Drumbeat: March 28, 2009

Seeds of Revival in Wind and Solar?

After several gloomy months, experts say that the stimulus package is beginning — just beginning — to revive interest in wind and solar power.

“I call this the green shoots period. We’re seeing new growth,” said Ron Kenedi, a vice-president of Sharp Solar, who noted that December, January and February had been “miserable.” . .

“I would characterize the situation as ‘the fog appearing as if it is starting to lift,’” Mr. Mataczynski said in an e-mail message. A good sign, he said: “Talk of additional projects that people are looking to build.”

However, he added, the industry is still looking for clarity on how a new Treasury grant program (an important stimulus measure for renewable energy that turns tax credits into straight grants) will work. “We are also noting that the financing of projects already slated to go forward is taking extra time to get done,” he said.

S.D. company gives second life to old wind turbines

Within the capital-intensive wind industry, there are a growing number of companies that specialize in bringing old turbines back to life, helping smaller customers save a little cash while going green.

Most of these windmills, once state-of-the-art, debuted on large California wind farms in the 1980s. . .

Many wind turbines are being decommissioned from some of California's oldest wind farms, having reached the end of their design lives, said Bent Kjellberg, the company's head of parts and logistics.

Some are being replaced with more powerful models, increasing the number of secondhand models on the market.

Mexico's February oil export revenues fall 56.4% year on year

Mexico's February oil sales revenue plunged 56.4% year on year to $1.66 billion, the National Statistics Institute, or Inegi, reported Wednesday. . .

Imports of petroleum products (gasoline, diesel and LPG) also fell sharply in February 2009, to $1.348 billion, a 53.6% year-on-year drop, Inegi reported.

Pemex reported last week that Mexico imported 272,000 b/d of gasoline in February 2009, down from 339,000 b/d in February 2008.

Global oil demand may peak, forcing oil out as a fuel source

In a report titled “The Beginning of the End for Oil?” Peter Hughes, a director of Arthur D. Little’s global energy and utilities practice, cites three converging drivers likely to bring about changes in energy policy around the globe – perhaps resulting in an earlier-than-anticipated decline in demand for oil.

These are climate change, politically undesirable price volatility, and questions of security of supply. These factors are driving new public policies that “may well reduce the role that oil plays in the global energy mix sooner than many expect.

Nigeria's Crude Oil Earnings Crash by 50%

The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced a shortfall in oil revenue from average 330 billion naira (US $2.2 billion) monthly recorded in 2008 to about 150 billion naira (US $1 billion) in January 2009, the Lagos-based Financial Standard newspaper reported on Friday.

Mohammed Bakindo, NNPC group managing director who disclosed this at a meeting between the Senate committee on petroleum ( upstream) and stakeholders in the oil and gas industry on Thursday said it represents a 50 percent fall in the oil revenue flow compared to that of 2008. . .

The NNPC chief who said the development is not in the best interest of the country called for urgent measures by the government to protect the economy from collapse.

Russia plans to deploy troops in the Arctic: document

Russia plans to turn the Arctic into its "leading strategic resource base" by 2020 and station troops there, documents showed Friday, as nations race to stake a claim to the oil-rich region.

The country's strategy for the Arctic through 2020 -- adopted last year and now published on the national security council website -- says one of Russia's main goals for the region is to put troops in its Arctic zone "capable of ensuring military security."

Russia Capable of Becoming China's Biggest Energy Supplier

"Russia is fully capable of becoming the biggest energy supplier for China in upcoming 15 years," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said here Friday.

Zhukov made the remarks in addressing the China-Russia Investment Forum.

He stressed that the two nations should especially expand energy cooperation.

Last month, the two nations signed an oil-for-loan deal, under which China offered Russia US $25 billion of long-term loan and Russia would supply 300 million tonnes of oil through pipelines to China from 2011 to 2030.

The two sides had also agreed on the construction of a pipeline from Russia's Skovorodino in its far-eastern Amur region to China's northeastern city of Daqing.

Venezuela Slashes Oil Investment

State-owned Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) has cut its investment plan for this year by almost 40 percent to $12 billion, PDVSA Vice President Eulogio Del Pino told an industry group.

He said, however, that PDVSA "is maintaining its policy" of devoting at least 10 percent of its investment budget "to social development," state news agency ABN reported Thursday.

China Coal Energy Suspends $2.5 Billion Project on Weak Demand

China Coal Energy Co., the nation’s second-biggest producer of the fuel, will halt investment in a plant in northeastern China that may cost 17 billion yuan ($2.5 billion) because of weak demand.

The company suspended the project in Heilongjiang province because “domestic and international economic conditions have significantly deteriorated,” China Coal said in a statement yesterday. The project, which would produce 10 million metric tons of coal a year, will be less profitable in current markets, it said.

Canadian Oil Exports to US Drop

Canadian crude oil exports to the US have declined due to lower world oil prices, a severe winter and synthetic crude processor maintenance, industry sources said on Wednesday.

One trader said that crude oil exports could drop as much as 300,000 barrels per day by the end of spring, or about 15% of total crude exports of 2m bpd. Others said the decline was smaller.

As much as 75,000 barrels a day of dropoff is due to maintenance work on a coker at Syncrude Canada Ltd, which processes synthetic Canadian crude oil. . .

"With prices low, there's little incentive to perform maintenance. It's still cold. Then, with spring thaw, they load trucks half full," the trader said.

OPEC March oil output still above target-Petrologistics

OPEC's oil output in March is expected to average around 1 million barrels per day (bpd) above its target as Iran and some other members pump above agreed levels, an industry consultant said on Friday.

Output from the 11 OPEC members with production targets is expected to average 25.9 million bpd, compared with a revised 25.93 million in February, Conrad Gerber, head of Petrologistics, told Reuters.

The estimate implies the group delivered on around 75 percent of 4.2 million bpd of output cuts agreed since last year, according to Reuters calculations -- less than the 80 percent found by many analysts for February.

Social critic James Kunstler offers a decidedly darker view

The economic pains the United States has experienced in the last 18 months are nothing compared to what is coming, he claimed. Kunstler expects economic Armageddon to start in about four months. People are fooling themselves that the economy is showing true signs of recovery, he said.

“The American public has no idea what it’s moving into and how disturbingly different it’s going to be,” Kunstler said.

Here is a sample of what he sees: the multitude of companies that are struggling to prop themselves up now will “roll over and die”; the stock market’s “final rope-a-dope sucker rally” will fail and send it tumbling to the 4,000 level by the end of the year; other nations will no longer invest in U.S. treasury bonds, stripping the stimulus effort of fuel; and, in a prediction that hit the clean energy advocates at the conference hardest, the capital for investment in giant solar and wind farms won’t materialize. . .

“We literally cannot restart the growth thing,” Kunstler said.

Stimulus sparks surge in energy conservation industry

A coming flood of federal stimulus money for Georgia’s energy conservation industry has state officials scrambling to line up their buckets.

Small government offices have until Monday to draw up plans for spending more than $200 million in new energy dollars announced two weeks ago.

And on Thursday, the U.S. Department of Energy announced even more energy money headed into the state.

To conservation advocates, it’s manna from heaven.

Overrun by waste: Large agriculture operations add billions to our economy but what price are we paying?

Five days a week, roughly 4.4 million gallons of water empties into these ponds along the Merced River. It is through these ponds that the plant's dirty water is meant to be cleansed. About half the water is spread across nearby reclamation fields, said Parlin. The rest seeps into the soil below where toxins, in theory, filter out. Leftover solids are trucked away and used as fertilizer.

But the ponds haven't been working as they should. They are leaching nitrates into the soil and groundwater -- nitrates that in some cases are high above the levels deemed safe by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, which regulates wastewater discharges.

Washington County puts its energy into saving energy

"We're like a 1.3 million-square-foot home," said communications officer Philip Bransford, referring to 30 facilities ranging from an animal shelter to health clinics to a jail. . .

Like Brian's home, the county's public services building saw its annual gas bill drop by about one-third from $62,461 to $39,090, after upgrading its heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system in 2005. Annual gas bills dropped 47 percent at the Jail and Law Enforcement Center after a similar upgrade, saving more than $285,000 at today's rates. The animal shelter saw an even bigger drop -- 63 percent.

Climate Talks Look to U.S. Role

When the Obama administration makes its debut in the international climate-change debate at talks next week, expectations will be high: Europe hopes the U.S. can help end a standoff between rich and poor countries over how to share the burden of cutting carbon emissions.

"The arrival of the new U.S. administration will have a huge and positive effect on the negotiations," said Yvo de Boer, head of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, which is overseeing the talks. "This will be the first opportunity for the Obama administration to state what it expects and wants."

The summit in Bonn from March 29 to April 8, is one of several meetings this year aimed at drafting a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. That treaty committed 183 signatories to collectively reduce their emissions 5% from 1990 levels by 2012.

Overcrowding in Our Less and Less Natural Environment

Concern over population growth and overcrowding are suppressed and discussion is banned by corporate, government and fellow-citizen pressure, as we're all expected to enjoy being crowded in and buy the story of progress.

It's time to tell it like it is, with heart and final rage perhaps, and encourage every honest person to join in.

My latest unease over population and overcrowding came as I watched a poignant movie from Spain made in 2001, "Mondays In The Sun," about working class dilemmas in the globalizing economy. As I saw the tenement buildings and lived the story of unemployed, struggling workers, three thoughts come to my mind, born of compassion and revulsion.

Bad News: Scientists Make Cheap Gas From Coal

Electric cars have been getting a lot of buzz lately, but a more immediately viable transportation fuel of the future could be liquid derived from coal. Scientists have devised a new way to transform coal into gas for your car using far less energy than the current process. The advance makes scaling up the environmentally unfriendly fuel more economical than greener alternatives.

If oil prices rise again, adoption of the new coal-to-liquid technology, reported this week in Science, could undercut adoption of electric vehicles or next-generation biofuels. And that's bad news for the fight against climate change.

The new process could cut the energy cost of producing the fuel by 20 percent just by rejiggering the intermediate chemical steps, said co-author Ben Glasser of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. But coal-derived fuel could produce as much as twice as much CO2 as traditional petroleum fuels and at best will emit at least as much of the greenhouse gas.

Nuclear-Power Industry Enjoys Revival 30 Years After Accident

Thirty years after the accident at Three Mile Island, the nuclear power industry is moving ahead with plans to build a string of new reactors in the U.S., though the revival faces many uncertainties.

The crisis that erupted in the predawn hours of March 28, 1979, when a combination of worker mistakes and equipment malfunctions triggered a partial meltdown in the core of one of two reactors at a power plant near Harrisburg, Pa., was long thought to have sealed the fate of the industry in the U.S.

But rising concerns about global warming have set the stage for a comeback. Nuclear power can generate electricity without producing the greenhouse gases associated with energy sources such as coal.

The Carbon Cap Dilemma

Entergy's CEO on the politics and economics of tackling global warming.

Mr. Leonard supports President Barack Obama's plan to slash emissions 80% by 2050. It sounds strange: Lobbying the government to tax your products is generally not taught in business school.

But then, a lot of companies stand to make a bundle off cap and trade. Once Congress puts a ceiling on emissions, and then allows businesses to sell any of its extra allowances that stand for the right to emit, it is essentially creating the world's largest commodity market -- in carbon-backed securities. These will be extremely valuable, and everything comes down to how the government chooses to distribute them.

Mr. Leonard thinks the allowances should be auctioned off, rather than given away. So does the White House. Then the billions in new revenues that cap and trade would raise every year should be returned to the public. "Ideally you want to recycle it all, give all the money back," he says.

CERA: Low Oil Prices Putting Supply Growth at Risk

The collapse in oil prices could end up cutting the growth in future oil supply in half from what would have been anticipated during the high price period, according to a new study from Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA: undefined, undefined, undefined%), an IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS: 42.66, -0.755, -1.74%) company. The Long Aftershock concludes that about 7.6 million barrels per day (mbd) out of total potential future net growth of 14.5 mbd from 2009 to 2014 are "at risk."

"The inventory of potential new oilfield developments, including fields that could be developed and brought online during the next five years, remains adequate to meet likely demand in the medium- to long-term," says CERA Senior Director Peter M. Jackson, an author of the report. "This, however, depends on sufficient and timely investment."

The steep decline in oil prices has, so far, not been matched by an equal decline in the cost of developing new oil fields or in fiscal terms. This means the economics of a significant share of potential future oil supply growth have deteriorated to the point where it risks "being slowed down, postponed, or cancelled altogether.

An interesting paper on carbon sequestration. There is also the side effect that pumping CO2 into old wells will help squeeze out a few more barrels.

van der Zwaan, B., and R. Gerlagh (2009) Economics of geological CO2 storage and leakage. CLIMATIC CHANGE 93:285-309

Authors' abstract:
"The economics of CO2 capture and storage in relation to the possibility of leakage of CO2 from geological reservoirs once this greenhouse gas has been stored artificially underground will be among the main determinants of whether CCS can significantly contribute to a deep cut in global CO2 emissions. This paper presents an analysis of the economic and climatic implications of the large-scale use of CCS for reaching a stringent climate change control target, when geological CO2 leakage is accounted for. The natural scientific uncertainties regarding the rates of possible leakage of CO2 from geological reservoirs are likely to remain large for a long time to come. We present a qualitative description, a concise analytical inspection, as well as a more detailed integrated assessment model, proffering insight into the economics of geological CO2 storage and leakage. Our model represents three main CO2 emission reduction options: energy savings, a carbon to non-carbon energy transition and the use of CCS. We find CCS to remain a valuable option even with CO2 leakage of a few percent per year, well above the maximum seepage rates that we think are likely from a geo-scientific point of view."

So it sounds like these folks think CCS will be economic. I wonder how much additional energy use they consider economic.

The religion vs. science debate rages on. One has to wonder what twists and turns this age-old conflict will take as the dark clouds of peak oil gather. The Enlightenment may have to struggle mightily to make good on its promise of ever-improving temporal prosperity. Anyway, today’s headlines provide some excellent examples of where the debate stands today.

First there’s this:

Texas board comes down on 2 sides of creationism debate

The scientific community has overwhelmingly scorned creationism and its latest incarnation, intelligent design, as a pretext for biblical explanations of how the world came to be, and asserts that there is no weakness or doubt in the scientific community about evolution.

Last year, the National Academy of Sciences called for the public to be better informed about the importance of understanding and teaching evolution. The academy released a booklet titled "Science, Evolution, and Creationism" -- the third explanation of evolution put out since 1984 by one of the nation's leading scientific organizations.

However, those who take issue with evolution believe it should be treated with healthy skepticism and argue that having high school students question a scientific theory overwhelmingly accepted by scientists teaches them critical thinking.

