DrumBeat: March 6, 2009

Betting on big oil's comeback

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- With crude down below $45 a barrel, it's hard to see the beauty in oil stocks these days. But with analysts forecasting a rebound in prices, now might be a good time to buy.

"Right now, the upsides in the oil sector far exceed the downside risks," says Fadel Gheit, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. "I am absolutely convinced that oil prices will rise."

After last year's $100 free-fall rocked expectations, that kind of confidence is surprising. But Gheit is not alone; a strong consensus is growing for a price rebound. While crude isn't likely to rocket back to the sky-high levels of 2008, even bearish analysts admit that oil can't stay below $50 for long.

Oil Rises to 5-Week High as Dollar’s Drop Bolsters Commodities

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil rose to a five-week high as the U.S. dollar weakened against the euro, bolstering the appeal of commodities as an alternative investment.

Oil climbed as much as 5.2 percent and the dollar fell the most in a week against the euro after unemployment advanced to the highest in 25 years in the U.S., the world’s biggest energy user. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will consider a fourth production cut when ministers meet on March 15.

“Oil is up because the unemployment number is causing the dollar pain,” said Phil Flynn, a senior trader at Alaron Trading Corp. in Chicago. “This rally probably won’t last for long. As bad as things are here, I imagine the data from Europe and elsewhere will be worse, which will strengthen the dollar.”

Venezuela ready to propose OPEC cut if needed

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela would propose another OPEC output cut if needed as the South American country sees oil markets oversupplied and petroleum inventories too high, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said on Friday.

Ramirez said OPEC should seek an oil price of at least $70 a barrel. Prices have fallen around $100 since reaching highs in July last year as the global economic crisis crimps demand.

PetroChina, Petrobras pursue Aruba refinery-sources

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Top Asian oil and natural gas producer PetroChina and Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras are seen as potential bidders for Valero Energy Corp's 275,000 barrel per day refinery in Aruba, according to sources familiar with Valero's attempts to sell the refinery.

New platforms push Petrobras output

State-controlled energy giant Petrobras posted its largest-ever one-day output of Brazilian crude oil this week after several new platforms recently came on line, the company said.

Petrobras produced 2,012,654 barrels on Wednesday which was 12,420 barrels more than the previous record set on Christmas day of 2007.

Petrobras Didn't Want to Spend Full Investment Plan, Estado Says

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in a speech in Espirito Santo state today said he called Jose Sergio Gabrielli, chief executive of Petrobras, as the company is known, and told him to ``spend every cent'' to stimulate the economy, Estado reported.

BP Risked Causing Explosion on Alaska Pipeline, Report Says

(Bloomberg) -- BP Plc, the second-largest oil producer in Alaska, risked causing an explosion when it cleaned an oil pipeline in the state in January, according to a report on the incident by Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.

US Govt may take oil royalty fight to Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government, fearing the loss of up to $10 billion in old drilling royalties from oil companies, may take a dispute with Anadarko Petroleum Corp to the U.S. Supreme Court, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said on Friday.

In January, the Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Anadarko did not have to pay $150 million in royalties for drilling on federal leases in the Gulf of Mexico issued between 1996 and 2000.

If the case stands in Anadarko's favor, other energy companies could forgo paying royalties. The Government Accounting Office estimates the government could lose up to $10 billion in royalty revenue over the life of the leases.

OPEC: World will pay for low oil prices by 2013

OPEC, the supplier of 40 percent of the world’s crude oil, said low prices may lead to a supply crunch by 2013 and rejected consumers’ arguments that cheap oil will help the world economy to recover.

“If the current low-price environment persists, this short- term relief may not translate into long-term gains,” OPEC Secretary Abdalla el-Badri said in an e-mailed statement today. “The failure of the industry to invest will result in a supply crunch by 2013 and beyond.”

Badri was responding to Nobuo Tanaka, the executive director of the International Energy Agency, who was cited in yesterday’s Financial Times as saying the global economy would get the equivalent of a $1 trillion stimulus if oil prices stayed at $40 a barrel this year. The IEA advises 28 oil importing nations on energy policy.

Too Cheap to Drill

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. said it needs natural gas prices to recover to the range of $6.50 to $7.50 per thousand cubic feet before it ramps up drilling in Alberta, regardless of new royalty incentives introduced by the province this week to stimulate activity.

Canada's second-largest natural gas producer said it is more likely to deploy its cash -- it expects cash flow to range between $5.4-billion to $6-billion this year, down from nearly $7-billion in 2008 -- on reducing debt coming due in the fall, higher-return projects, and acquisitions.

Ruble Gains for Second Week Versus Dollar on Oil, Loan Limits

(Bloomberg) -- Russia’s ruble strengthened for a second straight week against the dollar as the price of oil rose and the central bank curbed speculation against the currency.

Paul Roberts - Spoiled: Organic and Local Is So 2008

Our industrial food system is rotten to the core. Heirloom arugula won't save us. Here's what will.

A couple years back, in a wheat field outside the town of Reardan, Washington, Fred Fleming spent an afternoon showing me just how hard it's gotten to save the world. After decades as an unrepentant industrial farmer, the tall 59-year-old realized that his standard practices were promoting erosion so severe that it was robbing him of several tons of soil per acre per year—his most important asset. So in 2000, he began to experiment with a gentler planting method known as no-till. While traditional farmers plow their fields after each harvest, exposing the soil for easy replanting, Fleming leaves his soil and crop residue intact and uses a special machine to poke the seeds through the residue and into the soil.

The results aren't pretty: In winter, when his neighbors' fields are neat brown squares, Fleming's looks like a bedraggled lawn. But by leaving the stalks and chaff on the field, Fleming has dramatically reduced erosion without hurting his wheat yields. He has, in other words, figured out how to cut one of the more egregious external costs of farming while maintaining the high output necessary to feed a growing world—thus providing a glimpse of what a new, more sustainable food system might look like.

But there's a catch. Because Fleming doesn't till his soil, his fields are gradually invaded by weeds, which he controls with "judicious" amounts of Roundup, the Monsanto herbicide that has become an icon of unsustainable agribusiness.

Demand, prices for used hybrid vehicles fade as gas costs less

DETROIT — Consumers have lost their appetite for pricey hybrids, two industry experts say, leading to a drop in used hybrid values and an oversupply of new ones.

Renewable Fuel Producers Lack Credit While Demand Dwindles

Washington, D.C. (AHN) - Smaller renewable fuel producers are struggling to stay in business in the face of a stagnant economy, tightened credit markets and a drop in demand.

A clash over auto emission standards

California wants its own limits, saying carmakers can hit the mark. Others support a national standard.

Alaska: State fuel refineries contribute to rural dilemmas

Almost all of the gasoline and diesel used in Western Alaska comes from a single refinery on the Kenai Peninsula. There is no real competition between refineries and families and communities cannot simply decide not to buy the fuel they need to survive the winter. As a result Alaskans have had to pay the high price charged by the refiners, and too many people in rural Alaska have had to choose between buying the food their family needs and heating their home. This is a choice no one should ever have to make.

My bill would prohibit refiners from charging excessive or exorbitant prices and would establish an objective threshold where the burden of proof would shift to the refiners to justify their prices. It would have strong penalties for violations, which would give the refiners a strong incentive to lower their prices rather than take their chances in court.

Alaska: Poverty of cash, not goods, is witnessed in Bush

I didn’t want to be presumptuous, but what I found when I got out there is there really wasn’t a shortage of food per se, and there wasn’t a shortage of heating fuel per se. There’s a shortage of cash. The economy is in dire straits.

Obama veers from Bush's environmental course

WASHINGTON — Even before George W. Bush can settle into his new house in Dallas, his legacy on the environment is being dismantled by his replacement in the White House.

In less than two months, President Obama has put on hold Bush's plans for power-plant pollution, offshore oil drilling, nuclear waste storage and endangered species.

The Obama team has rolled out policies Bush officials delayed, such as requiring higher energy efficiency from appliances.

Such moves have significant impacts and not just on the environment. They could affect electric bills, gas prices and the time it takes to build highways, dams and bridges.

Chile, Argentina Lawmakers Stake Antarctic Claim

Ten Chilean and Argentine lawmakers gathered Thursday in the Antarctic to stake territorial rights after the U.K. laid claim to a wide swath of ocean bottom off the frozen continent, officials said.

The aim of the meeting "is to strengthen our nation's legal position in the Antarctic Territory...and to support all the legal instruments of the Antarctic Treaty System, or ATS, including the (1998) Antarctic-Environmental Protocol," Chile's Chamber of Deputies said in a statement.

Chile and Argentina's territorial rights claims came in response to a U.K. bid submitted to the U.N. in October 2007 for sovereignty over more than one million square kilometers of seabed off Antarctica.

LUKOIL says proven reserves fall to 19.3 bln bbl

MOSCOW (Reuters) - LUKOIL said on Friday proven hydrocarbon reserves fell to 19.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in 2008, but Russia's No. 2 oil producer more than replaced its annual production with new reserves.

LUKOIL said in a statement its proven hydrocarbon reserves as of Jan. 1, 2009 included 14.5 billion barrels of oil and 29.3 trillion cubic feet of gas. Total hydrocarbon reserves fell from 20.4 billion boe a year earlier.

Petrobras will supply oil to China

Petrobras has closed a deal to supply a volume of 100 to 160 thousand barrels of oil per day to Chinese refineries, according to the Chairman of the public corporation, José Sergio Gabrielli. The Brazilian state-owned company is also negotiating a loan of up to US$ 10 billion with China, an operation that could be concluded by May, added Gabrielli, in an event after the meeting between President Lula and the Chinese Vice-President, Xi Jinping.

Bulgaria backs down on nuclear reactors restart

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria has backed down on plans to restart two Soviet-era nuclear reactors and will now focus on lobbying for more European Union compensation for the shut units, officials said on Friday.

Big dams are not sustainable — but they continue to be built

Silt build-up behind dams estimated at 1% a year renders large dams useless in the long term, specifically concerning the Boot (Build-Own-Operate-Transfer) development model, allowing corporations to own dams for a period of 20-25 years.

Globally, 80-million to 100-million people have been displaced by dams; 400-million “downstreamers” have been affected by the loss of fisheries (estuaries are habitats for 80% of the world’s fish catch), fertile land and coastal erosion. Mega-dams endanger freshwater biodiversity and wetlands, increase soil salinisation and salt-water intrusion, and release the highest volume of human-engineered methane emissions, all while burdening underdeveloped nations with billion-dollar projects designed to develop Africa.

Guatemalans Resist Mega-Mines, Hydropower Dams

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (ENS) - Amidst the growing controversy surrounding foreign-controlled resource extraction and mega-development projects in Guatemala, populist leader Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini, together with a group of community leaders, is demanding a two-year moratorium on the granting of mining concessions by the Guatemalan government.

Africa must gear up on infrastructure 
to enhance its oil and gas prospects

A lack of infrastructure is a 
 pressing priority for Africa 
 as it underpins the success of the continent’s oil and gas industry, says Arthur Hanna, energy practice industry MD for Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company.

Africa is increasingly seen as a major global player in the energy field, as it contains about 10% of the world’s oil reserves and about 6% of its gas reserves.

While Africa is no stranger to the challenges facing the global energy industry, such as a shortage of equipment, rising costs of capital and a skills deficit, Hanna tells Engineering News that the continent’s existing infrastructure needs to be upgraded.

To save the planet, the problem is cost

Making the UK into a low-carbon economy will create 400,000 jobs, Gordon Brown is expected to say today. Yet for these jobs to be created, the nation’s green plans must receive the investment they need. Our expert panel give their views on what is required to create this 'energy revolution'.

Surviving Two Billion Cars: China Must Lead the Way

The number of vehicles worldwide is expected to reach two billion in the next two decades. Surprisingly, China – where the demand for cars has been skyrocketing – just may offer the best hope of creating a new, greener transportation model.

The Worst Global Crisis of All Time

No, I'm not talking about the global financial crisis. Nor am I talking about the AIG disaster … Citibank's failure … the collapse of GM or Ford. I'm not even referring to the Dow's recent plunge to below 7,000.

Don't get me wrong: I am not minimizing the financial crisis that's affecting people all over the world.

I just don't want anyone to forget about a crisis that's killing 12 million people per year, including 10,000 children per day .

I'm talking about the worst crisis of all time, the intense and critical shortage of water … pure fresh water. What I call “blue gold” — a term I coined back in 2004 to describe one of the most precious natural resources of all and to help motivate others to take notice of the growing crisis.

Alberta sparing oil sands water

A new draft directive targeting water management in the oil sands of northern Alberta, Canada, proposes to reduce fresh water use by 220.5 million barrels in a decade.

Russia launches $3.3 bln loan package to farmers

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian banks have begun disbursing a record 120 billion rouble ($3.3 billion) loan package to crisis-hit farmers in a bid to secure another bumper crop this year, a senior government minister said on Thursday.

Kurt Cobb: Jeffrey Brown and the Net Oil Exports Crisis

With peak oil comes peak oil exports. Why Texas oilman Jeffrey Brown thinks the world is headed for a drastic energy downsizing and soon.

Texas oilmen who advocate for 1) a massive reduction in oil consumption through the electrification of transportation, 2) large investments in energy efficiency and 3) the relocalization of commerce to reduce the long and energy-intensive logistical lines now typical of the globalized economy are about as rare as vegetarians at a cattlemen's association luncheon. In fact, Jeffrey Brown, a Dallas-based independent petroleum geologist who manages a joint-venture exploration program, may be one of a kind. The genesis of his rather radical views--radical, that is, for a Texas oilman--are a simple question he asked himself several years ago: What happens to oil exports in a world with constrained oil supplies?

Oil rises above $44 despite grim US corporate news

Oil prices rose above $44 a barrel Friday on investor optimism that falling U.S. gasoline costs amid the worst recession in decades may increase demand for crude.

Gains were limited, however, as markets awaited February U.S. unemployment figures, due for release later Friday and expected to show the highest jobless rate since 1984.

Face to face with T. Boone Pickens

'If you don't think that you're gonna see a $200 barrel of oil, you're joking.'

Can Natural Gas Break Our Oil Habit?

Pickens, along with a growing number of groups, wants America to slash its oil consumption by making better use of natural gas. In theory, the plan sounds simple. Around 22 percent of the natural gas burned each year is used to generate electricity. If wind energy were substituted for gas at power plants, the freed-up natural gas could be used instead to fuel ground transportation systems, starting with diesel-burning fleet trucks and buses. Advocates say this plan could cut U.S. oil imports by up to 38 percent.

Yet if the nation makes the switch from oil to natural gas to run its vehicles, will it simply be trading one foreign-dependent fuel for another? The answer is, probably. But to what extent is very hard to say. "Welcome to uncertainty," says Gordon Kaufman, a professor emeritus and oil and gas expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management.

OPEC to Reduce March Shipments by 1.9%, Oil Movements Says

(Bloomberg) -- OPEC will reduce crude-oil shipments by 1.9 percent in the month ending March 21 as producers use record cuts to stem falling prices, according to tanker-tracker Oil Movements.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, producer of more than 40 percent of the world’s oil, will load 22.67 million barrels a day in the period, down from 23.1 million a day in the month ended Feb. 21, Oil Movements said in a report today. That would be the lowest volume since 2004.

China's oil imports limited by storage capacity

HAIKOU (Xinhua) -- Limited storage facilities are hampering China's efforts to import large volumes of oil while world prices are relatively low, an official with the Guangzhou customs house told an energy conference here Friday.

Consumers Find Betting on Gas Prices Brings Heating-Bill Hazard

Half of U.S. residential gas customers, some 35 million households, are in states that allow them to shop for the best gas price. Trying to lock in a cheap gas price is usually a losing bet, consumer advocates said.

