DrumBeat: January 24, 2008

Shell CEO sees no reason for panic over economy

"I look at the energy industry, and of course we look at the total economic climate, but we don't see any reason for panic," Jeroen van der Veer told Reuters.

"I don't see a real reason for a kind of panic. There may be a bit of slower growth," he said of the U.S. economy.

"Think about the Far East and the Middle East, there's lots of economic growth. I expect positive economic growth for Europe."

"We expect total energy demand in the year 2008 to be higher than the year 2007. That's very relevant for our industry."

Wal-Mart plans to take leadership role in energy, trade, health costs

KANSAS CITY, Missouri: Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which launched a broad environmental push in late 2005, wants to expand that focus to other issues including energy prices, international trade and U.S. health care costs.

Chief Executive Lee Scott outlined plans in a speech Wednesday to push for more energy-saving products for Wal-Mart shoppers, work with other retailers on social and environmental standards for the foreign companies they buy from, and trim prescription and health records costs at home.

The world's largest retailer may even someday install windmills or solar panels at its stores that would allow shoppers to charge electric vehicles, and it is talking with automakers about a possible role in the hybrid and electric car market, although Scott said those ideas were still "out there."

Valero Texas Refinery Starts Unit Damaged in Fire

(Bloomberg) -- Valero Energy Corp., the largest U.S. refiner, said it has begun restoring to service the final unit damaged in a fire last year at its McKee refinery in Texas.

The refinery will return to full rates of production once the propane deasphalter is at full power by the end of this month, Bill Day, a company spokesman, said in a telephone interview. The refinery, which shut after the February blaze, is running at about 90 percent of its capacity.

As Russia moves in, EU bickers over fees

BERLIN: Even as Russia works to increase Europe's dependence on it for oil and natural gas shipments, Europe is bickering with Turkey about fees for a pipeline that could be an alternative to the Kremlin option.

Steve Levine: An Oil-Powered Russia

The most important fact in Russia's re-emergence on the world stage is energy, and its most important instrument in parlaying that into actual power--and projecting it abroad--is control of the flow of that oil and natural gas from the former Soviet Union to places abroad. This pipeline--the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, with its million barrels of daily exports--is the first significant break in Russia's previous monopoly control over all oil and natural gas from the Caspian Sea states.

No place else to go: Serbia should recognise that it has no alternative to the European Union

LUCKY countries seldom have to think hard about where their future lies. Serbia, sadly, is not one of them. The message from the leading candidate after the first round of Serbia's presidential election on January 20th was uncompromising. The Radicals' Tomislav Nikolic, who took almost 40% of the vote, declared that Serbia must turn its back on the nasty European Union and solidify its links with the nice Russians instead. Right on cue Gazprom, Russia's energy giant, agreed to buy the Serbian national oil monopoly and to link Serbia to its planned South Stream gas pipeline.

Peak Oil As Obsessional Neurosis

When writing about peak oil and related matters in the category of doom and gloom, one encounters Nietzsche’s paradox: There are only two kinds of readers, those who already know, and those who will never know, so why bother? Isn’t it the case that to be caught in such a circle is solid evidence of an obsessional neurosis?

OPEC Doesn't Need to Raise Production, Ministers Say

Bloomberg) -- OPEC doesn't need to increase oil production when it meets next week because supply is adequate, ministers from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq said.

``I don't see the need for more,'' Qatar's Energy Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said in an interview in Davos, Switzerland, today after meeting with his U.A.E. counterpart Mohamed al-Hamli. ``The market is well balanced.''

Venezuela to suffer little from US woes - minister

CARACAS (Reuters) - Problems in the U.S. economy will not hurt Venezuela in the short-term but could lower prices of the OPEC nation's vital oil exports, Venezuela's economy minister Rafael Isea said on Thursday.

Isea told reporters that an economic downturn could affect demand for crude oil, but added its effect on Venezuela's basket of crude oil and refined products should not be "severe."

Venezuelan oil output averages 2.39 million in 2007

Venezuelan oil production last year dropped 148,000 bpd, averaging 2.39 million bpd, according to the latest bulletin published by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

While production picked up in the last quarter of 2007, in January-September it spiraled down.

Algeria to broaden oil assets

Algeria plans to use an upcoming hydrocarbons bidding round to increase the overseas assets of Sonatrach, the state oil company, as part of a strategy to gain exposure to new markets.

Chakib Khelil, the energy minister, told the Financial Times that Sonatrach – which already has projects in other parts of Africa, Latin America and Portugal – was also looking at potential acquisitions to expand its international operations.

Mexico Senate sees April energy law proposal

MEXICO CITY – Mexican senators expect to have a proposal ready in April for an energy reform aimed at revitalizing the sector and possibly bringing vital deepwater oil in the Gulf within reach, a senior legislator said.

After a year consulting with Mexican and foreign experts, lawmakers from all parties agree the oil sector needs a shake-up to ensure Mexico's future as a world class oil exporter, Sen. Ruben Camarillo told Reuters.

El Paso Tennessee Gas unit declares force majeure

NEW YORK (Reuters) - El Paso Corp unit Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co declared force majeure due to a "possible leak" on its natural gas pipeline system in offshore Louisiana, the company said Thursday.

"Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co is declaring a force majeure ... The reason for the event is to repair a possible leak on the line," the company said in a Web site posting.

Alberta targets emission cuts with carbon capture

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Alberta, Canada's biggest oil-producing province, aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 14 percent from 2005 levels as part of a climate-change plan that imposes few restrictions on major industrial emitters.

Deforestation of Brazil's Amazon rises sharply

SAO PAULO, Brazil - The rate of Amazon deforestation rose sharply during the last five months of 2007 as land was cleared for soy and cattle, prompting a top-level emergency meeting Thursday by government officials to deal with the problem.

Delays threaten refinery construction programme

A report in Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) newsletter has highlighted the mounting delays in the tendering process for Saudi Aramco's three joint-venture (JV) refineries, two of which are being developed with France's Total and ConocoPhillips, respectively.

The report, writes Global Insight energy analyst Samuel Ciszuk, has also managed to receive an official answer denying persistent rumours claiming that the Jizan refinery project—to which a JV partner has not yet been secured—is dead.

What seems more and more certain, however, is that the global cost escalations are hitting the Saudi projects with full force, causing many to question the economy behind the projects at this time and adding further uncertainties for subcontractors and suppliers. It also seems that the delays affecting the more advanced Jubail and Yanbu' projects are now surpassing one year.

BP: World produces ‘all oil it needs’

BP Plc, Europe’s second-largest oil company, said the world is producing “all the oil it needs’’ and consumption may fall in the future because of the environmental pressure to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Crude oil production will continue to rise this year, as it did in 2007, said Peter Davies, BP’s chief economist. Prices rose to US$100 a barrel earlier this month partly because the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries restricted supplies, while spare production capacity has increased, he said.

“People will run out of demand before they run out of oil,’’ Davies said in Westminster, London. “We are not short of resources to produce.’’

$100 A Barrel Oil – My Predictions Revisited

As I will discuss in my annual predictions next week, 2008 will be the year when the concept of peak oil will move into the larger awareness of the public. A great number of scientists and energy experts believe, as do I, that the world is now passing through peak oil. When the understanding of this probability sinks in it will trigger some oil producing companies to start to manage sales for the long term. This could well drive up the price as production will be limited as these countries look for long term revenues.

U.S. recession could drag oil to $70 - Petroleum Secretary

LONDON (Reuters) - A major recession in the United States could drag oil prices down by at least 20 percent and strong oil demand growth in China, India and the Middle East will not be able to make up the demand shortfall, Petroleum Secretary M.S. Srinivasan said on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia Plans Its First Sovereign Wealth Fund

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer, plans to start its first sovereign wealth fund with about $6 billion, channeling surplus crude-oil revenue into investments in foreign companies.

Bodman Says He Doesn't Expect OPEC to Cut Oil Output on Feb. 1

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said he didn't expect OPEC to cut oil production when the group meets on Feb 1. because it would hurt economic growth.

"I don't expect OPEC will cut output," Bodman told reporters in Cairo today during a tour of the Middle East. "It will not have a salutary effect on world economic production."

Analysis: Yar'Adua eyes emerging Nigeria

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua is hoping to transform his energy-rich country into a leading world player on the energy market and beyond during the next decade by improving the country's oil and gas production as well as its infrastructure.

Signing Your Economic Stimulus Over to the Saudis?

President Bush's economic stimulus plan would put $800 in the pocket of almost every taxpayer. Given that Congress is pretty much on the same page, why isn't that prospect buoying everyone's hopes? Maybe one reason is that Wall Street and consumers alike realize that unless oil prices drop significantly--which may well happen if we fall into a recession--many will be emptying that newfound stash just to pay for the increase in gasoline and other energy prices this year.

Zambia power woes worsen, may dent '08 copper output

LUSAKA (Reuters) - Zambia's copper output for 2008 could be hurt by a serious power crisis that has gripped the country, forcing the rationing of power and suspension of operations at copper mines, officials said on Thursday.

"If the power shortages continue, then we are in for a rude shock in terms of production," Frederick Bantubonse, the head of the Zambia Chamber of Mines told Reuters.

Canadians' dependence on cars rising

So much for fears about gas emissions and climate change.

Car dependence is on the rise, even as more Canadians declare concern for the environment and live in urban areas with access to better public transit.

Creating a Car Culture in China

As the cost of owning a car comes down, young urbanites have started buying them mostly for fun, as opposed to four or five years ago, when many bought for reasons of "face" -- to show off to neighbors and friends. Chen said most of his customers are between 18 and 28 years old, though some are in their mid-30s and own two or three cars each.

Asia To Account For Two-Thirds Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 2010

"By 2010, Asia is expected to account for nearly a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, so to slow that down, increases in investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and other clean technologies are needed," said Mu Shin Kim, Investment Specialist of ADB's Private Sector Operations Department.

Iceland's Hydrogen Ship Heralds Fossil-Free Future

REYKJAVIK - At first glance, the red ship hardly looks like a herald of the future. Even its owner admits the hull needs a coat of paint and the interior some spit and polish.

But in a few weeks, the Elding -- Icelandic for "Lightning" -- will be transformed into the world's first hydrogen-equipped commercial vessel, the latest sign that Iceland is pushing hard to become the first nation to break free from the constraints of fossil fuel.

Britain will need 12,500 wind farms to satisfy EU targets

In a mere dozen years, the amount of UK electricity generated by renewable technologies such as wind, wave and tidal power will have to reach nearly half the national total, under ambitious plans put forward by the European Commission in Brussels.

The remarkable eight-fold expansion, from today's 5 per cent to about 40 per cent by 2020, or even more, represents a true energy revolution comparable in scale to the arrival of North Sea oil.

Bio-diesel film not to everyone's tastes at Sundance

PARK CITY, Utah (AFP) — Activist Josh Tickell has been using and promoting bio-diesel for about 10 years as an alternative to fossil fuels, helping America lessen its dependence on foreign oil.

In his documentary film "Fields of Fuel," premiering at the Sundance Film Festival this week, he outlines the historical origins of and the political constructs that support petroleum use.

As well, he presents the benefits of bio-diesel, how it can be grown locally anywhere in the world to shift multi-national energy companies' clout to local communities, mustering applause from audiences here.

But not everyone is buying into his message.

The lowdown on topsoil: It's disappearing

The planet is getting skinned.

While many worry about the potential consequences of atmospheric warming, a few experts are trying to call attention to another global crisis quietly taking place under our feet.

Call it the thin brown line. Dirt. On average, the planet is covered with little more than 3 feet of topsoil -- the shallow skin of nutrient-rich matter that sustains most of our food and appears to play a critical role in supporting life on Earth.

"We're losing more and more of it every day," said David Montgomery, a geologist at the University of Washington. "The estimate is that we are now losing about 1 percent of our topsoil every year to erosion, most of this caused by agriculture."

U.S. Given Poor Marks on the Environment

A new international ranking of environmental performance puts the United States at the bottom of the Group of 8 industrialized nations and 39th among the 149 countries on the list.

Faraway food production

Without doubt, there are enormous implications for our warming world as we move foodstuffs farther and farther. There are also economic consequences, as highlighted in recent weeks when oil prices temporarily broke past US$100 per barrel, a psychologically important event that many energy analysts believe signals the beginning of an inexorable climb in fossil-fuel prices as we approach peak oil. Higher gas prices mean higher costs to bring goods to market.

