DrumBeat: November 30, 2007

OPEC Countries Will Rival China in 08 Oil Demand Growth

OPEC countries will rival China in global oil demand growth through 2008 and beyond, according to a report released Friday by investment firm Lehman Brothers Inc. (LEH).

Consumption of oil in countries that are members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries should grow 4.4% to 370,000 barrels per day in 2008, putting the producer group behind only China in terms of incremental demand growth, according to the report.

$100 oil fades fast

The prospect of $100 a barrel oil is evaporating as fast as it was conjured.

The commodity, which nine days ago was less than a dollar away from $100, is on Friday at less than $90, tumbling on the reality that oil supplies are adequate and that Saudi Arabia will likely fight for an OPEC production increase at a meeting next week to push the price lower so sagging demand for the product might rebound.

Peak Oil Passnotes: Work Those OPECs!

It is amazing how the march of time dulls the minds of people who are otherwise extremely smart, and OPEC ministers too. Each year over the past three years, 2004, 2005, 2006 and now 2007 we have seen prices top their current range in the third and fourth quarters of the year. This year has proved no exception with NYMEX crude oil hitting $99.11 in trading last week.

In 2004, OPEC still thought that we would return to its $22 - $28 per barrel price range; at least that is what it said it thought. In reality OPEC probably did not have a clue which way the oil price would go, it just said that for political reasons, and today is much the same.

The First Days Of Petro Collapse

At the moment it seems likely that oil production peaked about 2006, although production per capita peaked around 1990. (Yes, the politicians had their 100-year forecasts back in the 1950s, bless their little souls, but they never said a word.) The first sign, as Jay Hanson predicted several years ago, is stagflation: a combination of high prices and high unemployment. When the price of oil goes up, so does the price of everything else. Before 1970, economists claimed that a combination of high prices and high unemployment was impossible. One economic factor was supposed to cancel out the other. But then came the Arab oil embargo, and stagflation was exactly what happened. The same is happening right now. Much of it is hidden, of course. No sane editor is going to allow a journalist to say that the economy is going belly up.

Peak Oil: Dependence On Imports Has Consequences

Worse, exports are severely constrained by increasing demand inside the exporting nations themselves. As oil production declines in an exporting country, exports are severely curtailed to meet citizen demands within the exporting country. Typically what happens, as in the case of Britain’s North Sea oil, is that this causes actual exports to drop to zero with startling rapidity, as Governments cater to the energy needs of their own citizens. Thus British exports peaked at 1.3 million barrels per day in 1999, but only seven years later, in 2006, Britain had become a net importer These demand constraints on export availability are likely to be especially pronounced in Russia, the UAE, Iran, Mexico and Venezuela.

Does Our Energy Future Hinge on Iran?

Oil is likely behind our saber-rattling with Iran. But can military action in the Middle East actually work to secure oil for U.S. interests?

The End of the 2007 Hurricane Season Is Here

As the Gulf of Mexico's 2007 hurricane season draws to a close on November 30, the industry squeaks by with relatively little production disruption.

Study Details How U.S. Could Cut 28% of Greenhouse Gases

The United States could shave as much as 28 percent off the amount of greenhouse gases it emits at fairly modest cost and with only small technology innovations, according to a new report.

A large share of the reductions could come from steps that would more than pay for themselves in lower energy bills for industries and individual consumers, the report said, adding that people should take those steps out of good sense regardless of how worried they might be about climate change. But that is unlikely to happen under present circumstances, said the authors, who are energy experts at McKinsey & Company, the consulting firm.

EPA: Violations at Indiana BP Refinery

Federal regulators say BP PLC violated the Clean Air Act by making several unapproved changes at its Indiana oil refinery along the Lake Michigan shore, significantly boosting emissions.

We need a Manhattan Project to bust up OPEC

The president has made it clear that he's none too fond of this Congress. So why not up the ante and use his office's bully pulpit to mobilize the scientific and technology communities to a real call to arms. Such as? How about the equivalent of a Manhattan Project to bust up OPEC?

Nigerian forces torch illegal petroleum

Troops patrolling the militant-infested waterways of Nigeria's oil producing region torched two barges Friday after the boats were found transporting stolen petroleum products, police said.

OPEC could lift oil output at UAE meet - Nigeria

OPEC oil exporters could decide to raise output at next week's meeting in the United Arab Emirates and have some spare production capacity to do so, Nigeria's oil minister said on Friday.

However, recent volatility in the oil market demonstrates that prices are being driven by factors other than oil supply and therefore OPEC has been right to adopt a "wait-and-see" approach to market moves, Odein Ajumogobia told Reuters in an interview.

Solar showdown in Congress

With Congress back in session, renewable energy proponents are girding for a battle over legislation that could make or break the nascent solar power industry.

Most (and least) cost-effective hybrids

How much it costs to save a gallon of gas varies widely, even among closely-related vehicles.

Enbridge traces fatal oil pipeline fire to pinhole leak fixed weeks ago

The small leak had been fixed with a repair sleeve earlier this month.

On Wednesday, workers shut down the line to remove the three-metre section that included the hole and sleeve. They replaced it with a new section of pipeline, but oil apparently leaked where that joined the old line, said Leon Zupan, Enbridge's vice-president of operations.

The company's metallurgists want to analyze the section to better understand why it leaked, said Enbridge spokesman Larry Springer. Electronic tools were put inside the pipeline in 2006 looking for dents and metal loss.

"There were no problems found in that area where the leak occurred," he said.

UK Coryton refinery fire-hit unit still shut

A fire at Swiss company Petroplus' Coryton refinery in southeast England in October is continuing to have significant impact on production at the plant, the Health and Safety Executive said on Friday.

The unit damaged by the fire at the 220,000 barrel a day plant remains closed and an investigation into the causes of the incident on October 31 is continuing, the HSE told Reuters.

Iraq to sell 300,000 bpd Kirkuk oil in term deals

Iraq has allocated about 300,000 barrels per day of Kirkuk crude in term deals to 11 firms starting Jan. 1, an Iraqi oil official said on Friday.

The deals reflect more reliable flows via Iraq's pipeline to Turkey, which has been idled by sabotage attacks and technical problems for much of the time since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

Ukraine will have to pay more for Russian gas

Gazprom is likely to raise gas prices for Ukraine in 2008.

On November 27, the Russian energy giant agreed to buy Turkmenistan's gas at a higher price, and this sparked the rumor that the gas price for Ukraine would be raised since Gazprom resells Turkmen gas to Ukraine.

Entire world has vital stake in China's energy challenge

A major new report just released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) sheds stark light on one of the reasons why global oil prices are approaching an unprecedented $100 a barrel. The report provides truly stunning new details of the looming global impact of China and India on future energy markets and the prospects for climate change. It also brings a sobering clarity to the enormity of the energy challenge these two countries face and the huge stake the world has in their future energy choices.

There's Oil in That Slime

Some varieties of algae are as much as 50 percent oil, and that oil can be converted into biodiesel or jet fuel. The biggest challenge is slashing the cost of production, which by one Defense Department estimate is running more than $20 a gallon.

Ethanol E85 fuel loses cost-benefit test to diesel

Anything's better than ethanol blend E85, even ordinary gasoline, a new cost-benefit analysis of alternative fuels by researcher John Graham at the Pardee Rand Graduate School finds.

Diesels scored highest, surprising even the researchers. "We were kind of expecting that hybrids would outperform diesels when we went into the study. It's close, but the advanced diesel" provides better performance and fuel economy for the price, he says.

Important US Oil Complex Vulnerable to A Terrorist Attack

In early October, speculators, concerned about the dip in inventories at Cushing (currently, inventories are at the lowest since October, 2005), drove the price of a barrel of oil up to a then record $83. Conversely, when Cushing’s massive tank farms are filled, crude oil prices tend to plummet. What happens at Cushing has a marked impact on the global oil economy. A terrorist attack on the complex would have a profound impact on North America, and the ripples from it would spread throughout the world.

Seeking Alternatives

Experts can argue about the date, but from the global point of view it is obvious that the whole world, including Russia, will have to switch to alternative and renewable energy sources one way or another, because limited resources, no matter how large their supply is, will eventually be exhausted. This fact has been acknowledged and accepted by the scientific and technical community, by state authorities, by businessmen and common citizens. Even popular rock musician Yury Shevchuk has a song entitled “When We’re All Out of Oil.” Finally people other than ecologists and environmentalists are talking about renewable energy in Russia. Scientific and technological conferences and round tables are being organized at all levels and the press is also participating in the discussion of possibilities of alternative energy sources.

Kurds challenge Kirkuk oil rights

While the semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdish administration and the central government in Baghdad are locked in a war of words on the right to issue oil prospecting contracts in the Erbil, Sulaimania and Duhok provinces the Kurds have increased the stakes demanding oil rights in the Kirkuk area which is outside their jurisdiction.

An incident which surfaced on Tuesday when Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani announced "soldiers from the Kurdistan autonomous region are preventing the central government from developing a key Kirkuk oil field" has added to the already cool relations between Baghdad and the Iraqi Kurds.

Nepal: Fuel shortage cripples public transport in far west

Public transport in the far-western region has come to a grinding halt since yesterday due to fuel shortage.

Reports coming in say that bus service in far-western districts has been shut with the transporters announcing indefinite strike against the shortage of petrol and diesel.

Fidel Castro: "A People Under Fire"

Cuban President Fidel Castro stated that the assassination of Venezuela's leader or a civil war in that country would blow up the globalized world economy, due to its huge reserves of hydrocarbons.

In his Friday's article entitled "A People Under Fire," the Cuban Revolution leader says that such circumstances are without precedent in the history of mankind.

Assembly of Oil and Gas Companies Owners Decide to Stop Receiving Daily Fuel in Gaza Strip

The Assembly of oil and gas companies owners in the Gaza Strip decided Thursday evening to stop receiving their daily fuel in protest at Israel reduction of the quantity of fuel sent to Gaza.

Sinopec, CNPC told to run at full speed

China has ordered its two largest oil companies to run their refineries at full capacity in a further move to address a fuel shortage.

The National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Finance have asked Sinopec Group and China National Petroleum Corp to fulfill their social responsibility to ensure market supply of refined oil products, the commission said in a statement posted on its Website yesterday.

6 price manipulation cases uncovered amid oil shortage

China's top economic planning agency said on Wednesday that 6 diesel price manipulation cases had been found in a nationwide inspection amid fuel supply shortages.

These six petrol filling stations sold diesel at prices 43% higher than the government-regulated price to cash in on ongoing fuel shortages, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Turkey: Gov’t pledges unprecedented energy incentives

The government, concerned about a recent supply shortage in electricity, has pledged to introduce unprecedented incentives for the energy sector.

Naomi Klein - Guns Beat Green: The Market Has Spoken

Anyone tired of lousy news from the markets should talk to Douglas Lloyd, director of Venture Business Research, a company that tracks trends in venture capitalism. "I expect investment activity in this sector to remain buoyant," he said recently. His bouncy mood was inspired by the money gushing into private security and defense companies. He added, "I also see this as a more attractive sector, as many do, than clean energy."

Got that? If you are looking for a sure bet in a new growth market, sell solar, buy surveillance; forget wind, buy weapons.

Climate plan will cost consumers plenty

The op ed by William Becker concludes that finding a cure for global warming will be easy and won’t needlessly or excessively increase energy costs. If that is true, then there is a certain bridge in Brooklyn available at a bargain basement price.

Winter tales become horror stories

One elderly man who called Midcoast Maine Community Action told receptionist Candy Downs that he was keeping warm by staying under the covers of a bed and running a hair dryer.

Saudi Aramco inaugurates new storage sites

Al-Buainain enumerated the benefits of placing strategic-reserve locations throughout the Kingdom. The added storage capacity, he said, supports the distribution of fuel in the Kingdom, where and when it is needed. That has been proved in some locations when local market requirements have been met during seasonal and emergency circumstances. Strategic storage also provides operational efficiency and greater flexibility in normal circumstances, and helps in the scheduling of refinery maintenance, which can be done without causing fuel shortages.

Power play: The dirty little secrets behind the pressure at the pumps

Former U. S. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey uncovered evidence that President George W. Bush agreed to a secret deal with Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan to help the president win the election in November 2004. The alleged deal allowed high oil prices for most of 2004 in return for a boost in oil production and lower gas prices in the three months immediately prior to the November election. But the problem is not just political and does not rest only with price manipulation in the crude market. It’s in the industry and the core of the problem is manipulation of refining capacity.

We Welcome Our New Overlords From Asia

America is more concerned about taxing big oil, while other governments are doing their best to acquire it and subsidize the costs for their own citizens.

Energy CEOs make their case

OKLAHOMA CITY -- CEOs of four Oklahoma energy companies encouraged state leaders Thursday to support polices that encourage the responsible use of fossil fuels and promote exploration and production.

Siberia basking in the oil boom

It used to serve principally as a place of exile for political dissidents.

But now, suddenly, Khanty-Mansiisk - 1,400 miles east of Moscow, in north-western Siberia - has become Vladimir Putin's model town, the place Russia most wants to show off to foreign visitors.

ConocoPhillips proposes Alaska pipeline

Oil exploration and production company ConocoPhillips said Friday it submitted a proposal to develop a pipeline in Alaska that would transport about 4 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas to the United States and Canada.

The company said it is "prepared to make significant investments, without state matching funds, to advance this project."

Despite efforts, China still unable to wean off coal

In the heart of rapidly modernising Beijing, pensioner Zeng Qinglun and his wife have stacked up a pile of coal outside their home to use for heating and cooking through the winter.

The couple, who live in a tiny house in one of the Chinese traditional "hutong" alleyways, would love to use a cleaner fuel but can not afford it on their meagre incomes.

Analysis: Asia likely to remain dependent on coal

New research by the World Wide Fund for Nature highlights three negative effects of the heavy dependence on coal as an energy source in Asia. These include social distress, environmental degradation and carbon dioxide emissions that accelerate global warming.

A dirty way to fight climate change

Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs and plant a tree – these are the most popular strategies for mitigating climate change today.

Yet world leaders gathering for the climate-change summit in Bali, Indonesia, next week should consider an alternative. It's one of the most overlooked yet most effective and inexpensive strategies available: Store carbon in the soil.

‘Averting Our Eyes’: James Hansen’s New Call for Climate Action

James E. Hansen of NASA, brushing off coal-industry criticisms but acknowledging the need to be sensitive to people still haunted by the Holocaust, has elaborated on what he meant when he recently described continued coal burning as akin to sending untold species to their destruction in “death trains” and crematoria.

Abu Dhabi Becomes Largest Citigroup Shareholder with $7.5B Investment, Bailout Comes Amidst Subprime Mortgage Crisis, Record-High Oil Prices (audio, video, and transcript)

The Gulf Arab emirate of Abu Dhabi bought a $7.5 billion stake in Citigroup, America’s largest bank, on Tuesday, making it the bank’s largest shareholder. As the U.S. credit crisis worsens and the price of oil hovers close to $100 a barrel, the injection of capital from oil-rich Gulf states is seen as a bailout of banks in trouble. We speak with NYU economics professor, Nouriel Roubini, and Hampshire College professor, Michael Klare, author of “Blood and Oil.”

Iran could choke flow of oil to world in case of war - but it would hurt itself by doing so

Iran's potential to shut down nearly 40 percent of the world's oil trade represents a weapon possibly more powerful than its missiles, gunboats or any arms system Tehran claims to possess.

But such a move would cut both ways in any possible military showdown with the United States.

Oil prices drop below $90 a barrel

Oil prices fell Friday on expectations that OPEC will increase output next week and on fading concerns of a supply disruption from a U.S. pipeline fire.

Light, sweet crude for January delivery fell $1.55 to $89.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by midday in Europe. On Thursday, the crude contract gained 39 cents to settle at $91.01 a barrel in choppy trade.

Ecologist lectures on implications of 'A World Without Oil'

According to Kaufmann the days of "eat, drink and gas up" are coming to a close quickly. The oil problem is a well-worn topic of conversation in America today due to high gas prices and war. However, the reason the nation is looking at a scarcity of oil is not political.

"Two-thirds of the world's top oil producing nations have reached their peak in oil production," Kaufman said. "The height of world discovery of oil wells took place in the 1960s. Since 1983 production has exceeded discovery. For every 30 million barrels of oil that are produced only 6 million are discovered."

Gazprom considering selling gas in rubles

Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom's deputy chairman said on Thursday the company is considering selling its gas and oil in rubles, instead of dollars or euros.

A Diary Of The Onset Of The Greater Depression

For years I have been referring to the Terminal Triangle: Peak Oil, climate change, and global economic meltdown, the latter explained in Danny's book in terms of the international ramifications of the Greater Depression. And of course, there are "other horsemen" of the apocalypse, as enumerated by Sally Erickson in her recent blog, so I find it impossible to discuss the mortgage crisis without connecting it with the additional impending global catastrophes that spell the end of the world as we have known it. Just as we have entered the Greater Depression, we are engulfed by collapsing institutions - especially the American political system, which are in an abject state of dissolution and therefore incapable of affecting change at requisite levels, for all the reasons Danny has so thoroughly documented in his book.

Nigeria: Rising Fuel Subsidy Worries Government

Another increase in the pump price of petrol may be under way given the strident concern being expressed by top government functionaries over the rising price of crude oil in the international market and what they call the concomitant rise in government subsidy on petroleum products.

Refinery company will ask for zoning change

ELK POINT, S.D. - A Texas company that's considering construction of an oil refinery in Union County are planning to ask for zoning changes on land north of Elk Point.

Petro-Canada CEO: Arctic LNG Would be a Project 'To Die For'

Petro-Canada's (PCZ) natural gas assets in the Arctic would be a dream liquefied natural gas project, but regulatory and technical hurdles means it is still a long way off from development, Chief Executive Ron Brenneman said Wednesday.

The company has significant natural gas reserves in the Eastern Arctic islands, but lack of a fiscal regime and the harsh operating environment means "it's too early to visualize what (a project) might look like," Brenneman said at an investors conference in Edmonton.

WoodMac: $70 Is the New $30

Wood Mackenzie says higher oil prices are offsetting the greater challenges faced by companies who explore for oil and gas - but only just. In analysis recently completed as part of Wood Mackenzie's Exploration Service, the average return on exploration for conventional hydrocarbons in the past three years was just under 15% - assuming that oil prices remain at US$70 per barrel in real terms.

Transportation Matters

One choice we can make is to build as if everyone drives and will always drive. This, of course, assumes that human behavior never changes (a difficult assumption to make, given the historical shift in Alameda over the past half-century or so from rail/transit to single-occupancy-vehicles as our primary transportation mode). I'd put money on the fact that various forces -- technology, diminishing land for increased road capacity, peak-oil, environmental concerns, to name just a few -- will see our transportation behavior continue to evolve.

Which brings us to the other direction the city can go: Plan new areas of the city to accommodate many options and work to create convenient and flexible solutions that will accommodate transportation changes. We should expect that, 25 to 35 years from now, a lot of people will be traveling in a different way than they do today, much as they did 25 to 35 years ago.

Will Saudi Arabia Boost Its Oil Output on Dec 5th?

Already, the Western media is fanning speculation of a boost in Saudi oil output at the upcoming OPEC meeting in Abu Dhabi, to placate its military patron in Washington and cool oil prices. Within OPEC, Saudi Arabia is the only producer with any capacity to pump more oil. Saudi oil chief, Ali al-Naimi indicated the kingdom had spare oil capacity of 2.3 million bpd. Total OPEC spare capacity is 3 million bpd.

On Nov 21st, former Saudi oil minister Ahmed Zaki Yamani was engaging in psychological warfare with crude oil traders, attempting to “jawbone” oil prices lower. “If there are no disasters, then oil prices could fall to $75 per barrel after the winter,” he said. Already, crude oil has tumbled to $91.50 /bl on expectations that Riyadh will boost its oil output by 500,000 bpd. How myopic have equity traders become, now that $91 for oil is considered cheap, after seeing $99 last week?

Middle class angst: The politics of lemmings, part 2

The deepest fear in suburbia, never spoken aloud, is that when this epoch unravels, Suburbia's citizens quite simply will not know how to survive. Even the veterans of war who withdraw back into these spaces are largely incapable of the most basic skills that will be required in a non-technocratic world: building healthy soil, making food, collecting potable water, basic medicine . . . seed-saving, canning, pickling and fermenting . . . all lost; and so Suburbia will fight tooth and nail for its "entitlement to the entropo-technocratic life-support system, even as that system withers away.

Instead, our masculinized version of any post-collapse -- which we have compartmentalized into a "fantasy" that cannot be touched by our day-to-day -- is what we have borrowed from direct and vicarious experience of the military . . . a Mad Maxish world of roaming armed conflict. This will never happen.

The real choice that Suburbia will face is one between fascism or self-sufficiency, which is a choice -- as well -- between spiritual death or spiritual renewal.

China's Green Spending Falls Short

The good news out of China is that the People's Republic will be spending $200 billion on cleaning up the air and water pollution that has marred its rapid economic growth. The bad news is that sum is virtually unchanged from the last budget and is unlikely to make a difference.

U.S. Government to Distribute $1 Billion to Protect Shoreline Environments

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today applauded federal approval of Louisiana's Coastal Impact Assistance Program, calling it a major step forward in providing up to $1 billion over four years to help Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas producing states restore and protect their shoreline environments.

Business leaders seek action on warming

Some of the world's top business leaders are demanding that international diplomats meeting next week come up with drastic and urgent measures to cut greenhouse gas pollution at least in half by 2050.

Officials from more than 150 global companies — worth nearly $4 trillion in market capitalization — have signed a petition urging "strong, early action on climate change" when political leaders meet in Indonesia.

Rich nations must do more on climate change: Prince Charles

The world's haves must do more to combat climate change, Prince Charles and a former World Bank chief economist wrote in separate comment pieces published on Friday.

Climate change: "Carbon footprint" enters everyday vocabulary

Buying locally-produced fruit and veg, riding bikes or taking the train instead of using private cars, buying carbon offsets and staging carbon-neutral weddings: all are part of the climate-change awareness taking root in many countries.

Individuals keen on reducing their "carbon footprint" -- the dangerous greenhouse gas that each of us emit through our purchases and activities -- can now turn to a multiplying panoply of tools to calculate their pollution, reduce it or compensate for it.

Bush clings to anti-Kyoto stance ahead of climate talks

US President George W. Bush, who rejected the Kyoto protocol, remains opposed to international constraints on curbing carbon emissions despite growing isolation ahead of a world climate summit.

Light, sweet crude for January delivery fell $1.55 to $89.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by midday in Europe.

The range of oil prices in the past year emphasizes that we are well within the peak oil era, charactarized by growing volitility of oil prices.

The following one-minute video illustrates why...


Every bit of news that talks about supply or demand, even in an oblique way, will cause the prices to swing.

Contrast this to the point a few years ago when we first entered the peak oil era (from about June 2003 to March 2004), which was charactarized by almost no volatility at all, as oil prices very slowly shifted from the former "stable price trend" to the new "increasing price trend".

The volatility will continue until we have a big drop in consumption, or a big rise (unlikely) in production.

Yes, I agree volatility is to be expected if we're at peak. Still, Moe_Gamble though $90 was the floor. Not today, it would seem.

Ya...we need some more bad news to lower the price some more. If there is any kind of logic involved in crude prices and the DOW these days...it alludes me.

Interesting bit on The President's Working Group on Financial Markets...

Mission Impossible

Two of my favorite columns over at Financial Sense, Deepcaster and Nyquist Column, with some interesting reads today...


I love the term "Interventionals" he uses.

Political Philosophy 101

I wouldn't say that the price is totally out of step with logic. I got some data from:


and started making graphs.

Average oil price this year to date (11mths) is $69.54
Average oil price in 1998 was $14.36

thats about 19% YOY inflation.

However if you use 1998 $'s against a few other currencies (napkin calculations here) then this years agerage oil price is roughtly $48

thats about 14%YOY inflation.

Doesn't seem so bad now!

Also, if you look at historical prices, you could say that the oil price is not even adjusted to 1980 after inflation until it approaches $200 a barrel. (rough factoring of USD declines as it approaches)

And, Gold as well would need to get to around $2300 an ounce to approach all time highs. (possibly more as the USD declines as well). Historically, Gold would trade about 10X the price of oil...behind the ball at the moment.

A question:

If the cost of oil production is higher than 1980, and production is near maximum. Also, if population is increasing which also increases demand (met or unmet).

How much longer before the inflation adjusted peaks are met and exceeded?

Well...the words of Don Sailorman have haunted me ever since he wrote them way back when...and I am quoting from memory...he said that the Fed has lots of tools to help the situation and they aren't afraid to use them.

I think he's right, the Fed does have lots of tools. Some we know about and some we don't (see my link above). I think the Fed is and will do everything in their power to keep money, credit, and commodity prices within "acceptable" ranges for the masses. How long this can keep going? Perhaps only Don knows, but he no longer posts here so.

The Fed will, of course, play every short-term financial trick they can think up. Aside from interest rate cuts, I expect a lot of glowing financial rhetoric and creative accounting.

In the long run, these tactics can only do so much. However, the last card that the USA can (and will) play is a fire sale of assets. The opening shot last week was the sale of about 5% of Citibank to Abu Dhabi. Fortune has a good article on how this trend will likely accelerate in the near future:

A stake in Citi is just the start


that old Arab saying:

My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will fly a jet, but his son will ride a yankee (and own half of America).

by Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum

Amended last line slightly.

Yankees are easy to keep. They believe everything.


Dubya to the rescue:

Banks, U.S. near deal on subprime mortgages

The Bush administration is working behind the scenes with industry on a plan to extend lower, introductory interest rates on home loans before they reset at higher levels amid hints by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke of another cut in a key interest rate to keep the economy from falling into recession.

Extended out to Nov 5th 2008? By any chance:-).


It's not a permanent fix, but this is what the article says:

Instead of permanently changing the terms of loans, the Bush administration’s plan is likely to allow teaser rates to be extended for five to seven years. That could give borrowers enough of a breather to shore up their finances and ultimately refinance into traditional, 30-year fixed-rate loans.

Sounds like he's allowing enough time for President Giuliani to pass the buck to his successor. Of course, by then it will be a problem for the Bank of Dubai, which will own Citibank, Countrywide, Bank of America and Wachovia.


The basic problem although this proposal has many is that the homeowner cannot sell the home without going through a short sale. Few people buy one home for 30 years. Most first time buyers sell within 5-7 years and most of the people in trouble are first time buyers.


The chances that houses will be back to todays prices in 5-7 years is slim to none. And for a lot of these people they either will need to short sell or go into foreclosure. Also of course these people where not your general qualified buyer in the first place so chances are they will need to move sooner then the average say 2-3 years.

You can imagine that a lot of people will figure this out and mortgage backed securities are dead not just existing ones but all future ones without a explicit government guarantee and that might not be enough.

So if enough people get save its going to keep the housing market down for years well past the time even the biggest optimist thinks we will be having peak oil effects. And of course the plan if its implement at all will have a immediate cooling effect on the ability to get new house loans.

Plus obviously people left out will walk once their arm resets or at least quit paying to see if they can get the deal probably leading to foreclosure.

Whats probably going to happen considering the intellegince of your average American is that if the plan is allowed to proceed a whole lot of people are going to quit paying their mortgage assuming they will be bailed out without even determining if they can be. I could see this backfiring fast.

Chimp/Matt has a link on his site to http://www.thecottageeconomist.com This isn't the link to the exact article but I assume people can get there. Anyway, the arguement is that the institutions can make more profit foreclosing after 5-7 years. The guy makes a good case.


