DrumBeat: March 2, 2009

Position yourself now for $300 a barrel oil

Smart traders know oil's retreat is temporary

...While the global recession and credit crunch have severely impacted global demand for energy, it's only temporary. The problems propelling oil prices to $147 haven't gone away. The patient is, at best, in temporary remission.

Pemex struggles to remain in the ranks of oil exporters

Mexican oil production is declining 9%/year which, if continued, will end exports in six years. Chicontepec forms a main part of the strategy to bring oil production back above 3 million bbl/day by 2015. In that year, Chicontepec will be producing 511,000 bl/day. Many observers think it will be difficult to meet this schedule. A Chicontepec well will currently produce only a few hundred bbl/day. even with steady drilling, the area now produces only 72,000 bbl/day.

Russia oil wealth funds worth $220 bln - FinMin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's oil wealth funds are currently worth about $220 billion, the Finance Ministry said on Monday.

The Reserve Fund, designated for plugging holes in the Russian budget, is currently worth over 4.8 trillion roubles or $136.3 billion, up from 4.7 trillion as of Feb, 1.

U.S. vehicles sales to keep on falling: CIBC World Markets report - Detroit makes too many cars - half the nation's plants likely to close

CIBC - U.S. auto sales, which are already at a 34-year low, will likely drop another 30-40 per cent and may never recover to previous levels, finds a new report from CIBC World Markets.

The report projects that American consumers will only buy about 8-9 million vehicles a year over the next five years, roughly half of what we've seen in the last half-decade. As a result, it also projects roughly half of the U.S.'s 51 light vehicle plants will be permanently closed in the coming years. This will see the loss of another 200,000 jobs in the sector, on top of the 560,000 jobs already lost this decade.

Deteriorating economy cuts off rally in oil market

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Oil prices plummeted more than 9 percent Monday with little to suggest energy demand will recover in the deteriorating global economy.

Russia invites Iran to sell oil at Petersburg commodity exchange

TEHRAN (RIA Novosti) - Russia has invited Iran to sell crude oil on the St. Petersburg Commodity Exchange, the Russian energy minister said on Monday.

"The Russian side has proposed that our Iranian partners consider the possibility of selling a part of Iran's oil at the St. Petersburg Commodity Exchange," Sergei Shmatko said.

Rosneft 2008 SEC Proved Reserves Fell 0.3% in 2008

(Bloomberg) -- OAO Rosneft’s total proved reserves fell 0.3 percent last year under U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission methodology as the oil reserves of Russia’s largest producer declined while those of natural gas advanced.

Total reserves dropped to 14.448 billion barrels of oil equivalent from 14.495 billion barrels the previous year, according to 2008 figures contained in an e-mailed statement today and data from on the Moscow-based company’s Web site.

Mexico closes oil exports terminals due to weather

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico shut down its Coatzacoalcos and Cayo Arcas oil exporting ports in the Gulf of Mexico due to bad weather on Sunday, and its Dos Bocas port remained closed.

Norwegian government's oil revenues soar

The Norwegian government's income from direct investment in the country's offshore oil and gas fields rose 27 percent in the fourth quarter, as higher natural gas prices and production levels countered a sharp drop in crude prices, Petoro AS said Monday.

Wrong Reason to Tap Reserves

Unlike some of the other black holes into which Washington pours money these days, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve's value is grasped easily. If needed, it could replace about 44% of daily U.S. oil imports for more than five months.

In 30 years plus, there have been only two emergency releases, connected with war and hurricanes. President Barack Obama, however, has said he would consider tapping the SPR simply to cool surging oil prices, a position repeated recently by the Department of Energy.

That would be a mistake.

Demand for electricity to increase 6%

Overall demand growth for electricity will "average six per cent" in the 2009-2020 period, with supply struggling to meet demand in peak periods toward 2010, according to the latest Nomura "Middle East Energy and Power" report.

Although new capacity on-stream may lead to a more balanced market from early next decade before gradually tightening again, it said.

Growing excitement, expectations for green jobs corps

Across the country, people like Bryer are looking to the renewable energy sector in hopes its "green-collar jobs" will offer them stability in this shaky economy. Some are signing up for community college or apprenticeship programs that train students to be wind turbine mechanics, solar panel installers, fuel-cell engineers or energy efficiency experts.

Government support has rallied excitement for the prospect of a green jobs corps, as President Obama's stimulus package puts about $20 billion into greening the economy, according to the White House.

Economic woes renew push against growth limits

Florida: The state's economic woes are adding fuel to the push by lawmakers to ease environmental and growth-management regulations.

Saudi cuts drilling activity

Drilling activity in Saudi Arabia may drop by about 20 per cent this year, as the world’s biggest oil exporter slows major oilfield development following a surge of activity in the past three years.

But so far there is no evidence of a similar trend in the UAE, where there has been no recent push to develop oilfields, and the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has scheduled several big projects.

UK: Energy crisis looms

FAMILIES, industry and hospitals could face regular blackouts in the Westcountry in the next decade because the Government has not woken up to a potential "energy crunch", one of the region's leading engineers has warned.

Barry Griffiths, director of the Institution of Civil Engineers South West, reckons the three-day working week and life by candlelight, not seen since the miners' strike of the 1970s, could return unless there is deep investment in power generation across the UK.

Green shopping: Don't say 'eww,' to thrift stores

Denver - The global energy crisis is overwhelming, but Americans are looking for ways to make small changes that add up. We install solar panels, buy hybrid cars, and turn down the thermostat. Yet when it comes to everyday shopping, we are conditioned to buy more than we need, new things made halfway around the world.

Apollo 13: a guilty pleasure in the age of scarcity

I was watching the movie Apollo 13 recently for what was probably the fifth time, consuming it in the manner of a guilty pleasure. I say guilty pleasure because this movie is the paradigmatic technofix movie. And, I have little faith that the mounting challenges of resource depletion and climate change can be addressed by technology alone.

But still I revel in the technical mastery and the astonishing ingenuity of the NASA scientists portrayed in the film who saved a crippled spacecraft and brought its crew safely home. Perhaps, I think to myself, just maybe perhaps, these technofix advocates have a point. Maybe when circumstances get really, really desperate, we will somehow pull off an energy transition while at the same time addressing climate change and a host of other issues in one transformative ingenuity-filled marathon. They did it in Apollo 13, didn't they?

Bicycle Across America for Sustainable Civilization

As a six continent long distance touring bicyclist, I witnessed entire civilizations fall into horrific problems concerning environment, water shortages, energy problems and loss of quality of life.

More alarmingly, today, I watch the United States follow in the same footsteps of other failed countries like Mexico, China, Zimbabwe, India and Bangladesh. Those countries suffer SO many problems, they cannot solve them. Their people grind through their collective misery beyond any American’s understanding.

Hard Times for Horses

“This is definitely a very bad time to be a horse,” Ms. Kanciper said, confirming the negative development — driven by panicky, cash-strapped owners and an unforgiving economy — that has uprooted Maple and an as-yet-unknown number of his species. Reports of a surge in abandoned or neglected horses; of overcrowded rescue, auction and retirement facilities; and of unwanted equines being fattened in feedlots before being shipped to slaughter in Mexico and in Canada have prompted the Unwanted Horse Coalition, an offshoot of the American Horse Council, to undertake a national survey on the problem.

Kunstler: What Next?

There was a popular theory among Peak Oilers the last decade that the world would enter a "bumpy plateau" period when the global economy would get beaten down by peak oil, would then revive as "demand destruction" drove down oil prices, and would be beaten down again as oil prices shot up in response -- with serial repetitions of the cycle, each beat-down taking economies lower -- the only imaginable outcome being some sort of quiet homeostasis. This scenario did not play out as expected. It was predicated on a mistaken assumption that all systems would retain some kind of operational resilience while ratcheting down. Anyway, the banking system was mortally wounded in the first go-round and the behemoth is dying hard.

A tiny town in the Central Valley prepares for 'Armageddon'

The farmers who will be slammed the hardest are those who depend on the Central Valley Project, the massive federal system of dams, reservoirs, pumps and canals that helped spawn California's $36 billion farming industry — the state's largest.

Within a couple of years, Coburn says, numerous small towns like Firebaugh could die and hundreds of thousands of once-profitable acres could turn into fields of dust. Beginning today, the federal water spigot in California has been turned off for the first time. And just as in "Armageddon,'' the game might be over.

Across the Central Valley, warns a new University of California-Davis study, 80,000 jobs could be lost this year.

Alaska senator offers compromise bill on ANWR oil

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - A bill introduced Friday by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska would permit oil production in the ecologically sensitive Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but only from directional wells that are drilled outside the refuge's borders.

Murkowski, a Republican who first announced her plan last week during an address to the Alaska legislature, characterized the bill as a compromise that addresses environmentalists' concerns about impacts within the refuge while allowing for some of the oil beneath it to be tapped.

PGNiG cuts output forecast

Poland's gas monopoly PGNiG cut its 2009 domestic production forecast from 4.6 billion cubic metres to 4.3 Bcm, it said today.

The company produces about one-third of the gas it sells and imports the rest, a Reuters report said.

Europeans seek U.S. energy drilling know-how

Colombus, Ohio -- With one eye cast toward home, giant European energy companies are investing billions in U.S. natural gas and oil fields where huge, hard-to-get reserves have been unlocked with new drilling technology.

That technology is the prize in Europe, where gas production has declined and where an international utility dispute recently left people in more than a dozen European countries shivering in unheated homes.

Wind-power industry seeks trained workforce

This is Wind Technology Boot Camp at Cerro Coso Community College, where eight weeks of study and $1,000 in tuition might lead to a job repairing mammoth wind turbines like the ones sprouting up across this region.

The work requires smarts and stamina. It is potentially dangerous. Candidates need good knees, a cool head -- and a stomach for heights.

Bolivia pins hopes on lithium, electric vehicles

LA PAZ, Bolivia - To Bolivia's president, it's the great silvery-white hope.

Lithium, the lightest metal. Half the density of water. Used in cell phone, laptop and iPod batteries, and in the years to come, many thousands of electric and hybrid vehicles propelling humanity into a cleaner energy future.

French farmer is new sun king

WEINBOURG, France (Reuters) - Bright winter sun dissolves a blanket of snow on barn roofs to reveal a bold new sideline for Jean-Luc Westphal: besides producing eggs and grains, he is to generate solar power for thousands of homes.

Economic crisis has cast doubt on funding hopes for many big renewable energy projects, but the giant panels built into roofs on this sloping farm at the foot of the Vosges hills in eastern France are attracting attention from farmers to financiers.

Embracing the collapse

As counterintuitive as it seems, it’s possible that the end of life as we know it could also be the beginning of something better.

It’s not just anarchists who might embrace such a turn of events. Regardless of a person’s place on the political spectrum, there are benefits to be found in the prospect of society’s unwinding.

Scientists urged to step to plate on climate politics

Money and politics, the stuff of social science, now drive global warming, and climate science needs to get with it, a National Research Council report suggests.

"Demand is growing for credible, understandable and useful information for responding to climate change," says the report, called Restructuring Federal Climate Research to Meet the Challenges of Climate Change. The report, released Thursday, calls for "transformation" of climate science to emphasize the climate's influence on food, economics and public health.

Otherwise, there's lots of evidence that politicians will tackle such practical problems without scientists.

A look 'back' at the 21st century and the plight of Hampton Roads

In the early 21st century, Hampton Roads was a thriving, waterfront-oriented region, and much of our then-acclaimed lifestyle was focused on living near and playing on the water.

Today that is hard to imagine, as our waterfront is dominated by abandoned buildings slowly being claimed by the bay or sea. Abandoned roads, sewage treatment facilities and other utilities lie just beneath the surface in the near-shore areas. The massive pollution from all of this has ruined the quality of the water itself, as well as making near-shore navigation hazardous. Indeed, the water has transformed from being a regional asset in 2001 to a hazardous, polluted eyesore that is inexorably devouring the region in 2101.

Nightline - Grow Your Own (video)

Victory gardens are sprouting up everywhere.

Lugar Calls for Deeper Understanding of Food Shortage Challenges

Thomas Malthus famously warned 200 years ago that food production would not keep pace with population growth. But Malthus did not foresee how technology and innovation would increase food production as the population grew. The problem we face now is that advancements in agriculture technology have been lagging, even as a dangerous confluence of factors threatens to severely limit food production in some regions and the world´s population continues to expand. Between 1970 and 1990, global aggregate farm yield rose by an average of 2 percent each year. Since 1990, however, aggregate farm yield has risen by an annual average of just 1.1 percent. The USDA projects that growth in global farm yields will continue to fall during the next decade.

Meltdown response: Ecuador erects trade barriers

In what may be the world's most protectionist response to the global economic crisis, Ecuador's leftist government has imposed import restrictions on everything from Peruvian shampoo to Chilean grapes and U.S.-made running shoes.

President Rafael Correa says he had to take drastic action to prevent the collapse of an oil-dependent economy shocked by plunging petroleum prices, flagging remittances from workers abroad and the drying-up of foreign investment.

Alaska governor to revamp state gas authority

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin introduced bills in the state legislature late Friday giving the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority, or ANGDA, a state gas corporation, expanded authority to build a possible in-state pipeline to bring gas from the North Slope to the state's major population areas in south-central Alaska.

Falklands oil survey impresses town MP

Early evidence of oil and gas reserves which could significantly boost the British economy have been seen by a Northampton MP during a mission to the Falkland Islands.

