DrumBeat: June 8, 2009

The CEO Poll: On black gold

Peak-oil theory has steadily been gaining traction over the years. A survey conducted recently by COMPAS Inc. found a majority of Canadian CEOs polled subscribe to peak-oil theory — the idea that the planet is running out of easily accessible and economical oil — but believe it is difficult to predict when peak production will occur.

More than 60% of the 117 CEOs agreed with the theory. Only 18% said new technologies and new discoveries will always allow for production increases. Another 16% not only espoused the peak-oil view but said we will be unable to satisfy demand in the near future.

“Finding easy-to-get-to oil is a thing of the past,” wrote one CEO. “Demand in the developing countries will increase as wealth builds. They will not have the money for new technologies. That will fall to the developed countries.”

Willem Schulte says we have enough oil, for now

Willem Schulte: The world is not running out of oil, not at the moment.

That is Dr. Willem Schulte, Chief Scientist for Reservoir Engineering for Shell. He says that while there is a lot of oil and natural gas remaining, its getting harder to recover.

Willem Schulte: For the medium term, we have enough hydrocarbons to supply to the world. In the past, we have produced one trillion barrels of liquid oil. There are still two trillion barrels, or twice as much, to be gained from those same reservoirs. We probably can add three to four trillion barrels of oil from unconventional, more complicated methodologies to recover oil, which we considered unrecoverable so far.

Oil Traders Storing Crude on Seven Tankers Off U.K.

(Bloomberg) -- Oil companies are storing crude on at least seven supertankers off the coast of the U.K., enough to supply the country for more than a week, even as higher prices reduce the incentive to put more oil into storage.

Seven Very Large Crude Carriers, containing as much as 14 million barrels of North Sea crude, are anchored off Britain, according to AISLive tracking data and the median estimate of six oil traders surveyed by Bloomberg. The U.K. consumed about 1.6 million barrels of oil a day in 2008, according to government data.

Total battles to extend life of North Sea field

ELGIN FRANKLIN RIG, NORTH SEA (Reuters) - Extreme technical conditions and declining production -- Total's Elgin Franklin platform in the North Sea shows the challenges of oil that is becoming scarcer and harder to reach.

Ensco nixes Venezuela contract

US Offshore drilling contractor Ensco International has ended its contract for a jack-up drilling rig with Petrosucre, after the unit of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA had failed to pay past dues.

Iran's China oil outfit battles to boost exports

BEIJING (Reuters) - National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has set up its first Beijing office to push for crude sales in China, but the world's No.4 crude exporter will have a tough job boosting volumes sharply in the absence of a refinery.

Now China's second biggest crude supplier, Iran sold China nearly half a million barrels each day in the first four months of this year, but posted only a tepid 3-percent year-on-year rise, far below the 26-percent rally in exports from top supplier Saudi Arabia, official data shows.

But if Iran can leverage its huge domestic resources -- like the $4.7 billion South Pars gas project that China's state-run CNPC has signed up to -- it may have a fair chance of boosting exports to the world's No.2 consumer.

Ukraine Says $3 Billion Needed for Gas to Ensure Europe Transit

(Bloomberg) -- Ukraine needs about $3 billion this year to pay Russian natural gas exporter OAO Gazprom for imports of the fuel to ensure that a January halt of flows to Europe isn’t repeated.

NAK Naftogaz Ukrainy will have to buy about 16 billion cubic meters of gas to pump into underground storage, Valentyn Zemlyanskyi, a Kiev-based spokesman, said by telephone today.

Iraq's Energy Development Dependent on Politics

Iraq is regarded as second only to Saudi Arabia in terms of its oil and natural gas reserves, but 80 percent of its fields lay undeveloped and those that are developed suffer from weakened infrastructure. At a recent conference in Houston, energy industry representatives and participants from Iraq focused on what needs to be done to develop the country's badly needed resources.

Iran opens largest Mideast gas injection project

TEHRAN (Xinhua) -- The largest gas injection project in Mideast was inaugurated on Monday in Iran's southwestern province of Khuzestan, the official IRNA news agency reported.

West and Russia spar, China wins

The Khabarovsk summit followed a series of energy conferences that EU convened recently in pursuit of its search of diversifying energy supplies by creating a "Southern Corridor" from the Caspian and Central Asia to Europe that bypasses Russia. Moscow sees the venture as essentially geopolitical and detects Washington's hand in it.

Europe's pipeline politics

On the shores of the Baltic Sea, among the sea birds and sand dunes, a quiet energy revolution is taking place.

If all goes to plan, the island of Ruegen, off the coast of Northern Germany, will host the terminal for the massive new Nord Stream gas pipeline connecting Russia with the heart of Western Europe.

Ontario Teachers' files lawsuit in Oklahoma

The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has filed a lawsuit in Oklahoma against Chesapeake Energy, accusing the chief executive and directors of breaching their fiduciary duties to shareholders "by approving excessive expenses."

Peak Coal: What Do Tighter Coal Supplies Mean for ‘Clean Coal’?

If U.S. coal supplies are tighter than thought, that could have big implications for the great black hope of U.S. energy policy: so-called clean coal, or coal-fired plants that capture and store their emissions of greenhouse gases. That’s because capturing coal’s emissions requires a lot of energy.

‘Smart grid’ — buzz of the power industry

Thomas Alva Edison, meet the Internet.

More than a century after Edison invented a reliable light bulb, the nation's electricity distribution system, an aging spider web of power lines, is poised to move into the digital age.

Who Killed the Hydrogen-Powered Car?

Unfeasibility, expense were enough to do it in.

American flight will test fuel-saving tricks

DALLAS - American Airlines will test fuel-saving technology and tactics on a Paris-to-Miami flight this week that the carrier and federal officials hope will help make the case for a new navigation system.

The plane on Thursday's flight will take a direct route guided by global-positioning technology instead of staying within the usual jetliner highways.

Large mammal migrations are disappearing

Africa is home to spectacular migration events. Large mammals ranging from Grant's gazelles to blue wildebeests pound their hooves across vast tracts of land as the seasons change.

New research suggests, however, that migrations across the continent might be going extinct.

Oil: The rise and fall . . . and rise

Where the crude will come from to satisfy these new wants is a puzzle. Most of the cheap and easy oil has been extracted. For much of this decade, when demand already was pushing the supply envelope, drillers ventured into fields and waters that required high expense and high technology to yield their riches. Now, many of those projects have shut down.

At the same time, OPEC has taken oil off the market, and some analysts believe worldwide drilling has dwindled more than 30% from a year ago. On the face of it, that seems out of whack with the modest scale of the current oversupply, and could worsen a squeeze in the years ahead.

Even a glut doesn’t change the nature of a finite resource -- just how fast it’s depleted. One reason oil companies journeyed to second-tier sources is that formerly prolific fields are drying up. The most spectacular example: Mexico’s relatively young Cantarell field. Only a few years ago, it provided more than 2 million barrels a day, but 2009 estimates have tumbled into the 600,000 range.

Understanding peak oil - Why we need the national academy of sciences to study peak oil (petition)

A growing number of international geologists and analysts warn of a looming catastrophe with the onset of the decline in the global supply of oil. Likewise, reports by several federal agencies, including the US Army Corps of Engineers, point to the need for immediate action, because the foreseeable impacts on our infrastructure and economy are without precedent.

Please sign our petition, calling on President Obama and Congress to direct an immediate scientific investigation by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

‘Stagflation Scenario’ Stalks U.S. as Commodity Prices Jump

(Bloomberg) -- As if General Motors Corp. didn’t have enough to worry about, a 60 percent jump in gasoline prices this year may cause inflation to soar as it did in 2008 and throw another roadblock in the way of recovery.

Rising costs for oil and gas sector ends

BP and Shell have both said it, and now Cambridge Energy Research Associates is saying it, too: the runup in equipment and services in the oil and gas sector in recent years is over.

Gazprom receives Ukraine gas payment for May

MOSCOW (AFP) — Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Monday it had received Ukraine's May gas payment in full, after warnings that a missed payment by Kiev could lead to a new gas crisis.

Gas Discovery Changes Israel's Energy Picture

A huge natural gas discovery 50 miles off the Israeli coast at Haifa could potentially meet Israel's energy needs for 20 years once it eventually comes online. In January 2009, a consortium led by U.S. energy exploration company Noble Energy announced the discovery of three massive gas fields, with one of the group's partners calling the find "one of the biggest in the world" that represented a "historic landmark in the economic dependence of Israel."

Conoco Shuts North Sea Oil Output After Platform Is Damaged

(Bloomberg) -- ConocoPhillips shut 23,000 barrels a day of North Sea Ekofisk oil production after a platform was damaged by a drifting vessel.

Iran aims to export gas -- minister

TEHRAN (KUNA) -- Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari said here on Monday that Iran will be transform from being a country that imports gas to a country that produces it.

During the inaugration ceremony that was held at Aghajari oilfield in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, Nozari affirmed that his country is willing to increase the productivity of gas through establishing seven new refineries.

Oman plans to slash oil export reliance

Oman plans to drastically reduce its reliance on oil exports and double its income from industrial activities in the coming decade as the Gulf Arab region strives to diversify away from crude export revenues.

The non-Opec oil exporter aims to reduce the contribution of the oil sector to its gross domestic product to 9% by 2020 from 41.5% in 2007, according to an official planning document from the Ministry of National Economy.

