DrumBeat: April 4, 2008

Oil reserve site raises ire, Bush policy tested

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration says it favors "environmentally friendly" energy development, but that policy is under attack in a Mississippi town where residents worry a planned emergency oil reserve may drain a river, destroy wetlands and harm Gulf of Mexico fishing areas.

There is fear the Energy Department's plan to carve out underground salt caverns in Richton, Mississippi, to hold some 160 million barrels of crude oil could be the worst environmental disaster to hit the state since Hurricane Katrina.

Pressure from the Kremlin may push BP to cede control of Russian oil venture

LONDON: Pressure from the Kremlin on BP's joint venture in Russia, TNK-BP, may before long lead the British oil company to cede control to either Rosneft or Gazprom, the Russian state-owned energy companies.

More than 1,000 in Iraq's forces quit Basra fight

BAGHDAD: More than 1,000 Iraqi soldiers and policemen either refused to fight or simply abandoned their posts during the inconclusive assault against Shiite militias in Basra last week, a senior Iraqi government official said Thursday. Iraqi military officials said the group included dozens of officers, including at least two senior field commanders in the battle.

Researchers extract methane gas from under permafrost

Mackenzie Delta - Researchers working at the Mallik site in the Mackenzie Delta have successfully extracted methane gas from frozen gas hydrates found beneath hundreds of metres of permafrost.

...Gas hydrates are a potential energy source found in permafrost environments and under the sea floor. They form when water and methane gas come together under extreme pressure and in a cold environment. The water and gas are frozen together at a molecular level. One cubic metre of gas hydrates contains 164-cubic-metres of methane gas, and 0.8 cubic metres of water.

Drought-hit Barcelona to import water by boat from France

Boats will from next month bring fresh water from other parts of Spain and neighbouring France to Barcelona to help the city deal with the region's worst drought in decades, local government officials said Friday.

The boats will supply Spain's second-largest city with enough water to meet Barcelona's consumption needs for five days -- at a cost of 22 million euros (34.4 million dollars).

Arctic fantasies need reality check

EDMONTON - Geologist Robert Meneley knows all about visions of fabulous Arctic oil and gas treasure. He tried to make the dreams come true for Panarctic Oils, Petro-Canada and industry partners.

"It was brutal," he said in an interview, recalling lessons taught by polar drilling campaigns he led in the 1970s and '80s. "We never got a good surprise."

Marine reserves to reduce fishing area by 20%

Up to 20 per cent of British waters could be closed to activities such as fishing and oil exploration to protect threatened species under a Bill due to be published in draft.

Norway imposes investment ban

Norway's vast fund for investing its oil wealth is now barred from owning shares in companies that sell arms to Myanmar, expanding limits imposed last year on direct investments in the Southeast Asia nation's government bonds and 1,200 companies, the finance ministry announced Friday.

However, a statement said a preliminary review suggests there are currently no such companies in the fund's portfolio, making the ban a symbolic one.

OPEC's Crude Oil Production Fell 0.3% in March, Survey Shows

(Bloomberg) -- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries cut oil production 0.3 percent in March, as Nigerian output dropped to the lowest in almost five years, a Bloomberg News survey showed.

OPEC pumped an average 32.35 million barrels a day last month, down 85,000 barrels from February, according to the survey of oil companies, producers and analysts. February output was revised up by 160,000 barrels a day. Production by the 12 members with quotas, all except Iraq, fell 30,000 barrels to 29.97 million barrels a day.

Nigerian production fell 80,000 barrels to an average 1.96 million barrels a day last month, the biggest decline of any member, the survey showed. It was the lowest output for the West African country since April 2003.

Australia: The flowing arteries of Sir Rod's vision spark fears of a car destiny

THE travel habits of Melburnians will not change in coming decades and, by 2031, the city will remain sprawling and car-dependent with only a fraction of its residents using public transport.

These are the assumptions underscoring Sir Rod Eddington's landmark call for $18 billion of new transport infrastructure, including a $9 billion road tunnel between the Eastern Freeway and the western suburbs.

Ireland: Finding local solutions for the world's oil crisis

IF Kilkenny is to free itself from oil dependency, it will have to come up with local solutions rather than relying on the government or the EU, a meeting in the city heard this week.

The best results will come if the initiative is taken by residents and businesses rather than just the local authorities.

This is according to Daniel Lerch of the San Francisco-based Post Carbon Institute, who was speaking as part of a day-long conference ‘Housing, Planning and Urban Design for a Sustainable Future’ in Butler House on Tuesday.

In Poland, 'green' fields besieged

STRYSZOW, Poland: Depending on your point of view, Szczepan Master is either an incorrigible Luddite or a visionary. A small farmer, proud of his pure, high-quality products, he works his land the way Polish farmers have for centuries.

He keeps his livestock in a straw-floored "barn" that is part of his house, entered through a kitchen door. He slaughters his own pigs. His wife milks cows by hand. He rejects genetically modified seeds. Instead of spraying his crops, he turns his fields in winter, preferring a workhorse to a tractor, to let the frost kill off pests residing there.

While traditional farms like his could be dismissed as a nostalgic throwback, they are also increasingly seen as the future - if only they can survive.

Master's way of farming - his way of life - has been badly threatened in the two years since Poland joined the European Union, a victim of sanitary laws and mandates to encourage efficiency and competition that favor mechanized commercial farms, farmers here say.

Gas prices rise to new record

NEW YORK - Retail gas prices surged to a new record above $3.30 a gallon Friday and appear poised to rise further in coming weeks as gasoline supplies tighten.

How to win your case for telecommuting

With gas prices soaring toward $4 a gallon, a solution seems obvious: skip the commute. U.S. drivers travel an average of about 15 miles, one way, to work. Working from home a few days each week would be the quickest route to relief at the pump. It would ease pressure on clogged roadways, too.

But telecommuting appears to be stalled in the driveway.

Nuclear plants, gas pipelines also in terror plans of airliner plotter

LONDON: A young British Muslim who became a key organizer in a plot to down trans-Atlantic airliners was also developing plans to cripple nuclear power stations, a European gas pipeline and Britain's electricity grid, a prosecutor told a court Friday.

Assad Sarwar, 27, who had key contacts among Islamists in Pakistan, also wanted to destroy the main exchange for Britain's Internet service providers and target an airport control tower.

Kuwait's Asians feel pinch of India rice export ban

KUWAIT: India's decision to ban all rice exports except for premium brand basmati is resonating throughout Kuwait's rice market and has accelerated the pace of inflation in the oil-rich country. The ban will hit Asian expatriates especially hard as they are the largest consumers of non-basmati rice in the country, say market watchers.

Land Once Preserved Now Being Farmed

Since the mid-1980s, the U.S. government, in an attempt to reduce the environmental fallout from large-scale farming, has been paying farmers to set aside less-than-ideal land for conservation. The results have been overwhelmingly positive: Soil erosion has been reduced; chemical and fertilizer runoff has eased; habitats for game birds and endangered species have been created and enlarged. The pushback to climate change has been equally noteworthy: In 2007, the lands trapped 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, making the Conservation Reserve Program the most effective government-funded defense against greenhouse gases on private lands.

...But dark clouds are forming on the protected fields. Historically, farmers have been eager to participate in the program, and many still are. But as prices for crops have soared, a growing number of farmers have opted to put conservation land back into production. The trend is expected to accelerate—to the grave concern of many observers who caution that years of steady environmental progress could be halted, or even reversed, as buffers and habitats are converted into farmland.

Risky 'experiment' combats rising cost of corn

BELLVALE, NY — One benefit of dairy farming is the steady stream of cheap manure. But as the cow giveth, so the cow taketh.

To make all that fertilizer — and high-quality milk — Bessie has to eat, and it's never been more expensive to feed a cow.

It's gotten so bad that Al Buckbee's trying an experiment this year. He's growing his own oats and more corn than in the past. He's cutting back on hay he can sell because he'd rather lose revenue than keep paying the steep cost of commodity crops.

'The End of Suburbia': After peak oil comes what fresh hell?

There has been a faint chorus of people warning about the end of oil since the 1970s. These days the chorus is getting a bit louder but most folk are still watching the approaching calamity like an enormous tidal wave far off on the horizon. "Look at that . . . It's pretty big, hey? Hmmm, getting closer now. Yep . . . Umm . . . oh S***!"

Zero-carbon towns are unrealistic, energy assessor claims

A UK energy assessor is warning that zero-carbon towns are wholly unrealistic.

Paul Staley, managing director of Energy Reports and Surveys, says it is not possible to make all homes zero-carbon and that Britain needs to concentrate on existing properties to solve its energy crisis.

Electricity theft costs Eskom billions

South Africa's energy crisis is exacerbated by electricity theft, which is also robbing Eskom of revenue.

It was difficult for Eskom to state how much electricity theft was costing it, but non-technical losses - such as billing and metering errors - amounted to R1-billion in the 2006/07 financial year, said Eskom spokesperson Tony Scott on Wednesday.

Uganda To Reach Full-Scale Oil Production In 5 Yrs

Uganda expects to reach fully-fledged oil production in the next five years following impressive oil exploration results in the Lake Albert Valley, a senior government official told Dow Jones Newswires Friday.

Kalisa Kabagambe, the permanent secretary at the ministry of energy and minerals, said that Dublin-listed Tullow Oil is in the process of setting up a small oil refinery which will initially produce around 4,000 barrels of oil a day, part of which will be used to run a 50 megawatt thermal plant, as Uganda seeks to ease its power crisis.

Oil output is then expected to keep rising and reach full-scale in the next five years, he added. By that time, Uganda expects to produce between 40,000 and 60,000 barrels of oil a day.

Mexico's Calderon says oil data too bleak to ignore

CANCUN, Mexico (Reuters) - President Felipe Calderon said on Thursday that the outlook for Mexico's flagging oil industry was too grim for political bickering to stand in the way of an oil industry reform.

Calderon, whose conservative party lawmakers are battling to persuade opposition parties to back an oil reform proposal that could lower barriers to foreign partners in high-risk areas like deep-sea oil, said the country was losing billions of dollars in lost oil revenues and reserves were still falling.

Mexico Senate sees oil reform draft next week

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Lawmakers from Mexico's ruling party will have a draft oil reform proposal ready next week with clauses to encourage drilling in deep-water oil fields on the U.S. maritime border, a senior senator said on Thursday.

Sen. Ruben Camarillo, the National Action Party's point man for writing the proposal, told Reuters the party was also "very seriously" considering measures to allow state oil monopoly Pemex to partner with other state firms in deep-sea oil.

Petrobras Accused Of Oil Contract Breach In Ecuador

Ecuadorian state oil company Petroecuador said that Petrobras may have breached its contract by selling assets to a third party and that, if so, the Brazilian state energy giant could be stripped of its main Amazon oil concession.

Pakistan searches for solution to power shortages

Islamabad - Pakistan's electricity production was nearly 3,000 megawatts short of demand in March. The country made up the difference by turning off lights, and everything else, for several hours a day. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani after being sworn in March 25 put the "energy crisis" up with terrorism as a top issue to address during his first 100 days in office.

But things will get worse before they get better, Gillani warned, with power outages increasing through June when air conditioners are turned on to beat the heat.

Fuel crisis hits Bali, Indonesia

JAKARTA (Xinhua) -- Fuel shortage has been hitting Indonesia's resort island of Bali over the last few days, causing an unusual view in which many empty-tanked vehicles are left unattended on streets.

Motorists have left their cars and motorcycles with empty tanks on streets as many fuel outlets they came by no longer had gasoline or diesel fuel stocks, national Antara news agency reported Friday.

Gazprom In Talks To Gain Control Over TNK-BP

Russia's OAO Gazprom is in talks with TNK-BP, half owned by U.K. oil major BP PLC, to gain a 51% stake in the joint venture, the RBK Daily said Friday, citing two unnamed sources.

Italian political hopeful wants to build nuke power plants in Montenegro, Albania

Giulio Tremonti - the man who analysts say has the inside track to become Italy's economy minister should his centre-right party win the country's parliamentary election slated for April 13 and 14 – says that nuclear power plants should be built in Montenegro and Albania to help solve Italy's power shortage. Analysts believe Tremonti's party has a very good chance to come to power 10 days hence.

Smaller, less-thirsty, cheaper cars enjoy big sales boom

The smallest, cheapest, cars are the biggest, brightest spot in the dreary auto market, reflecting continuing buyer flight to fuel economy and lower prices.

Sales of all types of small cars in March were at year-ago levels, Autodata says — a big success in an industry that sold 12% fewer vehicles overall than in March 2007. The small-car segment was the only one not showing a loss.

Within that group, the so-called lower small cars, the smallest and lowest-priced, boomed. Sales were up nearly 27% from last year. "And last year was a strong year," notes Tom Libby at Power Information Network, a unit of consultant J.D. Power and Associates.

Iceland: Don’t Step on My Blue Suede Shoes

“It’s funny how Icelanders will accept anything. When the welfare of their children and old relatives is at stake, they just mumble something in protest and that’s it. But when it comes to their cars, all hell breaks loose.”

That is so true. Like Elvis cared for his blue suede shoes more than anything, Icelanders love their cars. They love being able to drive their shiny new SUVs and monster jeeps wherever they need to go (rarely outside city limits), even the shortest of distances. They may hardly be able to afford the monthly down payment of the car loan they took or all the gasoline these status symbols require, but who cares? Many considered such cars an absolute necessity.

LUKOIL slashes 2008 oil output forecast

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - Russian oil major LUKOIL plans to increase oil production by 1.8-2.0 percent this year without acquisitions, its chief executive Vagit Alekperov told reporters on Friday.

Russia's second largest oil producer has previously said its output would rise by around 5 percent this year. Alekperov also declined to comment on market rumours the firm was close to buying a refinery in Italy.

Shell Extinguishes Nigerian Oil Pipeline Fire; Export Isn't Cut

(Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe's biggest oil company, extinguished a fire on a pipeline that pumps oil to the Bonny export terminal in Nigeria.

The fire was extinguished yesterday, Rainer Winzenried, a spokesman for Shell, said by phone today. Exports from the Bonny terminal were not disrupted and the company doesn't plan to announce force majeure on its supplies, he said.

Petrofac Wins Syrian Gas Contract From Petro-Canada

(Bloomberg) -- Petrofac Ltd., the U.K. oil and gas services provider with projects in the Middle East, the North Sea and Kazakhstan, won a $477 million contract from Petro- Canada to build a natural-gas treatment plant in Syria.

An Energy Policy that Makes Cents (and Sense)

Advocates of the peak oil theory, such as myself, have a patriotic duty to propose solutions to the challenges of addressing peak oil.Before the policy is unveiled, there is first need for some discussion.

Iran Can Be Thanked for Easing of Violence in Iraq: Interview

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, on an unannounced trip to Iraq last month, said the 30,000 extra U.S. soldiers sent there last year had brought about ``dramatic improvements in the security situation.''

Actually, says Gilles Kepel, Iran is behind the easing of violence. Kepel, head of Middle East studies at Sciences Po in Paris, writes in the just published ``Terreur et Martyre'' that the U.S. and al-Qaeda have both lost the war on terror, and that Iran pulls the strings -- in Iraq anyway.

Ratepayers could pay billions for wind-power lines

AUSTIN — Building new transmission lines so wind-power turbines can connect to the state power grid could cost ratepayers as much as about $6.4 billion, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

ERCOT, which operates the power grid, filed a study with the Public Utility Commission on Wednesday explaining five scenarios of wind growth and the transmission equipment to handle it.

DOE faulted on pick of law firm for nuclear waste dump project

WASHINGTON: The Energy Department did not fully document its rationale for awarding a $100 million contract to a law firm with a conflict of interest for work on a national nuclear waste dump in Nevada, the agency's inspector general said Thursday.