Brian Binley, the Conservative member for Northampton South, was invited to the South Atlantic as part of a scheme by islanders to keep their issues on the agenda in Parliament.

Russian gas output slides

Russian oil output and exports edged up in February while natural gas production of Russia's gas export monopoly Gazprom collapsed due to demand destruction at home and abroad, data showed today.

Caspian CPC Feb oil exports fall 0.4 pct vs Jan

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Kazakh and Russian oil exports via the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) fell to 758,598 barrels a day in February, 0.4 percent down from 761,340 bpd in January, CPC said on its website.

Chesapeake cuts output as low prices bite

US independent Chesapeake Energy has cut its production by 7% because of low energy prices, warning it might further reduce its drilling operations.

Chesapeake will trim its Midcontinent natural gas output by 200,000 million cubic feet per day and oil production by 6000 barrels per day for at least the month of March.

PDVSA to Begin Paying Debt to Contractors Tomorrow

(Bloomberg) -- Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the state oil company, will begin to pay as many as 6,000 contractors and domestic vendors in a “massive” process to bring their payments up-to-date, the company said.

The Caracas, Venezuela-based company known as PDVSA will immediately recognize back-pay to at least 90 percent of contractors and service providers starting tomorrow as it pays off any outstanding debt to them, according to a statement today on its Web site.

PetroChina plans expansion at oil refining, storage complex in S. China

NANNING, March 2 (Xinhua) -- PetroChina, a leading Chinese oil producer and refiner, plans to expand a refining and storage base in Qinzhou, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, an official with the municipal government confirmed Monday.

The project, the second phase at the site, would have a designed annual refining capacity of 10 million tonnes. The first phase also had 10 million tonnes of refining capacity, the official said.

Russia president positive on LUKOIL plans to buy into Repsol

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev spoke in positive terms about Russian oil major LUKOIL's proposal to buy a stake in Spanish oil giant Repsol ahead of a state visit to Spain where the issue may be discussed.

Debt-laden Spanish builder Sacyr has discussed selling its 20 percent stake in Repsol to LUKOIL, which is privately owned.

Japan auto sales plunge in February

(AP:TOKYO) Japanese auto sales plunged 32.4 percent in February, the biggest monthly drop since 1974 on sinking demand as the global economic downturn deepens, an industry group said Monday.

Japanese consumers bought 218,212 vehicles for the month, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said in a statement. That's the seventh consecutive month of year-on-year declines.

Oil, the fading horse power

President Obama's Carnival Tuesday speech reiterated his intention to make the US self-sufficient in energy. Remember that the US is a massive importer and user of oil and natural gas-we export substantial amounts of natural gas.

Our Minister of Energy, Conrad Enill, recognising that our market for natural gas in the US may become constrained, reassured us that there are other markets that pay even higher prices than the US. What the Minister ignored is the impact of this reduction in global demand for exported energy on prices of natural gas and oil in general.

We're all doomed - again

Kevin Phillips, a former senior strategist for Richard Nixon's 1968 campaign, cannot see the Obama Administration reining in the buccaneers. In the 2008 election, the Democrats and Obama himself were funded by financial services firms including hedge funds.

Phillips also looks at the inability of all sides in politics to come up with a policy on energy and oil, even though the future of the US energy supply, the value of the dollar and global warming are converging on the interplay of oil and US currency flows. America is vulnerable to peak oil, which will weaken the US dollar even further.

Mideast firms may go on buying spree

Middle Eastern national oil companies (NOCs) are likely to go on buying spree this year and acquire a number of downstream oil companies abroad, a new study has said.

"NOCs accounted for a third of the mergers and acquisition spend in 2006 and the percentage in likely to increase in 2009," Booz & Company (B&C), a global management consultancy group, said in its report titled 'How to live to tell the tale', which predicts that the oil prices will rebound to beyond $100 (Dh367.31) a barrel by the end of 2009.

Kuwait MPs urge interest-free loans for citizens

KUWAIT CITY: Five Kuwaiti MPs submitted a bill yesterday calling on the oil-rich state to give every citizen interest-free loans to help them cope with the fallout of the global economic crisis.

The bill aims to grant each Kuwaiti aged above 21 a loan of 10,000 dinars ($35,000) and a loan of 1,000 dinars (3,500 dollars) to those younger, to be repaid over 15 years.

Outside Atlanta, a Utopia Rises

In 2000, while jogging, Mr. Nygren noticed bulldozers on adjacent farmland and promptly panicked that Atlanta’s sprawl was about to consume his solitude. He quickly purchased 900 acres adjacent to the farm and, feeling it was inevitable that land so close to the city would be developed, determined to set an example.

He did so only after banding together with neighboring landowners to push through zoning changes aimed at limiting development to self-contained clusters, surrounded by wilderness. Under the plan, 80 percent of the 40,000-acre Chattahoochee Hill Country region must be preserved as green space.

In the last five years, Serenbe’s first two high-density hamlets have risen, shaped like omegas to flow with the undulations of the land and constructed according to stringent environmental and conservation standards.

An uncomfortable truth

As the planet's resources dwindle, a debate on population control is needed more than ever

ProCon.org and Over 175 Experts Compare Alternative Energies to Fossil Fuels in Major New Nonpartisan Website

ProCon.org, a nonpartisan 501c3 nonprofit research organization, created the new website alternativeenergyprocon.org to explore the core question, "Can alternative energy effectively replace fossil fuels?"

Vietnam: Netherlands to help with climate change impacts

Since early this year, the high tides and storms have caused flooding in more than 100 areas in the city and its outskirts, mostly in districts situated along rivers and canals and low-lying areas, badly disrupting daily life and business.

Schellaars said the Dutch Embassy was preparing a support package for the National Target Program in Response to Climate Change launched last month in Vietnam.

The dangers of geo-engineering

For the first time in history, we have the ability to control the world's weather. We must make sure it does not turn against us.

Global Warming Tracking Satellite Crash May Set Global Warming Research Several Years!

The Taurus XL crashed last Tuesday, postponing a 9-year, $280 million project which would have allowed Colorado State University (CSU) researchers to track carbon dioxide emissions and global warming over the course of the next two years. The rocket blasted off at 3AM (MT), Thursday from the California Vandenberg Air Force Base and then shortly crashed down near Antarctica. The protective cover failed to depart the rocket during flight, which added too much weight for it to reach orbit. This setback could bring us back several more years as far as earth studies go.

Australia - Emissions trading spells disaster for farmers: MP

The Federal Member for Barker, Patrick Secker, say the Government's emissions trading scheme will be devastating for farmers, even with exemptions.

Villagers weather climate change

For Isadora, a mother of four in Santa Cruz, a village in El Salvador, the answer to climate change was to establish a fish farm and to cultivate fruit trees that are better able to survive arid conditions. For Vernia, a mother of six from Mombin-Crochu, in Haiti, it lay in planting barriers of robust crops such as pineapple and sugar, to protect farming plots from landslides.

“They sound simple, but they are clever schemes that make a huge difference,” says Lexi Barnett, campaigns officer for the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF).

“Climate change is real and it’s undermining the efforts people are putting in to work their way out of poverty.”

An uncomfortable truth - a debate on population control is needed.

"People suck. There's too many of them." -- Bill Hicks.

"Could you all stop your rutting for just one second, until we figure out this food-air deal?" -- Bill Hicks

"Most of the problems in this world boil down to there being too many f*ing people." -- Doug Stanhope

"We now have over three billion people on the planet. Where did all the extra souls come from? Someone is printing up souls. And when there are too many souls, it lowers their value." -- George Carlin, c. 1977

More and more I'm starting to think that population control needs to be intertwined with a return to the soil via small dense agricultural based communities. The consequences of population growth in our global market system are not directly and locally felt. Global capitalism promotes growth in all things, including population, except of course during crashes when confronted with too many mouths to feed.

There surely needs to be a global and national response to the issue, but that response can only be felt as repressive - UNLESS people are in a situation where they directly and locally feel the consequences of the own actions. So a major part of the proper response is relocalization and connection with the soil. Population control must be included in the relocalization, along with control of other resources. Communities connected to the soil will KNOW how many mouths they can feed. They will know the consequences of not replenishing the soil, cutting down trees, polluting the water.

Global capitalism has detached us from the land and any responsibility for, any feeling for the ultimate resources on which we depend -- i.e. soil, water, biota, including us. We must reconnect, directly, and start managing these things locally so that we can achieve as much local and regional self-reliance and direct responsibility as possible. Otherwise, there will dieoffs in the millions.

Overpopulation, though a very big problem, is not the root issue. It has occurred because of our detachment from the soil via globalized industrial agriculture. That's what has to be reversed.

Overpopulation, though a very big problem, is not the root issue.

Tell that to Liebig.



I think what might be more accurate, and perhaps this is what you are getting at, to say we have not yet reached food limits due to population. We can grow enough food for the current population, and without oil-based inputs. But how far can we take that? There are limits somewhere ahead wrt food production. But what of animal protein? Fisheries? And food is not the only limiting factor.

Best not to pooh-pooh population issues unless or until a definitive assessment of every element needed for continued growth is done. That will never happen, of course, so we end up having to give Liebig some attention.


Do you remember a TV show called "Logan's Run"?
People lived to be 30 years old then disappeared, except for Logan who ran away.
What a concept?

I just watched the most fascinating program on line. NOVA RAT ATTACK Basically it is about rat plagues that hit places in India once every 48 years. It turns out that bamboo blooms once every 48 years. The bamboo fruit provides food for rats. The Black Rat breeds slightly faster than other rats so their population explodes as their food supply also explodes.

But the bamboo fruit hardens after a few months and the rats can no longer eat it. Then they move out of the bamboo forest into the rice, corn and wheat fields of the surrounding villages. There they devastate the crops causing famine and death. Then when they no longer have food, the rats die.

That is what happens when any species finds itself with an abundant food supply, their population explodes until they outbreed their food supply, then they die.

Edit: Posted this before I saw 710's post above. But it dovetails right in doesn't it? And also with the link up top on food shortages.


I find it hard to take seriously those who complain about human population and who do not complain about animal population. Take the India example. It is one of the most heavily populated places on earth yet it also contains one quarter of the world cow population.


The reason of course is religion. But whether it is rats or cows animals consume resources that energy wise would be more efficiently used to support human population.

Although not as extreme as the India situation, the U.S. insists on feeding grain to hogs which is a large waste of energy. Cows at least forage on poor quality roughage.

If there really is a food crisis, the first thing to do is kill the hogs and other animals that compete with humans for food. It is rediculous to try to restrain human population while the animal population runs amok.

There's a good reason cows are held sacred in India. They are required for farmwork. If they were not considered sacred, it would be very tempting indeed to eat the cows, if you and your children were starving. But that would mean you could never farm again. Holding cows sacred is how this was prevented.

While there's no doubt we could eat less meat and live lighter on the land, that doesn't solve the basic problem. Is cramming as many people as we possibly can on the planet really what we want? Even if we all live off tofu and give up cars in favor of walking...there's going to be a limit.

In a history of cattle husbandry, started by Genghis Khan I think,
India was the exception in that milk was thought more important
than the meat.

Development proceeded from that.


I think that has been the norm, actually. Before the fossil fuel fiesta, even pastoralists ate much less meat. It was used as a flavoring more than an entree. People consumed milk, blood, and eggs, reserving meat for special occasions. The animals were slaughtered when they became too old to produce, and/or before the winter when feeding them would be difficult.

The great majority of the planet's cultures consummed protein sources a few cultures found abhorent--insects primarilly. it's also quite likely that those insect protein sources also contained the many additional trace minerals homo sapiens must have for proper development--especially mental/brain phisiological development. As for pastoralists, it should be recognized that they used 100% of the animal, as did their hunter bretheren, and rarely killed more than was needed. I would also aver that pastoralists and hunter-gatherers had a very good idea of what their ecosystem's carrying capacity is without any formal education or written language, whereass today few people, educated or not, even know the term or what it means.

it's also quite likely that those insect protein sources also contained the many additional trace minerals homo sapiens must have for proper development

I have long suspected that global capitalism is a consequence of a trace mineral deficiency that may be resolved by feeding grasshoppers to Bernanke and Rubin, all other members of the Chicago School, and to economists generally.


While it's true that bugs are tasty and nutritious, there is a good reason why many cultures have a preference for eating large animals:

There is no practical way to "gut" a tiny animal. When you eat something tiny, you eat its entire digestive system too, including the poop.

You must watch them carefully, and only eat them after they've done their business!

Or grow your own free-range varieties.
To make snails edible, put them in a bucket of corn meal and let them march in circles for a couple weeks. They come out flushed clean and stuffed with cornpone.

We used to put steamers that we gathered (clams, that is) in a bucket with some corn meal to clean 'em out. Also got the sand out of 'em.

X, we am not complaining about human population numbers, we are simply stating facts. Do you actually believe Malthus was complaining about population when he wrote Principle of Population? No, he was just stating some basic facts about how populations grow as compared to the food supply. People who write about the facts of nature are not complaining about nature, just stating the facts as they see them.

However your post does serve one important function. Every time I think people are getting a little wiser to what is causing most problems in the world, I read a post like yours and am brought back to reality.


Yes. Some people are in fact concerned about non-human population numbers, but because of depleted fisheries, plankton decline, and the 200 species per day being lost in the current Holocene Extinction. >:(

In order to consider the inputs, contributing processes, and ramifications of an idea, it at least takes time and effort in communication, and perhaps additional effort to shore up gaps in one's own understanding. Most people have not the time, nor the energy, nor the tools necessary to make use of the available infrastructure.