The problem is with our crop of subprime borrowers your looking at 1-3 years before they bail on average. If they are even smart enough to get the exception. And of course practically everyone rejected is going to bail and these are the people with better credit. This coupled with people trying to game the system by stopping payments in hope of qualifying will probably result in a higher foreclosure rate.

Most people don't know who owns their mortgage. Overall these are not the sharpest tools in the shed your talking about.

So at best this will result in about the same foreclosure rate as without it and worst it could significantly increase the foreclosure rate.

The smarter folks that probably actually have more money will figure out they are better off taking the credit hit now and saving to buy a home in seven years.

I'm actually surprised these guys figured they could get enough people to stay 5-7 years esp heading into a recession. This is the critical part of the plan. These people had planned if anything around a 1-2 year quick flip.

And what about all the investor owned homes ?

I get a kick out of some people actually liking this monster.

I don't necessarily agree (don't disagree entirely either) with Don.

However, the number of variables in play is much much more than ANY Fed Chair has EVER had to deal with.

Damned if he does, Damned if he doesn't(insert option here). No move is correct anymore. Far too many masters. IMHO.

'State freezes fund pool after run by local governments'

'"We can make payroll, but the fact is the purpose of that system is to help us move our money in and out and at any given time -- 24 hours a day," Blanton said. "Right now they have frozen that ability."'


Here is the story of a run on a state fund pool by various governments of the State of Florida. From this mornings front page of the Daytona Beach News Journal. I believe that the governor of Florida, along with the rest of the government and the citizens of Florida would like a bit more reassurance that the Fed can 'stop the sub-prime crisis from spreading to the rest of the economy'...An oft heard refrain from those that continually trumpet the powers of the Fed to 'fix everything'. An item of interest that is left out of this report? Some pension and other funds are required by law to invest only in the highest rated debt instruments...

'Staff and wire report

Gov. Charlie Crist and two other top state officials suspended withdrawals from a state-operated investment pool Thursday, abruptly halting a run by local governments spooked over the downgrade of its mortgage-related holdings.'...snip...

'The State Board of Administration acted during an emergency meeting after local governments had taken out nearly $10 billion, or 40 percent of the pool's assets, in the past two weeks. That included $3.5 billion Thursday morning.'...snip...

'Local governments in Volusia County alone have pulled hundreds of millions of dollars from the fund. Flagler County government had no money in the fund.'...snip...

'(Governor) Crist and the other board members, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Attorney General Bill McCollum, were worried that without suspending withdrawals, the pool would run out of money because of the downgraded assets. That would leave the last local governments in the pool with nothing.'...snip...

'Stipanovich proposed using the state's $137 billion pension fund to secure the downgraded paper, but board members were cool to that idea. They voted instead to seek advice from outside financial experts before considering the proposal again Tuesday.

"It's something that, speaking for myself, I'm not excited about," Sink said.'...snip...

'Stipanovich said there would be little risk to the pension plan because the downgraded paper is backed by highly rated mortgages that continue to return millions of dollars in premiums and interest to investors. Their market value, though, has plummeted because investors are shunning all mortgage-related securities due to losses on subprime mortgages.

Even if they do default, the pension fund would receive the mortgages as collateral and they would continue to pay off, Stipanovich said. He said they also should regain their market value, although that could take years.'...snip...


Ya I saw that story yesterday and posted it on the Stoneleigh's Finance post. This kind of thing is frickin scary and will most likely hit other States in the near future. I think California is already wrestling with a similar type issue. I fear it will lead to higher local taxes all around. I know my property taxes have gone up a bit again this year even though house values are dropping. Time to get a re-evaluation on my house I guess.

Here's a new development in the Florida state-run investment fund story...

Bloomberg: Florida Schools Struggle to Pay Teachers as Investments Frozen

Florida's State Board of Administration, manager of the Local Government Investment Pool, halted withdrawals yesterday at an emergency meeting after $12 billion was pulled out this month from participants. Governments from Orange County, home of Disney World, to Pompano Beach asked for their money back following disclosures that the fund held $1.5 billion of downgraded and defaulted debt.

``The unthinkable and the unimaginable have just happened here in Florida,'' said Hal Wilson, chief financial officer of the Jefferson County school district, which kept its entire $2.7 million of cash in the fund. ``What we just experienced here is a classic run-on-the bank meltdown.''

Thousands of school districts, towns and fire departments across the U.S. keep their cash in state- and county-run pools. These public accounts, modeled after private money-market funds, are supposed to invest in safe, liquid, short-term debt such as Treasuries and certificates of deposit from highly rated banks.

By freezing the Florida fund, officials left governments without ready access to cash they are accustomed to drawing upon for routine expenditures. The pool was the largest of its kind in the U.S. at $27 billion before the unprecedented withdrawals.

Dragonfly41, thanks for the update of the Florida story. I am searching for more information as it becomes available. Our eldest daughter is a teacher and her hubby is a cop so this story has family interest for me.
If the State of Florida attempts to raid the retirement fund to bail out the hurting 'slush fund (state liquidity fund)', state employees might finally awaken to the dire straights our economy is in...maybe.

River, I have a sister-in-law and a brother in California and I'm afraid they will soon be in a similar situation. The State of California is going to start losing mucho dinero from the housing situation soon if not already. It's an expensive place to live when things are normal. Under stress, it's all the worse.

The mortgage scam is pervasive. The big banks are infected, the pension plans are infected, and insurance companies' funds are caught up in it ...

As I understand it when we went off the gold standard we sort of sneakily substituted oil as a new sort of specie to back the fiat, or more specifically the annual increasing volume of oil. When that ended the value of the U.S. currency, predicated on this volume meeting demand, began to drop.

Things with utility are best in these days - I don't know what I'd do with a chunk of money to manage for income and growth in these days - its a total minefield and who knows where the nuclear waste will pop up as those on the hook squirm around trying to find a way out of their predicament.

where did Don Sailorman go?

I don't post anymore, but I do read TOD. The Fed, in my opinion, has the power to avoid deflation--at the cost of increasing inflation. The effects of peak oil will be harsh, including many business failures and (over time) a huge increase in unemployment, but I think the Fed will try to accommodate to rising oil prices by pumping enough liquidity into the system to prevent a cascade of banks going broke and bringing down other financial institutions.

It is possible the economy could get stuck in a liquidity trap, when borrowing and lending dry up due to bleak economic expectations, but I think massive deficits by the federal government will result in a monetization of these deficits that will overwhelm the effects of any liquidity trap.

Hi Don, do you know anything about "The President's Working Group on Financial Markets"? I'd like to know more about them and what they really do.

I don't know anything about the president's working group on financial markets. Note that the president has very limited power to affect financial markets: The Fed creates monetary policy and Congress makes fiscal policy (taxing and spending by the federal government), subject to presidential veto.

Hi Don,
While agree that the Fed will pull out all the stops it has to mitigate what is taking place in the financial and housing markets over the short term, I'm not so sure it will be enough to pull the economy out of this rut over the long term.
What I see happening in the markets is unprecedented so there isn't much to go on to say what will happen either way. But the situation certainly looks bad, long term.
Paulson is playing a role as part of the president's working group by trying to get the SIV bailout going as well as the sub-prime bailout going. So far the SIV bailout is going nowhere. The sub-prime bailout is very interesting so far. What could he possibly be saying to these banks to make them want to rewrite these ARM terms?
Is he brow beating them? Offering them favors? Asking them politely? He has no leverage. Yet he wants to see results. My guess is the banks are humoring him. Pity the poor sucker who gets foreclosed on the week before the bank tells everyone else they've got 5 more years to pay at the intro rates. I'm sure that will go over real well.
Anyway, it's good to hear what you have to say.


Of course Peak Oil will play a role in the long term picture as well. If Saudi Arabia kicks in another million or so B/D then that will be delayed and prices will come down somewhat short term. If they don't, and oil stays above $100, I don't think there's much the Fed can do to avoid recession even in the near term.
I also think that recession for TPTB is as bad as it can get, because once things head lower there's not much they can do to control how much lower. So the game right now is to avoid the R word and keep sailing that ship on into the night, just ignore that gash in the hull.


...Is he brow beating them? Offering them favors? Asking them politely? He has no leverage. Yet he wants to see results. My guess is the banks are humoring him...

I see this sentiment everywhere. "HE" THEY.
Benny vs Banks, Paulson vs Banks Paulson vs Wall Street and the biggest false dichotomy Gov vs Banks.

They are the same thing. Goldman Sachs is one of the original stockholders of the Federal Reserve. In essence, Paulson while the head of GS, was "Over" Benny.

Wall Street, CB's, Fed are different faces of the same.

Probably wrong, but that's how it looks.

In this case FOXNEWS tells it like it is.

Goldman Sachs Executives Gifted With Public Purpose

WASHINGTON — Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs has a long list of alumni who have gone onto government service, and it looks like it's about to give up one more of its protégés with the nomination of Chairman and CEO Henry M. Paulson Jr. to head the Treasury Department.

The move won't be uncommon for Goldman Sachs employees. At least among its financial competitors, Goldman Sachs appears to be head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to putting former employees into the halls of government. For years, résumés around Washington have sported the company name, and those with the job experience have gone on to positions as Cabinet officials, agency analysts, advisory board members and even U.S. lawmakers.

"I don't know of any other company in the United States who has quite this tradition. Certainly not on Wall Street," said Stephen Hess, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a liberal-leaning Washington, D.C., think tank.


A the top of the list are names like New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. Corzine was CEO of the brokerage before he won a Senate seat in 2000. Until taking up work with the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2000, Bolten was executive director for legal and government affairs at Goldman Sachs International in London. Rubin was co-chairman of Goldman Sachs until 1992, when he was confirmed for his Cabinet seat in the Clinton administration.

But company officials have filled in heavy-lifting posts in less visible areas, too.

The Goldman Sachs' alumni who have served in government include Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick; former president and chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States Kenneth D. Brody; chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and former director of the National Economic Council Stephen Friedman; Reagan Deputy Secretary of State John C. Whitehead; and Reagan Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Robert Hormats. Goldman Sachs' graduate James Johnson served as president and CEO of quasi-government housing lender Fannie Mae.


Read Creature from Jekyll Island if you get a chance.

Who Owns the Fed

Go Ron Paul


Is anyone else going to a Teaparty?

All I know is their nickname, "the plunge protection team". They are reputed to intervene at critical junctures by buying key stocks during a meltdown, thus (hopefully) taking some of the panic out of the system and allowing the market to catch its breath.

John Crudele has been trying to find out what they do for some time. He just received his answer via the FoIA.


159 pages of crap, almost all blacked out, and they claim they don't take notes of meetings.

worth the read.

'Böhm-Bawerk's greatest student was Ludwig von Mises, whose first major project was the development of a new theory of money. The Theory of Money and Credit, published in 1912, elaborated on Menger, showing not only that money had its origin in the market, but that there was no other way it could have come about. Mises also argued that money and banking ought to be left to the market, and that government intervention can only cause harm.

In that book, which remains a standard work today, Mises also sowed the seeds of his business-cycle theory. He argued that when the central bank artificially lowers interest rates, it causes distortions in the capital-goods sector of the structure of production. When malinvestments occur, an economic downturn is necessary to wash out bad investments.

Along with his student F. A. Hayek, Mises established the Austrian Institute for Business Cycle Research in Vienna, and he and Hayek showed that the central bank is the source of the business cycle. Their work eventually proved to be most effective in combating Keynesian experiments in fine-tuning the economy through fiscal policies and the central bank.

The Mises-Hayek theory was dominant in Europe until Keynes won the day by arguing that the market itself is responsible for the business cycle. It didn't hurt that Keynes's theory advocating more spending, inflation, and deficits was already being practiced by governments around the world.'


Keynes had more on the job experience
than any before or since.
Keynes scored bullseye predictions at
a distance of 20 years.
Those who slag Keynes have motives.
His markets-drive-business-cycle
thesis not original to him. Well

How much inflation is there left to wring out? Using the Fed’s own inflation calculator a U.S. dollar is now worth around 4 or 5 cents since the Fed’s inception in 1913; just how much inflation is left? A tenth of a cent? A one hundredth of a cent?

Aren’t we in a liquidity trap now? Wasn’t that what August was all about? When banks won’t lend to other banks, why would they lend to anyone else? Is this just a “temporary” liquidity issue? What happens when all those off balance sheet “assets” come back onto balance sheets, as they must come next year. Unless another deferment demand is successful? What lenders will be lending to shore up capital requirements as these assets are marked to market? Will this be the great U.S. fire sale? Is the next great funding hope the Middle East oil sheikdoms?

As for monetization of deficits, hasn’t that been going on for decades? Isn’t that at least a part of the problem in the first place? Will doing more of the same actually improve the situation?

Is there no point at which the dollar will become so debased it becomes worthless? Or will it always be worth a dollar, even if that’s only 4 cents? Will the dollar always be the reserve currency the world, valued above all others?

The basic problem peak oil presents to our fractional-reserve fiat monetary system is that if the money supply ever stops growing, the whole system will collapse. The reason for this is that virtually all money is debt that must be paid back with interest. This means there is never enough money in circulation to pay back all the outstanding debt.

New money must continually be created so people can get the money to pay back the interest on the loans. If that money is not forthcoming, then people will start defaulting on loans (since there isn't enough money in existence to pay the interest). Defaulting destroys money, thus causing more people to be unable to pay back their loans, and so on.

The reason peak oil (really, peak everything) is a problem is that we have reached the limits of sustainability on the earth. Peak production means the economy cannot grow to keep up with the necessary growth in money supply. An expanding money supply without expanding the underlying goods & services is the definition of inflation.

So, our two options (assuming we stick with a fractional-reserve fiat monetary system) is a deflationary downward spiral or a hyper-inflationary downward spiral (probably turning into a deflationary one once people realize there is no substance behind the money).

Just as we have entered the peak plateau for oil, I think we've also entered the "end days" of our monetary system. It might take a couple decades for it to come completely apart, but periods of inflation punctuated by liquidity crises ending in a greater depression and monetary collapse is what we have in store for us.

One unit of currency can represent as many transactions as there is time and mobility for. Your thesis lacks a dynamic concept of money. Sounds plausible though.

It's nice to hear Don's sage like voice again, even though I'm not convinced by his partial analysis of the current turmoil in the financial system. I believe there are signs that it's much, much, worse than it appears to be. We are, at present, just looking at the tip of the dirty iceberg.
Sub Prime is only the beginning. The effects are spreading throughout the system seemingly inexorably.

I've heard an interesting phrase "The Greater Depression" to describe what we may/possibly be heading for. Let's hope we don't even go half-way down that road!

I had a professor in college who's favorite saying was "you can't push string". (It was a course in classical mechanics)

The credit crisis seems like the fed is trying to push string, and not being all that successful.

I guess we will just have to wait and see what super powers the fed actually has.

A nice link for watching the day to day fight is "Kevin Depew's daily Five Things You Need to Know".


It's also a saying in working-horse circles. You can't push the horse with the lines...

But you can push string, only a very little a short way though. Threading a needle. Wax the string and push it furtherer. I do get the reasoning behind the saying though, I am just being facetious.

Even after threading the needle you are pushing the needle not the thread and pulling the thread.

I'd have been the one student to remind him of the threading of a needle everytime he used the saying. Maybe that is why some teachers did not like me much.


and you can ride a camel through the eye of a needle too, you just have to construct a really big needle.

...or an awfully tiny GMO camel.

Of course we all realise which inflation figures we choose to use affects the figure. People on this site have recently said (and i feel this way too) that inflation is way higher than the official figures.

This makes working out what the inflation adjusted figure actually is virtually impossible. Media outlets are putting at $90-110. If some economic bloggers are right about real inflation this figure could be as high as you say. But i talk too much as we all realise this!

It has been discussed on this site that it would be better to show oil price as a ratio of disposable income but I don't think this is an entirely correct measure for a whole load of complex reasons all summarised by what can be made/produced/run/driven/fertilised with 1 barrel of oil. In 1980 I bet 1 barrel of oil didn't 'get' nearly as much as it 'gets' now due to efficiency changes. my head is sore now.


Agree. Even the pipeline disruption did basically nothing to the price.

Strange (possibly mass denial engine) forces at work.

But no matter what the price, we are still on the plateau. Nothing KSA(OPEC) does on the 5th, with change the fact that 2007 was another year of lower production.

It's all about 2008 now. And, Oil not being the only game in town, it will be a fairly disturbing year to watch - highly volatile.

PeakTO...'Strange (possibly mass denial engine) forces at work.'...

It could be mass denial but I suspect that it is something beyond that. Did you check out Leanans story above 'The Dirty Little Secrets Behind The Power At The Pumps'...

It is the quandry of the river boat gambler of yore...'Of course I know its a rigged game...But its the only game on the boat!' :)

...snip...'Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, then chairman of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, uncovered regular manipulation of prices by oil companies. A startling example was the discovery by Levin’s investigators of internal memos from BP Amoco PLC that set put a plan to “…influence the crude supply/demand balance by offering supply agreements to other oil majors in exchange for refining capacity shutdown and movement of product from the U.S. to warehousing in southern Ontario.”'...snip...

That caught my attention too, but it triggered my "doesn't quite add up" circuit. So I googled "in exchange for refining capacity shutdown and movement of product" and discovered that this 'news' from The Suburban today appears to be mostly a rehash from a policy paper from 2005, including that quote and much else of the substance of the item.

I'm 'perplexed' the 'quote' from the Senator's investigation doesn't turn up anywhere else, considering the significance that would likely be attached to such memos...

I've noticed lately that the oil market and stock market seem to be moving in opposite directions this means the pig men are playing a game first pumping the oil market taking profits then pumping the stock market. This seems to be tied to each Fed rate cut.

Now what I don't understand yet is that real oil buyers will probably use these dips to set up all their long range contracts hedge etc before the next rate cut causes the dollar to drop. Later as little real oil is available for delivery we see a price spike in oil. And the big guys start taking profits out of the stock market to push up oil. As long as the feds keep cutting rates like clockwork you get a nice game going. You need to be big enough to push the market but other than that its a sure bet.

But what happens if you decide to take delivery of oil and the oil is not available ? How are these settled ? If its by getting more contracts at a discount then they are in even better shape.

If one looks at volatility in percentage terms there has been very little change. Picking certain points on the chart and comparing other points can make it appear volatility has increased. From January 2003 to December 2004 prices ranged approximately from $25 to $55. From January 2005 to December 2007 prices ranged from about $50 to $100. Percentage wise these volatilities are nearly identical. Percentage is more important that absolute fluctuation IMO.


It does make sense to look at volatility as a percentage.

If we plot all the data points of the average prices for each week (from EIA data), and then compare that to the trendline, we will see that the "peak oil moment" of a few years ago was marked by very little volatility. Yes, the price did rise, but that is not volatility.

In this case, the price was steadily being bid up, over a period of nearly a year, until it started on a new upward, yet volitile, trend.

You do have a very good point that one needs to compare percentages here.

I think a good way of measuring volitility would be the area between the trendline and the actual price. Big ups and downs would count a lot more than spikes... and it would also take into account the increasing trend.

Delays, Cost Overruns at First EU "new nuke" in Finland

There has been a continuing debate about how fast the USA could gear up and start building new nuclear plants. My position is that the USA could finish the 60% complete Watts Bar 2 (mothballed for 2 decades) and 8 new starts in a decade (based in part of US Gov't evaluation of labor available) and anything significantly faster than that risks the sorts of dramatic cost overruns and delays that totally killed new nuke construction in the USA before. (The USA may be able to finish 10 new nukes rather than 8 in a decade, the estimates on capabilities are "fuzzy")

The most dramatic of these cancellations was TVA's $25 billion write-off (8 new nukes stopped construction, repairs stopped on 1 and 4 operating nukes shut down for 5 to 10 years for retrofits) and the WHOOPs debacle (5 new nukes started, 1 completed, $11 billion write-off).

China ordered some new nukes from Areva (French state firm) a couple of days ago. So I looked again at the first new EU nuke in Finland (same 1.6 GW EPR reactor to be sold to the Chinese) to update how things are coming along. A second EPR just started construction in France (clearly located for sales to England).

Several sources, but Wikipedia seemed to have the best.


In September 2007 TVO reported the construction delay as "at least two years" and costs more than 25% over budget.

In part the delays were due to the lack of oversight of subcontractors inexperienced in nuclear construction.

...the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, had found a number of safety-related design and manufacturing 'deficiencies'.

In August 2007 a further construction delay of up to a year was reported associated with construction problems in reinforcing the reactor building to withstand an airplane crash, and the timely supply of adequate documentation to the Finnish authorities.

Please note that the Finnish Nuclear reactor Olkiluoto-3 has no competition for resources within the EU (except for the new French nuke that started construction a few months ago) and that the EU has a larger installed base of nuclear plants than the USA as well as more recent new nuke construction experience.

Best Hopes for New Nuclear Plants (built at a reasonable & economic pace),


Also see -India stops nuclear construction on lack of Uranium.

See also sanctions on India for violating the Nuclear Test Ban.

Heard the one about the US thinking it had secured Pakistani
nukes but just finding out that those clever guys replaced
six "real" nukes with the exact same type spheres containing
DU, which give off the same "readings" on cursory examinations?

reading malfunctions are not possible.

the first reading was probably visual, and sphere=sphere.

without a competent nuclear chemical facility to properly analyze the components it is guesswork. An alpha emitter is an alpha emitter. same for beta and gamma. All you can read is what is shooting off with a gieger counter, and im not even sure if geiger counters do different types or lump it all together!

Lack of domestic Uranium.

EPR is a new design, and at the same time builders did not have enough experience because of the years nuclear building industry was virtually non-existent.

Hence these initial delays were to be expected. It will take some years before the industry gets over the steeper part of the learning curve again.

I expect the US industry to perform better than this - the new Westinghouse design for example is just an evolutionary step from previous designs and is already tested in China and South Korea (IIRC).

I think it is meaningless to argue about sustainable rates of nuclear deployment - this will be determined by the performance of the industry itself, not by guesstimates or (even worse) - by government regulations.

Some minor disagreements on details.

...and at the same time builders did not have enough experience because of the years nuclear building industry was virtually non-existent.

An even more serious issue for the USA IMHO (to be fair, French experience a decade ago has limited use in Finland despite EU labor rules, The last Finnish reactor was finished in 1982).

Hence these initial delays were to be expected.

Then good project management would have included them in the schedule and cost estimates.

...the new Westinghouse design for example is just an evolutionary step from previous designs

Calvert Cliffs 3 will be an EPR (perhaps #5, with #1 near completion when CC 3 starts).

AFAIK, the EPR is an improved N4 (the last 4 French reactors built). Hence the new name "Evolutionary Pressurized Reactor" replacing "European Pressurized Reactor".

I think it is meaningless to argue about sustainable rates of nuclear deployment - this will be determined by the performance of the industry itself, not by guesstimates or (even worse) - by government regulations.

Yes and no. Apparently, zero US reactors will be built without gov't support (exception, finishing Watts Bar 2, perhaps Bellefonte).

So a valid question is how many new nukes should the gov't subsidize ?

And when framing a response to Peak Oil & Global Warming, one need to estimate the upper & lower bounds for the nuke contribution (thanks for your data on uprating :-)

Best Hopes,


management always lowballs cost and delivery time, they sell the product and manage it. Engineers build it.

Engineers do a good job the first time through, or hopefully catch enough mistakes early enough as to remove uneconomical problems later down the road. The design/build process is iterative and few(probably nobody) gets it right the first time, to say anything of errors introduced with complex systems interacting.

where are/were the engineers in charge of (re)building iraq ?

US Army Corps of Engineers

see New Orleans levees

Best Hopes for the Dutch consultants,


The thing I hear in the media is that the americans still are not prepared to face up to the situation in NO. If you want to protect yourselves, that costs money and tough choices. Current politicians do not to go the whole 9 yards.

The other day I saw a video from a dutch prof at Delft University who was discussing the levees in NO. Basically an instructionvideo how not to build dikes. I can't find it anymore, maybe somebody else?

The thing that amazes me (and I guess a lot of other people) is that this thing could go this far. The technical guys in NO must have raised the flags a few times? And still do?

Here in the Netherlands, the discussion how to protect the country until 2100 has already started. You stop questioning GW and start fixing stuff permanently when the better part of the country can disappear.

Small joke:
- GW advocates say that sealevel can rise two feet the next 100 years. Well: that's all b*s*, the other day I went to the sea and it rises 1 meter in 4 hrs!

The most damming case of malfeasance by the US Army involves an upgraded levee (dyke) downriver of New Orleans. The design zero elevation was 1.5 to 1.7 feet (about half a meter) higher than the "as built" zero elevation.

They built 1/3rd before finding out the error. Just blazing incompetence to that point. They then decided to

1) Not go back and rebuild the levee that was too short
2) Not to build the new levee to the design height
3) Not to tell anyone.

We have asked repeatedly for an 8/29 commission (like the 9/11 commission) to find the truth, but none has come yet.

Best Hopes for Court Martials,


Still climbing out of the piles of rose petals thrown at them in 2003.

An email sent to me on Global Warming. There is a growing movement.

Weather Channel Founder: Global Warming 'Greatest Scam in History'

Intro by Joe D'Aleo, Icecap, CCM
I was privileged to work with John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel in the year before it became a reality and then for the first of the 6 years I was fortunate to be the Director of Meteorology. No one worked harder than John to make The Weather Channel a reality and to make sure the staffing, the information and technology was the very best possible at that time. John currently works with KUSI in San Diego. He posts regularly. I am very pleased to present his latest insightful post.
By John Coleman

It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM. Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data to create an illusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental whacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the "research" to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus.

See John's full blog story here.. See John's forecast blog on the KUSI site here.

That was posted and discussed in the Nov. 9 DrumBeat.

There is a growing movement

Let us hope not. Just as I hope that Creation Science is not taught in Science Classes, the Great Flood in History classes, I would like the science deniers to be isolated from responsible public debate.

Best Hopes for Less Ignorance,


Then your hopes are going to be dashed as there is a growing base of scientists who have had enough of AGW theory nonsence and are starting to speak up.

How will your faith survive a refutation of AGW theory Alan?

Richard Wakefield

So YOU are a climate scientist, and unlike the vast majority of climate scientists who have studied AGW and accept it as a major cause of global climate change, YOUR brilliant research (unfortunately not published in any peer-reviewed publication) indicates that it is all "nonsence (sic)" and "faith"?

excellent work climate scientist Richard Wakefield (funny, I can't find your work on climate when I google)

I actually know and communicate with scientists who work on this subject - and sorry to burst your little denial bubble, but AGW is real - there are a few scientists who deny, but funny enough, a number are experts in other fields, just throwing their criticisms out in interviews etc. rather than publishing their work in peer-reviewed publications (insert tin-foil hat "they are being supressed!" theory here - lacking explanation for WHY a vast majority of experts in the field WANT AGW to be real - hmmmm, big $ in shutting down C02 emissions? I somehow doubt)

I know, I know, why bother with this argument? - arguing with you on this is EXACTLY like trying to explain science and evolution to creationist - but sometimes one must address

Ok McDuff - I admit I am very very confused.

I watched this scientist persuasively making the case that what we see as AGW is (a) not unusual in magnitude (it happened before in recent history), is (b) not unusual in rate (it happened faster before), and (c) has leveled off since 2001.


Is what we are seeing just a cyclical rerun of the 1933/34 droughts and temperatures, or is this open ended?

I "get" the CO2 argument that CO2 SHOULD increase global warming. But I understand that temperatures in the US are not higher (yet?)than they were in 1934. So how does this all fit?

Please put this all in perspective for me in 10 sentences I can understand.


But I understand that temperatures in the US are not higher (yet?)than they were in 1934.

