Drumbeat: May 5, 2009

BMI: Norway's oil production to drop by 28.8%

Norwegian oil production will drop by 28.8% by 2018, with output slipping steadily from an estimated 2.44 million b/d in 2008 to 1.82 million b/d within 10 years, said analyst BMI.

With oil consumption forecast to decrease by 0.5%, Norway's exports will slide from an estimated 2.22 million b/d to 1.60 million b/d during the forecast period, BMI said in its latest Norway Oil & Gas Report.

Regarding natural gas, BMI said Norway's production should rise from an estimated 95 billion cu m (bcm) in 2008 to a peak of 120 bcm in 2012-14, before falling to 100 bcm by 2018. Most exports will continue to move through pipelines, with some LNG.

From Shortage to Glut, and Boom to Bust

In recent decades, technological advances have unlocked huge reserves of unconventional natural gas. Directional drilling and advanced seismic have been important, but many of the most critical advances have occurred in the realm of completion technologies, including hydraulic fracturing. Fracing was used half a century ago, but recent improvements have been stunning, unlocking new tight gas in Colorado and Wyoming, then shale gas in Texas’ prolific Barnett play. Shales are the most widespread source rocks on the planet–but historically they have been of little interest since they tend to be very impermeable. Chesapeake’s Aubrey McClendon believes that the Marcellus Shale alone, under Pennsylvania and New York, may hold as much gas-in-place as the U.S. has used in its entire history. Hype? Or hope? Time will tell. Certainly, with U.S. drilling down by half since last summer, shale gas may not come to market as quickly as its boosters were touting a few months ago. Nonetheless, the shale gas story is a tribute to human ingenuity, as Randy Udall explains below.

Oil prices to rise ‘only in 2011’ due to spare capacity

An abundant spare capacity of oil that has built up across the world will ensure that oil and gas prices will not rise till late in 2010.

A research team headed by Francisco Blanch, the London based analyst says that the prices “may” considerably rise in 2011.

Chesapeake CEO surprised by furor over $75M bonus

Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon said Tuesday he is surprised by the furor over the $75 million bonus he received from the company as part of his new contract.

Sakhalin-1 to sell 20pct of gas to Gazprom-report

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Sakhalin-1 consortium has agreed to sell 20 percent of the natural gas extracted from the large oil and gas project to Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom, Nikkei reported on Tuesday citing unnamed sources.

The price of the gas, which has been the main sticking point in talks over the sale, is still being negotiated, the Japanese business daily said in its issue due for publication Wednesday.

The world melts, China grows

Once China became an oil importer in 1993, its imports doubled every three years. This made it vulnerable to the vagaries of the international oil market and led the government to embed energy security in its foreign policy. It decided to participate in hydrocarbon prospecting and energy production projects abroad as well as in transnational pipeline construction. By now, the diversification of China's foreign sources of oil and gas (and their transportation) has become a cardinal principle of its foreign ministry.

Conscious of the volatility of the Middle East, the leading source of oil exports, China has scoured Africa, Australia, and Latin America for petroleum and natural gas deposits, along with other minerals needed for industry and construction. In Africa, it focused on Angola, Congo, Nigeria, and Sudan. By 2004, China's oil imports from these nations were three-fifths those from the Persian Gulf region.

Hawaiian Electric profits slip 40% in Q1

The Honolulu-based company said the economy, lower electric sales and a higher provision for loan losses at American Savings Bank impacted its earnings.

Bahrain, Saudi, most vulnerable to oil shock

Bahrain and Saudi Arabia topped the list of rated oil-exporting countries most vulnerable to plummeting crude prices, a leading international ratings agency said Tuesday in a report spotlighting the challenges confronting a region where crude is king.

Along with OPEC powerhouse Saudi Arabia and its tiny neighbor, Bahrain, Azerbaijan was also part of the top three in the vulnerability index list created by Standard & Poor's. Norway, Cameroon and Mexico were the least vulnerable to falling oil prices, according to the report.

Shell faces revolt on executive pay

LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell faces a possible shareholder revolt over its executive pay policy after the Association of British Insurers (ABI), a large investor and a corporate governance agency expressed concerns about the plan.

Enbridge to retire some aging tanks at Cushing hub

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO) said on Tuesday it plans to retire 500,000 barrels of oil storage capacity as it looks to close some aging tanks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, hub.

Power generation in China down 3.55% in April

China has seen year-on-year declines in power generation since October last year, when a four percent fall was recorded, as the global economic downturn started to hurt the economy.

The decline grew to 9.6 percent in November and 7.9 percent in December.

Wang Yonggan, secretary-general of the China Electricity Council, said the first and the second quarters would be the toughest period when power generation would continue to fall. He expected an increase in the fourth quarter.

A Battle to Preserve a Visionary’s Bold Failure

In 1901, Nikola Tesla began work on a global system of giant towers meant to relay through the air not only news, stock reports and even pictures but also, unbeknown to investors such as J. Pierpont Morgan, free electricity for one and all.

Richard Heinberg: Somebody's Gotta Do It

If all of us world-savers can’t get on the same page about what’s wrong, our efforts are likely to lack coherence, or might even cancel one another out. There are no doubt full-time humanitarians who believe that the world needs to be saved from people like me!—from people, that is, who are non-believers and who insist that the size of the human population has to be reduced.

Moreover, if we professional world-savers can’t agree on what the problem is, how do we know there is a problem in the first place? Might the world be better off if we spent our personal energies elsewhere—figuring out how to get rich, or teaching elementary school, or inventing the next generation of social networking software?

Economic casualties pile into tent cities

For the economic homeless, the American ideal that education and hard work lead to a comfortable middle-class life has slipped out of reach. They're packing into motels, parking lots and tent cities, alternately distressed and hopeful, searching for work and praying their fortunes will change.

"My parents always taught me to work hard in school, graduate high school, go to college, get a degree and you'll do fine. You'll do better than your parents' generation," Marshall says. "I did all those things. … For a while, I did have that good life, but nowadays that's not the reality."

Surge in renewable power fuels fears of energy crisis

BRITAIN is facing an energy crisis as a rise in renewable power is pushing the "outdated" National Grid to breaking point, experts warned yesterday.

Analysts say the network cannot cope with the extra electricity generated by wind, wave and solar sources.

They fear the increase in renewables will overload a system that was not designed to accept so much incoming power.

Duke Profit Falls 25% as Industry Slows

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Power generator Duke Energy said Tuesday that its first quarter earnings fell 26 percent as the deep recession cut demand for electricity among its industrial customers. The company also cited expenses from damage caused by winter storms for the decline.

MMS Releases Latest GOM Energy Forecast, Deepwater Report

In a press conference today at the 2009 Offshore Technology Conference the Minerals Management Service (MMS) announced the release of the Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Production Forecast: 2009-2018 and the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico 2009: Interim Report of 2008 Highlights.

In the forecast report, Gulf of Mexico (GOM) oil production is forecasted to increase substantially over the next several years, possibly reaching 1.8 million barrels of oil per day. GOM gas production is forecasted to continue its decline over the next four years due to aging projects in shallow water. Future increases depend on the successful development of undiscovered resources in the Gulf.

The Potential for Energy Industry Takeover Activity

Between 2004 and 2008, data from SharkRepellent.com shows that there has been roughly a tripling in the number of unsolicited/hostile takeover transactions and an equally large increase in the number of proxy fights.

According to the FactSet MergerMetrics report for 2008, unfriendly transactions represented 23% of all announced deals involving full acquisitions of U.S. public companies. This was well above the percentage of unfriendly deals witnessed in the past five years where 2006 saw the next highest percentage of just 14%.

Nigeria: Averting disasters during fuel scarcity

Lining up for fuel in Lagos
This is another season of fuel scarcity. Indeed, it is a return of agony and hardships. Although Nigeria is an oil producing nation, the sixth largest in the world; its citizens have had the misfortune of frequently being exposed to the hazards of acute shortage of petroleum products.

Two New Projects Revving Up in Alaska's Oilpatch

Oil prices are down and some oil-patch work is being throttled back, but North Slope producers are going full steam ahead on two large projects. Several hundred people have been put to work and the numbers will increase as the work continues, the companies involved say.

Despite Slump, Major US Oil Cos Forge Ahead with Investment

The weak quarterly results of major U.S. oil companies show they are not immune to lower oil and gas prices and the economic downturn. But their decision to keep investing billions in capital projects reflects optimism about an eventual rebound in energy markets.

Iran to Inagurate New Rig to Explore for More Caspian Oil

Iran plans to launch a domestically-built 14,000 ton offshore platform in its territorial waters of the Caspian Sea to increase its oil output.

Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhoseyn Nowzari says President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad is scheduled to inaugurate the Iran-Alborz semisubmersible drilling rig in "the coming weeks."

'Two-year delay on Hormuz bypass pipe'

The United Arab Emirates will complete a pipeline for oil exports to bypass the Strait of Hormuz around two years later than initially scheduled, the project's director Dieter Baluberg said today.

The pipeline would allow the world's third-largest oil exporter to pump around 60% of its crude exports to a port on the Gulf of Oman, avoiding the strategic shipping chokepoint at the Strait of Hormuz.

Hamm, Producers Try to Combat a New Concern in Oil Industry

The United States has been concerned for many years about the influx of foreign oil, mostly from the Middle East into the United States. But now, a new concern from Canada is beginning to worry some oil producers, and, led by Enid's Harold Hamm, they are taking steps to fight it.

The Domestic Energy Partnership Alliance is an organization created three months ago as a vehicle for oil and gas companies to combat the arrival of millions of barrels of foreign oil through pipelines into Cushing, which has the largest storage capacity in the world.

People of Plenty

In my book, Terrestrial Energy, I talk about historian David Potter's 1956 book, People of Plenty, which redefined Frederick Jackson Turner's "Frontier Thesis." Whereas Turner said that an abundance of land had been the defining experience in the American character, Potter argued it was actually an abundance of natural resources.

Following this line of thought, I argued that since our domestic oil production went into decline in 1970 we had entered a new era of American history where we became a "people of scarcity." It was a pretty good argument at the time, but I think now I'm going to have to revise it for the next edition. Once again we have become a People of Plenty -- this time in natural gas.

