing of the question and who one asks.

Sounds plausible (the way the question was worded). The American public will support a military strike on ANYBODY, as long as it doesn't bite them, then they will whine endlessly.

This one I can't believe.. of course I hardly give any benefit of the doubt to the press anymore, but that one really sounds like an outright fabrication to me.

Stinky, smelly, bouncy, infrequent, disease-propagating, perpetually tardy, unreliable busses, I hardly think so. Infrequent, disease-propagating, perpetually tardy, unreliable trains, probably not. The fleeting instant in history when these were novelties is long gone, never again to return.

Perhaps where you live. And perhaps you deserve the "service" you get.

Where I live, the busses are free, they are new, and they are well used. Even the "old busses" were kept in good shape. When the town decided that it made more sense to incorporate the operating costs into the operating budget of the town AND the university student bodies voted to increase their fees slightly for free bus service, the program became a success and ridership skyrocketed. We now have new 60+ passenger articulated busses.

When I am in town (not travelling) I carpool and take the bus to work. My job, which has moved twice since I took ownership of this house, is now 37 miles away by the shortest route. If I drive to work it's about a 45 minute commute (door-to-door). If I ride the bus, it's about 1-hour AND I get to do something other than worry about traffic. If I drive to the park and ride, my daily roundtrip is about 4 miles. But I can also walk 5 minutes up the street from my house and step onto a bus that will take me to the Express Bus stop. I can go an entire month on 16 gallons of gasoline (including my weekend use which I keep to a minimum).

On the express bus portion of my travel I get wireless internet connection (a new addition to the service).

Granted I see two classes of people on the busses I take and am constantly faced with what John Edwards has called the "Two Americas." And let's face it, most people simply don't wish to be reminded about this part of the American society as these people are as scary to them ("you") as any Saudi flying a jet aircraft into a building. I also have other personal reasons for having mixed feelings about using busses.

But I also come from a family of bus drivers (from early in my life) and so that, too, plays dimly in my background.

"Stinky, smelly, bouncy, infrequent, disease-propagating, perpetually tardy, unreliable busses..."

Funny, those issues don't seem to deter people from riding on airliners. (Nor do they bother to wash hands before eating.)

They deter me.

I was practically born on an airplane, but it's gotten so unpleasant to fly these days I avoid it as much as possible.


I would most likely be arrested for bslapping some security person?.

Now I make a road trip out of it, see the country on a bike.

I used to do a great deal of business travel, but (fortunately) have not been on a plane since before 9/11.

The way 'airline security' has become so Gestapo-like, I now simply refuse to fly. Period.

The only thing that will cure this growing police-state situation at US airports is a prolonged nation-wide airline boycott. This would hit them where it hurts.

Unfortunately, the majority of Americans have become so resigned to the police-state atmosphere (Your papers Please!!) that they now feel grateful for being allowed the 'privilege' of being allowed to board a plane in their own country.

Totalitarianism doesn't happen all at once but sneaks up on you incrementally, one chicken-shit indignity at a time.

I have flown several times since 9/11, notably connecting through Newark in late September '01, as I recall. Passengers were straining to look out the plane windows at the gap in the NYC skyline.

But by now the notion of just hopping on a plane to fly somewhere does not sound like fun, and I avoid it if possible.


Give me a break. Cars and trucks (and some buses) kill 45,000 Americans each year. How many people have you ever heard of who contracted any illness via a bus or train, let alone died from it?

That is such an odd thing to be worried about.


That's because so many people drive there are not enough left to demand/fund frequent service. You should be urging people to ride buses and trains, not the opposite.


Kisses? This is an oil/transportation thread. You must mean buses!

In many places, particularly developing countries, buses are often old diesel fueled claptraps that spew massive amounts of disease propagating particulates. Maybe that's what was meant.

A certain number of people get killed by CalTrain in the San Francisco Bay Area, nothing compared to car-caused deaths of course, but it does happen. I always felt very bad for the train engineers - you kinda have to work at it to get run over by a train.

"After all, most folks already have the living arrangements they apparently want, and few of those arrangements involve transit oriented development ("TOD")."

Wrong. About one-third of the U.S. market, or 100 million Americans, want homes in walkable, mixed use neighborhoods. But 90+ percent of new development is auto-dependent suburbia. A massive market failure is taking place because of entrenched government regulations, codes and ordinances; misguided and fallacious design standards; and inertia and inflexibility in the financing industry.

Not only does one-third of the U.S. market want walkable or transit oriented development, but the market share is projected to increase over the next several decades due to demographic and cultural trends that are already underway.

"Wrong. About one-third of the U.S. market, or 100 million Americans, want homes in walkable, mixed use neighborhoods."

Not exactly. About one-third answered your pollsters' loaded questions by merely saying that they wanted such homes. And it might well be possible to induce some of them to say they want ponies too - and who knows what else.

But when it gets down to brass tacks, fibbing to a pollster is one thing, while actually selecting and committing to a real, physical house is quite another. That's literally where the rubber meets the road, so that "90+ percent of new development is auto-dependent suburbia."

When it gets down to brass tacks, housing in walkable or transit oriented neighborhoods commands a price premium and appreciates at faster rates than comparable housing in auto-dependent neighborhoods. That's because the demand is greater than the supply, by a wide margin.

Even in the areas of the country hardest hit by the housing bubble collapse, walkable developments are outperforming the competition.

Polls are silly. What people say they want isn't necessarily what they actually want. Remember this story?

Near the rails but still on the road

In Los Angeles alone, billions of public and private dollars have been lavished on transit-oriented projects such as Hollywood & Vine, with more than 20,000 residential units approved within a quarter mile of transit stations between 2001 and 2005.

But there is little research to back up the rosy predictions. Among the few academic studies of the subject, one that looked at buildings in the Los Angeles area showed that transit-based development successfully weaned relatively few residents from their cars. It also found that, over time, no more people in the buildings studied were taking transit 10 years after a project opened than when it was first built.

It even made things worse:

The reporting showed that only a small fraction of residents shunned their cars during morning rush hour. Most people said that even though they lived close to transit stations, the trains weren't convenient enough, taking too long to arrive at destinations and lacking stops near their workplaces. Many complained that they didn't feel comfortable riding the MTA's crowded, often slow-moving buses from transit terminals to their jobs.

Moreover, the attraction of shops and cafes that are often built into developments at transit stations can actually draw more cars to neighborhoods, putting an additional traffic burden on areas that had been promised relief.

TOD residents need not be transit users. A fallacy inherent to the critique.

Case in point. Two close friends (Prof Goose was charmed by the female half at ASPO-Houston) live in Los Angeles within a couple of blocks of the Red Line. One car, two working adults, Los Angeles. Fill up the car (10 gallons or so) once to 3 times/month.

Used to live at Hollywood & Vine then moved to downtown LA when rent went up. The only time they use the Red Line is to go back to the farmers market in Hollywood and a favorite book/video store (otherwise a few other times/year).

They are drawn to, and use intensively, the walkable neighborhoods that have sprung up around the Red Line stations. They report that they are not that unusual.

This is the indirect energy savings from Urban Rail.

Best Hopes,


So, your story of two close friends trumps academic research? I suspect if the shoe was on the other foot you would voice the same criticism.

It was not academic research, it is the LA Times. One paraphrase of a single academic paper was "one that looked at buildings in the Los Angeles area showed that transit-based development successfully weaned relatively few residents from their cars".

I would argue that academic paper used the wrong metric. Instead of going carless (Yes/No) (Note: My friends did not go carless in LA), did the VMT (vehicles miles traveled) drop ? Uniformly, VMT drops when people move from auto-centric environments to TOD. (Note: I usually rely on professors I know that quote me this and not reading too many of these papers myself. Other stuff to do).

It also paraphrased "It also found that, over time, no more people in the buildings studied were taking transit 10 years after a project opened than when it was first built".

Well, since LA has not expanded Urban Rail in the last ten years except a line from Union Station to Pasadena (little impact on LA), why should a new TOD building show higher transit use after 10 years ?

The more relevant (and apparently unasked) question is did transit use increase when people moved from auto-centric housing to TOD ?

An observation is that Urban Rail lines tend to show increased ridership over time because of increased TOD. This is general assumed to be because of more TOD and not increased transit density in existing TOD. (Note: Ridership density (Tennysons) increases on existing lines when new lines open. I would infer that new lines opening would also increase the transit use density of existing TOD).

Much of my knowledge of TOD is organic. I live in it and observe daily flows and living patterns. My personal observations tend to correlate well with academic research. But given a choice, I will believe my lying eyes.

Best Hopes for more "T" to "OD".


In regards to transit oriented development, people say they want housing near convenient, comfortable transit. As the article makes clear, L.A. doesn't have that -- yet. L.A.'s transit doesn't serve a lot of the city area, and it doesn't go to a lot of destinations -- yet.

Experience in other cities is that TOD reduces car travel and increases transit ridership. There are many studies confirming that. Experience in other cities is that you can start with a completely auto-oriented city, with no rail transit at all, rebuild it, and achieve the goals of reduced driving and high levels of transit use. But to entice high-income persons out of their cars, transit has to be convenient and comfortable. L.A. is moving in the right direction and its recent land use policies and transit investments will help to make its transit comfortable and convenient.

The most direct benefit of TOD is increased ridership and the associated revenue gains. Research shows residents living near stations are five to six times more likely to commute via transit than are other residents in a region. Other primary benefits include the revitalization of declining neighborhoods, financial gains for joint development opportunities, increases in the supply of affordable housing, and profits to those who own land and businesses near transit stops.

--Transit-Oriented Development in the United States: Experiences, Challenges, and Prospects. TCRP Report 102, Federal Transit Administration, 2004

The major problem is the system does not connect the most crowded areas of the southland - the Westside to Downtown along or parallel with Wilshire Blvd. It was diverted to North Hollywood. MTA bought the old rail lines and created a busway down the middle of the San Fernando Valley. It cuts right down the middle of an old suburb but ridership has been very high.

Retro fitting a mass transit line that connects the densest parts of the city will cost a huge amount of money. But because of the Tar Pits and earthquakes a subway may not be the best bet. Monorail?

Extending the Red Line subway to UCLA (preferably all the way to the Sea @ Santa Monica) should make it the busiest subway (or 2nd busiest) in the USA.

I would prefer station spacing of a little over a mile with a surface streetcar going through what is now parking on Wilshire. And 3 tracks to allow for express service.

My two highest priorities are extending the Red Line and the 2nd Avenue subway in NYC (relief for Lexington Ave. subway).

Best Hopes,


I live in LA area. One of my coworkers had to take public transportation yesterday (car broke down). He said he left at 5:00am and he got to work at 8:30am, so that 3 and a half hours to get to work. LA public transportation is completely incapable to replace cars.

Light rail, from what I can see, is a total scam to make a few rich.

Where I spend time in winter they are building one of these things. They tear everything up 19 times and make a mess for far longer then advertised.

They lie, as in first everything looks half way nice with the Euro look coaches, and then they decide to run wires in the air.

The route purposely goes from one abandoned mall to another avoiding the places for which it would actually make sense. They purposely do not run it to the airport and to the sports venues downtown, presumably because they would lose all the parking revenue.

While in the past there used to be a fortune in knowing the future path of roads as real estate would go way up, the trend here is that light rail is the kiss of death as many existing businesses along the route are either closing or relocating.

The new LA subway had several problems for me when I visited there. The stations were very pretty, with wide entry and exit points and large platforms. The trains themselves were good and, as far as I could tell, reliable.

But there were no employees on the station. So you couldn't find out when trains were due as no timetables were posted and getting hold of a ticket required having a decent supply of coins as all you had were ticket machines. And ticket machines tend to reject most dollars because they get so tattered.

My feeling was that they were designing the system to minimise convenience for the public and use of the system. I was definitely struck by how few people were using the system.

On a lighter note, America, it's time to get some polymer notes and introduce one dollar coins and 2 dollar coins! And yes, it's OK to have colours in your notes.

i ride the metro red line everyday. it is a highly used line, metro's web site says that during weekdays they average over 136,000 riders a day. if you dont believe me, just try to get on and find a seat during the morning or afternoon rush. unless you get on at the end terminals (north hollywood or union station) you probably will be standing a good portion of the trip.

i dont know how long ago you used it, but the vending machines have all finally been replaced. yeah the old one sucked, but the new ones are pretty easy to figure out, and they finally began accepting credit/debit cards at selected stations (for now).

because it is a proof-of-payment system, there are no gates or turnstiles. because of that, theres nothing to get "stuck" at, which pretty much eliminates the need for a station agent. i heard that in the bay area, on BART, that the station agent's salary is about $60k a year, and if that true, i'd rather the MTA just save the money.

almost all metro rail stations have a system map which also have a table that shows the frequency of trains and buses.

or just go to www.socaltransport.org and you can plan your trip there.

i heard that in the bay area, on BART, that the station agent's salary is about $60k a year, and if that true, i'd rather the MTA just save the money.

