DrumBeat: March 10, 2009

T. Boone's Beautiful Wind

A bad bet on oil prices caused the 80-year-old tycoon to lose about $2 billion last year, and investors fled his hedge fund. His wife, Madeleine, had to rethink her plans to rescue thousands of wild horses from slaughter; she's now asking for federal funds. And Pickens's prize initiative -- a huge investment in wind power -- has been scaled back by 75 percent.

Now, Pickens is relying on the kindness of strangers. "I need you, all of you: Help me on this," the billionaire told the participants in the EnergyBiz magazine conference yesterday. Before leaving, he repeated: "Join with me on this. I need you. I seriously need you."

What he needs, specifically, is for the government to back a national energy grid and an expansion of natural gas vehicles -- policies that would dramatically increase the value of Pickens's holdings in wind, water and gas. That obvious self-interest, and Pickens's role in conservative causes such as the Swift boat veterans' assault on John Kerry, has made would-be allies on the political left suspicious of his motives.

Iran’s First Nuclear Plant to Begin Generating Power by Aug. 22

(Bloomberg) -- Iran’s first nuclear power plant, in the southern city of Bushehr, will begin generating electricity by Aug. 22, the Energy Ministry said.

The 1,000-megawatt power plant, where test operations were started last month, will produce some 500 megawatts by that date, Energy Minister Parviz Fattah said, according to a report today on state television’s Web site.

Russia and Hungary sign gas pipeline deals

Hungary and Russia signed deals Tuesday spelling out their cooperation in building a new natural gas pipeline that strengthens Russia's domination of European energy supplies.

Russia's state-controlled gas supplier Gazprom and Hungary's development bank agreed to set up a joint venture on building the Hungarian leg of the South Stream pipeline that would bring gas from the Caspian Sea region to Europe.

Wondering if Crude Could Fall Even More

In recent weeks, as oil traded around $40 a barrel, the conventional wisdom among specialists was that the price decline that began last summer was largely over. Amid production cuts by the OPEC cartel, oil had apparently found a floor that would last until the global economy rebounded.

But a growing chorus of analysts and economists is questioning that notion. While theirs is a minority view, they see troubling conditions in the oil market that could still push prices down sharply — and a global economy that is getting worse, not better. Some are predicting that oil could fall to $20 a barrel and stay low for years.

Petroleum executives generally do not regard this prospect as likely. But in a year when dire predictions about the economy keep coming true, they fear it is a possibility. Another big drop could lead to a sustained period of low investments, and many executives say that would set the stage for prices to soar once the global economy finally starts to recover.

“The industry needs reasonable prices,” Zhou Jiping, the vice president of the China National Petroleum Corporation, said at a conference last month in Houston held by Cambridge Energy Research Associates. “If prices stay below $40 a barrel, a large number of wells have to be shut down.”

Chevron Drills 43 Prospects to Stem Slide in Output

(Bloomberg) -- Chevron Corp., the second-biggest U.S. oil company, is drilling 43 major prospects from Australia to Canada after posting its biggest drop in output since 2003.

BP reports reserve replacement ratio of 121% in 2008

UK-based integrated oil and gas company BP has added 1.7 billion barrels of new oil and gas to its reserves base in 2008, a replacement ratio of 121%, excluding acquisitions and divestments.

Economic mess hitting offshore rig market

The decline in oil prices and the global economic crisis are having a negative effect on exploration and production (E&P) activities worldwide, a trend that will likely continue for some time. Jackup markets in particular show signs of softening due to rising supply and declining demand as operators scale back operations to ride out the current financial mess.

Qatar to Ship Liquefied Gas to Dubai, Starting 2011

(Bloomberg) -- Qatar will deliver liquefied natural gas to Dubai through a Royal Dutch Shell Plc offshore import terminal a year later than previously planned, Qatar’s oil minister said.

Kremlin may sack head of Russia oil region - paper

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The long-serving head of Russia's oil producing Bashkortostan region may leave his post within weeks, a newspaper reported on Tuesday, but his administration said he had no plans to step down.

If Murtaza Rakhimov is removed, he would be the most powerful casualty yet in a clear-out of regional leaders that analysts have linked to concern in the Kremlin that the economic slump is fuelling social unrest.

Gulf countries pursue gas projects despite credit crunch

Gulf oil producers are pushing ahead with costly gas projects despite a sharp decline in their crude export earnings and tough global credit markets.

Experts said the global financial crisis could even prompt regional countries to intensify their gas projects on the grounds they ensure a stable income in the long term and a diversified economy.

Total to Cut 500 Refining, Chemical Jobs, Unions Say

(Bloomberg) -- Total SA, Europe’s third-largest oil company, plans to cut at least 500 jobs at its French refining and petrochemical operations to counter falling demand for gasoline exports, according to labor unions.

Reliance resolves issues, to sign pact with fertiliser units

New Delhi (PTI): Reliance Industries has resolved almost all issues with fertiliser firms, who are first in line to receive natural gas supplies from the Mukesh Ambani-run company's prolific KG-D6 fields, and is likely to sign gas supply agreements this month.

We need protection now against home heating emergencies - say authors of new reports

Halifax, N.S. - Our safety is at risk when governments fail to respond effectively to changing heat supplies and prices, according to Larry Hughes, the lead author of two new reports released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in Nova Scotia.

The reports: Energy security in the residential sector: Rapid responses to heating emergencies, Part 1: The Fundamentals by Larry Hughes and Part 2: Nova Scotia, by Larry Hughes and Dave Ron, shed light on the serious financial and health problems people have when they cannot access energy to heat their homes because of energy costs or supply shortages, or both—called heating emergencies.

Modern problems need new, extreme solutions

With climate change, unprecedented demographic changes, looming energy shortages and a suffering economy all converging, today is one of the scariest and most exciting times in human history.

How we fare and how we deal with change will mostly fall on the shoulders of students in the university ranks and during the 51st annual conference of the Western Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers, keynote speaker Thomas Homer-Dixon let students from across Canada, Oregon and Washington State know of their responsibility.

A report from the M.I.T. Energy Conference: The future of clean energy is... coal?

CAMBRIDGE, MASS.—You could be forgiven for showing up to the M.I.T. Energy Conference here this past weekend looking forward to hearing how clean energy was going to take the world by storm. After all, Friday night, the exhibition hall was full of solar, small wind and cellulosic biofuel projects, sandwiched in between better batteries, fuel cells, nukes and algae. And the agenda was full of sessions on bioenergy, wind power, energy storage and smart grids.

But for a conference billed as "accelerating change in global energy," there was a consistent theme: Today's main sources of electricity—fossil fuels, particularly coal —are not going to stand aside for renewable sources without a significant shift in policy.

100 million new farmers? North Carolina writer calls for agricultural revolution

Newton and New York writer Sharon Astyk call for a grassroots-led agricultural revolution that would result in 100 million people becoming farmers and millions more becoming home cooks.

It sounds like a radical idea. At first. But reading their book, one comes away with the feeling that this makes plenty sense; without a credible alternative, more Americans will grow food in order to tackle various food-related challenges, including the desire to move away from agriculture's dependence on fossil fuels.

A Call to Go (Nearly) Paperless

It's not just TP that we're addicted to. Paper products make up the largest portion of our waste stream and cutting back has never been easier.

Top 10 Myths about Sustainability

Even advocates for more responsible, environmentally benign ways of life harbor misunderstandings of what "sustainability" is all about.

Nine meals from anarchy? - Patrick Holden is the Al Gore of food security

"Think of the global credit crises," he says. "Well, in 10 to 15 years we could see something similar happen with food, a sort of global food crunch. This would have far worse consequences than this financial crises ... In just a few generations we have burned almost all our reserves of fossil fuel and pumped the gas into the atmosphere."

Holden refers to the fact that almost all the food in the Western world is grown using oil. Tractors and harvesters run on diesel, chemical pesticides are made from oil; fertilisers are either made directly from oil or mined from rapidly diminishing mineral reserves.

He also describes a global food production and distribution system that uses oil to transport food not only around the world but within national borders.

"We rely so much on oil for our food that if something were to disrupt that supply, such as a political incident like we saw recently when Russia cut off gas supplies to Europe this winter, terrorism or war, then our food stocks would run out.

"We must also consider that we have reached peak oil production and it's just going to get more expensive from now on."

Oil rises to near $48 as OPEC signals supply cuts

Oil rose to near $48 a barrel Tuesday after OPEC signaled it will likely announce another production cut within days, adding to large supply reductions the cartel has already implemented.

OPEC Requires 100% Quota Compliance Before More Cuts

(Bloomberg) -- OPEC, supplier of about 40 percent of the world’s oil, needs full compliance with production quotas before discussing a further reduction in output, Qatar’s oil minister said.

“We cannot discuss another cut until we see the compliance at 100 percent,” Qatar’s Oil Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al- Attiyah said in an interview in the capital Doha today. “The first step is to make sure we see full compliance.”

Crude Oil Prices May Rally to $64 a Barrel: Technical Analysis

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil may climb to as high as $64 a barrel if the price closes above $46.40 a barrel this week, according to technical analysis by National Australia Bank Ltd.

“Oil is looking more convincing by the day with the moving average formation just turning positive,” said NAB Capital charting consultant Gordon Manning in a research report today. “This note will dip its toes into the water and suggest a rally back to $64 is under way.”

Russia to cut oil export duty to $108 from April 1 - ministry

MOSCOW, March 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will cut its oil export duty from the current $115.3 to $108-$112 per metric ton from April 1, a Finance Ministry official said on Tuesday.

Woodside ‘Remains Dismayed’ at Australia Carbon Plan

(Bloomberg) -- Woodside Petroleum Ltd., operator of Australia’s biggest liquefied natural gas project, said it remains “dismayed” that the country’s carbon trading plan fails to recognize the contribution of gas to cutting emissions.

China May Start Receiving Myanmar Gas Through Pipeline in 2013

(Bloomberg) -- China, the world’s second-biggest energy consumer, may start receiving natural gas from Myanmar’s Shwe project through a cross-border pipeline in April 2013.

China will import 400 million cubic feet of gas a day from Myanmar’s offshore fields, U Aung Htoo, director of planning at state-run Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, said in an interview in Seoul today.

Saudi Aramco Maintains Japan Oil Supply Reductions

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Aramco maintained cuts in contracted supplies of oil to Japan in April, refinery officials said, fueling speculation OPEC’s largest producer may not urge a further reduction in crude output when the group meets March 15.