This is misleading at best. 1934 was the warmest year on record for the US, but it was not the warmest for the world. In fact, the most top 10 or 20 warmest years have all been in the last 2 decades. AGW is something that affects the entire world. Cherry picking one year in one country does nothing to refute AGW. I will also note that AGW started with the industrial revolution and was well underway in 1934, but was partly counteracted by a phenomenon called "global dimming", whereby atmospheric aerosols tended to cool the earth. Warming has accelerated since clean air initiatives greatly reduced global dimming the past couple decades.

There have been no recent warming periods that rival the one we're in now. There have been no recent periods that have warmed as fast as this. Warming has not levelled off since 2001. It is, in fact, accelerating since then. That's why arctic ice is melting far faster than expected, and it is caused by CO2 levels increasing faster than expected by even worst-case models. What we are experiencing is unprecendented in human history.

If you want the real story on AGW from real climate scientists, go to Real Climate, not some guy on youtube who claims to be a scientist who makes demonstrably incorrect statements.

Thanks. This helps a lot.

Now we get to the meat that I was looking for - i.e. this "scientist on Youtube" is making incorrect statements that can be verified as true or false. I presume you mean the "leveling off" and "recent warming is business as usual" statements.

I will focus on those two issues.


Also, go and read www.WorldClimateReport.com for reviews of science papers that have been published that does not support AGW. You won't get a ballanced view from RealClimate.

If you look at temp graphs for the world you will see we came out of the Little Ice Age in the late 1880's. The graph increases in temps until about 1940, where it falls again. Then around 1975 it starts to climb. I'd like to see the refs that the temp in the past 8 years has still increased, because the satelite data says no. There is one quick spike, but it them goes back down.

The notion that we started GW even as far back as the 1930's is not possible. Oil consumption so far has been about 990BB. But that consumption has not be all level through the last 100 years. Half that consumption has been in the most recent 40 years. This will be so for the rest of the FFs except coal that took a nose dive after the 1960s when oil replaced it for fuel. Just look at the human population alone. Since the 1930's we have increased human population FOUR TIMES at least. So our CO2 footprint up until about the 1950's have been irrelevant and hence it is not physically possible for us to have contributed to this current warming trend prior to the 1950's. As for the particulates, and that we were heading to an ice age, ask for references to support the claim.

Also note the comment that only a few years cannot make a trend. Make sure you repeat that back to AGW prophets when they claim that such and such storm is because of AGW.

Lastly, look at the tone in regards to the video. Clearly an adhominen attack on the lecturer. This is a common tactic used by people who's belief system is under attack. Divert away from the evidence and attack the messenger. Don't fall for it.

Oh, and the rest of his diatribe? Check it out yourself.

Richard Wakefield

Thanks - when I read the above post I was hoping someone would point out the obvious flaw in the US temperatures argunment.

I will also note that AGW started with the industrial revolution and was well underway in 1934, but was partly counteracted by a phenomenon called "global dimming", whereby atmospheric aerosols tended to cool the earth. Warming has accelerated since clean air initiatives greatly reduced global dimming the past couple decades.

Climate change: Aerosols heat up
Peter Pilewskie

"Solid particles suspended in the atmosphere have long played second fiddle to greenhouse gases as agents of climate change. A study of atmospheric heating over the Indian Ocean could provoke a rethink."

No comment needed.

Richard Wakefield

Actually a comment is needed.

Aerosols, with half lives of weeks and months, are recognized and their current effects (see China) may offset between a half and a third of Global Warming. Unfortunately, their warming potential lasts for centuries and their stronger cooling potential only lasts for weeks/months.

"Clean" coal does little good for cooling, what is needed is filthy belching uncontrolled pollution that makes the lives of those nearby shorter and more miserable. That helps offset GW. But as soon as one stops, within the year the cooling effect stops and the warming effect from combustion remains for centuries.


Bribe money -

Let's say that scientists who claim that global warming is happening are being bribed to say so.

Should it not also be assumed that scientists who claim global warming is not happening are also being bribed?

So what is the size of the potential pot of bribes for one group of scientists versus the other.

The real economic issue of global warming is the entire nature of the capitalist system. Oil companies, car companies, electricity companies, every company that makes something that must be plugged into a wall outlet, every company that builds anything at all using fossil fuels.

Then come all the industries that rely on breakneck consumption. The entire retail industry, the advertising industry, the commercial television industry, the financial industry, the home construction industry.

They all have a vested interest in lying about the consequences of burning fossil fuels.

What we seem to have here is trillions of dollars on one side of an argument versus a few hundred million dollars of "liberal" grant money on the other side.

So then the argument switches to what all conservative arguments eventually must: businessmen won't bribe scientists to lie because they are morally superior. So anyone who agrees with utter, absolute domination by business share in that moral superiority and infallibility. Because those on the side of God cannot sin.

Meanwhile in the real world, the financial industry fires one lying CEO per day, and all the whores of all the other industries who told us the good times could never end are beginning to sweat.

The same fatcats had an interest in lying about the benefits of reverting to brutal Victorian social Darwinism so they could get their tax cuts. Now they have to find a way to kill off a lot of us because the Earth can no longer support us.

Lie 1: revert to pre-1929 economics and all will be paradise.
Lie 2: the planet can endure the effect of those economics
Lie 3: the victims of Lies 1 & 2 are all terrorists and must be exterminated before they impose an evil caliphate on humanity.

Coming to a well-paid news channel near you.

It is not "faith", but belief in observed facts.

There is zero, NONE, scientific doubt that CO2 and other greenhouse gases (such as freon)absorb infrared wavelengths and reemit them in all directions. This captures and reflects heat back to the earth that would have otherwise have radiated out into space, in very much the same way that a clear night sky has much greater cooling than a cloudy night sky.

This is NOT "theory" but fact indisputable (except by science deniers such as Creationists and AGW deniers).

It also clear (see readings from Mauna Loa & elsewhere) that the long term trend of CO2 in the atmosphere is ever higher (with annual spring/fall cycles) and the only reasonable explanation for such is humanity and our burning of fossil fuels.

All freon in the atmosphere in man-made. It is NOT natural. Another lesser Greenhouse Gas.

It is established fact that humanity has introduced a change into our climate, a new force. The details of this forcing are not entirely clear, and are exceedingly complex in their interactions.

For example there is a slight discrepancy between the amount of FF burned and the annual rise in CO2 in the atmosphere. Does this mean that one does not cause the other ? Of course not, it means that there is a sink or other interaction going on. A second order effect.

How does additional heating interact with cloud formation and water vapor in the atmosphere ? Still ill defined altrhough progress is being made.

Burning fossil fuels also creates sulphate compounds and other short lived pollutants in the atmosphere, which appear to have cooling effects. How does this months long effect balance out the centuries long effects ? Still a matter of reasoned debate.

What would the speed and magnitude (and direction) of the world's climate absent the effects of humanity ? History appears to show that even the fast changes of the past (absent major super volcanos) were multi-century events and we appear headed for a major change in just one century (1960-2060). Still, it would be useful to know if the earth would have otherwise been stable, slightly cooling or slightly warming absent man. And the speed of past historic changes is a matter of intense research ATM (of course all done by scientists on the take).

You resort to ad hominem attacks on reputable scientists, which does nothing to discredit their work, but instead exposes only your own willful ignorance and bias.

Best Hopes for Less non-Scientific Trolling,


Ask anyone the question, ' If the world average temperature is about twenty degrees C, what would it be with a one percent warming?"

The answer is twenty three C. If most of that average comes from the polar regions, as it currently is, a lot less than one percent change in reflectivity will be most inconvenient.

Manhattan wasn't always an island. The next Atlantis?

This is NOT "theory" but fact indisputable (except by science deniers such as Creationists and AGW deniers).

I am a creationist. Among creationists there is a diversity of opinions on the subject of global warming.

On the issue of global warming, I agree with pretty much everything Alan said. The subject is depressing to me. I hate to read about melting glaciers, the threat to certain species, etc. Even here in Houston just over the time I've lived here it seems like winters are warmer than they used to be.

I do wish, though, that the subject had not become so political. It's difficult to ask a question about global warming without getting flamed. Here on TOD one is likely to get flamed by the "left", so to speak, but it is also true on more conservative web sites, which are likely to flame you from the other direction. I've had a few questions and just swallowed them, because it wasn't worth the grief.

And that is why the dogmatic postion must be challenged, please post your questions. No one should be afraid to ask questions.

BTW, my paper was on Robert Gentry's Polonium Halos. I'm sure you would know about it.

Richard Wakefield

Yes. Dr. Gentry's scientific discovery of poloniun halos (which has been published in scientific journals) really does present the question: How could these halos exist if the earth was a molten mass that cooled down over time? Either the earth never was a molten mass, or granite can be reproduced in a laboratory, and the halos were artifically injected as part of a global conspiracy of creationists.

There is absolutely no evidence that polonium isotope decay caused the halos Gentry found in the rocks. They could have been caused by several other isotopes. In fact they may not have been caused by radioactive decay at all.

This really dumb creationist theory has been debunked every way from Sunday. However because it sounds very complicated and scientific, creationists have seized upon it and keep making the same old really dumb arguments over and over.

Read this refution of Gentry's silly theory. And after you have read it I can give you many, many other refutations written by different scientists. After all such really dumb theories are so easily refuted it is like shooting ducks on a pond.

Ron Patterson

No amount of counterlogic can have an impact on someone so predisposed to a belief that they're willing to bend their whole world-view around a few anecdotal bits of data.
Face it: If 99% of the world's recognized experts on AGW can be so handily dismissed by Mr. Wakefield, what chance do you have of changing his mind?

See. classic ad hominen attack. You are trying to make it appear that me, a lowly nothing, is taking on the giants of the scientific world. Hence I MUST be wrong.

Have a look at some other scientists in the field who do not accept the theory of AGW.


Stop the personal attacks and deal with the evidence, as you only deminish your own position.

Richard Wakefield

You have posted ad hominen attacks at the start of this thread.

Thus, by the ad hoc rules of debate here at TOD (IMVHO), you are not immune to them.


See. classic ad hominen attack. You are trying to make it appear that me, a lowly nothing, is taking on the giants of the scientific world. Hence I MUST be wrong.

Despite what your apparent anti-academic persecution complex might tell you, that's not what he's saying.

He's not saying anything about you being unqualified (although you are). He's not saying anything about the strength of the arguments you present (feeble). He's saying that your mind is so closed on this subject that it's useless trying to argue with you, as you'll just ignore anything that doesn't match your preconceived belief (seems the case).

So quit your whining about the big, mean academics and their big, mean conspiracy. People have looked at your argument and found it lacking. Continually harping on the same inadequate argument won't do a thing except make you look like a zealot. You want to convince people? Find better evidence.

If I misunderstood the post then I appologize.

You want to convince people? Find better evidence.

Since all the references I present are just sluffed off out of hand, then we are going to have to wait and see what actually unfolds arn't we.

Richard Wakefield

then we are going to have to wait and see

That is the public policy disaster that will quite possibly dwarf our current "do little or nothing" public policy on energy.

That is the precise goal of you and other GW deniers, do nothing and wait and see.


That is the precise goal of you and other GW deniers, do nothing and wait and see.

Funny thing - I don't see the 'do nothing and wait' crowd state what they will do if wrong.

Since all the references I present are just sluffed off out of hand

I watched the video you kept pimping.
I explained, in detail, why it wasn't convincing.
That you don't want to accept that is your problem.


Note who's at the end in the refs.

Wakefield, J. R., 1987-88, "Gentry’s Tiny Mystery - unsupported by geology," Creation/Evolution, v. 22, p. 13-33.
Wakefield, J. R., 1988, "The geology of 'Gentry’s Tiny Mystery,'" Journal of Geological Education, v. 36, p. 161-175.

Then read my paper


Richard Wakefield

This question assumes that all creationists believe what is discussed in the video link. Such an assertion is not scientific, but prejudice.

oh god that was funny.

I think questions are, per se, reasonably treated on TOD. Often they will provoke a long intellectual description.

It is conclusions (Global Warming 'Greatest Scam in History'). ad hominem attacks (Some dastardly scientists... environmental wackos...) and assertions of fact contrary to actual observations (an illusion of rapid global warming..) that result in flaming.

Best Hopes for Honest Questions,


I disagree with this POV Allan. Recently a real GW scientist came to this board and tried to post. He said he was on the AGW side, but had changed his mind and didn't think the evidence was a solid as claimed. This man was insulted, told to go back to school, and more.

No this board is not tolerant of opposing GW views imo.

Anyone who claims our understanding of any complex natural system is near complete is kidding themselves. I don't recall the thread but was s/he dismissed because his/her arguments were flawed, or just for raising the issue?

He explained his reasoning and gave his credentials, he was then summarily attacked, and he has never been back that I know of.

My comment was in regard to questions. As to assertions, The Oil Drum is a meatgrinder.

Some people by temperament cannot deal with this. Many others (and much more commonly in my experience) do not have the intellectual support & framework to deal with the rigorous & rough analysis that is common here.

Statements of credentials are of secondary importance, appeal to authority (i.e. I am the authority) are of minimal value here.

Euan Mearns has characterized almost every reservoir in the North Sea, and would be an authority on characterizing Ghawar. Yet he and Stuart Staniford (just a PhD in Physics & without specific oil experience) and others had an epic fact based analytical debate that resulted in a close (perhaps 5% delta) merging of estimates. My vague impression is that Euan moved slightly more than Stuart towards this consensus.

Perhaps due to temperament, due to time constraints or due to the intellectual weakness of his position, he did not stay and debate the merits. So be it.

I learned nothing from him (in fact vaguely remember him at all) and any statement he made had zero effect on my thinking and personal analysis.


My god have you ever been to a scientific conference ?
The oil drum is civil compared to real scientist.
The human part of science is 90% ego tempered barely by the scientific method which trundles towards the truth. I loved the argument part of science its incredibly intense. To say a scientist was driven off by comments on the oil drum ?

Yeah right.

This is NOT "theory" but fact indisputable (except by science deniers such as Creationists and AGW deniers).

Then you do not understand what a theory is. The facts you like to show I have no problem with (those facts that are correct, some have shown not to be). I accept this evidence (some with a grain of salt, as it appears temp seems to have leveled off this past 8 years, what that means either way is unknowable).

But what I, and many others who are scientists, disagree with is AGW theory (the explanation employed to explain what this data means), as well as many bits of evidence that appears to be ignored or sloughed off by those who support AGW theory. I can agree with the facts, but not the theory.

Any respectable scientist must always be skeptical of all theories in science. And the reason is theories have a tendency to change as new evidence emerges. I'm old enough to remember when plate tectonic theory was trying to make a break through. All the same lines of attacks and dogmatic stances you guys are doing now with AGW theory were just as voiceful and forceful that the continents did not move. It took a small team of 4 geologists who discovered the magnetic anomalies on the sea floor to permanently shatter the fixed continent people. Reputations were destroyed then too. (BTW, G. Brent Dalrymple of the USGS was one of those 4. He was my main editor when I published my paper in 1988).

Thus, what you guys are doing, by being so dogmatic and forceful that AGW IS FACT are espousing a faith position. Because NOTHING IN SCIENCE IS SO FIRM, nothing. The only healthy position in science is the one that accepts all the evidence, does not just off the cuff reject what you don't like, and remains skeptical about the theories used to explain the evidence.

I will ask again that you check out the reviews in www.worldclimatereport.com. Don't just reject them as being funded by Big Oil, look at the EVIDENCE that is presented. Just as I look at whatever evidence you present (such as satellite sea level change rates which did not support AGW theory at all. It’s inconclusive, too short a time frame).

Finally, when people get so emotional at being challenged over a position they hold to so dearly, to the point of ridiculing the person presenting the challenging information, then they have a serious credibility problem. You don’t see me calling any one names or challenging their intellect. I don’t need to as I stick to the evidence.

Richard Wakefield

It is fair to say that historic and current AGW is a fact. We can measure the parameters, and can calculate the impact quite precisely.

What is not fact, are the projections of future climate made using past AGW as a model. These projections make certain assumptions, and are uncertain, in either direction. The future could be a lot worse than the IPCC predict.

It is fair to say that historic and current AGW is a fact. We can measure the parameters, and can calculate the impact quite precisely.

No. Which impacts have been "precisely" calculated to have been measured? Temperature increase? No, as that seems, I repeat SEEMS, to have leveled off the last 8 years even though CO2 is still increasing. Has the rate of sea level rise changed? No, in fact the recent satellite measurements (of only 8 years) showed an increase, but then a big decrease back again. Even the researchers themselves say they can’t differentiate the data from natural variations. Weathers patterns? Which ones? The hurricane season seems to have been a prediction flop 2 years in a row. Violent storms? No, seems the rate and intensity of storm in Europe has been constant for the past 5000 years (see worldclimatereport). So what does that leave you?

What is not fact, are the projections of future climate made using past AGW as a model. These projections make certain assumptions, and are uncertain, in either direction. The future could be a lot worse than the IPCC predict.

Or it could be a LOT better! How do you know? You are taking the pessimistic view a priori . A truly objective answer to that would be “We really have no clue what the future will be due to changes in climate. None whatsoever. It may be bad, it may be good, it may be both depending on where you are. What we do know is that the future almost always surprises us.” That’s the proper response.

Richard Wakefield


Looking at this data, I don't really see where global land and ocean temps can be said to have leveled off over the past 8 years. In any case, that wouldn't be much of a time frame to be looking at, as Prof. Carter himself would say. What I see with my layperson's eye and understanding in the data at the link above is that the ocean's ability to absorb the added C02 and heat is perhaps maxing out - there's your 'leveling' - but that land temps are ramping up at an accelerating rate as a result.

What PC fails to address in his look at the long record is that CO2 levels are already above anything experienced during the ice-core record, and we've already committed to pushing them far higher. As others here have said already, the physics on that is simple - heat will be retained in the atmosphere for longer than it otherwise would. This leads to only one result - global warming.

Add in the latent heat effect at phase change of water:
Ice requires 0.5 cal/g to raise it by 1°C for temperatures ranging from -40°C to 0°C.
Phase change ice to water at 0°C =80 cal/g (heat of fusion)
Water from 0°C to 100°C requires 1 cal/g to raise by 1°C.

So that Arctic ice has been up there, absorbing heat, warming up toward the melting point, and then REALLY absorbing heat - 160x more - to melt, as it did in huge quantity this summer. So thereafter, the same amount of incoming heat will warm up the water and surrounding atmosphere 80x faster than at phase change... Talk about your positive feedback loop. It was only upon getting my head fully around this that I really grokked the climate flipping between ice ages and warm periods that, yes, has happened in the past, but that, yes, we are causing this time around. As PC points out, were it not for our influence, the Holocene would be descending into the next ice age as we speak. But not now, thanks to US!


where is your evidence that surface heat melted the ice in the Artic. Where is your evidence of what did melt the ice this year. Is that what you are saying.

Please, just for kicks, what would be the amount of surface temperature/heat needed, compute to. To melt that much ice using air temperature would require a very high temperature, that I don't think happened from memory. Now does that match what the temperature was on the surface by recorded data.

I know the evidence that was recently (and quietly) put out by NASA said "IT WAS NOT AGW". You are fitting observations to fit your theory. Which is incorrect. Winds and changes in the Salinity of the ocean water and currents caused the great melt this past year. NASA said this, and also said that as much as people wish to point their finger at this as a AGW event, it IS NOT. I have posted this link several times. google NASA artic ice melt 2007 you should find it.

Just googled it, read it.
You read it again.

It doesn't contradict climate change theory.

What do you mean, where is your quote or link to your position and claim

here is what they said in brief:

A team led by Son Nghiem of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., studied trends in Arctic perennial ice cover by combining data from NASA’s Quick Scatterometer (QuikScat) satellite with a computing model based on observations of sea ice drift from the International Arctic Buoy Programme. QuikScat can identify and map different classes of sea ice, including older, thicker perennial ice and younger, thinner seasonal ice.

“Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic,” said Son Nghiem of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and leader of the study. When that sea ice reached lower latitudes, it rapidly melted in the warmer waters.

In simpler terms, polar wind patterns changed and blew sea ice further south to warmer waters than it normally would. Sea ice can easily be wind driven."

Now, if you wish to argue that wind currents and sea currents and salinity were directly effected by CO2 and could only work in one section please show it. Or what is your reasoning besides a claim.

The researchers said in the release that this could not be laid at the hands of GW, which these researchers are part of that group.

Where are you getting I should read it again, its appears to be you that does not read properly, if not, where is it in the release. Oh, if you can find it, seems to be buried for some reason in google ;)

The QuikScat study was published in the GRL on 4 October. (I haven't read it yet, but will do so soon.) The study looked at the extent of perennial sea-ice in March, so it says little about the minimum extent which was later seen in September. The data for sea-ice shows variation year-to-year and one year does not make a trend. However, the longer trend in sea-ice shows that it is headed down.

And, yes, a case has been made that some of the recent decline in Arctic sea-ice is due to changes in currents, such as, an increased flow from the North Pacific into the Arctic Ocean. I doubt that one can say yet which has the most impact on the rapid decline in sea-ice, but, given that all these variables are connected, the changes we are seeing may be the result of AGW. What if those winds return to patterns more representative of those in previous years, yet the sea-ice continues to decline? We won't know an answer to that until it happens, or until all the sea-ice is gone.

E. Swanson

However, the longer trend in sea-ice shows that it is headed down.

Bear in mind that the actual measurements of sea ice in the Arctic has only been for the past 60-70 years. Does that make a trend? If a natural cycle is hundreds of years long, then no this cannot be a trend either. If the natural cycle is 1000's of years then this last 60 years is just a blip.

That's the problem with any and all of these so-called "trends" that are used to support AGW theory.

Let me ask a simple question that requires a simple answer. How you answer, all of you, will determine which camp you are in.

Is it POSSIBLE that what we are measuring is a totally natural set of fluctuations in climate change and that our emissions of CO2 have none or almost no effect? The link only APPEARS to be there, when there could very well be no link at all. I know what the IPCC said, but step back from that politically driven body and answer the question. Doesn’t matter the percent some group applies as the probability. Is it POSSIBLE there is no link?

If your answer is YES, then AGW is a THEORY not a fact and as time goes on, one of two things will happen: 1) the disconnect between our CO2 and climate change takes place and AGW theory is discredited. Or 2) the dance between CO2 and climate change continues and AGW theory is maintained, but still only as a theory, never a fact. Regardless of these 2 outcomes, if you say Yes to the question, then this means you MUST look at all the evidence, including that which does not support AGW theory. All "will be" future predictions must stop because you have no way of knowing for a fact that your predictions will come true. And you STOP ad hominem attacks against me or anyone else who wants to expose the flaws in AGW theory. As we do so, not for any personal gain, but for the INTEGRETY OF SCIENCE. In the long run I'm actually doing all of you a favour.

If you say NO to the question then you have left the realm of science and are clearly in the realm of dogmatic faith based belief. Hence you could be written off and ignored. Though I like to think that most people have enough decency, enough curiosity, to at least WANT to look at alternative evidence.

So look in the mirror and ask yourself which camp you want to belong with. I did that long ago and will ALWAYS stay with the evidence, regardless.

Richard Wakefield

Bear in mind that the actual measurements of sea ice in the Arctic has only been for the past 60-70 years.


It is my understanding (from Icelanders with PhDs) that they have observations of sea ice on their coast going back 1,000 years. Sea ice is at an all time minimum. I have not personally seen the data.

I was also asked several times in Iceland if it was true that there were really Americans that did not believe in Global Warming. (One time was in the Faculty Lounge at the University of Iceland).

The effects are many and varied there.

One interesting case is the recent flowering, for the first time of an extremely rare tree in Iceland. All known trees of this species appear to have been started by seeds brought by birds and then vegetatively propagated from a random start point. One such cluster appears to be about 5,000 years old (very roughly). There is no evidence whatsoever of seed borne propagation of this tree since the last ice age.

This is strongly suggestive that Iceland has never been this warm before since the last Ice Age.


In the long run I'm actually doing all of you a favour.

Not IMO. You have wasted much of my time trying to do damage control for poorly developed and thought out concepts of yours, based on faulty evidence.

You are so often wrong in your assertions (do a search for wrong in this thread) and I have failed to post several other faulty assertions of yours.

I would rather work on mitigation efforts but I also feel a duty not to leave error unchallenged.


I entered your search criteria exactly.
First article presents data of interest.
Nothing that denies or precludes GW.
All of the hundreds of other NASA docs that come
up on search are GW GW GW GW.
Learn to read.

Yes, thanks. I read it and I understood it. This contradicts climate change theory how? It doesn't.

Here, old hippie, and NZ. Because they say it doesn't fit.


"Our study confirms many changes seen in upper Arctic Ocean circulation in the 1990s were mostly decadal in nature, rather than trends caused by global warming," said Morison.

Where do you get they say its GW from that. "decadal in nature rather than trends caused by global warming.

Pretty plain what he thinks, so if you can prove him wrong then lets see the evidence. Which I notice you have not given Old hippie, but you seem to think your opinion or wish will suffice as evidence. Telling me to learn to read in the same breath. Sounds like troll debunking behavior to me.

The doc you are linking now is not what came up on your
original suggested search.
The new doc you introduce at this late stage is not
directly addressing the main issues on this thread. Can
secondary and tertiary phenomena be found in the Arctic
that do not directly connect to GW? Sure.
You are making up crap, yes crap, as you go along and
yes you are a troll.
Just out of curiousity concerning deniers I've looked
really a lot of the links tossed out in this thread.
All garbage. It only perplexes me that so many here take
you and wakefield seriously. If you follow the links
there is nothing there.

Again, there is no evidence that is contradictory to GW in that article. Surprise, surprise, it turns out the ecosystem is a complex system of interacting forces (as if anyone thought otherwise), which we don't model precisely. That doesn't disprove the idea that anthropologic CO2 level increases are affecting the environment and causing - whether directly or indirectly - a change in global temperatures. Here is another excert from your link:

"The Arctic Oscillation was fairly stable until about 1970, but then varied on more or less decadal time scales, with signs of an underlying upward trend, until the late 1990s, when it again stabilized. During its strong counterclockwise phase in the 1990s, the Arctic environment changed markedly, with the upper Arctic Ocean undergoing major changes that persisted into this century. Many scientists viewed the changes as evidence of an ongoing climate shift, raising concerns about the effects of global warming on the Arctic."

Show me something that actually contradicts the idea of AGW.

You are correct, I don't see anything that directly makes this article contradict AGW, nor support it either. The authors do make a link to global warming with:

Morison cautioned that while the recent decadal-scale changes in the circulation of the Arctic Ocean may not appear to be directly tied to global warming, most climate models predict the Arctic Oscillation will become even more strongly counterclockwise in the future. "The events of the 1990s may well be a preview of how the Arctic will respond over longer periods of time in a warming world," he said.

We will have to wait to see if that trend actually happens. But even if it does, that is still not the issue.

I don't deny the planet is warming, temperature being more moderated with an average that is going up. The evidence is very clear this is happening over the long term. This could very well be the continuation of emerging from the last Little Ice Age. If that is true, then our CO2 emissions could be nothing more than piggybacking on that already increasing temp (including intensifying it). If that is the case it would be near impossible to tease that out and know for sure we are the SOLE cause, regardless of the 90% "consensus." (Scientific consensus has been wrong before.) Hence the only SAFE place to be is skeptical of the human causation from CO2.

Richard Wakefield

Hence the only SAFE place to be is skeptical of the human causation from CO2

Safe in what sense ? In some hypothetical ivory tower intellectual sense (of which you are not a tenured faculty member BTW) or in the REAL WORLD ?

In the real world that we occupy and those after us will occupy, the only SAFE place is a massive reduction of GHG !

If that is the case it would be near impossible to tease that out and know for sure we are the SOLE cause

Have you been asleep ?

