DrumBeat: January 26, 2008

Plan ahead to avoid fertilizer shortages

The sharp increase in price and accompanying fertilizer N shortage is not a sudden development, the agronomist explained. Unprecedented market forces have markedly changed the fertilizer industry over the past decade which has set the stage for the current supply/demand imbalance and resulting high prices, he said.

"Over the past decade, much of our fertilizer nitrogen manufacturing capacity has shut down in the U.S. as a result of sharp increases and fluctuations in natural gas costs, lower-cost foreign competition, domestic environmental regulations, and so forth. In most cases, the domestic fertilizer manufacturing plants that have ceased operations will likely never come back on line despite the current higher fertilizer nitrogen prices," Leikam said.

..."More than 50 percent U.S. fertilizer nitrogen supply is imported annually---and our dependence on foreign imports continues to increase.

“Also, global demand for this supply of fertilizer nitrogen continues to increase, especially in countries such as China and India with rapidly expanding economies," Leikam said.

In oil-rich Alaska, an energy crunch

Kenai, Alaska - On the shore of Cook Inlet, site of Alaska's oldest oil- and gas-producing basin, the Agrium Inc. fertilizer plant for four decades produced a steady supply of urea and ammonia for international agricultural and industrial clients. Agrium's exports supported a prosperous petrochemical business, employing hundreds and bolstering local tax rolls.

But operations ceased in December. The reason? Lack of natural gas, the feedstock for Agrium's products. Despite its perch atop a petroleum basin, Agrium couldn't secure enough natural gas to stay in business.

Agrium's woes symbolize a larger energy dilemma: Raw resources are in the ground, but lack of infrastructure and poor economies of scale hinder access to them, putting Alaska in an energy crunch.

Carstens Says Oil Will Help Mexico Increase Government Spending

(Bloomberg) -- Mexican Finance Minister Agustin Carstens said higher oil prices will allow the government to increase spending as a slowdown in the U.S. threatens economic growth.

Mexico's Cantarell Dec oil output hits 2007 low

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Crude oil output from Mexico's huge but aging Cantarell offshore field fell to 1.260 million barrels per day in December, the energy ministry reported on Saturday.

It was the field's lowest monthly output level last year and a 16 percent drop from December 2006's 1.493 million bpd.

The fall in output meant Cantarell, the jewel of Mexico's oil industry since the late 1970s but now in decline, accounted for just 43 percent of Mexico's oil production in December. For years it had accounted for 60 percent of output.

Canadian coal producers could benefit from China's power shortage

CALGARY - China's hunger for energy resources presents a great opportunity for Canadian coal producers, the executive director of the Coal Association of Canada says.

But Canada isn't a big enough producer to put a dent in the emerging superpower's fuel shortage, Alan Wright said Friday.

"I think it's a good thing for our industry. But we're not going to be the player that actually turns the situation around if they've got a shortage," he said in an interview.

Canada: Small oil firms could dodge new green laws

OTTAWA -- The Harper government is proposing to exempt up to 10 million tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution from Canada's upstream oil and gas companies in its regulatory plan to fight global warming, Canwest News Service has learned.

Although the government pledged to crack down on pollution from large industries to reduce annual emissions by 150 million tonnes by 2020, a new Environment Canada document is proposing to exclude facilities that produce less than 10,000 barrels of oil per day.

Driven by mischief

Judging by their ads, some companies now revel in taunting environmentalists.

U.N. Chief Warns Of Water Shortages

CBS/AP) U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the world on Thursday to put the looming crisis over water shortages at the top of the global agenda this year and take action to prevent conflicts over scarce supplies.

...He said a recent report identified 46 countries with 2.7 billion people where climate change and water-related crises create "a high risk of violent conflict" and a further 56 countries, with 1.2 billion people "are at high risk of violent conflict." The report was by International Alert, an independent peace-building organization based in London.

Humans have pushed planet into a new geological era, experts say

All of recorded human history has taken place within the Holocene. But now, a distinguished group of British geologists has provocatively proposed that the Holocene is over and that we have entered a new geological era -- the Anthropocene -- in which humans have left such a distinctive footprint on the Earth's surface through carbon pollution, nuclear fallout, urbanization and other traces of our immense technological power that it should be officially recognized by international scientific bodies as "a formal epoch."

"Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, Earth has endured changes sufficient to leave a global stratigraphic signature distinct from that of the Holocene . . . encompassing novel biotic, sedimentary and geochemical change," the scientists state in February's cover story of GSA Today, a publication of the Geological Society of America.

An empire from a tub of goo

Murray Smith remembers what happened on the morning of April 9, 2003, the way other Canadians remember Paul Henderson's miracle goal against the Russians. For Mr. Smith, then Alberta's energy minister, the big score was a letter from his federal counterpart south of the border. It was about the oil sands – a resource that had long been underestimated at home and almost ignored internationally. No more, U.S. energy secretary Spencer Abraham wrote. From now on, when the Americans talked oil, they would be counting the reserves sitting beneath the forests of northern Alberta.

Gas bill hike looms, but it remains the fuel of choice

Natural gas sent to homes and businesses is measured by the dekatherm, or the approximate value of one thousand cubic feet. ONG, which purchases gas from various sources, charged $8.21 per dekatherm, which is up from $7.98 a year ago.

“We’re still well off the all-time peak price for us, which is $12.01 in January 2006,” Sherry said. “Energy continues to be expensive, but it’s not quite as expensive as it has been. We’re in the distribution business, and with the increased use of natural gas, it has altered historic consumption patterns. It used to be down in the summer and up in the winter.”

Weekly Offshore Rig Review: 2008 Jackup Outlook

Currently, 337 out of 366 worldwide competitive jackups are under contract. That amounts to a 92% utilization rate for this month, which is one of the highest jackup utilization rates seen in any given month over the last several years. In addition, 337 competitive jackups under contract is the most jackups that have been contracted during one month for at least 10 years.

Russia-China trade growing fast - diplomat

BEIJING (Interfax-China) - Russian-Chinese trade showed a pace of growth in 2007 that had no precedent in several years before but it has been impossible so far to reach an agreement to boost oil and natural gas trade, "the key area of our cooperation," the Russian ambassador to China said on Saturday.

Elites love to pig out on energy

"We use 30 per cent of all the energy ... That isn't bad; that is good. That means we are the richest, strongest people in the world and that we have the highest standard of living in the world. That is why we need so much energy, and may it always be that way."

–U.S. president Richard Nixon, November 1973.

Things have changed since Nixon proudly proclaimed America the world's biggest energy guzzler. Or have they?

Since then, the world has woken up to the stark reality of climate change and the role played by human energy consumption.

But this has had surprisingly little impact. Today, George W. Bush – and Stephen Harper – pay lip service to energy conservation, while doing little to actually reduce U.S. and Canadian energy consumption, which remain among the highest per capita in the world.

Writing more checks will accomplish nothing

Telling Iowans to turn down the heat in January is like shutting down air conditioners in July, banning booze in the '20s and ordering all cars to get 50 miles per gallon. These ploys won't work. Mandating cars that will get 50 miles to the gallon might be practical in San Francisco, but not here where there's a lot of space between things.

...What's needed is what made us great in the first place: Better education to help us compete with low-wage countries, the discipline to reign in spending and the good sense to actually exploit our abundant resources rather than to lock them up forever.

Poverty and the Fossil Fuel Crisis: One Potential Solution

My career goals involve promoting community forestry, a process of identifying and harvesting resources on forest lands for sustaining livelihood for rural inhabitants. The goal is true stewardship of resource lands by and for community. In a third world context especially, the first rule of community forest implementation is provision of benefits for the residents, financial and social.

No Matter What Iran Remains A Major Oil Field

UPI - In a nervous world facing triple-digit prices per barrel of oil and peering nervously into the abyss of recession, energy projects recently written off as untenable have, like Dracula, risen from the grave.

What is most extraordinary about the energy feeding frenzy is how ideology is taking an increasing back seat to pragmatic concerns about securing long-range energy supplies.

In a World Short Of Oil, Provisions Must Be Made

MIDDLEVILLE, Mich. -- It was around midnight one evening in November when Aaron Wissner shot up in bed, jolted awake by a fear: He wasn't fully ready for the day when the world starts running low on oil.

Yes, he had tripled the size of the garden in front of the tidy white-clapboard house he shares with his wife and infant son. He had stacked bags of rice in his new pantry, stashed gold valued at $8,000 in his safe-deposit box and doubled the size of the propane tank in his yard.

"But I felt panicky, like I needed more insurance," he says. So the 38-year-old middle-school computer teacher put on his jacket and drove to an all-night gas station, where he filled three, five-gallon jugs with gasoline.

Shell Admits Cheap Oil Is Running Out

I'm getting a ton of E-mail, from the congressional peak oil caucus and others, about Shell Chief Executive Jeroen van der Veer's acknowledgement that the world is running out of oil—at least, cheap oil.

$1 Ethanol Isn't Innovation, It's a Commitment to Business as Usual

Americans do not reduce. We may reuse, and we may recycle, but our economic system is predicated on steady consumption. So it makes sense that while trying to invent our way out of the consequences of global warming, we would seize upon those ideas that encouraged us to, well, consume. In other words, business as usual.

Today's quick fix is brought to us by Coskata. This Illinois-based energy startup, thanks to a hefty investment from GM, has already announced its triumph in the race for a new global energy source. The winning product? Bargain ethanol.

Oil to remain above $81 despite slowdown in US

LONDON: Oil will climb to a record average above $81 this year, a poll showed yesterday, as analysts believe strong Chinese and Middle East demand will offset any slowdown from top energy consumer the US. The monthly survey of 33 analysts put the consensus forecast for US crude futures this year at an average of $81.33 a barrel, up $3.71 from last month's poll.

U.S. worried about Russia's Balkan energy grab

SOFIA/BELGRADE, Jan 25 (Reuters) - The United States is deeply worried that Russia's energy deals with Bulgaria and Serbia will tighten its grip on Europe's energy supply and turn into a tool of political pressure, diplomatic sources say.

Lofty Himalaya Magnify Global Warming Impact

DAVOS, Switzerland - The Himalayas are suffering the effects of global warming more acutely because of their height and melting glaciers could flood local settlements, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) said on Thursday.

"The Himalaya, that's really moving very fast. They're being hit very hard," IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefevre told Reuters at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Blaming carbon on planes ‘is flight of fancy’

Which is worse for the environment – cars or aircraft? If your answer was aircraft, then you are among a growing crowd of aerophobes egged on by anti-aviation campaigners.

But in terms of CO2 emissions you would be wrong. Official figures show an increase in the number of people duped into believing that flights are more damaging than car journeys.

Coal Rises the Most in Three Weeks as South African Mines Shut

(Bloomberg) -- European coal prices rose the most in almost three weeks as Anglo American Plc and other mining companies shut production in South Africa because of power cuts.

More than a quarter of Europe's energy coal is shipped from Richards Bay, South Africa. Anglo American, the second-biggest coal producer in the country, stopped five of its nine mines after state utility Eskom Holdings Ltd. said it couldn't guarantee electricity supply.

U.K. Power Rises on Coal Price Gain, Coal-Fed Plant Shutdowns

(Bloomberg) -- U.K. power for delivery on the next working day rose as the network operator said a third of Britain's coal-fired electricity-generation units are halted and the cost of coal for delivery next quarter jumped.

China's railway ministry prioritises coal shipping

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's railway administration has pledged to prioritise thermal coal shipments to power plants in regions hit by power shortages, as part of efforts to help ease a supply crunch ahead of upcoming Chinese holidays.

A $10,000 bet on peak oil

Over the past 50 years the desert kingdom has consistently played the role of global provider of crude of last resort, stepping in at key moments to provide extra crude whenever the world has needed it. When the Iranian revolution resulted in oil from Iran going offline, it was the Saudis who stepped in and made up the balance, a role they played again in the first Gulf War. As provider of the single largest chunk of oil to markets, Saudi Arabia has been to this point the world’s swing producer, a role only the Saudis can play and one they have responsibly taken on over the years. So why now, with oil at record levels, are they not playing that role? What’s going on?

EU: Cut Back Oil Use

BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Union on Friday called on other major oil-consuming regions to cut back on the amount of energy they use as oil supplies face a tight squeeze that has sent prices soaring.

Police arrest diesel fuel thieves

JAKARTA: Jakarta Police arrested six men for allegedly stealing 5,000 liters of diesel worth more than Rp 25 million (approximately US$ 2,600) from a Pertamina ship in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, on Thursday night.

Jakarta Sea Police Director Adj. Sr. Comr. Jainal Arifin Palewang said the six men attached a pipe to the ship's fuel tank to transfer the diesel into tanks in their own boat.

UK: New green taxes for 'gas-guzzling' cars

Motorists face having to pay new green taxes as ministers step up their war on "gas-guzzling" cars.

The Government wants to get people out of high-emissions vehicles by making them more expensive, while also cutting the cost of driving for more environmentally-friendly options.

Tuvalu struggles to hold back tide

The islands' main road is submerged and nearby homes are threatened by the rising waters.

"We have never seen this in the past," a concerned resident tells me. "We have never seen water coming in this far."

'Global health at risk from climate change'

Climate change is putting global human health at risk and requires an "urgent response", according to a new paper.

The health risks include those from heat waves, floods and wildfires, changes in infectious disease patterns, the effect of worsening food yields and loss of livelihoods, according to the paper published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Oman eyes Gulf's first coal power plant - report

DUBAI (Reuters) - Oman is considering building the first coal-fired Gulf Arab power plant in the latest sign of concern about a gas supply shortage in the world's biggest oil exporting region, the Middle East Economic Digest reported.

Gulf Arab states have about 30 percent of the world's oil reserves and 8 percent of its gas, but an economic boom spurred by record crude prices is driving demand for power and water so rapidly that many are considering turning to coal imports.

We'll Begin To Run Out of Oil Within 7 Years

Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, predicts conventional supplies will fail to keep pace with population growth and booming economies.

The comments, from the boss of a multinational energy giant, will be seen as a wake-up call to the world.

If proved correct, the shortages would have have devastating consequences for almost everyone.

Russian energy deal adds to Europe fears

MOSCOW - Russia expanded its growing European energy empire Friday, signing two more deals in a drive that is raising fears Moscow could use its vast oil and gas resources to meddle in the affairs of its neighbors.

Russia already supplies a quarter of Europe's natural gas and oil needs, and some Western leaders worry the growing dependence is giving the Kremlin a powerful geopolitical weapon.

How the Alberta oil sands have changed Canada

How did the quest to retrieve the treasure hidden beneath huge swaths of northern Alberta go from fool's errand to monumentous payoff?

What does becoming a global energy player mean for Canada's future?

The Globe's Erin Anderssen, Shawn McCarthy and Eric Reguly tackled those mega-issues Saturday in the first instalment of "Shifting Sands," an eight-day look in the newspaper and on the Web at how the Alberta oil sands are changing Canada forever.

Davos discusses how to address climate change, poverty alleviation

DAVOS, Switzerland (AFP) - The annual Davos gathering of corporate wealth and political power turned its lofty gaze on the world's poor Friday, with delegates chided over failures to deliver on development goals.

Rock star activist Bono, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates and UN chief Ban Ki-moon steered the conversation in the Swiss ski resort away from the global economy and geopolitics, towards issues such as infant mortality, poverty alleviation and climate change.

US pushes its climate change agenda despite criticism

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States pushed forward with its own agenda on climate change Friday despite criticism that Washington is attempting to undermine the global effort led by the United Nations.

But as senior officials outlined the broad agenda of a meeting the United States is hosting next week in Hawaii -- which includes an emphasis on controversial uses of nuclear power and technology to trap emissions from coal plants -- they insisted they are simply supplementing the UN process.

Iraq ratifies Kyoto Protocol on climate change

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraq has formally ratified the UN's Kyoto Protocol on climate change, according to a government statement seen by AFP on Saturday.

"The presidential council ratified in its session on January 23 a law according to which the Republic of Iraq will join the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol," the statement said.

How remote is Davos? You would think that they would hold it someplace that was a little bit easier to get to. Or they should hold the conference in a train-only accessible resort in Switzerland.

No unwashed masses allowed. No protesters either.

Davos is where TPTB meet to share insider information.

Bono looks kind of scruffy.

And that says it all.

The pretend poor. Like 1788 Versailles Games.

They have probably noticed the French Aristocracy no longer exists---
There is real probability that will die hanging, or worse, and they secret;y know it.

Yep the last thing they want to be is accessable to the great unwashed. If they could meet at a place that's only helicopter-accessible they'd do it. There's probably a reason they're meeting in the winter when the snow's thick on the ground - some protesters know a healthy person can get to some pretty remote places by bicycle as long as the weather's decent.

French Revolution II is definately coming too. Bono and the rest of his ilk are Example #1 of why being rich makes you evil even if you didn't start out that way. Bono was probably a pretty nice guy once upon a time. Ran Prieur has some good observations about this today.

I remember getting free tickets to see U2 at the Park West, Chicago, way back some time in the 80's. Most in the audience were there free too. General opinion was B+ R&R, and where is the money coming from, why should we care? There was never any soul or energy in that band. A little professionalism, a lotta noise, nothing else.
Bono is a ponce. Always.

That christian U2 think made me a bit nauseous also.
But they always played in the shallow end of the pool.
Bono believes the market will save us.

No soul or energy? Watch the Red Rocks video from 1983 ;).

Not to say U2 is not entertaining sometimes, but please, something a bit more chewy.
A sign of the times I guess. Homogeneous pabulum fed to the entire planet.

Going direct to stardom before ever having a hit record or song or even fans was kinda creepy. Woulda been early 80's when I saw them. Woulda been an empty house if tiks were not being given away and pushed. A good part of the audience walked out. Next tour they're bigtime. What's that about?

I suggested to a carpenter friend a good post-peak, non-discretionary job: building guillotines.

cfm in Gray, ME

I'm going to defend Bono here, because through all his arrogance I think the guy really cares about the world. He tries to use his fame to make other people's lives better. I can think of much less worthy celebrities. He is trying to work the corporate system to his advantage for his causes. Somewhat of a Robin Hood type figure. He plays the game well and uses his "hip" image to draw them in to cooperate with his cause.

