Drumbeat: March 29, 2009

Washington is stimulating 'underwater' projects

Several shovel-ready projects being funded by the stimulus bill could be scuba-ready within the century.

Highways, housing and a school receiving some $60 million under President Obama's massive economic recovery plan face increased flooding -- or complete submersion -- within the lifetime of his daughters, environmental groups and scientists warned yesterday.

Take Highway 87 in Texas. The paved strip pokes south like a pin along Bolivar Peninsula, a finger of land that parallels the mainland before ending in the Gulf of Mexico near Galveston. The road is set to be improved using $12 million from the emergency spending spree that is meant to resuscitate employment and spark a financial comeback.

But the peninsula could be an island in 90 years or so, submerging parts of the road and leaving the dry sections accessible only by boat, according to one model showing a 3-foot rise in seawater.

Saudi Aramco opens new storage facility

Saudi Aramco has opened a new refined oil products storage facility allowing for greater flexibility in refinery maintenance scheduling and the minimisation of supply disruptions, the state news agency said on Sunday.

The 650,000 barrel facility, situated underground in Qassim, central Saudi Arabia, is linked to a distribution terminal with a 46-mile-long (74-km) oil pipeline, state news agency SPA said.

Why Is Oil Above 50 Dollars?

U.S. light crude closed last week at the price of 52.29 dollars. Meanwhile, there are differing views on the reasons behind rising prices. There are some who believe that the price of crude oil climbing from about 35 dollars a few weeks ago, to more than 50 dollars at present, is due to the optimism inspired by steps taken by the American administration in proposing appropriate solutions to the financial crisis. On the other hand, there are others who ascribe the rising prices to the firm commitment by OPEC member states to production cuts. Moreover, some also believe that the recovery of prices is due to the optimism that the G20 summit will reach viable solutions.

What are the factors, then, behind this increase in price from its previous very low level (35 Dollars) to stabilizing at 50 dollars, for two weeks in a row now?

Brazil Drops Swap of Oil Rights for Petrobras Stock, Folha Says

(Bloomberg) -- A commission reviewing Brazil’s oil rules has dropped plans to swap unleased offshore oil blocks for stock in Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper said.

The decline in the world economy makes such a plan, supported by Petrobras, as the oil company is known, unnecessary, the newspaper said, citing conversations with at least three government ministers.

Military eyes Alaska for synthetic fuel project

JUNEAU — The U.S. military has pegged Alaska as the ideal place to launch a pilot initiative using synthetic fuels to power jets, which could offer an anchor for developers of coal or gas-to-liquids plants.

Department of Defense fuel procurement officials put out feelers in March for interested parties who might contract to provide the fuels, made with a feedstock of natural gas or coal using a Fischer-Tropsch gasification process.

Tips for Using Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

In a guide they wrote, lighting experts at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute said compact fluorescent bulbs require “a little insight and planning.”

That may be an understatement. While research suggests that compact fluorescent technology has improved in the last decade, the bulbs do not replicate the performance of incandescents, the bulbs to which most people are accustomed.

Islamic banking best option during crisis, say experts

Gulf oil producers and other countries should switch to Islamic banking as an alternative to the traditional financial system that has triggered the global economic distress, two Arab experts have said.

While many traditional banks in the region and worldwide have been severely hit by the crisis, Islamic banks have easily weathered the storm and continued their rapid growth to demonstrate that such a type of banking is a safe practice and the right alternative business, they said.

Cost Works Against Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources in Time of Recession

WASHINGTON — Windmills and solar panel arrays have become symbols of America’s growing interest in alternative energy. Yet as Congress begins debating new rules to restrict carbon dioxide emissions and promote electricity produced from renewable sources, an underlying question is how much more Americans will be willing to pay to harness the wind and the sun.

Is Thorium an Energy Alchemist's Dream?

Advocates say that already existing thorium fuel and reactor technology could provide centuries and perhaps millennia of safe, abundant nuclear power. Are they right?

Hard times mean new opportunities for Big Oil

HOUSTON (AP) — Plunging crude prices have begun to play out in favor of Western oil companies in one regard, giving them leverage with oil-rich countries that only months ago had no reason to compromise.

Countries like Venezuela, Libya and Russia have kept a tight grip on their vast oil reserves in recent years as crude prices soared above $100 per barrel, translating into big revenues. Much of that money, rather than going back into the oil industry, was spent on unrelated political and social programs.

At $50 per barrel, these countries are far more constrained and can't adequately fund some oil and gas projects.

Economy Woes Won't Delay Inpex LNG Projects

Japan's oil and gas producer Inpex Corp. will push ahead as scheduled with two big offshore liquefied natural gas projects in Australia and Indonesia, despite the credit crunch, low energy prices and falling demand.

Key UN report to suggest power-sharing plan in Iraq's divided Kirkuk

KIRKUK, Iraq (AP) — Seeking to head off an explosion of ethnic violence, the United Nations will call for a power-sharing system of government for Iraq's deeply divided region of Kirkuk in the oil-rich north.

A draft U.N. plan, outlined to The Associated Press by two Western officials, aims to defuse dangerous tensions. Kurds, a majority in the region, have been trying to wrest control from Arabs, Turkomen and other rival ethnic groups. If open warfare breaks out, it could jeopardize the U.S. goal of stability across Iraq before elections at year's end.

Testimony to the Australian Senate inquiry into public transport funding

I have had 37 years in the oil industry. I was CEO of a large company for the last 16 years and I have just retired. As Bruce pointed out, that company produced about half a million barrels a day, which is sort of Australia’s consumption. From the 16 years of exploring the world, I would make the following observations: there are virtually no unexplored basins in the world. The ones that there are might be in the Arctic, and that illustrates the point quite neatly because it is obviously really difficult to get that.

The underlying fact here is that the world is consuming 30 billion barrels of oil a year and finding eight. It has been like that since 1980, maybe a little bit earlier, and it is certainly not getting any better. There are two further things. People say, ‘Look at the subsalt discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil.’ I would say, those are extremely difficult resources to produce. You will notice, of all the discoveries in the deep water Gulf of Mexico, not one barrel has been produced; not even on the list. It is the same for Brazil: it is subsalt and it is really difficult to produce.

The anti-capitalist movement's time has come

Whatever they decide, the G20 and other leaders are going to be faced with increasing unrest from those paying with their jobs, their social security and their taxes for a crisis not of their making and a bailout not of their choosing. From Haiti to India, people are rioting over food. We are entering a singular moment of climate chaos and food shortages, a social and energy crisis as well as financial meltdown. The solutions the “alter-global” networks have developed offer a way out that is based on whole systems thinking. Fundamental to this vision is an economy that meets the needs of everyone on a planet of finite resources.

Which is why the climate camp in the City of London, with its slogan “Because nature doesn’t do bailouts,” is one of the most interesting of all the movements coalescing in the British capital next week. It’s a potent mix of seasoned anti-globalization activists who are skilled in creative direct action and a new generation that is energized and refreshingly undogmatic. The camp has taken a key component of the globalization movement — the temporary autonomous zones of street parties and convergence centers liberated in cities during summit protests — to a new level, creating a transformational space which prefigures the world they want, featuring everything from wind turbines and composted waste to decentralized decision-making and creative play.

Peak oil theory appears irrelevant

AMIDST global economic gloom, interesting news is pouring in — from all around — tarnishing still further the Peak Oil theory. The world not only appears awash with oil, the future is also not that dismal as painted by Mat Simmons and the likes.

Erosion of demand is being expressed, and rightly so. Questions are being raised about the future of the oil industry and the state of investments in the sector. Question marks about the ability of the industry to pace with the future crude consumption patterns are definitely in circulation. Yet interesting news in recent weeks is enough to keep adrenaline going. And the very credibility of the theory that oil era is finally coming to an end seems destined to the dustbin of history — at least for the time being. The oil era is here to stay for some time now.

Can the West cultivate ideas from Cuba's 'Special Period'?

(CNN) -- Since the revolution in 1959 Cuba has been many things to many people, but the collapse of the Soviet Union meant few have seen the island state as a vision of the future.

But that could be changing -- at least in one aspect.

As worries about "peak oil" grow in developed nations, the communist republic is proving to be an increasingly popular example of how to cope when the spigots run dry, for the simple reason: they've already been there.

Oil scarcity will spell end of globalisation: Report

TORONTO: The world may no longer be flat very soon.

Contrary to what Thomas Friedman said told us after his analysis of globalisation, the world will indeed become a 'whole lot smaller' very soon, if a top Canadian economist is to be believed.

Jeff Rubin, who quit as chief economist of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) here Friday to promote his book 'Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller,' said the coming oil scarcity will change the world more profoundly than any other crisis.

Falling oil prices bring fear of supply shock: CERA

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), an IHS Inc. 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.”

Stored oil keeps lid on cash crude diffs: traders

HOUSTON (Reuters) - The availability of crude oil stored on tankers at sea appears to be holding down U.S. cash crude differentials, industry sources said on Friday.

Shuttle tanker traffic has increased between tankers too large to enter U.S. ports and Gulf Coast refineries, suggesting some oil is moving into the onshore distribution network, tanker operators said.

Mexico eyes tracking stock for state's Pemex - sources

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico is studying the creation of a special class of shares for state oil company Pemex that would trade on the local stock market, according to two people who have seen a government presentation on the subject.

PetroChina bites off more than it can chew

It was fun while it lasted. In the autumn of 2007, PetroChina spent a glorious 31 days as the world's largest company by way of market capitalisation, toppling some sorely aggrieved Texans. Since then the market value of the Chinese company has fallen by two-thirds, while ExxonMobil has lost a quarter.