Workers like staying home

The concept of telecommuting — employees working from home or another remote location instead of the office — has been around for decades. It was touted as an answer to the energy crisis in the 1970s, heralded in the 1980s as a way to balance work and family, and now is being lauded as a way to boost productivity and trim facilities costs.

Telecommuting isn’t as popular as ’70s futurists predicted. But its use is on the rise, and many predict that it will become more widespread as employers overcome concerns about how to keep information secure and monitor remote workers’ productivity.

Winds need time to mature

Blade cracks suffered by Suzlon, Clipper Windpower and others are just indications of the immaturity of the wind power business. The steam turbine industry went though similar teething problems when power levels were increased during the late sixties and during the seventieth energy crisis. Companies like Clipper, Suzlon and others just do not have the depth of complex rotating machinery test facilities and sophisticated and proven system vibration analysis tools. GE and Siemens have the tools and offer the most reliable wind turbines, as well as Vesta having developed their expertise over a very long time span with continuous government support. For now 2 MW is the best power level for the selection of a reliable wind turbine. Higher power levels increase blade vibration forces and gear wear of the present wind turbine configurations and need time to prove new designs.

Study Sees 'Alarming' Use of Energy, Materials in Newer Manufacturing Processes: Making manhole covers is more efficient than making microchips

According to a recent study, new manufacturing systems are anywhere from 1,000 to 1 million times bigger consumers of energy than more-traditional industries. In short, pound for pound, making microchips uses up considerably more energy than making manhole covers, for example.

Manufacturers have usually been more concerned about factors like price, quality, or cycle time, and not as concerned about how much energy their manufacturing processes use, said Timothy Gutowski, a professor in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s department of mechanical engineering, who led the analysis. If energy prices rise again or if a carbon tax is adopted, energy use will become more important as the new industries scale up, Gutowski said.

New processes will be optimized and improved over time. But over the past several decades as traditional processes such as machining and casting have increasingly given way to newer ones for producing semiconductors, MEMS and nano-materials and devices, energy and materials consumption has increased dramatically.

Peak oil and the end of economic growth?

“American Scientist” has a provocative article on peak oil and what that means for the chimera of unending economic growth. The authors remind us that population growth and increased food production have both literally been fuelled by ever more energy use, much of it wood or fossil fuel. This is not sustainable.

The authors are Hall and Day, and here’s how “American Scientist” describes their thesis, “They have re-examined some of the data that led to the discrediting of the ‘limits to growth’ theory and have shown that both resource use and costs have only risen, and are no longer being mitigated by market forces. Although new sources of energy have been found, they are much more expensive to extract, a declining return on investment that Hall and Day think could lead to large societal problems in the near future.”

When The Economy Starts Whirring, We'll Get Another Big Oil Spike

Below is a chart, via a paper (.pdf) from Boston College economist Eyal Dvir and Harvard economist, Kenneth Rogoff that shows three seperate oil price spikes in the past century and a half. In each case they found that there was industrial growth coupled with uncertainty about oil supplies.

A new phase in the Gulf: Gulf of Mexico oil production could peak in 2013

Oil production in the Gulf of Mexico could peak at more than 1.8 million barrels per day by 2013 under the industry’s best-case scenario, but natural gas production will likely continue its decadelong decline, according to a government study released Monday at the Offshore Technology Conference.

Chesapeake 1st-qtr loss widens, shares drop 7.5 pct

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Chesapeake Energy Corp reported a larger first-quarter loss on Monday as the natural gas company took a $6.02 billion charge to write down the value of its oil and gas properties and said it may cut spending more.

The U.S. recession has cut into industrial demand for natural gas, causing supplies to swell.

Oil Traders Are Likely to Start Selling Stored Crude, JBC Says

(Bloomberg) -- Oil traders who have been keeping as much as 100 million barrels of crude on tankers to profit from forward prices are likely to start selling the cargoes as the incentive to store wanes, consultant JBC Energy said today.

BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Hess Corp. are among oil companies whose first-quarter earnings were boosted by storing crude in tankers. By anchoring laden vessels offshore, companies were able to profit from the so-called contango, where crude contracts for delivery in the future are more expensive than near-term supply.

Oil May Break Resistance, Rise to $71.55: Technical Analysis

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil may be headed for $71.55 a barrel after breaking through $56.10 a barrel, according to Barclays Capital.

Should the June crude oil contract push through the high of $56.10 a barrel reached on March 26, futures may climb past the Jan. 6 intraday high of $59.66 to $62 a barrel, Barclays Capital analysts, led by Jordan Kotick, said in a May 4 report.

Oil could jump to $71.55 a barrel as traders attempt to exit the large number of short positions, or bets that prices will fall, creating a so-called short squeeze, the analysts said. This is equal to the upward moves oil has made from a so- called head-and-shoulders bottom pattern starting in December.

Action on peak oil essential for business survival, say UK transport chiefs

If you’re fighting to stay afloat in the teeth of a recession, you’re not going to worry about distant threats like peak oil and climate change, right? Wrong, say Brian Souter, Moir Lockhead, Will Whitehorn and Richard Brown. The UK’s leading transport chiefs tell Martin Wright why action now is essential for their business survival.

Web providers must limit internet's carbon footprint, say experts

The internet's increasing appetite for electricity poses a major threat to companies such as Google, according to scientists and industry executives.

Leading figures have told the Guardian that many internet companies are struggling to manage the costs of delivering billions of web pages, videos and files online – in a "perfect storm" that could even threaten the future of the internet itself.

"In an energy-constrained world, we cannot continue to grow the footprint of the internet … we need to rein in the energy consumption," said Subodh Bapat, vice-president at Sun Microsystems, one of the world's largest manufacturers of web servers.

EDF mulls sale of British power grid - report

PARIS (Reuters) - French utility EDF is considering selling its British power grid to help it pay for takeovers and new power plants, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing sources close to EDF's board.

EDF is considering a sale of the grid, estimated to be worth some 3 billion pounds ($4.46 billion), after debt rose to nearly 25 billion euros and as it plans billions of euros of investments in costly nuclear power plants, the paper said.

A 'robust' new fuel supply for nuclear power plants is emerging

PIKETON, Ohio -- A group of U.S. engineers and technicians sat down one day in 2001 to figure out where the nation's future nuclear power plant fuel was going to come from. Their decision was to leap backward 30 years and re-engineer an idea perfected during the Cold War and then abandoned here in 1985.

Obama to form interagency biofuels group

NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will direct the heads of three U.S. agencies to make the biofuels industry cleaner and encourage output of ethanol made from non-food crops, according to a draft memo obtained by Reuters on Monday.

The Biofuels Interagency Working Group, to be headed by the secretaries of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture, will be asked to identify policies that would make biofuels more environmentally sound and encourage production of "flex-fuel" cars that can run on either gasoline or fuel that is mostly ethanol, according to the memo.

EU bioethanol producers see rising output to 2020

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe is likely to pump out increasing amounts of bioethanol over the next 10 years, posting gradual annual output rises as an EU-imposed deadline nears for boosting renewable energy, an industry official said on Monday.

While wide discrepancies remain among the European Union's 27 countries in terms of their bioethanol industries, overall production has jumped exponentially since the EU launched its first biofuels directive with renewables targets in 2003.

U.S. biodiesel output falls sharply in March: group

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. biodiesel output is down sharply, an industry group said on Monday, and it called for release of federal regulations to require use of advanced biofuels.

The National Biodiesel Board said production fell in March to 30 million gallons, compared with 49 million gallons in March 2008, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration.

If the trend continues, U.S. output would be half of the 700 million gallons produced last year, the NBB said.

Yes One Can: Prince Charles Hires Obama's Web Wizards

He doesn't write e-mails or - perish the thought - use a BlackBerry or iPhone. Indeed, the Prince of Wales still deploys a fountain pen to scratch out letters and instructions of such calligraphic idiosyncrasy that they are collectively known in the royal household as "black spider memos." Yet despite appearances, the heir to Britain's throne is not insensible to the power of technology. A campaign to save the rain forests launched by the Prince today is based around a 90-second film that he hopes will go "viral", and relies on state-of-the-art software and Internet strategy honed during Barack Obama's election campaign.

U.S. House climate control negotiations intensify

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Negotiations in the U.S. House of Representatives on how to cut industrial pollutants that cause global warming reach a critical stage this week as President Barack Obama huddles with key lawmakers on Tuesday and Republicans ready for a fight.

A House Energy and Commerce panel hopes to fill in details later this week on a bill that aims to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases 20 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050 -- using 2005 as a base year.

Climate change 'cultural genocide' for Aborigines

SYDNEY (AFP) – Climate change would force Australia's Aborigines off their traditional lands, resulting in "cultural genocide" and environmental degradation, a human rights watchdog warned on Monday.

Australia's original inhabitants, whose cultures stretch back many thousands of years, Aborigines would be deeply affected by the impact of global warming, the government-funded Human Rights Commission said.

Oil Little Changed, Paring Earlier Losses as Equities Advance

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil traded little changed, paring earlier losses as advancing equity prices in Europe improved investor sentiment toward commodity markets.

An Energy Department report tomorrow is forecast to show that crude stockpiles climbed from the highest level since September 1990. Inventories increased 2.55 million barrels in the week ended May 1 from 374.7 million the previous week, according to a Bloomberg survey before the report.

Possible Outcomes of Copenhagen Climate Change Talks

The most anticipated climate meeting in years will be held in the Danish capital in December. Out of those talks a broader climate pact to replace the Kyoto Protocol is expected to emerge.

But the negotiations leading up to Copenhagen are fraught with risks and pit the ambitions of rich nations against those of the developing countries, whose emissions now comprise more than half of mankind's greenhouse gas pollution.

Nicholas Stern and Haruhiko Kuroda: Why global warming could make or break south-east Asia

South-east Asia has the most to lose from global warming but could gain much by developing a low-carbon future

A couple days ago someone suggested I check out "A Farm for the Future", on the topic of sustainability.

I had already viewed it and replied that I would not be going that route.
The route is letting nature provide via fruits, berries and other plants the essentials to provide sustenance. No gardening so to speak.

I replied that this did not look all that good to me but some of it was interesting anyway and that I was going to let part of my yard area go to seed, or quit mowing it and let the vetch and clover take over. Just plant more berry bushes and fruit trees.

