DrumBeat: November 18, 2007

Iran president calls U.S. dollar 'worthless'

“They get our oil and give us a worthless piece of paper,” Ahmadinejad told reporters after the close of the summit in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. He blamed U.S. President George W. Bush’s policies for the decline of the dollar and its negative effect on other countries.

Oil is priced in U.S. dollars on the world market, and the currency’s depreciation has concerned oil producers because it has contributed to rising crude prices and has eroded the value of their dollar reserves.

“All participating leaders showed an interest in changing their hard currency reserves to a credible hard currency,” Ahmadinejad said. “Some said producing countries should designate a single hard currency aside from the U.S. dollar ... to form the basis of our oil trade.”

Peak fun (and the inevitable hangover)

The truth is that the world has now lost touch with its pre-petroleum memory. The vast majority of people alive now only know the continual ascent of fossil fuel power. Today's fun seekers have experienced only increasing abundance (except in a few places such as sub-Saharan Africa). This state of affairs flummoxed one attendee at a recent peak oil conference.

"Why don't people get it?" he wondered.

"They're too busy enjoying the peak," I responded.

"We're at peak fun," another conference goer added.

"But, the facts are all there on the Internet," the first conference goer insisted.

In order to comprehend the idea that we are at peak fun, however, one must have the background to see that we are also at or near a number of other peaks, I explained. Otherwise, what people are experiencing seems merely the extension of a trend that they have come to rely on. And besides, when you are at the peak of the biggest party ever thrown in history, the fossil-fuel party, who worries about the hangover?

$100 fill-up coming to a pump near you

With speculators running up the price of a barrel of oil to the $100 range, there can be little doubt that the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline is headed for $3.50, and maybe even $4, before there's any sort of fallback.

While such price increases will pressure new-vehicle buyers to look for more-fuel-efficient vehicles, there's a real sticker shock awaiting those who need or want a big sport-utility vehicle or pickup.

Iran does not want to use oil as a weapon: Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday that Iran never wanted to use oil as a weapon, but if the US attacked the country it would "know how to react."

"We would never want to use oil as a weapon or take any illegal actions," he told a press conference here, adding: "but if America takes any action against us we will know how to reply."

China builds African empire

FROM giant state corporations to a host of small businesses, Chinese companies have opened up a new frontier in Africa that is expanding so fast it is already altering commodity markets and manufacturing from Cairo to Cape Town.

Colombia Ecopetrol Cuts Output At La Cira-Infanta On Protests

Colombia's state-owned oil company Ecopetrol SA had to cut its crude oil production at the La Cira-Infanta field to about 10,000 barrels a day from a previous 12,500 barrels a day since Thursday as a result of protests, a company official said Sunday.

Abu Dhabi buys stake in chip maker AMD

With oil prices surging and U.S. stock prices slumping, chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s sale of an 8.1 percent stake to the Abu Dhabi government's investment arm represents the latest plunge by a wealthy Middle Eastern nation into a troubled U.S. corporation.

It also raises fresh questions about the appropriateness of Middle Eastern firms owning large chunks of U.S. businesses that specialize in advanced technologies.

India: Oil's Not Well

India's economic growth could come up against two major roadblocks: energy and infrastructure. Oil prices are flirting with the $100 mark, prompting questions on India’s long-term energy plans. The International Energy Agency has projected that China and India will account for 45 per cent of the increase in demand for oil between now and 2030.

Transport will lead the demand surge. The supply-demand gap is set to worsen for a number of reasons. Proven reserves are estimated to last another 40 years at current rates of demand but the economic and political costs of extraction will increase. How should India cope with the emerging crisis?

We’re not doomed yet

Should we really be listening to the views of one man just because they are eye-catchingly more dramatic than the consensus (of which more in a second)? I hope not. I think it’s irresponsible. If Lovelock is right, well then it is all over, hard cheese, but if he’s wrong then he is telling people that nothing can be done, just at the point when there’s still one last chance to prevent the doomsday scenario that he lays before us with something bordering on relish. And since he, at 88, isn’t going to be around for the denouement, he is rather free to say what he likes and hang the consequences.

In Oil-Dependent Maine, Rising Prices Create A Chill As Winter Starts

Nowhere in America, it seems, are people more apprehensive about the prospect of a $3-a-gallon winter than in Maine.

Motorists nationwide may grumble about gasoline prices now hovering around $3 for a gallon of regular, but home heating oil that soared this month to $3.09 a gallon — breaking the $3 barrier for the first time — is the focus of concern in Maine.

Edwards, Clinton Aim at Climate Change

On a day when a U.N. panel warned of growing peril from climate change, John Edwards accused the oil and gas industry Saturday of deploying hundreds of lobbyists to Washington to resist efforts to free the nation from its dependence on fossil fuels.

Following His Green Dream

Al Gore just won a Nobel Prize for teaching the world to think green, but he's also showing he knows a thing or two about another kind of green: money. Since 2000, according to published reports, the former veep has transformed himself from a public servant with around $1 million in the bank to a sparkling private consultant with a net worth estimated to be north of $100 million.

Senate committee to discuss North Dakota fuel shortage

U.S. Senate Committee hearing is slated in Bismarck to investigate why there were shortages of gasoline and diesel fuel in North Dakota this summer and fall.

Senator Dorgan is the chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee. He will chair the committee hearing Tuesday.

Dorgan says he's asked officials from the refineries that provide gasoline and diesel fuel to North Dakota to testify. Dorgan says he also invited a U.S. Department of Energy official to explain what caused the regional shortages.

Who has the oil?

The SIZE of each country on this map reflects the relative size of its OIL RESERVES.

The COLORS reflect different levels of OIL CONSUMPTION (per country, not per capita -the key is on the left).

Who's talking about peak oil

Global Public Media reader Steven Athearn has compiled an impressive collection of notable quotes about peak oil and energy vulnerability.

OPEC agrees to study dollar concern: Iran

Iran said Sunday that an OPEC pledge to increase financial cooperation between members meant the 13-member oil exporters group would study the issue of pricing oil in the falling US dollar.

Dilemma over spending of petrodollars: Mountains of cash … how to utilize it?

The challenge facing all oil producing countries is how to utilize the mountains of excess cash generated by oil income. The oil income of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is expected to reach $700 billion by the end of this year with Saudi Arabia’s daily income close to $1 billion and the rest of Opec members income for 3-7 days $1 billion and Kuwait $1 billion every 5 days. With such vast accumulated cash the challenge is how best to benefit and utilize the generated cash for the welfare of all.

OPEC leaders pledge 'reliable' supplies at summit

OPEC leaders committed Sunday to providing the world with reliable supplies of oil at a rare summit that saw a clash between hardliners and moderates about the future direction of the exporters' group.

OPEC leaders support 'clean oil' technologies

"We insist on the importance of clean technologies for the protection of the world's environment and insist on the importance of developing technologies that can help combat the problem of global warming, such as carbon sequestration," said an Arabic copy of the statement translated by AFP.

Kuwait, UAE pledge $300 million to climate fund

Leading global oil producers Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates pledged 150 million dollars each on Sunday to a new fund to tackle global warming.

The creation of the fund, which is now worth 600 million dollars, was announced by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah on Saturday at the opening of the OPEC summit in Riyadh.

Emissions Growth Must End in 7 Years, U.N. Warns

The world will have to end its growth of carbon emissions within seven years and become mostly free of carbon-emitting technologies in about four decades to avoid killing as many as a quarter of the planet's species from global warming, according to top United Nations' scientists.

A Last Warning on Global Warming

The language of science, like that of the United Nations, is by nature cautious and measured. That makes the dire tone of the just-released final report from the fourth assessment of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a network of thousands of international scientists, all the more striking. Global warming is "unequivocal." Climate change will bring "abrupt and irreversible changes." The report, a synthesis for politicians culled from three other IPCC panels convened throughout the year, read like what it is: a final warning to humanity. "Today the world's scientists have spoken clearly, and with one voice," said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, who attended the publication of the report in Valencia, Spain. Climate change "is the defining challenge of our age."

Destination of 'recycled' electronics may surprise you

Most Americans think they're helping the earth when they recycle their old computers, televisions and cell phones. But chances are they're contributing to a global trade in electronic trash that endangers workers and pollutes the environment overseas.

Antarctica, the new hot real estate

Scientists are concerned that the polar ice caps could melt completely; reliable climate data shows they are melting much faster than anyone had expected.

If they disappear, ocean levels could rise by up to 25 metres, according to NASA scientist and Columbia University climatologist James Hansen.

He estimated in 2006 that humankind had about 10 years to take decisive action on warming or risk environmental catastrophe.

Given these concerns, the focus on looking for resources in the Antarctic misses the point entirely, says professor Thomas Homer-Dixon at the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Toronto.

"This all reflects a broader misunderstanding of the implications of climate change," says Homer-Dixon, who holds the George Ignatieff chair of peace and conflict studies. "The Arctic Ocean opens up because of our profligate use of fossil fuels, and what's the first thing we think about? Going up there and looking for more fossil fuels."

Media's advice for increasing global oil production

One theme that has emerged in recent media coverage of oil supply issues is how global oil production could be increased, presumably more rapidly than it’s presently increasing. Suggestions include using advanced extraction techniques to bring retired oil fields back on-line, developing deepwater (>1000 ft) areas such as the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM), and extracting oil from oil shale and oil sands. What the media fail to recognize is that there are factors that will counteract or limit the effect of their recommendations.

Want to be a patriot? Support higher gas taxes

Members of "The Greatest Generation" - the men and women who won World War II - bought war bonds and rationed gasoline, rubber, sugar and other foods. Those on the home front gave their all to support the men on the battlefields.

In the 21st century, our idea of a wartime sacrifice is letting a "Support the Troops" magnet damage the paint on our pickup trucks.

Kuwait announces plans to improve security at oil installations

Last week Kuwait, following Saudi Arabia's lead, announced that security at oil installations will be stepped up.

According to Energy Intelligence, over the next three years, Kuwait plans to double the number of guards protecting approximately 100 facilities, upgrade current security systems, and also install crash-proof gates with security fencing around key sites.

Fuel costs give ag a chill

Higher energy costs are taking a bigger bite out of farm businesses across the West - from keeping crops in production and in moving products to markets at home and abroad.

The Philippines: Justify steep price hikes, Palace orders oil firms

Worried by the series of oil price hikes, Malacañang on Saturday ordered the local oil companies to explain their price adjustments even as the government started crafting “safety nets” to cushion the impact on consumers.

India: Rs. 45 crore to be paid shortly for naphtha

Preparing the ground to run some power stations with alternative fuel to meet possible electricity shortage during rabi, AP Transco has made an advance payment of Rs 11.8 crores to the HPCL for purchase naphtha.

It is also remitting a further amount of Rs 45 crores to the HPCL shortly. As the naphtha price has gone up to a high of Rs 43,000 a tonne, a major chunk of Rs 2,698 crores, earmarked in the current year budget for purchase of power from external sources, will go towards naphtha.

Nuclear power has role to play

Certainly, nuclear power has some drawbacks. But it has major benefits. For starters, it's a virtually unlimited source of energy. Increasing its use would lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It is proven technology, supplying nearly 20 percent of the nation's electric power now, despite the 1970s-era hysteria that stalled U.S. projects. Other countries do a lot more. For example, French nuclear plants supply about 80 percent of that nation's power. All over the world, nuclear plants provide energy effectively and safely.

Sustainable Living: Giving thanks to our small farmers

IF WE FEASTING FOLKS actually had to grow our own food, like the Pilgrims and Indians did, it would take 111 hours of hard labor in the fields (about three weeks) to grow one day's worth of food for one person, according to a Carrying Capacity Network study. We also have the world's cheapest food, with Americans spending less of our disposable income on food than any other nation. Despite these "land of plenty" statistics, 11 percent of our population chronically lacks access to enough food.

Scientist lends weight to Duke coal plant foes

Dr. James Hansen, head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, received a standing ovation after addressing several hundred people at the William and Ida Friday Center in Chapel Hill.

"We really have reached the point of a planetary emergency," said Hansen, who appeared last year on CBS' "60 Minutes."

"We are in danger of passing the tipping point."

Local man invents efficient air conditioner

Inventor Jack Mayhue was up on a roof working on an air conditioning unit when President Jimmy Carter declared the energy crisis in the late 1970s. At that point, Mayhue looked down at the air conditioning unit and saw water dripping from it. He decided to do his part in solving the problems the energy crisis and build an energy-efficient air conditioning unit that would make use of the waste water.

New Hampshire residents build their homes off the grid

Jay Flanders meets all the new meter readers. They always make trips up his long, winding driveway their first time through the neighborhood. And Flanders never tires of chasing them away.

"They walk around the house going, 'Where's the meter?' " he said.

28 dead in Saudi gas pipeline blaze

Twenty-eight people were killed when a fire broke out on a gas pipeline in an oil-rich desert area of Saudi Arabia on Sunday, state oil conglomerate Saudi Aramco said.

...Aramco said that the blaze erupted on the Haradh-Uthmaniyah gas pipeline, 30 kilometres (18 miles) from a major gas processing plant at Hawiyah, as maintenance work was being carried out.

