DrumBeat: September 3, 2008

OPEC's Crude Oil Production Fell 0.6% in August, Survey Shows

(Bloomberg) -- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' oil production dropped 0.6 percent in August, led by declines in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, a Bloomberg News survey showed.

OPEC pumped an average 32.575 million barrels a day last month, down 200,000 barrels from July, according to the survey of oil companies, producers and analysts. July output was revised down by 50,000 barrels a day. Production by the 12 members with quotas, all except Iraq, declined 50,000 barrels to 30.265 million barrels a day.

Russia's deal-making in Africa raises alarms in Europe

RABAT, Morocco: Russia is reviving an interest in Africa that collapsed along with the Cold War, and its growing appetite for deals in oil and natural gas is an added cause of unease in an energy-hungry Western Europe.

Companies from Russia say their goal is to diversify energy interests and secure raw materials for a fast-growing economy, but the businesses are also seen as tools of an increasingly assertive Kremlin foreign policy.

Lynch Sees `A Lot More Oil Supply' and Very Weak Demand: Video

(Bloomberg) -- Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research, talks with Bloomberg's Erik Schatzker about the outlook for crude oil prices, supply and demand, and the impact of hurricanes on the oil market.

Oil: How low can it go? - With oil prices heading toward $100, that should be good news for consumers. But some think there won't be true relief until crude hits $80 again.

"The fact that oil has come down is a sign that perhaps the worst is over. Predictions that oil would go to $200 a barrel now seem more like a fleeting possibility," said Kenneth Kim, economist with Stone & McCarthy Research Associates in Princeton, N.J..

Still, even though crude prices have slipped more than 25% since hitting a record high in mid-July and the average price of a gallon of gasoline has fallen more than 10%, it's not yet a huge cause of celebration.

After all, at about $108 a barrel, the price of oil is around 50% higher than it was a year ago. Gasoline is higher by a third at $3.68 a gallon.

Ford sales plunge

Despite a slide in gas prices last month, sales of Ford's trucks and more fuel-efficient cars plunge nearly 27% in August -- far worse than forecasts.

BP's Ballooning Gas Assets

As oil becomes increasingly harder to extract, energy companies are scrambling to secure rights to natural gas assets. BP signed its second deal in little over a month with natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy on Tuesday, bringing its stake in top North American shale assets to a potential 1.0 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Green Gold?

Wal-Mart and Tiffany are trying to clean up the gold-mining industry. Not everyone is cheering them on.

Nuclear Shortcuts Exposed In U.S. Nuclear Fuel Facility

US regulators have ignored expert safety advice in an attempt to cut corners and fast track the completion of a $4 billion nuclear fuel facility currently under construction near Aiken, South Carolina.

Trading the carbon market

London (CNN) -- Debate is rife in Australian political circles about whether carbon trading is the way forward for climate change abatement.

There, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is looking to introduce a mandatory carbon trading system by 2010 which will cap the amount of pollution industry can release. The proposed Australian system will be similar to the European Union emission trading system which was established in 2005.

With Phase 1 of the European system complete, there are a few lessons about carbon trading that Australia -- and other countries looking to go down this path -- could benefit from.

Solar panels 'take 100 years to pay back installation costs'

Solar panels are one of the least cost-effective ways of combating climate change and will take 100 years to pay back their installation costs, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) warned yesterday.

In a new guide on energy efficiency, Rics said that roof panels for heating water and generating power are unlikely to save enough from bills to make them financially viable in a householder's lifetime. In the case of solar panels to heat water for baths and showers, the institution estimates the payback time from money saved from electricity and gas bills will take more than 100 years – and up to 166 years in the worst case.

Photovoltaic (PV) panels for power – and domestic, mast-mounted wind turbines – will take between 50 and 100 years to pay back.

Given that the devices have a maximum lifetime of 30 years, they are never likely to recoup the £3,000 to £20,000 cost of their installation, according to Rics' building cost information service. Instead, it suggested people wanting to cut fuel bills should insulate lofts and cavity walls, install efficient light bulbs and seal windows.

Solar Powered Desalination Farm to Bring Life to the Sahara

It was the Greek philosopher Plato who first coined the phrase 'necessity is the mother of invention' and given the current global food shortage and ever increasing population trend, his old adage could never be more appropriately illustrated than with the latest plan to bring life to the barren sands of the Sahara.

The ingenious plan, known as the Sahara Forest Project is simple: combine huge greenhouses with concentrated solar power (CSP) and plain old seawater. The solar power provides electricity for the farm of greenhouses, the desalination of the seawater provides both the freshwater and cooling required to grow a wide variety of crops.

UK makes Atlantic sea bed claim

Britain is to formally present its case to the UN in New York for extending its territorial rights around Ascension Island in the South Atlantic.

States have rights over their resources - including oil or gas reserves - up to 200 nautical miles from the shoreline.

But the UK wants to extend those rights around Ascension on the grounds that the island's landmass actually reaches much further underwater.

Mexico's makeshift coal pits try to boost output

Mexicans have been mining "pozitos," or little holes, like this one in the town of Nueva Rosita in much the same way for more than a century. Now, with energy prices sky high and Mexico's electricity needs surging, these rudimentary and dangerous mines are working at full capacity.

Coal plans go up in smoke

Environmentalists in the US have halted a huge new wave of coal-fired power stations. What lessons can Europe learn from them?

Oil is too valuable to drill

Drilling will be an environmental disaster, foes warn - something we know a thing or two about here in Louisiana. And even when it comes on line it won't make a whit of difference in the price at the pump. Maybe so, the pro-drilling crowd replies, but there's an important psychology in pushing jack-up rigs into waters off Florida and California and maybe even New England. It will spook speculators into a sell-off.

All true, perhaps - and utterly irrelevant. The real reason to retain the ban is not that drilling is too messy or that the oil won't be valuable enough to make a difference at the gas pump. It's that it's entirely too valuable. Too valuable to squander on an economy as wasteful as ours.

US refinery runs to stay low for years - Conoco exec

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. refineries will continue to run at current reduced utilization rates in the next few years due to slowing demand for fuel, a ConocoPhillips executive said on Wednesday.

"Utilization rates have come off from their highs of the last few years... we expect this trend to continue for the next few years," James L. Gallogly, ConocoPhillips executive vice president of refining, marketing, and transportation, said in a presentation to market analysts.

With U.S. demand for gasoline waning under the weight of high prices and a slowing economy, gasoline supply in the market will continue to be plentiful, Gallogly said.

Dutch government warned against rising sea levels

THE HAGUE (AFP) - Low-lying Netherlands must spend more than 100 billion euros on dike upgrades and coastal expansion to avoid the ravages of rising sea levels due to global warming, experts warned Wednesday.

The country, nearly two-thirds of which lies below sea level, must spend up to 1.5 billion euros (2.1 billion dollars) per year over the next century on additional safety measures, said a report compiled by a government appointed commission.

"The security challenge is urgent: the climate is changing, the sea level rising and river flows increasing while a quarter of dikes and dams do not meet the current safety norms," states the report presented to Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende in The Hague.

... "If the problem gets worse, we will have to talk with our European partners about how we can share the costs within Europe," Veerman said, adding that Dutch rivers were the "drain" of the continent.

Predicting a sea level rise of between 0.65 and 1.3 metres (2.15 and 4.3 feet) by 2100, and up to four metres by 2200, the commission said the chances of flooding multiplied 100-fold with every 1.3 metre rise in the sea level.

And it warned of Dutch fresh water resources dwindling as salty sea water is forced further and further inland.

"The rising sea level ... longer dry periods and encroaching salt water via rivers and ground water puts the country's fresh water under threat," says the report.

Airlines expected to lose $5.2 billion this year

NEW YORK - The International Air Transport Association said Wednesday it predicts airlines will lose $5.2 billion this year as oil prices remain high and demand weakens, and suggests this weak financial performance will continue in 2009.

This compares with a June prediction of $2.3 billion to $6.1 billion in losses, indicating a great deal of uncertainty over oil prices. The June prediction was based on an average oil price of $106.50 per barrel to $122 per barrel. The current prediction reflects an expected average oil price of $113 per barrel.

Portland-based startup takes to the sky

The company operates a trio of Pilatus PC-12 aircraft, fuel-efficient turbo-props with pressurized cabins, two pilots and seats for nine passengers. Like corporate jets, they’re regulated under FAA’s general aviation rules, which means they can fly into smaller airports where TSA screening isn’t required. Translation: Instead of getting to the airport the recommended 90 minutes before departure, passengers can show up 15 minutes before takeoff, check in and be on their way.

Russia, Nigeria Reach Energy Cooperation Deal

Russian gas giant Gazprom said on Sept. 3 it has signed a cooperation deal on oil and gas exploration in Nigeria. The agreement covers exploration and production of oil and gas plus associated operations in several projects.

A joint Russian-Nigerian company will develop the projects, it added.

Venezuela urges OPEC output cut - Ecuador oil min

QUITO (Reuters) - Venezuela will propose that OPEC cut world oil production at the organization's meeting next week, Ecuador's oil minister, Galo Chiriboga, said Wednesday, adding that he wants to keep current output levels unchanged.

Ecuador's leftist government is a close ally of its Andean neighbor Venezuela.

"The Venezuelan (oil) minister has made a proposal for a reduction in world oil production, but we don't share that opinion ... we will propose to maintain (output levels) to stabilize prices," Chiriboga told a local radio station.

Poland mulls oil reserve changes for refiners

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland may free PKN Orlen PKNA.WA and Lotos LTOS.WA from keeping obligatory oil and fuel reserves in return for fees, the economy ministry said on Wednesday.

In its proposal for its energy industry strategy, the ministry said it may push for legal changes that would allow companies to pay an unspecified government entity to keep reserves instead.

Saudi Aramco starts Khursaniyah flow

Saudi Arabia has started pumping oil from the 500,000 barrels per day Khursaniyah oilfield, a source at state oil firm Saudi Aramco said today.

The oilfield is the largest single increment to global oil production for several years and was initially due to start up in December.

"The facility is operational and producing crude," the source told Reuters.

Oil industry tallies the damage from Gustav

HOUSTON - Initial inspections of the Gulf Coast’s extensive energy complex confirmed Tuesday that Hurricane Gustav was nowhere near as destructive as Katrina and Rita three years ago, but resumption of production and refining may be a few days away, or more.

Oil companies, rig and pipeline owners and refiners spread out across the region to look for damage from Monday’s storm, and some were already putting equipment and people back in place to resume operations. The full impact should be known in the next couple of days.

“Preliminarily, we don’t know of any major damage at this time,” John Rodi, deputy regional director of the U.S. Minerals Management Service, said Tuesday.

BP says no visual damage to US Gulf oil platforms

NEW YORK (Reuters) - BP found no visual evidence of damage to its offshore oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico after overflights of the operations in the wake of Hurricane Gustav, the company said on its telephone hotline Wednesday.

Richard Heinberg: Hurricane destroys oil infrastructure; oil price falls

Sometimes you just have to stand in awe and wonder before the all-knowing wisdom of The Market. Common sense would say: Hurricane Gustav (even considering the fact that it never achieved its advertised category 4 status before landfall) is likely to result in 40% of US Gulf of Mexico oil production being taken off-line for 30 days, with longer outages for some rigs, terminals, and refineries; therefore, given the fact that fuel supplies in the US are already tight, this is a good time to load up on oil futures.

But Noooooo. That’s not how the market works. Because the expectation of storm damage was higher, Monday’s trading was actually dominated by a sell-off.

This tells us just how important the market and price signals are in helping us prepare for the inevitable decline in world oil production. To wit: not very.

Cheney pays visit to Russia's neighbors

BAKU, Azerbaijan - Vice President Cheney arrived in Azerbaijan on Wednesday, the U.S. Embassy said, as part of a tour in support of Russia's southern neighbors.

Cheney was expected to meet with President Ilham Aliev and other top officials in this Caspian Sea nation, home to some of the largest oil and gas reserves in the former Soviet Union.

UK media watchdog bans ExxonMobil LNG advert

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Advertising Standards Authority has banned U.S. oil major ExxonMobil from continuing to show a TV advert saying liquefied natural gas is one of the cleanest fuels, the watchdog said on Wednesday.

Four viewers had challenged Exxon's claim that "natural gas is one of the world's cleanest fuels" and complained that the advertisement, which had been running on British television over summer, falsely implied LNG was environmentally friendly.

Australia's oil production down, but SA defies trend

AUSTRALIAN oil production dropped 11.5 per cent over the past financial year with all but one of the major oil producing basins experiencing a decline, a report from EnergyQuest says.

Taiwan's CPC Eyes Expanded Joint Oil Exploration with China's CNOOC

Taiwan's state-owned CPC Corp. said it wants to expand joint oil exploration with China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) to the East China Sea and areas off Australia, Chad and Kenya.

"We are interested in oil exploration in any areas that could provide possible opportunities," CPC's vice-president Chu Shao-hua said.

SIEA rations power supply in Kirakira

SOLOMON Islands Electricity Authority (SIEA) is rationing power supply to Kirakira since last week.

Kirakira is the provincial capital of Makira-Ulawa Province. This was due to fuel shortage.

At the moment, electricity is supplied from 6am to 12 noon and from 6pm to 12 midnight. SIEA officers in Kirakira said the fuel shortage started just last week.

“At the moment we have borrowed fuel from the police to keep the power on until our new supply arrives,” a spokesman said.

Shortage of water forces tough decisions

Due to high fuel costs, Ms. Kister says her customers in Texas, where many of her plants are shipped, want enough inventory to fill an entire truckload. If she further reduces her production and cannot deliver enough plants to fill her customers' orders, she may lose those accounts, she says.

... A San Luis Obispo grower who operates a 10-acre U-pick farm of pumpkins and tomatoes wrote that she had to let one of her main fields lie fallow because of dry conditions.

"Our ag well is on a gas generator. We have very little soil moisture this year and must rely heavily on irrigation," she wrote. "The price of gas is literally killing us."

Richard Heinberg: New Coal Technologies

For coal, the future of both extraction and consumption depends on new technology. If successfully deployed, innovative technologies could enable the use of coal that is unminable by gasifying it underground; reduce coal's carbon emissions; or allow coal to take the place of natural gas or petroleum. Without them, coal simply may not have much of a future. Are these technologies close to development? Are they economical? Will they work?

China Coal net profit up 74.8% in Jan-Aug

(China Knowledge) - China National Coal Corp (China Coal), the country's second-largest coal producer, announced its profit in the first eight months surged 74.8% to RMB 8.66 billion because of the significant rise in coal prices.

Want better mileage? It's going to cost you

Mileage-minded Americans will have plenty of small cars from which to choose the next few years, but they'll have "sticker shock" prices.

Automakers are raising prices to regain profits lost when sales of lucrative trucks and SUVs collapsed this year. They'll camouflage some of the boosts with fancy, high-margin features such as navigation and leather seats. The idea: lure well-heeled, move-down buyers who want better mileage but won't give up features.

Discounting Costco to Wal-Mart Signals Rebound on Record Sales

The last time gasoline as a component of personal spending was as high was in September 1982, during an energy crisis triggered by the revolution in Iran, OPEC's second-largest producer.

``Consumers are stressed,'' said McGranahan. ``Discretionary spending is down and they're being crowded out with food and energy prices.''

Energy crisis puts pressure on Norway

We find ourselvs in an exposed situation, since we are neighbours with Russia, not a member of the EU and in alliance with the US. We will become even more in the spotlight, and must be prepared for the global conflict situaton which could arise, says Leiv Lunde, another co-author of the book to NRK.

A Storm Called Cantarell

I am getting increasingly frustrated by how little attention Americans are paying to this major crisis brewing in their backyard. So, I think maybe the mainstream news should start treating Cantarell the same way they do a hurricane. Maybe that would generate some attention!

After all, Cantarell's decline has already cost us — 1.2 million barrels per day — the same amount we lost from Gustav.

Cantarell Is Not Mexico's Only Oil Production Problem

There are problems in two other large oil fields, the Chicontepec Basin and Ku-MaloobZaap. These two fields make up 72% of Mexico's non-Cantarell proven reserves. The fields differ significantly from Cantarell in terms of geology, potential productivity, distance from distribution systems, and technical requirements.

Category 5 fleecing

Today, cash-strapped Canadians take another Category Five fleecing as pump prices in the GTA fall by only 3.8 cents a litre to $1.259 for regular self-serve, when some analysts predicted a 7.9 cents-a-litre break, after gasoline futures fell yesterday with falling crude prices that wiped a whopping 450 points from Bay Street's energy-sensitive TSX.

Argentina Natural Gas Crisis Crosses Over To Neighboring Chile

Chilean electric generators are not the only ones being hurt by the natural gas shortage in Argentina. The Argentine pipeline companies are also affected as the scarcity of natural gas has increased the near-term credit concerns of its two gas transportation companies: Transportadora de Gas del Norte S.A. (TGN) and Transportadora de Gas del Sur SA. (TGS).

Nigeria: Fuel scarcity in Port Harcourt as tanker drivers embark on strike

Port Harcourt, Rivers State and its environs since Monday, September 1, had been experiencing fuel scarcity following strike embarked upon by tanker drivers.

A source close to the refinery disclosed to Business Day in Port Harcourt that the tanker drivers embarked on strike in protest of the persistent power outage in the refinery.

India: Residents block roads in protest against rostering

LUCKNOW: Angered with repeated power outages in their locality, residents of Telibagh blocked the Lucknow-Rae Bareli highway near the Sanjay Gandhi Post-graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), throwing traffic out of gear on Tuesday afternoon. It was not until the police intervened that the blockade was removed.

China May Raise Retail Power Prices, Official Says

(Bloomberg) -- China may raise retail electricity prices by 4.5 percent, the second increase this year, to help narrow losses at power producers and ease a nationwide shortage.

Despite Iraq’s Oil Oases, Its Citizens Still Live in Darkness

While I can understand Americans’ fears about fuel prices and availability, I have a harder time understanding why Iraqis — with their oases of crude oil reserves and untapped oilfields in the south and the north — have had to put up with high oil prices and severe shortages of gasoline, diesel and cooking gas.

Obama Must Include Fast Neutron Reactors in His Energy Plan to End Dependence on Foreign Oil in Ten Years

After hearing Barack Obama’s speech from Denver on Thursday night, energy expert Joe Shuster responds, “ If Obama thinks he will end US dependence on foreign oil in ten years, he better include nuclear in his energy plan, specifically fast neutron reactors.”

Oil prices drop as US opens reserve taps

LONDON (AFP) - Oil prices fell on Wednesday as the US government decided to release crude stocks from its strategic reserve after Hurricane Gustav halted energy production in the Gulf of Mexico.

"The release of the oil will prevent any shortage and that will, of course, help calm the market," said Victor Shum, an analyst with energy consultancy Purvin and Gertz.

... The United States announced late on Tuesday that it was releasing 250,000 barrels of oil from its strategic reserve to help cover lost production.

There was no oil production on Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico region, where a quarter of US oil is normally produced, the US Department of the Interior said. Ninety-five percent of natural gas production was also offline.

