DrumBeat: June 7, 2009

Crisis to induce transparency in oil companies

The global financial crisis and the resulting difficulty in raising finances may force national oil companies to become more transparent in their operations.

Analysts at the World national oil companies congress' said oil firms, particularly those of consumer countries and emerging oil producers such as Petrobras of Brazil, raise finances through new business partnerships and issue of bonds.

Gulf majors such as Saudi Aramco, Adnoc and Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) will, however, remain immune to these changes, considering the low costs involved in extracting crude and strong financial positions. However, even they will be forced to diversify their sources of funding during the prevailing turbulent times, an analyst said.

Gas prices above $2.60

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Gas prices continue to surge nationwide, and are now up more than 27% in the past seven and a half weeks.

9 Hostage Officers Killed at Peruvian Oil Facility

LIMA, Peru — Nine police officers were killed Saturday as security forces regained control of a petroleum facility from indigenous protesters in a remote jungle region, raising the death toll related to protests by indigenous activists since Friday above 30, Peruvian government officials here said.

Saudi Arabia's impetus to change grows as it dreams of new riches beyond oil

Oil is no longer enough for Saudi Arabia, Opec's largest producer of the black gold.

Since 1975 its population has more than tripled to 25 million people from 7.3 million - and 57 percent of all Saudis are under the age of 25. As the population grows, the kingdom's riches must be spread further. Last year, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita was less than $19 000 (R153 274), compared with $47 000 in the US and $103 000 in Qatar.

To create jobs for its citizenry, the government wants to build cities and diversify into new industries.

Gloomy outlook for coal

Lane said the United States' energy strategy for the last 50 years can be summarized as: "Borrow, buy, burn." The U.S. has 5 percent of the world's population but uses 25 percent of the world's energy. "We're energy pigs," he said. Studies show that 55 percent of the energy generated in the U.S. is lost as waste heat.

Americans who insist on driving around encased in 4,000 pounds of metal are going to start paying for it, he said. Europeans are already paying the equivalent of $9 a gallon for gasoline.

Towards a Great German Oil Empire

Dietrich Eichholtz does not mince words. From the first page of this powerfully argued book, his underlying argument is clear: "The imperialist interest in oil played a role in the occurrence, course, and outcome" of the Second World War.

Stephen Leeb - Energy: Zero Sum, We Lose

President Obama’s energy policy proposals have so far left a lot to be desired. While he’s intent on reducing emissions to combat global warming, Obama’s policy stance offers little incentive to develop much-needed alternative energy production.

Instead, his solutions are likely to result in conservation of resources here in the U.S. that others elsewhere will only use at prices that will be lower than they might be otherwise. Part of the problem may be the hand Obama has been dealt.

Could India Become a Solar Leader?

India may be gearing to turn itself into the global leader in solar power generation, a sign that major developing nations could become renewable energy hubs to rival Germany and the United States.

Ethanol Makers Still Trying to Catch a Break from Banks, Debt Holders

A combination of lower oil prices and challenging financial markets continues to spell disaster for U.S. ethanol companies, with another 10 providers of this first-generation biofuel going belly up in the first five months of 2009. Among the latest was Pacific Ethanol (PEIX), which saw its shares swoon 44 percent to 32 cents on May 19 when five of its six ethanol-producing units filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company had gone public in 2005 with shares debuting at $12.95.

Developing a Greener Third World

NEW YORK — If the United States and every wealthy country in the world were to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to zero tomorrow and there were no change in the developing world, “the crisis would still overtake us,” said Al Gore, the former vice president of the United States, at a forum in New York City last week.

Whether or not that is precisely true, the implication almost certainly is.

Japan auto-makers race ahead with green cars

While US carmakers like General Motors are on life support, struggling under the dead weight of their fuel-guzzling sports utility vehicles, the plant here is humming to the tune of next-generation car technology.

Japan's auto giants hope that, amid the global recession, brisk domestic sales and a worldwide trend towards tougher regulations on carbon dioxide emissions will keep them in international pole position.

Analysis Finds Elevated Risk From Soot Particles in the Air

A new appraisal of existing studies documenting the links between tiny soot particles and premature death from cardiovascular ailments shows that mortality rates among people exposed to the particles are twice as high as previously thought.

