DrumBeat: February 20, 2008

Oil hits record over $101 on OPEC, funds

NEW YORK, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Oil vaulted to a record over $101 a barrel on Wednesday as OPEC supply concerns and hedge fund buying countered worries about the U.S. economy.

U.S. crude ended up 73 cents at $100.74 barrel, the top settlement on record, after hitting an all-time high of $101.32 a barrel earlier in the day. London Brent settled 14 cents lower at $98.42 a barrel.

...Analysts said a rush of buying by funds seeking a hedge against inflation helped push oil to new highs, with further support coming from supply uncertainty from OPEC members Nigeria and Venezuela.

"Traders are going into the oil market because it's what is causing the inflation, and those assets are most likely to appreciate," said Rob Kurzatkowski, futures analyst with optionsXpress.

OPEC Should Maintain Oil-Output Ceiling, Libya's Ghanem Says

(Bloomberg) -- OPEC should keep its oil-output ceiling in place when it meets on March 5 if crude prices stay near record levels, Libya's top oil official said.

"There is no need to cut," Ghanem, chairman of Libya's National Oil Corp., said today in telephone interview from Tripoli. "It won't look nice either."

When asked if the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries should roll over the output ceiling if prices stay near $100 a barrel, he said "yes."

Lester R. Brown: Facts, Figures, and Charts for Plan B 3.0

Did you know?:

The eight warmest years on record have all occurred in the last decade.

For seven of the last eight years, the world has consumed more grain than it produced; grain stocks are now at a historic low.

One fifth of the U.S. grain harvest is now being turned into fuel ethanol.

One third of reptile, amphibian, and fish species examined by the World Conservation Union are considered to be threatened with extinction.

Grain yields increased half as fast in the 1990s as they did in the 1960s.

Norwegian oil discovery could foreshadow more

OSLO, Norway — StatoilHydro Petroleum AS has discovered oil with an exploratory well drilled in the North Sea. The find is estimated at between 20 and 30 million barrels of recoverable crude, the state Norwegian Petroleum Directorate announced today.

The well was drilled near StatoilHydro's Grane field, which has been producing oil since 2003 about 115 miles off the western Norwegian port of Stavanger.

Afghanistan: Power Cuts Leave Helmand Shivering

An unusual cold snap combined with an almost total power blackout has left Helmand residents shivering in their homes.

Most of households, even in the capital, Lashkar Gah, have no electricity at all. Others get it for no more than an hour or two per day - just enough to turn on their water pumps to fill their cisterns.

Even government offices are affected. Work in some places is almost at a standstill, while the local media is unable to broadcast much of the time.

Ecuador seeks end to Petrobras contract

Ecuador's attorney general has asked the Energy Ministry to cancel the country's contract with Brazil's state oil company for allegedly violating the agreement terms.

Attorney General Xavier Garaicoa said Tuesday a state investigation found that Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, had violated its contract with the Ecuadorean government by allegedly transferring 40 percent of its rights in Block 18 to Japanese company Teikoku Oil Co. Ltd. in January 2005.

Investigations begin at Big Spring Refinery

Blake Lewis, Alon spokesman, said the cause of the blast is still unknown, but investigations will continue and initial assessments show the explosion occurred in the propylene splitter unit, which was in the southern sector of the refinery.

"Everybody is highly motivated to have the system back online as soon as possible," Lewis said, adding that the refinery produces about 70,000 barrels of oil each day.

Nigeria: Gas Flaring - Senate Threatens to Shut Down Oil Wells

The Senate Committees on Environment, Petroleum (Upstream) and Gas Resources, sitting jointly at a public hearing on gas flare out, yesterday threatened to order shut down of oil wells that constitute health hazards to host communities, following the failure of multi-national oil companies to meet the January 1, 2008 gas flare out deadline.

The Committees also said that they would press the Senate to pass a resolution for application of necessary penalties on oil companies that have not stopped gas flaring.

Will North Atlantic threshold response to ocean changes be enough?

Predictions that the 21st century is safe from major circulation changes in the North Atlantic Ocean may not be as comforting as they seem, according to a Penn State researcher.

"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that it is very unlikely that the North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC) will collapse in the 21st century. They predict a probability of less then 10 percent," says Klaus Keller, assistant professor of geosciences. "However, this should not be interpreted as an all clear signal. There can be a considerable delay between the triggering of an MOC collapse and the actual collapse. In a similar way, a person that has just jumped from a cliff may take comfort that pain in the next few seconds is very unlikely, but the outlook over the long term is less rosy."

Magellan, Buckeye study U.S. ethanol pipeline

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two U.S. oil products pipeline companies said on Tuesday they have launched an assessment on whether to build what would be the first dedicated ethanol pipeline from agriculture centers in the Midwest to the heavily populated U.S. Northeast.

The companies, Magellan Midstream Partners LP and Buckeye Partners LP, said the proposed pipeline -- with a preliminary cost estimate of more than $3 billion -- would span about 1,700 miles (2,740 km) and take several years to build. The assessment could be completed later this year.

Exxon Mobil 'Isolated' by Tactics, Venezuela Says

(Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. is "isolated" in its "belligerent" approach to talks with Venezuela over oilfield takeovers, said Rafael Ramirez, the South American country's energy and oil minister.

China charges full consumption tax for fuel oil

SHANGHAI: China began charging the full consumption tax on fuel oil and three other oil products retroactively from January 1, tripling the previous level of taxation, state media reported Wednesday.

The government raised the consumption tax for fuel oil to 0.1 yuan (one US cent) per litre (0.26 gallon) after having collected only 30 per cent of the tax since it was first introduced in April 2006, the China Securities Journal said.

Bad Biofuel Policy Boosts Asian Inflation

The US decision to divert food crops for motor-fuel is proving a costly mistake – especially for Asia.

What has long been predicted – that the US decision to push the use of corn to make biofuel would be a costly mistake – is starting to come true, especially for Asia, where inflation is spiking with an ugly force.

BC introduces carbon tax, but off-sets increased fuel costs with tax cuts

VICTORIA - Finance Minister Carole Taylor introduced an escalating carbon tax on most fossil fuels Tuesday, one she says recycles revenues back to taxpayers and businesses and is designed to ignite an environmental social movement in British Columbia and across Canada to fight climate change.

Canada: Truckers say they'll lose tens of millions of dollars

B.C.'s commercial truckers say new fuel taxes announced in yesterday's provincial budget will cost their industry tens of millions of dollars -- and possibly hundreds of millions -- over the next five years.

Operating a long-haul truck will cost about $1,000 more this year alone, said Paul Landry, president of the B.C. Trucking Association.

Revinventing the Way We Live

It’s one thing to eat poorly or smoke cigarettes and know that somewhere down the line, you may pay for your individual behavior with poor health. But it’s quite another thing to participate in the destruction of a planet. The documentary, A Crude Awakening, presents the theory of “peak oil,” namely, that because all crude oil sources on the planet have already been found, nonrenewable fossil fuel’s production will eventually enter a terminal decline. Whether you understand this peak to be approaching or already reached, the scenario is dire, given global oil consumption rates.

Legislative audit finds financial pothole in funding roads and bridges

The Minnesota Department of Transportation doesn't have enough money to adequately preserve the 4,500 bridges and 12,000 miles of roads in the state trunk highway system, and it faces a "grim" future funding picture that is expected to double the percentage of road miles that will deteriorate into "poor condition" between now and 2011.

Welch wants Bush to take action to lower gas prices

MONTPELIER — On a day when oil futures again topped $100 a barrel, Rep. Peter Welch called on President Bush to offer Vermonters short-term relief from rising gas prices.

Welch's proposal would staunch the flow of oil into the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, an approximately 700-million-barrel safety net stored in subterranean caverns near the Gulf of Mexico. Removing the U.S. as a major buyer on the open petroleum market, Welch said, would lower gas prices by as much as 25 cents in the near future.

Hiring more women could ease oil firms' skills gap

LONDON (Reuters) - Recruiting and retaining more women by setting quotas could help big international oil and gas firms cope with a severe shortage of skilled staff in future, a senior executive at Royal Dutch Shell said.

"A wasted potential resource in the industry is women," said Lynda Armstrong, vice president technical solutions at Shell International Exploration and Production.

Energy insecurity worries IEA chief

DAVOS, Switzerland — The chief of the International Energy Agency has warned that more must be done by major oil producing and consuming nations, including China and India, to address the growing energy insecurity, exacerbated by the heightened terrorist threat, shortfalls in oil supply and market volatility.