Crisis will not delay Kashagan oil project - Shell

ALMATY (Reuters) - The global economic crisis will not hinder the development of the giant Kashagan oilfield in Kazakhstan by a consortium of global oil firms and may even help reduce its costs, a Shell executive said on Tuesday.

Total, ConocoPhillips Discuss Lowering Canada Costs, Echos Says

(Bloomberg) -- Total SA is in talks with ConocoPhillips on sharing the cost of building infrastructure to develop Alberta’s oilsands, Les Echos reported, without saying where it got the information.

Kuwait Resumes Oil Exports as Weather Improves

(Bloomberg) -- Kuwait resumed oil exports less than two hours after a heavy sand storm and strong winds forced the country to suspend operations, a Kuwait National Petroleum Co. spokesman said.

China Splurges on Foreign Oil

China appears to be banking on its nearly $2 trillion in foreign currency reserves to deal with its growing reliance on foreign oil.

China govt oil reserve full - shipper

BEIJING, March 9 (Reuters) - China has filled all four of its state-owned emergency oil reserve tanks to the brim and should now invest in oil tankers to add more to inventories while oil prices are low, a senior industry executive said on Monday in a rare acknowledgement of Beijing's secretive oil inventories.

Coupled with data last week showing a one-third rise in commercial crude oil stockpiles last year, the admission suggests that a large share of of China's oil import growth last year was pumped directly into storage, and could be relied upon quickly to soften any demand recovery or if prices should rise.

Why Is China Stockpiling Oil?

One thing you cannot say about the Chinese government is that they don't have a very long-term vision. This is an interesting article on Reuters about how the country has fully loaded its oil reserves and now is looking to load up ships for even more. I wonder what we are doing... ah yes, that whole bank thing. One good thing about a near dictatorship is if you have the right people in charge at least you don't have to do this whole consensus building stuff.

Canada: Words and intent Versus funding and planning

Rising energy costs will become the largest transportation issue of a generation. As part of its self-sufficiency agenda, the province recently released it's vision of transportation entitled N.B. at the Center. The report outlines a plan for an integrated transportation system to support economic and social development, enabling the province to be self-sufficient by 2026. If that is the goal, this is a disappointing document.

In fact, some argue it perpetuates a vision that is glued to the rear-view mirror. Someone in the department should have breathed the term "peak oil" to the plan's authors.

Energy policy: Down to business

The global energy challenge is a mass of inconvenient truths, which many of our detractors have only a vague awareness of or choose to selectively ignore. But what can you draw from these facts presented? The most important is that the private oil and gas companies are not in control of the global energy system: governments are, directly and through the ownership of NOCs such as Gazprom. All serious commentators recognise this – even Monbiot, who writes: “on this issue Jeroen van der Veer and I agree; oil companies should not seek to determine a country’s energy mix, that is for the government to decide.”

Smart meters could help minimize energy consumption

Smart meters are digital meters that look much like traditional meters, said OG&E spokesman Gil Broyals. But the outdoor meters feed information to a wireless device inside the home that lets homeowners know how much energy they’re using.

The device plugs into electrical outlets and displays data on energy use. That data, which shows consumers how much energy they’re using at different times of day, helps make customers aware of when they are wasting energy or could afford to cut back, said Broyals.

The first test run of the Positive Energy Community project was conducted in northwest Oklahoma City last summer. During the test run, homes that had smart meters installed used about 15 percent less energy than they did before the new meters were installed.

Interior secretary has wind power on agenda

WASHINGTON - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Monday that the waters off the Atlantic coast hold some of the country’s greatest wind energy potential, and he promised to move aggressively to develop plans to exploit the resource.

How Ethanol Makers Hope to Prevent Collapse

Even before the recession took hold, the ethanol industry was suffering. Recent months haven't been any kinder. So industry representatives are urgently turning to the Obama administration, asking it to do something they say is critical for their survival: change the federal limit on how much ethanol can be blended into gasoline.

Agriculture secretary wants more ethanol in gas

WASHINGTON - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the government should move quickly to increase the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline.

Pelosi backs higher U.S. ethanol-to-gasoline blend

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday that she supported a higher ethanol-to-gasoline blend rate as a way to reduce reliance on petroleum imports.

ANALYSIS - Biofuels for airlines promising, but hurdles remain

LONDON (Reuters) - Biofuels could be used to fly commercial airlines within the next decade as a viable alternative to kerosene, although costs and concerns over environmental impact remain big barriers.

A Sober Look at Biofuels From Algae

First-generation biofuels are based on commonly available agricultural commodities such as wheat or corn. Second-generation biofuels process lignocellulosic biomass, such as corn stover, straw or wood. There is now a lot of talk about third-generation biofuels, which include algae-based biodiesel or ethanol. Seed Science Ltd. spent several months examining the technical and economic feasibility of algae-to-biofuels in British Columbia. As a result, skepticism has surfaced as to whether algae will be part of the biofuels future, whether in British Columbia or elsewhere.

Scientists on the streets

It is tempting to try and capture people's attention with apocalyptic messages, with the media egging us on. But it's a dangerous game. Prosaically, at this week's conference every contrarian will be looking to seize on a seemingly crazy comment from a scientist to allow them to dismiss the whole conference as alarmist. Those of us concerned about climate change need to be more sophisticated in choosing how we communicate about the issue.

Obama's shaky trust in science

In stem cell research, President Obama plans to keep the politics out of the science. But not so for global warming. He's ignoring key advice from most climate scientists that developed countries must act quickly to reduce carbon emissions. To Mr. Obama, the politics of avoiding a public backlash against tough curbs on CO2 trumps the science.

EU Carbon Dioxide Permits Jump to Six-Week High as Oil Rises

(Bloomberg) -- European Union emission permits jumped to their highest in six weeks as crude oil advanced, potentially boosting the price of cleaner-burning natural gas.

Climate change accelerates water hunt in U.S. West

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – It's hard to visualize a water crisis while driving the lush boulevards of Los Angeles, golfing Arizona's green fairways or watching dancing Las Vegas fountains leap more than 20 stories high.

So look Down Under. A decade into its worst drought in a hundred years Australia is a lesson of what the American West could become.

Stern: Climate change deniers are 'flat-earthers'

Climate change deniers are "ridiculous" and akin to "flat-earthers", according to Sir Nicholas Stern, who advised the government about the economic threat posed by global warming. The respected economist compared climate naysayers to those who deny the link between smoking and cancer or HIV and Aids in the face of mounting scientific evidence.

World carbon emissions, by country

The US is no longer number one emitter of carbon dioxide, having been overtaken by China in these latest figures.

Climate scientists gather, and the news is not good

COPENHAGEN (AFP) – Only months before make-or-break UN climate talks in Copenhagen, an extraordinary conclave of climate scientists gathered here Tuesday to warn that global warming is accelerating more quickly than forecast by a key UN report for policymakers.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded in early 2007 that global warming, if unchecked, would unleash a devastating amalgam of floods, drought, disease and extreme weather by century's end.

But a welter of new research suggests the impact could be even worse, and will arrive sooner rather than later.

POSTCARDS FROM THE RECESSION: California's Inland Empire

After work, my youngest and I smelled smoke on that street, so several neighbors and I ran to see whether the elderly widows on the block were OK. The fire was put out quickly, but one man said to me, "A bad day on this street." Earlier that morning, police arriving to evict a woman found her dead. A woman in her 30s, in a rental house, who'd lost her job some months before and was being evicted, had hanged herself. None of us can get her out of our minds, because we didn't help her. We didn't know.

A pretty harrowing description of life in the foreclosure zone with some interesting reflections on the ecology of suburban entropy.

And what happens after foreclosure...?

Tents on wheels give homeless people roof and pride
Charity was brainchild of "Revenge of the Nerds" movie producer Peter Samuelson

"It's like your own home, your own apartment, your own room," she said, showing off the 7-foot-long living space on wheels. "No one else can come in here but me."

Gardenhire is talking about her makeshift home called an EDAR, which stands for Everyone Deserves A Roof. The units are being distributed to homeless people in the Los Angeles area by the Everyone Deserves A Roof nonprofit organization.

It's the brainchild of "Revenge of the Nerds" movie producer Peter Samuelson, who has spent much of his life working with charities to help impoverished children.

"If you had to define the value of a civilization, it's not how many SUVs you've got," Samuelson said. "To me, I think it's how well do we take care of our children, our homeless people, our mentally ill, those less fortunate."

Kudos to Mr. Samuelson.

United Technologies cutting jobs, outlook
March 10, 2009 9:03 AM ET
Associated PressAll Associated Press news

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - United Technologies Corp., which owns Pratt & Whitney jet engines and Sikorsky Aircraft, expects to cut 11,600 jobs and is lowering its 2009 forecast because of a deteriorating commercial aerospace market.



There you have it: Krugman’s theory of the saving glut, and my theory of wholesale capital destruction in the world as a result of serial halving of the rate of interest by Keynesian monetary policy. I am ready to submit my thesis to a public debate that it was Keynesian measures that started capital destruction that I warned about eight years ago. If they had any decency, Keynesians should admit that they were wrong and let others come in with the new Obama administration and repair the damage. After all, Keynesians have amassed unprecedented power in Washington with their savings glut fable once before. There is absolutely no reason why they should be given a second chance to try their hare-brained schemes of oversaving on innocent people. But the idea of giving up power has never crossed their mind. They just won’t, even if blood is flowing on the streets of Detroit and Los Angeles. That’s the nature of the so-called Keynesian revolution. It is not a branch of economic science; it is a branch of Leninism, a blend of collectivist ideology with unmatched expertise on conspiracy, street fighting and barricades."


Analysis of the Chernobyl Meltdown

main reason why the explosion occurred was that, the operators of the
plant were attempting to conduct an experiment with the emergency
cooling system turned off, they made six fatal errors which sealed
everyone's fate. Soviet officials clamed that if the technicians,
would have avoided at least one of those mistakes, then the plant
could have been saved.
The technicians began the test one day before the explosion.
They started reducing the reactor's power level so they could run the
turbine experiment. However in order for the plant to run at lower
power they had to turn off the automatic control system, which powered
all emergency limitations that the plant should make in case it goes
out of control....

As to Fetke's essay, you gotta give these libertarins a thumbs up on one thing, and that is their amazing ability to distort reality so perversely that there remains little chance of it barging in upon their economic fairyland.