Heading to Texas, Hudson’s Toxic Mud Stirs Town

EUNICE, N.M. — There are not many towns in America that would welcome the 2.5 million cubic yards of toxic sludge being dredged from the bottom of the Hudson River in New York, but to hear Mayor Matt White tell it, Eunice is one of them.

Storing waste nobody else wants means more jobs, Mr. White said, and the oil workers here are used to living with hazards. After all, there are several oil wells in the town itself. One of them is a block from City Hall.

Greening the Herds: A New Diet to Cap Gas

Libby, age 6, and the 74 other dairy cows on Guy Choiniere’s farm here are at the heart of an experiment to determine whether a change in diet will help them belch less methane, a potent heat-trapping gas that has been linked to climate change.

Since January, cows at 15 farms across Vermont have had their grain feed adjusted to include more plants like alfalfa and flaxseed — substances that, unlike corn or soy, mimic the spring grasses that the animals evolved long ago to eat.

Higher oil price gives renewables a boost

AFTER a year of swings, the oil price is moving toward a stable middle ground that will benefit not just the oil industry but the struggling renewables sector as well, experts say.

Brent crude closed at $67.82 a barrel last week - nearly double the $35 it plumbed in February but still less than half the record $146 a barrel it touched last summer.

Barclays Capital predicts it is now heading toward the $75 to $85 “Goldilocks” range - not so high that governments aggressively seek alternatives but enough for oil-producing nations to make a comfortable return on more exotic endeavours such as deep-sea drilling and tar sands.

Chavez to expand Venezuela oil nationalizations

CARACAS (Reuters) - President Hugo Chavez has already nationalized most of Venezuela's energy industry and is preparing to bring chemicals under his wing, but he may still target firms running gas and oil services.

A former soldier inspired by Cuba's Fidel Castro, Chavez has made energy nationalization the linchpin in his drive to build his own brand of socialism. He has also taken over assets in telecommunications, power, steel and banking.

Tribes keep Peru police hostage after Amazon fights

TARAPOTO, Peru (Reuters) - Hundreds of indigenous protesters were holding 38 police hostage early on Saturday in Peru's Amazon jungle after fights between tribes and police killed up to 33 people in the worst violence of President Alan Garcia's government.

Demonstrators also were threatening to set fire to an oil pumping station of state-owned Petroperu unless the government told police to halt efforts to clear weeks of blockades of roads and rivers that have hurt food and fuel supplies.

'This is an oil war'

Lagos - Nigeria's main armed group on Sunday intensified its threat to attack the oil industry in the coming days, warning that it will stand firm on a 72-hour ultimatum issued earlier.

"The ultimatum (to local and foreign oil workers) expires about midnight (Monday) ... Our focus will be the oil industry as this is an oil war," the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said in an emailed statement.

Oil: Up to $200 or Down to $25?

It is worrying for oil producers when the Russian President Dimitri Medvedev talks of $150 oil because it is so reminiscent of the $250 a barrel forecast last summer. A little hubris often comes before a fall.

Oil got down to $33 a barrel last December. Could another fall be on the cards this autumn?

Lawsuits target overseas oil company operations

NEW YORK -- Royal Dutch Shell is preparing for a federal trial this summer where it would face allegations that it played a role in the executions of activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and other civilians by Nigeria's former military regime.

It is just the latest in a series of trials seeking to hold big oil companies liable for human rights abuses or environmental damage overseas. As in a similar case against Chevron last year, the plaintiffs found a way to strike at Shell through the courts using an 18th-century law meant to battle piracy.

Average price of Russian oil in 2010 to be about US $60 - Klepach

In a talk with journalists within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Saturday, Klepach said, "The most probable price of oil (for 2010) is $60 dollars."

At the same time, he considers superoptimistic forecasts of a number of experts as unreal. "I don't think that it will rise to 100 dollars, there are no fundamental factors for this," Klepach said.

U.S. Interest in Caspian Sea Oil to Bring More Trouble for Russia

Oil and natural gas of the Caspian states seems to be of strategic significance for the West, Richard Morningstar, the US special envoy for Eurasian energy issues said. Why does the US administration show so much interest in the Caspian Sea region? Does it mean that US army bases will soon be deployed there?

Dismal day for Greens in Dublin

The Green Party has lost all its city and county council seats in Dublin, where most of its TDs are based.

Go on, tell it like it really is

Today, doubt is stirring in most corners of the world — mainly caused by the frightening spectre of climate change, peak oil, the global economic recession and rising poverty. To be harsh, but practical, these are probably the best things that have happened to humanity in a long time. They are causing us to wake up and rethink our frames of reference.