Peak oil, tech boom share some parallels

So if investing is about acting on the best information you can get your hands on, where should you turn for oil intelligence? You might start by ignoring the investment banks.

Oil companies and OPEC seem to be a little more conservative and forthcoming, but then again they sure love $125 oil, so they're not likely to come perfectly clean.

Tanker counters? See above.

How about your dog-eared economics textbook though? The one that says commodity prices inevitably move in cycles? Simply put, peak oil or not, the faster prices rise, the harder they'll fall.

Rudi on Thursday

I was getting tired of repeating that crude oil should have never been at US$147 per barrel, and now that the mass-euphoria was gone (or was it mass-hysteria?) it wouldn't be long before oil would fall through support at US$110, and after that US$100 would follow and not long thereafter we would see oil priced back in double digits - just like I have been saying for months now.

I do realise that for the most part of the past few months I, and my colleagues here at FNArena, have been a lone voice amidst a tsunami of reports about the new era for oil -essentially US$100-plus forever- intertwined with peak oil theories and other upbeat claims and predictions, none of which will stand the test of reality.

When inflation isn't really inflation

Take oil. Let's say that, whatever the cause - peak oil, speculators or dysfunctional governments - the price of crude oil doubles in a short period of time. In this case, consumers must necessarily spend more at the pump and the energy component of the CPI rises. They must necessarily, however, spend less on other things and the "other things" component of the CPI falls. Category changes aside, these consumers spend the same amount of money.

The "average" cost of living doesn't change. Prices simply do the job they are supposed to do - alerting consumers to shortages and advising conservation.

Four Ways to Fight the “Oil-Flation Epidemic”

Want to know what the price of a barrel of oil will be in eight years?

Exactly $119.50 a barrel.

Exxon raises 2008 Sakhalin oil output forecast

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said oil output at its Russian Sakhalin-1 project, shrinking after reaching a peak level, will decline less than expected this year and will continue falling in 2009.

Exxon raised its Sakhalin-1 output forecast to 9.2 million tonnes in 2008 (184,251 barrels per day) from the previously planned 7.9-8.2 million tonnes, a press officer from Exxon's Moscow office said on Wednesday.

The new forecast represents a 17.9 percent decline from the peak production of 11.2 million tonnes reached in 2007.

China's Manufacturing Economy in Recession?

On other boards I am reading, many are anticipating a huge jump in oil and gas prices next week. I do not know if that will happen, but I will offer the opinion that if it does not happen, or if it happens and prices quickly reverse lower, they will keep going a lot lower than most energy bulls think.

Short to intermediate term, it is highly likely that the slowing global economy will have far more effect on energy prices than peak oil.

Conflicting Oil Price Drivers Confuse

Weakening economic indicators across Europe and North America might seem to have a dampening effect on demand for oil. But really, common sense refutes any such logic.

Because the economy is contracting, does that mean people will travel less? Or is it more likely that people will find themselves having to travel further to find scarcer jobs, and have to live in cheaper neighbourhoods far from their traditional centers of employment?

I think the second statement is closer to reality. And the chart above that predicts the continuing increase globally in fuel consumption tends to bear out this prophecy.

Megaprojects Predict Decline of Oil Production

I think megaprojects analysis gives us the best insight on near-future oil supply levels. Some other observers prefer to to predict future supplies using the formulas of Dr. M. King Hubbert, which are based on original oil in place and decline rates. But Hubbert’s math was done before the current technologies for enhanced oil recovery were available. These new techniques and technologies change the timing of oil extraction over the life of a field resulting in more oil being produced more rapidly than could be done when Hubbert was writing. That puts Hubbert’s mathematical model into question, I believe, as a near term predictor of peak oil.

KNPC says fire at Kuwait's largest oil refinery under control

KUWAIT CITY (Xinhua)-- A fire which broke out early Wednesday morning at Kuwait's largest oil refinery, Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) said.

According to Kuwait news agency (KUNA) reported, citing the head of KNPC's Public Relations Mohammad Al Ajmi, that the fire occurred during maintenance duty at one of the pipelines in Ahmadirefinery.

Venezuela, South Africa sign oil deal

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) -- South Africa and Venezuela sealed a major oil deal Tuesday during a visit by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, who touted it as an example of southern nations cooperating in a new strategic alliance.

South Africa - Venezuela oil deals in pipeline

As part of the agreement South Africa's PetroSA would also gain access to Venezuela's oil reserves.

"PetroSA should immediately go to Venezuela to start working with us to exploit our oil reserves," he said.

Climate change target may lead to 'dangerously misguided' policies

In a paper published in a special geo-engineering edition of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, which is published online today, Prof Kevin Anderson and Dr Alice Bows say that by focusing on long-term emission targets, such as 50% by 2050, climate policy has essentially ignored the crucial importance of current emission trends and their impact on cumulative emissions.

They say that as a consequence, although countries should aim to reduce global emissions in line with a 2ºC target, adaptation policy must focus on climate change impacts associated with 4ºC or more.

UN climate panel re-elects Rajendra Pachauri as chairman

GENEVA (AFP) - The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said Tuesday it has re-elected chairman Rajendra Pachauri for a second term.

Pachauri has been head of the organisation since 2002 and oversaw its seminal assessment report in 2007 which gave graphic forecasts of the risks posed by global warming.

Massive Canada Arctic ice shelf breaks away

OTTAWA (Reuters) - A huge 19 square mile (55 square km) ice shelf in Canada's northern Arctic broke away last month and the remaining shelves have shrunk at a "massive and disturbing" rate, the latest sign of accelerating climate change in the remote region, scientists said on Tuesday.

They said the Markham Ice Shelf, one of just five remaining ice shelves in the Canadian Arctic, split away from Ellesmere Island in early August. They also said two large chunks totaling 47 square miles had broken off the nearby Serson Ice Shelf, reducing it in size by 60 percent.

"The changes ... were massive and disturbing," said Warwick Vincent, director of the Centre for Northern Studies at Laval University in Quebec. ...

Mueller said the total amount of ice lost from the shelves along Ellesmere Island this summer totaled 83 square miles -- more than three times the area of Manhattan island.

The figure is more than 10 times the amount of ice shelf cover that scientists estimated on July 30 would vanish from around the island this summer.

LONDON (AFP) - Oil prices fell on Wednesday as the US government decided to release crude stocks from its strategic reserve after Hurricane Gustav halted energy production in the Gulf of Mexico.

The wrong narratives continue to be assigned crisis level events. OPEC will likely affirm what speculators indicated, oil is set for much higher fundamental prices. Demand distruction is economic activity destruction unless we increase efficiency.

And we are missing civilization killer scale events like Peak Net Oil Exports and the loss of the Arctic Ice Cap.

Bill, I love the story behind the Net Exports graph

NBC, Pickens Spar Over Foreign Oil Ad

The ad was rejected Tuesday, according to sources in the Pickens camp, for making unsubstantiated claims and for being "controversial." ... "The ad is not acceptable for air on the NBC network because the spots address controversial issues and it is our policy not to air ads addressing such issues on our network"...

Pickens won. They accepted the ad.

Pickens won.

Did he win, or did the fact there was money to pay for the ad win?

I agree, Pickens won. It is likely the Net Oil Exports will be accepted as a realistic view of Peak Oil.

I briefed 40 Senate staffs a few weeks ago. There is a lot of confusion about the fundamentals of oil. There was a lot of preconceived ideas about speculators and failure to drill. Most staffs were genuinely surprised by the Net Oil Export graph. My guess is that reality check will be OPEC's defense of $100 oil, oil inventory depletion caused by the hurricane season and the heating oil / diesel crisis.

Congressional staff confused about a technical topic?! I'm shocked... shocked I say! :) Sounds like you're doing good work there though.

I don't have any statistics, but from what I have seen the average age of congressional staff looks to be about 23.

They also don't tend to be the "nerdy" or "geeky" types who might have high level math, physics or engineering skills, but instead look like they are just out of a prelaw degree with very nice clothes and skin complexions.

But I haven't spent a lot of time in DC so others who have chime in and either back me up or slap me down.

I can tell you where the few and getting fewer by the year geeky nerdy math/physics/engineering type young (American citizen) people are: they are interning for the top U.S. defense industry corporations: Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon, Northrup-Grumman, SAIC, General Dynamics, BAE, United Technologies, ITT, etc. and all their many, many sub-contractors. Let's not forget the National Labs, such as Sandia, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Savanna River, Battelle, Lawrence Livermore, Pacific National Labs, and more! Did I mention they are interning? Why yes I did! The American University system has this cozy relationship with the military-industrial complex to act as a huge farm team system to bring young people talented in science and math into the fold for life. Go poke around some of your favorite universities and see what their profs and grad students are working on for the the war machine. And, from a realist's viewpoint, why not? We have a nearly three-quarters of a TRILLION dollar defense budget, when you add up DOD, the continual off-the-budget Iraq/Afghanistan war supplementals, the National Intelligence/Reconnaissance/'spy' budgets, the Department of Homeland Security (a brand new bloated behemoth), and various let's say 'off-the-books' budgets. Where else in our sick-man's economy do you think young bright scientific/technical-minded kids will get rewarding, high-paying jobs with job security? They get to work with lasers, high-power electronics, explosives, all kinds of computer chips and circuit boards, and so much more! It is like a giant series of on-going science fairs: Want to make a pain beam to control crowds? Want to make a micro-miniature flying machine that looks and acts like a mechanical moth to spy on people? Meanwhile our civilian industries are out-sourcing their high-tech work to China and India (no security clearance issues there)...how many opportunities do you think exist for young tech folks in automobile production and civilian aircraft manufacturing and so forth? Yes, there are theoretical opportunities in solar, wind, bio-fuels, and alternative energy autos, but these areas are on their own, on starvation diets...they are not getting $750B/year in subsidies (yes, I know a lot of that goes to O&M, I was 20-year military, don't bother to tell me). Oh, did I forget the oil/gas/coal tax subsidies? So, if the USG were to devote real, significant resources into high-tech sustainability enterprises, then you would see talented young (and older) people working there and developing the technologies we need. But, if a candidate suggests that, he/she is accused of socialist industrial policy and scolded that government shouldn't be picking winners and losers in industry. Bull-****! The US has been engineering industrial policy for 50 years...the winners are (and will be) resource extraction and defense. And you, the taxpayer, pay for this, but don't you worry, most of the bill is paid by government securities that are bought by China (isn't that odd, aren't they our enemy? Remember when Rummy and Shrub were building up China as our next near-peer competitor before 9-11 interrupted? Remember the EP-3 USN plane that collided with the PRC fighter jet and the crew was held hostage for a week or so?). Now the Mil-Def-Politico-Religious-Academia complex is jumping for joy! We have >1B Islamic folks to fight in the world, Middle East oil to capture and defend, resource in Africa to capture and defend, the Chines Dragon, the resurgent Russian Bear, and Hugo Chavez to boot! There is currently a move afoot in repub circles to set a fixed floor of DoD spending as a fixed percentage of our GDP...guaranteed loot forever, and none of it for wind farms, solar cells, or 100 mpg cars. What is sad is that our warriors sneer that Russia would be a third-world country without its military...what is really sad is that, without our mild-defense complex, so would we!

We need to bring back the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), for starters. We need to return to a science-based national governance construct and jettison the corporate kleptocracy-based, shrouded in 'faith-based', B.S. we have been experiencing.

Hey Bill thanks for the info could you comment on the crowd you briefed? Repubs,Dems,both. How clueless was the crowd? Agree the defense of $100 by Opec will be quite telling. I would guess 70/30 that OPEC will take action to defend the $100 price level. Would wonder at that point if the KSA needs to reduce "production" in order to preserve inventories or the production capacity of their fields. Guess is if production is cut we once again fail to answer the question of the KSA's ability to maintain production increases versus the ability to surge availability of oil from whatever sources.

I know nothing about this, but it seems to me that we are working in a pretty narrow pricing zone. We know that the American economy is feeling the strain of $100+ oil. Strain = demand destruction. We can also assume that a certain percentage of current projects require high prices to support continued development. No development, no increase in supply. Now, we have SA/OPEC making noises about defending the $100 mark. Where is this going?

I went to every Senate office but 3 of which about 40 took some time.

Preconceptions were somewhat consistent based on party. Oversimplified the Democrats believe the fault is with speculators. Republicans believe the fault is with lack of drilling. In the next 6 weeks we will be posting a number of papers on contingency plans that may help. Pickens plan is definitely helping.

Thanks again for your comments. If I have missed the motivation for your efforts in past DB's I apologize but what is the basis for your crusade? Are you a concerned citizen or are you acting on behalf of a organization? Are you working for Pick?

Thanks Leanan and DUH on me. I spaced on BJ he is the Jpods advocate.

I was trained a soldier and remain a concerned citizen. I believe that Peak Oil and Global Warming are civilization killers we can defeat by acting in advance of the crisis. I have been looking and working on possible solutions for about 12 years.

Like the Black Death of the 14th Century, the solution is basically local, 'kill the rats and do not live in your own waste.' They could not see micro organisms, we cannot see CO2. Plant a garden, end congestion, stop wasting energy moving a ton to move a person, stop wasting.

We Planned our problems. Our infrastructure was planned, taxed for and built. We built our infrastructure, we can build better. Here is a link for changing from a Planned Economy to Performance Standards. I have been working to re-tool transportation as part of my contribution.

hear! hear ! are you running for any office ?

Actually Bill James it's; 'Don't kill the rats'. During the plague of the 13th century they killed the rats thinking that would rid them of the plague, but that forced the fleas to find a new source of blood, which they found in people. The fleas had a certain contagion/bacteria in their guts, which got transferred into the blood stream during the bite causing the deadly illness.

Demand distruction is economic activity destruction unless we increase efficiency.

The Wall Street Journal Money and Investing Column 1 this morning-- "Stocks Struggle with Oil's Good and Bad".

The Genius's are starting to realize that high oil demand mean high oil prices and thus a vibrant economy... low oil prices mean low demand and a sluggish economy.


If the refineries and LOOP are offline, isn't that low demand? Any possibility that is contributing to low oil price?

It would seem like refineries that are down are not buying more oil.

Yes, isn't demand destruction a good thing? TWIP inventories have finally recovered a little. This is likely to decay towards crisis with the current demand destruction.

I do think we will see gas lines, diesel/heating oil crisis if inventories fall very far.

LOOP offline may seem to lower supply. The SPR is being tapped, thus the LOOP shutdown has little impact. Total petroleum stocks were increased.

Domestic crude oil production has been increasing in the United States as of last week's Weekly Petroleum Status Report, USDOE/EIA.

The mega projects list has been wrong in the past as it may have overlooked the affects of smaller projects, privately owned companies, and NOIC's that kept secrets.

Generally oil/total liquids production was seen to be increasing to record levels through 7/2008. OPEC had stated 1.5 million barrels of spare capacity with plans to add more. Iraq and West Africa were frontiers expected to grow. Brazil and Canada were expected to grow as well. EOR activities in OPEC and new fields including Libya, Nigeria, Angola, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and the Caspian area were expected to offset declining production elsewhere. Situations such as the United States reversing declining production have occurred due to the price of oil increasing five fold in short time.

I think FF has it right.
Recall that the price drop has been attributed to low demand before Gustav.
And the markets rejoiced.
As WT noted elsewhere, the equities fell today along with oil.
Usually they move in opposition.
It must be dawning on some that demand destruction is economic destruction.

This is why those who discount the impact of Peak Oil or point to alternatives as adequate replacements for oil don't see the enormous importance oil is to our economy.

Hello TODers,

IMO, a well-crafted article worth reading in its entirety, not just the teaser segment below:

Tackling the global food challenge

World food security, as Australian consumers and others are fast discovering, is at its lowest in half a century. The precipitous fall in world food stocks in the past seven years is forewarning of what we can expect in the next few decades as civilisation runs low on water, arable land, nutrients and technology, as marine catches collapse, as biofuels grow and energy costs rise, and as droughts intensify under climate change.

The chart of grain stocks reveals that, year on year, humanity now consumes more food than it produces.

The reasons for this are straightforward....
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Has anyone here read Paul Robert's "The End of Food"? I keep seeing it in the bookstore and perusing it, wondering if I should get it and read it. Any opinions?

I went to Amazon.com and found two books by the same name. One by Paul Roberts and another by Thomas F. Pawlick. Appears the idea is catching on. I think I will order one of them but I am not sure which one. Recommendations anyone?

TOD readers probably recognize Paul Roberts. He is the author of the generally fine THE END OF OIL: ON THE EDGE OF A PERILOUS NEW WORLD (2005). By the way, Chapter 2 of that book ("The Last of the Easy Oil") is especially good. The architecture of Roberts' argument is impressive and well laid out there.

Palick is, according to the Amazon blurb, like Roberts, a journalist. He is also an experienced organic farmer.

I recently read Roberts "The End of Food." As I recall it was more about the inability to buy real food any more (without "value-added" stuff like salt water injected into meat, greens processed into "salad", "food" ready for the microwave) than about the world running short of food. Though he may have discussed that some at the end.

My wife came out of a supermarket in Ontario once, got into the car empty-handed. "There's no food in there!"

I have not, but I did read his "The End of Oil" and thought it was very good.

Agreed. "The End of Oil" was the first book I read on the subject of peak oil and I found it to be very well written and well researched.

The first chapters are very good!

The precipitous fall in world food stocks in the past seven years is forewarning of what we can expect in the next few decades as civilisation runs low on water, arable land, nutrients and technology, as marine catches collapse, as biofuels grow and energy costs rise, and as droughts intensify under climate change.

With Sarah Palin about to be nominated VP, preaching right-to-life, denying global warming (yes I still use the old-fashioned term) and Milton Friedman's globalist economic policies now the global paradigm, I think the table is almost set for Collapse.

There was an article Leanan posted upstream:

...the consequences of global warming are “already causing misery and premature death for millions and hold the prospect of unquantifiable change and potential disaster on a global scale for the decades to come”.

“While the link between rising global temperatures and increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 has been known for more than a century, there is increasingly the sense that governments are failing to come to grips with the urgency of setting in place measures that will assuredly lead to our planet reaching a safe equilibrium.

As the price of oil falls in the wake of unprecedented demand destruction perhaps it has taken more than a few by surprise. They may be able to put off the descent by as much as a decade. By then the ownership class will have allowed Uncle Malthus to shrink global populations by easily 20%. Poor starving people are not very good customers.

I gave a short speech to a small group last week and I presented a rather doomerish scenario and it was clear that I won't be invited back. The President of the group took me aside afterwards and told me that I "scared the sh#* out of him". I replied that maybe "he expected me to tell him to change his light bulbs and buy a Prius". (maybe the wrong thing to say but it was in the heat of the moment) I might as well have gotten a cardboard sign and walked around advertising The End Is Nigh. Nobody is listening.


First, thanks for being willing to speak out. It might take a lot of massaging the message to get it to a point where you can exploit any cracks in their ear-armor, but your saying it 'a little wrong' is the only way to start the process.

As far as 'no one is listening'.. I think they're listening, but there's SO much yelling, insulting and arguing out there, that the mass of it just rolls off out of self-defense. Don't forget how afraid most people are, and how much they are doing just to disguise that fact itself.

