DrumBeat: June 17, 2009

Rising gas prices hit drivers nationwide

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Gas prices have risen for 50 days in a row and the pain at the pump is taking a toll on household budgets across the nation.

Nationwide, gas prices now average $2.679, motorist group AAA said Wednesday. Prices have risen every day since April 29, when the national average stood at $2.05 a gallon.

Drivers in every U.S. state, with the exception of South Carolina, now pay an average of at least $2.50 a gallon. In the Palmetto State, gas averages $2.49 a gallon.

The runup in gas prices comes at a time when drivers are already struggling with record high unemployment and an abysmal housing market.

Oil back above $71

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Oil settled above $71 Wednesday, tracking a turnaround in equities and erasing earlier losses after a weekly inventory report showed soaring gasoline supplies.

API, 15 Labor Unions to Lobby for U.S. Job Creation

(Bloomberg) -- The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, and 15 construction-trades labor unions agreed to coordinate lobbying in Washington to promote job creation and oppose tax proposals that might discourage growth.

The newly formed Oil and Natural Gas Industry Labor- Management Committee includes Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest U.S. oil company, and unions such as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters that help build oilfields, refineries and pipelines, the institute and unions said today in a joint statement.

New Zealand: Downturn cuts power use

Electricity consumption dropped in the March quarter because of the economic downturn, Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee said yesterday when he released new statistics.

He said the New Zealand energy quarterly report showed a 5 per cent decrease in electricity generation compared with the same quarter last year.

African farms becoming too hot to handle

African farmers will soon face growing seasons hotter than any in their experience. To cope with this rapid climate change, they – and the plant breeders who supply their crops – will need to make big changes, and soon.

Renewable Power Rules, Drilling Backed by U.S. Senate Panel

(Bloomberg) -- A Senate energy panel approved legislation that would require utilities to get as much as 15 percent of their power from renewable sources and open more of the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 15- 8 today for the measure, which would also expand oversight of oil, natural gas and power markets.

The legislation will help push the nation to develop “the next generation of renewable energy sources,” Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, the senior Republican on the committee, told reporters on June 15 in Washington. The measure also recognizes “we will continue to use” fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal, she said.

Government to Guarantee Loans for Nuclear Power Plants

The Energy Department is planning to award $18.5 billion in loan guarantees for the construction of new nuclear power plants to four utilities, government sources said today. The companies include UniStar Nuclear Energy, NRG Energy Inc., Scana Corp. and Southern Co.

Nuclear power advocates hope that the loan guarantees will help launch a new wave of nuclear power plants that use a new generation of technology; moreover, they note, nuclear plants do not emit greenhouse gases. But foes of nuclear power argue that the plants remain too expensive to build without federal assistance and that energy efficiency and renewable energy resources offer better alternatives. New plants could cost anywhere from $6 billion to $12 billion, industry executives say.

Russia asks Belarus to pay $230 mln gas debt

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's gas export monopoly Gazprom has demanded Belarus to pay $230 million in gas arrears, Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday, citing the Russian embassy in Minsk.

The move marks another escalation in a trade war between the two states after Russia banned some Belarussian milk imports and Minsk retaliated by ordering to impose strict customs controls on main roads to Russia.

Abraxas curtails gas production in South Texas

Abraxas Petroleum Corp. has decided to scale back production of the company’s Nordheim #2H horizontal well in response to low natural gas prices.

Re-Engineering the Earth

If we were transported forward in time, to an Earth ravaged by catastrophic climate change, we might see long, delicate strands of fire hose stretching into the sky, like spaghetti, attached to zeppelins hovering 65,000 feet in the air. Factories on the ground would pump 10 kilos of sulfur dioxide up through those hoses every second. And at the top, the hoses would cough a sulfurous pall into the sky. At sunset on some parts of the planet, these puffs of aerosolized pollutant would glow a dramatic red, like the skies in Blade Runner. During the day, they would shield the planet from the sun’s full force, keeping temperatures cool—as long as the puffing never ceased.

Technology that could redden the skies and chill the planet is available right now. Within a few years we could cool the Earth to temperatures not regularly seen since James Watt’s steam engine belched its first smoky plume in the late 18th century. And we could do it cheaply: $100 billion could reverse anthropogenic climate change entirely, and some experts suspect that a hundredth of that sum could suffice. To stop global warming the old-fashioned way, by cutting carbon emissions, would cost on the order of $1 trillion yearly. If this idea sounds unlikely, consider that President Obama’s science adviser, John Holdren, said in April that he thought the administration would consider it, “if we get desperate enough.” And if it sounds dystopian or futuristic, consider that Blade Runner was set in 2019, not long after Obama would complete a second term.

Mexico racing against time at Cantarell oil field

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's state energy company Pemex is scrambling to extract what oil it can from its key Cantarell deposit as growing water and natural gas levels in the giant field depress yields of crude.

Cantarell produced more than 2 million barrels per day as recently as 2004, but yield has plunged as the aging field enters its natural decline phase, sending Mexican oil production tumbling to its lowest level since the mid-1990s.

The giant offshore Akal field and several nearby deposits that Pemex groups as Cantarell produced only 713,000 bpd in April, below Pemex's forecast of 756,000 bpd for 2009. Yields from the area have fallen at annualized rates of more than 35 percent in recent months.

Pemex engineers said at a conference last week that the oil layer of the Akal field is shrinking by at least 4 meters (13 feet) a month as gas moves downward and water moves upward in the rock formation.

Obama vs. the oil bubble

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Can reinvigorated financial watchdogs take a bite out of surging oil prices?

President Obama is scheduled to outline a regulatory reform program Wednesday that will, among other things, call for strong federal oversight of derivatives -- side bets on changes in asset values or interest rates.

The reform push is being driven by the past year's financial-system tremors, which were intensified by derivatives such as credit default swaps, or wagers on a bond issuer's health. The administration aims to defang that demon by moving derivatives trading out of the shadows to reduce uncertainty.

But this year's surge in the price of oil is turning Washington's attention back to another derivatives debate: whether speculation in the futures markets is responsible for wild swings in the prices for crude oil and other commodities.

Analysis: Inside the Persian Gulf Jackup Market

With waters averaging 160 feet deep and not exceeding 300 feet deep, jackups have always dominated the Persian Gulf. Currently, there are 73 jackups under contract that are located in the Persian Gulf. Sixty-eight of the rigs are presently performing drilling or workover operations. Two jackups are waiting on location, two are undergoing modifications, and one is serving as an accommodation unit.

The number of jackups working in the Persian Gulf has been growing consistently over the last decade. Since June of 2000, the number of jackups working in the Persian Gulf has more than doubled. While the Gulf of Mexico and North Sea previously dominated the jackup market, the Middle East is now the largest employer of jackup rigs in the world.

More Doubts Than Answers As Brazil Prepares New Oil Law

Work on a critical new oil law for Brazil is near completion but doubts remain about how the new framework might work and when it will be implemented.

Macarthur Coal sees signs of rising demand

MACARTHUR COAL is the latest coal producer to raise hopes of a revival in demand for fuel from Chinese steelmakers.

The miner said there were "early indications" Australian exports of coal to China had risen more than eight-fold last month, from less than 500,000 tonnes in April to 4.1 million tonnes.

Dealers facing tight supply of SUVs, trucks

Even with the auto industry mired in depression – sales are down nationally 36.5 percent – big vehicles such as the Ford Expedition and Chevy Tahoe are in tight supply because of drastic production cuts that automakers imposed last year as sales began to plummet.

Now, a year after $4-a-gallon gas nearly killed SUVs, some dealers in this market are selling them for window-sticker prices. Moreover, most late-model used pickups and SUVs have regained all of the thousands of dollars in trade-in value they lost last summer, dealers say.

Oil Industry Senses Better Days Ahead

Hundreds of local workers on and off the oil patch may have surging crude prices to thank for their jobs.

An executive at Nabors Well Services Co. said Monday that, despite a warning filed in March, the company will not need to lay off as many as 780 employees. Instead, Nabors' dismissals probably will not exceed about 100, including the 43 oil rig workers it let go last week.

"The anxiety level has come down a bit," said Nabors' local director of business development, Alan Pounds.

Oil Services Cos Wait Patiently for Rebound

Oilfield services shares will need more than a return to boom-era oil prices to fully recover from the sector's worst downturn in a decade.

Sinopec drills 7th Saudi gas well after others disappoint

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Sinopec Group is sinking a seventh exploration well in Saudi Arabia to hunt for natural gas, after the previous six found no flows of commercial value, partly due to low gas prices, a company executive told Reuters.

How the energy industry is moving out of the dark ages to prevent you from getting caught in rolling blackouts

AUGUSTA, GA - Maybe you took advantage of desperate retailers this year to pick up some big new electronics, like a flat-screen TV or an iPod. But have you noticed that key items that keep your wired home running comfortably, such as your electricity meter and your thermostat, are unintelligible antiques compared to your cell phone and your netbook?

That’s about to change, as digital technology finally revolutionizes our energy delivery system.

The energy revolution doesn’t hinge on technological discovery. Indeed, the vast majority of technology it will draw on has existed for years, if not decades. The energy revolution is about something much more difficult to change: our own human behavior.

PowerSat: Space Solar Flies Closer to Earth

Solar from space: It may sound like a bad sci-fi movie, but a growing number of companies think it could solve the world’s energy crisis. Among them is Everett, Wash.-based PowerSat Corp., which said today it’s filed a provisional patent for two technologies it claims could help make the transmission of solar power from space more cost-effective. CEO William Maness also told us that the 8-year-old company has received commitments for $3-$5 million in angel funding, which it’s using to develop wireless power demonstrations on Earth, and is currently in negotiations for a first venture round in the single-digit millions.