Sinopec 2008 Net Profit Falls 47% on Fuel Price Curbs

(Bloomberg) -- China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Asia’s biggest refiner, posted its first annual profit decline in seven years because of government curbs on fuel prices and as the global recession sapped energy demand.

Kuwait comfortable with oil at $50

Kuwaiti oil minister Sheikh Ahmad Al Abdullah Al Sabah said on Sunday the OPEC member was comfortable with the current level of oil prices, given the state of the global economy.

Asked if he was comfortable with oil prices around $50 a barrel, Sheikh Ahmad said: "Yes, of course. It goes with the economic situation".

Saudi Arabia to make wider use of I-Fields technology

Saudi Arabia is planning to step up the use of the more advanced Intelligent Fields (I-Fields) in the development of its hydrocarbon sector after a successful I-Fields experience at its largest oilfield.

The state-owned Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil producing company, said it had created a team to undertake I-Fields operations as it is pushing ahead with major expansion projects to increase its sustainable oil output capacity and maintain the present capacity in the medium term.

Fate of Kuwait refinery project hangs in balance

(AP:KUWAIT CITY) The fate of Kuwait's controversial $14 billion project to build a new refinery will be determined after parliamentary elections, the oil minister said late Saturday.

The official Kuwait News Agency quoted Sheik Ahmed Al Abdullah Al Sabah as saying the plan to build the refinery was "currently frozen" by a Cabinet decision.

Five Reasons to Invest in Agriculture

Two economists at Merrill Lynch coined the term “Agflation” in Spring 2007. It means an increase in the price of food that occurs not only from increased demand from human consumption, but also from its use as an alternative energy resource. As oil stands over $52 now, demand from the biofuels industry should also help demand for agricultural products. Also, “peak oil” means the price increases for grain, soybean, and corn may be more long-lived.

Fuel efficiency standards hiked for 2011

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration has raised fuel efficiency standards for new cars and trucks in the 2011 model year, according to CNBC — the first increase in passenger car standards in more than two decades.

March auto sales faring no better

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Auto sales in the first two weeks of March were down 40% compared to the same period last year, according to industry analysts at J.D. Power and Associates.

Tesla Unveils Four-Door Electric Sedan

HAWTHORNE - Electric car start-up Tesla Motors Inc unveiled its newest, cheapest vehicle on Thursday, a four-door sedan that can carry five adults and could travel up to 300 miles per charge.

The RV: Going the way of the dinosaur?

In the worst economic crisis since the Depression, the RV is facing perhaps its gravest challenge as sales have plummeted, manufacturers have filed for bankruptcy or gone out of business, and lofty expectations of a grander profile for recreational vehicles have been drastically cut.

Even the most pessimistic economy watchers will acknowledge that someday people will begin buying cars again, only because they have to. That assumption, though, does not apply to RVs, which are not essential purchases, can easily cost a quarter of a million dollars and are relentless binge drinkers of fuel.

"This is the worst it's ever been," said Robert Olson, chairman and chief executive of Forest City-based Winnebago Industries Inc., the market leader and the brand synonymous with RVs. "But you always have to look at a silver lining. . . . I think the industry will come back.

Keys to the kingdom: Inside Saudi Arabia's royal family

A dispute over Saudi Arabia's royal succession burst into the open yesterday, revealing a power struggle in which one of the most senior princes in the oil-rich kingdom is reported to have disappeared. The prospect of instability in a country that is not only the world's largest oil exporter but also a key Western ally at the heart of the Middle East will cause serious concern in Washington, London and beyond.

The Pentagon looks at green options

The stakes are high, with the army estimating that reducing fuel consumption by just one per cent translates to about 6400 fewer soldiers in fuel convoys, a favourite target of insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.

All of this has added up to renewed urgency for the Pentagon to reduce its energy consumption. It is already federally mandated to obtain 25 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

Gauging the Prospects for Nuclear Power in the Obama Era

When asked about their views on nuclear power, President Obama and his advisers say they support it. "I believe in nuclear power as a central part of our energy mix," Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently told Congress.

The phrase, both inclusive and relatively vague, has its advantages. But now on Capitol Hill and elsewhere, there are growing doubts over just how much the Obama administration really means it.

UN offers aid for Bolivia to exploit uranium

LA PAZ (Xinhua) -- The United Nations announced on Friday its disposition to cooperate with Bolivia on the exploration and exploitation of uranium mines.

France seals African uranium deals

Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, has returned home after a two-day trip to Central and West Africa during which he signed uranium-mining deals.

With renewed global interest in nuclear power, France is eager to secure and develop its supply of uranium.

Tunisia: Country to Export Green Energy to Europe

Tunis — Private operators will soon be able to export 200 MW of green energy to Europe through the underwater electric connexion set up between Tunisia and Italy, within the ELMED project.

Wind industry expects its slowdown to be only temporary

The recession has slowed down the whole wind industry this year, from materials to final assembly of turbines. Experts say that getting it up to speed to produce the number of turbines needed to generate large amounts of renewable energy will require more government support and innovation to make the parts lighter, stronger and cheaper.

Maine gov touts Northeast Energy Corridor

Baldacci says Maine can serve as a hub to markets in southern New England that are hungry for clean, renewable electricity.

A first phase could include more than 1,000 megawatts of electrical transmission capacity with a natural gas-fired co-generation plant in Saint John. That's more energy than was produced by the Maine Yankee nuclear power plant when it was in operation.

The Smart-Grid Dilemma

What do utilities make money on? Energy consumption. So, what incentive do they have to install smart meters in your house and make this a transparent process with variable pricing if that means it would eventually reduce your energy bill, hence their revenue?

David Strahan - Electric avenues: Battery-powered cars take over the roads

The oil giants could be taken by surprise at how quickly battery-powered cars take over the roads.

Do New Bulbs Save Energy if They Don’t Work?

SAN FRANCISCO — It sounds like such a simple thing to do: buy some new light bulbs, screw them in, save the planet.

But a lot of people these days are finding the new compact fluorescent bulbs anything but simple. Consumers who are trying them say they sometimes fail to work, or wear out early. At best, people discover that using the bulbs requires learning a long list of dos and don’ts.

Coming soon: Your personal electric-use tracker

BOULDER, Colo. (Fortune Small Business) -- Adrian Tuck wants to help America change the way it shops for energy. If the power companies ran grocery stores, he says, "you would walk down the aisle and there would be no prices on anything. You'd fill your cart, get home, and 45 days later you'd get a bill that had one single number on it."

Corollary: Many of us would cut back on our monthly kilowatt spending spree if we could see our money draining away minute by minute. That's why the startup Tuck co-founded with entrepreneur Tim Enwall, called Tendril, has spent four years and $20 million developing a computerized system that helps consumers track their electricity use.

Forget green roofs - this whole building lives

Green roofs are so yesterday. Meet the designers who will wrap an entire office block in plants.

Surge of college students pursuing 'clean energy' careers

Climate change is a concern among undergraduates, driving a surge of interest in science and engineering on campuses nationwide.

Loggers Try to Adapt to Greener Economy

Some people who have long fought to clear-cut the region’s verdant slopes are trying to reposition themselves for a more environmentally friendly economy, motivated by changing political interests, the federal stimulus package and sheer desperation.

Some mills that once sought the oldest, tallest evergreens are now producing alternative energy from wood byproducts like bark or brush. Unemployed loggers are looking for work thinning federal forests, a task for which the stimulus package devotes $500 million; the goal is to make forests more resistant to wildfires and disease. Some local officials are betting there is revenue in a forest resource that few appreciated before: the ability of trees to absorb carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping gas that can contribute to global warming.

Pragmatism drives the shifting thinking, but a critical question remains: can people really make a long-term living off the forest without cutting it down?

Antarctica to Pyramids, lights dim for Earth Hour

CHICAGO (AP) — From an Antarctic research base and the Great Pyramids of Egypt to the Empire State Building in New York and the Sears Tower in Chicago, illuminated patches of the globe went dark Saturday for Earth Hour, a campaign to highlight the threat of climate change.

Time zone by time zone, nearly 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries joined the event sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund to dim nonessential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The campaign began in Australia in 2007 and last year grew to 400 cities worldwide.

Organizers initially worried enthusiasm this year would wane with the world focused on the global economic crisis, said Earth Hour executive director Andy Ridley. But he said it apparently had the opposite effect.

Obama starts climate change forum for big economies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Saturday invited 16 "major economies" including the European Union and the United Nations to take part in a forum on climate change to facilitate a U.N. pact on global warming.

Obama team debuts at UN climate talks

BONN, Germany – President Barak Obama's climate change team made their international debut Sunday at a major U.N. conference — and delegates were eager to find out whether Obama could translate his aggressive domestic agenda into a worldwide deal to fight global warming.

Farmers Face Growing Climate Change Dilemma: Scientist

Agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gases and globally that share will rise as demand for food from growing human populations also increases, scientist Richard John Eckard of the University of Melbourne said on Thursday.

But farmers are facing a near-impossible challenge: feeding the world while trying to trim emissions and adapt to greater extremes of droughts and floods because of global warming, he said.

U.N. 'Climate Change' Plan Would Likely Shift Trillions to Form New World Economy

A United Nations document on "climate change" that will be distributed to a major environmental conclave next week envisions a huge reordering of the world economy, likely involving trillions of dollars in wealth transfer, millions of job losses and gains, new taxes, industrial relocations, new tariffs and subsidies, and complicated payments for greenhouse gas abatement schemes and carbon taxes — all under the supervision of the world body.

‘Tipping Points’ and the Climate Challenge

Early signs of scientific discomfort with some allusions to climate-related tipping points came in a 2006 blog post, “Runaway Tipping Points of No Return,” by Gavin Schmidt of Realclimate.org and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. His main focus was the use of the term by the media, but he provided a very useful deconstruction of various climate-related risks and whether they had that “little nudge, big effect” quality.

