DrumBeat: February 6, 2008

Wager Challenges CERA Oil Supply Prediction

Group bets $100,000 against CERA supply forecast

HOUSTON, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- A group of businessmen and energy experts who believe that global oil production will soon peak, plateau and decline has issued a $100,000 wager to Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA), a prominent oil forecasting think tank. Members of the challenger group also renewed an invitation to hold a public debate on the issue of peak oil with CERA.

The group is betting against CERA's June 2007 forecast that world oil production capacity will reach 112 million barrels per day (mmb/d) by 2017, which extrapolates to 107 mmb/d of actual production, up from about 87 million barrels today. CERA will hold its annual conference in Houston next week.

"CERA is forecasting an addition of 20 million barrels within a decade," said Steve Andrews, co-founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil-USA (ASPO-USA). "That's a vision in search of reality. Anything is possible on paper, but we are betting you can't do that with the drill bit."

Oil resources at stake in Chad conflict

PARIS (AFP) — Underlying the Chad conflict is a struggle to control the country's oil resources, which while not extensive are nonetheless vital to the future of one of Africa's most impoverished nations.

"Oil plays an important role" in the current struggle between forces loyal to Chadian President Idriss Deby and rebels determined to drive him from power, said Philippe Vasset, editor of the specialised newsletter Africa Energy Intelligence.

Venezuela seeks oil investment after 2007 crusade

CARACAS (Reuters) - Less than a year after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez launched a nationalization crusade, the OPEC nation is boosting efforts to bring in private oil investment amid growing energy-sector problems.

Venezuela has announced a string of deals with oil companies and the first oil field bidding round since Chavez took office in 1999, and industry sources report a marked change in tone from last year's wave of takeovers.

Consumers boil over oil profits

Last year, ExxonMobil reaped more money than any U.S. corporation has ever made, while consumers were sliding into a recession, said Judy Dugan, research director for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in Santa Monica. At the same time, oil companies have lobbied against any control of the market that has pushed crude oil to $90 and up, she said.

"Their product is so important to our economy that energy costs alone are driving inflation and raising consumer debt," Dugan said.

Cut Fertilizer Rates 75%

Darrel Carlisle thinks he might have the solution to high fertilizer prices. It’s tractor exhaust.

For the past two years, the Carrol, Manibota, farmer has pumped the exhaust from his planter tractor into the furrow with the seed rather than applying full rates of nitrogen on the crop.

The result: Continued high yields of wheat, barley and canola and much lower fertilizer costs, says Carlisle, who spoke at the Manitoba-North Dakota Zero Tillage Conference in Minot, N.D.

Carlisle says he has cut his fertilizer rates 75% and not seen a decrease in yields or soil nutrient levels.

The tractor exhaust – which consists mainly of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide – is making up the difference.

“We are not mining the soil,” he says.

Oil prices drop below $87 on sharp jump in supply

NEW YORK - Oil futures dropped Wednesday after the government reported unexpectedly large jumps in supplies of crude oil and gasoline and a surprise increase in stocks of heating oil.

Coming amid anxiety about the economy's health, and concerns that demand for oil and gasoline is falling, the inventory report reinforced a growing view that oil and petroleum product supplies are adequate.

Analysis: Pemex renews ExxonMobil deal

Jaime Brito, an analyst with the U.S.-based energy consulting firm PFC Energy, told United Press International that Pemex "is up to its neck in debt."

Mexico is still holding out hope that a new oil field discovered in 2006 will help Pemex bolster its production levels in the coming years.

Extraction from the new field is unlikely for another decade, Luis Ramirez, Pemex chief executive, said at the time. That would give officials plenty of time to ascertain the viability of the new field and determine whether its production levels could live up to expectations.

Pdvsa's debt to equity ratio at 29.72 percent

The numbers also confirm Pvdsa CEO and Minister of Energy and Petroleum Rafael Ramírez's announcement last month that the conglomerate's consolidated debt grew in 2007. He added, however, that assets soared too in the same period, as amidst strategic partnerships at the Orinoco Oil Belt migrated to joint ventures where Pdvsa holds a majority stake.

However, while the debt increased fivefold in only 12 months -a 449 percent growth, from USD 2.91 billion to more than USD 16 billion-, the company's consolidated assets grew only 2 percent, from USD 53.10 billion to USD 53.85 billion.

Gas line operated by Charleston office explodes in Tennessee

A massive fire erupted in Tennessee on a pipeline operated from Charleston that brings natural gas from the Louisiana Gulf Coast to the Kentucky-West Virginia border.

Force majeure declared on Nigeria's Bonny oil-trade

LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell has declared a force majeure on shipments of its Bonny Light crude oil in Nigeria, trade sources said on Wednesday.

Sources said they were not sure why Shell declared the force majeure on the 400,000 barrel per day oilfields.

Nigeria: Restructuring - Yar'Adua Meets Shell CEO, Dutch PM

It emerged yesterday that Anglo Dutch oil and gas giant, Shell, may have secured "critical" concessions from President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua over key Federal Government policies which the firm considers to be unfavourable to its operations in Nigeria.

This development is believed to have informed the decision of Shell to put on hold the planned re-organisation of its Nigerian operations which had threatened the jobs of about 1000 workers - in addition to a drastic reduction in its operations in the Niger Delta.

QE Petro plans $12.8bn UAE refinery

Abu-Dhabi based Quality Energy Petro Holding is planning to build a 500,000 barrels-per-day refinery in the United Arab Emirates and another smaller plant in Russia, the company's chief executive said on Wednesday.

Syncrude Canada oil sands project resumes output

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Canadian Oil Sands Trust, which owns the biggest stake in the Syncrude Canada oil sands venture, said on Tuesday crude oil production from the 350,000 barrel per day Syncrude facility had resumed.

Nigerian oil delta rebels announce return to talks

ABUJA, Feb 6 (Reuters) - A group of influential rebels and activists from Nigeria's oil-producing Niger Delta said on Wednesday they wanted to resume peace talks with the government but a faction behind most attacks stayed out of the process.

Rebel commander Government Ekpemupolo, who led attacks on the oil industry in early 2006 that shut down a fifth of Nigerian output, was among those who said they would resume talks. He had formally withdrawn from the process in December.

BP: Catching Up to ExxonMobil?

The British energy major has fields on tap; it's boosting refining and cutting costs. But it has miles to go to beat the U.S. giant's profits.

BP raises oil price assumptions

Hidden amid grotty fourth-quarter figures from BP on Tuesday was the disclosure that it now believed oil prices would stay stronger for longer. BP will test projects’ net present value on the basis of a Brent crude price of $60 per barrel for at least five years, up from $40. For chief executive Tony Hayward this marks a shift from his predecessor, Lord Browne, who expressed greater confidence that the oil price would revert rapidly to its mean.

Kuwait to start importing LNG by ship from Qatar next year

Kuwait will start importing between 500 million and 750 million cubic feet of LNG daily from Qatar by sea next year, a top oil official said yesterday.

Ros-Lehtinen Calls for Investigation Into Possible Violations of U.S. Law by Venezuela State Oil Company Linked to Iran

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) today requested that the Bush administration launch an investigation into whether a recently reported petrochemical sector agreement between the governments of Venezuela and Iran violates U.S. law.

Don’t be taken in by the oil giants and their billions

The massive investments are needed if Shell is to replace its output of 3.8 million barrels per day and at the same time fill the yawning gap that remains after the reserves scandal of 2004. Shell was coy about this year's reserve numbers, preferring to copy ExxonMobil and maintain radio silence until March. However, its hint that it had discovered one billion barrels of “resources”, to be distinguished from more rigorous “reserves”, is not comforting. In the space of a year, Shell pumps about 1.2 billion barrels, an indication of the huge challenge faced by these companies.

So, Shell and BP must spend, but are they really investing heavily? Or is it just that every barrel is costing a lot more? The evidence suggests the latter. Both companies cite near-double-digit rises in capital costs. Building things costs more, the cost of steel, cement and labour is on a never-ending escalator. Both companies are raising their capital budgets by around 10 per cent, in line with inflation, but industry statistics suggest that Shell and BP's 8-10 per cent inflationary adjustment is somewhat flattering.

Norway Jan oil output just up to 2.19 mln bpd

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway's oil production rose to a preliminary 2.186 million barrels per day on average in January from a revised 2.168 million in December, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said on Wednesday.

Russia's Gazprom Neft oil reserves soar in 2007

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The oil arm of Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, found over four times more oil than it produced last year, it said on Wednesday adding that the figure was even higher with acquisitions.

Gulf to become major fertiliser producer

The UAE and other Gulf states are expected to pump billions of dollars in the next few years into expanding their fertilisers industry to face an upswing in global demand as a result of agricultural expansion, according to an official study.

Wheat Nears Record on Supply Concerns

"We continue to export wheat at too fast a pace," said Jason Ward, analyst with Northstar Commodity in Minneapolis. "You've got enough forward contracts overseas so the fear is that what you've got sold thus far is possibly more than you've got planted."

Whither crude oil? Why oil is getting ignored

Whither crude oil? With so much going on, the black stuff hasn’t gotten much attention in a while.

The last big headline came in the first week of January, when crude futures touched $100 a barrel. Since then, the oil story has been dominated by economic slowdown and subprime. Crude futures have been stuck in a $15 range or so since mid-October.

South Africa: No water, lights or petrol?

Rumbles began appearing about possible fuel problems over the weekend, linked to the electricity crisis. Basically, without power, local refineries can't convert raw oil into petroleum products. Which means no petrol at the pumps. The whole situation is being exacerbated by people buying diesel-guzzling generators.

South Africa: Private power on the grid?

In a statement, South African Pulp and Paper Industries (Sappi) said the ongoing national energy crisis had "far-reaching" long term effects on the economy and could have an impact on overseas investor confidence.

Chief executive Ralph Boettger said: "Independent electricity generation is already taking place at companies such as Sappi who are then able to feed the grid.

"Incentives to make additional generation economically viable could be given to them in order to stabilise the energy supply"

South African Energy Crisis

The head of Anglo American mining company on Tuesday downplayed the energy crisis that led to an unprecedented shutdown of South Africa's mines last month, and called on the industry itself to improve efficiency.

MMS Proposes Bonus or Royalty Credits for Relinquishing Leases

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) is proposing to amend its regulations to provide a credit to lessees who relinquish certain eligible leases in the Gulf of Mexico. The amended regulations will also define the eligible leases and establish how those credits may be used. This proposed rule for oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf was mandated by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.

Wind farms need techs to keep running

Critics of wind power have called the mammoth turbines eyesores and environmentalists have fought against them, warning the giant rotors could pose a hazard to migratory birds and other wildlife.

But wind power officials see a much larger obstacle coming in the form of its own work force, a highly specialized group of technicians that combine working knowledge of mechanics, hydraulics, computers and meteorology with the willingness to climb 200 feet in the air in all kinds of weather.

Nato investigates defence threat from wind farms

Nato has begun an investigation into British findings that wind farms make overflying planes invisible to radar as military chiefs fear a security threat from the rapid spread of the turbines.

The US has been attending tests by Britain’s Air Warfare Centre after it made the surprise discovery that the energy plants create blind spots in air defences.

Wind turbine would offer a tangible lesson

Right now, School District 833 officials are looking at a new way to plan for the future — and it doesn't involve the transfer of knowledge.

They will decide this spring whether to invest in an electricity-generating wind turbine on the site of East Ridge High School in Woodbury.

True, Affordable Solutions to Meet Hawaii's Energy Needs

Puna Geothermal Ventures (PGV) has produced over 25% of the Big Island’s electricity needs since the company’s first generator was powered up in 1993.

After bitter and expensive legal fights over its permit, PGV has produced over 30 mega watts of electricity each year for over 16 years.

The company’s capacity for producing electricity is only limited by our politicians who fear the community activists. These are the same community activists who while protesting the ability of PGV to produce electricity, still return to their homes to watch TV, use their computers, power their refrigerators and light their homes.

Utilities Turn From Coal to Gas, Raising Risk of Price Increase

WASHINGTON — Stymied in their plans to build coal-burning power plants, American utilities are turning to natural gas to meet expected growth in demand, risking a new upward spiral in the price of that fuel.

Utility executives say they have little choice. With opposition to coal plants rising across the country — including a statement by three investment banks Monday saying they are wary of financing new ones — the executives see plants fired by natural gas as the only kind that can be constructed quickly and can supply reliable power day and night.

But North American supplies of natural gas will be flat or declining in coming years, according to the Energy Information Administration. The United States already has high natural gas prices, a problem for homeowners and many industries, like chemical and fertilizer producers. Some experts fear a boom in gas demand for electricity generation will send prices even higher.

World oil supply may have already peaked

Is world oil production peaking? Quite possibly, says Lester Brown from the Earth Policy Institute. Data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) show a pronounced loss of momentum in the growth of oil production during the last few years.

After climbing from 82.90 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2004 to 84.15 mb/d in 2005, output only increased to 84.80 mb/d in 2006 and then declined to 84.62 mb/d during the first 10 months of 2007.

UAF speaker says renewable electricity is key in gloomy oil scenario

Doom, gloom and murderous biker gangs killing and pillaging their way down mostly deserted highways is what awaits a world without oil, at least according to the first memorable post-apocalypse movie, “Mad Max.”

Murderous biker gangs may be a stretch, but University of Alaska Fairbanks professor Rich Seifert said the best way to stave off doom and gloom is with electricity.

“One of the things I would urge any community to get clear on … is get your electrical production renewable, because without electricity everything becomes enormously harder,” Seifert said.

Protesters block Mexico onshore oil wells - Pemex

MEXICO CITY, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Protesters are blocking onshore oil wells and crude installations in the southern Mexican state of Tabasco, causing lost crude production, the state oil company Pemex said on Tuesday.

BP to cut 5,000 jobs as record oil price cuts profits by fifth

BP saw production fall last year by about 3 per cent. Yet unlike its peers, BP said that production this year would actually increase next year as new projects, such as its Thunder Horse and Atlantis off-shore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, begin significant operation. The company also confirmed it had submitted an application to Iraq's oil minister to be considered as a partner to develop the country's massive reserves.

Mr Hayward was sceptical of the view espoused by his opposite number at Shell, Jeroen van der Veer, that the peak for conventional oil production could come by 2015. He said: "Peak oil will be driven by demand rather than supply, and I don't expect that to happen in 2015."

Declining coal reserves add to energy supply worries

In mid-2000, Australian thermal coal bound for the Asian market -- mostly China -- was selling for $24.59 a tonne. Last week, it broke $116.

Some analysts speculate the price in 2008 might exceed $200. In the Indian business press, there was concern that since China became a net importer of metallurgical coal in 2007, the cost inflation for a tonne of steel had reached $90. Even melting down scrap from dismantled ships is getting expensive.

So, thinking about a new bicycle? You might consider buying it now. Common sense suggests prices will increase as competitive demand bids up coal prices which in turn boost primary manufacturing costs which will be inflated by freight costs that are already coupled to accelerating oil prices.

Frozen Tajikistan appeals for aid in winter crisis

DUSHANBE (Reuters) - Tajikistan, paralyzed by the coldest winter in decades, asked for emergency international aid on Wednesday to help it survive an energy crisis which has left millions of people without power and heating.

The bitter cold -- with temperatures plunging to -20 degrees Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit) across the impoverished nation -- caught the authorities off guard this year, forcing the government to ration electricity, water and gas.