People want to feel safe, and so many of the competing messages have succeeded at creating the illusion of safety, whether they can achieve it or not.


'Is it safe?' der Weisse Engel (Marathon Man)

'Is it safe?' der Weisse Engel (Marathon Man)

Great opening in that flick, the tanker truck was quite PO prescient, IMO :)

I gave a short speech to a small group last week and I presented a rather doomerish scenario and it was clear that I won't be invited back.

Of course you won't be invited back. Here's a true story: I gave my one and only doomerish talk on peak oil 3 years ago to our local Rotary Club. The talk was excellent and I made it a point to shoot down all their techno fixes in the Q&A session afterward. A few days later one guy came into my store and told my wife how impressed he was with my talk, that I really knew my stuff. A week or two ago we ran into him at a local restaurant. He said his wife was expecting their fifth child, eight years after their last one. I was flabbergasted. Obviously my talk made no lasting impression on his behaviour at all.

People can not change their basic instincts to breed and consume. So what's the point in scaring them? If you can't offer up a nice neat solution, and I sure can't, then why send them into a panic? (Note that a return to the horse and buggy is not considered a solution).

There are only a few people locally that I even attempt to discuss this stuff with anymore. You might as well just try to enjoy yourself for whatever time we have left.

Resignation is definitely something to look out for. I have to watch out for it every day; some days it's easier than others.

I really, really hate to say this, but I honestly do not believe that the majority of people will change their ways...when they do consider change, it will be way too late. I'm sorry, I just got done watching the underwhelming Republican VP candidate...don't y'all know that it is morning in America again (again)? Oooh, I think I fed the Alaskan wolves to the wood chipper, don't you know? Drill, drill, drill in Alaska and everywhere! Energy independence is right around the corner, God Bless America and Exxon! And the Iraq 'war' is 'God's bidding' or some such foderal...good thing we will be pumping more domestic oil, 'cause we we be burning it all in the Pentagon's war machines as we expand our imperial over-reach in the Middle East, then Africa.

I thought it interesting that she said that 'Of course we know that just looking for more oil won't give us independence' or words very closely to that effect, and went on to list alternatives including renewables and nuclear.

I noticed that too. I didn't think that was on the Republican talking points.

She actually reminded me of the early Mrs Thatcher.
Many rightwingers long for a really, really strict nanny.
Tell me, if John McCain pops his clogs before November, does she become the Republican candidate?
Lady Macbeth?

Obama has a better idea? A really great speech might change the facts of ELM. I (and many Joe and Jane Sixpacks) like the lipstick part.

At least she knows her job well: already attacking on a personal level and already lying. How do I lie to thee, let me count the ways:

1. McCain is compassionate: he's got the demeanor of a Rottweiler.

2. There's lots of oil up there: If you're an idiot who can't divide 87mb/d by 1mb/day... in 10 - 20 years... which will have absolutely no impact on our dependence on oil.

3. Barack will raise your taxes: if you're wealthy, but will cut them if you aren't. At least we know who she is REALLY TALKING to.

4. Community organizers don't have duties: News to them! Guess they aren't responsible for the changes they help make, eh?

5. "then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening.": So, the Straight Talk Express doesn't like the truth that so many Americans... cling to their religion and guns?

6. "As for my running mate, you can be certain that wherever he goes, and whoever is listening, John McCain is the same man.": Bull. He's a liar and a hypocrite who has twisted his previously stated ethics and morals every time he needed to to win the nomination, and now the election.

7. "if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone": Outright lie. She's unqualified because... she's unqualified in comparison to many other people who could have been chosen and because she doesn't understand the Constitution's separation of church and state, etc.

8. Ethics reform: But I used my office to settle a personal grudge. Maybe more than once.

9. "A nominee who's not looking for a fight": "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran..."


They're saying it was like Ol' Ronnie. Tell me, in his first national speech, did Ronnie Raygun lie so many times?

She's just more of the same lying jackals we've already got.


I agree with you but I don't really blame them. We are all making decisions about our lives based on our immediate surroundings. In a stretch we can try to imagine how our actions affect the world far from our field of view. Even then we might get it wrong. Like the commercial where a person is at the supermarket and they ask "paper or plastic" and he seizes up thinking about deforestation, chemical spills, silting of rivers, oil wells and on and on. To tackle a problem of this magnitude will require concerted action by all of us, i.e. government. Individually we can try to prepare for the worst. Individually we can have little effect on the magnitude of the problem.

Well we live in a highly controlled society. So for every message of relative sanity people hear, they are going to hear literally thousands telling them to consume, spend, shop, drive, vegitate, vaccinate, flagellate, flatulate, and so on into infinity. In fact they will even hear many times more messages telling them to laugh at you for wanting to prevent the species from sleepwalking off a cliff.

I can see the dividing lines being drawn. Lots of people are giving up on any hope of ever changing this "system". (I'm not even sure what to call it.) As Jordan Maxwell said, "It's not even political, it's not even philosophical. It's truly demonic."

You may think you're not making a difference, but the seeds are being sown. The ideas are being put out there. When the spigot of consumerism runs dry, people will be more ready to listen, and more ready to change. But in order for that to happen, they need to be able to look back and say "I wish I had listened to those who warned me ..." They aren't going to be able to look back and say anything if those who would warn people would give up so easily.

It goes far beyond maintaining our standards of living. This is war for the survival of the species. The more you recognize how deep this thing goes, the greater is your responsibility to fight it...


I did the same thing to the state of Oregons Leg.committee on natural resources.Had the same result.Those in power really don't want to hear anything besides the"Prius and light bulb" rap which is a snoozer to start...

IMO, the huge amount of waste in the system is going to be what saves us, at least in the short and medium term. This applies equally to energy, water and food (food having energy as it's biggest input).

Water: Grey water tanks used to flush toilets. No more golf courses in the desert. Residential "landscaping" is a huge waster.

Food: The amount of waste is so staggering it boggles the mind. Main sources are meat, ethanol and grocery store and restaurant waste.

Energy: I don't even know where to start with this one, but if you've ever been to America, it's pretty obvious.

The key is to get these things priced appropriately, thereby creating disincentives for waste. This will somewhat happen over time, as the resources become scarcer, but if we made an effort to appropriately price them now, we could avert a lot of the pain of the switch. The key is to stop subsidizing waste. This won't happen until people realize the extent to which they are subsidizing wasteful uses of these commodities.

Personally, I think we could use half as much of these things in this country without too much hardship.

I believe you are correct with your analysis of the waste in the US. However, in many African countries, there is not much waste to take up. For now and the near future, it is there that we find the real suffering and premature deaths.

Personally, I think we could use half as much of these things in this country without too much hardship.

I agree, there is a lot of waste in the US system and we could do with much less. But I am very dubious about this fact 'saving us.'

The economy will likely shrink in tandem with plummeting US oil imports. Millions of Americans will lose their jobs, and it will only get worse with each passing year.

When the business environment becomes unfavorable, private companies often close down shop literally overnight. Many of the systems we depend on in the US are largely privatized. Thus, as the economy collapses, the systems we depend on won't undergo a gradual downsizing to sustainable levels; they will rapidly fade into oblivion.

We're starting to see this unfold in the auto and airline industries. Our medical system could be another example. In America, medicine is for profit. As Dmitry Orlov notes in Reinventing Collapse, when the economy collapses, profits will evaporate, likely taking the profit-driven medical services with them.

When this happens, can we count on the government saving the day with competent intervention? Indefinitely?

The question is, can we resurrect new systems in time? I don't think so. We have run out the clock. Even now, there are few signs on the horizon suggesting that our 'leaders' are contemplating any sort of constructive change.

I have a short summary of four papers that link oil decline with the decline of the economy here:

Included in the summary is Hirsch's latest paper, Mitigation of Maximum World Oil Production:Shortage Scenarios, which unfortunately is still behind a paywall. The other three are not, though.

The four reports considered are:
Mitigation of Maximum World Oil Production:Shortage Scenarios, Hirsch, 2008
Delays Will Tighten Global Oil Markets (PDF), CIBC World Markets, Rubin, 2008
The Macroeconomics of Oil Shocks (PDF), Philadelphia Fed, Sill, 2007
Accounting For Growth: The Role Of Physical Work (PDF), INSEAD, Ayres and Warr, 2004

cutting all the "waste" is going to save us?

except all the people who's jobs are a part of all that waste. Sure people can fly less, except that means airlines fail. And of course we don't need more suburban McMansions - except that will lay off mortgage brokers, bankers, realtors, construction workers, gardeners, people at Lowes and Home Depot, furniture salespersons, people at Bed Bath & Beyond and Sur La Table etc etc etc.

so how do these people continue to pay mortgages and rent? buy lots of cars and nifty flat screen tv's

and my bet is golf courses (which largely service the rich) are going to last longer than most suburban lawns

food waste - we already have JIT systems largely in place - how will less and/or more expensive fuel help this? will people just eat rotten food?

we have very efficient, but non-robust systems in place - I doubt they will adapt well to future conditions

so how do these people continue to pay mortgages and rent?

They don't, in my view. Although some will live with their relatives, I think that we'll have lots of slums in the West soon unless we figure out a way to create inexpensive housing and quickly, undoubtedly funded by the state.

That was one of the biggest take-aways I got from Orlov's work. According to him, people mostly stayed in their homes during the Russian collapse because their homes were actually provided by the state.

Hey MacDuff, stronger buy signal in gasoline today. Buy signal in oil, but I doubt you have to rush. I expect a stronger buy signal soon.

What the heck is a 'buy signal'? Is it like a 'walk' sign?
Enquiring minds want to know! ( I'm serious! )

Think about what it would take to make a grey water scheme work. First you would need a storage tank at a height higher than the toilet tank. You would also need a storage tank at a lower height than your shower drain. Finally you would need a pump to move the grey water from the lower tank to the upper tank. I suppose you could carry buckets of water between the tanks but I doubt many people would. Considering how cheap water is (here in Davis City, Iowa it is about 2 cents a gallon which is considerably more expensive compared to what I paid in Michigan) how long would the payback period be for the added equipment? How much energy would it take to make the extra equipment? How much energy would it take to pump the water between the tanks? Are there better ways to conserve water like insisting that irrigation methods and power plant cooling systems are more efficient?

In more arid areas making use of grey water makes sense.I have seen a system where a submersible pump(electric)in the grey water collection tank pumped out onto the garden area via a movable hose.Float switch controls the pump automatically.This was on a rural property.Not permissable in an urban area.

There would be no reason why the grey water could not be pumped to a high tank to gravity feed to the toilet.Grease traps and pump screens must be maintained regularly.

Thanks for that link,Bob.Even though I am Australian and have that site bookmarked I hadn't read the article..Too much reading to do and not enough time.
I have lived most of my life in Australia and have travelled over a lot of it.I can readily agree with everything the author says,especially about land degradation.As a lover of landscapes and the natural world it breaks my heart.

Just looking at the situation on a national(continental)scale we need multifaceted urgent measures to stave off a disaster.While there are many in the scientific and conservation community who are aware, the majority of the population is unconscious,for want of a better word.The leadership,business and political,are stupid,ignorant and arrogant beyond belief.

Are humans smarter than yeast? - I doubt it.

Hey Bob,

Here's one you might be interested in - Peter Melchett has written a piece over on the Guardian today,
Currently it's being lambasted by some prats wanging on about the price of Waitrose organic and oil coming back down....... yawn...

BTW Due to cost many farmers over here are now reverting back to using Lime and Slag.

Keep giving that ton bag of yours some good loving, those magical little granules are becoming as rare as hens teeth.


shelves have shrunk at a "massive and disturbing" rate, the latest sign of accelerating climate change

And Yo Harper, the current Canadian PM, sees the loss of arctic ice cover as a good reason to invest tax dollars in arctic oil and gas exploration.

Government wildcatting.

For a while I have thought that some people/politicians?? would see climate change as a good thing for them and therefore would not do much to cut back their CO2. Likewise with geo-engineering not everybody would want the same general outcome.

Without seriously studying and considering the possible consequences, yes, I'm sure a lot of Americans are ambivalent about climate change -- particularly those in the colder parts of the country. No kidding -- come February, you start hearing the "global warming" cracks repeated, ad nauseum.

Good BBC link which gives before and after imagery


The Essentials of Life

Grocery stores and gas stations.

According to Jefferson Parish (post-WW II suburban annex to New Orleans), people are willing to return to homes without power (often staying with friends and relatives in Baton Rouge also w/o power) but they need the bare essentials; grocery stores and gas stations. They are working to get generators for these two essentials.


"The release of the oil will prevent any shortage and that will, of course, help calm the market," said Victor Shum, an analyst with energy consultancy Purvin and Gertz.

That oil is there for true emergencies. It might be half gone before we ever have one....

They're supposed to pay it back.

I can't help but agree with memmel that there is a well coordinated effort not only to increase short-term supplies to levels that are not sustainable over the long haul, but also a full court press to talk down the price of oil.

It seems to be emanating from the political right, Sarah Palin being recently crowned its poster child.

It seems to be emanating from the political right, Sarah Palin being recently crowned its poster child.

It seems to me left right and center. Everyone wants business-as-usual to continue and it seems to me that painting it as "political right" isn't going to be helpful in wrestling with the issue. Yes Palin is a poster child for the issue - as such she shows how the dominionist right IS far more serious about energy issues than the elitist Obama/McCain group. [Please don't misinterpret what I wrote: be careful not to confuse appearance with reality - and that applies to both McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden.]

All those liberals with their talk of "rising tide". What's that if not unsustainable? The whole foundation of modern liberalism - and I'll skip whether it is left, right or center - is unsustainable. Ooops.

cfm in Gray, ME

Dryki - I think to argue for the right or the left "McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden is irrelevant. It is an illusion that we actually have a choice.

Paddy Cheyafsky won an Academy Award for his screenplay Network 32 years ago and now it looks ever more prescient with the Chicago School of Economics ruling the world. Chayefsky never got to see the rise of our modern consumer culture as he was a life long smoker and died of cancer in 1981. Too Bad!:

I started as a salesman Mr. Beale. I sold sewing machines, automobile parts, hairbrushes and electronic equipment. They say I can sell anything. I’d like to try to sell something to you. Please sit down.

You have meddled with the primal forces of nature Mr. Beale and I won’t have it. Is that clear! You think that you have merely stopped a business deal, that is not the case.

The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity; it is ecological balance. You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations there are no peoples there are no Russians, there are no Arabs, there are no third worlds there is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and inane interwoven, interacting multi-varied multinational dominion of dollars: petrol dollars, electro-dollars, Reich-Marks, Rubles, Pounds and Shekels.

It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That at is the atomic, sub-atomic and galactic structure of things today…and you have meddled with the primal forces of nature and you will atone!

Am I getting through to you Mr. Beale?

You get up on your little 21-inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America, there is no democracy. There is only IBM, ITT, AT&T, Dupont, Dow, Union Carbide and EXXON. Those are the nations of the world today.

What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state? Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, mini-max solutions and compute the price/cost probabilities of their transactions and investments just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies Mr. Beale. The world is a College of Corporations inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business.

The world is a business Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime and our children will live to see that perfect world in which there is no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company for whom all men will work to serve a common prophet, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.

Can I have chosen you to preach this evangel Mr. Beale?

Mr. Beale: “Why me?”

Because you’re on Television you dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week Monday through Friday.

Life imitates art.


I suspect Dryki was making the same point, or similar - about left and right.

Good Quote.. was that the book or the screenplay? (was there a book?)

As for; "in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided.." It seems what we've had the opportunity to learn (and have not) is that those necessities are what the Corporations Need, not what we need. What we're provided are various addictions, so that we no longer know or notice what we actually need.

The Market works in mysterious ways.. and will strike down with great efficiency and furious indifference all who oppose it.

I am a very good gardener.

Isn't that what a businessman is?
A gardener? A person that makes
flinty soil productive with the
labor of his own hands, who waters
it with sweat from his own brow,
and who creates a place of value for
his family and community? Yes, in-
deed, Chauncey, a productive busi-
nessman is a laborer in his own

I know exactly what you mean, Ben.
The garden that I left was such a
place. But I don't have that any
(points to ceiling)
...All that's left for me now is
the room upstairs.

Jerzy Kosinski - 'Being There'

It was a screenplay. Here is a link for the exact scene:


Ned Beatty delivers the monologue.

I see that and I'll raise you..

...from Three Days of the Condor

Higgins: It's simple economics. Today it's oil, right? In ten or fifteen years, food. Plutonium. Maybe even sooner. Now, what do you think the people are gonna want us to do then?

Joe Turner: Ask them?

Higgins: Not now - then! Ask 'em when they're running out. Ask 'em when there's no heat in their homes and they're cold. Ask 'em when their engines stop. Ask 'em when people who have never known hunger start going hungry. You wanna know something? They won't want us to ask 'em. They'll just want us to get it for 'em!

Welcome to THEN!

Funny how several decades ago Hollywood got it right...Network, RollerBall, Three Days of the Condor, Soylent Green, Logan's Run, Silent Running, Planet of the Apes. Then it became morning in America again and we continued to build our shining city on the hill, jettisoning any concept of sustainable living planning. Eat, drink, and be merry and buy lots of cars and TVs and party like it's 1999. The beat will go on until it is too late to change. McInsane/Hockey Mom's convention portrayed their future for us: An endless celebration of war, jingoism, and sloganeering by old white folks telling us how great we art. Hey, there's more oil and gas in Alaska than we know what to do with, dontcha know! Drill, baby, drill! USA, USA! We ain't electing no black secret Muslim with all his libral hippie anti-American talk about conservation and windmills and solar cells and stuff! Shucks, we need lots of fossil fuels to make everybody new blu-ray players and giant gaudy flag pins and 9-11 commemorative gee-gaws from the Franklin Mint!

You make an excellent point, Dryki. The propensity for wishful thinking certainly has no partisan bias, and both parties are in search of facil answers to a problem that has none. So far no one has stepped forward to fall on their own sword, uttering truths that Americans are loath to hear.

I often frequent a sight called NakedCapitalism which has, I suppose by default, become sort of a de facto gathering place for oil price bears. It is without a doubt left-leaning. I frequent it because it gives a nice counterbalance to the Oil Drum's bulls and, like the Oil Drum, has some intelligent, substantive and well thought-out commentary. Recently, however, I've noticed a sea change in the opinions expressed there. Before, there seemed to be somewhat of a consensus that the sustainable price of oil was in the $90 to $110 per barrel range, and anything above that was speculative froth. Now there seems to be a consensus developing that $70 to $75 per barrel will be the long-range price, that the entire runup from that price last year to over $140 was all just a bubble. The fact that the marginal cost to produce a barrel of oil is now probably in excess of $100 per barrel, or that Russia and/or OPEC could with a few simple actions send prices soaring upwards again, is totally lost on them. So these same people who to me only a couple of months ago seemed quite reasonable are now all of a sudden getting swept away in a wave of emotion and euphoria.

So you are right. The problem is not a problem of the political right or left. But you must admit that Palin put such a poignant face on the cornucopian myth, and her arguments are so over the top, that it is easy to fall into that trap.