But transportation isn’t the half of it when it comes to oil and most present-day food production, as Sharon Ellis will tell you. Seed costs are climbing because of both the distance the seeds are transported and the fuel used to grow them, whether it’s the fuel burned in the machines that cultivate the land and bring in the crops or the petroleum-based fertilizers used in so much present-day crop production. Ellis is the fourth generation in her family to farm on Westham Island or nearby farmlands in Delta, and she grows a lot of pumpkins. A package of just 100 Prize Winner pumpkin seeds costs her $42. Five years ago it was $30, and back just 10 years ago the sticker price was half what it is today.

Winter saps China energy supplies

China is facing its worst-ever power shortage as winter weather puts pressure on dwindling coal supplies.

Officials say reserves are down to emergency levels with only enough coal to power the entire country for another eight days.

Pinched by Price Controls, Power Plants in China Scale Back

HONG KONG — The Chinese government issued an “urgent notice” on Wednesday to the country’s power generators, coal companies and railways to address an electricity shortage that has led to rationing in more than a third of China’s provinces in recent weeks.

The rationing, mostly achieved by telling factories that their power will be shut off for a day or two each week, coincides with the annual frenzy of factory production to meet orders before shutting down for the Chinese New Year holidays, which fall in early February this year.

China Power Gap Hits Aluminum Maker

SHANGHAI, China — Aluminum Corp. of China said Thursday it has stopped production at two factories, another sign a worsening power shortage in the country is beginning to affect regional industries.

China's largest aluminum maker, also known as Chalco, said it suspended output at its Guizhou aluminum plant and at Zunyi Aluminum Corp., both in southwestern Guizhou province, beginning Wednesday.

Nepal: Govt withdraws fuel price hike, country limps back to normalcy

KATHMANDU, Jan 23 - The government Wednesday afternoon withdrew its Monday’s decision to hike the price of diesel, Kerosene and cooking gas after the decision sparked nationwide protests.

Nepal Oil Corporation has been directed to roll back the price hike through an emergency ministerial-level decision, Supplies Minister Shyam Sundar Gupta said.

Malaysia to Stockpile Staple Foods to Avoid Shortage

(Bloomberg) -- Malaysia, the world's second-biggest palm oil producer, plans to stockpile cooking oil, rice and other essentials to safeguard supplies and stabilize prices that have surged to records globally.

Endesa Chile moves up power plant start date

"It was moved up because it's better to face the winter with more power instead of less," Rafael Mateo, Endesa Chile's chief executive said at a ceremony given by the energy ministry at a liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal that is under construction on the Quintero Bay in central Chile.

The project, scheduled for completion in 2009, is part of a government plan to become more energy independent after severe cuts in natural gas from Argentina and lower hydroelectric reservoir levels due to scant rainfall caused electricity prices to skyrocket.

The San Isidro II power plant, involving an investment of more than $220 million, is currently operating with diesel fuel, but will use natural gas once the LNG terminal is ready.

Energy crises impact whole Southern African region mining sector

Despite the mining industry in the southern African region contributing immensely to the region's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), an energy crisis that has hit the region is threatening to overturn such gains and deny mining companies maximum benefits from the current strong minerals market.

The region's major mining countries of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa confess that power outages are proving to be spanners in the works of an enhanced mining industry in the region. The countries have attributed the outages to archaic infrastructure failing to handle a growing demand for energy.

Experts warn South Africa could face ‘huge’ liquid fuel shortage

If the economy continues growing at 4%-plus a year then inland residents in areas like Africa's economic powerhouse, Gauteng, should start getting worried about a looming "huge" liquid fuel supply shortage, experts warned on Wednesday.

There would be massive shortages of petroleum products by as early as 2010, Industrial Development Corporation chief economist Lumkile Mondi said.

South Africa: People rushing to buy generators

Talisman Plant and Tool Hire product and services manager Magda Swanepoel said: “There has been a big demand for generators and as a result we are sold out nationwide. The demand has increased drastically in the last two weeks – we have a backlog of three months.”

Biofuels could generate extensive food shortages

Ask anyone on the street, and it's likely they'll tell you that biofuels made with plants such as corn are the Number 1 contender to solve the energy crisis. The popularity of biofuels is not surprising, considering the glowing TV advertising Canadians have seen. You'd think that filling up with corn-produced ethanol will easily stop climate change and solve all of our future energy needs in one fell swoop.

But the truth is that adopting biofuels as a large-scale alternative to fossil fuels to combat global warming could create a whole host of new problems – including widespread food shortages.

Heinberg: Peak everything economics, or, what do you call this mess?

It's becoming increasingly clear that 2008 will be a catastrophic year for the US economy, and therefore probably for that of the world as a whole. The reasons boil down to two: continuing and snowballing fallout from the subprime mortgage fiasco (exacerbated by an orgy of debt-leveraging), and record-high, continuously advancing oil prices.

But will the impact be inflationary or deflationary? This matters, because the diagnosis determines how governments and financial institutions should respond, and what private citizens should do to protect themselves.

Top 50 of World's Energy Companies Led by Six Nationals

Three years ago, the top six names on the PFC Energy 50 ranking of the world's largest oil & gas industry companies were ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Chevron and Eni. This year's top six include Petrochina, Gazprom, Sinopec and Petrobras, National Oil Companies (NOCs), whose shares are traded on public markets, but which are majority-owned by the governments of China, Russia and Brazil. The preeminent positions of these NOCs on the PFC Energy 50 list reflect a profound change in the global energy industry. With some 65% of oil and gas reserves off-limits to International Oil Companies (IOCs), the majors are finding it increasingly difficult to deliver growth in reserves and production, while the NOCs offer more convincing growth prospects.

Kuwait's Oil Revenues for Next FY Jump 56% to More than $42 Billion

Kuwait's budget for the next fiscal year projects record spending, record revenues, and a record deficit of U.S.$18.8 billion, reports Dow Jones. Kuwait's budget includes oil revenues estimated at more than $42 billion, which are 56% more than what was projected for the current fiscal year.

International Forecaster January 2008 (#6) - Gold, Silver, Economy + More

Note that the so-called peak oil effect is partly real and contrived but is also partly fiction. While we agree that the failure to seek out new profitable sources of oil and to increase refinement capacity were planned by the Illuminati to cause growing shortages, most of the gains in oil recently are due to the loss of value in the dollar, not to increases in demand and decreases in production. Both gold and oil have moved in tandem together as the dollar has been taken to the woodshed.

When all the world's major economies start their big swirl around the toilet bowl, all the oil-producing and resource-rich countries such as Russia, the Middle East, Australia, Canada and Venezuela as well as much of Africa and South America will get hammered as prices plummet.

Statoil Signs Agreement with PDVSA to Quantify Reserves

StatoilHydro's Chief Executive Helge Lund has signed two agreements with Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela’s Oil and Energy Minister and CEO of PDVSA.

..."With the signing of these agreements, we are confirming our long term commitment to Venezuela and interest to expand our industrial activity in this country. The signing of these agreements represents a great opportunity to StatoilHydro to support the development of the Venezuelan oil business," says Helge Lund.

America's Greatest Problem: Growth

In a three part interview, I found myself astounded by author Michael Folkerth’s book: “THE BIGGEST LIE EVER BELIEVED.” He epitomizes a humorous economist and the “King of Simple.”

His book presents irrefutable logic that this nation cannot continue growing for the long term. We must face the facts of our limited continent. We must come to terms with not being able to extract five quarts of water out of a one gallon jug!

“I constantly attempt to create analogies that represent our system of ever expanding economic growth and the impossibility of continuing the same,” Folkerth said. “Growth is not the answer; it’s the problem.

A community garden is born

Pacifica Gardens will help Pacifica become a sustainable community not only by providing food, but also by educating people how to grow it and how to prepare it.

"It's an answer to peak oil. When you can grow your garden, you eat food close to its original form, which is nutritionally what we should be doing. This is a great start to answering questions. Each phase of the garden will be a workshop - how to grow something, transplant something and how to prepare it."

TLC Farm, friends push for new codes

The crusade to make city codes and zoning regulations more amenable to smaller sustainability projects had a public meeting on Jan. 17, and the large, enthusiastic outpouring of support made Bell highly optimistic that Portland really can be re-coded.

The Gospel According to Matthew

But here is Matthew R. Simmons, the head of one of the largest investment banking firms in the world, stabbing at his salad greens and heatedly discussing the chaos to come when, as he has long predicted, global oil production peaks and for the rest of our time on earth we struggle and suffer and barely endure under a diminishing supply of fuel until it disappears entirely. This idea is known as "peak oil," and Simmons is its most fervent, and fearsome, apostle. As he puts it, "I don't see why people are so worried about global warming destroying the planet—peak oil will take care of that."

Slashing through his entrée, barely stopping for breath, he describes a bleak future, in which demand for oil will always surpass supply, the price will continue to rise—"so fast your head will spin"—and all sorts of problems in our carbon-dependent world will ensue. As fuel shortfalls complicate global delivery routes and leave farmers unable to run their tractors, we will face massive food shortages. Products made with petroleum, from asphalt and plastic to fabrics and computer chips, will also become scarcer and scarcer. Standards of living will fall, and people will not be able to pay their debts. Lending will tighten, and eventually there will be major defaults. Growth will cease, and hoarding will set in as oil becomes increasingly rare. Then, according to Simmons, the wars will begin. That is the peak oil scenario.

What does the world look like with less oil?

Nate Hagens is an editor of The Oil Drum , an online community that seeks to raise awareness about energy issues. A Ph.D. candidate in Natural Resources at the University of Vermont, Hagens's particular areas of interest are the principles of net energy and the bio-physiological factors that drive our energy demand.

Matt Savinar is the editor and writer of Life After the Oil Crash, a blog which paints a bleak picture of what life on earth will look like when natural oil supplies run out. Savinar recently received his J.D. from the University of California at Hastings College of the Law, and his work is quoted extensively on the floor of the United States Congress.

Mideast oil earnings could triple over next 14 years

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Six Middle East oil exporters stand to earn more than $6 trillion by 2022, and how they invest the funds could have financial and political repercussions that last decades, according to a report released on Thursday.

Wider Troubles Trickle Down to Oil Sector

As fears of an American recession ripple across the globe this week, analysts and energy experts are wondering whether the great oil boom of the last five years is finally coming to an end — or whether it is simply taking a break.

StatoilHydro Mongstad refinery restarts after fire

OSLO, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Norway's StatoilHydro said on Thursday that its Mongstad oil refinery has restarted and is operating at about 75 percent of its 186,000 barrel-per-day capacity after a fire forced a shutdown on Wednesday.

North Sea Sullom Voe Oil Terminal Suspends Berthing on Winds

(Bloomberg) -- The North Sea Sullom Voe terminal in the Shetland Islands, Scotland, which handles shipments of benchmark Brent crude, suspended berthing because of high winds, according to an update on the Shetland Islands Council Web Site at 4 a.m. today.

BP Plc, Europe's second-biggest oil company, operates Sullom Voe on behalf of a group of companies. The terminal handles oil from more than 20 fields in the North Sea, including Brent blend and Schiehallion crude, which is shipped by pipeline and shuttle tankers.

Iraq's 2007 Oil Exports Up 9.2% On Year Oil Minister

AMMAN -(Dow Jones)- Iraq's crude oil exports averaged 1.63 million barrels a day in 2007, some 9.2% more than in 2006, the Iraqi oil ministry said Thursday.

A total of 596.455 million barrels were exported in 2007, the ministry said in a statement seen by Dow Jones Newswires.

'Gas OPEC' could be established in June - paper

MOSCOW, January 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and other major natural gas exporters could announce a cartel similar to OPEC in Moscow in June, a Russian business daily said on Thursday.

Kommersant said, however, citing analysts, that even if the gas cartel was formed it would be unlikely to immediately achieve a comparable level of global influence to that enjoyed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in the oil business due to U.S. and EU opposition.

EU sets emissions targets to fight climate change

BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Commission set targets Wednesday for EU member states to slash greenhouse gases, seeking to calm fears about the burden of fighting climate change and warning that the cost of dithering would be much higher.

