DrumBeat: January 19, 2009

Russia likely to join OPEC soon, Pickens says

WASHINGTON -- Russia will likely become a member of OPEC soon, billionaire investor and alternative-energy advocate T. Boone Pickens said Monday.

That membership "will not be favourable to the United States," Mr. Pickens told a gathering of mayors.

Arab oil producers reluctant to dig into reserves

KUWAIT/DUBAI (Reuters) - Arab oil producers, loath to dig too deeply into their massive foreign reserves, will raise public spending only cautiously as they seek to guide their economies through the global recession.

A slump of more than $110 in the price of oil to under $36 a barrel from its peak last July has brought an abrupt halt to an explosive phase of regional growth, battering confidence among private investors and straining government budgets.

So far, Arab states have pledged they will pick up the slack to keep the momentum going and urged the private sector not to run away -- even if it means posting small budget deficits this year for the first time since the oil boom began in 2002.

But as economists cut back 2009 economic growth forecasts to almost zero for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the region will be wary about how much it draws down its immense reserves.

Pdvsa suppliers hit by delays in payments

Venezuela's state-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) has delayed payments to suppliers of the oil industry and, therefore, such companies are asking banks for special payment plans to settle their financial difficulties and keep operations.

The companies that provide services to the state-owned oil company have not received any payment from Pdvsa in the last few months; as a result, suppliers have requested meetings with Pdvsa officials to find solutions, but they have not received any answer.

Ukraine Bonds Flag Default as Russia Has ‘Upper Hand’

(Bloomberg) -- Four years after Ukraine embraced the West with the election of President Viktor Yushchenko in the Orange Revolution, the former Soviet nation’s economy is collapsing and investors expect the country to default.

Even with the International Monetary Fund’s $16.5 billion bailout, Ukraine’s finances are deteriorating as the country battles with Russia over natural gas prices and the cost of steel, its biggest export, sinks.

Russia, Ukraine Sign Deal to Resume Natural-Gas Flows to EU

(Bloomberg) -- Russia and Ukraine signed a deal to resolve a dispute over natural-gas prices and transit fees, paving the way for the resumption of shipments to the European Union for the first time in almost two weeks.

Two directors take on oil industry

Two movies. Same subject. Almost identical titles. Made independently by two filmmakers who have known each other since 1982. Yet two very different films (and filmmakers). How could that be?

Morgan Stanley Said to Cancel Supertanker Hire for Oil Storage

(Bloomberg) -- Morgan Stanley scrapped a deal to hire a supertanker for storing crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico, two people familiar with the situation said.

Traders for the bank canceled the booking of the Argenta today, the people said, declining to be identified because the information is private. Bookings are subject to various conditions being met before they become binding. Carlos Melville, a London-based spokesman for Morgan Stanley, declined to comment.

Libya 'must nationalise foreign outfits'

Libya's Basic People Congresses (LBPCs), the country's top executive and legislative bodies, should vote to nationalise foreign oil companies when they meet in the next few days, according to a report in the country's main state newspaper.

"We should move fast to take back our oil from foreign companies," a report published in the al Jamahiriya daily, which is widely seen as the mouthpiece of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's backers in the government bureaucracy, said.

Don't fine us - we admitted it - Sasol CEO

Sasol CEO Pat Davies is hoping that his company will pay no fine for breach of the Competition Act because it proactively confessed the matter to the Competition Commission.

Kuwait donates $500m to Arab economic fund

Kuwait will contribute $500 million to a proposed $2 billion fund to support Arab companies through the global financial crisis, the Gulf oil exporter's ruler said on Monday.

'I am glad to announce the contribution of Kuwait with $500 million of its capital,' Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah told leaders at the opening of an Arab economic summit in Kuwait.

BP Says Abu Dhabi Hydrogen-Fueled Plant to Start 2013

(Bloomberg) -- BP Plc and partners are still conducting engineering and design work for their planned $2 billion hydrogen-fueled power plant in Abu Dhabi and expect the facility to start in 2013.

The plant will generate 420 megawatts of electricity, BP’s President of Middle East and South Asia Steve Peacock said today in an interview in Dubai. The partners previously said design work would be completed last year and the facility would produce 500 megawatts.

OPEC champion boosts renewable portfolio

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (UPI) -- Abu Dhabi, one of the most oil-rich places in the world, has decided to make an ambitious push for renewable energy sources.

The leadership of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, on Monday announced it would boost the share of renewables in its emirate to 7 percent by 2020.

Study Looks at Mortality in Post-Soviet Era

The report contends that life expectancy diminished in the early to mid-1990s in countries that were being rapidly transformed after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Even though the governmental and economic transitions occurred nearly two decades ago, the report said, “only a little over half of the ex-Communist countries have regained their pretransition life-expectancy levels.”

From 1991 to 1994, life expectancy in Russia was reduced by five years. But life expectancy in Croatia and Poland improved in the same period. By last year, the life expectancy of Russian men was less than 60 years, compared with 67 years in 1985.

...The authors suggest that the existence of trade unions, churches, sports, political organizations and other social organizations played a significant role in cushioning adults’ stress during the transitions.

“In countries in which more than 45 percent of the population was a member of a social organization, mass privatization had no significant adverse association with mortality rates,” the report said.

Steve Levine: Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right

Why has Russia’s natural gas dispute with Ukraine stretched out so long?

A key reason is the subtext from Russia’s side: an effort once and for all to tar and discredit much-detested neighbors who have become darlings of the West, and end the West’s intrusion into Moscow’s claimed sphere of influence.

Despite some self-inflicted damage, the gambit so far has been relatively successful.

Norway's Petromena drops as creditors control sale

OSLO (Reuters) - Shares in Norwegian oilfield services group Petromena ASA fell as much as 14 percent on Monday after a deal saw bond holders take control of its sale of three deepwater rigs under construction.

Bahrain, Saudi to build $350mn oil pipeline

Bahrain and Saudi Arabia plan to replace and expand an oil pipeline connecting the two countries by 2011, with costs expected to reach $350 million, a senior Bahraini official said on Monday.

Abdulkarim al-Sayed, chief executive of Bahrain Petroleum Co (Bapco), said the engineering design for the pipeline would be completed by the end of this year, and construction completed in 2011.

New RCMP team to combat foreign and homegrown extremists

The 40 to 45 members would be based in Edmonton and Calgary. They would guard against both international al-Qaida-style terrorists as well as home-grown radicals, says Asst. Commissioner Bob Paulson with the RCMP's Ottawa-based National Security and Criminal Investigations.

Paulson said there is no specific threat. "Certainly, the oilsands and the pipelines are as viable a target in Alberta as they are in British Columbia or as the nuclear plants are in Central Canada."

Gas prices jump 3 cents in 3 days

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Gasoline prices rose for the sixth consecutive day Monday, according to a daily survey of credit card swipes.

The benefits of an intercontinental energy grid

Imagine an Asian electricity grid anchored by China at one end and Australia on the other. The grid would carry and distribute hemispheric solar, geothermal, wind and wave energy. The vision is big. But so's the problem of climate change.

Land rental deal collapses after backlash against 'colonialism'

One of the world's largest land deals, a scheme to lease African farmland to rich countries to grow their own crops, has collapsed amid accusations of 'neo-colonialism'.

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in an Era of Oil Scarcity: Lessons from Cuba

When other nations are forced to rethink their agricultural and food security strategies in light of the post-peak oil debate, they only have one living example to draw from: that of Cuba in the 1990s. Based on the first and - up till now - only systematic and empirical study to come out of Cuba on this topic, this book examines how the nation successfully headed off its own food crisis after the dissolution of the Soviet Bloc in the early 1990s.

Cheap, high grade Brent-linked crude fails to woo Asia

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - OPEC's deep supply cuts pushed the Brent/Dubai Exchange of Futures for Swaps (EFS), a key crude oil hedging tool, to its first-ever discount this month, but expected African and European cargoes have yet to flow to Asia.

Sinking fuel consumption during the economic crisis and a durable improvement in the value of Middle East crude as its demand rises to feed more complex refineries mushrooming across Asia, have come at the expense of light-sweet Brent-linked crude.

The Brent/Dubai EFS for February -- the price spread between ICE Brent futures and Dubai swaps -- dipped to negative levels for the first time on January 6.

What strategy for a green recovery?

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, presumably drawn up with Obama’s blessing, would, to hear it described by Keith Schneider of the Apollo Alliance, usher in the green millennium. Keith Schneider’s comments on behalf of the Alliance can be read here.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite do that. It does not even fund Green jobs specifically. It suggests neither a change in the direction of the economy, nor that we need to change our expectations of what constitutes a good life, i.e., a continually expanding level of consumption. (See commentary below the link to the press release for the Act) Considering that renewable energy, particularly wind energy, has been growing geometrically over the past few years, and is now collapsing very quickly with the onset of the depression, the priorities of the Act will not revive it.

Those of us who understand that the limitations of resources and technology, and the danger to our future from the consequences of continued use and dependence on finite fossil and living fuels, need to be very worried, and in the streets, about the direction we are being taken.

Pile up! KU report makes commute even more depressing

It's going to take more than a great big stimulus package and a giant dose of optimism to dig the country out of our transit and infrastructure challenges. So says a new report from the University of Kansas Transportation Research Institute released last week.

"Humankind confronts interrelated crises of energy and transportation in a rapidly changing world where we must deal with spiking petroleum prices, decaying bridges, growing congestion in all modes, an aging and inattentive driver population, a shortage of adequately trained transportation engineers, and the diverse ramifications of global climate change."

And that's just the introduction.

Welcome to a New World of Investing

Efforts may be growing in the U.S. Congress to pass a bill authorizing anti-trust suits against OPEC members for damages caused by the restraint of trade that the cartel is devoted to enforcing. When I first read about this I thought the idea of suing OPEC was nutty because when oil prices were high the marginal costs were not the issue - rather it was excessive demand vs. supply capacity. But now as our economy declines, as the Treasury runs ever larger deficits, and as American consumers suffer every day, the possibility that we might stop OPEC from extracting its pound of flesh is starting to seem like a good idea to me.

FACTBOX - Global energy investment hit by financial crisis

(Reuters) - The deepening of the global financial crisis and the sharp drop in energy prices have forced companies to scale back spending and delay projects, with expensive ventures in the Canadian oil sands hardest hit.

Below is a list of projects that have been delayed or scaled back in recent months, as well as other related news.

Protest rally wants restart of Kozloduy nuclear power plant units

While university students were protesting outside Parliament on January 18 2009, several thousand people gathered outside the National Palace of Culture (NDK) to ask for the restart of units 3 and 4 of Bulgaria's only nuclear power plant in Kozloduy on the Danube River.

The units were shut down as part of the deal for Bulgaria's accession to the European Union in 2007 and ever since then the issue whether it was the right thing to do has been the subject of much debate in Bulgaria.

India: Coal supply to thermal power stations still pathetic

PTI reported that coal shortage continues to haunt India's largest power producer NTPC, which is depending heavily on imports, though the company hopes that situation would start looking up 3 to 4 months.

Thai Air Slumps to 16-Year Low After Seeking Government Funds

(Bloomberg) -- Thai Airways International Pcl, the nation’s largest airline, fell to a 16-year low in Bangkok trading after seeking emergency funds from the government to resolve a cash shortage.

'Israel must diversify energy sources despite gas find'

While the discovery of a potentially massive natural gas field off the coast of Haifa is significant for Israel's energy economy, it will not allow the country to abandon efforts to diversify its energy sources, including more environmentally unfriendly solutions like coal, Eco-Energy CEO Dr. Amit Mor told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

Morgan Stanley Hires Supertanker to Store Oil in Gulf

(Bloomberg) -- Morgan Stanley hired a supertanker to store crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico, joining Citigroup Inc. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc in trying to profit from higher prices later in the year, two shipbrokers said.

The ship is the Argenta, capable of carrying more than 2 million barrels, Paris-based Barry Rogliano Salles and Athens- based Optima Shipbrokers said in reports today. Morgan Stanley officials in London didn’t immediately reply to three phone messages seeking comment.

Banks and commodity traders are seeking new ways to make money after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell by the most since 1937 last year and crude oil prices dropped more than $100 a barrel from their peak. Companies including Koch Industries Inc. and BP Plc are hoarding enough crude at sea to supply the world for almost a day.

“It’s a window of opportunity that won’t last long,” Gareth Lewis-Davies, a London-based energy analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort Group, said by phone. There may only be four or five banks with the expertise to make the trade, he said.

Crude Falls on Forecasts Global Recession Will Cut Fuel Demand

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil futures fell on forecasts faltering global economic growth will drive down fuel consumption for a second year.

China’s economy may have expanded at the slowest pace in seven years in the fourth quarter as exports collapsed, according to a Bloomberg survey. Global oil demand will shrink 0.6 percent to 85.3 million barrels a day this year, the first two-year decline since 1983, the International Energy Agency said Jan. 16. If prices fall further, OPEC may cut output again at its next meeting in March, Algerian Oil Minister Chakib Khelil said over the weekend.

“The world recession is continuing to dampen demand,” said Christopher Bellew, a senior broker at Bache Commodities Ltd. in London. “Cuts by OPEC members will probably stabilize the market, but it may take some time before they translate into any upward price move.”

Goldman Sees ‘Swift, Violent’ Oil Rally Later in Year

(Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. commodity analyst Jeffrey Currie said he expects a “swift and violent rebound” in energy prices, including oil, in the second half of the year.

Oil prices may have reached their lowest point already, after tumbling to the high $30s, low $40s a barrel, and are expected to rise to $65 by the end of this year, the analyst said.