Deep ecologists say that modernism has led to a fundamental male-principle ethic of dominance and conquest played out in various hierarchical, militaristic, capitalist and industrialist forms. It disallows the feminine-principle values of caring and respect so necessary to the nurturing of life and the creation of balance in society.

Create a Metro Vancouver municipal party to cope with peak oil

Here’s an idea for a regional citizens’ group called Vancouver Peak Oil: form a political party and run a maximum of one candidate in every municipality across Metro Vancouver in the 2011 election.

The membership of Vancouver Peak Oil should choose the candidates, and each should run with the party label “Peak Oil” after their names.

Sacramento area drivers take the 'Car-Free Challenge'

Joan Edelstein of West Sacramento made a public vow last week. She will drive her car no more than 200 miles this month.

The go-green pledge puts her among a handful of Sacramentans who've announced similar intentions at the new "Car-Free Challenge" Web site – not for pocketbook reasons, they say, but because it's the right thing to do.

Just days in, however, Edelstein is learning an inconvenient truth about the movement to reduce driving.

Depending on where you live, it's not easy.

Clean energy is the best option for U.S.

Global warming and unsustainable energy dependence are the foremost environmental issues of our time; they are also the signature economic issues of our day, providing enormous risks to future economic growth and unparalleled opportunities to create jobs and launch a different model of economic development.

'Realists' challenge claim of consensus on warming

Several hundred scientists, politicians and activists participated in the third annual International Conference on Climate Change on Tuesday, marking another stage in the timeline of a scientific social movement.

The conference, sponsored by the nonprofit Heartland Institute, hosted panels of climatologists and meteorologists as well as members of Congress to address questions surrounding global warming and climate-change legislation.

Health, climate change vie for boost in Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Barack Obama may be pressuring Congress as no U.S. president has for decades as he aims to get two big domestic goals passed this year -- reforming health care and fighting global warming.

"It's not impossible to do both, but that would be more than a Congress has ever given a president, maybe since the first First 100 Days," said Brookings Institution senior fellow Stephen Hess, referring to the start of Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal" presidency in 1933.

But how do we know oil has peaked? Investment banker Raymond James puts it this way:

“It is entirely intuitive to conclude that if both OPEC and non-OPEC production posted declines against the backdrop of $100-plus oil – when the obvious economic incentive was to pump full blast – those declines had to have come for involuntary reasons, such as the inherent geological limits of oil fields.”
Peak oil’s impact on energy policy

Though July of 2008 was the highest output month, the first quarter of 2008 actually had the highest oil production of any quarter. Non-OPEC peaked in 2004 if you are measuring by years and in December of 2003 if you are measuring the highest monthly output. But the point is, non-OPEC kept right on declining production as oil prices kept rising. OPEC peaked in 2008. Their highest quarter for C+C was the third quarter of 2008 though for the total world it was the first quarter of 2008.

Non-OPEC, who peaked in 2004, currently produces 58% of the world's crude oil. OPEC, in my opinion, has clearly peaked also as they were clearly producing at peak capacity in the summer of 2008. And one other note. Angola joined OPEC in January of 2007. OPEC, without Angola, peaked in 2005. OPEC's peak month was July of 2008 but that month OPEC, less Angola, produced almost 200 kb/d less than they produced in September of 2005. That is OPEC, with prices over $140 a barrel, still could not match their output of 2005.

So how do we know oil has peaked. Well there is very little we can know for certain but it should be obvious to all but the most staunch of denying cornucopians that crude oil has peaked because even at the highest prices ever, production still declined.

And by the way, the above link, Peak oil’s impact on energy policy, is from the "Oil&Gas Financial Journal" and is a great article. It was posted June 5th but I don't think the link has been posted before on TOD.

Ron P.

It was posted in the May 20th DrumBeat. I think it was originally posted by O&GJ in early May.

Hello Darwinian,

Thxs for that analysis, Kudos!

With KSA's pop. being so young and growing so fast: probably any attempt to ramp up production [as defined by your text, they probably CANNOT anymore for any sustained multi-year period or multi-months] will mostly go to internal consumption, not external exports==> WT's ELM again.

If one projects this with Duncan's BOE/C for KSA: With Capita rising superfast, and BOE going down, it will result in a lot of pissed off young Saudi men pushing their worthless cars into the growing sand dunes of their abandoned farms from lack of desalinized water and depleted aquifers.