"This debate will impact whether students are taught to think critically and scientifically when you learn about evolution. It's important for students to learn how to think like scientists and not be forced to treat these controversial topics like a dogma," Casey Luskin, a policy analyst with the Discovery Institute, a group that questions the theory of evolution, said in an article in the San Antonio Express-News.


And then this:

Facebook users wage condom campaign against Pope

"You can't resolve it (the AIDS epidemic) with the distribution of condoms," the pope told reporters. "On the contrary, it increases the problem."

Pope Benedict XVI has made it clear he intends to uphold the traditional Catholic teaching on artificial contraception. The Vatican has long opposed the use of condoms and other forms of birth control and encourages sexual abstinence to fight the spread of the disease...

"When any influential person, be it a religious or political leader, makes a false scientific statement that could be devastating to the health of millions of people, they should retract or correct the public record," The Lancet said in an editorial.


And there’s this sad incident:

Amid Abuse of Girls in Brazil, Abortion Debate Flares

While much of Brazil has been riled by the case of a 9-year-old girl who aborted twins this month after claiming her stepfather raped her, her ordeal was an all too familiar one at the clinic...

Weighing just 79 pounds and barely four feet tall, the 9-year-old girl, from Alagoinha, a town in the northeast, underwent an abortion when she was 15 weeks pregnant at one of the 55 centers authorized to perform the procedure in Brazil. Abortion is legal here only in cases of rape or when the mother’s life is at risk...

The 9-year-old girl from Alagoinha sought medical treatment after complaining of pain. But with no legal abortion center near her home, she had to be driven about 140 miles to a state clinic in Recife. Doctors there said the girl’s uterus was too small to support one baby, let alone two...

The doctors’ actions set off a swirl of controversy. A Brazilian archbishop summarily excommunicated everyone involved — the doctors for performing the abortion and the girl’s mother for allowing it — except for the stepfather, who stands accused of raping the girl over a number of years.


And finally this:

We’re making headway on resource use (witness the widespread efforts on climate change), yet we haven’t adequately linked family planning to its environmental advantages (less demand for resources, as well as less impact on the air, land, water and habitats).


It always amazes me that in the places that catholic-ism destroyed the native cultures the people there are the most devout and irrational. From what I have read though it is non-monogamy that is largely behind HIV in many Africa countries. The places where the culture was not destroyed completely and yet this pope dude thinks that he still has the authority to dissuade condom use. What is with the anti-abortion movement anyways? Half of pregnancies are aborted naturally. When a child is raped by her father, that's the only reasonable thing to do.

I hope that if a moderately advanced civ exists after PO it will be without organized religion. Heh, that's just wishful thinking. Maybe a techno or Gaia belief system instead?

Side note: I will say that contrary to popular opinion in-breeding can be useful to eliminate fatal genetic diseases. Over generations in a population they will disappear. Of course its a crap-shoot for the other traits.

WOW So many things wrong in this post I don't know where to start. A miscarriage is a natural loss of a child not an abortion. An abortion is a decision be it right or wrong. With your logic we are all going to die eventually anyway why not murder?

When I child is raped by her father it is not the only reasonable thing to do. She has already been violated once, what if she wants to keep the baby? Should we force her?

Good luck with your amoral future.

In breeding does not eliminate fatal genetic diseases. This is why Ashkenazi Jews have so many. They did not have enough alleles at outset and with genetic drift. Over time in a small poulation even more alleles are lost.

The uterus of the 4 foot tall, 9 year old CHILD was too small to have carried a single child to term. And she had twins.

And to suggest that a nine year old CHILD, with the development issues that come from repeated rape, could be competent to make the decision what if she wants to keep the baby? is beyond ludicrous.

Abortion was the only correct moral and medical choice under the stated circumstances.


A small nitpick Alan, biologically speaking the pregnancy means that the girl/woman isn't a child as she is pubertal (although emotionally she may still be a child). In many cultures a female of 9 is a woman of marital age (such as Islamic cultures, eg in Yemen females can marry at 9). The actions of the Catholic Pope may be questionable but the girl is probably lucky that she is in Catholic Brazil rather than a swathe of countries where her pregnancy whilst unmarried would see her subject to stoning (Pakistan, Nigeria etc) for her "promiscuity".

"...although emotionally she may still be a child..."

ya think ?


You are an MD or a DO? Perhaps a Nurse Practicioner or a midwife? Maybe a Physicians Assistant? Do you have a CPR card or just a rusty coathanger? I was discounting incest as reason to rule abortion the only option not the specific case, reread my post. 4'9" as the height has little to do with how able she is to carry the babies to term. She is from a culture which strongly is antiabortion and probably does not have money to relocate. So in addition to being viewed as damaged goods she may be seen by others and herself as a murderer. I am advocating to giving the victim the right to choose their fate and the fate of their unborn child.


The article stated that her uterus was too small to carry one fetus, much less two to term. Both fetuses will be aborted, either by nature (taking the CHILD with them) or by medical intervention.

You have ZERO understanding of a nine year old CHILD that has been repeatedly raped by her father. She simply does not have the capacity to make that decision. She may well have chosen to die to end her agony, but society should not allow that.

Since you are making some misguided appeal to authority, I have done significant biomedical research with Dr. Robert Popovich, Dr. Jack Moncrief and Dr. Leland Clark. One area was peritoneal dialysis of children, with gender differences considered (the uterus is in the peritoneal cavity). I dare say I know more about this than 99% of MDs (although I never studied pregnant children).




Alan, the reports that I read said it was her stepfather (and thus biologically not incest) that was the perpetrator. IIRC the stepfather was 23; if so the girls mother is probably the Brazillian version of trailer trash and nearly as much to blame as the pervert. Not a good enviornment for any kid.

The psychological and developmental trauma to a CHILD from rape by a step father likely varies little from rape by a father. This TRAUMA impacts the capacity to decide, although even healthy 9 y/o children have extremely limited judgment.


Alan, I wasn't nitpicking about the psychological impact but only pointing out that it wasn't incest. The girls mother is ultimatly responsible for the girls lousy enviornment and I question the mothers judgement to make decisions about her daughters medical treatment. Neither you nor I know the full details of what happened and for all we know the mother may have enabled the abuse (its surprising the numbers of mothers and other family members that pimp their children in just about every culture).

I would argue that emotionally, it was incest. But without the possible genetic risks of incest.

I do not think there is much disagreement between us.


I was discounting incest as reason to rule abortion the only option not the specific case, reread my ORIGINAL post to AKbound. I was arguing for thoughtfulness in these matters not protocol driven abortion policy. I would love to put you against 100 physicians and watch you outperform them. 9 year olds DO NOT have the capacity to make this decision I agree but the decision should be discussed and allow them to make one. Again this is one more violation of their body otherwise. Age and height have little to do with directly with ability to carry the twins to term. And unless there was an abbruption of the placenta there is no special threat because of her size. If she miscarried it would simply be small preterm fetuses. I dare say I know more about this than 100% of raiload advocate bloggers. I have delivered 16 babies at a free clinic in Sao Paulo Brasil, most to teenagers, and dealt with public health there and in Tampa FL.

Nine year old CHILDREN are NOT teenagers.

If she miscarried it would simply be small preterm fetuses. I dare say

A) The story stated, which I accept, that she would have unable to carry them to term.

B) Chronically abused children often have other significant health (mental & physical) issues that further complicate your advocated "natural abortion" strategy. I would expect a significant risk of the CHILD dying from complications (and lack of 1st World medical care) if the unfortunate CHILD was subjected to your recommended "treatment".

Any studies that show minimal to no maternal risk in abused 9 year olds that attempt to carry twins to term in developing nations ?

She faced several risk factors more than a, say, 16 year old teenager pregnant with one fetus.

- Age
- Height
- History of Abuse
- Twins
- Access to Intensive medical care in an emergency
- Likely psychological trauma from a CHILD carrying a fetus to term or close enough to it to see physical changes. Panic attacks, severe depression, detachment from reality are all real risks

Your blithe "oh well, it will just be a stomach ache" shows a profound lack of humanity.


Way to add three words out of context from my next sentence...I dare say.

When did I say "Oh well it will just be a stomach ache"?

Very good, you can point out the difference between one imaginary patient and another I was STILL NOT TALKING ABOUT. If you are concerned about the lack of 1st world medical care you should realize an abortion is more invasive and dangerous than stillborn birth. So assuming she does not have a previa or abruption it would be safer to let her miscarry and deliver than go in under 3rd world conditions. That being said I am sure Brasil has decent enough OB care to provide IV fluids and antibiotics and sterile operative fields to either deliver the child safely or abort it. You are arguing WAY outside your area of expertise, and apealing to passion, while throwing strawmen and either or fallacies.

Abortions are scheduled, and I agree that basic medical care was available at the clinic that performed the abortion.

But stillbirths happen randomly, she may well have been in a home with the father present and in control, so ANY medical care may have been denied (remember he is an abuser that does not treat her like a CHILD should be treated). And the ratio of healthcare available makes timely care in an emergency questionable EVEN IF care is sought.

I noted the history of abuse as a risk factor. And you ignored the psychological risks from a CHILD trying to carry a baby to term.

And our medical training differs; mine was BioMedical Engineering, but you are a medic (I assume EMT).


I am an EMT-P with a CCEMT-P on top. I can manage critical patients on vents etc. while in transport from facility to facility. I am an MPIC from the Coast Guard letting me perform around a PA scope of practice and am currently in medical school. I also have a patent in the works on peritoneal dialysis for carbon monoxide poisoning. I will email you a link to the study after it is published. I have been arguing from the begining for the psychological health of the child to be considered. XXX is NEVER ALWAYs the answer in medicine. And when you see the word Never it is ALWAYS wrong. My point was abotion should not be protocol, it should be the decision when no other is viable.

Abortion is often the preferred treatment, not ALWAYS the last resort i.e. "it should be the decision when no other is viable".

When the mother's life is potentially at risk from continued pregnancy (I am not an expert on prenatal care, but some cases of preeclampsia likely qualify).

Treatment for cancer is generally incompatible with pregnancy. Likewise congestive heart failure, renal failure, etc.

"Selective reduction" when too many embryos implant.

When the fetus has significant genetic abnormalities (this is more a decision and judgment for the parents after receiving full knowledge of the implications in their specific case).

When a child is being abused and may not be able to get medical care at all if the pregnancy continues. And is at high risk of physical and psychological complications from continued pregnancy.

Abortion should be protocol in a number of cases, to contradict your statement. The preferred treatment over other possible, but not as good, options. Unfortunately, dogma from the Catholic Church and others impedes proper medical care in too many cases.

Given your lack of human understanding and empathy, I fear for your future patients.

This discussion is not adequate to make the sweeping generalization I striked through, but I am troubled by your lack of understanding and empathy with a 9 year old CHILD in desperate circumstances.


Viable=capable of living. ie the mother would die or be irreversably damaged. We agree if you read what I write.

"Given your lack of human understanding and empathy, I fear for your future patients."

I empathize with the mother and the child, you only with the mother. That puts me with 100% more empathy than you. I am curious why you seem to think abortion would be automatic EVER not a decision to be mulled and deliberated over.

I wrote:

When the mother's life (I should have added "or health") is potentially at risk from continued pregnancy

We do NOT agree ! Even if the Catholic excommunicates the health care providers for doing what is best for the mother, abortions are the best medical option in quite a few cases.

A fetus is aborted, not a 'child". There is no need for, and little positive social benefit from, empathy for the fetus, only a "potential child".

An abortion is the preferred option in a number of cases, including the poor child that was raped.

Also, a fetus with significant genetic abnormalities should be aborted in many cases. If fertility treatment results in too many fetuses being implanted, some should be removed. If pregnancy is likely to damage the physical or psychological health of the mother, it should, in most cases, be terminated.

Your misplaced concern for the rights of the fetus make you unsuitable for several medical specialties IMHO because you will not give the well being of your patient the proper priority.


Well I am going to be an EM/IM w tox fellowship. You seem to think I am arguing against the abortion. I am arguing against automatic abortions. I am against many treatments "just because" thought and judgement should be why we treat. "significant genetic abnormalities" which ones? who chooses? you me?

"significant genetic abnormalities" which ones? who chooses? you me?

The parents, with the mother having priority.

I am arguing against automatic abortions

What is an automatic abortion ??

In the case of the poor raped child in Brazil, I am sure that it was not an "automatic abortion" given the likely reaction of the Catholic Church. It was an "in extemis" case where the most humane & best medical choice was clearly an abortion.

Your recommendation to wait and have a miscarriage appears bizarre under the specific circumstances of the raped child.

Far less extreme cases should have abortions recommended by medical staff and the patients should have easy access to abortions.


PS: I hope that you are not the attending physician when a pregnant loved one of mine arrives at the ER. You appear likely to place undo concern on the fetus and inadequate concern for the mother. I would be concerned that you might delay an abortion required for preeclampsia (as a hypothetical) in hopes of saving the fetus. Hopefully you will mature before then.


I hope your pregnant loved ones are never in the situation to begin with. Preeclampsia is ussually around 30 weeks or so and the baby is viable. Earlier but after 23 weeks I would explain the risk to mother and baby and advise Magnesium Sulphate for the hypertension and corticosteroids to help the babies lungs develop while prepping for a Csection. Hopefully the babies lungs will mature before then. Don't patronize me. I've been a medic for 5 years and an Army Ranger for 5 before that. I am completely capable of efficient triage and making life or death decisions. An automatic abortion would be a protocol driven one versus one initiated by all stakeholders.

Parents should not be aborting children for "genetic abnormalities" unless these are truly defects affecting total quality of life. It is the definition of slippery slope. Downs Syndrome? What about nearsightedness? Think of Eugenics in Germany and the one child policy in China. Both caused problems. You are very judgmental for someone suggesting I develop empathy and mature.

Downs syndrome is an easy genetic abnormality to spot - only have to look at the chromosomes. Near-sightedness could potentially have hundreds of genes controling for it. The technology to prevent tragedies such as down syndromes has been around for quite a while. Many other horrific traits have been genetically identified and broad assays are available. Genetic abnormalities cost all those involved and the rest of us who are presumed to have to foot the bill. Why? Because of religious beliefs? Eugenics was also prevalent here during the 30's. Mentally retarded individuals that had been discarded to the mental institutions were routinely sterilized to prevent them from breeding.

Oilrig, where does your idea that life is so sacred come from? Human life today is anything but that. We are a like a plague on this planet.

WTF? Life is sacred. Take a few, save a few and create one and then we will discuss on more common ground.

Parents should not be aborting children for "genetic abnormalities" unless these are truly defects affecting total quality of life.

One can have their own private opinions, but it is inappropriate for a physician to apply such judgments in his or her practice.

I disagree with your statement, and you should divorce yourself from it when treating patients.