Development At The Cost Of Destruction

Pakistan has initiated a mega power project in its administrative part of Kashmir without fulfilling mandatory environmental obligations required for development projects. Contemporary international environmental laws and standards bound all governments and their publics to conduct Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and ecological surveys (both phase1&2) in every developmental project to achieve goals of sustainable development, nonetheless, Pakistan’s official Water And Power Development Authority (WAPDA), has started the construction of US $2.16 billion- Neelum-Jhelum Hydro Project in a remote and scenic Neelum Valley -100 km to the north-west of Islamabad, through a consortium of Chinese firms in order to generate 969 Megawatt electricity, without fulfilling the set global criteria.

The project will divert Neelum River, which originates from Indian part of Kashmir and also called as Kishangana, through a 47-km long tunnel system to another river Jehlum near Muzaffarabad, capital of the Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. After 8 years of its completion period, it will be the first underground hydropower project of its kind in Pakistan which the government claims is under the terms of the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 reached between India and Pakistan, and the country would get “priority rights” to the use of its waters trough this significant project.

Clean-energy windmills a 'dirty business' for farmers in Mexico

"This is one of the finest wind areas in the world, and they are being very ambitious about developing it," said Martin Pasqualetti, an expert on renewable energy at Arizona State University who has studied the region. "They're trying to do in five years what California took 35 years to do."

But the energy gold rush has also brought discord, as building crews slice through irrigation canals, divide pastures and cover crops with dust. Some farmers complain they were tricked into renting their land for as little as $46 an acre annually.

Opponents of Mexican President Felipe Calderón fear the generators are the first step toward privatizing Mexico's energy sector. And some residents are angry that the electricity being generated is not going to homes here in Oaxaca, one of the poorest states in Mexico, but to power Walmart stores, Cemex cement plants and a few other industrial customers in Mexico.

"It has divided neighbors against each other," said Alejo Giron, a communal farmer in La Venta. "If this place has so much possibility, where are the benefits for us?"

ConocoPhillips chief warns of impending oil crisis

DETROIT, Michigan: Government efforts to curb climate change could soon spur an oil crisis more severe than those already experienced, the head of oil and gas giant ConocoPhillips said on Tuesday.

"We're very concerned that if we don't keep the supply up we're going to see another crisis," said chief executive officer Jim Mulva.

Canada pushes past North Pole in Arctic survey

Canada's mapping of the Arctic is pushing into territory claimed by Russia in the high-stakes drive by countries to establish clear title to the polar region and its seabed riches.

Survey flights Ottawa conducted in late winter and early spring went beyond the North Pole and into an area where Russia has staked claims, a Department of Natural Resources official said Sunday.

StatoilHydro to Import LNG Into U.S. From Qatar, Reuters Says

(Bloomberg) -- StatoilHydro ASA, Norway’s biggest oil and gas producer, agreed to import liquefied natural gas cargoes from Qatar to supply a terminal in the U.S., Reuters said, citing spokeswoman Rannveig Stangeland.

Coal bed methane set to plug gap in UK

Aim-traded Island Gas (with Canadian partner Nexen) has made the UK's first commercial sale into the national grid of electricity generated from coal bed methane (CBM). It is selling electricity generated from CBM at its pilot Doe Green site in Cheshire under a three-month fixed contract; gas production is expected to increase over the coming months to a volume capable of powering some 1,200 homes.

Exxon Set to Tap ‘Enormous’ Slochteren Field for 50 More Years

(Bloomberg) -- The Dutch Slochteren natural-gas field, the largest on mainland Europe, may be productive for at least 50 more years because it contains “enormous” resources, according to project operator Exxon Mobil Corp.

“Our expectations are that we are going to achieve a very high recovery level in that field,” Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson told reporters at a conference yesterday in Groningen province, where the deposit is located. “There is still an enormous amount of gas yet to be recovered.”

Norges Bank Cuts Key Rate to 1.25% to Fight Recession

(Bloomberg) -- Norway’s central bank cut the benchmark interest rate for the seventh time in eight months as the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter battles a trade-related recession and rising joblessness.

Russia actually granted loan to Ukraine - Putin

NOVO-OGAREVO (Itar-Tass) -- Gazprom will not impose a fine on Ukraine for importing a smaller amount of gas, but it hopes that the contracts, now in effect, will be fulfilled, Alexei Miller, head of Gazprom, said at a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin here on Wednesday. “We regard with understanding the economic situation in Ukraine, we realise it is living through a crisis. In the future we shall not impose fines on our Ukrainian partners,” he said.

Putin expressed hope that “both parties will continue to observe discipline within the framework of the contracts signed.”

Lukoil keeps faith with Baghdad

Russian producer Lukoil said today it was confident after meeting Iraqi officials that the country's auction for service contracts in its prized oilfields will be held as planned at the end of June.

Lukoil chief executive Vagit Alekperov also reconfirmed his company's wish to take part in the bidding, in which development contracts for Iraq's six largest oil producing fields and two undeveloped gas fields are on offer.

Nigeria oil militant 'to disarm'

One of Nigeria's militant leaders says he is ready to lay down his weapons, following the government's offer of an amnesty in the Niger Delta oil region.

Ateke Tom said his group would disarm as long as the government was sincere.

New 'Urban Car' claims to slash CO2 emissions by two thirds

LONDON, England (CNN) -- A former motor-racing engineer has unveiled a prototype of a new hydrogen-powered city car which claims to emit less than one third of the carbon emissions produced by its nearest rival.

Australia's carbon farmers in quiet revolution

WINONA, Australia (Reuters) - On the rolling hills of Winona, a fine merino sheep stud, a quiet revolution is taking place which Australian farmers hope will eventually see them selling soil carbon credits in the fight against climate change. Winona's Colin Seis is one of the country's leading "carbon farmers" and has for the past 10 years been encouraging the extraction of greenhouse gas CO2 from the atmosphere and increasing the carbon content of his soil to improve pastures.

GOP Goes off the Deep End, Proposes 100 New Nuclear Reactors in the U.S.

But they fail to address who will pay for and insure them, where will the fuel come from and the waste go and who will protect them from terrorists.

Fusion falters under soaring costs

An international plan to build a nuclear fusion reactor is being threatened by rising costs, delays and technical challenges.

Emails leaked to the BBC indicate that construction costs for the experimental fusion project called Iter have more than doubled.

Some scientists also believe that the technical hurdles to fusion have become more difficult to overcome and that the development of fusion as a commercial power source is still at least 100 years away.

Russia 'should join Opec, dictate price'

Russia should join Opec so that the exporters' group can control more than half of world oil output and dictate its price, a top executive of the country's biggest private sector oil company said.

Lukoil vice president Leonid Fedun made the remarks in an interview in the Kommersant newspaper on Wednesday, months after Russia's flirtation with Opec ended.

'If Russia joined Opec, which did not happen, we could define the price precisely. We could decide that tomorrow the oil price would be $100 per barrel. Unfortunately Russia's political leaders did not go this route,' Fedun said.

Shell Says Nigerian Exports Will Be Disrupted for a Fifth Month

(Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc told customers that Nigerian shipments will be disrupted for a fifth month in July as violence escalates in Africa’s largest oil producer.

Shell suspended export obligations on crude exports from the Forcados terminal in Nigeria to cover the remaining loading program for June and July, company spokesman Precious Okolobo said by phone from Lagos today.

Reject Russia’s Energy ‘Blackmail’, Vaclav Havel Urges Europe

(Bloomberg) -- Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright who led his countrymen in revolt against their Soviet-backed regime, said Central Europe should reject Russian energy supplies rather than be “blackmailed” by the government in Moscow.

Sinopec plans wildcat in disputed waters

China's Sinopec aims to drill its first deep-water well next year in the South China Sea, ending a moratorium on exploration in waters near areas disputed by Vietnam, two company officials said.

The move marks the first foray into deep-water offshore drilling for Sinopec, which is mainly a refiner with limited experience in oil drilling. It also underlines a renewed industry interest in the search for oil in the waters off China.

Angola’s August Oil Exports to Drop, Ex-Palanca, Gimboa Grades

(Bloomberg) -- Angola’s crude oil exports will fall 1.6 percent in August, excluding the Palanca and Gimboa grades, as OPEC members pledge to comply with production targets.

Oil drilling to expand off Canada's Atlantic coast

OTTAWA (AFP) – Canada's island province of Newfoundland on Tuesday announced a tentative deal with oil firms to significantly boost Atlantic offshore drilling in the Hibernia oil fields.

The original field, located in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin about 315 kilometers southeast of St. John's, Newfoundland, has produced 670 million barrels to date, after nearly 12 years of production.

Ocean current experts warn of risks if eastern Gulf is opened to drilling

While Congress considers opening the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil-and-gas drilling, experts on ocean currents warn of a potential environmental nightmare that could reach the coast of South Florida.

If a rig in the eastern Gulf springs a leak, the spill could turn into an oil slick that gets caught in a fast-moving current that runs south to the Florida Keys. The current turns into the Gulf Stream, which could drag the polluted mess through the Florida Straits and carry it north to the beaches of southeast Florida.

This scenario is all too realistic, oceanographers say.

Sympathy refinery strikes staged

An unofficial strike at a North Lincolnshire oil refinery is continuing for a fifth day, and has spread to other sites in Britain.

Rising Energy Demands Necessitate Capacity Additions in Oil and Gas Refineries, Finds Frost & Sullivan

MUMBAI, India /PRNewswire/ -- The sustained economic growth in the country over the last five years has led to a concurrent growth in energy demand across industrial, transportation, commercial, and residential sectors. Oil and gas account for 41 percent of India's energy consumption and there is unlikely to be any significant scaling down of dependence on these fuels in the next five to ten years.

Get real: 'Green' energy alone can't keep the country humming -- PPL chief

Jim Miller calls for a clean coal push, plus getting on board with nuclear power.

Pickens expects energy legislation by end of year

The progenitor of the Pickens Plan is expecting Congress to complete action on an energy plan by the end of the year.