Pirates try, fail to hijack Libyan tanker

TRIPOLI - Pirates in the Gulf of Aden fired on a Libyan oil tanker bound for China early on Sunday but failed to hijack the ship which sped on into safer waters, a Libyan newspaper reported.

The Aisha was carrying 144,464 tonnes of Nile crude from Bashir port in Sudan and was in a shipping lane subject to international monitoring, independent daily Oea said, citing a Libyan shipping official.

Nigeria: Oil Companies Oppose Review of Contracts

Federal Government's decision to review existing oil exploration and production contracts in line with the reforms in the oil and gas sector has pitched it against the international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria.

Brazil mulls over pre-salt taxes

Brazilian officials drafting a reform of the oil sector will propose that President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva create a federal tax on companies developing offshore oil reserves deep under the ocean floor, a local newspaper reported today.

Algeria says to raise gas exports by 30 Bcm/yr within five years

Algiers (Platts) - Algeria will boost gas exports by 30 billion cubic meters/year within the next five years to 85 Bcm/year when the Galsi and Medgaz pipelines to Spain and Italy are operational, oil minister Chakib Khelil said Sunday after signing two gas-related contracts worth $1.56 billion with foreign contractors.

The Geopolitics of Global Energy: International Competition, Rivalry and Conflict

An International Workshop on 28-29 May 2009, Birkbeck College, University of London
(The papers given at the workshop can be downloaded in Word format.)

Canada must contain The cost of borrowing money

Italian Economic Development Minister Claudio Scajola called for an alliance between the private sector and governments to spur investment. "When the crisis is over, the risk of insufficient energy supply exists, and as a result high and unstable prices."

From these statements, it appears that some governments finally recognize a precarious situation in oil pricing and supply when they see one. There's a book that just went on my must read list, "Why your world is about to become a lot smaller - Oil and the end of globalization." Jeff Rubin, formerly CIBC's chief economist, foresees future recessions caused by oil price spikes in triple digits.

Kunstler: Lagging Recognition

Through the tangle of green shoots and sprouting mustard seeds, a certain nervous view persists that the arc of events is taking us to places unimaginable. The collapse of General Motors and Chrysler signifies more than the collapse of US car manufacturing. It spells the end of the motoring era in America per se and the puerile fantasy of personal liberation that allowed it to become such a curse to us.

Life behind the plow after Starbucks

Brace yourself for record-high gas prices. We're already paying almost a buck a litre as we reel through the worst recession since the Great Depression.

So just how fast and how high will prices soar when the recession ends and economic engines start firing again in China, India, North America and Europe?

There are two types of scientists...

Assigning any group to one of just two categories is usually little more than an exercise in stereotyping. What do you do with someone like Francis Collins, for example? On the one hand, he's a brilliant genome sequencer, on the other he confuses (as Bob Park aptly writes) a "hormone rush" with "an encounter with God." But every now and then, plotting attitudes on an x-y grid and dividing the Bell curve into left and right halves is useful way of looking at a problem. NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt essentially does this in an interview with Salon's Peter Dizikes, and in doing so helps make clear why geniuses the likes of Freeman Dyson get climate science so very wrong.

Green energy overtakes fossil fuel investment, says UN

Green energy overtook fossil fuels in attracting investment for power generation for the first time last year, according to figures released today by the United Nations.

Wind, solar and other clean technologies attracted $140bn (£85bn) compared with $110bn for gas and coal for electrical power generation, with more than a third of the green cash destined for Britain and the rest of Europe.

World's First Floating Wind Turbine

The world's first water-based, electricity-generating wind turbine is set to be installed off the coast of Norway this coming weekend.

U.S. Foresees a Thinner Cushion of Coal

Every year, federal employee George Warholic calculates America's vast coal reserves the same way his predecessors have for decades: He looks up the prior year's coal-reserve estimate, subtracts the year's nationwide production and arrives at a new official tally.

Coal provides nearly one-quarter of the total energy consumed in the U.S., and by Mr. Warholic's estimate, the country has enough in the ground to last about 240 years. A belief in this nearly boundless supply has led officials to dub the U.S. the "Saudi Arabia of Coal."

But the estimate, recent findings show, may be wildly overconfident.

91.86.90 (video)

91•86•90. What do these numbers mean? Why do they affect you? Why should you care? Steven F. Crower, an energy investment banker from Denver, CO, finds a creative way to present the underlying data of the world's petroleum supplies and why we should pay attention to it...

Oil retreats below $68 as rally stalls

Oil prices dropped below $68 Monday as a rally that has roughly doubled the price of crude in four months lost some steam in the face of economic reality.

Shell CEO warns next oil spike 'may already be in the making'

Kuala Lumpur (Platts) - Oil and gas players are slashing spending on new projects amid the current recession, but as energy demand climbs over the long term, "the next [oil] price spike may already be in the making," the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, Jeroen van der Veer, warned Monday.

The steep slide in oil prices from their historic peak of July 2008 was "only a dent in a graph that goes up all the time," van der Veer said in an address to the 14th Asia Oil and Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur.

Gazprom May Borrow $10.5 Billion From Russian Banks

(Bloomberg) -- OAO Gazprom, Russia’s gas export monopoly, will seek approval from its shareholders to raise up to $10.5 billion in dollar, euro and ruble loans from state banks, it said in a statement on its Web site.

Venezuela state oil company earnings up in 2008

CARACAS (AFP) – Venezuela's state oil company reported Sunday that it reaped a 50 percent increase in earnings in 2008 over the previous year due mainly to high oil prices.

In its annual report, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) said it earned 9.4 billion dollars in 2008. At 126.3 billion dollars, sales of crude oil were up 31.3 percent over the previous year, the company said.

China Companies Eyeing $12 Billion Oil Deals, Morning Post Says

(Bloomberg) -- China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and other Chinese companies are considering overseas acquisitions of oil and gas assets worth as much as $12 billion, the South China Morning Post said, citing unidentified industry sources.

Gazprom CEO predicts oil reaching $85 per barrel by end of 2009

ST. PETERSBURG/MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) - Oil prices should reach $85 per barrel by the end of 2009, the head of Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Friday.

Iraq, Kuwait Dispute Flares Up as Oil Income Falls

(Bloomberg) -- Iraq, holder of the third-largest oil reserves in the world, wants to halt about $25 billion in war- reparation payments to Kuwait as lower oil prices reduce its budget revenue and raise tension between the two neighbors.

High oil prices and the end of globalization really? Or a missed opportunity for Mexico and Venezuela

It is a particularly thankless job to be an oil forecaster, as there are numerous unknowns: from the demand side, China has a very large impact but the accuracy of their information is anybody's guess. From countries with better access to information, such as the United States , there is also large room for error, as most economists can testify from their failure to predict the severity of the current economic recession. From the supply side, accessing the right information is already a challenge. For example, one would expect that OPEC, created by the largest oil producing countries for the sole purpose of defending producers' interests (i.e. prices), would have the best information available on their own members' production. That does not seem to be the case as the Government of Venezuela is trying to convince everybody that Venezuelan production is higher than what OPEC has reported. Of course, the biggest unknown is oil reserves. These are even more difficult to forecast since politicians and company executives have a vested interest in inflating them.

Japan's Itochu takes up fuel storage in Mid East

"They have been looking around for tanks for quite sometime now, but the situation here in the UAE is tough...land storage is tight," a Middle East based trading source said.

"I'm not surprised they jumped at the opportunity to take up those tanks which Morgan Stanley gave up."

U.S bank Morgan Stanley (MS.N), which had previously held the tanks, did not renew its contract after it expired at the end of April, sources said.

Nigeria Tackles Oil And Gas Reform

With 184 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves, 36 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and significant deepwater production growth from finds such as Total's Akpo field, Nigeria remains one of the world's most promising energy markets. Although most attention focuses on the challenges posed by militant groups in the Niger Delta, the success or failure of the country's regulatory reform process could have an even greater impact on future energy production.

Cuba could become U.S. oil supplier at embargo's end

Cuba has launched a bold policy of oil development that could turn the country into an important supplier of fuel in the Caribbean — and the United States, should the embargo be lifted in the future.

But world economic turmoil might sidetrack Venezuela's commitment to underwrite the multimillion-dollar projects in Cuban refineries and ports.

Obama seeks global uranium fuel bank

WASHINGTON - As part of a new strategy to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, President Obama plans to seek the creation of the first-ever international supply of uranium that would allow nations to obtain fuel for civilian nuclear reactors but limit the capacity to make bombs, according to senior administration officials.

Coal's Pipedream?

President Obama should be applauded for taking climate change seriously, recognizing that the phenomenon can be traced to the burning of fossil fuels and intensifying the search for viable solutions. In one of its centerpiece initiatives, however, the administration may be digging a very expensive dry hole.

Green Promise Seen in Switch to LED Lighting

LEDs are more than twice as efficient as compact fluorescent bulbs, currently the standard for greener lighting. Unlike compact fluorescents, LEDs turn on quickly and are compatible with dimmer switches. And while fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, which requires special disposal, LED bulbs contain no toxic elements, and last so long that disposal is not much of an issue.

“It is fit-and-forget-lighting that is essentially there for as long as you live,” said Colin Humphreys, a researcher at Cambridge University who works on gallium nitride LED lights, which now adorn structures in Britain.

