DrumBeat: November 15, 2007

Court tosses federal fuel-economy standards

A U.S. appeals court on Thursday threw out the government's new fuel economy standards for many sport-utility vehicles, minivans and pickup trucks in a victory for environmentalists.

The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the standards, which were to go into effect next year, did not properly assess the risk to the environment and failed to include heavier SUVs and trucks, among several other deficiencies the court found.

Cameroon police kill students in blackout protest

Police in Cameroon shot dead two students during a protest triggered by days of power blackouts in the western town of Kumba, state radio and a senior local official said on Monday.

Tahoe Hybrid SUV named Green Car of Year

The winner of a coveted environmental award is... a full-sized SUV? GM's new hybrid impresses judges with efficiency.

Energy costs push consumer prices higher

Consumer inflation posted another elevated reading in October as energy prices shot up by the fastest pace in five months.

Alaska Airlines adding blended winglets to 737-900s

Alaska Airlines will be the first airline to use blended winglet technology on Boeing's 737-900 airplane.

The winglets are the additions seen at the end of a plane's wings that are designed to reduce fuel consumption by 3 percent. Other carriers that will add the winglets to Boeing's 737-900 planes include Continental Airlines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Lester R. Brown: Is World Oil Production Peaking?

Is world oil production peaking? Quite possibly. Data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) show a pronounced loss of momentum in the growth of oil production during the last few years. After climbing from 82.90 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2004 to 84.15 mb/d in 2005, output only increased to 84.80 mb/d in 2006 and then declined to 84.62 mb/d during the first 10 months of 2007.

The combination of world production slowing down or starting to decline while demand continues to rise rapidly is putting strong upward pressure on prices. Over the past two years, oil prices have climbed from $50 to nearly $100 a barrel. (See data.) If production growth continues to lag behind the increase in demand, how high will prices go?

OPEC says unable to calm runaway oil prices

OPEC's president said Thursday that "potentially dangerous" high crude prices were beyond the cartel's control as leading members defied pressure to raise their output to help ease the burden of near 100-dollar oil.

"These prices are potentially dangerous," Mohammad al-Hamli, who is also the oil minister of the third largest OPEC producer United Arab Emirates (UAE), told a symposium held as part of a rare OPEC summit.

Ready for an oil-less future?

In a 90-minute slide show presentation at Cal State Bakersfield, the nationally known author and urban planning guru laid out what he calls The Long Emergency -- a future where oil is scarce and the American lifestyle collapses.

"Contrary to a lot of wishful thinking out there, the Earth doesn't have a creamy, nougat center of oil," said Kunstler, 59, whose latest book is also titled "The Long Emergency."

When the petroleum pump runs dry, he says, it will fundamentally shift our way of life.

Gwyn Don't Know Dyer

Richard Gwyn’s November 13, 2007 article “Pessimistic Fuel Report too Bright” comes tantalizingly close to understanding the full peril that the energy question presents to development, our collective wealth and the planet’s health. For this he deserves kudos. Though at this point in the energy and emissions narrative it is hardly news to say that if India and China were to consume like North America we would fry the planet.

However what he has completely missed, and in his defence he is in the majority, is the fact that it is not demand that is the driver of the train we are all on.

Crude Oil Falls More Than $1 After Unexpected Inventory Gain

"The jump in imports was enough for refiners to increase runs and still leave additional barrels to build stocks," said Tim Evans, an analyst with Citigroup Global Markets Inc. in New York. "The rise in imports is evidence that the declines we saw in recent weeks were a function of inventory management, not a shortage of oil."

Gas Prices Won't Deter Holiday Travelers

Gas prices near record highs at a time of year when they typically decline will not deter drivers from hitting the road this Thanksgiving, AAA said Thursday.

The travel agency expects a record 38.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home over the five days beginning Nov. 21. That is a 1.6 percent increase over last year. Roughly 80 percent of those trips will be by car, and motorists will pay about 90 cents a gallon more for gas than they did last year.

Is $100 Oil Cheap?

Remember when most professional investors griped that $40 per barrel crude was "overpriced," and then that $60 crude was "unsustainable," and then that $80 crude would "never happen." But here we sit with oil soaring past $90 and looking like it wants to take out $100.

We think crude oil will take out $100, and then continue higher from there. Sure, crude may decline in the short term, but the destination is clear: much higher prices. That may be bad news for the U.S. economy, but need not be bad news for you, assuming your money is in the right place. So what's the right place? Let's start with the big picture…

British Airways criticised over 'misleading' fuel surcharges

Long-haul passengers will be charged an extra £116 on return flights from today in BA's tenth increase in less than four years.

Coal power: Still going strong

NO UTILITY with any respect for its shareholders' money, says Michael Morris, the boss of the biggest one in America, AEP, would build a heavily polluting coal-burning power station in America these days, for fear that it would become a liability if the government moved to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. Europe already has a cap on emissions, which is designed precisely to discourage dirty fuels such as coal. So why is it that utilities in both places are running their coal-fired plants at full throttle, have several new ones under construction and would like to build even more?

Argentina to hike petroleum, gasoline export taxes

Argentina's government will raise taxes on the country's gasoline and petroleum exports and their derivatives in an effort to tame domestic fuel prices, officials said on Thursday,

Canada: On East Coast, consumers love a regulated price

Regulated gasoline prices -- love 'em or hate 'em.

Unthinkable in oil-rich Alberta, all across the East Coast there is strong support for government control of pump prices even though studies consistently show people pay more to fuel their cars.

Dark Day As Fuel Hits £5 a Gallon

With fuel costs rising by the day the £5 gallon has become a reality on Forest forecourts. Filling station bosses are finding the price they pay suppliers goes up every time they get a delivery.

Rising food prices test Chinese consumers

And Wang's woes matter to more people than just her family. In a country where growing prosperity is the government's central promise to its people, the authorities cannot afford to let inflation get out of control for fear of social discontent.

Production difficulties to drive uranium price to a new peak

Fast expanding nuclear fuel producer Uranium One CEO Neal Froneman "does not see any reason why the uranium price will not" scale new peaks in the next year to 18 months, as various difficulties hold back production across the globe, he said on Thursday.

One production hurdle was the current shortage of sulphuric acid, used in uranium extraction, which could have an effect on Uranium One's 2008 production, he said in a telephone interview from Toronto.

Thailand: Expert supports plan for nuke plant

Chawalit Phichalai said natural gas reserves in the Gulf of Thailand would run out in the next 30 years and the world community's call to lower carbon dioxide emissions from fuel-fired plants would only get louder as a result of global warming.

Chawalit, an Energy Policy and Planning Office deputy director, was speaking in support of a National Energy Policies Commission (NEPC) decision to build a 2,000-mega-watt nuclear plant in Thailand by 2021. He said current high oil prices highlighted the importance of nuclear plants that could produce cheaper power - around Bt2.08 per unit compared to the Bt4 per unit created by bunker oil-ignited plants.

Trouble Brewing In America's Backyard

Mexico as a nation-state is under threat, and with it the US's third largest source of oil. The Federal government does not have the forces to smoke out, let alone counter the drug barons who virtually control such provinces as Sinaloa, Nuevo Leon and Sonora. Nor can they tackle the rebels and privateers who have been disrupting the country's oil infrastructure. There has been a mass exodus from the police and the army in the wake of the assassinations of hundreds of public officials. Indeed, by some definitions, Mexico is no longer a functioning nation state.

Traffic decline stalls Ohio Turnpike work

Northern Ohio's sluggish economy and gasoline's soaring price are taking their toll on the Ohio Turnpike.

While revenue is up in 2007 because of toll increases back in January, traffic is down for the first 10 months of the year.

Gary Suhadolnik, the turnpike's executive director, attributes that to reduced automotive and construction-industry trucking and less leisure travel among motorists.

Shell Head Talks About Energy Crisis

Just nine years ago, oil was at $8 per barrel, and gas was half of what it is now. The president of Shell, John Hofmeister, is warning Americans the next ten years could bring an economic nightmare if something is not done.

Giant screen charts growing Saudi energy sector

A 500,000 bpd slab of new capacity will soon be ready at the Khursaniyah oilfield, Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi said this week.

Inflation across the energy industry as producers strain to bring new capacity online has hit the megaprojects Aramco is undertaking across the kingdom to expand output of oil, refined products and petrochemicals.

OPEC Aid to Offset Price Impact

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has announced that it will help developing and least developed countries (LDCs) offset part of the impact of the rise in oil prices by funding their socioeconomic projects.

Alaska: Communities struggle with energy costs

In a keynote address, George Cannelos, the federal co-chair of the Denali Commission, described how rural communities are struggling in the face of high energy costs and village schools are closing as it becomes unaffordable to live in the villages.

“Our communities are failing, failing, without solving this energy issue,” he told a crowd of a few hundred at the Chena River Convention Center.

Green building, where are you?

With SN&R attempting a green renovation of a building on Del Paso Boulevard, I’m asked repeatedly: What exactly does “green building” mean? Sorry to disappoint, but to my knowledge a specific, agreed-upon, essential meaning of green building does not exist. Instead, “green building” refers to a conceptual framework with commonly held principles. There is no universal green building guide, in part, because different geographies and climactic activities—average temperatures, wind speeds, sun angles, annual rainfall percentages and so on—determine sensible options.

Should fires be banned?

The Chron reported that according to “government studies,” 33 percent of all “particulate matter” comes from your fireplace and mine? With all the industry and automotive traffic in the Bay Area, does anyone actually believe that?

New Mexico should embrace the Clean Cars Program to reduce global warming pollution

The Clean Cars Program is a promising policy with strong support that would help save New Mexico consumers money, while drastically reducing the state's global warming and traditional air pollution from new vehicles sold in the state.

Growth In US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Predicted To Accelerate

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions could grow more quickly in the next 50 years than in the previous half-century, even with technological advances and current energy-saving efforts, according to a new study by MIT's Richard Eckaus, the Ford International Professor of Economics, emeritus, and his co-author, Ian Sue Wing.

What's more, technology itself may be more the stuff that dreams are made on than the most available tool for reducing CO2 emissions or solving the global energy crisis, cautions Eckaus.

Price Surge Puts Focus on Oil Supplies

Some experts see a potential disaster looming — in as soon as five years or even less. Chris Skrebowski, the editor of the London-based Petroleum Review, thinks slower-than-expected supply growth combined with rising demand from burgeoning Asian economies could result in a worldwide shortfall of as much as 7 million barrels a day by 2013.

Demand is so strong that Matthew Simmons, a Houston oil and gas investment banker, says $100 a barrel oil may even be a bargain, with $300 crude likely in the future.

"I think oil prices are unbelievably inexpensive," said Simmons, the author of "Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy," a widely debated book suggesting that the world's largest oil exporter will be hard pressed to maintain its crude output, let alone increase it.

From the oil industry, too, there are voices of concern. For example, Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of Total SA, France's largest oil company, believes the Department of Energy's global production forecast is far too high.

The psychology of $100 per barrel

So why is oil going up? There are more and more people living on the planet. They are using increasing amounts of oil, particularly as populous countries such as China and India develop economically.

Most of our energy comes from fossil fuel. It is a finite resource, so at some point we will begin to run out. When exactly this will happen and is a matter of debate exercising politicians, academics and business leaders.

Leaders need to address energy woes

"Peak Oil" is the term used to denote the point of maximum production in global oil fields. It happened regionally in the USA more than 35 years ago and our imports now exceed 64 percent. In fact, many major oil fields all over the world are peaking.

Japan-China Gas Talks Find No Breakthrough, Call for Political Effort

Japan and China were unable to settle in talks Wednesday how to resolve a dispute over gas exploration rights in the East China Sea but they agreed there is a need to increase political efforts, Japan's chief negotiator said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura expressed disappointment over the lack of substantial progress and said that if such a stalemate continues he "fears it may even affect" the upcoming trip by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to China.

Yellow Sees Red Over Oil Prices

Zollars expressed surprise at the soaring price of barrels of crude oil. “I think there were very few people who would have predicted $100 oil,” he said.

Indeed, triple-digit oil prices have surprised most analysts. But accurate forecasts were available to trucking executives willing to put in a little effort...

Pemex Says Offshore Oil Well Fire Extinguished

State oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos announced Wednesday it has extinguished a fire at an offshore oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, and will resume work on plugging an oil and natural gas leak at the site.

Fascism, feudalism, and the future

You can look through history books in vain for examples of urban populations invading the countryside en masse in the twilight years of civilizations, but the motif remains stuck firmly in place. The inhabitants of Willits, one of the few American towns that have taken the imminence of peak oil seriously, have apparently laid plans to blow up highway bridges leading into town from the south, to keep those imaginary mobs at bay. Willits is in liberal northern California, but it’s embraced the same fantasy that leads survivalists on the opposite end of the political spectrum to indulge in wet dreams about automatic weapons blazing away at marauding hordes.

All the world must tackle the fallout of China's growth

The environment problem in China is deadly serious. If we do not solve it, the world is going to be in a very bad way. Humanity made a major mistake 200 years ago and now east or west does not matter - everyone is involved.

Where’s That Energy Bill?

Two months ago, Washington was filled with hope that Congress would produce an energy bill that would begin to address the two great challenges of oil dependency and climate change. Each chamber had approved respectable if incomplete measures that could be combined in one outstanding bill. Then the bills disappeared into the back rooms as Democratic leaders tried to negotiate a final product.

These talks have now reached a dangerous point. With both houses feeling pressure to do something — anything — to deal with high oil prices, there’s a real danger that one or more essential provisions could be dropped just for the sake of producing a bill.

Thomas L. Friedman: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

In the wake of 9/11, some of us pleaded for a “patriot tax” on gasoline of $1 or more a gallon to diminish the transfers of wealth we were making to the very countries who were indirectly financing the ideologies of intolerance that were killing Americans and in order to spur innovation in energy efficiency by U.S. manufacturers.

But no, George Bush and Dick Cheney had a better idea. And the Democrats went along for the ride. They were all going to let the market work and not let our government shape that market — like OPEC does.

You’d think that one person, just one, running for Congress or the Senate would take a flier and say: “Oh, what the heck. I’m going to lose anyway. Why not tell the truth? I’ll support a gasoline tax.”

Iraq to Blacklist Firms Which Signed Oil Deals with Kurds

Iraq warned Thursday foreign oil companies which signed deals with the autonomous Kurdish regional government will be barred from doing business in the country and from exporting oil.

"Any company that has signed contracts without the approval of the federal authority of Iraq will not have any chance of working with the government of Iraq," Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani said.

Give OPEC Reason To Pump More

With oil at $91 a barrel, is OPEC being cruel for not heeding U.S. pleas to hike oil production to lower prices? No, it's just acting in its best interest. The U.S. ought to do the same.

Aramco CEO pulls apart 'doomsday' energy forecasts

Jum’ah concluded his remarks with an exhortation to worry not about “peak oil” scenarios, but to worry about ignoring liquid fuels in our energy policies and investment decisions and discouraging its development and growth on various pretexts.

“Such steps would, without a doubt, stunt the development of new technologies, undermine efforts to produce more environmentally friendly and cleaner liquid fuels, and block some of the available liquid resources from being converted into economic supplies to meet the world’s growing need for energy,” he said.

