DrumBeat: December 22, 2007

Russia’s Big Energy Secret: Putin wields gas as a weapon. But the reality is that Russia can barely meet its own growing demand.

The surprising Achilles' heel of Gazprom is that it produces only about 550 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas—just enough to supply its own domestic market. It relies on cheap imports from Central Asia to meet the majority of its other commitments to customers in Europe, amounting to nearly 80bcm. And since only Gazprom's foreign customers pay full market value, it's the company's exports which make up the bulk of Gazprom's revenues—$21 billion for the second quarter of 2007 alone. Now those nations on which Gazprom's profits rely—including Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan—are beginning to cut their own deals with big new customers like China. The deals are in turn becoming an existential threat to Gazprom, one of Russia's most valuable strategic levers of power.

Big powers in race for oil

“Emerging markets are scrambling to get more oil because their economies are growing very fast,” said Francisco Blanch, head of commodity research at Merrill Lynch, adding “There’s very little chance of supplying China with an extra half a million barrels per day each year for the next 10 years, without somebody else taking a hit.” Oil demand in China, the world’s second-largest consumer, is set to rise by 5.7% next year to 7.9 million barrels per day, according to the International Energy Agency.

Persian Gulf oil tanker rates may stem losses on cargo demand

Declines in the cost of shipping Middle East crude to Asia may slow after falling the most in eight months yesterday because of a shortage of vessels.

Hire rates for very large crude carriers fell as owners tried to secure near-record tariffs before year end holidays, said Halvor Ellefsen, a tanker broker at SeaLeague AS in Oslo.

Mexico Says No to Private Energy

The Mexican Union of Electricians (SME) demanded that President Felipe Calderon's Government lay off a privatizing project of energy or they will bring the nation to a halt.

Kazakhs win better terms on Kashagan, talks go on

The major oil companies overseeing the massive Kashagan oil project in Kazakhstan have conceded more profits from the field to the country, but the state wants a larger stake, industry sources said on Friday.

The new terms would decrease the value of the field to the Eni-led consortium by billions of dollars.

This is the latest move by resource-rich countries such as Kazakhstan to alter contracts as commodity prices soar.

Taiwan: Rules revised to promote oil market competition

The Legislative Yuan ratified yesterday the latest change to the rules in the Petroleum Management Law to drastically slash the required safety reserve of oil products held by each individual supplier to 10,000 kiloliters from the current level of 50,000 kl.

The move was aimed at helping to break the dominance of the state-run CPC Corp., Taiwan and oil giant Formosa Petrochemical Corp. in the private sector to promote competition in the fuel market.

Australia: ACCC probes Christmas fuel price spike

Petrol companies are under investigation for increasing oil prices out of step with international price movements in the lead-up to Christmas.

Motoring body NRMA said oil companies "should be condemned for trying to spoil Christmas for Australia's working families" with prices rising about five cents over the past 24 hours.

China Needs to Cool Growth, Energy Consumption, Planner Says

China should take measures to cool economic growth and reduce energy consumption, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission said.

"Current economic growth, 11.5 percent or above 11 percent, is too fast and at too high a cost" Han Yongwen, the planning agency's secretary general, said at a conference in Beijing today. The world's fourth largest economy expanded by more than 11 percent through the first three quarters of 2007.

Iran has $8bn in oil fund

The fund was set up several years ago to save windfall oil earnings at times like now when crude prices have surged to record levels, so that the extra cash could be use in times of need if prices tumbled or to finance investment projects.

Uranium mines discovered in southern, central Iran

Rich uranium mines have been discovered in Iran’s southern and central areas, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Deputy Director Mohammad Saeedi said here on Monday.

Boeing to Test Aviation Biofuels

The Boeing Co., one of the world's leading manufacturers of commercial airliners, will begin testing jet fuel derived from algae and other biomass and says biofuels could become a feasible alternative within five years.

Mexican drivers face slight fuel hike in January

Mexican drivers will pay a tad more to fill up their tanks beginning in January, as the government implements a fiscal overhaul meant to expand the country's meager tax base.