Wisconsin: State's wind-power opportunities blowing away

Eight times as much wind power is being generated today as there was a little more than a year ago. But electricity from the wind still accounts for only about 5% of the state's power supply.

Pertamina to cut biodiesel content in gasoil on subsidy issues

Jakarta (Platts) - Indonesia's Pertamina plans to reduce the biodiesel content in its biodiesel-blended gasoil to between 1% and 5% from the current 10% if it does not receive government subsidies on the biofuel for 2009, a senior company official said late last week.

Water Fights, Dying Forests, Roving Homeless Are Earth’s Future

(Bloomberg) -- In one photo, flood-plagued Bangladeshis crowd onto a speck of road surrounded by rising water. Another image gives an aerial view of Florida’s Delray Beach, where luxury high-rise buildings cluster on a thin strip of eroding sand.

Gary Braasch, an award-winning environmental photojournalist, captured those shots and their embedded warning of global catastrophe. His book “Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming Is Changing the World” combines field experience, scientific reporting and stunning pictures of what’s already happening as the planet warms. An updated version of the 2007 edition has been issued by the University of California Press.

Texas: State climatologist talks global warming - “We're going into territory we haven't seen in millions of years”

Nielsen-Gammon said that by midcentury, temperatures will increase by 1 to 3 degrees Celsius, possibly more. Precipitation will become more variable, resulting in more droughts and more floods. Hurricanes will grow fiercer, and Texas' water resources will be depleted about 10 percent.

Globally, there will be “large expanses of the Earth which supported life that no longer do so,” he said.

China and U.S. Seek a Truce on Greenhouse Gases

WASHINGTON — For months the United States and China, by far the world’s two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, have been warily circling each other in hopes of breaking a long impasse on global warming policy.

They are, as President Obama’s chief climate negotiator puts it, “the two gorillas in the room,” and if they do not reach some sort of truce, there is no chance of forging a meaningful international treaty in Copenhagen later this year to restrict emissions.

Climate change groundhog day

The same nonsense, the same confusions - all seem to be endlessly repeated. But what needs more explaining?

Canada "bullying" developing countries over Kyoto: Environmentalists

OTTAWA — Environmentalists say government documents show Canada's role in international climate change negotiations includes "bullying" developing countries, backpedalling on commitments and attempting to exploit divisions in Europe.

Indian farmers to insure themselves against climate change crop failure

For more than half a million farmers in rural India the age old fear of crops failing due to bad weather could soon be banished, thanks to an innovative insurance scheme that UN negotiators gathering in Bonn this week are considering as a central component of climate change adaptation measures in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Following a successful trial last month, MicroEnsure, a company specialising in providing insurance to poor communities, plans to launch a scheme next year for up to 600,000 farmers in India's Kolhapur province allowing them to insure against their rice crops failing due to drought or heavy rains during the plants' flowering period.

A U.S./EU Dogfight Over Greener Air Travel

American airlines are balking at new EU emission rules, but with British Airways and others on board, they may be fighting a battle they can't win.

Airlines reject new tax to fight global warming

The airline industry has rejected calls for a compulsory tax on international flights to help the world's poorest countries fight global warming.

The chief executive of the International Air Transport Association, Giovanni Bisignani, said carriers were "absolutely against" another levy in a year that the industry is expected to lose $9bn.

Train can be worse for climate than plane

True or false: taking the commuter train across Boston results in lower greenhouse gas emissions than travelling the same distance in a jumbo jet. Perhaps surprisingly, the answer is false.

A new study compares the "full life-cycle" emissions generated by 11 different modes of transportation in the US. Unlike previous studies on transport emissions, this one looks beyond what is emitted by different types of car, train, bus or plane while their engines are running and includes emissions from building and maintaining the vehicles and their infrastructure, as well as generating the fuel to run them.

Re: U.S. Foresees a Thinner Cushion of Coal (linked uptop)

This WSJ article discusses David Rutledge's work and talks about "Peak Coal." And of course, I would anticipate that net coal exports, which the EIA calculates in terms of BTU's, will show a long term accelerating decline rate. Here are the combined net coal exports from the US and China versus Australia, from 1998 to 2007 (EIA, quadrillion BTU's):

China & US:
1998: 2.8
2007: 1.1
Down -1.7

1998: 4.3
2007: 6.2
Up: +1.9

In other words, as of 2007 virtually all of the nine year increase in net coal exports from Australia went to offset the decline in net coal exports from China & the US. Although the US showed an uptick in 2007 (to a level well below its 1998 rate), China has probably virtually now ceased being a net coal exporter, on a BTU basis.

NOT good (for humans)! Looks like serious energy crisis in the making.

Based on one key criterion--net exports relative to a recent peak-- the US is very much the "Saudi Arabia of Coal, in the sense that recent Saudi net oil exports, while showing a year over year increase, are well below its recent net export peak, much like recent US net coal export numbers.

Any idea as to when the US will stop being a net coal exporter?

We were pretty close to zero in 2006, down about 90% from the 1981 level. Here are some recent US net coal export numbers (EIA, quadrillion BTU's):

1981: 2.9

1996: 2.1

2006: 0.3

2007: 0.6

Looks like it might be a good idea to stock up on extra blankets for the upcoming Winter(s).

Better yet, upgrade your house with super insulation and solar heating. Winter's only a few months away, better get moving (he says, thinking of the wood stove he didn't get installed last summer)...

E. Swanson

Shared bodily warmth is also a good idea.

If there are any hot young blossoms out there willing to share some warmth with a lonely old farmer with a good survival plan please reply immediately.


After some thought it sudden hit me that: IF we can keep current production rates up, then we ONLY HAVE 14 years worth of coal left!
(.06% x 240 years)

In last week's Energy Bulletin article:
The decline of the American Empire
by Dave Cohen


Secretary of the Department of Interior (DOI), Ken Salazar says:
“This will help the department determine where seismic tests should be conducted. Some of the data on the Atlantic are more than 30 years old.”

QUESTION: Do geological formations change THAT much within 30 years?

No, but the technology used to take the survey has advanced wildly.

Change in seismic imaging over the last 30 years: As Larry points out a fair anology would be the difference to doing calcuatlations with a machanical additng maching vs. using a spreadsheet on a laptop. Not really an exaggeration.

The 300 million barrel oil fields being drilled in the Deep Water GOM and offshore Brazil right now were invisible to seismic 30 years ago.

One thing that has not changed is the difference in coastal onshore oil production from Brownsville, Texas to Pensacola, Florida--versus US Eastern Seaboard coastal onshore oil production.

if there were ghawars to be discovered, a frieden calculator would work ok.


Re: Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

Per-mile costs are interesting but rather meaningless unless comparing two real-life alternatives. You cannot commute downtown on a 747. And there is a difference between someone flying across the ocean for a holiday and taking a bus around town the same number of miles in the span of a year. Driving across the US vs. flying? Might depend on the number of passengers in the car.

Yeah, I found that article to be particularly inane. While it is always a good idea to consider embodied energy, there are a number of other considerations to keep in mind.

The ease of taking a plane across long distances means that it is hugely enabling in making people think that taking very long trips is normal thing to do.

Unless you are sailing, or perhaps floating down a very long river, long-distance trips are always going to be large consumers of energy and emitters of greenhouse gases. Anything that makes such trips more convenient is a disservice to future energy availability and future global viability.

And of course unless we want to fly everywhere, we will need some kinds of roads which will need to be maintained, even if their just for bikes, carts, and walkers. So it's not just cars and buses that we have to count road building and maintenance.

The fact is that the minutes it takes to go from 0 to ~600 mph and from ground level to ~five miles above the surface is about the highest level of energy and the highest levels of ghg's you can emit in that short a time legally.

They are trying too hard now. This comment is now making the rounds in the news.

How can the unemployment rate continue to rise sharply while job losses are growing milder? Goolsbee says recent indicators showing improvement in some sectors of the U.S. economy are encouraging Americans who had stopped looking for work to re-enter the job market. With a larger pool of workers comes higher unemployment when the economy continues to shed jobs.

Come on, "improvement in some sectors of the U.S. economy are encouraging Americans who had stopped looking for work to re-enter the job market".
Who are they kidding. New people are entering the job market because their spouse lost their job, and two seekers are better than one.

At the beginning of the year I didn't know of any families who were "doubling up" in a single household... today I know of three. It's especially heartbreaking when you hear the stories of people who are near retirement age who now no longer expect to see a pension.

i recently rented out a 1 bedroom house. the house was on the market for 2 months. the prospective tenant were mostly either unemployed or questionably "self employed" or wanted to move a family into this hovel.

As we all know, there are lots of things going on now that don't show up in the statistics.
My neighbors are a good example. He is an independent contractor, he flies around re-educating management teams. Obviously, his work has slowed to a trickle, but he is not ever showing up as laid-off. His wife, who hasn't worked for years, is now looking for anything that could help.

Ignorant - Re: " It's especially heartbreaking when you hear the stories of people who are near retirement age who now no longer expect to see a pension."

I am not sure what you mean. All pensions are subject to vesting rules (the "elderly" should be vested, unless they just went to work at age 60+) and do not disappear with loss of job or bankruptcy [they are funded by trusts that are not reachable by any creditor at any time in any state in the US]. So, do you mean that they will not see a pension because they will not retire? But, if they have not lost their job, why not retire on schedule as planned?