Beware the pain-for-no-gain scenario

In the midst of today's gloom we might wish to turn the clock back, but could we have lived with ever-increasing food and energy prices and yielding the West's economic sovereignty to Russia and the Middle East? I think not. This financial crisis is painful, but we'll get through it and the fortuitous gain from this shorter-term pain is the avoidance of a more dangerous outcome. That is, unless ill-considered reactionary attempts by Western governments to soften the crises brings back those same problems, as well as saddling taxpayers with enormous public debts and deficits. What are the signs that this pain-but-no-gain scenario may well happen?

MiRO Refinery Won’t Cut Throughput as Margins Weaken

(Bloomberg) -- Mineraloelraffinerie Oberrhein GmbH & Co KG, which operates Germany’s biggest refinery, said this year’s throughput levels at the facility will be unchanged from last year even as margins fall on European fuel overcapacity.

Gas Spat Earns Praise for Putin at Home

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's standoff with Ukraine over gas supplies may have angered European Union leaders and denied heat to millions, but at home it's winning him plaudits.

In turning off gas supplies to Ukraine and Europe, Putin showed Russians that he is in charge as a recession looms and that the West must treat him as a key player in global energy. He also is pushing for higher long-term revenue for Gazprom.

"The more they criticize Putin abroad and the more they fight with Russia, the greater his political weight grows," said Mikhail Delyagin, an economic adviser to former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and director of the Institute for Globalization Studies in Moscow.

Russia to review the budget with oil at $41/bbl

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will review the 2009 state budget based on the new forecast for the average price of oil at $41 per barrel during the year, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told the government meeting on Monday.

'The Finance Ministry should amend the state budget using the price of oil of $41 per barrel,' Putin told his cabinet.

It's OK, the sheiks are suffering too

Are you sweating over your latest financial statement? If so, you may take some slight comfort in the fact that even the fabulously wealthy Arab oil sheikhs of the Persian Gulf are sharing your pain in this global economic downtown.

Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Cut Rates as Growth Slows, Oil Falls

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the two biggest Arab economies, cut their benchmark interest rates by half a percentage point after oil prices tumbled and economic growth was forecast to slow.

China promises to help Angola to revive agriculture

LUANDA (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming said here on Sunday the Chinese government will help Angola to revive agriculture to diverse Angola's oil-based national economy.

During a meeting with Angolan Prime Minister Antonio Paulo Kassoma, the Chinese minister said China will send agrotechnicians to Angola to help revive agricultural production which was made standstill during the several decades of armed conflicts ending in2002.

Hugo Chavez, chagrined

"Humbled" is never quite the word when you're talking about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. But the oil boom-turned-bust has turned down the volume on his hemispheric grandstanding. Having squandered the proceeds of one of the biggest oil bonanzas in history, Chavez is having trouble keeping his promises and smiting his enemies.

Pakistan: UAE walks out of $5 billion Coastal Refinery project

ISLAMABAD: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government has backed out of an agreement to install a $5 billion Coastal Refinery at Khalifa Point near Hub in Balochistan.

Angola Oil Exports, Including Palanca, Will Rise 1.8% in March

(Bloomberg) -- Angola, OPEC’s newest member and holder of the group’s rotating presidency, will increase daily crude shipments, including the Palanca grade, by 1.8 percent in March.

BP Plc, Total SA, Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and other companies are scheduled to load an average of 1.64 million barrels a day in March, compared with February’s 1.61 million barrels a day, according to loading programs released today.

New U.S. president could mean big changes for Alberta's oil industry

"At some point… they'll look to us and see what we're all about. We probably have the single most concentrated energy and resources in the world, so we're extremely strategic. They'll come to that realization [and] they'll see how well we produce things."

While environmentalists are hoping Obama follows through on his campaign promises to focuses on "green" jobs and alternative energy, Anderson said those initiatives will have to wait until after the current economic crisis is over.

"Let's get past this disruption we're having right now in terms of our ability to make a profit in the resource development," Anderson said. "It's pretty tough right now."

Gazprom Gas Output to Fall 2 Percent This Year, JPMorgan Says

(Bloomberg) -- Russian natural gas exporter OAO Gazprom will produce 538 billion cubic meters in 2009, 2 percent less than last year, because of the weaker economy, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said.

Israel eyes gas bonanza from large offshore find

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A U.S.-Israeli exploration group said on Sunday it has discovered large natural gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean with the potential to meet Israel's gas needs for well over a decade.

Energy Inefficient

The plain truth is that the United States is an inefficient user of energy. For each dollar of economic product, the United States spews more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than 75 of 107 countries tracked in the indicators of the International Energy Agency. Those doing better include not only cutting-edge nations like Japan but low-tech countries like Thailand and Mexico.

Renewable Energy

Explore these new ideas for the world's sustainable energy solutions.

EU Carbon Falls to Record as U.K. Makes a Second Bank Rescue

(Bloomberg) -- European Union emission permits fell to a record as the U.K. government announced the second bank rescue in three months to revive the flagging economy.

Clean coal won't be viable - industry

Under the Government's plan for emissions trading, due to start next year, a coal-fired power plant using CCS won't have to pay for emissions buried underground.

But it will have to pay for emissions that go into the air.

ZeroGen says its demonstration plant is high-risk and expensive, so it shouldn't have to buy permits at all.

Emission reduction projects on the anvil in Abu Dhabi

Dubai: Masdar and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) on Sunday signed a framework agreement to develop a series of ground-breaking projects to reduce carbon emissions from Abu Dhabi's oil and gas facilities and monetise the emission reduction under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

Clearer skies over Europe as fog halved in 30 years

Europe has become less foggy over the past three decades, according to scientists who have examined weather records across the continent. Fog, mist and haze have become less frequent and have contributed, they calculate, to between 10% and 20% of the warming trend during that period. The change is down to reduced air pollution, the scientists think.

Australia: Move north to escape climate change

Worried about climate change? Move to Darwin.

New research shows the top half of Australia will be little affected by climate change, while from Brisbane south the effects will get stronger and stronger.

Dr Tim Barrows, from the Australian National University, has prepared a hit-list of the cities which will be most affected as the climate warms up.

All these news make me cheer for financial crisis. It seems that it is actually the only efficient method for reducing fossil fuel usage. As a consequence, we may experience peak oil sooner because of lack of energy investment, but maybe just in time to prevent carbon dioxide to cook us.

I am just worried that the financial meltdown is not as fast as needed. Oh well.

To say you "cheer for financial crisis" does sound perverted - and I'm sure the utopians will accuse us of enjoying our "doomer porn."

But I think you are correct, a financal crash is the only way we will make a meaningful reduction of fossil fuel use. The world's nations are simply not capable of self-regulation. No matter how many "Protocols" we produce, virtually every single nation will cheat.

Richard Heinburg was exactly right - Peak Oil would cause serial recessions, with each 'recovery' failing as the world economy reaches the new, lower limits of available energy (oil) and materials (dependent on oil production).

Nature will force the reduction (of energy use, and of population) the hard way. Because humanity is not yet up to the task (maybe if we survive another 100K years, we might grow a new cerebral lobe or two that will enable us to gain a little more control over our reptilian brains).

To say you "cheer for financial crisis" does sound perverted - and I'm sure the utopians will accuse us of enjoying our "doomer porn."

This is important only if utopians' accuse provokes any reaction whatsoever. I couldn't care less, utopians are fun to debate, up to a point... Actually I am not enjoying the whole mess, and I don't find it too satisfying to constantly repeat "Told you so.". It's poor taste IMHO. Not that it really matters one way or another, just saying...

As far as public perception, and public policy, I honestly don't think it matters what the 'Utopians' or 'Doomers' say anymore.

The more severe the economic pain, the less reasonable people become.
They focus on the immediate symptoms they are aware of and are simply not interested in, or are incapable of understanding, the bigger picture and the causes of our problems.

I'm not "enjoying" this mess either, quite the opposite really. But I think it is the only way we will power down. We will not do it voluntarily on a global scale - we will only do it because we will be forced to power down by Nature.

Finally, I don't bother "debating" utopians - it is never worth the time and animosity it generates. Also, I never say 'I told you so" - it only antagonizes people and is irrelevant anyway.

Unfortunately, in attempting to alleviate "the immediate symptoms," the solution will likely include ramping up of coal burning, together with a rollback of enviornmental laws. The Republicans in the California Assembly are already at it:

Along with the familiar fights over taxes and spending cuts, whether to suspend one of California's landmark environmental laws has become a stubborn sticking point in the state's historic budget standoff.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is seeking to waive environmental studies on 10 proposed highway projects from Sacramento to San Jose to San Diego, saying that would allow projects to start quickly and boost the state's floundering economy. He feels so strongly that last week he vetoed a Democratic budget compromise because it didn't relax the environmental standards.
"We need jobs right now," Schwarzenegger said at a December news conference along California's busiest highway, Interstate 405 in Los Angeles. "For me, the people are the most important thing, then we can worry about all the other regulations. But let's get the people to work."
While Democrats have agreed to some environmental concessions, they say it would be wrong to completely roll back regulations that protect people's health and the state's natural resources. The real issue, they claim, isn't jobs but politics.


Shades of 1970! "You want jobs or fish?"

The federal and provincial governments of Canada are headed in the same direction.

Ottawa seeking to speed up process for works projects

Infrastructure Minister John Baird acknowledged in an interview yesterday that he is looking at removing redundant regulation.

"There's a real hodge-podge of environmental assessment requirements - of overlap and duplication," he told The Globe and Mail. "Many of them are just duplicating what's done at the provincial level."

For some reason, I can't get the image of Easter Island out of my head as I read about Schwarzenegger. "Forget zee environmental regulations, you EEEEdiot! Build me some Stone Heads roads to carry our ICE vehicles. We NEED our people working!"


I'm afraid you are right about the "Jobs/Food/Heat" will be higher priority than the environment or resources. I can easily see people reverting to coal for home heating (many homes around here still have coal shoot doors in the foundation).

BUT... maybe if the "crash" is fast enough, and severe enough, the world population will be decimated and the remaining fossil fuel users will be too busy hunting and gathering to reform the a similar "world economy" and cause much more damage.

I can't believe I just said that. It's really not what I want - a mass dye-off (or "little die-off" as Jason Bradford put it), but it is what I suspect it will take to put an end to the Mass Insanity of the current homo saps.

What's a "dye-off" ? Some kind of head to head T shirt colouring contest ?

It's like a die-off (as spelled in the subsequent sentence in the post to which you are responding), except there is soooo much blood in the streets it is used to dye t-shirts by the survivors.

Sorry for the confusion (smart azz :>).

I don't bother "debating" utopians - it is never worth the time and animosity it generates. Also, I never say 'I told you so" - it only antagonizes people and is irrelevant anyway.

Excellent advice. The only time it's worth arguing (and even then, rarely) is online, with people you will probably never encounter in-person.

How to Win Friends & Influence People

This book should be required reading. If you are not naturally good with people, it will change your life. Being good with people will be a necessary skill in a disintegrating society.

I don't bother "debating" utopians - it is never worth the time and animosity it generates. Also, I never say 'I told you so" - it only antagonizes people and is irrelevant anyway.

Excellent advice. The only time it's worth arguing (and even then, rarely) is online, with people you will probably never encounter in-person.

It is a waste of time trying to convert such people. But in public formums, the real battle is for the undecideds, who might be swayed by an uncontested argument.

Very good book, I second that motion. Seriously.

And also remember "the difference between a poison and a cure is dose (and frequency of use ???). I think that was from Paracelsus - either that or the author of "A million little pieces."

Finally, I don't bother "debating" utopians - it is never worth the time and animosity it generates. Also, I never say 'I told you so" - it only antagonizes people and is irrelevant anyway.

I agree with never saying "I told you so", but disagree with not debating utopians. It's true, some people get hetzed up and that has to be avoided. But if its possible to have a respectful debate, even if it gets a little warm, I think it's important. People sometimes disagree with things, but then go away and think about them or do some research. I sometimes think, am I doing the right thing? And I tell myself, yes, because it better to know trouble is coming and have time to make mental adjustments (or in some ways even prepare).

What else is there to do? Sooner or later, everyone has to become alert to the problems we face and become involved in addressing them. The first step is getting involved in the debate.

But lose friends, no. Then you have to back off.

You guys show me one, other than Ghandi and India, major societal change that changed without heat. Sure, some involved no violence or limited violence, like women's right to vote - but few - very, very few - happened without, at minimum, vociferous debate, and most with violence. With the huge stressors coming, the chance of a bloodless transition are slim and none.

There are times you have to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. These are those times.

Rude or not? Depends on your perspective. Is it rude to call a liar a liar? Not in my book. More damage - witness the last eight years - can be done by letting liars speak freely. Liar is not = FU! or Arsehole!

Further, no one form or style of communication fits all people. It takes all kinds. Some people will only respond to a figurative whack upside the head. Some need only see facts and figures. Etc., etc.

This ain't high tea, boys and girls, ladies and gents.

There is no time.


I'm all for kumbaya, but kumbaya is worth #$%# all against monied interests. Again, your nice tea party discussions have allowed the last eight years to happen.

How are you feelin' about that? Me? I'm not all that impressed.


Morgan Stanley Hires Supertanker to Store Oil in Gulf

Perhaps the reverse trade would make more sense: "Oil Hires a Supertanker to Store Morgan Stanley in the Gulf"

No supertanker will keep Morgen Stanley afloat.

You're mistaken. What is US government, if not a supertanker?