The prediction comes as oil again is rocketing upwards, having nearly doubled in price since earlier this year.

Report says peak oil could cause food shortages in S.F.

In May, an obscure city advisory group released the results of a 15-month study of San Francisco's vulnerabilities to peak oil, a scenario that assumes the global supply of oil will run thin in the near future and that the world could go the way of Mad Max. Produced by the now-disbanded Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force, seven volunteers appointed in part by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi in late 2007, the 120-page report warns that San Francisco is looking at a grim future if public policymakers and city residents don't start preparing for the post-oil apocalypse right away.

Why Businesses And Individuals Aren't Racing To Go Green (And What To Do About It)

Let's face it. The human race is on an ever-accelerating march towards the Earth's point of no return (the point at which we could seal our own extinction). By some estimates, approximately 300,000 preventable deaths per year can be attributed to climate change. Somewhere down the line, someone is going to burn the last watt. It won't be you. But it could be one of your descendants.

Most people are aware of the problem. Unfortunately, most people aren't responding as though their very existence is at issue. Most of us wash our hands of the problem after we feel as though we've done our part. We turn out a few more lights. Recycle some additional things that we'd normally toss out. Now now, doesn't that feel better?

The problem is, it's not enough.

Obama not yet owner

Compounding the problem is the national economy badly needs a strong dose of spending. The world doesn't. The world is starting to flirt with the "peak resources" phenomenon. We hear mostly about "peak oil," the idea that we've used up more than half the oil that exists. Finding new sources of oil will be more expensive in the future, the oil we find will be harder and more expensive to retrieve and the getting the oil that's still in the ground is going to be more environmentally damaging in more than one way.

But that's just the beginning. We've been extracting raw resources from the ground for going on 5,000 years, although it's only in the past 100 or so years that people have really begun to do serious-style rape and pillage of the environment. What's worse is that all the "uh-oh's" in our energy future are going to start turning in on each other: Trying to fix Problem A is going to have the probable result of making Problem B worse, and in the meantime Problem C just turned up and it looks worse than the other two put together. These are going to be the kind of juggler's balls we're going to be dealing with in coming years.

Japan May Offer Loans to Fund Clean-Coal Power Plants

(Bloomberg) -- Japan plans to offer loans to power producers in the U.S. and Australia that buy so-called clean coal generators from Japanese manufacturers, according to a government document obtained by Bloomberg News.

Milne: The climate nightmare is upon us

So what is stopping us from achieving what we are capable of, of reaching ‘the most ambitious agreement ever negotiated’?

ABARE, the Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, last year unwittingly provided me with the answer! They had sought a meeting on their latest modelling of the economic costs of climate action. I asked them what atmospheric carbon concentrations they were assuming in their models and was astonished to hear that they had modelled nothing lower than 575 parts per million  — a level that every projection tells us would trigger catastrophic climate change.

When I suggested that it might be appropriate to run their models using scenarios that have some hope of constraining global warming to merely dangerous levels, even down as low as 350 ppm to deliver a safe climate, my astonishment was matched by theirs.

“But, Senator,” came the reply, “that would be a different world!”


New Climate Change Report: From Bad to Worse

Even as Congress belatedly tackles legislation that would cut U.S. carbon emissions and international negotiators have bickered over a global climate deal in Bonn, a new report by several federal agencies underscores the truths that too often risk getting lost in politics: global warming is real, it's happening now and if we don't act soon, the consequences are likely to be catastrophic.

the development of fusion as a commercial power source is still at least 100 years away.

Bugger - it was 20 years away when I was a lad. I'm not likely to see it now unless I live to 145 :)

You know the nearer your destination
The more you're slip slidin' away

well, if you're gonna get all 'Top40-philosophy' on us, I just heard my HighSchool Yearbook quote on the radio the other day..

"So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains;
And never even know we have the key"
Eagles, Already Gone

Dear God, I hope that didn't sound like 'The Key to solving fusion', cuz it wern't. I'm reading the 'Crikey' article, which runs right along my mental mode, getting to some basic cultural assumptions, in this case..

..resource extraction underpins wealth, power and influence.. 

.. as an explanation for why 'power' never grabs excitedly onto Climate Change mitigation strategies that don't include MORE extraction.. like the PPL argument for the 'Realistic' investment in more CLEAN COAL.


I think 'Green Energy' should be audaciously renamed "FREE FUEL Technologies", since it'll be harder to put a negative cast on FREE than on Green, which already has Nausea, Envy, Decay and Nature in General- and the US Dollar as part of it's heavily mixed set of denotations.. but it is accurate to call it FREE FUEL, just that it is only available after the investment in often pricey or inconvenient collecting equipment.


"CLEAN COAL: If they buy that one, they'll buy ANYTHING!"

As a rather long bumper sticker:

In Climate Denial? Look at your kid(s)/grandkid(s).

That's what the end of your line looks like.

Green or gone.

Deal with it.

Maybe better as a subliminal message on every TV channel on the planet, running 24/7. Radio, too, I suppose.

And to stay with the theme:

Running on - running on empty
Running on - running blind
Running on - running into the sun
But Im running behind

Running on Empty - J. Browne


Okay. One for the 'Great Unknown Paradigm Top 40'

In the space between our cities;

A storm is slowly forming;

Something eating up our days;

I feel it every morning;

Our elements are burnt out;

Our beasts have been mistreated;

I tell you it's the only way;

We'll get this road completed.

From 'Destination' The Church

The fusion problem has been solved by nature... Take a peek outside and look at that big, bright light shining down on everything.

The problem is energy extraction from this fusion 'source'. Fusion might be 200 years away, but solar is today.

Fusion might be 200 years away, but solar is today.

Solar was yesterday. And that is what you are burning in your gas tank today. But that is modified solar energy, cooked for about 100 million years in the bowels of the earth. However.... the type that is hitting the ground right now is a little hard to pour into your gas tank.

Ron P.

Objection, Argumentative. False Dichotomy.

Solar was yesterday, AND it is today, and will be tomorrow. (Some rain is predicted for Friday, however)

The problem is that you need to upgrade your tank, like these guys did.


"Five years ago, I spent about $45,000 and got a brand new car (the RAv4EV) and the solar system," he says. "We're still driving the car every day, and the solar system will continue to make fuel for whatever EV we drive in the future. For $45,000 we bought a new car and fuel for the rest or our lives."

Asked how long it will take for the PV system to pay for itself, Dickey replies: "If we think of everything in terms of what it costs us in the short-term, we're screwed. It's the same argument people use against the Prius: When will it pay back in gas savings? But that only accounts for the money paid at the pump. What of the billions of dollars that leave our economy for oil, or the billions of our tax dollars that go toward tax incentives for oil companies? What of the cost of the military and the lives lost to protect our oil?"

(In FIVE Years..) It has never been tuned up, and I've spent about $50 total on it for maintenance. My wife has not been to a gasoline station in seven years and 70,000 commute miles—not once!"

What's in YOUR tank?

If it is practical and affordable they will build it, millions will buy it and the world will convert to an all electric powered transportation fleet.

But they are not building it, except for a miniscule number. Ditto for folks buying it. Why?

But hey, this is a grand opportunity. These folks have a limited driving radius because they must return home to charge their batteries. Open the first automobile charging station. Then turn it into a chain. Become the Ray Kroc of charging stations. And those big 18 wheeler battery powered trucks, man you could make a mint off them. All you need is about 10 acres of solar panels and.....

Ron P.

Why? Folks get inundated with misinformation, like your comment about how 'Hard' it is to put anything else in your tank.. a partyline you persist with even after the clear testimonial from two families who show that it's not hard, in fact their maintenance for these cars has dropped to next to nothing, they never fill up at gas stations, and it sounds like they don't even NEED them in their successful transition to EV commuting.

So WHY do I have to find an Electric-TractorTrailer solution here in order to validate this argument?

Oh, right. Because YOU are here for the argument.. not to look at working solutions that can be promoted and shared. IS that why you're here, Ron?

.. and while it's said more than often enough that the 'Limited Driving Radius' actually corresponds to the ACTUAL distances that vast numbers of commuters already drive on a daily basis.. wouldn't it also be a limitation that would actually serve the connected goal of having people resituate themselves relative to their jobs and communities such that the travel distances shrink and help to reduce our overall daily energy demands to be more in line with a workable model for our society.. or do you happen to endorse the 'need' to commute 50 to 100 miles that people have grown accustomed to?


Hey bob, I was only joking. I never argue with solar-rollers. Lighten up. Read this, it will brighten your day. It will let a little sunshine in. How ironic is that?

SendOilPlease has already posted the link but here it is again just in case you missed it. I copied and pasted it into Word, enlarged the type to 14 points, and that made it a lot easier to read.

ClubOrlov: Definancialisation, Deglobalisation, Relocalisation

The exponential growth of the human population has tracked the increased use of fossil fuels, and I am yet to see a compelling argument for why the population would not crash along with them.

Ron P.

It's also at EB, if you find their formatting easier on the eyes.

Firefox helps a lot with accessibility. You can nuke page styles, and make it display in plain vanilla black text on a white background. It's also much easier to change the font size in Firefox than in IE.

Oh, you got me, Ron. (One more rant already went out.. I must have been ready to go this morning!)

I do agree that Population will crash with Oil.. In fact, I expect they are simply direct functions of one-another.

But I have to disagree with one thing.. You do too argue, you'll argue with ANYONE! I've tried to steer clear, usually, but today, you got me!

After the Space Solar thread a couple days back, I think I've been prime for a couple shrieks..


But I have to disagree with one thing.. You do too argue, you'll argue with ANYONE!

Almost true, but not quite. My wife often tells me that I would argue with a sign board. But she was exaggerating. I do not argue with sign boards nor with people who profess stupid ideas like eternal torture for bad folks, creationism or Space Solar power beamed down to earth.