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

Thanks totoneila for your speculation on the Saudis. However 'peak farm water' may have already arrived in SA, based upon this article. Looks like those unhappy SA men may have to become farm overlords elsewhere on some distant shores:

5/7/09 BusinessWorld (Manila)

Neil Jerome C. Morales

The government yesterday proposed investment opportunities in the agriculture sector for Saudi Arabians to ensure the supply of agriculture commodities and develop idle government lands.

At the opening of the five-day agricultural trade mission between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap briefed potential investors on the local agriculture sector.

"The increase in consumption and demand is continuous despite the recession. A lot of these countries want to be food secure," Mr. Yap told reporters.

In his speech, Saudi Agriculture Minister Fahad A. Balghunaim said "the substantial increase in food prices in 2007 and 2008 has managed to attract government in increasing agriculture production and productivity."

He said Saudi Arabia, which invested in its agriculture sector despite vast desert lands, is an exporter of shrimp and potato and is self- sufficient in dairy products.

"The government has decided to cut down production of wheat to reduce water being used in agriculture," Mr. Balghunaim said.

The combined food bill of Middle East countries, including Saudi Arabia, rose by 25% to $20 billion in 2007 from $16 billion in 2006.

I think we need to analyze the situation with refineries more. The Saudis said they couldn't sell due to lack of customers, meaning their heavy oil couldn't find a home, but a good few refineries or expansions are planned for the next few years, which will effectively boost supplies. I'm assuming that these will be complex refineries with cokers to handle heavy sour; certainly it's widely understood that the global oil supply is moving away from LSC, and the additional cost of building complex refineries is justified.

Darwinian, very well put. I've been struggling to put this very point into words.

Both OPEC and Non-OPEC nations are seeing a shift of declining production and increased investment of oil revenues into other sectors, not expansion of oil production. The Arab nations are trying to position themselves as homes to new Financial markets, ala Wall Street and Canary Wharf. While these shifts are intelligent business decisions, they don't acknowledge the massive hole in energy production this will leave the world in.

If you have strong feelings on water efficiency and/or flooding from global warming, then watch these and send them to people you know. Everyone can help turn climate change around.


I'm attaching a table here, I apologize, the formatting isn't too good.

But what it shows is Cost of Oil as a factor of our GDP. From 1997-2003 we fluctuated between 11.82 and 22.69. Then we went on a tear up to 60.78 last year. I look at these numbers and without the mortgage finance bubble that allowed people to pull tens of thousands of dollar out o their house, it's just completely unsustainable. I probably need to go back further and look at more data, but my guess is a factor of 20 is break even. Factors lower then 20 fuel growth, higher cause recessions.

I anticipate peak oil will keep this "factor" number high for many years to come, forcing us into a prolonged state of contraction.


Year Barrels  Avg Price   Cost of Oil  USA GDP  Factor 
2008 7,107,242,000 $99.65                708,236,665,300 11,652,000,000        60.78
2007 7,548,338,000 $64.93                490,113,586,340 11,523,900,000        42.53
2006 7,550,908,000 $61.37                463,399,223,960 11,294,800,000        41.03
2005 7,592,789,000 $54.01                410,086,533,890 10,989,500,000        37.32
2004 7,587,601,000 $42.35                321,334,902,350 10,675,800,000        30.10
2003 7,312,229,000 $31.97                233,771,961,130 10,301,000,000        22.69
2002 7,212,876,000 $26.94                194,314,879,440 10,048,800,000        19.34
2001 7,171,777,000 $27.59                197,869,327,430 9,890,700,000        20.01
2000 7,210,594,000 $33.79                243,645,971,260 9,817,000,000        24.82
1999 7,124,558,000 $21.12                150,470,664,960 9,470,300,000        15.89
1998 6,904,756,000 $15.52                107,161,813,120 9,066,900,000        11.82
1997 6,796,411,000 $24.67                167,667,459,370 8,703,500,000        19.26

Re: 'Realists' challenge claim of consensus on warming

So, the Heartland and their buddies at the Washington Times want us to believe that they are being "realists"? They are getting desperate, I think. This story about the "Third International Conference on Climate Change" apparently missed the fact that the Second "Conference" took place way back on March 8-10, 2009.

