DrumBeat: December 1, 2007

Lawmakers reach deal on auto fuel efficiency

Congressional Democrats reached a compromise late Friday to boost automobile fuel economy by 40 percent, clearing the way for a House vote probably next week on an energy bill that Democratic leaders would like to send to President Bush before Christmas.

The agreement came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reached an accord with Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., a longtime protector of the auto industry that dominates his home state, to ease the impact of the new fuel economy requirements.

Fuel efficiency and the American driver

More hybrids. More diesels. Smaller engines and fancier technology. And an initial sticker price increase that could total a couple thousand dollars.

Those are the likely outcomes now that Congress has decided to increase the national fuel efficiency standards to 35 miles a gallon by 2020, from the current average of 25.

Fuel costs hit NORSHUKON plans

THE RISING cost of fuel has forced a Shetland/Norwegian consortium of public and private interests to scrap their immediate plans for a passenger ferry between Norway's west coast and the UK mainland in favour of a freight service.

Hyperion wants Union County residents to vote on refinery

On Tuesday, Hyperion Resources of Dallas plans to give the Union County Commission a rezoning request, which, if approved, could lead to a countywide referendum on the company's proposed $8 billion to $10 billion oil refinery.

Dutch horticulture, traffic, key to green future

If the people of Venlo have their way, new buildings in this busy nexus of the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium will generate more energy than they use.

This ambitious target has been gaining momentum in the province of Limburg, southern Netherlands, since the airing of a television documentary about the revolutionary concept of 'cradle-to-cradle' living that produces zero garbage and zero pollution yet allows maximum economic activity.

Saudi sees oil demand OK but no signal on OPEC move

World oil consumption will rise as winter sets in but it is unclear if OPEC needs to raise output to meet the seasonal demand, the oil minister of top world oil exporter Saudi Arabia said on Saturday.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is under pressure from consumer nations to boost supply to lower prices that last week hit a record high near $100 a barrel.

Asked whether he expected demand to increase during the winter, Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi told reporters: "That is what it normally does, every winter the fourth quarter is always higher than the third quarter."

Kashagan accord deadline set for Dec. 20-consortium

A consortium led by Italy's Eni and Kazakhstan have agreed a Dec. 20 deadline for finalising settlement of a dispute over the country's giant Kashagan oilfield, the group said in a statement.

"Good progress" has been made in the talks between the two sides, the statement released on Saturday said, and a new memorandum of understanding has been signed establishing the framework for the settlement.

Gas Prices Hurt Budgets More In The Past

The price of gas is hovering around 3 dollars a gallon. While people complain about how expensive it is to fill up, economists say the cost of gas affected people's budgets more twenty five years ago than it does now.

An Alaska-to-Chicago pipeline?

ConocoPhillips wants to build potentially the world's largest, most expensive energy facility - a multibillion-dollar gas pipeline running from Alaska's North Slope to Midwestern states.

Turkmenistan starts work on north-south rail link to Kazakhstan and Iran

Turkmenistan formally opened construction Saturday on a north-south railroad from the border with Kazakhstan to Iran, a project seen as an economic boon for the oil- and gas-rich Caspian Sea region.

Bio-Fuel: More Poverty, Environmental Destruction and Hunger

The energy crisis, through over use, and the zenith of oil, is giving way to powerful global alliances between the oil, grain, genetic engineering and car industries.

Mexico police drafted into oil state in drug fight

Some 200 heavily armed police landed in Mexico's oil-producing Gulf coast state of Campeche this week, a formerly quiet region that has become the latest front in a war on powerful drug gangs.

Are We Heading for Hyperinflation or Deflation? - At Philosophical Crossroads

For some unfathomable reason, the human mind tends to think in terms of extremes. For example: “Death or Glory”, “Success or Failure”, “Accelerating growth or Collapse”.

Thus, the questions being asked in today's financial world seem to be revolving around whether we are facing “hyperinflation or depression”. All of which begs the questions: Why does it have to be at one or the other extreme? Why can't there be something in between? Alternatively, why can't there be a paradigm shift which renders the very question irrelevant?

I'm just sayin'

If Rochester resident Norm Erickson's theory proves correct, American lifestyles 10 or 20 years from now could more closely resemble those of Richie, Potsie, Ralph and the Fonz than those of George, Jane and Elroy Jetson.

Erickson, a semi-retired IBM engineer, is what some are calling a "peak-oiler." He is among a growing number of people in the country who believe that world production of oil either has already or will very soon hit its peak. And it's all downhill from there.

ELCA college holds climate change conference

“Anyone [who] says oil production can go on forever is either a mad man or an economist,” joked Kenneth S. Deffeyes, professor emeritus of geosciences, Princeton [N.J.] University. Deffeyes is the author of Hubbert’s Peak (Princeton University Press, 2001) and Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert’s Peak (Hill and Wang, 2005), which discuss the consequences for the U.S. and the world of reaching the peak of oil production.

“While economists want oil to last, we have passed the peak of oil production. ... The price will only continue to rise,” he said. “And we will run out.”

Abu Dhabi, Citigroup, BCCI and more

One more not inconsequential fact for those following events closely in Venezuela. There's much written and said about it, so, I do not need to regurgitate information readily available. However, an additional factor not generally highlighted as to why the US is so opposed to Venezuela's Chavez led government. Chavez has a plan to build an oil pipeline with/across Colombia in order to export to China. Contrary to mythological explanations of scarcity, shortages, prices, peak oil and who supplies the US with oil, the US gets most of its oil both from itself, obviously, along with its two neighbors, Mexico and Canada, some coming from elsewhere, like Venezeula, for example, approximately 10%, I believe, and Africa. The loss of Venezuelan oil can be compensated. But, it's the loss of market share as a supplier for Europe, China, perhaps India, as well, that is THE issue, THE prize, THE economic bonanza.

Pakistan: Complete de-regulation of LPG prices approved

Caretaker Prime Minister of Mohammed Mian Soomro gave approval in principle for complete de-regulation of prices of LPG and directed OGRA to separate the price of LPG from the Saudi Aramco control price.

Oil output boost not on OPEC agenda: Qatar

OPEC ministers will not discuss raising the oil cartel's production ceiling when they meet in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, Qatari Energy Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah said on Saturday.

When asked by AFP if an output increase was on the meeting's agenda, Attiyah said: "No."

The head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Nobuo Tanaka, had appealed on Thursday for an output increase by OPEC members.

Chavez threatens to cut oil exports to U.S.

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez said on Friday he will cut oil sales to the United States if the American government interferes in Sunday's referendum aimed at allowing him to run for reelection indefinitely.

Chavez told supports at a rally that the state oil company will halt sales to the United States on Monday if Washington interferes with the vote on the proposed constitutional reform.

Chavez oil threat raises stakes

A threat by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to stop oil exports to the United States has raised the stakes over a Sunday referendum he has called in a bid to expand his powers.

Iran Holds 138bb of Oil, 28.2t cu. m. of Gas

Iran's oil and gas reserves amount to 138 billion barrels and 28. 2 trillion cubic meters respectively, the petroleum minister announced here on Friday. Talking about explorations, Gholamhossein Nozari told MNA nine billion barrels of in-situ oil and about 70 trillion cubic feet of gas has been discovered.

Massive deep-water oil find in Brazil challenges technology

About 70 percent of Petrobras' oil production comes from deep-water wells, making it the world's biggest oil producer at such depths. But the Tupi deposit is deeper than Petrobras has ever drilled — under 7,000 feet of ocean water and more than 16,000 feet of rock, sand and salt, including a 1.2-mile-thick layer of rock-hard salt.

How to tap into the find has set off a technological race, spurred because the potential rewards of exploiting the deposit are so great — especially as the price of oil nears $100 a barrel.

Ex German chancellor sees Russia as dependable energy supplier

Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder here Friday stressed that Russia remained a dependable energy supplier amid Berlin's skeptical stance.

Schroeder who heads a Russian-German Baltic Sea pipeline consortium controlled by Russian energy giant Gazprom, said Russia is among the most politically stable countries and should not be discredited.

Alaska gets 5 applications for natural gas

Five companies, partnerships and entities have submitted proposals to build a massive pipeline from Alaska's North Slope to bring the region's vast but long-languishing natural gas reserves to markets thousands of miles away, state officials announced late on Friday.

Leaking part of pipeline will go to lab

Tests will focus on why a repair joint failed, spraying fumes and oil that ignited and killed two welders.

Japan firm announces first carbon spot trade

- A Japanese company said Friday it had conducted the world's first spot trade in carbon credits, predicting the nascent market will grow as countries step up efforts to tackle global warming.

"Iran's oil and gas reserves amount to 138 billion barrels and 28. 2 trillion cubic meters respectively, the petroleum minister announced here on Friday"

Why is this news? Is this more or less than previously stated? Sounds like they are producing next max.

Why would we want to attack a country whose oil production has peaked?

No one will attack Iran for x+z reasons...

– its all hot air

One could of made the same statement about attacking iraq but look how that ended up.
Basically just because the region is past peak doesn't mean that target is off the list, there is still allot left to be 'acquired'

I forgot the Y , the equation should state : x+y+z, where Y is “all that new information acquired since they (US army) got stranded in Iraq and Afghanistan”…. That’s a lot of new no-no info IMHO, and the US will get no support from anyone , maybe but Israel

And whatever oil is available in Iran, the US has to just follow the queue, just like the rest of us and keep the monies ready ;-)

But remember, the US is still trying to get the Iraqi government to approve laws favorable to "Production Sharing Agreements" with big oil companies-- http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/oil/2005/crudedesigns.htm

The other thing the US got was a defense of the value of the dollar against the Euro:

The value of the dollar is not well defended. The euro was worth .90 dollars in 2002 and is now worth about $1.46. The value of the euro is well defended by the Europeans balancing their government budgets better than the Americans.
The attack on Iraq in search of WMD's and Alqaeda training camps was a complete fraud. The promises to the Iraqis of freedom proved fruitless. There has been a great loss of freedom and increase in violence since the attack began. Religious militias terrorized the populace more than when the Baathist regime was in power.
Any gains in business for multinational oil companies and Haliburton in Iraq have not been able to offset the deep costs to the American taxpayers. Haliburton moved to the UAE and no longer pays taxes to the United States anyway.
The last time Cheney threatened to launch a preemptive strike on Iran someone brought forth a motion to impeach him. The Republicans have lost much credibility and political power since they lied to the American public about Iraq's actions and intentions.

Question for UK readers.

I periodically check a UK dealer in LEDs to see what new products have been developed and what price points are.


They currently have a graphic that states "Beat the 2008 Government Ban". What ban are they talking about ?

Best Hopes for Energy Efficiency,


The comparable USA site I also go to (and buy from) is:


So many things are being banned it's hard to tell ;)

Could be related to mercury in CFLs, the EU are keen to eliminate mercury. There is also a proposal to ban manufacture of incandescents, but I don't know of a timeframe.

Alan, here you go:


Attempts to ban incandescent bulbs from 2008+

wow (0)(0)

Banning Edison bulbs because they're not effecient enough.....

In the US what are they going to do about all those space and radiant heaters that run on electricity? Or electric stoves?

One would hope that oil filled space heaters would take off here in Iowa, given that we have excellent wind resources shut in by lack of long distance transmission lines.

One $2,500 investment would pretty much free us from heating bills and I itch to get this done ...

Not a cure everywhere, but blanket policies are generally not such a good idea. I think the incandescent bulb ban *is* a good thing, as it only troubles the maker of the EasyBake stove ...

I think the incandescent bulb ban *is* a good thing, as it only troubles the maker of the EasyBake stove ...

Places around my house where I don't use CFL bulbs:

- Inside my kitchen stove (gas): Too hot

- Inside my fridge and freezer: Too cold

- In the motion sensor controlled security lights outside the house: Too cold in winter to provide enough light quickly

- In my photographic darkroom: They give off enough light to fog film for 3-5 minutes after you switch them off due to residual glow from the phosphor

- In various task lamps that right now use 12 Volt halogen bulbs: Not available in that size or brightness

- In dimmer equipped fixtures: even the "dimmable" CFL's don't work as promised; lifespan of less than a dozen hours in some cases, audible buzzing, non-smooth dimming and unequal brightness in multi-bulb fixtures

- In my workshop: they have a strobe effect which sometimes makes things like spinning saw blades and grinder wheels seem stationary or slow moving when in fact they are not. Very unsafe!

Please just tax them lots to discourage use where they are not needed but don't ban them outright. All lighting methods are not yet equal in ways that do matter

Not to mention that they are not inherently worse either. USAGE of the bulb determines how wasteful they are over type. I have seen way to many people get the cfl bulbs only to leave them on all the time.


I see misplaced animositiy towards CFLs though from certain conservative quarters as if saving electricity is a sin or something. Most anti CFL people seem to be anti AGW theory too.

All I know is that I replaced all my general lighting incadescents with CFLs and cut my electric bills by 10% this summer. So I like them!

cfl's are great 'only' if your one of those people committed to cutting your light usage as well. i have seen to many people in my area just replace normal light bulbs with them but leave the new ones on all the time thinking that no matter how much you use them they will still always be better then the wast full incondesents.

this is true though. You seem to be confused, the CFL may cost 1-2 $/bulb, but will last 10x longer and with 1/3rd the energy requirement, therefore so long as regular lightbulbs do not cost less than 1/30 the cost of a CFL, you win with a purchase of a CFL (in monitary terms) regardless of the use.

If you are worried about heating, insulate your home. Best investment you can make.

You seem to be confused, the CFL may cost 1-2 $/bulb, but will last 10x longer and with 1/3rd the energy requirement, therefore so long as regular lightbulbs do not cost less than 1/30 the cost of a CFL, you win with a purchase of a CFL (in monitary terms) regardless of the use.

Uh, no.

Let's take a 30W CFL against a 100W incandescent. Assume the CFL lasts 2 years @ $4, and the incan lasts 3 months @ $1, with electricity going for $0.10/kWh.

Assuming you use the light for 8 hours a day - ~3000/yr - the CFL will cost $11/yr ($9 in electricity + $2 in replacement), vs. $34 for the incan ($30 in electricity + $4 in replacement). So the CFL is a huge win in normal use.

However, if you did the silly "keep the light on all the time" thing for a light that was rarely used before, you could certainly end up spending more. If the light was normally used only 2 hours/day, the incan would be $12/yr, whereas the CFL - used 24 hours/day - would be $29/yr.

So usage matters; indeed, usage is practically all that matters - you can see here how little the purchase price of the bulbs matters compared to the electricity costs.

Won't they have to be ethanol-filled space heaters?


Just a note, since I didn't see an address for you. You asked a question on Nov. 27, and I just offered a reply this evening (Dec. 2). (I say this because I took it as a sincere question, and I had some thoughts.) http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3293#comment-272124

Well, I see a couple of different perspectives, so a quick overview.

Things are 'banned' all the time in the Europe - and Europeans know any number of ways how to get around the bans. For example, when Telekom in Germany used to license everything hooked up to their phone network, only Telekom approved answering machines or wireless phones could be purchased - unless the unit you bought was for 'export only.' Another way around a ban is all the exceptions which will be written into the law.

However, as for banning incandescent bulbs - their efficiency is poor, and whether this meets either doomer or cornucopian approval, efficiency is going to be a major aspect of how we will be dealing with things for the next several decades. Whether this efficiency will be enlightened (LEDs replacing CF replacing incandescent, etc. - with LEDs being very practical to use in a PV framework) or brutal (the person with a woodburning stove that burns less wood will freeze more slowly than someone with an open fireplace) is a separate issue.

As for using electricity for heating - well, it has its place in terms of using baseload in a practical manner. Generally, electric heating done ovrnight is fairly cost effective, unless you guess wrong about the next day's weather - the German systems I'm most familiar with simply store the heat in bricks. Newer systems use floor heating, but I don't think they are as efficient in baseload terms.

But there is a strange aspect in terms of incandescents - they are part of your heating, the same way a refrigerator is. Essentially, a kilowatt powering the lights is a kilowatt of heat.

This is why efficiency and conservation have to be very carefully considered. More efficient lighting may lead to higher heating requirements, which actually may mean that the efficiency increase is improved, as burning natural gas directly for heat is much more efficient than burning it for generating electricity. (During the first energy crisis, Fairfax County opened its new administration building - which was designed to have the lights on 24 hours a day, as part of its heating system. Obviously, this was seen as remarkably wasteful at the time, but actually, it wasn't that bad - not counting summer, of course - except that having a 10 story building lit up continuously seemed a beacon of wastefulness when conservation was considered necessary.)

But whether such an increase in efficiency can actually be called conservation is another matter - after all, natural gas is still being burned. But using LEDs with a PV/battery system, and adding home insulation, may lead to a reduction in both terms of electricity use and in terms of natural gas use - but in this case, the efficiency of LEDs and home insulation have nothing to do with one another at all. Except for allowing people to live comfortably within a framework which is at least potentially sustainable.

The EU, whose citizens in general have more faith in communal solutions to communal problems, is attempting to change things through regulation, without waiting for people to decide it is their self-interest to do so, or for various industries to approve their profits being reduced or eliminated. And the EU, being run by people, will make its share of human mistakes, which is accepted here. America is different. There, it seems, only government mistakes are considered true mistakes.

As a sidenote - 10 years ago, according to a radio report, the most commonly shoplifted item in Germany was CF bulbs. Which actually makes sense - at the time, not only did they cost a lot, but stealing them would lead to fairly substantial long term savings for the thief. I always imagined that most of the thiefs were grandparents, widows, pensioners, etc.

Some very good points, Expat (as usual)

Here in Portland, we've had, for December 1, an exceptionally cold (20f), Windy and Sunny day, where my house could have been entirely Heated by any of a number of Solar Heating options, like these Solar Hot Air Panels that are under construction in the basement.. as well as a good amount of Windpower, which certainly could have just been directly wired to Incandescents inside, producing both heat and light without the losses of batteries and related circuitry. Even the food we are cooking on our electric range is using the heat twice during this season, making the stove a good bit more economical in wintertime.

Of course, the use of Electric Lighting AT ALL during a bright sunny day is a bit of legacy foolishness that I also aim to dismantle with a system that starts with a Tracked-Mirror atop each of my Three Disused ChimneyShafts, providing a constant beam of nearly full sunlight down through the entire depth of the 3story, 3-Apartment building, wherein each floor can 'dip' a mirror into a designated pie-slice of that light, to be directed into the room along the ceiling to where-ever it is needed, diffused, split, filtered, lensed or reflected into useful forms..

I'm not all that impressed by the light that comes from these solar 'light-tubes' that I see installed here and there. As a Lighting Cameraman, I can safely say that diffusing your light source too early in its path will cost you a LOT of lightcandles down the line, and the Light tubes are often difuse both at the roof as well as at the outlet.. (Don't even talk to me about rediffusing difuse sources, you get bupkiss out the back end!) Tracking a mirror barely takes any energy, and the complexity is pretty low. Like most Alt-energy, just takes initial investment and design-time.. climbing on my roof is gravy. It's as close to an extreme sport as I've got.


Bob Fiske

(oops.. sun is down! Gotta get the insulated shades pulled)

What I especially love: Go into any office, and under the desks of many (most?) of the female clerical workers you will find little electric heaters, heating the air that the air conditioners have cooled. . . because the heaters have heated it. . . because the a/c has cooled it. . . because the heaters have heated it . . . because the a/c has cooled it. . . etc.

An endless feedback loop. Kunstler could have a LOT of fun writing about that one.

I don't know. There's talk about strongly encouraging not using filament bulbs by voluntarily not stocking them, eg,


but that's not an actual ban and I haven't really heard much about it in the media. (Mind you, I tend to tune it out energy efficiency from bulbs because whether a given illumination bulb dissipates 100W or 9W makes little difference if it's not switched on.)

Alan - since you are talking about LEDs, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's a ban on the really bright ones that "trick my ride" types like to put into their car headlights.

LED headlights are great, but too-bright ones are a danger to other drivers, and by a certain time in 08 British police may start writing tickets, perhaps expensive ones, for using them in your car.

I don't think you have to worry about Brit DOT regulations keeping you from buying bright white LEDs.

It's a ban on incandesent light bulbs and at the lattitude and climate of the UK it is totally bizarre, since we mostly need HEAT as well when we need artificial light.

In the non-FF future we will need our energy from alternate sources (wind, wave, solar PV etc) and these mostly create electricity - so we will need to heat from electricity as well.

A very simple, easy to recycle, low cost, non poluting device for heating with electricity, that anybody can service if it fails, is the incandesent lamp - and you get the light for free!

The stuff we will be forced to buy are typically 5 to 10 times the price, complex, difficult to recycle and contain heavy metals such as mercury, and to cap it all, most current designs don't give adequate light since they are not a point source.

Xeroid - better words were never spoken.

A person can make Edison bulbs in a garage workshop. They can be made to last a LONG time too.

In the early days of radio some were blowing their own tubes.

But the new solutions all seem to be complicated, take tons of high-tech machinery and computing power, exotic materials, etc.

My solution lately has been to acquire a used bicycle (and fished another out of a dumpster for parts) and get a small motorbike that gets better mileage than my Prius did.

There's something about our culture that's really attracted to complex, techie, solutions to really simple problems.

Well said. My Prius is a gas guzzler. I ride my bike everywhere despite the strange looks. I'm 44. I substitute one trip a day going by bike.

Today I saw only the second bike at the gym I can remember.

It's so sad.

On a funny note, the Personal Trainer at the gym just bought this huge hummer (redundant) to drive 3 or 4 miles to the gym. It's only 5 miles from one side to the other, but I'll give her a break. It's California weather and the town is completely flat.

It's really sad when you think about it.

Aaargh,#$%@*&!!!, This is a perfect example of the the kind of (take your pick) arrogant ostentation or clueless ignorance that is so prevalent among the citizens of this me, me, me society. I no longer have the link but someone once sent me a series of photos titled "Only in America" one of them happened to be of a gym somewhere in LA with two escalators going up on either side of the stairs to the front entrance. Of course there was no one on the stairs and both escalators had people on them with their gym bags!!!??? BTW I'm 54 years old and actually am able to speed walk 3 miles in about 40 minutes if I run I can do it in a little over 30 mins. you can estimate my 5 mile speed. Ok, I have a girl friend who is in training for a half marathon and she regularly runs 5ks (3 miles) and I often accompany her during training. We also do 15 mile bike rides. There is absolutely no excuse for someone to buy and drive a Hummer for trips to the gym or anywhere else for that matter unless, they have their cephalus inserted really far up their anus.