Today I just went out and checked my fruit trees and mature blueberry plant/s. What I saw is a good reason why I would not go full bore into the concepts of A Farm for the Future methodology.

What I saw was the almost total absence of a single apple on the apple trees. A very very few pears. The mature blueberry bush might produce two handfuls. Last year I got several quarts off it.

So 'climate change' and likely aided with very few pollinators has totally trashed the fruit and berry crops here and I likewise suspect in the whole county.

The ice storm took down some of the apple tree branches but just a few. The pears likewise, one had the leader gone but still had plenty of blossoms. The apple tree ,the other I lost two years ago to wind, the remaining apple tree was heavily loaded with blossoms and we did not have a late frost at all. But there were some late blossoms that were just black and shriveled. Yet all but those few had reached full blossom drop.

Note that I did NOT spray them and there were no infestations.

Now the point is that if I was doing the Future Farm thing and everyone else was instead of gardening and sowing their crops for their OWN use? We would all starve to death.

Therefore I am glad to have my garden. Its looking very good. I have put out more fruit trees and berry bushes but some time before they will produce(a few years or so).

Without my garden? I would have to buy everything. Everything. And if there was no stores? Then 'starvation' would be the result.

CC and loss of pollinators is very very serious for life in the future when TSHTF ....In My Opinion and based on what is happening right NOW here.

I need to go check with some who raise a lot of fruit and berries and see if they are in the same situation. I do know that the few ones here with bees , and last year claimed they had no losses are now without any active bee hives this spring. None.

I did see a lot of bumblebees. More so that usual. But apparently they are not making any difference.

Airdale-and so much for 'A Farm For The Future'..around here at least.YMMV and I hope it does. I am wondering about others experiences with fruit trees in the midwest and upper Southern Mississippi Valley

We saw a sharp drop in the number of honey bees here in California over the last several years but lately I have seen a moderate number working the flowers.

I have read that bees were in decline due to disease, mites and stress. I cannot say much more about that. I'm no expert. But I don't have more than a few square feet to garden. I just like to watch the bugs.

The Carpenter Bees are out in force right now.

Also, we are beginning to see Africanized Bees populate our county.

People here are still driving around like banshees - no concern for oil. High speed, no manners. Sad.

The Carpenter Bees are out in force right now.

And halfway across the pacific in Maunawili, I can report that there has been a population explosion in carpenter bees apparent in my neighborhood, in the wake of most honeybees going away. We had a wild honeybee hive on our property but it seems to have died in the last year.

One other comment on something that I have noticed in my gardening efforts this year.

Commercially purchased seed I have planted this spring has very low germination rates. I have replanted radishes twice. The earliest had rotted about halfway down the radish. Most seed did not germinate. Same with spinach and lettuce.

These are seeds that I do not save due to their nature. I have never tried to save spinach,lettuce,radish nor arugula. So far I am batting about zero on these as far as viable production.

Perhaps due to demand a lot of very poor seed is being marketed or its something else.

All else is faring very well. I grew tired of asparagus I had so much. The corn I saved and some new I brought has done well.
Most of my potatoes came up but one variety I purchased has had only a few come up. What I saved did quite well.

Not sure what is happening but its weird and different for some reason. Here it is early May and farmers are not able to plant corn to any degree in Big Ag here. The land is completely saturated. They have until about the 20th of this month to get their corn lands in. That is when it gets tough so 15 more days and no drying out as yet. 7 days of rain this last week. The only planting done so far has been a few days about 3 weeks or so ago and that was very spotty. A very wet spring it seems so far. Very wet and late. But winter wheat is looking very good.

I see one nearby field has been chemically burned down twice and still the fescue has come back each time. Three burndowns might get it. Expensive.


The poor quality of "off-she-shelf" seeds is notorious. Many of them are mostly floor scrapings after big commercial batches. There are a few places on the web you can order high quality seeds from. I use Johnny's Seeds (located in ME), and I haven't had any trouble with their seeds (yet, anyway).

As for pollinators, Pennsylvania lost all its wild honeybees several years ago. What I've noted is that other pollinators will come and take their place after a while. There are other kinds of bees, particularly bubmlebees, that I see in greater numbers than before. Even so, your report has made me a little nervous. I got a good crop of berries & apples last year. I'll have to see how they do this year.

The seed issue is indeed of great importance. Learning to save our own seeds and growing open-pollinated varieties (a topic on which Airdale knows a lot more than I do) seems crucial.

I was going to post something about Johnny's Selected seeds selling Monsanto seeds grown in China. Turns out perhaps that is only a small part of the truth. Turns out Monsanto bought Seminis a few years ago, and a lot of seed companies had been buying from Seminis. Fedco stopped buying any Seminis overnight. Johnny's Selected Seeds does, but say they constitute 4% of their vegetable varieties. You would think that would mean they could drop them at any time, but those 4% must play some sort of important role.

The China thing I can't remember where I read that. If it is true, then it just is not a viable stategy. Energy independence, food sovereignty, these are all concept that seem destined to take on enormous relevance.

I bought Territorial Seeds and Fedco Seeds. The peas, parsnips, chard and spinach are germinating well (outside), as well as the tomatoes, basil, and flowers inside. I also bought local seeds provided by a local organic farm. These are from types of fruits and vegetables that do well in our specific area, and having been produced here, they are further adapted. I am looking forward to these tomatoes, peppers, parsley and melons. I think bees are doing fine (outside my window pollinating my neighbor's crabapple) but I'll have to ask the farmers about their hives. The farmers' market seems to have plenty of honey.

However this year in Colorado we seem to have lost most of our plum, apricot, cherry and maybe even peach crop to frost. That seems to reinforce Airdale's thoughts about perennial food. Note there is also an interesting book on the topic of perennial vegetables -
- though many (not all) of the plants listed grow best in tropical climates.

Actually, I've had just the opposite experience: bad germination last year, OK this year. I did place my seed order VERY EARLY this time, maybe that helped. Also, I'm not using OP seeds exclusively. I do for some things, but for others I have my reasons for wanting to use hybrids. I'm wondering if the producers of OP seeds maybe are not giving us as high a percentage of viable seed?

Here in the Kansas City area the wet weather has made for few opportunities to go in the garden and cultivate much. The peas and radishes I planted on one glorious weekend in March have not germinated well. However, radishes from the same batch of see planted a few weeks later have come up well. However, they are still too small to see if I get good radishes from them. Everything else I planted has come up well -- turnips, mustard, collards, beets, carrots (SHHH! Don't tell the bunnies they haven't found the carrots yet). The potato plants look good also.

Around here (Central NH), the honeybees have been more or less absent for a couple of years, at least in my neck of the woods. However, I have noticed little or no problems with pollination. My apple trees put out ridiculously large crops, ditto peaches, and ditto blueberries (until the waxwings get 'em).

I attribute it to my very diverse landscape of woods, meadow and pasture, which I believe helps maintain comparably diverse populations of wild pollinators.

Hi Airdale,

I think it is important that people have a variety of strategies to procure/produce food. There are a number of wild foods such as acorns and grains that can be gathered in my area. And, for a while, there will be game. In the case of gardens, I'm moving to a variety of methods rather than counting on direct planting in beds. These include modified hydroponics to self-watering containers. My rationale is that at least one of these will produce food.

I'm lucky in that I have a lot of native bee species plus a honey bee tree just outside the garden (They've been there a few years and I'm afraid they'll swarm one of these days.)

We just got almost 7" of rain so it'll be a while before I can even work the soil.



I am in the same area as Todd. Everything I had planted was either eaten by slugs in the drenching rain (despite my efforts day and night to keep them in check) or was simply beaten down or washed away. This morning there was running water in my garden. The organic farmer down the road told me it will be a couple of weeks before they can begin planting and more rain is forecast for tomorrow.

What this shows is the vulnerability of self produced food and that planting a garden is no guarantee of food supplies. A year in gardening is always a long slide down from the conceptual ideal (seed ordering and visualization of abundancy) to the less than ideal reality (insects deer, gophers, aphids, cabbage moths, flea beetles, and here on the Redwood Coast, the ubiquitous slug). Some years crops are a total loss despite the best efforts of experienced gardeners.

Knowing about wild food sources is a helpful backup but I suspect wild sources of food would be rapidly depleted once identified. I must say I wouldn't mind a few less deer though.



I may have misunderstood your critiques, but from your reply it seems you may have some misconceptions. The first is that a food forest is not intended to be the sole form of food growing.

The second is that a food forest is land left to itself. A food forest is actually very carefully planned, planted and needs about five years of work to get to a point where it can be mostly left to itself.

The third is that the show was only about food forests, when it actually was about natural and/or permacultural practices in general.

Geoff Lawton has an excellent video on food forests. It's thorough enough one might be able to fake their way through setting one up just from watching the video.


You may be able to find it as a download somewhere...


Perhaps I missed part of it but the woman who was visiting was living on a farm that I would call a usual farm and not BigAg type.

She had sheep and cows and didn't seem to have that much in cultivation.

Yet all I remember seeing was the areas of large growth in trees and bushes. I remember no gardens. Not like normal gardens that is.

So I will have to watch it again.Yet my point still is , and you didn't answer that part was what if climate change takes the wild or tame stuff you let nature 'take care of'. Depending on the pollination seems to me to be a bit chancy with perhaps a lot of extreme climate changes.

Now some will say "oh the average temps ,etc are not that big a change".

Well if you have 10 120degree days and then 10 80 degree days what is the average? Same..yet we have been setting historical new records here quite often of late so something very big is changing and since I live in it and not in the cities or burbs I am smack dab in the middle of it. Not only that I have a metal roof over me and everydrop of rain I can hear. Many many many nights this year so far I have heard rain almost every nite , days are clear, nite it rains. You don't notice this is a normal constructed house unless its hard rain.

So for the last 4 or 5 years we have been beaten up pretty badly in my region. We have had floods,nearby levee collapses,very high winds, remains of Ike,Katrina and others,then this massive huge ice storm.

Its getting very different here with the weather and I think all over the USA as well and other countries. Always some new news item about weather.

But it will affect growing plants and now I won't have any fruit this year. No one here will I am certain. Maybe the best will be some pears if they were pollinated at all.

Airdale-what may work in UK may not work where I live,that was part of my thesis,each area of the USA is slightly different as well so not 'one size will fit all'.