Here's three core tenets of the libertarian creed:

1) Free trade is sacred

2) Unrestricted capital flows are sacred

3) Laissez faire is sacred (bank regulation is heresy)

And since we can't blame any of our current predicament on unrestricted free trade, unrestricted capital flows or, as Krugman points out, American bankers "empowered by a quarter-century of deregulatory zeal," then all blame for all things must fall upon faulty monetary policy.

In this regard Fetke's arguments are not much different from those arguments put forth by the anti-gay zealots railing against gay marriage. For if they are to be believed, allowing gays to marry will not only somehow cast some strange homosexual curse on their own happy hetero union, but result in all sorts of societal evils, including the end of Western culture as we know it.

So we get statements like this: "Maybe our corrupt monetary system carries the seeds of self-destruction in allowing structures like the quadrillion-dollar strong derivatives tower to get conceived and to grow beyond all limits until it topples on the people of Babel."

Huh? Mere fluctuations in interest rates and the monetary base created the trillions of dollars in derivatives? Silly me, I thought maybe their advent had something to do with the "innovation" and "sophistication" (to use the glowing words of libertarian think-tanks like the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute) that occurred in an environment of totally unregulated financial markets.

Another doozie is this one:

In this scenario, the good guys are the Americans. They are heroically trying to stave off disaster through their unselfish consumption. The bad guys are the Asians, tormenting their American victims in force-feeding them with overdoses of consumer goods all the way to the bankruptcy court.

Well, sure, the Americans are certainly plenty guilty. But this is sort of like placing all the blame on the girl for getting pregnant. For what is totally missing from Fetke's portrayal is China's official governmental policy of buying up dollars to keep its own currency undervalued.

But Fetke's comment that peaked my interest most was this one: "Keynesians, through half a century of hard work, ably assisted by their Friedmanite comrades..."

Shew! You know there must be trouble in paradise when one branch of the libertarian congregation lambasts the another branch for consorting with the enemy.

Free trade is one thing I would be willing to risk my life for.
Its that important for living a good life and handling all kinds
of problems.

I believe you are looking at only the dark side of "free trade". The other side is no bailouts of any kind ... if you screw it up, you pay the consequences. There is no such thing as too big to fail, etc. etc. Even the harshest critic will have to admit there has been no free trade in the US at least for many years.

Calculated Risk has a chart comparing four bear markets in stock prices--the Great Depression, our current "Greater Depression," and two others. Relative to the Great Depression, we are currently in the first quarter of 1931. Following is a link to the Carpe Diem article that looks at oil prices in constant 2008 dollars. Again, note that we would be in early 1931 (January, 1931) based on the stock market charts:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Carpe Diem: The Oil Shock of the 1930s: Another Factor?

And again, a big difference between now and then. In the Thirties (after 1930) we saw rising production, to meet rising demand worldwide. I expect to see a long term accelerating decline rate in net oil exports in the Greater Depression.

Westexes -check this out, its almost comical:

I notice that the CarpeDiem graph is 'adjusted for CPI' and still shows a rise -from the video "Wheat@$0.43 cents a bushel then on the mere announcement of Inflation <in 1933> it rose to $0.79..."

It looks to me like the initial injection of cash caused a big initial increase in demand/oil price rebound as industry got a boost. The subsequant leveling off could have been because Inflation started finding its way into the CPI.

Of course they didn't face the prospect of decline back then.

We might see a quick rebound in oil price as demand returns followed by rising CPI prices coupled with a rising oil price due to upcoming supply issues... The timeline might look something like this:

2008: Oil price spike, Inflation spike, begining of DisInflation, oil price crash
2009: Monetary Inflation Experiment begins, Quantitative Easing, Bond purchase. (compare with 1933:US prints money). OPEC shuts in supply but not enough to exceed initial demand reduction. We also see a speculative undershoot.
2009/10: As vast amounts of money are created and find there way into the system DisInflation eases, oil price rises quickly as specualtive undershoot, OPEC shut-ins and economic recovery all take their 'toll'.
2011/12: Too much money pumped into system, Inflation now looks a real threat, on top of this shut-ins have been 'undone' but supply is faltering due to lack of massive investment needed in the preceeding years. Recovering oil prices are causing exporter countries to recover very rapidly raising their internal consumption.
2012/13: "The Energy Crunch" occurs -already high prices spiral upwards, driven by oil supply issues at some Key Producers (Ghawar?Pemex?) At the dawn of what was looking like a Global recovery a new recession hits, prices peak and plummet again...


Of course, our middle case is that by the end of 2012, the top five net oil exporters will have shipped about half of their post-2005 cumulative net oil exports, with the other half being shipped from 2013 to 2031. In other words, the top five post-2005 net export fuel gauge was full at the end of 2005, while our outlook is that it will be drawn down to only half full by the end of 2012 (middle case scenario).

Indonesia's post-1996 net export fuel gauge was only 56% full at the end of 1998 (after just two years), with the remaining 56% being shipped over the following six years (actual EIA data).

The main issue is that this 'fuel gauge' has had a large piece of cardboard sellotaped over it...

Maybe some have seen the gauge -perhaps that's why we are seeing initiatives like this:


Maybe this would be a good day for a roundup of local reports. What's happening in your area?

Reporting from Western North Carolina:

No massive increases in unemployment yet. We're all holding our breath and waiting to see how the tourist season holds up. The stores in my small town were pretty busy this Saturday, a shop owner I spoke with said that business was pretty good that day; that might be a good sign. I haven't seen many local stores go out of business yet, I hope they can hang on.

Most local governments and non-profit institutions have had to really cut their budgets. My wife's college had to suspend 403(B) contributions, did across-the-board pay cuts ranging from 1% for the lowest paid to 10% at the top, and eliminated several positions.

Housing values are holding up pretty well here. Lots of retirees who own their homes free & clear, so that provides a solid floor under the housing market. I'm seeing more and more for sale signs, though.

We had a record number of people turn out for our community garden orientation meeting Saturday. LOTS of new gardeners. I'm hearing lots of talk about lots of new people interested in gardening this year. Part of the community garden is dedicated to food bank production, with volunteer labor provided by local school and college students; we produced over 11,000 lbs of veggies for food bank clients last year, hope to expand production this year.

Just about the only new cars I'm seeing on the road are Priuses; quite a few more of those around now. I'm starting to see a few electric vehicles; my local municipality has one on order now. I continue to see more bicycles and more motor scooters on the road. Just this past week, I've started seeing a 2nd person walking to work on my route. That's a 100% increase in pedestrian commuters in just 1 year! ;-)

North Carolina has stopped sending tax refund checks. Pity the poor folks who really needed them.

Due to the virtual collapse of Sterling London is suffering from a plague of tourists -the 70% reduction sales help too...

House prices down but not out, my local pubs and restaurants in Putney are all packed, my Landlady is reporting food basics price rise. Some shop units empty or downshifted. Ex-Woolworths store remains a shell.

Roads packed (no change), lots of Prius' and smaller neat cars but also lots of Jags, Sports and RangeRovers (UK:SUV). Gas: $1.26 a litre... -down from $1.77 (~$8/gallon at the time: that hurt a bit was by no means a killer for me -just drove a bit slower). Underground and rail all working as before...

Many of my friends in hometown up North are reporting slow business having to put their staff on 4 day weeks, one is on notice himself. A Ford working friend has been layed off...

So far it's hardly The Greater Depression or some Kunstleresque Apocolypse.


I happened to watch an episode from Season 2 of Grand Designs this morning. I wonder just how that family is going, having spent &750,000 and ending up with an unfinished... mansion.

Come to think of it, not many of the houses on GD have been designed with efficiency in mind. There's been a few standouts, but mostly, it's been a case of appearance for appearances sake. Beautiful houses, poorly thought out.

I was at the Home Depot in Des Moines last week We had trouble finding a few things and asked an employee for help. Not only did he help right away he got three more employees to come to our aid. The place was that empty of shoppers that we got four helpers when last year we had trouble finding one employee who wasn't busy helping another customer.

In the last month, I have had my insurance agent call to see if there is anything she can do policy-wise to better serve me (not a huge surprise), my credit union call and ask if they could talk about some "great deals" on new accounts and loans (ok, not out of the realm of normal, but first time they've done this), a haircut establishment call and say they had a deal for me if I came in this week (getting a little strange) and then the video shop down the street calling to say they haven't seen me in awhile and would like to offer a free video if I came in the next day or so...WTF!!! That last one made me chuckle.

Oh ya, then an email from Citibank saying my credit limit had been raised to $20,000. Like that would be a smart move, right?

Citibank raised my limit too. I thought they were lowering those? Guess if you pay off the balance each month they want you to spend more.

They raised mine too. And then I cancelled the card. I refuse to do busines with them. I encourage others to do the same. If the govt. won't shut them down/let them fail, then we should do it. Other businesses are closing due to lack of customers... let's all leave and close 'em down.

Question: Will the new cap and trade tax system in the U.S. hurt oil service companies at the same level as the oil refiners and electric generators? (My job is on the line with the answer to this one.)

Will the new cap and trade tax system in the U.S. hurt oil service companies at the same level as the oil refiners and electric generators?

My hunch is that it will hit service companies a bit harder than the refinery and electric sectors. The 'beauty' of cap-and-trade systems is the political currency they create to get emissions budgets passed. The refinery and electric sectors can bargain for some legacy emissions credits to help them transition to the capped emissions regime. Refineries can then start thinking about how to make money with the credits and invest less in products. It will tend to slow the growth of upstream production, meaning less growth for service companies.

UNLESS, there is some marvelous new technology(ies) that can increase productive efficiency in the field. If the deployment of efficient tech can further boost the value of GHG emissions credits, we can envision a stock turnover scenario in oilfield services that can grow the market. This is what cap-and-trade does best: uses market-like incentives to deploy technologies that are on deck. My concern about GHG cap-and-trade, specifically, is that very little technology seems ripe for deployment. This implies that cap-and-trade can perform no better than a GHG tax, and probably worse in respects.

Scanning the peak oil news this morning on news.google I came across this jewel. Could Obama Push Oil to $300 Per Barrel? But of course! Any fool should know that if oil reaches $300 a barrel it would just have to be Obama’s fault.

And on page 3 of this report I found this. They were giving the possible excuses the Obama administration might give to explain why the high price of oil was not their fault:

Yet again, there’s an easy solution here too. When the average American’s disposable income takes a big hit, the government will simply point to the impact of peak oil, evil OPEC, and some energy security statistic like how “we import less oil now than we did 20 years ago” even though, on a percentage basis, the U.S. reliance on foreign oil will have actually increased.