Perhaps they are fearfull of not collecting Social Security (a pension). But, that is not possible. If you think that will happen, explain how Obama will make that happen.

I think most 401Ks aren't where people were expecting them to be.

Social Security Age requirements are climbing.

Many IRAs need to be withdrawn by age 70.

Reduced medical benefits if they don't keep working.

I hear these stories... I don't ask for details.

I am not sure what you mean. All pensions are subject to vesting rules

The "trusts" for pension funds are invested in stocks and bonds. If due to severely bad performance in the market employers can be tapped to top off the funds. But, if those employers have gone bankrupt, the money simply won't be there to pay the full package of obligations. Usually they end up in the PBGC, which is the government pension guarantee program. That program doesn't pay all pensions out at par (it would go broke trying), and has a cap on each pension. I have one that I expect to go bad (I have several years yet to go), and the cap is a small fraction of the current benfits promise.
So while pensions won't vanish, they can -and many will suffer serious reductions in their payouts. I believe the immune ones are those that have already been paying out for at least five years.

The state of Wisconsin has been forced to cut the pensions of its retired state workers for that reason.

That's one heck of a cutback (39%) for those in the variable fund. State investment plans seem to be doing particulary bad, and were also caught up in the collpase of the auto industry.

I expect the this trend to spread rather rapidly across the country, whether retirees like it or not. And yes, I do feel their pain - my spouse has taken a beating on a retirement plan that went up in smoke in a bankruptcy, and now is stuck with the PBGC.

I can't even read that piece, its 'un-intelligable'...


encouraging Americans who had stopped looking for work to re-enter the job market

These people would have been in U6 correct? And now they are shoing up in U3? I suppose I could Google but did the change in U6 suggest this is the case? Granted some people might have "moved" from U3 to U6 as well.

I believe BLS job losses are net of gains and losses. Gotta account for those "temporary" new gummint workers (census) and those who may end up out of work when their stimulus jobs ends.

In the final it is just re-arranging deck chairs and the Titanic IMHO..

Too many stats, too much spin, too many talking heads.


Too many spinning heads talking stats?

The length of the work week fell sharply (much more than in the previous month). Companies laid off fewer people, but cut the hours of those still employed. To achieve the same reduction by laying people off would have raised the job losses to over 900,000. This was a dismal jobs report talked up by a disingenuous media. Source: Payroll Data in Perspective

I realize that it's still bad, but at least employers are taking the path of the lesser evil. It's probably better in the long run to reduce hours than to reduce numbers.

I agree that it is the lesser evil socially; having a job that pays less is usually better than not having a job. However, I'm not sure it is better economically; money unearned is money unspent. The economic impact of 4 people working 30 hours a week is the same as 3 working 40 hours. In fact, the latter is probably greater, because the 4th (laid off) person could collect unemployment insurance.

In any case, it is too early to tell whether the change from layoffs to reducing hours is positive sign or not. I rather expect June to go the other way, as companies do what they did in March -- dump workers near the end of the quarter so their earnings don't look so bad.

It may be bad for the economy, but the economy is inherently unsustainable. It's going to have to contract. I think shorter work hours are the best way to achieve this. Better than some people massively overworked while others have no jobs. Or everyone working just as much, but getting paid less.

The extra hours off would also give people the time to transition to something else.

Agree strongly. When resource constraints begin to hit, better to have more equitable policies than a winner takes all one. Might be heresy as far as the Great American/Chinese/Indian Dream to say this but... (and maybe its just me - left of centre - who thinks this way).

Too many 4th people out of jobs and the other 3 will be in trouble. Might not be able to keep the money they earn and the stuff they accumulate. Better to have 4 working - keeps them all out of trouble.


Also important is the fact that 3 people working 40 hours will have more DISCRETIONARY income than 4 people working 30 hours. They will spend more. More new cars, more vacations, more nights out. That's what the economy needs to grow.

BLS = Bureau of Lies and Statistics. Should be shortened to Bureau of Statistics, as it is pure BS.

Big Brother has increased the size of the chocolate ration!

At least Apple understands how bad unemployment has gotten: Apple cuts iPhone to $99, Jobs nowhere in sight

Re: Green Promise Seen in Switch to LED Lighting

"LEDs are more than twice as efficient as compact fluorescent bulbs, currently the standard for greener lighting..."

These claims that LEDs are "twice as efficient" as CFLs annoy me to no end. A standard Philips 25-watt Universal CFL provides 1,750 initial lumens or 70 lumens per watt. By comparison, Cree's LR6 downlight, arguably one of the most technologically advanced LED products currently available, produces 650 lumens and draws 12-watts -- 54 lumens per watt. That number will fall over time, so by the end of its 50,000 hour nominal life, it will be operating at 38 lumens per watt or less, assuming, that is, it's still operational (the Philips Universal by the end of its 15,000 hour life will be running between 55 and 60 lumens/watt).

If I'm sadly behind the times and there are commercially available products that outperform the LR6, I'll be happy to eat crow. Until then, I'll remain a grumpy old man waiving my cane at passing clouds.


50,000 hours? The article says the LEDs will last more than 22 years.

In shifting to LED lighting, the palace is part of a small but fast-growing trend that is redefining the century-old conception of lighting, replacing energy-wasting disposable bulbs with efficient fixtures that are often semi-permanent, like those used in plumbing.

Hi Leanan,

Assuming six hours per day usage, that would be theoretically possible; in typical residential applications, an average of four hours per day is commonly used for estimation purposes.

With respect to rated life, you can view the LR6 spec sheet at http://www.creeledlighting.com/downloads/LR6_spec_072908.pdf

Unless labour costs are enormously high, I know of no LED products that outperform linear fluorescent or CFLs (some high performance T8s are now rated at 46,000 hours and maintain 93 to 96 per cent of their initial lumens at end of life). And if labour is the critical concern, I would be more inclined to go with induction, e.g., Sylvania's ICETRON or Philip's QL lamps.

See: http://www.nam.lighting.philips.com/us/ecatalog/hid/pdf/p-5456d.pdf

See also: http://www.sylvania.com/ConsumerProducts/LightingForHome/Products/BulbTy...


There are applications for LED lights that are extremely efficient because the current usage is not fluorescent type light bulbs. Examples are replacement for incandescent automotive bulbs used in tail lights and such. There the comparison is between incandescent and LED. And flashlights are another example as in this advertisement at the local Menard's store:.

LED Crank Flashlight


Turn handle to charge light! * 3 LED lights 210-7990

After $5.00 Mail-In Rebate. With additional $10 purchase of separate non-rebated items. Rebate limit 2 flashlights per household. While Supplies Last! Rebate is in form of merchandise credit check. Redeemable by addressee only.

I picked up a couple of these this weekend. Got 2 more a month ago on a similar offer for 4 altogether. I like them a lot since they do not require batteries. Just crank them to recharge.

No question, there are a number of applications such as you describe where LEDs are a great choice, but for general room illumination, they're not going to fly. This NYT article would suggest otherwise, but it simply ain't so.


I like them a lot since they do not require batteries. Just crank them to recharge.

No batteries? What do you think you are recharging?
I was going to buy one of the crank type radios until it dawned upon me to look a little deeper and found that they have batteries with limited life that have to be replaced (which in many cases means unsoldering them from the innards and resoldering new ones in place - Or just replacing the entire unit - Many early hand calculators were like this.)
Place your wonderful hand crank unit in the drawer for 2, 3 or 5 years and then see if it will still "crank" back to life?

Some of these flashlights work by charging capacitors, as well. Don't know how long they'll live.. but 'not requiring batteries' was probably intended to mean the obvious, that the product is already complete with internal storage of some sort.

Regarding those "shaker" flashlights that were popular a couple years ago. If you look close inside you will see 2 disks stacked together, those 2 disks are CR2032 lithium(non rechargeable) batteries that supplied all the power. The magnet and coil were there only for looks. Take out the batteries, shake as hard as you can, all you get are some dim flickers. Those things were a joke.

The "shake" flashlights were pieces of junk. Never worked well.

I like the crank LED flashlights, though. Garrity is my favorite brand. I have several, and find them very useful.

No, they won't last forever. But at $10 a pop, I'm not expecting an heirloom.


I tried some of the capacitor charged lights,got a dozen of them at a flea market and gave them away for buddies to stick under truck seats.

Quality control seems to be the problem.When you shake the light to charge it,it self destructs pdq,like a passenger car driven over a rocky field.

I believe that if you could buy one built to last,it would.It might be necessary to arrange for changing out the magnet occasionally as it seems magnets won't stand a lot of rough handling-getting slammed back and forth as you charge the light.

It's the palace! Not exactly your typical residential application. ;-)

I'm hoping LEDs work out, because I hate CFLs with the intensity of a thousand burning suns.

And there is no way they have a 25-year life, as claimed for LEDs. At least, not in my place.

I really like the idea of lighting as permament, like plumbing. Of course you do still have to repair and replace from time to time...but you don't keep spare toilets or faucets around, like you do light bulbs.

Anecdotally, a friend and his wife have been trying out LED lamps for parts of their house, and have had a lot of early burnouts. I think there has been a strong tendency to overdrive a lot of these new LED packages, to give them that glisteny sparkle we expect from our years under Incandescent lighting.. and the costs of those decisions will soon become apparent.