He warned how such terminology could backfire two different ways in the public discourse — leading to both a cavalier and fatalistic outlook (before and after a putative threshold is reached). He also noted the reality that in a complex system with lots of potential tipping points, the end result is in essence a smooth curve of risk, kind of like those early depictions of the climate problem.

Can the West cultivate ideas from Cuba's 'Special Period'?
Most Cubans are desperate to escape from Cuba, I don't think there's anything to imitate there for the West. If you can read Spanish I recommend a blog from a Cuban woman journalist who keeps it in spite of not having Internet (like most Cubans, except the Communist nomenklatura) and being harassed all the time, it is Generación Y
You will learn there about the edible landscape in Cuba: it is a lie.

"Most Cubans are desperate to escape from Cuba"

If the rest of the world (including the US) collapses, do you think Cubans will still be desperate to escape?

And if so, to where?

When Batiste was overthrown, 90% of Cubans had dirt floors and no electricity.

Wallerstein: "I don’t think he can attack any of those because I don’t think he has much power on the world scene. It isn’t that the U.S. is a non-entity, but it’s in a situation in which there are eight or ten foci of power and the U.S. options are limited. Look at the meeting of the Rio Group in Brazil. Here we have the first meeting in 200 years, 200 years, of all the Latin American and Caribbean countries, in which the U.S., Canada and the European powers were not invited. Every single head of state came, with two exceptions. Who were the two exceptions? Columbia and Peru -- two, currently, mostly pro-American countries. But also, they didn’t boycott it. They sent a number two or number three. Even Mexico came. Of course, Raul Castro was there, who was the hero of this meeting. They took very strong positions and the U.S. was absolutely out in the cold."


I'm sorry, but if you are responding to my post, I am completely missing your point.

You assume that most Cubans are desperate to escape.

I disagreed with your assumption. And showed that
the US(with Mexico, Colombia, Peru), not Cuba, is being
isolated in the Western Hemisphere.

And note that the US never offers to repatriate all the wealth
stolen from Cuba during Batiste.

That's all.

No, no, I was not assuming they want to escape. The post I was responding to suggested that. I just was wondering where the hell they think they will be better off - maybe in Miami this summer/fall when the riots begin in earnest?

No where to run,
no where to hide.

But that is soo depressing and doomerish of me... let's talk climate change remediation, and peak oil mitigation.

At least for a while longer.

While we can still pretend.

My apologies. I was responding to

[-] santaluciae on March 29, 2009 - 9:13am Permalink | Subthread | Comments top

I see her now. In the post below.

"But that is soo depressing and doomerish of me... let's talk climate change remediation, and peak oil mitigation.

At least for a while longer.

While we can still pretend."

You are correct. Stay where you are. ;}

When Batiste was overthrown, 90% of Cubans had dirt floors and no electricity

Absolutely false. When Dr Castro (law) and Dr Guevara (medicine) take power in 1958, Cuba was the most prosperous and richest country in Latin America. Spain had built in Havana the first University in America, back in the 16th century; Cuba before 1898, and afterward, had medical doctors, engineers, lawyers, businessmen, architects, etc. They had railroads built by Spain in the 19th century before they were built in Spain itself.

But the past is not the question, the question is right now.
A Cuban poetess exiled in Spain told me: "In Cuba you can tell a prostitute from a decent woman, because decent women don't wear knickers. In Cuba only prostitutes can afford them".
You Americans are being told by some people, that in Cuba they grow vegetables in lots, you are told about "edible landscapes" in Cuba. That was what I tried to expose: it is a lie, in Cuba there's nothing to eat, OK, or very little, with ration books, black markets.
There's no almost cattle in Cuba, no milk except for the very young.

La Habana was a wonderful city in the time of Batista. Now the tourists in Europe see brochures inviting them to see "crumbling colonial buildings in Havana".

If you understand written Spanish read the blog of Yoani Sánchez, http://www.desdecuba.com/generaciony/ and you'll know what living in Cuba right now really is. She has some very interesting posts about the impact of the hurricanes last summer.

Where can the Cubans go? They can come to Spain! Believe it or not, a few months ago our government approved for children and grandchildren of Spanish Republican exiles full nationality and right to a passport. There are long queues in front of the consulate in Havana, also in all the Latin American cities, millions potentially have the right. And already millions came back over here.


Thanks for your outspoken words. Cuba is a nasty little socialist dictatorship, full stop.

No wonder that left-wing ideologists love it.


Yoani Sanchez's blog is also available in English:


Recommended reading for people with inquiring minds.

Caramba ! I didn't know that. Now I notice there's a long line of flags, different languages. [¿] I eat humble pie.
Yoany received many prizes from the media in Spain, to protect her from the worst of the Cuban government. Even Fidel once spoke against her, we feared for her freedom.
Anyone interested, you read about real life there. And the comments, if they are in English like the ones I read in Spanish, ask the Cubans there how was life in Cuba before the beards won.
Talk about Argentinean collapse, I know you are fascinated by it, there's Cuba for Real Collapse. And yet, life goes on and it is not always bad.

You have showed me that Cuba under Batista was good for SOME people. Except for saying "absolutely false," you didn't rebut the proposition that 90% of Cubans had dirt floors and no electricity. Perhaps you can also expound on the wonderful medical care Cubans had under Batista as well.

Thank you. I'll be on this until resolved.

Stay tuned.

The Embargo will be lifted, and soon.

I have alot of rice to sell to Cuba. And lots of rum to bring back. 8D

There are also a lot of Mexicans trying to leave Mexico, a country run by US style conservatives. Perhaps it is not the political climate or sustainability that controls migration pressures, but the wealthy friend to the North?

Calderon stole the election. And started the Border/drug War.

See Carlos Slim, the CIA rendition/cocaine crash, Banamex
and Wally Hilliard for details.

Cubans are suffering from an artificially induced peak-oil, and the people inducing it are criminals.

Nevertheless, we can learn from what the Cuban people are doing to cope with it.

Welcome back Leanan. And "lang may yer lum reek!" as we say in Scotland.

Or maybe not given climate concerns ;-)

Thanks to Gail and all the rest of the crew for all their hard work filling in while you were away.

Meanwhile it's another lovely sunny day here in Scotland. Euan's got a big 16C (64F) stuck over Aberdeen on Tuesday on BBC forecast. And strangely the skies look incredibly blue today. Global dimming pollutants dropping or just us Scots happy to see the sun?

Yes - welcome back - including thanks to those who pinch hit, relief pitched, you get the theme.

I ASSSUME part of your time was spent at Spring Training. You may recall LAST YEAR after your swing through Spring Training Florida Style it was openly wondered if there would even be one this year.

There is/was, but next year....

While you were "gone"...Marlins got their mostly publicly funded downtown Miami Stadium approved, but the bond market could still say NO.


My feeling is that the economy is rebounding. More crowds, more traffic, fewer signs of mortgage distress than last year.

It might be temporary. I believe Stoneleigh predicted there would be a bounce that led people to think Obama's plan was working. To be followed by a deeper crash.

But for now...my impression is that people are spending again.

Spring is an uplifting time of year and people may be thinking they pulled back a bit too much in 4th QTR 08. Much of this is psychological and the markets will ride this wave for a few months, I think. People are spending in spurts (spring break for college students, etc.), but the constant flow of retail dollars is not improving. It is a time to breath some fresh air and get your wits, but do not lose sight of what has happened in the past year.

I think there is a stair-step decline in this process too -- or perhaps its a slow-moving escalator which takes some down quickly by steps at a time but everybody slowly down as well.

For people like my family, we've cut back to where we're relatively in about the same place as a year ago, but on $1000+ less per month in cash due to work cuts. We're paying for more for food, but significantly less for gas (because we've downsized our cars). We're still making headway month by month, and really life is still easy and good.

I'm paying through the nose for college for one kid, and sports and activities for others. I work a second job part-time to pay off debts (nothing but mortgage left) and to put a few bucks back.

I'm hoping -- just hope, no substance to back it up -- that the slide will be slow enough to get at least one through college and to gently reset expectations for the rest.

We continue to cut back on everything. Next step is to size-down and energy-down our housing, and cut travel miles. In 3 years, if we have that long, we'll be able to exist on much, much less, and my biggest worries will be on getting the kids up and out in some manner.

I have bad, worse, worst plans tentatively lined out. So far things are going on the good side of bad. Hopefully it stays that way. I think I can see my way through a long, slow slide. Fast and deep, maybe not.

This isn't a criticism, but I am curious why you aren't having what seems to me to be a very important conversation with your college-going child about the future as you see it and whether college is setting them up for it appropriately.

Is he/she studying something practical that is likely to serve them well?

I think part of is in reaction to lower prices. Gas, homes, clothes, vacations, restaurant dining...it's all gotten cheaper. For those who have money to spend, it seems like time to buy.

You are correct there. I definitely have taken advantage of cheaper prices on bigger item things I know I will need now, especially in case I lose my job or have my salary reduced in the near future. I have cut back on a lot of common things I took for granted a year or so ago (i.e., eating out, fewer groceries, fewer expensive vacations, fewer CDs, etc.) For Spring Break, my family stayed home and we did little day trips around the metro. We had a ball, were exhausted when we got home, popped popcorn and watched rented movies. Plus, I felt more refreshed when I went back to work.

When looking at the increase in retail spending as well as the uptick in the stock market it is helpful to consider the time of year. This is March so far the increase in retail spending appears to follow the potential for income tax rebates. Sort of a government stimulus package. The uptick in the stock market is also somewhat linked to tax season IMHO this is the time of year when payments to IRAs and 401s must be made for tax purposes. This money by law must be invested within 60 days of receipt by the fund manager. May be a connection and then again maybe the problems have been solved.

