DrumBeat: May 15, 2009

Bill McKibben: Can 350.org save the world?

The trouble is, physics and chemistry aren't adjusting their schedule to fit our political and economic convenience. Each week brings new accounts of crashing ice sheets and spreading droughts. The scientific journal Nature said in its April 29 cover story that "a growing number of scientists agree that the CO2 challenge is even greater than had been previously thought."

As politics gets slower, global warming speeds up. The problem isn't feckless officials. Obama has a dream team of climate specialists: Clinton administration EPA veteran Carol Browner as energy czar, Harvard physicist John Holdren as top science advisor, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu as Energy secretary and Oakland activist Van Jones as White House green jobs coordinator.

And the problem isn't that environmental groups aren't working hard enough. I've never seen them work more tirelessly, with lobbying efforts in capitals around the world.

In fact, the problem is pretty simple: The environmental movement isn't big enough. It's one of the most selfless of advocacy efforts. But the movement has been sized to save whales and build national parks and force carmakers to stick catalytic converters on exhaust systems. It's nowhere near big enough to take on the fossil fuel industry, the biggest player in our global economy. It's like sending the Food and Drug Administration to fight the war in Afghanistan.

DOE chief announces billions for clean coal

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Energy Secretary Steven Chu says he will provide $2.4 billion from the economic recovery package to speed up development of technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and factories that burn coal.

Chu told a meeting of the National Coal Council on Friday that it's essential that ways are found to capture carbon dioxide from coal-burning power plants and industrial sources. Carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is the leading greenhouse gas blamed for global warming.

Nuclear Science Studies Back in Vogue?

After decades of declining enrollments, nuclear science and engineering may be poised for academic resurgence in the nation’s universities.

Last week, the Department of Energy announced nearly $50 million in new funding and scholarships through its Nuclear Energy University Program for American colleges working on “cutting-edge” nuclear energy research.

High Tension in the Energy Debate: The Clamshell Reaction (from the History Archive)

If there should be a fourth occupation at Seabrook, it might well become a mass civil disobedience action the like of which this country has not seen for quite some time. Full-scale occupations have already occurred in Europe, where 28,000 Swiss, French and West German citizens occupied a nuclear construction site at Wyhl, West Germany, and where more than 20,000 French nuclear opponents tried the same thing at Malville, near Lyons. The former resulted in an on-site occupation lasting more than a year, and was ended only by cancellation of the plant; the latter presaged a widespread upheaval that has raised questions about the future of nuclear energy in France. Mass anti-nuclear opposition has also moved to civil disobedience in Italy, Switzerland and Japan; it is threatening in Sweden, Spain and Australia.

What comes next in the United States will depend in large part on the Carter administration, and the depth of its commitment to what it has termed "the last resort" in the energy crisis.

But what is now clear from the grass roots of New England is that the social movement which has developed on the issue has chosen a "last resort" of its own, and that movement is unlikely to slow down until nuclear power plants become no more than a bad memory.

Hot Chicks: Legal or Not, Chickens Are the Chic New Backyard Addition

The urban homesteading movement got a huge symbolic boost this spring when the first family installed a 1,100-square-foot vegetable garden at the White House. Poultry is the natural next step in the sustainable back yard; chickens produce eggs, devour kitchen scraps and add manure to the compost pile.

"Chickens are America's cool new pet," said Dave Belanger, publisher of the magazine Backyard Poultry. When he launched it three years ago, "we were thinking 15 to 20 thousand" subscriptions, he said. The print run for the bimonthly is now 100,000.

China goes farming as factories close

Farming is entirely new to Bu Zhonghua.

With a pale, unwrinkled face, he still has the look of the white collar manager he was until late last year.

At just 34, he has spent half his life working in neighbouring Guangdong province.

"My life has changed enormously," he said, taking a break from working his family's field.

"I can't even afford to pay my phone bill these days. They cut off phone service last month."

Aramco expanding offshore E&P capability

The sharp increase in offshore activity led Saudi Aramco to revise its fleet strategy last year for its Marine organization. Rather than purchase new vessels, it opted for charters. Sixteen chartered ships joined the fleet in 2008, including 12 to support drilling operations, two DSVs, one utility boat, and one trash collection vessel.

On offshore fields already in production - Zuluf, Safaniyah, Marjan - the company combined 3D seismic with horizontal wells to extract oil from the thin Khafji stringer sands.

Baghdad Won't Pay Cos for Kurdish Oil Exports

International companies that want to pump oil in the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq won't be paid from federal revenues, Iraq's oil minister has said.

"The company won't receive from the oil ministry any dollar or a barrel of oil," Hussein al-Shahristani told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview late Thursday night.

"Those who signed the contracts with these companies are responsible to pay back and compensate them," said Shahristani who is in Jordan to attend the World Economic Forum on the Middle East, which starts Friday.

Fewer flying this summer - but expect full planes

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The skies will be considerably less crowded this summer, with the Air Transport Association projecting a 7% decline in air travel compared to last year.

The industry group, which represents U.S.-based airlines, said on Friday that there will be 14 million fewer airline passengers traveling over the summer.

Gas: 12% surge in 3 weeks

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Gas prices rose overnight, with the national average up nearly 12% in less than three weeks, according to a daily survey.

Ormat Combines for 330 MW Geothermal Plant

It's a geological bonanza for clean energy investors, yet no one's talking about it.

With its population spread out over more than 17,000 islands, many Indonesians live in cities, yet some are in areas so remote that electricity access is almost zero.

Indonesia is also the only OPEC member in Southeast Asia, but in recent years it's actually become a net importer of oil. (Production is down from aging oil fields, consumption is up, and the government in Jakarta feels the fire of an energy crisis bubbling beneath the surface.)

But trouble isn't the only thing simmering under this archipelago nation. That's because geothermal energy is about to break out from an underexploited state to become a primary resource for Indonesia's energy needs.

New presentations by Matt Simmons

• Have We "Peaked?"

• Is There Light At The End Of The Dark Tunnel?

• Investing During A World-Class Crisis

The Danger of Inaction: A Chat With Thomas Homer-Dixon

In his latest book, “Carbon Shift,” the political scientist Thomas Homer-Dixon, chair of global systems at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Ontario, assembles essays by six experts who tackle contentious issues such as the global supply of fossil fuels, the future of coal, and the implications of $300-a-barrel oil.

With atmospheric carbon concentrations hurtling towards 400 parts per million, Mr. Homer-Dixon sees the West’s sluggishness to respond as akin to the general view of the Soviet Union circa 1985. “While few people grasped in advance the true gravity of the stresses that ultimately caused the Soviet empire’s demise, we don’t have the same excuse today,” he said. “We understand the energy, climate and other challenges we face well enough to know that ignoring them could be catastrophic.”

Challenges and Implications for Energy Sector Investing

Regardless of the short term movements of the market and economy several long term trends are clear: (1) Depletion of crude oil and natural gas reserves is relentless and substantial; (2) Easy to find and producible oil and gas reserves have for the most part already been exploited and production from these fields is now declining; and (3) Crude oil, coal, and natural gas will be the primary energy source for global economies for decades to come.

Brazil's Big Oil Bet

As an update to last week's oil company earnings roundup, I bring you Brazil's state-owned oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR), affectionately known as Petrobras. It may seem like same story, different day, as Petrobras announced a 20% drop in first-quarter net profits compared with Q1 2008 (due to - yawn - the global economic slowdown, lower oil prices and lower demand).

But there are some interesting things happening in Petrobras - mainly an increase in capital spending to the tune of $28.6 billion this year - up from $23 billion last year.

Why the massive billions in capital?

One word - Tupi.

Mexico's Pemex lowers natural gas prices for buyers

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's state-run gas company Pemex will lower natural gas prices for consumers by 10 percent beginning at the end of June this year, the company said on Thursday.

Mexico -- a crude oil exporter -- is a net importer of natural gas despite having sizable resources. Pemex has set a goal to increase output enough to halve gas imports, possibly as soon as this year.

Gazprom Is Ready to Buy All Gas From Nabucco Base in Azerbaijan

(Bloomberg) -- OAO Gazprom, the world’s largest natural gas producer, is ready to buy all the gas from the second stage of an offshore Azeri development slated as a resource base for the Europe-backed Nabucco pipeline project.

Russia to sign gas pipeline deal

Senior officials from the Balkans and southern Europe are in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi to sign agreements on a new gas pipeline.

South Stream, when built, will deliver gas from Central Asia and Russia to Italy through the Balkans.

Naftogaz makes gas storage plans

Naftogaz will start buying gas for storage once it receives pipeline transit payments from Russian giant Gazprom, the Ukrainian state-run outfit said.

Gazprom pays Ukraine $1.70 per 1000 cubic metres of gas per 100 kilometres for gas which travels across its territory to Europe. Russian gas accounts for a quarter of Europe's gas consumption and almost all of it goes through Ukraine.

Exxon Japan group posts 5 pct rise in Q1 oil export

TOKYO (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Japan group refiner TonenGeneral Sekiyu said on Friday its oil product exports for January-March rose 5 percent from a year earlier, led by a 22 percent gain in middle distillate exports, in the face of declining domestic demand. TonenGeneral, Japan's second-biggest oil refiner by capacity, did not give detailed volumes, but said exports would keep growing, though Japanese rivals may be expanding exports much faster, the company's managing director W. J. Bogaty told Reuters after announcing its first quarter results.

Norway Expects Crude Oil Prices to Rise 15% Next Year

(Bloomberg) -- Norway, the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter, expects the average price of crude to rise 15 percent in 2010 from this year, as demand rebounds and OPEC limits output.

Norway Raises Spending to Fight Recession, Cuts GDP Outlook

(Bloomberg) -- Norway’s government will raise spending, adding to the country’s biggest stimulus package in more than 30 years, to jolt the oil-driven economy out of its first recession in two decades as global trade falters.

Norway will spend an extra 9.5 billion kroner ($1.5 billion) in 2009 to create jobs and galvanize demand, the Finance Ministry said in a revised budget statement today. That brings total stimulus measures this year as a percentage of gross domestic product to 3 percent, compared with a January target of 2.3 percent.

Ontario Picks Atomic Energy of Canada for Reactors, Globe Says

(Bloomberg) -- Ontario picked Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. as the leading bidder to build the province’s first nuclear reactors since the 1980s, the Globe and Mail reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Canada’s most populous province wants assurances that the federal government will share the risks of cost overruns on the “multibillion-dollar” project, the Globe said. Ontario wants a company to design and build reactors on a fixed-price basis, the newspaper said.

Canadian scholars have plan to limit methane gas output from belching bovine

It's the climate-change culprit nobody wants to talk about: cattle gas. Much of the methane emitted in Canada comes not from the oil industry or landfills, but from belching cows. Now, a team of Canadian scholars says it has come up with a plan to cut a cow's output by as much as 25%, by making the animal "more efficient." The study, published recently in the Journal of Animal Science, was conducted jointly by the universities of Guelph and Manitoba, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Al Gore: US climate change bill a 'good start'

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A bill to fight climate change currently before the US Congress "is a good start," Nobel laureate and environment champion Al Gore said Friday.

With the House Energy and Commerce Committee due to start its formal debate on the bill come Monday, hoping to approve it by week's end and send it to the full House, Gore said the legislation "has now reached the stage that a lot of people thought it never would."

'Recession Apocalypse': Preparing for the End of the World

In the serene hills of rural upstate New York, Kathie Breault is hunkering down for doomsday. It's not an all-out Armageddon that the 51-year-old grandmother is convinced of, but an imminent economic apocalypse.

A few years ago, Breault began reading about what happens when the world surpasses "peak oil" -- a point where we will use more oil than we can produce.

"I was afraid that any day that oil would disappear, that gas would start to disappear, that I wouldn't be able to get to work, I wouldn't have money, I wouldn't have food that I needed," she said. "It was frightening -- the picture that was painted."

Torontonians to pay premium for power when demand peaks

Toronto — Toronto Hydro announced Thursday that it will begin charging its customers new higher rates to use electricity when demand peaks, such as summer afternoons, and lower rates in the middle of the night, in an effort to encourage conservation and avoid blackouts.

Skint: Venezuela's oil industry

Despite years of record oil revenues, PDVSA accumulated liabilities of almost $70 billion by last September, up from less than $30 billion in 2006, according to the company’s financial reports. The company is itself owed more than $24 billion, mostly by Cuba and other neighbours to whom Mr Chávez supplies oil on easy terms.

PDVSA’s decline stems in part from the fact that Mr Chávez has turned what was an efficient oil company into an all-purpose vehicle for implementing “21st-century socialism”. PDVSA, whose workforce has more than doubled since 2003, now builds houses, imports food, runs farms and pays for adult-education projects.