Iran to supply 10 percent of gas market in next 20 years

Managing director of Iran's National Gas Company said on Wednesday that Iran will become supplier of 10 percent of the world gas market in the next 20 years, compared with the current figure which stands at one percent.

Nepal-India blockade enters second week

A BLOCKADE of Nepal's capital by ethnic activists has entered its second week, with fresh violence reported and no sign of talks between fuel-starved Kathmandu and the demonstrators.

Russia, Saudi Arabia Send Humanitarian Aid to Tajikistan

Twelve diesel power substations of various capacities were delivered by plane to Dushanbe. Another four diesel power substations and 168 sets of heating equipment will be airlifted from Russia on 21 February. The total cost of the humanitarian aid is over 22m Russian roubles [around 1m dollars].

Nigeria: Re-Streaming the Refineries

The news that Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) has commenced operation, after some years of dormancy, could not have come at a better time than now.

This is because Nigerians have been made to suffer, for long, the pains of petroleum products shortages, despite the fact that the country ranks among the first 10 in oil and gas production in the world.

Nigeria: Yar'Adua Gives 18-Month Deadline

President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua took a step further yesterday to end the country's long-running energy crisis within the shortest possible time, when he established a presidential committee for the accelerated expansion of Nigeria's power infrastructure.

The president charged the committee with the huge responsibility of delivering within 18 months the 6,000 additional megawatts generation, transmission and distribution capacity targeted under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP).

Albania to Privatize Oil Refinery

Tirana - The Albanian Ministry Of Trade, Economy and Energy, METE, announced on Tuesday an international tender for the privatization of the country’s sole oil refinery, ARMO.

Under the tender, 85 percent of ARMO’s stock will be sold. The company is currently 100-percent owned by the Albanian government.

Ghana Interested in Cuban Energy Saving Program

Yadira Garcia gave the visitor a thorough explanation on the Cuban initiative that was first implemented in 2005. She said the program includes providing every Cuban home with modern power-saving appliances, which has the double benefit of improving the quality of living.

Regional energy group opposes House measure

"Congress is setting the stage for a true energy crisis — on the one hand they are pushing policies that call for increased natural gas, on the other hand, they are making it more and more difficult for domestic energy companies to produce the natural gas our nation so desperately needs," Smith said.

New Hampshire: Fighting the high cost of energy

There are no easy answers to the energy crisis, but there are two initiatives under way at the state level that could make a big difference in the long term.

Here are some little-known facts about energy prices...

Green doesn't come cheap

We all know Gordon Campbell was elected premier to rid us of government red tape. But who thought he'd replace it with green tape?

Reams of the stuff, actually, with perhaps only minimal effect on his goal of keeping the ice caps from melting.

Alternative energy: China taking the wind out of India’s sails

India clearly had a head-start over China in the wind energy sector. But given the pace at which things are moving in the two countries, it is just a matter of time before China overtakes India in the total installed capacity and net annual additions.

Industry experts say crude oil prices won't stay at record

"In essence, it (the price of gas) won't be affected. Crude oil has gone up $10 in the last two weeks and a little of that will filter through, but it's been around $90 for a month," said Michael Lynch, president of Massachusetts-based Strategic Energy and Economic Research.

"It's a psychological thing like finding a bat and getting scared and then you realize, 'It's just a mouse with wings,'" Lynch said.

World stocks slide as oil storms to record $100.10

LONDON (AFP) - World share prices tumbled on Wednesday on renewed worries about a global economic slowdown as the price of crude oil surged to a record high point above 100 dollars a barrel, dealers said.

Are we running out of our precious oil?

The other day, the price of gasoline went up again. I wondered why. I didn't see anything in the news. I wondered if it was caused by the long, cold winter and the need for more product being prepared for the home fuel price.

So when I was sent some information by George Monbiot which had been published in the Guardian recently, I decided to pass some key points on to you.

EIA Reiterates Need For OPEC To Increase Output

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The head of the Energy Information Administration on Tuesday reiterated calls for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to increase crude production to boost the world's small capacity cushion as oil prices neared breaking a record high.

EIA Administrator Guy Caruso told Dow Jones Newswires that by increasing output, OPEC would help relieve the tension in the narrow supply-demand gap that's fueling price pressure. Despite rising prices adding to fears of a possible global recession, some of the more hawkish members of the oil cartel are discussing cutting production at their next meeting in March.

BA to hike fuel surcharge on plane tickets

LONDON (AFP) — British Airways said on Wednesday that it would raise its fuel surcharge on long-haul airfares because of high oil prices.

..."British Airways will increase its fuel surcharge on all tickets issued from Monday, February 25, 2008. The decision reflects continuing high oil prices," a company statement said.

Aramco primes Yanbu pumps

Saudi Aramco said it is on track to compete the Yanbu natural gas liquids plant expansion, which will boost its NGL output by almost 200,000 barrels per day.

Nigeria oil rebels seek proof leader is alive

A rebel group from Nigeria’s oil producing Niger Delta demanded on Wednesday that lawyers, relatives and the Red Cross be allowed to see their detained leader, Henry Okah, to confirm he is alive.

The government denied late on Tuesday a report by the rebel Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) that Okah had been shot dead in detention in northern Nigeria. The president’s spokesman said he was ”alive and in safe custody”.

Australia: That plasma is about to get an energy rating

All home appliances will soon have to conform to a strict new 10-star energy efficiency rating system, the federal Minister for the Environment, Peter Garrett, said yesterday.

Power-hungry plasma televisions and computers will have to carry new labels so customers can compare efficiency claims, and national three-yearly reviews of household energy use will be undertaken.

Future Oil Wars Made Fun

To devise the game's geopolitical context, he said, developers "read everything we could get our hands on."

That included the books "The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies," by Richard Heinberg, and "Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict," by Michael Klare.

Heinberg, a senior fellow at the California-based Post Carbon Institute, was surprised but pleased to learn that his book helped to inspire a video game.

Oil Price Closed Above $100 a Barrel; World Leaders Ignore this Signal of Impending Shortages

The price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil closed above $100 for the first time on February 19, 2008. "Rising oil prices have been giving a clear signal of pending shortages for over five years now," according to TheOilDrum.com. By ignoring this signal, world leaders are steering the world toward an energy disaster characterized by shortages, high energy prices, inflation, civil unrest and famine.

Michael Lynch (linked uptop):

"It's a psychological thing like finding a bat and getting scared and then you realize, 'It's just a mouse with wings,'" Lynch said.

Then you realize--too late--that the bat had rabies.

The other "expert", Severin Borenstein, director of the UC Berkeley Energy Institute, on high prices: "I can't tell you what it is. The other explanation about increasing concerns about demand growing may be right, but it doesn't explain why the prices suddenly went up four and a half dollars today," Borenstein said.

"It's hard to know what the real reason is," he said.


or maybe it never had rabies. or maybe it wasn't even a bat at all? maybe it was a cute fuzzy bunny and always had been.

just like the Monty Python (In search of the Holy Grail) killer rabbit?

One rabbit stew coming right up!


Vorpal Bunny!

Classic! And appropiate, AD!

A fellow Monty Python/D&Der? Ahh, I thought I was alone here in my geekness :).

Cheers to all. Things seem to be rather grim lately. I've added a few articles to this mix which, if you read, I hope you enjoy.

Peak Oil and the Truth About Why Oil Prices Are so High

Can Biofuels Make Up the Difference for Struggling World Oil Production?

Possible Results of Venezuelan Oil Embargo to the United States

As Oil Majors Chime In, the Reality of Peak Oil Lurches Closer

Oh dear, now i am seeing a few FOX headlines...

"$150 oil; Just a Flesh Wound."

Another FOX headline:

"Bank Runs/$150 oil: What a lovely set of coconuts."

That's a lot of maybe's, Antidoomer.

If you're willing to stick to the point of the metaphor, however, if you're seeing bats where you used to see mice, you don't have to be afraid, but you should be aware that something is changing, and you ought to know what it is and prepare yourself.

Bats are not, in fact, mice with wings. They're bats.. they're only cousins to mice now.

Tell those folks in Nepal that Energy Insecurity is a cute fuzzy bunny. Not scary, not evil. Fuzzy and Sweet. Right to their faces.. put it on You Tube.. I want to see.


A mouse that flies? And this guy works for a bank?

Thats why!