Deal with it: Cheap oil era is over

Canadians have worked themselves into a flap over the soaring loonie and its effect on the economy. Yet the cost of oil inching up toward $100-per-barrel has generated little more than a collective yawn.

The reality is that the rise of oil, not the dollar, is this year's big news story and the end of cheap oil could prove to be the greatest challenge we have faced in a generation.

We face a crude awakening over oil prices

Optimists say the world economy is now immune to high oil prices. After all, since 1999, global commerce has boomed despite the ever-growing cost of crude. The Western world is less energy-intensive, they say, given our increasing reliance on service industries.

I'm not so sure. For one thing, global economic prospects are now heavily contingent on the performance of the energy-hungry emerging giants - whose cost bases are, in turn, heavily dependent on oil.

OPEC leaders stress link between peace, oil prices

"We insist on the importance of world peace to guarantee investments in the energy sector and the stability of the market," said an Arabic copy of the statement translated by AFP.

An economy on the brink of snapping

Yet despite the change of emphasis, the fear of rising prices refuses to lie down. With oil flirting with the psychologically important level of $100 a barrel and food prices rising steadily higher, the spectre of stagflation has returned to haunt the British economy 30 years after it last stalked the country.

Oil’s not well as cartel gets the shakes

But at an oil-price equivalent of 100, many alternative energy sources could also become viable in the short to medium term — and with the prospect of dramatic falls once the bugs have been beaten and economies of scale have cut the costs of production.

In Eco-Friendly Factory, Low-Guilt Potato Chips

At Frito-Lay’s factory here, more than 500,000 pounds of potatoes arrive every day from New Mexico to be washed, sliced, fried, seasoned and portioned into bags of Lay’s and Ruffles chips. The process devours enormous amounts of energy, and creates vast amounts of wastewater, starch and potato peelings.

French Transit Strike Falters, but Stretches Into Weekend

The strike has led to widespread misery for commuters, who have been stranded as trains, subways and buses across the country have operated drastically reduced services, or have stopped entirely.

Bertrand Delanoë, the mayor of Paris, urged residents and visitors to park their cars, motorcycles and scooters because air pollution levels were rising sharply as waves of vehicles poured into the city because of the strike.

Oil-rich Norwegians avoid 'curse'

In developing countries as disparate as Nigeria and Venezuela, the easy money of oil has propped up corrupt and incompetent ruling classes.

But Norway has not let its wealth go to its head.

Oil boom fuels jobs crisis for accountants

THE booming oil price is fuelling an accountancy recruitment crisis in Aberdeen as other firms struggle to match the salaries being paid by the cash-rich energy companies.

Energy waste hurts all

Here in the Caribbean, people are very concerned about the risks associated with global warming, and want the developed world to drastically reduce air pollution.

Sadly, the per-capita production of air pollution is almost as high in Barbados as it is in Canada, the United States, or Europe.

35 years on, why we need another gas crisis

It happened in October 1973. For those of us old enough to remember, it was a time of global anxiety verging on panic. The world would never be the same, we were told.

And then we forgot. Almost as if by general agreement, everyone silently decided to put the experience out of mind. We elected prime ministers and presidents who told us what we wanted to hear: Everything's fine. Carry on regardless. There's nothing to worry about.

Liquid coal for cars 'dirtier' than petrol

Some alternative vehicle fuels such as liquid coal can cause more harmful greenhouse gas emissions than petrol or diesel, scientists warn.

"Liquid coal, for example, can produce 80% more global warming pollution than [petrol]," says the US non-profit environmental group, the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Coal addiction hinders climate cleanup

Coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, is the crack cocaine of the developing world.

It is the inexpensive and plentiful fuel powering the rising economies of Asia -- and because of that, it has become one of the most intractable problems in combating global warming.

A world dying, but can we unite to save it?

Humanity is rapidly turning the seas acid through the same pollution that causes global warming, the world's governments and top scientists agreed yesterday. The process – thought to be the most profound change in the chemistry of the oceans for 20 million years – is expected both to disrupt the entire web of life of the oceans and to make climate change worse.

This is really rich. One of the key members of the oil leg of the "Iron Triangle" congratulating another key member of the oil leg. For more info, do a Google Search on Daniel Yergin and click on Daniel Yergin Day.


$100 Oil has OPEC Gushing

The summit opened in a huge ornate chamber lit with 11 spectacular chandeliers. The leaders gathered at a horseshoe-shaped table at least 35 yards in diameter. Mr. Chávez, who hosted OPEC's 2000 summit in Caracas, handed the chair to King Abdullah with a boast that oil was $10 when the leaders met in Venezuela but almost $100 today.

The Saudi monarch honored three researchers and three journalists for helping the world gain a better understanding of petroleum, including Daniel Yergin, author of a history of oil called The Prize.

Dr. Yergin, who chairs Cambridge Energy Research Associates of Cambridge, Mass., accepted the award but afterward offered a gentle riposte to the king's comment on the history of oil prices.

"That [$100] was an actual price for a very brief period in the 1980s," Dr. Yergin said.

Cambridge Energy recently published an analysis saying oil's previous peak was in April 1980, when it hit $39.50 a barrel. After factoring out inflation and the decline in the value of the dollar, that price is equivalent to $99.04 today, Dr. Yergin said.

Some key quotes from "Daniel Yergin Day"


"Rather than a 'peak,' we should expect an 'undulating plateau' perhaps three or four decades from now."

Mr. Robert Esser
Senior Consultant and Director, Global Oil and Gas Resources
Cambridge Energy Research Associates
December 7, 2005

"Contrary to the theory, oil production shows no signs of a peak... Oil is a finite resource, but because it is so incredibly large, a peak will not occur this year, next year, or for decades to come."

ExxonMobil Advertisement in New York Times, June 2, 2006

"We in Opec do not subscribe to the peak-oil theory."

Acting Secretary General of Opec, Mohammed Barkindo
July 11, 2006

WT, I love how he seems almost proud that oil is just a single bad day away from a TRIPLE YERGIN ($114).

I am convinced (especially lately) that even when the Yergin's of the world start acknowledging Peak Oil (end of cheap oil), they will be stunned if they fail to realize the Net Exports problem.

2007 seems to be more of a Net Exports situation in many ways.

And, of course, as you say often...The Net Exports decline is going to turn OFF the tap much faster than just depletion.

BTW, the author of this article, Jim Landers, has written a stream of cornucopian articles on oil. I don't know if that was why he was invited to Saudi Arabia, but it makes one wonder.

Regarding Danny Yergin, as I noted a couple of days ago, he was on CNBC talking about OPEC "going green." As someone (not me) predicted, the latest evolving excuse for lower oil production is going to be a concern about Global Warming.

With the latest UN report on climate, and other climate news intensifying, it isn't hard to see GW clouding the realization of peak.

But, maybe progress will occur with a greater motivation and less conflict than the strict realization of than the decline in availability of oil.

Here's hoping a few good decisions get made.

The difference may be, greedy leaders will always be tempted to stave off the effects of Peak Oil by invasion, but it will be harder for leaders whose constituency cares about Global Warming to propose war as a solution.

I'm not saying it can't be done - Frank Miller wrote a graphic novel 20 years ago called "Give Me Liberty" where a militarized government sends troops to Brazil to occupy the rain forest because, apparently, when all you've got is hammers every problem looks like a nail.

Posted at Bloomberg


its about the OPEC meeting and what was said about the dollar and how it is overshadowing the Climate Change money they are offering etc.

I read and googled the story to try and find out what I could about the purported reason of why the meeting was broadcast to the press via a TV set.

Here is what I found

Several reports keep using the word "broadcast" and report what was "said".

One report said that ONLY the audio was broadcast.

The "mistake" lasted 40 minutes.

It was discovered after Reuters put out a report.

Then some officials and security "burst" into the room and ordered security to "pull the plug" on the 50 something inch TV.

The reason for the mistake was given as " a technician made a "patch" that was incorrect.

Was this on purpose, its very hard to say. I looked to the "cover" of why it was allowed to be heard (can't verify that it was "seen") from any report.

I see the story as possible it was a mistake. Lasting 40 minutes is a long time. It appears that the "communication" side of OPEC found out when they read it coming out over press reports LIVE.

However the "patch" story as (someone that is well familiar of how these things are patched and sent out) bears scrutiny.

To patch something means to "route" it somewhere. If the technician was patching it, where was it "supposed" to go. Was this supposed to go to a recording device. (and did the others in the room know that it was).

You would PULL patches or turn off equipment. Adding something means leaving it on and routing it somewhere. Why did the technicians not notice it was not being sent to where they thought they sent it.

Doing the AV/Video for a meeting like OPEC means security clearances and a reputation that you do things correctly, not some hotel or local guy.

I lean toward a mistake, but the cover story needs scrutiny by the press (which will not happen).

It also is not clear, but this Room and "monitor" they were viewing on appears to have been used to broadcast the "open" part, and was supposed to be turned off/unpatched from that room. Which is why a wrong patch was made doesn't really make much sense. But not knowing what else was in the system etc, hard to say.

Stupid blunders with mics and A/V equipment like this happen ALL the time. There are numerous sayings about this, Vox Is Not Your Friend, treat all mics as live, etc.

Anyone who's listened to live feeds on TV or radio, call-ins, etc knows blunders are really common.

On the other hand, if you wanted to send Cheney (and the rest of the world) a message that you were willing to kill the dollar if that's what it took to stop a US war with Iran - this is not such a bad way to do it.

I guess you have to think about that one. IF he wanted to send Cheney a message as direct as that...he could just pick up the phone.

What does the rest of the world care? Unless to warn us to bail on USD$.

Oops...too late already done that...perhaps they are the ones behind the ball?

A radio/tv show etc and a top meeting of very high officials were it is supposed to be top secret, and for their ears only, is not the same in my opinion Fleam. This is a HUGE mistake if it is a mistake.

One other thing that bothered me was the "show" of bursting into the room and yelling for security to pull the plug etc.

Why didn't they go to the AV people and tell them, and make them pull the plug at their end. My answer to this and why I can understand it, is simple. They didn't wish to let the Leaders know what had happened during the discussion. At least not yet, and they needed to prepare for the press to follow. If these were Saudi technicians, oh my for them. 200 lashes for being in a car and getting raped. What will they get for this.

This report describes the what was seen. Was not audio only.

The live transmission showed OPEC oil, finance and foreign ministers assembled at a round table decorated with bouquets of white flowers and surrounded by flags of the OPEC nations.


Interesting Cyd, so when I start to see conflicting reports of what was on and not on the screen then the whole thing starts to fall apart.

One of th4 links listed here had the reporter specifically say that audio only was sent, not video.

If video was also sent then you have to ask why were the camera's left on also.

not so sure if it was an accident if the camera's were on.

This makes it a compound error and not a single error.

The fact that Yergin had the audicity to correct the KSA about the 'real' cost of oil today is very telling. Yergin must indeed hold himself in very high esteem. I suspect that when the KSA no longer finds Yergin useful he will squash him like a camel plop...Of course, the KSA will not dirty his own sandals.

BTW I just read in the German Media that Chavez once again dropped a brick by crossing himself before the eyes of Saudi King Abdallah. (He might as well have offered him pork to eat.) He's really funny, that Colonel Chavez.

The Saudis are well aware that not everyone has the same religion.

My guess is that folks who make a big deal out of the differences in religions between various members of OPEC have an agenda other than concern for potential hurt feelings between these rather worldly -- if not world-weary -- leaders.

The real strange thing for me is that OPEC continues with an ostentatious display of wealth and energy consumption, while our planet burns and while people are oppressed to allow for more pumping and consuming of oil.

Of course that has to do with a sense of common good and concern for "The Creation" as one community of life that many folks -- in addition to OPEC leaders -- are seduced into denying every day.

As E.O. Wilson has said, we must find a way to join religion and science in order to address the key issue of our day: the sixth great extinction caused by the mortal wound our species has dealt our ecosystem.

The real strange thing for me is that OPEC continues with an ostentatious display of wealth and energy consumption

Yes, quite naively I've always imagined that consumerism is fundamentally opposed in most religions, if not all.

By the way, Chavez was even mentioned by
Radio Vaticana
(In German).
The text says that Chavez mentioned Jesus Christ twice in company of the Saudi nomenclatura, where wahabism, the one and only Saudi state doctrine, prohibits non-islamic demonstrations of any kind.

... dropped a brick by crossing himself before the eyes of Saudi King Abdallah ...

Actually, it is rather sad, if true. Mohammad, the prophet, was taught to read and write by an Coptic (i.e. Egyptian Christian) priest when he was young. It is worth noting here that, unlike Jesus, he was a noble from the main tribe of the Mecca and Medina region.

In any event, the Saudi royal family has access to excellent supplies of whiskey you can be sure of that. I have been offered such luxuries during my sejourn in the Kingdom by locals but I always declined because I did not want to place myself in a compromising position. Just like in the USA they have one law for the rich and another for the poor, the Saudis have one for the Wahabis and another for everyone else.

Just like in the USA they have one law for the rich and another for the poor, the Saudis have one for the Wahabis and another for everyone else.

