DrumBeat: January 23, 2008

BP downbeat on Russia output

BP’s oil production in Russia, which accounts for a quarter of the UK group’s global output, will not grow for a second consecutive year in 2008, according to the chief executive of TNK-BP, the Anglo-Russian joint venture.

Robert Dudley predicted a return to growth of about 100,000 barrels of oil a day in 2009, when several new projects are due to come on stream, up from this year’s level of 1.8m or so.

Saudi Arabia Says Dollar Must Fall 30% Before It Will Revalue

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer, won't consider abandoning the riyal's peg to the dollar unless the U.S. currency loses almost a third of its value.

"If the composition of our exports and imports change and there's a precipitous decline in the dollar, we'd look at" revaluation, Muhammad al-Jasser, Vice-Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, or SAMA, said in an interview in Davos, Switzerland today. Such a drop would have to be about 30 percent, he said.

Venezuela says no need for OPEC to boost output

CARACAS, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Venezuela's energy minister reiterated on Wednesday he does not believe OPEC needs to increase output to tame high oil prices despite pressure for a hike from consumer nations, especially the United States.

The leftist government of anti-U.S. President Hugo Chavez is a price hawk in OPEC and has repeatedly said the export group should agree to keep output capped during a meeting next month.

"We do not think it is necessary. It's not justified. There is enough inventory, enough output," Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez told reporters.

North Dakota legislators mull state oil refinery

NEW YORK (Reuters) - North Dakota legislators are studying building the country's only state-run oil refinery to steady fuel prices and boost demand for locally produced crude.

Sandwiched between Minnesota and Montana along the Canadian border, the snowy farming state is the No. 8 U.S. oil producer thanks to advances which have enabled companies to extract crude oil from the giant Bakken Shale formation.

Is politics invading the oil patch? Rating agency says yes

(AXcess News) New York - In a report on major oil companies released Tuesday, the largest threat to the commercial oil patch appears to be state-owned oil with competitive ranking swinging over to national oil companies, or NOCs, over time as the fight for untapped global resources unfolds.

According to Moody's, major oil companies may have advantages in technology and sufficient capital, but in the long-run its the state-owned oil companies who'll control more of the market simply because those countries will be less likely to permit outside energy developers from moving in on untapped reserves. That could mean politics will play a larger role in major oil companies futures.

Environmental Terrorism and the Price of Oil

As humiliating as it is for the United States to be put in a position where our economy is held hostage to foreign oil producers who can make or break our nation simply by limiting their petroleum production, thus causing the price of oil to skyrocket, it is even more shameful that we have allowed the so-called environmental movement to escape the blame for our predicament.

Clinton visits Arizona, vows to end subsidies for oil companies

LAVEEN, Ariz. (AP) -- Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton on Tuesday vowed to end subsidies for oil companies and said the country needs to be more energy-efficient and less dependent on foreign countries for fuel.

In a speech focusing on the country's slumping economy, the New York senator said America can create jobs by converting to solar and other forms of alternative energy.

The hottest hybrid vehicles for 2008

Hybrids are still niche vehicles, but at their current rate of growth, they could dominate the roads in another five or 10 years.

Exxon guns for all-time profit record

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, is within striking distance of setting an all-time profit record - again.

Analysts are expecting the company to post solid quarterly and full-year earnings next Thursday - and if the results top forecasts, Exxon could end up reporting the highest profit ever for a U.S. company.

Drought could force nuke-plant shutdowns

LAKE NORMAN, N.C. - Nuclear reactors across the Southeast could be forced to throttle back or temporarily shut down later this year because drought is drying up the rivers and lakes that supply power plants with the awesome amounts of cooling water they need to operate.

Utility officials say such shutdowns probably wouldn't result in blackouts. But they could lead to shockingly higher electric bills for millions of Southerners, because the region's utilities could be forced to buy expensive replacement power from other energy companies.

Already, there has been one brief, drought-related shutdown, at a reactor in Alabama over the summer.

"Water is the nuclear industry's Achilles' heel," said Jim Warren, executive director of N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network, an environmental group critical of nuclear power. "You need a lot of water to operate nuclear plants." He added: "This is becoming a crisis."

Major integrated oil cos have stable outlook but challenges exist - Moody's

'Despite rising cash flows as a result of higher oil and gas prices and strong refining margins, these companies continue to face formidable reserve replacement, production growth and cost challenges,' said Moody's senior vice president Thomas Coleman in a report.

He added that the real issue for these companies in the longer-term is whether they will be able to retain a differential advantage based on capital resources and technology, and the extent to which the majors' competitive ranking within the petroleum industry will be gradually eroded by the national oil companies (NOCs).

Ukraine received over 1 bln cu m of Russian gas since year start

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine has received over 1 billion cu m of Russian natural gas since January and its debt for gas supplies stands at $719 million, Swiss trader RosUkrEnergo, half owned by Gazprom, said on Wednesday.

Analysis: Brazil strikes gas again

MIAMI, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Brazil's energy fortunes appear to keep growing with the discovery of a new gas field right next door to a bounty of undersea oil found last year, officials at state-run Petrobras announced this week.

Prius Designer Says Toyota-Led Industry Must Lose Oil Addiction

In a 2-mile-wide pit below, trucks head to refineries with loads of sand weighing more than Boeing 747s. Yellow flames shoot skyward as 900-degree-Fahrenheit (482- degree-Celsius) heat liquefies any embedded petroleum. Floating scarecrows and propane-powered cannons do their best to chase migrating birds from lethal wastewater ponds.

Eventually, nuclear reactors may surround the crater 270 miles (435 kilometers) northeast of Edmonton, Alberta, delivering the power required to wring oil from sand.

"This is what the end of the age of oil means," says Reinert, 60, who plans the vehicles Toyota will make in a quarter century as national manager for advanced technology at the U.S. sales unit in Torrance, California. "The car-based culture, the business-as-usual of building cars and trucks, is going to change dramatically."

Toyota catches GM in global sales

Wednesday's report did represent something of a moral victory for GM, which had been widely expected to lose its sales lead to Toyota during the course of 2007.

GM saw its second-best sales year on record, trailing only its 1978 total of 9.55 million vehicles, as it was lifted by strong overseas sales. Its sales in China broke the 1 million mark for the first time, while sales jumped 19 percent in its sales region that includes Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. They also doubled in Russia, another market seeing rapid industrywide growth.

Energy: Centre of power is on the move

The story of energy in the 21st century has been the relative decline of the developed world as both a producer and a consumer.

New forces with serious global ambitions such as China National Petroleum Corporation and Russia’s Gazprom have emerged on the world stage, and global markets for oil, gas, coal and uranium are increasingly shaped by emerging economies’ rapacious demand.

Those trends are set to continue and intensify. The question for the US, the European Union and Japan will be how well they can adjust to that change.

StatoilHydro says fire at Mongstad refinery but no details

OSLO (Thomson Financial) - Norwegian oil and gas producer StatoilHydro ASA confirmed reports that a fire had broken out at its Mongstad refinery in western Norway, without providing details.

"It's been confirmed there has been a fire but I can give you no details," said spokesman Gisle Johanson.

ConocoPhillips earnings rise on soaring oil prices

NEW YORK, Jan 23 (Reuters) - ConocoPhillips, the No. 3 U.S. oil company, posted higher fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday, beating Wall Street expectations on record oil prices.

Still, its shares were down 2 percent in early trading as lower oil prices and fears of a recession weighed on the shares of the entire oil industry.

Refineries, airlines phased into EU CO2 charges

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission proposed on Wednesday that oil refineries and airlines pay more over time for permits to emit greenhouse gases under the European Union's emissions trading scheme.

EU Steel Industry Warns Brussels on Climate Plan

BRUSSELS - Europe's steelmakers warned the European Commission on Tuesday that production and jobs would move abroad to less environmentally demanding locations if Brussels did not amend radical plans to fight climate change.

Strong demand to boost spot uranium price in 2008

LONDON(Reuters) - Uranium spot prices are forecast to climb this year on stronger demand, but rising supplies are expected to cap the market in 2009, a Reuters survey showed.

Biofuel production may worsen water, food problems in Asia: study

TOKYO (Kyodo) - An international research group has warned in a recent study that continued rapid growth in biofuel production may worsen already serious water resource and food problems in Asia.

The International Water Management Institute said in its report that "Ambitious plans in China and India to greatly increase domestic production of biofuels derived from crops will put greater stress on these countries' water supplies, seriously undermining their ability to meet future food and feed demands."

Japan to probe seabed for deposits of rare metals

The Japanese government has secretly been looking at probing the seabed from next spring for deposits of ultra-rare metals used extensively by Japanese electronics manufacturers and other cutting-edge technology players.

...The scheme which is based on an untested theory of volcanic science and geology comes amid rising fears that the supply of indium and gallium may become volatile over the next few years due to the new export quotas enforced last year by China. Japan sources most of its indium from China who control over 60% of the world's refined indium production.

Record power shortage hits China

BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) - China is facing its most severe power shortage ever as some plants struggle to secure increasingly costly coal and others shut down capacity rather than rack up losses by selling electricity at low rates.

The rebellion by power plant managers unwilling to generate at a loss is likely to worry policymakers still haunted by the nationwide diesel supply crisis last autumn, when refiners under similar pressure quietly curbed output and forced the government to make an unplanned and unwanted rise in fuel prices.

In a snow-covered China, entire regions are without electricity and gas

The energy shortfall has reached 70 gigawatts, equal to the production of all of Great Britain. There is a shortage of coal because of the closure of many non-compliant mines and the imposition of price caps. The snow is blocking the roads and preventing fuel delivery. The cold is also impacting water and gas suppliers.

China's State Grid urges government to intervene in power crisis

BEIJING (XFN-ASIA) - The State Grid Corp has asked the Chinese government to provide more assistance in handling the current power supply crisis, and to do all it can to boost the delivery of coal to key regions, according to Shanghai's China Business News.

China Shuts 5% of Coal-Fired Power Plants on Shortage

(Bloomberg) -- China has shut about 5 percent of its coal-fired power plants, forcing 13 provinces to ration electricity as snowfalls and transportation delays hamper deliveries of the fuel.

The five biggest electricity producers have shut 90 power stations with combined capacity exceeding 20,000 megawatts in northern and central China, figures today from the State Grid Corp. of China show. Coal stockpiles at the plants have dropped below the ``caution line'' of three days' requirements.

China Looks to Iran to Supply Gas

China National Offshore Oil Corp. could within two weeks sign an agreement with Iran for a guaranteed supply of liquefied natural gas for three Chinese terminals, two people familiar with the situation said Jan.21.

If concluded, the National Iranian Oil Co. would deliver 10 million metric tons of the gas for three new or expanded LNG terminals in China. The gas would come from Iran's North Pars project, the sources said.

Energy shortage forces Central Asians to burn dung

DUSHANBE -- With no heating and just three hours of electricity a day, Malokhat Atayeva is struggling to survive the coldest winter in three decades in her small town in western Tajikistan.

Forget the World Cup, tourism chief tells South Africa

Johannesburg - South Africa's energy crisis raises serious questions about its ability to successfully host the 2010 World Cup, the head of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) said Wednesday, following days of crippling power outages. South Africa is suffering acute energy shortages, resulting in countrywide power cuts lasting several hours at a time as state electricity provider Eskom tries to cover demand.

Blackouts hit pay packets

The nationwide power cuts are costing workers income, as companies are forced to adjust their shift and working hours.

Unions are in talks with about 500 companies in the Western Cape seeking to change members' working hours to shift their employers' electricity demand to off-peak hours.

Many companies have already restructured shifts, sending employees home during load-shedding, and devised plans to pay for hours worked.

South Africa: City traffic lights to go green

The state-owned Central Energy Fund (CEF) has announced a massive countrywide drive to install solar-powered traffic lights at critical intersections in major cities to combat traffic congestion caused by load shedding.

Zambia: Power outrages

The power outages whose cause the country's electricity utility Zesco is still trying to fully establish, have created an uproar not only among industrial users but also among domestic consumers. Some of this outage has even assumed extreme forms in Lusaka with some irate members of the public taking the law into their own hands and resorting to acts of lawlessness.

The action by some residents of Mandevu township who ran amok destroying at least seven motor vehicles in an orgy of destruction in protest against the power outages is most unfortunate. More so that the vehicles and other property which were destroyed during the fracas, belonged to equally affected members of the public who were not in any way responsible for the blackout.

There is shortage of oil in market, says Bodman

DOHA: US Energy Secretary Sam Bodman says there is a shortage of oil in the market.

But he, however, said the current high oil price is a combination of various factors including a sliding dollar and instability in certain parts of the world – mainly Nigeria, Venezuela and Iran from where there are significant oil supplies.

Suncor's Sarnia refinery running at 70 percent

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Suncor Energy Inc said on Tuesday its 70,000 barrel per day refinery in Sarnia, Ontario, was running at about 70 percent of capacity, with diesel supplies hit by a shortage of hydrogen.

Suncor spokesman Brad Bellows said the refinery's hydrogen supplier had shut down until at least Jan. 27, cutting needed supplies. He said the refinery was producing more "off-road quality" diesel fuel until it has sufficient quantities of the gas.

Bangladesh: No hike in prices of fertiliser, diesel in Boro season

The government will not go for price increase of diesel and fertiliser in the current Boro season though the subsidies on diesel and fertiliser will be over Tk 10,000 at the end of this fiscal year.

Agriculture Adviser CS Karim yesterday said the government would continue subsidy on fertiliser at least until the end of the Boro season.

Petro-Canada Unveils 2 Big Offshore Discoveries

Petro-Canada announced successful results from two international exploration wells - one in the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea and one in deepwater off Trinidad and Tobago.

Mexico's PRI opposition open to energy debate

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's key opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is open to all ideas for energy reform, including a constitutional change, the party's general secretary Jesus Murillo said on Tuesday.

The PRI, whose position is crucial in congressional votes, remains firmly opposed to privatizing state oil monopoly Pemex, but would back private-sector alliances if that would bolster flagging reserves, Murillo told Reuters as lawmakers sat down this month to discuss a new energy law.

A Fragile Peace: Congo Peace Deal Should Bolster Oil Companies

One week after an oil engineer for a European company is released from captivity along with 17 others, the Democratic Republic of Congo's government has announced it has reached a peace agreement with the rebels responsible for the kidnapping.

India: Stocks build-up by processors behind high oilseed prices

Speculators (euphemistically called investors) have also purchased large quantities in anticipation of price rise. Such artificial build up of stocks for speculative purposes – in the context of an overall shortage situation and high international prices – has raised open market rates to unprecedented levels. Worse, the benefit of the oilseed price rise since the harvest time (October 2007) has not flowed to the grower. If anything, an average soyabean grower or groundnut farmer received a small part of the price premium. Speculators have gathered the cream of profits; and consumers are paying a high price for their cooking oils.

Abu Dhabi To Capture 20M Tons of CO2; Inject in Oil Fields

Abu Dhabi plans to launch up to 15 carbon projects to capture as much as 20 million tons a year of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, a government official said Tuesday.

"The projection is that we will be able to potentially capture about 20 million tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2020, and that will happen through about 10 to 15 carbon-capturing projects," Sam Nader, director for carbon management at Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co., or Adfec, told Zawya Dow Jones in an interview.

Dark days for African mining

Namibia has become the latest southern African country to freeze all major investment projects due to an energy crisis that threatens to overshadow the region’s growing FDI prospects.