Well, the impact of peak oil would obviously be Obama's fault. But we are importing less oil than we did 20 years ago? I found that claim incredible. So I went to the EIA’s Monthly Energy Review (an Excel file) and found the stats on how much oil we imported 20 years ago. Actually our imports have been dropping for a couple of years.

Net imports in millions of barrels per day:

1988 - 6.587

2006 - 12.390
2007 - 12.035
2008 - 11.100

Do these people have a clue as to what they are talking about. Well hell, I guess you can say anything if your only desire is to blame the whole damn mess on Obama.

Ron Patterson

It's all in the spin isn't it Ron. Be nice if both sides spent as much time thinking about solutions then figuring out there next zinger aimed at the other side. OTOH, both the R and D politicians bring a good bit on themselves. There can be some positive results of policies but it seems both sides always offer much more then can be achieved by direct gov't action. The most frustrating aspect of this game is all the many millions of folks who actually believe that "someone" can rid us quickly of whatever the current pain might be.

It's a little comforting to see so many folks here taking a proactive approach to the problems ahead. But it's difficult to imagine the numbers amount to more tne a rather insignificant fraction of the populace.

Wow! the market took off this morning. It appears that all they had to go on, was an internal memo at Citi. Are these quick jumps made more possible because of all the "parked money" looking for the green light?

Suckers rally? It's purpose is to suck you in the market and make you lose lots of your money. :)
Sometimes markets fall or rally without a reason. It's always easy to find some reason after the fact. The problem is, one of these rallies will not be suckers rally. Only if I knew which one... ;)

The problem is, one of these rallies will not be suckers rally.

Or not! ;-)

You are assuming of course that the market will, one of these days, rally and take us back up to the good old days. Not likely. Those days are gone forever. Well, at least in the opinion of a lot of us doomers.


Bulls usually take a lot of time to realize something... There can be lot of juice still left before the doomsday. :)
It may not save you from the destiny, but it may make your last few years more comfortable. :))

The question that must be asked: Is the basis there for corporations to generate growing profits and to distribute those to shareholders in the form of dividends?

I think not.

If that basis is not there, then there is no basis for a sustained run-up in stock values. Absent that basis, all you have is short-term, mostly random, variations. Some traders can make money on those, of course - and, of course, even more can lose money. Of course, the same thing could be said of people who bet on the horses. Personally, I would consider a day at the track to be far more enjoyable. If you are going to lose money, you might as well have fun doing it.

A guest poster this morning on Naked Capitalism coined a phrase that sums it up pretty well: "Casino Capitalism."


Wall Street is purely into zero-sums games.

Since I think that it was really big money that has retreated and has caused this mess, then I also think it can only ease, if really big money comes back into play. I don't think really big money is stupid, and therefore they must be more aware of the perils of oil shortages than the average doomer. So what would bring them back into the market? The promise of enough energy to make it worth their while? If this is not a sucker's rally, then what is coming?

Up 4% so far today. That wipes away what, 1 week of losses?

And with respect to Citi, who cares about going from $50 to $1.30/share?

And yeah, that occasionally happens... A dead cat bounce.

Right now, 11:30 am, the Yahoo! price chart bears an uncanny resemblance to the oil production chart from 2004-2007!

Head&shoulders pattern. ;)

The bears are all excited because the uptick rule is going to be reinstated.

I guess that means the end of short selling in our time.


Ha, ha... Bulls are wishful... It's actually the panicking bulls that push the price lower.

Up 4% so far today...

They are seeing some light down the tunnel. Citi claiming an $8B profits for January and February. I will probably just be a match someone struck that will soon go out, but at least for today we can think it indicates light at the end of the tunnel.

"Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel was just a freight train coming your way"

No Leaf Clover

As long as it's one of Alan's electrified trains it will at least be progress.


Just in case you miss it, see below for my comment on 'race and crime'.

With regards to Citi the ones who bought it yesterday and are selling into the bounce care greatly.

Meanwhile if you have anything left now is probably the time (actually 6 months ago would have been better) not to get out of the market, but to get out of funds in general and index funds in particular, do your research and start using that money to buy individual stocks that still have a resonable upside few and far between I know but they do exist.

The EIA's new International Petroleum Monthly is just out. World oil production down, in December, 639 thousand barrels per day, OPEC down 737 kb/d, non-OPEC up 98 kb/d. The big non-OPEC gainer was the US, up 185 kb/d on recovery form the hurricanes. The big non-OPEC loser was China, down 161 kb/d. Saudi Arabia cut 441 kb/d in December.


The big non-OPEC gainer was the US, up 185 kb/d

Hey! That's my country! USA! USA! USA!

Seriously (not so seriously): has anyone read a good conspiracy theory about the USA manipulating its domestic oil production in order to swing global markets? (I know, I know, TX Railroad Commission and all that, but suspend your disbelief for a moment- couldn't someone use a hurricane as cover for intentional production cuts, for example?). Maybe what we are seeing is still just a puppet show play and we are somewhere in act II or III. We are, after all, the world's #3 producer, and I think that there are some interesting distinctions between us and Russia, as well as some interesting alliances between USA and KSA. I'm looking for something written from outside our bubble- someone with a different perspective. I can't help but think that there's a Chinese blogger out there with a grand theory of USA oil empire circa 2001-2010, perhaps written in the context of millenial empires (something the Chinese know a thing or two about). But I can't read Chinese. Anyone?

Although there were some hurricane related reductions in production, US crude oil production in 2008 fell at -2.2%/year, from 2007. This is consistent with the long term US decline rate of about -2%/year. If memory serves, based on the HL plot, the US, inclusive of Alaska, is on the order of 80% depleted.

But to get back to your question, you are asking if there is evidence as to whether the world's largest oil importer was trying to drive the price of oil up?

Not a chance Wisco. Problem is that US oil production is not under government control. The days of the Texas Railroad Commission are gone and even then they only controlled Texas oil production. The rise in US oil production has been largely due to recovery from Hurricanes Ike and Gustov. Thunder Horse and other smaller GOM platforms recently came on line helping raise the production numbers. This new production from the GOM will be the last spurt of new production before the US resumes its steady decline again in the second half of 2009.

US numbers will go even higher in January and February and level out at around 5.370 mb/d in March. But that will be the lone bright spot in non-OPEC production as Russia is in decline and Azerbaijan is turning out to be a disappointment for the IEA. They have reported that their production will be flat in 2009. Brazil, the IEA's other great hope will increase in 2009 but only slightly.

And....there are enough stupid conspiracy theories floating around out there without us starting a new one.


A small and probably unimportant point Ron: The Texas Railroad Commission is alive and still rules with an iron fist. And the Texas proration laws are still on the books and still active. But the allowable have remained at 100% since the 70's or so. But it does make you wonder how the Feds would react if, for whatever bizarre set of circumstances, the TRC tried to impose reduced allowables. I would imagine the Feds would immediately wack TX over the head with interstate commerce laws.

But the thought does fill the imagination of many Texans.

Feds? They don't need no stinkin' Feds. Even now Chuck Norris contemplating a run for "President of Texas" and hinting at sleeper cells ready to incite revolution:

For those losing hope, and others wanting to rekindle the patriotic fires of early America, I encourage you to join Fox News' Glenn Beck, me and millions of people across the country in the live telecast, "We Surround Them," on Friday afternoon (March 13 at 5 p.m. ET, 4 p.m. CT and 2 p.m. PST). Thousands of cell groups will be united around the country in solidarity over the concerns for our nation... My wife Gena and I will be hosting one from our Texas ranch, in which we've invited many family members, friends and law enforcement to join us. It's our way of saying "We're united, we're tired of the corruption, and we're not going to take it anymore!"

Note, this is not a world-nut-daily "article"- it's Chuck's column.

Glenn now has the third-highest rated TV show on Cable, IIRC.

It's not a bad thing to have conservatives and neo-cons gaining wisdom on financial issues and the probably future of our republic. Not that Obama will even notice them until election season 2011, other than to target them with taxes and gun controls.

It's time for some mass demonstrations to scare Washington into supporting their constituents rather than their bankrollers for a change.

I've seen his show many times-IMO he is pretty well middle of the road-definitely not neocon. He might be changing his whole gig somewhat lately.

Sigh.... when people start taking a fool like Beck seriously, its time for me to pass on Oil Drum comments section.

Do you have a top-rated show, millions in the bank, and massive popularity?

What makes you think he's the fool, and you're the wise one?

Like anybody with a popular show, he's more entertainer than anything else, but I think he's hit a chord with the "this just doesn't seem right" crowd. His focus on the economy is resonating well, as part of a larger pattern of keeping Obama's feet to the fire.

"Look in your rear-view mirror; we just passed France," he said. "I think our country is on the verge of disintegration."

What better way to connote fear than to intimate that we're losing faster than France????

I used to think Glenn Beck was a complete idiot. He used to say he loved pollution and stuff like that - obviously just to rile people up.

However, he's been making a little more sense lately. I think he's starting to get it. Or at least starting to realize the Rush wannabe act is old and tired.

The first time I saw his show was within the last 12 months so I don't know his whole catalogue but IMO now it is OK as far as TV goes.

There have been plenty of Tea Party demonstrations lately. Just google it to learn more. BTW I agree with you.

I'm not saying that other states won't muster the gumption to stand and secede, but Texas has the history to prove it. As most know, Texas was its own country before it joined the Union as its 28th state. From 1836 to 1846, Texas was its own Republic. Washington-on-the-Brazos (river) served as our Philadelphia, Pa. It was there, on March 2, 1836, where a band of patriots forged the Texas Declaration of Independence. (We just celebrated these dates last week.)

--Chuck Norris

I wonder if they celebrated this part too:

SEC. 9. All persons of color who were slaves for life previous to their emigration to Texas, and who are now held in bondage, shall remain in the like state of servitude, provide the said slave shall be the bona fide property of the person so holding said slave as aforesaid. Congress shall pass no laws to prohibit emigrants from the United States of America from bringing their slaves into the Republic with them, and holding them by the same tenure by which such slaves were held in the United States; nor shall Congress have power to emancipate slaves; nor shall any slave-holder be allowed to emancipate his or her slave or slaves, without the consent of Congress, unless he or she shall send his or her slave or slaves without the limits of the Republic. No free person of African descent, either in whole or in part, shall be permitted to reside permanently in the Republic, without the consent of Congress, and the importation or admission of Africans or negroes into this Republic, excepting from the United States of America, is forever prohibited, and declared to be piracy.