British Airways puts bill for T5 chaos last week at £16m

BA's downbeat outlook comes as the scalps claimed by the unprecedented price of jet fuel start to pile up. So far, only marginal carriers have been caught out. ATA Airlines, an American carrier, filed for bankruptcy yesterday, just days after Aloha Airlines collapsed. Vueling, a Spanish low-cost carrier launched by Apax Partners that has lost 80 per cent of its market value amid rising losses, may merge with Iberia's Clickair. Alitalia, Italy's state-owned basket case, is facing bankruptcy after Air France-KLM withdrew its takeover offer after talks with unions broke down.

Northwest raises fuel surcharges, freezes pilot hiring

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Fuel isn't getting any cheaper, so Northwest Airlines Corp. is going to make flying a little more expensive.

Northwest has raised prices on international flights, plans to freeze new hiring of pilots and flight attendants, and will cut its domestic schedule by 5% beginning in September.

Why are we going back to coal?

It is energy supply that will determine how quickly Britain goes green. Rather than trying to herd millions of individual consumers into taking tiny steps, the Government could change energy supply with one stroke of the pen. But the pen seems to be doodling wildly at the margins of the page.

Coal power policy under attack from top scientists

Britain's leading scientists have told ministers that plans for a new generation of coal power stations pose an unacceptable climate risk, unless greater efforts are made to trap and store the carbon pollution they produce.

Fight against global warming need not dent growth: IMF

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The International Monetary Fund on Thursday said it was possible to fight global warming without negatively impacting economic growth.

Nations inch towards new climate deal

BANGKOK (AFP) - More than 160 nations are working Friday to clear the initial hurdle in drafting an ambitious new treaty on global warming, expected for the first time to consider rising emissions from planes and ships.

Turner talks of global change, cannibalism

ATLANTA (UPI) -- Unchecked global warming and an exploding population could result in cannibalism, controversial U.S. former media mogul Ted Turner says.

If global warming isn't stemmed, "we'll be 8 degrees hotter in 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow," Turner said during PBS' "Charlie Rose."

"Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals," said Turner, 69. "Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state ... living conditions will be intolerable."

Newfoundland and Labrador Oil Production Dropping

After topping Canada's growth chart last year, Newfoundland and Labrador is projected to rank last in 2008 due to an expected 15 per cent decline in production volumes at the province's three oil producing fields, according to the latest economic forecast released today by RBC.

A 15 percent drop in one year, that’s a bunch! That should offset any gain from the oil sands, and then some.

Ron Patterson

From your link: "Ontario's weak trade sector will see the province teeter on the brink of recession through 2008, but it should pick-up in 2009 to coincide with a recovering U.S. economy."

One wonders where this recovery is going to come from.

Hey Ron starting to wonder what those tarsands increases will be Suncor one of the the two largest producers continues to underperform and is not even keeping up with last years rate. I realize February was brutal weather wise for them but they continue to overpromise and under deliver on the bpd. They are going to have to put the pedal to the metal in order to hit there target since in Q1 they averaged over 25,000 bpd less than the average they forecast.

Suncor Energy reports oil sands production numbers for March 2008

Calgary, Alberta (April 3, 2008) – Suncor Energy Inc. reported today that production at its oil sands facility during March averaged approximately 248,000 barrels per day (bpd). Year-to-date oil sands production at the end of March averaged approximately 247,000 bpd. Suncor is targeting average oil sands production of 275,000 to 300,000 bpd in 2008.

Oil megaprojects data shows 266,000 barrels of new production coming on line in 2007 and 608,000 in new production in 2008 for various companies producing tar sands in Canada. Production is not supposed to peak at these levels for several years, but If these projects are going according to plan, one might expect some increases. One of these projects is a Suncor project that is supposed to begin operation in 2008, and is supposed to add 140,000 barrels a day of production by 2010.

Until I see actual production, I remain skeptical.

Re: Food & Energy Exporters Trading With Each Other

IMO, the primary reason for this move by Saudi Arabia to save water is their continuing shortfall in natural gas production, which is causing their petroleum liquids consumption to skyrocket—which is why the Saudis have been discussing importing coal.

On one level of course, this is just an example of comparative advantage, but it does illustrate what I expect to be a quickly developing trend of bilateral trade between food and energy exporters. I expect energy BTU’s and food calories to become the new “coin of the realm” in world trade.

Of course, this would also be true within countries, like the US. It is not a good time to be both a net food and a net energy consumer.

Saudi plans to import wheat to save water
By Nadim Kawach on Thursday, April 3 , 2008

Saudi Arabia’s plan to start importing wheat and end a massive grain self-sufficiency programme it launched more than two decades ago will weaken the Kingdom’s food security and aggravate a painful Arab farm gap. The Gulf Kingdom, the world’s richest in oil resources and one of the poorest in terms of water, said this week it would begin importing wheat at the start of 2009 and gradually eliminate a 25-year grain programme that has allowed it to be self sufficient but drained its scarce desert water wealth.

“We have decided that the first imported shipment of wheat will enter the country at the beginning of 2009,” said Saleh bin Mohammed Al Suleiman, director-general of Saudi’s Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organization. “We are working out arrangements for these imports and will select the best… the size of imports will initially depend on the domestic need and size of production… this year, there has been a decline in cultivated areas while wheat consumption is growing by around eight per cent annually.”

Maybe a decade ago, I heard an agronomist?/economist? on German radio discussing the fact that wheat exports are actually water exports. I can no longer remember the figure, but it was amazing - for some reason, I remember 7 in relation to one - my haziest best recollection is, 700 hundred tons of water for 1 ton of wheat, but it could also have been 7000 tons of water to 1 ton of wheat.

Which shows just how idiotic Saudi wheat growing truly is - for those that think ethanol is mind numbingly stupid.

...the fact that wheat exports are actually water exports.

If the moisture content of stored wheat is more than about 15% it molds. The figures you mention may represent the amount of water transpired by the growing wheat plant, but certainly aren't the amount exported along with the wheat. That water would have fallen as precipitation on dryland wheatfields anyway, or would have been evapotranspired elsewhere if not used to irrigate wheat. So saying that exporting wheat is actually exporting water is misleading.

What if you're pumping "fossil water" out of an aquifer to irrigate the wheat?

What if you're pumping "fossil water" out of an aquifer to irrigate the wheat?

Good point! I've recently read two books about the dust bowl days of the 1930s and have become convinced that the dust bowl came to an end only because water from the Oglalla aquifer began to be applied to Southern Plains wheatfields on a large scale beginning in the '40s. At the rate the Oglalla is being depleted, dust bowl conditions are bound to return. My post didn't take into consideration irrigation water from aquifers being depleted faster than they can recharge. My own irrigation water comes from a largely snowmelt fed river. But even water from diminishing aquifers used to grow wheat isn't literally exported. I do get your point tho, and agree.

A relatively small amount of wheat or corn is irrigated.

Exporting corn is exporting energy as long as corn's price stays below it's energy content. Currently corn's energy content is in the area of $9-10/bushel when compared to LPG at retail. I know this is true because I heat with both.

When corn is exported the United States has to replace the lost energy content with more expensive energy imports which is stupid.

Corn exports should stop. It is in the self interest of the U.S..

Those who import corn usually use it as animal feed which is another big energy loser. Corn is more valuable for it's energy content that for animal feed at current prices. Corn is called a coarse grain because it is not suitable for human food except in the most desperate circumstances and then only relatively small amounts are needed.

Well, let's see; we can export a bushel of corn for $5.95, and import 2.8 gallons of gasoline at $7.56, and miss out on the opportunity to export 17 lbs of distillers grains ($1.70)

Net Loss: $1.61 + $1.70 = $3.31/bushel; Or, we can get our heads' out of our rearends, provide for our OWN people, and cut our exports of cattle feed to Communist Asian Countries by 60%.

$3.31 Lost for every bushel of cattle feed (corn) exported. This should be a "No-Brainer."

Your math may be spot on, so please don't tear me a new one, but are you saying that 1 bushel of corn produces the energy equivalent of 2.8 gallons of gasoline, or did I miss the point entirely?

Yes, and apparently he has found a way to stuff that bushel of corn in a gas tank with no processing. Beautiful!!


I think you've got me on that one. I suppose I would have to subtract a bit for the processing.

Let's whack off $0.25/gal ($0.75 total,) and call it even; okay?

$3.31 - $0.75 = $2.56 shot all to hell with every bushel exported. Still Silly.

Ethanol is not sustainable in any way, shape, or form. Robert Rapier has debunked you so often that I think he's given up. Yet you continue to spout "the big lie" over and over again, always looking for some new angle to push your agenda.

What is sustainable these days ? Agriculture ? Oil Drilling ?

According to some, the only thing that is sustainable is a world without humankind on it. Since I tend to like humans, being one of them, I consider this way of thinking to be terrifying.

I tend to think that local ethanol production beats foreign oil imports any day of the week. It doesn't drown us in debt and we don't have to spend $150 billion+ per year occupying the farm belt and securing the tanker lanes ;).

In the end, though, I think V2G is the way to go. Liquid fuels are too dangerous -- politically, environmentally, and ecologically. So a nod to RR on that count.

Solar+Wind+Nuclear with storage. To me, it's a no brainer. But some people seem to think the world can't run on anything other than dead microbes fermented in the ground millions of years.

It's 19th century thinking at best. At worst, it's a recipe for disaster.

Sorry, but this is entirely false. Not every civilization that has existed has raped and pillaged the world around them.

It is a choice we make.


Then be careful who you indict -- a civilization or all of humankind.

You don't have to say, "how far can I drive my car on corn?" which is as nonsensical as it sounds. Just look for an easy substitute based on established off-the shelf technology. To figure out whether exporting corn is a bad deal, say: I can easily heat my house with the corn, and how much natural gas would that save that I could then easily use to run a car? Corn furnaces and natural gas cars are easy to get and don't require additional processing of either energy input.


Actually, Jeff Broin, CEO of Poet (refiners of 1.1 Billion gallons of ethanol/yr,) states that his company can turn out 435 gallons of ethanol from 150 bushels of corn.


That would be about 2.9 gallons per bushel.

Add this to DOE's estimate that, on average, you only lose one half of one percent efficiency when running E10 vs. Gasoline, and I felt I was on pretty safe ground.

55% of the energy and only a one half of one % hit on mileage? The ballsiness of these administration guys to lie never ceases to amaze me. My personal experience as an obsessive Prius driver is that 10% ethanol is a 5% hit on my mileage, which, funny enough, is exactly what the law of conservation of energy would indicate.

The dry fate can be avoided it seems:


You need to actually spend time watching how the water flows and add organic material to the land. Not exactly the present method of doing business.

The point was, it is easier to export a ton of wheat than to try to make up the amount of water needed in growing that wheat where water is lacking.

Of course, without going into picky details, Germany does not use irrigation at all to grow wheat - and certainly not in the region where I live.

I posted this article back in January:

Saudi Arabia scraps wheat growing to save water

Samir Qabbani, deputy chairman of the National Committee of Agriculture, said farming in the kingdom relies totally on underground water resources.

"It is possible to save 1,300-1,500 cubic metres of water for every tonne of wheat produced," Qabbani said.

1 cubic meter of water is roughly equal to 1 tonne (1000 kilograms, not the same as the US "ton") so that is about 1300-1500 tonnes of water per tonne of wheat.

1 cubic meter = 1000 liters at 2.2 pounds (or 1 kg) per liter divided by 2,200 pounds per tonne. All numbers rounded where necessary for simplicity's sake but the decimal fraction wouldn't change much.

Point for your next trivia night:

A tonne is, by definition, the weight of a cubic metre of water.

Likewise a kilogram is, by definition, the weight of a litre (10cm cube)of water. 1000 litres in a cubic metre, hence 1000 kilograms in a tonne.

...but GreyZone probably knows this already and just didn't want to get into a long and "fascinating" discussion of the metric system.

I really hate to go into the details of the metric system, but I'm going to.

The original definition of the gram was the mass of 1 cc of water at 0°C. However, while that temperature is easy to achieve, the mass of water is pretty unstable at that temperature (having the habit of freezing and thawing and all), so in 1798 it was redefined to be the mass of 1 cc of water at 4°C. Anyway, because it is really hard to purify water to get it pure enough that it weighs 1 gram/cc the powers that be decided to officially define the kilogram as the mass of a 39.17 mm right cylinder of 90% platinum 10% iridium. The mass of this cylinder is very slightly greater than the mass of 1 cc of super-pure water with a specified ratio of oxygen isotopes in the water molecules. The prototype kilogram is stored under 2 bell jars in a vault in France.

As a side note, the density of water at 25°C is 997 kg/m^3, which is a bit lower than 1 tonne/m^3.

Making 700 tons of water realistic, in a German context. Obviously, Saudi Arabia, being both desert and much further south, is going to have a higher need of water to grow wheat.

I'm not sure that the US is actually that dependent on food imports, from my own analysis and Pat Murphy's - yes, we are a net food importer, but most of our calorie foods are grown here and it wouldn't be that difficult to replace our vegetable foods. On the other hand, energy...

BTW, sorry to do this here, but Westexas, I can't find an email for you anywhere. I'm writing about the ELM for food in my book, and I wanted to ask you questions - any chance you could email me at jewishfarmer@gmail.com?

Thanks, and sorry not to send this query privately.

Sharon Astyk

If you click on his username you see his e-mail.(spam protected yours is not)

Thank you Paulus - apparently I'm not very bright ;-).


westexas at aol.com

"X" = World's largest net food exporter (anyone know which country this is?)

You and I are, on a micro scale, are analogous to "X" and Saudi Arbia on a macro basis--in food & energy terms.

I think that the new coin of the realm is energy BTU's and food calories. The emerging problem for net food and net energy importers and for net food and net energy consumers is coming up with valuable goods and/or services to trade for food and energy.

I think that small organic farmers like you and Jason are going to be in great demand--in much the same way that high tech gurus were once sought out for advice.

I think it will be interesting to see whether the US government comes to subsidize small farmers and gardeners simply because we can provide food to the populace in general while allowing grain exports to be traded for oil. John Michael Greer's two tier system seems potentially possible here.

BTW, the US was the world's largest food exporter as of 2005, the last year for which I can find statistics. I think it unlikely that domestic ethanol production changed that number for 2007, but it is technically possible, and I can't find stats offhand. But with 40% of the world's grain exports, our impact is huge - the question is what will happen as food price rises effect the US as well.

But yes, I agree with you.



1. I can't speak for anything on the Federal level, but in New Jersey, Governor Corzine is VERY seriously proposing the elimination of the State's Dept. of Agriculture for financial reasons. Besides this being the first state to announce this proposal, this act clearly shows how disconnected people in high places are from the necessities of daily living. To put what little is left of your food production at risk- .... I don't know.... (I don't think this country will ever develop a decent food or energy bill.)

2. I'm totally confused by food exports numbers. I've been told independently by many people that U.S. Grain is exported to China for milling and then re-imported to the U.S., it's supposedly cheaper. I thought it was an urban legend, but after talking with some specialty crop growers (spelt, organic dairy products, etc.) this may be true. So how are the export number counted?... I don't know.... So if you use data for your book, I suggest that you get the RAW DATA and make the conclusions yourself.

1. I agree with you that this situation hasn't even remotely penetrated - but that doesn't mean it won't. Think, for example, about peak oil two years ago vs. now - things can change quite rapidly, and given the food situation, almost certainly will. I don't claim that a two tier system is likely, but with the price of conventional food production going up, we are narrowing the gap between what small producers like me charge for food, vs. what the supermarkets charge. That's not to say I'm totally invulnerable to input costs - not at all, and I don't have the economies of scale, but I do have the ability to ignore many inputs, or replace them with natural system inputs.

