DrumBeat: December 18, 2007

The limits to reserves growth

Reserves growth in existing oilfields is largely illusory and will not put off the date of peak oil, according to BP’s former Chief Petroleum Engineer. Speaking at an investment conference organized by 13D Research in New York, Jeremy Gilbert argued that although reserves growth has added twice as much oil to reserves than has discovery over the past 25 years, this apparently reassuring historical trend is no guarantee of the future.

In an interview with lastoilshock.com and Global Public Media, Gilbert went on to explain how reserves growth – the tendency for reserves estimates to rise during the lifetime of an oilfield – results largely from distortions created by the conservative reporting rules of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This he says has fostered a “myth” that reserves always grow, whereas proprietary data from major oil companies suggests they are just as likely to be revised downwards.

$3 gas: America's braking point

After shrugging off high prices for years, American drivers are finally starting to cut back. Is it a sign of shifting habits, or looming recession?

Angola oil exports to fall, output below OPEC target

Angola is set to export 1.80 million barrels per day in February, down 70,000 bpd from the previous month, its second consecutive monthly decline, trade sources said on Tuesday.

Big physical Oman oil delivery may haunt DME in '08

Six months on, the main selling point for the Dubai Mercantile Exchange's Oman crude futures contract could also be its biggest obstacle, if traders continue to use the facility as a way to buy or sell physical oil.

Venezuela to loosen price controls to help stem food shortages

President Hugo Chavez's government plans to loosen price controls on some basic foods to help stem shortages of items like milk and cooking oil, the finance minister said.

Last Major Field Goes Online: How Long Will Siberia's Gas Last?

Demand for energy is growing, both domestically and abroad, and Russian energy forecasters predict Siberia will satisfy that demand. Alexander Grizenko, an advisor to the board of directors of Russian energy giant Gazprom, expects production volume to increase until 2030 when, according to his predictions, a peak level of well over 800 billion cubic meters a year will have been reached. Grizenko also emphasizes that the country will be able to maintain a very high level of production for another 30 years after that.

But Jean Laherrere, chief statistician at the Swedish-based Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, paints a completely different scenario. He believes that production will peak in only eight years and decline rapidly after that. According to Laherrere's prognosis, in 2060 -- when Russian visionaries predict that production levels will still be higher than they are today -- it will in fact be close to zero.

Addendum to Connecticut Peak Oil Report to the Governor (PDF)

While the prospects of both oil shale and oil sands liquid fuel production remain modestly hopeful, they appear to be fatally limited by various natural resources supply limitations. The rate at which, and the extent to which these potential sources of liquid fuel supply can be developed will not, in a timely manner, slow down rising costs or delay a near-term oil supply crunch of an indeterminable length.

Study Shows Urban Sprawl Continues To Gobble Up Land

The results are in contrast to a well-publicized study last year that concluded that the extent of sprawl remained roughly unchanged in the United States between 1976 and 1992.

“We found that the areas where sprawl increased the most were in the exurban areas – out beyond even the suburbs,” said Elena Irwin, co-author of the study and associate professor of environmental economics at Ohio State University.

China's Southwest Hit by Fuel Crunch

Drivers waited in lines up to a half-mile long to buy gasoline in China's mountainous southwest Tuesday amid rationing aimed at easing a fuel crunch in key export regions elsewhere.

Supplies began to run out Sunday in Yunnan province, triggering rationing, filling station employees and news reports said.

The crunch follows a diesel shortage in China's export-driven southeast in October and November that disrupted trucking and prompted the government to order suppliers to take emergency measures.

Fuel ran short in Yunnan after a pipeline used to deliver gasoline was switched to carrying diesel in response to the shortage, the state Xinhua News Agency said. The pipeline is owned by China's biggest refiner, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec.

China diesel imports, now rivaling U.S., may persist

A surge in China's diesel imports to new records, which has put additional strain on global markets toward the peak of winter demand, could last through next summer unless idled "teapot" refiners rev up again.

China sets up oil reserve center

China started a state strategic oil reserve base program in 2004 as a way to offset oil supply risks and reduce the impact of fluctuating energy prices worldwide on China's domestic market of refined oil.

With the approval of the government, the center was officially launched Tuesday, said the National Development and Reform Commission, which oversees a wide-range of social and economic affairs, including energy.

UK: Diesel shortage sparks panic at pumps

DRIVERS panic-buying diesel could leave the pumps dry in Swindon.

Several filling stations reported that they did not know when they would be getting their next delivery of fuel.

It is thought drivers panic-buying diesel following reports of a fuel price protest last week could be the cause behind the shortages.

Nepal: Petroleum dealers pull down shutters

Majority of petroleum dealers that did not receive petrol pulled down their shutters on Monday. This affected supply of diesel in the Valley, where shortage of petrol has become an acute problem.

Consumers - even those seeking diesel - were seen queuing at a handful of refilling stations that supplied fuel today. This created a rush at the refilling stations causing inconveniences to consumers.

Heating oil runs low in Cape Breton

Ten years ago there were three companies delivering furnace oil to Cape Breton. Then Petro Canada and Irving Oil pulled out, leaving Imperial Oil as the only supplier.

Local fuel companies say Imperial Oil only keeps a few days' supply in its tanks to keep its expenses down, so when the delivery tanker is late, it doesn't take long to have an impact.

Alaska: Fuel costs strap the Bush

In a survey this summer of 100 Alaska communities, the state found that the average price of gasoline was $4.49 a gallon. Heating oil was only slightly cheaper, at $4.14 a gallon. Prices like that take a heavy toll, especially with the harsher weather and drafty homes common in many Bush communities. And most Bush residents must get by on much lower incomes than their urban counterparts.

Mexico Senators May Break Pemex Monopoly on Refining, Pipelines

Mexican President Felipe Calderon's National Action Party is working on a proposal to end the state's 69-year monopoly on oil refining and pipelines, freeing cash for Petroleos Mexicanos to invest in production.

The plan would allow private companies to operate pipelines and refineries in Mexico, said Sen. Ruben Camarillo, secretary of the Senate Energy Committee. Outsourcing part of those operations would allow Pemex to boost investment in exploration and production as crude reserves and output dwindle, he said.

Petrobras to invest up to $1 bln in Bolivia

Brazil's state energy firm Petrobras announced plans on Monday to invest up to $1 billion in Bolivia to increase natural gas production and look for new reserves of the fuel.

The plan marks a turning point in strained relations between the leftist government of Bolivian President Evo Morales and Petrobras, which criticized Morales' energy nationalization last year and froze planned investments.

Oil Rigging Elections

As the baleful effects of soaring oil prices ripple through the economy, the quest for an oil substitute becomes political, especially when presidential candidates stumping in Iowa before the caucuses have to pledge to preserve or expand subsidies to the corn-based U.S. ethanol industry.

Driving in circles: Society's reliance on cars takes away from traditional residential planning

You don’t hear people even talking much about mass transportation anymore. In light of the energy crisis and mounting costs for highway and bridge repair, states especially ought to be looking at ways that we could travel more efficiently. Over the next few years, we’ll probably be bumper to bumper throughout the entire United States.

RIP for the SUV

Stick a fork in them, they're done. SUVs once ruled the Earth but like the dinosaurs, they've outlived their time.

Illinois wins coal-energy project

Illinois won a prized national competition Tuesday for a cutting edge energy project that researchers hope will prove that abundant coal can be burned for power with virtually no pollution.

Mattoon in East Central Illinois was picked as the site for the $1.8 billion FutureGen plant by a consortium of coal companies, utilities and the Department of Energy, which will pay for the experiment.

Another Push for Nuclear Power

Sen. Pete V. Domenici doesn't give up easily.

The ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee may be retiring next year, but he is still pushing hard to give the nuclear power industry a helping hand from the federal government.

David Fleming’s New Book Provides Death Knell for Nuclear Power

David Fleming, creator of the concept of Tradeable Energy Quotas and author of the forthcoming and rather wonderful “Lean Logic”, has just published The Lean Guide to Nuclear Energy, which is a thorough demolition of the case for nuclear power being a solution to peak oil. and climate change. You can down load the pdf for free here or you can order printed copies here. Like much of David’s writing, it patiently yet assertively builds its arguments, backed up by exhaustive research, to build a case against nuclear power that looks pretty much bulletproof to me.

BP's Atlantis oil platform starts up after delays

BP Plc has started production at its Atlantis platform in the Gulf of Mexico, after delays, the London-based oil major said on Tuesday.

BP said in a statement that the facility was expected to reach plateau production by the end of 2008. The company is looking to new projects including Atlantis to turnaround a recent record of falling oil and gas production.

Oil Dreams in the Gulf of Mexico

The oil industry has an incentive to produce oil from deep-water fields as rapidly as possible because of the high development and production costs. Field production is ramped up rapidly to a high peak or plateau and almost always starts declining within 5 years after the field comes on-line. It’s realistic to expect the average decline rates for deep-water fields to be 15%/year or higher.

Raymond J. Learsy: George W. Bush as Marie Antoinette, "Let Them Go Ice Fishing In Maine" (Part One)

With winter's falling temperatures millions of American households are having their budgets devastated and residing in near freezing homes because of heating oil prices they can no longer afford. This while we have an administration and a Department of Energy (DOE) oblivious in action and deed, nay even supportive of the sky-high price of oil leading to these exorbitant levels for fuel and gasoline.

Peak Oil and Portfolio Prudence

For most of us, the holidays mean it's time to shop for gifts. For investors, the end of the year also means it's time to evaluate how their investments have done and consider changes for the coming year. This includes Peak Oil aware investors who should step back and take a good look at not just investment portfolios but also lifestyles to make sure both are in line with goals and objectives.

Soaring food prices threaten millions: UN

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO) is warning that the soaring cost of food is threatening millions of people in developing countries.

Food prices are now growing at the fastest rate since the 1980s, pushing inflation globally.

In the poorest countries, farmers have been hit hard by the droughts and floods linked to climate change, a rising oil price and a growing demand for biofuels.

China to lead India in 2008 energy race: analysts

The race for energy by rising powers China and India will intensify in 2008 as they scour the world for fuel to feed their booming economies, and Beijing has taken a big early lead, analysts say.

Everywhere, China -- with its deep pockets and energetic diplomacy -- has been beating lumbering, bureaucratic India to the punch in the quest to lock in long-term supplies in Asia, Africa and Latin America, analysts say.

Venezuela pays off $740 mln oil project debt

Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and Chevron Corp have paid all outstanding debt at the Hamaca heavy oil project in the South American country.

PDVSA said in a statement late on Monday that a final prepayment of about $340 million, plus interest, was made on Friday, following a prepayment of $400 million, plus interest, on Nov. 30.

Kurt Cobb: Welcome to Fantasy Air

But since airline growth is linked to growth in the general economy and since peak oil is expected to cause a general decline in GDP, air transport will follow that general decline. Bezdek provides two scenarios, one based on a 1 percent annual decline in GDP through 2026 (labeled "Optimistic Peak Oil Forecast") and a second based on a 2 percent decline (labeled "Pessimistic Peak Oil Forecast"). He concludes: "[I]n both scenarios, passenger traffic declines faster than GDP, passenger revenues decline faster than traffic, and air cargo declines faster than passenger traffic or revenues."

Panic the big threat to planet

IT looks as if the global warming issue will largely determine the fate of the Rudd Government. It has a climate policy based on unproven scientific claims and carrying putative commitments during the next several years that would savage the economy and our way of life.

At stake are billions of dollars in new taxes and costs, reduced export income, the disabling of whole industries and investment in them, and fortunes made by the promoters of horrendously expensive energy substitutes. There will be large-scale net costs imposed on the rest of us. More than $3 billion worth of programs are already committed, with additional plans for trashing household hot water systems and billions for renewable energy.

Desperate times, desperate scientists

Fed up with politicians and the media, scientists are pleading to the world to wake up to the imminent threats of global warming.

Do recent storms indicate a climate shift?

"This report demonstrates that we are already seeing the effects of global warming even with a relatively small increase in temperatures. The projected increases are much greater, and the impacts are already much more than was predicted."

ASPO-USA: The Time for Energy Action is NOW … not “decades away!”

At a bare minimum, ASPO-USA needs a small, full-time staff to fulfill our non-partisan, non-profit mission to conduct research and education programs that raise awareness of our peak oil and natural gas challenges and promote a sane energy future for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.

...We've never before asked for contributions, but now we need a little help from our friends. We need your tax-deductible contributions of $100, $500, $1000, $5000 or more to raise a final $100K which, with the Matching Grant, will give us the $300K needed to fund a two-year campaign to get sustainable foundation funding to support ongoing operations with a full-time staff and office.

Total Confirms French Refinery Workers On Strike

French oil major Total SA (TOT) Tuesday confirmed workers at some of its French refineries were on strike but said it was too early to estimate the impact of the strike on output.

New pipeline projects to boost Europe's energy security - Putin

Projects to build an oil pipeline across the Balkans and a natural gas pipeline under the Black Sea will boost Europe's energy security, the Russian president said on Tuesday.