From Barrons: Abelson takes a look at the numbers that got the bulls to come out and play. Interesting numbers. His comments on the PPIP plan are at link. Mish has an article this am: Cali median home prices down $350K in 22 months and are still falling. Yeah, things are better all over.

"In Dante's Footsteps

Is the latest bank-rescue plan a "way to hell"? Bad-news bulls."

"THE STOCK MARKET, IN CASE you've been too busy trying to book passage on the space shuttle to notice, has been on a roll. It started to go perpendicular on March 10 and, until last Friday, anyway, barely paused to look back. As intimated above, Tim Geithner's latest gambit detonated a new burst toward heaven last Monday.

Whether what we've been witnessing is a bear-market bounce or the forerunner of something much more exhilarating and sustainable -- perhaps even the beginnings of a new, gulp, bull market -- became a matter of intense speculation among certified Street sages, most of whom embody that special quality common to investment seers and political pundits of being rarely right but never in doubt.

To illustrate, the seasonal adjustment for new-home sales was the strongest since 1982; for durable-goods orders, the strongest since they were first released in 1992; the retail-sales figures for February were flat (or, as David says, flattering) after such adjustment, but unadjusted fell 3%, the biggest drop on record. He also notes dryly that the 40,000 raw non-seasonally adjusted housing-start total for February "all of a sudden becomes a headline-adjusted annual rate figure of 583,000."

Which makes David think that come the inevitably sharp downward revisions of such distorted data, first-quarter real GDP is likely to suffer a 7.2% drop. Which, together with the 6.3% skid in the fourth quarter of 2008, would be the worst back-to-back contraction in the economy in 50 years."


Between now an summer, we will see the continue PR blitz by team obama, while the unemployment numbers grow. All the while, everyone will be told to just be patient while their "plan" starts to work.

But it's kind of hard to tell someone who has lost their job that things are getting better. You can fudge the economic number just so far, but reality gets the final say.

The heat of summer weather, high unemployment and federal reserve induced inflation in food and energy price will make things go boom.

(Or at least that is what I foresee in the next couple of months. This bear market rally in stocks is just a head fake.)

There are two economic realities going on, I think. There is what is happening to on the elite/corporate level and then the real, working class, product exchanged for currency level. Obama thinks that propping up the first level will trickle down to the other, but so far, I have not seen it. No matter what you see or are being told about recovery in the DOW or corp profits, things on the front lines are as bad or worse than last 4th QTR.

They're expecting the summer to be bad in Europe:

From Edinburgh to Paris to Kiev, Europe is revolting

THE signs are everywhere, from smashed windows in the mansion of a British banker to the thousands who took to the streets of Kiev to decry pay cuts: Europe is rebelling.

As world leaders strut the stages of Washington, New York and soon, London, in a bid to forge a united response to the global financial crisis, the rising cost of living, mortgages heading skywards, job losses and a tide of home repossessions have sparked a chilling fear of the future and propelled the citizens of Europe into open uprising.

These isolated brushfires of civil unrest could ignite what Superintendent David Hartshorn of London's Metropolitan Police warned could become a "summer of rage" - with the city's G20 meeting the focus of widespread dissatisfaction.

I wonder what it would take to make Americans take to the streets.

What will it take?
I'd guess it will take about 4 or 5 month.
This stuff tends to happen in warmer weather, but once one occurs, copy cats will happen. It has happen here before, and in a way the reason this time will be the same. Namely a lack of economic opportunity.


I wonder what it would take to make Americans take to the streets.

I am asking, for the most part subtly, the same question on other blogs.

I wonder what it would take to make Americans take to the streets.

That's the $100,000 question, isn't it?

What's led to the few riots we've had in the last fifty years? A minority person killed or beaten? A war (in Vietnam). The first was an irrational eruption; the second a planned and organized rebellion. What causes eruptions? I doubt that there is any definable thing.

Can we point to anything in the news that might trigger marches? We now have officially 7 states with unemployment above 10% (which means probably 15 to 20% unofficially), and several more states on the brink of 10. Might 20 or 30 states at 10 do it? Why? It still means 90% employed. Lack of food? Lack of energy?

I think that one possible trigger is perceived injustice, for example the rich having energy and food and the rest of us without. Now, that would cause some grumbling. If one large group lacks what a small group has, that's trouble. If a small group lacks what the larger group has, maybe not so much trouble if there's expectation that the lack will soon be over.

FWIW, Americans so far seemed to get worked up over AIG bonuses more than anything else. So much so that AIG warned its employees to travel in pairs and not wear anything with their logo for fear they'll be attacked in the streets.

And that, I think, is not because the have-nots are jealous of the haves, but because they feel that it's their money, going to pad the bank accounts of already over-paid, privileged people who screwed up, and thus don't deserve that kind of money, let alone out of Joe Public's pocket.

Class politics has always been different in the US. As Michael Moore said, Americans don't want to tax the rich because we all expect to be the rich one day. There's a strong belief that anyone who works hard can become rich, and that "the rich work hard for their money."

But the financial scandal kind of blows that out of the water. Suddenly, it looks like the rich got rich not through hard work, but by fraud. And rather than paying for their crime, the taxpayers are paying them.

Leanan: Interestingly, FOX has been ahead of the other networks in realizing the public outrage-this article is about Glenn Beck's rise in popularity http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/business/media/30beck.html?_r=1&hp

There are subjective impressions and there are objective facts.

Subjectively, I see no difference in people's behavior: the "same" SUVs are on the road, the local Walmart is packed as usual, all the fast food places are open, and food costs are a bit less than last year (for me).

Objectively, two major employers have shut down and the local mayor is talking about layoffs, postponements, and cuts in services and pay.

I suppose the objective realities haven't yet penetrated our perceptions, but in reality I see no difference between last year at this time and now. I hear of differences, I read about them, and so on, but I don't see them.

My impression is that something has changed, actually.

We traveled to Florida for spring break (the family is divided between doomers (me) and agnostics (my husband), so we don't do much ELP). We found the condo "complex" where we were staying relatively empty, and experienced a level of tourist gouging I have rarely observed in the US.

After we failed to make it home on the day we had planned to travel (due to a blizzard in Denver), we found ourselves victims of extortion attempts by the condo rental company, the auto rental company and the airline, each doing their best to extract outrageous sums from us, now that we were stuck two additional days.

I would say there is almost a sense of panic from the tourism/travel industry. Sure, Florida "seemed" kind of normal, lots of cars on the road, construction on I-75, and people shopping at the mall. But to have Gulf Islands far from full on Spring Break week, their shops and restaurants slow, even the beach sort of deserted must be causing some consternation.

Oops 16c is 61F of course.

Through gritted teeth, holding back vomit, OPM Manager Forced to participate by fiduciary responsibility...

Dear Reader: Please give me 8 minutes to explain the $1.1 trillion federal government Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP).

... You decide if this is a sound policy solution for the US banking system, or if you believe that our government has taken “moral hazard” to a new level with pee-pip?

...As a money manager for our clients, the Cumberland firm will look at PPIP and may use it on behalf of clients... As a private citizen concerned about my country and its policy direction, I think this reeks and stinks.

David R. Kotok, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, email: david.,,,


I keep wanting to give obama another chance, but this really finishes him in my eyes. He has completely abdicated to the bankers. He has thrown the doors of the treasury wide open, and the pigmen will gorge themselves till the country is bankrupt and the dollar is worthless.

The point of this plan is to be so complicated, that the average person will not understand it, while giving free money to the bankers.

Even when the people raise a stink, i.e. AIG bonuses, the plan is deal with it in the House and quietly kill it in the Senate with a we'll get to it next month kind of statement. I am not sure if the ruse can last much longer, will it be in a few months or a few years, who knows, the thing is the prudent course of action (as always) is to plan for the worst and hope for the best,

I have thought for some time that the energy situation was going to come down the pike as a large surprise to the country kiling off our economy, it seems that our economy has killed of itself in the form of the bankers and financiers.

Berneke et al are reacting to this like they figure Hoover (also a relativly new president as well) should have reacted in 29-30.

The problem is that the world has too many folks in it and too few resources. The government economists are selling out the future through bonds etc. cet, perhaps some of them figure that the economy will grow and they will pay off the debt with the assets of a larger economy, that is all well and good if the economy could grow, but with PO it will not happen as oil drives the economy and little if any government effort has gone into solving that problen, a few bucks to Solar and wind (and bio fuels with a negative EROI so what is the point?) and at this point even if the Obama administration decided to go full throttle to preparing for an energy poor future time is running out and the financial resources needed are going (for the most part) to prop up the likes of AIG.

Ah, OPM. The Bankers drug of choice...


But now some of the people involved in cleaning up the financial mess are suggesting that Semgroup’s collapse was more than just bad judgment and worse timing. There is evidence of a malevolent hand at work: oil price manipulation by traders orchestrating a short squeeze to push up the price of West Texas Intermediate crude to the point that it would generate fatal losses in Semgroup’s accounts.

I look forward to the regulars who deny that oil price fixing exist.

"I look forward to the regulars who deny that oil price fixing exist."

It's cannibalism. As interest rates are halved, and
energy growth is gone, that's the only way to "make money".

Transferring wealth from the production side to the financial.