Mexicans will pay an additional 2 centavos, less than a fifth of a U.S. cent, per liter of standard gasoline as of January, with another 2 centavos added each month for 18 months, the government said in the daily gazette on Friday.

Argentina’s President Gives Wife Electric Shock

Inaugural celebrations this month for Argentina’s new president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner will be short-lived, thanks to the country’s dire need for electricity.

This is the southern hemisphere’s summer season, and power generators will be working at peak capacity. The expectation is that demand will exceed supply, with power rationing and even blackouts possible, forcing her to rethink Argentina’s energy policy. Unless President Fernández increases power prices and woos new investors for the power sector, the crisis will only get worse.

John Kerry: Finding energy solutions

All of Massachusetts is feeling the crunch, but small businesses like the Colonial Theatre and shop owners like George Garivaltis, who owns West Street Wine and Spirits, are getting hit twice over: First, they're forced to pay more to keep the lights on. Meanwhile, their customers feel the same crunch and spend less. Without the massive resources or economies of scale that the biggest corporations enjoy, high energy costs often force small firms to cut employees or even close their doors.

Montana: Don't sacrifice hunting, fishing heritage to energy industry

Exploration in roadless areas within the Beaverhead National Forest is scheduled to begin this coming summer. An exploration company will helicopter crews in, drill holes every 40 to 80 feet and set off explosions in order to find out if their methane speculation is going to pay off. We believe that those lands have greater uses than a pump jack, increased pollution, a drill rig or thumper trucks.

2007: The year in environment

"February 2, 2007 will be remembered as the date when the question mark was removed from the question, if human activity had anything to do with climate change," declared Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), to a crowded auditorium in Paris, France, on the same date.

Steiner was speaking at the launch of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) 2007 report, whose main conclusion was: there is at least 90% certainty that the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities are driving climate change.

Petition seeks protection for seals

Frustrated by a lack of regulations limiting global warming, a conservation group wants ribbon seals listed as threatened or endangered because their habitat — sea ice — is disappearing amid climate change.

Shell finance chief sees continuing high oil prices

Energy prices will remain high next year, driven by demand from developing countries, but energy companies face massive cost pressures, Royal Dutch Shell chief financial officer Peter Voser was quoted as saying on Saturday.

..."Energy prices will remain high ... Our concern is the development of costs. Financial spending for modernising our production plans is rising rapidly and cost inflation reduces profits," he said.

Voser said costs rose at Shell by 10 percent this year against an industry average of 20 percent.

One Nation, One Energy Plan - but It's the Wrong One

Thus, it came as a surprise to me that anyone in the federal power structure -- perhaps with the exception of Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-Md.), a man who repeatedly has warned us about our refusal to take peak oil theories seriously and who voted against the bill for that and other reasons -- had the temerity to stand up and do something gutsy about the matter.

But that is what EPA Administrator Johnson did. I had expected him to roll over and give up in the face of so much support for what I call the "California Above All" approach to fuel conservation and the reduction of climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

But Johnson, much to my surprise and delight, just said "No." Good for him, and here's why...

Iran increases petrol ration: TV

Iran on Saturday started to allow motorists an extra 20 litres (5.2 gallons) of petrol a month under a rationing scheme aimed at cutting back on frenzied consumption, state television said.

Cuba inaugurates largest oil refinery plant on the Caribbean

First Vice President of the State Council of Cuba Raul Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez together with 10 other Heads of State under the PETROCARIBE officially inaugurated on December 21 an oil refinery plant in Cienfuegos, Cuba to ensure energy security for the Latin America and the Caribbean.

Militant group to observe Christmas Day cease-fire in Nigeria's oil region

A leading insurgent group in Nigeria's southern oil region said on Saturday it will observe a one-day cease-fire on Dec. 25 to mark Christmas.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, or MEND, said in a statement sent by e-mail it will not attack oil facilities or kidnap foreign oil workers during the cease-fire period.