So far my area, SE Michigan, escapes the chaotic weather the rest of the country endures.
The most severe weather either passes North to Flint or South to Toledo.
I used to joke with friends that Nature will probably even the score by directing the next asteroid or comet to strike here.
In any event the "forest o' plenty" philosophy IMO seems to ignore the fact that humanity graduated to agriculture because natural systems are arenas of intense competition and are exposed the very forces you are encountering.
John Jeavons wrote that the word "garden" is derived from an Old English word "gahdin", which meant "protected place".
Years ago I raised and boxed my garden beds in order to circumvent the heavy spring rains that leave me splashing in the rest of my yard.
It was a hell of alot of work but worthwhile, unlike many other ventures.
Todd has mentioned before that those who wait till the last will probably have waited too long and I couldn't agree more.
The knowledge and skills gained by experience, trial and error and luck, both bad and good will go a long way in making these activities count.

As for pears, the arrival of the European paper wasp has removed pears from my list of edibles. They can strip my Bartlett of pears in a week, two tops.

Strange story about that tree, the first 2 years I lived here it produced nothing, few blossoms in the spring.
That 2nd Fall I went up to it with my bow saw, intent on cutting it and a dead crab apple down but I became distracted after taking down the crab and put off its reckoning.
The next and every Spring since it has burst forth with tremendous blooms and huge surplus of pears for fresh eating, drying and wine.
To me now this tree, this being, has demonstrated an awareness arguably greater than what many people do, action in response to a direct threat to its existence.



Perhaps I missed part of it but the woman who was visiting was living on a farm that I would call a usual farm and not BigAg type.

what may work in UK may not work where I live,

Both quotes above reflect aspects of permaculture (inclusive of natural farming). It encourages personal farming as opposed to Big Ag. At the same time, there is nothing to prevent a large permaculture farm being created by a community. Obviously, FF inputs are not typically part of the plan.

One of the tenets of permaculture practice is to adapt to your climate, your native plants, etc. It's not a one-size-fits-all approach at the micro level, but the basic tenets should be applicable to any locale precisely because it relies on site specific planning.

The Food Forest idea is just one aspect of a permaculture approach. The film in question showed hedgerows and allowed as how that local element is a natural Food Forest, which I imagine one could transform over time to be more productive.

I should clarify wrt time spent on a Food Forest. According to Lawton, you're going to spend a pretty small number of hours developing it the first year, and even less in subsequent years. After 3 - 5 years, you should be spending no more than 2 - 4 days on maintenance per year.

She had sheep and cows and didn't seem to have that much in cultivation.

As for things not looking like gardens, that is also an aspect of permaculture/natural farming. A well-developed farm often should look like it grew spontaneously.

Yet my point still is , and you didn't answer that part was what if climate change takes the wild or tame stuff you let nature 'take care of'.

This problem applies to any and all plantings you do, so I'm not sure there's any need to address it specifically wrt permaculture. However, I would expect a permaculture farm to do better than a typical farm in whatever emergency because they

1. mimic natural plant growth (better soil retention)

2. use a wide variety of plants (greater chance of some portion surviving)

3. are particularly planned for your climate. (see #2)


The weather here in hawaii this winter has been just bizarre. Months of waking up to low 60's. Our main mango is three months late producing flowers and setting fruit. It lost the first set when we got a 57 degree night. Tropical plants do not like cool weather. Talked to three octogenarians in the valley and none remembered a weather pattern even remotely like this year in their lifetimes.

I believe the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is entering a cool phase. Could be your culprit.




The apple tree ,the other I lost two years ago to wind, the remaining apple tree was heavily loaded with blossoms and we did not have a late frost at all. But there were some late blossoms that were just black and shriveled. Yet all but those few had reached full blossom drop.

Did I read that right? You have only one apple tree left? I thought all apples needed another cultivar for pollination. So bees or no bees, with only one tree, you wouldn't get any fruit, would you?

Also, re the bees - are honeybees required for pollination? I read somewhere recently (can't cite b/c I can't remember where) that bumblebees are good pollinators - and native to North America, whereas the honeybees were brought here by Europeans.

Not that I take the honeybee problem lightly. Another interesting article I read lately - re a study done in England. Found that honeybees were doing fine in urban areas. It was out in the country that the "collapse disorder" was occuring. That difference was attributed to industrial pesticides in the country. Do you have agribusiness around you?

What is your opinion (of any of the above)?


Yes I had two apple trees. Last year even though I had just one it had far more apples on it than I have ever seen before. A real bumper crop. So many that a lot rotted on the ground.

As to bumblebees. Looking often only a few times did I see any activity and that was just one lone bumblebee.

I believe there are some other apple trees nearby. Not sure how far.

Agribusiness? Lord yes. The is the land of the Big Machines. Big combines, big tractors, big sprayers and planters. Big Ag as I call it.

Its taking this area to depletion.


Mason Bees are excellent pollinators in the PNW. They work in the cold wet weather. I nurture them by building Mason Bee houses. The houses are 5/16 diameter holes in 4x… lumber scraps. The bees lay eggs in the holes and seal the holes with mud. I store the full houses in the barn during the winter and move them to the orchard in late February. I also put out empty houses in February. The old houses are reconditioned by reaming out the holes and placing in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven for a couple of hours to kill parasites.


It is very common for fruit trees that have excessive amounts of fruit one year to have either a small crop or no crop the next year. It is one of the reasons the fruit trees are usually thinned at fruit set in commercial orchards. The commercial orchard usually spray the trees with a chemical to cause some of the fruit to fall off, however the excessive fruit can be pick off by hand. Nut trees are even more prone to setting nuts only some years, for instance hickory nuts often only produce nuts in significant numbers every thirds year.

It used to be all the rage in the design schools (I don't know if they are still on this kick or not) to assign the students to invent something to sit on totally from scratch, as if everyone who has been building chairs for the past several millennia were total idiots who had no idea what they were doing. The results, predictably, were wierd looking things that were totally uncomfortable and that no one in their right mind would actually use as a chair.

We seem to be going through the same phase right now with agriculture. Dismiss everything that humans have ever done over the past forty or a hundred centuries, and reinvent from scratch. I predict that this will work out just about as well as those student "chairs".

If you want to figure out how to feed people sustainably, century after century, then a good place to start is with those cultures that have already managed to do just that. I recommend King's Farmers of Forty Centuries as a good place to start. Fruit trees were certainly a part of the traditional East Asian agriculture, but only a part. Far from just letting them grow amidst weeds or whatever, these - and all other crop plants - are intensively managed, as is the soil and the water supply.

I guess if you just have one person per square mile, a laissez faire approach might make sense. With hundreds of people per square mile, the traditional East Asian way, or something very much like it, is just about the only way that one has a prayer of a chance of having anything like a sustainable agriculture.

We seem to be going through the same phase right now with agriculture. Dismiss everything that humans have ever done over the past forty or a hundred centuries, and reinvent from scratch. I predict that this will work out just about as well as those student "chairs".

Yes, totally agree. I've wasted too much time trying out some of these different "new wave" methods. In many cases they seemed to be grasped as panaceas and promoted by people who are not directly involved in food production. There's more people promoting and selling the ideas than actually doing it IMO.

Like everything else in our modern world, all style and no substance.

I've been getting great pollenation this year from my bees. It is looking like I'm going to have bumper fruit crops.

Everyone needs to have a beehive in their yard, it is the only way to go. If they don't want to get into beekeeping themselves, then find a beekeeper and ask them to maintain a hive or two in your yard; most small operators max out on space pretty quickly and are always looking for more places to set up hives.

"Everyone needs to have a beehive in their yard, it is the only way to go." Maybe you want to qualify that...if you don't have bears. Way back we had a couple of hives but gave up after two years of the bears tearing them apart. Granted I could have built something to protect them but it wasn't worth it.

We have "good" bears years when only a few come through and "bad" bear years where they about destroy the orchard. The biggest one we had trapped went about 550# and was about 8' long from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. As an aside, I was going to whack it to save getting the federal trapper down so I sat out in my truck were he ws coming through the fence. I was going to shoot from about 50' away but he never came on the two nights I waited. However, it took three shots with a rifle identical to mine at point blank range with the bear sitting in the trap. I never did that sort of stupid thing again.


I'm in black bear country - we usually have bears in our yard at least once per year - that I KNOW OF - even though we live well inside a small town. My hives are protected by an electric fence. Not one of those wimpy jobs, either; I built mine to US Forest Service specs for Grizzly country.

Anyone in bear country should not even THINK of having a beehive unless they are able and willing to protect it with an electric fence.

Yes, you could just take your chances. You could also take your chances with free range chickens left outside around the clock to fend for themselves amongst the foxes and coyotes and hawks. You could do that, but it isn't good animal husbandry, it isn't good economics, and many of us would be of the opinion that it isn't good ethics. Some of us are of the opinion that if you keep animals, then you are responsible to take good care of them. Bees are animals, too, and not exempt from that general principle.


Housing crunch becomes literal in Victorville

The deconstruction of exurbia has begun in this California community. Article has photos of the demolitions and some descriptions of bartering and salvaging at the sites.

Curtis Forrester moved into a brand-new house in Victorville last week, but there was little time to enjoy the Jacuzzi and designer kitchen. He was there only to see it destroyed. Just a few days after his arrival, the two-story residence and three other luxurious model homes were crushed and hauled off for scrap, the latest fallout from Southern California's real estate crash. The homes were part of a planned 16-unit project in this community 100 miles north of Los Angeles. The Texas bank that owns the failed development decided to demolish the houses, a cheaper alternative to completing and selling them...Willemsen, whose family has run the business for 50 years, said it was the first time the firm had demolished a new housing project to return a potential neighborhood to soil.

Thanks for posting that. I have friends up there. Not too far from here.

FYI to anyone not familiar with Victorville - that valley is up above San Bernardino in the high desert, where people began to move when housing was becoming unaffordable in the east Los Angeles basin. They moved there and commuted into either San Bernardino, Riverside or even Los Angeles, spending sometimes hours each way so that they could afford a home.

It grew and grew until now it is very developed and the commute is hellish at times.

Kunstler got this one right.

In short, pound for pound, making microchips uses up considerably more energy than making manhole covers, for example.

Of course, you get a lot more microchips to the pound than you do manhole covers...