The mining industry will be among the sectors worst hit, with Namibia’s state electricity utility NamPower placing a moratorium on all new mines, saying they would have to wait until at least 2009 to get power.

Peak oil to arrive sooner than expected

Peak oil, the point in time at which the maximum global petroleum production rate is reached, will arrive sooner than most observers expect and bring about an economic crisis that will be much greater than the one that is currently taking place in the world markets, according to author David Strahan. Speaking at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, Strahan said peak oil may arrive as early as 2017, but no later than 2020.

Have No Fear, Wave [3] of III of the HUI is Nearly Here

Peak oil is going to seriously play into how much gold and silver can actually be mined, but the Johnny and Jane Come-Lately are going to be blinded by the shine of gold and not even see this coming. The termination of this bull market will see stocks fall off a cliff because this will be the end game for stocks.

Sudan doubles crude exports to China in 2007

Crude oil exports from Sudan to China more than doubled last year to top 200,000 barrels a day, with official data showing that China now takes 40 percent of the east African producer’s total output.

Australia: Environment levy paying dividends, says council

“EL funds have enabled council to provide direction through the development of a Sustainability Action Plan that focuses on climate change, population growth and peak oil.

“Protecting the region’s rich biodiversity is another high priority area utilising EL funds."

Lights out for Earth Hour

Peterborough Green-Up and Town Ward Coun. Dean Pappas are beginning to generate interest in Earth Hour - a global challenge to draw attention to climate change by shutting off lights between 8 and 9 p.m. on March 29.

Cities such as Toronto, Copenhagen, Chicago, Melbourne, Brisbane, Tel Aviv and Manila have signed up to switch off for Earth Hour.

World's changing - as it always does

Imagine a world in which limitless clean energy is available for cheap, and material goods come out of a fabricator that absorbs unformed raw materials, breaks them down into building blocks, and then builds anything you can design from the molecular level upward. Such a world solves almost all of our known material problems and creates new problems we can't really even imagine - which actually quite accurately describes the world we live in right now, as seen by our grandparents.

What's wrong with this country, if anything, is its growing conservatism - probably caused by all of us baby boomers turning into curmudgeons. Conservatism is about conserving, hanging on to what was good in the past.

The end of cheap oil: Are you ready?

I am now convinced that, unlike the events of 1973, the situation we face today is not a short-term predicament. It's a multifaceted problem. It is unlike anything we've encountered before. It is non-negotiable. It will not be easy. It will change everything.

The time to prepare is short because reducing our dependence on cheap oil will take decades. Supply chain professionals will have to examine alternatives to current practices and consider new strategies in preparation for the end of the era of cheap oil.

To put it bluntly, the wolf is howling outside the door and may already be in the room.

High fuel prices are puzzling

Consumer advocates and others smell a rip-off. As proof, they note that a few California refiners have reacted by cutting production, shutting down early for maintenance and lining up exports in an effort to shore up wholesale prices.

"The California economy has been penalized by high gas prices for months, and now, when the opportunity comes for a brief window of significantly lower prices, the workings of the market are being frustrated," energy economist Philip K. Verleger Jr. said. "The people who own refineries are doing everything they can to prevent [the declining wholesale price] from trickling down to the consumer."

Oil prices dive on US recession fears

LONDON (AFP) - Oil prices fell heavily on Wednesday as a dramatic US interest rate cut failed to end concerns about a recession in the United States, the world's biggest consumer of energy.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in March, sank 1.30 dollars to 87.91 dollars per barrel. The February contract expired Tuesday at 89.85 dollars.

Why we’re not reliving the 70’s oil crisis

I wasn’t alive for the oil crisis of the 1970’s, but I’ve heard stories - the rationing, the license plates, the long periods of waiting that must have made a driver think twice about commuting to work. Economists have always blamed the crisis - and the periods of low growth, high unemployment, and high inflation - on instability in the Middle East, with the Yom Kippur war in 1973 and the Iranian revolution in 1979.

Now the situation in the Middle East is even stickier. For starters, there’s the Iraq war and the war on terror, neither of which are going smoothly. Add that to fears of foreign dependency, energy insecurity, and peak oil. The price of oil is definitely going up. But the gas lines aren’t snaking around the block, and you’re not seeing fewer gas guzzlers on the road. So what’s the deal?

China's 2nd largest oil field 11.79% larger than previously thought

China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) told Xinhua on Wednesday that the nation's second largest oil field's proven oil reserve was 11.79 percent higher than previously thought to the exploration efforts made by the oilfield.

Further exploration in the field revealed that reserves in Shengli oil field were 102.03 million tonnes, 12.03 million tones more than previously thought, said Sinopec, the country's largest oil refiner.

Shell CEO to meet Nigerian president

The head of Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Wednesday that "conditions must improve" before the company could resume production that was cut because of unrest in Nigeria.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, CEO Jeroen van der Veer told Dow Jones Newswires he would meet with Nigeria's president, Umaru Yar'Adua, on Friday about security and energy funding.

Van der Veer said he hoped to regain its share of lost oil output but "conditions must improve for us to restart production, and we're not there yet."

Russia makes last fuel oil shipment to N. Korea

MOSCOW (Interfax) - Russia has fulfilled its obligation to provide fuel oil to North Korea.

The last shipment was made on January 22, the press service of Rosneft, the oil company responsible for supplies to North Korea, told the Oil News Agency.

"Yesterday, the last shipment of fuel oil was unloaded from our tanker," the company said.

ANALYSIS - Russia oil refiners turn to home for higher prices

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Some of Russia's largest fuel exporters are redirecting export volumes to the domestic market in a rush to cash in on high prices at home while recession fears drive a downturn on international oil markets.

Petrobras' Tupi Field May Lead to Other Discoveries

(Bloomberg) -- Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil's state-controlled oil company, said the Tupi gas field may be "only one indication" of the potential reserves on offer at a recent discovery.

Tupi, one of the world's biggest finds of the past 30 years, could be followed by other discoveries in the region, Chief Executive Officer Jose Sergio Gabrielli said today in a Bloomberg Television interview from Davos, Switzerland.

"We are still talking about preliminary data but the indications point to big volumes," Gabrielli said. "We think that we have a very large, new exploratory frontier in the coast of Brazil."

Tourists stranded on Table Mountain

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The power woes being felt across southern Africa reached one of the region's premier attractions — leaving tourists trapped suspended in cable cars at Cape Town's landmark Table Mountain.

The power cut Monday night trapped 500 people at the top of the mountain and in two cable cars for three hours. That was followed Tuesday by an outage of about an hour across the Zambian capital that forced some nurses at a hospital to work by candlelight. Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe have also felt the effects of a deepening regional energy crisis.

Aging infrastructure and growing demand has lead to increasing power outages in southern Africa. This has been exacerbated in the last week as rolling blackouts in South Africa caused the national electricity utility to suspend exports to neighboring countries as it battles to meet demand in the continent's economic hub.

Politicians Censor Report on Dangers of Arctic Drilling

There's black gold beneath the snow white Arctic -- and oil companies are gearing up to exploit it on a massive scale. Scientists had hoped to warn of the scope of the environmental dangers of Arctic drilling in a new report, but 60 passages have been removed following pressure from the United States and Sweden.

WWF calls for moratorium on oil exploration in Arctic

TROMSOE, Norway (AFP) - Global conservation group WWF called on Tuesday for a moratorium on all new oil exploration in the Arctic, insisting that the environmental risks to the sensitive eco system there were too great.

South Koreans angry over worst-ever oil spill

SEOUL, South Korea - Thousands of angry South Korean fishermen and residents of villages devastated by the country's worst oil spill scuffled with riot police Wednesday during a demonstration demanding quick compensation for their losses.

UN warns biofuels could fuel deforestation, land disputes

BANGKOK (AP): The world's rush to embrace biofuels is causing a spike in the price of corn and other crops and could worsen water shortages and force poor communities off their land, a United Nations official said Wednesday.

Airlines abandon higher fuel surcharge

DALLAS - A doubling of the fuel surcharge tacked on to most tickets by American Airlines and other carriers appeared to flop, the second straight unsuccessful effort by airlines to boost the fee.

American last week raised its fuel surcharge to $40 from $20 for many round trip flights, and over the weekend other carriers went along. But by Monday, Northwest Airlines Corp. had began a gradual retreat, which forced other airlines to also drop the fee, according to analysts who watch air fares.

Sweden to study belching cows

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - A Swedish university has received $590,000 in research funds to measure the greenhouse gases released when cows belch.

Global warming: French carbon emissions sharply lower in 2006

PARIS (AFP) - French greenhouse gas emissions fell sharply in 2006, helped by a warmer fall, leaving the country well on course to meet its goals under the UN's Kyoto Protocol, France's ecology minister said Tuesday.

Carbon emissions were 2.5 percent lower in 2006 compared with 2005, and four percent lower than in 1990, the Protocol's benchmark year, Ecology Minister Jean-Louis Borloo told journalists at an annual reception.

New award for climate-change campaigner Gore

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Al Gore picked up his latest award for campaigning on climate change issues when he was handed the Gothenburg Prize for sustainable development Tuesday, organisers said.

EU climate plan to cut climate change gases

BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Commission unveiled Wednesday a sweeping strategy for Europe to lead the fight against global climate change amid bickering over how to share the huge burden.

Study: Warming may cut US hurricane hits

Global warming could reduce how many hurricanes hit the United States, according to a new federal study that clashes with other research. The new study is the latest in a contentious scientific debate over how man-made global warming may affect the intensity and number of hurricanes.


"You either think they are corrupt and should bring them down or you subsidize this Ponzi Scheme for a few more months and let a few more folks jump out with golden parachutes. You can’t have it both ways. I mean how in the hell does this cut create jobs or help the ailing economy?"

Whatever the market does, the eventual trajectory is to a major correction and all these little diversions will only make the endgame that much more painful. When things were starting to get out of hand in 2003 and 2004, someone should of stepped in."

I'm wondering how much longer today that CNBC/Bloomberg
talk about Davos.

I've noticed alot of criticism coming from George Soros out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland about how things have been handled in the last six months and how the US Dollar is losing favor in the world. No matter what you think of Soros, when he starts talking about currencies, you'd better listen. He's got a good track record in that regard.


``The current crisis is not only the bust that follows the housing boom, it's basically the end of a 60-year period of continuing credit expansion based on the dollar as the reserve currency,'' Soros said in a debate today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. ``Now the rest of the world is increasingly unwilling to accumulate dollars.''

Soros and former U.S. Treasury Secretary criticizing central banks at Davos:

Summers Points at Central Banks on Asset Declines

The U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks are partly to blame for the financial-market slump that's now threatening to derail the global economy, said investors and former policy makers at the World Economic Forum.

``It's hard to give central banks a very high grade over the last couple of years on recognition of bubbles and actions taken to address them in the policy or regulatory spheres,'' said former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers in a panel in Davos, Switzerland. Billionaire investor George Soros said central banks have ``lost control'' of financial markets.

Yes from many reports the mood at Davos is far from festive.


Video of Noriel Roubini ,NYU Professor, from Davos this morning. Rate cuts, stimulus package like ,"Pushing on a string". Good analysis IMO.

Yes Roubini has been seeing this correct for some time.

,"Pushing on a string".

Yes, and in the real world it takes cheep, abundant, oil to PULL the string.

First time I'd seen him. No equivocation.

Yeah, hey Souperman is there still a bowl of soup on in Eugene if we ever get down that way?

Yes xburb, just say hi to the freaky Guy Fawkes looking dude.

Slightly north of Eugene a little town called Coeur Valle (Courvallis)

I am willing to host a TOD gathering anytime. Any takers?

It'd be great!

souperman, my spouse and I will be at a contra dance weekend in Feb. We will look you up.

A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain.

- Mark Twain (attributed)

OCTOBER: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February.

- Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar

Probably why my kids never read twain in school.

He's a perennial favorite with the censors. As we speak his books are banned in libraries all over the US, and this statement never seems to go out of date!

>>Now the rest of the world is increasingly unwilling to accumulate dollars<<

You think that unwillingness is going to translate into action!

The cat is out of the bag,as far as the true nature of the beast we are facing.People have figured out the smart money is GONE....and won't come back,until,as one put it,"The sharks are dead,and the lifeguards are telling the truth".

I really do not want my retirement to resemble"The Postman"

American last week raised its fuel surcharge to $40 from $20 for many round trip flights, and over the weekend other carriers went along. But by Monday, Northwest Airlines Corp. had began a gradual retreat, which forced other airlines to also drop the fee, according to analysts who watch air fares.

I despise fuel surcharges. Fuel is part of the cost of business for an airline, and the increased prices should be included in the airfare, and not as an extra fee. This makes price comparison more difficult, as different groups may charge different fees. It's like when I was comparing car rental prices, Hertz was cheaper... UNTIL you added in the fees, then it was more expensive than Budget. These things should simply be included in the base price. Otherwise, it's just a marketing scam.
~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com)

Fuel surcharges are but one form of distortion in the energy markets. How about getting rid of all the subsidies for FF production and importation? How much of the cost of our bloated military expenditures are going to support the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf? Why not add an import "Security Fee" equal to that amount of spending and cut the income taxes to the working people of America? The nuclear power industry has been on line for some 40 years, yet, there is still a large R&D budget to support nuclear in the DOE budget. Nuclear power plant owners do not need to pay the full cost of insurance to cover possible catastrophic accidents, thanks to the Price-Anderson Act. Around here, you can't register a car without having proof of minimum levels of insurance.

The list of subsidies long and the latest energy bill added another layer. Consumers won't have a clue about what to do until they actually pay the full cost of the energy services they receive as they use them. That would seem to be an obvious fact, yet out politicians just keep on adding more and more incentives to consume, while there will be less and less FF's available as time passes.

E. Swanson

Hi Black-Dog,

re: "How much of the cost of our bloated military expenditures are going to support the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf?"

How much cost? How much debt? What is the "k" term in the exponential rise of trauma?

Something I can't seem to get out of my head after reading this:

re: "Why not add an import "Security Fee" equal to that amount of spending and cut the income taxes to the working people of America?"

And then, there is the "funeral fee". The non-military cost as a result of military expenditures, money and energy to, for example, part with the cousin, brother, father, sister...the one who will never return.

By backing down on surcharges, the airlines are effectively choosing to go broke rather than to put their fares up in line with fuel costs. And they will.

Aviation's position as the Second Victim of Peak Oil (after the world's poor) looks increasingly unassailable. Passengers hate surcharges. Trying to incorporate oil price movements into fares would make fares as volatile as oil prices: volatility being likely to increase as the pre-peak plateau rolls on. As fares go up, more and more people will only fly when absolutely necessary.

It'll all end in tears.

Tensions due to rising oil prices are showing up all over. Nepal being unable to reduce its fuel subsidy; India timidly looking at cutting internal subsidies on diesel and gas while not daring to touch kerosene; China is in all sorts of trouble due to the gap between the cost of import/production and state controlled end user prices.

PS. Scary story about the Fed's non borrowed funds balance. Does anyone have any insight on that?

One way or another, the fuel will be paid for, and one way or another, it will ultimately be the passengers doing the paying. Passengers having to pay more and more will ultimately mean fewer passengers. Supply v. Demand, Econ 101.

Fewer and fewer passengers equals fewer and fewer flights, and ultimately fewer airlines.

