DrumBeat: February 11, 2009

Commentary: Redefining “peak oil” for the USA

The next steps involve determining how much of this world net production might be available to the US. (Again, Aussies, Chinese, and others would ask the same questions about their situations.) The US will produce about 5 million barrels of oil per day this year, the lowest level since 1948, and only a quarter of what we want. We have to get the balance from the global export pool. Jeffrey Brown has shown, with his extensive analysis of net exports, that when producing nations try to satisfy their own demand first, export levels drop faster than overall production. Since the rate of oil usage is growing faster in the OPEC countries and Russia than in other parts of the world, the outlook for the export pool is not good.

The “export pool” is not a simple concept, either. The top five sources Americans rely on for oil imports include only one of the top five global exporters. Canada’s growth in production is based on the tar sands, where production costs for new projects far exceed current oil prices. Mexico’s production is in sharp decline, and some forecast that the 1.4 million bpd it exports could fall to zero within a few years. Venezuela and Nigeria are both facing major domestic challenges that question their reliability as sources. Saudi Arabia has some excess capacity. However, where are we going to get the oil to replace what we import from Mexico and Venezuela, as well as to supplement our continuing declining production?

Russia, Norway, the UAE, and Iran all have existing relationships and infrastructures sending their oil to Europe, China, Japan, and other destinations. Brazil and West Africa have potential to increase their production, but Brazil has indicated that it may want to keep much of its oil for domestic use.

MMS: Gulf of Mexico energy production should be fully restored by late March

Oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico should be fully restored after last year's hurricanes by late March, the Minerals Management Service said this afternoon. . .

More than 9 percent of all Gulf of Mexico oil production still remains shut down in the aftermath of the storms. Roughly 13 percent of the Gulf's gas production also remains shuttered, the MMS said.

Wind Turbines in Europe Do Nothing for Emissions-Reduction Goals

Even more surprising, the European Union's own climate change policies, touted as the most progressive in the world, are to blame. The EU-wide emissions trading system determines the total amount of CO2 that can be emitted by power companies and industries. And this amount doesn't change -- no matter how many wind turbines are erected. . .

In the worst case scenario, sustainable energy plants might even have a detrimental effect on the climate. As more wind turbines go online, coal plants will be able to reduce their output. This in itself is desirable -- but the problem is that the total number of available CO2 emission certificates remains the same. In other words, there will suddenly be more certificates per kilowatt of coal energy. That means the price per ton of CO2 emitted will fall.

That is exactly what happened in recent trading. A certificate to emit a ton of CO2 cost almost nothing. As a result, there was very little incentive for big energy companies to invest in climate friendly technologies.

On the contrary. Germany was able to sell unused certificates across Europe -- to coal companies in countries like Poland or Slovakia, for example. Thanks to Germany's wind turbines, these companies were then able to emit more greenhouse gases than originally planned. Given the often lower efficiency of Eastern European power plants, this is anything but environmentally beneficial.

The Geopolitics of Food Scarcity (Lester Brown)

In some countries social order has already begun to break down in the face of soaring food prices and spreading hunger. Could the worldwide food crisis portend the collapse of global civilization?

One of the toughest things for us to do is to anticipate discontinuity. Whether on a personal level or on a global economic level, we typically project the future by extrapolating from the past. Most of the time this works well, but occasionally we experience a discontinuity that we failed to anticipate. The collapse of civilization is such a case. It is no surprise that many past civilizations failed to grasp the forces and recognize signs that heralded their undoing. More than once it was shrinking food supplies that brought about their downfall.

Does our civilization face a similar fate? Until recently it did not seem possible, but our failure to deal with the environmental trends that are undermining the world food economy -- most importantly falling water tables, eroding soils, and rising temperatures -- forces the conclusion that such a collapse is possible.

Catastrophic Fall in 2009 Global Food Production (Hyped title but a lot of interesting research)

After reading about the droughts in two major agricultural countries, China and Argentina, I decided to research the extent other food producing nations were also experiencing droughts. This project ended up taking a lot longer than I thought. 2009 looks to be a humanitarian disaster around much of the world.

China’s Net Crude Imports Decline to Lowest in a Year (Update1)

China’s net crude-oil imports declined to the lowest level in more than a year as a slowdown in the world’s third-largest economy cut demand.

Net imports dropped by 10 percent to 12.37 million metric tons in January, about 2.9 million barrels a day, the lowest since December 2007, according to calculations based on data posted on the Web site of the Beijing-based Customs General Administration of China. . .

Crude-oil imports dropped by 8 percent to 12.82 million tons from a year earlier while overseas shipments of the fuel more than doubled, rising 156 percent to 450,000 tons, the customs said today.

China, the world’s second-biggest oil consumer, may face an energy oversupply within the next two years as the global recession slows the country’s economy, Wang Siqiang, a deputy director at the National Energy Administration, said on Dec. 12.

Rio Tinto, Chinalco clinch $19.5 billion deal: report

LONDON (Reuters) - Rio Tinto Ltd/Plc (RIO.L) (RIO.AX) has agreed to a $19.5 billion cash injection from Chinese state-owned Chinalco under a deal to be unveiled on Thursday, the Financial Times said on its website.

Such an agreement had been widely expected after Rio's chairman-designate Jim Leng quit the mining group two days ago because of objections to a tie-up with the state-run Chinese aluminum maker, which is Rio's top shareholder.

A spokesman for Rio in London declined to comment on the report when contacted by Reuters.

Under the terms of the deal, Chinalco will increase its stake in Rio to 18 percent from 9 percent. It will buy $7.2 billion in convertible bonds that will convert into Rio shares at a later date, the FT reported, without saying how it had obtained the information.

OPEC crude output falls to 29 million b/d in January: IEA

OPEC's crude production fell to 29.03 million b/d in January, down 950,000 b/d from 29.98 million b/d in December, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday.

Excluding Iraq, the 11 OPEC members bound by the group's crude production targets pumped some 1.81 million b/d above their combined target for the month of 24.85 million b/d, the IEA said.

By far the biggest single fall in output came from the group's biggest producer, Saudi Arabia, which cut supply to 8.1 million b/d from 8.4 million b/d in December, the IEA said.

At a meeting in December, the OPEC-11 agreed a new collective target of 24.8 million b/d to come into effect from the start of this year.

Anadarko lays out spending plans

US independent Anadarko Petroleum today announced said it would cut its 2009 capital spending to between $4 billion and $4.5 billion, but would increase oil and gas output from 2008.

Total 2009 sales volume is projected to be between 208 million and 212 million barrels of oil equivalent, up from the 206 million boe the company produced in 2008.

Canada goes into minus after 33 years

Canada posted its first trade deficit in almost 33 years in December on plunging exports and weakness in the crucial US market, prompting analysts to predict the days of regular multibillion dollar surpluses were over for the time being. . .

The figures demonstrate just how seriously the global crisis is hurting Canada, a leading commodity producer which relies very heavily on trade with the US.

They also reflect the impact of lower energy prices.

Sandstorm halts Kuwait oil exports

State-owned Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) has temporarily halted oil exports because of a sandstorm that has been sweeping the desert country.

KNPC spokesman Ahmed al-Mezaiel told the Associated Press this morning that no tankers have been loaded since last night. He added that operations at ports are expected to resume Thursday morning after the storm clears. . .

Opec member Kuwait pumps about 2.4 million barrels per day.

The US Utility-scale Solar Picture

While the pace of installations of distributed solar systems for homes and businesses has steadily risen over the past few years, utilities have mostly stayed out of the picture. However that appears to be changing now as more and more utilities are looking at solar energy as major contributor to their current and future renewable energy portfolios. . .

"2008 was a foundational step for utility-scale project announcements," said Julia Hamm, executive director of the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), whose aim is to help the solar industry work with the utility sector.

"SEPA is aware of contracts totaling over 1500 MW of PV and 4000 MW of concentrating solar thermal. However, very few are digging dirt or hoisting onto roofs yet and there is a high level of uncertainty for some projects," said Hamm.

Central Asia's Great Water Game

Tajik officials blame Uzbekistan for their energy crisis, saying the neighboring country impeded the supply of imported Turkmen electricity that travels long power lines that run across Uzbek territory.

Seeking to take advantage of ample water supplies and mountainous terrain, Tajikistan hopes to complete construction of its Roghun hydropower plant and become an electricity exporter. . .

It is unlikely that Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan will resolve their water issues in Moscow this week.

Cedar Rapids Still Reeling From Last Year's Flood

Economic Slump Has Exacerbated Struggle to Rebuild Wrecked Neighborhoods and Deliver Aid to Homeowners

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Eight months after being hit by a flood expected to come along less than once every 500 years, this city of 120,000 is still struggling to get its head above water.

About 10 square miles of flood-wrecked neighborhoods are largely abandoned, with thousands of boarded-up houses and businesses lining debris-dotted streets. A steam and electricity generating station that served some of the city's biggest employers is still inoperable. More than 300 municipal buildings are in need of repair, along with roads and bridges.

EPA reconsiders Bush rule on air pollution permits

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is delaying a rule issued in the final days of President George W. Bush's presidency that would have let some industrial facilities avoid having to install pollution controls when they expand.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that the rule would be delayed 90 days so it could be re-evaluated.

Environmentalists had complained that the rule would have let power plants, factories and other industrial facilities increase emissions that cause soot and smog.

Venture Confirms Cygnus as Major Undeveloped Gas Field in North Sea

Venture has successfully tested well 44/12a-3 to appraise the Cygnus gas field. Venture has a 48.75% interest in the field. The Cygnus field lies within UKCS blocks 44/12a and 44/11a near to the Caister Murdoch System (CMS) area in the southern North Sea (SNS) and is operated by GDF Suez.

The appraisal well was drilled by the Noble Ronald Hoope jackup drilling rig and had three primary objectives: to prove the presence of the Leman reservoir in the eastern part of the field, to assessreservoir quality and fluid content of the primary Leman reservoir and to test the deeper Carboniferous reservoir as a secondary target. The well tested the Carboniferous reservoir at equipment constrained flow rates of 32 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscfpd) gross. A well test was also performed on the Leman reservoir which flowed at low rates in line with pre-drill expectations.

The well has successfully confirmed the presence of gas in both the primary Leman and secondary Carboniferous reservoir intervals, and encountered a gas water contact consistent with Fault Block 1 thereby confirming pre-drill estimates of gas in place volumes. The quality of the Leman reservoir was as per pre-drill expectations while the Carboniferous reservoir interval substantially exceeded expectations.

The likely gross incremental reserves in the Carboniferous section of this fault block are expected to be in excess of 100 billion cubic feet (Bcf) (16.6 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe)). A further appraisal well to test another fault block in the north eastern part of the field is due to be drilled immediately following completion of this well.

Energy Fuel Policy and Supply Summit: Renewable Fuels and the Future of the Hydrocarbon Barrel April 5-7; Washington DC

Agenda found here.

Economist: Washington, Not Wall St., to Blame for Energy Chaos

Breckenridge, Colo. -- Don't blame speculators for the huge run-up and then precipitous collapse in crude oil prices of the last eight months. Instead, it was federal policy-makers passing ill-thought-out environmental regulation that caused the super-spike and are likely to make the current recession even worse, said economist Phil Verleger presenting at SIGMA's executive leadership conference here today.

Regulations limiting sulfur in diesel and mandating biofuels did more to run up crude oil prices to a June 2008 high of $147/bbl than did speculators, Verleger said. Last spring and summer, record-breaking open interest on the NYMEX at times exceeded the world's crude capacity. But Verleger lays the blame for chaos in the energy markets on ethanol and ultra-low-sulfur diesel regulations.

Those same regulations are likely to deepen the recession and make refining margins miserable for years to come, perhaps forcing more independent refiners to declare bankruptcy, he said. . .

Because of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), which mandates certain percentages of biofuels be blended into the motor gasoline pool, gasoline production now at 8.5 million b/d could drop to 6.5-7 million b/d by 2014 and go lower, Verleger said. "Refiners are going to be losing money and two to three may face extinction, particularly those independent refiners who arose from the mergers of the late 1990s," he said.

BP boss calls for cooperation

Tony Hayward said there is a need for genuine cooperation between oil companies and governments at the CERA Week conference in Houston today.

“If we want more investment, then businesses and governments must act together. We need fiscal, regulatory and climate change regimes that are stable and enduring,” he said. . .