Even supertankers run aground

Like the Exxon Valdez. Captain drunk on the job, and someone inexperienced at the wheel. We may have a new captain tomorrow, but the ship is still up on the reef and leaking oil.

Yes, this analogy works for me..

Very good Nate. But upon reflection, there is a painful edge to your humor: MS is essentially being "stored" until it becomes more valuable. Unfortunately, it's the US tax payer covering the storage fees. In a odd view the gov't has constructed a SFR (Stratigic Financial Reserve) comparable to the Stratigic Petroleum Reseve.

From the Bloomberg link about storing oil/ contango trade:

Morgan Stanley hired its tanker at $68,000 a day, the two brokers said. That works out at $1.02 a barrel a month, based on a 2 million-barrel cargo. Benchmark U.S. oil futures are trading at an average of $3.65 more than the previous month between February and June.

Feb crude is $35.20 right now and June is at $49.15 - a difference of almost $14 per barrel on WTI. So 4 months * $1.02= $4.08. $14-4=$10 x 2 million barrels =$20 mil in profits essentially locked in I assume they are not naked long but have sold Jun futures (or whatever month) for delivery.

I wonder why the tanker companies don't just do this themselves -they are receiving $2 million per month for tanker rental while Morgan Stanley is making $5 million per month in contango.

Maybe they didn't recieve any bailout money from the government and don't have 80 million dollars for crude in the first place.

"...$20 mil in profits essentially locked in..."

"I wonder why the tanker companies don't just do this themselves..."

Could it be that there is a falacy in the first statement? What are the counterparty risks?

Who are the counterparties to these commodity trades? What are the chances these counterparties will still be around come June? There's probably not a single major financial institution in the U.S. that is solvent. Don't these futures contracts just pile on and become part of $50 trillion in derivitaves that are already floating around out there?

I get the distinct impression there's a lot more here than meets the eye.

It's like the whole credit situation. If you're a corporation with AAA+ credit you pay close to 10% to borrow money. If you're a corpoartion without stellar gold-plated credit, but still good credit, you pay about 20%. If you're a corporation with questionable credit, you cannot borrow:

Cost of Borrowing Zooms Up for Corporations

And yet my 92-year-old mother only gets 2% on her certificates of deposit. And banks can borrow seemingly unlimited amounts of money from the government at near 0% interest.

Take a note from history:

There are many things here that seem to exist and have their being, and yet they are nothing more than a name and an appearance.

Francisco Gomez de Quevedo y Villegas

Clearly the U.S. government is the only thing standing between the finance industry and oblivion, and our government and the finance industry have become totally disconnected from any underlying reality.

The finance industry is Don Quixote. There is a deep cleavage between the two worlds of the spirit and the flesh, between the dream and the reality, which co-exist and yet are for ever separate.

In the UK, RBS, one of the biggest UK banks, suffered a 70% drop in its share price today. Looks like the banking system, which has been listing badly, is now slipping beneath the waves. Despite the Government's best efforts.

It's beginning to look very much as if we're in the midst of a fast crash.

Was that before or after the new bailout plan was announced?

No, after.

Bank shares in freefall despite bail-out

RBS shares plummet 70% and newly created Lloyds Banking Group loses a third of its value amid concerns that the package will not solve the deepening economic crisis

Uh, boy. I wonder how Wall St. will greet Obama's rumored new bailout plan. I thought he might get a brief honeymoon, but that's looking like more and more of a long shot.


UK bonds tumble on Government's second banking bail-out

Irish bank shares plunge to lowest since 1993 on nationalisation fears

Is this a glimpse of the bond dislocation Denninger and others talk about?

No, 14 bps isn't really bond dislocation.

Who are the counterparties?

Physical side of the trade: Oil producers who are happy to sell even at these prices
Paper side of the trade: People who think oil prices will go up in the future (most people on this board, so it seems?)

What are the chances these counterparties will still be around come June?

You are aware that these futures contracts are cleared products, and get settled on a daily basis? Counterparty/credit risk (for the clearer, not the trader) is thus limited to 1-day movements only.

I wonder why the tanker companies don't just do this themselves -they are receiving $2 million per month for tanker rental while Morgan Stanley is making $5 million per month in contango.

The oil does not belong to the tanker companies, they did not have to come up with the $70 million to buy the oil. Oil, on paper, can be purchased on the NYMEX for less than 10% of the actual price, but if one wishes to purchase the actual oil, not a futures contract, they must pay 100% of the purchase price up front.

Ron Patterson

Your comment leads me to believe that what's going on here is another version of what Paul Krugman calls financial "voodoo":

Well, the government could simply give Gotham (Morgan Stanley) a couple of hundred billion dollars, enough to make it solvent again. But this would, of course, be a huge gift to Gotham’s current shareholders...

What I suspect is that policy makers — possibly without realizing it — are gearing up to attempt a bait-and-switch: a policy that looks like the cleanup of the savings and loans, but in practice amounts to making huge gifts to bank shareholders at taxpayer expense...

Why go through these contortions? The answer seems to be that Washington remains deathly afraid of the N-word — nationalization. The truth is that Gothamgroup and its sister institutions are already wards of the state, utterly dependent on taxpayer support; but nobody wants to recognize that fact and implement the obvious solution: an explicit, though temporary, government takeover. Hence the popularity of the new voodoo, which claims, as I said, that elaborate financial rituals can reanimate dead banks.


This statement also throws up all sorts of red flags:

There may only be four or five banks with the expertise to make the trade..

I suspect this should really read: "There may only be four or five banks with unlimited lines of credit from the U.S. government who can make the trade..."

I suspect this should really read: "There may only be four or five banks with unlimited lines of credit from the U.S. government who can make the trade..."

There are dozens of banks around the world with credit lines from their governments that can finance a deal like this. But the number of banks that have RIGHT NOW the operational facilities to arrange freight, insurance, handle demurrage claims, draft a physical oil contract, know how not to get screwed on specs etc etc is very limited. Sure any random bank can now try to set up such a desk but by the time they've finished headhunting a team together, got through all the bureaucracy, legal, HR, back office, convinced upper management, you're six months older and the contango will probably have disappeared.

J Aron (Goldman Sachs), Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Phibro (Citi), Credit Suisse (through their partnership with Glencore), that's pretty much it.

Why do you suppose Morgan Stanley bailed out, and canceled the tanker?

I might take Barclays off the list after weekend events too - we'll see.

The chasm between financial markers and real capital grows by the day.

What will really be funny is when the storing oil/contango trade strategy turns bust because future's prices for oil collapse later this year or next.

When it becomes obvious that there will Not be a "recovery" soon, and that the global economy is on it's second leg down (another 50% off sale on wall streets everywhere), oil future's prices will drop and the stored oil will be just another overprice asset on balance sheets of dead banks everywhere.

What will really be funny is when the storing oil/contango trade strategy turns bust because future's prices for oil collapse later this year or next.

Doesn't matter because in this trade you lock in the value by selling forward oil. If the back end does collapse you can simply unwind the trade (sell physical oil, buy back futures).

Okay, thanks, that makes sense.

So if the backend collapses, the only loss for the future's buyer is the price of the future's contract. The only "loss" for the seller is the cost of storage...

But what if the market price of the oil at the time of contract expiry is substantially lower than the cost at the time they bought and loaded the storage tankers (e.g. the price of oil is < $15/barrel...) ???

What if the glut continues and demand continues to drop?

But that will probably never happen in a million years.

The contango trade means you buy physical oil for delivery now, and sell a futures contract for, say, July. What you've done then is lock in the profit for storing oil for 4 months. Whatever happens to prices after you've done the trade, doesn't matter. If the price of the July futures contract drops by 20 dollars your physical oil in storage loses value, but this is exactly offset by the gain on your short futures position. This is a simple hedge - not speculative trading! The 'speculative' bit was when you built/bought/rented the storage facility, because you'll need to do these kind of trades to get your investment back.

If by the time you get to July, the contango is still there (Dec prices higher than July), you can simply keep the oil in storage, buy back the July futures contract that you sold earlier, sell a Dec contract and lock in another profit (basically, collect your 'reward' for storing oil).

If prices shoot up (say, March gets higher than July), you can of course stick to your original plan, but you'll actually earn a bit more if you prematurely close it out by selling your physical oil as soon as March (also saves you 4 months storage costs!) and buy back the July future at the same time.

I wonder why the tanker companies don't just do this themselves -they are receiving $2 million per month for tanker rental while Morgan Stanley is making $5 million per month in contango.

I wonder why not the oil companies do this themselves. They could just temporarly leave the oil sequestered in the ground till due time (acceptable pirce).
OPEC et al must be feeling dumbstruck when glancing at the running oil-price these days, what a lame kneejerking flock of ducks. OPEC has been filling up the world storages this fall at minimum prices and wonder why the price is still low ?.... at running production.

PS Norwegian oil/service companies and ministers have been silently cheering for OPEC lately, but to no avail ...

Re: Clearer skies over Europe as fog halved in 30 years

Fog, mist and haze block sunlight, and the team reckons the clearing of the air could have contributed around 10-20% of the European warming trend over the period. Europe has warmed by 0.5C a decade — more than predicted by climate change models.

It strikes me that if the world drops into a depression then the global dimming pollutants levels in the atmosphere will fall as well. However atmospheric CO2 levels won't fall. If the reduced pollution levels in Europe have contributed "between 10% and 20%" of the recent warming, could a really sharp world economic contraction (Great Depression 2) perhaps add 10% - 20% to current world warming?

greater depression 2 would take us back to step 1.
that means "take the cheapest way", meaning a lot of coal and wood-burning. especially wood-burning, which is not very eco-friendly :)

but then again, this may be the lesser of two evils, comparing with people buying a new car every 5 years or so.

But in a major depression it is likely oil and gas will be the cheapest thing to burn. At least for a few years until depletion catches up with massive demand drop and the vast majority of citizens of towns and cities will not have the option of burning coal or wood in any case.

There's no lesser evil in burning more coal, especially locally. I wonder how far we are from from the lifestyle in Xian, Shaanxi, where many people still burn soft coal in little ovens on the street to cook their food.
Words cannot describe the scene: Dickensian, Kunstlerian, whatever - you have to see it to believe it.

My Brother was just in China. The sky was green the whole time he was there.

that makes the stuff in the air yellowish, you know on the blue background described by Mr.Rayleigh

with enough particulates in the air multiple scattering dominates and instead of blue, the sky turns white.

This was the topic of PBS' Nova "DIMMING THE SUN" aired spring 2006. Transcript here:

...while the human greenhouse effect has produced 2.6 to three watts of extra energy for every square meter of the Earth, global dimming has subtracted about 1.5 watts, so, more than half the warming effect of our greenhouse emissions has been masked by the cooling effect of particle pollution.

Any TODers want to meet up and stand in the cold together ?

I arrive via MARC (hopefully with one of their electric locos) at DC Union Station shortly before 9 AM.

eMail (see profile) or post here.

Best Hopes for 1 mph winds,


Any TODers want to meet up and stand in the cold together ?

Why would anyone want to do that?

to get a feel of how it feels :D

sometimes, when i'm well rested, i come back from work by foot (about 4 miles). makes you really apreciate sitting on your butt in a car and pushing the gas pedal down, especially if the weather is bad. same thing goes for biking uphill :)

i'd go, just for the heck of it

Hope you find some good company out there. Sorry to see no responders from here.. but glad you're representin' (at least a bit better than most of our representatives!) down there in DC!

Stay warm!


VERY much enjoyed it, but toured a museum as the crowd broke up (more for warm toes and nose than the art, but enjoyed both).

LOTS of talking.


Peak Internet?

In the January 2009 survey we received responses from 185,497,213 sites, reflecting an uncharacteristic monthly loss of 1.23 million sites.

At least it's peak internet for me. My calling plan on my land line is changing this week to strictly local service in an attempt to cut costs as a result of the collapse of my hours of employment. Out here in the sticks in South Central Illinois we get hammered on the pricing of phone services. Since there is no local internet server in my calling area (one, but it is prohibitively expensive - rural capitalists are very predatory), it is adios to the internet. I’ll keep an email account so I could check it regularly at the local library.

Maybe we are all better off without internet. I would certainly do more to prepare for "the long emergency" without being online.

Yeah, I have a tendency to waste a lot of time here. What I will really miss is getting up to the minute weather and news. Over the next few days I'm going to save text from sites that have good agricultural and horticultural information.

There's still good information to be gleaned here. Yesterday on The Automatic Earth a comment included a reference to a Mormon guide to preparedness:


After the first fifteen pages of religious dogma, it turns practical and specific.

Bruce, Give WSS a try. I have been checking soil data using it. Works great. A bit hard to hack out but once you set an AOI(area of interest)
and check Vegetation Prodcutivity it rocks.

Google Web Soil Survey and pick out WSS from NRCS.


What is interesting about the story is the bit that Apache is picking up share, and IIS is losing market share. I was just talking with our IT guy about this - a lot of companies are tightening their belts, and a lot of the infrastructure they have bought into in the past carries a lot of licensing fees with it. Consider our phone switch at the office, which is a proprietary box with lots of license fees for just about anything you can dream of that you might want to do with the thing. They are talking about open sourcing it when we change over the next time, mainly because we are tired of being nickel-and-dimed on the fees.

Same goes for IIS or Exchange servers. Microsoft keeps dreaming up new reasons to add yet another server, which means yet another license for the OS and another licensed product. I am wondering if more and more people will cut these things off and revert to some form of opensource solution that provides much of the same functionality.

Huh? It wasn't long ago that Apache was most all anyone used.

Did IIS come on that fast? Apache is free. And rock solid. I could put one up in less than an hour. Easy. Why would anyone use IIS?