WEC: Saudi Aramco chief dismisses peak oil fears

His analysis suggested that ultimate recovery from nonconventional resources could range from 1 trillion bbl to more than 2 trillion bbl, depending on whether the figure is a conservative or target one. There is great scope for improved recovery, Jum'ah stressed. "I believe that recovery rates for oil shale will fluctuate over time but that the world's need for liquid fuel supplies over the very long term, coupled with continued advances in technology, mean oil shales will eventually be viable for future generations," he said.

OPEC: U.S. economy slowing, costly oil dents demand

OPEC said on Thursday it sees a modest downturn in the U.S. economy in the fourth quarter due in part to record high oil prices, but booming growth in China and the Middle East will keep world oil demand strong.

Kuwait recognizes responsibility to meet future global oil needs -- minister

Kuwait will remain committed as a major oil producer to utilize its resources for the welfare of its people, while recognizing its responsibility to meet the future oil needs of the world community, said Kuwait's Electricity and Water Minister and Acting Oil Minister Mohammad Al-Olaim on Thursday.

Speaking at a seminar held on the sidelines of the Third OPEC Summit, scheduled for Saturday, the minister said his country was working to provide the oil market with oil and petroleum products by expanding its production and refining capacity.

Tupi Oil Find Could Prompt Brazil to Limit Private Oil Companies

Brazil is one of the few countries in the world to have opened up its oil industry to the private sector in recent years, just as many governments have sought to cash in on sky-high oil prices by increasing state controls.

That may be about to change with last week's confirmation of the largest oil discovery ever made in Brazil, which could mark a major turnaround in the country's relatively

Pasta panic strikes Italy

The story behind the price hike is a global saga involving agricultural policies, commodity-market speculation, the growing use of ethanol as an alternative fuel, and Australian drought.

European Food Prices Soar by the Most in Five Years

Soaring food and energy prices have propelled inflation to a level that ECB policy makers call a "serious risk." While ECB members say they are ready to increase interest rates to prevent rising inflation expectations from triggering a price spiral, cooling economic growth may limit their ability to act, economists say.

A green light for Eurostar: The train that takes the eco-strain

When the first Eurostar left St Pancras for Paris yesterday, it wasn't just the convenience that passengers were excited about: it was the environmental friendliness.

EU Body Adopts Strict Rules For Airline Emissions

Airlines flying in and out of the European Union should join the bloc's emissions trading system in 2011 and submit to strict caps on their output of greenhouse gases, the European Parliament has voted on Tuesday.

The EU assembly, in its first reading on a bill that has drawn ire from the United States and other nations, voted to set a tighter limit on aviation's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than first proposed by the European Commission.

China power plant emissions to rise 60% by 2017

Climate-warming emissions from China's power plants -- already among the world's worst greenhouse polluters -- will rise by some 60 percent in the next decade, a new global database showed on Wednesday.

As China's Mega Dam Rises, So Do Strains and Fear

The slopes of Chenjialing Village have shuddered and groaned lately, cracking and warping homes and fields, and making residents fear the banks of China's swelling Three Gorges Dam may hold deadly perils.

The vast hydro scheme is meant to subdue the Yangtze River, but as the water levels rise, parts of its shores have strained and cracked, dismaying scientists and officials and alarming villages such as Chenjialing in Badong County.

Oil prices will inevitably hit $100 - former OPEC head

Oil prices will inevitably hit 100 usd due to falling stocks in the US, higher demand during the winter months, and weakness in the dollar, according to Dr Subroto, the former Secretary General of OPEC.

'The price of oil at 100 usd is unavoidable, it will take place,' said Dr Subroto, speaking at the third OPEC summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia this morning.

PetroChina to Raise Oil Processing 12% to Meet Demand

PetroChina Co., the nation's biggest oil producer, plans to increase crude processing volume by 12 percent this year to help ease domestic fuel shortages.

PetroChina plans to process 120 million metric tons (about 2.4 million barrels a day) of oil this year, Vice President Liu Hongbin told reporters after a conference in Beijing today. The company processed 2.15 million barrels a day of oil last year. The latest projection is also higher than a March forecast for refining volume to reach 2.25 million barrels a day in 2007.

W.Africa oil exports to China surge to record level

Chinese demand for West African crude surged to a record level in December as the country's refiners looked to replenish dwindling stockpiles, traders said on Thursday.

The world's second-largest energy consumer bought 919,000 barrels per day of mainly Nigerian and Angolan crude for December loading. That is up 159,000 bpd from the previous month and matches China's record demand reached in March 2006.

"China has been drawing down its stocks in the past few months, but they are now faced with having to refill their boots," a West Africa trader said.

U.K. May Have to Increase Nuclear Output to Meet Carbon Target

The U.K. may have to increase its nuclear power capacity in order to meet its goal for cutting carbon-dioxide emissions over the next 35 years, according to a study by market research company Datamonitor Plc.

It's unlikely that renewable energy sources including wind farms will be able to fill the future supply void that will be left by decommissioning fossil-fuel burning units as the U.K. attempts to cut emissions by 60 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, Datamonitor said today in an e-mailed report.

Algeria Plans Solar Power Cable to Germany

An Algerian company is planning to build a power cable to Germany to export solar-generated electricity from the Sahara, a state-owned newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Cars out as London mayor clears way for Paris-style plage and cycle boulevards

Cars will be banned from some of London’s busiest streets as part of a bold plan to create continental-style boulevards devoted to pedestrians and cyclists.

Any energy efforts by Congress seem awfully late

Congress is committed to work out some form of legislation that could reduce our consumption of foreign oil. Good luck. Trying to get a handle on this country’s dependency on oil for its energy needs in transportation is like trying to swing onto a speeding train that left the station long ago.

Solv-Ex Chief Who Scammed Investors Says He's Outsmarted Exxon

As chairman of the oil company Solv- Ex Corp. in the 1990s, John Rendall triggered $825 million in losses for investors when his attempt to pump crude from Canadian bogs failed and a U.S. judge fined him for lying about it to shareholders.

Now, with crude holding above $90 a barrel, Rendall is back in the business, saying he's figured out how to extract oil from stones in the Australian outback.

Iran to increase oil production to 4.5 mln bpd despite sanctions

Iran aims to increase its oil production capacity to 4.5 mln barrels per day within the next two years, despite the increasing pressure of US-led sanctions against the Islamic republic over its disputed nuclear programme.

Shell confirms major pipeline feeding export terminal attacked in Nigeria

A major pipeline feeding one of Royal Dutch Shell PLC's two main oil export terminals in southern Nigeria was attacked and ruptured by unknown assailants, the company said Thursday.

Precious Okolobo, a spokesman for Shell in Lagos, said the affected pipeline supplies crude oil to the Forcados oil export terminal.

...Any impact on production from the facility isn't yet known but the traders said the facility had scheduled a 110,000 barrels of crude a day export program for November and 130,000 barrels a day program for December export.

Tom Whipple - The Peak Oil Crisis: Our Government is Speaking

You have to be quiet… and listen very carefully, for our government is trying to tell us something. If the news were good, of course, the White House would announce it at the daily press conference. If the news were very good, the President himself might come out into the rose garden and tell us the news himself.

But this news is bad, perhaps very bad, so the government relies on a third tier civil servant to break the bad news gradually so as not get the people too upset or cause a run on anything—banks, mutual funds, gas stations, or grocery stores. The bad news of course is something that many of us have been aware of for many months; this is likely to be a very tough winter for energy prices.

OPEC stays deaf to calls for higher ouput

OPEC producers on Thursday defied pressure from consumer nations to raise oil output, saying the market was amply supplied and that blame for near 100-dollar prices lay outside the cartel.

"Why should we increase production?" said Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil, who claimed a production hike would have no influence on prices.

Major oil crisis looms ever closer in the U.S.

When oil prices shot up near $100 a barrel late in October, this unexpected event caught everyone by surprise, including leading oil experts gathered for an annual conference in London.

These participants were already aware that new reserves of oil were getting increasingly harder to find and more expensive to tap. Combined with years of under-investment by the energy industry, this factor has led to a shortage of new oil supplies. This problem shows no signs of abating despite rising energy demand from Asia, South America, the industrialized West and even the Middle East.

Nobody anticipated an oil spike during the "trough," the interval between the driving and heating seasons. Oil ministers from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates attending the conference blamed the slumping dollar, widespread Wall Street speculation and bottlenecks in the refining process.

Can airlines live with $100 oil?

The US air transport market appears to be one of the hardest hit by escalating fuel costs that could result in extensive capacity reduction if carriers, such as United Airlines, actually go ahead and ground aircraft if ticket price hikes passed on to the travelling public result in a fall-off in demand.

Heating Oil Spike Alarms Downeasters

With the cost of crude oil approaching $100 a barrel and Mainers paying more than $3 a gallon for heating oil, the state’s oil dealers want to know why.

Consumers, on the other hand, want to know what — as in what can they do to make it through the winter.

“It’s unbelievable how frantic they’re getting,” Rusty Roberts said of the area residents who turn to the Tree of Life Food Pantry in Blue Hill when they’re in need. “I don’t know what they’re going to do. I don’t know what’s going to happen to these people.”

Unmanned pumps may prove petrol lifeline

MORE unmanned petrol pumps could open across the Highlands as part of efforts to retain a network of lifeline outlets in remote areas.

The number of filling stations in the region has plummeted in recent years as businesses find it increasingly difficult to remain viable. Councillors will hear today that in 1975 there were 348 in the area, but this fell to 105 by 2005. This year the figure is down to 100, with 35 having shut in the past seven years.

OPEC Has Big Role To Play In Dealing With Climate Change - UN

"Oil will continue to play a pivotal role in the global energy mix for many decades to come, not least due to growing global energy demand," Yvo de Boer, the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change said at the seminar, according to an emailed statement.

"But oil will have to be decarbonized with adequate technologies. OPEC can deliver a big part of the solution to climate change," he said.

States test-drive hybrid school buses

The big yellow school bus is going green.

With an eye on reducing emissions — and the cost of diesel fuel topping $3.50 per gallon — eight states are testing 11 hybrid buses, and more are on the way.

Bush aide denies wanting testimony cut

The president's science adviser said Wednesday he recommended some changes in global warming testimony by the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention but denied he wanted entire pages cut.

Greenhouse gases rising faster than UN forecasts: report

Greenhouse gas emissions are rising faster than worst-case predictions by the United Nations' top climate change body, said a new Australian report issued Thursday.

The report by the independent Climate Institute found emissions were rising faster than forecast by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with possibly devastating effects.

"Greenhouse emissions are rising faster than the worst-case IPCC scenarios," it said.

OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report is out with the production numbers for October. The OPEC 10 increased their oil production by 290 kb/d. Saudi Arabia was up 180 kb/d to 8.73 mb/d. The UAE was up 40 kb/d, Venezuela up 30 kb/d and Algeria up 20 kb/d were the other big gainers. Indonesia and Libya showed no change and Qatar was down 10 kb/d.

The real surprise here was Venezuela. Venezuela had been in a gradual but slightly erratic decline for two and one half years with an average decline of 12 kb/d each month. They lost 370 kb/d of production over a 30 month period. Yet this month they managed to add 30 kb/d. However during that 30 month period of slow declines, there were a couple of gains even greater than 30 kb/d so we will just have to wait and see what happens.

OPEC 10 quotas for November is 27,253 kb/d and their production in October was 27,010 kb/d. So in October they produced 243 kb/d less than their November quota. Any bets on how close they come in November?

The two members who are not subject to OPEC quotas were both up considerably. Iraq was up 190 kb/d and Angola up 70 kb/d.

Ron Patterson


Do you know what the year over year change is for the OPEC 12 (October to October)?

Jeff, the OPEC 10, those members subject to quotas, was down 490,000 barrels per day, October 2006 to October 2007. That is using the data from OPEC's own Monthly Oil Market Report.

The OPEC 11, including Iraq but excluding Angola, who was not an OPEC member in 2006, then OPEC October to October was down only 220 kb/d.

But if you include Angola, who's production is really booming, then OPEC 12 production was up 204 kb/d.

October OPEC production:
OPEC 10 27,010,000 barrels per day (Less Angola and Iraq)
OPEC 11 29,240,000 barrels per day (Less Angola)
OPEC 12 31,000,000 barrels per day

Ron Patterson

I guess these numbers would correlate to the EIA's crude only numbers?

BTW, where is the production surge coming from that the IEA estimated for October?

FYI--I estimate that the top five net exporters are going to show at least a 500,000 bpd increase in domestic consumption from 2006 to 2007.

Well, they are usually pretty close but never the same. OPEC 12 for August, from the EIA was 30,200,000 bp/d. For August from OPEC's Monthly Oil Market Report was 30,390,000 bp/d.

But my October 2006 data for Angola came from the EIA as OPEC did not include Angola in their reports from 2006.

The IEA says their Non-OPEC boost came from:

Recovery in China and Azerbaijan plus rising Russian output boosted non-OPEC supplies.

But we shall see.

Ron Patterson


So how goes the emergency Ron. Has the sheer panic that you expected to grip the world sent us spiraling in to a severe depression? Did oil go up 50% today cause OPEC had nothing left to pump? Since you've been so quiet today, I can only assume that last months production data surprised you as well, and trashed a few PEAK NOW talking points along the way.

You wouldn't be so obnoxious if you weren't so dishonest.

Ron was 100% correct.

The data due out tomorrow in OPEC's Monthly Oil Report will tell the story. What they show tomorrow will be it. Perhaps a few more barrels in November but not very much.

And he said it would take months to get the story out

The cat is about to be let out of the bag and OPEC is in a sheer panic. They have been lying all these years about those vast, vast oil reserves. The world swallowed it, hook, line and sinker. And when the cat finally escapes that bag, in the next couple of months, all hell will break loose.

And what did OPEC offer the world? Excuses for why they no longer control the price of oil

OPEC must, they simply must, find some way to save face. And that is what this emergency meeting is all about

Except that OPECs production was up almost 300k bpd, and this was before the quota increase which started this month. If they were pumping flat out as everyone said, where did this extra 300k bpd come from? Did they blow hot air up their butts all these years and create a ton of NG for later use? Did they store it in giant super containers to mask their decline? Which conspiracy theory shall we pick?

None of course.

The fact is, most people here called it wrong. Robert at least suggested that we be cautious. I have been saying they would do this all year. Remember when I said I would leave if they didn't deliver? Well they have, and I wont have too now. I understand your frustration with being wrong, but at least make an attempt at admitting you called the peak wrong yet again and move on. Sucks having 2 years of rhetoric go out the window in a day though, doesn't it?

Except I said you are dishonest. And you are.

So how goes the emergency Ron. Has the sheer panic that you expected to grip the world sent us spiraling in to a severe depression? Did oil go up 50% today cause OPEC had nothing left to pump?

Ron claimed it would take months for the status of OPEC to be known.
" And when the cat finally escapes that bag, in the next couple of months, all hell will break loose."

And he didn't say OPEC wouldn't increase in OCT, he said the increase in Oct/Nov will be OPECS last gasp.
"The data due out tomorrow in OPEC's Monthly Oil Report will tell the story. What they show tomorrow will be it. Perhaps a few more barrels in November but not very much."