“The key is to frame regulation so the incentives encourage the outcomes we all want,” he said.

Salazar to revamp US offshore plan

US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said today his department will revisit a proposal to open up the outer continental shelf, essentially scrapping an eleventh-hour plan put forth by the Bush administration.

Instead, Interior will take four-stage approach to compiling a new plan for the OCS, Salazar told reporters during a press conference in Washington today.

That process will include an extended public comment period, a comprehensive assessment of the resources offshore, a series of four public meetings and development of an offshore plan for renewable resources.

The new process is needed to combat “a headlong rush of the worst kind,” as he characterised the process that resulted in the Bush rule, which was implemented on the administration’s last day.

Denali group awards key contract

The company seeking to build a massive natural gas pipeline on behalf of two of the main North Slope oil producers announced today that it has awarded a key contract for design of the project.

Denali-The Alaska Gas Pipeline, a company formed by UK supermajor BP and US supermajor ConocoPhillips has signed on with Fluor WorleyParsons Arctic Solutions to design and evaluate the North Slope treatment plant that would be needed to process natural gas being fed into the planned natural gas pipeline.

Shtokman decision a year off

Russian state-run Gazprom said it expected to decide with its partners in the Shtokman gas project, France's Total and Norway's StatoilHydro whether to proceed with the project early next year.

Petrobras, Mitsubishi team on ship

Japan’s Mitsubishi and Brazilian state-run Petrobras will build an $830 million ship to drill in deep seas for crude oil and natural gas.

The vessel would be capable of drilling in ocean depths of 3000 metres (9843 feet), Mitsubishi said in a statement on its Web site.

A South Korean shipbuilder has been chosen to build the vessel, a Mitsubishi spokesman said, declining to name it.

Brazil Ethanol Use Should Rise 30% In February On Year

SAO PAULO (Dow Jones)--Brazilians should consume around 1.7 billion liters of ethanol from Brazil's main center-south sugarcane region in February, up 30% from a year ago, said the Sao Paulo Sugarcane Industries Association, or Unica, late Tuesday.

"This (year-on-year) increase in February will be due to the growing fleet of flex-fuel vehicles," Antonio de Padua Rodrigues, crop specialist at Unica, told Dow Jones Newswires. . .

Ethanol exports from the center-south region are likely to dip around 1 billion liters this year from 4.2 billion liters in 2008, he said.

Oil crosses over into the ethanol business

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — If federal renewable fuel mandates require ethanol to be mixed into gasoline, the nation's largest independent oil refiner figures it might as well just do it itself.

The ethanol industry is under duress partly due to overcapacity and biorefineries can now be had for pennies on the dollar.

Valero Energy Corp. became the first conventional energy company to test the waters last week, bidding $280 million for five ethanol plants owned by VeraSun Energy Corp., which is now under bankruptcy protection.

It would be the largest ethanol buyout in U.S. history in terms of production capacity, according to Raymond James & Associates.

New study praises corn as source for ethanol

The University of Nebraska research reveals that the latest crop of efficient corn-ethanol refineries has helped cut greenhouse gas emissions to half that of gasoline and the industry now is producing up to 1.8 units of energy through ethanol for every unit of energy used to produce it. That's quite a leap in efficiency for an industry that early on had efficiency ratios that barely exceeded 1 to 1.

Energy execs: More fuel-efficient cars should be first priority

To cut dependence on oil and pollution, the first thing to do isn’t to invest in fancy biofuels or subsidize nifty electric cars, according to oil industry officials.

Tony Hayward, chief executive of BP PLC, said Tuesday the first step is to improve the efficiency of the plain, old gasoline car. After that, people should invest in biofuels, and only then should people focus on developing electric vehicles.

“I have to say, I think — and I probably won't be popular here — I’m quite aligned, I think, with the auto industry, that there’s a right sequence to do this," Hayward said following a presentation at the Cambridge Energy Research Associates conference.

Study delivers blow to urban microwind turbines

But the Encraft study, which came out last month, found that many of the turbines didn't meet manufacturers claims for power generation. Some turbines needed to go offline at times because of technical problems or complaints over noise.

"The gap between average performance (or expectation) and reality is much larger than people could reasonably expect," Encraft managing director Matthew Rhodes said in a summary.

The survey doesn't conclude that small wind turbines, in general, are uneconomical or unsuitable for the U.K. Instead, the data points to the need for accurate wind measurements before installing microturbines, particularly in cities.

With various miraculous government programs being discussed, I am frequently of this passage from Part Three of "Atlas Shrugged," by Ayn Rand:

“We have discarded all of our petty differences,” Wesley Mouch was now saying into the microphone, “all partisan opinions, all personal interests and selfish views—in order to serve under the selfless leadership of John Galt!”

. . . “The John Galt Plan,” Wesley Mouch was saying, “will reconcile all conflicts. It will protect the property of the rich and give a greater share to the poor. It will cut down the burden of your taxes and provide you with more government benefits. It will lower prices and raise wages. It will give more freedom to individuals and strengthen the bonds of collective obligations. It will combine the efficiency of free enterprise with the generosity of a planned economy.”

"We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality."
--Ayn Rand

One of the ironies about using Ayn Rand quotes is that she was an energy cornucopian, but a realistic plan would be one outlined by Alan Drake, and if accurately presented, they would say that the plan, if implemented, "Would probably make things not as bad as they would otherwise have been."

Instead, we have stuff like this: A few days ago, one of the editorial writers at the Dallas Morning News suggested that every dime of the stimulus plan should be spent on, drumroll please, "Roads and Bridges."

Chris Hedges gave a wonderful talk at Bowdoin College last night, addressing the inability of society to cope with its unravelling. "Times of greatest distress are often times of greatest dillusion," he said. And in the Q&A with the students, he spoke at length about how one cannot build a respectable ethic without an honest assessment of the context. About how any honest assessment is deliberately locked out of our political and media discussions. That's not only a recipe for fascism, but de facto totalitarianism.

cfm in Gray, ME

Chris Hedges superb recent article and brief interview with Sheldon Wolin are available here at Alternet:


Sheldon Wolin's prophetic 2003 article "Inverted Totalitarianism" in The Nation is still available here:


Our denial of reality is shared by NeoCons, the Moderate Middle, and most on what is considered to be the Liberal Left in the USA.

Our political discussion indeed excludes the most salient information and analysis.

We could not be preparing for a more disastrous future if we were doing so intentionally. Even if we were launched into an all-out war today, it would be better than our current practice, which is a matter of fattening the sheep for an even greater slaughter in the future at the expense of destroying other species at record rates.

Of course once the competition for scarce resources gets worse as climate chaos and geopolitical volatility increase we will see Die Off and Kill Off like never before.

All of this will be interpreted through fantasy meta-narratives brought to you by Faux News, PBS, and whatever mutations of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or other religions people choose to glom onto.

The Superbowl of Apocalypse will be televised and interpreted by colorful con-artist commentators -- for awhile.

Cheaper Fuel Cells


Researchers have shown that arrays of vertically grown carbon nanotubes could be used as the catalyst in fuel cells. The carbon nanotubes, which are doped with nitrogen, would be much cheaper and longer lasting than the expensive platinum catalysts used now.

"Technology marches on"

Good point about technology. You can see the effect of improved technology in the North Sea, which peaked in 1999, versus Texas, which peaked in 1972:


Cool, I love playing the cherry picking game, let's have a look at ND oil production based on technological increases:


Again, good point. Based on the most recent USGS estimate, the Bakken Play may increase Lower 48 URR by about 2% to 3%. In 1956, Hubbert demonstrated that a 33% increase in projected Lower 48 URR only postponed the peak by about five years, but if you prefer to believe that we have an infinite rate of increase in our consumption of a finite fossil fuel resource base, dream on--while you still can.

Who said anythign about Infitite rate of increase in fossil fuels. Increases in nuclear, wind, and solar, along with advances in battery technology/fuel cells for portability purposesw ill do just fine.

Hi Corny,

It appears that the chart you linked reflects the combined daily rate from all wells in the Bakken, which is impacted greatly by the number of such wells. Thus, the increased daily production due to the larger number of wells. The experience I have seen depicted using the multiple fracs with sophisticated fluids in horizontal wells would lead me to think that the rate of decline for each of these wells would be greater, such that we can maintain what the chart reflects if we keep drilling more and more wells, until, of course, we run out of the prime acreage, and then we will see the faster peak. It even appears that the faster peak is apparent in the last part of the chart.

This would be consistent with the experiences in Cantarell, the North Sea, and the Barnett Shale. I have not seen the rates cited for the first two, but the rates for the Barnett Shale have been cited as 67% and 80% in recent articles, such rates being the % of URR (on a per well basis) recover in the first 12 months of operation.

Yes, cherry picking can be fun, and misleading.

A good point woody. IMO in the next 6 months or so you'll see that sudden reversal in US NG rates which you're predicting eventually for the Bakken. And it has nothing to do with running out of "prime acreage". There are 10's of thousand of viable shale gas locations left...but only when the credit market and NG prices recover. Until then the unconventional NG plays are in the process of cooling off faster then anyone could have imagined even 4 months ago.

A little unasked for advice: your point about the Barnett is appropriate but don't throw Ctarell and the N Sea into the mix: different animals with different implications.

Just as soon as technology finds a substitute for water we will be all set.


...in the heart of the North China Plain, the average level of the deep aquifer was dropping nearly 3 meters (10 feet) per year.
...in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas—three leading grain-producing states—the underground water table has dropped by more than 30 meters (100 feet).
...“half of India’s traditional hand-dug wells and millions of shallower tube wells have already dried up, bringing a spate of suicides among those who rely on them.”

And on, and on and on it goes. Those who do not believe we are deep, deep into overshoot are living in a dream world.

Ron Patterson

We need a substitute for phosphorus too. Shouldn't be any problem since economic theory informs us that when the price of any commodity becomes too high, a substitute will be found.

I posted a reply on yesterday's Drumbeat re: Darwin & the inheritance of acquired traits, in case you didn't see it.

a substitute will be found.

Falling populations has always been the substitution for a Liebig's minimum the whole time life has been on Earth ... and no reason to expect any different this time IMO.

One reason to expect different is because humanity operates somewhat differently than any other species that has ever been on Earth.

Every species operates differently than any other species that has ever been on Earth. Humans have some unique attributes but so does every other species. I'm willing to give the devil (Homo) his due: opposable thumb, relatively large cerebral cortex, symbolic speech, & all that. But such attributes impress me far less than does the ability of the microchiropterans to echolocate, say, or that of elapid snakes to secrete neurotoxic venom & envenomate prey & enemies. The tendency to aggrandize the attributes of one's own species over that of other species strikes me as nothing more than species chauvinism.

(Happy Almost-Darwin's B-Day, BTW)

Speaking of Symbolic communications and being non-plussed about it, can I point out that you have a tendency to use terminology in your writing that may be fine for specialists in your field, but they don't let people from most other walks of life in on what you're talking about?

This is a good place to have interdisciplinary discussions, but it really helps to use language that includes as many people as possible. You are clearly well read and experienced, and that is valuable.. but it can seem more condescending instead of informative if you regularly just use the scientific names when a common one is available.


Seriously? Echolocation? Venom? Meaningless compared to artificial nerve agents and radar. Homo sapiens is either great or terrible depending on your perspective, but certainly not inconsequential.

You know what's "great" & "terrible" don't you? The bacteria. Are you kidding?!?! Homo is indeed inconsequential compared to Them.

Bacteria had its day before the cambrian explosion. It fits its niche, where nothing else can live, whereas humanity so far is responsible for a whole new geologic epoch, and its not obvious that the legacy of humanity ends there.

"Bacteria had its day"....

Well in terms of biomass bacteria are still having their day. They are also still having their day in terms of having a higher degree of penetration in environmental niches than humans. In addition as a generalist with a much greater degree of heterogeneity in mode of living they are almost guaranteed to perpetuate in the future more effectively under environmental stress as they have fewer systemic dependencies than man.

Man will be the man until he's not. Over estimating his importance or adaptability won't impact that one bit.

You are merely a host for bacteria, whose own cells in your body outnumber yours by 10 to 1.

One reason to expect different is because humanity operates somewhat differently than any other species that has ever been on Earth.