Do corticosteroids provide any benefit to a patient suffering from toxemia ? They do have side effects. Or is it only for the benefit of the fetus ?

To call a 23 week old fetus "viable" is quite a stretch. The few that survive almost always have significant complications from such heroic efforts.

A number of societies that appear to be more humane than the USA have astounding abortion rates (1 to 2 live births, etc.). There appears to be no correlation between abortion rates and the humaneness of the society.


Depends on your definition of humane. Corticosteroids are to help the babies lungs develop and suppress the mothers immune system which is playing a role in the Ecclampsia. Toxemia means toxin in the blood. It would depends on what toxin you are talking about as to whether steroids would help.. Toxemia of pregnancy was named this before they understood the pathology of ecclampsia and is a misnomer.

Table 1. Percent distribution of active physicians in patient care by specialty, 2005 Percent
Primary care
Family medicine and general practice
Internal medicine
Obstetrics & gynecology
Surgical specialties, selected
All other specialties

So you know more than the Internal Med docs? More than the Gynecologists? More the the Nephrologists? BTW the peritoneal cavity is the POTENTIAL space that exists between the visceral organs and the parietal peritoneum. The Uterus in in the pelvic cavity. Don't worry 99% of Physicians would not know that so you are good.


Hemodialysis is not viable for pre-teenagers for both physical (small diameter blood vessels) and psychological reasons (constantly inflicting pain on children who do not truly comprehend why results in adults unfit for general society among the few survivors).

The first attempt at CAPD for children resulted in 100% mortality (6 for 6 from memory) due to over dialysis. A simple body weight adjustment was made when the transfer co-efficient and body weight to surface area ratio was significantly different in children.

Some efforts were made to calculate a priori some rough adjustments and these children survived. Efforts were made to better determine a priori rules for adjustment according to age, height, weight, gender by both cadaver and animal models (pig & canine). There is significant transfer between the peritoneal cavity and the pelvic cavity. Much less through the diaphragm (from two decades old memory). My calcs were that a child's uterus only had 1% or 2% delta in overall transfer rate. The transfer rate through the uterus increases significantly with puberty.

The better approach was constant testing of both the blood and dialysate to find a correct balance. The factors were too complex to properly model. Since this was a chronic condition in a growing child, particular attention needs to be paid to the calcium balance.


You clearly do not understand the difference between a peritoneal cavity and a pelvic cavity. Pelvic is a REAL space, occupied by organs. The peritoneal cavity is a POTENTIAL space by definition. Nothing is in it. This shows your lack of education on the subject of anatomy. You have made an extremely arrogant statement that you are smarter than 99% of MD's. That is a near impossibility. I don't care if you once did research decades ago on something medicine changes every 5 years. You are still arguing as though I am arguing a point I am not.

The peritoneal cavity is a POTENTIAL space by definition. Nothing is in it

The "average adult" has about 50 ml of serous fluid in the peritoneal cavity, along with several organs. In adult CAPD, 2 liters of dialysate is injected, a dwell time of at least 60 minutes for equilibration with body fluids and then removal

I double checked and the following organs are Intraperitoneal; Stomach, intestines (various parts, such as first 2 inches of duodenum), liver, spleen and uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries in women.

I spent a fair amount of time actively researching the peritoneal cavity and the organs in and near it, FAR more time that the average MD does except Internal Medicine that specialize in the Abdomen.



I will give you the 50cc of fluid. The uterus is not in the cavity it is part of it. The peritioneum is 2 part the visceral which covers the organs, and the parietal which covers the organ. You can describe the organ as being intraperitoneal, but this means they are covered in the visceral peritoneam versus the kidneys which are retroperitioneal. Until you put the 2 liters of fluid in no real space exists (other than the 50cc) think of a bucket versus a deflated baloon. Nothing is in the balloon versus the bucket has air. Every hear about the philosophy teacher who asked if the bucket is empty. Students say no, he fills it w baseballs and asks if it is full. Then he pours in marbles. Then BBs then sand then water. The bucket is a real space the baloon is a potential. Constant ABG and electrolyte monitoring has revolutionized all types of dialysis in the past few decades. That is why we are branching to toxicology management with it.

From wikipedia

"Abortion as a term most commonly refers to the induced abortion of a human pregnancy, while spontaneous abortions are usually termed miscarriages."

Also from wikipedia on inbreeding

"Natural selection works to remove individuals who acquire the above types of traits from the gene pool. Therefore, many more individuals in the first generation of inbreeding will never live to reproduce. Over time, with isolation such as a population bottleneck caused by purposeful (assortative) breeding or natural environmental stresses, the deleterious inherited traits are culled."

A while back I did some personal research into inbreeding because its one of those typical myths prevalent. Its very common in animal and plant populations and was once very common in human populations. Missing today is natural selection. That is why your ashkenazi jewish population is a poor example. I guess the spartan days are over for now.

And too your questions about the raped child - Should "authorities" or society force her not too? How would you like growing up knowing that your mom is your sister and your mother?

In my opinion children should be chosen to had, not the other way. And when you consider the whole picture I do NOT consider that amoral.

Both your links prove my point not yours. Abortion is the elective procedure. Your quote on natural selection is talking about how the unfit products of inbreeding die off. Show me an example of human inbreeding populations that are not full of genetic defects. Many tight knit religous communities have had problems and royal families too. This is why it is almost universal in human culture not to. It was easily observed problems often resulted.

I would rather grow up than not grow up. Given my choice. Amoral is outside of morality not evil. I was criticizing your Utopian fantasy of a godless future.

Okay, maybe this is one of those instances where two peoples world views are drastically different. I believe that child planning is moral and that irresponsible breeding is immoral. That means given our medical ability to abort a fetus we should everytime that a child is not planned or cannot be adequately cared for. I do not consider it murder since I do not see the world in black and white. Even though I see the world in shades of grey that does not make me amoral, on the contrary I try to see things from as many points of view as possible which I consider to be a far superior form of morality.

And both those links which maybe you missed my point so I will explain it better. In medicine spontaneous abortion means when for whatever reason the fertilized embryo is discarded naturally. Usually women never even know they were pregnant, so the phrase miscarriage is misleading since that usually refers to a knowledge of pregnancy. Look it up, it is one of the leading refutes of the so called "sanctify of life" arguments against stem cell research.

As far as showing you an example of inbreeding populations with out genetic defects that would be difficult since inbreeding is taboo in almost all western cultures and because natural selection is no longer allowable outside the social and economic arena. However there are presumably many tribal populations with limited genetic exchange and many have long histories.

There are several polygamist cults out west that have all sorts of genetic problems coming to light in a matter of a few generations. Many small communities like the Amish are having problems not because of direct incest, but because everyone is at least a second cousin. Trust me and all of western medicine. Incest is bad. Genetic diversity= good. Think of dogs, most pure breeds suffer from hip dysplasia or deafness or some other malady. Especially the weirder the breed. Humans forced those animals to be this way through inbreeding.

Domesticated dogs are a poor example for potential benefits of inbreeding. Wolves on the other hand are a great example. I'm not saying that inbreeding is ideal but simply that it can be potentially useful to remove fatal alleles. But when all our defects including the serious permanently handicapped disease are simply allowed to be pass on continuously then the gene pool becomes all the more chaotic with the ever increasing diversity of alleles. And many people today think that its ok to knowingly do this even to the point of bringing handicapped babes into this world. What I'm saying is that without natural or artificial selection the gene pool will not advance in overall quality. Inbreeding can be useful to quickly eliminate fatal or obvious limiting traits. It should not be used long term as obviously then many useful alleles will be lost altogether. Endangered wild life comes to mind as an example of the effects of a small gene pool.

You are just simply wrong. There is a ton of material online on why this is a bad idea. Wolves force young males out of the pack and they roam, carrying genetic information to other packs. When a disease spreads or the environment changes diversity in alleles is good. I understand what you are saying but genetic testing is a VASTLY superior method of weeding out genetic defects. Also consider sickle cell disease. It provides protection from malaria. We do not know what most of our dna does yet. Best not to throw out that info till we do.

It's hard to take what a guy in a white dress has to say about sexuality and reproduction seriously....

God won't rescue world from 'stupidity,' says top Anglican

"the ultimate tragedy is that a material world capable of being a manifestation ... of divine love is choked, drowned or starved by its own stupidity."

But "to suggest that God might intervene to protect us from the corporate folly of our practices is as un-Christian and un-biblical as to suggest that he protects us from the results of our individual folly or sin."


Amsterdam, Copenhagen, New Orleans

I spent last Thursday at an all day seminar on the future of Louisiana transportation.

John Renne, co-organizer of conference, professor of Urban Planning @ UNO and head of local Metropolitan Bicycle Coalition (largest local group) laid out plans on how to rival Amsterdam & Copenhagen for bicycle modal share. He believed that New Orleans could do much better than Portland Oregon.

The Louisiana Secretary of Transportation spoke after him and wholeheartedly endorsed his plans. LaDOT has added $10 million to FEMA road rebuilding (JUST started) for bicycle enhancements in New Orleans despite budget crunch. Since these $ will cover marginal costs for work already being done, this will have a multiplier effect.

RTA (local transit agency) will start bicycle sharing program in New Orleans (RTA is now run by French group Veolia, will model their program on French experience with French colleagues helping). Also three streetcar extensions are applying for stimulus $.

Last survey was 3% of commuters biked to work in New Orleans (4.x% walked) and 26% "did not drive". Expect higher #s for biking and transit in next survey. I left with the expectation that 50+% of commuting to work by "did not drive" and 70+% of all urban trips without a car is very doable, and we are headed that way.

Best Hopes for New Orleans,


I found that my co-author Ed Tennyson hired the current head of APTA (association of public transit agencies) in the 1970s and "trained him". Ed's analytical ability was enthusiastically praised. Head of APTA also spoke at conference.

All cities should be moving in that direction although I don't see NO ever reaching the levels of cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

Copenhagen claims 36 percent of its commuters bike to work every morning.

In Amsterdam, 55 % of journeys to jobs less than 7.5 kilometers are done on two-wheeled, no emission vehicles, and 60 percent of inner city trips are bike trips. Now, according to the Dutch Bike Council, Amsterdammers have a new statistic to be proud of.

Source: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/02/amsterdam-overtake-copenhagen-in...

In addition, I read yesterday that Amsterdam is planning to eventually eliminate all oil fueled vehicle trips; those not biking,walking, or using public transit, will be using EVs.

Best hopes for NO and everyone else but I don't see NO ever approaching cities like Amsterdam, and Copenhagen.

Anyway, NO is very flat so at least that should help. Heat and humidity, however, seem like they would be a major constraint.

While we're dreaming, how about elevated bicycle ways to ride above future floods? Or would they not be able to withstand hurricane force winds and flooding?

Copenhagen was where New Orleans is today when they implemented an aggressively pro-bike policy. Several decades later :-)

Unlike you, I can see New Orleans getting 25% bike commuting for residents (36% may be a stretch, which is why I placed us #3 on the list) and well over 50% biking, walking, and streetcar/bus. In many ways, it will be back to our roots.

Showers at work (or nearby) will help in the summer months.

Best Hopes,


Let me be the first to suggest swimming lessons to get a little ahead of the game.



Interesting slide from one of Simmons' latest presentations (PDF). Perhaps net exports didn't increase after all this year. One for Westexas I think!

Also I recall a few days ago (can't recall which post/thread) someone was trying to find a chart showing net energy per capita peaked in the 70s. I believe they probably meant this EIA (from Annual Energy Review) chart for the USA.

USA Energy Consumption Per Person

Plus the EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2009 should have been published yesterday but it wasn't? Anyone know why. Still just the preview available saying full report available "27th March 2009". But it isn't.

Very interesting. Thank you.

On US energy consumption, we have been importing a lot of goods from overseas (and not really paying for them). I wonder if that affects the numbers much.

Part or all of the lower exports from Saudi Arabia might be because of increased exports to China, India, and the rest of the developing world. Saudi Arabia is located in an area where their exports would be more affected, than those from, say, the North Sea or Canada.

Anything's possible. It's even possible Saudi production figures are accurate :-)

Certainly true regarding Chindia, and it appears that Matt is showing crude production (excluding condensate, since the EIA shows 9.6 mbpd, C+C, for Saudi Arabia in 2005).

In any case, here are the EIA net exports numbers for 2005 to 2007, and my estimate for 2008 (based on EIA data, assuming same rate of increase in consumption as 2007):

Saudi Net Oil Exports (Total Liquids):

2005: 9.1 mbpd
2006: 8.6
2007: 8.0
2008: 8.5

One of the theories that I advanced last year was that Saudi Arabia was curtailing domestic refinery runs, in order to boost reported crude exports, offset by increased product imports, and it was interesting that there were at least two reports of diesel shortages last year in Saudi Arabia. It was possible that they had trouble getting all of the diesel they needed.

In any case, the above numbers are bad enough. While they show a year over year increase, relative to 2007, they are basically flat to 2006, and well below 2005, with a very large cumulative shortfall between what they would have (net) exported at the 2005 rate (10.0 Gb) and what they are estimated to have (net) exported (about 9.1 Gb).

Also, the estimated year over year rate of increase in Saudi net exports in 2008 was quite close to the year over year rate of increase in net exports from Indonesia in 1998, following their final production peak in 1996. In terms of remaining cumulative net oil exports at year-end, Indonesia shipped 22% of remaining cumulative net exports in 1997, and they shipped 28% of remaining cumulative net exports in 1998--when they showed the year over year increase.

Saudi Arabia was curtailing domestic refinery runs, in order to boost reported crude exports, offset by increased product imports, and it was interesting that there were at least two reports of diesel shortages last year in Saudi Arabia. It was possible that they had trouble getting all of the diesel they needed.

And in the last couple of years the US virtually doubled its refined product exports from about 1mb/day to about 2mb/day. Pretty much what you'd expect to see in your scenario. There seems to be no historical precedent for such a rate or such a jump.

IIRC, some of the press briefly made a fuss about the volume of exports increasing sharply then quickly shutup.

I noticed in one of the stories I posted above that Mexico is importing quite a bit less than they did last year. I believe that nearly all of their imports are from the US - mostly oil that they shipped to the US, was refined in the US, and came back again. If this is the case, we may be seeing our exports going down again. Problems with estimating exports are one of the major differences between Weekly and Monthly EIA data. Perhaps the weekly will soon be back in sync with monthly.

US Stocks Gain, S&P Posts Highest Weekly Climb Since 1974
US Stocks Gain, S&P Posts Highest Weekly Climb Since 1974. New York Wall Street stock indices closed higher on Friday, ending one of the best weeks in three ...
news.boloji.com/2008/11/25759.htm - 22k - Cached - Similar pages -
November: Most jobs lost since 1974 - Dec. 5, 2008
Dec 5, 2008 ... US; REDDIT; STUMBLE UPON; MYSPACE; MIXX IT ... by U.S. employers soared to 181671 last month, the second-highest total on record. ...