"Obama can talk a much more palatable language to the rest of the world, but that doesn’t make the U.S. the leader. He’s still thinking that the U.S. is the leader. He has to be disabused of this idea. Nobody wants the U.S. as the leader; people want the U.S. as a possible collaborator on many things that have to be done like climate change, but not as a leader. I think his hands are tied there in terms of the world economy. What he can do is what everybody else can do, which is use the state machinery at home to do social democratic things to keep from having an uprising nationally."-Wallerstein


Local Dallas based cornucopian Ed Wallace was all over this story Saturday--asserting that the runup oil prices was due to speculation and not to supply/demand factors. It is a plausible story? Sure, but I think it's just high frequency noise on superimposed on a fundamental long term change. However, there were lots of innocent victims in the collapse, especially operators who had to make good on missed royalty payments. But I would argue that this is similar to the collateral damage rippling through the whole economy, resulting from Wall Street's shenanigans.

What Wallace, et al, choose to ignore is the long term nature of the oil price increase and the fact that crude oil production stopped growing in 2005, in response to higher crude prices, in contrast to the preceding three year period.

Oil prices increased from $14 in 1998 to $100 in 2008, with oil prices increasing in nine out of ten years, and with 2000 being the fastest rate of increase, not 2008:


Based on EIA data, world crude oil (C+C) production increased by 6.5 mbpd from 2002 to 2005, and by 0.1 mbpd (subject to revision) from 2005 to 2008, with two down years in between.

A simple explanation for oil prices

So, despite the fact that relative to 2005, we are going to almost certainly see three years of lower net oil exports, flat crude oil production and a slight increase in total liquids production, the conventional wisdom is that the increase in annual US oil prices from $57 in 2005 to about $100 in 2008 was due to “speculation,” while the recent sharp decline in monthly and daily oil prices was due to Peak Oilers being wrong about a near term peak in world oil production.

The problem is with collapse of the economy now. Housing and
wages are falling faster while 750k per month are losing

And $75 the bbl should be the ceiling.

Americans still think $2 gasoline is expensive.

And I just traveled the state of Arkansas and from West to East
the price was $1.95. I've never seen an equalization
like this.

Where are those speculators, anyway? If they have the power to push up prices, then why don't they get back in the game? I also could use these people to push up my house price as I am now putting it on the market.

Gee, you don't hear very people yelling "drill,baby,drill" these days. Sarah, where are you?

'Those speculators' are not 'back in the game' because there is no money to borrow for spec bets on commodities. The hedgies got creamed, the money that should be available is locked up in big banks, on loan from the Fed, with dire threats from the Fed that the capital is not to be turned loose into the greater economy. Unless you have been in a cave you would know that there is little lending and less borrowing going on.

There was a story in the NY Post recently, picked up by Ritholtz at TBP, pointing out that Citi and BoA are buying up MBS in the secondary market in anticipation of selling more of this crap back to the Fed at inflated prices. I could not verify that story anywhere so it was squelched or it was bs.

A great deal of the money that fled into commodities in the run up to mid summer 08 has been lost in crashes or lost in deflation of various equities. Those that avoided the big hits are now very cautious.

Net oil exports & the “Iron Triangle”

To some extent, I think that we are seeing the three legs of the Iron Triangle testing out their theories to explain a resumption of what we saw in the 2005 to 2008 time frame—flat to declining crude oil production and net oil exports in response to rising oil prices.

CERA is getting ready to blame a lack of investment. The folks at CERA, like the nice ladies at the Bunny Ranch in Nevada, IMO are paid to provide certain services. CERA, in this case, IMO, is paid to provide optimistic production scenarios, so they provide optimistic production scenarios.

Note that Steve Forbes is definitely in the energy cornucopian camp, so it’s probably not a coincidence that the magazine comes out with an article which blames a good deal of the runup in oil prices on a conspiracy.

And of course, our local cornucopian, Ed Wallace, has a radio show which is pretty much 100% supported by auto industry related advertisers. He is on record as saying that we don’t have to worry about Peak Oil for at least 50 years. Wallace has supported the Reason Foundation's "solution" for road congestion--we need to vastly increase our investment in new roads and maintenance.

I don’t think that these guys get together in a smoke filled room to plot strategy, but I do think that they are acting out of their perceived self-interest. Whether it is in our joint self-interest to—in effect—encourage the auto centric suburban way of life is a different matter. As noted in my Iron Triangle article, one of the enduring ironies of Peak Oil debate is that the cornucpians tend to blame people like Simmons, et al--who are trying to warn people about finite energy supplies—for higher energy prices.

Speculation and price fixing aren't really the same thing at all, are they?

SemGroup's demise caused a lot of pain here in T-town. It was a rare rising star after the failures of other local success stories in the last recession (WCOM and Williams) plus a long-slide in aerospace and oil technology.

From my perspective hedge funds and other speculators may add liquidity and some contrarian perspective to a healthy market, where the fundamental players dwarf the hedges and speculators. Now that speculators have greater volumes for oil and many stocks than traditional investors, and the hedge funds are expected to always turn profits rather than "hedge", I think all too often this tail wags the dog.

I'm not sure you can say it's illegal, though. Porsche made a killing at hedge funds' expense on the VW short squeeze. Hedge funds probably made killings by shorting SemGroup out of existence. It's a bloody game played at global scale. Probably countries, and the lives of their inhabitants, are being played the same way.

If you're in a business that only makes money when things go contrary to plan, you can bet there is a strong incentive to encourage things to go contrary to plan. A regular insurance company works to keep from your house or car burning up, and most of the time this works pretty well because their goal and yours is the same. It doesn't work quite so well when you're upside down in your loan, facing unemployment and repossession, and now it would suddenly be beneficial for your leveraged possessions to combust. Except that in this case hedge funds are on the other side, needing for your house to burn down, while you still are planning to sleep in it tonight, blissfully unaware that amoral and nameless investors would benefit from your loss.

I suspect there are "suspicious fires" of various sorts springing up in all corners of the financial world. I also suspect we be nearing the next big uprising against corporate power. If it happens it'll be populist-driven, and probably from the ashes of a failed economy.

Yes, in addition it is quite possible you are funding through taxation these same hedge funds that need your house to burn down with you in it.

CD Swaps have been described this way. As insurance( the term
intentionally not used to prevent regs) could be taken out on anything, like your house, and your house could be valued
at 10x your market.

All the while piling up cans of gasoline next to your house.

Deep Capture is a work of investigative journalism examining the growing threat to our financial system posed by illegal naked short selling, stock manipulation, and the destruction of public companies.

Links to all sections of Deep Capture are on the right. An explanation of the sections appears below.


Revisionist View of the Great Depression - Part III
by Antal E. Fekete


The Pharaoh's Treasure
According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus the treasure of no Egyptian pharaoh was comparable in either size or value to the enormous hoard of Rhampsinitos. His treasury was housed in a huge stone building adjacent to the palace, and it was considered burglar-proof. The door was sealed by the pharaoh's personal seal and manned around the clock by armed guards. Rhampsinitos was present in person every time the seal was broken and the building entered. Therefore it was extremely disturbing when the pharaoh discovered that his treasure was being pilfered, albeit without any sign of unauthorized entry into the building. To find out what was going on the pharaoh caused a trap to be placed inside to catch any would-be thief as he was approaching the treasure-bins. To his utter amazement, on his next visit the pharaoh found that, while the trap had done the job of catching the would-be thief, this did not help him one iota to solve the mystery. More treasure was missing, together with the head of the would-be thief. There was no sign showing how the missing objects had been spirited out of the building. The identity of the thieves could not be established. As if someone had the supernatural power to enter the building invisibly and pilfer the treasure without leaving any trace.


America is slowly shutting down.

Piece by piece...

Bus routes to be closed; stimulus money can't help

...Now, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley worries the cutbacks will have an adverse effect on an already struggling area economy.


City by city (e.g. Flint, MI and other municipals' plans to "bulldoze parts of the city").

How long before whole regions of the country are left to fend for themselves?

Every government, with a couple of exceptions, has disintergrated while decrying 'everything is fine, we have a sound currency, our economy has never been in better condition', or, words to that effect. Below are some extracts from Emmanuel Wallerstein of the Fernand Braudel Center, Binghamton University. I have been reading their commentaries for a long time and have never read one to compare with this stunner.

"Mar. 15, 2009, Commentary No. 253

"Civil War in the United States?"

We are getting accustomed to all sorts of breakdowns of taboos. The world press is full of discussion about whether it would be a good idea to "nationalize" banks. None other than Alan Greenspan, disciple of the superlibertarian prophet of pure market capitalism, Ayn Rand, has recently said that we have to nationalize banks once every hundred years, and this may be that moment. Conservative Republican Senator Lindsay Graham agreed with him. Left Keynesian Alan Blinder discussed the pros and cons of this idea. And while he thinks the cons are a bit bigger than the pros, he was willing to spend public intellectual energy writing about this in the New York Times.

Well, after hearing nationalization proposals by arch-conservative notables, we are now hearing serious discussions about the possibilities of civil war in the United States. Zbigniew Brzezinski, apostle of anti-Communist ideology and President Carter's National Security Advisor, appeared on a morning television talk show on February 17, and was asked to discuss his previous mention of the possibility of class conflict in the United States in the wake of the worldwide economic collapse.

Brzezinski said he was worried about it because of the prospect of "millions and millions of unemployed people facing dire straits," people who have become aware "of this extraordinary wealth that was transferred to a few individuals without historical precedent in America."

He reminded the listeners that, when there was a massive banking crisis in 1907, the great financier, J.P. Morgan, invited a group of wealthy financiers to his home, locked them in his library, and wouldn't let them out until they all kicked in money for a fund to stabilize the banks. Brzezinski said: "Where is the monied class today? Why aren't they doing something: the people who made billions?"

In the absence of their doing something on a voluntary basis, Brzezinski said, "there's going to be growing conflict between the classes and if people are unemployed and really hurting, hell, there could even be riots!"