In San Francisco for the downtown stations it becomes a dual system, with the city MUNI light rail underground above BART (but also below ground). Both have station agents, often more than one per station (downtown) as the stations tend to wind around for half a block to a block in length.

BART is mainly used by suburban commuters on weekdays (of course there are reverse commutes, some trips to the airport, etc. on it as well). The MUNI light rail lines don't go everywhere in the city, but buses do pretty much. Both systems run very full during commute hours, and the local system tends to be fairly full well into the evenings, same on weekends.

Despite this plethora of well-used transit, I think there are a hell of a lot more cars on our city streets than 30 years ago when I moved here. Well, there are also 3 or so million more people in the region.

In the 1970s people had smaller cars, too, so the illusion was they were taking up a lot less of the road space, now such a thing may not be an endangered species, but small does tend to get lost in the sea of SUVs and urban cowboy trucks.

With a highly used public transit system, an awful lot of people who bike, a secure homeless population that walks or rides transit when they can afford it (the transit police have been really noticeably around lately checking to make sure people have paid the $1.50), other folks who choose to walk to work (I know several), two transit systems, we are still quite awash in traffic.

"If you build it, they will come and fill it."

Three fourth of Americans believe the other guy should ride public transit so their suburban assault vehicle can have its own dedicated lane.


I haven't escaped from reality. I have a daypass.

I've been tracking (no pun intended) TOD for about two years as potential investment program. In fact I discovered Peak Oil and this website during my research into TOD.

I have three comments / observations about the NAR press release and the comments.

First, people tend to like what they know more than they know what they like. Most households regard suburban, single family homes surrounded by auto dependent, single use development (office parks, strip centers, etc.) as "normal" while anything different such as multi-story condos, mixed-use, urban infill, TOD or TND (traditional neighborhood development) or simply older towns and cities as "abnormal".

The fallacy behind this perspective is that a surprisingly large segment of households would prefer an alternative to "normal" development. This finding is verified by several marketing studies, reports and empirical data that I have assembled during my research. An analogous situation comes from the abundance of different hotel "brands" all designed to capture a unique and at the time, unaccommodated segment of room demand. In a nation of choice there is a shockingly limited amount of choice regarding how and where we live, and how we get around. On a strictly project by project basis TOD is one of the strongest bets around, and I expect it to outperform suburban housing development even with the housing market crash.

Second, the last housing crash in the late 1980's - early 1990's took over EIGHT years to recover based on the 10-city average Case-Schiller Housing Index. This crash is worse and will take at least as long to "recover". Recovery is in the eyes of the beholder. When the market picks up again if in fact it ever does, there's more than a small likelihood that Peak Oil will have been definitively called. At that point, the shift from single purpose suburban development towards TOD and related formats will really take off provided the economy holds up.

Third, transit doesn't work without critical mass. It doesn't help a resident in a TOD if their workplace is not on the line. The same holds true for TND. Cities where it works and increases transit use already are densely populated with an extensive transit system. Washington DC, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, etc. and all their transit linked suburbs are the best bets for successful TOD.

For newer cities developed around cars, the going is much tougher though hopefully over time sufficient TOD will have occurred to get things rolling. Denver is developing its Fast Tracks program which I believe is one the largest and most ambitious programs around.

The bottom line is you'll see substantial TOD after it transitions form a choice to a necessity.

Oil Exporters, China becoming Major Investors

IMF trying to develop policies for multi-trillion & growing investment funds. US Treasury Secretary hosts "discussion dinner" with managers.


Best Hopes ?


Alan: I don't understand the "best hopes" comment. What appears to be happening is that foreign investment funds (such as China's) are buying up large pieces of WS. The Treasury overlaps with Goldman and is getting more creative every day. Goldman is now a public company that derives a lot of revenue through US government influence. How would you feel (as an example) if the China investment fund were to take a majority position in Goldman? It already appears that the US government invariably favors WS over Main Street- I guess the next evolution is the same song but this time with WS owned by China.

Hasn't WS been the government for a very long time? Are people just now catching on?

Never: Yes- but like I said, if China starts (they probably already have) working in partnership with the main WS financial firms to further their long term strategic goals it should be interesting.

"China" has been a viable entity for a very long time. Maybe this is the stabilizing influence the Indo-Europeans have needed for a long, long time.

Who knows the future? -- but it appears that the "Chinese" (of course, that's a big place, with lots of different kinds of people, and a very long history) have the sense to wait us all out. They won't need to make war -- they will just buy us at bargain basement prices when we have gone into ruinous debt having made war on ourselves.

That's pretty much what US did to Europe after WWII (did it really ever end?) -- but then got impatient and too greedy. Thought it could achieve "unipolarity" by force.

Never: My point was that there is no "we" or "us" in this instance. You are either inside or outside-and the vast majority of North Americans are outside. The "right-wing" argues that business interests should control the government- when those business interests are further controlled by a foreign government you result in a silent takeover to a certain extent.

WWII (did it really ever end?)

I don't think so, the conflict just changed theaters.

I watched a very good multi hour program on the subject that preposed the theory that the world has basicly been at war since ww1 and the conflict just changed theaters and intensity.

It could be argued that man VS man violence has always went on.

Maybe this is the back door to creating world government after all. Merge the public and corporate sectors and put it up for sale to other nation states.

Why are yankees so damned afraid of the Chinese?

What are they really afraid of getting?

Worse government? Communist propaganda?

I just don't get it.

It is a global finance playground of our own making. We should reap what we sow.

CHINA - Fuel shortage as crude oil prices rocket

An employee at a Sinopec petrol station near Lujiazui, Pudong, said many services stations uptown had been rationing diesel, with each vehicle only getting a quarter, or less, of its tank filled, per visit.

Most Shanghai pump stations selling diesel are located outside downtown.

Now Shanghai! Imagine rationing in NYC!

China top refinery cuts output despite shortages


China's largest refinery Zhenhai Refining & Chemical Co Ltd will shut a crude distillation unit in November for a one-month planned turnaround, an industry official said.

The closure comes as the country faces its worst diesel shortage in four years, which has caused rationing on the east coast.

Zhenhai refinery, a unit of state refiner Sinopec Corp (0386.HK: Quote, Profile, Research), will switch off a 100,000 barrel per day crude unit in November and is expected to process 379,600 bpd, 3 percent less crude than in October, the refinery official told Reuters.

And, this won't help!!!

Bejing 2008 Olympics aren't looking so good at the moment.

Overall cause - supply by price, or demand exceeding supply? Hmmm...too early to know.

"Overall cause...?"

Simple, no mystery, and not news. China has petroleum end-product price controls. Price controls cause shortages, always have, always will. Even in China, even with Marxism not quite dead, business entities cannot operate at a loss indefinitely.

Yes, Yes. I was just opening it up to comment.

China is HIGHLY unsustainable (if I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times ;)

If you think the US collapse is going to be bad, China will be SPECTACULAR!

There only advantage is most people still have a memory of harder times and can probably revert quicker, but population, food and pollution probably checkmate any skills advantage with both PO and GW hitting at the same time.

Of course one of China's main problems is population, and th3ey have tried to do something about it with their failed one child policy. China's population is still increasing. I wouldn't be surprised if the Chinese gov't knows that collapse and subsequent die-off is inevitable. Just another thinning of the herd, it's happened before.

how failed is their one child policy? You can fail to achieve 1 per couple and still have a favourable pop pyramid. Less than replacement is the aim. The increasing pop could be just more older people surviving after the mao era.

At least they are trying something and will reap the benefits. When I hear people say they 'failed' I try to see the agenda behind their statement.

how failed is their one child policy?

They actually got fairly close to cutting the number of women of child-bearing age in half, from one generation to the next.


China got their one child but couples selectively aborted females. I think the number I've heard is something like forty million draft age men who are never going to find a wife. That is a ticking bomb that is going to get discharged and I expect it'll look much like the Japanese advance in the South Pacific during WWII.

Or they could just marry non-Chinese women. That's what happened in Hawaii. Even now, you find a lot of people in Hawaii of mixed Chinese and Hawaiian ancestry. Mixed Japanese and Hawaiian is far rarer. Why so? The Japanese government was much better than the Chinese government at exporting women to Hawaii. ("Picture brides.") So Japanese men married within their ethnic group, while the Chinese men had to marry out.

The difference is, Chinese were immigrants and therefore a minority in Hawaii. Where would they find 40 million non-Chinese women in China? I also find it hard to imagine millions of non-Chinese women traveling to China to marry Chinese men.

If things get bad enough elsewhere, there may be millions of people eager to go there. Just like the "cherry blossoms" women now trying to get into the US.

And really...if you want to reduce your population, reducing the number of women is the way to do it. It's a very common method of population control. It does tend to result in wife-raids and the like, but from the Chinese government's POV, they'd probably rather have that than mass famine. They've experienced both in the past, so it's not like they don't know what they're getting into.

Sort of like a "Seven Brides for Seven (Chinese) Brothers"?

Don't be ridiculous. This phenomenon is more prevalent in the countryside (read: poor). China is not now, (and with Peak Oil will never be) a magnet for husband-hungry females. But such trends have resulted in insurrection.


From a relatively normal ratio of 108.5 boys to 100 girls in the early 80s, the male surplus progressively rose to 111 in 1990, 116 in 2000, and is now is close to 120 boys for each 100 girls at the present time, according to a Chinese think-tank report.
The vast army of surplus males could pose a threat to China's stability, argued two Western scholars. Valerie M. Hudson and Andrea M. Den Boer, who recently wrote a book on the "Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population," cited two rebellions in disproportionately male areas in Manchu Dynasty China.

From the article you link:

The traditional thinking is best described in the ancient "Book of Songs" (1000-700 B.C.):

"When a son is born,
Let him sleep on the bed,
Clothe him with fine clothes,
And give him jade to play...
When a daughter is born,
Let her sleep on the ground,
Wrap her in common wrappings,
And give broken tiles to play..."

You think that didn't result in a gender imbalance? This is a common situation for societies under population pressure. China has dealt with it before. They're more concerned about feeding their people than about the gender imbalance. They knew this would happen, but decided it was better than letting the population grow unchecked.

IMO Peak oil and Global warming are the same side of the coin.Bush adm.has passed on the biggest political gift a politician could have recieved.It was a no brainer endorse and get green tech and people working tax break for home owners and biz to become more efficient.If global warming never happened he could claim mission accomplised if global warming increases his legacy is??? With falling home prices which means falling tax revenue to city and state after next election I can see stepped tax levels on consumption on home energy cost our city does that now on water consumption each break point you pay the higher cost per gallon.My guess is on peak oil is that land along rail lines major highways will become the prize as cities may become more concentrated.Most of the major interstate systems have right away that could have solar cells that run for miles without additional cost to govt. for land.Maybe even expanded rest areas as recharginging stations.And many areas the powerlines run parallel to the roads.

...Still, "this is the fifth time that the world is said to be running out of oil," said Yergin, the chairman of Cambridge Energy.

All right, that's it. Unless someone wires 1 million euros to my Swiss bank account by noon today, I am going to choke Daniel Yergin.

I say take action back to show his "utter ignorance":

1) we create a wiki page on "The Yergin".

2) refer to oil prices in Yergins!

Slowly destroying his reputation is just as effective. :P

DumbFuck.org stands idle, awaiting a suitable subject and someone willing to put in a little footwork. If Yergin is indeed not just a dumbfuck but the dumbfuck I am quite willing to help to give him the exposure he so richly deserves for such an outstanding achievement.

'E's Yergin' off to doomer porn in a tiny closet behind the CERA office, no doubt.

Let's see...

What was the time period of the errors in predict the peak? Over Decades?

He has got the oil price wrong...what...at least 3 times in the last 2 years. Should we go back decades and see how inept he is.

Apparently Yergin shared his thoughts in Washington DC yesterday.

"What we're seeing in the oil market today is rooted more in the cauldrons of geopolitics and the impact of financial markets, expectations, and psychology than in supply and demand," he said, "but these are real factors." He pointed to major impact over the last two weeks of tougher rhetoric over Iran's nuclear program and heightened tension between Turkey and Iraq. "


"All right, that's it. Unless someone wires 1 million euros to my Swiss bank account by noon today, I am going to choke Daniel Yergin."

So you're NOT taking dollars anymore? B^)

Why should he?

I've heard that somebody can just print more of them if they run out. I can't remember the name right now... Fed something?

Anyway, what makes a currency like that worth anything?

* (not that Euro is _any_ different)

This is great, we now a have a new Yergin forecast for 2008 care of CNBC this morning. He said that CERA was forecasting that the growth in non-OPEC supply during 2008 will exceed the growth in worldwide demand. Hey Dan. . please name me the field(s) where that increase will be coming from.. maybe Mexico or North Sea about to turn things around.