"In short, pound for pound, making microchips uses up considerably more energy than making manhole covers, for example."

Maybe we can spin-up those manhole covers for data storage.

This is one of those near-meaningless Barnum-like statements that doesn't stand up to more than a micro-seconds analysis from anyone with a brain bigger than a pecan...

It's like saying an "intricatley carved mahogony sculpture takes far more time to produce than collecting driftwood" -SO WHAT!


noutram -

Those were my sentiments exactly. .... just a bit of academic showmanship intended to bring attention to their study, which hopefully will lead to more funding for a second follow-on study, a third follow-on study, and maybe (if milked sufficiently) an nth follow-on study.

Using a basis of comparison in the form of energy per unit weight of product may be valid when comparing similar types of things, such as when comparing the Btu/lb for producing aluminum versus that of producing iron. However, it does become more than a little silly when comparing things like micro-chips and manhole covers. In such a case the only valid basis of comparison would be Btu per dollar value of final product, in which case the micro-chip would have an energy input several orders of magnitude lower than the manhole cover (obviously, all a 150-lb manhole cover does is cover a manhole, whereas 150 lbs of microchips can do just a little bit more than that.)

Yes, all manufacturing processes should attempt to minimize energy consumption, but it is total rubbish to say that the manufacture of micro-chips is energy inefficient just because a great deal of energy goes into making a pound of micro-chips.

My experience has been that a lot of technical/economic analyses get into trouble not because of faulty analysis, but rather due to using dubious assumptions and bases of comparison. Many technical people, particularly engineers, often fall into the trap of confusing efficiency with effectiveness. They are not the same thing.

Still, if one thinks in terms of "energy regimes", the chip and the manhole cover do symbolize the way energy is used in their respective regimes.

my guess is that making manhole covers is more energy efficient than making manholes.

Good Morning Elwoodelmore,

Please see my Aramco images at bottom of this DB--Do they mean anything to you?

Peak personal finance?

The end of Personal Finance

That know-it-all author-pundits didn’t end up knowing so much after all

(Cramer says he'll miss his housing turnaround deadline. It's going to happen sooner than he predicted.)

401(k)s Hit by Withdrawal Freezes
Investors Cry Foul as Some Funds Close Exits; Perils of Distressed Markets

Some investors in 401(k) retirement funds who are moving to grab their money are finding they can't.

Even with recent gains in stocks such as Monday's, the months of market turmoil have delivered a blow to some 401(k) participants: freezing their investments in certain plans. In some cases, individual investors can't withdraw money from certain retirement-plan options. In other cases, employers are having trouble getting rid of risky investments in 401(k) plans.

When Ed Dursky was laid off from his job at a manufacturing company in March, he couldn't withdraw $40,000 from his 401(k) retirement account invested in the Principal U.S. Property Separate Account. That fund, which invests directly in office buildings and other properties, had stopped allowing most investors to make withdrawals last fall as many of its holdings became hard to sell.

Once ‘Very Good Rent Payers’ Now Facing Eviction

A registered nurse came close to losing her $1,550-a-month apartment on the Upper East Side after being let go from two jobs in three months. A woman found herself dipping into a 401(k) to keep her $3,375 unit in Peter Cooper Village after her husband was laid off in February from his six-figure marketing job. A father of two with an M.B.A. and a law degree owed $5,400 in back rent in Stuyvesant Town after he struggled to find steady work and lent money to his wife’s family.

If you look at the metrics for the financial sector most show signs of improvement. This article looks at "real world" impacts which are not at all positive.

The link is here.

If you look at the metrics for the financial sector most show signs of improvement. This article looks at "real world" impacts which are not at all positive.

If you think rentals look bad, housing looks worse... And TPTB know it and are trying to hide it.. According to Denninger:

Through the nation I am getting reports, some hard and some anecdotal, that lenders are sending out NODs (default notices) and then sitting on the process intentionally.

Why would they be doing that?

Simple: Most lenders who have these notes either in a security or as "whole loans" they were unable to pawn off on someone when the securitization market collapsed are holding them at "par" - the total amount outstanding.

If they sell they are forced to realize the loss; so long as they have a "reasonable belief" it will perform or be bought out (e.g. a government-sponsored and funded refinance) they can carry it this way if it is held to maturity. This of course makes their books look much better than they really are when you've got $500,000 in cash out against collateral that the market values at $150,000!

So maybe the landlords would be better not to evict. I mean, they still have income from the renters they can collect on eventually... Just rack it up on the books, even if the renters never hand over a dollar, and call it 'income'...

Roubini isn't impressed with the stress test, either.

And neither is Schiff

However, it is entirely intuitive to conclude that if both OPEC and non-OPEC production posted declines against the backdrop of $100/bbl oil—when the obvious economic incentive was to pump at full blast

It is also entirely intuitive that if you are making more money than you believed possible, or that you immediately need, or can use, then it make sense to decrease output. It makes even more sense to decrease output if you are selling a non-renewable commodity and the price increases as production declines. Why sell 100 units at $10 each when you can sell ten units at $100 and reserve the other 90 for future sale at $110 or more?

I agree with you BOP. I was watching first hand in the early 80's when the OPEC members constantly underbid each other in an effort max cash flow and not preserve assets. But this time it looks like a certain level of business sense in pervailing. Probably some cheating going on but not enough to drive oil down to any great degree. I suspect as more OPEC members come to terms with their own PO then OPEC may finally become a true and stable cartel.

At that point the politics of PO may well become the dominat factor instead of geology.

Hello Rockman:

I would be interested to hear your comment with regard to economics of DW. See the bottom of the May 04 Drumbeat.

Revenue maximization has been a major factor in pricing western goods. See no reason for OPEC not to follow and apply same concept to commodity production. There is an economic theory on this that was posted on TOD some time back; theory author was Hostelling if I am not mistaken. Have to go search it.

I checked out you comments of the 4th BOP. If they are using log tails on the DW as you see onshore it could lead to some unrealistic recoveries. I'm a little out of date on DW production economics but some principles don't change. Offshore production life is controlled by the FOC...fixed operating costs. This value doesn't change whether you're producing 100,000 bopd or 100 bopd. As you indicate many would be surprised how high this amount can be. Insurance alone is a big chunk. The LOE (lease operating expense) does vary by the volume produced. Thus the life of the field is controlled by the combination.

Another big factor that can control abandonment timing is rather new. It would depend on the type of surface platform utilized. If the wells are subsea completions tied back into a platform fixed to the sea floor then it's the standard model. But if the wells are producing into a floating platform, such as a spar system, then a new factor can dominate the situation. If the operator (or a potential buyer of the spar) has a new field ready to develop, it might make sense to abandon the older field first even if it's still economical to save the expense (an equally important: the time) of building a second structure for the new field. Some of these floating sytems can exceed $300 million and take 2 to 3 years to build.

Another big consideration these days is liability. An older field might still be netting a small positive cash flow but what's the risk of a storm damaging the facility and causing a $100 million claim? This has become a big factor in the last couple of years on the shelf as it is in the DW. After the big damage claims from the last few hurricanes the offshore insurance business has been modified greatly. The short of that: all offshore operators are now exposed to huge uninsured liabilities that didn't exist a few years ago. As a result many small but slightly profitable shelf fields have been abandoned earlier then they would have otherwise. An example of the financial risk: a platform in the West Cameron shelf area was scheduled to have the wells plugged and the platform removed. Cost estimate: $7 million. The hurricane toppled the platform. New cost estimate: $96 million. And this didn't involve any oil clean up. Fortunately the subsea chocks worked and no oil got into the water. Now multiply that differential times hundreds of offshore structures and you get a sense of the magnitude of the liability.

Why sell 100 units at $10 each when you can sell ten units at $100 and reserve the other 90 for future sale at $110 or more?

Yes, but there's also a very powerful emotion called greed, which often overwhelms rational thought.

You could imagine the conversation of some Head of State and his henchmen:

P: I'll be in power for the next 4 - 8 years, so I want to maximize my personal "savings" during this period. Thus we must sell off as much stuff as possible. Privatize state corporations, flood the market with our non-renewable resources and auction off the rights for anything that can't be turned into cash during my term. Then when the coffers are flush with cash start I'll start awarding contracts under favorable terms... favorable to my bank account that is.

H: But wouldn't you make more money waiting and selling off oil when the market is more favorable?

P: Someone would, but I won't. I've only got 4 years in office and one possible re-election

H: But won't the public protest the pillaging of its resources? Oil isn't unlimited you know.

P: We'll do it fast so they won't notice. And we'll spread the meme that there's so much oil that it will last forever.

H: But what about the Indians, don't they technically hold the mineral rights to most of the undeveloped areas in the country?

P: When was the last time you saw a TV show depicting an Indian running an oil rig? They'll protest but the public won't care much.

H: But wont the people notice that the government is wasting barrels full of money on dubious contracts?

P: Nah, tell them that a 8 lane superhighway is vital for progress, underestimate the budget then look surprised when it overruns astronomically.

H: But the public will want to lynch the person who planned out the budget so badly, who will you get to do that?

P: Oh let me see..... You! But to recompensate you I'll sell you the municipal water companies on the cheap.

You forgot the part where the financial market is deregulated by P, goes through a bubble phase followed by a crash, and all of P's friends who invested in derivatives get bailed out by the government to the taxpayer expense.

You could imagine the conversation of some Head of State and his henchmen Part II

A - I want to maximize profits. Therefore we should reduce production and earn a higher price when this is possible. We do not wish to earn more than we can reasonably re-invest into educational infrastructure or new highways and water purification plants. There are limits on how quickly we can re-invest funds so why earn more than we can reasonably re-invest.

H: But wouldn't you make more money by selling the oil now and reinvesting the proceeds?

A: Surely you are not suggesting we create a surplus? What for? To invest it in T-Bills? Look at the debt picture in that country!! How many more falcons, estates in Spain, or 747s do we really need?

H: But you would earn both the stream of investment returns plus earnings from sale of resources.

A: Someone might but I won't. Remember I am in office for life. And when I depart then my brother takes over. I must think of what is in the best interests of the family not take a short term outlook. Next quarter thinking is so, so western!

H: But won't your public protest? They may want to swap the pink stucco state provided house for a blue stucco state provided house.