I remember when the ISP I worked for decided to go full blown MSFT but that was just because a newbie mgr came in and thats all the poor soul knew from college. Then that ISP slowllly died out.


The graph certainly does look similar to some others we have seen.

oh yeah, I'm glad that the internetactivity or bandwidth does not follow the oilprice.

I don't know about others but of late(4 days or so) I have been having very bad connectivity issues with TOD.

The TTL is expiring constantly.

Its either extreme server loads there or slowdowns in routing.

Right now its fine. A few hours ago I had to give up trying.

Ohhh...its the Obama party time. Maybe. Everyone on their cellphones and killing my EVDO bandwidth. Like here in WKY we are dancing in the streets? Nope.


CRE has started to crash. Meanwhile, there is the ongoing housing bust...

What is also clear is that the Fed/Treasury/Administration are stepping up their efforts as we walk into 2009 to truncate the unfinished cycle of reconciliation (in residential real estate) at almost all costs (see charts above).

But it's the unintended consequences of this "at almost all costs" truncation attempt that may indeed be most important to 2009 investment decision making.


This is symptomatic of the fact, observed by Krugman several years ago, that our economy is highly dependent upon the housing sector. We have very few alternatives except for the failing financial sector; therefore, housing prices will be pumped up if at all possible.

The downside of this is that this correction was necessary in order to make housing prices more in line with incomes. Instead, we will try to fix the market with lower interest rates.

So, we are just trying to start the boom, bust, and bubble cycle all over again, a symptom of a largely dysfunctional, failing economy with no future.

In the short term, this is good news for the owners of houses in certain parts of the countries. Not such great news for those who will continue to be locked out of the market.

On a personal level, I have mixed feelings, since I am both a prospective buyer and seller. There is a place on the coast of California which is starting to look affordable.

"There is a place on the coast of California which is starting to look affordable."

But will it still look affordable a year from now if the State is Insolvent (again - after the first, and maybe second, and third bailouts as this year progresses... the banks seem to be becoming serial bailout candidates, the same may happen to the states?)?

Take your time as far as housing is concerned we a playing a game of musical chairs with twice as many people as chairs and they are not going anywhere.

Orangutans near extinction from palm oil plantations

Leakey's 'angel' says world's frenzy to 'go green' pushing orangutans to brink of extinction

Russians hoard cash as fear of crisis takes hold

Muscovites are hoarding thousands of dollars in safety deposit boxes, as fears intensify that Russia is teetering on the brink of a full-blown economic crisis, after the government devalued the rouble five times in six days.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev yesterday joined a chorus of influential Russians criticising the handling of the economic crisis. "Resources are directed not so much at protecting the interests of a majority of citizens as at saving the assets and property of a narrow circle of influential businessmen," said their letter, published in the Vedomosti newspaper.


Can you imagine a former US president making the foregoing statement publicly?

Carter might.

UK gas stocks continue to be drained to Europe. What the text below (just issued) means is that just one really cold day in the current situation will cause a gas crisis and UK power stations will shut down. Is anyone in the government awake?

Revision to GBA Trigger Level and Review of Safety Monitor Levels

On 10th January National Grid revised the GBA Trigger level as a result of the Short Range Storage stocks being within 2 days of the Safety Monitor level. A further revision of the GBA Trigger is now being implemented to reflect the latest supply position, notably the sustained and significant level of Interconnector (IUK) exports.
In addition to changes to the flow assumptions for IUK we have also reviewed the supply performance of all other major supply components. The outcome of this review of supply components is to reduce the contribution of IUK imports from 20 mcm/d to zero. This reduction is part offset by marginally higher flows from the UKCS and Norway resulting in an overall reduction in the GBA Trigger level from 428.7 mcm/d to 414.1 mcm/d.
The GBA Trigger Level will remain under regular review. The Safety Monitor levels have also been reviewed and no change is required at this time.

System Message: 19/01/2009 15:16:22
Please be aware that the GBA Trigger Level has been modified from 428 mcm to 414 mcm. This is to reflect recently observed supply performance at IUK and other supply points. Further information is available on the news item published within Operational Data on the National Grid website.

Tomorrow UK demand is estimated at 393 mcm and National Grid can supply a maximum of 414 mcm under current conditions. According to National Grid the "Forecast Annual Peak Demand" for the UK is 536 mcm.

A return to temperatures of just a week or two ago would give rise to a demand the system cannot supply. Not even for one day.

Are they expecting the supply to bounce back quickly, now that the gas is (supposedly) flowing again?

And do they have a rationing plan, if needed? In the US, many factories, government organizations, and large offices have contracts that give them lower prices in exchange for cutting back if needed. Depending on the severity of the emergency, cutbacks can range from cutting consumption 10% via thermostat adjustments and turning off lights to shutting down the business and sending everyone home.

I think they are "praying" the supply bounces back rather than expecting...

AFAIK major users are on contracts which allow them to be cut off at short notice if certain conditions are met. Unfortunately the largest commercial users of gas in the UK are the electrical power generators. And on a really cold day they need to be virtually all online to meet demand - supplying over 40% of the UK's peak electricity supply on the coldest day of the year so far. So if you need to significantly reduce gas consumption the only real way to do it on any scale is to shut down major power stations - this as far as I understand it and I'd love to be corrected if wrong. A Force Majeure declaration on pipeline exports would immediately reduce the criticality of the situation but not remove completely the danger for the rest of the winter I believe.

I have noticed though that the percentage of gas fired power seems to have dropped a bit recently and UK coal fired power stations seem to be running flat out. 47% of UK electricity supply over the last 24 hours was coal fired.

But couldn't they cut back by cutting demand for electricity? Close offices and factories, or just require them to cut their demand by X percent, however they choose to do it.

That's how it usually goes on this side of the pond. Ask the businesses with interruptible contracts to cut back by the agreed on amount (10 or 15%, I think). If that's not enough, they have to shut down. The politicians then get on TV and tell everyone to conserve. If that's not enough, the rolling blackouts start. But so far, we've never gotten to that point, that I can remember.

The problem is that nearly all other options have been removed because short range stocks are already drained to such low levels that they cannot maintain grid pressure in a cold snap while an orderly sequence of events happens. Remember we privatised everything so, absent government intervention, the first customers will know of the problem is when they get a call saying they are about to be cut off. No pro-active mechanism to recognise and take pre-emptive action seems to exist. We'll just walk straight into the supply wall, pressure will drop towards safety levels and to maintain pressure, power stations will get an hours warning of cessation of gas supply. That actually happened before when a major equipment failure caused a gas emergency to be called a few years ago and nearly took down the power grid with it.

Do not think there is anything sensible about the security of the UK's energy supply. Remember it is all left to the free market - everything. When British Gas tried to buy back it's old 2 bcm storage facility a couple of years ago the competition regulators blocked it from owning the gas saying that was anti-competitive! So now the gas (even though it is in UK storage) is owned by Gazprom and others. And it's in their commercial interests to pump it out of the UK as fast as is physically possible.

If it's all free market driven...wouldn't the price rise in the UK, enough to keep the gas in the country?

How much would they have to rise to outbid a continental Europe without Russian gas? I don't know the answer to that one. And if the gas dispute really drags on there will be no pressure in the pipeline to supply to the UK in any case. Hopefully whatever deal Russian and Ukraine really hammered out behind closed doors does stick this time.

Chris Vernon says the gas-fired power plants will run off distillate instead, if necessary.

Not sure if something else has to be turned off if the distillate goes to the power plants...

I wasn't aware most of them could do that currently. It would be interesting to see what percentage are dual fuel capable. Any chance Chris can comment here on what percentage of gas fired plants are currently equipped to burn oil? I thought it was very low but would be happy to be wrong on that. Checking current mix I see that in the last 24 hours only 1.1% of the UK electrical supply has been oil fired.

I wonder how many power plants are duel fuel capable, and signed up for lower prices because of dual fuel capability, but in practice only have oil for a very short outage.

I suppose this wouldn't be a problem if they could quickly get oil delivered for use in the power plant.

Rune's graph shown in his post from December 2008 shows that when there was a gas shortfall in early 2006, there was only a small increase in oil use for electricity production in UK, compared to a much larger increase in coal use. It would be interesting to see an updated graph.



All the information is there including current instantaneous generation by type and historical data for the last 48 hours. It's displayed in graphical format but you have the option to download spreadsheets or csv files. Older data is probably archived somewhere as well.

Never fear ... wind is the answer to our problems, the UK has massive wind resource /sarcanol

During the cold snap last week, when the UK gas reserves were being drained at faster than max daily rate, we had high pressure, normal in winter ... total calm, clear skies, hence the cold ... low windspeed ... and wind power dropped to 0.1% of generating capacity, a total failure!

This is just what I expect to happen, system failure at the time of maximum stress.

What a load of bollocks these windmill enthusiasts talk - we don't need to invest in windmills instead of FF power stations as they propose ... it's windmills as well as FF power staions that's required ... so reliable power is not sustainable.

Anyway, even in the current relatively mild weather the gas storage reserves are falling about 1% a day at present, ~36 days supply at current rates, if it goes cold as expected not only will the supplies not keep up with demand the days supply will drop rapidly.

Wind could also be backed up with a huge build-out of power storage.

I think we need to build a large number of seawater reservoirs at the top of our highest cliffs and even greater numbers of high and low freshwater reservoirs in areas where our hills and mountains have steep gradients.

In addition we need to build tidal barrages or lagoons not just to harness the amplitude of our tides but also to use as further low-head power storage facilities. This would allow for using areas like The Wash which does not have sufficient tidal amplitude to warrant a tidal power station.

Sacred Cow Tipper has proposed the production of ammonia using wind energy - this can be used as seasonal power storage (summer wind surplus to generate ammonia for winter power generation) as well as or instead of the liquid automotive fuel he proposes.

We could look at the storage of compressed air in any number of redundant salt caverns littered all over north west England, which would get over the nimby concerns of using them for "unsafe" storage of natural gas.

And rather than spending hundreds of billions of taxpayers' money to prop up banks that are to all intents and purposes already dead, why don't we put this directly into rejuvenating our run-down shipbuilding areas which have the space, port facilities and available workforce to create a sizable national wind turbine manufacturing business. If I'm pesonally going to be on the hook for £33,000, which a national Sunday newspaper quoted as the per capita cost of these bailouts, then I'd much rather see it being invested in building all of the above than continuing to subsidise a bunch of greedy, fat-cat morons in our banking system. Nationalise the lot of them, fold them into one entity, and let's move on with taking advantage of our destroyed currency by creating a manufacturing base once again.

Rant over

The energy density in compressed air is much smaller than in dry ice.

And what is the annual average wind in the UK ? (NOT much !)

If the UK got, say, 10% of the annual MWh from wind, and a HV DC link with Norway (or use existing links to Switzerland & Austria) they could trade excess wind for hydro when needed.

And the UK would have MUCH more NG in storage today *IF* they had more wind.



All the studies I have read suggest that the UK has a very sizable wind resource, particularly offshore (North Sea is huge) but also in Scotland (both mainland and the isles) and large parts of the west coast.

Am I misunderstanding what you are saying? Did you mean perhaps that our installed wind capacity is small as opposed to our potential resource?

The installed UK wind generation is quite small, the potential is quite large, very close to the best in Europe if not the best.

(No one has bothered to calculate Icelandic wind potential, I KNOW it is large, perhaps larger than UK).


(No one has bothered to calculate Icelandic wind potential, I KNOW it is large, perhaps larger than UK).

Given the availability of huge amounts (relative to population/economy) of hydro and geothermal, it probably makes sense for Iceland to ignore its wind potential. I remember reading that the wind potential of the Aleutians is about half of the entire US demand. But being thousands of miles from anywhere, it is a moot point.

The most recent monthly data I have available from DECC includes October 2008.

Diagram shows development in electricity generation by fuel source. Even if total electricity generation in October 2008 was down more than 7 % relative to October 2007, nat gas use for electricity generation is growing (+ 2 % from October 2007 to October 2008).

Generation from coal and nuclear is down.


You are right this is a free market thing. Presently the UK nat gas prices are lower than on Continental Europe (that has not liberalized their market to the same extent as UK).

UK day ahead presently at 57 p/therm.

Continental Europe (Russian gas.....if available) 110 - 120 p/therm.

Wow it's that much of a difference now. It's really a double your money game right now? How do I get into the gas export to Europe business :-(

"When British Gas tried to buy back it's old 2 bcm storage facility a couple of years ago the competition regulators blocked it from owning the gas saying that was anti-competitive! So now the gas (even though it is in UK storage) is owned by Gazprom and others."

Are you talking about the Rough facility? It was never owned by British Gas (Centrica) in the first place (at least not since privatisation). It was owned by BG Group, the oil and gas E&P business, who sold it to Dynegy, who then sold it to Centrica (in 2002. There was never a chance that Centrica would have bought the business without having to grant third party access, given the near monopoly status they have in numerous parts of the UK gas business (domestic supply, swing flexibility at Morecambe Bay, etc). And, honestly, the decision to force third party access was the right one: BG Group had to give it, as did Dynegy and both those companies were far smaller players in the UK gas supply business.

Companies such as Gazprom owning storage capacity is NOT the issue, it is allowing gas to be shipped down the interconnector when supplies are so incredibly tight. That is the free market at work. If the interconnector were shut down for exports, then companies with gas in store would only be able to use it to supply the domestic market and it would not therefore matter who owned the capacity.