Sound familiar?

thanks Undertow

your second chart is gross energy per capita, not net. I don't think anyone has the data to even estimate such a chart for net energy.

Now, on topic with todays guest post, I wonder what the quartile breakdown is of that plateau in energy consumption per capita over the past 30 years? Do the top 10% use dramatically more than the bottom 50%? etc. With oil so cheap here, I tend to think not, but I don't know.

I don't think anyone has the data to even estimate such a chart for net energy.

How about this ;-)

Average Body Weight US Male Aged 40-49

So in the last 40 years or so the average weight of a US adult has increased by about 12kg with an equivalent energy content of 386Mj, 366kbtu or approximately 0.063 barrels of oil equivalent

If we multiply this by the US population (I know it should just be the adult population) you curiously get just over 19mb of oil equivalent. That means you can meet the US liquids demand for an entire day with compulsory liposuction back to 1960s level.

I may have gone wrong somewhere above :)

Hello Undertow,

Clever way of looking at the situation--LOL!

Like in the past: Human bones will be a much desired O-NPK topsoil additive, too:

..Somewhere along the line, farmers realized that ground up bones provided nutrients. By 1815, England was importing so many bones for bone meal that people on the Continent starting complaining:

"England is robbing all other countries of their fertility. Already in her eagerness for bones, she has turned up the battlefields of Leipsic, and Waterloo, and of Crimea; already from the catacombs of Sicily she has carried away skeletons of many successive generations. Annually she removes from the shores of other countries to her own the manorial equivalent of three million and a half of men... Like a vampire she hangs from the neck of Europe."

Seems some doctors might be ahead of the curve on this...

Turning belly fat into fuel: Scam or hustle?

Just think of those love handles as potentially worth two bucks a gallon

Lately, we at CalorieLab find ourselves asking the following question: “Is it possible to power your car with your own body fat?” To those readers now thinking that an appropriate follow-up question might be “Should we at CalorieLab seriously consider getting a life?,” this is not as loony as it sounds.

...The reason this subject is currently being batted around at CalorieLab HQ is the claim made by a Beverly Hills liposuction doctor, Craig Bittner, that he has used biodiesel made with fat drawn from his patients to power his Ford SUV and his lady friend’s Lincoln Navigator.

Plus the EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2009 should have been published yesterday but it wasn't? Anyone know why. Still just the preview available saying full report available "27th March 2009". But it isn't.

Nobody know then? Aren't EIA publications usually regular as clockwork and any delays announced in advance? I can't find any press releases or press coverage saying the report would be delayed. Nor any reports expressing surprise that it didn't appear on time.

Isn't that a bit odd? Or have I just missed something?

Social critic James Kunstler offers a decidedly darker view

Kunstler expects economic Armageddon to start in about four months....

Here is a sample of what he sees: the multitude of companies that are struggling to prop themselves up now will “roll over and die”; the stock market’s “final rope-a-dope sucker rally” will fail and send it tumbling to the 4,000 level by the end of the year; other nations will no longer invest in U.S. treasury bonds, stripping the stimulus effort of fuel; and, in a prediction that hit the clean energy advocates at the conference hardest, the capital for investment in giant solar and wind farms won’t materialize.

Wow! And I thought I was a doomer.

Ron P.

It pains me to throw my hat in with the doomers, but everything I see tells me you are absolutely right.

By February, it was understood that the big banks are all insolvent, certainly Citi and BofA. To deal with them, consensus among the cognoscenti was finally tending to a proper recapitalization: wiping out shareholders and forcing losses onto creditors via debt-for-equity swaps. Call it nationalization, call it preprivatization, call it FDIC receivership, it was clear that losses had to be recognized and by those to whom they properly belong: investors across the banks’ capital structure.

But no one really wanted to do this, not in Congress and certainly not in the Obama administration, where Timmy Geithner has made clear that his priority isn’t a cleansed banking sector, it’s a privately-owned one. For obvious reasons the banks don’t like this solution either. So they offered up their self-serving b.s. regarding January and February, buying just enough time for Congress/Bernanke to badger FASB into changing mark-to-market rules and for Geithner to roll out his private-public partnership plan...

This is all of a piece. The longer CEO/policy-maker collusion can delay loss recognition, the more time they have to invent ridiculous leverage schemes (more money printing! more government borrowing to fund “stimulus”! more FDIC “guarantees”!) to inflate those losses away and to continue looting the public’s wealth...

But losses aren’t going away. Trading smaller private liabilities for larger public liabilities in order to artificially inflate asset prices does nothing to repair the economy’s aggregate balance sheet. At the end of the day, we’re still just lending more and more against a dwindling pool of real equity. The unwind is coming. Adding more leverage to delay it will only increase the pain.


Gotta agree with you at this point-it was shocking the other day when Obama invited these grifters to the White House to seek their guidance-their incredibly arrogant statements to the press following the meeting showed the absolute contempt these guys have for the Presidency and the laws of the nation IMO.

Read this letter replying to NYT's AIG Bonus Baby:

"Hey Jake, it's not like you were curing cancer. You were a fucking commodities trader. Thanks to a completely insane, horribly skewed set of societal values that puts a premium on greed and severely undervalues selflessness, communal spirit and intellectualism -- values that make millionaires out of people like you and leave teachers and nurses, the people who raise your kids and clean your parents' bedpans, comparatively penniless -- you made a lot of money.

Good for you. Consider yourself lucky. But your company went belly-up and broke, almost certainly thanks in part to you, and now you don't get your bonus.

So be a man and deal with it. The rest of us do, when we get bad breaks, and we've had a lot more of them than you. And stop whining. Jesus Christ."


On Mish's latest blog there is a great video where Max Keiser skewers some klutz parroting Barack Obama's nonsense-I couldn't get it linked.

There are hunters and there are prey. The question is - Which are you?

Like in most public outcrys of rage the targets actually hit are often not the ones culpable for the mess. Here is a letter of resignation from one of the bonus babies:
resigns after being denied bonus

I've heard other anecdotal accounts that say the same thing. The credit default traders are already long gone, and (most many?) of the people being promised retention bonuses had nothing to do with making the mess, but were asked to help oversee it's cleanup. Supposedly these people had other opportunities (i.e. they could have left the sinking ship AIG, but agreed to stay on out of a combination of loyalty -and promised retention bonuses). So I could well imagine feeling outraged, if after volunteering to oversee the rearrangement of the Titanic's deck chairs, it was decided that my surviving family members would not receive death benefits (since all crew members are presumed guilty).

Of course most of us have never been able to make a $1M bonus in any year, so it is a bit hard to swallow paying out to those on the high end of the bonus pool. But, I bet there are a lot of middle manager types who were only offered medium sized retention bonuses, and they will probably get hit too.

Back in 2000 I had a nice bonus package entirely of stock options. When the crash of 2001/2002 happened, the value plummeted 99% and my barely vesting shares were worthless. No bailouts were forthcoming, and my hard and enthusiastic work was worth only my quite decent buy declining paycheck. By the end, though, I was happy just to have a job at all.

By all rights AIG should have been bankrupt, and bonuses and paychecks are not entitlements.

All current employees (including the jerk who got his letter published) are GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES PAID BY THE TAXPAYER-let them get the same size retention bonuses civil service clerks are getting.

Maybe this has been posted already, but this guy sums up the AIG jerk's letter in a very eloquent fashion http://www.alternet.org/workplace/133627/aig_exec_whines_about_public_an...

'The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.

But I must tell you, to IMF officials, all of these crises looked depressingly similar. Each country, of course, needed a loan, but more than that, each needed to make big changes so that the loan could really work. Almost always, countries in crisis need to learn to live within their means after a period of excess—exports must be increased, and imports cut—and the goal is to do this without the most horrible of recessions. Naturally, the fund’s economists spend time figuring out the policies—budget, money supply, and the like—that make sense in this context. Yet the economic solution is seldom very hard to work out.

No, the real concern of the fund’s senior staff, and the biggest obstacle to recovery, is almost invariably the politics of countries in crisis.

Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit—and, most of the time, genteel—oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders. When a country like Indonesia or South Korea or Russia grows, so do the ambitions of its captains of industry. As masters of their mini-universe, these people make some investments that clearly benefit the broader economy, but they also start making bigger and riskier bets. They reckon—correctly, in most cases—that their political connections will allow them to push onto the government any substantial problems that arise.'

The Quiet Coup Atlantic


Sorry, should have scrolled down before posting. It is an important article, though.

The USA is now a banana republic, run by and for the oligarchs. See this article: The Quiet Coup, by Simon Johnson.

reeves, WNC Observer,

Great article.

The most vivid thing I took away from it was just how difficult it is going to be to wrestle power away from the oligarchs. Short of a conflagration of equal severity of the Great Depression, public anger will probably not rise to a level sufficient to remove the grubby paws of the princes of finance from the levers of power.

No previous leading world economic power has enjoyed a full-fledged manufacturing renaissance after becoming unduly enamored of finance.

--Kevin Phillips, Bad Money

Societies whose values commitments and moral infrastructure have deteriorated tend to lapse further much more often than they shore up and recast their moral foundations.

--Amatai Etzioni, The New Golden Rule

Thanks for the "The Quiet Coup" link. Though telling much of the story of finance which of course Johnson would be very qualified to discuss, there was no mention of elements of what we here on TOD see clearly as "The Perfect Storm". There was no mention of any sort of physical shortages (oil, NPK, etc) adding to the problem. Since the IMF turned many country's financial crisis’s around and Johnson points out clearly what must be done for the US, the rest of the storm will make growth, thus debt recovery, impossible.

I don't have "A Perfect Storm" graph showing us accelerating toward the cliff. Sorry bout that folks …

"The recession, which he called a depression" LMAO

While I don't have much doubt that Kunstler has a good chance of being right, for my own self-interests, I hope that he's not. I much finish building my house and pay off the remaining 4 years on my mortgage before I'm "ready" for such a problem. (2 years once I double-up on the mortgage payments.) The problem for me right now, along with many others, is this thing called being unemployed. It's hard to pay the bills when you don't have a job. I've been reducing my "standards" on what kind of job I want, applying for jobs that I'm very much overqualified for, even while studying to add certifications to my credentials.

Best hopes for a slow decline (at least for my benefit, even if it may not be good for the world as a whole,)
~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com)

My last job interview (which was two weeks ago) featured about 10 minutes of me trying to convince the guy that I was willing to work for the tiny amount of money they were offering. In the end, I failed, and they went with someone less qualified.


Why are you repeating anything that rabble rouser has to say? He is a media whore that makes a living like PT Barnum, but without the overhead of live freaks.

After his Y2K prediction debacle one would think he would have the good graces to crawl into a hole and pull it in behind him.

Reeves, Y2K did not happen because we fixed the problem. I was on a NASA team that helped make all NASA's computers Y2K compatable. It would have been a disaster if we had not acted in time. So Kunstler missed the fact that we fixed the problem? That means he is wrong about everything else? Have you ever been wrong about anything?

I, along with most other peak oilers, completely missed the idea that a recession would cause such demand destruction that oil prices would collapse. I was wrong and have stated that fact many times. So should I just shut up and make no more predictions concerning peak oil?

Kunstler's "Long Emergency" is spot on. He was also spot on when he said: "There are many ways of describing the fiasco of suburbia, but these days I refer to it as the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world." Kunstler is helping spread the word and I wish you clowns who can do nothing but badmouth other peak oil people would just shut up about Y2K.

Ron P.

Funny, how if you avoid a problem people give you crap for the unnecessary effort, but if you don't then all the blame goes on you. For example, if the levies around NO had been fortified the people of LA would have given the policy makers a bunch of crap for "wasting" their money even if it could have been proven that Katrina would have breached them and flooded the city. Of course the federal government gets the blame for Katrina but it should obviously go the governor, local policy makers, and the people too stupid to leave or find high ground.

Go to Alaska already....

Money was wasted by those in charge of the levees.

The majority of the people living in NO were not too stupid just to poor. They were born there and had multigenerational roots. The policy makers who continue/ued to build below sealevel are to blame. Every reconstructed building should be on stilts w parking underneath. Or make it a landfill for the southeast for the next century then rebuild.

I'm not saying that there wasn't sufficient money to have built sufficient levees, I am saying that those levees were not sufficient and that presumably those in the state would have balked at the price to do it right. The information was available for anyone who cared to inform themselves to the risks of living there. And why should the federal government be responsible for that work anyhow? I agree that reconstruction should be planned with another katrina or rising oceans. And I'm in AK already, different meaning of bound.

A small amount of trade goes in and out of the Mississippi. Louisiana is a nexus of petroleum too.

The US Army lied and kept the truth from becoming public both before and after their levees failed.

One specific example for one specific levee which indicates their pervasive malfeasance. The "as designed" zero elevation was about 18 inches higher than the "as built" zero elevation. The US Army did not discover this error till they were 40% complete (sheer incompetence till this point). After discovering their error, the US Army did not 1) go back and raise the levees, 2) build the remaining 60% to spec. Instead they continued building the levees 18" short. And told no one.

The main levees in New Orleans failed *FAR* before the design point due to "value engineering" by the US Army. They cheapened a good design to where it failed long before it should have. And told no one.

The City of New Orleans is responsible for pumping rain water out, not the US Army (which got responsibility for the levees in 1928, reaffirmed in late 1960s). We completed a $100+ million plus drainage project in 2003 to raise the inches of rainfall that we can handle, with minimal house flooding, to 20 inches in 24 hours.

In the area where we are clearly responsible (pumping rain water out), New Orleans has done a competent and responsible job.

Recent "improvements" by the US Army prevent us from pumping rain water out at full design speed, resulting in some minor street flooding last week. We spent the $100+ million for nothing (till more "improvements" by the US Army).

You supposition that we would have done nothing IF WE HAD BEEN TOLD is simply wrong ! But the US Army lied, covered up, and killed thousands of Americans and devastated a major American city as a consequence.


The US Army lied

And this is shocking?

And told no one.

Why should they? Oh and if no secret can be kept (thus there can be no conspiracies) how was it kept in a 'no one was told' status?

Thus the demands for an 8/29 Commission.


To get the truth out.


The problem with a project like the levees is that it is an army project.
My opinion is that the Army is secretive and bureacratic, and although the lie may not have been "offical" it was probably institutional, folks on the ground did not repair the levees because they wanted to be on time and under budget, to be over budget and to miss a deadline is a career killer. So they built the last %40 wrong so that their mistake woul not have been obvious, plus this probaly cut costs and time, keeping them on track.