After the Space Solar thread a couple days back, I think I've been prime for a couple shrieks..

You will notice I did not have a single post on that thread. Oh I typed one up, almost a whole page long. Then I said to myself; "This is stupid! I will not argue with people who believe in such a very stupid idea! So I deleted my post and read no more of the thread. Left if alone completely.

So you see I do have my limits. Some things are just too absurd for me to waste my time on.

Ron P.

Well, ok.. but what if that means you miss your seat on the Singularity?

There will be no Singularity. The intelligence explosion will come to a screeching halt as the economy collapses.

I used to read with amusement the ideas about tiny robots, or nanobots, making billions of clones of themselves, then curing all the world's resource problems by building complex hydrocarbon molecules as if atoms were like tiny lego blocks that simply needed to be stuck together. Then the cryogenic folks got in on the scam. They proposed that these nanobots could be pumped into the bodies of the frozen dead and bringing them back to life.

But there comes a time when one must stop being amused at the rantings of naive science fiction fans. Pie in the sky just is not coming. Neither is pie from space.

Ron P.

Not pie from space, but wouldn't a rogue comet, asteroid, or meteorite from space visiting this third rock be the ultimate Black Swan.

It'll fix a bunch of overshoot problems, but...


Somebody here has said that the greatest thing about enjoying science fiction is learning to RECOGNIZE scifi.

I used to be a cornucopian myself until I realized that while we as scientists might save the world in the lab,we were all doomed to die in a hundred million car pileup,figuratively speaking, on our way to work tomorrow morning.

I used to suck down all the little research news blurbs in all the papers and magazines I read btn-before the net-like a drunk with a bottle he's afraid he will have to share.The exponential explosion of knowledge would take care of everything!

But it hasn't worked that way.I can't remember a single major discovery or tech breakthrough made by an individual in my lifetime.The individual researcher used to be the norm,as evidenced by the names of so many laws of science.

I suppose we are well up on the curve of all that we can accomplish given our brainpower limitations versus all that might be physically possible,meaning that real breakthroughs will be less and less frequent,even with more and more researchers.You find the big oil fields first and easiest,and the smaller and the tougher ones later and later,even with more and more exploration.The giants and supergiants- and the "easy" scientific discoveries- were made early.

I am NOT suggesting that scientific and engineering progress will come to a halt but rather suggesting that the growth rate from here on out is going to be much less dramatic than most people expect.

We all owe you a big one for the work on the link to

I have yet to see any plan outlined that will prevent a global population collapse that is consistent with the realities of 21 century agriculture,unless it posits industrial bau on a fairly large scale.

If the big energy crunch materializes on schedule -meaning anytime w/i our life time,there is simply no realistic way to avoid a global population collapse.The various sustainable ag movements are way too little too late to save anyone not directly and wholeheartedly involved.

I hold out some hope that We here in the USA and perhaps a few other countries can survive more or less politically intact by means of severe rationing and the implementation of a war footing economic transition.

If we are able to do it,we will have to go from cars to bikes and streetcars and from turf and surf to the occasional chicken drumstick on special occasions over a period of ten years(?swag as to time frame) or so.

No, you owe SendOilPlease for the link. He posted it originally. I just thought it so good that I just had to post it again. But thanks anyway.

As for population control, or preventing population collapse, I can only quote Orlov:

The disconnect between words and actions on the population issue is by now is almost complete. Population is very far beyond anyone's control, and this way of thinking about it takes us in the wrong direction. If we could not control it on the way up, what makes us think that we might be able to control it on the way down?

I believe, and this is simply my opinion, that we truly have virtually no control over anything that deals with or concerns the world population. We poke at it here and there and go away feeling that we have made some accomplishment. But in the grand scheme of things we have done virtually nothing. We are but observers.

Well hell, I believe I have said that before haven't I?

Ron P.

I would presume that in the long term, world population will decline a lot and US population at least some. However, I do not presume to know the exact pathway or time scale when this will all take place, or the levels that global and US populations will decline to, or what mechanisms will bring this about. I do suspect that a lot of it will not be pretty or pleasant. I do know that eventually, that population figure will not include me.

Ron,on population as on global warming - if we try we might succeed.If we don't try we are in for a massive die-off.We might as well try.

if we try we might succeed.If we don't try we are in for a massive die-off.We might as well try.

Try doing WHAT? From the Orlov link above:

First, humans are not a special case when it comes to experiencing population explosions and die-offs, and the idea that human populations should increase monotonically ad infinitum is just as preposterous as the idea of infinite economic growth on a finite planet. The exponential growth of the human population has tracked the increased use of fossil fuels, and I am yet to see a compelling argument for why the population would not crash along with them.

Do you not realize that if you do succeed in preventing a massive die-off today that the die-off will only be much more severe later on? Do you not realize that you would have increased the death and misery considerably?

To believe that we can go on, and on, and on, with this business as usual is just another state of denial. We deeply wish that this near state of paradise could go on forever. But we are deep into overshoot. We have multiplied our numbers to several times what the earth can support, long term. We are raping the earth but most people wish to think that this raping rapture can go on forever. So you say: "why not do what we can to keep things going as they are?" Well because it is the worst thing you could possibly do. Also from Orlov:

16. The biggest risk of all
The Riskiest behaviors perpetuate the status quo.
Available alternatives amount to perpetuating the status quo through alternative means.
Energy alternatives are fossil fuel amplifers.
Many alternatives (biofuels, tar sands) are destructive of the natural environment.
All alternatives rely on an industrial base that runs on fossil fuels – green on the outside, brown on the inside.
Resource constraints mean that maintenance requirements of existing industrial base can no longer be met.
Impossible to build a new, green industrial base in the midst of a crisis.

Ron P.

Ron: Nothing can be done.

Ron: Think I'll post about it hither and thither!

Ron: Post, post, post.

Others: We can and should do something about it or at least try!

Ron: You are doomed. You will fail. Do nothing.

Others: Then what the hell are you doing here?

Ron: I just like telling people they're idiots.

Others: Why?

Ron: Well, a body's got to do something, doesn't it?

Others: Then why not do something about it or at least try?

Ron: You are doomed. You will fail. Do nothing.

Others: But.....

Who's on first?


Ron: I just like telling people they're idiots.

A real whopper. I have never told anyone on this list that they were idiots.

Ron: You are doomed. You will fail. Do nothing.

Another whopper! I have urged everyone from day one to take action, action that will improve their chances of being among the survivors. Read the Orlov link. He gives the same message.

And CCPO please do not put words in my mouth again! If you had followed my post in the three and one half years I have been on this list you would know full well that you have misrepresented my position. I have urged action, action and more action from day one.

I urge action to save yourself, and save your family members, but not to waste your precious time and resources trying to save the whole damn world.

Again, please read the Orlov link above. His position is exactly the same as mine.

Ron P.

Taking the piss, Ron. I'd have included the emoticon, but I thought it unnecessary considering the format, etc.

I'll be more careful in the future, you humorless sob!

;) (<---- indication of humor.)


CCPO you know damn well you were not trying to be funny, you were only trying to make me look like a fool who advocates that everyone give up and do nothing. That has never been my position.

I have long advocated that everyone take action to enhance their chances of being among the survivors. What I was doing with this thread was trying to drive home the message that it is dangerous to try to save the whole world while neglecting one's one survival chances.

Ron P.

I was thinking along these lines the other day:
Its actually a little disheartening to think about Jevons Paradox because when you do, you realize its all around us. And its based on Human Nature and rational behavior.

The modern car succeeded in dominating our culture and consuming all our oil principly because it is so efficient. If the early attempts at motoring created cars that required 5 gallons of fuel to travel 1 mile the idea would never have taken off. People would have continued to live on a local scale.

We only use machines and burn fuel because they are so efficient.

Some creations are not efficient enough to stay "feasible" Concorde is a perfect example of this. Imagine how awful it would have been if Concorde had been more efficient? If concorde had burned the same amount of fuel per mile as a regular airplane (or less) the resulting energy consumption would have been huge. The demand for air travel would have soared (slight pun intended). Air traffic would be much higher and the amount of fuel burned would be higher too.

Another mindbender is the steam engine. Its first application was to pump water out of coal mines to help them extract more coal from deeper mines. if the steam engine had consumed more coal than it helped extract - well you can imagine things would have been quite different.

So if the upslope looked like that (using more and more machines with ever increasing efficiency) - its possible to see the downslope as being the opposite. The efficiency of the machines may decrease but we will use much less energy.

I think a solar panel is only about 13% efficient, its very expensive, so it tends to encourage the user to reduce total consumption as much as possible (instead of just buying a massive - expensive array).

Sometimes I think of the economic failure of Concorde as the first sign of our impending collapse - a sign that technology does not keep making everything move faster and faster. A sign of physical limits.

Yet today we see Gov Bill Richardson breaking ground on the new "spaceport" in New Mexico hoping to lure money to the state for Space-Tourism. The Concorde of the new millenium.

""We only use machines and burn fuel because they are so efficient.""

Sorry, but no. We use machines and burn fuel, because in a very fundamental sense, oil, for the last 100 years, has been basically free to the sheeple in the U.S.

Only now, are we starting to see the true cost we will pay for the future energy we "burn". And the sad fact is, most will not even live long enough to see that either.

'They' could have saved the entire $45,000 by not having a car at all.

Okay, the car 'pays for itself' ... from an energy standpoint? Why just look at the car?

How about the car factory (factories)? How about Toyota, itself. It is hardly likely that Toyota could survive as a business if it had to run itself on solar panels. The current increase in oil prices from 1998 onward has put the price squeeze on Toyota, just like all the other companies.

What about the roads and highways the occasional solar cars use? What about the sprawl infrastrucure? Would any of that be built for the two or three electric cars that are here and there? Wasn't all of thist made to be thrown away in a few years, anyway?