Uzbekistan suspends electric power supplies to Tajikistan

DUSHANBE, February 6 (Itar-Tass) - Uzbekistan has suspended electric power supplies to neighbouring Tajikistan that is experiencing global energy crisis, the deputy head of the Tajik state-run electricity provider Barki Tojik, Rashid Gulov, said on Wednesday.

This is a short-term suspension caused by Uzbekistan’s domestic difficulties, including the lack of fuel for electric power generation, he said. Within days Uzbekistan will resume electric power supplies of 2.2 million kilowatt-hours.

Solution to Energy Independence Is At Local Level

"The quest for a sustainable energy program is much more important that going to the moon was 25 years ago," said Randy Udall, son of the late Arizona U.S. Rep. Morris Udall. "Even at today's prices, energy is still extraordinarily inexpensive in the United States. New energy policy won't just focus on renewable energy it will also focus on wide dispersal of ownership so that innovation and competition can produce new sources of energy more rapidly and more efficiently."

Rio Tinto discover 1 billion tonnes of thermal coal in South Africa

Johannesburg - Anglo-Australian nining giant Rio Tinto said it was in talks with South Africa's state electricity supplier Eskom about supplying it with coal following its discovery of around 1 billion tons in coal deposits in Limpopo provinceEskom gets most of its power from 10 coal-fired power plants. In recent weeks coal shortages and poor coal quality have wrought havoc with output, exacerbating an energy crisis caused by the utility's shortage of generating capacity.

Energy expert praises Ohio plan

Gov. Ted Strickland's proposed electricity-regulation plan would protect Ohio from a "costly path that many other states have been forced to travel," a national energy expert said.

Kenneth Rose, a Columbus-based consultant, told the House Public Utilities Committee yesterday that he supports the current plan's requirement that regulators set rates unless utilities can convince them that enough competition exists to keep prices down.

Hybrid SUVs drive U.S. into hypocrisy

Nothing is more indicative of America’s inability to adopt serious environmental change than the inflexibility of the auto industry. From what I understand about hybrid vehicles, the idea behind this new Cadillac is not only to provide the same services as the old model, such as the ability to go places and indiscriminately use the OnStar button, but to do so in a much friendlier way to both the environment and the family checkbook. And even without the addition of the hybrid Escalade, I see plenty of vehicles adjusting to my criteria on the road every day. They’re called cars.

Why the Saudis aren't lifting a finger to ease oil prices

Their break from past oil policy is significant.

...There is at least a minor possibility of something more ominous affecting the Saudi decision: The Saudis have been quiet because they are getting global markets ready for the possibility that they may not have enough oil to be a long-term fuel pump to the world. Consider that the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) significantly scaled back how many barrels of oil it expects the Saudis to produce in 2010. In 2000, the EIA forecast for Saudi production in 2010 was 14.7 million barrels per day. But last year, the EIA dropped that figure to just 11.4 million barrels per day. That's a major reduction.

Exxon's Sakhalin output to fall sharply in 2008

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil's Sakhalin-1 project will cut oil output sharply this year, a project partner said on Wednesday amid a gloomy outlook for Russia's overall production this year due to stagnation in West Siberia.

Sakhalin-1, which reported peak production of 250,000 barrels per day early last year, will cut annual average production by over 25 percent this year - much steeper than expected - as the field is getting depleted.

Iran oil output reaches record 4.184 mln bpd

TEHRAN (Thomson Financial) - Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari on Wednesday said Iran's oil output hit a record 4.184 mln barrels per day (bpd), the highest since the 1979 Islamic revolution, the official IRNA agency reported.

"Yesterday (Tuesday) we reached a record of oil output since the Islamic revolution with production of 4.184 mln bpd of oil," Nozari was quoted as saying.

"It is planned to increase oil production to 4.2 mln bpd by the end of the current Iranian year" on March 19, he added.

Oil leaks into Caspian after S. Russia pipeline breach

ROSTOV-ON-DON (RIA Novosti) - Laboratory tests have confirmed that oil spilled into the Caspian Sea after a recent accident on a pipeline in the Russian North Caucasus republic of Daghestan, a local lab official said Wednesday.

The pipeline was ruptured on February 3 about 20 km (12 miles) from the Daghestani village of Belidzhi, causing about 100 metric tons (733 barrels) of crude to spill from the pipe, with 5 metric tons (37 barrels) seeping into the Rubas River which flows into the Caspian.

RWE taps into EU's Nabucco gas pipeline

VIENNA (AFP) - German power giant RWE became the sixth partner here Tuesday in Nabucco, the five-billion-euro (7.4-billion-dollar) pipeline to feed 31 billion cubic metres of gas each year from the Middle East to Europe from 2012 at the earliest.

Speculation was rife that French gas giant, Gaz de France, would soon sign up to the flagship project soon as well, aimed at reducing Europe's dependence on Russian gas.

Price of Oil Doesn’t Appear to be Affecting Worldwide Demand

Houston investment banker Matt Simmons likes to say about oil, “Supply does not know demand.” That is, in a world of Peak Oil output is going to be whatever it is. New supply is always in a race with inexorable depletion, and depletion will always win. It’s just a matter of time.

Matt Simmons or no, oil has been trading between $90-95 per barrel for about three straight months. This is an unprecedented high for the price of oil in nominal terms (adjusted for inflation, the price of oil was higher in 1979 and 1980).

The machine gun of capitalism

Dead soldiers, peak oil and mind-boggling profits; praise Jesus, the machine's still working.

When oil crisis hits, fantasyland will become nightmare

IN 1980, furious Albertans slapped bumper stickers on their cars stating "Let the eastern bastards freeze in the dark" to protest Ottawa's "Canada First" National Energy Program. Every federal government since has ceded national energy policy to the provinces and, by proxy, to the North American marketplace.

This appalling abdication of leadership leaves Canada completely exposed to the supply crisis experts predict is inevitable once the world enters the dark and uncertain time of Peak Oil.

Freezing in the dark: Canada needs Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR)

Canada needs Strategic Petroleum Reserves — short-term stores of oil that can be released during supply shortages to meet regional needs.

Canada is a producer and net exporter of oil. Yet this national status masks an important regional divide; Eastern Canada is a net importer of oil, receiving up to 90 percent of its oil from overseas, much of it from OPEC countries like Algeria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Eastern Canadians are vulnerable to global oil supply shocks.

Kuwait sets out plans to build a $77bn "City of Silk"

KUWAIT CITY: The oil-rich Gulf state of Kuwait plans to build a major new city inspired by the Silk Road that it hopes will become a global trade and tourist attraction, an executive said yesterday.

The $77bn "City of Silk" aims to revive the ancient trade route by becoming a major free trade zone linking central Asia with Europe.

Picking a safer car for you, your family, and the planet

While that idea that more steel equals more protection seems intuitive, it turns out to be false. In fact, the best scientific research shows that automotive safety has nothing to do with vehicle weight, but everything to do with vehicle size and design.

Climate change funds to help developing countries: UN

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Developing countries will have to be given economic assistance if they are to be expected to considerably reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, a top UN official said Wednesday.

"We have to recognise that developing countries can only be expected to engage if economic incentives are put in place," said Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

Thanks for posting some articles on Canada's absolutely ludicrous energy policy. As an eastern Canadian (and oil drum reader) it mortifies me to think of how shortsighted our energy policies are. The average Albertan knows all about the situation but given their vitriolic animosity towards easterners, they are all too happy to let us 'freeze in the dark.' This includes our Albertan PM who got into politics due to his disgust with any sort of 'national energy plan'. Of course, without the east he doesn't stand a hope in hell of ever winning a majority government.

I think if eastern Canadians had any clue about the fact that none of Alberta's oil 'richesse' flows east they'd be pretty pissed.

Oh well, here's hoping for some eastern supply disruptions to get everyone's head out of their *ss and the debate reignited.

It is interesting that Western Canada, regarding oil, is in Export Land, while Eastern Canada is in Import Land.

Of course, we see this on a regional, but less pronounced, basis in the US. For example, portions of Texas are still net oil exporters but I think that Texas itself is a net oil importer.

In any case, what we are fundamentally seeing is Produce or Perish (or Pilfer). The discretionary side of the North American economy is going to just get crushed.

Just what is discretionary? Peoples decisions about how to spend scarce cash aren't always the wisest. For instance producers of the kind of ethanol you drink might do quite well.

I certainly prefer to drink ethanol than to burn it in a vehicle. Burning it seems like such a waste of good libations!

We just had 1 million fervent supporters of the biological consumption of ethanol visiting us :-)

Happy (?) Ash Wednesday, when MANY regret their sins,


Hello AlanfromBigEasy,

Did you notice any partygoers shouting out Peakoil when their beverage of choice hit half-empty? I am constantly trying to promote this as a new cultural tradition.

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


I like it!

I will start a new tradition this very evening!


My lawyer's advice to a friend thinking of going into business in a small retail venture was: Sell chocolates. In hard times when money is short, small luxuries are all people can afford. He said a chocolate shop has never gone broke in a recession.

That sounds like a GOOD idea. And not just chocolates, but anything tasty. Nutty, savory (salty) anything that's a little treat, will do well. And extra points if it's actually good for you like good chocolates are. You could grow nuts or get them locally and make them into sweets. It's a very good business plan.

Isaac Asimov's family ran a candy store when he was a kid, and this was in the Depression. It appeared to provide well for them, and provide the basic framework for Isaac and his siblings to get into colleges.

I know from personal experience, as Ebay sales were sinking then tanking, and as the US economy has gone down, I've consistantly been able to do OK at swapmeets with an "Everything's a dollar" method. I finally realized I was coming out better selling 10 of something for $1 each than selling those 10 things for $9.95 on ThiefBay and losing $3 in fees.

A dollar now is like the old-time nickel or dime, no one thinks about it.

I also used to know a swapmeeter who'd get nuts and bolts and fasteners and stuff, cheap or free, organize them in his house all week, then on the weekend hit the swaps. He'd drive up in his little pickup truck, and unfold a setup that took up something like 5 spaces, and have bins and bins and bins of odds and ends, 2 for $1 or $1 each or whatever, everything was cheap. I think his most expensive item would be $3. I'd come by and dump $100 or more on his first thing, picking up RF connectors and stuff. Guys could not stay away, he had tons of stuff, and it was all cheap. He said he did even better at the classic car shows. The guy worked out of his house, only had to go out and sell on the weekends, and made at the very least $1000 on a weekend. Often double that I'm sure. The guy's a genius.

Off-shore Texas is "Export Land", On-shore Texas (despite your best efforts Jeffrey) is "Import Land". Import Land is bigger than Export Land AFAIK.

Most Texans are unaware that Texas does not produce enough oil to keep the freeways (and tollways) of Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Ft. Worth, Amarillo, Waco, Corpus Christi, etc. busy.

Best Hopes for Urban Rail in Texas,


Consistent with your longstanding "produce or perish" theme...

US Service Sector in Recession

January 2008 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business

The service economy is most of our economy today. It appears to have just collapsed.

The hyperbole is not especially helpful. Yes, the service sector appears to be in contraction, but to call this "collapse" is rather suspect.

It's a 23% decline, from 54.4 to 41.9. If it had gone from 54.4 to 49.9, it would be appropriate to say "Yes, the service sector appears to be in contraction..."

We're talking about what Bloomberg has estimated is 90% of the U.S. economy.

"The survey results were downright disastrous," said Stephen Stanley, chief US economist at RBS Greenwich Capital.

I hate it when people nag others to express themselves only in optimistic terms. I agree there's reason for hope, but if someone doesn't agree with a pessimist's view, why not simply put up the alternate view and explain the reasons for it, rather than seeking to enforce a happy-talk code of conduct?

From the link, I can't determine what a decline from 54.4% to 41.9% means. The original gives it as a percentage, but of what? It doesn't say. So on its face it's just yet another of a bazillion trumped-up proprietary magic numbers that attract a bazillion press releases that ultimately clog up the "internets" with a bazillion pleas for Congresscritters to hose the taxpayer by voting up subsidies for their special-interest pets. I can't tell how much it amplifies real-world changes. I can't tell what real-world changes those might be. I can't even find a long-term time series by which to guess how volatile it is (maybe I didn't look hard enough or it's squirreled away behind a paywall as if it were a CERA report; those guys gotta make money somehow.)

Now, if we had suddenly lost 23% of all service jobs, then that would be so obvious that none of the ever-popular conspiracy methodologies rehashed for the umpteenth time on today's Drumbeat could conceivably hide it. For one thing, I'd have to take a long detour to get around the line at the local unemployment office. So did we lose 23% of anything that matters? Did we lose 23% of anything at all? What would the world look like at a reading of 0%? 100%? Dunno. It might as well be a random number. This is not a matter of "a happy-talk code of conduct", there's plenty of unhappy talk here most days. It's simply a matter an apparently empty article.

If you can state or point to better information on what it might mean, please do. Meanwhile...???

The ISM is a survey of manufacturing executives on their 'feelings' about the manufacturing sector. Since their 'feelings' have more validity than yours or mine regarding the manufacturing sector, the market occasionally takes notice of this number. (It used to not move market at all - the economic numbers that move the market change over time - this is another one of those '1,000 post card' survey type numbers)

The Institute for Supply Management is not a johnny-come-lately to the data scene. If you had read the associated links you would have discovered that the scale works like this - 50.0 is a flat economy. Anything over 50.0 is a growing economy. Anything under 50.0 is a contracting economy. The ISM has kept detailed records using this format for decades and is thus well qualified to determine what constitutes "growth" in the service economy and what constitutes "contraction".

Further, the ISM's report was cited as one of the main drivers in yesterday's 370 point drop of the DOW and the 1339 point (5.40%) drop in the Chinese stock market last night. Apparently some people give the report more weight than you do.

Furthermore, rather than ranting, you could have read the ISM Report FAQ which would have probably answered many of your questions. ISM (formerly PMI) reports go clear back to 1948, if you care to dig in the archives.

This is a pretty serious contraction, especially if next month's report continues the trend.

Or, you can continue to pretend that all's well with the economy. If that's what you wish to do, be my guest.

Hello, GZ, thanks for the link. Now that I know what it is, I still haven't found a link to it on their cluttered home page, although I found several other FAQs hidden under the mouse-over covers. Maybe it's there somewhere. Nor have I found an identifiable link to it on their "site map", nor in the two originally linked pages. Nor do I see any links to "archives" in any of those places. (Would I need a paid-up membership?)

Oh, and the original ISM page delves into the subject matter of the various indices, but does not state the methodology used to produce the individual numbers. Now that I have this particular FAQ, I see it's basically all a touchy-feelie thing. It doesn't really mean "50 is a flat economy", only that the number of respondents saying "better" equalled the number saying "worse", i.e. their net response-to-survey-quality guess is "flat". That could well slosh all over the map with very small changes in the economy, as it doesn't seem to say that the result is weighted according to the fraction of the economy a respondent manages supplies for, nor even according to the severity of the change said respondent sees through his or her own proprietary window.

This all seems fairly consistent with Nate's remark, "...this is another one of those '1,000 post card' survey type numbers", so I'm inclined to go with that. It's probably better than asking 1,000 bloggers, but it's probably not all that great.

Which BTW has no connection to what I might think the economy might do. Among other things, I think there are more than enough (figurative) helicopters available to guarantee stagflation. And I think that will reinforce the powerful lesson Baby Boomers learned in the 1970s: saving is a chump's game because the government will confiscate much of what you save. And I think it will teach that lesson well to two more generations. And I think that will be very, very bad for raising the enormous investment apparently needed to secure even very modest supplies of non fossil-fuel energy. Then again, I could be wrong.

