DrumBeat: January 5, 2008

US$100 oil, production concerns renew interest in peak oil theory

The rise of oil prices and production concerns is renewing interest in the "peak oil" theories which originated in 1956 when the US geoscientist Marion King Hubbert correctly forecast that US oil production would peak in about 1970. The “Hubbert curve” is a totem of peak oil theorists.

The peak oil theorists argue that production has not increased in line with demand simply because it cannot. Oil reserves are finite. Many of the world's biggest fields are already suffering declining output, and that could accelerate, they argue.

Opponents of Peak oil say that oil output is not just a function of geology. “Surface” factors such as Opec, geopolitics, "rate of substitution" , new technology, financial returns and others , have a huge impact.

US$100 a barrel is a real incentive for oil producers to increase production, if they can. The near future should tell us whether global production has peaked.

The Top Energy Stories to Watch in 2008

Say goodbye to the year that brought a 65 percent run-up in the price of a barrel of oil and a Nobel Peace Prize to punctuate the message of the heralds of climate disaster. It was a year that moved Washington to enact the first increase in automobile fuel economy standards in 32 years and prompted the company blamed for killing the electric car, General Motors, to pledge to bring a breakthrough battery-powered vehicle to market. And 2007 brought new hope for big-scale energy from the sun, wind, and ocean waves, even while Asian economic growth drove coal power to greater dominance over the globe.

This year, however, is shaping up to be an even more momentous time for the struggle over fossil fuel. Here are some top energy stories to watch in 2008.

Data Center Power Demands Raising Fears of an Impending Crisis for Thousands of Major Corporations

The rapidly-growing electricity requirements of data centers around the world threaten to cause a crisis for thousands of major corporations that depend on the instantaneous flow of digital information.

There are already problems in London and Dublin, where data centers are operating virtually at their peak capacity design level. Problems are starting to develop in Frankfurt and Munich. By 2011, according to a report by Gartner Inc., a technology advisory firm serving many of the world’s biggest companies, more than 70% of U.S. enterprise data centers will face “tangible disruptions.”

US presidential candidates and their views on scientific issues

"Science felt that it was important to find out what the presidential candidates think about issues that may not be part of their standard stump speeches but that are vital to the future of the country--from reducing greenhouse gas emissions to improving science and math education,” said Jeffrey Mervis, deputy news editor, who oversees election coverage for the magazine's news department. “We hope that the coverage may also kick off a broader discussion of the role of science and technology in decisions being made in Washington and around the world.”

Peak Oil and the Australian Army (PDF)

The implications of the peaking in global oil production are enormous. Predictions vary from a global economic recession to the collapse of modern industrial societies. Despite this, there is relatively little emphasis placed on preparing for the onset of Peak Oil by governments, the media, businesses or individuals, with some notable exceptions. In the event of an early peak, this will be to society’s great detriment and is something that should be of grave concern to all.

Matt Simmons: If Demand Rises 1.5% to 2%, Global Economic Growth May Stall

If oil demand in 2008 rises 1.5% to 2% above 2007’s level, global economic growth will stall unless oil production quickly climbs into record territory. That’s the dire outlook from Matthew R. Simmons, chairman of the Houston-based energy investment banking firm Simmons & Company International.

As energy prices surge, FOREIGN energy giants accused of treating UK like Treasure Island

"They raid the UK's North Sea for gas supplies when it is cheap but then levy punitive prices when demand is higher.

"This move suggests something is very badly wrong, not only in the GB energy market but in Europe as well. There is no actual shortage of gas across Europe, we have new pipelines to bring that gas to the UK, greater storage capacity and terminals to bring in supertankers full of liquefied natural gas."

Cleric Calls for Energy Saving in Iran

Tehran's interim Friday Prayers leader Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani called on Iranians to watch out for any wasteful use of the country's heavily subsidized energy supplies, cautioning that Iranians are the only world nation consuming cheap energy supplies extravagantly.

China: Fight inflation with targeted subsidies

Chinese cabbage, a staple vegetable in North China, sells for about 0.4 yuan per kilogram at the wholesale market in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital. But it is not unusual nowadays to hear urban consumers complain that the price has risen too much. At supermarkets in major cities, the cabbage can be found for 2 yuan per kilogram. So why are vegetable growers having such a hard time?

Rising fuel costs are the main culprit. According to the local newspaper, the price of diesel climbed from 3.2 yuan per liter in 2005 to 5.2 yuan per liter last year. The increase in transportation costs has made it a profitless endeavor to sell Chinese cabbage for 0.18 yuan kilogram in Xiayi County as well as 0.40 yuan kilogram in Zhengzhou.

Uganda: Fuel Prices Remain High, Petrol Still Scarce

Fuel pump prices remained high yesterday even after an estimated 36 fuel tanks arrived in Kampala on Thursday evening. Fuel stations in and around Kampala were still selling a litre of petrol fuel at Shs6,000 up from Shs2,300 a week ago.

Fuel was also being sold on the black market, especially in the areas of Kisenyi and Bunga at as high as Shs10,000 per litre after some dealers hoarded the little available fuel to make abnormal profits. Fuel station owners attributed the rising cost of fuel to the shortage in supply and the alleged high transport costs. The Country Manager of Shell Uganda Limited, Mr Ivan Kyayonka, said the consumers should report any dealer who charges prices that are different from what is displayed on the boards.

Kenya: Food, Fuel Crisis Looms Over Post-Poll Violent Protests

The post-election violence has triggered a humanitarian crisis in several towns across the country.

Pakistan: ‘Shortage of water, furnace oil, gas mars power generation’

The Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) said on Friday due to severe water shortage in the Tarbela, Mangla and Warsak reservoirs, shortage of furnace oil and limited gas supply to some of the important power plants, the power generation capability of Wapda decreased drastically.

Pakistan: No letup in power, gas load-shedding in NWFP

There was no letup in the painful long hours of unannounced power load-shedding on Friday and protests remained the prominent feature of the day in most parts of the NWFP and provincial metropolis.

The electricity outages that hit most parts of the province for the last one week continued for several hours Friday, too, leading to public protests in the city and elsewhere in the province and its adjacent tribal areas.

Pakistan: Looming crisis of power shortage

During the recent violence, all state companies have suffered losses through damage, led by the railways and followed by WAPDA. The government is required to shell out more money for power expansion while it is unable to pay the bills for the sale of oil whose domestic price it has kept frozen since one year. The oil bill, which used to be a billion dollars a decade ago, is today $3.7 billion. The economy demands that power be kept cheap to enable exports to catch up with imports. The cotton-related sector which contributes single-handedly to over 60 percent of exports, is in deep depression, mainly because of the high infrastructure cost, and is now hamstrung by closures following load-shedding.

Pakistan: Load-shedding affects export orders

Quaid-e-Azam Industrial Estate (QIE) President Mian Nauman Kabir has urged the government to take urgent measures to overcome the energy deficit as it is affecting the whole economy.

Chairing a meeting of the QIE board of management on Friday, he said unannounced load-shedding was hitting the industrial production hard. The country had not been achieving the export target for the last two years and if the situation remained the same, it would be very difficult to meet the target set for the current fiscal year, he added.

Pemex declares maintenance tender void

BNamericas reported that Mexican state oil company Pemex's exploration and production division, PEP, declared void an international tender (18575108-043-07) for five-year offshore maintenance works, according to federal procurement Web site Compranet. No reason was given for the decision.

Pemex Reopens Gulf of Mexico Crude Oil Terminals

Petroleos Mexicanos, the third- largest supplier of crude oil to the U.S., reopened its crude loading terminals in the Gulf of Mexico after heavy rains and winds forced them to close starting on Jan. 1.

Solar systems arrive in stores

A joint program has offered residential solar-power systems made by British petroleum company BP at The Home Depot stores in California, New Jersey and Long Island, New York since 2004. The program recently expanded to Home Depot stores in other areas of the country where incentives have made solar electric power more accessible and affordable, like Denver and Boulder, Colorado; Austin, Texas and Arizona.

California's data challenges EPA

California's ambitious plan to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions of cars and trucks would be more than twice as effective in reducing such gases by 2016 than the new federal fuel-economy law, the state said as part of a new legal broadside against the US government this week.

Iran says many OPEC states can't raise output

Many OPEC states are now producing as much oil as they can, limiting the ability of the cartel to raise output even if such a decision was made to help cool crude prices, an Iranian oil official was quoted on Saturday as saying.

OPEC president sees oil prices rising in Q1

OPEC president Chakib Khelil said on Saturday he expected oil prices to keep rising during the first quarter of this year before stabilising in the following quarter. "The rise is likely to continue until the end of the first quarter 2008 and will stabilise in the second quarter," Khelil, who is also Algerian Energy and Mines Minister, told the Algerian official news agency APS.

He linked the steady rise of oil prices to "political tension in Pakistan, escalading violence in Nigeria and decline of oil inventories in the United States", APS added.

Qatar oil min says markets well-supplied - paper

OPEC is not behind a recent rise in oil prices as markets are well-supplied and the price is purely driven by speculators, a Kuwaiti newspaper quoted the Qatari oil minister as saying.

"Investment funds and speculators are behind the recent hike," Abdullah al-Attiyah told al-Jarida newspaper in comments published on Friday.

"The market is not suffering from any luck in supplies, and there is no disturbance in producers' regions."

Crude Oil Targets $125, Global Production Future Shows Diffuse Picture

In the coming days, it will become clear whether the market will also react to negative news coming from OPEC’s largest oil producer, Saudi Arabia - the country indicated that the planned start up of the Khursaniyah oil field is being delayed. Officials of the Saudi state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco have informed the press that it is in the process of bringing on stream its 500,000 bpd Khursaniyah oil field, which was originally due for completion in late 2007, but no specific dates have been given for a new start-up date of production, and the market is eagerly awaiting the success.

Energy crisis? Not on U.S. campaign trail

It has been called the 800-pound gorilla but it's getting scant attention in the U.S. election. And yet it could well be one of the most pressing issues facing the next winner of the Oval Office.

What to do when oil hits $100 a barrel

Congress must be bolder in forcing oil substitutes for transportation. It did that for electric utilities.

Oil reaching $100

President Bush signed into law a bipartisan bill Congress approved last month requiring the first large increase in automobile fuel standards since 1975. Under the law, automakers must improve their fleet-wide average to 35 mpg for cars and light trucks by 2020, a 40 percent increase over the current average of 25 mpg. The law also had new energy efficiency standards for appliances, lighting and government and commercial buildings.

At the same time, however, the administration is standing in the way of California and other states that want to adopt stricter standards.

Medicine at the crossroads of energy and climate change

Throughout society, the meaning and scale of peak oil is misconstrued as a temporary concern over “energy prices” or “addiction” to foreign oil. Here lies our predicament: not only are these health dangers, they could undermine our ability to sustain health care systems.

Kenya: Refinery Ignores Turmoil

Operations at the Kenya Petroleum Oil Refineries Limited (KPRL) have not been interrupted by the political violence that has led to destruction of property.

The refinery's General Manager, Mr John Mruttu, said fuel stocks at the facility are sufficient for this time of the year.

Alaska Makes LNG Deal

Energy companies ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil Corp. reached an agreement with the state ensuring there will be adequate supplies of natural gas for years to come in southcentral Alaska, Gov. Sarah Palin announced Thursday.

New Brunswick company searches for oil with MRI

New Brunswick may only have a few of its own oil wells but it's developed technology to speed up the search for black gold around the world.

Is oil supply at its peak?

"You never know you're at peak until after the fact," says Jeff Rubin, chief economist of CIBC World Markets.

But with 18 months behind him, Rubin is increasingly convinced the days of easy, plentiful oil are gone. Even if December data show record production in the fourth quarter of 2007, there's growing consensus that, at the very least, oil supply has reached a plateau.

"I just don't think we're going to see increases in conventional oil production any more," Rubin says. "I think (peak oil) is here."

Gazprom plans Africa gas grab

"What Gazprom is proposing is mind-boggling," the Nigerian oil official told the Financial Times. "They're talking tough and saying the west has taken advantage of us in the last 50 years and they're offering us a better deal ... They are ready to beat the Chinese, the Indians and the Americans."

Much Ado About $100 Oil

If you write about energy, apparently nothing can fill up your E-mail inbox like oil briefly hitting the $100-per-barrel mark for the first time. Here is a sampling of the reactions to the crude oil price run-up that I've been urged to note...

Iran to open oil bourse: Minister of Economy

Iranian Minister of Economy and Finance Davoud Danesh-Ja'fari said that Iran will open oil bourse during the Ten-Day-Dawn ceremonies, marking the 29th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, IRNA reported.

United Airlines leads the way for British airlines to increase fares

British Airways passengers face the prospect of further fare increases this new year, after United Airlines set the lead for the industry by raising its prices to cover the soaring cost of fuel.

BA reprimanded over claim that new runway will reduce emissions

British Airways has been reprimanded for attempting to manipulate a government consultation on the expansion of Heathrow by making false claims about the environmental impact.

The Advertising Standards Authority has written to BA ordering it to withdraw a claim, in an e-mail to customers by Willie Walsh, the chief executive, that a new runway would reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

It looks like the Toronto Star has accepted peak oil and the sooner date too. They have been mentioning it a lot lately and this article is quite transparent. and I think Jeff Rubin at CIBC is at least a lurker here if not a contributor.

I think the Main Stream Media is going to have to acknowledge Peak Oil or they will lose even more credibility. (Not that my rather low opinion of the MSM is going to change! How can they even mention the 'elections' in Mexico without using a word like 'contested' or more accurately 'rigged' or 'stolen?' ) Gas prices are rising and the MSM hasn't exactly explained why. Once some real news does start to filter out to the masses, what's going to happen? Gas and diesel hoarding? More SUVs that 'accidentally' catch fire? I'd guess that the future MSM descriptions of what's happening will be boring and misleading, with the usual Yerginesque technocornucopia. I hope the internet doesn't turn into Propaganda Central-I need *real* news to plan ahead!

The MSM has no credibility left to lose, at least, for those with half a brain.

'Once some real news does start to filter out to the masses, what's going to happen?'

The masses are going to be pointed in the direction of the sacraficial lamb. Said lamb to be designated by TPTB. If we look in the mirror we might begin to bleat. :)

They (TPTB) will prop up their own to the bitter end -- at taxpayer expense:

The state of California will raise $11.5 million from the sale of tax-exempt bonds that will be used to provide a low-interest loan to Pacific Ethanol. Critics of the move say that the bond sale is permitted under state law for companies who classify part of their plant as “waste treatment plants”, but that the production of ethanol and distillers grains involves no waste treatment.


The news is there if you look for it. But what to do? Buy gold? Buy Euros? Start an intentional community? Pray a lot? The reality is that TPTB have all the power. We can go along with them silently or bleating (that's a choice) or we can create some sort of alternate reality in the interstices of their universe.

If TPTB had all the power, they wouldn't bother with the MSM. At least I hope so.

What to do? If you are forced to play a card game with a bunch of cheaters, the best thing is to gamble as little as possible, and don't play the game as often as you can get away with it. I may not be able to avoid paying taxes (and internet fees:), but I can sure avoid buying what little I *need* from soulless corporations. Go, Craigslist!

I wasn't born knowing about Peak Oil and the whoring that goes along with the MSM. So, to all you 'sheeple' who were bleating out the truth, I owe an infinite debt that can never be repaid. This talking monkey knows he owes...

Of course they bother with MSM -- it's their mouthpiece. Most people do what the TeeVee tells them to do.

It certainly is possible to throw off the blinders -- at least to some degree. It is more difficult to withdraw from a world that is defined by TPTB. You can own your own land -- sort of. But you will still have to pay taxes, or they take it from you. And taxes have to be paid in legal tender -- their money.

I agree that minimizing participation by using Craigslist and the local thrift stores, and growing whatever food you can and walking (or cycling) whenever possible are good things. If everyone did it, it would diminish the power of TPTB. But it might all just collapse back into feudalism.

The MSM has no credibility left to lose, at least, for those with half a brain.

Just who is this guy "MSM"? Is Reuters part of the MSM? Reuters said this morning:

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Many OPEC states are now producing as much oil as they can, limiting the ability of the cartel to raise output even if such a decision was made to help cool crude prices, an Iranian oil official was quoted on Saturday as saying.

Now that statement is not exactly a "not to worry" line. There is no official MSM line! MSM is made up of tens of thousands of people manning thousands of media outlets. MSM reports the news that they think their readers, watchers or listeners will be interested in.

MSM is basically a mirror of society! MSM caters to the whims of society. They know that society is hungry for news. True, they hope that news is all good news but occasionally the news is bad. MSM ignores bad news only at its peril. If one MSM outlet fails to report bad news and is scooped by another MSM outlet, then that failing outlet loses readers or viewers.

People, for God's sake, stop blaming the media for not reporting the news the way you wish it would be reported. The problem is not the media. The problem, the problem of the peak oil unawareness, is not because the media refuses to report it. The problem is that people do not want to hear it. And MSM caters to what people want to hear.

If there is an event or a statement by OPEC or whomever, whose by its nature is an event, then MSM reports it, good or bad. But if it is only speculation then MSM will print the speculation that its readers wish to hear. I.E. Fox gives right wing speculation, CNBC gives economic speculation that is mostly optimistic and so on. Again, MSM is basically a mirror of the population, or more directly a mirror of the type of audience of which it caters to.

There are no bad news stations or stations that cater to doomers. The world is a cornucopian and the media caters to cornucopians.

Ron Patterson

Hey, the MSM may have ignored peak oil, but they've done a great job reporting about the trials and tribulations of Britney Spears. Last night on the radio, I heard all about her latest drug overdose, hospitalization and child custody battle. And did you know that her 16-year-old sister (Jamie Lynn) is pregnant? What could be more important?

Jamie Lynn Spears' TV show cancelled by Nickelodeon

Get your priorities straight.

do go on!

Please tell me more

Yeah, as Ron stated - the mainstream media will provide what the customers want. Its good business to do so.

WE are the minority.

What percentage of the US are scientists and engineers? I mean REAL ones, not those who just hold the title for a paycheck. The real engineers and scientists are those who live, eat, and breathe science because its their life ambition, just as some people can't see ( and God forbid, record ) enough sports events.

We are ( well, at least I know I am ) seen as social misfits because of our love of discovery and creating new things, and often not compatible with management because of our stubbornness - yet we are that way because we relate to the stubbornness of the laws of physics which assure us that what we design will work.

We are a minority. A lot of us aren't even gainfully employed because of interpersonal issues. We do not control as much spending as those who have better personal skills - dealing with people instead of technical arcana.

Megawatts and BTU's are things of us techies, Dollars and Euro are things of the people. The mainstream media, knowing who controls dollars, caters to the people. Sites like TOD, catering to the interests of the techies, does just that.

The people will take interest in Megawatts and BTU's when they get cold, dark, and hungry, just as engineers and scientists take interest in dollars when the rent comes due or the pizza parlor presents the tab.

But as long as all it takes to satisfy creature comforts is flipping open the cellphone, no one is gonna take much interest in the technical support infrastructure the powers our life.

No one inspects the water pump or spark plugs on their car. They won't get any attention until they fail.

I don't see our Congress or corporations paying our energy situation much heed until the lights go out. Then it will be an all out effort to get it fixed - same as with a water pump in a car.

I believe we still think all we have to do is go up the chain of command until we hit someone with enough signature authority to make it happen, irregardless of geological constraint ( geez, just what is a geological constraint? Speak English, dammit! Now, how about those Cowboys? )

A lot of us aren't even gainfully employed because of interpersonal issues.

You're describing Asperger's Syndrome, a mild form of autism that leaves adults brilliant in some ways, generally in a few very specialized areas (circumscribed interests), and lonely and underemployed because they are perceived as "odd". There does seem to be a bit of that going on around here :-)

Yes, SCT, I have been diagnosed as having Asperger's syndrome. I don't see it in a negative light at all. The managers hired by the Executives saw me as "lacking in people skills", but I considered myself as "focused on the problem".

I feel I can make anything work. The biggest problem is in getting permission to do it.

My sentiments are that as long as corporations are flooded with so much money as to finance tiers over tiers of management "valves", there isn't any need for "pumps" like me. There is already plenty of pressure in the line.

Control seemed far more important than Innovation or Production, and was paid commensurately. The problem for me became acute when the company started getting huge cash inflows from stockholder investments, not sales.

I would have thought a company would want to keep people who had the "disability" of finding enjoyment only through their work and would take no interest in all the social and sports crap. To me, getting rid of this kind of people would be akin to me removing the chunks of carbide off my saw blade.

But then, I have to realize an Executive saw is to look at, not to saw with. A satin color-coordinated finish goes a lot further in the executive boardroom than hard sharp teeth. If its MY blade, I want the hard sharp teeth.

You will get no argument from me on this, my face blind circumscribed interest having brother :-) I have a lighter burden than most, with the social interaction concerns, but I am blessedly not clumsy as some are. Much study in the realm of accessing cues, transformational grammar, and so forth have positioned me to "pass" among the neurotypical - I've massaged myself from downright weird to merely eccentric :-)

I feel your frustration ... I've not had a "job" for almost nine years and while I do miss a paycheck every two weeks I do not miss people with a scanty grasp on cause and effect making bad decisions on Tuesday and then blaming me for the outcome on Thursday :-)

You were shunned because you are weird. I intend no disrespect here :-) Your choices are to work around the fact that you perceive the world differently, or to find a role where your strengths are strengths.

If some area of renewable energy has tickled your fancy you should have no trouble migrating into the field. I have found the barrier to entry to be essentially nonexistent.

Thanks for your honesty. Its refreshing.