Low oil could stall auto efficiency drive-firm

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Falling oil prices could hurt investment in fuel efficient vehicles and capital projects designed to promote energy saving technologies, an automotive research firm warned on Thursday.

CSM Worldwide told the Environmental Protection Agency that some conditions for that scenario appear in play already with recession pushing oil prices down nearly 4 percent on Thursday on expectations of lower fuel consumption overall.

"It's simple economics - consumers and investors are not likely to invest in fuel efficient vehicles and capital intensive new technologies if a sharp drop in oil prices undercuts them," said Eric Fedewa, vice president of CSM's global powertrain forecasts.

Talisman reports 69% surge in income in ‘year of change’

Chief executive John Manzoni said: “We set the company in a new strategic direction and realigned major parts of the organisation in support of the new strategy. We've also successfully navigated a very dynamic economic environment, posting record financial results despite the collapse in oil and natural gas prices in the fourth quarter.”

The company reported a record £1.934billion in net income for 2008, a 69% increase on 2007 despite writedowns associated with year-end pricing and reserves.

Norway oil fund shrinks to $297bn

Norway's sovereign wealth fund - the oil fund - shrank by 7.5% to a preliminary figure of Nkr 2.102 trillion ($297.2 billion) in January from the end of December, the central bank's monthly balance sheet showed.

Obama's True Goals

What are the real goals of Barack Obama's energy plan? The new president entered the White House with three core objectives: combating climate change, reducing US dependence on foreign oil, and building a clean energy future with renewable energy sources. In his first six weeks in office, Obama has moved swiftly to address all three, primarily through a $787 billion economic stimulus package and his first budget proposal -- a "once in a generation" fiscal plan that seeks to radically reorder US policy priorities.

In some ways Obama's energy objectives are complementary -- for instance, an expansion of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and biofuels helps reduce foreign oil dependency. However, in others, the goals are contradictory. The president's pledge to "promote the responsible production of oil and gas" would help cut imports, but would undermine his climate goals.

Clinton warns against 'energy weapon'

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the use of energy as a political lever today, a day after Russia threatened to cut gas supplies to Ukraine in a move that would have hit supplies to Europe.

..."We are ... troubled by using energy as a tool of intimidation," Reuters quoted her telling a hearing at the European Parliament. "We think that's not in the interest of creating a better and better functioning energy system."

British solicitor Jeffrey Tesler arrested over gas deal ‘bribes’

A British solicitor accused of taking part in a scheme to bribe Nigerian officials to secure lucrative gas contracts was arrested yesterday.

Police arrested Jeffrey Tesler, 60, at a business address in North London after authorities in the United States requested his extradition and that of another Briton, Wojciech Chodan.

Kazakhstan to Spend $4 Billion Oil Revenue on Economic Boost

(Bloomberg) -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev promised to spend 600 billion tenge ($4 billion) of oil revenue to bolster economic growth.

It’s “right” to spend the revenue expected in 2009 and 2010 on “a new plan for further economic modernization” and controlling unemployment, Nazarbayev said today in his annual address to the nation in Astana, according to state-run Kazinform. Kazakhstan will keep its foreign currency and gold reserves of $47 billion, he said.

Russia offers oil extraction technologies to Indonesia

JAKARTA (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Petros company and Indonesia's Nuansa Group have signed a memorandum on joint implementation of Russian technologies in the development of abandoned oil fields in Indonesia.

"There are many oil fields in Indonesia whose exploration has been abandoned for various reasons. We need new technologies to continue their development, and we are glad that we can now use Russian technologies," Nuansa Group president Susanto Suparso said at the signing ceremony late on Thursday.

Don't Regulate the Suburbs: America Needs a Housing Policy That Works

The "smart way," as the President suggests, is supposedly through the policies of "smart growth" and "new urbanism," which many communities in America have adopted in recent years to limit growth and upgrade their demographics by making housing less affordable. Under the guise of deterring sprawl—i.e., preventing additional neighbors— many suburban communities have adopted exclusionary zoning, impact fees, involuntary proffers, mandatory amenities, growth boundaries, service districts, infrastructure concurrency, and large-lot zoning to discourage new construction. Inevitably, these strategies raise housing prices.

As the record reveals, states and communities that have implemented the land-use regulations common to "smart growth" strategies are the same states and communities that have seen their housing prices soar over the past decade and have experienced the most severe delinquency and foreclosure rates, as well as the sharpest declines in house values in the past year. In sum, these "smart growth" strategies are an important contributing factor in the housing finance mess and severe recession that now confront the United States and several other countries that have implemented the same abusive land-use regulations.

Yu Koyo Peya

How much longer can industrial civilization last before it undermines the basis of its existence, imploding due to growth and complexity spiraling out of control? Why is this collapse scenario nearly inevitable? These are the questions Yu Koyo Peya attempts to answer. The opening sequence presents a frightening taste of how a desperate world racked by hunger and the breakdown of “orderly society” might react to the cascading effects of Peak Oil on the economy in the near future. The narrator’s fate is not predetermined, however; those of us who are bright and courageous and most of all willing will be able to survive the collapse of global civiliation, perhaps even bringing about the florescence of a new age of human culture: the Afterculture. Those of us intrepid enough to follow this path will do so with one eye on our primitive past and the other on finding creative solutions to building a thriving, organic human community in a post-civilizational world.

Making Wellington resilient

Surrounded by waterways and native forest, Porirua City has a vibrant Pasifika community and the popular annual Festival of the Elements.

The balance of urban and rural environments connected by a rail/road network and deep-sea harbour provides the foundation for a resilient region.

However, the region faces threats to its environment and well being. We are vulnerable to earthquakes, tsunamis and climate-change impacts, such as more intense downpours, floods and droughts. After the catastrophic combination of a heatwave and fire in Australia, nobody could remain unaware of the reality of global warming.

GM unveils plug-in hybrid — in Europe

GENEVA - GM's Adam Opel GmbH subsidiary presented the lithium-ion battery powered hatchback Ampera on Tuesday at the Geneva Motor Show, where electric-powered vehicles emerged as one way to persuade environmentally aware consumers to buy new cars during the global recession.

Senate leader offers plan for `green' power grid

WASHINGTON – The Senate's top Democrat on Thursday proposed new federal authority to build special power lines that carry renewable energy — like solar and wind power — from remote places.

The Federal government would be able override states and direct where the lines would go and who would pay for them.

Gore group backs creation of .eco domain

The group said .eco "will be established for individuals to express their support for environmental causes, for companies to promote their environmental initiatives, and for environmental organizations to maintain their websites in a namespace that is more relevant to their core missions."

Proceeds from registration fees would be used to fund research on climate change and other environmentally related areas.

Geithner defends U.S. carbon cap-and-trade plan

WASHINGTON, March 5 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Thursday defended the administration's plan to raise hundreds of billions of dollars in revenues from a carbon emissions cap-and-trade system, saying it would help wean America off imported oil.

Under grilling by Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee, Geithner said President Barack Obama's plan was would necessary to change incentives for U.S. energy use.

"It is critically important for our country that we begin the process now of changing the incentives Americans face on how they use energy," Geithner said. "It's important for reducing our dependence on foreign oil, it's critical for climate change."

US Senate unlikely to pass 100% auction of CO2 permits

The chairman of the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said Thursday that it is unlikely the Senate will pass a climate-change bill that includes auctioning 100% of greenhouse gas emission credits.

New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman, the top Democrat on the committee, declined to say what percentage of credits would likely be proposed for auction, but said it was under discussion.

Countries that block global climate change deal risk isolation: Miliband

Countries that stand in the way of a global warming treaty now risk international isolation because of the US's new commitment under Barack Obama to reaching a deal, the climate change secretary, Ed Miliband has said.

Senate clears way to reverse polar bear rule

(AP) -- The Senate has cleared the way for the Obama administration to reverse a rule saying that greenhouse gases cannot be restricted in an effort to protect polar bears from global warming.

Geologists map rocks to soak CO2 from air

A new report by scientists at Columbia University's Earth Institute and the US Geological Survey points to an abundant supply of carbon-trapping rock in the US that could be used to help stabilize global warming.

The Inevitable Solution to Climate Change

One elegant way for President Obama to successfully implement a market-based approach to capping carbon, as he requested to Congress in his Congressional Address, is to grab hold of an idea from entrepreneur Peter Barnes called cap and cash back or cap and dividend.

It works like this: a limit is put on the carbon-producing fuels entering our economy. The atmospheric scientists first determine the limit and then 100% of the credits for the allowable amount of carbon-producing fuels are auctioned off each year. The government makes a profit estimated to be around $300 billion and then distributes the revenue to the American people.

The cash comes every month and the payments get higher as the cap on emissions get tighter. It's estimated that a family of four would get about $1,200 a year at first, with some energy conserving actions, a middle-income family can come out ahead financially.

Can Natural Gas Break Our Oil Habit?

It is like switching from cocaine to crack. Your still an addict. We need to stop wasting energy and get off our duffs.

Hello WT,

Kudos to you, Khebab, Curt Cobb, and others trying to spread the ELM to the MSM. Let's hope the ELM makes its debut soon on the WSJournal, CNBC, and the major networks where the pundits can talk about it in an hour long format [not just a few minute soundbite].

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

I think that this paper by Kurt Cobb is one of the most brilliant and original papers I have read on Peak Oil and resource limits:

Great Graph by Kurt Cobb that shows how dependent we are on food & energy:


Published Jul 29 2007 by Resource Insights

Upside down economics

by Kurt Cobb

This method for depicting the economy was suggested to me by two things. First, Liebig's Law of the Minimum states that an organism's growth is limited by the amount of the least available essential nutrient. In the case of world society that nutrient would be food, though many would argue that fossil fuels are the essential nutrient since so much food production depends on the use of fossil fuels and their derivatives including fertilizers and pesticides. Second, a piece by Dmitry Podborits argues that it is nonsense to say that the U. S. economy is less vulnerable to oil supply disruptions today than in 1970s because it produces twice as much GDP per barrel of oil. Instead, Podborits suggests, we are more vulnerable to oil supply disruptions because we have so much more GDP balanced on each barrel of oil. The same argument might be made with respect to agriculture which in the United States in 1930 employed 21.5 percent of the workforce and made up 7.7 percent of GDP. In 2000 the numbers were 1.9 percent of the workforce and 0.7 percent of GDP. We are balancing an ever larger total economy on an agricultural economy that on a relative basis is shrinking. Certainly, we are getting more efficient, but are we becoming more vulnerable?


While being fully aware that your critique of BAU is essentially Malthusian, the graphic you linked reminded me of the mental image conjured up by this quote. It describes the philosophy of one of Malthus' fellow heretical pessimists, Thorstein Veblen:

The machine was not concerned with values and profits; it ground out goods. Hence the businessman would have no function to perform--unless he turned engineer. But as a member of the leisure class he was not interested in engineering; he wanted to accumulate. And this was something the machine was not set up to do at all. So the businessman achieved his end, not by working within the framework of the social machine, but by conspiring against it! His function was not to help make goods, but to cause breakdown in the regular flow of output so that values would flucturate and he could capitaize on the confusion to reap a profit. And so, on top of the machinelike dependability of the actual production apparatus in the world, the businessman built a superstructure of credit, loans, and make believe capitaliztions. Below, society turned over in its mechanical routine; above the strucutre of finance swayed and shifted. And as the financial counterpart to the real world teetered, opportunities for profit constantly appeared, disappeared, and reappeared. But the price of this profit seeking was high; it was the constant disturbing, undoing, even conscious misdirecting of the efforts of society to provision itself.

--Robert L. Heilbroner, The Worldly Philosophers

Interesting. Veblem is describing very accurately the banksters' techniques covered in the excellent documentary The Money Masters, where it's referred to as a "rowing" of the economy, a churning, up and down, to wring out profits and to hell with the little guy.

The unemployment report was worst than expected, but only a little:

Unemployment hits 25-year high

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The U.S. economy continued to hemorrhage jobs in February, bringing total job losses over the last six months to more than 3.3 million, and taking the unemployment rate to its highest level in 25 years.

The government reported Friday that employers slashed 651,000 jobs in February, down from a revised loss of 655,000 jobs in January. December's loss was also revised higher to a loss of 681,000 jobs, a 59-year high for losses in one month.

...The unemployment rate rose to 8.1% from 7.6% in January. It was the highest reading since December 1983 and higher than economists' projections of 7.9%.

They were expecting 7.9 percent and 648,000.

I wonder what the unofficial (i.e., real) rate is. Do these data include all those "undocumented" workers previously employed in the construction industry who have now gone back to their home countries?

E. Swanson

Per Denninger the U6(includes a broader definition of employment) rate is 16%

Denninger's comment ...


plus comments on "The Bezzle"

Gotta love his graph of unemployment:

Nice, smooth upward trending curve...

I usually just multiply by 2, and figure that gets me in the ballpark.

BD, you've seen the Shadow Government Stats site listed many times, I'd wager. Wonder no more. Get thee to SGS.

What I like about their methods is that they aren't cooked up out of the ether, but use the governments own previous methods to show how badly the government has cooked its own methodology over the years. That is to say, these aren't just contrarians making stuff up that nobody else can verify.


Thxs Leanan,

IMO, all the more reason for 0bama to move ahead on Alan Drake's RR & TOD ideas to support Kunstlerization. The US money budgeted towards this goal is still small compared to the Chinese railroad building effort [from memory: USA-$8 billion, China-$88 billion].

Otherwise, we may end up with the US equivalent of the sad Cambodian bamboo railway.

..and we'd probably have to import most of the bamboo!

Bob, I channeled my TOTONIELA spirits yesterday, creating a hand-drawn Grip Truck (Lighting Equip for Video Shoots), with my 'Big Guy's Lego/Erector Set' parts.. A two-wheeled flatbed which carried Camera, Tripod, 3 Milkcrates of lights and cables, light stands, and my signature cupholder. But even in hilly Portland, it was a well-balanced one-hand affair, so the coffee cup could stay in the other hand.

Very cool event, BTW, with Portland Police working with local writers to create poetry about their lives and their work. Very moving and enlightening, and a chance for these men and women to reveal themselves within their community. ('Reveal themselves'.. my word! The poems and a photography project with the same Officers,Sargeants, Detective and Lieutenants has been put into a Calendar, to raise funds for the family of an officer who died last year.. and as they came up to read their poems, they would quip, "I'm Miss March." "I'm Mr. June" ) Our tapes will be aired on Cable Access soon. Whatever we can do to strengthen the bonds in our community..


Kudos to you, Jokuhl!

IMO, we need all the postPeak inventiveness we can get for next-gen wheelbarrows, and other moving platforms.

How about inventing a sturdy, but light and quick-folding wheelbarrow so people won't have to balance them on their heads while pedaling [see photo below of my non-FF powered exosomatic hero], but can somehow strap or snap it onto a bicycle. Maybe it could be attached to the rear axle plus the seat post? Or would it be better to invent a bicycle that could convert 'transformer style' into a wheelbarrow. How about a bicycle to grocery cart conversion that would be acceptable for pushing around inside a supermarket?


Hey Jokuhl,

Hard to see all the wheelbarrow details in this photo below but it almost looks like the front half of a bicycle could be the wheelbarrow, then at the end of the working day: maybe they attach the back half of the bicycle to pedal home.

Or maybe you could invent something like that. :)


Ah, to still be living in a consumer's paradise. Here are the first three Google hits for a folding wheelbarrow, each for under $40:


One of the great things with my cart (has been purpose-assembled this way a few times now..) is that I roll it down the streets, and then right in the door of the place I'm going to.. as long as there aren't stairs!! But it being an easy outdoor/indoor rig saves me a LOT of unloading, reloading of my stuff.