I do like LEDs, but it'll be a bit as they work out the kinks. I'm also a bigger fan of using CFL's in appropriate and attractive fixtures that offer plenty of Airflow, since overheated ballasts seems to have been an early killer of some of my CFLs. But put a lamp inside a paper ("Chinese") lantern, or Japanese Paper Tower, and I find the light to be smooth and easy to work around..


Hi Bob,

That pretty much sums up my experience as well. Given our albeit limited experience with the technology, we do not recommend LED fixtures to our clients. There's been considerable pressure put on us to go this route, from customers and suppliers alike, but the technology is far from mature and the economics are exceedingly poor (even halogen-IR can be more cost effective).


Anything with electronics is still going to be subject to quality issues. You've got circuitry running on AC mains with switch-mode power supplies. That means a fairly high degree of complexity. Switching power supplies can be optimized to dissipate very little power (obviously part of efficiency), but there is plenty of power available. A little leakage here, some slow rise or fall times there, and power dissipation rapidly exceeds what was planned for in the design. Add to that line transients, electrolytic caps, lead free solder and a low cost and you've got a receipt for failure. I've lost quite a few CFL's to random failure, and have had at least 3 that didn't work properly out of the box. It's exactly what I would expect - what do you suppose is the relative complexity of a hot wire in inert gas vs. the circuit in a CFL (and likely the LED bulb too)? There is always a cost to complexity, and a trade off between efficiency and resiliency.

..but a bigger trade-off with the 'Hyper-economizing' of many electronic products. It's possible to build Fluorescents with high standards that will live far longer, as with LED's .. but they do have to be sourced carefully (both in terms of quality MFR, and quality Power)

Complexity isn't always the bottleneck.. in some things it's essential. (Gardening, for example.. a very subtle and multifaceted art if there ever was one!)

Certainly you can make a quality CFL, but to make CFLs for every socket requires something else - either really cheap CFLs or really expensive energy (which is another way of saying fewer more expensive bulbs). I've had quite a few CFLs for several years now, but I'm getting tired of replacing them when they fail.

Once I clued in and let air move through, or let them keep cool however was necessary, I've had essentially no burnouts, and I've been seeing this with some of the cheap brands. I have one that's 6 or so years old.. the ballast had pulled open from a fall or something, and it just hangs out in the air (within a diffusion covering), the tube and ballast circuit dangling by their respective leads.. I suspect it's the healthiest CFL I own.

I haven't had a CFL burn out yet. I've lost two to cats.

Well, I'm sure Buckingham Place is, well, palatial, having only peered through the windows from outside the gates. Nonetheless, at 50,000 hours those 32,000 custom LEDs will be some 30 per cent dimmer and their light output will continue to fall with each passing hour (and if junction temperatures exceed their maximum ratings, they'll be a whole lot dimmer or dead altogether).

LEDs are an incredibly poor investment, given that there's no guarantee they'll ever achieve full maturity. A 12-watt LR6 conversion kit goes for about $100.00 a pop, whereas the equivalent wattage 10,000 hour CFL reflector retails for perhaps one-tenth that. If that CFL dies, no big deal, but if an LR6 croaks, the language from my mouth would blush a sailor.


I have always wondered how they come up with a life expectancy for a LED? After all they can't actually test the lifespan before they market it. All they can do is way overpower one until it fails, and make some guesstimates from there.

There is one in my bedroom that has been on continuously since 1979.

I think people just expect anything that puts out light must eventually fail. LED's are little different from transistors or rectifiers, no one expects those to have a limited life.

Paul M.

Edit: Bob, hope your friend was able to get an exchange under warranty.

The phosphorous coatings and binders for white LEDs deteriorate over time, so light output falls to the point where they are no longer economical to operate (too few lumens per watt) or the lamp is no longer suitable for the intended task (just too dim).

This article might be of interest: http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/solidstate/pdf/guSPIE.pdf


Actually, rectifiers and transistors do not have unlimited life, although they seemed miraculous compared to the ephemeral vacuum tubes they replaced. They are made of materials, all of which deteriorate on their own over time. These days, they are mostly housed in plastic. All known plastics, even Teflon, absorb moisture in considerable quantity, and it is a killer. In addition, rectifiers and transistors that are actually operating contain energetic charge carriers that add to the deterioration, displacing atoms from their positions in the crystal lattice of the device itself.

Not only do plastics absorb moisture, they deteriorate rapidly (though they may seem durable to biologists annoyed by plastic residue and accustomed to reckoning time in mayfly lifespans.) Find an old piece of plastic of practically any description and it's likely to be a warped, crazed, cracked, and/or yellowed mess. Yellowing, by the way, is one reason to house electronic parts in the customary black plastic (keeping light off the chip itself is another.) Customers can't see how badly deteriorated their old electronic devices actually are. Of course, black plastic isn't too useful for visible LEDs, so clear plastic is used, and it yellows quite nicely indeed. The brighter and shorter-wavelength the light or the hotter the LED crystal, the faster the yellowing. Small plastic-housed UV LEDs may be down to 50% brightness in just 100 hours.

Then there's the LED crystal itself. The same energetic charge carriers that create the light can also ruin the function of the crystal material over time. The process is fairly well characterized, so that reasonable guesstimates of dimming versus power level and time are not terribly hard to come by. (Look up "activation energy".) It can be mitigated, but that learning curve is still being traversed.

Oh, and let's not even talk "organic" LEDs, i.e. those where the emitting material itself is plastic. They combine the worst of all these worlds and generally seem far from ready for prime time.

In the above article about "the next [oil] price spike may already be in the making", formerly much acclaimed "superspike" guy Murti sees oil only heading to about $70 this year.

In an unrelated article, Murti says:

Goldman Sachs analyst Arjun Murti said the trough in the oil cycle has passed and a new upturn is underway. Crude oil has risen 26 percent since the start of the year and is now trading at US$68.44 per barrel.

"We continue to believe that crude oil supply remains structurally challenged," Murti said.


Structurally challenged? No mention of superspikes?

Seems like a lot of former 'doomers' have been noticeably quiet these days. Or in other words, there are not many that expect oil prices to move higher from here. However based upon strong US gasoline demand, signs of US diesel exports to Europe, and upticks in Asian economies, I wouldn't bet on oil prices dropping much.

Oil is close to 70 a barrel and storage levels are close to all time highs.

Whats the price of oil if we even go to the mid range much less the bottom of the five year storage range ?

I'd suggest.

70 ( current )
140 ( middle of five year )
210 ( bottom of five year range )

As a very reasonable estimate. Right now small changes in storage levels are causing a 2-3 dollar variation in the price of oil.

How fast can we reach these levels ?

Well the last super spike took about seven months to develop. Given we will be retracing below the previous high if we enter a constrained oil environment one can expect more rapid price movement. So three months to go from 70 to 140 is not impossible. That also happens to be close to the minimum amount of time it would proably take to drain down 20-30 million barrels to put us closer to the middle range assuming a pulldown of about 2-2.5 million barrels a week.

I've actually been actively disscussing this but have moved over to

On this thread:

Weekly US Petroleum and NG Supply Reports 2009

Over at http://peakoil.com

The problem is the situation is complex and just looking at oil prices alone is not a good approach. We have new low sulfur requirements for shipping in effect in the North Sea. The US has become a major exporter of distillates gasoline imports have been fairly low etc. And this year we have a significant excess in refining capacity which mean at least one major refiner is not long for this world. In any case Pup55's invaluable in helping understand short term issues.

But I've certainly been active just moved some of my short term observations to a better venue and I like Pup's work.

Anyway I've been very active over the last several months just only posting summaries as needed on the oildrum. We may have seen several fundamental changes in the oil markets this year that are fascinating.

But seriously think about it storage levels are well above the top of the five year range and oil is 70 a barrel. Think hard.

There is accumulating evidence that your observations about gasoline/diesel may be correct. The 'surplus' unwanted diesel in the US is being welcomed in Europe, meanwhile US gasoline supplies in the upper US midwest are still at low levels - although some improvement is expected in July as refiners pick up the pace of refinery utilization.

From an Israeli paper today:

Globes Online
June 8, 2009

Oil Refineries board again approves hydrocracker

"In addition, some of the products of the cracker will be exported to the Mediterranean area and to markets close to us, where there is currently a shortage of diesel fuel."

Crude oil inventories are definitely high, but some Days of Supply perspective:

I thought that as soon as crude inventories began to decline, crude oil prices would be off the races again, even without a substantial recovery in global demand, because of the net export problem.

Westexas there is a lot more to it these days. Given the amount of re-exporting of distillates its wrong to count every imported barrel at par.

Next if the oil traders are just rolling inventory then you really should treat the inventory they control as simply another oil producer with the twist that they are effectively reducing future net exports of other exporters. As long as they continue to buy a barrel in the future for every barrel they sell today they are not true inventory.

Crude they are holding is effectively not available for refining. Outside of preventing shortages in a lot of ways you can ignore it.

Lets assume Oil Traders control 50 million barrels that have been landed in the US.

From here.

We have total inventories at 366 million barrel.

366 - 50 = 316 available for normal use.

Next US inventories got really whacked during the hurricanes last year. I question if 20 million barrels exist.

If this is true then oil available is.

316 - 20 = 296.

Looking at last year with 306 and removing only oil at cushing during the same time.

306 - 21 = 285.