Analysis: China's fuel oil reserves

North Korea no longer has the capability to initiate a large-scale invasion of South Korea; in fact it lost this ability in the mid-1990s. This assessment is based on the calculation of the fuel oil the mechanized battle groups of the North Korean People's Army would need to launch an invasion and the actual oil inventory of the country.

Using similar calculations, one can analyze how long Taiwan's forces could survive an attack from China, and how long China's PLA forces could sustain an assault on Taiwan. On the Chinese side, it means assessing how much fuel oil would be required for the navy, air force and mechanized amphibious combat units to engage in large-scale cross-strait landing assault operations.

Ghana leader: Oil reserves at 3B barrels

ACCRA, Ghana - Ghana's president said Saturday that offshore oil reserves discovered in the West African country's waters total 3 billion barrels.

"Ghana has struck oil in commercial quantities," President John Kufuor said, speaking at a ruling party congress in the capital, Accra. "This is only the beginning. The future is very bright indeed."

Irving donates $100,000 in oil to Keep ME Warm

Winter is upon us, fuel prices continue to rise, and many Mainers are finding it difficult to keep heating oil in their tanks, but the state received some help Friday to make the next few months a little easier for some.

Irving Oil donated $100,000 worth of heating oil Friday morning to the Keep ME Warm fund, a public-private collaboration started three years ago to help Mainers cope with the rising cost of fuel.

Grumbling Harper fumbling on warming

Such as it is – incremental and full of loopholes – Ottawa's version of mandatory carbon-dioxide emission-reduction targets, finally unveiled Dec. 11, will "shock" Canadians, who aren't prepared for the financial sacrifice involved, Harper told the Toronto Star.

The new emissions regime "will start to bite" as soon as next year, Harper said. But the "bite" won't come anywhere near 25 per cent to 45 per cent reductions from 1990 levels by 2020, as called for by most developed countries at the recent climate-change summit in Bali. Harper sells Canadians short in asserting they will complain even about Ottawa's minimalist approach to combatting global warming.

Global warming causing China's glaciers to melt quickly

Global warming has caused some of China's glaciers -- a source for many of Asia's greatest rivers -- to have melted by more than 18 percent over the past five years, state media reported Friday.

A survey of nearly 20,000 square kilometres (8,000 square miles) of China's glaciers showed they were on average 7.4 percent smaller than five years ago, Caijing magazine said, citing a government-funded survey.

A glacier along the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra River on the Tibetan plateau had shrunk by more than 18 percent, the survey found.

Two other glacial areas in China's far northwest Xinjiang region had also melted by more than 18 percent.

I see a serious problem with bio-diesel from soy-beans. Currently an average to excellent soybean yield is about 50 bushels/acre. At $12.00 a bushel that is a $600 annual/acre crop, however at best it will yield about 75 gallons of oil and 60 gallons of bio-diesel. That means with zero capitol and processing expense, the bio-diesel has a crop cost alone of $10.00 per gallon.

I understand that Minnesota has enacted a 2% bio-diesel law that requires nearly all diesel fuel to be blended with 2% bio-diesel, now Minn is attempting to raise it to 20%. Now I don’t know how much nearly is, but here is a web-site to explain it further.


Here is a web-site of oil yield for oil-bearing crops.


Do you think the soy meal will make up for the loss plus pay the capitol costs of the oil extraction, bio-diesel conversion processes, blending and transportation costs?

"“Last year, corn kept trying to find that $4.60 going into market, soybeans are now faced with the same situation,” Hannagan said. “This year, soybeans will be the leader. The function of the market is to ration the crop, and that means that we have to get between 7 million and 8 million more acres for soybeans.

“We’re going to get some acres from crop rotation, but the rest is going to have to come from price increases. If we were to plant only 6 million more acres, with no change in demand, ending stocks on Sept. 1, 2009, would be slightly under 100 million bushels. So you can see the urgency that beans have and why beans are over $11. I would suspect that $12.75 on that March soybean contract before March expires would be a realistic objective.”


Sunflowers or rapeseed yield a lot better than soybeans, though it is true that you can do a lot more with the defatted soy meal.