As with my friends who use 'Burley' (Hurley?) Trailers for their kids, and switch them from bike to walk/jog mode, these are great candidates for that kind of intermodal use. I've got the used Scooter parts now which might become a second pair of wheels for making this two-wheeler into a four-wheeler with Pedal and electric drivetrains. As ever, the linkages will be kind of generic and universal, so I can reconfigure as needed.

The use of 'Speedrail' fittings is a key component to making an adult 'Erector set' this way. these are the Cast Aluminum and Steel pipe fittings that you see on scaffoldings and handrails everywhere.. very popular for film rigging and similar prototyping!


cool stuff! thxs for the link, as I had no idea this stuff existed.

Markets up in first half hour of US trading. Go figure. It seems the jobless numbers excited some investors.


Starting to slide back a little now.

Pictures sometimes are worth a thousand words:

Very nice charts and graphs -- thanks, Gecko.

Officially acknowledged unemployment nearly doubles in a year.

Job cuts go from about 72k/month to about 651k/month.

Well, I guess there's a lot of fat and in-efficiency built into the system, eh?

Since when is the economy designed and operated for "We, the people" after all.

The Constitution had the people in mind, but we want to starve government and drown it in a bathtub, or better yet bankrupt it so that we can only afford to spend money on what is loosely defined as "Defense" or "Security."

I submit that the government is in effect now a quasi-private security organization. Whatever is left of democracy is pretty much a psychological operation. With a large population that is desperate for crumbs from the rich man's table voting for whichever abuser promises the best deal, the people can be manipulated. Any real alternatives are effectively marginalized to the fringes of the "democratic process" which defines reality for the masses.

Edward Bernays would be proud.

Sadly, I see us heading towards Nazism. Better start studying it now. Blood and Soil, Lebensraum (territory) natural food and natural living, etc. Most, well, almost all, know nothing about the Fascist roots of the "natural foods" movement. This is scary stuff.

Now, this is not to say that healthy foods and healthy land, etc aren't good for us. The roots of Nazism are interesting - among other things it was a reaction against the modern system of capitalism, which brought more processed, factory-made foods. It's an example of an evil system of thought piggybacking on some fundamental good ideas.

The Germans went through far more of a wringer before they went for Nazism, but as for here, this thing is just beginning. The American people are just not going to go for Communism or Socialism, but as for Nazism, ("National" (fascist) Socialism) yeah I can see that coming. Just look at how popular it is in movies, TV etc. We all grew up watching Hogan's Heroes, any town has its collectors of Nazi pins, medals, etc., and the amount of "dinner table anti-Semitism" floating around in the US has been increasing.

Dunno what to say in conclusion. We're not going to be able to leave the US when it becomes more apparent, any more than the average Joe Bavarian was. After going through the wringer, for anyone not in one of the out-groups it's going to seem like a great thing. Interesting times coming.

One thing to note about Fascism is that it does not arrive from the top, but from the bottom; the police state is the result and not the cause. Another thing about Fascism is that it seems to have required some unifying factor like race (blood and soil), which we do not have. Right now, we have several competing cohesion factors none of which is dominant: rabid religions (which are split into hundreds of sects), technocrats, gun nuts, er, I mean enthusiasts, Hispanics, Blacks, and so on. I think that the greater likelihood is not Fascism so much as Statism, something like the old USSR.

Another thing about Fascism is that it seems to have required some unifying factor like race (blood and soil), which we do not have.

Ideology and greed are all you need. Religion and race are excuses, not causes. Mussolini-style fascism is alive and well in the Dear Old US of A and beyond...

Hmm, since the rate of change is not increasing, perhaps we have reached the 'point of inflection' of the curve.

That suggests peak unemployment will be under 30% in 2011-12. Break out the champagne!

The future looks pretty bleak:

I made my own graph using the BLS's job loss numbers instead of the unemployment rate, which seems easier to manipulate (though they do "adjustments" to the job loss numbers, also.)

Note that all the pre 1981 recession's (dotted lines) recoveries were within 24 months (net job change greater than zero after 24 months) while none of them have happened that fast since.

Jobs 2/09

"In sum, these "smart growth" strategies are an important contributing factor in the housing finance mess and severe recession that now confront the United States and several other countries that have implemented the same abusive land-use regulations."

I read through the full article and it appears that they are only considering current housing price affordability rather than sustainability in an era of Peak Oil. "Cheaper" house prices after the Panic of 2008 are still too expensive for the unemployed or the working poor in relation to income, not just to buy but to live in and commute to work.

The housing mess, of course, is not due to smart growth; it is due to massive mortgage fraud and Wall Street bankers who thought they were smarter than the market.

Interesting this comes from the Heritage Foundation. I suspect that a few decades from now, people are going to have a rather different view of the "heritage" that they have been left - a "heritage" of suburban ghost towns in an impoverished, bankrupt nation.

I found it amazing that the Heritage Foundation gave any credence to a report by the Brookings Institution. What they completely leave out of their anti -regulation of the rich mindset is that we need to share the planet with other species. Their claim that deregulation would lower the cost of housing is bogus. I wonder if they ever complained to the housing regulators of Beverly Hills CA and other ultra rich suburbs about the lack of affordable housing for the servants that wipe their butts every morning.

...Wall Street bankers who thought they were smarter than the market.

Maybe they were smarter than the market. One must always keep in mind that these bankers made one hell of a lot of money (which by all indications they are going to get to keep) by destroying America's economy.

Naked Capitalism has had an interesting series of posts on the phenomenon that Yves has dubbed "bankruptcy for profit:"


Yes. Private Equity is the same-numerous firms have been destroyed by these grifters and their banking cronies. God forbid the fearless leader should even acknowledge what is being done to the USA economy.

Forget "growth" as defined by economic theory. "smart growth", "sustainable growth" and the like, it's all a fantasy.

Growth in consciousness, self-reliance, well-being (the non-materialistic kind; the ability to enjoy small pleasures) and solidarity on the other hand is what is in short supply. That still has a lot of growth potential

I think we all keep forgetting that "fraud" and "stupidity" and "cupidity" and "greed" are part of the "free market."

Also part of the free market are attempts to "corner" or "manipulate" the free market.

In the absence of a Big Daddy who would make everyone behave (that would, of course, make it not a free market), those who believe in the free market believe that all of these things will somehow sort themselves out. Which they do, of course.

But not without some pain, and not necessarily to the maximum benefit of everyone.

It is well to remember that there are some major winners in our current financial chaos-- no matter that most of us may lose this round.

One other thing that most people seem to forget about the free market is that there is no pre-determined direction, no goal. The Market just is, it is not a plan.

...those who believe in the free market believe that all of these things will somehow sort themselves out. Which they do, of course.

Here's an intesting counterpoint to that:

All the while that Marshall and his collegues (those who "believed in the free maket" and "beleived that all of these things will somehow sort themselves out") were refining their delicate mechanism of equilibrium, a few unorthodox dissenters (Malthus, Hobson, Edgeworth, Marx, Veblen) were insisting that it was not equilibrium but change--violent change--that characterized the real world and properly formed the subject for economic inquiry. War and revolution and depression and social tension were to their minds the basic problems for economic scrutiny--not equilibrium and the nice processes of adjustment of a stable textbook society.

--Robert L. Heilbroner, The Worldly Philosophers

It seems fairly obvious that "equilibrium" does not characterize natural processes except at certain points. Living organisms are in a "steady state" of "homeostasis" as long as they consume and dissipate energy in very highly controlled ways. Equilibrium to a living organism is death.

The "free market" reaches "equilibrium" either when it is constrained (by government or powerful monopolies) or when trading ceases.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not opposed to the free market. But I do think people ought to be careful about what they ask for.

Indeed, while the ecological "goal" used to be climax, we now recognize that the healthy natural world is characterized by flux. A new goal, resilience, replaces growth and steady flows. For some interesting discussions, see the Resilience Alliance website:

..while the ecological "goal" used to be climax..

It's funny how you learn certain ecological "truisms" as an undergrad, 'til you think you know some ecology, then you go to grad school and learn that all you thot you knew isn't exactly "wrong," perhaps, but is certainly an oversimplification or an over-extrapolation from a special case. In many cases you find that what you learned may more or less hold true at the temperate latitudes - where Western European or North American ecologists first described it - but totally breaks down in the tropics. The concept of succession to the "climax" is a case in point. Ecosystems can't be reestablished or restored, even if the same species are introduced, because you don't know and can't replicate the historical sequence of introductions & extinctions that structured the ecosystem in the form you're trying to reestablish. Hence, there is no guarantee that a disturbed ecosystem will return to what had previously been considered to be its "climax" state.

Another oversimplification often seen alluded to on TOD is the case of "Leibig's minimum." Nutrient limitations interact synergistically. Seldom does a single nutrient limit productivity absolutely. Suppose that N & P are both present in limited quantities. This may limit productivity more than if one was present in adequate amounts and the other was even less available.

My favorite oversimplification has to be the case of "competitive exclusion" & "character displacement" in the genus Accipiter. Until recently, every undergrad ecology textbook illustrated these concepts by the example of the little sharp-shinned, medium sized Coopers hawk, and large Goshawk. By specializing on prey of different sizes selection drove these raptors to different sizes themselves thereby eliminating competition between them, or so the story goes. Then you go to the Amazonian rainforest and observe a dozen or 15 or so species of accipiters, ranging in size from a tiny specialized hummingbird predator to goshawk sized birds, with everything in between completely overlapping in the prey they take. You don't see the oscillating predator/prey cycles in the tropics either, like you do at high latitudes with the Lynx/hare, for instance.

I now understand that I know ecology much less well than I once thot I did. Biological interactions are profoundly complex.

The world teaches humility to the wise.


(Edit: Fools, of course, know far too much to be able to change their prejudices.)

Wendell Cox has made a career of disparaging communities that attempt to limit urban sprawl. Consider this Heritage article entry #2,345 in that series. Funny how Las Vegas and Pheonix are construed as "growth control" areas.

First off, New Urbanists would never advocate anything like what goes on in these regions (c.f. Kunstler's numerous tak-downs of Sin City).

Second, what would these places look like with less restrictions on volume and placement of housing? Would Vegas really be better off with 20% more homes?

Thirdly, are regulations the only constraint on urban land market supply? What about terrain? It's awful hard to build a condo in the San Francisco Bay, and it is challenging still to build them in the hills and small mountains of the surrounding region (anyone want to volunteer to reside in an "affordable" apartment complex built on a steep slope in an earthquake-prone area? Mr. Cox, perhaps you would like to volunteer?)

Finally, what attempts do the authors make to better understand the curious case of Texas? Might its energy industry and the price boom of 2008 help explain people's ability to afford housing last year? Could the relocation of tens of thousands of households from hurricane-ravaged regions added a bit to the region's housing demand?

Does anyone want to prognosticate on Texas housing for 2009?


Thirdly, are regulations the only constraint on urban land market supply? What about terrain?

And then, of course, there is water

And places like Las Vegas are a long ways from anywhere without airplanes. Local food production in Vegas would be something of a challenge.

The authors of the Heritage Foundation piece bring up a couple of interesting issues by referring to "elite" condemnation of suburbia, especially in mid 20th century England. In fact, the elites to which they were refer were leftist elites. They saw suburbia as a means to enlarge the class of bourgeois smallholders, a class analyzed to be reactionary since the time of Marx. The working class housewife who wants to move to the quiet suburbs really lacked class consciousness in their view more than anything else. So as England drifted more to the left, the Governments of the day tended to favor smart growth in order to maintain a strong voting bloc of urban proletarians. In present day thought on the mainstream right, fights about smart growth and housing affordability are a struggle between conservatives and liberals to create a class that will vote their way. Kunstler really doesn't help his case sometimes by being a Democrat.

But like always, the experts are trying to fight the last war. Suburbia is dangerous not because it is inherently bad or evil or a right wing incubator. Suburbia is dangerous because it consumes large amounts of resources we're not going to have. I suspect any future society that tries to deal with peak oil intelligently will be run on a mixture of present conservative and liberal principles, in which folks in the Heritage Foundation or the New America Foundation will have to do more productive work for a living.

Oh, come on. The bankers aren't solely responsible. Everyone and I mean everyone felt that housing could only go up and that everyone should get in on an easy money-making scheme--buy and flip--and the mortgage people aided and abetted but sure didn't invent this thing. All of us acted like lemmings; all of us are guilty--excepting the few who did not join in.

Also, the housing mess is more than just a problem of unaffordable houses. Bush was the one who pushed the idea of home ownership as almost a right, when it is pretty silly, actually. Not everyone wants to take care of maintaining a house; that's why there are rentals. But more importantly, the housing mess is really the mess of badly constructed, badly designed, and unsustainable housing, built to fail, built for show and not substance. The best thing that could happen to the current homes in America would be to destroy 99 percent of them and re-build using newly developed building codes that favored the owner and not the builder. The real housing mess, in short, is that we not only don't have affordable housing (which makes the housing downturn a good thing), but the housing that does exist is disgustingly poor.

The real pisser is I can't find a buy vs rent calculator that allows negative appreciation modern speak for depreciation. The best you can do is set it to zero.

Needless to say remove appreciation and inflation and housing is a bad investment. I'd love to play with one that allowed -20% "gains".

Deception at Core of Obama Plans

Clever politics, but intellectually dishonest to the core. Health, education and energy -- worthy and weighty as they may be -- are not the cause of our financial collapse. And they are not the cure. The fraudulent claim that they are both cause and cure is the rhetorical device by which an ambitious president intends to enact the most radical agenda of social transformation seen in our lifetime.

I know that I am a minority in this group for not being an "equal outcome" proponent. I worked too hard for what I have.

I have been reading and learning about peak oil for five year now. I owe the contributors of this site a great deal of gratitude for preparing me and my family for the rocky road ahead. I consider you all to be my friends. Anybody who participates in these discussions would have to come to the logical conclusion that a train wreck was coming. I wished for a calm and civil slowdown into a future with less "Iphones". I am now certain that TPTB do not share my dream.

Good luck to us all.

Jeez. I am not a fan of Krauthammer, but he is 100% correct on this one. Wall Street grifters need to find new revenue sources, therefore "cap and trade" is a priority while regulation of CDS can wait until the mobs find pitchforks.

I call BS on it. Krauthamer is playing the easy tune of 'AntiPoplulist' which is all the rage when everyone is freaked out, and every action they see is wrong. He's defending the corporate line with his frantic rebuttals against federal actions that were just as unpopular when Roosevelt put them on the table.

"The list is long. But the list of causes of the collapse of the financial system does not include the absence of universal health care, let alone of computerized medical records. Nor the absence of an industry-killing cap-and-trade carbon levy. Nor the lack of college graduates."

1. Absence of Universal Healthcare. Consider: -- 50% of household bankrupcies (before the housing crisis) were attributable to health-related causes. -- The Bush administrations health policy Prohibiting the Government Programs like medicaid to have bargaining power for purchased Pharmaceuticals.. (somebody else might mention the effects of our Health Insurance Regimes)

2. 'Industry-Killing Cap and Trade' - Is that a euphemism for an Oil Subsidy?

3. Should we look up some stats on American kids with Math, Science and Engineering degrees, and the number of applicable job positions that are filled in India, Germany, Japan or Russia today?

There's long-term money to be gleaned from those areas.. but the faster bucks come from Cheap Cynicism.

I call BS on your BS.

Re Healthcare, my understanding is that an incredible 50% of all healthcare expense in the USA goes to the insurance companies administering these programs. I must have missed your fearless leader's outrage over this insane scamming of the American public.

The irony is that 50% of all healthcare money in the US is actually spent by the government.