There are numerous new gas storage projects being discussed in the UK at the moment - in excess of 300 BCF of new developments which would double our existing capacity. That volume of new storage would be just about sufficient to iron out the demand differential between summer and winter - which, in turn, would iron out the price differentials and destroy the project economics, thus stopping the projects being built. The free market will not allow for sufficient storage to be built and it does not allow for regulated rates of return to be granted to those projects to make them financially viable - the insanity of the system is incredible.

Companies such as Gazprom owning storage capacity is NOT the issue, it is allowing gas to be shipped down the interconnector when supplies are so incredibly tight. That is the free market at work. If the interconnector were shut down for exports, then companies with gas in store would only be able to use it to supply the domestic market and it would not therefore matter who owned the capacity.

Well I agree with that - but the problem is the pipeline isn't being shutdown for exports and the press will likely focus on the foreign ownership. Maybe you disagree but I'm sure if all the gas in Rough was owned by British Gas it wouldn't be exporting it all to Europe at maximum flow rates right now even if it could make money from it.

If Centrica owned all the gas in Rough and they could make money sending it to Europe I'm fairly certain that's what they'd do. They are in business for profit, they are accountable to their shareholders, they are not philanthropists.

In that hypothetical situation, they too would just point to market price signals if such behaviour led to the lights going out. They would also make the argument that if they had not exported the gas, someone else would have done. That means that even though their supplies from Rough were intended for the UK market, other companies' exports would ensure that, de facto, those supplies were exported.

I am fairly certain that Centrica owns a big chunk of interconnector capacity and that they do not use it solely to IMPORT gas.

The point I make about British Gas is that the damage to its image in the UK would be incalculable if it sold so much gas that the UK ran out. Laws would be changed, the press would hound the directors at every step etc. etc. To a foreign owned company however, the damage to their image in their home country would be pretty much nil - in fact the opposite if it helped to keep the gas on there.

However that said if would not totally surprise me if they did exactly as you say they would and to hell with the consequences anyway.

That volume of new storage would be just about sufficient to iron out the demand differential between summer and winter - which, in turn, would iron out the price differentials and destroy the project economics, thus stopping the projects being built. The free market will not allow for sufficient storage to be built and it does not allow for regulated rates of return to be granted to those projects to make them financially viable - the insanity of the system is incredible.

That is really worrying if the planned storage projects don't go ahead.

About twenty years ago, ERCOT Texas (the electrical island) had a record cold snap. Colder than the design temperature for many coal fired plants, which then froze up and went off-line. Many NG wells also froze up, so mainly NG from storage.

Natural gas fired plants, 4 nukes and some surviving coal fired plants.

All NG plants with oil back-up went to oil (for some the oil was too stiff to flow and they had to stay on NG). Most industry was shut down or "survival minimum" for some oil refineries. Appeals to conserve electricity AND NG (record cold snap, 4 F in Austin from memory) to keep power plants going. Appeals redoubled (put on a sweater, turn thermostat to lowest setting, turn off breaker to hot water heater, delay using hot water (electric or gas), if you do not want black-outs).

Power line capacity increases in cold weather and lines from South Texas to North were pushed above design limits, grid reserves went to zero, Hz was slowed down slightly (unique to ERCOT for North America).

Primary pipeline pressures dropped, some power plants had to cut back, etc. A few rolling blackouts in Suburban and rural areas.

Texas got by by the skin of their teeth. All coal fired plants were upgraded before next winter.


Many business and public sector companies in the UK have gas supply contracts which allow the cut-off of gas supply at short notice. These organisations are supposed to have alternative power options - generators etc., but some will simply shut down. Then large industry is shut down, then power stations. Domestic supplies will be maintained until pressures fall to critical levels.

A GBA alters the contractual arrangements, and is designed to improve supply from whatever sources are available, at any price.

Of course, that assumes suppliers (in Europe) will sell at any price...

And it takes 12 hours minimum to turn the interconnector around and the flow direction is set the day in advance - and, as you say, that's if it's available at all. It's the criticality of the short range storage that I see as the main problem right now. Nat Grid hasn't been able to top it back up since the previous cold snap and it's now at only 34% full (747 mcm). A day or so of really cold weather and it's at the physical safety level and seems to me all hell breaks loose if it is allowed to get there.

As you say the situation gets interesting if the Ukraine pipes stay shut on Tuesday. According to this we are not currently draining the short + medium storage:


Do you feel that is valid data? I noticed they were too idle to update it over the weekend.

I suspect that electric use would not decrease much in the UK in 'depression II'. We have very little primary heavy industries left, and a million unemployed shopworkers - each watching 'Oprah' on their plasma TVs, making hot drinks and surfing is more juice than lighting their ex-workplace was.

Yes, it's correct it hasn't been necessary to drain SRS significantly with UK average temps being a few degrees C higher than the start of the month. But just look how rapidly SRS was drained during that cold snap. Since then it hasn't been topped up. In fact it's dropped even further slightly. Basically SRS went from from full in December to almost 2/3 depleted in a matter of days.

If conditions call for a similar demand situation this winter and the interconnector is still exporting I just can't see how the full demand can be met this time.

SRS JAN 19 2009
Diagram above shows the development in Short Range Storage Systems (SRS) for the contractual years 2005 – 2008 YTD.

For this year it has been drawn heavily down and may presently sustain 1,2 days at max withdrawals.

SRS are mostly LNG facilities (which limits reloading) and takes a long time to refill as illustrated by contractual year 2005.

And 2005 also gives an example of a late very cold snap in March 2005. And we're still only in January and as you say it can currently provide less than two days supply at max withdrawal. And then what if that's next week and it's still only January?

That's why, to me, this unprecedented low level of SRS this early in the year is a serious threat to the energy security of the country and I would think the sensible thing to do would be to shut exports down now until the UK can rebuild storage to a sufficient level to guarantee getting through anything the winter might throw at us.

LRS JAN 19 2009

Diagram above shows the development in Long Range Storage Systems (LRS) for the contractual years 2005 – 2008 YTD (19th January 2009). (Data are updated at 16:00 every working day.)
Presently Long Range Storage (LRS) withdrawals are running at a rate of approximately 45,5 Mcm/d.



The above diagram shows average daily flows (Janaury 2009 as of Janaury 18th) through the Interconnector (Bacton – Zeebrugge) for the contractual years 2007 and 2008 (which started 01. October 2008 and ends 30. September 2009).

Last year there was a flow to UK of approximately 14 Mcm/d (daily average).
This year (and as of January 18th) there has been an average daily flow of close to 27 Mcm/d from UK.

Question is; What will the direction of flow be and how much will on average be flowing the rest of the winter through the Interconnector?

Note that UK exported a lot of gas through the summer months to Europe last year.

Will this happen this year?


Mish has a good post on California. Apparently, if it were possible to fire all state employees, all court system employees and all state higher education employees, it would not plug the $40 billion hole in the budget.

I think we can count on Obama bailing out state and local governments.

I don't think Obama has that kind of cash. I think he is going to have to borrow it. And from what I'm reading on DB every country participating in the global economy is having major difficulties and faced with scrounging up the cash to spend domestically to prop up the local economy.

If this is the case then who will be lending Obama the ridiculous amounts of money he needs to keep the 50 states afloat, prop up the automotive industry, rebuild Irag, cover operations in Afghanistan, payoff everyone's mortgage, and nationalize the financial sector?

I think the USA is engaged in California Dreamin' and I think this is one dream that turns into a nightmare.

I think he'll find it somehow. Or print it. Krugman, among many others, is saying that Obama needs bigger bailouts - that the problem is too serious to worry about budget deficits.

I'm anti-bailout but if you're going to do a bailout it needs to be a lot bigger.

The whole point of an economic stimulus is to get people spending again, but people are now scared. Most are/will be cutting right back and saving or reducing back debt. This is like a big sponge that needs to approach saturation before spending will resume.

The proposed stimulus package is iirc ~$830B but credit card debt alone is ~$950B, so I think there are more packages on the horizon.

As long as China plays along, if not, then just fire up the printing presses. It worked for the Weimar Republic ;-)

That said, you can't solve a debt crisis with more debt, you just delay, and exacerbate, the inevitable.

Obama May Cause the Demise of US: Analyst

The most important message Obama needs to deliver when he enters the Oval Office is to prepare the nation for a lower standard of living. But that is probably not going to happen, says Kirby Daley, senior strategist at Newedge Group.

I think Daley is right...but he also seems a little out of touch. Okay, maybe his colleagues and neighbors will be forced to choose between Florida and Colorado vacations, instead of doing both, but what about the people who have to choose between food and rent?

I couldn't get the video to play, but Daley seems to be saying that Obama should focus on reducing everyone's expectations.

It may have merit but it's politically very dangerous. I think most people realize that they are in deep doo-doo, but you would hear howls of protest from TPTB that think that the US exists for the benefit of the financial system and the stock market.

Regardless, for him to suggest that Obama would be cause is just pure rubbish. He is the new captain of the Titanic taking the bridge after it has hit the iceberg.

It just takes a while for the water to fill the hull. As for the common man, they will have to just grab whatever flotsam they can find.

I think Daley is more than a little out of touch. See my post about 3 comments down.



I think what he's saying is that Obama has a unique opportunity to tell people the truth. Like Bush after 9/11, he has political capital now that he won't have again.

He is expecting Obama to launch a mega-bailout. That is what he sees as the cause of the destruction. He doesn't think we've hit the iceberg yet, I guess.


You have inspired a rant (not against you :-) )

I could argue that not even Barack Obama had the political capital that GW had after 9/11. The capital, financial and political, that was squandered since is enormous, and tragic.

When the debt was high, but manageable, the same money that was poured into Iraq, more than the TARP and the proposed Obama's package combined could have put us on a path to energy independence, financial recovery and a path away from conspicuous consumption. Would it have been enough? We will never know.

Even so, I will never forget the fool telling us that the solution was to go about our business as usual and "go shopping".

He could have demonized foreign oil instead of Saddam Hussein. He could have fostered local innovation. He could have even foregone the Iraq war and paid off everyone's credit card and never even put up a single wind turbine.

8 years later we are further behind the 8 Ball. Even if Obama wants to turn the corner, will political pressures allow him to avoid a massive bailout? I doubt it. We should all read between the lines during the inauguration and the state of the union speech.

I know, I know, Shoulda, woulda, coulda, but I had to say it.

That is what happens when the military is at war and the populous is at peace (or asleep)

We passed a tipping point and no one saw it. As Dick said, (and he really is a dick) "Deficits don't matter".

I will hoist a glass when/if he loses his assets on that assertion. More likely, others will hoist a glass when I am dead, long before the dick faces any consequences, if ever.

I agree, Daly is out of touch. He really wants Obama to tell people the truth? I can see MAYBE telling the upper-middle class. But not people who live places like Oakland or Detroit. People who are already impoverished, struggling, and semi-desperate. Telling these people that their suffering will only increase exponentially, no matter what anyone says or does... this would likely result in rioting and an explosion of crime. Because if there's no hope, what have they got to lose?

As the financial collapse worsens, it is going to be very tempting to rail against Obama. Especially for people who supported a different Democratic or Republican candidate in the presidential election. (As if Hillary or McCain would have been a more sane choice.)

Flaming Obama at every opportunity will only hasten the arrival of some right wing extremist. But by all means, if it makes people feel better, flame away. :)

By New Zealand standards, Obama is a right wing extremist.

Your post is disgusting.

p.s. I was one who mass emailed friends and family prior the election about Obama's pathetic stance on Palestine-Israel issue and on Iraq. I voted for Nader, and encouraged those around me to do the same.

Nevertheless, I have no illusions as to what will happen as life in America deteriorates. Obama will be blamed. And the pendulum will swing back to the extreme right either this election or next. (Obama is in the center, not the left.)

The only reason I voted was to preserve my right gripe about the incumbents.

I only wish my words actually made a difference (to anything other than my blood pressure, that is).

Leanan, since it clearly doesn't matter if one votes or no, why should this alone determine the right to speak?

If I understand correctly, because I don't know what "gripe" means and I am too lazy to look it up ;)

It's an American tradition. If you didn't vote, you have no right to complain about your politicians.

I agree, he'll either borrow the money or print it. Deflation like we saw in the Great Depression, or default, are not politically palatable.

The most concise, easily understandable and ideology-free explanation of the situation I've found starts at minute 43:20 on the following video:


Conversations With History: The Ascent of Money
an interview with Niall Ferguson

(I found the video by following a link furnished on yesterday's TOD by HereinHalifax.)

As long as the rest of the world continues to take that view, that it doesn't mind piling up great mountains of American government debt, then the U.S. somehow walks away from this pileup relatively unscathed... If, however, foreigners suddenly take the view that enough is enough, and the profligacy of Uncle Sam will no longer be tolerated, then we will see something very ugly, which is a dollar rout, higer interest rates... And then we will discover the real meaning of financial crisis. Let's hope it doesn't happen.

I second your recommendation. The whole series is excellent.

Without trying to be doomerish, frankly I don't see a way out, even in normal times (and these are not normal times).

Deficit spending has already been predicted to be range of $1 T per year for the next 2 or 3 years. I think it could easily go higher. That would put the debt around the $15 T level not including entitlement obligations of around $40 T. As this goes higher, and revenues fall, more and more of any revenue goes to servicing the debt.

A movie I saw recently was IOUSA. It clearly lays out the situation and is clearly very scary. A condensed version is available here. http://www.iousathemovie.com/

As we have discussed here, creation of real wealth requires energy and we know where that supply is going :-(.

So, the only way to get out from under this is high inflation or default.

A trillion is a hard number to fathom so try this "inflation solution" on:

If 50% of the US population was employed and making $500k/year with a 33% tax rate, it would take over two years to pay down the debt obligations.