During the non heating season, the incandescent bulb wastes energy, when you add in the source multiplier for the electrical generation, CFL's or better yet, LED's make a lot of sense.

wastes energy

Just as the common refrigerator
does. ;)

How does the fridge do on the
energy generation calculation ?

Refrigerators have come a long way recently on energy efficiency, thus they generate a lot less heat. I contend that with much more efficient household appliances and lighting we will have to rethink our heating degree day formula of the average daily temperature from 65 degrees F. When doing energy calculations for my own house I use 68 F as the working number because of cfl's and energy star appliances.

fridges are probably #1 or 2 on the electricity requirements for a house. #1 is typically the sum of all powered off devices, and #2 is the fridge or drier depending on the month.

We recently bought a new A+ energy rated fridge freezer. It has a problem: the fridge door occasionally swings ajar.

I discovered this when I came to get out the butter one day which is close to the fridge lights (2x15W). it was melted!

THe fridge door had come open a little and the lights had come on. The 15W lights and the door being open overcame the fridges cooling ability and spoiled the food.

This all got me thinking: Why sell an A+ rated fridge with incandescent lights in it? Whenever they are on they pour heat into the fridge which then has to be extracted at further energy cost.

I unscrewed the bulbs and even when the door occasionally slips ajar, the butter stays cold.

I recommend this treatment of the fridge if you have adequate ambient light to see inside it.

Eventually it occurred to me to fit 2 low power LED spotlights into the mini screw cap fitting. They stick out from the fittings like Shrek's ears and illuminate the sides of the fridge in pleasingly cold-looking blueish light.
Unfortunately the plastic splash cover no longer fits so it has had to go into storage.

I have had plenty of problems with 240V LED lights burning out but I think the ones in the fridge will last a long time because a: lights not used much, b: low ambient temperature reduces the risk of thermal runaway and burnout of the diodes.

The other fridge defect (yes, I think incandescent light in a fridge are a defect) is the self-opening door. I think I might put a buzzer in parallel to the fridge lights so that there is an alarm when the lights come on. Might lean the whole device back a couple of degrees by chocking up the front on wood or something.

If any fridge designers / manufacturers are listening: LED lighting is the way to go in efficient fridges. Fairly obvious I would have thought!

Carbon - Coventry, UK

We routinely use wide masking tape to provide an extra level of insurance on keeping the freezer door of our refrigerator shut. We usually have our freezer section quite jam packed, so occasionally the door wants to top open a crack. The tape assures that this doesn't happen.

Resistive electric heating, whether it is from a baseboard heater, a bulb, or a refrigerator, is very inefficient.

It is far more efficient to run a heat pump or to burn the fuel directly to make heat.

At the lattitude of the UK, when we have the non-heating season the day length is long so we hardly need lighting at all as, when it is dark, we are mostly asleep.

Most of the energy we use in domestic situations is for heat.

The payback time on these expensive lamps and heat pumps is years and years. So, it's much better to spend the limited money available on better insulation, then much less energy for heating is required. It is far more efficient to not need to use fossil fuel at all.

We don't need to reduce electrical use, we need to reduce all fossil fuel use - oil, coal, and gas - this is the government's mistake, they wrongly think electricity is the total energy.

Payback on CFL's is 1 year IIRC.

You are correct with insulation however, it is the biggest saver.

The payback time on these expensive lamps and heat pumps is years and years.

Try "months and months".

The energy savings over the course of one year with a CFL vs. regular is around $30. At roughly $3 for a bulb, the payback time for compact fluorescent is only a month or two.

Heat pumps take longer, but based on this analysis, an air-source heat pump added to either an oil furnace or electrical resistance will take 2-7 years to pay back across a wide range of climatic conditions.

it's much better to spend the limited money available on better insulation

Often true, yes. Both is even better, though, and the economics seems fairly favourable.

We don't need to reduce electrical use, we need to reduce all fossil fuel use - oil, coal, and gas - this is the government's mistake, they wrongly think electricity is the total energy.

True, but converting to electricity can be an effective way to do that, since electricity can be generated from non-fossil sources. That's especially valid in countries where most electricity is non-fossil-derived (e.g., Canada, France).

No, not necessarily.

If you still have to provide the heat that would have been provided by the old lamps than there is no saving in energy at all, so your costings are incorrect - in fact I would guarantee that more energy and exotic materials have been used in CFLs.

If you use a CFL then all you have done is bought a much more expensive and less usable and eventually more polluting way of producing light.

I do use CFLs - the government insists that energy companies give some away for free, there are loads available if you know where to look - but then I have insulated my house (with government financial help) have solar panels for hot water (with government financial help) and heat with gas, which at the moment is much cheaper than electricity - and constantly switch off lights where not required.

If you still have to provide the heat that would have been provided by the old lamps than there is no saving in energy at all

Sure...if the building's only source of heat is electrical resistive, and is never off when the lights are on, and is bolted to the ceiling. I'd wager the number of buildings that describes is approximately zero, though.

For a building with any non-resistive heating - whether oil/gas furnace or heat pump - then using light bulbs for heat is simply enormously inefficient in comparison.

For a building where the heat doesn't need to be on constantly - and that's almost every building for months and months, even in the UK - the extra heat from light bulbs is simply wasted.

Finally, heat rises, meaning heating up a small patch of air at the ceiling isn't going to do much to help the occupants of the room. There's a reason heating elements are virtually always low - it's more efficient in terms of how the room feels.

So for 99.9% of buildings, CFL will save substantial amounts of energy and money.

The problem is most people in the UK don't have enough money to insulate their properties properly because limited funds are available despite government grants.

Heat is heat at whatever height in the room it is inserted - the air in the room mixes.

We have got to heat our properties with electricty in the future as other alternatives won't be available - and electricity will likely be in short supply. We have to migrate from FF fast.

Energy reducing expenditure needs to be prioritised as the funds available are so limited - massive amounts of CFL isn't good prioritisation and for most people in the UK probably will not save money, even in the long term.

We hardly have any heat pumps in the UK and compared to adequate insulation their cost is massively more - if we have enough insulation we don't need the complexity of heat pumps at all! They will need replacing/servicing regularly, insulation won't.

In the UK in the summer months we don't need much of either artificial heat or light. We either need both or none.

A Philips SLS25 CFL produces 1,750 lumens of light, consumes 25-watts and has a rated service life of 15,000 hours. The equivalent 120-volt, 100-watt A19 soft white incandescent provides 1,620 lumens and has a service life of just 750 hours. Assuming each of these lamps achieves full maturity, our CFL would theoretically displace up to twenty incandescent lamps.

The SLS25 generally retails for about $5.00 and the cost of twenty 100-watt soft white incandescents would likely exceed this. Our reference CFL would consume 375 kWh over its normal life, whereas the accumulated total of our twenty incandescents would come in four times higher. In my case, the potential monetary savings are $120.00, provided electricity rates remain constant over the life of the lamp.

From a resource perspective, if one considers the amount of glass, tungsten, aluminium, lead and argon/krypton that would be consumed in the manufacture of twenty incandescent lamps, plus the related consumer packaging, shipping materials and transportation costs (both weight and volume), I wouldn't be surprised if our CFL comes out ahead. Given that the operating savings are in excess of 1,000 kWh, this alone should tell us energy life costs are substantially lower.

In the case of Nova Scotia Power, each kWh of electricity results in the release of 11.2 grams of SO2, 2.57 grams of NOx, 857 grams of CO2 and 0.023 mg of mercury. Over the course of its life, this CFL would potentially eliminate up to 12.6 kg of SO2, 2.9 kg of NOx, 964 kg of CO2 and 25.9 grams of mercury from the waste stream. [The amount of mercury released into the environment is almost ten times what is contained inside this CFL, and unlike the mercury within the CFL which can be recycled or securely disposed, the mercury emitted by coal fired plants indiscriminately pollutes our air, soil and water.] There are other savings related to the mining and transportation of about a half a tonne of thermal coal.

Lastly, if each kW of incremental demand costs our utility $2,000.00 or more in new plant and related T&D, each CFL could potentially reduce future capital expenditures by $150.00.


Hi Pitt,

The NRC analysis is valuable but, unfortunately, the numbers are four years out of date and as you appreciate, a lot has changed in the energy marketplace since then. I think it's safe to say heating oil costs in Canada have increased at a rate far beyond that of electricity. In the case of Nova Scotia, electricity is 28 per cent more expensive than in 2003 while, during this same timeframe, fuel oil costs have almost doubled.

In addition, the minimum HSPF of air source heat pumps has increased from 6.8 to 7.7 and these higher efficiency standards have helped to propel the entire industry forward (e.g., my new heat pump has a HSPF of 11).


With heating oil currently selling at $0.889 per litre, the pay back on my ductless heat pump is 3.5 years and if my home's thermal losses were higher, the pay back would be even shorter (i.e., higher heat demand would mean my heat pump would offset even more fuel oil).

Even here in Canada, a conventional air-source heat pump will provide two to three times more heat, per kWh, than a standard incandescent lamp. And if the heat generated from the operation of incandescent lamps reduces the run time of my heat pump, my heating costs go up, not down.


CNN is reporting that Turkey has entered Northern Iraq. The "target" is "Kurdish rebels."

And the kalxon's blare loudly. this is not a drill this is not a drill :P
If anyone thinks this will be contained in Iraq now imho should re-think there position.

Since Turkey is one of our NATO Allies does this mean that we will be sending troops into Norther Iraq to fight at their side? ... :)

That is a correct statement but its not at all funny. Not even a little bit.

OMG is it 1/20/2009 yet? We've hit peak stupidity in terms of foreign policy and I am quite tired of the undulating plateau.

SCT, you have proven beyond doubt that you have no sense of humor, congrats! If you cannot view the mess that this country has become without even a chuckly, then you must indeed be a gloomy-gus to be around. Too bad, laughter is the best medicine.

Right Ho River, and isn't black such a delicious colour?! But where oh where are the Lenny Bruces of yesteryear? ... Maybe in Iraq on burial duty and doing some graveyard shtick or other?

I'm reminded of Milo Minderbinder in Catch-22, taking on contracts to strafe the Allies from the Germans....

A society where everything is a commodity.....

I'm an Or fan there myself ... practising crash landings.

He's one of my heroes too!

He kept on hinting and Yossarian didn't get it.

Too bad!

Carbon - Coventry UK

And there is a certain logic in us bombing Iraq. After all, it is full of terrorists.

yes, how can one look at our country, see the leader of the free world wearing a bozo wig, surounded by a troupe of bozo syncophants, and fail to have a sense of humor

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish army entered northern Iraq on Saturday to stop a group of between 50 and 60 Kurdish rebels, the army said and added it could step up its "intervention" in the region if this is needed.

The army operation came a day after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said his cabinet had authorized the armed forces to conduct a cross-border operation against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels.

Let’s see ... from this link

Venezuela threatens to cut oil exports to U.S

Say Venezuela completely stopped to export to the US, what would then happen?
My take is this (simplistic version)

Obviously someone else would take that Venezuelan oil, thus “dominoing“ the US to bid for that lost oil elsewhere – and funny enough there would spontaneously be “freed up” exactly the same amount somewhere else .. the only direct and visual effect would be different and longer oil-tanker voyages and more expensive shipments … no?

I don't think it's quite that simple. Oil is not perfectly fungible. Hence the differing prices for Brent, Nymex, Tapis, etc. Infrastructure matters.

Not that I expect Chavez to actually do it. He's just talking.

I agree with you that Chavez is just having a breathing exercise, but as a hypothetical exercise I wondered if that isolated event would spawn any other kind of trouble … in itself - IMO there will be business as usual in some time...

The US still has their Strategic.Res. to mitigate(buy time) for the “new” supply patterns to take place, so to speak.

Obviously Venezuela is 111% dependent (still I guess) on American produced spare parts for its oil production … so.. the outcome from this hot-air is given!

Doesn't China have the demand?

Isn't China quickly ramping up the infrastructure (emphasis on labor)?

Haven't China and Venez met and made agreements?

just saying I wouldn't assume it's all talk.

P.s. Puplava at financialsence talks about China demand in the middle of 3rd hour. Also thought I heard a blip of Jason Bradford interviewing robert hersch.


Ya, it does seem like China could take the oil and not give any other of it's imports up.

It is not China's choice. If China bids more for the oil, they can get all the oil they desire. Oil if fungible. Whoever has the money gets the oil. It is as simple as that.

It costs Russia very little to ship oil to china because China is one of its closest customers. It would cost Venezuela a whole lot more to ship oil to China because it is so far. The difference in shipping costs between Venezuela and the US verses Venezuela to China would be a lot. Oil from Venezuela to China would have to go all the way around the horn. Why would China pay Venezuela more when it would pay Russia?

Oil is fungible people. If China wishes to absorbe all Venezuela's oil without giving up any of its other imports, that will cost China dearly, not to mention the extra storage they would have to build. Now just why in the hell would China do that?

Ron Patterson

Ron: Yes, in 2007. Down the road, oil is not going to be as fungible. China will need all the oil both Russia and Venezeula can provide and IMO will likely contract to pay the spot price plus a premium for security of supply. The Chinese leadership are aware that oil at $90 is basically free and they appear to be steering the future growth of the Chinese economy with a goal towards economic domination (a stark contrast to the American elite).

Military tension heats up between US, China

A spat over China's denial of port calls to U.S. naval vessels has led the Pentagon to deploy an increasing number of large ships to transit the Taiwan Strait in some of the most sensitive waters in East Asia.

The Taiwan Strait, barely 100 miles wide at its narrowest, is a potential military flashpoint. Mainland China claims Taiwan as a renegade province, and says it has the right to seize control of the independently governed island with its military. It aims more than 900 short-range ballistic missiles across the Strait.


Haven't China and Venez met and made agreements?

China absorbs oil Venezuela ceases to sell to the US

Energy relations between Venezuela and China have been flourishing. Despite the distance between the two countries, the need to go through the Panama Canal to take oil tankers from Venezuela to China, and the lack of refineries suitable to process heavy, high-sulfur content crude oil from Venezuela, the Venezuelan state-run oil firm Pdvsa sold China an unprecedented amount of 359,000 bpd in September.


Thanks for those Cid.

Glad to see you sill posting.

Maybe he's been trying to "just stay alive" for the past decade. He's certainly not just talking. And he's been here before.

Seeing what happens in Iraq for oil, how many people get killed for it, he knows just what to expect in Venezuela. Invasion.

CIA Operation "Pliers" Uncovered in Venezuela

Psyop aims to destabilize Venezuela and overthrow President Chavez

An internal CIA memorandum has been obtained by Venezuelan counterintelligence from the US Embassy in Caracas that reveals a very sinister - almost fantastical, were it not true - plan to destabilize Venezuela during the coming days. The plan, titled "OPERATION PLIERS" was authored by CIA Officer Michael Middleton Steere and was addressed to CIA Director General Michael Hayden in Washington.

Steere is stationed at the US Embassy in Caracas under the guise of a Regional Affairs Officer. The internal memorandum, dated November 20, 2007, references the "Advances of the Final Stage of Operation Pliers", and confirms that the operation is coordinated by the team of Human Intelligence (HUMINT) in Venezuela. The memo summarizes the different scenarios that the CIA has been working on in Venezuela for the upcoming referendum vote on December 2nd.

The Electoral Scenario, as it's phrased, confirms that the voting tendencies will not change substantially before Sunday, December 2nd, and that the SI (YES) vote in favor of the constitutional reform has an advantage of about 10-13 points over the NO vote. The CIA estimates abstention around 60% and states in the memo that this voting tendency is irreversible before the elections.

does diebold (diablo'd) sell voting machines to hugo ?

maybe that is the source of the sulphur smell.

I seem to remember reading that Hugo has a financial interest in a US voting machine company.


How is this to be done?

In the memo, the CIA proposes the following tactics and actions:

* Take the streets and protest with violent, disruptive actions across the nation
* Generate a climate of ungovernability
* Provoke a general uprising in a substantial part of the population
* Engage in a "plan to implode" the voting centers on election day by encouraging opposition voters to "VOTE and REMAIN" in their centers to agitate others
* Start to release data during the early hours of the afternoon on Sunday that favor the NO vote (in clear violation of election regulations)
* Coordinate these activities with Ravell & Globovision and international press agencies
* Coordinate with ex-militar officers and coupsters Pena Esclusa and Guyon Cellis - this will be done by the Military Attache for Defense and Army at the US Embassy in Caracas, Office of Defense, Attack and Operations (DAO)

To encourage rejection of the results, the CIA proposes:

* Creating an acceptance in the public opinion that the NO vote will win for sure
* Using polling companies contracted by the CIA
* Criticize and discredit the National Elections Council
* Generate a sensation of fraud
* Use a team of experts from the universities that will talk about how the data from the Electoral Registry has been manipulated and will build distrust in the voting system

The CIA memo also talks about:

* Isolating Chavez in the international community
* Trying to achieve unity amongst the opposition
* Seek an aliance between those abstentionists and those who will vote "NO"
* Sustain firmly the propaganda against Chavez
* Execute military actions to support the opposition mobilizations and propagandistic occupations
* Finalize the operative preparations on the US military bases in Curacao and Colombia to provide support to actions in Venezuela
* Control a part of the country during the next 72-120 hours
* Encourage a military rebellion inside the National Guard forces and other components

Those involved in these actions as detailed in the CIA memo are:

* The CIA Office in Venezuela - Office of Regional Affairs, and Officer Michael Steere
* US Embassy in Venezuela, Ambassador Patrick Duddy
* Office of Defense, Attack and Operations (DAO) at the US Embassy in Caracas and Military Attache Richard Nazario

Venezuelan Political Parties:

* Comando Nacional de la Resistencia
* Accion Democratica
* Primero Justicia
* Bandera Roja


* Alberto Federico Ravell & Globovision
* Interamerican Press Society (IAPA) or SIP in Spanish
* International Press Agencies

man what a wizard’s brew, sounds like some 14 year old playing king in the attic ;-)

I’m not buying this ¤##£??)& , although these ways would definitely promote the ideas of democracy – which is held so dear by both CIA and the Bush

this is what the cia has been doing for years down south.

Castro warns of US assasination attempt against Chavez

Cuban leader Fidel Castro has accused the US of fuelling internal conflicts in Venezuelan and again warned of the risk of an assassination attempt against that country's leftist president, Hugo Chavez.


Either vote is wrong -- just like in U.S.

When presented with false choices and a corrupt voting system, there can be no democracy. Some would say that was intended. Most likely just further working of Adam Smith's "invisible hand" -- Everything human is painted the color of greed.

It's what you get in a society where everything is a commodity. Everything.

US CIA plot to disrupt political process in Venezuela exposed

On November 26, 2007 the Venezuelan government broadcast and circulated a confidential memo from the US embassy to the CIA which is devastatingly revealing of US clandestine operations and which will influence the referendum this Sunday (December 2, 2007).

The ultimate objective of ‘Operation Pincer’ is to seize a territorial or institutional base with the ‘massive support’ of the defeated electoral minority within three or four days (before or after the elections – is not clear. JP) backed by an uprising by oppositionist military officers principally in the National Guard. The Embassy operative concede that the military plotters have run into serous problems as key intelligence operatives were detected, stores of arms were decommissioned and several plotters are under tight surveillance.

Apart from the deep involvement of the US, the primary organization of the Venezuelan business elite (FEDECAMARAS), as well as all the major private television, radio and newspaper outlets have been engaged in a vicious fear and intimidation campaign. Food producers, wholesale and retail distributors have created artificial shortages of basic food items and have provoked large scale capital flight to sow chaos in the hopes of reaping a ‘no’ vote.


Not a single drop of oil for the United States - Chavez

Chavez told supports at a rally that the state oil company will halt sales to the United States on Monday if Washington interferes with the vote.

"There will not be a single drop of oil for the United States," Chavez told hundreds of thousands of cheering supporters in downtown Caracas. "And if they want to come and take our oil they will face 100 years of war in Venezuela."

"Whoever votes 'Yes' is voting for Chavez, and whoever votes 'No' is voting for George W. Bush, president of the United States," he said.

The Venezuelan leader also said he had ordered the military to protect oil fields and refineries in case of political violence.


I think the chance of the vote NOT being interfered with is ZERO. Perhaps Chavez has been looking for an excuse and oil exports to the US will end on Monday. He doesn't like taking US Dollars for his oil anyway. He would rather get Yuan.

now Yuan is still pegged with $ and US is trying to break that peg - give Hugo more reason to go for the Yuan...

hugo apparently gets the same political mileage from the us as bushy gets from iran.

Lenan are you saying that Venezuela oil is very sour (or heavy) so nobody else can refine it, but the US? My understanding always was the less sour oil can always be used in place of sour oil, no (same with heavy)?

From the US's point of view, Venezuela's oil is very fungible. Since it is mostly heavy sour, it can be replaced with oil from most anywhere. I mean it is much easier to refine lighter sweeter oil than most of what comes from Venezuela. Because most anyone can refine the light sweet stuff, but few can refine the heavy stuff, it means that the heavy sour stuff can be easiely replaced.

The US can replace Venezuela's oil with oif from just about anywhere. It would be a useless jesture for Venezuela to refuse to sell the US oil.

Ron Patterson

No, that's not what I meant. I meant that getting the oil from where it's produced to where it's used can be a bottleneck. That's why there are shortages in the midwest, but not in northeast, where gas is actually cheaper now than in the midwest - the reverse of the historical situation. That's why crude oil has gotten so expensive in Asia, compared to the US.

Yeah, I think this is just rhetoric to boost oil prices.

Maybe Hugo has a bet with Robert Rapier? :P

Reports of the genocide of Christians in Iraq by Muslim fanatics has continued. By one estimate 70-80% of Christians in Iraq have been killed or forced into exile since the U.S. led invasion of Iraq.

Genocide of Christians in Iraq

This may sound calious but turns about fare play imho considering what certain sects of christens and jews have been doing to plaistinains for years. not to mention the recent incident of them saying they support democracy but when the people speak and elect the leaders they want they decide to cut off all ties because the election did not elect who they wanted.

You might want to look at who has been oppressing whom (impovershing, humiliating, threatening and often killing) across Arabia and the former Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years with the full sanction of religious law.  I'll give you a hint:  the oppressors are now the overwhelming majority in the region and in almost every nation in the area, with a couple of prominent (and precarious) exceptions.

AND i don't care because both groups have done equally bad stuff to each other through the centurys. your just focusing on the short term.

Now let me think Engineer-Poet,... Hmmm.... my first guess would be the world corporations, but they haven't been around that long. 2nd guess, the USA but those guys are the friends of Arabia and their Nato buddies the Turks, therefore it can only be the English, they have been screwing that area for centuries, the naughty little bastards.