For all those afraid of the cost of a socialized healthcare system - we're already there.

if you count government dollers per person spent on healthcare we already spend enough money to give every single American total healthcare coverage.

The problem isnt just the insurance companies scamming everyone, but its the way they distort the prices paid for the services.

That's not 'socialised healthcare' any more than paying precious tax dollars to have a Blackwater Contractor-Army, and KBR for peeling the GI's potatoes is 'Socialized Warfare' ..

Such Misappropriation of funds is PRECISELY the reason to reconfigure these programs.

So it's not 'Ironic', but 'Moronic'.. and maybe Boehner can hop in here and explain why it's preferable.

"The problem isn't just the insurance companies scamming everyone, but its the way they distort the prices paid for the services".

This is correct. Private medicine in the US is good. But it's very expensive and full of exclusion clauses, and can cause bankruptcy.

In canadian provinces, "all essential" health care is socialised and administered primarily by each province (not the Feds). This does have major advantages over the US system of 3rd party insurance companies, for both physician and patient. ie every doc gets paid and every citizen is treated.

In canada, the payer for the doc's services is the respective provincial health care plan, in turn funded by quarterly premiums by residents of that province. The cost of these premiums varies from one province to the next, but not by much.
In AB for example this cost was less than can $400.00/quarter - for a family of 5 people. This cost also did not change if someone got seriously ill.
This cost did not include medication, crutches or other items - but these are generally reasonably priced. (These also can be insured separately if one so wishes and also for a nominal cost)
This medical quarterly premium cost covers everything from chest x-rays, MRI scans, doctors visits, lab work, orthopedic surgery, open heart surgery, having a baby, cancer chemotherapy, etc - "all essential services".

Sound reasonable? It surely is.

But it is now under some strain. To use a sports metaphor, socialised canadian medicine has become a political football and the team owners, quarterbacks and even the players do not even know what game they're playing - except maybe trying to control provincial health care costs. Physicians BTW are not even on the team and only (perhaps) in a consultants role. Physicians have had no serious policy-making power or even substantive influence on same.
This has had huge consequences over the past 15 years or so.
These consequences became irreversible the moment the team started playing.

And it gets better.

The team owners now also will control provincial medical licensure requirements, and even standards for same.
Also, physician's office electronic health care records (of their patients) will become accessible by the team owner, quarterbacks and team players, for whatever demographic review or team study, sometime in 2009.

The result:

The medical system is still socialised, and still, just, works.
But under a new team owner who changes with each election. A series of owners whose management policies have resulted in unacceptable waiting periods in practically every clinical and non clinical facet of medicine, and produced exhausted health care workers. Experienced nurses of olde are now a vanished species. And your doctor may soon be a foreign trained graduate, licensed just last week.
Your personal medical records are electronically accessible, at any time. And if your doctor resists this request .. he is fined (a lot) by the team owner.

And what of the newly minted docs? They are energetic, bright and bushy-tailed and (mostly) of a different mindset. And crucially, they are very much in hock from outrageous tuition fees which did not exist at such levels 30 years ago.
They are coming into this new system with blinders, and they must now play ball.

Socialised medicine was once far more equitable for all canadians, and much more cost effective.

You didn't miss it. You didn't look for it.


Make Health Insurance Work for People and Businesses -- Not Just Insurance and Drug Companies.

* Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions so all Americans regardless of their health status or history can get comprehensive benefits at fair and stable premiums.
* Create a new Small Business Health Tax Credit to help small businesses provide affordable health insurance to their employees.
* Lower costs for businesses by covering a portion of the catastrophic health costs they pay in return for lower premiums for employees.
* Prevent insurers from overcharging doctors for their malpractice insurance and invest in proven strategies to reduce preventable medical errors.
* Make employer contributions more fair by requiring large employers that do not offer coverage or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of their employees' health care.
* Establish a National Health Insurance Exchange with a range of private insurance options as well as a new public plan based on benefits available to members of Congress that will allow individuals and small businesses to buy affordable health coverage.
* Ensure everyone who needs it will receive a tax credit for their premiums.

What I heard was the idea of paying health care providers based on results and not on each small service. What a radical idea! Actually paying for results. Also another radical idea of requiring new medications to actually work better than current cheaper meds!

I'm confused. How do insurance companies improve peoples' health? Wouldn't it be better to cut out the middle-man, and pay health-care and public health providers directly?

Also, wouldn't it be better to eliminate malpractice suits? (If malpractice is proven the doctor(s) at fault are permanently restrained from practising. The victim is compensated by the government, from a fund provided by doctor taxation. This gives doctors an incentive to reduce errors - their taxes are lowered.)

Wouldn't it be simpler to require proportionate contributions of all employers by means of a tax?

Or is the American "health system" really a machine for enriching lawyers and accountants? Oh, wait... never mind.

You are correct.

We need to go ... excuse me, we are getting there already ... a cash= based system where the service costs meet demand rather than being inflated by subsidy.

The government's plans are simply dressing an elephant to look like a field mounse. Even with unlimited money they wou't work ... and now there is no money ...

I owe the contributors of this site a great deal of gratitude for preparing me and my family for the rocky road ahead. I consider you all to be my friends. Anybody who participates in these discussions would have to come to the logical conclusion that a train wreck was coming.

I share your sentiments about this site. It is possible to learn a lot here, spending time here is informative & entertaining, and there are some really good people who post on TOD. But you have to realize that whether we face what's coming with eyes wide open or are completely blindsided by it isn't going to make a bit of difference. The Ocean Planet and its biotia are facing an ecological & biogeochemical crisis the likes of which the world hasn't seen in 65 million years. Anthropogenic Mass Extinction will be at least as bad as the end-Cretaceous event. There's nothing anyone can do to prepare for an extinction pulse of this magnitude. It's going to take down the PO aware as surely as it will the oblivious. What we face is not only the extinction of our own species but that of every vertebrate of about mean size or larger, along with the end of ecosystems as they've been structured thruout the Cenozoic. For those of you for which PO has been an eye-opener, open your eyes a little wider. PO and AGW are just aspects of the larger issue of ecological crisis & collapse. Talk of electric trains & wind turbines & thorium fission amount to nothing more than whistling in the dark while walking past a graveyard, i.e., only serve to distract the mind from the enormity of the situation we as a species and the biosphere as a whole face.

Good luck to us all.

Our luck has run out.

humans have a nasty habit of Linear Thinking.


Bread and Circus.

We go non linear. Let me cap that. We go NonLinear
at any moment:

"US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the use of energy as a political lever today, a day after Russia threatened to cut gas supplies to Ukraine in a move that would have hit supplies to Europe."

As in don't do as I do, do as I say.

Rude Awakening #1
In a Collapse, Washington’s Economic
Forecasting Models Are Worthless.

Economists rely on computer models designed to forecast gradual, continuous, linear changes, such as economic growth.


According to Clinton, Iran is also a threat to Europe so we'll need this US missile sheeld in Eastern Europe?? Iran has only lowly enriched uranium. 16 US intelegence agencies assess Iran cancelled a nuclear weapons program in 2003.
Somebody please tell her she must take her pills on time.

As for gas flowing through Ukraine, it has to be paid for, plain and simple, end of discussion. Now, that appears to be a problem for the Ukraine.

Nothing to do with pills-she is just doing what she is told to do-no different than any other puppet they would have put in the job.

Exactly. C'mon, Paulus. You don't seriously believe that Hillary is setting her own foreign policy? She's just saying what she was told to say. That's her job.

Leanan, Do you seriously believe that Hillary doesn't participate in setting the foreign policy? Or that everything she says is written down for her, so that she doesn't have to think for herself?

Your statement smacks of the same extremism as Paulus', though in the opposite direction.

I think (though I have no evidence to support this) that Hillary participates at a very high level in the development of foreign policy. It is why she was chosen - she's good at it (policy AND diplomacy). There are many people who could recite what they are told to say. But, real diplomacy requires allowing the SoS quite a lot of leeway.

This is only my opinion. YMMV.

Exactly! Let us not forget that Obama chose his cabined largely on the basis of their expertise in their field. He chose Hillary because she knows foreign policy. Obama is the boss and he makes the final decisions but he takes advice from all his cabined, including Hillary, and makes his decisions based on that advice.


Let us not forget that Obama ostensibly chose his cabined largely on the basis of their expertise.

In reality it was quid pro quo all the way, same as always in politics.

(One possible exception: Stephen Chu.)

Um...that was my point. It's a consensus. One person not taking their pills is not going to change government policy. If that was not the US government's position, someone would have issued a "clarification."

I understand your clarification. Your statement "She's just saying what she was told to say." sounded like she was not a part of the consensus. It made her participation/contribution sound very passive (more like WH Press Sec than SoS). I think she is much more active than that (and that is a good thing, imo).

The primary qualification for these jobs is that they do not NEED to be told what to do. They've demonstrated that they understand the role, and what is expected. Seriously, how hard can it be to figure out what to say and do to support the present power structure? Most people here could do that without thinking very hard.

I think Colin Powell had a really hard time with it. He knew what he was supposed to do, but since he personally disagreed, it was quite difficult for him.

All the more disgusting that he did it.

"It is why she was chosen - she's good at it (policy AND diplomacy)."

Link please! I personally have never seen any evidence of either.

Her expertise is in law, she was a lawyer and a corporate board member. She perhaps would have been marginally qualified for Attorney General. Her experience as First Lady CANNOT be counted unless/until she also takes responsibility for policy failures during her husband's terms, including the lead-up to 911. You can't say you have 'experience' and only point to the positive developments.

Yo, right-wing troll, her husband's successor was informed of the possibility of exactly what happened on 9/11. Kindly stop re-writing history to make it Clinton's fault.

Dick Cheney could have listened to Richard Clarke. Instead, he set up the "Dabhol Working Group" in the National Security Council, turning the NSC into a collection agency for Ken Lay.

My point about 911 was that the Clinton Administration, having been in office 8 years prior to the event, has to accept some responsibility for what happened and how the warnings were missed. Of course Bush was actually in office when the event happened and the abject failure of that Administration's preparation has been thoroughly documented. Given the timing of the event and the timing of the change in administrations, responsibility for the country's failure to predict/prevent 911 clearly falls on BOTH administrations.

Further to that, my point is that H. Clinton very directly uses her years as First Lady to build a resume of foreign policy experience. So with that 'experience' comes a shared responsibility for successes AND failures. But then the Clintons share a tendency to not accept responsibility for their actions and deflect blame onto others, so this is not a surprise. Since clearly there was a backroom deal to fit her somewhere in the Obama Adminstration, IMO Hilary would have been better suited (by far) for Attorney General.

What part of they handed Bush a dossier, said this is a big, important threat, then Bush round filed the whole thing does not compute in your brain?

If you're brain injured, I apologize in advance.


No brain injury here, just not enamored with the performance of the Clinton Administration like you apparently are.

If their sole responsibility was to gather facts and present dossiers, then yes, they fulfilled their obligations. I would have hoped after they had taken the time and effort to assemble facts and dossiers, they would have also seen it as their responsibility to have taken action and gotten results. Come on, there was a huge attack only 7 months after they had 8 consecutive years in power. And the pinnacle of achievement we are to expect from them is a dossier?? Funny isn't it that Sandy Berger (Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs 97-01) was caught red-handed trying to smuggle portions of said 'dossier' out of the National Archives?

"On July 19, 2004, it was revealed that the U.S. Justice Department was investigating Berger for unauthorized removal of classified documents in October 2003 from a National Archives reading room prior to testifying before the 9/11 Commission, by stuffing them down his pants. Berger eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material on April 1, 2005. Berger was fined $50,000, sentenced to serve two years of probation and 100 hours of community service, and stripped of his security clearance for 3 years. Berger also relinquished his license to practice law."

If they had done such a commendable job pre-911, what was he trying to hide? And by your logic, if there's a big attack in September 2009, Bush will be blameless?

We can agree to disagree. My original point was simply that IMHO 911 was a failure of TWO administrations, not one, and if Hilary is going to tout her foreign policy experience as First Lady, she needs to address and face up to that failure. Please leave Bush out of this particular discussion since we both agree he was a TOTAL FAILURE.

You are embarrassing yourself. You know for a fact that not only did bush not bother getting a dossier done AT ALL, but literally threw away any intel handed to him... and you are blaming Clinton?

Look, there are delusions and then there are delusions.

You need intervention.


I'm embarrassing no one. Read this again CAREFULLY then respond solely to this original point:

"We can agree to disagree. My original point was simply that IMHO 911 was a failure of TWO administrations, not one, and if Hilary is going to tout her foreign policy experience as First Lady, she needs to address and face up to that failure. Please leave Bush out of this particular discussion since we both agree he was a TOTAL FAILURE."

I recommend Richard Clarke's book, Against All Enemies. It's very revealing.

Yeah, I read that one already as well as Crossing The Rubicon.

Uh, sure. Hold on while I go get my Rush Limbaugh hat for my trip to NeverLand with Tinkerbell. I heard Michael is going to moonwalk the whole way!

Here's an analogy for you. In mid-2000 a swarm of earthquakes starts in 'Frisco. It builds slowly, but the public is unaware because they are so small. Then in late December and into early January a few bigger ones occur and some analysts suggest they *might* be building pressure for a major EQ sometime in the future.

So, the president and gov. of Calif. write up a report and hand it to Condoleeza Rice. The administration round files it. The earthquakes go on. A few 5 and 6's occur, but everybody is now looking at the Madrid fault because, well, the president is still upset that his pappy performed badly when an EQ hit there a good while back.

Then BOOM! 7.6 under SF. And nobody is prepared. Because they were playing footsies with New Madrid for no good reason and had, I repeat, tossed the reports on the on-going swarms in the Bay Area.

Yup. All the outgoing prez' fault. You betcha.


Link please! I personally have never seen any evidence of either.

My post ended with: "This is only my opinion. YMMV." No link is required.

However, I will quote from your post for supporting evidence:

Her experience as First Lady CANNOT be counted unless/until she also takes responsibility for policy failures during her husband's terms, including the lead-up to 911.

This seems to stipulate that Hillary Clinton has foreign policy experience. The fact that you use it as an argument that she must take responsibility for "failures" is irrelevant to my statement: "It is why she was chosen - she's good at it (policy AND diplomacy)."


Refine your argument first - don't just type and hit the "Post" button. You are arguing that experience doesn't count if one does not acknowledge all "failures". If this were the case, no one would have any experience because no one acknowledges all failures.

The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time, you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.

- Mark Twain, Notebook

OK, I'll give that. My "link please" comment was supposed to be sarcastic. Sorry that didn't come through, I did in fact see that you had added "in my opinion".

This particular portion of the thread related to her selection as Secretary Of State and you indicated you believe she was chosen based on her skills in "policy and diplomacy". I took that to mean she was considered to have had experience in policy and diplomacy as they relate to her appointment as Secretary Of State. Is that not what you meant?

It is precisely what I meant - "she's good at it (policy AND diplomacy)".

There is no doubt that she has experience in foreign policy and diplomacy.

Perhaps there is doubt about the level or amount of experience she has in foregin policy and diplomacy, but not that she has experience.

Perhaps there is doubt about whether her experience should "count" if she does not acknowledge certain things, but not that she has experience.

You wrote that you had "never seen any evidence of either" policy or diplomatic experience, but then you admit that she has experience but that it shouldn't count.

It makes your argument very weak because you are contradicting yourself. From my perspective, it seems that you were/are trying to argue that her experience shouldn't COUNT because she doesn't acknowledge certain things to your satisfaction. That is a much different argument than "I personally have never seen any evidence of either".

My opinion is that she has experience and arguing about acknowledging responsibility is a mug's game.