SEC. 10. All persons, (Africans, the descendants of Africans, and Indians excepted,) who were residing in Texas on the day of the Declaration of Independence, shall be considered citizens of the Republic, and entitled to all the privileges of such.

--The Constitution of the Republic of Texas (1836)


Yes, because all Texans are white and racists. /sarcasm

And their governors, when elected president, run the nation into the ground...

46th Governor of Texas

But don't worry... Even though Texas lead the nation in executions, George can be satisfied that most of them were of African Americans.

That's true pretty much everywhere, isn't it? Sure more African-Americans are on death row, but more are also convicted of murder of every type, percentage wise, than other races. Why doesn't the story cover the murder rate stat as well as the death-penalty state? And mostly those murders are for killing other African-Americans.

You can blame "society" all you want, but an individual generally does not end up on death row except by his own actions. It's not that hard not to kill people, even when they seem to richly deserve it.

Individuals commit crimes and deserve to get punished, yes... But, when an African American (Black) person kills a European American (White), they are more likely to be executed...


-White Defendant and Black Victim: 15
-Black Defendant and White Victim: 235

( http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/race-death-row-inmates-executed-1976 - Scroll down)

Which brings me to an interesting point: When things hit the fan, which groups are going to be targeted? During the depression in Europe, it was the Jews. During the reconstruction period in the Southern United States following the civil war, it was the blacks. And During World War II, in the Western US, it was the Japanese.

My guess about who will get targeted this time around when things truly go south:

1)The Jews. Again.
2)'Illegal' Immigrants.
3)Sex Offenders.

Remember, Hitler didn't go after the Jews, the Gypsies, the Gays and everyone else at once... he did it piecemeal. And he had public support of the Germans when he did this...

this doesn't say how many white people murdered blacks as opposed to the other way around, therefore it is useless. I would be surprised if the former category was anything like as high as the latter.

That particular site doesn't give all the underlying data, which is not surprising since the site seems to be intended to bias the data. It provides the base statistics for all murders, but doesn't say how many interracial murders (not executions) were perpetrated. You would think that the better statistics would be the execution ratio compared to the perpetration ratio would be a better measure of bias.

In any case, the chances of being killed by somebody you don't know is small, so you'd be better off worrying about your friends and family than inter-racial strangers. And racial bias cuts both ways, with blacks more likely per-murder to kills whites than vice-versa.

  • http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/race.htm
  • For the years 1976-2005 combined -

    * Black victims are over represented in homicides involving drugs. Compared with the overall involvement of blacks as victims, blacks are less often the victims of sex-related homicides, workplace killings, and homicide by poison.

    * Race patterns among offenders are similar to those among victims.

    From 1976 to 2005 --

    * 86% of white victims were killed by whites
    * 94% of black victims were killed by blacks

    For homicides committed by --

    * a friend or acquaintance of the victim, less than one-tenth (8%) were interracial
    * a stranger to the victim, one-quarter were interracial

    When stranger homicides are committed, blacks are much more likely to kill whites (about 20%) than whites are to kill blacks (about 7%).

    Edit: This still doesn't completely cover the misrepresentation of races on death row, it comes closer. There is probably room for racial-blind improvement on all sides of the issue.


    Here's one of the best sources of data on crime and race:


    1)The Jews. Again.
    2)'Illegal' Immigrants.
    3)Sex Offenders.

    With the benefit of distance, I'd probaby swap 1 and 2 for 3 and 4, although it's hard for me to pick between 3 and 4. Sex offenders are, however, certainly the most deserving of punishment (after all, they've actually done something wrong). And I suspect, as/if things go south, there'll be a lot more of them to punish.

    I would like you to add the Feds to the list as number 1. Just wishful thinking. But of course, we Americans really admire the obscenely rich... they must be really smart.

    Sure more African-Americans are on death row, but more are also convicted of murder of every type, percentage wise, than other races.

    But don't you think it's possible that a greater percentage of African-Americans are caught, and when caught, found guilty? That is, that the conviction rate is as biased as the execution rate?

    Things like this still happen. And not everyone in jail is guilty. DNA testing has shown that.

    I think wealth probably is a factor as well. If you're rich, you can afford high-powered lawyers. If OJ Simpson was poor, would he have beat the murder rap? I doubt it.

    It's definitely a complex picture, and racial issues are near and dear to me personally, so I take an active interest in such topics.
    A quick Google says 25-35% of murders are "unsolved", and that's a pretty decent percentage. While this leaves a pretty big bucket for bias and skey, and mis-convictions happen, the very high percentage of black-on-black and white-on-white murders belie any heavy slant in "easy suspect" convictions. Even in some states are pre-supposed to be racially biased, the murder conviction and death row rates aren't really very skewed -- 50/50 white/black -- compared to the race of those murdered.

    Recent events make me think that some police forces are more biased than the average civilian, given "cop-killings" seem to be more racially polarized than even "stranger" murders.

    Once you go beyond "guilt" to "sentence" I suspect past record and wealth have a lot bigger impact. Most likely a gang-banger with a long rap sheet who kills his gal's lover in a fit of passion will fare much worse than a wealthy white suburbanite.

    The statistics do pretty clearly show that if you stay out of drug-battles and gangs your chance of not being killed goes down a lot. Unfortunately that's yet another poverty symptom that entraps all to many black youths (and poor of all sorts, but blacks disporportionately).

    Note that Hispanics are catching up to blacks and Asians still struggle less than whites, so the class and income deviations seem to track murders.

    Individually, though, your own decisions play a pretty major role in poverty, incarceration, and life expectancy. Unfortunately the young don't seem to ingest the statistics very well.

    It wasn't my choice to be born to a family that was chronically poor for several generations. If I had to choose my last name would have been Rockefeller.

    +1000 Thank-you, Leanan.

    Actually I'm a native-born Texan, I'm not at all ashamed of it, I'm white, and don't consider myself to be a racist.

    The point I was trying to make, however, is that Norris tends to celebrate those parts of history that bolster his belief system, while quitely sweeping under the rug those that don't.

    For instance, take this statement from his article:

    John Adams declared that, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people." Yet we've bastardized the First Amendment, reinterpreted America's religious history and secularized our society until we ooze skepticism and circumvent religion on every level of public and private life.

    But the truth is that Norris, along with many others of his ilk, have engaged in some pretty serious "reinterpretation" of history themselves. History is much more ambiguous than Norris' bowdlerized version:

    What shall we make of this Reagan-Bennett-Neuhaus thesis concerning the view of Jefferson? With all his avowed concern for establishing civic virtue in the young republic, did Jefferson believe that shared religious belief was indespensible for achieving that end? The short answer is that he, like other Founders, was deeply ambivalent on the subject and argued at different times in different ways.

    --David Little, "Religion and Civil Virtue in America: Jefferson's Statute Reconsidered," The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom: Its Evolution and Consequences in American History

    "moral and religious people" is not the same as "shared religious belief".

    Your point about the complexity of history and individuals is valid, though. Those who attempt to deify the Founders, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Reagan, Clinton, or Obama are all doing themselves and our country a disfavor.

    But Jefferson argued that there was no link between religion and morality. Even an atheist could be a moral person, he wrote in the Notes on Virginia:

    It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

    And he paid a heavy price for this heresy:

    "God Forbid!" that Thomas Jefferson should become president of the United States, wrote "a Layman" in 1800. The Virginia politician not only was no Christian, but also "denies the truth, and avows the pernicious folly of all religion." The presendential election that year brought national politics its first heavy dose of religious controversy as Federalist writers in pamplets, newspapers, and broadsides attacked Vice President Jefferson for being at least a deist and, more likely, an "infidel" and propagator of "atheistical principles." Critics reiterated the same arguments: Jeffrson avoided church services, rejected the Scriptures, profaned the Sabbath, thought one religion as good as another and not much of any of them, and wanted a government blind to moral considerations.

    Conservative clergy led the assault. James Abercrombie, an Episcopalian minister in Philadelphia, was typical when he urged his conferes to join "our great and common cause" in keeping "an acknowledged unbleliever from the presidency of "a Christian community...."

    Federalist apologists argued that someone who advocated freedom from religion more than religious liberty could not be trusted at the helm of a Christian nation. Jefferson's election threatened to "destroy religion, introduce immorality, and loosen all the bonds of society."

    --Thomas e. Buckley, "The Political Theology of Thomas Jefferson," The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom: Its Evolution and Consequences in American History

    Of course Adams and Jefferson were different individuals, and the views of nameless detractors weigh less than their own statements, and few of us are without internal qualms and battles of one sort or another which may shift our perspectives over our lives.

    Still, both appears to be quite tolerant of the beliefs of others, and capable of compromising, which seem to be qualities lacking in modern politicians of the right and left.

    It is still true that most Founders were Christian, but that is only to be expected given the common reasons for immigration, and there is no reason to pretend their belief and influence was not profound.

    I think it's interesting that the current generation seems intent on revising the commonly held viewpoints of the forefathers, rather than just writing new Amendments and voting up on them. It worked for racial and sexual equality in voting, and worked only too well for income taxes.

    Lincoln is often lauded for the emancipation proclamation yet it didn't free slaves in states that joined the North. Politics makes for odd bedfellows, and such compromises abound.

    The fact that some states supported positions that we believe to be abhorrent does not invalidate all other positions they held, nor the tenet that strong states are a viable proposition.

    With strong states I'm sure you'd see bankrupt states, like CA, instead of a bankrupt country. Some would be richer and some poorer, and some would try ideas that worked while others failed. Today we're all in this together, and we're all failing together with no other model to throw us a lifeline.

    The controversy over states rights vs. a strong union is another age old battle.

    Jefferson, and his coterie including Tom Paine, had a vision of an harmonious society in which government would interfere as little as possible with the economic ambitions of the individual...

    The early Jeffersonians sought to keep political power weak, discouraging both the growth of federal power in relation to the States and confining political contol over economic life to the States...

    Madison feared the potential tyranny of government as much as Jefferson; but he understood the necessity of government much more. The Constitution protects the citizen against abuses of government, not so much by keeping government weak as by introducing the principle of balance of power into government.... Whether this balance of power between executive, legislative and judicial functions is actually the best method of preventing the abuse of power is a question which is not relevant in this context... The important fact is that the necessity of a strong government was recognized. Madison was much more conscious than Jefferson of the peril of what he called "faction" in the community. He had no hope of resolving such conflicts by simple prudence. With the realists of every age he knew how intimately man's reason is related to his interests. "As long as any connection exists," he wrote, "between man's reason and his self-love, his opinions and passions will have reciprocal influence upon each other..." One of Madison's most persuasive arguments for a federal union was his belief that a community of wide expanse would so diffuse interests and passions as to prevent the turbulent form of political strife, to which he regarded small communities subject.

