DrumBeat: December 8, 2008

Oil rises on talk of auto bailout, stimulus

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Oil prices rebounded from a nearly 4-year low Monday as U.S. automakers neared a deal that would keep them out of bankruptcy and President-elect Barack Obama pledged to stimulate the economy of the world's largest oil consumer.

U.S. crude for January delivery rose $2.90 to settle at $43.71 a barrel after settling at $40.81 Friday, the lowest close since Dec. 10, 2004.

OPEC's 'Surprise' May Disappoint

The cartel tells the world it's planning a surprise cut, but this could backfire.

Americans Forget High Oil Prices Too Quickly

For some years now I've been having an ongoing email debate with CNBC anchor Joe Kernen with respect to oil prices and oil supply and demand. Being a believer that worldwide supply will simply not keep up with worldwide demand, I have been a strong proponent of US energy diversification away from oil. Joe has strongly disagreed and said that the high price of oil was mere speculation. Back when oil topped $90/barrel and I told him it would go much much higher; he said poppycock and suggested that we should get two barrels of oil for $90.

Friday I got an email from Kernen declaring victory. Oil hit $45/barrel and that was his "two-for". He implied that "Einstein" (me) was wrong and that peak oil believers were badly mistaken. I wrote back and told him that after four years it was about time he was right on something, as even a clock is correct twice a day. Didn't get a reply to that one.

A race to the bottom

In the past, academics, particularly from the US, denounced the gold standard for its policy straitjacket that precipitated bank failures in Europe and huge unemployment in the 1930s. Yet, without the policy-fetters-imposed gold standard, global fiat money printers have managed to create a banking and financial crisis.

Further, we do not know how in the world of climate change and vanishing hydrocarbon reserves rapid growth can be sustainable. Even a cursory reading of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2008 is a must for all of us. IEA, by no stretch of imagination, is in the camp of “peak oil” theorists. Yet, they are quite bemused about how the world appetite and habit for hydrocarbons can be met given emerging supply constraints and environmental considerations. In a way, the current slowdown is a welcome break from the oil price of $140 per barrel. Yet, policymakers are acting as though they cannot wait to have it back.

BP Shuts Line From Indiana Refinery, Starts Repairs

Bloomberg) -- BP Plc said it can’t estimate how long it will take to repair a pipeline taking refined products from its Whiting, Indiana, refinery to Michigan. The line was shut down Dec. 5 after being struck in a fatal vehicle accident.

BP, Europe’s second-largest oil company, is assessing the damage caused by a fire that occurred after the accident and can’t estimate how long the pipeline will be shut, Scott Dean, a company spokesman, said in an interview.

Alaska divided over who will transport its natural gas

It is finally official - as of December 5, Alaska handed the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act licence over to TransCanada. The deal is for construction on a $30 billion (Dh110.19 billion), or more, pipeline transporting natural gas from Alaska's North Slope southward.

But don't hold your breath.

Clean energy appears out of reach for years

Will clean tech save us by 2025? Will it end our dependence on global-warming fossil fuels by then? Not very likely, says the U.S. government's National Intelligence Council. "All current technologies are inadequate for replacing the traditional energy architecture on the scale needed, and new energy technologies probably will not be commercially viable and widespread by 2025." So says the council's just-released report, "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World."

...Despite its skepticism that high-tech will ride to energy's rescue, the report offers some reason for optimism: "Despite what are seen as long odds now, the greatest possibility for a relatively quick and inexpensive transition (from fossil fuels) comes from better renewable generation sources (photovoltaic and wind) and improvements in battery technology."

In the main, however, the report throws cold water on the expectations of the more idealistic clean-tech advocates. Yes, the world will be moving away from oil by 2025, it says, but in its place expect more natural gas, coal and nuclear energy. And any technology-driven improvements will take longer than you think.

Chesapeake Gains 24% in Pre-Market Trading After Cutting Budget

(Bloomberg) -- Chesapeake Energy Corp., the second- biggest independent U.S. natural-gas producer, gained 24 percent in pre-market trading after saying it will cut spending and plans to build cash resources because of a plunge in prices.

ANALYSIS - Policy muddle sets Nigeria oil delta on knife-edge

LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigeria needs to strike a delicate balance between military muscle and political negotiation in the Niger Delta if it is to protect Africa's biggest oil industry from a fresh spate of crippling attacks, analysts say.

A campaign of sabotage over the past three years, in which militants have blown up pipelines, attacked flow stations and kidnapped foreign oil workers, has cut crude oil production in the world's eighth biggest exporter by around a fifth.

Report: Metrolink Most Dangerous Rail System in U.S.

LOS ANGELES -- By some measures, Metrolink has the dubious distinction of being the most deadly commuter rail system in the country, a Daily News investigation has concluded.

About $1.2 billion generated after the passage of a Nov. 4 sales tax measure will be channeled toward improving Metrolink safety, however.

The Philippines: Two-year ethanol supply may take a while to feed demand

LOCAL supply of ethanol to feed demand for the mandated blend of the alternative fuel at the pump is likely to be available only two years from now, an official from Chevron (Caltex) Philippines, Inc. said.

Russian oil output to fall after 2020: national energy ministry

Moscow (Platts) - Russia's energy ministry believes that the country's oil production will stabilize at 535 million mt/year (10.7 million barrel/day) by 2020, after which it will start falling, a ministry's official said Monday.

Under the basic scenario of the draft energy strategy until 2030, the country's oil production will reach 500 million mt/year in 2010, 530 million mt/year in 2015, 535 million mt/year in between 2020 and 2025, and 530 million in 2030, said Vitaly Bushuyev, the general director of the ministry's institute of energy strategy.

"We need to be prepared for [the decline in output]," Bushuyev told an energy forum in Moscow, adding that international oil prices were likely to fall after 2012 to "the level of minimum profitability of the oil business."

Oil, Copper Advance After Obama Promises Public Works Spending

(Bloomberg) -- Oil, copper and corn rose after President-elect Barack Obama pledged the biggest U.S. public works program in about 50 years to revive the economy.

Commodities rebounded from last week’s losses on speculation spending on roads, bridges and repairing school buildings will boost raw material demand and engineer a recovery in the world’s largest economy. Obama said that his economic plan would create or preserve more than 2.5 million jobs.

Cost of gas is approaching a five-year low

CAMARILLO, Calif. - The average price of U.S. gasoline fell 22 cents a gallon during the past two weeks, bringing it to its lowest level in nearly five years, according to a national survey released Sunday.

Saudi deepens oil supply cuts to some in Asia, Europe

TOKYO/LONDON (Reuters) - Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia will make even bigger oil supply cuts to some of its Asian and European customers next month, industry sources said on Monday as the kingdom stepped up efforts to halt the steep slide in prices.

While most Asian refiners appear set to receive steady supplies next month, news of the reduced allocations helped push oil prices up six percent on Monday and suggested Riyadh is not waiting for OPEC's Dec. 17 meeting to tighten crude oil exports in an effort to keep oil from falling below $40 a barrel.

Libya to Seek ‘Substantial’ Oil Production Cut at OPEC Meeting

(Bloomberg) -- OPEC, the supplier of more than 40 percent of the world’s oil, should make a “substantial” output cut when it meets next week to boost crude prices, Libya’s top oil official said.

“The market is in upheaval, all the countries are stepping in to protect their markets, their industries, OPEC should do the same for the oil market,” the chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corp, Shokri Ghanem, said in a phone interview from Tripoli today. “Everyone at OPEC agrees that the market needs support, I think that our action should be substantial.”

Australia gas project deferred on demand worries

SYDNEY, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Development of the Reindeer gas project off Australia's west coast was deferred indefinitely on Monday after a proposed key customer failed to commit to a sales contract, one of the A$850 million ($550 million) project's partners, Santos Ltd said.

Santos, citing "adverse changes in the global economic outlook," did not say who the customer was, though sources said it was Hong Kong-based steel-to-property conglomerate Citic Pacific Ltd, which is seeking shareholder approval for a $1.5 billion bailout plan.

The resources boom that fuelled prosperity is now a bust

The term "energy crisis" is more commonly associated with dwindling supplies, soaring prices and threats of rationing.

Not at the moment. Instead, the sudden and dramatic fall in oil prices in the past few months has sent shockwaves through the boardrooms of those companies that were relying on a commodity super-cycle to prop up their overstretched balance sheets.

Gas: Make it cost more

We're concerned about the dropping price of oil. Sure, it's great for consumers. We, too, like seeing change after we fill our tank with gas. Most experts think the price will continue to decline and some are speculating that a barrel of oil will drop to less than $25 and gas at the pump may go below a dollar a gallon.

The problem is inexpensive oil will not help this country kick its addiction. The fact is high fuel prices help society heal, moving to healthier energy choices.

Will Obama raise fuel taxes?

The incoming Obama administration has made clear improving energy efficiency is also one of its highest priorities. The president-elect's future national security adviser, General James L. Jones, has been working on energy issues for an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce since retiring as NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe. He made clear in a recent interview improving energy security would be one of his central objectives, marking an unusual extension of the adviser's traditional role. The incoming administration faces several related challenges, however...

Can Obama Really Afford His Infrastructure Program? Price of Asphalt, CO2 Cost From Cement, Raise Doubts

On Saturday President-elect Obama pledged the biggest road and bridge construction program since the 1950s. But has anyone in Washington asked Wilson County, Tennessee road superintendent Steve Armistead about the price of asphalt these days? For that matter, has anyone thought about how much more cement is likely to cost when that industry has to pass through costs associated with its carbon dioxide emissions?

Carolyn Baker: Obama Revitalizes Disaster Capitalism: The Shock Doctrine Receives a Make-over

Since many months before the November election, Truth to Power has been researching and informing readers regarding the fundamental underpinnings of Barack Obama's agenda and his likely appointments in the areas of economic, foreign policy, and energy issues. Not only have I written several pieces on the topic, so have a variety of other researchers. In reviewing our reporting, what has remained consistent and therefore validates it, is Obama's adherence to neoliberal, globalist policies couched in the rhetoric of "change" but offering no substantial departure from the ultimate strategies of imperialism, corporate capitalist supremacy, and almost total ignorance (or ignore-ance) of the energy and environmental suicide perpetuated by endless growth.