I have been predicting that long term, airlines will move from a regularly scheduled flight model to a charter model. When you log on to Priceline or Orbitz or whatever replaces them, rather than picking a flight, you'll tell the airline where you want to go and a time window for getting there. The airline will fly if (and only if) they can get a full plane together (preferably with a couple of standbys in case someone cancels out -- at a substantial fee -- at the last minute). If they can't get a full plane, passengers can bid to help pay for the empty seats so that they can fly; if it isn't worth that much to enough people to cover the cost of the flight, then no flight. We will be looking at air tickets in the thousands, rather than hundreds, of dollars. A few business travelers will still find it worth the price; most ordinary people won't.

Interesting concept.

When I travelled to Puerto Rico in 1995, this was exactly the model of inter-city public transport on the island. A car and driver would sit at a known location, waiting for the car to fill up with passengers paying a set fare. If not enough passengers showed up, and they became impatient, they could offer to buy up the empty seats so that they would get to their destination on time.

We (as tourists) used this method of transport all over the island, and it worked fairly well for us. Only two out of ten times did we have to buy up empty seats. Usually it was the locals (who are IME typically in a bigger hurry than tourists) that encouraged the passengers to buy up the empty seats.

First time ever in Fed history so far as people can determine. I think the search has gone back as far as 1959 so far, if I am not mistaken, though that was as far as I knew some people had gotten yesterday.

In other words, this has either never happened before or is a once in a lifetime event. Either way, it's exceedingly rare. It means all the assets are borrowed (not non-borrowed). Something went horribly wrong in January or else it was an act of pure desperation. And it still has not stopped the fall (down about 180 as I write this). The Fed appears to be fundamentally broke, unless or until George turns on the printing presses. So here's when we really get to see Don Sailorman's predictions come true or not. However, as Soros says, there is the small problem of getting the rest of the world to take Federal Reserve Notes these days. Just a wee tiny problem, right?

Maybe we will start printing Euros!

I don't think we disagree about the facts, but my interpretation of the data is different from yours. That the Fed has taken extraordinary action is not surprising; Bernanke announced in his famous helicopter speech that the Federal Reserve System will do whatever it takes to stop deflation. Thus the way I see it is that the Fed has shown what it can and will do to combat deflation; there isn't going to be any series of bank failures.

Can deflation happen anyway, despite the most extreme efforts by the Fed? Yes, that could happen if there were to be a cascade of failures by banks and other financial institutions such as happened during the nineteen thirties. I think this outcome is unlikely, because I think the Fed will use its unlimited lending powers and the Treasury will use its unlimited borrowing power (from the Fed) to create inflation rather than deflation.

Rather than a rerun of the nineteen thirties, I think something like the stagflation of the seventies--but probably much worse--will happen over the next ten years. Peak Oil puts a lot of inflationary cost pressures into the economy. By accommodating to these pressures, rather than trying to stabilize the price level, the Fed has the power to tip the balance toward inflation, despite the credit crunch.

Hey Don. Glad you're around. MBIA and AMBAC? Leveraged to the hilt and now to be guaranteed by you and I as I understand it. Ilargi says the obligation involved in bailing them out is enormous and has big implications for municipalities, states, and the like. Going to eat up their budgets in insuring costs. Seems like the presses are going to be running hard for that one too. Wall street loved it today but somehow I know that isn't always a good sign ;-)

Try a Weimar type hyperinflation as we try to create 750 Trillion out of thin air to bail out the bond insurers. When that doesn't work, and the banks are left holding all this uninsured worthless paper, what will they do then? I think this has turned into a financial black hole and everyone is trapped within the event horizon. In other words, everybody gets sucked in and there are no survivors.

On reflection the above was a bit gloomy, there is a silver lining. People will in the end refuse to trade their labor or goods for anything less than something of tangible worth. No more fiat currencies, nor more paper money based on something else. That is where the problem started. Once EVERYONE has to give something of real value to get something of real value, we won't have any more people able to get something for nothing. Sure 'progress' will take a hit, but it sounds like a more honest and better world to me.

I agree and I'm pleased by these ideas. I was talking with another Drum Beat regular earlier and the subject of getting friends & family to move came up. I stopped to count and, wonder of wonders, pretty much all of my friends are aware, less than half learned about these issues from me, and fully three quarters have made some sort of serious adjustment in order to be ready when it comes, whatever it might prove to be. I'm no social butterfly so that amounts to seven or eight, but I see nontrivial things happening. Things like all cash reserves going to precious metals, farm houses purchased and stocked with food, fuel, and ammunition, 401Ks being adjusted to minimize exposure (I think this is a step leading to cash out), six months worth of hard rations stashed in the basement, cars being paid off early, equipment for skilled trades being accumulated, seed and gardening tools above and beyond the call of duty rounded up before the rush begins, and so forth.

All of these are just folks, some dating from college twenty years ago, and the newest of the rest from four or five years ago in Omaha. Other than associating with me I don't know that there is a common thread between them. Oh, and I think the demographics would surprise some here ... there is only one Christian in that batch with any concern over this "end of days" stuff. The rest just see the handwriting on the wall.

farm houses purchased and stocked with food, fuel, and ammunition

I'm sorry but unless you're already living in that farmhouse, and have been for years, and you're on a first-name basis with a local community of at least a couple hundred good souls, I believe this is madness.

This is not the thirties and your neighbours are not the Waltons. This is the noughties and your neighbours are the Ozbournes. Neither you nor they will remember the (nails/turpentine/aspirin/something-there-are-a-million-things), neither of you will have the skills needed to fix plumbing, mend a roof, set a bone, etc. Neither of you have the vaguest idea how to get along together when there's no police state standing over you and you are beset by thousands of armed, hungry, desperate, displaced hive dwellers.

In short you're taking about moving to the land of Mad Max.

If you want to be certain you survive this thing, you need to leave America. Either go south and set yourself up in style in Paraguay like Bush, get on a plane while they're still running and fly to Africa where you can own a whole village of willing servants for the price of your 401K. Or buy your way into the lifeboat nation, Australia. Truly you should have done one of these things a couple of years back if you were playing it safe. Even now it's not too late. When your house is on fire, get out!

The farm they bought is within thirty miles of where they live now. It was selected for remoteness and a stable intra-dune pond, which is important in the Nebraska sand hills.

And as for new folks moving to the country if one does not behave like a New Yorker it isn't all that bad. You join a church, you go to bingo if you're so inclined, you drink a sensible amount and shoot some pool at the bar, and its easy to make new friends with a pickup truck that has a snow blade. Sure, you'll be a "new person" for the first twenty or thirty years, but you've got to expect that :-) We moved here in 1971 and for the first ten years this was still "the Larsen place", even though that isn't our last name.

Now I'm sure that'll all change if ten million residents of the southeast are displaced, but such is the situation now ...

Cid, you said;

"Once EVERYONE has to give something of real value to get something of real value, we won't have any more people able to get something for nothing."

You just described 50% + unemployment.


There are no free lunches...The Fed is dumping more of what is not needed into the system. Prescribing the wrong medication for an illness. Soros is right, what the Fed is doing will only exacerbate and prolong the problem and possibly cost the dollar its reserve status. The day of reckoning will come and the Fed will not stop it because they do not have the power to make good on bad debts.


...snip...'Economic growth, especially over the last seven years, has been based almost exclusively on expanding credit or inflation. As money became easier and real interest rates even became negative, people went on a spending spree. Now that credit is contracting (deflation), we are seeing that the party wasn’t about productivity or technology, but about being able to borrow money and spend it. I can’t overstate this: today we have more debt in the system by any measure than at any time in history'...snip...

'As economic growth expanded as money became free (not free as we now see because those that took it now have the consequence of risk), central bankers incorrectly labeled the economic growth nirvana. We had finally reached a place where governments could control the economy and everyone was going to march together into paradise. This is and always was a non-sequitor. By its nature an economy and its markets are tied together: controlling them is socialistic and will always slow growth. Why?

The reason is resources are scarce and economic activity allocates those resources. In order for an economy to grow that must be done efficiently, which governments don’t do well. If resources are infinite then everyone can live in paradise, but until that time we are stuck with the markets to allocate resources.

And the market is saying there is too much debt. It is that simple. The Great Moderation that Mr. Bernanke spoke of in 2004, which smacked to me right away by the way of a very socialistic remark, was merely the growing and looming debt fostered by central banks being spent. Now the process of that debt being either paid back or destroyed is revealing the Great Moderation as the Great Debacle.

So the Fed being under great pressure collapsed yesterday and gave the economy not medicine but drugs. It gave it just what ails it: the sickness of debt. Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bernanke want banks to lend and people to borrow what they can’t afford to, more debt, to correct the problem. But if successful they will only exacerbate and prolong the inevitable. But I don’t think they will be successful. All the debt they just made cheaper will only go to two places: those that can afford to borrow it and thus don’t need it and directly to banks that can’t lend it. The rich will use it to again speculate or cheapen their debt. Banks will use it as capital to finance their ever declining asset values. Neither use will do any good to the real economy'...snip...

Ludwig von Mises...'Inflation can be pursued only so long as the public still does not believe it will continue. Once the people generally realize that the inflation will be continued on and on and that the value of the monetary unit will decline more and more, then the fate of the money is sealed. Only the belief, that the inflation will come to a stop, maintains the value of the notes.'

"smart money"is completely out of the system.Its in treasury notes and mattresses.All the wealthy quietly removed their money when it became known that banks did not trust each other.What replaces it was "borrowed" fed reserves...which are not true reserves.The system is bankrupt due to failure of the monoline insurance co.Remember last week when 4-5 BIG bank insurance co went belly up?If the insurance co covering all the bad cdo,and mbs goes belly up guess what? ....the BANK is on the HOOK.or most likely INSOLVENT.Google "market ticker monoline and a poster who goes by the handle "nothing".She has posted some of the scariest stuff I have seen on the net.

Airlines have really no choice but to use fuel surcharges to reflect fuel price increases by their suppliers because airlines set current base fares early last year. Anyone who so wishes can buy a single ticket covering multiple journeys by different airlines but paid for by one payment to the travel agent in his local currency. For example, last year I went from Nice (France) to London (England), Hong Kong, Bangkok (Thailand), Chiang Mai (Thailand) and Luang Prabang (Laos) and then return via Bangkok, and Paris. The ticket was paid for in Euros, with the airline settlement systems prorating the revenue to each airline according to the base fares for each journey and the agreed rules. This is much more practical than trying to pay each airline for each journey in its own currency - including the Laotian Kip (12 000 Kip = 1 Euro, but the Lao currency is not traded internationally). Obviously for this international co-operation to work the base fares and rules must be set well in advance and cannot be changed unilaterally in real-time.

Fuel charges, however, can be changed unilaterally and as frequently as necessary. Airlines need this flexibility when fuel prices are volatile; so learn to live with it.

That's not the whole story. Often you pay up-front and the airlines have a no-interest loan to invest as they wish. Also, they can hedge fuel prices. Southwest did such a few years back and well into 2007 was paying the equivalent of 30buck/barrel. Why should airlines be treated differently than any other business that must make educated guesses about future costs, future revenue sources, future currency fluctuations? We would all scream to high heaven if a bank turned a fixed mortgage into a variable one only when rates were going up

The story is never complete. Yes, interest in earned on sales revenue prior to flights. Especially by travel agencies - a business that generates cash. Airlines do hedge currencies to some degree and fuel. But fuel hedges are generally only available short term. What is special about aviation fuel is that it represents a huge proportion of airline costs ' say 25% now. And it is very volatile. Therefore fluctuating fuel surcharges are most reasonable. Of cousrse US airlines with chapter 11 bankruptcy protections available are less pressured than foreign competitors to reflect costs into revenues.

The bank's cost of money is volatile too. So what? The local road contractor's cost of supplies is volatile too. So what? If he/she underbids, he/she loses out. If doing business 'naked' is too much of a problem, that's what futures markets and the like are for.

Markets run properly only with transparency. It's blindingly obvious that the slightest regard for transparency would call for outlawing all these "surcharges" across all industries, period. No deceit, just one price. If that price must change every day or every hour, so be it. But let the seller do the math. Oh, and if the airlines need to trash their creaky fare-interchange system and replace it with something modern, so be it.

If proper control of deceit and fraud puts one or three or five airlines out of business, so be it. They've been too deceitful and opaque for too long, continually selling flights they don't even have slots for, at a price a passenger can't determine without a computer, or sometimes even with one. Almost any other business that acted like an airline would have gone under long ago. Airlines that act like airlines deserve to go under too; there's no reason whatever to exempt them from the discipline of the market.

To make any progress we must abandon ideological shibboleths like

"the discipline of the market".

There are no "free markets" in the aviation industry. I challenge you to point me at one, anywhere worldwide.

Also, just look generally at what US "markets" are achieving now:-
a) permanent war regardless of international law and treaties;
b) massive environmental destruction;
c) pollution of the atmosphere so as soon to make a
our planet unfit for civilised life;
d) cultural degradation through a mass media devoted to superficial nonsense.

If mankind is to achieve sustainable economic systems, then such "markets" have to be replaced with economies fully regulated in accordance with international agreements.

Should also be pointed out that most US airlines went into chapter 11 after 9/11 and there was an incredible amount of finacial restructuring undertaken before they managed to exit. No doubt there is a lot of the debt chopped up and distributed around the finacial system somewhere. As fuel and the approaching downturn reveal themselves as dropping load factors the airlines are in for tough times.

Just to interject some figures - Continental should post around a $400m yearly profit for year ended. Going forward every $1 rise in oil equates to $44m from the bottom line. $10 rise in oil over 2007 average and the airline is in loss. (figures from CO - regretably I am currently too close to this lamentable industry)

The difference is this time round there is going to be no finacial wizzardry available to stop the TSHTF in the airline industry. IMO they no longer operate as legitimate businesses, behaving more like charities, taking every free handout they can get. (tax free fuel, BA gets tax refund on milk flown out the UK as part of beverages as it is being 'exported')

I think people will slowly give up flying, not because it's expensive, but because it's such a pain.

Degradation, deregulation fuels hatred — not fear — of flying

It's as if we're flying Aeroflot, without the option of bribing baggage handlers.

I agree. I would gladly pay an extra $50 or $100 to ensure that my air travel wasn't a complete nightmare, especially on vacation flights. There's a reason why I stick with the same airline instead of going with the cheapest available, and it's because I get upgraded to First Class, where I'm not treated like cattle quite as much. Otherwise, I'd save the $75, fly Southwest, and order 8 beers to console me during the flight.

The problem is the people who fly are usually people who rarely fly, and as a result don't know what's going on, and want the cheapest fare, or they are business travellers, and corporate policy dictates that you go through some travel agency that makes you take the cheapest flight available.

Airfare has become a commodity, instead of a luxury, and like most commodities, you can't choose the 200mph bullet-train, because it doesn't exist.

I despise those monkeys at the gate when I go to get on a plane. It isn't them personally, its the stupid policies I'm subjected to before I go sit over a hold full of uninspected cargo that chaps my hide.

I drove to New Mexico twice and Las Vegas twice last year - lots of miles on the car, but my time is flexible and the costs overall were just a tad lower. Anything under a hard day's drive is just that for me now - a day's drive rather than putting up with the nonsense.