    --Reinhold Niebuhr, The Irony of American History

    Except that the federal power is strong and of late the executive, legislative, and judicial branches all seem to agree it needs to be stronger. Where is the check against that, now they the fed can borrow and tax without limit?

    I think Jefferson was right on this one.

    Yep. There's something definitely wrong with our government. But I would argue we need to fix it, not get rid of it. Therefore when it comes to economic issues, I'll throw my hat in with Madison.

    But when it comes to social, cultural and religious issues, I'll go along with Jefferson's libertarianism.

    It seems like most Republicans are just the opposite--economic libertarians, but when it comes to religious and cultural issues, they seem to favor coercion.

    And as most DO NOT know, Texas used to belong to Mexico. From Wikipedia:

    After Mexico gained independence from the Spanish Empire at the end of its War of Independence in 1821, the Mexican Empire inherited the provinces of Alta California, Nuevo México, and Texas from Spain.

    [snip... US settlers unhappy with mexican rule...]

    The Texas Revolution erupted in 1836, after Texas declared its independence from Mexico. Mexico responded by invading Texas, but lost. Under U.S. President John Tyler, Texas was admitted to the Union as a slave state on March 1, 1845. Texas became the 28th state on December 29, a law signed by President James K. Polk.

    The Texas Railroad Commission is alive and still rules with an iron fist. And the Texas proration laws are still on the books and still active. But the allowable have remained at 100% since the 70's or so.

    TRC to the oil companies: "You guys are free to produce whatever you wish."

    We could all stand to be ruled by an iron fist like that. ;-) But you are correct, there is no way the TRC could hold down production by the private oil companies anymore. The oil companies would sue and after that the authority of TRC to dictate production levels would be no more.


    This is all assuming good distinction between oil companies and our government, and assuming that oil companies want to increase production. I am thinking, from the view of someone living in China or Korea or Japan, the US federal government and its domestic oil industry is more than a little intertwined, and if the long con requires that production go one way or the other, then it will.

    This is all assuming good distinction between oil companies and our government, and assuming that oil companies want to increase production.

    There is a great distinction between oil companies and our government. Sometimes an oil company has a man on the inside, like Cheney and Haliburton. But in such cases the insider always acts on behalf of the oil company, not the government.

    And no one assumes that the oil companies want to increase production. Oil companies wish to act in the best interest of the stockholders, not the government. That usually means producing every barrel possible but not always. The point is the government is not telling them how much to produce. That is the decision of the board of directors, most of whom have their main office outside the US.

    The US has very few domestic oil copanies. They are by a huge majority international oil companies BP and Shell are two of the largest. And Exxon has more production outside the US than inside the US.

    if the long con requires that production go one way or the other, then it will.

    Absurd! There is no long con. BP, Shell and the other international oil companies would cry bloody murder. OPEC nations and even Russia can get away with telling BP, Shell or Exxon when to limit production in their countries but not the US.

    Anyway, you are turning things around. Your original conspiracy theory had the US government telling oil companies to increase production in order to drive prices down. Hell, they have all been trying to increase production all along. That is how they make their money, that is how they keep the stock price up.

    And one very important point that makes your conspiracy theory totally silly. The US does not have enough production to swing world oil prices either way. With Thunder Horse and the others coming on line, US production will be about 200 thousand barrels per day above pre hurricane production. That is not enough to do a damn thing as far as world oil prices are concerned.


    With Thunder Horse and the others coming on line, US production will be about 200 thousand barrels per day above pre hurricane production. That is not enough to do a damn thing as far as world oil prices are concerned.

    Thunder Horse circa 2005

    So... Does it really make much of a difference that Thunder Horse was fixed? Probably not.

    It makes little difference as far as world oil prices go but it makes one hell of a difference to BP. Thunde Horse had just began production last year when it was shut down for the hurricanes. There was little damage to that section of the Gulf however and it soon began ramping up again.

    Thunder Horse is currently producing 260 thousand barrels per day and will soon ramp up to full production of 280 thousand barrels per day. That is where virtually all of the production is coming from that puts us above pre hurricane levels. Of course that is BOE. I have no idea how much is crude only.

    BP Cuts Output Forecast, Trims Spending on Oil Drop

    The producer started developing seven projects last year to increase output. It plans to ramp up production from Thunder Horse, the world’s largest semi-submersible platform located in the Gulf of Mexico, to full capacity of 280,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day. The platform is currently pumping about 260,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.


    The IPM also contained annual data. Mexico, the North Sea, and the UK production continues down as does the US. Previous growth leaders, Azerbaijan Kazakhstan, and Nigeria have slowed to flat or slightly rising. OPEC and KSA in particular raised production in 08 over 07 to account for the gain in production in world crude in 2007. At 73,791 m/b/d production in 08, the EIA data, subject to revision, beat the 2005 production by 54,000 barrels a day.

    24 million go from 'thriving' to 'struggling'

    The concept of the American dream reflects aspirations for the long term that have endured through good times and bad, but it is not indestructible, says Claudia Goldin, an economic historian at Harvard.

    "What people mean by the 'American dream' is something that is not a snapshot; it's something that is played out over time and not just in their lifetime, but the lifetimes of their children," she says.

    "It may be impervious to a short-term job loss, to a short-run health problem, but it's not going to be impervious to a slowdown of the entire economy that lasts for a very long period of time," especially if traditional gains in education are stalled.

    In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken last week, Americans by about 3-to-1 said they believed that with hard work they could achieve the American dream. Even so, one tenet of that dream — faith that the next generation will have a better life than their parents — is eroding.

    Even so, one tenet of that dream — faith that the next generation will have a better life than their parents — is eroding.

    Can someone tell me how that is even remotely possible when the current generation is responsible for AGW, when trillions of future dollars are being borrowed to finance today's financial mismanagement, and when the bountiful energy resources available today won't be around tomorrow.

    Can anyone tell me how my kids will be better off than me?

    250,000 years of history

    I see your 250,000 years of history, and raise you Big Stone Heads™.

    Seems like for 125,000 of those years the succeeding generations, on average, were stagnant or worse compared to the preceeding. Exponential growth doesn't need very many "better" generations to consume any increase in food supply and settlement range. If you discount the handful of growth generations since the industrial age, I'd say there is no history that says the future will be any better.

    Coin-flips rarely come up "heads" 10 times in a row in a fair game. Recently we've had a rigged coin due to cheap and abundant energy, and once that's gone it's probably time for a bias to "tails" for a while as we have successive down generations.

    Historically, how often do "golden ages" arise for any given populations versus panics, depressions, plagues, famines, disasters, and wars? How do civilizations react upon reaching the end of a golden age?

    I like the coin-flip image.

    I wonder how many people -when the reality of what is happening (PO) sinks in- will just borrow a shed load of money and go on some kinda 'dead-mans binge'... It could be a wild period, like the days/weeks after the asteroid was discovered in Deep Impact...

    And for that reason we will probably be lied and deceived to as long as is Governmentally possible...


    Trend is destiny, right?

    Regarding increasing the percentage of ethanol in gasoline discussed up top. I have tried it a couple of my cars without any noticeable change in performance.

    I have a hard time understanding what the fuss is about. There are thousands of E85 vehicles around that have been running for 10-15 years. These vehicles, like my 99 Ranger with 140K on it, are essentially the same vehicles as the non flex fuel type. As I understand it, the only differences are relatively inexpensive conversions to the fuel and pollution control systems.

    The increased study demanded for a modest increase in ethanol percentages has got to be a ruse for some other agenda. I suspect ethanol's old nemisises big oil, live stock producers or ideological ethanol opponents are behind it.

    The "It will destroy your car/truck/boat engine." arguement is pure crap, find me cheap, easily made, non-price supported ethanol and the vehicles to run on it will be built.

    The real problem is (at least for now) as has been pointed out many times here is the EROEI. The numbers simply do not add up for anything but Sugar Cane and even then the return is very very small. Ehtanol from corn is just plain stupid more energy to make than you get back and as an added bonus were screwing with the food supply. Celluose has a great deal of potential but is still at least 5-10 years off.

    No one is arguing that the vehicles can't be built. It's whether engines not built for E20+ will be ok.

    I particular, I have heard that two cycle engines may have issues. I don't know for sure, but it sounds plausible. If my chainsaw burns out because they do a stealth increase in the ethanol mix, x owes me a new one.

    You hit the nail on the head.

    Engines using carburetors will have problems from running lean. My Mower, Tiller, Motorcycle and one of my cars will run too lean on E20. Some are blaming E10 for some problems on carb'ed engines.

    Any fuel injected closed loop engine can run E20 without blinking an eye. Most can run up to about E50 without running out of fuel injection capacity - the ECM just adds more fuel as needed. But thats no good for everyone else who has a carb.

    And thats before we even get into the EROEI argument.

    I don't understand this, but would like to. If you are willing/qualified to write a short essay on this to post here, please email it to the editors. thx

    Nate, we use a lot of small engines up here. Here's one link on the problem
    http://www.biodieselinvesting.com/biodiesel-archives/2009/01/14/maine-sn... Bunch of them out there.
    There's a sense you learn when you use some of this machinery, my chain saw just does not have the power I'm used to. In a pinch that could be life threatening. Love to hear Airdales thoughts on that.

    Personal experience, the little old subarau my wife uses does not have a gas tank sensor, she feeds it by mileage and the trip meter. Since the ethanol content was increased she has run out of gas 3 times, paying the same $$ not getting the mileage. Pay more for less miles, and we are cautious about the miles.

    Not a big issue but I'd like to know if it can screw up my gear, and I'm in the camp that thinks replacing oil is a good thing, there's a disconnect here though. If ethanol is screwing up engines I need to know, but yeah it's just one more step on the way down.

    Don in Maine

    "I don't understand this, but would like to."