Local food cooperative searched by state

PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP — An Ohio Department of Agriculture agent seized food, electronic devices and documents from a Pittsfield Township organic and natural food cooperative believed to be unlicensed, according to a search warrant filed yesterday in Lorain County Common Pleas Court.

...On Monday, ODA enforcement agent William Lesho confiscated hundreds of pounds of processed beef and large amounts of lamb, turkey and other perishable products in addition to office files, a computer, two cell phones and other electronic devices, according to the search warrant inventory. The items were taken to establish the Stowers' ownership in any property, records of hidden wealth or illegal income and anything that would establish illegal activity, according to the search warrant affidavit.

Obama says will pursue carrot/stick Iran policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Barack Obama said on Sunday he was prepared to offer Iran economic incentives to stop its nuclear program, but he also warned that sanctions could be toughened if it refused.

A Gift to Planet Earth and Humanity

A miracle has occurred. Many were beginning to contemplate a survival strategy because of the dual hammer of Peak Oil and Global Warming. But a funny thing happened on our way to doomsday. It is appearing that we are getting a reprieve, and, ironically, the gift is this serious, but fixable, economic collapse.

Little city is at center of a great debate

Pipes link the Great Lakes with massive oil reserves in friendly Alberta. They may bring jobs, energy and pollution. And it's all happening as the century of oil gives way to the century of water.

Wind over water: Some see giant wind farms on horizon for the vast, breezy Great Lakes

Wind power has already established a beachhead on Wisconsin soil - you can see 88 Danish-built windmills stretching 400 feet into the sky just east of Lake Winnebago. They're capable of squeezing enough juice from the airstream to power 36,000 homes, according to We Energies.

Similar blades are spinning along U.S. Highway 41 in Fond du Lac County. And they're whirling near the Lake Michigan shoreline in Kewaunee County.

And now it looks like at least one might be headed for scenic Madeline Island.

Is Solar Losing Its Shine?

Investors shouldn't become fixated on oil as the source of the investor doom and gloom in solar energy. There are many clouds over the industry, not just falling oil. JP Morgan Securities issued a recent report that blames the swoon in solar on reduced solar subsidies in Europe next year, higher borrowing costs, increased competition, and pricing pressure at all levels of the solar photovoltaic industry.

Solar isn't immune to the global credit crunch, as lack of financing for solar projects and capital to fund manufacturing capacity expansion casts a shadow on the industry. Solar energy companies are also dealing with rocketing prices for silicon, the basic substance for photovoltaic technology and a material that until recently was experiencing a worldwide shortage and major price increases.

Runway protest strands passengers

Flights have been disrupted and passengers left stranded at Stansted airport after a climate change protest caused the runway to be closed.

Ryanair has cancelled 56 flights and told passengers to re-book, but it has warned that availability is limited in the coming days.

Fighting climate change: mass or direct action?

Can the people of the world make global warming history? Ed Miliband, the UK's minister for energy and climate change certainly hopes so.

Talking to the Guardian, he has called for a mass movement, like the 2005 Make Poverty History campaign, that will force the world's leaders to agree to a meaningful global climate deal at UN talks in Copenhagen at the end of 2009.

BP, EBay, HP Demand ‘Deep, Rapid’ Greenhouse-Gas Cuts

(Bloomberg) -- BP Plc, Hewlett-Packard Co., Shanghai Electric Group and 137 other companies from around the world urged delegates at United Nations climate talks in Poland to commit to deep and rapid cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions.

The recession shouldn’t be used as an excuse to delay investments needed to slash emissions and help fight global warming, the companies said in an e-mailed statement today.

Did anyone catch Ali Al-Naimi, the Saudi oil minister and de facto head of the OPEC oil cartel, on 60 minutes last night? If not you can watch both episodes here: Saudi Arabia Bullish On Oil's Future. They gave him two of the three segments. The first is 12:35 minutes long and the second is 11:30 minutes. It is extremely interesting! They will be injecting 84 million gallons of seawater per day into Khurais. That is 2 million barrels per day.

Ron Patterson

There's some discussion in yesterday's DrumBeat. And there might be a dedicated thread later.

Given the number of people working in that control room, I can't understand why there doesn't seem to be anybody to pay off to get the daily production data out. The most amazing technology Aramco deploys is their information security.


I suggest that this be dissected and perhaps a formal response to 60 Minutes by TOD staff be prepared. Who knows - a letter or an interview might be fortcoming on 60 Minutes.

As WHT said yesterday - it is "cringe worthy".


Mass Transit Ridership Unexpectedly High in 3Q08

But the third-quarter increase is notable, it said, because gas prices began falling and unemployment rose, trends that tend to drive ridership down. Instead, ridership has gone up across the board nationwide. More than 2.8 billion trips were taken from July through September, rising 8.5 percent on light rail (streetcars), 7.2 percent on buses, 6.3 percent on commuter rail and 5.2 percent on subways.


Best Hopes,


That's what we are seeing in the Dallas area. A local transit guy told me Friday that both rail lines and express bus service are at 100% of capacity during rush hours, with little or no drop off in ridership after fuel prices fell.

That's a good thing. Most everyone I talk to doesn't believe the oil prices will stay this low for long. They might actually stay this low for a few years, depending on how the economy does, but that's another reason ridership is up: people still feel their budget being pinched by fuel costs, even at $1.50 a gallon.

Re: Russian oil output to fall after 2020: national energy ministry (linked uptop)

Our (Khebab/Brown) outlook for Russian net oil exports:


The EIA shows 2007 net exports of 7 mbpd from Russia. Our middle case shows net exports of a little more than one mbpd in 2020, within a range from zero to two mbpd (from mature basins).


Russian output is already down. Bushuyev is lying through his teeth. But maybe he doesn't know that.

He is right in suggesting we should prepare for that, he is just 12 years late with the statement.

Eastern Siberia has not been exploited yet. The increased oil production in the last 10 years has been previously explored basins. You also systematically ignore all of the Arctic shelf development which NATO has its panties in a bunch over.

Is it not true that we have a good idea of the oil that can come online in the next 8 to 10 years? Doesn't it follow that at this point all the oil that is purported to exist there will show up after we are well down the production curve?

Not really. There is no clear picture of what the shelf or eastern Siberia hold. But to treat these as zero zones in any analysis of Russian production in the next twenty years is silly. As far as lying goes I would like to see a quote from any top ranking US government official in the 1960s and early 1970s predicting a decline in US production. Same goes for Saudi Arabia.

Poll: 67% cutting back on holiday spending

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Americans say the sagging economy is making the 2008 holiday season more stressful than previous years, according to a CNN poll out Monday, with up to two-thirds of them reporting some belt-tightening.

Tribune (Almost) Toast, New York Times Next?

More startling over the past year has been the collapse of the New York Times (NYT). The New York Times Company has a $400 million debt payment due in five months, and management has not yet explained how it plans to meet this. The company is nearly out of cash, its operations are now burning cash, and its attempts to sell assets have, so far, been unsuccessful.

Could the NY Times really go belly-up?

Christian Science Monitor has given up its print edition, and is now online-only. Gannett laid off 10% of its employees last week. And CNN fired their entire science dept., including Miles O'Brien.

Drudge has a headline regarding the NYT. They going to borrow against their building, apparently to replace an expiring line of credit. I guess they regard the downturn in advertising as temporary.


When you are down to your last dollar with no immediate prospect for survival, buying a lottery ticket and hoping for the best isn't a bad strategy. These sorts of bets tend to function as "zombie signals". If the bets don't come in...

We are seeing more and more of these signals, from both private enterprise and governments.

LOL, the "temporary" downturn has been going on for quite a few years now, hasn't it? Circulation has been on a rather long "temporary" downturn for some time too, hasn't it?

Maybe they should set up a dunk tank and require their reporters and columnists to take their turns.

Who needs science when the rapture is near anyway.

though i worry more about what those wackos will do once things start to get really bad and they are wondering why none of them are being beamed up to heaven. Nothing human is more dangerous that a bunch of religious fanatics who just had their beliefs hit with a 2x4 from reality.

Who needs science when the rapture is near anyway.

When all those folks fly off naked into the air can I have all their stuff?

At my age being carried off by a rupture seems a lot more likely than the rapture.....

Nice job coloring that Gecko - I'd say those colors are pretty true to life...

I just heard on MSNBC that the Chicago Tribune, also owner of the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field, will probably file for bankruptcy this week. One would think they would sell the Cubs and Wrigley Field and perhaps avoid bankruptcy.

That means the LA Times is also bankrupt.

And the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel - not in the same league, but hey it's the bird cage I'm really worried about...

but hey it's the bird cage I'm really worried about...

A person can still line the birdcage, mulch the garden, light the fire in the woodstove, etc., with the thrift papers available free by the armload from most restaurant & retail stores' foyers. Seriously, how can the bankruptcies of newspapers be anything but a good thing? Surely it will cut down on the demand for pulp from loblolly tree farms all across the American south. Maybe with the decline of tree farming actual forest ecosystems can someday regrow on land currently devoted to perennial agriculture.

That's the difference between Florida and New Hampshire. I'd be more worried about finding something to start the fire in my woodstove - 'twas zero degrees this morning here. :-)

I have used a propane torch to start my wood stove for years.

Best firestarter there is. A corncob soaked in kerosene. Just takes one for me cause I tend to conserve my corncobs.

Thats the way my mammy did it and thats the way I do it.

BTW lots of good uses for corncobs. Make a pipe. Make a jug stopper.Make toys,,etc...Oh and replaces toilet paper really well.


Oh and replaces toilet paper really well.



If there is a God, then the NYT will go belly up.