The English WERE the world corporations. Their joint-stock corporations were the first wave of imperial conquest in America, India, China and Africa. In the Middle East, they were called British Petroleum. That's why you can't educate Americans on the crimes of Britain; as their ideological heirs, we are religiously incapable of ascribing monstrous crimes to entrepreneurs as opposed to governments.

I agree but would further define World-Corp in that it, while world wide, owes no allegiance to any country, it wraps itself in all flags. The British Cooperations were world wide monsters but they did owe allegiance to Britain, I see little of that in modern American corporations or other present day international corporations.

Of course, the ancient Middle Eastern Christians never benefitted from Constantine making Christianity the enforced state religion of the Roman Empire. Have you ever considered the possibility that the disastrous failure of Christian Rome left a mess so big that many of the victims around the Mediterranean WANTED to convert to a militant faith that promised to take action to restore civilization? The Moslems in Egypt, Iraq and other places are the descendants of pagans and Christians.

Islam restored civilization and learning in only a generation. Hardly seems likely if everyone was simply coerced by religious tyranny. The great destroyers of the knowledge of the ancient world weren't Moslems or pagans but the Christian mobs during Rome's decline.

According to War Nerd over at Exile.ru, the last big ethnic cleansing committed by Turks was not by the Islamic caliph, but by the violently secular republic against ethnic Greek Christians in western Turkey in the early 1920s. The same republic that we Americans embraced as a military dictatorship in NATO, and as an Uncle Tom example of how all Moslems must whiten themselves to our infallible standards, until the economy fell apart and the current Islamist party restored genuine freedom for ordinary Moslems.

That is incredibly bad, first that it happened, and second that its being reported. Attacks on believers from the master religion wind up "the base" of the Republican party ... that might be a fact, but its a warmongering one :-(

Am I the only one that finds it funny that George Bush has "the base" and Ossama bin Ladin has "al Queda" - "the base" in Arabic?

The link did not work for me. Assyrian Orthodox Christians?

Excellent link.
The story gets no play because it interferes with
the "good news" about the happy peaceful Kurdish

It would be interesting to know the ratio of suffering Christians to suffering Muslims in Iraq. Perhaps if we knew that ratio we could view the 'Genocide of Christians in Iraq' in proper perspective.

Please do not think that the Christians of Iraq are any different to other Iraqis. They are in trouble because the "Decider" wanted to have a "Crusade".

Few Americans seem to really understand that Christianity is a Middle Eastern religion. Europeans during the Middle Ages had a similar difficulty and hence the multiple crusades.

Jesus was a "raghead" - just like those so belittled by US media and military.

To truly understand the depth of depravity and hypocracy of the USA when it comes to their attitude towards Christians of the Middle East, read the following article by Robert Fisk Holocaust denial in the White House

Anyone reading this article would understand that the Christians of the Middle East are held in very low esteem by the ruling class of the USA - Republicans and Democrats alike.

Your points are valid. Infact, many of the Bible-thumpers I know, believe Jesus had the typical features of a Norseman.

But, I'm sorry to say that I've concluded that to try and argue rationally on these grounds is utterly futile.

I think Nate Hagen's posts are so important because they show how most human arguments are a sublimation of baser desires, which are abetted by the MSM, who are at least nominally human.

The Indian Advaita mystics wrote about all actions and thoughts as being entirely conditioned and the most consciousness can hope to do is simply to cease to identify with the animal it is “riding”.

A few years ago, the Discovery Channel and the BBC collaborated on a documentary about what Jesus looked like. It was speculative, but based on science. They assumed that Jesus must have looked like an average man of the time and place, or there would have been no need for Judas to point him out by kissing him. He could have just said, "He's the tall, blond, long-haired freak."

So they took an "average" skull from the time and place, and created a forensic likeness. Then they aged the face as you would expect for an area with harsh sun, and gave him the typical hair cut and facial hair shown in art of the time. (Male Jews did not have long hair back then, but they did have short beards.)

It came out like this:

It didn't go over well with some. One woman wrote in to the paper complaining, "He looks like a terrorist!"

I forget who said; "The Bible tells us we were created in God's image, but in reality we create God in "our" own image."

Joseph Campbell, perahps?

I would have to dig through my old art history books to verify it, but from what I remember, as the Renaissance moved from the Mediterranean to the Nordic regions, the depiction of Jesus gradually went from dark hair and dark eyes to blond hair and blue eyes.

He was a terrorist. The Romans were appalled by his advocacy for (slightly modified) Jewish monotheism. And against Roman hegemony.

He was a terrorist. The Romans were appalled by his advocacy for (slightly modified) Jewish monotheism. And against Roman hegemony.

Don't mis-use words - there are many types of anti-establishment troublemakers that are not terrorists.

Yet they end up in Guantanamo anyway.

If only those who advocate the war on terror would take your advice...

If Remsburg and his successors aren't refuted then I think it's perfectly reasonable for Christians to say Jesus had blonde hair, blue eyes, perfect teeth, and spotless white robes.

I mean, why not? There's no sense arguing with faith. I personally prefer to think of Jesus carrying around a surfboard. Why not?


He looks like Saddam Hussein al Tikriti!

Don't forget that many Palestinians are Christians, and have suffered along with Moslems. America has covered up how Arab socialists like the PLO and Baath were the champions not only of women's rights but of secular cooperation between the two faiths against white Judeo-Christian invasions. It was America that connived with the Saud dynasty and Pakistani generals to ordain right-wing Islamic extremism over secular socialism as the sole acceptable form of dissent. And Israeli intelligence helped create Hamas to weaken the PLO.

It's almost as if our leaders wanted Arab leftists and Christians eradicated so that they wouldn't complicate the story of a clash of religions and civilizations.

Arab socialists like the PLO and Baath were the champions not only of women's rights but of secular cooperation

Oddly true. For example, Saddam Hussein's Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, is Roman Catholic.

It's almost as if our leaders wanted Arab leftists and Christians eradicated so that they wouldn't complicate the story of a clash of religions and civilizations.

There's a much simpler explanation, which is simply "blowback". The dangerous, unstable elements that were armed and supported to weaken an adversary have not stopped being dangerous and unstable, so now they threaten us.

EIA energy conference April 7/8 2008 in DC

Commemorating "30 years of energy information and ?analysis?"

One session of note to TODers is "Has the World's Oil Production Peaked?"

Daniel Yergin, James R. Schlesinger, and Phil Sharp (Resources for the Future) are listed as speakers, perhaps for this session.

I've found past meetings very useful to attend (of course PDFs are available beforehand), one memorable a couple of yrs ago being PFC Consultants dropping bombshell into the "mainstream" crowd that their expensive review of databases showed non-OPEC flow peaking by 2012. Even Micheal Lynch at that meeting made note. I looked around the very crowded large room at poker faces (no doubt wheels spinning on how to make a quick $).

I encourage TODers to attend, the meeting is open and free (just tell them you're coming so that they can lay on the refreshments), and there are inexpensive eateries nearby. For the first time, the meeting has been extended to 2 days. No detailed program yet.

I would hope that several TODers attend and gives us a blow by blow description of all the speeches and reaction to them. Also during the intermission you could buttonhole the notables and get input from them as well.

The session on "Has the World's Oil Production Peaked" should be very interesting. Will Yergin have an opinion here?

Sure wish I could make it. If I lived within 200 miles of DC I would definitely be there.

Ron Patterson

RE: Are We Heading For Hyperinflation Or Deflation? - At A Philosophical Crossroads...

Why is it that supposedly intelligent, highly educated people, cannot understand what anyone with street smarts can understand? This writer (Brian Bloom) goes so far as to point out in (point 3) 'That our behavorial predisposition towards 'fight or flight' and/or 'power over others' has remained fairly constant (over thousands of years). Then Mr. Bloom suggests that Australians and Americans might suddenly have an epiphany and become fed up with their own treatment of the collective poor of the world and that the well off might voluntairly modify their behavior to the benifit of the poor. Into the bargin Mr. Bloom suggests that gold might be some sort of catalyst for the modification of behavior of the well off. Human nature is what it is...If you want to modify human nature, Mr. Bloom, get out the carrots and sticks for a short term success. Meanwhile, human nature is what it is...Why is that so difficult to understand?

'The immediate issue, in this analyst's mind, is not whether we will see the economy exploding or imploding. It is whether humanity has the wisdom to understand that we are facing an opportunity for an evolutionary leap forward (if we choose the correct path), or extinction (if we choose the incorrect path). I happen to believe we are going to choose the correct path, because the visibility of that path is rapidly emerging.'

"...we are facing an opportunity for an evolutionary leap forward ..."

Evolution? Opportunity? Nature works by killing losers faster than it kills winners. That's the modern evolutionary synthesis.

Iraqi Oil Minister says only Saudi Arabia can increase oil production.

Oil Minister Hussain Al Shahristani announced that Saudi Arabia is the only country that can increase oil production. Al Shahristani stated so while tackling the controversy of oil prices increase lately.

Ron Patterson

Responses to the Rod Dreher article:

Saturday letters: Reaching peak oil supply

The second letter takes on EROEI.

Bloomberg has released 'Update 4' of the continuing saga of Floridas State Fund freeze. The natives are getting restless...


'The Jefferson County school district was forced to take out a short-term loan to cover payroll for the 220 teachers and other employees in the system after $2.7 million it held in the pool was frozen yesterday. At least five other districts also obtained last-minute loans, said Wayne Blanton, executive director of the Florida School Boards Association.'...snip...

'``I should have seen the handwriting on the wall,'' Wilson said. ``But I didn't want to start a run on the pool.''...snip...

'Wilson at Jefferson County said he plans to withdraw the school district's money from the pool as soon as he can, and won't consider investing there again.

``They won't have to worry about little Jefferson County any more,'' Wilson said.'...snip...

'Rejected Option

The newly formed advisory panel rejected a State Board Administration proposal for a survey of affected agencies to learn whether they would accept as little as 90 cents on the dollar.

``The very fact that you're out here talking to us about taking less than 100 percent is in my mind unacceptable,'' said MaryEllen Elia, superintendent of Hillsborough County Public Schools. The county has $573 million frozen in the pool, more than any other school district. ``You need to figure out how to make the taxpayers in Florida whole.''

The Florida board's trustees, Governor Charlie Crist, state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Attorney General Bill McCollum, will meet Dec. 4 to consider the crisis.'...snip...

What a mess, and we are about to watch it slowly unfold like this all over the country. All of our pension funds and retirement funds etc were funding the building of The Alan's financial WMD.

The Alan said it was necessary to "diffuse the risk" and this is the end result: oridinary People mumbling something stupid like,``You need to figure out how to make the taxpayers in (XYZ) whole.'' "

Mother is pulling Her Teet away and the complacent titbabies are starting to notice... Oh boy...

I love words, don’t you? Words can be so fun when you put them together in funny, fun ways.

Take, as an example, Mr. Bernanke’s latest remarks:

“We at the Federal Reserve will have to remain exceptionally alert and flexible as we continue to assess how best to promote sustainable economic growth and price stability in the United States.”

Golly, I just love Fed Chairmen, don’t you?

They are sitting there, all alert and flexible, just watching and ready to help.

Mr. Greenspan helped us with all of those flexible mortgages and now here’s Mr. Bernanke wanting to help us out as well.


Hello TODers,

Potash price rises 44 per cent in Asia

Fertilizer prices in Asia spiked considerably in October, with Saskatchewan potash producers in particular seeing the benefits.

Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. rose to the highest in at least 18 years in Toronto Stock Exchange trading after an analyst's report ignited takeover speculation.

Speculation ahead!

If I was General Motors or Ford considering Peak Everything: they could possibly still exist for some lengthy postPeak period by making RR equipment, bicycles and wheelbarrows, SpiderWebRiding equipment, and juicing their profits by a takeover of POT, or other biosolar mission-critical companies. Recall my earlier posting where I think FF/NPK latencies will make NPK-prices rise faster than FF-prices.

Of course, a wealthy FF-exporter like KSA, which is highly dependent upon food imports and desalination, may want to financially takeover POT. Probably can be easily done with cooperation among the Saudi Princes and KSA's Sovereign Investment Fund.

Since the Saudi Princes are probably the least likely people on the planet to want to personally practice humanure recycling and relocalized gardening: if they takeover POT--then they can combo offer [fuel and NPK] to farmers and gardeners only to grow food and clothing fibers-- this would quickly kill the manufacture of all the other useless junk in our global society.

IMO, this makes more postPeak financial sense than the recent huge investment in CitiBank.

Another example: If China takes over POT in a 'hen & eggs' strategy--this could greatly help insulate them from further NPK-price increases. They currently are at the mercy of the two controlling fertilizer consortiums, Canpotex and Uralkali, who probably are more powerful than OPEC.

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

Dag Nabbit, Bob! What in tarnation do I's be needin' pootast for longaz I cans get some gazzoline for my pickemup? Ya jest gotsta git yo mine on the mportan stuff, Bob...Ya unnerstan? Gazz is whirr itz at an ifin I's be byin pootast I jizz canafort no gazz...an some grozeriezs to...

Hello River!

LOL! Good job of expressing the typical detritovore mindset. I think it is only a matter of postPeak time before people realize that enjoying nightly Olduvai darkness in exchange for continued access to food is preferable to machete' moshpits everywhere.

Many houses in my Asphalt Wonderland are now burning exterior Christmas lights in delusional support of consumptive shopping sprees. I don't think the asphalt, concrete, winter lawns, parked vehicles, and wandering bugs and cats are impressed by these 'bonfires of the vanities'.

Hi Bob, funny post! I especially like 'burning exterior Christmas lights in delusional support of consumptive shopping sprees.' FOMALOL!

Its Dec. 1, and already in the 80s and will probably reach mid 80s here today. The morons that run the large, upscale chain stores here stock the same clothes that are stocked at their outlets in NY, NJ, Conn, etc...The people that do the ordering probably all live in Manhattan. Locals and tourists here are looking for shorts and Ts and instead they find the racks full of wool suits and overcoats...Meanwhile the CEOs make excuses about lower YOY same store sales in climates that are warming noticably. HOHOHO.

Hello River,

I wonder if postPeak NPK-awareness is growing fast worldwide:

Moscow shares rose in afternoon trade on the back of Asia's commodities-fuelled rally this morning, with Uralkali shares surging on rising potash-fertilizer prices.

Uralkali soared 0.649 usd, or 15.45 pct, at 4.85 on the RTS today, as investors bought into the potash-fertilizer producer in expectation of higher prices going forward.

JP Morgan earlier this week forecast that potash prices would rise by 150-160 usd per tonne to 415-425 usd when China negotiates its 2008 annual purchase price later this year.
If I was a wealthy insider in Putin's circle, and if I knew that Russia's FFs were soon headed into precipitious decline--I would certainly be doing my best Richard Rainwater imitation by buying a farm, stocking it up with biosolar goods, and buying Uralkali 'hen and eggs' for a future guaranteed supply of NPK.

That is a pretty strong % rise in Uralkali stock, especially when you consider that the Russian ruble is rising too.

Spire Corp., a Bedford-based maker of photovoltaic manufacturing products, reports it has landed a multimillion dollar contract from Russian solar products maker Ryazan Metal Ceramics Instrumentation Plant Joint Stock Co. for a 12 megawatt module manufacturing line.

The agreement calls for Spire to provide Ryazan with a semi-automated module manufacturing line capable of producing up to 12 megawatts of solar cell modules per year.

With the installation, Ryazan, which produces approximately one megawatt of mono-crystalline solar cells using Spire's equipment, is expected to become the largest module manufacturer in Russia, according to company officials.
Evidently, some Russians think there is more money to be made in manufacturing PV-panels than investing the same sums in FF-exploration.

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

If I'm going to invest in a car for the near term, do I get the hybrid and hope my electricity stays on and gas supply continues to run smoothly, or do I get the deisel car with higher fuel ecenomy with relative assurance that Big Transportation will stay intact longer?

Get a diesel which can run on various plant based oils and get 30% better fuel economy over the comparable gas engined vehicle. And the engines last 50 to 100% longer than a gasoline engine. Only drawback is diesel costs 10% to 15% more.

Friend of mine that owns an oil company (sells gas & diesel at 15 gas stations/truck stops) converted all his small diesel power cars and light trucks to run on bio diesel that his co. makes from restaurant grease. Near term trend is for diesels, maybe long term trend is for plug in hybrid with diesel engine that gets 75mpg.

Born Yesterday, I dont believe that 'invest in a car' is the proper turn of phrase...People and institutions buy cars like any other durable goods. 'Invest' (to me) has the connotation that there might be a 'return on investment' involved. As we probably all know cars depreciate and rather quickly. Of course your usage of the car might be a return on investment, especially since there is little alternative to cars in many places. But, I do not believe that cars are investments. Maybe if one can deduct mileage and the auto is completely ammortized...but it still seems a reach. You might be better off to invest in a fruit jar and put it in a safe place for the near term...Till some of this mess settles down...though I am not offering investment advice...just a hunch. I feel sure that some trained economist on the board will prove me completely wrong. Well?


Sorry used the term wrong. I'm not looking for a return on my investment. Cars are a cash black hole. Right now, it's my only means to get to and from work in California.

"Right now, it's my only means to get to and from work in California."

Naturally you have it in mind to work on 'that' issue too, of course..

It begs the question so many will be asking.. do you find a new place near the job, or a new job near your place? Which do you expect to be at for longer?

Don't forget to carpool if you can.
I hear Hybrids keep their resale value.

There are also some online groups devoted to absolutely Maximizing their mpgs, if you find you are still going to be using gas.

Bob Fiske

I've been wrangling with the new job or new location issue. I could keep my current underpaid nursing job and move closer to it or change to a better paying job which would be farther than I travel now. Then there's the type of house to get into, the schools for my kids, the preparation. The population in the Inland Empire of Southern California is super dense. I feel like a sitting duck.


Sounds like a good career choice for stability, if not for pay.

"When I first came to this land,
I was not a wealthy man,
So I built myself a shack,
And I did what I could.
And I called my shack, break my back,
Oh, the land was sweet and good ,and I did what I could."
- Justin Schnurbush

Which is to say, I hope you find some land with some fat on it..

My wife has a very good friend who is, I think an NP working around Barstow right now, but she's moving her emphasis towards nutrition, focusing on Weston Price.

Good Luck!

I think the Inland Empire is pretty much unsustainable on water issues alone - I've seen Lake Mead in recent days - down 85' - 90' from its peak and it is shrinking irretrievably. That isn't something that'll bite the day after tomorrow, but it is coming and no power on earth can stop it.

I could have been doing something well paying in New Mexico ... but I smelled the dry, dry air, eyeballed the distance to my kids, and said "no way".

Last I heard, California regulations were none to friendly to personal diesel cars. May want to check into that before getting too far along in the decision process.

Your mileage my vary.

A standard corolla, civic, fit or yaris will get extraordinary mileage if driven conservatively. However, if you are in a urban environment, and sit at a lot of stoplights consider a hybrid. Also Consider a manual transmission.

Diesel is nice, but the quality of the Volkswagens have not been good lately (according to consumer reports).

I wanted a diesel, but ended up with a used corolla. I get about 35 to 50 mpg depending on conditions.

Also consider getting a scangauge II it really helped me optimize my morning commute.


Also try searching on hypermile

Can you imagine what a plug-in hybrid would be worth in Iraq right now? You'd be able to turn gas into electricity and electricity into transportation amid the erratic supplies of both.

I have been a big fan of diesel for years and have owned and operated both small and large vehicles since the 70's. With the advent of Ethanol and Hybrids, the waters around what was best for the environment became rather murky. The quote below is from an article on yesterdays Drumbeat in USA Today.

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.

I never could quite understand why Latin America, Europe and Asia had so many Diesel Light Duty Vehicles (DLDV)and we had almost none. I bought an DLDV Japanese truck in 1984 and today one cannot buy that same truck here in North America. Apparently in Europe, the use of DLDV has increased to the point, that today many car rentals are diesel unless you specify otherwise ahead of time. They have always held their own on other continents and are now more popular than in the US and Canada by a factor of more than 5 to one and increasing.

The reasons for this difference are mainly due to Gov't policy, driven in large part by the big 3 auto makers. The same auto makers that produce the most inefficient diesel vehicles in the world in the form of a pickup truck. These trucks with diesel engines evolved over the years into monsters that sacrificed efficiency for more acceleration and power. Anyone that has owned one knows full well the costs of maintenance for these DLDV. As the engines are so heavy, that the front ends need to be replaced and repaired more often than with a gas pot. The extra cost in Canada for these engines over a gas one is now more than $7,000. So in reality there is no gain in efficiency, but the sales of DLDV and gas LDV pickups is a huge money maker for the big 3.

Currently I know of only 2 manufacturers that still produce diesels for the US and Canadian markets, but that figure is changing as I write. Mercedes produces their cars and an LDV Van under the Dodge name, and the Volkswagen Line. Not much choice. The one we just lost due to US policy was the Smart Car. It was and still is diesel in Europe, but due to the 2008 entry into the US market, they have now changed it to a gas pot for all North American sales.

I just bought a Smart Car in June, one of the last diesels, and my fuel costs are less than half of what a Toyota Corolla are. The other big unknown plus for diesels, is that a properly maintained engine will last 3 times as long as a gas pot. Although that comparison can vary depending on the manufacturer and type of use. The Dodge/Mercedez Vans claim their engines are million (600,000 miles)Km diesels.

All diesel vehicles have been able to safely use Biodiesel since 1995 when almost all producers started outfitting their engines accordingly. Biodiesel is actually more corrosive than PetroDiesel so more corrosive resistant lines and gaskets were required. It is about 90%less polluting than PetroDiesel as well. With the changing world oil markets we now have more heavy crude, which refineries can more easily use to produce diesel than gasoline. This likely means diesel prices will stay more reasonable than gas in the US and Canada as long as there are so few DLDVs. I wonder if anyone has a good link for percent breakdowns from light crude to heavy crude for diesel and gasoline?

Diesel vehicles have always served me incredibly well and it seems the future may be even kinder to their reputation.

I own a 2004 VW diesel. I have plans to do this: www.greasecar.com

I get 50 mpg and figure I can run half the time on vegetable oil. I know of folks running all the diesel trucks, CDI Mercedes and all the VW's on these type setups. Older the car more viable.

With a tank full of Bio and a tank full of veggy only about 10% of the energy comes from the Methanol to make Bio.