But you must admit that Palin put such a poignant face on the cornucopian myth, and her arguments are so over the top, that it is easy to fall into that trap.

And millions and millions of Americans will. No matter how over the top.

This will be the Cornucopia Election. The McCain/Palin ticket has the initiative. Let's see how Obama/Biden trumps that - maybe $2000 checks on Jan 21? Meanwhile all hell breaks loose.

Perhaps a bit enigmatic, but because they didn't stop Caesar when he crossed the Rubicon, our salvation lies with the Huns.

cfm in Gray, ME

According to Jon Stewart, who is covering the RNC, the Republicans will soon buy ALL of our houses too....sweet!!!

The GOP: Give Us One More Chance

Aasif Mandvi is at the RNC where the overall theme of the week is "The GOP: Give Us One More Chance, This Time We Won't F*%! it Up."

So far no one has stepped forward to fall on their own sword, uttering truths that Americans are loath to hear

Jimmy Carter spoke the truth about energy as he saw it.


Yes, and he's still ridiculed and vilified for it. Perhaps we'll know we've turned a corner when Carter is broadly given the credit he is due.

I think that the desire for BAU is hard to go against. I am certainly PO aware, aware of population overshoot consequences, and such. However, if I could choose between collapse next month or BAU for another year, I'll choose BAU for another year. Why? Well, that is another year for me to prepare! I don't deny the poo-storm that's headed our way, but my knowledge of what is headed our way doesn't mean I look forward to it, or wouldn't delay it if I could.

The issue for politicians is, to acknowledge the problem will bring it to the forefront of public attention if it were truly acknowledged. Then the other issue is that politicians loathe to try to tackle any long term goals. If there is not progress to show by the next election cycle, it will be viewed as a waste. Being shortsighted is a flaw of the election cycle, I do think.

Of the election cycle...and of the electorate.

Any politician who told us the truth would not be elected.

During the question and answer session recently, Obama was asked what he would tell the American people if there were no consequences. That got a chuckle because there definitely would be consequences for answering the question truthfully and fully. However, Obama cited the energy situation as the topic he would choose. He seems clearly peak oil aware, and he seems to have indicated that it is the issue he would discuss with America if there were no consequences.

Obama announced his hopes to get us off Middle East oil in 10 years. I know talk is cheap, but the message is right. Universal health care may also fit into the same picture if he is expecting hard times and poverty for many Americans. He keeps talking about how we are all going to have to make sacrifices, but he rarely gives much insight into what these will be. I believe he mentioned SUVs in that regard, but I get the feeling he sees other sacrifices required of Americans in the coming decade.

Whether his approach is a good one or not, I will feel better to have a president who seems to be aware of peak oil and who intends to take a good stab at bringing our country and the world through it in some civilized manner. McCain, on the other hand... He seems like a good guy, but he can't even send an email without help from a staff member. I have my doubts that he thinks much of peak oil. If he does, I wouldn't be surprised if he has a very different view of what a decent outcome of events would be.

I don't think it matters whether the president is peak oil aware or not. Matt Simmons claims to have told both Bush and Clinton about it. Cheney is definitely peak oil aware, and look where that got us.

Tom Whipple wrote an article once, about why politicians are so short-sighted. Basically, they've got an awful lot on their plates, and unless you can tell them exactly when peak oil will be a problem, it gets pushed to the bottom of the agenda. They just don't see as a priority over all the other things they're dealing with.

Bill Clinton is definitely peak oil aware, and presumably so is Hillary. I have to think Mitt Romney is peak oil aware, too, since he's an old friend of Matt Simmons', and Simmons was on his campaign committee. But I doubt that would change their presidential decisions much, which would, as always, be driven by the political considerations and the election cycle.


WARREN: OK. I’ve got 30 seconds. What would you tell the American public if you knew there wouldn’t be any repercussions?

[ laughter ]

OBAMA: Well, you know what I would tell them? Is that solving big problems, like for example, energy, is not going to be easy and everybody is going to have to get involved. And we are going to have to all think about how are we using energy more efficiently and there’s going to be a price to pay in transitioning to a more energy- efficient economy and dealing with issues like climate change. And if we pretend like everything is free, and there’s no sacrifice involved, then we are betraying the tradition of America.

I think about my grandparents’ generation, coming out of a depression, fighting World War II, you know, they’ve confronted some challenges we can’t even imagine. If they were willing to make sacrifices on our behalf, we should be able to make some sacrifices on behalf of the next generation.

My sense is that he intends to try to do something about it. I'm not saying he will be able to, but I'm willing to help give him the opportunity to try.

If I might paraphrase:

Cheney/McCain: "We've got an energy problem, but the American way of life is non-negotiable, so it's drill, drill, drill and bomb, bomb, bomb Iran."

Obama: "We've got an energy problem, which is going to mean sacrifice and change"

I'm still getting over my shock from reading Nate's statement the other day that he is on the fence.

I'm still trying to get over my shock that anyone actually believes a word a politician says.

So you think that before the election Obama is saying that Americans are going to have to make sacrifices to meet the energy challenge and after the election he is going to say no sacrifice is necessary? Curious political culture you have down there.

I was actually expressing bemusement that Nate was so taken with that video of Palin. But then, she's cute, and she has a thing for Sasquatches... ;-)

But since you ask, I don't believe Obama (or any other politician, really) says anything unless they think it will help them get elected. At least, not in that situation.

This tactic - call it "I am not a panderer, like those other guys" - was very effective with his base in the primary. As long as he doesn't actually say what sacrifices are necessary, it's a win-win for him. I mean really, what else was he going to say? The question required him to say something like that.

And I think he mentioned energy because that was the concern of voters (and McCain successfully tapped into that with his "all of the above" strategy), not because he's particularly concerned about that issue.

Obama: "there’s going to be a price to pay in transitioning to a more energy- efficient economy and dealing with issues like climate change."

Obama could easily have slipped into 'seamless transitions' and 'unlocking the creative genius of the marketplace' and 'clean energy technologies', etc. Instead he chose to propose the need to pay a price.

Obama could easily have slipped into 'seamless transitions' and 'unlocking the creative genius of the marketplace' and 'clean energy technologies', etc.

No, he could not. What "repercussions" does he have to fear from saying those things? None. The question was not about energy, it was about what he would say if there were no repercussions.

He pretty much had to talk about sacrifice there. McCain's answer would have been similar, I'm sure. (And indeed, he ended his part with talk about sacrifice, too.)

The only interesting thing is that Obama specifically mentioned energy...but as I said, I think that's because energy was polling as the voters' greatest concern, and McCain was already exploiting that.

There is plenty of downside risk associated with vague talk of a price to be paid and sacrifices as it leaves the door wide open for the opposition to fill in the blanks. Could you provide a link to McCain's comments. I am interested to see if he talks about more than sacrificing national wildlife refuges.

I note your continuing cynicism regarding the possibility of a positive role for the federal government in this peak oil induced transitory period. I don't think you are adequately appreciating the cost of leaving the war party in power, not just to the US but to the entire world. This cost most definitely cripples efforts to mitigate the effects of depleting strategic resources and efforts to reverse environmental degradation, including climate change.

Speaking to the RNC, Bush made it very clear McCain shares his strategic orientation to go on the military offensive to protect the Empire. Should we believe otherwise?

The opportunity cost arising from the misallocation of resources that 'being on the offensive' entails is felt directly by local authorities struggling to ramp up public transit, build cycling and walking infrastructure, concentrate property development, etc.. It definitely affects the ability of governments at all levels to experiment with alternative energy strategies. The economy is burdened with so much military waste it is unable to absord the risk that these experiments carry.

I look forward to the day that you realize that your cynicism is the fruit of a multi-decade campaign led by beneficiaries and devotees of the military-industrial complex and aided by the naivete of the libertarian camp.

Nation-states may wither in a post-carbon world. None of us will live long enough to know. National governments are here for the duration of our lifetimes. It does matter who is in charge.

I look forward to the day that you realize that your cynicism is the fruit of a multi-decade campaign led by beneficiaries and devotees of the military-industrial complex and aided by the naivete of the libertarian camp.

Astute observation, toil, and nicely put.

The only real "accomplishment" of the modern American Republican Party has been to convince Americans of all political stripes that government is the enemy. Personally, I once believed that only Federal action was capable of dealing with our global-scale challenges -- climate change, peak oil, resource mismanagement, etc -- but I no longer think the Feds capable of playing a positive role. Karl Rove has done his job.

Let's be clear: The nomination of Sarah Palin was nothing less than a calculated "screw you" to the 50% of Americans who never had a stomach for Rovian politics. The underlying message is "You want a national government that formulates a single policy regardless of your values? -- well, that's what you'll get." This is the religious-right exacting revenge against the "pointy-headed, fag-tolerant Eastern Liberal establishment."

"Don't tell me the earth is 4.5 billion years old, I'll believe what I damn well please and if you give me any grief, I'll see to it that your kid learns that it may only be 6000 years old."

"Don't tell me I have to accomodate legalized abortion or sex-ed in public schools. I'll fix you by making it impossble for you to obtain a legal abortion." What are you going to do when your sexually-assaulted daughter is forced to bear the child of someone who attacked her in a shopping mall parking lot? If the Sarah Palins have their way, she won't have a choice.

See what I mean? Give you the urge to turn your back on the notion of "one nation?" It sure has that effect on me.

Sure -- progressives have more than their hurt feelings to consider -- future generations, citizens in other countries, etc. but from my vantage point, I see little hope for accomplishing anything at a national level. My advice to those who care about their brothers and sisters and the earth, is to learn to live simply -- "pig simply" if need be -- take care of each other and re-learn what it is to be part of a community and part of the ecology -- the only "traditional values" that are worth a damn.

There is plenty of downside risk associated with vague talk of a price to be paid and sacrifices as it leaves the door wide open for the opposition to fill in the blanks. Could you provide a link to McCain's comments.

It's in the same link. Obama was first, then McCain. McCain also ended his part talking about the need for sacrifice...which tells me that it polled well with the focus groups.

I look forward to the day that you realize that your cynicism is the fruit of a multi-decade campaign led by beneficiaries and devotees of the military-industrial complex and aided by the naivete of the libertarian camp.

It will be a very long wait.

The reason for my "cynicism" (I think it's actually realism) is peak oil. Peak oil is a game-changer.

It is easy to be cynical these days. Hell, our government created a fear meter to show us how scared we should be at any given time. I'll also agree that it is possible that Obama will do absolutely nothing productive to address peak oil. On the other hand, there is only one way to find out.

I've put back some gold and silver. I live on my family farm and am learning how to produce from it. I'm taking what steps I can to be prepared for whatever may happen, peak oil or otherwise. At the same time, it will serve no purpose to give in to despair. I will try to do my part to make life as good for my child and future grandchildren as possible. Even if it ultimately turns out to be futile, I don't consider it to be wasted effort.

It's amusing to look at historical attempts to predict what the world and society will look like in the future. Sure, most of us on this site see alarming trends and hear mental alarms going off; but we can't see the future.

I'm not a doomer.

However, I am not expecting the federal government to be any help in what's coming.

Who do you expect to be of help?

Silence would be the best answer here.

(And then a gentle nod towards the mirror.)

I think change will have to be grassroots. That's how it works here these days. State and local governments are way out ahead of the feds. Look at how the gay marriage debate changed, and how fast it changed. That was grassroots in action. (And I never thought I'd see the day, to tell you the truth.)

I also suspect that national is the equivalent of Diamond's "medium-sized society." Diamond argued that medium-sized societies could not make the transition to sustainability; instead, they collapsed into internecine fighting. The "island" we're on now is global.

How do you define doomer? I think for most it is anyone expecting any degree of collapse. The name itself would suggest a collapse that we cannot recover from. Personally, I am a short- and mid-term (end of the current century... or a bit more) doomer and a long-term (meaningful recovery and change sometime after the turn of the century) optimist (if we don't fry the planet or turn it into a snowball.)


Good question. A doomer outlook is one in which things never get better. An optimist can tolerate severe hard times that eventually get better. How's that?

I think that's as good a definition as any.

While I think it's very likely that things will never get better, I hold out hope for a transition to sustainability.

When things sometimes get better, the doomer won't complain, because the doomer knows it will eventually get worse.

When things sometimes get so severe as to induce death, you won't hear the optimist complain, either.

Doomers are realists, and optimists self-medicate with hope.

Any room for someone whose tea-leaves just aren't working?

Whilst some things are apparent, such as that peak oil is either coming or likely already here, often it is tempting to make a series of assumptions to give a false sense of certainty, even if that leads to a gloomy conclusion, or alternatively to unwarranted optimism.

In fact, in this issue as in life, we are pretty much in the position that we have to do the best we can and hope for the best.
Tough times a-coming though, that's for sure.

unless you can tell them exactly when peak oil will be a problem, it gets pushed to the bottom of the agenda.

Leanan, how's this?: Senator (fill in the name), on January 19, 2012 @ 15:45 GMT Peak Oil will definitely be a problem.

Too far in the future.

I'm with Leanan on this one...despite their faults, I have a lot of respect for my local board of supervisors and their plate is full. The number of issues vying for their attention is difficult for most people to comprehend, I think, unless they have seen the schedules up close.

Mind you, I live in a county where if you put four people in a room together, you get 16 environmental groups. But I suspect the pattern holds everywhere, just different issues.

Here the local issues are the perennial desire to "fix the streets" and "fix education" with a dose of "rejuvenate downtown" thrown in. There is no notion of declining budgets or hard decisions, and all the plans are big bond-funded boondoggles, for this crony or that one depending on who is positioning the pitch.

There is zero recognition of energy shortages looming, or even asphalt shortage outside of Public Works engineering.

I am sure it is worse at the national level. Gov't will be a hindrance at every level, as there is no more focused BAU defender than a bureaucrat who depends on the status quo. I had lunch with a well-connected Chamber of Commerce buddy last week, and not only could he not conceive of a stagnant growth line (let alone shrink), but he flatly denied peak oil. He actually scowled and acted like he tasted something bad when I suggested higher prices were inevitable. He believes that we can deal with 3x current energy prices or more "like Europe" and that even marginal price increases will enable the necessary drilling and technology.

And he casually remarked how well his leases were paying, without seeing the logical conflict.

Obviously we'll all be fine if we each own a stripper well or two. Let's buy one this dip......

The complexity of the human network vs. the human capacity to understand it. Failure to understand the network eventually leads to problems, an application of "more" to solve problems, thus increasing the complexity of the system.

The more efficient the system becomes at growing to solve problems, the more it opens itself to black swans beyond its purview, or hiding within its own misunderstood complexity.

Clap Clap Clap!

I believe this has an exponential element to it also.


How does the US gov "release" SPR stocks? Auction? Will Call?


I don't know all the details but essentially the gov't receives bids from the various refiners for a specific amount of crude. The oil is not sold to the refiners. The refiners are obligated to replace the oil in the future (12 months max?) This could be tricky for the refiners should oil be selling at much higher prices at the time of replacement. I suspect the refiners buy future contracts to protect against such potential losses.

In his weekly rant, Kunstler seemed to think there was a chance of spot shortages due to supply disruption from Gustav. He's also noted in the past that actual supply shortages - not high prices - will be the kick in the rear end that the USA needs to wake up to the dangers of peak oil, potentially to the point of panic.

The Bush administration ignored pleas to open the SPR due to record high prices at the beginning of the summer, yet now they open it up? Seems to me like someone in Washington might be thinking along the same lines as Kunstler.

Seems to me like someone in Washington might be thinking along the same lines as Kunstler.

Seems to me people in Washington are thinking along the lines of McCain/Palin.

Which is worse: prices at 147, avg. around 130+ or a short period of short supply with prices falling to $107?

Occam's Razor.


The Bush administration ignored pleas to open the SPR due to record high prices at the beginning of the summer, yet now they open it up?

That is standard operating procedure. Bush has insisted all along that the SPR is for emergencies, not high prices. A hurricane is an emergency. He opened it up for Katrina, and said he would if necessary for other hurricanes. I would have been shocked if he didn't do it for Gustav.

While I agree with Kunstler that shortages are more likely to wake Americans up than mere high prices, I don't think the current situation will be that bad. We had shortages after Katrina, and people forgot very quickly.

Noticed this watching CNBC while waiting for the kettle to whistle: Baker Hughes CEO worried about Gustav hit on 3rd-qtr

HOUSTON (Reuters) - The chief executive of oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc (BHI.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Wednesday he was concerned about the effect that Hurricane Gustav would have on third-quarter results.

"In terms of getting back up and getting back to work, we are finding this as difficult as we did in the Katrina period," CEO Chad Deaton told the Lehman Brothers CEO Energy/Power conference in remarks broadcast over the Web.

Perhaps we'll hear more later in the day.

Please try not to quote entire articles. It's copyright as much as bandwidth that's the issue.

And this has already been posted in the Gustav infrastructure thread.

I'm fastidious about not doing so; this was only 3 short paragraphs though. Won't do it again in the future.

It's an SOP that makes no sense. I am one that thinks markets are bullhocky, but I do understand that tons of oil at a price nobody can afford is as big a problem as not enough oil at prices people can pay.

I.e., I'm not buying it.


Now what thin-skinned little troll voted that comment down? Based on what? I have grown to hate this system. It is utterly useless except to quickly see what topics are engendering a MAAS party or are controversial.

As for the emergency, well, there is no emergency now, so why is it being used? You see, this is my point. There was a hurricane, but there is no emergency. There are no shortages. Etc. And, 250,000 barrels in the face of up to 1.2 million a day? That's a joke. It's all nicely timed for the Crooked Talk Express.

When business were failing and jobs were being lost because people couldn't afford gas to get to work, THAT was an emergency.


As I said further down thread...it makes sense to me. It's not a gift, it's a loan. It's temporary. Oil companies that withdraw oil from the SPR are expected to repay it in kind. They did that after Katrina.

If you sell oil just because prices are too high, then what? How do you replace that oil? What if prices just get higher?

The amount being released is less than 20 minutes worth of US consumption. The effect is purely psychological.

US stockpiling critical materials for Global war

One little noticed news item caught my attention and convinced me that our government is indeed making strategic preparation for a possible global war. It's recent announcements by the Defense National Stockpile Center. It's public information. On August 7th, DNSC suspended sales of six materials from the stockpile inventory, one of them being platinum. On August 12th, DNSC issued a notice to order beryllium. And then on August 25th, DNSC issued solicitation to purchase pretty large amount of titanium. On the same day, DNSC also solicites purchase of the cobalt metal. Those are official public announcements.

But facing the reality of global resource depletions including Peak Oil, I think a global resource war is all but inevitable in the very near future. I just hope it doesn't go nuclear. I am happy to see our government is trying to stock up on critical strategic materials like platinum and titanium.

Also, while I believe a global conflict is ultimately inevitable and that our government is already quietly preparing for it, as probably are other nations, I do think global war is NOT imminent yet, definitely not in the next few months.


I think he is too optimistic.
This sounds to me more like prudent stockpiling prior to a strike on Iran, in case things go wrong and wider conflict ensues.