'I think there are more than enough (figurative) helicopters available to guarantee stagflation. And I think that will reinforce the powerful lesson Baby Boomers learned in the 1970s: saving is a chump's game because the government will confiscate much of what you save. And I think it will teach that lesson well to two more generations.'

we don't save due to compulsive spending which is psychological. & yes it would be confiscated but we've been trained too well & as nate says spending gooses our biochemicals.

i agree the helicopters may work a time or 2[mostly a psychological trick as u seem to point out] but if the upcoming decline begins in a few years or less the psychology will change due to reality & the ponsi schema is up. & it won't take generations.

my point is lots of the economy at this point seems psychological. maybe u are right about the research quality of the the study but it is the right arena.

I think appears is the operative word. On NPR yesterday it was explained that the index is psychological in that it measures how much new supply, i.e. paper, pens, pencils, ladders, toilets, etc., purchasing managers will buy to meet expected upcoming orders.

Apparently because purchasers can quickly change their mind it doesn't mean a whole lot but in print it has a solid psychological hit.

We'll see.

Absolutely true, Ammond. But if those psychological aspects turn into real actions (delayed or canceled orders, etc.) then the hit becomes real. Part of what the index measures is what business people are planning to do (purchases, hirings/layoffs) and what they believe they are seeing happen with their businesses.

One of the Canadian articles, When oil prices hit, fantasyland will become nightmare offers an opportunity to Digg it. People who are concerned about this issue could use this opportunity to get the message out to a wider audience.

The Western provinces of Canada have been ignored and exploited by the east for a long time, so they are now getting their own back. As I said before they should secede and join the US. They have a lot more in common with the Americans and they wouldn't have to put up with the French language and everything. Isn't the current Canadian PM the first one in ages not to come from Quibec?.

As someone from western Canada, I can say that this is not really seen as an option. It is true that many here feel alienated by the federal government, which the eastern provinces (read Ontario and Quebec) seem to have the most power over. However, only a very few people around here would consider leaving and joining the US. We'd much rather go it alone than do that. A big part of the Canadian identity (even in western Canada) is that we are not American.

The current administration in the US has done a lot to discourage talk of separating and joining the US. Even here in western Canada there is a great deal of dissatisfaction with the wars in Afganistan (in which Canada is taking an active role) and the war in Iraq (which we managed to stay out of). Separatism has a long way to go before we even start to tickle the levels needed to win a referendum on the issue.

After 9/11 there were a lot of "United we stand" stickers on vehicles here, with the US and Canadian flags crossed, and a lot of "support our troops" yellow ribbon stickers after the start of the Afganistan mission. Over the last few years the numbers of these has been falling rapidly. It doesn't help that every couple days we hear of more Canadian soldiers killed or maimed by a roadside improvised explosive device.

how about northwest regional alignment with canadian proinces and washington, Oregon,etc.?

I think that would be more acceptable. Trading being screwed by Ottawa for being screwed by Washington would be like trading a Coke for a Pepsi, mostly the same but with a slightly different flavour.

Trading being screwed by Ottawa for being screwed by Washington would be like trading a Coke for a Pepsi, mostly the same but with a slightly different flavour.

For starters, you mean flavor.

For starters, you mean flavor.

Not in England we don't!

Two nations divided by a common language!

If Western Canada is going to become part of the US, they are going to have to leave that extra "u" in the loo.

I"m sure we could get used to it, and we'd get used to talking about, "aboot" and "a boat" lol.

I believe the suggestion was to join not the US but the Pacific NW states, as in Cascadia. The new nation would need to work out the spellings!

Well, there's over 10 million people in Ontario and nearly 7.7 million in Quebec. The population of Alberta is around 3.3 million, Saskatchewan has less than 1 million and Manitoba has about 1.2 million people. Last time I checked democracy was about 1 person 1 vote. I am not sure why people in Saskatchewan are supposedly alienated, this province does not subsidize the rest of the country. As for Alberta, it is an example why the provincial level should not exist at all. It became a province in 1905 and thinks it is an independent country. Canada's resources should never have been given over to the provincial bureaucracy. This absurd distribution of Canada's wealth has left the country with a schizophrenic economy: the west exports oil and the east imports it from abroad and there is actually more trade across the US border than across provincial borders.

Last time I checked democracy was about 1 person 1 vote

Thats been changed to '1 joule 1 vote'. hadn't you heard?

I thought it was $1Bn one vote. At least in the OECD nations.

The biggest reason for the alienation people feel in Saskatchewan is that the federal government has repeatedly ignored the needs of the province. It has nothing to do with whether we're subsidizing the other provinces or not. When your government doesn't the things you feel you need, you get alienated.

In Saskatchewan this has mostly been in regards to the agricultural sector which is where most of our economy has traditionally been concentrated. We've had farmers drive their tractors to Ottawa in protest over the way it's been handled at the federal level.

With the recent run-up in commodity prices, the economy is diversifying rapidly and more and more people are moving back to Saskatchewan. The population is now supposedly over 1 million.

If they wanted to keep profits growing by screwing workers the American way, they would have to habla Espanol instead.

You know, this is interesting when read in conjunction with your post below calling the Mexican lower class "sore losers" for fighting back against the fake corporate regime there. If the Indians in southern Mexico, who are screwed because they don't act white enough to even be useful to sweatshops, were to secede, you probably would be calling for Canadian troops to join America in the inevitable intervention, a la Afghanistan.

Now I recall the story of Quebec: until the 1950s it was ruled by a right-wing feudal elite in partnership with an ultra-backward Catholic hierarchy and English-speaking businessmen. Then a nationalist movement that crystallized into the Parti Quebecois spurred the impoverished French-speakers to throw out the fossils, secularize, socialize and modernize around renewable energy proceeds. In other words, these "inferior" people waged a class war against traditional values and propertied elites, won and greatly improved their lives. In the end they didn't even secede.

Now in how many ways are you calling for the energy-wasting SUV-flogging Christian-freak Albertans to do the exact opposite of this successful strategy?

Get real weatherman, we have a good thing going up here, I just hope it survives the Harpers and Mulroneys. The US I remember from my youth was almost as good and it is really sad to see what its citizens have allowed it to become. Join the USA? No I think we in the west would actually learn to speak French first, we already know how to spell Quebec and eat what you call French fries, and we call chips, with poutine.

BTW here is something that landed in my lap this morning:

How to create an Angry American


Good video.

Tinfoil Hat Time

CNBC just reported that the US is going to add 125,000 bpd of crude oil to the SPR between May and September.

Let's see, I wonder if they are concerned about a "Geopolitical Event" in October that might reduce world oil supplies. And why would that event occur in October?

Anyone? Anyone?

The Cubs in the World Series?

Anyone? Anyone?

Oh, Oh, Mr. Kotter, Mr. Kotter!

The US Dollar stops being the world reserve currency!

War with Iran that subsequently delays the US Presidential Elections for an unknown period of time?

It won't delay the election. But an "October surprise" could conceivably benefit war hero and hawk McCain.

OTOH, it could turn the voters against him. Nobody wants a hundred years of war.

I think by November, it will be the economy, stupid. Nobody's going to care about anything else.

It is almost inconceivable that elections will be suspended. Elections are the central core of the myth that the United States is a democracy. They are entertainment. There will always be elections, and they will always mean nothing, since they are always the choice between Coke and Pepsi. In the darkest days of the USSR there were "elections."

I don't for a minute believe that any of the official candidates (the ones who will actually appear on the ballot) harbor even the tiniest shred of opposition to an American "Christian" military colossus. Or that the way to enforce that is to make underhanded deals with the strong, and crush the weak. There may be minor differences in their proposed strategies, but even there, the differences seem to be largely without distinction.

It was exactly the same four years ago. Many peak oilers predicted an "October surprise" - a supposed al-Qaeda attack that would result in elections being suspended and Bush becoming dictator for life as we quickly spiraled down into peak oil chaos. As it turned out - no October surprise, no cancellation of elections, no peak oil chaos.

no cancellation of elections.

Turns out, they didn't need to.

8 million Evangelicals came out to give Bush a landslide.

Exit Polls were a science until 2000.

See Ohio for details.

war hero mccain ? he wasnt enough of a war hero in 2000 to beat that awol ng bozo now inhabiting 1600 pennslavania ave.

It was the Christian conservatives who did him in. And who are still his biggest headache. They don't doubt his war heroism. They doubt his Christian conservative bona fides, which are far more important to them.

In particular, North Carolina. Someone started rumors that his adopted child was his illegitimate black daughter. (She's actually adopted from Bangladesh.)

In any case, the dynamic will be very different in the general election.

That was SC, not NC. We have our problems and faults, but please do not misattribute those of others to us.

Sorry. I knew that, really. I used to live in North Carolina. (Raleigh, not west NC.)

A critical point to keep in mind is that Russia has a key interest in the Middle East. Our worst case is that Russia will approach zero net oil exports in 12 years, as soon as 2020:


Note that this is based on a fairly low rate of increase in consumption. Russia is on track to become the #1 market for new cars in Europe within two years, surpassing Germany.

I have actually bet money that there will be a "geopolitical military event" and no election in November.

Looks like the expected return on my wager just increased.

This is the kind of thread that makes people like Benny Cole grin, and reduces the Credibility of the TOD.

Check out TWIP and see how that impacts short term doom and gloom.

Amen to that!!!

And people wonder why the Peak Oilers are regarded as kooks. Threads like this go a LONG way to reinforce that idea.

All someone like CERA has to do is tell people to check the Oil Drum today to see the intellectual input from the tin foil crowd.

OK. Here, CERA KoolAid drinkers.

Corporations are all Conspiracy Theories.

U.S. wheat exporters have sold more than 15 million bushels a week for seven of the last 11 weeks, well above the U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly target of about 1 million bushels a week.

"We continue to export wheat at too fast a pace," said Jason Ward.

You can tip toe thru history and note what the US has always done when this occurs.

See May 1943, Nixon 1972 for details.

NYT-"To explain: America's largess of grain can be given to any country of the President's choosing at negotiated interest rates, with as long as three years to pay, under the Commodity Credit Corporation Act.

Under this act, President Nixon enabled Soviet grain buyers to wipe out our emergency wheat reserves in the single month of July 1972. A sharp increase in United States food prices followed this grain-on-credit move."

It would appear that a fill rate of 125,000 bpd would pretty much bring the SPR to full capacity by October 1, 2008. I suppose that this could be a coincidence. And can anyone name a single example of the Bush administration using manipulated data and propaganda to justify an unprovoked attack on a key Middle Eastern oil exporter?

WT...careful there...CERA might be watching TOD for lunatics today...don't go into your leftwing conspiracy theories again.

Ya, but CERA has no humor or personality. That's what divides us from the suit and ties. Get a life!!

I'm with Beechdriver. This isn't the place for wacko conspiracy theories.

And as for humor...as our guidelines note, "Humor is OK, as long as it is on-topic. We all need a little levity now and then."

The key words being "on topic" and "now and then." This isn't Comedy Central.

A wacko Conspiracy Theory.

Why did we invade Iraq?

935 Lies

Politics Buzz The Center For Public Integrity compiled a database of lies told by the Bush White House regarding Iraq since 2001, tallying 935. In other news, puppies are cute.


Philip Shenon's "The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Commission" focuses on the relationship between the commission's executive director, Philip Zelikow, and the White House. To start with, Shenon writes that Zelikow sought to limit the Bush administration's responsibility in failing to assess threats leading up to the attacks. In 2003, with George W. Bush seeking re-election, a commission investigator found materials confirming that the White House (specifically, Condoleezza Rice, with whom Zelikow had written a book) had ignored warnings of an impending al-Qaida strike. Belittling the investigator, Zelikow dismissed the evidence.

Zelikow had written a 2002 report for the administration, which seemed to provide justification for a pre-emptive war, and tried in 2004 to create a connection between Osama bin Laden and Iraq in the 9/11 Commission report. Despite saying he wouldn't do so, he also had several conversations with Rice and Karl Rove, which explains why he'd asked his assistant to stop keeping track of his calls to and from the White House.

Finally. 75% of Americans oppose the Iraq Invasion, yet
we only have ProWar Candidates to choose from.

Comedy Central indeed.

This isn't the place for wacko conspiracy theories.

OK, but the fact is that someone has been cutting internet cables in the Middle East, just as the Iranian oil bourse is scheduled to start operations. The cables didn't get cut by ships dragging anchors. Funny how the MSM has dropped this story like a hot potato.

Then again, if we are at Peak Oil, bombing, conspiring, sabotaging and invading are exactly what I want my government to do. Otherwise I may need to modify my lifestyle.

Another Headline Story that's faded:

(Except for the Lady involved)

Feb. 6, 2008—

A mother of five who says she was sexually harassed and assaulted while working for Halliburton/KBR in Iraq is headed for a secretive arbitration process rather than being able to present her case in open court.

A judge in Texas has ruled that Tracy Barker's case will be heard in arbitration, according to the terms of her initial employment contract.

Barker says that while in Iraq she was constantly propositioned by her superior, threatened and isolated after she reported an incident of sexual assault.

Barker's attorneys had argued that Halliburton/KBR had created a "boys will be boys" atmosphere at their camps and that sort of condition is not the type of dispute that she could have expected to be within the scope of an arbitration provision.

Tracy says her KBR boss in Basra repeatedly propositioned her and threatened her.

"The manager of the camp kept making gestures of how if I wanted my safety to exist on the camp, that I needed to sleep with him, and that's all he kept saying to me," said Barker.

Tracy says her co-workers were not much better. She says when she first arrived at her new office, it looked more like a fraternity house than a place of business."

How else do you account for this, except for Conspiracy.

Often unnoticed in the fine print of employment applications is a section that says if you sign then you agree to accept arbitration to resolve "disputes" and reliquish your right to pursue court action. All too many people NEVER read this clause, and if you sign without crossing out and noting your objection to this clause, you are screwed. So yes, there is a conspiracy, but not the one you're thinking about.

Let's go over this again:

1 - 10 of about 218,000 for contractor raped with Safesearch on. (0.25 seconds)
U.S. contractor raped in Iraq? - MSN Video
Dec. 19: An American woman says she was by US contractors in Iraq. MSNBC's Contessa Brewer reports.

"drugged and gang-raped" - That's covered in the fine print of employment applications?

Here's a copy of the standard boiler-plate clause now in employment applications. Note the very LARGE blanket that attempts to cover just about anything? There's also the example of the lawsuit against Blackwater for wrongful death that involves Blackwater's own special clause in its employment application.

"Because of the delay and expense of the court systems, Company Name and I agree to use confidential binding arbitration for any claims that arise between me and Company Name, its related companies, and/or their current or former employees. Such claims would include any concerning compensation, employment (including, but not limited to any claims concerning sexual harassment), or termination of employment. Before arbitration, I agree: (i) first, to present any such claims in full written detail to Company Name; (ii) next, to complete any Company Name internal review process; and (iii) finally, to complete any external administrative remedy (such as with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). In any arbitration, the then prevailing rules of the American Arbitration Association (and, to the extent not inconsistent, the then prevailing rules of the Federal Arbitration Act) will apply."

Now I certainly disagree with this practice, which is why I suggested providing your own form of "signing statement." The corporate world and its boosters like your local Chamber of Commerce have worked many years to destroy worker's rights and by extension the primary premises for democracy in the USA and worldwide for well over 125 years. The rapes are viscious as all rapes are, and justice ought to be done, but it's quite clear that the raping of the working and middle classes has gone on for a long time with no end in sight.