Recently, my company (large card co. in KC) started producing (RED) products in conjunction with Bono and Paul Shriver. Bono flew into KC and paid the "boss" and the artists a "surprise" visit. It's finally a product my company makes that goes beyond just making a buck.

Regarding Davos and what to do about the poor, the only reason the global ruling elite is concerned about the issue of the 'wretched of the earth' is that these people can serriously theaten the status quo by creating all manner of chaos and instability.

While all sort of heartfelt concern and noble-sounding proposals will be expressed at Davos, the real unspoken sentiment among most of the world's rulers is that the best thing for the poor to do is to simpy go away and die.

I may be mistaken, but wasn't it none other than Henry Kissinger who once said something ot the effect that it should be the policy of the West to reduce the population of the Third World?

creating all manner of chaos and instability.

Cynics would say that is part of the reason 'the poor' got the handouts of the 1960's.

Let the wretched forge their own chains, giving then $5k per year beats $30k jail, keep waving in front of 'em the idea that they will get ahead. If they are working and getting $5k in subsidies, odds are they arn't being paid much, so wages say depressed overall.

Kissinger who once said something

Dr. Kissinger has said many popular things.

I was surprised there was no 'collection of quotes' in the top 10.

eric blair -

Well, yes, during the Sixties in the US, Lyndon Johnson's Great Society essentially was geared toward throwing some money in the direction of the 'negroes' in the hope that they wouldn't continue to burn down America's inner cities, as they did in 1966 through 1968.

The whole thing was a good lesson in how power politics works. If the blacks hadn't have gotten into a 'burn, baby, burn!' mode, I think that today they would still be sitting in the back of the bus. A perfect example of the squeaky wheel principle.

However, I think that today, the 'squeaky wheels' in the this country are more likely to find themselves in Halliburton-built detention camps, as 'terrorism' is being increasingly defined as anything that challenges the power establishment or which upsets the status quo.

I just learned today that a rather famous fellow was born with the name Eric Arthur Blair:


Wow. What kind of DailyKoz posting Peaknik hasn't read their 1984 and Animal Farm?

"Is our children learning?" You should try George Sand, that guy could really write.

Even I have my limits when it comes to absorbing minutia :-)

Ahhh, but it is the tiny details that make life worth living.

And sometimes are the difference between being alive or dead.


Take a cup of coffee print and read this one.
I think you are dead on btw, If you know Henry, and you know the 6 billion people Have to be Dealt with, you should read this one.

The Post-Bush Regime: A Prognosis

It seems very clear that the industrialized nations have no intention of changing the basic path they are on, or of abandoning capitalism. We can expect only more industrial growth, more energy consumption, continued use of energy-intensive agricultural methods, etc. The energy band-aids of a Gore agenda make no significant difference in this picture whatever, they simply affirm the intention to proceed with business as usual.

The only way the industrialized North can continue on this path is by taking over more and more of the third world’s land, water, and resources for its own use. As the industrial appetite for resources continues to grow at a rapid rate, and as our global resources are increasingly stressed, we are going to see a very rapid expansion of third world hunger and starvation -- the globalization of African-scale famines. This is inevitable while the North stays on this basic path, whether we have Gore-like policies or some other set of policies is of little consequence.

This ‘inevitability’ of mass die-offs in the third world is well known to those who run the industrial nations. From the perspective of the heights of power, the question becomes, “How can we manage these die-offs so that they cause the least disruption in the global economy, and so that they don’t arouse too much public outcry?”

Of course once you begin managing die-offs, you are then engaging in genocide, ie, arranging for particular populations to die in preference to others.


There can be little doubt that the elite is totally indifferent to the fate of billions -- except insofar as they represent a threat. There have been times when they wanted large populations, for their labor and for markets. Even the Nazis dealt with their concentration camp victims that way -- extermination was preceded by slave labor: slavery when needed, extermination when not.

But none of this takes away from the reality of overpopulation on a global basis. Gigantic devastation and suffering lies ahead if it is not dealt with globally through reproductive planning (e.g. providing for the elderly) and much else. One way or another the human population and the (declining) carrying capacity of the planet have to eventually match up. The elite will be content to let nature take her course (or even lend an assisting hand). But it's in the interest of the common folk (us) to deal with it realistically.

Yes the preferred method of the rich to deal with the poor would be to work 'em to death then compost their bodies or something.

Maybe this is the reason for the whole pipe dream that is high tech - it keeps the smartest of the poor busy and theoretically some good robot slaves will result that won't develop any uppity ideas, then the poor (yes, you, myself, we of the 99% of the earth's population who are not rich) can be done away with.

One thing really REALLY scares the rich - squalor. They hate squalor. They hate patches and irregularities and weeds and having to substitute something for caviar because some doofus among their ranks killed off all the professional fish-squeezers before their robot replacements were come up with.

So, that's what to fight them with. Look at the most recent Joe Bageant letter, the fellow talking about the people back in Appelacia (sp?) where his family's roots are - people who won't notice if there's a recession or Depression because it won't change their lives a bit. Get used to living without electricity etc for a bit, get used to chaos and good old fashioned squalor, that way when you along with the rest of us kill off the world of the rich by a million cuts, the terror for them will be gleeful fun for us. It's time we all started playing hookey and TP'ing the lavatories of the world of the rich.

It's time we all started playing hookey and TP'ing the lavatories of the world of the rich.

Re: The Post-Bush Regime: A Prognosis

And the author of this piece is one "Richard K. Moore". Moore tells that in this article:

..the U.S. is essentially owned and managed by a small clique of wealthy families—the ones who own and control the Federal Reserve. The Rockefellers are the obvious and well-known members of this clique, but there are others less well-known, not all American, and some whose identity remains to this day a carefully guarded secret.

Well imagine that, the Rockefellers and a few others of this small wealthy clique owns and manages the United States of America! Now where have I heard such rhetoric before? At any rate Moore tells, in this article:

A Gore agenda is simply genocidal imperialism hiding under a new mask, a new show. Instead of killing off the Indians by killing their buffalo, it kills off populations by removing their access to food in other ways.

How about that, Gore's agenda is simply to kill people. All this Global Warming crap is just a cover. He wants to kill people by cutting off their food supply.

From Moore's Mini-Bio we learn what must be done:

After looking into various reform alternatives, and at popular movements (past and present), he (Moore) came to the conclusion that only one thing can save humanity from the devastations of rampant hyper-capitalism: a radical, global grassroots movement.

A grass movement to do what? To expose the sneaky genocidal conspiracy of Al Gore to kill the poor third world people by cutting of their food supply in the guise of fighting global warming? Well, let's get going.

But what do we do? How do we expose this conspiracy? Is global warming a hoax? A hoax perpetuated by Gore and other of his ilk just to kill people? Then by all means let's expose this hoax! Let's all join this grassroots movement to expose this grandest of all hoaxes.

And while we are at it, let's expose this Peak Oil hoax as well. A hoax perpetuated by people like Matthew Simmons, Colin Campbell, Kenneth Deffeyes and other such ilk. They are all part of a genocidal conspiracy designed to kill poor third world people.

Okay, all the above was sarcasm, just in case a few people could not tell. But Dear God when are we going to stop paying attention to such bull crap as these Gore and Rockefeller conspiracy theories. There is no giant conspiracy theory to kill people. People may, nay people will, wind up dying because of peak oil. And people will also die because grain and other food products are transferred from people's tables to more wealthy people's cars. But that is just because of callousness and ignorance. There is no giant conspiracy to kill people in that manner.

There may be ways a grassroots movement could mitigate the situation. But calling it a giant conspiracy by Gore or Rockefeller or whomever will not assist anyone in any such grassroots movement. It will only mark you as a conspiracy theory wing nut and no one will pay any attention to you.

Ron Patterson

Thank God you put this to rest. I was worried for minute.


Thanks Ron...For a time I was on the fence about which camp to join...the nieve wing nuts or the conspiracy wing nuts. Of course, the conspiracy wing nuts believe that the nieve wing nuts are working for one government organization or another...Meanwhile the nieve wing nuts believe that the conspiracy wing nuts are just visiting this planet. I would like to tell all which group I have decided to join...but then I would have to terminate all. :)

River and Francois, could either of you give me your opinion of the piece rather than just making sarcastic remarks about my post? Start with these quotes from the article in question:

It’s more than a campaign by Gore, we’re seeing a campaign being supported by the mass media, by the powers that be. We are clearly being prepared for a ‘new show’, after the ‘Bush show’, and the ‘new show’ is going to be about carbon taxes and credits, new energy sources, more efficient cars, biofuels, and all those other things that are allegedly related to climate change and peak oil.


The primary mission of the Hillary administration, under the banners of ‘doing something about climate change and peak oil’, will evidently be to undertake a massive resource grab in the global South, leading to the selective and massive elimination of certain populations through starvation.

Now River and Francois, is all this peak oil crap just a hoax to "selective and massive eliminate certain populations through starvation"?

This is your chance to either come down on the side of reality and say that peak oil and global warming are real, or to agree with this this guy that it is all a hoax, a giant conspiracy, engineered to massive eliminate certain populations through starvation.

Do either of you have the courage to give us an answer or would you rather straddle the fence, meaning that you think peak oil and global warming just might be a hoax, a conspiracy by the powers that be, by only replying with sarcasm about my post as both of you have already done.

Ron Patterson

Ron...there are as many realities as there are organisims that reason...or, rationalize.

BTW, I was not being saracastic but merely musing about my rationalization concerning which camp I should enter. Now, after the passage of some time, I have decided to put off my decision for a while.

I dont see why you should be upset by my answer...politicians make a living doing what I do for free.

"...there are as many realities as there are organisims that reason...or, rationalize."

With all due respect, I disagree utterly. There is one reality, and reality is what happens whether you believe in it or not. However, there are certainly many perceptions and models of reality, as you say. But I think it's critical to make the distinction between "reality" and "model of reality".

None of these models are completely accurate, obviously (where is it written that talking monkeys should understand the Universe in all its complexity and glory), but some are way more congruent to "the way things work" than others.

It doesn't matter what your "reality" is, or what you believe, or how you were brought up, or your cultural baggage, or whatever - if you jump off a cliff, you go *splat* at the bottom.

SGAGE...I believe that there are alternate realities based purely on my own experiences in 'this' life. I have lived through three seperate accidents in which one aircraft and two autos were torn asunder. After the accidents one could not determine what sort of mechanical contrivance had existed prior to the accidents. In one of the accidents I was thrown over 200 feet through large pine trees. I received not a single broken bone or cut and only one minor abrasion in these accidents. In one of the accidents I was involved in a state cop told me that 'I have never seen anyone walk away from something like this'...Yet three of us walked away without a scratch. The auto was a new '66 Chevy SS 396 Impala and it was in 6-8 different pieces after the crash. Nothing on the car was salvageable, not even the engine block...it was cracked as was the transmission case. The rear end and axles were twisted like a pretzel. None of us was wearing a seat belt. These are my realities.

So, you continue to believe there is only one reality because for you maybe there is only one. I will continue to believe that there are multiple realities for me...and I suspect but cannot prove that there are multiple realities for all creatures that have imagination.

Jumping off a cliff? No thanks. I do believe its possible to seal ones fate if one really wants to do the deed. It doesnt interest me.

Google "quantum immortality".... but don't count on it. As posed by Tegmark, it's much too simplistic. Still, if it were true, that's how you'd detect it - surviving an increasingly unlikely series of fatal happenstances.

Though QI is speculative, a quantum multiverse is less so, and in most 'parallel' realities you're dead.

This has nothing to do with the different subjective experience of reality by different people/critters, just the way the universe seems to actually work.

Well, It might not be QI but my neatest experience was going through a speed trap on a moderatly travelled quasi-rural road with a 35 mph speed limit at 106 - on my way to 110mph. The cops never tired to flag me down :). I took a round about way back home.

Yeah, sure, 200 feet through the pine trees, not a scratch. And testimony from a state cop seals it. I give up.

Look, I am _very_ very glad that you were lucky in surviving your accidents. And surely I would be the last person on Earth to say that strange shit doesn't happen - believe me, I've been around for over 5 decades, some of them rather, shall we say, interesting, and I could tell some stories that would make your hair curl. It all means nothing, though, to what constitutes actual (vs. virtual) reality.

But in the end, it's just semantics, so let's don't worry about it. I like your style, and your posts, and I for one hold my beliefs fairly provisionally.

Fair enough. BTW, I am over 60 and have been, ah...very active. Still am.

I think we're probably pretty much on the same page. Like I said, semantics...

All best,


Of course, not posting here are the thousands of people who have failed to survive equally catastrophic accidents.

No far how far out you go on the tail of a probability curve, you never run out of tail.

Hi s,

Just because it's true for "splat", doesn't mean it's true for anything else. (Or, should I say, "for everything else".) Or...I should say, could be true to some degree or in some respect for everything else, but we need to qualify.

re: "the way things work" (double quotes).

It depends on what "things" one is talking about.

A difficult conversation to have.

River, you cannot have it both ways. Either Peak Oil and Global Warming is real or they are a hoax, a conspiracy by Gore, Clinton, Bush, Simmons and others designed to "selective and massive eliminate certain populations through starvation".

If you even think it possible that Peak Oil and Global Warming are a hoax designed to selectively kill massive numbers of people then methinks you are on the wrong list. I would guess that 99 percent of the people on this list believe that peak oil is real, and perhaps 95 percent believe that global warming is real. And I would there are no one on this list who believes both are a hoax created just to kill people. Well, perhaps no one except you and Francios who are both on the fence, trying to decide which side to come down on. Then there is Samsara who posted the link to the article and suggested that Joule read it so he could really understand what is going on. I am not sure which side they come down on but perhaps they think Peak Oil and Global Warming is a hoax also.

One more point. I have no doubt that Kissinger could have mentioned reducing the population of desperately overcrowded countries. China is trying to do this via birth control. But the very idea he or anyone else in the US Government is engaged in a massive conspiracy to deliberately kill billions of people is absurd beyond belief. I know some people, like Moore, may believe that. But then some people believe that we are secretly controlled by aliens on other planets. Those people wear tin foil hats. The people who believe that there is a secret government conspiracy to kill billions of people, via some kind of peak oil or global warming hoax, are not far from becoming part of that tin foil hat brigade.

Ron Patterson

Well Ron... there's always the issue of the 9,200 nuclear weapons we're decided to keep at-the-ready, the weaponized anthrax, the assorted viruses, the robotic warplanes, etc...

So we really don't need a conspiracy theory. Do we? The die-off tools exist. It's just a question of who pushes the status quo too hard and gets offed.

Chalmers Johnson has been writing about military-and-empire for several years. Worth reading, in my view.

Noted conspiracy nut Alex Jones believes this, that global warming and peak oil are just scams come up with by the "illuminati" to rationalize killing off 75%-90% of the earth's human population. And Alex Jones' various web sites are very popular, he's also on shortwave.

Foilheads or not, these people exist.

Foilheads or not, these people exist.

And, be they right or not, will act as a regulator on any change which might be 'positive' WRT either peak oil or global warming.

The best you can hope for is to channel their rage away from you.

Ron: Whatever you say. The fact is that in the early 1960s, all discussions of global population growth problems (projected) centred on Africa. Luckily, gay stewardesses (stewards?) decided to have sex with monkeys (or whatever ridiculous story the MSM floated-I don't think anyone can remember at this point). African population explosion problem conveniently solved-on to the next issue.

Drats...I had my tin hat earlier but cannot find it now...must have left it at the Iron Horse again.

Ron, to answer your question about PO and GW...yes, I do believe that they are in the process of happening and very rapidly.

But, I also believe that there are conspirators lurking behind every lamp post and tree, behind each fire hydrant, in my ac vents, listening to my calls when I order pizza and noting if I want anchovies, lurking in trees pretending to be birds, peeking out of my cats ass when I am not watching, and all manner of other places. Some of these conspirators are harmless wing nuts. Some have sinister motives.

Thats just the way life is Ron, serial killers exist even though we dont want them to.

Ron, it is not an either-or. What if climate change and peak oil are both real but being used by people who have a particular agenda of their own that is antithetical to most of the rest of humanity? That's one possibility that you excluded in your black-white analysis. There are numerous other possibilities as well but since you refuse to even consider those there's not much point in discussing them, since by your own definitions, they can't even exist.

Grey, I have not refused to consider anything. In fact I do consider every theory raised by conspiracy wing nuts on this list, no matter how absurd. I consider them then either accept them or reject them.

I have stated, flat out, that I do not believe there is a conspiracy to kill billions of people in under developed countries. That is the point of contention here.

Of course people will use peak oil or global warming to make a profit or to enhance their pet theories. But I do not believe Gore, or Clinton, or Bush or whomever is conspiring to kill billions of people! That is just down in the dirt stupid Grey!

Now if you believe that then just say so. And it is black or white. Either Gore and/or Clinton, and/or whomever in very high places of power are conspiring to kill billions of people or they are not. End of story.

There is no gray area here Grey, either there is a conspiracy to kill billions of people or there is not. Which is it? That is my point. Either agree or disagree. Or perhaps you think the conspiracy is to not to kill billions but only a billion or so. That is splitting hairs. Does Gore, Clinton or whomever have a conspiracy to deliberately kill at least a billion people? Half a billion people? Oh hell, just how many people do they intend to kill?

Get a F***ing life! There is no such conspiracy and people who believe there is, as I pointed out earlier, are just one rung below the tin foil hat brigade.

Ron Patterson

Simple inaction is going to do in billions of people, Ron, and even if we started today on a focused, technically workable approach I still think we'd lose two of every three alive today. I don't think there is any Skull and Bones/Illuminati sort of driver behind this, its just a simple fact. Some people are inclined to see an invisible hand in all things, but I think causes and conditions leading to effects is a much more sensible explanation. We've talked before about a need for triage, a polite way of separating those who will live from those who will die. This exercise has certainly been completed at high levels by all industrialized country governments ... we're collectively stepping back from spending resources in places that are doomed, no matter what we do. So ... a conspiracy of omission? Or is it, if trying to pick up those survivors in an already overloaded life boat drowns the would be rescuers, too?