Rumors only but BMW, Honda, Subaru, VW, and Mercedes should be returning with 2008/2009 model diesels. Today you can only get the Jeep and the Tourag with diesel engines, or pickups as noted. (Personally I really like the Honda and it supposedly gets 60+ mpg.)

Buy a used car.
Invest the difference in an investment

I suspect that the "good progress" on Kashagan reported today is simply an agreement to split the difference on the multi-billion-dollar penalty payment. The hard work will be to satisfy Kazakhstan's demands for a bigger share of the field, and an earlier and larger part of the proceeds. But what are the companies going to do -- leave? There aren't many choices in the range of a new, 13-billion-barrel field.

Steve LeVine, author
The Oil and the Glory

In yesterdays's Drumbeat Leanan commented in a discussion that Americans would not be willing to sacrifice their own standard of living unless there was an attack on the Homeland, a Pearl Harbor sort of event.

Leanan, there was one, on the morning of 9-11-01.

For a very short period, Americans were willing to sacrifice, until our rulers told us to go out and buy buy buy.

Leanan, you're a genius but this shows how pervasive the brainwashing is. In America, if it happened more than 5 years ago, it didn't happen. History is Bunk. This is why you have people on the street telling Jay Leno they don't know what year 9-11 happened. This is why you have something like a third of American school kids thinking the US teamed up with the Germans to fight against the Soviets in WWII.

Whether identifying as Liberal or Conservative, formerly anti-war Americans will become pro-war when they realize it might mean walking to work or taking the bus.

And yes, war does not work - which is the main Liberal b!tch against the war, that it's not brought gas prices down! Listen to Air America or the chatter in your favorite coffee shop, listen to liberals, if you don't believe it - it's fairly shocking.

Day Of The Condor was a prescient movie. It's no wonder it can't be obtained any more. Like "They Live", it's too truthful.

'Day Of The Condor' decent flick, got it. 'They Live' decent fight scene, fantasy with some realistic premis, got it. Almost any film can be had, depending on what one is willing to pay. I continue to find lots of good films at garage sales.

'formerly anti-war Americans will become pro-war when they realize it might mean walking to work or taking the bus.'

A generalization but correct for the large percentage. Its that ol bugaboo, human nature...Works every time.

Fleam - it's
"3 days of the condor"
if you go looking for it.
Based on the book "6 days of the condor" (sorry don't know the author) but its a good read.

Turner (Robert Redford): "Do we have plans to invade the Middle East ?"

Higgins (Cliff Robertson): " Are you crazy?"

Turner: " Am I?"

Higgins: "Look, Turner…"

Turner: "Do we have plans?"

Higgins: "No. Absolutely not. We have games. That's all. We play games. What if? How many men? What would it take? Is there a cheaper way to destabilize a régime? That's what we're paid to do."

Turner: "Go on. So Atwood just took the game too seriously. He was really going to do it, wasn't he?”

Higgins: "It was a renegade operation. Atwood knew 54-12 would never authorize it. There was no way, not with the heat on the Company.”

Turner: "What if there hadn't been any heat? Supposing I hadn't stumbled on a plan? Say nobody had?"

Higgins: "Different ball game. The fact is there was nothing wrong with the plan. Oh, the plan was alright. The plan would have worked."

Turner: "Boy, what is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth?"

Higgins: "No. It's simple economics. Today it's oil, right? In 10 or 15 years - food, Plutonium. And maybe even sooner. Now what do you think the people are gonna want us to do then?

Turner : " Ask them."

Higgins: "Not now - then. Ask them when they're running out. Ask them when there's no heat in their homes and they're cold. Ask them when their engines stop. Ask them when people who've never known hunger start going hungry. Do you want to know something? They won't want us to ask them. They'll just want us to get it for them."

What do you want?

Note that what I actually said was "a Pearl Harbor or 9/11." It's not I like didn't notice that little event.

If Bush had asked for the draft on Sept. 12, he would have gotten it. If he'd asked for gas rationing, he would have gotten it.

Now, no way. But I think it's as much because of the cynical way Bush has exploited 9/11 as the short memory of the public.

OK whew I was a bit worried there ..... at least you remember it!

It's sad that we "need" ANOTHER attack on the Homeland/der Fatherland to wake people up.

Doesn't this solidify the Bush administration's shadow coup?

I can hardly guess what happens next - too many things swirling around, both in the domestic and international realm.

Speaking of good movies. Got a hard to get(at least you won't see in on tv) movie.

Head Office Comedy.

Jane Seymour
Eddie Albert
Rick Moranis
Danny DeVito
Judge Rhinehart

About Corporate America. REALLY funny. REALLY like it is. MANY MANY Great Quotes.

Get it and watch it, Then read StoneLeigh's roundups on Finance.

buy, consume, marry and reproduce, do not question authority ................................ drive an suv, buy a vinyl sided three car garage house in the treeless burbs..............consume.........consume........consume

A couple quotes for this saturday.

The illusion of freedom [in America ] will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater."
~Frank Zappa

Ordinary people have the ability not to think about things they do not want to think about.
- Blaise Pascal

Corporate Welfare: Privatize the Profits in Good Times and Socialize the Losses in Bad Times.
- Nouriel Roubini

here is a good one:

''The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.''

- Adolf Hitler

A Swiss bank has new a research note out on the banking crisis which stress tests the effects on the banks. No link I'm afraid. Things are not quite as bad as is usually painted on Drumbeat but it’s no whitewash. Here is a brief summary:

They estimate the potential cost of the US subprime-related crisis at US$605bn (including write-downs from LBOs, conduits, and CMBS). Assuming that this cost is evenly shared among financial institutions in the US and Europe, this would equate to 2.2% of GDP. This compares to the 1985-1996 S&L crisis (3.6% of GDP), the 1990-1999 Japanese banks crisis (13.0% of GDP), and the 1998-1999 Asian banking crisis (14.6%).

So while bigger in $ terms, it’s smaller than the S&L crisis as a percentage of GDP.

The authors do not believe in a bank Armageddon scenario – whereby liquidity and capital risks would trigger widespread bank insolvency. There will be some cases of non-core asset sales, reduction in dividend payout and capital raisings (hybrid capital where possible), but they believe these will be isolated rather than systemic.

Another point is about de-leveraging risk:

Once the subprime dust settles and credit markets normalize, global banks may need to shrink their balance sheets as risk is re-priced and underwriting standards are tightened.

My take is that the great credit party if over and growth will be slower (not just the US) but no dieoff.

IMO, the oil price is a very efficient price mechanism with large number of producers and consumers and it does a near perfect job balancing supply and demand. The price is below $90 because the global economy is slowing. Peak oil should manifest itself as an economic event rather than through absolute shortages. Demand will be destroyed as required. We'll only get shortages if/when the government gets involved.

Alan: Other estimates exceed 2 trillion. The other important thing missed is that at least for a while the rules of the game have changed. Until everyone forgets about these scams few will be willing to be taken again. Just one example: how many years until there is a viable business in selling mortgage backed securities again? These were big revenue generators for financial institutions.

Hi Alanis thename, any reason for the lack of link. can you give the name of the bank?

There is no link because it's behind a clientwall. Only clients get access. I had a hard copy so could only pass on a few snippets. Sorry, I can't give you the name of the bank because distribution of research is regulated.

Does this alleged report factor in energy costs, or does it assume steady state in this area while the mortgage scam unwinds? What does it have to say about the environment? I say alleged because without a link its just hearsay.

There will be efforts to stop the slide of the U.S. Strategically it might be good to have our teeth pulled in the view of some, but they can't be drawn without our buying power (behavior?) going with it and that changes the whole world.

what, the government is not involved ? what is the us military doing in the me(and every other damn spot in the empire of debt) maybe you meant to say "....only get shortages if/when the government is no longer involved"

True, governments are up to their eyeballs on the oil supply side but I was trying to make a point about the demand side. So far the only place gas shortages have occurred are in those countries where the government tries to regulate the price of gas.

All it needs is every American to say 'I'll fill my tank tomorrow' and the gas stations run dry. Besides shocks like that I believe the oil price has been 'smarter' than anyone and has reined in demand to match available supply. Now it's getting serious and is taking out parts of the economy to destroy some more demand. That's what an efficient price mechanism does when it's left to get on with it.

When asked by AFP if an output increase was on the meeting's agenda, Attiyah said: "No."

The head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Nobuo Tanaka, had appealed on Thursday for an output increase by OPEC members.

So the head of the IEA tells some reporters that OPEC must increase output. Said reporters then submit question to OPEC, who say "no".

Is that really how the IEA operates, using journalists to act as intermediaries? Does the head of the IEA not think it worth getting off his butt and actually going to OPEC, actually talk to some oil ministers?

And how come the IEA don't actually know OPEC can't increase output. I really wonder what these people are paid for.

IEA is acting like a kid!
Lurking in the corridors begging for moe’ lollipops, even after being turned down time and time again.
Kids have a short memory on such matters … “so next time” … it’s the same story all over again ; give me some ice-cream , please… The Arabs et al must think, are those IEA countries completely stupid … don’t they get it ?

What substance inside the brains of them IEA folks tells them; if we can squeeze just ONE MORE MILLION BARRELS out of ‘that’ OPEC, then all oil troubles will be solved for at least 100 years? And as for those PO folks, they were utterly wrong !

When will IEA grow to maturity and ALARM its participating countries and say; THIS is it, take it or leave it ?

The bigger Q:
Since you are already aware that the answer will certainly be 'They rang the alarm Too Late..' , then What are each of you doing for yourself/community in their stead?

I don't ask this to incite defensive responses, or to accuse everyone (or Paal) of not doing anything. The point is, since the time to act is BEFORE the world accepts that there is any emergency, then what kinds of actions can be useful within the context of 'normal times'?

IF the folks Crying WOLF! are still not being heard, is that any reason not to develop some other actions at the same time?

I got a response from a City Counselor today that my suggestion to create some Solar Power (Electric and Heat) for the roofs of Public schools in our city was being brought forward. Not a greenlight yet.. we'll see, but I know it's one that he supports. I'm trying to rally a few other supporting orgs to the cause, treating it as a 'Greening' project and a school/adult-ed curriculum issue more than to have a series of self-powered emergency shelters and comm's spots in the city.

We've got the President of the Maine Senate supporting new rail up the Maine Coast as well, and I will be getting the Alan Drake materials to her and to the other rail supporting groups in the state. We'll see.


Public schooling as it stands doesn't deserve sustainability, but I agree with getting the city to spend money on solar-powering school buildings, because I think that those buildings will be put to good use soon, once we can no longer afford to waste money on ineffective education

I'd be simultaneously rallying for the cause of turning public schools into places of job training and productive businesses. The faster that public schools evolve into actual contributors, the faster we pass the point of Peak Stupidity, and that is what drives our waste of resources. We need to make stupidity production fall faster than oil production for the world to begin improving

I recommend people create local Post Carbon groups under the direction of Relocalize.net. That will give them other individuals for help locally and other groups around the world for a network, and it will make the seeds for villages

what exactly do you think is wrong with "public schooling" ? and what do you propose to fix it ?

The root problem of public schooling, the problem from which all others stem, is that it is public. By this I'm referring to the quality it has in common with other public products, which is that it is paid for with stolen money, tax dollars, and it is performed by the stealers of said money, government. Many citizens naively expect that people who steal our money will design public education with our children's best interests in mind. It's naive to expect those who extort us to care for us as equals. For now I won't go into all the ways in which government does not do such, but I recommend John Taylor Gatto, if you can't think of any

The individual solution is simply to homeschool. The societal solution is to stop stealing each other's money, i.e. make peace. We must stop believing the logical impossibility that it requires that we steal each other's money to protect us from others stealing our money. Our governments are the stealers who ran the best scam and became mob boss of the territories in which we live. They are not freely chosen representatives. An essential part of a plan for peace is forming modern villages in which we demonstrate and test out our best ideas for improvement, with more directions at The Village Forum. Planning our own communities will rebuild our sense of proper government. For this to catch on, such villages need to be built around the world simultaneously while networking with each other, with more directions at Relocalize.net.

We should also unite around activist campaigns, of which Ron Paul's is just the tip of the iceberg. He's a long way from the full extension of limiting government. He hasn't recognized that all current governments in the world are fraudulent in that they are coercive of those peaceful people who do not wish to be governed by said system. They use coercion to enforce the obviously false claim that contracts which none of us have signed represent all of us. It's a constant state of war, candy coated to seem like freedom so that the targets do not resist, as the Frank Zappa quote, many posts above this one, referred to as a profitable illusion

And how does the 'education solution' when the mother and father are not involved with their childern?

"And how does the 'education solution' when the mother and father are not involved with their children?"

I assume you are asking how do people get education if their mother and father don't give it to them. Their mother and father would be inclined to give it to them, due to that helping their kids make money. Also, in a society with decent leadership, the mother and father will likely have joined a village, as it would be made clear that communal living offers many benefits over fending for oneself, even in our wealthy society, so there'd be a village to help raise a child. However, if the mother and father don't join a village, caring people like yourself will still have donated their money to creating private charity schools. If it's awfully bad parenting, then the kids can legally run away, or someone can legally become their foster parents

I assume you are asking how do people get education if their mother and father don't give it to them.

Not at all. I'm speaking of the many children who's parents:
See School as babysitting
Are not 'involved' in their child's life

I'm not going to touch the whole 'non nuclear family' arguments of "disfunction". Or a whole other line of educational crap I'm being told about....

Your argument seems to turn about children who have 'families' that 'care' - I'm pondering the ones where the mother/father are "just not into the child rearing" "gig".

Many citizens naively expect that people who steal our money will design public education with our children's best interests in mind.

That has never been the purpose of public schools.

Anthropologist Marvin Harris wrote a lot about this subject. Public schools were a way to deal with one of the problems of industrialization: young hoodlums roaming the streets. On the farm, kids were kept busy working. In the city, there often wasn't enough work for the kids, and they ended up hanging around in gangs. Businessmen were upset, because customers were being scared away. (A lot like today's businesses support curfews and anti-loitering laws to deal with gangs of teens.) So they supported public schools, and truancy laws, even though it cost them money.

Harris argued that this was one reason population growth slowed. Having to send your kids to school meant kids became an expense, not an asset, and discouraged large families.

As for home-schooling...that would never have worked for me. I'm kind of a geek, and if not for school, I doubt I'd have gained the social skills needed to fit into the working world. Plus, even though my mom is a teacher, she couldn't teach me anything. I wouldn't listen.

However, I know it works well for some. It is, however, a lot of work, especially when the kids get to be high schoolers. It's hard to be a specialist in everything, which is kind of what you have to be by then.

I do think education will be one of the first things thrown overboard when peak oil starts to bite. We're already seeing it, with some schools going to 4-day weeks to save on bus fuel and heating costs. And no, home-schooling won't be the answer. Some parents will do it. Many will be too busy. Especially if education is no longer a ticket to economic success.

Peak oil, I suspect, will also prove to be peak education.

Indeed making a better society for our children was never the purpose for education, but it should be, and it can be now that people have reached this critical time of self-analysis due to Peak Oil. Your version however doesn't tell the whole story, and it is not much of a justification. For one, if the kids are committing crimes, then they should be punished; others shouldn't be punished by having their money stolen(how do you have a legal system without stealing money? it's another reason for joining a village of sorts, or at least a Dispute Resolution Organization, where people pool their money. look up polycentric law). Two, if the business owners want the kids to simply not be out and about, then the money should come from their pockets to give them activities to do. Three, there's no social skills needed to fit into the working world if you can make your own working world

Also, what's better for learning social skills for the working world: gradually in the working world, or gradually in a play-work world of school? Your hungry stomach would get you those social skills, even if it was a world full of meanies who wouldn't help you learn them. It's imperative that people continue to pursue the spread of knowledge and kindness, but you can't spread that by theft just like you can't spread democracy by bombs; it's no coincidence that the same confused people do both. People have spread life-enhancing knowledge in spite of the thiefs, not because of them

Home schooling is easy if you don't have to keep up with some preordained requirements, and if there was no public schooling, then colleges wouldn't have their current standards subsidized

Your version however doesn't tell the whole story, and it is not much of a justification.

I didn't offer it as a justification.

Two, if the business owners want the kids to simply not be out and about, then the money should come from their pockets to give them activities to do.

That's how it started. As Kiyosaki pointed out, that's always how it starts. The tax is only on a few...at first. Then it starts expanding. But the "financially literate" (read "rich") learn how to avoid the tax, and it's the middle class who end up paying.

Three, there's no social skills needed to fit into the working world if you can make your own working world

That was another driver of public education. It no longer became possible for people to "make their own working world." What you're talking about there is subsistence farming; for anything else, you have to be part of the working world. Even if you own your own business, you have to deal with customers.

But it's no longer possible for everyone to subsistence farm. This really started to bite at the beginning of the 20th century, when most of the decent land available via the Homestead Act was already claimed.

Also, what's better for learning social skills for the working world: gradually in the working world, or gradually in a play work world of school?

Definitely the latter, for me. The thing is, by the time you're in the working world, it's often too late. Children have flexibility that adults don't, and it's not just a matter of attitude. The brain is more pliable when you're young.

Your hungry stomach would get you those social skills, even if it was a world full of meanies who wouldn't help you learn them.

If you consider criminal behavior to be "social skills," you are doubtless correct.

It is physically possible for everyone to subsistence farm, and there is plenty of vacant land left in this world, although most of it would need significant fertilization. Government is the only thing standing in the way, and Peak Oil has put government on shaky ground once again, so that merely by waiting out its collapse and having our substitution ready to go(advanced Post Carbon groups) we will soon have the freedom to choose a better life. However, by "your own working world", I mean joining into a business with people who you get along with, working with people in your community you've grown up with, not explicitly subsistence farming, although farming is the foundation of all civilization

As a geek you wouldn't have the social skills to get any job? How is that possible, if you have the social skills to ride the bus to school and go from class to class? Also, I doubt you would turn to crime as a hungry geek, as that takes a lot more guts than to tackle your fear of asking for a job or taking the job your parents offer you, which would be more likely in a world without public schooling. If you did turn to crime, you would learn the social skills in exile or in prison work-camps, or perhaps would just be shot, and I believe it would have been a kind of self-destruction for your own hatred on false grounds of other people that inhibited you from working constructively with them. It's the same self-destruction the world is going through, and the moment of truth is coming when we either choose to ask for the job, or let our hate sink us

I didn't mean to give the perception by saying homeschooling that I merely mean schooling from one family, but also with a combination of families, like in a village, where social skills become highly developed. I'm also for private schools, but I neglected to mention them as most of them currently mirror the public school curriculum

Yet another right-winger who would rather use your tax money for prisons and executions than schools. He wants to go back to the Middle Ages. Oh, but in that wonderful time of no big government or public schooling, the taxes were taken from you by your noble landlord, at swordpoint.

Every time a libertarian talks about working constructively with other people in a "business", I can feel the foreman's club on my back. But that's okay with him as long as the most "entrepreneurial" of us controls the foreman.

At least this one's honest about shooting people who don't fit into the happy whorehouse fantasy. That gives him a way to exterminate the inevitable rebellion of the poor - like the rebellion of the poor in Athens in the 6th Century that turned that landlord tyranny into a democracy. Does he assume that most people are natural, placid peasants, like Stepin Fetchit?

The Middle Ages weren't libertarianism. Anytime someone is coercing as a way of life, that is not libertarianism, but is mafia ballooned into unjust government. I'm not a right-winger, in that I support no taxes. Taxes themselves are the threat to shoot someone if they don't want your services, or lack of them; extortion. Thus, who is more deserving to be shot: the person who tries to steal even though jobs and natural resources are available, or the person who merely doesn't want his just earnings to be stolen from him?

Ideas about just earnings are a topic on which you may hold much in common with left-libertarians such as myself. Left-libertarians hold the idea that natural resources cannot be hoarded, whether they believe in some form of equal distribution of resources, or in personal occupancy and use as the requirement for ownership, or in a tax on use of land, since land is a natural inheritance, like geolibertarians believe, etc. As a mutualist, I am for personal occupancy and use being the requirement, but I do believe in limits on how much can be used, which would be decided by various systems in polycentric law. Stefan Molyneux has some great ideas on this, all of which are based on subscription instead of taxation

I think you are seriously divorced from reality. We cannot all subsistence farm. At least, not long term. Even the Amish are being forced to turn away from it, simply because they have such large families.

As a geek you wouldn't have the social skills to get any job? How is that possible, if you have the social skills to ride the bus to school and go from class to class?

I didn't, silly. At least, not at first. My parents took me to school at first, and I stayed in the same class all year. That's the point: school eases you into it, rather than throwing you in to sink or swim.

Also, I doubt you would turn to crime as a hungry geek, as that takes a lot more guts than to tackle your fear of asking for a job or taking the job your parents offer you, which would be more likely in a world without public schooling.

One thing I've noticed about my fellow engineers: many of them would make excellent criminals. They enjoy the challenge of getting around the law, or around security systems. Many engineering schools have a tradition where students break into each other's rooms to play pranks. It doesn't take a lot of guts to commit property crimes. Look at the computer geeks who run the botnets. They never deal with anyone face to face, so it's "safe," at least to someone that kind of personality. And they steal millions of dollars.

I didn't mean to give the perception by saying homeschooling that I merely mean schooling from one family, but also with a combination of families, like in a village, where social skills become highly developed.

You seem to agree with Hillary Clinton: it takes a village to raise a child. Only you want much smaller villages. :-D

Sounds to me like what you want is a form of powerdown. I don't think it's going to happen. Every child in China learns calculus. They are turning out millions of geologists, engineers, scientists, etc., and will use them to gain a technological, military, and resource edge. Education has become part of the "cold war" that makes powerdown a pipedream.

As Tainter says, the next collapse will be a global one.

Any reason why we can't subsistence farm? We just won't be producing many other economic amenities, but that's a good thing about permaculture, less junk

You are the one divorced from reality if you think public schooling saved your life. So much exists in the world that could ease you into social skills as long as you didn't hole up in your house, which would only be possible if your parents were content with that and didn't send you off to private clubs or schools. Poorly prepared crime doesn't need social skills, but to make a life of it takes some damn good social skills; CEOs, Presidents, etc.

I see two options, both including massive collapse: extreme globalization of authority with a shattered insufficient economic network leading to world war
("As the madmen play on words and make us all dance to their song,
To the tune of starving millions to make a better kind of gun."), or extreme localization of authority, but with the most effective worldwide economic network ever at getting essential goods to people

Any reason why we can't subsistence farm, other than your lack of imagination? We just won't be producing many other economic amenities, but that's a good thing about permaculture, less junk

Our population is far higher that it was when we last practiced subsistence farming. It's possible fertilizer could help make that up, but I think it would only balance out the soil and water degradation we've inflicted since then.