Lynch sounds more like the Wizard of Oz ("Pay no attention to that refinery explosion in the corner") every day. Meanwhile, the New York Times reports,

"We’re looking at retail prices for regular unleaded of $3.50 to $3.75 in April and May," said Tom Kloza, an analyst with Oil Price Information Service. "Those will be records." The record of $3.22 a gallon was set last May. Mr. Kloza also predicted record highs for diesel and jet fuel "within the next 90 days." Analysts say another factor causing the rise in oil prices is the falling value of the dollar.

Excellent grab. I'm running with it.

It's like finding a mouse with wings inside the bat's mouth. no, wait,

it's like finding that the mouse that the bat caught was blind.

And that the mouse's two other siblings couldn't see.

So we surmised that this third mouse was blind as well.

Bats are mammals so they produces milk, with the right culture you could make bat cheese out of it.
Maybe we could build miniature bat milking machines. Ok, maybe I'm milking this bat thing a bit here.
Then again it gives the expression, "batshit insane" a whole new meaning, doesn't it?
Oh, wait a minute, Bat Shit is guano, that's fertilizer...a lot like finely refined yak dung, which shouldn't be confused with pure bullshit. Of course bulls can't be milked which is why we are headed for a bear market.

Maybe this is an unexpected doorway into Yergin's psyche, an unconscious reference to "Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss?

Should you lose some illusions,
Which once delighted your heart,
Wine will soon give you consolation
By forgetting!
Happy is the person who forgets,
What can't be altered anyway.
Ting-a-ling, sing, sing, sing,
Drink with me, sing with me,...."

It might be good background music to have on whilst contempting,,erh, contemplating any odd Yergin message.

This is pretty clever:


'Gravity Lamp' lasts 200 years, never needs to be plugged in

Dubbed the Gravia, the lamp will stand about four feet tall. Encased in glass, the entire thing is lit with a soft, diffuse glow that comes from the 10 built-in LEDs. Because it's self sufficient, there are no cables or cords to worry about, so you can place it anywhere. The best part? It'll last for 200 years if used 8 hours a day, 365 days a year. You'll never buy another lamp again; it doesn't get much more green than that.



Sorry, posted without following the link. Good idea, but hardly new. Gravity powered radios have been around for a
decade. No way will it last 200 years. My grandfather was a watchmaker. Nothing lasts that long with
continuous use. How much weight do you need to lift to get 5 watts for 8 hours? I will to a calculation...

OK, I chose 5 watts as a practical level of light from LED technology to light a room. Allowing for 50% overall efficiency in the mechanism that means we need 2 * 5 * 8 * 60 * 60 = 300,000 Joules of energy approx. to light a room for eight hours.

The light is 4 feet high, so we can lift the weight about a metre. An averagely strong person can lift 20Kg. If we put in a winch we might get that up to 200 kg. That is a heavy lump to move around.

energy = force * distance. Force = mass * acceleration (due to gravity).

energy = 200 kg * 10 m/s2 * 1 m = 2,000 Joules

This fails the practicality test by at least two orders of magnitude.


Another play to the bottomless gullibility of people.

Whatever the calculation, the "power" doesn't come from "gravity." It comes from whatever lifts the weight against gravity to store potential energy. Presumably a person. Could be a draft animal outside the house, I suppose. A hay-powered lamp.

the entire thing is lit with a soft, diffuse glow

So, substantially less than 5W I would guess ... and your math would prove!

It probably puts out enough light for a bathroom or bedroom while one is getting ready for bed, or to illuminate a hallway or stairway (if there is nothing lying about that one might trip over). You'd want a lot more light than that for a kitchen or living room, though.

5 watts for 8 hours and 3.5 feet at 100% required 15 tons. I figured my conversion factor was wrong so I decided to quit and do something usefull. I used: 1HP will lift 990 tons 1 ft in 1 hour.

Alternatively, an averagely unfit human can generate 100 watts continuously using a bicycle generator. That means,
with 100% efficient electricity storage (ultracapacitors?), a 24 minute workout will power it for 8 hours. Get fit and you would probably get that down to 15 minutes.

I was reading about pedal power the other day.


That's an interesting device. Thanks for the link.

Whenever I go to the gym, I marvel at all the engineering that went into designing all those energy-wasting devices. The cycling machines even seem to use electrical motors to create mechanical resistance to your pedaling.

Wouldn't it be great to hook up all those exercise machines to generators and sell the juice back to the grid? You could probably pay for your club membership that way -- a new form of "sweat equity"!

to light a room for eight hours.

it doesn't say this will light a room.

What's an LED?

Light Emitting Diode

At last Antidoomer you have come up with something that may actually work as advertised and be both useful and practical.

Phew! ... that took a long while ... but well done ... it's made my day ... I might even try and make one for myself!

Gravity has been used for 'grandfather' clocks and 'self winding' watches for a considerable time and is probably the future for things that need vanishingly small amounts of power and don't need to move.

Although in my experience of mechanisms, things that move in general, and electronics, they don't last forever - but then neither the person that buys it or the person that sells it will be around in 200 years ... so who cares!

Well the idea is not completely stupid. You turn human (or possibly animal) force, powered by Big Macs or tuna sushi into light (if the tech details are all ok, etc. ) Better than wasting energy in the fitness center. During WW2 my early teen mom read at night by biking to power a generator. Her interest in the outside world created powerful leg muscles which afforded her some post war advantages. Win-win. Not new of course, the devil is in the details.

There are grandfather clocks that are <200 years old, so that part of it could be credible. They almost inevitably have needed SOME maintenance and repair, however. We have had NO electric generators (which is what actually provides the juice to the LEDs), and of course no LEDs (or electronic components of any kind, for that matter), that have lasted as long as 200 years yet, so it is hard to evaluate that part of it. The bearings in the generator would be the first thing to worry me.

Us old timers remember using gravity weights and springs for storing energy for time pieces back in the day. Flashlights and radios have been around with hand cranks with chemical storage for a while. The 'new' application here is the high efficiency LED. Might not be ideal for reading but it's a potentially useful gizmo. 200 years is probably a stretch, although with some maintenance of the mechanical parts it could last pretty long. Similar to a coo-coo clock.

Problem with all these hand crank lights/radios, solar radios, shake flashlights, etc. They are all made in China and are complete JUNK. They don't hold up very long and I am wary of depending on them in an emergency. Is there any high quality crank lights/radios out there??

I've gotten myself one of the Indigo LED crank-powered lanterns made by Freeplay. Very well designed, and appears to be well built. Probably won't last forever -- what does?

Is there any high quality crank lights/radios out there??

Been to a flea market lately homebrew? All is plastic Chinese JUNK!... Did find a circa 40's toaster with floppy doors, I can now have real toast that is crisp on the outside without being dried out on the inside.

I find it rather interesting that the heating elements are tighter wound towards the bottom, so that the toast is browned evenly all the way up. I raced it against my modern design-engineered toaster that has a mechanism to center the toast so that both sides are equally distant from what there are of elements. Naturally old toaster won ... it really cooks!

This is essentially just combining those crank-charged LED flashlights and lanterns with the old weight-powered clock idea. Not a bad idea, really. By no means a silver bullet, but it would beat having to crank those LED lanterns back up several times a night, and it sure beats being in the dark with no light. This would probably be a good idea for an off-grid home powered by PVs, where they want to keep their battery storage capacity to a minimum. Maybe someday that will describe most of us.

this light will be good when we have those blackouts caused by peak oil!

For several dozen countries, that would be now.

Hi tad,

In applications where a low-power/low-output light source is required (e.g., decorative lighting) or in specific operating environments such as inside a freezer case, LEDs perform quite well. For general room illumination, they're not a good fit and probably won't be for many more years to come. Beyond the cost per lumen which can be several hundreds of times more than conventional sources, effective heat management remains a huge problem (less so with those freezer cases mind you); so too variations in colour temperature from one lamp to the next and often their colour rendering leaves much to be desired (and you think you look ghastly under fluorescent lighting, boy do I have a surprise for you!).

Due to the nature of their design, LEDs are best suited for directional lighting where a narrow beam is preferred. Osram Sylvania recently introduced a replacement LED MR16 (the type used in low-voltage track lighting) and if you look at the technical specs, you have to ask yourself who would buy such a product. The lamp consumes 2.8 watts which is a fraction of a standard halogen, but provides just 24 lumens @ 3,000K and 27 lumens @ 3,500K (for some perspective on this, a standard 100-watt incandescent produces anywhere from 1,500 to 1,700 lumens). The rated life of this product is said to be 15,000 hours, a far cry from the 100,000 hours we often see touted elsewhere. Their CRI is in the low to mid 70s; by comparison, most CFLs fall in the range of 82 to 86 and a halogen source would have a CRI of 97+ (higher numbers are better). From what I can tell, these lamps retail in the neighbourhood of $20.00 to $25.00 each.