I actually don't see much evidence for that ... just like every other species on the planet we live up to our food supply and do not adequately deliberately control population (or even mention such a thing!) ... one hundred years ago population increased by ~1,000,000,000 every 40 years or so, now it is every 10 years or so, if this continues much longer it will be every 5 years or so ... we are already in a massive unsustainable exponential overshoot ... nature will take care of it if we don't.

Shouldn't be any problem since economic theory informs us that when the price of any commodity becomes too high, a substitute will be found.

No, No No! We won't need any substitutes because we can actually make all the chemical elements we need from the other elements.

Chief amongst these optimists was the late Dr Julian Simon, formerly professor of economics and business administration at the University of Illinois, and later at the University of Maryland. With regard to copper, Simon has written that we will never run out of copper because “copper can be made from other metals.” The letters to the editor jumped all over him, told him about chemistry. He just brushed it off: “Don’t worry,” he said, “if it’s ever important, we can make copper out of other metals.”

Excerpted from Dr Albert Bartlett's lecture on Arithmetic, Population and Energy


Why worry?

"We'll just use that can-opener I used to teach my students about.. it's in one of my books somewhere."

...suicides... somehow this word keeps on lingering in my mind.
Is this the natural reaction of a human being in distress? Or the rational action to eliminate yourself to enhance the survivalpossibilities of those left behind, to deal with overpopulation. Noble but strange ...

The suicides in rural India have been "in the news" for several years now. It's not just the loss of water that is the issue, though clearly it is a contributor. Most of the suicides (sometimes entire families) are tied to the loss of the land / farm. This is the gift of the "green revolution" as India integrates into the global system.

It is not a response to collapse, it is a response to globalization.

It seems like globalization and the green revolution are very closely tied together.

If we don't have enough oil and gas, they will both recede.

I suspect you are correct on that assessment. The only question is how long "we" continue to attempt to resuscitate the corpse.

And, mostly, to Life Insurance.

They got "A Piece of the Rock."

Cruising the Murray River in Australia
The Murray is Australia’s largest river, and the world’s fifth largest. Or, the fourth largest, if you consider the tributary Darling River as part of the ...

Was the fifth largest:

It died last October.

A) The Murray River stopped flowing at its terminal point, and its mouth has closed up.
B) Australia's lower lakes are evaporating, and they are now a meter (3.2 feet) below sea level. If these lakes evaporate any further, the soil and the mud system below the water is going to be exposed to the air. The mud will then acidify, releasing sulfuric acid and a whole range of heavy metals. After this occurs, those lower lake systems will essentially become a toxic swamp which will never be able to be recovered. The Australian government's only options to prevent this are to allow salt water in, creating a dead sea, or to pray for rain.

For some reason, the debate over climate change is essentially over in Australia."


The Murray is Australia’s largest river, and the world’s fifth largest.

Huh? The Amazon flows more water into the ocean than the next ten largest rivers combined, of which the Murray isn't one of them - not even close. The mean annual flow of the Murray doesn't even equal one day's average flow of the Amazon.

The Murray Darling is the 16th largest in the world

The Murray-Darling system may be the 16th (or 18th) longest river system in the world, but at a mean discharge rate of only 767 m^3/s, it isn't even in the top 100 of the world's largest rivers. The claim that it's the world's 5th largest river system is ridiculous.

I'm wondering if the poster meant 5th largest basin? The Murray-Darling basin is massive (40% of Oz?). When I read the "5th largest" claim I was equally puzzled, but I'm thinking it could be the 5th largest river basin, not river.

The Murray-Darling drainage basin is slightly more than 1 million km^2. That of the Amazon is nearly 7 million km^2. I don't have a list of drainage basins by order of size in front of me, but I can assure you that the Murray-Darling isn't fifth, or even in the top ten. In grad school I looked at number of endemic fish species vs. drainage basin size. From memory, the Amazon, Congo, Nile, Mississippi-Missouri, Ob, Parana, Yenisei, Lena, Niger, etc., etc... are all much greater in drainage basin area, length, & mean water volume, than the Murray-Darling. The claim that the Murray-Darling is the world's fifth largest river, by any metric, is either simply mistaken or is intentionally misleading Aussie hype.

Well actually Environment Canada publishes this list.
Murray 3rd in area and 13th in length. Not surprisingly it isnt to be seen near the top of the discharge table.

Murray 3rd in area and 13th in length. Not surprisingly it isnt to be seen near the top of the discharge table.

That isn't correct. No way is the Murray-Darling system's drainage basin >3.5 million km^2. It's more like 1,061,500 km^2, or 409,835 mi^2, & 18th in length. In fact, only the Amazon, Congo, Nile, & Parana rivers have drainage basins >3 million km^2. Not even the Mississippi-Missouri system is >3 million km^2.

But not to forget the principal point.. it's almost gone at this point anyway. Arguing about how 'BIG' it is or might have been is getting a bit perverse, no?

I agree. It is a disaster for Australia in any event. However the river has briefly stopped flowing before. Unfortunately there is a much larger population dependent upon the river now and much more water being removed for irrigation.
The errors are in the original UNESCO document. I have contacted Environment Canada pointing out the error. Hopefully someone has ownership of this site and will do a fix.

In discharge volume, there is no contest. Here is a small list but no means most. Discharge volume in cubic meters per second.

Amazon         180.000
Congo           42,000
Orinoco         28,000
Brahmaputra     20,000
Yenisei- Angara 19,600
Río de la Plata 19,500
Mississippi     17,545
Lena            16,400
Río de la Plata 16,400
Mekong          15,900
Ganges          15,000
Irrawaddy       14,000
Ob'             12,600
Amur            12,500
St. Lawrence    10,400
Nile             1,584
Murray-Darling     391

River Systems of the World

The Amazon is truly in a class by itself, by any metric. The Amazon has a stream order of 12; the Mississippi is 10. The Amazon has 10 tributaries the size of the Mississippi. Huge ocean going cargo ships dock at Manaus, >1K km upstream from the mouth. At Manaus, the Rio Negro (order 11) is so wide that the far shore can barely be seen; it's like looking across Long Island Sound at Connecticut. From a boat on the Rio Negro, the sun can be seen rising or setting from & into the water. It's almost like being on the open ocean. The water level at Manaus can vary by 30 m, between rainy & dry seasons. The floating docks at Manaus are an engineering wonder. There's the Amazon. And then there's the Congo (which I haven't seen but would dearly love to). And then there's all other rivers. The Murray-Darling hardly even rates. It's about the size of the Volga, or the Red River between Texas & Oklahoma in the US.

The Murray-Darling hardly even rates. It's about the size of the Volga, or the Red River between Texas & Oklahoma in the US.

Hardley, runoff volume in cubic meters per second.

Volga           8,000
Yukon           7,000
Murray-Darling    391
Colorado          168
Rio Grande         82

I couldn't find anything on the Red River, but it is probably pretty close to the Murray-Darling, but nowhere close to the Volga. Of course this is current runoff. Before taps were placed on these great rivers, (the last three in the list above), their runoff was much, much greater.

Another Ozzie site claims fifth largest:

Murray River Cruises-


Don't know the parameters. Unless land area drained or catchment, they're shrinking.

Yes, I agree on 15, but there is a value here that supercedes
the Amazon, other top 4, in terms of ag use fungible export.

That, along with CA ag, won't soon be available.

Well its raining again in cali! Though they need more than rain. Pennies from heaven.

That, along with CA ag, won't soon be available.

Right, its right after the refugees from atlanta start moving north?

starts with lettuce.

Updated 1/30/2009 1:48 PM


"We may be at the start of the worst California drought in modern history," Snow said in a statement. "It's imperative for Californians to conserve water immediately at home and in their businesses."

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

A field outside of Hughson, California

More than 70 percent of Texas sees drought conditions.

In an enduring dry spell some are calling the worst in recent state history, more than 73 percent of Texas is experiencing drought conditions, according to a U.S. Drought Monitor map released

MENDOTA, Calif. - Consumers may pay more for spring lettuce and summer melons in grocery stores across the country now that California farmers have started abandoning their fields in response to a crippling drought. California's sweeping Central Valley grows most of the country's fruits and vegetables in normal years, but this winter thousands of acres are turning to dust as the state hurtles into the worst drought in nearly two decades. Federal officials' recent announcement that the water...


Ag problems mirror economics perfectly.

Should we expect these aquifers to follow a hubbert's peak like production curve? Like oil, is it not a matter of running out, but of reaching a maximum production rate?

Lester Brown is doing the same type of thing with grain that the EROEI supporters do with energy. He lumps all grain together and then tries to deduce appropriate policy by grain return on water in a declining water table.

Total garbage.

First off, only a small portion of world grain production is irrigated and that is mostly rice and wheat. According to Brown's article even in India only 15 percent of grain is irrigated. Most American wheat is not irrigated nor is corn. And there is little evidence that overall Americana wheat or corn production is declining. If anything, it is increasing due to biotechnology and more efficient farming methods. At least yearly carryovers are up and prices are down.

Since most grain is not irrigated, the fall of the water table is largely irrelevant. Grain roots do not reach down to the water table level if it is below a few feet underground. The water for most grain production comes from rain. It is a lack of rainfall that may reduce grain output depending on the grain, not a falling water table.

And rainfall is highly variable and always has been according to tree rings.

Furthermore, the amount of rain required for grain varies greatly between types of grain. Grain is an abstract concept just as energy is an abstract concept. The abstract can not be used as a measure of the concrete. That is one reason EROEI is a fraud. We can not determine which form of grain to grow, what to do or even if there is a problem by comparing grain production to the water table. They are different unrelated things with only a small portion of grain being irrigated.

In paragraph five of the article Brown states that it takes 1,000 tons of water to produce 1 ton of grain. I have never seen one ton of grain. I have seen one ton of oats or 1 ton of soybeans or 1 ton of corn. One ton of grain does not exist, grain is an abstraction.
This is the same nonsense as a unit of undefined energy. Grain like energy exists only in its various real forms.

Since the forms of grain are highly variable and the water needs for each form are highly variable, the statement that is takes 1,000 tons of water to produce a ton of grain is false on its face. It is a lie.

Corn requires a lot of water and that is why it is mostly grown in the Midwest which usually has ample rain. Wheat and oats, for example, require less and mature before the hot dry season.
That is why they are grown on poorer soil or in dry areas. It is false to argue that less rain for corn will reduce wheat and oats production.

Last year on my Iowa farm, corn production was up due to a lot of rain, but soybean production fell due to too much rain.
Soybean seed rotted in the cold wet soil and the crop never recovered from all the rain.

Rainfall, irrigation and grain production are more complicated than Lester Brown and the half dozen other self appointed members of the "Earth Policy Institute" think.

*rolling eyes*

Can someone tell me how to get TOD Ban for firefox under windows plz?


I don't see a famine this year. Next year, who knows?

With the bulk of the 2008 cereal harvests complete or nearing an end, latest information confirms a significant increase in world production, by 5.4 percent, to a record 2 245 million tonnes (including rice in milled terms).



Longer term is hard to tell. One on hand there is the cleverness of geneticists and the adaptabilty of farmers. On the other hand is the uncertain costs of inputs. Costs are lower this year v. 2008 but next year, who knows?

The drought situation is troubling, I asked a friend in California if there was snow in the Sierra Nevada 'Snowy Mountains') ... she mentioned 'artificial snow' in ski resorts. Somehow, I don't think that will help the crops ...

I asked a friend in California if there was snow in the Sierra Nevada

Actually we have been doing better this month, and the latest five day precitation forecast has 2.5 inches of rain in the bay area. Snowlines are pretty low right now, so there is snow in the Sierra. Even if we get the 2.5, we will still be behind, but not catastrophically so.

Closer to home, The Shallow Ogallala aquifer - One of the worlds largest, is dropping at 1.5meters / year.


Please consider the dependency of the alternatives you mention on an oil-based infrastructure.

And of course the fact these alternatives produce electricity. Oil has much much more variable applications. It's also slightly easier to store.

Details, details.

This plot comes from an article I posted on TOD in April/May 2008.
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3868 "The Bakken Formation: How Much Will It Help?"

In that posting I also included a production per well. It appears that the production per well had already peaked even though the total production was still going up. One interpretation: The best areas were mostly drilled up and the new wells, even with the new technology, weren't adding enough to offset the declines of the previous wells. Increased rig count was probably what was driving the increased production.

I hope to do an update in the next couple months.


That would be great. We would like to see one!

See comment above.

Here's the relevant graphic.

Technology marches on, yes.