Link to CNBC "interview":


School Yard Rhetoric

Reading a lot of posts on The Oil Drum lately I find that a few people, well actually only two or three, in an attempt to prove their point, quote data or statistics that have no basis in reality. This is what we used to do when arguing in the school yard, and later in the barracks for those of us who were in the military. There was no way anyone could dispute it so we just spouted our opinions as if they were fact.

In the age of Google, there is simply no excuse for this. If you believe something to be the case, do not just post it because it could be wrong. And it is just so damn easy to find out. For instance, late last night, Luis Dias wrote:

USA is probably very dependent on fertilizers, just by looking at Google Earth pictures of its terrain. But India and even China are not.

Now Luis could have simply Googled something like “China India fertilizer use” and he would have found out that nothing could be further from the truth”

Among the big-three grain producers, China is the leading user of fertilizer, with the United States a distant second. India is now closing the gap with the United States and may overtake it within the next several years. (See Figure 4–2.)
Lester R. Brown, Outgrowing the Earth

My point is that this sort of thing, in the age of Google, is absolutely inexcusable. It takes only seconds to get stats on virtually anything. So if you think something to be the case, Google it and find out if it is or not. And if it is, then post it along with the URL that proves your case. Otherwise please just shut up.

Ron Patterson

Several of my statistics have taken hours and days to develop.

Best Hopes that SOMEONE has done the work before you, and published it on the web,


And sometimes you say utterly ridiculous things like it's always cool in the NYC subway. When anyone who's ridden the subway in the summer knows it's not true.

That's only one example. You're not helping your case by posting nonsense like that. It makes everything you post suspect.

I think a misrepresentation of my statements.

The stations can certainly get quite warm. Large volume/surface area & large heat sources, limited rock contact. Century long heat sink (like London) will keep them that way.

The tunnels, once power (heat) is eliminated, should trend toward towards ground water temperatures. Humans put out about 300 BTUs radiant heat and another 300 equivalent in increased humidity (sensible & latent heat)#. Not enough to offset conductive effects of a km or so of tunnel between stations.


Alan did trip magnificently on his assumptions on that one, but it WAS months ago.. if you want to, I'm sure you can find numerous other posters who daily fill our lives with fertilizer, no doubt still with the best of intentions. (and I hope it doesn't turn out to be me...)

This was my vote for yesterday's, and I'm only picking on Gilgamesh because I've noted a few similar broad, un-scientific blasts from outta his shorts, and would hope that he'd heed Ron's advice..


highway speeds of 55 mph are still high enough for drag. There are no cars in america that get 100mpg, even in europe i would be hesitant to put the number of cars that get >100 mpg at 55mph at greater than 0.1%.

best efficiencies are with chainsaw motors attached to aeroframes at 10-20 mph. "

I would really doubt that a cheap 2-cycle can accomplish this claim.. but if he can link us to something, I'll happily concede. But three or four grand generalizations in a row like this were just too many to keep my eyes from rolling..


Leanan, it would be great if a respected person could give us their opinion as to who the good posters are because the signal to noise ratio here was better in the past and now it's harder to be discerning. Thank you for shedding light.

Yeah, but how would you know if the "respected person" weren't also a first-class bull$#!++er? ;-)

I think you'll find that people's opinions of who the best posters are are strongly colored by politics. (Liberal vs. conservative and cornucopian vs. doomer.)

Me, I find many of the best posters hardly ever post here any more, precisely because of the signal to noise problem. Sometimes it seems that those who know the least, post the most. They just wear down those who try to debate them, and the one who has the most spare time "wins."

I think you'll find that people's opinions of who the best posters are strongly colored by politics. (Liberal vs. conservative and cornucopian vs. doomer.)

"Cornucopian vs. Doomer" is a political position? And what does colored mean anyway. Does that mean we use flawed logic? Does that mean we fudge the statistics? Does that mean we make remarks or give data that cannot be backed up by actual hard data?

Is Lester Brown's logic flawed because he sees the terrible situation our environment is in. Is his opinions colored when he says world grain production no longer equals consumption? Or when he says water tables are dropping by meters per year almost everywhere in the world? Or when he tells us that the Yellow River no longer reaches the sea for much of the year.

I am a doomer Leanan, an unapologetic doomer. But I will be damn if I see where that colors the data I quote. I do my dumbest to give URLs and hard data for every post I write explaining why I agree with Lester Brown, or Ken Deffeyes, or Reg Morrison, or Matt Simmons or Jim Kunstler or William Catton or David Price.

What are we to do Leanan? Should disbelieve everything these men have written because their opinions are strongly colored by politics?

No, hell no! We must argue our position as best we can. And our argument must stand or fall on its merits. If it is colored then it is up to those who take the opposite position to point out our errors of logic or call our hand if we use exaggeration or hyperbole to make our case.

Simply stating that our arguments are somehow colored because of our formerly acquired opinions is in itself an error of logic. It is known as the "fallacy of the sweeping generalization." Example: "He is a liberal therefore everything he says must be taken with a grain of salt."

Ron Patterson

"Cornucopian vs. Doomer" is a political position?

It is on peak oil blogs. Kinda like Mac vs. PC is a political position on computer blogs.

And what does colored mean anyway.

It means it affects which posts you see as "best." That is what he asked. "Who are the good posters?" Not who are the most accurate posters, or who posts the most data. It's inherently subjective. Surely you can see that?

We are likely going to a Slashdot/dKos type rating system eventually. While it's the only reasonable solution for a large, busy site, I do worry that people holding minority views will be troll-rated, no matter how much data they post.

It means it affects which posts you see as "best." That is what he asked. "Who are the good posters?" Not who are the most accurate posters, or who posts the most data. It's inherently subjective. Surely you can see that?

We are likely going to a Slashdot/dKos type rating system eventually. While it's the only reasonable solution for a large, busy site, I do worry that people holding minority views will be troll-rated, no matter how much data they post.

so you value how well a post is worded over what the post contains when determining the 'value' of the poster. guess that explains why some people made it into the contributer portion of the site.

You also SHOULD be worried about that enough NOT to use those systems, especially here.

so you value how well a post is worded over what the post contains when determining the 'value' of the poster.

Not sure how you got that out of my post. Certainly, writing understandably is important. But really, my point was that what you say matters as much or more than the data you post...and whether people like what you say will determine if they think you're a "good" poster. Which may not be fair, but that's how it is.

Not sure how you got that out of my post


It means it affects which posts you see as "best." That is what he asked. "Who are the good posters?" Not who are the most accurate posters, or who posts the most data.

well by process of elimination if it's not data or facts then it's style.

well by process of elimination if it's not data or facts then it's style.

Nope. There's a lot more to it than that.

Like, is it interesting? I could post all the data in the world, but if it's not related to anything readers find interesting, it's not a good post. Or, is it original? If it's old data that's been posted a million times before, people won't be impressed.

And, what I was referring to, the political element, i.e., do you agree with it? If you ask TheAntiDoomer to pick the "good posters," do you think he'll pick the same ones as, say, you would? I would bet you'd have very different ideas of what a "good poster" is, and it has nothing to do with how much data they post.

Bruce Sterling talks a good bit about this - reputation economics.


The thumbs up/thumbs down rating systems are easy to implement but quite abusable - a focused group can chase away someone with something to contribute. Once upon a time there was an active SacredCowTipper at DailyKos, but no more, having run afoul of such a group about the time I registered here.

Hybrid systems are harder to set up but more resilient in the face of potential abuse. An integer posting rating rather than the thumbs up/thumbs down works well if userIDs are weighted by age - the internet moves fast and I'd suggest that users accumulate one "point" per quarter, giving those who are "older" more say in how things are run.

Account termination should always require human intervention ... and the immediate extermination of new accounts involved in harassing well written but dissenting views will ensure we suffer none of that.

I do like DailyKos's twenty four hour cooling off period before the account can respond and a week before it can diary. A day isn't long for a thoughtful adult to wait to post here, but a week would be too much.

At the end of the day one has a collection of algorithms at work, but the spirit behind that letter of the law is the intent of the site's founders. With just a little ongoing attention things run and run smoothly.

What on earth did you say that caused you to be banned from dKos? The only thing I saw was people complaining that you were making "anti-woman" comments. I also saw someone warning to you stop, or you'd be auto-banned. I gather you didn't take their advice. ;-)

Account termination should always require human intervention

I don't think that's necessary, or even possible for a site as busy as dKos. It's not like it's the end of the world. You can always make up a new user name and create a new account.

There is a tight little core of radical feminists there and they gather 'round and troll rate any comment made by anyone on their hit list, which results in rapid banning. I did make it a point to leave things alone, but it didn't save the account.

I may, although I have not yet, go back and start a discussion about child custody with a fresh account. I will never, ever respond to anyone with this account, thusly stopping the auto banning and perhaps fomenting some discussion on a topic very important to sixteen million noncustodial parents, yet strangely absent from the otherwise family/populist discourse there.

This issue is the one that can swing the election either way, should a politician take it up, but its a wildcat no one wants to touch - far too many chances for anecdotal evidence to support whatever view anyone wishes to take and no way to steer the discussion.

Fleh. I am sorry I brought this up, as it'll likely set off a thread that will later prove an embarrassment to me ...

Feminists? At a liberal blog? Astonishing. ;-)

Creepy, manipulative, gamey radical feminists. Feminists, near as I can make out, just want equal pay and all that stuff. The radicals think men are unnecessary. The first group's goal seem pretty obvious (and perfectly acceptable). The second group are one of the bigger hazards our society faces, as we busily toss family units into the family law attorney shredder.

Oh god, have I seen those disgusting creatures in law school!

I do worry that people holding minority views will be troll-rated, no matter how much data they post.

Yes, they will. They may even have their posts deleted altogether.

We delete posts we find to be disruptive (and occasionally ban posters). It's no secret.

A ratings system would have several advantages over what we're doing currently, not least scalability. We're growing like gangbusters, and if that continues (as I think it will, if oil prices keep going the way they are going), we can't continue as we have been.

If I'm not totally mistaken, the longest open threads, with well over 400 posts, happened last year. I don't remember whether that coincided with the high prices in the summer though. One factor was certainly just a few posters who were subsequently banned. That was a good call BTW, things got back to normal, at least for a while, after that.

I hope this isn't going too far off topic, but have you ever considered other formats? For lack of a more precise term I suggest UBB format as an alternative worth considering- some of the best online communities I have seen use this format, and it would offer a way to break down these huge threads into smaller and more directed conversations. In my opinion it's more appropriate for groups with a large number of participants.

Leanan, as an alternative, might I suggest that you try adding a "hide thread" option. For those that don't want to wade through the extensive flame wars (and there are lots of people in that category), they could just click on "hide thread" and the whole thing would collapse behind a plus sign.

Were this feature to be implemented, I suspect that threads attracting offensive posts would tend to be ignored, and maybe a few of the offenders would even go away.

I don't think that would work. There are always a bunch of people who can't resist rising to the bait.

That being the case, it wouldn't do what we want, which is to keep the place looking reasonably professional.

I did not delete Timothy's post, and I'm not sure who did. But I suspect it was because someone decided that creationism was not the kind of impression we wanted to give to new visitors.

I think that an ignore button (based on poster-id) would be great.

I do remember that there is some code that works on Firefox - but that requires (1) some effort to activate) and (2) is not known to recent visitors.

If Drupal (?) can handle it then maybe ?

Somebody wrote a Greasemonkey script. When things get weird at TOD, I fire it up and can cut out 40 to 50% of posts. Lately, I have not run it.

We are likely going to a Slashdot/dKos type rating system eventually. While it's the only reasonable solution for a large, busy site, I do worry that people holding minority views will be troll-rated, no matter how much data they post.

Moderators are biased too. If you have a large number of cornucopians, it will reflect in the content rated down or up. Ultimately the majority never fully understands the complexity of the issues (ie the devil is in the details). The Majority lack the resources required to fully research complex issues. Most gloss over the news headlines and accept what is said for fact or form personal opinions based upon their personal experiences.

Darwinian is one of the few participants that spends the time to study articles in depth. If you notice he often picks part articles with information or statistics that either disputes or strengthens the material presented. I wish I had the time to do the same.

Slashdot style moderation will not correct the problem, but excerbate the affectiveness of the information presented. What you end up with is a site like slashdot that sensationalizes articles with glossly headlines, but removes any substantive discussions. Great, if you want to attrach advertising dollars, but it certainly will not increase the reliablity of information presented. The Majorty of people are cornucopians, therefore the thread discussion will reflect on what the majority wishes to read that validates there beliefs. Reality be damned.