You can find the technical details here:

So what does all this mean? Well, a Philips 45MRC16/IRC/WFL60 which is the halogen version I use in my home consumes 45-watts and produces 1,180 lumens; that makes it almost THREE times more energy efficient than the LED lamps listed above and almost FIFTY times brigher! The rated life in this case is 5,000 hours and I can purchase these lamps on ebay for less than $3.00 each. Parting shot: a 7-watt incandescent night light produces about 50 lumens of light, so these LEDs are only half as bright and only slightly more efficient in terms of lumens per watt.


From World stocks slide as oil storms to record $100.10

Fears about a global economic slowdown, and possibly even a US recession, had already been stoked by the spreading of a global credit crunch caused by the US subprime mortgage crisis.

Reports on Wednesday that the squeeze on credit had hit US firm KKR Financial Holdings spooked investors and threw the spotlight back on the slowing global economy, dealers said.

Economic demand is sliding and oil prices are rising amid supply concerns.

Clear signs of convergence inside the loop. The chicken is laying the egg and the egg is hatching the chicken.

My appreciation grows daily for this website. Contributors at TOD seem to be on top of this whereupon ignorance is rampant elsewhere.

Thanks folks for your intelligence and thoughtfulness. Now hold on to your hats. The wind seems to be blowing harder by the day.

Found this through survivalacres.com/wordpress

"According to LEAP/E2020, the end of the third quarter of 2008 will be marked by a new tipping point in the unfolding of the global systemic crisis."....."The collapse of US real economy means the virtual freeze of the American economic machinery: private and public bankruptcies in large numbers, companies and public services closing down massively"


Leanan, any idea why the above link is not working? Too long?

Not sure. Possibly some weird characters in the link. I made it clickable for you.


America's economy risks the mother of all meltdowns

Recently, Professor Roubini's scenarios have been dire enough to make the flesh creep. But his thinking deserves to be taken seriously. He first predicted a US recession in July 2006*. At that time, his view was extremely controversial. It is so no longer. Now he states that there is "a rising probability of a 'catastrophic' financial and economic outcome"**. The characteristics of this scenario are, he argues: "A vicious circle where a deep recession makes the financial losses more severe and where, in turn, large and growing financial losses and a financial meltdown make the recession even more severe."

Prof Roubini is even fonder of lists than I am. Here are his 12 - yes, 12 - steps to financial disaster.


He first predicted a US recession in July 2006*.

This is one of the articles that got my attention to him back in 2006ish. Look at some of his prophectic words from back then.


Eight Market Spins About Housing by Perma-Bull Spin-Doctors...And the Reality of the Coming Ugliest Housing Bust Ever….

Nouriel Roubini | Aug 26, 2006


Spin #1: Housing prices are not falling, have never fallen and will not fall

Spin #2: We have never had in US history a recession that was initially triggered by a housing bust. So, it cannot happen this time around

Spin #3: In spite of the housing slump, the levels of activity in the housing market are still very high relative to a few years ago. So, there is now housing bust, only a healthy correction.

Spin #4: If the housing bust gets ugly, the Fed will ease rates and rescue us from a recession.

Spin #5: Credit conditions in the housing market are not tight. Credit growth is still perky and there is no credit crunch. So, unlike the past, there will be no hard landing

Spin #6: Given the increase in housing prices there is still so much net wealth (equity) in the housing sector that most households are richer, will keep on feeling richer and will keep on spending more.

Spin #7: Banks and mortgage lender are still very sound and there is no risk of systemic banking crisis.

The other spin that one hears over and over again is that, unlike the 1980s when we had a systemic banking crisis (the famous Savings & Loans (S&L) crisis) today banks and mortgage finance institutions are very sound and with low delinquency rates: default rates on mortgages are still low if rising.

The reality is quite different and much uglier: the housing bubble of the last few years may have planted the seeds of another nasty systemic banking crisis that could be more severe and costly than the S&L crisis of the late 1980s.


One cannot even exclude systemic risk consequences if the housing bust combined with a recession leads to a bust of the mortgage backed securities (MBS) market and triggers severe losses for the two huge GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Then, the implicit liabilities from implicit GSEs bailout-expectations lead to a financial and fiscal crisis. If this systemic risk scenario were to occur, the $200 billion fiscal cost to the US tax-payer of bailing-out and cleaning-up the S&Ls may look like spare change compared to the trillions of dollars of implicit liabilities that a more severe home lending industry financial crisis and a GSEs crisis would lead to.

Spin #8: Housing may be getting into a slump but such a limited sectoral slump cannot and will not cause a broad economy-wide recession.

In Switzerland, the main Bank - UBS, Union Bank Switzerland, came out right away with its losses, and it will most likely be recapitalized by ME sovereign funds, Qatar, Saudi, I haven’t kept up, as the details are not published. (Shareholder meeting is still coming up, 27 feb. so this is not a done deal.)

Meanwhile, Credit Suisse lorded it by saying their exposure was minimal, etc. etc. Nobody in Switz who knows about these things could believe that, Credit Suisse is the the worst bank ever, as seen from the ground here. So today, they came out with a press release, oops, they kinda didn’t do the accounts right, they are several billions in the hole (about 3 or 4 in dollar terms... the precise sum is fantasy anyway) They will fire some traders! Oh, they just suspended them for the moment..

That is the end of confidence in the banking system here, amongst some segment of pop. All the papers have published with titles of the ‘what is this sh*t' type.

What neither the main banks or the press are saying is that private clients have been leaving ‘en masse’ - going, if they are rich, to ‘private banking’, and of they are poor, to local banks.

This is scary to me, when people in Switzerland are complaining of unsound banks...

So oil has hit $100/barrel

I have created a new contest for when oil will hit $120/barrel! Guess the correct WEEK that it hits $120/barrel, and I'll send you a gift card for $100! No cost of entry....

Good Luck!
(The odds are a lot better for you this time, and a lot worse for me, since you're guessing the week instead of the day. 1/52 chance, assuming that it happens this year.)

I will be contrary and say it won't hit $120 in 2008. Really, I think it will hit $120 before summer, but I will be a contrarian. And oil will face headwinds, if we spend the year in recession. (But, tailwinds, if OPEC keeps supplies tight.) So, do I win the $100 if it doesn't hit $120 in 2008? :-)

One thing, though. You need to be very specific as to what you are talking about. Remember, certain flavors hit $100 last year, but WTI never did. For my bet, we specified "Front Month WTI." That is very specific.

I will be contrary and say it won't hit $120 in 2008.

Wanna bet on that? :-)

No, I actually think it will. But if I am playing the odds, I probably have better odds of being correct that it won't hit $120 than I do of calling the date right on when it will hit $120.

I still don't think we have seen the full ramifications of $100 oil on world economies.

CEO of FedEx on Bloomberg said that oil at current prices was now sucking an additional 4% of the US GDP over and above historic levels and that it was amazing this isn't being given far more publicity.

Since a 4% reduction of GDP equals a goodly recession, I agree.

That's the window I look out of too. FedEx. Fuel surcharges for my clients seem to be in range of an additional third the price of shipping. Stuff is getting left on the runway. FedEx is starting to use a lot more trucks. My prediction here is that smaller airports will lose service and the hub-and-spoke network they have built servicing Memphis will shift to something much more like the UPS model, where freight from Portland to Burlington goes direct, not through Memphis.

That trivial example highlights how society will be forced to roll back hierarchy because of energy scarcity. What worked well at one level of energy will not work at another. All the effort to regionalize and centralize will have to be turned around.

The level of entropy at which our US civilization operates will have to increase. That will have snowball effect on productivity. The stability of the credit card/financial transaction system is going to be something to watch. All those cameras installed by Homeland Stasi won't be of much use without local gendarmes able to respond. It's hard to figure out - other than transportation - which most complex bits of our society will fail first because there are so many layers of development and there's no way of knowing how gracefully some systems will fail.

cfm in Gray, ME

You would think that at some point someone would start to question whether it REALLY is necessary to ship ALL those parcels by air rather than rail.

A contract or grant application or legal deposition, sure (although there are such things as fax machines, not to mention scanners, pdf files and email). A polo shirt from Lands End, though? Would it really be the end of the world (or the death of the US economy, which I guess is supposed to be the same thing) if it took people an extra day or two to get their mail/internet ordered junk?