Marching as to war.

With the Cross of Jesus. the Star of David, the Crescent Moon, and many other symbols marching on before.

We are learning how to more quickly kill people and other species both on purpose and by accident. We excel at this particular technomagic.

But don't worry. Highly paid priests will construct magical narratives on TeeVee right in your very own living room, so you can go on living just as you are while we burn down the global house around us.

Roast some weinies or maybe go on out to the big box and get some brat-like food substitute vacuum packed in plastic. Just toss the little plastic bags on the fire --they are combustable after all.

Techno-magic simply makes us better at whatever we are already doing. It does not change the nature of what we are doing at all.

It makes me want to throw up every time I read the phrase "technology will save us".
How do these turkeys think the world got into the mess of overshoot and resource depletion?

Technological "progress" and the subsequently spawned engineering practices of building things to cope with increasing population. Engineering food production and transport to aid the spread the homo sapiens virus to all corners of the globe.

All technology has done is enable us to burn and destroy more.
Technology allowed us to factory farm livestock and to kill and process them. Factory farm the oceans and slaughter wales with a gusto. Pollute rivers, lakes, seas, oceans the air we breathe and the land we farm.

We even used technology to mass murder humans, imagine what we could do with the technology of today.

Now the technology idiots want me to believe that we can trust it to save the day. Those idiots watch too much TV.

If you want to live without technology, (for a day), can I suggest you try taking off cloths, eating berries,leaves and fruits, digging roots out of the ground with your hands and eating them uncooked.

When did I say we have to live without technology?
I pointed out that technology is/has destroyed us. There is no going back, the damage has been done and/or the seeds sown long, long before I was born. The eggs have been broken and the cake is baked.

I am a child of the human virus, a part of a spreading disease with no individual control.
Knowledge and our application of technology has very, very short term benefits on the evolutionary timescale.

I think you must be totally incapable of thinking beyond a short timespan. I think we probably could have muddled along for a few more millenia until James Watt came along.

After that we learned to control disease and abolish slavery and off we went on our yeast in the petri dish experiment.

I think it depends on your definition of "us"

Point being?

My point is that technology saving us, and extending overshoot/resource depletion do not contradict, if by "us" you mean 45+ year old wealthy first-worlders, who are the ones calling the shots.

I guess my "us" means "us". I know what you mean though.
I never even considered individual blame when it concerns the well being or survival of "us".

There are no innocents as far as the fate of the human race is concerned. We either collectively acknowledge our destructive influence or we deny it. It seems we will continue to deny it, self preservation and narcissism dominates our existence.

We have demonstrated by over population, that every new born baby is the enemy of every other species of mammal, reptile, fish, insect and flora on our spaceship.

You may consider yourself a virus all you want, but please exclude me. I am no more a "virus" than the bacteria praised in this comment stream or my cat that feeds on mice. Besides, that kind of rhetorical talk helps nothing. If anything, humanity is equipped with the ability to think abstractly in ways that allows us to understand and appreciate our effects on the enviornment. We are not perfect but we've gotten better, and if we find and deploy a renewable clean energy system I think we will clean our act up even more and the points you make above about polluting, depleting resources, etc... become moot. Some species we will extinct. So is the way of things. Extinction didn't start with man.

Technology has saved the day many times in the past. Sooner or later it will probably fail. I would prefer later. Guess that's how a "virus" thinks. Or maybe I just look around and see lots of past exploited resources and technological opportunities and say, "Maybe there might be another?"

Oil was like a growth hormone in a petri dish; perhaps there are others to exploit? No one discovered or did anything by chanting mantras like "Technology will not save us." I prefer reasoned analysis to mantras. That's why you won't see me saying "Technology will save us" but rather "How might technology save us?"

Where have we gotten better? Where has technology saved us in the past, I need more information on that? Try to see the big picture of the human race, not just a generation or era. All technological fixes at a point it time have simply created further problems up the ladder of time.

No doubt you believe in the great sky fairy too.

You think after all the damage and destruction the human race has caused to the earth, atmosphere, oceans, flora and fauna you hope a great miracle invention will come along and that will make everything right? If your invention restores the human population to a harmonious sustainable level, that will in a minor way to help make up for our past excesses.

We cannot though, restore the insects, amphibians, creatures of the ocean, mammals and flora WE have caused to go extinct?

You chant technology will save us, I say the exact opposite. Never the twain shall meet between us.

I prefer reasoned analysis to mantras.

Do you know nothing of complexity theory? Chaos? Theories of collapse?

All have been widely discussed here. Complexity is a major cause of its own collapse. Technology is nothing more than increasing complexity.

If you prefer reasoned analysis, why are the above not reflected in your post?


I know it is very difficult for you to accept that humans are anything else but special.

Have a short refresher read about viruses and tell me if you think the human race has behaves/d any differently from a destructive virus. Although not all virus' are harmful, in the case of the human race we are.

We are very harmful to our host, the earth and it's other inhabitants, none of the other inhabitants is capable of destroying a whole planet.....I really can't think of a better analogy (virus) to explain the way we behave (macro scale).

We have had many millennia to change our nature. It's a long stretch to hope for it to suddenly change, technological breakthrough or no.

I'm not holier than thou, I plead guilty and accept that I am but part of a destructive whole, but there are vastly more thinkers like you than me, so I guess I'm the insane one. I also know this rant will not alter your thinking one iota.


The EIA's latest Short-Term Energy Outlook came out yesterday. They expect the recession to continue through 2009 but a mild rebound to begin in 2010.

U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to decline by 2.7 percent in 2009, triggering decreases in domestic energy consumption for all major fuels. Economic recovery is projected to begin in 2010, with 2.2 percent year-over-year growth in GDP. Accompanying the projected economic recovery should be a mild rebound in energy consumption for all the major fuels in 2010.

They expect non-OPEC liquids to rebound slightly in 2009, up a mild 150,000 bp/d. However all that and more is expected from the US. They expect US "all liquids" to increase by 450,000 bp/d in 2009. I think US crude will probably increase by 250,000 bp/d because of recovery from the hurricanes and some new production. That may be optimistic since declines must also be figured in. But no way will "other liquids" increase very much, if any at all. Gas production is dropping due to the very low price.

Ron Patterson

Ron, there are about 4 Billiion gal/yr of ethanol either off/line, or under construction. Most of that will probably get into the market this year. What's that? About 260,000 barrels/day?

Edit: Forgot the LINK.

In Pennsylvania there is a push to grow soybeans for biofuels. The numbers I hear is that the EROI is 4 times better that for corn ethanol.

Anybody have any facts on this?

Biodiesel does have a better EROI than corn ethanol. Heck, just about ANYTHING has a better EROI than corn ethanol! 4X sounds like it might be in the ballpark, though realize that this is still nothing all that great. There are better yielding feedstocks than soybeans, though, like sunflowers or rapeseed (canola).

And while sunflowers where the choice of Lenin, they are a water needing crop. You can use 'em to dry out land.

(oh and they have an affinty for heavy metals. So if one wants to make the soil less toxic, one COULD post-process the stalks/leaves to extract/remove/volatize the HM.)

Just some humor for those that are bored. Some Weird Al on saving in these hard times.

I'm not sure about the credibility of the source, but my-o-my

"The world is heading for a drop in agricultural production of 20 to 40 percent"


I don't know where they got their us is in a historic drought data, according to NOAA only south texas is experiencing any serious problems:


If you don't count California, Georgia..

(the others are being held for surprise announcements, per order of Mother Nature)

That's pretty funny. I put up the same link as you, in which the red and dark red areas on the map are described as D3 & D4 droughts, "Extreme" and "Severe"

Are you the kind of Cornucopian who insists on saying the glass is 1/8 full?

Your link says the us in the midst of a "Historic Drought" and our follow up link shows this is simply not true. Yes Cali and Georgia and texas are in some areas that are in "extreme drought" right now (some d4), but the US as a whole is not in a historic drought.

Another little follow up, here is the latest computer model for precip for the next 2 weeks. Look like CA and GA are gonna get a heafty dumping the next 2 weeks. No help for texas though the next 2 weeks:


That's actually wonderful news. (Live in CA.)

I hope so .. that it's not just 'from the frying pan into the soup'..


3rd storm in days blows through Southern Calif.

The series of storms that began late last week brought some flooding to Long Beach and mudslides that closed roads in Sierra Madre in the foothills northeast of Los Angeles.

Even if the average rainfall ends up ok, getting there through these extremes might not be that helpful.

The collapse of the Anastazi (S.W. USA) resulted from about forty-five years without rain.

When the dust bowl (severe drought) hit Oklahoma during the 30's, the Okies packed up and hit the road. Some men hopped on freight trains to go to look for work (hobos). Currently Oklahoma is aquifer irrigated with water from the Ogala aquifer. They cannot depend on rainfall some years. The southern end of the aquifer is being depleted faster than recharge rates. The northern end of the aquifer will last longer as it has higher recharge rates.

While some predict food supply collapse, many do not see it happening. It affects the poorest of peoples who feel the hunger pains when the price of grain increases. What has also been seen is that during a recession less meat is purchased and more processed grain products were consumed instead. The meat production required massive amounts of grain as feed-lot inputs.

Singing in the rain...just singing in the rain...don't think this hefty dumping is going to help much...unless is continues for an unusual lenght of time:


Thats an interesting piece PaulusP- The breakdown of crop drops world wide is dramatic.

Interesting comments about currency appreciation too.


A little off topic, but what's the special for Thursday? We'll be taking a detour off
I-5 to have lunch at your place.

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending February 6, 2009

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 14.1 million barrels per day during the
week ending February 6, down 214 thousand barrels per day from the previous
week's average. Refineries operated at 81.6 percent of their operable capacity
last week. Gasoline production fell last week, averaging about 8.5 million
barrels per day. Distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging 4.1
million barrels per day.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged nearly 9.7 million barrels per day last week,
down 385 thousand barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four
weeks, crude oil imports have averaged 9.8 million barrels per day, 114
thousand barrels per day below the same four-week period last year. Total motor
gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending
components) last week averaged 1.3 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel
imports averaged 146 thousand barrels per day last week.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic
Petroleum Reserve) increased 4.7 million barrels from the previous week. At
350.8 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are above the upper limit of
the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories
decreased by 2.6 million barrels last week, and are in the middle of the average
range. Both finished gasoline inventories and gasoline blending components
inventories decreased last week. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 1.0
million barrels, and are above the upper limit of the average range for this
time of year. Propane/propylene inventories decreased last week by 1.4 million
barrels and are near the upper limit of the average range. Total commercial
petroleum inventories increased by 2.6 million barrels last week and are above
the upper limit of average range for this time of year.

Total products supplied over the last four-week period as averaged 19.8 million
barrels per day, down by 1.3 percent compared to the similar period last year.
Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline demand has averaged 8.8 million barrels
per day, up by 0.1 percent from the same period last year. Distillate fuel
demand has averaged about 4.2 million barrels per day over the last four weeks,
down by 1.1 percent from the same period last year. Jet fuel demand is 15.1
percent lower over the last four weeks compared to the same four-week period
last year.

I don't know where Leanan gets the "expected" information from.

Refineries operating at 81.6% of capacity is quite low--even lower than in previous weeks.

Gasoline demand is up slightly relative to last year and distillate fuel is only down by 1.1%. Crude oil inventories are quite high.

It looks like the refiners are going on strike, for much better crack spreads.

I think this might be it:


U.S. crude inventories rose for a seventh straight week, up 4.7 million barrels to an 18-month high of 350.8 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 6, the Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday. The gain was higher than the 3.4 million increase expected by analysts surveyed by energy information advisor Platts.

What a paradox. All you free market devotees say that higher prices lead to greater supply but since prices have dropped inventories continue to increase.

In the spring demand may drop as home heating oil and propane usage are expected to decrease.

Domestic oil production has been growing rather than in decline as years of higher oil prices stimulated exploration and production.

Oil stocks are 18% higher this year than last year.

Propane stocks are 14.9% higher this year than last. Propane was used instead of home heating oil in some rural households. It was also used to dry grain and in other industrial applications. The recession has reduced demand for propane.

Oil Drops Below $36 on High Inventories
From Yahoo News:

SINGAPORE – Oil prices lingered near $36 a barrel Thursday in Asia, following a steep fall overnight, as surging crude inventories in the U.S. stoked investor concern that consumer demand will continue to fall amid a deep recession.

