DrumBeat: November 28, 2007

Nafty Business: "Super Corridor" will pave over the heart of America

Not since the Gilded Age, when the railroads blazed a trail across the girth of the nation — stealing Indian lands and blasting through majestic landscapes — has a government - sanctioned transportation project of this scale been attempted. Think about it. The biggest highway in the nation is being built after we've already reached peak oil, after the usefulness of a road-centric paradigm has run its course. Further, in the areas through which it is planned, no one wants it but a handful of corporate con men slurping at the public trough.

Ecuador's Correa:To Push OPEC To Switch To Stronger Currency

Ecuador will continue defending a proposal that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries should uses a stronger currency than the U.S. dollar for its transactions, President Rafael Correa said Wednesday.

"This is an Ecuadorian thesis. Venezuela, Iran and other countries had supported it and we will defend our proposal," Correa said at a press conference after returning from a trip to Saudi to Arabia, China and Indonesia.

Logging damage revealed by secret filming

Secret filming by villagers has revealed the damage being caused to the Indonesian rainforests by uncontrolled logging and palm oil plantations.

OPEC unlikely to decide on output hike - Ecuador

Ecuador Oil Minister Galo Chiriboga told Reuters on Wednesday that it is unlikely OPEC will decide to raise oil production when the cartel's ministers meet in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 5.

"I don't think OPEC will make any decisions about raising or lowering production ... we are waiting for the market to adequately regulate the prices," Chiriboga said in a telephone interview.

Dubai to boost oil production

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is home to 8.1 per cent of the world's oil reserve, will make huge investments to boost its oil production capacity.

Apart from oil, the UAE has an estimated gas reserve of six trillion cubic metres. UAE's current oil output stands at 2.7 million barrels per day, while its gas output is at 65 billion cubic metres per annum.

UAE's oil output is expected to rise to 3.5 million barrels per day at the beginning of next decade. Its oil refinery capacity, which currently stands at 6,00,000 barrels per day, is also expected to rise to 1.1 million barrels per day in the near future, said a report by the official Emirates news agency.

Nigeria oil union threatens strike over LNG dispute

Nigeria's second main oil union will call a nationwide strike next week unless the government resolves labour disputes at the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) company, union leaders said on Wednesday.

CNOOC: Iran Gas Not Critical to Supplies

The CEO of Chinese offshore oil producer CNOOC Ltd. said Wednesday that a deal to buy natural gas from Iran would help the state-owned company's development but is not critical to securing its supply needs.

BP: Skilled labour supply key to hitting ME oil & gas production targets

The role of geoscientists in the development of the oil & gas industry in the Middle East is crucial. This vital component of exploration operations is a facet of the petroleum industry that is currently challenged by severe shortages of skilled scientific and engineering staff. It may take between seven and ten years to train such staff, filling in job vacancies created by the retirement of the current generation of geoscientists. This effort is required to sustain and grow production levels in response to rising energy demand, according to BP Principal Geophysicist Leon Thomsen during a recent visit to Abu Dhabi from Houston.

Prosecutors: port directors criminally negligent in shipwrecks, Russian oil spill

Russian transport prosecutors accused the directors of two Black Sea region ports of criminal negligence in connection with a series of shipwrecks earlier this month that resulted in a massive oil spill, an official said Wednesday.

NOAA: Drought hinders CO2 uptake

A new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder shows that millions of extra tons of carbon dioxide were left in the Earth's atmosphere as a result of the 2002 drought across North America.

The findings, the first from NOAA's atmospheric monitoring and modeling system called CarbonTracker, show that the amount of carbon dioxide absorbedby vegetation and soil dropped from an annual average of 650 million metric tons to 330 million metric tons. The excess amount of the heat-trapping greenhouse gas remaining in the atmosphere that year was equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 200 million U.S. automobiles.

Scotiabank's Commodity Price Index Leaps in October

"While 'peak oil' theories are unduly alarmist, the CEOs of a number of major oil companies have recently cast doubt on the ability of world supplies to keep pace with demand growth over the longer-term, limited by engineering staff and capital cost escalation", says Patricia Mohr, Vice-President, Economics and commodity market specialist at Scotiabank.

"We are again revising up our WTI oil price forecast for 2008 to an average of US$86 (US$85-90) compared with US$72.50 in 2007. Prices are expected to remain high for two reasons: Firstly, non-OPEC supply developments in 2008 appear to be shaping up in a similar fashion to 2006 and 2007. While new field development could boost non-OPEC supplies by 1.1 million barrels per day, centred in the Alberta oil sands, Russia & the Caspian Sea area and Brazil, technical and political challenges could once again cut this output. Secondly, while US$90-plus oil has slowed U.S. petroleum consumption, consumers and industrial users in a large part of 'emerging Asia' and the Middle East are being shielded from the full weight of record prices through government subsidies."

Venezuelan sales of oil byproducts to the US down 22 percent

So far this year, Venezuela's hydrocarbon (crude oil and byproducts) sales to the United averaged 1.35 million bpd. This represents a 7.2 drop compared to the same period in 2006.

In parallel, Venezuela has expanded hydrocarbons exports to China. Based on the figures disclosed by state-run oil giant Pdvsa, in September crude oil sales to China recorded an unprecedented 359,000 bpd. In 2008, the goal is 500,000 bpd.

Offshore safety on 'knife-edge'

Safety is on a "knife-edge" in some parts of the North Sea oil industry, MPs have been warned.

The message from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) came after two platform fires north east of the Shetland.

HSE chief Geoffrey Podger said prosecutions would be considered as part of the investigations, which would be a matter for the procurator fiscal.

Massive Canadian oilfield could be exploited using new UK system

Although heavy oil extraction has steadily increased over the last ten years, the processes used are very energy intensive, especially of natural gas and water. But the THAI™ system is more efficient, and this, and the increasing cost of conventional light oil, could lead to the widespread exploitation of heavy oil.

Backyard Gardens Shelter Europe’s Orphan Seeds

As farms have become more commercialized in recent decades and have moved toward growing one or two high-yield crops, the number of varieties globally is quickly diminishing, erasing plant genes at the very moment in history when they may be most needed.

That has left Europe’s backyard gardeners and small farmers, like Mr. Boscherini, as the de facto guardians of disappearing fruits, grains and vegetables. Time is working against them.

Most of them are very old, and as they die their plants are dying with them. Most of their children and grandchildren have little interest in maintaining the crops, holdovers from Europe’s more agrarian past.

Enough Already: Let's Develop Sane Energy and Development Policies

The instability in the world's oil markets, combined with Peak Oil, has generated skyrocketing gasoline prices. This is making suburban living cost prohibitive for many of those who ditched their cramped apartments and condos in the city and headed to the 'burbs for what they thought was a better quality of life.

But, with a tank of gasoline for the average SUV going at over $100, and with no end in sight to the rising price of gas, the suburban life is losing some of its glitter. People are looking at housing that is closer to the nation's cities and employment centers, which makes undeveloped land near these metro areas extremely marketable.

State will clean up UW coal plant

The state of Wisconsin has agreed not only to clean up UW-Madison's coal-fired Charter Street power plant but also to review and possibly improve the operation of 13 other coal-burning plants it manages throughout the state, according to a settlement of a Sierra Club lawsuit announced Monday.

Saudis arrest 208 men in terror sweep: Arrests ‘pre-empted an imminent attack’ on oil installation, statement says

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Over 200 al-Qaida linked suspects belonging to different cells and involved in different plots against the kingdom have been arrested in recent months in the kingdom's largest anti-terror sweep to date, the Saudi Interior Ministry announced Wednesday.

The ministry first reported the arrest of eight men, said to be linked to al-Qaida and allegedly planning to attack oil installations in the kingdom.

NDRC cracks down on fuel hoarding and illegal price hikes

China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced today that six service stations around the country were found to have engaged in oil hoarding and sold fuel at illegally inflated retail prices, demonstrating the government's latest attempts to manage the current diesel crisis.

Papua New Guinea: Airlines face fuel shortage

The airline industry may come to a standstill if the country’s only oil refining company’s demands for the Papua New Guinea government to review its fuel pricing mechanism are not dealt with.

Post Courier reports that it was also expected fuel retailers and consumers may be hard hit with the fuel threat.

Already a major mining company has been hit with that threat while the country’s largest airline company is on stand-by.

Party’s over

Richard Heinberg shows just how bad things are today in his much-praised book, Powerdown. It’s not just climate change that’s the problem; it’s several things.

They are: Resource depletion – The primary source of energy that powered the miracle of the 20th century, oil and gas, is near to being depleted. The party is over; the Petroleum Age is gone.

Continued population growth – The total human population reached 6 billion in 1998, and increased by 400 million in the next six years, nearly the population of North America.

Increasing costs for oil push up price of firewood

BELFAST, Maine - If you think the price of firewood is high today, just wait until next year.

That was the prediction of three area firewood dealers who see no end in sight for higher prices if the cost of oil continues to rise.

National oil firms gain edge on Exxon

Exxon Mobil Corp. is no longer the biggest oil company (that would be Saudi Aramco). It is no longer the richest oil company (PetroChina). It is not even the leader among the international oil companies in replacing production with new reserves (ConocoPhillips, a U.S. firm, at least).

Dr. Subroto, a former OPEC secretary general from Indonesia, said this month that the future no longer belongs to the Exxon Mobils of the world.

Brazil's oil: new wealth or petro-populism?

No wonder that Brazil's president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, proclaimed "God is Brazilian" after the discovery of massive oil reserves in his country earlier this month: The find could soon turn Brazil into a major oil exporter, and a big player in world affairs.

But before I tell you why the find could also threaten to derail Brazil's slow but steady march into a successful economy, let's look at the facts.

Boom fuels new Saudi spending spree

The exact volume of crude that could be tapped in future is a matter of conjecture. Although the country claims to have 260bn barrels of reserves, many western sceptics feel these numbers are unreliable. They are often the same people who fear the world is past "peak production" and on its way to running out.

Whether it is because the oil is going to run out soon or because it makes sense to diversify an economy that is based almost entirely on one commodity, the Saudi ruling family is spreading its spending around.

Green IT in the data center: Plenty of talk, not much walk

Talk is cheap -- which may be why managers at a majority of the world's largest companies say they're considering green data centres, but few are actually going green.

'Beer fridges' present a gassy problem

Getting rid of vintage “beer fridges” – secondary fridges which many North American and Australian homes boast – could have a significant impact on household greenhouse gas emissions, suggests a new study.

Beer fridges are additional fridges that are generally used to keep beer and other drinks cold on top of a household’s primary fridge for food. One in three Canadian households has a second fridge, many of which are ageing, energy-guzzling models, according to Denise Young, a researcher at the University of Alberta, Canada.

Coventry electrician plans region's first eco-friendly underground house

COVENTRY electrician Stuart Worley is on a mission - to build one of the region's first eco-friendly underground homes.

The 39-year-old, of Holyhead Road, Coundon, has won permission to build the one-bedroom 'bunkerlow' in a garden in the middle of a housing estate.

Ethanol Craze Cools As Doubts Multiply

Little over a year ago, ethanol was winning the hearts and wallets of both Main Street and Wall Street, with promises of greater U.S. energy independence, fewer greenhouse gases and help for the farm economy. Today, the corn-based biofuel is under siege.

In the span of one growing season, ethanol has gone from panacea to pariah in the eyes of some. The critics, which include industries hurt when the price of corn rises, blame ethanol for pushing up food prices, question its environmental bona fides and dispute how much it really helps reduce the need for oil.

Sakhalin-1 Expects Planned Oil Output Cut in 2008

Participants in the Sakhalin-1 project offshore eastern Russia expect a planned reduction in oil production in 2008, Igor Afanasyev, director of the company's field development department, said during a presentation, according to Interfax news agency.

"This is a planned reduction; it is envisioned in the technical projections," he said.

Shell's North Cormorant rig hit by 'small fire'

A "VERY small" fire broke out on Shell's North Cormorant rig north-east of the Shetland islands early yesterday.