I don't know, I've heard he likes doing the Sunday crossword.

But, the NYT said that God is dead... Would God say the NYT is dead?

Does God have any sense of humor at all?

Actually, Geckolizard, the NYT reported that Frederich Nietzsche declared God's death. On the day after Nietzsche's death [August 25, 1900] the Times headline was "Nietzsche is dead -- GOD".

Why I've Turned Bearish

Commentary: No signs that economy will rebound any time soon

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- I've turned bearish on stocks.
I wasn't struck by lightning. I didn't have an epiphany...

...We're in a global recession that has gathered momentum over the last couple of months and will likely get worse. The financial crisis will suck up resources for months, maybe years. Consumers are retrenching big time in the U.S., and that has cut global growth. And government involvement in markets has increased dramatically and is likely to ramp up even more...

So, where does that leave us? I contacted A. Gary Shilling, the veteran economist and editor of Insight, who has been as prescient on this crisis as media superstar Nouriel Roubini...

When I spoke to him this week, he sounded vindicated but hardly cheerful. He still expects the recession to last until the end of 2009, unless the financial problems are even worse than they appear -- in which case it could extend "into 2010 and beyond."


If only the guy had turned bearish last January after the implosion had become obvious, sold his stocks and bought plain old bank CDs with the proceeds, he wouldn't have lost 40% of his investment stash.

Carolyn Baker: Obama Revitalizes Disaster Capitalism: The Shock Doctrine Receives a Make-over

Excellent, excellent article!

The quote I found most interesting was this:

Nothing is spontaneous, accidental, or left to chance.

That is certainly the conclusion I have come to as a result of my recent reading. Robert Heilbroner in Behind the Veil of Economics makes the case that modern economics, despite its claim to "science," is really nothing more than an elaborate mechanism of social control.

And Kevin Phillips, in Wealth and Democracy, makes the case that somebody in the late 1970s decided that it would be the policy of the U.S. to destroy its productive sector so that the wealth of the nation could be concentrated at the top--the process he calls "financialization." Phillips goes on to show that this was the same thing that happened in 16th-century Spain, 18th-century Holland and 19th-century Great Britain, other great empires in the twilight of their power.

None of this happens by accident.

The books you mention are going on my list. Thanks. "Confessions of an economic hitman" is already there, but haven't bought it yet.

modern economics, despite its claim to "science," is really nothing more than an elaborate mechanism of social control.

Do feel free to point this out to the next poster here on TOD who claims it is a science.

The car of the future: It flies

Carl Dietrich always dreamed of building a flying car. Instead, the pragmatic inventor ended up creating what he calls a roadable aircraft, a plane that folds up its wings on landing and takes to the highway. In 2010, after three years of development, his vehicle, the Transition, will be available to customers for $194,000 a pop...

"We knew we could build it," Dietrich says. "The question was, 'Can we make money on it?' The key was not to base the business plan around a market that is not real."

Dude, your business plan is ALL around a market that's not real.

Wanna build a car of the future? Here's the prototype:

For toots and giggles, it would be interesting to consider the advantages of aviation over automobiles in the fact that they don't require paved surfaces beyond the runways, and even that can be argued. (There are plenty of grass airfields for small aircraft, such as one owned by a friend of mine.)

Of course, not everyone can have an airfield in their back yard... :)
~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com)

I think the kicker is the picture of the plane in the driveway... Here you see the three car garage, huge suburban lot, huge home, and a frickin plane. This just screams waste, overleverage, and overconsumption. And he wants to sell this in 2010... If things keep going the way they are, and you took a picture of this scene in 2010, you would see a 'Home For Sale' sign in the front yard because the owner is overleveraged and unemployed; you'd see the neighbor's house either stripped, gutted or burned down; and you *might* see a garden in place of that 'perfect lawn'. Finally, if the plane were in the driveway in 2010, the two people wouldn't be washing it with water and soap, but stripping it down for scrap metal with hand tools and loading the pieces on a trailer.

I think its a poor attempt at marketing to make the plane appear "attainable" by showing it in a driveway in front of a suburban Mcmansion.

But anyone with an ounce of sense can see that plane does not fit through those doors. At over $100,000 in a cash strapped world this guy must be smoking something really amazing if he thinks hes not creating a new kind of market.

Its bad enough that we have to worry about drunks, texters, teenagers, alzheimers patients, and other at risk drivers, the last thing we need is humans piloting missiles in 3 dimensions. We can't handle 2 dimensions at speeds under 100mph without killing ourselves.

Oh wait a minute - maybe this is perfect. This might be just what humanity needs: People with more money than sense, killing themselves in huge numbers. It has the potential to remove the most wasteful demographic from the population. If a plane crashes on your land do you get to keep the scrap metal?

This has huge promise for the rest of us.

Yes, these would make great lawn darts. Too bad for the passengers, though.

Hello Geckolizard,

Upon examining this future prototype closely to determine where the driver is: the first design change I would do is to reposition the driver so that he does not have to worry about any 'backfiring' from his 'engine'. He is currently trapped to enjoy a full and sustained aromatic exhaust as he moves down the road--LOL!

Yes, Toto, it needs an O-NPK collection system. That's version 2.0.

Many businesses are just hanging on hoping Christmas will save their asses. I would expect January to be a very bad month for businesses being bankrupt, closing or scaling back severely. There is a great deal of delusion here in Canada with lots of "spin up" stories in the media. As well predictions noted in TAE seem to indicate shortages of shipped goods could hit later in Janauary too. Once some key goods seem to be in short supply panic buying and hording will likely be close behind. I would suggest if you plan to stock up on staples, do it now, don't wait for the post-Christmas bargains. But then, don't buy any "wants" at all now or then. ELP. The stock markets no longer seem to reflect any reality at all and Obama seems to be a stealth coup for the neo-cons. Happy Holidays!

You don't think Obama's bailout/stimulus plans will keep the party going awhile longer?

Leanan, I gave up predicting a long time ago, but in thsi case I think prudent preparation makes sense. Apply the engineering rule of five and take steps with a safety margin that large. Personally I can't see it goiong beyond late spring. Obamas plan claims to create 2.5 million construction jobs etc .. the USA is losing jobs at a rate of 6 million a year. Seems like a problem they cant solve. Pluse when I factor in a charismatic leader with the group he has surronded himself with the word fascism comes to mind. There is no reason a black guy can't be the next dictator. I am not claiming he is but it cant be ruled out. It all makes me very nervous. And i think people will be so desperate to keep the BAU lifestyle they will be willing to follow another Hitler to disaster.

I have a very difficult time comparing Obama to Hitler. At worst, he might be a Hoover, at best an FDR, but no way in hell a Hitler or Mugabe. And, about Mugabe...

European leaders say Robert Mugabe must go

European leaders today added their voices to those of Britain and the US in calling for Robert Mugabe to step down as president of Zimbabwe.

As European foreign ministers met in Brussels to debate increasing their sanctions against the Zimbabwean regime, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president and current president of the European Union, accusing Mr Mugabe of holding his people hostage.

Zimbabwe's economy has collapsed amid hyper-inflation, millions of its people are starving and dependent on overseas food aid, and recently a cholera epidemic has begun that is spreading to neighbouring countries.

"I say today that President Mugabe must go. Zimbabwe has suffered enough," said Mr Sarkozy. Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, agreed: "I think the moment has arrived to put all the pressure for Mugabe to step down."

This is a real dictator... Not Obama.

Not comparing him to Hitler in programme .. but the Germans voted Hitler in on the promise and expectation he would take care of them. Fascism betrays that promise eventually. I doubt if Obama would have a master plan a la Hitler, Franco or others (actually he doesnt seem tyo have much of a plan at all) but a charismatic leader can be coopted too and I don't see the gang he has appointed being protection from that.

Obama doesn't has a plan? What about "Hope" and Change"?

Those are just ideas, your mind wanting to believe for the better fills in the rest. this is what the obama people wanted. so all they have to mention is those two words and you rally around them without a second thought. it's exactly like what bush and chenny did with 9/11. all they had to do was mention it and the populace acted like trained dog's and handed over things people died for without a second thought. apparently we are not smarter then yeast.

Yeah, his "plan" is to hope that things will change.

To me, he really seems like a decent intelligent man, with a lot more apparent character than Bush, Cheney, or Clinton. Having said that I think events and the constraints of the actual power of the presidency are going to overtake him in short order. I don't think he could ever get support from the public to change the way we really do business in this country. Reality is that if any politician went to the American people and told them we were going to have to accept the standard of living Poland has he would be figuratively tarred and feathered.

First, he can't create 2.5 million jobs overnight. It will take some time.

But 2.5 million jobs aren't important just in and of themselves. They're important for the ripple effect--preventing those 6 million layoffs. Obama has stressed that he wants states to provide plans for "shovel ready" jobs--these are jobs that create demand for commodities like oil and copper, which means demand for commodities-producing jobs, which means jobs for services for additional workers kept in the work force, which means more people keep their health insurance, which means health care jobs, etc.

Plus, the minute you create demand for commodities in a peak oil situation, you create a counterforce to the deflationary forces that have been engulfing us.

A stimulus package with a jobs and infrastructure focus is extremely important right now for moving us into a transition to a sustainable economy of the future.

I tend to agree with Nick (A.K.A. TheModernMystic, on YouTube.com). This morning, he is claiming that the jobs numbers were minimized and that the majority of the losses were with people under 25 years old. He goes on to say that if this number of under employed youths gets too large, Obama will have a new problem on his hands.

I think this is inevitable because the Obama plan of creating all these jobs reconstructing our country has a huge flaw. The young people in the U.S. today lost their job creating web pages for some investment band. They are not ready, or willing, to rebuild a decaying road in B.F.E. for the "New New Deal" standard wage.

Yeah but they are going to have to adapt. The future ain't gonna be easy!