Food vs. Fuel

The world's food system may be about to go into crisis, and the U.S. government's energy policy may be partly to blame.

A worrisome forecast for the world's crops

Studies on rising ozone pollution, shorter winters, and an expanding tropical belt do not bode well for agriculture.

Part I: The Price of Biofuels

Making ethanol from corn is expensive. Better biofuels are years away from the gas tank. But do we really have any alternative?

Mining could bridge energy ‘generation gap’

COAL mining could return to Wales on a large scale and answer the “generation gap” in energy production in the coming years, a committee of MPs concluded yesterday.

Kunstler: Failure Beyond Finance

What we're also seeing is a crisis of authority on top of a crisis of capital, and it will probably lead to a crisis of legitimacy -- by which I mean a catastrophic loss of faith that this society can govern itself at any level. Leadership across the board has failed, in government, in business, in what used to be called the press, and in education. Leadership in every sector went along with the program, marveling stupidly at their society's ability to get something for nothing.

Reality Report: global economy under stress (transcript of previously posted audio)

Nate Hagens: ...So its people at the margin that need to borrow money to buy a house or that work at a company that's economically linked, and 70% of our economy is consumer goods related. So everyone stands to lose. But people that are in the lower half of the economic strata are probably going to be worse off. Incidentally, I heard an amazing statistic the other day that 1% of Americans -- the top 1% of Americans have over 51% of the wealth; meaning that 99%, the other 99% have the other 50%. This ratio has never been this high, except it got to 49%-ish in 1929 and that's kind of a scary parallel.

Petrobras: Oil production up 1.8% in November

In November, with operations going online at two new platforms (P-52, on the 28th, and the FPSO Cidade de Vitória, on the 15th), and with production being resumed at the three units that were underwent scheduled maintenance in October, the average oil production in Brazilian fields rose 1.8% compared to the previous month, topping out at 1,760,598 barrels per day. Together, the two platforms that kicked production off in November are capable of lifting 280,000 barrels per day.

Peak oil rapidly approaching, oil sands still waiting in the wings

The peak oil theory claims that the world is depleting crude at 30 billion barrels each year, but adding just 10 billion in discoveries. Depletion is running at 4% a year, according to official numbers. However, statistics from the Middle East are in question, and peakists believe the depletion rate is closer to 6%.

Henry Groppe: IEA to blame for $100 oil spike (transcript of previously posted audio)

DS: You've argued that the IEA's forecasts have been pretty badly wrong, and that led to mistakes by Saudi Arabia. But how good or bad would you say their historical - the IEA's historical oil production data is - and does it matter?

HG: Their historical data that's never corrected is generally high by from 500,000 to, roughly, two million barrels a day, and since those are - and, then, as they do their total balances, that generally ends up over reporting consumption in order to make all of this balance. So, you have the world operating on petroleum ministry data that is generally high for production and consumption by a half million to two million barrels a day, and that matters enormously.

Surge in oil prices could sow seeds of their own destruction, by crimping economic growth

Oil's run to nearly $100 a barrel this year jacked up the cost of travel, clothing, beauty products and milk, and many analysts think fuel prices will remain at historically lofty levels throughout 2008.

But record energy prices could sow the seeds of their own destruction. Along with the housing crisis, they are contributing to an economic slowdown that is sapping the country's energy appetite just as oil producers ramp up production.

"The cure for high prices is more high prices," said Tim Evans, an analyst at Citigroup Inc., in New York.

Officials: Turkish army crosses into Iraq

About 300 Turkish troops crossed the border at 3 a.m., said Jamal Abdullah, a spokesman for the regional Kurdistan government. He said the region was a deserted mountainous frontier area.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad declined to comment on reports of the Turkish operation.

Dealing With Peak Oil Depression

For many who have experienced the epiphany of the petroleum bell-curve, a sense of despair is the common after-effect. How does one accommodate oneself to that realization of dwindling material resources? And oddly enough, it is often the most astute, those who have the most to offer, who are in that very position of having to navigate the darkness.

Rosneft to increase oil production in 2007 by 25% to 100 mln tons

Russia's state-owned oil company Rosneft will produce over 100 million tons of oil in 2007, 25% more than in 2006, its chief executive said on Monday.

"This is a landmark event for the company," Sergei Bogdanchikov told journalists.

Corn boom could expand ‘dead zone’ in Gulf - Farmers say crop too profitable to stop, despite problems downstream

With demand for corn booming, some researchers fear the dead zone will expand rapidly, with devastating consequences.

"We might be coming close to a tipping point," said Matt Rota, director of the water resources program for the New Orleans-based Gulf Restoration Network, an environmental group. "The ecosystem might change or collapse as opposed to being just impacted."

Officials to pick site for coal plant

A government and industry research project to learn ways to burn coal without emitting global warming gases is taking a major step forward Tuesday with an announcement on where the futuristic power plant will be built — in Texas or Illinois.

The $1.8 billion program, called FutureGen, has been under increasing scrutiny in Congress. Some lawmakers have questioned its soaring cost — nearly double the $950 million originally projected — and its long delays.

91,000 in Okla. still without power

More than 91,000 homes and businesses remained without power early Tuesday. Overnight temperatures in the state in the past week have dipped into the teens.

Residents struggling to get by have a new problem to rival dwindling temperatures: dwindling bank accounts. Many have depleted their money on food that has now spoiled, or on hotels.

Some stocked up on food before the storm, while others used money to stay in a hotel, thinking power would be restored within a day or two.

"We've had people using generators who ran out of money for fuel to operate the generators," said Vince Hernandez, chairman of the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma.

Interview: Germany's top climate adviser

The role of the industrialized countries is to demonstrate that you can protect the climate and nevertheless prosper and increase your well-being as a society. Germany has now put together a package for a 40 percent reduction of emissions – very ambitious, but we did the calculations and in the end it will save us money.

Disappointments on Climate

A week that could have brought important progress on climate change ended in disappointment.

In Bali, where delegates from 187 countries met to begin framing a new global warming treaty, America’s negotiators were in full foot-dragging mode, acting as spoilers rather than providing the leadership the world needs.

Alaska North Slope oil production falling by 6 percent per year.

Though many activists think North Slope oil production is hugely profitable, despite the fact that production is falling by 6 percent a year, the reality is that the companies with North Slope leases must spend more money to produce less oil. It doesn't take a genius to understand that a bigger government gouge leaves less to spend on projects.

But not to worry, Canadian Oil Sands to the rescue.

Canadian Oil Sands overly optimistic

The trust said on Friday it expects gross annual production from its Syncrude project to hit somewhere between 300 and 328 million barrels per day in 2008.

Wow, that is really optimistic! If that quote is true then the world is about to be flooded with oil. And further down in the article they get even more optimistic and predict 360+ million barrels per day. Of course that is a misprint, they really mean, I think anyway, barrels per year.

But that just goes to show how clueless many people in the media are as to oil production. They can multiply the figures by several hundred percent and the media never bats an eye, the figures are reported as if they were real.

Ron Patterson

Someone must have figured out the difference between thousands of barrels per day and millions of barrels per day as the article now reflects the former rather than the latter.

Thanks Starship. Perhaps someone saw my post and said "Uh-Oh" then corrected the problem.

So they produce less than one third of one million barrels per day. That ain't much in the grand scheme of things. There must be more oil producers there other than Syncrude as I think the oil sands produce about a million barrels per day.

Ron Patterson

At their current rate of increase in consumption (which in some cases appears to be accelerating), just the top five net oil exporters will consume an additional 5 mbpd in Total Liquids in 10 years.

Global Warming & Health, Speculation in WaPost

Part of a series.


Sorry but limited time to debate today as I prepare to leave tomorrow.

Best Hopes and Wishes for the Season,


Money Market Rates Tumble; Central Banks Inject Funds


Money market rates tumbled after the European Central Bank injected an unprecedented $500 billion into the banking system as part of a global effort to ease gridlock in the credit market.

2 week liquidity only...just enough to get to the new year.

But, $500 Billion! Wowsa!

I am sure Stoneleigh and Ilargi will probably have more today.

"Injecting liquidity" is an euphemism for "loaning money against poor or non-existent collateral". They are merely pushing the balloon in one place, and it will pop out in another.

Many analysts have commented that the problem is not lack of liquidity, but lack of solvency.

So this is not a solution. If they end up "gifting" the money they created and loaned out, then this is another blip up in money supply, with its consequent price inflation pressure.

Gold responded as it should, popping up about $10.00. You will see additional short selling today by the major financial houses to try and contain the price and shoot the messenger.

I read it as a sign of the central banks atacking the symptom (high interbank rates) rather than the real problem which is low interest rates. The only way to cleanse this system is to push interest rates to (say) 10%, suffer the economic consequences, and regroup. Until we do that, we are just putting fingers in dykes.

And that is assuming we dont run out of cheap energy, which is another little issue I am sure they are contemplating.


Agree. It solves nothing, adds some more potential for inflation, and is ENTIRELY temporary.

This problem isn't solveable with more CREDIT.

But, this probably will ensure we don't get any boxing bank runs.

2008 will be very very volatile.

Based on leading indicators, the US are probably in Recession as of the 20th. 6 months of negative economic reports (more if you don't count the bogus August numbers).

Dang...the banks get a $500 billion this year and I get a big fat goose egg ($0), zip, nada for any kind of holiday bonus or gift. Where's the shared love?

We are living thru history.

Not a word. Not a peep on MSM/CNBC/Bloomberg.

And the DJIA is not holding gains.

The Market going negative will be the tell.

Derivatives, Ponzi Schemes, CK Liu called it over 4 years ago

This from 2003:

A new economic sector called financial services came into existence. This was the true meaning of the slogan "a strong dollar is in the national interest". Dollar hegemony allowed the United States to levy a tax on the rest of the world for using the dollar, a fiat currency, as the reserve currency for world trade. The livelihood of the world's workers came to depend on US consumers' appetite for debt sustained by loans from the underpaid workers' own governments. Neo-imperialism works by making the world's poor finance the high living of the world's rich. It transcends the Marxist notion of class struggle and surplus value. In neo-liberal globalization, not just labor but even capital comes from the exploited.

What the Wall Street Journal calls mass capitalism would not have been half-bad if it were not for the fact that the hard-earned capital was squandered through fraud and Ponzi schemes. These new ventures financed by fund inflows did strengthened the US economy at first. But as the real economy in the United States did not grow as fast as the inflow of funds, because fewer and few things were being produced in the US, the excess funds soon channeled toward manipulation and fraud on a massive scale, resulting in financial scandals such as LTCM, Enron, WorldCom, Global Crossing, and thousands of less-known bankruptcies.

Much of the disaster came from the smoke and mirrors of so-called financial services, based on minute technical quantitative advantages that seem benign by themselves, but can accumulate into huge profit or loss in hundreds of billions of dollars on the turn of a penny. Hundreds of billions of dollars of investment and credit went up in smoke from fraudulent schemes perpetrated not only by management under the coaching of ever-enterprising investment banks, but also with the active, knowing participation of the banks, robbing workers and retirees the world over of their pensions and life savings.

Domestic jobs in the United States were eliminated by the millions and shipped overseas, while overseas workers were told to be thankful for inhuman wages and sweatshop conditions that at least warded off starvation. Instead of confessing their regulatory failings, US officials such as Alan Greenspan of the Federal Reserve took comfort in the role derivatives played in allegedly smoothing over massive financial shocks in the system, making the damage longer-lasting. Falling wages and worker benefits were cushioned by the wealth effect from speculation by people who could not afford the risk. Now that the US economy is trapped in a prospect of decade-long slow growth with a pending onslaught of deflation, and the hollowing-out of blue-collar manufacturing and white-collar high-tech sectors, Greenspan has told Congress that the threat of deflation remains "remote" and that thinking jobs are better that doing jobs.


Not correct. Bloomberg has the story on their home page.
Bloomberg has been very good about reporting accurately and completely. I believe they basically broke the story about the Florida state fund problems and followed it closely.


The Depression will not be televised.

Therefore, it will not exist.

Yes. The word "Depression" was not used until after

We'll see part of the collapse from say, NYC.

Then, like the 90k Okies w/o power, we won't
be able to.

"KARACHI - Despite issuance of wheat quota to flour mills the flour shortage continued in the provincial metropolis on Wednesday as people could be observed queuing up at utility stores outlets for buying flour at subsidised rate. Many Utility stores have been facing flour shortage and consumers were seen waiting inquest due to recent increased in prices."

Yes. The word "Depression" was not used until after 120741.

I find that hard to believe. Do you have a source for that bit of trivia? What was so special about the attack on Pearl Harbor that suddenly triggered the use of the word? The word, as a medical term, was first used in the early 1800s. I have no idea when it was first used as an economic term but I would bet a pile of money it was well before December of 41. When you make an outlandish claim, you need to post your source else people will start to take everything you say with a grain of salt, if indeed they have not started to do that already.