There was some interesting stuff about subsistence farming in a DrumBeat a few days ago. Basically, it's really hard to grow enough grain to feed a family. And grain is where most of your calories will be coming from. Grain stores a lot better than potatoes. Nobody's going to live off blueberries and asparagus; not enough calories and too hard to store.

Even Cuba didn't succeed in growing all their own food. They had to import staples (beans and rice). And they have a year-round growing season.

Engineers would make excellent criminals, anyone smart would, yet perhaps coincidentally, not many criminals are smart

Criminals, like any other group, run the gamut. But the smart ones don't get caught. ;-)

I see two options, both including massive collapse: extreme globalization of authority with a shattered insufficient economic network leading to world war
("As the madmen play on words and make us all dance to their song,
To the tune of starving millions to make a better kind of gun."), or extreme localization of authority, but with the most effective worldwide economic network ever at getting essential goods to people

I think we'll see both, in roughly that order.

Only I don't think extreme localization will have the beneficial effects you think. Jared Diamond touches on this in Collapse. They found that "grassroots" only works in very small, isolated societies. Basically, a society small enough that everyone feels ownership of everything. "Our land," "our water," "our trees," etc.

Large societies can also avoid collapse, if there's a strong central authority like a king. No one person knows what's going on everywhere; the society is too large. But the king has his people in each region, who report back to him. It's in his interest to protect the whole country, because he derives his wealth from it, and he wants his heirs to do the same.

Middle-sized societies (and, Diamond postulates, large societies with weak central control) cannot avoid collapse. They are too large for everyone to know what's going on everywhere, and too large for everyone to feel ownership of everything. But they are not large enough to support a central government. So they collapse into internecine fighting. People may feel ownership of their own valley, and treat its resources carefully, but they have no such feelings for the neighboring valley, and will do things like raid their neighbors and cut down all their trees.

How would your "extreme localization" model handle the Tragedy of the Commons? Ohio burns coal that creates acid rain that kills crops in New England. Is it just tough noogies for New England? Or Utah releases radiation into California's drinking water. How does the mayor of Sacramento address that problem? And if Canada decides to suck up all the water in the Great Lakes for their tar sands operation - are we just out of luck?

This is the problem I see with localization. It's always been the problem with localization, but it's worse now, because technology gives us the ability to screw up the environment all over the world, and the coming energy crunch will push environmental concerns off the list of priorities.

Cuba is also an island in hurricane alley that lost 50% of their oil production almost at once and were already importing food prior to their oil peak. The population of a full island can't expand into vacant land. They also live in Communism and are under strict embargoes by the US on other resources, so conditions were not ripe for effective adaptation. In the rest of the world, as far as physical limits, population is larger, but technology is enhanced, farming knowledge knowledge is enhanced, usable plant-life options for a farmer are enhanced, and oil isn't gone, just decreasing

The problem with localization is that people did it because they hated each other, and thus they didn't make the most effective choices. It's the problem with everything in life. I suggest you research libertarian takes on private dispute resolution. It can handle problems of the commons as effectively as any organization which taxes, which itself experiences the problem of the commons(i.e. self-interest run amuck), and to degrees that are very devestating to the earth. I've noticed you aren't arguing for government, but merely for hopelessness

Patriotism is rather good at herding people. Put that patriotism behind a good cause and then we can avoid tragedy of the commons; keeping people united in mind. Localization doesn't solve it, but open-minded people localizing while keeping up a global network of trade can, as this is effectively a kingdom, with the king being the recognition of the importance of common good, because without it, war is inevitable. Afterall, the king's only power is people's belief in his power; he who has the most truth will be virtual king. Localized authority means that each one is of equal authority in disputes, not that there is no authority; if three states are pissed at Ohio, Ohio would be wise to cooperate, because everyone is vulnerable to abuse by others including Ohio

The problem with localization is that people did it because they hated each other

That is simply not true. Localization is the way humans have lived for most of their history. The drawbacks are well-known, and I see nothing in your plan that deals with them.

I'm not unsympathetic. I think Jared Diamond is right, agriculture was the worst mistake in the history of the human race. But there's a reason we've gone down this path, and it's not because we're stupid. We were forced down it, driven by competition between increasingly complex societies. As long as that competition exists, there won't be localization. And the competition is only going to get worse as resources get scarcer.

Drawbacks to everything on life? Absolutely. Critical drawbacks. Absolutely not, and I've not seen you present one

Localized authority existed in large part because people hate the other tribes. Otherwise, they would not resist outside collaboration or impose outside force, they would simply join into each other's network and benefit from shared power and knowledge, but they hate each other's customs. They could all have one king, but instead we have war upon war, simply evidence of hate, so it is simply true. That has slowly been overcome by America winning the culture wars, spreading some of its peaceful capitalist economics, persuading for less racism, less religious intolerance, etc. Now if we were to localize we'd mostly be doing it because we want to maximize the sustainability and health of our lives, not because we think the people in our particular locale are of a higher class than others, and we'd be choosing it in the nick of time

I would say "The Tragedy of the Commons" is a critical drawback. It's what's doomed previous civilizations that were too large for grassroots and too small for central control.

Diamond studied sustainable societies, as well as those that collapsed. One thing that struck me about the sustainable societies: they made sustainability their top priority. Zero population was their god. Even if it meant abortion, infanticide, suicide, homicide. (Because population is the key to sustainability, of course. It doesn't matter how light your footprint is, eventually, you'll fill up the petri dish if you keep breeding.)

Another thing that struck me was that his sustainable societies were all fairly isolated, which is what let them make sustainability their top priority. Because, realistically, you are not going to kill your own children or let them starve, if you can raid your neighbors' gardens instead. Once you start down that road, sustainability goes out the window, "defense" becomes the top priority, and the unsustainable technological arms race begins. Societies that don't participate get conquered/absorbed by those who do.

You changed your post while I was replying.

Otherwise, they would not resist outside collaboration or impose outside force, they would simply join into each other's network and benefit from shared power and knowledge, but they hate each other's customs.

That is simply not true. People fight because there are too many people and not enough resources. Unless that is addressed, the "hate" won't stop.

That has slowly been overcome by America winning the culture wars, spreading some of its peaceful capitalist economics, persuading for less racism, less religious intolerance, etc.

Uh, sure. Peace is just busting out all over.

Even if what you say is correct, and war is just because we "don't like each other's customs" - why would that change? Human nature doesn't change.

Moreover, I think you're dead wrong. The problem isn't irrational "hate." It's a perfectly rational struggle for control of resources. It ain't going to improve as the population grows and resources get scarcer.

Do you have an example of a war that started because of survival resource shortages, in which trading and reallocation wouldn't have solved the crisis? There are many examples that didn't, every war I can think of. Population growth will become a problem once migration and trade becomes futile, but that point is rarely reached except by fighting first breaking down the trade


Having a rationale does not rational make. Someone can kill another person for their shoes, giving them a rationale, but not making it rational. Saying Rwanda is the consequences of rational decisions, you are missing about 100 parts of the equation in which they made rational errors and focusing on one thing which was rational, which was being desperate for resources. Indeed they were very poor, but one irrational cultural division hating another enough to slaughter them by the thousands, was not rational, and was highly preventable. If you want to say that people are easier to piss off when they have dwindling resources, I'll no doubt agree that is true. But all these resource shortages have a silent hateful greed that leads up to them, and then a hateful climax where a scapegoat is found and war/genocide is begun, whereas if people had not been so blinded by selfishness, the problems could have been effectively dealt with. In Rwanda, trade could have solved it, and reallocation of people could have solved it. That applies to any war nowadays, because according to the World Bank with just 60 billion dollars we could feed every starving person, and we've spent like 40 times that on just our last war. Rwanda's population has since increased beyond pre-genocide levels. Bill Clinton is regretful he didn't send just 5,000 soldiers, because he thought that could have prevented 500,000 deaths. I realize resources in varying degrees are rationale for wars, but in agricultural civilizations producing abundant goods there is plenty of time to take corrective actions. Governments have had since 1970 to start thinking about Peak Oil, but irrationally they didn't make a peep about it, and I would pin it on many different interactions of hate. They've had even longer to encourage population restraint, and at least in many industrialized countries of Europe and in America something about development naturally leads to population decline(when you count out the effects of immigration). Even in that hypothetical example you gave of raiding someone's garden, the people who should die are the ones who messed up. They shouldn't kill their children, but the adults should take a hint from samurai honor and cast lots for suicide or having to migrate from the village with no food, rationally, as that prevents resources being wasted on war that could go to keeping people alive, and prevents extra suffering from war, and gives the consequences to those who are responsible

Any reason why we can't subsistence farm?

You already GAVE the reason - need of external input in the form of fertilizer.

I don't recommend unsustainable agriculture that needs reinputs of externally made fertilizers every year. I recommend permaculture, with large use of Masanobu Fukuoka's natural farming, which improves the soil's quality every year, returning everything to the soil that was taken away except for the edible portion, and even that is converted into humanure and used as fertilizer. With it, desertification can be stopped and reversed, helped along by initial inputs of organic fertilizer

Every child in China learns calculus.

is this a fact or for a dramatic effect?

is the "resource edge" a natural one or a human one?

Well, perhaps not every single child. I'm sure there are a few that are not capable. But the average person does learn calculus in China, at according to an article I read awhile back. (I think it was in the Times.)

It was about why Americans are falling behind in math and science. One expert thought it was simply a matter of expectations. In China, everyone is expected to learn calculus, just as in the US, everyone is expected to learn how to drive. While here, we have "Math is hard" Barbie.

Just because a tyranny can make everyone learn calculus doesn't mean they would outperform a free market of scientists. By forcing everyone to learn science, they are wasting time on many people who will never become scientists. If they tried to force people to become scientists, their command economy would be insufficient; have you not heard of the collapse of communism? Our problem is that our country forces us to go to school too, but they teach it worse than the Chinese; we do communism worse, because we have mixed interests. For authority to become localized in stable fashion, I and other activists must show what's possible with villages, so that others would not be foolish enough to destroy the evidence of what a good life they could also lead. It would pick up where the culture of freedom in America left off at dominating the world's minds with truthful hope

It would pick up where the culture of freedom in America left off at dominating the world's minds with truthful hope

You can hope to dominate people's minds with the prospect of going back to subsistence farming, but only if you ain't being truthful.

Fact of the matter is that people are (sometimes literally) dying to leave subsistence agriculture, and have been since approximately forever, largely because subsistence agriculture is a generally hard, uncertain, and bleak life. To see that, you need look no further than the tens of millions of rural Chinese who have flooded into the cities despite their lack of city residency permits (without which they are denied certain rights).

If you personally like subsistence farming, then have fun. Just don't be disappointed when hardly anyone else joins you, and don't waste your breath telling us why we "should".

Your flick of the wrist generalization doesn't contribute. Many people are literally dying to be rid of their governments too. By, subsistence agriculture, I mean that people have local farms that meet their necessities, rather than global agriculture dependence. I'm not advocating it completely, merely saying its possible, but it's not necessary nor best to halt all food trade, nor do I advocate powerdown, but solarpower up. But I will take your advice. I already well know actions speak louder than words, I just habitually forget to not waste my time in message boards that aren't based off of local meeting groups

I already well know actions speak louder than words, I just habitually forget to not waste my time in message boards that aren't based off of local meeting groups

I'd say you have a tendency toward getting in touch with your inner globalization.

Many people are literally dying to be rid of their governments too. By, subsistence agriculture, I mean that people have local farms that meet their necessities, rather than global agriculture dependence. I'm not advocating it completely, merely saying its possible

What happens if a blight, drought,severe weather or some type of event wipes out crops, and their neighbors choose not to share ( or they too are affected)?

How to we relocate the 100+ million people living in the cities and set them up on farms? How many folks working in Manhatten will agreee to accept your terms? How do you equip, shelter and train these folks to go farming? Once you solve that, then lets talk. Of course after that you sill have to deal with anoth 150+ million living in the burbs to also change. You'll have better luck converting the entire US population into Muslims, or converting all the Moslems in the Middle East into Jews. Its just not going to happen. You're living in a fantasy world if you think the US or the world will go back to an agrarian economy.

If you want to go farm, than do so because you believe its offers you and your family the best future. Trying to convinence the rest of the world is nothing but a waste of time.

You make so many assumptions about what I'm proposing for relocalization. I'm not telling people to be subsistence farmers. Rather than subsistence, I'm talking about local farming. Leanan said that I was talking about subsistence farming, and I told her that is not explicitly what I want, meaning it's not the right name. I claimed that subsistence farming is possible, just because she said it wasn't, apparently because I like to argue about topics that don't matter

What I want is localization. Localization is not the end of trade, not the end of other careers than farming. It means more local trade, so that global trade which takes more resources for transport and regulation is cut to a minimum. Less than 1% of the nation farms. I just want those farmers to live closer to the buyers of their food than they currently do. That is an example of localization, which would be applied to every good. That doesn't mean that people won't continue trading food long distances if their local supplies can't cut it. It just means that people will increase their use of local supplies to boost local economies and conserve transportation resources

Funny, we don't consider it "tyranny" that every American kid is expected to learn how to drive.

I consider it tyranny that every American kid gets to drive on roads from stolen money. Build roads as investments, not with tax dollars, and then the private builders would only allow people they approve, which would encourage public transportation, rather our insane setup now of private automobiles on public roads

if there is a tyranny that can and able to make everyone learn calculus, then shouldn't it be a reason for the "joy to the world"?

is the rise of China in recent decades due mainly to the more advanced training level in science or to the fact that there are hundreds of millions of highly motivated people willing to break their backs to work 12/6 or even 12/7 for the equivalent of 25 cents an hour?

Well, perhaps not every single child. I'm sure there are a few that are not capable.

Plus the 85% of rural children who don't go to high school.

Although things are improving rapidly, there's still a pretty substantial difference between rural farmers and (legal) urban residents in China.

It was about why Americans are falling behind in math and science. One expert thought it was simply a matter of expectations.

Probably. Calculus is on the high school curriculum in many European countries, too, so it's not like it's that difficult of a subject for a science-minded person of that age to learn.

ir antics over the past several years. Under the auspices of the BLO (Barbie Liberation Organization), Mike swapped out the voice boxes of talking Barbie dolls with those of GI Joe action figures and placed them back on the shelves in time for Christmas. Not only did some children have an unexpected holiday surprise--as when GI Joe exclaimed, "Let's go shopping!" or "Math is too hard,"

As the father of a very bright scientifically and mathematically inclined 12 year old currently enrolled in the Florida public school system I can attest that there isolated islands of excellent schools in the system albeit few and far between.
Re your statement: "I'd be simultaneously rallying for the cause of turning public schools into places of job training and productive businesses." This absolutely should NEVER be the function of public education, that is only good for producing exactly the kind of unthinking brainwashed individuals that will blindly follow the powers that be and end up running off the cliff like a bunch of lemmings.
Education has to be about teaching kids to think critically.
By the time the average kid goes through a typical educational cycle that has focused on being productive in a particular business, given the constantly shifting realities of our business environment you can almost guarantee that those skills will be obsolete. We need to be teaching our students to have a broad range of skills in math and science coupled with critical thinking, I'm sad to report this does not seem to be what is happening. Another of my particular peeves is the enormous amount of time and energy being spent on teaching to a particular assessment test such as the FCAT.

I'm not talking about forced employment, if that's what you're thinking. I'm talking about the only thing that I want someone to teach me, which is how to have an income to sustain my life and interests. That is the essential use of knowledge, and a little bit of that is better than a broad range of incomeless knowledge. And if there is no guarantee that the knowledge will contribute to income, it is likely to be forgotten, much less be remembered long enough to become obsolete(including every single word I learned in French I). That broad range of knowledge, because from it is purposely withheld the key knowledge for personal production, helps people become automatrons in business rather than leaders in business

Telling other people what to think, rather than helping them acquire abilities they enjoy for making an income to support themselves, is the opposite of helping them become critical thinkers, unless by critical you mean constantly criticizing the way society screws them over. If you want them to be critical, they have to learn real world skills, which earn them real world rewards, or otherwise the only thing they have to accept as proof of a job well done is whether they have pleased their teacher. That is something like turning education into a religion, teaching knowledge students must have faith in and which only their preachers can use

Yeah, I'm sorry. The solution to Underfunded Public Education that 'Gives us what we've paid for', is not to scrap the idea all together.

I have my issues with some aspects of the public school system, but if you want to see our communities act like villages, one of the BEST places to start is getting the neighbors truly Involved in the schools. They have families from across the spectrum of wealth, race and even local geography, etc.. I think one of the worst outgrowths of 'cheap energy' is that we have been able to indulge that power in order to live in divided little culture-dishes around our communities; and schools have been treated as a place that will 'do the whole job' of education of our kids for us, where instead, the involvement of families would enrich both the school's work, and the community's life.

By all means, participate. However, the best way to fund education is for the education to have quick pay-offs so people can pay for it, i.e. job training. The best way to encourage education is also for it to have quick pay-offs. Do you think that someone needs sixteen years of education before they can start producing value? For all the jobs I've had, I needed nothing beyond a fifth grade education. I would have dropped out then if I had known that, except my parents would have been sent to jail. The main reason education doesn't give quick pay-offs is because that encourages independent living rather than wage slavery

35 MPG for cars by year 2020
2.35 MB/day of Ethanol production by year 2022

These are two key elements of the new energy bill agreed to by US congressional leaders Pelosi and Dingell. Neither will solve the problem of US having 20% less oil because world net exports have fallen 35% by 2020. This ethanol mandate is pure lunacy, as these congress people somehow expect reality to follow their legislation. We don't have the corn, water, natural gas or technology (for cellulostic ethanol) to do anywhere near this number, which is 25% of all gasoline consumed in US.

I heard a caller on the Thom Hartman program mention that there will be a provision in the law that the president can waive the 35 MPG rule if it will be too onerous on the auto industry.

Feh. 35 MPG isn't onerous. My Prius has been getting 50 MPG tanks all year, and it was built in 2004. You want onerous? Gas lines are onerous.

When I read things like this:

35 MPG for cars by year 2020

I am reminded of a line from Blade Runner:

Then we're stupid, and we'll die. -- Priss

"Those are the likely outcomes now that Congress has decided to increase the national fuel efficiency standards to 35 miles a gallon by 2020, from the current average of 25."

ROFL!! that is a joke, right?! I guess we aren't going to be facing reality until TSHTF.

USA politics is a fantasy "Reality Show."

It is not reality at all, but a carefully constructed set.

The politicians are players who act quite predictably when one considers that vital information is screened out and delusions are considered the basis for sound public policy formation.

The show is a K Street Production.

Bread and circuses for sure ... the right wing noise machine, the complicit media ... but what happens when they've totally burned their legitimacy? I recall reading on here within the last few days than 80% of adults are inclined to believe that there are hidden agendas and the media is not to be trusted. When that boils over in the form of many people losing their homes ...

Again we find that we are living in interesting times.

Will the frustration of the American middle and lower classes ever boil over? What could possibly precipitate such a thing?

My guess is that by the time any "boiling over" could take place, the government will be firmly set to deploy weapons to paralyze resistance.

The biggest weapon will be the same as is used today, but it will be much more clear: if you are compliant, you have a chance at food, water, and shelter for your family. If you are not compliant, then you get no food, water, medicine, shelter.

The soft, whiny populace has been bred and fed to survive only as slaves. Those who choose otherwise will die fairly quickly.

Those who become activists against the system will be made into examples -- just as is already happening. Everything from Guantanamo, the suspension of habeus corpus, and the no-fly lists are preparing us for the future. Even Code Pink activists cannot cross the Canadia/US border without being detained.

Get real, folks: the corporatists are consolidating power and will not allow a challenge from the American people.

Indeed, we are shaped into the compliant "human resource" to supply the industrial military complex with weapons and ammunition.

Hi beggar try this if you haven't already, Michael Parenti.


One neat sound bite from the audio: "...it's about Capitalism in your face."

We've been carefully taught that 'only crazy people boil over'.. Dean Scream, 'Nader is Selfish', Kucinich sees UFOs..

We have to take some risks and 'be crazy people' here..

"If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses. "
Lenny Bruce

Wow, that's the perfect response to Gov. Huckabee's past comments that Jesus supports the death penalty.

I can´t really understand the reluctancy of many US politicians to increase fuel efficiency. Maybe I´m not the only one...

In just a couple of years time (even more so in 5-10 years), the carbon efficiency of a society is going to be a major predictor of economic success, or rather maybe, maintaining economic prosperity.

And for a low-carbon society or ultra-low-carbon society we´re not talking 35 MPG for cars, rather 100 MPG or 200 MPG (with plug-in).

Unfortunately, the auto industry lobbyists still have a lot of hand in Congress.

I laugh every time I see an interview of a Detroit spokesman saying that they build the cars that American consumers demand from them. Yet marketing is all about creating demand and Detroit's marketing machine continues to roll full steam ahead.

It's time for the Department of Homeland Security to step up and make energy independence their #1 priority.

If you haven't seen Who Killed the Electric Car? yet, take some time and watch it...

Buy the DVD and view their interactive site at http://www.sonyclassics.com/whokilledtheelectriccar/.

I can´t really understand the reluctancy of many US politicians to increase fuel efficiency. Maybe I´m not the only one...

Heres the simple explaination. The Big three can't stay solvent selling small fuel efficient cars. The probably is that there is too much competition in that market. The Big three need to sell vehicles with high profit margins in order to pay pension benefits to the large number of retireed auto workers, and to pay for healthcare benefits of existing workers. IIRC, GM gross margins on SUV and other gas guzzlers was about $1500. After taking out contributions for pension and healthcare, they netted only $50 per vehicle.

Car companies like Toyota, Honda, etc do not pay any where near the benefit outlay as the big three. So they can sell cars much cheaper. Congress doesn't want the Big three to go belly up because it would send unemployment soaring. Eventually the Big three will go out of business, but Washington is determined to avoid it as long as possible.

I recall reading (here?) that pension liabilities for the big three are to the tune of $700/vehicle, while the Japanese are closer to the $200 mark.

Why does $500 make that much of a different on something that starts at $10k and the media price is double that? It seems fishy to me ... the drag in operation changes would appear to be a bigger problem. Labor contracts are such that it costs more to shut down a line producing an undesirable product than to keep running it. This somewhat blunts my sympathy for pensioners and union workers in the UAW.

GM spends $1600 in R&D per vehicle.

Honda spends $3000 per vehicle.