My friend's son, who's 17, griped and bitched about having to unload and stack the 2 small PU loads of firewood I took over to their house. His father just got out of hospital after surgery. His work experience so far is flipping burgers( really!) at MickyD's. He needs a serious "attitude adjustment", as the saying goes...

E. Swanson

Well I think that life is going to provide that attitude adjustment. Whether they like it or not.

One of the "preps" least talked about is one of the most important: physical conditioning. No matter what life throws at you, it's better to have a strong back and healthy lungs.

First, he can't create 2.5 million jobs overnight. It will take some time.

But 2.5 million jobs aren't important just in and of themselves. They're important for the ripple effect--preventing those 6 million layoffs. Obama has stressed that he wants states to provide plans for "shovel ready" jobs--these are jobs that create demand for commodities like oil and copper, which means demand for commodities-producing jobs, which means jobs for services for additional workers kept in the work force, which means more people keep their health insurance, which means health care jobs, etc.

I'm sure all of those laid off in the financial sector will be happy to know that they can get a job in construction, making a 1/10 as much. Like that's going to happy.

I'm big on infrastructure, but I'd fell alot better if they were planning a "truckers to engineers" program for all the truckers who are going bankrupt right now. Anything else just is going to make it worse but maybe the Chinese will take California in exchange for not trashing the dollar...:-D

Looks like Carolyn Baker is realizing what alot of us on the "right" already knew, the only "change" is the name on the mailbox at the White House, SSDD. George Ure is right, 2009 will be the Summer of Hell. Have a hard time believing anyone fell for such vague crap. Oh well, small "change" is all thats left in my 201k for them to confiscate so I guess its a good thing.

First, he can't create 2.5 million jobs overnight. It will take some time.

In fact he claimed the +2.5M by 2011. Of course if you add a delta of +2.5 to an expected loss of 6m, you end up with something like -3.5M. Since we have lost roughly 2M so far, one might conclude we are about 35% of the way to the bottom. Unless those 2.5M are direct jobs only, and some sort of multiplier substantially higher than one can be assumed.

Actually 6.5 million per year is the rate right now. Will this hold steady for two years ( i.e 13 million unemployed by 2011 minus 2.5 mil is a net of 11.5 million out of work)? Even if it doesn't increase we need a flow through effect of 5 to 1 to hold things steady. I doubt that the money paid to keep 2.5 million employed directly would be enough to finance another 11 million people. I am sure Gail or someone will have a formula for the ratio of primary jobs to jobs created because of this activity. There is also the question of what percentage of a construction project costs is labour vs other costs giving an idea of what a programme of this size would cost. Not all this money will flow through either. There is always leakage due to savings, debt payments ( more to the bankers) and other diversions. I agree they have to announce something and this is the most obvious, having been used before. I just isnt anything new and will likely not have the impact the spin doctors portray.

"shovel ready" jobs-

If only it were shovel (and hoe) jobs. Its not. Its tractor, grader, bulldoser, backhoe, etc.

Big contractors will get BIG $ and it will all be borrowed in the name of tax payers all facilitated by ........BANKSTERS

Oh, and the increase in demand will jack up the price of everything so a double hit to the taxpayer. OUCH!

A bulldozer surge. Remember, virtually everything the powers that be propose will make matters worse.

Many businesses are just hanging on hoping Christmas will save their asses. I would expect January to be a very bad month for businesses being bankrupt, closing or scaling back severely.

Especially with the bloodsucking banks waiting in the shaddows. Once all that consumer cash is concentrated by the Christmas holiday into the hands of the retail sector, the banks will strike, pulling in their loans. They know 2009 is going to bring down the retail sector, so they're going to get their money back while they still can.

A Truckstop Perspective

Emptying the trash at a truckstop can be a zen experience, I reflected as I watched tiny snowflakes pinwheeling their way down out of the dark pre-dawn sky.

Sighing, I turned back to the task at hand. McDonald's bags heavy with half-eaten Big Macs and supersized french fries; a Big Gulp, untouched during its fifty mile trip to this graveyard of fast food, this tribute to overindulgence; a sixpack of empty beer bottles. I hefted the last bag out of its can, tied it off and replaced it with a new one.

So much waste!

Disgusted, I straightened up and glanced at the lone vehicle parked in front of the building, and did a doubletake. A black canvas guitar case leaned against the rear wheel well. While I pondered this the owner emerged from the store, a well dressed man, maybe mid-fifties, bundled in a winter coat and heavy gloves, with a blanket wrapped incongruously around him like a poncho.

"I know it's none of my business," I hollered as I started gathering the bags, "but the cold weather isn't gonna do that guitar any good."

"It's full of clothes," he replied with a weary smile. He opened the door to the back seat and hauled out a large sack of dog food, which was followed eagerly by what appeared to be a miniature german shepherd. The man led the dog to the sidewalk and poured a generous amount onto the concrete as I walked up, trashbags in hand.

"There's more junk in there if you want it." He patted the dog with obvious fondness as it dug into the pile with gusto, then walked back to retrieve the guitar case. "I'm abandoning it," he mumbled with a dismissive wave.

I set the trashbags down and looked at him, then at the vehicle -- a late model SUV, clean, good tires, no obvious dents or dings. "What's wrong with it?"

"Won't start. Maybe the solenoid. You know of anyone going south?"

I chewed my lip, thinking. "Not at the moment, but come sunrise you might catch someone."

"That's okay," he said, and whistled at the dog, who came bounding to his side. "We'll go ahead and start thataway." With that, he shouldered the guitar case, gave me a nod, and began walking toward the freeway, the dog at his heels.

I watched them until the darkness swallowed them, then picked up the trashbags and headed to the dumpster. He must have hit some tough times, I thought, looking up at the night sky. It had stopped snowing.


The following night, the SUV was still there, unlocked, with keys in the ignition. We called it in as an abandoned vehicle. I took the guitar home with me.


What happened to the dogfood? Did he take it with him?

What happened to the dogfood? Did he take it with him?

Yup, dog food in one hand, the other hand holding the blanket around him.

What was that rock group, Three Dog Night? I think that on cold nights, Australian aboriginals slept with three dogs.

In any case, a happy story, linked on Drudge, a pair of puppies save a three year old on a cold night:


As luck would have it, I happened to meet the drummer for Three Dog Night a few years ago. He grinned as he explained, "on a cold night, you sleep with a dog to stay warm. A three-dog night is a real cold night."

Your writing ability is a gift.

This is very sad - maybe it's because I have to rescue GSDs. One of my first thoughts was that the dog did not care about the plight of the owner - it's called unconditional love: just feed me and love me back.

I wish them well - especially the dog.


I wish them well - especially the dog.

Me too. Sometimes I wish I could be more like the dog -- blissfully ignorant, living in the moment.

Oh, and thank you for the compliment :)

Considering how large a percentage of the populace does this already, it shouldnt be too hard to manage. As things get too difficult, the bread and circuses will be trotted out by those in power to succor the public.

Didn't it have a starting handle?
It might be a useful design feature of the 'car of the for the future',


Denninger has been in deep thought.

Posted by Karl Denninger at 20:26

To Obama's Transition Team
American Solutions For American Problems
And why the “conventional wisdom” won’t work
by Karl Denninger

President-Elect Obama has called upon Americans to provide him with ideas – and solutions – to the problems our nation faces. One of these calls has been issued related to the health-care industry, but I have chosen to pen this missive not only in that vein but also in the interest of resolving the economic crisis we find ourselves in as Americans, since the entirety of this mess is in fact inter-related.

Best thinking I have come across especially in light of what spews from Obama.

I was an Obama supporter - not rabid - but it is on the wane.


Denninger wants a FairTax.

While a tax on consumption is probably a good thing in a resource-limited world, the Fair Tax seems, well, unfair. The wealthy spend far less of their income on consumption than the middle class, so if it's revenue-neutral, as claimed, it's shifting the tax burden from the rich to the middle class. (Supposedly, the poor won't pay any taxes.)

Such a high sales tax would also encourage cheating, so there would be the problem of enforcement.

In any case, I think there's zero chance of this ever passing. Fiddling with the tax code is a money machine for Congress. The last thing they want is a simplified tax code.

I say eliminate the income tax and have a progressive property tax. Seriously. You want a $3 million mansion, on 12 acres of prime agricultural property? Fine. Be prepared to pay $300,000/year on taxes. Your consumption and wasteful lifestyle will be taxed. Besides, income tax is not going to be a good moneyraiser for the government as the sh*t hits the fan (yes, kiddies, it's no longer 'when', but now 'as'.)

Do I then get a tax credit for keeping my prime agricultural land in agricultural production?

Yes. I'd think so. Your production of food, cattle, chickens, eggs or even soybeans are a productive use of land. Just a tax on the $3-100+million mansions should do, and even a higher property tax on homes worth $500,000 or more would be great... It's a consumption tax, in that people who purchase these consume more resources to maintain them... That's what we need are taxes on consumption to give an incentive to curb it and eliminate many of the long term problems we are facing. Sales taxes fall in this category as well...

You sure do in NH. Or if you grow timber. Or if you simply agree not to subdivide and "develop". Nobody around here could afford land without Current Use taxation.

Personally, I think I'm sold on the Negative Income Tax. My personal favorite is 20% rate with a 6,000 payment and a 40% bubble rate above $2MM income.

But of course you are right. It doesn't take a genius to come up with a better tax code than we have, but then what would favors would congresssmen have to give out?

It doesn't sound dissimilar to VAT in Europe. In practise, different rates are levied on different goods, so food, for instance, is zero rated, whilst in some European countries such as Denmark the tax on cars can be very high - I'm not sure if they do it just through VAT or as an additional tax, but the principle is the same.

At some stage the richer in society will want to spend it, so consumption and inheritance taxes can do the job.
The problem is getting the political power to action it, as the rich obviously will do everything in their power to avoid paying more.
A very good example is the ineffective US border controls to prevent illegal immigration, when fining heavily those who employed the immigrants would be far more effective.
That would hit the powerful's costs in farming, and in their house servants, so a silly game with fences at the border is used instead.