    It shouldn't take a short essay. Carbureters (loosely) keep a specific air to fuel ratio (which is about 14:1 if you're curious) through the use of venturis and metering jets. Basically a certain amount of air flows through it, and the through the action of the air passing a venturi and pulling out fuel through a calibrated set of holes adds a certain amount of fuel to the mixture. More air flows past, more fuel gets added...the mixture remains the same. Compared to gasoline per unit volume alcohol takes less air to burn. So as you start adding alcohol to the mixture, the carb, not knowing any better, adds the same volume of fuel to the same volume of air as it did with gasoline...and you wind up with a higher concentration of air to the fuel you need to burn. Too much air is a condition called "lean" (as opposed to too much fuel called "rich"). When a car runs lean, it runs extremely hot, can start causing pre-ignition from hot spots, detonation, can burn through pistons and melt valves (usually exhaust). If it's just a little lean it'll experience "surging" and usually a hesitance to start (since a cold engine needs to run more "rich"). If you expect to always encounter a different fuel mix, you can put in different metering jets ("re-jet") and change the volume of fuel the carb adds for each volume of air. But, if you were to come across a non-alcoholic blend of gas, your car would be belching black smoke (from being too rich). People re-jet motorcycles all the time because they're generally a little lean coming from the factory (for emissions purposes, though a higher burn temp will increase NOx).

    Fuel injected cars have sensors that monitor the exhaust gasses(oxygen sensor)and from this they can tell if they're running at the proper air-fuel ratio of 14:1 (aka "stoic" aka "stoichiometric" with gasoline). If you start adding alcohol to a fuel injected engine, it will sense that it's running lean (too much oxygen in the exhaust) and increase the length of time the injector is open, thereby adding more fuel and restoring the proper mixture. This is why I continually piss and moan about "Oxygenates" in fuel - they don't matter any more and it's a f*#&ing sham, the fuel system compensates. Carbs can be tricked, fuel injection can't.

    Mowers, tillers, and motorcycles still generally use carburetors and are thus affected by a change to alcohol. The real problem with running an alcohol mixture above E10 is that it starts becoming very corrosive and degrades the rubber hoses and seals in cars. A "flex fuel" vehicle usually has only changes to the fuel lines and seals that allow it to handle that higher concentration of alcohol without degrading. For modern mowers that already come lean from the factory (to reduce emissions) ethanol in the mix can make them run even leaner, and shittier.

    People have been running drag racers on E100 for years, taking advantage of the higher octane rating, but they generally shoot gasoline into the intake to get them started.

    Ethanol is playing havoc here in high humidity Florida. Gas sitting in seldom used tanks of lawnmowers, motorcycles, jetskis, etc. will collect water in the tanks because of the ethanol. There are 2 BP's nearby with signs out front stating "No Ethanol in our Gas". Motorcycle shops are busy cleaning carburetors. Sta-bil has a new product especially to fight the effects, and is flying off the shelves.

    Some boats also have fiberglass gas tanks - which are degraded by ethanol...

    I don't think an E-85 vehicle is a valid testimonial for an average vehicle's performance on E10+. For sure our old Jeep's mileage sucks all the time, and it sucks 20+% worse on E10. We've validated this observation across many tankfuls of both straight gasoline and E10.

    I haven't noticed a big chance in power performance, but the mileage delta obscures any potential fuel cost savings.

    Certainly there are strong arguments against ethanol, but I can conceive of a future where the US decides to produce ethanol at low EROEI if it can't import enough oil, with a purposeful decision to raise the price of food worldwide and thereby trade on improved terms with Saudi Arabia or such. Of course that would doom much of the 3rd world to starvation, but that may be a given anyway, and I'm not one who expects US politicians to worry much about poor, non-voting, disempowered foreign civilians.

    Disclaimer: the Jeep is now just an occasional/winter driven vehicle, and the Honda does not suffer the mileage drop above. It does suffer a significant drop on cold-starts in cold weather though -- it likes to be warm with any fuel.

    Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, gave a speech today at the Council on Foreign Relations. Here's a link to the prepared text, for folks following the "progress" in the plans to address the financial meltdown. Reaganomics RIP...

    E. Swanson

    If you are in Atlanta, Gail is scheduled to be give a talk at the Electric Vehicle Club meeting at Manual's Tavern on Wednesday, March 18th, 6:00 p.m.

    I will be bringing my "new" EV, a renovated 74 Super Beetle converted to 120 volts.


    I'll be there! Will see your Super Beetle!

    Hi Generaly..
    Do you have any of the conversion details listed online?

    ( www.evalbum.com ) or a similar outlet?


    My friends up at the Chewonki Foundation in Wiscasset, Maine, aside from a 80 year history of teaching environmental stewardship and awareness, have been installing various Alt-Energy systems into their buildings over the years, often 'Beta' systems that needed to be tried and proved, or disproved.

    They installed a hybrid Solar-Electric& Hot-Water Array last spring (2008).. and I just ran across the link to the Company that makes it. With the cooler water getting preheated on the backside of the PV panels, the panels run cooler and more efficient, AND there is preheated water available!

    http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=194969&ac=PHnws&pg=2 (Link is to page2 of the article.. which also describes Chewonki's Solar Hydrogen and Fuel Cell program.

    Created by Ascendant Energy of Rockland, the panels include photovoltaic cells that make electricity together with a plumbing system that heats water for the kitchen's industrial-sized dishwasher. Heat captured from the dishwater discharge is even fed back into the system.

    The combination of heat and power makes the system more efficient, and very unusual, according to Arnold.

    "This is the Beta system," he said, again emphasizing Chewonki's role as a tester. "No one's ever commercialized it. And the second install is going to be more efficient because this one's in place."

    In the first month of operation, the system generated 800 kilowatt hours of power, he said. And when the sun is shining, the kitchen doesn't need propane to heat its water.


    More "good" news for those suffering from infertility:

    A New Hope to Prolong Fertility

    The trillions of dollars and billions of people just keep pushing for more and more, leading us all right into the gates of hell.

    Increasing the years between generations is an excellent strategy to reduce population growth.

    Works as well as reducing the average # of children/woman.


    The question is, are they having the same amount of kids but increasing the gap between generations, or are they just going to have more kids...

    Either way will significantly reduce the overshoot potential, though fewer kids would be better.

    The chances of intentionally older parents having fewer kids is of course much greater as well -- it's hard to have 6 kids in your 40's, and the risks rise greatly after 40. Probably the incidence of divorced parents would drop too -- hopefully youthful stupidity would be mostly worked out by then.

    Having children later really helps with parental involvement too, if my kids' school is any indication. When you look around the Little League bleachers it's not filled with single-moms and young 20's couples -- it's filled with older couples and grand-parents.

    I can see a lot of good from shooting for 30+ to start a family, and having one or two kids per couple.

    Now all we need is birth control that really works, and youths with brains that function.

    youths with brains that function

    I'm not holding my breath on that one. :D :(

    That's so funny how different my perception is from yours being 25yrs old. There's hardly anyone over forty I know that is PO aware or even bothers to recycle.

    You mean from a "kids" perspective as well?

    From my perspective, having new-borns is a young mans game (too many sleepless nights) but paying for them takes middle-age wages!

    I guess I got lucky, my 10mo old has just about always slept 8-10 hours!

    My point above was that from following TOD for over a year, I hear so much about the decay of the youth.

    In my city, Chico, CA, the CSA (called GRUB) was started by a group of college students. So, in my experience it's the fogies that are most behind-the-curve when it comes to sustainable practices. Of course, I had the benefit of hearing about this in school, both elementary, high school (not as much) and college.

    I'm not that far beyond you, mate. I can still remember High School .:D I agree with you that hardly anyone (conciously) recycles. In Australia, it's basically only done because Councils supply a recycling wheelie bin, which is usually picked up fortnightly. When I was living along, my recyclinging bin was always fuller than my regular bin, which is the opposite of the norm. Rubbish coming from cars seems to come mainly from older drivers, while 'junk food' litter seems to come mostly from the 'yoof', from what I can see.

    Hardly anyone I know is PO aware, either, and that goes for all ages. My immediate family is only 'aware' because I've told them about it (again and again and again...), but they don't actually believe it (I can't even get people in this house to turn a simple light off if they're leaving the room for a time!). They think I'm slightly nuts. My other halfs family is split, with half of them understanding it and half not.

    There's no debate about it in the media, either. Overall, I do agree that the older generations are less willing to accept PO/AGCC/whatever, but while the younger generations are more willing to accept it, they don't take the next step. Either way, nothing gets done. :(

    Consider two villages. In one, the women all have one child at age 20. In the other, half the women have one child at age 40, and the other half have two children, at ages 39 & 41 (avg. 40).

    Starting with 1,000 infant girls in the year 2000 in each children.

    In 2020, Village A has 1,000 new infants (500 girls) from the girls of 2000. Village B, none.

    In 2040, Village A has 500 new infants, Village B, 500 one year olds and 500 infants.

    In 2041, Village B gets another 500 infants.

    So far, by 2041, the "Class of 2000" has 1,500 offspring in Village A, and 1,500 in Village B. But Village B had far fewer from 2020 till 2039. This despite 50% higher fertility.

    One Chinese province got an exemption from the "One Child" policy and used the older mother strategy to great success.

    Age of birth is very important, enough to offset significant differences in fertility.

    And yes, Village B goes ahead in 2063, but 63 years is a long time.


    Well, hell, that probably puts my carbon footprint into negative territory... for life!


    1st comment: Pickens was one of the backers of the Swiftboat Liers for Injustice?! I never knew that, but now I do, I can't stand the guy!!

    2nd comment: BEIJING, March 9 (Reuters) - China has filled all four of its state-owned emergency oil reserve tanks to the brim.

    Notice how Bush filled the strategic reserve with expensive fuel, but the Chinese were smart enough to wait until it was cheap. Bush would have continued filling the reserve if oil was selling for a thousand bucks a barrel. The guy had no sensibility whatsoever.

    3rd comment: Go Obama! Stem cells, the uptick rule, the market is bouncing back. Alright!!

    Actually the SPR fill was suspended for almost 7 months during the peak of the oil price. We started adding tiny bits late in the fall last year. By all means we should be buying like crazy right now but am not seeing the new administration making that rational decision

    They should be filling it to the brim and parking tankers in the Gulf, esp if Israel decides to keep Iran's reactor from going critical . The window is closing.

    What is her carbon footprint?
    How many $millions have been wasted on military flights?

    House Speaker has repeatedly requested military aircraft to shuttle her, colleagues and family around the country, according to a report from conservative watchdog.
    Representatives for Judicial Watch, which obtained e-mails and other documents from a Freedom of Information request, said the correspondence shows Pelosi has abused the system in place to accommodate congressional leaders and treated the Air Force as her "personal airline."

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that Congress needs to "keep the door open" to a second stimulus package -- raising the question of how much the government could eventually spend on top of the $787 billion already allocated to rescue the country from dire economic straits.

    I guess the second stimulus will pay for Pelosi's jet.