Almost simultaneously, a European agency called LEAP/Europe that issues monthly confidential Global Europe Anticipation Bulletins for its clients - politicians, public servants, businessmen, and investors - devoted its February issue to global geopolitical dislocation. The report did not paint a pretty picture. It discussed the possibility of civil war in Europe, in the United States, and Japan. It foresaw a "generalized stampede" that will lead to clashes, semi-civil wars.

The experts have some advice: "If your country or region is a zone in which there is a massive availability of guns, the best thing you can do...is to leave the region, if that's possible." The only one of these countries which meets the description of massively available guns is the United States. The head of LEAP/Europe, Franck Biancheri, noted that "there are 200 million guns in circulation in the United States, and social violence is already manifest via gangs." The experts who wrote the report asserted that there is already an ongoing emigration of Americans

to Europe, because that is "where physical danger will remain marginal."

Remainder of article at link below:


Nationalization is not on the table because the financial industry, which controls the government, wants the best of both worlds, massive infusions of taxpayer capital and no restructuring. They need to be nationalized, broken up, and then sold in little manageable pieces.

What they are describing is massive civil unrest, but lacks the organization to be "civil war". Those 200 million guns may be in the hands of people willing to tear things down, but collectively, they have no plan for replacing it with anything else. 50,000 Texans burning down the banks and mansions in Dallas and Houston is a riot writ large; those same 50,000 declaring the state independent, blowing up the oil and gas pipelines where they leave the state, and shooting at the US Army is a civil war.

When I was in graduate school in Austin in the 1970s, and there was a heated national debate over regulating natural gas wellhead prices, with the gas-exporting states opposing the gas-importing states, I recall the Governor making public statements that if regulation were imposed, he would send the Texas National Guard to blow up the pipelines and "let the damned yankees freeze in the dark." IIRC, that phrase showed up soon after on bumper stickers.

In many Western states, there is a significant part of the population who believe that they would be better off if they were separated from that portion of the US from Chicago east.

Dis union is also being touted in Alaska (Mr. Palen et cet.), Hawaii and Vermont, as for the Texans shooting on the Army, who's to say that the army would even bother going after Texas, heck so many sons and daughters of Texas are in the Army now they might just end up crossing to side with their fellow Texans, kind of like Napolean's 100 days after he left his first exile. And let's not forget there are some folks who while they live in the US have a history of treatment from the US government that is less than inspiring, I had a La Kota friend who used to say "US out of North America", and he meant it.

...who's to say that the army would even bother going after Texas...

IIRC, a fairly recent analysis by New York City's staff indicated that their electricity supply was highly dependent on Gulf Coast natural gas. In recent years, hurricane disruptions of petroleum products flowing from Texas and Louisiana led to gasoline shortages up and down the East Coast. The heavily populated states across the Rust Belt are dependent on those natural gas supplies for heating. If Texas and Louisiana were to attempt to secede, claiming the Gulf resources for themselves and shutting off the pipelines, it appears that a majority of the US population (with a very pronounced regional bias, of course) would favor vigorous federal action to take back control of the resources.

In many Western states, there is a significant part of the population who believe that they would be better off if they were separated from that portion of the US from Chicago east.

This belief is ironic in light of 30+ years of Federal tax policy that has looted tens of billions from the Northeast and Upper Midwest and handed those monies to Southern and Western states.


This belief is ironic in light of 30+ years of Federal tax policy that has looted tens of billions from the Northeast and Upper Midwest and handed those monies to Southern and Western states.

I'm not defending the Western states' position, but will point out that the federal government "owns" between 30% and 85% of the land in each of the 11 Western states, on which it operates very large military bases and training areas. Much -- perhaps all -- of the tax "surplus" received by Western states is related to those military facilities, which arguably benefit the Northeast and Upper Midwest as well as the states where they are located.

The US Army is currently attempting to exercise eminent domain to acquire an additional 420,000 acres of private ranch lands in Colorado -- an area equivalent in size to about two-thirds of the state of Delaware. In the local press, a question often asked is why the Army's needs can't be met on some of the 23,541,190 acres the federal government already owns in Colorado. Such actions lead to a certain amount of resentment.

This is taking the so called creative destruction of capitalism to a whole new level. Flint, Michigan was based upon the continuing health of the auto industry, an industry, that if not dying, should be. The destruction going on in places like Flint could be a positive if there as a viable and sustainable vision for what is going to replace it.

Where do we want to go? It will be a shame when we spend trillions of dollars on stimulating the economy and all will we end up with are the Flint, Michigans of the world.

If O and congress want to help Detroit, help it transform itself so it can help build a new transportation system compatible with a downsized auto economy.

TPTB are desperately trying to maintain an economy that is completely inappropriate and unsustainable. In the best of times, that would be bad enough, but it is exponentially worse because we are spending trillions doing so.

Yes, but the reality is that for all the discussion about Detroit and GM basically ALL the money has been transferred to the connected financial sector, even the huge % of the financial sector that is not politically connected i.e. the thousands of smaller regional banks have not received any support. Denninger was 100% correct right at the start of this when he said the USA was going to need the many trillions of dollars that was transferred to the connected and now it is too late. Under Obama, everything has ramped up-the taxpayers being looted to fund foreign banks? Wild-shades of Argentina.

How long before whole regions of the country are left to fend for themselves?

If the future is increased regionalization, which regions do better? Is there some minimum combination of resources which a region must have to succeed? Are there regions that already have such a combination, or could quickly move to have one? What degree of inter-regional trade can be supported, and over what distances?

How long before whole regions of the country are left to fend for themselves?

Now. I was out of electricity for 10 days, due to that
Ice Storm that started here and went thru Kentucky.

Two things:

1)I saw not one police cruiser the entire 10 days.

2)There was no Disaster(We never were declared a disaster area) help for the individual at all.

That's what I am expecting.

No National Guard will show up in every little town with plenty of government commodities for everyone.

I will be surrounded by about 8,000 adult-sized children who think the word "Pantry" means the convenience store down the street.

I think it is time to find a new place to live. And I really had high hopes for this area ...

maybe a few years from now after most of the blind titbabies are finished killing and eating eachother it will be a nice place to return too.

Or maybe not.

Yea and that on top of the wind storm, and the power company is seeking to have rate payers pick up the bill, they don't have insurance? The utility gets updated eguipment, lines, transformers, et cet new things that they can depreciate and the rate payers get the bill, talk about double dipping.

It looks like Jeff Rubin has picked up on a theme we see in posts here quite often: Peak Oil's effect on globalization. And he thinks he can make enough money off it to quit his job on Bay Street to promote his book. The end of globalization has been talked about here since at least westexas's ELP model if not before.

The going local thing also relates to the other article up top on RV's.
The local paper has quoted Winnebago's president Olson has hoping the bankruptcy of Fleetwood and Monaco will eventually lead to more sales for the company. As it is, it's almost shut down. There are few RV's waiting for delivery and remaining employees are taking forced days off in addition to the big layoffs mentioned in the article. Some days the place is shut down. A recent Monday had only a couple of cars in the employee parking lot (probably security personnel) when I drove by.

The company is promoting it's new much smaller/cheaper Dodge Sprint based ERA line which is a new design with a Mercedes Benz engine:


But the outlook is not bright with the credit crunch and such. Still there is a bright side around here in that the farm economy is ticking right along with ethanol/biodiesel plants still spitting out
the stuff despite all the moaning and groaning from opponents.

And the wind farm construction around my place is still going on. The 100 GE wind turbines are running now but the 80 Clipper turbines which were up are now all having their blades taken down, cut open and some repair I do not understand done. These repairs are a long process and take several weeks for each blade. It looks to me to be a delay for this wind farm but we have several others around to take up the slack.

All in all North Iowa, aside from Winnebago Industries, is not hurting that much since the housing bubble never got very big here. This is a very low growth/no growth area with most counties having less population than they had 50 years ago.

Maybe the RV industry needs to reframe itself. The term "RV" implies the use of a lot of discretionary income. Most people speed tens of thousands of dollars on an RV and use it just a few weeks a year at best. RVs,however, start to make sense economically when they are used year round or near year round and move with the seasons to cut back on heating and/or cooling costs. There is an emerging tiny home movement that is wheel based and environmentally sensitive. The problem is the emphasis on recreation and vehicle.

The RV industry needs to become the PH (portable home) industry. They also need to build PHs that are nontoxic, solar powered, and more efficient.

Here's a good example of what I am talking about.


Thanks for the suggestion of the new name, PH. That is sort of like a kick in the side of the head to me, and I wonder why I didn't think of that. Assuming I have your permission, I will start using it in my blogs and web site.

My wife and I have lived in a PH for the past 11 years after retiring from the electronics industry in the SF Bay Area. Right now our living space is 240 square feet plus a moveable yard that covers several thousand square feet (depends on our location at the time). We can survive on solar power and rarely use more than 60 gallons of water a week. It is a most enjoyable way to live, and much less expensive. Right now we are in Arizona, but come August we will be in Washington state.

Funny thing as an aside, last year on a whim we bought into a time-share. We are now spending a week in a 900 square foot unit of a stick home in Sedona, AZ, and we are finding it is so big we are losing (misplacing) things. It will be nice to get back to our small PH.

Some argue that we must use fossil fuel to travel from south to north, and that is true. By a direct route it is a trip of 1,300 miles one way, and driving sanely (<=55mph) I average 12mpg with my diesel truck while pulling the rig. That is 110 gallons of fuel -- costs me about $250 at today's prices. Others who have PHs but stay in SoCal during the summer are paying that amount in three months of electricity alone for air conditioning. People with stick homes can pay a lot more. Of course, during the winter months, our heating bills are much less after we return south.