"Do as we say, not as we do." May be as true as the first law of thermodynamics.

Who's the Saudi Royal Family's Mary Cheney? mewonders.

One of the reports I read mentioned the King talking to Chavez after the session.

He was reported to have told him in regard to his fiery speech against the US and everything else.

"my you did go on a bit"

and this was reported to have been said in a "joking" manner to Chavez.

where is Lawrence to help explain the Arab mind to us infidels.

The best way to deal with the likes of Yergin and Lynch is to simply and utterly ignore them. They are both very quickly looking like the lonely fools on the hill. If it wasn't for the very short attention span and memory of the public and media they would already be fully discredited, but don't worry the interested and knowledgeable parties must be laughing when Yergin and Lynch are still referred to as "experts".

The best way to deal with the likes of Yergin and Lynch is to simply and utterly ignore them.

They are "utterly ignored" by the public at large. But so are Simmons, et. al.

In my neck of the woods (Ohio) no one thinks beyond the price at the pump (with the rare exception).

I really gotta get me some of those reusable grocery bags:)

There's what you believe and then there's reality. I don't give a shit what you believe. The reality is that oil production has been on a plateau in spite of all the good news about new finds that will save the world.

I'll bet a dollar to all takers that in ten years, daily worldwide production of oil is lower than it is today.

I did inhale.

errr.. how about a euro instead?

Large Scale Low Cost Rental Bicycles Coming to USA ?


San Francisco, Washington DC, Portland Oregon, Chicago, New York City

Best Hopes for Non-Oil Transportation,


Hello AlanfromBigEasy,

Thxs for the link--I hope this is a big success!

Recall my earlier postings calling for strategic reserves of bicycles and wheelbarrow, maybe this just the start. I wish I had the business financing and entrepenurial acumen to start a postPeak nationwide franchise chain of cheap rental wheelbarrows.

IMO, this could further help prepare us for the relocalized permaculture shift when 60-75% of the labor force is engaged in physical, daily field and garden labor.

If nothing else, if Helicopter Ben continues to flood the market as promised: the wheelbarrows will come in handy to haul around huge, worthless piles of 'toilet paper $$$'.


IMO, wheelbarrows & bicycles are better than a Mazda Miata Machete', a SledgeHUMMER, the Sword of Tahoe, or a RAV4Blood spear!

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

Thanks !

I rarely comment on your remarks but ALWAYS read them.

In case no one told you, at Stuart & Euan's analysis of Ghawar at ASPO-Houston, you were given full credit for your contribution and your tag line was even on one of their slides in the credits, below your name.

Best Hopes for You,


Hello again Alan,

After my discovery and TOD posting [with Leanan's great help--thxs!] of that Saudi ARAMCO oil-sat graphic, especially with what the TopTODers [SS, F_F, and Euan] subsequently statistically did with it:

My guess is that I was immediately moved to the top of the Saudi Arabian airline 'no-fly list'. LOL!

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


Wheelbarrows are too damn much work!

But they sure are useful when you need one. Tool rental companies should do very well in a slow down/depression, and also contractors doing specialist labor or with specialist's equipment. Storing tools that are used seldom is expensive, and also there is generally a premium price for labor that can do many jobs. During boom times companies and contractors often buy equipment rather than wait for a piece of equipment, but during slow-downs the companies with low overhead can survive on less revenue.

Got a question: What devices do you consider a wheelbarrow besides a two wheeled cart? I think human powered vehicles of all types are going to be valuable a la' beggar's bicycle trailer that enables him to get from the lumberyard to his jobsite with 1,000 lbs of lumber, cabinets ect with dimensions of at least 8' x 4', the size of a full sheet of plywood or gypsum wallboard. Another similar idea is a mexican caretta, or a two wheeled cart, drawn by a ox or a donkey .

Bob Ebersole

I boogered up my shoulder a while back by using a handtruck to carry stuff to the post office, was twisting my arm around around behind me towing the handtruck behind me. Stupid me! I actually had to rest my arm in a sling for a couple of days and eat right-handed. Ouch! I'm sure there's an OSHA warning somewhere against using a hand truck like that.

The ideal thing would be sort of rickshaw-ish, if you can tow it behind you, with two long handles, that would be great. Long handles so your heels don't hit the thing. About a person wide so you can go along places where there's no sidewalk so you're not too wide to get along with the traffic whizzing by. And make the handles folding so when you get to your destination, you can fold 'em to half-length to make it less unwieldy in the crowd at the post office etc.

I'm sure this would strike most Americans as very 3rd world, but if they'd stop buying treadmills and buy something like this ...... great exercise.

Do y'all know what a "Garden Way" cart is? You can get a lot of work done with one of these. Two big bicycle tires, great balance point, and a nice big tube-steel bar to push-pull with. And it turns on a dime. I use it for all sorts of things around here. My wheelbarrow and my Garden Way cart, and my nice horse-drawn oak-built stone boat/scoot (and my horse :-) - I can move a pretty large range of loads without benefit of fossil fuels.

My family make an annual pilgrimage to my wife's home town close to Odessa in the Ukraine. The Ukraine, in some respects would appear to be well placed post peak,with small holdings being the norm for a large fraction of the population, a significant degree of self sufficiency is a necessity to make ends meat with with per capita GDP hovering around India's. We have enjoyed many feasts served with home grown produce, potato salads, chicken, milk etc, have all emerged from the garden to the table. I was therefore saddened to hear yesterday that my in-laws have found it necessary to sell their cows, as the price of feed has risen beyond their means.The milkman may leave prescient notes of why prices will be rising in the UK. In the Ukraine the milk may be off the menu for many and the family's livelihood threatened. The effects of peak oil will be felt first where food and energy costs are the highest fraction of income, climate change will compound the difficulties.


That has to be the worst piece of news I've seen posted on TOD this month.

The rising grain prices coupled with falling livestock prices are a warning sign known all too well to aid workers in Africa; the famine begins the next year if the rains don't come.

The rain in the Ukraine falls mainly on the plain, but that won't help here, as its an oil drought that has set this in motion.

It has the potential to be hard. Its surprising what fraction of the population have a marginal existence. Pensioners are probably most vulnerable, they receive a minimal state pension (it was 10 dollars a month seven years ago when my wife left), leaving the majority dependent on family and what little money they can make selling home produce...


Here's another interesting news tidbit.

We had a sudden attack of Mexican food around here, carnitas to be exact, burp! And at the restaurant, the lady who owns/runs it and her employees were puzzling over a $50 bill - it seems it's counterfeit. The lady says she got two others at her other restaurant. We got to look it over too, and it's pretty well done, looks like it's been through the wash is all. But looking more closely, the little stripe's just printed etc.

Now, before "running" it into the ground, I ran a small biz for the last 10 years and dealt with a fair amount of cash, at least when dealing at swapmeets etc. I never got a fake. Not once. I didn't handle as much cash as a McDonald's franchise, but I did handle a lot more than the average person. And not one fakie.

I wonder if fake US money could even come in from China? That's gotta pay pretty well and it's easy to smuggle just about anything into the US.

The presses ran nonstop in certain foreign locations. North Korea was particularly prolific until the new notes came out a few years back.

Read all the way through the linked Wikipedia article - seems the CIA may have gotten into the act, too - easier and safer to just print fake money rather than hauling guns and drugs around.

One time I got a old note I think it was a real silver or gold certificate reedamble for gold or silver can't remember but it was rejected by a guy at a swap meet. It was for 50 dollars and turned out to be worth like 60 or so. It was a darker green than today money and if I recall I think from the 1960's in good shape also.

Pretty funny.

The same thing is happening in Kansas where there is a hay shortage.

The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR) ran a story about how common it is for people to abandon horses in Eastern Oregon because of high hay prices.

Hello Oilmanbob,

Thxs for responding. I am not an engineer, therefore other TODers may have more detail on what are the best, most efficient, and ergonomic devices for postPeak leveraging of human-power.

My hunch is that a rail-wheelbarrow or railbike's steel wheel on steel rail atop a SpiderWebRiding Network is the cheapest and most efficient until you get to the endpoints of Alan Drake's RR & TOD larger-scale spiderweb. Basically, any distance you can cover on rails compared to pushing rubber tires thru thorns, potholes, mud, sand, or snow has got to help.

I have also posted before on engineers needing a small-scale battery helper [with regenerative braking] to ease rail-wheelbarrows up and down hills to reduce human exertion.

Maybe something like the machines in this link, but converted to SpiderWebRiding:


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

NYT front page story on the plight of renters, when the bank forecloses on the property:


However, IMO, you are still better off renting. The larger the property, i.e., the more units in the rental property, the less likely it is that the the bank will kick you out.

When you read stories of many neighborhoods with vacant, foreclosed properties, I have to wonder if this makes any sense. To kick out the renters, it is revenue?!

Can't a bank hire a management company and just keep the revenue flowing?

Or is this YET another shortsighted decision in the financial world?

A quote from this week(MS-Gordon Peters) keeps ringing around my head - "coming to a grinding halt"

Cost of ownership is going to be for banks or home owners a big as problem as the subprime.The upkeep on these boxes is the secret no one talks about put a pencil to the cost of new carpeting for a house over 2000 sq ft.80% of the fiber boxes built over the last 30 yrs start showing signs of major future repairs after about 7 yrs.Even before the subprime mess most homeowners stayed on ave 7-9 yrs before moving.

That is where the short sighted part comes in.

Is it more cost effective to let an highly overvalued property fall into disrepair and squatters/crime?

At this rate, the outcome will make the depression look like a golden age.

I just figured this was the fix for social security owe more on your house than what you paid for it so you can't sell without a loss.The cost of ownership continues to rise so that pension if you have one can't cover ownership cost so you need to work to keep that love shack maintained.

That's a good point. A new OSB-vinyl-polyester-asphalt box will last 50 yrs at most. They are usually sold with 30 yr mortgages, meaning that at maturity the house will be 60% devalued, and require some major renovation. Anyone buying such a house as a long term investment is being misled.

From a probematique perspective, it's not such a bad thing though. All of suburbia will just wear out as it becomes obsolete, giving the new urban landscape a chance to grow.

The answer to rent controlled apartments. Let the bank kick them out so they can be rented to paying tenants.

Robert a Tucson

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

Because of fractional reserve banking, the money plus interest to be paid back on loans has to be paid back from the money-only pool.

Under this system, someone will always get screwed for no other fault than taking out a loan.

Not fair to discriminate against people who "can't pay", since money is, in any case, just a representation of underlying energy and resources, which we all know is getting strained as well.

On the plight of renters in foreclosure NY Times article:

Back in the late 1970's-early 1980 we had a Savings and Loan Crisis in Texas, and the rest of the US too. The real estate bubble was much more localised, and it was pretty bad in the Houston area, there was a 40% devaluation of the properties by an oversupply which became very apparent as the oil boom fell apart.

With the stagflation money climate in the US, houses were touted as a way to protect your money plus get tax benefits from home ownership. I got to the point where I owned 4 rental properties as well as my homestead, all in the Heights area. Luckily, I got a fortuitous divorce from my first ex-wife whom I affectionately call "Ol' What's Her Name", which left me broke but got me out of debt. But house prices fell about 40% off their boom prices in the Heights.

At any rate, there were lots of guys like me who owned rental property that everything had to go just right on in order to keep the balanceing act working. Here I was, a 30 year old, who owed $250,000 (equivalent to about $700,000 today) and self-employed while the oil business deteriorated. Foolish at a minimum, and nearly as stupid as the people I owed money too.

Signs started going up on the light poles in the neighborhood " I will assume your note". I was selling off community property so I missed this one, but lots of other chumps let these guys assume their notes. There was only one small snag, all those notes had clauses that the lender had to approve the assumption or it wasn't valid. At any rate, the borrower on the house would let the guy assuming the note take over management and have the losses on the note price over the rental price come out of the assuming guy's pocket, or so they thought. They particularly liked houses in a divorce because the chumps who owned the property were unfamiliar with real estate mortgages and the notices came to the house.
The guy "assuming" the note would take over collecting the rent but neglected the paying the noteholder part. After 2 or 3 months foreclosure would start, but the original purchaser was the one liable because the mortgage company had not approved the assumption. What was even better, because this swindle was hard for the Assistant Dustrict Attorneys to understand, and hard to prove unless the same Assistant DA saw several of these assumption deals from the same guy, it wasn't prosecuted as a crime. The victims didn't even realise that there was a swindle and they were one of the victims. This stuff didn't get prosecuted. The swindler just got a few months rent and to steal the house deposit. Not quite a perfct crime-not enough money-but pretty damn good.

One thing about the S&L crash, I sure got a lot of good life education. I ended up broke, but not bankrupt-I eventually paid my bills, and learned a bunch of practical lessons in how con artists act. But the biggest lesson I learned was in the value of doing my duty and compassion. I'm a regular fool, and not very exceptional one way or the other.
Bob Ebersole

The Saudi gas pipeline story had my worried for a minute. Reminded me of the part of that History Channel show where the big refinery/port starts to explode, cutting off all/most of the exports.