As the snow begins to fall in Portland, Oregon...

I had this thought: I just enjoyed a couple weeks in California, on the coast, where it was sunny and warm. Shorts and t-shirt weather. Everyone on the plane home groaned when the pilot announced: "39 degrees and drizzling at PDX."

Is moving to the Pac. NW that great of an idea when all those millions need major heat all winter? Couldn't we just cram everyone into the temperate little strips our continent has - not too cold, not too hot - and save tons of energy that way?

Just a thought, not that people will do what they ought to...

Its cold and rainy now in Southern California.

It's 1:57 PM EST here in the NC mountains.
At 3,000' elevation, the temperature outside is 57F.
The weather folks are predicting snow in a couple of days.

Those of us who have studied climate know that 1 December is the first day of Winter, 2008...

E. Swanson

It's 20F here in Rochester, NY - you know, the northeast, where some people still heat their homes with oil. The next 5 days the highs will all be below 32F.

We've got 6" of snow mixed /w freezing rain here on the Iowa/Minnesota border and it shows no signs of stopping. Isn't truly winter yet because I'm able to wear my hoodie - haven't got the parka out yet :-)

It's all of 8 degrees farenheit in Holland Vt right now and that storm over Iowa and Minnesota is headed this way for tomorrow. But even 8 degrees is not that bad with sufficient clothing. I just finished moving 1.5 cords of wood from my outdoor pile into my basement and at times I was too hot. By the end of the job I had unzipped my over coat and loosened my quilted overalls at the sides. Walking up my road afterwards (for exercise) I saw two of my neighbors out puttering in their yards too. Cold is not that big of a deal if one layers up (and can afford some kind of fuel to keep the house warm).

I don't care how cold it gets ... as long as there is no wind.

I love it when we get ground blizzards - three days of whiteout conditions - climb up the second floor and its like being on a ship, with waves of snow instead of water.

These storms always break around midnight and crystal clear calm air replaces the wind and snow. You can go outside in just a sweatshirt with some light wind breaker as a thermal barrier and as long as you move a little bit you don't get too cold. The snow squeaks like stepping on styrofoam when the temperature is down around -40 ... which is the same on both F and C scales :-0

I don't care how cold it gets ... as long as there is no wind.

If there is no wind what is to power those windmills of yours?...


8.0M/s average ... I don't know what the distribution looks like, but after a 16.0M/s+ ground blizzard the stillness is a relief :-)

Just keep moving that wood, and you'll never have to burn it!

(You might have to convince your water pipes to move some of it, too.)


Getting down into the mid-40s at night...not exactly arctic temperatures yet...

Its cold and rainy now in Southern California.

Cold? I find that hard to believe, unless you are in the mountains.

Bob Fiske from Maine is probably rolling on the floor laughing right now, although Portland, OR does get those nasty ice storms which roll out of the Columbia Gorge.

As for that temperate strip, it's called "California" (OK, along the coast and mostly southern), and it is already rather full.

Perhaps we should just become a migrating species (no fossil fuel involved, just roam like the caribou).

Until then, go buy yourself some more polartec and have a latte somewhere.

JB in Seattle, Cascadia

LOL good one!

Humans traditionally did migrate - from Eskimos to well, everyone else, they tended to move through a yearly "route" over a wide area, according to the seasons and food sources.

It's in the low 50s here, had some tiny hail (not sleet, rain and these teeny hail stones) and it's been very windy. 50MPH plus gusts.

But it's surprisingly warm really, only going down into the 40s overnight.

It should get to normal 50s maybe low 60s in the day and 20s at night in a day or so.

Just south of Bar Harbor Maine, check out the wind chill

Mostly Cloudy

(-6°C) Humidity: 38 %
Wind Speed: W 15 G 28 MPH
Barometer: 30.24"
Dewpoint: -0°F (-18°C)
Wind Chill: 8°F (-13°C)
Visibility: 10.00 mi

Here in Central NH it never topped 17F today. I don't even want to know what the windchill factor was. Ah well, in another month it will seem quite reasonable :-)

New Orleans

Mostly Cloudy (sunny yesterday)
72 F
Humidity 70%
Dewpoint 62 F (up from 54 F this morning)
Wind 6 mph from the East
Barometer 30.19

Best Hopes for at least one freeze this winter,


When I lived in Minnesota a few years back we used to get one freeze every year - it started in November and ended in April.

Don, long time no-hear-from.

Still thinking of moving there -- if Texas is going to be any hotter, I'm not sure I want to remain here.

I'm north of Dallas. Tomorrow's forcast is low-to-mid 70's. We used to get an ice storm by Thanksgiving. Last year was 'the year without a winter'. I'm not complaining, just that global warming has become global roasting in the summer around here. Guess I need a place in Michigan for the summer. The golf is real good up there and the yellow perch is delicious.

I'm not trading Maine for any 'Temperate Strip' .. no thanks! But I really DO have to get the rest of that insulating done, and those countless collectors and such built and installed.

The cold today only bothered me because the Sun was SO BRIGHT! I had my exposed windows soaking in what I could get, but a few other bits of glass on the roof and south walls would have been working at full capacity, too!

I'm building a Savonius Vertical Windmill from an ElectricCable Spool and some stovepipe and a treadmill motor, just to see what it can do.. and that puppy would have been smoking today! (Probably literally.. and I'd be at Mom's house around the corner with the girls, checking out my insurance fine-print and weeping softly..)

I'd probably feel too cold in the 'other' Portland. Too moist! (Or is that just Seattle?)

Bob (14degrees at Casco Bay)

Wait until he hears I have had to force my self into the shower on a few recent chilly November mornings in Bangkok.

Those are certainly the questions I've been asking, since I'm facing moving to Portland (from San Jose) in the next few months. Thirty years in sunny CA has been wonderful - except for the commute, cost of living, and skin cancer.

The biggest single reason to go North is water. Sure, it's a long-term issue, but just as inescapable as N,P,&K. Nearer term, Portland offers the electrified rail, the community awareness, and the distance from the too-huge, too-dense populations of SeaTac and the Bay Area.

Maybe our ancestors had the right idea, strolling south as the cold deepened each Autumn, then following the blooming flowers back North in the Spring. But it's not an option if you're hoarding a ton of ammo and Spam.

Hi nelsone, We did the same move from SJ to the Oregon coast, Yachats, 1n 2003. Portland is a great city in many ways. It does tend to get windy and rainy, like this weekend's hurricane-force high wind warning. You'll find this link essential, http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/

My feeble two cents: it is a lot easier and more energy-efficient overall to pack people into a house to share heat versus packing more people into a house running A/C, or just fans trying to stay cool. In the olden days in Phx: it was more summer comfortable to sleep outside than to sleep inside.

Bob, IIRC the indigenous peoples migrated out of the valley and up to the rim during high summer [the real "olden days."]

More recently those strange metal boxes still perched on tops of many houses in the older parts of town provided a much better answer than going outdoors. You will know that the people as a group have started to get serious when [or "if"] evaporative [aka "swamp"] coolers start to appear in the newer or better neighborhoods of your asphalt wonderland.

Whether that happens soon enough to make a difference is open to question, but the economics are already obvious for areas like Phoenix with high temperatures and low humidity.

Those of us that were "born to the rain"{native}have no problem with it.This weather is returning to the 20-30 year "wet"cycle that I was raised in.Rain makes things green.Summer is for dry.

Actually, I think winter heating is probably more sustainable in the Pacific Northwest than most other places in the US that have something resembling winter.

In Cascadia, all that winter drizzle and snow is re-charging by far the largest hydropower resources in the US. (The Bonneville Power System on the Columbia and numerous systems on smaller rivers in the Cascades throughout WA and OR.)

Given that normally, it doesn't get REALLY cold (i.e. below freezing) much in Cascadia, electric heat pumps seem like the way to go in this area You get 3x to 4x the heat of ordinary resistance electric heating. The fact that the output of heat pumps goes way down when the outside temp gets below 35-40 shouldn't be an issue in this area, especially if you insulate seriously.

Currently, here in Pasadena, CA it's 44 degs F. My Friedrich "Twin-Temp" heat pump (i.e. reversable window-mount 11,000 BTU EER 14 air conditioner) is keeping this entire small bungalow perfectly comfortable on only about 700W of AC power. That's with lousy typical SoCal non-insulation. If this place was insulated like houses in places where there is actually winter, the heat pump would probably be cycling on/off 30/70 or so in this weather. The funny side effect is that the neighbors are baffled when they hear an "air conditioner" running in this chilly weather....

I have the slightly smaller (and older I think) brother of yours, the 9,000 BTU Friedrich TwinTemp Heat Pump YS09J10, 9,000 BTU and the 11.5 EER was the highest of any window a/c or heatpump when I bought it. Friedrich also makes split ductless systems with SEER of 19, but there is a difference between SEER & EER (EER of 11.9 for SEER 16.5 for example)

The replacement model is YS09L10, EER 12.

Are you sure of the EER 14 ?

What is the model # of yours ?

I keep an electric resistance heater as a supplement for the coldest nights and used it 3 nights last year.

It is very hard to beat these units for economy in mild cold (say 48 F). Their heat output rises as the outside temperature rises.

Best Hopes for Energy Efficiency,


The poster child for ethanol, the closed loop plant at Mead, Nebraska is filing for bankruptcy. This plant was cited innumerable times as the perfect prototype example of the promising future of ethanol production and they were "planning to build 15 more". The article claims it was all the fault of the contractors and mechanical failures.

"Closed-loop" ethanol plant plugged: E3 BioFuels seeks bankruptcy shelter as it struggles with start-up woes

Thanks for the update !

I've been wondering about E3 and asking my neighbor about them; he's a ruminant tech/grad student at UNL.

Part of his job is to get data from
E3 for plugging into a computer models:

He's out of town now, but I'll be seeing him when he gets back - I'm watching his hunting dogs ;)

One for Totonella:


How did Malawi recover? It's all in the NPK.

Thxs for the link. Hopefully the Malawis don't use this surplus to fuel rampant pop. growth, otherwise they will quickly be back at Malthusian limits of misery again.

OK, gotta go pickup my scooter tire that just arrived--the slow boat ride from the Far East caused it to be on backorder for two weeks. IMO, not a good JIT-inventory sign for meeting growing demand. Hopefully some US investors decide to start making local tires and other vital parts for bicycles, wheelbarrows, and other small machines before the foreign makers cut off our re-supply in a crushing postPeak strategic military move.

Otherwise, imagine a US nuclear aircraft carrier, with every possible location filled with NPK to trade for bicycle tubes and tires, as it makes a desperate oceanic run to try and keep 'murkins efficiently moving back home.

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

Bob, I keep almost new tires on my two Harleys and have two sets of new Dunlops ready to go on the bikes...Plus tons of other spare parts. I have been slowly stocking up on spares for a long time. They dont get as many mpg as some of the new efficient autos but I get more spm...Smiles per mile.

Driving through Sunnyvale,CA to pick my son up from school Thursday the white sedan in front of me had a peak oil bumper sticker.

I know it is an anecdotal indicator - but when you aren't looking out for these things and you see them it is some sort of sign of how widespread recognition is becoming.

Unless someone on here was driving a white sedan in Sunnyvale last Thurs...

I have a few Ghawar Is Dying stickers as a momento collector's item.

Have it next to my Ron Paul sticker.

Get your GID stickers before they are all gone...

down on the right side, just click on link

The upthread comment "Jesus was a raghead" seems like the most powerful bumperstrip message that I've seen lately.

If that Jesus guy actually did come back (not part of my belief system) he'd probably get snatched up as a terrorist and illegal immigrant, transported to a nice, safe, secret prison, and tortured for information about his "cell".

The disloyal Christian Right would be even more comical than the intentionally funny pastafarians if it weren't for real people getting harmed due to their hateful doomsday cult.

ahhh...here in the 'civilized' countries of the world you can make insulting remarks about Jesus.

If you were in an Islamic country and you even named a doll Mohammed, you might lose your head.

Yet the Islamics seem to get a lot of good PR here. I wonder why that is when they spend so much time hating Christians...just like you seem to prefer doing.

Why is there so much ugly invective here directed towards a religion that is basically peaceful and preaches the same yet a religion embraced by terrorists gets a pass?

Isn't there better topics to pass the time than to use it to insult a majority of Americans?



The "Jesus was a raghead" comment by Alfred was meant to give historical context: most Hebrews in that time and place, wore turbans.

I don't see that -- in any way -- as being a slight to Christians!

Airdale, I think it's fair to say that criticizing a religion is wrong, as people are free to believe whatever they like as long as it does not impose on the freedom of others.

However, I don't think that anybody was criticizing Jesus, merely pointing out the fact that Jesus may have been of middle-eastern ethnicity, contrary to the blue-eyed caucasian that he is widely depicted as. If it were conclusive that this was true and even if it is not, I think you would find that the people who consider this "blasphemy" or insulting are missing the entire point of Jesus' message. It shouldn't make a speck of difference what background he was, if you believe his message that should be all that matters, and that's all he would have wanted.

I would suggest that Jesus would find it more insulting to find out that people actually care what color he was; this was the dude's main message, love your neighbour, and love doesn't mean going halfway across the planet to blow up innocent people. Interesting how both Islamic terrorists and the Neocons fall under this category. Nobody is hating on Jesus, they are just talking about something that should be as benign as talking about the weather.

Point taken about the islamic extremists, however I hope I don't have to point out the many Christain extremists that have also made their mark on history.

Your right though, discussing religion makes a lot of people upset, part of this may be because words and their meanings can be easily misunderstood in the written word. Kind of ironic, don't you think?

Why is "criticizing a religion wrong"?

Suppose a religion has as one of its tenets, "be fruitful and multiply". This greatly exacerbates the Tragedy of the Commons, in effect hurting everyone. Seems like a easy target for criticism.

But there is a slight distinction to be made between an individual Christian and the whole system of the Roman Catholic Church, much like the distinction between a gas chamber attendant and the German National Socialist party in the 1930s. Because the system as a whole tends to manipulate individuals regarding the motivations for their actions, it renders them bereft of understanding and critical thinking in favor of group solidarity, and removing any chance of "responsible" action.

To that end, it is not only unfair but also ineffective to attack or criticize the individual for belonging to a certain religious sect or political group. The individual Christian and the gas chamber attendant are single cogs in their machines. Leaders, dictators, and presidents are replaceable. Even The Pope is replaceable.

But an entire system of religion, like the Roman Catholic Church, or an entire process of political belief, like the Nazi Party, those are fair game for criticism. In the same way that a broad spectrum of actions are used to maintain a religious or political system, it is also a variety of criticisms, behaviors, and actions directed at the system as a whole which either change the process or engender new beliefs and new processes.

In another light, why is it fair to attack the Nazis on their two decade-long disastrous genocidal rampage, and not fair to attack the Catholic Church which has a far more infamous millennia-spanning history of war, tyranny, murder, torture, oppression, Borg-like cultural assimilation, and nonsense? Nonsense, like the hampering of human intellectual progress, or like pedophilia.

Indeed, why would criticizing a religion be wrong?

Or, let's ask the question a different way:

What's wrong with thinking critically?

Because everybody is allowed to believe whatever they choose, as long as it does not impose on the freedom of others. As far as I am aware there are no major religions that advocate this practice. There are misinterpretations, that is what should be criticized.

Religions that deny condoms in AIDS ravaged Africa.
Religions that deny blood transfusions to babies and children.
Religions which indoctrinate children to their beliefs.
Religions which jail women for being raped.
Religions which execute women for adultery.
Religions which advocate with a bible, murder and slavery.
Stem cell research, abortion, evolution, religions deny and criticize everything they want.

I could go on and on.
No institution and very especially religions are beyond being

hi, airdale:
I hope I didn't come across as disrespectful toward Christians. I think the "Jesus was a raghead" comment is literally true, that's all, and it points up the blatant rascism that's still practiced in this country against Semites, both Arab and Jew.

The antagonism you hear from SCT among others may be triggered by the hypocrisy that's part and parcel of American Exceptionalism. It sure gets my goat to hear hatred spewed in Christ's name.

To be fair, though, it's just as disingenuous to brand Islam the religion of terrorism as it is to tar Christians with the broad brush of End-times Fundamentalism.

After 9/11 Ann Coulter publicly demanded that America enslave the Islamic world and force its individuals to convert to Christianity. Her reward: plenty of broadcasting money and book deals.

That's why I think a majority of Americans deserve to be insulted.

Have you ever seen a map of the Middle East in the 1920s? French Syria (France hadn't created the fake country of Lebanon yet), the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Italian Somliland, Italian Libya, and British Palestine. The rest of the Arab states were ruled by British and French puppet monarchs for the benefit of white corporate interests.

When the British Army conquered Jerusalem in 1917, it was proclaimed in the British media as a new Crusade. Then the British betrayed their Arab allies.

Leading GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney says that he can't have a Moslem in a major cabinet post because they're not representative of the country. Yet Saddam Hussein's dictatorship had a Christian as Foreign Minister.

But mostly, Airdale, I have one simple reason to slag Christians here and praise anyone who stands against the American capitalist Christian empire with troops stationed in 130 countries.

Do you even know perhaps a million Iraqis died because of Bush/Clinton sanctions?

Do you know that the increase in the Iraqi death rate SINCE sanctions were replaced by Occupation is so great that perhaps a million more Iraqis have died on top of that?

Do you even care? Or do you spend all your time trying to refute the figures or blame the Moslems for not submitting to our superior civilization?

I am SICK of Christian countries committing mass murder with most of their devout citizens entirely indifferent. Add up all the murders committed by devout Christian monarchs and presidents, from the murderous evangelical Rios Montt in Guatemala, to Indochina/Vietnam (2 million by us, who knows how many by the French), hundreds of thousands by McKinley in the Phillipines, hundreds of thousands by the British in Kenya as recently as the 1950s, God surely knows how many millions more in Africa, Asia and Latin America. And most of Hitler's ordinary supporters thought he was a Christian man whether he was or not. Every damn one of these governments appealed to conservative Christians - "We're spreading the faith!" Every damn one.

A hundred million total dead? Perhaps more? What do Moslems have to offer compared to this record of success? Even when Moslems killed half a million Commies in Indonesia in 1966, it was with full US approval - because the victims were athiests.

Basically wherever Christians have ruled non-Christians, and whites (the official color of Jesus) have ruled non-whites, mass murder has either been the basis for conquest, or it has continued and become the norm.

So I must choose between bias and my own genuine fear that thanks to Christians' infinite ability to lie to themselves in the name of conquest, the one country that has ever used atomic bombs, the one country I know of that has never renounced its right to launch a nuclear first strike, statistically the most Christian country in the world, the United States of America, will commit nuclear genocide to get its bloody hands on the oil that we at The Oil Drum know will be in very short supply in a few years. I choose bias! And slander! What crimes can I commit in good conscience to stop even a tiny chance that fatuous, grinning Christian/conservative/capitalist/neo-Victorian/neo-Confederate/neo-imperialist rednecks will commit a crime so vast that Adolf Hitler will finally be reduced to a footnote? It's worth it. Maybe others at this site fear this event too, and that's why you see so much criticism of Christianity. We are throwing rocks in the path of your idol Juggernaut.

You say Islam is a religion of hate. I guess based on the above examples Christianity is the religion of mass murder with a sincere, open-hearted smile. There's a lot to be said for good honest hate.

P.S. - I was one of you once, until your preachers damned my Japanese relatives to Hell.

Nice rant!

What he said.

And most of Hitler's ordinary supporters thought he was a Christian man whether he was or not.

Do you have any evidence that most of Hitler's supporters thought that? Especially during WWII, he seemed to have largely dispensed with the trappings of Christianity as a means to garner favour.

He himself, of course, was not Christian:

"Joseph Goebbels, for example, notes in a diary entry in 1939: "The Führer is deeply religious, but deeply anti-Christian. He regards Christianity as a symptom of decay.""

Indeed, there appear to have been plans drawn up for dismantling Christianity entirely after WWII.

A man can claim any affiliation he likes; that doesn't mean he belongs to the organization he claims, and certainly doesn't mean he represents it.

You say Islam is a religion of hate.

Notwithstanding your apparently desperate desire to rant, that's not what he said about Islam. What he said was:

"If you were in an Islamic country and you even named a doll Mohammed, you might lose your head.

Yet the Islamics seem to get a lot of good PR here. I wonder why that is when they spend so much time hating Christians...just like you seem to prefer doing.

Why is there so much ugly invective here directed towards a religion that is basically peaceful and preaches the same yet a religion embraced by terrorists gets a pass?"

Let's examine those statements calmly and rationally:

His first statement is, sadly, true - there were indeed crowds protesting and calling for the execution of the teacher who named a class's teddy bear "Mohammed".

His second statement is painting with a rather broad brush and is certainly objectionable on that grounds, but it's hard to conclude that substantial numbers of Muslims do not hate Christians, if only due to the accidental fact that most people in the Middle East are Muslim while most American soldiers are Christian. Moreover, it doesn't say that Islam itself is about or preaches hate, simply that quite a number of its adherents seem to engage in it.

His final statement is functionally equivalent to your Christianizing of Hitler, although much less explicit and blatant - he's noting that many terrorists embrace Islam, and trying to draw a connection saying that Islam is not as peaceful as Christianity. While terrorists are a tiny, tiny minority of Muslims, the sad fact of the matter is that a small number of Islamic preachers and scholars do indeed exhort the faithful to engage in terrorism and assassination (e.g., Rushdie).

So nowhere does he "say Islam is a religion of hate" - that's all in your head. He paints an unflattering picture of the religion - somewhat unfairly, I think, by over-generalizing - but he's mostly on the mark, and there are absolutely fragments of Islam today that are extremely violent.

That being said, it's worth noting that there's not a whole lot of difference between an imam telling his followers to blow up Shiites and a preacher telling his followers to blow up abortion doctors. Any large enough group will have problematic members, but that doesn't mean the group as a whole should be judged exclusively by that tiny subset.

It does mean they ought to get their act together and help muzzle the crazies, though.

Bravo! You completely ignored my remarks about the mass murders committed by Christian empires and right-wing governments perhaps totalling 100 million and obviously far surpassing Islamic empires. You ignored me accusing America of planning a holocaust.

But then you can't say that the problem with Christianity in the past was just a few crazies, because obviously either the crazies were running the British asylum, the French asylum, the McKinley asylum, etc, etc, etc. Or they weren't crazy, just power-hungry and adept at using religion to rally the people to invasion and mass killing. You have no proof that it can't happen again, especially since it just did in Iraq.