The blaze came just three days after a major fire on Lundin Petroleum's Thistle Alpha installation.

Scottish Government Wants Control of Offshore Safety

Safety in the North Sea oil and gas industry would improve if it was the responsibility of the Scottish Government, First Minister Alex Salmond claimed yesterday.

Mr Salmond was speaking in the wake of a major fire which resulted in more than 100 crew being evacuated from the Thistle Alpha platform, 120 miles from Shetland.

He said that, following the PiperAlpha disaster in 1988 in which 167 men died, there was a huge impetus to change safety culture in the North Sea. A generation on, there is a generally good safety record in the North Sea but recently there had been asset and personnel transfers, Mr Salmond said.

Australia: The party's over and Liberals will soon be history

The issue of the future, coming down on us now like a steam train, is of course the environment, the double hammer blows of climate change and peak oil. Energy, weather and human misery are the factors that will define our lives for decades to come. You can cancel your newspaper, those are the only four words you need to know.

Linked to this, but compounding it in frightening ways, is the imminent demise of the United States economy. In fact the whisper, the subplot in economist circles, was that this election was one to lose. That whoever inherited Australia in 2007 inherited a coming economic collapse in globalised trade that would suck Australia and much of the rest of the world down with it.

Mr. Harper's Cold Comfort for Canadians

The very words "peak oil" and "climate change" have had such an unemotional–even benign-sounding–scientific calmness about them that the public has been slow to catch on.

But slowly or not, Canadians are starting to learn that peak oil and gas mean that we have used up the first half of our supplies, the part that was the easiest and cheapest to extract, and we must now attempt to wring the last few drops out of the earth. But, inexplicably, we are at the same time continuing to develop economic and trade systems that use more gas and oil today than we did yesterday. Something's gotta give.

Peak oil activists gather, plan for hard times, will lead the way

Former professor and author David Korten told close to 300 applauding peak oil activists that they are not a fringe minority but the leading edge of a super-majority “and it's time we start acting like it.”

Korten issued his rallying call in October at the “Fourth U.S. Conference on Peak Oil and Community Solutions” where activists from 30 some states discussed ways to respond to declining oil production and other coming planetary woes. Korten joined a dozen other speakers in “Planning for Hard Times,” the theme of the three-day conference sponsored by Community Solution at Antioch College.

Gulf energy producers 'face challenges'

Gulf energy producers could be facing further challenges as the cost of oil rises and energy and carbon policies progress slowly, says an expert.

Although the process of agreeing and implementing national carbon emission controls are estimated to take five years, the environmental movement towards more environment-friendly production is beyond tipping point, PFC Energy chief executive Lew Watts told the Gulf Daily News, our sister newspaper.

China to Seek Public Opinions for Upcoming Energy Law

China will announce a draft of the upcoming energy law on Dec. 1 to seek public opinions through media and the Internet, the Office of the National Energy Leading Group said Tuesday.

The new law is expected to put China's energy management onto a legal track and help China better safeguard its energy security, said Xu Dingming, vice director of the office.

Exxon says film may lead to car battery like laptop's

Exxon Mobil Corp. believes it has found an answer to a problem that has bedeviled the auto industry in recent years: using rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, like those found in cell phones and laptops, to power cars and trucks.

Looking down from the peak

Yet another factor is the growing acceptance of theories that, globally, we are approaching the peak of oil production, after which it will decline and become pricier, theories that, until recently, were dismissed as alarmist bunk.

And it all began when Shell geophysicist M. King Hubbert predicted, to the American Petroleum Institute's 1956 meeting in San Antonio, that oil production tracks out as a bell curve.

"An industry whose annual production can be depended upon to increase 5 to 15 percent per year," the San Antonio Light quoted him saying, should also expect similar declines.

The Frightening Idea of $100 Oil

Let's talk about the somewhat -- no, tremendously -- daunting phenomenon that we'll almost certainly be facing in the not-too-distant future: $100 per barrel of oil. We're already in the 90s and trending upward. I well recall that, as an operative of Pennzoil Company -- now part of Royal Dutch Shell -- earlier in my career, I knew $100 crude was on the horizon. The big surprise is that it didn't arrive far sooner.

Analyzing peak oil and energy independence

America must become energy independent. If more incentive is required, there is Peak oil. In a nutshell, Peak oil contends that oil production peaked some years ago. Major oil fields are declining, and there have been no new "elephant" discoveries. This falling supply comes at a time when world demand is dramatically increasing. The International Energy Agency describes China as "the major driver of global demand growth." In 2003, China overtook Japan to become the world's second-largest consumer of oil.

OPEC powers alarmed by oil price, but coy on policy

Top Gulf OPEC officials expressed alarm on Wednesday at oil prices threatening to top $100, but reiterated that markets were well supplied and steered clear of saying whether OPEC would raise output next week.

Chevron's CEO: The price of oil

Love it or hate it, argues David O'Reilly in an interview with Fortune's Geoff Colvin, the world is going to run on oil for several more decades.

Brazil Energy Min: Country Needs to Adjust Oil Legislation

Brazil needs to make "little adjustments" to its oil legislation after the government withdrew the most promising oil blocks from a licensing round taking place Tuesday and Wednesday, Mines and Energy Minister Nelson Hubner said.

Opportunities seen for rural America

A top U.S. Agriculture Department official predicts a bright future for rural America if it can take advantage of three things: broadband Internet, $100-a-barrel oil and expanding capitalism in Europe and Asia.

$100+ BOE energy price drives demand for substantial technological innovation

One of the world's foremost technical conferences for the energy industry - the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) - is due to be held in Dubai in December.

CNOOC Targets Caspian Sea Assets, Shies from Russia

Offshore oil producer CNOOC Ltd. (CEO) wants to buy assets in the prolific oil producing region of the Caspian Sea but isn't interested in Russia because the risks are too high, a senior company official said Tuesday.

Chinese tiger has nothing in tank

CHINA is running out of fuel. Police are guarding petrol stations in several inland provinces to prevent fights, as shortages of petrol and diesel are causing huge queues of trucks, buses and cars.

Chinese May Be Facing Significant Grain and Oilseed Supply Deficits

Chinese think tank the National Grain and Oil Trade Center reports that the world's most populous nation is facing a significant grain and oilseed supply deficit as the rising population and strong demand have offset production increases and rising import levels. That's according to a story early Tuesday from Dow Jones Newswires.

The Trade Center estimates 2007 grain production at 501.5 million tons against demand of 527.5 million tons for a total short fall of 26 million tons.

Australia: Quick shift required in foreign policy

No less important, we now approach — or may have passed — the world's peak oil supply. The effects of this realisation on world energy markets will be progressively, dramatically destabilising, even within Rudd's first term and certainly in his second.

Indonesia at high risk to climate change: WWF

Indonesia is one of the nations most vulnerable to climate change and is already feeling some of the consequences of global warming, environmental group WWF said Wednesday in a new report.

The report, which cites an array of studies, said that annual rainfall in the archipelago nation has fallen by two to three percent, while average temperatures have risen by 0.3 degrees Celsius (33 degrees Fahrenheit).

More than a billion trees planted in 2007: UN

More than one billion trees were planted around the world in 2007, with Ethiopia and Mexico leading in the drive to combat climate change through new lush forest projects, a UN report said Wednesday.

Tackling climate change to cost 1.6 percent of GDP: UN

Climate change could have apocalyptic consequences for the world's poor and tackling it will require cuts in greenhouse gases costing 1.6 percent of global annual GDP, the UN Development Program said in a report Tuesday.

Entitled "The Struggle Against Climate Change," the UNDP report paints an alarming picture of the climate change problem and urges richer countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050, with cuts of 30 percent by 2020.

A new Earth and Energy Round-Up has been posted at TOD:Canada.

We Face Worldwide Drought with No Contingency Plan

As droughts reach record levels from Atlanta to Australia, no one is asking the tough question: What happens when there is not enough water to go around?....

....It's not just the Southeast of the United States. Europe has had its great droughts and water shortages. Australia is in the grip of a drought that's almost unbelievable in its ferocity. Again, this is a global picture. We're just getting much less usable water than we did a decade or two or three decades ago. It's a sort of thing again that the climate models are predicting. In terms of the floods, again we see the same thing. You know, a warmer atmosphere is just a more energetic atmosphere. So if you ask me about a single flood event or a single fire event, it's really hard to make the connection, but take the bigger picture and you can see very clearly what's happening.

I like how the author at least tries to entertain the idea that the drought is not temporary but the new norm.

Atlanta has 69 days.

Feb 2, the suburbs of Atlanta will be in a new normal.

"Cooling. Though the time at which the Eemian interglacial ended is subject to some uncertainty (it was probably around 110,000 years ago), what does seem evident from the sediment records that cross this boundary is that it was a relatively sudden event and not a gradual slide into colder conditions taking many thousands of years. The recent high-resolution Atlantic sediment record of Adkins et al (1997) suggests that the move from interglacial to much colder-than-present glacial conditions occurred over a period of less than 400 years (with the limitations on the resolution of the sediment record leaving open the possibility that the change was in fact very much more rapid than this)."


We are leaving the Holocene.

Maybe we're entering the new Eemian.

It looks like we are entering the Eremozoic Era.

If you Google the term you can find a number of links. The term was coined, of course, by biologist E.O. Wilson.

Check out this article by him located at:


Wilson begins chapter 9 of his book "The Creation" with this comment:

"...what I fear most is pervasive combination of religious and secular ideology of a kind that sees little or no harm in the destruction of the Creation."

Wilson believes that this sixth great exctinction is largely anthropogenic, and that our species can also act to save at least enough of our ecosystem to survive.

If we do survive, it will be on a planet that is much more hostile to our species, and may be barely recognizable by this century's end.

The discussion we need to have must include insights from elder scientists like Wilson so that we can plan individual lives and public policy based on reality rather than wishful thinking.

Two 4 part series here quite interesting. If either are the case global warming or cooling we are in for a world of hurt. If the cooling is indeed the case it could be quite catastrophic. But then again the sad thing is if the cooling is indeed the case nobody is prepared for it in the slightest...



Judge for yourself. I have moved myself to the fence again.

I never think the world is black and white so there must be grey area. This is where I am right now in the grey trying to make sense of it. I see this data as reputable and therefore considerable.

Professor Cahtah makes some good, interesting points. Among them: climate change, like peak oil, will be known with certainty only in hindsight.

The other point, which I believe he misses (sorry only watched first clip), is that our species has used this last ten thousand year period of nice weather to overshoot sustainable limits. Again in hindsight, we shall only know how far we've overshot when the next not-so-nice period arrives. I'm guessing a factor of ten or so. Come to think of it, peak oil also figures into the overshoot.

But the indisputable science behind AGW is that CO2 does indeed scatter thermal infrared. And we are indeed increasing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. This effect will mean warmer nights, warmer winters, and a climate which is different than it would otherwise have been.

So let's hope for his predicted little ice age to precisely cancel the AGW event. :)

The other point, which I believe he misses (sorry only watched first clip), is that our species has used this last ten thousand year period of nice weather to overshoot sustainable limits.

Not only that, 80% of the growth has happened in just the last century.

Ice ages appear to be caused by Milankovich cycles, and we are inexorably headed into the next ice age, perhaps in the next 10,000 years. The best thing would be that AGW defers the onset of the next ice age, some scientists say it already has (Ruddiman).

In terms of climate change, AGW is a little warm up exercise. Surviving the next ice age is the real event.

On the other hand it is quite viable that we are just entering another Warming Period equivalent to that of the Medieval Times and the Roman period. In neither case did the world come to the end, although there were some quite severe droughts, as I have noted elsewhere, and there likely will be again.

However, these are chemically forced climate changes. And unlike the volcanoes that may have influenced earlier climate changes, these chemical changes to the atmosphere are still changing, and at a steadily increasing rate.

AFAIK, there is no prior historic model for the type of chemical experiment that we are running on our atmosphere and oceans.