Cow Tipper, I agree with everything you say except that line a conspiracy of omission. There can be no such thing as a conspiracy of omission unless all co-conspirators get together and agree to such a conspiracy. A conspiracy must be something agreed upon by all co-conspirators. That is self evident in all dictionary definitions of the word.

–noun, plural -cies.
1. the act of conspiring.
2. an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
3. a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.
4. Law. an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.
5. any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.

There may be a crime of omission but not a conspiracy of omission. A crime of omission would not require any kind of agreement between those involved.

I really do not believe, as you suggest, that we are stepping back from spending resources on places that we determine are doomed no matter what we do. When TSHTF we will all be too concerned with saving our own ass and not be concerned at all with what is happening in Uganda or wherever.

But people are already pointing the crooked finger of blame. Gore is to blame or Clinton or Bush or somebody, just as long as we have someone to blame. That is just human nature to blame. Someone, other than ourselves, must be to blame for the damn mess we find ourselves. No one is to blame.

- As for pointing to our mental failures with scorn or dismay, we might as well profess disappointment with the mechanics of gravity or the laws of thermodynamics. In other words, the degree of disillusionment we feel in response to any particular human behavior is the precise measure of our ignorance of its evolutionary and genetic origins.
- Reg Morrison, The Spirit in the Gene

We have been enormously successful as a species. But our success has come at a great cost. We have dramatically overshot our carrying capacity. Now we must pay the terrible price. And no one is to blame. It is just what we do.

Ron Patterson

Yeah, that is basically what I meant - its like a bad car wreck - everyone just looking away because they can't touch it, politically, or they get themselves pilloried.

We have been enormously successful as a species.

Yuppers Done by various actions.

And no one is to blame.

So let me understand this - actions were taken by men, but no one is responsible for these actions?

How about global warming being the conspiracy to mask and excuse the necessary powerdown required by the reality of peak oil?

I have always struggled to embrace gloabl warming, not intellectually but emotiobnally. The effects of it seem so far away and incrementally snail paced that it seems rather dificult to get too excited about any quick action. But if you told me tomorrow that the world ill heat up by 10 Deg and therfore i have to turn off my lights and power and quit driving my car, then I'm liklely to get very excited and start exhibiting all sorts of strange behviour. Thats the trouble with peak oil - once you understand it intellectually, you can't help but change your (consuming) behaviour and that could be disastrous for business if it became too widespread. Global warming on the other hand is a way to mildly steer people inot a lower energy, more efficient way of living which in theory will allow BAU.

I happen to be engaging in a massive conspiracy long with most here at TOD to spread the peak oil message. If we succeed, we will upset the balance of economic thinking among the masses and that is going to piss a lot of cornu-people right off. Not sure what the result will be but it should be fun to watch. Even if PO is not real, the perception of it is the dangerous idea that the elites are afrai of.

I think what's going on is that the people who run this country (including people like Gore, Clinton and Bush) know that peak oil and bad times are coming. So they are dedicated to getting control over the earth's resources for themselves and their friends (e.g. by invading Iraq), and in the process, whole societies are going to suffer and probably billions of people are going to die. They don't consciously intend to kill anybody (by itself, what would be the purpose of that?); it's that if those people are denied access to the resources that we have stolen, many of them are going to die. And they don't care; they may even be glad, because those people won't be competing against them for those resources.

Well imagine that, the Rockefellers and a few others of this small wealthy clique owns and manages the United States of America! Now where have I heard such rhetoric before?

My sarcasm was directed at the absolute surety you have about the Federal Reserve not being privately owned. You have a lot to learn.

I will bet you $1000.00 if you dig into it, you will find that (a) the Federal Reserve System is actually privately owned when it gets right down it, and (b) yes - they do manage the United States money supply without being answerable to Congress. Take me up on it. You and I will send Leanan a check and she can arbitrate.

Loser donates $1000.00 to the cost of running TOD.


Who Owns The Fed

I agree with both these web sites. If you disagree then you have a bet.

Each member bank owns nonnegotiable shares of stock in its regional Federal Reserve Bank—but these shares of stock give the member banks only limited control over the actions of the Federal Reserve Banks, and the charter of each Federal Reserve Bank is established by law and cannot be altered by the member banks. While it is unusual, private individuals and non-bank corporations (with proof of a resolution of the board of directors indicating it intends to do so) may also purchase one or more shares of stock of any of the Federal Reserve Banks. The stock is the same nonnegotiable stock as banks receieve, cannot be sold and pays a small dividend. In Lewis v. United States,[50] the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit stated that "the Reserve Banks are not federal instrumentalities for purposes of the FTCA [the Federal Tort Claims Act], but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations." The opinion also stated that "the Reserve Banks have properly been held to be federal instrumentalities for some purposes." Another decision is Scott v. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City[51] in which the distinction between the Federal Reserve Banks and the Board of Governors is made.

Ron Patterson

Darwinian -

From its very murky inception circa 1913, the Federal Reserve has always been a power lurking between the cracks ... neither private nor governmental, but some sort of mutant hybrid. Mostly out of reach of the President and the Congress, it has always wielded great power, sometimes for good and sometimes for ill. One this is for certain, though: the Federal Reserve has always been Of, By, and For the financial establishment. Not one cintilla of doubt about that one!

While it must be admitted that their stewardship of the US financial system has largely been conservative and mostly benevolent, the fact still remains that their one purpose is to preserve the well-being of the US financial establishment.

Now, Darwinian, I sense from your many posts that you are highly allergic to the term, 'conspiracy' and that that term really sets you off into paroxysms of anger. But that being the case, I still think you have to face the fact that that conspiracies DO exist, and, in fact, in the long history of human interactions have been the rule rather than the exception.

From the Very Beginning, humans have CONSPIRED with one another to do all sorts of nefarious things, from murdering Julius Ceasar to CONSPIRING to start a fake war against Iraq. People for the most part are basically scum, and will stoop to all sorts of knavish behavior. Entering into CONSPIRACIES is part of that inherent behavior. So, to have a CONSPIRACY it is not necessary to have mysterious elders in black robes sitting around a table lit by torches, but rather to have only two or more people in power plotting to do something they shoudn't be doing.

Is this notion so painful and difficult to accept? People CONSPIRE to do bad things. They always have, and always will.

Joule, of course conspiracies exist. I have never denied that. What I do not believe in is super-giant conspiracies. Conspiracies that require thousands or even hundreds of co-conspirators to do enormous evil deeds, like murdering billions of people, simply do not exist.

Of course in time of war military secrets are often kept, under threat of execution, if they are revealed. That is not the same thing as recruiting hundreds of your fellow citizens to murder thousands of your innocent fellow citizens. Really now, can you really believe that kind of crap.

The FBI, when it plants an under cover agent among drug dealers, is conspiring to entrap the druggies. But let us not split hairs here on what constitutes a conspiracy. We both agree conspiracies exist. It is the scale where we disagree. To conspire to murder billions of people would require a conspiracy of thousands of people. Well, perhaps not as I have never really gave much thought thought as to what would be required to murder billions of people. Have you? How large would that conspiracy have to be? Exactly how would one pull it off? Hell, that is food for thought.

Clue us in here Joule. Exactly how would one conspire, with any chance of success, to murder two or three billion people? After all that is what we are talking about here Joule! That is, the murder of billions of people.

Did you read the Moore essay? Do you really believe that Clinton, Gore, or Bush is conspiring to murder billions of people. You Joule, are trying to escape into generalities when the paper dealt with specifics. Yes specifics! The Moore essay put forth the proposition that Gore, Clinton, Bush and others were conspiring to murder whole populations.

The primary mission of the Hillary administration, under the banners of ‘doing something about climate change and peak oil’, will evidently be to undertake a massive resource grab in the global South, leading to the selective and massive elimination of certain populations through starvation.

In this context, the net consequence of a major biofuel agenda comes down to intentional genocide. In order to provide marginally more fuel to the over-consuming industrialized nations, untold millions will starve in the third world, in addition to those untold millions that are already starving.

A Gore agenda is simply genocidal imperialism hiding under a new mask, a new show. Instead of killing off the Indians by killing their buffalo, it kills off populations by removing their access to food in other ways. Once again, ‘they’ must be sacrificed so that ‘our’ way of life can continue and expand.

Okay, I was mistaken. It is not billions but untold millions who are being deliberately killed. And all this is being deliberately done, a giant conspiracy to kill untold millions.

Children, grow up!

Ron Patterson

darwinian -

You ask how could one conspire to kill billions of people without having to engage in a conspiracy involving the trust of thousands of people?

Well, I think the answer is simple: to provoke a war that would accomplish just that. As we have seen from the Iraq war, it only takes a small number of people in high positions of power to start a war contrary to the will of the people.

The whole trick is not to micro-manage such an event, but rather to set the stage and to create the conditions for it to happen 'all on its own." Arguably, an example of such an occurrence is the manner in which the US entered WW II. It is now quite clear that FDR desparately wanted the US to enter WW II so as to save his chums, the Brits. He couldn't do this outright as the US was in no mood to get invovled in another European war.

So, there was the backdoor via Japan. FDR did everything he could to antagonize the Japs, and the final straw was his oil embargo against Japan (perhaps the first major use of the 'oil weapon'). He got his wish (and then some) in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Did this require the confidence of thousands of co-conspirators? Of course not. It just required setting up the right set of conditions and then letting nature take its course. Was this an outright conspiracy? Maybe, maybe not. But the end result was the same: a course of action directly contrary to what the American people wanted. FDR was one of the most duplicitous politicians in American history, and he prided himself on never letting his right hand know what his left hand was doing.

My whole point, perhaps clumsily stated, is that a clever politician does not need thousands of co-conspirators to set evil things in motion .... just the right hands on the right controls and pulling the right strings.

I predict that it will eventually come out that the events of and leading up to 9/11 will be found out to be quite different from what the official government version would have us believe. But time will tell one way or the other.

The real agenda of government is often very different from what is publically portrayed. Is this a conspiracy? Of course it is! There are fools and knaves conspiring against the common good all the time. Always have, always will.

I suppose it is possible that Gore, Clinton, and Bush are each involved in a conspiracy to do some evil thing, such as killing billions of people. But I find it really hard to believe that these three are involved in the _same_ conspiratorial group. It just doesn't seem reasonable that these three guys would join the same group. So maybe there are three giant conspiracies. And maybe they all have the same goal, but don't let the other conspiracy groups know of their existence or true intensions. Just a thought.

Also - surely there must be limits on the size of a conspiracy. One person cannot be a conspiracy. For the upper bound there is a hard upper bound at the total population of the world. How many people must be left out in order to have a proper conspiracy? Can a conspiracy of six billion keep their intension secret from the remaining half billion? In the development of a giant conspiracy there comes a time when more people must be recruited into the conspiracy. When this happens, the conspiracy morphs into a religious sect or other non-secret fringe group. From there, if it continues to grow, it can become a great religion, but not a 'great' conspiracy. IMO, the nature of human group dynamics makes a giant conspiracy unthinkable.

But I find it really hard to believe that these three are involved in the _same_ conspiratorial group.

People with money and power run in different circles than I do.

I have no problem in believing for a Venn diagram of interests, that the desires and goals of the said three overlap.

There does not have to be one group and one goal. Like petty interoffice politics, there can be many groups with many different goals, but still all march under one banner - cuz that is simpler than going out and getting a different banner, building name reconginition, et la. And to outsiders, it is simpler to group 'em all together than to try and understand the nuances of difference.

Can a conspiracy of six billion keep their intension secret

What if the actions are not in secret. At all.

What if *YOU* get to be at the tip of the spear? From where *YOU* sit, sure looks like it must be an evil plan to stick you with the spear - cuz what did you do to them?


5. any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.

Conspiracies that require thousands or even hundreds of co-conspirators to do enormous evil deeds, like murdering billions of people, simply do not exist.

Is not the Army a group of people who have concurrence in action that bring about a given result?

Children, grow up!

*looks about* *sighs*

The man is clearly out there. Amazingly such talk gets an audience primarily here in America. I have not seen Europeans or Asians fall for this.

Perhaps the hollowing out and softening of our education system, because of our vast wealth, is responsible.

Do either of you have the courage to give us an answer or would you rather straddle the fence, meaning that you think peak oil and global warming just might be a hoax, a conspiracy by the powers that be,

Or a 3rd way - that Peak Oil and Global Warming are observable trends and people who have (or want) money/power will work to create laws which will route money/power their way.

People who work together to structure laws and enforcement in public to obtain ends they publicly identify do not make a conspiracy.

For there to be no conspiracy in the above paragraph - all motives and all enforcement would have to be done in public, right? So Ron - you willing to state here, without sarcasm, that there are no private goals in the crafing of laws and no non-public enforcement of the laws in the US of A? Of, well, any damn place on this planet?

by only replying with sarcasm about my post as both of you have already done.

What I find interesting about you Ron is, how you are calling others out for their response, yet when you post about how there are no conspiracies and, oh, say, I point out things of the past like Lysine market price fixing or Propane market fixing you fall silent.

Why is that?

“We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”

~ David Rockefeller, Trilateral Commission, Baden-Baden, Germany, in June, 1991.

Did Rockefeller really say that? One would think a politician would not be so obvious.

For all the conspiracy buffs out there, consider this:

The Commission has found its way into a number of conspiracy theories, especially when it became known that President Jimmy Carter appointed 26 former Commission members to senior positions in his Administration. Later it was revealed that Carter himself was a former Trilateral member. In the 1980 election, it was revealed that Carter and his two primary opponents, John B. Anderson and George H. W. Bush, were also members...


Be sure to look at the list of members. For example, the first director was Zbigniew Brzezinski, U.S. National Security Advisor to U.S. President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981 (which is NOT NOTED in the article).

E. Swanson

One would think a politician would not be so obvious.

I don't think David was ever in Politics. His bank was Chase-Manhatten I believe.

If you want some good background sit thru this one.
It's the whole story.

The late Great Aaron Russo and his film Freedom to Fascism

And another short one, and interview with Aaron Russo. Very good.



Do your own background reading, google all names, dates, events, etc and cross check. Come to your own conclusions.

I found the timing of the Davos gathering coupled with the publication of Pre-emptive nuclear strike a key option, Nato told to be more than a bit unnerving. Specifically, the following "reasons" given for a possible nuclear first strike are disturbing:

The five commanders argue that the west's values and way of life are under threat, but the west is struggling to summon the will to defend them. The key threats are:

· Political fanaticism and religious fundamentalism.

· The "dark side" of globalisation, meaning international terrorism, organised crime and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

· Climate change and energy security, entailing a contest for resources and potential "environmental" migration on a mass scale.

· The weakening of the nation state as well as of organisations such as the UN, Nato and the EU.

Note also that climate change and even migrations of humans caused by climate change are given as reasons for a possible first strike.

In my opinion, the elite of the US and Europe are telling the rest of the world's leaders to stand clear or they will do the unthinkable. The fact that this announcement from NATO came just days before the Davos conference seemed curious to me.

Further, this demonstrates that the Shell "Scramble" scenario is a euphemism for nuclear resource wars, at least in the minds of some.

...today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
General Jack D. Ripper - Dr. Strangelove

What's also 'disturbing' is the statement, a few days before this NATO report, by a leading Russian general, that Russia reserved its right to use nuclear weapons pre-emptively if their interests or territory was threatened or attacked.

NATO seems to be hinting that they might consider using nuclear weapons against a state that threatens its interests, even if that country is non-nuclear state, but 'only' has weapons of mass destruction. Yet how are we to know that NATO is correct in its assumption? We'd look pretty stupid if we'd nuked Iraq, because we 'knew' they had WMDs!

We are continually lowering the threshhold in relation to the tactical use of nuclear weapons, and this is very dangerous indeed.

The Russians are saying, we're not asleep, don't underestimate us, we will defend our interests any way we have to, we will resist any attempt to dismember Russia, this far and no further, take care, we are not Iraq!

US, Columbia plotting 'incident' to spark war with Venezuela

President Hugo Chavez on Saturday charged that the United States and Colombia were plotting an incident that would spark a war with Venezuela.

"I alert the world of the following," said Chavez, speaking at the Bolivarian Alternative Summit of the Americas (ALBA). "The US empire is creating conditions to generate an armed conflict between Colombia and Venezuela."

"I accuse the government of Colombia of devising a conspiracy, acting as a pawn of the U.S. empire, of devising a military provocation against Venezuela," Chavez said.

"A military aggression is being prepared," Chavez added.

But he warned Colombia not to attempt a "provocation" and said Venezuela would cut off all oil exports in the event of a military strike from the neighboring country.

"In that scenario, write it down: the price of oil would reach $300, because there wouldn't be oil for anyone," Chavez said. "The invaders would have to step over our dead bodies."


Interesting. The US has 3 carriers in WestLant(West Atlantic, includes waters off of Venezuela), one in Norfolk, 2 off the coast of Southern California, one in San Diego, and only one in the Persian Gulf.


George has looked on a map and discovered that Venesuela is a lot closer to the US than Iraq/Iran and the oil companies and car makers have told George that we are going to need a lot more of that Venesulean asphalt for all the new roads and parking lots we are going to build for all the new suburban homes that will be needed as soon as the FHA starts giving loans to people now living in homeless shelters so invading Venesuela is the obvious move since the population there will throw flowers at the feet of our soldiers as soon as they invade and the war will be lots cheaper since its closer to the US and we have the paid toady Columbia ready to help us if our military cant handle the tough venesuelan insurgents.

Cid, how could you have missed this one? George needs a legacy...and enough asphalt to build the parking lot around his presidential library...Just imagine that library...the only one in the world with millions of books with all the pages redacted.

In December, the Bank of the South was formed, based in Caracas, providing an alternative for Latin American nations to the World Bank and IMF. Venezuela even went so far as paying off the balances other Latin American nations had with the World Bank and IMF, freeing them from their obligations. Today, they formed ALBA, Central America and the Caribbean's version of Bank of the South, while calling for all Latin American nations to withdraw their billions in reserves from US banks. I imagine the Bush administration is seeing this as an economic provocation to war. Truely, what would happen if those withdrawals were made at this particular time, all at once?

