DrumBeat: September 1, 2008

Oil Prices and the Mayflower Problem

Do oil prices really tell the market what it needs to know when it needs to know it?

In a parallel universe far, far away where neoclassical economists run everything and conditions allow for perfect markets and perfect information, finite energy resources gradually climb in price as they are depleted. This encourages the development of substitutes over time and results in a smooth transition from one energy system to another.

Back on Earth events in the energy markets are moving along a trajectory quite different from that of our doppelganger universe. This is much to the chagrin of earthbound neoclassical economists who, as it turns out, run practically everything here when it comes to government economic policy and corporate management. Until recently the real prices of oil and natural gas had been declining for more than a century, and the neoclassical economists took this as an indication that technology was expanding the resource base by making more and more of these fossil fuels extractable.

BP PLC Long-Term Rating Cut To 'AA' On Performance And Benchmarking; Outlook Stable

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it lowered its corporate credit ratings on international oil and gas supermajor BP PLC and its U.S. and U.K. affiliates, including Jupiter Insurance Ltd., to 'AA' from 'AA+'. We also lowered the long-term corporate credit rating on BP Finance PLC to 'AA-' from 'AA'. The downgrades follow our review of the company's business and financial performance and comparison with those of other major integrated oil companies.

Venezuela's Chavez threatens to expel US ambassador

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened to expel the U.S. ambassador in a dispute over drug-trafficking that could worsen already frayed ties between the South American nation and its biggest oil customer.

Chavez, who spars with the United States over everything from oil prices and free trade to democracy, has made similar threats before without following through on them.

Mexico's Cantarell Field loses production at a rate equal to 30% of Shell's Perdido project, in just one month!

PEMEX recently announced that Cantarell Field produced just 1,010,000 barrels of oil per day in July, versus 1,050,000 barrels per day in June. That's a drop of 40,000 barrels per day, in just one month. Now, an oilfield's production does fluctuate month-to-month, but to put this into perspective, a loss of 40,000 barrels per day is equal to 30% of the estimated peak production rate from Shell's Perdido project, which is being constructed in 8000' of water near the international boundary with Mexico!

Libyans to get oil cash directly - Gaddafi

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has promised to distribute oil revenues to all citizens as part of sweeping economic and political reforms.

China raises, extends fertiliser export duties

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will raise export duties on nitrogenous fertilisers to 150 percent by the end of the year to curb outflows, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday, as the country seeks to control agricultural costs.

The increase, which will also apply to synthetic ammonia, will be in effect from Sept. 1 until Dec. 31, while a 100 percent duty on other fertilisers will be extended for an extra two months to Dec. 31, the report said.

China, the world's largest fertiliser market, slapped an extra 100 percent duty on fertiliser exports in April, with effect to Sept. 30, lifting tariffs as high as 135 percent for some products such as urea to keep more production at home.

Keeping Iraqi gas stations legitimate is a full-time job

BAGHDAD — While $4 a gallon gas is causing headaches at U.S. stations, Iraqis here are relieved when it only costs them $12 a gallon.

That’s because while the government-mandated price of gasoline is 4,500 dinar a liter, purchasing fuel often involves illegal pumping fees, black-market mark-ups and straight-up bribes to unscrupulous station managers.

Kenya: KPLC lures consumers to night-time electricity

Homes and businesses currently buckling under high electricity bills face the promise of some relief following a decision by KPLC to cut by a third the cost of night-time electricity, opening the door to lower bills for those who can find ways of switching to overnight consumption.

The new tariff scheme, which KPLC has decided to pilot with a few manufacturers in Nairobi would open the door to cheaper electricity between 10 p.m and 6 a.m, allowing families to run washing machines or ovens overnight.

Review: 'The Long Descent' by John Michael Greer

The Internet writings of John Michael Greer—beyond any doubt the greatest peak oil historian in the English language—have finally made their way into print. Greer’s searingly perceptive blog entries on peak oil, which for the past several years have enjoyed a robust online following, have now been incorporated into a single bound volume from New Society Publishers titled The Long Descent.

Greer fans will recognize many of the book’s passages from previous essays, but will be delighted to see them fleshed out here with additional examples and analysis. Casual bookstore browsers with no prior knowledge of Greer’s work, for their part, will happily find themselves in possession of as fine a treatise on peak oil, or introduction to Greer’s ideas, as one could possibly desire.

What my congressman does (and does not) know about energy

Last week I participated in an energy forum sponsored by a congressional candidate from my district. In preparation I thought it would be useful to understand the positions of his opponent, the incumbent, on energy issues. Fortunately, the incumbent had done a lengthy interview with our local National Public Radio station earlier in the summer.

I confess that my expectations about energy literacy among most people are quite low. And, I wouldn't expect most members of Congress to understand energy very well either unless they serve on committees that deal with energy issues. But my congressman, Fred Upton of Michigan, is the ranking Republican member on the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality. So, I expected that he would have a pretty good handle on basic information about energy, at least in the United States.

County Public Works avoids possible road oil shortage

McPherson, Kan. - As other counties scurry to move-up road maintenance in anticipation of a possible decline in the supply of road and base oil, McPherson County Public Works Director Tom Kramer breathes a slight sigh of relief.

In July, Tulsa-based crude-oil marketer SemGroup filed for bankruptcy, throwing the oil industry and its subsidiaries into a tailspin.

Many Kansas counties contracted with SemGroup for base oil, the oil used in road repair and maintenance, and the company’s Halstead plant gave counties quick access without additional transportation costs.

SemGroup’s bankruptcy resulted in some counties’ road oil orders being cut or amended.

A geopolitical tsunami: Beyond oil in world civilization clash

Oil as the cheap energy source has stoked industrial society for a century. However, ominous signs of oil depletion are beginning to appear, in fulfilment of M. King Hubbert’s “Peak Oil” theory. The implications of increasingly scarce oil supplies are catastrophic for the maintenance of industrial societies’ economic development. Even more, the anticipated economic development of the less developed countries is critically threatened. These less developed countries have set their will towards becoming industrialized, similar to that of the Western more developed countries. However, the stark facts of oil depletion herald considerable barriers to thwart the universalization of economic development to the less developed nations as oil prices skyrocket. This may all come together to facilitate civilization clash, as each political bloc frantically strives to secure the world’s oil resources, or at least the reliable supply of oil at the best price. Cohering nations may forge continent-wide civilization superpowers, for self advantage in the imminent new worldwide post-oil era, when abundant and cheap supplies of oil cannot be taken for granted. This may prove to be a contest of how the newly formed superpowers will cooperatively work together or aggressively compete with each other.

Cold winter fear grips Turkey

With a looming energy crisis on the horizon with Russia, Turkey has started looking for alternative suppliers for its energy needs, especially in natural gas. Turkey's balanced approach to Russian-Georgian conflict has been put under increasing strain with Russia beginning to utilize economic tools to pressure Turkey.

Electricity crisis in Kosovo gets worse

PRIŠTINA -- Power supply in Kosovo has deteriorated with a failure of a power plant yesterday, reports say.

The Kosovo energy corporation announced that one of the blocks of Power Plant Kosovo has been shut down last night. The repairs that are underway are expected to last until this evening.

The shutdown has led to a near collapse of the already poor power supply system in the province.

Mexico's energy integration ambitions

Whether it's gas pipelines or power lines, Mexico is taking more and more steps toward energy integration with its neighbors.

Australia: Food prices to soar under Rudd made pressure

The Shadow Minister for Water Security, John Cobb said after only nine months in office Prime Minister Rudd has already conceded defeat and has claimed there is nothing he can do about escalating food prices – despite promising cheaper groceries and fuel before the last election.

Dominican drivers, homemakers again face propane gas shortage

SANTO DOMINGO - As of today Monday the country will face a new round of shortages of propane gas (GLP), which began Saturday in the stations in the National District, and there’s concern that hundreds of public passenger vehicles that use it as fuel won’t be able to provide service.

Mandatory national speed limit faces scrutiny

Some legislators are pushing for a national speed limit of 55 mph reminiscent of the 1970s to promote better fuel efficiency and more safety on the roadways, but the idea is catching scrutiny.

Many agree that, although a mandatory national speed limit may be a bandage for the energy crisis, it is not the best option.

Russian gas oil, gasoline exports fall in Aug

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian exports of gas oil and gasoline fell in August due to higher customs duties and increased demand for the fuels on the domestic market, data provided by the Energy Ministry showed.

Russian oil companies exported 86,219 tonnes per day of gas oil in the first 27 days of August, down by 5.7 percent from 91,390 tonnes per day in the first 30 days of July.

Exports of gasoline, which usually amount to just around 10 percent of total sales of the fuel, fell by 14.7 percent to 9,167 tonnes per day from 10,740 tonnes per day in July.

Oil falls as Gustav shows no sign of strengthening

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil fell on Monday as Hurricane Gustav showed no signs of picking up more strength as it barrelled toward the Louisiana coast after forcing the shutdown of nine refineries and nearly all U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil production.

Angola: oil price fall proves supply was enough

LUANDA (Reuters) - The fall in the price of oil from record highs proves that prices were being driven up by speculators and not because of a shortage of supply, Angola's Finance Minister was quoted as saying.

'Today, when I look at the correction in oil prices ... I feel perfectly comfortable with what The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said a few months ago,' Jornal de Economia e Financas quoted Jose Pedro de Morais as saying.

Kazakh oil and gas worries: Georgian conflict may jeopardise Caucasus energy corridor

The latest events in the Caucasus jeopardise many of Kazakhstan’s plans with respect to transportation of its strategic goods – oil and gas – by the southern route. The Caucasian corridor that Kazakhstan considered until recently, as an alternative transport route may prove the most unreliable.

Rocky Mountains facing oil threat

A key issue in the US presidential campaign has been the United States' reliance on dwindling foreign oil supplies and the wisdom, or otherwise, of more drilling at home.

The Rocky Mountains in the US are said to contain about a tenth of the country's untapped oil and a third of its natural gas reserves.

A Compelling Energy Ratio

But whatever happens to the price of oil, the price of natural gas relative to oil is at historic lows as pointed out this week by Bespoke Investments. Given that cooler weather will begin to make itself felt in the weeks to come, the prognosis for natural gas looks promising. While oil has lost just over 20% of its value since the end of July, natural gas is down 42% from its peak.