The IPCC did NOT say humanity was the sole cause. From memory, the modifier was humanity was the "predominant" cause of GW (with over 90% probability).

As I and I daresay a majority of other informed and concerned citizens agree, there is a definite chance that there is a natural warming trend that is being accelerated significantly by human activity (your beloved Ontario coal plants).

If the opposite is true (also possible) that, absent humans, the climate would be cooling now and we are overwhelming it with GHG, then that is VERY good news ! Relatively modest (say -2/3rds) reductions in GHG would dramatically slow the warming trend (since we are "swimming against the tide"). Disaster averted !

But if we are in a warming trend and we are pouring gasoline on the fire of AGW + nonAGW, our only hope to minimize disaster by eliminating ALL new GHG emissions as quickly as possible !

Slow climate change is bad, but can be adapted to at a cost. Rapid climate change happens too quickly for humans & nature to adapt to and will be a disaster. A disaster likely dwarfing Peak Oil (and I am VERY concerned about Peak Oil).

So will you join us and start rabidly encouraging new wind turbines (short term), new nuclear reactors (long term) and more conservation (short & long term) such as Toronto's Light Rail plans, more insulation and more ground loop heat pumps ?

Best Hopes,


Scientifically safe means being skeptical of all theories, having no dogmatic position on anything, and leaving opinions out of it completely.

My coal plants are not beloved, the currently provide vital cheep electrical power which is why the Liberal (Kyoto loving) government did not shut them down as promised, and won't for some time to come.

Massive reductions in GHG will cost millions of jobs. Closing down steel mills in Canada just to import steel from China makes no sence. Means we emit CO2 by proxy.

Doesn't matter what IPCC says, the general public creates their own myth about what the IPCC says. Examples abound, including that most people percieve the 90% as we are 90% of the total cause. That's how the environmentalist groups play it to the public. It's a FACT as noted by people here. Well, it's not. It's a theory.

I'll only endorse what works, and what will prepare people for life after oil. That means no CO2 sequestering, no carbon trading system. WT where they work more efficiently, more nuke plants, and definitely push for GSHP.

The only light rail planned for Toronto that I know of is the one from down town to the airport along the existing CN/CP line. In a post carbon era it won't be of much value if there's no planes flying. High speed lines from Chicago to Montrial via Toronto have been suggested but the problem is the trackage is not designed for it and would have to be completely relaid. Abandoned as too expensive.

Richard Wakefield

Or it could be a LOT better! How do you know? You are taking the pessimistic view a priori.

Change is a priori bad, and the faster it changes the worst it is. We have developed a civilization (including agriculture & population patterns) based upon a certain climate & climatic patterns.

This embedded infrastructure (including population, agricultural practices) is optimized for "as is". Any change is suboptimal.

Slow climatic change, slower than changes in infrastructure and population shifts, can be adapted to at reasonable cost. New infrastructure and where people live (and how many children they have) has a chance to adapt without excessive waste and suffering.

Increasing global temperatures at the rate of + or - 0.25 C/century might be the slow change I am talking about (especially if it could be forecasted).


Change is a priori bad, and the faster it changes the worst it is. We have developed a civilization (including agriculture & population patterns) based upon a certain climate & climatic patterns.

This embedded infrastructure (including population, agricultural practices) is optimized for "as is". Any change is suboptimal.

Hmmm. Let's see. Warmer winter weather, longer growing season, rainer in the midwest states and Arizona area. Those are changes that would be benificial. So your a priori notion is wrong and an opinion only. Good or bad can be relative terms dependant upon who it's good or bad for. Example, the complete crashing of human civilization, though bad for the people who have to live, and die, through that event would ultimately be good for the rest of the biota.

So no, saying the the future WILL BE worse is a politically motivated opinion that is not supported by evidence. Are you omni-knowledgable and know what the future WILL bring?

If it's adaption for our civilization, then people should stop building that civilization in harm's way. No more Los Angeles, No more New Orliens. Get everyone out of places that have the threat of massive civilization damage from other causes than GW.

We live in a world that is dangerous, in the long run you live with it.

Richard Wakefield

rainer in the midwest states and Arizona area. Those are changes that would be benificial

Wrong. Increased rains in the MidWest would likely result in more crop failures due to delayed planting and harvesting due to muddy fields and higher humidity promoting more mold and other plant diseases.

I can speak from personal experience that the drainage system of Phoenix AZ is undersized for the current rainfalls. More rain would likely result in massive flooding and significant erosion, plus some issues with salt control.

And 4 million Americans moved to Phoenix to enjoy the climate there. Said climate would be absolutely ruined by more rain. More pollen, much more humidity, less sun, etc. No reason for Canadians to come there in the winter.

But at least one GW model has less rainfall across the "Cotton Belt", from mid-California to South Carolina but significantly more (50+% more) rain in Canada and the rain would be more intense (more floods).

In the long run you live with it

Wrong. In the long run you die. And civilization collapses

The best way to postpone both is to minimize trauma, like Global Warming and, to a lessor extent, the negative effects of post-Peak Oil.

As for moving out of harm's way, you seem to have chosen to have moved into an even more auto dependent location, further to drive, as your response to Peak Oil.


Wrong. Increased rains in the MidWest would likely result in more crop failures due to delayed planting and harvesting due to muddy fields and higher humidity promoting more mold and other plant diseases.

Alan, you like to twist what I say don't you. I'm saying it's POSSIBLE that climate change could result in things being better. You categorically claim any change is bad.

As for moving out of harm's way, you seem to have chosen to have moved into an even more auto dependent location, further to drive, as your response to Peak Oil.

Again, you twisted what I said. My over all energy use has dropped by half or more (according to the drop in money spent on energy since moving). I can now grow some of my own food, and a greenhouse to grow in the winter. I now exclusively work from home instead of the 3 hours drive every day I used to do. Driving my wife now is shorter than the drive she used to do by herself (40mns vs 20mns). So how is that not better? Stop twisting my position.

Richard Wakefield

I retract my statement about your commuting.


You protest:

Alan, you like to twist what I say don't you. I'm saying it's POSSIBLE that climate change could result in things being better.

No where in the quoted post about beneficial rains, etc from GW do you use the word "Possible", despite your highlihting it n your protest. It is just a couple of posts above for anyone that wants to confirm this. The relevant passage that you wrote was:

Hmmm. Let's see. Warmer winter weather, longer growing season, rainer in the midwest states and Arizona area. Those are changes that would be benificial.

Those are changes that would be beneficial.

No "possible". No twisting your words.


Too wet in the spring, too wet in the fall, and we get very moody corn. What is ideal is a nice dry spring until the crop is in, a big shot of rain, then 2" twenty four hour soakers every few weeks through the summer, and a nice, dry fall.

We've had a shot of possible GW effect back in 1993 - all of Iowa was a shallow inland sea. We don't want things much different and big swings are not welcome ...

Okay, so it's only waddling and quacking and showing ducklike tendencies. When hooves appear we can go back to burning up the carbon as if there isn't any tomorrow. As yet I don't feel behooved to consider that adding CO2 doesn't do in nature what it does in a 'test tube' situation.

In my youth we would refer to the coldest time of the year as 'forty below'; the 'best' it can seem to muster now is about thirty. I wonder why? How much waddling and quacking do you need before you make a prudent choice about the odds? What's the lead time?

It seems as though the faith position is not the one taken by the majority of the scientific community.

"When hooves appear we can go back to burning up the carbon as if there isn't any tomorrow." Especially if it turns red grows horns and carries a pitchfork,even though it's still quaking like a duck. It's very American to have a devil may care attitude about the future. Wow, as for Richard's comments there is no other way to classify them other than as those of an extreme denier. There are so many logical fallacies in his arguments that it's difficult to even begin to address them.
Just curious, I wonder if he has homeowner's insurance on his house and would that be because he is an a priori pessimist and thinks his house will burn down in the near future?

You don’t see me calling any one names or challenging their intellect.

Yes I do !


This is classic denier spin, the skeptical camp is shrinking if anything. A recent survey of skeptics showed that most accepted there has been warming, and also that humans are at least partly responsible.

The only contribution of skeptics is a lot of nitpicking, which has actually helped make the AGW theory more solid. There is no counter theory to AGW, so in the literal sense skeptic "science" is denial, usually phrased as "I can't disprove it, I just don't believe it".

Science needs skeptics, but it needs good skeptics, and most AGW skeptics are very poor ones. They keep bringing up talking points which have been debunked many times over.

Oddly, there is a pretty big hole in the IPCC projections which no skeptic seems to have taken up.

The only contribution of skeptics is a lot of nitpicking, which has actually helped make the AGW theory more solid. There is no counter theory to AGW, so in the literal sense skeptic "science" is denial, usually phrased as "I can't disprove it, I just don't believe it".

Really???? Then you are in for a surprise. Those now coming forth are scientists from climatology and other related fields. And the alternative theory to AGW theory is that this is just normal flucuations in over all long term climate patterns. So there is a just as valid a theory that explains the same dataset.

Watch these videos, 4 parts of the same lecture.

What will be interesting is your reaction to that lecture.

"He can't be right because AGW Theory is a fact!"


"Gee, isn't that interesting. Seems some things do not indeed fit AGW theory. Maybe there is a problem with it."

Which quote will you fall in with? One is dogma, one is skeptical. Which is which?

Richard Wakefield

And the alternative theory to AGW theory is that this is just normal flucuations in over all long term climate patterns. So there is a just as valid a theory that explains the same dataset.

It is not a valid counter theory because it has not identified the source for these natural variations, and has not been able to model the measured warming.

Indeed, the reason for suspecting an anthropogenic influence is because scientists were unable to explain the data purely in terms of natural variation.

So what? Just because the previous understandings does not take into account certain variations and evidence does not mean that the new theory is right either. It's just an equally competing theory. You must admit that AGW theory has serious problems. But for some reason those problems doesn't stop AGW theory from being a fact (which is scientifically false to begin with). Again, I urge everyone who want's a balanced view to read the reviews in www.worldclimatereport.com.

And, you did not comment on the lecture. I'd be interested in that because this person does indeed review this whole "anomolous" data that only AGW theory is supposed to explain.

Richard Wakefield

when you purpose a new theory to a phenomenon it should do two things.
1.model the phenomenon better then the previous one.
2.show how the previous one was flawed.

the variation one does neither.

Or the old theory is still valid with modifications to accommodate the new evidence. I'm not proposing any new theory, neither is any AGW skeptic. The choice between the two competing theories is: Is the current change in climate human caused or just normal fluctuations?

That's the two.

Richard Wakefield

I'm satisfied that I have taken a sufficient sample of skeptical opinions to conclude that either they are trivial criticisms that are not germane, or they are fundamentally flawed. I have also seen most of the criticisms leveled at AGW are just recycled old ones.

I do not believe in balance if that means giving creationists equal time with science. Most skeptical climate scientists do actually accept the basic premise of AGW, including worldclimatereport. The remainder of the skeptics are not climate scientists, and publish "peer-reviewed research" in journals of economics, therefore I would not give them equal weight.

Over 20 years of research have gone into producing the IPCC reports, it is not likely that significant factors have been overlooked.

What Wakefield said. If you can critique the lecture it will focus the whole debate for all of us.



Stephen Jay Gould used to talk about how when he was a student, he protested a "continental drift" lecture. He thought it was ridiculous quackery.

Of course, these days, almost everyone accepts the idea that the continents have moved. What changed? Someone came up with a mechanism. Plate tectonics made "continental drift" acceptable, because it explained how.

Which quote will you fall in with? One is dogma, one is skeptical. Which is which?

False choice fallacy.

Watching the video, my first reaction is "this is sophistry; he's making emotional, rhetorical arguments, but avoiding analysis of the pertinent data".

He's remarkably lax about how he applies analysis requirements, complaining that the linear-fit curves showing recent warming are not statistically significant while 15 minutes later dismissing warming as a "failed hypothesis" because the data points since 2000 haven't shown that warming trend.

Some of his "torpedoes" to global warming boil down to "if this effect seen in the tropics over a few days applies to the entire world over decades, then it'll change their models!" That kind of rampant speculation is hardly convincing.

He's also greatly overstating the homeostatic (self-regulating) nature of the climate. Enormous changes can and have happened, and some of them are balanced relatively finely. The Gulf Stream is one example, which is very important for climate regulation by carrying heat from the tropics to the North Atlantic. This conveyor belt can shut down, has done so in the past, and the effects on livability in both the Caribbean and Europe would be substantial. Google north atlantic conveyor for more information.

He does have a good point, though, that the worst over-hyping of global warming is by news media and non-scientists. That's hardly a knock against global warming, though - that kind of thing happens with just about everything, unfortunately. However, he greatly overplays that distinction; enormous numbers of well-respected climate scientists - including a good friend of mine - consider the science behind global warming to be very, very solid.

Certain? Of course not. But probable enough to be very worrying.

Based on this video, he's relying first and foremost on rhetorical technique to make his point. He's not being at all scientific in his presentation; he's simply lobbing potshots, saying "this doesn't fit" without considering wider context. Plucking factoids out of context like that is bad science.

Much of my time here on The Oil Drum is spent ripping apart shoddy arguments; I'd leave this one in tatters. Regardless of whether I agree with him or not, his presentation is simply too rhetorical, too emotional, too scattershot, and too unscientific to be convincing.

his presentation is simply too rhetorical, too emotional, too scattershot, and too unscientific to be convincing.

I will accept this as a valid comment provided you apply the same to Gore's film, publicly here.

Richard Wakefield

Thank you, JRWakefield, for supplying those links. I don't have a strong opinion on AGW either way (PO worries me far more), but he certainly made some sense to me. I was particularly struck by the US weather station data, where the weather stations were built on tarmac! And the computer models which failed to predict effects of el Nino. What's that old saying about computer models, Garbage In, Garbage Out, or something?
I suppose the anecdotal evidence here on the Western Atlantic is that the winters are not nearly as cold as during the 1950s-1980s. But then again, if the climate is supposed to vary anyway, perhaps we should expect that. Time, as always, will tell.

I love how somebody can post something I posted 2 days ago ... And everybody thanks. I included more than just that but meh. Go find it yourself its by far more interesting when you see all the videos combined. But then again this is what happens when you post at near midnight nobody cares :/

Ohh well at least people have seen part of what I posted days ago.

Frustrating however.

Sorry SlicerDicer, belated thanks to you if it makes you feel better : )

Oh, sorry, I didn't see it either. The credit should go to you then.

Richard Wakefield

Bob, you aroused my curiosity as to what this hole is. By the way, I’ve come to appreciate your postings on this site on AGW as some of the best and most enlightening. Keep it up.

The hole is that IPCC take no account of PO in their worst case scenarios, and assume that FF use can rise indefinitely.
James Hansen co-authored a paper which took a more realistic view on FF usage, and concluded that the worst case scenarios were unlikely.

This should be not seen as a reason for complacency, Hansen found that CO2 emissions could still reach dangerous levels if not curbed. The impact of PO could derail efforts to control emissions. Most of the ways to mitigate GW would also help deal with PO, if presented as a combined strategy it might help get more traction.

People tend to have very unsubtle, all or nothing positions on Global Warming.
Personally, I was a "believer" a few years ago, as it seemed obvious that pumping lots of CO2 into the atmosphere would dramaticly raise the temperature.

The I started asking questions:

1) Where does all the CO2 come from?
From coal and oil. Where does the coal and oil come from? It was laid down millions of years ago as decaying plant matter. So it all used to be in the atmosphere previously.
How hot was it back then? About 6 degrees hotter. With CO2 levels up to 2000ppm. Was there a runaway positive feedback loop then? No.

2) What are the odd that will will ever manage to find and burn enough fossil fuels to get back to 1000ppm?
If you accept the official reserves figure of about 1 trillion tonnes of coal, we have enough left to get back to 600-700ppm. What if you don't accept those figures?

3) If the warming effect of CO2 straight-line, or logarithmic? If a world with 2000ppm and no ice caps was only 6 degrees warmer, what sort of forcing relationship does this suggest?

4) If the world was 6 degrees cooler than now 50,000 years ago with a CO2 level of 190ppm, and then heated up 6 degrees BEFORE we invented the steam engine, what does this say about the relative importance of Milenkovich forcing cycles and CO2?

5) Sure CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but is actually very important compared to water vapour? All the IPCC models showing warming of more that 1 degree rely on positive feedback from water vapour to do the heavy lifting.
If such positive feedback cycles exist, why didn't the planet turn into Venus 50 million years ago when we had no ice caps and 2000ppm in CO2?

The point is - I don't dispute any of the science. But I question the conclusions people draw from the observed scientific facts.

Hey, maybe the theory is 100% correct - but we will run out of coal after the temperature rises 1 degree.

And as for the "other greenhouse gasses" argument - fine, lets phase out Freon. Let's stop chopping down forests.

And before the flaming starts, let me say that I think we should move to solar power as soon as possible so we have something to rely on when the coal runs out. And hey, I like trees. And yes, the world is overpopulated, I'd like to see our population gradually reduced to 1 billion with lots of national parks.
And for what is is worth, I sold my car, moved closer to work and walk everywhere. So hold back on the generalisations.

My point is - it is possible to agree with 99% of a theory, and think it is a load of hot air because the other 1% happens to make all the difference. Somebody who does not agree 100% isn't necessarily denying basic physics - they may just be sceptical about the projected magnitude of the effect.

I don't need to be a scientist to point out basic flaws in logic.

My assertions are:
1) You have to find it before you can burn it.
2) You are never going to find and burn more than a small fraction of the fossil fuel that was laid down during prehistoric times
3) Thus you will never get up to anywhere near the CO2 levels of pre-historic times.

Notice I am not "denying" Global Warming. I am debating whether the effect has sufficient magnitude to cause a problem. It is disturbing when people cannot see the difference.

The basic problem with your premise is that you can put thousands of years of C02 into the atmosphere fairly quickly burning coal or oil. Overall millions of years. The problem is this is getting pulsed in pretty fast in general much faster than known mechanisms outside of large volcanic events.

What I don't quite understand to be honest is people that don't "believe" in global warming don't really have a cohesive counter argument. A theory has to explain all aspects of the situation. The only valid source for warming other than man made that even seems to have a chance of working is increased solar radiation. Its valid and credible and has been proven to not be the source of warming. The other of course is volcanic action.

Now back to the heart of the matter the problem with CO2 is how its pulsed into the atmosphere. If your in a greenhouse type phase then you will have a natural system that might have had a chance to evolve/change to a high C02 atmosphere.
Pulsing it in rapidly with most plants and animals evolved for lower levels is going to cause problems.

I'm actually more worried about the effect of increasing CO2 levels on the biosphere esp the oceans than I am about direct global warming. This combined with what we have done to diversity is setting us up for a biosphere collapse or major extinction event. My bets are this will happen well before we get the physical effects of global warming.

And this has happened.

Ok if I take a greenhouse and pump in 1200ppm of CO2 the plants are going to EXPLODE in size. Hows that for a counter argument? Or is CO2 Enrichment a scam with growing ?

Thanks come again.

By the way I can pulse the CO2 from ambient to 1200ppm without issue in a hour and the plants are not angry. So explain this please for me it should be rather simple as you said plants cant handle it. Its going to cause problems blah blah

how 'bout if you pump the co2 and increase the temp simultaneously (maybe you could flood part of the greenhouse as well) ?

Greenhouse experiments on the Icelandic birch show that it fails to properly time it's winter hardening in the presence of elevated CO2 level (450 ppm from memory). The Icelandic Forest Service anticipates loss of almost all of their native forests as CO2 levels increase. They were not able to get funding for additional experiments at lower CO2 levels,

The Icelandic birch is an apparent natural hybrid of a shrub birch & tree birch that has evolved a unique adaptation to the extremely variable Icelandic climate. At Settlement, about 98% of the trees were Icelandic birch.

Plant life is NOT so simple as it seems,

Best Hopes in not fooling with Mother Nature,


Ok if I take a greenhouse and pump in 1200ppm of CO2 the plants are going to EXPLODE in size.

And if you take the ocean and pump in too much CO2, the plankton that form the foundation of the food chain will be unable to create their shells, due to the higher concentration of carbonic acid. Google "ocean acidification".

Ok if I take a greenhouse and pump in 1200ppm of CO2 the plants are going to EXPLODE in size.

Alas I can not find the link that showed a decrease in tree growth in an outside CO2 experiment. Trees grown in a circle, had increased CO2 in center....perhaps someone will remember it.

Its valid and credible and has been proven to not be the source of warming.

No it has not been "proven". You can only prove things in mathematics. The only thing you can say with certainty is that "solar APPEARS to not have enough of an effect to do what we see." Semantics? No, preciseness. Saying proven means that there will never be any future measurements that will change the premise. That’s blatantly false as there could very well be evidence uncovered in the future that could reverse that premise and put solar back into the main mechanism.

Richard Wakefield

Semantics ?


We have had space based measurements (thereby eliminating atmospheric effects) of solar radiation since at least 1960. Other than the 11 year solar cycle (observations now through 4 complete cycles), solar radiation is stable.

We have had observed warming since 1960. By my standard of proof (shared by many), this proves that increased solar radiation is not causing the global warming to date.

Perhaps in 2011, solar radiation will increase and global warming will increase. In such a hypothetical, one cannot then say that future GW is not affected by increased solar radiation (I suspect that it would). It would be an analytical problem to separate the two sources of GW, solar & AGW in this hypothetical.

The public policy response to some future increased solar activity should be a crash, near panic shut-down of current emissions of GHG.


The public policy response to some future increased solar activity should be a crash, near panic shut-down of current emissions of GHG.

Including the deaths of tens of millions with that done who would no longer be breathing? This sounds more like a political statement than a realistic response to changing climate. Or am I now the one putting words in your mouth?

I'm curious, Alan, actually all of you who have been on my case, what your position is on the http://www.politicalcompass.org map? How many of you are far left in your political and social views who also accept AGW theory as dogma? Then one can ask if your political motivation behind your support for AGW?

I can tell you categorically mine is not because I scored almost dead center. I did the test twice with a 3 year gap between to make sure. Bascially politically/socially/economically balanced.

Richard Wakefield

I prefer not to 1) spend time on such a test and 2) tell you what the results are if I did waste time taking the linked test.


I wish all of these self-anointed experts on all science pertaining to global warming actually bothered to get an education. The variability in total solar irradiance is 0.1%. Less than 2% of the variability is for wavelengths less 250 nm, about 8% of the variability is for wavelengths near 200 nm, 10-30% is in the range 100-200 nm and by far the most variability is in the extreme ultra violet range (5-100 nm). Radiation with wavelengths below 175 nm is absorbed by the atmosphere above 100 km. The heat budget of the troposphere and stratosphere is simply not significantly affected by the variable component of solar radiation. Green house gases have vastly (several orders of magnitude) greater effects on the thermodynamics of the bulk of the atmosphere and especially the troposphere. Thankfully we do not live in orbit around an unstable star that can destroy the habitability of our planet.

No it has not been "proven". You can only prove things in mathematics

The level of proof needed varies dramatically with the proposed purpose of the information.

For public policy purposes, 90% certainty is more than enough to change public policy. And IPCC stated that there was more than 90% certainty for AGW.


No it has not been "proven". You can only prove things in mathematics.

Ok, given that metric - you can not be proven right or wrong WRT a temprature measurement.

And you can neither prove YOUR position.

So: What are you hoping to do here?

And you can neither prove YOUR position.

So: What are you hoping to do here?

I thought I've made that clear many times over. I have posted specific points on where I stand. I'm not presenting ANY position. Only that AGW is a THEORY not a proven fact. That the healthy position in any theory is to be skeptical. I'm skeptical of ANY theory in science. There are degrees of skepticism, like I would say the likelyhood that evolutionary theory being an incorrect view of how life changes to be very low. Though the Linnean theory of classification is very high as it is essentially dead, yet those who continue to support it disagree. So AGW theory is not the only one I'm very skeptical about.

I guess my main goal is to try and tone down the "this will happen" predictions often posted here. We all agree that no one knows what the future will bring, something could quite easily come up that completely contradicts AGW theory. But it's the distain agains those of us who feel the need to challenge the dogma of AGW theory that absolutely needs challenging. I find the flames and comments highly contradictory. I post something from Wikipeida and get laughed at for doing so, yet people have posted links to Wikipedia often here and never get laughed at. So why was mine so wrong? I get accused of showing a data set that is too short to show a trend, but it's OK to show a different short data set that seems to support AGW theory! I get accused of not providing evidence (which eventually I do), but it's OK not not provide any evidence at all to the wild and outlandish statements about the dire future of this planet due to climate change. Lasty, I'm told emphatically I'm "wrong" yet that person then presents an an opinion countering my position. Opinions are not right, or wrong, they are opinions and only evidence will deturmine which is correct.

So I guess my goal is to try to bring in some balance. And not just to AGW but to PO statements too, which we here often get into different points of view. Recall the one on population.

Richard Wakefield

Don't have time to go in depth but I will address the water vapor point - yes, water vapor is a GHG, and in fact 98% of the total, but it reaches equilibrium in hours to weeks while CO2 takes much longer.

We have a radiative forcing of about 4.0 watts/M^2 and about half of that gets reflected back by sulfate aerosols, mostly from human combustion of sulfur laden fuels. That is the heart of the whole AGW problem ...

Those are all good questions, asked intelligently. You, and others who are interested deserve coherent answers. Finding rigorous answers to all of them would probably require the help of experts in 4 or 5 different fields.

I have studied some of these questions in depth. Here is what I am reasonably certain of:

"1) 1) Where does all the CO2 come from?
From coal and oil. Where does the coal and oil come from? It was laid down millions of years ago as decaying plant matter. So it all used to be in the atmosphere previously.
How hot was it back then?..."

The sun has gradually increased in luminosity (energy output) over its 4.5 billion year lifespan. The extra CO2 compensated for the lower solar output. The best estimates of past CO2 suggest it was far higher in the past (say, 500 million years ago), on average, but temps were roughly similar.

Plus, the coal was formed over about half a billion years. It was never all in the atmosphere at once. It accumulated so slowly that natural sources replaced it as it was sequestered. There are natural geochemical reactions that recycle the carbon through the rocks, subduction into the mantle, and back out through volcanoes. These keep CO2 in equilibrium, on average.

"2)What are the odd that {we} will ever manage to find and burn enough fossil fuels to get back to 1000ppm?"

There are a huge amount of hydrocarbons in the sedimentary rocks of the Earth. Fortunately, only a tiny fraction is economical to extract with current technology. At the other extreme, if we have a crash program to develop the technology to convert all the coal and shale oil and every other carbon-rich sedimentary rock to liquid fuels (because we believed the AGW-deniers), there is enough CO2 sequestered in hydrocarbons to consume all oxygen in the atmosphere (ie CO2 = 200,000ppm). Of course that is not going to happen since the vast majority of the hydrocarbons are deeply EROEI-negative.

But better technology makes more and more carbon available at positive EROEI. Estimating how much carbon we will be able to get out by, say, 2200, with increasing technology and increasing demand for fuel... that's tricky. The CO2 we put in the air now will take 1000+ years to be re-absorbed by geology, and the warming and feedbacks it produces won't be fully felt for at least 800 years.

"3) If the warming effect of CO2 straight-line, or logarithmic? "

The effect is logorithmic. Each 100ppm has a smaller and smaller effect. Each DOUBLING has an equal effect.

"If a world with 2000ppm and no ice caps was only 6 degrees warmer, what sort of forcing relationship does this suggest?"

This question is not meaningful without context - like the rate of warming, the positive and negative feedbacks that apply, the initial conditions, etc.