Related -- I wonder if Chavez is trying to take over the leadership role in OPEC. Stating that the USA will not attack Venezuela or Iran... trying to get OPEC to get off the dollar... it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

OPEC seems to be doing a lot of "good cop / bad cop" with it's discussions over the crude tie to US dollars. It's an odd wind that blows out of OPEC at the moment. The appearance is that the 2nd tier OPEC members are calling for a decreased reliance on the USD while Big Daddy KSA tries to push them back in line. Who knows what KSA is "really" discussing and considering?

Yes, it does seem like that, doesn't it. Saudi Arabia is probably always going to argee with the U.S.'s position... so the question is... can Saudi keep wagging the OPEC dog, or will Iran and Venezuela take control?

There's an assumption that these people know what they are about. It's always more confidence inspiring to assume the 'great ones' have some sort of logical process be it evil or benign. To discover that the world is largely run by gladhanding simpletons and ignorant manipulators is always a shock. The truth shall set you on fire.

To discover that the world is largely run by gladhanding simpletons and ignorant manipulators is always a shock.

*clap* *clap*


"... gladhanding simpletons and ignorant manipulators..."

A fine turn of phrase, and I'll be damned surprised if I don't manage to work it into some heated family discussions at Thanksgiving :-)

Each one of us individually is woefully unaware of a great deal concerning the effects of our actions.

It was a shock to me when it hit and sunk in that no-one really knows what they're doing to the system as a whole.

Unmanageable complexity.

It was a shock to me when it hit and sunk in that no-one really knows what they're doing to the system as a whole.

Unmanageable complexity.


The thing that's scarier than any conspiracy theory is that the world ISN'T controlled by conspiracies. It isn't controlled at all.

Don't forget, there ARE conspiracies - otherwise there would be no RICO laws or convictions for conspiracy.

Of course there are conspiracies. However, they are no more competent than the people who make them up. I find that most people vastly overestimate the level of complexity which may be managed by a group of people. (at all, much less covertly).

There are 'aligned interests' which function as uber-entities among humankind along with governments, etc. The fact that they are often not disclosed makes them 'conspiracies' by some definitions. However, that doesn't mean they are well-defined, conscious, or particularly competent.

The belief that conspiracies are controlling the world is akin to the believe that angels hung the moon. This belief that most large-scale results are volitional and due to rational unseen actors which desired them is simply a human delusion.


I think your concept is incorrect. Its not that "they" are controlling the world, its that they TRY to control the world and have done many things to manipulate. Being successful is not a condition for being a conspiracy. Power rises and falls and divides among many. In fact there is something going on right now causing quite a stir on the conspiracy boards about "power factions" and who is in control being feed by Rense, and picked up by the reverse speech guys.

I follow these things like a journalist and a hobby. Some are based on very good concepts, some are not, but they all are always changing. My question is WHY are all these things being spread and phys oped to the conspiracy theorist. Money is not enough in most of the cases I follow, its manipulation of people, or to divert people imo from watching something else. The Look over here, not here , plan.

Google ben fulford (fuliford?) and david rockefeller. Please note ben fulfords background and who he has worked/written for, and who is family is.

another similar type of thing that has played out for over a year now is Christoper Story (check his history) and Wanta.

WTF is this, and WHY, same type of apparent BS as Ben Fulford, for what purpose are both of these people trying to manipulate the common guy and give them some false "hope". Its like the Nesara BS, which seems to have been a plan to make people think its OK to spend money and build up debt, because the evil bankers were going to have to give it back. Seems to me that kind of "spending" and thought process is what the bankers wanted.

Very strange goings on in the last 5 years on this stuff, and there is a pattern imo. And its not helpful to solving the problems, but creating BS to make people argue or think a "savior" is on the way, so "party on Garth, is the rule of the day.

"It isn't controlled at all."

As from some silly 70's/80's mob movie..

"You're in organized Crime?!"

"To tell you the truth, we're not all that organized.."

Also in "Sneakers" with Robert Redford and whatsisname from Saturday Night Live. The Red October Admiral Darth Vader guy makes an appearance at the end.


Tell you what, watch "eyes wide shut", and understand what the director is trying to communicate to the audience. Its all about "they" and its full of hidden meaning, and symbolism is rampant in the movie if you know what to look for. Take the Christmas decorations and lights and examine their forms,.. and thats minor.

IN another of his movies, 2001 A Space Oddity

Example of hidden communication.

In 2001 the black Monolith is shown how many times to the audience.

the beginning with the apes,

on the moon when they go there

and at the end it stands before the astronaut in his "bed" before he becomes a "star child".

and its show to you thru the whole movie, but I bet most of you have never "seen" it.

The movie screen was a huge "black monolith" on its side before the first "light" appeared on the screen. It starts in "black" and then its filled with images, and at times its again full black during parts of the movie during scene changes.

The aspect ratio of the monolith is the same as the "screen" in the movie theater it was originally projected. It was right in front of you the whole time. In a directors cut a DVD will have that same aspect ratio

now chew on that when you watch it,


Cinemascope screen ratio 2.35:1
Monolith ratio 1:4:9(:x:x etc.) or 2.25:1 for the 4:9 bit on its side.

So close, but no cigar.

Yah, it's not cinemascope. But if you check you'll see it is the same proportions as the HAL panel. And you can use that fact to explain Space Odyssey.

We Are Waves On The River Of Mind


It was released for an opening as Cinemascope in a release print, at its first showing.

This is from another Director of Photography not me, and its not directed toward you Gary, but is in response to another person that says its in 2:35 :1

In regards to the uneducated 2.35:1 zealot reviewer, as a Director of Photography, I can state unequivocally that 2001 is supposed to be in 2.20:1 aspect ratio. It was shot in 2.20:1. It was not shot in Cinemascope (or anamorphic Panavision), which is 2.35:1. It was shot with straight lenses in Super Panavision 70 (65mm negative, 70mm projection print with soundtrack). Super Panavision 70 is a 2.20:1 aspect ratio format. When you are watching a 70mm print in a theater you are watching 2.20:1, which was never as wide as the anamorphic formats. Learn your aspect ratios.

Notice how now to Joe Public the 'baddies' causing high prices are currently Speculators, no longer the Refiners from earlier this year or the Big Oil companies when they were reaping windfall profits in 2006.

So the big question is: Who will they blame next? My picks are either Iran or Hilary.

I think what the Saudi royal family is 'considering' is that they are smack between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

On the one hand they would love to decrease their reliance on a continually depreciating dollar, but on the other hand they also realize that they cannot spit in the face of the US, who has been the gaurantor of their very existence from the very beginning.

The Saudi royal family knows only too well that US military and political support is the only reason that their collective heads are still attached to their shoulders and not adorning the gates of Mecca.

There is also the little matter of the $trillions KSA have invested in US stocks and bonds.

Oil leaders' private debate televised by mistake (Sunday November 18, 2007
The Observer)

They (Venezuela, Iran) said Opec should formally express its concern about the weakness of the dollar when the cartel makes its official declaration at the close of the summit today. But the Saudis, the world's largest oil producers and de facto head of Opec, vetoed the proposal. Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, warned that even the mere mention to journalists of the fact that leaders were discussing the weak dollar would cause the US currency to plummet.

Just like those six nuclear warheads got accidentally loaded onto a plane from a secured bunker and accidentally flown halfway across the country - they can't come right out and say it, so they leak ... leak ... leak ... and then the assistant to the Saudi rep slaps the security guard on the back and says "Go!", and we get our apparent "accident".

Can Russia guaranty safety of fellow oil producers in the face of a bankrupt and disintegrating United States? We shall see ...

The Saudi (and for that matter, Iraqi) pipelines appear to be as accident prone as US helicopters in Iraq are prone to crashing due to 'mechanical problems'.


Worn out helicopters maintained by worn out soldiers having trouble is a very likely scenario. As I recall our stuff got tested in Arizona with Arizona (sandstone & limestone) sand and dust. When they got to the Gulf the first time the harder grit there chewed up equipment very quickly.

Pipelines, however, are eroded by sharp young men who are tired of seeing our worn out helicopters overhead.

But there may come a day when oil rigs start firing up – perversely because global warming, caused in part by burning fossil fuels, is rendering the Antarctic environment more hospitable to exploration


The disappearance of the Artic sea ice is one of the dreadful positive feed back loops in climate change. The sea ice may be gone by as early as 2013:

Causes of Changes in Arctic Sea Ice; by Wieslaw Maslowski (Naval Postgraduate School)

This is why NASA climatologist James Hansen says in this interview:

KERRY O'BRIEN [ABC-TV-Oz]: You said just a couple of weeks ago that there should be a moratorium on building coal fired power plants until the technology to capture and sequester carbon dioxide emissions is available. But you must know that that's politically unacceptable in many countries China, America, Australia for that matter, because of coal industry jobs and impact on the economy.
JAMES HANSEN: Well, it's going to be realised within the next 10 years or so that we have no choice. We're going to have to bulldoze the old style coal fired power plants...


In the same interview, Hansen explains:

KERRY O'BRIEN: What is the most recent evidence of what's really going on with the ice caps, the Arctic and the Antarctic?

JAMES HANSEN: There are two things that are cause of concern. First of all, if we look at the history of the Earth, we know that at the warmest interglacial periods, which were probably less than 1 degree Celsius warmer than today, it was still basically the same planet. Sea level was perhaps a few metres higher. But if we go back to the time when the Earth was two or three degrees Celsius warmer, that's about three million years ago, sea level was about 25 metres higher, so that tells us we had better keep additional warming less than about one degree. And the other piece of evidence is not from the history of the Earth but from looking at the ice sheets themselves, and what we see is that the disintegration of ice sheets is a wet process and it can proceed quite rapidly. We see that the ice streams have doubled in their speed on Greenland in the last few years and even more concern is west Antarctica because it's now losing mass at about the same rate as Greenland, and west Antarctica, the ice sheet is sitting on rock that is below sea level. So it is potentially much more in danger of collapsing and so we have both the evidence on the ice sheets and from the history of the Earth and it tells us that we're pretty close to a tipping point, so we've got to be very concerned about the ice sheets.

The Hadley Cell is growing now.
The fear is that the ice free Arctic is responsible for the Mega Droughts in all Med Climate areas.

And these are permanent.


"Or consider another "and then" prediction: What if the prolonged drought in the southwest turns out, as Mike Davis wrote in the Nation magazine, to be "on the scale of the medieval catastrophes that contributed to the notorious collapse of the complex Anasazi societies at Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde during the twelfth century"?

What if, indeed.

I'm not simply being apocalyptic here. I'm just asking. It's not even that I expect answers. I'd just like to see a crew of folks with the necessary skills explore the "and then" question for the rest of us. Try to connect a few dots, or tell us if they don't connect, or just explain where the dots really are.

As the World Burns

Okay, since I'm griping on the subject, let me toss in another complaint. As this piece has indicated, the southeastern drought, unlike the famed cheese of childhood song, does not exactly stand alone. Such conditions, often involving record or near record temperatures, and record or near record wildfires, can be observed at numerous places across the planet. So why is it that, except at relatively obscure websites, you can hardly find a mainstream piece that mentions more than one drought at a time? "

The Tipping Point is past.

And to connect the dots - water consumption as a factor of energy consumption


The average Georgia household burns 1,100 kilowatt hours of electricity a month. That translates to about 27,000 gallons of water.

By comparison, a family of four goes through about 9,000 gallons a month for household uses such as washing clothes, flushing toilets and showering.


Coal-fired plants employing once-through cooling use up to 27 gallons of water to generate one kilowatt hour of electricity, according to the federal Department of Energy. Nuclear power plants use more than 31 gallons for the same output.

And for the same reasons, I see the Tar Sands never exceeding 3.5 Million barrels per day...if they can make that. I would put a 60% prob on not exceeding 3MMBPD, 95% on 3.5 MMBPD, 100% on 4MMBPD - no water, and NG crunch.

This is why many large thermal power stations, refineries, steel mills etc. (most, in some countries) use cooling towers - either the big concrete cylindrical hyperboloids (cooled by natural convection), or the rectangular packs (usually with fans). And river water is fine for low-grade process heat rejection - it doesn't have to be potable. Really, this isn't such a big deal.

it is a big deal, you can only make a heat exchanger so effective. Using water and free convective cooling is alright, but inferior to forced convective cooling. Large amounts of surface area are needed for the entire process. This translates into expensive tower coolers.

you mention fans, however these cannot be used in power plants, as they reduce the overall efficiency (SLOTD). Power plants have to rely on the ambient environment to dump heat into. Power plants and agriculture are the biggest water users. Power plants are pretty much at the max efficiency, but farming could be improved from the spray and pray method which is responsible for significant water losses.

Yet another reason to quit burning coal.

Robert a Tucson

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

The Great Coal Grab
By Elliott H. Gue
The US is often called the Saudi Arabia of coal. And there’s a good reason for that: The nation has more than 27 percent of the world’s known coal reserves and some of the highest-quality deposits in the world. That’s 90 billion metric tons more than Russia, the nation with the second-largest reserves.