But, that was only 3 months ago, you say? Right, that's why I think they are getting desperate. Their case is seriously flawed and they know it. The Arctic sea-ice extent is running just about where it was back in 2007 on this date and looks to be dropping faster than it was in 2007. And that in spite of the fact that the sunspot cycle has seen little activity for the past year or so.

Big question for the denialist who think solar activity to blame for the warming of the past few decades. Tell us the reason the sea-ice is still in rapid decline??

E. Swanson

Money quote:

Serreze: I have yet to lose any sleep over what is talked about in WattsUpWithThat or any other similar blog that insists on arguing from a viewpoint of breathtaking ignorance.

To set the record straight, I never made a “prediction”. I said the north pole might melt out and I was not alone in making such speculation. It did not melt out and I got some flack for this. So be it. As for the “great recovery” of ice extent in 2008 heard in some circles, it was a recovery from lowest (2007) to second lowest (2008).

I find little room for optimism here.

Links to the Washington Times featuring the Heartland Institute should really come with a warning label: "Abandon IQ points, all ye who enter here."

The Washington Times is not a great source of information. It was founded by the Rev. Moon of the Unification Church ("Moonies") and has been subsidized by more than a BILLION dollars, basically as a right-wing propaganda vehicle. As Moon said, "The Washington Times will become the instrument in spreading the truth about God to the world."

The one thing the Washington Times is good for is that they occasionally publish opinion pieces from reasonable conservatives - it's a good barometer of conservative opinion.

Time spent on climate denial articles is time wasted. Their aim is not to persuade you, but to wear you down.

Bart / EB

Great comment the only thing I'd change is the warning label:
"Abandon all pretense of intelligence, all ye who enter here."

You both give too much credit: Abandone all pretense at truthfulness. (Though that refers specifically to denialists.)


"cows at 15 farms across Vermont have had their grain feed adjusted to include more plants like alfalfa and flaxseed — substances that, unlike corn or soy, mimic the spring grasses that the animals evolved long ago to eat."

As a farm boy whose father kept several hundred head of Charolais strictly as rangeland cattle, this article makes me sad. One of the things I hope for from Peak Oil is that cheap subsidized grain will end, and the only profitable method of raising cattle will be to put them on pasture as nature intended. Feedlots are not farms, they are factories. Cattle were not meant to be raised on grain anymore than you would raise your children on nothing but ice cream and potato chips.

While I agree with your sentiment, I think saying cows weren't meant to be raised on feedlots is perhaps not quite accurate: they were bred into existence, they didn't evolve naturally.

I concur completely that they shouldn't be kept in factory farms.


"Cattle were not meant to be raised on grain" was what I actually wrote. They were selected from aurochs (which only became extinct in the early 1600s when a Pole killed the last one) and are grass-eating animals, not granivores. Strictly speaking, the only breed which evolved was the Texas longhorn, while all other breeds are the result of artificial selection.

I mention all this because an additional thought has occured to me about Peak Oil. Most European breeds of cattle are actually relatively new, developed in the last two or three centuries. Prior to that, cattle were all-purpose animals, ranging on pasture, supplying milk, and ultimately becoming beef. Development of dairy breeds from free-ranging breeds was a result of urbanization, when city slickers wanted milk but couldn't pasture their own cow. Like much else, the modern dairy industry depends on fast, just-in-time delivery (long before factories thought of it) made possible by cheap diesel and large tanker trucks. Urbanization destroyed the dairy farms close in to the cities, so now milk has to be trucked in from 50 to 100 km away. We will still have cheap milk, probably our children, but our grandchildren will pay substantially more for milk. Cheese, on the other hand, might become cheaper or stay about the same, since it doesn't have to be rushed to the supermarket.

I would think if farmers would get their cows off grain, people would be a lot better off too. One of our health issues is too little omega 3 fatty acids in the diet, and too much omega 6 fatty acids. If cows went back to grazing (or even the more healthful substitute described in the article) it would help shift the ratio back to more Omega 3s.

It seems like a lot of disorders that have been linked to low Omega-3s (such as ADHD) have become more common since the shift to grain-fed animals began. Maybe the incidence would start to go down again.

There are no feed lots in Vermont and dairy farmers are going out of business left and right.

Vince Cable hinting at peak oil?

Yet, with the exception of Saudi Arabia, the main oil-producing countries are unable or unwilling to produce more to meet demand.....