I don't know about in the US, but I suspect that in much of Europe the violent destruction of the elite within memory has produced a much more cautious attitude, and just as up until around the 60's then little resistance will be put up to far higher taxes on the wealthy, and the ending of ludicrous executive 'compensation'.

Germany, Scandanavia and the low countries would seem likely to be the first to decisively reject American business models, with it's dubious claims decent executives can only be found if paid multi-million dollar bonuses.

The thing is-Obama,Paulson,Benanke,Rubin,Summers-these guys aren't stupid. IMO all these guys are quite aware of the logic of what Denninger is saying, but Denninger is starting with a somewhat flawed assumption, which is that their primary goal is to build and sutain the economic and overall strength of the USA. That might be the goal if Karl was the President, but no one with that goal would get within 100 miles of the job IMO.

That might be the goal if Karl was the President, but no one with that goal

The goal of the IRS rules seem to be control.


"What do you expect when you sue the president?" senior IRS official Paul Breslan told Judicial Watch, the Washington-based legal watchdog group that had filed 50-plus legal actions against the Clinton administration and subsequently found itself in the IRS's cross hairs.

You seem surprised? Has it ever been about anything else?

You seem surprised?

No. I am not.

I posted a theory (hence the phrasing like a question) and one datum to support that theory. I could have linked to historical documents from the Nixon era of him using the IRS as a tool of punishment.

Yep, sounds about right.

Don't worry, what the IRS doesn't get the soon to be carbon tax will.

He doesn't go far enough. We must start paying back not only the Treasury but nature herself. She is, after all, the mother of all treasuries.

cfm in Gray, ME

From Lenan's posted stories.... Wind over water: Some see giant wind farms on horizon for the vast, breezy Great Lakes

Wind power has already established a beachhead on Wisconsin soil - you can see 88 Danish-built windmills stretching 400 feet into the sky just east of Lake Winnebago. They're capable of squeezing enough juice from the airstream to power 36,000 homes, according to We Energies.
Similar blades are spinning along U.S. Highway 41 in Fond du Lac County. And they're whirling near the Lake Michigan shoreline in Kewaunee County.

And now it looks like at least one might be headed for scenic Madeline Island.

This is right in my neighborhood...

It all started with 2 of these right off higway 41 between Milwaukee and Fond du Lac, and it's really taken off... I've watched these pop up all over the last few years- my dad goes flying (hobby private flying) and you can see these everywhere- east of town, south of town. About 100 or so... I live in a city across the lake from many of these, and at night, I've looked over the lake from our city park and see the warning lights blink in unison (it's pretty cool). No one here has ever called them a nusiance, or complained. Most don't care if they are or aren't there... And a few people (myself and my kids included) think they're pretty cool. Someone around here gets it...

The State (like many) has a renewable portfolio goal for electric generation- 10% by 2015. Wind is expected to make up about 90-95% of that requirement. Utilities are acting accordingly.

Clean energy appears out of reach for years

Will clean tech save us by 2025? Will it end our dependence on global-warming fossil fuels by then? Not very likely, says the U.S. government's National Intelligence Council. "All current technologies are inadequate for replacing the traditional energy architecture on the scale needed, and new energy technologies probably will not be commercially viable and widespread by 2025." So says the council's just-released report, "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World."

How about a coherent viable plan to replace entirely 83% of all European, MidEast and North African consumption of all energy including transportation, plus local de-salination provided water to European standards per capita for all N African and MidEast populations?

Clean Power from Deserts - The DESERTEC Concept for Energy, Water and Climate Security - Club of Rome - http://www.terrawatts.com/trec-white-paper.pdf

"In comparison to mankind’s energy flux density of about 0.03 Wm-2 the sun’s offers at the surface is by a factor of more than 5000 higher. [Edit: to clarify, that amounts to a solar flux average of 150 Wm-2] Hence, the motto of the 21st century could become: Learn to harvest one five-thousandth of the sun’s offer! All other renewable energy sources are comparably small parts of the sun’s offer. For example the kinetic energy contained in the ceaseless winds amounts to a global mean energy flux density of about 3 Wm-2, often concentrated on the sea or along coastlines. Next comes the energy flux of the sun stored in biomass; on global mean only 0.1 Wm-2 are available reaching peak values of about 1.0 Wm-2 if humid climates support strong plant growth on fertilized soils. Equivalent in the global mean with 0.1 Wm-2 is the geothermal energy flux from the Earth’s interior, sustained mainly by radioactive decay. All other renewable energy sources are much smaller, including hydropower, but can be important regionally in mountainous areas or tidal channels. However, the energy supply system of mankind cannot be build on them."

Professor Dr. Hartmut Grassl Former Director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany Former Director of the World Climate Research Programme, World Meteorological Organization, UNO

This group places solar thermal + long distance HVDC as the rational solution as well. Price estimates slightly higher than NREL Sargent & Lundy consultant estimates (I think, though who knows what Euro conversion rate should be used) at 14 euro cents / kwh at 500 MW total installed (present) to 4 euro cents / kwh at 400,000 MW installed. They propose to replace most fossil and nuclear energy in Europe, Mid East and North Africa, plus suplement water supplied where required with desalination, by 2050 with little or no cost above BAU.

On price, viability, water planning. It withstands every inspection. Solar thermal is viable NOW and we should be getting VERY busy NOW. This system plus emergency development of (Plug Hybrid) Electric Vehicles and electric rail is the only way to put even a faint heartbeat back into the economy. Google AUSRA. Us simply needs to figure out some way to get volumes of salt water into the inland deserts. A canal from Gulf of California?

I like the picture with the article.

I wonder if jesus is taking carmakers ahead of cheese makers this time around ?

With SUVs At Altar, Detroit Church Prays For A Bailout

With sport-utility vehicles at the altar and auto workers in the pews, one of Detroit's largest churches on Sunday offered up prayers for Congress to bail out the struggling auto industry.

"We have never seen as midnight an hour as we face this week," the Rev. Charles Ellis told several thousand congregants at a rousing service at Detroit's Greater Grace Temple. "This week, lives are hanging above an abyss of uncertainty as both houses of Congress decide whether to extend a helping hand."


Notice what the good reverend say, "the helpful hand of Congress..." Sad, realy sad. NEVER has the hand of Congress been helpful, except to themselves. John

Way off topic - maybe not, but if you really want to get POed at the ineptness of governments and politics and perhaps the human condition itself try to see:

CNN Scream Bloody Murder Documentary


Christiane Amanpour did one heck of a job.


Watched some moments of this, but felt that the tone of the reporting too-often jumps into sensationalism, as with the orchestra 'hits' over the US Missile strikes in Bosnia, the heavy-handed violins, etc. I really want to find a journalist at CNN that I can bear to listen to for more than a few moments, but the Tabloid tone has infected just about every TV News broadcast now.

The topic is no less salient, of course, but when it's smothered in salacious editing decisions, it really undermines the storytelling.

I still think I'll have to make a mock commercial with one of those 'Singing Bass' Placques, rewiring it to lipsync and become the CNN News Fish! .. I'm just sayin..

(Sorry Pete.. really not trying to be snarky. I'm stuck in a hotel room in Mexico where they only have CNN and Fox.. It's making me a little testy, I guess)

Not at all. You are correct about the over dramatization, music, cut in-s/outs.

It's not a subject that needs any dramatization.

I am miffed - not surprised - by the behavior/attitude of our "leaders" throughout history - 20/21st Century. Political expedience seems to be "worth" millions of lives.

Try getting a satellite link that can feed you BBC or CBC.


I went to plan B.

Turned off the set, listened to Chicago and Pretenders on my PC, and got busy sewing up some new pockets into my Toothbrush ditty bag.. getting my news from Leanan today. Could do lots worse.


Maybe CNN will do a similar piece on Georgia in the future where scenes of Tskhinval will be passed off as images of "devastated" Gori to the tune of somber music.

For TOTONIELA and Transport Tinkerers..


At the end of this Youtube vid on E-bike/cars, is a Computer Graphic of these cars being hypothetically used on track-systems. Has me thinking about hybrid wheels that have hard rubber sections for track and inflated rubber for road/path.

With the light loading of bikes and even some cargo trailers behind them, I'd think that track could be constructed from Wood, Plastic or Metals, Concrete possibly, depending on what's available. Vehicles and track intersections could be designed to Roll-on Roll-off to normal roadway once you're close to your destination.. the tracks would be the Express lanes, in effect.


Hello Jokuhl,

Thxs for the info...I am for any engineering improvement in human powered transport. Have you given much thought about my speculative kite-powered manure spreading surfboard? I picture some wild-haired and heavily tattooed ex-California expert windsurfer [kitesurfer?] just whipping along with great glee, tacking back and forth about 20 mph over a big plot of open farmland, with a huge rooster tail of multi-ton composted manure being flung behind the craft.


I'm reading Omnivore's Dilemma this week, thinking about the 'Grass Farmer' Joel Salatin, and how he has his chickens and rabbit cages surfing over the cowpatties to keep the grasses and soils robust. There are some good ways of creating a good mix of O-NPK without an excess of import/export.

Is there any word about the progress of Sacred Cow Tipper and the Stranded Wind/ Ammonia concept?


I keep tabs on strandedwind.org and there's some new posts.

I'm keeping my eye on Iowa since I'm in Nebraska and will graduating from community college HVAC/R retraining program in less than two weeks.

Hi Bob, am a big fan of your ideas. I have visions of a land based vehicle similar to a windsurfer but with wheels where the pilot can shift their weight to add more or less pressure onto a plough like structure trailing off the vehicle. Once the field is ploughed, hook up the trailer with the NPK unit and spread this onto the ground.

There is also a lot of interest in robotic farming. Large automated grass cutters could harvest huge areas of switch grass by remote and under solar power, the harvested product can be gassified for heat with the char put back into the soil.

Are you familiar with this fairly simpel system of using composting to provide some heat energy for housing?