The best way to answer this question, and to address the idea that warming is not really all that bad, is to look at the worst previous Global Warming examples from geologic history. This would take a very long post to cover in detail, but I'll give the short answer and let you confirm the details with further research...
... At the Permian-Triassic boundary, it is very possible that a 6-10 degC warming from volcanic CO2 kicked off a runaway feedback loop from ocean sediment methane clathrates melting, releasing huge amounts of powerful greenhouse gases and toxic hydrogen sulfide, producing ANOTHER 20-30 degC warming that basically killed every living thing bigger except fungus and sulfur-reducing bacteria on almost the entire Earth, except for a few isolated pockets (maybe mountaintops?) that repopulated the planet after a 10 million year recovery.

Also look up the PETM.

Which leads to the next question...
"If such positive feedback cycles exist, why didn't the planet turn into Venus 50 million years ago when we had no ice caps and 2000ppm in CO2?"

Positive GHG feedbacks cannot continue once their source is exhausted. After all the methane clathrates release all their methane, the feedback loop stops, no more increase in temp is possible (from that source).

Water vapor cannot form a positive feedback loop because the residence time is too short. An excess of water vapor cannot warm up the global temp fast enough to force more water to evaporate before the first pulse of vapor condenses into clouds and rains out.

Venus is a far different place in some important ways - almost no rotation, for example.

I hope that adds some light and not heat to your understanding ;)

Plus, the coal was formed over about half a billion years. It was never all in the atmosphere at once. It accumulated so slowly that natural sources replaced it as it was sequestered. There are natural geochemical reactions that recycle the carbon through the rocks, subduction into the mantle, and back out through volcanoes. These keep CO2 in equilibrium, on average.

The largest sequestering of atmospheric CO2 is carbonate rock formations. CO2 disolved in rain water which falls and forms the carbonate rock. One of the causes of the latest CO2 drop to the current low is the formation of the Himalayas when India collided with Asia. That changed the weather patterns forcing rain to fall before getting inland. That increase in rain fall disolved more CO2 reducing it's percent in the atmosphere.

Richard Wakefield

That increase in rain fall dissolved more CO2 reducing it's percent in the atmosphere

I see several fallacies in that statement and little science to support that assertion.


Gee, Alan is everything I post here a lie to you? Now I have to go and get that reference...

Richard Wakefield

"Lie" is not the word I would use, since that involves intent as well as misstating facts.


Here they are:

This when the Indian Plate first started its collision. The resulting subduction forced more CO2 causing the greenhouse effect there. Note is was A LOT of CO2 over millions of years. This is significant with our current situtation. Here we have much higher concentrations of CO2 going into the atmosphere then than the doubling the IPCC claims will trigger this current warming. Yet 50 million years ago life flourished. This is the time of the great Mammalian radiation.

Once that subduction stopped, CO2 levels went down here is a possible reason why:


MIT geologist Maureen Raymo noticed that the rise of the Himalaya 50 million years ago marked the beginning of Earth’s cooling into a series of ice ages. She suggested that as those massive mountains weathered, they drew enough CO2 from the atmosphere to reduce the then-raging case of greenhouse effect


Now this is HIGHLY significant:

They argue that at present, the Himalayan-Tethyan mountain range has an almost infinite capacity to absorb (by weathering reactions) any CO2 released from the mantle or by organic carbon oxidation.

Would this also include man made CO2 emissions? It must. The issue will be the rate. Can the rains in mountains take out the CO2 as fast as we emit it? Maybe not at first, but eventually one could claim that as the CO2 levels reached a critical point that rains would indeed start to remove it just as fast. Even if that is not the case, what it does show is that eventually, once our CO2 output collapses (one way or another) that the planet will soon remove that CO2. This would make any effects of climate change not the worse case.

See, Alan, I do have references to back up my statements.

Richard Wakefield

You misstated your position that you later elaborated on.

The proposed mechanism (as I read the post) is additional chemical reactions via weathering of the exposed rock (previously not exposed as much as surface area before becoming mountains), not as you originally stated it, which quite frankly, sounded nonsensical.

Estimates I have heard are 1.000 years to remove the current CO2 via geological processes, a blink of geological time, but significant for humans.


Read this, my original statement is basically this.


Hence I'm not lying, nor presenting a misrepresentation.

At the Permian-Triassic boundary, it is very possible that a 6-10 degC warming from volcanic CO2 kicked off a runaway feedback loop from ocean sediment methane clathrates melting, releasing huge amounts of powerful greenhouse gases and toxic hydrogen sulfide, producing ANOTHER 20-30 degC warming that basically killed every living thing bigger except fungus and sulfur-reducing bacteria on almost the entire Earth, except for a few isolated pockets (maybe mountaintops?) that repopulated the planet after a 10 million year recovery

You really should add a reference so people get to see the other possible causes, including meteroite impact.


25% of species survived. And not just a few "pockets". There were groups of marine vertibrates that survived. Hardley mountain top isolates.

What we have here is an example of trying to convince someone to your position by only giving them part of the answer. You only provided the mechanism of that extinction that favours your AGW dogma position, ignoring the other possibilities. This is what I find VERY frustrating.

Read the link, it provides a much better balanced view of what happened then.

Richard Wakefield

wikipedia as a reference? LOL...

YOUR dogma forces you to latch onto the first plausible sounding scenario that doesn't involve Global Warming through CO2.

A big meteorite may indeed have hit near the p-T boundary. But it cannot explain the del 13C excursions found there:

"...The Permian/Triassic boundary, the greatest extinction event of the Phanerozoic3, is also marked by a large 13C depletion4,5. New carbon isotope results from sections in the southern Alps show that this depletion did not actually represent a single event, but was a complex change that spanned perhaps a million years during the late Permian and early Triassic. These results suggest that the Permian/Triassic (P/Tr) extinction may have been in part gradual and in part 'stepwise'6,7, but was not in any case a single catastrophic event."


A meteorite cannot explain the huge bloom of sulfur reducing bacteria found at the p-T. Nor the complete cessation of coal formation for 10 million years. Nor the layer of fossil fungus spores found worldwide that replace every other type of spore - ie, there was nothing living on the surface of the Earth that could produce spores or pollen except fungus feeding on the decaying trees.

You can find further evidence that all vegetation died on almost all of the Earth. Before land plants became established in the Silurian, almost all streams and rivers were braided, carrying huge amounts of sediments washed off the land unprotected by vegetation. After the Silurian, meandering stream deposits are found. At the p-T boundary, all streams became braided again, leaving distinctive sedimentary features in the rock record. Over the next few million years, they returned to the meandering type as vegetation reclaimed the barren land.

The list goes on and on. The p-T event was the worst dying ever. You mention that 25% of species survived, but you obviously haven't thought through what that means. How many individuals of those species survived the period of no vegetation on most of the Earth? Probably only handful of each.

But please note that this is the worst case found in geologic history. I do not think current conditions are likely to lead to a repeat, even if we dump a huge amount of CO2 into the atmosphere. The ocean circulation changes that probably led to the p-T events are not possible now.

Lesser extinction events have happened in the past, some probably caused by climate changes. Recreating one of them by artificial means seems like a bad idea. Even one of the "mild" disasters from geologic history would be really bad for humans.

Notice I am not "denying" Global Warming. I am debating whether the effect has sufficient magnitude to cause a problem. It is disturbing when people cannot see the difference.

Yes it is. Excellent post and virtually identical to my position. Maybe between the two of us we can get these dogmatists to at least tone down at bit and allow us the freedom to challenge their sacred cow.

Good job!

Richard Wakefield

And if those skeptical scientists contribute to our knowledge by testing alternative theories for our observations that is great.

If on the other hand, they are simply joining the political debate and aren't actively contributing in the climatology field, then their opinion is about as important as mine, (which is not very important at all).

This post seems to have generated a lot of response. I'm not sure what AGW stands for. I think AGW is 'Anthropogenic Global Warming'. If not, this is a really Off Topic comment.

AGW is not like Continental Drift, which was roundly rejected by the scientific establishment, but was eventually accepted as 'scientific fact'. The big difference that I want to discuss is that AGW involves human activity as an unintended cause of GW. Nothing comparable was involved in the Continental Drift discussion. For Continental Drift, all sides agreed that the controversy was purely intellectual. Reputations would be made or lost on how the question was eventually decided, but either way civilization would persist.

Not so for AGW. If we get this wrong, there will be, at the very least, a lot of avoidable human suffering. And the clock is ticking to some deadline for reaching a decision. Because the future of humanity may be involved, all sorts of people whose opinion could, deservedly, be ignored on Continental Drift, those ignorant boobs that make up the bulk of humanity, those people rightfully can speak on AGW, because they ARE part of humanity. Those who do have a clue on AGW must not get angry or derisive.

Not so for AGW. If we get this wrong, there will be, at the very least, a lot of avoidable human suffering. And the clock is ticking to some deadline for reaching a decision. Because the future of humanity may be involved, all sorts of people whose opinion could, deservedly, be ignored on Continental Drift, those ignorant boobs that make up the bulk of humanity, those people rightfully can speak on AGW, because they ARE part of humanity. Those who do have a clue on AGW must not get angry or derisive.

Ask people who live along plate boundaries if plate techonics is not a problem.

You are taking the alarmist position as gosple.

And to be on topic, the threat to civilization because of oil depletion is a far far greater and more immidiate threat than AGW ever will be. Worse case prediction is by the time the effect of AGW become toxic humans could very well be emerging from a huge population decline, be in economic ruin and be at war with each other over the remaining oil supplies.

How is my alarmist prediction any less relevant than that extreme alarmism of AGW?

Welcome to a completely new and unknowable, unpredicable, future.

Richard Wakefield

oil depletion is a far far greater and more immidiate threat than AGW ever will be


PO is the more immediate and much smaller threat. GW is the larger, more significant and longer lasting threat.

Even if your predictions of PO come to pass, they will be less than the effects of GW.

For example, I could see (in the 85+% percentile worst case IMVHO) PO resulting in population declines of 100s of millions to billions of people and a re-ordering of civilization on a scale not seen in centuries.

I see *F A R* worse possibilities with worst case GW



I see *F A R* worse possibilities with worst case GW

Then you must be a god, shall we bow to the Great Alan who see all the future laid out before him?

You asked for that.

Richard Wakefield

Please note the modifier "worst case" in front of GW.


Except no one knows what the worse case is for GW. People's OPINION on the worse case all over the map. We have the Lovelock view, we have now the Hawking view (like venus), we have much more moderate views. Yours no more trumps any of these than my worst case scenario for PO (which some claim could be 95% die off)

I don't subscribe to any of them as the future is unknowable and always surprises everyone.

That's my point.

And at some point we will have to make a call as to which of the two we pour funding to, as there is no way we will be able to afford to "fix" both where they compete for funding.

Richard Wakefield

there is no way we will be able to afford to "fix" both where they compete for funding

Based upon some as yet unpublished work I have done with the Millennium Institute, the best approaches for PO & GW give the best economic results.

Specifically, using Colin Campbell's oil supply #s, the policy of a maximum push for renewable energy combined with a maximum push for electrified rail (no time to add promoting bicycling in) resulted in a 50% reduction in GHG, a 62% reduction in oil use and a 50% larger GDP after 30 years.

The numeric results of their T21-USA model support the concept that the best environmental policy is the best economic policy (also T21-North America).

PO & GW are in conflict with tar sands and CTL, but these policy choices are not as effective economically as policies that deal with both PO & GW, such as wind turbines driving electrified trains.

Best Hopes for Dealing with Both PO & GW,


One can download a limited functionality copy of either T21-USA or T21-NA from their website for personal use.


Check out the history of electric railways in Canada (I'm also a model railroader, modeling specific railroad towns in Ontario. I know many people who work for the railways here.)

Electric railways were tried here, but failed because our winters are just too brutal. Albeit that was in the times up to the 1940's, when winters here were really bad. But they still are bad enough that electric railways are not a viable option. It adds to the already increasing costs. There was a study done a while back, might be on line, would have to look for it.

Where they are in use they work well, just the weather is not kind up here. Plus the two major railways here, CN and CP just bought all new locomotives. CN has a real maintenance problem with their engines trying to keep costs down. The've even been cited by the Government for infractions in safety.

It will be really difficult and expensive here to change to electric. Not including the decades it would take to switch over. Might be a nice dream, but we should have started on it decades ago.

That said, and I have advocated before, we need to return to more railways. The 1960-1980 era decimated small branch lines in Ontario. So CP could abandon a line they would spend all kinds of money on the line for "upgrading" then complain to the government that the line was loosing vast somes of money and should be abandoned. Now those right of ways are getting hard to find being taken over by farmers and buildings.

But we are going to need those railways in the future, which means we will have to lay it all back down.

Richard Wakefield

NONSENCE? That is about the as good as it gets. Can't wait to read the peer reviewed papers you will provide as evidence, you do have them available right?


Hate to rain on your "analysis" but Alan is willing to trash all other cities in the US of A so long as San Francisco, New York and New Orleans survive.

All 3 of those cities are on the chopping block if AGW is correct.

"Faith" for Alan would have the cities survive and therefore AGW must not be a a matter of faith, but other reasons for him to find reality to AGW.

Now that that is outta the way:

At what point Junior should government stop supporting the coastal infrastructure and just write it off as going underwater?

John Coleman may have been a great weatherman at the Weather Channel, but those folks have been distorting the science for decades. Several times, I e-mailed them to complain when they said idiotic stuff on the air like, "the low pressure area pulled the moist air up from the Gulf of Mexico" or "the low pressure area pulled the cold air down from Canada".

The fact is that a fluid can not PULL anything, except as there is flow past another layer. From physics, gases PUSH. The only source of PULL in the atmosphere is gravity, which PULLS the air toward the surface of the Earth. It also PULLS the more dense cold air to the lowest elevation, which thus causes less dense warm and moist air to "rise". Saying the air can PULL is like saying one can stretch a rope and PUSH a car with it. It's either crazy or an intentional effort to present "weather" to scientifically illiterate people.

BTW, the Icecap site is a populated with the most vocal AGW denialist, many of whom are said to have received financial support from FF interests. They are the small but vocal minority that has been able to discredit the many serious scientists who have spent decades studying Global Climate Change. Time and time again, they have been shown to be wrong, yet, they continue to spread their distortions and outright lies.

E. Swanson

BTW, the Icecap site is a populated with the most vocal AGW denialist, many of whom are said to have received financial support from FF interests. They are the small but vocal minority that has been able to discredit the many serious scientists who have spent decades studying Global Climate Change. Time and time again, they have been shown to be wrong, yet, they continue to spread their distortions and outright lies.

Let me remind you that AGW scientists get BILLIONS in funding. Hellova incentive to keep the dogma going. Those trying to publish papers that do not tow the party line often get refused pubication and refused funding. Hardly scientific.

Keep your faith going, as when things finally fall appart for AGW theory, it won't be me who has the credibility to loose.

Richard Wakefield

" it won't be me who has the credibility to loose."

I think you probably meant 'lose'; spelling aside, I would agree that you don't have any credibility.

"Those trying to publish papers that do not tow the party line often get refused pubication and refused funding. Hardly scientific."

evidence to support this?

or could it be that they aren't being published in peer-reviewed publications because a) their work is not up to peer review, and that after peer review there are found to be substantial problems with their work? or b)they don't bother to submit to peer-reviewed publications (this is most common that I have seen - there is a prominent French scientist [NOT a climate scientist at all] who sticks to interviews etc. - he has not attempted to publish his "research", instead relying on the mass media to "get his message out"

this idea that there is SOOOOOO much $ out there for AGW research make me laugh - as compared to what? the income at coal and oil companies and the budgets that they posses to fight AGW research? (see Exxon Mobile's efforts for an example)

"Those trying to publish papers that do not tow the party line often get refused pubication and refused funding. Hardly scientific."

evidence to support this?

I'll get you some on the weekend.

this idea that there is SOOOOOO much $ out there for AGW research make me laugh - as compared to what? the income at coal and oil companies and the budgets that they posses to fight AGW research? (see Exxon Mobile's efforts for an example)

That's what Time Magazine tried to say in October, or what is September, which ever. They had to retract their position the following week because it proved to be false.

Past 20 years $18MILLION to counter AGW, same time frame $50 BILLION for AGW research. BTW, how do you explain the motives of skeptics of AGW that are not funded by anyone but who are in the field of climatology?

Richard Wakefield

Past 20 years $18MILLION to counter AGW, same time frame $50 BILLION for AGW research.

$2.5B per year for the last 20 years on global warming funding? I hope you don't expect anyone to take that seriously without evidence, especially as you've been ranting about "faith".

$50B would represent half of the NSF's budget over that period of time, and I can assure you that the entire field of climatology is a tiny part of that budget. As the US accounts for about 25% of world research, the odds of $50B having been spent on all of climatology, much less the narrow sub-field of global warming, is vanishingly small.

Are you seriously claiming that before 1990 the established, tyrannical paradigm was not that humans can't cause climate change? Everything you claimi about this evil Communist-treehugger conspiracy could be applied to the previous scientific consensus. How much research was suppressed, especially at schools whose engineering departments are dependent on oil company generosity, in those years?

Oh, I see, only left-wing paradigms are enforced unfairly, because right-wing paradigms are based on the ultimate truth that God created Earth for white businessmen to rape. Like the right-wing scientific belief that whites were genetically superior, leading to defective IQ tests that confirmed exactly that belief long ago, or the right-wing scientific belief that all lifeforms on Earth were unchanging, or the right-wing ecoomic belief that the velocity of money can't change and thus a prolonged capitalist depression was impossible.

Global warming deniers are like the enemies of evolution and Galileo not just because of their method, but because their agenda is to protect the social hierarchy at all costs. Whites over blacks, men over women, morality over equality, and property owners over the environment. Every one of these beliefs have had unpaid academic propagandists, because their of need to support the lie that the existing unjust system was beneficial.

You are not a steely-eyed revolutionary out to overthrow an evil King. You are the King's henchman, and global warming is proof that the King is a homicidal, short-sighted idiot.

Good point. It's AGW that has overcome the "establishement" view. Trying to claim that AGW denial is being ignored because it "doesn't toe the party line" doesn't make sense.

Global warming deniers are like the enemies of evolution and Galileo not just because of their method, but because their agenda is to protect the social hierarchy at all costs.

This is the essence of an area of psychological study called Right-Wing Authoritarianism. You can listen to a very enlightening podcast on this subject at the website Electric Politics; in it, George Kenney interviews psychologist Bob Altemeyer.

I disagree with your premise, but partly agree with your conclusion.

To an extent it is true that there is a status quo in science which resists change. There is a very good reason for that. It ensures that change occurs due to improved science, and not due to a fad or external influence. The "party line" in science is good science. Of course, papers get rejected or research refused all the time, because they are poor scientifically.

Uniquely in science there is a great deal of kudos to be gained by published something new, but it must be sound science. Obviously if science was dogma, it would have rejected all those scientists like Einstein who made radical proposals. Science could only have got where it is today by overturning dogma.

Therefore there is a balance between radical new theories and existing theories, and the only method of change is through scientifically provable theories. We can be confident that even if science doesn't have all the answers, it will have the best answers so far.

An unfortunate aspect of climate science is the politicization of science. Good scientists like Hansen become politicians (and bad scientists) when they go on chat shows to talk about "death trains". It is impossible to predict the future with 100% accuracy, therefore scientific projections should always be expressed as a probability.

Now the public has been set by Ban Ki Moon and others to expect a catastrophic 6m sea level rise in 10 years, which is in the 0.1% range of probability. If anything less occurs, you can be sure skeptics will be all over it, and the science will lose credibility.

The response to skeptics or deniers must not be to get more extreme or exaggerate small possibilities, it is essential to stay within what can be predicted with confidence. Otherwise you are handing them the argument on a plate.

Thank you. A sound and accurate post. Very refreshing. Now with that in mind go and have a read at www.worldclimatereport.com on the peer reviewed scientific papers where the evidence does not support AGW theory. Stick to the evidence, and keep the politics and emotion out of it. Then come to a conclusion.

Just a bit of clarification and a quick story. My position is that I do not believe anything. I let the evidence show me what is likely to be a close view of how the universe works. I had an experience long ago that forces that on me. To never again hold a dogmatic position. In my younger days I held the belief that the universe was not created and was infinite in its age. I was so against religion that having a created universe was simply out of the question (regardless of the mode of creation, including purely natural). Then I read The First Three Minutes . It changed everything and shattered my belief system. I vowed never again will I believe anything, but stick just to the evidence.

If that makes me uncredible in anyone's mind, that's your problem not mine.

Richard Wakefield

Now with that in mind go and have a read at www.worldclimatereport.com on the peer reviewed scientific papers where the evidence does not support AGW theory.

According to Pat Michaels who runs that blog, he says he agrees with the fundamentals of AGW theory, albeit at the low end of the IPCC predictions. His group gets funding from Exxon and other energy lobbies.

This proves my point made elsewhere, even the FF funded skeptics are in agreement with the theory of AGW, if not the future projections.

That site also funny.
Funny as in pathetic.

Um, you take reading a popular science book causing you to change your mind as analogous to claiming that if you read the non-published scientific papers you can see spot the a big conspiracy? The First Three Minutes is a good popular summary of what the scientific research says, but if, for the sake of argument, it contained deliberate distortions it doesn't contain anything like the level of detail that you could spot the inconsistencies. There is a difference between documents that contain enough information to tell you what the scientific "consensus" is and those that contain enough information for critical evaluation.

I'm an academic and can critically read papers in my own field and spot where the viewpoint is carefully chosen to avoid raising a difficult issue, where the experiment done is not giving meaningful data, etc. I don't have the in-field knowledge to read climatology papers and spot flawed logic, etc. Consequently I don't indulge in armchair quarterbacking but try and take the considered opinion of those people with experience in those areas. And listening to the discussion, I can't see more than a small fraction of active researchers saying the probability that "AGW to a degree that affects humans is occurring" is small enough to be ignored. (That, to my mind is the question that's relevant for public policy: it's not "is AGW happening?" but "is AGW definitely not happening?".)

I'm an academic and can critically read papers in my own field and spot where the viewpoint is carefully chosen to avoid raising a difficult issue, where the experiment done is not giving meaningful data, etc.

Then I assume that you read the reviews on WorldClimateReport?

All it takes is one fundamental bit of evidence to topple a theory. Add many little ones together and the theory has serious problems, especially when the predictions don't pan out. Example. Polar bears going extinct? Not according to World Wildlife Fund Polar Bears on Thin Ice, Not Really! Just another bit of evidence that does not support the alarmism of AGW theory.

BTW, it would be totally illogical for me to be swayed ONLY by one book, after reading The First Three Minutes I did a LOT of digging and reading of cosmology articles and books, uncluding a couple of university physics cources I took on the subject, just to make sure I understood it correctly. But the book was the pivotal moment.

Richard Wakefield

That link does not go to World Wildlife Fund.
It goes to nutter right wing site.
The citation to a WWF report at your link is at
best garbled.
Why is anyone responding to the troll?

Why is anyone responding to the troll?

As Alan said - incorrect statements should be challenged.

Me, I'm awaiting Junior to answer my question, for I am interested at what point society says 'Yup, all that costal buildout - its going underwater so best to stop spending on it and start spending on moving the 80% of the population inland'

A survey of the animals' numbers in Canada's eastern Arctic has revealed that they are thriving, not declining, because of mankind's interference in the environment.

In the Davis Strait area, a 140,000-square kilometre region, the polar bear population has grown from 850 in the mid-1980s to 2,100 today.

"There aren't just a few more bears. There are a hell of a lot more bears," said Mitch Taylor, a polar bear biologist who has spent 20 years studying the animals.

His findings back the claims of Inuit hunters who have long claimed that they were seeing more bears.

Polar bears 'thriving as the Arctic warms up'

Richard Wakefield

My reading of "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" suggests that its author--Thomas Kuhn--would take exception to this statement:

The "party line" in science is good science. Of course, papers get rejected or research refused all the time, because they are poor scientifically.

Kuhn suggests that "the party line" in science is "good" scientific endeavor that falls within the realm of the prevailing scientific paradigm. It seems to me that we are on the cusp of a paradigm shift with respect to the science of climate change. The paradigm shift requires scientists to fully accept the idea that collective human behavior can have planetary consequences. Are all scientists fully and completely open to this notion? Why would we even expect them to be? (Note that the scientists on the Manhattan Project seemed ignorant of this viewpoint. I suspect that this mindset still exists; in fact, I feel very certain that there are many scientists who either deny or ignore the interconnectedness of existence.)

As Kuhn points out, the paradigm in which we operate creates our bias against things outside of that paradigm. This is no less true for the scientist than for the milkman.

The forces in opposition to the idea of anthropogenic climate change come mostly from those people who will continue to profit from the opposite, existing view. Namely, the industrial elite and their unscruplous hirelings.

Having said that, I don't find scientific opposition to the idea to be difficult to understand. Research or theory that is outside of the prevailing paradigm will be refused or rejected. Paradigm change comes slowly. Being on the cusp of that change can be a frustrating thing for those who are ahead of the curve and fearful for those stuck in the old paradigm; they have a lot to lose.

The same can be said for peak oil.


As the deputy editor of JAMA once stated: "There seems to be no study too fragmented, no hypothesis too trivial, no literature citation too biased or too egotistical, no design too warped, no methodology too bungled, no presentation of results too inaccurate, too obscure, and too contradictory, no analysis too self-serving, no argument too circular, no conclusions too trifling or too unjustified, and no grammar and syntax too offensive for a paper to end up in print." - Rennie Drummond

Peer review does not achieve what most people think it does. As always, look at methodolgy and results and form your own conclusions on subjects - this is the correct way to study something (assuming you cannot study it directly yourself). The former editor of BMJ recommended this approach after years of exposure to the peer review process, its inherent flaws and the pervasive hand of corporate science.

Peer review does not achieve what most people think it does.

It's important to recognize that peer review hugely improves the quality of published papers, but does not result in perfection. There are all kinds of publication venues, of varying quality, all the way down to the widely derided "publication mills" - you pay to get published, and woe to your career if someone catches one of those places on your CV.

But compare the quality of published papers to the quality of what's on the web. It ain't perfect, but it filters out 99% of the nonsense, making the signal-to-noise ratio immeasurably better. Demanding perfection from anything will just lead to disappointment, though.

"It's important to recognize that peer review hugely improves the quality of published papers,"

That is highly debatable and depends on what you mean by "quality". If you mean it improves science, then many studies suggest peer review actually encourages mediocrity and stifles scientific advancement. Issues in peer review are being raised by some organisations (particularly in medicine), but the process is still plagued by conflicts of interest, bias (preserving the status quo), risk aversion, inability to detect fraud, lack of statistical discernment, etc.

The following is similar to many comments I have read by journal editors on the subject: "We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong."

If you mean it improves science, then many studies suggest peer review actually encourages mediocrity and stifles scientific advancement.


Open a random journal. Then open a random web page on the same topic. Tell me there's not a quality difference.

the process is still plagued by conflicts of interest, bias (preserving the status quo), risk aversion, inability to detect fraud, lack of statistical discernment, etc.

Absolutely. But it's still much, much better than having no process at all.

Peer review is just a filter that improves the signal-to-noise ratio of what's out there, allowing researchers (and others who are interested) to more efficiently keep up with the research in the field. There's simply not enough time to keep up with the research everyone is doing, so peer review helps make the most of what limited time researchers have.

Is it perfect? Of course not. But it's more effective than having to rely on word-of-mouth alone.

"We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process"

I've never gotten that impression. It's experts in a field judging the merits of work in that field, rather like is done in many other contexts, and - like everything human - is imperfect. I've never had the sense that people saw or portrayed it as "quasi-sacred", but perhaps that's because too many of the people I know are part of the process, and hence know its limitations firsthand.