A: What public? What protest? Those Shia rabble rousers have no place in my Kingdom! Let them know that my family will rule forever. There will be no change that I do not decree and I decree no change.

H: But what about the Iraqi's? And the Iranians? Don't they hold mineral rights to most of the undeveloped reserves in the region?

A: When was the last time you saw a news story on an Iraqi oil field that was not being blown up? This dream of stability so that they can increase production will remain a dream for as long as I am on the throne. Any other outcome is a nightmare I cannot accept. As for the Iranians, what power do I have to restrain the crazy Americans, the wild Israelis, the hodge podge of NATO nations? I have been suggesting to Kharzi that he could unite the Afghan people by focusing on attacking Iran. Those bloodthirsty Shia are doomed!

H: But will not the public notice the government is not maximizing all revenue?

A: Once I send them through Prince Abdullah University they had better notice!! They had better have a more sophisticated understanding of profit maximization! I am not spending these big bucks on education in order to churn out Friedmanites! The idiots!!

H: But will not the public not want to lynch the person who builds the kingdom with this long term vision?

A: Lynch? How did you find your way into my palace? Guards!! This Shia needs to return his head to his slum as a warning. His body can be disposed of elsewhere.

Krugman: Falling Wage Syndrome

We’re suffering from the paradox of thrift: saving is a virtue, but when everyone tries to sharply increase saving at the same time, the effect is a depressed economy. We’re suffering from the paradox of deleveraging: reducing debt and cleaning up balance sheets is good, but when everyone tries to sell off assets and pay down debt at the same time, the result is a financial crisis.

And soon we may be facing the paradox of wages: workers at any one company can help save their jobs by accepting lower wages, but when employers across the economy cut wages at the same time, the result is higher unemployment.

Ben would never let that happen...

Remarks by Governor Ben S. Bernanke
Before the National Economists Club, Washington, D.C.

"..With inflation rates now quite low in the United States, however, some have expressed concern that we may soon face a new problem--the danger of deflation, or falling prices. That this concern is not purely hypothetical is brought home to us whenever we read newspaper reports about Japan, where what seems to be a relatively moderate deflation--a decline in consumer prices of about 1 percent per year--has been associated with years of painfully slow growth, rising joblessness, and apparently intractable financial problems in the banking and corporate sectors. While it is difficult to sort out cause from effect, the consensus view is that deflation has been an important negative factor in the Japanese slump.

So, is deflation a threat to the economic health of the United States? Not to leave you in suspense, I believe that the chance of significant deflation in the United States in the foreseeable future is extremely small, for two principal reasons. The first is the resilience and structural stability of the U.S. economy itself. Over the years, the U.S. economy has shown a remarkable ability to absorb shocks of all kinds, to recover, and to continue to grow. Flexible and efficient markets for labor and capital, an entrepreneurial tradition, and a general willingness to tolerate and even embrace technological and economic change all contribute to this resiliency. A particularly important protective factor in the current environment is the strength of our financial system: Despite the adverse shocks of the past year, our banking system remains healthy and well-regulated, and firm and household balance sheets are for the most part in good shape.

The second bulwark against deflation in the United States, and the one that will be the focus of my remarks today, is the Federal Reserve System itself. The Congress has given the Fed the responsibility of preserving price stability (among other objectives), which most definitely implies avoiding deflation as well as inflation. I am confident that the Fed would take whatever means necessary to prevent significant deflation in the United States and, moreover, that the U.S. central bank, in cooperation with other parts of the government as needed, has sufficient policy instruments to ensure that any deflation that might occur would be both mild and brief....

What has this got to do with monetary policy? Like gold, U.S. dollars have value only to the extent that they are strictly limited in supply. But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services. We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation."

Dated: November 21, 2002

"foreseeable future " Thats a joke.

"Despite the adverse shocks of the past year, our banking system remains healthy and well-regulated, and firm and household balance sheets are for the most part in good shape."
Thats a lie.

Here's one "solution" to Krugman's little paradox...

Local government officials in China have been ordered to smoke nearly a quarter of a million packs of cigarettes in a move to boost the local economy during the global financial crisis.

...which, I suppose, only demonstrates that in the real world, the type of bullying and overbearing government seemingly wished for by some commenters around here behaves every bit as weirdly as any other.

They've backtracked on this, not surprisingly.

BBC also relates how half of all Chinese doctors smoke. For you kids who can't imagine such a thing, try finding 60s era clips from the soap opera General Hospital.

Friends of mine recommend some recent film that's heavy on the nostalgia of domestic substance abuse from that era, can't remember the name right now.

It was even closer to home than China or the 1960s, though the reruns are certainly accessible documentation. I used to sing in a classical choral group that hired small ensembles out for special occasions. Nothing was anything like as smoky as the typical doctors' party at one or another of the local hospitals; they easily outdid even the bars. If you could have breathed enough to be able to pick up a knife, you could have cut the "air" with it.

Needless to say, those were the very same doctors whose trade association had been nagging piously since around 1970 about quitting smoking (as well as about not overeating and anything else that could be found on some Puritan's hit list.) I suppose said doctors had felt safe enough bullying others about how to live life, until, after a couple of decades, it finally came full circle back to them in the 1990s, when the smoking bans became a fashionable cost-free way for politicians to pretend to "care".

Oh, and while I'm reminiscing about it, I guess it kinda reminds me of those of today's AGW/PO proselytizers who are found on different continents each day of the week even as they shamelessly lay guilt trips on others for flying off to visit Grandma once in a blue moon.

Back in the mid 80s I was regularly called to one particular office to fix the broken paper feed on an early generation of laser printers. Each time the problem was the same. The paper feed had an infra led and sensor to spot when the paper was in position. Invariably, the sensor had a thick brown layer of nicotine stains on it, rendering it inoperative.

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! Mexico is ready to party!

Mexico prepares to reopen shops, schools

There was good news Monday for Mexicans eager to get back to work. Health Secretary José Córdova said the swine flu epidemic that has killed 26 people here continues to show signs of easing, meaning the government can begin to lift the restrictions that have shut down virtually the entire economy since Friday.

Most businesses can reopen starting Wednesday, Córdova said. Cafes, museums and libraries in Mexico City — the outbreak's ground zero — will also open their doors this week. Universities will reopen starting Thursday, and other schools will follow Monday after health inspections are carried out, he said...

Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said the city will be on "permanent" lookout for signs of a relapse.

Córdova said there have been 727 cases of H1N1 flu in Mexico as of Monday but the number and severity of the cases appear to be stabilizing.

But wait... can they foot the bill for this party? Apparently not...

Mexico energy giant reports huge loss on lower exports, prices

Mexico's state-run energy giant Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) on Monday reported a net loss of 27 billion pesos (about 2.04 billion U.S. dollars) during the first quarter, due to lower oil prices and a lower volume of exports.

During the same quarter of 2008, the firm had exported nearly 1.5 million barrels a day (bpd) of crude oil. Oil prices averaged around 38.92 dollars per barrel during the first quarter, compared with 83.94 dollars during the first quarter of 2008, a decline of around 54 percent.

Compared with the same period in 2008, Pemex produced 7.8 percent less crude oil during the first quarter of 2009 due to the declining production of Mexico's former main field Cantarell.

During the first quarter of 2009, Cantarell has an average daily output of 787,000 barrels while the number was 1.2 million during the same quarter of 2008 and 2.1 million bpd at during its peak quarter in 2005.

Ahhh, yes, sucks to be Mexican sometimes...

Interesting article on Mexican flu-related cost and deaths.

Mexico to inject 2 billion dollars to combat flu effects

Seems there is more than 1 virus responsible for what's been going on in Mexico. Sculldugery or lack of resources ? ? ?

From this site http://www.promedmail.org/pls/otn/f?p=2400:1000

Communicated by:
Phil Temples

The novel observations reported above reveal the occurrence of
progressive variation in the HA gene of H3N2-type seasonal influenza
virus which if maintained may have consequences for the outcome of
the next seasonal influenza vaccination programme. More intriguing is
the observation that the same novel mutational changes were detected
among viruses isolated from patients in care facilities in Canada as
in a virus isolated from a traveler from Mexico. The authors suggest
that the profile of influenza-like illness initially reported from
mid-March 2009 in Mexico may in part be attributed to this H3N2
variant in addition to the emergence of the novel A/H1N1 virus. This
is a matter that merits urgent investigation as it might help to
explain some of the unusual features of the current epidemic.


SCOTLAND’S oil rigs are on alert for swine flu amid fears an outbreak of the virus could lead to a ­shutdown costing millions a day.

An offshore worker, believed to be a friend of one of the confirmed cases, was airlifted off a rig at the weekend after fears he had been exposed to the virus.


I have been involved in dealing with communicable disease in an offshore environment and it can have significant operational impact. The good news is that this would likely be limited to the single unit.

Just for your appreciation BOP: on my last offshore gig we lost a good deal of efficiency (cost some undetermined amount of $'s) due to food poisoning. Not communicable but certainly communal. For some unexplained reason the more experienced hands were hit worse. Maybe we just spend more galley time. All drillers down so AD’s ran the show for a couple of days. Of course the caterer denied responsibility but that gang was flushed and the galley sanitized. Of course that meant potted meat, Vienna sausages and crackers for a day or so but most still didn’t have an appetite anyway. You might have already guessed the funniest aspect of the situation: hording of toilet paper. The outbreak happened just before scheduled restocking so supplies were already low. At times like this you find out who your real friends are.

Rig manager comes over, tells me he wants me to go out to his rig and investigate. Seems there is some strange disease on board: red rashes, crazy itching. His worry is that folks won't keep their hands on the brake if they have both of them busy scratching.

So I call up a chopper and motor offshore. The rig had just done a two month refit in Halifax and being an old sailor I had a hunch about the nature of the problem. Seems somebody (must have been yard workers - no rig hand would do this) had smuggled ladies of the night aboard and the accommodations were now infested with crab lice.

After all my rooting around I was reluctant to return home as I had a young newborn and wasn't about to take any chances. Sent my chopper home with some samples for the beach and an order for 25 gallons of Kwellada. I stayed in offshore quarantine and spent my time ruining my suit which was the only gear I had with me. Boy, the hoops we go through just so folks can enjoy mindless happy motoring.