OK, I think the confusion lies in your observation that I "admitted" she has experience. That's certainly not what I meant to say if I said it. I personally don't believe being First Lady gives one foreign policy experience. Being a Senator during the Bush years when the rubber-stamp Congress was basically absent from all foreign policy decisions doesn't count for much either.

Perhaps we disagree, though I do not think so.

To me, you are not arguing that being First Lady does not give ANY foreign policy/diplomatic experience, just that it gives what you consider to be a very small amount of experience. All jobs, to greater or lesser degrees, teach diplomacy (consider the diplomacy and negotiation you might have with your boss if you ask for a raise, or with someone you wish to date). Jobs that involve interaction with people from other countries teach (again to a greater or lesser degree) aspects of foreign policy.

Your "definition" of experience seems very constrained, which is fine. I just disagree with it. Every interaction has the capacity to teach us something.

Gas to Poland flows through Byelorus. That's been short too. Either:

1. Putin is punishing Poland, while denying it.


2. Gazprom does have production issues that it is denying.

Neither makes Russia sound like a reliable supplier.

Anthropogenic Mass Extinction will be at least as bad as the end-Cretaceous event.

Quite likely true, though more a belief than a testable hypothesis.

In any event, "cap and trade" won't solve the problem, but it provides a convenient distraction from more possibly productive measures (like conservation and downsizing)-- and it provides another opportunity for massive, divertable, manipulable, fraudulent cash flows. More straw into gold for the bankers and less real wealth for everyone else.

In any event, "cap and trade" won't solve the problem,...

Never, though global warming will be devestating that will not be the primary cause of this great mass extinction. It will be the same thing that has been causing this sixth great extinction, human encroachment and destruction of their habitat...plus...a desperate search for human food.

Now as the world slides into a deep depression, people will began starving and eating anything they can catch or kill. This will be the major contributor to this mass extinction. Larger animals will go first. Then nets will be made to catch even the songbirds for food.

A testable hypothesis? No, just simple observation of what has been happening for the last one hundred years or more, plus just using a little common sense in predicting what will happen when things get bad, really bad.

Ron Patterson

It's helpful in dealing with this to take the really long view. Although earth's wonderful biodiversity is surely going to take it on the chin big time the planet will still be here. In a few million years new species will have evolved, the background radiation will have died down, and biodiversity will have made a come back. Hopefully no large brained primates will ever evolve again to create such havoc.

See, I'm really an optimist :)

Now as the world slides into a deep depression, people will began starving and eating anything they can catch or kill. This will be the major contributor to this mass extinction. Larger animals will go first.

This is already happening to the great ape species in Africa; all are doomed to be eaten as "bush meat."

Then nets will be made to catch even the songbirds for food.

Is this where I should share my recipe for baked sparrow?

As a person who was the only 11 year old in town who was a member of the Audubon Society, I plan to eat all the "English sparrows", starlings, and pigeons I can. Those last can be raised, actually, with great effeciency.

If I were back in Hawaii the list would be the same except for starlings, substitute red-vented bulbuls, God I hate that bird.

It's only been four or five years since the Eurasian collared dove made the scene around here. They're bigger than mourning doves but smaller than rock doves. I haven't eaten one yet but they've become very abundant, so when the time comes.. I don't know if they're in Cali yet but they will be.

Using nets to catch small birds and other animals was a common practice in Middle Ages Europe.

And it's still common practice today, unfortunately: One million migratory birds slaughtered in Cyprus.

I am wondering if you could tell us just what burning bush spoke to you so that you can assert with such conviction and assurance that the end is nigh? Mugumbo proclaims each day that we are "Freaking doomed," but then he proceeds to tell us that we should buy gold. Why bother inform us of such catastrophe? Why not just let us continue attempting to understand, analyze, and consider possible solutions? The earth has suffered numerous extinction events; but look what happened after 65 million years ago, a semi-intelligent species. Maybe 65 million years after your inevitable prognosticated extinction, another semi-intelligent species may arise. In the meantime, we can continue to smell the roses, and if the inevitable arrives, so be it. Can't we at least try, hope, plan? Or does your revelatory power say give up all hope? And why do you speak of doom? Why not just stop talking, curl up now into a fetal position and leave this life?

You do realize all you've said here is, "Uh-uh! Don't worry, be happy!" Also, is your relevatory power better because it's more "positive?" That's the implication of what you say.

If you've got reason(s) for optimism, then out with them. Uh-uh! doesn't advance the conversation at all.

Personally, if we can keep global warming to under 2.2C additional then we have a chance at a sustainable world. Very small, but it's there.


"Why not just stop talking, curl up now into a fetal position and leave this life?"

Well, I tried, but I had to get up to go to the bathroom, the phone rang, and - well you know, I just got distracted.

We may or may not be doomed, but we are going to survive at least for a little while, and there is a huge need to try to live during that time. Maybe we die natural deaths, and maybe our grandkids need the gold - there is nothing wrong with being incorrect in your planning - it is when you do not plan that is wrong. For instance, several years ago I bought a CNG truck for gasoline emergencies, and still use the truck and the CNG system regularly. For now, we have no emergency, but I am not going to scrap the truck.

I wish you good luck if you are not planning, because that will be all you will have. It might help if you have an axe as well, though. Hope ain't going to keep you warm.

"Clever politics, but intellectually dishonest to the core."

I don't think there is (or has to be) intentional dishonesty.

Jared Diamond's concept of an "outside context problem" is relevant: A problem that is different in nature to any experienced before by the leader class. Their prior experience, values, and conceptual straitjackets leave them totally unable to understand the problem, let alone come up with useful solutions.

So, like the Easter Islanders, they think "if a little monument wasn't enough, we'll build a bigger one..." Not dishonest, just uncomprehending.

Newsflash for Krauthammer: The market, not anyone else, is in charge of the coming social transformation. No-one can stop it, either.

The one thing that IPhones are doing is lowering the need for computers in the market, why need a new computer if you have an IPhone, you get internet on it, you can call on it, you can take the web with you as you drive or walk or bike or fly into space.

But I get the drift of your comments. I am not going to say I don't hope for a wonderful future for everyone, but I do know that it is not possible. My Sci-Fi stories bode well for great things to come with the use of Fiction as my Bringer-Of-Good-Tidings-For-Everyone but that is fiction.

Obama, might be able to get socialized medicine, might be able to get his other Social programs up and running, but with all the money being spent on the pork, I don't see how he will be able to afford it, without turning our nation into Russia.


Welcome to TOD, even though you have been here over 39 weeks, and have seen what this place has to offer already.

Re: The Inevitable Solution to Climate Change

It works like this: a limit is put on the carbon-producing fuels entering our economy. The atmospheric scientists first determine the limit and then 100% of the credits for the allowable amount of carbon-producing fuels are auctioned off each year. The government makes a profit estimated to be around $300 billion and then distributes the revenue to the American people.

The cash comes every month and the payments get higher as the cap on emissions get tighter. It's estimated that a family of four would get about $1,200 a year at first, with some energy conserving actions, a middle-income family can come out ahead financially.

Looks like a rationing program, but one where the incentive is killed by the rebates. And, each year the limits must be increased, that is, after an initial cut, less carbon can be emitted. That's because the first limit must be set only slightly below the present emission limit, since the installed base of equipment to use the fuels can't be changed overnight. Otherwise, a major disruption would be required, one which can not be accomplished without massive investment in new equipment which uses less carbon fuels. As the limit is cut ever lower, even the newest systems would be made obsolete.

Worse, rebates would dilute the effectiveness of the program, since all the consumer would see would be increases in prices. The resulting inflation would negate the impact as wages would increase also. It would be better to just ration the fuel with a white market to trade allowances. That way, the consumer would immediately perceive the need to buy energy conserving systems, especially those which use renewable energy sources. The frugal consumer would be immediately rewarded by being able to sell extra allocations directly in the white market...

E. Swanson

If the goal is to move to a carbon-free economy, we should be implementing a straightforward "stick and carrot" policy to steer the economy away from fossil fuels. Tax rebates may be more fair on the surface, but they are not as visible to consumers as FF prices, therefore this idea will never become socially and politically acceptable.

If I am to do it I'd set a straight carbon tax, which gradually increases over time - for example start with 10c/gal gasoline equivalent and increase it with 5c each year. The proceeds should be directly invested in moving to carbon free economy - subsidies for renewables, mass transit, affordable housing in urban areas, tax rebates for hybrids etc. The best part is that people will know that FF costs will rise and will be able to plan accordingly. Uncertainty is the biggest problem we are facing.

Fossil fuels are so seductive and have been so cheap that we have built our lives around them. Cutting our addiction won't be easy or painless. The problem with using taxes to limit fossil fuel use (or just oil)is that the taxes must hurt. But, then, after a while, the people who can pass on the increases costs will do so and the effectiveness of the tax will be reduced. As you suggest, the tax would need to be adjusted ever higher over time. The combination of a ramping up of a tax and the passing on of that tax to the next person down the chain is a recipe for massive inflation. Remember the "Stagflation" of the 1970's where fuel prices increased even during a recession.

You suggest a 5 cent per year increase in the gas tax. Recall that Clinton tried to increase gas taxes back in 1993 and could only find support for a 4.3 cent increase. But, we should have increased the national tax by 25 cents after 1974, another 25 cents after 1979 and so on to a level today of $2 per gallon but that didn't happen and our oil consumption continued to increase. It took oil prices of $149 a barrel to slow consumption thru demand destruction. What do you think the U. S. economy would look like today if the price of gasoline were still at $4 per gallon?

I think it's too late to use taxes to limit consumption because it appears that world oil production has peaked. If so, the market will keep prices high such that adding taxes would be impossible. Just last summer at the peak of the spike, there were many calls to DECREASE the gas taxes at the state level.

I must conclude that the only alternative is direct rationing with a white market. The allocation to individuals would be set below the total amount made available and would initially include all transport fuels. The Government would prime the market by setting aside a portion of the fuel for sales beyond the basic allocation level, while collecting some income from the premium that resulted. As people "bid" for the extra fuel, the higher price would give the consumer a clear signal to cut their use. The result would be a progressive price for fuel, which would hit the largest consumer the hardest and would include those whose consumption is indirect, such as passengers on airlines, and thus presently hidden from their accounting. Airlines might even return to charging by total weight...

E. Swanson

Here in Iowa the governor is threatening to veto a 10 cent increase in gas tax being pushed by members of his own party. If we want to limit the use of fossil fuels then direct rationing is the way to go.

Inflation can be avoided if consumers wisely seek low carbon alternative products. Under a cap you can't easily spend your rebate on more carbon because it's already allocated. Suppose you get back $100 a month. That can be spent on low fossil input purchases like organic food, public transport or green energy not Sunday driving a Hummer.

The trouble with supplemental schemes like CAFE, renewable energy targets and rationing is they can conflict. For example x% increased windpower can imply much more than x% coal reduction depending on the baseline energy mix.

Hi, WT,

I had been pondering whether to go ahead and drill two shallow wells on good leases which are about to run out, and reading the Kurt Cobb article makes me think I should. If prices were better assured, it would be a no-brainer. I had to wait a while for personal reasons, but still have time to drill. The point that prices have an even chance of holding their own over the next three years makes me think that I should proceed. If I let the leases go, the process of taking new lease will result in higher lease bonuses, higher royalty, and no assurance that I will be able to get the leases back. But the uncertainty of sinking a bunch of money in a successful project only to, net, lose money on the effort has been holding me back.

Thanks for making me think, with the repetition of what I have read of your work before.

I'm working on an essay to be faxed to some industry types quoting Pogo, "We have met the enemy and he is us." I think that the Obama Administration's attack on the domestic oil & gas industry makes sense to the Democrats, because they probably believe ExxonMobil, CERA and OPEC et al's assertions that the worst case regarding oil supplies is that we are looking an "Undulating Plateau" a few decades from now. In other words, I think Obama believes that the major threat facing us is the environmental impact from burning vast supplies of fossil fuels.

I think that Obama is making a horrendous mistake. The biggest immediate threat facing us, IMO, is an accelerating decline in net oil exports worldwide. Regarding the other two legs of our fossil fuel supplies, we have been a net natural gas importer for decades, and based on EIA data we are perilously close to becoming a net coal importer, based on BTU content. In any event, it's sheer fantasy to believe that we can maintain our auto centric suburban way of life using cool new green sources of alternative energy. (Of course, most Republicans think that fossil fuels are not only abundant, they are basically infinite).

Instead of trying to sell the Peak Oil is decades away story, the oil & gas industry, IMO, should have been pushing an effort to reduce our energy consumption, via a tax on energy consumption, offset by abolishing the Payroll Tax.

To get back to your original question, I would advise maximizing your exploration & development efforts. The net export math is relentless and we can at least put some people to work and hope that at some point our political leaders realize that our best hope for "Making things not as bad as they would otherwise have been" is to abandon the auto centric suburban nightmare and instead rebuild our rail infrastructure, especially electrified rail.

Agreed on the tax situation. The payroll tax is virtually supporting the rest of the government. Although there is an accounting entry transferring the net collections to the Social Security "Fund", the revenues and expenditures are a part of the General Fund of the United States government, meaning the collections and disbursements are all run through the same set of books as income tax collections, etc. The impact is a distortion which will come to light when we get close to the crossover, where payments exceed collections. Then the General Fund monies will have to be used to pay the benefits, and huge deficits ensue.

Thanks for the clarification on the drilling question. In two weeks we should be making hole - those air rigs in Northern Oklahoma can take those wells down in two days (after surface pipe is set) and they are gone. And that is with them just day-drilling. It cuts down on the suspense.

The simple fact is that there is no possible way that a declining US economy is going to be able to honor its Social Security commitments, no matter what deceptive fiscal accounting ploys that are attempted to obfuscate that fact.

This does not necessarilly mean that it will suddenly go away in just one day. It does mean that some day, not all that far away, we are going to start seeing round after round of benefit cuts, until there is very little, if anything, left.

No, it doesn't necessarily mean that it'll go away in just one day, but I don't see the will for rounds of benefit cuts, either. A populace and a system so deeply in denial that they will not negotiate the American Way of Life is too brittle to degrade incrementally, much less gracefully.

This is the next big question: What shape the social decline? We have data on the energy decline, and more accumulating every day on the economic decline, but how will that translate to the rate we pass through Orlov's stages of collapse? Do you see it as incremental and deliberate, or more of the current hollowing-out of BAU, which IMO can only result in ultimate catastrophic collapse?

Hello WNC observer,

I am not a legal-beagle, but I wonder if some kind of class-action lawsuit is possible for defined-benefit pension holders?

For example: I worked for Digital Equipment Corp. a long time ago, and I was promised a small monthly sum when I turned 65 [I am 53 now]. Yet, as the economy continues downward-->I will probably get nothing.

Since Peak Everything is well-known by money-managers [or should be by now]: It would seem to me that their fiduciary responsibility should be to acknowledge Overshoot & Collapse and the Thermo/Gene Collision. Thus, they should cash-out, then closeout this fund, then send me my portion so that I can use it to build my 'lifeboat'.

To not do this is tantamount to locking me below the decks on the Titanic. Let's say by 2015, using Gail's worst case scenario, that global crude has shrunk to 20 million barrels/day and billions are now starving. It would be ludicrous for a fund manager to say that things will soon be rosy for all at this point and he is fully invested for the coming BAU upswing; to my mind he is abrogating his fiduciary responsibilty and should be class-action sued to cash out the fund for dispersement. Other TODers' thoughts on this issue?

It just seems to me whereby there is some legal threshold [legal precedent?], or tipping point, where a court would say that investing for growth is hopeless; that it is every man for himself and these defined benefit plans need to be cashed out. The court would say, "Too bad for the plan administrators, they would have to find some other work."