Light, sweet crude for March delivery rose 10 cents to $36.04 a barrel by mid morning in Singapore on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.61 overnight to settle at $35.94.

U.S. crude oil inventories have jumped in recent weeks as rising unemployment erodes spending on gasoline.

A weekly report Wednesday from the Energy Information Administration showed that crude inventories jumped by 4.7 million barrels for the week ended Feb. 6, more than an increase of 3.4 million barrels expected by analysts surveyed by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Including last week's build up, crude inventories have swelled by more than 30 million barrels in the past six weeks.

In the midst of the deepest recession in 75 years, usage down 1.3% YOY-pretty wild.

Maybe that reflects the sense that among the vast majority of people nothing seems changed. The store shelves are still full, gasoline is cheap, food is everywhere - yes I know the unemployment rate is up, foreclosures, evictions, food stamps, homeless families, every measure of poverty, but for most of the people one speaks with these are (for now) numbers on their TV screen. Maybe they put off buying a car, but they are still driving something, by and large (puns intended).

I'm not surprised YOY consumption is down only a little. Maybe prices respond to what the market thinks the consumption MIGHT be, if unemployment continues to spread, or if logical Americans hunker down in response to the numbers on the screen instead of stampeding Wal-Mart for cheap redundant shiny objects. The problem might be how few logical Americans we have (I am including myself...). I am simply judging the behavior of others by my own - I am still buying things I don't really need, even though I know that I have traditionally been more thrifty than others, in general, with, say, my water and energy use, my auto owning behavior, my shoe collection...

This sense is confirmed when I read about couples saving for a downpayment on a house, giving up golf and fashionable clothes. I have lived on very little money only for short periods at a time, but even I know that depriving oneself looks entirely different. My mother, who lived through Greece's hyperinflationary crisis after the second World War talks about her and a buddy saving bus fare by walking a half hour to school so that by the end of the week they could split a chocolate bar between the two of them...

I think you are right.

The reduction in demand is partly industrial, and partly overseas. If imported crude and gasoline are cheap, that makes a big difference.

Also, crude oil storage capacity is tiny is comparison to what we use. It doesn't take more than a tiny excess to bring prices down.

Two things to remember:

1) If we had been continuing on our merry BAU way, then it would have been UP, probably something in excess of 1%. So that implies a swing of >2.3%, which is a bit more substantial, more than just random noise.

2) Winter is the time of year when there is the LEAST long distance (i.e., discretionary) travel, so I would expect the YOY change to be lowest. Wait until summer, you'll probably see a bigger drop.

Looking at the data, it would appear that gasoline demand is just about what it was last year. Of course, to some people, that represents a decline, since the preceding years usually experienced an increase in demand year over year. I wonder where that supposed "massive decline in demand" touted by the pundits is to be found. And, temperatures are rising as if it's Spring time. Lets go for a drive!

E. Swanson

I wonder what usage numbers look like if they're on a per capita basis rather than in aggregate. I assume that, as the population in the US tends to increase the per capita decrease is greater than the headline numbers.
When I get some time I'll start playing with that.

Johnson Rice & Company have some comments:

We view today's DOE report as bearish for crude, supportive for gasoline. After languishing for all of 2008, gasoline cracks are staging a meaningful comeback due to a combination of elective run cuts and heavy turnaround activity. Refinery utilization declined nearly 200 basis points to 81.6%; a yearago at this time, utilization was over 85%.

Gasoline stocks declined by 2.7 million barrels as implied demand improved and gasoline production continued to fall. The stock decline could have been even more substantial, but imports jumped to a larger-than-expected 18 week high of 1.3 million barrels/day. Gasoline stocks now total 218 million barrels, vs. 229 million barrels last year and a five-year average of 221 million barrels. Two consecutive weeks of strong reported implied demand figures have also pushed y-y gasoline demand comps into positive territory, up 0.1% y-y – while we don't doubt y-y comps have improved we do think the DOE may be overstating end user demand slightly. . .

Distillate data is less supportive, and recent declines in distillate cracks bear this out. Despite a cold January, distillate stocks are well above historical levels. Total stocks of 142 million barrels are ~15 million barrels above yearago and 5-year average levels as domestic diesel demand continues to slide. Current DOE stats show 4-wk trailing average distillate demand down 1.1% y-y, while jet demand is down 15% y-y.

Crude stocks continue their steady rise, reaching 351 million barrels, 50 million barrels above yearago levels. With refinery utilization still falling and ample supplies of crude available for delivery from floating storage, crude stockpiles will likely continue to increase. Also interesting is that the DOE reports that domestic crude production is rising: the most recent 4-week average period shows domestic crude production up 1.3% y-y, despite the decline in crude prices over the last six months and the lingering impact of hurricane outages.

Mervyn King sees the light:

Britain is in "deep recession", warns King

The Bank of England is prepared to cut interest rates below 1% and use "unconventional measures" to dig the economy out of the "deep recession" that it failed to spot six months ago, the governor of the Bank of England said today.

Mervyn King said Threadneedle Street would use the "full range of instruments at its disposal" to counter the impact of the credit crunch and a collapse in confidence.

After predicting in August that the economy would be broadly flat over the coming year, the Bank said yesterday output would be slumping at an annual rate of 4% this year. King said the Bank's nine-strong monetary policy committee had not erred by leaving interest rates at 5% last spring and summer before slashing them repeatedly since October; the shock to the global economy last autumn had been unexpected and could not have been predicted, the governor said.


Now I don't really know what the "full range of instruments at its (the Bank of England's) disposal" might mean, but I find it infuriating that these incompetent idiots claim nobody could have predicted what they failed to predict. For crying out loud, how dare he say that and expect to get away with it?!

I know what you mean Jussi. But to us Yanks when those words are spoken with a proper Brit accent they seem much more believable then when we heard the same words 6 months ago from our politicians. And those very same words sounded even less credible when spoken with a Texas drawl.

"Not all sociopaths are bankers, but all bankers are sociopaths."
---damn you opposable thumbs

Guy goes in a bar and exclaims in a loud voice.
"All bankers are assholes!"

A guy down the bar a way replies "Hey I really resent that statement."

The first guy says "Why are you a banker?"

Second guy says "No I am an asshole."


I have noticed that the biggest thieves are not those coming through the front door holding guns but those sitting in board rooms holding pens.

Facing a disgusted public and Congress, bank CEOs agreed with demands for greater accountability Wednesday in the first testimony on how they're spending money from the taxpayer-funded $700 billion bailout.

"Both our firm and our industry have far to go to regain the trust of taxpayers, investors and public officials," John J. Mack, head of Morgan Stanley, told the House Financial Institutions Committee.

Added JP Morgan Chase & Co.'s Jamie Dimon: "We stand ready to do our part going forward."

"You created the mess we're in," scolded Michael Capuano, D-Mass. "And now you're saying 'Sorry. Trust us.' ... America doesn't trust you anymore."

FBI: 530 Corporate Fraud Probes in Progress
Those, plus 1,600 mortgage fraud investigations, are straining the bureau's resources.
Zimbabwe may be less corrupt than the US on a per capita basis. IMO, not a good sign.

I will remember that one!

A pre Euro joke

Q: Why do the Irish call their Pound the Punt?
A: Because it rhymes with Bank manager

Think about it


A twist on an old classic.

An American INVESTMENT BANKER was at the pier of a small coastal Greek village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna.

The American complimented the Greek on the quality of his fish and asked, "How long does it take to catch them?" The Greek replied: "Only a little while".

The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Greek said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs. The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The Greek fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play cards with my friends, I have a full and busy life."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Athens, then London and eventually New York where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The Greek fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?" To which the American replied, "15-25 years." "But what then?" The American laughed and said that's the best part. "When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions ... Then what?" The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play cards with your friends."

Pinched from http://quote2me.blogspot.com/2007/11/my-favorite-investment-banker-jokes...

Great Story,
I've heard versions from Maine and Germany.. I bet every country has their version of it.

The Oil investment bust continues.

DTO (double short oil fund) hit $200 today from $20 last July and USO is at $27 from a high of $115 last July. Which means $115000 in USO reinvested (sic) in DTO would have gone to over $1 million instead of down to $27000. Quite a difference!

PDS the Canadian oil driller is at $3.50 dowwn from $27 last July. Penn West (PWE), a favorite of Zapata George, is at $10.70 down from $30. Dividends are being slashed across the board. The only difference from the dot com crash is that these companies haven't gone under (yet) but I wonder how long some of them can hold out, especially if they have debt.

RE: The US Utility-scale Solar Picture

There was a note on Market Watch just now about the Southern California Edison agreement with BrightSource Energy.

Southern California Edison on Wednesday announced seven purchase agreements for 1,300 megawatts of solar thermal power with BrightSource, a start-up with backing from Google, BP and Chevron, in what's being billed as the largest solar deal ever crafted.

It's about time that solar thermal got the respect it deserves...

E. Swanson

How do you scale down solar thermal from the utility scale to that of the property owner? The last thing we need is utility scale power generation, regardless of energy source. Decentralization & localized production is the wave of the future, not massive centralized power projects. May as well go with a nuke plant, or dirty coal, as build these massive solar thermal facilities. People can no longer afford to be slaves to their utility bills. People need to provide their own power, at home.

May as well go with a nuke plant, or dirty coal, as build these massive solar thermal facilities.

Well, that confirms it. With that sort of thinking there is no hope. We will continue to pollute and forget about solar.


With that sort of thinking there is no hope.

There's no hope regardless of the sort of thinking indulged in. A population an order and a half of magnitude in excess of the carrying capacity of the biosphere sans fossil fuel inputs has no hope whatsoever of avoiding collapse. The kind of thinking that advocates for centralized utility scale power generation over localized home scale generation will serve to ensure & hasten collapse.

We will continue to pollute and forget about solar.

I fear that you are correct, on any meaningful scale.

Speedy, you are way too quick to dismiss DD's point. Among other points - and there are many - he's arguing that unless the scale of the generation puts pollution in your back yard and your back yard is where you are generating the energy, then pollution will happen without restraint. As Summers admitted, dump it on the disenfranchised and powerless.

There was also Nate's recent observation on the scale of the solar system he'd need to maintain his lifestyle-as-usual; but I would suggest it vastly oversized, since if it's your solar on your house powering your gear, you change your lifestyle and gear. Once again, there is no incentive if the power plant is over the horizon. There is every incentive where it is local. [A further point is that a local solar system will be uneven; rather than try to even it out, we should figure out how to live with the ebb and flow - make hay when the sun shines.]

Consider two forms of pensions: 1) asset investment in a local solar array and tools to go with and 2) financial investment in an securities of an energy company building solar arrays. The former is "swadeshi", pay-it-forward and directly productive - the latter is destructive, depending as it does on debt, interest and the creation of future obligations. Leaving aside whether large scale projects are feasible. Where the planet is past zero-sum - not just limits but in overshoot - our investments ought to be of the pay-if-forward variety. [That's not to say they won't still be destructive - but the action will be closer, at home.]

I'm not convinced that local means "individual and personal". Logically, going down that path, every appliance would have its own energy source. Seems extreme. Community and collective solutions of various scales ought to work, as Alan pointed out re streetcars in Barcelona. The anarchists kept them going. But the Republican government as a whole - society wide - could not have built more. Scale is critical. Lots of small partial solutions are going to be far more resilient and feasible than a few "efficient" mega projects.

There is no hope for the sort of thinking that perpetuates the course of the last fifty years. Hope is in abandoning that paradigm.

cfm in Gray, ME

I'm all for those so inclined to build their own personal little alternative energy stuff, but most people won't. And larger, more centralized generation is more efficient, up to a point. I certainly don't agree that centralized solar is as bad as coal. And a wide-area grid is useful to smooth out (to some extent) the fluctuations in the solar and wind inputs.

OTOH as long as alternative energy is built up IN ADDITION to the other sources, trying to continue "growth", that's the problem. But it may solve itself, and any renewable infrastructure that we've built by then will be handy to have.

What most people will have to do personally is learn to use less electricity, since its price will increase over time regardless. Also it is likely that the grid will become intermittently intermittent, so learning how to cope with that on a personal level is advisable.