Close to 150 million barrels oil, products stored at sea

TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil companies are storing close to 150 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum products at sea, a leading shipbroker said on Thursday.

An oil market structure known as contango -- when oil for prompt delivery is cheaper than oil for later delivery -- has made it profitable to buy oil for storage.

Nabucco starts to shape up

The EU and Turkey have resolved two major differences that were preventing agreement on the terms for the Nabucco natural gas pipeline, and the Turkish President Abdullah Gul is reported to have promised that a signing ceremony will take place on June 25 in Ankara.

Petrobras pumps up output

Brazilian giant Petrobras added an 99,000 barrels per day of output in the first quarter this year, bumping up its production tally.

Hostage-taking Nigeria militants threaten new attacks

LAGOS (AFP) – Militants were holding 15 foreigners hostage in the oil-rich Niger Delta as Nigeria's main armed group Thursday reiterated a warning to oil companies to evacuate staff or face "a hurricane" of attacks.

'Recession LNG prices tempt Asia'

Petrochina is set to become Shell’s largest liquefied natural gas customer, as recession-hit gas prices are spurring increased interest in long-term contracts from emerging countries.

"The financial crisis is changing Asia's interest in long-term contracts," vice president of Shell’s Global LNG Kathleen Eisbrenner told a conference in Oslo.

China Power Production Fell 3.9% in Early May, Securities Says

(Bloomberg) -- China's electricity production in early May fell 3.9 percent from a year earlier.

U.S. Consumer Prices Unchanged; Core Prices Increase

(Bloomberg) -- The cost of living in the U.S. was unchanged in April as decreases in food and energy costs offset increases in medical care, autos and a second straight jump in tobacco prices.

The consumer price index was flat after decreasing 0.1 percent in March, the Labor Department said today in Washington. Excluding food and fuel, costs climbed a greater-than-forecast 0.3 percent, almost half of which reflected an increase in excise taxes on cigarettes, according to Labor.

Stocks still face deflationary collapse: Prechter

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Longtime technical analyst Robert Prechter, who forecast the 1987 stock market crash, predicted this week that U.S. equities may plunge to half their lows hit in March as a deflationary depression bites.

Oil and U.S. Treasury bonds are also locked in long term bear markets, while corporate bond prices will plunge precipitously by next year as broad economy, banking system and company earnings sustain more damage from a financial crisis that's akin to the Great Depression, he said.

Byron King: Buckle Your Seat Belts—“Investment Earthquake in the Energy Sector” Ahead

I look at scarcity in the classic sense of shortages, of not enough to go around. When you look at world development in the last century, growing from a population of one billion or so, for much of the time 90% of the people were on the outs and maybe 10% were on the in. The Western world—North America, Europe, Japan and parts of the rest of the world—had access to ample resources, whether it’s mineral resources; energy resources; water, fresh water; food, what-have-you. That’s where we get the modern theories of economics, and commodity cycles. That’s the history that we see. But you have to be careful where you get your history.

Now we’re living in a world with over 6½ billion people. One billion or so are at or approaching a middle-class standard of living. The other 5 billion or so? They understand what a better existence means for them. When, say, 4 billion more people are competing for that oil or the mineral resources — the copper, the nickel, the iron ore, the food that you can grow on the arable land, the fresh water, the fish in the sea — you deplete your resources a lot faster than in the good old days.

An Inconvenient Talk: Dave Hughes’s guide to the end of the fossil fuel age

The Talk is in essence a constantly updated survey of the state of the planet through a hydrocarbon geologist’s eyes. It plows methodically through reams of energy-geek data. World Conventional Oil and Oil Sands Reserves, 1980–2007. Energy Profit Ratio for Liquid Hydrocarbons. Canadian Gas Deliverability Scenarios from All Sources. The small-font notes at the bottom of each PowerPoint slide enumerate sources that read like a general anaesthetic in print form: BP Statistical Review of World Energy, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, EIA International Energy Outlook. Pie charts and bar graphs with several rainbows’ worth of colour and an overabundance of italicized and all-capped words: “The absolute first priority,” that kind of thing. (By the way, it should be “to reduce energy consumption as soon as possible.”)

N.B. is still hooked on building highways

The worst is yet to come as world oil production peaks in the next few years, increasing fuel costs and hence lowering gas tax revenues here in New Brunswick. If we have $4.7 billion in highway debt, we will have a gigantic problem. The economist James Hamilton suggests that oil prices are to blame for the current recession: "The evidence to me is persuasive that, had there been no oil shock, we would have described the U.S. economy in fourth-quarter 2007 to third-quarter 2008 as growing slowly, but not in a recession."

If this is true, then peak oil will cause further recessions in the near future. Without significant restructuring of the province's finances, we risk slipping into a deficit-financing spiral. How do we cut the health and education budgets?

T. Boone Pickens talks foreign oil, debt

Legendary oil baron, financier and philanthropist T. Boone Pickens held court over lunch Wednesday at ACG InterGrowth 2009, expressing his concerns over foreign oil and U.S. debt levels, among other things.

In a lively interchange with Fox Business Network anchor Liz Claman, Pickens predicted higher energy prices in the short term ("get ready, 'cause you're gonna have 'em"), a coming government-sponsored windfall (pun intended) for alternative energy ("Obama has gone for wind, solar and the 21st-century grid. That's in the stimulus package") and the necessity to harness natural gas ("the only resource that moves an 18-wheeler in this country"). But his most pointed comments were about the perils of oil imports.

Chrysler says it wants to close 789 dealerships

DETROIT - In tiny Millerstown, Pa., the owner of the only car dealership in town found out Thursday he was on Chrysler’s hit list — one of 789 across the nation that the troubled automaker wants to eliminate.

“It’s really, really a blow,” Jeff Potter, whose family owns the dealership, said after hearing the news from a customer who spotted the closing list on the Internet. “When you talk about being here 34 years, it’s my life.”

Improved Prius packs features, contradictions

The angels sang, the clouds parted, and the latest version of the Toyota Prius descended from the heavens to save mankind from its self-destruction. Really, that’s just how it happened. At least that seems to be the view of some fanatics who have mistakenly concluded that Toyota is not bound by the same laws of physics or business as every other car-making entity on the planet.

Battery 'swap' station for electric vehicles unveiled

YOKOHAMA, Japan - A California-based company has unveiled a new battery-swapping technology that could overcome a key obstacle to the adoption of electric cars — their reliance on frequent, long stops for recharging.

Bicycles touted as ‘first modern post-fossil vehicle’

Cycling is not only good for the health, but can also help tackle global challenges like climate change and oil dependency, specialists argued at the world 'Velo-City' conference in Brussels this week.

Jörg Schindler, a campaigner at the Energywatch Group, an NGO, said "oil will be less available and more expensive in the coming years," as proven reserves dry up and fewer new fields are discovered or exploited.

The Great Ethanol Scam: Not only is ethanol proving to be a dud as a fuel substitute but there is increasing evidence that it is destroying engines in large numbers

More than one major transportation-based industry in America besides Detroit is on the ropes. For the fourth time in our history the ethanol industry has come undone and is quickly failing nationally. Of course it's one thing when Detroit collapsed with the economy; after all, that is a truly free-market enterprise and the economy hasn't been good. But the fact that the ethanol industry is going bankrupt, when the only reason we use this additive is a massive government mandate, is outrageous at best.

Then again, the ethanol lobby and refiners have a solution to ethanol's failure in America: Hire retired General Wesley Clark as your point man and lobby the government to increase the amount of ethanol in our fuel to 15%. The problems with that proposition are real -- unlike ethanol's benefits.

German petrol station biodiesel sales seen at stop

HAMBURG (Reuters) - Sales of biodiesel at German petrol stations have come to a virtual halt, leading German bioenergy company Verbio said on Thursday.

Biodiesel is currently more expensive than fossil diesel in Germany following a further tax rise on green fuels this year and a fall in crude oil prices.

... The European Union's decision in March to impose import duties on imports of U.S. biodiesel can no longer help boost German petrol station sales because of the price disadvantage caused by the tax, Verbio said.

The company said in a statement on its quarterly results announced on Thursday it was hit by rising raw materials costs.

"The production costs generated by raw materials contracts could only be partly passed onto the market in the first quarter due to falling fuel prices in the first quarter of 2009," the company said.

Valero officials balk at Tennessee ethanol legislation

Memphis International Airport officials are closely watching a bill that could lead to the closing of Valero Energy Corp.’s Memphis refinery, which is the primary fuel source for airport operations.

Some states pass sovereignty measures

Legislatures in Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota this year have approved resolutions asserting sovereignty under the 10th Amendment of the Constitution and suggesting that Uncle Sam "cease and desist" from interfering in their business.

The largely Republican backers say the federal government has overstepped its constitutional bounds by meddling in local matters ranging from education to drunken driving. "It's telling the federal government, 'Guys, you really need to back off,' " said Judy Burges, a GOP state representative who is sponsoring a sovereignty resolution in Arizona.

Green IT Is Key to an Energy-Efficient Future: Report

Whether it's teleworking enabled by broadband internet or the spread of video conferencing technologies that reduce business travel, information technologies (IT) are responsible for significantly reducing the amount of energy used in the United States in the last 20 years, according to a report released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

The report "Semiconductor Technologies: The Potential to Revolutionize U.S. Energy Productivity," is authored by "Semiconductor Technologies: The Potential to Revolutionize U.S. Energy Productivity," looks at how the energy intensity of the U.S. economy -- the amount of energy needed to produce $1 of GDP -- has steadily shrunk due to technological innovations.

The inefficient secret of energy-smart 'green' buildings: You

In trying to create the most Earth-friendly, energy-efficient buildings possible, architects and engineers have stumbled on a problem they hadn't fully understood: You.

Your desktop computer that's on, even when you're out to lunch. The power-hogging photo copier in your office and its incessant red light. And then there's the space heater under your desk, keeping you warm because the building is too cold.

7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

In preparation for the Sustainable Energy Coalition's big renewable & energy efficiency expo in D.C., they released some great factoids about the fast-growing energy efficiency market sector.

'Rebound effects' of energy efficiency could halve carbon savings, says study

Using energy more efficiently might not be as effective at tackling climate change as people think, according to a new study. A team of economists has shown that so-called "rebound effects", where efficiency improvements are offset by behaviour changes, such as increasing demands for cheaper energy, could potentially slash future carbon and energy savings by half.

Churches to probe impacts of Canadian oil sands

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - A coalition of church leaders will fan out across northern Alberta next week for a fact-finding mission that will help formulate an official stance on the environmental impact of oil sands development.

Officials with Kairos, a multidenominational social justice group, joined by some aboriginal leaders, will talk with oil sands developers, labor organizations, local authorities and congregations about the impact of the massive energy projects, an issue garnering global attention.

What if global-warming fears are overblown?

In a Fortune interview, noted climatologist John Christy contends the green crusade to fight climate change is "all cost and no benefit."

Researchers scale back forecast of sea-level rise

WASHINGTON - A collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet would raise sea levels by about 10 feet, not the nearly 20 feet as earlier predicted, according to a new study.

Researchers led by Jonathan L. Bamber of the University of Bristol in Britain report their recalculation of the hazard in Friday's edition of the journal Science.

However, they add, the maximum increase is expected along the East and West Coasts of the United States, where sea levels could rise as much as 25 percent more than in other regions.

EU Says CO2 Trade Helped Cut Emissions for First Time

(Bloomberg) -- European Union power stations and factories in the world’s biggest emission-trading program cut carbon-dioxide output by 3.1 percent last year, the first drop since the system began in 2005.

Donors urged to help poor countries adapt to climate change

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — Donor countries should raise up to two billion dollars to help vulnerable, poor countries adapt to climate change, according to a report submitted to the United Nations Thursday.

"As a first step, we urge donors countries to mobilize one to two billion dollars to assist the vulnerable, low-income countries, which are already suffering from climate impacts," particularly in Africa and small island states, said the final study by the Stockholm-based Commission on Climate Change and Development (CCCD).

Re: What if global-warming fears are overblown? (John Christy)

But, John, what if your satellite data is wrong? Recall this one John?

Evidence of possible sea-ice influence on Microwave Sounding Unit tropospheric temperature trends in polar regions

doi:10.1029/2003GL017938, 2003

E. Swanson

Climate change is too important to allow even the least amount of doubt to exist. Assumptions should be tested at every possible point to assure they're valid. If we entered a global cooling phase (say another Maunder Minimum) when everyone was preparing for the opposite it could be disastrous.

We should prepare for change, increase resiliency and stop polluting the Planet as a given. But we shouldn't be backing horses and betting everything on what we believe will be the winner. We need to survive even if we are wrong.