Ron Patterson

The term "panic" or "banking panic" was used prior to "depression" which was considered a more PC way of saying the same thing.

... and "recession" came into vogue as a softer term than "depression" which came to be associated with the "Great Depression."

Back to Ron's question, I do not know when "depression" became a euphemism for "panic" but I believe that it was after either the 1893 or 1907 panics.

You can search old Time articles at their website.

I found one from 1926 which refers to the Panic of 1920 as a business depression. So the term was in use by then.

"Six years ago there was similar unrest among U. S. banks. Considerable numbers of them failed, prelude to the 1920-21 business depression."


Well over here DER SPIEGEL is still silent but its economy sibling "Manager Magazin" has the story at the top of their website:

"EZB flutet den Geldmarkt" = "ECB is flooding the money market"


So not too much conspiracy over here. And I bet DER SPIEGEL will run the story as well later on.

Best Regards,

J. Dähn, Hannover, Germany

And -as an economic layperson- I'd say that it seems to me it's like they're pouring oil into the economic fire. Wether that's good or bad in the long run remains to be seen :-(( It makes for some nice flames anyway. The DAX and many stocks are up today.

"Oil" onto the feuer, eh? Good metaphor, I'd say.

Maybe they can redraw the graphics on our Dollar bills, so that when we're running short, they can just Print more Oil ??

One of the older commentators on CNBC this morning was talking about Seventies style stagflation. He noted that the EU M3 money supply number was up 13% in 30 days.

In regard to the Inflation in 2008 versus Deflation in 2008 argument, I would have to think that the signs are pointing toward inflation.

The FedRes wants/needs inflation.

The crisis persists ergo they're not getting inflation.

No one is taking out more loans.

Everyone's up to their necks already.

Deflation scares the hell out of the Fed.

SuddenDebt has it down-


"We now face a condition where consumers are loath to borrow more, because they have already borrowed too much. Offering more credit, even at low rates, does not alleviate their plight.

The one way out is also likely to be the most painful: a long period of downward adjustment in debt/asset and price levels, so that obligations can once more be adequately serviced from economic "rents", i.e. earned income from employment and corporate operating profits. The era of capital gains as constant booster shots is clearly over."

Hello Mcgowanmc,

YIKES, according to this article, 'murkins will be borrowing lots just to pay their heating bills:

One in Five Expect to Borrow to Heat Homes This Winter

For perhaps as many as 27 million American adults, keeping warm this winter will mean borrowing money and 20 million will use credit cards to be able to afford their heating bills, according to a CreditCards.com poll.

Nearly 12 percent of Americans say they will need to borrow money to pay winter heating bills; 9 percent will need to use credit cards to be able to afford their heating bills.
I would suggest that it would be financially better for people to start doubling-up with their family members, or to rent out the bedrooms. The money saved can be used to buy more insulation, doublepane glass, payoff the mortgage faster, increase the NPK, gold, and seed stockpiles, buy more postPeak handtools, buy more biosolar POT & FSLR stock, etc; to generally increase personal biosolar mission-critical investing, at every scale, instead of making someone else richer.

Don't dig a financial hole, climb a biosolar mountain!

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

Right On, McGowan.

I'm in a huge amount of debt which at 30% and more interest rates I'll NEVER be able to repay.

Bankruptcy while it's still available will provide relief, assuming it's still available (Constitution not suspended) in 2-3 years because I want to lump my unpayable IRS debt into my Chapter 7.

I am banking by coffee can.

I am never going to use debt-borrowing again.

I am noisy and will speak, write, and perhaps cartoon/propagandize to that end to influence others.

The banks have not realized they should not count chickens they have not already eaten.

i'm not 100% certain, but i dont think you can excape irs debt with ch 7 bankruptcy. i would say consult an attorney, but given my recent experience with tax attornys, i dont think that is a good idea either.

the irs code and the interpretations thereof are just too complex for even the irs to figure out.


You might at least research it a little more thoroughly yourself. Don't just rely on the internet, also go to a substantial library that has good tax law resources.

I've always operated under the assumption that it is not a good idea to mess with the IRS. I have known people that the IRS has sent to jail, good people that got tripped up on fairly innocent mistakes. The IRS is a monster, and once it has its jaws on you it won't let go.

Is there any possible way that you can at least discharge your IRS debt? You'll find the bankruptcy thing much smoother sailing if you can get the IRS out of the picture.

The Fed is caught between a rock and a hard place. Inflation is hampering the Fed attempts to pull Wall Streets nads out of the fire (xmas makes me do it :). While most of the talking heads on Squeek Blab cry for more rate cuts to bolster the stock market and help their pals in the financial sector, Rick Santelli, a lone sane voice in the wilderness of commodity and bond traders, goes largely unheard. I believe we will see more inflation followed by an unavoidable recession, or perhaps even a spectacular collapse of the world financial system. We are certainly witnesses to an unprecedented world financial crisis. For those that think that credit growth is slowing check this out...


...snip...'The third quarter demonstrated how, in spite of double-digit system credit growth, an acutely fragile credit system came to the brink of imploding. In particular, ongoing rampant financial sector expansion could not ameliorate revulsion to Wall Street-backed securitizations. Double-digit expansion in "money-like" debt instruments - including Treasuries, agencies debt, GSE MBS, and bank and money fund deposits - had become powerless in providing liquidity support for Wall Street’s asset-backed commercial paper, CDO, ABS, and private-label (non-GSE guaranteed) MBS markets. Rapid expansion of financial market credit (15.6% annualized!) was, at the same time, sufficient to adequately (over-)finance the real economy, certainly including corporate cash-flows and household incomes and attendant ongoing massive current account deficits.'...snip...

I argue that we've had hyper inflation since 2001.

An extension of the US going bankrupt in 85.

It's just been covered up by derivatives.

See over $600 Trillion for details.
or Buddy, can you spare $1000 Trillion.

That's HyperHyper.

But now they're getting 11/27 cents o the $
for this Tulip Bulb Crap.

That's massive deflation.

Mike Whitney-

"The banks don't have the reserves to cover their downgraded assets and the Federal Reserve cannot simply "monetize" their bad bets. There's no way out. There are bound to be bankruptcies and bank runs. "Structured finance" has usurped the Fed's authority to create new credit and handed it over to the banks.

Now everyone will pay the price.

Investors have lost their appetite for risk and are steering clear of anything connected to real estate or mortgage-backed bonds. That means that an estimated $3 trillion of securitized debt (CDOs, MBSs and ASCP) will come crashing to earth delivering a violent blow to the economy."

Depression comes with the credit card fiasco this Holiday/
New Year's Week.

If debt is money then perhaps what central banks are doing is replacing money that is removed from the economy via bankruptcy. If the two amounts are balanced then there is neither inflation nor deflation.
According to the MSNBC website only 2% of foreclosures are due to so called subprime lending. Most foreclosures are due to borrowers experiencing a loss of income. There comes a tipping point when too many jobs have been exported and the bottom of the economic pyramid can no long support those on top.

Debt = money in today's economy's. However, it is insufficient to just replace the money that is removed via bankruptcy. The reason is that debts come with interest. At any point in time, there is never enough money to pay back all the debts, plus interest. This is because the total amount of money in circulation is the sum of the principals of all the loans that were made. The money to pay the interest doesn't exist yet. Governments must constantly be expanding the money supply in order to create the new loans that will be used to pay interest on the old loans.

If this sounds like a Ponzi scheme, it is. It works so long as (a) the real economy expands to keep up with the money supply, and (b) lenders are willing to lend and borrowers are willing to buy.

We failed on (a) a while ago. We are now seeing the failure of (b). When loans stop happening, the ONLY THING the central banks can do is lower interest rates, lower the collateral required for loans, shrink reserve requirements, or otherwise make loans more desirable. What they CANNOT do is inject money directly. They can only encourage lending. Depressions happen when lending stops happening, despite all the King's horses and all the King's men trying their best to make loans cheap.

This is why the argument inflation vs deflation is really moot. During economic crises such as these, you have rampant inflation as the central banks desperately cheapen the money supply, followed by deflation when people stop borrowing (usually because they can't service any more debt load). Fiat-money fractional-reserve (or no reserve) banking collapses in a heap of deflation as soon as the money supply stops expanding. Of course this doesn't happen all at once in all sectors of the economy, so you'll see switch from inflation to deflation cascade through economic sectors. It started in housing (inflation leading to deflation). It will spread.

Here is a wonderful little movie that explains in clear detail the amazingly insane method we use to create money. One viewing of this film will immediately clarify why the current sub-prime crisis is so incredibly bad, nay, apocalyptic.


It is quite something when the prospect of people deciding that they have to live more frugally and pay down their debts threatens to bring the entire US economy crashing down in flames.

Insanity doesn't even begin to describe this house of cards that we have built.

As I outlined in my ELP essay, my proposals were met by suggestions that it was socially unacceptable and/or somehow vaguely Un-American to under-consume.

For anyone who didn't see it, following is a link to an account of the early Eighties Kuwait credit bubble:

The 1982 Kuwaiti Credit Bubble & Stock Market Crash

This is a fascinating case history of virtually unlimited credit expansion, until the thing imploded. In the latter stages of the boom, Kuwaitis were writing post-dated checks to finance stock purchase, and in many cases, the underlying companies actually did little or nothing.

"Insanity doesn't even begin to describe this house of cards that we have built."

Actually, I think "insanity" describes it quite well! ;-)

I prefer "jabber-wocked, clusterf*ck"!!

Can't argue with that!

Report: Global Renewable Energy Experiencing Double-Digit Growth


Renewable energy use is growing much faster than 10% per year throughout the world, according to a new report from the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21). Excluding large hydropower, the global electric generating capacity of renewable energy facilities reached 237 gigawatts (GW) this year, up 15% from last year. That's about 5.5% of the electric generating capacity throughout the world. At 93 GW, wind power provided about 40% of that renewable generating capacity; wind power capacity increased by 25% over 2006. Grid-connected solar photovoltaic systems reached 7.8 GW in capacity, a 56% increase, while the global production of photovoltaic systems reached 3.8 GW per year, a 52% increase over 2006.

Here's an article from a local newspaper in my area about a drilling boom in SE Ohio.


A few interesting tidbits:

"According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, a total of 44 wells have been drilled in Washington County since the law was put into place. Five of those were drilled in 2004, 11 in 2005, 27 in 2006 and 31 in 2007 as of Nov. 4. "


“There has been drilling in Washington County since 1817. Grandpa got the easy stuff. To find the quality reserves, you have to take higher risks and go deeper.”


"Miller said the price of setting up a 2,000-foot well, which cost $80,000 ten years ago, now costs in $150,000 to $200,000."

Keep in mind most of these wells produce between 1 and 10 barrels a day. Very small stuff in the grand scheme of things. Even so, I know several people that own or operate these wells and they are making a good return on their investment.

From today's WSJ (paywall?):

Mining Firms Bulk Up, Echoing Big Oil Mergers
BHP Bid for Rio Heralds A New Era for Resources; The OPEC of Iron Ore?

"If you look at the industry and the history of oil, really the same game is playing out," says Alex Gorbansky, a managing director at Frontier Strategy Group, a Washington, D.C.-based emerging-markets advisory firm.

But the similarities are striking, say investors, bankers and analysts who study the sector. On the back of explosive growth in China and other developing countries, some mined commodities are taking on a strategic importance that's starting to rival that of crude. As with oil, most of the world's easy, high-grade mineral deposits have been tapped, leaving resources that are lower-grade, harder to reach or in politically challenging locations. By merging, miners hope to tackle the complex projects that remain.

"People with monopoly power don't use it to decrease prices and develop more supply,"

Sounds familiar. This reminds me of Ugo Bardi's Peak Minerals post.

Agree. However, a conceptual difference from oil is that over the past 50 years in mining, frail and expensive human labor has been replaced almost completely with cheap fossil-fueled bulk machinery, even underground (non-polluting small electric trains replaced by so-called trackless mining involving foul low-slung diesel trucks). This fact, at present, ties mining costs tightly to petroleum costs. Your giant Western mining company is potentially just as dependent on energy costs as a giant airline company.

There is no "oil window" of permissible depth or unique geologic process of formation for most minerals which are, after all, just useful chemical elements. "Peak minerals" will, in general, not mean that the Earth has come anywhere close to running out, only that remaining resources are too deep or too low grade to recover in bulk at existing energy prices. If a mineral becomes pricey enough, relative to its former price and to energy prices, supplies can probably be located for any special application (analogous to obtaining gold from sea water or iron-nickel asteroids from outer space, or perhaps making plastics from hydrogen and old parking lot asphalt). Even such operations might require 5-20 years of research and development though.

On Dec. 16's Drumbeat Comradez recommended:

"Man's Role in Changing the Face of the Earth," edited by William L. Thomas, published in 1956.

A very interesting book indeed. Though I haven't got chance to go to the libraries to check it out, I found there is a reader here in Princeton is studying it.