Way back in the '70's, I turned in a proposal to use 10 foot diameter sat dishes to make steam. That steam would turn some sort of expander, such as a turbine, to drive a generator. The waste heat from the steam cycle condenser was to be used to heat water for space heating or hot water needs. I figured that 5 of them would about meet the demands of a home, although I didn't plan on running an A/C. There are other geometries which could accomplish the same thing. All require tracking, which adds to the cost.

But, "solar thermal" also includes flat plate designs for hot water or space heating. I've got about 540 ft^2 of hot air collector on my south facing wall. The roof area can still be used for some energy production, although I didn't design the building that way, darn it...

I don't think you quite understand the economics of the situation. When individuals spend money for local renewable energy sources, they either must borrow the money or take it out of savings. Both have interest costs and for electricity production, the costs of small scale systems are generally greater than those for utility scale systems. And, there are the constant problems of maintenance and short component life spans. So, the back-to-nature builder of a renewable electric generating system is likely to pay more per month for his solar system than he might pay for utility scale power. Low temperature solar can be less expensive than utility electricity, if it's done right, IMHO...

E. Swanson

Thanks, E. Swanson.

I have a hot air collector on my roof, altho it's not as big as 540 ft^2. It's more like about 6' x 12'. If the sun is shining, it manages to heat the house, between about 11 am & 2 pm, in January. The problem with it (besides working best when it's least needed!) is that it requires an electric fan in the attic space to move the air. But, then, so does the fireplace require a fan to move hot air thru the rocks & into the living space. I'd like to replace the hot air collector with PV panels, using the same mounting brackets, eventually.

I don't doubt but what economics of scale are involved when it comes to utility vs. home scale power. Utility scale power generation may be more efficient than decentralized generation, but the point is independence not efficiency. The family doesn't want to freeze if they can't pay their utility bill. The point is being out from under the thumb of the Man. Solar cookers work well. I've eaten turkeys cooked by the sun before. But beyond the solar cooker scale, I can't see solar thermal being a very viable technology for home scale power generation.

I'm hoping to use a defunct chimney to base an Indoor Solar Cooker, and in which the available 250 degree box will be heating water for supplemental home-heat when the sun is up but there's nothing baking. Otherwise, it would be time to start getting out the crockpot recipes again.

Solar Thermal to Electric might be useful on the community scale, and I have seen an installation that uses PV with Heat-Exchange pipes on the back, so you're keeping the Electrical circuit cooler and more efficient-running, but also capturing a pre-heating source for your washwater or space heat.

Here are a few Home-Scale approaches, by the way.
(all very DIY, and NOT very 'off-the-shelf')
"This is a beautiful example of a Solar Dish Steam Turbine Electric Generator."
http://www.redrok.com/NewtonSolarSteamManuscript.pdf (6.4 meg pdf)

http://www.redrok.com/engine.htm (LONG Page full of various experiments, largely links though)


Thought this was pretty cool, not that it amounts to much but it's good outside the box thinking.


BTW--PSEG is an awesome utility, power almost never goes out more than a second or two in north Jersey. Maybe like twice in the last thirty years in Hudson County(presumably a tad more in the sticks to the west).

From one of the bankers being grilled before a congressional committee:

"We are frugal," said Wells Fargo's John Stumpf. "


i rarely LOL from so few words.

As a former Wells Fargo banker who has been on at least five of these Vegas trips, I can assure you there was NOTHING frugal about them. Steaks, paid greens fees and 30 year old scotch was the norm. My boss even used to FedEx his clothes to avoid having to carry a suitcase.

About the only thing they didn't give us was cash with which to play the slots.

I was once chastised for taking BART to a client meeting instead of driving and paying $25 parking. Image, they said. The client was on the 30th floor, they had no idea how I arrived. Always drove (and expensed parking and mileage) after that.

Frugal my a**...


It must be love.. EVERYTHING reminds me of The Oil Drum!

NPR is running the Commonwealth Club, with a PBS travelshow producer Rick Steves, talking about seeing what Iran is really like, and his driver shouts this out in rough city traffic. Apparently, this curse might be more akin to our 'Burn in Hell !' than it is the commonly assumed 'Total War and Genocide for the unclean outsiders!' as we are so often told.

He also mentions that Iranians might still be a bit resentful that we deposed Mossadeq in '53, just for nationalizing and so denying us OUR oil.. and for cheering and supplying Saddam in killing a quarter million of their people in the '80s..

1:00 pm: Commonwealth Club of California
Travel Expert, Public Television and Radio Host Rick Steves talks about “Iran: Yesterday and Today” After spending 10 days recently filming in Iran, Steves calls the country “the most poorly understood yet fascinating land” he’s ever visited. He will discuss his travels through Iran and his new special program airing on PBS. From Friday prayer in a leading mosque to anti-American murals, Steves strives to help us better understand a nation that continues to be shrouded in mystery and clouded by myths and mistruths.

Will we see this report highlighted on the front pages of the NYT, WaPo or WSJ or even the LA Times?

Will the PBS NewsHour pick this up and run with it?

Will any of the supposed journalists in the country pick up on the actual journalism being done by this travel show producer?

The mind boggles.

But then remeber, real tourists do not learn anything. Real tourists just go and drink at poolside, or get run through the accapted lists of tourist-trap antidotes to actual curiosity, and are sent home none the better for having traveled. This is key.

Maybe Rick Steves will find himself told to stop doing real travel shows and stick to plugging fantasy-based tourism?

Just that I heard this on NPR and not just Democracy Now! was a nice splash of Sunshine for me today.. but no, I don't expect the Rhetoric to be affected much by it.

Right afterwards, on the Diane Rehm show, a caller asked about all the arms the US supplies Israel and how that affects Muslim peoples' opinion of the US, but unfortunately he had to add a bit of a thought-experiment about the 'proportionality' of civilian deaths on both sides, and the first part of his question was promptly left behind, in order to properly express the outrage of such comparisons.

Can Israel survive it's own policies, or ours?

Well, sounds like this WILL be showing on PBS.. (Just not on NewsHour, my first googlesearch gave me 'Undercover Iran, Nuclear Iran, Forbidden Iran, Showdown with Iran)

Looks like maybe it already aired, (this site has a list of PBS affiliates and scheds, but from Jan.)

and here is a short mention of it in YES! magazine.

"Rick’s intention was to put a human face on the people of Iran as opposed to the sensational news clips that tend to demonize people of other countries whose governments we don’t agree with."

It really was a breath of fresh air.

It really was a breath of fresh air.

Hooman Majd's The Ayatollah Begs to Differ, amkes for a fascinating, and entertaining read. It would be an excellent companion to watch R Steve's travellog.


This is a short video by the author.. interesting. Thanks.

Will the PBS NewsHour pick this up and run with it?

It was aired a couple of weeks back. I remember watching it with the kids. It really is a very interesting country, and the Architecture at Isfahan is amazing. I'd love to see it in person some day.

From the Blue Grass State,

Its either day 16 or 17, now in our third week of the diaster from the massive Ice Storm that has been reported in Ky News as the 'worst disaster to ever occur in Kentucy'.

I would disagree and state that the 1812 New Madrid quake was the worst. So this comes in as second IMO.

Still no power. Mother Nature has ripped us with huge rains storms for 2 or 3 days in a row, supersaturating the ground to an unbelievable degree. I saw bucket trucks out in field mired to the axles. Farm tractors trying to pull them out. I have a lot of trouble getting out of my farm and thats in a 4WD Jeep Wrangler.I have to take a big run at the dirt road in 4WH to make it.

Now we have 20-40 mph winds with gusts up to 55mph. I saw some workers high in an oak tree tied with ropes trying to take the upper limbs down. They are performing very dangerous work.

So the repairs go very slowly. The state budget is way out of kilter. They are trying to double the tax on tobacco and make more items to go under the state sales tax. This puts an increase of $9 on a carton of cigarettes. It is a big fight in our capitol. It will mean even more losses of jobs. What comes first then,the cart or the horse? The product and workers wages or the taxes to take what they earn away? Then the product industry goes away. The horse tries to run both ways
and demolishes the cart.

Politicians just want to be on the winning side of the debate but there is apparently no winning side.

Oh well..

To Lynford who spoke of gardening. The best book I have ever read on gardening , and I have read a lot, is "Gardening When it Counts" by Steve Solomon. The absolute best.

He gives his formula for COF and how to make compost. He postulates how much ground is needed for a garden to be fully sustainable. The size is rather large for a family of three or more. He says it may be impossible to even grow enough for a family to be totally dependent without conventional inputs of nutrients that will NOT be available when TSHTF. Like seedmeal and various hauled in manures.

Appears that one would have to devote many long hard hours and do everything just right. For instance too much lime can destroy a gardens soil for a long time. Maybe 2 or 3 years. Where does one get lime if everything is shut down?

Answer: Woods ashes. What if you have no trees to burn? Tough shit!

Manure? What if you have no animals to produce it? Bad peas!

N,P,or K.....a mixture of urine and humanure? Hard cheese!

A very enlightening read. Must ready my compost making techniques and drive my soil organic material very high and reduce my garden space as much as possible. I have only myself to feed and I have woodlands.
I have good soil and water. Perhaps I might survive then but no one is taking bets.

All the folks in my home town? Dead men stumbling! They just don't know it yet. Money will be useless and donkey dung will be precious.
Chicken shit will be top dollar.

Ahh I can see it all now unfolding slowly. I just really really hate to go down this path. But here and now in WKY we are seeing a preview.

Sorry for the disgression on the lowly topic of 'gardening'. I know its not a worthy topic on DBs. Ok back to the main battles on
"What does C. Darwin think? What did he have for breakfast?What color shoes did he wear?"


Airdale-apologies for digressing about the inanity of a diaster here and taking up valuable bandwidth

No apologies needed, airdale. Love your posts, and really appreciate your taking the time to post from the front lines of post-peakish mayhem. How did you get your laptop and cellphone running again with no power? Got that generator working finally? I've been slowly building up a back-up power system centered on big batteries and solar panels, getting ready for the next big outage here. (Last big one for us was the 1998 ice storm.) I'm trying to figure out low-energy (not generator-dependent) ways to keep water flowing out of the well, heating water for washing, etc.

Hi Vtpeaknik,

Well I upgraded to a 5kw Generac with B & S engine. Had to repair this one also. The airfilter was being sucked into the carb yet runs very good now.

My idea is now shaping up as to how to wean myself ,slowly maybe at first, off the power grid. Keep a connection but only use THEM for emergency perhaps.

Run a generator as needs be. This means no refrigeration except for a freezer for a while. Convert said freezer to a small refrigertor instead. Store a lot of fuel in my farm storage tank(300 gal)...

Use PV panels for everything else.

I then only need to run the generator for power equipment as needed and to keep the freezer/frig going but slowly move away from even that.

I end up with PCs and Cellphone and Ham rigs only. PV then as possible. Run generator as need be but less and less as I transistion to no grid usage.

Store all my food by drying and canning.

I am soon to inherit quite a bit of money so I might try a large sailboat on Ky and Barkley lakes but the problem there is no vegetables. A diet of fish and whatever.

I am also going to put a shed with fiberglass panels on one end of my barn. 15 ft by 60 ft. Then a method of doing away with plumbing.

All my dream stuff for the near future.


Airdale you're an inspiration. Keep it up! Maybe consider writing a small book from this experience; from your postings alone there is quite a bit to say.

Another thought -- first your corner of the US has gasoline supply issues after the hurricane, even though it continued to flow up here. Then you have an ice storm and it takes you out for weeks. Is there a big picture item here?

Every little bit I read about smart grids makes me want to get some sort of offline storage, or maybe grid-tied storage. When we "graduate" to a variable rate structure, a lot of folks are going to want to level out usage. It ties in well with weaning off and moving to PV, but I keep thinking pumped storage as opposed to batteries. I wonder if anyone has tried that on a small scale.

I love the sailboat idea but watch out for those lake fish. The ones up here have "issues" - mostly mercury.



A couple of thoughts for you:

Fuel for generator: If you have some livestock or access to the manure from someone else, you could build yourself a biogas (methane) digester. You would need a generator that runs on natgas, I assume that is possible. OR, you could round up a lifetime supply of wood from all those downed trees, and build yourself a "wood gas" generator. If you poke around the Mother Earth News website, I think there are some plans for these.

I'd suggest taking a look at a SunDanzer freezer. You should be able to keep that up and running with a PV pannel and a few batteries. You could also keep the batteries charged with the generator until you get the PVs up.