With these sorts of calculations our current inventory can be mapped back to about Oct 2007 when prices where in the 80-90 range.

This suggests that oil is currently undervalued by over ten a barrel right now.
Of course this is rough and +/- 5-10 million or so changes things a bit. But regardless in general the price of oil is a bit low at the moment.

I'd say this current rally should readily be able to go to 80-90 before consolidation and a bit of a pullback before heading higher.

Plenty of room for it to move to 90 in the near term. Many good reasons at that point for a bit of a consolidation before moving higher. But I don't see any intrinsic reasons for the oil price not to take a range of values between 75-90 over the short term.

FWIW, regular in my little boondocks, northern CA town was $2.999 this morning.


Regular over $3 a gallon almost everywhere in Marin.

$3.17 this morning in Arcata, CA. Up 20 cents since last week.

$2.55 in Central NH.

I have began to watch the HOME video as linked to by Robert Rapier in DB7.

I am awed, saddened to tears,astounded, and worried beyond almost my ability to absorb.

Surely anyone who watches this video can no longer doubt that those of us humans, gathered on the thin skin of the 3rd planet out from the sun are in dire nay,,extremely dangerous and damaging events to all we have inherited. We as a species have gone beyond the pale.

We now sail into the endtimes of our species and many others.Heaven will not help us. We can no longer help ourselves.

We are watching the total absolute destruction of ages and eons of a planets formation. We are the destroyers. None can deny any longer.

I will try to engage some of my friends to view this. For those who do not understand. So that many can prepare for what comes this way. What slouches this way. What comes to destroy us. Not to prepare to survive but to face it head on and pass something forward through time. Of mistakes not to make.Of how we failed. Events race before us now, speeding up even. Waiting for no man its got its own timetable.

I am unable to view this all in one sitting. This is a very dire message. I can say no more. This says it all, forever. Amen.

Airdale-from this point on we are just able to talk, the time for action is now over,Gods save us or save your work and let us go. Let others come forth. We failed.

Hey Airdale,
mind dropping the Link to that here? I must have missed it.. (DB7? June 7?)


Yes, yesterday.


A very well done film, and covers many of the other resource depletion issues. It is easy for us here to focus on energy, but there are others.


I will give a slight overview of my own impressions.

The imagery is real and top notch. Some of the best I have ever seen. Its mostly flyovers with some on the ground but mostly large views.

The background music is superb. Some of what sounds like tribal music with drums,etc. Some operatic and other mixtures that coexist with the voice overs extremely well.

The voice over of the female speaker is very good and easily understood even on the tinnest of speakers. The cadence and timing is exactly right on.

Its an hour and a half. Hard to tear one's self away.

The ending was a sort of a suprise and was done such that it was not just doomer fare which would have perhaps had a negative impact on many and many will just look at some of the opening and dismiss it with a snidely remark. Their loss.

Overall I was highly impressed at its presentation. Its free BTW. I tried but couldn't sucessfully download it. And didn't want to load up with a lot of bogus freebie tools of questionable value.

This to me sets the standard but I am sure many will quibble about some of the data stated yet I doubt it was that far off.

This to me ranks as work that could be shown to small or large audiences to get their attention.

It gives 10 years for us to completely reverse the trends. With tipping points already met I doubt if much of that is ever possible,likely never. Yet I think they had to bring up some optimism at the end for use because that is what the 'crowd' wants to hear. And then walk out saying "Well then, someone or TPTB will take care of it all and so lets go get some mexican and a couple margaritas dear,,there there it will be ok."

Airdale-I'll take a bbq pork,bourbon and coke myself and for the rest?...back to normal chatter and nattering denialism

If you read the comments on the Youtube site, you see lots of right-wing denialism. They are inclined to immediately dismiss it all as propaganda. I suppose in the RWAU (right-wing alternate universe) that they get from their favorite media outlets none of this is true.

Thanks, A-D.
I'll give it a watch once the girl is asleep. I'm on cloud-9 for a while now, as 'She just read ME' a book at bedtime.. her first time really being confident sounding out words and hearing herself read.

There's time for the darker predictions later tonight.. right now, it's all growth and promise.

Shiva is your friend (..and slayer!)


..or as Homer said, "Beer, the Solution, and cause, of all our problems!"

Thanks for this airdale, I would have missed it otherwise. I would recommend this to everyone.


Not to worry. You have a good garden, a good place and some stuff put up. As such, you are better off that 90 plus percent of Americans. That's about all you can do and watch TSHTF. Be One.


I am in decent shape. BUT...two days ago I noticed my freezer outside was not running. Lifted the top and looked at a full freezer full of rotten food. Had been dead for at least 5 days. About two years worth of frozen garden produce and meat.

Thinking back I realized what happened. One dark night about 3:00 AM I saw my nite light flick off and heard the noise of a power outage. It clicked on and off rapidly for about 20 cycles. Enough to TOTAL the AC motor on the freezer.

This is the result of very dirty power from the Elec Co-op who supplies us. They charge us way over what others pay. About 14 cents/kwh and yet deliver the dirtiest power I have encountered. As a Co-Op we have no recourse and they have zero oversight from any agency.

Guess I am lucky I didn't lose more but that one really hurt.

So for the future I will NEVER use a freezer again. I suspect that the power will continue to degrade even though a billion dollars were spent after the ice storm to repair 'dominoed line poles' and huge runs of lines...the linesman made a fortune in overtime. We sucked the bad stuff and lost much.

I suggest many who are relying on freezers for possible use in the future discard that idea rapidly and get right into canning of food.

I have 2 water bath and 4 pressure canners. I have brought 6 more cases of canning jars for this years produce. I will NEVER trust electrical means of food storage again.

Airdale-no insects,few birds,no bees,trees shattered,apple trees gone,peach tree has one small branch left,all pears failed to set right,,,,way too much rain,but the garden is thriving...

Man, I'm sorry to hear that, Airdale.

I'm aiming towards a Castle/Keep approach, if I get the chance, where I'll build a sizable, and MASSIVELY insulated walk-in refrigeration room in the basement, with a further insulated freezer area within that. It may have solar/ammonia adsorption cooling, probably store blocks of winter Ice for as long as they hold.. but mainly, it will be thermal mass, insulation and entry by stairs, so no cold leaks out..

Still somewhere between a plan and a dream at this point.. but I know it would work and work well..


Just bought 60 shares of a UNG (US natural gas fund) at $14.16 after selling my 22 position of USO (US oil fund) at $38.06, which I bought at $32.77. I figure with oil at near $70 while natural gas hasn't changed much from its lows. Natural gas hit an 18:1 price differential, which hasn't happened since '92. With US drilling rigs cut in half, it's only seems a matter of time before it heads back up.

Just wondering, why is the price of NGVs significantly higher than that of normal cars. For example, the Civic GX is more expensive than the Civic hybrid. I can't think of a good reason why that would be?

get thee hence quickly to the cutting edge site and read thier piece on Honda's ngv bailout-as in bailing out of the business.

NG fuel tanks are pressure vessels, thats one place the cost would be higher compared to a simple liquid fuel tank. Throw in the assorted valves and coupling hardware needed to add more fuel to the vehicle.

The rest is probably markup by the manufacturers because the invisible hand of the market says they can.

My guess Dax is that they are priced with respect to demand. Same reason the PT Crusier sold for $25k when it first rolled out and you can pick them up for $10k less now. When something is hot demand sets the price...not the construction cost IMO. Not a perfect relationship but it often works that way.

Adsorbed natural gas is an interesting tech to keep an eye on. Using activated carbon or other porous material you can store gas at a much lower pressure with the same volumetric energy density as gas at a much higher pressure. The tank also doesn't have to be a cylinder so can fit into the vehicle more easily.

With regards to cost premium of natural gas vehicles I think thats mostly to do with the storage and the smaller production volumes.

I apologize for going off topic and trying to use you guys like a man page, but is there anyone here that is up to speed on capital cost and O&M issues for fuel cells? I have something due today, this area is totally foreign to me, and I'm wallowing in a sea of junk coming back from Google searches.

I'm at the strandedwind.org domain and my email are the three initials of my userid here on TOD.

Polls I would like to see (and answers based on reality, not wishful thinking and blind faith/"hope"):

Can the United States survive even one term - 4 years - of Obama, or will the USA experience collapse as grand as, or worse than, the collapse of the former Soviet Union?

My guess is that for the vast majority of people, even here at TOD, this is not even a question that would enter their minds.

What is better for the future of our species and planet (I said future - completely ignore the welfare of the present 6+ billion bipeds, including yourself)?

a) a very rapid (~ a decade or so) collapse of civilization now that would result in billions of deaths but would leave the majority of our current resources for the future, including a functioning ecosystem ?

b) a very slow collapse or "soft landing," which would allow us continue to waste resources and destroy the ecosystem but also allow us to continue the current charade - complete with intellectual masterbation by scientists and engineers, and political posturing by alledged "leaders."???

Hello Sendoilplease,

[Newbies: please google] I myself am drawn to the growing probability of Jay Hanson's fast-crash Thermo/Gene Collision scenario and Duncan's Olduvai Gorge quick Re-Equalizing of Society [your option A?], but I would like to see Peak Outreach grow, plus much more, so that a somewhat slower Optimal Overshoot Decline can occur. This would be in keeping with today's JHKunstler Quote:

"But somebody has to set in motion the chain of recognition, or events will soon do it for us."