I am, right here, right now, saying that Christians will commit genocide in the future to preserve some shred of their murderously-attained world domination. I have history to back me up.

So prove to me on a historical basis that Christianity, and individual Christians who obey cynical governments, is less functionally violent than Islam, and that I have no moral responsibility to try to sabotage the power to commit that violence.

You ignored me accusing America of planning a holocaust.

Hint: Drag up the Airdale post where he was diss'n a local Indian he knew, then follow up with the anti-American Indian quotes from 'good Christians' justifying the "gifts" of smallpox blankets to the Indians. If you are gonna make a claim, make it big!

Extra points if you can extract the quotes of praise about how the Americans used bio-warfare VS the Natives.

Now, Airdale would have a chance to gain points by countering with the Turks VS Armeians that caused Churchill to use the word holocaust long before Germany got the Nazi party in charge.

You completely ignored my remarks about the mass murders committed by Christian empires and right-wing governments perhaps totalling 100 million and obviously far surpassing Islamic empires. You ignored me accusing America of planning a holocaust.

Well, yes, I did ignore most of your nonsensical rant. That would be because it was a nonsensical rant.

But then you can't say that the problem with Christianity in the past was just a few crazies

And I haven't said that.

You have no proof that it can't happen again, especially since it just did in Iraq.

That was nationalism, not religion.

I am, right here, right now, saying that Christians will commit genocide in the future to preserve some shred of their murderously-attained world domination.

And you're entitled to your beliefs, no matter how paranoid or delusional they may be.

I have history to back me up.

Not earth history, but history nonetheless.

So prove to me

As you're the one making bizarre claims, you're in no position to demand that anyone prove anything to you.

moral responsibility to try to sabotage the power to commit that violence.

If you're going around "sabotaging", you need to be very sure that the alternatives are better, and that your actions aren't going to have significant damaging unintended consequences. You need to be able to make a very strong case, especially in light of the fact that so many revolutionaries only succeed in screwing up the lives of the common people around them.

Or you can be an irrational, amoral wingnut with no concern for anyone else or for reality. That certainly is easier.

I'm a bit torn about Ron Paul. I do NOT like his stance on abortion (he used to be an OBGYN), but at this point in time, it might be good to have less federal government. He speaks intelligent, understandable economic talk and he appears to support the "common Joe and Jane" in this country. I'm not so sure I like his support of home-schooling. I am going to read up more on him before the presidential elections, but if he won't come off the abortion stance, I'm not so inclined to go for him.

He very much wants to bring all the armed services back home and would be protectionist and isolationist. In theory, this might be a good plan during post-peak, but I have yet to flesh out the consequences.

I would like some more indepth discussion of what life under a Ron Paul presidency would be like if anyone wants to delve further. I don't want to appear to endorse him, but he is gaining popularity and I want to know what we would be in for if he got elected somehow.

The tree huggers over at DailyKos are up in arms over Ron Paul - he can pull a lot of voters ... just like Perot did, and he'll wreck the Democrats' chances just the same.

Firstly, Paul's opinion about abortion is irrelevant; it's his person preference and he would see that the issue of abortion was left to the States. He disagrees with abortion but he is not arrogant enough to believe that everybody should share his opinion.

Secondly, Paul is neither protectionist nor is he isolationist. His policy of free trade (rather than the current system of managed trade) is less far less protectionist than the current system. He is non-interventionist, not isolationist, which are very different things.

Life under Ron Paul would be better than life under any other Presidental candidate. This is because nobody would live "under" Paul, he's too smart to assume he knows what's best for you.

Ron Paul believes everything the government has done since Teddy Roosevelt busted up Standard Oil is a mistake. Paul's philosophy makes him a worshipper of the monstrous crimes and injustices of 19th Century laissez-faire. I swore 20 years ago that I would rather destroy America than let it return to its crimes against blacks, workers, the poor, the non-Christian, because if it returned to that awful time it meant that there was no such thing as a better future. Those crimes in every case were enabled by the belief that property rights trumped human equality.

So I want the bastard to win. Because only he is stupid enough to believe that his neo-Victorian policies will cause no harm, and unlike normal hateful bigot conservatives he will make no preparations against a revolution by his victims. It will coincide with Peak Oil, which his theology also deems impossible. It's the only chance we're ever going to get to destroy the feudal corporate empire whose existence is the inevitable consequence of the polarization of wealth.

Bring it on.

The 19th century so-called laissez-faire era was not a free market. A free market couldn't even exist after the success of the Constitution, as that gave government ability to claim land that they did not even work for and to tax everyone no matter if they desired the government's services, or lack thereof. It's called extortion, and governments are simply those who succeeded out of those vying for extortion supremity. Governments of course team up with corporations to build empire and share favoritism. Woodrow Wilson wrote in a letter to Edward House that both of them knew that business interests had purchased the government since Andrew Jackson's day. Ron Paul is not a libertarian anyway, but is a constitutionalist, yet he seems the most honest, and he would end devestating foreign policy problems as Commander in Chief, which is the occupying of Iraq, Afghanistan, and every other entangled alliance of empire, and he would do his best to end the inflation tax from the Federal Reserve. Most libertarians are for equality of opportunity, and they all want a far less corruptible way of achieving it than our system. Most libertarians' favorite republicrat candidate besides Paul is Mike Gravel, and I support him for campaiging to raise awareness of the National Initiative for Democracy, which would be one huge step toward just government

I agree with you that Paul makes governmental change many times more likely. He recognizes the general spirit of independence, the right to secede, the right to start businesses without government oversight, and the wrong of corporate welfare. Bring it on

Super 390... It was never the laissez-faire ideology that was responsible for the crimes against blacks, workers, the poor, or the non-christian. Fortunately, free markets don't discriminate against anybody. Now when the bureaucrats, the corporate rulers, and the rest of the ruling class get together and create a system that clearly has their best interests in mind, that is the polar opposite of what laissez-faire is really about.

Just take our monetary system as an example. The current system allows money to be printed "out of thin air". This is hardly laissez-faire and you know what, it screws the poor people of America everytime, while the rich benefit greatly. The rulers who spend the money first essentially are getting something for nothing, except really they are robbing/taxing every other person in the country in the form of inflation.

Ron Paul advocates a return to the gold standard. According to the consitution, money must be backed either by silver or gold. If this were the case, suddenly people would receive fair compensation for the work that they do.

If you want to understand Ron Paul, you have to look beyond what the MSM gives you. Look at who supports Ron Paul, its not the ruling class, it is the people that you described.

Finally, Ron Paul is not a bigot, if you took the time to understand his message you might reach the same conclusion.

"Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes her laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild

I'm from Houston, ground zero for Paul's support base when he was LIbertarian candidate for President. I've heard all his supporters' crap from back then. I said loudly then that these bastards want to go back to the 19th Century. As a half-Asian person, I swore I would rather blow up the US than have to live under Victorian capitalism. (In good ol' states-rights days, states forbade Asian men to have sex with white women.)

Private property always polarizes wealth in absence of outside interference. Then the rich buy control over whichever level of government they can afford and expand its power where it helps them, and destroy its power where it helps anyone else. The poor are crushed by the National Guard (as in the laissez-faire Gilded Age north) or hired death squads (the KKK of the south). The worthless spawn of the rich fear competition, so they ALWAYS create a class system in which they reward status and favors based on property ownership, race and religion. Economic inequality always creates a rationale for all other forms of inequality.

Who the Hell do you think started the Southern system of white supremacy? It wan't ignorance, it was business! In 1676 white indentured servants (a perfectly acceptable status under Libertarian theory) rebelled against the cruelty of their masters in Virginia - who often were partners in joint-stock corporations intent on turning a profit by any means necessary. Solution? The fatcats freed their serfs at the same time that they imported massive numbers of slaves from the West Indies. Rationale? The freed serfs knew their only source of freedom and power was the existence of black slavery beneath them, so they defended this peculiar institution even though they owned no slaves.

Capitalist apologists have no explanation for why distribution of wealth polarizes under right-wing regimes whether they back big government or small government, because they think the poor are genetically inferior and deserve the standard of living they had in their Victorian paradise. Which in America's case was artificially inflated by stolen Indian land, because as Libertarian hero John Locke explained, whites had the right to take land from Indians who had no system of private property because the stolen land would be put to more productive use by white entrepreneurs.

Your theories are worthless without reference to an idealized past. There is no white Christian capitalist past you can point to that wasn't horrible for the people on the bottom. What, you're gonna go out on a limb and try Switzerland? Napoleon conquered Switzerland with his radical big-government bullying because the Swiss LET him in! Ordinary Swissmen fought alongside him to the end at Waterloo. No wonder, since the elites of the Swiss cantons (decentralized!) were so reactionary that some did not grant women the right to vote until the 1950s.

Or the murder-wracked slums of Victorian London, or the Five Corners of old Manhattan, or India under the East India Company, or the British landlord regime in the Irish potato famine. It's always the same, because this is what logical people with money do. Only the fear of underclass uprising imposes any restraint, since the first class revolution in ancient Athens.

Try this on for a final slap. How do you know that the brutal, ignorant, class-bound feudal system of Medieval Europe was not a natural development of a private property system? Weren't the barbarian warriors who offered themselves to the survivors of Rome's fall as a protection racket being "entrepreneurs"? Were their skills not in demand? Since their pampered descendants lacked those skills, was it illogical for them to use their vast advantage in capital to buy thrones & churches to enshrine their privileges? Was it illogical that those with a monopoly of education should hog all the positions in the government and army, and their children, and their children's children? Is there anything they did that is not done in today's world?

Gee, it only took 1000 years to fall. And it still survives in much of conservative rural India & Latin America. I have a great future to look forward to under post-collapse gold standard small-government property-rights laissez-faire.

Try this on for a final slap. How do you know that the brutal, ignorant, class-bound feudal system of Medieval Europe...

...was largely a fiction invented by 17th-century writers so they could crow about how much better they were than those poor brutes in the "feudal" past?

"The Feudal System" is about as historically based as horned Viking helmets, which is to say, practically not at all.

Your theories are worthless without reference to an idealized past.

Here's an idea: why don't you try referring to the actual past?

As a half-Asian person, I swore I would rather blow up the US than have to live under Victorian capitalism. (In good ol' states-rights days, states forbade Asian men to have sex with white women.)

Your nobility is an inspiration to us all.

Rationale? The freed serfs knew their only source of freedom and power was the existence of black slavery beneath them, so they defended this peculiar institution even though they owned no slaves.

Certain amount of truth to that, sadly. Everybody likes having somebody to be better than.

There is no white Christian capitalist past you can point to that wasn't horrible for the people on the bottom.

There was no past of any colour, religion, or economic style that wasn't pretty unpleasant for the guy at the bottom, so it's misleading at best to paint that as a particular problem of any one group.

Super 390... It was never the laissez-faire ideology that was responsible for the crimes against blacks, workers, the poor, or the non-christian. Fortunately, free markets don't discriminate against anybody. Now when the bureaucrats, the corporate rulers, and the rest of the ruling class get together and create a system that clearly has their best interests in mind, that is the polar opposite of what laissez-faire is really about.

No it isn't. "Laissez-faire" ideology inevitably is used as a club to bash any actual attempts which would have a chance to do anything substantial to rectify the situation of the non-powerful.

So, in theory the victims have a perfect right and freedom to imagine whatever they want, but they better not actually do anything about it!

That's how laissez-faire turns out to be in the real world.

A power group arranges for a system in which by default they benefit, magically all by individual private actions, and laissez-faire ideology precludes systemic actions to change it.

we can vote for a candidate all day long that speaks our language, but really Big Business runs this country, (through political action committees) not the politicians or the people.

yes, the people responded to the immigration bill by clogging up the phone lines and writing letters, (which I applaud) as well as the Port Security Deal, Abu Dabai, once again the people responded and persuaded the politicians to stop it. (which I applaud).

These 2 occurences are the only ones I know of (off the top of my head) where the american public intercepted a politicians intent!

now if only we could find out which big companies are contibuting to which candidate!

We can vote politicians in and out all the time, and we think we are making a difference, but Big Business runs this country. case in point, subprime mortgage homeower rescue plan!

we the people just need to know who we are actually fighting!

Thanks all for your comments...and here is the reality...Ron Paul will not get elected...he may pick up the anti-Fed gov vote, but he is not really backed by any large corporate interests or the secret society of well-to-do rich families so his "real" chances are nill anyway. They are the ones with power in this country and he does not fit in their "plan" so he will go the way of the other grass-roots candidate, Howard Dean, and somehow be made a non-factor.

The sad thing is there is no one in the Dem or Rep parties that gives me much hope either.

Guess I am just going to skip all the frickin campaigning this season and write in Alan Drake on the ballot.

A Ron Paul as the Republicat nominee SHOULD mean a discussion on the US Dollar, the large expansive military base network, presidential signing statements and the executive order.

A national discussion on what goes on with executive orders and presidential signing statements should be worth the price of being labeled a Republican for the primary.

Funny about those temperatures quoted. It seems global warming hasn't reached the Northern USA yet. In south America they have had a very cold winter. In India they are expecting one. What's happened to all the co2?

It's about the averages (global averages, really), not the normal variations.

It's called "global" warming, capeesh?
The huge changes, as expected, are happening at the poles.
When the tundra thaws and starts fermenting, it's all over. A bazillion tons of methane will utterly overwhelm anything humans can do to stem the temp rise.

The CO2 is still ratcheting up. Our political leaders, showing a degree of leadership one might expect of marine invertebrates, proposing changes that might reduce the rate of increase of CO2 by a few percent forty years hence, will accomplish nothing. They will however proudly bray about how "green" they are after the FF crash when the CO2 concentration starts declining.

Here, you want doomer porn? I gotcher DP right here:

The earth "breathes" to the tune of about 1ppm/1,000 years. We've moved the concentration 100ppm in 250 years. CO2 will continue to climb for some time to come even if all humans conveniently drop dead tomorrow afternoon. Melting permafrost will be feeding methane and CO2 for a long time to come.

As for the "breathing", isn't that annual? As the forest and productive ocean areas take up and release carbon with changing seasons?

Some estimates (SWAGs really) peg the total of all clathrate deposits at a similar amount of carbon to all the FF burned so far by humans. So we're talking about doubling atmospheric carbon, while methane (with ~10 year half life) has about 20 times the GHG effect.

At this point it's almost certainly too late to do anything about it, so yeah. It's gonna climb.

The earth "breathes" in two cycles.

The first is a simple annual process - there is more land in the northern hemisphere, and thusly more room for plants. CO2 goes down during the northern hemisphere summer and up during during the southern hemisphere summer.

The second is a much longer cycle, in which the annual average CO2 concentration moves about 1ppm per thousand years. We have a "normal" CO2 range from between 180ppm and 280ppm with roughly 100k year spans between peaks and valleys.

There are massive clathrate deposits all over the world but the study of them is very new. While their conversion from oceanic solid to atmospheric gas would be truly ugly I consider talk regarding this to be very speculative. We have plenty of trouble coming at us with just the CO2 changes alone.

You're not much of a weatherman if you can't tell the difference between the temperature outside this evening and climate trends. There is no debate left on AGW that involves science, but there are all sorts of foolish spin doctors who'd like to confuse the general populace.


I am not pointing at weatherman in particular, but this seems a good time to bring this up given the number and varying quality of denialists seen here: has TOD grown to the point where it qualifies for "paided" trolls?

My guess would be "yes." Much smaller sites than this one have been targeted.

I can not imagine what motivates such behavior. When the only "scientists" who disagree are science fiction writer Michael Crichton and that dingbat from Oregon who has never published in the field it seems like a done deal to me.

What in the world do they gain by doing this? Maintaining the appearance that there is still some debate as to whether or not AGW is happening?

Someone earlier said people in Iceland were asking "Do some Americans really not believe global warming is occuring?" We look stupid in so many dimensions its not even funny. I am practicing my Canadian accent just in case I ever have to travel internationally - I am flat embarrassed to be associated with the United States as long as George "Waterboard" Bush remains in office.

You are aware that Canadian PM Stephen Harper is a Bush acolyte? He's one of the few left standing. That hasn't stopped him from announcing his own Orwell-inspired "global leadership" role on climate change on the international stage. He and his minority government are an embarrassment to the majority that voted against him.

Once he's got all the oil sands safely sold off to foreigners he truly will be a global leader in carbon emissions.

I think there's a split developing between the official industry apologists and the hardcore fanatic trolls, but it's only part of a strategy. The corporations need to maintain some shred of credibility, so their funded mouthpieces are conceding their positions, one painful piece at a time, without ever admitting they've conceded anything.

But the possibility that right-wing trolls are organized and assigned targets is fascinating, since it sounds like a logical modern act of a totalitarian party.
I wish I had more information.

The other possibility is that the trolls are part of a grass-roots movement to deny reality wherever it conflicts with the privileges and consumption of "ordinary" Americans. Since that's largely what American conservatism and fundamentalist religion now do, you could say these are all one big movement. But it is not ultimately in the interest of big business to have a Talibanized America where superstition and racist myths have supplanted real skills like engineering - is it?

One of the ideas I've considered is that the industry apologists were only set up to play for time - that big business has known all along that disaster is coming. One day when both climate and energy have become undeniably screwed up, the fatcats all turn about on a dime and tell American voters, "So we lied, so we covered up, so what? The blood of millions is now on your hands and you must help us bomb and invade to steal the resources we need to sustain our lifestyle."

This is the acid test. If the trolls sincerely believe their self-serving myths, then they will CONTINUE to deny that warming or oil shortages are happening, and will denounce the capitalist elite for decreeing that we must now steal and murder to survive. If the trolls are a fifth column for big business or the GOP, however, we should expect them to change their tune before the official announcement. They would most logically proceed to spread lies about how the Chinese or liberals or blacks caused global warming, how the Arabs are animals and must be finally Coulterized out of existence, how the victims of climate change and demand destruction deserve to die. All this would be done to prepare the conservative faithful for the sudden swing in the official capitalist position. But since the trolls would change their user IDs, it would appear that a whole new set of trolls had spontaneously replaced the old ones.

Think the Inauguration Day of President Rudolph Giuliani would be a good day to throw the switch? Whether in 2009 or 2013.

"The bombs will be falling in 30 minutes,"
R. Reagan

I am practicing my Canadian accent just in case I ever have to travel internationally

Has it ever occurred to you that that's exactly the kind of selfishness that makes Americans unpopular?

"We've screwed up our own reputation...so I'll just steal someone else's!!"

You're not fooling as many people as you think, and there's few surer ways to mark yourself as deserving of suspicion and contempt than to try pretending you're something you're not.

Plus some Canadians don't take too kindly to liars trampling on their reputations - I know people who've ripped the Canadian flags off of Americans they've come across while overseas. So doing the right thing isn't the only reason not to try this deceit.

If I wear any marking abroad, it is the Fleur-de-Lis of New Orleans. Many do not recognize it (some do as the old French royal symbol which excites curiousity), but are uniformly sympathetic post-Katrina and were just positive pre-K.

The international reaction, unlike the USA reaction, has been uniformly positive and supportive towards New Orleans.

Best Hopes,


It is "interesting" to be mistaken for French with Royalist sympathies !

uniformly sympathetic post-Katrina and were just positive pre-K.

That would be because New Orleans is a cool city, and we're all hoping it bounces back.

It is "interesting" to be mistaken for French with Royalist sympathies !

Not as "interesting" as it was a couple hundred years ago when France stopped using that symbol, I'm sure!

I'd imagine you might get mistaken for a Quebecois sometimes; not sure if the colour scheme is similar, though.

Yup. Mention Monsanto and express anti-GMO positions and you'll have reply posters claiming 'an interest' in the general topic, who only respond to the GMO stuff. Stop mentioning the GMO topic and they will go away till the next time GMO comes up.

Its been a few months from the last GMO rounds in a drumbeat - all one needs to do is start on GMO flaws, and we'll see it here.

There is no debate left on AGW that involves science

Take care not to overstate the case. While it's been shown that with high probability anthropogenic causes are causing potentially dangerous levels of CO2 rise and warming, there's still lots of debate left on what "dangerous" means, and even on "potentially" and "high probability". How many degrees? Distributed how? What will the effects be? What are the error bars?

It's not unreasonable for there to be scientists who personally consider AGW to be unlikely and who work to debunk it - indeed, that kind of skepticism is necessary for science. There's a huge difference, though, between "doggedly working on alternate theories" and "frothingly ranting about how everyone else is deluded", and the latter - which is most of what we're seeing - is not at all useful. Indeed, it's counter-productive - it polarizes the debate while simultaneously marginalizing the very arguments it purports to support.

So, please, take care not to further polarize the issue. The best science we have tells us that AGW is highly likely and potentially dangerous, so we need as much information as we can get - from all angles, including rational skeptics - to better understand and deal with the problem. (Irrational skeptics we don't need, just like we don't need irrational boosters.)

given the number and varying quality of denialists seen here: has TOD grown to the point where it qualifies for "paided" trolls?

Keep in mind that there are a great many reasons why someone might disagree with you on a certain topic. Enough that it's rarely rational to assume that it's that person's job to do so.

Very well put !

Best Hopes for more Good Science on Climate Change,


Thanks for stating that, Pitt. The AGW debate is certainly very good a polarising people. By rights it should be an evolving beast, because it is dealing with such a complex set of systems.

Having said that, the possible consequences are severe enough to make the precautionary principle of foremost importance. Anyone who dismisses the AGW theory had better provide very strong evidence to support their claim.

The scientific inquiry regard AGW must continue but it is crazy frustrating talking with those who have no background in the area, as this inquiry is made to look like there is still some sort of debate.

This is, of course, academic, as it seems we'll all get mowed down by a variety of circumstances that are now beyond our control before we perfect a way to communicate science to the masses.

It's not unreasonable for there to be scientists who personally consider AGW to be unlikely and who work to debunk it - indeed, that kind of skepticism is necessary for science.

Actually, now it is quite unreasonable. Honest scientific skepticism about AGW is about as reasonable as skepticism that molecules are made out of atoms on the periodic table.

That kind of skepticism is NOT necessary for science.

Let's be clear here, the evidence is enormously stronger than for peak oil, and I consider the evidence for the latter to be pretty good now.

At one point, in the 1970's and 1980's, before comprehensive evidence and investigation had taken place, the community was of course more professionally skeptical or more honestly, "data-driven". And the data and models and experiments since then, conclusively demonstrated who was right. For the most part, prior predictions from physics and models have turned out to be correct or insufficiently aggressive and alarming when tested with out-of-sample future data collected in future years.