They were hopeing that there would be no storm until all involved were retired and long gone from the scene. When were the levees built? probably everyone involved is discgharged or retired (or working in Diego Garcia), so they as individuals have denyabilty, all they have to say is that it was the corps mistake not theirs, as for the corps, all the individuals in charge have to say is that "It was before my time" this combined with soverign immunity means no one will pay for this,

And yet Billions can go from the American Taxpayers to banks in Europe, WTF.

What I don't understand is how the state did not check on the work of the "engineers". Are you really saying that no one checked on it? That a surveyor wasn't around? I've done some contracting work involving US army engineers and they can be a real pain in the ass to satisfy since the think doing everything by the book is of absolute importance.

My whole argument is that the state has the direct responsiblity to ensure security, safety, etc. The next ones responsible is the county and city. They also should have double checked such important aspects, especially if that much money was changing hands.

And I don't remember the sources but I do remember reading that there were plenty of Cassandra's before katrina. No one listened. When it comes to the federal government civilian oversight is always necessary. Especially when it comes to the US army during peacetime in america. It doesn't at all surprise me if they directly lied, but others in the state must have known and they must have been shushed or stayed silent.

CBC Newsworld re-aired The Fifth Estate documentary After the Storm last night. It tells the story of two former Haligonians who re-located to New Orleans in 2000: Helen Hill, a film marker, and her husband, Paul Gailiunas, a medical doctor who worked in some of the city's poorer neighbourhoods. Sadly, Helen was shot and killed by an intruder on January 4th, 2007 and Paul was severely wounded but survived. Helen's killer remains at large and there are charges that the police investigation into her death was poorly handled.

See: http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/2008-2009/after_the_storm/index.html

Addendum: You can learn more about Helen's life at http://www.helenhill.org/news/


The police detectives conclusion is that Dr. Gailiunas killed his wife and then gave himself a flesh wound. His accounts of what happened to not coincide with the physical evidence. The alternative theory does, but the case is not strong enough to bring him to trial.

The reaction to Helen Hill's murder and one other (a member of a brass band) lead to a march on City Hall by 5,000 citizens on a Tuesday mid-day. I was one of the 5,000.


Hi Alan,

I guess the key question for me is whether it would be possible for Dr. Paul to shoot himself three times (including his face) and somehow dispose of the gun without leaving a trail of blood everywhere. Was the murder weapon found at the crime scene? As you know, the police were a couple of doors down the street responding to an attempted B&E by an intruder brandishing a gun when they heard the shots and responded immediately. Would that provide enough time for someone to commit a crime of this kind and get away with it? Somehow, it doesn't seem plausible.

This news item indicates that the police do not consider the husband a suspect:



The short answer is yes. He is an intelligent man. But I have not followed the case at all. MANY other issues here.

The news about focusing on him came from a brief private discussion with a detective assigned to another district. When I mentioned this to a friend who follows police reports avidly, he said "I thought so too. No way could he get those wounds while holding the baby".

The crime was quite atypical (we have WAY too many murders here) but did not follow any normal pattern,


The only thing obvious is that you are an idiot!
The levees are the responsibility of the US govt.
Blame the victims,those trapped by the flooding included many poor and disabled people without the options others had, many with low income jobs didn't have enough money to flee (late in the month and waiting for their paycheque) and others legally couldn't flee (those in gaol, on parole or bail). Many who did try to flee were prevented by blocked roads and bridges (blocked by police in neighbouring areas who didn't want refugeees).

First enough with the insults. Second, my gripe goes to the state who was responsible for not properly evacuating.

Sorry AK, just annoyed when I see the victims blamed for the bad decisions and actions of public officials (local, state and federal) in both preparing for possible disasters and for assisting the public to cope once the disaster has occured.

1) Kunstler did not know what he was talking about re Y2K. If you don't know what you are talking about you should not use access to media to frighten the public.

2) You claim that your work on some NASA team averted disaster. However, you cannot prove this anymore than Katrina victims can prove that improved levys would save NO indefinitely.

Much greater disaster have hit the world than Y2K without leaving permanent damage to humanity. Get over yourself or, as Kurt Vonnegut would say 'Leave your story outside'.

3) Recession did not cause demand destruction which caused oil prices to collapse, that scenario is pure baloney. A bubble in oil prices collapsed because it had reached unsustainable levels, which is what always happens in every bubble. The pool of available fools had run out. Housing is a prime example of another and larger bubble and is happening around you if you care to look. The housing debacle is much worse than anything that has happened to the oil patch, for it's spread to every segment of the economy. You have your cause vs effect bass ackwards...but that is typical ron...everytime there is an eclipse, someone in Tibet barfs, or it rains three days in a row, it's due to peak oil.

4) BTW, I made a killing shorting oil, so not all that are aware of PO are fool enough to think that bubble was sustainable.

5) 'Kunstler's "Long Emergency" is spot on. He was also spot on when he said: "There are many ways of describing the fiasco of suburbia, but these days I refer to it as the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world." Kunstler is helping spread the word...' Kunstler does not have a crystal ball. Kunstler is spreading his version of the future, everyone has one, they are like azz holes. Kunstler's attack on suburbia is a straw man...Nothing can be done about the misallocation of capital that is now suburbia. Kunstler can be proven neither right or wrong because suburbia is going to continue to exist. What is easier than to attack something that cannot be done over? Obviously, after Y2K Kunstler decided that his next 'big prediction' would be on a topic that no one could could contest. Any moron knows that suburbia was a mistake, I knew it when Levittown and many copies were going up during the 50s...before Kunstler was born.

Why don't you find someone that is willing to go out on a limb? Sybil the Soothsayer might do. Better yet, go get a copy of 'The Black Swan' and read it. Then you will realize Kunstler for what he is...a charlatan. No one can predict the future. Try to remember that.

2) You claim that your work on some NASA team averted disaster. However, you cannot prove this anymore than Katrina victims can prove that improved levys would save NO indefinitely.

I worked at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama for 17 years, 1987 until I retired in 2004. NASA contracted out all their computer maintenance and most of their support programming. (Though not operational programming.) I worked for Boeing, Unisis, and Computer Science Corp. during that time. Every few years the contract would go to another contractor and I would have to change hats, but not jobs.

I deeply resent your snide remark that "I cannot prove that", as if I am either lying or haven't a clue as to what the hell I am talking about. All the older computer programs and many of the new ones used two digit date codes. Every damn one of them would have crashed one minute after midnight on January 1, 2000 if we had not corrected the problem. And I don't have to prove that to anyone because it is common knowledge that this would have happened had the problem not been corrected. If you don't think this would have happened then you do not know squat about computers.

If it had not been for people like Kuntsler sounding the alarm, many would have not acted to correct this problem. We owe him, and people like him, a debt of gratitude.

It is obvious that you do not know crap about what caused oil prices to crash. Demand caused the price to rise and demand destruction caused prices to crash. A speculative bubble can only happen if there is also demand to support the price rise and can only fall if that demand also crashes.

US demand for petroleum products began to decline early last year and became more severe as the year wore on. In June thru August of 2008 the US consumed an average of 1,721,000 fewer barrels per day than in the same four months of 2007. The same thing happened in all other OECD countries. That is demand destruction and that was when prices collapsed and that was why they collapsed. The recession, along with high prices, caused the demand destruction.
U.S. Crude Oil and Petroleum Products Product Supplied

Ron P.


Kunstler makes his living off of disaster prophecy. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton make theirs of racial tension. When these people speak you have to take the source into acount.


Oilrig medic, with your way of thinking, how can you ever be convinced of anything ? Everything can be conspiracy-explained if you try ... ehhh hard enough. But remember ... that truth may also just exist between your ears (!) Your private truth

Again I agree with Darwinian. I worked for INTEL Corp. [1990-2003]. We spent truly massive, incredible amounts of buck$$$ on preventing Y2K problems. Please feel free to read the INTEL Annual Reports from this era to glean the details.

Thanks Totoneila, most people have no clue as to what a serious problem this really was. It all started back in the 60s and 70s when every byte of computer memory was precious. However many programmers continued to use two digit date codes, out of force of habit, long after memory space was no longer a problem. They do not do that any more however, for obvious reasons.

Ron P.

I once did documentation for a small mainframe software company. They created a software program just for the Y2K bug, AccommoDate.


They obviously took it pretty seriously, too.


Wow, you sure get around ron...How could you be working for NASA, in Huntsville, and in Saudia Arabia for years working in plant maint? You have stated on more than one occasion that you worked in SA doing plant maint.

"It is obvious that you do not know crap about what caused oil prices to crash. Demand caused the price to rise and demand destruction caused prices to crash. A speculative bubble can only happen if there is also demand to support the price rise and can only fall if that demand also crashes."...This is simply wrong. If you know anything about the oil biz you better stick to it...you certainly don't know zip about economics. BTW, I know enough about oil and bubbles that I made $151K in four days when oil headed south...How much did you make?

The rest of your post is more blah, blah, blah, blee, blee, blee. Get a life...and decide where your career was spent. hahaha


Is there some reason you have to be such a snarky jerk?

Especially with all your wealth that you acquired from your superior knowledge of petroleum economics (yeah sure), it would seem that you'd have more important things to do than be an troll on TOD.

"Is there some reason you have to be such a snarky jerk?"

I am not being a snarky jerk, I am calling out a jerk that supports a rabble rouser, kunstler, and if you support that clown then you too are a jerk.

Also, I am tired of hearing 'oil is going up, it's caused by peak oil' and then when it goes down ron is suddenly a revisionist historian...oil went down because the economy suddenly fell into recession...which was conveniently caused by an oil shortage and on and on and on...all a bunch a bs. No wonder ron was a flop, the clown couldn't sell sno cones in hell.

Oil was in a bubble and it was obvious to anyone that didn't have their head up their azz. Absolutely anyone watching fund flows from evreywhere into commodities, all commodities not just oil, knew it was a bubble bound to collapse. Unfortunately for most of the clowns on this board they can't make a nickle on oil because it has stopped becoming a commodity and has evolved into a religion. I don't care if you clowns never make a nickle on oil. I make money when it goes up, I make money when it goes down. You can all take your silly little graphs and charts and wipe your azzes on them. They won't make you any money...and saying 'I told you so' isn't nearly as much fun when the people I am saying it to are clueless.

It certainly sounds like from how many times you mention money that its the most important thing in your life. For your sake then I hope it makes you happy. Trolls like you don't seem to understand why we read the oil drum daily. It's not because of money, although if we can profit from our shared knowledge then all the better.

And for the record, it was a speculative bubble, which means people speculated on the future cost of oil. Very few people predicted the quickness of the economic decline therefore it was impossible to speculate the extent of demand destruction leading to the deflation of the oil market. In the long term we all speculate that oil will be much more expensive. I assume you just got lucky - it happens sometimes. Enough bragging.

Reeves, you are at best mistaken. I never stated that I worked in Saudi Arabia doing plant maintenance. I worked in Saudi Arabia from 1980 thru 84, returning to the US in February of 85. For the first two years I worked at the Ghazlan Power Plant but I sure as hell was not doing plant maintenance and I never stated I was. I did do maintenance, but only on the computer, nothing else. You just made that crap up.

I was in charge of their plant computer which monitored all data points throughout the power plant. They did not have any computer control however. The computer was only a monitoring device. For the next three years I worked for Aramco in the oil patch, mostly in Safaniya. There I took care of their oil flow monitoring computers. I did no plant maintenance whatsoever anywhere at anytime.

But you are correct in one point, during my career I did get around. I worked in Guam, Okinawa, Alaska, Saudi Arabia and during my ten years with Digital Equipment Corp, 1970 to 1980 I worked in 7 different states and as a product support engineer I traveled to many others. And for about six months in 1986 I tried my hand as a commodities broker and stockbroker, an endeavour at which I failed miserably. I found out that the term "Stockbroker" was just a fancy term for "Salesman". I was no salesman, especially a cold call salesman.

Ron P.

Just for you ron...since you are now a revisionist historian, an oil guru, an economist, an expert on religion, physics, meta physics, et al...and have lived a life and know nothing. Soon you little protector will be back on station.

'I've been everywhere, man.
I've been everywhere, man.
Crossed the desert's bare, man.
I've breathed the mountain air, man.
Of travel I've had my share, man.
I've been everywhere.

I've been to:
Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota,
Buffalo, Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota,
Wichita, Tulsa, Ottawa, Oklahoma,
Tampa, Panama, Mattawa, La Paloma,
Bangor, Baltimore, Salvador, Amarillo,
Tocapillo, Baranquilla, and Perdilla, I'm a killer.'

Johnny Cash

Reeves, you contribute absolutely nothing to this list other than flames. It would be best if you just leave quietly. We do not need trolls like you here.

I am 70 years old. When you get to be my age then perhaps you will have been to a lot of places as well. Well, that is if you have been as adventrous as I during your life. However some people remain within a small area all their life. Is that you?

Ron P.


The loser that calls itself "reeves" is simply a classic troll, and as difficult as it may seem, the only treatment is to ignore them. Alas, I've already failed once with this one. He really is a jerk with no other interest than to provoke irritation.

The S/N ratio has been plummeting around here lately, and I think I'm about to move on. It's just getting too snotty.

"When you get to be my age then perhaps you will have been to a lot of places as well. Well, that is if you have been as adventrous as I during your life. However some people remain within a small area all their life. Is that you?"

I have been to a lot of places and lived in the Far East for many years. I have lived in several African and Med countries, and many other places. I 'leave my story at the door' because it is not relevent. I am also close to your age but have learned a thing or several about economics, the various markets and, most important, how and when to play markets.

For a man your age you are remarkably naieve or outright ignorant of the world you inhabit. Most of your comments, like your support of kunstler, are unbelievably stupid. Do you really believe what you write or are you merely trying to draw attention and see how much of your bs the other poster here will swallow? I know the world is full of naieve people but most, by the time they reach seventy, have seen the elephant and heard the owl. I have the distinct impression that you never have figured out what is really going on or, as I mentioned, you are just playing games here. If you are playing games I would respect you more than if I thought otherwise.

In addition to being a Kunstler supporter, you have expounded that there have not been in conspiracys in connection of all manner of topics where I have knowledge certain that conspiracies played out continuously. Right now a huge conspiracy is ongoing in the area of recapitalization of US Banks with taxpayer money and a huge attempt is being made to look like the recap is a joint venture between public and private funds. That is merely one example of a conspiracy. You act as if palace intrigue has stopped sometime for reasons unknown to me. When do you think palace intrigue, or conspiracies, stopped?

Once you were sure that no gas lines formed in the 'gas shortage' of 1979. I posted links to Time Mag and finally you had to apoligize to me for calling me names in addition to telling me I was wrong, which I was not. You were wrong.