One interesting observation one can make just by looking at the catalog is that the book (published in 1956) was from the International Symposium on Man’s Role in Changing the Face of the Earth (1955 : Princeton, N.J.). We all know Hubbert's peak oil theory was delivered in 1956. But just from the excerpts of the book (thanks to Comradez):

According to these studies, we are likely to reach the peak of petroleum production in the United States about 1965, and the peak of United States production of coal of all grades about 2025. Some technologists believe these dates are too early...but if ample allowances are made--if present estimates of recoverable reserves prove to be only half of what they should be, if the demand curves rise only half as steeply as they have in the past, if we are destined to put only half as much effort in exploration and drilling and mining as demands would justify--the cold mathematics of the problem shows only moderate postponement of peaks of production: perhaps 1970 for United States oil production, 1975 for [U.S.] gas, 2000 for world petroleum, and 2050 for United States coal.

So these peak predictions were given in the 1955 symposium unless they were added later in 1956 by the editors.

Another topic seems interested by some fellow TODers is about ancient Chinese drilling techniques. There is a load of information one can find on that topic on the internet - mostly in Chinese. Some even claim drilling as the 5th greatest invention by the Chinese - after the Compass, gun powder, paper making and printing. Here is one article on this subject in English:

Wow. Thanks for noting this again here and the Dec 16 post which didn't get a lot of response; I missed it the first time around.

A 1957 (January 18) Science book review of the compilation mentions

Undoubtedly, fossil fuels, after this century, will cease to exist in a practical sense.

The coincidence of this symposium and it's topics, Hubbert's presentation, and Rickover's speech all in this period is not at all surprising. Coincidence aside, these works may have been inspired by the 1953 work of Palmer C. Putnam in a report to the Atomic Energy Commission and a book Energy in the Future (New York: Van Nostrand, 1953). Here's a brief review when it was published.

Hubbert's 1956 work references Putnam's book.

This all evolved in the context of the 1952 Truman-era 5-volume Paley Commission Report on energy and material resources and their limits.

Finally, for you historians, ran across an article (from 1956?) by Sir Charles Darwin, titled Forcastig the Future. Take a moment to read it, fossil fuels running out, population dieoff, gloomers vs optimists. You'd think it was a day in the life of The Oil Drum. It's spooky.

I am so glad to see that Peak Oil Depression link. I had to wade through maybe three months of just plain misery as I internalized what is coming. This seems to have cleared off last month and now I am back in fighting form - career change from pure telecom work to a mix of that and wind energy development, and my customers, who were feeling rather ignored, are now piling work on me.

We really need a plan in this area. Take away a person's vehicle and you disempower them. Take away a man's job(more than women) and you're taking a big chunk out of his sense of self. Tell him his chosen field doesn't need him, or even worse that society doesn't really need the field any more, and then you've got a real recipe for trouble.

We're going to need another WPA style back to work effort from the new Democratic president ... make work is better than no work at all.

SCT, I'm occasionally still pretty miserable after almost 2 years. Reading increasingly bad news here is not helping either. But one need to know.

This is one of the reasons that I support Alan Drake's plans--we are going to need the jobs.

I launched StrandedWind.org late last week. The draft mission statement is:

StrandedWind is a volunteer based intellectual property organization that exists to concentrate, disseminate, and improve upon the body of knowledge associated with the use of stranded wind as an energy source.

We've got four IT guys, a PR person, and a project manager onboard for support staff. The web site is just has a simple picture at the moment but I'm on site in the bunker on Chanute AFB where we keep our servers and I've got one picked out for a Drupal(same as TOD) install.

A lurker here who shall remain nameless is also a rock star grade web developer behind a very big name on the net. I shipped him an application specification and he is working up some educational simulation software that'll help get people thinking about stranded wind and its uses.

TOD regular NH3 lead me to a group of real rocket scientists on the renewable fuels front. Some of them are helping to validate concepts and get others up to speed.

I visited Iowa Lakes Community College last week and talked to the director of the wind energy program. They're the only one in the country that actually owns and operates a large scale (1.65mw) wind turbine. Something is about to happen there but I'm not going to say anything until its in the bag.

I visited the BECON director at Iowa State yesterday and had a nice long talk. There are some very interesting things going there and I'm going to make the effort to get up to speed on them - there is already a wind to ammonia effort in the pilot phase in Minnesota.

The BECON visit came after I completed my lobbyist training at the capitol. I met the person who represents the Iowa Veterans Home. They're on a hill, they've got a $100k/month electric bill, and Stranded Wind has its first volunteer project in helping them evaluate the site to see if a wind turbine will work.

My Congressman is very excited about wind in his district. The staffer I talked to said and I quote "Just tell us what we need to do to help."

I'm flat amazed at the number of people who've appeared expressing a desire to help and the level of intensity they've brought to the process. We might just be on to something here ...

So those of you not living in a place with perfect wind, you need to stop moping, go out into the world, and find something that fits for your area :-)


p.s. We have the best door signs of any datacenter in the world. This one got propped open for move in and it hasn't been closed since :-)

No Photography!

Go, go, go SCT :)

Nice pic at the org site, too

I love that intro picture of the yard art. Those old water pumpers weren't very efficient, which is why they aren't of much use these days. Why don't you use a picture of some modern wind energy devices? There should be some good small scale ones in the market place, although I haven't looked for them. There are also some bad designs, such as the do-it-yourself variety which one finds on eBay. The syetems we worked on in 1973 were rated at 2kw, with 3 blades and a diameter of about 10 feet. If the resource is there, the small scale systems could still be useful, especially in the situation where the user is located a fair distance from the nearest utility pole. Let me know if I can help out...

E. Swanson

The picture on the front page of StrandedWind isn't yard art, its a used windmill dealer somewhere on highway 2 in western Nebraska. People still use those things to keep cattle tanks full in ranching country.

I believe SacredCowTipper at the new domain is a valid email for me.

Those old-timey windmills keep stock tanks filled around here.

Web design is, according to my experience, the hardest shit in the world. Web designers should make $100 an hour and they'd still be underpaid.

Maybe someyear when no one can afford the foreign-made batteries to make their grandpa's digital camera work and I'm drawing/painting portraits from my shop on the courthouse square, I'll be able to afford to get a printing press, 1900s-1500s technology, working. No one in town has one now, in the early 2000s.

we are going to need the jobs.

Why don't we put everyone on welfare and make them stay home. A small percentage can be drafted for two year terms to produce what society really needs. Everyone else can stay home and tend their gardens, read, write, pray, play music, and practice birth control. No more advertising, banks, insurance companies or stock traders. We could make the oil last for many more decades that way.

Everyone else can stay home and tend their gardens, read, write, pray, play music, and practice birth control.

Lets see, 100's of millions staying at home with lots and lots of free time. Sounds like a good way to dramatically increase the population. "I'm Bored, lets have Sex!"

Lets not forget that all those stay home people are going to need food delivery, clean water, heat or AC (depending on the conditions, since most modern buildings rely on AC for cooling and these building will quickly become a death traps on a hot summer day). It takes considerable amounts of energy to keep people entertained an comfortable so they don't go out and riot in the streets or go bezerk. I think this has a 0% chance of working.

We could make the oil last for many more decades that way.

Lots of people and gov'ts won't agree to these terms. Most will Hord the remaining reserves for their themselves to maintain high living standards. Today consider Money, There are Billionaire and Millionaires, and then there are people living on the streets. If we can't all live balanced lifestyles today, there is no way in hell it will happen once energy resources decline.

Until the system collapses, There will few more elites and a lot more people living in Poverty (probably similar to the late 19th Century and Early 20th Century) ratio. Middle class living standard will disappear in entirely.As energy resources decline, unemployment will soar, and these people will sink into poverty as they simple can't find work and are forced to live out there days on food stamps. I suspect that a lot of people will surcome to disease and as malnuetrion becomes the norm and the loss of proper medical care (See Africa for an example).

No more advertising, banks, insurance companies or stock traders.

Thats only a small fraction of the workforce. What about Teachers, Maintainance workers, Truckers and Railroad works (delivering food, and other basic supplies). Sanitation, Medical Workers, Engineers to maintain infrastructure, Manufacturing (ie Clothing, Shoes, and other goods that wear out). In your plan, Do All the children stop going to school? Do we end all R&D research? What if a Natual disaster strikes (ie Calfornia EarthQuake, another Katrina, etc)? What about people living in the Suburbs, where do they go to live when the Cities become full? This list could go on for may pages, that your idea doesn't address.

10% of the population could produce all the essentials - food, basic clothing, medicine - we really need. Give the rest of them free dope to keep them happy and sedated. Mandatory sterilizations after baby number one. Children can be home schooled, like they were in the OLD days.

Look, I don't think it will work either. I think we're all going to die in a huge nuclear war in about 15 years or so. But it's worth thinking about possible mitigations no matter how unlikely, no?

"Give the rest of them free dope to keep them happy and sedated... Children can be home schooled, like they were in the OLD days."

Heh. What the hell are they going to get taught? :)

Mandatory sterilizations after baby number one.

Needed for that to work equitably: an awful lot of dna tests to determine correct fatherhood.

DNA tests are cheaper than babys and only need to be done once per person.

I largely agree.

The world does not want to hear what they are approaching though they are beginning to detect the "whoosh" of the approaching shaft.

The sounds of Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" sometimes seem so appropriate.

We've got those CCC projects all over W AR.

Beautiful stone/woodwork, viable even today.

That would be Western Arkansas? (AK?)..

It just looked a lot like 'War'..


War is an often-resorted-to jobs program.

It's certainly an issue for those that assimilate it. It's one thing to accept that the things you lived your whole life believing and the future you thought you were going to have are fundamentally false - and it's quite another to replace them with something else that is viable.

SCT, as was pointed out in Leanans/J Kunstlers post above 'we have a crisis in leadership'. I do not see any potential FDRs in the mix running for President, but sometimes great presidents are forced to greatness by the situations they face. Time will tell if one emerges.

I believe that the next president will be forced by TPTB and the people that vote to forego the destruction and sale of America by the Globalists. This will mean a return, to some degree, of protectionisim. Heavy and light industry must be resumed by America in a big way. The concept of a consumer economy has been shown to be a farce. Federal budgets, including the military, must reflect reality. Consumer credit must be curtailed to a large degree. Savings by Americans must be encouraged, to provide money for industrial expansion in America. Yes, Alan, that means rail also! I see a serious financial crunch ahead but I also see the possibility of Americans pulling together to make America the financial powerhouse it was not so long ago. As has been amply demonstrated, a powerful military funded by deficit spending and led by idealogues is worse than useless, it is destructive to America. But, none of the above will come to pass without leadership that has a vision and a desire to really serve America.

End of rant...It warmed up today and I am off to ride a motorcycle...with my curly white beard I could pull off a decent Santa impersonation...if I were heavier and shorter. :)

Rivers: IMO all TPTB are Globalists, so I don't share your optimism on this one. Outliers like Ron Paul are gaining more strength as an increasing % of the American public gets screwed, but guys like him are a long way from being viable candidates. There is an amusing side to this- the majority of the country bought into the mentality of "screw everybody else, I've got mine" without seeing where this eventually leads.

River, the problem with the USA drawing in behind its borders via protectionism is that it doesn't have the resources any more. Other countries will reply in kind, and without the iron, aluminium, oil, etc., these dreams will prove a chimera. One can argue that the Great Depression was partially caused by worldwide protectionism.

River: This guy (Roberts) was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan and he puts forth the argument that both Hillary and Giuliani are as bad or worse than Bush-Cheney for the American people. He makes a convincing argument.

I think the whole lot of them are bad news. I'm still holding out a slim ray of hope for a Bloomberg independent run. Not that he's much better, just less beholden to party interests.

I'd actually be just as happy to see the damn cars go -- IF I could be assured of having rail transit out of town. Being stuck here with no way at all to get in or out is what really worries me.

The one good thing about the decades of downsizing, offshoring, etc. is that a lot of people (including myself) have already had their careers taken away from them and have had to go through all that already. The first time around for people, it is as if their world has ended. The second or third time, the reaction is more like "Well here we go again, those )@#^ &@$*@%)s!"

Let all the cars go, *I* have a way to Town and back, by mountain bike. 25 miles each way. Go to Town one day, draw folks or play banjo for tips or some damned thing, then ride back the next day.

The fatasses who've never had to walk anywhere to get anywhere will just sit on their lard and die though.

First heard about PO in 1996 - From Campbell's book.

Thought it was BS (like many Geologists).

Its been a black dog since 1999. - Cant remember what triggered it. Think it was a presentation on water cut and production falls on some platforms for a company trying to raise the dead.

My son made 18 today. Looks like half the world want him dead and the other half wants him to go out and kill that other, other half on their behalf...

Few nights passed, I got pretty heavy re Greens and Nazis:

I met a little green prick in a pub. He was almost salivating with glee at the imminent demise of his own species and the delight in the block he and his mates seemed to be able to put on just about any way out of this miasma. He did not want a solution.