Pure speculation but I would imagine that with passivhaus standard insulation, a composting operation could provide most of the heating energy of a property.

That's a cool article. I've dropped that link here a few times. Bob Shaw, you should appreciate that Mssr Pain was able to restore some very poor growing soil to abundance, as WELL as getting heat and NatGas energy from this process.

Bob Fiske

If the house is insulated to Passivhaus standards then most people should need virtually no extra heat energy at all - they usually put radiators in because people don't believe that they will be OK without.
A lot depends on how hot you like your house, as a few degrees make a lot of difference to heat use.

Most of the energy is passive, from body heat, electrical appliances etc, and the Passivhaus standard includes provision for mechanical ventilation, which of course uses electricity.

There are a lot of other standards around though, which are reckoned to give similar outcomes to the Passivhaus standard, and some of those do not use mechanical ventilation.
British equivalent standards, for instance, use passive ventilation, mainly because it was doubted if poorly trained British workers could attain the same standard of air-tightness that is used in the Passivhaus with German- trained workers.
They have conservatory-type structures instead.
I doubt their effectiveness, as that not only takes space from the house, which is in short supply in new British houses, but in practise conservatories are used as part of the house, and kept heated in winter, which is very inefficient from an energy standpoint.
EDIT: Unfortunately it appears that Jean Pain's set-up is no longer in operation for financial reasons.
Here is an article where they mention this, and give a lot of other information on mini bio-digesters:

A lot depends on how hot you like your house, as a few degrees make a lot of difference to heat use.

The industry uses a skin temperature of 80 deg.F for design purposes. There is variation, such as woman vs men, both genders over 40 vs under 40. These parameters were derived from extensive US gov. studies a while back.

Would you post a link to the design manual/study?

I didn't manage to google up that standard, Eric, but you might be interested in information about Passivhaus standards:

It should be noted that this was initially designed for the German climate, and variants have been developed more applicable to, for instance, Southern Europe.

Hello Jokuhl, OMGlikeWTF, and Davemart,

Thxs for your replies, but I was lost in 'wild and crazy' brainstorming [brainfarting?] mode for awhile...

I was thinking that a manure surfboard would probably be too dangerous, so I was thinking differently on how to Non-FF farm a square mile section of land surrounded on four sides by Spidertrack.

Picture this section of land as an Etch-a-Sketch, with the 'power knob' being an omnidirectional vertical windmill, the other a vertical pulley. You roll them along the track, stake them down, then let the wind start spinning [plus a gearbox?]. Between the two verts you run a rope or chain: attaching various small farming tools, to follow the rope:

1. a wheeled 5-gallon bucket, counting wheel rotations or GPS-controlled, then it starts draining or spraying the designated area.

2. a wheeled 1 cubic yard bucket of manure, counting rotations again until it starts dumping or flinging poo.

3. A low-wagon someone could ride as they pick strawberries, carrots, etc,-- beats being stooped over all day!

4. a wheel powered mini-combine--less weight, less soil compaction. Another vert pair alongside moving small wagons could collect the harvest.

5. a steel 'tumbleweed' that would roll along mulching the crop residue & manure into the soil.

...and so on. An easily movable ski-lift kind of setup to precision Etch-A-Sketch a big area of land?

Isn't the simple gear and running chain idea [same as a bicycle] the most-efficient in transferring power? Also no complex ICE engine to maintain.

On the days when there is no wind: if the spidertrack has high pressure compressed air in the pipeline that can be tapped--this may be used to move the rope and various tooling. Just a matter of scheduling which farmer gets to tap the power of the huge spiderweb--no different than scheduling irrigation water as is done now.

If a farmer needs to get something done, but he is not scheduled for compressed air and no wind, then that is where the manual workers with wheelbarrows, scythes, or whatever work that day. Thxs for any engineering analysis.

Hi Bob;
Trying to keep up. Your notions come by as fast or faster than my own.. so I'm a little dizzy, but no less appreciative.

I play with images of Cartesian or Gantry style systems for accessing the great amount of area in agriculture, which would be similar to the x/y graph approach that you outlined. Usually, these take the form of longer, narrower fields with two or three runs of narrow gauge rail (Irrigation pipe?) which can have gantrys arc over between these parallels to bring seeding, irrigation and harvesting tools. Then, I go back and forth between this grid formation, and a beefing up of the Irrigation circles, or an Axial system, but which has tools and crop collection involved in the revolving gear as well.. for all I know, it already does.

Real farmers be patient with us.. all the good stuff was also a crazy idea once..


I found this quite interesting, using a honeycomb structure to simulate an inflated tire. http://www.gizmag.com/reinventing-the-wheel--the-airless-tire/10398/

There are lots of 3 wheeled (2 front steering wheels) concept vehicles offering better than motorcycle fuel economy with supercar performance, most of the recent concepts have electric motors to power the 2 front wheels with a small engine to power the rear wheels IMO such vehicles would spread quickly for commuting transport (I have noticed increased numbers of motorbikes around) Mass produced these vehicles should cost less than a years worth of petrol, and massivly reduce energy required for commuting.

Here comes the next bubble...

The $7 trillion question: Do expansive federal bailout plans doom Americans to an inflationary future?

The No. 1 concern: Even if actions taken by the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury succeeds at stabilizing the global financial system, and an economic recovery takes hold, a brutal inflationary spike will be right around the corner.

"Inflation is the 8,000-pound gorilla in the room," said Gary Hager, president of Integrated Wealth Management in New Jersey. "We're sitting in the room with the coffee cups vibrating."

In that environment, long-term interest rates would soar, the value of the U.S. dollar would plummet, policy makers would face a whole new set of challenges.

"Everyone is going to lose something," said Will Hepburn, president and chief investment officer of Hepburn Capital Management in Prescott, Ariz. "The winners will be those who end up losing the least."

While efforts to thaw the credit markets are taking effect slowly, Tom Sowanick, chief investment officer at Clearbrook Financial, sees a risk that they could suddenly become much more effective, leading to a jump in prices and a selloff in the dollar.

"The economy's in a bit of a slingshot," said Sowanick. "We are looking at a high probability of inflation issues ahead."

Ah... Back to $100 oil? We'll see...

It will either work or it wont. Rock meet hard-place.

Remember Japan tried to inflate it's way out, through "quantitative easing" - printing money and going on a mad mad spending spree. A fiscal stimulus that was extraordinary. And they still barely came out of their deflation. And they seem to be slipping back in. The Nikkei was nearly 40,000 at one point in 1990, today? No returns for 18 years if you bought at the top.

Better to have a deflationary depression than a hyperinflationary one, hyper inflation nearly always results in the collapse of the Government and law and order. Think how much worse this recession/ depression would be with rising prices?

I tend to agree with Stoneleigh, et al., over at the Automatic Earth. The credit squeeze will likely be so profound that attempts to create (print) more money will be swallowed into the black hole left by the disappearance of all that fake wealth. Deflation seems entirely possible even with a huge injection of "money".

So how can a country thrive without oil? Have vibrant trade and support its population?

I know that comparisons may not be accurate, but in the course of human history grand cities and monuments have been built without the use of oil? I think of Angkor Wat, the Mayans, the Inca, The pyramids of Egypt and Sudan. The Roman empire lasted without oil and built great cities and monuments lasting to this day!

A lot of Europe was constructed before the fossil fuels. Countries like India built magnificent temples and cities as well and China has it's own Great Wall and Forbidden City.

Surely humans can combine some ingenuity and what resources are left to power down to a lower lifestyle. The power of education is key!

So how can a country thrive without oil? Have vibrant trade and support its population?

It can - but parasitic loads would have to be shed. Alas, the parasites won't go quietly.

Does anyone have any data on oil consumption based on wealth within any given country. Does oil consumption in a country follow the pareto distribution commonly known as the 80:20 rule? i.e. 20% of the people consuming 80% of the oil.

The most common sense approach would be to tax these people on their consumption and very harshly. Could bring down oil consumption very sharply and people would still enjoy a decent enough standard of living.

A lot of energy is wasted unnecessarily. There is a lot of room to power down.

Replace "oil" with "calories" and then progress...

you would also have to replace many fossil fuel powered machines with slaves. Slaves and indentured poor were the work horses of those civilizations supporting a small fraction of well to do people. i think about 20 slaves to every one 'free' person was the estimate, i may be wrong.

Slavery is alive and well my friend, with quite possibly more than before the Civil War in the US. "Slaves and indentured poor", still are the "workhorses" of civilization. We are sooooo blind in this country to the world around us....from www.iabolish.org

Slavery today is defined as forced labor without pay under threat of violence.
600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked internationally every year. Approximately 80% of them are women and children.
Slavery was officially abolished worldwide at the 1927 Slavery Convention, yet it continues to thrive thanks to the complicity of some governments and the ignorance of much of the world.
In the 2000 Refugee Report, “Trafficking in Women and Children: A Contemporary Manifestation of Slavery,” former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright calls human trafficking “the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world.”
Slavery is an extremely profitable, international industry. Experts estimate trafficking in the US yields $9 billion every year. Around the world, trafficking in women for commercial sex purposes nets $6 billion per year. The trade of human flesh is so lucrative that authorities complain that even as they close in on one smuggling ring in the US, another one pops up.
The four most common types of slavery are: chattel slavery, debt bondage, forced labor, and sexual slavery.



It has somewhat been an experiment for me, but having the only electricity I have come from 80 watts of solar panels that charge two deep-cycle batteries can show you just how much a person can cut back in electricity usage. In my old home my portion of the electricity consumption was roughly 400-600 kwh a month. My current consumption cannot exceed 12kwh a month, lest I consume more than I produce with my panels. I cannot sustain this level of non-consumption much longer, however, as I need to boost production to allow for me to run the washing machine and then a refrigerator in the non-winter months. (Right now I can just put things outside to keep them cool.)

The practical upshot is you really learn how to conserve, so doing weekend tests of only consuming 0.5kwh in a day are good practices to how we may have to adapt to life in the near future.