Republicans differ on global warming

WASHINGTON - While the major presidential candidates agree global warming is real, the Republicans are sharply divided over what to do about it — even as they chase votes in Florida, where the predicted risk of rising sea waters and more severe storms is anything but a passing concern.

Climate change 'significantly worse' than feared: Al Gore

DAVOS, Switzerland (AFP) - Climate change is occurring far faster than even the worst predictions of the UN's Nobel Prize-winning scientific panel on climate change foresaw, Al Gore warned Thursday.

New evidence shows "the climate crisis is significantly worse and unfolding more rapidly than those on the pessimistic side of the IPCC projections had warned us," the former US vice president and climate campaigner told delegates at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos.

Forecasters debate hurricanes, warming

NEW ORLEANS - A lively and sometimes scrappy debate on whether global warming is fueling bigger and nastier hurricanes like Katrina is adding an edge to a gathering of forecasters here.

The venue for the 88th annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society could not have been more conducive to the discussion: The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is where thousands of people waited for days during the storm to be evacuated from a city drowning in water and misery.

The five biggest hurricanes of the Atlantic basin this century have already occurred:


I'm quite surprised by 2007 - the El Niño steering winds that broke up the 2006 season were gone, but still no major storms for the U.S. If this trend continues this year we start to see power plant shutdowns and perhaps city evacuations due to low water conditions in the southeast.

It would be interesting, in the sense of the Chinese curse, to see how the 2008 election plays out with the Republican stronghold suffering the wrath of god ...

Antarctic Ice Loss Speeds Up, Nearly Matches Greenland Loss
January 23, 2008


PASADENA, Calif. – Ice loss in Antarctica increased by 75 percent in the last 10 years due to a speed-up in the flow of its glaciers and is now nearly as great as that observed in Greenland, according to a new, comprehensive study by NASA and university scientists.

"Rignot said. "Large uncertainties remain in predicting Antarctica's future contribution to sea level rise. Ice sheets are responding faster to climate warming than anticipated."

Rignot said scientists are now observing these climate-driven changes over a significant fraction of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and the extent of the glacier ice losses is expected to keep rising in the years to come. "Even in East Antarctica, where we find ice mass to be in near balance, ice loss is detected in its potentially unstable marine sectors, warranting closer study," he said. "

Antarctica Snowfall Increase

The ice caps hold a special place in the cold hearts of the global warming advocates who are all too quick to insist that our ice caps are currently melting at an unprecedented rate. We suspect that they will not be particularly thrilled to learn that a paper has just appeared in Geophysical Research Letters entitled “A doubling in snow accumulation in the western Antarctic Peninsula since 1850.” The article is by scientists with the British Antarctic Survey and the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada; the work was funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council and the U.S. National Science Foundation. In case you think that the Desert Research Institute in Nevada would have little interest in Antarctica, recall from geography classes you’ve had that Antarctica receives little precipitation and is regarded by climatologists as a frozen desert.


Thomas, E. R., G. J. Marshall, and J. R. McConnell, 2008. A doubling in snow accumulation in the western Antarctic Peninsula since 1850. Geophysical Research Leters, 35, L01706, doi:10.1029/2007GL032529.

Global warming predicts an increase in snowfall in areas that had previously been extremely cold. This is for the simple reason that warmer air can hold more moisture. This is the origin of the old saying "it is too cold to snow".

Satellite measurements and other observations demonstrate pretty conclusively that the southern ice cap is losing mass. This is entirely consistent with increased snowfall, and both are expected outcomes of global warming. The same thing is happening on Greenland, btw.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Seconded. I don't understand why GW deniers can't get their head around this simple fact: Global Climate Change will be marked by CHAOS above all else. Extremes will be the norm. Given that energy is energy and must be conserved, if it's hotter here, it might just get cooler there. Only the increase in available energy would disrupt this. While that is happening, at any given moment, or any relatively short period of time, the Earth is dealing with only so much energy.

It must stand their hair on end when the realize the shutdown of the thermohaline circulation would bring a mini-Ice Age to Europe... but that climate change would march on...


Nice editorial site you've found there. Why don't you get back to us when this is on the front page at http://realclimate.org?

The comments on the World Climate Report by Patrick Michaels seem to ignore the fact that precipitation increases as temperature warms. This is especially so for snow, as warmer air can carry more moisture from it's source to the the local where the snow falls. The Antarctic is very cold most of the year, thus little snow actually falls inland. The Antarctic Peninsula is further north of the main land mass and is both warmer and more exposed to the surrounding warm oceans. As temperature rises, it's quite reasonable to expect that the amount of snow fall would increases there.

For example, the WRC comment ends thus:

So while we’ve heard recent reports about Antarctica losing ice, here we again find evidence to the contrary, and then some, at least in these locations. Not only is there no evidence of melting at the Gomez site, snow is accumulating there at an amazingly high rate....

The implication is that the increase in the rate of surface accumulation implies that there is no loss in total mass at lower elevations. The site is located at 74S and 1400m elevation. Rignot's study reported of mass loss in glaciers at lower elevations, reflecting changes in ice flow as well as melt. The comment on the WRC does not refute Rignot's conclusions. In fact, I think Michaels (or whoever wrote this piece) is intentionally misinterpreting the data to spread disinformation about Climate Change. But, that's nothing new, they've been spreading propaganda like this for more than 10 years. That jrwakefield thinks the WRC link is meaningful just shows how successful these guys have been.

E. Swanson

Please don't feed the troll.

Anyone who wants to re-live JRWakefield's propaganda can re-read this thread. It's the same old, same old.

Just so we are clear on where this is coming from ...

"This popular web log points out the weaknesses and outright fallacies in the science that is being touted as “proof” of disastrous warming. It’s the perfect antidote against those who argue for proposed changes to the Rio Climate Treaty, such as the Kyoto Protocol, which are aimed at limiting carbon emissions from the United States."

That "About US" statement appears to be about 10 years past its due date.

Your first sentence is total BS.

We still have 92 years or "history" to experience before one can make any such conclusion. The major fact of the study of climate is that there is variation in weather as well as "normal" weather. Variation in the number and strength of hurricanes is also to be expected. And, there's the typhons in the Pacific Ocean, which also represent part of the picture, which you ignored. In addition to the El Nino oscillations, there's the other known forcings, such as the variation in the solar insolation (previously called the solar constant) and the impacts of the 18.6 year lunar cycle. Then, theres changes in ocean circulation in the form of the THC, which may be undergoing long term changes due to our addition of Greenhouse Gases to the atmosphere. One or two years of data does not prove a trend in climate.

With all due respect, I think you should stick to what you know, instead of pontificating about things which are obviously beyond your area of expertise. Science can be done by non-professionals, but it takes a lot of effort to actually do a good job. I think you should do a lot more homework before posting such wild claims on public forums in future.

E. Swanson

Your first sentence is total BS.

Ok. lets look at that:

The five biggest hurricanes of the Atlantic basin this century have already occurred:

Errr, of course the statement is true. The 5 biggest X of Timeframe Y would have already happened, as the 5 X'es are in the the past and any larger X'es are in the future, thus not knowable.

Unless someone has a time machine and has been holding out on us how peak oil turns out....

Didn't bother to read it, did you?

I would have said the six biggest.

People in that particular venue are so wrapped up in Katrina its not even funny, but they'll listen to well organized facts. The five biggest weren't selected in terms of air pressure, wind speed, or storm surge, but rather for their import - things very obviously changed at the beginning of this century, with storms appearing both earlier and later, running off to hit places that have never seen tropical cyclones in the past, and in general showing lots of signs of more energy in the system than has ever been before in recorded history.

I had to make a sharp cut sticking to storms that were obviously statistical outliers - which one would you suggest for the #6 position and why?

America is not the only place to have hurricanes. The steering winds that broke up the Caribbean hurricane formation conditions did not do so in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. We are still having very bad cyclonic storms in other areas.


It was a throw away, sarcastic line. The statement is true up to the total number of hurricanes that have occured this century. Say that number is 20. Then the 20 biggest this century have occured, and it does not matter what the size of the smallest is, it would be in the 20 biggest.

working link to Simmons story is:


Thanks. Fixed it.

“If we keep our head in the sand, we’ll be like Tulsa in 1965,” he says, referring to a city that, until the seventies, was more important in the world of oil than Houston."

My take. I bet in 1965 Tulsa plateaued oil production.

And Houston is floundering for the same reason.

Drunk driving woman laughs about killing bicyclist

TUCSON, Arizona (AP) -- A judge sentenced a woman to nearly the maximum prison term for negligent homicide after hearing a recorded jail conversation in which she made light of the bicyclist she killed.

She could have gotten as few as four years behind bars, but Superior Court Judge Michael Cruikshank sentenced her Tuesday to 10½ years -- one year shy of the maximum.

Cruikshank said he found a telephone conversation between Arrington and an unknown male friend, a week after L'Ecuyer was killed, to be "breathtaking in its inhumanity."

People like this are the precise reason why I don't ride more. There are far too many of this sort in this country, and I don't see that changing in the near future.

Stories like that are why I no longer visit the CNN site except to take screenshots of their "news of the deeply weird" section for later reference. Yeah, this one is sad and topical for Drum Beat, but overall they're just one step shy of the National Enquirer in terms of their depth, focus, and fact checking.


The schizophrenia of CNN/MSM was evident yesterday
with screenshots of the DJIA and then back to actor deaths
and some "snowday email" which I refused to follow.

Watch this get worse.

Because both reasons for the Markets rally yesterday have
yet to happen. The rescue of the Monolines(Ambac/MBIA)
and the Stimulus Package.

The Money Quote:

``The urgency that we feel at home is now even more urgent as we see the impact of our markets on others,'' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said."

You forget. It was also National Pie Day.

Yeah, I don't don't know what changed internally with CNN but they're no news organization anymore. They're just about as bad as Fox but in a different way. Fox reporting is one sided while CNN is no sided. It's totally vacuous. Anderson Cooper isn't/wasn't a bad journalist, but he's really become a stuffed shirt lately. How many stories can he do on the rivalry between Clinton and Obama? I think I'd go insane.


disc jockeys at three stations made on-air comments they say encouraged drivers to throw bottles at bike riders or hit them with open car doors.

Yeah, that's from 2004. Clearchannel caught a lot of heat for that.

Yuppers. Always good to bring out an oldie but a goodie. What is interesting is how it was being repeated in 2006 as 'new news'.

There is this guy I know in Omaha who rode all year round when he was in college. He was a returning student in his late twenties, 6'2", 210, hockey player, kick boxer, etc. He has had people swerve at him, had bottles thrown, and in general people have taken their life into their own hands on a weekly basis.

Each situation needs individual attention - sometimes a 911 call with a plate, sometimes people would do this, then pull in and stop in some public place within his sight. I'd like to have been able to YouTube some of the etiquette lessons. He'd never actually hit them, so far as I know, but I think those he caught up to went away with the sense they were lucky people were watching. People do this driving fleet vehicles(!) and then lose their jobs. Every once in a while conditions are right and someone that size can stove in many body panels on a car over the duration of a long light. I started paying attention after he related this stuff to me and I've had a couple of instances where I've seen drivers misbehave with bicyclists - I get the plate, make the call, and casually line them up for a sobriety check & car search.

My ex and I would take walks quite often to places just to go take a walk, and as a result, I've had bottles and cups thrown at me while walking.

The sad thing is, any retribution you could impose on someone's car, such as carrying a slingshot and putting a nice rock dent in their vehicle will get you into worse trouble than what they would get into for throwing a bottle at you.

This sort of behavior just amazes me. There is something like one gun per person on average in this country - its a wonder more of these fools don't get shot for such conduct.

A few years ago I read a fascinating article in the Boston Globe citing a study which claimed that 20% of the population is psychopathic. Not just sociopathic ( I know about that, I'd probably be evaluated as "not liking other people". My excuse: low tolerance for stupidity!) but actually psychopathic, having the same basic mental makeup as a mass murderer. Few people end up acting out that way, fortunately. But the condition seems to be a complete lack of empathy - a genuine total disregard for the feelings or welfare of others. One theory is that it might be some sort of brain chemical thing.
When I first read this it seemed absurd, but I keep an eye out as I go through life, and I've come to the sad conclusion that 20% seems like a reasonable figure. Judging by the small company I work for, it also seems to be a positive personality trait when it comes to choosing management teams... :-(

There's a theory that successful CEOs tend to be psychopaths.