The problem is that same inflation would skyrocket the budget as well, so we would be running just to stand still.

More real estate meltdown stuff linked at Calculated Risk, regarding Detroit:


The home across the street was charred, likely by arsonists.

We drove through snow nobody would ever plow.

"What's this place like in the summer?" I asked.

"You wouldn't be driving through here," Mason said. "There's a small chance you'd field a bullet."

Police stopped patrolling these neighborhoods years ago.

"So if I buy a $1 house, I'm going to need to hire some security?"

"Not necessarily," Mason said. "Some of these neighborhoods are so desolate, crime isn't much of a concern."


"I could take you to 30 square blocks of urban prairie."

westexas -

Several years ago I had been in the Detroit area on business. I had driven down from the Grosse Pointes and into Detroit proper and was quite shocked to see how suddenly a lovely affluent suburban area became transformed into an urban slum. It was almost as if there were an invisible curtain at the boundary between Grosse Pointe and Detroit, with the Eloi on one side and the Morlocks on the other.

Now I know that all major cities have both affluent suburbs and urban slums, but I have never seen such an extreme in such an small geographic space. Obviously this is not a healthy situation from any number of perspectives. No doubt the Grosse Pointe police departments are well funded and actively engaged in keeping 'them bad people over there' from bothering 'us good people over here'. This is very much like an electrical potential. The higher the voltage difference between two poles, the more destructive the spark when they are connected.

I fear that present-day Detroit is what is in store for many other US urban areas as the economy worsens and society become more dysfunctional. This is no exaggeration, for let us not forget that Detroit was the scene of some of the worst urban rioting during the 1960s, but that's another story. You ain't seen nothing yet!

Rebuilding and no innovation ??

If one could by a bare city block would there be enough land to install a ground loop and build a variation of district heating ?

The guy is hoping for a resurgence of manufacturing - of what ?

I don't know enough about Detroit to evaluate any 'inherent value' of the geographical location.

Detroit is in a fantastic geographic position if we assume that water-borne transport is going to become more important going forward.

Detroit's sits on the banks of the Detroit River, and it controls water-borne access to Lake St. Clair and the upper Great Lakes.

I think some people such as Mish are taking the deflation talk too seriously, in my opinion this whole talk about deflation is serving the FED, BOE and ECB very well, it is giving them a massive cover to race interest rates to 0% and to print incalculable amounts of money to start the next bubble, further more the deflation thesis is giving the US government the ability to borrow trillions of dollars for practically nothing, money that will also be used to pump the next bubble.

If you think about it, politicians around the globe have decided that they have no choice for the time being other then inflating their way out of the problem, they will run massive deficits and they will spend left and right to gain back the appearance of normality, a lot of commentators are thinking that this crisis is IT, in my opinion it is not, because while this debt crisis is unprecedented in size, governments response has been equally unprecedented, and their efforts may very well yield fruits and give us few more years of growth; the real problem will take place at the next collapse in my opinion, which will happen as we enter a period of declining oil supplies in collusion with the popping of the upcoming bubble which could very well dwarf the last bubble in size due to the unprecedented GLOBAL inflating efforts undertaken today.


Digging out in Maine today. We got close to 18 inches, first a foot, then rain, then another 6 to 8 inches on top of it all. Thinking about the "community" comments here. What took so long to dig out was everyone out and about had to swing in and stop and chat. I saw neighbors I hadn't seen for a couple of months. Nice break, lean on the shovel and chat, shovel some more till the next neighbor stopped. Folks driving by with big grins and waving as they pass.

When I finally got to the top of the driveway, I realized some kind soul, had taken a quick swipe with their plow, right behind the car, clearing out all that heavy plow deposited snow for me. I haven't a clue who did it. Just a random act of kindness.

So it snows like all get out, and then it becomes a social event. Everyone I talked to, just said what a wonderful day it was, "Winter Wonderland". It's 23 degrees and feels balmy after the long run of below zero temps. A very pleasant day.

Don in Maine

Hi Don,

We got the tail end of your storm (er, thanks, btw, for sharing!). Started out as snow, turned to freezing rain and then onward to rain which made shovelling a bit of a challenge. After clearing the top layer of snow, I spent the rest of the day chipping away at the thick sheet of ice that covered the entire [sharply sloped] driveway. On the plus side, we hit 8C/46F this afternoon, the sun was playing hop scotch with the clouds and I got to chat with the neighbours and, most importantly, rough up the fur on some very handsome and playful dogs (the latter always brings a big silly grin to my face). It was glorious.

I took this picture late last night. It's a bit blurry, but it's difficult to keep your balance on ice............ (after a couple glasses of red wine).


When I lived in Wisconsin, I made sure to leave about a half inch of snow on the drive (and especially the outdorr steps). That way if we got some freezing rain/drizzle, it would be easy to remove. A little snow never hurt anyone, but a little ice can send you for an expected tumble.

Hi EoS,

Ah, the land of "Eat Cheese or Die". Good advice. However, in this case the snow was so heavily saturated with water I felt it best to scrape everything down to the bare pavement.

Some days start out a little better than others. This is what greeted me one morning (note the eight foot high snow drift behind the second car):

Not being the brightest light in the universe, it took five more winters to convince myself that I really needed to buy a snow blower. :-)


To me your photo looks beautiful to me. I miss snow country. The year before I had to move to California, I was a beginning ski instructor, but I needed a job, and had to move away from snow country (and where trees grow without irrigation). I never wanted a dirty noisy snow blower. Used a thing called a snow-shu, which was a large plastic scoop (maybe .5M by .5M), that you pushed/slid. At least an order of magnitude more efficent than a shovel, with no lifting. Interestingly the hardware stores hid these away where you had to ask about them. No-one who spent $20 for one of these would pay $500 for a blower. Donated them to the ski area, when I had to move away.

I've always been a down-east boy at heart and having lived away (and abroad) for a good chunk of my life, I'm now quite content to keep my feet firmly planted in these parts. Thankfully, I enjoy winter 'cause we sure get a lot of it in 'em here hills.

I'm not a fan of snow blowers either and I held off purchasing one for as long as I could, but chronic back problems limit my ability to do this job by hand. I only haul out when absolutely necessary.


Hello TODers,

[Found on Energy Bulletin] It will be interesting to see if this goes nationwide to promote more bicycling:

Bill Would Allow Bicyclists to Legally Roll Through Stop Signs
Idaho has had this law on the books for 27 years with no increase in bicycle-related accidents.
Recall my earlier post, where decades ago as a youngster, I envisioned my Asphalt Wonderland having sufficient bike freeways that a pedaler would basically never have to use his brakes until he/she reached their final destination. An opportunity lost by our local Iron Triangle, who decided that industrial, mechanized car washing is the highest and most pure form of performance art & architecture attainable.

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

Some more thoughts if one includes our biometric limitations and innate territoriality: even if these bicycle freeways had enclosed A/C sections every so often to cool the riders off during our blazing summer, I bet the enclosed volume would still be much less than the summed volume of the all A/C interior spaces of our millions of cars and SUVs.

Better just to abandon Phoenix as it will be one of the first places to disappear anyway.

I think Phoenix/Tuscon can support a population of up to 1 million sustainably, with changes in living patterns,

Now, what to do with the surplus 4+ million ?


Hello Alan,

From prior real estate links posted by other TODers: the migration trend seems to indicate a multi-million influx to Cascadia. I hope they are getting ready..

How many back to Chicago, Toledo, Massachusetts, etc. where many Phoenicians have roots (and quite possibly family) ? Quite a few are going back to Mexico I understand.


Hi Bob et al:

Back in the fifties, I had relatives that lived on South Mountain about half way up to the park. Even in the summer as soon as the sun went down, it was light jacket weather. Phoenix was pretty nice then. We lived in Tempe in the early 70s and it was starting to go bad. I now have relatives that live out toward Apache Junction and they go home to Indiana every summer. Amazing what a few million people can do to the weather. Kinda like a little Planet Earth.

Tucson, Arizona was almost 100% reliant on groundwater before they got their CAP water allocation from the Colorado River. Tucson was having to drill deeper to get to remaining ground water. Tucson also owned water rights in an adjacent basin and transported well water from there to Tucson.

It was usually hotter in Phoenix than Tucson as Tucson was at a higher elevation in the high Sonoran desert. Some allergy and asthma sufferers went to Phoenix to try to escape heavy concentrations of pollen. As other people moved west they missed their native trees and bushes and irrigated their lawns to support eastern species until the area was less safe for people with allergies.

I recall Tucson enacted stricter water conservation measures and some people put rocks, cacti, and ocotilla in their yards along with mesquite and native palo verde trees that do not require irrigation. I imagine the golf courses of Tucson are yet green.

Hello Toto: tell everyone in Phoenix that it really does rain too much up here, gray and cold all the time, housing and land still *way* too expensive, unemployment higher than national averages already. They wouldn't like it.

When Phoenix disappears, can we have their water?

Something like this?.

I've ridden through similar on a 80 deg F day and you get a lovely aircooling effect afterwards too.

The Chinese had set of these water curtains on the bicycle race routes during the Olympics. In Phoenix scorchers, you are OK if you are soaking wet. The problem is that you dry off within a couple of minutes.

This is such a good idea I hope it takes off. I've been a bike commuter for 30 years, never had an accident because I am very defensive (and lucky), and I've implemented the "yield at stop sign" ever since I came to the US (there are essentially no stop signs in the UK, yield is the rule even for cars). It's too bad that so many cyclists don't yield even when they should, as they are at serious risk and teach drivers to assume that bikes never stop. I get really pissed when I yield and then a car waves me on ater I have stopped. They don't get it that once you've stopped there's no advantage in going first.

A couple of years back I got a ticket for going through a stop after checking that there were no cars on the cross street. It still irritates me because it was totally safe. I figured the cop, who ironically was also originally from the UK, was making quota.

Aye. A rolling stop on a bicycle is more of a stop than 99.9% of "complete" stops by cars at the stop sign.
Bike commuter +30 years talking here as well. (unfortunately no commuting at -20F)

Hello TODers,

After the Katrina debacle [Heckuva job, Brownie!], I doubt if FEMA could successfully pull this off, but for your 'Wild & Crazy' consideration:

Imagine if all the unemployed across the US were given Peak Outreach training, then shipped to my Phx for the late fall, winter, and early spring, when the weather is nice. Our area pop. would rise roughly 25 million during this period. The overall goal is to turn a national negative force into a highly trained, rapid, national positive force.

Obviously, our water and sewage webs couldn't handle this volume, and we don't want repeat Zim-style cholera, so first the area residents would have to go to a minimal usage system before the arrival of the unemployed. But the key to success is the new arrivals NEVER USING this current network, but rapidly building/using a parallel infrastructure for full-on O-NPK recycling.

Lots of logistics for imported food would have to be considered, but shelter would not, as the weather is quite benign during this season; a tent & sleeping bag would do. So imagine portable 'Shuburbs' virtually everywhere and these millions of workers could very quickly rip up the asphalt, recycle McMansions, convert lawns & golf courses to gardens, build out AlanFBE's 'spine & limb' standard gauge and my 'ribcage' Spiderwebs, build solar plants, insulate houses, apply solar water heating for community cooking and laundry facilities, etc, but also add lots of O-NPK humanure to be safely composted, then used later. Sixty miles of hand-dug underground tunnels, ala Chicago 1899-style, would be a piece of cake, for example.

In total: very quickly Phx could be transformed to JHK's vision of what a postPeak city could be. Bringing the people down from the cold parts of the country would save countless cords of wood and heating fuels. Then, they move North during the summer, say to Seattle, for rapid Kunstlerization of this area. Next winter, another Southern town. Rinse & Repeat in a North/South seasonal migration pattern until personal cars are not required anymore for mobility or giant ICE-semis to more vital supplies.

This transformation method of specifically targeting one area for instant change then allows the huge amounts of energy saved to be sent elsewhere to speed the next city's change.

I got the idea from reading this link about Hoovervilles, and the Grand Coulee Dam in the Depression:


Obviously, we can't build-up anything anymore postPeak, but we certainly can build down for rapid efficiency gains. IMO, this is much better than throwing money at Wall Street.

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

This is a great idea!

In the country I live in now (Japan) there are a lot of empty buildings, very ugly, unnecessary, made of cement, more and more every year as the economy tanks and the population shrinks and ages. (For example Toyota reported it will cut its production here in half this year, leaving half of its facilities shut down). There are homeless camps of hundreds of newly unemployed people in the CITIES here (in parks)now. The govt gives them food and tents in some of the parks in Tokyo and Osaka etc and tries to help them find apartments and pay for these.

I have also thought about the stupidity of this situation: hundreds of worthless, rotting old buildings (there are many right near where I live and it is a depressing thing to see them!) with acres of unused parking lots breaking up with weeds......while people basically starve, just a few hours away by train.

Why not have the govt take these buildings (and the land??or maybe just the buildings) away from the owners (probably glad to get rid of the worthless structures) and have (pay) the unemployed work to demolish the buildings and take away the parking lots and turn the land back into something productive: a farmer's field!

After that there could be deals made about further use of the land, but no cement or parking lots allowed!

I hope President Obama gets to hear about your idea!

Jet Powered Concept Wheelchair

*0-300 mph in 4.2 seconds
*Run-flat high pressure tires
*Rear airfoil for added stability
*Wind sock included
*Curb feelers for easy parking
*Makes a great gift
*Chrome Molly frame withstands high g-force acceleration and deceleration
*EPA Economy: .0002 / .000012 mpg Highway/City

Why buy a whole car when all you need is the seat and the engine?