It really isn't my intention to turn this into an ag forum, promise.
From the 1983 edition of The Encyclopedia Of Organic Gardening " The sunflower is a remarkably versatile commercial plant. Each part of the plant has an economic use: The entire plant can be used as fodder for livestock or poultry, the flowers yield a yellow die, the pith of the stalk can be used to make paper or a mounting medium for microscope slides. Since it has a specific gravity lower than cork, pith can also be used to make life preservers and belts."
This year I'm planning on using many more sunflowers down on the farm. Three feet inside my fence line I'm going to put a double row as a deer deterrent. Apparently deer are confused by depth not hight. I'm also going to try to plant them in squares and let the dead stalks hold my compost.
The Sunflower Seed Huller and Oil Press

Hemp is pretty useful. Oil and fibres for composites / insulating materials, paper and plastics. Its nitrogen fixing too.


She Oak is a nitrogen fixing plant which makes excellent firewood.

Guess it would be good to grow them on rotation with food crops.

TOD:Canada asks for your input in the following:

Oil prices or subprime losses?

I am not econ-literate, but my impression of this question is akin to giving a swimmer a 5-pound weight for each hand, and figuring out which one will drag him down.

That said, I don't disparage the Finance and Econ discussions here. Gives me a lot I can freely scroll past, grateful that someone else want to take on that conversation.


'The 'Division of Labor' might soon have to include addition and multiplication as well' (Mandelbrot could probably use the abundance of 'Imaginary Numbers' to come up with some proper chaos equations, too.)

OK, I'll bite.

I think that peak oil will be shrouded in a cloud of noise, not necessarily deliberate disinformation but noise. Much the way a newly formed star is shrouded by clouds of dust and gas.

There will be shortages of various materials here and there, the weakening dollar will not allow us 'Murkans to outbid the world, China and India will be using too much. It will be the fault of the refinery shutdowns, or greedy oil companies, or insurgents blowing up tankers or pipelines. It'll be the rusting infrastructure of oil transport.

Meanwhile the financial crisis we've created has been discussed to death in the financial press. We have a decent idea of how it got started, who is getting bailed out, and why, etc. Peak oil will be a backdrop against which the financial and political drama is played next year, but will go largely unrecognized as the single most important factor in the declining economy.

Peak oil will be invisible because of the demand destruction of collapsing economy.

After killing off huge hordes and reducing the rest to abject poverty, the world controllers will start things rolling again -- but of course, next time around there won't be so much oil, and it won't ever reach the old peak. But no one will notice except a few old graybeards on TOD who will say "Sonny, in MY day an average schmuck could drive a 7500 pound Humvee as fast as he wanted to. Now THAT was living!"

Not sure if its got reported before, but the Guardian reports that the UK government is going to include carbon climate costs in all government decisions - like building new airports, power stations, roads, etc. Makes nuclear and renewables more attractive than gas or coal.

Ministers ordered to assess climate cost of all decisions

Some British humour to help understand the subprime mess.


Leanan...even though you deleted my post...have a joyful holiday!!

I've thought for a long time that Leanan should be more, and not less, aggressive in deleting posts--starting with that guy that talks endlessly about oil exports.

WT: Re inflation/deflation, IMO Peter Schiff has the best handle on this one-http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/schiff/2007/1221.html


The big problem politically is that hyper-inflation may superficially appear to be the lesser evil. If asset prices are allowed to collapse, ownership of those assets will pass to our creditors. If instead we repay our debts with debased currency, we retain ownership of our assets and shift the losses to our creditors. Since American debtors can vote in U.S. elections and foreign creditors can not, the choice seems obvious. Of course there are some American creditors as well, but since they comprise such a small percentage of the electorate, my guess is that their losses will be seen as acceptable collateral damage.

It seems to me that during deflation, debtors suffer more than creditors (savers), and during inflation, creditors suffer more than debtors (thus debtors were chasing creditors down the street in the German hyper-inflation trying to pay off their debts with debased currency). Given that debtors seem to outnumber savers in the US (with Uncle Sam most decidedly in the debtor camp), it seems more plausible to me that we are facing hyper-inflation.