Our achilles' heel is agriculture and we're going to be in trouble even if the Climate doesn't change. If it does, warmer or cooler, then we're in deep deep trouble. That's where the money should be spent.

I'm confused.

Just how much more evidence that the bridge is out is needed before we begin to slow the train?

Our achilles' heel is agriculture and we're going to be in trouble even if the Climate doesn't change.

One can agree generally with the thrust of what you are saying, but you seem to be confused, or at least your statements are confused. Climate, for example, is always changing, though we may not know the direction (cool or warm) and the duration (we appear to be in a situation of temporary cooling due, among other things, to solar minimum). Then there's the problem of agriculture; why is this so critical? I think of poor places like Haiti, for example, where the population went from around 2 million fifty years ago to 9 million today--and they still are able to grow most of their food using traditional methods that do not involve lots of artificial fertilizers or mechanization (the higher classes import a lot of their food), so if they can do it, why can't we?

As for climate change being too important to allow the slightest doubt, well in science there never is certainty, so doubt will always be part of the knowledge acquired through science, so your condition cannot be achieved. But you're right that we need to find a way to survive regardless of what the conditions turn out to be in the long run.

Haiti as a prime example of how to do something correctly?

What am I missing here?

we appear to be in a situation of temporary cooling due

Natural variation dos not = cooling trend. You need 20+ more years before you can even begin claiming a trend. In other words, bull.

Further, if the ten warmest years on record are all in the last 11 years, that does not equal "cooling." A little honesty would be appreciated.

among other things, to solar minimum

Poppycock. Quackery.

Changes In The Sun Are Not Causing Global Warming, New Study Shows

"Until now, proponents of this hypothesis could assert that the sun may be causing global warming because no one had a computer model to really test the claims," said Adams, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon.

"The basic problem with the hypothesis is that solar variations probably change new particle formation rates by less than 30 percent in the atmosphere. Also, these particles are extremely small and need to grow before they can affect clouds. Most do not survive to do so," Adams said.

"Natural causes" not responsible for global warming

"Our result represents another argument against the hypothesis that cosmic rays represent an alternative, natural way of explaining a significant part of the undoubted global warming," team member Arnold Wolfendale...

...The team came to its conclusions by analysing published data on cosmic-ray rates over the past 50 years, together with data on sunspots and the solar radiation over the same period, to look at the relation between these factors.

...According to assumptions made in the work, the effect of varying solar activity – either by direct solar warming or changing cosmic-ray rates – must be less than 0.07 °C since 1956.

Really tired of that "sun is the cause" B.S. You may as well post you're a fan of Santa Claus and that abiotic oil will save us all.


"Wrong" which way?

Did you mean to say "in error", and if so, did you mean slightly in error or off the mark by whole magnitudes of measure? Did you mean to say that ALL sensors, all over the entire Globe are ALL equally "wrong"? Is that your point or is this just another red herring? My red herring sensor is sounding an alarm.

OK, since you likely haven't read the paper, consider this:

Here's link to a graph which shows the yearly average temperature from Spencer & Christy's MSU analysis (called the TLT for Temperature Lower Troposphere) for latitudes nearest the South Pole. Each curve represents the daily average over the years between 1979 and 1998, with the lowest on the graph being 82.5S, the higher ones being progressively 2.5 degrees toward the Equator. Notice the downward dip near 100 days into the year, which would be Autumn for the SH. That was the main issue addressed in the paper.

Here's the same graph for the basic MSU channel 2 data, which is the data S & C used to create their TLT time series. Notice that there's almost no dip in the curves.

Also consider that the other group which has produced an analysis based on the MSU channel 2 data, Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) has chosen to exclude any data poleward of 70S in their calculations of global temperature. The S&C data around the Antarctic has shown a cooling trend which drags down the overall global temperature calculation.

Both Christy and Spencer have drifted away from science toward a more political presentation. Christy's comments exhibit some skill at presenting factual but misleading information, for example, the comment about the total sea-ice area in which Christy says:

As you and I are talking today, global sea ice coverage is about 400,000 square kilometers above the long-term average - which means that the surplus in the Antarctic is greater than the deficit in the Arctic.

This week, the Arctic sea-ice is still near the maximum extent and the Antarctic ice is very near the minimum. The slight decline in the maximum area in the Arctic is balanced by a slight increase in that seen around the Antarctic. The problem is that the Arctic minimum, which usually occurs near the end of September, is showing a strong declining trend. Here are some graphs which demonstrate the trends as anomalies.

Of course, there's no way of knowing how Christy's comments were edited by FORTUNE. I suggest that you need to worry more about the BS content of the news than the possibility of a red herring...

E. Swanson

Nice post, Black_dog.

The folks over at RealClimate have taken both Spencer and Christy to task more than once. The attention you bring to their data is warranted. I recall a comment from one of them about that very data that the data had been shown to be flawed long ago, but they kept using it as if nobody had reviewed their work.

The quote from Christy seems consistent with his typical level of truthiness.

Regarding comments about cooling above: Yes, climate can flip in curious ways. Both the Younger Dryas and Little Ice Age occurred during an overall upward trend (though some might successfully argue that the latter was during an upward trend). We could even get an unexpected second YD, right? But I think you have to play the odds. Right now, the odds are for warming. If Rutledge and others are right about total FFs, and if ACC has essentially interrupted a return to an ice age, then maybe a thousand or few years from now, if we've used up all the FFs, another ice age will hit.

But, think about it. Aren't many of the mitigation actions the same? More resiliency via localizing, more land and a wider range of foods under cultivation, renewable energy, maybe building underground... Heck, we would be well served to keep the FFs in the ground to use to head off future cooling.

Essentially, the issue is moot: you can't predict a chaotic system except by sheer luck. You can have scenarios and probabilities, but you can't predict. Gotta play the odds. Right now, that's warming.


Playing the odds sounds like gambling to me. During the stock market bubble the majority of experts could see no other outcome than higher markets and they could produce buckets full of data to prove it. But in reality when the majority all congregate on one side of the boat it tends to tip over on them. I don't see scientists as being any different.

I'm not a skeptic or a denialist, but I am wary of the linear predictions for the future. I tend to think about Climate Change, which may be warming, cooling or a mixture of chaotic extremes, rather than the simple linear model of warming.

For many years now I've been using the 14th Century as an analogy for what we are now facing (resource constraints, over population and climate change). If anything the similarities just seem to be getting closer as the years pass. Hence why I keep an eye on climate cooling as a distinct possibility that needs to be allowed for in any planning.

Looks like the temperature here is going down to 0c tonight, glad I kept the tomatoes in the greenhouse for the time being. Hope we don't get a frost. I suspect global cooling would be just as catastrophic as global warming, except we would feel its effect much sooner.

I'm not a skeptic or a denialist

Actually, I'd say you are a denialist. The evidence is overwhelming, so if you doubt the evidence, you're a denialist. This is one of those situations in human experience where doing nothing is itself dangerous. You seem to be saying do nothing, we don't know enough. That's right out of the Denialist Handbook. Your appraoch is a nice twist, though.

But, perhaps I am misunderstanding your point? Feel free to elucidate in a more concrete and specific manner, if so.

For many years now I've been using the 14th Century as an analogy for what we are now facing (resource constraints, over population and climate change). If anything the similarities just seem to be getting closer as the years pass. Hence why I keep an eye on climate cooling as a distinct possibility that needs to be allowed for in any planning.

Well, I suppose that sounds nice, but you haven't actually said anything. What similarities? Climate cooling is certainly possible, but it depends on your terms. For example, the PDO could easily cause recorded global average temperatures to go down for a decade or three, but that doesn't really indicate what people (denialists) think it does. Rather than actually being a reversal of climate for a period of time, like driving in reverse, it's really nothing more than cold deep ocean waters welling up and masking the fact that insolation and GHGs are still building energy into the system. What people forget, particularly, is that the west Pacific is warmer during the PDO and warmer water is being cycled down into the long-term heat sink of the deep ocean.

This is not a good thing.

Also, this past year global average temps were lowered because of La Nina, but average land temps went up while atthe same time average Arctic temps went up a lot. I suspect you will see something similar during any PDO event. Those higher land and Arctic temps mean more ice is melting which means more energy absorbed, which likely mitigates some of the PDO effects. Add in the methane and continued rise in GHGs and you may have a PDO without much of a PDO effect.

Like you, I warn people of the fact that climate change can mean flips in either direction. The difference is, I don't use it as an excuse to do nothing. And that's the litmus test. If you understand ACC, then you should understand it's the extreme forcing of the planet climate system that will cause either a warming, whether gradual or sudden, or a sudden flip to a cool period. Thus, the answer for either is the same: stop taking a sledge hammer to the planetary climate system.

What we are really shooting for as a species is a bit of geo-engineering, actually. We want to stabilize climate to that to which we have become accustomed. The planet doesn't want to cooperate, based on it's history. Ironic, isn't it?


Like I said in another post above "We should prepare for change, increase resiliency and stop polluting the Planet as a given". So I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that I'm promoting that we should do nothing. I'm not a skeptic or a denialist, I fully accept ACC and would be the first to say that any attempt to maintain BAU is wrong. But I do draw the line at deliberate attempts at planetary geoengineering which would probably lead to the mother of all catastrophes.

Our preparations should be resilient in the face of all outcomes, not just aligned to one. We're in a hole and we need to stop digging, but we also need to prepare for change that's certain to come, although the nature of the change is in itself uncertain.

The 14th Century was a period when a benign climate had lead to a rapid population increase, which in turn lead to an excessive draw down of resources and overshoot. The changing climate exposed the population's precarious position and lead to agricultural collapse, famine, disease (especially the Black Death some 50 years in), societal upheaval and the eventual realigning of population with its resource base. I believe we face the same fate, through the same systemic process's, albeit in a context suited to our enhanced modernity.

We appear to be in agreement. My apologies for misreading your intent.


And, John Christy, what if the effects of climate chaos are worse than we fear?

My concerns regarding the capriciously shifting climate are the effects on the ecology, disease, pests and disease vectors, and the food supply. We'll have to deal with those on a large scale before we deal with large-scale coastal flooding.

Running the Numbers
An American Self-Portrait

Running the Numbers looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on.

thank god they didn't illustrate the national debt!

of USA or the UK


He did better than that!

Oil Barrels, 2008

Depicts 28,000 42-gallon barrels, the amount of oil consumed in the United States every two minutes (equal to the flow of a medium-sized river).

survivalacres.com/wordpress was featuring this as well. If you found it there please link to it, or give a hat tip. This is a must-see, for example the compostion of the plastic cups used by airlines every 6 hours.

Hat tip to my friend Tim on Silicon Investor who posted it to me.

Yer welcome.

Here's one for the societal collapse doomers out there: murder rates in both NYC and LA are showing a steady and material decline in the midst of this economic depression.

murder rates in both NYC and LA are showing a steady and material decline in the midst of this economic depression.

Bullets and guns cost money, maybe they just cannot afford to kill each other anymore. Or maybe everybody is too busy gardening.

It is well known that suicide rates (in developed countries) fall in times of recession. Perhaps there is a parallel in murder rates.

If you are depressed, life is harder to take if everyone else is happy.

Velilind's Laws of Experimentation:
1. If reproducibility may be a problem, conduct the experiment only once.
2. If a straight-line fit is required, collect only two data points.

3. If correlation is required, plot X versus X.

First , just a few, then gradually more. Just sitting here watching the lights go out.

"Whitefield Eyes Consequences Of No Streetlights"


Don in Maine

Consequences Of No Streetlights



Sadly, I doubt that many people have been able to see stars from their backyards in a very long time... I think my 6 year old son and 4 year old daughter have never seen a sky full of stars in their entire life.

My 6 and 3 year olds have never seen a sky full of stars because I put them to bed in time. (After reading a bedtime story about big bear and little bear where the big bear has to work, and collect wood for the fire and water.) But they will. Where we live there is not a whole lot of light and where my parents in law live it's utterly dark; absolutely astonishing skies I must say.;

Don't any of you folks ever venture out onto the ocean? You really don't have to go that far off shore to get away from the light pollution. A couple miles is sufficient. I can do it in my kayak.

Note to Self:

Next time two year old and four year old act up take them out on the ocean at night in kayak.

If really bad:

Watch Jaws first.

Thanks FMagyar !

Laugh all ya want! When my kid was around 4 I'd put him in my kayak's tank well and paddle out to reef with him then just toss him overboard. No flotation device either, just a mask, he loved it, and now at 14 I'm taking him scuba diving. Well, we haven't done any night diving yet but I can assure you that we will. Oh BTW I recently did a 24 mile paddle in Tampa bay as an escort to long distance swimmers. Note: the reason it is held in April, besides being Earth day, is that it is the, I kid you not, "The Less Sharky Season". Local's speak! They don't have a no shark season :-)

But in all seriousness in 30 plus years of diving the few sharks I've encountered were quite happy to give me a wide berth. I'm a heck of lot more scared to drive on I95 into Miami...than to swim with sharks.