Once you claimed that there was no more racial prejudice in the south. I pulled up the Jena La story and once again you had to apoligize for being wrong.

You are continually wrong, and not just wrong, but wrong headed.

You are also wrong about the reason for the crash of the oil prices last summer. At the time I tried to tell all posters on this site that it was possible to make some bucks by shorting oil...but the geniuses on the board thought oil would go up forever. Not. They stayed long oil and soon afterwards disappeared from the board. I laughed all the way to the bank. Anyone caught up in a bubble always hope the bubble will keep expanding...but they never do, they always collapse when the pool of available fools runs dry.

Peak oil will happen some day. Meantime I will continue to make money on commodities regardless of which way the price is going. BTW, cheerleading for PO is not going to make it happen any sooner. In fact, what you are doing is detremental to your cause. If you continue to claim every little up tick in the price of oil is indicative of PO, you simply look a fool when you don't have a reason that it went down in price. A legitimate reason, not bs about 'it was caused by a recession'...any one with any knowledge of the economy knows that claim is bull shit. Try that story on an economic site and you will be as full of holes as a seive in short order. Of course the rubes on this site might buy it.

Reeves, your profile says you have been a member of this list for two weeks and one day. That means you are a troll, a jerk, or both who has been banned from this list before. River, is that who you are, or was? You are fooling no one. So go crawl back into your hole. You are no more welcome here now than when you were banned. You were a jerk then and you are a jerk now.

Ron P.

I don't know who River was/is but if he read your old posts and understood what a fraud you are he couldn't be all bad.

From your old posts I have found a mine of disinformation that you have been posting for years. I am going to have some fun with that stuff!

You did not answer any of my last post so I assume you concur with all that I said. It is amazing how you can feign outrage in one post and be so calm the next. A hard shell cracker preacher couldn't do it better. Are you a preacher? Your facade is slipping, your act has been uncovered, you are a phony and before I am through with you everyone and their baby sister will know you for what you are.

Remember boy, (I hope you don't mind me calling you boy, since you have the intelligence of a babe in the woods...or you are a game player) I will be waiting to pounce whenever you post more bs. I will be here in some form and you will never know who it is.

The best you can do is get your act together and stop posting bs...if you want to stay on this board. I don't believe that any of your co posters would miss you if you folded your act and moved elsewhere. I certainly wouldn't.

As for me leaving because I am unwanted? Forget it, your opinion is meaningless to me. I already have 4 screen names and this is the only one you have figured out? Dumb!

Maybe I will post some more tomorrow or the next day or the next...Rest assured when you post more blather I will be around to correct you. I will take you to the woodshed at every opportunity. Pleasant dreams son.

reeves, did you pose when they sculptured the very first crackpot ? you seem to fit that bill very well.

Darwinian is one of the best and thought-through posters on TOD IMO.
Ron is also quite good at providing evidence (links/ proof)where that would appear appropriate or when debunking other loose and/or excessive claims ... from other posters ,who in turn take claims "a little too fast from top of their heads" . If you understand? and As I read you reeves you seem to fit this bill as well (!) Ron's Sherlock-actions pin pointet you correctly as ;River.

You are back for more spanking from Darwinian as I understand you, isn't your butt red enough by now ?

I know, should not respond to trolls, what I see here are issues and attitude. Young child stuff. Probably Mom and Dad don't find much to talk to this one about. If Mom and Dad are still together. I suspect Dad might have left early on. A lot of time in their room. Online becomes real, and you earn credits by attacking people. People you would never even dare to speak to in real life. Called shy in real life, quiet, diminutive. Overbearing Dad. Kind of bright, but undisciplined. Has a hard time keeping focus. Real life shifts in and out of focus. Anger with no outlet. Frustration with no defined cause. Probably really needs to get laid. Furious if the computer doesn't work just as expected. Probably pounded a few. Confines the anger outbursts to online, because there is no way that's allowed in the real world. Quite possibly abused by one or both parents.

Might be small, or well overweight, not at all happy with the physical self. Blames that on everyone else. Refuses to take responsibility for own actions. There are a bunch of hints in the post that this might actually be a female, so there's that whole other dynamic , pretending to be male. Or trapped in a male body and not really male.

Sad and see this much to often nowadays. Very large, big, extreme, wake up call coming. Probably won't survive it.

I won't even suggest getting some help, the ones out there now can't help you, they will just feed you what you want and collect insurance, keep you going so they can get payed. Someday you will actually have to come to terms with yourself, or not. Doesn't matter to us or the rest of the world at all. You are here and gone, and no one will miss you.


Don in Maine

Reeves, you are right! Many times Ron has been Wrong, Wrong and WRONG! But just as many times he has been right. Ron is sometimes grating but at least he is intellegent and has admitted to mistakes. YOU however are just a pain in the ar** TROLL. Please f**k off.

have learned a thing or several about economics, the various markets and, most important, how and when to play markets.

Well, about the oilmarket you obviously don't know enough. The price spiked in 2008, but the price started to go up for many years before 2008. Since 2005 the oilproduction is on plateau and from 2007 the demand for oil outpaced the supply. After that some African countries started to get squeezed out the market with oil prices too high for them to buy the amount of oil they were used to. Speculation played it's role too, but prices of around $100/barrel were justified. Demand destruction, mainly because of less transportation, then eased the market. It helps realising that about 60% of the oil is used in the transportation sector.

Most of your comments, like your support of kunstler, are unbelievably stupid.

There are good reasons to believe that Kunstler's scenario's are not stupid. First of all, most people cannot imagine the importance and powerdensity of oil. Because of that most ignore the warnings from (energy)-experts or believe that alternatives can replace the loss of liquid fuels (made from oil) quickly enough. Secondly, a certain production decline of oil, say 3%/year means a bigger export decline, say 5%/year. So when that hits the world, it's a little different from what's going on now. If Kunstler is a fool, then Hirsch is also a fool. It wouldn't surprise me if Kunsler have read the Hirsch rapport.

If you continue to claim every little up tick in the price of oil is indicative of PO, you simply look a fool when you don't have a reason that it went down in price

As pointed out above: it was NOT a little tick up in price. And prices started to go down because of demand destruction.

I too did some Y2K work, for a car company. Without my work they would not have been able to bill customers at the end of January 2000. I proved this in a test system. No cashflow and no accounting records: pretty soon, no business. Repeat this 10,000,000 times, and what have you got? A medium-sized recession. The Y2K problem was real, and it was successfully averted.

I have not read Kunstler's Y2K book, but if he helped to goad decision-makers into action, then full credit to him. Yes, he is hysterical. My experience has been that decision-makers only notice people who are throwing all their toys out of the cot.

(OTOH, I am reminded of Dennis Meadows's observation that the more successfully you overcome one limit to growth in an exponentially growing system, the quicker and harder you run up against the next set of limits. Perhaps it would have been better if Kunstler had kept quiet about Y2K... :-) )

"The Long Emergency" is best read as a scenario, not a prediction. The future could play out that way if oil decline is very steep, say over 30% PA -- much of Kunstler's description is of a world that suddenly finds itself with no oil, rather than increasing scarcity. It's also a description of a world with an admirably restrained political elite.

Other realistic scenarios (involving a less restrained elite) include the large-scale use of bioweapons, internationally and/or intranationally.

I too did some Y2K work, for a car company. Without my work they would not have been able to bill customers at the end of January 2000. I proved this in a test system. No cashflow and no accounting records: pretty soon, no business. Repeat this 10,000,000 times, and what have you got? A medium-sized recession. The Y2K problem was real, and it was successfully averted.

Thank you greg, you present me with an easy segue to my point.

I get sick and tired of people taking Jim's writings and twisting them all around. This is what he wrote:

Only I now see Y2K as the mechanism that will force events to a tipping point much more quickly and surely. Over the next year, many elements of "normal" American life are going to hit a wall of dysfunction. The need to change ways of doing business will butt up against a desperate desire to preserve business as usual. These events will challenge our democratic institutions. Politics will probably become delusional, as is always the case during periods of social stress. There will be a lot of economic losers, including people who thought they had it made, or thought that they were entitled to a lifetime package of goodies called "the American Dream." It’s going to be a hairy time. Y2K is a bitch-slap upside the head of American culture. With a two-by-four.

If any of those idiots that keep attacking his writings would bother to read the Geography of Nowhere, published in 1992, they would clearly see that Jim had correctly identified the problem

I concluded that our practices and habits in placemaking the past half century have resulted in a human habitat that is ecologically catastrophic, economically insane, socially toxic, spiritually degrading, and fundamentally unsustainable. To plagiarize myself: we have built a land of scary places and become a nation of scary people.


For the last time. He never said Y2K would be the cause of TEOTWAWNI, but just a big push that would send if over the edge. And several posters (greg, ron etc) have already pointed out that if not addressed, it could very well have been.

In other words, Reeves, STFU.

If any of those idiots that keep attacking his writings would bother to read the Geography of Nowhere, published in 1992, they would clearly see that Jim had correctly identified the problem.

One of those idiots was a poster who went by the name of "River" who now goes by "reeves".

Him among others.

Jim is a lightening rod. I'm amazed at the number of misinformed people attacking him as if he was the source of the problem. Almost all of those people show profound ignorance in regards to the actual writing of Kunstler. Its like they get all of their info from JD's blog.

It saddens me that we cannot have a productive debate in the face of so much ignorance. Even otherwise intelligent posters somehow become unhinged whenever Jim's writings are referenced. Not that I consider reeves' postings to be even remotely intelligent.

As an aside, Ron, I always enjoy your posts. Don't let the idiots get you down.

I personally do not think he writes like River. I may be stupid of course.

1: Kunstler was one of the best reporters on Y2K during the lead up, because he reported on the real risk rather than the fake ones: interrupted financial transaction processing leading to a recession.

He, being a pessimist, did not believe the finance sector would solve the problem in time. Had he known what was going on in the sector, he might not have written what he did. But, the finance sector was extremely secretive about their Y2K remediation. He had no way of knowing that the remediation would be a success.

So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

We knew a lot of people were working on the Y2K fixes. What we didn't know for certain is if they would all get done in time. As it happened, they pretty much did, but for some of them, it was a pretty close-run thing. Most of us who were following the Y2K thing and actually knew what we were seeing knew that the most extreme TEOTWAWKI scenarios were quite unlikely; a peppering of supply chain disruptions around the country and the world was a much more credible scenario, though, and one we really couldn't know for certain that we would escape until after the rollover.

The Y2K problem does not discredit JHK, it supports his argument.

It is if the Boy who cried wolf really saw a wolf the first time, the wolf was dealt with and then the second time he cries wolf he is ignored because folks are just too tired or too complacent to deal with the second wolf.

Kunstler was right about Y2K, had people like Kunstler not screamed out Y2K the powers that be never would have looked at the problem and addressed it.

With the new Peak oil problem, Kunstler and others have been screaming as well, just because this time nothing of any consequence is being done does not mean there is not a problem, it probaly means the problem is so big that the ptb do not want to deal with it, they bought some time by fixing Y2K, (using Other peoples Money) no they are casing in their chips, and the government is giving them even more money as the walls are tumbling down,

There may be a dead cat bounce to Dow 10K or so, but then there will be a real big crash once is is shown that the economy is based upon accounting tricks and not wealth creation.

I believe that peak oil is like tobacco and cancer, the leader know PO is coming, they hire or use some folks who do not believe that is is a problem i.e. CRA, they do this to dupe the General populace, this allows them to loot the financial system setting themselves up fincially whie the rest of the countery goes into an economic tail spin,

Why do you think so many of the elite have off the grid "Vacation Homes" in remote parts of the country, they are Hidey Holes in reality,

Without growth, do you really think that the world's financial mess can be solved? With finite resources, how do you expect growth to continue?

While every media hack in 1999 was writing about elevators falling down on new year's eve, Kunstler was smart enough to look past that and latch on to the one thing that could have made Y2K an utter disaster: financial transaction processing.

Give the man some credit.

Apuleius; "Give the man (Kunstler) some credit."

Credits approved ! and sent !

I'm inclined to predict a gruesome journey down for the Dow Jones into the 4000 range by the end of the year.

-- James Howard Kunstler (June 27, 2005)

I've quit listening to doomers and cornucopians and am looking for the truth to be somewhere in the middle, possibly in the wisdom of the crowd. Maybe I'll get a dart throwing monkey and start making my own predictions.

If a year ago someone told you that the Dow would drop to 6500, would you have believed them?

If someone made the same prediction twice before that the Dow was going to drop to xxxx in yy months and the predictions fell wide of the mark, that someone would no longer register in my neural circuitry as a relevant source of information on that particular data point.

Re. Bad News: Scientists Make Cheap Gas From Coal above.

The "bad news" is framed only from the climate change point-of-view.

But what about Peak Fossil Fuels in general?

The problem is cheap oil is running out and people like Mr. Glasser and Mr. Picken's want to squander our remaining coal and natural Gas on transportation.

They say these will act as a "bridge" of some kind, until we can figure out something else...

(Mr. Glasser says,)"The hope is that what we learn with coal-to-liquids, we can take one step further and start using municipal waste or cooking oil, for example, as the carbon source."

I don't think he is serious or that he is thinking clearly at all. And neither is Pickens.

As Heinberg, Kunstler, etc have pointed out again and again, these "bridges" are a horrible waste of our remainin fossil fuels.

Check out the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ministry of Mines website to read about the announcement of the 1st Afghan Hydrocarbon bidding round dated 17th March 2009 here.

Exploration and production contracts are available in three northern regions:-

Jangalikalan (Gas)
Juma-Bashikurd (Gas)
Kashkari (Oil)

Most of the oil and gas was discovered in the 1970's by the Soviets.

Overheard Friday morning on the radio news: Announcer: In a recent survey, more Americans report having confidence that the economy is about to improve. Although 2/3 of Americans still report believing that the economy is in bad shape, the number of Americans believing that things will improve soon is double that of the last poll a month ago. In other news, the Dow is off to a bad start today, currently down 142 points...

I shook my head and laughed at the insanity right before almost getting sideswiped by a bright yellow Hummer H2 careening down the street way too fast, swerving from lane to lane, without using turn signals, cutting folks off driving the steady speed limit...some woman and her dog desperately trying to get somewhere.


In a recent survey, more Americans report having confidence that the economy is about to improve.

In a recent survey of cattle at the Slaughter Corral, 68% of them reported believing the Good Master (who always treated them well) is merely using the corral as a stop over for transferring them to greener pastures. Better times are just around the corner. Things always have gone from bad to good, and they always will.

Taleb's Thanksgiving turkey felt the same way through the middle of November.

That's no Bull either.