Best Hopes for uncontrolled, ad hoc chemical experiments,


someone's gonna put their eye out

Somehow I don't think that we have had volcanoes regularly spitting out the necessary volumes for the required durations to generate any of the many previous cycles. The periods lasted hundreds of years, which is why there is concern that with the return to one of these cycles the dry periods for parts of the world will likely cause serious problems - as they have in the past.

I do think that there is a good probability that a massive input of a one or a few supervolcanos can shift the "equilibrium" state from one semi-stable mode to another.

That such a single or few pulse forcing can cause century+ long changes is frightening, since humanity has built EVERYTHING, and adapted agriculture to the way things are (and have been for the last half century or so). ANY change, natural or man-made is a disaster !

If, as you hypothesize, we are in another natural warming cycle, then that adds increased urgency, to the point of panic, to STOP MINING COAL NOW !

To add increased man-made warming (Greenhouse Gases are a physical reality and cannot be denied) to a natural warming trend will too quickly lead to a cascading failure of the world as we know it. The likely consequences of too rapid climate change are social collapse, war and a massive die-off.

The costs of doing without coal are fair lower, just more immediate.

Best Hopes that we are NOT in another natural warming trend !


I you're still reading this thread (I'll post it to you on another), two articles you might be interested in.

1) The API does US Tours:


By comparison, the other majors have spent more modestly, averaging around $2.5 million each this year and $3.8 million in ’06.

Meanwhile, the investments made by Chevron and ConocoPhillips in renewable technologies that could potentially break America’s oil “addiction,” as President Bush has termed it, is still less than one percent of their annual profits (.3 and .2, respectively), according to recent news reports. BP and Shell invest a fraction more. And ExxonMobil, of course, is NA.

“The bottom line is that for all these companies it’s about oil,” said Steve Kretzmann, executive director of D.C.-based Oil Change International. “Any attempt to sell themselves as anything other than oil companies is disingenuous.”

It becomes obvious fast that Bob isn’t in San Antonio to make any great promises about fighting Global Warming or significantly greening his company. He tells our group straightaway that the next 30 years belong to oil, natural gas, and coal. In the meantime, ConocoPhillips will be “keeping a watch on global climate change and our water resources.”

2) a-Hanson compares coal trains to Death Trains of the Holocaust-stands by it.


b-More on the Coal Campaign in Kansas

In true journalistic fashion, Andy Revkin of the New York Times dug deeper into the controversial coal campaign run in Kansas after the state rejected a new coal-plant. Curiously, he surfaced with some interesting investment numbers with regards to Venezuelan coal.

For background, see Grist and Climate Progress’s discussion. In short, after the state refused to allow the construction of a new coal-fired plant, a local utility conspired with a larger energy firm to run a smear campaign against the decision, accusing it of supporting foreign energy enemies like Hugo Chavez.

Sure volcanoes have huge amounts of sulfur dioxide and CO2, Note sulfur dioxide from a super-volcano would cause sulfuric acid YAY!!!

In any case these are minor nobody has mentioned the huge discharges of dust look at what st helens did the year I was born in 1982-83 winter. Think about it for a bit and realize that dust is truly a driving factor....

Dust even kills hurricanes. Drier = less hurricanes. Sounds good on paper but has terrible other consequences.


I don't think its just one thing. Volcano and Sunspots, with/or because of Chandler effect,.. and other. I saw a post the other day that had an interesting tidbit. There have been 5 earthquakes 8 or greater in 2007(I think good record keeping goes back only 33 or so years). The average is 1 per year. Those are big shakers. Magma is on the move around the world. Magma raising Yellowstone by 3 to 4 inches. Maybe not "dangerous" but its magma on the move and its near the surface. Volcano's are not a subject that is well understood imo.

The earth is 80 percent or so water. 70 percent or so very deep water is my guesstimate. We can only observe whats above surface for the most part, and new research shows that the floor of the seabed has many more volcano's than previously thought, and rifts are more active than they thought, some thought dead are active, and active ones are putting out more lava than they suspected.. I have posted a link (s) to this research/facts a few weeks back.

Not only that, from recent discoveries (from sea volcano's and the rifts/plates), how a volcano's and rift magma come up is not what they thought. The plates near the ring of fire have revealed that the theory's of past didn't fit what they have discovered. Sources of magma not connected to plates rubbing movements basically as I recall.

For an ice age you need cold and h20 to create ice, snow for the albedo effect.

Even though its warming, an argument can be made that it is cold enough right now to start a new ice age. Lots of moisture and cold air in the winter this year could extend snow cover because of the amounts. Last year Europe was complaining about ski resorts. Now and in many other places they are already open. Early heavy snow, if it continues and then late snows, which will create shorter summers.

The ice cores and earth samples show that ice ages don't take 10,000 years. It happens much quicker. Hundreds, maybe less. Effects from the change in ten years of its beginning could be a disaster. The Pentagon released a report that discussed a shut down of the North Atlantic Conveyor would be felt in Europe
(with population effects) within ten years I recall.

I watch the conveyor, and its been "odd" and sluggish from satellite images.

The sunspot number has shown a possible correlation to climate changes. A prediction had been made for a very intense period of sunspots. They thought it should have already started. They pushed it back as it became obvious that the prediction was not correct. Now they have backed off the intensity. Most people don't give a hoot about the sunspot number and I bet very few know whats been happening (or really not happening) for some time now. I recall reading we had a period of 23 days (in a row) at the least, with not one single sunspot in the last couple of months. And the count has been very low. Is there a correlation between the late winter in the southern hemisphere with abnormal late cold and snowfall. The early snowfalls in Europe and NA. Hard to say, because they thought we should be in the begging of an active sunspot period. When/if is that going to start. But it is/can be observed and we might see it confirmed in a decade or so.

This http://www.fao.org/sd/EPdirect/EPan0005.htm is an old article but very relevant.

Mentatt addresses the temporary fall in the price of oil here. Nail, meet hammer.


Interesting site.

Good site URCowboy. Maybe someday economists will realize that throwing more fiat paper at a receding horizon will have little effect.

Meanwhile, back in the Mogombo Gurus Lair (MGL), the Guru brings up the topic of PO along with P everything else. Guru is a gold bug, but a funny one and sometimes we can all use a laugh. PO is really coming out strong in all sorts of venues.


...snip...'The point of the whole thing is that "the era of 'peak gold' has arrived", which is truly momentous, because it means that the "easy to get at" gold has been gotten at, and the rest of the gold left in the earth is harder to get to, and thus the rate at which gold is being discovered has collapsed when compared with the old days, which is just like the collapse in new discoveries of oil, which is where you get the phrase "peak oil", and they both have crucially to do with how a rising demand growth curve and a falling of supply growth intersect at that place called Lonely Street. Oops! Sorry! That's Elvis Presley!

I mean, falling supply and rising demand intersect at that precise point that is scientifically referred to as "expensive like you wouldn't freaking believe!" And since everything from fuel to fertilizers to plastics to medicines to everything you can name under the sun is made from oil, then you are going to see inflation in prices like you will not freaking believe, which means that the currency will buy less per unit like you will not freaking believe, which means that people are going to be hungry and broke and miserable and rioting like you will not freaking believe.'...snip...


Hmmm! Now where have I seen a chart with a line like that before?


It is an interesting chart isn't it?

The first time I saw it was probably about 6 months ago....it was one of those "what the f*ck?" moments when my jaw nearly hit the floor and it caused me to re-examine what I thought I knew....

Take a look at the period in the 1970's, right up to 1980.....

It is ASTOUNDING. We have seen peak gold before! And what threw me was, we saw it at exactly the last time oil production dropped at the same time in a big way! It is almost a like holding up a mirror to 2007!

So, all of a sudden, oil drops off a cliff on production, prices zoom up, gold drops off a cliff, prices zoom up, the dollar drops off a cliff, major recession...
"what the f*ck is that all about?!"

Now Copper:

Not as dramatic, but look at the fact that by 1980, Copper production barely exceed the early 1970's!

Now silver:

I couldn't find a chart showing historical Platinum production, but settled on one showing price...your going to love this!

Wow, it sure looks like "peak everything", but in the late 1970's!

That's what caused me to become a good deal more cautious about accepting every prediction of "IT'S PEAK, IT'S PEAK!", and my education into the extremely complicated path of commodities supply and prices.

It really is very complex. There is the real chance that we are going through a commodities boom. Commodities are known for "boom or bust" cycles, but it has been so long since we have seen a real break in the market that many folks are completely unfamiliar with them.

And you can bet, if you were not there, I can assure you it was true, that only when everyone believed that gold would never agian go down in price, silver would never again drop in price, copper and platinum would never again drop in price, oil would never again drop in price, and silver would never again drop in price, only then would the price break. NOTE, I said EVERYONE had to be bought in (with the exception of a few sages who had seen it all before)

We are no where near yet to the point of capitulation. Opinions are still very muddied up. But when EVERYONE buys into "Peak everything", including the front pages of the financial and business magazines, that's when to watch out.

The worm can turn very, very quickly.

DISCLAIMER: That in no way changes the need for the consuming nations to reduce oil consumption and increase alternatives as soon as is possible. There are 100 good reasons to reduce waste and consumption of any commodity, whether they are at peak or not. In the case of fossil fuel, greenhouse gas, national security and national wealth and self determination are just a few. Oh, I know, I have heard it all before, it's a world problem, don't be a Yankee about it. But we consume in the U.S. 5 times our share of global production by population. If we can't clean up our own house first, why should we think we can clean up other peoples.

Reduce waste, reduce consumption, increase diversity, increase alternatives.
Why do we need the spectre of immediate Peak to make us do what should be the sensible national goal anyway?


The Great and Horrifying Mogambo (TGAHM) has been talking Peak Oil for almost 2 years now.

As has the crew at Financialsense.com.

Some get it, Many don't.

I am going to go over to the Fearsome Heavily Armed Mogambo Bunker of the End (FHAMBOTE) and knock and see if he has space for another.

A little worried since he is a little trigger happy.


My guesstimate is 2002 for financialsense.

PeakTO, I would approach his jungle lair with caution for he has several Junior Mugambo Rangers (JMRs) on guard. I have seen a lot of discussion on TOD about when posters first came upon mention of PO...Which set me to thinking about when I first heard the term...But my old freakin' brain (OFB) has not retrieved that memory yet. I think it was when I stumbled upon the 'The Oldauvi Theory' by Dr. Duncan, which led me to the 'Die Off' site, which led in lots of directions. It has been an interesting journey.

I know he has internet...so if you don't hear from me in the next couple days...you know what happened :P

I gotcha' back, PeakTO...I have applied for a Junior Magumbo Ranger position but I will have to start at the bottom, cleaning KRands, Mapleleafs, etc, and then I will eventually get a JMR Badge (if I resist filching gold coins)...BTW, I found The Great Ms posting only after he bagan on Asia Times On Line...Since I read that site daily. I believe that was just a few months ago, after Jack Crooks column no longer was posted on ATOL.

I found the Mogambo on Daily Reckoning a couple/three years ago. He's usually a real hoot to read and generally pretty insightful.

I too read Atimes daily. My guess, they gave up the Crooks column for its dismal record of constantly calling for a stronger dollar.

but why did M-guru go from writing 6-7 pages every week to 2-3 pages every other week or so?

Probably because he is writing a column five days a week at ATOL.

RE: Chinese tiger has nothing in tank

Looks like China's growth is only just beginning to impact the world oil markets. When China quits their fuel subsidies, those drivers who now spend 2 days out of 3 awaiting fuel will be able to go at it full speed ahead again. And, their oil consumption will increase accordingly.

E. Swanson

Good morning BD, I see we were both drawn to Leanans China posting. Interesting...

RE: Chinese Tiger Has Nothing In Tank

Watching Chinese experience fuel shortages and their reactions might give us some insight into our own future experiences...But, this could be the way that TPTB in China have chosen to slow an overheated economy...Which has been their goal for some time...According to them.

...snip...'A few days earlier, at Ezhou in Hubei province, 100,000 people were stranded, unable to get to work, because city buses had run out of fuel.'...snip...