But all I know for sure is that my goal for 2008 is to continue to slow the rate of decline in Texas oil production.

But think:

How often do you see the debtors win?

How often is the Czar and his family captured and killed?

He who owns the gold makes the rules, unless someone else
owns the gun and is willing to use it.


Wonder if he thinks 36 billion gallons annually of EtOH by 2022 will impact the course those oil exports are on.

"I've thought for a long time that Leanan should be more, and not less, aggressive in deleting posts--starting with that guy that talks endlessly about oil exports."

Why do you want your own posts deleted? :P

Ha...you crack me up WT. Thanks for the humility...one of the virtues I most admire in a person. Stay warm this holiday and enjoy some hot toddies. It's once again freezing/snowing up the road from you so I'm ready to pack it all in and disconnect for awhile.

Best to you and the family. Thanks for all the brain-power you have shared with us this year.

Thanks for the kind words, but I'm serious about the deletions--that Pitt guy gets on my nerves some times.

I agree...even though I am an occasional victim of the ruthless Leanan (jk)...the threads have not gotten highjacked as much...I much prefer having a refereed TOD than the free-for-all days in the past.

I'm serious about the deletions--that Pitt guy gets on my nerves some times.

Really? Why would that be?

The main thing I do that appears to bother people is I tell them they're wrong. With evidence. Would you really want to delete posts to build a facade of agreement? Is an echo chamber really what you're looking for? Do people really prefer a depressing fantasy to evidence and reality?

If the editors ask me not to burst people's bubbles, I'll leave. Until then, if you don't want your beliefs and claims challenged, don't put 'em in a public forum.

Really? Why would that be?

One possibility is that you cherry pick to support an obvious bias. Now I suppose you could say that about everyone posting any data to support their point of view. The principle posters, at least in my opinion, back up their posts with well thought out data from across a spectrum as well as pointing out areas where their data may not fit. I generally don't find your posts all that persuasive mainly because of what they leave out. They tend to focus on this cherry-picked data and ignore the big picture.

I've run into many people on web forums who start out their posts with something to the effect of "Let's look at the actual facts here..." and my BS meter goes into high gear because I detect an obvious bias that will be supported by this person's version of the 'facts.'

All opinion of course which could be argued ad-infinitum...

With all due respect ET, I do not believe there is a person on this list who does not have an obvious bias. No one is, or can be, truly objective. To quote Sidney J. Harris again:

Each of us perceives what our past has prepared us to perceive. We select and distinguish, we focus on some objects and relationships and we blur others. We distort objective reality to make it conform to our needs or, our hopes, our fears, our hates, our envies, our affections. Our eyes and brains do not merely register some objective portrait of other persons or groups but our very active scene is warped by what we have been taught to believe, by what we want to believe and by what we need to believe.

Ron Patterson

I agree completely. I was merely responding to what I perceived as query for criticism.

One possibility is that you cherry pick to support an obvious bias.

If you believe that, then you're wrong on two fronts.

  1. I don't believe you know what the phrase "cherry pick" means with respect to data:

    "cherry picking is used metaphorically to indicate the act of pointing at individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position.

    For example, opponents of safety belts often cite cases in which car accident victims were strangled, injured or trapped by a safety belt. However, these rare instances of seat belt injury overlooks the vast number of cases which suggest that safety belts, when used properly, are far more likely to save passengers' lives or to reduce injuries than to injure passengers."

    That's not something I do, which is pretty obvious by how rarely anyone can find hard evidence which counters the hard evidence I provide.

    If you believe I'm cherry picking, though, back up your words with actions: find and present the data you believe I'm ignoring. Put your money where your mouth is.

  2. The second way that belief would be mistaken is that it assumes I have a bias I'm trying to support. What I'm mostly doing is challenging and correcting bad arguments, bogus statements, and misinformation. Since the overwhelming majority of people posting here are on the doomer side of things, though, the overwhelming majority of such nonsense will be doomer-biased, meaning that anyone challenging nonsense will necessarily appear to be biased in the opposite direction.