(Yes, I'm a physicist, no not in climate, yes I know some who are)

Excuse me, it's Goddamn December! Do you remember what winters were like 30 or 40 years ago? Five feet of snow on the ground every year in half the United States? Bone-chilling cold from December to February without a break? When I lived in Houston in the early '80s I saw snow 3 times. It's only happened once since 1986. Today it was 78 degrees.

Anyone here remember how the NFL playoffs used to be? Dirty piles of snow all along the sideline, blizzards making it impossible to see the game, the shot of the thermometer showing minus 10? Do you realize that the NFL playoffs used to take place in DECEMBER? Now they're in January!

Now we get a few bad cold fronts a year and immediately start whining about it, and screaming that it's proof that we don't need to regulate CO2 emissions. What greater proof of the sickness of our society is there than that we now think we're entitled to warm winters?

Hello TODers,

Will Tennessee volunteer to save Atlanta's sprawling growth? Interesting water-war shaping up:


Piping Tennesee River, a possible solution to Georgia's drought
Could Tennessee River help rescue metro Atlanta? Volunteer State unlikely to rally to the idea

"Once you give away water, it's almost impossible to get it back," said Galbreath, executive director of the Institute for Sustainable Practice at Lipscomb University in Nashville. "Georgia, Alabama and Florida cannot agree on [the Chattahoochee River], so why would anybody agree on the Tennessee River? The state of Tennessee will be very hesitant to share its river not because it's selfish, but because it's not sustainable."

Utility managers and environmentalists prefer to return water to its natural river system once it has been used, an expensive proposition if Atlanta were to buy Tennessee water. It could cost $5 billion, under one scenario, to pump water from Chattanooga to Atlanta and possibly double that amount to return it to the Tennessee.

Environmental concerns could stall an inter-basin transfer for years, just as endangered mussels in Florida have helped prolong Georgia's water war. Taking water from one river system and placing it into another could harm water temperatures, fish, plants and other aquatic life.
This could get ugly if the SE drought continues to intensify. If I was Tennessee's governor: my first demand would be for Georgia to plow golf courses, then carefully hand-water the vegetables. This could quickly help the Atlantans move to 60-75% of the labor force doing water-efficient relocalized permaculture, or else a lot of Atlantans migrating to the Great Lakes. Either way, it helps the habitat become more sustainable before Nature forces it down to a new equilibrium level. Time will tell.

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

Do we have any hard evidence of a real Atlantean diaspora beginning? I saw Louisiana refugees as far north as Omaha right after Katrina but I think that was quite different - a problem beginning in a period of forty eight hours rather than forty eight months, houses destroyed rather than just stranded by a distressed housing market ... it'll play out differently. I think it has to get dry and stay that way for more than a season - dry means tap dry, not news report dry.

I think very few people in Atlanta REALLY think that they might run out of water.

Kind of like Peak Oil.

Sure, we will conserve a bit (water/oil) and meanwhile THEY will figure something out.

Atlanta will surely get at least a few minor rainfalls in the next two months so we may be 3+ months away from a real crunch. What will be interesting is the interaction between the political campaigns and the steadily shrinking water supply.

And if the taps do run dry, what then ? Quite frankly mass "temporary" evacuation seems the only option for public health etc. reasons. Trucking in water does NOT seem like a viable option.

With more time they could improve the sewage treatment enough so that they could drink treated sewage.

Best Hopes,


You think they'll move 4.5 million people out of Atlanta when the national economy is tanking and an election is coming? We couldn't deal with a problem one ninth that size when the economy was booming, as I am sure you recall all too well.

When those 4.5 million are gone ... will it be overnight? And then the city gets hermetically sealed? Recall the Detroit figure - 72 hours from empty to stripped for homes in the not so nice part of town. All of Atlanta will be treated thusly, unless a shoot on sight curfew is put in place ... and this would be enforced with which troops? I don't know if the boys from Georgia are stranded in Afghanistan or Iraq, but the effect is the same - no capability to solve for large scale domestic problems without national guard, and no national guard in sight. Perhaps they'll give Haliburton a no bid contract for the work ...

I've thought we needed another event to catalyze the country - 9/11 got it moving but Bush couldn't have gone more wrong, Katrina delegitimized without really changing things, but a slow motion grinding down of an NFL city for environmental reasons with the victims fleeing in the teeth of collapsing economy and peak oil? There just isn't any way to spin it as a need for more BAU.

I'm curious to hear you expand on how this might be executed - I just can't see it.

Without running water a city must be evacuated. A very real risk in New Orleans until recently. If either of our two dmaged pumps failed (originally 4) mass evacuation would be required.

Minimal sanitation (Port-a-lets) and no way to fight fires (we used tanker trucks post-K for very low pressure areas, but they filled up in higher pressure areas). Personal hygiene suffers quickly.

Like oil, one cannot use water one does not have.

Let us suppose that the drought continues and very limited rainfall cannot support the population even with conservation measures.

My speculative guess is that wishful thinking will carry Atlanta through the first crisis, using bottom of the lake water with lots of decomposed stuff in it (just triple chlorine treatment). Coca-Cola will do well with any substitute for tap water.

My guess is that when water < 2 weeks, a call for non-essential people to leave (retired, unemployed). Some sort of hotel voucher if GWB agrees.

Water <10 days. Close schools, ask more to leave or take vacation.

Perhaps a light sprinkle and water goes back to 14 days. Much work undone. People come back.

Water railed in using ethanol cars. Supplies 1% or 2% of minimal needs.

Nothing organized as business and GWB resist any efforts out of hope & prayer for rain. (GWB leads National Day of Prayer for Rain),

Isolated areas/suburbs run dry. Hotels with water offer showers for $5 (going rate in New Orleans post-K). Port-a-lets brought out to first areas w/o water.

People begin to head out on their own and services decay, some businesses close even as water < 4 days. Water is power and railed in water & residual reservoir is controlled by gov't (but WHICH gov't).

Lots of backbiting as different areas start coming up dry. Small scale looting. Martial law but minimal enforcement. LOTS of anger !

Fires start-up and cannot be controlled. Lawlessness prevails even as a couple of days of water remain. This triggers massive rush out of town (New Orleans gets 500,000 refugees from Atlanta, our typical Mardi Gras crowd).

Water is cut off except to critical areas with one day left and everyone is ordered to leave. 50,000 troops airlifted straight from Baghdad to Atlanta (takes a week to get them all there) plus all available federal agents, volunteers from other police depts, etc. Fires continue. economy stops.

Massive traffic jams out of town with fuel shortages. ANGER is the order of the day.

Relatively few take free flights or Amtrak out, 90% want to drive out (take cars & more luggage). Most end up in camps here and there. 100s die on the roads. 50,000 abandoned cars.

Good rain gives city two weeks of water. Rush back in. Continued drought, repeat with many relocating permanently.

GWB bombs Iran to distract nation from Atlanta.

Just a guess,


Hey Alan,
You left out 'GWB orders Guardsmen of Hopi and Navajo ethnicity from Iraq to Atlanta for round the clock emergency rain dances.'

I didn't even think of the fire aspect - I've been through eleven days of a major metro area going without water but this happened because half of the city was submerged and the flood got the water plant. We still had plenty of fire fighting water available in the system two days after the main event, but it took another nine for it to be flushed, sanitized, etc, and during those two days the fire trucks could have just thrown down hoses and picked up water from most anywhere if it came to that.

And Atlanta gets the coverage, but this is a regional event. I think Athens is a month closer to total outage than Atlanta and there are other places that are already dry. I wonder if there is a pending water refugee map for the region already completed?

They seem to have some sort of organization building ... but it'll doubtless be corrupt and inefficient; I see the letter "R" after both of their Senators' names.


Hello AlanfromBigEasy,

For just being a guess--a pretty well thought out scenario! Well done!

I hope it makes people think about Vegas, Phx, Tucson, LA, Albequerque, and a bunch of other Southwestern cities and towns emptying out if the Colorado River watershed goes dry in both FFs and water. Hope we get lots of snow this winter or else both the SW & the SE maybe heading north at the same time. That could get ugly real fast if a general national crop failure happens at the same time.

Hello FEMA--I bet you download TOD & EB daily--care to comment on your detailed future plans, or is your lack of planning still your basic modus operandi?

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

SCT, no hard evidence but I can tell you that for some time more people have been moving out of Florida than into Florida. This has been reported in the local paper a couple of times in the last year but I dont have a link. I believe that there are several reasons for the movement...Fl has notoriously low wages...Fl insurance has skyrocketed since the 'hurricane blitz' of '05...Taxes have skyrocketed with the housing bubble...But, recently people have been moving because they cannot find jobs in construction and the tourisism industry is down. Of course, state and local governments ratched up spending with the windfall they received from real estate taxes during the bubble and now they dont know how to cut back. I would like to see a survey of those moving out because I suspect some are afraid of rising sea levels and more hurricanes. Not a pretty picture all in all. BTW, we have had serious droughts here, especially in 1985 and 1998, with lots of accompanying wild fires.

SCT, no hard evidence but I can tell you that for some time more people have been moving out of Florida than into Florida.

Naw, I don't think so. Though Florida's population growth has slowed somewhat it is still one of the fastest growing states in the union. Just Google it.

"There have been a number of news articles lately focusing on the idea that population growth has fallen off the tabletop in Florida and practically come to a standstill, and that simply isn't true," said Stan Smith, who led the research.

Florida's population was estimated at 18,680,367 as of April 1. Florida is expected to add about 300,000 residents a year during the next two to three years unless there is a recession, Smith said.

"What is considered a slow year for population growth in Florida would be considered a fast year for most states," he said.

Ron Patterson

Hmmm, a long narrow peninsula with 19,000,000 people in an area that will possibly be severely affected by global warming. Imagine trying to fight your way out of that place once the shit hits the fan.

Ron, I have lived in Fl since 1979...How long have you lived here? 'Smith said'...? Well, of course 'Smith said' because Smith has a vested interest in continued growth for Florida. Growth has propelled the economy of Fl for ever...Or at least since the Marx Bros made 'Coconuts'.

Smith also mentioned that 'a number of articles published recently claim that Floridas population is declining'. I agree with those articles because I live here and read those articles often and I see what is going on here. In my community there are twice as many empty homes as there were two years ago. Where are all the new residents moving to in Florida? Not Volusia and Flagler Counties. In addition, Smith is using the time period between 2000-2007...I call bs on that because I am talking about the last three years...Since 2004...The hurricane year. Smith can take his study and put it where the sun dont shine.

'"There have been a number of news articles lately focusing on the idea that population growth has fallen off the tabletop in Florida and practically come to a standstill, and that simply isn't true," said Stan Smith, who led the research.

Florida's population was estimated at 18,680,367 as of April 1. Florida is expected to add about 300,000 residents a year during the next two to three years unless there is a recession, Smith said.

"What is considered a slow year for population growth in Florida would be considered a fast year for most states," he said.

Florida's healthy job market and the continued movement of retirees and foreign immigrants to the state helped boost population growth last year, he said.'

or else a lot of Atlantans migrating to the Great Lakes

Or more likely to Tennessee if there is indeed water there, but probably not to brutally freezing-cold Minnesota or Vermont. After all, many Atlantans moved South (once air conditioning became widespread) for the express purpose of escaping the hazards and labor associated with snow and ice. You're less likely to break your leg, or your neck, in a place with no ice. And as they say, "the summers are awful down here, but thank God, you don't have to shovel the heat."

They certainly didn't move there because they wanted to become vegetable gardeners or whatever, so fuhgeddabout that for the time being. Atlanta has become a commercial and technological center, not a place where a large number are aching to do poorly paid hard labor - or entirely fruitless hard labor if it doesn't rain in the summer.

And that's the archetype of the big problem. Either move some water to where the people are, and tolerate the fact that the useless vermin, er, excuse me, "endangered species", infesting the waters may find yet more ways to eat each other - or else tolerate the simple fact that if you dry the place out, then the people will migrate to the nearest place where the water is.

Of course, one could slow the process down and make it more orderly by stopping most immigration. The trouble is, then this country is no longer importing labor and education. So maybe folks would have to start paying for labor. And possibly, if they want any higher-level stuff done at all, they might even have to give up politically-correct schools where everybody gets ego-bloating, er, excuse me, self-esteem enhancing, A's, just because they're all entitled, no matter how shiftless and stupid they might be.

One idea. I keep reading about the peat deposits in Siberia thawing. Now they are accessable has anybody thought of using them as a fuel source. They could be a major energy source of the 21st century.

I think the concern is that the decay from thawed peat bogs will cause more CO2 to be released, not just from the surface but from deep within the peat layer. This is one of many anticipated feedback loops of GW.

Its methane, a more powerful green house gas than CO2, that is contained in the permafrost. Methane is bubbling out of the peat bogs in the warmer weather that is occuring in the far north in summers. Swamps across the US South also contain large amounts of methane. One can stick an evacuated tube into a couple of feet of swamp water and into the muck on the bottom and light a flame from the methane emerging from the tube...I dont know if the quantity is sufficient to be useful as reliable energy???

Ben Stein on the mortgage crisis:

The Long and Short of It at Goldman Sachs

I found the article interesting in many ways. Stein is something of a rightwing nutjob who is usually calling for the government to butt out. But he's confident federal intervention can and will save us in the current credit crunch.

But I get the feeling, reading the article, that even he is a little worried. He's accusing Goldman Sachs of fear-mongering because they're shorting the market. In particular, he points out that Goldman Sachs sold the very derivatives they're warning about now. And he complains that Goldman Sachs only cares about profit.

Well, duh. They're a corporation. Profit is what they are all about. And Ben Stein, of all people, is complaining about it?

I think Stein may have cause and effect reversed here. He thinks Goldman Sachs is trying to scare people because they're shorting the market. I think it's the reverse: they're short because they are really worried.

Also interesting is that Stein claims that the past is the best way to predict the future, but doesn't seem to consider the Great Depression applicable.

As for the possibility that it could be even worse than the Great Depression, a la Stoneleigh's predictions...it's not even on his radar.

When the Depression got under way, the government created the Temporary National Economic Committee to study just what had happened on the Street to get the tragedy going. Maybe it’s time for an investigation of just what Wall Street and Goldman did to make money as they pumped this mortgage mess into the economic system, and sometimes were seemingly on both sides of the deal.

Thanks for the analysis Leanan, I think it's spot-on. I like Ben Stein, not that I agree with all his politics, but he's one of the most interesting people in the public eye. His resume is just amazing... I think a big part of that likability is his sincere optimism. He tends to reject all those gloomy old prophets of doom.

But doesn't the casino always make money by being on both sides of every bet?

I think the knives are out for Goldman Sachs because they bailed out on mortgage backed securities early. And how do you bail out? Why, you sell them. To Citibank, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, etc., who are now hurtin' fer certain. Not all the casinos are making money this time.

This is true Leanan. Somehow Goldman's coup in this regard is implied to be something nefarious. Goldman simply stopped drinking the kool-aid early.

It was oft-discussed here in 2006 how Goldman Sachs reduced its oil exposure in its highly-influential portfolio, causing the price of gas to crash just in time to try to bail out the GOP in the Congressional elections. Goldman Sachs also got its guy into the US Treasury.

So what's nefarious is the possibility that our economy is being manipulated by a private organization. It mixed the kool-aid, then drank just enough to fool everyone else into drinking. It has insiders making our policy, and seems to always know what's coming.

It's simply Enron taken to the highest halls of power.

They even made money going short on the same market that they themselve's were underwater on. Incredible. Like I posted in yesterday's drumbeat.

Leanan - I love Ben Stein. I even loved his TV commercials. His book, "The View From Sunset Boulevard" is excellent like all of his writings and a must read.

However.... from this article by him....

"From what I have observed over the years, Goldman has a fascinating culture. It is sort of like what I imagine the culture of the K.G.B. to be. You always put the firm first. The long-ago scandal of the Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation, which raised hundreds of millions just before the crash of 1929 to create a mutual fund, then used the fund’s money to prop up stocks it owned and underwrote, was a particularly sad example. The fund, of course, went bust."

I think you are right - I think G-Sachs may be really worried because there's cause to be worried. They may be very smart at G-Sachs, and Stein's a very smart guy, but the smartest guys have been proven very wrong before, and we're certainly heading into a period that rhymes strongly with 1929.

I won't even bother to read an article by Ben Stein. In the last one I read he predicted that the mortage problem was a $20 billion problem, tops. I don't know who's pocket he's in or what makes him some kind of expert, but I would rather not even expose myself to his writings.


Russia Suspends NATO Arms Pact

President Vladimir V. Putin signed a law suspending Russia’s participation in a NATO treaty limiting conventional forces in Europe. Mr. Putin’s action, just before national elections, moved Russia a step closer to carrying out it's threat to stop abiding by the accord on Dec. 12.


Cid...Yeah, the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming...And, so are the Chinese...Not! The US promised Russia that we would not attempt to convert E. Eurpoean countries to NATO membership after the fall of the CCCP. We have. Now we want to ring Russia with missles, supposedly for 'defensive purposes.' Russia has a right to self defense.

Up thread you once again brought up the fact that the Chinese have refused entry to the Port of Hong Kong by US war ships. So what? I googled 'Chinese war ships visit US port' and got 0 responses. If the Chinese dont want US warships in their ports, so be it. Apparently we dont want their warships in our ports either. Gunboat diplomacy in China is over and the sooner the US understands that the better. If the US needs 'coaling stations' for their war ships there is still Subic Bay. Why should the Chinese allow US ships to enter their ports flying US Flags? That action is a reminder to Chinese of the days when they were a powerless colony of the Brits, US and many other nations. Those days are past.

glad to see the Chinese haven't lost their renowned patience through the "modernization". one and half months may be too long for people in the US to remember, but is just a blink of eye for the Chinese.

The point was the US sabre-rattling in the Taiwan Straits. Also, Russia about to beef up conventional forces in Europe in response to US moves, raising tensions there. Intended to inform, keep people here abreast of the developing situations. No finger pointing at either Russia or China.

One not so minor detail: NATO states have not ratified the CFE so the treaty is non-viable. Demanding Russia get peacekeeping troops out of Trans-Dnistria is propaganda BS. NATO should gets its forces out of Kosovo and dismantle the military base called Bondesteel.


One of my first posts on TOD some year and a half ago (has it been that long? Now I feel old...) was called "Confluence", and discussed the confluence of three of the most radical technologies in modern history, those being the automobile, photovoltaic solar panels, and electric energy storage by way of advanced batteries.

In the more than one and one half years since I wrote that post, (my own thinking on the subject goes back over 5 years, but I did not have clear visualization of the path until only the last 2 years or so) I have had no reason to change my views, and in fact, have been nothing short of astounded at the speed and power of rapidly approaching transformation.

Despite the widespread hatred of General Motors (GM) it now looks as if they are indeed on the correct path with the Chevy Volt concept, a vehicle that looks as though it will be a reality, unless we assume that GM is wasting large sums of money in a bluff. I guide you to the website:

This site was created by a fan of the GM Volt, a doctor of all things, but since that time he has been given almost open access to the thinking, progress, and challenges involved in bringing such a radical car to production.

Most discussion involves the batteries:

The link above is interesting, in that it discusses the very heart of the electric hybrid, the batteries. As one sees when reading the posts on the blog, advances are now moving very fast, and competition is thickening, with even ExxonMobil announcing it's intent to join the Lithium Ion battery fray. In another interesting development, advanced lithium ion batteries are now equal to or cheaper in price than NiCad's (Nickel Cadmium) batteries due to the high price of nickel.

What we are seeing is a massive confluence of power, money, and technology. Honda of Japan is becoming a maker of PV cells. General Motors is investing in the serial electric hybrid, i.e., a car that is more electric than fossil fuel based, and uses a fossil engine as only a range extender. Johnson Controls/SAFT is building controllers and electric drive components. General Electric is already into PV solar, wind, and owns a stake in A123 battery, and is being encouraged in an open letter by the former chief of Intel to build an electric car of their own!

The oil age is drawing to a close. Despite hysterical statements to the contrary, the great bulk of the oil in the world is NOT used to grow food, drive industry, or keep the lights on. Except for the tragic and primitive example of heating oil, it is not used in most of America to heat homes.

Oil is used for transportation. Once it is driven from it's monopoly status in that industry, it will really have nowhere to go. Oil will be seen, in all but a few exceptions, to be an annoying liquid. Still useful in that narrow place where instant and fast BTU's are needed (airliners and jet aircraft for example), but otherwise, to be replaced with more advanced methods of creating power.

People are buying the Toyota Hybrids not because they save money (the current design is primitive and saves little), not because they reduce greenhouse gas (have you ever seen anyone make serious sacrifice because of greenhouse gas....how many people even understand that issue?), but because they are smoother, quieter, and require fewer trips to the gas pump.

But Toyota laid the foundation, and pioneered the bridge forward.
The next generation of serial hybrid will be a world above the current hybrids, with virtually no refueling (fewer trips to the gas pump per year than used to be required to do oil changes!), much quieter (GM is trying to decide whether it should introduce artificial noise to the Volt, for safety, and because drivers will be confused by not being able to hear the electric motor run over the radio!), more convenient and smoother in every way.

Almost two years ago, I said that if peak oil was not already here or did not get here within 5 years, it would be a non-event. Technology would have alreaady reduced it's effects to a marginal economic event, important only to those of us fascinated by energy or directly invested in the industry.

I am more convinced now than I was then of the correctness of that view.

And the clock is still running.

Thank you, Roger Conner Jr.

Did some say Exxon and batteries?

Note the 1966 patent reference....

BCCI? No mention of the Keating 5? Silverado?

And I bet BCCI-type things go back father than the oil peak in the US of A.

"Congressional Democrats reached a compromise late Friday to boost automobile fuel economy by 40 percent..."

Energy efficiency is good, it's exactly like productivity, but it does not reduce energy consumption, in fact it promotes more economic activity (good) which results in more energy usage.

Try again stoopid so-called liberals (what kind of car someones else drive is nofyb!!!)

what kind of car someones else drive is nofyb!!!)

Except *I* have to pay taxes of over $1 trillion to just keep *YOUR* tank filled, plus absorb the damages of GW (I live in New Orleans), the moral price of being responsible for 4 million Iraqis driven out of their homes and probably a million dead civilians.

So it is *VERY* much my business 1) what you drive and 2) how much you drive.


Energy efficiency...does not reduce energy consumption

Jevon's Paradox does not mean what you think it does.

what kind of car someones else drive is nofyb!!!

Provided you're not using public roads to drive on or public air to burn your gasoline, go ahead and drive whatever you feel like.

If you want the right to use those public goods, though, you accept the restrictions that come with them. Rights come with responsibilities.