Did you see my reply to you the other day about trying to use what's left of your downed fruit trees as root stock, and trying to graft on some of their downed branches? Since what is left is well established, they should come back pretty quick - a lot quicker than tearing them out and starting over.

If you have some livestock or access to the manure from someone else, you could build yourself a biogas (methane) digester. You would need a generator that runs on natgas,

Bad plan, unless you scrub the gas. And even then, it'll just die slower - because a homemade scrubber won't be that good.

Biogas has sulfur and Nitrogen as part of the gas stream. Both of 'em will make acid which will take an ICE and make it scrap in short order.

An external fired engine like a stirling with a replaceable heat transfer head makes more sense. If you could get one that is.

Best solar pump, Grundfoss SQ Flex.
You have to pick the right model for
head required, but it will pump enough
water for a village (people & animals)
with 2 or 3 PV panels.
Takes a range of voltages, replacing many
windmills in Texas and makes many African
villages survivable. Drop 2 down a well and you
are set for life.

The SQFlex system is more than just a pump. It's a total concept tailored to any individual requirements. By examining some variables, Grundfos and the WaterMaker can put together the perfect combination for any purpose. All they need to know is the location, the water table depth and how much water is needed, and they will be able to find the most efficient energy source for the system.

Looks pretty slick !!

I was thinking of your situation today when I saw tornado watches on the map. One whammy after another.
When I see that GE commercial about building a smart grid I see the stupidity and shortsightedness of putting wires above ground. Cheap in the short run but costly when it comes to repairs of storm damage.

Cost. Today I was told that a power line run going down the state route 2 way that feeds my county road, and goes from one small town to another which is about 12 or less miles away. I was told that this was going to be a 9 million dollar power line.

Perhaps rebuilding is more costly than new work. But I am sure these out of state linesman and trucks are drawing very very good wages. So the costs might be true.

Also a linesman bucket truck got stuck in a farmers field. Up to the frame. They got the biggest field tractor in the county. One with duals front and back and front drive assist. Huge. Couldn't budge the truck.
Had to hook another just like it in tandem and finally pulled the guy out.

The National Guard is gone. Seems they were not 'checked out' on chain saws. Many asked what the hell good were they then?

Airdale-everybody is growing beards..everybody has an odor,,not bad mind you but kind of sweaty like...no one can wash underwear I guess.
This is finally getting to be normal. Told today another 2 weeks and we are now in start of week 4.

Chicken shit will be top dollar.

Not only chickenshit. In Japan human manure was so valued in the past that you could rent accommodation in exchange for your urine and excrement. See Alan MacFarlane's "The Savage Wars of Peace":


Likewise in the towns human excrement had a market value. Morse wrote that 'I was told in Hiroshima in the renting of poorer tenement houses, if three persons occupied a room together the sewage paid the rent of one, and if five occupied the same room no rent was charged!'

[page 158 of TSWOP]

Airdale, thanks for the heads up but I already have the book. We are getting set up for a 40 X 40 prototype garden this year and devoting a half acre to community garden next year. Fortunately we have horses next door and have been composting for a while. We get a wheelbarrow full every couple days and mix it in with dirt and other minerals to make COF. Also use it for fertilizer tea.

Fortunately we are doing our garden learning and experimenting while the grocery stores are still open and the grid is up.

Some of my friends just smile and tolerate my crazy ideas but WTSHTF and it looks more likely every day, the solar powered golf cart power supply and the garden knowledge will be priceless.

Grayson County is a mess. Highways weren't passable, even the freight train couldn't run thru there for about four days. Locust thickets are now nothing but snags sticking up. Where the line broke it usually broke several of the poles, many of the older poles with that bleached out weathered look broke on their own. You couldn't buy gasoline because none of the gas stations had power for several days. There were kerosene and propane shortages, and it was cold. Two below zero one night. Stores were quickly emptied of generators and bottled water, the shelters filled and had to turn people away.

Sorry for the disgression on the lowly topic of 'gardening'. I know its not a worthy topic on DBs. Ok back to the main battles on
"What does C. Darwin think? What did he have for breakfast?What color shoes did he wear?"

Love it!!!! You are a true gem on this board, airdale.

Just want to let you know that there are more than just a couple of us following your experience. Glad to hear you are okay. Thanks for sharing. It's good input for planning for natural disasters and thinking about longer terms issues.

Return of $2 gasoline?

The EIA weekly petroleum report shows gasoline inventories 11.6 million barrels (5%) below last year while demand is equal to last year...

Seems to me to signal $2 gas in the next few days.

Details at:


It's already ~$2.25 in Seattle. It's gone up a good 50 cents in the last six weeks. I think we get squeezed worst than most of the rest of the nation, though.


$2 nationwide average is what I mean... The average here in NYC is also above $2. Nationally, the average is $1.94 today...

We'll see how high it goes in the next few days.

Some commentary on the numbers, etc. are at


Onwards to sustainability,


Hello TODers,

Marc Faber - U.S. Employing the "Zimbabwe School of Economics"

Faber issues some seriously notable quotables in this gem from CNBC this morning:

The US is Pursuing the Zimbabwe School of Economics:

"If something goes wrong, print. If that doesn't fix it, print more. If it still gets worse, print again."
Please view the embedded video.

As if to confirm the analysis above, consider the trend below:

..Sales of 1-ounce American Eagle gold coins more than quadrupled in January, the U.S. Mint said. The Mint sold 92,000 of the coins last month, compared with 22,500 in January 2008.
I hope these people are buying a wheelbarrow & bicycle, plus starting a garden & compost pit, before buying gold and silver, but I doubt it.

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

Bob, you write:

I hope these people are buying a wheelbarrow & bicycle, plus starting a garden & compost pit, before buying gold and silver, but I doubt it.

My obsession is with scaling up. No problem with wheelbarrows and bicycles, I reckon. But what happens when more than (say) 10% of the population get the idea of 'starting a garden & compost pit'?

Gardens mean land and land is a positional good. Land is finite. When TSHTF, will there be enough of it around to provide gardens for 3K million US citizens?

Probably not, but I could be wrong, as I am just renting a bedroom in Asphaltistan. Other difficulties would be getting sufficient water and I-NPK, since we don't appear to be ramping O-NPK very fast, plus it probably will takes decades to get all the average people to be highly proficient at being a Master Gardener.

Recall that several years ago, I tried to get my previous neighbors interested in starting a community garden on a vacant piece of city land, close enough for all of us to walk to daily, if desired. No go--they ignored and shunned me, and the city subsequently paved it over for a Senior Center for playing Scrabble and other games [not living quarters]. Hardly anyone ever visited or goes there now, and the lights, A/C, or heat burn year round.

I think most people will stay into denial as long as possible, then fight like hell, or just sit there and starve. Such is life.

The Nature Center at a park along the river here used to sponsor a community garden. They abandoned the effort due to lack of interest. A preparatory high school for Native Americans here donates space for a community garden, and in spring some interest & effort is shown by locals. But by midsummer it's always overgrown by Kochia (sorry jokuhl, but I don't know the common name for this plant) and I doubt that much ever gets harvested from it. People just aren't hungry enuf for the community garden idea to take off. They'd rather just go on food stamps than hoe weeds under the summer sun.

Your lucky they didn't crush your gonads. Shunning is ok. Crushing is not.

The story linked up-top, "Wind Turbines in Europe Do Nothing for Emissions-Reductions Goals", seems to do an excellent job of illustrating what a morass a cap-and-trade system can be. A carbon tax, phased in over time, would provide a much simpler mechanism for carbon reduction, through straightforward market motivations. There would be no need for legions of bookkeepers & traders and all the associated costs. I hope that the U.S. can learn from this example.

somebody likened carbon trading to the sale of indulgences in medieval times. Removed the guilt out of sin.

From the article:

"When reduction of CO2 emissions is more cheaply achieved through insulating a building than using a wind turbine, that is where we should concentrate our support."

Insulating a building doesn't kill birds & bats, either.

The other day I was looking around online for information about what a 30-06 bullet would do to a wind turbine. I didn't find anything specific but I did find ads for anti-vandalism shields for wind turbines. The ads claimed that the shields would stop .22 or 9mm handgun rounds, but didn't say they'd stop a 30-06. The shields weren't cheap, either. I suppose that the necessity for them adds to the cost of wind generated power. When I was a kid, every water pumping windmill was a target for any kid with a .22. Any bird lovers out there want to provide info on what a high-powered rifle bullet will do to a utility scale wind turbine?

what a 30-06 bullet would do to a wind turbine.... but didn't say they'd stop a 30-06.

Telephone eq. us hardened VS .22 - or was in the past (see BellCor documents)

A 30-06 bullet is a hunka lead and does little.
A 30-06 fired from a rifle will produce a hole in 3/8 inch plate steel. A .243 (that has about the same powder charge as the 30-06) puts a fine dimple in the plate. The only part of a turbine that MIGHT have a chance of no penertration of the weather-shield is the tower - and - in theory - its gonna take alot of 'em to cause a tower problem.

Any bullet hole in the blade is not going to be a net-positive, and in the nacelle - you might hit air, you might hit hydrolics or ya might electonics.

To make it a fair fight, I think he should only shoot at them when the wind is blowing.

Considering one of these wind turbines along with 1600 watts of solar


Thanks for that link jmygann. The Seahawk model just might be bird & bat safe, but the Delta models aren't. If controlled experiment demonstrated that the solid model VAWTs are bird & bat safe, I'd drop objection to them.

They say ...

"The VAWT is seen as a solid object as the rotational speed increases, making it visible to birds."

That only applies to the Seahawk models, tho, that have a solid center. Not all VAWTs are like that.

Vertical axis machines tend to be very inefficient. The site provides very little information, but the installation manual for the Seahawk model gives some useful insight. It's rated output is 1,000 watts at a WINDSPEED of 19.3 M/S (43 MPH). That speed quite high for most locations and suggests that at more normal winds, say 1/2 the rated speed, the turbine won't put out more than 1/8 the max or 125 watts.

There's no other information about the other versions. Looks like they are out for a quick buck, especially as they want $35,000 for their top of the line version. And, that's before you buy the tower and batteries and install the thing. The only thing these guys are going to harvest are sales to people who want the $4,000 tax credits.

Check out eBay. There's a Chinese company selling complete 20kw mills for $24,763 plus $2,300 shipping, including tower and inverter. The rated speed is 24.5 mph. They sell smaller ones as well. Of course, if you buy one, you will be a long way from replacement parts...

Home & Garden>Tools & Home Improvement>Electrical & Solar>Alternative & Solar Energy>Wind Generators

WARNING: Lots of junk for sale to the do-it-yourselfers.

E. Swanson

All posted previously:



The point has been made that micro-wind generation must be able to succeed in cities to be a viable assist that can not on;y supply power but reduce the power of Big Business. Big Green Business won't be any better in the end in terms of the economic models we currently live within. The growth paradigm will be alive and well. So, personal energy is a necessary thrust of any paradigm change, imo.

Perhaps the above give us a shot at that. Or, perhaps 3 - 5 highly inefficient DIY windmills...


Here is a search I did on YouTube:


Here's one of 'em:




ccpo guy,

Please, please don't ignore engineering. Those oregonwind.com Helyx systems are modified Savonious wind designs, which, as usual, have very low efficiency. Look at their data:

The 42" Helyx™ (HX40) is expected to produce 40 watts at a wind speed of 28 mph. The upcoming feasibility testing will allow us to show exactly how much power it can produce at various wind speeds. Related issues are storage of power and productivity over time; typically this size turbine would be used to charge a battery which in turn provides power, or multiple turbines could be grid tied.

40 watts? Your going to run 3 CFL's with that and only when the wind is blowing quite strongly. Get a grip man, this is a bad idea.

Same for the other building integrated design, only thsy claim 1,000 watts per unit.

E. Swanson

PERHAPS you should note I said "perhaps." Had you done so your knickers might not be in such a twist. I also said "give us a shot at" which would translate to a small possibility of success, not a great possibility.

But thanks for the chance to toss this into the conversation: the discussions here at TOD that get into solutions almost universally reflect maintenance of current lifestyles and/or comfort levels. This is unlikely to be possible or desirable. Powering down is vital.

Could I run two fridges, a car and keep my apartment toasty on a single DIY windmill? No. But if I power down and use only what light is absolutely necessary, and make that a 12V system, would a DIY windmill suffice if appropriately sited? Maybe so.

Same for the other building integrated design, only thsy claim 1,000 watts per unit.