Thank you.

Conspiracy is alive and well.


For the past two years, her congressman, Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), has been pushing the federal government to investigate the matter, but he “says neither the department of State nor Justice will give him answers” on the status of the investigation.

"heres another case

‘I reported the rape within 30 minutes - then watched my career implode’

Suzanne Goldenberg reports on the scandal of unpunished sexual assault within the US army

The worst thing for Captain Jennifer Machmer was knowing that the US army had actually promoted her rapist."


Nobody's been cutting cables. Probably wasn't ships, either.

One of TOD staff is on a mailing list for telecom infrastructure people. They said about one failure a week is normal...but that such "breakages" do occur in clusters for some reason. (And "breakage" is a misleading term. Generally, the cable doesn't actually break, as if you cut it. It frays against rocks, etc., until the insulation gives way and it short-circuits.)

They don't think what's happening in the Middle East is particularly unusual. It's just being noticed, because the first two failures caused such disruption. Now cable problems no one would have ever noticed are being pointed to as evidence of something sinister. (Like the so-called "fifth break," which is actually in Malaysia, not the Middle East.)

February 2008

CAIRO - Damage to undersea Internet cables in the Mediterranean that hit business across the Middle East and South Asia was not caused by ships, Egypt’s communications ministry said on Sunday, ruling out earlier reports.

The transport ministry added that footage recorded by onshore video cameras of the location of the cables showed no maritime traffic in the area when the cables were damaged.

‘The ministry’s maritime transport committee reviewed footage covering the period of 12 hours before and 12 hours after the cables were cut and no ships sailed the area,’ a statement said.

‘The area is also marked on maps as a no-go zone and it is therefore ruled out that the damage to the cables was caused by ships,’ the statement added.

Did you even read my post? I said it wasn't ships.

I think he's implying it was a military submarine, Leanan.

You said you -heard- it wasn't ships.

Trust, but verify.. or just speculate recklessly.

The problem is that he seemed to be responding to something I never said.

I got your back leanan.

Ice 'em

Many studies of sea floor current have been done. Sea floor currents can and do change speed and sometimes direction over a short span of time. A current of 4 kts is not unusual and such a current, over time, can abraid cables against rocks, coral or any other obstruction on the sea floor.

I am not saying sea floor current caused the damage to the cables in the ME. I am saying it needs to be considered as a possibility before concluding that the cables were damaged on purpose.

Of course a submarine situated on the sea floor with its props running could apply a lot of current to cables and cause them to abraid quickly.

Another conspiracy debunked. Thanks. Serves me right for reading rense.com, I should know better. But if you prohibit discussion of these things how are people supposed sort out fact from fiction?

I don't think the issue is preventing discussion of these issues. I would settle for keeping them under 25% of total content and asking those who keep putting them out to subject themselves to some basic factual discussion as well as an examination of their track record.

The Iran Oil Bore lunancy has been cropping up here for three years despite repeated debunking. It has always been wrong and always will be. Claims that warships moving in the in the gulf means war with Iran in about to start also have a horrible track record. Dragonfly's record in this must be 0 right, 100 wrong.

Hey...if I see an article on the internet about a topic, I will post it. There has been plenty of reporting on the IOB for awhile now. I've reported on it and added some speculation. This is no worse than most financial websites.

I've backed off the IOB discussions. WT posted something that I took as not so serious. I replied tongue in cheek. Sometimes TOD takes themselves way too serious and thinks they are more important than in reality, they may be.

And for some strange reason, sharks like chewing the cables.

I would expect these to be fibre-optics though.

I have read findings from a marine research gourp that sharks have chewed undersea communicatinos cables. Perhaps the shape was mistaken as some life form and the shark did not know what it was doing.

Sharks randomly cut these cables that have been down there for years FIVE times in a row within as many weeks?

Someone like to give me an explanation that makes sense now?

"Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action."
-Auric Goldfinger

I'm not advocating the drivel that Rense.com and other moonbats promote, but the idea that this is coincidence or, LOL, sharks, is quite frankly no better.

Swamp Gas.

Sharks chew cables because they are attracted to the electric fields they create. Sharks are sensitive enough to detect the
electric fields generated by the muscles of fish as they swim in the dark. The fields from traditional telecoms cables
were strong enough to send sharks into a frenzy. Of course we use fibre optic now, but they still have copper sheathing
for strength, and these may have strong enough electric eddies to generate fields that sharks can detect. Of course I
am not a marine biologist, so please check before quoting!

The telecom infrastructure mailing list, I'm sure they know their failure rates, their protocols, their industry.

And, yes, failures do tend to happen in clusters sometimes, not just in telecom. It's a side-effect of interconnectedness and complexity. "Chaos" by James Gleick, "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell are decent references on this. I've also started reading "Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos" by Steven Strogatz, full of equations and graphs, should be right up an engineer's alley.

The problem is the event horizon of the system being investigated. That four cables lost connectivity in a short timeframe, that is to be expected occasionally. There is nothing inherently suspicious about that. And if that's all the information that can be considered, there's no issue.

Within a larger perspective, the severing of these four cables have virtually isolated a country about which the war drums are frequently beaten.

If The Netherlands, or Spain, or Chile had been cut off from the Internet, there would be much less tinfoiling.

I do understand that there's not anything necessarily going on there, as humans continually pattern-seek, even when there's no relevant pattern. On the other hand, it takes more information than we have to say that there isn't a suspicious pattern there, so further investigation is necessary, for those inclined.

So I'm not saying, I'm just saying.

Now that's far more like it.

Then again, maybe it was a ship, least in one case...

Cut # 2: FALCON Cable cut between Dubai (UAE) and Al SEEB (Oman)

The FALCON Cable cut between Dubai (UAE) and Al SEEB (Oman) is due to a ship anchor, an abandoned anchor (weighing 5-6 tonnes) was found.

Amazing how certainty in what is or is not just changes from day to day, isn't it?

Is CERA turning?


Not sure if this was posted, but it seems a small shift from past reports.

“Unconventional clean energy is now poised to cross the divide and move from the fringes of the energy sector to the mainstream.”

Haven't seen actual report-may be lead-in for ever expanding energy.

I agree with Leanan that an October surprise to influence the election in McCain's favor is much more likely than an attempt to suspend the Constitution. Whatever his massive failings are, I suspect that George Bush is too smart to want to stay on as president.

My biggest problem with conspiracy theories is that they expect us to believe that a group of secretive people will all work together toward some single, sinister plan, spanning decades or centuries. Heck, go to a local zoning board meeting in any back water town. You can’t get people to agree to where to put an outhouse. I’m not too worried about world domination.


We could not have fought WWI w/o creation of the Federal Reserve
and Income Tax. Both created at the same time,

Christmas Eve 1913.

"I’m not too worried about world domination."

The Truman Doctrine, in force for 60 years.

DOE - Fossil Energy: The National Petroleum Council is the primary ...
The National Petroleum Council was established by the Secretary of the Interior in 1946 at the request of President Harry S. Truman. ...


"a group of secretive people will all work together toward some single, sinister plan, spanning decades or centuries."

"Finally, the Post article brings to mind a report issued before the current administration took office, in the summer of 2000, by a shadowy body in Washington called the National Petroleum Council. The oil industry report targeted the New Source Review law for "reform" and condemned the EPA New Source Review enforcement lawsuits against oil refiners. And who sat on the Petroleum Council’s Committee on Refining that produced this report? Then-President and CEO of the Halliburton Company -- Richard B. Cheney.

Leanan, such crap as the above post by Mcgowanmc should be deleated. There are too many wacko conspiracy theory lists for them to spill over into this list. The tin foil hat brigade have ruined many a list with their non-stop conspiracy theory crap. Will this list become just another such list?

Ron Patterson

For two cents, I'd delete this whole thread.

But for now, I'm just going ask people to save the conspiracy stuff for other sites. It's not like there aren't a ton of them out there that would welcome it.

The problem isn't that said pet theories are demonstrably true or false, it's that there's no point, no actionable conclusions, and no direction ahead.
One could call the line of thought that led to ELP a conspiracy-of-silence theory; the value is not in the argument, it's in the conclusion.
And BTW, I've just closed on my half-acre in unincorporated Beaverton, where I can drill a well, keep chickens, and pop gophers, all without asking permission of the city fathers. Now that's what I call constructive action, albeit based on the outputs of my own well-worn tinfoil topper.

I don't want to rain on your parade, congratulations, but just make sure that the ONE MILLION people moving up that way don't object to any of that stuff. I just moved out of Portland and back to beautiful (expensive) coastal California. My biggest problems were: too far from the ocean, and feeling trapped in a concrete, natureless, city environment.

I'm just taking this opportunity to point out the demographic population crush that has annihilated most of this planet. I read a great book by a Portland native whose beloved natural habitat, once in SE Portland and once in Troutdale (I think), was twice steamrolled by the invading hordes. David James Duncan - My Life As Told By Water.

As B. Franklin said, "Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead".

For two cents, I'd delete this whole thread.

Where do I send the check? Can I do a package deal? Give me a price for deleting all this crap forever, I'll gladly pay.

We've had it out before, Ron

Why don't you just show me the law that requires you to pay income tax,
or why we do need a private bank to handle US money, instead.

Or explain how we did get involved in WWI, the first War for oil,
instead of trying to censor me.

OR explain the Truman Doctrine and how the National Petroleum Council
and creation of CIA all have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

That's not the point Mc. The point is that this is not the wingnut conspiracy list, this is The Oil Drum, a place where peak oil and other energy relate subjects are discussed. There are literally hundreds of wingnut lists out there, take it to one of them. There is no point in pring up very stupid conspiracy theories, either historically or recent.

What such posts do is mark this list as just another wingnut list. Serious intelligent people, looking for peak oil information are turned off by such posts. They then judge that it is just another wingnut list, like hundreds of other such list out there.

Ron Patterson

Energy-related subjects.

Money is an abstraction that allows the symbolic transfer of resources and energy.

So while it is money that is taxed and funneled toward government intentions, the money represents the resources and energy that are siphoned toward certain large-scale activities like oppression and war. Like the oppression to pay an income tax, which then goes to pay for war and interest on the debt.

The energy you seek to procure a way of life for your personal self is drained away toward activities that seek to impede the life you would want to create. A needless struggle, and a waste of energy, efficiently cloaked by abstraction.

The issue regarding the US income tax is fear, and whether or not the law exists is nearly irrelevant. Fear on behalf of oppressive structures that they might lose control. Fear on behalf of the people that, regardless of the legality, the IRS and police will cart them off to jail.

The Fed in particular waqs a bad move. it's mismanagement of monetary policy was a major cause of the depression of the 1930's.

The major cause of the Depression, which no one dares discuss in this reactionary time, is that capitalists wanted more sales without paying workers better salaries. How to do that? Create a debt bubble by massively expanding credit to ordinary Americans, first to buy Fords and radios, then to buy stocks on margin.

Remember, workers were waving red flags in 1919. Capitalism had created massive inequality, injustice, and a monstrously stupid war. The bosses had two choices to deal with the poverty that incited Communism:

1. redistribute wealth
2. inflate consumption without raising wages

Why is this so hard to understand? Hey, we just underwent the exact same scam over the last 28 years. Reagan wanted to turn the clock back to the 1920s, create hyper-capitalism and a ruling class so insanely wealthy that it could make democracy irrelevant. How to do that without making working Americans so poor that they rebelled? Debt, debt, debt. It caught up with Bush Sr. in 1992, but Clinton refused to dismantle the paradigm, and Bush Jr. revved it up again to lead to the current disaster.

Debt bubbles are the owners' way of hiding the polarization of wealth inherent in a private property system. It's just a matter of who takes the fall when they burst.

Another of these conspiricy theories that appear on this board. The Fed mad amess of monetary policy before and after the crash. Herbert Hoover made a mess of everything else. Cock up always makes more sence than conspiricy.

Cept' when it is a conspiracy.

Say in the lysine market. Or the propane market. Or the Californian electricity market.

I know this is off-topic but for the benefit of other readers who may be mislead by the assertion that no valid US law requires the payment of income tax I offer the following:

The Sixteenth Amendment provides: "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

The constitutionality of the Sixteenth Amendment has invariably been upheld when challenged. And numerous courts have both implicitly and explicitly recognized that the Sixteenth Amendment authorizes a non‑apportioned direct income tax on United States citizens and that the federal tax laws as applied are valid. In United States v. Collins, 920 F.2d 619, 629 (10th Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 500 U.S. 920 (1991), the court cited to Brushaber v. Union Pac. R.R., 240 U.S. 1, 12-19 (1916), and noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that the “sixteenth amendment authorizes a direct nonapportioned tax upon United States citizens throughout the nation.”

Subsequent to the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment Congress drafted and made into law the Internal Revenue Code which provides, in relevant part, "There is hereby imposed on the taxable income of—
(1) every married individual (as defined in section 7703) who makes a single return jointly with his spouse under section 6013, and
(2) every surviving spouse (as defined in section 2 (a)),
a tax determined in accordance with the following table:..."

Taxable income is defined as, "all income from whatever source derived,"

I am sure you will provide a rebuttal argument but suffice it to say tax protesters are regularly imprisoned for failing to pay taxes. Additionally, I would point out that you live in a society that has collectively determined that income taxes are appropriate; pay your fair share.

Does not address:
* the amendment gives Congress the supposed right to make a law, a law which has still not been stated because IRS regulations, while they may be currently enforced by the power of the state, are not laws

* whether the amendment was properly ratified

* that the practical, real world punitive enforcement of tax laws, given our prison system, is nothing less than "cruel and unusual"

* that the system gives you no legal recourse if the government does something with your tax money that you find morally reprehensible

Fear of oppression vs. fear of losing control. The existence of the law is almost beside the point.

* whether the amendment was properly ratified

710, don't be absurd. An amendment is not an amendment until it has been ratified. Before that it is only a proposed amendment. Do you actually believe any amendment to the constitution would be listed as an amendment unless it had been ratified? And the rest of your post is just as silly. A nation has certain needs and those needs must be supported by its citizens. Pay your fair share and stop complaining like a spoiled child. Cruel and unusual indeed! Where do you people get this crap?

Ron Patterson

And yet there are arguments against the notion it was ratified - research into the original documentation. Can you explain this, or will you just dismiss it as nonsense?

Is the research of someone like Bensen genuine? Well, the court says "no". But when you hear about people like this guy - an ex IRS investigator - who tried to refute Bensen and couldn't, you have to wonder...

"Cruel and unusual indeed". It's almost as if this comes from someone who knows nothing about the obscene and deplorable state of the modern prison system.

Not to mention that the punitive approach has been tried for, what, 3,700 years since the Codex Hammurabi was penned, and we are in the same position today as we were then. "Criminals" vs. The State. Neither side will ever win, because the problem to be solved has been incorrectly framed, thus dooming it to perpetual misunderstanding and wasted energy.

The designation of "criminal" occurs when you separate the individual from the system s/he inhabits, as though past and present environmental cues and forces don't exist. Kind of like blaming your stomach for being hungry. "Well, if my stomach is going to keep causing me pain, I'll just excise it, until it learns to behave."

For any individual to be "responsible", s/he has to either undo the damage of an incompetent educational system, or poor parenting, or exaggerated claims of misleading religious leaders, or the false promises of manipulative media, or a barren communal and social structure, or oppressive Rube Goldberg governmental procedures. Or s/he has to undo all of the above. Or be incredibly lucky to get the right set of life-management, money-management, and socialization from the beginning. Not to mention the necessary wits to organize it all.