Sorry could not resist.

A friend of mine took me and my oldest son sailing in a very small boat I don't know enough about sailing to know its class but its that little one they sometimes race around the harbor.

He loved it and kept trying to jump out I was holding him in with a rope. The local nazi coast guard finally decided they did not like a kid that young in a boat and scared us off the water.

Anyway I agree kids love sailing and diving etc. My wife won't go with me swimming she does not know how to swim and trying to watch three at a time is too much to really take them out like your suggesting. I do my best but with kids 2 4 and 6 its tough. And no way are you leaving one at home if your going swimming.

I think its really sad for people that don't learn how to swim its really hard to get and adult to learn as I've found out.

Obviously I'm a country mouse and my wife is a city mouse. I certainly enjoy aspects of city life esp when I lived in Shanghai but in the end I've come to realize that my life was much fuller than my wifes lie growing up in Taipei. But its like if your color blind you simply cannot understand what your missing. You may realize you missed something but you really can't gauge how much.

On a personal note I realized if I stayed in Southern Cal regardless of what happens my kids would miss out on the joy of nature and its important enough for me that I'll do what I have to to give them a chance to enjoy nature.

RE: 'Recession Apocalypse': Preparing for the End of the World

Very few people react to the news of approaching peak oil like Kathie and I did. Everyone I have talked to has immediately dismissed the possibility that world will be constrained by oil production or was completely apathetic -- 100% failure rate!

I had always believed that if I had some knowledge that others lacked that I would be listened to. Boy, was I ever wrong. I listened and researched and analyzed. Why am I different?

You probably have several or all of a number of traits shared by many at TOD and the energy and collapse blogs:

  • High IQ
  • Agnostic or atheist
  • Politically independent, libertarian, or fringe
  • Moderate to substantial education
  • INTx or INFx on the Meyers-Briggs personality test
  • Large amounts of available time (for reading, analysis, contemplation)

Not usually mentioned, but you may also have a higher degree of emotional awareness than most, in that you can address without denial the impact of something that is maybe personally important, significant, or threatening.

Though, of course, these don't explain all of the differences. Nor do they explain how to get your point across to people who are not built like you are. That requires skills in communication, which take learning, practice, and time.

Appreciate your presence here on TOD 710.

goghgoner is certainly capable of critical thinking and judging and digesting information (more or less) objectively.

For example:
One knows there is plenty of oil. Automatically resource contraints are dismissed if you do not understand that flow rates, EROEI, and quality are very important, not just reserves. Oil is just gushing out of the ground, not even knowing it's got to be squeezed out of rock, not gushing from a poodle. Meanwhile the same person probably does not have a grasp at the massive amounts the world consumes and what it takes to get there, thinks we can run on alternative fuels as a consequence, and that technological improvements will make oil absolete. In such a person ideas like "we're being ripped of by the Oil companies" or "those evil Arabs are withholding it from us" can easily get ground.

Note I did not mention relegious fundamentalists waiting for the rapture, nor abiotic oil idiots (or a combination of the two).

■High IQ
I hope so!

■Agnostic or atheist

■Politically independent, libertarian, or fringe
No, I am a Democrat. Republicians, in general, are right wing fools just like Rush Limbaugh. Also, any city, county, state or nation must have infastructure. They mush have police, fire departments, schools, roads, governments, and a range of social services. Therefore libertarians, who believe in virtually no taxes have never given great thought as to what society would be like with no taxes. I agree with libertarians on rights but disagree strongly with them on taxes.

■Moderate to substantial education
Well not exactly, I was born in a sharecropper's shack in 1938. (Meaning I started off way deep in a hole.) I graduated high school but got a great technical education in the military.

■INTx or INFx on the Meyers-Briggs personality test
I haven't a clue as to what a Meyers-Briggs test would reveal about my personality.

■Large amounts of available time (for reading, analysis, contemplation)
Very true! For all but a about a year of my adult life, since the military, I have been employed as a Computer Field Service Engineer. (Computer Repairman) My job was usually a lot like the Maytag Repairman, I very seldom had much to do. I read a lot at work. I averaged reading one, non fiction, book about every two weeks or so. Because of the hundreds of great books I have read I consider myself an educated man even though I have no sheepskin to display on my wall.

Ron P

■High IQ
So I'm told
■Agnostic or atheist
I acknowledge the truth of God. Inseparable from the first statement
■Politically independent, libertarian, or fringe
No one can tell me Ron Paul as President would be licking the boots of the bankers
■Moderate to substantial education
Academia is a waste of time
■INTx or INFx on the Meyers-Briggs personality test
■Large amounts of available time (for reading, analysis, contemplation)
For me the opposite is true.

In contrast to 710's reply, I would suspect there is some part of you willing to contemplate the end of our current lifestyles - a part most people do not have. Something about our culture you hate, some aspect of life in our current society you can't stand. This has set you up to be more willing to look at the data and see the unsustainability.

Something about our culture you hate, some aspect of life in our current society you can't stand. This has set you up to be more willing to look at the data and see the unsustainability.

Dunno bout dat!

At least in my case I'm perfectly content to be sitting here at my computer looking out the window as torrential rain beats against the glass whilst I sip my coffee and nibble some fig newtons. I don't hate my comfortable life at all. However, regardless, I have indeed been looking at the data and I do see the unsustainability and consequently I'm willing to contemplate the end of this lifestyle. I don't think it necessarily follows that I have to hate my life to change it. All that is needed is the capability to understand that it can't possibly continue as it is now and that it will change whether I want it to or not.

I like the way you state this. Some people seem to have a deep aversion to the current world and seem hell bent on destroying it, one way or the other, by wish or by welcoming anything that destroys it. You, on the other hand, appear quite normal and sane: yes, if change comes I'll adapt, but I'm not looking forward excitedly to apocalypse.

You, on the other hand, appear quite normal and sane: yes, if change comes I'll adapt, but I'm not looking forward excitedly to apocalypse.

I've yet to meet one of these lovers of destruction. I've read rants from a few, but even they were more of the "it's all unavoidable" sort rather than the "I love the smell of napalm in the morning sort."


Good point, speek. But for me, for the emotion of hate, I have two kinds.

There's the first kind of hate, where I hate stubbing my toe, I hate struggling to wake up, I hate washing dishes. Yeah, ok, big deal, man-up and get over it.

The second kind, though, has to do with the world as a whole. I hate suffering and misery, both experienced and engendered, and there is so much of this that we, in our ignorance, spread throughout our own society and the rest of the living world. I hate unchecked or abusive authority in the same way.

But unfortunately, it's part of what I experience as being emotionally aware. And unlike stubbing my toe, I can't get over it.

So, I must DO SOMETHING about it, or it will corrode me from within.

710 -- your check points are solid.

I am a misanthrope. I think it probably started in high school, caring too deeply, knowing how many of the less fortunate starved while my community over ate and indulged in religious self-righteousness -- the man called Jesus seemed okay but I didn't see much of his described tolerance and empathy on display in the Church. Much later, in the past couple of years, while pondering the unsustainable path of my community, those faint pangs of human dislike leftover from my teenage years, fully blossomed. It is possible that my empathy could return has darkness descends upon us (literally lights out) and I embrace the truth that we were doing exactly what yeast would have done.

Perhaps, those early misgivings regarding humanity, created fertile ground for a Doomer to grow.

This has set you up to be more willing to look at the data and see the unsustainability.

That line is really comical. In other words, if you look at the data and don't see sustainability then there is something wrong with you, you have been warped by a society you hate.

We are using about 2.5 percent of remaining oil reserves every year. Water tables are dropping by meters per year. The world's population is increasing by over 200,000 every day. So much of China's topsoil is blowing away that South Korean's must wear masks almost half the time. The world's fisheries produce only a fraction of the fish they did two decades ago. Thousands of species go extinct every year. Many of the world's greatest lakes, like Lake Chad or the Areal Sea, are either dry or salty cesspools. The Black Sea once fed half of Europe now has almost no fish, only jellyfish.

I could go on for pages but what the hell, I see all this because I have been set up by society to see unsustainability. Give me a break!

Ron P.

Chuckle, I see my "sustainability", not sure what all the rest of you f*****s are going to do. Grin.

Don in Maine

Roger that, Don:

We put in another 3 X 12 feet of raised vegetable bed this morning. These are dug deep with sheep manure mixed in. Then we planted some seeds (squash, cauliflower, cantaloupe). I really don’t have time to worry about who loves our president the most … banksters or atheists?

Here’s something to think about. If the Israelis get worried enough to dig up some Iranian nuclear plants and gas goes to $15/gal, it sure will be nice to have some veggies.

Yup Lynford, every new garden is, as we used to say, another brick in the wall. The worlds troubles seem quite distant when you are forking in that manure. Black flys love it by the way. Prep is ongoing here all the time and is the main focus. Not much different than getting ready for next winter, now's the time for that.

I'm expanding a lot this year, borrowing back from Mother an area I gardened probably 10 years ago, She's some tenacious at taking it back when you let it go. Saplings and brush, and wild roses as well as blueberries just took right over. Lots of good old fashioned stoop labor borrowing it back.

Plan to expand root crops to a much larger area, potatoes, onions, carrots, etc. More of a sure thing when thinking about dealing with possible global warming weather complications. As long as they are in well drained soil they should be able to take a bit more of a beating if need be. Easy to store as well.

Very busy, full days now that spring is here. Lots to do and the focus becomes very myopic, and the rest of the world father and father away. Count on all the folks here to keep me up to date as they chronicle the "decline and fall". Keep your nose into the wind Lynford.


Don in Maine

And yet most people apparently see no problem at all, other than the tip-of-the-iceberg issues.


Maybe he wants to say that most people don't look at (or study) the data in the first place. People who hate part of the life as it is going on are more than others looking for data that support their desire for change.

Han, I don't think that was what he was trying to say at all. He was implying that folks who see unsustainability in the data are simply finding what they wish to find. But I find this statement of yours even more appalling.

People who hate part of the life as it is going on are more than others looking for data that support their desire for change.

I do not hate any part of life! I love this life. I hate what is happening to the earth but I fully understand why it is happening. People are just being people, trying to get by the best way they can. I wish things could go on forever like they are going but without the destruction of our environment and resources. That however is impossible.

But I still wish my grandkids could enjoy the good life like I did during my 71 years. That is also impossible. I sometimes sit down and cry when I contemplate their fate. I don’t want change. I wish we could continue to have this good life without the destruction it is causing.

Unlike Goghgoner (see his above post) I am not a misanthrope. I love people as much as I love life. I do not blame people for what is happening to this planet.

- As for pointing to our mental failures with scorn or dismay, we might as well profess disappointment with the mechanics of gravity or the laws of thermodynamics. In other words, the degree of disillusionment we feel in response to any particular human behavior is the precise measure of our ignorance of its evolutionary and genetic origins.
- Reg Morrison, The Spirit in the Gene

Ron P.

"He who despairs over an event is a coward, but he who holds hope for the human condition is a fool."

Albert Camus, from The Rebel (1951)

I expect that our species will survive, in very great numbers, the various horsepersons of the apocalypse now loosed upon the world. While cowards cower, actors will act, some for altruistic reasons and others for selfish reasons, and we'll stumble on. Reg Morrison's modern take of an old Judeo-Christian view of the 'fallen' species notwithstanding.

Nothing you say or imply disagrees with anything Reg Morrison wrote in The Spirit in The Gene. He, like you and I, believes there will be survivors.

Edit: You are reading something into something you obviously have not read. (Reg Morrison's Spirit in the Gene) Why would anyone do that? That is, why would anyone trash something they have never read? The Spirit in the Gene had nothing to do with theJudeo-Christian view of the 'fallen' species. It dealt entirely with the coming crash of civilization as we know it. Of course Morrison, like most members of this list, is a nonbeliever in any religion of any type.

Ron P.

I wish things could go on forever like they are going but without the destruction of our environment and resources.

Ron, but this destruction is what let some people hate what is going on. That is my point. Destruction of nature, animals and airpollution is a horror for them. It can also affect their daily life.

The Great Ethanol Scam up top gives an fair overview of the problems with ethanol we have debated here on TOD. But whereas our discussions usually focus on EROEI, the article goes over other issues not frequently discussed, like:

  • Ethanol creates more smog than gasoline.
  • Ethanol reduces fuel efficiency.
  • Ethanol when used as an additive in gasoline is caustic and can eat through the plastic fuel lines and destroy fuel pumps.
  • Gas stations may sell blends higher than 10%, making these problems worse.