Tipping point in the oil crisis

The depletion of the world's petroleum resources was first forecast in the 1950s by Dr M. King Hubbert. The point of maximum production (known as the Hubbert Peak) coincides with the midpoint of depletion – when half of all resources have been used. It is generally accepted that US oil reserves passed the Hubbert peak in the '70s.

Ignoring the warnings, America and the world continues to gorge itself on oil, turning isolated strips of desert into crudely conspicuous concentrations of egregious opulence. Oilman T. Boone Pickens calls this the largest transfer of wealth in human history – about $700B a year, four times the cost of the Iraqi War.

Move beyond oil, realistically

In our national discussion about offshore oil exploration, there is a point that should be getting more notice. There are two robust global dynamics at work; in the long run one or the other will bring to an end our global dependence on fossil fuels. Civilization may endure, but it will not be running on oil.

One of these dynamics goes by the name of "peak oil." An oil field has a life cycle; after discovery, production begins and increases, it reaches a peak, then it starts to decline as the field plays out.

Post Oil Solutions planning fall fundraising events (Vermont)

Post Oil Solutions will sponsor three fundraisers this fall for its new Food Security Project. As part of its larger Regional Food Sustainability Campaign, the goal of which is to help the people of the Windham County region become increasingly food self-sufficient, the FSP is a multi-pronged effort at producing locally-produced food for low-income neighbors. Staffed by three VISTA volunteers and the POS community organizer, the project's major goals are to provide food for area food shelves, homeless shelters and soup kitchens through gleaning projects and community gardens; organize resident-run community gardens in low-income communities, including container gardens; sponsor workshops in low-income communities on gardening, canning, root cellaring and cooking; and initiate a major Independence (from fossil fuels) Garden campaign that would encourage everyone to have a garden -- by themselves, or collaboratively, with neighbors -- and to grow a row or two to share with others.

Extreme and risky action the only way to tackle global warming, say scientists

Political inaction on global warming has become so dire that nations must now consider extreme technical solutions - such as blocking out the sun - to address catastrophic temperature rises, scientists from around the world warn today.

World's glaciers facing huge threat: UN

GENEVA (AFP) - The United Nations said Monday that swathes of mountain ranges worldwide risk losing their glaciers by the end of the century if global warming continues at its projected rate.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a report that whilst nature has always observed a certain periodic rate of deglaciation, the current trends observed from the Arctic to Central Europe and South America are of a different order.

"The ongoing trend of worldwide and rapid, if not accelerating, glacier shrinkage on the century time scale is most likely to be of a non-periodic nature, and may lead to the deglaciation of large parts of many mountain ranges by the end of the 21st century," the report warned.

Re: Extreme and risky action the only way to tackle global warming, say scientists

Geo-engineering is just another version of the same ideology which got us in this mess in the first place. In many instances, today's engineering approaches are attempts to solve problems caused by yesterday's engineering solutions. Instead of thinking the mess can be solved by some technological solution after some critical point is passed, why not just cut back on greenhouse emissions BEFORE they reach dangerous levels?

E. Swanson

Yes, I think we can file this one under "Build a bigger stone head."

How about a bigger hat for that head?

From a Industrial design perspective that could be the solution and I suggest a manHATtan project size effort is in order.

Because the economy is more important than sustaining the ecosystems on which all life depends. Well, for the moment at least.
And off course it is someone else who will have to do the cutting back.

_Dog, I see it playing out this way: We will not reach anything approaching a global consensus as to the nature of the problem or its likely effects. No one is going to risk spending $$$ that they feel might not be needed or which might subtract from the bottom line. Publicly-held companies live and die on their quarterly numbers.

Geo-engineering, however, presents myriad opportunites for someone to make money. Hence, it will likely be done even if the results are of limited efficacy (or even counter-productive).

Do I think we're screwed? Yes. Does that mean we can't profit during the descent? No.

Publicly-held companies live and die on their quarterly numbers.

I don't worry about that, after all there are enough people claiming that money is evil, and will therefore be offering a large percentage of their pay to research institutions, helping to solve the problem.

Like for example "PeakOil Tarzan" here, who is sorely in need of a demonstration that he considers more than "the bottom line". He's going to, today, move to a smaller home, not sell but destroy his car, ... like he demands of the rest of us.

I'm tempted to tell you to go boff yourself, but I'll refrain. Let me rephrase what I said:

Corporations selfish. Tarzan work for corporation. Tarzan's paycheck depend on corporation make money. PeakOil Tarzan selfish. Therefore, PeakOil Tarzan is part of problem.

There, is that more to your liking???

Like I said, we're screwed. But still get to drive fast car on road to hell!!!

great explanation
you and 2 billion other tarzans, for whom their very survival depends on corporations making money.

my parents have a spot to run to wtshtf, but it's not at all after my linking. still have to buy a little more land, still have to buy some sh!t, and still have to eat. so i'll take the bus to work tommorow, buy some chinese manufactured goods, some food from across the world and hope that someone will fix this mess, because i sure as hell am not giving away my lifestyle willfuly

ps: my lifestyle include biking, economic light bulbs and preparing for some bad events, but i'm not using less energy that could mean comfort for me and my family, just so that peakoiltarzan can ride his car one more time. i'll grab what i can, planet be damned

i'll grab what i can, planet be damned

And so it shall be.

Obviously you've hit the nail on the head : that's the real ideology of "Peakoil Tarzan". He's no different at all from the corporations he so "despises" (except when they make him stuff obviously), but he's jealous of their apparent budgets, and the attention they (but really their "stuff", say, oh the iphone) keeps getting.

Do I think we're screwed? Yes. Does that mean we can't profit during the descent? No.

Oh yeah, and I'm sure someone could have figured out a way to bottle their farts and sell them at enormous profit to the passengers of the Titanic as it was sinking. Ladies and gents, step right up and get your emergency self contained breathing mixture, right? I mean you have to admit it would still be better than trying to breathe cold water.

You know we won't cut back on greenhouse emissions. Growth is considered imperative, especially in places like China and India. In the U.S., regardless of who is elected, the central paradigm is still growth, despite calls for decreasing emissions. It is too late. We can already circumnavigate the North Pole.

...why not just cut back on greenhouse emissions BEFORE they reach dangerous levels?

Because that would require coordinated global action on a scale that is EXTREMELY unlikely.

Since many of us agree that this will not happen, shouldn't we might as well consider these geoengineering fixes?

Personally I am more sympathetic to the view that we should pull back and try to find a more sustainable model of civilization that doesn't increase global warming.

If that doesn't happen in TIME though -- and I highly doubt that it will -- our only hope of species survival may be to shoot barrages of heat-blocking dust into the sky (or some such idea), even if it does end up having major undesirable climatic side effects.

In fact it seems almost inevitable that some country or consortium will try something like this as the effects of warming grow more and more dire. The cost of some such program might be quite small compared to the costs imposed by further warming.

I used to think "Mad Max" was the worst scenario. But with all this talk of geoengineering maybe the worst scenario is "Highlander II": all the resource depletion of a Mad Max scenario combined with incredibly dodgy accents and the "narrative flow" of events in the the world becoming frankly incomprehensible. (Still at least it's not yet at the Zardoz level where we're all wandering around in red man-nappies.)

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Not to worry, apparently rotor-ships can whiten the clouds and reduce temperature!
Ghost ship fleet could be a silver lining in clouds of climate change - Times Online

The ship design sounds fascinating, though - must check out some of the old, pre 1926 designs.
EDIT: Here is a modern rotor-ship being built:

End Edit.

It appears to be weird and whacky day at 'The Times' - here is a power system for Japan:

I especially liked the part about taking sunlight into the more nutrient-rich deep by losing about 94% of it (given the stated three-year time frame it would need to start with current technology) in Rube Goldberg contraptions of solar panels, electronic controllers, cables, and LEDs, all highly susceptible to saltwater corrosion. Oh, and said contraptions are to be installed in a place that can be struck by ten typhoons in the same season. Right. Rube Goldberg would have been pleased.

Then again, who am I to question? After all, any interaction between any process whatsoever on the one hand, and grant applications and political corruption on the other, becomes incomprehensible instantly... how else did we in the USA come by the insanity of corn ethanol?

taking sunlight into the more nutrient-rich deep

Another planetary life-support system begging to be improved by the hand of man, no doubt. After all, the oceans aren't doing anything useful.

It would be equally sensible to hand out AKs and 500 rounds to everyone on the planet. Put down a pile of food here and there. Drop random weapons caches with other interesting gear. Bayonets for a touch of color.

No, silly me. It would be more sensible to hand out the AKs. Better those than nukes, plaques or biowar.

Let the game begin.

cfm in Gray, ME

I know, I know!

How about we put a giant aluminized mylar parasol up at the L1 point? You know, where the SOHO observatory is now.


Yes and we continue with denial, delusion and deception.
Before we can mitigate our problems of AGW and PO we MUST be honest with ourselves.

Those that buy a hybrid car and announce they are assisting the environment and mitigating peak oil are guilty of all three. The same applies to the manufacturers and retailers.
Similarly those that advocate the use of more electricity, like for electric trains and other transport and claim that it mitigates PO and AGW need to get truthful with themselves.

In this era of peak production, supply and use of FF's just switching to an alternative energy or just using less will not do.
Unless we can sequester the co2 we WOULD have sent into the biosphere after we adopted our personal mitigation we are wasting our time.
As in using less fuel, unless we can prevent someone else using what we have not used, then the exercise is probably moot, as any fall in demand would lower price and enable an increased use in other areas, for instance air travel, transport and the military.
If on the other hand we had begun our mitigation thirty or forty years ago we MAY have been able to spread the depletion and co2 build up over a larger time span. That of course again, is dependent on business and personal use not increasing in other areas to take advantage of extra supply.

IMO power down, really is/was the correct and likely the only answer.

This is interesting.........http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/?area=&lang=eng

OFF-TOPIC: I was looking for a post I made with links to ice sheets melting, but couldn't find it, so am inserting here.

This is the info I originally had in mind. Finally found it. While the Laurentide melted and caused a bit of a cold spell in Europe by slowing or halting the thermohaline exchange, this little fellow in Europe melted even faster, if memory serves.

Abstract: Multidecadal ocean variability and NW European ice sheet surges during the last deglaciation

A multiproxy paleoceanographic record from the Atlantic margin off the British Isles reveals in unprecedented detail discharges of icebergs and meltwater in response to sea surface temperature increases across the last deglaciation....
The strategic location of our sediment core suggests a sensitive and rapid response of ice sheets in NW Europe to transient increases in thermohaline heat transport.