But our future as a country depends much more on our ability to plan ahead for the next oil shock and the post-oil world.

Hello TODers,

What to expect in the fertiliser marketplace in the future

..Sulphur is a major raw material in phosphate production being used for leaching the phosphate from the mined rock. Prices reached over £1000/tonne in June 2008, but current levels are to remain below £40/tonne for the foreseeable future..

..However, Mark warns that the present reduction in pricing is likely to be short lived as the fundamentals behind the fertiliser sector of limited producers and, in the case of phosphate, limited supplies combined with increasing demand for food and the effects of climate change suggest that the next commodity boom may be just around the corner...
Matt Simmons has much discussed how FF pricing volatility is bad. I would also argue that [S]ulfur pricing volatility is just as bad OR MUCH WORSE for the global economy as it is the Key Element for the flowrate throttling of agriculture and industry. To sell S at giveaway prices is just as bad as Matt's argument of being aghast at the selling of oil & natgas at giveaway prices.

Since we don't have truly free markets [never did], then perhaps the FF-IOCs & NOCs should be encouraged by all govts to form a Webb/Pomerene cartel, like Canpotex & Belaruskali, to stabilize S-pricing at some reasonable value that will encourage the ramp of relocalized permaculture [Kunstlerization] and full-on O-NPK recycling by narrow gauge SpiderWebRiding [localized ribcage] and Alan Drake's Standard gauge RR & TOD [larger area spine & limbs].

1 barrel of oil equivalent (boe) contains approximately 0.146 toe (i.e. there are approximately 6.841 boe in a toe).

S at $1,000/ton is BOE equivalent to $1,000/6.84 =$146.20/BOE. The the FF-producers were making just as much money selling their recovered-S as they were selling FFs [July '08 @ $147/barrel].

I have no idea what the proper price for S should be, but if properly priced: The Cartel-ized FF-producers would have plenty of funds for their infrastructure maintenance [Rust Never Sleeps!], keeping workers, and further exploration for ever smaller new oil & natgas deposits.

But IMO, the better benefit of the high S-price is that it would force the rapid ramp of O-NPK recycling to help make Depleting I-NPK available for future generations. Since I believe the Porridge Principle of Metered Decline is already underway [See prior postings], combine this S-strategy with Global Peak Outreach and we might actually get started on moving towards Optimal Overshoot Decline.

This is actually no different than in Nature: a lion pride's or wolfpack's fresh kill quickly sets off a feeding frenzy to be the first to the prey's liver and other high mineral content internal organs. The eating of most of the muscle is done later.

Thus, picture our 'societal prey' as the annual total of a cubic mile of oil [bones], with multi-cubic miles of natgas [muscle], with the [internal organs] being the highly prized agri-Elements NPKS. The resulting food surplus is what allows job specialization, thus civilization.

We are evolved to do the nightly darkness, but we cannot do starvation. Have you hugged your bag of NPKS today?

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

EDIT: 1000/40 is a ++++TWENTY_FIVE FOLD++++ price swing! Mind-boggling!

Just as predator animals' noses instinctively lead them to [S]ulfur smelling eggs and internal organs--those practicing the Yea[S]ty half-glass Peakoil [S]houtout are also igniting [S]ynaptic Wildfire[S] that will hopefully induce them to more carefully consider [S]ulfur as vital to strategic control/throttling of postPeak flowrates.

Another brief thought: consider that humans love eggs so much that many restaurants offer them 24/7 and sulfurous, fishy smelling caviar is very expensive. Our noses' extreme sensitivity to S is also a big reason Mercaptan is added to natgas for safety:

A sulfur-containing organic compound with the general formula RSH where R is any radical, especially ethyl mercaptan, C2H5SH. Also called thiol.
T-butyl mercaptan blends are often added to the odorless natural gas used for cooking and serve to warn of gas leaks.

Alberta is a major producer of sulphur from sour gas, of which we have more and more as the easy sweet gas disappears. The dumping of sulphur is because it is a byproduct, not the desired end result.

Hello DalefromCalgary,

Thx[S] for your reply. If Alberta is thinking 7 generations ahead: by stockpiling huge S-blocks now to help goose the price above giveaway levels increases the natgas Cos funds now, and also allows Alberta some degree of throttle control of DAP and potassium sulfate for a long time to come.

giant sulfur blocks

Remember, melted sulfur looks just like fresh, spilled blood:


Consider the remarkable parallel: blood has a sulfur taste, too.