I knew I was weird in elementary school. By junior high, I had already built myself a stereo system better than any my friends had, yet I did not pay a dime for it. It was all made from parts the neighbors had junked when they placed old TV's by the curb. Horizontal output tubes make pretty decent audio power tubes! But I didn't have the foggiest idea of how to play baseball, neither did I know anything about football, other than it was some game they played in the stadium.

My latest experimental fancy is lithium bromide absorption refrigeration. I worked with this for several years at an oil refinery (it kept our LNG tanks cold using waste process heat).

If I were more independently wealthy, I would just build an apartment complex, and rent most of it out to tenants while I got the solar powered heating-ventilation-air conditioning (HVAC) running. But I do not have that kind of money.

I need at least 30 feet vertical drop for the gravitic vacuum pump and certain ways of laying out the garden so I can use the leaves of plants as evap coolers much like one uses wood slats in a cooling water tower ( I think cooling water towers are ugly, but I think plants are very pretty, so I want plants ). This necessitates my designing the apartment complex from the ground up as a custom build.

Being I can personally build any interfaces I need to the motors, valves, sensors, whatever, build and program the microcontrollers that run it, I consider the whole thing quite do-able. Its stuff like building construction and welding the collector assemblies, generator, evaporator, and absorber I need help with.

Physically, I am getting old, and I just can not handle the heavy stuff anymore. Or tight schedules. Hell, for all I know I may pass on before I get it done. But I would have more fun building something than sitting on my arse waiting for God to call me.

I am not saying my first one would be perfect, but it would give me empirical data for making the next one better, as well as give me a lot better idea as to the economic feasibility of mass producing the design.

I am getting too old to beg people in power to let me do things. I see where what I consider rather useless people getting paid enormous salaries, but I am told that I have no people skills and need to work elsewhere.

I think the world needs solar powered HVAC a helluva lot more than the world needs what the highly paid guy did, but then that's my point of view.

Control expertise should be in demand - you just need a manufacturer in desperate need :-) I can think of a few offhand right around here and the nation must be brimming with them.

It is good to have weird scrounging skills in times like these ...

A very insightful post Hardhat.

I enjoyed it greatly and can identify with it when I was gainfully employed and roamed thru the world of business.

A short story then.

My office(not a cubicle and it had a real door) was right across the hall from my manager's manager. Each day there was an almost parade of asskissers walking by his door(and mine therefore) with empty portfolios under arms and slowing down as they approached said door.

They would then hope to be recognized and shout inane greetings,mostly containing the words "Super, Fantastic, Awesome and so forth". Shouting these greetings to the said manager and thereby having him register the image of their appearance and demeanor. Naturally he loved the 'strokes' and attention as well as they did.

Truth is they were deadwood. Useless clone drones of the hive but they amazingly advanced up the food chain. They knew absolutely zero technical skills but relied on bullshit and mingling as well as massive ass sucking in order to advance...

And you know what? They got it. Us real techies were let behind as Not People Friendly and not having good interpersonal skills.

I started noticing this action around about the early 80's and maybe somewhat in the very late 90's..It concided with the sudden rush of yuppies jogging around the burbs and becoming conspicuous consumers plus being droids of the worst sort with their smary wifes named Muffy and them being mostly Lances.

IMO the ranks of mgmt were slowly infiltrated with these pod-people in that time frame and mgmt recognizing their own kind began to futher infiltrate the pod-folks into their ranks because of several reasons.

One being that they were very easily controlled. Another was having hired them the pods having no sense of morality would make good spies for spying out the worker bees and tattling on them to the said hiring mgr.

They loved to go to after work gatherings at the tavern or cocktail lounge and drink disguised drinks(7-up,etc) and wait for the drunk bees to make bad statements and thereby come off looking like saints having scored endless points meanwhile to all observers,,those mostly being pods just like them who enjoyed a good podfest.

These pods have now taken over all of mgmt at almost all levels , there being no real managers who will not kneel before the all powerful ego that they posses and cannot live with out the daily adulation and bowing and asskissing otherwise they would have to admit that they are totally useless worthless bottom feeders of the worst ilk of the lowest forms of life in the deepest cesspools of the planet. Sucking up lifesustaining filth and scum so they can continue to destroy what we once enjoyed as fruitful and beneficial employment.

They have sucked the systems dry as an empty eggshell and continue to feast off the lifeblood of the ones who actually still to some degree make the system work.

airdale-my rant for the day...

If you've not done so already, may I suggest a read of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged?

The woman was a sexually compulsive sociopath, but she did have some points in spite of that. I find Nathaniel Branden's Judgement Day a fine balance to and explanation of Rand's thinking, putting a more human face on objectivism.

I read an article once about GTE, published in Physics Today http://www.physicstoday.org/pt/vol-54/iss-2/p38.html
on the difference between first, second, and third generation companies.
I would like to add a fourth and fifth generation company description to the list.
First generation is product engineers. They make something new.
Second generation is process engineers. They make it better, faster, cheaper, smaller, lighter, more reliable, whatever.
Third generation is accountants. They make it cheaper by shutting down R+D.
Fourth generation is marketing. They make it in more colors.
Fifth generation is political. They make it with government assistance.

Which reminds me of Richard Feynman's account of the Challenger disaster. Most people remember him dunking one of the rubber ring seals in a glass of ice water and demonstrating its stiffness. But his explanation of the problem was that, as NASA had progressed from the Mercury and Apollo programs to the day-to-day operation of a fleet of shuttles, its organization gradually changed. There was a gradual infiltration of bureaucrats, whose careers depended not on scientific knowledge and skill with real materials, but rather on influencing other people.


Feynman's heavily redacted account became a minor appendix to the commission's report:

His fellow commission members were alarmed by Feynman's dissension, and it was only after much petitioning that Feynman's minority report was included at all: as an appendix to the official document. Feynman's book What Do You Care What Other People Think? included a copyedited version of the appendix in addition to his narrative account.

Thanks, Airdale

Your timeframe mirrors mine.

As a child of the 60's, we actually got to build things, and took great pride in knowing exactly how it worked.

I think the problem arose when we began importing our technology, and no one here even knew how to fix it, much less design it. It is so cheap that one simply throws it away, often when the battery dies.

Its gonna be scary in a way to live in a society where everyone has been accustomed to a steady influx of stuff and the music stops. In a way, I am comforted that I know exactly how my stuff (albeit it is old) works, and I can maintain it.

I have stockpiled lots of electronic parts and test equipment which was made in the days that stuff could be repaired. I could maintain electronic controls at nearly any industrial plant should the need arise - fixing at the component level if necessary should spare circuit assemblies be unavailable, but so far, I have not seen any company who needs that kind of support.

Besides, I am getting older. My ways of doing things are analog design, assembler, C++, DOS, and device drivers.

I'd love to work with a Linux guru a bit and learn to do my stuff under Linux GUI, but who does bit banging anymore?

Companies seem to view knowledge of their stuff unimportant as long as they have vendor support. They do not know how their BMW works either - they have mechanics on call.

Being a loner, its in my "genes" to have an ardent desire to know how my stuff works so no-one can hold me hostage to my ignorance.

Mr. hardhat Sir,

I am more or less enjoying my 22nd year as a unix bigot. If you care to plunge in drop me a note sct at strandedwind dot org - I know of a very busy Linux users group mailing list, perfect for helping one climb the learning curve ...


Thanks SCT!

I have copied your post so I can get back to you when I complete a brick project here at the house.

I know a little about the Microsoft MFC and API, but since WIN95, a lot of stuff became useless. I figured the Gnome and KDE GUI programming would be similar. Hopefully if I invested my time in learning Linux, it would not be rendered useless by the next release. Keeping up with Microsoft and all their proprietary stuff is like chasing wind. I can not keep my stuff working across OS revisions.

Especially when I am no longer employed and can no longer afford the Microsoft support subscriptions. I felt like a biological bug manufactured at Synthetic Genomics - specially designed to require some nutrient that only Synthetic Genomics provided so the I could not survive by myself. It was obvious to me Microsoft was doing the same thing to Business, by making sure they were absolutely dependent on Microsoft Support.

I wish I had gotten into Unix a lot earlier. 22 years of it is quite a bit of experience. I betcha you know your box as well as I know my car - we've had 'em about the same length of time. There is so much peace of mind in knowing your box, and knowing its not full of virus, bots, worms, keyloggers, rootkits, or other destructive and untrustworthy vermin.

Having your box do what you tell it to do is priceless.


Having your box do what you tell it to do is priceless.

And even more, being able to look at the source code to see exactly how it is done. I always appreciated the modular design of Unix, but Linux allowed me to open up the box and see how it was all put together internally, and build on it. It's beautiful stuff, unfortunately it's a beauty very hard to share with others.

There is no need at all for you to go graphical - I find plenty to do with the text based command line tools. If it weren't for Flickr I do believe I could happily use a text terminal as we did twenty years ago.

Given what I know of you I suspect you're a natural for Jeffrey E.F. Friedel's Mastering Regular Expressions. Regular expressions, or regex, is a powerful text matching system found in all programming/scripting languages used today.

If you really want to do things graphically the PHP language has a large following and the barrier to entry is fairly low. I myself am a bit of an old dog, so its perl for most things and I'm trying to learn the much simpler sed/awk combination(embarrassing to admit). If you've done C++ you will be able to get some basic productivity going with a tool like perl in a day or two ...

In 1995 I bought a computer with the intention of blowing away the M$ software that came with it and installing something else as a learning exercise. I chose Slackware, and have piddled around with Linux ever since. I eventually settled on Debian.

sounds like you must have worked for the same damn company as i. oh................and another thing, my gf's name is muffy.

Alot of us aren't even gainfully employed because of interpersonal issues. We do not control as much spending as those who have better personal skills - dealing with people instead of technical arcana.

Then there are the far larger number of us who aren't gainfully employed (in science) any more.

Our funding is evaporating faster than North Ghawar, and we can't magically get the 1 funding opportunity out of 25 applications even though our "interpersonal issues" are just fine.

I believe we still think all we have to do is go up the chain of command until we hit someone with enough signature authority to make it happen, irregardless of geological constraint ( geez, just what is a geological constraint? Speak English, dammit! Now, how about those Cowboys? )

That's America, baby, love it or leave it. New Zealand needs engineers.

By the way, irregardless is not a word. Speak English, dammit!

Mea Culpa!

I had to go to the dictionary on that one - irregardless - and you are right!


Thanks for the posts hardhat.

Your solar HVAC peaked my curiosity- I'm in a community college program ATM - so I googled it.

I think this is a likely direction technology will eventually go.

Right on HardHat,

I guess people just want to have a nice smooth day, everyday. No one to ruffle feathers or make a scene about value or quality to the customer. That just gives everyone heartburn. And it makes those who don't know anything feel stupid. I think it's the nature of a corporation. I believe once a company, or any group gets beyond 150 people or so in size, the interrelationships start to get weaker and more abstract and this eventually leads to some of what you describe.
Anyway, thanks for your post.


I suspect neither Britney nor her sister know how this pregnancy thing happens.

Immaculate Conception.

Eny fule kno this.

That's a very popular method of having children in the US. Just having babies and never any father in sight.

Hey, its good pay as long as she can keep her babymaker working!

"MSM is made up of tens of thousands of ."

Not true.

Or the "people manning thousands of media outlets"
are not the part of the problem.

There are maybe 20 Execs like Redstone, Immelt,
whoever's at Disney (Iger?) that control the info feed.

Ex. Who says Iraq is getting better.

The only sources saying that are from the military
or puppet controlled Iraq gov't.

The NYT's Friedman, Brooks, and Miller all
lied us into Iraq. Anyone hear an apology?

And now, (even now!) W. Kristol, head discredited kook of the neo cons has been hired by the NYT.

"As 2008 begins, here are SOME of the issues that have endangered our democracy and the lives of so many around the world. For all of 2007, there was no action, nor were there any plans to:

• Impeach George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
• End the illegal and immoral wars against Iraq and Afghanistan
• Challenge the lies about a nuclear buildup in Iran
• Investigate what really happened on 9/11
• Repeal the Patriot Act
• Investigate official misconduct by Alberto Gonzalez
• Investigate the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame
• Charge those who allowed the torture of Iraqis
• Investigate rendition and torture of detainees
• Close Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay Prisons
• Challenge the abuse of signing statements by George Bush
• Investigate the administration’s spying on Americans before 9/11
• Challenge the constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act
• Challenge directives giving George Bush dictatorial powers
• Demand accountability for billions misspent and ‘lost’ in Iraq
• Demand accountability for billions paid to private contractors
• Expose the influence of PNAC members on US foreign policy
• Challenge the lies to minimize the dangers of global warming
• Restore the constitutional division of church and state
• Protect a woman’s right to privacy
• Restore habeas corpus and the Fourth Amendment"


There are maybe 20 Execs like Redstone, Immelt,
whoever's at Disney (Iger?) that control the info feed.

This is a myth, pure baloney! Do you guys actually believe that every story is cleared by the CEO, or even that there is some "screening committee" that checks each news story for conflict with advertisers?

News is news is news is news! Who cleared the story about most OPEC nations having no more capacity? Who cleared the story about the coming global food crisis? (jrwakefield posted the URL below)

A new crisis is emerging, a global food catastrophe that will reach further and be more crippling than anything the world has ever seen.

No advertiser wants such stories reported. If OPEC has peaked then the worlds financial markets will crash in a few years. If the world's food production is about to plummet then the world's financial markets are in even worse shape.

Of course if there were rumors that the CEO of General Electric was a thief, then NBC would not report it, but CBS probably would if there were any strong evidence. And if he were indicted then even NBC would report it.

You guys are just conspiracy theory nuts. The CEOs do not control the media. The events that happen in the world every day are news and are reported whether the CEOs like it or not. Events like dwindling oil supplies and the impending food catastrophe are news and get reported whether the CEOs like it or not. You conspiracy theorists need to grow up.

Ron Patterson

the CEOs can direct the editors to lead the news left/right/up/down/spiraling and this will change what is presented. You have 2 one minute slots, do you fill it with fluff or hard hitting news? which is easier? which makes you the most money?

Someone needs to read "Manufacturing Consent" by one Noam Chomsky.

Noam Chomsky:
... Sam Bowles and Herb Gintis, two economists, in their work on the American educational system some years back... pointed out that the educational system is divided into fragments. The part that's directed toward working people and the general population is indeed designed to impose obedience. But the education for elites can't quite do that. It has to allow creativity and independence. Otherwise they won't be able to do their job of making money. You find the same thing in the press. That's why I read the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times and Business Week. They just have to tell the truth. That's a contradiction in the mainstream press, too. Take, say, the New York Times or the Washington Post. They have dual functions and they're contradictory. One function is to subdue the great beast. But another function is to let their audience, which is an elite audience, gain a tolerably realistic picture of what's going on in the world. Otherwise, they won't be able to satisfy their own needs. That's a contradiction that runs right through the educational system as well. It's totally Chomsky , which a lot of people have: honesty, no matter what the external constraints are. That leads to various complexities. If you really look at the details of how the newspapers work, you find these contradictions and problems playing themselves out in complicated ways....

Excerpted from Class Warfare, 1995, pp. 19-23, 27-31
or go to informationclearinghouse.com fo 1-4-08 interview w David Barsamian.

Ron, the boss doesn't have to read or ok everything, they just need to make an example of an employee who crossed the line. Remaining employees and new employees will quickly know where the line is and won't cross it (peer pressure will guarantee it). Also, the employee who is reprimanded, won't be rebuked for crossing the line directly, but some other unassociated misdemeanour. This is the way it works, no one is told not to cross the line, they're just made aware that crossing it is not in their best interest.

Journalists are not told to avoid mentioning "peak oil", they're simply aware that it is not in their best interest to do so. No journalist wants to be on the carpet in front of the boss being accused of discrediting the newspaper with unfounded theories unsupported by mainstream research.

If you google "Peak Oil", (when you put quotation marks around a phrase in Google it means that those exact words must be found together in that exact order), you will get 2,420,000 hits. If you News.google "peak oil" you will get 250 recent news articles that mention peak oil. The top few are from National Post, Canada, Economist, UK, Financial Times, UK, Asheville Citizen-Times, NC, Barre Montpelier Times Argus, VT, The Register-Guard, OR,Online Journal, FL and a couple of hundred otheres.

Looks like a lot of people are getting called on the carped Burgundy. And I will guarantee you that in a week you will get that many new listings from around the world. Are all those reporters losing their jobs because they talk about peak oil?

I really don’t think so. You are imagining things Burgundy. Peak Oil is not being censored! You guys are just a little paranoid. When peak oil is news it is reported. And it is being reported one hell of a lot more than it was this time last year. And one year from now it will likely be mentioned far more than Global Warming.

Ron Patterson

News people getting fired for talking about stuff?
Global Warming got people fired till around ten years ago. Peak Oil got people fired till around five years ago. Don't you wish you knew what was getting people fired today?

WK, do you have anything to back up your assertions or are you just pulling them out of your ass. I suspect the latter but if you have any proof please post it and I will apologize forthwith. But I am saying here and now that I do not believe a damn word of it.

Hint: If you make extraordinary claims, as you are, you need proof. You provided absolutely none.

Ron Patterson

So, tell me what will be on the front pages in five years?
Peak Oil? Already there. Oil is a hundred dollars a barrel.
Global Warming? Already there. The insurance industry is going nuts.
What's next? Tell me and I can look it up myself. I am next to a major university so I can find out stuff. Not everything is on the web.
I just figured out that Weyerhouser and the other forest companys are in for a world of hurt. Ordinary farmers can plant low water or high bug resistance crops when the weather changes. What can a forest company do? Twenty to forty years for a new crop. They are trying to figure out what to do about it now. Forestry people have known about this for a while, but I didn't.
But that is only next year's headline. What's coming five years from now? I am open to ideas and I certainly don't mind changing my opinions on new evidence. Loan me a clue.
Tell me.

News people get fired for being gloomy doomy old party-poopers. No conspiracies required.

And that's a fact.

911, and the War on Drugs.

See Gary Webb.

Hello Darwinian,

Your Quote: "You guys are just conspiracy theory nuts. The CEOs do not control the media."

I respectfully disagree. Recall my long ago advocacy for everyone to email Google [and other search engines] to request the placement of an 'unlucky button' on the search homepage that automatically will take the user to Dieoff.com. This would instantly make Jay Hanson's magnum opus the Numero Uno website worldwide. A Google programmer could probably bang out the code in under five minutes once given direction from the Google topdogs.

I would be willing to bet if thousands of TODers and other Peakers have already done this: Sergey Brin and Larry Page are currently very well aware of what I am trying to accomplish with achieving Maximum Peak Outreach.

Recall my earlier post where I suggested that the early premiere of this unlucky button could make their venture capital investment in Nanosolar the most successful IPO in history. Time will tell.

If this happens: recall my earlier post whereby I speculate Tiger Woods will be subsequently seen in TV commercials endorsing Nike brand shovels, picks, hoes, scythes, and wheelbarrows. I suspect we will see many mindblowing concepts when the cascading blowbacks really start to kick in.

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

Bob, I had thought better of you. The idea that CEOs are censoring Peak Oil is just plain silly. Do you think they are censoring Global Warming? Of course not! Global warming is all the rage right now and the media cannot get enough of it.

The truth is people are simply not aware of Peak Oil and that is why you don't see much of it in the media. But let a little ripple of fear streak through the average person in the street and you will see peak oil screamed from every headline in the nation.

The idea that peak oil is being censored by CEOs is just down in the dirt stupid! You know better than that crap Bob. I am shocked at your response.

Newspapers and TV report the NEWS! End of story. You guys who think there is some kind of conspiracy to suppress the fact that oil is peaking are just plain wrong. You are just frustrated because the world does not see the facts as plainly as you see them. But that is the way the world works Bob, get used to it.

The world will be aware of peak oil when it bitch slaps them in the face and not one day earlier. And this is not the fault of the media. It is called "human nature". Learn to live with it and stop looking for really dumb conspiracies.

Ron Patterson

I do find it interesting that the media conspricy theorists know what goes on inside news editorial rooms without actually being in them to hear what is really said.

There's no need.

Triangulation combined with history, shows no other possible conclusion.

Combine the above with "the mask is ripped off" scenarios like 911,
Pearl Harbor, Lend Lease Act.

And note how fast legislation is passed when TPTB want it.

Or the Constitution is ignored.

How fast the Fed and World CB's have found almost a trillion $'s
to try and plug the "Subprime to AAA and back again" fiasco.

And how not one single word of this is discussed by the presidential

Hello Darwinian,

Thxs for responding. Recall that Jim Kunstler was invited to Google HQ to give a presentation. Google then proceeded to start installing solar PV panels and investing in Nanosolar and who knows what else; that does not sound like FF-energy denial to me. Big Buck$$$ decisions such as these ONLY come from the topdogs from the Executive Board level. IMO, their ACTIONS & MONEY show total Peak Everything Awareness, but they don't yet want the unwashed masses to have the essential google button to direct them to Dieoff [or TOD, or LATOC, or a specific website developed internal to Google].

I would prefer they do it sooner than later to get the Paradigm Shift jumpstarted; I still think Peak Outreach is the best path forward. Within hours of unveiling-->it will be headlines everywhere around the globe. Unless Microsoft or Ask or Jeeves or Yahoo beats them by unveiling their version first.

Have you emailed your request to Google for this clickable link?

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

Bob, I could not make heads or tails out of your reply. No, I have not emailed Google. I don't know why I should. I don't remember even mentioning Google being in FF-energy denial. I really don't understand what you are talking about.