But I guess this is how you get your rocks off.

I counseled you when you first joined this board that your dishonesty effects your credibility. To little avail I'm afraid.

What the world eats

note the diffirence between the fresh & whole food for the "poorer" people against processed food for the "wealthier".

Who will suffer most from PO? And who d'ya think is healthier?

Always good to remind ourselves when talking about population pressures and FF dependence. Who 'needs' 10 cal. of FF energy for each 1 cal. of food production and who does not.
Looked at another way as FFs contract, will it be easier to balance the system by demand destruction for billions and billions or for a few hundred million Euro/Americans?
Pick your post peak diet
1.Frozen, long distance, meat rich, highly packaged and very vulnerable to PO. or
2.The opposite

As best as I can tell, the Ecuadorians probably have the healthiest diet in terms of food quality - lots of fresh fruits & vegies, whole grains, no packaged foods. They look only minimally nourished, though, so quantity is probably a bit of an issue; they could probably use just a few more calories/person/day.

It is amazing how much packaged crap there is in the pictures, not just of the Americans but also for much of the rest of the world. One really sees the evidence of it on refuse pickup days when one sees all the massive amounts of containers set out by the street for pickup, all filled with the remnants of packaged goods.

Beginning about two year ago I started cutting out 90% of the processed food in my diet. (Just don't eat anything in a box or package.) I back slide some, but over all my costs are way down and I feel much, much better. And, that's right, less trash going out the back door. (It helps, of course, if you know how to cook from scratch. A lost art.)

More than likely you will get on a kick like I did... Growing your own year round. I am going to be expelling quite a bit of CO2 I am sure by burning grow lights all winter. 2000watts per hour a day 16 hours a day for vegetative growth then switching to 12/12 for flowering periods. It will involve lots of hand pollination and work.

It will be a 200sqft garden. This will all be done hydroponic with aquaculture merged to create aquaponics. By spring I plan on having it expanded and ready to start up my back yard. I will be selling produce grown in my yard. I expect to be able to make a decent side living off of it.

I have neighbors lining up by the droves to purchase my produce! I know my produce will cost more than store purchased but as said the nutritional value of 100% organic grown "less soil so the USDA would never certify me" however I am using inert medium, fish to fertilize, spent beer grains to feed the fish. It will be fish excrement that feeds the plants.

Yep I am exited about getting started with local production. However I have had agriculture on the brain for a long time. Space was the main concern and now that I have learned how to do hydro I am not limited as bad. I may even start to conscript neighbors to let me use their LARGE yards :) they slope on a huge angle so I could get a Machu Piichu effect going on :)

Heres to local production!

*Throws around homebrew beer*

The two remaining options for the U.S. to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons are to force a regime change or use military force to take out suspected weapons locations, the White House's former representative to the United Nations said yesterday.


It's hard to notice with the size of the photo's but if you look at the poorer and more tradtional nations(the africa one you have to read the info below to know they eat freshly slaughtered meat) have a higher ratio of meat, mostly red, over veggies and highly procsessed grains.

Right. All over Africa they are feasting on freshly slaughtered meat!

It's for sure that whenever they get meat it will have to be freshly slaughtered, because there isn't much refrigeration in the average African village. On the other hand, I think the question is something like "what is your favorite food?" -- not "what do you eat every day, or whenever you eat."

i said percentage of meat to processed grains and vegi's not the amount of meat.
in the caption bellow the africa picture their favorite meal is stew with fresh goat meat, and because they have no way to preserve the meat for storage after slaughter it's easier for them to keep the goat alive till needed thus the reason why it's not even in the picture.

Please note i how i replied to your comment without sarcasm for insult.

thank you for the correction. no sarcasm intended

A while ago I made a map of Persian Gulf oil facilities, Iranian airfields, Iranian naval facilities, and Persian Gulf islands:

This morning, acting on a hint from Alan Drake in yesterday's Drum Beat, I whipped up a quick map of dams in Iran. I am not real proud of this - plenty of problems with the dataset I used, and it'll get proofed at some point in the future.

Someone else made this one - a map of refineries with capacities:

I've been adding new stuff as time, mood, and information available allows. If you're aware of any sources of information on the Persian Gulf that have a name, latitude, and longitude, but you don't know how to make a KML out of them drop me( gwbush at dumbfuck dot org) a note and I'll see if I can do it up for you.


SCT, I would love to see your maps but this PC doesn't even open these kml and kmz files.

As a matter of fact I don't really know much about hardware and software; I'm just capable of operating a PC but when it fails I wouldn't know what to do.

KML/KMZ are Google Earth formats:


Load the program you find there and it will allow you to see the KML file contents.

Great, thanks. Will get to it.

ATTN: Alan Drake

Yesterday you said you'd heard that Iran had an aggressive hydro program with over a hundred dams constructed. I found a dataset of Iranian dam names and coordinates which I turned into a Google Earth KML file:

I've been reviewing it and the hundred dam count is badly off. The word "Shah" may also be rendered as "Chah", the plain dam name and the name with Sadd-e as a prefix will appear, and the current regime had an aggressive dam renaming program, yet every iteration of the dam's name is a new line in the file. Many locations had five or six different names but the same coordinates.

I've ended up with a KML that has fifteen locations of dams on it. I think I dinged the file and the count is closer to twenty five, but its going to take a while to sort out. In any event this KML isn't entirely accurate and the hundred dam count is definitely wrong ...


"Almost 100 Iranian dams" was from a poor memory. It is 79 new dams/hydroelectric plants under construction.

Here is a 2003 article where Iran is evaluating 243 new hydroelectric dams with 79 under construction.


The link below contains this quote “effort by Iran to increase hydroelectric power generation capacity by 3 300 MW by the end of its five-year development plan in 2010″

This is a greater effort, at this time, than either Brazil or China are doing (although China has a 10+ GW dam under construction).

Given the limited natural hydrological resources of Iran, I see this as "build any damn dam that they can".

Best Hopes for non-GHG electricity in Iran,


Well that shoots the heck out of that map, eh? At least I've got the big ones ... we'll bomb those for sure, as they're a wonderful hiding place for the Revolutionary Guard terrorist types.

OMG ... is it 1/20/2009 yet?

"Our options now are, unfortunately, limited," said John R. Bolton, the ex-U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who now faults the Bush administration for "failed diplomacy" toward Iran and North Korea.

I will sue that man for injuries sustained while falling out of my chair laughing. John Bolton finds fault in how the Bush administration conducts diplomacy when he was the poster child for ineffective, unilateral bluster? Unreal.

Or is he trying to cover himself in the event of a trip to The Hague after the fact?

Good cop/bad cop

Don't take anything these criminals say at face value.

Bolton is doing a very good job considering the reason he was put there. To be such a bad diplomat that diplomacy will fail and bush would have a valid reason for saying 'diplomacy has failed now is the time for war'

It's the same tactic they use to prove government doesn't work. by putting the most incompatent person at the head of federal agencys then blaming the system for the failure and not the person running the system.

Where is Rufus T. Firefly when we need him?

"The last man nearly ruined the place,
he didn't know what to do with it.
If you think this place is messed up now,
just wait 'til I get through with it!

I will not stand for anything dishonest or unfair,
I will be on the up-and-up, so everyone beware.
If someone is caught taking graft.....
and I don't get my share,
We line him up against the wall and Pop! goes the weasel!"

And don't forget,

"We got guns,
They got guns,
All God's chillun got guu-u-uns..."

Wasn't Boulton the guy that wanted to abolish the United Nations? I notice also that Bolton is pushing his new book too. Always good to make some outrageous statements to gain some attention at the start a book tour.

Don't forget that the Washington Times is a far-right wing NeoCon mouthpiece. It's owned by Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. Hardly an unbiased rag, not that that is unusual.


...Moon explained his motivation behind establishing the paper. "I founded The Washington Times as an expression of my love for America and to fulfill the Will of God, who seeks to establish America in His Providence," he said.

"In the context of God's Will, there needed to be a newspaper that had the philosophical and ideological foundation to encourage and enlighten the people and leaders of America," he explained.

E. Swanson

"To fulfill the Will of God. Encourage and enlighten the people and leaders of America"

Well, God sent me an e-mail yesterday in which he categorically denied ever having blessed America!

Man, those fundamentalists put out some scary s**t.

S**t man! i never sent you no e-mail.:)

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

John "Bonkers" Bolton is a dangerous zealot and wild propagandist, who was regarded as a borderline case, by many other normal conservatives at the United Nations, because he was single-handedly undermining US interests with his fanaticism.

I also heard from a reliable source that he was sent a lovely present by someone at UN headquarters in New York. It was a black, PVC, straight-jacket, from a well-known fetish shop. This story is probably untrue. Though it does illustrate the thinly disguised contempt that people have for the people running the United States at that time.

This article is a riot. OPEC has a new reason for not wanting to increase production.

``Since fossil fuels are going to be around for some time, we need to develop technology to reduce'' carbon emissions, al-Naimi said in Riyadh today. ``We are all called upon to address the climate-change concern and find a balance that is a possible, comprehensive and cost-effective solution.''

In one breath reassuring the market that they have longterm capabilities and in the next setting up an excuse for lower production. Is it concern or convenience that OPEC is suddenly interested in the environment?

wait - who was it here that predicted this response recently as the new excuse - it's pretty amazing when folks here on TOD actually pick the new excuse from OPEC for non (major) increases in output...or maybe they read the site and come up with good ideas from here?

I also think it is REALLY frightening that the Aramco guy is stating that their are trillions of barrels of unconventional oil out there and that oil shale will save us for centuries - isn't he the guy telling us that there are billions of bbls under his own country's sands still? Why do we need to turn to oil shale if there is so much crude just waiting to be pumped?

The bad news of course is something that many of us have been aware of for many months; this is likely to be a very tough winter for energy prices.

What ever the difference will be between this winter and last winter is what can be expected for the following winter times three. Then use that change as a baseline for each succeeding winter.

Didn't you hear about the diagnosis of mental debility caued by early senile demtia due to his alcohol induced brain tumor? So give the guy a break, just like old Ronnie Reagan. Everybody just ignored him sleeping on the job cause he was a really nice guy and a little bit doddery. Bush is younger but suffering from a similar problem,. I mean he's over 60 right? A couple hundred years ago that would have made him ancient and worthy of our respect regardless of what he does.

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

Don't wake me up unless it's really important. Even if I'm in the middle of a cabinet meeting.- R. Reagan.


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

Oh. Sorry. My well meant apologies.

Watch this video to see what Bush was like 13 years ago: An Eloquent George Bush ? All impromptu, no teleprompter, no hesitations, no malapropisms, no "uhhh"s. General verdict is he suffers from pre-senile dementia.

Laura should be talkin' to Nancy now about how best to hide him from public view after term.

Paraguay's nice but so far away.

and the beat goes on
still moving strong on and on


I had to clean up my keyboard and monitor screen from snorting coffee out of my nose!!

Hasn't the econmy been "strong" for a couple of years? I notice, according to my charts, that the dollar began it's fall right after GWB was selected as the Resident of the White House.

I caught Real Time w/Bill Maher in repeats last night. During his new rules segment, he did the bit about GWB due the rest of his term as a mime. This further confirms this.

Of course, as Bill puts it, his signature peice would be Man Trapped in a Box of a Sectarian Civil War.

If only the legend of Pinocchio were true! Just imagine how long President Bush's nose would be if every time he lied, it would grow one inch. I imagine that by now it would stretch to the moon (hmmm....could make a pretty neat "space elevator").


As I understand it, exponential nose growth would drop off after only several years to a lower level. I'd expect his nose would get no further than the ionosphere before real world constraints to it set in.

"real world constraints to it set in."

Ah yes, those "above ground issues" get you every time :-)

Lack of gravity may encourage nose growth, but lord, the space debris can give you a bloody one.

Well it helps when you are the only game in town.

(one down)

I sincerely regret to inform you that about 8:00 this morning a dozen FBI and Secret Service agents raided the Liberty Dollar office in Evansville.

For approximately six hours they took all the gold, all the silver, all the platinum and almost two tons of Ron Paul Dollars that where just delivered last Friday. They also took all the files, all the computers and froze our bank accounts.

We have no money. We have no products. We have no records to even know what was ordered or what you are owed. We have nothing but the will to push forward and overcome this massive assault on our liberty and our right to have real money as defined by the US Constitution. We should not to be defrauded by the fake government money.

(many to go)

I thought you guys all had guns so that the government would not push you around?

Yeah I read about that. SCARY.

Again, SCARY.

The Liberty Dollar is a collector's coin and also a private, alternate, currency. There's nothing illegal about the Liberty Dollar.

Except the company starting making some Ron Paul ones.

So, the Pheds came in and took everything from all the metals (gold silver platinum) to the computers to the office stapler.

People should be very worried about this.

Ah, but the government has bigger, fully automatic guns, tear gas, bullet-proof vests, and loads of time to train their police in military styled assaults. Plus, then if you use yours, then you go to jail if you even survive the whole thing, at which point any attempt on getting that massive hoarde of silver/gold back is totally lost from a legal standpoint...

Oh wait, you were drinking that sarconol, weren't you? Nevermind!
~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com/)

They'll never take my sarcanol!

Try this one, before it mysteriously gets the axe: Liberty Dollar No Longer at Liberty

What is their recourse?

I tried the link but could not find the story - am I just being blind?

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

Google it. Wikipedia has a good overview.

Looks like winter's gonna get damned hard this year for the schools, hospitals and anybody with a drafty house living a bit out of town and having to drive a lot. A small, well insulated cetrally located apartment would be better adn maybe they will go over to home schooling when the schools just can't be kept heated. Heating huge buildings like schools and hospitals to 70F seems a bit crazy anyways and bussing all the kids in diesel busses. Maybe go back to walking to a one room school for a couple hours lessons heated by a wood stove like little house on the prairie. Anyway everybody will have to make it on theri own and maybe lots will freeze or starve eventually, depending on what they can afford better, food or fuel and alrger portion of the population will fall into this trap each year.

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

Rural school buses are typically gasoline powered, at least all of the ones I've ever seen here in the midwest.

Not all schools have fossil fuel dependencies. I am quite pleased that this one is in my area, but I do wish all of the rest would make this move:


I predict in the future, with technology, it won't make much sense to ship kids 30 miles to school when they could just as well attend a virtual school for 90% of their studies. Check it out:


That will be a sad sad day.

Why? I know kids who are home-schooled. They still get together with other home-schooled kids, it's not like they are locked away in their homes, devoid of contact with their peers...

The problem with it currently is that many families now rely on two incomes, and it would not be practical from that angle. In an ideal world however, I think home- or small local schooling has a lot of potential.

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

Yeah, and quite a few of their parents could work from home as well and maybe have an office meeting only once or twice a week at the boss' home/office, which they could commute to on public transportation or pedal power...Ok, OK, I know we aren't quite there yet.

Why don't we just send the kids to school in flying cars?

Mean Automakers

In 1968 you could buy a new VW for $1895 and a Ford for about $3K and a gallon of gasoline was about $.30 . Wages today are ten times 1968 levels. If you'd asked me then what I would expect the price of gasoline to be with 10:1 inflation...