This is my example of how this kind of life makes sense, and there are more and more people adopting it. The RV manufacturers are going BK right and left, but there are still a lot of good, used PHs out there if someone else wants to adopt this kind of life. Maybe the dealers should try selling PHs instead.

Sam Penny
the Prudent RVer

Along the coast, a few miles from here, you can see hundreds of RVs lined up side by side in a huge RV park. I think of it as a slum on wheels, or Levittown on wheels. Who wants to live like that? Identical or almost identical metal hulks, parked a yard or two apart. Talk about boring.

If we could each park our RV wherever we wanted, by a beautiful solitary stream or mountain, and yet have the energy we want and the water, I suppose it all might be OK, but for most RVs you have to re-fill the water tanks and empty the waste into approved waste deposit places at least once a week, and you can't keep your generator going more than a few hours a day (both price and upkeep).

The RV industry is just another bubble in the housing sector. With expensive gas, expensive parking, expensive utilities, and expensive upkeep on an always on-the-blink vehicle, this is not a good way to go if you want "cheap" or convenient or safe. Some people do, of course, buy an RV and just park it, like renting a small apartment.

My wife and I saw one of the new Winnebago Dodge RVs and thought that would be neat for just the two of us ... price was $100K ... no thanks.

They are living in Dreamworld.

If you have the money and all you want is an RV for a few weeks a year, you can afford this Winnebago. But if you want a PH there are a couple of problems with the Winnebago Dodge RV: it is too small, and it is specifically an RV, not a PH. There are other alternatives (often fifth wheel trailers) that are less expensive and do make nice homes. You might also look at the used market.

Sam Penny
the Prudent RVer

I understand your point that this is not a PH but I wouldn't buy that Winnebago, not at $100K.

Welcome back, Leanan!

As the G20 meets, I wonder what sorts of protests we will see?

I had never spent much time determining the motivations for the many protesters for IMF, G20, UN, or other "global" meetings. With the pending collapse of globalism, and the many frauds of the financiers who led it, I wonder if I've been remiss?

What did the protesters hope to accomplish? Did the foresee what is happening now, and were trying to raise awareness (unsuccessfully in my case, obviously)? Or are the compensated agitators with yet another agenda?

I recall, a decade or two ago, seeing groups of anarchists staging a not-quite-peaceful demonstration at such a conference, and thinking to myself, "anarchists really shouldn't have a global organization that coordinates mass protests at far-flung venues, should they?". Like the oxymoron "anarchists unite".

I've long been anti-UN and anti-IMF, but in retrospect my understanding was shallow. What was and is the motivation of those who travel at great expense to meeting cities just in the hopes of fouling up traffic and maybe getting on the news?

What was and is the motivation of those who travel at great expense to meeting cities

For their voice to be heard.

Soap Box, Ballot Box, Jury Box, Ammo Box

They are on the soap box part. Hoping for change.

I keep hoping the last box is never used.

One aspect of collapse is that increasing numbers of people see their own future being secured by the demise of the current political/economic system.

The high visibility demonstrations recruit people to the growing trend, even if they disagree with the demonstrators methods. Subconsciously, the trend begins to be established in peoples' minds and they see the current regime as being too feeble to provide for their needs in the future.

Once the trend becomes established, people start acting in their own self interest and in ways that undermines the legitimacy of the existing regime (becoming self-sufficient for example). They disbelieve all that the existing regime says and does, eschewing the doctrines that keep the regime in power and so bringing about its demise.

I am surprised that no one has been mentioning one of the elephants in the china shop - What is going to start to happen when some one in a "leadership" position starts to preach to all the newly unemployed and about to be unemployed that the illegal (and legal?) immigrants are taking their jobs. One skilled orator could make it all happen?
Just how many large nationwide demonstrations of unemployed against immigrants before the congress would do something(s) that would be very unpleasant?
Could this be one of those "black swan" things that could really upset the applecart?

Don't forget the orator can point out all the embedded immigrant gangs pushing drugs to their precious snowflakes while pushing welfare into insolvency.

You may well see some protests internally in the G20 as well this go around. The take away from this meeting will be what tone has been set going forward. Are we going to see some form of "pulling together" to solve some global economic issues or will we see more of a "pull back" to protectionism and nationalization? From the rumblings and grumblings from China and Russia, I think we are going to see real opposition to USA/UK solutions to running the world. Look for the red team to try to rally support to their cause. Does this throw a wrench in the wheels of globalization? If not that, it surely sets the stage for more regional commerce & military alliances.

I am not looking for the headline stories out of the G20, but the little stories and side comments. They will be most telling.

Well, I'm sorry to say, we Haligonians haven't fully mastered this Earth Hour thing as yet (Toronto kicked our ass, again!).

This graph shows Nova Scotia Power's demand, including exports, for the period beginning just prior to Earth Hour (20h28) to shortly thereafter (21h48):

Note that our peak demand this time of year generally falls between 21h00 and 22h00, so the timing of Earth Hour is not working in our favour. That said, I was pleased to see most of the homes in my neighbourhood were dark.


What I object to is that Earth Hour is staged in winter for Canada, while southern areas with more daylight can be smug about not needing the ceiling lights at home. Stage it in July, when sunset in Calgary isn't until 22h00.

Live with it. We did it and we're in Edmonton (300 km N of Calgary)

Q. What will dim first

a) Global Capitalism
b) Wasteful office lighting...



From the article, Surge of college students pursuing 'clean energy' careers

The rising interest in renewable energy is so new that it's not clearly reflected in the latest enrollment figures, educators say. But leaders from a range of schools -- including Arizona State University, Indiana University and the University of Colorado -- say energy and sustainability are the hottest topic for their students.

Well then I guess there really isn't a "surge" of students pursuing clean energy careers after all.

Seriously, who writes this sh*t?

The elite-controlled media cannot go bankrupt fast enough.

The good news is they drink their own Kool-aid...

I can see their future clearly now... wandering the streets of former cities, interviewing each other ... using microphones carved from the finest former broom handles, video cameras made from duct tape, a card board-box and a piece of broken glass for a lense ...

A positive Gazprom press report for a change.

Gazprom in Nord Stream windfall

Gazprom and E.ON, the Russian and German energy groups, are in line for a windfall once their €7.4bn Nord Stream gas pipeline is built in 2012.

About 70 per cent of the finance will be raised through loans in July this year and another tranche 12 months later. The remainder will be invested by the project's four shareholders, which also include Germany's BASF and the Netherlands' Gasunie.

Once construction of the two-phase pipeline, which will transport Russian supplies to the European Union, is completed in 2012, Nord Stream's shareholders are expected to refinance the debt. The loans would be made at a cheaper rate, as banks are more cautious with their terms when a project is under construction than when it is operational.

I note they don't address whether there will be enough gas to fill it when it opens without diverting gas from Ukranian or other pipelines.

Latest Russian official figures show total daily Russian production now down about 400mcm/day (14 Bcf/day) on last year - that's about 20% down. Gazprom (the world's largest nat gas company) is even worse - now down over 25%. This is the biggest production fall in the history of Gazprom - way in excess of production declines after the collapse of the USSR.

Hello TODers,

Farmers in drought-stricken areas of California opting not to plant crops this year are being advised to leave their fields in "roughed up" condition to prevent soil loss due to wind erosion.

Large portions of the state are currently classified by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska as experiencing severe or extreme drought. The potential for soil loss due to wind erosion in these areas could be as great as 250 tons per acre a year. Loss of irrigation water could result in vast acreages of farmland being taken out of production, resulting in many acres of bare soil.

Abandoned, bare fields are subject to severe wind erosion according to Rita Bickel, an agronomist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Davis, Calif. "Fields continually subjected to erosion may result in land that is incapable of returning to cropping or vegetative systems at a later date," she says.

Bickel says not only could vast amounts of precious top soil be lost, but air quality will be impacted as well, with blowing soil impairing vision on roads and highways.
Up to 250 tons/acre/year?--> Wow, that is a lot of dirt going airborne. My guess is that it would take a prolonged occurrence of a hot & dry Santa Ana wind to get this kind of megatons airborne to build new dunes in the wrong places.

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

I'm wondering if it'll start looking like a real desert in Cali someday. The kind where dust storms have their own season, and you can't bike in the gutters without picking up sandspurs by the dozens. I don't know the real name of the things, but in New Mexico they were everywhere. All-natural caltrops just perfect for punching through a bike tire, grow nearly anywhere with hardly any water. All it'd take, I think, is a sea-change against irrigation of lawns and freeway sideslopes. I'm already seeing a few commercial properties putting in pebbles and 'xeroscaping' where they'd had grass. Almost like they cared.

So if Australia's not growing a lot and Cali's letting its fields go to dust... Seems like a lot of agriculture getting hit.

[edit: Ah, goatheads, that's the other name for them... You don't want a barbed one caught in your foot, that's for sure.]

One of these stories was about the proposed Tesla saloon (sedan):

The Model S base price will include a battery with a 160-mile range, Musk said. Customers will have the option to upgrade to a battery with a 300-mile range. The Model S has a top speed of 130 mph and can get to 60 mph in 5.5 to 6 seconds.

This, and Tesla's publicity about its existing roadster, flies in the face of everything else we read about EVs. As we all know the only thing preventing an EV revolution is energy storage, which is why tiny little death-traps like the G-Wiz will struggle to do 25 miles between charges, but Tesla seems to square the circle. Is it all spin or do they have something new? And if they do, and if they can make a luxury saloon for $40-50000, where is the budget car with the easily exchangable battery pack that will change the world?

Does anybody have some real information on this company?

Tesla is a tiny company struggling to stay alive. They've shipped barely a couple dozen cars knowing they have to recall them all in the future whenever they fix the transmission problems.