At least with the Internet, it makes things easier for a time. Without which, you'd need to spend an awful lot of time in a library. The Internet is like a library. Most of its knowledge could be lost like with The Great Library at Alexandria.

Same dynamic with hanta virus outbreaks in the Southwest. Wet year = good pinyon crop = rodent population explosion. Rodents, especially deer mice but also other species, vector the hanta virus. Year or so following a good pinyon crop & cases start showing up in the IHS hospitals on the reservation.

Little male mouse is like a dog; goes around marking his territory with urine. Inhaled mouse urine aerosols are how people become infected w/ the hanta virus.

Fossil Fuels were our 'bamboo fruit.' Malthus just didn't know about that buried fruit, and how far it would push us into overshoot.

Thanks for the link. My sister-in-law told me about the program the other day, now I can watch it myself.

How do you know fossil fuel comes from fossils??????
Why are you so sure??????
What if it did not come from fossils?

If it didn't come from fossils then we are still in deep fertilizer because we live on a finite ball of rock.

We know they are fossil fuels because of their organic chemical nature.

They are called "fossil" fuels because of how old they are - algal blooms laid down millions of years ago then compressed and cooked into petroleum. Not necessarily the "fossils" you are used to seeing in the museum. Although nice "fossils" are found in some petroleum producing rocks and areas, our oil is almost all the compresssed and cooked remains of some incredibly productive algea swamps, must have stunk like hell when they were in their heyday, during times when conditions to create them were present. I don't think there are any times right now where there are places we can call "oil in the making", these things were laid down during times of special conditions - Deffeyes' books are good reads on this, I think James Lovelock may have written about this a bit, and other serious writers

It's fascinating stuff!

Why are you so sure??????
What if it did not come from fossils?

Nowhere oil comes from algae! You have been told that before but you continue to ignore it and pretend that we claim oil comes from dead dinosaurs of dead trees. We know oil comes from marine algae for several reasons. One, it is always found in a former marine environment. Two, oil contains the signature of many organic compounds. And three, we know kerogen can be turned to oil. Kerogen is found in surface rock called Marl. The Green River Shale beds are kerogen impregnated marl, not really shale. The origin of the marl and the kerogen is easily established as aquatic algae. The algae signature is clearly visible in the kerogen.

The Green River Shale would have become oil source rock if it had been buried deep enough for long enough. It was not so it remained surface kerogen, long dead algae buried in marl.


You're getting too serious again, Ron. Everybody calls it fossil fuel so it must come from fossils, right? How about Duck Tape?

How about fossil water? The word "fossil" is usually used as a noun but in this case the word "fossil" in "fossil fuel" is an adjective, not a noun.

Fossil: adj

Characteristic of or having the nature of a fossil.
Being or similar to a fossil.
Belonging to the past; antiquated.

Errr...its Duct Tape. However I think there is a Duck brand of Duct tape.


Errr... or should I saw "err?"
The tape to which you refer was originally made with a backing of cotton fabric - aka ducking - from which it derived its original name.

Well hell, you could have fooled me. I always thought it was for taping ductwork and that was where it got it's name.

Duct Tape

After WWII, the housing industry boomed and people started using duct tape for many other purposes. The name "duct tape" came from its use on heating and air conditioning ducts, a purpose for which it, ironically, has been deemed ineffective. Its strength, low cost, and remarkable versatility make it a household staple throughout North America and Europe for temporary repairs and general-purpose use.

You missed the "Etymology" section from your own link:

One view[13][14] is that it was called "duck tape" by WWII soldiers because it was made from cotton duck, from which their tents, tarpaulins, ponchos and other equipment were made. The word "duck" was commonly used for camping equipment fabrics until synthetics replaced cotton. Some suggest that the waterproof quality of the tape contributed to the name, by analogy to the water-shedding quality of a duck's plumage.

Nelsone, you are correct about "Duck Tape" and I am correct about "Duct Tape". ;-)

Nuff said, Ron

What ever it's called, it sucks for duct work. Falls off too soon. Use foil tape.

It's illegal to use Duct tape on ducts in many code jurisdictions !

It's all just quackery anyhow...

Cool, then since it comes from Algae, we can make more of it by growing algae in mass quantity.
Then take the algae and squirt it down in the dry oil wells for a while to ferment.......

You sure way behind the times Nowhere. Algae is already being used to produce oil. And there is no need to push it down the dry wells and wait many years.

Algal Oil Yields

Crop Oil in Liters per hectare

Castor 1413
Sunflower 952
Safflower 779
Palm 5950
Soy 446
Coconut 2689
Algae 100000

I do not vouch for tha accuracy of the above claims. I post them merly to show Nowhere that there is a lot he doesn't know about algae and oil. I am disappointed that they did not list corn.

Dave Letterman's Top Ten Dumb Guy Ideas for Lowering Gas Prices

8.) Gas comes from dinosaurs so all we need are more dinosaurs.

The number 100,000 is from start-up companies trying to get venture capital......, and scientists trying to obtain funding for their pet-projects.......

Doable is something in the range of 5000 Liter per hectare, but for a ridiculous price. Growing, harvesting and processing algae (all three steps) is much more expensive than growing, harvesting and processing palm oil nuts (has been discussed previously (http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2531).

“Every person who has mastered a profession is a skeptic concerning it.”

I know all about algae, I was just trying to stir up the waters.
The issue with crop oil is that it takes energy to plant it, to fertilize it, harvest it, process it, ship it, etc. I suppose humans will just magically evolve into lower energy one-celled beings.

Re: Russian gas output slides

Data from the energy ministry showed Gazprom produced 1.41 billion cubic metres of gas in February, down 2% from 1.44 bcm a day in January and 16% lower than 1.67 bcm a day in February 2008.

..."We believe Gazprom's production and exports will rebound strongly in the second quarter as contract gas prices are set to decline sharply," he (Alexander Burgansky from brokerage Renaissance Capital) said.

I don't know why Burgansky expects production to rebound sharply in Q2. Gazprom's official projections say it won't.

What stands out for me is the confirmation that Gazprom's February production was even lower than in January when most exports to Europe were cut-off. And Poland (which can't call on storage as Germany/France and others are doing) is still having to restrict large scale industrial users because of lack of Russian supply - so much for the supposed massive demand destruction being the reason.

Based on 2006 EIA numbers, a -5%/year decline rate in natural gas production would mean a -20%/year decline in net natural gas exports, assuming no change in consumption.

It's also interesting that the UK is currently running at a relatively high rate of presumably expensive LNG imports and using that to try and both top up storage and allow export to Europe.

A recent warm spell has probably saved the UK the problem of running out of long range storage for this winter but it seems very strange that the UK is still generally acting as an export to Europe hub when the Russians claim there is no demand.

Saudi Arabia complained of not being able to find buyers for its oil in the spring of 2006. They couldn't even find buyers for their "light, sweet oil." Nobody wanted the stuff. I have frequently noted that Texas ran into the same problem in 1973, as oil prices started about a 1,000% increase from 1972 to 1980, no one wanted to buy all of Texas oil production, "even our light, sweet oil," forcing a long term series of voluntary production cutbacks.

A reason may be that presently Russian nat gas, that is oil indexed with a 6 - 9 months time lag, presently is more expensive than nat gas traded at NBP (National Balancing Point).
This may change later this spring/summer.

But Gazprom's latest production forecast for 2009 is 495-511bcm. Production so far this year is running at an annualised rate of about 510bcm. Clearly Gazprom is not forecasting production rates to climb above where they are now on average for the rest of the year. In fact it appears to be expecting production to drop further.

Perhaps because they're expecting demand to drop further?

Oh I'm absolutely sure that's what they'll say. And it's amazing how much the demand from Europe drops when you cut the supply ;-)

I also wonder why all the other Russian gas producers are having no problem selling all the gas they can produce. All the other producers are up on 2008. It's only Gazprom that's down.

One key thing to watch in the months ahead will be when/where European storage bottoms out. If it's later than normal and the refill rate is lower than normal, it should be obvious within a few months whether there is sufficient surplus gas to refill storage sufficiently from record post winter lows.

If not then Simmons: "Next winter Europe is toast - cold toast" will come true.

As of Monday 23rd February, total storage in Europe (according to Gas Storage Europe, published weekly) was approximately 6,5 Gcm (Bcm) lower than in 2008 at the same time. This would suggest a steeper rebuilding this summer than in 2008 if the supply situation is adequate.

The refilling season may give some indications on the supply situation. Data from UK and Norway (I don’t know about the Netherlands) will be readily available and the other producers are quite small (like Denmark, Germany and Italy).

I believe that 6.5 Bcm would be about 230 BCF. This is about 7% of usual maximum US storage level that the US hits in a given year. We took 101 BCF out of storage last week.

BTW, US storage is about 200 BCF above the five year average, contributing to the decline in US natural gas prices. If we were 230 BCF below the five year average, I suspect we would be looking at quite different gas prices.

Total nat gas in European storage (GSE report) is at max just above 50 Gcm (Bcm), while in the US it is in the area of 100 Gcm (Bcm).

EU nat gas consumption is (on an annual basis) 75 – 80 % of present US nat gas consumption.

So just from eyeballing the European storage data you refer to at http://transparency.gie.eu.com/index.html it looks like European storage could well bottom out at below 20% (compared to around 40% last year) and that's more than 10bcm below 2008. That means we need over 40bcm to refill storage this year. Curiously that's getting close to the amount of gas missing from 2009 Gazprom production.

Every indication I can see from the charts is that supply from Russia must still be way below that expected for Europe as a whole. That it's not demand destruction can be seen from the collapse in storage - still dropping at twice the typical rate for this time of year.

If the refill rate drops by roughly the same amount that the withdrawal rate has increased by then Europe will enter next winter with storage less than half full at best and that won't be nearly enough.

Jerome says the February production numbers were more affected by the cutoff than January. In January, they produced gas and put it in storage. In February, they pulled gas from storage rather than produce it.

And note that oil production was up. IMO, you really can't read too much into these monthly numbers.

Yes, oil production was up slightly on January but still down on the previous February.

Perhaps in February the Russians pulled gas from storage because they couldn't produce it as Simmons says.

And I'm not just looking at the monthly numbers. I've been watching the daily numbers and comparing them with daily/weekly/monthly production figures from any snapshots I can find from recent years. Unfortunately I don't have the complete series because I can only find subscription sources for them. However it appears that Jan/Feb production is down even more from 2006/2007 than 2008.

What does Jerome make of even Russian press reports that Gazprom is covering up a crisis by spouting nonsense and playing games?


Instead of investing in developing new gas fields and infrastructure, CEO Alexei Miller, working hand-in-hand with the Kremlin, poured billions of dollars into senseless projects -- buying football teams, building a skyscraper, gambling that Central Asian gas will make up for Russia's lagging production and engaging in theatrical, highly political conflicts with Ukraine.

Gazprom's current problems can be traced back to the removal in May 2001 of CEO Rem Vyakhirev, a highly qualified gas professional, despite his alleged transgressions. When Vyakhirev ran Gazprom, it was a highly nontransparent commercial enterprise, but few in the West complained about the company's political role. Today, it is viewed as an opaque political enterprise.

Miller's team created a web of intermediary companies and gave away billions of dollars to unknown partners in shady companies, such as Eural Trans Gas and RosUkrEnergo. As Gazprom's reputation took a big hit, so did a chunk of Russia's federal budget.

...The January Russia-Ukraine gas war was a vivid example of how Gazprom carried out the Kremlin's political agenda. The conflict had little to do with commerce. The stage-managed meetings shown on Russian television of Putin giving Miller instructions on how to act were mind-boggling. Imagine CNN showing the Chevron CEO getting instructions from former President George W. Bush on how to settle a contract dispute with Nigeria.

You'll have to ask him yourself, but he's said he thinks the problem is the pipeline capacity, not the production.

That's why I'm waiting for the article :-)

From poking around the riatec website it seems that the data on Russian storage is not currently available for purchase. There's a list of reports which can be ordered (in Russian) at cost with sample PDFs of the contents. One of them is now greyed out and no longer clickable and that looks to be the one with the storage balance. All other listed reports seem to be still available. However I could be misinterpreting this and there's an innocent explanation.

And note that oil production was up.

Russian oil production was up only a tiny fraction in February. I follow their production on a daily basis here. Russia Energy Market Data

I record their numbers every day however there is a problem with this site. Though it is an official Russian Government site they often skip several days at a time, sometimes a week or more. And they always skip weekends. Also I must convert liquid tons to barrels. However the data averaged out is usually pretty close. And from the data I found that Russian February oil production was up about .026 percent verses January, or about 2,000 barrels per day. That is in the noise level.

January production was down, verses December, by about 24,000 bp/d or about .25 percent.


Just noticed an updated story on supply to Poland. Not quite sure I follow this though as the latest cut supposedly reduces Russian gas supply to 78% from 93% when it was reported to already be down to 75% a couple of weeks ago - although now that I think about it that 75% probably referred to a specific pipeline not the entire country.

Deliveries fall to 78 percent from 93 percent

WARSAW, March 2 (Reuters) - Poland's gas deliveries from Russia have fallen to 78 percent of the contracted amount on Monday as the two sides continue to wrestle over a new contract, the main Polish gas supplier said.