Personally I would prefer a format similar to the Yahoo Message board where an index of the Subject lines and posters are presented and people are free to view the items or posters they are most interested in reading. With Yahoo, individuals are given the ability to put other users on thier "ignore" list, enabling them to filter out the noise. Its fair and balanced and probably would reduce overall bandwidth usage (saving TOD hosting charges, as well as increasing advertiment space). Using the existing thread model waste huge amounts of bandwidth since every user must download all of the comments rather than just the few that interest them. and your limiting the number of advertisments you can display.

PeakOil.com is a message board much like that. LATOC has message boards, too.

We thought about going to a message board format, and maybe we will one day, but why do something that another peak oil site is already doing? If we switched to that format, I think we would very soon come to resemble PeakOil.com. Which isn't a bad thing, but I think we would lose what people like about this site.

Google around a little. Price just today exposed that the "new" counterinsurgency field manual by Nagl, Petraeus, el al is all plagiarized with stuff from the 70's. LOL LOL.

Opinion post of the month @ drumbeat, imho

And yes, guilty as charged, although I plead temporal insanity.

I agree 100%.

But if one did that - you'd be a Googlemister. And now we can't be having that, can we?

Eric, what the hell is a Googlemister. I Googled it and got nothing but a bunch of chat room gooblygook.

But the point is, everyone must prove their case. Either that or state that you are just guessing. And if someone proves your guess wrong, admit your error.

Sometimes we all must guess and there is nothing wrong with that. But when it is only an opinion, clearly admit as much. Otherwise there is no excuse for not stating the source of your data.

Of course when we are trying to predict the future then there is no hard data. In that case we must argue our point with logic and reason. But even then we can quote statistical data, data such as how much the world's food supply is dependent upon fossil fuels or fertilizer. There we can give hard data along with the source of our data.

Ron Patterson

Exactly right.


""The feeding frenzy is immense; any bearish news is being totally ignored, while bullish news is magnified 10-fold," said Nauman Barakat, senior vice president at brokerage Macquarie Futures USA. "This is probably going to continue until Wednesday," when the U.S. Energy Department releases weekly inventory statistics and a decision on U.S. rates is due.

Stormy weather has shut all three of Mexico's Gulf of Mexico oil export harbors and state-owned Petroleos Mexicano, or Pemex, said it has taken 600,000 barrels a day of production off line. Pemex said it will have to wait for the ports to open before it restarts production because it has run out of storage capacity."

So the question:

Why is PEMEX having storage capacity problems when
Cantarell is today producing 400,000 bpd less than
a year ago?

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

mhhh...I think he meant GoogleMeister..

Peak Immigrant labor?
The south Asian workforce went on a Strike in Dubai. Because of low wages, falling dollar, growing Indian Economy.
If the economic gradient becomes less steep, then globalization will slow, a lot sooner than peak oil or other event make it so.
Wonder how long Chinese will be making shoes and dollar store items.
You can run thru a billon poor people pretty quicky, the emigrant has to be between 20-30,mostly male, good health, motivated, with strong ties, kinda compliant,skilled yet sorta surplus etc etc. Probably not more than 10-20 million in India.

Don't forget the 8-10 year old unpaid workers (sold by their parents) like a contractor in India does for The Gap.

Richard Wakefield
London, Ont.

No one is ahead of their time, just the rest of humanity is slow to catch on.

Child laborers don't last very long, though. They tend to die early, become non-productive. They are also not self-reproducing, so the supply is limited to the farms back home, and to a lesser extent, the brothels.

Peak oil will make their role less useful as their labor is needed back on the farm. I guess this is all about energy gradients.

Hello Ron,

Not to disagree with that, but if you google something, you just may get a wikipage as a result. As you probably know, wiki can be edited, and is therefore by definition not perfectly reliable. And there is a lot of cr*p floating around the net in general, of course.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-point_energy for example, possibly there are only factual truths there, but it is a bit misleading as it may give you the impression we do not have an energy crisis developing.

Nothing is perfectly reliable. Wikipedia is a more reliable info source than most that are readily available (and according to Nature, about equivalent to Britannica). Interestingly, a small study more recently showed that experts are more likely to rate Wiki articles in their area of expertise, than non-experts - suggesting the 'lack of faith' in Wikipedia in the public consciousness may be overplayed. Experts rate Wikipedia's accuracy higher than non-experts

Yeah, there's lots of cr*p everywhere on the net, but at least referenced cr*p can be explored, challenged. I'm far more likely to believe someone who tells me something is true and references Wikipedia, than someone who tells me something is true because well, you know, well, it's obvious, and besides, scientists say, it was in the newspaper a few days ago. etc...
Jaymax (cornucomer-doomopian)

Paul, not to disagree with you either but I really don't think anyone reading that Wikipedia page will come away with the idea that perpetual motion machines are going to solve our energy problems. Notice the term "pseudoscientific devices" in the clip from that page below:

Numerous perpetual motion and other pseudoscientific devices, often called free energy devices, exploiting the idea, have been proposed. As a result of this activity, and its intriguing theoretical explanation, it has taken on a life of its own in popular culture, appearing in science fiction books, games and movies.

That being said, there is a lot of crap floating around on the net. But that crap is usually clearly identifiable. That is, it is in the form of an essay or an editorial piece. We all know, I hope anyway, that all such essays and editorials should be taken with a grain of salt. And of course there are a lot of perpetual motion machines on the web. However for every perpetual motion machine on the web there are a thousand pages that explain why the laws of thermodynamics prove they cannot possibly work.

The main point of my post Paul was statistics! Statistics, like those Lester Brown quotes, have a source. Lester, with footnotes, gives us those sources. People quote statistics which they pull right out of their a…. posterior. They quote loose statistics like “China and India are not dependent on fertilizer.” The amount of fertilizer China and India uses is available in perhaps dozens of pages on the web.

What I am really pissed about Paul, is people who say such dumb things when trying to prove that life will only be just a little harder as we slide down the backside of Hubbert’s Peak. They seem to think that the world can revert to “pointed stick planting”, without fertilizer or mechanized machinery, and feed seven to eight billion people. “No problem” is their message. “China does not use fertilizer, and look at how many people they are feeding.” There is just no excuse for such crap when the data is clearly available on the web. China uses over twice the amount of fertilizer as the US, and while fertilizer use has plateaued in the US, fertilizer use is still rising dramatically in China.

Yet in spite of their massive increase in fertilizer, China’s grain harvest is dropping. Grain production reached 392 million tons in 1998 but by 2003 the harvest had fallen to 322 million tons, 19 million tons short of consumption.

When the world’s supply of fossil fuel, gas and oil, starts to drop, so will the amount of fertilizer produced. This will cause dramatic hardships in China, India and throughout the world. It is going to be catastrophic. That is the point, and to say otherwise needs extraordinary proof.

Ron Patterson

Hello Darwinian,

Thxs for helping to backstop my numerous NPK postings, I appreciate the help, and also the help from other knowledgeable TODers. Big Kudos to Bart & EB for their Peak Phosphorus article and other important topsoil links.

Yep, Chindia, and all countries over time, are headed into a world of hurt as minerals deplete, and Haber-Bosch natgas nitrogen prices go skyhigh. Decreasing FF net energy is also going to make global distribution very problematic. We are not talking about moving Internet packets at light speed, but multi-billion tons being slowly moved by boats, rail, and trucks to distant points.

But NPK and other trace elements to support photosynthesis will always be worth the cost. Recall my postings where before the advent of FF-powered shipping: the bones of the dead and guano were hand-labor harvested, then were sail-powered very long distances.

That NPK essential-need is why I think POT & Mosiac are very good investments; owning fertilizer rock-mining companies IMO is a slam dunk as we go post--thus my postings on Yahoo POT message board.

Recall my speculative post from yesterday on China being more biosolar aware than the US, then buying nearly all of POT & Mosiac with their huge dollar reserves for the 'Hen and Eggs'. Time will tell.

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

A little more speculation:

If North America is ever invaded by outside powers-- it will be a war for control of the potash in Saskatchewan and the tarsands of Alberta [to power Haber-Bosch nitrogen], plus the phosphates in Florida and wherever other critical trace elements for plant growth are located.

But huge reserves are located in Morocco--let's watch the unfolding global geo-political chess-moves for control in this country as the planet goes postPeak. Has France's Areva already got a big headstart on phosphate & uranium control?


Check out their 5 year stock performance as Peak Outreach has grown. Is this another fundamental biosolar mission-critical investment to help foster Foundation optimized paradigm shift?:


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

Wikipedia is the bathroom wall of the internet, anyone can write on it but it doesn't automaticly make it true.
Going along with that, their on mission statement and rules state that they are not interested in 'truths' or 'facts' just that everything that is writen on it can be verified by a linked page.
so basicly to get some junk like that on there to stay all one has to do is have both a user account on wikipedia and a website(under differnt names and not hosted by a place like geocity) point what ever you write on the wiki sourced from the website and 9 times out of ten it will stay there and porbibly be put back if someone else deletes it.

But for all that, Wikipedia works pretty well. Sure, a controversial subject is going to have questionable results. But if you are looking up the Battle of Trafalgar or the Karner Blue Butterfly, the odds are extremely good that what you read there is predominantly accurate. Not because no one could mess with it and post false information, but because there is no incentive to mess with it and post false information, so it doesn't happen much.

Thats because it was first made for how-too's and documentation for open source software. which is not that contriversial, it either works or it doesn't.

besides that i don't think it does work well on anything releated to history and science when the majority of colleges and schools will flunk out a student who sources wiki-pedia.

What happens to Google after Peak Oil?

My guess: it gets taken over by the government, and becomes propaganda central.


A few people think it was started with CIA blessing

Moat likely not durring the creation of google, but most likely post facto after it gained the top spot. Think of it as part of the current outsourceing of the datamining Homeland security does. Basicly a unknown spiderbot indexing web pages might raise a few questions but google's spider bots? nope they would let them so their pages can be found by google.

Depends - what vision of 'peak' are you looking towards?

There's the 'all out nuke war' vision - no google.

There is the 'transportation becomes expensive' - so the internet could become more valuable, thus more for google

There is the 'catabolic collapse' - so everything shrinks even google

There is ......

Good answer. I would also point out that Google is funded by advertisements. It, and most other forms of media and websites that are advertising-based will likely suffer in an un-growing economy. And I expect one of the main consequences of peaking is the end of "growth". (This is my opinion, and I have no Wiki articles to link to to prove this :-) One may say that even in a non-growing economy businesses may advertise in order to try and gain a larger slice of the shrinking pie. And undoubtedly there will be some of that. But on the other hand, businesses that had an established base of buyers for their product and are losing sales will try and minimize their expenses in order to avoid going bankrupt. Thus less spending on ads.

Especially so for businesses whose products are cheap to manufacture and are sold at a high markup solely thanks to "manufactured demand" via ads. I.e. ads are a main expenditure for these. They'll go out of business if/when manufacturing that demand become ineffective (as "consumers" run out of "disposable income"). Their going out of business means no more paychecks for their employees (and advertising agencies), meaning even less purchasing power out there, etc. (re-inforcing feedback loop). I consider this the main short-term impact of Peak Oil. Perhaps as soon as this winter if people give up on much shopping in the next couple of months - or if they don't, when they get the credit card and heating bills in January.

Well, they are not exactly floating... they are sky-high in profits. They could get a big hit and still make profits.

Hey, the fish was >Thiiiiiiss..............< big.

School Yard Rhetoric

School Yard discussion.

I had already apologized for my blatant mistake in that thread, so what the hell you're whining for is not exactly that, but it is a total different story.

Darwinian negated that green revolution wasn't responsible for the world population boom:

The green revolution dates from the late 1940s. World population growth rate peaked in the mid 60's.

Which ignored fully the obvious truth: both China and India, by far the world's principal population boomers in the 20th century only got "green revolution" in the late sixties!

Now, the straw-man tactics arrive and he is more interested in shouting LOOK HOW HE MADE A MISTAKE! HE'S DEFINITELY NOT A HUMAN BEING!!

Who's being childish now?

Discussion's over.

Which ignored fully the obvious truth: both China and India, by far the world's principal population boomers in the 20th century only got "green revolution" in the late sixties!

The Green Revolution in China started in 1949, when the People's Republic of China was founded. Though it really took off in the '60s, and you can see the effect:

One of the 'Above Ground' challenges that the US, and all nations, will face in future will be keeping the sea lanes open for oil tankers and other waterborne commerce. The following by William Lind is a short summary of where our US Navy is and what it is structured to accomplish. Are we ready for fourth generation war on the water?


The Free Congress Commentary
By William S. Lind

On War #238
October 23, 2007

Mahan or Corbett?

William S. Lind

'In an article in the November issue of the Atlantic Monthly, "America's Elegant Decline," Robert Kaplan reminds us of a geostrategic reality we can easily forget in the face of Fourth Generation wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: we are inescapably a maritime power.