Of any sort.

Little prick then drove off in a car with twice the CC of mine. (maybe he thinks that burning it fast will bring the world to an end sooner.)

Well its Christmas so y'all go out and blow it.

This may be the year that represents Peak Christmas....

I figured there was a reason.. I'd just assumed that Darwinian had stolen your laptop and was pulling a prank..

as for that Green Nihilist.. well, every family has a few.. well, OK, we have a few extra.

We did xmas early, just in case the world ended by next week.

Happy Kwanzaa!


(Ron, just funnin'..)

Merry Christmas!

Writing on the wall for telephone cable vandals

The high price of copper on the international market has attracted the vandals, who are now roaming the region destroying the infrastructure.

The copper cables are finding ready markets in Asian countries with China having a lion’s share of the demand.

Kenya has had a serious problem with "vandals" who steal wires, etc., to sell for scrap. They've given up on trying to stop it, and are instead going wireless.

It's going to be right up there with 'Horse Thieves'.. ubiquitous and very harshly judged.

Re: Do recent storms indicate a climate shift?

Here in NJ, the weather pattern so far makes one wonder if this will be a year without winter. The tree leafs fell some 2 or 3 weeks later than normal while the snow and ice rain are some two or three months ahead of their usual time.

With regards to the Nuclear article and the "uranium shortage" debunked here:




Best hopes for less anti nuclear propaganda.

Best hopes that the cost to secure the radioactive waste for the next 1,000,000 years is correctly added to the price per kWh of nuclear produced electricity.

Best hopes for less nuclear propaganda.

Again the 1,000,000 year strawman.

Interesting, for how long do you think the highly toxic waste from coal mines for example needs to be "secured"? How do you include that in the coal power calculations? World nuclear waste can fit a stadium. There are technologies to reduce even that 100-fold.

Because of anti-nuclear delusionals like yourself we are going to turn this planet into a smaller copy of Venus. I hope you guys sleep well, because the next generations will be judging you severely.

LevinK, you gracefully changed the subject, but I do agree that the cost of pollution created from coal must be added to the price per kWh of coal electricity as well.

I would never have advocated nuclear if I was not s&*tless scared of what we are doing to the environment. Of course like with everything there are certain risks with it, but having researched the alternatives I see it as the only way we could realistically stop climate change and prevent wars over fossil fuels.

I think these causes far outweigh the potential risks of several hundred containers of waste buried in the middle of some desert. I would go even farther - we have no other choice than to handle this issue properly, including fuel reprocessing to greatly diminish the amount of waste and actinide burners to handle the plutonium. Either we do this and go nuclear on a very large scale, or we are pretty much finished in the longer term.

"...the potential risks of several hundred containers of waste buried in the middle of some desert."

Yeah, that is an accurate description of reality...

And is it not? The only reason we don't have the Yucca Mountain site for example for long time already is NIMBY. Which is driven by perceptions and political games, nothing related to the industry.

Is it not a reality that nobody has ever been hurt by this scary "nucular" waste? Self called environmentalists are writing fiction about terrorists stealing fuel rods and three headed children and these are about the best arguments they are producing. Nothing related to reality - just plain scaremongering. If there is such a devil in this waste, please show me the harm it is causing, instances, proofs, numbers. Thank you.

And is it not? The only reason we don't have the Yucca Mountain site for example for long time already is NIMBY.

Well its also because its completely unnecissary. Spent fuel doesn't actually cause any problems sitting onsite in dry storage casks and wont for hundreds of years.

It costs money for the utilities to build and maintain those. From pure economic standpoint it does not make sense such a minor amount of waste to be stored and secured separately in each site, and eventually someone will have to take responsibility for it when the plant closes.

In addition the situation gives fuel to the NIMBY and BANANA crowd for the argument that "the waste issue has not been resolved". Excuse me? First what's the problem with on-site storage? Second, whose fault is it there is not a final disposition site?

It is outrageous. The silver lining is that while we wait for the govt to roll its thumbs and spend billions just to study whether it can dig one hole in the ground, the time will come we will implement a closed fuel cycle through the GNEP agreement and this artificial problem will disappear.

LevinK -

I agree with you on this one.

While the disposition of high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants is a serious issue, it is one that has been repeatedly overblown by the anit-nuke crowd. These people conventiently overlook the fact that compared to many toxic industrial wastes, the amount of high-level nuclear waste generated per year is tiny.

Due to this small volume, extraordinary disposal techniques are economically feasible for high-level waste. It doesn't matter if the waste remains radioactve for a million years, there are locations within the US and elsewhere that are of no use for any other purpose and quite suitable for highly secure waste disposal.

Furthermore, as you correctly point out, the use of more advanced fuel cycles can reduce the volume of this waste by well over an order of magnitude.

Is nuclear power without risk? Of course not, but neither is the status quo. If one insists upon worrying about radiation poisoning, one should invest their efforts in worrying about a nuclear war escalating from the growing conflict over fossil fuel resources.

Nuclear waste is a man-made problem (just like rising C02 and nuclear weapons) and if it as small and simple as you say then it should be easy to fix - just fix it then, and do it now - don't leave it for your grandchildren to fix at their expense, then nuclear power will be a winner and might save us all ... until there is some other Liebig minimum other than energy!

I agree that the amount of material is small, but it is very difficult to think of storing it for the thousands of years needed for it to cool down. It storage were an easy problem to solve, that hole in Yucca Mountain would already be in use. The DOE's been working on the problem for about 30 years now.

There are other issues besides storage. That used fuel could be recycled to recover plutonium, which may be one reason that the DOE has spent so much time dragging their feet on permanently isolating the waste we already have sitting in storage casks at power plants. Of course, moving all those fuel rods around and recycling plutonium would offer a great opportunity for the bad guys out there to cause havoc. If the U.S. were to go for a plutonium economy, I fear that the security required would make Stazi (sp?) E. Germany look like an open society.

E. Swanson

..and after the 'Easy Cleanup' of Spent Fuel (and mining Tailings?..) that we keep hearing is at least theoretically possible for no-fuss Fission, requiring only a very big imaginary Can-Opener..

.. then this contention that Nuclear is Low Carbon is challenged with a more severe Climate Greenhouse emission problem, as David Fleming's booklet describes the quantities of Halogenated Compounds involved in the UF6 refining processes which are vastly more robust as Greenhouse gases than CO2.

"Carbon dioxide is not the only greenhouse gas released by the nuclear industry. The conversion of one tonne of uranium into an enriched form requires the addition of about half a tonne of fluorine, producing uranium hexafluoride gas (hex) to be used in the centrifuge process. At the end of the process, only the enriched fraction of the gas is actually used in the reactor: the remainder, depleted hex, is left as waste. Not all of this gas can by any means be prevented from escaping into the atmosphere, and most of it will eventually do so unless it is packed into secure containers
and finally buried in deep repositories.19

"It is worth remembering here, first, that to supply enough enriched fuel for a standard 1GW (1 gigawatt = 1 billion watts) reactor for one full- power year, about 200 tonnes of
natural uranium has to be processed. Secondly, hex is a
halogenated compound (HC), one of several that are used at
various stages of the cycle. HCs are potent greenhouse gases. The global warming potential of freon-114, for instance, is nearly 10,000 times greater than that
of the same mass of carbon dioxide.20

"There is no published data on releases of HCs from nuclear
energy. There must be a suspicion that they reduce any
advantage over fossil fuels which the nuclear power industry enjoys at present in the production of greenhouse gases.
Given the unfounded but popular presumption that nuclear energy is carbon-free, it would be helpful if a reliable study of all releases of greenhouse gases from the nuclear fuel cycle, and their effect on the atmosphere, were commissioned and published without delay. (PDF page 14)


Now admittedly, I don't know who this guy is, so if LevinK, you'd want to tell me how he or these points have been discredited, I'll be open to whatever you can present.

Bob Fiske

'Easy Cleanup' of Spent Fuel

LOL, Bob, great phrase. Lemme get my bottle of tilex, I'll help you.


The normal practice is uranium hexafluoride after enrichment to be chemically turned back to solid (depleted) U or to U2O3. This form is much more stable and easy to store than the volatile fluoride.

The only reason they may choose to keep it like that is for re-enrichment or if someone somewhere is saving money. Either way it is a very bad practice and I don't know who/where or why allows that. Any references?

Even allowing for storage as HEX the "greenhouse gas" thing is a total crap. Let's imagine all of the 200tons of HEX needed for 1 year of plant operation escaped into the atmosphere - which given its toxicity would be an outrageous pollution event, who knows why never detected or proven by all those prominent environmentalists. A 1000MW coal power plant of that size for one year would emit about 5 million tons of CO2 or 25,000 times more. It is funny how people choose to accept that number calmly, while focusing on potential, tiny leaks from some barrels piled up somewhere... it's a total idiocy.
[edited to fix incorrect calculation]

"people choose to accept that number calmly"

Who? In case you haven't noticed, new coal plants are getting strongly opposed, and rejected where we the 'so-called Greens' are able to have any effect.

Just because I oppose Lethal Injection doesn't mean I'm just trying to make room for more Firing Squads.

Using Coal's obvious filth to make Nuclear look 'clean' is pretty desperate I have to say.. but it might be your best bet, so keep trying.

Fleming pointed out a number of different compounds and isotopes from the Fuel Cycle that the industry had to be extra careful to manage carefully and expensively.. hope the whole industry doesn't try to cut any corners. Ever.

Bob (Edited for Grammar..)

Oh OK, I won't use coal. I'll use something really necessary we could never really give up - say ambulances.

If an ambulance needs 5 gallons of diesel a day it will emit about 10 tonnes of CO2 a year. So the pollution of 20 ambulances - the number serving just couple of hospitals will be equal as amount to the 200 tonnes of HEX stored in some barrels somewhere. If they are stored like this of course.

At the same time a 1000Mw nuclear power plant will provide electricity to about 1 mln. homes, something like the city of Chicago with tens or even hundreds of hospitals inside it.

Feel better now?

Sure, Ambulances.. that would be a really useful comparison.

or maybe Puppy Dogs.. What are you willing to give up, Nuclear Power, or Soft, Warm puppies?

You must be busy. You're better than this.

I'm going to try NOT getting diverted by the logical train wreck of your post, and get back to 'If we've got to sell Nuclear to the public, who is irrationally afraid of them, maybe we have to keep comparing it to things they are hopefully MORE afraid of, like Coal!, to make fission start looking like a wise choice after all.' We just have to assure them, again and again and again- that we can keep these numerous complex and energy- and capital-intensive stages running smoothly.. just give us our subsidies, because the investors are as skittish as y'all are, and we'll go make our reactors and not be any trouble.


You are right I am busy.

Too busy to deal with arguments in which people are just nitpicking, sidestepping or pretending they don't get your point.

Good day to you sir

Let's just insist on well-researched and useful information. Calling it Propaganda is about as productive as calling them any other schoolyard name.

The NEA will have their take on Supply, maybe several takes, depending on whom in the org you ask about it..

From David Fleming's PDF; Page 13 (p19 within pdf)

"Supply crunch
" And, indeed, there is a widely-shared recognition that there will be a severe shortage of uranium around 2013. This is frankly acknowledged by the NEA itself, and set in context by the First Uranium Corporation.40 Here are the reasons (remember that the numbers are approximations). At present, about 65,000 tonnes of natural uranium are consumed each year in nuclear reactors worldwide.41 The number of reactors in existence in 2013 will be the product of (1) retirements of old reactors and (2) startups of new ones. There is no basis for a reliable estimate of what that net number will be, so we will assume that there is no change from the present.42

"About 40,000 tonnes of this total demand of 65,000 tonnes are supplied from uranium mines, which leaves the remaining 25,000 tonnes to be supplied from other sources.43 10,000 tonnes comes from “military uranium” – that is, from the highly-enriched uranium salvaged from nuclear weapons, chiefly from the arsenal which the Soviet Union built up during the Cold War, and which is now being dismantled with the help of subsidies from the United States. The remaining 15,000 tonnes comes from a range of “secondary supplies”, consisting of inventories of uranium fuel that have been built up in the past, together with recycled mine tailings and some mixed-oxide fuel (MOX), a mixture of recycled
plutonium and depleted uranium.44

"The expectation is that neither of these crucial supplements to mined uranium have much longer to last. Military uranium is being depleted rapidly. At present, it is sold to the United States by Russia on a supply contract which expires in 2013. ..."

Frankly, Antidoomer, the way you seem to drop links of 'Good News' into drumbeats, usually with the lack of any of your own analysis, so that the implied comment on your part seems to be saying 'Hmmph! Told ya so!'.. sounds like you are trying to make up for doomerism, but it is singularly ineffective at doing so.