Using water and free convective cooling is alright, but inferior to forced convective cooling

you mention fans, however these cannot be used in power plants

How do you reconcile those two statements? I don't have anything to gain personally by educating you about power engineering, but please follow link and view Image 4


Large thermal power plants are their own largest customers - where do you think the power comes from to drive feed pumps, cooling water pumps, lube pumps, coal conveyors, pulverising mills, forced and induced draught fans and all the other accessories they need to function? Does your car stop when you turn on the radio?



However much isn't returned to potable status or evaporated is still a problem. But, as you say, maybe not as much depending on design.

However, the tar sands CONSUME water...the water is effective removed from the potable system due to pollution of the process. And, this is not including runoff pollution which has condemned many downstream communities.

Correct: extracting bitumen from soil is a thermochemical process, much more aggressive than low-grade heat removal, and the effluent has to be a lot nastier. I certainly wouldn't want to drink any of it!

There is no precedent for relocating 80% of a country's population, or hundreds of millions of people en masse.

None. No method, no plan.

Let's name it, perhaps "Survival Oriented Development." We can file this plan next to the other not-existing plans for preserving life and civilization (sarcasm). Like the Transportation Resilience Plan and the Water Table Preservation Plan and the 7 Lean Year Food Storage Plan.

The ten countries with the largest number of people living within ten metres of the average sea level are: China (143,888,000); India (63,188,000); Bangladesh (62,524,000); Vietnam (43,051,000); Indonesia (41,610,000); Japan (30,477,000); Egypt (25,655,000); United States (22,859,000); Thailand (16,468,000); and the Philippines (13,329,000).

(from last spring) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070328093605.htm

It seems we may have had to relocate once, but 8300 years ago and the total population was probably small.

Perhaps 5 million people(!) on the whole planet: http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/worldhis.html

So now we approach the eye of the needle, all billions of tons of us biomass, with millions of other species. Who gets through? What happens on the other side? Is there another side to get to?

Stay tuned for further exciting developments.

[edit for typids]

Well, a modern country's population.

After the potato famine Ireland did manage to relocate 80% of its population: to America, or to the grave.

And all without the interference of big government!

One reason not to get too nervous about rising sea levels and the prospect of the mass migration of millions of people is that it it not going to happen all at once. We are not going to go to bed one night and wake the next morning to find that Miami is now totally and permanently underwater. Rather, it is going to be something that will occur over decades and in a very uneven way.

As the most vulnerable areas start experiencing chronic flooding and storm damage, there will be less and less incentive to rebuild and more and more incentive for people to move out, particularly those who can't afford to rebuild. While it would be a national tragedy to lose New Orleans, how many more Katrina-scale events can it stand before even the die-hards give up on the place?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying everything will be fine. It won't. Many people will die or become destitute, and there will be trillions of dollars worth of cumulative damge. But it will not be a sudden biblical-scale apocalypse.

While it would be a national tragedy to lose New Orleans, how many more Katrina-scale events can it stand before even the die-hards give up on the place?

Once the insurance for rebuilding comes to an end.

Or they die due to their stupidity.

Joule, I like your confidence but find it over optomistic. You, I, and the rest of the world are living an experience (or experiment) that no human has ever lived through. Neither you, nor anyone, has a guarantee that the Greenland Ice Sheet or the Antartic West Ice Shelf will not suddenly slide into the ocean. Either of these events would cause a very large tsunami...A tsunami that would not subside...and, indeed, Miami would be suddenly and permanently underwater...overnight.

I am not predicting such an event will occur. On the other hand you cannot predict that such an event will not occur.

If you insist on making predictions, please knock on wood as you are typing them... :)

Humans as a species have lived through rapid sea level rise and mega-floods before, there have been three since the last glacial maximum (about 20,000 years ago). Those "flood myths" are based in truth. Check out the Rig Vedas. Whatever happens will not be unprecedented.

I'm quite doubtful about the disaster scenarios painted by Hansen, most of the ice has melted since the LGM already. Even if the IPCC are wrong, Greenland could melt in as little as 500 years, which is quick in geological terms, but still much beyond a human lifetime.

Unfortunately our "now" culture demands that everything happens immediately, whether good or bad. We seem to have completely lost touch with the slow progress of time and the world that our ancestors had.

We seem to have completely lost touch with the slow progress of time and the world that our ancestors had.

I don't think we ever had touch with it. This is a main theme of Jared Diamond's Collapse. People haven't changed; our ancestors were neither better nor worse than us when it came to environmental stewardship. They were just like us. And they were just as blind as we were to the long cycles of nature. Humans assume that the way it's been for the past few decades or centuries is the way it will always be. Only to be surprised when the wet period reverts to norm, or the lull in hurricanes ends. That applies to modern Americans settling the southwest, as much as to the Anasazi centuries earlier.

That's true, but rather unfair. Local climate patterns and even global patterns are quite chaotic, and no amount of observation would deduce a simple pattern. We don't know if ancient people were aware of the cycles of ice ages, 120,000 years is perhaps too long to preserve an oral history.

There is evidence that ancients were aware of the precession of the Earth, this can be observed by movement of the pole star. The cycle takes about 25,000 years, so observations and preservation of such must have taken place over several thousand years at least.

We also have traditions of mass migration - e.g. Exodus. The Rig Veda also has very similar to that of Noah - a mega flood, leading to a migration of people and establishing new cities. The Rig Veda is hard to date, as it was preserved orally well before being written, but it describes events going back 10,000 years.

For us in the culture derived from West Europe, history starts with the Renaissance. Pretty much everything before is regarded as ancient superstition. But some of that mythology did record events we are facing today, and would have been known to ancient peoples. It's easy to dismiss the ancient; but we are only dimly aware of what was known - the ancient texts are probably the tip of an iceberg. It's hard to know exactly what we have lost.

I also think that Diamond makes a classic error of revisionist history - he frames all past events in the context of the modern time.

It's not unfair. It just is. We aren't designed to think long-term.

The cycle takes about 25,000 years, so observations and preservation of such must have taken place over several thousand years at least.

Not true. Hipparchus noticed it in his lifetime.

Of course there have been mass migrations. I don't think anyone's expecting the extinction of the human race due to sea level rise. (Due to other factors related to climate change, maybe, but as Doug Fir has pointed out, sea level change is the least of our worries.)

Curiously, new research on the Anasazi suggests it was not drought alone that caused their collapse. It was drought, combined with the inability to migrate (because they eventually reached the point where there was nowhere to move to, due to higher population and the increased political barriers that went with it).

It's not unfair. It just is. We aren't designed to think long-term.

Whatever, you totally missed my point.

Not true. Hipparchus noticed it in his lifetime.

Did you actually read that link? He used observations of his predecessors. So not from his lifetime.

I appreciate your effort Leanan but often you seem to argue with nothing to go on just for the sake of it.

Okay, it was 150 years - a very far cry from "thousands" of years.

Humans as a species have lived through rapid sea level rise and mega-floods before,

But humans lacked fission/fusion/bio-warfare weapons during that time.

And you were not alive then - to be killed over some resource that is in short supply because of rapid climate change.

Uhh, if I may, I am going to yell bovine excreta at the top of my lungs on this one.

We've debunked this whole ice sheet tsunami thing at least once before:


And here is a nice visual aid to show just how unlikely this is. The tiny, white appendix in the upper left hand corner is Jakobshavn Isbrae, where 10% of Greenland's annual ice drainage happens.

Jakobshavn Glacier, Greenland

E is still 1/2 M * V^2, except for a few select regular posters here, and a heavy, plastic piece of ice is an impressive bit of M, but its never going to work up that much V due to the grade. No, not even if we get to use the kinetic coefficient of friction because the sheet's underside is being lubricated by meltwater going through moulins - that much ice moves like a piece of tar on a hot day and a fast glacier moves kilometers per day, not the meters per second range needed to produce a tsunami.

SCT, ice is bouyed by water as well as lubricated by water. If enough water accumulates beneath a glacier it will tend to lubricate and bouy the ice...water is an oddity...lighter when frozen...heaviest when more or less 37 degrees. The tremendous pressure created by billions of tons of ice pressing down on rock creates a lot of heat via friction...heat that melts more ice and creates more water.

As I said before, there are no guarantees that one or more of the glaciers will not suddenly slide into the sea. You nor anyone else can offer conclusive proof that this will not happen. I cannot offer conclusive proof that it will happen.

Most of us have probably seen video of huge chunks of ice falling off glaciers and into the oceans.

So, maybe we won't see a tsunami from the entire ice sheet sliding into the ocean.

But as moulins swiss-cheese the ice sheet, we could see instead see larger and larger chunks falling in, or see periodic rapid melting.

If, say over the course of a month, 5% of the sheet melted and/or broke off into the ocean, how would the world cope with a sudden rise of 1 foot in ocean levels (ignoring any problems we might have with war, disease, drought, or food shortages)? Not one foot over a decade, but one foot over a month?

Hello River,

My hunch is that a clathrate tsunami; a giant methane burp will be the wakeup call to the world on climate change:


A nearby continental shelf methane burp causing a tsunami would probably be onshore before most people could be evacuated. But the real show would be when this now-mixed gas finds a spark. Imagine 1,000 LNG tankers releasing their loads into NYC harbour...got a spark of imagination?

If you happened to survive the 50ft tsunami, it would be highly doubtful you could outrace the explosive heatwave moving along about 300 mph.

Don't forget that some scientists still consider that the 1948 Unimak & Hilo Tsunami might have been caused by a methane burp and subsea slump:


The US setup the Tsunami Warning Center after this event.

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

I think the technical term there is EarthFart.

Bob, I have always thought that the tremendous blast that took place in Siberia, the Tunguska event of 1908, might have been a gas explosion and not an object from space. What made me think of this was the description of people in London 'reading newspapers in the middle of the night with no light except the glow that lingered in the sky for days following the event.' I dont think a large astroid or meteor would cause such light in the sky for days following an impact...maybe it could? Besides, no particles of an impacting object have been found as far as I know. One thing in favor of an air burst was that the trees at ground zero were still standing, just as at Hiroshima some buildings at ground zero were still standing. Still, a methane air burst could account for Tunguska.

I'm now quite interested in finding any studies that attempt to predict what weather patterns will be like without any arctic ice coverage during summer with very little (sq. km) coverage during winter, as I suspect this will cause a major shift, and it makes sense to plan for this eventuality. I'm now off to google.

And it you find out, can you submit the research as a front page article - or at least let us know what you found?

My initial effort took me back to this 500+ comment Realclimate thread, http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=464 that discussed the record actric ice retreat of last summer where comment #262 asked my very question but got no replies. There are a few observations made in the comments about what might occur: greater northward shift of jet stream; a cooler, yet somewhat moister, northesaat, while the southeast gets hotter and drier; Greenland's ice sheet will accelerate its disintegration; northwest passage will see greater use; permafrost melting will accelerate. All of these are already happening. I'll continue looking for studies, but the no reply mentioned above doesn't make me optimistic in finding any. I would conclude that we should expect to see more of what we are now seeing (at least here in the USA): the wobbling in the region between New Mexico and the Atlantic between drought and flood over the last 3-4 years; the drought in the southwest to increase in severity; less snowfall and more rainfall in the Sierras, Cascades and Rockies; reports of further problems with the Alaskan pipeline and slowing of transport to higher latitude energy projects due to melting permafrost and fewer days frozen rivers can be used as roads; and on a global basis accelerating desertification.

I expect the above to reduce crop yields and increase migration.

I wrote this on yesterday's Drumbeat (we're currently breaking records here in France for the coldest November since 1919):

I can't help thinking about the Medieval Warm period and the following Little Ice Age in Europe. Perhaps it wasn't due to the disrupted thermohaline circulation as assumed but due to changes in the upper air circulation (ie. the Jet Stream). Or perhaps something has happend to disrupt the thermohaline circulation and what we are seeing is the results.

Something happened in April/May that altered the climate here in Europe, which has now continued into Autumn and presumably Winter. No way of knowing if it is a random bit of climatic volatility or the beginning of a trend. Either way, the tempo is speeding up and we are getting closer to some defining event that changes humanity's priorities.

Like you, I've searched in vane for anything meaningful on what to expect from Climate Change. Yet, it is probably the most important of the many threats we now face. It is also increasingly evident that whatever is happening is accelerating and we are likely to face climate related problems much sooner than the overly optimistic IPCC reports suggest (my understanding is that we are already ahead of their most pessimistic scenario).

In absence of anything else, I'm using the 14th Century as the most likely model. Strangely enough, the population of Europe was in overshoot at that time and consequently faced energy shortages, followed by food shortages as the climate changed (farm animals were affected first due to disease). Of course the period is best known for the Black Death which came some 50 years into the the Little Ice Age.

If you can find any weather related information for your area around that time it might help. I seem to remember something about the Indian's along the Californian coast having food problems that caused warfare between previously peaceful tribes.

Like you, I've searched in vane for anything meaningful on what to expect from Climate Change.

Great unexpected pun!

(Vain vs. vane - it's our stupid english homonyms)

Mark Lynas's book Six Degrees takes a pretty fair shot at what to expect from climate change. There are six main chapters, one chapter for each degree (Celsius) of warming.

Lynas spent a long time reading climate change papers and filing them in boxes according to how many degrees of warming the paper indicated.