U.S. Is Set to Announce $1 Billion in Aid for Georgia

Azerbaijan, like Georgia, is a former Soviet republic that has sought closer ties to the West and the United States, and it is considered a vital crossroads for oil and gas from the Caspian Sea.

Underscoring the point, Mr. Cheney’s first meetings here in Baku were with representatives of two international oil companies: William Schrader of BP Azerbaijan and Robert Satmalchi of Chevron, according to a spokeswoman, Megan M. Mitchell. She said they discussed “their assessments of the energy situation in Azerbaijan and the broader Caspian region — especially in light of Russia’s recent military actions in Georgia.”


We can begin charting the steps to WWWIII

It is not clear whether the package will include any direct military support, which officials have acknowledged they are considering.

"We can do without butter, but, despite all our love of peace, not without arms." Goebbels, 1936

The Peak Oil debate is at least getting more attention in the media these days. Some folks are seeing the light but many are still in deep denial. Two quotes from the September 1 Peak Oil Review make this case.

[On the decline in oil production by supermajors:] “The reason is largely due to geopolitics and, to a lesser degree, technological limitations. It’s certainly not because the world is running out of oil. A more accurate way of defining the current situation is that the world is dealing with geopolitical peak oil, not absolute peak oil.”
-- Deborah Yedlin, reporter for the Calgary Herald

“It is obvious to any observer that oil production, for whatever reason, whether geologic or geopolitical in nature, is not going to keep up with demand. Fifty-four of the 65 oil-producing nations have entered irreversible production declines. That is a matter of fact, not opinion.
-- Debbie Cook, Mayor of Hunting Beach (CA).

Ron Patterson


Interesting to see who is jumping on the PO fray. The major of Huntington Beach! I assume you read about the Santa Barbara PTB sending the governor a letter asking him to support offshore drilling in California. They offered the possibility of an increased tax and employment base as their motivation. Just yesterday, one of the biggest anti drilling groups in Cal cut a deal with a producer whereas they would stop all legal action against them as long as the company met so rather easy (IMO) hurdles. Of course, this has led to a big blowup amongst the environmentalist groups out there. Once again, self interest has championed over self defined “morality”.

She's running for congress.

Yes, I am running for Congress and I am telling the truth to a lot of people who don't want to hear it and I didn't "jump" on anything. I have been actively promoting energy education (peak oil) to elected officials and policy makers since attending the 2005 ASPO-USA conference in Denver and now serve on their Board of Directors. I am running BECAUSE OF peak oil. No sane person would run for Congress unless something had seriously scared the sh*% out of them.

Hello TODers,

We are evolved to sit in the dark, but the demand for food is never-ending:

Don't be misled about the power of the price of oil: it has a profound effect on the global economy. It affects transportation costs, energy costs and the cost of thousands of derivative products that have oil-based products as a key ingredient.

But it is not the end all be all for commodities, as pointed out recently by Citigroup analyst Brian Yu: "…the market has failed to recognize that demand for grains rarely cycle (supply cycles though) and has shown little historical correlation with economic activity. The last time we checked, fertilizers and grains are not industrial metals."
Have you hugged your bag of NPK today?

For some reason I cannot access Bloomberg via internet to confirm, but according to Bl TV, there are "splits" in Ukraine. IMO, Ukraine will be the real fault line between the West and Russia, with half its population pro-Russia. Potential for local conflict spilling over into international conflict, makes Georgia look like a non-event.

Bloomberg appears to be down at the moment. Along with a lot of other sites. Dunno about the Ukraine, but the net seems to be having serious problems.

All seems Ok in Yurop:-) perhaps it's a commie plot?

More likely a traffic jam on the information superhighway, that is blocking some routes but not others.

Surely not an infrastructure problem due to lack of investment:-) with my 24Mb line everything is fine and dandy, bloomberg is the only site i have see a problem with, but only because i tried it as a result of this post I wouldn't normally use it:-)

theoildrum is responding well right now whereas sometimes it is slow.

Actually I'm in Europe (Sweden to be exact) and I'm also having trouble with the Internets today.

peakoil.com kaput as well.

isnt there a lot of sun spot activity now ? the radio seems kind of staticy.

We've just had a year with NO sunspots.

We've just had a year with NO sunspots.

Not exactly. We had one in August. But this has been a remarkable period of low activity. Solar scientists don't know what to expect for the coming cycle.

I've noticed sporadic problems accessing various websites the past few days. In the 90's when the net was beginning to really boom, I often kept track of internet traffic via a few different websites, as flow disruptions were more common.

If you're interested in seeing network congestion, you can check out sites similar to:

Try this.

Interesting development in the Ukraine.


I'll put my money on the Blonde.

She gets my vote for the hairdo alone.

The BBC reports "Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has threatened to dissolve parliament and call elections after the collapse of the country's ruling coalition. Mr Yushchenko's supporters walked out in protest following new laws trimming the president's powers."


How dare they try and trim the president's powers! don't they understand a president needs to be able to launch an invasion without justification, just ask Bush.

"I will NOT evacuate in future."

Put your own expletives in front and behind the above quote.
All over the blogs. NO letting everyone in now.

We now know exactly what it will take to breach NO's levees.

10 miles per hour slower forward speed. 10 mph faster wind speed.
10 miles closer to NO.

"If only, if only, if only the media and the public officials would have been honest with us. If they had told us, contraflow is NOT easing traffic on I-59 and to expect a 10 hour delay before reaching Hattiesburg, Mississippi, then at least motorists could have tried to do something else. At least we could have made extraordinary efforts to conserve gas. At least we could have planned driving shift strategies so as to avoid exhaustion on the road. I am very disappointed, not to mention still very angry, that I was deceived in such a stressful and anxious situation. The media and the public officials responsible for advising motorists honestly about evacuation conditions should be ashamed of themselves.


I said before that Contraflow does not work.

It also will be increasingly ignored.

Even as Entergy is desperately trying to restore power to the oil/gas infrastructure:

"Entergy's Waterford 1, Nine Mile Point and Little Gypsy plants
are now supplying all power to this zone because all transmission lines
leading to and from there are out of service."

"Gustav continues causing new outages in the Entergy system. As of 5 a.m., outages increased overnight in Arkansas due to high winds from the storm."

As before, you do not know what you are talking about. Scanning blogs, some good, some not.

10 mph+, etc. would not have caused failure of levees for New Orleans (West Bank maybe with 25+ mph, etc. but not the core of New Orleans)

Contraflow worked like a charm, exactly as planned (unlike Texas for Rita). Yes, stop & go traffic at peak evac, but I could have left at the speed limit to 40 mph at 5 PM the day before (contraflow was removed from I-10 West and I-55 due to lack of demand by then).


"Contraflow worked like a charm."

Just those pesky Naysayers, eh?

"Next time, we won't leave
Posted by James O'Byrne, staff writer, Times-Picayune September 02, 2008 8:11PM

"Rule No. 2: Don't respond to people's criticisms and complaints about how things went by telling them this is how it's supposed to be. Sixteen hours to Birmingham, 23 hours to Tuscaloosa, 14 hours to Pensacola. In many cases, these horrific journeys were made with infants and the elderly, trapped on the interstate, blocked from exiting for hours and hours, with no hope of food, gas or bathroom facilities. Yet when public officials, standing in their air-conditioned Emergency Operations Centers, were questioned about what went wrong, they responded that everything worked well, and this is how it's supposed to be. Back to that contract. If people don't actually have to leave, and they are telling their public officials that this evacuation did not work well, the correct response to that message is not, "You're wrong, it did."


You must work for Shell. That's all I can figure. someone's paying you not to understand.

BTW, your electric train set for NO, has been set back.

the L&N Bridge, damaged, not working.

RR at I 10 and 55 under water. Guess that's the KCS but you'll let me know I'm sure.

At least they opened the Caernarvon Diversion. That's a first.

NO's just dropped a little more and the GOM just rose.

And that's the way it's gonna be from now on.

So just what are those 800 000 people, w/o electricity
(13 of 14 Transmission lines down)
and evac'ed, doing for money these days? It's not over.


BTW-expect alot more rain.

Sixteen hours to Birmingham, 23 hours to Tuscaloosa,

Considering that Tuscaloosa is roughly 60 miles West by Southwest of Birmingham and that the most direct route from New Orleans to Birmingham (I-10 East, I-59, I-20) goes through Tuscaloosa, it is remarkable that it takes 7 hours longer to get from New Orleans to Tuscaloosa than New Orleans to Birmingham.

Traffic congestion was comparable to an LSU football game in Baton Rouge or (in years past) an Alabama football game in Birmingham. *NO ONE* promised a pleasant drive at the speed limit out ! Average speeds of 30 mph are perfectly acceptable for a mass evacuation (see many city commutes every workday).

I admit to gaming the evac timing. 3 AM is always a good time to leave for minimal congestion, as is last hours evac (as noted they lifted contraflow because of lack of demand on some interstates. Route selection matters (not all roads are equally congested at all times).

At least they opened the Caernarvon Diversion. That's a first

The Caernarvon has been successfully used for well over a decade, taking Mississippi River water (and silt) into the swamps, building them up and encouraging fresh and brackish water vegetation. This was the first time that it had been used in contraflow, diverting swamp water onto the Mississippi River.

BTW-expect a lot more rain.

40% chance of rain Thursday, 30% Friday, none for several days after that.


I will check with Drew Wands of Boh Bros. (he does all of their rail maintenance). I could believe that some wave damage to a RR bridge, but not dramatic like Katrina. Any bridge under water at peak should be above by now.



It's all here in our posts.

And the neg ratings I got. Like only cheery news is welcome here at TOD.

You won't find post hurricane rain predictions to be accurate.

Tropcial Storm and "normal" NW to SE Continental Front http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ridge/radar.php?rid=lix&product=N0R&overlay=1110...

You could get 5 inches at anytime in the next ten days. Easy.

And the problem with postSEC football traffic jams comparison
is that you haven't got all your animals, the jam is over in 2 hrs max,
and...when you get to the end of the line you're home, not
in a hotel or side of the road with no gas and no money.

The stock market is falling at the same time oil prices are falling. This is unusual, they usually move in opposite directions. The reason can be found in the fundamentals.

U.S. Stocks at 25.8 Times Profit Means Rally May End
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index, which had the worst first half since 2002, added 0.2 percent this quarter through last week, the only gain among the world's 10 biggest markets in dollar terms. Shares in the benchmark index for American equity climbed to an average 25.8 times reported profits, the highest valuation in five years. The last time that happened, the S&P 500 fell 38 percent.

A PE ration of 25.8 for the entire S&P 500 is enormously high. If the market falls 38 percent, like it did the last time PEs were this high, then this would send the economy further into a tailspin.

Peak Oil is starting to have a dramatic effect on the economy.

Note: Bloomberg is still having problems so you may have trouble loading the above link.

Ron Patterson

25.8 times profit? What is profit, anyway? Are you sure that's PE (price-to-earnings)? Why is it whenever anyone announces what the overall PE ratio of the stock market is, it's always a dramatically different number? It seems everyone's got their own way to measure it, and simple folks like myself are never any the wiser.

What is profit, anyway?

Speek, profits and earnings are exactly the same thing! Profits, usually called "net earnings" are what is left over after expenses and taxes have been deducted. When anyone speaks of price times earnings that means the exact same thing as price times profit. And you are simply mistaken about it always being a dramatically different number. The number is calculated by Standard and Poor's themselves and it is always what they say it is. It changes over time but there is only one figure reported by one company, Standard and Poor's. The average, over the history of the index, is 15.96 but for the last 50 years it has averaged 17.67. At any rate 25.8 is very expensive. However it has been higher, and from these higher points it always came down, sometimes dramatically.

However the PE ratio of the Dow Jones 40 industrial stocks is always a little different from the S&P 500. That is to be expected. Right now, the PE of the Dow is dramatically different because so many of the huge Dow stocks are losing money. Asian Times

And don't get me started about how the venerable Dow Jones Industrial Average has negative earnings and thus a negative P/E ratio. How much is a damned index worth that is losing more and more money? Apparently, a lot! Hahahaha!

And since the price of that index was mysteriously up a little bit last week, even as their earnings went down, this means that the price-to-earnings ratio of the S&P500 is (hold on to your hat to keep it from shooting right up off of your astonished head) an astounding 25!

I don't understand your apparent ire here. What is is getting your panties in a wad? Are you deep into the market with a loss and expecting a recovery? I don't really think so.

Ron Patterson

most of the oils are significantly lower. at least the dividend paying ones.

xom 9.7
cvx 8.9
mro 9.8
hes 12.0

I can watch CNBC and get different numbers every day on the PE of the S&P. In fact, your number of 25 is wildly out of range of what I heard from CNBC maybe a month or so ago. I find it hard to believe things have changed that much in a month. I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just confused. I do know there are several ways of measuring PE - ie using past earnings, using forward expected earnings and other numbers. It seems there are some people playing loosely with their definitions, I suspect.

As for your second quoted section, I have no idea where it comes from?

And a great many US multi-nationals sell more outside the US than they do in it. I believe GM's sales volume in China is twice what they do in the US.

As these other economies weaken it will remove one leg of the support which has been helping US profitability.

Of course that also means a decline in purchases from China and this just keeps the downward spiral accelerating.

I've seen a few sites with temporary problems, could it be... the end of... is starting with the light bulbs fading a few times... aahh, it was just a thought, forget it ;) !

Today was the groundbraking ceremony of the Belene nuclear power plant in Bulgaria.

Besides a handful of hardcore eco-nazis this project doesn't face any resistance. Overall I have noticed a stark contrast of the attitudes towards nukes in so-call developed countries (USA, Western Europe) and the developing ones, where Bulgaria still belongs to. It really makes a difference whether you take electricity/energy for granted, or you are forced to use it more like a luxury.

One of the reasons I am a PO optimist longer term is that after first world countries start getting downgraded towards second world ones, many of the options that seem to be unthinkable now will be brought back on the table. All it takes is time.


What a truly stupid abuse of language.

And your thoughtful and comprehensive argument to back your comment is?...

He's just in a bad mood because of the nuco-nazis like yourself.

Two ad-hominems in a row... it must be a good day.

I suspect I am making a mistake by answering you guys but here I am - any other crap you'd like to shoot at me?

You must be completely unconscious or something. Do you not recognize the irony of you complaining about ad-hominem attacks? Firstly, tinfoil's comment was not ad-hominem. He pointed out something stupid you said, not that you were stupid. My comment wasn't ad-hominem either, because it was an attempt at irony to help you see things from the other side (ie, the side being called a "nazi") and therefore help you recognize your error. I don't actually think you're a "nuco-nazi", whatever that might be (I just made it up).

Now, THIS comment is ad-hominem, but I think it's completely warranted, don't you?

That you would need to be presented an argument to explain the entirely inappropriate equasion of nuclear energy foes with nazis is revealing.

I don't know enough about these people to know if they are ecologists, or motivated by ecological concerns as opposed to political concerns, but nothing suggests that they are nazis, sympathetic to nazis or doing anything remotely comparable to the historical actions of nazis.

If anything, your employment of the term eco-nazi is remotely comparable to historical actions of the nazis, since it abuses the language and is a bullying technique aimed at those who disagree with your stance.

OK. My comment was emotionally driven and I apologized, but calling me "stupid" and "nuco-nazi" did not exactly help your side of the discussion didn't it?

I neither called you stupid nor nuco-nazi. You did say something stupid. Your apology for doing so is appreciated.

You call some protest group "Nazis", and then demand a thoughtful, comprehensive argument to challenge it?

You're doing the other side more favors than you do your own.

...Eco-Nazi...And your thoughtful and comprehensive argument to back your comment is?...

When you define a group by a label it is an overt attempt to marginalize that group or their message. By using the term Eco-Nazi's in the context that you did you obviously believe that people that support environmental protections are a threat to your specific BAU.

Although life seems to have gotten a lot better for certain first world consumers the fact is that 80% of the world is living on $3.00 or less a day. This poverty is a threat to the environment because those who starve will denude the landscape in their desperation to survive.

Those at the top want no change in status quo as that threatens their over-dog position. Actually protecting the environment might mean a radical shift in the current unequal distribution of resources.

And those at the top seek to marginalize those groups (environmentalists) that might be a threat and that's how you came up with Eco-Nazi.

Any questions?


Who has murdered more people? Environmentalists or capitalist democracies?
Who has built more concentration camps? Who has tortured more people?
What is the standard for acting like a good Nazi that patriotic Americans have not violated far more times than Edward Abbey?

The word "Nazi" was traditionally used as a term for
nationalist. A certain group use the term to describe themselves from others..."Ashkenazi" Jews as opposed to Sephardic Jews.
"Fascist" or "Fascism" also is most often abused and misused. A glaring example is "Islamic fascism" as it
would require a state and military and not a religion.
I understand that by pointing these unarguable truths to be evident, will cause me to be placed in the camp of anti-semitic peoples. Again a phrase which is abused and misused. Semitic peoples are any group or person who speak a semitic langauge or eat semitic cusuine and have semitic culture...Arabs, Morrocans, Palestinains and the list goes on and on. I could go on and explain about the abusive use of the word "terrorist" but I believe Ive made enough points.


The word is specifically a German colloquial term that was applied to the National Socialist Deutche Arbeiter Parteit (and no, I do not know German spelling) in the 1920s. Since it is a German term, the 'z' is pronounced 'ts'. Since then it has been applied as an epithet against all sorts of movements, especially if they are overly ideological, with an authoritarian streak, as a way of implying that such movements would turn totalitarian if brought to power (hence "feminazis", "environazis", et cetera).

Ashkenaz is a man in Genesis. He gets begotten, and begets a few folks, and in past centuries Jews speculatively attributed him as being the patriarch of several nations, among them the Germans, the Slavs, the Turks, and the Caucasians. Jews living in Eastern Europe, among the supposed descendants of Ashkenaz, became known as Ashkenazis. The 'z' is pronounced 'z', as in ZZ-Top.

Fascism, is indeed abused and misused. But was historically intertwined with Catholic militancy (see Portugal under Salazar, Spain under Franco, Hungary, Croatia, Peronist Argentina...), and so the parallels with "Islamic Fascism" are easily seen by those not willfully blind. (E.G. the Hezbullah ministate, complete with a state, military, religion, and even prolific use of fascist symbolism, including the fascist salute).

Antisemitism is a term coined by Willhelm Marr, founder of the Antisemitic League over a 100 years ago. It refers to prejudice against Jews.

By making evident your confusion, you put yourself in the camp of silly people.

Speaking of the camp of silly people, how is it that you confuse Catholic militancy, a phenomenon which is centuries old, with fascism, a 20th century phenomenon born of the union of corporate and state power.

The term "Islamic facism" is the result of an Orwellian exercise aimed at enfeebling and discrediting the Palestinians as they continue to resist the Zionist claims to their land.

Anti-semitic? What a twisted term. The likely descendants of the Old Testament Jews living in what is today the apartheid state of Israel-Palestine are the Palestinians, and the so-called wandering Jew, or returning Jew, Ashkenazi or Sephardic, is most likely a non-semitic convert.

"The Wandering Who?"