    When cornucopian nonsense goes unchallenged - which is rare here, but more common elsewhere - I can and do challenge that as well. I've done so here - for example, some claims regarding tar sands production exponentially scaling up to over 10Mb/d in the next decade or two - and I've done so elsewhere, such as with claims regarding how much oil can be produced that wouldn't be true even if the world did have a "creamy nougat centre".

I'm not saying I don't have a bias; I'm just saying that I don't spend a lot of time trying to support it here.

I generally don't find your posts all that persuasive mainly because of what they leave out.

People have an odd tendency of wishing I was talking about much more than I actually am. If I make an assertion, it's typically very focussed, and it's simply an error to read it as referring to something broad and general.

If you don't find such things compelling, I would argue that that's likely due to one of two things:

  1. You feel the broad problem is irreducibly complex, such that the sub-problems can't be solved individually. That's rarely true - indeed, the opposite is one of the core approaches of science - but feel free to provide evidence for why it might be true this time.
  2. You don't like what I'm saying, so you imagine that there are things I'm not telling you that confirm your pre-existing belief. It's an error on your part to assume that counter-evidence is there until you see it.

If you disagree with me, find evidence that disagrees with me.

I've run into many people on web forums who start out their posts with something to the effect of "Let's look at the actual facts here..." and my BS meter goes into high gear because I detect an obvious bias that will be supported by this person's version of the 'facts.'

I suggest your BS meter needs to be recalibrated.

If someone says "let's look at the facts" and then gives their opinion, that's a success for your BS meter. If someone says "let's look at the facts" and then gives a reference to the facts, that's a failure for your BS meter.

If it can't distinguish between the two, it's a broken meter, and it's doing you no favours.

All opinion of course which could be argued ad-infinitum.

Which is precisely why I argue based on evidence rather than opinion, and why I don't really care about anyone else's opinion here regarding these matters. As the saying goes:

"Opinions are like assholes: we all have one, and everyone else's stinks."

Opinion is very rarely a good basis for an argument regarding real-world objects and activities. Just stating your opinion won't convince anyone, and battling opinions going back and forth will just tend to segregate people into their own groupthink echo chambers. Not, in my opinion, a desirable outcome.

Hitting the sarconal a bit early today, are we?

...joyful holiday, and for those with melancholy for all that was and wasn't this past year.

Hmm. I can hear Tom Waits in my head. No, wait, it's In the Neighborhood

*edit* Yep. My wife just called to remind me to put 25 bucks in a card for the mailman. She saw him a block over in the neighborhood.

Leanan ... Chappy Chanukka, Merry Hairy Jerry, Krunchy Kwanzaa, and whenever I say something irrelevant or stupid, please delete my post!

David Strahan is the energizer bunny of peak oil podcasts
Most here will find this useful but mostly I thought of Ron Patterson

Earl, thanks a million but we have discussed this podcast here on DrumBeats before. It was a real shock to hear this come from a former Chief Petroleum Engineer of a major oil company.

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.

“People assume that this [reserves growth] will continue to happen in the future”, says Gilbert, “and it won’t”.

Thanks for thinking of me. I explained earlier that Gilbert is confirming what I have been arguing for several years.

Ron Patterson

so much information passes thru this site every day, it is just amazing.
Sorry I missed it the first time.

The WSJ has an article about oil prices. It's behind a paywall (I thought they were getting rid of that), but can be read if you go in through Google News, or here, at Shell's blog. (At least it looks like Shell's blog.)

“If I had to describe [2007] in one image, it would be dancing on thin ice,” says Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, which serves as an energy watchdog for rich countries. Global spare capacity is so thin, he says, “that any little thing now can influence price.”