Maybe 'without a memory and an ability to do non exponential functions the people will appear foolish'. I refuse to get excited until someone explains to me why, other than consumers inability to plan, historically normal fuel prices should be a cause for concern. When house prices went up, the owners crowed and took out a loan; when fuel prices rose to where their house prices used to be, the sky is now falling. Three bucks a gallon isn't a sign of peak oil but only a return to historical norms. The real problem is that three bucks isn't looking like a plateau.

And why, for the love of reason, is a drop from 85 million barrels a day a catastrophe? Is our ability to increase efficiency and build appropriate infrastructure now impaired in some way? I want the public to elect representatives who are prepared to put a floor under high energy prices - in today's dollars maybe six dollars a gallon - so we can get on with at least the intermediary step of reducing our consumption enough to have the time to deploy alternatives. People voting for an real act of personal patriotic sacrifice isn't likely to happen, even if it's their own personal security at stake. Can you imagine Hillary proposing a floor of six bucks for gasoline on grounds of homeland security? What? A European price for oil products?

Three dollars isn't going to do anything that thirty cents didn't in 1968. Paraphrasing the Economist's Big Mac Index, it's still a hamburger a gallon.

Just curious: Where did you get this figure that wages today are 10 times what they were in 1968? Whose wages? Mean or median wages? After-tax or before-tax income? Maybe a surgeon charges 10 time more than he did in 1968, but does a US auto worker make 10 times what he did in 1968?

In any case, I tend to agree that 3-dollar+ gasoline by itself isn't going to break the economy. However, you've got to keep in mind that rising gasoline prices isn't the only 'stressor' currently at work on the American consumer.

In addition to rising gasoline prices we must also consider rising prices for natural gas/home heating oil, electricity, food, housing (though the latter may soon be history), health care, etc ..... all against a background of stagnant wages, an upwardly creeping total tax burden, record consumer debt, and near negative saving rates.

We seem to have many little straws being piled on, each of which has the potential for being the one that finally breaks the camel's back.

Doctors actually haven't done that well. Professionals in general haven't done that well. In the '60s, every mother wanted her daughter to marry a doctor. Now doctors are being squeezed by HMOs as much as patients are.

Kiyosaki covered this in his Rich Dad books. These days, if you want to be rich, an MD degree is not the way to go. Instead, you should be a businessman.

Or marry one. ;-)

Perhaps my example of a surgeon wasn't the best. I agree that doctors are being squeezed in several directions. If they are in private practice, the malpractice insurance is a reall killer; if they work for an HMO, they are just another employee subject to the whims of the employee. Then, on top of that, we have downward pressure from the 'insourcing' of doctors from other countries, whom I'm sure the HMOs can get for a substantially lower price than American doctors. Last year I visited a realative who was in a hospital in northern New Jersey, and I couldn't help but notice that at least half the doctors appeared to be either Indian/Pakistani, Middle Eastern, or SE Asian.

As to salaries, in 1968 the average starting salary for a fresh engineering graduate was roughly $10,000, give or take. The current starting salary for engineers is now generally in the range of $48K to $56 K, depending upon discipline. That's more like a five-fold increase rather than a 10-fold increase. And when you take into account income tax 'bracket creep', it's probably more like only a four-fold increase in after-tax income.

Of course, blue collar wages have done even much worse.

Here is some data on wages from 1973 to 2006 from the Social Security Administration: http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/oldawidata.html

It shows that the average wage went from $7580 to $38651 over this period, which roughly agrees with joule's estimate.

This page shows that median wages are going up more slowly, at least for the period showing on the chart (1989 to 2007):


So, if gasoline were moving up at the rate of wage inflation, it would be about half its present cost (or less).

Agrees Pretty 'loosely'..

You've shown us a five-fold increase, not ten. It does also seem clear that even this $3 gas is seriously underpriced, so I don't know that I'm convinced of any normal correlation between the two numbers..


Ugh Leanan, you made me shudder quoting Kiyosaki like that ......

Anyone who wants to know about Kiyosaki should read about him in the Real Estate Guru Ratings page at www.johntreed.com

That being said, yes, doctors have not done as well, professionals in general have not done as well. The middle class has taken a beating between 1968 and now. It's such an obvious fact that even Kiyosaki knows it.

How? Is it not a fact that as a percentage of income, food, gas and other basic necessities have decreased as a % of our annual income? Just about the only thing that has increased out of proportion is the cost of education (specifically college expenses) and health care (can be solved with tort reform and limiting the 20 million dollar lawsuits over spilled coffee). There is a reason the middle class is able to 'consume' TVs, DVDs, Computers, Cars at a higher rate today than they could equivalent devices in the past.

The only time I worry about the middle class taking a beating is when the corrupt politicians start talking about raising taxes. In fact, we should have a national value added sales tax instead of an income tax. Alas, we shall continue to waste 100 billion a year on funding the IRS and its derivatives :P

PartyGuy - 40 years ago more of the middle class was unionized, had pension and health plans, had a house all paid off or were paying it off (and it cost maybe 3X annual income) the wife stayed at home with the kids so the kids weren't growing up to be little jeffery dahmers under the care of Lupe The Neglectful Nanny, the family didn't NEED two cars, the family wasn't moving every 2 or 3 years, or less so people tended to know each other, etc etc I could go on and on. Althought I have to mention there really was a 40-hour work week not a 60-80 hour one.

We've traded a bunch of glittery junk for all that - that's all gone now.

I was a kid in college in 1968, but my father made around $40K as dean of faculties at a university. No one in his position would be making $400K now.

Similar things could be said about non-government jobs. I was a hired hand in a physics lab that summer. Made $5/hr. I wouldn't be making $50 now.

On the other hand, a new shirt was around $10 -- you can buy the same for less now.

Economics is pretty much smoke and mirrors -- and subject to selective recall and observer bias.

If you look at the 1972 vs 2006 household income and expenditure article linked here a few weeks back, housing costs, energy, food and transport were where costs rose the most. Discretionary items were the ones that had become cheaper on average. In other words we now pay more for the necessities (well, if two cars is considered a necessity) and less for the crap on the side.

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

Actually ten to one is an understatement. It is always an impossibility to produce an exact comparison figure, as you point out, but my ten cent item from before OPEC is now a dollar at least. I'd rather have the task of proving a higher number than a lower; for that I'd need some staff and a grant.

As to where would you get some 'documentation' for such a figure, there should be an unlimited supply of nostalgic boomers who can remember what things cost in the 60s but have to look up prices today. I got fifty cents for mowing a lawn but the kid down the street wants a ten to do it; we settle at five. A gallon and a half.

And why, for the love of reason, is a drop from 85 million barrels a day a catastrophe? Is our ability to increase efficiency and build appropriate infrastructure now impaired in some way?

law of diminishing returns added to the fact that china and india now think it's there right to have a similar kind of living that we do. You also need to factor into the problem that even though wages are 10x the amount of 1968, due to inflation the purchasing power of said wages are no where near 10x the ammount in 1968. in other words a 1968 dollar is worth more then a 2007 dollar.

And why, for the love of reason, is a drop from 85 million barrels a day a catastrophe?

Petrosaurus a drop to 84 mb/d or even 80 mb/d would obviously not be a catastrophe. A drop to 50 mb/d would be a catastrophe. Oil would go to perhaps $300 a barrel or higher and in the areas of the world where electricity is produced by oil, there would be no electricity because the very poor people who live in such areas could not pay their bills.

Farmers would produce less food and there would be less food delivered. Millions of people would lose their jobs because with people spending such a much larger portion of their paychecks for food and fuel, they would buy much less of everything else.

Imports of toys and almost all non-essential items from China would cease. Millions of chinese would starve because they have no means of support.

Over half the world's jobs are there because of an enermous amount of very cheap energy. When half that energy is gone and the rest triples in price, the world will be a very different place.

It is not what we can do, or how much biofuel or renewable fuel we can produce, but how much it will cost. As the price of energy rises, we will buy much less of everything else causing massive unemployment. And unemployed people buy nothing, creating even more unemployment, and the negative feedback continues.

Ron Patterson

memmel quote, from the comments section yesterday under Jerome's article:

We should be nice and run a poll on what the next reason KSA will use to not increase production so at least they can discuss the issue.

1.) Uncertainty over the US economy.
2.) Help avert global warming.
3.) Problems getting rigs/parts/equipment
4.) The Kings birthday is coming in six months.
5.) The Kings birthday is just past we want to wait for six months.
6.) Goto 4

memmel, so far it looks like #2: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601207&sid=a9GlRfMr0rPo&refer=e...

Moe, I pick 4.) and 5.) ...and possibly 7.) Chevez has decided that oil should remain near or above $100bbl and the king wants to maintain cozy relations among OPEC members.

lol. I liked the king's birthday too.

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending November 9, 2007

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 15.0 million barrels per day during the week ending November 9, up 164,000 barrels per day from the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 87.7 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production remained relatively unchanged compared to the previous week, averaging nearly 8.9 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production rose last week, averaging 4.2 million barrels per day.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged nearly 10.5 million barrels per day last week, up 831,000 barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged nearly 9.7 million barrels per day, or 387,000 barrels per day less than averaged over the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 1,014,000 barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 210,000 barrels per day last week.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) rose by 2.8 million barrels compared to the previous week. At 314.7 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 0.7 million barrels last week, and are at the lower end of the average range. Finished gasoline inventories fell last week while gasoline blending components rose during this same time. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 2.0 million barrels, and are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories increased 0.1 million barrels last week. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 0.7 million barrels last week, and are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year.

Assuming imports from Mexico were down last week, where did the increase in oil inventories come from? My view of this is obviously too simplistic, so I'd welcome any help anyone can give as to how the process works. :)

Imports jumped, and demand for gasoline slowed.

Still, there was more oil produced than many expected.

Where do you see demand for gasoline slowing?

Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline demand has averaged
9.3 million barrels per day, or 0.6 percent above the same period last year.
Distillate fuel demand has averaged nearly 4.3 million barrels per day over the
last four weeks, up 0.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

It was 9.3 MMBPD last week as well? (4 week avg - not that I put a ton of validity in it)

It's down from what many were expecting. Week-to-week really isn't a good measure, since demand varies seasonally. From Bloomberg:

Total implied fuel demand in the U.S. averaged 20.6 million barrels a day in the four weeks ended Nov. 9, down 0.7 percent from a year earlier, the report showed. The department measures shipments from refineries, pipelines and terminals to calculate fuel demand.

Implied fuel demand (another term which needs a full defn) is a total number but you were talking about gasoline demand.

Other types of fuels HAVE dropped in demand of the last MONTHS - Jet fuel for one, Distillates over late summer...and then there are numbers we don't see like propane, and specilized products.

IIRC, there has been very little reduction in Gasoline demand in the last few months over 2006 numbers.

Like I said, it was less than many were expecting.

IIRC, there has been very little reduction in Gasoline demand in the last few months over 2006 numbers.

Ah, but there's supposed to be an increase. There are more people in the US this year than last, so there should be more consumption.

Don't want to bicker...

Expecting is different than DEMAND=SUPPLY.

US has increased demand almost the entire summer...small numbers but increased over 2006.

Still it all has an effect - expecting or actual demand - on the price/market.

But the question was why was there an increase when everyone was expecting a decrease...right?

It's all an expectations game.

Yes. Got on this track because I was thinking actuals vs expectations.

I gathered that imports jumped. I was just wondering why that was. I would think you'd have to ask for oil delivery pretty far in advance (months?). The flooding in Tabasco didn't happen that long ago. For imports to jump, I would assume the refiners had placed the orders a long time ago, which means that if Mexico hadn't had their problems we would have seen a jump of, what, maybe 3 to 3.5 million barrels?

I'm wondering why importers would have ordered so much oil, given the high price of oil and given that "U.S. crude oil inventories are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year." Or are these orders placed many months ago, when oil was cheaper and refiners had less of an idea of how much oil they would need?

Is it possible that oil destined for the SPR was delivered to refineries instead?

Just trying to make sense of it :)


Near-record U.S. oil prices are attracting crude cargoes from the North Sea as companies look to profit from the difference between futures contracts traded in New York and London. BP Plc is among oil companies seeking to take advantage of a so-called ''arbitrage,'' where it's profitable to buy oil in one region and sell it in another because the difference in prices exceeds the cost of shipping.

There's often a lot of variation week-to-week, so I would never bet the farm on a weekly report.

However, over at PO.com, they are speculating that the US got some of the imports that had been heading to China. It was California that got big jump. China didn't import last month (or didn't import as much), which led to the shortages they experienced. Perhaps it came to California instead.

Hmm, that's right, China just bought all those tons they were looking for on Tuesday, and their refineries were on unofficial strike in October to get the authorities to increase the price. China didn't raise the price until November 1, and these were shipments that arrived in the U.S. the week ending November 9, so they would have had to be shipped in October. Sounds likely.

OK, that makes more sense to me. Thanks for the replies.

Crude UP 2.8 Million barrels --- Huh? Doesn't add up...but what else is new.

Distillates/fuel oil and propane inventories are not showing much improvement on the steps of a potentially cold winter. Still down substantially from 2006 stocks. If you haven't filled your tanks yet, might want to think about it soon.

Demand 9.3 MMBPD (gasoline) UP 0.6% over 2006. No signs of slowing down.

Doesn't look like Robert will have to worry this week about his bet. But the volatility in Crude, Gold, and currency markets is astounding.

Question for Robert or other with refining knowledge -

Wouldn't the propane ratios from operations be consistent or is it based on type/quality of crude processed? Or is propane being consumed more in other processes?

I am trying to understand the larger drop in propane stocks over the last year - down 13.6% over 2006.

So the shorter question is - What's up with PROPANE?

My guess on propane: While there is more oil, the API of the imported stuff has been going up, and less of the lightstuff comes out. I would like to have this confirmed also.

The weekly natural gas storage number is also out, and shows the first drop of the season, right on schedule based on colder weather. Natural gas storage is comfortably high for this time of year.

Working gas in storage was 3,536 Bcf as of Friday, November 9, 2007, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decline of 9 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 87 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 273 Bcf above the 5-year average of 3,263 Bcf.

Regarding one of today's banner headlines:

OPEC Has Big Role To Play In Dealing With Climate Change -UN

"But oil will have to be decarbonized with adequate technologies. OPEC can deliver a big part of the solution to climate change,"

Can anyone here explain what type of "adequate technologies" can be used to "decarbonize" oil? Inquiring minds want to know.

best wishes for a decarbonized oil future,

Doesn't burning oil decarbonize it? :)

Since oil is Hydrocarbons, if you take the carbon out, does that just leave you with water? ;)

Regarding ALgerian soalr power to Germany. I heard about north african solar to Europe in pipelines as hydrogen decades ago in colleg but a simple electrical line ain'T a bad idea if it is supercooled lines and the desert sun is always on and pretty hot. This is like exporting water around USA or sending nuclear energy from France or Hydropower from Norway, sort of normal when you get used to it. They just have to ramp it up and we can trade food as it grow better in Europe I bet for solar electricity from North Africa. that is your ecotechnic soiety in action I guess. Get out of FF dependencies. I read the idea maybe here some time back about linking by big cables all the solar and wind (big wind parks in Nortt Sea for example and solar in North Africa) so electricity coulld be sent where it is needed regardless of sun or wind conditions so nobody misses a beat. We just have to stop all cars and build up such a system damned fast so we have it right away instead of waiting till we notice it is too late to start.