Venezuela, allies start new bank

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and three of his closest allies are teaming up to create a regional development bank intended to strengthen their alliance and promote independence from U.S.-backed lenders like the World Bank.

The bank is to be launched Saturday as Chavez hosts a summit with leaders from Nicaragua, Bolivia and Cuba — members of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, or ALBA.

The ALBA Bank will be started with $1 billion to $1.5 billion of capital, Venezuelan Finance Minister Rafael Isea said Friday, according to the state-run Bolivarian News Agency.

Venezuela, with its plentiful oil earnings, is expected to be the leading financier. The funds will go toward social programs and other joint efforts, from farming projects to oil ventures.

Chavez and the leaders of six other South American countries last month launched a similar venture, the Bank of the South, which is projected to have as much as $7 billion in startup capital and offer loans with fewer strings attached than those given by the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund.


Chavez urges withdrawals from U.S. banks

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez urged his Latin American allies on Saturday to withdraw billions of dollars in international reserves from U.S. banks, warning of a looming U.S. economic crisis.

Chavez made the suggestion as he hosted a summit aimed at boosting Latin American integration and rolling back U.S. influence.

Chavez noted that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Colombia in recent days, saying "that has to do with this summit."

"The empire doesn't accept alternatives," Chavez told the gathering, attended by the presidents of Bolivia and Nicaragua and Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage.

Chavez warned that U.S. "imperialism is entering into a crisis that can affect all of us" and said Latin America "will save itself alone."

To help pool resources within the region, Chavez and other leaders were setting up a new development bank at the summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, or ALBA.

The left-leaning regional trade alliance first proposed by Chavez is intended to offer an alternative, socialist path to integration while snubbing U.S.-backed free-trade deals.

On Saturday, Chavez welcomed the Caribbean island of Dominica into ALBA, joining Nicaragua, Bolivia and Cuba. Attending as observers were the prime ministers of Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, along with officials from Ecuador, Honduras, Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis.


And lets not forget about the destabilization of Mexico through our corn to ethanol push, so that we can pillage the deep fields in the Gulf that PEMEX doesn't know how to work. The "opening" of Mexico will undoubtedly happen, its just a question of how ugly it gets first.

And with all that asphalt, Bush can create wilderness areas. Republican wilderness areas are WalMart parking lots without the lines painted on. Would that be wild or what!

I'd have to say that I agree with those four points, but I see them from a slightly different perspective:

  • Political fanaticism and religious fundamentalism: increasing fundamentalism in many western nations' political discourse.
  • The "dark side" of globalisation, meaning international terrorism, organised crime and the spread of weapons of mass destruction: and sweat shop labour, environmental degradation and diminution of the weight of national laws due to free trade agreements.
  • Climate change and energy security, entailing a contest for resources and potential "environmental" migration on a mass scale: sadly no change needed on this one.
  • The weakening of the nation state as well as of organisations such as the UN, Nato and the EU: largely as a result of the growth of power of the transnational corporation.
  • So, GZ, would you say that Darwinian's diatribe about the conspiracy of the TPTB against the 'poor' of the world is wrong? To me, this seems like a smoking gun.

    I addressed Ron's error in thinking above. He divides everything into black-white categories but what if there are other categories. For instance, Ron refused to even consider that peak oil and climate change might be real but being used by people with agendas hostile to most of the rest of humanity.

    Of course, Ron assures us that this cannot be so, therefore it is not so, based solely upon his word. Thus sayeth the Ron, amen. ;)

    I know the folks here don't like "doomers" but just what the hell do you think is going to happen when the oil exporters stop exporting?

    Well the year they stop exorting is the year you see the ollapse the Western financial system . . . the same system who subscribes to the motto "grow or die." That system, which NATO is tasked with defending, will launch a nuclear war if it thinks there is even 1% chance of succeeding. Why? Because if the exporters stop exporting oil then modern Western growth based capitalism dies, 100% guaranteed. So the system would rather take its chances with a nuclear war because even though there is a 99% chance it will leave the planet a flaming cinder there is that 1% chance it will win and the system can continue.

    What happened when FDR stopped oil exports from the South China Sea to Japan? How did that war end? Two nuclear weapons went off. Today we have 20,000 of them.

    You do the math.

    We're discussing this at LATOC for those of you who care:


    Hi Chimp,

    I welcome your opinion, no need to label it.

    A couple of qs for clarification purposes:

    1) Do you mean launch a nuclear war against the former exporters?
    2) Are you connecting the US use of nuclear weapons - (itself - i.e., apart from the fact of the war?) - to something directly connected to oil?

    Yes, nuclear war is a clear threat.

    It has been for a long time. "Peak oil" provides a new(er) set of triggering circumstances for the possible "use".

    Is there anything we can do about this?

    Do you mean launch a nuclear war against the former exporters?

    Bush/Cheney are spending "like there is no tomorrow" on a new generation of nuclear weapons. Putin has said he is prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend Russian interests.

    I hope someone at Davos puts this chart up.

    I think the correct label for that last epoch is the "Ishouldacene" as discussed in drumbeat the other day. There is another spelling for it, I think.

    Some are calling it the Ohshitocene. I think this is the most descriptive I've heard so far.

    That was it!

    Serbia to Sign Deal of a Century with Russia


    "On Wednesday, Premier Kostunica assessed that the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union [pushed by the greatest majority of EU member-states to be signed with Serbia on January 28] has to be in Serbia's interest in the same way the energy agreement with the Russian Government on cooperation in the oil and gas sector is in the interest of all Serbia's citizens and economy."


    "He said that as for the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, the EU must choose whether it will sign the agreement with Serbia or illegally send a mission to fragment Serbia."

    "I think you can now say that Russia has either won the war or is very close to winning the war" over gas supplies, said Chris Weafer, chief strategist at UralSib, a Russian investment bank. "Because the EU, which sought non-Russian import routes and non-Russian gas supplies, has failed to achieve anything."

    He said fast action by Russia to increase its energy deals has made it difficult for Western countries to organize the huge financial investment needed for rival pipelines."



    "Should Kosovo unilaterally decide to split away from Serbia, international recognition was not a fait accompli, Lavrov added.

    "It is being suggested to us that we resign ourselves to the inevitable," he said.

    "We feel that in the EU there are sober voices or heads. People are starting more and more to think: What next ? How will neighbouring countries behave ... what will happen in other regions ?"

    Some images illustrating what the Albanians are doing to Kosovo.

    Because the Serbians are such victims? 10% of Kosovo is Serbs... after Serbia lost their war of aggression in the 90's those Serbs in Kosovo should have seen the writing on the wall and quit Kosovo then. You're not going to find sympathy for them anywhere in the global community.

    The Serbs need help, militarily and in terms of humanitarian aid, and if the US is going to duck out of this then thank God the Russians are not going to leave them high and dry. My best wishes for a happy and healthy Serbia! May the US wake up and help them all it can.

    You are obviously an ethnic cleansing advocate.

    I suppose you think the US civil war was a war of aggression too. By the way, Albanians were a minority in Kosovo before WWII. Thanks to the Axis powers (mainly Italy) Kosovo was partially ethnically cleansed during the war and Albanians moved in. After the war, Tito the Croat decided to keep the status quo and instead of kicking the Albanians back to Albania where they came from, he let them stay and kept Serb refugees from returning. After the war Albanians continued to illegally migrate to Kosovo and ethnically swamp it. Serbs became a minority on their own land and were regularly terrorized by Albanians. The term ethnic cleansing is from a 1980 New York Times article describing what Albanians were doing to Serbs in Kosovo.

    In 1999 NATO decided to ally itself with Albanian militants operating out of northern Albania (the UCK aka KLA). Its big pretext was the 2000 people died in a guerrila war. Of course the fact that 1200 of these were militants and about 600 were Serbs was not an "important" detail. After NATO's successful terror bombing campaign against civilian targets (e.g. the cluster bombing of Nis, the bombing of the water treatment plant in Pristina, etc.) the immediately ensuing murder of over 1000 Serb civilians (mostly elderly who did not flee their homes) by Albanian thugs was deemed by the western media to be "fair revenge" and the 50,000 NATO troops in the province were claimed not to be able to enforce any sort of order. Another big lie by NATO is how it was trying to stop ethnic cleansing but the refugees started fleeing Kosovo only *after* NATO started bombing and the KLA invaded from Albania.
    Somehow over 50% of the population never left even though they were supposedly being ethnically cleansed and I clearly recall images of Albanian refugees with tractors, cars and carts full of their possessions streaming into Macedonia (FYROM), now where would they find the time to pack their things if they were being driven out at gunpoint? CNN was comparing Albanian refugees leaving Kosovo on passenger trains to Jews being sent to death camps in cattle cars! Funny how CNN and other western media have spent essentially zero coverage time on the 4 million refugees from Iraq compared to the live coverage of refugees leaving Kosovo (but not the Serb ones of course).

    NATO lies about 600,000 dead and missing Albanians, became 100,000, then 10,000 and finally there were reports in the western media (e.g. in the Toronto Star) how the number is less than 3000 but that this does not matter and NATO was right to ally itself with greater Albania militants.

    Yes I am obviously an ethnic cleansing advocate... LOL tough guy on the interweb!!!

    Next time try not herding Muslims into camps and then killing them while cameras roll. Serbia spoiled their name in front of the world and the shame will last for the century to come.

    RE: US pushes its climate change agenda despite criticism

    The funny thing about the Bush administration' refusal to consider cutting back on coal as the next fuel of choice is that coal is just another FF and is going to peak out just like oil. The other stories lately about coal shortages and increasing prices just point to the economic reality that the we've got to change our energy sources.

    Nuclear sounds great, but, as I recall, the last time nuclear was being pushed heavily back in the 1970's, the plan was to build 1000 plants within 25 years. Think about that for a bit. Given that California has about 1/10 the U.S. population, that would mean building 100 nuclear plants in California. Lots more would be needed by the other Western states as well. The Bush Boys just can't seem to understand that all those nukes just aren't going to get built out there, if only because there won't be enough water. California may have the right idea, if the Bush Boys will just get out of the way and let those Left Coast hippies build those solar systems and install those wind generators.

    E. Swanson

    104 nuclear reactors provide 20% of US electricity. If we built 1000 of the new reactors which are much larger than the previous once they would produce maybe 300% of current US electricity.

    I don't think that this is either needed nor desirable. If we needed to replace coal burnt in this country, all we'd need are about 200 of the new AP1000 reactors. For those who think this is impossible, I'd say think again - at the peak of nuclear reactor program, US was easily commissioning 10 reactors per year - this 30 years ago. 10-15 years for ramping up and 10-15 more years more active building and we are done with it.

    We just need to not be stupid about building them. Pick one damn design and freakin' stick to it. The way its been done so far its total welfare for the builders - each one is a work of art. We ought to just hire the French companies, since they've got it figured out.

    And no, we won't go all nuclear - solar, hydro, and wind make local jobs, and states in need of tax revenues are going to get very focused about exercising their rights the less and less effective Washington becomes.

    Despite all the hyping and all the subsidies, solar & wind will never make more than 20% of the electricity in any large industrial country. Mark my words.

    Mark my words.

    Ok, then what. When you are wrong - what happens?

    My point was that looking back to 1974, the thinking was based on "the future will be like the past" logic. The growth of electric demand had been running about 7% a year, as people began to use ever more air conditioning and economic growth was strong. At that rate of growth, the demand would double in about 10 years, which meant that the entire electric generating system would have been duplicated within 10 years. That's both generation and distribution systems. Using blind economic logic, were that growth rate to have continued for 25 years, there would have been the need for all those power plants, whether nuclear or fossil fueled. Some electric suppliers, such as the Southern Company, are continuing to experience rapid growth in demand.

    Your logic assumes that all that is required is a replacement of existing non-nuclear generation with nukes. There's no allowance for growth in demand, which is the exact opposite of the assumption of continued exponential growth which was prominent in the thinking of the early 1970's. As Peak Oil kicks into high gear, many transportation concepts which use electricity have been proposed. To accomplish this would of necessity require a major increase in generation capacity, from what ever sources are possible. Also, existing plants would need to be replaced, if only due to end of life issues. Several existing nuclear plants built 30 years ago are near their 40 year lifetime and it may not be possible to extend their use for much longer, so those would need to be factored into the computation.

    Even building an additional 200 nuclear plants in the U.S. would be a stretch, once Peak Oil hits the economy. Not to mention, where's the cooling water to come from and where are these plants going to be sited?

    E. Swanson

    On the coasts in the proximity of which most of the US population resides anyway. You are invoking future economic problems to argue against construction of 200 nuclear power plants, which could be easily accomplished in the current economic setting. Nuclear phobia is going to cost the west dearly, but that is a hole you dug all on your own.

    Your figures seem to be based on 1960's projections of demand.
    As for cooling, coal plants need cooling too, so you are talking about essentially replacing one source with another.
    There are also nuclear designs available which use far less water - it just was not worth while using them whilst water was cheap and freely available.
    As for where are you going to site them - it would seem perhaps easier than to site umpteen thousand windmills, which would not even deal effectively with energy demand

    I hate to break up all the juicy Saturday gloom and doom, but I just learned that 62% of my electricity is already from renewable sources! I was so delighted I did a little article on this, and I'm going to stop fretting about a turbine for the farm and get going on one that'll do the whole town - a 2.0mw unit would generate about 600kw on average here and we'd be free of fossil fuel inputs except in the summertime. We have the greatest demand for electricity from June through August and that is when the wind blows the least here :-(


    56% from hydroelectric? How do they manage that in northwest Iowa?

    Missouri river to the west of us, Mississippi to the east. That totally shocked me, too ... there is an entity called MAPA that manages this stuff, which I'll do an article on as soon as I get a chance to research it.

    Maybe they don't? According to the EIA Iowa's top 10 suppliers are these:

    Table 2. Ten Largest Plants by Generation Capacity, 2006

    Plant Primary Energy Source or Technology Operating Company Net Summer Capacity (MW)


    1. George Neal North Coal MidAmerican Energy Co 950
    2. Council Bluffs Coal MidAmerican Energy Co 823
    3. Louisa Coal MidAmerican Energy Co 700
    4. Ottumwa Coal Interstate Power and Light Co 673
    5. George Neal South Coal MidAmerican Energy Co 632
    6. Duane Arnold Nuclear FPL Energy Duane Arnold Energy Cntr LLC 581
    7. Emery Station Gas Interstate Power and Light Co 559
    8. Greater Des Moines Gas MidAmerican Energy Co 491
    9. Lansing Coal Interstate Power and Light Co 325
    10. Burlington Coal Interstate Power and Light Co 276

    Hydro provides a measly 129 MW for Iowa. Maybe you're in the sweet spot for it but it sure doesn't represent what your state's running on.

    As for the rest of us, many states have something similar to the NC Green Power program we have here. I can (and do) pay an extra $4 per 100 kWh/mo on my electric bill; this goes into a fund to subsidize various renewable generation projects.

    I would prefer that the electrons that come into my home all came from the renewables for which I'm paying, but that's not happening at this point.


    By any measure, 2008 is shaping up to be an extraordinary year for Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimukhamedov. In power for only 13 months following the sudden death of President Saparmurat “Turkmenbashi” Niyazov on December 21, 2006, Berdimukhamedov has humbled Russia’s mighty Gazprom monopoly in price negotiations, forcing the energy giant last November to agree to a price increase to $130 per 1,000 cubic meters for January-June 2008, rising to $150 in the second half of the year.

    Another Niyazov initiative that Berdimukhamedov is expanding dates to April 3, 2006, when Niyazov signed an agreement to sell China 30 billion cubic meters (bcu) of Turkmen gas annually for 30 years, beginning in 2009, the project is now about to become a reality, as two China National Petroleum Corp. subsidiaries will each provide 8 billion yuan ($1.095 billion each) to help underwrite the construction of a $2.2 billion, 1,100-mile-long natural gas pipeline.

    A gargantuan engineering project by any yardstick, the only thing about the pipeline that does not add up is current Turkmen natural gas production and its export commitments. In 2006 Turkmenistan produced 62.2 bcu of natural gas, approximately 45 bcu, was available for export.

    But if the Turkmen-China pipeline comes online in 2009, then its 30 billion bcu commitments, added to Turkmenistan’s contracts with Gazprom stipulating 50 billion bcu; then Turkmenistan’s export requirements to these two countries alone will reach an astounding 80 bcu per annum


    If Turkmenistan ships 30 bcm to China then Ukraine is screwed (but Russia will be blamed). The whole pipeline wars BS being harped on by the western media is a joke. There are not massive Central Asian gas supplies that need to bypass Russia to save Europe. The EU already has access to gas and oil from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan via bypass routes. Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan aren't an alternative especially if they start supplying China. The west's foaming at the mouth hate for Russia is making it blind to reality.

    A wild week for the finance sector.

    Infectious Greed crunches the numbers and compares it to panics of yesterday.

    While Bespoke looks at past recessions, bulls and bears.

    Don't be fooled by the stock markets “recovery”. That was just the orchestra tuning up for the 1812 overture. (or is that the 1929 overture). Jim Jubak has a warning about bear markets.

    Naked capitalism counts up the layoffs on Wallstreet.

    Existing home sales continued to be ugly (pdf warning)

    Calculated risk graphs out the housing numbers for us.

    While Washington tries to re-inflate the housing bubble.

    Ben Bernanke showed what he's made out of (turns out, it's that paper they use for origami).

    Yet Wallstreet thinks it is going to get another .5% next week? Does this mean $2000 gold and $200 oil by the end of the year?

    And everyone wants to know how you lose 7.2 billion dollars. Certainly gives me confidence about what the big banks are doing with our savings accounts. The whole thing seems kind of fishy.

    George Ure and Halfpasthuman (pdf warning) released more of their predictions for 2008, based on computerized analysis of web “chatter”. It looks pretty grim. All that's missing are flesh eating zombies and alien parasites.

    And does anyone really think the “stimulus package” is anything but an election year public relations stunt?

    And then there is the little problem of food prices.....
    The USDA has a nice page summarizing world grain production. Of major interest are tables 14, 15 and 16. (Wheat and Coarse Grains, Corn and Barley, and Rice.) Ending stocks have been droping across the board.