    Yawn...If I could trim 50% of the egregious fuel wastage that occurs during any three-month period of training flight operations for a certain very large, very ugly/beautiful, very old USAF aircraft, I could fuel the little military Lear-Jet that USAF gives her a ride on for ten years. Do you want me to mention all the low-to-no value TDYs (temporary duty) military 'business trips' where people go to conferences and jawbone things to death but rarely accomplish anything significant?

    I reckon that Congressfolks have two inter-related hats: Do the nations business in D.C. (with some foreign trips for those on appropriate committees) and representing the interests of their constituents in their home states. I find it reasonable that the taxpayer foot a reasonable number of round trips between D.C. and the reps' home states so they can keep in touch with the peeps. All that being said, such constituent trips should be funded for domestic airlines, coach class (let them keep FF miles so they can upgrade if they wish...don't even whine about that, 'cause all US military and Fed Civil Servants are allowed to keep FF miles they earn from government paid tickets.

    In sum: Congresscritters should have a limited voucher to keep it real with their homies, but they shouldn't try to use USAF as their air taxi...USAF wastes plenty of fuel all by itself...believe me, I know.


    My point is that Pelosi will make all these un-neccessary flights and tell everyone else to cut back on CO2. Flying friends and family around on Air Force jets is abuse. The reason the Air Force is wasteful, is because of leaders like Pelosi who think they are priviledged and above the rest of the people in the country. She would also tell CEOs to get rid of their jets while she continues to fly Air Force. Each flight she takes costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars with zero ROI.

    "leaders like Pelosi who think they are priviledged and above the rest of the people in the country." Posted by Nowhere

    But anyone who holds a position of any consequence in any state's political structure is inherently going to hold a priveleged position in that society, regardless of whatever form of government is in power.

    Is there any way that this could be otherwise?

    Antoinetta III

    This is late. But this is so blatant that I have to provide some pushback. Please read

    The Pelosi plane smears limps back onto the stage

    The right wing smear machine is really lame nowadays.

    Couple of interesting articles in the Telegraph,

    Sandwich Generation

    Unilever has announced a surge in sales of margarine, because Britons, nervous at the recession, are once more making their own sandwiches. Daily savings mount up. We eat more soup, too. Showers are even replacing hot baths – a luxury ousted by a surely dubious alliance of greenness and thrift.

    How to drive fast, have a good time - and still save the planet

    The electric car is about to revolutionise the way we drive, says Boris Johnson.

    I don't know if anyone else has been following the spat between George Monbiot (Guardian) and Chris Brooker (Telegraph) but they both blog around issues related around energy security / climate change and stand firmly on opposite sides on climate change, but both seem equally worried about UK energy security. Monbiot (a long term green) has recently said he would support new nuclear power, whilst Brooker think AGW is a scam made up by BBC, Nasa and Al Gore in order sell wind turbines and his real worry is the replacement of the UK's nuclear power fleet and the LGPD causing the loss of UK generating capacity.

    I think the main issue for humanity to face is as a matter of urgency perform a transparent assessment of the world fossil fuels reserves, at least we would know where we stand with regards to peak oil and global warming.

    3 Kw per family of solar and or wind. Gov. pays 50% rebate


    You get huge economies of scale with larger wind turbines (2-5MW)
    I'd like to see a focus on building insulation, large scale wind and solar water heating. Add some heat pumps where houses are not on the gas grid and introduce CHP (as part of a neighboorhood scale solar thermal system with waste collection and anaerobic digestions) where they are and in high density.

    I think we would still need a grid but it would only deliver about half the power being used by a building as the other half would be saved / generated onsite.

    What kind of Jobs do we need ?

    Plant Science People

    Mechanics ... converting all vehicles to ?

    Manufacture (in USA) PV and thermal Solar Panels

    Manufacture LIFEPo4 cells

    After not having much to report on, a busy cleantech news day:

    SolFocus expands Greece CPV plans to 10 MW

    SolFocus declined to release the cost of the project, or the names of its backers. Estimates are that the project is worth about the same as the company’s $103 million, 10 MW project under development at several sites in Spain (see SolFocus inks $103M CPV deal in Spain).

    SolFocus uses mirrors and advanced reflective optics to concentrate the sun 500 times on a small, high-efficiency solar cell, which reduces the overall system cost by using low-cost materials such as glass and aluminum.

    Hartsoch said SolFocus was able to secure funds because of Greece’s favorable tariff and because SolFocus has already started ramping its manufacturing facility, which requires less capital investment than other solar technologies. Hartsoch estimated that SolFocus can build a CPV plant for $0.15 per watt, while photovoltaic makers require a capital investment of $1 to $1.50 a watt, and thin film producers need $2 per watt.

    A bit of a disconnect for me. That last paragraph hints at the potential for sub sub dollar per peak watt, yet above they claim $103M for 10MW?

    Report: OLEDs hold key for organic PV to win solar race

    The roll-to-roll manufacturing used by organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) is the key for organic photovoltaics (OPV) to undercut the cost of traditional PV production, according to a report published today by Glen Allen, Va.-based research firm NanoMarkets.

    The report predicted that OPV and hybrid OPV sales will reach almost $600 million by 2016.

    Think delays U.S. expansion plans to mid-201

    Charlie Rose with Steven Chu ... last night


    Charlie Rose with Timothy Geithner


    The interview with Timothy Geithner was very weak, and it is hard to imagine how the words of Mr. Geithner could instill confindence in anyone.

    There is no "outside the box" thinking, simply a willingness by the new administration to go to bed with the ailing whore (the U.S. financial, hedge fund and Wall St class) who spread her sickness across the nation. Teddy Roosevelt and the "trust busters" at the birth of the last century had the right idea...bust them, auction the parts, let the new owners auction or junk out the "toxic assets", and re-instate Glass-Steagell to keep them from re-invading stable parts of the banking system. The solution that Secretary Geithner proposes is to allow the ailing corrupt banking class to keep spreading the infection, right into the governments of the world. Shameful. The banks are now using some of the most deceptive practices in history to see to it that the once financial able boomer class is declared "sub-prime" across the board, including deceptive reporting by the credit agencies, loan practices on businesses to assure that they fail, and changes in loan and credit rates without cause, warning or justification. Obama and his sadly incompetent crowd seem to be completely blind (or completely non-interested) in what is happening.

    I was relatively sure that the prior administration was as incompetent as we would see for decades. It now looks like the race to the bottom is on.


    Pretty well sums it up-the ailing whore analogy is dead on. Some view Barack Obama as the Manchurian Candidate brought in by the financial elite to ramp up the looting of the USA economy-hopefully that analogy is too extreme.

    By declaring the big dinosaurs as "too big to fail" and bailing them out, the FedGov deprives smaller, well-run banks the opportunity to expand into open niches vacated by what would otherwise be extinct big banks. This guarantees that the entire banking industry will become less energetic, less innovative, less responsive to consumer demand and expectations, and less profitable. This also guarantees that the entire US economy is going to become increasingly sclerotic over the next few decades.

    This is a certain, predictable outcome that NOBODY is talking about.

    Must be getting tired...I thought you were actually going to start talking about dinosaurs and bringing them back from extinction because they were too big to fail. We can legislate that...

    Mmmm T-rex steak.

    Funny but sadly thought provoking Sub. I'm sure many others are thinking the same: the dino's were too big to fail per se. They evolved into specific niches and were dominant. But the base which allowed them to prosper was destroyed and those nasty little rodent-like mammals now had a wide open route to expand. Makes one wonder what nasty little entity is hiding under the bushes out there waiting to evolve into our next economic epoch when our "too big to fail" financial dinos get wacked by that big comet heading towards them now.

    Just for some of you who are in prep mode. I'm collecting devices that can be called force multipliers. Pry bars, chain falls, come-alongs. I have some of the biggest chain and bolt cutters known to man. A 12 volt winch can really be your friend.

    Physics is very kewl, think about anyway you can increase your force. I suspect it will come in handy. A word to the wise.

    Don in Maine

    Don, right on!... but don't stop there.

    A simple pair of pliers or wire cutters have the same value, depending on circumstance. Same for just about every other tool. They are presently oh so cheap, but oh so valuable. Just imagine trying to make the simplest of tools on your own.

    Of course a similar and perhaps bigger force multiplier is the knowledge of how to use them. I am continuously amazed by how many people can not find their own a$$ with both hands and a flashlight. My house, and my father's house never had a tradesman enter except for social reasons.

    My earliest recollections were of my dad and a relative changing out a hot water heater with a pump-up naphtha blowtorch. I also learned that a feather is not just an adornment for a hat, but tool for splitting rock.

    How many here remember silk mantles tied around a gas lamp and if you touched them they would disintegrate?

    I don't mean to denigrate younger members, I just want to exemplify what knowledge we have lost or are now losing.

    Well I suppose it had to happen but Denninger and Ilargi seem to have fallen for the old divide and conquer trick as they turn their fire on each other in their latest blogs...

    See http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2009/03/march-10-2009-dinosaurs-si... (Also read the thread comment by "genesis" (Karl)

    and now http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/862-Madoff,-Mark-To-Market-a...


    Ilargi: Karl Denninger, who's spent months clamoring for fair value and mark-to-market, today does a 180 and argues for a suspension of the all-too-rational principle. Thinking of a career in politics? Any idea of the damage a suspension would do? I think you do, Karl.

    Denninger: My call for a temporary suspension of mark-to-market set off a shizstorm of controversy, characterized by this sort of idiot savant comment over at The Automatic Earth:

    Oh dear.


    While I like Denninger and agree with a lot of what he has to say, he does get rather overbearing at times, and sometimes becomes a bit unhinged. He also attaches considerable more credibility to technical analysis than I do (which is none at all).

    On the other hand, he does have a point. Insisting on the instant application of mark-to-market given current market conditions would result in a death spiral. I wouldn't give them six months, though. Get that CDS exchange and clearing house set up pronto, and then give them a month or so to exchange and clear whatever they can of that toxic stuff out of their balance sheets. Then lower the boom and mandate full and reality-based disclosure. If they sink rather than swim, then they were bound to anyway, it is time to clean up the crime scene and move on.

    Why wait?

    If there is a cancer in the system letting it continue to feed on healthy assets isn't going to help, and there will always be an excuse for continuing to hide it.

    'POSTCARDS FROM THE RECESSION: California's Inland Empire.'

    You've got to read that one. Wow! There are many vacant homes also in our area of California, but we are not in a high crime zone. Just empty abandoned homes the banks aren't even trying to move. So much for sunny California.