I am not confusing Catholic militancy with fascism; I am pointing out that in the 20th century, the two were closely allied in most fascist regimes, and that therefore, Islamic fascism is in fact an easily discernible phenomenon that closely parallels Catholic clerical fascism of the form seen in Europe.

As for the Palestinian movement, it was founded by (guess what!) a clerical fascist of the Muslim variety, name of Haj Amin al Husseini, who was a Nazi ally and a participant in the Holocaust. The movement was born in a sewer and needs no discrediting from little old me.

And as for the Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews, their DNA closely links them to the long isolated Yemeni Jews. But if you think they should be "cleansed" from the Middle East on account of your belief that they are descended of converts, then you are a bit past silly.

I'd like to ask you to stop spreading hate and disinformation on this forum. We're not discussing where Askkenazis came from, coz they are Europeans, not semetic, in origin or language. Its not really a point of debate.

We're not discussing where they came from, because as the old joke goes, they came from a land without oil. But the Ashkenasis are Jews of Mideast origin, as shown by their DNA links to the Yemeni Jews.

SillY? When I think of silly, I think of Monika Lewinsky and cigars. Antisemitism refers to only Jews?
How convoluted is that pretzel logic? A Jew isnt even a race and as I have stated a semite is a culture.
You should argue rhetorical gymnatics with Noam Chomsky who is Jewish and a linguist with a PHD. So let me get this straight...Those who arent semites, can use the exclusive term "antisemitic" against those
who are semitic?
You essentially proved my point that the use of the word is abused. You are obviously the one who is confused, possibly by the words semantics and semitic.
You use semantics to argue about the word semitic. I understand that people get confused about the term fossil fuel and mistakenly believe it refers only to oil and not NG or only to coal and not oil.

Benito Mussolini wrote the definition or the word fascism and he may well have been Catholic but you wouldnt dare accuse communism with being the product of Judaism because Karl Marks was Jewish, would you?

I have little doubt the sponge like minds who inhabit
here will be fooled so easily. You're welcome to keep
schleping around crazy and trying to sell it. I'am all
full up myself.

Now I'am off to get a Macanudo cigar and a pizza and
relax in my office....silly me.

Antisemitism refers to only Jews?

Correct. In related news, we drive on parkways and park on driveways. Language is like that.

Benito Mussolini wrote the definition or the word fascism and he may well have been Catholic but you wouldnt dare accuse communism with being the product of Judaism because Karl Marks was Jewish, would you? He was a nominal Catholic, but he fostered tight relations between his movement and the Catholic Church just as did Franco, Salazar, and the clerical fascist republics of Hungary and Croatia.

Whoops,wrong again with the semantics and saying
"nominal Catholic". He was Jewish and practised a form
of Christianity...but it was Lutheran, he later professed and adopted atheism. Please read his bio here...


A large portion of Jews arent religious or practice Judaism. Of course you suppose no one would know this.
Jews for Jesus refer to themselves as Jews. Jesus was
Jewish no?


You insist on debasing religions and rely on the supposed ignorance of others. Opon discovering that others are not ignorant, you resort to subtrafuge.
I have no intentions of playing you're shell game any
further and trust the academic to see beyond the deceptions.

I was speaking of Mussolini.

OK, let me try to bring this to a more civilized level. First I apologize for the eco-nazi comment, it was unnecessary.

Second I'd like to ask why you guys jumped off on it? Did you think I was personally calling any of you like that? Oh, maybe you are against the Belene NPP that's why you identified yourself with it. Now, without checking Wikipedia, how many of you know where Belene is? How many people do live in Bulgaria? What are the energetic resources and needs of Bulgaria and the region, what are the other options, what their impact and cost would be, etc.etc.

I hereby put a claim that I have much better knowledge on any of these matters of every person I've argued on this site, and I challenge anyone who wishes to discuss them with me. As a consequence, I have my own reasons for the eco-nazi comment, which I can also lay out for anyone who is interested.

I have a suggestion; as a person who considers himself an environmentalist BUT supports nuclear power - STOP USING THE PHRASE ECO-NAZIS!!!

there are eco-terrorists like the ELF - I don't agree with their methods, and burning down ski lodges etc. are not only dangerous actions, they make the environmental movement look radicalized and marginal.

that said, there aren't ANY "eco-nazi" organizations that I have ever heard or seen - nazi has a clear definition and you are using it incorrectly and of a purpose - can you show me a virulent white-supremist organization that is radically environmental in their politics (along with the fondness for Hitler the KKK etc.)? - it does nothing to improve your arguments, it's a poor rhetorical device and you should just stop

People who oppose nuclear power may have a wildly different viewpoint than yours (and it may be more or less justified), but that does not a nazi make

so stop the nazi comments, continue to make your arguments about availability of uranium etc., safety record of nuclear plants and everything else, and you can stop wasting bandwith by having everybody jump down your throat

I already apologized and I'm not seeing the need to do that twice.

Having said that I see certain similarities between the extreme eco-organizations and the Nazi ideology. Just like them they are advocating some "pure" energy sources or means of production, which would supposedly make the world better. Regardless of the economical, social or even physical realities. Just like them they are not hesitant to use deceptive techniques and even force to achieve what they think is right. The Nazi's also thought they were fighting the right cause, one should never forget that.

But I realize the analogy is too far fetched. Again - I'm sorry.

last point on this - not seeking an apology, just suggesting a change in your approach to make for more effective communication of your point

you are a consistant voice of support here for nuclear power - looking at the record of France (for example) - I would tend to agree that in a post-peak world, having uniform safe nukes would be a good thing to keep the lights on (and also have a lot less harm to the environment than coal for example)

that said - your defense of nuclear power should focus on your main points - safety, availability of fuel sources etc. - now these things can, and should be debated on merit - facts, statistics and ability to keep going in a post-carbon world are what we need, not anger-provoking labels. You will always have detractors - but present your case, let the chips fall where they may and save the nazi stuff for folks who deserve the tag based on their beliefs.

I agree. However these points have been debated ad nauseum. I've come to the conclusion that they are not worth debating if the people across you are not listening and simply ignoring your arguments.

I also agree I picked the worst approach possible, but sometimes I can't keep my frustration off. In my view nuclear is the only realistic hope to address climate change and resource depletion, so unreasonable opposition in the long term will be viewed as a crime against humanity. And it is not true that these organizations do not have an impact - whole countries have completely abandoned or slowed down nuclear power because of negative public perceptions. In the case of nuclear it is very easy for the scaremongering crowd to paint radioactive clouds coming from the plant nearby - a thing not even remotely possible nowadays.

The problem becomes especially acute when the same arguments are being applied to poorer countries, such as Bulgaria, China etc. Telling people living on a $2-300/month, that they have to conserve (even more?) or their energy must cost twice, because for example nuclear or coal power are unacceptable is a downright hypocrisy of the "let them eat cake" type. Bulgaria lost 4 nuclear units because of such pressure (for alleged "safety concerns"), and now it will be up to the people there to pay the cost of their replacement.


You and your nation should push ahead and do what it has to do.

That means build nukes if you have to.

And btw: lots of ecos are actual, real life, nazis.

Though of course some are quite nice people as well :-)

But some are like this:

>>Nazism was very complex and is not reducible to a single group of beliefs, particularly in terms of the aforementioned theories. But within the Nazi movement of the early 20th century were influential figures who publicly subscribed to tenets remarkably similar to the prevalent antiscience claims of today's advocates of postmodernism, deconstructionism, and/or ecofeminism. Indeed, some of the antiscience canons of postmodernism were enunciated by key members of the Nazi regime. <<

>> "The influence of the metropolis has grown overwhelmingly strong. Its asphalt culture is destroying peasant thinking, the rural lifestyle and [national] strength." - Nazi newspaper in 1938<<



Against the tidal barrier:
Against Carbon capture:
Against Nukes:
Against fusion research:

Pro – Death:
"If radical environmentalists were to invent a disease to bring human populations back to sanity, it would probably be something like AIDS. It [AIDS] has the potential to end industrialism, which is the main force behind the environmental crises."

How very charming:
-Earth First! newsletter
"We in the Green movement, aspire to a cultural model in which the killing of a forest will be considered more contemptible and more criminal than the sale of 6-year-old children to Asian brothels."
-Carl Amery, Green Party of West Germany

Some more on kids:
"Childbearing [should be] a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license.... All potential parents [should be] required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing."
-David Brower, Friends of the Earth

"The right to have children should be a marketable commodity, bought and traded by individuals but absolutely limited by the state."
-Keith Boulding, originator of the "Spaceship Earth" concept

Given the choice of freezing to death on the Wyoming plains or smelling deisel fumes from a coal train; I would rather smell the diesel fumes. It is the smell of prosperity.

But. you present only 2 choices.

Do you live on the Wyoming Plains and if so, what did people who lived there do to stay warm before the coal trains rolled down from the Powder River Basin? And, how do you pay for your high energy lifestyle, meaning, if you had no way to earn enough money to pay for the fossil fuels, then what would you do? As the reality of Peak Oil sinks in and the price of fossil fuels begin to increase, what will you do if you can't increase your income enough to pay the bills except freeze to death? Obviously, your list of options is too short.

E. Swanson

A willingness to go far beyond casting their vote and abiding by the majority decision, but to use any means including violence on those who oppose them is also, I believe, a distinguishing characteristic of fascism.
Of course, this remark does not apply to those who peacefully and without violence advocate their cause.

The people bloviating about draconian child-bearing restrictions have the right concern, and certainly the wrong approach.

It is indisputable that in any population of living things there exists a point where the numbers overwhelm the ability of the ecosystem to sustain. All it takes is for every woman on the planet to birth 2.1 babies (on average), and the population would stay the same, neither growing nor declining.

Stopping population growth is the fundamental answer to preventing long-term collapse of the human enterprise as we now know it.

Reducing, re-using, and recycling our resources usage would be next.

How do we get this to happen?

The simplest and truest answers can be the most bedeviling to implement.

I will never get those folks I know who have 7,8,9-10 kids (I kid you not) and five cars and McMansions to buy into this...they will rail that it reeks of communism, socialism, facism, eco-terrorism, is anti-constitutional and anti-Christian to boot.

That is small-minded, selfish, short-term thinking. If people can party on as long as they are alive and/or believe that the World will end soon anyway, why would they care?

I agree that advanced, safe nuclear power plants are needed to provide our electricity. They are much, much, much preferable to coal plants as a way to supply our baseload power. They will complement wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, etc, and buy us time to perfect these. They will also provide high-tech jobs. This from a person who remembers TMI and who had a dear relative who lived within viewing distance!

People of America, drop the unreasonable fear and emotion, and make you politicians embrace safe, secure, available nuclear power as an essential part of the energy mix. Note I said safe and secure...no free passes from me on those...if this means subsidies with tax dollars, better that than sending gobs of our money to people who hate us to buy their oil, and so they can finance ways to hurt us.

...Empire requires peaceful demonstration in order to continue raping the planet." Derrick Jensen

have my own reasons for the eco-nazi comment, which I can also lay out for anyone who is interested.

Did somebody spray-paint your Hummer?

..after first world countries start getting downgraded towards second world ones, many of the options that seem to be unthinkable now will be brought back on the table. All it takes is time.

Which is to say that once desperation kicks in, we'll be forced to overlook the clear safety problems, mounting costs and complexity issues that make Nuclear power such a gun pointed at the head, and we'll concede to Finally buy that pig in a poke. Hallelujia!

No, which is to say that the real world is full of certain trade-offs. And which is to say that if people do a more thorough research on things they are rejecting because they are lead to fear them, they may discover that those fears have been unfounded.

When push comes to shove people tend to learn pragmatism in a very short notice.

When push comes to shove, people act rashly, no longer making careful choices, but instead assuming that the harder they shove, the more effective they'll be.

Nuclear is the equivalent to being able to Shove extremely powerfully. A bigger hammer does little to solve a problem that might not be a big nail.

Yes, some fast choices are practical, others are desperate. This one seems to be a desperate lunge to keep our 'SuperPower' self-image, but I am inclined to believe it's simply unsupportable. Complex supply chains, skilled labor availability, roads and trucks, water supplies, highly specialized replacement parts, there are just too many possible and extremely likely bottlenecks.

This isn't just against Bulgaria's choice. Good luck to them, but I don't hold out much hope for this path. I think it's a dead end, as well as being a toxic challenge at many stages, and what keeps that toxicity from getting out is the continued application of our energies, which as you'll recall, are coming into question.


Just on CNN:
They broadcast an old speech by Palin:
The war in Iraq is God's plan, we are assured.

Seems a shame he messed up the logistics.

Yesterday's news.

It's not quite as outrageous as it sounds. She didn't say it was god's will. She said to pray it was god's will. That is a pretty generic thing for rightwing Christians to say. Whatever they're doing, they hope it's god's will.

Dunno what the rest of America will think about it, though. Not to mention the rest of the world.

But then, we already elected someone who wanted a Crusade.

She didn't say it was god's will. She said to pray it was god's will.

Arrraghhh.... that's even worse.

We should want war to be god's will?

When Christianity becomes a reference point critical thinking, Collapse is near.
As far as I can tell, this is the story:

— The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree...

When you put it like that, it sounds like an opera.

That sounds like Star Wars.

If I ever start a band, I'll call it Cosmic Jewish Zombie.

This is what I was trying to point out yesterday about how PO is a belief. Whether or not something is a fact makes little difference in how many people believe in it.

How about God being a realtor and an escrow agent and
giving away land held in perpetuity ? Then this God/realtor/escrow agent writes up a homeowners association bylaws and covenants which declare only a
certain tribe (his favorites) can live there.
And he neglects in the disclosure statements that the
place has poor water pressure and a severe lack of petroleum products.
He further committs malfeasance for evicting unlawfully the peoples already living there. Oy gevelt
ya can't make this stuff up!

One may not blame the Christians for Bush's thinking God was communicating to him. Is this not worse than Mohammed or Moses claiming to be telepathicaly inspired? Is it not worse than the Hindu's worship of animal gods (who do not believe in murder). Is it not worse than the atheist Communists claims of being "social-ists" after by Solzhenitsyn's writings millions perished in the Gulag slave labor camps; many during their first seven year sentence? Some were sent to Siberia in the middle of winter and slept on frozen ground without tents. This began before the Nazis opened their death camps. The Chinese atheist communist Mao Ze-Dong was credited with killing up to 40 million people during the famine and persecutions of the "Great Leap Forward" while the state experimented with controlling agriculture and industry.

"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan." http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20672.htm

So the question appears to be whether in Ms. Palin's mind prayer is a meditation aimed at revealing God's will or whether it is an activity aimed at helping our Lord make up his mind.

My observation of Christianist riff-raff such as Ms. Palin is that they fully expect that their 'personal saviour' can be influenced.

From your link:

Sarah Palin was asked to handle a much smaller task: addressing the graduating class of commission students at her one-time church, Wasilla Assembly of God.

It must be noted that the "Assembly of God" are the most dogmatic of all biblical fundamentalists. There are a several schisms of these true believers and some refer to themselves as the "Church of God". But as a group they are mostly referred to as Pentecostals Down here in the south some people call them "Holy Rollers". This comes from their church services where they would often get so excited that they rolled on the floor. This was a normal practice many years ago but few actually do that anymore.

They believe in a literal creation of the world in six days about 6,000 years ago. They believe the Bible is the absolute inerrant word of God. But of course even here some are more liberal than others. Most Pentecostals cite speaking in tongues, also known as glossolalia, as the normative proof and evidence of the Holy Spirit baptism.

Ron Patterson

With any luck, Palin will break into a fit of glossolalia and ecstatic rolling when she speaks at the RNC. That's entertainment value!

Seen this video clip about the Master's Commission program? It reminds me of the advertisement in "Scrooged" movie, which talks about the end of the world and the importance of watching the upcoming live presentation.


In any case, it occurs to me that if anyone is rolling around on the floor in a fit of religious ecstasy, it's the writers at Saturday Night Live thanking God for the Sarah Palin nomination.

BTW, some pretty revealing "open mic" comments:

Peggy Noonan: YouTube video and transcript at Talking Points Memo:

Mike Murphy (MM): You know, because I come out of the blue swing state governor world: Engler, Whitman, Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. I mean, these guys -- this is how you win a Texas race, just run it up. And it's not gonna work. And --

Peggy Noonan (PN): It's over.

MM: Still McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good.

Chuck Todd (CT): I also think the Palin pick is insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, too.

PN: Saw Kay this morning.

CT: Yeah, she's never looked comfortable about this --

MM: They're all bummed out.

CT: Yeah, I mean is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?

PN: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this -- excuse me-- political bullshit about narratives --

CT: Yeah they went to a narrative.

MM: I totally agree.

PN: Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it.

MM: You know what's really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, and this is cynical.

CT: This is cynical, and as you called it, gimmicky.

MM: Yeah.

Wow, shocking.
Funny what sets you Dems off.
When Jesse threatened Barry with castration, not a peep from you.


The transition time from seeking to know God's will to deciding that they were right all along is usually around 20 minutes.

Ghengis Khan expressed the sentiment best:
'I am the flail of god. Had you not created great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.'

Is there actually a real difference between those biblical fundamentalists in the US and the islamic fundamentalists? Well, I don't want to write down my opinion about that here...

But it seems obvious, that more and more people in Europe realize this untruthfulness by US politicians. Thats one of the reasons, why Putin is so popular with the masses. Whether this is good or not is not the question. But it's something new. And that is attracting many people.

Putin is not so fat like Cheney and he is not permanently talking about God like Bush. I guess, Putin has the potential to become a real hero among the youth, at least in Europe. Not in the US. There you have your bible.

Here's a very important difference.

Before the Protestant Reformation, both Catholics and Moslems agreed that lending money for interest was a sin. Luther had backing from German merchants, and shazam! he makes usury okay within limits. The Protestant-Capitalist revolution was on, and America is its final outcome. Islam is now the last holdout from the American dogma that entrepreneurs must dictate everything, even values.

So here are two absolutist streams of conservatism, one which once had a golden age without capitalism, the other which rode it to glory.

And the sick joke of monotheism is that whenever anything goes right, it proves your God exists, and whenever anything goes wrong, it's your God punishing you for not being extreme enough. So for wealthy Christian America and the mostly impoverished people of Islam, all the explanations are in place to conflate holy war and class war. Our God loves greed, their Satan is a huckster who uses shoddy salesmanship to get people to betray their faith.

But God/Allah is a trickster too, for I read an article recently on the explosion of Islamic banking among Gulf petro-barons sick of American mortgage trash and the banks that sucked them up. If American greed pulls down the global financial system, there's another one waiting - interest-free.

In societies which frown on interest, the definition of 'gift' tends to get a bit stretched! :-)
Another system for dealing with the non-kosher aspects of interest, is to have a specific class of people who are money-lenders, give them yellow stars and periodically wipe them out when the debts get inconvenient.

Whenever I hear about "Islamic Fundamentalists" I can't help but think that most of the people searching my blog for porn are from places like KSA, Iraq, Kuwait...

...there was no room in the medieval mind for doubt; the possibility of skepticism simply did not exist. Katholikos, Greek for "universal," had been used by theologians since the second century to distinguish Christianity from other religions...

Saint Vincent of Lerins had written in his Commonitoria that the Church had become "a faithful and ever watchful guardian of the dogmas which have been committed to her charge. In this secret deposit she changes nothing, she takes nothing from it, she adds nothing to it."

Subsequent spokesmen for the Holy See enlarged upon this, assuming, in God's name, the right to prohibit changes by those who worshiped elsewhere or nowhere. Overstating this absolutism is impossible. "The Catholic Church holds it better," wrote a Roman theologian, "that the entire populaton of the world should die of starvation in extreme agony...than that one soul, I will not say should be lost, but should commit one single venial sin..." Even to "appeal from the living voice of the Church" was "a treason," wrote a cardinal, "because that living voice is supreme; and to appeal from that supreme voice is also a heresy, because that voice, by divine assistance, is infallible."

William Manchester, A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaisance

I doubt that as an accurate description of the medieval mind, as it was that same mind which in the upheavals of the great famine and the Black Death came to question how this could be the product of a loving God, and gave birth to the Renaissance and the reformation.
It can be that the concrete nature of a fundamentalist faith provides the energy for a very dynamic struggle and response.
For instance, the far more subtle and thoughtful formulations of hinduism allowed caste to be passed over for years, even up to the present day, with a shrug as 'karma', whilst the somewhat absurd proposition that a loving God was in control of all the plainly non-loving events in the world, and what's more the personalisation of such a deity leads to the idea that even God should have some moral responsibility.

Senator Palin may possibly be speaking somewhat glibly now when talking about God's will and Iraq, but since there is no reason to doubt the sincerity of her faith although some would consider it misguided should her son die there she would surely suffer a real night of the soul, and a struggle to reconcile God and man.
This struggle still occupies us, whether it is phrased in theological terms or not.

I've never heard this, that the Renaissance, much less the reformation, was caused by the upheavals of the great famine and the Black Death, which in turn resulted in a questioning of how those could be the product of a loving God.

Quoting Manchester again:

Students like young Martin Luther, a member of the third class to enter Wittenberg, and Francois Rabelais, at the older but restructured Montpellier, were taught that Renaisance meant renewal, a recovery of those disciplines lost in the collapse of Roman civilazation. The French refined it to la Renaissance des lettres, and though its leaders embraced more than literature--they sought the re-emergence of all the lost learning of the old world, including the flowering of art, esthetics, mathematics, and the beginnings of modern science--the heaviest emphasis was on reverence for classical letters, the poetical and philosophical Hellenic heritage, scholarly purity, and the meticulous translation of the ancient manuscripts retrieved in Athens and Rome.

The new professors, called humanists, declared the humanities to be superior to medicine, law, and theology--especially theology...

Abandoning the past's preoccupation with eternity, humanists preached enrichment of life in the here and now... Humanism, by its very character, implied a revolt against all religious authority. It still does; the evangelists who denounce "secular humanism" five centuries later recognize the true adversary of fundamentalism.

And from Jacques Barzun:

For the original Humanists, the ancient classics depicted a civilization that dealt with the affairs of the world in a man-centered way. Those books--poems and plays, histories and biographies, moral and social philosophy--were for the ancients guides to life, important in themselves, rather than subordinate to an overriding scheme that put off human happiness to the day of judgment. The theme of secularism emerges from this outlook.

Humanists, that is, the studies it involved, opened a vista on the goals that could be reached on earth: individual self-development, action rather than pious passivity, a life in which reason and will can be used both to improve worldly conditions and to observe the lessons that nature holds for the thoughtful.

--Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence: 1500 to the Present

And there was certainly no love loss between the men of the Renaissance, that is the humanists, and the leading lights of the reformation. Quoting Manchester again:

By exposing Roman corruption and eroding blind acceptance of medieval superstition, thoughtful men had opened the way for reform, but the reformers, being emotional men, did not acknowledge the debt...

Intolerance, contempt for learning, the burning of religious art, the rejection of classical culture as pagan, and the adoption of primitive papal tactics--book burning, excommunication, even death at the stake--alienated humanists who had at first defended Luther...

[Willibald] Pirkheimer (a leading Humanist) wrote: "Things have come to a pass that the popish scoundrels are made to appear virtuous by the Evangelical ones.... Luther, with his shameless, ungovernable tongue, must have lapsed into insanity, or been inspired by the Evil Spirit."

Luther's beliefs were antithetical to Humanism and the Renaissance, as his writings amply demonstrate:

► "Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it struggles against the divine word."--Martin Luther

► "If one consults reason alone, one cannot assent to the articles of our faith."--Martin Luther

One should never confuse the reformation with the Renaissance. As Barzun concluded:

Fundamentalism is Luther's Biblicism in a new phase, and throughout the West, sects multiply as they did 450 years ago--there are 172 such groups registered in France alone, most of them Christian. And the results of this renewed search for faith are the same now as then.

The point was that the 'medieval mind' was nothing like as monolithic and absolute as the first quote you gave implied, and nor was it inhumanly certain.
The later quotes you have given confirm this diversity of opinion in as they flowered rather more in later times.

As for the Great Famine and Black Death loosening medieval certainties, it is common knowledge that the medieval chrysalis was broken then, and the impact ranged from the shortage of labour altering the mobility of the peasants, to the medics being far from content to believe that the cause was purely God's wrath, and the proper attitude submission, but instead the active formation of very worldly hypothesises to fight disease, unfortunately based on false premises.
It was extensively remarked upon that neither prayer nor purity protected against the ravages of the plague, whilst the flagellant movement challenged the established church with their notion that it was holiness and not hierarchical position which gave access to God.
The authorities at the time were well aware of the impotent light in which they were cast by their inability to avert disaster, just as no doubt the priest caste of Easter Island were aware that their monuments lost their power to awe as they failed to intervene in disaster - the inhabitants made their feeling known in no uncertain fashion.

I have always maintained that the introduction of coffee to Europe drove the Renaissance. With a universal lack of potable water driving consumption of sterile beverages, a transition from ale to coffee meant a transition from a besotted society to a manic one. :)

Give or take a century or so, that is entirely reasonable!
Alternatively, perhaps the forethought that they might one day HAVE a stimulant such as coffee inspired the Renaissance!
Personally, I steer clear of the swinish indulgence in ale, since in the West Country for some centuries we have had cider, the drinking of which did not leave time or inclination for fooling around painting the Sistine Chapel and so on, and anyway they were only Italians decorators, who messed around at it for 20 years, when a couple of our babas would have white-washed it in a weekend!
That Michelangelo was obviously being paid by the hour.

God himself needs all of our help - Tom Waits

How one defines one's "sphere of influence" does make a huge difference.

cfm in Gray, ME

My observation of Christianist riff-raff such as Ms. Palin is that they fully expect that their 'personal saviour' can be influenced.

Well, if their saviour couldn't be influenced it wouldn't be personal now, would it?

Sarah Palin’s Preacher Problem. End Times Coming?

Let’s break the vacuum seal on that latest can, shall we? (giant sucking sound, behold worms) This is from Ed Kalnins, the senior pastor of Wasilla Assembly of God. Palin attended here for most of her adult life, until her new affiliation with a similar church in the state’s capitol, Juneau:

What you see in a terrorist — that’s called the invisible enemy. There has always been an invisible enemy. What you see in Iraq, basically, is a manifestation of what’s going on in this unseen world called the spirit world. … We need to think like Jesus thinks. We are in a time and a season of war, and we need to think like that. We need to develop that instinct. We need to develop as believers the instinct that we are at war, and that war is contending for your faith. … Jesus called us to die. You’re worried about getting hurt? He’s called us to die. Listen, you know we can’t even follow him unless you are willing to give up your life. … I believe that Jesus himself operated from that position of war mode. Everyone say “war mode.” Now you say, wait a minute Ed, he’s like the good shepherd, he’s loving all the time and he’s kind all the time. Oh yes he is — but I also believe that he had a part of his thoughts that knew that he was in a war.

"Gott Mit Uns." It's on the belt buckle of every dead militarist.

There is a significant difference between dying for Jesus and killing for Jesus. Jesus never calls us to kill anyone. He calls us to forgive those who harm us and to love our enemies. Very few people actually have read the entire New Testament or even just the 4 Gospels. Most of their understanding of what Christianity is all about comes from the songs they sing in church and the biases of their local preacher. Or even worse the biases of some self serving televangelist.

Read this
No matter how you rationalize it, killing in the name of god is a human tradition.

And most of the worst of the wacky religious right is Old Testament. Hate, kill, genocide, etc.

I am occasionally approached by "Christians" (and I use the term loosely) who want to evangelize to me. Boy are they shocked when they discover that I've actually read the Gospels!

Lots of the time (not all of the time) they're authoritarian, black-and-white, judgmental folks who can't imagine having to think about things on their own.

And they haven't even read their own goddam bible.

All that bad Bronze and Iron Age fiction about the actions of the Psychopathic Space Daddy would make a Slasher Flick writer blush.
The human mind is truly warped to worship this tripe.

What matters is what appeals in the marketplace, and pacifism has always been a niche market.

The peace dividend doesn't amount to much in a country whose military budget accounts for 60% of world defense spending. The heavenly powers be damned; peace is just not good for business.

Rank - Country - Military budget
1. United States (FY 2008 budget) $623bn
2. China (2004) $65bn
3. Russia $50bn
4. France (2005) $45bn
5. United Kingdom $42.8bn
6. Japan (2007) $41.75bn
7. Germany (2003) $35.1bn
8. Italy (2003) $28.2bn
9. South Korea (2003) $21.1bn
10. India (2005 est.) $19bn
World total military expenditures (2004 est) $1,100bn
World total (minus the US) $500bn

Source: http://mondediplo.com/2008/02/05military

Not to get anyone foaming at the mouth, but I am an evangelical Christian who thinks the Iraq war was a violation of the commandment, "Thou shalt not steal." The Republicans are crooks.

Yeah Dave...just like that creating the universe thing. Knocks it out in 6 days and leaves it to us to work out the details. Damn messy business plan if you ask me.

Seriously, though, I hope she was just pitching to her constituants. Makes me a little uneasy to hear such thoughts wraped in such sentiments whether I agree with them or not. Still gives me chills when I think back to decades old reports of some fundamentalist folks at the Pentagon who thought nuclear war could lead to Armageden and Rapture and thus wasn't necessarially a bad thing.

I was originally pretty skeptical of the choice of Palin for VP, but the more I hear about her, the more brilliant the selection seems. The part that I think many commentators are missing out on is the appeal that Palin has on a select but very special group of American voters (a group that I proudly claim to be in): the fast-crash doomers at TOD.

If McCain can guarantee to not make it through his term leaving Palin in charge of all American nuclear forces on 12-20-2012, they can have my vote!* What do you say Bob Shaw, will you share in my endorsement of the McCain/Palin ticket?

Things took a terrible turn for the Obama/Biden ticket yesterday as they were formally endorsed by Thomas Friedman.

* This posting was meant to be a humorous parody of actual political endorsements and is not to be interpreted as a real endorsement of said candidate. The author (who does believe in the fast crash scenario) in no way supports the use of nuclear weapons (strategic or tactical), EMP bombs, biological weapons, energy,food, water or I-NPK embargos, war, genocide, financial market collapse, asteroid or comet impact, gamma ray burst, ice age, super volcano, pandemic virus, or any unforseen events caused by the use of GMO's, toxification of the environment, loss of biodiversity, nanotechnolgy or geoengineering that could lead to the permanent reduction in the population of Homo Sapien Sapien.


I'm gonna max out all my Platinum and Diamond cards and run out to get a 5-year auto loan and 5/25 ARM on my McMansion in the exurbs!

It's morning again in America! Wooooo!


God is more at home with chariots of fire and shields of burnished gold, tablets in golden boxes that destroy armies and trumpets that shake walls.

He doesnt get laser guided weapons systems,or night scopes or remotely operated airborne vehicles.

You know Dave. He is like you and me: can just about handle Red Baron III, but anything faster is beyond him.

I just wish people would stop bothering the man . Jeez, If I woke each morning to that many celestial emails and begging letters, I would be pissed off.

"The Church of God the Utterly Indifferent"

The Sirens Of Titan

Kurt Vonnegut

Egypt cuts off gas to Israel


Israel is gonna take Egypt to court and sue for product that the supplier cant't deliver because the supplier doesnt have it. Olmert should let me know how thats gonna work out. Iam going out on a limb here
but has not someone made mention of states keeping a
finite resource thats scarce for their own people instead of selling it?
Could I have maybe seen that on TOD? ...NAW never mind, it must be deja vu all over again.

Uh, boy. That doesn't look like good news.

Peak oil is not going to be fun in the Middle East. Especially for Israel.

There were reports of a significant Israeli presence in Georgia providing military training prior to the conflict.

The Israeli military does not perform training directly but former members did have contracts for miliatry training in Georgia.

If Israel has concerns over energy security this would explain the US-Israeli-Georgian nexus. But having Israel operating in the Arabs "backyard" cannot be viewed positively by the GCC.

Just remember that when Canada has to cut of its exports of oil and gas so it can meet its own needs. The comment by 'euro' below seems to bring this a bit closer to home (Canada's exports decline).
PS: I hope this never has to happen.


Where can I get gas at these wholesale prices already?

Egypt will need its own gas for itself, and is probably likely to honour contracts at market rates.

In short, Israel will have to pay more for its gas.

Re: A Storm Called Cantarell

I agree with the author that this is the most underreported story currently. How many people are even familiar with the name Cantarell (or Ghawar for that matter)? Oh, what I would give for Obama and McCain to have a substantive debate on the net exports issue (using actual numbers); too bad it won't happen.

I predict that we won't get front page news on this until oil stays above $150 for 2 months.

PS he mentioned something about a model on oil exports called the Export Land Model (ELM). Someone here should look into that and do a post on it...sounds interesting.

You may want to start here:


This is much discussed. Enjoy!

Not exactly energy related, but perhaps tangential, and a bit disturbing...
Amy Goodman arrested at RNC

Watching that video made me think it was her body photoshopped over a Belfast background or something...

Times are a changin....

I posted about this yesterday and the day before DB's. This story has been a total non-event as far as cable news goes. It's not nearly as exciting as a missing toddler...

Some of the comments from the LA Times blog are telling...

Kate Linthicun's lamentation per Amy Goodman's appropriate arrest reveals the abject hypocrisy of the leftist media: Here have Goodman demanding accountability whilst in the process of perpetrating mischief herself. She says,"it's so much bigger than us..."


Why can't the liberals allow the Republican Convention to proceed without their disruptions? I don't recall the conservatives trying to disrupt the Democratic Convention. What are they afraid of? Freedom of speech , it appears, is only permitted to the liberals (at least in their minds).


Why is the Media if it is fair and unbiased calling Democracy Now a protest group? Any group who destroys property while doing so called protesting is not a protest group they are Terrorists plain and simple.Those who run with Terrorists should expect to get into trouble.


I couldn't be happier that four journalists were arrested as part of a police crackdown on violent protesters.


Amy Goodman is an embarrassment to the journalism profession. Yes we are burdened with institutionalized ideology all through our college days, but when we graduate and go to work, there should be an ethical prerogative for our work. Goodman and most at the LA Times have abrogated ethics, much to the detriment of the LA Times bottom line. Won't you people ever learn -- honesty actually pays better than dishonesty.

Here is a Minnesota Public Radio story about the raids that happened before the convention.


I-Witness Video films police vs protester interactions. If you listen to the audio track, they explain what they do.


This blog entry has more details.


Here is an interview with I-Witness video.


It should be noted that there were acts of violence and the police were reacting at the convention. However it remains unclear why they body tackled people holding cameras with press passes.

'it remains unclear'??

Just how unclear? A cameraman being dragged on his elbows and knees, doused in pepper spray?

Ever had just the slightest whif of pepper spray? Brutal stuff.

Dutch government warned against rising sea levels

Boy, is the US ever lucky that New Orleans is on the GOM of Mexico instead of the North Sea. Those Dutch have got one mucho big problem.

Dont worry.

The Dutch will sort it.

And if they cant, they will just become Germans.

So they will sort it.

Here's how to cope with flooding the Dutch way:

I fancy a floating house!

In the case of solar panels to heat water for baths and showers, the institution estimates the payback time from money saved from electricity and gas bills will take more than 100 years – and up to 166 years in the worst case.

whaaaat? i know england is an expensive country, but come on. cheap commercial solar panels cost around 500 euros around here, with a boiler of 120 liters. Hell, if you build it yourself you can cut those costs to almost nothing. and besides, when there's no gas / electricity available, having hot water from march till late november makes up for the costs the first time you shower. if you want ROI, go to the stock market, because solar heaters and PV panels offer other benefits.

on a different scale of things, here in europe you lose around 7.000 euros when you buy a good car (15.000 new) and sell it 5 years after. nobody seems to complain about that.

That pricing is correct. The prices in the UK are really that much of a rip-off. PV is a different matter, but solar thermal is basically a simple technology, although you also have to plumb it in.
Their estimate of at least £2-3,000 would be correct, and it will get worse shortly, as the Department of Health and Safety are basically making the use of ladders nearly illegal, so there will be the added cost of a tower or scaffolding.

A home build would be better, but planning permission would be difficult.

are you serious? a planning permission for a home built solar heater? i'm talking about the ones that are not connected with a pressurised boiler, just a panel / tubes and a recipient to hold the water

Fraid so. You can't just go around destroying the visual amenity of the area like that willy nilly. You will probably get it through all right in most areas eventually, but not if it is too obviously home-built.
If you are in an area of special architectural interest, if they did not have a solar thermal water heater before, I think it is around 1930, you are likely to be SOL.

Hmmm .... the UK Government gave me £400 and my local authority gave me £1000 to fit evacuated tube solar thermal (that used to be ~$1800 until a couple of weeks ago!), I don't know where you live but they definitely want people to fit them where I live.

In my case I have fitted them on a vertical wall, you don't need to put them on a roof as I demonstrate to the local population, and the local authority used pictures of my house in mailshots to the whole town.

If you think energy is going to get cheaper in the UK I think you are wrong - how will you heat water in 2020 when there is almost no UK produced gas, oil, nuclear or coal?

In the UK passive PV is not viable, but in my opinion solar thermal gives a good return on money invested overall ... but if you want solar hot water in the middle of winter you may have to wait a while!

I've no idea why you think I am against solar thermal power.
I am not, I just think we are being charged too much in the UK for the manufactured kit.
I'd be wary about evacuated vacuum tubes on a wall, as they are fairly breakable, I believe.

AFAIK planning permission etc varies according to the whim of your local authority, and whether you get a grant on whether they have already run out for the year.

good thing i live in romania then :). you need a special permit for historical zones, but for your average house, you just slap it on the roof and voila

there are 2 types of solar panels. the de-pressurisez one, which consist of tubing, casing, and a "boiler". these cost 500-700 euros. linky

and then there are the second type, pressurised, wich include a real boiler, electric heater, expansion vessel, fitting to house plumbing. the tubing / solar panel must also resist to high pressure. such a system starts from 2500 euros a minimum, and only the panel is on the outside. i believe you bought such a system

You are correct, only the tubes are external on my system, if there isn't enough sun then the backup is gas, but in the summer months almost no gas is used.