I 'almost' want to support it, if the tone and article choices weren't quite so BLINDLY Positive. There IS good news out there. There are Tools we should be learning to use and teaching about.. there are ways that communities have been finding ways to connect again and work on these problems.. albeit FAR too few.. While others rage along about stocking up on Guns, and how 'It's over, the ship sank..', I'm not hopeless about it. Maybe it will kill us all in horrible ways, but I am going to choose how I use the time I've got, designing and building new versions of old systems, teaching people, connecting with my neighbors, getting my family to prepare, or at least realize how UNprepared they are..

I think you might actually have something to say, but I haven't heard it yet. So far, you are reacting to the Doomerism you dislike with a message of 'Harrumph'.. I don't think your message gets through.

(If I'm talking to a corporate AI-robot, please forgive me. Wrong number..please return to your shopping.)


The world is full of closed uranium mines. I know the uranium industry in my country basically extinguished when the price plummeted in the 90s.

There are two categories of people crying "uranium shortages":
- anti-nuclear activists
- uranium speculators

Both are situated very well in the MSM, unlike the nuclear industry. You pick whom to believe yourself. Personally I'm not buying uranium stock, because I think in a couple of years the price will plummet (even more than it did recently).

So GE is badly situated in the MSM?

Umm, are you being sarcastic? NBC is a subsidary of GE.


There are number of competing interests but the anti-nuclear cause is definitely far ahead in the game.

Just look at the Leanan-s news story board - 3 anti-nuclear articles! And what is even more outrages - 2 pro-coal articles, ZERO anti-coal articles, and 4 or 5 climate change articles! Now saying anti-nuclear, pro-coal and anti-climate change in one breath is a case of either concentrated propaganda or a heavy form of schizophrenia.

The fact of the matter is that GE is much more interested in coal than in nuclear. Nuclear is risky to build overwhelmingly because of the carefully bred anti-nuclear sentiment through the years of the Cold War and after TMI. Coal on the other hand is out of sight out of mind and is unnoticeable doing its thing. Looking at the US electricity mix it is also the winner of the game - 50% is coal and only 20% nuclear. You may add 2+2 yourself.

That's really not fair. One day is a very small sample size. I've posted lots of pro-nuclear and anti-coal articles. There actually were a lot of anti-coal articles today, but I didn't post any of them, because they were versions of the Hansen talk. Which I'd posted before. But they were new articles. Just not terribly original.

And at least one of today's climate change articles argues that climate change is nothing to worry about, and we shouldn't change what we're doing because of it. That counts as pro-coal, doesn't it?

I was not addressing your judgment and I thank you for always presenting all points of view - gives you an idea of how things are developing and to some extent what TPTB would want us to believe.

One day is too small of a sample size but I think this one was pretty much representative of what is going on. Forgetting about nuclear for a moment; it has been my observation that our MSM has been suffering an extremely heavy case of schizophrenia ever since the climate issue was broadly accepted.

X number of articles raising the worries about climate change are followed by Y number of articles explaining there is nothing to worry about for energy security or Peak Oil, because you see we have those vast reserves of coal, tar sands or whatever. It has been a trend for quite some time and IMO is showing how we as a humanity are going to deal with issues we don't really want to deal with.

Real, but uncomfortable solutions like conservation, nuclear power, mass transit etc. will be pushed back and swamped by all the claptrap about clean coal, hydrogen economy, carbon offsets etc. - all those wonderful new technologies and artificial schemas which will come and save the day.

It's hard not to be a pessimist looking at it.

GE can install their Boy, Ronnie
Reagan, in the White House but is
outfoxed by Greenpeace.
This is the Rush Limbaugh/O'Reilly/
Coulter/Savage view of the world.
You are much too smart to buy into it.

You're nuts.

Can you say finite resource? Or resource nationalism? Has peak oil taught you nothing? Did you read the report at your link http://www.nea.fr ...?

From your link;

Supply and demand relationship

At the end of 2004, world uranium production (40 263 tU) provided about 60% of world reactor requirements (67 450 tU), with the remainder met by secondary sources including excess commercial inventories, the expected delivery of LEU derived from HEU warheads, re-enrichment of depleted uranium tails and spent fuel reprocessing.

Since the document prevents copying content, consider reading the next few paragraphs that follow. Hell read the whole thing.

Money for nuclear plant construction and uranium fuel extraction/processing would be better spent on building renewable energy infrastructure. Everyone laments we didn't get this right in the '70s. Here's a chance to get it right.

So what? There is a cheap surplus of military U and logically it is utilised. There is no reason to invest millions in mines or exploration if there is that huge stockpile that could swamp the market at any given time.

Military surplus is projected to last until 2013-2015. By that time you may be certain many things will have changed. BTW they are changing already and you can just google Uranium mining or projects and you can see yourself.

People repeat this constantly debunked argument, hoping it will turn out true, but I'm sorry - it won't.

Glad to see you didn't read the report. You really don't get resource depletion. Hard to argue with that.

Sorry, you're going to have to spell it out for us, because theres nothing in the report that indicates global resource depletion. I'm guessing when you do, you wont be able to connect your thesis with any supporting arguments.

Neither of those pages confirms that sufficient "economical" recoverable Uranium supplies remain offset fossil fuel losses. Its all speculation and hearsay, and is about reliable as reports a few years ago that suggested world Oil production will grow to 120 Mbpd in the next decade.

Best Hope that junk predictions about future energy resource growth become extinct, before civilization becomes extinct!

I bloody hate Alan for coming up with his 'Best hopes for veiled condescention' nonsense at the conclusion of every post. It just makes people come off as asses.

We've covered Uranium supply ad-nausium in other threads for months!


Theres a trillion tons of it that can be extracted in the LWR regime alone, and that'll last global demand if the entire world ran on nuclear power only for some quarter million years.

Best hopes that the best hopes tagline never shows up again. Its trite, stupid, arrogant, and annoying.

You're up to a quarter-million years of available Nuclear Fuels now?

Well ShaaZaamm! That's a horse of a different color! Sign me up!

Gazprom sees gas prices in Germany up in 2008 -paper


"Based on forecasts for oil products prices that form the basis for our price calculations, it will be around $350 per 1,000 cubic metres," he was quoted as saying by Die Welt.

That compares with around $300 of late and an average of $250 for 2007.

Let's see, one barrel of oil is going for $90. The energy content in each barrel is 6119 Megajoules. The energy content of 1000 cubic meters of natural gas is 38140 Megajoules. So one dollar buys you 68 Megajoules of oil and 109 Megajoules of Russian natural gas (assuming the $350 pre tcm price). So Russian gas is still 62% the price of oil. Also, gas is a premium product that essentially does not have to be refined, unlike oil were not all of the energy in a barrel is usable as transportation fuel. The whinging EU should be slapped around with a real market price for natural gas which is the price per joule of oil times a quality premium taking into account the lack of refinary costs (about 98.48/91 = 1.08). So a reasonable price that Gazprom should be charging the bitching EU is $607.

Why are you comparing natural gas to oil instead of to wind and coal? Oil is for cars and trucks and trains and planes. Coal and wind and solar are competitors with gas.
It seems like the price is twice as high as it needs to be, not half.
I do hope it stays up, of course. I'm in solar energy myself. Lots of demand in Europe if the Russians raise their prices.

Wind is not really in the category of gas or oil which are finite and have value beyond their typical use for heating and transportation. Coal is cheap because it is pretty much just good for heating. Upgrading it into methane or oil costs. Perhaps you think oil should be $45 per barrel also. Gas is not of limited utility as coal. You can't use coal directly in internal combustion engines. Making plastics and fertilizer out of coal is also not economically viable. Selling gas for less than oil is obscene and those that throw tantrums that it is too expensive are absurd.

And at that basic ratio, NG gas should be closer to $15 than its current $8 here in NA. But it's competing with coal at maybe $40 a ton - tell me I'm wrong here - and a ton of coal is about equivalent to six barrels of oil. Coal should be $500 a ton but the highest I've heard of for even metallurgical grades is about two hundred or so.

And in the long run we burn all of it; coal, oil, gas, that doesn't go to plastic, and the CO2 per BTU is within fifteen percent or so. Coal is still frighteningly cheap and wonderfully - or is that woefully? - abundant despite the protestations of those who think it is in imminent decline. It's nasty but not yet endangered. At $500 a ton you'd sure see 'reserves growth' - a real inconvenient truth.

I think that North America is in for very nasty surprises in terms of natural gas availability in the next 10 years. Enjoy the low prices while they last. Coal is cheap because most people use natural gas or oil for heating and coal isn't being used to produce transportation fuels. I am not sure it is its abundance that explains the price. But it looks like coal will be used more and more in the future as the higher quality fossil fuels such as oil and gas run down.

and the CO2 per BTU is within fifteen percent or so

No, it isn't.

lbs CO2 per million BTU Coal: 204-227
lbs CO2 per million BTU NatGas: 117


You're right; I didn't realize it was that wide a gap. Cheap and NASTY. I was extrapolating from CO2 outputs from propane and gasoline ICEs which aren't properly optimized. Worse than I thought.

U.S. to slam the brake on gas-guzzlers

U.S. law makers are expected to approve landmark legislation Tuesday on fuel economy standards that proponents say will trigger a fundamental change in the vehicles North Americans build and buy, leading to more diesels and small cars and fewer big V-8 engines.

The new rules, which aim to reduce the United States' dependency on imported oil, increases fuel efficiency regulations for the first time in 32 years. They require a 40% hike from current standards by 2020, to 35 miles per gallon. The new standard would be the average of all the cars and trucks sold by all manufacturers.

U.S. to gently tap the brakes on gas-guzzlers


U.S. Consumers Soon to be So Poor They Can't Drive

- Oz

U.S. To Barely Ease Off Gas Pedal Prior To Driving Over Cliff

U.S. Drives Off Cliff, AGW Denialist Trolls Call Gravity "Just A Theory"

TD shoots down ABCP role

Toronto-Dominion Bank chief executive officer Ed Clark slammed claims his bank should bail out Canada's seized-up asset-backed commercial paper market since it could mean taking on risks the bank has been careful to avoid.

"We are being drawn into an issue that we haven't been involved in and [one where] our relationship is quite peripheral," Mr. Clark said in an interview Monday evening.

"Those that are involved, and thought they were going to make a profit that then goes sour, should step up to the plate proportionate to the [degree] which they are involved," Mr. Clark said.

The bank will be willing to consider measures that are in the best interests of TD shareholders and could provide liquidity to the market if it does not involve taking on risk, he said.

TD has just increased the spread rate (spread + prime) on my line of credit even tho the Bank of Canada has reduced rates in an attempt to keep the Loonie near the Yanque. They have not admitted to any exposure to the credit mess but this makes me wonder ... hmmmmmmmm ....

File this under "No good deed goes unpunished"...

Santa's chopper shot up over Rio slum

From the article, shades of the future department?

"Most of Rio's 700-plus slums are controlled by drug traffickers"

Somebody better forward this to "Helicopter Ben"

Re: Dead zone in the Gulf.

So when farmers planted the largest corn crop since 1944 and produced 13 billion bushels, the dead zone only increased to the third largest on record. Sounds pretty responsible to me on the farmers part. Considering that the Mississippi drains an area from Ohio to N. Dakota and south, the dead zone at 8500 sq. miles seems mighty small in comparison. An area 85 by 100 square miles equals 8500 sq. miles. The area drained is huge and includes such megalopolises as Minneapolis and St. Louis that send effluent down the Mississippi. If there were more ethanol plants using up water there would be less run off. According to many here corn consumes more water than other crops. If this is the case, there should have been less run off during a year of record corn production. The article is just another sample of the anti-corn, anti- ethanol propaganda polluting the internet.


It is a real problem that severely damages fisheries due to agro-pollution. The dead zone and "near dead" zone moves around, as do fish, and it kills many and disrupts the food chain.

Another major cost of the corn ethanol boondoogle !

Best Hopes for zero subsidies for corn growers and ethanol,


I thought sewage disposal plants already stripped out the fertiliser components like organics, nitrate, etc. Must be all those phosphate detergents?

I was amazed and displeased to find that Spencer, Iowa (13,000) dumps their sewage directly into the Little Sioux River. We, of course, found out about this after a little accident involving a snag and a new kayaker who didn't know to get the paddle up out of the water when one gets hung up.

Smaller municipalities can direct discharge but the lion's share of that stuff is still ag runoff. The only way field runoff gets "treated" is with wetlands and we drained the vast majority of that right after WWII.


wkwillis -

The typical municipal treatment plant does a pretty good job of removing organics, as measured by surrogate parameters such as biochemical oxygen demand and chemical oxygen demand (BOD and COD, respectively). However, most municipal treatment plants at present are not capable of significant nitrate or phosphorus removal. Nitrates are highly soluble, and their removal by biological treatment requires the use of a rather difficult and temperamental process. Phosphate removal is more straightforward, but still not widely practiced.

It all gets down to money, and most municipal budgets these days are not exactly swimming in money. Personally, I think the level of municipal sewage treatment is about as good as it's ever going to get, particularly in light of the growing economic storm clouds on the horizon.