Indeed, if anyone tends to treat the process as quasi-sacred, it's the people writing the reviews, and that's simply because we know how important it is that we do our best to make the filter effective, get good information out to other researchers while offering advice on how to improve lesser results. To a large extent, this filter controls scientific knowledge, so it's very, very important that those of us effecting it take it seriously and do our utmost to make it as good as possible.

Not everybody does an equally good job, of course, but the large majority of reviews I've seen have been good. Any large enough group will always have people who cause problems, so it's entirely non-surprising that there will be cases of all of the problems you mention and more. It's woefully misleading to paint that as the general state of affairs, though, and does a grave disservice to (most of) the scientists as well as to those wondering how the process works.

Let me remind you that AGW scientists get BILLIONS in funding.

Your either quoting Rush Limbaugh or Sen. Inhofe.

In the real world, the ENTIRE NSF budget is only around $6 billion, and a very small fraction of that goes to AGW research.

So much for credibility.

Then you did not understand what I said. Over 20 YEARS world wide, AGW funding was around $50BIllion, as noted in Time Magazine, I'll get the ref for you.

Richard Wakefield


Got a great idea. Take your concerns that you have with the conclusions with AGW theory and the science involved, put it in a concise document and email it over to the people at realclimate.org asking them to comment on it. They are much more qualified to answer your concerns than people on this board. Once you get that done let us know the outcome.

I keep asking for this, skent, but they never seem to pull themselves together to do it.

The science behind it is pretty clear for anyone with the sense to read such things ... unfortunately the science of spin is the thing most studied today in this country these days.

One has to wonder what their refuge will be if the ice cap melt last summer was truly the beginning of a nonlinear response in the region ... will they be baking, burning, boiling, drowning, etc, and eventually they stop picking nits and just squeal "its god's will"?

One has to wonder what their refuge will be if the ice cap melt last summer was truly the beginning of a nonlinear response in the region ... will they be baking, burning, boiling, drowning, etc, and eventually they stop picking nits and just squeal "its god's will"?

Since my worldview is based on evidence, if the evidence for AGW becomes more concise, less tattered by contradictory evidence, and it's predictions become reality, then I will accept it.

The question is, if AGW theory falls flat, will you be just as willing to reject it too?

And if I did put something together and send it to RealClimate do you honestly think I'll get a rational reply, or just flamed out? I read the site often. It's called being balanced. I read the other's position.

BTW, I'm about as hard core an atheist as one can get, how did Dawkins put it, 8 or 9 on his scale?

Richard Wakefield

... then I will accept it

Then, however, it will be too late to take effective action.

You are actively campaigning against wind turbines, preferring to burn coal instead for a small direct economic savings.

Your personal standards of proof are SO high that they will be meet, if ever, long after the time for effective mitigation has passed.

The IPPC represents the consensus scientific view of what proof is enough to guide public policy. From slightly vague memory they concluded that there is a greater than 90% probability that the dominant force behind Global Warming are human actions.

Absolute scientific certainty is not required for public policy changes. "Preponderance of the evidence" is more than good enough !

After your ad hominem attacks your sudden devotion to "scientific truth" lacks credibility.

And your utter ignorance of the characteristics of your own provinces electrical supply, and the public policy you urged based upon that ignorance, bespeaks of the scientific rigor and intellectual analysis that supports your positions.


You are actively campaigning against wind turbines, preferring to burn coal instead for a small direct economic savings.

Alan, you know what? Since I have REPEATEDLY stated to you directly that THIS IS NOT TRUE of my view on either wind turbines or coal use, I have to conlude that you are now lying. Please stop putting words in my mouth that are not true.

Richard Wakefield

You have stated on another thread that you have told people that wind turbines only run 20% of the time (actual capacity factor 29%) and they have agreed that WTs are not useful or worth supporting in Ontario. That is actively campaigning against wind turbines (and the most effective means of campaigning BTW, word of mouth).

You have also supported continued coal burning instead of phasing out the coal fired plants, Canada "tearing up Kyoto" so that y'all would have no obligations to even attempt to reduce carbon emissions. You are concerned and against even slightly more expensive electricity by shifting to wind from coal.

As for ad hominem attacks, you certainly "throw the first stone".

I believe that my statement fairly represents what you posted in an earlier thread. And my "reputation economics" are adequate here on TOD.


You have stated on another thread that you have told people that wind turbines only run 20% of the time (actual capacity factor 29%) and they have agreed that WTs are not useful or worth supporting in Ontario. That is actively campaigning against wind turbines (and the most effective means of campaigning BTW, word of mouth).

Again a complete misrepresentation of what I said. To be clear, I said if there is sufficient wind energy then go for wind power. If there is not, then we should not be trying to pretend there is. In Ontario there is insufficient wind power to justify their installations (you never did tell me at what percent output you would consider inadequate). I NEVER said that wind power should NEVER be used anywhere. Stop twisting my position. I didn't say run only 20% of the time, the report was clear, 20% average output over a year. (16-19% in the summer).

And yes, Kyoto needs to be ripped up. Unachievable. One reason: http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2326/stories/20070112002310400.htm

Richard Wakefield

I didn't say run only 20% of the time, the report was clear, 20% average output over a year

From YOUR own post !!

Ontario's large wind farms completing one year of service generated on average 29% of what they could have under ideal conditions


In Ontario there is insufficient wind power to justify their installations (you never did tell me at what percent output you would consider inadequate)

29% capacity factor would be just fine. Nice if they could get up to US average 32%, but certainly not essential.

With Ontario's massive hydro power, I could see getting twice OPG's goal of 12% of annual total MWh as quite doable (i.e. 1/4th) with some transmission upgrades. That is Ontario could run off of nuclear, hydro and wind and emit no GHG for electrical production.

And, in your own words, your anti-wind campaign

Look, I've spent the last couple days asking people if they bought a product that only produce 20% output would they be happy with it. Everyone has said obviously not. When I then explain that wind turbines only produce 20% output that are taken aback, did not realize, and now don't think they are such a good thing

and your opposition to Kyoto is NOT because, despite best efforts, it is unachievable, but, in your own words,

Getting off coal completely is a big mistake

I am not twisting your words.


I'm confused.
Did you not claim to be a creationist?
You also claim to be a "hard core atheist".
Could you explain the compatibility.
Do you accept the theory of evolution?

I'm not a creationist, never have been, never said I was. Been a life long atheist and proud of it.

Richard Wakefield

I googled "JR Wakefield creationist" and got quite a few hits.



I googled "JR Wakefield creationist" and got quite a few hits.

Indeed you did. You got articles by him arguing against creationists.

You might want to try reading your "evidence" before presenting it.

Yes they do indeed argue against. I should be more observant.
I apologize for any aspersions I cast.

While you're at it send the email to the guys at http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/about.php
They specialize in spotting denialism wherever it may rear its ugly little head ask them what they think of your arguments as well.

"Denialism is the employment of rhetorical tactics to give the appearance of argument or legitimate debate, when in actuality there is none. These false arguments are used when one has few or no facts to support one's viewpoint against a scientific consensus or against overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They are effective in distracting from actual useful debate using emotionally appealing, but ultimately empty and illogical assertions."

Let's see you deliver on this howler. In Canada, CFCAS did not get any new funding and is essentially dead. NSERC is too busy spending vast sums on particle physics experiments (e.g. multiple hundreds of millions of dollars on neutrino detectors). There is no way that NASA and the NSF funding for atmospheric modeling is $2.5 billion per year since the funding structure is very similar to Canada and NASA has recently stopped funding atmospheric science and has focused on fulfilling Bush's tin can to Mars "dream".

Here is one reference to the $50 Billion funding. It was in Newsweek where the issue came up and retraction had to be made.


Interesting, google "$50 billion" "Climate Change" together and you find out that Citigroup said it would fund $50 Billion over 10 years to fight climate change. So yes there is a HUGE incentive to keep the theory alive at all costs. Though one has to wonder how they will be able to keep that commitment now.

So you see, I just didn't get the $50billion out of thin air. If you have a problem with it, take it up with Newsweek staff.

Richard Wakefield

Are these the folks receiving money? We all have to eat, no?


I would watch your YouTube lecture, if I only had a high speed connection, which I do not want as it would cost more money than I'm willing to spend these days. Maybe later.

Patrick Michaels and the others at www.worldclimatereport.com have been against AGW for many years. I used to read their stuff, but quit some time back, unless some issue was posted on the usenet. There's also the Idso's site and others that give the impression of a large number of researchers being against AGW. I hope you read RealClimate too, as they offer an opportunity for many different points of view.

For example, there's a new paper making the rounds in which the author claims that the Earth was warmer about 1000 CE than in the recent past. I've corresponded with him and he sent me a copy of his data and method, which I hope to check out, if I can find the motivation. I critiqued the author's earlier work, a critique which was published and I may try to publish again, if his work this time turns out to be as poor as that before. In the mean time, the denialist are mouthing off about this new debunking of the work published in the IPCC reports. Even if the work turns out to be wrong, the damage will have been done by the time anyone can make this known. The denialist are very good at spreading disinformation and propaganda and there's little hope to rebut their efforts.

As for billions spend on climate research, sure, there's lots of "Big Science" involved, since gathering global data is a big effort. Ocean science and satellites don't happen cheaply and without them, all other efforts are small potatoes. There's a considerable fraction of that research which would be done were it not for AGW concerns, since there are other uses for the data. The satellite temperature data from the MSU is just one example, as this instrument was designed for weather prediction and only later was used for long term climate analysis. There are still questions about the accuracy of those satellite temperature data, with several groups finding different trends from the same time series.

E. Swanson

Aren't many denialists now saying that changes in temperature are natural? But then isn't it still critical to understand "natural" variations that have not previously occurred while the Earth was so heavily populated and its resources so stressed? If mild natural temperature variations finished off the Roman and Mayan civiilizations, wouldn't a prudent humanity invest money to detect new variations just so it could defend the vulnerable? So wouldn't this money have been spent anyway?

Unless we are to say that those who suffer from natural variations, like the now-famous 1930s American anomaly associated with the Dust Bowl, deserved what they got. Or perhaps what some of us really fear is that the research will uncover human causes, and the vulnerable will demand compensation from the people and nations that mostly caused the variation.

Then spend tens of billions retrofiting buildings in active tectonic zones. If the issue is to spend money on getting people out of harm's way, then AGW is just one of many worthy reasons to do so. So why isn't there more for money such other harmful events? Wouldn't spending more on AGW be less spent on other worthy and maybe more imminent problems?

Richard Wakefield

The potential deaths and property destruction from earthquakes are many orders of magnitude less that the potential from GW. Four or five orders of magnitude.


Tell that to the people who die each year from tectonic activity. Besides, that's just a guess on your part, unless you can post here your mathematical model to substantiate that claim.

You guys like to demand evidence from me, well you're gonna get it right back.

Richard Wakefield

In historic earthquakes, rarely do more than 100,000 people die.

There are 100 million people in Bangla Desh that will be inundated by sea level rise.

That is three orders of magnitude there. Add droughts and floods from changed weather patterns and our agriculture systems are not suited to the new climate.


There are 100 million people in Bangla Desh that will be inundated by sea level rise.

That's assuming 3 things. A) sea level will rise to the point of making them a threat. There is no evidence this is a "Will Be". B) it assumes that this 100 million people are incapable of being relocated to higher ground. Hence would not die directly because of that. And C) what time frame? By the time this could be a threat what will their population be? 2x current? Will they all be starving to death anyway from being beyond their own carrying capacity? There is no way you can make a valid case that such a prediction as yours is a "will be". We just saw that over history deaths due to weather events has gone down, significantly, even though the population has gone up considerably.

What you presented is not a mathematical model of deaths due to AGW, but a PREDICTION, and a rather scant one at that. Not even close.

Oh, and BTW, the next "big one" that could hit Los Angeles is predicted to kill up to 300,000.

Richard Wakefield

Natural variations is the fixation of scientific illiterates (fact not ad hominem). You often hear gems of "logic" such as : if we can't predict the temperature a week from now then we cannot hope to predict it a century from now. WRONG. The issue is the thermodynamic envelope in which the weather sits and not details of the weather patterns (there is a continuum infinity of weather states that sit in the same energy envelope and nonlinearity makes sure that you cannot solve for them without total knowledge about the initial conditions and the full set of processes in your equations). Doubling the CO2 WILL change the thermodynamic balance of the atmosphere. This is not optional or debatable. The problem is how and what sort of negative feedbacks (e.g. cloud albedo) will play a role. Current models capture enough of the physics to give meaningful results. Low level cloud activity will not increase magically to just the right level to offset the warming. At the same time, the upper troposphere and lowermost stratosphere will experience an increase in humidity thereby increasing infrared trapping -- this has been confirmed by observations. It takes energy for these processes to proceed, variability is not an energy source. Variability is some moronic catch-all for people who have no clue about the MECHANISMS at play in the atmosphere.

Doubling the CO2 WILL change the thermodynamic balance of the atmosphere. This is not optional or debatable.

Actually there is debate about how that will affect things. Saying this is not debatable is a dogmatic statement. Everything in science is debatable.

The problem is how and what sort of negative feedbacks (e.g. cloud albedo) will play a role. Current models capture enough of the physics to give meaningful results.

Now that is HIGHLY debatable. There are well respected climatologists who say the models are not even close.

"Models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are incoherent and invalid from a scientific point of view. On the basis of actual scientific fact it is not possible to exclude the idea that climate changes can be due to natural causes and that it is plausible that 'man is not to blame.' " Dr. Antonino Zichichi, President of the World Federation of Scientists.

Now we see a paper that shows that as the temperature increases, it increases precipitation and buffers that increase.

Variability is some moronic catch-all for people who have no clue about the MECHANISMS at play in the atmosphere.

We do know there are cycles. And we do know that we do not yet understand all of how the climate works. Thus your statements are dogmatic, as well as insulting to the intellegence of those who challenge the orthodoxy, and not a valid scientific view of climate science.

Richard Wakefield

Those trying to publish papers that do not tow the party line often get refused pubication and refused funding.

Those who do toe the party line also often get refused publication and refused funding.

That's because publication and funding are hard to get, and the majority of submitted papers and grant proposals are rejected. In my field, it's normal to submit three and have one accepted.

The main-principles behind the understandings of Global Warming is not meteorology – that is (for the most part) quantum mechanics. So a weather-man is not entitled to understand this, unless he also has a graduation in physics/quantum’s…


So you are saying that the only people who have the right to read and understand climate science are physicists!!


EVERYONE has the right, and ability, to read the papers and come to their own conclusions. I'm no scientist, but I spent 2 years teaching myself geology, never took any university courses in the subject. Yet in 1988 I published in a geology journal a solution to a geological enigma and at the same time refuting a well published PhD in physics who is a card carrying Young Earth Creationist.

So don't give me this crap that a lowly "weather-man" does not have the intellectual ability to understand climate science.

Typical, attack the person, not the science. Soon as you do that your faith is in serious trouble.

Richard Wakefield

I have been waiting for you, jrwakefield ;-)

And yes, I mean to really understand how/why the heat radiation from earth bound for space – are doing “more of an increased ping-pong maneuver” between the atmosphere and the ground with more CO2 involved – then you’ll need some quantum understanding at some certain levels … I don’t think that’s basics for a weather-man. He can tell wind , form no wind, and so on..

The heat will eventually leak back into space though, after a minor delay…
That particular DELAY (more ping-pong) IS the “additional warming thing” actually …

Sorry, I cannot agree. Those who do the research my be in that, and other disciplines, but that does not mean in any way shape or form that the results and understanding is beyond anyone who wants to understand it.

It's being totally arrogant to claim that only specialists of a field can be the only ones to tell us what it means. Besides being absolutely not true.

Richard Wakefield

Richard, you are creating a false dichotomy here. It is not a case of "specalists understand but non specalists cannot". It is far more complicated, and scaled than that.

The more complicated the subject, the more you have to specalize to understand it. Anyone, with only a small amount of study, can understand very simple things. But something as complicated, with so many influncing factors, as global warming, you need far more than the average education to fully understand it. Joe Sixpack, with absolutely no understanding of all the complicated physics involved in GW will never understand it. And the better his/her education and understanding of the physics involved, the better he/she will understand it.

All that being said, I do not believe one in one thousand of all the AGW global warming deniers understand even one tenth of the physics involved in the subject. And no, I am not saying that I understand everything involved in the subject either. But I look at those who accept AGW and those who deny AGW and I must conclude that the former have far more scientific specalists on their side while the latter have far more beer dranking good old boys on their side. ;-)

Ron Patterson

You know, Ron, I think the problem here is that a particular poster's pack is somewhat shy of six.

Get used to it. This is truly about the religion of progress and property now.

If only part of what we discuss at The Oil Drum comes to pass, millions, if not billions, will die from plague, pestilence, war and famine. Truly a fit subject for religion - if science dares find your particular lifestyle guilty of having caused it.

Your making an assumption that what the scientist has for knowledge, and is specializing in, will lead to the correct answer. If the working premise is wrong, and the specialists that can move and work toward that premise, do not follow the rules of science, then they do not guarantee they have found the correct methods and techniques to actually model the climate of a planet. One much larger and complex than anything ever tried before.

As for your snide commit toilforoil about posters and their intellect, please keep posting such gems as that one, it really proves your point.

Hi Ron.

Joe Sixpack, with absolutely no understanding of all the complicated physics involved in GW will never understand it. And the better his/her education and understanding of the physics involved, the better he/she will understand it.

And one could argue that that is PRECISELY why those with a hidden agenda can get away with persuading politicians to go the direction they want. I'm not saying that's happening with AGW totally, but when you look at the groups who are most vocal at the extreme alarmism you find that they are hard-core leftists (eg The Suzuki Foundation).

Yes it IS complex. And that if anything means even more effort is needed to make sure it's right.

Ron, you gotta admit that my position on the science, how one makes statements on theories and evidence, is right. Hell, we used these exact same methods I am here against creationism. Many of the reponses I get here I've seen so many times before when I was fighting creation science (for 18 years). Same types of replies to challenges.

You know I'm right on the science, how it works. Now apply that to AGW theory. As I have said all along IT MIGHT BE CORRECT, but what is holding me back is these bits of evidence, and lack of predictions coming true, that makes me, and many scientists who have nothing more to gain than the integrity of science, a skeptic.

Richard Wakefield

Holly macaroni ... Mr Wakefield you say:

Many of the reponses I get here I've seen so many times before when I was fighting creation science (for 18 years)…

You know I'm right on the science, how it works. Now apply that to AGW theory….

People using 18 years debating “creation science” and then in the next paragraph claiming “You know I'm right on the science” …. Bear no credibility to me, what so ever ….

If you are sober – then you should know there is NO WAY one can argue with a 100% certainty that the universe “just took place” or “were started by God” – we don’t have that ultimate skill within us – simple as that- there will always arise another Q from your last A …

Climate OTOH, IS NOT THAT difficult

IPCC is the most credible on the climate stage, so far.
And also keep in mind that IPCC set out to “try to find” any links between human pollutions and a changing climate .. for this or that reason !?!? (pros/cons)

They concluded that temperature will rise … with certain consequences. If the tell-tell sings were opposite …. IPCC would tell “its getting colder” … if we continue this/that .. then blah blah..

Richard listen up : The IPCC is there to help you

Richard listen up : The IPCC is there to help you

The UN is a political body first. I don't trust much from them, and I'm not alone:

"The IPCC, like any UN body, is political. The final conclusions are politically driven." Philip Stott, emeritus professor of biogeography at the University of London

"This claim, that the IPCC is the world's top 1500 or 2500 scientists -- you look at the bibliographies of the people and it's simply not true. There's quite a number of non-scientists. Those people who are specialists and but don't agree with the polemic and resign --and there have been a number that I know of -- they are simply put on the author list and become part of this '2500 of the worlds top scientists.'" Paul Reiter, Pasteur Institute, Paris

Using the the IPCC is an appeal of Truth by Authority. Something my profs told us to always stay clear of. And I do.

Richard Wakefield

Yeah. Totally. Absolutely. Spoken like a true troll.

The problem is not that non-specialists in a field can never have anything useful to say about an issue. In fact, it's the opposite in this case. The AGW-deniers are using an ex-weatherman's rant as some sort of argument from authority.

It's bunk.

NOt sure who you directed that at sgage,

but I haven't defended the Meterologist that founded the weather channel. I think his position that Climate change is not happening is incorrect. There are different camps. Those that think nothing is happening. those that think something is happening but its a cycle and other forces are the cause, and those that swear they know the answer and its man and his power hungry culture. And this is the main cause.

then of course others .

Though I see you see that that the argument that a specialist has the answer is nothing more than a glorified "argument from authority" hidden behind a veil of assumptions.

and as a side piece of information,

There was an earthquake a day or so ago on the Island of Martinique.


Only reason I bring it up is because there is a volcano there. Mt. Pellee.

google it, it last erupted around 1902 for several days.

Its not "awakened" , but this 7.2 shaker was centered about 9 miles from the volcano. Some might think magma was on the move. Hope its plugged and can vent, it wiped out 30,000 plus in a brief moment.

This is not really an energy story, but I thought it might be of interest, to peak-minded types who want a college education but don't want to go into debt.

Pssst! Wanna Go to College for Free?

Tim Stroud's alarm goes off at 3:40 a.m. every weekday morning, a time when most of his classmates at the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo., are fast asleep. By 4:30 a.m., he is out in the pasture in his work boots gathering the college's herd of 50 Holstein cows into the barn for their morning milking session. His unusual campus job—working in the dairy 15 hours a week—is a small price to pay for what he sees as one of the best deals today in higher education: a free degree.

At the College of the Ozarks, all students' tuition costs are offset by a mandatory work-study program. "If I was going to go to school, I was going to try to do it with the least amount of debt possible," said Stroud, a sophomore from Hume, N.Y., who wants to pursue a career in agriculture.

...Stroud is one of several thousand students in the U.S. taking advantage of colleges that come with no sticker shock. Tuition-free colleges—also known as full-scholarship colleges—remain one of higher education's best-kept secrets. True to their name, they are institutions that guarantee to cover the entire student-body's tuition. There are only a handful of such schools in the U.S., which is one reason they are often overlooked by students, parents, and high school guidance counselors during the college search, says Sandy Baum, a senior policy analyst at the College Board. "It's not a trend of the future. It's just a certain niche market. These schools have unique situations that allow them to go tuition-free," she said.

The article notes that many of these colleges focus on engineering.

Or, if the kids are young, move to Kalamazoo, Michigan. The "Kalamazoo Promise" will pay up to 100% of tuition and fees to any in-state public college or university.


Plus Michigan is situated perfectly for the future, with its various natural resources, beauty, and infrastructure.

If I recall correctly, Jim Howard Kunstler, in "The Long Emergency" even mentioned Michigan (Grand Rapids in particular) as a good post peak oil "haven".

Pretty cold in the winter.

Yeah, but for how much longer? ;-)

I spent the first half of my life in NY's Adirondacks and VT, 2nd half (so far ;-)) in North Carolina. Without FF's, I druther be up there burniing wood all winter than down here sweating my arse off all summer. Another way to put it, you can always put on another layer, but there's only so many you can take off...

No bad weather, just wrong clothing! ;)

Seriously though, a 650-800 fill down jacket of reasonable quality plus a decent hat, gloves, and comfortable boots should be plenty warm to see anyone through a Michigan winter if they aren't working outdoors.

I would also mention that snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are superb exercise and excellent ways of communing with nature during the cold months. You will want to wear something more breathable than a down jacket though.

You must be right - after all, the native Americans pursued mammoths into Alaska when the world was as cold as it's ever gotten, without stoves, cars, or roads. People will do an amazing variety of amazing things to survive.

And others live today in the Amazon, without down jackets or air conditioning.

Best Hopes for Adaptability (and traditional architecture in New Orleans),


ugg. My wife hails from GR, in-laws are there, and so I know the area well. It is a suburban sprawl of sameness, surrounding a still bleeding inner-city. I am surprised that Kunstler thought well of it. Better than Detroit, but is that really the contest you want to be judging?

On the other hand, if that's really where you want to be, Michigan real estate prices are cheap and getting cheaper fast. Foreclosures are high, and job losses from auto and auto-related industries are not ebbing yet.

One positive is that the Great Lakes will continue to be an incredible resource for low energy input transportation well into the future. Of course this is provided that they are not permanently drained and damaged by the Southwest, Southeast, ethanol producers, etc.

Grand Rapids certainly has its share of sprawl, particularly with the new southern freeway M-6, but I think Kunstler is suggesting that Michigan's water resources, and farmland are in good shape... and that the old downtown delapidated area would actually be much more amenable to retrofit than cities like New York...

He even mentions that Detroit, being right on the waterway, and with lots of downtown land ready to be restored, might have a long term future. (pp. 291-293)

I personally prefer the Lake Michigan shoreline north of Muskegon, all the way up to Mackinac City. Seems ideal to me, with the good farmland, abundant water, forests, and beauty.

It seems to be Politically Incorrect to boost Michigan here, but well....

It sounds like the best place to raise kids if you want them to get college degrees in the US right now!

Go, Michigan!

Louisiana has a policy of free tuition & fees at any state school for any LA high school graduate that graduates high school with a certain GPA and maintains that GPA in college.

A small stipend for books is included (rarely large enough, I think $150/semester).

The GPA requirements were lowered to the level of the then seating Governor (do as well as him and get a free ride). A certain justice in that :-)

For budding engineers, a co-op job program + TOPPS is enough to graduate broke but debt free.

Best Hopes for Louisiana Education,


My God flyover country is God's country, or something.

Do you know how hard it is to get a degree in a liberal stronghold like California or Hawaii? It ranged from damn-near-impossible to flat-out-impossible.

California used to have something called the Cal-Grant that worked that way, but it was too equitable I guess, too rewarding to native-born working-class types who were smart and willing to put in the work for college, but didn't have money.

Again I must cite the article in The Economist, America In Red And Blue, that states the differences as objectively as they can, but reveals the more "progressive" states to be ones with much more social stratification, and where the elite send their kids to private schools, where the "Red" states tend to have towns where everyone goes to the same, public, school, and where a kid has a chance to go to college no matter what.

I'm surprised such programs still exist - I thought they were long gone.

I started to get a clue about this when I noticed that engineers in California of my own non-privelaged group all got their degrees outside of California.

Suburbia is not being protected; it is being saved for dessert.

That line is from the Suburban Lemmings article - wonderful stuff, carves away all concerns of MOL, AGW, NPK, and gets right down to what it means for those who dwell in suburbia. I like this discussion of spiritual poverty and whatnot. The rest of the world is going to veto any apocalyptic war, as much as they can; the United States is only a hyperpower until everyone else says "ewwwww" and dumps the dollar. That event is happening slowly right now and the change is as irreversible as glaciers receding. Further stupidity from the Bush administration will not restore our former glory - they can only accelerate the process.

We are living in interesting times, per that old Chinese curse.

The decline of the Roman Empire - argueably took a century.

Military societies often see war as the final options.

What's the outcome when that same society has the largest number of nuclear weapons on the planet?

The US still has a gun to everyone's head.

I don't think they are bluffing. I neither do many other leaders (hence military spending increases in Russia, China, etc)

The only way the can call the bluff is to get more guns themselves.

In some sense of the word "empire" we are still living in the Roman Empire. The capitol has shifted westward, but seems to be drifting back east again.

The way I look at it, the Bush-Cheney complex wins either way -- either they get the resources by threat of force, or they get the $$$ by arming both sides in the coming War to End All Wars.

Course, the "morning after" is going to hurt like hell, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

"the United States is only a hyperpower until everyone else says "ewwwww" and dumps the dollar."

I'm sorry but I LOL every time I read that!!

The sooner everyone dumps the dollar and we get the blank canvas to set up a rational country again, the better!!

Ewwwwwwwwww LOL!

The link above: "Will Saudi Arabia Boost Its Oil Output on Dec 5th?" contains a very interesting comment.