It's interesting about spoiled children. They have a sense of "me, me, me" and of entitlement, of narcissism. Not unlike the sense of superiority and selfish desire to see those who misbehave be imprisoned and tortured. "I paid my fair share, but he didn't, so let's fsck him right up the bunghole, and I wanna watch."

If punishment is best solution we can come up with for aberrant behavior, if we can't learn from this simple mistake of blaming the individual when it is the whole system that needs to be addressed, we will become extinct.

Excising the individual for "wrong" behavior is only possible in a society that places a low amount of value on the individual from the get-go.

And if we want to talk about paying the fair share, then all the tax-exempt religious organizations need to start paying into the government's coffers before the individual coughs up a dime.

As to where I get this crap, I reason, I research, and I think critically, whereas it's almost as if you're just regurgitating and towing the party line.

And we are still back at the issue of the amendment not being properly ratified. Getting it properly ratified would have only taken an additional few months, a year at the outset. But they expected that such a thing wouldn't be possible, so the discrepancies in the state ratification were ignored as a matter of political expediency.

Also, still no law. Also, still a tortuous prison system. Also, still no legal recourse.

Sheesh, I really shouldn't, but here goes:
The 16th Amendment was properly ratified, the dates each state did so are readily available. The Amendment not only gave Congress the "supposed" (whatever "supposed" means) right to make a law, they did in fact do so. The language I quoted is not from the Regulations, which are promulgated by the Treasury, but are from the Internal Revenue Code which is, in fact, a collection of US laws. The Internal Revenue Code is found in Title 26 of the United States Code. Regardless of your opinion about US prison conditions, they do not constitute "cruel and unusual" punishment according to the US Supreme Court. And your last comment is political in nature, and should be addressed through the political process.

If you wish to follow your own law, and not pay your share, may I suggest you move to another country; there are quite a few with lower tax rates than the US, although I'm quite sure you wouldn't want to live in any of them unless you can afford your own security force.

Have you sighted the original documents from each of those states and compared them to the original proposal? Those who have, claim it wasn't ratified... Have you actually researched it properly?

I am sure you will provide a rebuttal argument but suffice it to say tax protesters are regularly imprisoned for failing to pay taxes. Additionally,

I would point out that you live in a society that has collectively determined that income taxes are appropriate; pay your fair share.

I would change that slightly to Tax protesters(ie those who don't pay taxes and make a stink about it) are regularly imprisoned.

Those who CAN afford have 2-5 CPA/LLM's on staff working their 40hr weeks to make sure the Corp/Person doesn't pay any taxes doesn't make a stink about it. They move it to the Caymans.

Society(those who have lobbists working for them) have collectively determined income taxes are appropriate to pay their fair share.

You know the same "Society" that DEMANDED the bankruptcy laws be changed a couple years ago to make sure those deadbeats pay their fair fare.

And show me the list of the majority of state names that PASSED the 16th amendment?

I don't think you can show me that minor fact.

And for a trivia question, name 5 of the invitees to Jekyll Island Georgia back in 1913ish? The "Society" members that "Drafted Up" what the Fed would look like.

In the US taxes are for the little people. The working class pay 25% or more in income taxes, as well as being more affected by sales taxes and paying the bulk of those.

When it was first introduced, the income tax was quite small. The average Joe might pay $10 for the YEAR.

Now the Empire is big, and expensive to run. The average person is burdened with more taxes for less personal benefit in the US than in any other industrialized country.

To avoid taxes in the US you must:

Be rich.

Be so poor you make too little to tax - you'll still pay sales tax, but you'll avoid most tax.

Or simply leave the US - you'll pay taxes where you go, of course, but you won't be feeding the US war machine, and you'll get far more in return for your taxes - things like decent public transit systems and access to medical care.

When you add up federal and state income taxes, payroll taxes, and sales taxes, a lot of people don't realize that once you are making over $33,960 as a single taxpayer, or $72,150 if married, then you are likely paying in excess of 40% on taxes for every additional dollar you make and spend (25% FIT marginal rate, 7.65% FICA/Medicare, maybe around 5% +/- in SIT, and maybe around 5% +/- in sales taxes).

Living frugally, growing a lot of your own food, making a lot of your own stuff, and doing a lot of DIY, is one way to keep the amount of money one must pay in sales taxes to a minimum. Also, by doing it yourself instead of going out and earning money to buy stuff, you are taking yourself out of the income tax and payroll tax loop.

Technically, barter exchanges are supposed to be reported for sales and income tax, but nobody ever does. Ditto for sales and purchases of used goods. As long as you remain a small-time operator and are not getting into sales of goods in quantity, you can usually fly under the radar.

You can't escape taxes completely, but you can make yourself less of a cash cow to be milked by the imperial politicians.

The following states ratified the amendment:[21]

Alabama (August 10, 1909)
Kentucky (February 8, 1910)
South Carolina (February 19, 1910)
Illinois (March 1, 1910)
Mississippi (March 7, 1910)
Oklahoma (March 10, 1910)
Maryland (April 8, 1910)
Georgia (August 3, 1910)
Texas (August 16, 1910)
Ohio (January 19, 1911)
Idaho (January 20, 1911)
Oregon (January 23, 1911)
Washington (January 26, 1911)
Montana (January 27, 1911)
Indiana (January 30, 1911)
California (January 31, 1911)
Nevada (January 31, 1911)
South Dakota (February 1, 1911)
Nebraska (February 9, 1911)
North Carolina (February 11, 1911)
Colorado (February 15, 1911)
North Dakota (February 17, 1911)
Michigan (February 23, 1911)
Iowa (February 24, 1911)
Kansas (March 2, 1911)
Missouri (March 16, 1911)
Maine (March 31, 1911)
Tennessee (April 7, 1911)
Arkansas (April 22, 1911), after having previously rejected the amendment
Wisconsin (May 16, 1911)
New York (July 12, 1911)
Arizona (April 3, 1912)
Minnesota (June 11, 1912)
Louisiana (June 28, 1912)
West Virginia (January 31, 1913)
New Mexico (February 3, 1913)
Ratification (by the requisite thirty-six states) was completed on February 3, 1913 with the ratification by New Mexico (but see Delaware and Wyoming below). The amendment was subsequently ratified by the following states, bringing the total number of ratifying states to forty-two of the forty-eight then existing:

37. Delaware (February 3, 1913)
38. Wyoming (February 3, 1913)
39. New Jersey (February 4, 1913)
40. Vermont (February 19, 1913)
41. Massachusetts (March 4, 1913)
42. New Hampshire (March 7, 1913), after rejecting the amendment on March 2, 1911

This is why I ask if you've actually researched this and sighted the original documents? Those that have say that, as just one of many examples, Kentucky voted 9 for and 22 against... who should we believe?

As NZSanctuary pointed out, there were discrepancies in the original ratification that were never addressed properly. To do so would have only taken additional time.

The amendment wasn't properly ratified, and was only said to be ratified as a matter of political expediency.

The 18th Amendment was ratified properly. But even in that case, it didn't make the amendment beneficial or even moral, and it was eventually repealed.

But how can the 16th Amendment be repealed? Not easily, for sure, as too many powerful interests back its bastard existence, and memes regarding the "inevitably of death and taxes", "you can't fight City Hall", "I fought the law and the law won", and "it's for the good of the people and society" run roughshod and unchallenged though our psychological landscape.

So, even if the 16th Amendment was properly ratified, and it wasn't, it still doesn't address whether or not theft and forced slavery are appropriate for a society that calls itself "civilized".

And still no actual law exists. And still there is no moral recourse that doesn't end in a gunfight or being jailed. And still, after 3,700 years we do not realize that punitive measures are (1) cruel and (2) do not work long-term.

"Taxable income is defined as,"all income from whatever source derived"

the trouble with that is the definition of "income", explain for me if you would the concept of "tax credits". all income is not created equal.
...........and while you are at it, how can a person who pays no tax recieve a "rebate"..........forgive me, i seem to be siding with the republicans in the senate.

and another thing, in my experience,a typical wage earner/taxpayer cannot hire a competent tax attorney or cpa. apparently they all are too busy on million dollar cases to represent a taxpayer with a $4000 dispute with the irs.
just another example of all income not being created equal.

Frankly, it is really f*cking annoying that every 3rd comment in virtually every thread on TOD is by mcgowanmc - not one of his comments has ever been worth anything. Now, none of my comments have ever been worth anything either, but you don't have too many of them to read now, do you?

I really don't want to encourage the conspiracy stuff. Because it's unprovable, and degrades the reputation of the site, but.....

I've met some really evil people working for the federal government, and they were in charge. It didn't take a conspiracy to do bad things, just fear of reprisal. Conventional wisdom in my organization is, keep your mouth shut if you want to keep your job/get a promotion/get a raise. Recently these individual have been forced out, after decades, but only because there is a war on and things have to work right or people die.

On the other hand, I've know some really good people who did the right thing and suffered the reprisals.

As corny as it may sound, very bad people are attracted to power, and for them to succeed, requires good men to do nothing.

I've talked about this with friends who work for other organization and they all immediately and wholeheartedly agreed. (I was kind of surprised at the forcefulness of the agreement.)

As corny as it may sound, very bad people are attracted to power, and for them to succeed, requires good men to do nothing.

It's actually the competitive pyramid system that causes scum to rise to the top.

In a corporate hierarchy system (CEO at the top), people compete with each other to get to the next rung up on that ladder.

The person who is more ruthless (willing to break as many rules as necessary) usually wins.

As you get higher and higher up that corporate triangle, you find the most ruthless people fighting with each other to go one more rung higher. Scum rises.

Lo, though I walk through the valley of death I shall fear no evil, for I am the meanest bastard in this valley.

Which are good reasons for:

A) Not working for big corporations. You only end up allowing yourself to be used and abused by these scum. One must have better uses of one's life than simply being an enabler for these psycopaths, sociopaths, and narcissists.

B) Not providing any more patronage for the goods or services produced by big corporations than is absolutely necessary and unavoidable. They only continue to exist because of their cash flow; cut the cash flow, and they would wither and die overnight. It is impossible to completely boycott them, but one can try to live as frugally as one can, to produce as much by and for oneself as one can, and to patronize local, small-scale, independent businesses whenever possible.

C) Not providing them with investment capital to further expand their footprints on the backs of their workers and customers. One can utilize a local credit union instead of corporate banks. One can refuse to invest one's savings in the giant corporate craps game on Wall Street.

If enough people stop feeding the beasts, just maybe they will starve.

My biggest problem with conspiracy theories is that they expect us to believe that a group of secretive people will all work together toward some single, sinister plan, spanning decades or centuries.

One 'enemy' who is a 'them' is better than a 'bunch of enemies' of whom YOU might be of.

For example - if the 'enemy' is 'the money system' by just using money - you are part of the problem.

Or if 'the problem is big oil' - using products from big oil makes you part of the problem.

You are comparing apples and oranges. People at a local zoning board in a back water town are there for reasons. People that can carry out long term plans in secret are in their positions for reasons.

The differences between the two groups are many: ideology, motoviation, lineage, intelligence, power, wealth, sex, personality type, etc.

Even high level government officials with top secret, and crypto clearances are given only to information that they must have to perform their jobs.

When Roosevelt passed away and Harry Truman suddenly became president he had not an inkling of the Manhattan Project, Oak Ridge, or any other portion of the development of the atomic bomb. He had to be briefed by George Marshall to bring him up to speed. Do not tell me that secrets cannot be kept at the highest level for long periods of time...Well, maybe at your local zoning board. :)

Maybe I missed the point. I thought we were talking about world wide conspiracies. You know, X-files sort of stuff. There is an old saying, ‘Never ascribe to malice what can be equally explained by coincidence or mistake.’ What is the point of these references, other than that people, governments and companies are greedy? That’s not news. That’s true of all of us, plebian and patrician alike. And it still doesn’t prove the existence of organized world wide conspiracies. It just shows that people will try to maneuver conditions to their own benefit to make a buck.

That’s true of all of us, not just the Illuminati/Tri-Lateral/Bildeberg group. But I still contend that large scale conspiracies require a level of organization and obedience that is not normally seen in any group. For instance, a great deal of horse trading and compromise was required to hammer out the constitution of the US (also done in secret, by the way.) Well meaning people differed on what was the right course of action. The Federal Reserve and the IRS made sense at the time and addressed a real problem. Intelligent people may differ on whether they were the right courses of action, whether they are satisfying that need today, or whether some people inserted their own selfish agendas, but we don’t have to resort to the straw man of ‘evil global group X pushing global agenda Y’ to refute them. Human beings are perfectly capable of screwing things up by themselves unintentionally, thank you.

Do you think the annual world economic summit at Davos is to plan the next year’s Machiavellian agenda for the Illuminati or just a bunch of influential people trying to posture themselves into a favorable position in the global market? One sounds like a conspiracy, the other sounds like just common sense. That’s no different than your local chamber of commerce. It doesn’t take a conspiracy for people to work together while looking out for their own best interests. At least not in my backwater berg.


People have speculated about an October surprise in every election I can recall. It never really happens, except that sometimes there is a last-minute attempt to dump some new dirt on a candidate. Even that can sometimes backfire (as happened with the Dan Rather/CBS News report on Bush and the National Guard in 2004) and isn't often attempted.

In the United States, we have held elections during the Vietnam War, the Korean War, World War 2, The Great Depression, World War 1 and even the Civil War, when many of the states could not participate. A crisis that would postpone the elections is unlikely.

As opposed to a crisis that would allow a President to openly resort to torture and then force Congress to accept his perverted definition of what torture is? Or allow a President to deface bills passed by Congress with his own deformations that reverse their intent - with no Congressional retaliation? The Constitution isn't what it used to be. Or Americans are not what we used to be.

It is hard to know what will happen. As long as the financial markets stay together, we are probably OK. If there is a serious disruption to the financial markets, the probability of disruption to other systems increases.

The much feared excess of democracy is brutally crushed.

In the vast global Lebensraum bombs and WMDs are the preferred tools, while in the USA Homeland vast numbers of illegal immigrants, dissenters, and useless eaters are disappeared into re-education camps featuring extreme make over day spas with the latest water boarding techniques, and very special chain gang Pilates work out sessions.

Anyone in poverty or behind in mortgage payments will find Homeland Security Limos making sweeps through the nation to whisk them away to a whole new life in a reality TV show designed to entertain the security folks at their new fully wired digs.

GWB promised a humble and caring administration. McCain, Obama, and/or Clinton will try to squeeze themselves in as agents of "hope" and "change" -- but beware the candidates with idealistic rhetoric and plans to remake the Empire in their own image.

If the USA election is not delayed, rest assured that our next administration will be primed to continue the Imperial Agenda.

"Injun Country" needs to be vastly depopulated, while the Homeland needs to be thoroughly purged of dissent.

So, how are things in "the rest of the world"?

This is it, this is exactly right. The American people rejected candidates in the primaries who openly rejected the maintenance of empire. At some level of code-speak or reasoning most Americans sense that our military works to enforce resource transfer arrangements necessary to continue our "way of life". They suspect that if America closes the bases it has in 130 sovereign (?) nations, their lives will get uncomfortable. But empire abroad cannot logically support democracy at home. If you are the sort of person who feels that armed coercion and fraud against foreigners are necessary, then what stops you from feeling that they are also necessary at home? You might convince yourself that certain fellow citizens are "foreign" in their essence to justify that same coercion, rather than allow them to jeopardize aforementioned resource transfer arrangements via their dissent.