You call them monkeys, I call them ninnies, but as you say it isn't their fault; they're earnestly living up to their inane job descriptions so I thank them. I just flew, and had a 10-oz bottle half-used of Maalox thrown out in case it was actually cleverly disguised nitroglycerine, had to take my shoes off to make sure they wouldn't explode... and yet they let laptop computers on as long as the screen would light up. A laptop computer is basically a box of batteries and wires, and most have a spare battery bay. The only thing that kept my plane in the air was the fact that nobody wanted to blow it up. Could be that the 'death to infidels' crowd has tumbled to the fact that doing stuff like that mostly just empowers the US neocons. The radio that downed Pa Am 103 would easily get through security today, 18 years later. It's all a sideshow. And here in Honolulu, most of the ninnies are deployed at the baggage curb to make you drive around in circles rather than parking. Because as we all know, terrorists like to park at the curb and shut their motors off.

pardon the offtopic rant, but not only is the 'security' system stupid, but you can't really point that out at the time unless you want a colonoscopy.

In a larger sense, I suppose there's a karmic case to be made for pointless harassment of those who fly, but simple random floggings would be more dignified and productive.

rant off

I've vowed not to fly again.

Yeah, Greenish you know I grew up in HI and miss the place, but I've realized there's quite a bit of the US mainland that's tropical or close to it and I can always go there.

The only other reason to cross an ocean I can think of is to defect to Europe but however bad things are in the US, things seem to be getting even worse in Europe. So I'm beginning to doubt that would happen. And if I went there my preference would be to take a cruise on a ship then jump ship and get lost.

But internal exile in the US will probably not be any worse than hiding out in Europe.

I like to say, though: If you don't like what someone's doing, STOP PAYING THEM.

"not only is the 'security' system stupid, but you can't really point that out at the time unless you want a colonoscopy."

Too Funny. I'm still laughing.

I've flown Aeroflot during the last days of the USSR and again in the last few years. They now beat US airlines hands down. Even in the old Soviet days you got to fly on some interesting aircraft and they re-cycled the boarding cards!

And of course, the welcoming atmosphere:


Travel to America? No thanks

It’s already a nightmare, but now they want to make entry into the USA tougher. So let’s not go says Matt Rudd

Matt Rudd
Read our special on travel to the USA
We would like to apologise for a terrible omission in last Sunday’s feature 10 Steps to a Stress-Free Summer. We forgot to include “Don’t go to the USA”.

Fortunately, Michael Chertoff, baldie boss of the Department of Homeland Securitisation, has now reminded us that we’re not wanted. Or, rather, that we are wanted (because tourists bring lots of nice money with them), but only if we jump through lots of hoops in the process.

Chertoff has let it be known that Europe is a platform for terrorism. He says it’s important to step up checks on travellers. Yes, that’s right, step them up. In fact, it would be really, really great, he didn’t say, but was probably thinking, if all we prospective visitors could be so good as to stay at home and just send our holiday money over in an envelope.

A preflight e-interrogation, epic queues at immigration, thin-lipped questioning from aggressive border guards, and an outside chance of a rubber-gloved rectal rummage are all part of the fun. So, if Chertoff and co want to tighten Fortress America further, it’s time we considered other more welcoming holiday options. Such as Iran or North Korea.

"We would like to apologise for a terrible omission in last Sunday’s feature 10 Steps to a Stress-Free Summer. We forgot to include “Don’t go to the USA”."

You guys are killing me. ROFLMAO!

"A preflight e-interrogation, epic queues at immigration, thin-lipped questioning from aggressive border guards, and an outside chance of a rubber-gloved rectal rummage are all part of the fun."

This would be funny if it weren't also true.

but because it's such a pain.

If all the world is a conspiracy - perhaps making air transport a hassle is to have the masses say 'good riddance' when air transport stops for the masses.

It worked for me. I finally decided that there was no place I wanted to go that was worth the hassle and discomfort. I'll take Amtrak if possible, or rent a car if necessary, but mostly just stay put and enjoy beautiful Western North Carolina.

The people I feel sorry for are the ones whose employers are demanding that they constantly fly hither and yon. Ugh!

Another note about how casually America seems to be able to write off formerly functional industrial cities -

The pictures are at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sweetjuniper/sets/72157603302647339/

And some commentary from the photographer at http://www.sweet-juniper.com/2007/11/it-will-rise-from-ashes.html

This is Soviet level abandonment, and for those wondering about the future of the U.S., not really reassuring.

A city here, a city there - at some point, you run out of functioning cities.

But the picture of the unopened parcels of books says it all. According to the text, those parcels are about 20 years old, so Detroit was already a basket case that long ago. By "formerly functional" you must mean a very very long time ago indeed.

I don't quite see what could have been done, politically. The only real solution might have been to frog-march the responsible shiftless, incompetent city and school officials of the day off to some deep dungeon, drop them into it, and appoint a Federal commission run the place by fiat for a very very long time. But the race-baiting howls would have been deafening, especially as it was the Reagan administration that would have been doing it.

After all, those officials were elected, or appointed by other elected officials, so, even with all their negative characteristics, they still constituted a representative body. Maybe the local voters cared not a fig - who needs education when zero-skill jobs at the auto plants will pay gargantuan wages forever? Maybe those voters figured that if it all went to Hades in a handbasket, Uncle Sucker owed them perpetual handouts. Maybe those voters were too shiftless to think at all. But those voters were the ultimately responsible parties. Which raises the unanswerable question: in a democracy, quis custodiet custodies?

I grew up an hr north of Detroit and knew a living city in the 1960's. My favorite restaurant was the Cadieux Cafe. We used to go drink Belgian beers and feather bowl after eating buckets full of steamed mussels. Had a friend who worked at the Stroh Brewery and we got to go drink free beer on a regular basis.
I was at Tiger Stadium the day the riots broke out and remember watching the column of smoke rising outside the stadium.
I returned to Michigan to visit in 1994 and took 94 through Detroit. There were burned out vehicles on the side of the freeway, buildings with no windows, some burned and crumbling. My first thought was how it looked like Lebanon. How is in possible for a city that large to die so quickly. Your pictures reminded me of Chernobyl. I guess all that's left is the Renaissance Center and Joe Lewis Arena. That's all you ever see on TV. Are there security walls around those places to keep the living dead out?

I was in grade school when the riots took place. I recall seeing the smoke from the freeway overpass out near 12 mile road.

Later, my brother and I used to go to a dingy bar, now gone, near Greek town. I also used to go to the Anchor Bar (still there) when I lived in Corktown. I recently visited Detroit on business and felt so sad to see the abandoned buildings as I drove through the area.

It is too simple to blame the school officials for the failure of the schools. They probably contributed but so did the parents who didn't make their kids study, so did the poverty that contributed to the crime in the area. Many other factors contributed to the problem. The biggest problem was the loss of jobs in the area that led to the grinding poverty in the city.

I work in Detroit even though I live in Arkansas. The areas that look like Lebanon are all over the place. The old train station, or if you simply go into some of the old industrial areas. It's simply amazing to me. I have a fixation on old abandoned buildings for some reason, and am immediately drawn to gawk at them in awe.

Fortunately the Super Bowl last year inspired the city to tear down a lot of the abandoned buildings that were festering downtown, but there are still a number left.

There is no wall to protect the RenCen, and I certainly wish there was, considering I live in it 5 days out of 7.


The folloing site was linked on Urban Survival yesterday:


The books range from the 1700's to the 1970's. The topics cover everything from FARMING to tanning leather to cooking and on and on.

Definetly worth a look!


Nice resource. The medical books really look interesting. This is where I really miss my DSL. I'll email the link to friends with requested downloads and have them send me a CD or DVD.


I'm going to mirror this stuff today and see about turning it into a CD, available for $0.50 plus shipping or something like that ...



I'll tell you, I'd be interested since neither of our computers has a CD burner. The amount of information is amazing isn't it?


I used trickle set to 256k for the download so I wouldn't overwhelm their servers. I see 197 books total and since its still simmering I can't tell yet if its going to be one CD or two. Drop me a note at sct at strandedwind dot org and I'll send you a couple of copies.

Please do, I'd also be interested.

I'd be more than happy to also mirror it on one of my websites. I have gobs of storage, gobs of bandwidth, and it's all under-utilized.

http://chla.library.cornell.edu/c/chla/browse/a.html is a similar type of agriculture-heavy site, but you have to click on 'view text' to get the whole book at once.

http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/01aglibwelcome.html also has more than a few downloadable agriculure related PDFs.

http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/ An e-library.

Drop me a note at my address listed above - I'll have a full copy eventually and I don't care how hard you want to hit it for a download :-)

Maybe we should make a Torrent for this, I wonder how much it can amount to.

Already sucked it down...5 gig worth. That is a DVD ;)

That is indeed a very useful resource.

A part of the preface, "A Modest Proposal" (PDF page 15 and following,) of the last book on the list, The New Alchemists.pdf is a remarkable read compared to much of the discussion here.

I've bookmarked this site and will probably burn myself a reference cd.
Thank you for the link!

Is there an online best practices guide for preparing my community for Peak Oil?

Have you read the Portland Peak Oil task force report to the city? That is quite good.

Post Carbon Cities has a web site and book for creating a city task force (and things to think about when putting such a document together). One of the major points of this book is that vulnerabilty and planning are dependent on where your city is located and how it earns its living. Lot's of good references in the book. [one good, but unexpected, example was a city on very flat land. Without water pumps, they had no city water system. Very different from my city in a river valley.]

Dynamic Cities has a some great slides and presentations if you need to inform. They are urban planners.

This link goes to UK site but I guess many of the ideas are transferable:


Thanks for the leads! I'll check into the Portland Group and the UK site.

I watched Heinberg's 50 minute Ecological Options Network interview on YouTube last night. What he said toward the end inspired me to ask the question above about the best practices guide. He said that it's much more important to prepare your community for the effects of peak oil rather than just your home.

There's a book on PostCarbon.org titled Post Carbon Cities: Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty. I'd prefer to replicate what an existing community is already successfully implementing though. It sounds like Portland should be the case study.


As far as I know, in recent times at least, humans are the only creatures on the earth that are free to choose themselves whether or not to breed, as opposed to having the decision made for them by nature and circumstance. It makes me sad that - once again - war,famine and pestilence will likely be calling the shots for humanity instead.

Are we confronting the perfect storm?

(Apologies for the cliche.) Still, I've been thinking about what a mess a 2008 recession will make of efforts to address peak oil. First, and most simply, attention is going to be focused elsewhere. It won't be just that the media will focus on the economic "disaster" (wait till they see the real thing), but the middle class and technocratic classes are going to be focusing on job security. When we get over concerned with whether or not we will get a paycheck next month (even when 80% plus of those who want one actually are getting one), we tend to get real short sighted and we won't be thinking about our livelihood twenty years out (much less the increasingly desperate plight of the world's poor).

But, to me, the more important concern is that this recession is going to mask the existence and initial impact of peak. Suppose, just as an example, that the recession cuts global oil demand by 10%. Suddenly, our plateau of max production at 85+/- mil bbl a day feels real comfortable because they're is only demand for 78-80 mil bbl a day. Then, along comes 2009 or 2010 as the economy starts to grow again, we find that our new max production has been reduced by normal decline rates and a lack of investment in new fields (we didn't need them while demand was down).

Naturally, all efforts will be made to push production back up, but this is no longer cheap oil and the ability to raise production may be limited. This renewed energy shortfall would then be the limiting factor in the economic "recovery." A year or two of minimal economic growth and we tip back into recession and the whole cycle repeats.

Could this be the way that peak oil plays out? A generations long cycle of recessions/depressions and we never put two and two together?

Yep...I think this is the way it will go for awhile...kinda like the Push-Me/Pull-You from Dr. Doolittle.

Shaman is right, IMHO.

Except "masking" is not the right word.

Ummmm, "part and parcel" closer.

Energy has been monitized as far into the future as

Much like the Spanish Empire monetized taxes forward
100 years to acquire immediate funds to fight
rearguard battles.

From Dec 20, 2007


THE FIRST GIGANTIC RESCUE GESTURE IS NOT THE MORTGAGE FREEZE, BUT RATHER WILL BE THE USGOVT BAILOUT OF THE ASSET BACKED BOND INSURERS. Why? Because they serve as the operator of the dike main valve toward a flood of liquidations, the focal point of destruction. The impact on the reputations of the US banking system, the integrity of the US financial sector, the confidence in the US Federal Reserve, and of the viability of the USDollar by implication will surely suffer. If the USGovt fails to bail out the bond insurers, expect a monumental flood of well north of $300 billion in bond losses, extending to the municipals. Communities will not be able to continue, and will announce layoffs. It will not just be a California story. The most tragic, but absurd, yet hilarious, observation is that the investment community has yet to conclude that the US bank/bond system is officially bankrupt, broken, insolvent, and wrecked

The bank system is burning, in need of urgent medicine. The BKX bank sector stock index chart looks downright catastrophic. Moodys reports the Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) market, which peaked in 2004 & 2005 at $600 to $700 billion annually, is running arrears late by 60 days at a 16.5% rate. This HELOC delinquent rate is on par with subprimes. HELOC loans are not subprime. The main theme of the banking debacle in 2008 will be the extension far beyond subprimes into PRIME mortgages, as fully detailed in the article last week. The impact fallout from the bond insurers might hit home soon, as Wall Street will be forced to bring countless more wrecked billion$ in mortgage bonds onto balance sheets. A further $2400 billion in municipal bonds might be subjected to distress sales after institutions are forced to sell bonds unable to maintain investment grade ratings, a second shoe from bond insurers. The banks are under siege. In time, the USFed and USGovt will have to bail out both major banks and bond insurers, in addition to mortgage bond holders, and maybe to home owners. The bigger better question might be what the USGovt will not bail out???

And here we go:


MBIA, Ambac Bailout by Government Looks Likely, UniCredit Says

By Cecile Gutscher

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- MBIA Inc. and Ambac Financial Group Inc., the biggest bond insurers, are likely to be bailed out to avert worsening credit-market turmoil, according to analysts at UniCredit SpA.

``A kind of bailout supported by monetary authorities or governments is the only chance for the industry to survive,'' Jochen Felsenheimer, the Munich-based head of credit derivatives research at UniCredit, Italy's biggest bank, wrote in a note to investors today. ``This bailout seems to be highly likely given the important role of bond insurers in the current market environment.''

Most people still fail to see the Ambac/MBIA problem at all. It's like they don't understand that the risk of those financial instruments was at least partly controlled by the willingness of the insurers to underwrite the instrument, and that if the insurer is in trouble or even goes down, then the risk on all those original financial instruments has to be revisited.

Oh... Buffett is offering insurance... for either huge fees and in many cases outright refusing to re-insure the stupidity of Ambac or MBIA. Buffett is not going to stick his neck out even if the greedy idjuts on Wall Street did so. This will leave at least hundreds of billions of dollars in debt without any insurance at all and possibly could explode to infect the entire debt structure (minus whatever portion Buffett has cherry picked to cover).

And now MGIC is in trouble too. MGIC is supposedly the nation's largest mortgage insurance company. In one single day their shares fell 31%!

Think they have the assets to cover all the coming defaults? Are you feeling lucky?

Had to happen(MGIC).

I thought Buffet was only insuring - government backed stuff (municipal bonds etc). The guaranteed stuff...he isn't stupid(severe understatement).

We're heading down the road to hyperinflation, and picking up speed pretty fast now. The rest of the world is starting to figure this out - George Soros already has.

Everyone is worried about the equities markets crashing; their attention should really be on the currency market.