How about transporting the cars, the car parts, the car accessories, from all over the world? Is this also free? Isn't this a massively complex system in which the one electric car here and the other electric car there don't even count as a rounding error? Take them away and what do you have?

A massive worldwide fleet of gas guzzlers. Where are these going to disappear to? Who or what will convert them to 'electric'? There are 800 million autos in the world and the short answer is nobody. Well ... a few shade- tree mechanics. We have cast our lot on the gasoline engine and the heavy, convenience laden personal transport device. We are stuck with it. It is our albatross. It will be the undoing of us.

Unless Santa comes down a chimney with another 2-3 trillion barrels of oil to leave under the tree ... that would undo us, too.

That's an easy rant, Steve.

These people have taken a large step away from where most commuters have been.. even if they are still 'driving to work', and using the rest of that infrastructure. Taking it to extreme examples like expecting the few current Solar EV's out there try to justify the whole highway/auto infrastructure is a cop-out. It's what we have, and the way to move away from it is going to be in rational, but difficult steps. These people now have both power for their homes and their cars, power and vehicles that stand a chance of remaining operational as other options fall apart.. (Pickups and a Rav4 should be alright on many dirt roads too, BTW, not to mention E-bikes.. but we aren't even there yet.)

Who or what will convert them to 'electric'? There are 800 million autos in the world and the short answer is nobody.

Well, not you, anyway. But many others are doing it. Enough? Of course not.. but it's one BB, it doesn't have to promise the conversion of any 800million vehicles.

But it's a tool, and these guys are showing that it's simple, versatile, durable and it works.

It's not, it's another dead end. It's just more of the same, that we can 'have it all' without paying anything. It's a lie, really.

It's the casino mentality, the hype. Yes, every once in awhile someone makes a million in foreign exchange or in swaps. Unless someone wins every now and again, nobody goes into the casino and it closes. Isn't it time to close the damned casino?

There will never be a chance at a solution to this without ruthless and unflinching honesty. That's not a rant, that's a fact. No lies, no spam, no casinos. No false hopes just work and sacrifice. That's the word that is alaway missing ... sacrifice.

The costs of the machines are unsupportable. It's them or us.

Somewhat agree with Steve --
A friend of mine was boasting that her friend was able to drive a "biodiesel" car from California to Washington using waste grease from restaurants. Then I asked her how many restaurants would need for the 200 Million cars in the US -- you see the picture.
1 or 2 cases like this makes a good sound bite but it's hardly changed the status quo.

Sure, we might get "somewhere someday" -- but I am not holding my breath on it.

'The Machines, It's them or us'

That's not 'Ruthless Honesty'.. it's just as 'SciFi' as that Space-Solar-Power, in the other direction, but as extreme, and as unperceptive. We will continue using wheels, tools and metals. There will be paths and roads and heavy stuff to carry.

'200 Million Cars' - That's your choice to extrapolate it into the current model, but over and over, I've said it's not mine. I do believe we need to find tools that work without FF.. even if they derive FROM FF-wrought materials.. if the 'Hard work and Sacrifice' that's required to TRY to dig out of this pit is going to happen.. it will take steps along the way. Steve is using a computer to share his ideas of going in a new direction.. that's EXACTLY the same thing, isn't it? It doesn't mean he is claiming the whole world must now have computers forever, does it? No, it's a tool for reaching people on every continent of the planet within minutes.. and trying to get some clear thinking going on all this.

But with 'It's them or us'.. I don't know if he's running more Honesty or Brutality in his message.

In the meantime, when the sun comes up, those Green and Brown solar panels will start tossing electrons without being asked or told.. and they'll do it for decades.

the farmers are all up in arms because the fire marshall is proposing that biodiesel pumps be inspected and the inspection recorded everyday.

some cursory research shows that biodiesel is less of a fire hazard per se than petroleum diesel, but is more likely to cause a leak because the biodiesel will degrade hoses and fittings.

Query: How many people (N) have been injured/killed by a DIY bio-diesel setup?

If N = none, then FM has too much time on his hands/The Man is on the prowl;

If N = a few, then daily inspections = first If.

If N = some, then maybe FM has a point.

Awaiting data input.


i dont have any data on deaths. the fire marshall is always concerned with flamable materials. here is a fact to consider: flamable materials can kill.

i think the farmers are opposed to anything that can be remotely considered a critisism of bio-anything.

T. Boone Pickens is out there again taling about oil... http://money.cnn.com/video/fortune/2009/06/16/fortune.bg.061609.tboone.c... (video warning)

According to him, 2/3 of America's trade deficit is from foreign oil, and last year we spent $450 BILLION to foreign coutries for oil consumed in America.

Based on this alone the government would be wise to find domestic sources of transportation. We can either can spend $450 BILLION per year in technology or infrastructure to develop battery powered 18 wheelers running on solar power OR toss it overseas to places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Venezuela... Your choice.

It's just that I think EIGHTEEN is the wrong number..

Here's a grid-powered 192 wheeler.. (the green one.. counted, best I could)

as I said up above..
'We live our lives in chains, and never even know we have the key..'

Al- went to Poland earlier this month, as well as Germany and the Netherlands. The one thing I noticed, especially with respect to the big cities is that they really have their stuff together with electrified rail...

Polish Connection

This was especially true with Krakow, where I spent quite a bit of time. Trams are well distributed (walkable to), frequent (only 10 minutes between them) and cheap ($2/day will get you anywhere, and a $60 yearly pass is also available). Because of this environment, and the use of bike lanes, you can eaily get by without a car. Also, many of the retail stores are small mom-and-pop shops distributed around the city... The advantage of course is not having to go halfway across town to the supermarket, when the corner store is just down the block. Overall, I am impressed with the way Europe has built their cities to EXCLUDE the use of cars vs. America's layout that REQUIRES them.

I think you'll find european cities were built before the car, not to exclude it.

Plus most organically grew from collections of separate towns joining up.

Think of it as evolution vs central planning.

Hello Geckolizard,

Your quote: "Overall, I am impressed with the way Europe has built their cities to EXCLUDE the use of cars vs. America's layout that REQUIRES them."

Well stated! IMO, just another validation point for Duncan's Olduvai Re-equalization whereby the USA can expect a fast BOE/C decline as FFs head towards Unobtainium. Yep, it is highly frustrating to me that our national leadership has not fully embraced Alan Drake's standard gauge RR & TOD 'spine & limbs' buildout ideas, plus the 'ribcage' of narrow gauge SpiderWebRiding.

Recall that Chicago had both back in the early 1900s: it had a large surface rail network and urban trolley [RR & TOD] plus the 60 miles of the hand-dug urban underground narrow gauge network:


You would think USA's PTB would be desperate by now to do whatever is required to try and SLOW a fast postPeak BOE/C decline; begin a move towards Optimal Overshoot Decline by widespread Kunstlerization and lots of other mitigation strategies.

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

"Shale gas puts Alaska line in doubt, Pickens says"


t-boone: “I don't think that pipeline gets built right now," he said. "I don't think the pipeline will be built for 10 to 15 years."

wondering what time frame t-boone had in mind ?

A better choice. $250 billion to electrify, double track, grade separate (largely) and create rail over rail bridges when lines cross.

Good enough for 83% or so of today's truck traffic.

Then spend another $250 billion on 14,000 miles of triple track, 3rd track for pax at 100 to 125 mph and and express freight at 90 to 100 mph.

Get some of the money by reducing maintenance on Interstate highways.

Best Hopes for Better Choices,



I always read your comments with great interest as you have a balanced pov regarding the possible versus the impossible or politically undoable.

I think a renewed emphasis on rail is a damn good idea myself,but I've also been thinking about just how much UNNECESSARY transportation we could cut w/o gutting the economy-I'm talking cuts that might actually create more jobs thru saving on energy,road maintainence,and so forth than are lost by truck drivers,etc.

I find it hard to believe that we need to haul our beer hundreds of miles when it could be brewed locally using waste heat from existing businesses for instance.Locally brewed beer could easily be bottled in glass bottles reusable hundreds of times if the beer is consumed near the bottling plant.
A driver's job lost would be a brewer's job gained most likely,as a local brewery would use more manpower per barrell than a far off automated beer factory.

The cardboard boxes used to ship apples across the country could be replaced with the wooden boxes used by my parents and grandparents-and STILL IN USE by our regular small local customers who bring them back like deposit bottles.Some of ours are at least sixty years old as evidenced by the logos of the original owners,and they are probably used at least four times per year each.

The cardboard boxes are reused maybe three or four times at most on average because they either fall apart and/or it costs too much to ship them empty for long distances.

A lot of carpooling and other fuel saving strategies would work a lot better if the law regulating auto insurance and the practices of the insurance industry were to be overhauled.I personally know at least five or six people who would buy a very economical car to commute and only use thier thirsty pickup trucks for business purposes if it didn't cost so much to insure the second vehicle.
It's pointless from thier pov to save twenty bucks a week on gas just to give it to thier insurance agent.

I strongly suspect that the price structure of the industry is subsidizing the one car owner at the expense of the two car owner.The discount for the second car is not so far as I can see nearly big enough,given the fact that one or the other vehicles is parked most of the time.If the rate needs to be so high to cover use by spouses,kids,etc,there could be a fee per driver added.

A good samaritian law could also ease the fears of lawsuits that keep people from carpooling in some instances.At least two guys I know are very reluctant to share rides regularly for fear of legal entanglements if there is an accident.

I'm sure others here can think of more possibilities along these lines.

And next, the reason there aren't already millions of these out there if they work so well?

It MIGHT be because the Market isn't actually any good at making predictive moves, but only reactive ones. It MIGHT be that they WANT to sell cars that wear out (a consciously, openly devised scheme of 'planned obsolescence' from the 1930's, at least. "The term was coined in the 1950s by Brooks Stevens who suggested that new and improved products are in constant demand by consumers and that corporations can best respond by manufacturing items that don't last very long." http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci1238871,00.html ), that you HAVE to regularly buy fuel and filters and fenders for.. no? One of the EV conversion sites stated that a certain electric motor, with it's essentially ONE moving part, was rated for about a million miles.

Why don't people go to those precious few, actually GOOD independent films, even ones that are actually funny, or exciting or inspiring.. and instead just go to the generic, trite ones that are vociferously making box-office records at the Multiplexes? You don't have to search too deep to find the answer, Ron. But I'm not helping you out with this one.

But, if you DO see one of those really great films, don't you tell your friends, because it's almost certain that they will have little chance of hearing about it through the normal, dreadful channels? Why, indeed?

Why aren't those filmmakers better funded to make more of these good films? Doesn't the MARKET See that quality products would sell, if only people knew about them? No, not really.

Fusion is the energy source of the future. . . and always will be.

Actually, it is always 20 years away, and could be used as a constant, like the speed of light. No matter what your reference point, it is always 20 years away.

Quite a few mentions of climate chaos in today's 'Beat. The problem with the radically changing climate is that that changes are the effects of hundreds of decisions and behaviors each made by millions and billions of people over hundreds and thousands of years.

Trying to turn this around in time is going to be like an ant trying to juggle bowling balls.

NBC Nightly News gave the topic 2:15 last night.


It's not much but hey - this is the MSM after all.


If you have not seen it yet it hits on all the relevant issues;

The 11th Hour


Keep in mind it is a couple years old and all the terrifying stats have gotten worse and little or nothing has been done.

I hate to say it, but we had best operate on the assumption that hardly anything that makes any real difference wrt climate change WILL be done. Best to assume that climate change WILL happen, and that the consequences WILL be bad. Time to start assuming the worst and planning for it as best as one can.

I fear that all of the geoengineering megaprojects that have been proposed (including pumping sulfur into the upper atmosphere) would prove to be spectacularly, and maybe fatally, bad ideas.

Better to just start figuring out how to cope as best as we can.

I hate sounding so fatalistic, but in this case I am afraid it is just being realistic.

IMHO anyone that thinks differently is living in a fantasy world-most of these government actions are going to make things worse, not better IMO.

including pumping sulfur into the upper atmosphere

That is about the dumbest idea I ever heard of. The sulfur would eventually settle into the lower atmosphere where every lightening bolt would convert huge amounts of it into sulfur dioxide and then it would come down as acid rain.

You are absolutely correct, nothing will be done and I don't believe any so-called megaproject will work, or even be tried for that matter. But what we will do is keep burning fossil fuel. And as oil declines we will use more and more coal. We will keep burning it until all of the accessible coal is gone. It simply doesn't matter how fast we burn it, because the carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for at least 800 years. It matters only how much we burn. And we will burn it all.

Anyway, the collapse of the economy, because of declining oil supplies, will take us out long before global warming has any real dramatic effects. Then because all the world will be in chaos, nothing will get done. Everyone and every nation, those that are left, will be in survival mode.

Ron P.

Ron: Of course-none of these bureaucrats and puppets is proposing anything that will even remotely affect climate change. You summed up the situation perfectly and none of the advocates of all these climate measures will even address the reality of what you just wrote-it doesn't matter how fast we burn it-what matters is how much we burn and we will burn it all. Period. What these climate change scams ARE is a golden opportunity for more government sanctioned fraud and larceny.

I have to agree with these sentiments - this is why I say that the most important thing one can do to prepare is to understand that what happens will be unpredictable, keep your eyes and ears open, accept and adapt to the coming changes. We're well past mitigation - it's adaptation time, as best we can.

That is about the dumbest idea I ever heard of. The sulfur would eventually settle into the lower atmosphere where every lightening bolt would convert huge amounts of it into sulfur dioxide and then it would come down as acid rain.

That doesn't take into account simple math. The rate of sulphate injection needed is much less current sulfur pollution rates. They key is getting the stuff way up into the stratosphere where its residence time is a couple years, rather than just a week of two. Volcanoes do this when the earth has the occasional major eruption -so we know that as a one-off it doesn't do much harm other than a transitory cooling. That doesn't mean continuous injection is a good idea, just that the quantities needed don't overwhelm processes in the lower atmosphere.

The main problem with this proposal, is that it is just another way to say "emissions no big deal". And it doesn't deal with ocean acidification either. But, it could provide an emergency fix for a desperate world. Because of the low sun angle polar cooling would be greater than tropical, so if it looks like Greenland, and west Antarctica are gonna get us bad, it might be tried. I hope we get out act together and don't have to resort to such things. But we are rapidly blowing our window of opportunity.

I hope we get out act together and don't have to resort to such things.

And what, pray tell, would that act be? Do you propose that we stop burning fossil fuel? China is putting two new coal power plants on line each week. Do you propose that we invade China and force them to stop burning coal?

Get real Enemy, there is nothing you, we, or anyone else can do. The coal and oil are there and we will burn it all. It is simply foolish to think that we will actually do something to stop China, India or even the US from burning all that coal. Face reality PLEASE!

Ron Patterson

The problem is not China -- it's us. Sure, they are building coal plant after coal plant but their PER CAPITA usage is way below where we are at.

Not only our usage is pretty darn high -- we imported a lot of thing they made. It's fair to say China probably used 1/3 of what it produced and the rest get exported. So 2/3 of their "PER CAPITA" consumption is still attributed to US, Europe, etc...

You always hear the argument on this GW is to blame China, India -- sure they are not great -- but who are we to judge? Of all the world oil/coal/gas consumption of the past 100 years, I would be surprised if China or India are in the top 5.

So let put the blame where appropriate. Can we in the US cut down 2/3 of our energy consumption? Can Europe/Japan cut down 1/2? After that, we can blame China and India all we want.

Dinh Ton, were you under the mistaken assumption that I was blaming someone? I was not but you clearly are. You are blaming the population of the US for just doing what comes naturally to them, doing what they were born into. Everyone on earth must play the hand that was dealt them Ton, and they are not to be blamed for the circumstances they were born into.

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

Ron P.

You need to be MORE OPTOMISTIC!!!

Our entire manufacturing system(s) are totally dependent upon a) cheap credit and b) cheap energy. These are becoming more and more expensive.

- There is nothing anyone can do about these trends.

- The end result is the bankruptcy of manufacturing which requires cheap energy and cheap credit. That's pretty much all manufacturing.

The 'Nieue Economic Paradigm' is:

"Whatever is the most destructive for the greatest number is the most likely."

- We are at different level of economic feedback cycles where the effects of economic moments are felt only after it is too late to do anything to effect those economic moments ... or even know those moments have arrived! In other words, the time- physics of economics has become reversed.

The per- barrel cost of alternative energy is much more than the price level at which the economy as a whole will crash. Another example is peak oil itslf. The consensus has peak oil taking place now or last year to thirty years in the future. But ... on a dollar basis, peak oil happened ten years ago. Oil was cheapest - most plentiful relative to demand - in 1998-99.

$12 a barrel, that's cheap!

I know, I know, actual physical production increased since that point (maybe) but its the money price of the good ... its relationship to the intensity of demand ... is what really matters, particularly to industry.

A large component of world economic dislocation has been the 500% increase in oil prices since 1999. Now, that credit has been nationalized, we humanoids really don't have a credit crisis' anymore, the world is starting to feel the downslope effects of peak oil. Leanan posted an article of consumers complaining about high prices @ the pump. Imagine every business that has energy embedded in every one of their goods and services having to align the ability of customers to pay against sharply higher input costs.

Costs that increase year after year regardless of background prices or earning power.

They can't. Nobody can, even by shippimg jobs from one country to another in the hunt for ever cheaper labor. The relentless rise of energy costs will eventually put manufacturing into bankruptcy. Even a two or three percent rise in costs is enough to put a world of hurt into most buniesses. This marginal cost must come out of profits or out of wages. If it comes out of profits, the reason for the business evaporates. If it comes out of wages, the customer base disappears.

Since the problem came and went unnoticed ten years ago, it is far too late to do anything about it. Windmills, reactors, solar light bulb electronic knick knacks are just a waste of time that has shipped away, gone and lost forever. Welcome to the nieue economic paradigm.

The only chance now is conservation. Get rid of all private automobiles, no more flying around in airplanes, no more industrial agriculture, lights out in all commercial buildings (windows, anyone?) get rid of air conditioning, malls, sprawl, skyscrapers, anything absolutely non- essential. A power down.

Since this won't happen volutarily, powerdown will default to the 'auto' position. Powerdown will be imposed by evernts and circumstances. We will be broke. The developed world will be broke, China will also be broke so will those in the 3d world, who will REALLY be broke. Nobody will have any money. Leaders will weep and hands will be wrung. Too bad for them. All of this will take a lot of strain off the atmosphere.

Every cloud of Sulphur Diozide has a silver lining.

I'm considering buying only where the soil allows for digging in partly because of this issue. Surviving won't be that hard if your house and greenhouses are all underground and you've got good water capture.

Maybe there should be a new mantra: down, not up! Or, as I posted once before, maybe we'll end up sealing all the buildings and tunneling them together or some such.


Food Shortages in S.F.

I found the most interesting thing about that article to be that the P.O. task force is "now-disbanded." Lack of voice? Lack of interest? Lack of funding?

If SF can't keep a P.O. committee up and running what's the hope in the midwest?

P.O. Task Forces in large cities ????

Very funny.

See slide 20 on Dmitry's latest (my apologies for any inaccuracy via my translation):

Better Living Through Bureauracy: A 10 Step Program

1. Formulate a plan
2. Generate community enthusiasm
3. Get buy-in from local industry, government, etc
4. Use Mass Media
5. Form Action Committees (e.g. Peak Oil Task Forces)
6. Propose new legislation, lobby 'till you drop
7 Secure Corporate "Green" sponsorship (i.e. credible frauds for the average joe commercial-watcher)
8. Begin Pilot Programs
9. Publish papers, present at conferences


Thank You Dmitry Orlov...

I read that one before bed last night. Very funny. Slept great.


I was still giggling after I laid down.


Hey folks, this Dmitry Orlov piece is really good. I am only about half way through it but so far it is fantastic. I feel like crying but I laughed anyway. This guy has a dry humor way of putting things. He can tell you everything is going to hell in a hand-basket, that all hope is lost, and make you roll in the floor laughing at the same time.

Damn, wish I had talent like that. And thanks to SendOil for posting it.

Ron P.

We have no hope in the Midwest. Look around your office and observe the actions. Every "solution" they are trying are the same ones that brought us where we are today and they are brought to you by the same people. Insanity.... Bring back Mike Robinette!

These sorts of committees have a defined lifespan when they are created. That it is disbanded now is part of its design.

Speaking of food and energy, work is now underway on the new Halifax farmer's market (in continuous operation since 1750). This building is designed to use 80 per cent less energy than a conventional building of its kind and incorporates a large percentage of recycled materials, as well as on-site wind and solar energy and a deep seawater heating and cooling system.

See: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2009/06/16/novascotia-seaport...

For more information on its design and green features, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jner24Kd5VY



Have come across a few of your posts and gather that your specialty is efficient lighting? How does one get started in this type of field? Any good reference/journal recommendations? Would like to exchange a few emails if you're willing. onewoodturkey[at]yahoo[dot]com


Hi Brian,

As a starting point, take a look at the IESNA website at http://www.ies.org/. The IES publishes a monthly magazine entitled "Lighting Design & Application", and if there's an engineering school handy to you, you may be able to view back copies there (and if it's not in their collection, they might be able to bring it in through inter-library loan).

You might also check out the Lighting Research Centre of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/, the National Research Council Canada Lighting Research page at: http://irc.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/ie/lighting/index_e.html, as well as the LBNL at http://lighting.lbl.gov/ and PIER at http://www.archenergy.com/lrp/.

Hope this helps you on your way, but if there's anything else I can do to assist, please don't hesitate to ask.



Roubini sees weeds amid green shoots

The U.S. economy will not recover until the end of this year, and even then growth will remain meek and vulnerable to higher interest rates and commodity prices, economist Nouriel Roubini said on Tuesday.

Depends what you mean by the economy. If GDP by itself doesn't at least flatten out this year after dumping anywhere from 5 to 13 trillion dollars on the banks (debt counts as GDP) I'd be amazed. If it keeps going down we probably are on an express escalator to hell. Since it's all non-productive money though, that'll wear off quick.

At this point I have to wonder about Roubini-he won't clearly explain to the sheeple exactly what you just said. Maybe a high level political appointment is in his future.

Hey- he thinks the recovery will be w-shaped...(video warning)

Let's see, we have had predictions of a U shaped economy, a V shape, a W shape and the ever pessimistic L shape. Now we have a "Square-Root sign shaped rally." The Market's Formula: A Square-Root Rally

It all adds up to a "square-root sign shaped rally," says Kass. He originally called for a move up to 890-950 in the S&P 500 (from its infamous intraday low of 666 in early March), which has been achieved. Then could come a break-out and a last gasp as institutions such as pension funds reallocate assets from fixed-income securities to equities. And that will be it, he says.

I am betting on a non-rally shaped like downward stair steps.


(Apologies to Dmitry Orlov)

Ron P.

I am betting on a non-rally shaped like downward stair steps

I used to watch Sesame Street as a kid, and there was a part where a baker would announce he made a bunch of baked goods and then fall down the stairs and spill them everywhere... When I was 5, it was hilarious:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIPvKk1ZWsg (Fast Forward to the end)

But, alas, I think this is where we're headed... We're the proverbial baker falling down the stairs.

The thing to note in the output of the following simple model I made is not the absolute values but the overall shape -in particular the compression of the demand cycle (proxy for economy?) as the supply goes from increasing to plataue to decreasing. The distance between the 'Brick Walls' in Mr Orlovs v. funny presentation get closer and closer together...

Regards, Nick.

I think you're seeing conspiracy whre simple self-interest will suffice: he's not some anonymous blogger but a public commentator who has built up quite a strong reputation and (I suspect) doesn't want to make "simplified brush stroke statements" that might turn out to not be what happens that get used as a stick to beat him (a la Yergin and Bove). It wouldn't terribly surprise me if somehow manipulation of statistics combined with a resurrgence of unsustainable financial engineering means that America's GDP ends up actually appearing to give reasonable growth wrt last years performance. I very much doubt if it'll be either sustainable or "meaningful money", but when has that ever stopped anybody.

[I'm making a point not so much about Roubini but "Don't attribute to conspiracy what can be explained by cock-ups or direct self-interest"]

According to your theory everyone that has political aspirations is part of a Giant Conspiracy.

I visualize a black & white, choppy frame loupe of a guy running with hands extended in front of himself chasing his hat.

When ever he gets close he leans forward to grab it and...

he kicks it further down the road.

I believe the technical term for this is "receding horizons". :-)

I think it depends on energy prices. Last night on the radio they were talking about how consumers have become "desensitized" to high gas prices. I don't know about that, I hear a few people expressing concern over higher gas prices and how they won't be doing certain things this Summer if gas goes up.

Denninger thinks we're headed for a "bone-crushing deflationary spiral."

Leanan, thanks for that link. This one caught my eye. (His bold, not mine.)

The longer you let it go on (or try to force it to go on) the worse the collapse will be.

That is exactly what I have been saying for over ten years. The longer we hold out without collapse, the worse the collapse will be. That is we are destroying the earth little by little each year. Soon, if this goes on much longer, the earth will be like a sterile desert.

The only thing that could possibly be worse than peak oil would be no peak oil.

Ron P.

A little fact that I try to post about twice a year because it is so shocking:

There are five species of great apes, Chimpanzee, Bonobo, Gorilla, Orangutan and Human. The total population of the first four combined is about 200,000. The human population increases by about 200,000 per day.

The longer you let it go on (or try to force it to go on) the worse the collapse will be.

If I'm not mistaken, that's the essence of what Diamond says most societies do.

Rat, meet wheel.


Funny thing is, the article concludes with "We're going to have to do this the hard way, just like the 1930s", suggesting to me that the author still thinks we will come though this okay in the end.

It still smacks of everything will be fine, we just need to do it my way because I'm right and "they" are wrong.

I'll pose my quarterly question. Does the outcome of running out of energy really change depending on whether prices go down, up, or stay the same? While I personally believe the deflation argument is weak, it still seems like a sidebar discussion which further confuses people and avoids the really big question of collapse. At least it gives the government something to do while the lower decks slowly flood.

Funny thing is, the article concludes with "We're going to have to do this the hard way, just like the 1930s", suggesting to me that the author still thinks we will come though this okay in the end.

He does. Indeed, suggestions that capitalism will one day run into resource constraints will get you banned from his site. Or so I've been told.

Does the outcome of running out of energy really change depending on whether prices go down, up, or stay the same?

It does for individuals.

Yes Denninger is blind to anything outside the monetary side of the economy. No understanding of resource availability etc.

But then again, so are most if not all the other main economic bloggers - MISH, The Big Picture (actually, a tiny picture draw by a narcissist), Calculated Risk, etc.

To them this is just another financial crisis.

No, actually Denninger has never claimed this is just another financial crisis-I don't think Mish has either. Denninger has implied that he feels that possibly the entire economy of the USA could implode leading to enormous societal implications possibly greater than during the 1930s.

Possibly worse than the Great Depression, yes. But they believe we'll recover from it, like we did from the Great Depression.

They don't think it might be different this time. To them, the problem is politics/finance, not resources and the petri dish getting full.

Leanan: You might be right about Mish, but Denninger feels that the USA economy is at the point where as the debt increases, the GDP decreases (obviously you must have a giant debt in relation to the size of the underlying economy for this tipping point to be passed)-as all measures are about increasing debt, he feels the plane is in a death spiral until it crashes and burns (with some periods of relative stability mixed in). IMO his writings imply that he feels any recovery will start with an American society so much poorer than the current one as to be unimaginable to the average person, and I don't think he feels that the future recovery will result in a restoration of the current standard of living.

I think you misunderstand him.

He thinks it's cyclical. He's suggested that the solution is "jubilee" - all debt forgiven. He thinks that's how capitalism gets around the "infinite growth" problem.

So yes, there may be a crash that lowers the standard of living, but he thinks it will be followed by a recovery, and then, future bubbles leading to more crashes and recoveries.

Come on, its getting so obvious where all this is leading my head hurts.

This next "cycle" will 'end' when all this money being pumped into the system causes massive commodity Inflation including oil. How long? Since Oil is the main energy feedstock of The World the increasingly predicted supply-crunch circa 2012 is most likely the trigger event for another massive speculative bubble (b4 that date) that will push us into the stratosphere price wise as the afformentioned Deflationary-avoiding 'bubble money' seeks a high-return home... [we are already seeing the start of this NOW at T-3 years!]

The price bubble>enrgy_crunch of -shall we say Summer 2012?- will cause the rest of the decade to be "The 2nd Great Depression" as now, even Governments will simply not have access to the amounts of money needed to attempt yet another Reflation (Bankrupt, Zero-Credit-Lines, etc.).

In an Historical perspective the 2009-2012 Reflationary attempt (historically low interest rates / QE) will be seen simply as pouring petrol on a fire and then wondering why it goes out real soon and leaves you with singed eyebrows. For many facing hardship now this period and its promise of 'normalcy to come' will be seen as a cruel lie.


The ultimate toxic asset: dollars. Nobody knows what they're worth but probably not face value.

Dubai making Transit Plans for 2030


Dubai is building an automated Rapid Rail (subway & elevated) system (narrow cars like Light Rail, not as wide as most subways). Some talk of expansion past Dubai to the East & North.

One unique feature is 3 class service: 1st Class (men), 2nd Class (men) and Women & Children. Designed for operation with 90 second headways between trains (later when demand grows).



First two lines to open in March 2010 at a cost of $4.2 billion. When first four lines are completed, they are expected to supply 12% of all trips in Dubai.

Best Hopes for Conservation & Efficiency reducing the Export Land Model#


# Every barrel saved in the Persian Gulf is another barrel for US SUVs or new Chinese drivers.

Hello AlanFromBigEasy,

Thxs for this info. When things get really bad in the ME: it would be interesting to know if a human on a cargo-Spiderbike can move essential goods more efficiently than a camel across the dunes. The human should be able to go faster on smooth rails, elevated safely above the dunes, versus the camel's plodding up and down across the towering sands. Still hoping the biometric experts on TOD will post much more info on what can be attained with humans using their legs and chain-gearsets [plus solar-batt kickers?] versus animals.

Recall that the HPV sprint record is 82+mph: much, much faster, plus with much more distance covered, than a cheetah's feeble sprint.

Since the sand dunes drift: if a threatened elevated track section is protected early by the addition of a strong culvert, then the Spiderbikers can later pedal along inside a cool, sand insulated tunnel, protected from the blazing sun. I bet they can easily collect the volumes of the inside-tunnel dew condensation like Fremen in Frank Herbert's 'Dune'. Consider that camels cannot do this: their 'water return on water invested' is negative.

Best hopes for us becoming Fremen by learning to SpiderWebRide inside the 'Worms' of long steel culverts and other underground networks. IMO, this is my best speculative proposal to possibly emulate 'Dune' so that the least possible amount of water will flow 'uphill to money'.

In summary: it is always better for us to follow gravity 'downhill to water' as does Nature. Recall the Battle of Kruger youtube video. Innate Territoriality is the best way to move the Elements NPKS uphill for biosolar habitat rehabilitation and ArchDruid Greer's Sere Transformation.

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

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending June 12, 2009

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged nearly 14.7 million barrels per day during the week ending June 12, down by 73 thousand barrels per day from the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 85.9 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production rose last week, averaging 9.1 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production fell last week, averaging 3.9 million barrels per day.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged 9.0 million barrels per day last week, up 67 thousand barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged 9.1 million barrels per day, 661 thousand barrels per day below the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged nearly 1.1 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 191 thousand barrels per day last week.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) decreased by 3.9 million barrels from the previous week. At 357.7 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are above the upper boundary of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 3.4 million barrels last week, and are below the lower limit of the average range. Finished gasoline inventories fell last week while gasoline blending components increased during this same time. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 0.3 million barrels, and are above the upper boundary of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories increased by 0.8 million barrels last week and are above the upper limit of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased by 1.5 million barrels last week, and are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

I will ask the same question until someone knows the answer-what has changed so dramatically YOY such that conventional
gasoline supplies, which 12 months ago were as large as blending components inventories, are now 55% smaller than blending components inventories and 23.8% lower than 12 months ago. I assume that in a gasoline supply crunch it is the volume of convential gasoline that is relevant-how fast can blending components inventories be transformed into gasoline?

I think the logic used in this TOD post from 2006 still applies. From my layman's understanding, most of the blending happens in tank farms which are at the end of the process. I think these facilities have become more widespread and flexible. My thought is they can blend the stuff as fast as needed just before loading into transport trucks.

TOD: An Update on US Gasoline Stocks and Blending Components

Well, I can answer one part of your question. Blending components are things like cycloalkanes, alkenes, aromatics, ethanol, etc. Once a refinery makes them they have no easy way of changing them into straight gasoline.

BrianT was referring to EIA numbers. Alcohols are not counted as blending components by the EIA. The EIA blending components are easily made into finished gasoline, AFAIK.

EIA Blending Components

Motor gasoline blending components: Naphthas (e.g., straight-run gasoline, alkylate, reformate, benzene, toluene, xylene) used for blending or compounding into finished motor gasoline. These components include reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenate blending (RBOB) but exclude oxygenates (alcohols, ethers), butane, and pentanes plus. Note: Oxygenates are reported as individual components and are included in the total for other hydrocarbons, hydrogens, and oxygenates.

Thanks-so I guess the conclusion is that over the last 12 months the industry has made a major shift away from holding large conventional gasoline supplies-interesting that there has been no overt mention of this change in practice.

OPEC spare capacity was more than 6 million barrels a day in May.


Oil production collapse or oil production collusion?

There are probably more Bakken type oil fields in other parts of the world, and more deep offshore and heavy oil projects to go. China and India might take up some of the excess as they are exempt from carbon taxes. In other places only the government is growing in size, business shrinks.

No sign of tropical cyclones in the Carribean.

"There are probably more Bakken type oil fields in other parts of the world,...."

buy halliburton and schlumberger ?

halliburton is taking credit for "creating" permeability.


Macarthur to export more coal to China. This seems to be a blind spot with the Australian government who were elected on promises of pro-union legislation and signing Kyoto. Somehow if foreigners burn coal it doesn't create emissions.

Far from that the government has spent a billion dollars or so on new coal railroads and ship loading terminals. A predicted revival in coal exports was used to justify recent stimulus spending. Yet floods and firestorms devastate Australia's inhabited areas while the main river system is drying out.

I suggest coal exports be included in the (weak) domestic cap. That would mean coal exports have peaked by administrative decree and must henceforth decline.

If the Iran government was to fall to the students, would this impact iranian exports?

"US Has Almost 100-Year Supply of Natural Gas"


"The new study represents an authoritative confirmation of other recent estimates, including an industry-backed report last summer that concluded the U.S. could have as much as 2,247 trillion cubic feet of gas. Unlike that report, which was based on company estimates, the Potential Gas Committee's study was prepared by industry geologists who analyzed individual gas fields using seismic imagery and production data provided by gas producers."

they probably shouldn't have let these koolaid drinking geologist make an estimate.


Now, now elwood. You know they weren't drinking Kool-Aid. They were mercenary consultants just like me. The PGC hired them to generate a report based upon assumptions the committee established. I'd bet lunch that few of those geologist would admit they agreed with the numbers. The lead statement of the article shows how worthless the analysis is: “the U.S. has more than 2,000 trillion cubic feet of natural gas still in the ground, or nearly a century's worth of production at current rates.” Obviously no NG in the ground can supply one day’s worth of consumption let alone a century’s worth. The NG has to be produced to be of use. Inplace reserves numbers are meaningless. As most here now understand it’s how much can be recovered at what price structure that determines the reserve numbers.

Once again, just another effort to confuse folks.

i wasn't very successful as a mercenary consultant. now that i am pseudo retired, i can drink koolaid all day and say what i think.

Good for you elwood. Hopefully in 5 or 6 years I can join you on the porch

OT, but hopefully helpful to some (would be car thieves and other nether-do-wells, please avert your eyes now)...

I seldom use my car, but today I drove to a meeting and locked my vehicle as I would normally. Upon my return, I discovered the key fob wouldn't work and, from past experience, I know that unlocking the door with the key will trigger the alarm and disable the ignition. So off I go to get replacement batteries for the fob, return, press the unlock button and nothing -- the red dash light is still blinking. At this point, I figure my only option is to call CAA and have the vehicle towed to the Chrysler dealer.

When the tow truck arrives, I suggest we first try opening the door, popping the hood, disconnecting the battery (thereby killing the alarm), wait a few moments, re-connect the cables and see if that solves the problem. He, however, has a much better idea. He has me open the driver's door (and, sure enough, at this point, the lights are flashing, the horn is honking and all eyes are upon us), asks me for the keys, walks around to the passenger door, unlocks it and, violà!, the alarm goes silent. He then walks back, hands me the keys, asks me to start the engine, and it starts and purrs like a kitten.

I don't know if this works for all makes and models, but if your key fob suddenly dies and you're miles from home, give it a shot; it may very well get you back on the road and on your way.


I think it is different for other manufacturers. VW has a valet key that doesn't have a battery (it does have the Immobilizer chip in it, but only the ignition uses that).

This may be something that's unique to Chrysler; I never thought to ask. This particular vehicle came equipped with two RF fobs and a valet key, but the other two were at home many miles away, with no practical way to retrieve them. Of course, now that I know this works for me, it won't be as big a concern going forward.


Paul, Hope you gave the tow truck driver a tip($).

Enjoy your stories on lighting and HVAC upgrades.

Paul M.

Thanks, Paul. I slipped him $20.00 "for a Tim Horton's", knowing that a dealer visit would have easily run me four or five times that (my car is no longer under warranty).


I've always thought residential fuel cells to be several years off in the distance, but then along comes this....


...Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited (CFCL) has launched its BlueGEN micro-Combined Heat & Power (micro-CHP) system. BlueGEN, with its solid oxide fuel cell technology, will generate electricity at 60 percent efficiency that reaches 85 percent when heat is utilized for space heating or domestic hot water in combined heat and power mode.

The unit is about the size of a dishwasher and operates at 2 kilowatts power output constantly (24/7/365 days a year) with unused electricity sent back to the grid. Each BlueGEN unit can produce up to 17,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The unit makes about 200 liters (52 gallons) of hot water each day as well. The price? About $8000 Australian ($5600 US). Pay back period is forecast by the company to be about seven years, at least in Australia. The pay back calculation includes the unit itself, buying natural gas, selling electricity back to the grid while buying some electricity to cover demand higher than 2 kilowatts.

CFCL is ramping up to begin selling the units in Australia in 2010.

See: http://www.green-energy-news.com/arch/nrgs2009/20090048.html