We need to re-engineer our municipal waste treatment to run it through anaerobic digesters to produce methane. Disconnect industry (hold it to a zero-discharge standard, internalizing its externalities) to protect the waste stream from heavy metals and other toxics. Do a big push for the safe disposal of household toxics, and for the removal of toxic household compounds from store shelves.

Do all this, and you not only get methane, you not only get clean water, you also get a sludge that is high in NPK that can be used to build up pastureland soil fertility. (Even with anaerobic digestion, I would not apply it directly to cropland due to the risk of it becoming a vector for human pathogens. Pastureland should be safe, though. After a few years in the soil, it should be safe to rotate into crop production.)

The anaerobic digesters are the easy part. That is low-tech, the technology is proven and already in operation in many places in the world, and not all that expensive. Re-engineering the waste stream and protecting it from the toxic junk that we dump into it now would be the bigger challenge.

If there were more ethanol plants using up water there would be less run off.

The amount of water used to make ethanol is miniscule compared to the runoff of the Mississippi. You could multiply the number by 100 without noticing any difference whatsoever.

According to many here corn consumes more water than other crops. If this is the case, there should have been less run off during a year of record corn production. The article is just another sample of the anti-corn, anti- ethanol propaganda polluting the internet.

Some more water is lost to evaporation but most of the water leeches into the ground and eventually makes its way back into the Mississippi, along with all the fertilizer and pesticides it contains.

The article is spot on. The idea that we are not damaging the environment with more corn production is ludicrous. Using corn to produce fuel is the worst of all possible worlds. It is extremely expensive, pollutes the streams, rivers and the ocean and drives up grain prices all over the world. Poor people in Mexico cannot afford their staple corn tortillas.

In some regions, a kilogram of tortillas now costs as much as a third of a day's wage.

And it will get worse, a lot worse if we try to grow our way out of peak oil. The price of all food will skyrocket because more and more land is used to grow corn. And the dead zone will continue to get bigger.

Ron Patterson

practical -

It cannot be denied that agricultural runoff is a major source of water pollution, not just in the Mississippi River basin but almost everywhere there is agriculture.

Strictly speaking, the problem is not just direct runoff, but also groudwater contamination due to infiltration of nutrients and agricultural chemicals into the underlying aquifers, many of which are in hydraulic communication with major river basins such as the Mississippi.

It should be not too difficult to understand that the more corn planted, the greater the volume of fertilizers and agricultural chemicals used, and hence the greater the amount of contaminated runoff and groundwater infiltration from such.

While the growing of corn uses a great deal of water, not all of it 'goes away', as much of the water applied one way or the other gets returned to the drainage basin either as runoff, groundwater infiltration, or or rainfall from that fraction of the water evaporated. Thus, I don't think it's correct to say that there should be less runoff during record corn production.

Furthermore, the amount of water actually 'consumed' by ethanol plants is miniscule compared to the amount of runoff from the Mississippi River drainage basin, so I don't think you can make a valid argument along those lines either.

This so-called 'dead zone' is not entirely the fault of agriculture, as there are major contributions from municipal sewage treatment plants and industrial effluents. However, agriculture has certainly been a major contributor.

So when farmers planted the largest corn crop since 1944 and produced 13 billion bushels, the dead zone only increased to the third largest on record. Sounds pretty responsible to me on the farmers part.

Give it a few more years. It takes time for the runoffs to reach the sea. More importantly, How much more top-soil erosion and aquifier depletion is occuring today. When the aquifiers deplete because excessive irrigation and for ethanol production, whats Plan B?

If Ethanol is so grand, why does it need gov't subsidies to stay afloat?

This is just so cool-- a long awaited milestone (for me, at least)...

Nanosolar Ships First Panels

December 18, 2007
Posted by Martin Roscheisen, CEO

After five years of product development – including aggressively pipelined science, research and development, manufacturing process development, product testing, manufacturing engineering and tool development, and factory construction – we now have shipped first product and received our first check of product revenue. ...

Our product is defining in more ways I can enumerate here but includes:

- the world’s first printed thin-film solar cell in a commercial panel product;

- the world’s first thin-film solar cell with a low-cost back-contact capability;

- the world’s lowest-cost solar panel – which we believe will make us the first solar manufacturer capable of profitably selling solar panels at as little as $.99/Watt;

They have panel #2 up for sale on eBay.

Note the operative word in the quote above is 'capable'.

Nonetheless, those following solar (and Nansolar in particular) for years can break a smile today, at the least.

Yes. A smile is in order. I would imagine that the permitting and build out for potential solar facilities would be orders of magnitude simpler than coal or nuclear.

Seems to me you could site stuff on top of your local mall and build a small control/substation facility, just about everywhere. Lots of roof acreage is available.

Hopefully $.99/watt is reality. Hopefully they can ramp production up.

This is part of the agreement a bidder must agree to before placing a bid:

This solar panel is currently in Seller’s possession but it will be held in escrow until 6/1/2009 before local pick-up by the winning bidder (or shipment at cost to the winning bidder). Prior to delivery, the winning bidder agrees to sign an agreement with Seller prohibiting any reverse engineering of the solar panel or its components after the bidder receives the solar panel.

What does that tell you?

Look on the bright side. Maybe it means that the process they've developed is not so complicated that it can't be pirated. That would be a good thing... not the pirating, but perhaps the process is really doable, scalable... without needing a billion dollar facility and a bevy of Phds.

When you've followed ethanol, tar sand and cellulosic horsesh*t for several years, reading that some company is actually going to market with technology that a) won't make carbon, b) won't be a regulatory nightmare and c) is cheap enough to implement rapidly on massive level... is simply terrific.

I think, maybe, just maybe... these Nanosolar folks are on the level.

I'm positive they're on the level.

Look at this list of Investors. Theses are not people well known for pissing away money. I don't know how low they'll be able to get the price/watt, but just the increase in capacity alone is a good thing. If they can really get it to a buck a watt then the whole game changes, and we might actually muddle through this with a nothing worse than a bad decade or two.

Best hopes.

Not for general sale for a few more years? - nothing to see here, move along!

Not for general sale for a few more years?

Their ENTIRE production capacity for the next year or two is already sold to large producers. They have stayed private, and kept their capitalization low so far. I think that they will expand further after a bit more live testing.

Yes, I think there is something to see-- to add to dude59's comment, from wikipedia:

Nanosolar plans to build a large production facility in San Jose and in Germany[2], with an annual capacity of 430 Megawatts, enough to roughly triple total American solar cell production, moving the US from third worldwide to second, behind Japan[3].

The 430MW per year is still yet to be demonstrated and their technology has some unique elements-- as one might expect to hit the $1/W price point (traditional panels are $4.80-ish per watt)-- which all goes to make the "first commercial shipment" milestone that much more notable.

*** As a side note, the panel on eBay is now going for $7.1K divide that by 150W (complete WAG) & you get $47/W. The price of history. They could be a disruptive technology success, or a complete flameout-- I vote for the former, but either way it will be something worth seeing. ***

Yep, like I say ... not for general sale!

I will bet you money the date will be pushed back more then once. but hey if you want to throw away your money at a scam go right ahead.

I will bet you money the date will be pushed back more then once. but hey if you want to throw away your money at a scam go right ahead.

An old friend used to say, "The tree of cynicism bears bitter fruit." So, let's consider your fruity remarks:

1) The date will get pushed back?-- Quite a risky prediction there; let's see: really, really hard, ground-breaking stuff, and it might be late? You think?

2) They're trying to scam our money?-- They're a private company. They don't want your money. Except for the eBay bit of awareness building (up to $10K now), there is currently no way that you could give them your money if you wanted to. Some day in the future, when they go IPO, then we can talk.

All that being said, I wish they had mine money, right now, because I'd love to be one of the early-early investors on this one.

I live in a desert region, and have wondered if it was possible to grow a garden. Then today I came across this excellent book:

Desert Gardening: Fruits and Vegetables

by George Brookbank

Of course, this isn't going to save Las Vegas or Phoenix. On the other hand, if those cities would refrain from growing lawns and used the water for fruits and vegetables instead, they might have a fighting chance.


Of course you can grow marvelous vegies in the desert - IF you have enough water.

That is a pretty big "if"

A couple of interesting stories. First, regarding discussions of government inflation figures:

So how do we know Statscan doesn't fiddle with the numbers?

International scrutiny suggests Statscan does better than most. In the two surveys The Economist magazine conducted in the 1990s on world statistical agencies, Statistics Canada ranked No. 1 both times. In 2003, the International Monetary Fund reviewed Canada's CPI in 2003 for adherence to international standards and found it met with 15 out of 15 measures of quality.

While that's regarding Canada, not the US, the level of inflation in the two countries has been similar (from 1988 to 2006, 51% in Canada and 58% in the US), raising the likelihood that the US figures are reasonable.


Regarding oil production:

PVM said that the 10 OPEC countries under production ceilings are now pumping around 27.63 million barrels a day, almost 580,000 barrels a day more than in November and over 400,000 barrels above the overall OPEC daily quota.

"The higher supply is mainly the result of the ... (United Arab Emirates) production returning back to normal levels after heavy maintenance in November," it said.

The above analysis matches the "early indications" of rising December OPEC production cited in IEA's OMR summary, and the production level given above is 0.49Mb/d higher than IEA's October level, which in turn was higher than IEA's November level by anywhere from 0.08Mb/d (OPEC's figures, apparently) to 0.18Mb/d (IEA OMR). A drop of 0.09Mb/d from IEA's October figure to November would make the above analysis mesh perfectly with those prior production figures.

That's only one analyst, obviously, and necessarily a highly preliminary estimate; however, even a quarter of that increase actually materializing would likely make December a third consecutive production record.

Conclusive? Clearly not.

Even if it's right, that doesn't mean there are no more problems. It would be nice if the recent and repeated production records, though, got people to focus on the problems that are true regardless of whether this or that month was higher, such as:

  • The high cost: $250B for the US alone this year
  • The high cost: pollution causes hundreds of thousands of early deaths per year
  • The high cost: enormous support to dangerous regimes, with $100B to Saud alone
  • The high cost: oil wealth allowing rulers to keep their people happy with economic success even while becoming more autocratic (Putin, Chavez)

Given the last two years, I don't see OPEC letting oil get below $50 without immense resistance, meaning all of the above will continue regardless of whether oil production starts to decline or keeps right on growing.

Hence, to my eye, lowering our oil consumption is more than justified, even if there's plenty of the stuff left, and I think it would be more persuasive to many people to argue why they want to use less oil, rather than why they must, even if the latter is also true.

Elsewhere, Euan Mearns has noted that he believes this is simply the result of a convergence of separate cycles that all happened to reach highs at about the same time. If he is correct then as these cycles diverge going forward, we would see flat and then slightly declining production.

You seem awfully quick to be jumping at increased production calls while you've always been very reluctant to consider whether we are actually at peak. Your bias is showing again, Pitt.

In the Hallways of the Learned they might call that stochastic resonances.

(and it's the basis of belief in a god, so some suggest. Shhh...)

That's only one analyst, obviously, and necessarily a highly preliminary estimate....Conclusive? Clearly not.

You seem awfully quick to be jumping at increased production calls

Did you not read what I wrote? Did you not see all of those caveats? They didn't get there accidentally, you know.

I hadn't seen an estimate of Dec OPEC output before, so I posted it and then looked at what it would likely imply. Is your problem with that estimate, or with it not giving the answer you wanted to hear?

Someone yesterday mentioned a growing potassium shortage, the K in NPK (the key elements in fertilizer). And I think sometime back it was mentioned a growing shortage in the P (phosphorus). With that in mind, I found this brief article interesting:

Recycling Urine Answer to P Supply

...though maybe they should have said "Pee Supply"

- Oz

I'm reading a fabulously depressing critique of contemporary America, "Dark Ages America," by Morris Berman. I have a question about this quote:

There is a saying that comes from the medievel science of alchemy: as above, so below. In other words, what happens in the larger world--the macrocosm--influences, and is reflected by, what happens in the fine details of everyday life:the microcosm. Global processes, local fallout....

My question: Is this what people here mean when they talk about a phenomenon's being "fractal"?

[I've heard of Mandelbrot, but I'm not mathematically minded (unfortunately).]

[I mistakenly posted this at the wrong forum. It belongs here.]

I'm not a mathemetician either, but if I had to make an educated guess I'd say it implies a pattern that repeats itself in different contexts and scales. Close?

Ay yi yi!!

You've snagged me into a Numerology/Semiotics/Chaos theme!

The 'above/below' line caught some interesting links at Google.. from the Kinky to the Flakey.. perfect for TOD!