The incubation period is about 72 hours. So the Mexican government just had everyone run out on Friday to stock up for the weekend, thus increasing the opportunities to be exposed to the flu. Then after people have been holed up for about the incubation period, the government is going to let people out in the streets again. My prediction is a resurgence in cases.

Some are not buying the rise in oil production for March and April:

After months of struggling to lift production volumes, Russia says its crude production rose in April by almost 1%. If sustained, that could bode well for global oil supplies in the event demand ever recovers. But take the latest data with a grain of salt.

Russia’s Energy Ministry said Monday the country pumped 9.85 million barrels a day on average in April, up slightly from 9.79 million barrels a day in March. (The world’s next biggest producer, Saudi Arabia, currently pumps about 7.9 million barrels a day.)

But analysts at Sanford Bernstein rubbished the data, saying: “Despite perceived strength in March and April Russian oil production data, we do not believe the data supports a theory of returning output growth in the country.” Year-to-date production is still below last year’s, the analysts note.

Juicing oil-field output in the short run isn’t so hard—enhanced oil-recovery techniques like injecting steam or natural gas into reservoirs make it easier to pump additional lingering quantities of crude. The trick is keeping it up. And on that count, Russia still faces plenty of obstacles, not least an onerous tax policy that has stunted upstream investment and which will take years to correct.



The Pharmaceutical companies are learning from the AGW crowd:
Phony Peer Review

So, you'll need to provide something to back up your AGW claim; are you saying that climate researchers are fabricating climate journals to promote a product that they hope to bring to market? What exactly are they looking to sell? (and you can't say "more research" because that would undermine the basis for the vast majority of peer review academic publications).

Seems more likely that energy companies would create artificial institutes that go on the record saying more CO2 in the atmosphere is a jolly good thing. See, most recently:

Big Oil behind shady climate bill attack

Some day I hope that the Koch family is brought before a public tribunal to explain their ways.

Seems more likely that energy companies would create artificial institutes that go on the record saying more CO2 in the atmosphere is a jolly good thing

That was my point.

I guess I was confused; the energy companies seem to be the AGW skeptic crowd.

I guess it is how we are interpenetrating AGW.

You: AGW=Anthropogenic Global Warming
Me: AGW=Anti-Global Warming

Here's mine

AGW = Al Gore Warming

Triff ..

in the article linked above, called A robust new fuel supply for nuclear power, near the end the article says:

Manufacturing the materials for photovoltaic solar arrays and durable wind turbines will require a large amount of electricity, and nuclear power is the only relatively clean energy source Neff sees as being capable to meet that demand. "Nuclear is the bridge to that future."

I know PV was electricity intensive. Is wind manufacture electricity-intensive as well? I was thinking that one of the big costs was just transporting the big machines to the new location, but that would be an oil issue, not an electricity issue.

Is it all about aluminum?

Lots of electricity going from bauxite to shiny aluminum rails and towers...

It's my somewhat uncharitable suspicion that what's 'energy intensive' is finding a way to get Solar and Wind advocates onboard with Nuclear.. considering that was their closing paragraph.

Therefore, the two-pronged approach..

1) "Look, we're not as dirty as Coal!"


2) "You can make Solar Panels with Nuclear Power! (and of course, therefore, Windpower too, since all those kumbaya technologies like hanging out together)"

Despite those arguments not convincing you, they are valid arguments.

Nuclear is near ideal for industrial uses, especially for industries that can manage sustained 24/7 demand.

I don't propose that they are falsehoods, but that they are decoys.

The results of Coal's waste-disposal problem is more visible and so cannot disguise it's effects.. 'clean coal' being about the best they can throw at it. Seems to be taking about as well as 'Clear Coke'.

I don't dispute that they provide lots of power.. but you have to weigh in all the costs and the number of generations who will have to take care of the manure.

Niagara Falls is more ideally suited for Polysilicon Refinement..

I obviously place a different weighting on the distant future than you do.

As came up in a different thread, is it immoral to refuse to do something that can do some good today because it might do some evil in the future?

In this case you apparently believe that nuclear power is fated to cause great evil no matter how we deal with it. Of course, I believe that coal has already done more damage than we can tolerate and every day we delay putting alternatives online does even more, which I weight quite heavily versus the possible (not certain no matter how compelling the story) future damage from nuclear.

nuclear power is fated to cause great evil no matter how we deal with it.

Fated to great evil because man hasn't demonstrated that man can handle fission power in any other way than careless.


At least you did not lie in an attempt to offer rebuttal.

To what point?
You will believe what you will, I have offered enough arguments already over the past couple of days that if you are not convinced it is beyond me to convince you.

Note that I have never claimed that nuclear is perfectly safe, just that it is not as dangerous as the fearmongers would have us believe.

You will believe what you will,

All I have to go on is the actions of others.

And the actions of Man lead me to the conclusion that while Man *might* be able to deliver on the promise of 'cheap clean fission power' - Man has not.

I have offered enough arguments already over the past couple of days

The Thermodynamics one? (no - unless the core of the earth is fission powered) The comment about road construction? The one about your planning?

Must be the observation "nuclear power plants do not explode" Yea. Wow.
Your observation that 'industries that need 24/7 power can best use fission'? Ohh, now THAT addresses the safety issue - right to the heart of the matter.
Or the nebulus 'yea that's a risk' post?

And that is me going back more than your 2 days you state you've "offered enough arguments".

that if you are not convinced it is beyond me to convince you.

And I've been posting on why for my YEARS here. Yet, no rebuttal to the observation that what man makes DOES fail over time. Nor that, while fission was going to be 'safe' - so Price-Anderson could be repealed - each time the bill comes up fission power BEGS for the protection of the Government because the technology is unsafe enough that it can not operate without Government protection. Nor have I seen you address that fission plants are a target for 'terrorists' or Nation State VS Nation State attacks.

And a helpful hint:
Might I suggest you look into the rising CO2 levels in the ocean water - that should worry you FAR more than rising sea water levels.

What you say is true.

What you don't say is that deaths, illness, and injury from radiation exposure is far less of a hazard to current and future humans than exposure to the chemical waste we are actively leaving behind, including CO2.

You point out the rising CO2 content of seawater as if it is totally unrelated to the reason the level is rising to begin with.

Every opponent of nuclear power I have talked to makes my own case for me, that what we are doing now is dangerous to our environment and ourselves.

They also give radiation nearly supernatural capabilities to harm humans and the environment, it isn't nearly as bad as people seem to be afraid it is. If it was, we'd already all be dead of fallout from cosmic rays, K41 in bananas, and whatever myriad radioisotopes get concentrated in tobacco smoke and coal ash.

Nuclear Bombs >> Chemical Bombs
Chemical Waste >> Nuclear Waste

Got my point yet?

What you say is true.

Yes. Glad you understand that your posts in the last 2 days were not at all a 'defense' of fission power. Like you claimed you were doing. Its not as impressive a lie as others have done, but the showing you to be yet another deceiver was simple enough.

Every opponent of nuclear power I have talked to makes my own case for me,


Then go ahead and explain nuke power industry leaders in front of Congress and ask for Price-Anderson to be renewed.

Then go ahead and explain how fission plants won't be targets of attack.

They also give radiation nearly supernatural capabilities to harm humans

Radiation does harm. So does heavy metals.

Do you deny those truths?

Got my point yet?

That you are yet another handwaving 'there is nothing wrong with fission power' poster?

Yea, got that.

Heavy metals poisoning = chemical problem, not radiation problem. An issue with nuclear power certainly, since Uranium is a heavy metal and decays into heavy metals.

I am simply saying that people have been screaming about how horribly dangerous nuclear power and radiation is for decades. 30 years after Three Mile Island, where's the problems?

If it is so bad, where's the problems that are worse than dozens of other things we do?

Why do we need to treat radiation risk with kid gloves?

Nobody who knows answers, and nobody who answers knows.

I think the comment must have to do with how the blades are made. They seem to be made of some form of glass fiber reinforced plastic or glass carbon hybrids. See this article.

Huge Fort Nelson Gas Plant Would Spike BC's Carbon Emissions.

But energy giants such as EnCana say untapped gas reserves in the Horn River and Montney basins could double or triple production over coming decades. That would transform B.C. into one of the biggest gas producers in the country -- or the continent. In March, the government boasted of pouring $187 million into Horn River region roads and infrastructure to service the boom.


I guess this is one way to raise money if taxes aren't enough to fund your department and keep you in the style to which you have become accustomed...

Texas police shake down drivers, lawsuit claims

Roderick Daniels was driving through east Texas in October 2007 when, he says, he was the victim of a highway robbery. The Tennessee man says he was ordered to pull his car over and surrender his jewelry and $8,500 in cash that he had with him to buy a new car. But Daniels couldn't go to the police to report the incident. The men who stopped him were the police.

Roderick happens to be black. Could be random chance, could not be...

EDIT: I guess not...

Guillory, who practices in nearby Nacogdoches, Texas, estimates authorities in Tenaha seized $3 million between 2006 and 2008, and in about 150 cases -- virtually all of which involved African-American or Latino motorists -- the seizures were improper.

"They are disproportionately going after racial minorities," he said. "My take on the matter is that the police in Tenaha, Texas, were picking on and preying on people that were least likely to fight back."

Daniels told CNN that one of the officers who stopped him tried on some of his jewelry in front of him.

"They asked me, 'What you are doing with this ring on?' I said I had bought that ring. I paid good money for that ring," Daniels said. "He took the ring off my finger and put it on his finger and told me how did it look. He put on my jewelry."

Hmmm... According to the Texas Police, if you are black and have a lot of cash you did something illegal. Obama should drive through Tenaha sometime... Sure he'd get a nice southern welcome from local law enforcement.

Roderick happens to be black. Could be random chance, could not be...

Well, driving while black -strike one. Driving with out of state license plates, strike two. Driving with a lot of cold hard cash, strike three!

My former roomie, one of Dee-troits' finest, used to stop kids and confiscate their pot.
"Beats paying for it" he cracked.

What's happening with the arctic sea ice? http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/arctic.jpg anomaly in the observation sensors?

A quote plucked from the newsstream:

GM managers were caught off guard by other questions from the task force. One issue was when the Chevrolet Volt electric car, a product designed to leapfrog the current field of hybrid-electric cars, came under scrutiny. "They couldn't imagine why we were spending the time and money to do the Volt," says one senior GM product developer.