...Polish gas provider PGNiG said it stopped receiving 5 million cubic metres via Ukraine on Sunday, bringing total Russian imports to Poland to 78 percent of the contracted amount.

Poland, which also receives Russian gas via Belarus, had been receiving 93 percent of contracted supplies. Gazprom and Rosukrenergo declined to comment.

So that's now two different pipelines to Poland at reduced flow rates.

Report: "Obama Offers to Scrap Missile Shield If Russia Cooperates on Iran.
President Obama wrote to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to tell him Russia's aid in resolving the threat from Iran would make plans for a missile defense shield in Europe unnecessary, according to Russian news agencies. "

Great!!!!!!!! The US now depends on Russia to talk to Iran to stop the Nukes!!!!!!
Then lower the shields!!!!!! What a disaster!!!!! What is he thinking???????

I know!!!!!!!! You'd think with all the punctuation he would take your advice!!!!!!!!!!!!! IS he crazy????????????? He Must Be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love you wisco.

You will stop laughing when one of those Russian nukes goes up your A$$.

I suspect there'll be a lot of things we'll stop doing when that happens. That's just my guess though.


well we're the ones provoking sh*t all over the place, if it comes back to bite us, not a big surprise. the russians are the least of our worries though. in measure of sheer danger to our country our biggest enemies are pakistan, israel and saudi arabia.

We have met the enemy and he is us. Its not the furners.

And being contrary to CW, I would say the markets should
lock limit down because not a post has mentioned dropping
thru 7 000.

Mac, you seem to be responding to some post or article, I am not sure which. I couldn't find a post by CW. However you should indicate which markets you are talking about. Equities (stocks) have no limits. Most agricultural commodities do but few other commodities have limits.

However scanning the commodities markets I find most agricultural commodities are down but only slightly. Oil is down but Natural Gas is up.


CNBC is all excited because the Dow fell below 6900.

Yeah, first time since 1997 that it has been at that level. CNBC's question; How do you play this market? Hell, I would play it by selling anything if I had anything. I believe it is going lower, much lower. But hell, who listens to Cassandra?


How do you play this market?

"Ow, you're mean! I'm taking my toys and going home!"

Well, shorting the S&P 500 would be a start--
Try SDS, they have done all the work for you.
Or DXD if you wanted to do the same on the Dow.
Or EEV if you wanted to short emerging markets, which are going to really get hammered.

SRS: Commercial real estate's tanking is a no-brainer.

No playing in this market until after it sinks to 5000.

I'm playing this market by cashing out my 401(k). I just got word that the paperwork went through. Now I have to decide where to put this money. Mattress, local credit union, etc. Not sure yet. Still on the learning curve with this economic scenario.


I know you recently cashed yours out. Do you have any words of wisdom on where to put the funds?



Always remember that cash, in and of itself, has no intrinsic value.

Our government's response to the deflationary spiral we find ourselves in is to print up as as much "money" as it can at a breakneck pace. I have my doubts that it will stop doing this when the deflationary spiral ends. Massive inflation is likely to be the result but it may not arrive for 10 months or 10 years.

Gold and silver, however, do have intrinsic value as well as a long history as a refuge for wealth in difficult times. I would probably convert a portion (~50%) of your cash into bullion.

I recommend purchasing bullion coins from your local coin shop. Even at todays prices (spot+) the gold/oil, gold/wheat and gold/DOW relationships are well below their historic highs. And I have convinced myself that demand for gold will only increase as the economic crisis deepens.

(Disclaimer -- I started buying bullion in 2003 when gold was $350/oz and silver $4.52/oz. Although I believe in bullion as an investment for the next decade I am also talking my book.)

-- Jon

Gold and silver, however, do have intrinsic value..

Only as good conductors of electricity. No electromotive force, no intrinsic value of conductors. You can't eat gold & silver. You can have a ton of the stuff & it will do you no good when you're starving, unless you can exchange it for food. If everyone else is starving, no one is going to trade precious food for worthless metals. Nothing has "intrinsic value" unless you can eat it, make something useful out of it, or burn it for energy. Gold & silver have the LEAST intrinsic value of just about anything I can think of. Even shit, that you can fertilize your garden with, has more intrinsic value than gold & silver. Sell gold & silver while you still can, and buy ammunition.

This comment deserves a massive number of plus ratings.


'Intrinsic' was a sloppy word choice, no doubt.. but if you're willing to look at a writer's intent instead of blathering on with overliteral misreadings, then you'd notice that they're talking about Gold and Silver having an 'effective' value.

Exchange systems are not going to disappear, and a non-oxidizing precious and pretty metal will continue to be used as currency and as a potent, storable form of wealth.

'He knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing' .. as the saying goes.

ammunition? Even ammunition can't get a starving person to give you food if "everyone else is starving." And what good is ammunition if you have no food - you going to shoot all those other starving hordes that want to steal your...ammunition?

So, before we go off the deep end with absolute statements about value, let's look at the assumptions. Under what circumstances would "everyone" be starving? Is that really what we are going to face?

Under what circumstances would "everyone" be starving? Is that really what we are going to face?

Quite likely.

I expect ammunition to be used as currency. Hoarding ammo, to my mind, makes more sense than hoarding gold & silver. And if it comes down to it, you can shoot it out with those out to steal your food, or take to banditry yourself. It may come down to cannibalism. We may have to shoot cannibals to keep from being eaten. We may even have to shoot others in order to eat. It isn't like it'd be the first time in human history. But it may be the last.

Lets try and get a grip?

Thank you, red,

I'd like to put in an obligatory word for other types of skills.

More difficult than learning to shoot. A greater challenge, perhaps. Known to save lives. Known to enhance the ability to work together on a common project.

Mediation, conflict resolution, talking.

For any who might have taken the link seriously, it is from The Onion and should not - under any circumstances - be taken seriously.

I know - but TOD is following the usual thought drainage that follows the "How bad can it get" question.

Answer - Ammo, and Zombie/cannibal endgame. Might as well become a drunk.

if anyone thinks we are at the end of socity then this thread


is the place to go - embody action.

I hear you.

The video link was a (heavy handed) attempt at lightening up the conversation.

It is always the way; words will answer as long as it is only a person's neighbor who is in trouble, but when that person gets into trouble himself, it is time that the King rise up and do something.

- Mark Twain "Personal Reflections of Joan of Arc"

For which I suggest the novel by Cormac McCarty...titled "The Road" and as a soon to be released movie.

And for TOD movie goers? The movie Watchmen...long awaited and purported to be the 'last' superhero movie,since it tops them all!

Opens this Friday. I will be there with my homemade popped corn,illicit cans of Coke, and some pecan fudge.

I am still a movie (flick) junkie since the days of Drive-Ins and romance in the backseat. We had it all over todays generation.
Fast hotrods,dancing,best music,and the Amurkahn Dream was happening.

What a time that was. Ahh the 50's and 60's. Today's youth just have no idea how great those times were.

When did the Music die then? About the 80s?
Now songs are just one phrase repeated over and over...and the music seems to be some type of huge bass speaker thumping and vibrating your windows as you sit in traffic...Well of course Rap and other strange cacaphony,scratching ,screeching,can't decipher the possible lyrics....something perhaps that will go down well with cannabilism and mass chaos on a scale beyond today's apocalyptic movies.

Airdale-mkts tanking badly,Obama not worried,talk will get us through

At one time, even the waltz was dangerously sleazy. "Jazz" was originally a euphemism for "sex," and of course so was "Rock & Roll." These too were vacuous and cacophonic to older people of their time.

If I have a bone to pick with Hip Hop, it's that it's too orthodox. Under the surface, it's the same old formula as "Rock & Roll" stuck on repeat.

Q. Why don't Baptists have sex standing up?

A. Because it might lead to dancing.

Some words on music..

Airdale and I are about the same age. I don't know about him but I often sing to myself while working to pass the time. The times of the songs range from the late 1900's to the 70's or 80's. There are melodies and lyrics. I hope all the young folks enjoy trying to "sing" (or, hell, even whistle) rap, et.al. to themselves as they age. I can just see a bunch of old, whitehaired farts sitting in their wheelchairs going, "Umppah, ump, upm, umppah...",


PS - probably won't hum classical stuff either.

Ahh Airdale, I'm thinking dylan and "everybody must get stoned" I would have followed Grace Slick anywhere.. I would have taken down any police station she pointed us at.

Throwing a log on the fire and thinking about it. There is no thermostat here, I am the thermostat, if I feel chilled I put more wood on. Very primitive. I have to pick up a chunk of wood I cut down and split, and put it in the stove. Hard concept for some. That's my heat, in a very tough climate. My ability to stay warm, means I have to work. Not a job, to make $$ to pay an oil company or gas company.
Look at who you pay, and slash it.

The direct thing is always better than the indirect thing. The least number of steps, Sharon and Jason are getting that. Good to see.

Got me some Eavan Wlliams just cuz you mentioned it, good stuff. Sipping whiskey and the end of the world as we know it. Works for me.

Don in Maaine


Were we all to use wood for heat, would that be sustainable under current housing conditions? Or even in well-insulated homes? Is this something you have considered given your de facto presentation of this as a good life choice?

The questions are neither idle nor pointed.


I, too, heat with wood.

Of course if everyone heated with wood it would be unsustainable. So what? I live in the middle of a forest (New Hampshire). My own 15 acres could produce probably 20-30 cords of firewood into perpetuity. I burn 3-4 cords a year.

It is clearly not a solution for everyone, but in heavily wooded sparsely populated areas, it can make a lot of sense, especially if you own land. There is nothing like heating your home with the fruits of your own labors.

Just because it is not a global panacea doesn't mean it's not a valid part of the energy mix of the future. Some places have solar, some have wind, some have wood.

I agree that solutions need to be contextualized to local conditions, but that's not really what I was getting at. I really was curious whether the person I responded to saw this as a generally good solution or not. The matter-of-fact manner of presentation could make it seem like a general suggestion. But, as you point out, that's probably not a sustainable solution.

As for your "so what?", well, survival is what. CO2 at 350 is what.

Finally, I think things have gotten serious enough quickly enough that it might be a good idea for us all to be more precise with our communications. When we suggest, or appear to suggest, a solution that really isn't, we're not helping move toward longer-term solutions.

BTW, I have no idea what import burning several cords of wood has for ACC. Since we need to go backwards from where we are, I'm going to guess it might be something to be avoided. Caveat: I realize wood might be the ONLY option.

For the record, if I don't get trapped here before tshtf, I will be looking for acreage with timber to build my house and to provide energy should I fail at getting totally off-grid and energy independent.


True enough, about ammo. A friend used to say, "If two people want to trade, and one has a gun, the other a lump of gold, at the end of the transaction one person will have both the gun and the gold."

But the basic rule of investment applies to hoards as well as equities: Diversify!

Sounds like a rule that works better on paper than in real life. (Geez, even the paper isn't real now!)

Seems like a lot of situations the ones with the gold hire the ones with the guns.. Lotta ways for it to play out in Shiny Rock, Paper, Scissors

"Quite likely" that we will all be starving? You're the doomer's doomer. ;-)

Hoarding ammo allows you to do two things, you say. 1) Shoot it out with those out to steal for your food. But wait, you're starving - no one has any food. So much for that reason. 2) Banditry (presumably to steal food). But wait, you're starving, no one has any food. So much for that reason.

Your cannibalism may come to be, but I suspect it will be much more of "ranching" scenario than it would be a "hunting" one. Besides, there is no society that has survived based on humans as a primary food source. Institutionalized cannibalism has always been symbolic. Eating people to survive has typically only occurred in short term emergency survival situations.

Ooh boy, Ron, you're taking us down a dark hole today!

Besides, there is no society that has survived based on humans as a primary food source.

No one said that cannibalism will be sustainable. It will be a desperate attempt to stay alive resorted to by the starving.

try soldering a sweat fitting with $hit. and how well does $hit work for manufacturing microchips ?


Much depends on what sort of crisis you think we are facing. If you think this is the end of civilization forever, then yeah, maybe gold is worthless. But history, even recent history like the Argentina collapse 8 years ago and other financial collapses around the world over the last 100 years give evidence that gold and silver do hold value despite fiat currencies or collapsing governments. So long as there is the possibility of some form of civilization that uses anything other than barter, then gold and silver can carry value forward through time to that civilization. And gold and silver have done exactly that.

However, you also need to put gold and silver into perspective. Precious metals are the very last thing that anyone preparing for collapse should purchase. Like you, I tend to favor ammunition and other things that are likely to become very valuable yet hard to get in the event of any sort of severe collapse. When friends ask if they should invest in precious metals, I ask if they have taken care of every other area of preparation already or not. Usually they say they have not and are simply looking for the easy way out. I tell them there is no easy way out of this mess so get all your preps completely done before you worry about whether you can convey any wealth forward into an uncertain future.

Gold is the last of the "5 Gs" - Grain, Grub, Gear, Guns, Gold. It's last for a reason - because those other Gs have higher value.

Grain, Grub, Gear, Guns, Gold.

This sounds more like a survivalist screed than a plan for a sustainable future.

Grain? Limited shelf life - more important to learn how to grow than to "hoard."

Grub? I know were interested in alliteration here, but is this seriously different than grain?

Gear? Some good tools are always useful, but far more important is knowing how to use them. Even more important is knowing how to make them. A high quality, say, shovel might last me 20 or 30 years. What happens when that shovel finally breaks?