The International Energy Agency is forecasting that global demand will climb by 2.1 million bpd to 88 million bpd next year. Global supply however, is forecast to rise a scant 200,000 bpd to 85.6 million bpd, leaving a growing shortfall that would exhaust all of Saudi’s spare capacity.

So the IEA is forecasting oil supply will rise only by 200,000 barrels per day. Or was it them that made that forecast? At any rate, if the oil supply rises by only 200,000 barrels per day next year, over this year, that will still leave them well short of 2005 levels. That will leave the average at least 300,000 barrels per day below 2005 levels. I am betting that the 2008 average will be over 500,000 bp/d below 2005 levels.

But all that aside, the interesting point is that all those vast predicted increases in oil production are simply disappearing, even from those who were formelly very optimistic.

I think it is called "creeping normalcy". Little or no increase in production is just what is expected by the major prognosticators of oil production these days. Two years ago such predictions would have been reglated to the "fringe groups", like those crazy Peak Oil believers. And this did not "suddenly" happen. It happened so slowely that no one noticed.

Ron Patterson

Note: I intend to use the term "creeping normalcy" instead of "the boiling frog syndrom" from now on. Last time I used the latter all I got in reply was a bunch of folks telling me that frogs would really not stay in the water until it boiled. Well hell, I knew that. The term was used just to make a point.

FWIW, Dante at PO.com has the latest Oil Movements report. No link yet, but he says it is less optimistic than the last one. But they do think the Saudis will produce an extra 150,000, over the promised 500,000.

150,000 bpd is rounding error. I don't think the system would even catch it if it wasn't there. Ok, partially, tongue in cheek. :P

And, that definitely could be diverted from their closed refinery.

Not great news.

Thanks Leanan, could you please post that link if/when it becomes available? I find that site very hard to negotiate.

But I was not aware that Saudi ever promised a 500,000 barrel increase. That was the increase promised by the entire OPEC 10. Saudi's share of that was around 300,000 barrels per day.

Ron Patterson

The report is apparently hard to understand, and not as detailed as usual. But the 500,000 increase is coming from all of OPEC. The extra 150,000 is coming only from Saudi.

Dante's post on this is here:


I meant there was no link yet about the reports in the MSM. Usually, Bloomberg, Reuters, etc., will do articles summarizing these reports.

They will if the pot's deep enough.

"creeping normalcy". Little or no increase in production is just what is expected by the major prognosticators of oil production these days.

The creeping normalcy has implications I think.

According to the IEA, for the world’s economies to continue to expand at recent rates the world’s primary energy needs are projected to grow by 55% between 2005 and 2030, at an average annual rate of 1.8%.

But actually, according to EIA data, since 2005 instead of increasing by ~4% supply has been flat, implying that the world economy hasn’t been growing as normal. The cumulative shortfall between what the world would have produced at the May 2005 rate and what it has actually produced is now over 700 mb.

If the IEA analysis is correct then with flat supply and countries like China growing at double digit rates economies somewhere in the world must be using declining amounts of oil with a probable consequent outright decline in economic activity.

EIA statistics show that, up to now, net exports decline much more rapidly than production and are likely to go to zero long before the world runs out of oil. Recent examples are the UK ( peak to zero net exports in 7 years) and Indonesia ( peak to zero net exports in 8 years). As they are so dependent on oil, and if they can’t switch to alternatives quickly enough, countries with a large percentage of net imports as well as large total consumption of oil can expect economic ‘problems’ once the ‘all liquids’ peak is passed.

So, does the 2006 EIA data show any evidence that demand by the largest users of oil is actually falling let alone keeping up with 1.8% growth per year – who, if anybody, amongst top 15 net importers is being priced out of the market?

The 15 countries with the greatest demand consume ~60% of the world’s oil but ~80% of net exports.

Country demand up/dn ? imports ~% of total
Belgium down 98%
Turkey down 93%
Thailand down 64%
Singapore up 99%
Netherlands down 92%
Taiwan down 99%
Spain down 98%
Italy down 91%
India up 67%
France down 96%
Korea, South down 100%
Germany up 94%
China up 47%
Japan down 98%
United States down 59%

In 2006 only 4 of the top 15 were growing consumption of oil – China, India, Germany and Singapore.

Of these 15 largest consumers only 4 import less than 90% of their needs – USA, China, India and Thailand – all the rest are very dependent on net exports. Total liquids net exports fell by -3.3% from 2005 to 2006.

who, if anybody, amongst top 15 net importers is being priced out of the market?

Xeroid, in every column where it says "down" that is people being priced out of the market. I drive less because of high prices. People are buying more fuel efficient vehicles because of higher prices.

When total exports fall, then prices must rise in order to price enough people out of the market until supply meets demand.

Ron Patterson

Over at Financial Sense:

The Epic Battle Over Crude Oil and the US$


Past shocks have quickly dissipated, but that’s not likely to be the case this time. Supply and demand have become unbalanced, and can’t be fixed quickly,” the FAO warned on Nov 16th. The world’s food import bill is on course to rise 21% to $745 billion in 2007. In developing countries, imported food costs will go up by 25% to nearly $233 billion due to strong global demand for bio-fuel crops, extreme weather and growing demand from countries like India and China.

Lot's of interesting viewpoints in this article. Mostly about currency and Oil prices. Crude oil vigilantes. Chavez and Iran.

The Saudi royal family is also worried about Iran’s drive for nuclear invincibility. On Nov. 15th, the UN’s nuclear watchdog confirmed that Iran has 3,000 working centrifuges in its nuclear facilities, a ten-fold increase from just a year ago. If those 3,000 centrifuges can be made to work efficiently, Iran could manufacture a nuclear bomb in 12-18 months. Iran said on Nov. 27th it has a new missile named Ashoura, with a range of 1,250 miles that will enable Iran to aim at targets in Europe.

This isn't likely to win more allies in Europe for Iran.

Maybe that analyst had it right(drumbeat above), invest in weapons not green tech! Eeek!

Look at it from iran's point of view. i don't think they care, they are staring down the barrels of U.S.A's, Frances, and other european nations for 1. having a large oil and natural gas reserves that they need to survive.
2. doing the two logical things to keep the nation afloat, acquire the means to protect it's self from other nations wanting what they have, and curbing internal consumption to have more to sell in the short term.

Scary news

Turkish Politican: Annapolis is part of plan to attack Iran that could ignite World War III
Implicates Turkish government and NATO as part of war plans LINK


By the end of the war in 1988 Iran was in the midst of a population explosion. Iran's population grew from 39.2 million in 1980 to 68.7 million in 2006. Iran's energy planners could see that demand would far outstrip supply. Continuing to extract oil and natural gas at the projected levels wouldn't be enough to guarantee a steady supply of electricity.12 An analysis by a National Academy of Sciences scientist predicted Iran could run out of oil to export by 2015. LINK

How the Iraq/Iran War Got Started

Hello TODers,

Recall the posting a few days ago on how some American women, during the '70s gas crunch, were willing to trade sex for gasoline. It is now much worse than that in Zimbabwe, it is called 'bottom currency':

Miriam Madziwa writes that each time the Zimbabwe dollar tumbles, women's survival chances take a corresponding knock, as it means more sexual favours to seal deals with men, who by virtue of their jobs or connections are able to make or break women's survival attempts.
This postPeak trend, if spreading worldwide, does not bode well for reducing birthrates and infectious diseases. How far can a country's average life expectancy drop as death rates dramatically increase? Could Zimbabwe's drop to 16 years? Is this indicative of the future global average life expectancy as the Overshoot is weeded out during the Dieoff period?

It is like we are DNA-driven to maximize misery instead of maximizing common sense with massive Peak Outreach programs.

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

It is the worst place on the planet. You could just as logically continually post about how great life is on this planet right now for those living the dream. What makes you think that place could make it with oil at $1 a barrel?

I agree with Bryan on this one - Africa is quite in disarray due to colonialism and tribal/village culture unable to cope with what a high energy FF fueled world brings. Peak oil may be a blessing in disguise for Africa, where skills and culture are already suited for subsistence ...a albeit with a little bit of a die off problem between here and there :-(

Poor people ... and nothing we can do when our own collective misery is a tsunami about to strike.

Worst place on the planet or not, it has produced an incredible amount of the most powerful, haunting, achingly beautiful music and talented musicians. I personally am an American Rural Redneck but I would defy anyone to listen to Stella Chiweshe or Thomas Mapfumo with an open mind and an open heart and not be moved to care deeply about a country that harbors that quality of human capital.

I think I've reached the point where further study of energy depletion doesn't add much to my overall view.

To summarize:

1) Global oil production will plateau, not peak, and the plateau will last for decades. Of course, war in the Middle East could cause supply to fall rapidly. But it would recover after the war.

2) The odds of a global economic depression are very low. A depression by my definition would mean gross world product shrinking by at least 10% from it's peak (not necessarily in one year).

3) Global recessions and periods of stagnation are quite possible. They will cause seemingly endless hand-wringing and wailing and shrieking about the end of the world! But it won't end. The world, especially your part of it, will chug on much as it does now.

And that's all I got to say. Time to look at other interesting stuff!

You will be missed (LOL).

1) Global oil production will plateau, not peak, and the plateau will last for decades.

Care to explain how you arrived at this conclusion? Many countries are in steep decline. Of countries not in decline, three countries, Angola, Azerbaijan and Russia have been responsible for the lions share (about 1.5 mb/d) of increases. Russia is unlikely to increase much more, if any. Most experts predict Angola to peak in 2011 and Azerbaijan sometime around the same time.

Without these three contributors, world oil production would be down about 3.5 mb/d since May of 2005. (I am away from my database working on a borrowed dialup laptop or I would give you the exact figure.)

But here is my point. Most of the world's producers of crude oil are in decline. Only three have shown any heavy increase in the last two and one half years. About eight others, including Canada, China and the UAE have shown smaller increases. That's it. The declining nations will continue to decline. But of the increasing nations, production will slow, peak then decline.

Although in the 2006 World Energy Outlook the IEA experts wrote that oil production would gradually increase until 2030, experts from the Energy Watch Group (EWG) disagree. Their forecast of world oil production until 2030 says that the production peak in Russia will occur around 2010, even until then, the increase in production will be insignificant.

And that's the story all over George. Most have peaked! Half a dozen or so others are on a plateau and must soon go into decline. All the others will peak in the next very few years. So how in holy hell do you come up with the conclusion that the plateau will last for decades?

Ron Patterson

And while yer at it...

How did you come to the conclusion that the odds of Depression are Low?

Even the BIS had posted warnings that it is likely at the current rate.

If the plateau did continue for 'decades' that would mean zero or negative growth for the same period.

What about population? Mass sterilization?

However, if it helps to not read anymore. I, wholeheartedly, agree some days!

We agree that the cheap oil is getting pretty hard to find.

The question is: how much expensive oil is out there? ie. that can be produced at a cost of $100 a barrel. (Because that's where we are headed). I think the world can afford $200 oil.

We don't really know how much hard-to-get-at stuff there is. But my guess is quite a lot. ie. I don't believe the earth's endowment is 2 trillion barrels of cheap oil with very little expensive oil. That's nuts.

But another big difference between my view and that of peak-oilers is that I buy the argument that there has been a profound lack of investment especially in areas of the world with the most remaining oil reserves. The way they manage their resources will not produce and has not produced Hubbert curves.

And there is evidence that we are not close to EROI constraints yet. When we have scads of oilmen getting paid low wages, we're in trouble. But it sure don't look like that now!!!

But I differ greatest with the standard peak oil view on the shape of the production curve. Hubbert made implicit economic assumptions that are wrong. Namely, he assumed that the price of oil would somehow be kept artificially low or that price doesn't matter at all. But price matters big time. A theory of oil production patterns must incorporate price.

It's possible the plateau will only last 2 - 3 decades. And it's possible it will slope gently downward. But I really don't see how a sudden drop off in production (2% say) can occur any time soon.

I don't think they can ramp up fast enough to maintain the plateau. For one thing, they're not confident oil prices will remain high. For another, even if they start today, there are shortages of infrastructure and skilled manpower. And there's also the fact that they'll be going where no man has gone before, with all the difficulty and delay that implies. (Call it "Thunderhorse syndrome.")

There may be a lot of oil out there, but I don't think we can get it out of the ground fast enough to make up for the dying giants, no matter the price. Especially if Simmons is correct, and the backside of Hubbert's peak looks like a cliff after modern extraction methods.

"For one thing, they're not confident oil prices will remain high."

One good thing is that the amount of attention and analysis is greatly increasing year by year. Views are changing. We know that Total's have.

The amount of speculative interest in oil futures is huge now. I believe it's tripling every year. Some of that is small time speculation. And some of it is backed by people who have substantial budgets for analysis. In other words, the price of oil reflects better understanding as time goes on. TOD, especially the Drumbeat, is part of that. (thanx! it certainly has made a big difference for me)

Confidence has grown on a future of high prices. CNBC's in-house energy dude said a couple of days ago that he didn't see oil going below $75 in a US recession.

Can you imagine a main stream analyst saying that 2 years ago!!

Leanan, that's an excellent article about costs exploding along with prices. The same thing seems to happen with metal mines. A mine, once closed for a significant time, for whatever reason (e.g., recession, labor problems, cave-in, new regulations), commonly remains closed, even if metal prices greatly increase. One reason is that mining costs generally keep pace. Another is that no one wants throw increasingly large investments after increasingly small or uncertain returns (the last, lowest grade, deepest fraction of the reserves), especially given the long lead times involved before production can resume (renovated plant, new miners, new permitting, etc.). Only if a totally new mining method becomes available, that totally changes the economics, might a long-closed mine reopen (e.g., replacing a small underground mine with a large open pit).

With a commodity such as a metal, the low cost producer generally rules (gets to satisfy the demand). The most profitable ores are always mined first, and the worst (deepest, lowest grade, most marginal) saved until last - and they commonly remain unmined. My reading on TOD leads me to believe that petroleum, with little excess capacity, now is similar. That is, for new projects, huge lead times and immense costs, with uncertain returns.

This may be a trivial result of stating that energy represents money, and vice versa. As energy (petroleum) costs go up, so should all other costs, in proportion, although there may be delays involved. Better, perhaps, to put your money in some industry that's far less demanding of capital, with a potentially faster payback. Among energy industries, solar and wind seem to be especially popular right now. Energy conservation offers the most immediate payback, of course.

"There may be a lot of oil out there, but I don't think we can get it out of the ground fast enough to make up for the dying giants, no matter the price."

We'll keep watching the production numbers. I think Deffeyes's C & C peak from May 2005 will be surpassed. And then the peak oil clock will be reset. That's what a plateau looks like.

I think Deffeyes's C & C peak from May 2005 will be surpassed.

I don't.

But we probably won't know for five or ten years. That's what a peak looks like. :-)

I think Deffeyes's C & C peak from May 2005 will be surpassed. And then the peak oil clock will be reset. That's what a plateau looks like.

I doubt it and I especially doubt that the average C+C production of 2005 will ever be surpassed. But it really doesn't matter that much, where you and I disagree dramatically is on the length of the plateau!

Yes, I agree we are on a plateau right now, but no, it will not last for even one decade. We have been on the current plateau for two and one half years. I think the plateau will last for perhaps another year and a half, or four years. But I do not think it can possibly last for more than seven years. I think that by mid 2011 we will be well on the downslope of Hubbert's Peak. I think there is at least a 50% chance it will start about mid 2008 but it will not be recognized as such for at least a year later.

Ron Patterson

The ramping up won't really happen until the cheap oil is officially in steep decline. But, I kind of agree with Asebius that a plateau will be maintained for decades - somewhere between 40-60 mbpd.

Of course, such a thing would play havoc with the global economy, even if we succeed in economizing within those limits. Not only would it mean an end to growth of the economy, not only would it mean a permanent state of highly volatile energy prices, always and forever dependent on every hurricane and refinery fire that occurs, but it'll lead to the greatest and worst resource monopoly ever, and the wars to control that monopoly will be horrible.

We won't all die, but we will probably find ourselves living under totalitarian regimes.

Totalitarianism requires energy and a compliant population. The first bit is obviously gone in PO and the second? Once people are no longer anesthetized by television and the MSM can no longer keep the secret you can kiss that good bye, too.

I think the urge is there, but the makings of it here in the U.S. are too volatile. We have too many of those brown people who aren't keen on being second class citizens (no offense intended to those of you with a goodly supply of melatonin) and people here aren't what the Germans were pre WW II in many ways.

Totoneila, that rotter, says the U.S. will break into the New Vermont Republic, the Great Lakes Compact, and Cascadia, quite foolishly ignoring the survivability of my own region, despite the fact that we're the Saudi Arabia of corn and wind, and I believe him to be 3/4ths correct in his estimation.

A state that no longer serves the needs of an enraged people is not a state for very long. Without the energy to enforce its will the crumbling corporatocracy of Washington, D.C. will come apart.

Totalitarianism has existed much longer than cheap oil, and it will go on long after it's gone. Breaking up into smaller nations in no way contradicts my prediction that you'll be living under a totalitarian regime.

As Kunstler says's "The Gov. will be lucky to be able to answer the phones"

Which is exactly my argument against some of the "conspiracy" stuff I hear from time to time, the gov't has trouble sending out your car registration on time, how are they supposed to keep track of all of us through implants and all this stuff some think they do?

They'll have trouble answering the phones indeed.

And how do they do a HugeSuperSurveillanceState(tm) with minimum-wage labor? Cops and firemen etc are very loyal but that comes at the price of a $100K and higher salary. The gov't won't be able to buy that kind of loyalty, it won't be affordable, to have a "fed under every bed" like some think.

Fleam (love most of your posts btw).

I don't think it's an either or.

Just because (and I agree) they won't be able to pull it off, nor keep it going, Does NOT mean that there hasn't been/aren't people(2 or more) planning things in secret that are detrimental to the good of the all.

They DID conspire with ATT&T to signal-split the entire internet to the NSA for example and LIED to the American people that "Only Foriegn Phone Calls... blah blah blah.

The game begins with an eye on "law enforcement", whatever that means under the loathsome Bush administration, but it quickly devolves into corp on corp infowar :-) Having exhausted their food supply (cheap oil) the virtual person corporations will take their turn in Monbiot's Feline Combat Containment System before we humans get to machete moshpit type behaviors. Look for that starting, say, a few months ago when every victim of that asset backed paper scandal in Canada lawyered up ... so the "surveillance" will quickly turn to espionage, as it already has in the political realm.

Look at Russia's handling of Yukos ... behavior like that coming soon to a formerly free nation near you :-(

When the choice is between being in the underclass or being in the tiny mega rich elite which you cannot afford to be in, many will choose option C - the thin layer of the overseer class to keep the rest in line and protect the interests of the tiny mega rich elite...

perhaps even with some tiny illusion of a chance of achieving that mega rich elite status yourself one day...

i guess a bit like it is today but with the stratification having been taken to the extreme, and a bit more blatant, aggressive and far less subtle

it will be a brutal dour experience... the public chaos of the 1920s and 1930s, the period "between the wars", is the likeliest reference case, except this time rather than ending in an upturn there won't be relief... things will get worse not better...

there probably will be a true global war on terror because there almost certainly will be a true global war of terror going on in response to this world... because really there is a fourth option to the three above - that below being in the impoverished underclass of America and the first world... being third world... literally being cast aside and allowed to die in a world of declining energy resources, NPK, topsoil and water access (at best - at worst, if you sit on any of these key resources you will be actively moved out of the way)


re: "crumbling corporatocracy of Washington, D.C. will come apart."

Well, in some ways, the logical response is "We should be so lucky..."

The thing is, though:

re: "Once people are no longer anesthetized by television..."

This assumes the anesthesia wears off once the TV is gone.

I'm not so sure this is the case. One simple argument: The number of child/young-adult/adult(even) person-hours one has already spent engaged in this (passive, or non-) activity, are hours lost to learning (and/or having the experience of making something happen, as opposed to reacting.)

In other words, you may be right about the state of "an enraged people", however, this rage may be held without a corresponding ability to direct in it any helpful direction.

Also, people might make protection *from* rage their first priority, hence, the exact opposite may well occur.

re: "...keep the secret..." I'm also not so sure any more that the secret requires keeping to maintain itself. Denial is such a basic (natural) response.

Anyway, the corporate/state "acy" is crucial. I don't mean this as a semantic thing...but to what extent *can* corporations undo what they've done? (eg., move manufacturing back to the US in some way?) It seems the only even remotely plausible mechanism of change (for something like "electrification of rail" for eg.) is via some state action, such as changing current tax subsidies. (Or, changing the some aspect of legal privilege of the corp itself?)

I don't even want to think about Blackwater.

Aniya,I think that the phase-change we will see will happen in a different rate at different locations...Atlanta may have a accelerated disintegration rate due to water supply,Portland Ore.may be slower due to hydro power,and the Willamette Vally farms,and Hood River fruit,and the wonderful soils of Canby.Having the largest group of nurserys in the world,and the suppling a lot of the country with seed cant hurt...

But price matters big time. A theory of oil production patterns must incorporate price

I'm wondering about that but I'm not convinced. The models all work pretty well without considering price.

Actually what matters is profit, not price. The Hubbert theory only needs to assume that there is a profit for the producer, which I think is a universally valid assumption.

Because of the desire to maximize profit, the cheap oil is produced first, and the expensive oil last. The combination of a non-uniform geological distribution and the profit motive automatically leads to the classic Hubbert curve.

The question is: how much expensive oil is out there? ie. that can be produced at a cost of $100 a barrel. (Because that's where we are headed). I think the world can afford $200 oil.

George, We, the USA, and possibly Europe and Japan may be able to afford $200 oil but the world cannot. And even developed countries, $200 oil would cause a serious drop in consumption.

Oil, still under $100 dollars, is causing serious demand destruction already. Poorer nations simply cannot afford oil at that price. If oil goes to $200 I would imagine that consumption would drop by at least 10% or about 15 million barrels per day. Which is just another way of saying that oil will not hit $200 unless production drops by about 15 million barrels per day. Which will also say we are no longer on the plateau but well past the peak.

You are correct, any theory of oil production patterns must incorporate price. But where you are wrong is you assume as demand goes up, price will just go up and this will create new oil to meet the new demand. But higher price kills higher demand.

All this being said, $90 oil is enough incenitive to create all the oil most nations can possibly produce. Higher price would not creat much more oil than is currently being produced. Higher prices will create a little more deepwater oil but this will make very little difference. The quick and easy stuff will go down just a whole lot faster than the very hard to get stuff can ramp up.

Ron Patterson

>>..And even developed countries, $200 oil would cause a serious drop in consumption...<<

Will that get most personal assault vehicles off the road. I somehow doubt it since so much of travel is currently discretionary.

But as per my post (in response to Leanan's reference) above, I imagine that the ability to produce $90 oil at a profit might only be temporary, as costs (as a reflection of the cost of energy) should soon catch up. Ditto for $200 oil. A receding horizon indeed.

...Which is just another way of saying that oil will not hit $200 unless production drops by about 15 million barrels per day. Which will also say we are no longer on the plateau but well past the peak.

The view that I'm getting is that it will feel like the horizon is falling away as fast as you fall to it. Like going over a hill too fast and you watch the earth falling away under you faster than you are falling to it.

Production/Export levels (For many reasons) will fall away faster than demand destruction will save.

From this point it would seem that any demand loss "World Wide" will be "Bought up" by "Somebody" regardless of "Price".

If some FWOC (Formally Well Off Country) can't buy a particular tanker, Someone out there will want to buy it.

So production will never shrink from flat out because of lack of demand. Unless by business mandate.

Hi Samsara,

re: "Production/Export levels (For many reasons) will fall away faster than demand destruction will save."

Critical point.

How does a (admittedly optimistic) possible scenario of immediate positive mitigation fit with this? (can it?) By this I mean something like: immediate conservation, money put into solar/wind and design (retrofit), electrified rail or whatever. i.e., accepting what you say, for purposes of argument, what is a positive direction?

My best estimate is that the upper limit on oil consumption reduction from my specific proposals is -1.5% to -2.5%/year (with at least a 2 to 3 year delay from start of program to results).

Add to this the market based results (PHEVs, smaller cars, car pooling, etc.) and that old standby, the default solution, reduced economic activity.


I've wondered about this a lot and the more I think about it the more I don't think a price increase will maintain a plateau for long.

As others have said--its the big fields stupid. If you found a 8 billion barrel recoverable field, like the one offshore in Brazil, that was conventional at any time in history you still made a ton of money no matter the price. Same effort to find riches whether $10 or $100.

In 1999, say, you found that field and oil was $10 a barrel. That find was still worth $80 billion. I've read on this site that Saudi can pump a conventional barrel for $5 cost. So, if you found that field you still bagged $40 billion. I don't care who you are that's serious money and people have been out there looking for those for a long time. And that is when oil was low as low.

So there was always a big incentive to find big fields no matter what point in history. It was still big, big money. This supports the theory that the big finds (excepting big offshore finds?) are likely over.

Unless all $100 oil or $200 oil is found at once I can't see how the collective flow rate will even equal the current declines. Peak shape makes more sense to me.

These conclusions seem arrived at not out of any particular analysis but a straight line projection of what has been going on for the past couple of years without any examination of the underlying trends, dynamics and potential breaking points. The conclusion of that oil production will plateau for "decades" seems particularly unjustified. Care to explain?

1) Global oil production will plateau, not peak, and the plateau will last for decades.

Well, if you subtract the "s" from "decades" I might agree with you... simply by looking at all the well thought out projections, I summarize that we've been on a plateau for 3 years and according to a gross interpretation of the projections we've got 7 more years to go... anything beyond that is merely wishful thinking as far as I can tell.

2) The odds of a global economic depression are very low.

As Mr. Sailorman likes to point out, the central banks will try everything in their tool chest to accommodate you here. For the decade (singular) plateau they very well may be successful.

The world, especially your part of it, will chug on much as it does now.

The operative phrase here is "your part of it". Given that many of the TOD readers are highly educated (formally or not), and for the most part self motivated, and live in the richest parts of the world.... then yes, I'd agree that for the decade of plateau it will be pretty much business as usual with an added dose of hand-wringing.

However, for many people in the world their hopes to achieve more will become increasingly distant, and even in the US (which IMO is sitting much prettier in this mess than many Drumbeat posters wish) post-plateau lifestyle changes are inevitable.

Hello TODers,

Is it time to start building wooden sailing ships to move NPK?

Fertiliser prices keep on rising

A new report on fertiliser paints a bleak picture of rising prices, shrinking supplies of phosphate and potash, shortages of bulk container vessels to transport it, and competition from biofuels.

Report author, Ingrid Richardson, says the price pressures have been compounded by shipping companies charging more than US$70,000 a day to transport fertiliser.

"What we're seeing is both incredibly high prices just to get a ship, and then there have been a lot of reports that you can't even secure ships," she says.
It is my speculative contention that NPK price increases will eventually far outrace FF-price increases: we will be forced to drastically curtail most of the wasteful fuel usage so that we can try and sustain, for as long as possible, the depleting NPK supply spiderweb network.

Recall my earlier postings on FF-to-NPK delayed latencies. The longest period I can think of is the FF-movement of NPK to fertilize newly planted tree saplings. Then, 30-50 years till the ERoEI harvest for lumber, firewood, toilet paper, etc.

Before FFs: sailing ships profitably moved lots of fertilizer in the form of guano and human bones. Industrial NPK is even more concentrated/ton moved.

We can substitute human-power for a lot of processes currently using FF-power. There are NO SUBSTITUTES for the ELEMENTS NPK to promote optimal photosynthesis. I expect an ever larger amount of resources, people, and energy being dedicated to maintaining NPK flows, both organic & industrial. When global crude output is only 20 million barrels/day: 15 million might be directed to NPK mining, beneficiation, and distribution because the physics are unchanging.