A nation like the US with lots of food exports and a huge demand for oil is going to be doing a very complex dance in coming years, particularly as the percentage of our grain we use at home rises. Bringing millions of acres of lawn and public and private greenspace into production is one possible way of keeping the populace fed and also keeping imports coming in. My claim is not that this *will* happen but that it is one way it could play out.

2. Well, yes, of course, I'm working with the raw data - I just don't have all of 2007's yet ;-), so I can't swear we didn't keep more of our grain in place. It would have to be a huge change, though. As for exporting grain to mill in China, I believe we do that to an extent - I've not seen any data that suggests that this is a substantial issue, enough to make major shifts in the export data. As I understood the issue, the largest category of these exports was in rice and corn extracts for pet food - not a tiny market, but a drop in the comparative bucket.



1. I agree with you that this situation hasn't even remotely penetrated - but that doesn't mean it won't. Think, for example, about peak oil two years ago vs. now - things can change quite rapidly, and given the food situation, almost certainly will.

I don't know what you mean here. Recognition is perhaps more widespread, but there is no hint of this moving the top level of gov't to address the problem in any positive way. Yes, hunger will lead to recognition. But will anything be allowed to impinge on the interests of (big) agri-business?

Bringing millions of acres of lawn and public and private greenspace into production is one possible way of keeping the populace fed and also keeping imports coming in. My claim is not that this *will* happen but that it is one way it could play out.

Case in point. Rational? Yes. Doable? Over their dead bodies.

On a world-wide scale, there has been a massive migration from rural areas into urban slums ringing the big cities. There is no solution to spreading starvation unless this flow is reversed, and a way is found to reconnect people with the soil in way that is beneficial to the soil. (And even this is meaningless unless population is addressed also.) But corporate large-scale industrial agriculture is totally hostile to such talk.

. . . and a way is found to reconnect people with the soil in way that is beneficial to the soil.

Sharon and I were just talking about this. We both think that a crash program of small Victory gardens/farms is a win/win/win proposition. It makes business sense. The urban areas will need the food. And we are going to very badly need the jobs.

I suspect that the food and energy ELM effects may be reinforcing each other to some extent. If prices are set at the margin, by increasingly desperate food and energy importers bidding against each other, we may be looking at the beginning of a hyperbolic increase in food & energy prices. Who knows what the future holds, but in the past six months oil prices increased at a rate that would double the price every 18 months.

Couple your crash program of victory gardens (sustainable ones) and my crash program of household/community green build out and we've got ourselves damned close to a solution.... and all doable within a few years rather than decades.


'over their dead bodies'.

'Dig for Victory!'

During the second world war in the UK, lawns and public parks were turned over to allotments. Even Bowling Greens and Cathederal lawns - some of which were hundreds of years old, were turned over to grow vegetables.

Some of it was gesture politics or propaganda, but it had the effect of keeping a lawn to be seen as socially unacceptable.

Permablitz: Near Instant Permaculture for the ‘Burbs



I've been mulling over this issue of the small farmer... maybe some organization similar to The Grange of the late 19th Century Mid-West could give the small farmer some influence and recognition that currently doesn't exist.

I glanced at the story about the Polish farmers. The EU is pushing for farming "efficiency". Gee, doesn't "efficiency" mean NO SPARE CAPACITY?

The National Grange still exists. As a current member of a community grange, I can tell you that many of us are willing to take on this role. The job is huge and with membership down, it's tough to get much done. A chicken or the egg kind of thing.

Currently, a large portion of the membership is made up of 60-90 year olds, who having been members most of their lives are the ones in leadership roles. They don't buy peak oil or climate change. I'm trying to change that in my corner of Oregon.

The Grange organization has a long history of legislative action and still has a lobbyist. National headquarters are in DC.


I believe John Michael Greer and Jason Bradford are Grange members. Are there any other folks out there that are members?

I am a grange member and a huge shift is happening in the granges around this county. Enrollment is up, and they are focusing attention on local food security--holding harvest festivals, supporting local farms, hosting events.

According to this, New Jersey "agriculture" is less than $1 billion p.a., 2% of GDP, with the bulk of it essentially ornamental and recreational in nature (e.g. greenhouse/nursery, horses/mules.) So, in a time of tight money, and with food production so utterly trivial as to be virtually beneath notice, it seems to me that a few desks in Consumer Affairs or somewhere else would suffice. I wouldn't want to try to make a case that New Jersey needs a full-fledged stand-alone agriculture department beyond that, since its only job would be to warm extra chairs in Trenton.

No matter how you slice it, and New Jersey is so minute that any slice will be very thin indeed, in terms of food, it's just not Iowa, California, Wisconsin, Texas, Florida, or even New York. Though it boasts thousands upon thousands of utterly petty but sometimes self-important jurisdictions, it's usually hard to tell which one one is in, except perhaps by receiving a property-tax bill. That's because, for the most part, aside from Newark, the Pine Barrens, and a few other spots, it's one continuous suburb (of New York and Philadelphia) from end to end.

It is true that in a market sense, NJ agriculture is fairly trivial. In another, it could be enormously significant - New Jersey can feed itself, according to the analysis of a group of authors in _For Hunger Proof Cities_ (I can't recall the article title or the authors at the moment - I'm away from my desk). Moreover, it could even contribute to feeding nearby New York city.

This doesn't presently matter much, but it might - and not too terribly long from now. BTW, South Jersey is not a continuous suburb.


Think of New Jersey's state nickname... :-)

Well, yes, but that designation is at least as old as 1876: "In his address Mr. Browning compared New Jersey to an immense barrel, filled with good things to eat and open at both ends, with Pennsylvanians grabbing from one end and the New Yorkers from the other. He called New Jersey the Garden State, and the name has clung to it ever since." According to the commentary the metaphor may go back to Ben Franklin's day. So for all I know, it's "garden" in the British sense, which often merely connotes "backyard". In any case, it has nothing much to do with New Jersey as it is today, except that it serves as the butt of jokes by New York City talk-radio hosts of every conceivable political stripe.

And the part of South Jersey that's not quite literally a suburb is quite small and getting smaller all the time, you drive through it in no time at all at off-season non-rush times. So if you want to go to the seashore, you go to South Jersey. But if you want to visit rural agricultural country, you don't go to New Jersey, as the chart I cited demonstrates - you go to Pennsylvania, although farther into Pennsylvania than used to be necessary.

As to the larger question of New Jersey literally needing to feed itself, the sort of veggies people typically grow in gardens are part of a good diet but provide few calories. People are still going to need grain, and that's still going to come from places like Iowa in any future that it makes sense to plan for. It takes little energy to ship grain from Iowa to New Jersey by the rail that alanfrombigeasy regularly harps on - about 2½ gallons of oil or biodiesel, or perhaps 4 of ethanol, per ton, which would be quite trivial even if it had to be provided from the grain itself. (And no, that doesn't mean I'm saying that all our cars can be powered by ethanol.) Or, better yet, the rail can be run electrically from some other energy source.

Only in a Mad Max scenario does New Jersey need to feed itself. Any plans made in the still-prosperous calm of the present for a Mad Max scenario will be knocked into a cocked hat by as-yet-unknowable events long before they are ever implemented. There's no poster on this board who can pretend to know how that would play out, nor any college professor in the entire country or perhaps even in the world. So I'm going to wonder again, what's in this back-to-the-past apotheosis of micro-agriculture and World War II nostalgia, beyond a romantic academic caricature of Cuban-style social-engineering control freakery?

Edit - oh, and WRT the larger question, 300 million bucks (for basic agriculture, as opposed to ornamental, recreational, and foodie frippery) is not just somewhat trivial, it's utterly trivial. In the Mad Max scenario, nobody's going to have time or resources to care a fig about the blueberries on that chart, much less the ornamental shrubs.

The idea that vegetables can't produce many calories is false - staple root crops including potatoes and sweet potatoes, but also beets and parsnips can substitute for grains. Most Americans would prefer not to live on this kind of diet, but that doesn't mean that home vegetable cultivation couldn't become a large part of caloric access. And it may be necessary - we may prefer grains, but we do not need them to live.

I agree it is unlikely in the short term that New Jersey will need to feed itself or New York - or at all. I mentioned that simply to give a sense of the scope of present New Jersey agricultural land and what's available. What is more likely is that millions of people in New Jersey and New York may not be able to afford to buy market commodities as food and energy prices continue to rise - and that what they will be able to afford is vegetables grown by their neighbors. The current track of food prices, as Westexas notes, has food prices doubling every 18 months, and there is little reason to believe that food will be cheap again anytime soon.


In New Jersey, which not to long ago was the grocery for NYC, agriculture is very important. It's not just horse farms. Think blueberries. Reports I've read show ag provides nearly 12% of the jobs in the state.

The size of the dept and budget is small, the actual (~$4 million Governor reported) cost savings is debated as to whether it would even be realized. And at this state level, as well as most other states and the national level, ag gets saddled with looking after school lunches, food safety, water and soil conservation, animal health, distribution of surplus commodities, to name a few.

"I can't speak for anything on the Federal level, but in New Jersey, Governor Corzine is VERY seriously proposing the elimination of the State's Dept. of Agriculture for financial reasons."

ag is not totally dependent on a gov't dept.

Heard on the radio - Germany will be dropping its mandate for 10% ethanol in gasoline. There seem to be several reasons, including the fact that the auto industry did not supply accurate numbers about how many vehicles can handle the mixture. Which in turn meant that millions (3 million was one number in one report) of vehicles would have to be retired if the regulation had been enforced.

Germany is not changing any of its other regulations in terms of biodiesel or attempting to reduce CO2 emissions, at least according to the government.

In general, not burning food (which is what current ethanol production involves) as fuel is probably a worthwhile goal, regardless of stated reason. However, any lack of progress in reducing fossil fuel use in general is not desirable.

Nonetheless, this was headline news over several hours. Possibly because maybe the car industry had hoped for another windfall, much like that involving the mandatory reduction of particulate emissions in various cities, which also led to the banning of most gasoline powered vehicles older than 15 or so years - though gasoline motors have nothing to do with particulate emissions, which come in large part from diesel motors.

For those who think that any pollution reduction regulation from a government is just a disguised way to reduce fuel use, this may be a good example. Especially as the number of older gasoline powered cars affected was likely higher than the number of diesel cars in this case.

Here's a link:

Germany cancels plans to add ethanol to petrol

Berlin - Amid growing fears that biofuel farming is harming the environment and driving up world food prices, Germany cancelled on Friday plans to mix more ethanol made from plants with petrol. Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the decision was taken because 10 per cent ethanol in petrol would rot the hoses and gaskets of millions of auto engines. But he said an order for diesel fuel to contain 7 per cent ethanol remained in place.

If a 10% ethanol blend will "rot" vital German engine parts what is it doing to "vital" parts of the cars we drive in the USA? Wonder if the German Ag folks did not have quite as sweet a deal as those in America? Just "food" for thought on a slow Friday news day. John

If a 10% ethanol blend will "rot" vital German engine parts what is it doing to "vital" parts of the cars we drive in the USA?

Ethanol causes the rubber O rings & seals in older vehicles to become brittle & fail. The rubber used in newer vehicles is supposed to be formulated to withstand C2H4O. I don't know to what extent this is true, however.

Heaven forbid you don't think that car manufactures would embrace ethanol knowing that it would cause maintenance problems for older cars in our fleet ?

I don't know, Memmel.

Minnesota's been running 10% ethanol in all of their gasoline for years with no apparent problems. Maybe our great American cars are just made a lot better than those cheap German cars, eh?

I though it was, also, kind of cute that the German Oil Companies are doing away with the lower octane blends, and going, strictly, with the higher octane blends.

I don't know if all of you know this, but, much of our "High Octane" gasoline gets it's higher Octane from . . . . Yep, you guessed it - The Evil Ethanol.

SO, why is it more expensive? Hmm, . . . . . what do you think?

Show me the studies. Links.
Your not going to know if your having more repairs and failures unless you keep the stats.

A unbiased reports ?



But wait we find people that actually have to deal with ethanol are having problems.


Ohh wait its not the prefect fuel hmmm.


Hmm and what about cases where your betting your life on your engine ?


You be the judge we can look at real problems people are having sulfur contamination. You ever notice the sulfite warning on wine bottles sulfur contamination is a issue with bio ethanol production.

Hmm seems that using distillers grain in feed may cause sulfur problems.


Ethanol/contaminants are corrosive methanol is even worse so your going to have problems if you don't design for the fuel. In particular the possibility of acidification of the fuel is a issue.

I'm a chemist don't try and BS me I'm not saying it can't be used but to claim no friggin problems is utter BS. I suggest you go fly as Cessna for a year using E10 and get back with me on how great ethanol is.

What do you know someone even filed a patent to remove the organic sulfur containing compounds from bioethanol.


The point is its probably wrong to claim there are no problems esp in cases of water contamination of the fuel. Which happens with extreme changes in temperature. In general it seems that the biggest problems arise when ethanol blended fuel is allowed to sit in seldom used machinery. This I'm sorry would include cars.

Also of course just spec'ing out ppm of sulfur is not good enough since the nature of the contaminant and its reactivity to water needs to be understood.

I'm not trying to "BS" anybody, Memmel. I stated that Minnesota has been putting 10% ethanol in their gasoline for several years with no reported problems (that I've heard of.)

There were some problems with Sulfur in 1997? Okay, but a lot of water's gone under the bride since then. Don't you imagine those problems have been pretty well taken care of by now?

Weed trimmers, and small outboards in Australia in 2002? Look, Mem man, everybody knows some accomodations will have to be made for small non-automotive motors. But, a whole nation doing without the transportation fuel it needs in a time of declining oil supplies, because an old weedeater might malfunction? Surely not.

As for Distillers Grains: I saw the warning, but I haven't read about anyone actually having problems with sulfur.

Actually, I think some Brazilian crop dusters use straight ethanol; but I recognize that you wouldn't want to fly around in a cessna on e10 (at least, at present - we'll see what develops.)

As for being corrosive? I prefer "Detergent." At least, that's what the oil companies have been calling it for all these many years; at least, when they weren't calling it their "Secret Performance Enhancer." :)

Only if it was a blend of Gasoline and Ethanol.

If there were no Ethanol in the Gasoline it would get it's higher Octane from other formulations.

I have friends who race cars that are now building engines with Ethanol in mind. 10% blending raises the Octane to something like 105. Perfect for high output race engines.


To the point about German cars - according to the news, the problem was generally with imports. That is, non-German cars. Take that as you wish.

"Germany is not changing any of its other regulations in terms of biodiesel or attempting to reduce CO2 emissions, at least according to the government"

You bet it is not trying to reduce CO2 emissions, in fact the heads of France and Germany are about to conclude a bilateral deal, which threatens to water down (already weak!) European legislation tackling CO2 emissions from cars.

The German government is driving this--putting the immediate commercial interests of German luxury car-makers before the safety of the planet. Sarkozy is riding along with Merkel because he needs Germany's support for his grand plans for a Mediterranean Union.

You can sign a petition to European Council President Janez Janša to take a firm stand against this and defend the objective of 120 grams of CO2 per km in 2012 accompanied by strong penalties, and an objective of 80 grams of CO2 per km in 2020 at:


Sorry - I should have clarified that in terms of dealing with biofuels as a way to reduce CO2, no changes are planned, nor are any changes planned in areas such as home insulation, solar installations, wind power, etc.