Ron Patterson

Hello Darwinian,

Thxs again. It is really quite simple. Google is rapidly becoming biosolar mission-critical aware as evidenced by their new investments; they are proactively engaged in their future corporate survival. I suggest that they are well informed on WWWeb power problems as explained in Leanan's toplink:

Data Center Power Demands Raising Fears of an Impending Crisis for Thousands of Major Corporations
“I’ve got clients who are really worried about this,” Rakesh L. Kumar, a UK-based Gartner vice president and the principal researcher on Gartner’s report, said in an interview. They are right to be worried, Kumar emphasized, noting that many major corporations will have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars per data center to expand their existing operations. It’s either that, Kumar said, or loose direct control over this vital corporate function by contracting with an outside data center.
I would expect Google's postPeak strategy is to offer the migration path for these companies by achieving first-mover status to reliable data centers. IF Nanosolar has a viable product: virtually all their output will first be utilized by Google directly, or power companies with an ironclad contract to sell their PV power output to Google first when required. Emphasized again: the keyword is 'Proactive' to insure 'hen and egg' control of electrons thru power cables & photons thru optic fiber; or what Warren Buffett calls as as 'defensive moat' to preclude effective competition.

IMO, currently Google is reactive as far as reporting the news; their search engine just aggregates info from many sources. When they post the unlucky button: they will rapidly move to proactive mode where most of the currently pointless web searches [Britney Spears, salad-shooter shopping, video games, etc] will quickly diminish, saving Google gobs of more computing power and more uptime reliability to sell to the aforementioned companies. The surviving companies, who provide vital needs such as NPK, seeds, clothing, bicycles, medicine, web-based home schooling, etc, will need cheap and reliable web access to service their global customers.

If they are the first with the unlucky button, as opposed to Microsoft or Yahoo being first: their postPeak credibility as the first truly 'proactive' news source will be skyhigh; another defensive moat that will give them loyal users far above the other search engines. This high degree of Thermo/Gene honesty has its own rewards.

Ron, I think you are like me--we both appreciate what Jay has accomplished with his massive compendium of his and other keywriters' works on Dieoff and Yahoo discussion forums. I think you should email Google asking for Dieoff and/or TOD to become the #1 global website to help Peak Outreach. I think it is more important than voting in the next Pres. election.

You have children and grandchildren--they need your help before it is too late.

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

Time Warner bought CNN not to own it, but to destroy it. The second they had their hands on it, they cleared the decks of real, intelligent, critically thinking news people, and replaced them with mindless infotainment bimbos. The news network that at one time was watched by world leaders as their best source of info on what was going on in the world, is now laughed at across the planet. Ted Turner has said if he knew what they were up to he would never have sold.

Ted Turner Roars Again
20 September 2006 (StudioBriefing)
CNN founder Ted Turner said Tuesday that the news media are not working hard enough to inform viewers about international events that affect them. "That's one of the reasons I started CNN and did my best to get them to concentrate on serious international news -- so that people would be better informed," Turner said at a meeting of journalists and policy leaders in New York. "If we don't have the right information today, we're doomed."

Redstone Professes Unrequited Love for CNN
12 January 2006 (StudioBriefing)
CBS, which for years has flirted with CNN, may now be eying it as a possible marriage partner. As reported by Broadcasting & Cable magazine, Viacom/CBS Chairman Sumner Redstone told an audience in Beverly Hills Tuesday night that if anyone in the crowd was able to reach Time Warner chief Dick Parsons, "Call Dick. Tell him I want to buy CNN ... because CNN and CBS would be fantastic." Oddly, while he made no such offer to buy Fox News Channel, he was effusive in his praise for it. "They may be biased, but they are dynamic and charismatic, and the result is they are doing better than CNN," Redstone said. "They are doing great because of showmanship." When asked if he believes CNN founder Ted Turner will ever stage a comeback, Redstone replied, "When he sold to Time Warner, that was the end of Ted Turner. ... Control is the thing. I'll never give it up."

Former CNN Bureau Chief Reveals Why She Quit
20 June 2005 (StudioBriefing)
CNN's former bureau chief in Beijing and Tokyo has acknowledged that she resigned from the cable news network because she "had been growing increasingly frustrated with the direction CNN was going in." In an interview appearing in the current Columbia Journalism Review, Rebecca MacKinnon remarked that she had become aware of a trend toward "less interest in serious news and ... towards more infotainment, from anything but a war zone." She said that as "neither a war correspondent nor an infotainment news bunny," she was forced to reexamine her place at the network, especially after being told things by her superiors like, "Your expertise is getting in the way of doing the kind of stories we want to see on CNN" and "We'd like you to cover the region more like a tourist." MacKinnon said that when she came to the network in 1992, when it was still owned by Ted Turner, it placed heavy emphasis on international stories. "There was this real feeling that if a story mattered, we should cover it. If you had a strong argument to that effect and you could pitch that to Ted Turner, the funds would be there, because he viewed CNN as something other than a product that you just sell on the market for profit maximization. He saw it as something more socially significant than that." All that, she said, changed after the merger with Time Warner.

Ted Turner Blasts Fox News Channel
26 January 2005 (StudioBriefing)
The result of media consolidation has been a television industry that is less critical of the government, and, in the case of News Corp, even a propaganda agent of the government, CNN founder Ted Turner said during an address to TV programmers in Las Vegas Tuesday. Appearing as the keynote speaker at the National Association for Television Programming Executives (NATPE), Turner, who once compared News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch with Hitler, pressed on with the analogy of governments using media as a propaganda organ by referring to News Corp's Fox News Channel, which has overtaken CNN in the ratings. Not being the most popular news network, Turner remarked, is "not necessarily a bad thing, though I'm not happy about it. Adolf Hitler was more popular in Germany than people who ran against him. Just because you are bigger doesn't mean to say you are right." However, he added, "it does pose problems for our democracy. Particularly when the news is dumbed down, leaving voters without critical information on politics and world events and overloaded with fluff."

Ted Turner: "Bust Up the Conglomerates"
22 July 2004 (StudioBriefing)
Ted Turner has cited Disney's decision to reject distribution of Fahrenheit 9/11 as an ominous indication of the chilling effect of media consolidation. Writing in the Washington Monthly, the CNN founder takes special note of a statement by a Disney executive at the time: "It's not in the interest of any major corporation to be dragged into a highly charged partisan political battle." Turner comments: "Follow the logic, and you can see what lies ahead: If the only media companies are major corporations, controversial and dissenting views may not be aired at all." Turner's advice: "Bust up the big [media] conglomerates."


I did some screen shots of CNN's "news of the deeply weird" front page a while back ... they're just a joke, but a slightly deformed joke with no punch line. If the FCC's let 'em they'd have digitally enhanced shots of Britney's privates on the front page on a daily basis.


Some of us are old enough to remember what it was like to actually get REAL NEWS on the television. Those days are long past. Today, what they call news is indoctrination with a large dose of showmanship to keep the sheeple watching.

This is a myth, pure baloney! Do you guys actually believe that every story is cleared by the CEO, or even that there is some "screening committee" that checks each news story for conflict with advertisers?

This is the job of the editor, who has veto power over what is published. Censorship is usually unnecessary, as reporters self-censor, as shall be explained shortly, but occasionally the editor must step in and say "no." Sometimes the system fails and something undesirable is published, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

I'm sure you will demand evidence, so I present Reese Schoenfeld, co-founder of CNN, in his own words. The context of this interview was Newsweek's publication of a story about the desecration of the Koran by US service personnel at Guantanamo.

"The government has a right and sometimes a duty to lie. The press must never lie, but has no duty to tell the truth. Editors are for keeping things out of the paper that do no good and can only inflame and hurt... What real difference does it make if we report that or don't report that... I would have never even considered reporting it, I would have sat there in the chair and said, 'no, this does not go in the story'... This whole idea, the public has a right to know. The public does not have a right to know. The editor has a right to publish. That's what the first amendment is about. The guy who owns the paper, the editor, says what does and what doesn't and he doesn't have to tell everything he knows and god forbid that he ever should."

Reese Schoenfeld on the public's right to know

You guys are just conspiracy theory nuts. The CEOs do not control the media.

There is no "grand conspiracy," but market forces do shape the media in ways which could easily be mistaken for a conspiracy. This phenomenon is best explained by the theory of the Propaganda Model, advanced by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman.

There is a sort of "survival of the fittest" among news agencies, where the ones which bring the greatest profits rise to the top and dominate this particular economic ecological niche. Despite popular perception, the product of news agencies is not news. News agencies sell audiences to advertisers. This dynamic dictates that to maximize profits, and thus rise to the top in the ecosystem, a news agency must obtain as large an audience as possible, while simultaneously avoiding any subject matter which alienates either current or potential advertisers. The news agencies also must pander to the government in order to maintain preferential treatment.

To draw and hold a large audience, which correlates with what they can charge their advertisers, a successful news agency tells people what they want to hear. If the audience rewarded honesty, we would get more of it. Unfortunately, people do not want to hear unpleasant truths, so they are avoided. To attract advertisers, the agency must avoid material which upsets their clients or dissuades the public from being in a 'buying' mood. The news agencies do not even have to be conscious of these principals, as the 'magic of the market' will reward those who follow them, planned or not.

When did the War on Drugs end?

When will there be an investigation of 911?


Mexican Officials Fear the Case, if Exposed, Could Jeopardize US Funding for “Plan Mexico”

By Bill Conroy
Special to The Narco News Bulletin

December 19, 2007

The Gulfstream II jet that crash landed in the Mexican Yucatan in late September carrying close to four tons of cocaine was part of an operation being carried out by a Department of Homeland Security agency, DEA sources have revealed to Narco News.

The operation, codenamed “Mayan Express,” is an ongoing effort spearheaded by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the sources claim. The information surfaced during a high-level meeting at DEA headquarters in mid-December, DEA sources familiar with the meeting assert.

Tell me you've seen this story in the MSM.

Or this:

“The network appeared to be obtaining information from every nuclear agency in the United States,” she said.

They were helped, she says, by the high-ranking State Department official who provided some of their moles – mainly PhD students – with security clearance to work in sensitive nuclear research facilities. These included the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory in New Mexico, which is responsible for the security of the US nuclear deterrent.

In one conversation Edmonds heard the official arranging to pick up a $15,000 cash bribe. The package was to be dropped off at an agreed location by someone in the Turkish diplomatic community who was working for the network.

The Turks, she says, often acted as a conduit for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s spy agency, because they were less likely to attract suspicion. Venues such as the American Turkish Council in Washington were used to drop off the cash, which was picked up by the official.

Edmonds said: “I heard at least three transactions like this over a period of 2½ years. There are almost certainly more.”

The Pakistani operation was led by General Mahmoud Ahmad, then the ISI chief."

How come there are no American Drug Kingpins?

Ron, the media is mostly owned by a few large corporations who pay their bills by selling time and space on their 'product' to other corporations. Follow the money.

Peace Be With You, Kurt Vonnegut

by Harvey Wasserman

Last year, apparently on the spur of the moment, he agreed to speak again at Ohio State. It would be his last campus lecture.

When word spread, a line four thousand students long instantly formed at a university otherwise known only for its addiction to football.

Anyone expecting a safe, whimsical opener from this grand old man of sixties rebellion was in for a shock. “Can I speak frankly?” he asked Professor Manuel Luis Martinez, the poet and writing teacher who would “interview” him. “The only difference between George W. Bush and Adolph Hitler is that Hitler was actually elected.”

Forgot the link. Sorry.


"“To hell with the advances in computers,” he said after he finished singing. “YOU are supposed to advance and become, not the computers. Find out what’s inside you. And don’t kill anybody.

“There are no factories any more. Where are the jobs supposed to come from? There’s nothing for people to do anymore. We need to ask the Seminoles: ‘what the hell did you do?” after the tribe’s traditional livelihood was taken away."

There are tens of thousands of reporters producing a constant stream of information -- they aren't the problem. The Internet helps a lot in allowing average people to sample that raw stream.

On the other hand, there is a relative handful of editors who march to the tune of the corporate owners of the major media -- and it is they who determine what gets published, and therefore, what most people see.

The New York Times famously publishes "all the news that's fit to print." They don't go on to tell you who decides the "fitness" of any given bit of information.

When they feel that the masses need a little information about Peak Oil, they will (and do) let it out. Reuters might be better than Fox -- McClatchy certainly is-- in terms of relative unfiltered sampling of "news." On the whole, I would agree there is not a "conspiracy" of editors -- just that the importance of the news has to be weighed against its ability to promote or detract from the success of the market economy if it is going to be published in a major media outlet.

New York Times...Reminds me of this bit of movie dialog that was filmed in front of the NYT in 1975...Seems this discussion describes the mind set of the majority of Americans...

Higgins: The plan was alright, the plan would have worked.

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

Higgins: No, its simple economics. Today its oil, right? In ten or twenty years--food, plutonium, and maybe even sooner. What do you think the people are going to want us to do then?

Turner: Ask them.

Higgins: Now, now. then. Ask them when they're running out. Ask them when there's no heat and they're cold. Ask them when their engines stop. Ask them when people that have never known hunger start going hungry. Want to know something? They won't want us to ask them. They'll want us to get it for them.

'Three Days Of The Condor'

This is probably why that movie is impossible to get now. I've heard of the movie for 20 years and never been able to see it.

It's available on Netflix -- at least, they say it is.

Fleam, 'Three Days Of The Condor' is anything but hard to get...two minutes ago I pulled this search result up on Half.com. I have also seen the movie for sale at garage sales and flea mkts.


Three Days of the Condor: Cliff Robertson, Faye Dunaway, Max Von Sydow, Robert Redford
DVD, 1999 - Buy it for $5.18 (Save 74%)
VHS, 1991 - Buy it for $1.99 (Save 86%)
VHS - Buy it for $1.99 (Save 86%)
Laserdisc - Buy it for $11.50 (Save 67%)


Mr. Patterson,

The MSM is not a mirror to society. It creates society. Having been a member of the MSM for many years, I can categorically say that the MSM is a reflection of what the elite, the rich, and the corporation would like society to look like.

The MSM does not report. It merely passes on the corporate message of the day which is framed in a froth of utter BS: all celebrity news, all sports news, all human interest stories and most, if not all, financial news.

The "bad" news it will report is only the immediate, the neutral, the "natural." It reports hurricanes, but not the utterly evil, governmental response, or should I say near lack of response. It reports the numbers on Wall Street, but does not report on the extensive manipulation of stock prices through collusion and naked shorts. It reports high gas prices, but it does not report on the Peak Oil caucus in the House of Representatives.

The MSM will start reporting Peak Oil once its corporate task masters determine the script, the precise response and the desired outcome. Once the message has been crafted, it will flow out to every outlet and enter the Right-Wing echo chamber where the brain-washing will begin. The main-problem they are having is they have bought into the whole techno-worshipper tinkerbell syndrome and they haplessly believe their own propaganda. So, they wait for the next big thing, the techno-saviour to come along and provide them with a script. You already see this to some extent every time you see a story on the oil sands, or the latest deep well in the gulf. You see it whenever some schmo figures out how to microwave/recycle stuff out of trash. Yes, let's recycle our way out of the problem. We have infinite waste! -- yet another example of piss-poor cognitive skills.

The MSM does not simply report the news good or bad. It takes a stand. When the script is written, there is a slant. You hear every editor out there ask ten times a day, "What's the slant?" And the slant is always crafted to guide the reader to certain conclusions about the parties involved. While physical facts cannot be denied, they can be coated with a sweet layer of BS. For instance, global climate change is dreadful news. But, all one has to do is say things like, "Some scientists believe...." Or, when confronted with a range of choices, pick the least objectionable end of the range and flog it. "According to the USGS, oil supplies are unlikely to peak until 2030."

And the main way that the MSM toes the ideological line is through the use of "experts." Most of the so-called experts used by the MSM are provided free of charge by various corporate funded "think" tanks. (I use the word "think" loosely here.) These fake experts spend their time at think tanks concocting ways to spin various news items and popular concerns so that all of the outrage one should feel about an issue is blanched right out. Their duty to the corporation is to discredit bad news and its sources.

The putative left-leaning "expert" will actually be somewhere just right of center. They will espouse weak arguments that the far-right think tank "expert" will be able to knock down with ease. If you parse these "debates" between so-called opponents (they are all really on the same team, TEAM CORPORATE®), you will see that they tend to avoid any substance whatsoever. One will make a broad generalization. The other will do likewise. If they get into actual verbal fisticuffs, it will be over some minor technical detail. If a program has an actual expert making actual alarming claims backed up by tangible evidence, the moderator will remark on how "extreme" this view is. Other guests will simply ignore what was said, not bothering to argue the points, but will instead merely repeat the corporate talking points for the day. If the expert espousing the news that disses the corporation lets his or her voice rise, the moderator and the corporate shills will jump on that person as being too passionate, irrational, etc. This is another powerful device they use: turning topics that should outrage everyone into dispassionate, useless, boring, and well-bounded discussions.

The MSM is the propaganda arm of the elites. They are very, very, good at what they do. Most people actually believe that the MSM is liberal. If there were ever an indication of just how good the MSM is at its propaganda, then that statement should clinch it.

To combat this insidious reality, do what you can on the Internet, talk to your friends, to your co-workers, to anyone who will listen, form groups, and, if you must watch the MSM, remember, it is propaganda. Put on your thinking cap. Ask, how does this benefit the corporate taskmasters?

Thanks for this comment. Appreciate your insight. I also do believe that the subject of Peak Oil is coming more to the front of things in news articles. However, things being as you say they are, I will not wait on the edge of my seat for the MSM to say anything meaningful about it.

An interesting comment:

On BBC News 24, (01:40 GMT), there is currently a discussion of a panel of the senior reporters on what they think the top stories for 2008 will be.

One of them stated "Peak Oil". As bald as that (and also mentioned that many will imbue it with 'capital P and capital O'.

Now, while he still trotted out the "probably not likely until around 2020" line, he did at least indicate that 2008 would be the year that it became part of the vernacular.

The MSM doesn't get more mainstream than the BBC.


(Not sure if link will work worldwide)


Interesting. Will it be archived?

A fairly long search on the BBC website has turned up nothing (I suppose I should have paid more attention to the programme title, but is was 1am at the time :-)

It is, apparently, an annual prediction event - this was the first time it was televised. It's the kind of thing that deserves to be archived.


John Gowan of the New Mexico organization Libertad stated

Newpapers don't report the news, they shape the news.

J Orlin Grabbe wrote

Hussein's artful slaughter of Iranians was aided by good military intelligence. The role of NSA in the conflict is an open secret in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Only in this country has there been a relative news blackout, despite the fact that it was the U.S. administration that let the crypto cat out of the bag.

Pulitzer prize winning journalist Tamar Stieber was fired by the Albuquerque Journal shortly after she wrote

Fired Worker Files Lawsuit Against Sandia

To combat this insidious reality, do what you can on the Internet ...

Is this good enough?

How the Iraq/Iran War Got Started

Especially with theme music while reading.

Thank you Cherenkov

If you parse these "debates" between so-called opponents (they are all really on the same team, TEAM CORPORATE®), you will see that they tend to avoid any substance whatsoever.

Crossfire: Right and Left do Intellectual Battle

Basketball: The Harlem Globetrotters vs The Washington Generals

Same Game. Same known outcome in advance.

The "Think" tank that they loved to use going into Iraq war was none other than The American Enterprise Institute.

Richard Perle, et al

Good unbaised opinions and motivation no doubt.

To combat this insidious reality, do what you can on the Internet, talk to your friends, to your co-workers, to anyone who will listen, form groups, and, if you must watch the MSM, remember, it is propaganda. Put on your thinking cap. Ask, how does this benefit the corporate taskmasters?

I would highly recommend everyone read this one at least once.

25 Rules of Disinformation: How to Fight Back
8 Traits of The Disinformationalist: What to Look For



More Media Disinformation? FCC Proposes Greater Media Consolidation


Millions are now seeing first hand, and in many cases for the first time, how much MSM's message is controlled. The formally right/conservatives supporting Ron Paul are waking up very quickly to it. They are watching someone who has raised nearly 15 million and no coverage. The Veil is being torn away.

Cherenkov...What you said...excellent post!

Bravo. Excellent post. That anyone would argue to the contrary is telling. Perplexing, but telling.


I have heard Jerome A Paris on Daily Kos refer to "think tanks" as "doublethink tanks". I think the latter term is more descriptive.

“The nature of our media industries results not from some natural “free” market but from explicit government policies and subsidies. As the media firms have grown larger, their power over government policymakers has turned into a vice-grip. They alone control the means of communication, meaning they can shape the manner in which debates over media policy are disseminated and understood.”

Ron, I usually agree with your anti-conspiracy theory posts. Most people attribute too much to conspiracy. However, what I think the posters above—IMHO—are really trying to express is their outrage if the lack of coverage for a problem that will irrevocably change our world. Call it journalistic integrity—or lack there of— people want more from their MSM.

It would be interesting to compare the horrors of Vietnam and the MSM coverage during the war. If we have any posters here that witnessed the MSM coverage was the bad news contained? I would guess the picture was not as rosy as the one being portrayed right now, Iraq fine, housing fine, banks fine, energy fine...go ahead and continue to spend.

"It would be interesting to compare the horrors of Vietnam and the MSM coverage during the war."

And that's exactly how you do it.

Take a period of time, and or event that you know went badly
for the US (or any other target).

I always refer to Dunkirk.

We know that it was an unmitigated disaster for Britain.

But look at Newsweek and how they covered it.

The Allies kept winning the battles, but every week they were 25 miles closer to the coast.

Same with the collapse of ARVN in 1975.

You'll never hear about our defeat at the Chosin Reservoir.

Or that the Japanese lost the Battle of Leyte Gulf (and the Phillipines)
because they ran out of oil.

Same with the Germans at Stalingrad.

Or the fact that the Nazis were going to shut down the Ford plant
in Stuttgart(?) but realized after study that they couldn't build
trucks any faster than Ford was.

To the present:

When was the War on Drugs over?

How come the US is the largest user of cocaine in the world
but there is no such thing as an American Drug King Pin?

McG: Re the War on Drugs, I think they won when the first quack prescribed Prozac for a kindergarten kid. They are lobbying hard (pun intended) to get Viagra and the like over the counter-once that is accomplished I would award them another battle won. I would say the creation and distribution of dangerous drugs that claim to increase ones mental ability (IQ) would be another important milestone. If high school football is any indication, Mommy and Daddy will be injecting the little brats personally with that one.

Google Hoover was a lunatic, to get a nice read on the situation.

And then here:

" Harman’s bill is called the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act.” [ http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-1955 ] When HR 1955 becomes law, it will create a commission tasked with identifying extremist people, groups, and ideas. The commission will hold hearings around the country, taking testimony and compiling a list of dangerous people and beliefs. The bill will, in short, create massive terrorism in the United States. But the perpetrators of terrorism will not be Muslim terrorists; they will be government agents and fellow citizens.

We are beginning to see who will be the inmates of the detention centers being built in the US by Halliburton under government contract.

Who will be on the “extremist beliefs” list? The answer is: civil libertarians, critics of Israel, 9/11 skeptics, critics of the administration’s wars and foreign policies, critics of the administration’s use of kidnapping, rendition, torture and violation of the Geneva Conventions, and critics of the administration’s spying on Americans. Anyone in the way of a powerful interest group--such as environmentalists opposing politically connected developers--is also a candidate for the list.

The “Extremist Beliefs Commission” is the mechanism for identifying Americans who pose “a threat to domestic security” and a threat of “homegrown terrorism” that “cannot be easily prevented through traditional federal intelligence or law enforcement efforts.”


Basically, all of us.

In Newsweek, no less.

The Constitution in Peril

"All these measures would seem to violate the Bill of Rights (and in some cases the Geneva Conventions). The pervasive secrecy threatened the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech. The wiretaps flew in the face of Fourth Amendment guarantees that no warrants for searches (or, by extension, surveillance) would be issued without probable cause and specific details. The detentions, especially of American citizens designated "enemy combatants," defied the Sixth Amendment rights to a speedy trial, to be confronted with witnesses and to have legal counsel. And the interrogation techniques certainly were cruel and unusual punishments of a kind you'd think is prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. Indeed, these issues continue to be fought ferociously in the courts and debated in Congress. But the president's positions have been hard to roll back."


If we fail to resist the totalatarian, facist, bastards then we have failed to comprehend anything of past movements of this stripe and what happened to the populations that lay down like whores for them.

The way of resistance is what we do every day. Keep posting, do not be afraid, continue to discuss with your friends current events and expose the MSM for what they are. When we do become afraid remember to think 'is a world like the one the bastards are trying to create worth living in?'...your answer will define your future.

I think to myself 'I have had a good life and today is a good day to die.' Of course, I am not in a hurry to die but I will not lay down for the bastards. I believe that is the attitude that the people that fought the Brits for a new nation had, and I believe that is the attitude that will save us, collectively, if we are to be saved at all. No government and no army can stand up to the will of 300,000,000 citizens...and TBastardsTB are well aware of it.

I've always thought "A Bug's Life" protrayed your thought quite simply. TPTB are the few, powerful grasshoppers and we are the numerous, hard-working ants. It's not until the ants realize they have more power in numbers that they stopped working for the grasshoppers.

Stir up a fire ant hill a little, then drop a palmetto bug on it and you will observe the future.

In "A Bug's life, reality edition", the ants watch a movie, "A Human's Life", about human workerbees who rise up against their wasp oppressors and come together for joy, love and unity.

After the movie's over the Grasshoppers start ordering the ants to get the fuck back to work.

And they do, because the Grasshoppers have Raid and robot hummingbirds.

The End.

Because, it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of [the] noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.

James Madison 1785

Of course, this would be considered an extremist idea.

Didn't Benjamin Franklin say something along the lines of:
"A people that give up freedom for promises of future security will have neither."

I threw a firebrand myself this morning on DailyKos. Of course, I've got a forty six page pamphlet around here that I sometimes read when I get annoyed with the Bush administration.


How is this different from the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities
(HUAC)from the Truman and Eisenhower era?

Then they called them 'subversives' now they are calling them extremists. Otherwise it is exactly the same, except for one very important difference. The bill specifically mentions the internet and is intended to squash dissent and contrarian views here. In other words, it is directed specifically at us.

"Brown Shirt Tactics" employed against critics of Bush Administration

Citizens who have done no more than criticize the president are being banned from airline flights, harassed at airports, strip searched, roughed up and even imprisoned, feminist author and political activist Naomi Wolf reports in her new book, "The End of America."(Chelsea Green Publishing)
During one preboarding search, a TSA agent told her "You're on the list" and Wolf learned it is not a list of suspected terrorists but of journalists, academics, activists, and politicians "who have criticized the White House."
Apparently, favorite targets of the Bush tyranny are peace activists like Jan Adams and Rebecca Gordon, detained at the San Francisco airport; a political leader such as Nancy Oden, of the Green Party, prevented from flying from Maine to Chicago; King Downing and David Fathi, both of the American Civil Liberties Union and both detained (proves ACLU's case about Bush, eh what?); and Constitutional scholar Walter F. Murphy, of Princeton University, who had attacked the illegalities of the Bush regime. He was put on notice his luggage would be ransacked.
"When you are physically detained by armed agents because of something you said or wrote, it has an impact," Wolf writes. "you get it right away that the state is tracking your journeys, can redirect you physically, and can have armed men and women, who may or may not answer your questions, search and release you."


Martin Niemoeller, a priest and Member of the Council of the German Protestant Church, who spent himself 8 years in Nazi concentration camps, said this on the Nazi era: "When the Nazis started arresting the communists, I remained silent, for I was no communist. When they arrested the social democrats, I did not speak out, for I was no social democrat. When they imprisoned the trade unionists, I kept my mouth shut, for I was no trade unionist. When they took the Jews, I said nothing, for I was not Jewish. When they came to take me, there was no one left to speak out."

"When the concentration camps were opened it was the year 1933, and the people who were put in the camps then were Communists. Who cared about them? We knew it, it was printed in the newspapers. Who raised their voice, maybe the Confessing Church? We thought: Communists, those opponents of religion, those enemies of Christians - "should I be my brother's keeper?" Then they got rid of the sick, the so-called incurables. - I remember a conversation I had with a person who claimed to be a Christian. He said: Perhaps it's right, these incurably sick people just cost the state money, they are just a burden to themselves and to others. Isn't it best for all concerned if they are taken out of the middle [of society]? -- Only then did the church as such take note. Then we started talking, until our voices were again silenced in public. Can we say, we aren't guilty/responsible? The persecution of the Jews, the way we treated the occupied countries, or the things in Greece, in Poland, in Czechoslovakia or in Holland, that were written in the newspapers. … I believe, we Confessing-Church-Christians have every reason to say: mea culpa, mea culpa! We can talk ourselves out of it with the excuse that it would have cost me my head if I had spoken out.
We preferred to keep silent. We are certainly not without guilt/fault, and I ask myself again and again, what would have happened, if in the year 1933 or 1934 - there must have been a possibility - 14,000 Protestant pastors and all Protestant communities in Germany had defended the truth until their deaths? If we had said back then, it is not right when Hermann Göring simply puts 100,000 Communists in the concentration camps, in order to let them die. I can imagine that perhaps 30,000 to 40,000 Protestant Christians would have had their heads cut off, but I can also imagine that we would have rescued 30-40 million people."

Another truth respecting the vigilance with which a free people should guard their liberty, that deserves to be carefully observed, is this--that a real tyranny may prevail in a state, while the forms of a free constitution remain.

John Dickinson (Emphasis per original.)("Notes" in Political Writings)


It simply and completely amazes me that our Democratic Congress doesn't drop the hammer on this sort of stuff. If I were a Senator I'd get one of these activists that gets harassed, give 'em a plane ticket, and have some staff follow them through to see what happens. I hear tell of anything improper and I'd be all over them nonstop, filibustering every bill that was brought to the floor until that particular swamp was well and truly drained.

The Bush administration has crapped on just about every single thing that was right and good in our government. I'm not sure we can wait until 1/20/2009 for this to end and Congress has more than enough evidence to make it so - why do they not act?

This bill was sponsored by a Democrat. They are creating a new House Un-American Activities Committee. We saw how that went last time.


I noticed that this bill is targeted directly at us. It is intended to squash dissent and contrarian views on the internet. The internet is specifically mentioned. I'm sure most of our 'beliefs' and 'ideas' here would not be 'approved'.

It simply and completely amazes me that our Democratic Congress doesn't drop the hammer on this sort of stuff. If I were a Senator I'd get one of these activists that gets harassed, give 'em a plane ticket, and have some staff follow them through to see what happens.

It simply and completely amazes me that... people haven't figured out that it is we, the people, who must put the hammer down. It is past time to wait for our "leaders" for there are virtually none. And most of them are as much a patriot as the keyboard I am typing on.

The "leaders" aren't leading. Any but Kucinich and Paul are jokes on the presidential stage.

A national strike, for starters, then the removal from office of anyone who supports the PA, the MCA and who doesn't support immediate and massvie action in preparation for Peak Oil and Global Warming.


Yup, I get it, tossed that firebrand myself this morning ...


And look at that list of "More in the News":

Girding for bear market
Stocks plunge on U.S. job data
Single-owner car dealerships driven out of market
Pickup truck collapse scares automakers
Ford stock falls to lowest level since 1986
Liquidation World takes loss in '07
TransCanada pipeline plan gets backing
Talbots for kids, men closing stores
Warner backs Blu-ray format, drops HD DVD
Wendy's sales fall flat

Even "Liquidation World" is suffering. Every one of those stories, except the DVD format war, is related to oil prices. At least the folks in Toronto will be well-informed.

Things are getting pretty bad when 'Liquidation World' gets hammered!...But, prosperity is just around the corner...All those SUVs that are fast becoming albatrosses around the necks of their owners might be heading overseas soon...Is this Wall Streets idea of an export boom? :)

...snip...'On Wednesday we learned that the December ISM Manufacturing Index plunged to 47.7, its lowest level in nearly five years. The news sent the dollar swooning, gold and oil soaring, and pushed the Dow Jones to its largest point drop ever on the first trading day of a new year (in percentage terms the second largest drop since 1932). The report amounted to a stunning repudiation of the hope that the U.S. will export its way out of a coming recession. If manufacturing is at a five year low, how can exports be booming? After all, we can not export what we do not make -- unless of course we simply export used goods, which eventually we will be forced to do. However, SELLING USED CARS TO THE CHINESE WILL NOT CREATE MANY NEW JOBS HERE; as all that need be done is load the vehicles on ships and wave goodbye. This is hardly the export boom Wall Street has championed as our economic savior, offsetting the negatives of housing, financials and the consumer'...snip...(caps mine)


The ISM Manufacturing index does not measure the level of manufacturing. It is a measure of changing conditions. Manufacturing levels are probably more than 25% ahead of 5 years ago. Its like saying more people died in the US last month than any month in the history of the US. Well, that does not mean that now the population is the lowest in history.

In 1932 burger flippers were not counted as 'manufacturers'...now they are. There are probably more burger flippers now than there were in 1932, at least 25% more. Its like saying more people became burger flippers since 1932 than any time in history. Well, that does not mean that there will never be more burger flippers than there are now.

The ISM manufacturing index is a pile of bs and you know it and I know it.

Try not to be a kook!! Everyone with a measurable IQ knows that burger flippers are not in the manufacturing index. If my IQ is not measurable, please give me a credible citation that says burger flippers are part of the manufacturing index. The US is manufacturing more cars than at any time in its history - just not by GM & Ford, etc.

Bush's minions sent out a trial balloon a couple of years ago about trying to count making burgers as being manufacturing. As far as I know, it failed.

Jbunt: Go to yahoofinance and check out the latest balance sheet numbers for GM and Ford. Both companies are the living dead- GM so far is only in the hole (liabilities exceeding "assets") by 47 billion dollars-both companies are being kept alive/financed by your pension or bond fund-neither company would be in business without modern "financial engineering" i.e. getting money from suckers who have others managing their collective financial assets-this scam won't last forever IMO.


That is what I said. NOT GM & Ford! But, Toyota, Nissan, Acura, BMW, Honda, Mazda, etc., that now have plants IN the US.

jbunt, I dont know or care if you are a 'kook' or not but I do suggest that you refrain from calling other posters 'kooks.' It makes one sound childish. I have journeyed to the BLS site and found, under Production (manufacturing), the following group 51-390 Miscellaneous Food Processing Workers. Sub-Group 51-393 is Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders. Their occupation is to 'Operate or tend cooking equipment, such as steam cooking vats, deep fry cookers, pressure cookers, kettles, and boilers, to prepare food products. Exclude "Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking, and Drying Machine Operators and Tenders" (51-3091).

Can you prove that Group 51-393 does not include burger flippers? Can you prove that 51-9199, listed below, does not include burger flippers?


Here is another bit of interesting info...Laundry and Dry Cleaning workers are included in Production/Manufacturing...51-610 and 51-611...and 51-641 shoe repairmen are included as manufacturers. Under 51-9198 is to be found this manufacturing worker: 'Helpers' job description: Help production workers by performing duties of lesser skill. Duties include supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment...janitors, in other words...and under 51-9199 there is this (non) classification: Production Workers, all other: All production workers not listed separately.

Perhaps the burger flippers could be found under 'Production Workers, all other? Why dont you do a bit of research and tell us exactly what is included in 'Production Workers, all other.'

My god, you don't know the difference between manufacturing and assembling, do you?

wkwillis, why dont you go to the BLS site conviently listed for you in this post and find 'manufacturing'...I could not find such a listing and I did a diligent search. The BLS no longer lists manufacturing, instead, they have renamed it production. All the jobs that I listed in my post above are in the 'production' category. I am trying to draw you a picture but you dont seem to be getting it.

It is not I that do not know the difference between manufacturing and assembling. The fact is that the BLS does not differentiate between the two. I have listed exactly what the BLS has at their web site.

Perhaps you should visit the BLS website first, find BLS info that proves me wrong, and then tell me that I do not know what I am talking about? I defy you to find the word 'Manufacturing' at the BLS site!

This link is to the BLS homepage:


This link is to 'Standard Occupational Major Groups'


This link is to 'Search The 2000 Standard Occupational Classification System'


I think that wkwillis' comment was directed to jblunt's comment above, if I understand how the thread posting hierarchy works. wkw's comment was about this, I think:

The US is manufacturing more cars than at any time in its history - just not by GM & Ford, etc.

not directed at you, even though it got posted right below your comment.

Sorry. Some things are changing on the web site and my nesting comments get a little weird.
For the record, I am very clear on the difference between assembling, operating the machines that are making, making the machines that do the making, designing the machines that do the making, and inventing the processes that the machines do to do the making. I know the difference between product design and process design and product invention and science, too.
Is there a difference between making burgers and making cars? There is a big difference between making the machines that make burgers and making the machines that make cars.
We can set up factories to make kitchen equipment a lot faster than we can set up factories to make refinery equipment. It's not going to be an easy conversion. Wasn't last time in 1942, anyway.

We shut down 25% of the factories in the last five years. We didn't replace them with new factories. Well, actually we did.
In China.


See my post above for links to BLS web sites.

The change from manufacturing classifications to production classifications probably allowed the BLS to transfer a lot more jobs to 'production' from other catagories. For instance, now a janitor in a 'production' plant is classified as a 'production' worker, not a maintenance worker...therefore, there are more 'production' jobs now than under the previous system that included 'manufacturing'...Simply one more way the politicians are manipulating the 'jobs numbers' to make the economic situation in the US appear better than it is.

Retracted, Some one already posted the same thing

How about Chinese in Oklahoma?


Why would the Chinese buy second hand cars from America?

They got new factories turning out German and Japenese cars. All higher spec, all more reliable, all better CAFE spec.

And, they got the money.

why broken down old jerry-built, gas guzzeling cars?



They want to buy your women

How much for de liddle one?

You have a point, the one child policy resulted in termination of many female pregnancies, because the family wanted a boy for the one child. Hence there is an numerically large number of males in the generation http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/50148.php.

"The market is not suffering from any luck in supplies,"

Does the Universe talk to us through typos?


So you noticed that, too, eh?

One of the most important observations of the day comes to us in the form of a typo.

Also from up top-- OPEC President Sees Oil Prices Rising In Q1
'...He linked the steady rise of oil prices to " political tension in Pakistan , ESCALADING violence in Nigeria...."
I've always felt there was violence implicit in Escalades.

The market is not suffering from any luck in supplies

If that's not a Freudian slip I wonder what else is one.

RE: Gazprom Plans Africa Gas Grab...

Is there a soul out there that still questions the objectives of the SCO? If we were keeping score in the game between the IOCs and the NOCs, what would the current score be? The communists (yes, they still exist), and Eastern powers of various political and religious persuasion have long awaited the demise of democratic (?) capitalisim and now they see weakness in the Western capitalist economies...and will cautiously circle the wounded, waiting for the right moment to grab the jugular. Meanwhile the East is buying parts of the Western economies picemeal. The SCO, anchored by China, is displaying the patience of the very old and experienced society that it is. The rest of the SCO members are taking their Qs from China. Our 'leaders' continue to arrange the deck chairs while the ship settles lower in the water...Hey, they dont see a leak...Its below the waterline!

In this mornings Daytona Beach News-Journal there is this (WSJ article) 'Dollar may buck falling trend.' The lead paragraph: 'The dollar has started the new year in much the same way it spent the final months of 2007: beaten down by fears about a potential recession.' Is there anyone in the world that believes that bs? That a potential recession is causing a weakening dollar?

Then there is this for real gem from Peter Schiff:

January 4, 2008

'Eyes Wide Shut
As our economic ship continues to spring leaks, the goldilocks crowd still clings to the false belief that the Fed can easily keep us afloat with a few more rate cuts. This comfort has sustained many upbeat forecasts despite overwhelming evidence of an unfolding economic and monetary catastrophe of historic proportions.'

'On Monday we learned that Merrill Lynch, having just sold a $4.5 billion stake to the Singapore government, is again passing around the hat, this time wooing the Chinese and Saudi governments for badly needed funds. This of course follows similar moves by U.S. investment houses Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Bear Stearns. These developments should be disconcerting on many levels, yet most seem unperturbed.

In the first place, the fact that troubled firms need to look abroad for cash provides startling evidence of the extent of the deterioration of America’s economic might. The reason we need to seek capital from abroad is that we squander our own on consumption'...snip...

The west can't stand real competition and engages in tantrums. How quickly all the yapping about capitalism goes out the window when the shoe is on the other foot. It is more than a bit rich to call Gazprom's ventures in Africa "grabs". It is the freaking west that has raped that continent for centuries. Gazprom is engaged in *fair* business with Africans.

Yes, and Cheney was immediately on the soap box, crying that 'Russia is using FF as a weapon', when Russia used gas prices to prevent the Ukraine from straying too far from its influence. Darth Vader calling the kettle black! Of course Russia is using oil as a leverage-political-economic-weapon. The US did the same when it was the worlds largest oil exporter. All is fair in love and war.

The control of Ukraine argument is extremely unconvincing. Firstly, looking like you are trying to control people's choices creates a backlash that achieves the complete opposite of what you intend. Secondly, Timoshenko's agenda is pro-NATO membership, whereas there is less than 40% support for membership in the country, so provoking Russia with a brazen thieving of Russian gas exports to the EU and non-payment has a lot of benefits. It is quite strange, if the victimhood argument had any merit, why Ukraine is not putting up a fight as the price it pays for gas is raised to $180 per tcm when there was such a big stink when it went from $65 to $95. Clearly there are plenty of political machinations from the pro-west Ukrainian camp.

dissident, I did not present a 'victimhood argument' in my post. Russia obviously wants to keep Ukraine in its sphere of influence. Ukraine is a buffer as Poland was a buffer between Russia and Germany prior to WW2.
If Russia uses FF as leverage to keep former CCCP countries from basing US and NATO military installations in their countries, so what? The cold warriors in DC have never given up their goal of surrounding and isolating Russia. Russia certainly knows this and should do whatever is expedient to prevent her isolation.

I agree, but I think that Russia does not control Ukraine's destiny. They don't have the skill to install loyalist shills like the west (perhaps because everyone worships the quasi-mythical western wealth and Russia is a 2nd world country) and the events since 2004 have given anti-Russian factions in Ukraine a strong boost.

I think you are bit misleading (have been mislead?) here. Russia was selling gas at highly subsidized levels. EU repeatedly complained to Russia about it (as it made EU products more expensive compared to Ukrainian). In that case Russia has done exactly what "west" has asked it to do. Even after the increases, prices have still stayed (and still are) highly subsidized. Timing of the increase is logical as well (oil prices that are used to price natural gas have gone up). I hope you were sarcastic when you called selling gas at subsidized prices: "using FF as a weapon". Cheney on the other hand is a clown so it's natural for him to say things like that.

The West (at least the US & Britain) is neither democratic nor capitalist. Terms like quasi-fascist, crony capitalist, and imperialist are more accurately descriptive. And considering how the West has treated China and Russia over the past 2 centuries (and continuing to today), I can't blame them for trying to get back some of what we've pillaged from them over the years. They're even trying to get it peacefully, which is more than can be said for the US.

What exactly has the West "done" to Russia in the last 100 years?

Napoleon & Hitler. The tsars were of western pedigree. The cold war. What hasn't the west done to Russia?


I've been reading Nyquist for insight on this point:


look through the archive of his writings for Chinese military and economic planning from earlier in 2007.

Solar trains?? has anyone brought up this topic with most rail cars in the sun 98% of the time nanosolr thin film.Bring the coal car back as battery and capacitor storage.Maybe even each box car with a small axle motor that would assist engine or used in rail yrds for movement without locomotive.Miles and miles of open railbed right aways 100-200 ft Railroads the next energy utility.

The NYT report on NanoSolar is pretty much a kissing cousin to Judith Miller's reporting on Iraqi WMD's.

There is not enough energy incident from the sun even at 100% efficiency to run a freight train and the garbage that Nanosolar is unsuccessfully trying to make is under 7%.

Speaking of "nano," I just couldn't resist posting this. I went to a Ron Paul meeting last night. Most of the people there were pretty good, down-to-earth types, and I respect them.

But I got into an interesting conversation with one of the nutcases who attended. He wants Ron Paul to do something about the self-replicating nano-robots which the government is dropping on us from airplanes (he says they are the main components of the jet contrails). The nano-robots get inhaled, and then get into our brains and control our thoughts.

Of course, I think he's wrong. Everyone knows the nano-robots are in the flu shots.

And remember, your nutcase can VOTE.

IMO, we are electing the captain of the Titanic here in the US this year, but it's hard not to like Barack Obama. He gave a great speech in Iowa. New Drudge headline:

FLASH: RASMUSSEN New Hampshire Poll: Obama 37% Clinton 27%... MORE...

He offers me a ray of hope for the future of this nation. If we get a Hurricane in the Gulf this summer, maybe he takes office and people will be ready to be swing consumers.

The ability to inspire and lead during a crisis is often more important than actual experience. Washington was not that great of a general; it was his ability to inspire men during harsh times that held him in high regard to his peers. Harsh times are a’ comin, and the ability to convince people in accepting new policies will be paramount. This was one of Carter’s greatest shortcomings. Just as important is pragmatism and the ability to listen and weigh advice. Being from Illinois and having more exposure to the man he appears to be a first rate intellect. He was easily talented enough (Editor of Harvard Law Review) to become a top attorney or judge, but chose another course.

Obama's problem - all the hope he generates.
Sometime March, April, May 2009 there will be
an expectation that he DELIVER.
He's asking for the job....

And if he can't deliver we can't do shit about it.

I lived thru looong looong years of Clinton. It was hell.

Now its Bush and its just about as bad.

We have no real choices. Its all a game. It all about bullshit.

We have no real choices. Its all a game. It all about bullshit.

Sad but true.

Perhaps people in the US should vote for third party alternatives. Clearly it would not be a "wasted vote" if the current two-party regime is stifling democracy.

I voted for Nader in 2000 -- it was a mistake and it was a wasted vote. Then again maybe everything works out exactly as it was meant to.

As long as most people buy into the "wasted vote" nonsense then it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. In Canada the "wasted vote" mantra is not as intense and there is a national third party (NDP) and a growing fourth party (Green). I also find it quite peculiar how elections with a 40% turnout (which in my opinion indicates major levels of disaffection with the system) are considered legitimate. The US media foams at the mouth when the turnout in Russia is above 50% but less than 60%.

IMO GWB should have spent more time studying George Washington. I think G.W. (the real guy) did not believe in fighting battles. Fire fight here firefight there. It was much easier to have the redcoats chase him until the Crowns treasury was depleted to the point they would give up and go home. Sound like Iraq?

The Crown was really pizzed when he went back to Mt Vernon to raise more cherry trees, and relinquish his Sovereign status.
Well maybe not, they were just stumped by his actions.

Washington was following the example of Cincinnatus, who after being given dictatorial powers to take control of the Roman army in which he proceeded to save Rome, gave up his position and resumed his previous life at his farm.

Anybody knows if Barack Obama has any awareness about peak oil?

Everyone running for election knows what is coming. Why do you think our civil liberties erode? Terror? Nope, its a lid for domestic discontent which is about to become a very serious concern.

He speaks about freeing us from the tyranny of oil but I have never heard the words "Peak oil" uttered. They are all aware of it because of the Peak oil caucus by Bartlett and Udall.

Here's part of the plan from the campaign website

Set America on Path to Oil Independence

Obama's plan will reduce oil consumption by at least 35 percent, or 10 million barrels per day, by 2030. This will more than offset the equivalent of the oil we would import from OPEC nations in 2030.

* Increase Fuel Economy Standards: Obama will double fuel economy standards within 18 years. His plan will provide retooling tax credits and loan guarantees for domestic auto plants and parts manufacturers, so that they can build new fuel-efficient cars rather than overseas companies. Obama will also invest in advanced vehicle technology such as advanced lightweight materials and new engines.

It is truly laughable how the term "nano" is misused. Since all it really means is 10^-9, it is really easy for scam artists to abuse it. You want to work in the nano field? Just grind that shit up really fine and it is now a magical Nano particle and you would be amazed at the people who will invest in that crap. In reality, for the term to have any meaning there has to be some sort of self organizing, structure or chemical of physical properties that only manifest themselves when you are dealing with these very small sizes in order for the term to have any meaning. This isn't really the case for a large fraction of what passes for "nano-tech" these days. It's just just ground the fuck up.

Kind of like the homebuilding materials used over the last 30 yrs in calling sawdust, wood.

not the trains silly, put it beside the tracks! the tracks are then electrified!

And you thought copper theft was a problem!

Now if we can just get the sun to shine at night...

It would take batteries bigger than the trains to power them at night. This is what we need to preserve our scarce liquid petroleum reosurces for!

Uh,how 'bout decreasing or eliminating night travel? What I don't get about a lot of the discussions on this site: general agreement that FF will not meet future demand (real soon like) and the pool is shrinking, the postings of what we should/could/would/won't do about it and then, all the responses about how this or that won't work because we won't be able to continue BAU with said approach... or even combinations of approaches.

I, for one, believe it will not be BAU and many of the approaches WILL do. TEOTWAWKI means just that. I think what people naturally shy away from is the notion that, more and more, they will have to rely on their own abilities and that scares the pants off of them.

I know it does me.

Yes, in principle, you could cut back on carrying capacity by a factor of two or so and use solar energy to at least supplement the trains' drives.
Of course we could also eliminate our need for nitrogen fertilizer by allowing fields to lie fallow with greenmanure crops for half the time.
The root of the problem is that our systems are groaning and cracking under the stress of supporting the current population's needs right now, so that even a few percent shortfall in food, water, or energy is enough to panic the markets, and maybe precipitate a crisis. Where are we going to get that 3dB or more of slack capacity that we'd need to create solar infrastructure, relocate masses to sustainable environments, or otherwise retool for a lower-energy future?

There is a reasonably heavy load on the rails already, and cutting out night hours is not feasible. That would result in traains being down 16 hours in the heart of the winter. The now overused term "logistics" would truly make that a nightmare. I hope against hope that we will be able to make reasonable adjustments and that we will have a reasonably strong recession which cuts demand, but am increasingly concerned that other world economies will continue BAU while we suffer along. This might buy us two years to make changes, given ELM-type constraints. If we do get left behind while a recession is on, that will hurt the chances for any kind of a decent recovery, though, so even that may not work.

And, we could ask everyone to park their boats and RV's, right now, and have some additional time from those actions.

If I recall the White House record for hate mail was the time Carter suggested we stop recreational power boat use ...

True as to the response for Carter. I would hate to be the guy to have to tell the boat dealers my plan, much less the folks he sold the last one to. But they will eventually all be parked anyway. The bigger cruisers that are paid for could be used as floating homes, but the rest need to be recycled.

The unluckiest guy (or gal) would be the individual who just retired on Social Security (only) and spent the rest of his (or her) retirement on a seaside place with a big boat and any kind of a mortgage, driving a diesel SUV with no grocery store within five miles and only natural gas for heat. Back to the salt mine for them.

I'm talking increased efficiency not 100% powered by...hybred? inreverse from auto once all that steel gets rolling it doesn't take much to keep it there????

Attempt to move a mile long, full loaded freight train up a 1-2% grade and you will quickly find how much energy is required to 'keep it rolling once up to speed.' Contrary to some opinions, the earth is not flat.

Looking at the TWIP data, Sept 2007 is the month when price broke from its normal yearly cyclical decline. Inelastic demand/pricing, with no Good Quality Substitutes, seems to be ruling the market.

Inventories are plummeting, I believe because the industry thinks this is a short-term problem and are emptying their oil tanks hoping the price will drop before they have to reload for summer.

Lower inventories take more elasticity out of price. Risk of price shocks and local shortages increase.

Sadad Al-Husseini, former Saudi Aramco Exploration Minster warned this would happen:
“There has been a paradigm shift in the energy world whereby oil producers are no longer inclined to rapidly exhaust their resource for the sake of accelerating the misuse of a precious and finite commodity. This sentiment prevails inside and outside of OPEC countries but has yet to be appreciated among the major energy consuming countries of the world.”

That's a great quotation.

Possibly the single greatest factor, in my view, that will help ease the peak oil crisis is OPEC's penchant for conserving its resources (sometimes not by design).

The peak will be easier to take if it comes earlier and is much flatter shape-wise. ie. a plateau a current levels. And I believe there is plenty of evidence that this is occurring.

Another factor:

Prudhoe Bay/BP and the corroding pipeline.

Per the Pemex article from Leanan:

Pemex pulls tender on 5 yr oil field maintenance.

Why maintain when you won't need it in 5 years.

I think Mexico will realize by mid-2008 that they can sell half as much oil at twice the price. May be only half of American homes will be heated but Mexico has its own problems.

Wondering where to start on reducing home heating fuel usage? This is my short list with the lowest cost and highest payback measures first.

1. Air seal the building envelope, air infiltration may account for as much as half of your heating load.

2. Insulate where there is no insulation such as exposed building foundations and non insulated walls.

3. Add insulation where it is less than adequate, many attics for example have just a token layer of insulation, seal the attic bypasses and increase to an R-70 minimum in cold climates.

4. Replace HVAC equipment if it is old and has a low efficiency, a 70% furnace or 10 SEER AC for example would be candidates for replacement.

Make the building envelope improvements first, then size the new HVAC equipment accordingly when upgrading.

Also look at your site and landscape. Coniferous wind breaks to the west and north if practical and take advantage of your southern (solar) exposure. A nice deciduous tree or two on the summer sun side is good. With trees the safety zone (too close to the house is dangerous)needs to be considered. If you are planning more than ten years out, ground source heat pump for heating and cooling is the way to go instead of NG or oil. If you seal your house make sure you install fresh air make up capability.
Personally I think it is too late for any of these measures but "smoke 'em if you got 'em". TSHTF this year I think. Best hopes for all good ideas being remembered by our kids and grand kids the other side of our "special period".

Good point. In the old days, houses would be sited halfway up a hillside. Sheltered from the wind, and above the cold air that collects in valley bottoms at night. The orientation of the house, type of trees planted, etc., would be designed to help keep the house cool in summer and warm in winter.

Now people put their houses on top the hill - for the view. And they don't want any trees spoiling it.

Another reason for being not on the top of the hill was security through invisibility. Europeans in north America have generally developed in a secure environment (with some local exceptions) policed by some central authority, but the natives here as with most civilisations in Europe and Asia had to depend upon local defence and security. The first best defence was not to be seen by a passing hostile force, so build in an obscure place and don't make smoke. Physical defences were sized to repel your average standard sized hostile force. A Tuscan village, for instance had defences that woudl stop your average "Robin Hood" size band of pillagers but would never stop a real army. The energy benefits tho were especially important to northern tribes and plains living folks with less protection. I am no expert but the cliff dwellers from various places around the world had a nice combination of both. Modern weapons of course make the security issues much more complicated.

Let's advance an energy and architecture conspiracy money-making theory.

Houses, beginning shortly after WWII, were designed for more "openness" and therefore consumed more energy. Energy inefficiency was promoted.

Before this time homes, especially farm houses, were designed for energy efficiency.

Rooms could be shut-off during the heating season.

No air conditioning then - at least in North Dakota.

Energy companies made lots of money because of "openness".

A conspiracy?

But in about 2005-07 energy source problems may have arrived?

Here's a Sunday September 23, 2007 example of this energy-wasting [but money making ... for energy companies] design.

Jubliee homes, Los Lunas, NM.

PNM employee Steve Martin made the comment that if anyone came up with a method to halve electricity consumption, then PNM would be in bad financial trouble.

Peak Oil forum feed suggested pitching a tent in your home during extremely cold weather.

Leanan,my home is situated exactly as you describe...halfway up a hill,mostly as this was thought "scrub"land,but with a spring,and the terracing I've done its now starting to look Good

My latest project is to build/surround the north/west part of the house with boulder walls.{yes,I know it sounds crazy}But I can get 2-300 lb boulders,the size two men can move,for $450/12ydload.Over the years,I have collected a lot of misc.steel sheeting, 16 gauge and structural steel members,I-beams and so forth.I built 1/2 of the place into the hillside to start with,and now want to continue earth berming...except with rock/clay.I build a nice stout wall of steel,then put boulders on the outside

Even halfway up the hill I have a nice veiw of the Clackamas river valley

New HVAC units should have 2 stage heating and cooling.

"3. Add insulation where it is less than adequate, many attics for example have just a token layer of insulation, seal the attic bypasses and increase to an R-70 minimum in cold climates."

Good points, but #3 should happen in hot climates as well.

My Mom lives in Phoenix and in the summer when she is cooling her attic to indoor air temperatures are actually greater than our winter heating temperature differential.

She has ~R-13 in her attic. I told her she should blow in at least R-60... but the guy working on her AC system last summer said all the attics he goes in have only that much and that is all that is needed (sigh).



I only used R-70 and cold climate as a reference, by all means add a healthy dose of attic insulation in the sunbelt as well. One of the problems facing many southern homeownwers is slab on grade construction with the air handler and ductwork in the hot attic outside of the thermal boundary. This problem can be solved by cathedralizing the ceiling or moving the insulation up to the rafter level and bringing the ductwork inside the building envelope. Personally, I have R-105 in my attic and some delightfully low heating bills to show for it.

What type of material did you use for your R-105 insulation and how many inches of it do you have?


The original insulation layer was 12" R-38 batts which allowed me to peel them back and seal all attic bypasses. I put the batts back in place and blew another 24" of fiberglass on top, 36" total. I know fiberglass is not green like cellulose but weight becomes a concern with cellulose insulation at high R-values. This is one area of most every home (the attic) where one can superinsulate, making it airtight in the process puts the hurt on air infiltration.

I have to admit, I got my inspiration for my sign in name from you and Joules Burn.

Well said BTU!
"Watt" I can add is that infiltration is the major heat loser in colder climates. In Central Europe- Germany, Poland, Denmark,etc the infiltration loss in the average buildings is 40-45 % of the total heating energy use. So making the building "envelope" airtight is all important to get the full potential of the added insulation.
We also have the experience, that the transmission heat loss through windows and doors are typically equal - both in poorly insulated buildings with single glazed windows, and very vell insulated buildings with trible glazing.
Even in the "Passivhaus" buildings, the heat loss through the trible glazed windows- with insulated frames, the heat loss through windows/ doors are almost identical the same as the heat loss through the walls ( 12-16 inch) insulation and airtight vapour membrane.
The conclusion for us in Europe is that windows, insulation, airtightness must be evenly matched in order to get the best result of a renovation. Another lesson learned is that it is most economical to renovate the most in one step compared to several smaller steps.
kind regards/And1

Thanks, And1

I am fortunate as a builder to have been involved in the Superinsulation movement in the early 1980's. I did build a number of double wall (R-50) homes and monitored the energy usage, this showed me, consistent building practices produce consistent, predictable performance. All of this can be applied to the retrofit market which is where the action will be in my opinion. As you well understand, reducing air infiltration gives the most bang for the buck. Energy retrofit on existing buildings starts with infiltration reduction and then improvements to insulation levels can be considered and the payback maximized.

I know a bit about residential energy efficiency, but I have been impressed with your breadth and depth of practical & theoritical knowledge.

I would like to discuss with you (in a few months) the details of the potential design for a hot, humid climate.

Best Hopes,


Alan, Thank you for the flattering remark.

I will admit my building experience is in the land of the ice and snow although the goal would be the same for a coastal climate using applicable construction details. We can connect at the appropriate time.

I have donated a small amount of product to the LA House, you may want to check out this local effort in your area.


Thanks, btu. With regard to air infiltration, in your experience, if you lose 50% of your heat through air infiltration, as you suggested elsewhere is typical, what does this correspond to in air change rate? Also, at what level of air change rate do you have to start worrying about backdrafting of combustion appliances and switch over to a sealed combustion approach?


I will use my own home as an example as I know the volume of the house. If my house was losing half of it's heat due to infiltration this would be a natural air change rate of .5 or a complete air change every 2 hours. A blower door test would say about 10 ach50 or 10 air changes at 50 pascals of depressurization.

My house is quite airtight at less than .1 natural air change (nac) but this is how the calculation would go if it was at .5 nac. The volume of my house is 28,800 cubic ft. x .5 x 24 hours x .018 x 7876 heating degree days divided by the furnace efficiency (95%).
This gives me a number of slightly over 50 million btu's or 501 therms, my actual heating load for a normal winter is 525 therms. The .018 is the energy needed to heat 1 cubic foot of air 1 degree F.

The backdrafting issue varies from house to house and there is no hard and fast rule, I would recommend at the least a direct vent furnace.

Thanks again, btu. I understand your calculation, which I have also found in Chapter 2 of Siegenthaler's Modern Hydronic Heating. I plan to have a blower door test soon, and it will be interesting to see what my nac is.

In the average house that is being retrofitted/upgraded, the best bang/buck ratio is obtained by concentrating first on doors and windows, both insulation (pleated shades, etc.) and weatherstripping, then on increasing thickness of insulation.

My house might be an extreme example, but nevertheless an example. I have a very large number of French doors and large expanses of window glass. My walls are ~R25, upper floor ceiling ~R40, tight, high-quality construction (Oregon's 'Super Good Cents' standard). Doubling or tripling my attic insulation IMO would not make a measurable difference. I have been concentrating on installing cellular shades and plan to get storm doors for all the many doors (Anderen is the only one I've found who makes a French storm door kit).

The message is, make sure you are putting money/effort into the most effective reduction of heat/coolth loss. Don't rely on rote formulae for increasing of insulation, etc.

If you read my original post the first priority is air sealing, from a payback standpoint R-105 may be stretching it but I am into experimentation. Doors and windows are the last thing I would upgrade because the payback is way out there. To replace a 20 sf R-3 window in my house with R-6 units would save me 6 1/2 therms per year each or about $7 a year at a cost of about $1,000 per window. With existing housing you have to use what I call differential insulation levels to achieve a certain energy standard, less in the walls perhaps and more in the attic. In my 1978 rambler built by others I am right at 2 btu per sf per heating degree day.

Yergin was quoted in Barron's as predicting that oil prices should fall back to the low 80's to $85, versus an average of $72 last year (about twice what he predicted, in late 2004, that the price would be). So, I suppose that the "Yergin Indicator" is suggesting $170 or so within one to two years.

As noted below, since events seem to be following the "script" for "Peak Oil: The Movie," if people refuse to listen to the warnings, and prefer to listen to Yergin, et al, perhaps one should just view this as an opportunity to make sensible moves--like unloading suburban residential real estate on Yerginites.

Published on 21 Aug 2006 by GraphOilogy / Energy Bulletin. Archived on 21 Aug 2006.
Net Oil Exports Revisited
by Jeffrey J. Brown

I believe that vast expanses of American Suburbia are going to become virtually abandoned in the years ahead. Alan Drake has noted that a good deal of suburbia was so poorly constructed that a lot of it is biodegradable. Alan has outlined how we can go back to what we used to have: electric trolley cars connected to electric light rail lines.

Informed Reader
January 5, 2008; Page A10
Cities Target Banks in Fight Against Blight


Can banks be held responsible for houses abandoned by owners in the wake of the mortgage meltdown?

The number of properties left vacant is rising fast, as borrowers who stop making their mortgage payments and get hit with foreclosure suits decide to flee. The problem of abandoned homes is especially pronounced in Rust Belt cities, where the value of the properties sometimes is so low that lenders aren't interested in claiming them.

Lately, the growing blight of abandoned properties has prompted some cities to try to hold big lenders accountable, reports BusinessWeek's Michael Orey. In doing so, municipalities and courts find themselves wading into a legal thicket where the responsibility for unclaimed properties is murky. While borrowers who have abandoned their homes remain the formal owners, the banks that granted the mortgages retain a lien on the properties. The two sides often blame one another; meanwhile, the houses fall into disrepair, hurting property values in the surrounding community.

A rather large percentage of those bio-degradable housing developments were built in prime agricultural land. It seems likely that as it becomes increasingly difficult to source food from long distances due to fuel problems, and as industrial agriculture becomes less profitable for the same reason, that the suburbs might be recolonized as small "family" farms.

They could also be taken over as giant estates by the present agri-business corporations and run by slave labor. We might have some choice about our future.

I think the future is fraught with much danger. However the abandoned suburbs will be an ecological niche. Nature will do its usual thing with this new opportunity, but we humans might look at natures approach. For a few generations standing walls will provide micro-climates that will enhance growing and some portion of the population could take advantage of that. A group living in the "best" house or two and using the rest of the street as a source of materials and a good growing place might find something viable. Lets hope none of this gets nuked.

Keep in mind that developers of the suburbs often scraped off the good topsoil to be sold as good topsoil. Then they put down sod over what was left.

It will take some time and careful bio-remediation to restore the soil of suburbia.

This is my biggest argument with "people will just grow crops on their lawns" defense.

I know personally, having actually worked in the heavy construction industry that, yes, the good top soil is scraped off the top, then to fill in the blanks, clay or back fill or other materials is hauled in.

FYI, crops don't grow too well in clay.

If you are planning on the "garden in your back yard" approach to surviving peak oil then you better dig it up and haul in as much black dirt as you can now.

Else all those heirloom seeds you have been saving will just go to waste.

Topsoil is made from clay and organic material-- by natural processes that take decades to centuries. Clay can be made more quickly into topsoil by established organic farming techniques. It isn't easy, it's labor-intensive and it doesn't work everywhere.

Not every back yard will grow a garden -- and certainly, not every suburbanite is a potential organic gardener. But it is for certain that what are now suburban housing tracts will soon enough be forest, prairie, or desert-- unless people go to the trouble to make them something else.

You can build soil though. Wood chips, shredded newspapers, table scraps, your morning pee, can all be used to build soil.

The Germans rallied around the cry of "Blut und Boden" (blood and SOIL) for a reason - a population of farmers or one step removed from the farm understands how important these things are.

your morning pee

In my old residence up in Chicago, I saved all of my urine for use in the garden. I was especially effective in kicking the huge compost pile I had every winter. I collected and shredded leaves from all of my suburban lawn loving friends who were happy to get rid of them - the fools. I got to hook up a couple of urinals and a separate drain and collection in my place to make this more efficient.

Funny thing you mention pee.

I have for years used 3-liter soda pop bottles for this.

I hated to waste water to flush it. I did not wanna leave it because it would degrade to ammonia and stink up the house, and I hated to lose all the plant fertilizer I knew was in it.

I have always had a beautiful garden, but I could never tell my neighbors what I was using for fertilizer. The closest thing I could tell them is that I used plenty of nitrogen, which is available at the garden store. Its just (NH2)2CO - end product of protein metabolism, but it makes a helluva lot of difference to some people whether it came from a farm or ME! If it came from pig, horse, cow, chicken, or worm, its "organic" and good.

I am a mammal. I have the same metabolism. Same end products.

To avoid E. Coli, I will not use the other stuff.

I have no compunction about eating tomatoes I grew on it. But I am sure my neighbors would. So, to avoid hurt feelings and lawsuits, in this case, its best not to share.

Incidentally, pee breaks up clayey soil and accelerates decomposition of things like leaves and lawn clippings in the compost heap.

Nature will take the thousand years or so to restore some soil, we of course can't wait that long, however one of the materials scrounged from the majority of houses will be soil in the landscape flowerbeds etc. No one said it would be easy but with the proper application of Jeff's shovel and wheel barrow hauling soils and night soil etc things can be improved. Those of us who live in an older part of a small town have a real advantage in that real farms are only a ten minute walk away and our own lots have decent soil. I look at the new housing developments in our town as potential surface mining sites. For those who think any invesment is realistic look at the salvage scavanging business and maybe buy old garbage dumps.

Garbage dumps are owned by the garbage firms or by the soveriegn. Laws were passed to absolve the firms of environmental damage - thus their willingness to hold 'em.

Earthworms can build 7 inches of topsoil a year - per one university that dumps all of their organics in one place w/worms.

My topsoil is horse manure..spread about 4 inches thick and left to decompose for a few months until planting time. Underneath the worms are working. Has worked for me for 5 years in a row. The principle is that you don't want to disturb the soil because it forms a structure if allowed to sit. Have been gardening for over 20 years...it is not something you learn quickly. Takes a lot of experimentation...planting a variety of crops under a variety of circumstances so that at least some will survive. One year something got most all the tomato plants. Another year the blister beetles arrived in full force. etc.

Coffee grounds are supposed to make great compost, where you have worms. Starbucks gives the stuff away, and other restaurants probably do too.

Out here we don't have earthworms other than ones in greenhouses, the soil-turners are harvester ants. I'll have to see if ours like coffee grounds in the spring when they come out of hibernation, but I'd feel bad about feeding them something that may not be all that nutricious. Heh. I'll try it anyway, lol.

Maybe the caffeine will make the ants work harder. I did not have many worms in my soil when I bought my place. When I was in Chicago I took a few trips to the local park and harvested thousands of night crawlers. Slowly but surely they are working their way through the field. Ill plant more this summer in other locations.

When homeowners flee, who pays the insurance? I would not be surprised to hear of abandoned homes burning and neighbors commenting "just as well... maybe it will stem the loss in property value." Seriously, I can imagine people trying anything, including burning vacant houses, to preserve what they have. I mean really, if people are walking away from houses, what are they worth?

I mean really, if people are walking away from houses, what are they worth?

That is a question, but it is not the key question. If the house is worth 10%, 20%, etc. less than the mortgage, it becomes tempting to walk, especially if property values are falling, but there is presumed to still be some inherent value.

The key question is what are houses worth if the banks are trying to walk away, which is what the article discusses. Admittedly, the cases discussed--so far--are extreme, but it is going to be a growing trend.

“Free Housing” Arrives in Las Vegas
By twist

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Folks looking at empty houses in Las Vegas and deciding "Why pay rent?": [Hat tip to The Judge]

On New Year’s Eve, a middle-class neighborhood in southwest Las Vegas discovered new neighbors in foreclosed and formerly vacant homes.

James Totland, a nearby resident, said the new residents appeared to be squatters.

"It’s insane," Totland said. "It’s scary really."


In many cases, squatters are moving into abandoned foreclosed homes in the suburbs.

If I owned a place I'd rather have nice, even middle-class squatters than a bunch of meth addicts. Offering radically low rent but doing a background check may be a way to get good near-squatters and homeowners together.

The town of Jerome here was rescued by squatters. When the copper mining stopped, the town was essentially empty. It's a great place now, if a bit touristy, and we owe this great place to squatters, who moved in, kept buildings from crumbling, kept utilities going, and so on. Sustainable? Probably not, supposedly they have pipestone but there's a good source of the AZ variety of the stuff right near here. Not too great for farmland, although some small-scale mining could go on there I guess. But it's an interesting place that would have probably been plundered down to the last piece of cool-looking weathered wood, copper pipe, and "antique" doorknob if it weren't for squatters.

Hi Fleam,

I visited Jerome about a year ago. I guy I know told me I had to go there as long as I was in the area. It is a great place. We visited the mine works there. I still enjoy looking at the pictures. Do you live in the town?


In a prior life I did some environmental engineering work during the S&L meltdown. One aspect was to review properties before foreclosure.

There were two properties with negative value, one a gasoline station with massive, long term leaks and the other a former Pest Control company with high levels of chlordane, etc. in the soil around the building.

Negative value real estate does exist, and per my understanding of the law, the lender has no liability unless they foreclose.


More discussion of the Businessweek article at Calculated Risk ("Jingle Liens"):


It has a case history of the bank refusing to foreclose.

I too am an engineer and had spent most of my career in the environmental consulting field, first with several consulting firms and then out on my own. Back in the day, I had done many environmental audits, including numerous commercial property transfer due diligence audits.

Indeed, very many older industrial and commercial properties had negative value as the result of serious onsite soil and groundwater contamination. Sometimes the negative value was at least an order of magnitude greater than the nominal value of the property. Some of these became Superfund sites.

Regarding the current real estate situation, you raise an interesting point: what happens when the bankrupt mortgage payer walks away from the property and the bank is reluctant to foreclose lest it become the new owner and thus liable for all sorts of problems associated with the property, i.e., taxes, other liens, environmental issues, etc. Then what happens? Does the property revert to the political jurisdiction in which it is located due to non-payment of taxes? And if so, what are THEY going to do with the property? Seems to be a game of real estate hot potato, the result being a downward spiral of prices (assuming there's any real estate market left in which to buy and sell).

We also have the problem of mortgages being bundled together into various now-infamous financial instruments and being sold and resold, thus further complicating the chain of ownership and liability. It's a damnable mess, and the only ones to possibly benefit from it (in the short term at least) will be the lawyers, who will be busy for years attempting to untangle who has been wronged by whom and who owes whom what.

But it's an obvious example of a zero-sum game, or perhaps even a negative-sum game, as it is possible in the end to have everyone become a loser (even the lawyers).

So are these homes heated? And since the likely answer to this question to this is "no", then who is going to fix all the broken pipes in the walls? Any homeowner realizes the ongoing task of maintaining their building. Not caring for a home is only going to reduce the value even further.


There was an abandoned house near where I am that had a fire and sat for many months naked to the elements. Someone then came and "fixed" it up by basically rebuilding the exterior of the house. Someone then bought it. My wife and I wonder if the new owners know what kind of rot is underneath the shiny surface.

Today on a southbound drive along I-75 (S.E. MI)I was amazed at how many icicles were hanging from the northern roofs of a new apartment/condo complex near a clusterf*** called "Great Lakes Crossing".
Poorly insulated?
Most likely, as most rental agreements in this area assign the burden of heating and cooling to the renter.
Not a problem for the owner/developer though : )
Kinda wonder how well so-called T.O.D. housing would be constructed, if left to local authorities and their cronies.

In the goofball predictions department, Waegari at PO.com reports this:

On Wednesday, Jan 2, Dutch evening daily NRC Handelsblad claimed oil would not see $ 100 this year. Only hours later, there it was.

Front month crude pulled back yesterday, but more tellingly, distant future crude rose to a new record to settle above $90.

Quote for December 2016

In his autobiography and other communications, Greenspan has stated several times that it's the distant contracts the Fed watches. And so they sweat.

[The Fed Funds futures market is now pricing in a half point cut for the end of the month]

For future contracts like the one in December 2016, do you have to buy it now or ...? If I was going to spend $90 per barrel now, how much would I be betting the actual price would be to make a profit?

Yes, you have to buy it now to lock in that price. But you don't have to put up the whole $90. Only a small fraction, actually. And, of course, you have to buy in 1000 barrel increments. (500 barrels for a mini-futures contract)

If I was going to spend $90 per barrel now, how much would I be betting the actual price would be to make a profit?

That would depend somewhat on what you expect is going to happen to inflation over the next 8 years. And on how much money you end up using to hold the contract.

ie. if inflation is high, you'll need oil to be higher to offset the decline in value of the money you invested. However, inflation brings high oil prices anyway, so the risk from inflation is not that big.

[previous version of this post i included some erroneous calculations re inflation. Working on some better ones.]

Say you tied up 20K for the next 8 years holding a dec 2016 futures contract and that you expect inflation to remain high at 4% for those years.

If your inflation expectations are accurate, the value of your $20,000 at the end of 2016 would be:

20000/(1.048)= 14614

So, you lost about $5386 to inflation.

Your contract was worth $90,000 when you bought it. If it's worth, $95,386 when it expires, you'll break even.


If futures accounts pay interest on balances, your break even point will be lower.

I follow the futures market, but don't trade it. Can anybody help us here? Darwinian??

SHIT! dec 2016 is 9 years from now!

20000/(1.049)= 14052

which means the contract breaks even at about $96 per barrel.

In 2016, our middle case is that it would take all of the net oil exports from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Norway, Iran and the UAE to meet current US total petroleum imports. We are forecasting an initial (10 year) top five net export decline rate of -6%/year plus or minus 4%.

IMO, it's a question of whether exploding oil prices cause the world economy to implode, or whether the imploding world economy contracts so fast that it drags down oil prices. My expectation is that high oil prices will kill the economy, rather than a dying economy killing high oil prices, but we shall see.

When one stands back and ponders the timeline, it is quite shocking how fast things are going to get nasty. By 2016 the natural gas situation in North America and Europe is going to a disaster as well. There is not even enough time to build a sufficient number of nuclear power plants in the next 9 years since it will take 6 years just to go through the approval stage and the plans are very limited in scale. It's the facts that make one sound like a doomer.

We produced three nuclear power plants worth of solar cells last year. That is three hundred nuclear power plants worth of concentrated photovoltaic power, the only kind of power that can be built overnight.
Next year we will build four nuclear power plants worth of solar cells.

That is a good thing but at the current rate you are not going to get far down the road by 2016.

And my Third real PV panel arrived ~on $100 day, Jan 3rd/4th. (The first panel was on or around the Dec '05 PEAK Prediction day) This is what I've been spending my bits of bonus and birthday money on..

I'll make my prediction again.. Solar PV at $5 a watt will seem like .20 gasoline if we hit any heavy energy bumps, or even if the decline is steady.. and then what do think the availability will be like? Get yourself a bit of PV while it's still "Cheap" and readily on the shelves. The ability to charge a few batteries, run a few basics will look a lot different from the other side, and all tech improvements notwithstanding, the Price per Watt is more likely to UP with Demand than it is to go down at this point.

They are not a panacea, but a great many of the other things you will be wanting to set yourself up with can be managed locally. Look at that little Solar desk calculator of yours and tell me what other source of electrical power you've seen is that simple, durable, low-profile and consistent? It's not cheap, but the stuff that has been so cheap is showing it's double edge now, isn't it?

Bob Fiske

BTW, since I coined the term "Yergin Indicator" and a new price definition (One Yergin = $38/barrel), I feel compelled, as a public service, to issue a new RED ALERT for oil trader types. Consider my last RED ALERT:

June 28, 2007

To: Interested Parties

From: Jeffrey J. Brown


CNBC just quoted Daniel Yergin as saying that, without the "fear premium," oil prices next year should be down to $60.

Most of you probably recall Daniel Yergin's previous predictions for lower oil prices. Based on prior experience, once Yergin issues a prediction for lower prices, one should expect oil prices to be 100% or more higher than his predicted price, within one to two years of his prediction--think $120 or more within one to two years.

Regarding his $38 prediction (do a Google search for Daniel Yergin and click on "Daniel Yergin Day")

Yergin is now asserting that oil prices, absent a geopolitical blowup, should not be higher than $85 next year, so according to the Yergin Indicator the new price target is $170 within one to two years. Stay tuned for further developments. You may now return to scheduled programming.

N.B. company searches for oil with MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
So what is the break through?

MRI Field testing of bore hole porosity and permeability measurements began 15 years ago.
The system went commercial in 1995. R&D started in 1985. There was already a magnetic resonance tool that used the earths magnetic field in the early 1960’s.





It is a sophisticated Measurement While Drilling tool that can help inform and evaluate. It , like most Schlumb tools (and others ) are excellent in informing quick decisions.

Oil still needs to be there in the first place of course....

Nice to see some folks here at TOD read this stuff. Its actually amazing the accuracy of the wireline version.

This updates Fractional Flow practice?...
September 10, 2007 - Green Imaging Technologies, Inc. unveils MRI-based Capillary Pressure software. Speed and accuracy sets a new standard for exploration test results.

With the first major improvement to traditional capillary pressure testing in 40 years, Green Imaging Technologies (GIT) is unveiling a new MRI-based capillary pressure test at the Society of Core Analysts (SCA) Annual Symposium in Calgary on September 10th.

OilyCassandra added viral marketing YouTube effort to the Peak Oil message.

Same message, but much prettier than Matt Simmons or T. Boon Pickens.


I found that a couple of days ago on Youtube. She is smoking hot isn't she?

Good for her that she is at least trying to educate the sheeple. I find on a lot of the forums that many have just bothered trying.

I think she is great messenger.

Well I for one am glad that Matt Simmons has NOT tried this way of getting people's attention.


Finally, a peak oiler gets off his/her self-righteous high-horse and attempts to connect with the masses!

I applaud heartily!!

They don't listen to logic and data, you scientific types moan. Duh!! (That was discovered centuries before Socrates) Go beyond logic and data!!

Instead of tweaking the MSM, get up to speed!!

{But why is she so down on high birds? I like'em.}

Sweet! I'll send this vid as a myspace bulletin in a little bit and add it as a new 'Today's Lesson.'


We are working at building a JPods network between Frederick and Gaithersburg. Would you like to help?

Someone just reposted my mypsace bulletin with the title:

"Peak Oil : or : Peek oil : Stripping away the myth"

BillJames, send me an email. My perpetualenergy domain email has been acting a little whacky for the past week or so. Resend it to my ziontherapy.com domain if you don't receive a reply from me within a day.

It's hard to argue with a body of data like that.

It sounds like Shelby from http://relocalize.net ... whom I am not going to call and quiz about this :-)

Nice video.

What -- did she say somethin'?

I think she might have, surely did warm the cockles of this old codgers heart. Maybe a january thaw coming.

I wonder if this clever lady is a participant of TOD. If so, congratulations on your originality and sociological risk-taking. I had to watch it twice. Once on the left and once on the right.

Most likely the lady was hired for the job.

She is definitely delivering a script she didn't write. As noted above she refers to hybrids as "high birds".

But it's easily possible that some of our TOD luminaries are behind that production.

Other efforts are "in process". Much too early for more disclosure.

Best Hopes,


The clever manipulation of emotions was always my trick as my number crunching was never up to par. Unfortunately my legs ar not so attractive, at least to he males, so I go for creative writing.

Content-wise the message is essentially Heinbergian.

I assume from your comment that this is an effort by you?

If so, great job.

No NOT this one ! (Unfortunately)


I think Oily wrote it herself.

Here is a clip from an email from her:
i wrote it to have the shock that there's nothing you can do to PREVENT it, that it's going to happen. lots of causes like global warming people feel like there's something they can do, so they put it off. with this cause, people should see there's nothing to prevent it, but afterwards the video states about ways to slow down collapse

She comes across as clear headed as she is beautiful. My arguments are rational, hers mixes in visceral; I'll bet she has greater appeal and reach.

I just wish she had mentioned the importance of using BIRTH CONTROL

I'm puzzled a little.

I don't think Oily (on the left, who reminds me of Natalie Portman) is the same as Dancing Girl on the right.

Asked my wife and she disagrees and is strangely impatient with my close examination of the video.

Another issue is finding a reference for the 4 billion famine deaths.

Could come from here:


Same woman. In email exchanges she seem as bright as she is hot.

.....bright as she is hot

...but oh so bleak. I mean she says all we can do is slow the collapse and most of us will starve. The message from her sponsor, Oil Release.com, is that we will lose all our entire modern way of life and be pushed back to the pre-industrial age of Hand Release.

Does anyone know who's behind that web site?

Still not convinced she's not a hired model. Just the nature of YouTube. A lot of the videos posted are not what they seem. Whether she made the vid herself or not, you would expect whoever posted the video to reply as if it's her. Clearly, they are setting up for a series with the OilyCassandra character.

I am sure there will be a series.

I could be fooled but the initial replies seemed genuine. I also believe that input will be accepted by the Peak Oil community.

The person who answered me was genuinely concerned that the message be accepted and tailor to maximum affect. And interested in input.

You are both potent in ability to communicate, contact Oily. I think she (they) will accept value from you.

I'm sure whoever is behind it is genuinely concerned. Their web site has links to PeakOil.com and other nonprofit sites, not commercial stuff. I'm just not sure "Cassandra" is the brains behind the operation, or the one actually replying to e-mails.

BTW, if you're wondering why I deleted it yesterday...it's because we did our big press release yesterday. We got a lot of new visitors, and I wanted to make a good first impression. I know it wasn't that bad, but in the future, it might be best to put a NSFW warning on links like that.

Also, if one of your posts is deleted, don't keep re-posting it. E-mail me and ask why it was deleted.

OK. I just thought you were censoring me. I have great respect for your ability but also an intense contempt for censorship and your willingness to use it.

I will email you in the future. Thanks for the quality and volume of your work.

If we didn't "censor" the posts here, I bet you wouldn't even bother to come here. It wouldn't be worth reading.

I love how people complain about "censorship," but keep coming here because "the quality is so much better." Um, possibly there's a connection?

Hi Leanan

The quality is spectacular. But I have always been respectful. The subject of censorship came from a difference of opinions about the value of military service and the use of technology to provide some solutions.

We would not have the liberties we have if someone did not pay for them.

I can understand disagreement that JPods may not be practical, but biofuels are not very practical, hydrogen is not very practical, anything that requires a subsidy will not be very practical in the coming storm.

But what is difficult to accept will fail or succeed based on its own merits. No need for censorship. Weak ideas will fade by their nature.

Again the quality of your work is amazing. I could get a lot more done in my day if it were less spectacular ;). You take a lot of my time and I am very guarded about giving out time. Thanks. I can endure what I do not like for the quality you provide. And I am genuinely thankful for you and your efforts.


You've had a lot of posts deleted (and not just by me). It's not because your ideas are stupid or dangerous. It's because they're tedious. We don't want people plugging their for-pay websites in the comments. It's spam, even if it's on-topic spam, and it gets old really fast.

I think Alan talks more about light rail than I do about Personal Rapid Transit. I agree that electrified rail is critically important. I just want to extend that to remove Parasitic Mass. In light rail we move 3 tons to move a person. Why not strive to move only the person. I regret to be tedious in trying to broach this subject.

I apologize for when I am tedious. The most difficult thing I have ever tried to do in my life is to clarify to people that the obstacles we see are more perceived than real. The only way to get past them is to challenge them; sometimes we will fail, sometimes we will break through to new understandings.

Alan is not plugging a for-profit web site. That's the difference.

Also...it's not so much that you in particular are tedious, it's spam in general that's tedious. A lot of people are getting interested in peak oil, and that means a lot more people plugging all kinds of "solutions." Investments, products, services, publications, etc. We just don't want to open the door for that kind of thing, because we're afraid we'll be flooded. I hope you can understand that.

I do understand. But I am also terrified that without action to mitigate consequences, knowing the reality will not change the outcome.

Perhaps it would be good to add a solutions site that can be polluted without affecting the informational site.

We are not incompetent. If we had the answer we would have solved the problem. Casting a wide net for answers might help.

I know it is scant consolation, but I am far more tedious telling senior military leaders to read your site than I am at trying to find support for re-tooling transportation here.

But Peak Oil action is essential; so is re-tooling transportation to live within a solar budget.

Openness to understanding of Peak Oil is as bad as to what to do about it once you understand how unsurvivable it might be.

Thanks, Bill

I know it is scant consolation,

That you keep posting your commercial venture and are getting the smack-down?

Do you think the solution will be non-commercial?

Gifts from heaven will flow and save us from ourselves?

The Internet exploded as vast numbers of ISP's and small companies found they could carve a profitable niche in what had been the infrastructure of a regulated monopoly.

The task we face is overwhelming. Like the Internet, I believe in the ant approach to eating an elephant, small bites, lots of friends.

Current transportation is less than 2% efficient. There are huge profits, that will excite many people to implement local solutions to preempt current waste.

Do you think vast numbers of people will stop driving their cars without a better solution to get them to and from work, to and from school, to and from the grocery store?

Do you think food distribution will change to sustainable infrastructure if there is not a cost savings?

There is a profit in saving people time and money. There is a profit in preempting current waste.

I also believe this approach will be only be adopted in spots, economic lifeboats. Those that localize their communities will weather this storm. Others will not.

I also believe in choice.

Do you think the solution will be non-commercial?

If you'd like to keep using TOD for your commercial POV, might I suggest
or contact management directly for advertising rates.

I'm sure something can be done - if you pay for it.

Think how bleak Peak Oil must look to someone who has not survived storms. It is bleak to me, I have survived a lot of difficult and dangerous times.

But disagreement about complete collapse is what I exchanged emails about with Oily.

Her explanation is that Peak Oil is "unstoppable". I agree with that.

I requested she change the call to action to address items that are achievable. She explained that was the intent of listing actions and recommending that she would make more clips.

I also agree with her that we are past the point of no pain. But we can live quite well within a solar budget. Germany's Feed-in Tariffs are a great model of building economic lifeboats and a solar economy. Germany implemented a free market solution to building economic lifeboats. They broke the regulated monopoly that prevents innovation in power generation. Unlike our monolithic failure, Feed-in Tariffs allows individuals to save themselves and those in their community.

I was a soldier for a long time and have great faith in the ability of individuals to save them self and rally to save those around them. There is an incredible goodness in people that will be profoundly important over the next 40 years. Action will be local. There is an odd paradox, build enough lifeboats, and we will not need them.

I believe Oily can build an audience. I am encouraged that she will listen to input from anyone to shape a message that will work.

Please note that germany doesn't even build most of it's solar pannel's they are shipped by sea from china. npr about a month ago interviewed the owner of the chineese company that makes the majority of german solar panels. and it's not 'free market' either the solar industry there could of never reached what it has now without the very big government subsidy's.

living within the solar budget means that we must again live within the small amount of energy that the plants absorb and herbivores get from the plants.

I disagree completely that it is not a free market solution. People are risking their capital to generate power for a profit. They have to earn that profit by being efficient within a small margin above the price of utility generated power.

It is a legitimate and necessary roll of government to provide for the "general welfare and common defense". Assessing true cost of commercial activities that have no commercial motivator is a necessary government action. The environmental clean air and water acts of the 1970's in the US is an example of this. Dumping pollution without proper care has a profit driver if there was not an overriding governmental imposed cost. Carbon "tax" is not a tax at all, it is an assessment of the true cost that does not have a commercial component.

The essences, Feed-in Tariffs de-monopolizes the power generation industry by fixing a margin at which anyone who wishes to invest in building power generation can sell that power to the grid. The cost of all power generation is spread over electric bills paid by users of the grid. Use more power, you pay more. Generate more power, you get paid more.

The risk of committing capital to generate solar electricity is carried by the investor. The more efficient that power generation, the more of that fix margin can be taken as profit. It is not a huge profit but it enough to entice vast numbers of people (300,000 installations) to risk their capital to implement solar power generation.

Everyone that uses the grid pays for the additional costs. They are paying for the security of having locally generated power that when Russia cuts off the flow of oil, they will have an economic lifeboat for their economic community. The vast majority of Germans love this policy and the security it provides. They recognize that the payback on having a lifeboat, when one is needed, is infinite.

Personally, I believe betting your life and the lives of those you care on the benevolence of a monolithic power utility is suicidally reckless. Monopolies whether commercial or political (monarchs, dictatorships) are high risk social institutions.

I am very willing to increase my utility bill 10% to pay for the security of having an economic lifeboat for when the grids fail. Maybe this will prove to be a waste because the petroleum, coal and nuke power will never end. But then I believe we are facing a Peak Everything risk. Further I hate beholding to the benevolence of monopolies, commercial or political.

The success of Germany's free will Feed-in Tariffs underscores its ability to excite accepting risks but build solar power generation. As of 2007 12% of Germany's electricity comes from renewable resources. In 2005 Germany added 4,000 MW of new renewable power generation. In the past 5 years with all of the subsides, California has implemented 242 MW of renewable power generation.

"Many hands makes light work."

As for living within a solar budget, I know we can live very well.

We will have to have foresight but more solar energy hits the Earth in an hour that all energy used by people in a year. We will have to design for it.

Living within a solar budget, we cannot move a ton to move a person. But then Personal Rapid Transit (light weight version of Morgantown) can move people and goods (1200 pound pallet) a mile using 200 watt-hours of power. Solar collectors (2 meters wide, 16% efficient) can gather 2.5 million watt-hours per mile of rail each typical day.

As these networks are deploy, vast solar arrays will be built to harvest power where it is used. There is a synergy between transportation need for power in a network and sunshines ability to deliver power over a network.

I believe Edison will be quite please to be proven correct that DC is better than AC. This is true in a distributed collaborative network. Here is a great quote from Edison from 1910 (actual quote is longer and very worth reading):

"Sunshine is spread out thin and so is electricity. Perhaps they are the same, Sunshine is a form of energy, and the winds and the tides are manifestations of energy."

"Do we use them? Oh, no! We burn up wood and coal, as renters burn up the front fence for fuel. We live like squatters, not as if we owned the property.

"There must surely come a time when heat and power will be stored in unlimited quantities in every community, all gathered by natural forces. Electricity ought to be as cheap as oxygen...."

We should stop trying to shove the sun through a corn cob (ethanol) and focus on using the gifts that are given to us nearly every day.

From forum.oilrelease.com:

Release 9 - Sexiness
It takes a lot of energy to make products that bring out how hot we are. Post here about the tragedy of releasing your eye cream or discuss low-energy beauty secrets that may preseve that sizzle!

Of the 10 post-oil categories covered, birth control did not get a mention.

What I would really like to see is the next president gather the courage to tell America the truth: "We are not entitled to cheap and plentiful fossil fuels." Of course, it unfortunately may have to have 'til post-election, but it seems to me that right now, this is what we need more than anything else. The ignorance of America is staggering. One would think, at the very least, that the average Joe would understand that fossil fuels are a finite resource. That, alone, should be enough knowledge to have [i]some[/i] grasp of our current situation and Peak Oil. Why, then, is it that all I ever hear about from people around me is how expensive gasoline is? I can hear it now, "OMG I PAID $4.00 4 GAS 2DAY!! "THEY'RE" SCREWING US!!!!!111!!11" Perhaps we're more stupid than I previously realized. If we can't at least get to the point of some common understanding, what hope do we have?

Steps to a better, or at least less bad, future:

1. Education about the realities of energy - the critical first step which apparently is mind-boggingly oblivious to all but a select few. Realize that limitless consumption in a finite world is impossible. Realize that the whole idea of "growth" is about to be thrown out the window. I'm not talking about only edumacation for kids, though. Adults need some good school lessons on energy reality too. With this knowledge, hopefully we can become more citizen and less consumer, and start thinking more about energy and natural resources and less about money - which today seems to be about the only thing considered important.

2. Stop wasting energy. Just look at all the shit running all of the time. At work, at home, at the restaraunt you ate at last week. Computer monitors, fourteen different digital clocks (ten of them in the kitchen), all lights on all the time, A/C to D/C power supplies always drawing phantom power, hot water tanks always using natural gas... a good second step would be to only have things on when they're being used. From now on, products should be designed so that they can be easily turned completely (mechanically) off.

3. Conserve energy. A good first step with this would be to start GETTING OVER the sickening obsession with cars. Christ, we won't even walk a parking lot now. We don't need to buy anything to get started - let's start using the bicyles we already have much more. BONUS: America's obesity epidemic plummets! Bikes are the perfect tool for the transition between car-dependent suburbia and walkble communities.

4. Find more ways to conserve energy. Another good idea would be to stop buying 4,000 sq. ft. homes for two.

5. Find still more ways to conserve energy. Stop buying all that unnecessary crap, especially when you don't really have money for it. as Geroge Carlin nicely said: "People buying shit they don't need with money they don't have."

6. At this point, with greatly reduced energy usage, wind and solar become much more able to fulfill our needs, and hopefully civilization can continue on in some form, with reduced energy. Considerable sacrifices will have been made, but that's certainly better than what I see coming down the pipeline now: a pissed off, aggressive, violent, selfish, hoarding populace and the resulting chaos. I for one would like my wife and I to live on, and not in anarchy. I'm looking forward to $5, and especially $10/gal. gas, provided it gets that high with the strong possiblity of recession and demand desctruction, but America is not anywhere near ready to deal with that responsibly.

Perhaps a recession, and even a depression, is the best thing that can happen to us now. Is anyone else thinking the same?

Yup. Even if it will cause pain to my friends and family a downturn may be the only thing that can help our culture right now.

That will never happen. Look at what happened to Carter. Americans of today are nothing like the Americans of WWII. That older generation know what sacrifice, rationing, etc. was. However, today's Americans only know of "entitlement" and consuming. After all, that's what we were told to do after 9/11 - go shopping! And buy variable rate mortgages! And fast food! No one will voluntarily give up their "entitlements." So, no, you will never hear a president say that since America will never vote for a candidate, nor will corporate America sponsor a candidate, whose platform is "buy less, consume less, eat less, drive less, save your money, exercise more, walk more, ride your bike more." Christ, am I a doomer?

Want to know what people will do when TSHTF? Look at post Katrina. Instead of trying to walk out or do ANYTHING to improve their OWN situation, they sat their fat asses on their suitcases of salvaged belongings and waited to be saved. When help was not immediately forthcoming, did they then take action to help themselves? No, they complained to the cameras while continuing to sit on their rumps. When THIS hits the fan their won't be an eventual rescue. They will wait, they will loot, eventually they will start burning everything down around them, then they will all start dying, lacking the necessities to continue living. Good riddance.

I don't think that's fair. People DID try to walk out. They were turned back by police with shotguns.

What Leanan said - I did some transcription of emergency radio chatter during the event. People were turned back at gunpoint to protect "nice" neighborhoods.

SCT there will be some bad nasty reaction to actions of that nature.One of my goals is to try and make the home "shelter-in-place"for whatever comes down the pike.That particular bit of evil should have shamed all parties into a lifetime of hidden sorrow

They were trying to walk to the bus pick-up (with Port-a-lets & ice) for white Republicans that got some rainwater (no levee breach) in their homes. This evac pick-up center was established Wednesday morning at Causeway & I -10. This is a dry 8 mile walk/drive from the Convention Center.

They were turned back by Gretna and Jefferson Parish police/sheriff gunfire (over their heads). This was defended by the redneck Chinese sheriff of Jefferson Parish since "the buses were hauling all the people they could out" and "we had nothing to give them" and "people are not going to walk 8 miles, they will drop or loot before going that far".

Once all the white Rs were evacuated from their rainwater flooding, relief arrived at the Convention Center Friday afternoon, 2 hours before GWBs photo-op & lies at Jackson Square. The overhead shot of trucks going through water was just PR. There is a dry HOV lane from the center of the Convention Center

My home was "looted". They took a gallon of distilled water I kept for my car, canned goods, some cooked meat I had in the refrigerator (must have been early), 3 bottles of wine (tastes better than water), a flashlight, and an umbrella. I think some socks went missing as well. They left an LCD screen & computer, a digital camera and a mound of change in plain view.

The rule was however scored some food or water got a double share, but shared what they got with others. This is the only way to survive 5 days of oppressive heat & humidity.


And good riddance to you Cid Yama. May you stock up on survival goods, refuse to help others and then require medical attention and find none.

he might as well be wearing his funeral suit, i would also think he should check to see if his life insurance policy covers assassination.

The Google is not cooperating with me today and I'm writing another article for DailyKos - does anyone have a quick link to the India fertilizer plant closing? The one that died due to natural gas prices ...

Here's a comment you might not have seen:

"High natural gas prices have caused 25 U.S. ammonia plants to close permanently since fiscal year 1999, and several additional plants are currently idle. As a result, U.S ammonia production fell by 6.2 million tons of nitrogen or by over 42 percent since fiscal year 1999. Consequently, the U.S. fertilizer industry which typically supplied 85 percent of farmers' domestic nitrogen needs from U.S. based production during the 1990s, now relies on net nitrogen imports for half of new nitrogen supplies."

And HERE'S ANOTHER one about India.

The story you want might be ONE OF THESE.

You might want to search THIS SITE too.

Hey, guy, when all that venture capital starts to flood in and you have lots of cash to burn, send me a check for my research efforts... :-)

E. Swanson

You've just saved me an afternoon of digging and provided fodder for another article, this time on the Stranded Wind site. Thank you very much, sir :-)

Credit Crunch

A number of articles in the National Post regarding sub-prime and other credit issues.

Forget oil, the new global crisis is food

A new crisis is emerging, a global food catastrophe that will reach further and be more crippling than anything the world has ever seen. The credit crunch and the reverberations of soaring oil prices around the world will pale in comparison to what is about to transpire, Donald Coxe, global portfolio strategist at BMO Financial Group said at the Empire Club's 14th annual investment outlook in Toronto on Thursday.

"It's not a matter of if, but when," he warned investors. "It's going to hit this year hard."

JR, thanks for posting this. This article is a real shocker. Biofuels are sending food prices sky high and they are causing declining grain stocks. As this article warns, grain stocks are the lowest on record. That is alarming. And how about this:

"You're going to have real problems in countries that are food short, because we're already getting embargoes on food exports from countries, who were trying desperately to sell their stuff before, but now they're embargoing exports," he said, citing Russia and India as examples.

Catton in "Overshoot" talks about "trade acerage". Well, those acres are starting to disapper. We are turning our corn into fuel instead of trading it and other nations refuse to sell us other food. I had no idea it was getting this bad this soon though I kenw it had to happen sooner or later.

Ron Patterson

Yea, seems we are arriving at a perfect storm. Though, since over population is the core problem of all our symptoms it stands as no surprize that we would be hitting several walls around the same time.

Published by the same group that pushes climate change denial (National Post), this article doesn't consider oil supply constraints, just higher prices. The scariest part in it is the promotion of multinational agribusiness (ADM, Cargill, Monsanto et al), agricultural monoculture and "advanced machinery and technology". Might as well make a buck on the way out, I suppose.

"Published by the same group that pushes climate change denial (National Post), "

Nice example of conspiricy theory. The national post just ran the story of someone who gave a speach on the subject. Shooting the messenger arn't we now.

Come on. The National Post is notorious for extreme climate change denial. They ran a whole series of articles on it last year, many of them the hoariest old long-debunked myths recycled. No fewer than 27 different articles in the series:


They can't mention climate change without being sure to add a snide remark about it. No conspiracy theory required, just simple observation. They are deniers of the worst kind.

So what if they publish articles and commentaries that do not support global warming? (expect A LOT MORE soon). Does that mean that ALL the information from them is garbage? They cover the debt crisis much more thoroughly than the Star does, does that mean that material is garbage? Give me a break. It wasn't an editorial, it was a report about a lecture. How can that lecture be garbage just because the NP reported it?

"So what if they publish articles and commentaries that do not support global warming? (expect A LOT MORE soon)."

Because it totally misrepresents the state of the science -- at the popularization level which policy tends to get based on.

"Does that mean that ALL the information from them is garbage?"

Garbage, not necessarily. Suspect, yes.

"It wasn't an editorial, it was a report about a lecture. How can that lecture be garbage just because the NP reported it?"

The Financial Post reported it, not the National Post.

Interesting comment since much that is reported in the media on climate change is way beyond the offical IPCC reports that is supposed to be the science backed official on the topic, such as sea level rising 10x more than the IPCC maximum.

The NP and FP have been reporting on peer reviewed papers that has evidence that does not support AGW.

Bascily the same people as the FP also publishes against AGW and owned by the NP.

So if the same story about this lecture was in the Star it would no longer be suspect?

No, just because they have an obvious AGW denialist agenda does not mean all information from them is garbage. Where was I implying that?

It's just the AGW denial that really bugs me - they are cherry picking and not even attempting any kind of balance in their reporting. For sure other papers misrepresent the science in the other direction at times, but on the whole they manage to get the basic message right. But for a paper to consistently push the message that the whole thing is a myth is despicable at this point, given the state of the science.

As noted in other posts the entire MSM has biases and distorts the truth to some degree. And the NP is not misrepresenting the science, just reporting on science that does not fit AGW theory. Watch this year as more comes out.

Your last quote was exactly the problem. They are just reporting the science that doesn't fit the theory, and ignoring the vast majority of the science which does support the theory.

I've been a research scientist, and know that in every field, there are a host of alternative theories to the accepted orthodoxy. This is a good situation as it keeps people on their toes, and keeps researchers focused, but everyone knows that they are still minority theories, and they are usually wrong. If a paper like the NP had reported on my research field I can see exactly how they would have distorted it, had they wanted to. They would have picked out all those fringe theories (which were incidentally all mutually contradictory) and given them vast amounts of column inches, while studiously ignoring the vast majority of the science, taking advantage of the fact that most readers don't understand the way science works, and think that all theories are equally valid. Another part of the attraction of the alternatives, I admit, is that that the alternative theorists tend to be more colourful and therefore media-attractive characters as they tend to be good at communicating, and have all-encompassing, easily explained ideas, while the majority of scientists work away on their tiny corner of the problem, incomprehensible to the average reader, adding small nuggets of carefully analyzed new research information into the vast pool of existing information.

I'm quite sure there will be more of this distortion as the year goes on from organs like the NP, but the increase will almost certainly not be driven by widely accepted and peer reviewed revisions of the underlying science.

"That will be done with more fertilizer [...]" he said.

I'm very worried about the fertilizer supply. I've been hearing ominous rumblings from various places about looming fertilizer shortages. I think by this time next year, there will be a lot of starving people in the world.

Third paragraph from the bottom. Only 20 stocks left. Bad news. Means they will be or are very susceptible to disease. Probably they are genetically engineered. Very bad news.

I read it as meaning corporate stocks, not food stocks. Hence, ADM, Cargill, etc.

From article:
Peak Oil and the Australian Army

There have been five oil price peaks since 1965, all of which have caused economic downturns
of varying severity.27 Th e two most significant—the OPEC oil embargo of 1973 and
the Iranian Revolution and Iran/Iraq War of 1980—resulted in widespread panic and
miserable economic recessions

Well so far so good, we seem to not have reached a peak oil price yet:)

Oops then again I could be wrong !

Hello TODers,

A mini New Orleans:

Levee breaks in Nevada, 3,500 trapped in their homes
I strongly doubt these people will continue their mortgage payments.

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

FEMA will be on sight as soon as they can determine if cuff links are appropriate for the occasion. :)

Toto - 3 feet of water does not sound like a lot, but it'd be enough to screw up the HVAC here and it's cold in that area this time of year. So even if you went up to your 2nd floor, it'd not be very comfortable. I have heard that they're pulling all the people out of there by helicopter, and putting them in shelters. Maybe it's going a lot more smoothly because it's smaller in scale.

If anyone's on the edge financially, yeah, woops there goes another mortgage.

As a frequent visitor to TOD, I've not seen reference to the Amero before. The Amero is said to be a replacement for the US dollar. (The reference is near the bottom of the article.)

Is this a realistic possibility? This is scary stuff but not unexpected as all paper currencies collapse in the end.

Picc: It is discussed here once in a while. Puplava discusses it at financialsense all the time. It is more than a realistic possibility IMO. It is usually discussed in tandem with the NAFTA Superhighway.

So what is after the Euro and the Amero, a one world currency? Call it the Ero?

The Ono.

Regarding the campaign trail, Hillary did say the words "energy crisis" and "$100 a barrel oil" on CNN in a NH speech. Still undecided on who I'll vote for though.

Now here's a new one:

What should be controversial in the proposed revisions to Title 24 is the requirement for what is called a "programmable communicating thermostat" or PCT. Every new home and every change to existing homes' central heating and air conditioning systems will required to be fitted with a PCT beginning next year following the issuance of the revision. Each PCT will be fitted with a "non-removable " FM receiver that will allow the power authorities to increase your air conditioning temperature setpoint or decrease your heater temperature setpoint to any value they chose. During "price events" those changes are limited to +/- four degrees F and you would be able to manually override the changes. During "emergency events" the new setpoints can be whatever the power authority desires and you would not be able to alter them.


(the reaction to 'lets control energy for the common good')

More control over our lives. Nice... Just what the socialists want. Until they start to freeze in the dark.

For one class of citizens, I have no problem with it.
The group who gets energy assistance.
Do you have a problem with that?

Many "Solutions" to the problem talk about "The Free Market"

What I have a problem with is incompetent bureaucrats loyal to political fridge telling me how to live my life.

I have this picture in my mind of the guy who's trying to Hack his 'Thermostat-gone-haywire'..

"Dave. What are you doing, Dave?"

To address the assistance group, however.
There's a lot of energy assistance going on up in Maine right now, Eric, and while I'm sure a LOT of that heat is pouring out of cracked windows, or may be set too high.. the situation and the setup is punishment enough. I think these assistance programs would serve us best with a system of energy auditing, and a string of efficiency waypoints for homeowners to help meet if they are to continue to qualify for aid.

I'm so sick of the media praising Congress' increase in fuel efficiency standards for NEW CARS. We don't need to be producing any more new cars. Car manufacturing itself is a huge energy waster. Why doesn't the media (or environmental activists, for that matter) talk more about planned obsolescence. Producers are always given a free ride to keep producing. It is only consumers who are criticized and/or asked to change.

And does anyone have info on a trend here in Oregon to use cow manure to generate electricity. I find this horrifying. Organic compost is expensive enough. I can see the price skyrocketing if cow manure starts being sold to utilities.

Emanuel (sferios AT gmail)

If it concerns you,go to a outfit called "Progrow"in Wilsonville.You can purchase the residue from the methane{fuel} production facilities for exactly what you want...fertilizer.They sell the residue.I dont think that the dairy farmers in Tillimok will lisen much though to any talk of not using that "feedstock" for anything else.The only other use in the past is growing Psilocybin mushrooms

The use of manure for electric generation keeps one molecule of methane out of the air and puts a molecule of CO2 out, which is a 23X immediate reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, to say nothing of keeping natural gas in the ground.

We will very rapidly capture every single waste stream, both animal and human, in order to process it for methane, ammonia, and the solids. Its a very easy process to continuous feed, all you really need is steel for tanks, and it'll work in any climate with just a little attention to plant layout up front.

Hello TODers,

As most know: I have long been advocating for the building of postPeak strategic reserves of bicycles and wheelbarrows. In many countries, this is the only way to ferry sick, and terribly weak, family members to rudimentary medical help, or efficiently moving bulky goods. My hope is that North America, and other First World countries, can be equally postPeak prepared.


[Yikes! I hope someone saved this photo of roughly 50,000 wheelbarrow workers--I get error 404 now-- Maybe this photo was considered too controversial by the PTB?]

Unfortunately, scrap metal prices have ridden so high in the UK that police now advocate:

Officers recommend that items such as ladders, beer kegs and wheelbarrows are removed or padlocked.

He said: “Lead flashing and copper piping are especially attractive to thieves, but in the current climate and with the soaring price of metal, they’ll steal just about anything metallic.”

As decline blowbacks accelerate: I hope that people can afford sufficient, locked, interior space for keeping their prized wheelbarrows, bicycles, and batt and/or small ICE scooters under careful watch. Every piece of metal recycled into a wheelbarrow or bicycle is one less piece of metal that can diverted into a gun or machete'.

As a youngster decades ago, I had my only bicycle stolen from me-- my blood pressure stills goes up when I think back on how long it took for me to earn the money to replace it doing neighborhood yardwork, washing and waxing cars, mowing lawns with a non-ICE rotary pushmower, collecting stray soda-pop bottles for cash, etc. I had the thickest and longest metal chain and heavy-duty padlock for my next bike so I could lock the frame, the fore and aft metal baskets, and the wheels around metal poles, or to metal bike racks. Even then some bastard stole my bicycle seat off my ride once. Such is life.

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

Old joke told by my professor in Soviet history. There is a worker who is leaving a Soviet factory every day with a wheelbarrow full of scrap lumber and metal. And every day the guard searches the wheelbarrow to check if the worker is stealing anything - tools, parts, hardware, anything. And each day the guard finds nothing. After many years of this going on the guard and the worker are ready to retire and the guard asks the worker “I know your stealing something, I just don‘t know what it is. Tell me, were ready to retire and it does not matter any more so I won’t turn you in. It’s just bugging me and I have to know.” The worker replies and says “wheelbarrows.”

I once had a Schwinn Paramount stolen out of my basement. Still irks me. Loved that bike.

Funny thing about "moving targets.", they move.
Chevy Volt May Not Be Out in 2010

Notice how everyone in politics, etc. are trying to solve the problem of peak oil by tweaking the current transportation model instead of coming up with a brand new way of thinking about transportation? All I hear about is "better fuel mileage" but that still makes us dependent on cars. You never hear "get rid of most cars and move to mass transit via trains and boats." Until the general population can move away from a car-centric society, no meaningful change will take place.

On Cornucopian Radio (a local program focused on autos, 100% supported by auto related advertisers) here in Dallas this morning, the host gave his usual explanation of Peak Oil--a plateau starting in 2030, with perhaps a gradual decline some time after 2050 (quoting CERA). In any case, with the arrival of $100 oil, people were calling in talking about cellulosic ethanol, abiotic oil, the usual list of suspects--everything but talking about arranging one's life so that you eliminate or minimize your need for a car.

As I said up the thread, this at least gives the Peak Oil Aware an opportunity to unload highly energy dependent assets (suburban McMansions for example) on the true believers in the Yerginite community.

You never hear "get rid of most cars and move to mass transit via trains and boats.


is one of several of my comments.

Best hopes for a less car-centric culture,


Nice work of fiction. :-) But I highly doubt any of that will pass. Airport/Electric Train hubs? Expelling illegals and their anchor babies? Everyone rushing back into the city from suburbia? No, I think a quarter-century past Peak Oil will be something of Mad Max or what today's 3rd world countries look like. (I was watching a news story about Kenya and the city they showed looked like a horrible slum - people were rioting and others were firing their semi-auto rifles.) I would be surprised if the US can even maintain its geographical "sea to shining sea" boundaries.

It is a vision of what COULD be, if WE chose to do so.

Step One is to define a semi-realistic vision.


Who is WE? Do you honestly believe that our fellow Americans, both legal and "technically legal" (anchor babies and their immigrant families looking for the American "handout" and "entitlement") will do the right thing and, gasp, sacrifice their way of life? If the dot-com bubble, the McMansion housing bubble, and the credit bubble are any indications then the answer is NO.

Just look at your fellow citizen. I live in a MAJOR metropolitan city and the majority of people don't even speak English much less have a high school education. But they get government handouts via my excessive taxation. And their votes for whomever promises them the biggest percentage of my salary outweighs my single vote. So just who is this WE that will make the change? The best case scenario that I see happening is a complete and total collapse of society where we can start over (i.e. a big RESET button). The current political, economic, and social paradigm that we have been living is unsustainable.

Don't get me wrong - I really like your idea of the Airport/Electric Train hubs and how the train lines go right up to the warehouses for shipping goods, etc. I just don't think there is a chance in hell that it will every happen at all. The natural state of things is chaos - just look at the 3rd world nations. That's where the US is headed. Our infrastructure is falling apart (i.e. water), we are the largest debtor nation, the general intelligence/reasoning of our fellow citizens has declined (just look at what's popular on the idiot box, even the so-called "political shows" where they just end up yelling past each other), and we are being overrun by foreign invaders who don't know & don't care about our country's heritage. The solution you present requires cooperation, understanding, sacrifice, intelligence, English, and a sense of all being part of the same community & heritage from every citizen. We have NONE of that in America today.

Unless your last name is something like Standing Bear you are also a foreign invader.

You think less taxes will help this country? The reason we rose to the place we did was the unions and the New Deal ... all dismantled by tax reduction Republicans. We can go back to what works or we can go third world. The idea that a privileged few still live in privilege given the culture of this country seems unlikely. They may fantasize and set things in motion which they believe will protect them, but the simple truth of the matter is that, when provoked, we're a lot more violent than they are in South Africa, and there carjacking is a national sport. I expect the fragmentation predicted by totoneila to come about - some areas are survivable, and others aren't. It'll come over a generation rather than the two hour epic disaster movie time frame which so constrains our thinking, but we will not escape it.

I have a standard question to those who are against tax reductions (legalized theft). How high is too high? At what level of total tax load would you consider it too high? 50%, 60%, 90%?

Every time I ask that no one gives me a straight answer. Care to give it a try? You have to justify the number of course.

90% is fine.

Ya see, the rich should be paying off the poor to keep 'em from rioting and burning what they had to the ground.

Now, how about YOU talk to us all about "The Free Market"?

I assume you want 90% only on the "rich", which you would have to define. Spoken like a true far left socialist.

I don't have a problem with the free market. I support the ability of people to make and sell goods to whom ever they want for what ever price they can get. It's a system that works and has worked for hundreds of years. Just because some people abuse it does not mean the system itself is wrong. Regardless what happens with energy, once things settle down in the future and even during the crash, there will be a free market of goods being sold and traded. Even Cuba has returned to a free market economy so it can feed itself.

Well, ask the ruling French and Russian elite about that--
(if you can find any, as most were guillotined or hung in the streets--
you might find more Russian elite, as they fled to the protection of their friends, industrial robber barons in the west)--
Capitalism has never existed without a strong State to enforce it's rules, and as soon as the army and police refuse to enforce it's rules, it all collapses.
Most small puppet states of Capital would last hours without protection from their masters.
I agree, trade has always existed between people.
Extracting profit from the relation of user and exchange value through the ownership of production is a new and corrupt idea, about to crash in a finite world of resource depletion.

No system survives without the military and police to enforce the rules. Think Stalinist Russian Empire. With out rules in our society and there would be utter chaos and the system would break down completely.

Throughout history there have been people have had control of production of a product people want. So what? Nowhere is it written in stone that the world is equal? What's so very wrong with someone making something, hiring people to build and manufacture an item, and sell it to the public? How is that corrupt? Seems to me that is wealth generation which everyone involved benefits from. People who work put a roof over their heads and feed their families, and pay their taxes. Governments use those taxes to fund services people need. How is that corrupt?

It won't matter what system is in place, a crash due to depleting resources would happen anyway. Why? Because it is not the system per se that is the underlying cause of the problem of resource depletion, it's over population. If it weren’t for our sheer numbers we would not have the problems we have today. It's the very size of the consuming public that generates these very wealth people and the tax base from which governments fund their projects. Mega corporations exist in reponse to the volume of consumers. Remove that volume and these mega corporations would not work.

It's because of rich people that we have a middle class, and it's the middle class the funds the tax system. Remove the rich and the middle class disappears. Why? Because wealth is relative.

Besides, once the economy starts to collapse these "rich" people will loose a lot of their wealth. Sure they will do what they can with their money to protect themselves, but that would be expected of anyone. And it will be no guarrentee they will make it either as the crash will very much be chaotic and uncontrolable.

I get the impression from posts here that people just can't wait for the crash to happen. Salivating in anticipation of a better world after, to be vindicated in their geopolitical views. A kind of reset button. Don't count on it. The crash is going to be very nasty indeed. And if you do survive it, you will have many friends and relatives who won't. And after, do you think there is going to be some self-sustaining utopia form in the Post Carbon Era? Not a chance. Life will be hard, very hard, as people try to figure out how to stay alive. Those in winter zones will die each year from starvation and freezing. Then in the summer months those in small communities will have to deal with marauding hordes trying to steal their food, women and young men, killing at will.

If you make it to those times, rest assured you will look back on today as the best times humanity ever had.

Jr: If guv leaders actually had growing the economy as a goal, tax cuts would start from the bottom up-literally every dollar saved in taxation would be funnelled back into the economy. You sound like just another "free marketer" simply advocating a free ride for anyone with a few more bucks than average (because it will trickle down).

There is no such thing as a free ride. And yes, I happen to like our "free market" system. Better than anything else that has existed or will exist in the future.

"Spoken like a true far left socialist."

This level of hyperbole really degrades The Oil Drum, IMHO.

I agree.

You would have to extend the conversation to include what services were being provided in return by the tax collecting entity.

The level of tax load that is too high is one in which the burden on individuals would outweigh the benefits to society as a whole (including that individual). I cannot put an absolute number on it, because I don't think the number is fixed. I think it depends on time, place, and circumstances. I'm not sure the US has ever been there, so it is probably something higher than anything in US history.

By the way, I'm not against tax reductions. I'm against tax reductions for people who want to spend like drunken sailors. It is why I have come to loathe the modern Republican party. They want their wars, and their corporate welfare, and thier no-bid contracts. They just don't want to pay for them. They want future generations to pay for them with a reduced standard of living. I'd much rather take the bozos' money now and let future generations decide how they want to allocate their resources.

There comes a level of taxation where the actual revenue obtained by the state starts to fall. That is the more you tax, once over that threshold, the government starts to see less revenue and more expenses. That number is dependant upon the state the monitary cycle is in as well as the state of indebtness by the public (interest payments vs tax payments). Hence it is absolutely rediculous to claim 90% taxation is what is needed. That would kill the economy just by itself.

In Ontario in the 1990's when the Conservatives took over power from the heavily raised tax years of the Socialist NDP, they immediately started to reduce taxes. It was claimed by the left media to be the worse thing to do when they were trying to kill a huge deficit. But what actually happened was that tax revenue WENT UP! And it helped them kill the deficit.

Thus any call to raise taxes has to be justified and must take into account the economic state of the population. Raising taxes now will do far more harm now than any good. If they want to help keep the economy from going into drepression they will have to reduce the two big bites into one's pay cheque they can control -- taxes and interest payments. They won't be able to control the other big expence of the public -- energy.

BTW, in a free democratic society if someone wants to spend like a drunken sailor that's their right to do so. Who doesn't have that right is governments as the money they spend is not theirs, but the publics, whom they spend on their behalf (That's idealy what it should be).

Jr: The NDP had an awful lot of help from the corrupt trio of Crow, Mulroney and Wilson.

No, they did much of it themselves. Ontario was hit the hardest of all the provinces. Besides, that trio didn't start the mess, the Federal Liberals did under PET decades before.

In Ontario in the 1990's when the Conservatives took over power from the heavily raised tax years of the Socialist NDP, they immediately started to reduce taxes. It was claimed by the left media to be the worse thing to do when they were trying to kill a huge deficit. But what actually happened was that tax revenue WENT UP! And it helped them kill the deficit.

They didn't kill the deficit. They said they were running a balanced budget, but after they were thrown out it emerged that they had left a nice little present of a $5bn deficit for the incoming Liberals.

You once characterized yourself as "middle of the road" but using the code words "legalized theft" revealed that you are far right libertarian.

One percentile extreme vs. mid-range.

Although I dislike exchanging posts with you (you are immune to facts) I will say the Peak of the Laffer Curve. Whatever progressive tax rate will generate the highest amount of tax revenues. My GUESS would be inheritance & gift taxes of 67% and income taxes of 55% to 60% above $100,000. Any higher and tax revenues begin to fall off.

More progressive taxes (above a raised zero & 10% tax floor) would divert GDP from personal consumption (the source of SUVs & McMansions) into social investments, which give a higher social benefit.


So if someone complains that the current system is nothing more than fascism is not from the far left? I put that phrase in there deliberately to see if someone would take a swipe at it. Thanks for participating.

It is legalized theft depending upon how you look at it. People are not voluntarily buying anything from the taxes they pay. It's enforced on you by legislation and subject to the whims of the political party in power. Often what the government spend that tax money on is not what the public wants or agrees with. Governments are grossly inefficient, hugely over bloated bureaucracies. But that’s what we get with so many people to try and keep order on.

I don’t have a problem with taxation per se, I have a problem with excessive taxation. I have a problem with governments telling me they would do a better job of using my money than I would. That became so clear when the Conservatives here wanted to fund daycare through a tax credit, giving people the money to do what they saw fit for their children, as opposed to the Liberal scheme of total nationwide funding for day care (basically an indoctrination institution to breed more Liberals). One of the Liberal’s interviewed said that people will just waste the Conservative’s money on “beer and popcorn.” Oh, did he get a blast and he had to apologize. But that shows the thinking of Left Liberals. That we the public cannot be trusted with our own money.

I've taken the political test and I'm socially in the middle of the line, and slight right of centre economically. I don’t believe in cradle to grave government intrusion on our lives because the government is just people and people are incompetent and corruptible. I’d rather be in control of my own fate.

Jr: You don't mind taking money from the Left. Chretien and the hated Liberals saved you more than a few by keeping us out of that Iraq mess. Luckily your hero is managing to make it up by draining us battling in perpetuity that most important of all evil-doers, Afghanistan.

You are pointing out what some people distinguish as the difference between change and transformation.

Change is incremental or evolutionary; it carries with it most of the existing problems because it simply takes the existing system and modifies it.

Transformation is the invention from a blank slate of an entirely new system.

In my estimation, transformation has many enemies in the form of vested interests and even I personally really like my ability to jump in the car and go where I want, when I want.


Tips for serious research on The Oil Drum
All techniques are for Google unless otherwise stated; click to try them.

We were a horse-centric society for 4000 years. The desire for personal transportation will not go away.

Yeah, but most people couldn't afford horses. They may have had the desire for personal transportation, but without the money, it was shank's mare.

I question that.

The Garden District was originally built for 1840s & 1850s millionaires (gold & silver dollars) and there is evidence of only a few stables left in the area. The vast majority of homes did not have them, walking & using the St. Charles Streetcar Line instead. In the Lower Garden District (professionals, upper middle class) only one stable left. However, marble blocks to make it easy to mount a cab (horse drawn) still remain in the middle of many blocks.


Hi All,

I've been lurking for a couple of months after being converted from GW concerns to learning about PO.

I've learned things I didn't know I didn't know :)

I'm in Oxford, UK & watch out for MSM to come clean about PO.

This week's edition of New Scientist has a full page advert by Vernon Coleman selling his 'Oil Apocalypse' book.

Can anyone advise on Coleman's credentials? I don't want to waste my money....

Keep up the good work!


Try The Long Emergency . If that doesn't scare the begeeses out of you nothing will.

Solar from PV is quite situational. We'd all be a whole lot better off if the dollars poured into fancy panels were first directed into plywood boxes painted black inside ... and once we've done all of that we can, then we start looking at the PV stuff.

I'd like to do a small system here - on the order of 750 watts - for the sake of a window air conditioner when things get toasty. We shall see how that plays out over the next year ...

Could you look up and check to see if the story has been posted before you post it again? Your browser has a "search" function that makes this very easy.

My bad, I must not have refreshed my screen from when I first checked the oil drum early this morning! sorry.:)

Hello TODers,

I present a truly rational Dieoff Thinker:
"Do you want genocide? Come back and find me in a month. I and my children will be dead of starvation. That's the genocide of me."

It was a pointless request.


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

This whole region and its behavior puzzles me. I'm not in favor of harming sentient beings, but it would seem the path of least suffering might involve those who incite such things ending up on the loud end of a Specter gunship. That one Lord's Resistance Army fellow and a hundred of his closest followers turned into bloody pulp would have spared the region much suffering.

There will be more of this, not less, as we move forward in time. I seldom read such things, as there is little I can do here, but this one I did and the news should hold me for the next year; nothing but grim.

Hello SCT,

Thxs for responding. Yep, when future and similar Dieoff atrocities are postPeak occuring daily in Topeka, Tampa, San Francisco, El Paso, Boise, Boston, Chicago, my Asphalt Wonderland, and other towns and cities: I often ponder what Overshoot percentage will think about the lethal, Malthusian results of procreative sex, and why we didn't do something about it much, much earlier.

The mothers cry while their babies die....

REQUIEM by Jay Hanson

...We will see feral children mining the dumps for plastic to burn (Pampers) so they can heat the hovels they are forced to live in. The strongest kids will set traps for fresh meat -- rats -- while the weaker kids will eat anything they can cram into their mouths (old shoes, styrofoam peanuts, newspaper soup). Pandemics will sweep the world, punctuated every so often by explosions as abandoned and rotting nuclear facilities blow up. Leaking dumps and tanks will spew PCBs and radioactive hazwaste into the feral food chain spawning surprising new shapes for young mothers to enjoy nursing.[55] Toxic chemical fires, blowing garbage and trash, genetic mutations, filthy water, cannibalism ...
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Don't sugar coat it Bob, Tell us straight, how bad's it gonna get?


Back when I found Dieoff.com 6 years ago or so, it was one of the only places for any background on Peak Oil, (and FTW, Ruppert).
Reading much of it, kinda took your mental image of the future and pulled it like a rubber band and then SNAP back at you when you finally Grok the depth of the impact of overshoot and all of it's symptoms like Peak Oil, Minerals, Depleted Soil.

I'm hoping to see some of the best of human nature, and am trying to prepare as best as I can in case I begin seeing some of the worst in human nature.

Do you want genocide?

We think the US has some problems with genocide.

And our criminal complaint affidavit against Brzezinski is being ignored.

For now.

We are not pleased by this.

Matters should get peacefully settled.

We are working on this.

From one of my favorite blogs, Orcinus:

One of the ways you know that that era of stability is ending and a transformative shift is at hand is that everything that used to work gradually stops working....
...the managers, in over their heads at last, typically go into hard denial. People are holding them responsible for everything that's going wrong, even though the problems are due to large-scale (often externally-imposed) issues that are outside their line of authority and well beyond their control.

cfm in Gray, ME

Interesting. Reminds me of my Air Force days, when much was made of the difference between leadership and management (but management was what they taught us).

The flaw in that post, IMO, is that it doesn't acknowledge that leadership can be used for ill as well as for good. Leaders with vision and the ability to engender trust in their followers aren't just the FDRs and Lincolns; they are also the Hitlers, and those African warlords that are making life hell for so many in Africa.

Honestly, there are times when I think all of us, even the most scientific among us, will follow anyone who appears confident enough in what they are doing.

I was thinking of that today w/r/t this Obama phenomenon. I watched his Iowa speech and all I could think of was "where's the beef?" OTOH, a leader that doesn't get people all hopped up won't go anywhere.

Still, I was more focused on the why it seems that virtually everything the current elites do makes things worse. Not enough oil? We need better managers, more consolidation and more efficiency. Wrong. [And that's not even getting into the whole piranha frenzy.]

cfm in Gray, ME

Whatever else the MSM is, it is an organization staffed by people who majored in communications even though they weren't on the football team. Explains a lot.

Many thanks Cherenkov. An honest ex-insider telling it in plain terms. And you're not alone. A lot of journos inside and outside the corporate media know the truth, and tell as much as they can, though always with an eye on their careers, of course. These stories also fit closely with the truly masterly analysis of Herman and Chomsky in 'Manufacturing Consent'; a must-read for anyone who wants to know what's really with the corporate media. And here's another link which takes you straight past the curtain and into real-world: : http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7693

Put those two together -- the exhaustive study by H and C and the short outline by Richard Moore -- and you're beginning to get a picture about how powerholders and their propaganda system really behave -- I respectfully suggest.

And Cherenkov, I love your phrase 'sweet bullshit'. I'm definitely going to steal that. So accurate!