I believe that it was the presidential election of 1900 (after Spanish-American War) when one candidate had a flyer with the US flag (46 stars ?) and the motto The Flag of a Republic Forever, That of an Empire Never !

He lost.


That would have been none other than William Jennings Bryan. He was a supporter of the Anti-Imperialist League, which was opposed to our continued occupation of the Phillipines.

Why do we not have an Anti-Imperialist League today?

...At some level of code-speak or reasoning most Americans sense that our military works to enforce resource transfer arrangements necessary to continue our "way of life". They suspect that if America closes the bases it has in 130 sovereign (?) nations, their lives will get uncomfortable...

Right, back to "3 days of the Condor"

Higgins: "Not now - then. Ask them when they're running out. Ask them when there's no heat in their homes and they're cold. Ask them when their engines stop. Ask them when people who've never known hunger start going hungry.

Do you want to know something?
They won't want us to ask them.
They'll just want us to get it for them."

And they will just want the military, the CIA, whoever, whatever, to GET it for them, and by "they" I mean every volvo-driving brie-eating liberal on earth. I mean everyone in the country except for a very, very, few weirdos, Amish, and Unabomber types.

(By Unabomber types I don't just mean Ted, but also Ted's rather saintly brother, who also lived on very little for years, and does stuff like volunteer work in poor areas etc - guys/gals like that are a REAL threat, due to showing anti-materialism can work.)

I have watched for some time as Cheney and his remaining neo-cons battled the military for control of the military and military missions. I believe that the cooler heads of the military (boy, thought I would never write that!) are prevailing. But, I do not rule out an 'October Surprise', or, one occuring in any other month between now and October.

I have no doubt now that our economy is going to tank and big time. A war is the last resort to bring the world to heel in the thinking of TPTB. Otherwise, we slide into the position of a second tier power. I believe they will roll the dice one more time. I would not be relocating to a large city just yet.

The end game of Empire is in sight.

The war with Iran (or "Geopolitical event") predictions seem to have a worse track record than CERA. And weren't you claiming that a Saudi stock market crash one year ago proved the end was here?

I think you have been right about a lot of things, but if you are going to keep tossing out a new hypothesis every week or so, and then lambasting others for being wrong, I think you owe us a decent accounting of what you forecast and when.

Anyone can forecast one hundred things, then point to the five best and claim genius.

At least we have finally given up on screaming every time the navy fires up an aircraft carrier.

Pretty soon Yergin is going to start calling every prediction of doom a "Westexas"

He did put on his tin foil hat first.
My problem with it is: It provided folks an opportunity to respond to a WAG, as if it was a serious possibility.

It provided folks an opportunity to respond to a WAG, as if it was a serious possibility.

And help to make this thread roughly 50% crap and responding to crap.

What on earth made Westexas, who is often a serious poster, think that what TOD needs right now is another rambling exhibition of paranoia?

Let's start with the observation that the Bush administration used manipulated data and propaganda to justify an unprovoked attack on a leading oil exporter in the Middle East. Given this observation, lots of things are possible.

Then we have the curious decision to basically fill the SPR to its current capacity, at a pretty damn aggressive rate--125,000 bpd.

Furthermore, read some of the stuff from the Neocon Brigade regarding Iran. They are practically foaming at the mouth. While, as I have noted several times, the people who would be doing the actual fighting and dying, the US military, are by and large a lot more cautious.

Finally, let's assume that you were a Neocon in charge of the county and that you were keenly aware of Peak Oil/Peak Exports. What region of the world would you seek to control?

I don't really disagree with any of this. But was all just as true the last 100 times that an "incident" was speculated on. Face it. This line of guess work has a track record much, much worse than Yergin's.

..and why is Jack to say what the TOD needs and doesn't need? Are you on the staff?

Why can't I? Given your track record, I’m not surprised you resent the scrutiny. But it is my right to make the observation.

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending February 1, 2008

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged nearly 14.5 million barrels per day during the week ending February 1, down 126,000 barrels per day from the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 84.3 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production moved lower compared to the previous week, averaging 8.7 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production rose last week, averaging 4.0 million barrels per day.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged 10.5 million barrels per day last week, up 458,000 barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged nearly 10.3 million barrels per day, 87,000 barrels per day above the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 1.1 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 371,000 barrels per day last week.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) rose by 7.0 million barrels compared to the previous week. At 300.0 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are in the middle of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 3.6 million barrels last week, and are above the upper limit of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and gasoline blending components inventories increased last week. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 100,000 barrels, and are in the middle of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories decreased by 3.9 million barrels last week. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 9.6 million barrels last week, and are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year.

And here's what they were expecting:

A Reuters poll ahead of Wednesday's U.S. inventory report calls for a 2.6 million-barrel build in crude stocks, its fourth consecutive increase.

Analysts were also expecting a 1.9 million-barrel decline in distillate supplies and a 2 million-barrel increase in gasoline stocks.

Whew! They made some more oil!

I guess all us kooks can just stop reading the OilDrum and go back to Yahoo and Fox now. It's a lot easier, too. The stories are so much cheerier and shorter, besides.

7m barrels is a huge build. I wonder who didn't get that oil. Hmmmmm.....South Africa and about 30 other countries spring to mind! Ironically enought I wonder if it also means that Bagdad has liffted it's electricity out of the 6hrs per day zone!


It looks like we are getting a breath of relief. Until the summer? Or until the now starting US recession is over?

Who the hell knows.

Oil prices are back in the range in which refineries last exhibited willingness to buy. This further confirms that the industry itself believes that the $80 range is a fair price for crude, which further confirms, regardless of public statements to the contrary, that supplies have tightened considerably since 2005 and that the price rise, at least to the $80 range was based on fundamentals. This is also consistent with OPEC's announced plans to consider cuts in production, arguably to defend that $80-ish price range even in the face of a recession starting around the world. Right now oil price is logically in the $80-ish price range and surges above that can be viewed as fear premiums or speculative moves. Note that this may not be true in 6 months but it does appear to be true at the moment. The majors are comfortable with this price as is OPEC.

What can change this, in either direction? Recession, resulting in serious drops in demand, or continued economic expansion especially in Asia resulting in serious increases in demand, all while supply remains on the ongoing plateau we've seen for the last several years. Given that recession appears the most probable outcome, we can probably expect some weakening in prices. Further, this is liable to hold off new projects from being developed quite as rapidly. This, in turn, may extend the plateau rather than see another production spike upwards towards the 88-90mbpd that some have expected as the ultimate peak. So rather than Robert's expectation that we may hit something near 90 mbpd or so by 2010 as the ultimate peak, we might instead see several more years of 84-85mbpd production. This assumes that Bakhtiari, Ace, and Deffeyes are wrong in their projections, which point to notable declines beginning in the 2009-2010 timeframe. However, if Bakhtiari, Ace, and Deffeyes are correct and production begins to fall even as we enter a recession, oil may fall more slowly or even hold its current price (be "sticky" as Mish once wrote) or possibly even rise, all dependent upon the actual decline rate.

Of particular interest to me will be the downstream impact of a recession on new projects. I wonder if Stuart and the other mega-project editors will work such considerations into their models?

Good analysis.

The bottom line is that economic and price volatility will prevent us from implementing serious mitigation policies until we are well into the decline phase, and possibly well after the (in)direct economic protuberances are far behind us.

It has often been the case we are mocking the "invisible hand" here, but this seems to be getting way too serious to rely on superstitious economics. I don't think this is much to ask - a simple long-term price floor could do miracles. Better yet coupled with a carbon tax to affect the demand side - if indeed there happens to be "plenty of oil" out there, then at least we'll be able to address climate change with it (and let this "plenty" last for longer, right?).

This takes us right back to the Hirsch report that so many cornucopians love to mock. Yet as you note, we'll end up being deep in the decline phase before we can effectively mitigate, exactly the prediction that Hirsch makes if we take the BAU approach.

To be effective and avoid serious dislocations, we should have started a long while ago. However, while time has grown short, we can still keep the pain levels down somewhat by deciding to move hard and fast now. Yet we do not. Instead we fiddle while Rome burns.

To be effective and avoid serious dislocations, we should have started a long while ago.

You mean like back when we had a President who made a speech in his sweater telling us(US) all that we have to change the way we were living?

BEFORE someone else came in and said that the way "We were living was not negotiable" ?

You mean we should have done something back then?

(Tongue back out of cheek)

In case no one has posted this before here:


Jimmy Carter


Read it and weep.

Industry hedgers have been closing out short contracts and adding long contracts on WTI every time the price has dipped down below $90. http://www.cftc.gov/dea/futures/deanymesf.htm. The week ending Jan. 8th hedgers were net short 100,506 contracts. By Jan. 29th they were net short only 31,075 contracts. (That's low, in terms of positions over the past year.) The large specs have similarly greatly reduced their net longs, which means that when the price finally does start to move, there's potential for a huge spec pile-on (and the usual overshoot).

Hedgers haven't been net long since February of 2007, and they haven't gotten very far net long since late 2005.

Basically this means the people keeping the price in the upper $80s right now are the industry people, not speculators.

Thanks for the further confirmation, Moe. That takes us right back to the industry being comfortable with this price and thus the ongoing cost of extraction at this price which in turn tell us implicitly what they think about supply. That doesn't mean they necessarily believe this is peak but they sure do believe supply is tight.

U.S. crude inventories up 7.6 mln barrels last week: API

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) - U.S. crude inventories rose by 7.6 million barrels to 302.2 million barrels in the week ending Feb. 1, the American Petroleum Institute reported on Wednesday. Distillate stocks fell by 2 million barrels to 129.3 million barrels in the same period, while gasoline stocks gained by 5.6 million barrels to 225.2 million barrels, the API said.

People have gone from stealing copper to just stealing brass water meters here in Florida...not sure if they are just stupid or if there is really secondhand or scrap value to these meters....


ORLANDO, Fla. -- The latest of several attempts to steal water meters to cash in on the metal damaged some lines outside a downtown Orlando nursing home, endangering the lives of residents inside.

A coworker at my old job had the external air conditioner coils stolen from her church, presumably to sell for scrap. This was back in the summer, so it obviously put a damper on things at the church for a week or two. A shame, really.

Could they just not pray to God for cooler weather?

Seriously though 5 years ago I would have dumped my central heating system (loads of copper and steel) I replaced the entire system this year as it was very broken and got £200 (about $1800 in 2009 money) for all of my scrap metal!


and got £200 (about $1800 in 2009 money)

£1 = $9 in 2009???

Do you have some insider knowledge you'd like to share?

Speaking of Church, I kinda dread going there tonight in a way.

I have been quite vocal about the declining oil situation in the world.

I am quite sure the 7.8 Million barrel glut will be brought to my attention in front of everyone else.

Geez, what can I say? They think I am a fool for preparing, spending extra money for efficiency, while they show me the shiny new things I could have bought with my money. One of my biggest critics just bought a brand new SUV.

Although I would like to cite things like "declining oil fields", the "Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 3.6 million barrels last week, and are above the upper limit of the average range" numbers speak quite loudly.

Matter of fact, the "above the upper limit" literally screams.

Chicken Little: "The Sky is Falling!!!". Or so I feel at the moment. The evidence against my belief is getting overwhelming. I flat do not know where all that oil is coming from, but the newsheads say its there, and who am I to argue?

I am sure they will drill me on how my oil exploration stocks have done. I expect one of them will warn me about how I should check my tires daily for loose lug nuts and make sure my engine bolts are tight before starting the car. And the rest of them will laugh.

Monthly variations are really pretty meaningless. The numbers are for just one month in just one country. Look at the long term trends.

Well the way I look at it is: OECD still has the ability to buy all the oil they need, only because the rest of the world doesn't.
Just because we are building stocks doesn't mean the entire world supply is sufficient.

The numbers are huge, and its been going on for several weeks now. Positive.

It makes me wonder what others know that I do not. Whatever it is, I am losing the money I wanted to grow so I would have enough to do my solar absorption refrigeration research.

OEPIX. I figured those guys would do well. So far I am nearly back to breakeven and dropping. In hindsight, I should have placed my bets on UIPIX, for a collapsing economy. I had too much faith the powers that be would do whatever was necessary to keep the economy up during election season. I had too much faith that declining production at major oil fields would show up in our inventories.

I find it a real tough sell to convince businesses to go to more energy conservation. Existing technologies are so cheap compared to all the R&D and unknowns I face to get my solar driven system running. With the "system" promising unlimited amounts of oil, businesses are hard pressed to justify any funding for me.

And the Bush Administration, forget it. They will pay me for making kids, but if I want to father a solar absorption system, I am on my own. I have no kids. My research was what I lived for. And no one wants it.

I see - you used the information you found to try to make investments and make money in the short term. The day to day details are way too unpredictable IMO. It is only the long term trends that are predictable - longer than months. As the system gets more and more stressed, it will become even more unpredictable on a short term basis. But if you step back and look, the changes ARE happening, even if the typically uninformed do not see it yet - that is not wisdom, it is ignorance.

Also, just because you understand what is happening does not automatically mean you will have much, if any, advantage over others.

Thanks for your reply, Twilight.

Your assessment of my action is correct. Being I have worked in geological research - as an engineer - for a major oil company for about ten years, I am quite aware of what you guys here are saying. I have seen the graphs too. The ones here are much more recent than the ones I had privy too.

Being recently mandatorily "retired" from the aerospace industry ( another way of saying "laid off" ), I had my retirement plan dumped in my lap, which I redeployed into oil centered mutual funds (PSPFX, OEPIX), as I liked the assortment of stocks those fund managers had selected.

It has just been way too puzzling for me how I see the graphs I see, yet somehow oil keeps showing up.

Seeing our Prez go in front of the Saudis when we are showing above average inventories asking for increases, especially after I have seen those linux maps of Ghawar, kinda reeks of someone driving up to a welfare office in a brand new BMW SUV and getting a handout.

I probably should be shot as an American but I see the Saudi stewardship of their resources being more sensible than ours - which seems to be almost like a eating contest over who can finish their plate first.

If I knew there was alternatives, I would not be that concerned, but seeing firsthand how little the people who have the financial power to make things happen seem to understand the predicament, it leads me to imagine more the worst scenario.

Its like warning the smoker at the gas station about smoking at the pump. After being rebuffed, I know he isn't gonna listen to me. Its gonna take first degree burns all over his body - THEN he will know. Some people are just like that. The moneyed elite think their money will protect them from anything, so they enjoy the priviledge of wealth.

As long as they have their checkbook and cellphone, they will continue to have their ass kissed to perfection by those who desperately need their little scraps of paper with numbers and a signature on it.

Unless we get to Mad Max, where physical strength, cunningness, and violence overturn Law, and money is useless - it doesn't even make decent toilet paper. At that point, life as I know it is over. I do not wanna go there.

And if that is the way they treat you then leave. How very "Christian" of them!


Its me. Not them. I deserve it. I made an ass of myself with all my prophesy of woe.

I was the one spouting off all the time last year when things looked sour. I presented it too seriously, the rest had "seen it all before" and knew, like a storm, it will pass.

I still think it is the beginning of a tsunami.

hardhat - Had a major row with the wife and extended fam.

Bro-inlaw says " so, seems like TEOTWAWKI didn't happen eh? seems like we got alllllll the oil we want eh?"

I say " yeah but at what price eh?" (he says eh? alot, not me).

I'm sick of people saying "TEOTWAWKI has not happened yet huh? what's up with that?

I have never said this is about TEOTWAWKI. I just talk about the issues and THEY turn it into end of times S*#T.