That a number of industries in Germany continue to follow policies that are clearly intended to keep their bottom line healthy, and that those industries are able to fund others to support their business, both commercially and politically, remains unchanged. For example, how companies like Coca-Cola and Procter and Gamble where able to water down German recycling laws in the early 1990s (originally, the companies were going to be forced to take back ALL their packaging), using the EU in part to get around the 'competitive disadvantage' of forcing a company like Coca-Cola to using returnable bottles.

These days, the arguments remain virtually the same, though with a new twist - why should a German company be subjected to the competitive disadvantage of regulation if their American or Chinese competitor isn't? Sadly, though a self-serving argument, it is pretty hard to refute when dealing with an industry like steel making or when using coal for lower priced electricity.

I'ts a slow Friday, so here is a stick to prod the hive. All figures approximate.

The world population is growing at 70M a year . Assuming total population of 6.5B and life expectancy of 65, that gives

3.2 deaths and 5.4 births every second.

So, if we assume we are in population overshoot, we need to either stabilise the world population today and allow demographics to bring in a gradual population decline, or at the extreme put population growth into 100% reverse.

1. Stabilisation

Either reduce birth rate to 3.2 /second 40% drop, or increase death rate to 5.4/s , 68% increase. I guess this brings life expectancy down to about 40. (or AIDS infested southern Africa levels).

2. Population reversal

Either reduce birth rate to 1.0/s 82% drop, or increase death rate to 7.6/sec, 130% increase. Life expectancy under 30.


On second thoughts this is the sort of flamebait that Leanon hates. Please don't discuss here. (but do think about it).

Why discuss? It's blatantly obvious your 2 scenario's will not see daylight voluntarily. Not that I disagree we need to reduce pop. Rest asured GAIA will get rid of parasites by herself...

Paul, you are exactly right. Nothing on a world scale is ever done voluntarily. What happens, happens. The world population will hit her upper limit, met by a swiftly declining carrying capacity and the death rate will skyrocket. Of course the birth rate will likely decline also. Highly malnourished women quite naturally have a much lower fertility rate than do well fed women.

Humanity as a whole will do nothing about anything in the way of the prevention of Global Warming or Peak oil. People, in general, are never convinced by argument to do anything that lessens their standard of living. True a very few people are convinced by logic and a reasonable argument but the vast majority will deny the existence of coming problems that adversely affect their lifestyle.

Only actual events actually make believers out of people. Everyone will be on board after the fact but only a very tiny minority of "Chicken Littles" foresaw the coming catastrophe.

The story of Cassandra of Troy is really an allegory about human nature.

Ron Patterson

Go for it or any other combination you find most feasible. The world, however, through inaction, will choose the higher death rate option. There are some economic benefits to this approach as this will tend to get rid of the old and the weak. Morticians will rejoice.

morticians as in rats and worms? somebody said it before, it won't be a voluntary decision

Except for the old, weak morticians.

What PaulusP said, Gaia will take care of the problem herself. But not in a nice way.

There are some economic benefits to this approach as this will tend to get rid of the old and the weak.

I have to disagree with that statement. The young and the strong will die first, and the old and the weak will be left behind to take care of things at home. There has to be a war, and the ones who are young and strong enough for conscription are the ones who will fight and die in that war.


What is there to discuss? Any week's worth of Drumbeats, someone brings up the population issue. From tontinia's posts on PNK (and I'm glad he's off the spiderweb posts), quotes from others about 'the ideal numbers of people', man on man violence, occasionally the spreading of heavy metal toxins on the land, or even Total energy used = number of people X consumption rate per person.

While better people than me may not 'have a (not so real, more in my head) list of people who can be 1st up against the wall when the revolution comes' the reality is discussing wholesale population reductions is not a direct energy topic and when you start talking a 1 in 3 to 1 in 10 population reduction or putting most of the billions on a starvation diet - someone is not gonna be happy and then the yell'n starts. If there is going to be a 'planned' 1 in 10 reduction - odds are none of the posters here will be in on the planning - so that means you or people you know are likely to be part of the planned reduction. In the same way I'm sure I'm on someone elses list of 'people who can be 1st up against the wall when the revolution comes'.

Yes, please do not discuss. It's better that we either ignore the herd of elephants in the room, or be in vehement denial about being covered in elephant muffins.

Because otherwise we would have to address our own mortality.

Which we cannot do, because if we were to do so effectively then a whole mountain a fear-based manipulation by various PTB would no longer have significant effects on us.

And without PTB manipulating us into what we should be doing, well, then we might have to get around to figuring out what it means to live meaningful yet finite human lives. And no good can come of that.

Do not upset the apple cart.

The Buddha of the Pali Cannon could not of said it better.
Of course that was written in a different language, 400 years later, and by monastic's on a island in the Indian Ocean.
Want to speculate on the fidelity of that information?

Yes, you touch there on some of the taboos of modern "liberal" western society.


Okay. The carrying capacity (K) of the biosphere for humans sans fossil fuel inputs is controversial and depends largely on the "standard of living" or "quality of life" people are willing to tolerate. Reasonable estimates of K range from a couple hundred million to about 4 billion. A number of studies estimate K to be in the vicinity of half a billion. At the current level of 6.7 billion, the human population is well over a full order of magnitude in excess of K, given K at 500 million.

Human population WILL be reduced. Whether this reduction comes gradually and by peaceful means or comes catastrophically as ecosystem supports collapse remains to be seen. Here I offer one option for controlled reduction of human population to within the bounds of K before mass starvation does the job in an uncontrolled fashion:

Eliminate the human male by not allowing boy babies to be conceived.

Wait a minute! Wouldn't this result in the inevitable extinction of humans? Not at all and here's why: Using currently available tissue culture techniques, testicular tissue could be maintained en vitro worldwide. Sperm grown & extracted from culture could be treated with antibodies that vitiate Y carriers, or the Y chromosome could be removed from the cultured tissue altogether. Genetic variation could be maintained by culturing tissue from the full spectrum of ethnic diversity worldwide. Maintaining multiple cultures around the world would ensure that sperm would be available should any one or a few cultures fail. Womankind could perpetuate itself by artificial insemination with cultured sperm. Each genetically healthy woman (as determined by impartial panels of geneticists) could give birth to one daughter during her lifetime. This only child would be cherished, nurtured and loved, and by this means womankind could reduce its population to within the bounds of K.

Men commit 90% of the murders, 78% of the violent assaults, and virtually 100% of the rapes, according to FBI crime statistics. Furthermore, it is male "leaders" who start wars. By eliminating the human male, violent crime would be greatly eliminated and war conceivably put to an end. This would be another great benefit of keeping males out of the population, besides reducing the population of women to within the limits the biosphere can sustainably support.

Don't get me wrong: I am NOT advocating killing men. All living human males are allowed to live out their natural lives under this scenario. The human male would be eliminated by attrition, as no new boy babies were born. And as for the assertion that women LIKE men, and would be unhappy or frustrated without them - as they say: "Once you've tried mecho you'll never go back to orgo."

Whaddya think?

Oh, that'll generate FAR more light than heat as a topic.

Who'd cut the grass, haul the produce and similar chores?

I understand that your post is somewhat tongue in cheek (if not, it should be). Unfortunately this kind of social engineering is sure to have severe impacts. Eugenics comes to mind immediately. Interestingly some of the problems that we are seeing today is because of a lack of male interaction with child rearing including lack of male role models especially in schools. Of course this has a disporptionate effect on young males, but I wonder what impact it has on children in general.

Who'd cut the grass, haul the produce and similar chores?


Who the heck do you think does all of that stuff in my single(female)-parent household???

Even when I was married, my ex was useless unless a little white ball and a club were involved.

Stop with the MCP stuff.

Satirical approach aside, this does raise some important points. Social engineers have attempted large scale modifications to human populations for a very long time (Sargon II and Alexander the Great were among the more successful.) But if it comes to population reduction, who is going to be the engineer and how is he going to enforce his plan?

“If there are too many people for all of the available farm land, minus that used for bio diesel, well, you are the king of the world. You can enforce population control (that sounds better than the more fascist ‘depopulation’) via some sort of technique that you are rather nebulous about and don’t really want to discuss. A smaller human footprint with fewer useless eaters…will benefit mankind in the long run. It will be like culling the herds. Some of our grandchildren will live in a technological world with mass transit and Disney World, only not as many. You are willing to make this sacrifice even though the world will despise you and place your name at the head of all lists of tyrants. What else can you do? You are insuring that there will be a (smaller) human population in the future to hate you.”



Eliminate the human male by not allowing boy babies to be conceived.


I doubt it'll gain much traction here, but this is the level of radical solution really called for and good out-of-box thinking. Of course, socially it's a non-starter, it'd only be possible if someone engineered a plague of "ball weevils" or something. And a population of women would require more automatic transmissions, but only while cars lasted.

If you do the math, China's skewed sex ratio bespeaks a lot of unofficial girl-baby-drowning. That's how serious the problem is, and that's the level at which solutions will be found most likely. Except China has been, relatively speaking, a success story.

I gave up on the concept a long time ago. In the sixth grade my class consisted of 26 girls and 6 boys.
We generally got the crap beat out of us by gangs of of vicious girls. They can kick the crap out of you with those pretty little shoes. So pulling pony tails was a life threating.

Then I went to a all boys high school.

Warped for life.

Seriously though.

A better approach is one that was taken in the past. If you had enough kids many became soldiers priests etc etc. These generally made liberal use of prostitutes. Even without birth control a prostitute can service many men per child. I won't go into the moral issues but we know that the combination of jobs that make normal marriages impossible and prostitution results in lower birth rates. With birth control and a bit of hygiene prostitution is a viable and socially manageable approach to birth control.

Like I said I'm not going to go into the moral side of the issue or the disease part just that we know of one way that populations can be managed.

Well, I'm definitely confirming my status as a 'fringe' commenter if it wasn't clear already, but institutionalized prostitution is ALSO good "out of the box thinking" (so to speak), and I like seeing such stuff raised. Most "solutions" just dabble about the edges of the problems or are contingent upon the timely arrival of universal enlightenment and new magic tech.

Thanks for bringing it up - and I won't ask about the boys' high school.

What is seldom discussed in counterbalance to 'radical' proposals is the morality of willful ignorance - leading to dieoff, extinctions, etc. That being the case, it's considered tacky by most to discuss options that "just aren't nice". But reality isn't set up to just be nice. So lets see, in the last two drumbeats I've tentatively endorsed the concepts of sex selection of babies, institutionalized prostitution, and ethical cannibalism as tools to manage the transition. Am I marginalized enough yet? Well, throw in legalizing opium and marijunana and coca trees to get Jay Hansen's "society of sloth" kick-started, and it just... might... work.

And from a couple weeks ago, I mentioned the highly publicized edict by the late Ayatollah Khomeini (taken very seriously) to bone chickens instead of humans as a way of staying pure before marriage, which is a sort of birth control I suppose, as well as throwing a surprise third possibility into the chicken/egg debate and obviating the duties of prostution. Let us reason together... there are a lot of thermodynamically possible options we haven't looked at.

I think the "....and our future" leitmotif still has a lot of room for growth on TOD.


Well I don't know all that I'm just saying that in the past population where not small simply because of childhood diseases. The cultures often had a number of ways to deal with sex that effectively resulted in situations where the probability have having child was lower than with a simple man/women marriage. Also note that multiple wives was also common. Because of the cost of multiple wives we have to assume that children from these marriages has a better chance then others since their parents would have some wealth. Also I suspect that the birth rate with multiple wives was lower on average than a single wife. I'm sure women probably had figured out their ovulation cycle and with multiple wives they had a better chance of withdrawing while fertile.
Having one wife even though I love her I can't imagine having more then one you have to be slightly insane.
So I suspect the poor bastards with multiple wives spend a LOT of time fishing.

Although unproven I suspect the fascination of our ancestors with time and fertility rites was tied to knowledge of a womens ovulation cycle.

And last but not least in my reading at least it seems that a lot of women had fertility problems more than today.
This may have been related to periodic starvation episodes and hard work but its tough to say.

I suspect the Christian focus on marriage arose from the aftermath of the black plague and other plague's during the middle ages. And later we had the new worlds and immense amounts of land to populate.

Again I have no comment on the morality of all this. In many of these cultures women where treated like slaves and we have both birth control and the ability to treat women as equals. So the future is not the past but certainly we need to do something to limit the "nesting" instinct of couples and having only marriage as the socially acceptable option is probably not the right solution.

Just as with peak oil its a lifestyle issue if you dig deep enough into the population problems you yet again find that lifestyle or culture is the root cause of the problem.

Civilizations collapse when the culture and lifestyle of the members of the civilization becomes unsustainable. Changing culture and lifestyle is nigh impossible this is why I don't think any techno fix will save our civilization. All the collapsed civilizations of the past where full of smart innovative people that could technically "save" the civilization only a handful of these as far as I can tell realized that at the heart it was the culture itself that was the problem. And of this number the vast majority tried to change the culture by assuming going back to some mythical golden era version would solve the problem.

I'd say that 99% of the people that post on this board that recognize our problems also have some variant of the golden era solution. It did not work in the past and won't work today.

Thats not to say that we should not do the right thing but we should do it because its right not because we equate some action or lifestyle to a mythic past.

I have this problem myself and I have to work hard to not reject ideas because they don't fit my dream for a future society based on my own mythology of the perfect culture. I'm a sucker for the small town white picket fence and Leave it to Beaver myth myself. It took me a while to realize that larger more diverse groups of 20-200k where probably more sustainable if you want a technically advanced culture. I really wanted to move to a small town of a few thousand far from the big cities. But most of these towns are not sustainable it it was my own internal myths not common sense driving that idea.

false premise collation does not equal causation.
basically put since the current sociality is male dominated doesn't mean that men are the cause of all the violence in the world or that women would be less violent.

Ha,ha that "a woman's world would be paradise crap always gets a chuckle out of me". Ever watch any reality show with a group of woman on it in even a mildly stressful scenario? They're invariably at each others' throats by the end of the 1st episode. And god forbid one woman is put in charge, it's like herding cats: "She is such a bitch, how dare she tell me what to do, blah bah, etc." The men on the other hand almost always quickly fall into a recognized hierarchy under an alpha male, with defined roles and start getting things done. Even my wife has remarked on the phenomenon, both on TV and in her own experience. You want to go stake out your Amazonian paradise, have at it. Some video from the first planning session would be greatly appreciated for entertainment value in the upcoming Fed-ghettoes.

Build up your ammo reserves.


I would start from the other end, i.e look at what measures are likely, rather than what might be considered necessary.

if we assume that we are in population overshoot

I will assume the right to life and the right to start a family. Since these have been declared Universal Human Rights, these are safer assumptions than yours. I also note that the right to die and the right to obtain/use contraception are not Universal Human Rights.

So if you were develop policies to reduce population, that doesn't leave a lot of room. Promoting education of women would be one goal, as this seems to lead to lower birth rate. Just handing out condoms doesn't work that well.

If you are serious about the issue, perhaps get involved with organizations like http://www.optimumpopulation.org/. Raise awareness with local groups in the same way as you do with Peak Oil.

And of course, practice whatever you preach.

"I will assume the right to life and the right to start a family. Since these have been declared Universal Human Rights, these are safer assumptions than yours. I also note that the right to die and the right to obtain/use contraception are not Universal Human Rights."

"The right to life and the right to start a family" is just a moral and/or legal statement. It is not an assumption. "We are in overshoot" is an assumption based on limited resources, not a moral/legal statement. Why are you comparing them?

We do not assume rights, we just say we have them and make that our social reality. Rights are a construct of the social mind. We can make any "rights" we want. Do you have the right to defend yourself? Defend your family? Defend another who is unable to defend themselves? Do you have the right to freedom of thought? What about freedom of expression? What about freedom of religious belief? What about religious belief that lets you stone someone to death for a minor crime?