'The problem would intensify as winter approached, and was starting to affect exports, warned the Commerce Ministry, since diesel was crucial for shifting products to ports'....snip...

'In Kunming, capital of the southwestern province of Yunnan, 1000 trucks are stranded.

A truck driver named Li told the Chuncheng Evening News he had been stranded at the Stone Tiger Gate petrol station for three days after searching for fuel in other places, but failing. He said his delivery date was way overdue.

Another driver, at Geiju city, said a job that would have taken one day in the past, now took three: one on the road, two queuing for fuel.'...snip...

Back to the well


Oddly enough, though, the biggest discovery of conventional oil this year went largely ignored - notwithstanding the fact that it took place in the continental U.S., where such things are not supposed to happen.Two hundred and eighteen billion barrels of conventional oil. Note that this is almost 10 times the proven reserves (22 billion barrels) of the United States. Note that this is enough to run the U.S. economy for the next 25 years. And note that this isn't a reference to all the oil left behind when wells ran "dry" - a resource that exceeds 300 billion barrels. This is a measure of the "bypassed oil" that, with advances in technology, can now be deemed recoverable. At $100 (U.S.) a barrel, it would be worth more than $20-trillion.

You're so late you thought you were early. :)


I will believe it when I see it.

my bad

It's not saying what you wishfully think it does. No 'discovery' here.

concluded that the United States can recover an extra 1.3 million barrels of oil a day through "enhanced recovery" from old wells with existing technology

This article is sensationally promoting their enhanced recovery software.

1.3 million barrels a day is a drop in the bucket, and thats only if you can gear up ALL the 200 barrel a day wells and run them for a profit. A BIG 'if'.

Also, does not take into account the number of rigs necessary to go after these tiny pockets, which simply do not exist.

This sort of sensational claim reminds of one of those 1950s-vintage Popular Science articles that would state something to the effect that there is enough gold in the oceans to make every person in the US a millionaire. The fact that to extract the gold you'd need to operate an ion exchange column about the size of Mt. Everest for a couple of hundred years and that the cost of extraction would be at least 100 times greater than the gold is worth are conveniently ignored as 'technical details'.

While the above is an extreme example, I think the same sort of principle applies to a lot of these claims regarding the extraction of stranded oil or the havesting of methane hydrates from the deep sea, in that both butt up against some fundamental entropic constraints.

the doe awards contracts quite often, and if the lucky contractor doesnt claim something spectacular, they wont get any more contracts. syncophant parade.

Google and Renewable energy,..
The Yahoo story(AP) says they wil produce 1 Giga byte of energy
The computer world article says 1 GW but not sure how long that will power a city.
We are optimistic this can be done in years, not decades," he said, adding that 1 gigawatt can power a city the size of San Francisco -- though it was not clear how long 1 gigawatt would power such a city.

Not long ago we found that the US Army uses 300 Million barrels while the same article said that US consumption was 20 Million barrels a day.

your messing up terms it's not even funny.
gigabyte is the term for storage space on a computer roughly equal too 102,400,000,000. the term your are looking for is gigawatt and i seriously doubt they would be able to run their data centers on them, since they would need 24/7 365 electrical service with NO spikes or sags.

gigabyte is the term for storage space on a computer roughly equal too 102,400,000,000.

A unit of computer memory or data storage capacity equal to 1,024 megabytes.
One billion bytes.

That would be 1,024,000,000 bytes. Not exactly one billion bytes. Slightly more because of the addressing scheme requires it. But you are off by a few orders of magnitude. You have it as 102.4 billion bytes.

If you wish to know how many bits that is then multiply it by eight. That would be 8,192,000,000 bits. A bit is one binary digit, either a 1 or a 0.

Ron Patterson

yea opps.

Well, computer measurements (and the associated prefixes) are in powers of 2 rather than 10. There is a new standard prefix set (kibi, mebi, gibi...) but it is awkward for people used to dealing with original usage and makes old documentation even more confusing (as if that is possible).

K=>2^10 or 1024
M=>2^20 or 1048576
G=>2^30 or 1073741824

So as you go up in increments the difference between decimal and binary prefixes increases.

Your Pedantic IT guy

Thats not as bad as what hard drive companys are still doing.
marking capacity as 1gig = 1,000,000,000 instead of 1,024,000,000

Bad blocks and accounting for file system needs.
Its sensible to mark a drive as 1 gig.

then that means they are wasting allot of money if on a 80gb drive 6 odd gigs of it is bad blocks. file allocation table/trees do take up space but the way it is now is worse.

Sorry the drive is actually larger if you check its size.
They just don't advertise the larger space.

I one gig drive generally formats out larger.
I've never really looked to see how much larger. I'm just saying they generally advertise a smaller size than the drive actually comes to for the above reasons.

df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
                      218G   19G  188G  10% /
tmpfs                1011M     0 1011M   0% /lib/init/rw
udev                   10M  112K  9.9M   2% /dev
tmpfs                1011M     0 1011M   0% /dev/shm
/dev/hda1             236M   53M  172M  24% /boot

sudo /sbin/fdisk /dev/hda

The number of cylinders for this disk is set to 9729.
There is nothing wrong with that, but this is larger than 1024,
and could in certain setups cause problems with:
1) software that runs at boot time (e.g., old versions of LILO)
2) booting and partitioning software from other OSs
   (e.g., DOS FDISK, OS/2 FDISK)

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/hda: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x5baa890d

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1   *           1          31      248976   83  Linux
/dev/hda2              32        9729    77899185    5  Extended
/dev/hda5              32        9729    77899153+  8e  Linux LVM

sudo /sbin/fdisk /dev/hdb

The number of cylinders for this disk is set to 19457.
There is nothing wrong with that, but this is larger than 1024,
and could in certain setups cause problems with:
1) software that runs at boot time (e.g., old versions of LILO)
2) booting and partitioning software from other OSs
   (e.g., DOS FDISK, OS/2 FDISK)

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/hdb: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0003e79e

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hdb1               1       19457   156288321   8e  Linux LVM

I think I have a 80G and a 160 gig drives they are on a ext3 file system.

Bad blocks and file system are not included in the 1 gig though.

The reason some things are in powers of 2 is because the underlying architecture is a power of 2 (e.g. addressing of memory cells) and other things are in powers of 10 is because the underlying architecture is arbitrarily sized (e.g. bit rates, disks).

Well close technically its gig bits. Memory chips are actually sized in gig bits. A byte is eight bits. I disk is in giga bytes power of ten of 8 bits.

Heck just read this :)


The power of two stuff for ram memory sticks is because of the transfer bus if I recall correctly.

Anyway all this is explained well on the web.

Nope, disks are sized in bytes. Memory chips are sized in bits, but memory modules are sized in bytes.

The size of a byte is actually irrelevant. A byte is normally 8 bits but can be whatever size you want it to be. If you like, you can build a computer using base 10 and it could have blocks of 1000 13-bit bytes.

The difference really arises because memory cells are arranged in a matrix designed to be efficiently accessed with a binary address bus. Disk and comms are essentially accessed serially, so don't have this feature.

It's actually the hard drive manufacturers who have it correct according to the IEC who are responsible for defining the SI prefixes like Kilo, Mega, and Giga.

The IEC approved way to talk about 2^30 bytes, what in commonly, but arguably incorrectly called a Gigabyte (GB), is as a Gibibyte (GiB). [Likewise Kibibyte, Mebibyte]

Although, as Wikipedia says on the topic:

Adoption of these prefixes has been slow, but is growing.

Incidently, one binary gig is not 1,024,000,000 bytes, but 1,073,741,824 bytes (ie: 1024 x 1024 x 1024). Also, it's not just hard drive manufacturers, but most out-of-ram storage providers, including tape and optical etc.

While these new prefixes sound weird to start with, if people just started using them appropriately it would save endless amounts of time, and avoid far-to-common confusion and mistakes.

too put it bluntly it's not a standard if people do not support it. the main reason drive/memory/ and flash manufatures use the 1kb = 1000 Bytes is that it looks better on the box's and in the ad's. since the whole software stack uses the 1kb = 1024 irregardless of block size(unless your useing a older fs with sub 1kb blocks) your paying for space your not actually getting.

to use my above example you buy a drive marked 80 gig, what you actually get is a 74 gig drive minus file table/tree size. which in the case of ext3 would be about 1 to 1 1/2 gig in size.

Memory and Flash use 1kb = 1024 bytes.

Anyway it's the other way round, disk manufacturers put the correct figure on the box. The story is when memory prices plummeted, memory makers boosted sales with a special offer which gave away 24 free bytes for every 1000 purchased. Customers got used to that deal, so it stuck. Now when you buy 1 gig of RAM, you actually get 1.07 gig!

This may sound daft, but it's less stupid than your suggestion.

well they were sued for deceptive advertising and lost even though they are 'technically' correct. also if you look at my posts the closest thing i have said to a insult was 'too be blunt' i never called anyone stupid or anything.

They didn't lose, Seagate and WD settled out of court without admitting fault. Other suits (eg. Amazon) have been dismissed.

The legal ground was not about the size of GB, but the fact they advertise unformatted capacity, which a customer can never fully use.

These class action lawsuits are really about putting money in the pockets of opportunist lawyers, and companies settle nuisance lawsuits rather than waste money on lawyers, so lawsuits prove little. I contend that even a "successful" lawsuit does not prove lack of stupidity, given propensity to sue over anything.

The lawsuits have had virtually no impact, disk manufacturers still advertise with decimal GB. Now they just add a footnote and a disclaimer that accessible capacity may vary.

It is the Yahoo /AP story that is/was messing up units

It has been corrected now to GW.
I was just pointing out constant messing up of million with billion, that happens in the media where the articles are written by supposedly people who should know better.

Older story was at 5:57 PM

The really sad part is that he is directly quoting the Yahoo story.. Me thinks some journalists really have no clue what they are doing (or not).

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending November 23, 2007

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged nearly 15.5 million barrels per day during the week ending November 23, up 573,000 barrels per day from the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 89.4 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production moved higher compared to the previous week, averaging 9.0 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production rose last week, averaging 4.3 million barrels per day.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged nearly 10.4 million barrels per day last week, up 534,000 barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged 10.1 million barrels per day, or 144,000 barrels per day more than averaged over the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 835,000 barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 203,000 barrels per day last week.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) dropped by 0.4 million barrels compared to the previous week. At 313.2 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.4 million barrels last week, and are below the lower end of the average range. Finished gasoline inventories fell last week while gasoline blending components rose during this period. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 0.1 million barrels, but are in the middle of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories increased by 0.3 million barrels last week. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased by 1.8 million barrels last week, and are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year.

Crude down 0.4 M barrels.

Refining 89.4 (sideways)

Gasoline UP? 1.4 Million barrels

But Distillates down - 0.1 Million barrels

Propane - slightly up 0.3 Million barrels (not enough)

DEMAND still stable at 9.3 MMBPD - up 0.4% over 2006

Jet fuel is up 3.7% over 2006

Propane stocks still down 11.6% over 2006(and the cold is here), Distillate stocks still down 7.3% over 2006.

We still have to hope for a mild winter unless something changes soon.

Total Petroleum US stocks down 57.2 MILLION barrels over 2006.

DEMAND still stable at 9.3 MMBPD - up 0.4% over 2006

Which is less than the population growth over the year, btw. You can go to www.census.gov to get estimates of population, but the long term trend is reasonably close to 1% increase per year.

Yes...it is. What was your point?

Since there was a comment about inflation in the Drumbeat yesterday...it looks like those who predicted further inflation, in the many discussions about the subject here, have so far been proven right. I think that trend is going to continue into the near future, as the Fed is again hinting of further rate cuts.

There is no need to invoke "prediction". Inflation of the money supply is a fact, currently running at >15% per year and rising. It is only a question of how much of this money supply inflation feeds into higher prices we pay.

Since there is (arguably) a 6 month lag, you can bet that more price inflation is on the way. We can start predicting less price inflation when we see less money supply inflation (assumung zero economic growth).