Actually, I wouldn't be much surprised to see BOTH $120 AND $80 this year. I would be a bit surprised if it moved much outside that trading range.

Here we go... But then, I suppose we all saw this coming:

A Chinese energy company is poised to open a chemical plant to make liquid fuels for cars and aircraft from coal, a move that has alarmed environmental campaigners who say it will increase carbon emissions and worsen global warming.

The plant, in Inner Mongolia, will use technology developed by Germany during the second world war to convert coal directly into synthetic diesel, dubbed "Nazi fuel". China says the process will help break its booming economy's reliance on foreign oil, and that it will build more such plants.

The US and India are also investing heavily in the technology, which is being heavily promoted by coal companies across the world as a cost-effective solution to soaring oil prices and concerns about energy security.


Kerosene was once known as coal oil.

For reference see: "How the oil industry saved the whales": http://www.geocities.com/mudsmeller/history.html

Looks like the Chinese are rediscovering petroleum's roots. We've come full circle.

Fischer-Tropf process didn't save Hitler.

But suppose the US couldn't have tapped its huge oil reserves. They might have pulled it off.

well now they can seriously think about it.


124000 bbls per day - and it still wasn't enough to keep them moving and flying.

A worthwhile read. Esp the bit about USAF Certification as jet fuel.

Ultimately though, if you are thinking about FT -Process, you are thinking about national survival in times of war or at times of embargo.

This process is for fast-jets and armoured fighting vehicles... Not for the SUVs of Soccer Moms.

Though, come to think of it, a regiment of p****d off soccer moms could be even scarier...

Well, no. He declared war on 3 powers each with larger economies than germany at the same time and had to deal with CTL plants being bombed as fast as they were constructed.

CTL was worrying enough that they were major bombing targets.

As Daniel Yergin pointed out in his book, "The Prize", the gasoline made from coal did not have as high an octane as that made from oil by the U.S.. As a result, their aircraft could not fly as fast as the good old American P-51s. And, then, the bombers flattened the F-T plants and it was all-she-wrote after that. Yergin showed nice photographs of the Magdeburg synthetic fuels plant, one when new in 1937 and another after it was blasted by 3000 Allied bombs...

E. Swanson

Yeah, but it took a Merlin Engine to make it the best prop driven fighter of the second world war : :-)


The other allied prop fighters couldn't fly as fast (or as high or as far) as a P-51, and they were using the same fuel. It is hard to believe the fuel was the big difference. The P-51 was a late design compared to the other significant prop fighters. Once it was modified with the bubble canopy and the 4th propeller blade, it was simply the most advanced design for a prop fighter in the war.

However, speed had very little to do with the P-51's impact on the air war. Its range was decisive, because it meant the bombers had fighter escourt all the way to the target & back. The next biggest factor was the inability of the Germans to replace lost planes and (especially) pilots compared to the US's ability to crank out planes in vast quantities. An FW-190 in the hands of a competent pilot would do OK against a P-51. But with an inexperienced pilot, and facing superior numbers of fighers, it was dog meat.

With peak oil upon us we need to get some of these built in the West and quickly, and never mind the greens. a previous poster said that it takes a ton of coal to get 2 barrels of oil. So in Britain 50 million tons of coal would get us 100 million barrels of oil, about 10% of normal consumption. It would be enough to keep essential transport running.
We need not worry about the greenhouse angle since with conventional oil running out there would be a big drop in emissions anyway. The important thing is keep transport of food, medical supplies etc going. The greens could cause an unimaginable disaster by opposing them.

Weatherman, you are a perfect example of why Robert Rapier's argument from yesterday was correct.

"We need not worry about the greenhouse angle since with conventional oil running out there would be a big drop in emissions anyway. The important thing is keep transport of food, medical supplies etc going"

Weatherman, I'm sorry, but we should worry. Big time. And humanity cannot extend BAU infinitely into the future. Big changes are going to occur in our lifetimes, including transport of food and meds, if you like it or not. XTL maybe helpfull for gradual changes, but to say we need not to worry about GHG is way off the mark. Small example. Climate change may cause that there isn't much food to transport. Or a lot of people to cure, for that matter.

''It would be enough to keep essential transport running.''

Essential transport?

You mean like Messerschmidt 262 Schwalbs and King Tigers?.... :-(

When it gets so bad that we depend on this, The military will get first and only dibs.

Just like the last time.

Weatherman, blame it on whomever you like. We already have all the ingredients of an unimaginable disaster.. it's all in the bowl, mixed and waiting as the oven heats up. Pour in some more coal, and it will just heat up faster.

You're right though. YOU don't have to worry about the Greenhouse angle. WE're doing that for you. And for your kids and your neighbors.

Go have some ice cream.. take the day off.

There is a numbing lack of understanding about the climate crisis evidenced by your post. Please read the following:



Nice that you have changed your mind from the last time where you just wanted 'the troops' to go 'get it' for you.


Why shouldn't the troops be on the move. Securing oil supplies is a lot more vital to US interests than a lot of wars the US entered in to,eg the war against Hitler.

I was talking mainly about the US in that post. Airbrushed out of history is the fact that much of US opinion in the 1940's were isolationists who didn't want their sons killed in a European war. When it comes to getting oil supplies support will be a lot more unanimous. How successful it will be I can't say.
About global warming a if peakists are right a all private cars are going to be off the roads whatever we do. I am just talking about keeping society from collapse until a substitute for fossil fuels can be developed. I can't see any significant co2 emissions after 2020 anyway. Also if synthetic fuel plants could keep fuel intensive things like Tiger tanks and Fighter planes going they could keep tractors and enough trucks going too. And now they won't have anybody bombing them.

The issue is whether the moral character of the American people is such that if we had to choose between running the tractors for low profits and fueling up the army to seize another oil country for large profits, we could be trusted to do the right thing. As long as we have enough oil to wage war abroad we will be tempted.

weatherman -

Yes, the Germans during WW II did rely heavily on synthetic fuel from coal. However, the problem was that this effort was hardly enough to 'keep fuel intensive things like Tiger tanks and fighter planes going.' That is one of the (many reasons) why by 1944 Germany was on a path to almost inevitable defeat. They just plain didn't have enough fuel to run an effective war machine.

These numbers are from memory and so only approximate, but even at its peak production sometime during 1944, Germany was operating something like 20 coal-to-liquid plants and was producing something like only 150,000 bbls/day of fuel. Compare that to the 21 million bbl/day of liquid fossil fuel currently consumed in the US.

I hope this illustrates some of the scale-up problems associated with going the coal-to-liquid route.

the reason the Wehrmacht ran out of fuel was that the synthetic fuel plants were flattened by US bombers. Before that happened the only other source of oil was Romania, whose production was not great. Until that happened while the Germans were hand to mouth for fuel they just about managed. While we will never have anything like enough synthetic fuel for business as usual we might produce enough to keep essential services and transport going in the long emergency to come.
In this I am talking mainly about europe. The US should have enough oil for said essential services, though not to maintain it's car based lifestyle.

Actually, there were powerful people in the US who wanted to fight in the war as allies of Hitler.

Granddaddy would be proud.

Just as today, where people see the potential for profit and power, they will pursue it, often with little real regard for the consequences or moral implications...

Prescott Bush looks a more impressive character than either his son or grandson. He looks as if he might be up to such a thing. His son is too soft and his granson too incompitant.

Your ignorance is so profound it makes one's head swim. Your handle should be narcissist. Far better and cheaper to REMOVE several million vehicles from the roads.

The notion of making fuel from coal is very disturbing from the standpoint that it produces twice as much carbon emmissions as oil, so global warming will increase dramatically faster than current trends. This is the problem of not having a Plan B. Once a path has been etched out to simply use a finite resource that will peak, like oil in 05, then we are prisoners of our own decline.

I don't like it either, but I'm afraid it is going to happen whether we like it or not. What we really need to do is to get really serious about conservation + renewables (real ones, not ethanol). By really serious, I mean massive investments, our number one priority, to the exclusion of anything else that is not absolutely necessary. That is the only plan that might actually leave some FFs uncombusted and available for conversion to plastics and petrochemicals.

Environmental meltdown begins...


China is now a net importer of coal, so I don't know how much sense that makes for them. It's expensive enough as it is to send a ship full of coal across the ocean, let alone to turn it into a liquid.