You will see that these are all legal/moral questions within society. As soon as you drop the legal/moral component and ask what innate rights are - you realise that you have the innate right to do whatever you like, including dying when you choose, committing crime, loving, etc. That is what it is to be a living creature. You are free - including free to be brainwashed by your culture to whatever extent you wish. Freedom is not a right. It is what you are.

If you want to deincentivize population growth humanely at the national level add some or all of the following voluntary incentives:

1. Create a zero child tax deduction of $5,000 per married couple and $2,500 per single person over the age of 18.
2. Eliminate the tax deduction at 1 child.
3. Each additional child is taxed $2,000 per year.
4. Elimination of social security benefits for parents after 4th child.
5. All medical sterilizations are made tax deductible.

Your negatives: demographics crash and programmed economic contraction.

Possible socio/economic mitigators: mechanized labor R&D in the form of autonomous machines; extended life expectancy and enhanced individual function through medical breakthroughs and cybernetics.

It would be very harsh. But no-where near as harsh as enforcing an increased death rate or a decreased birth rate. You could also create foreign policy treaty arrangements that incentivize trade partners to adopt similar population policies as well as establishing humane institutions for reducing global population.

As for the alternatives:

War + disease result in an initial drop in population followed by a corresponding boom as stressed populations attempt to re-establish 'normalcy.' These are crash incentives that will place breaking strains on established civilized systems.

GE has announced two new residential water heaters that are intended to meet the DOE's forthcoming Energy Star standards. The GE Hybrid water heater features an integrated heat pump and is designed as a simple "drop-in" replacement for conventional electric tanks (same physical size with no additional wiring or plumbing required). Elsewhere it is said that if every electric hot water cylinder in the USA were replaced by one of these units it would eliminate the need for 30 coal fired generating plants. In warmer climates where these tanks are located inside conditioned spaces, the additional cooling and dehumidification benefits would further reduce electricity demands. GE says these products will be available 4th quarter, 2009.

See: http://www.geconsumerproducts.com/pressroom/press_releases/appliances/en...

Video link: http://www.geappliances.com/video_launcher.htm?emcid=1144&empid=4923&pac...

For more information on the DOE's new water heater standards, see: http://www.energy.gov/news/6134.htm

BTW, this is not the first product of its kind (see: http://www.ornl.gov/sci/btc/apps/hotwater.html), but I fully expect it to succeed where all others have failed.


Guy in video says the hybrid water heater draws heat from the surroundings (I assume that's with same technology as ordinary heat pumps), wouldn't that make the room where the water heater is very cold? I don't get it. That surely would reduce the water heaters power consumption but increase your home heating systems consumption... net result being the same.
Someone here that can explain that better to me?

Hi Tom,

I would expect a net gain straight across the board. In southern climates where cooling demands dominate, the advantages are obvious. I live in a temperate maritime climate where heat is required roughly six months of the year; the other six months I run a dehumidifier virtually non-stop. A heat pump water heater would effectively provide me with "free" hot water during these six months because it would eliminate the need to operate my dehumidifier either in whole or in part (dehumidification, as noted, being one of the side benefits).

As one would expect, gas water heaters are commonly used in homes with natural gas heat, whereas their electric counterparts are typically used everywhere else. Air source heat pumps are a popular choice in all-electric homes because of their low operating costs and because they provide both heating and cooling. If the seasonal COP of air source heat pump during the winter months is in the order of 2.0 or 2.5, then a heat pump water heater is taking advantage of a relatively low-cost heat source, versus the alternative of heating water with pure electric resistance.

My heat pump provides heat at an average of 4.3 cents per kWh; a conventional electric resistance water heater would cost me 10.67 cents per kWh. If a heat pump water heater allows me to tap into this lower cost heat my water heating costs are cut by more than half. Short of a home that is heated with electric resistance heat 365 days of the year, a heat pump water heater will always outperform a conventional electric tank.

As it turns out, my hot water is currently provided by an indirect tank connected to my oil-fired boiler. The estimated EF is 0.75 during the winter months and 0.6 during the summer. I consume roughly 450 to 500 litres of heating oil a year for domestic hot water purposes; at $1.10 per litre that's $500.00 to $550.00 per year. Taking into consideration the "free" hot water during the summer months and my heat pump's sesaonal COP of 2.5, I would peg my net savings versus oil at over $400.00 a year.


HereinHalifax (Paul)

I have a question regarding HVAC customer relations and authoritative sources in the scenario requiring
refrigerant replacement.

My email is on my bio page ;)

I see the tankless water heaters (from other companies of course) everywhere I look now.

I would like to thank all that buy GE products. GE is just like baseball, mom, apple pie, crakerjacks, and all other multinational conglomerates...reluctant disclosure: I have 3 shares of GE stock. This is a totally unprincipaled plug to boost the price of my 3 shares. Thank you, thank you, thank you very much...and, don't forget, what's good for GM...er...GE is good for 'Murka!

Hi River,

I'm not a fan of GE for a number of reasons and thus source from Philips and Osram Sylvania where possible, but in this case I'm willing to throw aside personal bias and give the company the credit they deserve. Should this product achieve commercial success and spur other manufacturers to introduce like offerings, the electricity savings would be enormous. There are some 41 million residential electric water heaters in the U.S. alone and at an average of 2,500 kWh/year per tank, the potential savings exceed 100 TWh/year. Roughly 4.8 million electric water heaters are sold in the U.S. each year, so there's a complete turnover of stock about every eight to ten years. It would take some time, but with the right legislative and financial incentives and aggressive utility participation, we could see significant movement in this market.


Didn't catch if this was in yesterday's Drumbeat, but this article:
Texas sees higher costs to reap wind power
struck me as an example some issues which are so often spoke of here: E.g.,

New cost estimates are "significantly" higher than the 2006 projection of $3 billion, due to increased costs for steel and other equipment, ERCOT said.

Also, it leads into discussing the idea that the AGC remediation/prevention costs, which have been touted by leading international figures as not being that expensive, will likely end up being much more than the optimists would like to believe.

"due to increased costs for steel and other equipment..."

And the increased cost of steel is, at least in part, the result of the the increased energy required to mine/produce that steel or manufacture the equipment, or the increased energy required to exploit the energy reserves to do so. More energy input required, same energy output = lower EROEI.

This is a trend that seems likely to continue with renewables (when all the energy inputs are accounted for) due to the boot-strapping problem: previous infrastructure, manufacturing equipment, and raw materials were derived from high EROEI "easy oil," "easy coal," and exploited "easy ore." Increasingly, production of renewables will also require the construction/replacement of these prerequisites (infrastructure, equipment, etc.) with "expensive oil," "expensive coal," and "poor ores."

Two contradictory processes: improved efficiency/technology of renewables vs. greater energy input costs. Which one wins out? More importantly (the "desert island thought experiment"): can the energy output of a renewable source supply the energy to rebuild all the infrastructure/equipment, provide all the transportation, and collect/recycle all the ores/materials necessary to recreate itself? This is the threshold for any renewable to become a sustainable "primary energy" source...

Per Vestas' recent conference call, weak dollar is also a source of concern with regard to their US sales.

And the increased cost of steel is, at least in part, the result of the the increased energy required to mine/produce that steel or manufacture the equipment, or the increased energy required to exploit the energy reserves to do so. More energy input required, same energy output = lower EROEI.

Not all steel is mined, isn't steel the most recycled metal? higher prices also bring in more scrap steel so that has to be included. if mines become more efficient that also changes the equation, no?

Two contradictory processes: improved efficiency/technology of renewables vs. greater energy input costs. Which one wins out?

I guess that depends on how bad you really want power.

higher prices also bring in more scrap steel

Wow! and if the price goes to $10,000 a pound, just think of the 'resource' that scrap steel will be!

Because right now, 'scrap' steel just sits where it falls - no one looks at selling the scrap as a way to be rid of it.

EROI for wind energy averages around 1:20. Some wind farms return 1:75.


The primary reason for the high cost of non oil commodities is increased demand vice currently available supply (see China + India). Increased shipping costs are an increment that does have an effect but it is not the current driver. The world is undergoing an infrastructure build the likes of which it has never seen.

EROI for traditional fossil fuels is going up while EROI for renewables is decreasing with added scaling, innovation, extended life of installed infrastructure, and efficiency.

Seems again we have the world according to oil -- increasingly murky and hard to see through to reality.

I will be attending the EIA conference in Washington DC on Monday and Tuesday of next week. I know I have seen a couple of comments from others that they will be attending.

I am not sure how we can tell each other - perhaps attach a note to name tags. It may be possible that we can get together for lunch or dinner one day. I am not sure how the convention is set up.

You might want to point the EIA people to what their counterparts at IEA say.

See this superb post by ace http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3794#comment-325269

A question to ask:

Texas and the North Sea were developed by private companies, using the best available technology, with virtually no restrictions on drilling. Texas has declined at about -4%year since 1972, and the North Sea has declined at about -4.5%/year since 1999 (C+C in both cases).

If oil companies can't reverse the conventional crude oil declines in these two regions, why would they be able to reverse the conventional crude oil declines anywhere in the world?

Weakening La Nina points to mild U.S. Midwest summer

That would be good news for U.S. farmers who are hoping for bumper crops of corn and soybeans this year after soaring global demand for grains drove prices to historic highs.

This could be a crisis. More grain means cheaper food which will exacerbate the global obesity epidemic. We need to build more corn ethanol plants to use the excess grain.

LOL!! You don't even try to veil your trolling anymore. Though I guess you generated a bunch of replies with this same meme yesterday.

You missed April 1st - too much grain fueling an obesity crisis in India and China? Even if somehow, both the Indians and Chinese haven't been able to find it yet - though they do get food riots, for example, when the price rises.

Nonetheless, the humor is appreciated. Thanks.


Fear of unrest mounts as hunger spreads

Rising food prices could spread social unrest across Africa after triggering riots in Niger, Senegal, Cameroon and Burkina Faso, African ministers and senior agriculture diplomats have warned.

City dwellers priced out of the market

Farmers were once the likeliest victims, but now, reports Javier Blas, the urban poor are 'the new face of hunger'

Oh yeah, back at you.

Africa: Nutrition Experts Say Obesity Major Problem on Continent

We need more ethanol plans NOW! This is a crisis!

From your link:

Statistics indicate that 28 percent of the Cameroonian population is obsessed and is likely to reach 35 percent in the next five years.This situation is attributed to changes in eating habits which now tend to be more Westernised.

Well, I guess it is better that the 28% are obsessed rather than possessed... So with what are those 28% obsessed? Apparently it is in acting like a Westerner! The Cameroonians must have quite a sweet tooth...

Probably it's more meat consumption. Gorilla stew.

Don't want to post negatively of my alma mater, but here is an example of
Cameroon overconsumption and overpopulation impacting the Final Four:

When Mbah a Moute arrived at UCLA, coach Ben Howland and teammates used to get a kick out of the cultural differences between Southern California and Central Cameroon.

The first thing Mbah a Moute and Aboya did after driving from Doula to the capital city of Yaounde on their trip home last summer was eat. And eat, and eat.

Among the meats and fish at the spread were some traditional Cameroon dishes, including Ndole (a meat or fish dish that includes peanuts and vegetables).

"It took like three or four hours to eat," said Mbah a Moute, who has three sisters and four brothers. "After that, I talked to my little brother and little sister for a while. I never felt so good."

- he uses the word "like" as some of our best educated teenagers, today, too.

Re: Boom in small car sales. We are awaiting impatiently to replace our older Nissan pickup truck. All of the manufacturers have gone to larger size, and difficult to get a light duty truck even fuel economy with V6 and auto transmission. Does anyone know if there is a light duty truck coming out of India or China?

Nissan already make Navara diesel for europe V6 TDI 171Hp see link, they do not say it recieved worst score ever recently in European crash test though.

According to this report the Ford Ranger 4 cyl stick shift gets 21/26mpg. Tata Motors is making some pick ups for overseas markets but I don't see any US imports from them.

There are some VW diesel pick ups for sale on the internet from the 70s-80s. These are light duty and get about 44-48mpg. Lots of parts are available for these if one cares to rebuild one.

I have a 2001 Dodge Dakota, small cab, V6, stick shift. It is lighter than the new Dakotas and gets about 18/22 mpg. I seldom drive it, has only 28,000 miles on it. I have carried some pretty heavy loads without problem. These were cheap in the used market a couple of years ago but I think they are harder to come by now.


Minor Aside from this;

With Diesel $$ skyrocketing now, I've been wondering how attractive the pricing for BioDiesel has gotten. We've got 'waste oil' donor tanks set up in the parkinglots of some portland restaurants now for one of the Maine Bio-diesel companies. While I realize it can't scale very far, it's still a waste stream that should be recaptured.. anybody following the economics of it?


Jokuhl, I think I read somewhere that California could run 7% of her trucks on frier grease. Maybe it was 13%.

Anyway, Soybeans won't work (only about 60 gallons of oil/acre. Palm is much better (about 600 gall/acre.)

BUT, THIS is probably the answer.


Well L.A. sure could.

First time I went there, I had the 'California Dreamin' illusion that it was going to be this 'Veggie-Alfalfa Sprout' Land, when of course, Urban Southern California runs on Donuts and Burgers with Fries. Not quite sustainable, but it's something!

Thanks for the link. Interesting setup, good luck to them! (Needs Ketchup!)


diesel at one station is $3.93/gal Biodiesel was $4.44/gal. I dunno what it is now as the price has been removed and isn't reposted.

Also Methanol has gone WAY up in price. receding horizons?

Toyota has talked about a small pickup truck built upon the Pruis. It would also be a hybrid.


Up Close: Toyota A-BAT Hybrid Pickup Concept


Massive Oil Deposit Could Increase US reserves by 10x

America is sitting on top of a super massive 200 billion barrel Oil Field that could potentially make America Energy Independent and until now has largely gone unnoticed. Thanks to new technology the Bakken Formation in North Dakota could boost America’s Oil reserves by an incredible 10 times, giving western economies the trump card against OPEC’s short squeeze on oil supply and making Iranian and Venezuelan threats of disrupted supply irrelevant.

In the next 30 days the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) will release a new report giving an accurate resource assessment of the Bakken Oil Formation that covers North Dakota and portions of South Dakota and Montana. With new horizontal drilling technology it is believed that from 175 to 500 billion barrels of recoverable oil are held in this 200,000 square mile reserve that was initially discovered in 1951. The USGS did an initial study back in 1999 that estimated 400 billion recoverable barrels were present but with prices bottoming out at $10 a barrel back then the report was dismissed because of the higher cost of horizontal drilling techniques that would be needed, estimated at $20-$40 a barrel.

It was not until 2007, when EOG Resources of Texas started a frenzy when they drilled a single well in Parshal N.D. that is expected to yield 700,000 barrels of oil that real excitement and money started to flow in North Dakota. Marathon Oil is investing $1.5 billion and drilling 300 new wells in what is expected to be one of the greatest booms in Oil discovery since Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia in 1938.

The US imported about 14 million barrels of Oil per day in 2007 , which means US consumers sent about $340 Billion Dollars over seas building palaces in Dubai and propping up unfriendly regimes around the World, if 200 billion barrels of oil at $90 a barrel are recovered in the high plains the added wealth to the US economy would be $18 Trillion Dollars which would go a long way in stabilizing the US trade deficit and could cut the cost of oil in half in the long run.

When oil was $10, horizontal drilling costs were $20 to $40, so why won't this succumb to Receding Horizons?

Nice cast Dranwi...But, some were fishing with that bait yesterday. Hopefully, the fish are wise to it.

Welcome at TOD.

When I checked your membership was exactly 22 minutes AND 22 seconds.