Guns? Great if you're going hunting. Better make sure you know how to use it. But a gun is not protection, no matter what the NRA survivalist says. You gotta sleep sometime. You might be able to use a gone to forestall a particular situation, but it never solves the longer term problem in the absence of some sort of sovereign authority. (They don't rob you today because you point your gun at em, but tomorrow they bring friends and approach from all sides.)

Gold? The only real value for gold is that people like it, want it, think it might be useful to get what they want. It does have one advantage - it doesn't rot or break. And if you point it at someone they're not likely to take it as an aggressive move.

Let me roll out my classic about gold. You buy it, you bury it, you never use it. Examples abound, this is just one on the collapse of Rome.


More often than not, the stash was never used and many still are out there, I find it interesting that these rich romans headed out to the fringes when Rome looked about to collapse, gold and copper stashes like this are mostly found in Europe, a bunch in Scotland, but in Israel , and actually in Iran as well.

Easily dated by the content of the coins. The exodus from Rome. Headed some place the slaves could produce enough food for your family and away from the drama of the city crashing.

Read some history folks, don't just repeat the same mistakes over and over.

Don in Maine

Hmmm... and what percentage of people *did* use their gold to successfully negotiate an exit? Nothing in the finding of pots of gold tells us much about how many people had gold in the first place, and since they aren't found every day, I'm guessing it's a fair bet far more people used their gold than left it forgotten in the ground.

No references to back up my theory.



I love being contrary. ;}

Yes, gold will get you bread, room and board.

See VietNam for details.

But metallurgy? Anything including bullets can be
made out of/conducted with gold/silver easier than any other metal.

Anything including bullets can be
made out of/conducted with gold/silver easier than any other metal.

I'll keep that in mind next time I have some werewolves that need killing.


Ah, someone else thinks as I do! The only change I would make is from ammunition to seeds or cans or rice or dried beans. Ammunition is too dangerous in my hands as I tend to want to use it on some of the growing number of lunatics. And if I don't have a gun, I'm not swapping my last can of beans for any ammunition, for the same reasons you give about gold and silver.

Buy oil.

Stoneleigh had some suggestions here.

If you have any outstanding debt: a credit card, a second mortgage, or an auto loan, you might consider paying it off.

Gold is better then cash, but presupposes some sort of lawful system whereby you can exchange it for tangible needed items.

You can use some of the money for energy efficiency improvements around your home - insulation, windows, that sort of thing.

In the end, the best bet is probably diversification. Some in a high yield savings (no more then 100k in a bank so you have FDIC insurance), some cash squirreled away at home (in case of a bank holiday), some PM's, maybe some supplies if we have any short term disruptions (such as candles, canned food, etc).

A lot depends on how far you think the deteriation is going to go. (ie if it stays financial, or trickles into social disruptions)

There aren't a lot of good options out there right now.


S&P 500 just dipped below 700, 15 mins from the close. Dow 6758

Time for one more bounce in the next few mins though.

Drumbeat today.

Believe it or not, Drumbeat is convntional wisdom(CW).

Wierd huh?

So I take it the rating system has been scrapped?

No. We're still working on various issues.

I see that JHK is betting that agriculture will be the next giant to fall. Due to credit mostly he thinks.

I am not too sure of the status of the local banks around here and they keep there cards very close to their chests.

I have noticed a few local bank failures in this part of the state within the last year or so. And it appears that will falling deposits as members have to spend more and more of their income instead of banking it that something might have to give before long.

I asked some banks about return rates on savings accts and the rates were basically worthless and not worth the trouble. Ditto on their money market rates.

Going to be interesting to see how this all plays out this planting season. Right now we are very wet. Weather is colder than I am used to and the spring rains have yet to arrive.


The FDIC has quite a lot of data on banks large and small, which ought to allow you to see your regional banks's "cards" (use the find institutions link). Getting credit at the right time of year at the right rate has always been a bane for the farmer lacking capital (as most are). I predict farming co-ops and credit unions will prosper, so those farmers with the foresight to care for themselves will be okay, but I think such farmers are a minority, and are not to be confused with agribusiness.


I have spoken at length in the past about the confusion surrounding the word "Farmer".

Around here we have what the IRS on Sch F refers to as 'operators' vs the 'landowner'.

Now most operators do have varying amounts of personally owned land but mostly they tend to either rent or share other landowners land. Share is a sharing proposition.

So the term farmer is rather vague. Operators do not have much vested interest in the soil as regards preserving it or improving it. They just hose it down with chemical inputs , NPK,Lime,Pesticides,Herbcides and Herbicides as needs dictate.

So the result is tilth and organic matter(OM) tend to be reduced markedly. They are just using the soil as a hydroponistist uses water,as a base. May view of it. Yours may vary.

So I tend to call it Big Ag...since it can be thousands of acres under one mans operation. In the upper plains I suppose its likely different but in much of Mo,Ill. and Ky thats how I see it. Especially Southern Illinois.

Getting credit is the only way most can survive. If they plan and execute unwisely they tend to go out of business and get sold off.

Yes..farmers vs agribusiness. You are correct.

A true farmer is one who has enough land to be able to cultivate in one manner or another and take care of his own family.

The other tries to get rich and feeds more than his own family. Uses basically the ag commodiites market. Stores perhaps large amounts in his own bins. Uses enormous tractors and owns his own semis.

He is essentially a business man. The land and monoculture is his industry. He usually could care less about nature and the environment,yet will lie and tell you different. IMO of course but based on those I know and deal with.

Varying soils ,weather and such in other locales may dictate differently but my readings of the various 'farming' websites indicates it pretty much the same all over...Calif being far different perhaps.


My take on it.

I get jumped on around here for using the term "farm" or "farming" because what we're doing it GARDENING darnit!

I think the definition is, gardening is growing for yourself, farming is growing for sale. And right now it means competing with fossil fuels, No, Thanks.


Perhaps its more like a favorite term of mine.

Works for me.

Airdale-just went an peed on my asparagus bed,first tasty crop to come up this spring...cooked down well, add melted butter and cover with grated cheese..can't buy food like this

Oh ain't that the truth!

We just planted 100 ass-per-gas plants a few days ago, that stuff is GOOD. You ever try it boiled then cold with mayo? It's good all ways. May get to harvest in as little as a year.

We're getting a fair amount of rain right now, those plants better like it wet.

It's raining and I'm plotting and scheming ..... I did some scrimshaw in Hawaii and only quit it because I had a huge monthly "nut" to make, here the "nut" is a lot smaller so as long as I bring in a trickle of money for now, to start, it's OK. So I'm working on getting some stuff to make guitar picks out of, which should sell well down in Santa Cruz, or well enough. I kind of want to not be obligated to go "into Town" more than 2X a week, so what's better than something I can work on during the week then take in and sell on the weekends? I could carry a zillion scrimshawed guitar picks in a photo album, an easy product for the modern crafty nomad to have with them while traveling light. It's still 30 miles at least to anywhere that's not Gilroy, so I don't want to have a product that weighs 100s of lbs. The way guitarists get about their picks, and people pay big for "novelty" picks, I may be onto something here.

Snapped off and eaten right at the patch, raw...umm good.

Hi airdale--Thanks for your input. My family's background on both sides are as farmers in S. California--Citrus ranchers on mom's side, and vineyards then citrus on dad's. I was lucky that my maternal grandfather saved all his books, so I have been able to reconstruct his abilities as a farmer-businessman and the organizations he did business with. Most important was the Citrus Growers Association, which operated like a co-op pooling resources and sharing them out. Of equal importance was the fact that he owned all his acerage, which included the homestead, so he never faced the threat of foreclosure during the Depression; cash was king for him. The same appears true for dad's side, although I don't have any supporting documentation, just the results. We still have a few acres of groves surrounding Pa's Grandad's ranch and outbuildings in Cucamonga, a feat of sorts when one considers what that land would have brought (the majority of the original ranch was developed to the benefit of some family members). Today, it would make a great truck farm, but I have no say as to what is to be done. Grandpa's tax returns show him claiming net farm income of just under $4,000 during most of the 1930s, the low being $2,700 in 1931; yet, no one in that family went wanting. IMO, those farmers able to grow truck gardens alongside their pastruage operation will be the most succesful in the future as they will require the least inputs while providing the most output and fulltime employment for a few others.


Where does the administration, Wall Street, the Media, WHOEVER propose to GET the nearly $3 TRILLION in financing we are going to need over the next 2 years?  The entire f***ing world has less than $7.4 TRILLION in reserves, and that was last year's data.  Since that time world trade has contracted briskly, and other governments have had need of their reserves to finance their OWN deficit and stimulus spending, (China alone has budgeted over $500 BILLION), so that number is surely less than $6 Trillion as I write this.

Did I mention that the U.S. will not see a budget deficit of less than $1 TRILLION at any point in the next decade or 2 (or 3)?  Or that just to get to the $1.2 TRILLION deficit in 2010, the Obama budget claims the U.S. will grow by 3.2 % in 2010, 4% in 2011, and 4.6 % in 2012?  If not, then what?  What's "Plan B"?  Look, I don't make this stuff up.  I am a career analyst and when somebody tells me a + b + c = d, I check their math.  If it does not add up, it does not add up.  

For the guys working the lights, there is only ONE lever left to pull.  They cannot borrow from Martians.  They will have to monetize some (or all ) of the national debt.  This is an absolute CERTAINTY.  The only debate is WHEN, and that WHEN just ain't that far off in the distance.

To some extent they will print money to pay their debts but you can imagine that Governments will also continue to be ever larger borrowers on the open markets. I'd suggest that in the short term that monetizing the debt is a secondary issue the primary issue is that governments around the world will be hawking their debt to the highest bidder.

Right now my working hypothesis with everything thats going on is that one of our major tradeable currencies will collapse.
I.e we are going to see another Iceland.

For a long list of reason Australia looks like it will be the first western nation to collapse.

In general it looks like Britain and Australia are in the worst shape but part of the reason I see collapse is that at some point we will save the pound but the actions will collapse Australia.

Governments will also continue to be ever larger borrowers on the open markets.

And this action by governments will squeeze out all other lenders. The result is that credit will be very hard to get and this will exacerbate the current financial problems leading to more firms failing, more unemployed, more . . .

Do not see what action will avert this crisis getting much worse.

Yep basically by every Government trying to not allow any crash to happen we effectively move the pressure to the bond markets and the value of the currencies themselves. They are not really actually helping anyone simply at the end of the day trying to keep the government itself going.

When you have businesses that can to a large extent borrow as much as they wish competing with the regular economy bad thing happen TM.

It actually took me a while to really grok this but its simple if you consider that our governments are now competing with the normal economy for money. The fact they are supposedly using the the money to "bailout" various parts of the economy is irrelevant since all that does is cause malinvestment and lengthen the recovery time as viable businesses are squeezed even harder competing for money with both the government and its bailout partners.

What this does at the end of the day as far as I can tell is eventually start forcing up real interest rates before the economies actually recover making things even worse. And although the printing presses are running furiously most of the money goes into monetizing government debt so its not reaching the streets.

The question is are the governments large enough to destroy their own economies ?

And next since this is government printing presses and borrowing vs government will one of the economies get cut out of the game ?

Obviously the US is the elephant in the room and it will not be the first to go down but it can and will suck up and infinite amount of capitol. Also EU and GB will be hungry for cash. This leaves little for the rest of the world esp with Britain on the rocks. And don't forget Japan they are now going to be forced into a corner.

Thus from the big picture it seems obvious that one of the worlds major economies will get cut out in this game of survival and for now at least Australia looks like the country most likely to get the rug pulled out from under it.

I think we simply have to many Central Banks for our brave new world and one of them will go down.

In the weird world of Central Banking where black is white and white is black the CB thats the most conservative early on stands the highest chance of getting blown out later. The problem for Australia is that simply because their economy survived a bit longer then most when it does go down the fall will be harder and sharper and maybe outside the control of the central bank.

Thus I think Australia stands a good chance of becoming a smoking crater financially before the year is out.

During fiscal year 2009 the U.S. Treasury is on-track to pay over $500 billion just in interest payments to finance the already-existing debt. New debt this year will likely exceed a trillion dollars. The total debt burden on the economy as a whole could reach $70 trillion by 2010, with annual interest payments for individuals, households, businesses, and all levels of government likely to reach $3 trillion out of a $14 trillion GDP that is now in sharp decline.


Yep and given the way our warped world works the US will continue to be able to borrow as much as it needs.
The problem is that at some point this borrowing will strangle one of the satellite economies. Somewhere soon on our planet a economy with its own Central Bank and freely tradeable currency is going to find out its to big to bail.

My guess is when US bond interest rates begin to seriously increase this should signal the point at which the US has soaked up all the excess capitol in the world. From here on out other economies are going to face a terrible the problem of having to increase interest rates as their currencies fall relative to the dollar tanking their economies to keep their governments financed.

One possible scenario is that the real problem in the US surfaces and can't be ignored this is spending at the state and local level since states can't print money. This will force the US to take on failed state and local debt of god knows how many trillions.

This show it was at 1.85 trillion in 2005.


Guessing a bit assuming revenues at the state and local level are falling we could consider this debt will now balloon.

Going up at between 500 billion and 1 trillion annually.

This money has to be borrowed on the open market it cannot be printed by the states. Basically its headed towards infinity as state and local government begin to default so interest rates for state and local debt should begin climbing sharply.