I suspect that psychopathic tendencies, like most other traits, are a spectrum, not an either/or. Perhaps related to our ability to form communities. Us vs. them. An extreme psychopath has only one person in his "us" category: himself. But many psychopaths seem to have empathy for some people, but not others. Arthur Shawcross, for example, who raped and killed two children and 11 prostitutes, but confessed when police implied that they suspected his girlfriend of being an accomplice. He didn't want her name sullied.

Yes, generosity of spirit seems directly related to how widely we perceive our horizons of empathy. We always have the best intentions for anyone who happens to share our momentary perceptions of brother or sisterhood. Hence, the famous stories of Mengele doctors going home at night to loving families. We're able to commit the most heinous acts against those who fall outside the pale of our tribe, nation or other forms of self. A solipsist has room only for himself and the heck with everyone else. In fact, the Everyone Else seems less real, dehumanized.

But the interesting thing is that this perspective also eliminates the need for the concept of absolute Evil. It shows that even Nazis regarded themselves as the good guys (as we Americans do), although Goodness in these cases only extended to other good Germans. Evil is not absolute, but by definition a partial or fragmented state of mind. Or you might say that instead of Evil, there is delusional division. We divide ourselves from mankind in delusional divisions of nation, tribe, family, which are all versions of the self, and which are all overriding abstractions to the fact that we are distinct (not divided) expressions of a single life force, having grown out of itself and evolved together out of an mmm mmm good batch of primordial soup.

The delusion part is this: we divide things in nature that aren't actually divided (as the late physicist David Bohm most notably pointed out). Two nations are conceptual distinctions, but not actual divisions -- humans are humans, despite borders, with the same fears, same basic circulation of DNA, ideas, philosophies, fears, although the combinations of cards we hold from the same deck are different. We're not closed, divided systems, in other words (which is what a division implies) but one whole system hallucinating these lines drawn in the sand. The Others beyond the line are Evil boogiemen. This very idea of Evil therefore allows us to institute a death penalty, where by we kill these Murderers in conscience free cold blood. But, hey, after all, they're only Others, deserving of inhumane treatment.

Personally, I'd suggest that the 20% measure is a bit too low in a society as nutty as this. It's no sign of health to be well adjusted to a sick society, as Krishnamurti noted. Personally, I'd wager that 100% of us are nutso ipso facto, but this also means I'm defining psychological division itself as a form of psychopathy. And why not? Division starts in each of our tiny heads, in our wierd relationship to our "selves", these abstract and unreal images we feel the need to defend, control, berate, protect, like frigging sidewalk madmen. Come on, we hallucinate internal dialogues all day, but it's so acceptable as to be invisible. If this isn't psychopathic, what is?

The capacity to see 'the other' as less than human is, unfotunately, inherent in humanity. We evolved as competing tribes. The ability to see competitors as 'nothing but fithy.......' (fill in the blank) allowed the killing of them and the seizing their assets without guilt and became a survival advantage. Religion has often turbocharged this process, as the old testament clearly shows. The horrific inter-tribal turf war in overcrowded Rwanda is a classic example. Once you deny the individual's unique status and worth and bundle him or her into a group, then the group can be treated like so much 'political furniture' and dealt with as such. This is the case with all (sometimes well meaning) attempts at social engineering as well as the darkest barbarism of armed conflict. (These are the thoughts of someone I have read in the past ?Paul Johnson?) We have to deal with each other as individual and equal, all 6 billion of us.

Another wise voice, I think it was John Ralston Saul, said something to the effect of: 'You should relate to others in the knowledge that you inhabit your present circumstances through luck alone and but for good fortune, you could have just as easily been born a down-trodden woman in tribal Afghanistan'.

The word inherent is a dead stop to any possibility of change. Meanwhile, our horizons of empathy are capable of expanding and contracting as we learn or fail to learn. In a universe as plastic (changeable) as this -- moving fron a collection of minerals through primordial soup to dolphins, humans, elephants and grizzly bears in less than 3 billion years, I'd say nothing is inherent. We've hardly even begun. We remain incredibly ignorant of our own actions, and I'm suggesting that it's nothing more, perhaps, than mere ignorance -- ignorance of the delusions in our beliefs, the delusions in our divisions -- that leads to so much evil selfishness.

crowdog - love your comments. Keep it up.

I am designing a soup in your honor.

Primordial Soup (essentually a minestrone with a little this, and a little of that...)

my version of some of your message;

ask yourself who do you hate?

then ask yourself who told you to hate them?

for they hold the power over you.

P.S. I am from now on totally "Nutso Ipso Facto"

Crow dog or crow coyote? Just curious if you're aware of the source, or if you're close to it in some way ...

Crowdog, I just loved your post, and I also loved yous Pseudonaja. Psychopath and Sociopath are just two words for the same thing. Folks who prefer psychopath believe the people were born that way and those who prefer sociopath believe is is a learned behavior. Either way it means Without Conscience . That was a great book. I bought it, read it, loaned it out and never got it back.

But I think 20% of the population being psychopaths is way too high. I would guess less than 5%. True, the percentage of really nasty people are a lot higher but even most nasty people have a conscience. They love their mother, father and children if no one else. But a psychopath loves only himself. And the number of male psychopaths far outnumber the female ones. I am sure that has an evolutionary cause.

Ron Patterson

Yeah, there is an evolutionary cause-chicks go for them big time. Psychopaths are far more attractive to women than the average guy-women are turned on by boldness, certainty and decisiveness. Faced with a choice between a strong bad guy and a weak nice guy, most women will choose the bad guy.

i did outdoor adventure therapy/team building . 2 primary populations; youth in trouble & corporate managers.

I've been saying for a few years now that we needed to do something about this whole sociopathic virtual person corporation with more rights today than any natural man might have. This article I had not seen, but it completely nails it, naming names and describing behavior.

Fat chance we'll ever seen anything like this come up in the realm of legislation :-)

Well, that explains a lot, and confirms a lot of suspicions.

I've seen similar things but the figures were much lower - less than 10%. They also don't draw a difference between sociopathic and psychopathic. The total lack of empathy I would have associated with the word "sociopath" and I'd have taken psychopathic to indicate a person who is not in touch with reality, but apparently these aren't the "by the book" definitions.

These psychopaths concentrate in fields where hurting others are a talent rather than a deficit. The so called "family law" attorneys"? A rich vein of such behavior. You get more of them in sales and marketing than in engineering and accounting.

Having been an entrepreneur in the telecom field over the last decade my own personal experience indicates a very significant correlation between entrepreneurship and this character disorder. As I've gotten older and wiser I find it easier to spot them and limit my interactions to cash and carry type work. They're superficially charming, they work alone or display odd relationships with a limited number of associates, they're generally quite egotistical, and without much prompting they can carry on endlessly about dirty dealings and who has "screwed them" in the past. I don't totally avoid them, as they've always developed an interesting network of contacts, many of whom are not behavior problems, but I always limit my exposure to no more than I can afford to write off.

If it is a brain chemical problem, maybe they can come up with a pill for it.

I can see the ad campaign now...

"Do you friends and family think you're an A*hole? You may need our new formula HAP1" (dancing girls in the background singing "You could be the Happy One, You could be the Happy One...)

((possible side effects may include suicidal tendencies when you realize what a miserable MF you've been your whole freakin'life)

If it is a brain chemical problem, maybe they can come up with a pill for it.


Capitalism rewards psychopathic behavior, and makes psychopaths the idols of of the economic system. This was not always true, and is a major difference in it's socio make up. Aside from being superstition based (infinite growth in a finite system), the rewarding of societies most despicable members is it's major failing.

A recent encounter I had with a Hummer driver:

"Woman in hummer cuts me off, glares @ me like she had mounted me like a dog."

I saw this yesterday in a bicycling forum, and the reaction was fairly predictable.


In the original story:

In a call from the Pima County jail, the man told Arrington an acquaintance of theirs believed she should get "a medal and a (expletive) parade because she had taken out "a (expletive) tree hugger, a bicyclist, a Frenchman and a gay guy all in one shot."
Arrington laughed. When the man said he knew it was a terrible thing to say, she responded "No, it's not."

Although any sane person ought to be appalled at these words. The story was that she was impaired by alcohol - were she sober she most likely wouldn't have hit the guy.

A blood test taken 2 1/2 hours after the collision showed Arrington, who was driving on a suspended license for a prior DUI, had a blood-alcohol content of 0.156 percent, nearly double the DUI level. A witness to the crash testified Arrington swerved off the road twice before the collision.

so she could have just as easily hit a pedestrian than a cyclist, but I suppose in her impaired condition she might have actually tried to hit the guy.

I don't intend to give up cycling just because of one incident like this.

What is absurd is that drunkeness is used as a defence. There should be additional penalties for drunk driving. The US legal system has substantial logical inconsistencies. Accidents are not predicatable, but the effects of drunk driving pretty much are. If the drunk does not hit or kill something on their way then that is an accident. That this drunk POS laughed at her de facto murder victim (no it is not manslaughter since it is not accidental) should add another 20 years to her jail term. This 10.5 year term is a joke.

Even worse was the fact that her license was already suspended. She was a known problem behind the wheel, yet she was *STILL* on the road!

A tree-hugger, a bicyclist, a Frenchman, a gay guy.
As long as those at the top of the food chain define humanity as excluding selected classes, those at the bottom will get the message and act on it.

Nuke the gay whales!

and the gay french bicyclists too whiles were at it.

(sarconal induced comment kids - SICK)

Are gay whales Humpbacks? Sorry I could not resist.

I would have guessed they'd be sperm whales myself ...

We'll forgive you - let's just call it a fluke...


Back to science now, you silly Gay French Cycling Whale Bashers!

All creatures residing outside the big iron cage are not human. To ride a bicyle is to be considered the other. And, as far as that goes, we don't get a lot of respect from dogs either.

I've had more success negotiating with dogs than with drivers.

Back when I was riding 50 miles a day, the only folks that honked their horns were the drivers of Cads and Mercedes. I never had anyone throw something at me, but that was before the anger at "tree huggers" became common. I also learned that one could deal with the dogs rather easily. Then too, you can kick an aggressive dog in the face and not go to jail for acting in self defense.

E. Swanson

Black Dog--
I dealt with feral "Boonie" dogs while in Micronesia, and they could be quite creative in their attack strategies on bicyclists. Finally resorted to a long club with a nail. BF Skinner would of been proud.

You sound surprised that human nature has not changed. I would venture a guess that the percentage of spitefull, vengeful, manical, homocidal sobs in the world is about the same as it always has always been. Being on a bicycle makes one an easy mark for the lunatics.

It would be really interesting to hear of a society that has figured out an effective way to identify them early (with minimal "false positives") and protect itself from their depredations.

While I agree with the impacts listed by Matthew Simmons, the changes we are facing in Climate Change are "locked in" for the next 30-50 years, and we cannot stop what is happening right now. Climate Change or Global Warming, or whatever you want to call it is going to happen along with PO, and the two will combine to wreak all kinds of havoc, simultaneously, on our lives, in every nook and cranny. What we are looking at with PO, if we keep manufacturing the next best thing, and you can supply your own alternative, is making the CC results increasingly worse. We have to adapt, and we have to start right now. At the same time, we have to hunker down to protect ourselves and our families, and others as we can. I do not think that this is doomerism, and the world is not going to end tomorrow, but two such tragedies striking civilization so close together will be devastating for the world - as many people in emerging economies know, since they are already being hit.

Surely Mr Simmons know this, and should acknowledge it.

Maybe Simmons knows about Peak Oil plus Climate Change plus population overshoot, and the havoc all three will bring, and focuses on only Peak Oil because
(1) the entire message is too depressing and/or complex for most people
(2) proposed solutions to oil depletion may also indirectly address climate change and population
(3) there are already champions of the cause of climate change, and
(4) his expertise in the public eye is in petroleum, not climatology.

Simmons needs to get on an interview panel with Heinberg, James Hansen, and William Catton. Maybe moderated by OilyCassandra? If you're going to dream, dream big.

Regarding Heinberg's article (linked uptop) and his concluding paragraph, no argument from me:

Meanwhile, if you're interested in finding shelter during the storm, get thee to the productive side of the economy. Grow something, or learn to make or repair something useful.