A year ago, almost no one in the oil business — from producers and Energy Department analysts to Wall Street traders — foresaw crude prices careening toward $100 a barrel this year. Some big investment houses, Morgan Stanley foremost among them, even predicted prices would fall. Instead, prices went on an unprecedented roller-coaster ride, rising to a nominal record of $98.18 last month from the low of roughly $50 a barrel in mid-January.

It ends with the suggestion that you add 30% to the experts' guesses, since they tend to miss low.

"Some big investment houses, Morgan Stanley foremost among them, even predicted prices would fall."

If you are basing your projection in 2007, you should add a bit more than 100% to the experts' guesses.


Where's the mistletoe,...and where are you? It's too dark in here.

Dunno about the mistletoe, but the holly might be a victim of peak oil:

Bergh also cited higher shipping costs due to escalating fuel prices and higher prices at the pump as another factor contributing to sluggish sales by smaller growers. "That's a tax on the consumer."

Hello TODers,

biosolar Earthmarines vs detritovore Mercs?

Game rangers bag poachers

"In the resulting firefight, one of the poachers was killed and follow-up operations are being conducted in the area in concert with the police in an attempt to find the rest of the group," said Travers.

"The impression we are getting is that an increasing number of people - not only poachers, but also people who have previously been regarded as protectors of wildlife - have suddenly decided to try to make as much money as they can at the expense of our wildlife before law and order returns," said Johnny Rodrigues, the ZCTF's chairman.
IMO, Peak Outreach could help swing more people to the biosolar side before it is too late for many species.

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

From a song in the early 60's

"I went hunting
late last week
and I got
Two game wardens
Seven hunters
and a purebred Gurnsey cow"


Tom Lehrer, 1953, The Hunting Song, which actually ends:
"...people ask me how I do it, And I say 'there's nothing to it,
You just stand there looking cute, And when something moves you shoot!'
And there's ten stuffed heads in my trophy room right now,
Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a purebred Guernsey cow"

Funny how people think China et al will escape the slowdown. China is largely dependent on exports to the US.
Also a large and inreasing proportion of China's wealth is going to the oil producers as well. The recession may be widespread.

Hello TODers,

Recall Leanan's recent weblink where people were trampled to death in a stampede for cooking oil in a Chinese market. Like a bear, desperately trying to put on weight before the onset of winter: maybe these shoppers were intuitively realizing that every additional pound of body fat packed on before Peak Everything might make the survival difference. Compare to the Southwest Indians, who are genetically predisposed to put on weight easily, after countless generations of sparse desert living.

The following link is poached from Matt's LATOC website:

900 Miles per Gallon (July 2, 2005)

Since a human can metabolize vegetable oil as fuel, then by simple extrapolation we can estimate that a human being could ride a bike 900 miles on a gallon of vegetable oil--or lose about nine pounds of human fat on the ride. That means that a mere 27 pounds of human fat would theoretically enable a rider to bike across the entire continental U.S.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

And now some really good news:

Nanosolar 'prints' first flexible solar cells

Well-financed solar start-up Nanosolar on Tuesday said it has started shipping its flexible thin-film solar cells, meeting its own deadline and marking a milestone for alternative solar-cell materials.
Roscheisen said the manufacturing process the company has developed will enable it to eventually deliver solar electricity for less than a dollar per watt, which would be significantly cheaper than fossil fuel sources of power generation.

I've been following this company for some time. It appears they're going to deliver. This process can be scaled up quickly too. $100 million dollars per 500 MW of yearly production.

This is a great Christmas present for us all.

Not a present but a time of revelation as to see what the 'real world' efficiency is among other things that will crop up because they did not take the time to test it in the lab. to put it bluntly everything in the lab looks much better then it actually is due to the controlled conditions.

The Sunday Times printed a couple of interesting letters about that peak oil article they ran last week.

Checked out the site statistics after noticing the very low number of comments and yesterday (this thread) was way low, but not surprising considering it's a holiday weekend.

I like looking at referrals and seeing how people stumble across this site and found this: http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ropn%C3%BD_vrchol

I don't even know what language that is, but it appears to be a pretty comprehensive write-up of Peak Oil.