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

It is very smart of Algeria to get started on this - using their huge income from oil & gas to finance a transition - I would think the combined plants are a good idea as well - nat gas for night/cloudy/sandstorm times and solar for the rest - build now while the crude $ are still pouring in

one question though - aren't there enormous losses in energy sending it this far?

These are perilous days for the US

I don't think Americans get it. I don't think they realise quite how serious the collapse of the dollar is for the global economy, nor the long-term consequences of this decline for the position of the US in the world. Sure, they grumble about prices in London and find it odd that US lawyers want to be transferred to the UK because they can earn more money here. But at a fundamental level, to judge by the conversations I have had in recent weeks, I don't think the US financial community appreciates quite what peril it is in.

Leanan, I cant decide if I should plant more banana trees or add a couple of more naval orange trees to the yard. I make more on the bananas but their shelf life is nill, more competition selling oranges. Tough call but one faced by many in the third world...and I am beginning to feel more like I live in the third world as each day passes.

If you can find a way to keep them under about 12°C, they have a shelf life of AGES - that's how all the big companies do year-round perfectly ripe supermarket bananas... Course, third world refrigeration can be a bit fiddly, and you'd need a pretty big yard for break even!

Jaymax (cornucomer-doomopian)

The most telling aspect of this article is this:

Every year, the US has to borrow around 6 per cent of its GDP just to pay for its imports. Until a few months ago it was able to do so. Foreign investors were impressed by the sales pitch they got from the US banking community: buy these sophisticated financial instruments our brilliant maths experts have created and you will get a higher return than you can get from anywhere else. Now those US bankers don't look so smart and more than one non-US investor has indicated to me they felt they have been stuffed with rubbish. They won't trust those bankers again.

So, the third new element: trust in US financial sophistication has been shattered. The problem is not just the dollar; it is the integrity of US financial institutions. The pitch that the US has more transparent and more resilient markets than other countries is no longer credible.

The fraud and greed associated with the mortgage binge and the creation of mortgage based securities has damaged the US more than anything else. In fact, I believe it has damaged US credibility more than the Iraq war has. The first was created by Wall Street, the other by Washington. At least those in Washington can be elected out of office.

The first was created by Wall Street, the other by Washington. At least those in Washington can be elected out of office.

More exactly, WS via MSM offers up two sides of the same beast and asks us to choose one or the other.

They are not elected, they are installed. Some of us finally learned that after 2000 & 2004.

Those who learned say: Go RON PAUL.


I hate Ron Paul -- I hate him because every kiddie on the Net has to tell me constantly how great he is.

Dr. Paul looks good only because the others are vacuum of space sucking.

Most Americans have been advised by "professionals" to not invest more than 10-15% of their retirement portfolios internationally. Most end up investing not a penny beyond the US borders. This way, they are sure to have maximum exposure to a declining US$, while remaining blissfully unaware of the extent to which they are being defrauded.

To the vast majority of US'ians, the rest of the world does not exist.

Or it's full of "commies" or something.

I'm a rare bird in the US, having had a US passport. I still have the thing, but it's expired.

Most 'Murricans can't even percieve, much less think about, the fact that the Dow was 13000 in dollars or Euros a few years ago, and now is about 13000 in dollars but only about 8000 in Euros.

The Ohio Eastern Federal District Court has just dropped a financial bombshell into the middle of the sub-prime market/bundled CDOs debacle. According to Judge Boyko the securtized trusts OWN NOTHING...not even the bad loans they funded...and the trusts cannot foreclose on mortgages that they were illegally assigned. I might even unmute MSNBC when they get around to discussing this turn of events...

Deutsche Bank Foreclosures Tossed Out of Ohio Federal Court - "They Own Nothing!"
Posted by Moe at 11/13/2007 10:33 AM and is filed under Stop Foreclosure,Mortgage Law


'Judge Boyko issued an order requiring the Plaintiffs in a number of pending foreclosure cases to file a copy of the executed Assignment demonstrating Plaintiff (Deutsche Bank) was the holder and owner of the Note and Mortgage as of the date the Complaint was filed, or the court would enter a dismissal.

The Court's amended General Order No. 2006-16 requires Plaintiff (Deutsche Bank) to submit an affidavit along with the complaint, which identifies Plaintiff as the original mortgage holder, or as an assignee, trustee or successor-interest.

Apparently Deutsche bank submitted several affidavits that claim that Deutsche was in fact the owner of the mortgage note, but none of these affidavits mention assignment or trust or successor interest.

Thus, the Judge ruled that in every instance, these submissions create a "conflict" and they "do not satisfy" the burden of demonstrating at the time of filing the complaint, that Deutsche Bank was in fact the "legal" note holder.

While the decision is great for homeowners in distress (due to providing a new escape hatch out of foreclosure), it is a big blow to the cause of sorting out the high-finance side of the mortgage mess.'...snip...

(April Charny added) 'This court order is what I have been saying in my cases. This is rampant fraud on every court in America or nonjudicial foreclosure fraud where the securitized trusts are filing foreclosures when they never own/hold the mortgage loan at the commencement of the foreclosure.

That means that the loans are clearly in default at the time of any eventual transfer of the ownership of the mortgage loans to the trusts. This means that the loans are being held by the originating lenders after the alleged "sale" to the trust despite what it says per the pooling and servicing agreements and despite what the securities laws require.

This also means that many securitized trusts don't really, legally own these bad loans.

In my cases, many of the trusts try to argue equitable assignment that predates the filing of the foreclosure, but a securitized trust cannot take an equitable assignment of a mortgage loan. It also means that the securitized trusts own nothing.

So with this decision, it appears confirmed that investors in the mortgage debacle may in fact own nothing---not even the bad loans they funded! It seems their right to the cash flow from the underlying properties does not extend to ownership of the properties themselves; thus clouding the recovery picture considerably.

Charney further remarked to us:

This opinion, once circulated and adopted by state and Federal courts across the country, will stop the progress of foreclosures, at first in judicial foreclosure states, across America, dead in their tracks.

We agree with additional remarks Charney made pointing out that this decision has major adverse implications for the prospects of an amicable financial workout for the various investor contingents in mortgage-backed securities (MBSes). Doubt is cast on where the full write-downs will eventually land, and this uncertainty can only be expected to further harm the market value of MBS and MBS-based synthetic securities, already in shambles purely due to rising underlying delinquencies. Investors in these securities might have assumed---wrongly, it turns out---that they actually owned some "real estate" in these deals.'

To paraphrase Jim Cramer, "They own nothing!"

They bought the right to the cash flow from the property but not the property itself?

The home owner doesn't own it, the SIV owner doesn't own it, but assets don't just float away free like that. The originator of the mortgage still owns the property? And they've already had and presumably pissed away the SIV owner's dollars?

It is a game of hot potato with a financial hand grenade and it would appear that this puts the explosive parcel back in the laps of those who ran the scam. I would classify that as 'good".

Big picture - I don't like it, even if it helps the home owners. We end up crutching the unsustainable suburbs a couple of more years and that is time/money not spent on remediation.

Sorry to break this to you SCT, but there will be NO remediation. "We" will work to keep the current non-sustainable system going for as long as we possibly can. The best you can hope for is the sort of tripe we get from the mainstream gw promoters, that saving the planet can be a growth industry.

I do not think our so called leaders will initiate remediation, but we are not the king of the hill any more. The dollar's slide and our even faster dropping international goodwill have put the Bush administration into the same position a publicly held company faces when the P&L has been supported by raiding the balance sheet just a little too long.

We seem to face two choices - are we to shrink as gracefully as we can given the circumstances, or we lash out and make a global mess, then shrink less gracefully? The Bush administration couldn't do the right thing when times were good and I have zero confidence in how they will face the public becoming aware of peak oil. The Democrats are little better, but unlike the Republicans where orders go top down to the supporters those on the Democratic side of the aisle often face furious, focused criticism from their partisans.

Both are short, dull knives with which to face the charging beasts of economic collapse, climate change, and peak oil.

Again, I apologize for pointing this out, but it isn't those in Washington who call the shots. They may control a large and potent institution backed by a huge military, but the shape of our world is the result of decisions made elsewhere. And it's not just a matter of global capital's ability to direct societies, but the cultural inertia resulting from past decisions as well.

Yes, it is true that we are aboard an aircraft carrier in a bath tub with little ability to change our direction. But worse, not only the captain, but the most of the crew think we are best served by continuing to steer for the drain.

or some of the tripe from the 'popular feel good here is my romantic plan' people here.

Thanks shaman, for the reminder of the real inconvenient truth.

Blimey mate! Bit of a sticky wicket, what?

'The originator of the mortgage still owns the property? And they've already had and presumably pissed away the SIV owner's dollars?'

Perhaps the originator of the mortgage took the SIV owner's dollars and reinvested those dollars in more sub-prime mortgages? That would be the normal process of fractional reserve banking, would it not? Add infinum, and what do you have?...Like attempting to unravel a very large ball of cooked spaghetti, dried in the sun for several days, without breaking any of the noodles during the unraveling process...

I wonder if Ben is going to procure helicopters for the Fed or if he will borrow some from our forces in Iraq?

pissed away the SIV owner's dollars?

took the SIV owner's dollars and reinvested those dollars in more sub-prime mortgages?

Yours is less scatalogical, but they are logically the same statement.

SCT, I am not disagreeing with you...I think you are dead on. I am just pointing out the absurdity of the entire debacle. As Rosanne Rosanna Danna would say...'What a Mess!'

Go back a day or two here to the item "In Re foreclosure cases" and read the finding of the court as well as the comments.


There is also a earlier thread when the thing first came out and the writer of the original blog was utterly unable to defend his position.

It's basically a bunch of ambulance chasing lawyers hustling fees from people already in foreclosure. They need to get the freeloaders howling to make a buck.

The home owner doesn't own it, the SIV owner doesn't own it, but assets don't just float away free like that. The originator of the mortgage still owns the property? And they've already had and presumably pissed away the SIV owner's dollars?

Question is, can the holder of the SIV sue the originator of the mortgage? Was there misrepresentation of what was being sold?(surely, there must have been)

Does this mean instant bankruptcy for the Countrywides out there?

What about the holders of the SIV's, do they now have to mark them all down to ZERO and take a writedown for the full amount?

Does this mean the Citigroups out there are going to collapse?

This ruling has such far reaching implications, it's staggering.

Anyone, anywhere, any time is free to sue anyone they choose. One has to have "standing", which means that you have to actually have some interest in the matter in question. The SIV holders certainly have that.

Legal filings and opinions and such appear to be English, but they're not. One needs a lawyer or paralegal to interpret the details. Someone with a BAR number has stated that this is just procedural - judge kicking a state level issue out of federal court if I recall correctly. This time that might be the case, but I think in principle the litigation on this one will be to lawyerdom what the 82nd Airborne drop into Normandy was for paratroopers - the epic battle that defines the profession.

http://ml-implode.com chronicles the failure of mortgage lenders since about this time last year. Funny you should mention Countrywide, as their specialty lending group just imploded yesterday.


I don't know how staggering any ruling will be - this stuff is going to get warmer and warmer, burst into flames, and those flames are going to be licking all around House and Senate candidates very soon. It'll stop being a civil court problem and become a national legislative issue very shortly.

No, the bank (in this case Deutsche) does own the loans and can foreclose. The judge is just making them go back and clean up their sloppy documentation.


Cleaning up documentation that came from ...

Imploded mortgage companies?

All kidding aside, how do they track down paperwork when the originating entity is dust in the wind?

Curmudgeon, thanks for the link. I am not a lawyer but could easily understand the situation as explained at CalculatedRisk. For the sake of all involved it appears that the judge is doing the right thing.

Frankly, the judge is doing the right thing. My question is where is the money coming from that doesn't require due dilligence before the loan is funded?

I noticed a bunch of loans being resold that were on property with no legal discription in the Chihuahuan desert about 1.5 years ago. The land literally could not be found from the discription on the deed, and if it was on the property I think the deeds covered, the land was salt flats near Guadalupe Mountain National Park and sold for $25-$50 per acre about the year 2000. Worthless. The lenders had lent $500-$800 per acre by buying some owner financed contracts for deeds not on records. In other words, the ownership wasn't on record and therefore didn't exist. I couldn't figure out why nobody used a title company or got a lawyer just as reasonable due dilligence.

Then a light bulb came on in the cartoon frame above my head. These weren't real estate transactions, even though they had a bunch of people supposedly buying land over the internet and some forms that looked like a deed to anyone that knew how to read a deed. These are money laundering transactions. The crook that sold the property for $800 per acre to the internet fools got maybe 50% of the value of the contract for deed in cash-suitcases full. The money launderer had a bunch of notes being paid every month for $100 a month or so for 10 to 20 years and the cash became legitimate income. The mafioso who was laundering the money was happy if he got 70% or 80% of the people buying the property to pay the notes- a handsome profit if you only pay 50% of the note's value. The IRS had a bunch of notes to explain where all those payments going to the money launderer came from. The mullet with a ten acre hunting property bought on Ebay got a little upset when he came to see his Texas cattle ranch and found out it was going to cost more money to survey the property than the land was worth, but anyone who would buy a piece of land sight unseen in another state is truly asking for their money to be stolen. And since the oil company was paying me a lot of money to try to figure out something that can't be figured out or straightened out, I was happy. The tax Appraisal District was a bit flumoxed by the whole deal, but since their District Attorney and the County Attorney did nothing, I'd guess they were happy. The oil company had a lease from the state and just didn't know who to give a few bukd to for permission to drive a seismic thumper truck through the area, so they changed their route a little to get the images they wanted, so they were happy.Its a wonderful life!

Bob Ebersole

Sounds like something staight out of Black Money by Michael M. Thomas - well worth reading for anyone who wants to know why Wall Street and the City of London have such expensive lawyers and bankers

Herein lies the problem...they didn't really know what they owned...a piece of worthless paper.

The volatility this week has many facets, but not insignificantly the YEN carry trade unwind which blew through key supports late last week.


This use of borrowed money means these shifts in markets can be sudden, as we have seen in recent weeks. Indeed, such a tendency can be self-fulfilling, since investors know their rivals will also want to change their positions quickly.

But what is driving sentiment in the first place? Clearly, there has been a feeling that the worst news about the credit crunch has yet to emerge. As one investor puts it: “It's rather like fishing with dynamite. The tiddlers come to the surface quite quickly. It takes a while for the big fish to float to the surface.

Or if you are in the mood for some more economic reality (and some doom throw about wildly)

Yesterday's Mogambo


Perhaps Mike Whitney of InformationClearingHouse.info sums it up best when he says "The news is all bad. The nation's economic foundation is in shambles. US credibility is shot. Bush and Greenspan have put us on the road to ruin. Now their work is done. We're flat broke."

Sounds similar to the "grinding to a halt" statement from Monday.