The thing that really strikes me is how there are people all over the internet who read some research paper about something that they have found in the lab somewhere, and immediately assume that all of the optimistic talk about how it could be useful in the near term is all correct. The same thing applies to press releases by little shoestring companies that are trying to raise (perhaps fleece) potential investors.

I suppose it all comes down to the generally optimistic nature that many people have. Some have said that this trait is more of an American thing - that other countries aren't as apt to believe this stuff.

People are willing to throw their hope to some small chance before accepting reality. This can be seen throughout history, with politicians, radicals, religions, revolutionaries, etc. It's a matter of what is promised, as opposed to what is actually delivered. (After all, how can you know if there really IS a heaven, or whether or not XYZ politician is telling the truth or not?)

Back when I used to write research papers, one of the unwritten rules was that you ended with some massively optimistic statement of the hugely positive impact of your research on the future of humanity. Partly for egotistical reasons, partly to attract the attention of journalists, and partly with an eye on securing future funding. Most people in the field understand that these type of comments are mostly nonsense. Trouble is when outsiders reads stuff like that they tend to accept it at face value.

I thought the classic research paper conclusion was that "further research is required".


Of course the two go hand in hand. Hence:

Our result showing a 0.1% increase in efficiency in one out of 24 test cases indicates significant potential to revolutionize development in this field. Further research is required to determine an optimal approach.

OK 710,

We are about to have at least a serious recession, and CC, Population Overshoot, etc. will have unknown impacts. But Simmons quote was clear - PO trumps CC. All of these things converge, but my message was intended to be that PO does not make anything else less important, and I suspect that Simmons knows that. I was more concerned about PO until I heard one of the Principal Authors of one part of the IPCC Report speak (April 2007), and he was very clear about what they knew and had to leave out - GW is on top of us, and even without feedbacks, we will have sea level rise, weather events which seem impossibly fierce, and the onset of droughts and flooding which will become worse over time. But, we are already seeing feedbacks that the IPCC report did not include, since scientists have no way of predicting them through models, and can only offer their opinions as to their impacts. That would make them much lke investment advisors predicting the stock market at the present time.

Simmons' view on GW: Global warming, if real, will not become a crisis for another 50 – 100 years

http://www.simmonsco-intl.com/files/ASPO%20World%20Conf.pdf slide#50


I think Simmons has done some good work in his area of expertise, but he's out of his depth on other subjects.

His ocean energy plans are kind of "out there," too: cars that run on ammonia, biofuel from algae, etc.

I think those who say peak oil will definitely trump climate change haven't been keeping up on climate change research.

I think Simmons has done some good work in his area of expertise, but he's out of his depth on other subjects.

he has scientific advisers working for him.

His ocean energy plans are kind of "out there," too: cars that run on ammonia, biofuel from algae, etc.

are you purposely putting me on the spot? yes, i told him ammonia is a clean liquid fuel - which i still think is the most practical one within our reach for all the essential applications where liquid fuel is needed. yes, i told him that ammonia can be produced via OTEC - which i now think is impractical given that ocean wind can be harvested at far lower cost. ocean energy is certainly in the right direction. the only question is where should the limited resource be focused upon. admittedly, if his ideas were "out there," then i am perhaps one of those pulling him from the far end.

I think those who say peak oil will definitely trump climate change haven't been keeping up on climate change research.

fully agreed.

are you purposely putting me on the spot?

No. Good grief, it's not all about you.

There are probably dozens, even hundreds of people offering Simmons "advice." I don't think he has the technical skills to determine what's reasonable and what's not. Probably no one person would be.

when i said that he has scientific advisers i didn't mean people offering "free advices," rather they are hired by him to study the issues.

It doesn't matter whether the advice is for free or for pay. He's choosing what to believe, even if it's when he's deciding whom to hire.

He's choosing what to believe, even if it's when he's deciding whom to hire

that's the key.

He's choosing what to believe, even if it's when he's deciding whom to hire.

Excuse me, but isn't that exactly what everyone in the world does? We all choose what to believe and no one is, or can be, completely objective. However some are far more objective than others.

Have you any evidence that Simmons is less objective than others? Do you think he just willy-nilly decides what to believe and what not to believe? Or perhaps do you think he looks at the evidence then decides?

You are very unfairly defaming Simmons by implying that his opinions are just will-of-the-wisp opinions that he just dreams up simply because he sees peak oil as a far greater problem than climate change.

Ron Patterson

Excuse me, but isn't that exactly what everyone in the world does? We all choose what to believe and no one is, or can be, completely objective.

Did I say otherwise?

What I said about Simmons applies to everyone.

Well, except the part about being good in their field of expertise. I suspect there may be some people that doesn't apply to.

Trying to figure out what you don't like about this thread?

I don't think anyone assumes it is definitive. At least here at TOD.

Simmons, like many of us is trying to be positive and find some solutions.

Me too. (Chronic doomer...but you have to have some hope for change)


I like this thread just fine.

are you purposely putting me on the spot?

well, that was just a joke. but now how about let me put you on the spot? ;-)

seriously, if we can agree on that we really shouldn't burn these hydrocarbons for the reasons we know and that we really should hold ourselves back from the rush of putting more of the dwindling resources into making another batch of personal vehicles - be they hybrid or plug-in or EV, meanwhile, we still have to go around for whatever necessities before other arrangements can be made, would you prefer to keep burning the hydrocarbons or using ammonia instead knowing there are risks as well as rewards that can be calculated?

I think SCT's idea might work. They need ammonia in farm country anyway.

The idea that Nascar dad and soccer mom will be driving ammonia-fueled SUVs and minivans to work and to pick up the kids? Not gonna happen.

i was asking your personal choice. i wouldn't even raise the question to those you mentioned.

My person choice? What has that got to do with anything?

My personal choice would be to immediately put all our resources into infrastructure that will let us travel less. That ain't gonna happen, either.

My personal choice would be to immediately put all our resources into infrastructure that will let us travel less. That ain't gonna happen, either.

my original question was about the choice of "meanwhile," "before other arrangement can be made," if you are given the options of continue to burn the hydrocarbons or retrofit the existing vehicle to run on ammonia as fuel.

I am personally very biased for things that can be built and built right now, and politically I don't want to touch the ethanol "road fuel" stuff here in Iowa, so I'm sticking to the tractor and combine arena, but John Holbrook has some stuff cooking on the vehicle front that I'm not sure I can reveal yet, and they're being blocked by the DoE due to their singlemind focus on hydrogen being a gas shipped around under pressure. I've asked John for an interview this week, I believe he'll grant it, and the details will be on the front page over at http://strandedwind.org


A question. Are the two non Haber Bosh ammonia synthesis prospects (low temp & molten salt) more than just lab curiosities? Have they been scaled to pilot plant size? What is their actual current status?


i will check and get back to you.

This is a key thing - assuming things like solid state ammonia synthesis are ready, well, then that opens many doors for renewable to ammonia. Among silver BBs this would be more like a triple ought buckshot pellet, providing all sorts of freedom. The capital costs and minimum system size are lower, the system is much more tolerant of the intermittent nature of renewables, etc.

Coupled with this we need electricity generating ammonia turbines meant for long term operation, which play on existing natural gas operated systems, and more efficient but not quite prime time are ammonia based fuel cells.

This discussion motivates me to do an article on it ... but we'll have to see if the muse is still with me tomorrow morning :-(


i checked with a couple of experts and the answer is no pilot runs they are aware of.

I think those who say peak oil will definitely trump climate change haven't been keeping up on climate change research.

fully agreed.

I believe Simmon's belief, and, for now, mine, is that Peak Oil will come first and help to make impossible much of the mitigation ideas for climate change.

It's all in the timing.

If there is a long plateau with demand destruction to control prices, then the two issues hold more equal shorter term weight. In the long term, climate change trumps Peak Oil. If the planet gets hot enough, we will all likely go the way of the dinosaurs. However, again, Peak Oil may destroy our chance to prevent that.


I don't know about ammonia as a car fuel but I think we'd be quite thrilled here in corn country to see it be put into play as a farm fuel. Farmers are already trained to handle it, 800 filling stations in Iowa alone, and diesel engines aren't that hard to modify for this job.

I know, I know, I've said it before, just keeping it fresh for any new lurkers.


I think Simmons knows exactly what is happening and his perspective is exactly correct. Climate change is happening and will continue to happen, but it is not one tenth the threat of peak oil. Thirty years from now we will be producing a fraction of the oil we produce today. Exporting nations, except for perhaps a few in the Middle East, will stop exporting altogether. This will throw many nations like Japan, South Korea and even the United States into extreme hardship. There will be food riots and the government in many areas will completely break down.

There will be a large move to coal to liquids. This will cause coal exporting nations to stop exporting coal. This will cause Japan, South Korea and other nations with neither coal nor oil to become virtual basket cases. Hundreds of millions of people will simply starve.

But in thirty years the temperature will be a few degrees warmer and the sea level a few inches higher. People who wish to stress CC over PO are putting all their eggs in the "flip" basket. They predict a flip in the climate. But this is hard to prove and as another said above, it is like predicting the weather years from now. A flip may come but it is impossible to predict when or how severe. Peak oil WILL come however. Ten years from now everyone on earth will be in a virtual panic about the obvious coming consequences of peak oil. Concern about CC will be shipped to the back burner.

Compared to the consequences of peak oil, all other events in human history shrink to insignificance. If the sea level does rise forty meters, there will still be far more land per person than there is now. That is because by then the population will be only a tiny fraction of the present population.

Ron Patterson

But in thirty years the temperature will be a few degrees warmer and the sea level a few inches higher.

Not necessarily, though it's possible.

My concern about climate change is related to food production, not rising sea levels. The weather will become less predictable, more extreme, as we settle into a new climate pattern. This is brutal for farmers, whether they are organic subsistence farmers or humongous agribusiness. Our crops are tweaked to grow in a certain climate - soil, daylight, moisture, etc. We aren't just going to move the same crops north as it gets warmer. And the failure, when it comes, could be sudden and catastrophic.

If the midwest has a drought like Australia had this growing season, or like the SE is having now, it will get ugly very fast.

My concern about climate change is related to food production, not rising sea levels. The weather will become less predictable, more extreme, as we settle into a new climate pattern. This is brutal for farmers, whether they are organic subsistence farmers or humongous agribusiness. Our crops are tweaked to grow in a certain climate - soil, daylight, moisture, etc. We aren't just going to move the same crops north as it gets warmer. And the failure, when it comes, could be sudden and catastrophic.

Which is why I want an off-grid home, enough land to feed my family and greenhouses. I see almost no discussion of greenhouses anywhere I read on these topics. Here in Korea, there are greenhouses all over. Kinda ugly, actually, but if I can get set up, I will be using them, too, so I can grow year round. I'm hoping to heat them with compost piles. As long as you have water, you should be able to grow regardless of weather. Yes, the future smells great!

Further, the climate damage to large farms seems a greater motivation for localization and smaller farms. Redundancy is good. As has been getting print here lately, robustness over efficiency may be the better plan.


yes, there are far more people now than before the hydrocarbons came on the scene. but, there were far, faaaaaaar less people survived when last time the climate turned seriously unfavorable to humans.

Unless you are talking about Toba, I think you are totally wrong. At any rate I would like your source. One should never make such dramatic statements unless you have a reliable source to back up your exorbitant claim.

And what the hell is "far, faaaaaaar less people"? Exactly how many people is that and what are you comparing them to? Less than what?

And if you are talking about Toba, which erupted about 75,000 years ago, then you are talking about a natural disaster, not climate change brought about by global warming.

Ron Patterson

Toba may well be the cause of the sudden climate change that created that population bottleneck, but it was the climate change that created the bottleneck nonetheless.

if we can agree on that climate is a nonlinear system with various feedback loops, then its sudden change doesn't have to be caused by a catastrophic event. a gradual forcing, such as the GHG accumulation and the current GW, over a threshold will do as well.