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

tontonila, no need to build wooden ships now for there will be plenty of fiberglass pleasure sailing yachts available soon at a marina near you (well, perhaps not in Arizona :)) These yachts have sturdy fiberglass hulls and can be retrofitted to haul all manner of bulk cargo. Thousands of sailing yachts pass a couple of miles from my home each spring, heading north, and each fall, heading south. The few remaining draw bridges on the intercoastal waterway are constantly going up and down, holding up vehicle traffic, during these mass migrations. Of course, real sailors would run offshore under sail but these folks use the intercoastal with diesels running. I sometimes think that the 'wannabe sailors' enjoy the fact that they have the right-of-way and can hold up hundreds of vehicles while the draw bridges are up. Most of the FWOs will not mind if their yacht goes missing for they will be too busy trying to ekk out a living to go sailing or even care what happened to their yacht...But, the FWOs will have some fond memories to look back upon...and in the end that is all any of us have.

FWO = Formally Well Off

BTW, FYI, FWIW IMO.... :-)


(Three Letter Acroynms for Verbal Communication Commpression)

There is ongoing German research on deploying helium-filled kites from winches on merchantmen to see how much of a drop of diesel consumption can be achieved. Since this can easily be fitted to all existing ships, we don't need to consider building new ones out of wood.

Mr. Totoneila Sir,

Please contemplate at your leisure the recent discussion regarding the use of ammonia as a fuel and its production from surplus wind here in the midwest, where our tremendous wind energy is shut in by poor transmission line capability.

I have been remiss in my promised investigation of the energy and economic aspects of said ammonia production, but the wind and the snow have shut in my kayak as firmly as small transmission lines contain our wind energy, so perhaps I will publish some tidbits on this soon ...



Try breathing even very dilute ammonia from household cleaners to see why 'Joe Sixpack' can never be expected to safely fill his car with the stuff.

It can be converted into good fertiliser but it's not a good fuel for personal transport at least.

The farmers are already handling it - I was thinking tractors and combines since they've got to work with the stuff anyway.

Leanan, regarding the terrorist item you posted, I've thought for some time that among the newest oil installations on the planet -- those on the Caspian Sea -- are exceptionally vulnerable given their proximity to troubled territory (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran).

Chevron and Exxon have their supergiant Tengiz oilfield in Kazakhstan, and about everyone (Exxon, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Eni, Total) have a stake in Kashagan, another supergiant. In Baku it's the same -- a 5 billion barrel offshore installation even closer to the hot spots.


Steve LeVine

Hi Steve,

Well, just catching up here, though perhaps everyone has moved on - what are your thoughts? (... what security measures are in place now. Or, do you see something more radical as being helpful? in the way of policy, or peace...)

What does MPK stand for. this blog needs a glossery.

We have one, but I'm not sure what MPK means. Where did you see it?

NPK stands for fertilizer. The bag in your garage, where it says 5-10-5 — those numbers are rough percentages of fixed nitrogen, phosphate, and potash, in that order. (K is the chemical symbol for potassium)

From the top link above:

"Two fossil fuel facts define the basic actions that are required to preserve our planet’s climate: (1) it is impractical to capture CO2 as it is emitted by vehicles (the mass of emitted CO2 is about three times larger than the mass of fuel in the tank), and (2) there is much more CO2 contained in coal and unconventional fossil fuels than in oil and gas. As a consequence, the strategy for saving creation must have two basic elements.

First, and this is 80% of the solution, coal use must be phased out except where the CO2 is captured and sequestered. Thus there should be a moratorium on construction of new coal-fired power plants until the technology for CO2 capture and sequestration is ready. Second, there must be a moderate price on carbon emissions, and both businesses and consumers must recognize that this carbon price will continue to increase in the future"

But as Hansen replied to the link's author:

"“I prefer that you post it in toto,” he said in an e-mail message. “Somehow I have trouble with things out of context. Also my aim is to educate on the broader problem, not just the narrow things that seem to get picked up on.”"

Please take a look. The article, again, is here:


Electrobike Pi

Forget racetrack-worthy sports cars. The eco-conscious Silicon Valley crowd is getting revved up about Electrobike's Pi, a Ferrari-red, electric bicycle worthy of being parked beside the SLR McLaren Roadsters at the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club.

The makers of the Pi, which weighs less than 60 pounds, like to tout the bike as a "human-electric hybrid," since it can be propelled by both pedal power and a 36-volt nickel metal hydride battery that's hidden inside the Pi's elegant monocoque arch frame. The battery power alone is enough to take the two-wheeler a distance of 25 miles at speeds up to 20 mph.

very cool, but $8000? gulp.

That's why it's cool. You can't expect a celebrity to pedal around on a $1,000 bike, can you? ;-)

Hello Greenish,

Can't find the link right now, but $8,000 USD is the going price for a pretty sorry-looking donkey in Iraq. I think FWO's riding a rechargeable bicycle to the country club will ultimately be seen as a cooler ride than trotting up on a donkey, camel, ostrich, or llama.

Hello TODers,

I am not an engineer, but if this bicycle had steel wheels on steel rails: how much further would the range be extended? Another 5 miles? 10 miles? Or is the frictional losses thru narrow, high PSI-inflated rubber tires actually pretty low?

Would a SpiderWebRiding, carbon fiber, aero-envelope double the range over this non-aerodynamic upright model? Also, any ideas on how far and what would be the optimal speed for two of these bicycles [one on each side of a canal], to pull a long canoe with 1,000 lbs of grain or NPK onboard? Are two pedalers, augmented with batteries, more efficient than one draft animal?

Would it makes sense for the canoe to have a topcovering of PV panels to send power back to the bikes for even more extended range, and to help keep the cargo dry, or is the cost and weight penalty too much? Thxs for any reply.

EDIT: I am guessing that it would be better to have solar-tracking PV-panels alongside the canal recharging battpaks, then the bicyclists switching them out when required. If the batts go dead before reaching a recharging station--they can always pedal the load along at a slower pace.

As a road biker, I can tell you that wind resistance is lots more important than rolling resistance on my skinny little 700c's. Of course it begs the question about the energy required to build and maintain the road, since trail bikes aren't near as efficient.
Fairings like the Zzipper are amazingly effective - I've owned several, starting in the '70's - which is why they're banned in racing. If you want to move materiel, maybe you should be thinking of a tandem with a full fairing, which would be near-ideal for flat terrain. The big problem with full-fairing velomobiles is getting in and out of them.


There is a good reason donkeys to cost that much:

Try pulling that with an electric bicycle :)

I know that pigs don't fly. . . did they think that donkeys COULD????

..sigh...another donkey whose legs are too short...

Hello Greenish,

Can't find the link right now, but $8,000 USD is the going price for a pretty sorry-looking donkey in Iraq. I think FWO's riding a rechargeable bicycle to the country club will ultimately be seen as a cooler ride than trotting up on a donkey, camel, ostrich, or llama.

Hey, I'm for it, it just means I won't be able to get one. I'd like one, too, since my legs are a bit paralyzed and don't do the pedaling thing like they used to.

Reckon I'll just build myself an ugly one some day that does the same stuff. I actually enjoy ugly vehicles quite a bit.

Though frankly, in your comparison, I think top honors would be the lady who arrives riding an ostrich.

between the bike and the donkey for reliability i would get the donkey. for continuing the status quo while trying to keep up with the new 'green' jones the bike would be the obvious choice.

But for 1/10th the cost you can get a hotshot messengered-out bike that weighs about 20lbs and zip all over on it. Ever wonder how it feels to be a falcon? Being in shape riding a light bike is the closest any human can come to it.

It's all right Hanson saying this but unless there is some alternative they bare going to nbe exploited. Peak oil means unconventional fuels are going to be used much more.
As for coal from what I've read on this site it does'd seem renewables can ramp up quickly enough. We all know the problems with nuclear. So unless we want the lights to go out what is the alternative?

Read Hansen's paper, if you haven't. Curtail auto use. Phase out coal without sequestration.

The other day, no link, I read of business groups promoting new appliances, vehicles etc to bail us out. Claimed up to 30% IIRC reduction in CO2.(Perhaps they saw it as a method more to forestall recession) Seemed to be a consumer solution we'd (as a nation) readily jump at. Conservation is not a dirty word. The time savings afforded by immediate conservation works wonders for CC and peak oil. With carbon taxes, it forces this conservation on those not so inclined.

It's a huge, formidable task. A close friend just returned from Kazakhstan. His stories of the air pollution, and industrialization, there were truly frightening. I've read it's the same in China.

There is no alternative, but the lights don't necessarily have to go out. We have to push renewables, get their cost down for adoption worldwide. Business as usual won't work.

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.

James Hansen:

If we cannot stop the building of more coal-fired power plants, those coal trains will be death trains — no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria, loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species.

How about "In discussion of realistic scenarios which could involve the suffering and death of millions or billions, referring to Nazi's and
Hitler becomes increasingly appropriate as the obtuseness of the target audience becomes increasingly apparent."

The problem with invoking obtuseness is that it is not objective.

It's all to common, and frequent, for someone having difficulty getting others to acept their argument to regard their target as obtuse. Equally often, it's because their argument was lacking in the first place.

Someone who needs to resort to analogy in-extremis is not unreasonably percieved to have nothing more rationally convincing, by those who are less obtuse than our protaganist perhaps believes?

Naomi Klein beautifully explains the situation of late-stage imperialism (Guns beat green: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20071217/klein )

As I have noted in previous posts explaining why the WS Journal suddenly "discovered" peak oil. As long as peak oil seemed to imply a need for energy conservation and alternative energy solutions it was a dangerous and kooky idea. But now that the military industries have awakened to the "security challenge and opportunity" presented when peak oil is defined as a consequence of local political instability and unrest... well there will be no end of enthusiasm for military spending to solve the oil shortage problem.

It is a very interesting question how that will play out. To some extent the U.S. can nail down its own supplies by military means, and differentially improve its own supply situation. That has the consequence of encouraging others to conserve and become more energy efficient. Later in the game of course resentment against the U.S. will become even more entrenched, even as the ability to function as industrial economies on a low oil diet is even more refined by those outside the U.S. imperial supply system. It is easy to imagine how the U.S. thereby lays the groundwork for its own imperial collapse when, eventually, no amount of military power can counter the problem that less oil is emerging from the ground each year.

At that point we may ask if the U.S. might still begin an adjustment process and pull through as an industrial economy, or whether it will like Wily Coyote find itself in "overshoot", legs spinning after the ground of military power projection capacity has vanished beneath it.... having ensured decades of hatred against itself, while having little or no capacity to function on a low energy industrial basis.... collapsing while others who have a head start on renewable and alternative energy economies maintain more stable societies.

Anyway, Naomi Klein describes the symptoms and the structural rigidity of the U.S. beautifully. The real power centers, remarkably, and in spite of the fact that leftist nuts have said it for years, really do run through Lockheed, Boeing, and the major military industrial players. They receive a huge percentage of the Federal budget... http://www.warresisters.org/piechart.htm . A nation so constituted and financed cannot help but see military solutions to geophysical resource constraints.

Enjoy the wars to come.

Saw Naomi on Cobert Report last night(catch rerun tonight on Comedy Channel).

Stephen was a PERFECT straight man. A little prime time exposure for her. Many books might be sold to people watching.

Hello Oregon7,

Yep, I greatly enjoy the writings of Naomi, too. Sadly, militarism will be the quickest way for the US to go from [5% of world pop. using 25% of FFs] to [5% of world pop. using only 5% of vastly less quantities of FFs].

It is best expressed in the phrase: "If I can't have it, you can't have it either."

Example: like when Saddam Hussein's withdrawing troops set the Kuwaiti oilfields aflame. Numerous other historical examples can be found too, such as burning crops or bridges to try and slow down an overwhelming, advancing army.

The paradox of that process is that as foreign powers attempt to deny access, the military industrial mindset will see a profit opportunity in attempting to "solve" these "security" problems.... the more others deny us, the greater the incentive to use a military approach to solve the problem. It seems like a sure formula for escalation.

I'm no Marxist... I don't know for certain that capitalism drives inexorably toward contradictions that undermine it from within... but looking at "Pentagon" thinking, Lockheed Martin thinking, and Republican thinking (is there a difference really?) a person could be forgiven for coming to certain conclusions of this nature.

I do believe that there is a strong will to ride the imperial ship to the bitter end, rather than attempt to adjust course... and that the combination of capitalism with military imperialism offers a series of opportunities that create short term profits and power, but that tend to undermine the system as a whole over time. You can call that perspective whatever you like.

For example, remember the dream of "Full Spectrum Dominance"... it was more than just a tactic or strategy... it was a vision of a global empire. As far as I know that still reflects the American vision for the world, and resource shortages can be just assimilated as one more reason we need to achieve it. But the costs and resentments that such an approach will fuel have consequences that will echo down the decades.

oregon7 -

Well said!

I fully agree. I have said many times here at TOD that in reality the US actually has a very well defined energy policy: to militarily dominate the Middle East and other oil-rich regions and install de facto puppet governments that will ensure access to their oil for US-based oil companies under economically favorable terms.

The fact that this hasn't been working out very well means absolutely nothing to the Bush regime. We've so far spent about a half trillion dollars on our Iraq adventure, and the meter is still spinning. But we have absolutely nothing to show for it. It's the old gambler's dilemma: we've invested so much and have lost so much that we have no choice but to stay in the game until we win. Which we won't, so the losses will get even worse.

Thus, it looks like a recipe for perpetual low-level war, the cost of which absurdly dwarfs the cost of even the most outlandish alternative energy schemes. But that is the way things appear to be going in our fair land, and no one seems capable of stopping it. Then we have the very likely US attack on Iran, and suddenly it's the summer of 1914. I think that future historians will characterize 2008 as the year the US irreversibly f@%ked up and began its long downward slide.

One need not be a Marxist to criticize capitalism. "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers" gives historical reasons for the ultimate failure of empires.

On the Brink of Bankruptcy

“What I can say is from my perspective, there are some very good efforts to try to put the college back on track but it’s a real uphill battle,” added Richard Heinberg, a core faculty member in the culture, ecology and sustainable community program. “The immediate problem is that all of the very, very rapid changes at the school that have been necessitated by the WASC report and so on have dramatically reduced enrollment and have resulted in some bad publicity for the college, which reduces the likelihood of future enrollment.”

My guess is that education, especially higher education, will prove to be part of the discretionary side of the economy.

Someone asked Kunstler about this on a campus visit here in Wisconsin a while back and his response was that he did not envision Universities thriving on the "mass-education" model for much longer.

Also, there is a broad push for more on-line learning opportunities (and more acceptance of that approach by students) that makes brick and mortar schools seem increasingly old-fashioned.

We're going to see a lot less theory and more of the old fashion apprenticeship happening, with people trying to get a primary skill and pick up something else they can do in case of change in their main area.

I do believe I'm going to be starting with a small engineering firm next week - some telecom engineering and some work with their Linux offerings getting refitted from specific verticals to being a general solution for companies that wish to migrate from windows to cut costs. Part of the Linux stuff is starting four separate Linux users groups in each of the four counties in the region ... apprenticeship sort of activity that might lead to sales for the company as well. I'm doing something similar for internetworking stuff as well.

And best of all? I have the flexibility to attend the Iowa Lakes Community College wind energy program with an eye on mastering site selection and the control issues of the systems so we can get into servicing the networks associated with such systems.

Yeah, really, I get to help with strategic direction in a small engineering firm in order to help steer it from growth-o-matic to sustainability oriented business. Whee ...

Congratulations !

Best Hopes for small steps with large effects,


Its been a rosy week on the PO/AGW/econ awareness front. At 18:00 I was talking with girlfriend "Hey, those kids might come home" and at 19:00 the oldest lost his job at one of the big box hardware places. Not so rosy for kid #1, mind you, but I think he just got "lifeboated" off a sinking ship. We were going to call the mortgage company today to see about her payoff but some distractions have pushed this off to Monday.

Today's discussion with the engineering firm was ... funny. They've got a year worth of my salary wrapped up in a job in California and there is real estate involved. Its gone south and that is why I wasn't working for them four weeks ago. I told 'em I expected a slog just to get my foot in the door and this kind of opened the discussion of what is coming. Mr. Owner Guy doesn't quite want to believe it, but he sees the effects ... so not only my talent(s)(all three) got me in, but peak oil awareness and strategy is a component.

So I am as well cared for as one can expect in these uncertain times, and I now turn my attention to trying to make some stuff happen around here for those not so blessed. I am haunted by a response I recently got from one of the infrequent posters here - "You all seem to be fairly well off professionals, but what can a person who lives paycheck to paycheck do?"

That is the question that should be occupying the minds of those here who have a moderately safe place of their own - once the home perimeter is established the next obvious step is a community perimeter.


re: "That is the question that should be occupying the minds of those here who have a moderately safe place of their own - once the home perimeter is established the next obvious step is a community perimeter."

Gratitude and best wishes.


Did you see the article the other day on the Maglev windturbine being built in China? If you did, your thoughts?

I had not seen this, jbunt, but I just went looking. Reduced friction leading to successful operation in low (1.5M/s) wind is quite desirable, but I've not paid attention since I'm in the 8.0M/s sweet spot for maximum production with current technology.

We'll see how it goes - if they get something going and my revenue continues to move I'll get one and put it up alongside a ball bearing unit of similar capacity.

I don't see that being able to generate in 1.5 m/s wind is significant. You are only going to get less than 1% of the power that you would at 8.0 m/s, based on the power being proportional to the cube of wind speed. So a tower rated at 1 megawatt at 8.0 m/s would produce at most 7 kW at 1.5 m/s.

I agree that the energy density in low wind environments is not good, but the exciting thing is projects in areas that are now marginal.

Right now Iowa wind projects are concentrated in the little yellow patch in the upper northwest. The best wind is in one of the more sparsely populated areas - our heavy industry is all in the eastern third of the state. A slight increase in turbine efficiency would allow projects in the greenish area bordering the yellow, and suddenly two thirds of the population centers and half of the industry have access to wind projects.

Iowa wind map

i would think you would loose a good amount of the power due to electrical resistance in the lines..

Congratulations and I wish you much luck with Linux.

I did not find the cost of Windows to be that much of an issue, but what I did find to be a major issue was the ability to know exactly what my system is doing. I never liked the idea of having to get permission from someone else to do things. Or being in the position of ignorance.

Viruses and worms on the net prove to be real headaches when I am dependent on someone else's "kindness" to help me find them, when I am deliberately kept ignorant of proprietary systems' inner workings by the legal requirements of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

Criminals and mischief makers - especially those outside the USA - are not bound by this law. They are free to create rootkits, keyloggers, and file snoopers to their heart's content.

I was in a business where the systems HAD to work, and have long-term support ( no obsolescence notices ), which meant we had to have a computational infrastructure free of others control over it. If someone finds a way of getting into your network and snooping around, and you know your system well, its usually pretty easy to put a stop to it. I love tripwires.

You may enjoy perusing http://www.slashdot.org . Its a blog site, much like this one, but for computer issues. Its a very pro-Linux site.


I have a five digit Slashdot ID and the first digit is a one - just recently passed my ten year anniversary. It is now full to the top with pimply punks who have been alive just a few years less than I've been using Unix derivatives and I pretty much lost interest a couple of years ago.

Oh, and Linux is sort of Microsoft Unix, if you ask me, at least the popular binary distributions. I'm that one flavor of bigot of which you may have heard ...


thats why i run the source based linux distro's. if something goes wrong i won't have to cut through glue code to get the right tools to make something that works.

Oh, and Linux is sort of Microsoft Unix, if you ask me, at least the popular binary distributions.

Which fork? There are over 200 seperate code forks of GNU/Linux.

For a brief time, we will give in to the home-schoolers and the Internet-schoolers as a way to get out of paying taxes, but about a dozen years after that we will find to our horror that we've produced a generation of kids who have no face-to-face social skills whatsoever. In the '50s Asimov wrote "The Naked Sun", about an underpopulated but wealthy world where the colonists had lost the ability to physically be in a room with another person, having communicated for so long by viewscreens. What Marx called the "commoditization of all relationships" will be demonstrated at this point. People will be so afraid of each other that they literally will only interact for profit. Society will finally be replaced by the marketplace, but without cheap energy, what will we have to market? Creationist theories? Warcraft accessories?

Well, in a major way we've already produced a generation or two of kids who lack face-to-face social skills. From age 3 to age 21 or more, they spend nearly all their waking hours institutionalized, where they interact only with people almost exactly their own age. (Their existence vis-a-vis the teacher or lecturer is almost always too one-way to regard as interaction.)

When they finally escape this rather oppressive system, they unsurprisingly find it hard to tolerate being in the presence of almost anyone different in age from themselves. Indeed they find it hard to tolerate even being seen in the presence of almost anyone different in age from themselves. (So much for all the fatuously politically-correct yammering about "diversity".) This is often problematical or even disastrous in workplaces, community groups, and other settings. It seems to take some years to get past it - and for some, it seems to take many years.

So I'm not too worried (yet) about a Naked Sun scenario, as the technology is not nearly that good right now. And I'm less than thrilled with the present system, the main design goal of which seems to be not to prepare anyone for anything, but merely to remove any need - and any time - for parents and other adults to interact with children and younger folks. So I don't see much potential downside to disruptive change, and maybe something positive could conceivably come of it.

Hi PaulS,

Some of my favorite "snapshots":

1) Two approx. 19-year-old young women, emerging from coffee shop, each with a huge drink in hand (it was summer), each leaning across to sip from the other's straw, while each simultaneously (in between slurps) keeping up a non-stop conversation - in Mandarin (?) - on her respective cell phone. (To someone else, presumably.) 4 people, two in each other's physical presence...

2) Young woman riding bike (no helmet) talking into cell phone: "Hi Grandma, it's me."

3) Young guy on bus talking on cell phone - obviously to his buddy. More frequently than one might expect, the phone conversations between young men are about...(ready?)...food. This one was about how to make oatmeal.

My hypothesis- (Nate?)- is that humans/(perhaps different for each sex) have an innate level of conversation and connection they enjoy having, and that it's much higher than that allowed by our current social arrangements, for the most part.

The cell phone has made it possible for the younger generations to attempt to reach this natural maximum, overcoming the inhibitions posed by location - (public restrooms are a very favorite places to continue cell phone calls)- that were formerly part of the culture.

Hey wasn't that new energy/climate changing invention suppose to be revealed tonight at that Fortune Forum in England? Wonder if there's any insiders out there that can report on what it was/is going to be? I believe Al Gore is the keynote speaker.

It was, and so far I haven't found anything about what it was. I haven't checked in the last couple of hours, but perhaps the well heeled insiders saw it, and where told to be quiet if they wanted a sweet piece of the pie.

local paper will be out soon, maybe they will have something.

I just checked on a board that had a dedicated thread, and they have found nothing.

Conoco enters bid for Gas Line to lower 48 see link below....



Today on www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net in the Breaking News, there's a story about how Goldman, Sachs have figured out that war ("killing") technologies are much more profitable than "green" technologies.

Frankly, from a deep green perspective, this is certainly true. The human population HAS to come down.

Hi fleam,

Those technologies are only "profitable" because the funds used to pay for them were provided from the taxpayer, wittingly or unwittingly. (i.e., whether they know it or not).

This isn't really "profit". It's engineering (via lobbying) to grab a piece of the tax pie, which is really a subset of the entire energy pie, via the emotional-fear channel (along with the usual smooth-talk channels).

re: "Frankly, from a deep green perspective, this is certainly true."

Well, I have a different view on this.

Because we can - from one particular perspective - characterize the *current* problem facing humanity as being one of "overshoot" (of the human species), does *not* mean that people dying en mass, (by any means) - or being killed en mass - will end up with a more profitable or even equitable or even tolerable situation for anyone.

It's quite possible, the result would be huge numbers of severely traumatized people (children and adults), who have hardly any ways to even survive.

with regard to Oregon the only system so far to collape from it's internal contradictions was the old USSR. I bet Naomi Klein and co never predicted it.
If things do get desperate in the energy stakes the people are going to want their leaders to do whatever it takes to get the oil for them. If it means invading a few places so be it. Bush may have been ahead of the game.

Weatherman - I was starting to get into the habit of asking liberal types out in the San Francisco Bay area whether they'd be willing to give up their Volvos and so on to save the planet. No Way was the basic answer. In fact the hatred of Bush is basically a very thin veneer, a way to "look cool". In realty they're all for whoever will keep the oil cheap, and they don't care who they bomb. The main frustration with GW Bush among the libs is that gas is still $3 a gallon. Oh and the price of their multi-thousand-mile salads at Whole Foods keeps going up.

Very very few willing to actually scale back, and a good number of those who "walk the walk" are not liberal, but conservative.

i suspect everyone who is anti-war - left or right - will reverse themselves when the level of sacrifice they are going to be required to make becomes significantly clearer to them

I think you would be right...if war actually worked. But our experience in Iraq is that it doesn't. The "energy dividend" Bush promised has not materialized. Prices are not lower at the pump. Quite the opposite, and a big reason is Iraq.

It's war that requires the really big sacrifices. To take on another one would mean bringing back the draft. It may also mean WWII-style rationing, including of gasoline.

I think the American people would make those sacrifices...but not just for gas for their SUVs. It would have to be a Pearl Harbor or 9/11 - an attack on the homeland.

If it's just high prices or scarcity, they'll push for drilling in ANWR, dropping environmental rules, coal to liquids and screw global warming. They won't bring back the draft.

I also don't think Bush will succeed in his plan of making it impossible for future presidents to pull out of Iraq. I think we'll be driven out, just like Vietnam. And just like Israel with Lebanon. The Israelis are far more willing to make sacrifices than we are, and Lebanon is right on their border. But they were eventually driven out anyway.

If things do get desperate in the energy stakes the people are going to want their leaders to do whatever it takes to get the oil for them

That was Robertson's line from "3 days of the Condor"

Todd Harrison, well known and respected Wall Street trader and commentator, has this to say about possible government interventions in the equity markets. After years of whispered conversations with peers, he has finally come out with his suspicions that there is a lot of it going on. The article is worth a careful read.

Something that Leanan missed (if that is possible :-))

On Wind Power in India


I didn't miss it. Though I might not have posted it here. (Hard to remember sometimes, since I'm also news editor at PO.com.)

I can't post every story, or the DrumBeats would be even longer than they already are. I pick the stories that I find particularly interesting and/or important.

Leanan, while awesome up one side and down the other, is only human. I think :-)

Agreed - if she put in everything, Drumbeats would be HUGE. She does a superhuman job as it is.

You just can't put EVERYTHING in...... I doubt she misses much.

Barbara Starr on CNN reported a few minutes ago [17:21 albuquerque] reported that China denied US plane landing and ship visiting in Hong Kong for refuge from a storm .

Heavy stuff?

Well, there certainly is some eye watering symbolism in that move, isn't there?

any more news on that - i am searching for it and cannot find an article

unless it's the one about the ships turned around in the harbor the other day... is this in addition to that incident?

I would like to report that gas station's running out of gas have started to show up here in olathe kansas.

Hey...no way...I'll have to check my local Lee's Summit stations tomorrow...and priced just dropped to $2.76 today. You think this is the pipeline explosion effect?

i don't know but the station is a highly used one. i use it too since it's right on my commute too/from work so i can minimize use of my car. my mother noticed it first she went to get gas there and found all the pumps bagged.

I'm much closer to that starved refinery than you are and we've already had spot shortages within the last few weeks - I do see prices moving up by pennies but so far no one is bagging the fuel dispensers.

We are due for the mother of all ice storms, guaranteed to limit travel for the next couple of days ...