You want to back that up?

BTW, i am not an engineer, so can hardly ignore the engineering. If there is something wrong with the engineering, all comments will be appreciated.

BUT, I want you to consider the economics of these systems when material and labor costs are nearly zero. Does the engineering matter as much if it costs you next to nothing to get the electricity?



I doubt you will see this, but here goes.

No reasonable system is going to be "free". A decent generator will cost something and the blades or whatever attached to it will also cost something. Maybe not much and a simple Savonious mill can be made by cutting an oil drum in half and welding the two halves to a base with a bearing on it. One can hand carve some blades for a horizontal axis device, etc. A tower can be made from scrap material or even wood. Add batteries, even a 12 volt deep cycle battery and you are out almost $100. All that effort is not "free", as one might also work for money and buy a decently designed and built system.

I don't doubt that folks can throw something up to produce some electricity. But, the system needs to work 24/7 52 weeks a year. That's 8,760 hours a year. The system must also withstand an occasional large wind gust, maybe 80 mph around here. Building something like that takes considerable design effort if one really wants to do a good job. And, the design effort is not free, either.

The wind mills you presented are going to cost a bunch more per kwhr than a decently designed system. Maybe you want to throw your money away on such, but I think most people would rather save their dollars for other uses. There's no free lunch in engineering. Go take a look at the junk listed on eBay, for examples of how to waste time and money.

As for the 1,000 watt per unit comment, that came from their web page. Try reading a little more carefully next time...

E. Swanson

I doubt you will see this, but here goes.

Dude, what the hell is up yer arse today? Did you just not catch

next to nothing


But, the system needs to work 24/7 52 weeks a year. That's 8,760 hours a year.

Oh, come on! It does not! It needs to work enough to supply their needs. Properly executed and by powering down, one can live on a very small energy budget. C'mon... you know this, so what gives?

The system must also withstand an occasional large wind gust, maybe 80 mph around here.

I suppose that might be true everywhere. Some of the VAWTs are claiming they don't overspeed due to the physics/geometry.

As for the 1,000 whatever claim, I'm not sure where you got it as your language was vague, and I'm not even sure why I questioned it. I tried to quickly track it back, but couldn't and don't want to spend more time on it. I'll take your word for whatever it was supposed to be referencing.

Finally, whatever hair is up yer butt, pull it out.


Wanna know what gets my feathers ruffled? It's when folks make silly unscientific comments, then go on a rant trying to prove they are right. For example, you wrote:

But, the system needs to work 24/7 52 weeks a year. That's 8,760 hours a year.

Oh, come on! It does not! It needs to work enough to supply their needs. Properly executed and by powering down, one can live on a very small energy budget. C'mon... you know this, so what gives?

So, you've put up your mill on a tower high enough to get the thing away from the surface boundary layer. Now, it's gonna spin whenever there's breeze, 8,760 hours in a year. So, how are you gonna turn it off? Those bearing on your cheap ass back woods mill are gonna fail rather soon. What about the gearbox or belts or whatever you use to match the slow speed mill to the high speed generator you filtched from that 1980 Chevy? Like, maybe twice a year, you gotta take it down to fix it. If the mill isn't balanced (like your car tires), the vibration can cause metal fatigue and destruction. Or, the bearings seize up and the mill or tower self destructs and falls on your head because you didn't know what you were doing.

It sure is fun to poke holes in windbags...


E. Swanson

So, you've put up your mill on a tower high enough to get the thing away from the surface boundary layer.

No, I don't necessarily. You like speaking in absolutes on this, but there are none. For example, I look for a design that works well in turbulence so it can be roof-mounted, as with some of the systems that have been posted here.

Now, it's gonna spin whenever there's breeze, 8,760 hours in a year. So, how are you gonna turn it off? Those bearing on your cheap ass back woods mill are gonna fail rather soon.

How soon is soon? And if I can replace those "cheap ass" parts with more cheap ass parts, who gives a damn? If I can build a windmill out of recycled parts that lasts five years for less than a thousand dollars - more like a couple-a-few hundred bucks - then I can sure as hell replace it pretty easily, too. If a 14 year-old, uneducated African kid can make one to run his family's electronics, anyone can. And if I use magnetic bearings, there is zero friction.

What about the gearbox or belts or whatever you use to match the slow speed mill to the high speed generator you filtched from that 1980 Chevy?

What belts? Why the hell would I need belts? Look, get your head out of your arse and actually read/watch some of the resources posted. Belts? Christ...

Like, maybe twice a year, you gotta take it down to fix it.

Bull. Do you know anyone who's actually done this? I personally know of home-built windmills that have been running for years without any maintenance.

I'm still trying to figure out why any idiot would build a wind turbine with BELTS. Friction losses, future lack of supply... talk about short-sighted in a declining world...

If the mill isn't balanced (like your car tires), the vibration can cause metal fatigue and destruction. Or, the bearings seize up and the mill or tower self destructs and falls on your head because you didn't know what you were doing.

Duh. That's why you balance it.

The problem here is your arrogance filling your head. Seriously, I don't understand your attitude, but belittling solutions that work for some people while adding precious little additional load to the environment in terms of taking up resources - just because they don't meet your over-engineered standards - is not just arrogant, it's damned stupid. You are condemning us to failure because you can't accept imperfection. Get a clue, man! The VAST MAJORITY of the world's population cannot afford your over-engineered fantasy. Have you checked the prices of some of these systems? None of them are affordable to the vast majority of people/families. Their ONLY choices are, and will be, low tech solutions or very cheap public utilities - which do not, and will not ever, exist. The Profit motive rules all.

There's no reason for your arrogance nor your hostility.

Get off your high horse.


Yet another example of a DIY windmill. Built for 400 dollars.

BAU is not the answer. Any commercially-produced windmill is just BAU Lite.

Haynesville Shale

In March of 2008 Chesapeake Energy announced a newfield discovery, the Haynesville Shale. Not long ago a google search for Haynesville Shale yielded almost nothing.

Haynesville Shale the new gold rush -- Shreveport Times

One estimated a probable 20-45 TCF gas field.

Recent buzz included a report of a company crossing the state line into Arkansas to test the Haynesville formation there.

Petrohawk announced a 28 mmcf per day well in the Haynesville Shale (onshore) in December.

Average EUR per well may be as high as 4-9 billion cubic feet.

The Haynesville Shale rig count is expected to grow in spite of the recession.

I am doing some sleuthing on a site and wondered if anyone else would be interested.

One blogger calls it Astroturfing.

Astroturfing to me includes the attribute of being underhanded, such as how Wiki describes:

The goal of such a campaign is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event.

The America’s Energy Forum has this on the bottom of the page:

Sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute

A Google
search actually returns it's first hit as Gail's A Visit to Chevron's Kern River Heavy Oil Facility

I sure do agree with Mr.Cone's sentiment "not very grassrooty", but sure expected it to be more underhanded to meet my idea of 'Astroturfing'

So, I see a whole lot of gray, at this point - but I'm still digging :)

Interesting, I like the term Astroturfing, it has the same resonance for me as Greenwash.

It makes me wonder how may Astroturfers there are in our midst. Possibly a few, but not many, as we tend to be a feisty bunch when confronted with BS.


Is propaganda astroturfing?

1. They say they are all about US energy security, which is a B.S. concept from the get-go.

2. They have a picture, the only picture, on the front page of pristine, beautiful natural scene. Tell me which fossil fuel technology is it that leaves environments looking like that?

3. Add that talking about security while encouraging the burning of fossil fuels which worsens ACC is nothing more than double-speak...

I say it qualifies.

Oil industry needs tax breaks to avert slump

The UK oil industry has asked the Government for tax breaks to prevent a collapse in drilling activity in the North Sea that could lead to the loss of up to 50,000 jobs in Britain.

“The breakeven oil price for new field investment is now over $40 per barrel. Only a third of new developments now under consideration break even at current costs and at a $50 oil price.”

...and the price is now $36 -BUY LOIL quick b4 we lose all those jobs!! :o)


The EROIE of tar sands is about 4 (Suncor investor conference). That is more than double the energy efficiency of ethanol. The EROIE of oil is over 10. The amount of energy used to make ethanol in the form of coal, natural gas, and even diesel for plowing corn fields multiplied by 10 results in a much higher carbon footprint than the ethanol industry is capable of publishing, as they rely on rumor and inuendo to get their dirty work done. Since ethanol management cannot figure out a way to make a profit with subsidies and quotas in their favor they go to the USDA to try to get more tax payers support if not from higher subsidies, then from more mandatory use until they overbuild and have to go back for more help.

The Cornell study still stands as EROEI of close to 1, if that high. Am not sure if all the ethanol plants are capable of the U. of Nebraska 1.8 EROEI figure. This study also concluded that ethanol is no better than gasoline and perhaps worse for air quality.

If the entire corn crop were converted to ethanol the nation would yet be heavily dependent on petroleum imports and lacking basic food staples. The meat industry is opposing ethanol. Their industry has taken heavy losses and might need federal assistance like the ethanol industry gets. Meat subsidies.

The meat industry is opposing ethanol. Their industry has taken heavy losses and might need federal assistance like the ethanol industry gets. Meat subsidies.

Since your aren't offering any links ...

... I throw in some anecdotal -

My neighbor, Virgil, is a Ruminant Tech at UNL. E3 was one of his clients.

I asked him about this aspect about 6 months ago. He said that most of the grumbling at that point was from the calfers down south, mostly Texas. He said costs were out pacing market prices.

LIvestock groups oppose ethanol blend expansion:


Mechanics have seen ethanol damaging small engines. People who own boats, gas powered generators, and lawn and garden equipment may be forced to pay higher repair bills as ethanol damage appeared.


How a corn state university could see an improvement from an EROEI of close to 1 to 1.8 in the same ethanol plants is beyond me. I recall reading in TOD that ethanol actually increased the fuel efficiency of gasoline while the more scientifically inclined had stated that the BTU content of ethanol was 66-70 percent of gasoline. Some have not taken into account the use of energy intensive nitrogen used to grow corn, nor recognized that fuel used in the crushing and distillation is non-renewable, thus the process may not be certified as renewable. The ethanol blend is not economical and requires subsidies and quotas; yet is losing money. In a nation of inefficient systems required by law; there is recession.

FBI slowly waking from its slumber while the Treasury is looted-I haven't noticed Obama acknowledging the apparent massive levels of fraud being tolerated http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/Economy/story?id=6855179&page=1

Interesting stat from Nightline on ABC tonight. Worldwide, city with most kidnapping is Mexico City. #2 worldwide is Phoenix, Arizona, with a lot of the kidnappings related to Mexican drug cartels.

It is politically incorrect to even mention such things-I wouldn't be surprised if the legal group mentioned in this article is receiving more than a few bucks from the "stimulus" plan http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/09/16-illegals-sue-arizona-...

This Friday is the 13th of February.

Some rumors are circulating that there will be a huge crash in the DOW on that day following an unsuccessful US T-Bill sale on Thursday the 12th.

Adding to the mix: CDOs worth trillions or billions (who is keeping count anymore?) will be "called in" (whatever that means, I guess it means pay up or else).

More entertainingly (!) some are predicting bank runs on major banks and/or bank failures.

There is a shadowy but apparently well-informed source named "Reinhardt" who gives his predictions (interpreted along the lines above) in a coded form. He seems to live in Atlanta and is perhaps either an unnamed professor of economics at Emory U. or a software engineer ("Mike") who puts videos on YouTube warning people about hyperinflation coming to the US before May of this year.)

I happened to find all this (and more! I didn't add the parts about the Catholic conspiracy, the numerology, the Freemasons, the 'coincidental' G-7 meeting in Rome on Friday, etc.) on LATOC under the financial doom section. (It's a very clearly marked thread "Major market crash Feb.9-Feb.13") It is really worth reading (I thought so anyway but maybe I just have too much time on my hands!). I don't know how much to believe, but I recommend it anyway. There is one warning to get three days of food and water ready in case. (yikes!)

It certainly has me biting my nails and dreading Friday 13.......which is tomorrow!

Denninger has been saying it's imminent. He's big on technicals, which I think is voodoo, but I guess Friday is as good a day as any.

Personally, I don't understand what has been keeping it up for this long. The losses have already happened; All it takes is for one key person to admit it and Kaboom!!

Maybe on Friday we'll see the emperors wrinkly skin.