Admittedly, I didn't really go out on a limb with that prediction.

The only "prediction" is whether we will see "hyperinflation" begin in 2008 or 2009.

At this point it is a tough call, but looks like 4Q2008 - maybe just starting to roll by election time. By 2Q2009, the USD will be trash.

That is my prediction. Backed by lots of other analysts who are scared out of their wits.

By 2010, Depression is virtually guaranteed. 3 years folks at the outside.

(Discounting HEAVILY the potential for really ugly things like WAR)

Discounting HEAVILY the potential for really ugly things like WAR

Once war starts watch the dollar fall faster then the flash can move 20 feet.

See, that's why people get so disgusted with us realistic doomer types. We continue to see the world through rose-colored glasses, and spout off our pollyanna optimism at inappropriate times.


:) :) :)

Well to be honest, all roads would lead to war.

Hyperinflation will lead to war as a means to solve the hyper-inflation since other countrys would most likely not forgive our debts. after all we won't forgive third world country's debts and their country's are in perpetual chaos/paralasys because of the un-repayable debt.

Without hyperinflation war will still happen because it provides the best realistic return on investment and a better chance of working for aquireing new resources compared to other means.

I don't know which way to root for thouogh, the latter would leave the world in better shape for the survivors at the cost of a much higher chance of me or allot of people not being one of them. The former keeps the current system going for as long as possible giving people a better short term life at the cost of well cutting our long term survival chances.

I noted one of hte comments yesterday that linked to a story about Bush admin and Iraq negotiating a troop withdrawal by end 2008. I think the implication of many is that this is a political stunt.

Personally I have to question this - is it not perhaps a realization that those national guards will be needed to quell the problems back home by that time?

Withdrawn through an easterly route, I am afraid. . .

Bush is negotiating with Al Maliki but what ever is negotiated will probably not be approved by the Iraqi legislature...


'Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that the Sadr Movement and the Sunni Iraqi Accord Front both rejected the 'memorandum of understanding' between the US and Iraq signed by PM Nuri al-Maliki and US president George W. Bush two days ago. They complain that neither leader has the constitutional authority to make such an agreement without involvement of the legislature. They also complained that the document does not specify a timetable for withdrawal of US troops. One Sadrist called it a blueprint for a long-term civil Occupation of Iraq.'

Francois, your right that there is lag in price inflation, but a lot of that price inflation is seen in the real world, and yet reported inaccurately by the economists who calculate the CPI.

For example, when inflation is measured for housing prices, they take owner's equivalent rent as the measure. Obviously, the last few years has seen many more home buyers with easy access to credit, and so home prices have surged dramatically. However, rents of houses have not increased with the rise of home prices, as there is less demand for renting (these people were buying homes). The end result is that as house prices went crazy over the last decade, the CPI was calculating this increase in home prices as DEFLATIONARY.

Its quite obvious that the government will do anything it can to report lower CPI numbers, and there are many other fraudulent methods in which inaccurate CPI numbers are calculated. One of the even more obvious one's is not including energy and food, because their prices are too "volatile".

The economy still collapses with hyper-inflation. See Zimbabwe(minus 80% real GDP off the top of my head), Argentina, Weimar Germany. etc., etc., etc.

The only real difference is whether you have a nearly infinite amount of money that's worth essentially zero, or zero money that's worth quite a bit more. No difference in the medium/long run.

Holy Smoke, Oil just plunged below 93$, Mr. Rapier must have a nice smile on his face. :D

Major Selloff, under $92 now.

It's not a sell off till it closes. wait till the end of the day price.





You may wish to keep this graphic handy for future use, RA.


Wow, you guys are awfully reactionary. Noone else had posted the big drop in oil today, pretty relevant for a site called "The Oil Drum" don't you think?

Oil is going to continue to be prone to these occasional large price drops, regardless of how bad the peak oil situation gets. The reason is that unlike some other commodities, the price of production is way below the current price - most of the OPEC oil is produced for less than $5 a barrel. Even the more expensive producers don't produce much oil that costs them over $20 a barrel. Production cost just doesn't provide any kind of floor to the oil price.

A tight supply/demand situation drives the price up and I believe will continue to do so. But on a day when traders get the idea that the situation might be improving, the price could really get whacked.

You're exactly right. To me, the important thing about today's price was that it didn't get below $90. $90 continues to hold.

The longer we're in a trading range between $90 and $100, the bigger the spike will be once we break through.

Why bother when it will be reported ad nauseum by all the mainstream news media as proof that our way of life is perfect and needs no reform. They have a thousand times the influence of this site. They've been the ones wrong about the price of oil since 2003, yet The Oil Drum is the one that needs your corrective voice?

It's all in tone-of-voice, timing and taste.. I am afraid you have shown a fairly shocking immunity to exploiting any of these traits, and on an amazingly consistent basis.

I doubt anyone has missed the price-drop going on. If it was temperatures in the Northeast the Climate Skeptics would be dancing around on Fox News about it.. but as an animator, I look at this and wonder if it's a cliff-drop, a speed-bump or the classic windup to a punch in the other direction. But the last thing in the world that I'm going to do is cluck and gloat that I think I know what a sudden little example of volatility is ultimately going to turn into.

"Difficult to see.. always in motion is the future.."
- Yoda

Trolls have plenty of power, the only thing that can save you from a troll is to shine the light of the sun on them. Them poof, they are stone.

works every time.

Bring out the "oil's going back to $30" articles!

Well with peace breaking out through out the middle east its no wonder oil is dropping.

Oil will have its ups and downs, just like all commodities. However, there are going to be more ups than downs, and the ups are going to be more up than the downs are going to be down.

I had a gut feeling we would have another down. Actually I'm betting now that its started downward it will be 80 by Feb/March which was my original thought. However I think its the last time we get a real down dip. And this is assuming we keep having a warm winter. If it gets cold in Feb then we should go back up and keep going till this time next year.

I'm guessing we end next year between 150-200 with maybe a slight dip then as I've mentioned before I think in 2009 we start the real bidding war.

Its all about decline rates/ export land. Slow boil or painful crash.

You could be right, but here's why I'm doubtful: The amount of extra production coming out of OPEC, and the amount of drop you can get from scaring out speculative longs, just isn't big enough to take us down to $80, memmel. The net speculative longs are nowhere near what they were in August. And commercial traders keep closing out their shorts every time we get near $90.

Of course, a major dollar rally or stock market crash could change what I've just said.

CNN was running this story this morning:

Report links higher rates of uninsured and suicide

When both depression and suicide rates are considered, states that ranked the best are Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois and Hawaii. Among the worst off: Utah, West Virginia, Idaho and Nevada. Suicide rates in states ranked lowest were two to four times higher than those with the most favorable records.

I was kind of surprised that Utah ranked so low. I thought the strong family ties and religiousness there would offer some protection. And New Jersey...it's northeast stress at its best, but apparently, people don't get too depressed about it.

I guess in this limited sense, money does buy happiness. They found it's lack of access to health care that's linked to depression and suicide. Curiously, it's not necessarily mental health care; just health care in general.

I'd be suicidal if I was surrounded by so many Mormons. ;)

Imagine being indoctrinated during your youth only to find out when older that the founder of your faith was a con artist...

Joseph Smith's Long Con Third of four
National Post, Canada/May 11, 2007
By Christopher Hitchens


...snip...'In March, 1826, a court in Bainbridge, N.Y., convicted a 21- year-old man of being "a disorderly person and an impostor." That ought to have been all we ever heard of Joseph Smith, who at trial admitted to defrauding citizens by organizing mad golddigging expeditions and also to claiming to possess dark or "necromantic" powers. However, within four years he was back in the local newspapers (all of which one may still read) as the discoverer of the "Book of Mormon." He had two huge local advantages which most mountebanks and charlatans do not possess. First, he was operating in the same hectically pious district that gave us the Shakers and several other self-proclaimed American prophets. So notorious did this local tendency become that the region became known as the "Burned- Over District," in honour of the way in which it had surrendered to one religious craze after another. Second, he was operating in an area which, unlike large tracts of the newly opening North America, did possess the signs of an ancient history.

A vanished and vanquished Indian civilization had bequeathed a considerable number of burial mounds, which when randomly and amateurishly desecrated were found to contain not merely bones but also quite advanced artifacts of stone, copper and beaten silver. There were eight of these sites within 12 miles of the underperforming farm which the Smith family called home. There were two equally stupid schools or factions who took a fascinated interest in such matters: The first were the gold-diggers and treasurediviners who brought their magic sticks and crystals and stuffed toads to bear in the search for lucre, and the second those who hoped to find the resting place of a lost tribe of Israel. Smith's cleverness was to be a member of both groups, and to unite cupidity with half-baked anthropology.'...snip...

Hi River,

To bring this topic full circle, your post makes me wonder how many peak oil early adopters have a history of being 'troublemakers'. I walked away from the LDS church at 19 and pretty much gave up every friend I had at the time as a consequence. Following the peak oil path feels remarkably similar in many ways. :-)

BTW, here's another take on the Joseph Smith story, with a South Park twist.

thecitruskid, I can only speak for myself...I have always gone my own way. I cannot live in a 'Its A Wonderful Life' world because that world does not exist except for the frantic people that are in debt over their heads and yet are out buying more crap and charging it...They have been driven insane by millions of commercials. I am not comfortable with conformity for conformities sake. If you gave your friends up, that was your call. If your friends gave you up because you left the LDS church, they were not your friends, just aquaintances...imho.
Because you left the LDO and believe in PO does not make you a troublemaker. It makes you someone that thinks for yourself and does not buy into the 'propoganda of MSM'.

Hi River - thanks for the response. When I say 'troublemaker' I really mean anyone who prefers to build their own reality piece-by-piece rather than adopting a comfortable prefabricated worldview. Despite my preference for the former, I am not blind to the huge advantages of the latter - you can travel a lot faster on a paved road than you can cutting through the brush with a machete. Anyway, it struck me that a disproportionate number of posters here seem to be 'machete wielders', but on further reflection I guess that should have been obvious - the only way you're going to discover facts that aren't in mainstream culture is to cut your own path.

Despite my disagreements with the LDS on matters of doctrine, I admire their cohesion and emphasis on emergency preparedness, two things that will help them survive PO better than most. And if they're happy too, more power to 'em.

I cannot live in a 'Its A Wonderful Life' world because that world does not exist

The 'Its A Wonderful Life' world started in the 1920's and continued through the Great Depression and WW II. For George Bailey it was a life of shattered dreams and drudgery, duty and small good deeds that he did regardless, simply as a matter of course, and without reflection.

The moral I perceived from the movie (which I do like) is the immense social capital (George Bailey is the richest man in town) and long term good & social change that a lifelong series of small good deeds and selfless acts can create.

I do draw inspiration from 'Its A Wonderful Life'.

Best Hopes for many small good deeds,


Alan, I dont have the same take on the movie that you have... 'the immense social capital and long term good and social change that a lifelong series of small good deeds and selfless acts can create.'
George Bailey was altruistic, fine if that is the way one wants to go about being perceived as a 'good guy', but large societies do not work like 'Its a Wonderful Life.' George was naieve to the point of being rediculous, a theme Frank Capra used in many movies. Frank was good at making what I generalize as 'feel good' or 'escapisim for the depression' flicks...The Doris Day, Tammy, Beach Blanket, B. Berkley musical, Esther Williams Swimming, etc. These 'escapisim' movies allowed audiences buried by the tough grind of the depression to escape in a theatre on a Saturday night for a couple of hours. It sure beat looking at the azz end of a mule! For a more realistic take on life watch some film noir...like 'out of the past' or 'The Third Man' or 'In Cold Blood.' or 'Citizen Kane'. We all do good deeds and most of us realize, consciously or not, that we are doing a good deed. We also know that many people can do terrible things and continue to sleep well at night. If in real life you met George you would probably think him a sap. Anthropoligists have proven many times the limit at which village populations begin to be governed by suspicion, greed, fear, jealousy and the onset of anamosity is about 160 persons. Why 160? Because that is about how many names the average person can remember and greeting more people than 160 each day becomes too burdensome and takes time away from other required tasks. What happens to societies when they become large and most are strangers to each other? Well, one thing that can happen is...