I just smile and take a sip of the $40 Pinot they brought .




They are trying to make all of us look like an ass and be discredited by society.

Intelligent wolves would let the shepherd boy see them, then run back in the woods, leaving no evidence of their visit. Over and over again. Let the shepherd boy make the whole world think he was just a tease.

When no one will listen to the kid, bring all your brothers down and have a feast. The shepherd boy may jump up and down and excitedly report the problem in the field, while the powers that be ridicule him. The guns stay on the wall while the wolves feast.

The next day, the powers that be find they have no sheep, and lay off the shepherd.


Could be the thieves were simply ignorant. I wasnt long ago that I read theives were stealing vinyl siding from homes and trying to sell it to scrap yards. Evidently they thought it would fetch the same price as the aluminum siding that other thieves had been stealing and selling. Never underestimate the amount of ignorance out there. :)

Basically, thieves are idiots. Thieves broke into my friend's van, stole the crappy OEM radio out of there, and ignored the somewhat nice 2-meter ham rig in there. They're idiots. At least they did plenty of damage ripping out that shitty Delco.

They're stealing stuff --> money ---> drugs.

I'd think leaving something that looks like drugs sitting around.... but it's not..... well I've said enough.

I had my gas stored in a blue 5 gal jug marked 'kerosene' and my kerosene in a red 5 gal jug marked 'gasoline'...thieves came in one night and snitched the red jug...maybe the joke is on me and they were just low on stove oil, but I was laughing at the thought of some idiot pouring 5 gal of kerosene in his gas tank...I dunno tho, what would it do?

Kerosene in a gasoline engine is just about like running diesel. The molecules in kerosene have twelve to fifteen carbon atoms, while that octane rating is actually based on 2,2,4 trimethylpentane - eight carbon atoms. Lots of damage in short order if the Google links are to be believed.

I know farm kids who used to make a practice of leaving a bit of gas in the line, then switching the tank to diesel on a dual feed system. Dunno the particulars as we only had a gasoline tank and then only when I was real little so I never got to operate even that one. Seems like this would cure one of fuel pilfering as well as a padlock and perhaps a lot more permanently.

Wheat futures up another 30 cents. May wheat $10.49
July soybeans pushing $14
July Corn $5.48 and rising

Gasoline futures falling

Ethanol losses increasing. We need more subsidies.

Troubled homeowners: Can't pay? Just walk away

More and more borrowers are watching their house values sink while the cost of their loans skyrockets. What to do? Skip out on the mortgage all together.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Mortgage payments are set to jump. Home prices have plunged. "I'm outta here."

Homeowners are abandoning their homes and, more importantly, their mortgages, rather than trying to keep up with rising payments on deteriorating assets. So many people are handing their keys back to lenders that a new term has been coined for it: jingle mail.

Besides being an obvious source of stress in the household.

I wonder what kind of effect this is having on marriages and unions?

When a couple of people buy a house together are both of their names on the title?

It would make sense for one person to take the credit bankruptcy hit while the other person is free and clear to buy another or the same house for 1/2 price.

Exactly...I see advantages here.

Married couple, one income. The non-working spouse quit deeds the house and cars to the other, waits two years so there's no disclosure of asset transfer, takes cash advances on all available credit ("consumer debt"), files an individual Chapter 7. Lists the house payment as a liability (as a joint tennant), and with no income, is absolved of said debt.

I'd be kidding if I didn't just witness this. But -- it isn't any different than walking away from a mortgage. More blatant, sure, but taking a credit hit to avoid tens of thousands in losses makes perfect sense. You could argue that doing so is fulfiling your role as an American, living in the land of unearned riches.

I have a feeling that the length of time between restoring a bad credit rating is roughly the same amount of time before the housing market corrects...

I don't feel sorry for the banks/lenders in this case. They are the professionals who wrote the mortgage contracts. If those professionals wrote a loan for no-money-down and with "no recourse" to someone with no ability to repay, they get exactly what the deserve: a repossessed and depreciated house. Many of the banks/lenders have been in the business for decades; they knew exactly what they were doing and they knew the risks. In this case, their own greed caught up with them.

The Greedy have done more than all right. The shareholders have paid the price and soon the taxpayers will foot the bill.

BrianT, Thanks for stating the essence of the matter in so few words.

'The shareholders have paid the price and soon the taxpayers will foot the bill'.

This quotation should be splashed in very large headlines across the WSJ...and beneath in smaller print:

'As usual, all profits are privitized, all losses are socialized'. 'American Capitalisim is alive and well and as proof we offer the recent debacle wrought by 'the nerdy economists', working in little cubicles, designing debt instruments that no one can understand...except, of course, themselves. The nerdy economists then passed on their new inventions to their big boy bs artist bosses (the ones occupying the window offices) that sold these new inventions far and wide.'

The nerdy economist inventors have given an entire new meaning to the phrase 'job security'...These people are truly essential. How can these guys be fired? There would be no one to explain how these debt instruments work...to the Fed, the SEC, the Treasury, and the CEOs. The big boy bs artists can be replaced by scouring any used car lot for salesmen...The CEOs can be replaced by any heartless SOB willing to hand out thousands of pink slips on Xmas eve (think Scrouge)...but the nerdy economist inventors must stay on the payroll.

The entire affair seems to have some sort of perverted justice to it...sort of like Bush being elected president twice...H.L. Mencken once wrote that 'someday the American People are going to elect the president that they deserve'...I wonder if Mencken considered that we would someday get the economists that we deserve?...He probably already knew it for he lived through the '29 crash and great depression.

Sorry about the long rant...dour mood...was over to Morgan Stanley today and finished getting out of the discretionary portion of our economy. I cannot quite describe the feeling...something between attending the funeral of a good friend and a trip to the dentist. Maybe tomorrow will bring a brighter mood...Or maybe its time for a few beers at the Boot Hill.

When faced with a money-losing proposition, people behave in an economically rational way? That is news.


As Houses Empty, Cities Seek Ways
To Fill the Void

February 6, 2008; Page B1

Cities are scrambling to cope with a surge in vacant homes and abandoned properties in the latest fallout from the mortgage-lending crisis. Nationwide, the homeowner-vacancy rate, which measures the number of vacant homes for sale, rose to 2.8% in the fourth quarter, the Census Bureau recently reported. That matches a record set in the first quarter of 2007 and is the highest since the government began tracking vacant homes in the 1960s.

The current vacancy rate could be the highest since the Great Depression, when an exodus of Americans left the Dust Bowl states for the West Coast, says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com.. Data "strongly suggest that vacancies are at their highest level since the 1930s," he says, adding that the empty homes aren't only depressing property values, "they are weighing on the collective psyche of communities. ... It's kind of like playing for a losing team. It's debilitating.". . . .

Setting the Record Straight on Mexico

Calderon stole the presidential election in Mexico from Obrador. Since that time a civil war has been taking place in Mexico. As much a Class War and Revolution, the supporters of Obrador have targeted the oil facilities in Mexico. They have been responsible for the attacks on oil and gas piplines across Mexico disrupting supplies to foreign manufacturing forcing them to shut down for extended periods. The blockading of onshore oil facilities is another act in the ongoing civil war. Their goal; nothing less than driving out foreign investment and cutting the purse strings of Calderon and his illigitimate Government.

It is strange the poster suports this. After all the effect on the Mexican economy of driving out foreign investment would be the equivelent of direct bombing. Sore losers should be discouraged.

This is a warning that all is not as it appears in Mexico. The US(and other western) Media has been complicit in covering up what is really going on. My guess is the US/Mexico fence is really intended to stop refugees. If what is going on in Mexico is more like what is going on in Nigeria or Iraq, rather than disruptions caused by storms, rough seas, fog, oil thieves, and impotent insignificant has-beens, as reported by Western Media, this is important knowledge.

Overwhelming evidence reveals massive fraud in the 2006 Mexican presidential election between president-elect Felipe Calderon of the conservative PAN party and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the more liberal PRD. In an election riddled with arithmetic mistakes, a partial recount uncovered evidence of abundant stuffing and stealing of ballots that favored the PAN victory.
Meanwhile, US interests were significantly invested in the outcome of Mexico's election. Though neither candidate had any choice but to cooperate with the US agenda, important differences existed around energy policy, specifically with regard to foreign privatization of Mexican oil and gas reserves.




Sore losers should be discouraged?!?!! Give me a Break.

the trouble is that Mexico's oil is declining and to arrest that decine they need money and technology from somewhere. persuing their nationalist course their oil revenues, on which the state depends, are going to go up the spout. Caught between a rock and a hard place?

Do you ever have a problem with right-wing sore losers, like the terroristic Miami Cubans, or the coup-plotting Venezuelan robber barons, or the many terrorist groups being trained by the US to sabotage Iran? But you're not American so you don't have to share ideological space with the many sore losers who still hate Abraham Lincoln and FDR and make excuses for the KKK and Hitler.

Maybe the Americanized rich are becoming so stupid, short-sighted and depraved that the Latin poor will try again and again to kill them off rather than live like animals.

In the event that Mexico may fail as a nation state by January, 2010, what might the repercussions be for the US?

In Columbia, the civil war started in 1947, FARC is the opposing side still fighting. Class wars can take time due to the resource imbalance. This dictates different strategies, leading to a guerrilla war, who's tactics are referred to as terrorist or extremist, to illigitimize guerrilla warfare, which is the only way, apart from a popular uprising and burning the elite to death in their mansions(French Revolution, Russian Revolution), to achieve their objectives.(Both the French and Russian Revolutions required large numbers to begin starving to death before action by the population was taken.) Vietnam is a good example of a successful guerrilla war.(They started fighting the French in 1941). Ireland a good example of one that failed. (But, only after about 200 years.) Guerrilla wars are generational. Rarely do those who begin it live to see it's conclusion.






In Columbia, the civil war started in 1947, FARC is the opposing side still fighting...
...Vietnam is a good example of a successful guerrilla war.(

I don't know about the Vietnamese, but the FARC guys did pretty well. I mean the head of the NY Stock Exchange didn't come and do a cold call for business with the Vietnamese like he did FARC.

The Real Deal: The Ultimate New Business Cold Call

Here's a picture of (Then) NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso Embracing A FARC Commander.


In late June 1999, numerous news services, including Associated Press, reported that Richard Grasso, Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange flew to Colombia to meet with a spokesperson for Raul Reyes of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), the supposed "narco terrorists" with whom we are now at war.

The purpose of the trip was "to bring a message of cooperation from U.S. financial services" and to discuss foreign investment and the future role of U.S. businesses in Colombia.

Some reading in between the lines said to me that Grasso's mission related to the continued circulation of cocaine capital through the US financial system. FARC, the Colombian rebels, were circulating their profits back into local development without the assistance of the American banking and investment system. Worse yet for the outlook for the US stock market's strength from $500 billion - $1 trillion in annual money laundering - FARC was calling for the decriminalization of cocaine.

But Decriminalizing it would remove the profits wouldn't it?

No conspiracies, just pictures. No words are needed.

Decriminalizing cocaine, or other illegal substances, won't remove profits, it would instead redistribute and decentralize associated costs and revenues.

In that respect, decriminalization is about the decentralization and removal of the current system of influence and control.

Iran says Iraq claims on oil wells are unfounded

Iran says Iraq claims on oil wells are unfounded

TEHRAN (ISNA) - Iran has said Iraq’s unusual claim over oil wells located near the Iran-Iraq border is totally unfounded.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini stated that the claim seems to be baseless and those who make such claims do not provide enough information.

Monday Iraq accused Iran of illegal extraction of Iraq’s oil reserves.

Hosseini has said Iran is ready to hold a committee with technical boards from both countries to look into the issue.

The American news agency United Press wrote Iraqi foreign ministry sent a letter to Iranian officials accusing Iran of unlawful oil extraction from Iraq’s oil wells.

The letter delivered by Iraq’s embassy in Tehran says Iran should stop oil activities in those fields until both sides sign a memorandum in this regard, Iraqi foreign minister deputy said.

An Iraqi board is to trip to Iran soon to discuss border-related issues and joint oilfields, he added.

But one of Iraqi oil ministry top officials criticized the charges against Iran and accused Kuwait of illegal extraction of Iraq’s oil reserves.

The numbers also confirm Pvdsa CEO and Minister of Energy and Petroleum Rafael Ramírez's announcement last month that the conglomerate's consolidated debt grew in 2007. He added, however, that assets soared too in the same period, as amidst strategic partnerships at the Orinoco Oil Belt migrated to joint ventures where Pdvsa holds a majority stake.

Yeah, it's funny how that works. Your assets often soar when you seize someone else's assets.

Worked just GREAT for the United States of America in pursuing our Manifest Destiny !


That's what happens in international commerce. That's why you have professional risk managers on staff. For a long time the US had a government in there that gave everyone in the oil industry great deals. Those that took took the deals should have known that someday the people in the country might take it back. If the risk manager didn't take that into account in running the numbers they weren't doing their job.

Hello TODers,

Just lurking and surfing the past few days, but I found a very interesting link on tractor exhaust to replace N fertilizer [obviously P & K and other trace minerals will still be required]:

For the past two years, the Carrol, Manibota, farmer has pumped the exhaust from his planter tractor into the furrow with the seed rather than applying full rates of nitrogen on the crop.

The result: Continued high yields of wheat, barley and canola and much lower fertilizer costs, says Carlisle, who spoke at the Manitoba-North Dakota Zero Tillage Conference in Minot, N.D.

Carlisle says he has cut his fertilizer rates 75% and not seen a decrease in yields or soil nutrient levels.

The tractor exhaust – which consists mainly of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide – is making up the difference.

“We are not mining the soil,” he says.
I am not a farmer, engineer, chemist, or scientist, but this is truly fascinating to me if it will allow Haber-Bosch natgas N prices to moderate from its currently rapid-rising rate. I hope those with more expertise will comment.

Perhaps it can help solidify my case for pipelined SpiderWebRiding too:

Imagine lots of powergenplants spiderweb distributing their exhaust back to the rural areas for direct injection into the soil, with railbikes and railPHEVs riding atop the network. Thxs for any expert elaboration or refutation.

EDIT: changed raiding to riding. OOPs!

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

Hate to be a 'Nervous Nelly' and all, but what are the other trace components of Diesel exhaust that he is putting into bed with his little baby crops?

'Great Matters must be handled lightly, while small things must be considered with great seriousness..'
- Recalled from 'Ghost Dog, Way of the Samurai'

Hello Jokuhl,

Probably no different than what comes down when it rains as this tends to help pick up the former exhaust particles. This new method might result in quicker soil acidification [PH] than the acid rains, but in might be easier to control before the acids runoff to streams, rivers, and lakes. My feeble two cents.

Hey, Bob.
I wish I could buy it, but I can't. It would be great to get both birds (fertilizers and exhaust pollution) solved in a single stroke like this, but this is putting the exhausts hot and concentrated right in with the seedstock, in direct contact. I have to believe this would be the most direct and intense way to contaminate both the soil and the seed/sprouts. What arrives from the rains is bad enough, but at least it's diffused out to the non-growing lands and waterways as well. This one sounds like the fluoride bath your dentist gives your teeth. "You're soaking in it!"

Thanks for your regular thoughts and concerns. I am inspired by them. (I'm rebuilding the Camera-Wheelbarrow this week for an upcoming job, refining my 'Lego Components' idea. The Wheels were part of a Halloween float a few months ago, and stored in their little squared-off component shapes very conveniently! I'd love to send you pix of it. Send me an email so I can reply to it, if you want a couple snaps of 'Toto-inspired' wheelworks!) Now I've got a rugged little 36volt motor and speed controller, too, so I can make an Electric Cart for needful tasks.