We aren't sure what happened in 530AD. Every agricultural civilisation stopped generating records of tax collections and when the tax collection records started up again the kings had new names.
Well, except the Byzantine Empire. The pastoral Persian and Bulgarian Empires took out all the Byzantine land areas, but the major Mediterranean islands were isolated enough to keep civilisation more or less going and keep grain shipments to Byzantium en route.
I mean all agricultural civilisations including the South and Central American ones as well as the North African, European, Indian, Chinese, and Southeast Asian agricultural civilisations.
Record keeping interegnums everywhere and dendrochronology says something bad happened to the weather.

if we can agree on that climate is a nonlinear system with various feedback loops, then its sudden change doesn't have to be caused by a catastrophic event. a gradual forcing, such as the GHG accumulation and the current GW, over a threshold will do as well.

Spencer Weart would agree with you:

By the 20th century, scientists had rejected old tales of world catastrophe, and were convinced that global climate could change only gradually over many tens of thousands of years. But in the 1950s, a few scientists found evidence that some changes in the past had taken only a few thousand years. During the 1960s and 1970s other data, supported by new theories and new attitudes about human influences, reduced the time a change might require to hundreds of years. Many doubted that such a rapid shift could have befallen the planet as a whole. The 1980s and 1990s brought proof (chiefly from studies of ancient ice) that the global climate could indeed shift, radically and catastrophically, within a century — perhaps even within a decade.

Weart's website is a must-read for anyone wanting to know the history and basics of climate change. I haven't read it since the big melt and Hansen's new sensitivity estimates. It was a static site last I checked.


So its ok for you to peer into your crystal ball and make comments like 'in thirty years the temperature will be a few degrees warmer and the sea level a few inches higher', without citing any source for this revelation, but its not ok for another poster to say 'far, faaaaaaar less people'???...and then you proceed to berate the poster for not citing a source? Where is your crystal ball...err, source?

Ron, the same set of standards apply to all that post, including you. You might think that you have all the answers but you have not convinced me that you do...You have absolutely no idea what climate conditions will be like on earth thirty years from today. Therefore, you cannot presume that PO will be a bigger factor than CC thirty years from now. Because you want something to be so doesnt make it so.

Climate change is happening and will continue to happen, but it is not one tenth the threat of peak oil.

Personally, I've been unable to place a ranking to the top three threats to civilization; Population Overshoot, Peak Oil, and Global Climate Change, because they are so intertwingled.

I suspect that the effects of peak oil will be felt first, and we don't really have a choice but to deal with it when it happens. We might choose (poorly) to not make any efforts to alleviate GCC, and the climate will do what it will, but when geology takes over, we will use less oil.

As for GCC carrying 1/10 of the threat of peak oil, I think the hundreds of millions of people who depend upon glacial melt water (Especially in Asia) may one day have a differing opinion.

As for GCC carrying 1/10 of the threat of peak oil, I think the hundreds of millions of people who depend upon glacial melt water (Especially in Asia) may one day have a differing opinion.

Surely you jest! The decline, and the eventual disappearance, of fossil fuel will cause the population of the world to crash. I think it is likely that far less than one billion people will survive. And you think the disappearance of glacial melt water is a far greater problem?

Methinks Joseph, that you have not fully grasped the severity of the eventual consequences of the peak oil situation.

Ron Patterson

I’ll stand to it, the pancakes were naught and the mustard was good! -- W. Shakespeare

I see no benefit to argue this here for either of us. We have front row seats to the unfolding.

You've got a "crash" and an "eventual" in that statement. Muddies up the thought a good bit. Could you clarify? Do you see peak oil driving population to one billion without social intermediation - by which term I mean war, social chaos, intentional culls, fratricide?

In the pecking order of liquids that humans absolutely require water comes before oil. I will say that again: humans need water more than they need oil.

I've no idea which doom comes first. Peak oil is here now, and has been for over two years. South Asia may not be permanently out of water but it's been sketchy for at least as long. A good sharp severe drought could put large populations on the road very quickly, with plenty of concomitant turmoil. Chronic drought/flood, which seems to be happening, could do the same.

You've got a "crash" and an "eventual" in that statement. Muddies up the thought a good bit. Could you clarify? Do you see peak oil driving population to one billion without social intermediation - by which term I mean war, social chaos, intentional culls, fratricide?

Well hell, just let me consult my crystal ball and I will give you an answer. But hell no, the crash will include every type of social conflict you can imagine. And if we go from almost seven billion to half a billion in one hundred years, that is one almost never ending crash with the result eventually being a gross undershoot of what the planet can sustain. A long crash has an eventual ending. There is no contradiction there.

In the pecking order of liquids that humans absolutely require water comes before oil. I will say that again: humans need water more than they need oil.

And food is far more important than glacial meltwater. You are creating a false dichotomy here and I believe you very well know it. No one could possibly not see that. There is just no way that global warming will cause water to disappear. In fact global warming will, overall, create more precipitation.

I've no idea which doom comes first. Peak oil is here now, and has been for over two years. South Asia may not be permanently out of water but it's been sketchy for at least as long. A good sharp severe drought could put large populations on the road very quickly, with plenty of concomitant turmoil. Chronic drought/flood, which seems to be happening, could do the same.

They all come together. It is the synchronicity of all these things that is alarming. Water tables are dropping. But that is caused mostly by overpumping, not climate change. But we do have climate change that is causing drought in some areas and floods in others. Soil is blowing and washing away, the air is becoming polluted, the oceans are over fished and the fish are disappearing. Grain production is dropping, rain forest as well as dry forest are disappearing, species are going extinct. Rivers and lakes are drying up and a hundred other things.

But it is oil that creates employment, it is oil that grows food, it is oil that transports the world and when that oil starts to disappear everything will collapse. The collapse will exacerbated by all the things mentioned above but it will be the decline in energy that triggers, or causes, the whole house of cards to come crashing down.

Ron Patterson

That was very clear.
Thank you.

(Reserving minor disagreement on emphases.)

Wait a minute. The US produces about 35% of what we consume at present. That production is not substantially reduced under the ELM. Conservation measures can be imposed which would, IMHO, reduce demand by an additional 20% - Park the RV's, shut down the recreational watercraft, and impose some type of rationing. We are now at something approximating 50% of supply. With mass transit, EV's, other alt fuel vehicles, and a little time, MOST of our society can function. Unless, of course, we have dramatic climate events - say a couple of Katrina's in one year, or an extreme drought in more than just Atlanta but in my neck of the woods, Bartlesville, OK (which had a lake just made for the walkers, since all that was left wet was the old river/creek beds back in 2002) and a few more I am sure I missed. The impact of water shortages are far more serious than whether or not Joe Six Pack can drive 35 miles to work every day. Joe could get someplace and do some kind of work, but not if he has no water to drink.

All of the calamities which are apparently headed our way are serious. Who can say which will hit first? If the price stays fairly high, and worldwide recessions hit hard enough to slow demand, it is a possibility that we may get some catch-up with Jack #2, Tupi, etc. and that would take some of the pressure off there, but nothing is seemingly going to slow down CC. Nothing is going to slow down population overshoot, and worldwide food shortages will create as much misery as anything else, and with various limited resources restricting food production, we have the problem there as well.

And there is always that other looming problem I keep seeing crop up - Peak Beer.

We are truly, sarcastically, doomed.

But it is oil that creates employment, it is oil that grows food, it is oil that transports the world and when that oil starts to disappear everything will collapse.

if we are talking about the world rather than the developed world or the developed part of the developing world, how many people are still living a subsistent life off the land they toil on in the undeveloped world or yet-to-be-developed part of the developing world? how much do they depend on the employment created by the oil, the food grown by the oil and the transportation fueled by the oil? where will they collapse to? it is hard to imagine how much harder their lives can be because of the PO, but it is easy to see what the drought or flood caused by the climate change will do to them.

'but it will be the decline in energy that triggers, or causes, the whole house of cards to come crashing down.'

That is ONLY your opinion. I disagree. An infinite number of scenarios are possible. Once again, you are 'wanting' PO to be the be the numero uno problem facing human life on earth but you are simply guessing.

It is as likely that rapid and severe climate change could make oil extraction, shipment, refining and distribution impossible...In such a scenario lots of oil would remain in the ground but little or none of it could be used.

BTW, humans can last a few days without water but were around, in various forms, millions of years prior to the widespread use of FF.

I realize that the following housing story does not (yet) apply to the entire US, but the WSJ has an article today with the following lead:

"It's getting harder to hide from the housing bust."

The (Housing) Market Is Tanking
January 24, 2008

The Plain Dealer reports from Ohio. “The devastation extends far beyond Slavic Village, where 1,500 houses are abandoned. Nearly every one of the 59 communities in Cuyahoga County, along with many cities in neighboring counties, have taken a hit. More than 120 houses in Cleveland are being offered to the city for a buck apiece because the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development can’t find other buyers. . . ”

“‘ . . .The market is tanking,’ says Dave Sarver, a real estate agent who specializes in lender-owned property. ‘We’re giving houses

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

I propose a sort of triage operation: "tiny" homes and multifamily housing along electric mass transit lines. In my opinion, it is the only way that we can preserve some semblance of a civilized society. The suburbs are, by and large, a lost cause.

CNBC is reporting that is official: The first annual decline in housing values (-1.8%) since the realtors started keeping records.

For new readers, one of Alan Drake's articles: http://www.energybulletin.net/14492.html

All is not lost:

Robert Reich, President Clinton's former secretary of Labor, tells Newsweek,

...but the good news is that consumers in Japan, China, India and Europe are now far better able to fill-in the gap when American consumers fail to do the job they have been doing for decades, which is to buy enough of the world's goods and services to keep the world out of recession. Remember American consumers have been the Energizer Bunnies of the global economy for some time. Now others around the world are wealthy enough to become Energizer Bunnies themselves."

Never hurts to be reminded how the leaders really see their people consumers.

The question is, are they willing to pile on tons of debt to buy all of this crap?

Many older, therefore more experienced, cultures believe in saving money and much of their savings are converted to gold or some other commodity that will hold its value when fiat currencies collapse. Americans tend to forget that we are the new kids on the block. We have not had thousands of years of collapsing currencies to make us 'street smart'. In a nutshell that is why we have been the 'energizer bunnies' and the Japanese have continued to save their money. The Japanese people have refused to 'spend' their way out of recession...Nor are the Chinese or Indian cultures new to this 'consumerist economy' scam. Americans are headed for the steep portion of the learning curve.

Japan is in a domestic depression. Real wages are falling. The Japanese consumer doesn't consume much of anything. They especially don't consume foreign goods, because Japan is even more restrictive in its trade policies than it was in the Reagan era (back when we used to complain about it). Reich would sound more like he knew what he was talking about if he didn't say such dumb things.

Having been to Japan within the last 5 years and knowing people who have lived there since then, I know that the depression is not keeping those people from buying plenty of "stuff." It may not be anywhere near as much as we do, but it's still plenty. The Japanese may not have a lot of room to expand their consumption, but China and India certainly do. What Mr. Reich said could probably have benefited from excluding Japan on this list, but it certainly wasn't "dumb."

Oh Lord, please forgive me for I failed utterly to do my job last month. As far as dealing with the projected recession goes, since consumers are failing to do their job, just bypass them, buy shit directly and give it to them for free.

Notice how the whole political system is in a panice based upon the prediction of recession but we take our own sweet time as we run out of oil and the planet burns. Getting out there and buying even more crap we don't need will just hasten our demise.

If you proceed to the mall and max out your credit cards, Paris Hilton may forgive you for your sins:

Onward, Consumption soldiers, marching as to war,
with the banner of Paris Hilton going on before.

Paris, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
forward into battle see her banners go!

Onward, Consumption soldiers, marching as to war,
with the banner of Paris going on before.

Blog hits for Paris Hilton and Oil Price amazing correlation

I have no explanation. Posted this once before but not sure if anyone saw it. Could it be that MSM trots out our fealess standard bearer every time we start to notice how much that tiger in the tank is chewing on us?

Sets tinfoil chapeau aside.

That tinfoil chapeau would be a major fashion faux pas, but that young lady could probably use a tin foil merkin.

:-) Had to Google. (I say google you say oogle) TOD a constant source of education for me.

Of course that particular one makes you squirm and scratch, but no one ever said being erudite was easy or fun :-)

Those housing sales are a boom for someone who gets it and can afford to play - the ones close to transit or employment will fill up.

In our area, the homes in the exurbs are hit far harder than the ones closest in. The son of a friend of ours just bought a foreclosure home way out in the middle of nowhere. I hope he knows what he is doing, but to be honest the kid has no clue what is coming.