Even if all I got from my pension plan was enough money to buy two tires for my bicycle, that might mean the difference between life and death for me for possibly six more months. Still much better than nothing at all.

One thing that has really surprised me is the absence of class action lawsuits for breach of fiduciary duty. I would have thought that they would be flying like snowflakes in a winter storm by now. Maybe it just takes a while to get the paperwork together.

Small world, I have been getting my DEC mini-pension for about 5 years now. Comes through Hewlett Packard. Don't know how long it will last but hope springs eternal. Bill

Hello Treeman and fellow DECy,

Wouldn't you feel better if you got your pension cashed-out as a lump sum? Then you could buy PVs, or put in a well & garden, super-insulate your house, buy ammo, or whatever? Just imagine if the DEC admins were Peak Aware, then far-sighted enough to cash-out to everyone just shortly after the market started to plummet. We would have all financially come out much better.

You and I maybe only months away from getting a letter that says the fund is flat-out broke because: I bet the admins will ride their 'gravy train' as long as they parasitically can instead of following their fiduciary responsibility.

Toto, I'm the same age and have a similar pension due/promised from Wells Fargo. I don't think I'll get it unless I can magically change the records and be 55 tomorrow. That's assuming WF is even paying that now - don't know, haven't checked. Too busy working on the garden which got a fine mist of mud from the well drilling (yep, still at it, going deeper as the water tables lower) thanks to the unrelenting wind that continues to help push our area deeper into drought.

While everyone tries to figure out all the resource messes, time marches on and the effects of past efforts continue to play out with devastating results. The sheer volume of time, money, resources and effort that are being consumed to battle the effects of past deeds is, itself, another huge problem. We are throwing fuel on the fire. Words like faith and hope ring hollow when the dots can so easily be connected.

All oil drilling (I assume you mean oil, not natural gas) is risky, of course, but less so than other investments. The interesting thing about oil prices now is that they have not collapsed to $20 or so as predicted in the face of demand destruction and OPEC quota cheating. Something must be holding them up in the $35-$40 range.

I keep waiting for this current hold on the price to collapse. I don't think it can sustain the collapse of the global economy. Nate's assertion that we could go to 50 million barrels a day demand is what worries me. I find it, unfortunately, entirely plausible, as I am still invested in energy.

I'd be interested in your take on Penn West. It's been devastated in the past 6 months, now ttrading in the 7s after being at 30ish. It still pays a great dividend, a lot of this year's production is evidently hedged at higher prices, but obviously there are concerns over debt and long term ability to pay. I don't own oil trusts for the capital gain just the dividend.


I'm not familiar with Penn West, but my investments have always stuck to bonds, private-equity conventional-oil junior petes with no debt and who operate on cash flow only, and mineral rights. As in every recession or depression, publicly-traded stocks are a buying oportunity, but in the current panic I won't consider anything until the TSX is down to about 4500 points, which would put the Dow Jones at about 4000 (the DJIA is usually about 500 points below Toronto). We're still on the downslope of the Kondratieff long wave and will be for at least another year.

Hello DFC--

Would you mind revealing whether you think the "Kondratieff long wave" is a physical reality, some sort of natural law, or just a convenient metaphor which is not to be taken literally?

If the current "depression" coupled with "Peak Oil" and Global Warming takes us back to the Medieval Warming Period, then how long will the wave undulate down?

Maybe we are looking at something altogether new?

The climate data shows that present temperatures are greater than the so-called "Medieval Warming Period". Unless you are using the dubious statistics from the denialist camp.

E. Swanson

Despite my personal "climate has many moving parts" status, This post is pointedly meant to be non-denialist. I am simply seeking some clarification.

Comparing surface measurements over the last 75 years is problematic due to urbanization. You may find the conclusion clear, AGW, but what is the precision of that conclusion? What is the "reasonable range" around AGW? Combining different measurement forms over longer time scales is even more problematic.

Medieval temperatures are "reconstructed" from various sources. Rather than converting these sources to GISS equivalents, does anyone know of a reference that shows a single common metric? For example, if you are using tree ring thickness, does anyone show a graph of tree-ring thickness for the last 2000 years?

Are there any studies that look at the AGW induced-slope in a single, homogeneous measure, then convert to temperature impact at the end?

Most analysis I have seen does the opposite order: splice together a temperature sequence from different measures, then estimate AGW slope at the end.

The difference in these approach greatly influences the precision of your final assessment.

Comparing surface measurements over the last 75 years is problematic due to urbanization.

Shunyata, these surface measurements were not taken downtown. And if urbanization is adding to global warming well...that's the point isn't it, or at least part of it.

Historical temperature measurements were not determined by using tree rings. Tree rings are used to determine rainfall or the lack of it. Historical temperatures are largely determined by ice cores and sea level measurements. It is not difficult to determine what the sea level was at points in the past. The warmer it was, the higher the seal level. Which coincidently also corresponds beautifully with the CO2 level determined from ice cores. Ice cores can also give us historicsl temperatures.

Because accumulating layers of glacial ice display annual bands which can be dated, similar to annual rings of a tree, the age of ice core samples can be determined. Continuous ice cores from borings as much as two miles long have been extracted from permanent glaciers in Greenland, Antarctica, and Siberia. Bubbles of entrapped air in the ice cores can be analyzed to determine not only carbon dioxide and methane concentrations, but also atmospheric temperatures can be determined from analysis of entrapped hydrogen and oxygen.

Global Warming: A Chilling Perspective


Thank you for your response, Ron.

Of course surface measurements weren't taken downtown. Rather, what used to be a farm field is now a surburban housing tract. Urbanization is part of the problem, but much different from trying to quantify the impact of CO2 on atmospheric temperature.

Since warm water holds less CO2, warm temperatures will cause ocean gas venting and rising atmospheric CO2 levels. The co-dependence you cite makes sense. But this co-dependence makes our estimation problem much more difficult; the impact of CO2 on atmospheric temperature is somewhat masked by the impact of atmospheric temperature on C02.

Hopefully you begin to understand my interest in obtaining an uninterrupted sequence of a single measure rather than trying to weave together several unrelated measures.

As an aside, it isn't clear to me that sea level is so easy to measure over geologic time scales. Tectonic movement, glacial subsidence, etc. will tend to alter land elevaton over time. But you have provided an interesting avenue to explore.

The "polite" denialist is grating for it is lying twice. None of what you state is a mystery or even a subject of debate. Educate yourself.


I have asked about a reasonable range for the proportion of observed warming due to CO2. If I have posed fallacious question or promoted a false conclusion, then please correct me. If not, then your comment is ungracious.


Read it on RealClimate.

And don't expect me to be gracious. You are pretending there is doubt about the impact of GHGs. There isn't. It is catastrophic. How many times do you need to read/hear it? The IPCC was a joke? The massive amount of research out this past year due to the IPY was a mirage?

What is the point of your question, if it so honest? Do you not see the poles are melting a hundred years early? Do you not read that clathrates undersea and in the tundra are melting? Do you really expect me to believe there is a legitimate question as to whether CO2's impact is in question and whether or not urgent action is required? How can there possibly be a question about policy and CO2?

Asking your question is ungracious; it cannot truly be honest for there is no doubt, and, if anything, policy is lagging so far behind reality that we are effectively committing suicide.

Edit: This is the closest I could get in such a short period of time. I have to get to bed. good hunting.

But back to his main error: Forcing due to CO2 can be calculated very accurately using line-by-line radiative transfer codes (see Myhre et al 2001; Collins et al 2006). It is normally done for a few standard atmospheric profiles and those results weighted to produce a global mean estimate of 3.7 W/m2 - given the variations in atmospheric composition (clouds, water vapour etc.) uncertainties are about 10% (or 0.4 W/m2) (the spatial pattern can be seen here).


From your comments, I infer that you understand temperature rise to be mostly due to C02 with a great deal of certainty.

My questions are meant to help me gain your level of certainty. Perhaps you could refer me to a prominent research article that finds 80% +/- 5% of global temperature change is due to CO2 forcing. I can find plenty of papers that assert the 80% estimate, but none that carefully examine how certain their estimate is.

Or are you asserting that the entire mechanism is so straightfoward that no such analysis is necessary? Like stepping out of the way of an on-coming car, there is no need to analyize what proportion of your death is due to the car. If so, it should be straightforward for you to demonstrate that 100% of my death is due to the car with absolute certainty.

The situation genuinely doesn't seem that straightforward to me.

The situation genuinely doesn't seem that straightforward to me.

Then perhaps you are deaf and blind?


Let me add, by implying with your analogy that CO2 is responsible for 100% of warming, you only reinforce my sense that you are not asking your questions honestly, but are merely seeking to sew false doubt.

If you read Ch.2 of the IPCC report, you will find the stated precision for most of the greenhouse gas forcings is +/-30% of the estimated effect.

The doubt is already sown, but often not considered.

1. The data from the IPCC IV is minimum 4 years old. Why would you still cite it as current?

2. If you know the answer to your question already, then you are as I stated: dishonest. You are not seeking info, you are seeking to sow dissent.

Is there not a truthful one among the lot of you?

It is the principal citation in the link you gave me above.

A word of advice CCPO: you don't need to speak badly of others, they will usually do so for themselves.

You deniers, particularly those of you who pretend not to be, deserve special attention.


Error ranges do not equal doubt, they just equal good science. The reason you pursue temperatures and no other aspect of ACC is that it is the only area that is dense enough that you can be certain the average joe doesn't/can't understand how full of crap your claims are.

You ignore all other evidence. It is your only hope, for you know the truth.

Hey hey Shunyata,

Your analogy of stepping out of the way of an on-coming car is very accurate in terms of cause and effect, the likely outcome of an action. But it is misleading in the way people perceive an event. People who witness someone getting hit by a car have zero doubt about the cause of death. There has never been any doubt or debate about whether getting hit by a car was bad for you whereas global warming was debated by the scientific community and is still debated by society at large.

Smoking and lung cancer is a much better analogy because it is as clear cut but also more nuanced. Some people who don't smoke can get lung cancer and some smokers live to be 100. Other factors can contribute or mitigate the chances of getting cancer like occupational hazards, a diet high in antioxidants, genetics, etc. Other factors can contribute or mitigate the climate like solar variance, heat islands skewing local measurements, particulates and global dimming, etc. There was a huge debate about the health effects of smoking. If you look through old magazines you will see cigarette adds claiming that 9 out of ten doctors prefer brand A over brand B right next to the adds proclaiming that asbestos is a great material to use for remodeling your office. Now that the science is in there is absolutely no doubt amongst the medical community or society at large that smoking is bad for you.

The debate over AGW is similar to the debate over smoking. The science is in. We know that smoking causes extremely undesirable consequences because the doctor keeps reprimanding us. We know that run away carbon emissions are causing extremely undesirable consequences because the climate scientists keep reprimanding us.

The analogy is still somewhat flawed for two reasons. One, smoking primarily effects the smoker while climate change effects everyone. Two, There is still doubt amongst society at large (particularly in the USA) but not amongst the scientific community. This is problematic because individuals choose for themselves to smoke and thereby assume the risks associated with smoking, but society as a whole decides how to act with respect to carbon emissions and their consequences.

To sum up, ccpo is upset with you because you appear to be questioning the validity of the scientific consensus that man made green house gasses pose a very real threat to our environment. Because you are raising these doubts on a public forum you are effecting the perception of society at large and thus hindering meaningful actions by dragging out a debate of society at large which has already been settled by the scientific community. I have to say that I strongly agree with ccpo. Whatever your intentions truly are is secondary to the public perception, which you are furthering, that there is still a dispute over the effects of carbon dioxide and other green house gases.

This is a challenging problem because both science and democracy require open and informed debate, but the situation is dire and the hour is late, we may have already missed the chance to act to the ruin of us all.


An absolutely perfect response. My only critique is that, as distasteful as it is, we must call liars what they are. Shunyata and his/her ilk are charlatans. It is the same pattern over and over, regardless of site on the internet or context: pretend to be an inquiring mind, get pushed, reveal true colors.

Every. Single. Time.

We know too much about where the supposed debate originated and where it is still maintained to accept that these people are innocent observers.

The American Denial of Global Warming


They are not. And, if they are, they are brainwashed, thus dangerous.

I love your response and ask that I may use it in the future, but I will add the kick in the head when the player involved is so obviously a fraud.


Darwinian -

I am not a geophysicist, but do know just enough geology to sometimes be dangerous.

I don't dispute your statement that the warmer it is the higher will be the sea level. But shouldn't that be qualified with the phrase, "all other things being equal"? By that I mean, is temperature the only thing that affects sea level over long periods of time?

As you know, the earth is an imperfectly shaped sphere that on a large scale is a bit 'squishy' in consistency. It does not quite behave like a giant billiard ball. We also have semi-floating tectonic plates that are slowly but constantly shifting. Then we also have probably billions of tons of silt being dumped in the oceans each year. What effects might these have? Also, what about tidal effects caused by slight changes in the moon's orbit over time?

So, I guess my basic question is: Is the 'washtub' formed by the earth's oceans of sufficiently constant volume such that one can automatically attribute any change in sea level solely to the melting of ice and the expansion and contraction of water with temperature?

One problem inherent in geophysics is that it is sometimes hard to determine what is significant and what is not. Can you or anybody else out there shed some light on whether the questions I raised above are valid or can be dismissed out of hand?

So, what?, these scientists don't understand averages or means? They can't look at the data they've gathered over decades and suss out where the anomalies are and aren't?

Yes, dismissed, but not out of hand: out of good science.

Seriously, if you are asking a question like, "Gee, can they REALLY measure the oceans?!" then you are really jumping the gun in discussing such things in public.

Go read some of the basic science, for cryin' out loud. Start at Weart's history, then check out how to talk to a global warming sceptic, then get to RealClimate's pages on sceptics and basics.


ccpo -

You've given me a reply but hardly an answer.

It would seem to me that any set of historic sea level measurements at a given location have to be tied to some arbitrary datum, so one can meaningfully compare changes over time. What my questions try to get at is: i) how much can these individual datums change over time due to a variety of geophysical factors?, and ii) how accurately can we determine how much they've changed?

Rather tell me to 'read some basic science, for cryin' out loud', how about share with us your presumed expertise and just answer the bloody question?

Climate denialists have no excuse for their ignorance. The amount of science produced is truly staggering. If you are simply ignorant, then it is not my job to do your googling for you.

I do not think it ethical or moral to pretend such questions have any merit nor that they deserve any respect. At all. Google is your friend. The various FAQs mentioned above are your friend. Weart's history of global warming is your friend. RealClimate is your friend, and has a search function.

If you have not checked any of these sources out despite the MANY times they have been linked on this site, the you have no right to complain about a terse answer. Your question is akin to me coming here and asking whether production decline is a real phenomenon.

The answers to your questions are blindingly obvious.

ccpo -

So glad I asked!

That was MOST helpful.

You've been given all you need.

I don't dispute your statement that the warmer it is the higher will be the sea level. But shouldn't that be qualified with the phrase, "all other things being equal"? By that I mean, is temperature the only thing that affects sea level over long periods of time?

Clearly over long periods of time, things like the average depth of the oceans (which are affected by the speed of tectonics, which affects ocean crustal temperature/density), affect sea levels. But we are talking many millions of years for significant changes here. There do exist other proxy measurements, such as the ratios of various isotops (Oxygen is the most frequently used one), which are affected by temperature, and differ depending upon how much water is tied up in ice. Unraveling earth history is a complicated and inexact science. But overall there are lots of different proxies, such as what sorts of fossils are found, and what there presense implies for the climate, that a reasonably coherent picture can be formed.