This was the one I thought I'd share to further tangle the meanings..
"The seal of Solomon

known as the sixpointed Jewish star, contains the old wisdom: "as above, so below". This wisdom is reflected with the numbers 6 and 9; the number 6 seen from above is 9 and 9 seen from above is 6. Nostradamus knew this when he dated the end of time to 999. (Remark: At the time when Nostradamus lived it was a custom to write the year without the 1000, i.e. they wrote 666 instead of 1666, and so on.)
And since the end of time cannot be predictet as to Mt: 24: 34, Nostradamus` "end of time" prediction has nothing to do with the year 1999. Still it has a relation and that is to the seal of Solomon; "as above (999), so below (666)". Nostradamus knew that in a numerological sence the Bible speaks of the same persons revelation:

666 = 6+6+6 = 18 = 1+8 = 9
999 = 9+9+9 = 27 = 2+7 = 9

This relates to the not so peacefull side of Jesus,(666/Mt:10:34-35):
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her
mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law."
At the "same" time he showed his good side too,(999/Mt:12:7):
"But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless."
Thus Jesus reflected man in flesh and blood.

And this is what life is about for all of us. We undergo 9 months of pregnancy, the number of man so to speak. Then for the rest of our lives, we have to face and bring forth our inner abilities of good (999) and/or bad (666) behaviour. "

Of course, I was expecting more interpretation of the Seal or Star of David itself, which is described (admittedly in 'The DaVinci Code'.. sue me) as the interpolation of symbols for male and female, above and below, so to speak.. and not entirely dissimilar to Yin/Yang (typo was 'Yin/Yank', which any proud New Englander would have just left in place as divine intervention..)

But anyway, I think you had it already with the 'Truth is repeated at different scales' idea.

"A load, if I may say so, of fashionable number-crunching!"
- John Hammond - Jurassic Park

"You bring Scientists, I bring a Rock Star!"*
- Sen J Imhofe, on inviting Michael Crichton to speak before a Senate Committee Climate Hearing..

*(not really..)

GOD backwards spells DOG. Think about it.

And TOD backwards spells DOT, which has got to mean something important. . .

Dept Of Transportation (DOT)

Deletion Of Trolls?

And don't forget, goddam spelled backwards is mad dog.

Reminds me of a joke...what does a dyslexic, agnostic, insomniac do at night?

Lies awake wondering if there's a dog.


Egads! You may have just discovered the foundation of supply side economics here!

I think it's more dependent upon the trickle down P supply.

I think you meant the "tinkle down" P supply. ;-)

Whoa! That was intense!

Next question: When are your "local fallouts" evidence of "global processes"?

All the time?

Just asking.

Are you suggesting... that if we simply harvest all that Mercury (QuickSilver) that is trickling down our pretty Maine Streams thanks to the Cola Power Plants (another Typo.. I'm leaving it!) out West.. which I guess are called 'Pop' plants then.. that we might just find that secret formula and turn it into Gold!?

LevinK might be right.. I SHOULD endorse Big Cola!


From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal

"Because they appear similar at all levels of

""That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing."

I see similarity but also an important distinction.

My question: Is this what people here mean when they talk about a phenomenon's being "fractal"?

In a word: No.

It's said in fun.

The medieval quote is metaphorical. Berman's no mystic. He's a Professor in the History of Science.

Re The limits to reserves growth, posted by Leanan up top.

So exactly what does the dam sound like just as it's bursting?

People please read the article posted above, The limits to reserves growth. I have argued the exact same thing for years, mostly on the Energy Resources list and also on this list. Now we have BP’s former Chief Petroleum Engineer Saying the exact same thing I have been arguing for years.

Reserve growth was a product of SEC rules. It does not apply to national oil companies. The former Chief Petroleum Engineer, Jeremy Gilbert says: “People assume that this [reserves growth] will continue to happen in the future”, says Gilbert, “and it won’t”.

It won’t continue, end of story! Yet the EIA always puts a big fat several hundred billion barrels of future oil reserves under the heading “reserve growth”. Proven reserves are not nearly as great as they proclaim because most of those Middle East reserves are mythical. And so-called reserve growth will turn out to be “reserve shrinkage”.

Listen to the podcast here:

The podcast is really revealing. Most important podcast I have listened to in years.

Ron Patterson

It gets better.

The SEC is changing the rules (PDF)

Hopefully many TODers will comment on the Concept of reporting the actual reserves, to better inform investors and the public.

Ya got sixty days or so to comment. From the link:

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Electronic comments:
•Use the Commission’s Internet comment form
(http://www.sec.gov/rules/concept.shtml); or
•Send an e-mail to rule-comments@sec.gov.
Please include File Number S7-XX-07 on the subject line; or Use the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

Paper comments:
• Send paper submissions in triplicate to Nancy M. Morris, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number S7-XX-07. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. To help us process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission’s Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/concept.shtml). Comments also are available for public inspection and copying in the Commission’s Public Reference Room, 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. All comments received will be posted without change; we do not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly.

direct link failed for me.

right clicking and 'save as' from directory listing worked fine though.




Hmmm...will this be factored into the inflation statistics?

GM Raises Prices as Much as $1,500 on Higher Costs

re the comment on inflation. This bit about oversating of inflation nsince 2001 is far fetched. If the US had been in recession since then people would have noticed believe me.
For inflation stat fixing come to Britain, where the goverment gave us a new inflation measure which excluded taxes and housing, the 2 fastest increasing items. Mind you they still update benefits and pensions using the old measure, or disorder would ensue. The old measure is up 4.2%, double the new one. Inflation targeting focuses on the new measure of course.

Wow - amazing news from the credit crunch front. I am behind in my car payment exactly six hours of pay. I offered half now, half Monday, and they declined, saying "all now or not at all". They wanted to know "where our vehicle is" - quite humorous - rather than getting paid they prefer a repo?

I'm hearing stories of their repo people visiting my ex wife, a former customer, a friend in a city where I used to live ... and they're insinuating that its part of a criminal investigation(!)

Now I've never been the target of a repo before so I don't know the law, but this seems to me to be just a little tiny bit out of bounds. Anyone else know the law on this? I'd like to get some guys fired and maybe squeeze a third of what I still owe out of Chase over these antics.

And to think there are already a million jobs gone in the housing sector and many more to come. Poor people :-(

Sacred Cow Tipper -

Sadly, repo man appears to be one of the only 'professions' that I can
be bullish about come 2008, a year that has all the makings for being a year a very unpleasant one indeed. However, being a repo man is going to become increasingly dangerous as the 'repo-ees' beome more desperate and
violent. ('When you've got nothing left, you've got nothing to lose....'.)

Prediction: 2008 will see a number of extremely unpleasant and highly publicized confrontations between those who owe and those who own.

I don't get the feeling I was dealing with Chase. The behavior exposes them to legal action.

I think the scenario is this - they are desperate, there is a sudden spike in delinquency, and they've outsourced the vehicle recovery. The people I talked to had no interest in seeing me keep this car I am driving - they are compensated to recover the vehicle and nothing more.

This would be part of that catabolic collapse Leanan mentions - my small town bank would say "Yes, half now, half next week, and we're glad you're doing better".

I think I am going to probe them again next time we speak and if I am hearing more sleaze a registered letter to Chase legal will be in the works.

No need to make a bad situation worse by being impolite, now is there?

Sacred Cow Tipper -

Well, of course a company like Chase is not going to get their own hands dirty trying to repro your car, hence they have outsourced that service, like almost everything else is outsourced these days.

Just remember: you are dealing with a contractor, a hired gun if you will, not a neighbor that you can reason with. And you should perhaps treat he/she accordingly. The dog that whimpers is the one who gets kicked.

You are probably more familiar with this than I am, but I recall hearing stories from the Great Depression in the Farm Belt that when a neighbor's farm was about to be foreclosed, sometimes shots would be fired at the sheriff sent to evict the farmer and his family.

When survival is at stake, the thin veneer of the rule of law can melt away surprisingly fast, and things can turn to shite before you know it.

I am going to see if I can get their contract pulled. It takes a real big man to intimidate a woman in her seventies or a ten year old child.

We're going to have a nice chat later this week, me with by bank balance sufficient to come up to date and pay this month in one shot, and the rep on the other end who doesn't really work for Chase. I'd normally try to be nice to people in roles like that 'cause its nasty nasty all day long for them, but in this case I am thinking that part of the economic contraction that is occurring needs to be them not getting any more work from Chase.

Ahh...... memories.....

I used to get calls from *someone* asking me to go knock on the door next door, in newport beach, I can't tell you directly, but let's just say the building is huge, apartments, used to be an Oakwood Apartments and along one side the street is called fuckin' Seagull or somethig...

I told 'em to go do their own business, there's no way I'd go bother my neighbors....

Now I'm in the same catbird seat but if you want to call here, you have to arrange beforehand, we keep the ringer shut off....

My email address is somewhere near "purple" suckurity these days and it may well become more secret than that....

Is it worth it to The Man to pursue anaerobic bacteria..... the future is, get SMaLL....

The Sheriffs said they were being shot at when they went to foreclose on their brother's wife's nephew's house...Sheriffs are elected in most of America. Which is why we didn't have a revolution in 1932.

I don't think they are desperate. This is standard operating procedure. They do this to everyone in your situation, all the time.

If a loan is 90 days or more in arrears, statistically, it will never be repaid. They assume that's the case, no matter what you tell them, and act accordingly.

A letter on your attorney's stationery would carry a lot more weight.

Sadly, repo man appears to be one of the only 'professions' that I can
be bullish about come 2008

Got to create some job opportunities for all those Iraq & Afghanistan vets. . . Blackwater can't hire all of them

One dodge I heard is place a piece of paper over the VIN in the windshield. Step #2 is remove the license plate. Thus they cannot identify the car as theirs.

Might buy you some time.

Just what I heard,


I may do the VIN thingy but how many Magnetic Gray Nissan Versa's are there in my corner of the world? I've got the only one most people have ever seen. I can't say that I've seen another one of any color since I moved up there ... its a Ford/Chevy/Dodge kinda place.

And no worries ... I've made 150% of what I needed to get current today alone and it looks like I have stuff to do here for at least one more day, so life is good.

OK laser printer + basic "grammar" of dealer plate = time.

I just now got the plate for my mo'cycle, thought I might have to go to the MVD to present proof of insurance to get it, I have a deeler temp plate on 'er now.

Basically, remember, cops don't give a shite until they've been piqued...... then a good cop doesn't let go......

Is Earl Sheib still in business. An auto paint job isn't that expensive. I've always figured there had to be a reason why those folks stayed in business!

SCT .... brother.

First let me say that i've routinely covered 50-70 miles a day by bike.

It takes a while to build up fitness, and being a youn'un in my mid-40s I realize it takes longer when yer older. I've also hauled 100+ lbs in a Burley trailer, try a Burley Nomad, and expect 1/2 the milage capability with it, 1/3 loaded up well.

The Chinese don't wanna ride bicycles but smart Americans do!

Just tell them to take the fudgin' car and have a nice Holidays. Stop "fussing' with it. It will be a load off of your shoulders.

If I had the bucks at all to give you a few Zogbucks, I'd do it, but as usual and like any good American I'm generous with money I don't have, and I don't have it. I just quit my ISP because the $20 a month exceeds my monthly income right now.

keep us posted here, once the weather warms up I might find I have the skill and guts to draw snowbirds' ugly mugs on Whiskey Row and can kick you a few bucks. Can help you out if needed and in junk silver of course.

Let me share something I discovered today about bicycling: sweat is a much bigger problem in winter than in the summer!

I was forced to ride my bike to the hospital today because my ex-gf had to be induced into labor. The first mile was unbearably cold. It was 29 degrees not including the wind chill. I had 3 layers of clothing on, none of which had good wicking properties. After that first mile I was burning up and my clothes quickly became saturated with sweat! If I were to remove some of the clothing I would surely freeze to death. Therefore I had no choice but to continue riding and sweating. When I finally reached the hospital, I was dripping with sweat. Thankfully, my ma showed up later on with a fresh set of clothes. =)

Does anyone have any recommendations as far as clothing with good wicking properties? I have a feeling I'll have to be doing alot more riding this winter...

Thermal underwear is good. Eg polypropylene or wool. These wick away the water, and help keep you warm even when wet. Polyester is pretty good too. Cotton is BAD.

The big tip is to strip off layers as you heat up, so you don't sweat! I've often ridden with just a thin shirt on, while needing gloves on the fingers. The outer layer should breathe to allow some cool air to get to your body.

Some cycling clothing is more wind-resistant in front than in the back, to allow for the wind-chill from the front. You can approximate this with a couple of sheets of newspaper in your shirt. :-)

Backpacks stop your back breathing, so panniers or baskets may be a better choice.

Now you've discovered why they are called "Chase"

Hello TODers,

I guess we prefer to walk to Olduvai Gorge, instead of riding on some animals:

Zim elephants shot for food 18/12/2007 08:46 - (SA)

A recent report noted that 900 elephant carcasses had been seen from the air over Chisarira Park in the northwestern region of Zimbabwe.

The official who compiled the report said there were more carcasses than live animals in the park.

One Kariba elephant, which was being stoned by about 30 people, fled in panic and fell into a ditch, where the stoning continued.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

And if they were on an isolated island, they would cut down the last tree. It has been known to happen before. . .