Not sure what all this means, but it sounds bad.
Last glacial European Ice Sheet variability – cause and effect illustrated by upper ocean temperature and salinity records.

High resolution Mg/Ca analyses of G. bulloides (Gb) and N. pachyderma (sin., Nps)provide quantitative sea surface (SST) and thermocline (Nps depth range) temperature records. Paired with oxygen isotopes they allow δ18O surface water (δ18Osw)and salinity to be derived. Ice rafting from the EIS occurred following both warm and cold pulses in SST. Surging during cold surface conditions occurred with a 2-4 kyr frequency, while precursory IRD events apparently responded to SST warming of 2-4ºC. Freshening of surface waters associated with these European ice rafting events isrecorded by lightening of up to 3% ingδ8Osw, while ∆δ18O (Gb-Nps) and ∆T (surface and thermocline depth) suggest strong thermal and salinity gradients developed during these phases. An anti-phase relationship between thermocline temperature and further suggests that surface freshening caused the thermocline to shoal following EIS discharge. These episodes of well developed upper ocean stratification appear to have reduced ventilation of intermediate waters, as represented by coevalbenthic decreases.


I mentioned a new study, in a previous DB, about the amount of carbon in the permafrost. Here is a new article on the study. (Note that this is only the permafrost and does not include the methane being released from the Arctic Sea sea floor.) :

Thawing Permafrost Likely To Boost Global Warming, New Assessment Concludes

...carbon dioxide emissions from microbial decomposition of organic carbon in thawing permafrost could amount to roughly half those resulting from global land-use change during this century...

The study, by Edward A. G. Schuur of the University of Florida and an international team of coauthors, more than doubles previous estimates of the amount of carbon stored in the permafrost: the new figure is equivalent to twice the total amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide...

Schuur and colleagues' new assessment indicates that thawing is likely to dominate known countervailing trends.

This is not just cave-man history.
If you intend to hang around for the next twenty years, you can watch it happen with your own eyes...

...Important safety tip - choose an observation point more than six metres above current sea level!

Excellent, frightening find... but, really, what I'm expecting... 3 to 5 this century would be no surprise at all.

Anthropological CO2 : a danger.
Permafrost and sea floor Methane: a warning.
Moving or protecting every coastal city in the world - Priceless.


We already have a geoengineered system of artificial clouds: jet contrails. We put a significant amount of energy into doing this, and - oops - they'll be mostly going away soon since the economic model won't continue to work. "Global Dimming" is scary.

The only answer is fewer humans sooner or fewer humans later. Fewer humans sooner would actually be best for the planet, as well as for humans in the long term. However that happens, if it does, it won't come from enlightenment or taking a vote on it.

Re: Extreme and risky action the only way to tackle global warming, say scientists

This is why most of us on the "right" side are so sceptical of global warming "solutions". It seems that politicians look at it as an extra source of revenue ie "carbon credits", Marxist/"greenies" look at it as a way for them to control other people, researchers look at it as an excuse to propose the most outrageous non workable solution that will result in significant funding and prestige and economists look at it as the next ponzi scheme ie "carbon credits" again. None of which will make a difference in the global temperature. "Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,Signifying nothing."

Starting basic would be nice, something everyone can embrace, something like......clean water and better solar panels. Face it, the global warming solutions are a bigger toilet than the subprime lending. Atleast the houses actually got built and provide scrap copper down the road.

Definitely a bigger stonehead. Sounds like someone wants alot of funding for research.

I'd probably qualify as a pinko-commie librul.

But I don't really think I have much of a desire to "control other people"

But I sure would like to have a planet that could continue to support my life. I don't really have anywhere else to go.

Apparently for many on the "right side" though this simple desire just cuts too much into their "pursuit of happiness".

I think the point about starting basic is the key though - it's becoming clear to most that the models are underestimating the changes we are witnessing and the time for addressing things through basic changes is long gone. We can no longer afford to make that time consuming march down the field toward the end zone - the only play left in the play book is the Hail Mary. For years and decades the "tree huggers" and "greens" have been berated and marginalized whenever they attempted to offer "basic" solutions that everyone could embrace that might have the cumulative impact of lowering our overall footprint on the planet. The people who I've ever met that have been involved in "green" causes never have this super-secret agenda implied by the right to derail the US, the economy, or any of the sacred "freedoms" so important to the right. They usually just enjoy the planet and want to protect some aspect of it (be it a small park or global ecosystems) so that others get a chance to appreciate it as well.

What you say makes sense... But I'm afraid that this most sensible course of action--- to take action to cut GHGE before it is too late---is no longer possible, because it is already too late.

Based on what I have read and seen about the issue, I believe we have already passed the "point of no return" and even if we could cut GHGE to 0 immediately, the earth is going to continue to heat up because of the green house gasses already in the atmosphere, the fact that by reducing CO2 we also will be reducing "global dimming" at the same time, and various positive feedback loops.

It definitely looks like we're past the point of no return on alot of fronts, ie too late to fix it too early to scrap everything.

I worry about some of these solutions gaining traction, some of these proposals are downright scary due to Unintended Consequences. The models don't account for everything, especially human greed in twisting a cause to suit their own purposes. in my mind, doing nothing and jumping off the cliff might be the best way to handle this. I would prefer to take my chances with mother nature, but I like to avoid having to deal with the others.

Of course, I'm on the "right wing/libertarian" side of this one, and therefore extemely skeptical of any large "mandatory" solution implemented nationally. A call for national sacrifice (ala Boone Pickents) would be a better way to handle it, but our current group of pols (both parties) has no credibility since they will just waste more than we can save. Its hard enough to get them to show up and vote, let alone lead by example.

I agree, the "Unintended Consequences" of geo engineering are very scary. What's even more scary is that things may turn out to be so bad that we'll be ready to consider anything.

What I fear is that we have basically already screwed up the planet to such an extent that it will continue moving inexorably to becoming uninhabitable, even if we *could* stop GHGE completely right this day. In other words, the damage has been done, it is irreversable, the only reason why it doesn't look so bad yet, is because it takes a while for the full extent of the damage we did to the atmosphere (and other parts of our ecosystem) have done to fully take effect.

If this is true, then we will sooner, or later, reach a point where we literally have nothing left to loose.

On the bright side... maybe deliberate geo engineering is not more scary than the accidental "geo engineering" we are already doing by pumping all that CO2 into the atmosphere.

At least with geo engineering there would be a goal (probably with unpleasant side effects). Right now we are doing a massive geo-engineering experiment with absolutely no goal at all, and in full awareness of the nasty side effects it probably has. How can it really get much worse than that?

How about the Nuclear Winter solution.Solves Global Warming and the Population Problem in one hit?

The models don't account for everything, especially human greed in twisting a cause to suit their own purposes. .... A call for national sacrifice (ala Boone Pickents) would be a better way to handle it,

Like how Ole Boone is pimping the right of way for wind which will then allow him to pump the aquifer water to big Texas cities?
(VS the cities getting sear water and de-salting it)

It's amazing the scientists are so ill informed. They talk about co2 concentrations reaching 650ppm.
Where on earth are the fossil fuels going to come from to do that?

I've got an idea - why don't you show how they are wrong.

VS just handwaving.

"Where on earth are the fossil fuels going to come from to do that?"

They probably base their numbers on WAGS from the EIA or other agencies like them. The EIA and others project significant increases in the use of petroleum, natural gas, coal etc in the decades ahead...

garbage in, garbage out

They may or may not be ill informed. Normally they try to nail down one thing at a time. You don't cite a reference so I'll guess that you are referring to a paper about what might happen if CO2 reaches 650ppm. That is a legitimate thing to research, whether or not it is possible for CO2 to reach that level. If the paper actually asserted that CO2 will reach 650ppm then they would certainly support their argument with testable data. By the way, there are other paths through which CO2 levels could increase such as deforestation, melting and decay of permafrost.

Is this sound logic?

U.S. oil demand at five-year low, affecting Canadian export level

For the January-through-July period, total petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) fell 3.6% from a year ago, while gasoline deliveries declined more than 2%.

(Bold emphasis mine.) Now wait just a minute. January thru July world oil prices were the highest ever on record. Did Canada export less oil during this period because demand was down? We have less demand because the price is so high it is killing demand. And the price is so high because supply is down. What kind of fuzzy logic says Canada is exporting less oil because demand is down? At these very high prices Canada is exporting all the oil they possibly can, and so is everyone else, at least that is my opinion.

The link up top says Russian exports were down in August. I guess demand was down for Russia's customers also. ;-)

Ron Patterson

This is why I think the MSM will not call peak oil for a good few years after the event. It won't be seen as a production peak, it will be seen to be a recession (depression) reducing demand.

After five straight years of falling production and rising or steady prices someone might twig what is going on.

Part of the problem is that in complex situations the MSM (and most of the population) can't tell the difference between a symptom and a cause.

Like exponential poulation growth, or global climate change, a recession is a symptom not a cause.

You can only fix a problem by repairing the underlying root cause - it may not always be possible.

The Canadian output is down because of a lack of demand - the price is just the way of balancing supply and demand at a particular time - in general if the prices go up less is demanded.

In the case of supply post peak-oil? ... normal expected economic rules do not apply, the constrained supply (due to lack of spare capacity and normal decline rates) also goes down, not up, when the prices go up - there have been several examples of this in the world in the last few years, the North Sea oil and gas production is another good example.

If the same happens to world supply, ie. prices go up but supply goes down, we will be at a world peak ... is it 'the' final peak? ... time will tell ... the new high prices might encourage new production or, knowing human nature, more hoarding!

On the point of price, I have been disussing the peak oil issue with a friend. He raises the point that since the oil price rise has tracked gold, what we see is an inflation induced rise. I have been a peak production guy, but I can't really refute the inflation theory because it has tracked the gold rise. What the heck am I missing?

The gold is tracking the oil.

Gold mining is the process of turning diesel into gold.

In large open-pit gold mines, diesel fuel accounts for approximately 30% of direct operating costs. All our other costs are tied to energy costs as well; think tires(tyres for you Brits et. al.), electricity for mill operations, cyanide production and transport, mobilizing contractors and crews...it just goes on and on.