    Wheat and Coarse Grains
    Corn and Barley

    You can argue about about reversibility, Relocalization, climate change and peak fertilizer all you want, but stocks keep going down.

    All you have to know 

    is THIS

    and THIS 


    The market took less then 24 hours to tell Bernanke that the rate cut isn't going to work. Real rates went up. He can follow the commercial paper freeze all the way down to zero and the market is still going to b-slap him.

    IMO they are going to run out of time. It is a good thing. All these stimulus plans are going to do nothing, the ho'moaners need to understand that there are no entitlements when speculating with commodities. Real estate is a commodity. Do you think the ones betting on gold stocks are going to be bailed out? The dogs are going to be pissing on the legs of their $500 Armani jeans.


    Might want to read THIS and sign the new petition.

    THIS Ticker thread explains where rates are headed. Language warning.

    Musashi...when will they add the grey shaded areas (most recent spikes) to the two Fed charts? :)

    BTW, where are all those people that believe that the central banks are in control of the world economy...or even the US economy? The cows are out of the barn and now they are shutting the barn doors.

    I would love to hear what Soros is saying to the butt-heads in Davos in private conversations.

    I think the checks (vary between $800 and $300 depending on which liar you believe) are a thinly-veiled attempt to buy votes. We can expect to hear more and more about checks, and who's going to write you a bigger one (as long as you're not a veteran or really poor) up until the election, and then ..... mysteriously.... the check will never appear.

    The checks will appear. Probably well before the election. (May or June, they're saying.) It's $600 each, $1200 for married couples, $300 for each kid. If you made at least $3,000, but didn't pay any income tax, you get $300, and $300 for each kid.

    There are also tax breaks for business.

    There may be more "stimulus" offered before the election, if the economy doesn't bounce back. Things like extension of unemployment benefits and food stamps.

    well...as a semi-retired, semi-affluent American middle-class parasite I would like to thank all the twenty-something's out there working two jobs to support my lifestyle. Better yet, now that I'm enrolled part-time at my local community college, I will just thank them in person.
    "Thanks, suckers."
    I'll be sure to leave you a little tip when you bus my table or make my coffee.
    seriously, isn't there another obscene inter-generational wealth transfer implicit in this 'stimulus' package?
    young people shouldn't put up with this crap, they're screwed already.

    I forgot to add...the wealthy aren't getting anything (unless they own businesses and take advantage of the business tax cuts). If you make more than $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples), you aren't eligible.

    seriously, isn't there another obscene inter-generational wealth transfer implicit in this 'stimulus' package?

    Not really. The only people getting back more than they paid are the poor.

    I'm not convinced this is going to work, but all in all, I can't complain too much about how it was done. Even those too poor to pay taxes are getting something. And rich aren't getting anything.

    well, apart from the interest on $145 b, there is the opportunity cost. Costs that are borne disproportionately by the young.
    jeez, ok, I'll shut up and go spend my $600 on some couch dances...
    but it sure would buoy my spirits to see some young people insisting on a little public sector investment before we 'party on'.

    Far better to stimulate the economy would be spending on public works.

    However, they would undoubtedly be the wrong public works (more highways).

    And I'm not sure stimulating the economy is good thing, anyway.

    We're immensely fat in terms of oil use. Stimulating the economy in the right places results in jobs, perhaps a burst of FF use, but then a declining curve ... Alan's rail electrification scheme, for example, would be rolled out using diesel engines and construction equipment. Wind turbines go up with diesel powered cranes ... then CO2 emissions go to zero, less the periodic truck rolls required to free up iced over anemometers.

    But those of us on Social Security are not included.

    Yet. The Senate might change that.

    What happens when those who earned no money last year simply file a tax return claiming earnings they did not make, i.e. like someone who was in prison who had no earnings files showing earnings that are totally offset by their standard deductions, then they get a rebate check, the IRS is all about finding people who under report not over.

    I do wonder if there might be a lot of fraud, simply because they're in such a rush to get these things out.

    My guess: they'll give out the checks with few questions asked...then harass the hell out of you later, when they have time to investigate.

    this was at one time called a rebate program. but the reproduction payment ($300/child) doesnt have anything to do with rebate either. and btw didnt they already give a reproduction tax credit to the worthy reproducers ?

    buy, consume, marry and REPRODUCE, do not question authority...................drive an suv..........."live" in a vinyl sided three car garage house in the treeless 'burbs..................consume......consume.................................consume.....................

    sldulin... old and in the way ... I very much appreciate your sentiments.

    cfm in Gray, ME

    Who knows?

    It isn't going to go down the way any one individual wants it to go down, we just can play the cards we are dealt, but it is as much how you play them then what you get.

    There are no guarantees that these people will act within the law, and this makes it somewhat unpredictable.

    I'm ready for it.

    I laughed when I saw what Forbes told them.

    I wonder if his interpretation of "acting like in Zimbabwe" is the same as mine. LOL.

    "Do you think the ones betting on gold stocks are going to be bailed out? The dogs are going to be pissing on the legs of their $500 Armani jeans."

    What do you mean by this?

    More then one thing, mostly that so far it's just smoke and mirrors.

    Real Estate is a commodity like anything else, there is no reason to bail speculators out.
    FHA has the mission to help with affordable housing, 750K is not affordable housing, especially not when HELOC's have been spent on fancy German cars, Rolex watches and Armani clothes. I think these ho'moaners are going to be very disappointed when the bill doesn't pass the senate, at least not in it's present form.

    Maybe the check part survives, but that is the diversion.

    And then I also mean that maybe the people betting heavily on gold are going to be sorry, especially if it is paper gold.
    Look in what direction gold went when the market fell in Asia and Europe last week.
    Long term physical gold is off to the races, they have the long term trend, but the timing is way early and many will be forced to liquidate their positions.

    What are they going to do? bail them out too? Next the ones that short the wrong stock?
    People have to get used to the idea that they need to grow some fuzzies and be responsible for their own decisions.

    What ho musashi, Thanx for the toothy linxs above. BitterOldCoot gave this link in colour for recessive periods at bespoken

    It has this sub text:
    One of the most interesting aspects of the above chart is that over the last one hundred years, recessions have become shorter in nature ...

    Compare that graph with this guy

    I'm having a bit of a problem importing the images of the graphs for comparison so you'll have to flip back and forth or put them in a writer program. It looks to me that there are less recessions as energy use increases, of course I could have the horse after the cart there:) Look at the correlation at the two larger recessions in the 70's 80's period against the oil graph.

    Sort of neat to think that the less energy the more acceleration we will get down that slope.

    About Gold, musashi, there is an old Italian saying about gardening that might be pressed into service, since that old wisdom seems to have lost that particular relevance for today ... Let the grandchildren gather the fruit


    OMG! I'm saving that one.

    I wonder if those spikes are related to the adoption of FAS 157.
    We're in for more surprises soon from the banks.

    Yes, several sources (Michael "Mish" Shedlock and minyanville......)have been saying for awhile that the problem isn't liquidity but solvency. In other words, the banks are all bankrupt. George Ure talked about it during his Tuesday January 22, 2008 “Collapse of Fractional Reserve Banking” entry on urbansurvival. Referencing this link to the federal reserve. He has a good take on whats going on.

    Here is his link just scroll down to the 22nd.

    Probably the best explanation of the plunge of the “Net Free or Borrowed Reserves of Depository Institutions” was done by "Winter (Economic & Market) Watch" back on January 8th.

    The problem about talking about this stuff is that it scares the crap out of people, and there is nothing you can really do about it. I moved all my retirement into treasuries last year (the safest think my 401K allows), but at this junction the safest place for your money is under your mattress.

    You can easily spend 200K on freeze-dried food. It may have some trade value before too long.

    Language warning?

    Minyanville is more my speed. Can you translate that thread into Hoofy n' Boo?

    For example, NFORBRES -- what the heck is that and what does it mean that it just jumped off a $10 billon cliff?

    DIYer, Take a look at BitterOldCoot above, his first two links if I am not mistaken explain the cliff.

    I'm guessing it is exactly what it says it is.
    "Net Free or Borrowed Reserves of Depository Institutions"

    Bank reserves
    Depository institution
    Federal Reserve System

    Also see this link.

    And this comment http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2007/04/what_caused_the.html#comment-67279048

    The fed had to loan a lot of money, to a lot of banks to keep them afloat. I'm interpreting the graph as saying they have overdraw their account.

    So we end up with the other graph:

    Hi Musashi,

    Thanks for posting this (and the petition link).

    Could you possibly explain the meaning of those two graphs in a few sentences?

    Bitter,the stuff I have seen on the web inclines me to believe the greedy Bastards who are at the root of this mess have gotten a bit more than they bargained for....unless collapse was part of the deal.I don't know.I know the stuff I have seen ,and evaluated from all the material one may review on 911 too many questions arise to dismiss.Cheney is a truly evil person.That the war in Iraq was engineered for reasons not known to the public is a given.I also believe that things are much much worse than we know.The folks in the administration probably have the equivalent of 200 Stuart Stanifords working on peak,and can tell the day we hit "the breaking point.

    There exists various power centers in our society,as has existed for the last 1000 years.The ebb and flow of history,even that fairy tale taught in school is full of examples.

    With 6+ billion I would think there there exists countless gameplans of various groups that may be held under the title"conspiracy"Dark plans by powerful People are a staple of reality.What is more fearsome to me,sometimes,is the way groups of people simply THINK a particular negative way...no conspiracy needed.

    I have no doubts that their have been plans made ,and executed,by those of wealth and power to further what they believe to be in their best interest.The scale of such plans is only limited by what they can control,and that is the key.

    Chaos,in its most elemental form is the nemesis of the plans of mice and men.The control one believes they have is only what fate will allow.

    For more on the peak oil story the Wall Street Journal just published, titled "In a World Short of Oil..." about Aaron Wissner (me), I invite you to visit my reflections, clarifications, and in depth observations.


    Overall, this article helps to keep raising awareness that peak oil is THE issue that everyone needs to understand. Neil King Jr., the reporter at the WSJ is rapidly becoming "peak oil aware". I look forward to more stories as things unfold over the next few months.

    And here I was just firing up Google to try and get your contact information :-) Drop me a note? sct at stranded wind dot org ...

    I read your story on the front page of the WSJ today and was tempted to pose the question here, "Who here is Mr. Wissner--fess up?" Thanks for announcing yourself. A few thousand more people will go to LATOC website and become PO aware today. Good luck to you and yours.

    they got the url wrong, putting it as .com instead .net So there won't be any additional traffic. I suspect this was "accidentally intentional" on the part of the author. Perhaps it shook him up and getting the url wrong was the product of some type of subconscious glitch in his cholestrol based computer. (his brain)

    I did think that it was interesting that the WSJ reporter didn't feel it was necessary to inject any of the usual CERA "We are not near a peak" comments.

    the article itself was very good. The author (Neil King) responded to my email, said they'd fix it online and publish a correction in the errors section.

    I think sometimes the info shakes up the neural pathways so severely that glitches like this occur. Getting the name of the site correct but the url wrong seems like the mind's way of saying "I think there is something to this site but I'm uncomfortable mentioning it or being too strongly associated with it." or something along those lines.

    Hey, maybe that secret military "weather satellite" affected his brain waves and he forgot to put on his tin foil hat.

    That or the microchip that was jammed up the ol' patooty by the Mossad agents diguised as CIA agents disguised as Grey aliens went off and made him make the mistake

    Agent Chimp,

    You were not supposed to reveal that!

    chimp you're supposed to buy every domain by that name, the .com, .net, .org. .edu, .info, .tv, you name it.... and have them all point back to your site. That's what the big boys do.

    Thanks to all for the comments.

    Email: aaron@localfuture.org

    I think Neil honestly did the ".com" accidentally.

    Neil did ask about who the biggest "opponent" to peak oil was, and I mentioned that fellow... Yergin, CERA. I suspect Neil will be in contact with him at some point for a future story.

    I think Neil honestly did the ".com" accidentally.

    Me, too. That's why I always take the .com domain, and always recommend that to everyone. Even if .net or .org is more accurate. People just assume that it's .com, and will keep using it, no matter how many times you tell them. This is a problem even for big-name companies, like Verizon. Their e-mail addresses end in .net, but people constantly send e-mails to .com, and then complain when they bounce.


    have you converted all your neighbors into peakniks yet? if not, when the crunch comes, they all know who's pantry is fully stocked now. ;-)

    seriously, if you are anywhere close to UM Ann Arbor, you may want to check out a group in their ME department with experience in running ammonia fueled vehicles there.

    Yes, I had thought of that over two years ago when we put the pantry together. Kimberly and I are trying to be more neighborly, so that if the crunch time comes, we can all work together.

    mich- doesn't it save oil to build a hybrid? a new car takes oil to build but you save a lot of gas in the process of driving it. won't you save oil by buying a hybrid and driving it a long time?

    Hi John,

    This is the toughest one to answer of the comments, so I saved it for last.

    My understanding of economics is that the more money that is spent, the more consumption, which means more use of resources, more use of oil, more pollution, greenhouse gasses, biodiversity loss, etc. I don't think it makes any difference in the macro sense where the money starts, whether it is buying an apple from a neighbor's tree, or spending money on gasoline.

    That said, you asked a slightly different question...

    I don't know how a new Prius would compare to a new Grand Prix, if a cradle to grave analysis was done. I suspect it would depend on where the line was drawn between being part of the car's lifespan. Perhaps some other OilDrummers could weigh in on this.

    The Prius probably takes more energy to build, and more energy to recycle than the non-hybrid car, due to the battery systems, but again, I think it would almost take a scientific study to figure this out.

    So, my conclusion is, if at all possible, buy used. The cars already exist, the mileage is usually fine, particularly if your commute to work is only 15 minutes there and back like mine is. Better yet, keep driving your car until you rack up 200,000+ miles. That really is reducing and reusing.

    That said, I've still got my eye on a $950 moped, and the 2009 GM Volt... does that make me contrary? I'm just doing the best I can here... ;-)

    The concept is "emergy" - embedded energy. People compare this and that (cars, light bulbs, etc.) without a thought to went into manufacturing them. A "cradle to grave" analysis reveals some fairly counterintuitive stuff...

    I sent a copy of your article to the TOD staff this morning on our group e-mail system as soon as I saw it. Great article! Congratulations!



    IMO, I wouldn't be very optimistic about the world staying on a plateau--especially a crude + condensate plateau--for very long. Case in point was the Lower 48, which showed a very low decline rate for the first two years.

    Second point of course is the Net Oil Export problem. The available data suggest that the top five net export decline rate accelerated from 2006 to 2007.

    Yes, that may very well be the case, but I'm not sure why the plateau has been going on so long, over three years now. I'd like to hear Simmons, Campbell, and others weigh in on this.

    I would be no more surprised that we started into decline in 2008 than I would be to roll a 7 when playing Monopoly. Could happen, wouldn't surprise me.

    The US Lower 48 (C+C, EIA) data around the peak were as follows:

    1970: 9.41 mbpd
    1971: 9.25
    1972: 9.24
    1973: 9.01

    The initial annual decline rate for 1971 and 1972 was quite low, -0.9%/year.

    The world data (C+C, EIA) are as follows (through October for 2007):

    2005: 73.8 mbpd
    2006: 73.5
    2007: 73.2

    We are still below the monthly 2005 peak, although there is some evidence of a rebound in the fourth quarter, but note that the Lower 48 data for 1971 and 1972 were flat.

    In any case, through October, the world C+C data are showing an initial annual decline rate of about -0.4%/year.

    One difference, we are producing nonconventional resources worldwide, which was not the case in the Lower 48.

    My premise is that Texas is to the Lower 48 as Saudi Arabia is to the World. Texas had a sharper post-peak decline rate (-4%/year) than the overall Lower 48 (-2%/year), which is also the same pattern that we see for 2006 and 2007 regarding Saudi Arabia and the world.

    Texas and the Lower 48 as a Model for Saudi Arabia and the World (May, 2006)

    For more on the peak oil story the Wall Street Journal just published...

    One thing I would recommend. Be sure and rotate your gasoline out periodically. Don't use summer gasoline in winter, or vice-versa. Either way can give you problems. Plus, your winter gasoline will pressure up and boil off the butane in the summer, leaving you will less than you bought.

    That's a really good idea.

    I wrote a whole article on this a few months back, but I still forget from time to time. I got some of that fuel stabilizer as well, although I've yet to use it. I'll probably change out everything in the spring and refill.


    Are you going to use the winter gas before spring? At 10% butane that portion is going to boil off. I suspect the summer gas I have will still work in winter, but I only collected ten gallons of the winter stuff before I stopped.

    It is good to have brick outbuildings far from the house, eh?

    I'll probably use most before spring in the lawn tractor with the snowblade.

    I only have about 15-gallons on hand, with only enough capacity for 29, so no outbuilding, although I have considered that.

    I think fire code usually sets a maximum at 25 gallons, so I'm trying to stay under that.

    My personal fire code is no gasoline in the house. If you're going to keep some and you don't have an outbuilding its time for a barrel on a stand. Sure, its a target, but better to be robbed than roasted ...

    What is your rationale for stockpiling that gasoline?

    My own personal opinion is that peak oil will mostly manifest itself as very high prices. Spot shortages may be "necessary" from time to time in order to convince the public that the high prices are justified and are not just gouging. But in general, you will be able to purchase all the gasoline you like at the market price. If you believe this, as I do, then stockpiling is not necessary. Rather, reducing your consumption is the best course of action so that the fraction of your disposable income required for gasoline remains manageable

    I suspect that we'll eventually see rationing. The main reason for rationing will be to reserve enough fuel for the military, essential government services, agriculture, & freight transport. The rest of us will get whatever part of the pie is left. As the pie shrinks, our part shrinks faster.

    Given the inevitability of rationing, it might be a good idea to equip oneself with a few gas cans and a siphon pump. There could be regulations prohibiting the dispensing of motor fuel into anything other than vehicle gas tanks, and the sale to gas cans to the general public might even be curtailed. You'll want to retain the ability to build up a small emergency stockpile, just in case you need to make a trip that is farther than what your normal ration would allow - or in case there is a sudden drastic cut in rations, or there is a temporary supply shortage.