I've been busy the last few days so this might have been posted:

Manufacturing inefficiency - Study sees "alarming" use of energy, materials in newer manufacturing processes


"But as things stand now, over the last several decades as traditional processes such as machining and casting have increasingly given way to newer ones for the production of semiconductors, MEMS and nano-materials and devices,for a given quantity of output, "we have increased our energy and materials consumption by three to six orders of magnitude." (emphasis added)

A PDF with more information is behind a paywall.


B-b-b-b-but we're going to build a space elevator from carbon nanotubes!

That will fix everything!

/sarconol off

The article you posted was a great find, thank you for sharing it. It's nice to see quality information come out of MIT versus the technotriumphalist snake oil they've been pushing in recent months.

I really do hope someone figures how to produce carbon nanotubes in a significant lengths for reasonable costs. There so many cool things that could be built with such a material. If it is reasonably energy efficient to produce it could revolutionize transportation and drop energy demand. Of course the military might consider vital to national security so it might take time before it would hit the streets. Clothing made out of it could be potentially indestructible by abrasion or impact. More wishful thinking. No matter how much of a realist I have become the techno-beliefs still manifest.

President Obama revealed a new war strategy in Afghanistan on Friday. If we are sending more troops there, a question one wonders is what connection this has to oil and energy. It doesn't look like there is much oil in Afghanistan itself.

Is there a pipeline issue? I know I have run across several folks alleging this might be the case. For example, see this video.

Also, comments such as Liquid War

Forget the mainstream media's obsession with al-Qaeda, Osama "dead or alive" bin Laden, the Taliban -- neo, light or classic -- or that "war on terror," whatever name it goes by. These are diversions compared to the high-stakes, hardcore geopolitical game that follows what flows along the pipelines of the planet. . .

Global financial crisis or not, oil and natural gas are the long-term keys to an inexorable transfer of economic power from the West to Asia. Those who control Pipelineistan -- and despite all the dreaming and planning that's gone on there, it's unlikely to be Washington -- will have the upper hand in whatever's to come, and there's not a terrorist in the world, or even a long war, that can change that.

Energy expert Michael Klare has been instrumental in identifying the key vectors in the wild, ongoing global scramble for power over Pipelineistan. These range from the increasing scarcity (and difficulty of reaching) primary energy supplies to "the painfully slow development of energy alternatives." Though you may not have noticed, the first skirmishes in Pipelineistan's Liquid War are already on, and even in the worst of economic times, the risk mounts constantly, given the relentless competition between the West and Asia, be it in the Middle East, in the Caspian theater, or in African oil-rich states like Angola, Nigeria and Sudan.

and this one

The real motive behind the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was the drive for US hegemony in oil- and natural gas-rich Central Asia, through which it would gain strategic advantage over its global competitors.

Afghanistan and Pakistan stand at a nexus of pipeline and trade routes between the Middle East, Russia, China and the Indian subcontinent, and US domination of the countries would give it decisive influence over developments in trade and strategic relations between many of Eurasia's largest and fastest-growing economies. In particular, it would cement the US' ability to mount a blockade of oil supplies for China and India in the Indian Ocean.

I am not into conspiracy theories, but why are we so interested in keeping this war from 2001 going?

Gail: This is not a theory-a hard fact is that the Taliban temporarily completed devestated the global heroin supply. Since Afghanistan has come under attack, the country has regained its status as the main global supply source. Related or coincidence?

Yeah, I can just imagine a TPTB party with everyone holding their glasses of champagne and complaining at how expensive heroin has become. Along comes a general with a problem-solver attitude rings his glass to make an announcement that "I'm going to make sure that heroin is cheaply available to everyone again." They all applaud.

Yes, its true that the Taliban cut heroin production and trade during its reign. And maybe that helped in the decision to attack. In the two years before I remember reading the news stories and was amazed at how they were demonizing the Taliban. I figured something was up then, so maybe it was the heroin thing that caused the MM to rail against Afghanistan. But I doubt the US would have launched an expensive war just for heroin trade that affects mostly europe.

Who knows? My point, which I have stressed continually, is that knowledge on these matters is an illusion. How is anybody supposed to know why the USA or Canada is fighting to kill Afghans when every statement we hear on the subject from a government spokesperson is so riddled with lies and half-truths as to make it useless? Once an investor realizes the accounting statements of a company are falsified and upper management is crooked, what is the point of trying to pretend knowledge of what are the actual financial numbers? Everything is just a guess. Currently you have such widespread financial corruption in the USA that Jeff Skilling and Jeff Fastow have a strong case for unequal prosecution under the law and if you listen to Barack Obama speak you would think none of it exists, so in this reality IMO the best guess is that those with the ability to make it happen feel they will benefit by keeping the Afghan excursion going as long as possible-just be lucky you aren't one of the grunts they are using as cannon fodder.

I would not call our grunts cannon fodder. We are killing more than 10 to 1 for each of our casualties. Maybe higher. Afghannis y Pakistanis and other foreign born extremists because of the fall 0f 2001. Not saying "War on Terror" does not mean it ended or they quit.

One thing we can agree on-the mood of the American public has changed-right now an incredibly popular action would be to empty Gitmo and fill it right up again with high level Wall Street grifters. Maybe the country needs a referendum on this one.

I am for investigating and prosecuting anyone who committed a crime in the financial meltdown. Barney Frank comes to mind as do Fannie Mae Freddy Mac CEO's. Not everyone on wall street is crooked. I think the autoworkers in Detroit need to be disbanded and let the market set their wages. This combined with the new cafe standards will help america make a decent car.

Why pick on the auto workers? The vast majority of unionized workers in the USA are employed by various levels of government. Why not let the market set the wage for all government workers in the USA (using your logic).

I am for that too.

Barney Frank ?

He was a member of the minority in the House and wrong party in the WH from 2000 to 2006. Ask ANY Republican House member today just how much power & influence they have now that things have changed.

Minority, wrong party in WH Senators still have some power & influence (different rules on that side), but not members of the H of R.

If your party is not either 1) a majority in the House or 2) in control of the WH, then you (if an elected member of the H of R) have zero power & influence.

Nancy Pelosi can totally tune out any minority members, and is inclined to do so. Just like the R leadership did for 6 years (no D votes for GWBs tax cuts to fund two wars).


Alan, that was my sentiments exactly when I read Medic's post. What the hell did Barney Frank have to do with the financial meltdown? But I just figured he was either a Republican or a Homophobic and let it go at that. As if there is a difference. ;-)

Barney was in a relationship with the CEO of Fannie.


Clear conflict of interest given his position on the Banking commitee. Frank was touting Fannies fiscal soundness to the end. And he recieved 40K in funds from them. Sorry that seems criminal.

But as a MINORITY member of a House committee, he had no power or influence (except to name one witness to be called during any hearing, the traditional privilege of House minority members).

Any conflict of interest would be those preparing for the day when Republicans lost control.

The current Bush Recession/Depression is 100% (or at least 99.8%) on the heads of the GOP.

Best Hopes for no Republican Majority or R President for a generation or more:

What a mess they made !! The criminals are VERY heavily concentrated in the GOP.


BTW, even your low credibility link shows your bias and inability to process information. You used the present tense, but the link stated

While the relationship reportedly ended 10 years ago,

You also stated that Mr. Moses was the CEO of Fannie Mae, but YOUR link states

Moses was the assistant director for product initiatives at Fannie Mae

And $40,000 buys VERY little if any influence in Washington (some tickets to GWB & Cheney fundraisers cost more than that). If you see anything criminal there, your judgment is terrible. But then you are a Republican.

Alan, WAS is present tense? Fannie and Freddie were both headed by democrats. The democrats pushed for loans to be written to people who did not deserve credit. An increase in purchases falsely inflated the housing market. Deregulation in wallstreet let every other sector be vulnerable. Bush tried to reign in Fannie and Freddy many times. The link about frank was one of many, you can google Barney Frank w nothing else and get that.


Barney is all kinds o dirty.


Bush and the GOP had total control of the White House, all regulation and Congress for six years; the six years that severely damaged our economy.

It simply does not matter what the Democrats wanted because they had no power or influence (except residual in the Senate). See the GOP tax cuts to finance two wars. Steam rolled over D opposition.

The President appoints several Board members (four of 13 I think) to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Here is a fellow Bonesman Victor Ashe who GWB appointed to Fannie Mae.


Here is a link to Carter's appointment of four Fannie Mae board members.


Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac are ALL due to GOP misgovernance (or was to payoffs for campaign contributions to Republicans ?). Not only did GWB regulate them, he appointed four members of the Board of Directors !


You wrote:

Barney was in a relationship with the CEO of Fannie.

That indicates that the relationship was concurrent with malfeasance at Fannie Mae, when the relationship had been over since 1998 (or earlier). And it was with an assistant director, HARDLY the CEO.

I know many Republicans do not like gays, especially those not in the closet, and that makes Barney Frank an inviting target for "stretched truths" and innuendo.

The Democrats who served as top Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac executives include Franklin Raines, former Clinton Budget Director and current Housing Policy advisor to Barack Obama, CEO from 1999 to 2004; James Johnson, former aide to Democratic Vice-President Walter Mondale and ex-head of Obama's Vice-Presidential Selection Committee, CEO from 1991 to 1998; and Jamie Gorelick, former Clinton Deputy Attorney General, Vice-Chair from 1998 to 2003. In their positions, Johnson earned an estimated $21 million; Raines earned an estimated $90 million; while Gorelick earned an estimated $26 million.[26] All three top executives were also involved in mortgage-related financial scandals.

The top five recipients of campaign contributions from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae during the 1989 - 2008 time period are Christopher Dodd, (D-CT) $133,900, John Kerry, (D-MA) $111,000, Barack Obama, (D-IL) $105,849, Hillary Clinton, (D-NY) $75,550, and Paul Kanjorski,(D-PA) $65,500.


4/13 is not a majority. These were liberal powerhouses.

The four publicly appointed Directors (the rest were elected by the shareholders) were SPECIFICALLY appointed to represent (and serve) the public interest. GWB's old Yalie and fellow Bonesman failed MISERABLY as did every other GWB appointee.

All it takes is one board member the "blow the whistle". And four is a large enough bloc to influence executive selection (a Board responsibility).

There is no good reason to select the "1989-2008 time period" for campaign contributions except for data cherry picking (something that the far right is good at). The Ds had power during a major part of that period (White House or majorities in Senate/House). I strongly suspect that the time period of malfeasance (2001-2007) the contributions went more to Rs. Money flows to power.

Since things went well from 1989-2000, any D contributions during that period did no evil.

Almost ALL the fault for the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bailout fiasco lies squarely on the GOP. They failed to regulate, failed to oversee, and used Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to create a housing bubble to "create prosperity" or at least the illusion of it.

I saw this coming and shorted two mortgage insurers (covered after 95% and 97% declines). GWB, Cheney et al quite deliberately "goosed" the market. Sub=prime ARMs were almost zero on 1-20-2001 (<$2 billion from vague memory), GWB oversaw a half trillion being issued to "stimulate the economy". The GOP knew what they wanted and they got it (short term).

Let us hope and pray that Obama can turn the Bush Depression into the Bush Recession.

Best Hopes for no more R Majorities and R Presidents till the GOP has purged itself (say 25 years ?)


"Frank's former partner, Herb Moses, was an executive at Fannie from 1991 to 1998, where Moses helped develop many of Fannie’s affordable housing and home improvement lending programs. In 1991, Frank pushed for reduced restrictions on two- and three-family home mortgages. During the time that Frank was in a relationship with Moses, he blocked tougher regulations on the banking companies while voting for the Government Sponsored Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1991 and the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992. Frank and Moses' relationship ended around the same time Moses left the company."


"In 2003, while the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, Frank opposed a Bush administration proposal for transferring oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from Congress and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to a new agency that would be created within the Treasury Department. The proposal reflected the administration's belief that Congress "neither has the tools, nor the stature" for adequate oversight. Frank stated, "These two entities...are not facing any kind of financial crisis.... The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing." The two companies, which together own or back more than half the home mortgages in the US became "hobbled" by loan defaults."

It all stinks of corruption. Even if the relationship was over he had been involved personally and financially in an organization he had the power to regulate. This is not stretched truth or innuendo. These are facts. And was will always be past tense. Some of my best friends are gay both republican and democrat. I don't like Frank cause he is a corrupt politician.

psssssst, ever hear of the ownership society ?

You point to meaningless wisps while ignoring the giant elephant (with a GOP banner) in the room.

What Barney Frank wanted in 2003 is meaningless. He was the ranking MINORITY member and had less influence than a senior staff member for the majority. The Republican majority.

No D votes were required to pass legislation that Rs wanted. See tax cuts to finance wars as an example.

Also, sub-prime ARMs were a tiny (less than $2 billion in January, 2001 from vague memory) pilot program till GWB & the R's came to power. Karl Rove figured home owners voted more R than renters, Wall Street wanted more product to slice, dice and make billions off of, GWB and Cheney wanted to be re-elected by goosing the economy, etc. and so they issued over a half trillion in toxic assets.

Setting up a small pilot program (all it was till 1-20-2001) was no great sin. Worst case, $2 billion in ARMs might have failed and generated a hundred million or two in losses. Easily absorbed by the system. An affordable experiment and no great sin.

The corruption is in the GOP. I was a republican from age 19 till GWB cured me. The bias, bigotry, corruption and incompetence of the Republicans became more than I could stand.

Best Hopes to opening your eyes to reality, I hope you hate Sen. Vitter as well,


Why would I hate Vitter? Has he taken corrupt money somewhere I am not seeing? I give a damn about an alleged prostitute or someones oreintation.

Our "Family Values" Republican Senator is as dirty as they come. And as hypocritical.

Although his preferences for getting an enema from a prostitute while in a diaper do make for interesting gossip. Anal retentive ?


Was Vitter regulating prostitution? Was he taking monies from diaper or enema companies? What was the conflict here? I doubt any republican or democrat has zero skeletons. Most people for that manner. I am pointing out very real severe conflict of interests with Barney voting on financial policies he benefited from. Hypocrisy is bad, but not as bad as actually proffiting from your misdeads. Oh yeah and taking All the information is not cherry picking, and malfeasence has plagued Mae and Mac from the get go.

Vitter is quite dirty financially, according to all accounts, but no investigation by GWB because he is from the Right Party. (To be fair, "Dollar Bill" Jefferson was even dirtier than Vitter is according to accounts).

Proposing various "Family values" legislation to regulate morality while personally violating those Family Values in an extreme way is another form of lack of integrity. Lack of moral rather than fiscal integrity.


Well we are not in danger of being turned to salt, but we are in danger of being broken financially. I agree it sucks to run on one thing do another.

"Barney was in a relationship with the CEO of Fannie."

god made the banks fail because of homosexual bankers ? why didn't god just turn them into salt ?

Or Barney made bad decisions based on fiscal and romantic influence instead of what is right.