It seems that ethanol is just the evil twin of alcohol, which also has many supposed benefits, but the same relative problems:

  • Alcohol creates obnoxious social pollution.
  • Alcohol reduces sexual performance.
  • Alcohol lowers inhibitions, leading to risky behavior which can eat away at self-esteem and destroy lives.
  • Increased availability of bars and advertising make these problems worse.

Based on these findings, I predict that we will continue to use ethanol until it kills us, for the same reason why people keep drinking. Most of the time, it just feels good, even when it's killing us.

Barkeep, I'll have another few shots of Skyy, please. You know what, just leave the bottle here.

Ethanol is alcohol. Funny how that works?

Wanna boost profits? Cut out the middleman...

GM Is Said to Plan Shutdowns for 1,100 U.S. Dealers

General Motors Corp. is sending termination notices today to 1,100 U.S. dealers with about $2.5 billion in unsold vehicles as the automaker starts shrinking its retail network, a person familiar with the matter said.

The dealers hold about 120,000 autos of various brands, said the person, who asked not to be identified because GM hasn’t announced details yet. Mark LaNeve, GM’s North American sales chief, is set to brief reporters at noon New York time.

The closings are GM’s first step toward paring U.S. dealers to 3,600 from 6,200 by the end of next year as it faces a probable bankruptcy by a June 1 deadline. With fewer outlets, the survivors each may be able to sell more cars at higher prices, boosting profit, the person said.

“A concern of all dealers would be if the market value of vehicles were to decline because terminated dealers would be desperate to sell,” said Jim Eagan, a partner at consulting firm Plante & Moran in Southfield, Michigan.

Eagan said he hoped that GM would force the remaining franchisees to purchase inventory from stores being closed. Bankrupt Chrysler LLC took similar steps when it announced the shutdown of 789 dealerships yesterday.

Meanwhile, GM continues to trade for less than a gallon of gas. I have a feeling ALL their dealerships will be closed in the not-so-distant future...

Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates says.

"This country is going into a 10-year decline. Living standards will never be the same."


Davidowitz is, er, edgy, let's say. And I agree with most of the article, until he says it's Obama's world, as if he's responsible for the C/F which he inherited, which really we all inherited.

Good link.

Though I object to his calling it "Barack Obama's world." Bush started the bailouts. I would bet he'd be bailing out GM and Chrysler, too, if he were still in charge.

Obama is now in charge though, and why is he giving the money to ...

the article says ...

"We're now in Barack Obama's world where money goes into the most inefficient parts of the economy and we're bailing everyone out,"

"The bailout money is in the sewer and gone."

I voted for Obama but cannot understand his strategy , if there is one.

His strategy is to funnel money to the people with the power. It will all trickle down eventually-first they need to run it through their kidneys.

Stimulus Bill: $8 Billion for High-Speed Rail; $6 Billion for Water Quality, Wastewater and Drinking Water Infrastructure; $6 Billion to Clean Up Contamination at Old Weapons Sites: $3.2 Billion to Improve Energy Efficiency at Public Buildings; $2.4 Billion for Plug-in Hybrid and Battery Research; $750 Million for National Parks Projects; $600 Million for Superfund; $280 Million for Wildlife Centers; $100 Million for Brownfields. Yeah, Obama's a real jerk. Whay can't we get GW Bush back? Those were the days...

Yeah, say 27 billion for that stuff, and then a cool trillion or two for the bankers.
not to mention how much of that 27 or so billion will go into the pockets of well-connected folks.
Shows exactly where his priorities lie.
Like a good president, he's doing a fine job supporting and representing his constituents. The mistake
is to think that you (or most of the people for that matter) are among them.

Yeah, a tiny fraction of the money to keep the people satiated and slumbering and above all spending, and appease those who think they are the base. That way they won't notice that the true "base" is busy looting our future. Spending that seems partisan has the side benefit if keeping the liberals and the conservatives at each other's throats, which further distracts. This is also the only reason any money is going to the auto industry - once they fall it will be a very public display of how bad things are (given that most people care more about cars than anything else). I think however that the dealer closings will be a bit more disturbing to the public than planned.

No matter who started it, When it started or Why we are here

It's Obama's problem to fix now.

He ran for the job, I voted for him (lesser of two evils)


I'm not denying that.

However, the implication that Obama is pouring money into the least efficient parts of the economy while Bush, McCain, etc., would not, is just silly. They all supported the original bailout.

He's implying that Obama is the problem. That is simply not the case. Obama may not be the solution, but the problem is systemic, and not the doing of one man.

Obama feels he needs the Wealthy and the Bankers to fix things and doesn't want to have to fight with them.

so he is trying to help them in the hopes that he gets there support down the road.

Obama feels

None of us know what he 'feels' - all we can do is observe if his actions match what he claimed he would do and how close his actions match past "leadership".

With Ron as Chief of Staff (first appointment, and I knew we were in real trouble), then Larry and Timmy, with Ken Salazar in Interior.
This could of been Paulin's Cabinet.
Business as Usual, and no possibility of it being any other way with these people in positions of power.

I am living in the Silicon Valley. For most of the past 10 years, if you do notice the empty parking lot of office buildings, you will see a "For Rent" sign nearby. Now, slowly some of the "For Rent" is being replaced by "For Sale". Unless something is drastically different soon, I don't see there is anyway to get out of the next market collapse. Houses in this area are more than 50% from peak -- but still average more than 300K and my bet is this will continue to go down.

Gov't losses big in home market

WASHINGTON — The nation's teetering economy has Uncle Sam playing a growing role in neighborhoods across the country — as a homeowner.

The combination of a deep recession and a foundering housing market has left the government with more than 50,000 houses on its hands — enough homes to fill a city the size of Riverside, Calif., or Miami. Now federal records show it's struggling to unload the houses and facing billions of dollars in losses.

Maybe we're closer to Dmitry Orlov's Soviet Union than we thought. If the government ends up owning all the houses, hey, why not let We The People live in them for free?

If the government ends up owning all the houses, hey, why not let We The People live in them for free?

'We The People' already are...

No Vacancy - Squatters Take Over Foreclosed Homes

For people with no place to live, the foreclosure epidemic has provided a temporary relief from life on the streets. Squatters have been taking over houses that have been left vacant due to foreclosure, and their presence has sparked a great deal of controversy.

In many areas around the country, there are now more empty houses than there are homeless people. For opportunistic minds, this creates a great opportunity to have a roof over one's head and a little bit of privacy. Many homes still have electricity and heat turned on, which makes foreclosed properties particularly attractive to folks looking for shelter...

There is also a growing trend of people squatting in their own homes after foreclosure. In some cases, these people have no place else to go when they lose their property, as the rental market in many areas is very difficult to get into. Others are simply taking advantage of a system that is totally overwhelmed right now due to the mortgage meltdown. These residents know that they can delay leaving the premises because the foreclosure process can take up to several months.

From the Simmons deck:

Not only do deepwater fields decline fast, they rarely come close to design capacity.

If a field only reaches 50% of its design capacity, what kind of stranded capital risks are created? A producer can likely make their target return if oil prices pop, but I'm a little surprised field designs aren't a bit more conservative.

The fact that we are scraping the bottom of the barrel by going after deepwater should be evidence by itself that we are past peak. Are we well past peak on dry land? If so, when did it happen?

Thank you, Leanan, for posting the "Great Ethanol Scam" by Ed Wallace up top. I know you love to bear bate me, so I'll oblige and bite. The article is easy to criticise since it so full of lies and obvious nonsense.

IMO Ed Wallace is not one of the brightest stars in the intellectual universe. He also hails from one of the two main hideouts of the anti-ethanol jihad, Texas. The other of course in California. Both states are oil producers and not very big ethanol producers. Both are wealthy. And both think they ought to run the country. Unfortunately they sometimes succeed as was the case with the last administration and we all have to suffer their stupidity.

In his first paragraph he quotes an ethanol promoter from 1925 who of course turned out to be wrong. By implication he also shows that he is unaware of or chooses to dismiss Peak Oil and implies that we can go on importing ever increasing amounts. By so doing he dismisses all the economic benefits of retaining wealth and encouraging development in rural areas. Many here would like to move to the country to avoid the coming Peak Oil problems. That means there must be a vibrant rural economy that can absorb them. Ethanol will be part of that.

Instead he mostly counts on anecdotal evidence from that most trustworthy of witnesses, garage mechanics. Many of these folks barely made it though high school and are notorious scammers in their own right. He proves it be citing their diagnosis ethanol caused fuel pump failure. He then claims that these honest folks charged $1000-1200 to replace the fuel pump. I'm also a shade tree mechanic. Fuels pumps are about a $200 dollar item. I have replaced many myself. In a garage, it is customary to charge high labor rates say $75/hour. Replacing a fuel pump should be at most a 2 hour job even for an incompetent apprentice. That brings the price up to about $350. Now who is the real scammer here?

He completely disregards the evidence of millions of motorists in Midwestern states who have used ethanol for at least a couple of decades with little problem. It's garage mechanics that know what's going on!

Then he gets further lost in the woods with the statement that ethanol "actually creates more smog than regular gas". If anyone here believes that 10% ethanol can create more smog than 100% regular gas they are delusional. Most ethanol has been burned in the Midwest which is one of the most smog free areas of the country. It is Texas and California that have mostly used regular gas that have smog problems.

And of coarse he drags out Patzek and Pimental with their hoary oil industry funded studies with obsolete data. These guys are clueless about logic. I have pointed out many times that energy is abstracta like grain and metal. It does not exist except in it's forms which are called concreta. The choice of which form of energy to produce can not be based on EOREI anymore than which grain to grow can be based on grain return on grain invested. Or which metal to mine based on metal return on metal invested. The error is compounded when the comparison is between different concreta. EROEI is not analogous to dollar return on dollars invested where the input and output are the same at least for a moment in time. When the inputs and outputs are different as in the case of ethanol, an apples and oranges comparison is being made. The result is silly nonsense, but of course Wallace doesn't get it.

Completely lost in the woods, he then states that ethanol increases global warming emissions of over straight gasoline. This is simply not so. It is unscientific conjecture based on indirect land use changes. All indirect land use changes are being charged to ethanol when in fact land use changes have been going on long before ethanol. Only a percent of current land use changes proportional to ethanol's usage should be included. And the indirect land use changes caused by rising oil prices should be charged against oil products. For example it is well known that many homeowners in the Northeast switched to wood with the high price of heating oil last year. This is obvious deforestation and indirect land use change caused by oil. And burning wood in Maine is as polluting as burning rain forest in the Amazon.

As for the 15% ethanol mandate change as bailing out a failed industry. Of course we shouldn't do that. That is why we let the banking industry fail instead of bailing them out. That is why we let AIG fail too. And most recently we let Chrysler and GM fail and didn't spend over $75 billion.

But then there is that model of "success", the domestic oil companies. They never failed to increase production and met all our needs. We never bailed them out with 2 wars for oil security and billions of tax benefit spending and other defacto subsidies. And they never pollute despite exploding refinery fires, the Exxon Valdez, numerous spills off the California coast and spills in Europe which miraculously do not add carbon to the environment, just dead animals.

His last plausible argument against ethanol is that incompetent/corrupt stations sell blends exceeding the law. Seems to me that is more of an indictment of Texas and the oil distribution system than ethanol.

His whole article is a "Gusher of Lies" only the lies are about ethanol.

Ah, so much to shoot holes through. But my time is limited, so let's focus on this:

If anyone here believes that 10% ethanol can create more smog than 100% regular gas they are delusional.

Do you understand that because ethanol is polar a 10% mixture will have a higher vapor pressure than straight gasoline (or straight ethanol, which actually has a pretty low RVP)? Hence, all else being equal the evaporative emissions will be higher? I guess one person's delusions are another person's science.

Of course, everywhere ethanol has been introduced into the gasoline "Smog" has Gone Down, Appreciably.

CO is a progenitor to smog, and ethanol emits 30% less CO than gasoline.

Are you willfully ignorant or inadvertently stupid?


If you can set aside the ad homs long enough to present any proof that I'm wrong I'll never make that statement, again.

kdolliso, toilforoil had a question for you. What is the answer ?

Please. You are not interested in a rational discussion of the evidence pointing to your continued wrongness regarding your favourite corporate welfare project, evidence which has been posted time and again on this site.

Since you don't tire of misrepresentation or twisted logic, I assume that you are a paid tout, though it bewilders me to think that any paymaster would fork out for the absurd drivel you are trading in today.