The US government will be forced at some point to take on this debt to monetize it. I think that this large additional load on top of everything else should be enough to suck up all the money in the world. Understand that similar scenarios will be playing out all over the globe as national governments are forced to take on debt owned by various lower level government entities. Thus with this alone we have enough debt being forced into entities that can print money to cause one of the main currencies in the world to go unfunded.

When, when, WHEN?
That's always been the question, not WHETHER deflation would give way to hyperinflation. The world is still unwinding the leverage and writing down the debt, so shrinkage of the money supply will continue for awhile.
But then what?

The Argentine collapse was actually pretty graceful, considering how far they fell, because one of the first things the government did was lock down everybody's bank account, limiting individuals to something like $250 in withdrawals per week. That stretched out the inevitable inflation and economic collapse to a period of months, which allowed some semblance of order and control to be maintained.

How much easier would it be to do the same in the US today? Electronic debit and credit transactions can be fixed at daily or weekly limits, perhaps different amounts for different vendors. You want to buy a new Hummer? Fine, transaction approved. You want to buy groceries? Sorry, it's $250 per week tops, unless you apply for a Special Dispensation based on your family size or previous campaign contributions to TPTB.

It's all do-able, but where's the trigger, the excuse, the "above-ground factor" that would make such patently unconstitutional moves palatable to the public? G_d knows we can never admit the truth, that the party's just plain over.

It may be locked up, disabled, taken, devalued, etc.....

LOL longer then most people here probably think.

Basically I think we are looking at a two stage collapse.

The first collapse is effectively the collapse of the middle class in the wealthy countries. I'd suggest all evidence points to this happening now. This is a end of long term debt and a lot of short term debt for consumers. The primary losers are residential housing, commercial construction, banking, autos, credit cards.

Collapse 1.5 is and unwinding of the consumer oriented international trade markets this has also started.

The real collapse then in my opinion starts with non-oil exporting resource exporting countries. Thailand and Australia and a slew of South American countries are in this group.

I still expect a oil price crisis if the current glut clears since if OPEC can successfully clear the current oil glut I really think they will then control production until at some point production capacity is below demand.

At this point the squeeze is on the non-oil commodity nations are stuck in a vise with rising oil input prices and falling demand for their export or falling profit margins or both.

This is the underlying base economy that I expect to unfold. On top of this because of the actions of the Central Banks I believe we will as I've posted see a currency crisis develop and one of the major currencies suffers effectively a run on the bank as a result of the backstopping actions that all the Central Banks have performed to date. Buy not allowing collapse they will force the collapse of one of the worlds currencies.

Australia sits in the cross hairs of both major economic trends and several minor ones. Its one of the few raw material exporters with a strong currency and decent internal economy for example thats also a big importer of finished goods.
With its dual economy it can get itself into a catch 22 situation where it has to devalue its currency to maintain exports but this destroys its internal economy.

Back to your hyperinflation concept I think that people are wrong about that in the sense that with our new global economy a loss of currencies is probably going to proceed the final hyperinflation of the dollar or dollar/Euro or whatever the final currency or basket of currencies are left.

In fact so far we have seen exactly this starting to shape up with Iceland failing Argentina on the brink and a large number of the non-trading currencies falling. So at the financial level I really believe that our crisis will not be expressed at least initially as hyperinflation of the major currencies but as destruction of effectively all the secondary fiat currencies. Only then will we finally enter the final inflationary period as the remaining currencies weaken rapidly agianst all commodities across the board.

What this would mean for Australia and Thailand for example is that both countries should see a major crisis to the point of collapse but then later on as the rest of the world finally goes down they will recover as commodities across the board start increasing in value vs the remaining currencies. Similar thoughts apply to South America. However its not clear that this will lead to real recovery if we are right about peak oil since as I said I expect oil prices to have already started rising strongly playing a big role in the collapse of these commodity based economies in the first place. Thus despite the revival of demand for commodities a bit later on this will be on top of ever increasing up prices limiting profits substantially.

Now only once we reach this point will we be forced into the final civilization level collapse as we simply have no choice but to relocalize our economies and move away from oil based agriculture. This serves to ensure demand for consumer goods never returns and leaves us with a no-growth economy.

I still think the collapse of the middle class which is probably of most interest to TOD readers will be full blown and obvious by 2010-2012. But I think the final civilization level collapse could potentially take a bit longer if I'm correct and that the primary currencies manage to stay alive at the expense of the worlds secondary currencies.

So basically we have a movement to effectively a single currency staving off global collapse over the short term at the expense of local currencies but this ensure localization once this move is over and the global currency itself collapses.

And finally it does not matter if we still putatively have multiple currencies as I think that the exchange rates will become locked and only a single CB will emerge it may and probably will offer several currencies but they will be at fixed exchange rates vs each other so it does not matter. So in time each CB with be forced to peg and be absorbed by a global CB. Only after this happens do we finally enter the final collapse phase.

Hello, Mike,

re: "Only after this happens do we finally enter the final collapse phase."

Or, there could be the malfunction and/or failure of some less abstract node in the supply chain.

Computers, cobalt, Congo.

Title of my next book.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobalt, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo

What happens when the annual interest on the debt is greater than the tax revenue per year?????

Buckle Up!!!!!!! Here we go!!!!!!! Dollar is toast!!!!!!

Australia may indeed be "cut out," but I'm not sure that I see that this will really mean anything (except to Australians). The GDP of Australia is only a little larger than the "stimulus" package that the US just passed.

Well it means a lot since countries and people all over the world have debt denominated in say Australian Dollars.

What happens when someone owes you 1 billion Australian Dollars and the currency collapses ???


I see your point of view, ie that Australia as the next largest could be sacrificed, But as a NZer I'd say that the UK is more at risk, It has an independent currency (man they must be ruing not adopting the Euro), It has a huge financial sector, is publishing a continuous stream of bad news (Retail & Banking Failures) and has a central bank rate of close to 0% so it only offers 'history' not return, AU (and NZ) have relatively a long way to go in terms of central banks rates.

Bear on mind that the Aussie banks (most NZ banks are Aussie Owned) are a lot more conservative, have declared all their US mortgage market exposure, the country is far more socialist, a food exporter and Kevin Rudd speaks fluent Chinese.

Basically I think the time has passed where the UK could do a 'snow job' and talk up their future fiscal prospects, I mean once London is gutted what is left?


If I'm reading the tea-leaves correctly, a failure of the UK would instantly and irreversibly collapse the entire world economy. That's why it won't be allowed to happen - at least not now - and Gordon Brown knows that.

Too big to fail...

Your looking at it like I am.

My conclusion differs only because of the old adage. If you owe the bank a small amount they own you but if you owe a huge amount you own the bank. Britain is in the latter category simply in the sense that to much debt is denominated in pounds we can't allow the currency to collapse.

But thats what got me looking at Australia saving the UK will cause enormous problems and thus my thesis that the smaller albeit "better" countries will get wiped out as collateral damage from a rescue of the UK. Its a multi-stage game but the key point seems to be that if we try to save everyone we will force a currency crisis to happen in the secondary currencies and its not clear that these countries have the money to save their currencies and their economies.

This is just a bigger version of what we are seeing now in that individual savers that did their best to accumulate capitol are the ones suffering the largest losses as debtors can only go to zero. Eventually of course people and countries with real wealth will do well but over the short term its the relatively prudent that lose the most.

And last but not least the fact that the ACB thinks it has plenty of ammo left in the form of plenty of room to lower rates will work to lull it into a false sense of confidence as its hit by secondary blowback from US/UK rescue attempts.
Its not what Australia does that will take it out but actions by the major CB's which will leave it in a untenable position. In fact the major CB's themselves will work under the assumption that the secondary CB's are sound.

The problem is of course that the total amount of global capitol available to all governments will rapidly go to zero in 2009 and no one is looking at the total amount of global capitol.

More and more governments are going to be forced to either monetize their debt or increase interest rates or both.
Effectively one of our fiat currencies is going to go unfunded.

Again, you may be right - but what's a billion AU$ loss in the current environment? Shoot, takes AIG only about 36 hours to lose that much.

eventually start forcing up real interest rates before the economies actually recover

There are two mechanisms by which this will occur:

1) Government borrowing will crowd out private borrowers. The problem is that all commerce relies on debt to grease the wheels. Part of the cause for the drop in the Baltic Index was that shipping depends on "letters of credit" to load cargoes and such credit was not available. A viable firm which can afford and does need credit will end up bidding against the government for funds

2) Investors will be unwilling to purchase government bonds if they suspect the government will monetize the debt through printing more money.

Part of the demand for US $ derives from the fact that central banks seek to hold large US $ reserves to protect their own currency from currency runs. If they wish to prop up their domestic currency then they will use their dollar holdings (sell dollars) to make market purchases of their own currency (buy their domestic currency).

So any defense of the Australian dollar will put downward pressure on the US $.

And this may not be objectionable to the US as states are now engaged in a "race to the bottom," to seek a low valued domestic currency which will impede imports and foster exports.

The real problem will be that the rate of change will increase and may do so dramatically. Governments will feel compelled to act without having the opportunity to perform careful reflection on the unintended consequences of their actions. This would have further negative effects.


re: "Part of the cause for the drop in the Baltic Index was that shipping depends on "letters of credit" to load cargoes and such credit was not available."

I'm curious about something. (Naive question.)

Is it possible that the purchasers and suppliers could come up with some other arrangement?

Is it possible that the purchasers and suppliers could come up with some other arrangement?

Hello Aniya:

Barter is one arrangement that comes to mind. Not sure how this would work on a large scale (I barter six years supply of steam coal for your 20,000 tons of wheat). Barter avoids both credit risk and currency risk and there are some reports of increasing use in international transactions. There does need to be significant level of trust or other incentive for co-operation between the two parties.

The other arrangement that is being reported is a contractual swap (there may be another name for this). Libya has bought the rights to farm acreage in Ukraine and is making payment with oil. This is a variation on barter except that there is contractual lock in so that the agricultural produce is never placed on the open market and is not open to higher bids from 3rd parties. This has implications for the Export Land Model as there would be a decline in quantities available to the market is this were widely adopted.

The real advantage of credit is that I do not know you or need to know you. In lieu of knowing you, I accept the verification of a 3rd party who presumably does know you well enough to know that you will honour the transaction and make the payment. Paypal fulfills this function on an individual level and Bank letters of credit have served this function for commercial trade.

Hope this helps.

Thanks, BOP,

That's interesting about Libya. (In view of "peak", this presumably will work better with near neighbors.)

Hi memmel,

I live in the UK and it is certainly taking a turn for the worse. Many of my small company owning friends back home are cutting back: laying of 1 or two, 4 day weeks, that sort of thing. We are highly geared to financial services and for a long time that kept the pound stronger than it probably should have been. On the back of this house prices soared to silly levels and are now falling. We don't seem to have many resources either, our oil is running out and we are importing more oil and gas now but somehow I think we might survive.

Australia has immense natural resources to offer and a relatively small population compared with its size.

In the short term I wouldn't like to bet on either of them collapsing to be honest but medium/longer term it wouldn't surprise me if Britain ended up the basket case of the pair.


The problem with Australia is its strengths are in the long term not the short term. Long term Australia has a lot going for it so in the big picture it should eventually do ok. I'm talking about a short term structural failure of a major currency not the longer term potential of the underlying nation. The US regardless of what happens also has a great longer term outlook simply based on its farmland and forests alone much less mineral resources. Cananda probably has the best long term prospects of any country.

At first I thought it might be the UK that could fail but I don't think so. I think the UK will be rescued the problem is when you add up a rescue of the UK and the US economies and EU keeping its ship from sinking you have nothing really left for Japan and Australia. Japan can and will keep itself afloat so by default in this game of musical chairs your left with Australia as the odd man out.

Longer term potential for Australia does nothing to cover a short term finanical crisis and if you dig around a bit you realize that Australia is close to California in many ways its a huge economy but not big enough to keep itself afloat if one of the bigger economies goes into crisis. And we have several large economies falling into crisis at the moment.

Next Australia's economy is tightly linked in with China's and Southeast asia's and also to a large extent at least at the financial level with the US/Britain/EU.

Its sort of like a fuse in this sense. The problem is not Australia itself outside of the fact that its probably already in a sharp swift downturn the problem is what happens when say the UK falls into a financial crisis and the world moves to save it what happens then to Australia ?

Its one of these large secondary players that will be put in and impossible situation as we save the main players.
This is not about Australia's long term potential but unintended side effects of say intervention to save the pound for example. Or as I mentioned in another post intervention to save US state and local governments. At some point soon one of our major governments is going to be forced into a cash flow crisis by short term events.

I'd be interested in seeing you list some of those reasons you are concerned about Australia to that extent, or provide some links to sources where you've found relevant information.

memmel,would you mind posting your long list of reasons why Australia will be the first Western nation to collapse?
As an Australian I can see a lot of reasons for my country getting into very deep water indeed but I am interested in your perspective.

Cheers - thirra


Something strange with the TOD home page. Center column shows but both left and right sidebar columns are missing. I cannot tell if this is an intentional redesign or some server side problem. Thought I would let you know.

Same thing on both Firefox and IE.

Are you a Mac user?

I am using a PC and am getting the same thing. TOD homepage only - no sidebars, DrumBeat page is okay. I thought it was just me.

Confirmed on my end running a PC with firefox.


scroll down

sidebars now at bottom

Gail said she was having this problem, and she's a Mac user, so I thought that might be it.

I am not seeing anything different (XP/Firefox). But I assume they are working on it.