IMO, Archdruid Greer's long and grinding Catabolic Collapse would probably lead to our extinction [your option B?].

IMO, ideally we want to paradigm shift in such manner that what is best from the present can be retained in the future: wheelbarrows are better than Tlameme backpacking, ball-bearings are much better than not having them, etc. Plus a great reverence and deep understanding of the Circle of Life such as preferring the use of O-NPK over I-NPK whenever possible, limiting population and the reason why [Malthus, Dr. Bartlett, et al], plus much more, such as never allowing debt again.

It is very important, IMO, when we reach the Undershoot Phase that we ALL are aware of the future consequences of Jay's 'Requiem', and we won't ever want to go there again:

Well-intended activists from both the Left and Right -- armed with facts and ideologies -- will form political movements, select the best liars for leaders, and take to the streets demanding that government take us back to "the good old days". The worse our problems become, the more they will act instead of think. The less they think, the worse our problems will become. Social order will disintegrate, and Roadside Warriors will go mad, killing, raping, torturing, and burning...

It really will be back to the good old days! Shouts of "BRING ME HIS HEAD" will ring through the land, slaves, scalps, souvenirs and trophies of all sorts, ... exciting possibilities limited only by our ingenuity.

The good news is that recycling will finally become fashionable! We will see feral children mining the dumps for plastic to burn (Pampers) so they can heat the hovels they are forced to live in. The strongest kids will set traps for fresh meat -- rats -- while the weaker kids will eat anything they can cram into their mouths (old shoes, styrofoam peanuts, newspaper soup). Pandemics will sweep the world, punctuated every so often by explosions as abandoned and rotting nuclear facilities blow up. Leaking dumps and tanks will spew PCBs and radioactive hazwaste into the feral food chain spawning surprising new shapes for young mothers to enjoy nursing.[55] Toxic chemical fires, blowing garbage and trash, genetic mutations, filthy water, cannibalism ...

As the Easter Islanders say: "The flesh of your mother sticks between my teeth".[56]

The situation will be especially serious for a short time because the population will keep rising due to the lags inherent in the age structure and social adjustment. Then mercifully, the population will drop sharply as the death rate is driven upward by lack of food and health services.[57] Trapped in obsolete belief systems, Americans won't even know why their society disintegrated.

A hundred thousand years from now -- once the background radiation levels drop below lethality -- a new Homo mutilus will crawl out of the caves to elect a leader. Although we have no idea what mutilus might look like, evolutionary theory can still tell us who will win the election. ***He will be the best liar running on a platform to end hunger by controlling nature.***

How could it be otherwise?
My goal of Optimal Overshoot Decline and Peak Outreach IS TO TRY TO MAKE IT OTHERWISE--but it is a very daunting task. Consider just the difficulty I have in convincing Tiger Woods, for Google to have the 'I'm feeling unlucky' button, and for a 'Digital Countdown' to real-time track our vastly elevated eco-system extinction rate.

Even something very simple is difficult for me to accomplish. Recall that I am trying to alert people to the bats' dieoff by White Nose Syndrome [WSN]. At some near-future date: I would like to see people show their support by putting a big dab of zinc oxide on their face:

Human White Nose
I have no idea how to accomplish this, but maybe a Mfg of Zinc-oxide ointment reading here might take this idea and promote it nationwide to help draw attention to the bat's plight.

EDIT: My guess is all natural born 'Brown-Nosers' would recoil at the thought of pulling their faces out of an ass-crack for just one day to smear on a dab of white, simply because they do not understand Guano and other O-NPKs, but prefer to ingest massive loads of Iron Triangle-Butt Crap.

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

At least a few people grok Nature's geologically timeless butt-crack process [Circle of Life] and natural O-NPK Recycling, LOL:

Springtime in the Rockies
I think this was pretty clever!

Nice story and picture, butt- http://www.snopes.com/quotes/mrgorsky.asp

A few days ago in a campfire, we had one of those discussions regarding what kind of luck people were having trying to raise awareness. And the general consensus was, not much.

As I look around at the more average people out there that I know, they are still too tied up in the instant-gratification, live for the moment type of mentality. To some extent things have changed a bit - people are probably somewhat less inclined to pile on tons of debt than they used to be, but they still can't resist all of the gadgets and the cheap plastic crap.

Ultimately the question is, what is the penalty for excess and over-consumption? We have lived with incredible abundance since the end of WWII - it is really all that most people know. My parents (who grew up in the depression) told me once that many people who were children in those times were determined to raise their own children by spoiling them and indulging every whim - they didn't want their own kids to undergo the types of hardships that they themselves experienced as children. And judging from the society that we have now, that's probably how most people who went through those times approached raising their own children. Other than obesity and an excess of debt, there hasn't really been a severe penalty for excess and overconsumption.

When you do try and raise awareness you get reactions ranging from indifference to outright hostility. After the "Earth 2100" program, there were people discussing it on various forums that I know of, and a lot of people acted angry - it was just scaremongering. Well judging from the reaction, it apparently worked, but even then, if you don't have an action plan, whats the point in scaring them in the first place?

Then you have the right-wing folks for whom anything that doesn't match their worldview is apparently the result of some vast conspiracy involving Gore, Soros, and I suppose some others. I don't know these types well enough to tell whether they really believe this or whether they would rather eat gravel than admit that some in the environmental movement had been right all along.

Until things really start to go downhill, I don't see that people will be shaken out of their consumerist stupor. But as things start to go downhill faster and faster, the average people will be looking for explanations, but they will gravitate towards answers for which they like the solution. A search for scapegoats, if you will. We saw this last year with the high gas prices. OPEC, speculators. Some politicians were pandering by advocating drilling.

At the end, I am inclined to say that the best purpose for the peak oil informed is to be around to argue against the measures that are likely to be ineffective, counter-productive, or sheer lunacy.

I talk to farmers. Those I refer to as Big Ag Bizmen but they like the term 'farmer' for it gives them very very good camouflage.

They can suck at the tit of the USDA FSA offices and deny that they are not. They can rip the earth to shreds and claim they are gentlemen farmers when they are most certainly not.

But I speak to the dudes for I am friends with many even though I consider them pretty low on the tree-hugger scale.Right below Limbaugh in fact.

And I attempt sometimes to broach the subject of famine,soil depletion, economic chaos and so forth.

They sit in the tractor seat and their eyes go elsewhere right fast, they look at their watch, they squirm and say...'uhhhhh gotta go' when they have no where to go except to til up a dust storm or go compact some more soil.

They are in fact absolutely unreachable by any means except handcuffs and a branding iron pointed at their gonads.

This is why. They feel set up and soooo misunderstood but they are wanting to squeeze so hard the earth to give them another good year so they can sock it away and brag to their city cousins how big their new pickemup truck is.

They will never come around. Not while a tree is standing and a field can be depleted.

I sorta am starting to give up. When the end comes and they come whining they will then get very very short shrift from this kid. Very short. And a kick in the ass on the way out my barn door.

So Ericy, you got it right. Now we have to live it.


PS. The farmer gets a lot of his news from the town coffee shop. Its all ignorant rants and massive bullshit but they try to think its salt of the earth stuff. Its not. Its just salty bullshit.

Most of them are still whining over the demise of 'pro wrestling' on their TV and well Hee Haw.....

There are limits as to what they can accept - these ideas are so wrapped up in fear and prejudice and preconceived notions and their own myths about who they are. There is just no way they can move that far. It does not matter how hard it may ultimately hit them, even then they won't recognize it for what it was.

Ignorance and anger is a dangerous combination, and makes men very easy to exploit.

Some days you are just good,others you could charge admission. Your line about "handcuffs..gonads"made me laugh so hard I almost couldn't get my breath.

I haven't watched television for many years,but one Hee Haw episode still stands out bright and clear.
(from memory)
The country bumpkins(whose biologically built in survival programs have worked as designed to make sure the characters need not worry about a famine THIS YEAR,all of them appear to be 400 pounders at least) on the porch are having the usual deadpan discussion.
both males
One sezyou see what i see

the other sez whatcha see

one sez buncha them college girls in em littul bikinis been down to th rivah,an they stuck in the big mudhole an they trying to push th car out.one uv em's top just come off.

the other sez shore do wish i wuz a lookin that away.

There are serious messages buried every where if you look.

I fear that the handcuffs and the branding irons will indeed be necessary to changing the behavior of our modern day bizmen of all descriptions.It's obvious that most of us would over look a rattlesnake on a side walk,it's too much trouble to turn our heads.

Here's another little piece of country wisdom that will be familiar to the city folk here but expressed differently.I haven't heard it expressed quite so briefly or eloquently in city talk.

Never open a gate until you know what lives on the other side of it(..or you're liable to be sorry.)

Hello Toto,

Like you, I tend to lean toward the fast crash. We may be smarter than yeast, but we have no more self control than the yeast. And the yeast even have the advantage of not having economists or politicians :)

I just hope we don't end up like the reindeer on Saint Paul Island, Alaska. Collapse in a few years leaving a half-dozen females and one infertile male.

Minor correction: I think you mean St. Matthew Island.

Also, thxs for the next link from Gorby below--I hope multi-millions of 'Murkans read it and start moving towards mitigation.

Thanks for the correction. St. Paul... I used to live there, maybe it left a scar on my brain.