CNBC just reported that GM is considering doing a 100-to-1 reverse stock split.

"GM is considering doing a 100-to-1 reverse stock split."
What the hell is that about?

I liked the question by the Treasury guy who wanted to know when the Malibu, on the market for 18 months, was gonna launch.
Ai-eee! We're freaking doomed!

(Edit) IMO "Ai-eee" is much more appropriate when contemplating ones doom, as any Jonny Quest episode confirms.
"Aaargh" more of a pirate cry, such as when he realizes the treasure chest is empty.

From the "O-T" file....

In my line of work I get to see some really bad lighting installations, but the facility I visited earlier today is in a class of its own. This is one of the service bays of a maintenance garage. This particular row consists of eight 2-lamp F96T12 fixtures, and of the eight, one fixture is working and two more have single lamps hanging on for dear life. The dirt and grim in this place is unbelievable (that ceiling at one time was white).

The replacement system will cut their lighting load by more than half. We also expect light levels to increase forty to fifty fold.


What's your view on LEDs?

Sorry to bump in between but this caught my eye. I recently did a survey of LED based lighting solutions on the market and was sadly dissapointed with what I found out.

Everyone knows that LEDs are good because they are efficient and have seen demostrations of extremely bright white LEDs. However in practical applications the overall efficiency is something entirely different and that fact that they are bright doesnt mean that you get much light out of them.

When you actually try to produce equivalent light flow for your work surfaces that you get from your existing flourecent lighting, you find out that its horribly expensive and frustratingly complicated to get that amount of light into the room from LEDs.

From the beginning LEDs are always inherently a point source. This is bad for both heat dissapation and for general light quality. The actual LED-semiconductor is a tiny area of silicon which is particularly sensitive to overheating. You need to cool it down by conducting the heat away from it as well as actively limit the current so that it doesnt fry itself. For this you need a switching powersupply with potential of causing EMI problems. So there is an upper limit to how much power you can get away from such a tiny area. So you need many many LEDs together to achieve even moderate light levels.

Ones the light leaves the chip it travels up from its surface in a tiny cone so you need to spread the light out with lenses to cover a room for example and then preferably diffuse the light with white plastic to reduce glare and sharp shadows. All this adds to the complexity of the actual lighting ficture.

Finally when you add up all those together, cooling requiments, powersupply, lenses and diffusers, and multiply them all with the required number of LED elements to get the same light on the surface as with flourecents - it ends up costing 50 times as much money that a simple flourecent tube would've cost. This is why the existing LED lighting fixtures on the market are so expensive and produce feeble amounts of light.

Compared to flourecents then, LEDs are still very expensive and require much more complicated circuitry and fixtures. And also getting the same CRI as with multi-phosphor tubes is next to impossible with single silicon LEDs. And even then LEDs are inherently 'spiky' emitters - where as the phosphor mix on flourecent tubes can be tuned very close to a true daylight spectrum.

Hi Nick,

I agree with ransu; they're well suited for some applications, but not general illumination. A 4-lamp F32T8 tandem 8 ft. industrial fitted with a normal output QHE ballast provides 10,560 lumens and draws a total of 107-watts; alternatively, this same fixture equipped with a high output ballast supplies 13,800 lumens at 141-watts (the latter is roughly the equivalent of nine 100-watt incandescents in terms of light output). That's a good amount of high quality, low-glare light from a $50.00 fixture. Plus, when the lamps start to fail after some 40,000-hours of operation, you remove the old ones and pop-in their replacements at $2.00 a piece. Also bear in mind that at 40,000 hours, a high efficiency T8 is still cranking out 93 to 95 per cent of its initial lumens, whereas a typical LED may have fallen to 70 per cent of its initial rating (same watts, just 30 per cent less light).


A la Bernie Madoff, the #1 source of revenue for state and local governments in the USA is now federal money-at all levels, the government gravy train in the USA is not going down without a fight http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-05-04-fed-states-revenue_N.htm

Hello TODers,

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Home values in the United States extended their fall in the first quarter, with almost three in ten homeowners now owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, real estate website Zillow.com said on Wednesday.

The Phoenix Coyotes hockey team Tuesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and could be sold to a new ownership group that wants to move the team from Glendale to Canada.
..Or maybe nobody is interested in buying this team?

I wonder how many other sports teams will go belly up this year? At least these teams can be relocated easily, but the municipalities stuck with paying for giant, and now empty sports arenas are not happy. Too bad my Asphaltistan's 200+ golf courses can't be moved.

Environmentalists and golfers square off over future of Sharp Park

..Sharp Park Golf Course [San Francisco, CA area] opened in April 1932, eight months before the debut of another MacKenzie gem, Augusta National.

..Soon, though, Sharp Park may be a frog pond. "I'm a golfer myself," says Justin Augustine, a spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the leaders in the fight to decommission Sharp Park. "But no matter how much you love the game, there's no valid reason to elevate golf above the future well-being of an endangered species."

.."These people want to destroy golf," says Dave Diller, a former school principal who is the president of the 370-member Sharp Park Golf Club and who has been a golfer there for 45 years.
How long until we read of the first environmentalist clubbed to death by angry golfers?

My guess is this former school principal didn't learn much about ecology, and his students learned much, much less than him over the years because of his ignorance. Sad...

Bonita Bay [Ft. Meyers, Florida] shuts three golf courses
Slowdown's cited; maintenance planned

Dumas said it's never a good time to close something, but with usage of the golf courses and restaurant down, now was a good time.
It will be interesting to see if the economy continues to degrade during this period-->they may decide to never reopen these courses.

Can you close a public golf course like that?

The first time most people knew that Oak Ridge Golf Course in Union County would never open again was January 22, 2009 with the release of County Manager George Devanney's executive budget letter for 2009 recommending closing Oak Ridge to save $740,000. The decision was finalized on March 4, 2009 at a Wednesday night Union County Freeholder finance committee meeting. That's 41 days to close a 169.4-acre golf course in a county where it can take years to repair a footbridge.
IMO, this writer should be Very Grateful that his New Jersey community did move that fast to stop the hemorrhaging of funds.

St. Mellion in Cornwall, England shakes off economic woes, completes $150 million redevelopment

There was a time not all that long ago when mention of a $150 million redevelopment of a golf resort would have raised eyebrows and caused something of a stir. But that was before trillion-dollar bank bailouts, quantitative easing and various other fiscal mechanisms that have been deployed recently in a desperate effort to try and prevent the collapse of capitalism.

Given the parlous state of the world economy and the fact that nearly every other business in Britain is talking gloomily of cutting back, laying off or closing down, it's wonderfully refreshing to encounter an upbeat operation that is optimistically expanding and eagerly anticipating a bright new future. And that's precisely what St. Mellion is confidently predicting...
My guess is that WTSHTF: this will be transformed into a massive security/survival bunker for the few elites that can afford it. The article didn't mention how this financing was done: I wonder if the average British taxpayer had to cough up the money for this renovation?

Buyers gather as golf course goes on sale [White Plains, New York]

..The departure of 50 or 60 members, who hung up their golf clubs as the recession tightened its grip on the region over the last year, left Ridgeway with a deficit that may reach $1.7 million this year, nearly a third of its $5.5 million operating budget.

..Last month, as membership dwindled to 128 families from as many as 250 a decade ago, Ridgeway's board of directors contacted a New York City broker to lay the groundwork for a sale, which Shyer said would be a last resort if efforts to resuscitate the 86-year-old club by recruiting new members fail.
IMO, it is amazing how many clubs, that made it through the '30s Depression, are now going belly up.

Proposed Fremont golf course doesn't make the cut

"It's not going to happen because the golf industry went down the tubes," Tong said. "No bank will loan anything."

Many area golf coaches are seeing lower turnout numbers

Portage coach Dick Kretz has noticed the slow contraction of his golf team over the years.

Kretz isn't sure why the numbers are trending downward over the last couple of years...
As posted before: I am still willing to be Tiger Woods' postPeak financial advisor.

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


May 5 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil may hold the world’s third-largest potash reserves, following discoveries in the northern and eastern parts of the country, Agriculture Minister Reinhold Stephanes said.
It will be interesting to see how these discoveries effects the share value of the existing potash mining companies.

Hello TODers,

As most here already know: I have repeatedly asked for TODers to google Ghawar regularly, as I do when I find the time.

I just came across a new, highly detailed, simulation graphic from Saudi Aramco, but I don't have the knowledge to know how useful it might be for our depletion analysis. I hope Leanan can post an image of my link and get Rockman, F_F, SS, GaryP, JoulesBurn, Euan Mearns, WT, Dave Cohen, and other oil reservoir experts to take a gander...



A satellite image is merged with surface data for comparison and analysis.

Since I am not a computer guru, drill down through the website by clicking: Exploration, Technology,

Acquisition & Processing
3-D Seismic
Using Seismic Data
– Other Methods
Vertical Seismic
Multi-Component Seismic
Reservoir Models
The image comes up at Other Methods

Jpeg file-- size of file-->86.35 KB (88419 bytes)

There may be other useful images in the other sections that may help correlate the above graphic.

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

more images:

Not sure about this image [possibly Uthmaniyah to Shedgum oil-sat bridge with dark spot being the 'hole' between Uth-Aindar-Shedgum?]:


Well locations in Uthmaniyah:


Full Ghawar field, but I have no idea what it is imaging:


toto -- Just had time for a quick review but the techniques they show case aren't really new. Systems are constantly improved but the imaging techniques they refer to are not new. Which doesn't mean to say they aren't adding to the process. But as one comment indicates in the report itself, these tools tend to be more applicable to exploration (big picture) then production management (hyper-detail). Probably the most usful aspect would be to monitor water movement through the field. Well production history is more detailed but then you have to make assumtions about what's going on between the wells.

Bottom line IMO: this is pretty much boiler plate just like the PR pieces put out by ExxonMobil and Chevron. Not inaccurate but then not really saying too much either.

Hello Rockman,

Thxs for your reply. I was hoping these graphics would be useful for updating the Ghawar series that SS, F_F, Euan and others worked so hard on a couple of years ago.

I have expertise in this area, but I was hoping the first graphic was a seismic-sim of super-k fractures and high permeability areas in Ghawar.

EDIT: OOPS-->I DO NOT have expertise in this area...I think I need to get some sleep