Linux/Firefox here - no problems.

Linux/Firefox, I had to go to one the the subcategories before I saw a login screen. I didn't scroll to the bottom.

Windows XP SP 2

On the home page. And on Drumbeat.
Had to search around for a link to the account login. Went to FAQ from the top menu block on home page and that had the normal page display.

The sidebars appear to be at the very bottom of the page, but yes, something is amiss.

May be due to the global financial crisis. Everything else is failing, or going down, its about time the Internet joined in.



I checked and I do not have sidebars at the bottom of the page so it is not a browser rendering issue, at least not here.


Firefox has no sidebars at the bottom
Checked with IE and it does have the right sidebar under the center column on the home page. Other pages appear to be rendering correctly on both IE and Firefox

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/2008120122 Firefox/3.0.5

IE v6

No sidebars anywhere on a PC with XPSP2, FF

Hmmmm, I get the Right Hand sidebar at the bottom in the center column, but no Left Hand sidebar at all.

When I logged in I thought it was th new "clean look" TOD, more like Google. Frankly I liked it like that. Less congestion. Anyway... looks like it's back and running like before when I popped open a window to reply.

I've got the same situation.

Maybe the minders are having fun with us, since the markets today are so boring...

E. Swanson

Gail said she thinks it's the font tags in one of the stories she posted today. She's fixing them.

Fixed here now. All looks OK

When the going gets tough...we go to the movies! or "Want some popcorn with that?"

In Downturn, Americans Flock to the Movies


And people wonder why I stay in SoCal

Stay away! Zombies will eat your brains and infect you!

I'd like to know where TOD members go to get their stock market tips? Anyone else read Zeal? Caseys EnergySpeculator? Leeb? Tea leaves?!




CNBC actually made sense today.

They said the best way to make money in this market is to stay out of it. Only pro traders are making money now, and most of them are lying.

Erin Burnett said she was going to open a bicycle shop in Tahiti. Maybe she's not joking.

DOW down 300 today.......May drop all the way to 5000 soon.
Stay out until next year!!!!

The stock market is pure insanity right now, with so called "experts" racing around like chicken littles. The stock tips are coming like a blizzard and with no particular rhyme or reason, "buy this, it is the only thing that can save you!" "Sell everything and get into treasuries!" "Go with the all bond portfolio!", etc, etc, etc,

The best way I have figured out to handle it is first, remember Kipling..."If you can keep your head when all about you..." and CALM THE **** DOWN!" There are a lot of professionals making complete arses of themselves right now.

Next, ask yourself "What do you want the money for?" If you can't decide what you want the winnings for, don't play the game. I had a thirty year old tell me the other day she was going to pull all of her remaining 401K money out...."WHY?" I asked her? Where are you going to put it when you get it out (after paying all the penalties and tax, it will be spit in the sea anyway...) The woman is 30 years from retirement! Is she betting her little sack of spare change that there will be no recovery for 30 years?!!

Next, what areas of the economy do you think will recover, and even potentially grow? Look at the industry, google it, Wikipedia it, who are some strong players? Set up a portfolio list and start watching them, see what their history looks like.

Next, go for companies with a positive P/E, hopefully one under 10/1 ratio. Then see if they pay dividends, you want to get paid while you wait. Then, WATCH THEM for awhile, read the news stories and headlines, see how they act in tough times...again, there are a lot of grownups acting really, really childish right now, and these are the so called pros and managers of America's biggest industries!

Finally, when you buy, set your sale price at the same time. If your taking big chances, the possible reward should be worth it! If you set your goal at tripling your money, then when it triples, TAKE THE VICTORY! I know another woman whom I recommended a stock to as a risky bet...it's RISKY I told her, but the possible rewards could be great...she bought it at a bit over a buck, rode it to five bucks, I told her FOR PETE'S SAKE, SELL! She wouldn't, it could do more, she said! What are the odds I said, o.k., then do this...sell the profit and leave the first buck you put in on the stock, but put the other 4/5th's in the bank, it's FREE MONEY, except for the taxes you'll have to pay on it (she had forgotten all about those)!! No she said, it could go to ten bucks!! Do you know how many people have given up the last 10 years of profit this way?!

It is SO HARD to feel sorry for many of the people who are losing their shirt in the market right now! The decisions they made were often sooooo irrational as to defy explanation! They played the market like it was a roulette wheel, and stayed at the game until it bled them to death! The professionals finally just came in and CLEANED THEM OUT, and they made such easy, juicy targets!

Last story...friend of mine owns his home, bought and paid for...near the end of the real estate boom, with prices near record, buys a condo on the East coast...and then another and another...the agent selling tells him, "you can vacation in one, or share it out with friends/family, and you'll pay for it on what you make on the other two witin two years easy...do I have to tell you that something went badly wrong?

You could have bet a million bucks that this crash was coming and it would have been a safe bet, and no, not because of "peak oil" (that may happen tomorrow or may have happened last year, make no mistake, but it is NOT what caused this crisis!), or because there is something evil about "fractional banking" or because the Western model is somehow suddenly all wrong, or because there has been global warming...all or some of the above may or may not be true, but this crashed was caused by one major DECIDING FACTOR...the average schmoe made him/herself easy to fleece, so the pros fleeced 'um.


I would bet there is no recovery in 30 years. Not to anything like today.

Do you honestly believe that energy prices last year had nothing to do with the economy? That this whole shit-storm is because of nothing more than "average schmoes" letting themselves get fleeced?

You are whistling past the graveyard.

I wish, I hope, I pray that energy prices were anything more than a marginal factor in this crisis...because that would mean that when energy prices crashed through the floor the rest of the economy would show measurable signs of recovery. They did. It didn't.


I don't follow the logic. Pressure builds on the economy, the Ponzis collapse, the oil price pressure is removed, and... What? We're all supposed to pretend it didn't happen? Of COURSE the loss of faith in the markets is irreversible!

The tide went out, we saw who was skinnydipping, the tide returned, and we all still know who ain't got no clothes.

"You could have bet a million bucks that this crash was coming and it would have been a safe bet, and no, not because of "peak oil" (that may happen tomorrow or may have happened last year, make no mistake, but it is NOT what caused this crisis!)"

Sorry Roger, The Chimp Who Can Drive called this one perfectly back in 2004.

I firmly believe the collapse of modern economics will precede the
collapse of the oil supply. Once the banks realize energy production is
peaking, it’s “game over,” because everybody in the banking world knows
without excess energy the whole system collapses.
- Matt Savinar - The Oil Age is Over

and no, not because of "peak oil" (that may happen tomorrow or may have happened last year, make no mistake, but it is NOT what caused this crisis!)

I'm afraid that's like saying the eggs didn't help in baking the cake.


RE: Position yourself now for $300 a barrel oil

I just don't see it. Didn't we just prove that paying $100/Bl averaged over a year was enough of a shock wave to topple the over-leveraged banking sector?

What part of the economy will burn down, fall over and sink into the swamp at magnitude $300?

When people get hungry and need oil and gas for their farm equipment, then the price will go way on up again. People will pay a lot not to starve!!!

Nowhere, I agree with Joseph. The economy depends on, not just oil, but cheap oil. As the economy gets worse, demand for oil will continue to drop. If the economy begins to recover, oil will go back up, knocking the economy down again.

While it is true that people will pay anything they have not to starve, people cannot pay more than they actually have. And since unemployed people do not have anything, and cannot borrow anything, they will simply starve. That may seem a remote possibility, at least here in the USA, but it is already happening in many parts of the world. And it may be only a few years away right here.

Most of us thought oil would continue to rise. What we did not realize was that the economy would collapse before the price of oil got that high. Now we have, or should have, learned our lesson. And that lesson is; oil can get only so high before the economy collapses, driving the price back down.


And if they don't learn how to farm, gather, grow, harvest, etc become primary producers*, then they are only nascent MZB's, carrion on the hoof, people who only know how to beg, steal, or kill you for your stuff. Who cares if they have a PhD in something, that won't matter. It will come down to, Can you farm? Almost none can now, and from what I have seen almost none will learn. They will have zero skills, and sadly the most humane thing will be for them to pass away somehow as peacefully and painlessly as possible.

*by primary producers, I mean grow or gather food. Even shoemaking or beermaking, extras like that, won't matter if most are starving and don't have a chicken to spare to trade you for your nice handmade shoes etc. They'll wrap rags around their feeet and tell you to get lost. This is why everyone, even those planning to engage in crafts, must at least grow most of their own food.

It's very easy to forget that the USA is the world's #3 oil producer. We have a massive amount of waste that can be sacrificed before Americans starve. I still have yokels tooling around my neighborhood for no other reason than to show off their "pipes". See also:

Trucks stuck in muck = big bucks

On Feb. 11, Bryan Fortier and two of his buddies got their trucks stuck in the muck and couldn't get them out by the time Oak Creek police arrived the next morning. With the vehicles buried up to their frames several hundred yards away from the road, a tow truck didn't stand a chance. So police called for an articulating wheel loader with 5-foot-high tires from the city Street Department.

The total bill: $922.52.

Three days after Fortier and his friends got stuck, Trevor Nelson and his buddies were off-roading in the same spot. Nelson's Blazer was the only vehicle that got stuck and had to be removed by the wheel loader. But it was a Saturday, and city employees had to be called in on their day off and paid overtime.

Total bill: $1,133.

But how will people know that they have gigantic penises?

The waste in the system COULD save us, but I don't know if it will. I expect that some will be driving Hummers while others starve.

But how will people know that they have gigantic penises?

By the size of their zucchini, of course.

Years ago, one of the girls at geology field camp told me the secret. She said that the height of a pick-up was inversely proportion to the penis size of the operator. Having too few data points, I can't say for sure, but it seems right.

That is total nonsense. The price will go much higher.
The price spike might have contributed to the fall in economic activity but it was a small portions and considering to collateral boom it brought in the oil producers its net effect was actually a positive.
To consider that the long range price of oil, which is a depleting resource and has peaked, in nominal dollars, which are just now beginning their takeoff into outerspace, can go down is completely irrational.
You see the only thing that will stop the administration from creating more money and doling out more stimuli is if the dollar tanks..in which case oil will go to the moon...or eventually they will send everyone a $50,000 check (or $100,000 or pick any number)and debts will be manageable again

That is total nonsense. The price will go much higher.

Of course oil can go much higher. After all it did go to $147 a barrel and that is much higher than it is right now. But that was the point where it collapsed. It will not likely ever get that high again. And I am not talking about inflated dollars but constant dollars. If the dollar ever inflates to the point where a dollars is worth one cent in today's money, then oil could easily go to $1,000 a barrel. But anyone with any sense knows we are talking abou constant dollars.

The price of oil can never rise above the people's ability to pay. And the fact that you cannot understand that simple fact makes your post total nonsense. Oil is down now because demand is down. We are producing a lot less oil now than we did when it was $147 a barrel. Oil should be, by that measure, a lot higher. But it is not. It is not because of the financial collapse of the economy. And if the economy gets worse, the price of oil will go lower even as OPEC makes major cuts.


Firstly...you did not mention constant dollars. There is a big difference. No ..very few talk about oil in constant dollars and hence you must specify it.
Now as far as constant dollars the price will of course rise less than in nominal dollars...but still let's examine your bumbling about the economy.
Paying for oil has never been an issue. Oil is still cheaper than anything else per barrel and its usefulness is probably higher than anything else. So if the price gets too high people will give up on other things.
You are also assuming that at no point wils China or India generate enough internal demand to power increased oil consumption. Their per capita oil consumption could triple and still be peanuts comapred to the rest of the world.
As far as what OPEC is doing wait till the ned of the year. you will se $100 plus if they stick on this trajectory.
BTW after this biggest doom of the century the 4 week moving average of gasoline demand is down a whopping 1%.

BTW after this biggest doom of the century the 4 week moving average of gasoline demand is down a whopping 1%.

Incorrect. Gasoline demand is currently down over 3.5% (compared to last year) in the latest official EIA revised data (up to and including December). The weekly figures are way off at the moment as discussed in Gail's recent post: Can you believe EIA Weekly petroleum demand estimates?

Corrected graph below

Well, not knowing any better I did believe them. Still, the Dec number is a substantial recovery from the Sep number, when consumption declined 8.5%. Q4 was fairly flat, not clear whether low price will continue to boost consumption or whether the declining economy will dampen it.

Note that in the GD price and consumption declined in only one year, 1930, though this was a period where cars and truck usage was continuing to expand, maybe that will not happen here this time. Chindia might be different, Tata is to begin sales of the nano at $2500 this month.

Still, the Dec number is a substantial recovery from the Sep number, when consumption declined 8.5%

Err... there were no hurricanes in December. If you hadn't noticed, several states were starved of gasoline for about a month after Ike causing the huge drop in September numbers. Strangely the national US media barely reported it (and international media not at all) - like a lot of other things related to Ike.

When Gold was $20 per ounce, did anyone think it would be worth $1000 per ounce?
50 times the old price! If that holds for oil, then it will be worth $250 per barrel.
Someday the elite will determine the price, because they will be able to pay it.
Kind of like now they drive high end cars. In the future, only the elite will own gas burning cars.

Ref: Kunstler - "Anyway, the banking system was mortally wounded in the first go-round and the behemoth is dying hard."

I am so glad to see the banking and debt system fail. Most in the industry are sucked in by a few crooks at the top. Get rid of them now, and start over. Maybe we can get back to honest banks again someday. I used to think they were OK until I saw 30% interest on a credit card when I had never missed a payment.