Bob Fiske

Yeah...I was thinking the same thing.

I don't know the breakdown of the exhaust, but I would wager there are some 'nasties' in there you wouldn't want directly into the food chain.


Re that item on coal reserves. These drops are amazing, with Germany's dropping 99%. It looks like somebody got a decimal point in the wrong place. The whole business seems strange. Whats going on?

A technology change can make worthless rock quite valuable. It works the other way. What has changed in German power generation? Not just wind power, because coal is baseload.

Was the Wager Challenges CERA Oil Supply Prediction story just added? Money where mouth is time. They got ca. 25 mbpd to go in 9 years, above and beyond supplanting declines. Should see about 2 mb more this year, woo hoo! Peak Oil is Garbage!

Background and two versions of the Score Card are available for your use here:


Hello Leanan,

I just LOVE the newest toplink on the $100,000 bet to CERA--throwing down the gauntlet on who can do the best research and prediction on the coming reality.

I would like to see ASPO and the TopTODer researchers financially backed fulltime by Simmons, Rainwater, and Pickens, plus any other donations to really help leverage their efforts [even if a supercomputer is required]. Will the USGS, MMS, EIA, CIA, NSA, DOE, and IEA kick funds to CERA or ASPO? Would OPEC and KSA's Aramco choose to fund CERA or ASPO? It would be very telling on which side these orgs threw their money as to future plans. I would like to see this bet grow to $100 billion with Vegas, and other corporate bookies, letting everyone get in on the action. IMO, it could really help spread Peak Outreach.

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

$100k is chump change for these guys, lets put some real money on the table.

Hello Homebrew,

Dave Cohen has an excellent text up on EB to explain more on CERA's deception:

...Let us state for the record for the umpteenth time that those concerned about peak oil evaluate the ability of the world to lift oil out of the ground or synthesize it for actual consumption, taking in to account all of the factors that may affect how much oil can be produced now and will be produced in the future. No one cares about CERA's theoretical oil, nor should they.....

Beautiful job by Dave on that piece, a difficult topic and he nailed it. I'm still LMAO over that bet. Wish this was on CNN. I'd love to see Danny squirm over why CERA has ignored it.

Another reason to adopt the "Cheap is the New Chic" philosophy:

Item from Drudge about Mexican kidnapping gangs targeting Americans:


Another reason people need to know there is a civil war going on in Mexico. Otherwise, they are unknowingly vacationing in a war zone.

I understand the beaches in Nigeria are beautiful this time of year.

What are you talking about? Why should "doomers" have to explain anything about why SA can't keep power to its industries?

where is the person that said got olduvai?

where is everyone saying how bad the global power grid was and how South Africa was a symptom of the larger problem of peak oil? meanwhile in the real world South Africa finally sees the light of alternative energy, conservation and building more power plants.

Sorry, I lost you here. Your point was? All I'm seeing is reports of industry outstipping supply of electricity, and perhaps a claim that industry could, possibly, produce electricity themselves, maybe more than they need and sell some to the grid. A lot of ifs and maybes while confirming the sorry state of affairs. Perhaps, you are the one with some explaining to do.

A lot of ifs and maybes while confirming the sorry state of affairs.

nope. lots of solutions to counter the doomers and all of which can be applied to peak oil mitigation.

I see no solutions in either article. You appear to be scared, panicing, and not thinking very clearly. I believe it is called grasping at straws. Perhaps some courses in logic and epistimology may help you structure your thinking, so you can grasp the issue instead.

You seen no solutions?

Eskom and government should consider all options to make it economically viable for companies already producing their own power to increase output and assist with electricity supply problems, Sappi said on Tuesday.

"Incentives to make additional generation economically viable could be given to them in order to stabilise the energy supply"

Carroll said Anglo American - which includes some of the world's leading platinum, diamond and coal mines - was committed to being 15 percent more energy efficient by 2014.

"The present circumstances should act as a spur for us to do even better," she said, adding that with the world's "burgeoning demand" for commodities, Africa will be a key player for generations.

isn't this just closing the collapse gap for all you Orlovians?

You're an idiot. How do you think they are going to generate electricity? Out of thin air? Do you think 15% energy savings by 2014 by this one company will save the world? That is, if they are not just talking out of their angus. Get a brain.

hey john 1.5 look over..... there...


You appear to be scared, panicing

Panicking about what? Power glitches have been a chronic condition in the 3rd world for decades. Who cares? People are dying like flies everyday in Africa due to AIDS etc., and that's a tragic thing. However, I generally devote about 0 seconds of my time to worrying about it. If the best you can do to support the Olduvai theory is point to crappy infrastructure management in the 3rd world, you're the ones grasping at straws.

In broader terms, Duncan's Olduvai Theory is a crock for a number of reasons:

a) It's pseudo-scientific tripe.
b) The theory has already been conclusively discredited by the hilarious belly flop of Duncan's prediction of worldwide permanent blackouts in 2007:

A previous study put the 'cliff event' in year 2012 (Duncan, 2001). However, it no appears that 2012 was too optimistic. The following study indicates that the 'cliff event' will occur about 5 years earlier than 2012 due an epidemic of 'rolling blackouts' that have already begun in the US. This 'electrical epidemic' spreads nationwide, then worldwide, and by ca. 2007 most of the blackouts are permanent.Source

c) Duncan doesn't publish his work in scholarly journals. He publishes in The Social Contract, a rag run by overt racists.

Wayne Lutton (2nd from right), editor of The Social Contract, at a meeting of white supremacists, June 11, 2004. Note the confederate flag in the foreground.

How so?

John 15, you really take the cake. You post two URLs that show the South African grid is almost a basket case and think Doomers have some explaining to do! I sure hope all cornucopians are not as confused as you appear to be. But if so then that would explain a lot, like why they seldom get anything right.

Ron Patterson

You post two URLs that show the South African grid is almost a basket case and think Doomers have some explaining to do!

yes they do because people get crazy and say got olduvai during a power shortage. meanwhile how many talked about all the solutions. SA sees the light and they are starting to power traffic lights by solar technology. this by the way can help traffic running during blackouts so we don't waste oil in major traffic jams. suddenly wind and solar look like very good investments. you think the solar and wind peddlers aren't happy as heck? the products practically sell themselves now. companies are looking to conserve and looking into how to create as much of their own power as they can. these are all solutions that show as things get worse they actually get better because it brings alternatives to the forefront quicker. that's what we need.

If you want to see solutions you should see Hi-way FM 1960 between U.S. 290 and Lake Houston from 4 to 8 PM (22 miles) each day. There are similar solutions all over the country and the world. They make most current mitigation look like pigeon poop on an 18 wheeler.

The traffic on today’s roads is just mind boggling.

The traffic on today’s roads is just mind boggling.

and what does that say about peak oil if it peaked a few years ago?

Ask that to the Hospital staff people in thirsty parts of Africa, or the Citizens of Capetown, for that matter. You might not see it all that obviously in the US yet, especially if you're looking for it not to be there.. but there are certainly 'Effects' around the world that may well be direct ties to what turns out to be 'the downslope'..

I call paid troll on john15.

john15 sounds like hothgor(1st cousin of jd).
what is john15 anyhow, is that a biblical reference ?

I would guess it's his age.

Maybe he's a farmer?

John 15
The Vine and the Branches
1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

Doomers have some explaining to do!
yes they do because people get crazy and say got olduvai

"They" "Doomers!" - lables which mean?

As bad as 'the evil conspiracy is doing X' - if you have a point, make it. Show 'who said what' rather than handwave some strawpeople and claim these people who you have created in YOUR head should explain to YOU something.

Are residential solar thermal panels big in SA?

I would have thought it to be an ideal solution for their hot water needs, and they have cheap labour to build them, so they should cost a fraction of what they do in Europe.


I can't figure out John 15 either. I do, however, recall that only a few days ago you were lecturing me on how South Africa was apple pie Jim Dandy peachy-keen on account of their fantabulous political leadership. Guess things changed quickly.

Explaining things to you seems to be rather pointless, since you apparently cannot even understand the links you post. Perhaps you'd like to take a shot at explaining it to us?

sure. a crisis is not really a crisis it's an opportunity for wind and solar to flourish. the system is far more stable than previously thought.

so you are saying that wind and solar have ALREADY done so?

because if not, you are just crowing about speculation - and you may as well crow about mining the moon for helium 3 for our fusion reactors...because somebody says they "can" do it "someday"

we have had article after article showing how difficult scaling up will be for wind and solar in order to replace any significant amount of fossil fuel generated energy - and you simply ignore them and find the latest greatest link to something that is "hopeful" or "possible" or "looks good at this point in the research"

the problems we are facing are happening MUCH faster than the mitigation

the problems we are facing are happening MUCH faster than the mitigation

really? where? south africa? even Baghdad still has some power and it's a mess.

Jeezz people.....if someone makes a comment that sounds stupid to you you just MOVE ON and ignore it!

Only stupid people get into arguments with stupid people :P

The wronger a conspiracy is, the better it is.

- Mark Twain, "Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy"

Sometimes, when reading posts here and at other PO sites, I get the sense that there is a form of "Peak Oil Fatigue" Influenza going around. The symptoms are increased volume and frequency of conspiracy theories due to the world continuing much as usual - instead of the expected Hell-in-a-handbasket.

Today, there are less than a handful of useful comments. Some days, I cannot find the time to read all of the excellent comments.

Beware of your own certainty.

Between believing a thing and thinking you know is only a small step and quickly taken.

- Mark Twain, "30,000 Years Among the Microbes"

Our best built certainties are but sand-houses and subject to damage from any wind of doubt that blows.

- Mark Twain, "The Great Dark"

The symptoms are increased volume and frequency of conspiracy theories due to the world continuing much as usual - instead of the expected Hell-in-a-handbasket.

Do you live in some parallel universe, or something? How is the world NOT on it's way to Hell-in-a-handbasket?

People are used to fast action films, reality unfolds slowly ... as a bad series "B" movie ... inertia of big systems. Makes one frustrated sometimes. But look around, if you are attentive, all the signs are on the wall ! (Er..on TV) :-)
Conclusion: enjoy things while you can !!

This is absolutely an issue we face - even a movie covering a hundred year time span takes place ... in two hours or so. Our expectations are now that every event is a "point" event - we've lost the ability to understand trends at a fundamental level as a society.

As I was just talking about upthread. Guerrilla wars are generational. The one in Ireland lasted 200 years, only to fail. The one in Vietnam started in 1941, ending successfully in 1975, driving out both the French in 1954 and then the US.


Why don't we have a money raising effort and buy the CERA report which I believe goes for $1000 and we'd know what they are position on peak oil..


I quite like this idea and would be happy to contribute

I'd think you'd have to sign a Licensing Agreement that says you get sued into oblivion if you disclose their position.

Well lets find out. I'm sure we could raise the $1000 here and at other peak oil websites in no time at all..

And they really do it. Even if you quote from the publicly available part of their web site, properly attributed and everything...they send the lawyers after you if they find out.

Even if I thought there would be something truly unexpected in their Report, I would have a really hard time parting with any hard-earned Lucre to drop into their piggy. How much evidence is really required to see where they are coming from anyway?

Now if we know someone who has a copy, I'd have no problem borrowing it. Doubt I'd read much of it though. My time is as precious as my geld.


Sales of gasoline fueled cars in India up more than 14% in the first 10 months of 2007.

Sales of passenger cars in India grew at a 15% combined annual growth rate over the past five years.
India invested heavily in training its gifted youth in high quality technology classes.

This morning Devon Energy reported more than a doubling of its profits for the fourth quarter of 2007.
Devon is the largest natural gas producer in the Barnett Shale. Devon has acreage in the deep shelf of the Gulf of Mexico and portions of the Alberta oil sands.

Oil companies were investing in oil produced from oil bearing shales/tight argillaceous clastics as demand for oil has been increasing over the past century. The Bakken formation of Montana, North Dakota, and Canada was thought to contain billions of barrels of oil in place. The typical decline rate for a Bakken well was more than 50% in the first few months. This is compared to the days of old when an oil well was produced for years before a fifty percent decline in well production occurred. Some shale oil wells produced at a low rate for decades.

Gasoline could drop 50 cents/gallon by spring

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. drivers could enjoy a drop of up to 50 cents per gallon in gasoline prices by this spring as high fuel prices and the threat of a recession force them to conserve, experts said on Wednesday.

U.S. gasoline supplies hit a near-14-year high of 227.5 million barrels last week, helped by falling demand for the fuel, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

"Gasoline stocks are continuing to increase and it implies that people are probably cutting down on gasoline consumption -- a result of the weakening economy," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Alaron Trading in Chicago.

Hmm, did EIA also post what they thought the price of crude would be by spring? Because if it stays anywhere near what it is today, I believe 50 cent cheaper gas would mean refiners operating in the red, after about 6 months of razor-thin margins and drastically reduced revenues. I just don't see it. As RR has noted previously, if the margins aren't there, and refiners further reduce output as a result, it will result in higher gas prices.

If that's the "news" then it might be time to double down on VLO, TSO, FTO and COP!

I know some of you are fans of Joe Bageant. He just sent me another one.

Nine Billion Little Feet on the Highway of the Damned
Are we there yet Pa?

Joe Bageant



The oil analyst Maxwell posited Peak oil soon, with troubles starting around 2010 after demand has been held down by a US recession, and prices rising to $180/barrel around 2015, and $300/barrel around 2020, as we discussed a couple of days ago.
Here are his latest posts:

Oil part 3
Oil part 4

So, ultra deep drilling becomes profitable, and Democracy in the US is in trouble whoever wins the election, and the crisis will go on and on.

Not cheery!

For those who did not catch the original links:
Oil part 1
Oil part 2

Clean coal sounds crazily expensive:

At $2.5bn for 629MW, that is dearer than the new 1.6GW nuclear plant in Finland looks like coming in at, around $6bn - and then you have fuel costs, which are a lot more for coal than nuclear.

That doesn't consider the extra costs of the actual sequestration!

It also does not take into account that series production of the Areva nuclear design should reduce costs in future - they had to train up the Finnish workforce.

Clean coal sounds crazily expensive:

So did Calder Hall (first power reactor in UK).

You are comparing a first-of-type prototype to a hypothetical new Finnish reactor (since the one under construction has multi-year delays and multi-billion cost overruns).


They got Calder Hall to work. The same won't happen to Carbon sequestration.

See Greyflcn's post here:


I have included not only the costs so far of the Finnish reactor, but also a generous allowance for cost overruns, and it has been darned expensive, but even then the build cost alone of this clean coal alone are of the same order, without fuel and without doing the actual sequestration!

The reason I chose to compare with nuclear not wind energy, was because it is harder to get an exact figure for wind as so much depends on capacity, but exactly the same arguments would apply and wind would be a far better bet than this crazy coal technology.

Incidentally, I have now researched another paper which sets to rest some of my concerns about wind power in the UK, as it tracks very well with demand, thus making it a far more appropriate source than the data I had previously indicated.

I will present the data at some point here, after I have had more time to digest it.

By the way, this blows away your accusations of prejudice, as you seemed to prefer ad hominem attacks to doing any work to substantiate your claims for wind!

I love the challenge to CERA of a 100K bet that I'm sure will never be accepted, because CERA is merely a politically motivated charade established to assist DC in countering Peak Oil arguments. Trouble is though, if they fail to accept the bet, then their falsehood is verified. Ouch!