I don't think we will see the changes we need with Obama in the (white) house. Clinton-Bush-Obama... the same stench, but different colors and sizes so I guess that counts as "change."

We Had Our Perestroika. It's High Time for Yours.
Mikhail Gorbachev,

The time has come for "creative construction," for striking the right balance between the government and the market, for integrating social and environmental factors and demilitarizing the economy.

Washington will have to play a special role in this new perestroika, not just because the United States wields great economic, political and military power in today's global world, but because America was the main architect, and America's elite the main beneficiary, of the current world economic model.

That model is now cracking and will, sooner or later, be replaced. That will be a complex and painful process for everyone, including the United States.


westexas did warn us all to learn to live on 50% less salary. How long ago was that?

2006, but outlined in an essay (ELP Plan) in early 2007.

BTW, as I noted the other day, California is like an engineer on a train--both tend to be the first to arrive at the scene of a crash. An article linked on Drudge about proposals to abolish welfare in CA, because of budget constraints:


Could California become the first state in the nation to do away with welfare?

That doomsday scenario is on the table as lawmakers wrestle with a staggering $24.3 billion budget deficit.

WT -- How long before you think the folks in CA will be demanding that the Feds start leasing those offshore minerals so the can start getting their fat share of the pie? You make a good point: CA may be the forward model for how the rest of the economy adjusts to PO. They did start the conservation conversation a good while back although IMO it has been rather meek compared to the need.

I think that Santa Barbara County Supervisors have already urged the Govinator to work to lift the ban on offshore drilling:


Plains Exploration initially received approval for pumping oil offshore in a deal with environmental groups which surprised me at the time. Shortly after the decision was reversed. Santa Barbara, where the activity is to occur off the shore of, was the scene in the late 1960s of a disastrous oil spill which galvanized people's opposition to oil drilling off the coast.

Rockman,West Texas

Unless my understanding of human nature is TOTALLY off base,I can't see environmental concerns standing up against the demands of the public for food,fuel,jobs,or just bau if you prefer that term once the situation gets desperate.You guys are pointing out early examples of this happening already.

The politicians will do exactly what they do now -spend the money (trash the rest of the environment) and promise to pay off the debt later(promise tough environmemtal standards will be enforced later).

Drilling in the ANWR and off the tourist beaches may not be politically feasible today,but tomorrow's another story altogether.

The owners of waterfront rentals will be glad to sign off on drilling once the vacancy rates get high enough due to hard times,as they will get a hog's share of the money for signing on.

One guy I know says he is grateful that the enviros are stopping or slowing drilling here in and around the US so we can burn every body else's oil FIRST.

He reads the situation the way Nate(?) does when he says the Chinese WILL build coal fired electrical generation and atmospheric CO2 WILL continue to build up.

As a practical matter,he wants us to be among the last in terms of local possession of recoverable oil in the ground.

He does not believe that most of Uncle Sam's obligation's will ever be paid,unless with either bullets or monopoly money.

He is actually a very intelligent man,and he expects that the eventual final settlements of most govt debt world wide will be in terms of bullets.

More reports that the current economic downturn and, potentially, strained household budgets are reducing the demand for electricity.

Electricity demand drops as businesses cut back

Consumers and businesses are cutting back on electricity usage despite signs that Britain's economy may be stabilising, according to new figures.

See: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/5470755/Electrici...

Part of the drop in residential demand may be weather related, but the bulk of it is likely to be in response to higher prices (the long-term price elasticity of electricity is generally thought to be in the order of 0.8:1). Of course, if retail prices continue to fall in coming months, we may see some snap back.


And on the topic of coal:

Less coal used to generate electricity means railroads' coal traffic downer will drag on, Kolstad says

Railroads’ coal traffic has been relatively stable the past few years only because exports were booming enough to offset a domestic decline for electricity generation. This year, with an export decline coupled with a drop in domestic electricity demand, coal traffic is off a whopping 8.6 percent to date and down even more during most of the second quarter, wrote Kolstad.

“Besides the new competition from wind farms, the cost advantage coal enjoyed as prices for natural gas soared on a projected shortage as recently as last year is now gone,” he wrote....

Although coal companies have cut their prices, railroads have continued to raise their rates, increasing utilities’ cost of transportation to a range between 30 percent to 66 percent of total delivered costs, according to Kolstad.

See: http://www.progressiverailroading.com/news/article.asp?id=20589



The rape of our country continues...






Congresscritters mainly listen (if at all) to their own constituents. If you are in a mountaintop removal state, please write and call your legislators (Fed and State) relentlessly.

It's nice to see we homo sapiens have our priorities straight:


(Stockholm, 8 June 2009). Worldwide military expenditure in 2008 totalled an estimated
US$1464 billion, according to new figures released today by Stockholm International Peace
Research Institute (SIPRI). This represents an increase of 4 per cent in real terms compared
to 2007, and an increase of 45 per cent since 1999. SIPRI today launched the 2009 edition
of its Yearbook on Armaments, Disarmament and International Security.

The Yearbook shows that the USA accounted for the majority (58%) of the global increase
between 1999 and 2008, with its military spending growing by $219 billion in constant
2005 prices over the period. Even so, it was far from the only country to pursue such a
course. China and Russia, with absolute increases of $42 billion and $24 billion
respectively, both nearly tripled their military expenditure over the decade. Other regional
powers—particularly India, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel, Brazil, South Korea, Algeria and the
UK—also made substantial contributions to the total increase.

‘The idea of the “war on terror” has encouraged many countries to see their problems
through a highly militarized lens, using this to justify high military spending,’ comments Dr
Sam Perlo-Freeman, Head of the Military Expenditure Project at SIPRI. ‘Meanwhile, the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost $903 billion in additional military spending by the
USA alone.’


SIPRI estimates that in total there were around 8 400 operational nuclear warheads in the
world, of which almost 2000 were kept on high alert and capable of being launched in
minutes. Counting spare warheads, those in storage and those due for dismantlement, there
were some 23 300 nuclear weapons in the arsenals of eight states: the USA, Russia, China,
the UK, France, India, Pakistan and Israel according to the Yearbook.


Sorry it's so late.. but one of our own posters (ANIYA) initiated this petition and posted over at Energy Bulletin today, and I hope you will all get on over there and sign it, and forward it to everyone you can.

Getting this before the NAS (National Academy of Sciences) would be a great opportunity to expand the cred and the serious dialog on the issue of PEAK OIL. I think that discussion is done well here and a 'couple' other places, but it gets the shrug from many other science disciplines.


or go right to the petition ..


Bob Fiske

( I passed it on to about 16 Science/Educator folks so far.. but forgot to go sign it myself!! Off I go..)


I think there is a sense of despondency in the areas of those who would care about the future but do not.

A sense of 'well so what can I do and they won't listen' so the result is 'piss on it all'. I will get ready and they can die off.

How long does one speak out before saying to hell with it.

For me that time has come. I would normally sign a petition but I have done so in the past and the results were zilch. The congress critters are a helpless case.

I expect absolutely NOTHING from them till their own oxen are gored and bleeding and then they will just hire mercenaries and hop off to their gated hideout holes.

To think other wise is a waste of time.

We have seen Obamas work and agenda. He is now in Muslim Land trying to suck up to them. Why I have no idea. The work is HERE. So DC is a wasteland as well.

Airdale-good luck to Aniya, she could come here and ask for petitioners but judging from what I see on TOD it would be few at that. HomeProject got few kudos, CFLs get more traction than insect and bats dieoffs. Crank flashlights? Gimme a break.

I'll tell you why. They have many angry young men, are awash with our petro-dollars, and have access to nuclear weapons (our 'war-on-terror' 'buddies' in Pakistan will be our undoing). The GWB administration had exactly one tool in its tool box: military might. It doesn't hurt to turn the other knobs of power: diplomacy, economic influence, etc.

If you want to go isolationist that is fine with me: then support a national oil tax that puts an inflation-adjusted floor of $6.00 per gallon on gasoline, with most of the proceeds funding wind, solar, geotherrmal, energy efficiency/insulation, and the rest going to subsidize domestic oil and gas production to satisfy the 'drill, baby, drill crowd'. Order the darn oil companies to throw wells into ANWR and the OCS and see what they find...at least Fauxnoise will STFU.

Everyone live with less liquid fuels over here in the land of milk and honey...everyone park your gasoline arses and live a simpler life.

Stop all oil imports from abroad and let then ME/Islamic/Muslim/Persian world have a nice life in peace (or let them fight each other, other peoples' business), and bring the troops home, and apologize for invading their countries to have access to their oil. Spend some of the saved money to check every darn shipping container, car, truck, and aircraft that comes into this country.

I know, I know.

But if the Congress people are 'somewhat' helpless.. then we help them. This petition may help, it may not.. but it's 'within the system' AND springs from Scientific voices, having a chance of being taken seriously. And it's simply a good idea. I'll take a second or two to add my name to a good idea, and hope it's a seed that sprouts. With the soil conditions we're left with, we have to plant any seed we can, and try to water it a bit.

As I said upthread.. a little 5-year-old just read her first book to ME last night. Call it BAU or 'mere animal instinct' if you must, but giving up is not an option.



I posted the link at the top of the DrumBeat first thing in the morning.

Thanks Leanan;

I just put in another brief comment at today's DB as well.. that was all I was going to do.