As to that drivel, I'm leaning to inadvertent stupidity.

toilforoil, kdolliso has not the intellectual qualities nor capacity needed - in order to qualify as a paid touter from anyone like an ethanol-lobby or some such. Once upon a time I thought so myself, but not any more. No way Jose..
But his silly motive is still hanging out there ... what could that really be? I'm not getting it!

If he, against all odds is from the lobby - no wonder ethanol is going down the drain.

Ground ozone levels have gone down in this decade. Not up. And ethanol usage in cars has gone up, not down. So, who is the ignorant here (or wilfully stupid)?

ethanol emits 30% less CO than gasoline

per what? Per fortnight? Per dollar? Per pipedream?

Unless you finish the sentence it is meaningless (not that the prognosis is good even if you do..)

How about per BTU?

CO is a progenitor to smog

I'd like to see him explain this one.

Jeez, just google "carbon monoxide/smog"

You get hit, after hit. Example

CO can play a role in smog formation, but there are many players:

Fuel volatility is a larger problem, as most of the CO is removed by catalytic converters.

See also: http://mtsu32.mtsu.edu:11233/Smog-Atm1.htm

We have covered this ground before, so I hesitate to wade back in. It helps to have a little historical perspective, which you can get here:


See Figures 2 and 3. That shows that due to other regulations, pollutants had fallen sharply prior to ethanol being introduced into the gasoline. So anyone who credits ethanol for improved air quality is being highly disingenuous - but that's what paid ethanol shills do. We had ULSD and ULSG regulations kick in, and numerous other regulations have been phased in that helped improve air quality.

But one thing we do know. Mixing ethanol with gasoline increases the vapor pressure, and thus the evaporative emissions. That is indisputable. Then there's this, but as I am sure Kdolliso will assert Senator Feinstein is in the pocket of Big Oil:


The California Air Resource Board (CARB) researched this issue at length and found that ethanol-blended gasoline does not help California meet the goals of the Clean Air Act as it relates to reducing ozone formation, particularly during the summertime, and, in fact, ethanol actually increases the emission of pollutants that cause ozone during the summer months.

The Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency quantified the impact of ethanol on air quality in a letter to me dated August 1, 2003:

"...our current best estimate is that the increase in the use of ethanol-blended gasoline has likely resulted in about a one percent increase in emissions of volatile organic gases (VOC) in the SCAQMD [South Coast Air Quality Management District] in the summer of 2003. Given the very poor air quality in the region and the great difficulty of reaching the current federal ozone standard by the required attainment date of 2010, an increase of this magnitude is of great concern. Clearly, these emission increases have resulted in higher ozone levels this year that what would have otherwise occurred, and are responsible for at least some of the rise in ozone levels that have been observed."

In September 2004, CARB sponsored a study by the Coordinating Research Council (CRC). The CRC issued a report entitled Fuel Permeation From Automotive Systems. The study was designed to determine the magnitude of the permeation differences between three fuels, containing MTBE, ethanol, or no oxygenate, in the selected test fleet. The study found that emissions increased on all 10 vehicle fuel systems studied when ethanol replaced the MTBE. In fact, the ethanol blended gasoline caused emissions to increase by 65% when compared with MTBE blended gasoline, and by 45% when compared with non-oxygenated gasoline.

Let me slap down the strawman that I want to go back to MTBE. This study showed that things were pretty good with no oxygenates at all.

Read this also: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy03osti/32206.pdf

Ethanol blends generally and significantly decrease pollutant emissions. RVP is only raised (for still obscure reasons) for E10. For higher blends the RVP is lowered. Not all gasoline is created equal either.

From that document I highlight:

"In 1997, CARB data corroborated CO reduction trends in data that forecast a 60% reduction in CO emissions by 2000 if all of California gasoline included 10 vol. % ethanol. A recent National Research Council (1999) report cites tests showing CO levels decreasing for 10% ethanol blends. Brazilian data (see further discussion below) also show a CO decrease in both E22 and neat ethanol (Faiz 1996).
The National Research Council indicates in its 1999 study that CO plays a pivotal role in ozone formation. The study states: “CO in exhaust emissions from motor vehicles contributes about 20% to the overall reactivity of motor-vehicle emissions. Further, as volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from mobile sources continue to decrease in the future, CO emissions might become proportionately an even greater contributor to ozone formation.” (NRC 1999 p. 5)"

Per tailpipe emissions. Which is to say, per mile, basically.

Of course, there was this:

Ethanol may cause more smog, more deaths

The science behind why ethanol might increase smog is complicated, but according to Jacobson, part of the explanation is that ethanol produces more hydrocarbons than gasoline. And ozone is the product of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide cooking in the sun.

Also, the ethanol produces longer-lasting chemicals that eventually turn into hydrocarbons that can travel farther. “You are really spreading out pollution over a larger area,” he said.

And finally, while ethanol produces less nitrogen oxide, that can actually be a negative in some very smoggy places. When an area like Los Angeles reaches a certain high level of nitrogen oxide, that excess chemical begins eating up spare ozone, Jacobson said.

Thank you JoulesBurn for debunking kdolliso constant lies !

Or from some people in Iowa:


The use of ethanol as an oxygenate creates a smog problem, but it’s politically popular. That’s why the Administration and the USDA jumped in to make sure the clean air standards wouldn’t impact ethanol production. Seems bizarre that the nation has gotten to this point, but that’s what happens when politics and a slick marketing program overtake sound science. On a finer point, the oxygenate requirement has been obsolete for many years. It was intended to make the fuel mix leaner, thereby reducing air pollution. But that is only applicable to older cars with carburetors. Newer vehicles have oxygen sensors and fuel injectors.

Thank you JoulesBurn for debunking kdolliso constant lies !

LOL, while ethanol, admittedly, produces Less Carbon monoxide, and Nitrous Oxide this turkey hypothesizes that ethanol Might cause more smog because it reduces nitrous oxide.

And, you accuse Me of "Lies."

Actually, Jacobsen (the scientist who authored the peer-reviewed work) found that CO emissions increased 5% using E85 instead of gasoline.

Where did you get your "30% lower" figure?

Joules, it's a fascinating subject. E10, E20, E30 Decrease CO. E85 in a flexfuel seems to emit slightly more CO. But, the savings in NO, and other pollutants more than make up for it.

Plus, every car, on any given day, will give very different results.

Anyway, that 30% number is ubiquitous. I think I first saw it put out by the Midwest American Lung Assoc. Or someone.

Anyway, that 30% number is ubiquitous. I think I first saw it put out by the Midwest American Lung Assoc. Or someone.

Rather than handwave - how about posting links to this ubiquitous info.

Here is your lying part - the first of your two lines (!)

Of course, everywhere ethanol has been introduced into the gasoline "Smog" has Gone Down, Appreciably.

here is a link that you can start to twist and counter prove
Ethanol may cause more smog, more deaths

.. there are 1000's of more here -
Google ethanol more smog

Probably your second line is a lie as well , because the truth is not an important feature in your life.

You're citing a guy who's citing a "computer model" of what might happen. How much did his university get from BP, again?

THIS is from YOUR Link:

Jacobson’s study troubles some environmentalists, even those who work with him. Roland Hwang of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said that ethanol, which cuts one of the key ingredients of smog and produces fewer greenhouse gases, is an important part of reducing all kinds of air pollution.

I'll stand by my statement. Smog has decreased in every locale ethanol has been introduced.

you forgot JoulesBurn's Q, just up here :

Where did you (kdolliso ) get your "30% lower" figure?

***EDIT ***
where did you go ? ... are you googlig like a mad-man :-() We are waiting and time is tic-tacing

Here, Try This One

No, actually, I was reading some very interesting stuff about CO, and CO2. Nothing's as simple as one would like.

as presumed your "30% lower"- claim was just another ...... (fill in)

"Ethanol may cause more smog, more deaths"

Come on: you believe an article like that?

Willem - to be frank with you "I don't know" and "I don't care".
The important part is that it tells a different and opposite (and not the least : documented) truth as compared to kdolliso's "private opinion". You have to read more from this individual calling him/her/itself kdolliso , to understand his ways -

Well, the truth is that ethanol usage in cars has gone up in the US. And that ground ozone levels have come down.

To claim that ethanol usage in cars increases ground level ozone would seem an obvious uphill battle.....

what ozone has got to do with this discussion - I don't know. I'm citing links on kdllisio "lier" claims on SMOG in general, ozone is just a minor (?) part of the bigger smog / pollution picture, as far as I know.

Learn more about smog here as smog is a big killer all over the globe.

You are loose on documentation yourself Willem , and please make your "point clearer" . Why do you blend in ozone arguments here ? Is it a big killer in itself maybe ?

Smog causes ozone levels to increase. If you have ever been to Mexico City you must have noticed.

Here is the smog to ozone link: http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/tabid/1991/Default.aspx

And that's why we have "ozone warnings" in the US.

"Nationally, average ozone levels declined in the 1980's, leveled off in the 1990's, and showed a notable decline after 2002. For information on ozone standards, sources, health effects, and programs to reduce ozone, please see www.epa.gov/air/ozonepollution/. "

strawman argument -
The reasons why the ozone levels have come down since the 80's is probably from a myriad of reasons and definitely not due to one single reason.
To see what what comes out of from an ICEs combustion today , they simply put a sniffer-sensor in the tailpipe of the car - finished. BTW this is done on all EUcars on a mandatory basis every few years - to control pollution. If a car fails, the plates go .. When they have the results from one ethanol-ICE and one petrol-ICE, they can use the calculator to "scale up" - simple isn't it ?

Are you aware of all the new mantarory pollution controls and laws that was imposed on industry during last few decades ? Do you understand what this will do to ozone-levels ? ... I rest my case.

You would have to demonstrate that the reduced ozone levels do NOT come from ANY ethanol usage. Please feel free to do so.....

Yes, I am well aware of the standards both in Europe as well as in the US. I am not aware of any car having failed the mandatory test because they used a blended ethanol gasoline. Do you have any evidence for that?????

ha ha, good morning Strawman Willem, I hereby dig you deep down in the same drawer where kdolliso lives and there is a sticker on that drawer telling ; "Here live the Ethanol_strawmen_Mobsters"

Actually this pollution topic is outside my sphere of interest, but since you are so interested - why don't you provide a peer-reviewed report proving me wrong. Please cough up hard evidence reckonned by UN or some such , else just leave it alone.

Read the NREL link I posted. I am surprised that your hatred for all things ethanol blinds you to such and extent that while you clamor for "links and evidence" you don't even read the ones I provide.

Well, actually I am not surprised.

hatered ? , hey don't confuse that with realism. If you aim at "me not liking kdsollido's methods", please substitute your hate-word with no-respect what so ever instead, will you?

I have for at least 3 years now been overly convinced that : ethanol and bio-diesels and cellulosic-fuels and other bio-liquids in general are dead-end roads - Today and into Eternity - At least as energy sources - on any meaningfull scale.
So some sort of new counter evidence on this has to come from MSM in very fat types, to have me switch side again - get it ?. Until then it is a scam in my universe and "you two guys" are not adding anything of value that can revert that perception - quite the opposite!

I do not need to provide any links to back my views, they have been all over the news for years now. The only difference is that I have concluded - where as MSM and Obama are still suspended in the state of limbo. They will eventually come down , believe you me.
For a teaser on what I mean, remove the ethanol-subsidies and you will get an instant answer to your questions , within 24 hours - this is what I call INSTANT-reality.

I'm not sure Twilight but kdolliso ways are untraceable - never any links to support his excessive and strange claims- I think he is a professional Quarreller with a capital Q.
But maybe he is on to something here ...

==>> ethanol-drinkers emits 30% less CO than gasoline--drinkers? , as I said I'm never sure when it comes to this individual.

"Unfortunately they sometimes succeed as was the case with the last administration and we all have to suffer their stupidity."

Leave California out of that one. Bush and most of his administration didn't come from here, and they wouldn't give us the time of day due our moderate Republican governator.

California wanted an exemption from using ethanol because the state's refiners could make gasoline that met the EPA requirements for oxygenates without it.

It has nothing to do with being an oil producer - California imports oil in addition to in-state production, so using ethanol would not cut in-state production.

RE: Bicycles touted as ‘first modern post-fossil vehicle’

I wonder how much of a CO2 trade off there is if people rode bicycles instead of driving cars? In other words, how much MORE CO2 is emitted by cyclists than by drivers / passengers?

I know I spew out ALOT of CO2 when I climb hills around here San Diego. It's got to be more than I do when I am driving or being driven.

I wonder how much of a CO2 trade off there is if people rode bicycles instead of driving cars? In other words, how much MORE CO2 is emitted by cyclists than by drivers / passengers?

Wonder no longer....