Dear Enemy of the State,
perhaps you would care to take a look at this:



Given all the other problems facing the the UK/Europe/World (and I think you said you're from the UK previously) right now, is there absolutely no subject other than climate change you want to discuss?

I'd be interested in your thoughts on the European natural gas situation for example and the claim by Matt Simmons that we're all cold toast next year - but thanks to Gazprom, not global cooling.

Or is really the only thing you do climate change denial?

Or is really the only thing you do climate change denial?

What else is Inhofe's Bee-atch to do? Have you looked at the link I posted to the scoop on Inhofe's little mailing list? Isn't it interesting how the wording of dropstone wrt a big change in sentiment coming was virtually the same as that put out by Inhofe's hatchet man?

Rhetorical question.


Dropstone, don't drop your rocks just yet.

Your post is to another example of cherry picking data to fit a preconceived idea. For example, the graphic of sea level change since 5,000 BP is left out. I pointed this out to your previously and it shows that the most recent trend before the industrial age was a slow rise in sea level. I doubt that any oceanographer would argue that sea level did not rise as the glaciers melted following the LGM some 20,000 years BP. But, the melt reached maximum during the warmth of the Holocene Optimum at around 8,000 BP. That the shorter term data from the past few hundred years shows a slow rise is also not surprising, since much of that is due to thermal expansion of the oceans and that is the result of heating which requires considerable time to penetrate to the deepest layers.

E. Swanson

Erosion was going on long before man got around to doing massive farming efforts to increase it. There were times in our geological past where there were not as many cubic miles of ice at the poles. During those periods the oceans levels were very much higher than they are today.

Modern Man has this picture of the world that if it changes he panics. But the world can go through lots of changes and mankind will just have to learn to go with the flow or dieoff.

Basically to answer your question about Sea Level changing due to Heat increase and Ice volume changes, Yes. At present we are given a total volume of water which is divided into several areas, Saline Seas, Vapor, Ice, Fresh (above ground water), and Ground water. We aren't making any more water at least not to any amount that would change things.

The cycle of water to Vapor to Ice/Water to Vapor just keeps on flowing.

There are processes that can explain this better than I am doing here, but generally what happens in our short attention span of a life is what you are seeing happen today.


All the proxy data are noisy and thus must be smoothed. The usual smoothing processes, such as a sliding window filter, truncate the proxy time series, so the most recent years of data must be left out. I think the proxies are also calibrated against recent instrument data, thus splicing the instrument data would be a natural thing to do. One could argue that the calibration process is flawed, but I'm not going to get into that one. Urbanization is a known problem which has limited impact if only because the data are area averaged and the area which is urbanized is a very small fraction of the globe. The urban heat island effect does not impact the sonde data either.

The area of coverage is different for each type of proxy data. Some, like the South African speleotherm data, can be very local, while others, such as Greenland ice core delta13O results from wide area averaging. There is evidence that high latitudes in the NH are more sensitive to changes in climate and the area surrounding the North Atlantic may be especially influenced by variations in the Thermohaline Circulation. There's much less data available from the SH, thus producing a truly global average will be very difficult to arrive at. Lastly, there are other indicators of Global Warming, such as the loss of Arctic sea-ice, which do not depend on temperature measurements or reconstructions and those also point to warming.

E. Swanson

Again, I am not evaluating whether there is warming or not. There is certainly warming over the last 100+ years.

I am not evaluating whether C02 is a warming agent. We know from basic physical principals that must be.

I am not promoting the idea that CO2 is inconsequential because nobody has presented evidence to that effect.

Rather, I am asking how accurately we have determined the CO2 component of current warming. Consider the policy implicatons if the thoughtful answer is 80%-90% versus 10%-90%. Similarly, if the answer is 25%-30% we know there are bigger things going on that we have limited ability to influence.

This level understanding is much more valuable than simply noting that the planet is warming the and C02 is contributing.

Rather, I am asking how accurately we have determined the CO2 component of current warming. Consider the policy implicatons if the thoughtful answer is 80%-90% versus 10%-90%. Similarly, if the answer is 25%-30% we know there are bigger things going on that we have limited ability to influence.

There are no other contributing factors that correlate with the observed warming; the anthropogenic carbon component is the sole driver of the warming trend.

So how do you explain the Dalton or Maunder Minimums? Certainly not CO2 fluctuations.

The Maunder and Dalton minima are periods where there were reduced solar activity. They have nothing to do with CO2 because they were solar events. I assume you mean to tie this to the "Little Ice-Age", but note that they are not the same thing.

The Maunder minimum was co-incident with the "Little Ice-Age", but as fas as I know there has been no causal relationship proven. There is simply not enough data to establish a causal relationship, and without one it's simply conjecture.

Yes, I was referring to the depressed temperatures during these periods, not solar activity.

I agree that these cool periods are "unexplained", as is the warming that followed them. That was my point - there are large scale, unknown drivers of climate that operate over century periods.

We need to carefully quantify the magnitude of known drivers rather than relying upon "exclusion" to estimate their impact.

Dear Sustainable Sask.
Low Sunspot activity is coincidental? - it is one of the principle drivers. Herschel noted a clear pattern of low sun spot activity and weak harvests. Even when accounting for the year without a summer due to vulcanicity. So too did the Chinese. They noted a link with poor harvests

Co-Incident. Occurring together. Correlation does not imply causation.

Also, reference for the Chinese sunspot-harvest link please. All I get from a quick Google is an article claiming that the Tang dynasty may have fallen because of weak solar activity, but that's a modern theory and not based on actual observations by the Chinese.

Correlation does not imply causation.

Actually, it does. Correlation certainly does not demonstrate causation, by any means. But it does imply that causation may be the most parsimonious explanation for the observed coincidence. Something may be implied that further investigation fails to establish.

In addition, there is no corresponding variation in total solar irradiance that can explain the recent warming trend.

I agree that your question is important. There has been much effort to attempt to answer that question, going back at least 20 years when model experiments included solar and volcanic influences along with the CO2 increase. The Pinatubo eruption provided a test of the models of volcanic influence and it's been said that the models did a good job of replicating the cooling which resulted.

There are still disagreements about the impacts of solar variation. You mention the Maunder and Dalton Minimums in the solar cycle, which are prime examples of variation in natural forcing to my mind. The Dalton Minimum (1795-1820) was coincident with the effects of Tambora (1815) and another large eruption a few years earlier, which adds further confusion to the assessment. I think the recent lack of sunspots may also prove to be a useful calibration, although I have no idea whether the sunspot cycle will resume or whether we will see another period of very low activity. The fact that global temperatures have not returned to levels seen in the 1940's suggests to me that lack of sunspots may have minimal impact compared with that resulting from our addition of Greenhouse Gases. I'm more worried about an apparent change in the THC which I can see in some of the data, a change which would likely have cooled Europe this past winter.

The climate community says Winter runs from 1 Dec thru the end of February. The plants around here are beginning to show green with the temperature at 60 F, even though we had a low of 6 F on Tuesday...

E. Swanson

...lack of sunspots may have minimal impact compared with that resulting from our addition of Greenhouse Gases

You're correct, there's no detectable correlation between sunspot cycles and climate: Changing Sun, Changing Climate?

You're correct, there's no detectable correlation between sunspot cycles and climate

Well there is a bit. Total irradiance changes during a cycle can account for about .1C IIRC. But it seems unlikely that longer periods of variance would have higher amplitudes (that would imply a great deal of energy is being stored/released in the outer layers of the sun). Current secular warming is what .1 to .2C per decade, which is similar to the short term (few years only) rates of change from the change of phase of the solar cycle. But annual noise is great enough to mask these out, you need sophisticated statistical techniques to pull it out of the data.

50 Million barrels a day of demand....that is some serious hallucination.
I reiterate look at US demand in the face of the greatest collapse...looks about flat to down 3% depending on what u look at. All this deflation talk is about us likely as the probability of the USD going to zero in july 2008...back then it looked ineveitable just as now it looks like we will living in trees and hunting animals for food.
Consumption of all items initially went down 10-15% ..that was the shock factor and will rebound to down 3-5% only. population growth, lower oil prices and continued development in India and China will increase demand again gradually.

I reiterate look at US demand in the face of the greatest collapse...looks about flat to down 3% depending on what u look at.

The latest relatively reliable data available is the EIA monthly for December. Total products supplied is down 7.3% from the previous December. Compared to December 2005, total product supplied has declined 10.7%.

Hi Dale,

Yes, I am in a predominately oil area, and have good reason to think that this will be oil, but expect to hit shallow gas - low BTU, about 32% N2 at about 550'. There are several potential zones below that. I'll set 600' of surface pipe to protect that. The low BTU gas will IP about 600 MCF / day, but at about 50 - 75 #. But it is oil I have as an objective.

As to price, it weems to be very sensitive to the fluctuations of the dollar vs. euro relationship. Since I think the dollar will sink like a rock, mostly due to the current recession, I see it going up regardless of the drop in demand, at least for the short term. It was the overall picture I think I got back in focus, from a historical standpoint, in reading the Kurt Cobb article related to the honorable WT.

No 'Grand Bargain'

Russian officials should like what they are seeing from the Obama administration: President Obama has exchanged public comments and personal letters with President Dmitry Medvedev. Vice President Biden declared last month that we ought to press the "reset button" on U.S.-Russian relations. In her meeting today with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to continue ratcheting down tensions. But while improved ties with Moscow are desirable, the Obama team should rein in expectations and avoid the "grand bargain" that some in the United States and Europe have recommended.

...Moscow sees its surroundings in revisionist, zero-sum terms..
IMO, if we are now truly postPeak: all leaders need to see the world in zero-sum terms, then start revising their expectations towards meaningful mitigation.

Re: Pickens plan up top:

The article gives short shrift to wind energy. I thought that was a big part of the Pickens plan.

Apparently he has dropped it either because he can no longer get the financing or because of his oil trading losses or both. As I understood the original plan it was to free up oil by converting cars to electricity produced by wind. Pickens famously said that middle America was the Saudi Arabia of wind.

And since trucks would be hard to convert to electricity because of the power demand, they would be converted to compressed natural gas thus freely up oil on the heavy end.

So what is apparently left of the Pickens plan is the truck conversion. I seriously doubt that a skeleton network of 2,000 compressed natural gas refill stations will do the trick even if truck conversion is subsidized. It is the same problem ethanol faced in its early stages only worse. Compressed natural gas can't be blended with any other fuel already in distribution. Nor are there any vehicles that can use it with out conversion to its use exclusively.

Truckers are a hard nosed practical bunch. They know trucks run everywhere on their rounds and the exact spot where they run low on fuel is unpredictable. So what is a trucker to do when he runs low on compressed natural gas 100 miles from the nearest refilling station? Call 911?

Give me a break.


Picken's original plan was to have wind replace the natural gas used to create electricity then use the natural gas for transportation. He never had a call for EV.

Natural gas cars and trucks are a reality now while EV waits for inexpensive high capacity batteries, fuel cells, whatever. $10K limited life battery systems will not get off the ground till we see very expensive FF.

Nat gas not only can be part of a dual fuel truck but both fuels can be used at the same time. Nat gas has an ignition temperature that is higher than that of diesel fuel. Adding a nat gas carberator to a diesel engine is simple while still using a small injection of diesel fuel as the 'spark' to ignite the nat gas inside the cylinder. If the trucker can't find a nat gas supply then he can flip a switch and get all his fuel from the diesel tank.

Chile, Argentina battle British in Antarctica

Lawmakers from Chile and Argentina met in Antarctica Thursday, preparing to speak with a common voice against Britain's claim to oil and gas in the southernmost seas.
I can't imagine oil production in Antarctica anytime within the next 20 years. Even a totally submerged drill rig/submarine combo [huge $$$] wouldn't stand a chance against a 1,500 ft tall, multi-square mile iceberg, if it came its direction, being pushed by wind and currents.

Drilling in the Arctic would be a piece of cake compared to Antarctica. Does anyone have any idea of what FFs might exist at the South Pole? I can't imagine that it would be a significant amount, therefore this article stikes me as much ado about nothing.

There are some known coal beds in Antarctica, but the area has been devoid of significant plant life for (SWAG) 97% of geological history (although rich during the Carboniferous Age).

My guess is an auction for oil drilling rights would bring a few low bids. Mainly for drilling from small islands, etc.


They are not just interested in the FFs, both the Argies and the Chileans have always held fantasies of colonizing the Palmer Peninsula. Of course, it has been a daft idea - up to now. GCC might very well change that and eventually make it habitable territory.

My impression is that they signed the Antarctic treaty mainly to deny the claims of each other and the Brits. IIRC there is a reservation in there to the effect that if the Antarctic treaty goes away, their claims reactivate.

Could there be any metallic deposits under the ice? What about in Greenland?

Check this out re the sudden upsurge in Chinese bases in Antarctica
The medical staff tell it as they see it.

Not The Great Depression but The Greatest Depression!

"The Greatest Depression" Under Way By Gerald Celente

All the experts' cautious predictions and business media’s hopeful expectations at the New Year for an economic turnaround and imminent market bottom were dead wrong. There will be no turnaround in the second quarter of 2009 or 2010 or 2011 … America and much of the world has entered “The Greatest Depression.”

Yes, but the major difference between now and the 1930s is the size of the government and monopoly workforce-there is just no comparison at all. The trend is for almost the entire viable private sector (except connected grifters) to be sucked dry by government and monopoly survival needs.

..the major difference between now and the 1930s is..

4.8 billion people.

There were 2 billion people in the world in 1930 and the Petroleum Age was just getting ramped up. It would be 40 years before US oil production peaked. Today human population is closing in on 7 billion and global oil production is at or just past peak. The difference between now and the 1930s is that this time, there can be no recovery.

Since you seem to be into this subject I will mention a fact that is surprisingly getting little notice-global life expectancy, after rising for decades steadily, is currently lower than in 1998 (11 years ago). Seems to be clearly post-peak.

Interesting! I was not aware of that. Do you have a link reg. that matter? Thanks.

This 1998 report has it at 66 yrs-other ones had listed 67 yrs for 1998-current estimate is 66.26 per CIA factbook. This WHO 1998 report estimated 2009 LE at 68.9 (extrapolating). It clearly has peaked, after decades of steady increase http://www.who.int/inf-pr-1998/en/pr98-WHA4.html

Another difference is that human labour was being replaced by oil-powered machines at the time, whereas here we will need human labour more than ever. I am curious to see how this will play out.

Perhaps ramping up of renewables, next generation nukes, and electrification of transportation systems could provide more than enough energy for a prosperous future. I see things like fresh water distribution and certain rare earth metal supplies as more of a limiting factor than a lack of petroleum.

BrianT -

I think it is quite telling that Bernanke has been telling Congress that the Fed will NOT release the identities of the counter-parties to AIG's various credit default swaps, derivatives, etc. who will benefit from the billions of dollars in bailout money flowing to AIG. The stated reason about the preservation of privacy is pure rubbish.

The real reason is that it would no doubt be embarrassing and would surely aggravate the steadily building level of taxpayer rage. I strongly suspect that some of the more embarrassing aspects to this whole thing is that some of the larger beneficiaries might not even be US citizens or US corporate entities, but rather foreign investment groups and possibly even some foreign governments. (Perhaps including a certain small Middle Eastern country with strong financial, political, and ethnic ties to the US.) Some of this largess will surely wind up in secret Swiss and offshore bank accounts.

I like to view these things in terms of a chemical engineering-like flow chart. I picture a pipe going from the taxpapers to the government to AIG to a group of unidentified investors, the vast majority of whom are far more wealthy than the taxpayers who constitute the upstream source of money for this whole thing. This is a massive transfer of wealth from the US middle class to the global investor class in the guise of ensuring that the gears of our financial machinery still turn smoothly.