'The Stasi
East Germany's Ministry for State Security, known as the Stasi, featured probably the most comprehensive internal security operation of the Cold War. The Stasi built an astonishingly widespread network of informants -- researchers estimate that out of a population of 16 million, 400,000 people actively cooperated. The Stasi kept files on up to 6 million East German citizens -- one-third of the entire population.

The Stasi operated with broad power and remarkable attention to detail. All phone calls from the West were monitored, as was all mail. Similar surveillance was routine domestically. Every factory, social club and youth association was infiltrated; many East Germans were persuaded or blackmailed into informing on their own families.'

Check out Naomi Wolfs book on the 'End of America' to see how we are headed down the 'Stazi' road. You probably wont learn much more than you already know, but hers is a good summation on the steps from democracy to totalitarinisim... All governments follow the same steps when transitioning between these two forms of governance.

Large amounts of social capital do have survival value. A close friend told me, unprompted, that he would "share his last bowl of rice" with me. Another told me she would have dropped out of her residency after medical school were it not for me and would always be there to help. Many more less dramatic examples.

Two characteristics that I like about New Orleans is that complete strangers engage in real conversations while waiting in line, etc. and we quite commonly include character references when referring or prior to introducing someone.

Perhaps there are people that consider me a "sap". So be it.

BTW, "It's a Wonderful Life" was released in the post-war euphoria after WW II.

Best Hopes,


Welcome to one of our dirty little family secrets. All these Osmond smiles are kept bright by one of the highest prescription drug abuse rates in America. Damn tough to raise eight kids on Mississippi salaries with West Coast housing prices, all the while pretending to your neighbors that you are happy to be so blessed. Peak oil, peak sub-prime lending are starting to put a dent in the megamansion-in-the-burb-commute-via-Suburban (the famed Mormon Mercedes) lifestyle. No suprise a few of my bethren are taking the short-cut to the promised land.

There is incredible pressure on Mormons to keep the plastic smiles and live "perfect" sin-free lives. It just can't be done. The more cynical can deal with it, but the true believers end up on anti-depressants and talking to the walls.

peak toothy grin ?

If I remember correctly... well, wait a second, let me look it up...

Yes, suicide is more common in rural areas... "where people live far apart from one another"... Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and West Virginia all fit that description...

See Kochanek, 2007

Also see Fox Butterfield's article "Social Isolation, Guns and a "Culture of Suicide", New York Times, 2/13/2005

I'll let you in on another myth--Utah being "rural." The vast majority (>80%) of us live within the confines of a metropolis--same is certainly true of Nevada.

I suspect it is the 20% that are rural that have the higher suicide rates.

The 80% urban folks probably are very similar to urban folks all over the country.

Us New Jerseyans have to put up with a lot of bad "Joisey" humor. So we develop thick skins :)

Does anyone have any guess at the raw number of people - in the US, possibly worldwide - that are really Peak Oil aware - in terms of its proximity and seriousness?

However unscientifically derived... I mean are we talking about 1000 people in the US or 10% of the population... that kind of thing.

All guesses welcome.

An awful lot of people in San Francisco have heard about it. An awful lot of people in San Francisco don't understand it after they've heard about it.

I'd bet not even 1% of the population "gets" it.

About 500 people see our Sustainable Monterey County newsletter each month. If they read it, and I assume they do, they have certainly heard of peak oil.

We all have different opinions about the possible consequences of PO here, and you may even think there are some here who don't "get" it. What do we mean PO aware? People who are aware that the possible consequences are very severe? Again, it's a pretty generalised category, but you'd need to start with something like that... and yes, I wouldn't imagine more than a few % get that.

i suppose my initial intent was who is aware and gets the severity - not merely in some abstract fashion aware

My thoughts are not whether or not they agree with my take on it, but whether they've only heard about it, never read much about it besides that, or even looked into it.

Although it is a hard thing to define. I remember showing "The End of Suburbia" to people three or four years ago, and they'd watch it and say, "It won't be so bad." Quite a different reaction than what I had the first time I saw it.

I was interested in conducting a scientific poll of some kind, but am more interested in farming so it didn't happen.

Opinion & analysis
What the Russian papers say
26/ 11/ 2007

Petrodollars make Russia giddy, industrial West keeps sober

This year, Russia has topped the world list of oil producers, with 9.87 million bbl/pd in January-October, 10%-12% more than the second largest producer, Saudi Arabia.

The latter could have easily boosted production and outmatch Russia, but they prefer not to do it for a reason. The United States, also a major oil nation, has been reducing production of late, but augmenting refining capacity instead.

The U.S. currently refines 180% more oil than it produces. Russia, on the contrary, processes less than half of the oil it produces, with the average degree of conversion (the percentage of light products) barely reaching 70% (85%-95% in the West).

The reckless drive to pump more and more oil will soon lead Russia to an uncontrolled fall in production, not because it will start saving its resources like the U.S., but because it will not be able to compensate for depletion in the traditional oil-producing areas. Russian oil majors can no longer boost production, and it is only growing because of the recent Sakhalin projects.

The situation in the oil-processing sector is no better either. Russia is currently using around 80% of its refining capacities. Oil processing is growing by 5%-6% a year, but it has remained static for the past three years, according to a BP statistics review. Which means that by the time Russia is in a position, where it can no longer boost production, it will also be unable to increase processing if it does not start building new refineries now. The old ones will be running at full capacity by then.

It is a shame that the billions of dollars that state oil companies have poured into buying more assets, have not been invested in either production (if they are so determined to export all their crude) or, better still, in building refineries based on cutting-edge western technology.


I don't know the oil patch personally.

Is this right - the US has voluntarily been reducing production on its own turf? Sounds wrong to me but I don't know either way.

US production has been declining because, while we can find, and we are finding, new smaller oil fields, we can't offset the declines from the older larger fields.

I found it very interesting that a Russian paper is talking about an "uncontrolled fall in production."

thanks for the clarification

i must have been misunderstanding the article - i understand that fields are dropping involuntarily i read it as saying the US was choosing to reduce flow which i thought was bogus

It's possible that the author thinks that the US is reducing its oil production voluntarily. In any case, I think that the underlying message of the article is that it is unwise for Russia to continue to try to maximize their oil production.

Perhaps he was thinking of the Texas RR commission, before 1972 that is.

Or perhaps of ANWR, offshore California, etc.

Either would be true, especially from a Russian POV.


I think you read it right. The author of the article is just mistaken.

Regarding the #1 Net Oil Exporter, Saudi Arabia, I made the following estimates in September (I assumed a fourth quarter Saudi C+C production rate of 9.0 mbpd). Note that there are reports of a large Saudi refinery being shut down, which would boost both crude oil exports and boost product imports into Saudi Arabia.

Declining Net Oil Exports Versus “Near Record High” Crude Oil Inventories: What is going on? (September, 2007)

The 2005 to 2006 numbers for Saudi Arabia are as follows (exponential increase/decrease per year, EIA, Total Liquids):

Production: -3.7%/year
Consumption: +5.7%/year
Net Exports: -5.5%/year

Extrapolating from year to date numbers, my estimates for 2006 to 2007 Saudi numbers are as follows (I am adding in some increased liquids consumption, because of their ongoing natural gas shortfall):

Production: -5.6%/year
Consumption: +10%/year
Net Exports: -9.5%/year

I'm sorry. I've given up my car and now ride my bicycle and walk, but you can't have my beer fridge.

Even if you can't afford beer to put in it? ;-)

There it is again, a reference to Peak Beer. We don't need to start a website on that. People will understand that, especially when they begin seeking substitutes and we find that we have Peak Wine, followed by Peak Whiskey quickly thereafter. It is Peak Oil they can't understand.

"Peak Ethanol" would certainly tie a lot of threads together. . .

We'll just all have to get better with our home brews!

The hints of trouble are blowing in the wind here in telecom scrounger world.

I've got to sue an Ebay guy over a piddling little deal and I hear they're not doing well. Yes, a California company ...

It took a week to get a vendor to give us the bid on a $4k box ... they kept trying to push a $14k box that was vast overkill. This might be normal in some realms, but telecom salespeople get customers and keep 'em for a decade ... it was just weird.

My favorite repair center required three phone calls before they accepted a simple, highly profitable repair for one of my customers. We're talking $500 - $1,000 and the job might take 'em an hour. What sort of distractions are there that drive this kind of thing?

Strange "sign up for long term service" things are popping up for cable and phone service in the area. Someone *cough* Mediacom *cough* seems to be very worried.

Will we limp through the holidays (and primaries) without a kAb00m! or are the troubles to thick to dodge?

"Even with high prices for seasoned firewood, Burrill said, wood is still a better deal than oil. He said it takes about 150 gallons of oil to equal a cord of wood. That works out to $450 worth of oil compared to $200 for wood with a comparable Btu value."

Mom's partner just took the car around town to the regular spots where people toss out their used pallettes. Piles are a bunch lower this year, but they'd be gone altogether if so many people weren't kept in limbo, wondering if this is really happening. He cuts them up with an electric chainsaw. I wonder what the energy draw and cost-per-cord is compared to using a gas saw?


Watch out, pallets contain some bad chemicals.

So let me get this straight:

Stocks jumped last 2 days because America is F***ed??!!!


I want to be on what those traders are on! The bulls have had a fatal injection in the bull ring and just don't know it yet.


Believe it or not, but there may be one last (and short) bull run on the markets.

But, the driver appears (and rightfully so) to be Inflation (monetary) incoming from multiple sources.

This is what will feed the Hyperflation in the 2008/2009 time period.

The transistion will take place when recession (and stock crash) occurs and Oil and Gold skyrocket further driving hyperinflation.

Oil above $150 and Gold above $1000 are highly probable in 2008. (Better than 80% in my book).

As the base money supply isn't currently expanding (see Is the U.S. printing money like mad?) and the credit crunch is continuing its crunching, exactly where is the inflation supposed to be coming from?

The printing presses aren’t currently busy printing notes and shipping them out to all the banks in the US. Credit is doing a pretty big contraction thing. So, I don’t really see where the inflationary pressures are going to come from to support your inflation or hyperinflation scenarios. The credit crunch is deflationary. Not inflationary. And unless the Fed starts applying ink to paper Zimbabwe style deflationary pressures should be your much bigger worry.

There was some discussion of this last week in regards to the idea of simultaneous inflation and deflation


Stocks are probably up today on reports from retailers that sales over Black Friday weekend were up 6% over last year. I'm not sure if this is inflation adjusted, or if more people are just trying to save money this year and taking advantage of specials.

I agree goritsas - the credit crunch is indeed highly deflationary. All credit hyperexpansions eventually implode, and this one has been moving closer to the tipping point all year.

I think this is a matter of context.

In the mid term this will be inflationary (monetarily) and eventually price.

This is due to MASSIVE amounts of USD flowing back into the US buying up value/assets. This is already happening and IS what is buoying the markets.

This capital movement IS inflationary.

When the bubble bursts(as above dates), that WILL be deflationary.

Until then...we can agree to disagree. Either way strap in.

But the dollar's value dropping makes imports more expensive. That same dollar dropping will force other countries to decouple their currencies from ours. That just makes the currency inflation more potent.

Where will deflation hit?

Maybe the financial system in the US crashes while the cost of things rises as we are an importer and our currency is quickly fading. At the same time foreign investors will purchase chunks of US things (property and companies).

I have no idea where that would leave us. It wouldn't be pretty I imagine.

just wondering, has the us treasury encountered a credit crunch ?

The FED does not need to print physical money like Zimbabwe, they can simply buy Treasuries with electronically created money - money created from nothing. Eventually anything could be bought like that - including mortgages, securities or even whole banks.

They have already begun pumping in liquidity by injecting short-term financing. What if this proves not to be enough and the crisis of confidence deepens? One thing I'm sure of - if the choice is between inflating all this debt away and letting the financial system collapse they will choose the former, not the latter.