Note that energy available for use is not the same as reserves underground. In importance, first comes EROEI, than comes production (flow rates). Energy independence for the US is pure fantasy.

If you're in for a proper discussion, please stay around. If not, please crawl back under your rock.

At least read the Wiki article.

Bakken Formation

Perhaps we could sell some of our Pacific Ethanol stock and use it to buy shares of oil companies in the Bakken Shale Play. What a coincidence. It seems you mentioned a suggested company.

Perhaps we can recover 200% of Original Oil In Place, from a near zero permeability source/reservoir rock!!!! We have the chance to revolutionize physics.

As I said the other day, forget these multi-hundred billion barrel estimates. We need to think big--thousands of billions, nay, tens of thousands of billions of barrels of oil, a veritable flood of oil. Soon, gasoline will soon be too cheap to meter. We will just pay a flat fee and drive to our heart's content. A fossil fuel fiesta to infinity and beyond!!!!

"EOG Resources, Inc...The company was founded as HNG Oil Co. and later changed its name to Enron Oil & Gas Company. The company further changed its name to EOG Resources, Inc."

Lay lives on.

enron oil and gas was spun off before the ENRON shtf.

and i do not imply that eog is doing anything illegal, it is helpful to remember that ENRONS are still out there, imo.

Hey give EOG a chance. Other Enron companies are doing some good things:

Invenergy Agreement Of More Than $1 Billion Highlights Record Growth In 2007 For GE Energy's Wind Business

"Since 2004, GE has achieved a 500% increase in wind turbine production, with its wind business revenues exceeding $4 billion in 2007. According to the American Wind Energy Association, over the past two years, GE has supplied wind turbines representing nearly half of the new wind capacity across the U.S."

Yup, that's right:
G.E. to Buy Enron Wind-Turbine Assets

Oh, I shall not forget to report that large parts of southern Germany (Schwaebische Alb, south east of Stuttgart) is also such kind of shale formation. And it holds billions of barrels of oil.
Really - it is true!

The only reason why Germany isn't member of the OPEC is, that it needs two or three barrels of oil energy equivalent to mine, crack and boil the shale to get one barrel out. And what you get is poor quality oil. The Nazis tried it during WW2, until the end of the war they got 1,500 tons of oil total.

forget the damn usgs, rush limbaugh has already tolt us how much we can expect.

and 'merkun's lifestyle ain't negotiable.

that and we are bringing freedom and democracy to those iraqi's whether they want it or not.

"The USGS did an initial study back in 1999 that estimated 400 billion recoverable barrels"

exactly which usgs study are you refering to ?

i found a 2001 study which quoted 200 to 400 billion barrels OIL IN PLACE.
if you are claiming that the usgs "estimated 400 billion recoverable barrels" please provide a link or at least a reference.

Details. Details. You need to get with the program and the "New Physics." The New Physics dictates that a near zero permeability shale has a 100% recovery factor, pretty much the same recovery factor that we get from a emptying the oil out of large oil tank.

right .......... after re-reading the 2001 usgs report, it states 200 to 400 billion barrels of oil "generated" in place. they apparently aren't even claiming that the bakken oil is still in the bakken. presumably some of the oil could have migrated out.

unfortunately, i dont know enough about the sourcing of oils in the williston to say if bakken sourced oil is produced from any other rock unit (i doubt rush limbauch knows either-so i cant ask him).


300 x700,000 = 210 million barrels of oil extracted. Not what I would call a flood. More like a trickle. Might help offset the decline rate.

Everyone talks about oil in the ground. Simmons, West Texas and others are surely right about one thing -- it's the flow rate that counts.

"300 x700,000 = 210 million barrels of oil extracted"

apparently you are refering to marathon's expected 300 well drilling program and multiplying that by the expected recovery of one of eog's parshall field wells.
actual recovery in the bakken,through 2007, was 43 mm barrels. north dakota is on the verge of exceeding their 1984 peak production. 2007 production from the bakken was 7.4 mm barrels from 457 wells (at y/e).

"Everyone talks about oil in the ground."

..................well, yes ..........where else is it going to come from ?

And how is 7.4 million barrels per year going to mitigate a 3.5 billion barrel per year demand gap in the face of falling world exports?

(10 million barrel per day imports x 365 = approx 3.5 billion barrels per year)

You would need 50 South Dakotas to make an ANWAR, 100 to make a Prudhoe at peak, and 500 to reach oil independence. Can Bakken multiply South Dakota's production by 50, 100, or 500? If not, well it's just a little marginal.

Flow rate... per Simmons, West Texas et all.

god damn, calm down. who said anything about south dakota ?
sorry that you interpreted that i was claiming that 7.4 million barrels per year would mitigate a 3.5 billion barrel per year demand gap. where(as you alledge) am i claiming any such thing?
and another thing, where do you get a 3.5 billion barrel per year demand gap anyhow ?

Severe Spanish drought sparks regional fights over water

There has been 40 percent less rain than normal across the country since the meteorological year began on October 1, said Angel Rivera, the spokesman for the National Institute of Meteorology.

"We can say it is the most severe drought in 40 years," he told AFP.

In the traditionally drier Mediterranean regions, a lack of rain over the last 18 months means this is the worst drought since 1912, said the Environment Ministry's director general for water, Jaime Palop.

The drought has hurt crops and hydroelectric power production as water reserves have dropped to 46.6 percent of capacity, a 20 percentage point drop over the level recorded a decade ago.

Re Spain:

I was making myself highly unpopular with friends and family wishing to buy second homes and / or retire to Spain five years ago.

1. Cheap Flights from the UK will strand people
2. Peak Energy will shut down Air Conditioning at critical times.
3. There will be water wars between Spanish farmers , Spanish Nationals and the huge numbers of Expats from Northern Europe wanting swimming pools filled rather than crops to be grown.

I did not even factor in a drought. I reckoned on per capita water drops just because the southern Spanish Littoral was , is and will again be desert.

It will get even worse on the North African Coast with countries undergoing a indigenous population boom and industrialisation.

I used to think I had a pretty good handle on the future.

I had no real idea just how fast bad things could move to getting worse.

The big power grab...Or, how we learned to give up semi-free markets and learned to love a planned economy...Didn't someone try this already?

Fed Uncertainty Principle In Action

'Sadly, we are already seeing Corollary Number Two to the Fed Uncertainty Principle being carried out in spectacular fashion.

Corollary Number Two: The government/quasi-government body most responsible for creating this mess (the Fed), will attempt a big power grab, purportedly to fix whatever problems it creates. The bigger the mess it creates, the more power it will attempt to grab. Over time this leads to dangerously concentrated power into the hands of those who have already proven they do not know what they are doing.

If you have not yet done so, please read the Fed Uncertainty Principle. Inquiring minds may also wish to read Fed Defends The Indefensible.'...snip...

'The Times Online is reporting Federal Reserve staff move into offices of investment banks to monitor activities.

The US Federal Reserve has sent staff into some of Wall Street’s biggest firms and its New York branch is gathering evidence on key traders’ activities as America’s central bank raises its scrutiny of risk to an unprecedented level.

Fed staff have set up shop in Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Bear Stearns to monitor their financial condition just days after Henry Paulson, the US Treasury Secretary, proposed that the Fed become the financial industry’s “risk czar”.'


So how did the finance industry operate under the Third Reich? Only non-Aryans allowed to lose?

As I understand it, in the Third Reich many non-Aryans were "allowed" to lose. Or more accurately, millions of Jews had all investments, businesses, and personal possessions confiscated.

Hmmmmm, aren't there a lot of financial terrorists (I know they're scaring the hell outta me :( living in fancy houses in Greenwich, Conn? Methinks we need to nationalize their assets...

Errol in Miami

A little something-something I came across - reminds me of energy bulletin


And remember the power of sugar

From CNNMoney.com:

The luxury recession - What the rich are cutting back on.

America's Money: In their own words - Everyday folks tell their stories about hard economic times.

The mortgage crisis, and food and fuel inflation are really having an impact, at least for some. Those who avoided buying big homes seem to be doing the best.

Though a few of the people who are doing well are awfully arrogant. Like that young woman who's a mechanical engineer for an automotive company in Michigan. She's got a big truck and says she won't trade down to a small car despite the price of gas. She bought a big house, and says it will be okay because she's not moving. And she makes a smug comment about people not preparing for a rainy day. Hon, working for a car company...your rainy day might be coming sooner than you think.


'Fort Lauderdale-based broker Anchor Yachts says sales of yachts in the $200,000 to $800,000 range have declined 50%, prompting sellers to cut prices by as much as 20%.'

'Brother, can you spare a dime?'

Hello River,

Good post! Since the Superrich will always desire Alaskan crab and Maine lobster: at some FF-depletion tipping point, the price of fishing-Sailboats to go get these creatures will rise far faster than the declination rate of ICE-yachts for the normal, merely rich riff-raff.

Recall Don Sailorman's posting that learning to sail will be a good postPeak career. Climbing through the pitching and yawing yardarms during a cold NorEaster, or an Alaskan gale, still beats bleeding-out in a blazingly hot MiddleEast sand dune.

Your mention of the 'super-rich' reminded me of this:


America's Money: In their own words
Everyday folks tell their stories about hard economic times. Check back frequently for new stories.
1 of 52 Laura Martin-Wilson: No jobs anywhere

Director of account services, 39, Parrish, Fla.

'I sold my house in Atlanta (at a small loss) in 2006 to move to Sarasota for a new position. In the process, I met and married my husband. He works in Tampa, and since my job was in Sarasota, we bought a brand new house halfway in between.

While the cost of living in Florida is much higher than in Atlanta, we were making a comfortable living and were able to pay the bills with no problem. Until January -- when I lost my job.'

'I am sending resumes daily, and am even looking in other states for a job. In our part of Florida, the job market is practically non-existent.'

I have to question Laura's contention that the cost of living in the Tampa area is much higher than the Atlanta area. Maybe...I certainly do not question her observation that 'jobs in their part of Florida are practically non existant.' If Florida is not in recession it is very close.

Money worries may hinder tax rebate spending

For many Americans, the added cash could end up being sucked right into the gas tank, especially if gas prices drift as high as $4 per gallon this summer. The tax rebate won’t benefit the economy as much if it is spent at the pump, Zandi said, because a large chunk of the profits will go to producers overseas. But the fact that Americans have that money to spend on gas could still help because it eases people’s overall financial burdens.

Somebody told me they heard a story on NPR about the IRS buying items for people (an air conditioner was mentioned) instead of giving them the rebate as cash. That, supposedly, to ensure "the economy is stimulated". My reacton was: did you hear this story on April 1? Anybody here heard about this?

Yes, and so we should buy televisions, like that money is not going overseas.

Best hopes in buying American.

A question I have pondered: how much capital is tied up worldwide in boats and in "excess" living space in housing units. For the sake of argument, I would define "excess" as anything over 500 square feet per person.

Westexas -

For the sake of argument, I would say that 500sf/person is INSANE!

I think I see jbunt and westexas future, I think it looks something like this:


:P You gotta admit that's funny.

I talked about 100 square foot "Tiny Houses" in my Net Oil Exports Revisited article (do a Google Search for Net Oil Exports), and someone previously posted this link:

In any case, when CBS profiled a guy building, and living in, a 100 square foot home, I noticed that he was single.

Edit: just realized that the guy I mentioned in the article is the one that owns Tumbleweed Houses. I think that this is a great business niche.

Milk wars in Dear Abby:

My husband and I have a 20-year-old nephew I'll call "Adam," who sometimes lacks good judgment. We have told him that when he visits he should ask before drinking our milk. The price of milk has gone sky-high, and we have a 7-year-old who drinks a lot of it. We have had to tighten our purse strings and try to make a gallon last a week. When Adam comes over, he will drink two or three big glasses of it. Now, instead of asking, he sneaks it when we're not looking.

His mother, "Faye," is also my best friend. While she was visiting, Adam waited until we went into the family room, then consumed more than half of the gallon of milk we had just purchased.

"Hon, working for a car company...your rainy day might be coming sooner than you think."

point taken but most people can't even weather a rainy 2 hours. sure she might lose her job but then again she might not.

I know of one farmer that posted he want $55,000 for CRP land that used to cost the government $15,000 or he'll plow it under and plant corn.. Ethanol greed is hitting quite hard in the farm fields..


Peak oil: Will radical social change be fuelled by shortages?

This CBC story is a decent review of Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl's new book "TRANSPORT REVOLUTIONS".

Sounds like an interesting book, but it costs $80. o_O

I've never figured out what that symbol is.. o_O

.. I go back and forth between an upended dune-buggy, a Banana-bike, a Fritz-the-Cat Smiley, and an impressionistic "Uh-oh!" ..

or would you rather keep it a mystery?


It's "shocked."

(Tip: you can Google emoticons.)

I think it derives from Bill the Cat ("ACK!") rather than ol' Fritz.

And at that link there is a link to a bunch of oil price cartoons which are hilarious.


Heh. There is also quite a nice one on the Mortgage problem...


Retail gas prices surged to a new record above $3.30 a gallon Friday and appear poised to rise further in coming weeks as gasoline supplies tighten

Last week I stumbled over an article in the German Financial Times, saying that the "gasoline-hysteria" would soon be over, due to completed refinery makeovers, less demand from US drivers. The article quotes Michael Lynch from Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts who predicts sinking oil prices the next weeks du to a 'glut' of gasoline in the US.

Kevin Lindemer from Global Insight says that the next driving season wouldn't play any role since drivers have less money to spend for gas and the refineries have built extra capacity.

(I'm sorry the article is in German, as I said, and there might be no English version. The author's name sounds German, too.)

One of the problems in the U.S. is determining how much fuel use is 'discretionary' - that is, fuel use which can be reduced by simply doing something else, like walking, bicycling, taking a bus, etc. This is apart from fuel use which simply is no longer affordable, because you are unemployed, for example - in that case, the tank not being filled has nothing to do with alternatives.

And unfortunately, the answer for those living in much of the newly constructed housing of the last decade or two, the answer is 'not much.'

Americans will be reducing the use of gasoline, but it will be because less is available at a price they can pay. Which tends to lead to further economic problems. The problem is, at this point, for many Americans, there is not much middle ground between driving and not driving - the option of driving less is not really all that practical, unless they massively change how they live. Which tends to be the path followed by losers, by the way, something most Americans try to avoid becoming.

To be honest, you would also think that those in charge of America had intended it to be that way. Along the lines of 'what is good for General Motors....'

One of J. Kunstler's true strengths is in explaining how this came about - unbelievable how much time and effort was spent in destroying any semblance of life which people in Germany take for granted. Whether it be children bicycling to school or older people being able to walk to a pharmacy or doctor. Not to mention things like farmer's markets or local bakers.

This article about business travel expenses mentions in passing:

It sounds insane, but most of the big airlines bet oil prices would fall this year and have fewer fuel hedges in place today than they did in the first quarter of 2007. With prices settling in around $100 a barrel, independent analyses say the U.S. airline industry now faces as much as $10 billion in extra costs this year.

Holy guacamole. I wonder how long they will keep expecting oil prices to fall?

They'll keep on hoping until high oil prices shut them down. Because if they believe it in advance, they'll realize it makes better sense to declare bankruptcy now.

"Hope is the expectation of future events over which you have no agency."
-- Derrick Jensen

..and my wife asked me this morning about booking flights now (April!!) for Thanksgiving in Wisconsin. I didn't say anything for a few too many seconds, caught in 'Family/PeakOil.. which of these?' turmoil. She's looking at me, going 'What, what's wrong?'..

We've all got webcams.. can't we 'Tele-holiday'?
"Can you pass the Gravy Avatar, please?"


"It's a Tele-bration!"