A very interesting book.


Last year The Union of Concerned Scientists published a report which I read that discussed the effects of climate change on California. I searched again for that and found more, http://www.climatechoices.org/index.html that links to the CA study and a new one concerning the US Northeast. Ther's also a link to this one for the Great Lakes region and includes Canada, http://www.ucsusa.org/greatlakes/glchallengeclimover.html and in all there are further links to other studies. Other than the paper on California which I read last year, I've yet to do more than look at these pages and report their links here. That done, I now get to go and read them. But first, I changed my search terminology, http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22climate+change%22+effects and got a greater number of promising hits. Here are two that look promising, http://www.climate.org/topics/climate/impacts_na.shtml

Few of these sources will include the recent vast retreat of Artic Ocean ice and will not reflect the recent agreement among climatologists that weather responses are rapid, not slow as was previously thought.

This is the last item I'll add for today, http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/20070927-9999-1n27icemelt.html The latter part is the most important.


but please, the Arctic Ice that has left so quickly IS NOT from Global Warming. I linked to the study by NASA that said it was from Ocean currents and wind pattern changes that seem to cycle. The scientist even said, this can not be laid at AGW's feet.


Yeah, you keep believing that. It's all natural and normal. When was the last cycle that produced this effect?
Are we talking a cycle that happens every 150 million years?
How dense.

http://www.newsbusters.org ????, yeah, no agenda there. Screw RealClimate, I'm getting my science information from Fox News!

Hadley Cell Ice Free Arctic


The Eemian Interglacial. It began about 131,000 years ago. We're moving into it. How long we stay is the question.

"“We are now approaching the climate and the temperatures that prevailed during the Eem Period,” says Dorthe Dahl-Jensen. “In other words, this research is not about abstract reasoning but rather about something that may soon be a concrete reality. The advantage of researching the inland ice is that we can study how the ice was actually impacted by earlier warm periods and compare this to the models we have for calculating what the future ice cover might look like. If the model fits the Eem Period, then I can rely on the model.”

Dorthe Dahl-Jensen stresses the importance of having reliable models when researchers present their forecasts to politicians and the general public."


Theme Parks have nothing on the real thing.

I suspect that there are many people that think that when the planet warms, people will be able to just move further north. What they don't realize is that there will still be strong cold periods during winter, since the North Pole will still be without any sunlight for 6 months of the year. As a result, the sea-ice which may melt completely away in summer will reappear during the next winter. The winter temperatures may warm by 10 C, but that's from something like -50 C. Sure, people can survive such conditions, but things won't be like moving northward with conditions as they are along the northern arc of the U.S. And, in summer, the permafrost will melt, causing lots of erosion as the so-called "active layer" deepens. That last situation is already seen in Alaska, with "drunken" trees and power poles tilting or falling and road beds subsiding.

E. Swanson

Hansen said this at the end of 2005:

"If we continue with business-as-usual, then carbon dioxide emissions by 2015 will be 35 percent larger than they are in the year 2000. And it will be impossible to get onto a scenario that keeps warming under one degree.

We have already largely wasted one year. We have nine more years."

Unless something has happened in the last two years it should be seven years left not ten.

If he keeps pushing back the date he is going to start sounding like the the physicists who have been predicting fusion power in 30 years for the last 30 years.

There will be no bulldozing of power plants and little action taken to mitigate global warming. That's my 2¢, anyway.

You're right about the no bulldozing - once abandoned power plants slowly open to nature as humans pick over the carcass, hauling off the small, salable bits. Right here is a juicy take of scrap iron, should anyone have the energy to get it out of there. This generator flywheel is a foot thick and eight feet across - about twelve tons worth.


Net Oil Exports (http://netoilexports.blogspot.com/ ) has published November update - export graph and data file for top 16 exporters. Note comments and potential for revision in future months.

The Fat Tail of the J Curve. The Textbook Model.

A NonLinear Event is guaranteed.


"...When people don’t want to wake up to the nightmare, but are faced with an accurate and compelling assessment of their condition, they can, and will, relegate that experience to the file they’ve created in their heads labeled “Horror Movies and Other Things I Don’t Want to Believe Are True.”

Human beings are extremely creative when they want to be. That includes being psychologically creative. That includes being creative about constructing defense and denial mechanisms that serve to keep them numb and asleep.

So we offered a menu of sorts to help people identify their feelings. We gave them a short list of the basic five: Glad, Sad, Mad, Scared or Ashamed.

...I say this because by the time the tour came to an end I began to see something that was fairly disturbing. The most frequently reported feelings were sad and glad, followed by ashamed and mad, with only the rare expression of people being scared. I think that’s backwards to what would best be experienced. I think if people were really letting the information sink in, if they were letting it past their denial and defense mechanisms, that they would, first and foremost, be scared."

Porky says: "that's all folks"
The ultimate looney tune for, "rainy day people."


I'm scared a fair amount of the time, and I use the fear to jumpstart thinking and doing.

Jim Jubak has an interesting video up about stock market swings.

Although he doesn't say "peak oil" he does talk about baby boomer's and the "world wide shortage of raw material that will last for decades".


Some observations on my small motorbike:

I used to ride all the time, was not licensed for a car. It feels weird riding now, because I've been away from it for 14 years. I'm like, "I used to do this all the time??" It will take me a while to get used to it again.

It IS fun buzzing around. It *feels* like I get to observe more going on around me than in a car. I think this is fallacious because there's a lot more I have to pay attention to, so I miss some things too. I'm just closer to things - literally.

I think the motorcycle's a good exploration/scout vehicle, mainly because it's so cheap on gas. But in reality, it does not get good traction on the unpaved roads here, the tires don't have an aggressive enough tread. My mountain bike on the other hand has very aggressive tires and is great for these back roads.

Motorcycling really isn't exercise, as many fat bikers will attest. It IS more exercise than driving a car is, but not much more. I'm getting more keen on getting into good physical shape because a lot of things around here just take strength, and being strong is a big help towards preventing injuries too - less likely to injure a wrist messing around with rebar if I'm hitting the weights regularly. Bicycling actually does a fair amount for fitness, so I may find myself riding *that* bike a fair bit too.

You give up a lot of carrying ability going from a car to a motorcycle. The saddlebags on this thing are getting stuffed regularly, just doing errands. I'm considering building a sort of rack that will go over the bags, and my standard for size is, I want it to be able to carry a banana box. A banana box is what bananas come in, you can get 'em for free at any supermarket, and they're strong and durable. A banana box will hold my laundry for a trip to the laundromat, or a fair amount of groceries, or art stuff to go draw people downtown, etc. Fortunately there are a lot of such things available for the more popular bikes (like the Rebel) so if you get a small bike to do serious errand-running or commuting on, consider a saddlebag and rack system. As for me, money's tight and it's just more .... interesting to build my own so I might do that.

All in all I recommend a small cruiser like the Rebel for getting a lot of bang for your buck. I've put 100 miles on this little guy over the last week, and that's maybe a gallon and a half of gas, as opposed to 5 gallons in the truck.

Hello TODers,

As a fast-crash realist, but working to try and avoid the worst, I am greatly concerned about FFs & NPK fertilizers [both natural & FF-produced], and related time delayed effects.

The depleting P & K rocks in the mines are essentially free, therefore the cost to finished form is essentially all the embedded energy and other resources in the entire process-stream. A quick google shows how rapidly prices for these non-substitutable elements is skyrocketing along with FFs.

N is especially worrisome, as most N comes from the Haber-Bosch natgas process: as global supplies of natgas inevitably reduce down to the remaining high ERoEI megafields, the transport distance and cost will become a formidable obstacle for farmers and relocalized permaculturists. Thus, we can expect much more crop-rotation ahead, to try and offset this N logistic effect, with reduced harvest tons headed back to the cities.

Livestock manures, composted city refuse, bird & bat guanos, and humanure, by their respective, inherent bulk/nutrient ratios will energetically determine just how far each of items will be future transported, then applied to the topsoil, but generally the distance will be less than for the more concentrated and easier to apply industrial products.

As an additional consideration: generally insufficent cheap, potable water/capita, drought areas, and depleting aquifers are having an increasing blowback effect on both agriculture and urban living. Cost projections for cleaning watershed pollution from agri-runoff and urban sewage spiderweb maintenance is rapidly becoming unaffordable, yet we must seek to avert the hazards of replicating Zimbabwe and other countries: where only the rich still have flush toilets, and they could care less where it overflows into the neighborhoods and water reservoirs. Recall my numerous earlier postings on this subject.

I think this presents a tremendous biosolar mission-critical investing opportunity for entrepeneurs and the insurance industry to help promote needed legislation from our politicians as the combined investments in water-handling and food generation truly dwarfs our investments in wasteful easy-motoring and easy-living. The days of pure 'joy-riding' will be ending soon for most, but the primacy of safe food and water spiderweb movement will continue to be seen as vital to machete' moshpit reduction.

If the drought in the Southeast continues to get worse: the insurance industry should be drastically raising the cost of homeowners' and businesses' fire protection coverage. It would not be unlikely for people to tap this fire protection system if water gets extremely scarce, thus reducing the pressure just when the fire department needs it the most. The rising insurance premium will also help convince people to sell or abandon their property, then relocate to an area with adequate water reserves.

Before the extreme water shortages hit, the insurance companies' rising rates [combined with rapidly rising water pricing], can be further used as a lever to help force humanure recycling on a giant municipal scale--this can greatly extend the depleting water supplies. The more expensive your house or business, the more punitive this pricing combo will affect your water usage. This one-two whammy can greatly curtail the wealthy desire for extensive landscape maintenance, golf course usage, full pools and spas, and wasteful water usage in businesses. The overall effect is to reduce the above-mentioned Zimbabwe effect to a minimum.

Okay, that is a brief expose on the 'stick method' for mitigation, how about the 'carrot method'? See the article on 'trucker bombs' linked for your study [please see the short video!]:


Although this is a clever & helpful answer, a better solution is widespread urine collection. Recall my earlier speculative posting on using Death Valley's below sea-level altitude as a method of generating power. My latest brainstorm is to send the urine from this multi-million people region to not only generate power, but to also quickly evaporate, then harvest the dried NPK fertilizer so that it can be used for the area's agriculture.

Using info gleaned from other links: the average person generates 500 liters/year or 132 gallons/per year. California's population of 36.5 million people could potentially flow 4,927,500,00 gallons/year into 'Life Valley'. The evaporites could be easily harvested by shovel and wheelbarrow, if required, but I hope solar-powered equipment would be more likely used.

I haven't yet found specific info of how many NPK dry ounces you get per gallon of urine, maybe some TODer has a link. =)

But if just a million tons can be harvested, then locally used yearly at a very high ERoEI--it maybe very worthwhile compared to the highly energy intensive, hard-rock ERoEI of 3300 ft underground mines in Saskatchewan [K], the natgas Haber-Bosch nitrogen process [N], and the rapidly depleting Florida mining process [P].

NPK is rapidly approaching $500/ton and that is not counting the shipping cost either. If Life Valley can harvest NPK for local use at $100/ton, plus save additional billions in sewage treatment costs to help speed ocean, delta, river, and beach ecologic restoration--it could be a tremendous boon for the water-starved Southwest.

I hope some expert TODers could really examine the pros and cons of this idea to see if it has any postPeak merit. I just come up with the wild & crazy ideas, but expert engineers might figure out if this could be widely applied across the country to help support relocalized permaculture and industrial agriculture.

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

The use of animal waste for fertilizer was used extensively even forty years ago. I can remember (mid 1960's) seeing and smelling the cow and pig manure being applied to fields in southern Minnesota where I lived. A week ago I saw a farmer in Missouri using a manure spreader, something I haven't seen in many years.

As far as human fertilizer being used, it would be easy to capture the NPK from the male portion of the population if the urinals were piped to a seperate collection system instead of dumping in with the solid stuff. I have read that 80% of the usefull elements in human waste are in the urine. This would make treating of the solid waste easier too.

Mark in St Louis, USA

Hello Mbnewtrain,

Thxs for your reply. Yep, as I recall, the EB links had some photos and info of some sophisticated urine collection systems.

I was thinking when we reach the postPeak point of most of the shiny chrome, fuel tanker-rigs not having any more finished-FFs to haul: that they could be parked in residential neighborhoods and business parking lots underneath a platform of urine-only J-Jons.

The city would instantly repay the NPK and energy savings back to the neighborhood or business contributors in the form of a small seed package or some other small, but tradeable 'real value' item. Maybe a foot of dental floss or yarn, a couple of Q-tips, a sewing needle, small portion of corn cobs in lieu of the widespread unavailabilty of toilet paper, two aspirin, etc, etc--whatever has immediately applicable value to help offset the avg. 100 day latency effect of NPK-til-harvest.

A big tanker parked outside a big, crowded-nightly bar could do a real good business because I contend you can never truly 'buy' beer, but only temporarily 'rent' it. =)

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

Mayhap some brave soul will start a "Save your pee for P" campaign.


Need a theme song? Here's punker bassist Mike Watt's tribute to his trucker father. Someone else can dig up Zappa's Yellow Snow song.