~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com)

One Fridge Alternate I heard about was a fellow in Oxford County, Maine who made a deep insulated trench that caught the snow coming off the northside of his roof all winter, where it packed itself into ice. Come thaw-time, he put an insulated lid over the top, and so had a whomping chunk of ice that stayed at 32f for a long time (don't recall particulars).

For someone with the space and the shovel, it might be worthwhile to grab the coolth while it's free.


Thanks for the fridge idea. I was looking at our outdoor fish tank that is frozen solid 8" deep and thinking about a top to hold the cold. This new idea is much better. I can get 2" aluminum covered foam in 4 X 8 sheets. Five sheets of that and some plastic to hold the water about a foot deep. Dig a 4 X 4 X 8 hole out behind the shop ... backhoe time. Yeah, I know, EROEI but a 96 cu ft fridge after the grid goes down will be priceless. I need to build a serious solar oven for apple pies in June thanks to the new fridge idea.

Another subject: We got batteries for the 7K VA (36V@220A) 1995 EZGO golf cart last Friday and grandkids love it. A pair of jumper cables and some welding rod and it works pretty good for light welding. I don't know how long the batteries will last in that use. 15 minutes didn't seem to phase them. My small inverter will run a tiger saw almost forever. Haven't tried solar charging as yet. Having lots of fun with it. Come on, jump in, the water's fine but ya gotta be a certified doomer or it won't count.

Good luck with the digging! I'd do it myself but I'm intown. My alt plan is a retrofit I've called the 'Winterfridge', which (similarly) cools antifreeze outside the house and brings it either to the fridge directly or to an insulated storage tank, and then to the fridge as called for, a few degrees ahead of the compressor. I have the comparator circuits and some plumbing pulled together, but the rest of the project is a few down the line behind my rooftop experiments.

Welding with batts, huh? I can imagine it would work, but as the weak link in Alt Energy, I would tend to treat the cells as pretty precious babes. Still, sounds like fun.

Here's a vid I like, a Maine experimenter who plays with Golf Carts, Chainsaws and Solar Panels.
(Save for a mild misprediction at the start..) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFYpNrbyKCA

Bob (only a part-time doomer)

Thanks for the video link - that's great stuff.

One Fridge Alternate I heard about was a fellow in Oxford County, Maine who made a deep insulated trench that caught the snow coming off the northside of his roof all winter, where it packed itself into ice....

I recall reading the synopsis of a paper, where they would freeze a huge amount of ice -basically dripping water onto the top whenever the temp was below freezing. You should be able to get many feet of ice in any place with a decent winter. The paper was interested in it as water storage, but storage of cold for summertime usage makes a lot more sense.

I beleive they employed slave labor. I guess we could still do that...but, don't think we will:

I think of Angkor Wat, the Mayans, the Inca, The pyramids of Egypt and Sudan. The Roman empire lasted without oil and built great cities and monuments lasting to this day

And the Romans built a superb road network without any oil.

But what remains of the Roman empire today? Ruins of infrastructure, but the society is gone. Same for the other empires mentioned. They all collapsed when they became too complex and huge to sustain on the resources they had.....

I appreciate the optimism.

Let's hope we can accomplish similar feats with a fair and just society with no slaves.

Extreme Makeover Family Facing Foreclosure

An Oak Park family who received an Extreme Makeover for their home is now in danger of losing it to foreclosure.

Larry and Judy Vardon got into financial trouble because of extensive medical bills for their youngest son, Lance. The 16-year-old is blind and autistic. His medical treatments are not covered by their insurance.

The Vardons were also hit by the subprime housing crisis. Their mortgage rate jumped to 11 percent after it adjusted. Larry Vardon is also worried about being laid off from his job at the Chrysler Stamping Plant in Sterling Heights.

Many of the Vardons' neighbors had thought that their mortgage was paid off when they appeared on the show in November 2004, but that was not the case. Now the home is one of the 390 in Oak Park currently in foreclosure.

The Vardons' property taxes are also part of their financial problems. They jumped almost $1,000 after the makeover.

After their appearance on the show, Larry was laid off and they remortgaged the house. Since then the mortgage has been resold to different companies three times, with the interest rate jumping each time.

The good lord giveth, and the good lord taketh away...

This must be relevant somehow, it was the last line of the article that got me.


Here's a link to the photo: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/54/Lange-MigrantMo...

The woman, who was the child in the photo, is 77 years old and cleans homes for a living?

Hello TODers,

Sadly, I was hoping some of the bailout money would be directed to reducing specie extinctions plus building lots of bird & bat guano habitats. But this great idea is a minor improvement:

Purdue University to sell naming rights for new species of bats

..Universities and ecological organizations across the country have begun to view the naming rights to new species of birds, bugs and mammals as a way to draw big bucks to fund their research.
I would suggest these orgs also take the opposite marketing PR tack to raise further funds: sell re-naming rights to endangered and recently extinct species. I think lot of concerned tv and movie stars, or enviro-orgs would jump at the chance to connect poor leaders & corporations with ecosystem decline.

Some examples: Bush polar bear, Cheney pheasant, Condi salmon, Rumsfeld gorilla, Gonzales honeybee, O'Reilly dolphin, Hannity tuna, Bernanke bat, Palin moose, McCain sahauro cactus, Paulson potato, BP caribou, XOM tiger, Haliburton wolf, etc.

Will the ecosystem and our food supply get so bad that we will also have to re-name to Obama tomato and Pemex banana?

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

I renamed our own species several years ago, and I didn't pay anyone a damn cent for the privilege of doing so, either. Since I don't give a damn about the rules of zoological nomenclature, I had no problem replacing the inappropriate designation "Homo sapiens" with the much more apt "Anthropus ecocidus." A sapient homo we aren't, at least not the sapient part, but an ecocidal species of Afrikan ape we surely be.

I have heard a few varients on what our species should be called. The most common are:

Homo Economicus
Homo Ecocidus

What about Homo Procreatus ad Infinitum?

**We certainly aren't Homo Habilis any more, and are becoming less and less Homo Erectus all the time**

I think there are some Homo Sapiens still left, like here on TOD, although maybe we should be called Homo Resourcus Depletus Awarus, or Homo Awarus Globus Finitum.

I really wish I had taken Latin in school...

I really wish I had taken Latin in school...

Well, you probably weren't considering Priest as a career back then...

BTW, what made me think about us not being Homo Erectus any more is a story I heard on the radio about Chinese video game addiction. Apparently some guy spent so long sitting at his computer playing video games that his spine actually fused together and he can't walk any more.

We've become so detached from the physical world that are bodies are becoming unable to perform basic tasks required in the physical environment such as walking, running, lifting and throwing. How are the Manuel Uribes of the world going to get by post peak?

PS - I hope my HTML works, that was my first attempt at linkifying a word.

As late as 1900 in the West, fat was considered beautiful, because only the rich could afford surplus food and a sedentary lifestyle. Look at pictures of beauties from that time; they appear chubby.

Herbert Hoover's 1928 election campaign promised "a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage." This implies that most Americans could not eat chicken when they wanted, just before the top of the greatest speculative bubble in history (before this one.)

In those days, the Manuel Uribes of the world loved food just as much as they do today, but they were unable to procure more than they needed to survive.

The Manuel Uribes of Africa are now and have always been slim, because domestic food production there has always been a labor-intensive process.

I think most people here would expect scarcity to return to the West post-peak.

his spine actually fused together

Errr, never heard of bones fusing in coma patients.....

Yeah, it didn't sound quite right to me, but I'm not a doctor. I looked for the link but couldn't find it. Apparently, he sat hunched over at his computer for a VERY long time, and by the end was somewhat permanently bent over, unable to stand up straight or walk. I don't know what the anatomical mechanism was.

**Now I can't find any link, so I guess maybe I'm just spreading urban legends.**

What about Homo Procreatus ad Infinitum?

The gen term is homo progenitivus, as opposed to homo contracipiens.

It is a mistake to think that we can control the breeding of mankind in the long run by an appeal to conscience. Charles Galton Darwin made this point when he spoke on the centennial of the publication of his grandfather's great book. The argument is straightforward and Darwinian.
People vary. Confronted with appeals to limit breeding, some people will undoubtedly respond to the plea more than others. Those who have more children will produce a larger fraction of the next generation than those with more susceptible consciences. The difference will be accentuated, generation by generation.

In C. G. Darwin's words: "It may well be that it would take hundreds of generations for the progenitive instinct to develop in this way, but if it should do so, nature would have taken her revenge, and the variety Homo contracipiens would become extinct and would be replaced by the variety Homo progenitivus."

[Garrett Hardin, The Tragedy of the Commons]


That would be true if our behaviour was shaped by our genes. However, one of the biggest differences between humans and other animals, is that we are able to pass on knowledge through books and writings.
Lenin didn't have any children, however he had a certain influence on people after him.
Lots of people from large families who don't want children (and vice versa).

This is why humans were able to expand exponentially. With genes, you can only influence your children, so it's a slow process. But you can amass writing and knowledge over generations.

I like Cattons "Homo Colossus"

Homo Ecocidus, must have as one of its more dangerous subspecies, Homo Automobilis.

sell re-naming rights to endangered and recently extinct species. I think lot of concerned tv and movie stars, or enviro-orgs would jump at the chance to connect poor leaders & corporations with ecosystem decline.

Bernanke Yeast

(edit: Yeast is well known for producing bubbles. Also, are humans smarter than yeast?)

*sound of head hitting wall.*

that is a very dumb idea.. not only does it sound stupid but raises question about property rights. so for example if wall mart buys the right to name x species can they sue you for doing something to x species?

CNBC is sure the auto industry will bounce back. They think there's a lot of pent-up demand that will explode as soon as the economy turns around. (Which will be soon, of course.) Not because the old cars don't run perfectly fine, but because people will be tired of them and will want something new. (Good luck with that.)