Then there's this: http://www.saveandconserve.com/2006/12/top_25_peak_oil_websites.html

Save and Conserve dot com's Top 25 peak oil websites and The Oil Drum is #1. Also notice on their page the logo "Let's kill consumption before consumption kills us" Sound familiar?


The Wiki looks like Czech. I love :
M. Kingovi Hubbertovi

Did anyone see :
on Russian difficulties in producing electricity ?

Happy holidays,

RE: Russias Big Energy Secret...

Location, location, location...Halford Mackinder was well aware of the importance of location and geography when he published his Heartland Theory in 1904 and, after realizing the significance of the theory, the US and GB have been actively attempting to drive wedges between western and eastern Europe/Eurasia. So far the west has prevented a political or economic unification of the lands between the Atlantic and Pacific. Mackinder, and all astute leaders since, realize that if such a unification occured, the continent, with its myriad natural resources and bread baskets, would easily rule the world without resort to sea power.


Now the US is locked in an epic contest to pry the Stans and their FF resources from the influence of the remnants of the CCCP and China. Russia is a resurgent power due in large part to their FF reserves, location, and the brilliant leadership of Putin. Against Russia the US has deployed a string of military installations that are everywhere near the FF reserves. In the long run the position of the US is tenuous because of a number of factors:

1) The US occupies, at great cost, a string of remote military installations across Eurasia that are in total a logistical nightmare.

2) Both Russia and China are against the US notion of a uni-polar world, and will work together to whatever degree necessary to keep the US from establishing friendly long term relations with the FF rich Stans.

3) The leaders of the various Stans realize that they are located between two large military/economic powers, Russia and China, and are unlikely to take any steps that would cause either of these powers to destabilize them and install more cooperative puppet governments.

4) Russia has unknown amounts of FFs, including gas, that have yet to be found and quantified. If leaders of the Stans were to cause Russias economy to be harmed by completely cutting Russia out of the pipe line distribution, Russia would have several options to cripple gas distribution of the Stans. One option that would probably be used quickly would be loans from China (probably in dollars) to bring more Siberian gas production on line.

5) The US, Western Europe, GB, and some Eastern Eureopean countries are in serious financial straits due to poor economic and political leadership. How long the US can continue to apply political and economic pressure, attempting to drive wedges between Western Europe and Eastern Europe/Eurasia is a matter of contention. If Western economies fail dramatically then the game that has been played since Mackinder formulated his Heartland Theory might finally come to sudden and dramatic conclusion...As in checkmate. The real question is do you believe that Russia and China will, in time, become the new powers of the Heartland? Do you believe the US will ultimately be shut out of the game by its poor location, untenable logistics, and poor economic/political leadership? While ponedering these questions remember that sea power will have little influence on the outcome of this contest.

The western media is a broken record with its "gas as a political weapon" BS. I would like to see one example to back up this claim. No, the Ukraine case does not count since refusing to pay even $95 for (at the time) $240 gas and insisting on $50 is not the behaviour of a victim but of a criminal. Even in the case of Ukraine, where is the political coercion? Giving Yuschenko and Timoshenko cheap propaganda victories over supposed "Russian abuse" hardly amounts to the deployment of a weapon.

But the western media is going to learn that wishful thinking and propaganda will not create something from nothing. Time to get back to the reality based universe and stop wallowing in Rovian faith based delusions.

Hi River,

I'm getting back late to this thread, and I appreciate your points here.

re: "Do you believe the US will ultimately be shut out of the game by its poor location, untenable logistics, and poor economic/political leadership?"

I'd say...it's probably possible to calculate this with a fair degree of accuracy, based on how long the US can carry debt(s) and deficits.

Because the game is being run on credit (debt, I should say) - it seems.

What the US *could* bring to the table is exactly leadership - an intangible asset. And, in fact, in a sense, what we might call the better parts of US culture (and the exchanges on many levels, i.e., humanitarian, scientific, etc.) have helped keep the US in its (previously, at least) enviable position.

If we're talking only "hard" power, there's not much chance, due to the factors you name.