Your friend is making a distinction without a difference. Peak oil raises the price of oil, and all oil-related costs go up across the economy. Is that inflation? I would say yes, but it is inflation caused by peak oil.

Well no its not necessarily inflation, as that's the increase of money supply into an economy, which results in more dollars chasing the same amount of goods, resulting in general price rises. Usually its combined with rising wages and/or exploding credit availability (that new money has to come from somewhere).

A rise in a particular commodity may, or may not, be evidence of inflation. Other things can cause price rises, such as shortage of supply (oil) or sudden increase in demand (gold). To label these as inflation is to confuse the meaning of the terms and make it harder to understand what's happening. To be honest, I believe much of the USA and Europe is in deflation due to the credit crunch's massive destruction of money.

Btw I remember reading comments on TOD previously that showed oil had risen much higher than gold & other metals - is that still the case even with the recent corrections?

A rise in a particular commodity may, or may not, be evidence of inflation. Other things can cause price rises, such as shortage of supply (oil) or sudden increase in demand (gold). To label these as inflation is to confuse the meaning of the terms and make it harder to understand what's happening.

Thanks, and what an understatement.

The word "inflation" is thrown around with such disregard in the media that it's scandalous.

It makes it difficult, if not impossible, for lay observers like me to understand one. damn. thing.

Wikipedia:In mainstream economics, inflation means a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services over time.[1]

This definition differs from that of monetary inflation, in which inflation refers to the increase of the money supply, which is based on the earliest definition of inflation, which concerned debasement of the currency.

Strictly speaking, I agree with the "Austrian School" definition of inflation you mentioned. From an individual's perspective though, the money supply can be pretty difficult to assess, and accelerating price increases for goods appears as "inflation"; and that is what most people will consider it. Keynesians would probably take issue with both of us.

I suspect that ordinary people will see their assets devalue and their cost of living increase, while their wages remain flat(if they are lucky) or decline. Likewise, I suspect the technical definition proving that the system is not inflating will be cold comfort.

Not wanting to start an economical debate, but I think the labelling of "cost of living" increases as inflation really is causing confusion. Many people I've spoken to don't know why our Reserve Bank (I'm in Australia) has increased rates to fight inflation. Higher rates = a higher cost of living, so in their minds it _causes_ inflation rather than fighting it. Given the Austrian definition though raising rates makes the creation of new money more expensive, and therefore it makes sense.

Ok, if the average citizen doesn't understand it its not initially a big deal. It becomes one though when politicians think of inflation in those terms, and start dictating policies based on it. It becomes a real problem when reserve bank governors start talking about fighting inflation, knowing everyone will believe you mean "higher prices", and thus conceal the fact that their country is in deflation with all its scary consequences.

Its not just technical - confusion about what constitutes inflation makes for bad policy at high levels (eg "how do we bring down the price of fuel & thus fight inflation") and stops people and businesses from making informed choices.

For instance, if there really was an (Austrian) inflation problem, I'd consider buying gold as that would make sense with money losing its value. If its really deflation, I'd hold onto my cash as in the future it'll be worth a lot more than today. If the rising prices of a commodity are caused by shortage of supply & not (Austrian) inflation, it makes sense to invest in that commodity, but if inflation's the cause then such investment isn't necessarily wise.


It's the same logic as "oil falls as Gustav shows no sign of strengthening"

Is is possibly a mistake to assume that 'oil falls' and 'as Gustav shows no sign of strengthening' are cause and effect just because they are in the same sentence - logic often does not apply in the MSM - the reader would link the two ideas (or not) depending on their view of the world.

Why shouldn't if fall? It ran up several dollars in anticipation of things being very bad. Now that Gustav seems it might not be that bad it is reasonable for oil to fall a bit in price. The traders could be wrong but they are going on the information they have at the moment.

Oil moved down a lot because overnight and holiday volume is very very low, and commercials don't trade then.

Remaining speculator longs were selling every time the price moved up. By contrast, commercials were closing out shorts on every dip. When the storm turned out not to be a serious problem, the remaining speculator longs gave up hope and wanted to get out--in a market in which there were no commercials in the market to buy. (Not very smart.) In thin trading, this means an exaggerated move down.

Speculators can drive prices too high (particularly in light trading), but they can also drive prices too low.

It's the reverse of the kind of thing we saw last December when the market kept testing $100. Overnight prices would always go up a few dollars overnight, then commercials would sell hard when the markets opened the next day and the price would come back down. The only way the price made it to $100 before the big move at the end of February (which was largely due to buying from China) was due to light trading during a holiday week, when commercial traders were largely absent from the markets.

Overnight prices tell us a lot about public mood, but very little about the actual state of the market.

By the way, Bloomberg has a piece in which they say the governor of Louisiana has requested a withdrawal of fuel from the SPR because 85% of gas stations in LA have run out of fuel. But the U.S. SPR doesn't store reserves of fuel. But now the market has to see if government supply is going to be coming onto the market, and who is going to be processing crude and when, etc.

Canadian crude exports to the US(20.7% of total U.S. imports) have fallen 26% since their high in November of 2006.


Euro, thanks a million for this link. I had not looked at it before. Scrolling down to “Peak Water in Saudi Arabia” I noticed that Kuwait uses about 2200 percent of their renewable water, UAE 1500 percent, Libya 800 percent and Saudi Arabia about 700 percent. This means the difference must be made up by desalinated seawater. And that demand for water is rising dramatically as their population grows by leaps and bounds. This leads Jeff Rubin to conclude:

Not only are cheap oil subsidies driving up energy demand in the Middle East, but so too is rising demand from desalination plants with the production of fresh water from salt water being a highly energy-intensive process. Mr. Rubin cites a World Bank study that estimates the Middle East will need an extra 50-60 billion cubic feet of water annually over the next 10-15 years to meet rising demand. Mr. Rubin calculates that the desalinization of water on the scale called for by the World Bank could lead to the use of one million barrels of oil per day, which would drastically cut Saudi Arabia’s export volumes.

Mr. Rubin’s report paints a very bleak picture in terms of oil demand stemming from desalinization as well general high economic demand due to energy subsidies. To summarize the report in Mr. Rubin’s own words: “If world oil markets are to see future supply growth, it won’t be coming from OPEC.”

Okay, and with Non-OPEC exports falling like a rock it won't be coming from Non-OPEC nations either. So what can we conclude from all this?

Ron Patterson

Darwinian -

Places like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Dubai, etc.,which have many days per year of extremely intense direct sunshine, are perfectly suited for solar-powered desalination.

While large solar desalination plants are very capital intensive, there doesn't appear to be any shortage of capital in either country. It would be a far wiser way for them to spend some of those hundreds of billions of petrodollars than on building golf courses in the mddle of the desert, hundred-storey hotels, artificial island communities for the mega rich, and indoor ski slopes.

I hope the Saudis et al realize that they are literally drinking a portion of their oil and natural gas and that doing such cannot go on forever.

Hi Joule,
the Seawater Greenhouse idea seems exciting, as it relies on proper architectural design to use the sun:
Seawater Greenhouse - Home Page

Yes, Saudi Arabia would be the ideal place for solar desalination. But providing solar desalinated water for 25 million people would require many solar desalination plants of gigantic size. I think you can expect to see the first solar desalination plant in Saudi Arabia in about 2030, if ever.

In the meantime, very expensive gas and oil desalination plants are are already in service all over the Middle East. There is no reason to believe any of them will be abandoned in the next couple of decades.

Darwinian -

Well of course such an undertaking would be very big and very expensive, but it doesn't have to be an either/or type of thing. If over the next decade, Saudi Arabia could displace say 1/3 of its fossil fuel-powered desalination capacity with solar, then that would be a big step in the right direction.

As the competion for access to Middle East oil grows uglier each year, the decision to implement solar desalination may not be solely an economic one. Don't forget: the less oil Saudi Arabia has to export, the uglier will be the mood of the countries dependent upon that oil. "Kill all the Arabs and take their oil!" may some day be no longer a crude racist rant, but rather the unspoken foreign policy of the US.

"Kill all the Arabs and take their oil!" may some day be no longer a crude racist rant...

I ran across this gem recently (from Tree Services, a trade magazine of the tree care industry, Publisher's Notes, July 2008):

First, get tough with the Middle-East oil-producing nations. If Saudi Arabia wants our fighter planes, they ought to sell us the oil to fuel those planes at a reasonable price. If Kuwait expects us to come to their rescue again, they should say "thank you" for the time by lowering their price. We have spent over $500 billion (and thousands of American lives) to give the people of Iraq a real chance at freedom. They can start paying that debt back by drastically cutting their price of oil to the U.S.

Funny you should mention this. Unlike Iraq, if you wanted to take over Saudi Arabia, just bomb the desal plants and wait. Awfully brutal, but they don't exactly wecome the MSM so it might be undocumented. I bet the 19th century Brits, French and Japanese would understand completely.

With all the articles about them buying farmland, it makes you wonder if the ruling family is planning on migrating when the oil runs low. They'd still be rich enough to enslave the local populations, and they definitly would have no moral problems with it.

Saudi Arabia outlawed slavery in 1962. There were continuing allegations of abuse and violations of human rights.


They may have outlawed slavery but the TCNs (third country nationals) are treated far worse than any slaves. You have to pay to replace a slave, but the TCNs volenteer so its not like you have to worry about protecting your investment.

When I was at Al Kharj in 92, they'd drop the TCNs in the middle of the desert to lay gas pipe. No water and 120-130 in the shade, you'll go from fully hydrated to thirsty in about 15 mins. Several of them would come up and get water from our compound and we were happy to give it to them. One day a snot nosed SP Lt turned over a couple of them to the Saudi police ("security threats", yeah right they could barely walk). Rumor has it that they were taken out to nowhere and given a 9mm parting gift. The Lt was shipped home shortly after, three months ahead of schedule...stupid heartless MF.

They also still do public stoning (adultery) and beheadings (everything else?), look up "Chop Chop Square" in Ryadh. Its just down the road from the Gold market and every Friday, blood still flows in the streets. There are advantages to not allowing tourists in your country.

Noone ever talks about how the Saudis or the Kuwaitis never do anything for themselves, or about all the people from third world countries who never see home again. Slavery would be more kind. I have no doubt that this law wouldn't be in force if there wasn't oil $$$.

"continuing allegations of abuse and violations of human rights" indeed.