Death Valley? Why not just set up tinklefalls on the Hollywood hills? Surround them in sheet metal too, cut out the smell.

My latest brainstorm is to send the urine from this multi-million people region to not only generate power, but to also quickly evaporate, then harvest the dried NPK fertilizer so that it can be used for the area's agriculture.

I hope some expert TODers could really examine the pros and cons of this idea to see if it has any postPeak merit. I just come up with the wild & crazy ideas

Bob, I love your ideas and always appreciate your posts, even though I'm on record saying humans are dumber than yeast.

I think the urine recycling is a great idea in principle, and I hope someone with the aptitudes does flesh it out more.

So saying, my initial thoughts are that it would be
difficult to get that much urine transported, particularly the way people live now. The logistics of piping all that piss to death valley, particularly when other water is scarce, would be formidable and take no small bit of energy. And the PR and infrastructure to get it to happen? yow. I don't see it happening. I do remember that during the civil war, the south had its population saving and drying urine for gunpowder manufacture, so there's precedent.

I think in the future, 'relocalization' may just mean people's urine winds up on fields nearby. Or it could be dried in place and re-sold, it would ship more easily that way. Collecting and drying urine may become a future job for some, which (please excuse me) may give new meaning to the term "peons".

Clearly, recycling urine won't be done until there is dire need, if then. Although "soylent brown" would be high in phosphorus, and may become an export of many regions in the future.

Hello Greenish,

Thxs for replying with good points: pro & con. Yep, it is very hard to tell, at this point in time, if people can be sufficiently incentivized postPeak to give up the 'Throne'---> to become more ecologically pissed.

I think we gotta try, but my guess is wealthy women and men will go to great expense to keep flushing the 'wealth' away only to have it erupt in our downstream housing areas and streets like Zimbabwe. How about buying Perrier, club soda, Evian, and Dasani bottled water to keep flushing? =(

I was also thinking that intense, clustered TODevelopment might be too urine-NPK intensive/sq. mile to just scatter locally-- we probably need it in still liquid form to easily downhill flow it out to the rural farm areas, with the deserrt evaporites being the most-condensed, therefore the cheapest to haul to the more distant acres and forestry plots.

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

Mr. Totoneila Sir,

Many times you have expressed concerns over the impending failure of the production of anhydrous ammonia due to a reduction in natural gas supplies. I do believe I can offer a set of sensible partial solutions.

The Haber Bosch process uses natural gas for heat and as a hydrogen source, the atmosphere for nitrogen, and various catalysts. Heating may be accomplished with electricity and the electrolysis of hydrogen from water is also easily accomplished. Looking from a purely technical perspective it is easy to see that an electrical source next to a water source needs only the appropriate catalysts to begin producing anhydrous ammonia.

The cleanliness of water for electrolysis is much less than the requirements for drinking. An intake in a sewage lagoon to a mechanical filter should be sufficient, and this would place the production of multiple forms of fertilizer in the same location.

If such a facility is going to be filtering the solids it'll end up with a stream of fluid rich in potassium. I do not know if there has been any work done as far as electrode requirements for the electrolysis of hydrogen from urine rather than pure water. It may be that with just a bit of cleverness one could extract hydrogen and convert the potassium to an easily handled form in the same process.

Wind turbines are one method of producing electrical energy but their power is not dispatchable. Already we see hydrogen electrolysis based storage schemes for the excess power being tested here in Iowa. It isn't much of a jump to trying to direct all of that excess generation into a high value product usable locally rather than fooling around trying to store it in some fashion for later power generation.

This part of the world has clusters of factory farms. The one my brother manages in a county with less than four thousand people has over a hundred thousand hogs. There is sewage there for the taking without all of the regulations and social issues that human sewage processing would face. I do suspect there is a negative correlation between good wind sites and places we've chosen for factory farms; wind does best in flat areas with laminar flow while we use hills & hollows for factory farms. Perhaps the hydrogen would be pipelined into the area from strings of wind turbines ... or maybe compressed and trucked.

There would be a huge value add to standardizing the fertilizer one gets from a factory farm. I believe we're wiser about it now but in the past I have heard stories of eighty acre sections of land that are basically only good for weeds due to being "burned" - too much N+K from animal waste disposal.

This is a very interesting line of thinking and I do believe I am going to press pencil to paper, make a few phone calls to farmers and factory farm guys, and see at what NG price point something like this would make sense ...


Hello SCT,

Just call me Bob or Toto or BS*--no Mr. or Sir required!

Thxs for your reply. Do what you can, encourage others to think about this too please. Don't forget that fertilizer went from $35 to $500/ton in 1914 [$500 = approx. $10,500/ton in inflation adjusted 2007 USD], and population was much lower. I would expect NPK to continue to mirror FF-price increases, maybe even rising at a faster postPeak rate because there is no substitution for these elements; no amount of labor or FF-equipment will help boost crop yields if the topsoil is deficient.

* BS == Basic Student, of course! What were you thinking the initials BS means? LOL!

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

I fertilized my garden this year with a 1:15 urine/water ratio. Worked great, especially the tomatoes, most were healthy and vigorous till the early November frost.

There's lots of good info to be found with a Google search for: urine fertilizer. Even a Wikipedia article. Dried urine is about 7-4-3 NPK and micronutrients; better than Miracle Gro and it's free. BTW Miracle Gro is made by Monsanto, one of the most evil of the corporations.

Get it while you can.

Really? Can you do that? Can you fertilize your garden with urine? I thought the salt in urine would kill everything. It kill the grass where the dog pisses in my backyard. What do you do about the salt? Salt kills everything. Why is what kills my backyard grass good for your garden? That just doesn't make any sense at all.

Ron Patterson

Notice he cuts it 1:15 and not all salts are NaCl. Everything done to excess has nasty ramifications. People, on occasion, have died from water poisoning (not drowning).

Really? Can you do that? Can you fertilize your garden with urine? I thought the salt in urine would kill everything. It kill the grass where the dog pisses in my backyard. What do you do about the salt? Salt kills everything. Why is what kills my backyard grass good for your garden? That just doesn't make any sense at all.

Google: urine fertilizer
and you'll find a wealth of info. I couldn't believe it at first either but after testing it on a small area I gave away my Miracle Gro and went 100% fertilizing with dilute urine. This sounds just too good to be true but as my garden shows, it is. I have never had tomato plants so healthy in September and I have been gardening for 30 years. I found that some plants like peppers were slightly stressed by 1:10 ratio so I moved to 1:15 and all my plants were happy.

Get it while you can.

Urine collecting toilets already exist -- Ekologen DS by Wost-Man of Sweden manufactures them. Short article here: http://www.erosioncontrol.com/ow_0509_golden.html



I've neglected commenting on this before today, but I think I'd hold off on the bat guano, unless of course your objective is a more rapid descent to Oldi's gorge.

Bats are rapidly being viewed as one of the larger reserviors for human disease, implicating their droppings in more than just rabies.

"Their high mobility, broad distribution, social behaviour (communal roosting, fission-fusion social structure) and close evolutionary relationship to humans make bats favourable hosts and disseminators of disease."


(fission-fusion social structure-I thought you'd like that) But we shouldn't stop with rabies-there's SARS, henipavirus, West Nile fever, Japanese B encephalitis, St Louis encephalitis, and possibly Lassa fever, Marburg fever, and ebola.



Iran gasoline imports down 50%. The time scale is march 2007 until today.

When did Iran quit subsidizing gasoline?

Robert a Tucson

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

AFAIK fuel prices in Iran still are not competitive, or still subsidized. They only started to give up subsidizing in june when fuel was rationed to 100 litres/month, causing riots. There are few informations available about the period since then.

They still subsidize it, but they started rationing it. That probably accounts for the drop.

Maybe Iran imports less gasoline because the black marketers in Iraq are shipping it to them in exchange for weapons/ammo.

Mark in St Louis, USA

I'd like to draw people's attention to the powerful graphic that Leanan posted in 2nd position today:

Who has the oil? by Aaron Pava at Civic Actions via Energy Bulletin.

Just looking at it is an unforgettable lesson in modern geopolitics.

I'm a "word" person, and I like analysis. However, there's nothing that beats graphics for communicating a complex issue at a glance. Edward Tufte (The Visual Display of Quantitative Information) has remarked that graphics has increased the effective intelligence of human beings by several points.

I'm always awed when looking at the graphic depiction of Napoleon's 1812 advance and retreat from Moscow. (larger version.)

Where are the graphic/statistical geniuses who will create an information-dense, but striking depiction of peak oil?

Energy Bulletin

It is a great graphic, but those two blue colors in the first moment seem to indicate that Saudi Arabia or Iran are 2nd largest oil consumers (such as China), but they are 4th.

Thanks for pointing this out, radlafari.

I think there is some ambiguity in the graphic, since two different shades of blues are used to indicate the level of oil consumption.

China is a darker shade of blue (3000 - 5999 thousands of barrels per day), whereas Saudi Arabia and Iran are a lighter shade of blue (1000 - 1999 thousands of barrels per day).

It would probably have been better to have chosen different colors and avoid the confusion.

Instead of colors, how about a stack of barrels (or something) representing consumption?

Also, is it fair to not adjust for population?

It is one thing to put oil reserves down on paper, it is another thing to actually produce them. If you make a map showing oil production of the nations in the world then you might get the real world view.
Saudi Arabia increased their official oil reserves by almost 52% in one year (1990), without any substantial increase in drilling.


In the United States oil reserves were proven by drilling and well production tests. Saudi Arabia had no proof of their new found reserves in 1990.
One suspected they might be listing the EUR of their country past and present and including oil that might be ulitmately left behind in the field currently unrecoverable using existing technology.
Saudi Arabia recently stated they expect to reach peak production capacity in 2009, actual production capability may vary from supposed production capacity. There are more oilfields to be found in KSA, yet these are more likely to be minnows than whales.

OT: Nice to know I'm not the only Tuftean on TOD. bart - you may like this site (optimized colorfill scales for maps)


Yay Edward Tufte. His ideas can really improve one's graphs and the way one presents information.

Unfortunately, I have only a mediocre graphics ability. But I do appreciate people who have the talent.

I wonder if anyone would like to do a post for peak oilers on "how to communicate graphically" based on Tufte's ideas. The idea of visualizing cubic miles of oil that was discussed about a year ago was a good start. I'm sure there are other possiblities. Barrels of oil to show consumption (mentioned above) is another idea.


Oh, man. My Engineering Modeling and Design prof showed me that Napoleon graph, many moons ago. He was big on that kind of thing. We undergrads, toiling away on our boring lab graphs, really didn't get it.

In some ways, I still don't get it. In my office, I'm considered pretty good at communicating, graphically and verbally. The brass have often commented on how clear and attractive my plans are. But it's an office full of engineers, and it's occurred to me more than once that communicating with engineers is not the same thing as communicating with people. This is especially evident when we have to make presentations for non-engineers (the public, politicians, etc.). Plans that seem perfectly clear to us are entirely incomprehensible to normal people. I once read that the average American has trouble understanding even simple graphs and charts, like ones USA Today puts on their front page. That being the case, I wonder how a concept like peak oil can be explained graphically.

I wonder how a concept like peak oil can be explained graphically.

Oh, that's easy:

Image 1) Titled "Pre-Peak Oil", shows a thriving, humming city full of speedy cars, airplanes, etc.

Image 2) Titled "Post-Peak Oil", shows a sacked city full of burnt-out vehicles and rotting corpses.



graywulffe in CVO, OR

how about this

thanks/apologies to Net Oil Exports for data/chart.

Sorta like a graphic of Napoleon's fateful march to invade Russia, but before the winter set in. We call it eyeball-sized range of monthly exports.

If you showed many people the "Who has the oil" graphic, they would not understand it - partly because they have no idea what the correct sizes of the nations are, and partly because it is just too complicated to figure out. We can try to be patient and understanding about why that is, but mostly is it just the utter failure of our educational system. After all, wage slaves don't need to know much.

I wonder how a concept like peak oil can be explained graphically.

Birth=discovery. Death= last of URR.

You have to explain to them though that male and female oil wells don't get married and reproduce.

That might be difficult for the non-engineers to grasp :-)

The Iranian wacko calls the US dollar a "worthless piece of paper". Hard to argue with that one http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/071118/opec.html

Yet he and the entire Mullah Aristocracy in Iran continues to sell their oil for those "worthless" dollars, including to China. Should they not ask for Yuan?

If he does not, the comments are fake.

In the Petrodollar paradise that is Venezuela, the currency is officially set at 2150 / dollar, but trades in black at 4850 Bolivars / dollar. And yes, Venezuela continues to sell that Crude oil to the great Satan in exchange for those worthless dollars.


I believe Iran already takes mostly Yen and Euros for their oil shipments.

If that is true,

then either 85% of Iran's oil sales are to Euro countries and Japan, or other importers e.g. China, South Korea, Pakistan and India are paying in Euros or Yen.

Perhaps the Chinese and South Koreans et al are buying Yen and Euros in the very liquid currency trading markets in order to pay Iran. What prevents the Mullah Aristocracy from doing the same for the remaining 15%?

Regardless, if they are not being paid in dollars then why are they bitching about dollars. Propaganda war!