LOL! Thxs!

It wouldn't be a Great Depression II without some dustbowls...
Blowing dust causes wrecks, closes I-70 on Eastern Plains

...many passenger cars and semis were involved and caught fire... a massive fire is threatening the town of Karval, which is in the southern part of Lincoln County - the same county where the accident occurred...the fire is 15 miles long and five miles wide.

That's a pretty big fire.

1) the Asian supergrid
Will never happen due to lack of capital and rivalry between countries. With or without cost breakthroughs urban rooftop solar looks better than desert solar simply because of transmission and security issues.

2)CCS blackmail
The carbon cap scheme wasn't tough enough to help the Queensland ZeroGen project so now they want to be exempted from it. Huh? Next they'll want negative carbon taxes or cash rewards for emitters who are 'cool'.

It started around 1770 in britain, the industrial revolution, the disaster, forest cutting, coal mining, petrol and then gas. Why? To have power to rule the world. When the british were so severe and harsh to a part of their own country (ireland) which also share their religion, imagine how cruel they were for their asian colonies of india, china etc.

Christians understood they can't defeat muslims in the conventional wars. They did something big. Like using a nuclear bomb to end a world war they followed the path of destruction of planet. They used fossil fuels. Muslims never followed this path other than what we must to survive. We let the christians rules the planet for a few hundred years. We know their power is in fossil fuels which would not last for long. Once its gone we will be back on world stage.

Want proofs? Read some 19th century poetry of indian muslims. One particular poetry that I remember pointed out specifically "barq aur bhap" meaning "electricity and steam". Ask any ordinary arab why he is not fighting against israel, he would say we are waiting for the right time, when the empires of europe and usa start falling down on a massive scale. Arabs know they can't really stop the flow of their oil, the 1973 embargo had to be abandoned because of military threats of usa.

We muslims are simply not stone-hearted and greedy to burn the world for our desire of power. We not want to follow the christian path of industralization. You can find no muslim country which is industralized. We know the way to live on this planet is agrarian. We are preserving our environment, top soil, lakes and villages. Our strategy is far more wise, deep and long term than yours.

China had followed our policy for a long time but starting in 1980s it finally became blind by the shine of fools' gold. It has destroyed its environment for ever, its cities are mostly unlivable, its rivers red with chemicals. What will it do when it had to go back to farms?

Don't bet your house on success of alternatives. God will not let humans develop alternatives to remain powerful enough to destroy whatever wild life is left.

"God will not let humans develop alternatives to remain powerful enough to destroy whatever wild life is left".

Ah phooey....

I believe it started a lot sooner than 1770. The decline of the Muslim countries began in the 15th century. Portugal with its sailing vessels (a technology Europe learned from the Muslims) discovered they could sail down the coast of Africa, round the cape and on to Asia. This essentialy ended the highly lucrative monopoly the Muslim countries enjoyed in the overland Europe-Asia trade, precipitating their financial demise.

Then Spain discovered the Americas, and eventually also the Acapulco-Phillipines trade route. So Europe had two trade links to Asia.

The cruelty inflicted upon the Chinese paled in comparison to that inflicted upon the native peoples of the Americas. You must remember that no European country ever conquered or occupied China like it did the Americas.

It was Europe's rediscovery of the ancient classical transcripts (lost in Europe, but preserved by the Muslims and in Constaninople)that informed the Renaissance. And it was the ideas of the Renaissance that finally were to triumph in the 18th-century enlightenment, which you seem to want to disparage.

I'd have to do a little research to document this, but I think you will find that when the Muslims were the world's leading power in the 7th to 14th centuries, they were also capable of some highly egregious atrocities and unimaginable cruelties.

I remember seeing some rather thoughful comments by you on this board. This one, however, reeks of superciliousness and intemperance.

I'd have to do a little research to document this, but I think you will find that when the Muslims were the world's leading power in the 7th to 14th centuries, they were also capable of some highly egregious atrocities and unimaginable cruelties.

Do your research before making any claims pleaseeeeeeee.

What parallel can you find in muslim history compare to EVEN ONE of the following:

(1) Slave "trade" to americas.

(2) Second world war.

(3) Nuclear attacks.

(4) Green revolution.

(5) Wild life lost.

Hello WisdomfromPakistan,

I'm really intrigued by your veiwpoint. I don't find any fault with it. Being a US citizen, I can express my complete frustration with the actions of our government and banking elites. I'm not that knowledgeable about any religions. I had a brief stint in a catholic grade school, but I've never "practiced" any religion.

I became aware, recently, of some muslim teachings concerning "usury," Or high interest charges for loaned money. If you are knowledgable on the topic, could you please explain how laws against usury function, why they were implemented, and how banks in muslim countries are structured to comply. I'm fairly certain that the western, fractional reserve, central banking model would be a prime violator of these usury laws. Would this topic have much to do with the attacks on our WTC back in 2001. The WTC being a symbol of capitalism, which is based on debt to be repaid with interest?


Email me at: i_love_to_know(at the rate)yahoo.com. I will inshallah tell you about islamic laws about interest and islamic financial system. God had not kept us in dark. We have a complete system covering everything in islam.

It is evening here in the Western US so ... Good evening Wisdom from Pakistan.

The US population is presently only slightly growing except for legal and illegal immigration. I believe the Pakistan population is growing at a much higher rate. Though I haven't been there in a number of years, I would imagine you are starting to have problems feeding all of your people. Granted, the differences between Islam and Christianity are great but probably not so great as the differences between Islam and Christian states. Your take on Israel is interesting and I would suspect it is typical of Islamic people in the region. There are many more Jews in the US than there are in Israel so I imagine the religion will sustain even if the land of Israel is gone ... so what will have been accomplished with the change of ownership for a very few square miles of dirt? Will it make a real difference or is the whole thing some sort of Islamic macho chest thumping? At any rate, it is good to hear from you and try to understand different points of view.

First of all I made it clear many times that islam is not against jews, its against zeonists. You have to be clear that all jews are not zeonists. Infact for almost all of the time between Prophet Muhammed's establishment of first islamic state in medina 0 hijra about 623 A.D. since first zeonist conference in 1850 jews took refuge in muslim states from christian atrocities.

If I write a detailed post here about zeonists leanen who is the editor of tod would delete this entire thread like she had done once before when I wrote on this topic, even though there are many who want to listen and I got more than 20 responses.

You can contact me at my above stated email address.

"God will not let humans develop alternatives to remain powerful enough to destroy whatever wild life is left."

Rephrased: The laws of physics will not let the growth of an organism continue after the resource that it depends on has been depleted.

Phew, same statement sans the religion !

"Christians understood they can't defeat muslims in the conventional wars."

Ummm... tell that to the French (read: Napoleon) or the British in Egypt, in India (the Brits conquered often using other Indians). Those are just the examples that come to mind.

We muslims are simply not stone-hearted and greedy to burn the world for our desire of power.

Muslims are people like anyone else. Every population that is civilized (agrarian) is greedy. I would say only pre-agrarian societies aren't greedy.

We not want to follow the christian path of industralization.

Industrialization is not that simple. The Ottomon Empire was the most advanced in the world in the 1600's. With the best cannon forges and other such pre-industrial technology, I think that if the Ottomon Empire hadn't fell apart they (which controlled much of the Arab world) would have certainly been indrustrialized too.

Modern day Turkey is quite Industrialized (they even build on F-16's on license).

Nonetheless, you are correct about the damage industrialization has brought to the world. But humans were already damaging the world before such things (note the extinction of the European Lion in Roman times). Industrialization is just destroying the world faster, with more people.

People fighting over land, resources has everything to do with it. Religion just does exactly what you portray: us vs. them.

It's not that simple.

At the basic fundamental level everything is simple and straight forward. People make it hard and complicated to hide facts and emphasize their wrong logic.

Ummm... tell that to the French (read: Napoleon) or the British in Egypt, in India (the Brits conquered often using other Indians).

When british came to India in 1600 A.D. and even when they first fought with indians in 1757 A.D. muslims were just a tiny part of indian population. Even in 1947 when british depart india muslims were just 25% of the population of india. Today, we are almost 50%. Note that by india I mean indian subcontinent. Also note that muslim proportion in population of india increase with time (as is obvious with my comparison between 1940 and now). So if you extra polate it to past you can find that in 1757 A.D. muslims were just a tiny part of indian population, probably less than 10% and in 1600 A.D. even less than that. So don't take india as an example of a typical muslim country.

Napolean did conquered egypt in early 18th century and egypt was and is indeed a typical muslim country. What you are forgetting here is the difference in weapons of french and egyptians. Note that the egyptian part of napolean army that fought in europe later (after he conquered egypt and recruite troops from there) had significantly different weapons than the french troops. This is well documented in history books as well as paintings. My point is that those weapons' difference was due to industralization in europe. Get it?

the Brits conquered often using other Indians

Between 1757 A.D. and 1857 A.D., the 100 years time when british had to fight with muslims, the muslims were a tiny proportion of indian population (less than 10% I think). British did used indians against indians but what is more informative is the fact that british used non-muslims (especially marhatta faction of hindus and khalsa segment of sikhs) against muslims. Ofcourse british were also able to buy muslims against muslims (for example traitors like mir jafar, mir qasim, state of hyderabad deccan, lucknow etc).

The Ottomon Empire was the most advanced in the world in the 1600's. With the best cannon forges and other such pre-industrial technology, I think that if the Ottomon Empire hadn't fell apart they (which controlled much of the Arab world) would have certainly been indrustrialized too.

Don't blame us for what we didn't do.

Modern day Turkey is quite Industrialized (they even build on F-16's on license).

Compare turkish per capita carbon emissions and energy consumption with that of industralized europe or usa.

When the british were so severe and harsh to a part of their own country (ireland) which also share their religion, imagine how cruel they were for their asian colonies of india, china etc.

The Irish didn't act as if they shared the same religion. Although the difference between Catholicism and Protestanism is probably smaller than that between Sunni and Shia (branches of Islam for the unintiated), in Europe it was closely aligned with the struggle over which royal family ruled, and hence was quite persistant and violent.

Most of the traditional Christain world, excepting the United States, can be thought of as being postChristian. This transformation occured about the same time as colonialism lost favor. It may be more than a coincidence that the US is now the worlds major imperialst power (though it won't admit it to itself).

You (Islam) may well be able to think in terms of longer timespans. In the west long term planning is for a decade or two. But, at least our birth rates are under control, if not our avarice.

Every single day there are news on the Pakistani energy crisis.
I reckon Pakistan is the worst struck country in the world in this regard, having some size.

If you WisdomfromPakistan, write from within Pakistan, you should know better than all here on TOD.

We muslims are simply not stone-hearted and greedy to burn the world for our desire of power

What ?

Your, Pakistani MUSLIMS that is, desire for power, energy, fuel, kerosene .... and avoidance of 10-20 hours loadshedding is paramount. Riots, threaths, burnings, destruction, havok and more is the order of the day in YOUR MUSLIM LAND .... WisdomfromPakistan.And it all due to .... "muslims desire for power") Half of Karachi claim they cannot sleep during the night,without the fan swirling. How did these Muslims sleep before electricity came around ?

In light of your post, I shall not comment on how you muslims conduct the governing of your land ... Pakistan.

(This was not your smartest post. You have more wisdom than this, ... I know...)


Without getting into a debate with the fella from Pakistan I am instead posting this URL of some reality as regards the conflict in Afghanistan
and our American soldiers as well as Canadians.

This is not what you will see via the MSM. This is hard core reality.

We need to keep a perspective.
Note the hugh piles of 'hash'. Note who is destroying it.Note WHO is creating it. Not us. Note who we are fighting. Note who we are befriending.

Here is the site and I very much recommend it to all here.



Yes we protest against load shedding but only when its for too long (12+ hours per day for 30+ days) in too hot summer (our summers are very very hot, 40 to 55 degree celsius, 6 months a year). Don't forget that most of our electricity comes from dams, not from fossil fuels, and we know that load shedding is because of corruption in govt, not because of natural causes (read below). The part of electricity that comes from fossil fuels is by burning our own natural gas (we are self sufficient in natural gas) and from oil that saudis are giving us for free since sometime, one quarter of our oil that is 75,000 barrels per day comes from our own soil, half that is 150,000 barrels come from saudi arabia and other quarter that is 75,000 barrels comes from other countries like iran etc.

Don't forget that our per capita energy consumption is 100 times less than americans'. Our total oil consumption is 300,000 barrels per day, total electricity production capacity is 18 GW and our population is over 160 million. So, even though we are more than half in population than usa our oil consumption is 70 times less than usa. We don't use coal at all.

How many people in usa can even imagine a life like us with 12+ hours load shedding in cities and 18+ hours load shedding in villages as norm almost everyday of year (even in winters now since zardari came in power)? When its cold here we do not heat up the whole house, we just wear woollen hats, sweaters and socks. When its hot here we don't open air conditioners (infact only 2% of our population have air conditioners), we go take a bath or sleep under open sky outside hot rooms.

Our power consumption is just 200 watts per capita. Note that 100 watts power consumption per capita is our food, a 2000 calories per day diet. The other 100 watts comes from all of fossil fuels, dams etc together. In comparison, a typical usa's diet is 3500 calories per capita per day which alone is 175 watts. Total power consumption of usa is well over 10,000 watts.

In short, even without fossil fuels we can continue our way of living with minor adjustments. We are already used to of living without electricity for half and three-quarter of day, having one car in one family is a luxury, air conditioners and geysers are luxury and air travel is for most people just a dream.