This is not dissimilar to what my teams experienced in Kuwait in '91. Foreign nationals with their children were broght back to actually work in the burning oilfields; at the time our first assessment was done, the edict was to get each well back in production before dousing the fire on the next. We managed to get that changed, but seeing young children in the oilfields coughing up carcinogenic black goo from their lungs as they tried to survive the petrochemical hell was hard for our people to take. But the Kuwaiti's themselves were out-of-country partying, except for a few.

Product imports were down steeply in both July and for the first seven months of 2008, compared with 2007. Crude oil imports, meanwhile, were down only slightly for the first-seven-months period and up 7.4% for July.

From the same article that you linked.

A couple of days ago, I posted a link to a map of NA pipelines for both oil and gas (note: it only shows pipelines which have links to Canada).

Canadian Oil Export Pipelines PDF 348kb

Large volumes of refined products move a few kilometres (in both directions) between Port Huron MI and Sarnia ON. A decline in refined product exports could simply indicate that the car industry in Michigan is using less paint - I don't attach a whole lot of importance to fluctuations in refined products.

The longer term trend is indicated by the reversal of a pipeline from Montreal to Portland.

Reversed line would haul Canadian oil to Maine

The reversal project could begin moving as much as 128,000 b/d of western Canadian heavy crude by the second quarter of 2010. About 2 years later, Portland Pipe Line would accept both light synthetic and heavy grades of western Canadian crude in a two-stream operation and would allow delivery of 128,000-166,000 b/d.

Enbridge Pipeline's Trailbreaker project would complement PMPL's 18-in. pipeline reversal project by providing 200,000 b/d of incremental capacity into Montreal. Enbridge is developing Trailbreaker to be in service concurrently with the reversal project.

From an Alberta point of view, this means 328,000 b/d more market - 200,000 b/d of imports replaced in Montreal and 128,000 b/d of exports to Texas.

Obviously my prespective is different from some others on this site.

From the link given: "Canada is the largest of our diverse suppliers, providing us nearly as much oil as the total from all of the Persian Gulf nations. Product imports were down steeply in both July and for the first seven months of 2008, compared with 2007. Crude oil imports, meanwhile, were down only slightly for the first-seven-months period and up 7.4% for July."

The article is rather confusing if you try to read it closely. I think the reporter must be garbling something here.

Petro-Canada had a refinery breakdown in Alberta which caused many of its service stations to run out of gasoline, but all the other brands had no problem. I fuel up at a different brand of service station and if I hadn't read it in the news, I wouldn't have known about the Petro-Canada problem.

Russian exports continue to decline at an average rate of 5%-6% as indicated in the article above on Russian oil exports, the reasons for the decline are given as high export duties and higher domestic demand.

As of today the Russian government has announced that it will reduce export duties by only 2% from October (http://www.forbes.com/afxnewslimited/feeds/afx/2008/09/01/afx5375368.html) despite a 25% decline in oil prices, thus based on the amount of decline in oil prices, and the only 2% reduction in the export duty, it seems that export duty has actually increased in relative terms to where it stood in August.

Accordingly with decreasing Russian oil output, higher domestic consumption, and higher export duty, it does not look that oil exports will increase anytime soon.


On a scale of one to ten, regarding long term oil supplies, Gustav, IMO, ranks as a one (even if it had been a Cat 4 storm), while declining Russian oil exports should be a ten. Our (Khebab/Brown) middle case has Russian net oil exports approaching zero in about 17 years.

Did you do any analysis of their Gas exports? The reason I ask is because Europe is increasingly dependant on Russian Gas piped to us...

The way things are going I think we can expect some serious resource nationalism from Russia in the decades ahead. Communism will have the last laugh as Europe is left in the dark...


I haven't, but I think that someone else (Darwinian?) has noted that Russian gas exports are declining. And they are talking about restricting coal exports (with limits also placed on food exports).

My contacts in China tell me that coal exports have had a tax applied since 20 August and they are looking to significantly increase imports now that the Games are over. i don't know where they will get it from since coal markets are tight.

The Russians have an acute water shortage in the European part of Russia causing low hydro power levels. As a consequence they need to generate more electricity from coal so have told coal producers to prioritise domestic coal supply over exports. Unfortunately they also have problems with a shortage of rail trucks. My guess is that they could have power failures this winter and will probably use more gas so leaving less for export.

So, do you think there is any truth to this article?

I'd love to know what's gonna happen in the next 10 years, 'cos without Russian gas, Ireland & UK
are in deep doo-doo. I read somewhere (EIA site I think) that domestic Russian gas is sold at a loss, so do you not think they will keep exporting to keep the money flowing in?

The UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, is pursuing his policy of 'Shout very loudly and carry an absolutely, tiny, weeny stick', as he is talking tough to Russia, no doubt willing to defy them until the last British pensioner has frozen to death, and simultaneously announcing cut-backs to the navy, so that support ships will not be available for the Aircraft carriers on order, which may not matter so much since they will never be built anyway.

With fuel restrictions my guess is that Britain's capacity to project power will, within 5 years, be at the lowest level it has been since the time of Charles II.

Even if the US can somehow finance it's military machine, the 'Coalition of the Willing' which gave something of a veneer of respectability looks to be in for a terminal blow.

Not to worry, Dave...
EU was talking about economic sanctions against Russia last week...
Then the Russians leaked a rumour that there were plans to shut down the pipelines going west...
And this week, the EU "sanctions" meeting will result in a bit of stern finger-wagging, but no sanctions.

The Poles and the Balts, understandably, want a tough line, but they must be protected from themselves. That's what the EU is for, if it's still any use at all.

I can't wait to watch the 2012 London Olympics unfold - or not.


The starting ceremony is 'The Lighting of the Olympic Cigarette Lighter'.

The British are hoping for a gold in 'Synchronised Hypothermia', one of the few sports where performance actually improves with advancing age.

Nice to see that they are closing roads, so that the VIPs can sweep in in their Zils, if anyone has petrol for them.
Perhaps rickshaws drawn by cheering and jolly peasantry are intended.

As so nicely stated at the Automatic Earth for September 1, 2008 entitle: Once was Empire:

largi: On this North American holiday, the main economic story, apart from Gustav making landfall in Louisiana, is the unabated decline of the British empire.

Britain falls so hard and so fast that it’s getting scary to think of where it is headed. I have warned for quite a while that it would happen, but I have to admit that even I am surprised to see the speed at which events unfold.

As the extent of the downfall and the reality of new-found desolate poverty seep through to the consciousness of the population, English society will reveal itself as an immensely volatile powder keg, with a very long array of very short fuses.

The de-facto resignation of Chancellor Alistair Darling -who publicly stated the UK economy is in far worse shape then the government lets on, knowing he will now have to go for saying so- reveals how desperate the situation is. Whether Darling comes or goes, the government can no longer keep up the pretense.


The 2012 Olympics will be a showcase of a different sort than the magnificent and munificent display of 2008.

The lion is looking pretty mangy next to the fiery dragon these days.

Zadok,I follow that blog daily,and have seen the financial news they have presented to be the best motivator I have ever had.Whenever I get the urge to go buy a toy,I read TAE.Then I go buy another 100lb of beans.

We have a really neat store here called "Bobs Red Mill"It started as a grain/wholesale commodity type place,but has evolved into a excellent healthy foods,whole grains,w/a excellent restaurant,as well as food storage supply.I was in the other day and was shocked to see 3 mothers,each with a brood of children[like hens and chicks]doing the food storage thing...a word to the clerk and I discovered there has been a 500% increase in the "4 gal pail/25lb sack"crowd.Word is getting around.I would say a lot of folks are quietly preping for "whatever".

Funny thing ,these woman did not look anything out of the ordinary,except fairly well dressed,and polite kids.

Preping for a uncertain future is mainstream I think.Its just not on the propaganda channels,that is to say,the mainstream media..

Word is getting around.I would say a lot of folks are quietly preping for "whatever".

snuffy, I think you're right as people intuitively sense not all may be going right.

People may not always think linearly ... in fact rarely do ... but even the dumbest among us may be smarter than they (we?) look. :-)

Live long and prosper at "Bobs Red Mill"!

They do a nice line in wind up radios now.

Perhaps by 2012 we will have some wind up tellys.

Assuming they are not in bits on the burning streets due to the forthcoming race-wars as we dive from relative prosperity to credit crunch depression.

It would be educative to compare a map of the ethnic and religious composition of London with that of Bosnia-Herzegovina, so that the the simplicity and clear divisions in the Balkans could be contrasted with our great British melting-pot.

Obviously no strains or conflicts are to be anticipated when supplies of energy, food and money get desperately short.
In any case, we have the bureaucrats of the wonderfully named NICE to determine who will live and who die, as they recently did for cancer-treatment drugs by rejecting most of them for NHS funding.
I wonder how many of them are privately insured for themselves and their families?

When poverty knocks ont' door, love flies out' window:


September 1, 2008
Recession will bring big rise in crime and race hatred, says Home Office

Siobhan Kennedy

Ministers are bracing themselves for a rise in violent crime and burglaries and a shift to far-right extremism as the effects of the economic downturn take their toll, a leaked Home Office report to the Prime Minister says.

In a series of warnings, the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, says that Britain also faces a “significant increase” in alcohol and tobacco smuggling, hostility towards migrants and even a potential rise in the number of people joining terrorist groups.

Revenue raised from issuing new visas is also set to fall as people stop travelling, passport fees will drop and police funding will come under extreme pressure, according to a copy of the report, Responding to Economic Challenges, seen by The Times.

Most Britons had only considered the effects on the economic downturn on their food, fuel and housing bills but Ms Smith’s revelations show that the credit crisis is likely to affect them in other, more sinister ways.

Based on models from the last recession in 1991-92, Ms Smith tells Gordon Brown that violent crime is set to grow at a rate of 19 per cent while theft and burglaries could rise by up to 7 per cent this year and 2 per cent in 2009.

“Our modelling indicates that an economic downturn would place a significant upward pressure on acquisitive crime and therefore on overall crime figures,” Ms Smith says.

The report reveals that the Home Office has allocated £300 million for security for the 2012 Olympics and that there could also be a rise in people turning to extremist groups and racism because of “a real or perceived sense of disadvantage held by individuals”. The report added: “Grievances based on experiencing racism is one of the factors that can lead to people becoming terrorists”.

Looks like punk was the future after all.