Yes. It is taking on an Argentinian flavor at this point in that an increasing % of the public is now aware of the scam. It still hasn't tainted Obama's popularity but it will eventually IMO-there are certain perceived responsibilities that go with that position even if you are a puppet.

The real reason is that it would no doubt be embarrassing and would surely aggravate the steadily building level of taxpayer rage.

Bingo. There was an article out yesterday:


...in which fed vice-chair Don Kohn said essentially that very thing:

"I would be very concerned if we started revealing lists of names of companies that did transactions" with AIG or with the government on AIG's behalf, Kohn said in response to questions. Doing so, Kohn added, could "undermine confidence" in the financial system.

In other words, "If we tell you what we're doing you won't like it, so we're just not going to tell you. Sit down, hand us the money, and shut the fuck up."

I'm glad I'm Canadian, since if this overtly corrupt nonsense were spewing forth from Paul Jenkins or somebody like that I'd be looking up suppliers of bulk torches and pitchforks.

The only reason these companies getting the gigantic handouts aren't destroyed by the grifters running them is the ability to tap into the taxpayer fund because they own the puppets-this is exactly how a 3rd world economy works.

...wrong again. I'm trying to respond to joule's comment, not BrianT. What's wrong with this thing?

It's the right spot. Others have replied before you, so your post will not be directly under Joule's. Use the "parent" button to see which post a message is in reply to. (The single speech balloon with the up arrow.)

hmmm... The nesting is displayed differently depending on how you view it. Just looking at the DB entire, it's nested properly, but I was looking at the "subthread" view of joule's post. The nesting makes it look like I replied to brianT in that view. Is it supposed to do that?

I dunno. You could e-mail SuperG and ask.

There are still a few bugs from the upgrade we did.

I reported that bug a long long time ago. Super G never responded.

Too much of this bailout activity stinks of the failed trickle down ideology. Take care of the rich first and maybe they will stop the layoffs and even hire more people. I say show the plans for creating good jobs for Americans first with the financial assistance coming as the plans unfold.

It is 1000 times worse than trickle down-trickle down was based on the rich not paying taxes on their gains and income-this is based on grifters looting the country-these guys aren't making profits in any sense-they are simply stealing money.

I think this is openly acknowledged now, that a large part of the AIG bailout went to entities outside the US. Where's the rage? Focused on the latest 'scandal' after "The Bachelor" finale.

"..for almost the entire viable private sector (except connected grifters) to be sucked dry by government and monopoly survival needs."

How are you distinguishing between the 'private sector' and 'monopoly survival needs?' Do you mean some kind of government monopolies, since I think of monopolies as BEING part of the private sector.

So apart from that, this Trend you state is often claimed, but between the Reaganites and the Clinton-era Neo-liberals, there has been instead a clear move towards all manner of privatization, including the Conscript armies ('security forces') I pointed to earlier today. Prisons being another HUGE outgrowth of this trend.

There is a large % of the private sector that is not being protected from failure or competition by the power of the state. This part of the private sector in the USA is currently under attack as I stated.

Okhotsk oil reserves estimated at 12 billion tons(about 88 billion barrels)


This is a 6 fold increase over previous estimates. How difficult is extraction of this oil? What's a likely EROEI?

Key word: estimated. This is a non-specialist publication - for all we know, it's the P3 (10% likelihood) level of estimate.

EROEI? Depends on a multitude of geographical, geological and chemical factors. Unlikely to be over 20, though, or the field would have been developed before now in preference to others, despite its challenges.

I was driving I-5 in Central California Tuesday, through one of the fields to the west of the Kern River field that Gail profiled on Feb. 10. They were flaring off natural gas. I didn't think we did that any more, at least not in California. Is the price of natural gas that low now?

sf -- Just a guess on my part but from your small pic it looks like some sort of a processing facility. The flare looks relatively small so I'll guess it's contaminated NG. It's usually to expensive to take out the contaminants (N2, CO2, etc) so they are allowed to flare it. You see such "waste flares" in all refineries.

I've seen a flare out there too - further east and from what I've seen it's going all the time

I don't get it - there are a few small cities/towns within 5-10 miles, nobody in those towns needs gas? In fact, the Kern field flare I am thinking of is in the middle of a farm field, and there are farm buildings around including houses. Why not pipe it into the houses? Or install a small gas-fired generator and produce electricity?

There are some on Hwy 101 between Ventura and Santa Barbara - I don't get flaring gas there either. Huge numbers of people live very close - why not use the gas?

Because the gas is contaminated, and probably requires processing in order to work in standard appliances. The amount of gas is probably not be enough to make this worth the effort.

In truly desperate times, people may find a way to use such gas, at the expense of poisoning themselves, ruining appliances, etc.

Much of what you see flared is actually burning odd-ball waste by-products, using gas to make sure it gets a complete burn. Kind of like an incinerator for a refinery or gas plant.

One would think that if the flaring is constant, or nearly so, that some sort of thermal electrical generation would be economic. At least that way, we would recover at least some of the value of the lost energy.

Buy a Siemens SGT-500 gas turbine, its a unique turbine built for burning odd fuels such as heavy oils or low calorific waste gases.

I am not sure of the exact process, but flaring generally has to be done by permit, for product you do not want burned without a controlled and complete burn - things more hazardous than benzene, for instance, which are by themselves carcinogens, and have to be disposed of under certain controlled conditions. I am not sure that benzene is destroyed by flares any longer, but I am sure that if a flare is going, it would have to be by state permit in California.

Two of my neighbors in the news today:

A bank robbery in Beaverton undone by an acquaintance


Mr. Connelly and his wife were living in the basement of his wife’s parents’ home. At 48 years of age and well-dressed, he doesn’t sound like much of a gangsta. Too bad for him that he was known in his community, so that he’d be recognized by name simply walking into a bank.
The coldest part is the wife, who didn’t exactly Stand By Her Man:
"No mistaking it," she told authorities. "That's him."
When they recovered the $1583, ten dollars had been taken out of the bag. Big spender!

And Door Number Two:
Army officer from Beaverton accused in huge Iraq theft


Captain Nguyen apparently couldn’t have been caught by military authorities - not for an insignificant sum under a million anyway. Only the IRS has the juice to ferret out this kind of corruption, and only when the perp blows over $100k in fresh benjamins on a couple of manly cars.

The kicker is that both Mr. Connelly and Capt. Nguyen were caught by civilian authorities, they will both face federal charges, and undoubtedly both do hard time.

I dunno what, but the juxtaposition of these two tales in the morning news says something.

Countries that block global climate change deal risk isolation

This is an extremely important fulcrum point in climate negotiations. This doesn't say "China and India" but the reference is unambiguous. Such a stance is necessary, of course, to bring these countries into serious negotiations.

Stay tuned: will it turn out it was really just a greenwashed fulcrum point in desperate protectionism negotiations?

You make me wish the "+1" "-1" agree/disagree buttons were back...

The discussion is hot today.

Employees, creditors loot bankrupt Israel supermarket

JERUSALEM: Disgruntled employees and creditors have looted an Israeli supermarket after it went bankrupt, claiming that the owners of the store owed them money, the Haaretz newspaper reported on Thursday. "Dozens of creditors, suppliers and workers looted the local branch of failed supermarket chain Birkat Hashem, claiming it owed them money," the paper said.

Dozens of people hauled crates of produce and food boxes out of the store, while others unscrewed light fixtures from the ceiling and took the doors off their hinges, it added.

"By afternoon, the store had been stripped bare, including the doors and the office supplies," Haaretz said.

The credit crunch tent city which has returned to haunt America

A century and a half ago it was at the centre of the Californian gold rush, with hopeful prospectors pitching their tents along the banks of the American River.

Today, tents are once again springing up in the city of Sacramento. But this time it is for people with no hope and no prospects.

With America's economy in freefall and its housing market in crisis, California's state capital has become home to a tented city for the dispossessed.

More Shruburbs! Let's hope they are practicing full-on O-NPK recycling so we don't get cholera going around. Are we smarter than Zimbabweans?

Wow. That series of pictures about the tent city really reminds me of the old black and whites of the Great Depression. Especially the one of the woman cooking over an open fire. Quite a contrast to the fluffy crap in the "Femail Today" sidebar on that page.

Things are going downhill fast. I'm fairly young (31) and I have less and less hope that I will ever be able to retire with each passing day. I've already cashed out my investments and am using it to get the heck out of debt. My job is more stable than most, and the province of Saskatchewan's economy is supposed to be the strongest in the nation, but with the rapid rate of decline overall, I'm not feeling that secure.

I went through that kind of shit in the Starving Seventies, so it's not new to me, it's just taken some mental "rearranging of the furniture" to realize that it's coming back, and that the drug-idea of things improving, which I believed in in the 80s, is false.

And that tent city is in AMURRIKA, the people have to BUY bottled water? That tells you the most right now about our sick culture, no one is willing to bring in water (other than a few intrepid aid workers) and no one is willing to let 'em use their faucet and hang the higher water bill. The homeless will probably find a pipe or something then half of 'em will go to prison for stealing water.

On the radio here in the SF Bay Area, there are "ads" saying that one out of 8 people you know are in need, and urging you to find out who that one in 8 is, or are, and help them. Chances are very good the residents of that tent city have family, friends etc in the city of Sacramento, who have turned their backs on them. That's the American Way.

I grew up in a dual income family, with pretty much no worries about whether or not we'd eat, or have a place to live, or anything like that. The unspoken assumption was that things will always get better. Hell, it WAS spoken, as when my mom told me that I should always put as much as I could into the stock market, since it will always go up over time. I believed it all too, until recently.

I've recently come to realize how much nicer it is not to be constantly wanting stuff. I'm simplifying things, getting rid of the useless extra crap I've accumulated over the years. At one point I had 13 computers. Why did I need that many? I have no idea. I wanted them, but most of them sat there taking up electricity and doing no useful work. I no longer spend my evening on the couch in front of the TV watching truly vapid entertainment, instead choosing to spend my time learning new skills. I'm learning what food I can gather locally (I'm not afraid to "eat a weed"), how to repair things instead of throwing them away, and how to grow a garden. I'm also learning how to recycle old junk into new useful things, such as a radio transmitter built from a dead CFL (that's not my design, just a convenient web-linked example).

I think most people have yet to realize that things are going to be very different in the future. I just hope the transition to that future doesn't get too nasty. I think that most people can adapt to new circumstances. The problem is that it doesn't take too many people who are unwilling to accept change to mess things up for the rest of us.

Yep, you would think the police chief and Mayor would try and mitigate this situation by pre-emptively moving these homeless into foreclosed housing and strip malls. The policemen could post a sign in the frontyard that these people are under their protection so the neighbors better leave them alone.

Those containers look like ovens in the summer and freezers in the winter. They need plumbing and wiring and HVAC and rust protection and plenty of insulation. Then there is the problem of where to put them. Would you donate your backyard?

We had to evac our house after a Lead-exposure got us into a remediation program, and much of our house stuff was moved into a shipping container that was dropped onto our lawn. It was summer, and was clear that this would become 'plastic-melting hot', day after day. Luckily, one of the materials in my shop I had to store was several sheets of Foil-faced foam insulation, which got tied across the roof of the thing, with a tarp shading the outside of the south-facing wall as well.

Once these were in place, the box was comfortable inside on sunny, hot days.

I don't know if I'd try to build out of these, but with a decent insulating layer on the outside, the steel would become a pretty good thermal mass, it seems. (and you could hang your pictures and tapestries with fridge magnets!)


Rail Freight Traffic Down in February

Carloadings for 18 of the 19 major commodity groups fell in February 2009 on U.S. railroads, including motor vehicles and equipment (down 41,439 carloads, or 51.5 percent); metal products (down 27,792 carloads, or 52.2 percent); and grain (down 19,078 carloads, or 18.7 percent). Carloads of coal were down 2.6 percent (15,244 carloads) in February 2009 to 560,606 carloads. The “all other” category rose 22.4 percent (4,117 carloads) in February.

Latest scam du jour: it appears that it is necessary to treat Bernie Madoff with kid gloves as a trial would be too embarassing to certain interests. A better option IMO would be the Jack Ruby approach, but first strip that wife of his of every last penny and throw her into the gutter.

Crushing Job Losses May Signal Broad Economic Shift
Somethin' is happenin', and you don't know what it it ... do ya, Mr. Jones?

The latest grim scorecard of contraction in the American workplace largely destroyed what hopes remained for an economic recovery in the first half of this year, and added to a growing sense that 2009 is probably a lost cause.

Most economists now assume that the American fortunes will not improve before near the end of the year, as the Obama administration’s $787 billion emergency spending program begins to wash through the economy.

“The current pace of decline is breathtaking,” said Robert Barbera, chief economist at the research and trading firm ITG. “We are now falling at a near record rate in the postwar period and there’s been no change in the violent downward trajectory.”

Indeed, the monthly snapshot of the national employment picture worsened an already abysmal picture as the government revised upward the number of jobs lost in December and January. The economy has now lost at least 650,000 jobs for three consecutive months, the worst decline in percentage terms over that length of time since 1975.

This roller coaster downhill is getting positively scary ... even though we had a pretty good idea it was coming.

Dick Lawrence

Markets face 'irrational pessimism'
New extreme in US stock sales leads to 'irrational pessimism' among investors
I disagree. I think 'Thermo/Gene Realism' is starting to sink into the the typical investor's mind. For any TOD newbies [8-page PDF Warning]:

If you were born after 1960, you will probably die of violence, starvation or contagious disease...
Sometimes, I think even Jay Hanson is 'too optimistic' in his predictions. :(

Lately, I follow the rig counts from Baker Hughes and this week was a whopper for Canada. In one week, they dropped 95 rigs from 394 to 299. The US dropped another 73 rigs.

BH rig counts

EDIT: I guess this is normal for March.

Here's the graphs from the PDF

From Doug Nolan's weekly summary: February 24 – Bloomberg (Mark Pittman and Bob Ivry): “…the U.S. government has pledged more than $11.6 trillion on behalf of American taxpayers over the past 19 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Changes from the previous table, published Feb. 9, include a $787 billion economic stimulus package. The Federal Reserve has new lending commitments totaling $1.8 trillion. It expanded the Term Asset-Backed Lending Facility, or TALF, by $800 billion to $1 trillion and announced a $1 trillion Public-Private Investment Fund to buy troubled assets from banks. The U.S. Treasury also added $200 billion to its support commitment for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac…”

11.6 trillion in the last 19 months is about $116000 per each taxpayer in the USA-talk about insanity.

If you be Baptized, read Evangelicals, Honour the ten commandments of God, Heal sick alike in Evangelicals, and forgive and love other you will nothing worry about how great the disasters will be because Lord Jezus shall with you, But if you don't you shall fear them and perish in fire by Armageddon.

Can God switch the fire in armageddon between NG and Oil depending on price?

Are you kidding? It's all blinding flashes of light and such. Obviously highly polished mirrors! Seems the heavens have been going solar since WAY back.


(You religious types don't be too offended; I'm actually agnostic.)

Hey, it's not 1491 any more. The Earth is round! The Universe is vast and more than 13 Billion years old and the Earth is a spot of nothing in comparison. If you still think some god thing made the Earth so man could trash it, then you (and your offspring) deserve to suffer the results of your stupidity.

E. Swanson

I'm fat, my feet stink, and I don't love jesus. Can I have your money when you go?

some people here have a different interpretation of what things mean. Personally, I think that we will die of Peak Oil before we are taken. Just my opinion, however.

If I were a Tibetian Monk and lived my entire live in servitude of other people in an exemplary fashion, what kind of Supreme Being would take a bunch of hypocrites and leave me by the side of the road to burn in hell?