When Kaplan says that "Hulls in the water could soon displace boots on the ground as the most important military catchphrase of our time," he engages in navalist hyperbole, unless he is anticipating the general Resurrection when the sea will give up her dead. We face no credible blue-water naval challenger. The Pentagon’s threat inflators keep trying to puff the magic dragon, but the Chinese Navy remains merely a collection of ships.

We do not need naval supremacy because, as Kaplan writes, “'Regular wars' between major states could be as frequent in the 21st century as they were in the 20th." If states are so foolish as to fight "regular wars," they will find most are won by non-state, Fourth Generation elements as defeated (and sometimes victorious) states disintegrate.

Rather, we need naval supremacy because in a world where the state is weakening, water, and transport by water, grow in importance. People today think of land uniting and water dividing, but that became true only recently, with the rise of the state and the development of railways (which can only function in the safety and order created by states). From the dawn of river and sea-faring until the mid-19th century, water united and land divided. It was easier, safer, cheaper and faster to move goods and people by water than by land.

So it will be again in a 21st century dominated by Fourth Generation war and declining or disappearing states. Already, in places such as the Congo, the only way to move is on the rivers. A country that can control waterways anywhere in the world will have a great strategic advantage. Given our maritime geography and our long and proud naval tradition, that country should be the United States'...snip...

If any the current unpleasantnesses of the world spill over into actual shooting wars among major powers, I suspect we shall soon discover just how obsolescent the aircraft carrier has become. You could say we are into "carrier overshoot" in that there will never be more of them than there are now.

Interesting observation though, on land/water uniting/dividing.

"carrier overshoot" that's a great term. I found the following article about aircraft carriers and WWII kamikazes to be relevant to today's suicide bomber use. http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=10133&IBLOCK_ID=35

"Of course the Navy will tell you no kamikaze, Iranian or Japanese or whatever, is ever going to get close enough to a carrier these days to do that. Don't you believe it. Paul van Ripen proved them wrong in the Persian Gulf years ago, scared the navy brass to death and got disqualified for doing it. There's ALWAYS a way to take out any target, even if it's as big and bad as the Death Star. That's the one valid military lesson of Star Wars. Whoa, come to think of it, Star Wars is kind of based on WW II in the Pacific.

Kamikazes are just smart shoppers, looking to get value for money. If you give them a deal as sweet as a $10 billion carrier-plus-planes-plus-highly-trained-personnel in exchange for their crummy little lives plus a lousy plane/boat/car, they're going to take you up on it. A life is just something to sell anyway; it's just burning a hole in your pocket, unless you're some happy jock jerk. Like my other favourite quote from the good book: "We are legion.""

IMHO, it is only a matter of time before one of our carriers is sunk, and it will be a huge national crisis.

So Iran is going to sink a US aircraft carrier with a suicide plane just like WW2. You are dreamin'.
How many Kamikazi's went down for how many carriers sunk? They only had bullets for defence then.

What attack aircraft does any present hostile country have (including Iran and North Korea)which can penetrate the air screen of a carrier group?

An ALERT battle group with AWACS, F16's and F18 both with multi targeting air to air missiles is a hard target.

The destroyers have missiles, the cruisers have missiles and the carrier itself has missiles.

If a sneak attack by some miracle gets through, there is always another carrier group to take its place.

Of course the right to retaliate is a given, so the attacker better be able take it, as well as dish it out. That has to be a consideration for any aggressor. Then again, 72 virgins, virility for 84 years and a free pass to paradise for his family is good incentive for terrorists if they subscribe to the FYJ system.
(For me though, if at age 20, I don't think 72 virgins would last me more than a few months and eternity is a long time).

Anyway why would a carrier group hang around in The Persian Gulf if it was at war there?
The carrier just launches and retrieves aircraft, it can do that from quite a distance from shore, where its screen is most effective.

"IMHO, it is only a matter of time before one of our carriers is sunk, and it will be a huge national crisis".
I agree with you on that but the huge national crisis will be with the nation which sunk the carrier.
The exit roads will be choked.

First of all, that "72 virgins" is propaganda crapola, no Muslim believes in that. It is amazing how the propaganda has reached even the most innocent and ignorant.

Second, Iran has Russian Sunburn missiles that cannot be intercepted should they be launched towards US carriers. And yes, the carriers are there, in the Persian Gulf. Three right now I think. And the French "surrender monkey" Exocets may also be impossible to intercept. So any ship sailing in the Persian Gulf can be sunk.

Oh crap, this must have been a troll, and yet I responded.

Off-topic, but you may gain some comfort from the knowledge that the UK's investment in carriers is no smarter.

12 Olympic-sized swimming pools ... provided you didn't have any aircraft in them. ROFL!

DIYer, I suspect you are exactly right. From the same link that I posted above there is more below from William Lind. Of course our admirals 'dont want little ships' because its a matter of money and creating an ever expanding navy...one where more admirals will be needed and the current admirals will be promoted and so on through the chain of command. This nonsense will end, but it isnt going to be pretty.

Kaplan writes,

The best way to understand the tenuousness of our grip on "hard," military power (to say nothing of "soft," diplomatic power) is to understand our situation at sea. This requires an acquaintance with two books published a century ago: Mahan's The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783, which was written in 1890, and Julian S. Corbett's Some Principles of Maritime Strategy, which came out in 1911…

Mahan believed in concentrating national naval forces in search of the decisive battle: For him, success was about sinking the other fleet…

Julian Corbett, a British historian, did not so much disagree with Mahan as offer a subtler approach, placing greater emphasis on doing more with less.

Kaplan gets Mahan right, but not Corbett. Mahan in essence wrote naval theory for children; I was much impressed by The Influence of Sea Power on History when I was fifteen. Corbett in contrast writes for adults, focusing not on great naval battles but on the use of sea power in a larger context. That larger context is strategy suited to a maritime power, which expresses itself in amphibious warfare directed at a continental enemy’s vulnerable peripheries. Corbett's two-volume history, England in the Seven Year's War, is probably the deepest study of amphibious warfare ever written.

Where Kaplan really goes wrong is when he writes, "By necessity, the American Navy is turning from Mahan to Corbett." On the contrary, if you look at the U. S. Navy's shipbuilding program, it is almost purely Mahanian. Today as throughout the Cold War, the U.S. Navy is building a fleet perfectly designed to fight the navy of Imperial Japan. If someone wants to contest control of the Pacific Ocean in a war between aircraft carrier task forces, we are ready. Unfortunately, no one does, absent that general Resurrection when Shokaku and Zuikaku, Soryu and Hiryu will rise from their watery graves.

Were the U.S. Navy really to turn to Corbett, it would build lots of ships designed for operations in coastal waters and on rivers, often with troops on board. But such ships are small ships, and the U.S. Navy hates small ships. Some thirty years ago, when the Senator I worked for was trying to push the Navy into buying some small, fast missile boats, the PHMs, the then-Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Holloway, said contemptuously in testimony, "The U.S. Navy has no place for little ships."

River -

Ah, I see you are a fellow student of things naval and are familiar with William S. Lind.

The US Navy full well knows about how vulnerable its carrier are, which is why they don't go anywhere without a cordon of 8 or so escort vessels including various frigates and Aegis missile defense cruisers. I'm not sure if it was Lind or someone else who commented that if we indeed attack Iran our carriers are not going to let themselves be caught in the relatively confined waters of the Persian Gulf but rather will position themselves on the other side of the Straights of Hormuz deep within the Arabian Sea so that they are not within range of land-based anti-ship missiles.

Also, according to Lind, whenever the US Navy has held war games involving a carrier task force against attacking submarines, the carrier task force usually comes out on the losing end. And with weapons like the Russian Sunburn cruise missile and the super-cavitating torpedo (I think still under development), it is going to become more and more difficult to defend these monster aircraft carriers.

It should also be realized that one does not actually have to sink a carrier to put it out of commission. Several hits of the flight deck with cruise missiles will for all intents and purposes render the carrier incapable of continuing its mission.

But the fact remains that there has not yet been a contest between a carrier task force and a massed all-out missile and submarine attack, so we cannot be absolutely certain as what the outcome would be.

In any event, I think the super-carrier will eventually go the way of the dreadnought and for the same reasons: too big, too expensive, and too vulnerable.

Joule, as I feel sure you know all the nuke sub commanders in the world think there are only two kinds of ships in the world...Subs and targets.

It boils down to a simple proposition for the aircraft carriers. Operate in shallow waters and risk land based high velocity missle hits or operate in deep water and risk a strike by a nuke sub. There is no good option for large high value surface ships when they can be sunk or rendered useless by a relatively cheap missle or torpedo.

I believe that if we attack Iran it will be mostly by an Air Force bomber force. I dont know where we would get the ground forces for an attack and I dont see our Navy operating close enough to Iranian shores to launch a carrier based attack without lots of air refueling, maybe more than can be practically accomplished.

Why would Air Force bombing raids over Iran be any more likely to cause regime change in Iran than did the same type of raids over Germany and Japan in WW2? Of course it would present another good opportunity to sell military hardware to the US citizens...er, consumers.

For reference, Iran has three Russian-made Kilo attack submarines. They are diesel subs, but are considered very quiet, which is just about the most important things for a sub. Their navy overall is small, and most of the rest of it uses obsolete equipment.

NASAGuy - great point about the Kilo but keep in mind that the quality of the weapon system is only part of the equation. The quality of tactics and crew need to be considered. From past experience with Iranian Navy, and considering the limited size, training opportunities, etc, I would be surprised if the Iranian Navy could deploy the subs effectively. I acknowledge that they may have some talented individuals but I strongly suspect even with Russian training and assistance that they would not have developed the tactical doctrine to use their subs.

Submarines greatest strength is stealth and a diesel sub is the quietest their is if operated properly, but a few simple mistakes can discount their advantages. Meanwhile the if the US carriers can establish air supremacy, airborne ASW and surface ASW could use Active sonar to leave no effective place to hide. I suspect they could cordon off the northern Indian Ocean from Oman to Pakistan to bottle up anything submerged. That is at least what I would do if I were them. Better yet, strike them while still in port.

Time will tell


When you get right down to it, the Iranians don't even need to confront the might of the US Navy to drop a big smelly turd into the global punchbowl.

All the Iranians need to do is to pop one or two supertankers on their way to, through, or out of the Straits of Hormuz, and the world's oil markets will go nuts. They know this; we know this.

If you can't hit a 1,000-long supertanker creeping along at 14 knots with a land-based cruise missile, then you don't deserve to be a shootin!

You also have the possibility of the Iranians attacking Saudi oil infrastructure, such as the mega transfer facility at Ras Tanura. Such would be very difficult to prevent. The amount of chaso created would be hard to overestimate.

The Iranians can't come even close to defeating the US Navy, but the main point is that they don't have to. They can cause so much distruption to the normal flow of oil out of the Gulf that the other major oil-consuming nations might pressure the US to call it quits and start negotiating. But I tend to doubt the US will listen and will continue to dig the hole deeper.

What we have here is the makings of a major, multi-dimensional rat-f*#k. If you think Iraq was fun, just wait till ya get a load of Iran!

And faster than you can say 'speed bump' - If the American people^H^H^H^H^H^HCorporations were to feel that sending the leadership to The Hague for trial would get the oil flowing again, there would be many tossed under the wheels of the bus.

*swigs a bottle of snarkanol*

I very much wish for the war criminals in the Bush administration to be set adrift from our eastern shores. Should the North Atlantic Drift carry them to The Hague ... excellent! Should the North Atlantic Drift stop due to a pulse of cold, fresh water coming out of the arctic and they starve in transit like the polar bears are ... well, that would seem poetic justice, too.

We have long ago passed the time when we needed to stop making foolish decisions. I do so hope that GWB is removed before his term is up - $DEITY knows Congress has more than enough arrows in the impeachment quiver.

Joule, thanks very much. I am trying very hard to get people to understand the enormity of the results that an attack on Iran would visit on the US and the world.

To that extent it can be said that I have a political agenda but I dont care about politics...I do care about my country and am very concerned about the current lack of leadership.

Here is hoping that we get through the remainder of the current admin without the disaster that war with Iran would bring.

Attacking Iran will be big, but no one can really predict the consequences. There are a lot of "unknown unknowns" if this comes to pass.

There may already be secret protocols between Iran and Russia, Iran and China, or Iran and Japan. If China loses a key energy supply there is a strong potential that they'll retaliate by purchasing everything they can get their hands on with their massive store of dollars, sinking the U.S. economy and draining the global supplies to deny the United States imported oil. The Japanese won't outright slap us like that, but things that used to just work will likely become "very difficult" if we make a mess of their energy supplies. Russia newly emboldened actually pleases me a bit, in a perverse sort of way - stupid neocons thought they'd "clean up" the few remaining Soviet client states in the ME, and instead they recreate our old nemesis while inflaming the region.