Yes and Venezuela now sells the lion's share of their oil to China.

85% of Iran's oil sales are in euros or yen. They've expressed a desire to eliminate the remaining 15% that is done with dollars.

Got to call bull-shit on the article saying it would take 111 hours of labor to grow a single day's supply of food.

If that were the case, mankind would be extinct.

A single farmer working with nothing but hand tools can grow enough food for himself and a handful of others while also living enough to do other things.

The math doesn't add up in the real world.

I've also heard quotes about how many man hours of energy a single gallon of gasoline cotains, and that too, is bull-shit.

One horse and a plow will do a hell of a lot more work than a machine with a one horse-power engine affixed to it. One horse and a plow will do more work than a machine with a ten horsepower engine affixed to it.

Nevertheless, oil and the various byproducts are excellant and indespensible sources of energy and we will have major problems feeding ourselves should we be denied a supply of them.

I did inhale.

I think that some of these comparisons are right in a simple minded sort of way, cowboy, but I'd call bullshit for different reasons.

Our means of production are going to change radically but we often see writings that assume that a reset to 1940 (or 1490) standard of living also means a reset to 1940 B.C. technology. The internet won't go bang! all at once; the person who must start planting a victory garden next spring is only a few mouse clicks away from the accumulated gardening wisdom of the ages. The local library will get some books on the subject, and if it comes down to recreate terra preta or die I suspect many people will have at it with lighters, charcoal, yard waste, and someone will figure out how to do it.

So ... it might take a human 111 hours to grow a day's worth of food using nothing but fingernails and teeth for cultivation, but that situation will only last for even the dumbest of humans until a sharp stick falls out of a nearby tree. The only slightly brighter will have a nice hoe made out of a vehicle leaf spring.

Our traditional capital is pretty much toast as it requires a substrate of a society driven by cheap energy, but large swaths of the intellectual capital accumulated before and during that time will remain useful so long as we have the wits to preserve the stuff for the long haul. Preservation will include the systems as they are running now on renewable energy, collation and printing of important bodies of knowledge, and a return to the apprenticeship approach to education as the return on what now passes for higher education diminishes.

Well said.

I did inhale.

it would take 111 hours of labor to grow a single day's supply of food.

The source of this daft statistic might be Eating Fossil Fuels. It shows how information gets lost if you
process the data enough times. Just about everyone who comments on the "10 calories to get 1 cal" stat doesn't understand marginal return.

One horse and a plow will do a hell of a lot more work than a machine with a one horse-power engine affixed to it.

I don't follow you there though, surely 1HP = power of 1 horse?

That's what it means. That a one horse power engine is capable of producing the same amount of energy as a horse in a day's time.

But machines are actually quite wasteful. A rototiller with a six horsepower engine can't do a fraction of the work a single horse can do with a plow in a day. Not even close.

So the math, although technically correct, is flawed when applied to real world applications.

I did inhale.

I'm not sure how the number was calculated, but I assume the point, at least partially, is that we're eating too much. That is, it's not just that hand-labor is so intensive, but our daily consumption is so high.

I think the original point was that we are using 90 units of exosomatic energy for every unit of endosomatic energy to produce food.

I think that roughly means for every days worth of food, we expend 1.2 hours human labor, and employ the equivalent of 109.8 hours of labor provided by external energy sources.

BUT it's important to note that the extra 90 units of energy do not produce 91 times the yield - more like 3-4 times. So without extra energy a subsistence farmer would take ~4-5 hours to produce a days worth of food. Hence said farmer plus a couple of offspring can feed his family, but will probably be desparately poor.

Students of Tainter should recognise the classic case of diminishing marginal returns here. And yes, I probably eat too much ;)

One Kansas farmer feeds 128 people.

Worldwide wheat inventories are the lowest in about 30 years. The population has seen huge increases in the past 30 years. Expect problems for wheat importing nations. As inventories fall prices rise. Bread, ramen noodles, pasta, pizza, tortilla, and pita prices are expected to rise. Countries reliant on cheap food imports might see the end of cheap food.


Food inflation in the U.S. recorded as being below 5%.

A new Bullroarer has been posted at TOD: Australia/New Zealand:

Monday 19th November

I am monitoring the site you linked -- can you tell me why Tapis always leads and what the other names mean or key ones to watch? Thanks.

Light sweet crude oil sells for more than heavy sour

Tapis from Malaysia is very light as measured by an API of 44
and also has a very low sulfur percentage (called sweet) of only 0.03%

If the sulfur percentage is higher (sour) and the oil heavier then the price is lower
eg Mexico Maya has an API of 22 and sulfur of 3.3%

It can cost hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade a refinery to process heavy sour, as compared to light sweet

Thanks very much. I'll check out those links, too.

I'm seeing $97.91 for 00:30 GMT.


$99.49 as I sign off. $100+ at close?

OPEC-12 becomes OPEC-13 as Ecuador joins the OPEC cartel


I'm a little puzzled about something here.

Is OPEC "member bagging" (trying to get as many members as possible)
in order to keep their production stats up and thus trying to increase their
presence and influence on the world markets?

If Indonesia is a net importer this seems to be a zero sum gain.

Whatever the case, net exports from these countries are going to be the real "tell" on the markets.

From http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20602099&sid=aMPNpk0qLFJo&refer=e...

The weak ``U.S. dollar has really been exaggerating the gains'' that have been driven by the investment inflow into oil, said Gerard Burg, energy and minerals economist at National Bank of Australia Ltd. in Melbourne. ``It's hard to see a justification for prices in the $90s.''

Life is such a mystery for this clueless clown, I mean how has he never seen this graph, given his job description?
There is some very fascinating and bizarre psychology going on in the minds of the masses.

Life is survival of the fittest, and if this applies to societies as well then the events of the future will just be nature doing its thing.

Little off topic, but this map is kind of cool for tracking craziness in the world:


It's a good map and does have a section called

"Oil Gas Infrastructure - Incidents / Threats/ News"

at the very end of the global incident web page

Hello Ace,

...and on another sad note: it seems 2007 is another hazardous and lethal year for FF-workers.

Just from memory, we have had oil-tanker sailors drowning on the cold, Black Sea; coal miners in Donetsk, China, and Utah buried alive; the 21 Mexican rig & platform crews lost in raging, foaming seas; and now 28 natgas pipeline workers doing an unplanned burning marshmallow imitation in KSA.

But for most Americans: sports scores and shopping is their only concern. Nothing to see here...move along. =(

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

That's a great map, antidoomer. Actually I think would satisfy Bart, where the 'data' are real-time incidents.

So click over on Bosnia:

[DPA] BOSNIA - Radioactive waste disappears from hospital in Bosnia

"Nearly one tonne of radioactive waste has disappeared from a hospital in Banja Luka over the last couple of days"

ONE TON???? Jeez, wonder where that's going.

How do you move a tonne of radioactive waste over a couple of days without anyone noticing?

Same way a 'military-stlye assault' occurs at a S. African nuclear facility without anyone noticing, well virtually no one.

Doesn't even make it on the threat website linked above.

To follow-up yesterday's drumbeat on slower growth in Coffee sales and its implications for the US (world) Economy:

Price war in coffee sales: Mcdonalds to charge 50c less than Starbucks.


OT but interesting (hope it's not a repeat): Noah's Ark flood spurred European farming

Darn, I thought the WSJ had given up on the subscription model. Not yet, apparently. Maybe this one will be free tomorrow. For now, we only get two paragraphs:

Oil Officials See Limit Looming on Production

A growing number of oil-industry chieftains are endorsing an idea long deemed fringe: The world is approaching a practical limit to the number of barrels of crude oil that can be pumped every day.

Some predict that, despite the world's fast-growing thirst for oil, producers could hit that ceiling as soon as 2012. This rough limit -- which two senior industry officials recently pegged at about 100 million barrels a day -- is well short of global demand projections over the next few decades. Current production is about 85 million barrels a day.

And Dante at PO.com shared a few more paragraphs. (He must have a subscription.)

Mr. Simmons scoffs at estimates that production from proven fields will decline only 4.5% a year. He thinks a more realistic rate of decline is 8% to 10% a year, especially because modern technology actually succeeds in depleting fields faster.

If he's right, the industry needs to add new daily production of at least eight million barrels -- 10 times current Alaskan production -- just to stay even.

Mr. Simmons thinks the world needs to shift its energy focus from climate change to more immediate concerns. "Peak oil is likely already a crisis that we don't know about. At the furthest out, it will be a crisis in 2008 to 2012. Global warming, if real, will not be a problem for 50 to 100 years," he says.

P.S. Dante says it's on the front page.

Holy crap;-) This looks like fairly in-depth peak oil discussion at the WSJ? Is that mainstream enough or do we need to see it in USA Today?

Page A1.

The "Iron Triangle" is leaking more than a rusty bucket ;)

The story is getting too big to ignore. I had three straight days of conversations with major print media types last week. We will see if anything is published.

Having said that, the three key principals--ExxonMobil, OPEC, and CERA--that I referenced in the oil leg of the "Iron Triangle" are still singing the same tune.


Actually, this is a prime example of an "Iron Triangle" piece. They present the worst case as bascially being a plateau (although to be fair, they did quote Simmons and show a ASPO projection):

The current debate represents a significant twist on an older, often-derided notion known as the peak-oil theory. Traditional peak-oil theorists, many of whom are industry outsiders or retired geologists, have argued that global oil production will soon peak and enter an irreversible decline because nearly half the available oil in the world has been pumped. They've been proved wrong so often that their theory has become debased.

The new adherents -- who range from senior Western oil-company executives to current and former officials of the major world exporting countries -- don't believe the global oil tank is at the half-empty point. But they share the belief that a global production ceiling is coming for other reasons: restricted access to oil fields, spiraling costs and increasingly complex oil-field geology. This will create a global production plateau, not a peak, they contend, with oil output remaining relatively constant rather than rising or falling.

Thanks for this Leanan –
In looking at that chart it puzzles me that the World Energy Assessment to UNDP – is playing around with the highest numbers for 2030 of them all ... at 140 mbd … Who do they have in mind?



and from the text ... what is that supposed to mean ?

Quote "The IEA projects production will grow to between 102.3 (point 3 ..hehe) million and 120 million barrels a day by 2030. Mr. de Margerie said production by 2030 of even 100 million barrels a day will be "difficult."" ... a touch of paranoia ... split personality ?

Thanks. I bet they made the full text available to non-subscribers at midnight, New York time.

because EIA is basing it's statement on demand and Mr de Margerie is basing his on supply.

Sent the following email to Mr Gold and Ms Davis:

Dear Russell and Ann,

Excellent article. However your graphic and one text statement indicate EIA forecasts oil production. It does no such thing. It forecasts demand, assuming a rate of global economic growth.

Best regards,
john macklin

Someone has liberated the entire article here.

who is Science applications Int'l Corp. ?


Hi Leanan,

It is certainly a step forward for the Wall Street Journal, although Russell Gold and Ann Davis cannot resist a swipe:

"The current debate represents a significant twist on an older, often-derided notion known as the peak-oil theory. Traditional peak-oil theorists, many of whom are industry outsiders or retired geologists, have argued that global oil production will soon peak and enter an irreversible decline because nearly half the available oil in the world has been pumped. They've been proved wrong so often that their theory has become debased."


Peter Beutel was on CNBC this morning, talking about this. He pointed to that Brazilian oil field as proof there's plenty of out left to find. OPEC just isn't giving us enough.

Somebody post the link to the video, if there is one...

Beutel is on CNN right now. He blames two things:

1) Fed rate cut. Oil was heading down before then.

2) OPEC cuts. They still haven't given us back the 1.2 million barrels they cut last year.

And once again, he pointed to the Brazil find as proof that there's plenty of oil out there. At $50 a barrel, he says whole new areas have opened up. We'll be tons of oil "for years to come" at that price.

Hello TODers,

Bond Market to Bernanke: Recession Threat Means More Rate Cuts

Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- The headline in the financial futures market these days says Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is withholding some vital information: The economy is so bad the central bank will have to lower interest rates at least three-quarters of a percentage point to avoid a recession.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Time to rev up the helicopters...

Bernanke needs a gnarly hat like these Russian helicopter pilots wear. I believe his experience in helicoptering money into the blown ARM scam reactor will be quite similar to what befell this Russian crew as they tried to drop boron into Chernobyl.


The bearded clam & Co need to meet Mr Dragunov.

Got my wheel barrel ready to catch the money falling from the helicopter. ;-)


How come no one seems to have any money. Central banks (representing freely traded currencies) have repeatedly had to inject liquidity (money) to maintain routine functioning of markets.

Who has all the money?

I thought he had already moved to B-52s...

Hello TODers,

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States is helping Pakistan keep its nuclear weapons secure in a top-secret program that has cost Washington almost 100 million dollars since 2001, The New York Times reported Sunday.

"I am confident of two things," former CIA deputy director John McLaughlin told the paper, "that the Pakistanis are very serious about securing this material, but also that someone in Pakistan is very intent on getting their hands on it."
Gee, kids, let's play a fun game of nuclear tug of war! This should help everyone have sweet dreams tonight. =(

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