Stock market fell like rock in the afternoon, a bloomberg story as to "why" had the judges decision listed first in why bank and financial stocks took a dive. Also oil stocks fell,


I first read about this possibility happening on a conspiracy board several months ago. Someone asked if there was anything they could do to keep from being foreclosed on. Someone gave the same exact tactic used in this court case as something to look into using an attorney. Gave the same reasoning used here and what to look for in documents and tracking them (if you could). They said this was going to be a factor, and they were right. Seems to me, this is a large hiccup for the markets. All that money tied up, and people not knowing what to do IF they can make payments, people perhaps that can pay see this as a way to pile on. All the while money not "flowing" and debts are landing somewhere. While the courts and if this holds, Congress will have to become involved, and will it expose what really happened here.

I see that many here say the judge has it right, as the law goes. How long to work its way to the Supreme Court, and what will they do.

Yea, Grind is right, someone just threw a shoe into one of the gears that makes the economy work, and a Federal judge backed it up.

Fascinating, one small case can have such far reaching effects, and the markets wait to see.

Questions if anyone familiar with Federal law on this knows,

is there an appeal automatically, or do they have to show a reason.

Can this ruling be used as precedent in future/pending cases in other jurisdictions by homeowners.

What happens if different judges rule contrary to this opinion. (on the same level as this judge in cases brought in other jurisdictions0

Can one pick which jurisdiction to fight the foreclosure since its a Federal fight.

I'm a lawyer (I know, go ahead and make the jokes). I haven't read this decision but I can tell you there is no appeal as a matter of right. An appeal is warranted only if there was some error made in the trial court. Having said that, you can bet they will come up with many alleged errors on which to base an appeal.

While I agree that things are as bad if not worse then they say, the data these guys mention fails to consider the liquidity that is taken out.

They are a lot smarter then that, so the only logical conclusion is that they are trying to sell something.

The NYFed site is kind of hard to navigate, but here you have the exact same data every day in a clear format.


Total BS spewed by radical deadbeat advocates.

It is just a procedural issue, and the intent by the judge is not to have foreclosures in federal court. They always have been a state court issue.
It will cost the bank a few grand to get the paperwork straight.

At best the deadbeats are going to get a couple of months of free rent.

There have been numerous discussions over the last days over on the Calculated Risk blog, including the posting of the actual court resolution.

Good for Boyko though, the banks should keep their paperwork straight.

State issue, procedural?

procedural, I'm not an attorney, but being someone involved in a dispute that crosses both these lines, I don't see it that simple.

These are corporations, and they may or may not be registered to do business in the state they old some notes in. So how can they sue, if they didn't have a presence.

In my experience state law in many matters very often "mirrors" Federal law. Varies state to state I'm sure,.

Can you give us Musashi an example of State law governing mortgages and how the law differs from Federal Statutes, and yes, can you tell us, if that state also says that Federal law preempts State law.

Why did the note holder not immediately counter-sue in Federal (whoops STATE COURT) court when originally sued if its so simple,

I'm not a lawyer either, but I do know that every state has different laws.

They go to Fed Court when they can show diversity (in Fed court this is location or jurisdiction, not race) because they can bundle a bunch of procedures and it saves them a wagon load of travel expenses and legal fees.

They can get the papers straightened out and re file in the same court or go and refile individual cases at any court level they want, but then it costs them as far as travel and legal expenses in going to each little jurisdiction to fight individual cases.

While the judge is right and basically mocking the banks lawyers if you read the judgment, the intent is to be difficult and force them back to local courts. They don't want foreclosures in Fed Court.
Totally different level, kind of like a kid with a Honda Civic with a boom can exhaust showing up to qualify for the Indy 500. He gets laughed out of town but the record reads that he was 1.6# over weight and needs to run around the block a few times or something like that.

If you read the data and the judgment, no one, not even the judge questions the leagl right of the bank to foreclose, they just have to go and spend more money, retrieve original papers from trust repositories and cross the t's and dot the i's.

They are going to get foreclosed one way or another. It's kind of like a divorce. You can be civilized and sit down over tea and make a business arrangement and everyone more or less gets what they want, or be an azzhat, drag it out for the the lawyers to get rich and get a ton of bricks dropped on your head.

There is one angle to this that IMO no one has even looked at yet. I'm not going to say what it is, but it perhaps could be a way for investors to force the sub prime paper back on the banks. Makes no difference to the people in foreclosure, they are toast either way, so it isn't relevant to the discussion.

You made me look on this differently - ta.

Looking at it this way, whoever holds title (likely the initial arranger/lender) doesn't want to be left holding all the debt, but Deutsche Bank will sue them to that effect if they've sold Deutsche Bank the mortgage without the collateral.

Deutsche Bank want to foreclose, but court says they can't 'cos they haven't formally got title.

There is now a STRONG incentive on both the initial arranger/lender and Deutschebank be nice with each other to get the title formally transferred; after which, the court will allow Deutsche Bank to proceed.

Have I got that right?

Jaymax (cornucomer-doomopian)

Though I doubt the transfer is that clean. Deutsche bought the notes from,.. where. What will give them the right to go directly back to the loan originator, even if they bought it "next". What rights will the loan holder have to "stop" this new agreement, that they did not authorize. What kind of lawsuits will be filed by homeowners attorneys to stop that.

How many times was it rolled over before they received it. The people below Deutsche have been paid, what incentive is there for them to now play nice and have the possibility they become a loser.

Will they not have to play "nice" and backtrack each and everyone and regain the rights from the beginning, IF they can even legally do that. What incentive is there, and will each entity have each and every piece of the ORIGINAL paperwork. Original signatures et al for each and every loan, on paper. The original signing documents. They will need them to prove that such a loan was done it seems to prove you have a debt assigned to the person that bought the home.

I don't think you need to untangle individual transactions, if things are as messy as they seem, people will settle for roughly equivalent proxy stocks - only this time they'll want it in actual title's to actual discreet stock rather than amorphous investment instruments.

So if both banks are happy to oblige each other, DB pays $1 for a block of titles of roughly equivalent value.

It matters not much whether the titles they end up holding are the ones they thought they had - or possibly even whether the value is closer to 60% or 90%, so long as it's more than 0%

Jaymax (cornucomer-doomopian)

How many times was it rolled over before they received it. The people below Deutsche have been paid, what incentive is there for them to now play nice and have the possibility they become a loser.

Will they not have to play "nice" and backtrack each and everyone and regain the rights from the beginning, IF they can even legally do that. What incentive is there, and will each entity have each and every piece of the ORIGINAL paperwork. Original signatures et al for each and every loan, on paper. The original signing documents. They will need them to prove that such a loan was done it seems to prove you have a debt assigned to the person that bought the home.

Exactly. This is the argument being made by lawyers fighting forclosure. Unless the entity filing for forclosure can prove they actually hold the mortgage note in question, they can't forclose. And since these financial instruments have been bundled and rebundled, tracing the path between mortgage financial instrument holder and originator could be quite difficult. Also, with the slicing and dicing, how many investors can claim a piece of the mortgage? Surely the cost of pursuing this avenue far exceeds any potential return.

I looked around and this blogger has some perspective on this. Note that they do not yet have the details, but if you read what this person says, it can be corrected, but, its going to cost, and its possible that from very sloppy procedures they could have real problems, and/or great expense in correcting each and everyone individually.

Lawyers can make the process expensive and draw it out.

This process also means "no one" owns title. The homeowner will not have the title, that brings up a property tax issue (who pays the taxes and property taxes are coming due for many)

Caveat emptor,


This site is obviously a great resource.

Is it polite to make a suggestion with your first comment? :)

I was wondering why the Oil Drum for the world is the same as Oil Drum USA.

Because we're US-based.

I think originally, the plan was for the "baby TODs" to stand on their own, separate from the "Mothership." But that didn't work out too well, so we're becoming more integrated.

Recycling gone bad: You thought re-using disposable chopsticks without washing them was icky? How about recycling used condoms...as hair ornaments.

Used condoms that have been reprocessed into rubber bands and hair ties have been sold in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, raising concerns about public health.

In addition to being sold at local bazaars, the recycled condoms have been found at local beauty salons in the prosperous Pearl River Delta city, according to Guangzhou-based New Express Daily.

"These cheap and colorful rubber bands and hair ties sell well in the city, threatening the health of local people and tourists," the paper said.

Here's to hoping these products are not exported.

modern day version of notches on a belt?

Re: Greer's article on fascism and feudalism:

Are fascism and feudalism opposites? I am not so sure. Seems like feudalism is sort of like relocalized fascism. Anyway, when most people today talk about neo-feudalism, they mostly mean an increased concentration of wealth, destroying the middle class. Perhaps it's a misuse of the word, but that's the intended meaning. And when they say fascism, they mean the breakdown of constitutional rule under a militaristic regime, as seems to be currently happening in the USA. The latter can be used to further the aim of ever-greater concentration of wealth via means that go beyond what is possible in a truly free market. E.g., "military spending" is a forced redistribution of wealth from productive members of society to the economic parasites linked to the government. Thus the, perhaps misnamed, but all too real "fascism-feudalism".

I was amazed by Greer's sensationalism regarding blowing up bridges in Willits (CA). I don't know where he got that information but at least the blowing up part doesn't reflect reality. I live in the town north of Willits and have driven through it for over 30 years.

The main north-south highway (Hwy 101) has no bridges to the south. There is an overpass about 10 miles south but blowing it up wouldn't close the highway since people could drive via the on and off ramps.

There is a bridge to the north. However, there is a good local road that comes out on the other side of the bridge so that wouldn't close the road either.

Finally, one road originates (Hwy 20) in Willits that goes west and terminates at the Pacific Ocean, has bridges but it is often two lane with huge trees on each side. Why blow a bridge when you can fell a tree across the road easier?

I don't know if the supposed bridge blowers in Willits read TOD but guys...the California Highway Patrol has plans in place to close the road if necessary. They have had them for years. No one will be going any place unless they can prove that's where they live.


Wikipedia on Willits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willits

Pop: 5000+ (not tiny)

Is the town supplied from the north?

Maybe the city officials, if asked, would present their plan for peak oil on the Oil Drum.

(At least) Jason Bradford has posted on TOD.

Investors Seek Strong Environmental Measures in Energy Bill

(CSRwire) WASHINGTON, DC - November 15, 2007 - More than two-dozen leading investors, who manage retirement funds for millions of Americans, today sent a letter to Congress urging passage of a national energy bill that includes strong measures for expanding clean energy, reducing oil dependence and curbing global warming pollution.

The investors collectively manage more than $1.4 trillion in assets.

Their recommendations do not include an increase in the RFP (i.e. ethanol). And from yesterday's news posted elsewhere:

Energy Bill Update: Will Renewables Be a Part of the Political Landscape?

3 pm Aug 14
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi [had] publicly stated that they would separate the tax incentives and RPS from the energy bill in order to pass it before the Thanksgiving recess.

Now, because of increased pressure from industry associations, their members and other concerned citizens, Congressional leaders say they are still looking at all possible options for the energy bill and that a decision on final language probably won't come until next month.

They're backing off for now. Still time to call.

From the article summary:

In the wake of 9/11, some of us pleaded for a “patriot tax” on gasoline of $1 or more a gallon to diminish the transfers of wealth we were making to the very countries who were indirectly financing the ideologies of intolerance that were killing Americans and in order to spur innovation in energy efficiency by U.S. manufacturers.

I don't understand how that's supposed to work. In the EU or Japan they have planned their societies to be much less dependent on oil and cars than we have. Indeed, over the past fifty years the U.S. has spent trillions of dollars building elaborate highway systems and cities which more or less require a car to get around. Public transportation has been torpedoed.

At one point in 1999 a barrel of oil cost $12. Now it's in the mid 90s, yet demand, AFAIK, has gone no where but up in the States. Would a $1 tax really do anything?

'Great American Streetcar Scandal' from Wiki...or, why we have a poor public transportation system...

I have not seen this posted here before but feel certain that it must have been at some time...maybe its time to post it again? For those that dont believe in conspiracies, simply disregard this post.


'The Great American Streetcar Scandal, also known as the General Motors streetcar conspiracy, refers to General Motors, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil of California and Phillips Petroleum forming the National City Lines (NCL) holding company, which acquired most streetcar systems throughout the United States, dismantled them, and replaced them with buses in the early 20th century. The scandal alleges[attribution needed] that NCL's companies had an ulterior motive to forcibly gain mass use of the automobile among the U.S. population by buying up easy-to-use mass light rail transportation countrywide and dismantling it, leaving populations with little choice but to drive.

By the time the scandal was brought to court and its perpetrators identified and penalized, its intended result had already been achieved. The judge presiding thought that the scandal was of little real consequence: GM was fined $5,000 and each executive was ordered to pay a fine of $1.'...snip...

One of the early jobs of Ed Tennyson (who I have used as an invaluable resource) was as a staff member of the prosecution of GM.

Best Hopes for Ed,


Would a $1 tax really do anything?

I'm pretty sure it would create a "taxpayer revolt."

Over 35 million Americans faced hunger in 2006: USDA

Overall, 35.52 million people, including 12.63 million children, went hungry compared with 35.13 million in 2005. The survey was conducted in December 2006 and represented 294 million people, an increase of 2.5 million from 2005.

Food advocacy groups said the figures showed the United States was not doing enough to combat hunger, and feared conditions could worsen.

"As costs for food, energy, and housing continue to rise and wages stagnate or decline, households are finding themselves increasingly strapped," said Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center. "This may mean even worse numbers in 2007."

The numbers don't include the homeless.

I think it is going to get worse. Every morning, when I'm trolling for energy news, I see more and more stories about food pantries that can't get enough food - because of high food and fuel costs.

Another economic data point...

American dream a nightmare for many blacks: study

Black Americans are failing to climb the social ladder, while a worrying number born into the middle classes are now actually poorer than their parents, according to a study released on Tuesday.

The report by Brookings Institution scholar Julia Isaacs found blacks were missing out on a cherished American dream that their children will be economically better off.

"Children from middle- and upper middle-class black families experience a generational drop in income that is in sharp contrast to the traditional American expectation that each generation will do better than the one that came before it," she wrote.

This story was all over the news the other day, with talking heads blaming racism, the hip-hop culture, etc.

I'm sure those all play a part, but I suspect this is a canary in the coal mine. Minorities are vulnerable, but WASPs won't be immune. Hip-hop culture or no hip-hop culture.

And you know who's going to get blamed - Whitey. Well, yeah, historicallly Whitey has a lot to answer for, but white/black cultures in the US are very different. Whites may seem like mean bastards if you're black, but unlike the situation in that famous Saturday Night Live skit, whites are not all lovey-dovey and nice to each other when out of the eyesight of blacks. Whites are mean bastards to each other, too.

What's happening in the US is a class war, but you can bet race will be used as much as it possibly can be to try to hide the real class issues.

Class is as much as an excuse as race, just for some it provides a leg-up in the power stakes even before the real action begins.

When things get tight, so long as you can point the finger and say 'them' it really doesn't matter what the basis is: Race, religion, class... all just excuses to define an outgroup to make the ingroup more cohesive and therefore powerful.

Class is less easily identified, and so I suspect in the long run, will likely get dropped as the basis for war - I hypothesize that you only see proper class wars historically in places that were pretty homogeneous in terms of race and religion.
Jaymax (cornucomer-doomopian)

Class is less easily identified

I dunno, I see poor people daily whom most people choose not to see. Once you've reached what the others allow to be invisible, it is pretty clear cut. Perhaps a rich person will choose to live as a poor person and write a book, Poverty Stricken Like Me.