Europe is increasingly dependant on Russian Gas piped to us...

I'm currently working on a guest post regarding this phenomenon. Not all Europe, just the Eastern part of it: Eastern Europe, especially Hungary. And it is not only oil&gas, it is also Uranium.

Hungary gets cca.: 85% of its oil and gas directly or indirectly from Russia. And our atomic power plant (located at the city of Paks by the Danube) is:

a) Russian (Soviet) made
b) using Russian Uranium
c) nearing the end of its lifetime

Talk about a powerdown, I guess.

Not only Hungary gets its energy from Russia, the US as well:

One-tenth of America’s electricity comes from fuel made from Russian nuclear warheads. The Megatons to Megawatts program converts highly-enriched uranium in Russian weapons into low-enriched uranium that is used in US civilian nuclear power reactors.


Yes, I'm aware of that program.

However, speaking of imports as a fraction of consumption:

US: 65-70%
EU: 80-85%
Hungary: 85%

US: 15%
EU: 55-60% (Norway is not a member of the EU)
Hungary: 85%

US: 0%
EU: 40-45%

Fossil Fuels:
US: 30%
EU: 65-70%

Now that's a big difference if you ask me...

Furthermore, the EU's oil&gas imports come mainly from Norway and Russia. Oil has peaked in both countries and gas exports have also seem to have peaked from BOTH countries. (Although it seems to be voluntary on the gas fron in both cases.)

Hello Eastender,

Let's not forget that any country that needs to import Haber-Bosch N [ammonia & urea] is also importing just that much more natgas, it is just chemically transformed [beneficiated]. Many I-NPK products also incorporate much N into their mfg. process.

The US is now importing 44% of its total N needs with 12% of that directly sourced from Russian N imports:

Fifty-seven percent of total U.S. ammonia production capacity was centered in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.
It will be interesting to see if the total impacts of Gustave will make the US even more dependent upon N imports. IMO, this is potentially a grave national security oversight: that is why my previous postings advocated for the building of Federal Reserve Banks of I-NPK and ramping O-NPK recycling.

It would be useful to know how dependent each country in Europe is upon N imports, too.

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

Yes, a really relevant topic, indeed. Unfortunately I don't know the facts by heart but I suppose I can look them up. For my country, at the very least.

Thanks for the suggestion.

If these numbers are to be believed, here is something rather interesting:


I edited your post and made the image clickable, because it's probably too wide for some people.

You might want to consider limiting graphics to 500 pixels wide or less, at least if it doesn't make the graphs unreadable. Especially when the interesting part is on the right edge!

OK, will do. I usually use 650 pixel wide graphs so that they remain visible, but as it seems my best is not good enough, so I'll make them 500px wide in the future. :-)

Thanks for the edit.

East, thank you for the graph, your graph makes it very clear that there is an acceleration in the rate of decline of Russian oil exports, and based on the current trends of declining russian production, growing domstic consumuption and high export duties, it seems that this decline is not going to be reversed anytime soon, and especially so in the current geopoltical climat.
When you look at numbers like this, you wonder who gonna replace this oil? , if many are counting on Saudi Arabia, they just need to read the headlines coming out of the Kingodm, here is one from few hours ago:

“Alstom signs contract to build stage 3 of Shoaiba in Saudi Arabia”

and here is an interesting comment from Alstom CEO:

During the contract signing today in Riyadh, Patrick Kron, Chairman & CEO of Alstom, said: “With this contract, Saudi Electricity Company once again demonstrates its faith in Alstom’s expertise as a reliable provider of integrated power solutions. We are delighted to be involved in a project that will supply one third of the region’s electricity needs and constitutes the largest oil-fired power plant in the Middle East .”


The last line was bolded by me.


It HAS TO BE voluntary at this stage. Your consumption simply will not gain 10% in a month and your production is unlikely to fall 3-4% in a month.

There may be 2 reasons for this:

1) increased military usage in August
2) a decision to cut down on exports after the 15th of August in response to western claims

I'm not saying the ELM is not valid: it is. After all, some of the decline can be voluntary, see Jeff Vail's post the other day. All I'm arguing is this is not pure geology we are seeing here.

My take is that the correction in oil prices resulted in a correction in their incentive to produce.

In round numbers, based on the HL analysis, the top three net oil exporters in 2005 were at about the following stages of depletion (from mature basins):

Saudi Arabia: 60% Depleted
Russia: 80% Depleted
Norway: 70% Depleted

This is why I viewed declining net oil exports, especially by the top three, as virtually a mathematical certainty. If the Russian depletion estimate is only approximately correct, the production decline should be pretty steep--with an obvious impact on net oil exports.

OPEC August supply increase

Supply from all 13 OPEC countries climbed to 32.82 million bpd in August from 32.59 million bpd in July, according to the survey of oil firms, OPEC officials and analysts.

It seems most of the increas ein supply is from Iran, while there was a slight decrease in Saudi production:

Iran accounted for much of the increase. OPEC's second-largest producer supplied less oil than expected in July due to limited demand for its heavier crude oil grades, which meant more crude was held in storage.
Output in August rebounded to 4.05 million bpd from 3.7 million bpd in July due to higher sales, the survey found.
The survey also found that supply from Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, has levelled off.
It pumped 9.65 million bpd in August, slightly less than 9.7 million bpd in July, according to the survey. Supply estimates fell into a relatively wide range in August from 9.45 million bpd to 9.8 million bpd.


The above may indicate that the new heavy oil refinaries in India and China are starting to come online, and they are buying the Iranian heavy oil, as for Saudi Arabia, the decline in production could indicate an inability to sustain the promised levels of production.

On another note, the mini crash in oil prices today depite Gustav may prompt OPEC to trim production or at least bring production back to the agreed upon targets, in order to halt oil prices from continueing on a worrisome downtrend for the producers.


I see where T. Boone Pickens is still bullish on the price of oil, saying it will end up higher than ever by the end of the year...


That's quite a bold prediction. I wonder what he's basing it on. Does he believe Saudi Arabia cannot sustain its most recent production level? Does he believe OPEC/Russia will cut back on production? Does he believe world demand will grow faster than the markets now believe?

On an annual basis, I estimate that Saudi net exports (total liquids) in 2008 will be on the order of 8.4 mbpd, versus 9.1 mbpd in 2005 (EIA), and we know what's happening in Russia. Then we have other fast decliners like Mexico and Norway.

I expect to see an increase in oil prices in the September/October time frame, following an August decline--but prices do represent a horse race between declining net oil exports and declining demand.

westexas, I get the impression maybe you and T. Boone have counted the trees, whereas the others have not:

“Have you completely finished the deal with Ryabinin about the forest?” Levin asked.

“Completely. I’ve got a wonderful price, thirty-eight thousand. Eight down and the rest spread over six years. I’ve been having a lot of trouble with it for a long time. No one wanted to pay any more.”

“Well, you’ve given it away for nothing,” said Levin glumly.

“Why for nothing?” said Oblonsky with a good-natured smile; he knew Levin would find fault with everything now.

“Because the forest is worth at least a hundred and eighty-five rubles an acre,” Levin replied.

“You landowners!” said Oblonsky jocularly. “That’s just your contempt for everyone from the city! But when there’s some business to be done we always do it better. Believe me, I’ve figured it all out,” he said, “the forest is being sold very profitably, I’m afraid he might even turn it down after all. You know it’s not timber wood,” said Oblonsky, hoping the word “timber” would convince Levin completely that his doubts were unfair, “but mostly firewood. It won’t run to more than thirty-five yards of fagots per acre, and he’s paying me at the rate of seventy rubles an acre.”

Levin smiled contemptuously. How well I know that style, he thought, it’s not just his, everyone who lives in the city and comes to the country twice every ten years has it too; he picks up two or three country words, and uses them whether they fit or not, totally convinced they’ve learned everything already. ”Timber,” “Runs to yards of fagots per acre”…Just words—he doesn’t understand a thing himself.

“I wouldn’t start teaching you whatever you write about at the office,” he said, “but if I had to I’d ask you. Now you’re sure you know everything there is to know about forests: it’s quite difficult. Have you counted the trees?”

“How can you count the trees?” said Oblonsky, laughing, still trying to get his friend out of his bad temper. “ ‘Count the sands, and planets’ rays, even though some lofty mind were able—‘ “

“Well, Ryabinin’s lofty mind is able to. There’s not a single dealer who would buy anything without counting, unless it’s given to him for nothing, as you’re doing now. I know that forest of yours; I go shooting there every year. Your forest is worth a hundred and eighty-five rubles an acre cash, and he’s giving you seventy in installments. That means you’ve made him a present of about thirty thousand rubles.”

“Now, don’t let yourself be carried away,” said Oblonsky pathetically. “Why didn’t someone make the offer then?”

“Because he’s fixed it up with the dealers, he’s bought them off. I’ve done business with them all, and I know them. They’re not dealers, after all—they’re profiteers. He wouldn’t even go into a deal that brought him ten per cent profit, or fifteen, he waits until he can buy something for a fifth of its value.”

“Go on now, you’re just in a bad temper.”

“Not in the least,” said Levin morosely, as they drove up to the house…

“But what should I have done? Counted every tree?”

“They must be counted! You didn’t count them, but Ryabinin did. Now Ryabinin’s children will have the means to live and educate themselves, and yours may not have!”

Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Probably $148 by the end of the year.

If they start doing releases from the SPR, that would change the timing.

People should still wait for a buy signal.

csguy and Macduff, we got a buy signal on gasoline and heating oil. Fell a teensy bit short on oil. Of course, that's for futures--the stock market's not looking delightful.

Thanks a lot Moe. Always look forward to your advice. I'll start adding. I think the stock market is headed down the tubes fast, and so I'll keep adding S&P puts too. Btw, just wondering how you know if it's commercials or specs exiting and entering these positions? I looked at the COT reports, but those are weekly.

Iran accounted for much of the increase. OPEC's second-largest producer supplied less oil than expected in July due to limited demand for its heavier crude oil grades, which meant more crude was held in storage.

Might this lower demand have accounted for the oft-mentioned storage tankers of Iran which, as I understand, are now becoming history?

Indeed, it seems Iran has sold all the stored oil, from today tehran times:

TEHRAN (PIN) - Iran is shipping the last load of heavy crude oil that was stored in tankers in the Persian Gulf to the Suez Canal for delivery to buyers, an oil ministry official said.



From the energy bull story - "A geopolitical tsunami: Beyond oil in world civilization clash"

"This may prove to be a contest of how the newly formed superpowers will cooperatively work together or aggressively compete with each other."

I propose a key post with vote buttons as to which one is most likely.

KUMBAYA - yes - no

BIG BADDA BOOM - yes - no

Geo-engineering the earth is another Crazy Eddy scheme:

We will call him Crazy Eddie, if you like.
He is...an idiot savant tinker, sometimes.
Always he does the wrong things for
excellent reasons. He does the same things
over and over, and they always bring disaster,
and he never learns

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
The Mote in God's Eye

Peak Hubris

Geo-engineering will perhaps prove to be the apex of mankind's hubris. Peak hubris, if you will. Each addition to complexity requires even greater inputs of energy to achieve and sustain (see Joseph Tainter's _The Collapse of Complex Societies_ (1988), or Thomas Homer-Dixon's _The Upside of Down_ (2006)).

We are running out of energy and degrading our environment. Right -- let's "fix" those things by, oh I don't know, how about building a factory a hundred miles long to convert several million barrels of our dwindling petroleum into, oh I don't know, how about a mylar sheet the size of Australia? Yeah, this is good. Then we can use more dwindling fossil fuels to mine the metals to construct a hundred thousand rocket ships. Oooo, baby, I feel the jobs creation in this plan already! Then we can fill those rocket ships with rocket fuel, which we will create from, oh I don't know, maybe some more of our fast-dwindling energy resources. And maybe some powdered aluminum from all those soda cans we can't normally be bothered to recycle.

Then we can blast those hundred thousand rockets out into space where they can attempt to deploy this great mylar sheet. It will be, like, the biggest party balloon ever! And, assuming they can even deploy it (NOT), it will probably last just about as long.

Then we can think of the next big thing, like how to geo-engineer ourselves out of the nuclear winter we just created by dumping all that rocket exhaust into the stratosphere.

Hell, come to think of it, maybe we can just skip the mylar and launch a hundred thousand rockets into the stratosphere. Too bad about the acid rain and all. Perhaps we can convert the hundred-mile-long factory into producing baking soda. Yeah, and more rockets to sprinkle it into the stratosphere.

Or something. Right after we finish eating each other, because at the moment we are very, very hungry. Something to do with corn not growing during nuclear winter. Ah well, I'm sure we'll figure out a way to fix that soon. I just need one more research grant...

Utopia in Decay

Kevin Cherkauer

No sweat. We can just use the space elevator to haul all that mylar! What could possibly be wrong with that?


The Japanese have already built a working space elevator model we can scale up!

It's 6 feet tall and made of LEGOs!


See my comment above, he just wants unlimited research dollars and the prestige that goes with it.

Just wanted to let you know: This essay is great, Kevin.


Monitor emergency transmission(s), Chat and learn about Hurricane Gustav Online Volunteer efforts:


Hurricane, murricane. The big news today is that Palin's 17 year old is pregnant. Shotgun Cheney is heading to Alaska and it is said that wedlock to follow.

The really big question is whether this is her first.

Okay, I made up that part about Cheney. By the way, where is he?

He's off to Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Italy with a book full of blank checks.

Really? I thought he was supposed to be speaking in Minneapolis at the RNC convention and cancelled his speech there b/c of Gustav? Your probably right but its so hard to keep track of him when he's going to and fro. F*cking up our nation is hard work ya know. ;-)

Scramble for cash as central banks dry up

The Bank of England explicitly ruled out extending its Special Liquidity Scheme (SLS), while the European Central Bank is reportedly considering tightening its lending criteria.

The two central banks have been huge suppliers of liquidity to British banks. The SLS is thought to have provided £50 billion or more, while the ECB has lent banks €467 billion (£378 billion) - much of it thought to have gone to UK institutions.


I'd be grateful if those who are much more knowledgeable than I would comment on whether this measure is likely to rapidly lead to worldwide contraction of liquidity and hence depression - the ponzi schemes run out.

I base this reading on this comment:

So, when the central banks stop this massive weekly lending, what happens? Massive forced deleveraging and probably world financial Armageddon.


This would seem to indicate that things should unravel fast now, perhaps with a stock market crash in Sept or Oct

EDIT: I should have included this quote from the linked assessment:

Either all the major central banks listed keep up the same rate of infusions, or the end of the world credit system comes in a week or two after one ‘lets go’.

So you are talking of mid-September, presumably, if this is correct - faster than I indicated above in my own comments.

Anything's possible, and there certainly are severe problems with the world financial system. But Financial Sense has been predicting world financial Armageddon for years now, and the ponzi scheme has continued unabated.

"October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February."

Mark Twain

Hyperinflationary Depression maybe?

'Free Loans' Offer to Homebuyers

The government is to promise first-time buyers in England "free" loans of up to 30% of their home's value, in an effort to reinvigorate the housing market.

Households earning less than £60,000 will be offered loans free of charge for five years on new properties, co-funded by the state and developers.

The move comes as Gordon Brown attempts a political fightback, amid an economic downturn and poor opinion poll ratings.

The Tories said it was a "short-term survival plan" for the prime minister.


British Governments always have 'bold new initiatives', most of which make very little difference to the issue in question, and just waste some taxpayers money and pay a few more bureaucrats.

Careful reading of this proposal in the link you give shows that they have already budgeted 'hundreds of millions' of pounds for this - which is a tiny amount relative to the mortgage market and might at most produce a tine easing for a couple of months in the rate of decline of house-buys.

Another factor is that they mention charges, payable after the 5 years, which means that sans recovery the suckers, sorry I meant beneficiaries, of this scheme will have to pay out even more money, after buying a house which may well be underwater in it's then value compared to the market, and anyway has been inflated in it's price by whatever degree the measure has increased prices.

This is probably trivial, and to the extent that it is not is likely to be harmful.

To actually make a difference, the money allocated would have to be in the hundreds of billions, not millions, and the money is not available, which is fortunate as it would simply be a transfer to existing homeowners from anyone trying to buy one of our grossly overpriced houses for the first time.

EDIT: Capital Economics have commented on the proposed measures: 'So what?'

Looks like Canada will have a general election for October 19th. Prime Minister Stephen Harper will likely be asking the Governor General to prorogue Parliament within the next couple of days.


Apparently, with poor economic news on the horizon the Conservatives are skittish about navigating the next year in a minority position and vulnerable to the machinations of the opposition parties in the House of Commons.

Interestingly, the leader of the official opposition (the Liberals) Stéphane Dion is proposing to introduce a carbon tax and is noted for his strong stand on "environmental issues".

Stay tuned as to how this plays out as the Alberta oil patch and energy interests in Canada have historically backed the Conservatives or their ideological equivalents.

Also, Harper has been cozy with Bush and the Republicans so how the US election plays out may have an impact on voting trends north of the border.

Also, too, the country is so self-absorbed along regional lines it's hard to imagine any party winning an out-and-out majority. So in typical Canadian fashion we'll probably muddle though regardless of who forms the next government.

ça plus change, ça plus la même chose

"Interestingly, the leader of the official opposition (the Liberals) Stéphane Dion is proposing to introduce a carbon tax and is noted for his strong stand on 'environmental issues'."

Maybe a bit off topic but I never quite graspped the "environmental effect" of a carbon tax. To me, all it does is increase government revenue and make it more expensive for new competition to emerge. It won't reduce any carbon emissions because the demand for those type's of produtcs is much too inelastic to be affected by a simple tax.

In theory, at least, the Liberal carbon tax should be revenue-neutral...

I follow this site with a near religious fervor. So I was somewhat confused that oil didnt rise a tad bit more on Fridays markets,with Gustav and all. I could understand the markets decline over all, what with the
Labor day weekend and traders nervous of "going long" a holiday weekend, Russia,Israel,Iran,et cetra Palins promiscuous 16 year old daughter (she's 17 now but 5 months pregnant)do the math!

So I like I said, I can understand the over all market
malaise, but not the lack of increase in oils price.
I began looking at the macro picture and have a nagging suspicion that the broader indices are gonna
tank on Tuesday's open.

I realise that no prudent person would ever dare predict such short term and severe swings in some thing as unpredictable as the broad markets. The percentage of accuracy would be....well...pathetic.
I felt I needed to make public this "prediction" just
12 1/2 hours before the opening bell on Wallstreet
because I feel so strongly about it being accurate.

Oil's price wouldnt need to increase if the markets
were (preprogramed) to tank.
Thats the short explanation. I know I must sound like
a doomer or even worse. I also realise that anyone reading this has gotta beleive its a lotto long shot.

The percentage of accuracy would be....well...pathetic. I felt I needed to make public this "prediction" just 12 1/2 hours before the opening bell on Wallstreet because I feel so strongly about it being accurate.

The clock is ticking and we'll know in less than half a day.

Though, one has to admit, the strange and mysterious ways the markets have been behaving would lead others to draw similar conclusions. And if they happen to be traders, Nephilim, you're right on the money.

BTW, if your handle is what I think it means -- the offspring of the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men" -- and you are proven right, we'll chalk it up to divine foresight. :-)

Zadok_the_Priest; You are astute and correct as regards my moniker.
I suppose I got lucky when I predicted a "severe swing" in todays markets. I would hesitate to label it
"devine intervention" as I am sure you are aware that
Nephilim are not devine creatures...they are after all mortal, albeit by choice.
Living in self imposed exile has many benefits...you
mentioned "daughters of man",divinity sadly isnt one
of the bennies.
You people on this site amaze me, so many sharp minds
searching for difficult answers to such complicated questions.
I see many here who actually begin searching at their
own two feet. Truely amazing.

Yes, Nephilim, it amazes me, too, the input and wisdom offered by many contributors to this site.

Kudos to you for your insights into today's swings in market. Likely more to come.

Keep posting even if you're only 50% divine. :-)

I have to admit that I'm torn about the 55 mph speed limit. Since 1992 I've driven either a Honda Civic or now a Fit, always getting >30 mpg, even at 75 mph with the A/C on. Now the government proposes to "punish" me in the same fashion it will punish someone who drove (and still drives) an SUV getting <15 mpg for all those years. Part of me says, "Come see me about the 55 mph speed limit after you require all non-commercial vehicles to get at least 30 mpg."

Amen to that. First raise the CAFE standards to 40mpg as that is the low hanging fruit.