There is a lot of "stranded coal". Coal that lacks the infrastructure capacity to be brought to market. This is a major part of the reason why China is becoming a net coal importer - coal rich regions (generally in the West) do not match well the regions where demand is booming - generally the industrialized cities of the East and North-East. Therefore the latter are forced to import coal by barges, which is much cheaper than investing in new rail capacity.

Turning stranded coal into liquid and pumping it in existing petroleum pipelines or even shipping it by trucks makes good economic sense, environment aside. A ton of coal is worth $100, a ton of diesel is how much... $1000?

It makes a lot of sense for the chinese, since they are now our #1 supplier of manufactured goods. I bought some luggage the other day and with a swiss symbol on the outside of it thought it was nice I was purchasing something not built in China, yet to my amazement the tag stated Made in China.

They are running huge surpluses while our country is running in the red, borrowing money to stay afloat. China is an engine of industry gobbling up as much energy as they can get, so paying for more coal is the least of their problems.

Someone has a bridge he wants to sell you. No, really...

Four-tonne iron bridge goes missing in western Bohemia

"An unknown perpetrator stole a four-tonne railway bridge sometimes between December 5, 2007, and January 11, 2008," Boehm said.

He caused the railways the damage that amounts to 20,000 crowns, Boehm said.

It is most probable that the railway bridge ended up in a scrap metal shop.

Michael Lynch occasionally posts on the Yahoo energyresources list. During the 90's he posted on the Usenet as mclynch. Those posts are still archived on google groups. He is currently writing a book.


correction for previous link http://hubbert.mines.edu

Gee, this sounds all too familiar: "The article started out by asking if governments ignore the capitalists. A report published proposes "genuine difficulties" in increasing the production of crude oil, "particularly after 2012." The oil producers have been unable to respond to the massive rise in prices. Total global liquid hydrocarbon production has essentially flatlined since mid 2005.

Production flatlined by mid 2005?! It's really amazing how long it takes for some folks to catch up to readily available information. We are in a pickle my friends. If there were excess production capability at 100 bucks a barrel, then OPEC wouldn't be discussing a cut in production, but rather they would be opening the proverbial spicket and make even mo money.

So one must consider if the Peak Oilers were correct in the assertion that mid 2005 was peak production, and that marked the beginning of Kunstler's Long Emergency, with Deffeyes and Simmons anointed as brainiacs and the CERA's of the World as the last to figure it out types.

Unless production can be increased, which seems like a doubtful scenario at this point, we are all in for a protracted recession. Damn it all, I want gas stations selling Algae Ethanol with 115 octane selling for a buck fifty a gallon!!

Forget about crude going to $100 a barrel.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Despite oil's record high last week, forget about crude going to $100 a barrel.

Prices have already dropped about 7 percent since last week, and are likely to fall even more in the coming years.

That's the consensus of analysts, who say rising production, the advent of biofuels, and conservation measures will likely lead to lower oil prices by 2015.

But how much lower is subject to wide interpretations, and estimates rage from $20 to $60 a barrel.

Linear thinking works fine until... life throws you a logistic curve! A link to an article from last August when analysts were sure oil prices were going back down.

Here's he best one-

"Still, prices are still within the range of inflation-adjusted highs set in ..."


"Oil prices, though weaker than they were on fears of a slowdown, are still high. ... where again fears of a slowdown seem to be overdone. ..."

The "analysts" have been telling the public for at least 5 years that oil prices will be coming down.

Rising production? I don't see no rising production.

On a more positive note, I also may get myself a job as proffessional analyst. All it takes is to echoe Denial, eerh, Daniel Yergin & friends.

Denial Yergin... it's a great turn of phrase :) although one has to wonder if he is just a smart businessman, telling his clients what they want to hear...

Peak Oil was mentioned a couple of times during a piece on oil on CNBC today. T Boone Pickens is due to be giving his take on the current oil situation tomorrow (thursday) on CNBC if anyone is interested.

Certainly a change from a year ago where PO is now dropped into the conversations quite freely.

Isn’t this special. If you were looking for another reason to cut down on your consumption. . .

Big Retail Chains Dun Mere Suspects in Theft
In an escalating battle against theft, retailers are going after anyone suspected of shoplifting, turning over their names to lawyers and collection firms, who pursue the suspects for stiff penalties and split the take with the retailer.

After Miami handyman Glenn Rudge was accused of shoplifting an $8 set of drill bits at Home Depot, he thought he'd settled the matter when he showed his receipt to prosecutors and they dropped the charge.

But a few weeks later, a law firm hired by Home Depot began sending him letters demanding first $3,000, then a total of $6,000, implying he'd be sued if he didn't pay it.

Cut your consumption, AND Buy from Local businesses who will deal with you on a local scale.

"Secret Agent Man; They've given you a number, and taken away your name!"
(P.F. Sloan / S. Barri)

Don't know about where you live, jokuhl, but around here any local business that competed with HD and Lowe's has long since gone out of business.

This type of thing used to be called an "extortion racket". Now it is called a "service economy".

hehe. good one!

AKA the "Scam Based" economy

I've been getting this with cell phone providers for a while now. Sprint totally and completely messed themselves a few years ago and we finally kicked them out after carefully documenting their problems over a six month timeframe. What should have been a $600 final bill was left sitting for ninety days, then it ballooned into $2,000 due. I agreed to pay it in full, but assured them I'd do it by publishing freelance articles about their utter inability to hang on to us as a customer, and I sent my response not to collections but to investor relations. The very next day I got a call from a representative who was eager to get the $600 they were owed and "clear up any misunderstandings".

I recently removed Verizon for similar issues and the $300 bill is now $1,200, and look at this, the collection fee is just enough to get it out of small claims court. I have not decided for sure what I'm going to do with them yet, but I am thinking a pro se suit, lots and lots of discovery, and then I publish the whole story over and over and over and over with plenty of tips for anyone else who is having trouble with them.

These ... character disorders that corporations are showing are costing them business and as folks' finances get tighter they're going to be less and less willing to knuckle under. Its an interesting aspect of relocalization and one that I welcome - I always prefer to deal with a person rather than a corporation.

"150 years ago, the business corporation was a relatively insignificant institution. Today, it is all pervasive. Like the church, the monarchy, and the Communist party in other times and places, the corporation is today's dominant institution.

"This documentary examines the nature, evolution, impacts, and possible futures of the modern business corporation."

The Corporation part 1 (Google video 1h 26m)

The Corporation part 2 (Google video 1h)

Before I go expending my limited GB allowance on looking at a 1 hr video (thanks NZ broadband), is there any extra material beyond what is in the standard DVD movie?

I meant on the documentary: part 2 that you linked :)

The transcripts page is good tho - thanks

ah, but legally (at least in the U.S.) a corporation is a person!

not a person, but with more rights than a person. a supreme court created super citizen. all the rights(including the right to use money as free speech) and immunity from laws persons are subject to.
the death penalty for certain offenses would be helpful, wouldnt even need a hangman's noose.

The corporation has no soul to save and no body to incarcerate.

[edit: link fixed]

It appears that spot supply problems are cropping up in the flour market. From a Boston-area chef's blog:

Amuse Bouche: Flour shortage?

It began last week when our order from Sysco came in and the 50# bag of flour we ordered was listed as Out of Stock.

"Out of Stock, Sysco is out of freakin flour?" I tossed across the office to A as I was entering the costs in my database.

If this is more than an isolated incident, it is unsettling; another round of crop failures in wheat-producing countries going forward would expose a lot of us in the first world to genuine staple shortages for the first time in our lives.

On a related note, Sam Adams (or, Rather, the Boston Beer Company) is making available 20000 pounds of hops at cost to craft brewers. Apologies if this is a repost; I've been away from the Drum for some time :) Speaking of which, I am now SeattleGeologist rather than BostonGeologist :)

Do a Google News Search with 'Flour Supply'.. yikes! It's like a world tour! Pakistan has a lot of hits up top..

But This was the 'charmingest'.. "You'll soon need more bread to buy those buns"


Walton Feed, one of the major distributors of human food bulk grain and dry bean products for both homescale and commercial customers reported in a recent issue of the great magazine "Touch the Soil" that they are having trouble filling orders and arranging shipping in a timely manner. The problems stem from rising transportation costs and spot shortages of commodities from their usual partners, such as grain distributors and trucking companies.

There's still way more food than needed, but when the market system isn't sure how to price it appropriately difficulties arise.

CEO of Potash Corp was on Bloomberg yesterday. I believe he said not only prices were at record levels but US grain stocks were at an all time low since records began.

That's right.