Our American cultural myth about living in a classless society has never been challenged by the mainstream to the extent race has been, albeit many people now feel "that problem is solved." It was pretty clear based on race people were being denied opportunity. If someone is poor, it's still generally either "their fault" rather than anything systemic that might be underlying it.

Class is identified by which side of the railroad tracks you live on.

Among whites, it's them that live in trailers who are disposable "trash".

When things get tight, so long as you can point the finger and say 'them' it really doesn't matter what the basis is: Race, religion, class... all just excuses to define an outgroup to make the ingroup more cohesive and therefore powerful.

Agreed. Everything's always about race in the US, but if it weren't race, it would be something else. Probably religion. Or whether you eat a boiled egg from the big end or the little end.

I'll go further, and say this is the basis of community. There's no "us" if there's no "them."

I'll go further, and say this is the basis of community. There's no "us" if there's no "them.

A very interesting, if not damning, observation.

Now you've done it. Now you've made me have to think about something I wouldn't have otherwise.

Something is best defined as What It Is in the presence of What It Isn't.


I think you are mistaken. Just because people are mean to you does not mean they are mean to each other.

BTW are you ironing your robe right now?

Nope robe's done, that's the easy part - the hard part's the pointy hat. You'd never think the hat'd be more likely to get oil stains from the burning cross, but it is, it is. And that stuff's so hard to get out too! Shout works if you get to it right quick...

Now seriously, I'm painting with a very broad brush here. I just wanted to point out there are some cultural differences between WASP culture and the "warmer" black culture. WASP culture is based largely on a sort of social Darwinism, very individualistic and competitive. And I think there's a misperception that whites can't possibly be as mean to each other as they are to "us" where "us" means us blacks, us hispanics, etc., so it's gotta be they're treating us different. And since I get to see white culture from the inside, I can say that it isn't so. The coldness and competitiveness and "getting over on the other guy" even when the other guy's family or friend, isn't a mask. It's full time. If the largely WASP ruling class in the US is sh!tting on black folks etc well, it's sh!tting on us working class whites too. We're in this together as a CLASS.

But the entire society of the South was built to do exactly what you fear; manufacture a race war in order to get away with intra-white class exploitation.

The South was settled by excess English noblemen and a bunch of convicts, Scottish bastards and Irish near-slaves. This was no basis for a legitimate social order. In 1676 the whole system nearly unraveled in Virginia when a nobleman started Bacon's Rebellion, trying to impose his own kingdom by promising the indentured servants their freedom. When he was defeated, the barons had to give the indentureds a stake in the system. So they were given not only their freedom, but a little land. Not enough to live well on, of course. To replace their labor, Caribbean-style slavery was imported on a large scale for the first time. How do you create a sense of solidarity between plantation owners and scary proto-rednecks? You create a society where property rights are officially defined by skin color. No matter how little land a redneck had, the fact that he had land made him one of the patriarchs, just like in the Bible, while the blacks were the Sons of Ham. His violent urges towards his landlord could be displaced onto the body of any slave, even if he couldn't afford to own one. Religion, race and class meshed perfectly in creating a culture so durable that losing the Civil War hardly fazed it. In fact I would say that the first "American" identity that ever existed was this patriarchy.

Until white populists acknowledge that the crime of slavery was carried out partially to keep poor whites deluded as to what side of the line they were really on, America will have what it always had, two Right wings outweighing a spindly left wing composed of blacks, recent immigrants and a few disgruntled white radicals. But look how successful this twisted model has been! If America had never had blacks, it would have had labor relations just like Europe's, with class hatreds unconfused by skin tone, and the workers inevitably turning unions into socialist parties enacting redistribution. (The New Deal coalition was the nearest we ever got, and poor whites benefitted enormously in every way but their wounded racist pride, so they betrayed it for Reaganism.) Our businessmen have benefitted greatly from the divided working class and created a prosperity that only a few of us have learned to see through.

If whites ever acknowledged that their sainted ancestors had been suckers, oh the humiliation! It would mean, God forbid, that blacks have had a more accurate analysis of the American social system for 350 years than whites. The refusal of blacks to assimilate into parts of the value system of the oppressor seems more noble than the pathetic attempts of whites to suck up to their bosses with one face and pretend to be self-made Jeffersonian yeoman farmers with the other.

Best hopes for Bacon's Rebellion II.

Our businessmen have benefitted greatly from the divided working class and created a prosperity that only a few of us have learned to see through.

Word. That dynamic is very much a part of the history of Hawaii. That's why there are so many different ethnic groups there. They didn't want too many of any one ethnic group, for fear they would organize. So once there were a certain number from one country, they would ban further imports, and go on to to a new country. The plantation owners were careful to separate their workers by ethnic group, so they wouldn't learn each other's languages. They played them off against each other, house slave vs. field slave style. And they resisted statehood as long as possible, because they didn't want to be subject to US labor laws.

Super390 - Yes, beautiful. You apply the dictum "Know the enemy" well. But we all need to Know the enemy, and that's the ruling class. If my upbringing was anything like that of most whites, we're raised to think that George Washington (slave owner) is a sort of family member, just one who won't visit on the weekend because he lived a long time ago. Ditto for Ben Franklin (as far as I know he was cool), Andrew Jackson (slave owner and Indian slaughterer), Henry Ford (Nazi nut) and so on right up to the present President (fall guy for the crimes of the Imperium).

I don't think there are many working-class Brits who actually think of their Royal family in this way. If my scholarly study of the VIZ Comic is anything to go by, they tend to consider them to be parasites.

Best hopes indeed for Bacon's Rebellion II.

parasites? ... wot Phil the Greek? ... how dare you suggest such a thing? :-)


Big miracle, we agree on something. That is exactly the design they are using.

You just missed the target with the last paragraph. I guess you have never been to Montana, Wyoming or Idaho.

The basic premise is true across all racial groups, but writing the same article substituting asian or white for black is unthinkable in the US.

Yep and working-class whites are not just a scapegoat, they are THE scapegoat in the US right now.

Best book I've read about it is called The Redneck Manifesto by Jim Goad. It was written in the 80s and Jim has not only a very good condensed history of the white working class in the US, but he points to the real problem, which is CLASS. And shows how the working - class seem to be losing ground strangely ..... he spotted the trend early, since it was the late 80s when he wrote it, and what he's seen has only become stronger in the intervening 20 years.

(It still doesn't get you white folks in the trailer park off the hook if you're complaining about not being able to afford mac'n'cheese but supporting 3 cell phones and a big cable package though...!)

...but supporting 3 cell phones and a big cable package though...!

Disconnect may be a terminal condition until those devices suffer it too.

fleam -

I am quite familar with the book 'Redneck Manifesto' and think it's right on as far as the situation with regard to contemporary rural working class whites. Jim Goad's main contribution to the current socioeconomic debate is that he exposes the hypocrisy of the affluent, academic, white liberal politically correct crowd. In educated, sophisticated circles there is but one socioeconomic group that one can impune without fear of retribution: Po' white trash.

If you should be unwise enough to call an Afro-American a ni#@er, your academic career is toast. But should you call rural poor whites 'crackers' or 'rednecks',or 'po white trash', your fellow travelers will knowingly chuckle and nod their heads in agreement. It is but a further indication of how the white elite has become even more removed from the white working class, whose main disadvantage is that they do not have the racial card to play. Ditto for the poor white European immigrants: the dagos, the micks, the polacks, the bohunks, the krauts, .... the whatevers.

Naturally, the financial elites of the US want to maintain the fiction that the US is a classless society, but the lower orders intuitively know better. If I were a member of the current US power structure, I would fear the rapidly rising anger amongst the white lower classes far more than the expected and more or less perpetual anger coming from the poor rural and urban blacks and hispanics.

The pressure is building fast, but those who are comfortable will chose to ignore it until the last possible moment.

'You never saw the frowns on the faces of the jugglers and the clowns,

...when they did their tricks .... for you... "

If I were a member of the current US power structure, I would fear the rapidly rising anger amongst the white lower classes far more than the expected and more or less perpetual anger coming from the poor rural and urban blacks and hispanics.

No you wouldn't.

That's because you would live in a gated "exclusive" community somewhere far away from the maddened crowd.

Locally I can find a 'Black owned Business' phone directory and a 'Latin American Business' phone directory.

Last hired, first fired.

super390 - Rodger dodger old codger! That's what I experienced as a white in Hawaii, some of that in California too, but there's probably a lot the other way around here - I'm in a very white area. I hear some pretty anti-black/mexican stuff said around here. And I just nod'n'smile, too, just like when you'n'your friends and dissing Whitey. I've had a life full of this stuff and just don't want to mess with it any more.

It felt pretty strange coming to the Mainland US as a yong adult and being "OK" walking down the street. That was weird. And being able to hang out at the beach on my motorcycle and not be the only white there and be OK - even with the cops.

This is the issue that will probably prevent me from ever going back to Hawaii, no matter how much I love the place. If I want to live in a tropical climate, all I have to do is go to Florida or Georgia and master the cracker patois, and I'm IN.

I was really struck by a foreclosure statistic yesterday--that for every one percentage point increase in the foreclosure rate, violent crime increases by 2.33%. Makes one wonder what the increase in property crime is for each one percentage point increase in the foreclosure rate. And, in an interesting twist, outlying suburban areas with high foreclosure rates may become increasingly unsafe, relative to closer in areas.

Also, I wonder at what point that we will see smash and grab burglaries where people start breaking into houses, restaurants, etc. to steal food.

WT - there's been quite a bit of study of those phenomena, and maybe Leanan will find more articles pertaining to that and to PO - probably will be more violent gas thefts for instance.

And anyone younger than mid-40s will hardly have experienced a Little Red Reader/On Cherry Street childhood anyway. Remember Ted Rall's excellent book Revenge Of The Latchkey Kids was a 1980s work. All ages will be committing crimes, but it will be mainly younger folks who as products of our "f*ck you" culture are sure to be eager to show they can give as good as they can get.

The BBC is trying to figure out if there is Bias in Climate Change Science...

Climate sceptics

In a recent survey of 140 climate scientists:

-- 18 percent found the IPCC too alarming

-- 82 percent either thought the IPCC represented a reasonable consensus – or said it was not alarming enough

-- 17 percent of the survey above fear that the IPCC’s statement of alarm is not expressed loud and hard enough.

-- No one agreed with the statement that global warming is a fabrication and that human activity is not having a significant effect.

... On one side of the IPCC are some knowledgeable, sceptical climate scientists. They mostly agree that the Earth is heating, and agree that greenhouse gases are probably contributing.

But they think future temperatures will be determined much more by solar changes than atmospheric changes – and they do not think IPCC computer models are smart enough to forecast the climate accurately.


Sadly that is another lie put about by skeptics. The models have been validated and have proved to be quite accurate. The skeptics can't actually identify any flaws in the models nor come up with any better models - they just resort to a luddite argument "I just don't believe computer models".

If anything, the problem with the models is that they underestimate the rate of change.

That's not true either.

Recently, climate modelers themselves have been increasingly saying that the models simply cannot be trusted.

This is because of feedback loops - the modelers don't know where they all are, they do know they keep finding more... and they can have dramatic effects.

There is recent evidence for this in line with your last sentence:

If anything, the problem with the models is that they underestimate the rate of change.

1) Atmospheric CO2 levels have been recently and widely reported to be going up faster than the IPCC worst case scenario. This is in part because climate sinks (eg: oceans) seem to be hitting unforseen or sooner-than-expected saturation levels.

2) The Arctic ice-cap collapse of this summer hit levels that the models predicted wouldn't be reached for many years yet.

Anecdotally you're correct - but as good scientists, the modelers are fessing up and saying the models are untrustworthy. They could as easily have gone the other way. It just depends what complex feedback mechanisms with unforeseen consequences are not accurately modeled.

There's a good New Scientist write-up here and a classic example of exactly what the climate modelers feared would be the result of their honestly by some IDIOT here

The models can't be trusted - they might be about right, they might have over-egged the whole thing, or it might be a lot worse.

Jaymax (cornucomer-doomopian)

To be fair to the modelers and climate scientists...they have admitted all along that their models do not predict the very fast changes seen in the climate record...So, they have known all along that there are tipping points (I prefer tripping points) or feedback loops that the models cannot predict (unknown unknowns). GW is like PO, it will be seen in the rear view mirror, but one will have to look fast before the extinction event occurs. We are living in a GW experiment and, in that regard, are little different from virus in a petri dish during a lab experiment.

We might imagine what an 3-10 degree warmer earth might look like...but we will not know for sure until the earth actually warms to that level. But, like the aircraft carrier in a bath tub analogy that someone posted above, we are not going to change course and are headed for the drain. Merkins' generally have adopted the attitude of Missouians...The 'Show Me' state folks. I believe 'Hell on earth' is going to take on an entirely different meaning.

You note climate scientists say they can't predict "fast changes," due in part to lack of info on feedback loops and "tripping points" ( I like your term better).

They also do not know all of the "tripping points" for the negative feedback loops involved. And they're still learning about what contributes how much of which green house gasses and ...

We just don't know.

I wonder how much we'll argue about it a few years from now when we're all cold and hungry all the time :)

Recently, climate modelers themselves have been increasingly saying that the models simply cannot be trusted.

Bull. No such statement has ever been made. What has been said is that certain POSITIVE feedback loops were not recognized or UNDERESTIMATED in their effect.

"The overall extent was similar to what some of the models envisioned but decades in advance of when they expected that would occur. In fact, the summer of 2007 looked very similar to some climate model forecasts for 2030 to 2050."


According to this report, which is a review of the latest scientific publications on the issue, the Arctic's floating sea ice is headed towards rapid summer disintegration by 2013, a century ahead of the IPCC projections. The rapid loss of Arctic sea ice will speed up the disintegration of the Greenland ice sheet and, through the albedo effect (white reflective ice replaced by dark, heat-absorbing sea), raise sea levels by as much as five metres.

The evidence for the early melt of the Arctic is conclusive. According to the US National Ice and Snow Data Centre, the 2007 sea ice minimum was 4.13 million square kilometres, compared with the previous low of 5.32 million square kilometres in 2005. This represents a precipitous decline of 22 per cent in two years, roughly equal to the size of California and Texas combined or nearly five Britains.

US naval scientists have calculated that the thickness of the Arctic ice has reduced from 3.5 metres in the 1960s to one metre now. They conclude the summer ice has lost more than 80 per cent of its volume in 40 years.


"Tell me, over and over and over again my friend. That you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction."

Cid, go look at the "noise" in the real-world data, the sharpness of the inflection points. They can't predict crap with any confidence for the next 50 or 100 year period.

And by then, they might have learned enough about what contributes, how and when, to climate "Change" in any direction to figure out what the climate might probably maybe do in the next 50 years.

Hey, SOP. Go have a look at the Arctic Ice Cap.


You don't have to check out the weather forcast to see if it's raining outside. Just open the back door.

"Tell me, over and over and over again, my friend. That you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction."

There are things we know we know ... on average the world is getting warmer.