The system you show in your link is ok on flat roofs, I have seen a lot of them in Mediterranean countries - I have never seen one fitted in the UK however.

Years ago my neighbor in the Phoenix area want to heat his pool a little in the winter. We got a pump and a couple hundred feet of black tubing and spread the tubing on the roof. We pumped out of the pool through the tubing and it worked like a champ except we got steam out and we had to put the exit deeper in the pool to get it to work.

Yeah, you must be careful about a solar shower!

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

Venezuelan exports to the U.S. (11.7% of total imports), which have fallen 48% since their peak in May of 2004.

Imports coming from Mexico (9.98% of total imports), which are down 58% since their peak back in February of 2006

No wonder, the US is becoming ever more agressive reg. the Caspian oil region.

Even imports from Canada with its HUGE tarsands potential are down a staggering 26% since November 2006.


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

That's nothing more than a case of scare-mongering by cherry-picking data.

Here are figures for US oil imports from Canada by year; they've risen every single year this decade.

Here is that same data, but monthly. You can see that there's a lot of variability in the data, making the practice of picking a high point to compare to very misleading.

Of course, it would be utterly unsurprising to see US imports from Canada down this year, seeing as how US imports from the world are down due to a combination of lower oil demand and higher internal production.

Of course, it would be utterly unsurprising to see US imports from Canada down this year, seeing as how US imports from the world are down due to a combination of lower oil demand and higher internal production.

Pitt, you of all people should know better than this crap. You are saying Canadian exports are down because US demand is down. No, you have the cart before the horse. US demand is down because of demand destruction caused by high prices. We have high prices because net oil exports are down 1,300,000 barrels per day since peaking in October of 2005. If we could have imported more oil, prices would have dropped. But we did not because Canada and other exporting nation simply could not export more oil. World demand has tried to increase but exporters simply could not deliver. This has caused prices to rise and create demand destruction driving demand down to meet falling exports from exporting nations.

Price is set by supply and demand. If supply is short then the price increases, driving down demand, until supply meets demand. And with these extremely high prices in the last few months, every nation, including Canada, is exporting every barrel possible.

Ron Patterson

Thanks to Automatic Earth for this item courtesy of Financial Week,


SEC rule change could fuel energy sector takeovers
Plan will allow companies to book reserves from alternative sources of oil; 'wave of acquisitions'

September 3, 2008

(Reuters)—A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission plan to overhaul oil and gas reporting rules will boost oil companies’ proven reserves, lift their shares and may even lead to takeovers.

The SEC said in June it wanted to revise the rules, devised in the 1970s, saying they were based on “outdated” thinking.

The stockmarket regulator plans to allow companies to book reserves from “unconventional” oil and gas sources such as oil sands and coal-bed methane—currently two of the hottest areas of investment.

Clearly a good thing we're not tied to that "outdated" thinking from the 1970s. Yes, it is morning again in America.

Hey, so if I'm a company that specializes in ethanol manufacturing, can I book the potential reserves of corn grown in the future? Crickey...really, it could be an infinite amount if I'm allowed to book the potential energy harvested in my fields 100 years into the future.

Well, as long as the SEC can suppress discussion of net energy, this move should help it fulfill its obligation to maintain a flow of suckers. Somebody's got to be left holding oil company paper.

Well, actually,

For once, I'd be interested in input from the energy crowd.

I wrote an article today that compares the unproven oil and gas reserves that the SEC will now allow energy companies to put on their books, to the financial unproven reserves, i.e. the value of securities that banks and funds have in their vaults. I think the comparison is quite striking, and I would appreciate comments.

Unproven Reserves

The [unproven reserves] are technically more daunting, they take more energy to exploit, they swallow up a lot more capital to exploit, all of which poses the question whether they are even economically and energetically viable at all.

The viability of course is related to the profits that can be hauled in from marketing the resources. And profit depends on prices. If oil prices would be $150 or more through the near and midterm future, exploring some of these unconventinal reserves might be profitable. But even at that price level, by no means all of them would.

And that is where we run into the world economy’s credit mayhem, which is about to wipe out an enormous part of the purchasing power that now exists in our societies. [..]

[..] .... oil prices have so far dropped 25%. If investors keep buying US dollars into 2009, in a world economy bleeding ever more profusively, oil will undoubtedly slip back at least another 25%, and move back to $70-80 per barrel, or below.[..]

I guess this falls under the "leveling the playing field" moniker. If banks can continue to pretend the paper in their vaults has value (as long as it stays in that vault), the financial version of unproven reserves, then energy companies should be allowed to count "probable" and "possible" sources as real assets.

But make no mistake about it: oil shale and coal-bed methane have no more real economic value than CDO’s, securities, derivatives and all the rest of the toxic paper. The SEC regulatory change will simply inject more virtual and funny money into the financial system.

I think you're painting with way too broad a brush. Sure, if they report oil shale, and original oil in place as 'reserves' that's toxic. OTOH, an honest 2P (proven and probable) is the best guess at what is really there. Some of it won't be, but someplace else there'll be more. As was mentioned in the article that's how it's been done in Europe, and the mess doesn't seem any worse there.

Heck, it will deflate confidence in the OPEC numbers. That's a good thing by itself.


My own knowledge of market economics and oil pricing is very limited. Hopefully contributors to this site whose expertise is reliable and well thought-out will add their two cents worth (or whatever the real value of currencies are these days!) and help you think this through.

Alarm bells should ring whenever market players are eager to relax the rules of allowing "unproven reserves" to be given a value and measured as an asset. During saner times, tangible values would not be substituted for "speculative" values. But as you point out daily these are not saner times.

Looks like the wisdom of "not counting your chickens before they hatch" is being discarded. If the SEC proceeds with deregulation, I think it safe to say the paper value of energy will be affected; very much like what happened to OPEC estimated reserves during the 1980s when it was clearly in members' interest to prime the pump.

Backing more and more on the piss-poor collateral of "potential development" is not prudent frugality, but ethical considerations don't seem to count for much.

What will this do for pricing?? Or consolidation within the industry? A penny for thoughts.

BTW, ilargi, keep up the good work!

The current system of SEC reserve valuation appears comparable to "mark to market" valuation as used in the financial world. It is tested against "real world" valuations and constraints. The proposed SEC valuation appears to be similar to a Level III "mark to model" valuation.

If I owned a wack of oil shale leases I can see going to Lehman or Citi and borrowing a big wad of cash to go build condos in Miami, or in the Bay area. If I owned a ton of shale leases maybe I could buy out Lehman, or even Freddy. My rumour oil will be getting more and more valuable with each passing day and that appreciation gives me the opportunity to buy some real assets, and wait out the market turn in housing.

Read your site daily, ilargi. Thanks!

Jeff Masters' Wunder Blog says the forecast for Ike is highly uncertain, and depends partly on what Hanna does. However, he expects Ike to enter the Gulf and "cause havoc."

I think that does not accurately state his thoughts, or he is really not sure, laying out possibilities. Near the end he states:
"Sometimes, a recurving hurricane will leave behind an enhanced trough of low pressure that will act to help recurve the storm behind it along the same path. This is possible this week with Ike and Hanna."

Agreed. I think Jeff Masters is pretty keen on the fact that the Traffic he pulls into weather underground this time of the year is what 'feeds his family' so to speak. So I little 'hype' mixed with reality is what keeps his hits up this time of year.

You're quick. I went to edit right after posting and you were already replying. After rereading Leanan's post above, I can see she laid out the uncertainty with her initial sentence.

I don't think it's to pull traffic, but rather he's quite aware of all the uncertainty, of how wrong a forecast can be. He's been at it too long. And havoc is an undefined term with a hurricane. What hurricane doesn't create havoc in the gulf. Just because it misses the US, doesn't mean there's real pain elsewhere. Look at Cuba and Gustav. It saved our bacon.

During the off season Jeff will weigh in on various topics and I don't always agree with his positions, but they are always well-supported and articulate. During hurricane season he's focused, sharp, and informative. He does emphasize strongly when evac is required, but to me it never reaches hype. He generally presents a low-end estimate, a high-end estimate, and then gives his best guess, so you can follow along as the situation unfolds. Of course his prognostication is limited by the state of the art in computer modeling and atmospheric data, but from my perspective as an layman weather enthusiast for 30 years, overall, he is as good as it gets.

Read his blogs the days before Katrina, and you will see that he suffers the prophets' curse just like the peak oilers do, just his repeats every few storm seasons.

I was referring to this part:

The longer term fate of Ike is highly uncertain. The ECMWF and GFS models both forecast that Hanna will be strong enough to create a weakness in the ridge of high pressure steering Ike to the west. Ike will then follow Hanna's path, recurving northwards. the timing of this recurvature is critical, as the GFS shows that Ike will miss the U.S., while the ECMWF forecasts a strike in South Florida on Tuesday, then another landfall in North Carolina later in the week. If Hanna is not as strong or is faster-moving than these models expect, Ike may not recurve. Instead, Ike will cross Cuba or move through the Florida Straits, eventually emerging into the Gulf of Mexico to cause havoc there. This is my current expectation.

Yes, as I stated above, I couldn't edit fast enough. I had read the blog earlier today and thought there's too many variables. But that seems the way with these storms. Extremely hard to predict, I fear for the next major one for NO, when the hassle of evac may override common sense.

OTOH...the rural areas that got the eyewall probably will evacuate. The ones who stayed wish they hadn't.

Earlier in his blog post (about Ike, specifically):

If Hanna is not as strong or is faster-moving than these models expect, Ike may not recurve. Instead, Ike will cross Cuba or move through the Florida Straits, eventually emerging into the Gulf of Mexico to cause havoc there. This is my current expectation.

Yes, it's possible Ike may follow Hanna. It's also possible he could stall out entirely. If we know anything, it's that forecasting these storms is tricky.

Right now, Hanna is projected to skirt the eastern seaboard of North America giving rain and wind to coastal cities along the way.


As you say Ben forecasting these storms can be tricky.

Let's see, it's God's will that we are in Iraq and he apparently likes fossil fuels. Following that logic I guess it was God who mislead the intelligence agencies about WMDs and tricked us into Iraq. OMG, God wants us to have Iraq's oil. He does work in mysterious ways...

Speaking before the Pentecostal church, Palin painted the current war in Iraq as a messianic affair in which the United States could act out the will of the Lord. Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

Religion, however, was not strictly a thread in Palin's foreign policy. It was part of her energy proposals as well. Just prior to discussing Iraq, Alaska's governor asked the audience to pray for another matter -- a $30 billion national gas pipeline project that she wanted built in the state. "I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that," she said.


She's perfect for the US of A :)

Palin on oil, gas and good ole American ingenuity:

To confront the threat that Iran might seek to cut off nearly a fifth of world energy supplies ... or that terrorists might strike again at the Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia ... or that Venezuela might shut off its oil deliveries ... We Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas.

And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: we've got lots of both.

Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems - as if we all didn't know that already.

But the fact that drilling won't solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all.

Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we're going to lay more pipelines ... build more nuclear plants ... create jobs with clean coal ... and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal, and other alternative sources.

We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers.

Hello Stepback,

I sure hope American Ingenuity is better than German Engineering:

German mine used for nuclear waste leaking

Official records indicate that 130,000 barrels of low- and mid-level nuclear waste are stored in the mine, Spiegel said. But there are reports that nuclear fuel rods and plutonium were dumped there as well and that some of the barrels have rusted through.

Radiation levels have been measured there at eight times the safe level, Der Spiegel said. Local officials said they fear that salt water leaking from the mine could end up in public water supplies.
For some reason I cannot fathom: the nuclear industry keeps shooting itself in the head. Safe monitoring and prevention costs a mere fraction of cleaning up a radioactive mess, plus this is sure to set off a political firestorm, and not just in Germany.

She should be jailed just for uttering those crazy-assed lies. When are politicians going to be held accountable for their lies? These lies hurt the nation, hurt the citizens.... all but the wealthy.

It's criminal, isn't it, to intentionally lie resulting in the material harm of others?


When are politicians going to be held accountable for their lies?

You would think that as a staunch right winger, Palin would be against "divorce".

But in her speech she divorced herself and McPain from 8 prior years of do-nothing (nothing good) Republicanism by talking about how "Starting in January ..." they're suddenly going to wake up and look at the energy crisis.

Yeah right. Country first and oil companies second, that's the Alaskan state motto.

I haven't seen this posted before.
Perhaps the big-brains about oil w0ould care to evaluate how important this is:
Modified Seawater as EOR Fluid Could Boost Oil Recovery From Limestone Reservoirs Up to 60%

In the study, Tor Austad and colleagues note that more than 50% of the world’s oil reserves are trapped in oil reservoirs composed of calcium carbonate, rocks that include chalk and limestone. The average oil recovery from carbonates is generally lower than for sandstone reservoirs. The reason, they note, is that the carbonate rock is neutral to preferentially oil-wet and often highly fractured.


I would guess that this, if it works out, would not greatly affect projected decline rates, which likely already allow for this sort of progress, but am not certain.

everybody knows. its a run away train. no one is in control.
save the world
save ourselves from our selves.
gain influence over the force and direction of humanity?
no one ever had it
no one ever will
we are not an exceedingly endearing species
scarred ,greedy
no one here would miss us
we don't deserve this place

reminds me of the story of eden
the tree of knowledge
forbidden fruit
did they see it turning out like this way back then?

the tragedy is
it could have been anything

but we got
from knowledge to power to self destruction

destroyed by our own survival mechanism
conceptual thought\opposable thumbs

too much success

strange to have such incredible detailed,
sophisticated analysis the problem
and so hopeless in the face of it

we are unable to STOP

Hurricane Ike just made Cat 4. Due to eyewall replacement, it is unlikely to be able to maintain Cat 4 strength.


Cat 4 ... so it will downgrade to a Cat 3? ...still not good.

They are expecting it to be back up to Cat. 4 by the time it approaches the US.

No guarantee either way though. It could cycle back up to cat 4 or 5 as well, and/or grow in size.

For Alan and other Railway followers..

A little news from Maine ...
Rail line proposal panned in Windham

The Maine Department of Transportation recently paid $800,000 for the last 5-mile stretch – in South Windham – of the 40-mile line.

The purchase generated excitement in other towns along the rail corridor, such as Standish and Baldwin, where officials anticipate significant economic and environmental benefits.

The reaction here was quite different Tuesday, when the town's legislative delegation attended a Town Council workshop to discuss the potential local impact of the state's goal to lease the line to a private railroad operator.

Councilor Kaile Warren said the desire to re-establish the line is impractical and nostalgic, like the 1960s television show "Petticoat Junction."

and one of my comments to the article. Hope I got the numbers right..

"[Kaile] Warren said, he fears it will end up being Maine's "bridge to nowhere." "

Warren just suggested that Windham is 'Nowhere'. Windham, Gorham and Westbrook could be the first beneficiaries of renewed rail service to the West of Portland, which should be developed for BOTH Freight and Passenger service. We have effectively NO non-oil transportation options in Maine, and our rural regions WILL become 'Nowhere' if we don't work fast to create options to keep them connected efficiently to the coast and to the country. Our Forest Products, Ag Products and 'Tourism Products' need to be accessible, and rail is far and away the most energy efficient means of getting tonnage moved over land.. even better when it's electrified-rail (18 times better than an 18-wheeler)

The world's major oilfields (1 million barrels/day) are all mature and declining.. what we can get off America's shores is Couch-change, and shale-oil has been promised for a century. Oil discoveries have been dropping since 1964. (That's the big hint, right there.) Asphalt has doubled in a year, and you know what shape our roads are in already. It's time to get those steel wheels rolling again, but not to let the monopolies form like they did before.

Electric Cars are OK, and bikes are great, but for real distances, heavy loads, lots of people, you NEED trains. Look at the rest of the world, and don't be so proud! We're way behind, here.

I guess I played fast and loose with my broadside that caught Ghawar in it's sweep.. but who's ready to prove it wrong?

"That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth." Huck Finn


Re-developing rail for both freight and passengers is one very sensible thing we can do to prepare for the changing world of energy.

Not exactly rocket science...not cold fusion, not flying solar-powered cars.

We always seem to fail at doing the simpler things.

The cult of the car will be fiercely resistant...the disingenuous politicos will paint a reduction of cars and rise of trains as some sort of socialist take-over.

Here's hoping for some societal sanity...

I find it fascinating how the SPR could not and would not ever be accessed except in a huge war-type emergency. At least that was the montra of the past 8 years. But then as we near another election and there is a tiny hurricane making landfall in NO, then suddenly we can open the spickets as wide as necessary.

Truly fascinating how obvious politics can be.

"Truly fascinating how obvious politics can be."

The best place to hide stuff is right in the open. I always find my glasses on top of my head, after looking for 1/2 hour everywhere else I might have left them.

PO and global warming seem to follow the same Peculiar
tendency. They are right in everyones face and yet so
many are blind to see them.

Some have speculated its bread and circus that obscures the view,I have also...but I now think its
deeper and more complicated than that.
Politics is where I am definitely a doomer on PO.

Every major social change for the better, happened from the grass roots up. Some poster on here (I forget who) had the most excellent piece about rhizomes in biology...but used it in a social sense.
The post moved my thinking in ways that were hopefull.

Please. Bush has been very consistent on this point. The SPR is for emergencies, not necessarily huge war-type emergencies. He opened up the spigots for Katrina, and said he would for other hurricanes, too. High prices are not an emergency, hurricanes are.

The oil companies are only borrowing from the SPR. They are supposed to pay it back.

You can see how this is different from just selling off oil from the SPR to lower prices. How do you replace it then? And what if prices don't go down? Do you keep selling until there's nothing left?


Earlier in the thread someone mentioned that the SPR is currently delivering (and thus no net supply disruption) but I've seen no public reports confirming. Additionally, who would they deliver to today given most of the refiners in the area are still shut in? So far it seems like a mostly verbal pat on the back that all will be well. Which it probably will be after a few bumps along the way.

I'd guess that this is a 'made available' thing and it won't get delivered because no-one will ask for it.
In any case, George probably wants to keep the SPR topped up in case he fancies taking out Iran as a leaving present - what's one more lie about releasing reserves now?

U.S. grants Citgo 250K barrels of oil from reserve

NEW YORK (AP) -- Citgo will be allowed to pull 250,000 barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve because of its inability to secure crude in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav.

Venezuela's government-controlled Citgo Petroleum Corp. said Tuesday that supplies to its refinery in Lake Charles, La., were cut off when the Calcasieu Ship Channel closed.

And Citgo exports it to Venezuela, the US says treason and invades Venezuela, taaadaaaddaa baaaaaaaabababuuuuuuum!

Hurricane Ike is a Category 4 hurricane with 145 mph max. sustained winds this hour. Its current predicted track is towards the Bahamas. Josephine is a tropical storm with winds of 60 mph. Hanna was predicted to move north along the eastern U.S. coast.

Ike can take the path of Katrina between Cuba and Florida and hit the same spot ... that's spookie.

Spooky, or weather manipulation.

"Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action." -- Ian Fleming, "Goldfinger"