It would appear that Mr. McCain may have a little hasty in selecting Palin.

Disclosures on Palin Raise Questions on Vetting Process

Among other less attention-grabbing news of the day: it was learned that Ms. Palin now has a private lawyer in a legislative ethics investigation in Alaska into whether she abused her power in dismissing the state’s public safety commissioner; that she was a member for two years in the 1990s of the Alaska Independence Party, which has at times sought a vote on whether the state should secede; and that Mr. Palin was arrested 22 years ago on a drunken-driving charge.

Aides to Mr. McCain said they had a team on the ground in Alaska now to look more thoroughly into Ms. Palin’s background. A Republican with ties to the campaign said the team assigned to vet Ms. Palin in Alaska had not arrived there until Thursday, a day before Mr. McCain stunned the political world with his vice-presidential choice.
While there was no sign that her formal nomination this week was in jeopardy, the questions swirling around Ms. Palin on the first day of the Republican National Convention, already disrupted by Hurricane Gustav, brought anxiety to Republicans who worried that Democrats would use the selection of Ms. Palin to question Mr. McCain’s judgment and his ability to make crucial decisions.

At the least, Republicans close to the campaign said it was increasingly apparent that Ms. Palin had been selected as Mr. McCain’s running mate with more haste than McCain advisers initially described.

Up until midweek last week, some 48 to 72 hours before Mr. McCain introduced Ms. Palin at a Friday rally in Dayton, Ohio, Mr. McCain was still holding out the hope that he could name as his running mate a good friend, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, a Republican close to the campaign said. Mr. McCain had also been interested in another favorite, former Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania. But both men favor abortion rights, anathema to the Christian conservatives who make up a crucial base of the Republican Party. As word leaked out that Mr. McCain was seriously considering the men, the campaign was bombarded by outrage from influential conservatives who predicted an explosive floor fight at the convention and vowed rejection of Mr. Ridge or Mr. Lieberman by the delegates.

Regardless of which party you vote with, you have to think this was a shocking selection. It seems that Palin was selected with almost no background check. Reporters who visited the local paper in the town where she was mayor were told that they were the first ones to come and read the back issues. One of the leading Republicans in the Alaskan senate said that they had not been interviewed and didn't know anyone else who had been interviewed. This in a state with a population less than that of San Jose, CA. It makes me nostalgic for the days when the political convention involved the delegates helping to pick the VP.

This seems to be an interesting background fact for a prospective VP, and possible president:

she was a member for two years in the 1990s of the Alaska Independence Party, which has at times sought a vote on whether the state should secede

I think they have found WMD's at last - Weapons of McCain Destruction! - meet the Palins!

What's not to like about that?

Did you see Bill Maher? The maverick and the MILF.

I have half a dozen emails this morning linking to various of photos of her in hooker outfits.

Amy Goodman and Two Democracy Now! Producers Unlawfully Arrested at RNC

ST. PAUL -- Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar have all been released from police custody in St. Paul following their illegal arrest by Minneapolis Police on Monday afternoon.

All three were violently manhandled by law enforcement officers. Abdel Kouddous was slammed against a wall and the ground, leaving his arms scraped and bloodied. He sustained other injuries to his chest and back. Salazar's violent arrest by baton-wielding officers, during which she was slammed to the ground while yelling, "I'm Press! Press!," resulted in her nose bleeding, as well as causing facial pain. Goodman's arm was violently yanked by police as she was arrested.

On Tuesday, Democracy Now! will broadcast video of these arrests, as well as the broader police action. These will also be available on: www.democracynow.org.

Video of the incident.

EDIT: See the violence inherent in the system!

But seriously, something like this happened in 04 at the RNC convention in NY, NY. I know one lady's daughter was there and was forced to lay face down on the pavement in a bus garage after getting beaten by cops. I don't think that was an isolated insident either. Oh well hopefully they were able to infiltrate the awful, putrid, outright evil and dare I say UNAMERICAN!!!! vegan potlucks and their plans for violent overthrow of the U.S. government. You just can trust tofu tossers and Quaker grannies knitting quilts who form organizations like 'Grannies for Peace'. Somehow Persecution Smith seems really appropriate here. And don't forget 'make your goal the first foxhole!'

I know it's a bad joke to post that video, but since the real footage was the alternet site I linked to, I couldn't resist :-) I have little doubt that Goodman & company were unfairly treated.

Police raid RNC protest sites in Twin Cities

Ramsey County authorities conducted raids across Minneapolis and St. Paul Friday and Saturday as a pre-emptive strike against disruptive protests of the Republican National Convention.

Five people were arrested and more than 100 were handcuffed, questioned and released by scores of deputies and police officers, according to police and elected officials familiar with the raids.

In a statement Saturday morning, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said the St. Paul raid targeted the RNC Welcoming Committee, a group he described as "a criminal enterprise made up of 35 self-described anarchists...intent on committing criminal acts before and during the Republican National Convention."

"These acts include tactics to blockade and disable delegate buses, breaching venue security and injuring police officers," Fletcher said. Deputies seized a variety of items that they believed were tools of civil disobedience: a gas mask, bolt cutters, axes, slingshots, homemade "caltrops" for disabling buses, even buckets of urine.

I saw a member of the Green party on C-SPAN's Washington Journal (sorry the video is not posted yet) this morning. He laughed at the police accusations. The 'slingshot' was a bicycle inner tube. The 'buckets of urine' were two buckets filled with greywater (used to flush toilets). One location that had no working toilet, did indeed have a bucket of urine. He described the police bursting into the residence with weapons drawn and forcing everyone (including a five-year old) to the floor.

There is no doubt, violence inherent in the system!

Two AP Reporters Arrested at RNC Protests in MN

Associated Press reports that one o(sic) their photographers, Matt Rourke was arrested, "swept up as police moved in on protesters in downtown St. Paul."

AP reports that "Rourke is being held on a gross misdemeanor riot charge.

A spokesperson for AP, assistant bureau chief David Ake, said he's concerned by Rourke's arrest, that "covering news is constitutionally protected, and photographers should not be detained for covering breaking news."

I happen to admire and like Amy Goodman very much.
I have always feared for her safety. This is proof positive that USA politics are corrupt and spiraling
towards fascism.
Amy Goodman has done nothing except search for the truth and after having found and vetted the truth and
facts....she reports it.
I fear the P.O. movement will be infiltrated and controled by a fifth column in order to control the
information stream. Ive seen all manner of movements
for the public good, meet this sad fate.

Could this be the solution to the US energy chrisis? Coulden't we start a new TOD thread with somebody analysing the worlds natural gas availability and whether in fact the situation for this particulare resource in fact now has imporoved?

Industry report says U.S. natural gas supply abundant

Edited your post to remove excessive quoting. Please do not post entire articles. The link, perhaps with a short excerpt or a summary in your own words, is enough.

We are aware of that article (and the similar NY Times and Globe and Mail versions). It was posted in the DrumBeat back in July, when it was published.

I believe Gail is working a key post. We have also covered natural gas, including unconventional natural gas, in the past. Try the words natural gas.

The short answer is no, it's not the answer to our energy crisis.

yes, it was also published in the rag of all rags, usa today.

You got it elwood. Same worthless statistics. No pricing platform so the X BCF of gas numbers are meaningless. But did you notice the head of the "committee" worked for Chesapeake? No doubt such reports help support C's stock price. But there is a lot of gas in those shales that can be produced under current pricing but calling them "sustainable" is again just too self serving. They are only self sustaining as long as there are more locations drilled y-o-y. We've talked their rapid decline rate to death...no need for more. Given all the new organic shale plays being evaluated right now I don't think anyone can make a credible guess to the number of potential locations that can be drilled at $10/mcf. Maybe 50,000...maybe 500,000. But when they use the term sustainable they're trying to paint a picture of a NG Ghawar here in the US. Not hardly. We’ve just got approval to up our rig count in 2009 to 14 in one of the new shale gas plays. Many years of drilling ahead for sure. But when one well is drilled two more will be required to increase production back up to pre-decline levels. And those two wells will require 4 more in 2 or 3 years. And then 8, 16, 32….. We all understand geometric progression. Eventually the public companies won’t be able to keep up. But this will also mean a steady increase in new public companies when the older ones go into reserve retrograde.

What ever sort of breather we might develop from PO with these NG resources we’re still back to the same question: will we use what ever opportunity presents itself to start making serious adjustments or will we try to coast our way to “energy independence” with T Boone?

I wonder if you would care to comment on underground coal gasification?
Whilst I would agree that this would also be a stop gap, sometimes that can be useful, and reserves would seem to be large enough to make a real difference if it is practical.


Not familiar with the technique. A quick search showed ealier pilot projects were reported to have yielded economic results. I wonder if there is so much else going on that its potential hasn't been evaluated under today's economics. Sounds like it could be a way to exploit coal reserves that are too deep to mine. The advances in horizontal drilling would certainly add to its viability. Have you heard of any such ops in the US?

"The successful demonstration conducted by Ergo Exergy Technologies Inc (Canada) near the town of Chinchilla, some 350 km west of Brisbane, in Queensland, Australia has resulted in a surge of interest in the technology. The Chinchilla demonstration began in December 1999, and is owned by Linc Energy Limited (Australia). Up until the end of the controlled shutdown program, which was completed in April 2003, the demonstration involved the gasification of 35,000 tonnes of coal, and resulted in successful environmental performance as per independent audit reports. Linc Energy plans to commence production in May 2007.[citation needed] A pilot project in South Africa at the Majuba power plant has been set up."


I found this link. It does show a numbber of N american projects.


Thanks, Rockman.
To date a lot of the emphasis in the West has been on using it to sequester CO2, and I am not sure how practical that is, but when natural gas runs low it seems to me they might do something with gasification without, unfortunately, bothering with sequestration, although it appears to be more practical with this than most alternatives.
China is also working on it:
China simplifies method for turning coal to gas - tech - 18 July 2007 - New Scientist Tech

I believe it is also being considered for large undersea resources in Norway - if supply difficulties with Russia happen then the EU is likely to put pressure to bear to expedite it.

The resources available in Norway and the UK are very large:

"solution to the US energy crisis"

You are asking if an increase the rate of consumption of a finite fossil fuel resource base will "solve" our energy crisis?

Hi WT/Jeffrey,

Good one.

Have you heard Pickins' radio ad? He says NG is a "bridge" - (until...?)