    I can't say Aaron's reason for stockpiling gas, but I'm also in Michigan and can give a few reasons .... several years ago we had an ice storm that knocked out power for 5 days. It's nice to be able to run a generator and get fresh water, etc.

    The weekend newspaper just had an article on the snowstorm 30 years ago. 18" of snow and high winds stopped almost all movement for 3 or 4 days (except snowmobiles).

    I like gasoline. Works nice in the car and the tractor. Easy to put in the car if we forget to stop at the gas station. Can buy it when it is cheap, and use it when prices spike up. Nice. I like it. Good stuff.

    I also know that there is a very tiny chance that there could be a big scare, and if everybody went to fill up at the same time, the tanks would be dry in less than a day. Why not have a few bucks in gas at home? It's really cheap insurance.

    Plus, yes, the generator thing. I haven't bought one yet, and will probably go with the LP versions anyway, since an 800 gal LP tank is going to work for a lot longer than my 25 gals of 87 octane.

    For the petrol, I know exactly where to pick up that Honda gen on my way home from work, so having the gas at home is nice. And we do lose power here a few times a year, so its just smart to be at least a tiny bit prepared.

    michigan wrote:

    Overall, this article helps to keep raising awareness that peak oil is THE issue that everyone needs to understand.

    I think the purpose of the article is a little different than this.

    It really is about informing the business elites about a grass-roots reaction to the oil situation so that they can take it into their calculations and maybe even directly target it for various business purposes. This is why the particulars of the Wissners' situation were explored so much. The author believes Wissner is a type, widespread and common enough to merit attention.

    So the article is not really about peak oil (though it helps), it's about people like Wissner.

    Interesting thought; I think I got a feeling like that as well at some points.

    I think a Wall Street business elite reading the article might think: gosh, new car sales are going to slump, used car sales on the rise, people hoarding fuel, focusing on saving rather than spending on credit... this could become a significant shift in how people spend...

    Thanks for the reflection on the purpose of the story; you may be right on the money.

    One other thing to note is that the article appeared in the "offbeat article" slot on the front page of the WSJ. Longtime WSJ readers have come to learn that the article in the center of the front page, partway down, is a story on an interesting but unusual topic. I don't know what that means in this case, but it is often a way to get a story that wouldn't ordinarily make the front page, on the front page.

    At any rate, Neil King is one of the WSJ's main oil reporters and it is gratifying that he spent 16 hours with Aaron discussing peak oil. This can't help but to inform his ongoing reporting on oil. Today, for example, he wrote an article called As U.S. Thirsts for Oil, OPEC Might Tighten the Spigot.

    When is the New York Times going to start writing stories like this?

    "offbeat article" slot

    That makes the lead in make a lot more sense.

    Thanks for that observation.

    Saudi Net Oil Exports (EIA, Total Liquids) for 2004 through 2006 are shown:

    2004: 8.6 mbpd
    2005: 9.1
    2006: 8.7

    My estimate for 2007 is as follows:

    2007: 7.9 mbpd

    I am aware of a report that suggests that 500,000 bpd of Saudi liquids production in 2007 and 2008 (250,000 bpd per year) would be shifted to domestic consumption, because of a shortfall in NG production.

    In any case, if we factor this in for 2008, if the Saudis wanted to match their 2005 net export level, they would probably have to boost their 2008 Total Liquids production level up to about 11.7 mbpd, versus 11.1 mbpd in 2005 (I'm estimating 2007 average annual Total Liquids production at about 10.1 mbpd).

    What is your projection for 2008, westexas?

    From our (Khebab/Brown) top five paper:

    Saudi Arabia’s initial 10 year projected production decline rate is -2.7%/year ±2% per year.

    The projected rate of increase in consumption is +4.4%/year ±2% per year.

    Their initial 10 year projected net export decline rate is -4.7%/year ±4%.

    Our middle case shows Saudi Arabia approaching zero net exports in 2031, within a range from 2024 to 2037.

    Note the article about Cantarell uptop. As I have said before, IMO the key difference between Saudi Aramco and Pemex is that the latter has admitted to the decline of its largest oil field.

    BTW, the initial decline in net exports for the ELM (Export Land Model) was 125,000 bpd per year, from one mbpd peak net exports. The initial decline can be used to estimate the remaining years of net exports, since the decline tends to approximate a linear (fixed volume) decline. The initial decline for the ELM suggests 8 years of net exports. The model actually shows 9 years.

    This metric suggests 23 years (from 2005) of net exports for Saudi Arabia (9.1 divided by 0.4), hitting zero in 2028, versus 2031 for our middle case model.

    This metric suggests 11 years (from 2004) of net exports for Mexico (1.9 divided 0.17) hitting zero in 2015.

    Our middle case shows Saudi Arabia approaching zero net exports in 2031, within a range from 2024 to 2037.

    That seems wildly optimisitic considering that Ghawar will water out eventually causing a drastic reduction in Oil production.

    This metric suggests 11 years (from 2004) of net exports for Mexico (1.9 divided 0.17) hitting zero in 2015.

    This also seems very optimistic.

    In both cases, I doubt the decline rate will remain stable.

    The Saudi West Coast Rabigh (Saudi Aramco/Sumitomo joint)project should be fully commissioned soon. That will take a further substantial chunk of production from domestic consumption to produce ethylene, propylene and propylene oxide for export (largely to Japan) and for domestic consumption.

    I was at an international pump manufacturers site yesterday, and was shown one of six brine
    injection pumps for Saudi Aramco, each driven by 18MW electric motors, with a 300barg casing rating. ie. the head generated must be almost 3000m, and the flowrates anything up to 1500m3/hr or if you prefer 225,000bpd per pump, 6 pump total equivalent 1.35mbpd. Quite what fraction of that injected brine flowrate emerges back as oil I don't know, it would seem to be a serious capacity addition... or maybe, its just to make up for rising water fractions, to arrest declining oil flow. ...

    The pumps are most likely for the Khurais project.

    JB, Yes Aramco's Khurais project looks likely;

    The Khurais oilfield development is the largest of several Saudi Aramco projects intended to boost the production capacity of Saudi Arabia's oilfields from 11.3 million bpd to 12.5 million bpd by 2009.
    The Khurais project as a whole covers three oil fields: Khurais, Abu Jifan and Mazalij. The Khurais field, with an area of 2,890km² and 127km long, located about 250km southwest of Dhahran and 300km north southeast of Riyadh, is the biggest in the project. Abu Jifan covers 520km² southwest of Khurais and Mazalij covers 1,630km² southeast of Abu Jifan.In 2009, the project is expected to add 1.2 million bpd of high-quality Arabian light crude to Saudi Arabia's export capacity. The Khurais program will also increase the capacity of the Qurayyah seawater injection system by 4.5 million bpd of treated water for injection at Khurais and South Ghawar fields. The total project cost is estimated to be about $3bn.

    if you were to assume steady state, the oil volume would be (1.35/Bo)*oil fraction in the production stream. on the order of 1 million bpd * whatever the oil cut is.


    On January 16 Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and Parliament Chairman Arseny Yatsenyuk made public a joint letter to NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, declaring Ukraine's readiness to advance to a Membership Action Plan (MAP) with NATO and requesting a decision to that end by the Alliance at its Bucharest summit in early April.

    The three top leaders actually signed the letter to de Hoop Scheffer on January 11 (sending it presumably that day), but made it public on the 16th at the end of U.S. Senator Richard Lugar's visit to Ukraine. On January 10 the Tymoshenko-led cabinet of ministers announced its own action plan on foreign policy, including an unambiguously stipulated goal of full membership in NATO.


    The key paragraph is at the bottom: there will be a full blown brainwashing campaign to change the current 20% support for NATO subservience to something higher. But that is not a problem, the current western sponsored regime can do just as in Georgia and make up some numbers. Shakashvili had 22% in the exit polls but "got" 52% of the ballot count. That's some trick there.

    Calif. farmers want to sell water

    With water becoming increasingly precious in California, a rising number of farmers figure they can make more money by selling their water than by actually growing something.

    Because farmers get their water at subsidized rates, some of them see financial opportunity this year in selling their allotments to Los Angeles and other desperately thirsty cities across Southern California, as well as to other farms.

    If they do it, we're about to see some very expensive strawberries and broccoli.

    This is so wrong. In fact, in my opinion, it is criminally wrong. They get their water at subsidized rates to farm with, not to sell to the highest bidder. Luckily for them, my opinion doesn't count for anything.

    This is precisely what aluminum companies did on the Columbia River. They have very low-cost allocations of hydroelectic power, based on their supposed intent to produce aluminum.

    They have elected to close the aluminum plants (throwing many workers out of jobs) and selling the power at much higher rates to the "deregulated energy market."

    The workers and the State pick up the cost of the unemployment, the plants sit idle, taking up valuable space, but paying no taxes, and the shareholders (and especially the upper management) laugh all the way to the bank about the sucker taxpayers.

    Capitalism is a very efficient mechanism for destroying the commons. It would be hard to argue that over the long haul it will prove to be a very productive innovation in human development.

    Capitalism is a very efficient mechanism for destroying the commons. It would be hard to argue that over the long haul it will prove to be a very productive innovation in human development.

    prosperity doesn't magically produce itself.

    Oil Did.

    John, you're continually pumping out this market evangelism. We are the inheritors of a stolen continent, built upon slave labor and untapped natural resources. To this day, Imperial manipulation of less-developed nations is the continuation of this theft.

    Yes. Theft is hard work. But what is being stolen is a variety of natural sources that, for what power we had in the process may as well have 'Magically Produced Themselves'.. We have now gotten very fond of the taste of meat from 'Geese that once laid Golden Eggs'

    Dream on!

    John, if you havent read 'The Prince' by Niccolo Machiavelli, I suggest you do so. You could also benefit by reading the essays of Lord Acton...a google search will turn up lots of hits for both of these men. Your local library should be well stocked with their writings so reading them will cost you nothing but some of your time.

    While you are about it you might as well read Howard Zinns American History to find out how we got to where we are now.

    I think you need to examine the first sentence of what you wrote... The aluminum companies have very low-cost allocations of hydroelectric power....

    Listen class, the following are two definitions from the Merriam-Webster dictionary;

    Socialism - any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.

    Capitalism - an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.

    Now to determine the culprit of this destruction of wealth, consider how the aluminum companies were able to purchase below market cost electricity. In a free market, they would pay a competitive price, however we can determine that they pay less through government intervention, which is an example of socialism not capitalism. A truly capitalistic market would see the aluminum producers continue to produce aluminum or have them shutdown. They would not make a profit out of what is nothing more than nationalized fraud.

    You are completely incorrect in blaming capitalism, for at the very root of the problem is socialist intervention, not market capitalism.

    In a purely capitalistic market, the aluminum producers would not be able to make a profit on selling their power because they would be paying the market price. Another example of capitalism being blamed for the ills of socialism is in US energy markets. US energy companies are given subsidies/tax benefits etc. which has the effect of making fossil fuels and agrifuels cheaper than they would be if the market allocated their fair price. In a purely capitalist market, energy forms such as wind and solar would be more economically priced, reducing demand for fossil fuels.

    In my experience, blaming capitalism for a problem is a sure sign that socialism is responsible. Pure capitalism can accurately be described as an economic law of nature. There is no room for it to be evil, it just is, just as gravity is neither good nor evil but merely a reality.

    We need more free market capitalism if humanity is to survive, not more socialistic policies which are labeled capitalism.

    I think you're dead wrong. Capitalism is a great way to quickly exploit abundant resources. It's not so great when resources are constrained.

    This is going to be the real paradigm shift, IMO. As shattering to many as discovering the sun doesn't revolve around the earth.

    I think market economics work fine when resources are constrained. And, truth be told, they are always constrained.

    Markets are all about scarcity. Far from unbridled, the current US economy works under enormous regulatory constraints.

    Don't forget: it takes energy to suppress markets. And suppressing them introduces all kinds of inefficiencies that lead to waste. Economies that suppress markets too much really suck at adaptation. And we have a lot of adaptation ahead of us.

    The paradigm for the future is probably the continental European way: Germany, say. A heavily regulated market economy.

    I think market economics work fine when resources are constrained.

    As I've said before, free markets are not the same thing as capitalism.

    There will always be trade. Whether there will always be capitalism is another story.

    I think market economics work fine when resources are constrained.

    Caution:Self-referential statement.
    This is only true if whatever outcome the market produces is defined as "fine".
    Even if that outcome is the extinction of passenger pigeons, North Sea cod, tigers, rhinos (good market for those aphrodisiac horns), destruction of all old-growth forests, destabilization of earth's climate, destruction of the ozone layer.... the list is endless.
    But somehow, to the true believer, all those problems were caused by socialism.
    Why do I waste the bits....

    Stealing from the famous physicist, this isn't even wrong, Chenry.

    What an arrogant way to start a post: "Listen class".

    Listen ass, we're not talking good and evil any more, we're talking about what can possibly get us through what's coming with the least possible suffering.

    "You are completely incorrect in blaming capitalism, for at the very root of the problem is socialist intervention, not market capitalism."

    You are completely out your mind - unbridled capitalism is what got us here. Yes, if everyone is just greedy enough, it will all work out in the end.

    Excuse me for feeding a ridiculous troll, but WTF?

    Yes, if everyone is just greedy enough, it will all work out in the end.

    now you are getting it. the greedy person designs the windmills, the greedy large corporations design the solar panels to put on the roof(installed by the greedy installers) and the greedy consumer wants to save money on gasoline and buys the PHEV that the greedy corporation designed.

    You really are a lost soul.

    Making a profit by doing/providing something that other folks find useful is not unbridled greed, which is what we're talking about here.

    It's all or nothing with you people.

    Not lost. Ignorant of basic things. Like now Nitrogen is not Phosphorous. You'd think the spelling difference would be a tip off.

    No John,
    There are Greedy Corporations, and they create captive markets, they manipulate advertising and national arguments to keep people buying things that they don't need, things that they become addicted to, things that play to their fears, things that are manufactured in hostile work environments and even under slavery so that they can keep their prices lower and force (economically and through lies of omission) the poor to keep buying their products and eating their cr@p.

    Not all business is bad. Not all Cars are bad. Not all Corps are bad.. but an ideology that blinds itself to the difference between good and bad practices is actually bad. It hurts people. It lies to people. It keeps thieves and murderers in power.


    That must be why Sweden, that bastion of socialism, is second in the EU for patent production, with Germany being first. The EU outpaces that leader in ideas, the USA, hugely. It seems that new ideas and socialism thrive together! Now as far as making a buck off your fellow human, we can con with the very best! Just look at the virtual money about to disappear.
    Here are the stats if you are interested:

    "You are completely incorrect in blaming capitalism, for at the very root of the problem is socialist intervention, not market capitalism."

    You are both wrong. Neither capitalism or socialism got us here and neither is the answer as to what will be our salvation.

    - The destruction of the natural world is not the result of global capitalism, industrialization, 'Western civilization' or any flaw in human institutions. It is a consequence of the evolutionary success of an exceptionally rapacious primate. Throughout all of history and prehistory, human advance has coincided with ecological devastation.
    John Gray, "Straw Dogs"

    The root of the problem gentlemen is human nature. We are competing with every other animal on earth for territory and resources. And we are winning....BIG TIME! We are the most successful animal ever to evolve. But that will not prevent our population from collapsing when our resources run out.

    Ron Patterson

    "The root of the problem gentlemen is human nature."

    Bingo! And the question is, how do we process this into a cogent response to the shitstorm that is coming down? Or, perhaps the question is "is it possible to process this into a cogent response etc.

    Stay tuned! I think we're a'gonna find out!

    This ignores the fact that various human groups have vastly different levels of environmental impact. Clearly anyone alive has some impact, but per-capita, the mixed economies of Europe have substantially lower impacts, measured in carbon emissions, land use, or plenty of other metrics, than the "free market" corporate-ruled economy in the US.

    As individuals and communities we have many choices about our impacts, and blanket statements like the one above, absolve people and countries of any responsibility for consquences of their actions, because the problem is defined as human nature and no one can change that. Nihilism has never been a successful philosophy for individuals or for societies.

    Agreed. There are societies that have been sustainable for thousands of years.

    I seriously doubt that we have what it takes to create such a society ourselves, but it's certainly possible, and worth trying for.

    I think that the world needs to wake up to the fact that America is not the free-market economy that it pretends to be. "Free market" and corporate-ruled are not the same thing, in fact they are very much the opposite.

    Corporations rule America because they are partnered with American government; this is hardly "free market". Based on America's desire to rule the world through military intervention, I would categorize America as an elite-ruled facist economy.

    I agree. Humans have evolved short term survival traits that have been very successful. We are the most numerous large animal on Earth. Critical thinking and long term strategies have been a liability to survival. Unfortunately these skills that have helped our evolution are now obsolete, and not only that, a liability.
    Stay tuned, as was mentioned, the games are about to begin!

    "... if everyone is just greedy enough, it will all work out in the end."

    Greed - excessive desire to acquire or possess more (especially more material wealth) than one needs or deserves.

    Based on free-market capitalism, which is capitalism in its pure form, there is no room for greed. Greed requires getting something for nothing, receiving more than one's fair share.

    I would love for you to explain to me (I'll be the class/ass) how greed is possible under free-market capitalism, because it seems to me that without unfair advantage bestowed upon certain parties either through government intervention in markets, or their inability to protect property rights of individuals from fraud and illegal activity, I really don't see how greed is even a factor.

    If you want to know greed, take a look at the most historically greedy monster of all; government. Big government always takes something for nothing, and causes all sorts of problems (see subprime mortgage crisis) while blaming capitalism.

    Over-consumption and the mess that we are in right now is rooted in government intervention.

    Before calling me arrogant or a troll, consider giving some concrete examples of how I'm wrong. Maybe you can start by explaining to me how great communism has been in serving the interests of humanity.

    Has Freerepublic been sending people here?

    They seem a little more rational than that ... maybe they're Redstaters?

    Haha... supporting free markets doesn't mean supporting attacks of innocent people in foreign countries. Good try though.

    We need more free market capitalism if humanity is to survive, not more socialistic policies which are labeled capitalism.

    Do you mean like real organized crime? Maybe if we privatize the police forces and regulators things will get even better? How did I miss that! Oh wait.