Watch for stories of families in rent/storage cubicles.

"The knowledge possessed by the Federal Reserve and the PPT is fragile and is the size of the Mount Everest pile of over the counter derivatives.

All that stands between a total meltdown of what the BIS says is $450 trillion dollars nominal value of over the counter derivatives and financial armageddon is the equity market.

Nominal value of a derivative becomes real value when the derivative fails to perform. That is an axiom.

Tonight the PPT and Fed are giving each other high fives, but the game is far from over. "


In case no one has seen this:

Myths of biofuels

Topics Covered In “The Myths of Biofuels”
Large-scale biofuel production is sustainable
Biofuels are environmentally friendly and reduce CO2 emissions
Biofuels will help us achieve "energy independence"
Biofuels will help the farmers
"Second-generation" biofuels (cellulosic ethanol etc.) will save us
Biofuels will let us continue our current way of life

Thanks for the link.

Looks like we are all going to need to either drive less or switch to electric vehicles of some sort. I imagine the speaker wants to build lots of nukes, since he is from LBL. California (and the Southwest in general) might not be such a bad place to be after Peak Oil, given the large areas of desert which would prime candidates for solar electric generation of some sort.

The link to the SF Bay Peak Oil Awareness groups is:


E. Swanson

4 day work weeks. 4 days with 10 hours in length instead of five 8 hour days.
Assuming that people don't drive on their day off, it can cut down consumption by roughly 15%. I don't drive anywhere on the weekends (homebody), so that would reduce my driving by 20%.

That is a new trend: allowing employees to work four days a week, or nine days every two weeks, in order to reduce commuting time and reduce emissions. They are considering that at my office.

However, I have doubts about whether people will actually drive less. I think they'll want to "go someplace" on their day off.

Though high gas prices/recession might take care of that...

However, I have doubts about whether people will actually drive less. I think they'll want to "go someplace" on their day off.

I thought the same thing before I started my working 9 days out of ten deal. But I find I do drive considerably less on my day off. That may be largely due to the fact that I have a longish commute though. I might go to a store on my off day, but the stores are much closer to my house than my work is.

I'm pretty much a homebody, but I might take more road trips if I had more three-day weekends. I like minor league baseball, and am far enough away from any teams that I hesitate to go if I have work the next day.

I have a very short commute, and I usually walk, so if I go anywhere on my day off, I'm burning more gas than I would at work. The boss came around and asked us what schedule we wanted, and how long our commute was. (Typical engineers: they're going to calculate exactly how much CO2 we'd save if we go with this.) Everyone laughed when it was my turn.

However, they said they'd let me go to a shorter work week anyway, even though it doesn't save any CO2. I'm thinking of going for the 9 days/two weeks. I've done the 4-day work week, and didn't like it. Ten-hour days are too long for me.

My wife has done 10 hr 4 days per week. Nice to have the time off between, but it makes for a very long day. She's now doing 3 days a week, 10 hours per day but all weekends.

Many nurses have been working 10-12 hour shifts for decades.

Then there are some who have to work 24/7/365, like emergency services. Collectively they all have to travel the same (though I know many FF who live 1-2 hours from work, and commute. Seems the more the compressed work the further away from work they live). Though some fire departments have gone to 24 hour shifts, many don't like it. Far too much time at one place, not enough time off between shifts.

Then there are those of us who have deadlines and have to work 5-7 days a week to get the projects done.

Not everyone can do compressed workweeks.

Then there are some who have to work 24/7/365,

It managers and people who run popular web sites.

I too tend to stay home on many weekends, and drive only to work and back on most weekdays. But statistics presented here on TOD last year (by Stuart Staniford?) showed that in the US as a whole only 20% of total driving is commuting to work.

Thus any significant reduction in fuel use for personal transportation in the US must involve cutting down on non-commuting driving and/or switching from personal automobiles to some other ways to get around.

We can drive hybrid cars, PHEVs and EVs.

Oh, yes "we" *CAN*.

But such simple bromides are uttered without understanding. How do "we" get such transport to the lower classes, the people who already have a mortgage and car payments on a fast deprecating transport? Or the even lower class who buy used, because that is all they can afford.

How do "we" get such to the new nano car owning class in other markets?

Wanna impress "us" and show "us" how you got it all figured out? Then make a post for the front page here. Show how the cash and material needs are 'there' to put "we" in "hybrid cars, PHEVs and EVs.".

(If one is not following the spanking of john15 over his lack of knowledge visit:
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3543/294503 )

Simple, instead of the government giving everyone a 'cash handout', give each family that turns in a 'gas guzzler' a Tata (cheap auto recently introduced in India). For $2,500 and 44 mpg lots of fuel would be saved...and, the Tatas are so dangerous, small and probably uncomfortable that few people would spend time 'just going for a ride'. If drivers cannot handle a Tata then they would be removed from the gene pool...not necessarily a bad thing. Personally, I have had enough of the 'business model' of the big three automakers in the US. I have already spent over $1,700 getting the brakes on my Dodge Dakota repaired and it just turned over 28,000 miles. The braking system was poorly engineered and the OEM parts are garbage. If the big three cannot make cheap, economical small cars I say let them go belly up. If our government doesnt mandate cheap, economical, small cars I say let the government go belly up...Both seem to be on the belly up path already.

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending January 18, 2008

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 14.9 million barrels per day during the week ending January 18, down 91,000 barrels per day from the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 86.5 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production moved slightly lower compared to the previous week, averaging about 9.0 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production fell last week, averaging 4.1 million barrels per day.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged about 10.2 million barrels per day last week, down 233,000 barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged nearly 10.1 million barrels per day, or 0.1 million barrels per day more than averaged over the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 1.2 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 242,000 barrels per day last week.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) rose by 2.3 million barrels compared to the previous week. At 289.4 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are in the lower half of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 5.0 million barrels last week, and are above the upper limit of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and gasoline blending components inventories increased last week. Distillate fuel inventories declined by 1.3 million barrels, and are near the middle of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories decreased by 3.3 million barrels last week. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 2.2 million barrels last week, and are in the middle of the average range for this time of year.

The SPR was unchanged. Late last year the administration said they were going to increase the rate at which they added to the SPR. It looks like they've quietly backed off of that. I wonder if it will pick up again, now that oil prices have dropped some.

And in what seems to be the weekly question: what's up with propane?

Yeah and how about those blending components! Another stellar week of build there howabout it... Our Gasoline inventory is now 109.5 million barrels of conventional gasoline and 109.3 million barrels of Blending components. Blending components gained 3.1 million barrels and conventional gained 1.9 million barrels. Year over year Conventional gasoline has declined from 119.6 million barrels to the 109.5 million -8.4%. Those valuable blending components have risen from 99.7 million barrels to 109.3 million barrels +9.6%. I'm going out on the limb (lol) to predict that blending components will exceed conventional gasoline in our inventory over the next week or two. At what point do we shut off the inventory build on Blending components? I.E. when is blending component inventory counter productive $$$? What signals will that give to the market and the blathering idiots on CNBC

Note the continued decline in refinery utilization. Assume a constant dollar inflation adjusted price of $25 per gallon for gasoline. This is nothing to Bill Gates, but Joe Sixpack Gates probably won't be filling up if it costs him $500. So, what would happen to refinery utilization at that point?

Regarding refinery utilization, I think that we are simply along a continuum from $2.5 to $25 gasoline. I expect to see less efficient refineries in importing countries beginning to start shutting down permanently before too much longer.

"U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 14.9 million barrels per day during the
week ending January 18, down 91,000 barrels per day from the previous week's
average. Refineries operated at 86.5 percent of their operable capacity last
week. Gasoline production moved slightly lower compared to the previous week,
averaging about 9.0 million barrels per day. "

Crude Inputs down, Refinery Utilization down, Gasoline production down.

And it looks like 7 VLC's unloaded last week.

So an increasingly worthless dollar and lower dollar pricing is going to bring
more gasoline into America. As demand increases.

Yeah, that's exactly the way I learned it in college.

For the last three weeks, imports have been higher than their recent average.

Demand still up. No evidence of recession there.

Thank you. ;}

Nothing is up with propane stocks. They are dropping at a lesser rate than normal for this time of year, and stocks are above 2003 and 2004 for this time of year. Watch out next week!

Yes...but they have been dropping for nearly 7 months.

That is the "what's up with propane?" question.

Refineries are producing less...why? Or are we just importing more finished products, and winter gas usage?

No they have not been dropping for 7 months. The peak was the last week of Oct. at 61,931k and remained nearly flat until the last week of Nov at 61,513k barrels.

The 2006 peak occured the same week and was the highest annual peak at 72,241k Barrels.

Go to this week in pet. and open the xl file in the propane window.

All I say is there is yet another disconnection between the weekly petroleum report and other data sources.

I think distillates are the big story. The home heating demographics are not evenly spread over the cold parts of the US. If there is another polar pig settling on the east coast for a week or longer, they could literally run out of heating oil, in which case, Tesoro, or one of the western refineries, might, for the first time in history have to ship heating oil cross country (of course for a price). If east coast does run low on heating oil, nat gas prices would spike in sympathy, as all those with electric baseboard heating backup would fire up demand at the gas electric plants. 10 below at 10 am here in Wisconsin - not sure of forecast for East coast - but if there is a shortfall this winter, it will be in East Coast heating oil..

Where I am (PA) it just warmed up to be seasonably cold. The forecast for the next week looks about normal: highs between 35 & 40, not much sun. I expect the NE will be burning through a fair amount of heating oil in the upcoming week.

Tesoro shipping 'excess' diesel to Chile.They need it to keep elect generators going at copper mines(Elect shortage in Chile- low water levels for hydro gen and minimal NG from Argentina to run power plants).

I think there's a heating oil reserve. Some are clamoring for it to be opened up now, due to high prices, but it's supposed to be for emergency use, not to lower prices. I would think an outright shortage would constitute an emergency, though.

They've been relying too much on La Nina.

Oil edges up after inventory report

Oil prices rose Thursday after the government reported a surprise increase in crude supplies of 2.3 million barrels.

Maybe they're all excited over the stimulus package.

Oil prices dropped to about 87 about 30 minutes after the report (why the delay, I wonder?), but have recovered since then somwhat to 87.67 as I type this.

Cushing inv dropped to 15.7 from 16.5.

Refineries cutting runs until margins improve.Products may do better than crude as we start the next move up.

Yep - $600 of "free" gas for everybody. Anything to bail out the banks and oil companies.

Yup. Did you see the spike about 20 minutes ago, after the announcement that the agreement had been reached?

Corn doing nicely too.

Dollar not so nicely.

So, my fellow Americans, what are you going to do with your $600 windfall? ($1200 for married couples, with maybe $300 for each kid. People who didn't earn enough to pay income tax will get $300.)

Gold? Solar panels? Pay off debt? Stick it under the mattress?

Pay off the last of our credit card debt.

Pay off the Corolla. :)

Pay off the Corolla. :)

same here

Maybe call up an escort service, get a good bottle of Bordeaux, and the rest I’ll spend foolishly.

Actually I'll buy more nursery stock.

Buy ammo and a water filtration system.

A half ton (more) of lentils and several cases of spam.

P.S. Great interview with Forbs Mr Levine.

$600 isn't enough for gold, but its the right amount for four $10 lots of mixed circulated silver from APMEX.

How do you get this cash if you operate in a parallel economy? I don't think I made any money that would show up in BushCo's books.

Looks like you'd have to have made at least $3000. on this side of the divide Hightrekker. Think it will be based on payroll or sales slips if there's no other direct line to the IRS. The announced tentative accord.

- Most tax filers would get $600 to $1,200.
- Minimum check: $300.
- Low-income earners who made at least $3,000 would get $300.
- Families with children would get at least $300 per child.
- Full rebate limited to individuals earning $75,000 or less.
- Couples earning $150,000 or less would also get full rebate.
- Partial rebate for individuals $75,000 to $87,000.
- Partial rebate for couples $150,000 to $174,000.

The CEO here says we have some CCD (credit card debt) for ours. Boring. 70+ ounces of vintage coin of the relm more appealing.

I am self employed and have been for most of the last ten years, but I do show up on the books - a nontrivial percentage of my income does arrive in the form of customers giving up unused equipment and sub $500 jobs scrounged here or there but the vast majority are from 1099 issuing enterprises.