2/14/08 The U.S. is importing wheat?? According to Dow Jones Newswire a million bushels of German wheat has been bought by a U.S. firm (Cargill?)for blending with other U.S. wheat.

2/10/08 Wheat Stocks to Use Ratios appear to be:
SRW 7.2%
HRS 13.7%
Durum 17.5%.
White 11%.

Nixon got in trouble for less back in 1972.

Today from DC? Nada. Zip. Zero.

I've got 100.15 for NYMEX crude now.

CNBC has 99.98.

We're in serious trouble folks.

German Wheat Said Sold to U.S.

With prices of high-protein U.S. spring wheat at all-time highs, about 25,000 tons of good quality German wheat has been sold to the U.S. for blending purposes, U.S. and European traders said Thursday.

I went to see a farmer in the next village today and while I was there he showed me his new biomass boiler for heating his house. He uses wheat and oat grains that he produces on his farm as the fuel, about 200 kilos a week.

Perhaps ELM will set in as we find ever more resourceful ways to destroy use our food crops.

Hello TODers,

Anybody know the reason behind this link? Grain hoarding? Contract pricing violations? I can't imagine how locking up grain movement will help reduce prices.



The businesses can not buy, sell, ship, or receive grain while under suspension.

The Grain Exchange LLC branches combined have a 1,032,000 bushel capacity.

Last updated: 02/20/2008 11:09:26
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Another link that possibly reveals how jammed and crammed we are to the hard edge of the petri dish:

Famines May Occur Without Record Crops This Year, Potash Says

Feb. 20 -- Grain farmers will need to harvest record crops every year to meet increasing global food demand and avoid famine, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. Chief Executive Officer William Doyle said.

People and livestock are consuming more grain than ever, draining world inventories and increasing the likelihood of shortages, Doyle said yesterday in an interview on Bloomberg Television. Global grain stockpiles fell to about 53 days of supply last year, the lowest level since record-keeping began in 1960, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

``If you had any major upset where you didn't have a crop in a major growing agricultural region this year, I believe you'd see famine,'' Doyle, 57, said in New York.
IMO, it is extremely risky when JIT stockpiles are less than the time required to grow, then harvest another crop.

Welcome to the Left Coast! Did you know that the 3 leading hop producing states are WA, OR and ID?

With hops prices up 500% on the world market, I looked into growing them, http://www.ars-grin.gov/cor/humulus/huminfo.html

Sure old wholesale prices were $4-6/#, well now if hops are for sale they are costing $28-32/#. Breweries are starting to back out of markets areas and dropping styles of beer being brewed. Currently there is about 1800 breweries and brew pubs in America, at the end of the summer I feel there could be 100-200 of them out of business.

Good luck growing hops they take 3 years to have the flowers develop the correct acid levels.
The prices should go down again by 2009-2010. By the time a new grower gets started growing hops should be back down I think around $6-11/#.



Hi Jon--Hop cultivation takes time and patience as any orchard-like plant and should be a component of any well-thought diversified farm as was the case centuries ago across Eurasia. With the very many microbreweries here in Oregon, I think a market will exist for whatever gets grown, as long as the quality is there. In Medieval Europe, brewing and drinking beer/ale was the best/safest way to drink water The OSU website is really very good at providing info for home and commercial growers.

Interesting how rising oil costs affect decision making - including, perhaps, shortwave radio broadcasting. The New York Times had an article today about the BBC ending shortwave radio service to Europe.

Here's a link:


The article ended with this:

Andy Sennitt, a media specialist with the Dutch public broadcaster, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, said that he got his start 30 years ago working on BBC shortwave broadcasts and had mixed feelings about the end of the transmissions.

“For die-hard shortwave listeners, this is negative,” he said. “What they don’t understand is the huge cost of powering transmitters. The cost of diesel fuel has doubled.”

Paul Krugman is starting to think that peak oil might be real:

Peak oil, that is — a dismal theory that keeps getting more plausible.

Where have you been? Paul Krugman has been telling us peak oil is real for about four years now.


Ron Patterson

Krugman has been telling us peak oil is real for about four years now.

This goes to show you how "deaf" the mainstream herds are.

"Peak Oil" has been described in mainstream public arenas (New York Times, CNN (We Were Warned), Scientific American, floor of the US House of Representatives --Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, etc.) over and over.

And yet. they don't hear it.
And yet. they don't see it.
Their eyes glaze over.
Their ears wax shut.
Their brains drift into fantasies of perpetual growth and progress.
The herd continues to graze and migrate toward the cliff's edge.


Looks like a new oil record. My real-time chart shows it got up to about 100.32 a few minutes ago, then backed off to about 99.90. I'm beginning to think we're going to see a lot of these.

100.93. There was at least an "ask" over 101, if not a trade.

The stock market has chosen to ignore $100.74 oil and gold up again today. Good volume. Traders took comfort from HP and some Fedspeak that recession will be averted. Ignored also the bad housing and inflation data. Retail, financials all up.

Builds are expected in gasoline and oil tomorrow.
We are prime for a disappointment there and more sticker shock on the barrel. Amazing how easily stocks swallowed the century milestone. The demolition derby special will tank up at $3.50 a gallon but she is lookin' pretty sorry. Gearing up for another run at that wall.

Weaning America Off of Oil: The 'Motorhead Messiah' Has Arrived


Thankfully, word is spreading about a man, Johnathan Goodwin, whose seemingly contradictory passions for large vehicles and environmental protection have led him to conjure up vehicle modifications that "can get 100 mpg out of a Lincoln Continental, cut emissions by 80%, and double the horsepower."

"Gravity a thing of the past"


"Researchers at URBS have developed a brain implant that allows individuals to break the law of gravity solving once and for all the transportation, energy, and recreation crisis."

Just forget about gravity like Arthur Dent and you'll be flying.

About the author
Carol L. Ohnesorge holds a Masters Degree in Counseling and Psychology with an emphasis in Holism. She has spent much of her career working in mental health. Carol is dedicated to increasing public awareness and understanding of holistic therapies.

Crap News Network - I keep copies of some of their more flagrant stupidity for reference. This story becomes something credible when a publication that is a subject matter expert, say Hot Rod Magazine, goes out and uses his stuff in one of their periodic project cars. Until then ... well ... maybe he has an ad in the National Enquirer?

Hallelujah! The gear jammin' rednecks are going to save us from the Peak Oil Hell! Call NASCAR real quick, you hear?

(NOTE: the author, Carol L. Ohnesorge, holds a Masters Degree in Counseling and Psychology with an emphasis in Holism)

Here's the original article.

E. Swanson

Goodwin dropped out of school to make his living buying totaled vehicles and then fixing them up to resell. This practical education and his experimentation has led him to come up with progressive modifications for even the older, larger vehicles driven twenty years ago which more than double a car's fuel efficiency, doubles its power and cuts most of the emission pollution. What's even more amazing is that he co-created a $5000 kit that "can immediately transform any diesel vehicle to burn 50% less fuel and produce 80% fewer emissions." On large gas guzzling vehicles, Goodwin estimates the kit earns its money back in about a year, and on a regular car in about two years, all while "hitting an emissions target from the outset that's more stringent than any regulation we're likely to see in our lifetime."

This is completely incoherent drivel. What emissions regulations for diesels? When did Lincoln Continentals have diesels?

And I'm sure Jethro's got it all figured out.

I'm not sure what is worse - that either you don't even read this stuff before posting it, or that you do and post it anyway.

"When did Lincoln Continentals have diesels?"
In 1984. The Continental MkVII LSC was available with a BMW turbo-diesel inline 6 cylinder. My grandfather had one, fairly nice car at the time I think.

Yes I know about that, but it was produced in minuscule numbers, and that was hardly the big Lincoln. The article is still hopeless crap.

Oh its absolute crap, the guy is just playing into the desires of the motoring public in an effort to generate fame, sell vehicles, get funding, or whatever his m.o. is. If you tell people they can drive a Suburban that gets the mileage of a Prius and accelerates like a Ferrari all for the price of a Kia, of course it will cause a ruckus. The laws of physics, thermodynamics, etc. be damned.

On a related note, the Baltimore Sun had a full back page advertisement yesterday for those "Amish Miracle Heaters". I got quite a laugh from it, but then started getting frightened when some of the other guys in the lunchroom asked "Wow, is this for real?"

GARR!! Troll still hungry.. TOD bloggers too stingy, not distracted enough! Feed Me!

what is so bad about cars being more fuel efficient?