    What kind of a game are we playing, a friend asked? Evolution I replied. Evolution at warp speed and zero degrees of separation. Maybe, maybe, maybe Dawkins is right and the next step of evolution is the meme and we can teach ourselves to cooperate. There is no room for profit where profit is at the expense of all [humans, butterflies, trees and rocks]. I don't even think that qualifies as profit where the net sum is negative. Not only the rules, but the whole game needs to change.

    Instability might be a good thing: we must pump it up to create more positive opportunities. Risky yes, but sticking with business-as-usual, while not at all risky, is dead certain to kill everything on this planet.

    cfm in Gray, ME

    RE: "Iraq ratifies Kyoto Protocol on climate change"

    Let me get this straight; the puppet gov't of Iraq has ratified a treaty that its puppet master refuses to sign?

    So, I guess that will necessitate the eventual end of domestic gasoline subsidies to curb consumption/ emissions and -- ironically -- allow for more exports to I guess where?

    Boy, those Cheney folks are shrewd.

    Dead Iraqis and Iraqi refugees don't use much in the way of fossil fuels. I would guess 'doing' Kyoto would be easy for them. I can also see why Darth Cheney wants to invade Iran-in "No Matter What Iran Remains A Major Oil Field," there is this quote: "Iran produces 440 million cu m of gas per day, with domestic consumption accounting for about 380 million cu m, an increase of 12 percent from 2006 levels." I guess Darth, who must know all about the ELM, wants to wreck their economy rather than allow any change to The American Way of Life.

    ELM explained for folks new to this: http://graphoilogy.blogspot.com/2007/07/net-oil-exports-and-iron-triangl...

    Plan aims at making Hawaii nearly energy-independent

    Federal and state energy officials are planning a major investment in new technologies in an attempt to make Hawaii the nation’s first state to get the vast majority of its energy from renewable sources.

    U.S. Department of Energy officials are expected to announce the unprecedented plan Monday, just before the opening of a U.S.-sponsored international summit on climate change in Hawaii.

    The first thing that came to my mind is "is geothermal religiously prohibited?". This question arises because of the "don't mess with Pele" part of the native religion. Clearly the geothermal resource -at least on the big island, must be quite large. I would think a nuclear plant would make sense as well, for baseline power, but this might be considered politically incorrect. Thirty tears ago Hawaii placed great hopes on ocean temperature thermal gradient energy, but I hear little about OTEC today. I suspect there might also be significant scope for lots of small hydro, as the islands have significant topography and good rainfall. I wish them well. High oil price should be a significant incentive.

    Yes, Hawai`i has a long history of disappointing renewable energy projects. The geothermal plant was far more expensive, difficult, and polluting than anticipated. OTEC has been shut down. A storm destroyed the Ka`u windfarm, and it hasn't been repaired. Solar water heaters were popular for awhile, but when the subsidies went away, so did the solar water heaters.

    Hawai`i has more reason to go green than most. They depend on tourism, and an oil spill would be catastrophic. They burn oil for electricity - one of the few places left in the US that does. They're politically liberal, at least on environmental issues. Yet "green" energy still doesn't work.

    It's real easy to be supergreen in Hawaii, just live like the old Hawaiians did. It's probably the most comfortable way to live there anyway.

    If you are lucky enough to have a slice of land including some flat arable soil and a beach. If you're living in a high rise condo, it's probably harder to be green.

    With apologies, Leanan, I have bookmarked your rusty windfarm.

    I think it's such a beautiful icon for catabolic collapse.

    because of the inherent low efficiency of the OTEC, the amount of raw material and upfront capex required to make it remotely close to be economical is staggering. it's likely to remain forever as a Frenchman's dream.

    there is, however, a profitable OTEC plant in operation in Hawaii. only instead of producing electricity, it is producing bottled "ice age" water for those who are willing to pay a premium for it.

    nh3, could you click on my user name and email me offlist?

    done so a while ago.

    Should be interesting, but I expect mostly boondoggles and high-visibility pilot projects which look good but make no thermodynamic sense, like the current local military investment in hydrogen busses which get their hydrogen from a plant run by diesel generators. Making more use of geothermal would be good though... and it's the truth, if anyplace should be able to be energy self-sufficient with 'renewables', it's Hawaii.

    Please consider communicating to others that Sub-prime has a root cause of Peak Oil. I understand that many here hate the idea Morgantown, substitute your own example of technologies that can mitigate Peak Oil.

    Peak Oil is the root cause of the Sub-Prime Crisis.

    With Peak Oil, we are frogs in a pan of cool water set on a fire. Peak Oil is the slow escalation of costs and interest rates until people cannot afford their commute and house payment. Soon un-affordability will extend to food as we burn it moving a ton to move a person.

    Rate cuts, bail-outs and tax stimuli toss ice in the water and currency stability on the fire.

    We can cool the fire and get out of the pot by changing the lifeblood of our economy from oil to ingenuity.

    De-monopolizing communications infrastructure in 1984 allowed innovators to convert costs to profits and increase service, radically improving infrastructure.

    If we de-monopolizing power generation and transportation, innovators will exploit niche opportunities, recovering costs as profit. Currently 20% of transportation energy is effective, 80% drives Global Warming. Currently 31% of utility energy is useful, 69% drives Global Warming ("Lost energy" on graph is not "lost", it drives climate change). German Feed-in Tariffs provide a start for power generation. US DOT PB-244854, Morgantown's PRT and opening rights of way for automated guideways are a start for transportation.

    Increasing efficiencies will mitigate Peak Oil consequences. Oil prices will stabilize as efficiencies reduce demand; inflation will be suppressed. Decreasing oil imports will help the trade deficit and strengthen the dollar. Jobs created by re-tooling to sustainable infrastructure and lower costs will enable people to afford both their house payment and getting to work.

    With Peak Oil, we are frogs in a pan of cool water set on a fire.


    OK, so frogs are smarter than we are.

    Yeast is about as smart, though. I'm gonna swim over here to where there's still some sugar ...

    Peak oil doesn't have much to do with the mortgage crisis although I'm sure many on TOD would like it to be the cause. Most people could not afford these homes in the first place as the costs were 50% or more than their income. nobody cared about high gas prices when their house was appreciating far faster than their gas bill. this is not the first housing crisis.

    If people were able to make their house payments the greed and deception in the financial instruments would be masked.

    The Center for Housing Policy paper The Combined Housing and Transportation Burdens on Working Families outlines the crisis that people are in.

    People do not want to lose their house. I do not believe most are cavalier about the consequences.

    Yes, even with all the talk recently about people "walking away" it's a big thing, most do not want to give up like that if they can possibly avoid it. Myself, I should have looked at leaving what I was doing and getting a job in an auto-parts store or something in the early 2000s but I didn't, I hung on and on and on and finally got the smackdown in 2007.

    If people were able to make their house payments the greed and deception in the financial instruments would be masked.

    Not true. The derivatives firestorm was coming regardless of sub-prime mortgages. The trades were not closing, the insurance non-existent, the security ratings (AAA) were baloney...

    Nose around "The Automatic Earth". It's where Stoneleigh and Ilargi (the belated emeritae) are publishing. Good stuff there.

    It is a good site-that article linked that summarized US fed guv spending was shocking- 85% of all US federal guv spending is going to war, disease and debt. Talk about a crumbling "empire".

    Why the Debt Crisis Is Now the Greatest Threat to the American Republic

    By Chalmers Johnson


    The world's top 10 military spenders and the approximate amounts each country currently budgets for its military establishment are:

    1. United States (FY08 budget), $623 billion
    2. China (2004), $65 billion
    3. Russia, $50 billion
    4. France (2005), $45 billion
    5. Japan (2007), $41.75 billion
    6. Germany (2003), $35.1 billion
    7. Italy (2003), $28.2 billion
    8. South Korea (2003), $21.1 billion
    9. India (2005 est.), $19 billion
    10. Saudi Arabia (2005 est.), $18 billion

    World total military expenditures (2004 est.), $1,100 billion
    World total (minus the United States), $500 billion



    Talk about being up a creek without a paddle! Mercy. John

    Well, it was either that or build some useless pyramids or stone head idols, and somebody else has already done all of those.

    although I'm sure many on TOD would like it to be the cause

    It seems like every time you make a post you make a nasty, petty comment about the people here at TOD. Why is that? Do you have some kind of problem?

    I have a problem with people who see every problem as a symptom of peak oil.

    Then why come here?

    It's like going to FreeRepublic and complaining about how you hate conservatives. Or going to DailyKos and complaining about how you hate liberals.

    If you go to FreeRepublic and complain about conservatives you get banned immediately.

    But you can refer to DailyKos as an ineffectual liberal cuddlefest and collect recommendations :-)


    not everyone here blames everything on peak oil. I come here because there is a lot of useful information.

    You could always read, but not post.

    or post good information.

    Seems like a reasonable motive.

    Suggestion John 15; if that is the case, then do as I do and just read and look at the links provided.


    I guess he was mislead by the strap "Discussion about Energy and our Future". It is not obvious that this site is supposed to be a site only for doomers.

    Not eEvery problem is a symptom of PO, but a lot of very significant ones are, and profoundly so. Furthermore, the consequences of PO, and of our inability to anticipate and mitigate in a timely manner, are going to impact our ability to deal with all other problems. So in that sense, there are no problems that are totally isolated from PO.

    How PEAK OIL caused the Housing price explosions around the world:

    1. Normal price for oil: $25
    2. Average price of oil in 2004: $40
    3. World oil exports in 2004: about 37 million b/day
    4. Money earned by exporters over and above "normal" price during 2004: ($15 x 37M x 365) about $200 billion
    5. What happened to a decent part of this? Recycled back to oil importers, used to fund the wild explosion in too easy credit.
    6. Conclusion: The rising price of oil in 2004 (also 2005), due to the early effects of peak oil, led to a large increase in Petrodollar recycling, providing a source for easy credit, fueling the house boom.

    Numbers used: wild guesses.
    Probability this is correct? Possible.

    How PEAK OIL caused the Housing price explosions around the world

    The only arguement that PO had with the housing bubble is that ME exports re-invested Petro-dollars back into the west increasing the availablity of cheap credit.

    The price of oil began to rise in 2000 yet no one argues that PO caused the Dot com bust. The housing bubble was started because of easy and abundant credit and speculation. It started to decline in 2005 when the Fed started raising rates and mortgages defaults started to rise as the first wave of newly minted home owners couldn't get any more money out of there homes (ie the Home ATM machine).

    When People with no job, no income, and no assets are allowed to purchase property with a 125% mortgage (they get cash back when the purchase) it should be extremely obvious that there was a huge problem. If we had the same credit conditions 20 years ago and even if the prices of oil was $10 per bbl, the results of the housing bubble would have been the same.

    Sure higher energy prices have had an effect on the housing market, but it takes a back seat to the credit crunch. Over the long term PO is a much more significant problem. If we had plenty of Oil reserves, civilization would eventually recover from the housing bubble recession/depression. With PO, a recovery is very unlikely to every occur.

    Without the escalating price of oil and its consequences on inflation, the Fed would not have had to increase interest rates.

    Oil is the lifeblood of our economy. You are not out of blood when you bleed to death.

    I love using that graph in my "Energy and the Environment" class. Does anyone know of a more recent version?

    I have left a couple of messages for the guy that might be responsible for this at Livermore. I would like an updated graph to also add fossil input to bio-fuels. If he contacts me I will post the link to it.

    EIA publishes a very similar graphic. It isn't exactly the same, but it does use more recent data from 2006:


    It is in the State and U.S. Historical Data Overview section at http://www.eia.doe.gov.

    Thanks for finding that EIA graph. It illustrates that efficiency, a great opportunity from entrepreneur's perspective, is counted a necessary cost of doing business.

    From the monolithic way we manage energy, efficiency probably cannot be addressed. Power plants must be located out side cities, so transmission losses are required. Germany's Feed-in Tariffs broke that assumption. Vast solar arrays can be built where the power is used, cities and farms.

    Current utility power 31% is useful, 69% ingenuity can convert to profit.
    Current transport power, 20% is useful, 80% ingenuity can convert to profit.

    But the people, monopoly regulators, are not wired like entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are too weak and have no capacity to navigate regulatory monopolies.

    We cannot solve our current Peak Oil problem. It can be preempted. We have work hard at being efficient within accepted assumptions. To survive we need to change the assumption.

    The EIA graph indicates that there is no culture for challenging assumptions.

    The Economic State Of The Union -- 2008

    Good article! Sample:

    More than all of the new jobs added by the private sector since 2001 are in private education and health care bureaucracies (3.34 million new jobs) and in bars and restaurants (1.53 million new jobs.) Uniquely, all net new jobs added fall in the non-supervisory/ production category -- half a million supervisory jobs were lost. Manufacturing lost 3.28 million jobs (19.1 percent) and now provides fewer jobs than in July 1942 -- seven months after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    (Emphasis added)

    I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but the current issue of Technology Review has an a cover article on biofuel: The Price of Biofuels


    Readers must register (it's free) to see an online version of the article. An interesting feature at Technology Review is that all their articles are now available as mp3s for downloading. The reading voice is a synthetic one, but the quality overall was pretty good. They use something called AudioDizer, a text-to-speech system developed by MIT students. While listening to it, I thought it would be nice to have The Oil Drum featured papers available in a similar audio format.


    RE: Writing More Checks Will Accomplish Nothing...Mr. Dean Krenz is right about the checks, but for all the wrong reasons. In his op/ed article, linked by Leanan, he opines...

    'After the war (World War II) the 1930s Depression began to lose its bite and living eventually got easier. Roosevelt's programs helped a bit, even in my hometown.

    The real revival of the economy came not from government giveaways, though, but from the economic boost of returning servicemen who demanded and won benefits such as free college educations, jobs, housing, cars and loans that in subsequent years made our energy economy the envy of the world.'...Mr. Krenz does not seem to understand one whit about PO, GW, the world economy, history or any other topic. He does know that its now cold in Iowa. How he became editor of even a podunk newspaper is a mystery to me.

    The truth of the matter is that the US Government was terrified that the US would fall back into depression after WW2 so they decided to continue the expansion of the military and increase production of military hardware for several reasons. This is all spelled out very clearly by Chalmers Johnson in his recently completed 'Blowback Trilogy', the final volumn, 'Nemesis, The Last Days of the American Republic', has recently been released in paper back...By 1990, the value of the weapons, equipment, and factories devoted to the Department of Defense was 83% of the value of all plants and equipment in American manufacturing.


    ...snip...'hunker in for Johnson's latest magisterial account of how the mightiest guns the Pentagon can muster threaten to sink our own country. (For those interested, click here to view a clip from a new film, "Chalmers Johnson on American Hegemony," in Cinema Libre Studios' Speaking Freely series in which he discusses military Keynesianism and imperial bankruptcy.)'...snip...

    'Going Bankrupt
    Why the Debt Crisis Is Now the Greatest Threat to the American Republic
    By Chalmers Johnson'

    ...snip...'There are three broad aspects to our debt crisis. First, in the current fiscal year (2008) we are spending insane amounts of money on "defense" projects that bear no relationship to the national security of the United States. Simultaneously, we are keeping the income tax burdens on the richest segments of the American population at strikingly low levels.

    Second, we continue to believe that we can compensate for the accelerating erosion of our manufacturing base and our loss of jobs to foreign countries through massive military expenditures -- so-called "military Keynesianism," which I discuss in detail in my book Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic. By military Keynesianism, I mean the mistaken belief that public policies focused on frequent wars, huge expenditures on weapons and munitions, and large standing armies can indefinitely sustain a wealthy capitalist economy. The opposite is actually true.

    Third, in our devotion to militarism (despite our limited resources), we are failing to invest in our social infrastructure and other requirements for the long-term health of our country. These are what economists call "opportunity costs," things not done because we spent our money on something else. Our public education system has deteriorated alarmingly. We have failed to provide health care to all our citizens and neglected our responsibilities as the world's number one polluter. Most important, we have lost our competitiveness as a manufacturer for civilian needs -- an infinitely more efficient use of scarce resources than arms manufacturing. Let me discuss each of these'...snip...

    'This ideology goes back to the first years of the Cold War. During the late 1940s, the U.S. was haunted by economic anxieties. The Great Depression of the 1930s had been overcome only by the war production boom of World War II. With peace and demobilization, there was a pervasive fear that the Depression would return. During 1949, alarmed by the Soviet Union's detonation of an atomic bomb, the looming communist victory in the Chinese civil war, a domestic recession, and the lowering of the Iron Curtain around the USSR's European satellites, the U.S. sought to draft basic strategy for the emerging cold war. The result was the militaristic National Security Council Report 68 (NSC-68) drafted under the supervision of Paul Nitze, then head of the Policy Planning Staff in the State Department. Dated April 14, 1950, and signed by President Harry S. Truman on September 30, 1950, it laid out the basic public economic policies that the United States pursues to the present day.

    In its conclusions, NSC-68 asserted: "One of the most significant lessons of our World War II experience was that the American economy, when it operates at a level approaching full efficiency, can provide enormous resources for purposes other than civilian consumption while simultaneously providing a high standard of living."

    With this understanding, American strategists began to build up a massive munitions industry, both to counter the military might of the Soviet Union (which they consistently overstated) and also to maintain full employment as well as ward off a possible return of the Depression. The result was that, under Pentagon leadership, entire new industries were created to manufacture large aircraft, nuclear-powered submarines, nuclear warheads, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and surveillance and communications satellites. This led to what President Eisenhower warned against in his farewell address of February 6, 1961: "The conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience" -- that is, the military-industrial complex'...snip...

    'Hollowing Out the American Economy

    It was believed that the U.S. could afford both a massive military establishment and a high standard of living, and that it needed both to maintain full employment. But it did not work out that way. By the 1960s, it was becoming apparent that turning over the nation's largest manufacturing enterprises to the Department of Defense and producing goods without any investment or consumption value was starting to crowd out civilian economic activities. The historian Thomas E. Woods, Jr., observes that, during the 1950s and 1960s, between one-third and two-thirds of all American research talent was siphoned off into the military sector. It is, of course, impossible to know what innovations never appeared as a result of this diversion of resources and brainpower into the service of the military, but it was during the 1960s that we first began to notice Japan was outpacing us in the design and quality of a range of consumer goods, including household electronics and automobiles'...snip...