Since my injury last summer I have torn a page out of fleam's playbook though; I'm moving lower, slower, and I'm more interested in keeping things simple. Fix the computer for the local coffee shop? I got chips and salsa for turning a few screws and driving a couple of blocks to pick up a new power supply for them. Solve network problems for the screen printer? Thick, soft sweatshirts are owed to me when I think to stop and collect. I got into the telecom arena via employment as an equipment broker and there are many interesting, profitable things that can happen during customer network upgrades.

Tomorrow I start a little bit of a design and implementation job. The guy had a $20k quote from a Cisco reseller for a plant with several single points of failure in it, ninety days factory warranty without tech support, and a day of very pricey labor to get it rolling. I put on my aftermarket equipment dealer thinking cap, slashed that budget by two thirds, got him stuff with three year warranties and advance replacement, and when I doubled the labor amount but told him we'd be best friends for a month starting the day the equipment came out of the box ... well ... cheap, fast, and good was in effect :-)

I get calls like that every month and a year ago I started just giving it away - design validation, shopping tips on equipment, and please do come back when you've got a problem with some meat on its bones for me. Business related debt from my personal implosion last summer is evaporating nicely and I'd make a tax auditor cry - nothing going on I'd be concerned about admitting, doesn't do a thing for him, and every time I do this my steel toed customer service boot lands squarely on Cisco's weakest point.

Those Cisco jokers robocalled our business line last week offering $500 in marketing funds no questions asked. I guess they're wondering what happened to that $350k/year run rate on new equipment sales from 2005 that dropped to less than $5k/year. It just never occurs to the corporate sociopath that motivating their sales reps to pull sleazy stunts on a guy like me might get them that $600k sale one month, but it will cost them 100x that due to my focused disinterest in their wellbeing over the rest of my career.

So as for how to collect that $600? I don't care to make the effort ... the "system" has failed me so many times in so many ways that I have my own system now - guys I know in the business, a concern for the long term well being of my customers, and if I have less today thats just fine by me, so long as the manner in which I got there facilitates having less next month, too. I'd stretch out my hand to help someone who is hourly and on the edge lay hands on their "rebate", but I'd rather be out here puzzling out how to make some good paying jobs here in my region ...

Rain barrels.

I have had a TWIP in the queue since Tuesday, but it's going to be a bit stale by the time it gets published. Some refiners are reportedly taking refineries down early for turnarounds due to low maintenance. That is why utilization is dipping and crude inventories are coming back up. More discussion in TWIP if someone remembers it is there and publishes it.

Hello TODers,

A maxed-out credit card consumer dropping off the demand destruction radar is small stuff compared to a trader destroying a bank:

PARIS (AP) -- French bank Societe Generale said Thursday it has uncovered a $7.14 billion fraud -- one of history's biggest -- by a single futures trader whose scheme of fictitious transactions was discovered as stock markets began to stumble in recent days.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Josef Schachter, an oil investor is a guest on Canada's Business News Network. He made a five minute summary of his peak oil concerns and mentioned Matt Simmons. He predicted the price would go to $150 by 2010.

At least 300 motorists stranded in snow north of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Jackknifed tractor-trailers Thursday blocked a stretch of Interstate 5 in Southern California, stranding at least 300 people on a snowy mountain pass, the California Highway Patrol said.

Somehow, you never think of southern California as a place where you're in danger of being snowbound...

The one thing I don't miss about living in Minneapolis is the cold.

Hello Leanan,

PostPeak: the high passes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains hold great potential for hosting Donner Dinner Parties again. :(


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

The weather of Southern California is varied but subtle – the Santa Monica mountain range makes the basin area one of the most stable bubbles of weather but the outer range does get varied weather. I recall it lightly snowing in the San Fernando Valley once when I was 15.

We have to remember this is California, and they might just be slush bound. Years ago I was in Montgomery, Alabama and it snowed just enough to stick a bit. We had an old Firebird with bald tires and we slowed from 65 to 55 ... meanwhile all of these locals in their 4x4 trucks were out in the ditch. No one was injured that we saw and we had a good laugh over it all ...

Actually LA County has a 10,000 ft plus peak (Mt Baldy), 2000 foot higher than anything east of the Mississippi. The back country of the San Gabriel Mountains is rugged, and I have many fond memories of wild trout from cold streams, and skiing after school. But I hear that is changing---

Anything east of the mississippi in the US maybe, but the Dominican republic has a 10,000+ peak in the middle of the island.

4.9 billion euro rogue trader loss


Unwinding this position may have lead to the MLK Day drop on world equity markets (US closed), which lead to Ben warming up the helos with a 0.75 drop in Fed Funds before the US markets opened Tuesday morning.

Best Hopes for Better Internal Controls,


when i read this story earlier on BBC, it didn't go that far to link the Fed rate cut to this one. now they found the scape goat - blame the whole mess worldwide on this one rogue trader. how convenient!

Scary to see PSYOPS increasingly moving into the markets.

The unwashed masses might still be sucking that stuff up, but how many decision makers/decision influencers do you know that are still listening? I look at CNN only for the humor value found in screen shots of their "news of the deeply weird" headlines, but I do something several times a week that drives more traffic here.

The Corporatocracy is breaking down. The ability to engage in long distance arbitrage of labor and manufacturing facilities will come apart as transport costs climb and they're so entangled with the who SIV/CDO massacre that people are going to look at all of them the very same way banks were regarded after the crash of 1929. I would guess that each time some sharp, conscious penetrating event happens for the general public another TOD reader makes that transition from being the person with kooky theories to being the go to person for coping with a rapidly changing world. Well run community based sites like TOD are definitely serving as a boot camp for this new form of village elder, who walks in the physical and virtual world the same way a shaman might have walked in the physical and spirit world in another time and space.

Homes see first annual price drop on record

Prices of homes sold in December registered the biggest year-over-year decline on record, according to a report from an industry trade group, and 2007 is the first year on record that has seen a drop.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said on Thursday that the median price of homes sold in December fell nearly 6 percent from a year earlier to $208,400. The three biggest declines in prices ever recorded have now come in the last four months.

Anybody know about this new vehicle? Cute little guy, I want one.


ExxonMobil Chemical technology helps power new Electrovaya vehicle

"ExxonMobil's film technologies allow lithium-ion batteries to meet hybrid and electric vehicle requirements, helping to make vehicles like the Maya-300 pelighter and more efficient." said Jim Harris, senior vice president of Houston-based ExxonMobil Chemical. The Maya-300 electric vehicles will have an extended range of up to 120 miles and are designed for urban and neighborhood driving patterns.

From above

El Paso Tennessee Gas unit declares force majeure

NEW YORK (Reuters) - El Paso Corp unit Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co declared force majeure due to a "possible leak" on its natural gas pipeline system in offshore Louisiana, the company said Thursday.

"Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co is declaring a force majeure ... The reason for the event is to repair a possible leak on the line," the company said in a Web site posting.

The company was able to keep producers "whole" on Wednesday and Thursday, but nominations for Friday would likely be affected, Wheatley said, but did not have an estimate on affected volumes.

Can anyone tell me what (if anything significant)this means if it lasts for an extended period of time?

Hello TODers,

Leanan's toplinks on the South African energy shortages are interesting reading. Here is some more dire news:

Zimbabwe: Blackouts Plunge Economy Further Down the Abyss

"Things came to a halt at most mines, with serious ramifications on production," Murewa said, adding: "Apart from the failure to produce, mines also lost pumping capacity and lots of time will be spent pumping out water from the ground."

Murewa said although the total loss suffered by mining companies as a result of the electrical failure was yet to be ascertained, it ran into millions of United States dollars.

Reuters reported that among the mining firms affected by the power outages was the Zimbabwe Platinum Mines, in which South Africa's Impala Platinum, the world's second biggest producer of platinum, holds a majority stake.

Zambia state media said about 300 miners on night shift at units of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Mopani Copper Mines were trapped in shafts for hours after power went off.

The power outage also caused partial flooding at Chililabombwe copper mine, a unit of KCM, as water could not be pumped out, officials said.
Does anyone still doubt that cascading blowbacks are growing worldwide?

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

These examples illustrate why I think those that are focusing on the expected small percentage decline in petroleum production are missing the most serious issues. There are all kinds of indirect effects that we never think about in advance. We can't plan on our world being the same as it was a few years from now, partly because we can't count on imported platinum and copper from flooded mines.

I have heard that NYC subways would flood, if they were not constantly pumped out. I am sure there is some back-up power, but can you imagine what would happen if we are not able to keep them pumped out?

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund.

Let's hope SA doesn't follow the lead of the island nation of Nauru http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Nauru
in taking the citizens from wealth to poverty as phosphate deposits declined. They ended up money laundering for Russian mobsters before settling on international welfare.

My feeling is that a country must continue to produce a physically useful product. A stream of investment revenue may not help if import prices skyrocket; think SA owning large banks but importing ethanol from Brazil at $10 per gallon.

Hello TODers,

It may now appear that Israel is ready to export Gazan Overshoot to Egypt, but Egypt doesn't want it either--what a mess. IMO, some Peak Outreach in this region might help calm things down and reduce the scale and duration of the coming machete' moshpits.

Israel sees upside in hole in Gaza wall
Israeli officials see opportunity to turn Gaza over to Egypt to provide services.

Although Israeli officials have registered disappointment with Cairo's shortcomings in policing their border with the Gaza Strip, there has also been an equally palpable touch of relief in their words, as if the break in the wall effectively re-attaches Gaza to Egypt, which governed it until the Arab-Israeli conflict of 1967.

Egyptian officials balk at this idea. Asked if Egypt would consider taking responsibility for Gaza, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossam Zaki is unequivocal: "Certainly not. We have no interest in doing that, and we won't."

"We need to understand that when Gaza is open to the other side we lose responsibility for it. So we want to disconnect from it," Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai told Israel's Army Radio on Thursday.

"We want to stop supplying electricity to them, stop supplying them with water and medicine, so that it would come from another place," Mr. Vilnai said.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Hello TODers,

A little more food for thought. PostPeak WTSHTF, imagine the Las Vegas-Phx-Tucson-Albuquerque region as equivalent to the Gazan Overshoot.

I can see it now: Colorado shuts off the Rocky Mt. water, CA + TX cuts off the exports of FFs, and other dire effects. Will Cascadia welcome the desert hordes heading North?

Or will the US Southeast be the first AtGazan* Overshoot to breakout of their region? Sure would be nice if FEMA & Homeland Security disclosed their plans for these areas.

* Atlanta = AtGaza

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

Just shut up and keep shopping.

Like you couldn't have figured that plan out all on your own.

Markets up. gold up, oil up, commodities up.

Crude rises for second day on economic stimulus plan

stimulus = inflation.
We obviously haven't hit the wall hard enough yet. Let's baack er up and have another run at it boys.

I think the party could go on for a lot longer than many here think. The hangover will be all the worse for it, of course.

"oh my achin' head" "Who's gonna clean up this mess".

The longer the party goes on the more time for solutions.

Appreciate the sentiment TAD. Work-party is an oxymoron. The stimulus will be free money ,printed or borrowed, and spent down the drain.

There will be no fixing the hole in the bucket but more water will be poured in. As the swings become wilder the fixes become more laughable. Decisions under duress.

(staying with party theme) Hangin' around til the cheap wine runs out and the bad drunks show may not stop the party but I assume it's character will be altered somewhat and their 'fixes' are notorious.

We live in a world with windmills but we also have Iraq. Hybrids and Hummers. Bikes and bombs. The solutions are all around us. The fault is not in our stars but in ourselves.

Right, because at metaphorical parties, so much metaphorical work is put into metaphorical solutions.

Suze Orman was on Larry King. She says she feels better about the economy than she has in a long time. o_O

And now Larry's on to more important things: UFOs over Texas.

OMG Run for the hills!
The GOP debate has em stumbling over each other to embrace big tax cuts and support for more aggressive stimulus measures. Ron Paul running around like the brides father, How we gonna pay for this shindig?

"Paris, Paris fire up the limo".

“Anyone who believes that growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”
Well, that about sums it up---

"There is no shortage of crude oil in the market"
"Don't the Emperor's new clothes look wonderful!?"