The Islamic Republic is a rational actor in the field of foreign policy. The United States is not. Ponder that and mourn the end of our empire ...

Worse - the nature of the attack will also affect the consequences.

10 bunker busters, dropped one after another on the centerfuge site is likely to generate a very different response, both from Iran and the rest of the world, than a multi-wave attack that attempts to destroy the assets of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard across Iran.

Something tells me that any attack will be a bad idea, but based on history, this administration will seek out the worst possible option, at the worst possible time, and execute the post-attack diplomacy with breathtaking incompetence.

I've got a bad feeling about this.

The further this goes the more I think we're going to see a false flag operation that leads to martial law. All parties involved know a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President are going to consolidate power and they can make dramatic gains simply by applying the rule of the law to the endless flood of Republican sleaze.

I voted for George Bush in 2000. I am not sure what I will have to do to make amends to my children for this incredible error in judgment on my part.

Hello Estamos Jodidos,

New airborne UAVs are very stealthy in the sky--very small radar signature. Now imagine a 'Predator UAV', but only this time as a very small remote-control submarine. It could silently wait on a harbor bottom for months, [years?] until activated, and is probably not much bigger than a torpedo. On-board sensors would probably monitor much naval activity passing by [for periodic satellite uploads for US Naval analysis], and active defense systems would auto-move it safely out to sea if any enemy sonar/magnetometers were starting to take a look-see in the area.

I first posted on this possibility years ago when I learned about the 'Global Hawk' premiere. 'Global Barracuda'?

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

EJ, I would like to know if your statement 'From past experience with the Iranian Navy, and considering the limited size, training opportunities, etc, I would be surprised if the Iranina Navy could deploy the subs effectively.' is speculation on your part...Or, do you have direct experience dealing with the Iranian Navy?

In your comments above I hear a lot of 'I acknowledge that', and, 'I strongly suspect'.

You go on to discuss US Naval tactics, ASW, and then add more 'I suspect.'

Do you have direct knowledge or experience of any of the items mentioned in your post or are they all speculation?

My questions are not meant as a troll but my inquiring mind would like to know. It happens that I do have experience in ASW so I am curious about how you came to your conclusions. Thanks.

If I recall correctly EJ mentioned he was O/SSN at one time.


Back before the Iranian Revolution, I was in NROTC in University at a school where the Iranian Navy sent their Officer Candidates, so I knew a number of them. Later, I was Missile Officer on a Boomer and performed a lot of training and practice in ASW and anti Surface warfare. Still later I was ASW Officer on a Spruance Destroyer and spent quite a bit of time driving ships in the Persian Gulf.

I have a lot of personal experience in the area, but that was many years ago, before I started working in the Oilfield, so I am reluctant to speak in absolutes which is why I suspect rather than Know. Hope this helps.


It boils down to a simple proposition for the aircraft carriers. Operate in shallow waters and risk land based high velocity missle hits or operate in deep water and risk a strike by a nuke sub.

But do our likely adversaries have nuke subs? Wikipedia claims Iran has 10 diesel-electric subs in service.


They presumably do not have nuclear tipped torpedoes, at least not yet. I'm not sure whether conventional torpedoes are a large threat to Aircraft Carriers or not. My guess would one could at least damage a carrier enough to prevent flight operations.

I'd have guessed North Korea didn't have much in the line of subs, and I'd have been wrong. Four of the Iranian subs came from NK. They have 48 subs in service, none nuclear, again as per Wikipedia.


So neither of those potential adversaries have the nuke boats. I suspect few nations do have nuclear subs: The U.S., U.K., Russia, China?, France?, maybe India? I doubt the list is much longer than that. If we get into a shooting war with any of them, we have much bigger worries than aircraft carriers since they are all nuclear powers.

I believe modern diesel-electric submarines are supposed to be very good though. Very quiet, but shorter range than nuclear subs.

Nuclear boats can operate for a loonnnngggggg time submerged. Diesel boats are apparently capable of being more quiet because when they're on battery they're basically noiseless, but reactors always have some degree of sound due to their cooling. Maybe some Navy guys here can check me on this - its what I recall from talking with a fellow who served on the Darter during the 1980s.

Nuclear is important when you need to go long distances and/or go at a high rate of speed. For sneaking around within air strike distance of one's home territory a diesel boat is plenty - both types of vessels deliver the same payload.

EJ, the US Navy cannot depend on Wiki for intelligence about the Iranian Navy and its capabilities. Our intelligence about Iranian assets is poor at best. We no doubt have huge advantages in all classes of subs and surface ships but we do not posses any missle that have the capabilities of those supplied to the Iranians by Russia. Also keep in mind that the Brit Navy used 17 'Fairie Biplanes' to sink a large part of the Italian Navy at Toranto...What is important is not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog.

We must also ask ourselves the questions: After a war with Iran how much oil will be reaching consuming countries? How long will oil flows be disrupted? How will other countries react to a US unilateral attack on Iran? Certainly our aim is to stop Iran from becoming a ME hegemon, but is an attack on Iran worth the consequences that will follow?

This is not some damn Hollywood production or a fb game. The world will never look the same if the US attacks Iran...and we will all suffer and be poorer as a people and as individuals.

Given all the talk about invading Iran, it should be made clear that our Naval forces would not be useful to prevent Iran's expected response, that is, a shutdown of the oil flow thru the Strait of Hormuz. That would be the likely result of a single sinking of an oil tanker in the neighborhood. Sure, the U.S. Navy could stop most attacks on shipping, but, if one such attack is successful, the cost of insurance for tankers operating in the Persian Gulf would immediately go thru the roof and no private operator would sail into the Gulf.

We know that the bad guys like to attack pipelines and a tanker is one part of the global oil "pipeline". Even if the Navy were able to stop 99% of such attacks, if the other 1% was successful, it would cause the shutdown. Of course, the Navy could buy or commandeer those oil tankers, if we were involved in another World War, operating without insurance and expecting to lose a few. But, do we really want to start another World War? Well, it is beginning to look like the Fundamentalist and the neocons really ate thinking about doing just that. This time, how many billions would die, either directly or as a result of the secondary impacts, like no food?




E. Swanson

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A U.S. destroyer has entered Somali territorial waters in pursuit of a Japanese-owned ship loaded with benzene that was hijacked by pirates over the weekend, military officials said Monday.

Now that's fourth-generation warfare.

Sounds like Captain Jack Sparrow has moved his operations from the Carribean to the Indian Ocean.

Google "search and avoid" and then come back and tell me what the problem is going to be in a long term engagement.

"France and the US have dismissed a finding by the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog Mohammed ElBaradei that there is no evidence of Iran building a bomb....The US said Iran's efforts to enrich uranium rather than import it more cheaply, indicated that it really wanted nuclear weapons"


Is the last sentence of my quote correct?

Edit: this will al sound too familiar to Hans Blix

Edit 2: more fuel to the fire : http://sg.news.yahoo.com/afp/20071030/twl-us-iran-nuclear-politics-whous...

Yup this sounds very familar. Not surprisiongly the people are eating it up just as much as the last time it happened.

All it now requires is that independent French & US inspectors who go to Iran, mysteriously die or commit suicide in an improbable way.

Hey, presto! Problem solved.

The story posted at top.

Some 'Vampires' Prefer Energy Over Blood

Reminded me of a Neil Young song from the 70's.

Neil Young - Vampire Blues Lyrics

I'm a vampire, babe,suckin' blood from the earth
I'm a vampire, baby, suckin' blood from the earth.
Well, I'm a vampire, babe, sell you twenty barrels worth.

I'm a black bat, babe, bangin' on your window pane
I'm a black bat, baby, bangin' on your window pane.
Well, I'm a black bat, babe, I need my high octane.

Good times are comin', I hear it everywhere I go
Good times are comin', I hear it everywhere I go.
Good times are comin', but they sure comin' slow.

I'm a vampire, babe, suckin' blood from the earth
I'm a vampire, baby, suckin' blood from the earth.

Well, I'm a vampire, babe, sell you twenty barrels worth.

Good times are comin..."

Welcome to the Dim Ages.

Did below story get discussed, and I missed it?

Amazingly candid comments by former head of exploration and production at Saudi Aramco Sadad al-Huseini, in interview with David Strahan, linked at http://www.energybulletin.net/36400.html.

World production plateau for a decade, in his opinion. Combined with ELM and resource nationalism, we have seen the peak exports, and it's now all about decline rate, a la WT's analysis.

It was posted in last night's open thread:


Discussed yesterday, but worth bringing up again. This is the kind of news that should hit mainstream level, but it's nowhere to be found there.

Even if it did hit mainstream level, it would be dismissed. One, he's a former Saudi Aramco executive. Probably just trying to talk the price of oil up. Two, he said the decline won't begin for 15 years. If it's farther way than 15 minutes, most people don't care.

"Seahorse" over at PeakOil.com noted that ASPO-USA interviewed Mr. al-Huseini in 2005.

In the 2005 interview, he said:

Oil capacity today is not production limited but rather processing limited.

Now, he says:

oil production had reached a structural ceiling determined by geology rather than geopolitics

In 2005 he said:

I believe oil production will level off at around the 90 - 95 mmbd by 2015. This plateau can be sustained beyond 2020 at continuously higher oil prices and with rapid improvements in overall energy efficiencies throughout the world.

Now he says:

that global production has reached its maximum sustainable plateau and that output will start to fall within 15 years

Seems like he has become a bit more pessimistic over the last two years, or, maybe a little more candid (honest).

Or perhaps he now knows that North Ghawar is crashing.

Indeed, he must have become familiar with Stuart and Euan's outstanding work at TOD. ;)

But seriously, how many people at Saudi Aramco see the big picture and really know what's going on? Probably not too many, and those who do may have a good reason not to spread the word. Why is al-Husseini speaking up now?

Because it doesn't matter anymore.

soybeans....while the protein can be sold as fish meal

And when did fish stop dying off from eating soy protein?

Probibly some mystical land where they geneticly engineired them to digest the stuff without being flushed out of their digestive tract along with other nutriants.. kind of like when humans eat soy.

Humans don't stop eating, roll on their sides then die - like fish do on soy.

they do but much more slowly as they experence thyroid and other issues as the substances in soy no matter how processed depress thyroid function and prevent the absorbtion of nurtiants.

Huh? How, then, does Japan, where they use a lot of soy sauce and eat lots of tofu, manage to stay at the top of the life expectancy charts? And it's not like they're all going around with goiters.

They do not eat lots of tofu. They eat some. They mostly eat fermented soy products (tamari, tempeh, etc.) which do not have the issues of other soy products.

correct. on avverage they only consume about 10 grams (about 2 teaspoons) worth of soy a day.

What? Your post hints that when humans eat soy, a net LOSS of nutrients occurs. I've not heard such things before.

~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com/)

non-fermented soy contains trypsin inhibitors that inhibit protein digestion and affect pancreatic function.
All soy used in processed foods do not ferment their soy before adding it.

trypsin inhibitor and soybean agglutinin are minimized with de-hulling and cooking.

What little remains is still a fish-killer.

As far as humans are concerned, cooking the soybeans for 15 to 20 min will inactivate the nasty enzymes soybeans have (which prevent some animals from eating the raw beans). I am not sure how to go about fermenting soybeans to make them safe to eat; I've never tried it. But I never de-hull the soybeans I eat, as the modern types seem to have very little in the way of a hull.

If soybeans caused problems for humans, I'd be dead. Even today, a fifty pound bag cost less than $20, and I use three cups of beans to make a gallon of soymilk. http://www.selfsufficientish.com/soyamilk.htm has a recipe for soymilk (and from soymilk, to tofu). I think 'The Iron Triangle' might have a dim view of this kind of activity-I haven't bought meat for more than a quarter century, and I know my grocery bills are quite low.

Somehow, I am not surprised that feeding beans to fish is a bad idea, even if they are cooked.

The kitchen is a laboratory where you can eat the experiments.

you most likely make up for what the soy takes out with either vitamin compliments or eating other food. without them you would be dead.

Yergin, just on CNBC, predicts that oil will be at $73-$75 in the first quarter next year unless a geopolitical event occurs. The commentator seemed incredulous. He said that oil could hit $100 this year as we are just one or two events away from that happening. Where does he get his credibility?

Every time Danny opens his mouth he raises his price forecasts. His price forecasts have been rising a lot faster than the price of oil. At one time he called for prices less than half the current price at the time- now he is up to 81%. At this rate soon he will be the leading authority and spokesperson warning everyone about PO.

Where does he [Yergin] get his credibility?

I believe it is called the Yergin Econological School of Managed Informational Truths (YES/MIT).

To the right we see the magnificent campus grounds teaming with bright students and absorbed teachers.