Lead acid battery booster John Petersen linked to this interactive tool in the comments of that Stephen Leeb piece on Seeking Alpha: Exploring global energy demands - The McKinsey Quarterly - Exploring global energy demands - Economic Studies - Productivity & Performance

Lets you play around with EV market share/severity of current economic downturn/energy productivity. For some reason not explained existing regs must remain in place for #1 or #3; also when you mouseover the terms explanations popup, but you can't scroll to read the whole text, a minor glitch. Interesting little tool.

Did anyone catch this other killer ap: California budget balancer - Los Angeles Times. Hours of fun mucking about with billions.

I expect Leanan will link this in tomorrow's Drumbeat: a straightforward look at the apocalypse in "Canada's National Newspaper", the Globe & Mail, featuring opinions from James Lovelock, John Michael Greer, Gwynne Dyer and Lester Brown.

Apocalypse now

The idea of End Times, or apocalypses, has been around as long as religion. Until recently, it has been a mainstay of Christian fundamentalism. But the notion that the world as we know it is about to end - this time with an environmental rather than a religious-inspired bang - lately has been making inroads in more mainstream and progressive-leaning circles, including activists, scientists and pundits.

Nah. I was going to, but since it's been posted here, no need. :-)

I have not made my way all the way through it yet, but here is a brand new, very well done, visually spectacular film on resource depletion and overpopulation. You can view the entire film on YouTube:

Home by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

TreeHugger had a short piece on it:

World Premiere of Yann Arthus Bertrand's Home, this Environment Day (June 5)

I am an hour into it. Well worth my time so far.

Hello R-Squared,

Great link! Stunning video footage, clear message. IMO, it sure helps explain why full-on Global Peak Outreach would be a good thing, instead of just continuing BAU until TSHTF!

Everytime I saw a plot of farmland, now matter where it was in this truly global film: my mind immediately tried to envision moving a bag of I-NPK Nuhautl Tlameme style from Morocco [P] or Saskatchewan [K] to the final square foot.

Hello TODers,

IMO, a good example of when the pull-system for I-NPK and other farming inputs breaks down:

Massive wheat shortage looms

Zimbabweans should brace for a massive shortage of wheat next year as the prohibitive cost of production has thwarted farmers’ efforts to grow the crop this winter.

Many farmers had money locked up in banks, which was rendered worthless by the sanctions-induced hyperinflation and, as a result, could not buy inputs to prepare for winter wheat cropping.

..This high cost of production, coupled with the reluctance by banks to provide credit lines to farmers, has impacted negatively on wheat plantings. Where such credit facilities have been extended, many farmers have fallen short on the security requirements.
It won't be much fun when this is replicated here in the First World, but such is life...

Goodness Gracious, Toto; It's Zimbabwe.

Hello Kdolliso,

Yep, it is Zimbabwe, but since human nature is universal IMO, at some point I think the same will happen in the First World. See my hypothetical post at the bottom of yesterday's DB: US seaport-cities going nuts so that our 50% I-NPK import reliance cannot be moved inland to the final topsoil square foot. But it might be a 75% I-NPK import reliance by then. Land-locked Colorado Rocky Mountain farmland from Houston is roughly equal to land-locked Zimbabwe farmland from an African Seaport.

I doubt if we will dig a very long canal and sea-level seaport to the middle of Mile-high Denver so that goods will be cheap to ship there. Just the stairs down to the ship-docks would be like hiking the Grand Canyon.

Hey Toto: Have you seen this film? You might like it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9pgq0bT8x4

To everybody: You have got to watch this film called THE FUTURE OF FOOD-I don't know anything about the subject so maybe the experts here could discuss it at length-it is fact looking just like scary science fiction/horror (it might be old news to some of you).

Hello BrianT,

Scary stuff, thxs--I have only seen the 9 minute Intro so far,I have got to go down and simply be the First to get a controlling patent on global H20--Yikes!

For those in need of a mental break... some twenty years ago, Britain's Channel 4 ran a terrific series entitled The Secret Life of Machines. Each episode explored the evolution of particular technology, often something seemingly as mundane as a vacuum cleaner, refrigerator or washing machine. It was not unlike James Burke's Connections, but with much greater emphasis on entertainment.

Here's an example:


Addendum: The entire series can viewed at http://www.exploratorium.edu/ronh/SLOM/