A sitting person emits around .02 lbs CO2 per hour, while an exercising person perhaps three times that, for a delta of .04 lbs CO2 per hour. A 25 mpg car driving for an hour emits 46 lbs of CO2, ~750 times as much as the bicyclist.

The bicyclist likely needs more time than a car to get somewhere, in addition to breathing harder, but the resulting additional CO2 is de minimus compared to the car's carbon footprint.

On top of the CO2 produced by doctors and health care providers to help the motorists from getting high-cholesterol and high-blood pressure from inactivity.

The bicyclist likely needs more time than a car to get somewhere

This is not always true in urban areas.

There is an annual race in the US (New York?) in which 3 separate travelers use 3 different transport modes to travel from point A to point B. For several years running the cyclist has arrived before the car traveler and before the bus traveler.

In my own commute, the use of a bicycle extends my commute time by about 15 minutes (when I am in shape) over the use of a car. And this is on a clunker bike ridden by a clunker cyclist not trying to push the speed envelope.

I agree that the difference in time could be minimal or even in favor of the bike. I was just couching the case in conservative terms vis-a-vis the bicyclist.

The more important point is downthread: CO2 exhalations are part of the shorter organic cycle of plant growth/consumption that is not germane to CO2 concentrations resulting from fossil fuel use. 'All CO2 is not created equal.'

Edited to remove duplicated post

I find this to be true in my riding experience also.

Outside my office is a busy 4 lane expressway (45mph speed limit) with stoplights about every half mile. At noon when I ride the 2 miles to my PO box I will catch the same group of cars at each traffic light. Like BOP, I'm not a strong rider. I ride in my street clothes & shoes on a 35 lb old geezer's bike at about 13mph. The strong riders who go out for a noontime blast on their $4000 carbon fiber bikes do better than the cars.

As a broad generality, bicycling is 8-10 times more efficient than driving, assuming the standard high-carbon-input American diet. If the cyclist is fueled by a lower-carbon-input diet, cycling is 20-30 times more efficient than driving.

As a broad generality, bicycling is 8-10 times more efficient than driving, assuming the standard high-carbon-input American diet. If the cyclist is fueled by a lower-carbon-input diet, cycling is 20-30 times more efficient than driving.

Too broad. It depends also on physical condition and intensity level.
Burning fat (when intensity level is low-moderate) happens only in fair amounts if physical condition is good.

It turns out of course that you have to change the whole system, not just one part like trading driving cars for walking (or bicycling, even though I believe bicycling is a lot more efficient, calorie-wise per distance traveled, than walking).

The following analysis http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article2195538.ece argues that it is better to drive short distances than walk if you will be replenishing those calories with a typical American (or British) diet. This is mainly due to our animal products consumption.

Does the times article really propose that the driver is going to be eating that much less than the walker that there is any useful advantage?

Animal products and processed food notwithstanding, this theme keeps coming up.. We are ALL replenishing calories.

Fascinating, the Times article. As Paranoid says, you have to change the whole system. And the whole system is of course us. No matter what we do or how we live, just by existing in our present numbers (6.7 billion and rising) we are the problem. We have seen the enemy, and he is US. We are in overshoot.If we manage to live more efficiently, save energy/ reduce food consumption it will simply allow even more of us to live, putting further strains on the system. What a strange time to be alive.

Riding a bicycle, or for that matter just being alive and breathing, is carbon neutral. The carbon in the food we eat (unless one's diet includes coal) comes from plants and animals that are of very recent vintage in comparison to fossil fuels. The plant takes in CO2, either we eat the plant or the animal we eat does, we breathe out CO2 - rinse and repeat - no net increase in CO2.

Riding a bicycle, or for that matter just being alive and breathing, is carbon neutral.

Well, it would be if we farmed sustainably, but we don't. We burn several calories of fossil fuel to create one calorie of human food. Of course eventually agricultural will become sustainable.

I wonder what the carbon impact of smoking crack is? That's what I'd have to be doing to even consider the idea of comparing the impact of cycling and motoring. Even if you factor in the impact of manufacturing and shipping bikes to customers there is no comparison. One guy in a Grand Caravan with a dirty gas filter and there goes my six years of cycling to work year round.

The problem is that each time you see a bicycle in use, or make use of one yourself, you are only rarely seeing a one-for-one replacement of a trip in a motor vehicle. I recently relocated to an Edge City suburb from dense downtown neighbourhood with lots of hip (ie poor) people on bikes. My new neighbours drive everywhere and they bitch about the price of gas but I don't see them using any less of it. If gas goes up ten cents a litre that's still only five bucks on a tank. Barely two bus tickets money-wise.

Cycling is still considered eccentric and lame by the great suburban mass. New immigrants, in particular, will take the bus or ride until they can afford wheels and then they leap into what they view as one of the major hallmarks of citizenship and participation: a car. A hundred or so of my old hipster neighbours would have to pedal a zillion kilometers a day to balance out all these suburban peopleoids in their aging Pathfinders idling at the drive-thrus and cruising to work and malls etc. Cycling has a very, very long way to go before it usurps the car. It's truly tragic.

About 20 years ago when I first lived here on the fringes of the city I acquired some minor experience as a cycling advocate. I wanted to do what I could where I was kind of thing. I was really stunned by the ignorance and apathy of city council, city staff and suburbanites in general toward the potential blessings of cycling. People often came on rather aggressively about what cycling projects would cost. "The cost, the cost, the cost" was a constant refrain. You know, 12m CAN$ for a grade separation for cars calms the soul of the minivan mom but a couple hundred grand for a trial bikeway and its like I just set their hair on fire. Many a voter and taxpayer out here thinks transit is a swindle because it is subsidized by motorists but the buses get in the way of the cars! Same with cycle infrastructure: advocated only by fringe loonies of the kind people moved to the burbs to avoid. The burbs view themselves as sensible and rationalized. The idea of rambling along a path in a park with your kids on a bike on a perfect summer day once a year is the absolute limit for most suburbanites. Very few can even conceive of commuting to work or going to a retail location on a bike. The mere idea and they wrinkle their faces like they are smelling pooh.

Beefy, meaningful cycling infrastructure does not stem from some quirk of geography like flat land in Holland or warm weather in southern California. Its presence in your community is demand-driven. During the great suburban build out there was money for projects and lots of room in suburbia but cycling infrastructure was for idiots and losers. No demand, no projects. Now suburbia is maturing, getting antsy about funding but the demand is still not there. It may come. It may be too late. In the meantime, wear a helmet and be careful. I've said this before: give cyclists guns and let nature take its course.

give cyclists guns and let nature take its course.

Clear Channel DJs advocate violence against bicyclists.
November 2, 2003 9:59 AM RSS feed for this thread Subscribe
Clear Channel DJs advocate violence against bicyclists. "One caller said her dad had purposely hit a biker on the road on the way to church one Sunday and kept on going. That got laughs." Clear Channel apologizes, but won't release transcripts or tapes of the broadcasts.

More on indirect land use "science":


It's not really science at all. Surprise, surprise.

You sound like you are afraid that the government is going to stop taking money away from me and giving it to you. You needn't worry. This is politics, not science, so your government subsidies will continue.

Every time I fill my flexfuel I know I'm buying from X, and not some jihadi-financing Saudi Prince. It makes me want to sing.

And, I paid YOUR salary long enough with "oil depletion allowances," Deep Water Drilling Credits, and Wars in the middle east to keep YOUR Refineries running.

Every time I fill my flexfuel I know I'm buying from X, and not some jihadi-financing Saudi Prince. It makes me want to sing.

And no matter how much you might wish otherwise, he still runs his tractors on diesel. So you are still buying from that Saudi prince. And if you weren't, you would pay a much, much higher price for your ethanol, which owes it's price to cheap fossil fuels.

And, I paid YOUR salary long enough with "oil depletion allowances," Deep Water Drilling Credits, and Wars in the middle east to keep YOUR Refineries running.

Actually, the taxes we paid helped put your kids through school. That's the difference between ethanol and oil. Oil companies make a net contribution to the tax coffers, and don't require bailouts - while ethanol makes large withdrawals, and has for 30 years.

And don't think you fought wars on my behalf. You fought them on behalf of an electorate that demands cheap fuel. Had supplies not been secure, you might have paid a much higher price for fuel, but you weren't going to be saved by ethanol.

Horse hockey. All those farmers, and Employees at the ethanol refineries, and trucking companies, and construction companies, and seed salesmen, and farm equipment manufacturers Live Here, and Pay Income Taxes Here, and pay Sales Taxes, and property Taxes, Here. They buy automobiles down at the local ford dealership (Not Private Jets from France,) and dinner down at the local sizzler.

Not only that, you've got to take into consideration the Billions of Dollars we saved in the cost of gasoline last year as a result of having ethanol competing with petrol for the marginal slot.

NO, I'll support the Home Team, thank you very much.

If we produced 12 billion gallons of ethanol. And the taxcredit is $0.45, the US Treasury might have shelled out $5.4 billion.

But those 12 billions gallons helped us to import 4 billion gallons less ("put in 1 gallon FF and get 1.5 back") and if the price per gallon of such imported "cheap fossil fuel" were only $1.00 then we saved $4 billion in imports to the US citizen.

In addition we provided jobs to say 300,000 people. Who, as you say, are all US tax payers say at the 15% rate. If they made an average of $32,000 per year, they would have brought $1.44 billion back to the US Treasury. So, all in all the 12 billion gallons of ethanol would not have costed the US taxpayer anything.....

That is without wars on the outside. We only have the ethanol haters to contend with. "Enemies foreign and domestic" are everywhere.

That simplistic analysis overlooks all kinds of factors. Such as, the ethanol industry is heavily dependent on natural gas. How much of a price premium did we all pay for that? And that's just the start of a long list.

When I google ...
ethanol bankruptcy or ethanol "out of business"
- why am I getting more than 1/2 a million hits for these search-words ? Hmmm ,I wonder; why is that ?
Is this because ethanol is a guaranteed and winning business model ? Or is it the laws of Thermodynamics playing its game... maybe coupled with the bastard "Receding Horizons" , mixed with "too much smoke and too many mirrors" ?

- - and if you hit the NEWS-selector at top of the Google page , you will get the very hottest and warmest list on ethanol-belly-up-news ... and those are not bad news, not at all ...

Uh, Willem, wouldn't that be 8 Billion fewer Imported Gallons?

If you need to put in 1 unit of fossil fuel to obtain 1.5 units of ethanol, then on 12 billion gallons ethanol obtained you need to put in 8 billion gallons of fossil fuel and net gain is 4 billion gallons.

Now, I was quickly assuming that the fossil fuel inputs would all come from imports. That obviously is not true: the natgas used in the refinery process for instance is mostly domestic.

So indeed, the savings on imports could be a whole lot less, and then of course the US taxpayer makes money on the operation of ethanol for cars.

Okay, I see your point, but keep in mind, almost all of the fossil fuel inputs into ethanol are nat gas. A gal of ethanol (76,000 btus) probably doesn't have much more than two, or three thousand btus of petroleum. Say, 5%.

Ah, I'm tired. You'll have to take it from there.

A gal of ethanol (76,000 btus) probably doesn't have much more than two, or three thousand btus of petroleum. Say, 5%.

I think it is these types of exaggerations more than anything else that marks you so clearly as an employee of the ethanol industry. I have always guessed that you work for the RFA myself. You see, the truth isn't good enough when it comes to ethanol, so you always have to stretch it. Conservative estimates are never good enough. If anyone, anytime has printed an estimate that you like, you use it. If someone has a peer-reviewed estimate you don't like, you call it silly, proceed to use ad homs against the person, and reject it.

In fact, the most recent USDA numbers are that it takes about 11,000 BTUs of gasoline and diesel just to grow a bushel of corn. That immediately puts those inputs at around 4,000 BTUs per gallon, and you haven't even considered chemicals that are petroleum-derived, or any liquid fuels associated with getting the corn to the ethanol plant nor to getting the ethanol out to the distributor. But should it surprise anyone to know that you underestimated the liquid fuel inputs into ethanol by perhaps 50% or more?

Personally, I resent having to spend my time refuting your propaganda all the time. If you would place yourself a little more squarely in the real world, I wouldn't have to do so. But then again, that's not what lobbyists do, is it? They argue a point, single-mindedly, and will massage the truth as needed. So my work with you is never done...

I think it is these types of exaggerations (myrtvedt: 99% undocumented, may I add) more than anything else that marks you so clearly as an employee of the ethanol industry.

C'mon Robert, if kdolliso works for the ethanol business - I'm gonna 'eat my hat' and that business must be quite, not to say completely stupid (!) but OTOH, can it really be so irrational ?