    'Our short tenure as the world's "lone superpower" has come to an end. As Harvard economics professor Benjamin Friedman has written:

    "Again and again it has always been the world's leading lending country that has been the premier country in terms of political influence, diplomatic influence, and cultural influence. It's no accident that we took over the role from the British at the same time that we took over… the job of being the world's leading lending country. Today we are no longer the world's leading lending country. In fact we are now the world's biggest debtor country, and we are continuing to wield influence on the basis of military prowess alone."

    "...by 1990, the value of all weapons, equipment and factories devoted to the Department of Defense was 83% of the value of all plants and equipment in American manufacturing."

    River: As US industry continues to leave for China and India, what do you think that percentage is today?

    Bigelow, I dont know the answer to your question. I know that US defense budgets have continued their upward trend.

    I can ask you a question: Is our DOD foolish enough to allow India and China to become single source contractors for military hardware parts? In other words...Would the DOD allow a foreign country to become the only manufacturer of critical parts for...say, an F-18 fire control system? Landing gear struts? Hydraulic pumps?

    If you answer to the above question is 'no' then I suggest that more military parts are being manufactured in the US...So, the percentage might have gone up because there is more military hardware being manufactured.

    Does this make sense?

    Yes, if the tale of Magnequench is anything to go by:

    Magnequench Moves to China

    They don't do much.

    Except manufacture key missile guidance components. China also has a monopoly on the rare-earth metals required to produce the Magnetics.


    90, maybe 93%?

    I actually work in the "defense" industry and we are still a place doing light manufacturing/assembly here in the US.

    We are solidly submerged in the river of government subsidies, and our local paper is constantly citing us as one of the "bright spots" in the local economy.

    Needless to say there is an interesting political atmosphere within company walls.

    I am not kidding when I say I work with plenty of der Fuerher's loyal minions that would gladly elect him for a third term if that were possible.

    good analysis
    well thought out

    a nation with a surplus in wealth can afford to be a lender

    a nation with a shortage of wealth, but one that wants to maintain an artificially higher level of lifestyle, must be a borrower to keep that up --for as as long as it can

    Bit entertainment to middle all this. Who is where in Middle-East and North-Africa:


    piece of cake.

    Missed two - don't know that much about north central Africa, don't know that much about the more obscure 'stans :-( I sent it to my eleven year old ... he'll probably best me :-(

    Same here - I mixed up Mali and Niger. And mixed up a couple of the 'stans.

    Darn -- I couldn't see a white sliver for Bahrain and I even know where that is. I guess that what happens when you use a TV as a computer monitor.

    A $10,000 Bet on Peak Oil quoted above is a good article that summarizes many of the recent issues well. The $10,000 bet-

    Putting some money where their mouths are, Stephen Andrews and Randy Udall, two of the founders of ASPO-USA, offered to bet CERA $10,000 that the world will not be able to get to 112 million barrels a day by 2017.



    Pakistan nuclear sites on alert

    By Barbara Plett, BBC News, Islamabad
    Pakistan insists its nuclear armoury will not be compromised
    Pakistan has raised the state of alert around its nuclear facilities amid concerns they could be targeted by Islamist militants. But a senior Pakistan military official said there had been no specific threat to the sites, and insisted that safeguards in place were fool proof. The official was speaking in a rare press briefing on the issue. It followed Western media reports warning that Pakistan's nuclear weapons could fall into the wrong hands. The Pakistani authorities have been angered by Western media reports speculating that the country?s nuclear arsenal could fall into the hands of al-Qaeda militants. The senior military official briefing foreign journalists said that the weapons were protected by an elaborate command and control system, and multiple levels of security. 'No collusion'

    Nothing specific, just a press release sort of thing? I wonder if this has anything to do with positioning over the whole Siebel Edmonds affair?

    Hello TODers,

    Leanan's toplinks on shrinking coal & other mineral exports out of Southern Africa due to power blackouts and shortages is interesting reading. Especially when combined with the recent Ozzie coalfield flooding shutdowns. I did not realize such massive tonnages of SA coal was Euro-shipped. Perhaps, are we now in for a rapid ramp in cascading blowbacks as Olduvai Gorge gets globally exported?

    I hope the statistical TODers are taking a look at these phenomena--for example, will blackouts occur in the Eurozone? Will China have such problems they cancel the upcoming Summer Olympics? Can North American coalminers ramp up their digging to make up this global shortfall? Do we even have the required infrastructure to further ramp? Do the US topdogs even want to help China and the other countries experiencing coal shortfalls, or is it better strategically to hoard our native coal? If China & Europe can't get coal--does this mean crude will quickly spike? Will SA shortly forbid coal exports to keep the homefires burning?--will NATO invade, claiming that elephants and zebras don't burn coal, but 'Coals to Newcastle' and a 'New Rhodesia' is the detritovore tradition? Inquiring minds want know by some TopTODers postings analysis and graphs--Thxs, if this is possible.

    EDIT: Will SA nuke invading NATO troops?

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

    The Powder River Basin is currently served by the BNSF and the UP railroads. I believe another tier two has thirty miles of road to go and then they're in there, too ... Alan Drake has details on this. Railroad interconnection is a mysterious little world all its own.

    South Africa's coal exports could help prop up demand for gold and other items so it may feel it has little choice but maintain some exports. That is, take a single hit on the domestic front rather than a double. This thinking runs counter to export retention theory.

    The big test could be only a year or two away when China asks the rest of the world (including the US) to 'help out' with more coal. The deal being cheap manufacturing continues so long as the rest of the world looks away from emissions. However China's coal shortage gives impetus to localisation in the West despite higher labour cost. Maybe a manufacturing revival. Expect this to be a wedge issue.

    Hello TODers,

    This is an interesting link about South Africa. Power shortages all over the place, except for the factories making cars! I guess this proves that easy-motoring is the highest expression of detritovore evolution.

    The bright sparks behind our plunge into darkness...

    Vehicle manufacturing, the country’s second-biggest industry, has yet to encounter powercuts.

    Toyota SA, which announced two weeks ago that it aims to increase production at its assembly plant in Durban by 41% to 205 000 units this year, has not been affected by the rolling powercuts.

    Spokesman Andile Dlamini yesterday said the company had not yet been affected by power cuts, as it had an arrangement with Eskom and the Durban municipality not to cut its electricity at the plant. which has recently undergone a R2.4-billion expansion.

    Volkswagen SA, which managed to reduce its electrical demand by about 2MW — the equivalent to saving of energy consumption of 400 houses with all appliances running — is among the car manufacturers that have not been affected.
    Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

    For those interested in some really cool PDF scans of books from centuries past try:

    The Frugal Housewife; Complete Woman Cook. 1803.
    Housekeeping in Old Virginia. 1879.

    Farmers Cyclopedia of Agriculture. 1911.
    Root Development of Field Crops. 1926.
    Handy Farm Devices, And How To Make Them. 1910.

    Tons more on chemistry and DIY.

    Durandal and I have full mirrors of this. As soon as I get to a place where I have a high speed link I'm going to pull the 5.2 gig of data from my server and bring it back home to make DVDs for folks - three or four have requested them already.

    Found the Army manual at Abebooks for 13.50 USD at addall.com, tops for used book searches.

    Project Gutenberg's so loaded down with great titles I can't imagine paying for the stuff like your site - how much do you need? I'd fry about 20 laser printer drums printing all this material out. The Handy Farm Devices is available as a cheap Lyons reprint, too: Handy Farm Devices and How to Make Them.

    Perpetual Motion Machine?

    Eskom is filling dams, so-called pump storage plants, that it will use to temporarily generate about 2,000 megawatts from Jan. 28, when demand rises at the start of the working week. At these plants water is allowed to flow downhill through turbines to generate power and is then pumped back uphill.

    From South African Mines Remain Shut Amid Power Shortage

    Barack Obama is giving one hell of a speech tonight. Then there is this bombshell:

    A President Like My Father
    Published: January 27, 2008

    OVER the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama. . . .

    . . . Senator Obama is running a dignified and honest campaign. He has spoken eloquently about the role of faith in his life, and opened a window into his character in two compelling books. And when it comes to judgment, Barack Obama made the right call on the most important issue of our time by opposing the war in Iraq from the beginning. . . .

    Belated post due to DSL problems. To yesterdays electric bike thread.

    No, Leanan, the rabbittool e-bike is no improvement on a standard DaHon. It's worse. Read the operating instructions posted at the rabbittool website and it's plain this is a prototype. And there are about fifty points where an old bicycle mechanic wants to cry.
    For more serious powerhubs visit www.bionx.ca or www.cyclesmaximus.com

    You will see that just the hub costs more than the whole rabbit bike. For a reason. I hear good things about BionX, the Heinzmann hub from Maximus has a proven track record. And will cost you.

    Maybe you don't need an electric. You are trying to get up hills on a folder.Is it a small wheel folder? Those machines will not climb, they were never designed to.
    Small wheel folders have flexible frames. Feed them more pedalling torque than they want and the frame becomes a spring. There is a negative impedance between that spring and the reciprocating pedal action. Nothing to do at that point but back off.
    Simple experiment: Borrow a standard full-size bike and see if you can ride it up the hill. If so, you can find a few folders with full-size wheels that are very nearly as good, or every bit as good, as a rigid. DaHon has introduced several models in recent years. Montague has always been good and keeps getting better. Get a demo ride.
    After that there is a lot to be done with learning efficient pedalling style. You can't beat gravity, so you learn how not to fight it. Another post.

    Most e-bike promoters think they are too smart to need to know anything about the bicycle side of the machine. Bites 'em every time.

    Borrow a standard full-size bike and see if you can ride it up the hill.

    I don't need to borrow a bike. I have one.

    I live at the top of an extremely steep hill. I can't ride up it. Heck, in winter, I can barely drive up it.

    What I want is a little help on the hills. I don't want a bike so heavy that it's hard to pedal if you run out of juice.

    And it absolutely, positively has to be a folder. I don't have room for anything else.

    If no e-bike fits my needs, I'll just save my money and hope things change. (Which is what I've been doing. As I said, every bike recommended to me so far is available in only in Europe or Asia.)

    Thump, thump, thump.

    Opportunity has knocked - are you going to bulk import the model you want, or work with a U.S. maker (Cannondale is the only one left?) to get them to build it?

    Neither. It's not my forte. There are plenty of people already doing the import thing. And it's just not a priority to me. As I said before, this would be more for entertainment than necessity. I live two miles from work, and the grocery store and CSA farm are even closer. I don't really need a bike.

    http://www.trekbikes.com/ Still has US manufacturing operations.


    I'd go for the Xootr or DaHon over the eZee.

    And I would still consider a fullsize wheel folder w/motor.

    The reason for a conversion kit is to avoid liability. Why some shop in NYC wants to sell completed bikes over the web is beyond me. (Looking at rhe website pictures is instructive and shows how they've thought it through.) I'd get a kit and get help from the local bike shop, with enough hands-on so you know how it works and so that your helpers are really off the hook legally.
    When I was a kid we did it with an automotive starter motor, a motorcycle battery, some pulleys, and a fan belt. Worked every time. Horribly dangerous.

    You don't want too much help. No pedal bicycle is going to hold up long with the motor sizes being hyped. The 250-watt BionX is a maximum.

    Unless I've entirely misunderstood you previous posts your current bike is a folder? If so, no one can pedal that up a severely steep hill.

    No, my current bike is not a folder. But I hardly use it, because I don't have room for it. There's no place outside I can store it. Currently, it's on the balcony. To use it, I have to carry it through the apartment, down my narrow, steep, decidedly non-standard and ADA-unapproved stair case, and out the "airlock" of my tiny foyer. It's an incredible pain, so I rarely bike.

    It would be a lot easier to carry a folder through the airlock and up those stairs. (It's not the weight so much as the size. The staircase is very tight, and the foyer is worse.) And I wouldn't even have to carry it up the stairs, really. There's enough room to store a folder at the foot of the stairs.

    I've considered conversion kits. The second most common recommendation I get, after European and Japanese models, was to buy a Dahon folder and convert it. I might to do that one day, but so far, haven't gotten around to it.

    I've been leery about Bionx, because I read a lot of negative reviews about it. That was awhile back, though; maybe they've fixed things.

    Sounds like a $50 scooter is a better fit. I had a friend who lived on Long Island and unless there was snow on the ground the scooter folded up and rode the LIRR with him. I figure he could pretty much double walking speed with it and that was dealing with intersections and pedestrians.

    No, I don't want a scooter. I want something I can pedal. Both for exercise, and in case there's no electricity/fuel available.

    Get a Bike Friday. I have the tourist model with a very wide range of gearing. Even oldhippies can ride them uphill. It has the comfort and handling of a full size (wheel) bike. It is as good as any bike in my sizeable fleet. As far as I know they are still being manufactured in Oregon. Very quick to fold. Skip the motor. Walk the bit you can't ride. Enjoy the downhill coast.


    If you are reasonably fit and there is adequate paving in your area, roller skates are an efficient and fast way of getting about - and you don't have to risk being on the road with cars.
    They are obviously easy to store.

    I have a skateboard and roller blades. I prefer the skateboard, because when you get to the store or whatever, you can just pick it up and carry it with you. No need to bring a pair of shoes and change into them. Also, you can walk up and down hills more easily. (The hill I live on is so steep there is no way I would skate down it. It would be suicide.)

    Thanks for the Bike Friday suggestion, Toil. I'd never heard of that one.

    Fridays are excellent.

    You could try the sail bike! Tacking through traffic might be difficult however.


    Leanan, e-bike technology and design is advancing quickly. As a 2 year plus reader of the oildrum, I have been interested in Alternative transportation options. We have started an E-bike company Cycle9 here in Carrboro, NC a college town. We just received a test shipment of bikes. They were very impressive. The dutch (your back straight up) design is easy for anybody to use versus the US sports bike bent over the handle bar position.
    Hub motors that are geared give you power to climb hills and of course if you pedal you get more speed. The test bike I used was an Ezee geared hub kit. It took me up hills that I always had to dismount while on a regular bike. We used a lithium battery...very light. Now I am 53, spend way too much time sitting, but the fun I have had riding an E-bike is not to be underestimated, plus you get some exercise as you can assist the power of the bike with your legs. As far as fold-up bikes, we are in process of ordering some test models and I will gladly get back to you about foldup E-bikes. We think they will be sold for around 595$: this includes a geared hub motor(hub motors w/o gearing are of little use on hills). This E-bike technology seems to be reaching a point where its cost and availability coupled with good design for the battery packs and wiring show this is a mature technology ready for it to be adopted as a practical transportation alternative.

    Leanan, e-bike technology and design is advancing quickly.

    Yes, I know. That is a big reason why I've held off buying.

    However, I don't want a lithium battery. I just don't think they're safe. Bad enough to worry about your laptop exploding. I don't want to be sitting on top of one. Especially one that might be subject to more abuse than your average laptop battery.

    Leanan said:
    'However, I don't want a lithium battery. I just don't think they're safe. Bad enough to worry about your laptop exploding. I don't want to be sitting on top of one.'
    don't knock it if you haven't tried it! :-0

    That's a limiting case of circumstances.
    The ultimate easy folder that will go through the doors and get up the stairs is the Brompton. The super folding capability really limits what you can do with add on power. And of course Bromptons don't climb hills well (at all) under pedal power.
    The new Nano power unit for Brompton is getting stellar reviews. It is very very new.
    BionX had teething problems. Selling very strongly now, shops say no more complaints.
    If you do ever do this pay for light weight. Test the thing carrying it up your stairs. A 40 pound awkward folded bike can be much heavier than a 40 pound suitcase and it's a huge reason so many bikes live their lives parked.

    The bionx sounds like a nice system. If I had money to throw around, I'd buy a dahon MU SL and pair it with a bionx. The reason is it would still only weigh around 35 ish pounds so that it wouldn't be hell to pedal when the battery dies.

    Also, the bionx claims you can get ~60 miles on the mode that amplifies your pedal thrust by 35%. That's a good distance and I would likely use all pedal power for flat and downhill stretches. I imagine this would extend that range quite a bit.

    Today's Financial Sense Newshour has an interesting comment by Jim:


    It starts at about the 44 minute point.

    He says he got an e-mail from someone in Saudi Arabia, who claims they are having "big, big troubles." Ghawar is "falling off a cliff."

    Supposedly, two of Deffeyes' former students at Princeton are now vice presidents at Aramco. They told him Saudi Arabia is overstating production by 2-3 million barrels a day. 'Ain Dar is 1/3 under water.

    Dunno how reliable this info is, though. He goes on to say that the CIA sent Matt Simmons to the 100 largest oil fields, and he found 705 were in serious decline.

    Huh? Did he mean the largest 1,000?

    And how would Simmons find out if they were in decline or not?

    As I have said for some time, IMO the key difference between Saudi Aramco and Pemex is that the latter has acknowledged that their largest field is in decline.

    How could they possibly get away with overstating production by 2-3 mbd?

    There has been some speculation that they are 'borrowing' from the oil producing country next door.

    Oil production in Iraq would have had to double since the war to cover Saudi Arabia's alleged 2-3 mb/d loss. Those neocons must must be miracle workers.

    See? It's the damn Speculators!

    Methinks Saudi Arabia are masters at overstating.

    They're probably are overstating production because they are concerned about how their current over-populated country of 120 million will react when they hear Ghawar is in a steep decline. Afterall, sand won't support that many people.

    Saudi's population is 20+ million, not 120m. Even so, you are probably correct, their population will become problematic as declining production begins to bite. Of course high oil prices will help to offset the immediate production declines, so I'd assume they will want prices to stay high, but without throwing the global economy into collapse. They're going to manage their decline as best they can and they can probably only do this by maintaining the outward appearance of normality.

    "705" = 70%. It's a common typo, not always so easy to spot.

    Iraqi plans to boost production to 6-8 million barrels a day over the next 10-12 years.


    We'll file that one under "O" for "Oh Really?"

    Until they're politically stable their production won't go up much. That will happen ... never?