Press releases like talk are cheap. If Tesla is a game changer I'll believe it when I see it. I doubt there will still be a Tesla company in 2011.

Not to mention top gear gave it a pretty poor review. the battery charge only lasted a equivalent of 50 miles on it's track. One of the two roadster's brakes broke while the machine was charging. It's handling was also sub-par and due to the battery weight kept sliding in the corners.

I wonder how far & fast an e-Trike could go ? Especially with intermittent human powered supplement.


3 bicycle tires (on the beefy side)
High strength bicycle frame
Velomobile farings ?
High density, light weight battery (Lithium most likely) - Large as practical, fitted between the two rear tires
Fit, not too heavy "driver".

Best Hopes,


Driving at speed (on the track) uses much more energy than 'normal' driving. This is why racing cars have larger tanks than road-going cars, or pit to refuel more regularly. A V8 Supercar, for example, has a 120L droptank (vs 80-odd litre for the road-going versions), and only manages about 130-180km per stint, while the road-going versions manage 800km if you baby them and stay out of town.
Expecting a car with a range of 250-300 miles to do the same distance under hard driving conditions is laughable.

But then again, Top Gear presenters did spruik the Benefits of the Hydrogen Economy (by way of the Hionda FCV), because "Hydrogen is all over the place, we just have to scrape it off the stuff it's stuck to" (may not be a direct quote, but the gist is there). So they're an amsuing bunch, but maybe not very bright.

Obama’s Nobel Headache
Paul Krugman has emerged as Obama's toughest liberal critic. He's deeply skeptical of the bank bailout and pessimistic about the economy. Why the establishment worries he may be right.
By Evan Thomas

By definition, establishments believe in propping up the existing order. Members of the ruling class have a vested interest in keeping things pretty much the way they are. Safeguarding the status quo, protecting traditional institutions, can be healthy and useful, stabilizing and reassuring. But sometimes, beneath the pleasant murmur and tinkle of cocktails, the old guard cannot hear the sound of ice cracking. The in crowd of any age can be deceived by self-confidence, as Liaquat Ahamed has shown in "Lords of Finance," his new book about the folly of central bankers before the Great Depression, and David Halberstam revealed in his Vietnam War classic, "The Best and the Brightest." Krugman may be exaggerating the decay of the financial system or the devotion of Obama's team to preserving it. But what if he's right, or part right? What if President Obama is squandering his only chance to step in and nationalize—well, maybe not nationalize, that loaded word—but restructure the banks before they collapse altogether?

Is it just me, or is this an attempt to make krugman look bad, while supposedly praising him?
They use words and phrases that kind of paint him as a loon, then immediately follow it with a denial of what they just said.

"Krugman is having his 15 minutes"

"not a prima donna"

"Krugman's fellow geniuses sometimes tease him or intentionally provoke his wrath."

"a little absent-minded"

"His academic career culminated with him winning the prize,"

"He's become more and more outspoken. A lot of what he says is wrong and not considered,"

Hello WT,

Thxs for the link: 'Krugman says he found himself in the science fiction of Isaac Asimov, especially the "Foundation" series..'

For me: that info-tidbit certainly raises my estimation of Krugman.

Recall my many earlier posts on Foundation. I think the Asimovian principles are wildly unappreciated in terms of what they could do for Optimal Overshoot Decline. My feeble two cents.

When I read Krugman's column last Monday, I thought that he had brought in Denninger for a consultation. But, then, maybe the author of the story in Newsweek hasn't quite figured out what "fractional reserve banking" is all about or how the massive increase in leverage from the bankers excessive lending to the sub-prime mortgage market and the new car loan market may have gone beyond a level which was safe and rational.

Krugman's Friday column is a good one too. He gives a quick overview of the basics of the financial problem, for those who might not have had the time to study it in detail.

Underlying the glamorous new world of finance was the process of securitization. Loans no longer stayed with the lender. Instead, they were sold on to others, who sliced, diced and puréed individual debts to synthesize new assets. Subprime mortgages, credit card debts, car loans — all went into the financial system’s juicer. Out the other end, supposedly, came sweet-tasting AAA investments. And financial wizards were lavishly rewarded for overseeing the process.

But the wizards were frauds, whether they knew it or not, and their magic turned out to be no more than a collection of cheap stage tricks. Above all, the key promise of securitization — that it would make the financial system more robust by spreading risk more widely — turned out to be a lie. Banks used securitization to increase their risk, not reduce it, and in the process they made the economy more, not less, vulnerable to financial disruption.

Sooner or later, things were bound to go wrong, and eventually they did. Bear Stearns failed; Lehman failed; but most of all, securitization failed.

I hope Prez BO is listening.

E. Swanson

"GM CEO Wagoner to step down at White House request"


While the bankers get to come over for tea an cookies.

"Obama, Bankers Sit Face to Face"

"The president told the bankers he understood their critical role in renewed economic growth, and was committed to returning the industry to long-term health."

Why haven't any of them been asked to resign? They took more than the auto makers did!

Simple: the bankers were feathering their own nests by obeying many successive governments so well that politicians consistently chose to overlook their misdeeds; the car companies not so much. After all, congresscritters and presidents of both parties have, for decades now, pressed and cajoled and even legislated lenders to extend mortgages to people who couldn't conceivably pay them off once the teaser rate expired.

In the USA this was and still is called "broadening home ownership." The Brits call it enabling people to "climb the property ladder." By either name it denotes something-for-nothing, a.k.a. living beyond one's means. This quasi-religious dogma was and is the highest of holy grails both for populists and for politicians of whatever stripe who need get elected. In short, the business the bankers were really in was something-for-nothing, and that's a business no politician will ever mess with. Hence the tea and cookies.

The car companies, on the other hand, produce products with lots of moving parts. Moving parts inevitably wear out, causing cars to depreciate faster than houses, even the sleazy cardboard-and-vinyl rubbish built nowadays. Fast enough, indeed, to exclude the car companies from the business of something-for-nothing, leaving their executives unable to play the best of all possible political cards. Hence the cold shoulder.

From Bloomberg :
Wagoner has run GM since June 2000, presiding over $82 billion in losses since the end of 2004, its last profitable year.

Q: How can you sit as a CEO and loose $82 billion over the span of only 4 years and still sit there as a CEO starting the 5th ? (it's beyond me)

A: The CEO and the Board were staring themselves blind and euforical on them charts and tables coming in from IEA, EIA and not least CERA over the years.... telling the same tale of heaps of cheap oil all the way till 2030. It was - oil that is - set to double in amount per time unit. 130 mb per day . A lot of cheap and available oil .... God bless the Hummer !

Involved parties are about to be shook out of their paralysis. Wagoner is first and thanks for nothing ! And the timely analysis from IEA, EIA and not least CERA are top-of-the-tops (/snark),their services to the greater global community is the main reason for this financial crack-down . The latter energy-survey-organisations are much more responsible for the economical-meltdown than anything else - even banks has to stay behind them when guilt is to be placed IMHO.
... GM and Ford they make cars . Good old automakers making strategical decisions based upon ..... ehhh ... something __________ (fill in the blank).

I wonder if CERA, EIA, IEA etc might have the "perfect excuse" for their part in heading us all straight off the cliff at maximum speed: "We were only following orders".

I hope those high enough placed in these organisations (and others) to be fully consciously aware of their "Big Lie" can live with what they did.

And with the IEA briefing privately on the true situation (according to Simmons) is there even any doubt any more as to whether they know they are lying in public?

The thing about shouting fire in a crowded theatre is that you really must do it when the place is actually on fire. I guess by IEA/EIA/CERA logic we should just disconnect all fire-alarms in public buildings right now. Better they don't know until it's too late eh?

TOD needs an article on this:


"Living Walls" -if many people had soemthing like this it could revolutionise food production...


how much will grow in the wall's shadow ?

A growing interest in growing vegetables
"The Oregon State University Extension Service is turning its attention this year toward helping Oregonians survive tough economic times. One manifestation is a special publication for first-time vegetable gardeners, to be supplemented with a series of timely news releases."

For those who might have noticed the story above re: the Fed plan to spend money to rebuild roads in the Bolívar peninsular area of SE Texas since they are predicted to be flooded by the ever encroaching Gulf waters I'll offer a simple fact. This is neither arguing for or against the potential rise in sea level from global warming. There are highways in this area which lead right into the water. And it has nothing to do with a global sea level rise. This area has been subsiding for literally millions of years and will continue to do so. Not a big issue with the report except that those who might use this example to support their thoughts on global warming and potential sea level rise are opening themselves up to easily proved credibility damage. Though global sea level will rise in time, there are various areas, such as the Gulf Coast geosyncline, which will see land subsidence and a RELATIVE sea level rise which is not associated with global warming. Of course, a global sea level rise will only make the situation worse.

Global warming ? even if they are right, I contend that it doesn’t make any difference.
300 years from now when people in a place like Richmond Virginia are sitting in their oceanfront houses, sending their kids off to school with a glass of Ohio orange juice, who will care that they once grew oranges in Florida? People will do what they have always done- adapt.
It’s arrogant to believe that somehow we must preserve the planet exactly as it is now, or that it is even possible given the climate change the Earth has gone through in the past.
All I know is that Al Gore’s carbon footprint is much bigger than mine, but I’m working hard to catch up!

Why is Greenland named Greenland? No, not because the name Iceland was already taken. In the period from 900 to 1300 the climate in the southern part of that place was warm enough for farming and herding. so much so they named it Green Land.
Guess what the climate changed back to the frozen place we know of today. But why the warming that led to the warm time in about 900? Till you can answer that by blaming mankind, I remain a strong believer that the man made global warming idea is a giant hoax.

TOTAL BS about Greenland, and the rest.