"We're heading down the road to hyperinflation, and picking up speed pretty fast now"

That IS exactly what Don Sailorman has been saying all along. And I guess that's the reason he's gone. He is preparing and lacks the time for TOD.

Or maybe he's distracted by some wild women.

Or both. ;)

Seriously though, preparations for a hyperinflation don't appear to me to be radically different from preparations for a massive deflation. What you do during each may differ, but once at the destination you are still left with a wrecked economy. The only difference was the route taken.

Makes a big difference if you are long oil, gold and silver.

It takes a lot of effort to genuinely fathom all the ways in which our economic and social lives are propped up by cheap fossil fuels. The temptation to simply fixate on only "electric cars" or "solar panels" is always present.

One of the most disturbing statements, in my mind, remains a Hirsch quote from several years ago. And he is right. When you really think about the scope of the problem, it is frightening. Therefore, I think most people (particularly politicians) will have a natural tendency to avoid even thinking about and addressing the ultimate causes behind our looming economic troubles (limited energetic base). Instead we'll focus on the proximate causes and/or triggers.

“This problem is truly frightening. This problem is like nothing that I have ever seen in my lifetime. And the more you think about it and the more you look at the numbers, the more uneasy any observer gets. ...[and] there simply is no question that the risks here are beyond anything that any of us have ever dealt with, and the risks to our economies and our civilization are enormous. And people don’t want to hear that. I don’t want to think about that. That’s a very uncomfortable thing to think about. -- Robert L. Hirsch

One of the most disturbing statements, in my mind, remains a Hirsch quote from several years ago. And he is right. When you really think about the scope of the problem, it is frightening.

I disagree. the more you look the more you realize that there are so many solutions. so many things we've never thought of doing because oil prices were low. you realize that the technofix so many deride are actually just new ways of using old technologies. electric motors are nothing new. neither are electric cars or hybrids cars. how many have heard of induction cooking? I never have and yet induction stoves use half as much energy.

the more you look the more you realize there are ways of doing things differently that can be a positive.

A friend had an inductive stove in their home. The problem was you had to use special pots/pans. The average person can't stand for having to do something slightly different, even if the payoff is 50% power consumption.

yes they will when the hit to the wallet is great enough.

At that point they won't be able to afford the new pans, let alone the new stove.

That's not true. they may have never thought about buying the most efficient stove before. replacing a stove or a car could be seen like replacing a furnace- it's pays for itself. my family went from an old 50% efficient furnace to one that was 90% efficient. big savings. the higher the price the bigger the savings.

If I'm out of work or stuggling to make ends meet, I'm not replacing a furnace or a stove or any such thing. I don't care about long term savings, I care about the upfront costs.

And few people are going to make such an investment in when times are good. Not when they can put that capitol in the market and make a much bigger return.

John, you remind me of a 14 yearl old who just read Ayn Rand for the first time. Wait till you have 2 kids, a morgage, couple of cars etc. Lets see how idealistic you are then.

Being idealistic is believing in markets and responses to higher prices?

what about those who aren't out of work? I haven't looked it up but I"m sure hundreds of thousands of new furnaces are purchased each year. sometimes you don't have the money but if something breaks and you have to fix it you just grin and bear it. you can turn down the thermostat a few degrees. you can wear a sweater and use extra blankets. you can heat less of your house.

John, you remind me of a 14 yearl old who just read Ayn Rand for the first time. Wait till you have 2 kids, a morgage, couple of cars etc. Lets see how idealistic you are then.

I am not reading you here. I don't know where the idealistic part fits into the equation.

John, you remind me of a 14 yearl old who just read Ayn Rand for the first time

LOL! You're not the only only one who has had that thought cross his mind.

Special pans like a cast iron skillet? Scarcely esoteric. Ikea makes a line of inexpensive stainless steel cooking utensils that work. The trick is to test with a magnet. If the magnet sticks the pot will work. Stainless such as 18-10 or 18-20 won't because of the nickel content.

50% energy savings? Not compared to a conventional electric burner. Perhaps compared to natural gas. And that doesn't take into account that a BTU of natural gas is cheaper than a BTU of electricity heat.

Inductive cookers significant claims to superiority are that 1.) the surface gets no hotter than the cooking utensil, 2.) they are light weight and compact and 3.) the temperature can be quickly changed.

Restaurants love them because they can be set up anywhere and provide quick and safe cooking away from the range.

Another problem here is that American manufacturers are ripping people off if they want an installable inductive cooktop. I can buy a 2000 watt inductive stove on eBay for $76 including shipping from China. Sears wants $1400 for a cooktop with three 2000 and one 4000 watt "burners." Go figure. How much is involved in building a stove requiring a bridge rectifier, two 400 volt storage caps, a $2 chopper IC, a couple driver FETs and a small coil of copper wire that sits below the ceramic top? There's a reason they sell for $30 in China.

the more you look the more you realize that there are so many solutions.

Ok. Challenge:

Show the solution to Peak Phosphorous.

Oh, and no religious arguments, like praying or free markets.

reglious arguements like free markets. I'm still laughig.

peak phosphorous has apparently been around longer than peak oil. I hadn't even noticed.



Did you even read the article you linked to? JD is refering to nitrogen fertilizers, not phosphorous.

reglious arguements like free markets. I'm still laughig.

I see. rather than address the point, you opt for belittlement. I'm ok with that. Go forward and show us all how smart you are.


The 1st line:

The idea that nitrogen fertilizer production is dependent on oil and gas is a myth

Either English is not your native language and you need help in understanding the difference between Nitrogen and Phosphorous/need help with comprehension of the written word/the issue of Peak Oil *OR* you are just another time wasting troll with nothing better to do than post word salads pretending to be rebuttals.

I do not have alot of experience teaching people who lack a science background about a scientific topic like Peak Oil. Perhaps others will have ideas to educate you.

I guess you didn't read this one either.

From JD's article

I asked Stephen M. Jasinski, the USGS phosphate rock specialist, for his opinion on this matter, and he said: "Phosphate production has likely peaked, but reserves will last about 300 years with current technology.

By the way, there are very large reserves of low grade phosphate that are not considered reserves because they are subeconomic. The Monterey shale is one of them. Arsenic contaminants will have to be removed. The good news is that it produces oil, so it's not going to be hit by peak energy if that's still a problem in 2308.

Worse than not reading, a total lack of depth in knowledge of the topic.


...Estimates on the remaining amount of phosphorus vary, as do projections about how long it will take to deplete the irreplaceable resource entirely. Figures range from 60-130 years (Steen, 1998) and 60-90 years (Tiessen, 1995), at current market prices with diverse assumptions about the rate of production and demand, but all sources agree that continued phosphorus production will decline in quality and increase in cost. The relatively inexpensive phosphorus we use today will likely cease to exist within 50 years

For someone who finds a comment about 'markets' "laughig"-worthy, I can only hope he lives long enough to see if The relatively inexpensive phosphorus we use today will likely cease to exist within 50 years turns out to be true. Odds are, John15's time horizon is what his day-trade stocks closed with.

Yeah that's right, plenty of solutions, solutions everywhere. LMAO. It's one thing to sit on a computer postulating about all the wonderful solutions just waiting to be realized. It will be quite another to effectively implement a coordinated national response in the face of a crashing stock market, massive unemployment, social unrest, and widespread hunger.

I think there are about as many "solutions" to peak oil as there are "solutions" to our current economic crises. I think this because, as mcgowanmc noted, Peak Oil and economic depression (and general fiscal & monetary chaos) are part and parcel.

Apparently john15 has analyzed the economic, social, and political costs of Peak Oil, and determined Robert Hirsch was wrong to think that the problem was frightening. Hirsch must be one of those pessimistic "doomers", you know the kind of fear-mongering kook who hates free markets. :)

In the interview, Hirsch went on to say:

And I will tell you that it took some time after that realization set in to be able to emerge and try to be positive and constructive about this problem. This is really an incredibly difficult and incredibly severe problem.”

This interview took place in 2005. Meaning this was "a truly frightening" problem and an "enormous risk to our civilization" when (a) the peak looked like it still could have been a decade or more away and (b) from the standpoint of a 2% decline rate.

But it now appears we don't have 10 or 20 years until Peak Oil; it may have occurred 2 years ago. Furthermore, in the U.S., a 2% decline rate now seems absurdly irrelevant, as it may only take about 9 years from the onset of Peak Oil for exports from the major producers to drop to zero.

I think that it is so late in the game that there is no solution per se, and that the insoluble nature of the problem makes it very likely that peak oil will remain on the back burner of our nation's political agenda, while our economy melts down on the front burner. This all but guarantees we'll never come even remotely close to the necessary 20 years of pre-peak mitigation crash programs cited in the Hirsch report. If peak was indeed in 2005-06, then crash mitigation programs are already almost a quarter century too late!

This is frightening because it probably means our civilization is toast.

Yes, wonderful solutions are everywhere. Most americans probably use oil to get to work. the wonderful solutions are move closer to work, walk, ride a bike, car pool and get a more fuel efficient car. I won't get into hybrids, PHEVs or EVs.

A wonderful solution I saw the other day was JIT ships simply slowing down.


Oil at more than $90 a barrel is concentrating minds in the shipping industry. Higher fuel costs and mounting pressure to curb emissions are leading modern merchant fleets to rediscover the ancient power of the sail.

Higher prices sure sharpen the mind.

This interview took place in 2005. Meaning this was "a truly frightening" problem and an "enormous risk to our civilization" when (a) the peak looked like it still could have been a decade or more away and (b) from the standpoint of a 2% decline rate.

But it now appears we don't have 10 or 20 years until Peak Oil; it may have occurred 2 years ago.

I think this just shows that maybe peak oil isn't the problem it seems to be. where are the major problems? rising prices will change behavior. I don't know hirsch. he might have an emotional response to peak oil that is overriding his economic thoughts. I did are first. we don't have to mitigate peak oil, we have to mitigate higher oil prices. much of the infrastructure is there in place waiting to be used. other solutions are waiting in the wings that are feasible at higher oil prices.

I'll tell you how I approach peak oil. I make decisions based on the knowledge that oil prices are going to be much higher. My next car won't be a gas-guzzler. the things I buy that use energy I will ask myself do I need it? I will buy the one that uses the least amount of energy and still be not very expensive.

Truly you have a dizzying intellect.

Wait 'till I get going!

This is frightening because it probably means our civilization is toast.

Nonsense. It only means America is toast.

Our civilization is global. Once the hyperconsumers of America are lifted from its back, there will be plenty of oil and fertliizer to go around. With the object lesson of Amerca burning before its eyes you may rest assured the civilized world will be adequately motivated to make the necessary adjustments to deal with peak-* in plenty of time for a soft landing.

Of course it's a bit of a sticky wicket for the Americans. But you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, eh?

Yes...JHK got it right with the "Long Emergency" tag.

We are witnessing the end of growth, and the beginning of years of shocks, recessions, depressions and *gulp* war.

Although, I think sometime 5 years down the road, people will realize that OIL (and the lack thereof) had a big part to do with it.

Paradigms are shifting, TPTB are still operating within the old paradigms. What used to work won't work now.

"A generations long cycle of recessions/depressions and we never put two and two together?"

Richard Heinberg said in End of Suburbia, that "people will wonder why every new recession seems to be worse then the previous"

BTW, have you given it any consideration that plateauing like we did for a few years may have prevented further real growth which is now causing the recession?

...plateauing like we did for a few years may have prevented further real growth which is now causing the recession?

I think this is a real possibility, though obviously none of the mainstream pundits are venturing in that direction.

The real danger, to my mind, is not in the loss of growth. It will be a better world if we could do away with the entire growth ethic, not just environmentally, but spiritually.

No, the real danger is that we will continue to cling to the belief in growth economics in the face of increasing evidence that growth is our worst enemy.

[start dream sequence] Scene, 2024 American presidential election campaign, generic candidates stump speech My fellow Americans, I foresee a day when America can stand tall again. When we have rebuilt our economy, where those states that have left our Union have once again joined the Federal embrace. I foresee a day when once again we can expect to have electric power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To accomplish these goals I will cut taxes, blah blah blah [end dream sequence]

I entirely endorse the idea the status quo is history, but your 2024 dream sequence is overly optimistic.

Widows limits property fund withdrawals
Philip Scott, This is Money
21 January 2008


The carnage in the commercial property market is gathering further pace with Scottish Widows the latest group to impose restrictions on investors wishing to redeem their cash.

The company, the life arm of Lloyds TSB, has imposed a 180-day delay period for certain transactions involving its £1bn Life Property fund and £1.1bn Pension Property fund. The group is writing to some 200,000 policyholders informing them of the changes.

It runs over £12.5bn of private investment, making it the fifth biggest retail investment house in the UK."

I'm sure this is exactly what Scottish widows
want to hear. Not.

Yea, that's the next lie, yes your money is here safe in our vault, but, because of recent changes in policy you cannot make withdrawals for a period of 12 months at which point a determination will be made, at our discretion, as to whether it is prudent to allow withdrawals at that time.

Your money is toast. They don't want to tell you that, maybe they will tell you that in 12 months, in the meantime, they want you to continue to believe you still have money.

Yesterday I posted a heads-up about an upcoming program on the History Channel called "Crude". Leanan asked whether this was the same as the Australian documentary by the same name. At the time, I didn't know, and information was hard to come by for the upcoming program.

I think I have found the answer, and yes it is the same program. I found the annual report for ABC in Australia, and they had this comment:


Content Sales
ABC Product and Content Sales distributes content produced by the ABC’s Television,Radio and Online platforms and independent producers, along with ABC consumer product, through non-traditional retail sales and direct sales channels. During 2006–07, ABC Program Sales represented more than 140 hours of first-release content at international program and content markets including MIPTV and MIPCOM in Cannes, and DISCOP in Budapest. In developing new markets for ABC content, ABC Program Sales attended the Asian Television Forum in Singapore, meeting with buyers from around Asia, many of whom do not attend markets such as MIPCOM. Following the significant international interest in ABC content at these markets, Program Sales confirmed major sales including Crude—The Incredible Journey of Oil to the A & E History Channel in the USA, The Silence for the Middle East, Europe and Asia, and Five Minutes More into France.

I've seen the teaser for "CRUDE" and it looks interesting. I hope I get a chance to see it - times are really strange, sometimes things that are supposed to show at 9PM will show at 11PM etc.

This was on ABC TV last year and is an excellent documentary. It covers the whole carbon balance, how the problem is not about the rate at which we use carbon, but more about how we need to keep carbon in the ground.

A different perspective to many peak oil programs and a really good way of looking at the problem.

if the "deficit" is $250 billion, why is the treasury borrowing $500-600 billion every year to operate?

Perhaps the deficit doesn't include interest on the debt.

I am not sure about interest but what it does not include is principle on the debt. Every year debt instruments, bonds, bills and notes, expire. These must be redeemed with new borrowed money. If you redeem 250 billion in expiring debt instruments, and spend 250 billion more than you have, then you must borrow 500 billion. In other words half the sales of debt instruments is just rolling over old debt.

I just pulled that off the top of my head and after looking at it, it just does not sound right. Of course, given the scenario above the government would have to sell 500 billion in new debt instruments, but only half that would be new debt, and half old debt. They would not really be borrowing 500 billion as half that would be money already borrowed.

Are you sure the government borrows twice as much as the deficit? That just does not sound right.

Ron Patterson

Reagan's first term debt was financed largely with 30-year bonds. Bush I's first term debt (even larger in absolute terms) was financed largely with 10-year notes.

Thus, the Reagain debt must be refinanced starting in 2011 (1981+30), and the Bush debt must be refinanced starting in 2011 (2001+10). That works about to about 3 trillion of the current debt that will need to be refinanced, not counting whatever the current deficit is (and my guess it will be pretty big coming out of the current recession/depression). 2011 is not that far away.

I have no idea who's going to buy all that debt. We're just now refinancing the Carter debt, which was tiny compared to Reagan & Bush. We've never refinanced anything like this much in such a short period before.

We need to be in sound fiscal shape by then, with a solid currency. HAHAHAHAHA! Fat chance.

There ya go...

They still have 3 years to inflate away 3 Trillion dollars in debt.

No problem. Pay it back with lunch money(today $) :P

Try $750 trillion in mortgage derivitive losses.

Seriously now. This so called credit crunch is really only the beginning. Lots of ARM's will be resetting this year, and that's still part of the beginning. Stoneleigh, ilargi et all.

well, i dont know what the the deficit covers. when the msm reports a deficit, they are repeating the same lies as they are fed, i.e. the "deficit" has very little relationship to reality. i know that the "budget" doesnt cover a lot of things. it does not cover the ongoing cost of the wars, these are "special" budget items (too difficult to predict so tptb essentially assume they are zero, nothing). the deficit also doesn't cover the money borrowed from the ss "trust" fund (a neat little trick to shift the tax burden to working people and their employers)

in reality, anything called budget or deficit is a pack of lies.
i have stated before, if these wars were paid for with real hard earned tax dollars, they wouldnt be nearly so popular.

The published government budget does not report the cost of war, or emergency measures like Hurricane Katrina appropriations. However, these numbers are reflected in the annual government deficit figures which are prominently reported in the media.

The problem with the reported deficit number is that it does not include future obligations that the government assumes each year. As Elwoodelmoore states above, social security obligations are a big part of this. There is supposedly a Social Security Trust Fund, but all the money in the fund consists of U.S. government bonds, which means they are government IOUs that will eventually have to be paid out of the general budget. Medicare is another big area where we are doing this.

Spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is done with "Supplemental appropriations" that are not included in the budget. Hurricane Katrina reconstruction has been funded likewise(i.e.--unbudgeted money poured directly into Haliburton's pockets--snark). Probably numerous other things as well.

if the "deficit" is $250 billion, why is the treasury borrowing $500-600 billion every year to operate?

They spend the Social Security Surplus. When you remove SS from the equation, the Deficit doubles. Unless taxes radically rise, the SS surplus dissapears been 2012 and 2014. Of course as we approach the 2012-2014, the Surplus declines steadily. I think a recession will kill the SS surplus by 2012 as the gov't collects less revenue, and unemployed boomers choose or are forced into early retirement.

Deadly Brew: The Human Toll of Ethanol - something for the cheerleaders of Brazilian ethanol to consider.

It's on Bloomberg TV Thursday 24th 7 to 9 PM

That link did not work. Try this one.

The news about energy in all forms is all over the board, from unexpected discoveries to shut downs of industry due to higher fuel costs. There is obviously a set of mixed indicators as to where we are headed. Either 2005 was the point in time when Peak Oil occurred, or higher prices for oil will expand exploration and discovery to reach ever higher peak production levels.

Those other than the wealthy are feeling the pinch, and how hard it pinches remains to be seen. However, if 05 was peak, then the economic downturn we are now seeing is only the tip of the iceberg. Will the World ride the Titanic all the way down, or find more resources to allow time to install more renewable energy systems and discover microbrial ways of producing oil -we can only hold on to our 10 gallon texas hats in baited breath anticipation.

Hey, fellow TODers.

My comment is inspired by the recent TOD keypost by Stuart Staniford, but I am putting the comment here because it is a bit off-topic for the "Future of Farming" discussion.

I've read through the discussion threads following the article, and found myself profoundly depressed by it all.

I struggle with depression anyway. Many of my friends along the way tell me that humans cannot handle too much truth, and that my biggest problem is that I insist on looking at things as they are and trying to wrestle a way forward based on reality rather than accepting and operating on the basis of the bubble of conventional reality according to some subculture within our mishmash of subcultures.

I am encouraged that folks at TOD can wrestle through difficult questions which evoke lots of passion, but I find myself overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenges we face.

Maybe I need to allow myself to just do my little bit based on the understanding that I have, and remember that I sure do not control -- and cannot accept the burden of -- final outcomes.

I believe in trying to live an authentic life, and that this involves a kind of "absolute vulnerability" that we mortals have by virtue of being fallible and relatively short-lived creatures.

Even so, I find myself hoping for some re-assurance that my life will have meaning in terms of real positive impact on the future, even if for a generation or two.

I suppose I struggle with giving up that desire for absolute re-assurance. The old word for what I go through is "lamentation" -- which I think for me involves mourning the loss of a positive future that I once thought I could be a part of making.

Increasingly, I feel like I have to give up that particular "dream."

Even so, I intend to try to live with as much love for other people and other creatures as possible. At times it seems to me that the way to do that seems less certain with each passing day.

Ah, well. Thanks if you've taken a moment to read -- any thoughts in response are welcome.

Hi Beggar

I also try to live well and without delusion. It's hard these days with MSM sweet justifications on one side and the chasm of Olduvai on the other.

It is really hard to envisage a long term positive impact that one's life might have. I think maybe the way to cope is to develop habits. The habit of helping and not harming wherever possible and the habit of focussing on the needs of the present instead of worrying about the future.
Not that you should stop planning for the future.

I think another thing to do is to avoid too much attachment to routines, places or ideas. Things change and we need to be able to adjust. (note to self!)

Carbon, Coventry UK

Hello beggar,

I can identify very well with what you said above, as can many others on this forum I'm sure. I'm a major share holder in the company that I co-started 20 years ago in software. The CEO wants to go out and buy our own building to be ready to move in in 2009. The other partners and board members just go along with what he says and think we'll have a little minor recession or slow down and then everything is going to turn out alright. I'm apparently the only one who is aware that things don't look so rosy. For that, and because I am generally skeptical to begin with, I'm thought of as some kind of throw back or out of touch with reality and so on like that.
But you're right, we have to live honestly even though it makes us vulnerable. And, while part of me does not like the situation I'm forced to confront, I also relish the role of seeing and speaking out about what others don't perceive. Even if the central banks revive the credit bubble once again and we somehow avoid more serious financial problems, it doesn't mean that the reality I perceive is not a valid one. When I look back over the course of my life at some point, I want to be able to say that I stood for things that were real and important and that I did what I could to help out. I think that's really all we can expect from ourselves.


Paradigms are shifting. Most people don't realize it and are still operating under the old paradigms. What you just described is symptomatic of this. We're going to see this for a while yet. This type of thing is not unprecedented, it occurs with every paradigm shift. Maybe we are "hard wired" to resist letting go of old ways of seeing and thinking and doing. If they have served us well in the past, there is undoubtedly a survival value in hanging on to them -- until the world changes and they no longer have that survival value. Fortunately, we are not so hard wired that we cannot eventually adapt to the new paradigm. If we couldn't, we would have been long ago extinct.

This is a very good time to not be hidebound in one's thinking and set in one's ways.

Beggar - I too have the same struggle, particularly as I’m surrounded by young people, my own children and the hundreds of bright-eyed university students that flock to my shop.

I would add to the lament an ever-increasing contempt for those in power and wealth who know and yet continue to do the wrong things.

I now find energy and hope by adhering to a likely scenario of the future that I can work with.

We will hit a convergence of the problems facing us which will cause a crisis of sorts and things will get messy for a time. I call this the bottle-neck.

Then we start to come out the other side of the bottle-neck.

This is when we, the people who have been seeking understanding of what is happening and how it came to this, will really roll up the sleeves and get to work.

The biggest hurdle at that point will be to make sure that tptb and the mentality that brought this about DO NOT flourish.

I am not naive about what all this means, and I for one am prepared to do what ever it will take.

To infinity and beyond!!!!!

Oops, I mean

To the finite and… then… that’s good enough!!!!!!!

Edit; reading over this it could sound rad but what I mean is through documentation, disscussion, education.

I do not talk all about these issues with people anymore. I will say a few key words in passing and then mention that if they want to talk more about it any time just come by.

Understand that EVERYONE who has made it to the top of the heap has done so by figuring out the old paradigm and operating within it to their own advantage. They do it better than anyone else, which is why they have climbed and clawed their way to the top.

Now, paradigms are changing. However, it can hardly be surprising that those who have benefited so much from the old paradigm are going to be slow to discard their ways of thinking and ways of acting that have served them so well up to now. Nor can it be surprising that, to the extent that they might become aware that paradigms are shifting, they would try to do everything they could to retain the old order and resist the new.

We have seen this pattern over and over in history and across societies.

This is why it is futile to look to those at the top of the present order for leadership in moving us forward into the new paradigm. In spite of all the political rhetoric about "change", I can guarantee you that all of the socio-economic-political elites -- ALL of them -- are terrified of change -- ANY change, and will obstruct and obfuscate against it all the way, in any way that they can.

Shifting paradigms means that there will be a different set of winners and losers. Those who have gained the most under the old paradigm also have the most to lose when that old paradigm goes away. Stop looking for them to do anything helpful when it comes to adapting to the new paradigm, we won't be getting any help from them.

When societies are undergoing massive paradigm shifts, the best place to look for leadership and guidance is amongst the dissidents, subversives, non-comformists -- those on the margins. They are the ones with the least investment in the old paradigm, and the most to gain from the change. Being so uninvested in the old paradigm, they are also the ones most likely to perceive the paradigm shift the earliest, and to understand how and why it is shifting and how the new paradigm is shaping up. Not everyone out on the margins will be right, of course; most will get it all wrong. Figuring out who is getting it right is the biggest challenge. Nevertheless, one is better off taking one's chances striking off in a radical direction compared to the certainty of following the invested elites down to disaster.

Thanks to CarbonWasteLifeform, igdonp, and souperman2 for the replies.

It helps not to feel quite so isolated.

One thing that occurred to me as I read over the replies thus far is that while I do interact with some people who are peak-oil-aware and also aware of GW, I do not have a small tribe of folks who are aware and doing something about it.

In fact, folks I know who also know about peak oil and global warming are not in my range for frequent visits at this point.

I might work on that...but I'm not real sure how.

I need to get some work done to keep the daily bread coming, but will check back later.

Yes, you are not alone in wrestling with the things you described. It is not easy at this point in life to redefine our purpose and come up with a new dream that is positive. For me, I think it involves casting off the omni-present concepts of growth and "advancement". But to do this while still stuck in a the present world of dying fantasies is really some trick.

I agree that it would be nice to be able to hang out with people who have a PO perspective. Not necessarily to talk about PO all day, but just because you know you're dealing with someone on the same wavelength. I'm too often in conversations with people where I'd like to shake them and slap them in the face to get their attention. But I can say nothing because it's too much of a discontinuity. So often I don't talk to many people at all because I'm too lazy to fake it.
I am fortunate to have one childhood friend who lives in the Adirondacks where I've been going to a second home since I was small. He's been living as independantly as possible for a long time without any explicit knowledge of PO. He heats his house solely with wood, collects gold coins, buys beer by the keg and yearns for the day when he can make his electric meter run backward. So I know when I'm talking to him that I can just say a few words about a given topic, he can say a few words back and we both understand exactly where we're coming from.
Anyway, I think it would be a good idea if this forum had a method that people could use to get in touch with others that live in the same vicinity.

Ever hear of Wells, NY?

Absolutely, my friend up there lives just off Rt 8 in Bakers Mills. I live over the hill in Johnsburg. Wells is about 20 miles west I guess. I've been there once or twice. Once when I was 16 I drove out there with my father's Willys WWII army jeep with my friends. Not smart but fun!


Native Thurmanite sayin' hey to y'all from NC. Both surprised and glad to learn of fellow TOD'ers from my homeland.

Used to play you guys in basketball(non-league, Wells used to be Marcy Conference, now I think Mountain and Valley) when I lived up there.

Hunt up there, have a hundred acres. Still get up quite a bit. My brother still lives there, I'm in North Jersey now. We plan to put a 2000 SqFt garden in this year to start the learning process.

I live in central NJ now. I plan to live up there as soon as possible. I've been up Crane mountain in Thurman many times and camped over by Fox Lair as well.

Thurman is I think like five-six miles through the woods from my property(50-60 miles by road :)

Well, I'm back from work and a quick dinner with my family.

Thanks to all for some terrific comments today.

Once again, it is good to know that --yup! other people have some of the same feelings as they deal with the changes we see.

I am encouraged by all the folks who ponder ways to prepare for tough times ahead.

I'll continue to keep on keepin' on. I'll explore some new things to do that will help me feel better just because I'm doing something related to peak oil and global warming.

I'll keep driving my new Zap Xebra PK (electric utility vehicle) and a cargo trike (Organicengines SUV) as efficient, low-energy ways to get around.

I heard about a home insulation analysis class being offered at one of the local colleges -- I'm going to see if I can take that course to learn as much as possible. There are plenty of homes in Minneapolis in need of various energy-efficiency retrofits. (My own included.)

I will plant a garden again this spring. I keep reading more and learning more about various gardening and permaculture ideas, and hope eventually to have many of these ideas applied in my yard.

A key issue for me will be making neighborhood connections related to peak oil and climate change. I think that it will be important to find some folks within walking distance who share these concerns and want to take action and render mutual support.

I'll keep reading TOD and making efforts to contribute positively to the discussion here as well.

-- Thanks, fellow TOders, all! -- Gary (Beggar)

I heard about a home insulation analysis class being offered at one of the local colleges

Do you have a link for that by chance ?

Begger you need to understand that you're very wealthy, needless to say on the world scale but also compared to most Americans.

Most Americans are barely getting by, looking at being homeless, and will never actually own land or be able to farm or any of that neat stuff, much less get to own a Xebra whatever.

Our solution is a 20+ year old design small motorcycle, driving as little as possible, etc.

Lots of Americans living off of savings (remember winter's when the most are out of work) or living on the bare essentials supplied by a food bank, food stamps, etc. My own income is $150 a month, and that's it.

The feeling around here is that most of the people are "roughing it' but most on here are doing better than well over half of this country, and they're getting just a tiny taste of the 1930s style life some Americans never got to leave. Plus the sentiment is prevalent here that the Techno-Fairy will somehow swoop in and make it all better.

It's just not as bad (yet) as you think (for you anyway) so buck up!


You might check out http://mnclimatechange.us/
You are on the right track in your quest to learn more about building efficiency, many good things are happening in MN in this regard. Weatherization and energy retrofit of housing is and will be a strong growth industry, stick with it.

Don't forget that you're a little sunlight deprived about now. Happens every year. Get some light therapy--sit by a south window somewhere and soak up some rays for 20 minutes a day.
As for we PO'ers--try to live in the moment. I have to remind myself of that ALL the time. Right now life is good--enjoy it!

Suffering comes in three forms, beggar.

If you whack yourself on the thumb with a hammer repeating the process will not improve the outcome; such hurts always hurt. Banana splits are tasty, right? Imagine eating them, one after the other, day after day. You'll become sick, fat, diabetic; actions which can not be taken endlessly may be transiently pleasing, but they too are a sort of suffering at their root. The third form is a bit esoteric but the roots of depression lie there, and it has to do with the fact that we must arise each morning and make our way through the day.

Industrialized society has been on a multigenerational binge, consuming everything and everyone that gets in the way of ... consumption. This will come to an end and sooner rather than later. Next a form of suffering that is understood by even animals will take the place of this older, transiently pleasing form of suffering we've had for so long. It will seem worse to some, but suffering replacing suffering is not particularly newsworthy.

Some will cling to our "nonnegotiable" way of life, stealing and murdering as has been done in Iraq in order to have a finer form of suffering for just one more day. Others will see a way out in "ending it all".

You see clearly and it depresses you, but that is attachment to our western lifestyle, in which man lives as a demigod might. We rush off at a hundred times the speed our feet can carry us, our food appears as if its the peak of summer all year round, we live as long as telomeres permit and seek to cheat that; this needless distraction is coming to a swift end.

Sooner or later we all learn what is worthy of attention and what is not.

Beggar - thanks for noting your sentiments, and I'd extend that thanks to those who have replied to you before me.

I feel pretty much the same way you do, and hope you'll hang in with the authentic life thing. There's a lot you can't control, being mortal and all, but that's nothing to be depressed about. And you've been placed into an evolved system largely not of your own making.

The fact that you may not wind up a hero is not reason not to try your best to be one according to your own personal standards. Be alive in your own eyes, and remember that as weird as stuff gets, you can help steer it in a less-weird direction if you keep your head.

And remember to laugh, because above all else this situation is friggin' preposterous. Whether you decide to take the ring to Mordor or make a smaller difference, it doesn't hurt to try and self-respect is no small consolation prize.


“I am encouraged that folks at TOD can wrestle through difficult questions which evoke lots of passion, but I find myself overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenges we face.”
I have also struggled with deppresion over the years. My 23 yr old daughter told us over the holidays that she is getting married. I was struck with emotion. What kind of a world are my grand children going to live in? How can I get my children prepared for what is coming? These are questions I graple with lately. I am thankful that I tripped on TOD a few years ago. ELP seems to be the best defence for us worker bees.

Makes me wonder if the survivors of this mess 50 years from now have a holiday surrounding a campfire tale about a man named 'West Texas' and his dog named 'ELP'.


I'll consider it. I had planned to name the Yorkie asleep at my feet in my office "Reggie." He is a preemptive strike from my daughter, who was afraid that we were going to dognap their Yorkie.

Don't worry strap in and enjoy the ride what a time to be alive......

I cannot think of a more exciting time to be around how lucky are we..

In the end we are all just star dust. So don't worry be excited...

Yeah, I believe that life is far too important to be taken seriously.

this is a lot less flippant than it sounds

I would add a quote from Dylan Thomas

"Do not go gentle into that good night
Old age should rage and burn at close of day
rage, rage against the dying of the light"

Old or not, I hold the advice to be good

we are all just star dust

...we are golden
we are caught in the devil's bargain
and we've got to get ourselves
back to the garden


Re: All the China Power/Energy issues above

It certainly seems that China is struggling to build a first world infrastructure with 10%+ growth. All the while having NO environmental controls.

It looks like they are failing horribly. Peak Oil is not helping (diesel shortages), but infrastructure problems are huge.

ie. not enough rail cars, port berths,...etc. Back in 2006 lack of NG for 100s of new NG power plants(ALL MOTHBALLED).

The level of poor planning in infrastructure has resulted in massive waste. Think of all the concrete and steel that went into building 100s of new power plants that CAN'T operate.

Gads. I have said it before, and I will say it again...China is in a HORRIBLE state and will not weather the US/GLOBAL recession/depression well.

China is in a HORRIBLE state and will not weather the US/GLOBAL recession/depression well

there is a China everyone sees and there is a China most don't see.

have you read Jim Rogers' new book A Bull in China?

I suspect that it is mostly the "if the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail" syndrome.

TPTB in China have decided that economic growth is the answer to all their problems. So, they have becomed focused exclusively on promoting and sustaining economic growth. Everything else falls by the wayside.

Of course, that everything else falling by the wayside are a huge and growing set of problems that are caused rather than cured by economic growth. Furthermore, they will soon discover that their economic growth is not sustainable, no matter what they do.

They've had a good run and accomplished some things, but no way are they just going to ride the exponential growth curve upwards and onwards forever.

Hehe...isn't that same TOOLBOX that the FED has?

The rulers may have had no choice if they'd bothered to read the papers created by Cheney's Project for a New American Century. Once he was in power, China had to expect America to attempt to crush its attempts to become a rival power. For instance, surrounding China with bases, or threatening its oil supplies, which we did try. That meant China had to quickly make America dependent on it before the squeeze got too tight. This has been accomplished, but at the price of dooming the US and China to the same fate.

Now if the Chinese have accomplished their other goal, creating an alternative world trading system with Central Asia, Africa, and perhaps Latin America, they might yet struggle on while America goes dark. It would have been better if they had done so by selling appropriate technologies to meet pressing local needs. Clearly they didn't see that Cuba is a more accurate signpost for where the 3rd World (and much of rural China) is headed. Which is pretty ironic.

Where I live in China, Foshan --near Guangzhou -- there are often power shortages that render whole residential / commercial blocks completely useless for up to a day.

I've only been living in China for 5 months but inflation is out of control. Many of the poorer locals cannot afford to buy meat, oil is very expensive as well.

This sent from my lawyer/friend. Don't know where it came from. As we all know, it's not just about energy, population, etc. It's about everything. The video is a few minutes.

Email message:

This is pretty incredible given where it was aired.

It is extremely surprising that the Arab financed TV in Dubai would allow this to air. Be sure and watch this, it is so powerful I have no doubt she now has a very large price on her head. I also have no doubt it won't be on the air long .

She is one impressive woman. Here is a powerful and amazing statement on Al Jereeza television. The woman is Wafa Sultan, an Arab-American psychologist from Los Angeles . I would suggest watching it ASAP because I don't know how long the link will be active. This film clip should be shown around the world repeatedly!


Here is my comment to the person who sent me the link

Hello Samantha,

I do not know her life but this statement "The woman is Wafa Sultan, an Arab-American psychologist from Los Angeles." indicates that she has had a life much different than what I would perceive as the typical Arab that watches Al-Jazeera. The educated elite seem to forget, nor do they live in the "same world" as the under privileged. I came from the religious right upbringing, but I have certainly very little in common with that group today. However, I do understand where their belief set arises.

Just my take.

See You,


The top story at MSNBC:

Palestinians excitedly buy cola, goats, phones

Hamas militants broke through a fence to allow Palestinians to go shopping in Egypt. (Thereby making Hamas a hero to the people...again.) Egyptian shopkeepers immediately jacked up the prices on everything, but nobody cared. They were just happy to be able to shop. CNN is reporting 50,000 people poured across the border to buy food and fuel.

Much like 1989 and the East Germans going thru Poland, Czechoslovakia,
to get around the Berlin Wall.

You knew it was going to happen.

Makes you wonder how effective the Mexican wall will be...

I don't think that's really relevant. Building a wall to keep people out is a different matter from building one to keep people in. Egypt decided to allow the Palestinians in, "because they were starving."

The test, I suppose, will be the wall between the West Bank and Israel.

Walls never work. Like ancient dams, the wonder is
why people of the age thought they would.

They do work. Just not forever. As we peak oilers know, nothing lasts forever.

Well, Israel *was* trying to starve them, along with phones and chocolate I'm sure they bought staple foods, needed clothes, clean water.

Remember the US media is set on making these people look sub-human, but they are no more sub-human than the Poles the Nazis insisted didn't like taking baths etc.

Probably not very effective at all. But then again, "Security" in America in 2008 is big business and if the wall fails ... well, we'll just throw some more taxpayer money at it. For TPTB, this is known as a "win-win" ...

I've yet to read Naomi Klein's book on the subject of "Disaster Capitalism" but the very notion makes my skin crawl.

I think we'll be able to break through and get to mexico!!!

just kidding.

Two thoughts re: Suncor's Sarnia refinery running at 70 percent

1. Their H2 supply issues today are likely the result of something mundane today, such as a compressor failure at Air Products. Couldn't find anything to suggest otherwise; chalk it up as a transient supply issue. But as Nat Gas decline advances, it seems likely that insufficient H2 will reappear as a tar sands problem.

So is H2 is a limiting resource per Liebig's Law for tar sands growth?

2. Suncor's response is to produce more "off-road quality" diesel fuel until it has sufficient quantities of the gas.

It's not hard to imagine "off-road quality" diesel fuel becoming more of a norm for on-road use if tar sands production are allowed to or required to exceed H2 limits. Given a choice between X bpd of dirty diesel and a fraction thereof of "clean" diesel, I trust that we'll easily rationalize burning ever-dirtier fuels.

"What else you expect us to do, moron?", will be heard.

As I understand things, the "clean" (i.e., low sulfur) diesel fuel is required to keep the air pollution controls functioning on newer U.S. road diesels. My guess is that using some high sulfur fuel would destroy the catalytic converters (or?) on these vehicles, which could be a very expensive fix for folks living in areas where passing the emissions inspection is required for registration. Any one else know about this?

E. Swanson

On several occasions, I've opined that we could have $1 Trillion to spend on our climate and energy crises if we just rolled back the US Empire. Usually, no one comments because I think everyone thinks the Trillion dollar figure to be untrue/grossly inflated and I'm seen as not having credibility. Chalmers Johnson, author of the "Blowback" historical trilogy, uses this number, calls it "conservative," and enumerates its parts here, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JA24Ak04.html

I often wonder why the government can come up with funny money for bogus things (bogus-bucks) but can’t seem to come up with any for truly important things like rebuilding our country. I think the government can come up with vapor cash for bullying other countries precisely because we are the biggest bullies on the block. We’ve been beating up the world for their lunch money, which we then use to pay for our boxing lessons. Would anybody really agree to spend a trillion dollars of non existent money on a nation wide electric train set hopping from perma culture farm to farmers’ markets galore? We’d hear no end of cries of "Pork barrel programs!" and "Government fraud-waste-and-abuse!"

This reminds me of an old Jack Benny sketch. Jack is held up by a robber who stereotypically says, “Your money or your life!” Jack hesitates for a moment, so the crook says, “Well?” Jack replies, “I’m thinking…”

And Jimmy Carter couldn’t even convince us to put on a sweater.


Undoubtedly true. But there is a reason WHY the US Gov't (I won't say "we" because nobody ever asked for my approval) has been doing it, and the answer to "why" follows convoluted threads that ultimately lead to some very big profits in some very important people's pockets. You don't really expect, do you, that these people will just say "Oh, well of course this is wrong, just unwind everything and I'll be content with the wealth I've already gathered"?

According to the public numbers, we spent over $700 billion on our military last year. So yes, I think your Trillion dollar number is probably pretty close. :)

Weather warning for carbon trading

The promoters are convinced that tougher environmental restrictions around the world will mean that the market can only keep growing. They are also pretty confident that prices will keep rising, though anyone willing to predict market movements, especially in the current climate, could be described as somewhat rash.

All the more so in a market as hideously complicated as carbon emissions trading. Not to mention all the intense political and corporate lobbying that has happened and will continue as long as there is no comprehensive global agreement on the reduction of carbon emissions.

The only sure thing about the creation of this market for carbon quotas and credits is that it risks opening a field for financial manipulation and speculation.

I would like to know why the comment I posted announcing the new blog that ilargi and I are running was deleted. Yesterday I mentioned it in a DrumBeat with over 220 comments, so it seemed reasonable to post it again today in a fresh thread where more people would be able to see it. I promised I would let the readership know what we decided to do by announcing it in the DrumBeat and I don't see why I shouldn't be allowed to do so. People link to other sites here all the time. I would like an explanation please.

Makes two of us.

I thought I was losing my mind.

For those who missed it the first time, here it is again.

Ilargi and I have set up our own blog - The Automatic Earth - in order to pursue our research interests as a team. For the time being, the content will be primarily financial, given the urgency of the credit crunch. However, we intend to cover the same range of subject matter that we covered here over time.

I know I'm probably close to getting banned, but why isn't this market being discussed in a round-up? I am absolutely amazed that TOD dropped the ball like this.

I don't think there are going to be any more Round-Ups. Nate or Gail might do the occasional finance-related article, but TOD:Canada will probably be mothballed. Stoneleigh might do occasional articles for the main page, but if you want Round-Up like financial coverage, go to her blog.

I dunno. I didn't do it. Why don't you ask on the staff list? Whoever did it might not be reading this thread any more.


I mentioned this on another DB, but I recommend that their site be added to the Blogroll. That would seem to me to be a gracious, kind, and cost-free thing to do.

That kind of suggestion should be e-mailed to Prof. Goose. It's not my bailiwick.

Let's see. TOD suffers because a large part of the posting community liked the inter-related explanations of energy, resources, and finance, which are now absent. Stoneleigh and ilargi suffer from the reduced traffic to their now separate site. All the readers suffer from a lack of integrated information.

How can we possibly come to an arrangement or agreement regarding energy and resources in a time of ecological chaos and population overshoot, where the very future of mankind may hang in the balance, when we seemingly can't even get our act together on a blog?

It's not that I'm holding my breath waiting for any "mea culpas". This is just a microcosmic mirror, a harbinger of the future. And disappointing.

Well, at the suggestion of some, I created my own board for making preparations in regards to self-sustainability and such in a post-peak world, but honestly the traffic has been limited to a few posts a day. Fortunately the information stays there to be seen long afterward in a format that is easy to find, as opposed to Drupal based sites.

It's hard to keep a blog-based site "on task" a lot of times. I think TOD has done a great job, and will continue to do so. I welcome the addition of some financial-doom sites to mylist of sites to browse when I want to take a break. :)

Holy moly, the very future of mankind does NOT hang in the balance of what happens on TOD. It's fun to read and write and banter and all, but come on, it's just a blog.

No one is suffering. You can always find Stoneleigh and Ilargi if you care to. I saw the announcement in this thread of their new site - seen it twice now. Google is your friend, in any case.

Yes, it's good to have lots and lots (and lots!) (did I say lots?) of information, but...

What matters is what you do with it, what happens where you live, the decisions that you make.

The folks here do a great job. It is their blog, not some sort of public utility. I have learned a lot here. I am not thrilled with some of the personal sniping lately, but this stuff comes and goes, like on any blog. Call it the Tragedy of the Commons.

IMHO, you are way overreacting.

Yes, there were plenty of people unhappy about the apparent banishment of Stoneleigh's and ilargi's regular contributions to this site.

My point was that on less significant matters such as this there seems to be little agreement, nor work toward an agreement. I didn't imply that TOD holds sway over the world. I implied that since very smart people on the same page in a limited microcosm couldn't reach an agreement which benefits many and costs few, that it didn't bode well for problems on the world stage.

And your reply was longer than my original comment. Who's overreacting?

People are human beings. And hardly a more depressing thought has ever occurred to me.

I'll be over at the new blog! See you there.

Tom A-B

firefox - "slow running script on this page" alert

I have been getting a "stop slow running script" alert from Firefox the last couple of days in the DrumBeat and in Stuart's recent article.

Mind that I am using a p2 400mhz laptop, is there some widget or advertisement script that has been altered in the last couple of days? I ignore/cancel and it works it's self out eventually, but it does make the site slow for me.

Just curious if anyone else has experienced this.

Yes. I think it's the new "collapse thread" script that's doing it.

I use the Firefox extension NoScript, and have set it to block scripts from TheOilDrum. It means I can't collapse threads (but that's just as well, since I probably should be keeping an eye on everything, anyway). The page loads faster now, and I no longer get that error.

Re: Nuclear plant facing shutdown in South-East US due to water shortages
'"Water is the nuclear industry's Achilles' heel," said Jim Warren, executive director of N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network, an environmental group critical of nuclear power. "You need a lot of water to operate nuclear plants."'
You need water for cooling in coal and gas plants too, so I think it is a bit misleading to single nuclear out there - although his post indicates pretty clearly that he is not a neutral observer.

No water cooling needed for PV solar or wind power! (Of course, there's that intermittancy issue.)

DaveMart -

That was also my initital reaction to reading the piece about nuclear plant shutdowns in the Southeast.

A lot of people don't realize that once you get downstream of the reactor, the turbines and generators for both fossil fuel and nuclear plants are conceptually pretty much the same. In both cases the cooling water is for running the condensers. If a nuclear plant is run correctly, the 'cooling' of the reactor is largely in the heat transfer loop that makes the steam that drives the turbine, etc. Any additional cooling would be wasting valuable energy. (Of course, emergency cooling is a whole other story, but that is not part of normal operation.)

The natural-draft cooling towers of a nuclear power plant are quite huge, but so are the natural-draft cooling towers of an equivalant size coal-fired power plant. To portray high water usage as something unique to nuclear power plants is highly misleading.

Some nuclear plants require 1,000,000,000 gallons of fresh water per day for cooling!!! That's astonishing!

Water availability and discharge is the joker in the deck for a lot of energy sources, including "alternatives".

This cooling water is used in the condenser. That is the heat exchanger where the steam is turned back into water and pumped back into the boiler. The boiler/steam turbine water is treated water and does not mix with the cooling water. It is recirculated over and over through the boiler.

The point is, all boiler plants, which include all nukes, use about the same amount of water per megawatt of output power. It does not matter if they are coal, gas or nuclear. (Not gas turbine, they do not have a condenser.) But a coal fired boiler uses the same amount of cooling water as a boiler heated with nuclear power.

Ron Patterson

Hello Perpetual Energy,

As posted many times by me before:

We should all prepare to enjoy the nightly darkness in exchange for food and water to minimize the machete' moshpits.

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

"Some nuclear plants require 1,000,000,000 gallons of fresh water per day for cooling!!! "

Believe it! Here's a shot I took of the Palo Verde nuclear reactor along I-10 in Southern California.

And you would see the exact same thing at a coal fired plant. As pointed out above, it is dishonest to imply that nuclear power plants use more cooling water than coal fired plants. Well, let me correct that. It is only dishonest if you don't know any better. But now you do.

I worked for two years at the Ghazlan Power plant in Saudi Arabia. There we burned, in the boiler, mostly natural gas. Occasionally we burned crude oil and occasionally we burned naphtha. You can burn almost anything in a boiler, including garbage.

Nuclear power plants work the same way except you heat the water with nuclear power. You boil it, turn it into steam, push the steam through a turbine and the turbine turns a generator to generate power. The steam hits the condenser quickly turning it the steam back into water. This actually adds power to the turbine by creating negative pressure at the end of the turbine.

At Ghazlan we pumped sea water through the condenser and discharged it well away from the intake. At Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in North Alabama they take river water from the Tennessee River, push it through the condenser, then discharge it downstream. Neither Ghazlan or Browns Ferry have cooling towers so you never see water vapor rising from the cooling towers. But where you have no seawater or sufficient river water, you must have cooling towers and recycle the cooling wate not lost to evoperation.

Ron Patterson

I wonder whether there is any special reason why only Nuclear plants are targetted for water conservation in the SE.

- Is it that they have no NG or Coal plants in the SE that are near declining water sources?

- Or is it just anti-nuclear bias by those that control the allocation of water?

- Or perhaps Nuclear power plants do have greater cooling water needs?

Or perhaps Nuclear power plants do have greater cooling water needs?

Okay, lets go over this just one more time. The type of heat source has nothing to do with it. It is the frigging condenser that uses the cooling water! The condenser is exactly the same in a nuclear plant as a coal plant or any type of plant that generates its electricity via a steam turbine.

No, Nuclear power plants do not have greater cooling water needs. The description of a condenser below is for a fossil fuel plant but it is exactly the same in a nuclear plant.

The condenser condenses the steam from the exhaust of the turbine into liquid to allow it to be pumped. If the condenser can be made cooler, the pressure of the exhaust steam is reduced and efficiency of the cycle increases. The condenser is usually a shell and tube heat exchanger commonly referred to as a surface condenser. Cooling water circulates through the tubes in the condenser's shell and the low pressure exhaust steam is condensed by flowing over the tubes as shown in the adjacent diagram. The tubing is designed to reduce the exhaust pressure, avoid subcooling the condensate and provide adequate air extraction. Typically the cooling water causes the steam to condense at a temperature of about 32–38 °C (90–100 °F) and that creates an absolute pressure in the condenser of about 5–7 kPa (1.5–2.0 in Hg), a vacuum of about 95 kPa (28 in Hg) relative to atmospheric pressure. The condenser, in effect, creates the low pressure required to drag steam through and increase the efficiency of the turbines.

Ron Patterson

condensers suck, that's how I always explain it

...and one of the over looked facts of history is that the great sucker, James Watt invented the condenser, not the steam engine.

I was just wondering why Nuclear power plants were being singled out. According to a position paper with the Australian Parliament


"Nuclear compared with other sources of fuel

Nuclear power plants need more cooling water than fossil-fired power stations. This is because the steam in nuclear power stations is designed to operate at lower temperatures and pressures, which means they are less efficient at using the heat from the reactor and thus require more water for cooling."

However, on further reading that paper, IMO, it is not a whole lot more (like an order of magnitude), about 25-83% more water. But not insignificant either.

The paper says, and I also believe so, that it is possible to construct heat-exchanger systems that do not use significant cooling water amounts - but at greater cost and with somewhat reduced efficiency.

If that drought is not going away soon, it may pay Progress Energy and Duke Power to spring for that capital. That will still be cheaper than buying July/August power at peak rates.

Its the fossil fuel industry singling out nuclear for attention, since its better to build lots of clean coal plants as opposed to something that runs clean as long as its well tended.

I wonder whether there is any special reason why only Nuclear plants are targetted for water conservation in the SE.

Why not simple size? Atom splitting plants - gigawatt range coal - MW range.

Single point management (one plant) - no need for magical conspiracies.

Believe it! Here's a shot I took of the Palo Verde nuclear reactor along I-10 in Southern California.

I'm sure Bob Shaw will be thrilled that you relocated his nuclear reactor from Southern Arizona to California. Maybe they should have relocated the Cardinals as well, since LA still needs an NFL team.

Palo Verde is in Arizona.

It reuses water from the Phoenix municipal waste water system.


D'oh! Went from my faulty memory on that one. The CA border is a few more hours down the road....

Merrill Lynch: not so bullish on America...

Housing prices to free fall in 2008

The worst housing financial crisis in decades is only going to get worse, a Merrill Lynch report said Wednesday.

The investment bank forecast a 15 percent drop in housing prices in 2008 and a further 10 percent drop in 2009, with even more depreciation likely in 2010.

From one of my Wall Street correspondents; I don't have a link. Another day, another project does not meet expectations and/or is further delayed.

Chevron, ConocoPhillips's New Indonesian Fields Miss Estimates
2008-01-23 05:20 (New York)
By Bambang Dwi Djanuarto and Naila Firdausi

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Oil production in 2007 at new fields
operated by Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips in Indonesia fell
short of projections, the country's oil and gas regulator said.

Chevron's West Seno offshore field in the Makassar Strait
near Kalimantan produced 26,000 barrels of oil a day, less than a
third of the projected 60,000 barrels, Abdul Muin, deputy
chairman of BPMigas said. Output at ConocoPhillips's Belanak off-
shore field in West Natuna, at 34,000 barrels a day, was 51
percent below estimate, he said.

``Production from new fields underperformed,'' Muin told
reporters in Jakarta. ``Development of new fields faces
operational problems.''


A New Deal for EEStor: A delayed battery technology may indeed be on the way

Earlier this month, a stealthy startup that says its ultracapacitor-based energy storage system could make conventional batteries obsolete took a small step toward proving its many skeptics wrong.EEStor says that its patented system is a nontoxic, safe, and lower-cost alternative to conventional electrochemical battery technologies, offering ten times the energy density of lead-acid batteries at one-tenth the weight and volume.

Has anyone seen this actually work?

Even a lab "proof of concept" gadget?

I would be delighted to see a test tube storing a few watt-hours of electrical energy ( an alkaline "D" cell has 14 ampere-hours at 1.5 volts which is 21 watt-hours ).

How many times are you going to post this story?

He'll keep posting 'till he's banned. (then come back under a different name)

I've been thinking of writing some code to suck down every poster's comments and index them for searching. But then I come back to "why" - if I were to be able to repost links to every time the EEStore link was posted by say antidoomer and ask "So, Scott. What has changed from the last X times you posted it, and how have the concerns of poster Y, and Z been addressed" - would 'da antidoomer be troubled to actually answer questions/address the "issue" he's brought up? Sounds like a whole lotta work for not alot of gain.

The stories today reflect well on Westexas ELM in that GM sales are up substantially in (Guess where) Middle East, Latin America, ( includes Venezuela and Brazil ) Africa ( includes Nigeria, Sudan etc.) a DOUBLING in Russia, and China. In my opinion the biggest story for some time is Isreal's decision to go to electric cars on a massive scale. The most under reported story for some time. And the MSM is rife with a history of under reporting.

The Israel story was in Time magazine. That's about as MSM as it gets.

It's almost infallible. Rants about the MSM ignoring stories refer to MSM stories.

Yes it is all about the oil

Sometimes I think we get the idea that the PO community is just shouting down a rainbarrel when it comes to TPTB. 'Squawk' was trying to get the head of Southwest to brighten their outlook for the US economy based on the recent drop in oil prices. "It's still $87 bucks a barrel" he protested. (at the same time I did)

The fact that the sides of the jar are made up by high prices and commodity constraint are evident to anyone trying to 'grow' business in today's economy. From Rick Wagoner's (underplayed) powerpoint about crude supplies to the letters WT has gotten from NYMEX floor traders about ELM evidence shows that at times the word leaks out and has an impact.

I do not believe that all of this global economic unwinding will be laid exclusively at the feet of the subprime slime and shop til we drop economic policy. At the root of all this are the people who actually buy the oil, process the tar sands and do the agribusiness. They know we got trouble and they often understand that the earth is finite. Miners know for instance. EROI, receding horizons, yeah all that stuff, doing it every day.

Before we feel that all this idle prattle here and to our friends and neighbors is of little value let's at least acknowledge that it may help mitigate the effects of the ensuing s**tstorm if it does nothing more than hint at how powerdown might function in practice. And the alternatives to considering this are not pretty at all.

The lifestyle negotiations are beginning out there. Dick Cheney, eat your heart out.

January 23, 2008, 2:19 pm
More Bad News for Ethanol
Posted by Keith Johnson

Another brick in the wall against ethanol. Academics tasked with plotting California’s transition to a low-carbon fuel have delivered more bad news: Ethanol appears to come with a higher greenhouse-gas price tag than previously thought — higher, indeed, than fossil fuel. . .

. . . The Berkeley team warned about the land-use-change bogeyman (”LUC” in shorthand) in a pair of lengthy reports submitted to California authorities last year. But only this month did the team report the startling, if preliminary, numbers. Current wisdom in California says gasoline produces about 92 grams of carbon dioxide for every megajoule of energy produced; ethanol is reckoned to be slightly cleaner at 75.9 grams. But the land-use penalty alone from growing more biofuel crops could add as much as 140 grams/MJ—a “really enormous” number, professors Farrell and O’Hare wrote. . .

The Dow is up almost 200 points now. Talk about volatile.


Seattle Starbucks tests $1 coffee, free refills

Could it be that people are actually doing what financial planners always tell you to do (cut out Starbuck's and make coffee at home)?

Get a Chemex coffeemaker and well, any decent beans or ground and you can make a good-ass cuppa Joe. We make some pretty decent coffee in the old proctor-silex around here with just maxwell house or folger's or whatever's on sale.

If you feel like going gourmet, get some "French Market" coffee and sweet canned milk for a real treat.

I can't believe a cuppa Joe is $1 anywhere, really. I know it is, and I spend it once in a great while, myself, it's just amazing.

making good coffee is easy, just use lots of grounds. this is not a place to try to save.
at work, the formula was one scoop, when it was my turn, i used 4 scoops and half the water. (opinions vary as to how good it was)
another good recipe is to make the coffee as above and then sweeten it with capachino mix.

Some things return to bite you on the ass:


Government ordered to release Iraq WMD paper

(Michael Crabtree/The Times)
The Foreign Office has been ordered to release a document written in 2002 by John Williams, then head of communications
Michael Evans, Defence Editor of The Times

The Government was yesterday ordered to make public a secret document about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction which was drawn up by the head of information at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2002.
A ruling by the Information Tribunal rejected an appeal by Foreign Office lawyers who had claimed that the contents of the document were exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
The Government has always insisted that the official dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction published in September 2002 was drawn up by the Joint Intelligence Committee, then headed by Sir John Scarlett who is now the Chief of MI6.

However, it emerged that there was an earlier draft of a document on the same subject which was written by John Williams who at that time was director of communications at the Foreign Office. There have been claims that Mr Williams’ document played a key part in influencing the content of the dossier produced by Sir John and the JIC, although this has been denied by the Foreign Office.

Critics of the Iraq dossier have accused the Government of using Downing Street and Foreign Office spin doctors to dramatise the contents of the report in order to make the case for invading Iraq. This has always been denied.

Yesterday’s unprecedented ruling by the Information Tribunal followed a request by the New Statesman under the Freedom of Information Act for the Williams dossier to be made public.

Just for fun:

Crysis Physic Demo - 3'000 Barrel Explosion


nice physx engine.

Really nice Salon peace on plug in hybrids:


The car of the future is here

The Extreme Hybrid from AFS Trinity was rolled out last week at the Detroit auto show. It can run 40 miles on electricity before reverting to running efficiently on gasoline like a normal hybrid, such as the Toyota Prius. Because the majority of people drive less than 40 miles a day, that car can replace most weekly gasoline use, even if it is charged only once a day. The fuel cost per mile, while running on electricity, is under one-third the current cost of gasoline. A full overnight charge might cost a dollar. The car accelerates like a cheetah, though quietly.

They found me on MySpace last Thursday - http://www.myspace.com/afstrinity.

I think their Peak Oil countdown clock is a little off.

It looks like they expect peak in 2010.

Even in the best case All liquids, I believe they are about 1 year off, and 5 years off C+C.

Oh well, surprise!


Argentina 2007 total oil production fell 1.5% (EIA est.):
While oil production continued in a downward trend, oil consumption was increasing as indicated by the 2005-2006 stats.

Ecuador 2007 total oil production fell 5% with a rising national oil consumption trend.

Venezuela oil consumption was rising faster than total oil production in 2006; 2007 data not available.

Brazilian total oil production was raised 7.1% in 2007 while consumption (2005-2006) was trending at a lower rate of increase.

Columbian total oil production (all liquids) fell 2.6% in 2007 while consumption was in a slight declining trend 2005-2006.