Just a few points, Ireland was never a part of Britain, for Britain is a geographical location, but although Ireland was officially part of the United Kingdom (invaded based upon a papal bull Laudabiliter given to the English King by the only English Pope, Adrian IV, conquered after centuries of merciless war and merged in an act of union that was never put to the public, by one of the most corrupt votes to ever take place in any parliament) it was as much of a colony as was India or the rest of the sub continent (it was simply one of the first and one of the closest of the United Kingdom's (England's) colonies. And for the most part (since Henry VIII and the Tudors) Ireland has not shared the same religion with most of Britain, and up to the famine did not even (to a large extent share the same language, in fact the Irish language is a language of Asian origin not European).

in fact the Irish language is a language of Asian origin not European

Rubbish. Irish is a Celtic language, and Celtic is one branch of the Indo-European family. Arguably the Celts have been in Europe much longer than Germanic peoples. (And to those who really don't have a clue, English is a Germanic language.)

You are flat-out deluded if you think the Muslim world is closer to nature.

Environmental degradation is pervasive in the Muslim world, and was always so. Part of what kept industrialization from happening was greater willingness to continue relying on slaves, not paint-in-all-the-colors-of-the-wind sensibilities.

True enough - all I can say is I was horrified by the attitude to the environment of the locals when I lived in Riyadh and jeddah ... casual tipping of rubbish any which where being the most obvious.

Now this is a post that was written entirely on imagination and none on facts.

A comparison between christians' and muslims' carbon emissions and energy consumption on total average or country-to-country or region-to-region basis is enough to proof who is living closer to nature.

Try to read some history and do some research before you write something on tod please. Muslims kept slaves for services and domestic duties only. We muslims never used slaves as work horse. Slaves were kept only for house works like cooking, cleaning, laundry, child care and for sex and as a status symbol. We are not christians that buy slave for a 5 to 10 year usage in a sugar cane farm and don't regret when he/she die just because the price was recovered. I can give a thousand examples of how christians used slaves as money-machines and economic works (and all of my examples would be backed by history, not by fantasy). Lets see if you can give a single example of when muslims used slaves as work horses on any significant scale.

One challenge to all the statisticians and intelligentsia of tod, 90% death toll in all the wars in entire human history is in wars caused by christians.

They used fossil fuels. Muslims never followed this path other than what we must to survive.

Naphtha was used as an incendiary weapon by Muslims since ancient times.

the path of destruction of planet.

The extremely high birthrate in Muslims has lead to a lot of stress on the planet due to high population. Pakistan where you are from is an extremely good example.

We are preserving our environment, top soil, lakes and villages. Our strategy is far more wise, deep and long term than yours.

How fertile is the fertile crescent nowadays?

God will not let humans develop alternatives to remain powerful enough to destroy whatever wild life is left.

God stands back while we burn oil but will get stroppy when we develop renewables? Thanks God.

What you see here is a typical tendency of some people to view everything through the prism of a "revealed" religion.

He doesn't even see the obvious: "Christians" won because they gave up clinging to their religion and embraced science, reformation, rational thought and empiricism. "Muslims" lost because they insist on clinging to a medieval and backward ideology, irrational beliefs and superstitions. If you believe that the final word on everything was written 1400 years ago, and that everyone in this day and age must live according to the opinions and prejudices of a man who lived 1400 years ago, you are bound to end up poor and backward. The lack of industrialization in the Islamic world has nothing to do with respect for sanctity of nature.

Perhaps WisdomFromPakistan should gain some wisdom from Irfan Hussein, a Pakistani columnist who writes very well for the English language newspaper "Dawn" (http://www.dawn.com/weekly/mazdak/mazdak.htm):

As it is, there is not a single world-class university or research institute in the Muslim world. The reason for this is not hard to find. By refusing to accept and internalise the rational method of empirical research and analysis, we discourage and suppress scientific and objective scholarship.

In his important book Muslims and Science published nearly 20 years ago, Pervez Hoodbhoy made the point that the entire output of scientific papers written in the Muslim world every year did not equal those produced in Israel alone. This remains true two decades later.

I rest my case.

What is the point of a religion if you can change it on your own wish blaming a changing world. The true religion is fixed because human nature is fixed. Humans today have the same desires, strengths and weaknesses like humans 10,000 years ago. The true religion guide you in how to live your life, how to be moral, just and good to both fellow humans and non-human parts of world. The true religion is no barrier to technology, research and modernization as long as the moral rules are followed. For example its desirable in the true religion to increase food production through better use of nutrients and canals but it do not allow you to feed people shit in form of green revolution or genetically modified foods. It is desirable to do research in medicines and find cure for diseases but it is not desirable to base your medicines on unsustainable resources and use medicines that micro organisms can develop immunity against to come back in future with more harm. It is desirable to use iron to develop your society but its not desirable to be so much industralized that the environment and resources you are basing your society on can't sustain. Its desirable to cut forests when you have plenty to claim more land for farms but its not desirable to cut forests to the level of extinction of many species. Its desirable to hunt wild animals for food and fun but its not desirable to hunt so much that they start going extinct. Its desirable to hunt fish to use as human food but its not allowed to place your nets so deep that it destroy fish eggs and plants. Its totally not desirable to build nuclear weapons for any purpose because you simply can't plan and provide for 10,000+ years storage and safety of the waste fuels.

At some point you have to draw a line. Look at the era of 16th century A.D., its not hard to find that it was the golden age of humanity both in terms of living standard and sustainability. It was also, with no coincedence, peak of muslim empire too so far. World was no doubt a much much better place to live in 16th and 17th century than it is today. Only in the last quarter of 18th century when christian greed and naked desire of power at the expense of human lives, sustainability and environment changed the things for worse.

For a thousand years we ruled the world. We were the leaders in all technologies. We brought peace to this world. At the end of 18th century our decline started but it was not the first decline, we had declines in past too, for example when mongols invaded in 12th century A.D. etc but we rised in about 100 years. This time was different because christians were powered by fossil fuels in which we compete with them only enough to survive, not to dominate. Our way of thinking is that we must not build our power on unsustainable and environment-destruction things except the level we have to to survive. We muslims do use fossil fuels but you have to admit we are no significant users of it. We do have armies powered by fossil fuels but our armies are kept only at the level needed to survive. We tried to cut off the oil production in 1973 but couldn't because of military power of christians.

We are simply waiting for time when fossil fuels ends or drop significantly.

I'm sorry if I missed this but can anyone tell me why the yahoo crude oil graph is projecting March contracts and not February. The same is happening on BNN.

The actual Feb Contract expires tomorrow. They usually switch on the Thursday before, but for some reason kept with the contract to the final days.

I hope this isn't an ominous sign.

Gazprom cancels presentation at European gas meet: UN

(GENEVA) - Russian energy giant Gazprom has cancelled plans to outline the prospects for gas exports to Europe during a United Nations forum on Tuesday for major energy firms and governments, the UN said.

Stanislav Tsygankov, head of Gazprom's international business department, had been scheduled to give a special presentation in Geneva at the session of the UN Economic Commission for Europe's Working Party on Gas.

But UNECE spokeswoman Charlotte Griffiths said Tsygankov had pulled out of the meeting and was flying back to Moscow due to "unforeseen circumstances."

At least breaking news on BBC right now is that Russia says it has just physically resumed supplies. Not a moment to soon if it holds...

What happened to Dave Cohen's side bar listing as "emeritus"? Was the honor revoked?

I don't think it was ever meant to be forever. Just as a kind of transitional thing, for people who might wonder what happened to them. Yankee was removed as well (and Stuart added).

So what is it? global warming? or the next ice age?
I am now hearing we are globally headed towards another ice age (which i recall hearing in the 70's, and in the other ear i hear we are headed for global warming. could have fooled me about global warming, as i am running the heat. Where is Al Gore? have we been in a global warming over the past decades? which has led us to global cooling?

I know, this an oil and gas place, but i figured someone might know something about the confusion of whether we are in a warming phase or cooling phase. yes, i know it's winter, it's suppose to be cold. but besides that fact, i am reading data supporting both sides. there are web sites supporting both sides.

can anyone shed some light on this?



You'll soon be inundated with multiple references. In analyzing all the studies I'll offer one bit of advice: keep in context the time frames. Opinions vary, of course, but therer is evidence we are in a LONG TERM global cooling pattern. Perhaps even a new ice age. But this pattern could be many thousands of years in the making. Global warming, as commonly spoken, isn't necessarily in conflict with a long tem global cooling. Thus you may see convincing evidence for both theories. Don't let such apple to oranges debates confuse you. Warm spikes with in a global cooling cycle are not unprecedented.

Riiiight. C'mon, Rockman. Are you really a denialist?

This fairly recent speech is an excellent overview.



Here's how I understand it:

Short term (5-10 years) = cooling

Medium term (15-100 years) = warming

Long term (500 - 50,000 years) = ????? but more likely warming

Very Long Term (hundreds of millions of years) Warming big time.

can anyone shed some light on this?

The answer is yes, and if you read this, the person who can is sitting directly in front of your keyboard :-).

I could offer you my opinions but I won't. Many others might. The best thing is to look at the data and the arguments and decide for yourself. If you are time constrained, consider that the IPCC has concluded that ACC is real.

As a personal favor, please don't use the phrase Global Warming because it obfuscates the phenomena. Climate Change better describes the dynamics. For the last two weeks I was freezing my butt off in -25, yesterday it was 59. On average, the climate is stable.

Some people ignore any credible published data and just rant. Others take outlying data and present them as proof positive. Some just play with time frame.

No offense, but if you want to be told, just pick one. If you want to learn, apply critical thinking. You still may not be right, but it will be a heck of a lot more fun.

As my old proff said:

"All cows walk in single file, at least the one I knew did."


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His/Her question does not appear to be an honest one. Geewiz, have you honestly missed all the posts on this topic? See the link to Hansen's interview upthread.


CCPO has been a member for 1 yr and 6 weeks.

His bio/backgound is unknown. Its blank.

WTF does it prove? Quit stabbing people. You let up for a bit but are right back at it again.

Where are you hiding the Keys to the Kingdom ohhh wise one?

Airdale-you succeed in puttting me in a pissy mode. Thanks AH.

We all have our nits. Mine is dishonesty about climate change. I didn't find the post credible.


short answer.
Look at the glaciers of Himalaya, they melt at a record pace.Ask yourself what will happen when the major rivers fed from that ice dry up seasonally ... ? Those rivers serve China, Indo-china and the Sub-Continent/India. Population living from that water : at least 2 billion.

Yeah and who caused global warming? Aren't we just in being bitter to christians for doing this genocide. Don't forget almost half of world population live in china and sub-continent. Where will the greed of christians end?

What is the christian reply to this? Perhaps this:

"Hey, why worry when jesus died for our sins"

Hey WFP, I'm on your side here. And please don't mixup christianity with industrialization....

You can just look over the Gulf-pond from Pakistan to your musllim cousins over in The Emirates or maybe you should have a peek at the Pakistain plans at Gwadar , which BTW due to externalities will never happen.You know why !

My criticism of your upthread post was spesific to a certain idea of yours, that held MUSLIMS to a much higher standard than Christians. (Im not religious so ...) Which with all due respect is rubbish. Ask yourself .... if "Pakistan was Saudi Arabia" ... which BTW uses the same amount of oil as the Americans per capita. Would YOU Wisdom possibly be part of such a comunity ?

Get over it, yes you would(!), because we are part of what we are part of.... Hard to avoid I can argue. :-) smile

Makenzie pipeline will be backed by the Canadian Government.

Mr. Theal said the unconventional shale gas plays – though large in volumes – have a short life span and “could run their course by the time this [Mackenzie] gas is up and running which I think is kind of 2016,” Mr. Theal said.

“So this will effectively backfill behind the declines of this major shale gas push.”

Old T. Boone might have to come up with a new plan.

For those interested enough in the subject matter to dig into notal’s link the situation highlight’s two of the major problems with adjusting to PO or PNG. The first, pipeline economics, is about as old as the oil patch itself. Pipeline investors face two risk. First: is there enough NG volume to eventually flow through the PL to allow a sufficient amount of revenue from the transport fees to generate an acceptable return on the investment. The second risk is indirect: will future NG prices be high enough to encourage continued development of NG in the area served by the PL and thus quarantee future revenue. The pipeliners generally employ their own technical staff for this evaluation. The operators might estimate a certain amount of future NG potential but the PL investors aren’t going to take their word for it. OTOH, the drilling operators aren’t going to drill too many wells without the certainty of the PL being built and allowing their revenue stream to begin. When one is looking at such a large play and huge PL costs as the McK delta, this problem can be almost insurmountable. Both sides look for someone to help cover their bets. In this case, they are looking for the Canadian gov’t to mitigate the risk sufficiently to allow progress.

The second big picture aspect is the battle between short term economic limitations and long term necessities. At some point in time North America will be desperate for McK NG. Might be 5 years…might be 20 years. But it’s almost certain the demand will spike years before the PL could be laid under the most accelerated efforts. Short term investment mentality will not allow long term needs to be met. The quick rise and fall of oil prices during 2008 only fortified such attitudes. I won’t offer a methodology for gov’t intervention to mitigate this problem but, IMO, we’ll continue to see periods of desperate needs which are unable to be satisfied quickly followed by periods of reduced demand which doesn’t justify the required investments to prevent future supply deficits. This is also the same situation the alternative energy solutions battle as well as most potential efforts to confront PO.

And that brings us full circle to what seems to have become a new hallmark of PO: significant volatility with which conventional investment strategies cannot cope. I cannot see private capital every overcoming this roadblock without gov't intervention.