Nah, personally I think kdolliso is just having a 'diagnose' regarding ethanol, since he is almost consumingly focused on spreading poetry, semi-truths and direct lies supporting it. If he started all his ethanol-claims with at least a link to "all his findings", now that would have saved alot of bandwidth from TOD... moreover it would be in compliance with TODs guidelines. He/she/it has for now - and for too long - been skimming under that guideline-radar, IMO.

So, per your assessment we have to conclude that Mr. Rapier is as much a liar as you accuse kdolliso of? Because in the above post claiming 11000BTUs per bushel, Rapier doesn't give any checkable reference as to where he does get that from. Why not call Rapier out? Or are you biased perhaps? I know you are....

Here is a link that says diesel for an acre of corn is between 1 and 2 gallons per acre. An acre of corn can be 130 to 160 bushels. I let you google the BTUs per gallon diesel so that you can find the truth. Once you have found all that, it would be nice to set the record straight. Can you do that?

From this link:

"The estimated diesel fuel usage per acre for combining corn and soybeans was revised
downward. Diesel fuel usage for corn was revised from 3.75 gallons to 1.80 and for soybeans from 2.67 gallons to 1.50. The downward revision was due to using a different formula for estimated gallons of diesel fuel used which better reflects actual fuel requirements."


Because in the above post claiming 11000BTUs per bushel, Rapier doesn't give any checkable reference as to where he does get that from.

I told you where I got it. The pro-ethanol USDA. It came from a report that Shapouri did in which they surveyed the 9 highest yielding corn states. Inputs ranged from pretty low in Iowa to extremely high in Nebraska. Ethanol proponents like to pretend the entire world is Iowa.

From this link:

Your link is Illinois specific. Illinois ranks among the lowest in energy inputs, but again, Illinois is not the sum of our corn production. You get the bad with the good.

Strawman Willem , give me some relief here will you? Are you Kdolliso's self proclaimed "Web Lawyer Wannabe" or .. some such?
You have to understand the difference between credibility and NO-credibility-AT-ALL, therein is my answer slightly hidden, I know.
Robert has his own blog on those topics in question , well documented. Please give me Kdolliso blog link, so that .......... never mind.

You have no credibility. Because you measure with two measures. Have you seen a link to Rapier's claim? Where is this "well documented" stuff?

In fact, the most recent USDA numbers are that it takes about 11,000 BTUs of gasoline and diesel just to grow a bushel of corn.

THAT would be about 12 gal/acre. You're going to have to show YOUR work on that one, Bubba.

Oh, and don't forget to adjust your numbers for DDGS. And, don't try to slip in the gasoline farmer Mac's wife uses to take the kids to baseball practice.

And, even though I AM right, it doesn't matter. 5%, 7%, it's irrelevent.

BTW, you do realize that the first person to resort to personal attacks loses, right?

THAT would be about 12 gal/acre. You're going to have to show YOUR work on that one, Bubba.

It's not my work. It comes from the pro-ethanol USDA. But let me ask: Did you show your work? Provide any sort of objective reference? You make claim after claim, and you want me to do extra work to refute them? Start referencing your claims first.

And, even though I AM right

You are wrong, just as you almost always are. See how easy just making claims is? You know, I could save myself a lot of time if I just come on and make claims over and over like some of you ethanol boosters do.

BTW, you do realize that the first person to resort to personal attacks loses, right?

It isn't a personal attack to note that you display all the characteristics that one might expect from an ethanol lobbyist. Had you ever displayed any objectivity, I might not be so sure. But your positions never have any balance, and you only ever argue from the pro-ethanol position; at times using the most ludicrous sources for support. A very telling sign about someone is whether they consider someone credible merely based on what they say about a specific issue. You are ready to smear anyone who says something negative about ethanol, as you have demonstrated multiple times. None of these are characteristics of someone who simply thinks ethanol is a good idea.

I figured about 5 gallons of diesel/acre (per, X.) I didn't figure any for chemicals (I don't think it could be very much.) Okay, I'll throw in a gallon for chemicals.

6 X 133,000 = 798,000. Call it 800,000 btus of diesel. 155 bu/acre X 2.8 = 434 gal/acre 1,843 btus of diesel/gal of ethanol. 60% goes toward ethanol. 1,106 btus of diesel per gal of ethanol.

In today's engines diesel is much more "efficient" than ethanol. So we'll do 76,000 X .60 = 45,600.

1,106/45,600 = .024

2.4% And, I said "5%."

Oh my gosh , haha , while you are at it : can you please hash together some random numbers , from top of your head, that once and for all give proof or disproof of AGW ? man, are you for real ?

almost all of the fossil fuel inputs into ethanol are nat gas.

So my future natural gas cooking is being used to *YOU* can feel good about not funding "some jihadi-financing Saudi Prince."? Oh, I can think about your position prompting a song - but the song I'm thinking of is a dirge.

All those farmers, and Employees at the ethanol refineries, and trucking companies, and construction companies,...

Strike up the band. Let's play the Star Spangled Banner and have some home made apple pie.

The fact is, the guys who work at the ethanol refineries are no different than the guys who work at the oil refineries. They all pay income and property taxes, buy automobiles, and eat in the local diner. So, no mother and apple pie points for you.

But the striking difference is in the income taxes that the two industries pay. This is quite a load for the oil companies. For the ethanol companies, we get a bunch of mandates and subsidies to keep an industry afloat that can't stand on their own two legs, and hasen't been able to for 30 years. They continue to be propped up with taxpayer money, while the oil industry pays big dollars into the tax coffers. There isn't even a comparison there.

Not only that, you've got to take into consideration the Billions of Dollars we saved in the cost of gasoline last year as a result of having ethanol competing with petrol for the marginal slot.

We are talking about the year that gasoline crossed $4/gal and oil hit $147/bbl before taking the world into a recession? Yes, thank goodness for ethanol. It saved us all.

NO, I'll support the Home Team, thank you very much.

You can say that until you are blue in the face, but everything around you is still based on cheap fossil fuels. All those plastics and paints and roads, carpets and car tires, eyeglasses, fishing line, life jackets, drink bottles, etc., etc. Support the home team. Give me a freaking break. The entire ethanol industry would collapse without the away team making their way of life possible.

Every time I fill my flexfuel I know I'm buying from X, and not some jihadi-financing Saudi Prince. It makes me want to sing.

Or you could choose to walk or bike and have the same effect *AND* get the joy of not paying the oil companies.

Collapse in the Canary Islands, Spain
The Mayor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife uses his emergency powers, as if it was an earthquake or a hurricane, and declares Social Emergency in view of the plight of thousands of people, destitute and jobless because of the economic crisis.
El País/Madrid http://tinyurl.com/o7jk46
This makes it easier to get a maximum of 160 euros, four times a year. There's no equivalent to Food Stamps in Sinapia Spain.

With the crisis in Tourism and the construction work of holiday homes Tenerife has lost its main source of revenue. It is a very dry island, some crops are grown on the scanty soil protected with a porous, volcanic stone to minimize evaporation.
They grow some tobacco, bananas and other tropical fruits, there's some fishing, some trade. The present population is totally unsustainable with only those activities.
It was already overpopulated 300 years ago and many countries in Latinamerica were settled by colonizers from the Canary Islands, for example Uruguay and Venezuela. They suffer from the problem of all islands made worse by the recent economic boom, and then bust.

I advised them to move to some country with lots of oil (obvious which one I mean) and the rest of them to raise some stone heads to our tribal chiefs: Felipe González, King D. Juan Carlos, Aznar, Zapatero, the Bishop, ...

yes, the Canary Islands (Spain in general) represent the grimmest lack of understanding of the concepts described in "limmits to growth" - they simply didn't get it - before now.
Spain has some 40 Mega-Spaniards who have catered for some 40 Mega-tourists annually over the last 2 decades or so ... Spain is not cheap anymore, not at all. Bulgaria and Turkey have been grabbing a sizable share of tourists "on the cheap" in resent years.

How many eggs have you put in your tourist basket, Mrs. España ? and now what ?

Grocery turns to turbines

The Atlantic Superstore is already keen on reusable bags. The blades of a wind turbine hovering above the grocery chain’s Porters Lake store on Thursday highlighted a new initiative focusing on renewable energy.


A 100 kW turbine in these parts should be capable of producing 300,000 kWh/year -- based on Nova Scotia Power's 2007 generation mix, it would thus eliminate some 250 tonnes of CO2, 2,700 kg of SO2, 645 kg of NOx and 3,900 mg of Hg annually. So a small step, but a worthwhile one nonetheless.


The Atlantic Superstore is already keen on reusable bags. The blades of a wind turbine hovering above the grocery chain’s Porters Lake store on Thursday highlighted a new initiative focusing on renewable energy.

His heart is in the right place (or perhaps he is just greenwashing), but small urban wind turbines are a mis-investment. Because of the poor scaling of wind to smaller unit size -and the gustiness of urban wind, he would be much much better off buying one twentieth of a big turbine out in the countryside. I wish we could get people to do the algebra, rather than just listen to their hearts when they make green investments.

And for any entrepreneurial spirits out there -perhaps a useful business can be made selling share portions of things like wind turbines. This might be both a way to make a living, and to increase the societal benefit per dollar spent on renewables.

Hi EoS,

First things first, I had estimated the output of this turbine to be in the range of 300,000 kWh/year, but this press release pegs it at 250,000 kWh; that puts its expected capacity factor at 28.5 per cent versus my more optimistic 34.2.

Source: http://www.cnw.ca/fr/releases/archive/May2009/14/c3801.html

This customer's load factor should be quite good, so I'm guessing their average cost per kWh falls between 11.5 and 12.0 cents (demand and energy combined). If that's the case, the electricity displaced by this turbine would have a market value of about $30,000.00/year. This suggests a 5 to 6 per cent ROI, which is rather low. That said, electricity rates in this province have been increasing 8 to 10 per cent per annum in recent years and the general sense is that there will be continued upward pressure as Nova Scotia Power transitions away from fossil fuels.

Purchasing wind power from a large scale operation would be presumably more cost efficient, however, it wouldn't have the same positive PR value as a wind turbine in the store's parking lot (much like the solar panels on the roof of a Whole Foods). So, I agree, there's a bit more optics than substance, but I still see a net benefit, especially if it encourages greater public acceptance of renewable energies.


Hello TODers,

Latest Asphaltistan Report on how the 'trickle-down theory' is fast evaporating in our AZ blazing heat. Is Cascadia ready for a multi-million influx?

The city of Tucson is closing one of its [municipal] golf courses for the summer.

..El Rio Golf Course will be closed until late September. The notice out front cited economic challenges. Deputy Parks Director Mike Hayes said that as long as a third of El Rio golfers go to another city course, the city will save about $30,000 a month by closing the course. It will also help the course's grass to grow.
IF their local economy keeps imploding: I would suggest they consider veggie plots or reverting back to natural conditions of cactus, jumping cholla, etc.

FOUNTAIN HILLS,AZ -- It's only 10 years old, but a high-end hotel dubbed the "Jewel of Fountain Hills" is closing its doors, a casualty of the slumping economy.

Most of CopperWynd Resort will shut down most of its operations on Monday.

Golf Course Search Results for Fountain Hills, Arizona

GolfLink found 21 results matching your search criteria
..[within just 10 miles from the CopperWynd Resort] I expect these golf courses to be heavily financially impacted.

Elsewhere [I can't keep up with google!]:

The owners of a 62-year-old resort in Lenox are citing the sputtering economy for their decision to close this fall.

Dorothy Winsor tells the Berkshire Eagle the 500-acre Eastover Resort and Conference Center founded by her father in 1947 will close on Nov. 1 if a buyer cannot be found...
Have you hugged your bag of NPK today?

Baker Hughes Rotary Rig Report:

Total rigs down 10 to 918.
Gas directed rigs down 2 to 728.

Smith Stats Rotary Rig Report:

US Total down 20 to 936
US Gas down 20 to 697

CDC: 100,000+ in U.S. Have Flu, Half Have Swine Flu

..At a time when flu season should be ending or over, the CDC's flu season indicators are going up instead of down. As of May 9, 22 states had widespread or regional flu.

..One of the most alarming signs of a flu pandemic is a lot of severe illness in people who don't usually suffer severe flu cases -- older children and young adults.

Most of the 173 people hospitalized in the U.S. with H1N1 swine flu have been between 5-24 years old.
In a nutshell, the above is what worries me. Let's hope the H1N1 doesn't evolve a higher lethality in the years to come.

More info on GE's forthcoming heat pump water heater and other "smart grid" home appliances can be found at:



forthcoming heat pump

Anyone know of viable thermoacoustic heat pumps such that solar hot water can be 'upgraded' to 400-500+ heat for cooking?