And man, are they loving Obama. They're turning into Obama groupies. While liberals are complaining that the new boss looks just like the old boss.

Dow Jones up 300 points today, despite a lot of bad economic news. Dow Chemical is going to close 20 facilities and idle 180 plants. (That's going to reduce demand for natural gas and petroleum products.) Texas Instruments announced it will temporarily shut down many of its facilities.

Well this has to be the bottom then. CNBC is recommending any stocks related to infrastructure.

"Now's a great time to buy..."

The cooking of our national financial books required 20+ years until they were well done (as in stick a fork in them...)

Yet the clowns on CNBC think it's perfectly logical that this whole thing has been solved in a few short months and we're overdue for a return to BAU.

A buddy of mine here in my hometown was the service mgr of a dealership where I took care of their IT stuff.

The dealership went belly up and so my friend rented the whole shop floor and equipment and opened it up as a auto repair business.

He is doing ver well and business is booming because people are keeping their current vehicles and getting maintenance performed to keep them running.

The car dealer is now next door with a smallish used car lot and selling mopeds. He is now going to my friend for his repairs on his used cars.

Suddenly the worm turned. Just that fast.

I believe 'real' skills will make a comeback and bullshit stuff like selling will continue to take a lot of big hits. Maybe.

Airdale-working on his Wireless AP right now AAMOF.

I don’t normally read much of the paper but this morning at coffee with the other old guys, I happened to glance at “Nation and World” section of the Reno Gazette Journal and there was Obama telling it like it is and going to be.

Something like, “Things are bad now and they are going to get worse.” So the stock market went up 300 points. Cool! Wall Street is just getting ready to give this fellow a lesson in economics.

“Everyone in congress will have to quit pork barrel spending” so the government can create 2 ½ million jobs with nation wide pork barrel spending. Sounds good! And at that, we will still only be a few million less jobs than when we started.

Something like, “To not bail out the auto industry is unconscionable.” One of the coffee guys worked for GM for 36 years and gets about $800/mo from GM retirement. Come to find out, just like Social Security, his retirement has no money behind it, just faith in the GM’s IOU. Damn, Damn, Damn.

I wonder if anyone in business or the congress has ever thought that if you owe someone for his or her retirement, you set aside every penny of it and not treat it same as income.

We are in this financial mess partly because some people have a debt problem; max credit cards, sub prime mortgages, second mortgages, etc. So to cure the problem we will create a bigger debt problem at the national level (lets all share). Here’s one for those kids that won’t unload lumber for their old man. I am out of debt so should I mind if I have to assume numb-nuts debt as part of my virtual retirement fund. I guess this is a conservatives welcome to the Democratic Party. I had an ‘A’ in science and another fellow slept through most of it and got a ‘F’ so I gave him two points so we both got ‘C’s … I think not.

BTW: Don't tell me the neo-cons got us into an unwinable war ... because I and a couple million others (minus 50K or so) fought in the neo-dems war. DFC, PH, BS, AMs, VCG for valor (something called TET) and others. Worst part, I wasn't drafted, I volunteered. I might be smarter now but I doubt it.

Very interesting article on the potential Positive Black Swan I have referenced before. Also interesting that he uses that fact that it took 40 years for Einsteins to be accepted as well.

Einstein and the breakthrough that could end fossil fuels

Einstein came up with his famous equation E = mc2 in 1905. It perfectly described what happens when we produce nuclear energy. It took years for it to be accepted as fact. And even so, it took a mushroom cloud some forty years later to give it expression, usher in the nuclear age,and change how we think about energy.

It [his invention] centers around his discovery of what he calls "hydrinos," a previously unknown form of hydrogen in which electrons move to a lower state of energy than previously thought possible but still manage to kick off power.

It is a discovery that Dr. Mills says will end the reliance on fossil fuels and even "replace fire."

Oh give me a break (through the hole in the head that I obviously need).
"There's a sucker born every nano-second." --W.C. Quantum Fields

"There's a sucker born every nano-second." --W.C. Quantum Fields

Actually, I think that quote came from P. T. "Particle Theory" Barnum :)

Hence why it purposefully gave credit to the wrong person, as the sucker would believe it. :)

Yet another promotion of blacklight power.

Not that you'll bother (due to lack of actual ability) to actually respond either but:

1) Mills was claiming a battery 'the size of a briefcase' that would power 'an electric car for 1000 miles' to be shipping in 2007. 2008 is almost done, where is that battery?

2) Someone show me the cold that results when Hydrogen returns to its normal energy state.

Eric, I thought your critique of previous work not using a calorimeter was fair.

Well, this time they are using one. What's your next criteria ?

This it ?

2) Someone show me the cold that results when Hydrogen returns to its normal energy state.

Well, this time they are using one.

Not that I saw.

The mythical hydrino is a lower state electron liberating energy. Fine.

That same hydrino will want to become a 'normal' hydrogen at some point. Thus - show the cold that results when that happens.

show a heat reaction

Again, not what I am asking. The 'hydrino' state is not seen in nature - therefore is not normal. The Hydrogen is going to 'want' to return to the 'normal' state. To do that, it will need energy. When it returns to the normal state, the energy would come from its environment - create cold.

Just reposting the same link over and over does not show 'hydrinos' become Hydrogen again.

Show the cold reaction. Better yet, show proof that 'hydrinos' can't become Hydrogen again. That should be simple - take a batch of 'hydrinos' and add energy then look at the energy emitted...look at the spectral absorbion lines. But if 'hydrinos' can become Hydrogen - then show the cold resulting when the atoms shift from Hydrinos back to hydrogen.

(Bonus points for explaining why the USPTO yanked their patent and why Mills' claim of a super battery by 2007 hasn't happened.)


There really is one born every minute!

Randell Mills announces yet another miracle energy 'breakthrough'...

...but we've heard it before. That's why we're updating this post from December 5, 2005 and bumping it to the top.

If you read my post a few days ago I said it may or may not have Merit, what made me really interested is the technology was recently verified by Rowan University (A highly ranked northeast institution), I think its worth keeping an eye on it.


So I guess I can get my news from a respected university or I can get it from a guy called "Mr. Snitch".

So I guess I can get my news from a respected university

Any yet, you've not posted the link to the university as the source of news. Just Blacklight power making the announcement about Blacklight power.

Ask and ye shall receive, the videos of the verification are on the page:


Also of interest is a peer reviewed paper saying the device could work within known physics:

PDF WARNING: http://www.m-hikari.com/astp/astp2007/astp5-8-2007/bourgoinASTP5-8-2007.pdf

Speaking of peer review; is contemporary peer review failing science? As one who in the distant past was both reviewed and a reviewer, I believe that the answer is probably yes. There is too much emphasis on publication.


Thanks for the link.

If rate of publication were an indicator, then indeed we have reached the Singularity.

Wow. Now that's an obscure journal if there ever was one. Their business model seems to be even more obscure since they post everything and don't mention page charges. Be that as it may, it might be something of a leap from that paper to "the device could work within known physics", at least if one assigns any practical meaning to the verb "work".

Oh, and most things in this universe tend to go to the ground state. For example, the conversion of the oceans to free oxygen plus "hydrinos" would be highly exothermic. So would the conversion of hydrogen in stars, interstellar clouds, and cometary ice bodies. And yet with lots of hydrogen in the universe under all those conditions and many more ... not one "hydrino" to be found anywhere when they should be available by the gigaton. This seems just conceivable if one is perhaps in a light alcoholic haze, but it's all very, very odd indeed.

I'm inclined to bet on wishful thinking rather than on quite so much oddness. Once again, this doesn't seem likely to help on a scale large enough, or at a time soon enough, to be of much concern to policymakers, even on the highly dubious chance it ever works at all.

There's a Rowan University summary report here (PDF). The rocket thruster they claim to have tested doesn't look like anything that would solve any large-scale energy issue in any time frame of policy importance - even on the highly dubious chance that it eventually works. Presumably, if it ever did work, one would have to dispose of "hydrinos" by the hundreds of megatons, and those would probably have some very, very bizarre and scary physical/chemical properties. Good luck with that...


It's (Rowan U/hydrino's/Mills) been posted before - twice that I know of.

BTW there is so much stuff out there that doesn't fit our theories - known as anomalies - that Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) has had a 20 year anniversary:

... PEAR’s work hasn’t had an altogether easy reception in some of the quarters which house mainstream science. That’s no surprise to anybody who makes a business of scientific anomalies. Anomalies don’t invite widespread acceptance until they’ve stopped being anomalous. That’s normal science and it’s old news.

Iposted the news about Rowan in the recent past.

One of these days Mills is going to have to produce or shut up.

I hope for the former but its looking like a fadeout so far.

I think its mostly based on patents and taking care to not have it just stolen. Licensing and so forth plus still trying to ramp up.

Who knows.I have stopped reading their site lately.

Didn't you post about how blacklight power was 'real' because you had 'knowledge from the internal network at IBM'?

I think its mostly based on patents

You mean like this?

Or this:

The Director may withdraw an application from issue under 37 CFR 1.313 on his or her own initiative. See BlackLight Power Inc. v. Rogan, 295 F.3d 1269, 1273, 63 USPQ2d 1534, 1537 (Fed. Cir. 2002)

Blacklight power forms the basis of case law for the ability of the director to REMOVE an application.

I promised last week to post a link to my column on books for general orientation on peak oil and climate change. Due to a publishing glitch, the column didn't make it into the Sunday papers. I posted here, at my blog.

Thanks again to all who contributed with suggestions!



Carl, your link is not working.

Carl's web page appears to be this one ... but I haven't found the list on it on first dig.

edit: p.s. oops ... was looking in wrong place, the list is here

2nd edit: and also Carl has been picked up here on Energy Bulletin

Has anyone heard from former Drum Beat regular nh3? He last commented in September, he isn't answering my emails, and I am a bit worried about him ...

I haven't seen a comment lately, SCT.

Last time I believe was the same time you showed up in a while.