For the first time in history, we have the ability to control the world's weather.

Yeah, right.

For the first time in history, we have the ability to control the world's weather.

Yeah, right.

... Unless you count messing up the climate as controlling the weather...

And of course we got the butterfly effect. If your house is destroyed by a tornado, it is the fault of some person who batted his/her eyelash last year. Find him, and sue for damages! Make sure you pick one with deep pockets.

I would like to call your attention to the LA/Watts riots. None of those rioters were hungry. Does anyone here think that well armed gangs in any large or not-too-large city will go hungry?

Obvious solution, join or create a gang of like-minded people. I guess that was not politically correct … sorry. OK then, how bout forming a company; "Torches, Pitchforks and Ropes Inc." (TPR Inc)? Call it a not for profit 501(c) corp where all donations are eaten on the spot.

He lay on the ground and as his eyes closed all he could see was a great shining black swan: his only thought 'damn'. Well turkeys, WTSHTF will you be ready?

And then there's the fact that people can party, or riot, hard for about 3 days, then they just collapse and go to sleep for a day or so. Since most Americans have not grown up dealing with hunger, walking for miles and miles with nothing in their stomach (for FUN as I did as a kid), that it's a valid assumption that while most of the American population will become MZB's they will not become especially tenacious, determined, or effective MZB's.

I say we shoot and eat that durn black swan!

Hello TODers,

IMO, Kunstler's blog today is helping to sound the alarm on our postPeak Strategic Food Security. I hope he continues this trend as I feel most 'Murkans take their food supply for granted.

It would be interesting to know how much every 1000pt drop in the DOW sends increasing amounts of people to Home Depot, Lowes, etc, to buy seeds, I-NPK, garden tools, wheelbarrows, etc, plus start composting.

We have had links before illustrating how Burpee Seeds and other seed companies are having booming sales. I would imagine gardening tools are selling quickly at foreclosure yard sales too. A shovel or hoe is a terrible thing to waste. But we still have a very long ways to go in Peak Outreach efforts to turn this into a massive stampede for relocalized permaculture and 'Kunstlerization'.

I am amazed that Obama has not endorsed/reinforced this trend by plowing up the White House lawn. This would be an easy & subtle way to acknowledge the postPeak reality, thus converting even more people towards greater localized & cooperative self-sufficiency. More importantly, this Presidential Nod towards a Paradigm Shift could do much to offset the frenzied purchases of guns and ammo; the growing feeling that our leaders are not doing enough for the common man.

Fertilizer prices vary at the retail level, but stabilizing in general
As discussed in prior links, IMO, I believe the I-NPK manufacturers are much more nimble at inventory control than OPEC, and other exporters, are at FF-inventory control. Also, from a prior weblink: Pakistan is now seeking to build a Strategic Reserve of Urea, and now Indonesia wants to build a Strategic Urea reserve too:

Karawang (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is to import 500,000 tons of urea fertilizer to form a domestic reserve stockpile this year, President Bambang Susilo Yudhyono said.

..He said the government predicted the country`s fertilizer needs for 2009 and 2010 would be seven million tons and it value was increasing every year.
The problem for these countries is if they can find the funds to build their reserves to a reasonable size of a 5-7 year supply [difficult to do with a collapsing global economy and depleting FFs]. Then, IMO, these I-NPK buffers will be largely pointless unless Pak & Indo move to Peak Outreach and full-on O-NPK recycling; reshaping their economies for support of Optimal Overshoot Decline.

I wish them the best of luck. In the months ahead: it will be fascinating to see what other countries move towards building Strategic Reserves of seeds & I-NPK [or if they can at all]. We should all be glad at the ongoing efforts to build giant, heavily fortified, heirloom seed banks:

D-8 countries to establish Seed Bank in Turkey
Hopefully this new seed bank will augment the genetic biodiversity of the nuke-proof Norwegian seed repository.

Since there are No Substitutes to the Elements NPKS [plus the other trace elements that support Photosynthesis], and I don't think we will invent substitute crops & animals that reproductively thrive on Lead, Cadmium, Arsenic, Uranium, Polonium, etc: I hope North America can see the postPeak need for us to have my speculative "Federal Reserve Banks of I-NPK", plus full-on NPK recycling to enhance our postPeak food security.

Otherwise, IMO: we are headed into a hell of a mess [Recall my Ft. Knox posting series]. Have you hugged your bag of NPK today?

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


Some farmers(hate that term)..are posting that they are at the breakeven point with $3 corn. I think its likely around that for those who rent or share farm others land. Their own I don't know for sure.

Land rents can be quite high. On good corn ground.

So I you figure the seed cost per acre(1 bag might do 2 1/2 acres depending of population), figure the rent cost, add in the fertilizer costs,and spray costs, combining costs,drying costs,hauling costs then add those up. Find yield per acre and then you can guesstimate what your profit might or might not be. If you lose or breakeven then you sweat equity was worth nothing.

Right now July Delivery on corn is about $3.50....if a large demand destruction takes place and corn prices go down...then bad news for farmers(Ag Operators).

Right now its hard to guess what is going to happen.

Airdale-I likely missed some inputs but those were the biggies...not counting equipment breakdowns etc...diesel upticks..

White house Garden: He should have Mr. Salazar teach the first girls how to garden.

"Is the Hokey Pokey really what it's all about?"

Anyone know of/have an analysis of the projected outlook of Ku-Maloob-Zaap? I know it is currently producing 800,000 barrels per day and has a total estimated oil of 4.9 billion. This compares to Cantarell which is down to 700,000 barrels per day. Cantarell has already produced around 13 billion since production began. So Cantarell was maybe 3 times larger to begin with (I am estimating here because I don't know if the 4.9 billion is recoverable oil or total...not to familiar with the technical terms. I don't know how much more recoveralbe or total is left in Cantarell either although it is obviously in terminal decline). Ku-Maloob-Zaap was juiced up with nitrogen from the get go. I guess my basic question is how long it will be until this field (KMZ) is also in terminal decline.

Thank you for any information you might have. Great site, by the way.


The silly answer is that the field is terminal decline today...all fields go into terminal decline the first day of production.

The serious answer: First, even with all the data one could only give a very rough projection of the future decline CURVES. Yes...multiple curves. There are actually three separate fields with multiple reservoirs in each. The oil gravity is quit different in the various reservoirs also (11 - 22 degrees). Even after the different reservoirs produce for a while it won't be too helpful to project those production curves. The N2 injection will maintain higher flow rates then if the reservoirs were allowed to decline naturally.

This greatly increases recovery but makes projecting future production rates and cumulative recovery very difficult. We've seen that with Cantarell: the N2 injection kept the pressure/flow rates high. But as the N2 gas cap expanded down dip and reached the producing wells the rate dropped very quickly. Based upon a flow rate of 800,000 bopd and 4.9 billion bo recoverable (?) it calculates a 17 year non-decline life. Given the multiple reservoirs, size of the project and the unknown relationships between the producing wells and the N2 gas cap it’s not really possible to guess the probability of the 17 year life being valid. But, in general, heavy oil reservoirs eventually can’t maintain high flow rates. So even if the field does ultimately produce 4.9 billion bo it might take 25 to 40 years to do so. Maybe even longer: the last 20% recovery can take twice as long as the first 80%.

Venezuelan Oil: Worse Shape

The author of this article puts 2008 Venezuelan net oil exports at 1.71 mbpd, versus 1.96 mbpd in 2007 (EIA), a decline rate of about -14%/year. I estimate that Mexico's net exports fell from 1.4 mbpd to 1.0 mbpd. So, the estimated combined VenMex decline was from 3.36 mbpd in 2007 to 2.71 mbpd in 2008, a decline rate of about -21%/year, and a volumetric decline of 650,000 bpd in one year.

The estimated one year VenMex decline is about 62% of total 2007 Canadian net oil exports. Canada, Venezuela and Mexico are three of our four largest sources of imported oil.

Bring it on! Stop all oil imports now. Then we can move on with the solution, and stop sending money to other countries.

Be careful what you wish for.

Not sure if this has been posted, it is a real sign of the times


From Drudge, restrictions on cash withdrawals in the Ukraine:


Olexander Pavlenko, a young computer programmer, is one of tens of thousands of Ukrainians who cannot get their money out of the bank.

He stood in line in Kiev at Nadra Bank and Ukrprombank, two big troubled banks, planning to withdraw more than $10,000 (€7,950, £7,125). But like many others, he was told the cash was not available. “I stood in line a couple times with other bank clients who were protesting, crying and screaming. But the bank told me: ‘Sorry, we simply don’t have the money now and can’t help you.’”

With about nine banks now under the central bank’s special control, Ukrainians are increasingly worried.

Yikes - the Argentine solution!

...the central bank has banned the early redemption of term deposits, the most popular form of saving in Ukraine.

Sounds like their gubmint didn't even get involved - the banksters chose this path.

Sadly, this will end up buried in this DrumBeat, but it relates to something recently discussed with regard to effects of the Thermohaline Circulation. Some of the potential workings of fast climate flips are getting clearer. While scientists like to downplay that fast flips happen in under ten years in the climate record, and claim it is not likely to happen now, that's just silly to do. They actually still have very little idea what exactly triggers the flip itself despite knowing what some of the major causes and/or elements of the are.

As I have said many times, the risk is to great to assume they *won't* happen in the short term.


New research, published in the journal Nature, supports the idea that changes in ocean circulation within the Atlantic played a central role in abrupt climate change on a global scale...

our results suggest that if such an extreme scenario did occur, its effects could be felt globally within years to decades."

This is nothing new. We already knew that. But it reinforces the concept within a more robust understanding of climate interactions.

Specifically as regards the conversation of a warm Europe with a weak THC:

"The most intuitive way to explain these changes is by varying the strength of ocean circulation in the Atlantic. By weakening the circulation, the heat transported northwards would be retained in the south."

Absent a strong THC, there is little chance of a Europe as warm as it is now.


A slow day for technonews:
National Semi plans to reduce solar energy losses due to shading

National Semiconductor’s field trials of the technology have shown that 10 percent shading on a panel can lead to a 50 percent reduction in the amount of energy harvested, Muenster told the Cleantech Group.

The losses due to shading are one reason 54 percent of installers find any shading unacceptable, according to a recent U.S. survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. Installers that design around vent pipes, trees to chimneys to avoid shading report that the process increases the cost of installation by about 19 percent, the survey found.

The problem is that photovoltaic systems share an inverter to optimize output. But a single inverter isn’t capable of optimizing different conditions that panels even with the same array can face, Muenster said. The result is either that the inverter picks the highest common operating point for all the panels, which can severely decrease the output of fully functional panels, or that entire strings of panels can stop contributing to the energy harvest, much like a string of Christmas lights that goes out because of one faulty bulb

Actually dip this isn’t new situation. Just search the down turn in Houston in the early 80’s when the oil patch busted. Houston is the 4th largest city and has a huge professional base. When the bust came it didn’t just cripple the energy industry. All professions -- lawyers, medical professional, carpenters, chefs, real estate agents, etc -- all took a heavy hit. A common joke at the time: How many geologists can you fit in the back of a pickup truck? Only three….you have to leave room for the lawn mowers. And yes, I drove a taxi, delivered produce to restaurants and busted concrete with a 60# jack hammer for a while. As the article states many professions are really just single skilled. Doesn’t mean they can’t apply themselves to a different profession. But that takes time, training and more importantly, walking away from a career of many years perhaps.

This is one reason why the current economic collapse seems so familiar to me. What the country is trying to come to terms with we felt first hand 25 years ago. Just one example: the housing collapse in Houston took at least 10 years to recover to any significant degree. This is just one example of why it’s difficult for me to accept the prospect of the quick recovery about which some speculate.

My ELP Plan advice was largely based on my Eighties Oil Patch experience.


As I'm sure you know that 1980s oil path bust was global in scope. It took me 10 years to recover from that (the location I was in was not as dependent on the oil industry as Houston or Calgary so the locals never really knew or understood what had taken place - apart from the fact that their fuel bills were lower).

I think there are a lot of folks out there who have absolutely no way to conceive of what is going to happen to them and no way to deal with it. The results will not be pretty and the impacts will be long lasting. As has been said, it's going to get worse before it gets worse.

I've put it this way. In the Eighties Oil Patch we were in a deflationary industry in an overall inflationary economy, while today we are in an inflationary industry in an overall deflationary economy (if we average $40 in 2009, oil prices would still be up at about +10%/year, on average, since 1998, compare that to GM and Citigroup stock prices over the same time period).

I know what you mean BOP. When I imagine the US economy going the way of Houston in the 80's it summons up images similar to those thrown around by some of the doomers out there. And maybe worse: we had to deal with only the energy collapse. The country has the deal with the financial collapse along with the global implications of our growing national debt. But as WT mentions there are a few differences. Our collapse in the 80's began with 15% mortgages, 18% prime rate and 12% inflation. But folks today must deal with the overhang of a society dealing with so many over-leveraged aspects. At least Houston had a fairly robust national economy backing it up. As bad as matters are in the US today, the rest of the world isn't in good shape either.

There's an article on the website Agriprods.com concerning the serious decline
in the honeybee population. It's a free subscription site. If their dire warnings prove to be true, it's up s##t creek in that barb-wire canoe without the paddle for a good proportion of the world's agriculture.
Sorry I can't get a direct link.