Hello TODers,

For Oil, $100 May Be Just a Pit Stop Along the Way

..."Oil at $100 a barrel right now is going to really kind of put the final nail in this coffin," said Ben Lichtenstein, of Traders Audio. "If we're teetering on a recession with oil sustained above $85 a barrel, what's $100 going to bring right now? Again, $100 is just a little speed bump right now. We're on our way to $120 easily."
I wish this article had a link to TOD's press release to further push Peak Outreach along.

Aha, now we are in for 120$! Suddenly, from today to another! 100+ is accepted. How was that with "demand destruction"? How was that with your 1X1 economy textbook?

" How was that with "demand destruction"? How was that with your 1X1 economy textbook?"

the prices isn't high enough obviously.

$200/barrel oil is even cheap, when you compare it to accomplishing the same work via human labor.

Hello TODers,

Gee, is the global battle for control of Moroccan P heating up this fast? Recall my previous posts.

Morocco: Police smash alleged terror cell, arresting 23

What on god's green earth does this have to do with Potash? http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:2o0R5qQsMaBf5M:http://bp1.blogger.co...

Hello Antidoomer,

for your clarification:

Elements: See Periodic Table
industrial N = Nitrogen, beneficated from Haber-Bosch natgas process
industrial P = Phosphorus, beneficiated from mined mineral ores
industrial K = Potassium, beneficiated from mined mineral ores

organic N = Nitrogen, usually fixed into soil by wise crop rotation, but some % can be added from organic amendments.
organic P = Phosphorus, amended to soil by adding composts, guanos, bones, manures, humanures, urines, etc.
organic K = Potassium, same sources as for organic P above. In the olden days: burned wood ashes were collected, thus Pot-ash.

Generally, O-NPK is much less concentrated than I-NPK: 2,000 pounds of manure may pack less 'NPK power' than 100 pounds of industrial NPK.

EDIT: But the organic biomass makes a huge difference to water retention in drought soils and promoting micro-organism and worm growth, among many other benefits that I-NPK doesn't do.

Yeah, but have you tried bat shit?

Pepe Escobar turns his Roving Eye on the new Iranian Oil Bourse in a very detailed report that provides some views from other Persian Gulf producers, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/JB21Dj07.html And it is drawing in Russia, "Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said last week that 'the ruble will de facto become one of the regional reserve currencies.'"

A further excerpt, "Enter the bourse, which is the solution to eliminate the middlemen. Everyone in the oil business knows that high oil prices are not really due to OPEC--which supplies 40% of the world’s crude--or 'al-Qaeda threats.' The main profiteers are middlemen--'traders' to put it nicely, 'speculators' to put it bluntly."

Everyone in the oil business knows that high oil prices are not really due to OPEC--which supplies 40% of the world’s crude--or 'al-Qaeda threats.' The main profiteers are middlemen--'traders' to put it nicely, 'speculators' to put it bluntly."

Does everyone in the oil business really know this? I'm not in the oil business, but it seems like a spectacularly dumb comment to me. No one is forcing people to buy high-priced futures contracts. If there's so much oil around, just go buy it from someone else. Pick up the phone and call Exxon or Petrobras or Aramco and tell them you want to buy some of their oil really cheap, because you don't think middlemen should make all the profit.

If it's true that speculators are the problem, then I think Mr. Escobar needs to explain how it is that oil producing nations have trillions of dollars in their soverign wealth funds or how Dubai is planning on turning itself into "Club Med" for the hyper-wealthy. If speculators are siphoning off the profits, how is it that desert wastelands in the Middle East have so much freakin' money?

Perhaps you should ask Pepe yourself, pepeasia@yahoo.com and provide us with a copy of your conversation.

Russia's oil industry threatened by high taxes, maturing fields
Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Feb. 20 -- High taxes are threatening the future development of Russia's oil and gas industry as production growth stagnates from mature fields, speakers warned at International Petroleum Week in London.

"There is no clarity until the new government comes into power," said Tony Considine, TNK-BP downstream executive vice-president.

Russia's prospective fields in Siberia and offshore in the Arctic require huge investments and pose major development and financial risks.

Taxes seem rather clear to me. Taxes are calculated using public formula. I think oil companies are really saying they want lower taxes not clarity. But taxes are set to balance economic development for different part of economy. Oil pumping adds relatively little to country's GDP and/or intellectual development. Oil production is secondary to other goals and taxes simply reflect this fact. Oil companies should do what numbers tells them to do. If further investment seems unprofitable they should wait until oil prices rise high enough to justify that investment. Or invest in other areas where taxes are lower.

All these articles are agit-prop. This is media whoring for the corporations who want society to pay for everything and leave them all the profits. Big bad Putin is actually doing what was done in Canada and the USA in the 50s and 60s, collecting taxes from big business. If the owners of those corporations, in this case BP, want no taxes they should pack up and leave. The Duma should pass a law making it criminal for companies operating in Russia to lobby through the press. So BP-TNK spokesmen and their bosses should be subject to jail time for spreading FUD. Corporations in the USA may have more rights than people but that is not the insane model that Russia needs to abide by.

That has always been the Corporate Model:
Privatize the profits--
Socialize the risk.
And Joe Sixpack never learns, and admires these psychopaths.

Joe Sixpack even shells out his own money to wear clothes with corporate logos emblazoned upon them. Turns himself into a human billboard, and pays for the privilege of doing so.

Interesting linkage between Kosovo's "independence" and regional oil and gas prospects you're unlikely to read in the Military Industrial Media, http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticle/16567

And to power this process they would burn what? Coal? The unfortunate part is that there are so many people that do not understand that in order to reverse gasoline burning process you would need to put at least as much energy as was taken away from it (when it was burned in the car).

Coal to gasoline process is probably just as horrible for the environment, but simpler and probably cheaper.

at least more.

Right I'm off to shove my own sh*t back up my arse so I can regurgitate all the food I ate so I can consume it again.

I suppose you could make solar powered hydrogen carbon bonds or whatever.


No, it's oil from electricity - they propose from nuclear rather than wind or anything sustainable!

And to power this process they would burn what? Coal?

No, Bat Shit. Alternatively we could build very tall bat towers and strategically place containers in them that the bats would fill with bat shit, which would be released at the right moment powering gravity engines. Note the added advantage that there is no direct cost in getting the bat shit to the top of the towers since the bats fly there of their own volition. I'm beginning to see the future solution to all our energy needs, though it might seem a little batty right now.

Latest from Jim Willie-this guy is great at seeing the big picture http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/willie/2008/0220.html

Wow. Take a look at this article. Not really related to oil, but about US financial health going forward:

Gross Says U.S. Budget Deficit May Reach $800 Billion

Bill Gross, manager of the world's biggest bond fund, said the U.S. federal budget deficit will widen to as much as $800 billion during the next presidential administration.

``Those who suggest that fiscal deficits of $300 or $400 billion are going to be standard are going to be disappointed,'' Pacific Investment Management Co.'s Gross said in an interview on Bloomberg Radio. ``They're going to be $600, $700, $800 billion.''


Hi: Definitely. There is no other way to get money into the economy. Taxes down, spending up, US dollar down is the only way out short of de facto bankruptcy. The Fed is helping out banks but nobody else.

Awesome,stay tuned.god bless the US of what?

It's really 11.45pm

Anyone know the French term for Peak Oil?

Thanks much

Peak oil > Pic pétrolier

Peak oil is often used, and from an English speaker, or a Canadian, would be perfectly acceptable.

see an ex. here.

Contrary to myth, which sees French as a language rigorous and protectionist, it is a language that imports foreign words ‘whole’ - weekend, golf, star, sub-prime, and 100s of thousands more. It often imports the spelling (beefsteak), even transliterating clumsily from Arabic, Japanese, etc. violating all French rules, or transforms it to make it more or less compatible with French custom (biftek.)

French does not pile up nouns, to make it simple, so in the expression pic pétrolier pic is a noun and pétrolier is a qualifier. So for peak gas, you get Pic Gazier (the noun is gaz), and so on. This can become clumsy or difficult, what is peak uranium, for ex? Pic uranium.... what ending? You would have to invent..

Because of such difficulties, the form Le Pic du Pétrole (the peak *of* petrol, and the word petrol here is another whole can of beans) is often used, because by extension one can say or write “le pic de l’uranium”, “le pic du charbon” (coal) using any noun one pleases. Both DE and DU - le pic du pétrole - le pic de pétrole - are used. Going that route is probably the best, with DU rather than DE.

from an English speaker, or a Canadian,

I assume that the two groups are separate and distinct, eh ?


Bien sur, mon cher ami!