Things we know we don't know ... the actual figure for temperature sensitivity to CO2 concentration changes.

and ...

Things we don't know we don't know ... what any positive feedback loops might be.

There simply isn't enough information to make sound decisions ... humans are negotiating with humans about what to do based on statistical methods most don't understand ... so, international agreements, even if adhered to (unlikely?), will probably (almost certainly?) be wrong ... sadly, nature doesn't negotiate or make agreements or work as our simple models suggest!


what any positive feedback loops might be.

Or equally any unknown negative ones.

There simply isn't enough information to make sound decisions

The greater the uncertainty, the more validity the Precautionary Principal has - I would argue that this lack of information, increased uncertainty, and the recent research that shows that throwing in more data is not going to produce any more information certainty - makes the precautionary principal a rational imperative.

ie: Plan around the very worst-case scenarios that science (not just the constrained IPCC) produces. If you're government won't, better do it for yourself.

Jaymax (cornucomer-doomopian)

Cid, I agree with Xeroid.

About the computer models... you note they "underestimated" the rate of change... IOW - They Were WRONG.

About the Annual Anecdotal Evidence like the arctic ice melt or droughts... it seems that the Annual Anecdotal Evidence varies from year to year, decade to decade, century to century...

After Katrina everyone was blaming global warming... now after a couple of years of non-event hurricanes we hardly hear a whimper.

So what happens if over the next few years the Arctic Ice Melt is disappointingly small, will we continue to hear whimpers about it?

What will be the next poster child for the climate change crusaders (other than fraudulent polar bear stories, etc).

Bull. No such statement has ever been made. What has been said is that certain POSITIVE feedback loops were not recognized or UNDERESTIMATED in their effect.

Check your facts before you accuse others of 'Bull'. The source of this debate is the recent reporting of results of a study by Gerard Roe and Marcia Baker of the Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington.

The kicker is that small uncertainties in the physical processes are amplified into large uncertainties in the climate response, and there is nothing we can do about that.
-- Gerard Roe

Uncertainties - error bars - Nothing I've yet read on this suggests that their findings are limited to increased uncertainty in one direction only.

The really funny thing is that you, me, and Mr Roe probably all expect it might get alot worse alot quicker than expected, we're all certainly AGW believers, but its disingenious of you to suggest that is the conclusion of the research that's triggered this debate.

So, not bull, what I said was and remains accurate. Choosing to view the reduced trust (increased uncertainty) as identified by Roe and Baker as unidirectional because of recent anecdotal results may be tempting and human, but not science.

Jaymax (cornucomer-doomopian)

This is pretty cool, sorry if it's already been posted. Modern day Einstein?

Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything


He has high hopes that his new theory could provide what he says is a "radical new explanation" for the three decade old Standard Model, which weaves together three of the four fundamental forces of nature: the electromagnetic force; the strong force, which binds quarks together in atomic nuclei; and the weak force, which controls radioactive decay. The reason for the excitement is that Lisi's model also takes account of gravity, a force that has only successfully been included by a rival and highly fashionable idea called string theory, one that proposes particles are made up of minute strings, which is highly complex and elegant but has lacked predictions by which to do experiments to see if it works.

That does look very interesting, whether he's Einstein's intellectual prodigy or not. Symmetry rules! Besides,

Lisi's breakthrough came when he noticed that some of the equations describing E8's structure matched his own.
...he tells New Scientist. "I thought: 'Holy crap, that's it!'"

Who else in the world other than Leanan says "Holy Crap" anymore? :-)

I say "Holy Crap" ...... but I can gurantee you, if I ever get to have any really GOOD gefilta fish which done right, by all accounts, is a delicacy, I might say "Holy Carp".....

I'll positively love it if "Holy Crap" goes into the history books as the words spoken when the Theory of Everything was discovered.

The story reads like something Vonnegut would have written as backstory for a character in a novel.

That's just great. Now we will be able to tap gravitational energy as a power source, and use it to destroy the universe, not just this planet. That's why I didn't publish last year when they mapped E8. ;)

"Tell me, over and over and over again, my friend. That you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction."

Say, quick ignorant question:

A week or so ago, I looked at exchange rates and the Canadian dollar was briefly over $1.10 US.

At the moment, it's just a hair over $1.01. That's a lot of movement in that time, and I can't think of a reason. Anybody know what the story is? Did Canada decide to print up a whole pile more Loonies or something?

Just curious.

Prolly just a bubble, prices always tend to overshoot on currency, real estate, etc. Look for the Loonie to get back to .95 cents where it belongs. ;)

You can see the collapse on the chart:

Such things often happen with commodities but is rather unusual with currencies. I have no idea what caused it.

Ron Patterson

This question you asked turns out to be some sort of economic Rorschach test:

Flight from risk (i.e., to T-bills)

... global retreat from risky assets as investors come to grips with a slowing U.S. economy that could slide into recession.

Carry Trade unwinding

Many observers believe the retreat is connected to the carry trade, which involves borrowing Japanese yen at cheap rates and investing the borrowed money in more exciting things, like Canadian stocks. But this process can also go in reverse when investors turn skittish.

Dollar effect

factory sales fell 0.9 per cent in the month to $50.4 billion from $50.8 billion, despite a modest increase in real output.

What seems strange is that the currency of a country with almost zero debt, a relatively low population, a cornucopia of natural resources, and a functioning infrastructure would be trampled back vs. the US. Where sadly at least some of those items are no longer true.

This seems to me to be just a hiccup on the road to long-term monetization of the US debt, which would carry the Loonie higher in the end. If it is flight-to-quality it's also interesting that T-bills would remain compelling to the wider world for the time being.


Nervousrex...from your link...The Canadians do not include vehicles and auto parts in factory sales...While the US includes assembling Big Macs in manufacturing! Apples and oranges.

'With the loonie appreciating 3.1 per cent in September versus the U.S. greenback - a big increase for such a short period - factory sales fell 0.9 per cent in the month to $50.4 billion from $50.8 billion, despite a modest increase in real output.

The slump cut factory sales to the lowest level since last October and ensured sales for the third quarter were 1.8 per cent lower than the second quarter of 2007. Manufacturing, excluding vehicles and auto parts, was down 2.7 per cent in September.'

today the fed evidently quietly injected: 47.25 Billion

This I think is a list of the amounts and and dates so far

08/10/07 . . .38 Billion
10/24/07 . . . 25.5 Billion
11/01/07 . . . 41 Billion


What this shows is they have to keep "redoing" the injections because the old ones expire. There does not seem to be much headway. They have to keep authorizing, and it seems, adding to what they have previously done.

Is that not correct this is not additional money each time. Its a "swap" for the expiration of the previous injections.

You are right. If you keep track of what expires and what is new money, you can get a value for the current outstanding injections, or "Repo Pool". It is around $150 Billion.


The administration announced they have proof Canada has weapons of mass destruction. And more importantly, Canada has oil.


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

Yikes. In tonight's Democratic debate, Bill Richardson just said the s-word (no not that, sacrifice) in the context of the future of energy (which he said would not include oil or coal). He did lower his voice, though, and added "a little" in front of "sacrifice" so probably no one heard him.

Now the audience gets to ask the questions. Will PO be brought up?

Bill Richardson just said the s-word (no not that, sacrifice) ... Now the audience gets to ask the questions. Will PO be brought up?

IIRC, the only politician that utters the words "pEAK oIL" out loud in public is Roscoe Bartlett (republican & trained in science).

Can anyone think of others who have come out of the technology-will-save-us closet?

The members of Bartlett's and Udall's peak oil caucus should at least be recognized, and along with sponsors of the Peak Oil resolution in U.S. House of Representatives, which went nowhere.

If you mean current candidates, I'm unaware of any public acknowledgement and certainly no mention in the debates, but here's a chart of where candidates stand on energy policy, thanks to Jim Fraser's Energy Blog. No one screaming out less is more.

But of course there was Al Gore last year and Bill Clinton also last year, who sleeps with Hillary, and who can forget Geo. Bush in 2001.

At the State level, in CT, Rep. Terry Backer and Sen. Bob Duff co-founded the Peak Oil and Natural Gas Caucus. Does an effort at this level matter? Probably.

No one wants to pop the ballon. Adiabatic transition is the path of a politician.


Thank you for the links.
The growing number of PO-aware politicians is heartening.
It's no longer Roscoe out there on the limb by his lonesome.

I do recall the First Laddie (Bill Clinton) once mentioning knowledge of PO, but also saying it's not a "voting issue", meaning the voting public just doesn't care and therefore politicians waste precious bandwidth mentioning it.

I agree and I think all the candiadate are peak-oil aware to varying degrees, even if it's too early in the game for them to say so (wait till it's Hillary v Rudy, or Obama v. Mitt).

Here's where I'm a doomer over the short-term (the next decade): Given a choice between asking the US public to accept less, or burn 30 billion gallons of ethanol to party on, the roar will be deafing over the silence of the dead from starvation, all of us clawing above the pit at the cliff of peak oil. Who speaks of Darfur?

Nonetheless, what else can one do right now but to muddle through as you said recently, as best one can BTSHTF?

This volcano acted up a bit a week or so ago, not one that you like to see doing things that are not expected.


Anak Krakatau is acting up. Its the "child" of Krakatau, which if you are not familiar is a super volcano.


"Indonesia is on high alert, as the Anak Krakatau volcano spews out thick black smoke and molten rocks into the air.

Currently the eruptions are small, but authorities fear something bigger is on the way, but it's not predicted to match the size of the infamous eruption in 1883 by Krakatau on the same spot."


This is its second "high alert" the last one was a week or so ago.

As a side note, the measurements from Yellowstone, which is also a super volcano show that it has RISEN 3" since the early 2000's. That I believe means that the ground is now three inches higher in the park etc than it was was just a few years ago. A sign of magma on the move. Of course, like Krakatau, they say that an eruption is not likely (that matches a super volcano), .... uh huh.


oh and hubble has taken some photo's of the comet and they released a few. Nothing real close up, very good versions of ground based distance type of view. It huge, and why it is doing what it is doing is not explained by current theory,,, yet, if it can.

The Krakatau story is something to pay attention to in my opinion. If it does something only 1/2 or 1/4 of what it did in its last eruption it could introduce very large volumes of material in the atmosphere.

Year Without a Summer

The Year Without a Summer, also known as the Poverty Year or Eighteen hundred and froze to death, was 1816, in which severe summer climate abnormalities destroyed crops in Northern Europe, the American Northeast and eastern Canada.[1][2] Historian John D. Post has called this "the last great subsistence crisis in the Western world."[3] It appears to have been caused by a volcanic winter. . .

. . . It is now generally thought that the aberrations occurred because of the 5 April – 15 April 1815 volcanic eruptions of Mount Tambora[5][6] on the island of Sumbawa in the Dutch East Indies (modern-day Indonesia) which ejected immense amounts of volcanic dust into the upper atmosphere.
Other volcanoes were active during the same time frame:
La Soufrière on Saint Vincent in the Caribbean in 1812
Mayon in the Philippines in 1814

These other eruptions had already built up a substantial amount of atmospheric dust. As is common following a massive volcanic eruption, temperatures fell worldwide because less sunlight passed through the atmosphere. . .

. . . As a consequence of the series of volcanic eruptions, crops in the above cited areas had been poor for several years; the final blow came in 1815 with the eruption of Tambora. In America, many historians cite the "Year Without a Summer" as a primary motivation for the western movement and rapid settlement of what is now western and central New York and the American Midwest. Many New Englanders were wiped out by the year, and tens of thousands struck out for the richer soil and better growing conditions of the Upper Midwest (then the Northwest Territory).

Europe, still recuperating from the Napoleonic Wars, suffered from food shortages. Food riots broke out in Britain and France and grain warehouses were looted. The violence was worst in landlocked Switzerland, where famine caused the government to declare a national emergency. Huge storms, abnormal rainfall with floodings of the major rivers of Europe (including the Rhine) are attributed to the event, as was the frost setting in during August 1816. A BBC documentary using figures compiled in Switzerland estimated that fatality rates in 1816 were twice that of average years, giving an approximate European fatality total of 200,000 deaths.

The eruption of Tambora also caused Hungary to experience brown snow. Italy experienced something similar, with red snow falling throughout the year. The cause of this is believed to have been volcanic ash in the atmosphere.

In China, unusually low temperatures in summer and fall devastated rice production in Yunnan province in the southwest, resulting in widespread famine. Fort Shuangcheng, now in Heilongjiang province, reported fields disrupted by frost and conscripts deserting as a result. Summer snowfall was reported in various locations in Jiangxi and Anhui provinces, both in the south of the country. In Taiwan, which has a tropical climate, snow was reported in Hsinchu and Miaoli, while frost was reported in Changhua.[7]

PrisonerX, I think you have singlehandedly proven that those people who say I'm too "negative" need to meet a real megadoomer to put me back into perspective!

Well Dennis,

Reporting that a super volcano (location) has erupted and the people watching it fear something bigger could happen,.. is interpreted as "negative", well, to me those people have a right to their opinion. Though not paying attention to what is really happening in the world is plain stupid.

Go read some more about those people in the article Westexas posted from Wiki. Food riots and people moved out west seems so simple. Yet the reality of what happened because of a volcanic eruption (s) during the period it effected North America and Europe are quite the read. Its so easy to tell your neighbor that he can't have any food, and then he starves, or his kids do. Yep, stay positive it will not blow, that always works, doesn't it. ;)

Jet streams and amount of particulate will make a difference if it does blow. Its not just this volcano, there are lots of volcano's going off during this year and a year before. The trend seems to be "up" in activity. The cumulative effect of all these eruptions could bring on poor/length of growing seasons.

If you have prepared for PO you will be ready, if not. In a JIT (just is time) society and food stores low. A year without a "summer" with this population, could make PO look like a swim in the park. If something were to happen. If Anak does blow chunks, then you have an idea of what could happen, and gauge your actions. If not, then you learned, and one thing is for sure. There will be an eruption of a super volcano. Like Loch Ness, its one also, guess what, research shows that it is acting up to, oh well, go eat super and drink a beverage, nothing is going to happen, and no need to have a plan if it does. Ya See, no one has a plan B for energy in the US, Plans are so passe, only the negative people make plans

Thats MILD (the basic info from wiki on the effects) of what happened during the year and half when the crops failed, over a large area of the NA/Europe.

You want DOOM go read that,

Deal with reality or reality will deal with you, ehh Dennis.

I am not surprised by this eruption. If you go back and look the last few months, there has been a trend of eruptions close to it, and then the Yemen volcano that they thought was extinct blew.

The numerous 7's and the amount of activity in that area, is something to watch in my opinion. It could and can happen and knowing what happens if one goes off far away from you, does not mean it can't have some far reaching effects around the world, in many ways.

Oh I agree with you, pardon me being a smart ass. I was making more of a comment about "the people who call me negative" than about you. I just read your articles and went, "whew." That could put a crimp in all our peak oil planning and laborious worrying, eh?

I took your threads and sent them elsewhere, too. Gotta keep up with the Joneses.

Yeah, I know about reality. Reality has pretty much already chewed me up and spit me out a couple of times. It don't scare me too much any more...not that I don't think it has great potential to be vicious, mind you.