The Fekete article is excellent, with one caveat. Thank you ArianeB for posting it, cuz I don't know how to do the HTML thingie yet!

It explains that there are really two different kinds of money in our system. You could call them "real" money(FRNs) and "virtual money", the digital kind. Note those are my terms, not Dr. Fekete's.

Fekete points out that FRNs need to be collateralized by either gold or Treasury obligations. The virtual kind is created by mouse clicks and the fractional reserve principal. Now, I'm no lawyer but I read the relevant section of the Federal Reserve Act and think the Fed has a little more interperative leeway in what they accept as collateral. In any case, if I read the Act incorrectly there would be nothing but a pen-stroke to alter it to allow, for example, thin air to serve as collateral. This is my one quibble with an otherwise excellent article.

This is important because it is precisely the "virtual" kind of money that Stoneleigh and many others see as being vaporized by the credit crunch. They are correct in this. What was it that the account holders of Northern Rock went to withdraw, electrons or paper? This is likely to happen many times and in many places in the next year or two.

But what happens when TPTB say, hey, electrons are radiating away as fast(faster!) than we can pump them into the system? Won't be long until the collateral standard for FRNs are reinterpreted or altered. At that point FRNs will be pumped into the system at a prodigious rate and the result will be hyperinflation of the traditional variety.

I foresee a sharp deflationary contraction beginning to develop(Tip'o the hat to WT: fuel and food may soar in price as many other things are collapsing.) but, since there is nothing to prevent fiat from being firehosed on the economy, it will be.

Zimbabwe's hyper-inflationary collapse WILL be the model. As I posted above, their real GDP has collapsed over the last few years while they have the world's highest inflation rate. Again, what is the difference if you have an enormous amount of nearly worthless money, or a miniscule amount of very valuable money?

Now, I'm no lawyer but I read the relevant section of the Federal Reserve Act and think the Fed has a little more interperative leeway in what they accept as collateral. In any case, if I read the Act incorrectly there would be nothing but a pen-stroke to alter it to allow, for example, thin air to serve as collateral

Sure. But even if they do they only do business with a very select few and it still is electronic $. They also have to be repaid, most often short term. So far they have put almost no liquidity in and in fact the last few days they have been taking liquidity out.


Today    -8.750b


Banks are hoarding FRN's just like NOC's are hoarding oil. Everything else is BS. The carnie barkers on the tube are azzhats hired to get the sheep to spend on chinese plastic garbage at the mall.

Kind of like the economist on the desert isle telling the other two "Imagine we have a computer-generated can-opener, wait!, Ok, first imagine we have a computer.."

… money created from nothing. Eventually anything could be bought like that - including mortgages, securities or even whole banks.

That is how it’s done now. You don’t have to wait for an eventually. What happens when a bank grants a mortgage? This too is money created from nothing. Think of fractional reserve lending. Think of margin trading accounts. The list of money created from noting is quite extensive. Sometimes though, people want money, so there needs to be some money in circulation, this comes from the base money supply. This money comes from a printing press. Using ink and paper.

They have already begun pumping in liquidity by injecting short-term financing.

And that liquidity is in the form of debt. Not an increase in the base money supply.

What if this proves not to be enough and the crisis of confidence deepens?

I don’t think you need to wait for this. It has already proven not to be enough and it is already deepening.

One thing I'm sure of - if the choice is between inflating all this debt away and letting the financial system collapse they will choose the former, not the latter.

Debt is always repudiated. There are only two ways to repudiate debt, pay it off or write it off. Further, a period of deflation is far less likely to cause the collapse of the financial system than the inflation that would ensue from running the printing presses full steam. In my opinion. If the Fed did resort to the helicopter strategy it could result in the end of the Fed because the currency would be destroyed and the reason for the existence of the Fed gone. No, in the end the Fed will choose deflation, thereby ensuring its continued existence, probably.

Agree...deflation would be the correct path.

But we are talking about Helicopter BEN!

Yen down 1.6% in one day.
Massive BoJ intervention.
Just wait a couple of days.

People should be looking at CRE, the cost of protecting default doubled in one month. These boys are going down hard and soon, can't go wrong shorting them.

What about monetization of bad debts by the Fed? Couldn't that turn a deflationary pressure into an inflationary one?

Actually this is a Bear Run(Bull trap). Passed 10% decline, triggered mindless antidoomers to throw their money away. Having to put their money where their delusion is, they will pay dearly. The only way some people can learn.

No one ever said the stock markects made logical sense.

For the United States....Days Supply Crude Oil, and all Product including Propane, has now fallen once again below last year's levels at this time. Days Supply is of course the only correct way to measure Inventory. And, Days Supply is the of course the only inventory measure was has a sustainable effect on price.

The Days supply levels this week on Crude oil itself are quite meaningfully below last year's levels: 20.8 days this week, vs. 22.6 days last year.


For Alan Drake

Energy storage for mass transit systems from Siemens...

Thanks !

I was wondering when someone would come up with this. Banks of lead-acid batteries have been used on rare occasions.

Best Hopes for Improved Electrical Efficiency,


Hello Leanan,

Thxs for the toplink: 'Backyard Gardens Shelter Europe’s Orphan Seeds'

Just another reason why Peakoil Outreach in France could help quell the youth rioting. It takes a lifetime to become a skilled gardener: these kids need to be aware of this vs choosing the cascading blowback path of wrecking existing infrastructure. I was saddened to read how the idiots torched a library--a tragic loss to future resiliency.

The needed generational info-transfer and protection of biodiversity should be seen as strategically vital to future sustainability. The detrimental action by these rioting kids will only make it vastly easier for the Grim Reaper to grab them, gut them, then whisk their heads off in a fast-crash decline. Their choice of willful ignorance, delight in fires, and attacking the police, will inevitably culminate in a severe postPeak machete' moshpit.

Programs or Pogroms-- Will the future, which always belongs to the young, choose wisely? Can they discern the real differences between Thermo/Gene deaths vs videogame deaths?

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

I was saddened to read how the idiots torched a library--a tragic loss to future resiliency.

Remember that the odds are quite high that many of these are descendants of the people that torched the great ancient library in Alexandria.

Runs in the blood, I guess. . .

Why pass up opportunity for that WNC?

May we assume you share bloodlines
with Jack the Ripper, Jeffrey Dahmer
and George Bush? Should conclusions be

We've all got our skeletons.. My grandfather was a college acquaintance to Putzi Haenfstengel, where both enjoyed the boisterous March music of the day.. years later, Putzi was playing Harvard marches on the Piano for Hitler, inspiring some of the theme-songs of the NSDAP. (Nazi Party). My dad is pretty sure that some of the Harvard Marches were actually used unmodified. We're all family.

The libraries burning now at least are a little better backed-up by numerous other collections, as we've had our energy-slaves helping with a massive amount of Scribe-work, translating and duplication. While a vast majority of this information will perish even in the best of circumstances, the odds of our knowledge surviving have far better chances than when there were a handful of papyrus copies sitting in wooden-roofed libraries lit by candlelight..


I beleive that they were rioting because of things like reduced social spending, increased taxes, and the dificulty of getting a job. Not to mention the racism, especially towards the people who have algerian roots and who live in the cités (projects) where livings standards are way lower.

Sarkozy, the president of France said he wanted to "clean the ghettoes of all the sub-humans/scum" and provoked a riot. The news service sort of glossed over that part.

Personally I would be astounded to see a massive youth movement to urban gardening develop under such conditions. IMO the riots have more to do with human dignity being squashed than video games.

Perhaps the present needs to revise its choices today before it laments the future

Check out this AMAZING Wind Turbine!

Maglev wind turbines have several advantages over conventional wind turbines. For instance, they’re able to use winds with starting speeds as low as 1.5 meters per second (m/s). Also, they could operate in winds exceeding 40 m/s. Currently, the largest conventional wind turbines in the world produce only five megawatts of power. However, one large maglev wind turbine could generate one gigawatt of clean power, enough to supply energy to 750,000 homes. It would also increase generation capacity by 20% over conventional wind turbines and decrease operational costs by 50%. If that isn’t enough, the maglev wind turbines will be operational for about 500 years!

This is about as close as we can get to a Silver Bullet for energy generation in a post-fossil fuel age. Perhaps things aren't so gloomy after all!

I'll be very optimistic when they announce we've created this "amazing wind tunnel":

When I hear 'rare earth' magnets, I start looking at neodymium futures. Seriously, this idea is pretty sensible, somewhat resembling the cosmic bearings the solar system revolves on. But when the wind stops..storage is the big problem.

Actually I'm a fan of this type of 'propellor' system for whole pile of reasons. The current systems don't appear well suited for the tests of time. I think we're going to like this one.

Keep in mind these turbines run at very low speeds. 1.5 meters/second is something like 2.9 MPH?

I appreciate your 'wit' :)

But lets put things into perspective, shall we? A 1.6 GW Nuclear Reactor costs around 5 BILLION dollars. The industry of course touts 3 Billion, but after all the delays the cost overruns kill this idea. The costs of these turbines is 53 million each. For practicality sake, lets call it a cool 100 million after foot dragging and cost overruns.

If you were an investor that had 5 Billion to spend on energy generation, what would you take?

5 billion for 1 1.6 GW Nuclear Reactor
5 billion for 50 1 GW Turbines or 50 GW peak capacity.

Even if we only use a 20% average capacity figure, thats still 10 GW of power, or 6 and a quarter times the energy a Nuclear power plant could provide at maximum capacity, and thats not even taking into account the fact that most Nuclear plants DONT run at full output! Then theres the tiny fact of no hazardous materials to dispose of, not to mention it wouldn't be a good target for a terrorist attack, nor would it suffer from the severe side affects if such an attack happened.

Where is Warren Buffet when we need him?

T Boone Pickens has announced plans to build 4 GW of WTs for $6 billion in Texas.

Best Hopes for Rich Investors,


Warren Buffet is buying up railroads and preparing to electrify them, converting diesel engines to hybrid through deals with GE. Let me tell you, everyone is on this bandwagon who has a brain in their head. I think he is up to 1/3 ownership of Burlington Northern, ready for the collapse of highway trucking and conversion of freight to rail when diesel goes to $6 per gallon.

Yep. There is a lot of talk on this site about who doesn't "get" oil depletion but the reality is that a great many people who "get" it don't speak publicly about it. A lot of people who "get" it will deny it vigourously in public (this site is sometimes like the stained red dress).

I'm sure it was back in the 50's or 60's when America called dibs on the world's oil. Since then we have been extremely tolerant of other countries using some, but now that things are getting tight, the rest of the world needs to recognize that we are first and after we get all we want, the rest of the world can split up what's left. THAT'S THE WAY IT'S ALWAYS BEEN. That's why we get 25% when we only have 5% of the population. You're all just jealous. America is the best, #1, and the rest of the world is a bunch of losers. Otherwise, how can you explain why we've gotten away with this for so long. The American way of life(and our share of the oil) is non-negotiable.

Dick Cheney

The humidity inside the cooling towers is 100% thats why you see steam coming of of them. Cooling is done by heat transfer from the mist to the air which is heated and rises bring more air into the bottom. Evaporative cooling is as far as I know not a bit part of the tower design. If you get it great.


This article is slightly bogus because wet bulb is by definition at saturation with water vapor.

And its not evaporation just simple heat transfer.

And I'm a chemist :)

memmel -

The cooling that takes place in a conventional cooling tower is the result of BOTH evaporation and convective heat transfer. Of course, the ratio between the two is highly dependent upon the relative humidity of the air .... more evaporative cooling if the air is dry, less if it is humid. That is why, for a given heat load, a cooling tower designed for operation in Lousiana will have to be larger than one in California.

If, as you say, the humidity of the air in the cooling tower is 100%, then unless the air entering the cooling tower is also 100% saturated (highly unlikely unless your'e operating the cooling tower in an equatorial rain forest) there HAS to be evaporation taking place across the cooling tower, and hence evaporative cooling.