As I said the other day, if you want, and can afford, to go to Europe, I would go sooner rather than later.

I agree, and by sooner I mean before 2050, since most of us will be dead by then. :)

Feel free to leave anytime.....

It's F'ed up minds like yours that are the reason why TS is definitely going to HTF in the future, sooner rather than later.

I have 4 days left before I have to commit 3K to my daughters Euro trip with the Choir.

I just learned that two legs of the tour were booked with Alitalia.

Biting my nails.

At least I got a bunch of Euros back when they were a dime a dozen, almost.

Go Go Go. Doomer or no Doomer, the girl should see the world.

Delta has a code sharing deal with Alitalia. It may actually be a Delta flight. And when ATA shut down, Southwest, which has a code sharing deal with ATA, put people on Southwest flights.

In any case, I would say go.

Yah, that one at least hasn't got the banal Cachet of 'US Thanksgiving Travel' .. and it doesn't require your having to try to picture our world 8 months out. .. yikes.. POST-election, too!

Good luck on your check-writing!


133 Dead As Delta Cancels Flight In Midair

CINCINNATI—Delta Airlines issued a statement apologizing to those inconvenienced by the tragic cancellation.


Wow Jokuhl that was wild. LOL fadeing into COL (crying out loud) then SOL (screaming...).

Unfortunately that parody comes dangerously close to how my mind works.

I have been served very well over the last couple years, in fact have profited directly from my overly pesimistic position, so I tend to want to listen to it.

I would also point out that European airlines which are intricately connected with their home government rarely stop flying for more than a couple of days - however, if it is the couple of days your daughter is flying, then it becomes an adventure, if the word problem doesn't suit you.

I wonder how long they will keep expecting oil prices to fall?

Well, they're still not hedging.

Do stories like this ever show up here or does Al Gore need to approve of all "information" posted?


This would mean global temperatures have not risen since 1998, prompting some to question climate change theory.

It then goes on to say:

But experts say we are still clearly in a long-term warming trend - and they forecast a new record high temperature within five years.

The WMO points out that the decade from 1998 to 2007 was the warmest on record. Since the beginning of the 20th Century, the global average surface temperature has risen by 0.74C.

While Nasa, the US space agency, cites 2005 as the warmest year, the UK's Hadley Centre lists it as second to 1998.

Researchers say the uncertainty in the observed value for any particular year is larger than these small temperature differences. What matters, they say, is the long-term upward trend.

"La Nina is part of what we call 'variability'. There has always been and there will always be cooler and warmer years, but what is important for climate change is that the trend is up; the climate on average is warming even if there is a temporary cooling because of La Nina."

The article you posted is actually debunking the idea that global warming isn't happening, has stopped or has reversed.

Yes, that's why I didn't post it. (Though I did post it over at PO.com.) It just didn't seem to say anything particularly interesting or important about climate change.

Mr Jarraud told the BBC that the effect was likely to continue into the summer, depressing temperatures globally by a fraction of a degree.

This would mean that temperatures have not risen globally since 1998 when El Nino warmed the world.

That's not "interesting"?????? Measurable facts are not interesting as long as Al Gore insists that in the future it will be warmer?


People who are talking about climate change are talking long-term. The article is about short-term variability, not long-term trends like Gore is talking about.

More interesting is that La Ninas are associated with increased Atlantic hurricane activity. So if the article is right, we could have an impact on oil production.

Any bets on whether Thunder Horse will start producing this year as expected?

Leanan - There are those of us who absolutely believe that global warming is a hoax. For example, all of the models assume that warming will occur because CO2 in the atmosphere will increase water vapor, which will cause the warming. But, no one had an exact amount - just mathematical models. So, in 2002 the US launched a satellite (Aquas) to measure the increase. Sure enough, the CO2 levels have risen in the last 6 years. But, Aquas has found that water vapor has decreased - so they are scrambling to find out what the problem is. Meanwhile, it has gotten colder over the last 10 years, with 1998 the peak warm year. It is like, I built a greenhouse, but now it is snowing in it - what did I do wrong?? Check out Arctic Ice this year - 1.5 million sq km more than last year. But, nevermind, I am making money hand over fist with my investments in oil and especially natural gas stocks as winter storage will end 400 bcf less than forecast.

Why don't you repeat your comments about Arctic ice in August 2008? Right now you sound like an equity (or energy) analyst (grifter).

BrianT - I hate to disappoint you, but I am 67 years old and have been retired for over 8 years. I do not have a pension, but I do live off my IRA which I invest myself through Schwab. I will be happy to look at Arctic ice in August. But, as I posted previously, the Antarctic is 5 million sq miles with ice that is 2 miles thick. The Arctic is much smaller with 10 feet of ice. You do the math, but watching Arctic ice melt and trying to deduce the climate is like watching the ice melt in my swimming pool. But, whatever makes you happy.

Hmm since more of the ice melted last summer the bulk of the current ice area is made of 1 year sea ice. In the Antartic most of the floating ice melts every year already. So we probably have already switched over to this condition. Since the artic does not have a land mass at its center then it will warm substantially. This is simple physics global warming or not once the feedback loop sets in and it seems to have done so the artic will warm changing the weather patterns in the northern hemisphere. Since the thin one year ice breaks up faster than multi-year ice it would take a number of very cold years to reverse this.

In the Antarctic whats more important is that the ice shelves grounded and floating are starting to break down allowing glaciers to flow faster. Similar effects are happening in Greenland but slightly different.

In all cases its the rate of flow of the glaciers thats the main driving force in determining the staying power for land based ice. As they flow faster parts drop lower in altitude and experience warmer summers leading to more water penetrating the glacier and lubricating further flow.

Once these processes start they tend to be reinforcing and it takes a much strong counter change to reverse the trend. A series of regionally warm years for whatever reason is enough to start the processes.

Obviously its been warm enough in the polar regions to see signs that previous stable ice conditions are now unstable and its also not hard to find out that dynamic factors not melting are the primary reason for changes in ice levels. Given that we know for a fact that the world has entered and left glacial periods in the past its a safe bet that increased snowfall in the higher elevations from warmer weather is probably not enough to stop the glacial acceleration and given that it probably caused the pressure on the lower levels to increase we will probably find it actually speeds up the glacier.

At no point have I mentioned global warming one bit just that the ice is showing regional effects that indicate its warming this is fairly clear. Arguing about the cause of the problem does not mean we don't have one.

And further we have plenty of reason to quit using fossil fuels like we do local pollution from burning coal and oil and the political dynamics alone are enough reason to change.

So overall the goals of people that do believe in global warming are sensible and if they are right we might avert serious climate problems down the road. The best case scenario is we do change and nothing happens just like the year 2000 problem.

And trust me I know a lot of programmers that worked on that problem it was real and they fixed a lot of stuff that would have caused serious glitches. The only reason the problem was fixed was that most of the problematic code was in the banking sector or otherwise related to money and transactions. The problem was actually primarly screwed up bank computers and large company transactions it was the big boys that had the highest risks. Even at the time I got a kick out of how the media portrayed the problem considering the real one was a lot worse.
Everybody was worried about their pc or bank account. It was the trillions flowing every day in interbank and large company transactions that was at risk.

I find it funny that one of the few times we pro actively fixed something was when it directly affected bankers and that a lot of people believe it was a hoax. I was a MQSeries programmer at the time that should be enough to show I know what I'm talking about. I guess we will have to wait until global warming or peak oil offers a direct threat to bankers before we take action. Thats what it took last time.

Sorry for the long tirade on Y2K but its the only example of successful proactive action to solve a real problem that I know the details of. The point is if the proposed solution is a good idea (cleaning up 20 year old code a bit) and the results of not taking action are dire then take action you don't have to "believe" or be convinced.

You left out CFCs - which, amazingly, we rarely discuss as a successful model of recognizing a problem, then developing an international framework to more or less handle it.

It seems like solving a problem by changing how we do things is simply not part of the disucssion, in general.


And if you live near the shore, if Greenland melts, your swimming pool will be in your second story.

First the Arctic then Greenland. But who cares, it's just water after all.


So NASA is just making up the temperature data -- you have gotta couple of screws loose.


The year 2007 tied for second warmest in the period of instrumental data, behind the record warmth of 2005, in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analysis. 2007 tied 1998, which had leapt a remarkable 0.2°C above the prior record with the help of the "El Niño of the century". The unusual warmth in 2007 is noteworthy because it occurs at a time when solar irradiance is at a minimum and the equatorial Pacific Ocean is in the cool phase of its natural El Niño-La Niña cycle.


sq km of ice coverage is not the same as cu km of ice coverage. I'm glad you're making money, but that doesn't correlate with reality in anything but the short run.

Oh noes! We had a cold, snowy winter (for some values of "we"). Therefore, global warming isn't happening, and is a hoax. People like to confuse their local weather right now with global climate trends over years.

Why would global warming be a hoax? I mean, I guess (though I doubt it) it's just possible that the science is uncertain enough to not have it 100% nailed, but do you honestly believe that the world's climatologists have all gotten together to hoax this thing? How did they do it? Why?

If you believe that, you are, IMO, a wack-job.

The hoax refrain is a common one from right wingers who also believe that this hoax is an excuse to install a one world government which will then mark everyone with the mark of the beast. I don't know that jbunt falls in that category but would not be surprised if so.

"which will then mark everyone with the mark of the beast."

But your RFID implant is your friend! And you won't be able to buy anything without it in the future! Nor leave the country! Might as well go get yours today - resistance is futile...

:-) :-)

For example, all of the models assume that warming will occur because CO2 in the atmosphere will increase water vapor, which will cause the warming.

That is not true. Even without an increase in water vapor, additional CO2 in the atmosphere would lead to warming. That a warmer Earth would then lead to an increase in water vapor, which in turn would lead to an even greater warming, is simply an amplification of the effect.

The basic science behind CO2 causation of warming the Earth was pretty much put to bed in the 1930's, when details of quantum mechanics were worked out. Put simply, adding CO2 to the atmosphere changes the ability of the Earth to emit infra-red radiation into space, which is how the Earth cools itself.

This is really about Western civilization, and what is taken to be "true". You can "absolutely believe" anything you want, but that doesn't make it true. In the long history of Western civilization one of the major themes, philosophically, theologically, and then put into what we call "science", is that what a person believes does not determine the truth, or existence, of something outside of that person.

There is no "hoax" about this.

"You can "absolutely believe" anything you want, but that doesn't make it true."

To paraphrase an old Zen saying: You are free to believe whatever you want, but the Universe is not obligated to keep a straight face.

Reality is what happens whether you believe in it or not...

I tried the other day to generate a little thunder on BP's horse.

It was slated for late 07, then they pushed it back to spring 08, now I read it's Nov 08. Anyone know what the snags are?

BP is being very close-mouthed about it, but the problem is rumored to be design issues. They're going where no oil company has gone before, and they're encountering engineering issues that aren't a problem in less difficult environments. Welds not up to the pressures of the depths they're used in, corrosion, etc.

There's this old Bloomberg report

BP Says Thunder Horse Platform Delayed Until Mid-2008 (Update3)

FMC Technologies Inc. of Houston manufactured Thunder Horse's malfunctioning equipment, said BP spokesman Neil Chapman. The equipment, which had met BP's specifications, was being tested more rigorously when the problems were discovered, he said.

``There's no evidence of any issues with the workmanship or installation,'' Chapman said.

BP has indicated that it will pay the costs associated with reworking the infrastructure, FMC spokesman Bruce Bullock said in an interview. ``We're not aware of any other projects on our part where this has been a factor,'' he said.

Thunder Horse's subsea production system consists of so- called trees that sit atop the wells and pump oil and gas into gathering pipelines that lead to the surface. The system is designed to withstand temperatures of 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 Celsius) and 15,000 pounds (6,804 kilograms) of pressure per square inch, according to FMC's Web site.

`Precautionary Approach'

``It sounds like, after talking to both BP and FMC, that the issues stand with BP's specs, and not with any of the trees'' supplied by FMC, said Neal Dingmann, an analyst at Pritchard Capital Partners, which doesn't issue stock ratings.

Disclaimer: I used to work for FMC but have absolutely no info on current problems other than through Google!

FMC Thunderhorse page

These issues with the gathering system have been known for almost a couple years- since the operation was first retested post Katrina. Is the gathering system toast and needs complete replacement, is there a shortage of rigs to work the installation, has tech reached it's limit for component /installation depth? What might this portend, if anything, for Brazil's Tupi?

And what's more, I noticed it was colder today than yesterday. Tomorrow it's forecast to be even colder. OMGLWTF It actually gets colder as spring progresses - how did Al Gore and the NASA commies keep that from us??? By mid June it will be freezing all day!!!!!

Can you see a flaw in the above "logic"?

And you are ignoring that the decade in question is the overall warmest decade on record. All that article points out is that, for the moment, warming has paused. It has NOT reversed. And the trend is still upwards.

You sound like one of those who come around only when the price of oil is falling to toot the horn of "no more peak oil" and who then hides as soon as it shoots up again. Do you even understand the difference between weather and climate? Do you understand the definition of "volatile"?

Yes-the next time the oil price drops 5 dollars we can look forward to 300 lines from Roger Connor.

Reading comprehension is not necessary for AGW denialists - all thats necessary is the ability to tune the AM radio band.

It would be nice to actually hear about some recent research that clearly disproves the anti-AGW case. Then we can proceed to burn everything in sight.

"all thats necessary is the ability to tune the AM radio band."

Ain't that the truth!

Yes, that is excellent. It's a wonder those Harvard Scientists are able to get any work done with all the listening to AM radio they do.

Tamino has an excellent blog that explores the statistics of measuring climate change. This is probably the most relevant


The smoothed trend line charts clearly show that there is no let up in heating in the Northern Hemisphere, and that the current La Nina had up to then only affected the Southern Hemisphere.

Didn't see any mention of global dimming.

The danger from climate change in the short and medium term are the wildly increased variability of local weather patterns, which affect local ecosystems in unpredictably complex ways. Which will have an effect on the symbiotic and predatory relationships of various fungi, bacteria, insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds, etc., to our food crops and livestock, as well as to our crops and livestock directly.

I'll again recommend "Chaos" by James Gleick, not that it will do much good at this point.

Chaos theory was first discovered by a meteorologist, named Edward Lorenz, based on weather models.

Check out his 1963 ground-breaking paper, Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow.

Lorenz also discovered strange attractors and coined the term "butterfly effect" for sensitivity of initial conditions.

His latest article is "Designing Chaotic Models" from 2005, unfortunately not available for free.

He turns 91 next month, and still keeps an office at MIT.

Hello TODers,

Looks like people prefer eating above all other considerations:

Mosaic Reports Record Third Quarter Results

These results were achieved despite significantly higher costs for sulfur and ammonia, two primary raw materials for phosphates.
Recall my post from General Electric yesterday, who have access to the latest expensive reports on these critical inputs.

To further build on WT's astute question: I wonder how much O-NPK recycling planning is going on in the countries that are the dire combo of net I-NPK, net food, and net energy importers.

If just plain rock phosphate is now energy-embedded with 4 gallons of gasoline [Recall earlier TODer retail purchase of 50 lb bags.], then these countries need to move to SpiderWebRiding and wheelbarrows for all very quickly for large area dispersive O-NPK recycling. The poor default choice of moving stuff on your back, like the earlier barefoot Nuahtl Tlamemes, is already proven to lead to societal collapse. Recall the iconic photo of the African women balancing heavy jugs of water on their heads on their daily hike.

Finally, recall that the US is a huge net importer of I-NPK. Do we want our children and grandchildren to be nearly bent double under the load across their shoulders, or do we want them comfortably pedaling a much larger load, a much further distance, on a recumbent railbike from the endpoints of Alan Drake's RR + TOD proposals?