Note that Yergin's new index price is about twice his 2004 index price of $38. In any case, this gives us a new price target. The Long Term Yergin Rule is that oil prices will be about twice Yergin's predicted price, within a one to two year time frame--so think $150 or so by 2009. As I noted yesterday, we did have an interpretation problem, since Dan actually talked about higher short term prices. So, my working theory is that the Yergin Indicator is pointing toward very short term price weakness, with a new long term price target of $150 by 2009, with some possibility that "One or two events" would push oil prices well over $200. For more background info, do a Google Search for Daniel Yergin Day.

WT, would an attack on Iran qualify as 'One or two events,' or just one event? I suggest that such an attack might give rise to a need for a new measurement...Perhaps the 'Yergin Squared' calculation? The 'hockey puck' chart for PO comes to mind...

Here is the video Yergin on CNBC:

He says $70 next year and $73 to $75 in the first quarter. That just might be possible but I doubt it. Anyway that is a long way from his prediction of $38 he predicted a couple of years ago. Looks like he is getting smarter.

Ron Patterson

Here's a quote from earlier this year:

February 15, 2007

Energy Indus Points To 2009 As Potential Inflection Point


"Cycles of investment don't happen overnight, but over four or five years, you definitely see cycles," said Cambridge Energy Research Associates Chairman Daniel Yergin. "The energy industry has longer cycles than other businesses, but there are still cycles."

The 2009 date offers a "reasonable" time-table for the energy industry's response to the energy crunch of recent years to play out, said Yergin, whose oil consulting firm expects crude prices to trend downward somewhat in the next couple of years from today's $60-range, hitting the high-$40-range by the end of the decade.

This week's proceedings in Houston have made clear that the industry is fairly confident the bullish market of the last few years will persist for a couple more years, due to supply-demand dynamics that are fairly tight and anxiety over geopolitical problems that has no reason to abate. There has been no talk of a price crash beyond 2009.

Yergin said prices could still be high in 2009 because of geopolitical factors. But the actual supply-demand dynamic will "look very different," he said.

And when was the last quarter without a geopolitical event?

And when was the last quarter without a geopolitical event?

Early Precambrian?


Looks like there is confirmation in this article that Dr. Bussard received funding from the Navy for his reactor before his death. Best hopes for the Bussard Fusion Reactor.

With Navy support over more than a decade, Bussard built six small reactors. After analyzing test results from late 2005, Bussard said he had proven his concept and that a larger version of his reactor could produce cheap, clean power. Bussard was building a seventh reactor when he died of cancer.

From what I've read, I'm not very convinced about Bussard's reactor. After a decade of work he hadn't produced any theory or working reactor to prove his concept that stands up to peer review, all we really have is his word that the reactor works as he says. He has however said if only he got more money he could build something that would really prove the concept. This has all the hallmarks of pseudoscience.

Bussard has a credible reputation as a scientist, so I don't dismiss him outright merely as a quack or scammer. Instead I think like a few great scientists he has latched on to an idea but is "honorably wrong" about it. Pons and Fleischman and cold fusion spring to mind.

I interacted with Dr. B in July regarding a plan to obtain funding to establish what level of potential there might be for IEC fusion, shortly before he was funded by the navy.

I remain skeptical but very interested in the concept. It isn't insane. I tend to think the odds of it working commercially are probably down around 1%.... which is to say, that it is hugely more probable than most other such schemes. For instance, the ITER-style tokamaks are non-starters even if no problems develop, since receding horizons will prevent their being built. The Bussard-type approaches are interesting because IF there turned out to be something there, it might be built out within a reasonable timeframe and actually affect the CO2/coal trajectory.

Sorry to hear of his death.

Some real education needed here:

A very good and very wise (in my opinion) blogger, Atrios, just doesn't get it about peak oil.

People do not understand the disconnect between price and supply, and we have some educating to do, particularly with regard to ELM. Bloggers like Atrios say things like we can handle $10 gasoline-- but do not stop to consider the demand destruction in the third world that goes along with it, the hardship and pain felt by truly poor working stiffs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Too many people think, "I can get by at $10 gas." This just points to the inelasticiy of demand for oil, the true costs of demand destruction, and the tremendously high price increases that will be necessary to drop oil consumption globally from 85 mmbbl to 75mmbbl, over three years at a 4% decline rate. All in the face of a declining dollar.

Look at how little a dent in global oil consumption the Asian economic meltdown in the late nineties caused.

Everyone says they can handle ten dollars a gallon, ceteris parabis-- but that necessarily means that things will not be the same-- something has to break, and badly, to remove ten million barrels a day from demand, and that is just to match available supply.

If $10/gallon does not do it-- that's $300/bbl-- what is the price of oil going to be in five years, if peak was in 2005?

Some real education needed across the board:

"American kids, dumber than dirt
Warning: The next generation might just be the biggest pile of idiots in U.S. history"


What can you say. Both government and religion like their respective citizianry/flock to be fat dumb and lazy which makes them easy to control and shape their opnion to the policys they want to carry out instead of the other way around.

Yeah I had read it. The biggest pile of filth I've read in a long time. And that says a lot.

The last guy I read that said something in those lines I think it was Aristotle.


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

I just came from Atrios and was going to point this out to those interested here. Comments are interesting in the range of opinions expressed, with the plurality of opinion seeming to be "what are you crazy, $10 gasoline will hurt a lot". Less, it's a conspiracy by Big Oil than I would have though. I tried my best to respond to Atrios' post, but was too late in the thread (or not snarky enough) to generate discussion.

Uncle T---
The basic lack of understanding of Thermodynamics, even from someone who you would assume to know better like Atrios, makes delusion and absurd views of reality possible. I was also shocked at the ignorance of the post.

Concurrent discussions are going on at Gristmill -- Here to Stay (by Joseph Romm) and The Atlantic -- Beyond Petroleum (by Matthew Yglesias)

Yeah, maybe they can 'afford $10 gas' but can they afford all the other huge increases that will go along with $10 gas? How much will their morning Star Bu$ks coffee cost when there are no big trucks running in coffee producing countries because there is no diesel fuel available for the trucks to deliver the beans to a port?...Just to mention one consequence of many thousands...


A chart showing energy loss by fuel type. A discussion from yesterday relevant to my inquiry too.

Namely: WHO uses crude oil in the US and for what purpose? If half of American households earn under $50k yr. If/when gasoline and diesel price go (as WT suggests perhaps very soon) to European levels then where will reduction in refined products consumption be felt first?

Obvious candidates for direct consumption.
Trucking , Airlines, Cruiselines, and other Recreational Fuel use. Commercial fishing?

IMO these manufacturing sectors will see huge excess inventory and be threatened by burgeoning 'used' (excess)products markets. Truck and Heavy Equiptment manufacture, Recreational motorsports, Powerboats, RV's, Builders of large personal vehicles, Boeing.

Any thoughts as to how any of these manufacturer/retailers survive $6-$8 gal. fuel?

The RV industry might reinvent itself to provide temporary "home away from home" housing for workers living too far away from their workplaces to afford a daily commute, and need to switch to weekly commutes. I could see factory and office complex parking lots with rows upon rows of RVs housing their workers.

What is actually needed are not motorized RVs, but trailers that can be towed to the location and set up. A cheap and easy solution also needs to be worked out for water supply, wastewater disposal, and electric service. For water supply, maybe tanks that can be refilled daily by a service vehicle. Wastewater could be held in another tank and emptied daily by another service vehicle. A PV panel on the roof could charge batteries enough during the day to provide some power for interior lights, etc. Heating and cooking could be with refillable/interchangeable propane tanks. Perhaps the employer could remodel some rest rooms to provide hot showers for overnighting employees, and the company cafeteria could serve three meals a day rather than just lunch. A television lounge/rec room accessible to overnighting employees after hours would help, too.

Employers providing this type of solution to the commuting problems of their employees will find it easier to find and retain good employees as commuting costs increase.

This is nothing new. I did this for more then 10 years working summers for the National Park Service.

There are thousands of people living this way, I quit moving RV's about 8 years ago, now I just park them and travel by motorcycle.

Hey, Wall Mart is letting "associates" sleep in their parking lot---
Most places it's either food or shelter (one cannot afford both), so food comes first,
It's corporate compassion at it's heart opening best---

I am dating a WalMartian and while I often hear of the, uhh, unusual behavior of her coworkers, sleeping in the parking lot is not one of them. Fornicating in vehicles parked behind the building over lunch hour, yes, but sleeping ... no.

Yes, of course it is not new, and of course thousands of people are already living this way. (Not to mention the people doing two-week shifts out on the offshore platforms, which plenty of people here ought to know about.)

Which just gets to my point. Our entire economy and society may eventually collapse, but it is not going to collapse overnight just because fuel prices render daily solo commuting by car impossibly expensive for some people. People can and will adjust as best as they can.

NPR: Wessel: Housing, Oil Woes Make Recession Likely


"Housing is worse than we anticipated ... oil prices are higher and going higher" and tightening credit conditions will make it harder for consumers and businesses to borrow, Wessel tells Renee Montagne.

It's getting ugly. Merrill Lynch fired their CEO:

O'Neal out as Merrill chief

Why? He lost $8 billion.

Merrill's $3.4 billion balance sheet bomb

Actually, the shareholders lost 8 billion. This guy (from memory) was paid a total of $159 million (including retirement package) for all his stellar efforts. I think we all wish we were in the club.

I read somewhere today they kicked him out without a parachute, they told him he could keep his stock and options. LOL.

Why so rude? Maybe he had to let a piece of the cat out of the bag when he tried to sell, and now the gig is up for everyone.

I was a little light- he gets 161 million. The funniest line is that his cronies on the board guaranteed him so much money that he was "basically indifferent". Good for him. Why don't the rethugs hurry up and turn Social Security over to the street? It is more "efficient" (and more fun). http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/071030/o_neal_golden_parachute.html?.v=2

Check the as yet unpublished data from BofA out.

Even the prime stuff is going down the drain

This is a worrisome article that addresses weaknesses in bank's balance sheets.

From November 15, we will have a new tool for figuring out how much toxic waste is in investment banks’ balance sheets. The new accounting rule SFAS157 requires banks to divide their tradable assets into three “levels” according to how easy it is to get a market price for them. Level 1 assets have quoted prices in active markets. At the other extreme Level 3 assets have only unobservable inputs to measure value and are thus valued by reference to the banks’ own models.

Goldman Sachs has disclosed its Level 3 assets, two quarters before it would be compelled to do so in the period ending February 29, 2008. Their total was $72 billion, which at first sight looks reasonable because it is only 8% of total assets. However the problem becomes more serious when you realize that $72 billion is twice Goldman’s capital of $36 billion. In an extreme situation therefore, Goldman’s entire existence rests on the value of its Level 3 assets.


JP Morgan is a lot worse. Good thing these guys have access to taxpayers' money (they will need it).

The problem is that if they game the report dates they may not have to disclose until a year less a day after Nov15.

The good thing is that if a few fall it will be all for naught as they will be caught sooner or later.

Too bad the windows, for the most part, no longer open on Wall Street.

Today I googled „Average Crude API“ and came up with following interesting links:

Table above shows API (crude density) to refineries dropping from 32.4 to 30.4 over last 22 years on average. I suspect refinery problems due to this fact. Also article below on California says refineries there taking on .27 higher APIs due to imports.

15 page PDF all about California production. I learned about as much as I will ever want to know:


Below gets in on details of how the refineries dealt with the strikes in Venezuela having to switch crude types.


Data from last week. US inventory tables, world surplus tables, price charts for oil, heating oil, nat gas, etc. plus quotes.

Good source for regular data. Here a newspaper quote:

"Twenty years ago we had leaded and unleaded, and that was it," said Rayola Dougher, senior policy analyst with the American Petroleum Institute. "Now we have 18 different types of gasoline that are required to be sold around the country, including summer and winter formulations. It's a lot to juggle, and it's a real issue for refiners."

Boston Globe. May 20, 2004.

Anyone need an oil platform, used in good condition? Totally insane, below link is for Ali-Baba. This site is like e-bay for companies:


2 Matching Results

Saudi Light Crude Oil

Saudi light price always based on dubai platt 3 day average discounts vary5/4 4/3 all prices vary wi - Detail
crude oil

Crude Oil Sea Platform - Detail
Light Crude Oil

We are selling Saudi Light Crude Oil. Minimum order size is 20 million barrells per month for 12 mo - Detail


“Gulf oil and gas”, real professionals. I love the trader language here:
US market

"The US crude market firmed on the return to operation of some refineries while the Atlantic Basin spread widened prompting inbound barrels. Sweet crude differentials weakened as the forward curve flattened. However, the WTI/WTS weekly average spread was 47¢ narrower at $4.23/b amid demand for light-end products. Nevertheless, a healthy build in US product stocks the week before amid the continued narrowing of the forward curve kept light crude under pressure. The widened WTI/Brent spread attracted the flow of transatlantic arbitrage barrels."