Well I looked at your wiki link, and it appears that the term Cooling Tower refers to both straight air cooled and evaporation assisted units. I was under the mistaken assumption that the term only refers to Evaporative units. I personally would have called a non-evaporative cooling tower a simple heat exchanger.

In evaporative units I would expect the vast majority of cooling is due to evaporation - and as Joule says below (above!) RH=100 air is very unlikely.

if par(2) above is the norm then the Alabama nuke plant should be able to adapt (transfer their heat discharge to evaporative cooling towers), though at some cost.

The American way of life(and our share of the oil) is non-negotiable.

Dick Cheney

Sometimes not to negotiate is merely to negotiate poorly. America had a choice in 1979, to wit:

  • Jimmy Carter: "Eat your broccoli America"
  • Ronnie: "Party Hardy!"

America has chosen poorly.

The American way of life is non-negotiable.

Dick Cheney

Great quote, 'cept for the minor fact that Cheney never said it.

In fact, it was Bush the Elder who said it, back in '91, in the context of a particular set of negotiating demands for a particular environmental conference.

So it doesn't mean nearly as much as you're suggesting it does.

Except that nuclear reactors are real and have been done on a large scale, whereas these turbines aren't real yet and have not been done. Other than that, it's a great comparison :-)

Three modern 2.1mw wind turbines will drive two of the 4400hp locomotives at full power. It doesn't take a lot of wind to electrify rail ...

There is a nuke in Alabama that will need to shut down if Lake Lanier does not have any more water to discharge to keep the river flowing. No charge for discharge of waste heat to the river, though some aquatic life may be a little warm :-(

Does someone know if Nuclear reactors must discharge heat to a large body of water or can they do it cost effectively via cooling towers (even in high humidity conditions). As a ChemE I am not able to see how a cooling tower would be effective under conditions of 100% humidity!!??

They can use cooling towers if they have 'em. But it would take a while to build 'em if not. Without bothering to look up any more information, I'd say the Alabama nuke plant was designed to sink its waste heat into water. — There was a handy river right there and past climate history didn't lead the designers to expect a drought.

And you can lower the relative humidity just by warming the air. The "steam" coming from the towers is condensation as the water vapor encounters ambient air and condenses.

I like your comment, I hope you don't mind because I lifted it. I says the basically same thing I was thinking and I don't have to go to the trouble.

Don't forget to add in the cost of securing the radioactive waste for the next 1,000,000 years...

Shhhh, that is not polite to bring it up.

If this is based on the linear induction motors used in maglev rail, then how about this idea:

You build a maglev rail line down a windy coast between two cities. You then build tens of thousands of small automated container cars, each with a composite sail. If you brake on a maglev line, you actually feed electricity into the system (regenerative braking). So if enough cars are on the line at the same time carrying cargo, then enough wind will be blowing on enough cars at a given time to power the entire system. Cars that are getting wind feed power into the system to avoid speeding up, while cars that aren't getting wind input power from the system to run their motors to keep pace. The overall speed will be low, but as long as there's a car leaving every minute or so, you won't have to wait long.

This would also be more flexible in the face of hurricanes and earthquakes than big towers.

What's amazing about this monster is all the hype one finds when running a Google search on the company. The design looks to be what's called a drag turbine, since the vertical vanes appear to be non-adjustable. These devices have really poor conversion efficiency, compared to an optimized propeller type device and the amount of material used to build them is much greater than that of a horizontal axis 3 bladed machine, so the claims of great efficiency and low cost are likely to be bogus. Magnetic levitation takes energy to power the magnets, unless one uses low temperature superconducting magnets. The size of this thing looks to be more like a tall office building, so one can only imagine what would happen if the power to the magnetic levitation or cooling were to fail while it was spinning.

What I want to know is, where's the small scale prototype? I'm afraid this is a scheme to gather lots of money quickly, with great promises to build one some time later. When the time arrives to build, the promoters may be long gone. Just one more consequence of near $100/bbl oil...

E. Swanson

A couple of hours with Photoshop, and you're good to go. Let's see - if I draw some sea ice, will it suddenly appear too?

Antidoomer. Don't you think you are annoying enough as one troll? You have to create a second one to post more?

Nope, not me, but thanks for the shout out! Anywho, please explain to me how this guy is trolling? Header of this site "Discusson about energy and our Future", this guy post a interesting story on wind power, last time i checked its a source of energy. Your post served no purpose but to call someone a name. So ask yourself enviro attny who is really the troll here?

I have an opportunity for the board if they wish to participate. I worked on the Lou Dobbs show this past Tuesday in Little Rock, Ar. I approached the producer of the show and asked them to consider the implication of Peak Oil to the on-going issue of illegal immigrants (mostly from Mexico) into the United States.

I used to watch Lou, but no longer wish to have cable or Sat. tv and so don't know what if any stories he made that mentioned oil etc. I recall that Peak Oil is not a topic he endorses, and generally stays away from. Don't know his current position "on air".

After mentioning to the producer that the Wall Street Journal and other media were now openly quoting people, and information, and the TOD board directly, they should entertain the idea of looking at the implications of Canterell oil field depleting. How this could drive many more out of Mexico. They should start to use the board as source for information on P.O. So I thought a good way to do it would be to have either some posts I could add to the email or send him to the thread, and have some info that directly related to his usual focus.

Anyone wishing to input to the email (of what I think is a researcher for the show) given to me by the producer, (and she asked me to mention that she asked me to send it to him), its an opportunity to send information that could open up debate to a broader audience.

Think about it, and reply here if you wish,

I think the best way to get exposure and for them to approach the subject as a story line would be a direct tie to immigration and implications/facts to Mexico's economy. How oil depletion/Jeffery Browns oil export theory/ and depletion around the globe will influence Illegal immigration from Mexico to the US. And anything else. All comments even from opposing views so to speak are welcome.

Because Mexico's consumption is so high relative to production, there is a high probability that they are going to show a rapid net export decline, much like the UK (recent peak to zero net exports in 7 years) and Indonesia (recent peak to zero net exports in 8 years).

Thanks Jeffery,

Do you have the numbers, or any charts I can offer (don't like to send attachments to corporations without them knowing, some will not let them thru) etc. Can I give your email addy (if you have one posted here) to the contact. Your ELM sure might attract them. That thing made me take direct action to change, and have a backup skill ready,.. hopefully.

there are some referenced numbers in the Export Land Model posting on wikipedia


Mexico is an interesting case history. They are the only top 10 net oil exporter to show a decline in consumption from 2005 to 2006, presumably because of the decline in transfer payments back home from migrant workers in the US. However, the key factor is consumption as a percentage of production, and UK net exports crashed with virtually no increase in consumption.

I think that Khebab has done the most thorough work to date on Mexico:


He is showing Mexico hitting zero net oil exports some around 2025. Note that net oil exports from Mexico have been declining since 2004.

Lou Dobbs has mentioned peak oil on his show. Twilight In the Desert is on his list of recommended books.

They might be interested in the "how Cantarell's decline will affect immigration" angle. My guess is that they will steer well clear of the "how the population increase caused by immigration affects the environment" angle. Dobbs' official position is that he's against illegal immigration, but for legal immigration. And I think he truly means it. He still believes in the endless growth paradigm; he just doesn't like the way it's practiced.

I had to bring it up twice. When I first approached her with the story on PO, she listened, but didn't really follow up with any questions, etc. I knew that she wasn't interested in a story on PO. Later I approached her and used the Southern border and Canterell and Tabasco on her and I saw her eyes "brighten" so to speak. Then she told me to contact her, and then said wait go directly to the other contact.

Its a shot, no guarantees, but I agree, the angle without selling it as a "world wide" has the better chance of air time. Financial impact to the US is what he will look for imo.

I will link him to the news storys, the ABC football mention, etc. Has anyone seen anything about Tabasco and how the ouput of the wells has increased etc. This story seems to have been buried in the Mexican media. That too will peak their interest. One thing I "think" I learned, LD, he runs the show. It will have to go thru him to go foreward.

Also I will not send the contact the email until Friday afternoon. Give him the weekend to think about it before he comes back to work.

I think a story on the Millennium Institute, their T21 model (developed with help from ASPO-USA) and some scenario results (Best Economic Policy = Best Environmental Policy) would be very worthwhile.

Best Hopes for Meaningful Education & Outreach,


Exxon says film may lead to car battery like laptop's

Am I the first one to laugh at the notion that the leading oil producers are "thrilled" because they've found out a way to make electric cars even better?

Have we reached the crazy point in Peak Oil?

Yeah, I think so.

Rock on!

Hi Luisdias: you mean irony, correct? The oil producers are starting to take seriously that they've got to get into the game of non-carbon innovation or risk losing out to a potential big stream of energy profit in the coming years and longer. Agreed - a very interesting time.

Steve LeVine, author
The Oil and the Glory

Re those comments about drought. In my part of England last year we had twice the normal rainfall. This year we are aproaching it. Winner and losers?

yes. one of the supposide effects of global warmming is that rain patterns will change. some will get more then normal, others less. a very few might stay about average. of course if it leads up to the permian extention type warming then everyone will get less.

My 'Big Red Joke book' had a one-liner I've always remembered..

"What happens after a drought?" - It rains.

If 2x your annual rainfall is a healthy amount, good on you.

But wouldn't it be just the way of things that Georgia comes gasping to the finish-line of this drought only to get a three-month Monsoon? Or 12 feet of snow?

Chaotic change and extremes in either direction will make it hard to be a winner in either direction.


personally i am trying to find out where the location winners are for my own family lifeboat plans... i can live anywhere (and pretty much have)

Mars is so unhospitable some evenings though.

Northern England is normally what you politely call well watered. At the moment we are getting fed up with it.
I was suprised at the hardship in the US southeast. I thought they got so much rain it could fall by half and they would still get plenty.

Lancashire certainly, as a Yorkshireman I'd remind you that the sun shines on the righteous.

A new Bullroarer has been posted at TOD Australia/New Zealand for Thursday 29th November.

It includes links to a new 'Food Miles' report and NASA data that shows Australia really should be making more use of its solar resources.


HELP REQUEST: for anyone with a better memory

There was a link on here a couple of weeks back to a US government report. Buried in that report in a small reference was a phrase to the effect that one of the risks of the downside of the oil peak could be the total breakdown of the structures of society.

Can anyone recall for me which report this was - even better have a link? I just cannot find it in my history, nor recall which report it was.

actually i think it was the institutions of society breaking down - but close enough

Well, let's go through the stacks....

It could be:

The Hirsch Report?
The GAO Report?
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Report?

Or maybe one of the big non government reports but with lots of official sources such as The NPC Report on Oil and Gas.

The Peak Oil crowd can complain about a lot of things, but lack of "official" notice isn't one of them! :-)


Fire shuts main Canada-USA oil pipeline

NEW YORK, Nov 28 (Reuters) - A fire and explosion in Minnesota on Wednesday forced Enbridge to shut most of the main pipeline that supplies Canadian crude to Midwest refineries, halting nearly a fifth of U.S. imports and sending prices up $1.

Canada is the biggest supplier of foreign crude to the United States, accounting for almost one-fifth of its over 10 million bpd of imports, government data show. [EIA/IMPORT]

Nearly all of that is delivered via the Enbridge system.

"The area under fire now is 100 feet (30.5 metres) by 100 feet, it is anticipated to burn for up to three days," Jeanine Brand, County Attorney and Public Information Officer for Clearwater County, told Reuters by telephone.


UPDATE: WTI up $4, largest increase in a month. Makes up for yesterdays fall...

If you live in the midwest, it might be time to top off your tank. Supplies were already tight there, now this.

There's some talk about Bush opening the SPR, but it won't be easy to get the oil from the SPR to the refineries that need it, even if it happens.

And a huge snow storm sweeping across the country, which should remind traders that it's winter.

I live in Davenport, IA but I dont have a car. Im telling my friends to be cautious though. This is just the kind of thing I've been carrying on about (crying wolf?)