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

Food for thought: I think it would be fascinating to build a biosolar habitat from scratch using all the best-in-class ideas here on TOD, EB, and other websites and books. Perhaps somewhere in rural Iowa or some other central state.

A condensed TODevelopment urban cluster with lots of permaculture greenspaces, full-on O-NPK recycling, no outside lighting allowed [use a flashlight!],SpiderWebRiding Network, no cars, and so on.

Pay a bunch of young, fit people [Peaknik military consceintious-objectors?] to move in and give their all so that we could measure and improve the paradigm shift. It wouldn't cost the govt. much to fund a small town of roughly 10,000 to see how all this could work and be interconnected to the surrounding farms, forests, and grasslands.

A condensed TODevelopment urban cluster ... no outside lighting allowed

The reality is outdoor lighting is used to 'deter crime' and the data shows it works.

How do you plan on addressing this concern?

Anyone sneaking around without a flashlight after dark is up to no good. Prepared honest people will be carrying a spare flashlight. If the person sneaking around is caught or killed--I doubt if the neighborhood nighttime-patrol posse will give the homeowners much of a problem, more likely a reward.

The days of a city spending bigtime on trials is ending postPeak. Recall that Redwood City spent $5 million on Scott Petersen's trial alone-- how many railbikes, wheelbarrows, and bicycles could that huge sum have bought to help that city mitigate their decline?

The days of a city spending bigtime on trials is ending postPeak

I believe you are right. It's going to be like the movie "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean" in reverse.

A "Speedy" trial will come back to it's original meaning.

Anyone sneaking around without a flashlight after dark is up to no good

So the lack of a light source is grounds for 'conviction'?


If the person sneaking around is caught or killed--I doubt if the neighborhood nighttime-patrol posse will give the homeowners much of a problem, more likely a reward.

Your position flies in the face of the tradition of policeman and a court system.

The days of a city spending bigtime on trials is ending postPeak.

Errrrr - ok. If you insist. But long before the oil age:

(Bill Moyers show this week talks about the use of bikes to move food in the Congo - hardly a city)
And well into it:
Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

The law (and its legitimacy) may be the only thing that keeps one man from killing the other. I'd not toss the law out fast....

how many railbikes, wheelbarrows, and bicycles could that huge sum have bought to help that city mitigate their decline

And somehow cities will need those items more than 'the country'?

(Bill Moyer is doing a show about bikes in the Congo moving food - The Congo is not 'a cityscape')

and the data shows it works.

There is a British meta-analysis that shows lighting seems to work in residential communities, i.e. suburbia. Many studies in the US have shown no correlation between lighting and crime rates. The British study actually says, "The authors conclude that lighting increases community pride and confidence and strengthens informal social control and that this explains the recorded impacts, rather than increased surveillance or deterrent effects." So there is probably no direct deterrence.

Besides objecting to the waste of energy, I am a bit sensitive on this issue because of my experiences as an amateur astronomer. At least in the US, dark skies are a treasure that few people get to appreciate.



Someone just posted this article at PO.com, from the 1918 NY Times:

Navy Man Indicted For Food Hoarding

Medical Director Nash Had Tons of Food Supplies Stored in His Home. WIFE IS ACCUSED ALSO She Inherited a Legacy and Couple Invested Heavily to Forestall Any Food Shortage.

(You can read the whole article for free, in PDF format.)

Food for thought. I never knew food hoarding was against the law in the US.

RE: Land Once Preserved Now Being Farmed
This is exactly what I feared when the ethanol boom first began. So I ask this question again Why can't they farm the hundreds of thousands of easement acres lining our highways and byways for transportation fuels? Do the Taxpayers get a refund from these farmers?

I would like to thank the contributors and posters here. I live in a large S.E Florida county(pop. and area). The first Tuesday of the month at 2:00 pm time certain the public is allowed to have three minutes to speak about anything to the Commissioners. This last Tues. I chose to speak about "Peak Oil" After first directing the Commission and staff to go to theoildrum.com website, I basically stated what westexas has repeated so concisely. May of 2005 the World produced apprx 74 million barrels of Crude + Condensate, at that time the price was apprx 40 dollars per barrel. Today despite the price more than doubling, the World has not met that mark. I briefly explained about the difference in EROEI of C+C and all other fuels.
Thank you.

That has been suggested before: using highway easements to grow biofuels. Particularly switchgrass, prairie grasses, etc.

I don't think it's viable. The easements are too small, and too irregular. You wouldn't be able to use tractors, combines, etc., And the EROEI is so low for biofuels that having to truck the crop long distances would eat up the energy gain (if there is one) in no time.

Hello Leanan,
The people have invested in preservation lands for some time. Of the hundreds of thousands of acres being uprooted and farmed how much of a return are the people getting? What is the end cost of all this destroyed wildlife habitat. We subsidize the ethanol plant, subsidize the fuel, we subsidized the preservation. Since ethanol cannot be piped at this time wouldn't it make sense to put these plants near these highways? Grant the farmer the subsidy to farm the easement.
I don't like any of it. I really don't like destroying all this wildlife habitat. What a mess. The poor and voiceless suffer our excess.

Ethanol is pure idiocy. I expect economics will eventually outweigh politics, and it will collapse on its own.

The current Farm Bill and US Empire are both losers economically, but have yet to outweigh their political drivers.

Give it time.

Flight Cacellations at Manchester Airport due to fuel problems.

Flights travelling from Manchester Airport face cancellation following a problem with fuel supplies.

Jet fuel from its suppliers at Shell's Stanlow refinery in Ellesmere Port has been shut off since Wednesday because it was found to be of a poor standard.


Firstly thanks to threadbot for deleting my posts last week especially the one in relation to the IATA/Platts weekly commentry on the state of North West Europe Jet fuel supply, cheers mate!

There is on-going commentry from late last year that NWE Jet Fuel is at low levels. Last weeks commentry stated that they we are now down to 'strategic defence minimum levels'. Quote in the deleted posting.

Please check out the first graph in this story showing wind power versus other energy sources. Scary visualization of how far we will (or would) have to go to "just" switch over to renewables. From Power Engineering magazine:


Yes-a big 9 bill invested in wind and just the first cheque cut for JPM/BS was 30 bill (with many more to come). Re -infrastructure spending, what is seldom mentioned is that the USA economy has zero internal savings (the country is actually insolvent)-should be interesting.

Brian - If we told France and the rest of Europe that we were going to pull our troops out of Germany (because we were broke) and let Germany's military expand to whatever level it deemed appropriate to "defend" itself, the money would come pouring in to fund our military.

ps. Same with Japan and South Korea.

Edited to add ps.

Sure-get Goldman to quantify all this fantasy money that will come flowing in "someday"-no more money problems-it can be just another accounting entry on the books.

Your point is not wrong, but also not accurate.

The U.S. has been moving troops out of Germany for more than a decade - recently, a large number to Iraq, but before that, to places like Hungary and Romania. One reason for the move has been an unstated American fear that a pacifist German government will not allow the free flow of equipment if a German government decides that the war is illegal. Yes, the discussion was raised in part due to the current Iraq invasion - from the American side, actually, since German opposition on the part of a Socialist/Green government to actually invading a country was seen as potentially hindering the free flow of American equipment to be involved in whatever activity the American government desired. Sort of like how a number of American planes involved in torture flights to secret prisons are no longer tolerated in European air space - at least when they are noticed.

As for the German military - the current European, much less American, complaint is that the Germans need to spend a more on the military.

But yes, American troops are seen as a sign of stability, in general. Though a lot less than before, mainly because Bush is a disaster in the eyes of most Germans.

An increase in Iraq oil?
I Don't think so--
From Juan Cole:
"Al-Zaman reports in Arabic that Iran and Kuwait have closed their borders with Iraq and halted the import-export trade because of the deterioration of security"

A Little light reading for the weekend,


The Audacity of Depression

Rage fatigue, plastic dirt and happy hour in techno-totalitarian America

By Joe Bageant

Over the past couple of years I've had hundreds of encounters with reading Americans...

During this period I have noticed a change in the nature of discussion with these previously unmet readers. Four years ago, much of it centered on the outrageousness of the Bush administration, the stomach turning criminality of the Iraq War...

Lately though, I don't hear so much outrage. In fact, the readers seem to be suffering from what someone aptly called "rage fatigue." Which is another way of saying the bastards have simply worn us out. And it's true.

I am not kidding when I say rage fatigue victims have fallen into an ongoing mid-level depression. (Looks to me like the whole country has, but then I'm no mental health expert.)


And like whoever else wins the presidency, Obama can never acknowledge any significant truth, such as that the nation is waaaaay beyond being just broke, and is even a net debtor nation to Mexico, or that the greatest touch-me-not in the U.S. political flower garden, the "American lifestyle," is toast. But then, we really do not expect political truth, but rather entertainment in a system where, as Frank Zappa said, politics is merely "the entertainment branch of industry."

Still, millions of Americans do grasp at The Audacity of Hope, a meaningless marketing slogan of the publishing industry if ever there was one. At least it has the word Audacity in it, something millions of folks are having trouble conjuring up the least shred of these days. And there is good old fashioned "Hope" of course -- that murky, undefined belief that some unknown force or magical unseen power will reverse the national condition -- will deliver us from what every bit of evidence indicates is irreversible, if not politically, then economically and ecologically:


I love this little nugget from Bageant's essay:

"We all stand submissively before the global ATM machine network like trained chickens pecking the correct colored buttons to release our grains of corn."

Errol in Miami

'...real change would entail undoing most of the machinery of planetary destruction and extreme pressure to standardize humanity that we have come to know as modern civilization and mass society....'

Just about sums it up for me. And notice that most of us are part of that modern civilization and mass society, which means changing what we are - which is so much harder than forcing someone else to change.

Yup. Both good snippets above :)

Request for Help

My task is to find the 'insulation value' for Oriented Strand Board.

'Insulation value' has been my google search term. I'm finding
lots of links, including technical specs. I suspect my search terms are way too ambiguous.

This is for a rim joist on the house the school builds for hands on experience of all the
trade's programs.

Thanks for any help.

Ahhhh, I definitely used some poor terms - R-value as a term made all the difference in the world.

Hello RBM,

I encourage you and all TODers to print the following link out and retain for your postPeak records. Hopefully Leanan will add this to her next Drumbeat toplinks!

The most important thing to protect a home's insulation is termite control:

Research shows termite damage cuts insulation values by nearly 75 percent

In tests measuring how termites damage the thermal properties or insulation in homes and other buildings, three types of widely used construction materials -- 2-by-4 boards, five-ply plywood and foam board insulation -- were exposed to the pest for eight weeks by entomologists at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

“All three building construction materials were damaged by termites, but the pest caused more damage to insulation than to either the wooden 2-by-4 or plywood samples...

..they were surprised to find that rigid foam board insulation was most heavily damaged by termites, with 12 percent of the material being removed by termites in just eight weeks, causing a 27 percent loss in insulation values.

“Most types of insulation are composed of plastic that’s not a source of food for termites, but the soft texture of insulation allows termites to build extensive tunnels and consume paper that lines the outside surface,” Tucker said. “In fact, the insulation materials are an almost ideal habitat because they protect the pest from cold temperatures.”

She said tests showed that plywood was the most resistant to heat flow, but once termites damaged the plywood, temperature changes were significant. After termites ate just 3.1 percent of the wood, insulation values dropped 74 percent.

When the pest attacked 2-by-4 boards, consuming 6.7 percent of the wood by tunneling along the fibers and within softer spring wood, there was a 35 percent drop in insulation values.

Once termites damage the structure, killing the pest will not correct the damage or restore insulation properties.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

For those TODers that can afford to build their housing and wish to make it termite proof, an earlier posting of mine might be worth considering to prevent your insulation becoming ineffective:


The quickest and cheapest way would be to put your liveable trailer inside on rails, then roll it outside when the weather is good. This movement would prevent termites from ever getting started. Something to think about when FF-derived termite pesticide is Unobtainium postPeak.

Something to think about when FF-derived termite pesticide is Unobtainium postPeak.

Borax has a good history - and has a non FF history...

2 interesting news items about natural gas in Quebec:

Pipeline company halts $760-million project; client no longer needs it
Mar 26, 2008

BROSSARD, Que. — TQM Pipeline says it has halted a $760-million pipeline project that aimed to link a liquefied natural gas terminal near Riviere-du-Loup, Que., on the St. Lawrence River's south shore, to a junction 250 kilometres to the southwest near the provincial capital.

TQM Pipeline said Wednesday its customer has decided to withdraw its request for transportation service linking the Cacouna Energy LNG Terminal to a point at Levis, Que., across the river from Quebec City.

TQM didn't identify the client but Petro-Canada (TSX:PCA) said last month it was reconsidering a $1-billion regasification plant in Gros Cacouna, Que. after Russia's Gazprom decided to scrap a planned $3.5 billion LNG project in the Baltic Sea.


And a few days later:

Natural gas discovery excites Quebec about possibility of becoming self-sufficient
2 days ago

MONTREAL — Quebec may be known for its massive hydroelectric power, but a new discovery of natural gas along the St. Lawrence Lowlands has generated excitement that the province will expand its clout as a Canadian power producer.

"This now potentially over a long period of time puts Quebec in the position that it could become self sufficient in gas," Michael Binnion, president and CEO of Questerre Energy Corp. (TSX:QEC), said in an interview.

Two vertical pilot wells were drilled in 2007 in the Utica Shale formation. Testing suggests production rates of up to one million cubic feet per day from the wells, with the gas being of relatively high quality with minimal impurities.

First production is expected in 2009, with full-scale drilling the following year.


"The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation," he wrote, later adding, "We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."

From War and Piece covering Kai Wright's Martin Luther King piece in The American Prospect.

Food for thought ??

Airline death watch continues....

Number 3!

i see people out buying big gas guzzling vehicles, SUV's, pick up trucks, and i think to my self, did he or she just wait till gas hit $3.15 a gallon before he bought that thing? or does he really think gas prices are gonna drop drastically in the near future? as many people do, they have seen gas go up and down, and they keep telling themselves "it's gonna go down soon and how I picked up a sweet deal at the dealership"

same thing about the airlines, the company execs think oil prices will fall, heck it's only up cuz of the war in iraq. that must be their mindset.

a few airlines will survive, even if they have to scale down the fleet of planes. our trusty politicians will likely bale out the airlines again if they ALL fail.


This will probably show up in tomorrows drumbeat but since I'm from Arkansas I was not
surprised to see this. This is probably the only reason I think that Bush won't attack Iran since TPTB have Hillary in their hip pockets also. I'm actually concerned if it starts looking like Obama will win its not clear that he has been bought and paid for yet or if their is enough time to accomplish the task. It can take years to get a politician fully bought.

Hello TODers,

Do our Native-Americans, as usual, get screwed first on the Deathmarch back to Olduvai?

Navajo Nation to lose Internet signal

It's going to be a sad day," said Ernest Franklin, director of the tribe's Telecommunications Regulatory Commission.

It would be a very sad day for the children and people of the Navajo Nation if the dark clouds descend, the lights go out, and access is denied to the chapter houses on the reservation....
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Hello TODers,

Does it appear that banks will now transition into my speculative "Federal Reserve Banks of I-NPK"? Recall my numerous earlier postings advocating and explaining the biosolar mission-critical reasons for this real-asset need as FF & mineral depletion kicks into high gear.

How a bank can harvest a healthy global crop

With the average global growth fund having lost value over the past year, being able to buy into the prospects of companies set to benefit from rocketing food prices and improved productivity from agricultural land is both topical and appealing.

...Companies delivering fertiliser and pest control are well placed, as are so-called agri-banks.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?