Anyone game for an oil lease from the govt.?

"The Minerals Management Service (MMS) of the U.S. Department of the Interior is soliciting offers from pre-qualified companies to buy royalty oil and condensate produced from certain Federal leases in the Gulf of Mexico."

Below link is fascinating for the trivia / history buff on where a “barrel” measurement came from.



From table below API has fallen to 30.27 from 30.82 between Feb. 07 to July 07 alone.

below is the total API history from 85-present.

Percent of import by API gravity.
This table reminds me of the tables showing increasing obesity year for year in the states. 10% , 15%, 20%,25%, 30%. With more and more sliding into the fat category each year.

below link lists all basic Canadian data, pipelines, wells drilled, oil and gas used, etc. Good summary.


Price manipulation argument:

What you always wanted and were afraid to ask for:

Dictionary of Petroleum Exploration, Drilling & Production
Von Norman J. Hyne


What’s in a barrel of Oil?

Here is a scientific paper trying to pin down a correlation between price and crude quality(API, etc.), apparently without luck.|lang_en

Everything about the markets/definitions on futures, etc. in oil trade:http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/crude.html

A California law subsidizing indepedent oil producers when the price was low in the late 90s.http://www.sen.ca.gov/leginfo/BILL-6-DEC-1998/CURRENT/AB/FROM1000/AB1095/T990413.TXT

That was my PO google research day.

“Without a video the people perish”-Is. 13:24

Yesterday Sendoilplease raised the issue of whether companies' stock might be a good hedge against inflation. My opinion was "yes" with the caveats that a) one could not reliably expect to make much of profit, just preserve some value and b) the enterprises one invests in must not be damaged too much by the financial crisis.

Well, it turns out professional opinion in the yesterday's Financial Times backs up that point.

The current rise in the stock market can be interpreted as flight from the dollar.

History’s warning about the price of money

As one of the great monetary economists of the last century, Jacques Rueff, pointed out in the late 1960s, people react to the “growing insolvency” of a reserve currency, such as the dollar, by acquiring “gold, land, houses, corporate shares, paintings and other works of art having an intrinsic value because of their scarcity”. Sounds familiar? Indeed, this is the story of our present decade, one in which alternatives to the dollar as a store of value have soared even while the CPI has remained subdued.

In 2007 the housing bubble finally burst, causing credit to crunch as the market struggled to out the owners of dud mortgages and ­mortgage-linked contracts. The Fed reacted with cheaper dollars, which did precisely nothing in that regard. Credit risk fears remain unabated. But the market duly dumped dollars for harder assets, pushing the euro, shares, oil and gold to record dollar prices.

Asebius - the extraordinary resilience of the markets when faced with runs on banks, inflation building, a credit crunch, a housing market tipping over (in the UK now) - and oh yes the big crunch of energy decline - makes no sense at all.

I have flirted with the idea that company stocks are a "safe haven" to preserve value and do believe that this may in part lie behind the market resilience - you gotta put your money somewhere. And you have to choose carefully - hence Encana and Statoil are two of my favourites with reserves exclsuively / mainly within the OECD.

When the markets crash, the nominal value of company stock will go down - but you will still own a share of those companies that emerge the other side - so long as the legal entitlement system holds together.

...so long as the legal entitlement system holds together.

For sure you are betting against a revolution.

It's getting way ahead of ourselves (this is TOD!!) but one could point out that this helps to explain why on many historical occasions nice people inexplicably get friendly with the disreputable far right when the going gets rough. Nasty as they are, those guys tend to defend the entitlements system against the revolutionaries. Stored value has a chance. Feedback loop? Geez, I'm turning into Jeff!! :-)

Hitler was definitely better for the German stock market than the Communist Party.

you can hate him but you can't deny that he brought Germany out of the great depression.

Hello Euan Mearns,

Good points! Which is exactly why I have been promoting biosolar mission-critical investing--it will help leverage the paradigm shift.

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

A lot gets written on this site about resource depletion, overpopulation and the likely consequences. Here is a couple of not unrelated links from the Independent, a British newspaper that is not owned by Rupert Murdoch or people who are in thrall to the British Establishment. I am fairly sure that there is nothing quite like it in the States.

Israel's decision to cut power in Gaza is illegal, says UN

Illegal immigrants risk new sea route to Europe

I guess we should watch what is happening in Gaza in order to get an idea of what to expect next.

Gaza is not a happy place on the infrastructure front. This "accident" just plain wasn't - warnings were given months and months in advance, but still four people died ... and totoneila would also point out that much good fertilizer was lost, too.


Joseph Romm of Gristmill thinks suburbia will be just fine:

The remarkably low fueling cost of the best current hybrids (like the Toyota Prius) and future plug-in hybrids are major reasons I don't worry as much about peak oil as some do.

kunstler.jpgJames Kunstler, for instance, argues in his 2005 book The Long Emergency (see Rolling Stone excerpt here) that after oil production peaks, suburbia "will become untenable" and "we will have to say farewell to easy motoring." In Rolling Stone, Kunstler writes, "Suburbia will come to be regarded as the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world." (No -- that distinction probably belongs to China's torrid love-affair with coal power.)

But suppose Kunstler is right about peak oil. Suppose oil hits $160 a barrel and gasoline goes to $5 dollars a gallon in, say, 2015. That price would still be lower than many Europeans pay today. You could just go out and buy the best hybrid and cut your fuel bill in half, back to current levels. Hardly the end of suburbia.

And suppose oil hit $280 a barrel and gasoline rose to $8 dollars a gallon in 2025. You would replace your hybrid with a plug-in hybrid, and those trips less than 30 miles that have made suburbia what it is today would actually cut your fuel bill by a factor of more than 10 -- even if all the electricity were from zero-carbon sources like wind power -- to far below what you are paying today. The extra cost of the vehicle would be paid for in fuel savings in well under five years.


All we need is a hybrid and then a plug-in hybrid. We're saved!

Romm should work as a financial planner. His assumptions are classic. I think we can all agree that if world oil supply peaked in 2005 it is likely oil will trade for $280 in 2025 (a 6.3% annual increase). Who is this retard?

I actually wanted to post that because I wasn't really sure whether the guy was serious. I read it twice, just to see if there were any hints he might be being sarcastic. Unfortunately I didn't see any.

Perhaps he's a trained economist?

a plane is in flight over the ocean, and at the halfway point the stewardess comes into the cabin and says "I'm sorry but we've lost one of our engines, but dont worry, we still have 3 left, it will just take an additional hour to get there."

15 minutes later she comes back in and says "well, we have lost another engine, but dont worry we still have 2 left, it will now take an extra two hours to get to our destination."

15 minutes later she comes back in and says "well we've lost our third engine, but the captain hopes to make it to our destination in three hours."

About this time this blonde economist says to the passenger sitting next to her. "Man, if we lose another engine we will be up here all day!"

Sounds like the plane from which the smartest woman in the world jumped with the hippies backpack.

I am calling for $1000 bernanke bucks per barrel in 2015.

How much did Toyota pay him for this ad?

If the solutions come from the time he suggests (10 years apart)...then how about the reality that OIL will be at $160 next November (oil shock #2), then we begin the long emergency with Oil topping $200 by the 1Q09, then on to $280 somewhere around June/July 09.

And, finally, if there is another "greatest misallocation of resources" it wouldn't be coal, it would likely be the Tar Sands usage of sweet precious natural gas and water, maybe tied with the many food for fuel projects around the world as people starve.

Some talking head on CNBC a few minutes ago:

"The world is using 31 billion barrels of oil a year, and we're finding less than half of that, so oil prices will stay high"

A likely understatement, but still a pretty clear picture. When I first found out about Peak Oil I immediately said, "It's over - all that's left is for "everyone" to realize it"

Looks like they're starting to figure it out...

From the WSJ's Energy Blog:

Greenspan Welcomes $100 Oil, Sort Of

Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan said that, though the recent surge in oil prices to more than $90 a barrel is clearly having a “significant impact” on the economy, he has “mixed feelings” because the climb in prices is “forcing us to break our addiction to oil” at a time when the world is getting closer to the point where it is becoming harder to extract oil around the globe.

Every once and a while, Al and I agree on something.

I wonder if he's softening us up for $100 oil...when the Fed cuts interest rates half a point tomorrow.

Exactly. But I was also wondering if your view of the likelihood of future deflation would be revised at all if they slash by half a point.

My view: a half point cut would have Tainter written all over it. i.e. They are willing to run some real risks with the currency and inflation simply in order to attempt to shore up the status quo. Friggin' nuts. But I don't think they'll go that far. (then again, I didn't think they'd do it last time)

Half point would indicate a level of desperation that is not currently reflected in the FEDs control of the markets (REPO and POMO pools) and also not in the 100 day moving averages of oil and the $.

I think we have no change in interest rates.


Goldman said they were taking profits and closing all their long positions in crude.(http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aVMxzHmSH6YQ&refer=home)

Announcing this today certainly seemed peculiar to me.

Either Francois is right, and there will be no cut, or Goldman is being used to control oil prices, as they were last year.

I think the Fed cuts half a point, with oil traders selling into the rush of buying and limiting the price increase. In any case, I'm still long.

Tomorrow will be a strange day. It will be Halloween (in the US). The Weekly Petro Report will come out. The Fed will probably cut the interest rates again. Anything else going on tomorrow?

1st estimate of 3rd quarter US GDP.

Oil price is sure getting volatile...

Yesterday, it went to $93.67. Just a few minutes ago, it plummeted below $90. In minutes.

The dynamics of this market puzzle me. I am puzzled, given its finite nature, importance, consumption rate, and no way to reuse it once consumed, why its still as cheap as it is.


That was the Goldman effect, and also the effect of a number of stories today casting doubt on the idea of a Fed rate cut. (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aXPIhKIEIAL4&refer=h... "Rubin says relying on weaker dollar isn't sound")

Yeah this a coordinated shakeout. Goldman is now suggesting taking profits while nymex is raising margins. I think they can push this down to 82-85 at best. However if the fed does what I think it will tommorrow (50 basis fed funds 100 basis points discount rate cut) then all bets are off.


And all of the headlines about needing a strong dollar--like a bad bluff on the river.

The most glaring thing I see is the number of people that are caught in the ARM trap.

While I wouldn't expect our government to be sympathetic to "house flippers", I don't think our government is prepared to deal with mass bank failures.

The Mortgage Implode-0-Meter has passed 175.

A weaker dollar means imports are more expensive to us, and what we make is cheaper for the international market. Given our trade deficit, it seems to me this is the exact remedy for our problem.

Rubin's argument does not hold water with me. He claims

``The lower the exchange rate, the less that we receive in exchange for what we produce, and that lowers our standard of living,''

Isn't he concerned the international buyer won't buy at all if we are overpriced? Does he ever shop? I sure do.

If we can get our efficiency up, that is we actually PRODUCE something of value for the international market, the exchange rate will take care of itself. How much economic activity in America actually results in a salable product? My city is full of huge office buildings, consuming enormous amounts of power, causing much auto travel, and all they do is shuffle paper.

Wouldn't manufacturing or designing high quality products be more useful to the international community? But we outsource that. We pay top dollar here for people good at litigation and arguing.

I guess its gonna be an uneasy night for those of us who have our retirement plan in the oil patch. Tomorrow we are gonna sink or swim.


The Platts price analysis over at the IATA site :
shows a year on year global average price increase on Jet fuel of 42.3%.

Of probably more interest is the Market Commentary:

Early morning reports suggested that the Northwest European jet fuel market was still jittery over the low levels of product in tank. "Tank levels are run down in Europe...What there is in tank has had stock tickets sold against it," said one trader, adding: "I think that means we will see pockets of demand here and there."

Does anyone at TOD have knowledge of the current stock situation in Europe regarding finished products?

Didn't see this above:

Oil: No longer a heavyweight

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The days of rising oil prices alone threatening to knock out the economy may be over.


"The effect is more muted now," said Chris Lafakis, an associate economist at Moody's Economy.com, an economic consultancy. "The economy is more prepared for it."

One of the most common reasons cited is that Americans, as a whole, just don't spend as much on energy as they used to.

EIA data show that it takes nearly half as much energy to create one dollar of economic output today than it did in 1981, owing to efficiency gains and an economy that relies on less energy intensive industries.

As was pointed out the other day, this conversely means that twice as much of the economy rides on each barrel. Anyhow, fun to see how a small pullback to 90 bucks causes stories like this to spring up.

Maybe the economy won't suffer too much. we have lost so much MFG in the last10-15 years. See http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2002-12-12-manufacture_x.htm.

It doesn't take as much energy to cut each others hair as it does to Mfg a product.