Or maybe its misdirection. Its possible that there really isn't much to be gained in the area but by pulling away from both conflicts it would result in a loss of something else. What could that be? Maybe increased troop levels? Maybe its because its difficult to mobilize a sizeable military force at peace times across the planet to fight some war that the american public thinks is unnecessary. Maybe its because "defence" spending would have to drop if there are no conflicts.

IMHO it would have been a lot cheaper to negotiate and secure pipelines with the Taliban government. But that was never the real purpose, it was Iraq and they probably thought Iran. Iran is still on the table even though BO is less inclined to diminish his approval ratings. Fighting after oil is futile eventually, mitigation development would have a much better return on investment.

Hiring a few more troops helps the unemployment rate. One wonders exactly what else is behind the effort. Getting the poppies growing again?

I can't imaging the funding for this is anywhere in the budget. It will be just another thing to raise this year's deficit.

I don;t buy it. Afghanistan is landlocked, that's why the military is having so many problems, hard to resupply.

The issue is too complex to delve into in a comment. US interests in Pakistan and our new baby in Iraq are big drivers. If Pakistan fails, what then? War sith India? Taliban attacks on Iran? Who knows and NATO is playing its 'stabilty' game.

All bets are off ... until the direction of the credit crisis is clarified, not much will be really done, that is the US won't send in 1 million men into A- stan which is what they would need to pacify the country.

BAU and when the cash register finally comes crashing to the floor, the US will pack up and go home.

You do have a point about Pakistan. But how unstable is Pakistan? I know that its a Muslim country but also mostly moderate. Pakistan and India are both nuclear states with India having the upper hand so I doubt either side would want to escalate it beyond the border disputes. And a million soldiers to do what? Kill off the remaining militants? What would be the gain since if the US leaves they would mostly fight between themselves? To show that the US is competent enough to kill mountain guerrillas? Its true that NATO has been trying to stabilize its ever expanding region but how stable is stable? And I don't know if resupply is a major issue if Pakistan is so much an ally.

BAU = ?

Little houses. Big ideas.

Westexas has often commented about building small, as well as Alan, and several others. TOD has also run complete articles about building small. The above Houston Chronicle article discusses building small, using used shipping containers as the basis for a high efficiency house. Today and tomorrow, Rice University is running a tour to visit this and other small, highly efficient homes in the Houston area.

The link up top Global oil demand may peak, forcing oil out as a fuel source is about the dumbest thing I have ever read.

According to Hughes, “Depending upon how quickly the transportation sector begins its migration away from oil, we could find ourselves at a tipping point in which demand for oil peaks much earlier than the industry currently anticipates, before going into long-term decline.”

Yeah right! We are making great strides in powering transportation with something besides petroleum. I agree with Kunstler, these guys are living in an “energy fantasy world” for thinking that used french fry oil can power the world’s vehicles and that we can resume our consumptive lifestyles after a short period of adjustment.

The idea that the oil age will end because we find "something else" before we run short of oil is just down in the dirt stupid. What is that something else? What is cheaper oil? French fry oil? Oil from turkey guts? Palm oil? Ethanol? Oh, I know, battery power charged from nuclear power plants.

There are lots of things that can make a car or truck go but nothing comes remotely close in price or abundance to oil. The idea that we will find anything more abundant or as economical is something only a person who has not investigated the facts could possibly believe.

Ron P.

Yeh, all the smart money right now will be shorting oil soon. I wouldn't and won't bet on that.

Yep, I gotta agree with Darwinian: the author needs to do a lot more research, then rethink his conclusions.

For FF demand [not quantity demanded!] to evaporate much faster than supply would mean most people would be gladly volunteering their labor to substitute for the massive work that FFs currently accomplish. This Volunteerism is NOT going to happen. Consider what this would truly entail:

1. The longest conveyor belt in the world runs through the Western Sahara Desert, just south of Morocco, to move phosphate ore [photolink below]:


The world's longest conveyor belt is the Fosbucraa conveyor belt which is located in the Sahara desert, where it transports phosphate from the mines in Bu Craa to the coast near El-Aaiun.

The Fosbucraa conveyor belt stretches a conveying 60 miles or 100 kilometers.

I don't see 100,000 Volunteers with wheelbarrows saying, "Save the Energy--We want to move these megatons through the scorching desert heat and coastal humidity by our own power!"

2. Photolink of giant coal excavator:


I don't see people volunteering to pick & shovel save the energy that this giant piece of mining equipment requires to operate. Consider this Chinese mining photo:


I strongly doubt if all the people in this photo [50,000? 100,000?] could move dirt as fast as that excavator. Remember: one barrel of oil, or BTU-equivalent equals 25,000-40,000 hours of human labor.

Consider this photo of the largest luxury cruiseliner, nearly a 1/4 mile long:

The 160,000-tonne ship docked at Southampton yesterday, drawing gasps of amazement from onlookers.
She can carry 4,375 passengers on her 15 passenger decks, along with 1,360 crew to cater for them, is three times the size of the Titanic and longer than three football pitches.
I don't see the passengers volunteering to use oars to save the energy required to move this ship, do you?

Obviously, the examples are endless of what human labor could substitute for FF-energy, but you Won't get people to volunteer to do this. It will have to be done with the point of a sword or gun, as was done in earlier times.

Again, remember that there are NO SUBSTITUTES for NPKS to leverage photosynthesis! You could have all 7 billion people taking turns scattering seeds across one single concrete parking lot-->but you won't grow a Damn Thing!

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

Frankly, you should gather the best of your posts, put them all together in some sort of logical order and publish a book. Your style reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut. Or how about a work of fiction centered around mankind's struggle for survival in a world of dwindling NPK. At a minimum, JHK should employ you as a consultant for his next book.

Hello Tstreet,

Thxs for responding. When I first started my blog, since discontinued: one responder proudly said he was going to use all my posting ideas to make his own book.

I have seen some of my texting plagiarized word for exact word, paragraph for exact paragraph, already in other blogs on the WWWeb-->such is Life...

Bob, post a link to where your work was copied. I am interested.

Hello Oirig Medic,

There is no single link, AFAIK, where all my work is collected--just lots of postings, mostly here on TOD, and scattered randomly elsewhere. Most of my postings are not even saved on my 'puter.

Didn't somebody start a blog for you a while back to collect your posts? I remember this and tried to be a "follower" of it, but can't find it now, or remember who it was.

I agree. And if you don't have time for a book or blog then I think we would all really appreciate a concise article that links to your postings. I read your comments all the time but have difficulty grasping exactly the time frame and extent of all this. Still thanks for your work.

Remember, this is Arthur D. Little. They are paid big bucks to come up with ideas which will sell well to particular consumers. I suppose those making wind and solar think this is the greatest thing they ever came across.

I am long oil now and layering in with profits. I am shorting the dollar, and all fiat currencies, by holding physical gold.

tsigthtf prior to next xmas, imo. I am going against my own axiom of 'no predictions' but this one appears a no brainer to me.

What does or doesn't happen at the upcoming G20 will be telling for the future of the dollar and the world economy. I believe the G20 will be another talk fest where nothing solid will come out.

The rest of the world is not going for economic decisions of the Wall St/DC partnership...which is not a partnership but an oligarchy that has bought DC and is calling the shots. The rest of the world is tired of the US printing dollars and off shoring our problems through printing. China is on a buying spree and it's not just recently. I posted years ago how they were using dollars in Africa to gain access to oil. It will stop, there will be a new world currency, I hope it is based on some commodity or basket of commodities...anything but a fiat currency.

My understanding of why China et al hold so many American dollars is because they saw what happened to Asian countries during the financial panic back when. The countries couldn't defend their currencies against the speculators and ended up having to take orders from the IMF. That being the case, and if these countries are concerned about their holdings being depreciated by the Wall Street financiers, the logical explanation seems to be to buy commodities and useful companies (as they are in fact doing) and also convert their reserves to gold.

Correct me if I am wrong (I'm not a financial expert), but gold is a store of value that the U.S. Treasury can't inflate away its debts with. I don't say the world should go back to the gold standard, but if I wanted cash holdings other than Canadian dollars, I would put it in gold.

Disclosure: I don't own any gold and am not a gold bug. My investments are in Canadian bonds and oil (junior pete equities and mineral rights).

I am also not a financial expert and google returns don't seem to be any help - what is "junior pete equities" ?

Junior petes are the small petroleum companies, as opposed to the nationals (Saudi Aramco, etc), the Seven Sisters (ExxonMobil, etc), and the majors (Suncor/Petro-Canada, etc).

The junior pete I'm invested in is a private equity (not a publicly-traded stock) running on cash flow (not debt). The companies that get into trouble are the ones that used a line-of-credit to finance their drilling.

Thanks for the education. I certainly don't have money to invest, but I have learned something.

Spain invests 3 Billion euros in 10 new Solar Thermal Power Stations.
http://tinyurl.com/cuqng3 (in Spanish)
In Alvarado Acciona builds a Solar Plant, 184 000 parabolic mirrors of about six meters each, spread over 130 Has. Over the South of Spain 10 new Solar Power plants plus the two others already working. When the Solar Station in Almeria started in 1981 no one could be bothered about solar energy and in the early '90s the researches were working in fear of being closed any year by CIEMAT. Now there are 14,000 Mwatts on the works.
One bottleneck is the turbines, and the government is wary that another bubble could grow, like it happened with solar photovoltaic: 3000 Mw were built helped by government grants but the price of electricity became too high.
In any case, by 2020 the Electrical Transmission could support 9,500 Mwatts of Solar Thermal, more than the Atomic Power Stations in Spain.

No one believed ten years ago that Spain could have 11% of its electricity coming from the wind. The Thermal Solar Power industry has that as an example of what can be done.
Spain gets ready for the Big Push into Solar Power Stations in the Sahara to power Europe.

Spain has saved the world (*twice) from the consequences of Peak Oil, let's see if the world saves Spain from the consequences of the Credit Crunch or if we have to save ourselves alone, as usual.
Giving the lie to so many doomers about the end of money, in Spain we're supposed to be broke, and too many people are, but the rich bastards investors had no problems finding three thousand million euros for this.

(* Saved the world, twice.) The project in the Canary island of El Hierro, just right for the small islands of the world keeps going steady. It consists of using wind power to lift water up to the crater of an extinct volcano, then use hydraulic power to generate electricity. Many links in English if you google "El Hierro windpower"

Spain invests 3 Billion euros in 10 new Solar Thermal Power Stations

I'm impressed, and well yes just a bit jealous. Here (USA) solar thermal plans are in some degree of danger. On the one hand the financial crises will delay or cancel some. And environmentalist, who don't want their precious desert used up are also throwing up roadblocks. So I doesn't look like the rampup the next few years will be as big as it looked just a year back. The meltdown may not be as bad here as in Europe, and Spain is apparently in for a pretty rough patch -here's hoping you get through it all right.

I have to take exception about Spain having saved the world from PO consequences. Perhaps they will play an important part in the transition. It sounds like their heart is in the right place, but so far no-one has done nearly enough to prepare the world for PO.

EofS, we make in Spain so many mistakes the list is too long. In Holland unemployment is less than 3%, in Spain more than 14% and growing, we-are-rubbish. I shouldn't wonder if in a few years we have to go back to ride donkeys and mules (the rich) and bicycles the rest of us.
It happened there has been a few successes, in the case of Thermal Solar more out of tenacity than anything, but you keep at it and do research for 15 years, you are bound to come up with something useful.
In Wind Power it was a question of imitating what the Europeans were doing and slowly an industry grew from nothing at all. Same with Photovoltaic, now big Silicon solar panels are built in places people used to walk around in wooden clogs, and ride donkeys.
For something like 20 years Spanish newspapers carried ads for free training and schooling on solar energy -a type of complex plumbing and electrical, at the end of the day- paid by the Ministry of Industry. Not many takers, but slowly the number of technicians grew.

This thing with the Pelamis wave power in Portugal, I think it was a big mistake this Scottish company took that technology to a poor, small and backward country like Portugal. They don't have the necessary money and skilled people -and neither does Spain for that matter.
If the USA, with its enormous funds and great numbers of technicians and scientists takes up Wave Power, and keeps at it, in a few years you'll crack this problem.

Madrid built a Metro good enough for a city twice it's size in a couple of decades. Fast and cost effectively. No other city of it's population in the world has as good a Metro as Madrid.

The improvements with high speed rail are also very very good. From a late start, you are running about as fast as the French and Germans and faster than everyone else.


Seoul's subways are pretty extensive and easy to use. And little is easy in Korea for foreigners.


I assume you've taken a peak?


Only on-line :-(

Seoul has twice (or more) the population of Madrid so I put Madrid in a different class. Seoul is in the Tokyo, Moscow, Paris, London, New York City, etc. class of 10 million "or so". VERY good Metro, well and quickly built.

Best Hopes for more,


VERY good Metro, well and quickly built.

Ironic you should say that. Every time I think of transportation projects I'm reminded of a benefit analysis of the Seoul subway system that found those living in Seoul during construction would never live long enough to get back the time they lost during construction.

I'm betting it's roughly the same anywhere a major transport project occurs. They truly are for future generations.

Color me altruistic, he-he...


I am deeply suspicious of such analysis.

What is the "no build" alternative ? How much increased congestion, etc. ?

VERY easy to manipulate the #s.


We actually started on wave power in 1935 with the quoddy project in Cobscook Bay, Down East Maine, but the congress stopped the project shortley after it was started, it would have been a TVA type project for Washington County Maine.

Does anybody know how to access a list of recommended hand tools most likely needed in the future? I seem to remember a list existing at TOD, but cannot locate it.

Colt 1911, you can get everything else with that. J/k I would buy the ones you know how to/are physically able to use first. After that take your climate and land into account. So no universal list.

The only problem I have with the Colt 1911 is the ammo supply, sure I would gladly take dad's old gi colt but because of the ammo availabilty I have a 22 cal, 8 round, wheel gun, (no jammen man).

The thing about buying a ton of guns and ammo is you don't need to. Assuming you survive a confrontation you acquire more guns and ammo. If you don't survive well its not a problem then. There is an innumerable horde of weapons and ammo laying throughout the redstates under beds in closets and basements.

LOL, I hear ya, too bad for the blue states though.

Before guns people were still proficient at killing each other.

In an area with a large proportion of gun ownership people will probably think twice before kicking in your door. But it doesn't matter how many guns you own if its not at hand when you need it. Get in the habit of carrying, and if it is illegal in your area still make sure you have the proper holsters and practice wearing them. I'm not going to condone breaking the law but there are plenty of who would rather risk that than being unarmed in a violent situation. Remember that today's laws are temporary and many will change as Civ begins to collapse.

There is a thread on wtdwtshtf started by TOD's own WNC observer: