DrumBeat: June 24, 2009

Higher gas prices to hit July 4 travel: AAA says fewer Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the holiday weekend

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- U.S. travel over the Independence Day holiday weekend will drop 1.9% this year compared to 2008, a casualty of higher fuel prices and economic worries, travel and auto group AAA projected Wednesday.

Approximately 37.1 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, typically the busiest time for auto travel in the U.S., down from 37.8 million last year.

BMI: Venezuela to remain major oil exporter

LOS ANGELES -- Venezuela will account for 8.13% of Latin American regional oil demand by 2013, while providing 26.46% of supply, according to the latest Venezuela Oil and Gas Report by analyst BMI.

With Demand for Crude Declining, Oil Tankers are Sinking

(La Jolla, CA) In a precursor of troubled waters ahead for the shipping industry, Frontline Ltd, the world’s largest operator of supertankers, recently cancelled orders for two supertankers and four supermaxes, a total value of $556 million. The chairman of Frontline, Jens Martin Jensen, predicted that moves by other shippers will “emerge in the next weeks” that could result in as much as one-third of all orders for new oil tankers being cancelled or delayed due to the slacking global thirst for crude. The stock price of Frontline Ltd (NYSE: FRO) has fallen from a high of $72.36 in the past year to $24.32.

ATA offers suggestions to mitigate dramatic spikes in fuel prices

ARLINGTON, Va. – In an effort to mitigate dramatic spikes in fuel prices similar to those in 2008, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) today called on Congress to increase the transparency of futures markets and impose reasonable aggregate position limits on energy commodities.

Lufthansa ups fuel surcharge on most flights

The leading German airline, Lufthansa, today unveiled an increase in fuel surcharges for most passenger flights owing to higher oil prices.

Passengers are to be charged an extra €3, bringing the total surcharge to €24 for flights within Germany and Europe but also to North Africa, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel, a Lufthansa statement said.

Final curtain for Nabucco?

BRUSSELS (UPI) -- Supporters of the Nabucco gas pipeline for European markets are being forced to re-examine the project as potential suppliers balk on their commitments.

Big Oil Ready for Big Gamble in Iraq

BAGHDAD -- Next week, Iraqi officials plan a welcome-back party for Big Oil.

The government intends to auction off oil contracts to foreign companies for the first time since Iraq nationalized its oil industry more than three decades ago. If all goes according to plan in the first round, foreign oil companies will move in to help Iraq revive production at six developed fields that have suffered from years of war and neglect.

Turkmens say to increase gas supplies to China

ASHGABAT (Reuters) - Turkmenistan has agreed to increase the amount of gas it will supply to China to 40 billion cubic metres (bcm) from 30bcm every year, Turkmen state television said on Wednesday.

Iran eyes Russia for pipeline investments

MOSCOW (UPI) -- Russian and international companies are invited to submit bids for the construction of an oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Gulf of Oman, Iran says.

Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Noureddin Shahnazizadeh told a delegation in Moscow his country had concluded the initial studies for the $2 billion pipeline and would move forward with the contract phase soon, RIA Novosti reports.

Clinton asked to keep Canada sands oil out of U.S.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An environmental group on Wednesday asked U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to deny permits for pipelines that would bring oil from Canada's tar sands to the United States.

GM will do 'heavy lifting' toward plug-in goal

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - General Motors Corp will do the "heavy lifting" to help meet the ambitious goal set by President Barack Obama of having one million plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015, a GM executive said on Tuesday.

Thomas L. Friedman: The Green Revolution(s)

There has been a lot of worthless chatter about what President Barack Obama should say about Iran’s incipient “Green Revolution.” Sorry, but Iranian reformers don’t need our praise. They need the one thing we could do, without firing a shot, that would truly weaken the Iranian theocrats and force them to unshackle their people. What’s that? End our addiction to the oil that funds Iran’s Islamic dictatorship. Launching a real Green Revolution in America would be the best way to support the “Green Revolution” in Iran.

Oil is the magic potion that enables Iran’s turbaned shahs — “Shah Khamenei” and “Shah Ahmadinejad” — to snub their noses at the world and at many of their own people as well. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad behaves like someone who was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple. By coincidence, he’s been president of Iran during a period of record high oil prices. So, although he presides over an economy that makes nothing the world wants, he can lecture us about how the West is in decline and the Holocaust was a “myth.” Trust me, at $25 a barrel, he won’t be declaring that the Holocaust was a myth anymore.

U.S. Oil Imports at Risk and at Odds with Obama Goal

One of the objectives of the Obama administration's energy policy is to reduce the dependency of the United States on imported oil. This has been a goal of virtually every previous administration starting with President Nixon in 1972. For most of this time, oil imports have grown as U.S. domestic oil production declined and oil consumption steadily rose. The average of the four weeks ending June 12th, the United States imported about 12.0 million barrels a day (b/d) of crude oil and refined product out of estimated daily demand of about 21.4 million b/d of consumption. Total imports represent about 56% of the total oil demand in this country. Our total demand estimate includes the volume of refined product exported from the U.S. since it demonstrates our total exposure to imports.

The latest data on crude oil and refined product imports by country is through March 2009. That month's data shows a total import volume of 12.5 million b/d with Canada being our leading supplier with 2.4 million b/d, Mexico second at 1.2 million b/d, Venezuela third at 1.1 million b/d, Saudi Arabia fourth at 1.0 million b/d and Nigeria fifth at 0.9 million b/d. The interesting thing is that these top five countries have remained in our top five suppliers since at least 2000.

Indian automakers aim to eat Detroit's lunch

Mahindra & Mahindra's small diesel-powered trucks to go on sale here by the end of this year, while Tata Motors' Nano car is slated stateside in 2011.

A review of three ’sort-of’ post-oil novels: ‘Prairie Fire’ and ‘Taming the Dragon’ by Dan Armstrong, ‘The Carhullan Army’ by Sarah Hall

The year 2007 is when novels depicting a world after peak oil can truly be said to have arrived. Just as prices were surging at the pumps, so bookstore shelves were teeming with fiction that dared to imagine what life might resemble once there was no gas left at all.

Monbiot - Any real effort on climate change will hurt. Start with the easy bits: war toys

Our brains struggle with big, painful change. The rational, least painful change is to stop wasting money building tanks.

Deep in Bedrock, Clean Energy and Quake Fears

BASEL, Switzerland — Markus O. Häring, a former oilman, was a hero in this city of medieval cathedrals and intense environmental passion three years ago, all because he had drilled a hole three miles deep near the corner of Neuhaus Street and Shafer Lane.

He was prospecting for a vast source of clean, renewable energy that seemed straight out of a Jules Verne novel: the heat simmering within the earth’s bedrock.

All seemed to be going well — until Dec. 8, 2006, when the project set off an earthquake, shaking and damaging buildings and terrifying many in a city that, as every schoolchild here learns, had been devastated exactly 650 years before by a quake that sent two steeples of the Münster Cathedral tumbling into the Rhine.

Hastily shut down, Mr. Häring’s project was soon forgotten by nearly everyone outside Switzerland. As early as this week, though, an American start-up company, AltaRock Energy, will begin using nearly the same method to drill deep into ground laced with fault lines in an area two hours’ drive north of San Francisco.

Should Mexico Stop Exporting Oil?

In May, oil production from Mexico’s (previously) largest oil field Cantarell slipped below 700 kb/day. While the death of Cantarell has been much discussed since it peaked five years ago at 2.1 Mb/day, what’s less recognized is that the toppling of Cantarell has absolutely shattered Mexico’s effort to halt the decline of oil exports.

The problem is simple. With Mexican domestic consumption of oil rising or flat, and overall production in serious decline, exports have fallen even more dramatically. And given that Mexico will one day not be able to export oil at all, one wonders they should take preemptive action, and phase out oil exports now.

ANALYSIS-Saudi shifts focus to gas as oil expansion ends

KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia/DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi state oil giant Aramco is shifting its exploration and production focus to gas to meet rapidly rising domestic demand as its programme to expand oil capacity comes to a close.

Falling global oil consumption has left the kingdom sitting on its biggest supply cushion in years and allowed it to shift attention from oil to booming gas demand at home.

"There will be more gas developments," a senior source at Aramco told Reuters. "We are expanding gas activity and we are slowing down oil."

Ukraine May Get IMF Loan for Russian Gas Within Days

(Bloomberg) -- Ukraine’s ambassador to the European Union said today the nation may get a $4 billion loan led by the International Monetary Fund within days to pay for Russian gas.

NAK Naftogaz Ukrainy, Ukraine’s state-owned energy company, said last week it is counting on EU help in receiving credit from international financial institutions for natural-gas payments to Russia’s OAO Gazprom. Ukraine got a $16.4 billion emergency loan from the IMF last year to support its financial system amid the global economic crisis.

Pakistan: Outages add misery to heat-stricken Lahorites

A woman from Iqbal Town said that almost every problem in the country was related to the energy crisis. She said that due to the outages the country was going down economically, socially and politically too.

Raising Oil Prices would Make Awful Yemeni Situation even Worse, Economists

Yemeni economists considered raising the prices of oil derivatives a political suicide, emphasizing that there are no realistic justifications for such a critical decision by the government.

Pilots' wings clipped in Kamloops as fuel supply dries up

KAMLOOPS — Recreational pilots in Kamloops got their wings clipped Tuesday by a fuel crisis that’s put aviation gas in tight supply.

Kamloops Airport manager Fred Legace said piston-driven aircraft, mostly small propeller-driven airplanes, will be affected by the shortage, as they require the high-octane ultra-refined fuel.

If oil hits $200, globalization becomes localization, author says

Globalization, basically international trade and the transfer of jobs to lower-cost centers, shifted into fifth gear during the recent economic expansion, with record hemisphere-to-hemisphere business.

Moreover, while economists expect trade to rev-up again as the global economic recovery starts, one economist is arguing that globalization's second wave will be short. Author Jeff Rubin, former chief economist for CIBC World Markets in Toronto, expects oil prices to hit $200 per barrel in the next economic expansion, throwing globalization into reverse, and sparking a re-birth of 'localization,' or locally-produced goods.

Supporters laud Calgary's Plan It; opponents to have say

For 12 hours Tuesday, supporters of Plan It--perhaps the most crucial planning document in Calgary history--spoke eloquently about the need to create a more compact and less car-dependent city as envisioned in Plan It, which sets out how the city should develop over the next 50 to 60 years.

Widely criticized by the development industry as a utopian dream that forces people into high-density developments they don't want, Plan It, according to supporters and city planners, could save taxpayers $11 billion in lower infrastructure costs because it would require fewer roads and sewers in coming decades.

In poor Leyte town, plastic buys licenses

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines—In Tabon-tabon, a poor town in Leyte, if it’s plastic, it’s legal tender.

The town’s government started accepting plastics as payment for services, food or as barter item for financial aid in a bid to promote its recycling campaign.

Think Again: Asia's Rise

Don't believe the hype about the decline of America and the dawn of a new Asian age. It will be many decades before China, India, and the rest of the region take over the world, if they ever do.

Transneft to Draw Down Half of $10 Billion China Loan

(Bloomberg) -- OAO Transneft plans to draw down half of a $10 billion loan from China before the end of the month as Russia’s state-run pipeline operator boosts capacity.

“By the end of June it will be $5 billion,” Transneft President Nikolai Tokarev said in an interview in Moscow yesterday. The company will receive the second half of the loan by the end of the year, he said.

Pemex Executive:Oil Cos Interested In Mexican Service Contracts

MADRID -(Dow Jones)- European oil majors and oil service companies are interested in working in Mexico under new service contracts, the head of the Spanish unit of Mexican state-oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos said Wednesday.

"Mexico is one of the [oil] regions with a great potential," Raul Cardoso, chief executive at Pemex Internacional Espana, said at a seminar. "All companies are considering entering the country, the majors, and the smaller ones. Oil service companies also see great possibilities."

VW’s Audi Promotes Diesel ‘Right Now’ Over Hybrids to Save Oil

(Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen AG’s Audi, the luxury automaker that plans to offer two U.S. diesel models by year’s end, is promoting the fuel to American consumers as a better way to cut oil use than hybrids and electric cars.

SAfrica sees first pebble nuclear reactor by 2018

(Reuters) - South African nuclear technology firm PBMR plans to have its first 80 megawatt (MW) power and heat processing plant based on its pebble-fuel technology by 2018, a company official said.

China opens bioenergy research centre

The first bioenergy research centre has been opened in the Chinese city of Nanning, in southern Guangxi Zhuang’s Autonomous Region.

The research centre will be primarily studying the feedstocks of cassava, sugar cane and sweet sorghum to be used as the principle sources for new energy development.

Survive or thrive the coming climate change

“Adapting to the new climate of the 21st century will be costly, sometimes impossible and potentially hugely destabilizing to society” argues Professor Neil Adger at the University of East Anglia, in his lastest book, Adapting to Climate Change, published this week by Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research with Cambridge University Press.

The costs of adaptation will force governments to redefine what they mean by progress, argues Professor Adger’s new book Adapting to Climate Change, published this week by researchers at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, the University of East Anglia, and the University of Oslo.

Can Felipe Calderón make Mexico a leader in combating climate change?

With its oil industry, heavy use of road transport, and 110 million people, Mexico accounts for 1.5% of global emissions.

Oil prices could surge if Iran crisis worsens

LONDON (AFP) – World oil prices have so far not been pushed up much by post-election violence in key crude producer Iran -- but they could spike higher if the situation deteriorates, analysts have warned.

Iran has ruled out cancelling the disputed presidential June 12 vote as the international community voices increasing alarm at a violent crackdown on opposition demonstrators.

The Islamic republic produces about 3.8 million barrels of crude oil per day and is the third biggest global oil exporter after Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Analysts fear the biggest crisis since the 1979 revolution could force the Iranian government to cut off oil supplies or block the Strait of Hormuz -- a crucial passageway for oil tankers.

Peak oil: myth or reality?

Over the recent years, the energy sector has witnessed a tense debate amongst energy experts with one side warning of Peak Oil -mostly retired oil companies officials and geologists from the ASPO- and on the other side the “optimists” such as Exxon Mobil and Saudi-Arabia.

Oil Prices Could Go Higher Than We've Seen: Simmons

There are many issues going on around the world that could have a material impact on the future of oil—both short term and long term, said Matthew Simmons, chairman emeritus of Simmons International.

Citing Iran’s presidential election controversy, Ukraine’s conflict over natural gas, Nigeria threatening to shut down its oil system, Venezuela’s current strike and Peru’s domestic unrest, Simmons said all the concerns around the world will have an “unbelievable impact on oil supplies.”

“If one of these 4 or 5 things turned really ugly, prices can go way higher than we’ve seen,” Simmons told CNBC. “And if 2 or 3 of them happen at the same time, I don’t think there’s any normal ceiling on the price of oil.”

The urgency of transitioning to a post-peak oil world

BOULDER, Colo.--The age of peak oil is coming, and some say we're already there. So when the effects of rapidly rising oil prices start to seriously affect the world, will your community be ready?

To Michael Brownlee, a driving force behind a nonprofit here currently known as Transition Boulder County, there is no time to lose in answering that question.

Oil Falls Below $69 on Japan Exports Drop, U.S. Gasoline Supply

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil fell below $69 in New York as Japanese exports dropped and an industry report showed an increase in U.S. gasoline inventories, raising concern the global recession will sap fuel demand.

The amount of goods sold from Japan, the world’s third- largest oil consumer, accelerated a decline in May, casting doubt on the economy’s growth prospects. Gasoline supplies increased 3.7 million barrels last week, the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute said yesterday.

“It’s still a dark picture,” Gerrit Zambo, an oil trader at BayernLB, said by phone from Munich. “The economic numbers of the past weeks don’t back up the recent rise in the oil price.”

News Analysis: What is driving oil and gas prices?

Matt Simmons, founder of Simmons & Co., expects prices to triple in the next year.

Oil will continue to rise, as last year's plunge from record highs to below the 50 dollars mark caused many oil fields to halt production, he told reporters.

When production decreased, tight supply drove prices up. Producers will remain unable to increase supply fast enough to keep up with a coming surge in demand. That will cause oil to surge to 200 dollars per barrel in 2010, he said.

Allen Good, analyst at Morningstar, an independent research provider, also believes that supply has tightened -- refiners have cut capacity because of maintenance and facility upgrades, he said.

Gazprom sales weak, but European demand recovering

(AP:MOSCOW) Russian gas monopoly Gazprom expects sales to drop by about 40 percent this year despite increased consumption in Europe in recent months, deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said Wednesday.

Medvedev to seal gas, nuclear pacts in Nigeria

ABUJA (AFP) – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrives in Nigeria Wednesday to sign gas and nuclear energy pacts, becoming the first Kremlin leader to visit Africa's most populous and energy-rich nation.

Iraq: Kurds demand oil bidding round be annulled

BAGHDAD -- Iraq's self-ruled Kurdish region has branded Baghdad's energy contracts due to be awarded at the end of this month as "unconstitutional" and demanded they be annulled.

Tuesday's statement says the central government should have consulted local authorities from producing provinces. That includes disputed Kirkuk, which the Kurds want to annex into their northern region.

China buys Addax for £4.4bn to tap Iraqi oil

China has made its first big foray into Iraq in a C$8bn (£4.4bn) deal to buy London-listed oil explorer Addax Petroleum.

Putin sees France's Total in new projects in Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) - French energy major Total may invest $1 billion with Russia's Novatek in gas exploration on the Yamal peninsula, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said after meeting with the head of Total.

Nigeria to offer militants 60-day amnesty

Nigeria's president will propose a 60-day amnesty programme for militants in the Niger Delta today, in an effort to end years of attacks on Africa's biggest oil and gas industry, a senior official said.

"All militants who respond positively to the amnesty proclamation should ... receive presidential pardon and thus become immune to criminal prosecution," the source close to Nigeria's Council of State told Reuters.

Robert Bryce - A Letter from Dubai: Peter Wells Provides Perspective on Iran

Last week, as the unrest in Iran grew more heated, I emailed Peter Wells, a British-born geologist, to get his perspective. Wells has three decades of experience in the global oil industry and during his career, he has visited Iran numerous times. Given his long experience in Iran and his deep understanding of the country’s complex political situation, I asked him for his read on the situation. I also asked him for his analysis of the recent deals that Iran has made with China and the pending gas deal with Pakistan.

ONGC’s Fourth-Quarter Profit Falls 16% After Lower Production

(Bloomberg) -- Oil & Natural Gas Corp., India’s biggest energy explorer, posted an unexpected decline in fourth- quarter profit after production fell.

Net income decreased 16 percent to 22.07 billion rupees ($455 million) in the three months ended March 31 from 26.27 billion rupees a year earlier, the New Delhi-based company said in a statement today. The median estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a profit of 34.75 billion rupees. Sales fell 12 percent to 138.15 billion rupees.

Total, Novatek Plan to Build Arctic LNG Plant, Kommersant Says

(Bloomberg) -- Total SA, Europe’s largest refiner, plans to build a liquefied natural gas plant in Russia’s arctic region with local partner OAO Novatek, Kommersant said, citing an unidentified government officials in Moscow.

Central Asian, Caucasus energy rivalries intensify

Among China, Europe, and Russia, the competition over oil and gas from Central Asia and the Caucasus is intense and growing. In this rivalry China enjoys a cash advantage, while Russia builds on decades-long cultural and political ties. European companies offer more-advanced technology than is available from their Chinese and Russian competitors.

Rivalries aside, the external powers share an interest in promoting political stability in this major energy-producing region. Competition for political influence is likely to complicate the full utilization of the Caspian hydrocarbon wealth (see related story nearby).

More regional and international cooperation is needed. The speedy development of the region's oil and gas resources would benefit all concerned parties.

Hens hanging around in the backyard

BOULDER - For 98-year-old Hilda Rabe, the new neighbors in the backyard remind her of her late husband. For 3-year-old Noah Tice-Kepner, they just "feels funny."

Urban Hens is the Boulder-based group that brought them and eight chickens together on Tuesday at the Shawnee Gardens Assisted Living Residence. The coop housing the chickens was built by University of Colorado at Boulder students. Urban Hens is working with the Children, Youth and Environments Center for Research Design at CU and a private grant to help teach sustainability to children by placing chickens near neighborhood and school gardens.

Obama pushes for energy measure

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is calling on members of the House to pass legislation that he says will "spark a clean energy transformation" and reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil.

Obama told reporters at a Tuesday midday news conference that the legislation will also deal with the problem of pollution that causes global warming. And he says it will be paid for by the polluters.

Obama said the measure will bring energy savings to Americans, while developing technologies that could create millions of new jobs.

Biden: Council will help auto workers get new jobs

PERRYSBURG, Ohio – A new government council will help auto industry workers transition to new manufacturing opportunities, including jobs in alternative energy, Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday.

Biden toured the northwestern Ohio headquarters of the Willard & Kelsey Solar Group, which plans to begin large-scale production of solar panels this year. The Toledo area has been hit hard by job losses in the auto industry and is banking on more green factory jobs.

Meltdown 101: Where are the renewable energy jobs?

Everywhere you turn there is talk of a shift to renewable energy, of building wind farms and solar plants, of making buildings more efficient, of developing biofuels. And of billions in federal funding to help make it all happen.

This should mean a whole lot of new energy jobs. So where are they — and how do you get one?

U.K. Offshore Wind-Power Growth Too Slow, BWEA Says

(Bloomberg) -- Wind-power development in U.K. waters risks losing momentum because there aren’t enough projects to prompt equipment makers to reduce installation costs, the British Wind Energy Association said.

Building offshore turbines has become more expensive as the U.K. currency has weakened in the past two years, according to a report published by the trade group today. Construction now costs as much as 3.1 million pounds ($5.1 million) a megawatt, it said. That compares with $3.45 million a megawatt as of May 2008, according to Danish wind-power consultant BTM Consult APS.

Japan refiner eyes solar-power business in Saudi

TOKYO (AFP) – A Japanese oil refiner said that it was considering operating solar-power plants in Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, in cooperation with state-owned energy giant Saudi Aramco.

Showa Shell Sekiyu said it had agreed with Saudi Aramco, the world's biggest state-owned oil company, to "explore the possibility of engaging in a small-scale electricity generation business using solar power".

Is China On the Cusp of Becoming a Huge Solar-Panel Market?

As the world’s largest solar-panel producer for the last two years, China already is a major solar player. But now, some industry experts say, it’s expanding from being mainly a solar-panel supplier to also becoming a substantial customer.

Area electric co-ops unhappy with proposed legislation

Federal legislation aimed at reducing greenhouses gases has area electric cooperative managers worried about high costs being passed to consumers, particularly in the Midwest, where coal is king when it comes to generating electricity.

Representatives of Webster Electric Cooperative and Laclede Electric Cooperative say the bill will do nothing to fix a more imminent threat than pollution – the availability of electricity.

Bill Clinton's summit evolves amid financial crisis

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Responding to the global recession, former U.S. President Bill Clinton's philanthropic summit this year will focus on ways for companies to profit from tackling poverty, climate change, health and education.

Climate Scientist James Hansen Arrested in Mountaintop Removal Protest

SUNDIAL, West Virginia (ENS) - West Virginia State Police today arrested at least 29 demonstrators, including government climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, actress Daryl Hannah, and 94 year-old former West Virginia Congressman Ken Hechler, for tresspassing on the property of a mountaintop removal coal mining company to protest the destructive practice.

The protesters deliberately entered the Goals Coal plant owned by coal giant Massey Energy to draw public attention to the destruction of mountains immediately above the Coal River Valley community of Sundial in Raleigh County.

US nixes 40 percent cuts at climate change talks

MEXICO CITY – President Barack Obama's climate envoy dismissed recommendations that the United States and other developed countries reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases 40 percent by 2020.

"The 40 percent below 1990 (levels) is something which in our judgment is not necessary, and not feasible given where we're starting from, so it's not in the cards," Todd Stern said Tuesday at a conference on global warming.

Society faces 'irreversible' impact from climate change

Society faces "serious risks" from climate change - even with a global increase in temperature of only about two degrees, according to a new report.

The study, by the University of Copenhagen, said that if society wants to minimise these risks "action must be taken now".

It's going to get hotter in Florida, says scientist

It's a story of extremes, including long-term heat waves, higher sea levels and water scarcity for Florida. A new federal report provides a dire region-by-region assessment of the potential effects of climate change, and calls for aggressive action now to slow the pace of global warming.

Dr. Amanda Staudt, climate scientist for the National Wildlife Federation, contributed to the report, released this past week by the Interagency Global Climate Research Program, a project of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Climate refugees will not flood rich nations - study

LONDON (Reuters) - Migrants uprooted by climate change in the poorest parts of the world are likely to only move locally, contrary to predictions that hundreds of millions will descend on rich countries, a study said on Wednesday.

Climate ball up in the air

Let us address the three key questions in turn. Have global temperatures cooled since 1998? On a three-year moving average of low to mid troposphere satellite temperature data, the answer is no, although if averages from April 2002 to the present are used, the answer is yes, with the continuing trend being downwards. Score a behind (or, for those north of the border, a try without conversion) to team Fielding.

A more important question is whether temperature changes during periods as short as a decade are quantitatively relevant in climate change. A recent paper from the US National Climatic Data Centre in Geophysical Research Letters suggests not, as the present trend of global warming has sufficient fluctuations that on one estimate there is a 10 per cent probability of a decadal cooling event in the first half of the 21st century superimposed on the global warming trend. Any number of of arguments can be made regarding the underlying assumptions and statistical methods used in such a study, but the principle of finding negative trends in a fluctuating upward trend is hard to ignore. Perhaps team Wong missed an opportunity to score a goal with this one.

Group warns global warming would be devastating to crops

As the planet warms, bringing with it wetter springs and hotter, drier summers in Illinois, one of the state's biggest commodities – corn – will not be immune to the effects of global climate change, according to a report issued Monday by Environment Illinois.

Hotter fields will mean lower yields for corn, and as a result, Illinois corn growers could lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year, the report found.

Agreement on U.S. Climate Bill Clears Way for Vote in House

(Bloomberg) -- A plan to limit U.S. greenhouse gas emissions won new support under an agreement to give farmers and coal-fired electric utilities added benefits in a bill set for a vote in the House of Representatives this week.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, and Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat, reached an agreement yesterday after weeks of negotiations.

For anyone who's interested in gardening, a patch of flowering milkweed and wild asters are REALLY great for attracting loads of native bees. Also, stepping out and getting overwhelmed by the milkweed flower's fragrance and seeing the bees buzzing around is a real waker-upper in the morning.

I've noticed that milkweed is grown in public parks in Canada, but is considered a noxious weed in the US.

As a kid I used to hang out (when my parents visited the guy) with a bee keeper. In my whole life I only got stung by a bee only once, and that was when I stuck my hand in a place where I shouldn't have.

Just rambling on today....

My favorite bee-friendly plant is borage. Bees simply love the blue flowers on it. I planted it several years ago and now get so many volunteer plants each season that I have to thin them. The flowers are delicious for humans too and the leaves as well if cooked right - nice cucumber taste. My chickens also love munching on the plants. The seeds are a concentrated source of GLA fatty acids. Borage is worth planting if you have a bare corner of the yard. No maintenance needed.

Milkweed is a constant battle in my garden in the Adirondacks. ZERO honeybees in garden or clover in field. Some bumblebees, they seem to be immune so far. Wasps and hornets also very few in number.

Good morning. It's good to ramble.

For whatever reason, the central coast of California is abuzz with bees. I personally prefer not to get stung, and my daughter who is disabled couldn't defend herself if attacked, so I'm usually somewhat panicky about bees.

However, as a new backyard farmer, seeing the bees continuously buzzing the plants has had a tremendous impact on my understanding of bees and my attitude towards them. Especially in light of all the reports I've read about the bees disappearing.

So I make sure my daughter is appropriately protected, and I make an effort to increase my personal spine support and now regard the bees as guest.

One question for those of you in the know. Are wasps (and I don't mean angry republicans) good for plants as well?

Thanks. I hope everybody enjoys a nice early summer day. Unemployment is not all bad.

Wasps AFAIK are predators and usually good for a garden. Yellow-jackets, for example, feast on cabbage loopers.

EDIT: Actually, I believe the wasps lay their eggs on or in their caterpillar prey, and the larvae do the feasting.

Some types of adult wasps also eat cabbage worms directly. A cole crop plant under attack by worms emits compounds that attract wasps..

A couple of tips concerning bees from a beekeeper. Bees that are foraging on plants will not "attack" a person unless aggressive behavior is shown toward them. They will become aggressive at the hive if the hive itself is in danger. Bees will be attracted to carbon dioxide emitted from an animal or if a person is wearing a strong perfume. The worst thing you can do is to swing wildly at a bee. This is viewed as aggressive behavior by the bee. If a bee buzzes near your face, hold your breath and be still. Beekeepers generally just ignore them; you get used to them buzzing around. If one is going to sting you, she won't fool around buzzing your head first. Remember, a honey bee only has one sting and she dies after using it.
Wasps are good for garden plants due to the fact they are carnivorous and consume huge quantities of insect pests that ravage gardens. I have seen people put coffee cans on metal fenceposts around the garden to attract wasp nests for this reason. Bummer if you back into a post while mowing the yard though.

New Farmers,
Domestic honey bees are generally so peaceful that you can work in thier midst for years w/o getting stung by the one in a million bee with an attitude,but do NOT disturb the hive unless you know what you are doing.An accidental lick on the backswing of your scythe,or a loud racket like a lawn mower to close does occasionally elicit a sting.

But peaceable as honey bees are,I have been stung many times by them,most often by wrapping my hand around a ripe apple or peach to pick it with an unseen bee feeding on it.Can't blame THAT bee.

Yellow jackets and all other local colony dwelling wasps wasps of my acquaintance are VERY aggressive if you disturb the nest-which is VERY easy to do accidentally,AS MOST ARE IN LOW HANGING WEEDS OR UNDER GROUND.A jacket nest entrance is usually only around an inch in diameter,even if the colony is a very vigorous one.

Although they are useful predators we usually destroy yellow jacket colonies located w/i ten feet or so of any area we work regularly-but they are so common here you won't miss even a dozen colonies locally.

If you do disturb a colony,just move away as quickly as you reasonably can.If they follow you,which does happen,it won't often be more than maybe a hundred feet.

If necessary,turn at right angles to your escape path after well away,which will help throw them off.

I hear about somebody sensitive to bee sting dying in this general area just about every year,so if you are sensitive,get your doctor to prescribe the adrenalin injection kit or whatever she prefers and carry it religiously when gardening .


Bee stings do not seem to bother me but a mason bee or funny bumble bee stung my right hand and it took a week for the swelling to go down. They were in the ground next to an old grape vine that came back from the dead and I was pulling weeds next to.

What ever it was had some white on its body and slightly smaller than a full grown bumble bee.

As a kid we used to capture bumblebees in a certain flower. Just fold it up with them inside...maybe..it was hollyhocks..yes it was. Big flower and bumblebees all over it. Take it too a girl cousin and hand it too her..then run like hell.


We used to do the same thing with foxgloves - a short tubular flower. You could easily pinch it shut and feel the bumblebee buzzing inside.

Another anecdotal data point: here in Central NH, not a single honeybee have I seen this year. And yet the fruit set on my apples is phenomenal. I'm afraid it's going to be like 2 years ago, when I actually had a couple of branches break on my Macoun tree from the weight of the fruit!

Yeah Airdale,
you NEVER FORGET WHEN ANYTIHG THAT LOOKS LIKE A BUMBLE BEE STINGS.Been there only a couple of times-two more than enough.

About the swarm-It's a real pity that you weren't able to get that on film,but it may have been pre-camcorder days.

Local beekeepers have lost about half thier hives but we have plenty of wild bees locally,and some are superb fruit pollinators.That probably accounts for the other comments about fruit set w/o seeing any honey bees.Can't remember thier name but only a couple of the little buggers can pollinate a small orchard-one visit per blossom is enough.

But they are solitary.Research is ongoing to see if ways can be found to enhance thier numbers.

I've helped work bees a few times without getting dressed for it and gotten away w/o getting stung,but you can't count on it.

Probably was a bumblebee; they nest in the ground in old mouse holes. According to what I have read, they vary in size from year to year according to the quality of forage.
Hit a nest couple years back while brush hogging and one got me in the earhole a couple times. Bumblebees have smooth stingers and can sting multiple times. Thought someone had shoved a red hot poker in there.
I didn't have much chance to outrun them on my old Massey in grandma low,thankfully there was the only the one to get me.

My experience with honey bees is this after raiding a naturally downed bee tree. A big oak with a very large hive.

A friend had came to me to ask me to sharpen his chainsaw. He told me he was going to save a bee hive in a blown down oak tree a few miles away..I told him I would sharpen it for free but I was going to go help him with the bees.

So we did. And he cut with the chainsaw right thru the trunk and right thru the middle of a lot of comb.Yet the bees were fairly docile.

I smoked my pants and shirt and squatted right beside him as he transferred lots of comb into his frame he brought along with a super of some kind.

It was about a three hour job. What I observed was that you do NOT want to wear dark colored clothes for this resembles a bear...bees enemy and they sorta do not like those colors. I was ok in that regard.

The bees would do their thing and load up on honey so not prone to sting. Every once in a while one would circle my head round and round doing the crazy bee song....buzzing very loud..this meant he was telling me to be careful...and I never never swung at them as my friend cautioned.

After a while I noticed some stingers left behind on my shirt sleeve. Had never seen a bee on my sleeves but there they were.

Later another guy drove up,one I knew and who the guy stealing the hive was getting the bees for since he had no hives and wanted one.

Funny but soon as he got near the bees went right at him and tried to tell him to back off. At 15 feet they started to sting him. He was a sorta asshole kinda guy and then started swinging at them even as we yelled to him to not do that.

I was still squatting right over the opening in the trunk and judging the honey and comb. It was really black and my friend said not really edible.

Later we seen the queen. Everywhere the queen walked about 5 minutes later a bunch of bees would follow her trail unerringly. He picked her up and put her in the super he brought and after a bit some bees went there. He then set that box near the open trunk, gathered up his frame and hung it in the box/super...left for the night.

Next day the whole hive was in it. My friend did not wear a veil nor did I. I just set and watched and handled a few. Very docile. I think they can almost understand what you are about. I never got stung. Not once.

That day I learned a lot about bees. These looked to be Italians that had went feral.

Next year a hive was swarming and came down into my driveway a lit on a yellow pine branch about 5 feet off the ground. I walked out and watched them form up from about 2 feet away. They were loaded with honey and not in a position to sting unless I became a threat.

I told my little nephew to come out and watch but he wouldn't come near and my wife was up at the loghouse almost screaming at us to get away,get away....I remained with the bees and brought them a bucket of water for the night.

Next morning I walked out to check and they were coming apart..it was a huge ball of bees but starting to become airborne. As they finally all resolved into one huge swirling mass I walked into the middle of them..about 5 feet to 8 feet off the ground and they started to move across my meadow...I walked in the cloud with them to the woodline and at that point they shot upwards to tree top level and moved rapidly off over the nearby woods.

Apparently scouts had been out and located a good tree for the hive.I felt a sudden loss at that time as they exited stage right and were soon gone,,the sound of a full swarm in motion slowly faded away...it was exciting and welll spiritual if you must know.

I remember it vividly to this very day. Haven't seen another swarm since then. And now the bees around here are almost all gone. I hope not for good.

I had planned to start construction on a 'nuc hive' this spring..garden says otherwise but I hope to soon. There is something about bees that gets in your head. At least mine.

Airdale-I wrote this as I saw it and remember it..it sounds like a fairy tale as I reread it...full of nature and little gradspeak...sorry but nature doesn't do much scholarly dissertations.
What you see is what you get.

I got the chance to step into a swarm and walk with it once for a ways, and I felt the same, it was a privilege and a spiritual thing. By my standards anyhow.

Some of my bees decided they didn't like their home last year, and I happened to be home and saw it. They all flew around the hive for a while making quite a commotion, then all up to a treetop into a ball for about half an hour or so, then they broke up and headed off to who knows where. I didn't have an extra hive ready to capture a swarm, so I was just as glad that they didn't hang around anywhere close by! ;-)

Surprisingly, the hive they left behind continued on just fine. I worried about their re-queening themselves for a couple of weeks, but finally I started seeing new brood, and they rebounded in population very quickly. Still going strong this year.

Maybe the colony knew that the old queen wasn't quite up to snuff, and she got the hint and left gracefully while she could!

What I read WNC is that when they begin making queen cells that the time for a swarm is approaching.

There is a guy who made an electronic device to detect changes in the frequencies of sounds within the hive..a certain frequency is a clue that the wings are doing what they have to do to get ready for a swarm..their whole activity changes, like they quit storing honey or fanning it to reduce the moisture or something similiar...

Intended to save the plans and build one but got sidetracked.A fairly simple circuit as I recall.


What makes honey bees so valuable as pollinators is that they tend to pollinate true to type. That is, worker bees (the sterile females) working on one flower (sweet clover, for example, or alfalfa--honey bees cannot reach the nectar in red clover, which is why bumble bees are usually the ones working that) work only the alfalfa or whatever it is. When a flow in their plant stops (at certain times of the day), they tend to rest in the hive, rather than switching to another plant. The effect of this is to maximize pollen from one plant (sunflowers, e.g.) being transferred to another plant of the same species. Consequently, there is fertilization of the plants and not mixing of pollen from different species of plants.

If you watch bumble bees or wasps and hornets, they tend to fly about from one flower to another. Not so useful for pollinating.

This is definitely a drive-by "discussion" of honey bee pollination! :o)

Beingtime, you are absolutey correct.

They will work the locust flow and nothing else then switch..this enables a good beekeeper to sell you Tulip Popular honey or locust honey or sourwood honey or run of the mill clover honey...They pull the frames are just the right time and thereby capture just one flow...

Tupelo being top grade, then sourwood, then on down to finally clover.

I prefer that dark tulip popular honey above all else but right now you are just not going to get any. Its not there anymore. Those days are gone.


Airdale,I'll trade you a few cases of poplar for the same of sourwood and meet you halfway any time.

So our problems are reversed in relation to these two kinds of trees.

My wife once put Reemay on a garden in early spring, accidentally trapping a wasp underneath. We noticed that it killed all of the slugs, and also seemed to be pollinating the flowers. We've often thought about deliberately repeating the experiment, but we've never taken the trouble of actually catching a wasp.

Milkweed (Asclepias sp.) Are not considered a noxious weed in the US by butterfly and habitat gardeners. In addition to bees, many butterflies are attracted to Asclepias. Some Asclepias are infact of awesome beauty. Right now in the US from the east coast to Kansas you'll see the beautiful Orange Butterfly Weed along the roads and highways, Ascelpias tuberosa, covered with insects and butterflies. The Monarch butterfly is particularly well associated with these marvelous plants.

Happy rambling.

Almost every day someone else acknowledges peak oil. The link above: Peak oil: myth or reality? has some startling quotes:

They (the IEA) come to the conclusion that decline rates are far higher than previously thought, between 6.7 and 8.6% a year...

Moreover, the US Army Corps of Engineers expects global oil production to peak anytime between 2010 and 2015.

“By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 MBD… (US Joint Forces Command)

However, since the IEA conducted a detailed study in its 2008 WEO, it no longer denies the hard truth; the so-called “doomsayers” were right.

The peak oil deniers seem to have the ground disappearing beneath them. But they are still out there spouting their nonsense every day. But with the IEA coming around, and with the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the US Joint forces Command, whatever that is, advocating a crisis and very soon, their case gets more absurd each day.

Ron P.

some of them seem to be jumping from the disappearing peak oil ground to the 100 yr supply of ng quicksand. that will take a few yrs to come to light. the momentum for the quadrillions of cf of ng fantasy seems to be increasing.

Yes, reading further I found that even the EIA now acknowledges peak oil. Well, at least some of the folks at the EIA acknowledges peak oil. Quoting Stephen Harvey, Director of the Oil and Gas Office at the EIA.

“There are many compelling arguments regarding the increased difficulty in reaching oil reserves which may well result in a future view of historical production that looks sort of like a bell curve. And, it is quite plausible that the peak of that curve is around now.

Stephen Harvey and his colleagues over at the EIA would do well to have another look at the EIA's Mission and Overview page on their web site and do right by their taxpayers. If they don't come clean soon, there are going to be a lot more taxpayers wondering why the government is funding this organization to the tune of $110.6 million for Fiscal Year 2009.

Alan from the islands

I echo this timely comment.

I'm still puzzled about the British "All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil and Gas" and their actual mission. All the tell-tell signs for an imminent PO are here NOW, but what has this group done as of yet ?

From their About section " Although the group will not produce its own prediction for the date of Peak Oil, it will analyse the various predictions that exist"

GW Bush did one important thing - namely order The Hirsch Report - did the above British congregation Appgopo read it ?

I think an important point to remember is that this is self-selected interest group, whose members happen to be MPs. They have zero official recognition, beyond being given very basic facilities to meet and have their meetings recorded. Even these are physically inadequate.

These parliamentary groups are designed by the UK government to give under-employed MPs some sense of doing something useful, or simply entertaining.

The official government policy on peak oil is still not to have a policy.


At least two former senior UK Government Labour Party Ministers (Michael Meacher and Brian Wilson) are on record as saying that the UK Government knows all about Peak Oil but, by policy, will not acknowledge this in public.

Where the website says "the Government’s assessment is that the world’s oil and gas resources are sufficient to sustain economic growth for the foreseeable future." it is quite simply being "economical with the truth" as the UK establishment calls a lie.

Thanks for reply Ralph, and I'm afraid you are right, little or nothing will be done before we have actually flown off the cliff.
This is seemingly the Achilles Heel of democracy : It is simply not possible to take real and hard measures, when from most peoples perspective it "looks all fine" .....

Must we really wait for a serious depression or a wide-spread war before we get it ? I am longing for a good, kind and intelligent dictator.

I am longing for a good, kind and intelligent dictator.

You know nought of which you speak.

Irony is not your strongest side ,but I should have issued a sarcanol warning.
But if an intelligent and kind dictator exists, it could do the trick. Yellowpages maybe ?

I'm ready to be a benevolent dictator for the sake of civilisation:-)

I regularly attend their meetings, most of the attendees know all about peak oil, that's why there is the group, but we get to hear all sides of the 'problem'. The cornocopian 'experts' tell us that there are huge reserves of oil in the world - so that's ok then!

Sadly, these so called 'experts' don't understand that peak oil is about flow rates, EROEI and ELM etc. Other peresenters who do understand peak oil and the implications for the UK are completely unaware that their proposals for mitigating future problems are totally flawed! These experts prove to me again and again that experts know almost nothing about almost everything, a very serious fact of life to bear in mind!

Sometimes the peak oil aware presenters (some have written articles for TOD) try and lobby the Government directly, but the Government are in denial and refuse point blank to recognise and adequately act upon the linked facts of peak oil or climate change 'because we can't be 100% sure'. Even this week the Prime Minister called for the price of oil to be lowered or our economic recovery is at risk.

In reality it seems there is nothing adequate the UK Government as currently designed can do, as they have been voted in to improve our quality of life by continuing BAU and that is what they will try and do. This is the important message, bear it in mind when considering your own life strategy!

thx for this update xeroid ! It's a good thing that "TOD" has someone attending these meetings relaying some aspects on what they are all about.
As you mentioned here and in a reply yesterday - there are to many 'experts' and to few 'generalists' --- this is an important observation b/c it makes all the difference with respect to action or no-action.

One need to see the complete picture to understand - not only today - but into the future. Most 'experts' lack philosophical and historical depths. They live right NOW and love to talk loud and long about their 'narrow niche', which is the most important thing on this planet .... (seen from their neck of their papers)

Even this week the Prime Minister called for the price of oil to be lowered or our economic recovery is at risk.

And that way when the price doesn't come down he'll have another excuse for the economy worsening...

I would also think it quite likely that Brian Wilson's (former UK Energy Minister) appearance on Newsnight Scotland last year to talk about Peak Oil was ok'd by No. 10. I recall he commented that it was easier for dictatorships to address the Peak Oil problem than democracies.

"...the Government are in denial ..." "...Even this week the Prime Minister called..."

The Prime Minister is not only in denial but is a blatant liar.
He claims every year in the future public spending will rise (5 June), but after the next election (next year at latest) spending will have to be cut whoever is in power. He claims to increase capital spending up to the Olympics (17 June), but the government's own figures show there will be cuts every year to 2014.

He obviously believes if you repeat a lie enough times people will believe it.

"He obviously believes if you repeat a lie enough times people will believe it."

He is correct! Every elected official knows that or at least enough people will believe it to get re-elected. The interesting thing is that no one holds that against a politician (I guess they believe it is normal for the group).

He obviously believes if you repeat a lie enough times people will believe it.

My favourite 'spin' expression of the PM is 'it's right ....' even though if his Government's policies had been right our economy would not be in the state it is now, he for one has clearly been wrong again and again!

It is normal for humans to make mistakes, the PM just can't bring himself to admit that he's nothing special - confident but wrong, IMO. Just repeatedly saying something is 'right' doesn't make it so.

It is generally accepted that if lies are repeated often enough they become the truth-subjectively-which is generally sufficient to the goals of the liars.Another way of saying this is that history is written by the winners.

Indeed. History tells us nobody lost an election underestimating the intelligence of the British voting public.

That comment was noteworthy, and the annotation says it's from a private email conversation, suggesting to me that the EIA is cautiously cozying up to the whole declining resource issue by allowing its personnel to make such statements and have them published. Presumably this is the White House's will being made apparent.

Excellent article which I'm book marking, but the footnotes unfortunately are inaccessible for the time being.

I recall Dr Bakhtiari stated that he believed it was the plan of various "players" to intentionally muddy the waters at PO by vastly playing up NG reserves.

"...The peak oil deniers seem to have the ground disappearing beneath them ... their case gets more absurd each day"

OK, so what do you think will happen when there are fewer peak oil deniers? My take is that there are very few peak oil deniers and very few peak oil believers and great many sheep who are fixed to their tvs etc. and I doubt it will mean many more peak oil activists. Until we have a groundswell of people saying we must take action then our "leaders" will do very little:-(

It ought to be clear that for any expansion to be sustainable, the growth in resource consumption cannot exceed the growth in resource production. Since Earth's resources are finite, and it has a finite mass and receives solar radiation at a constant rate, human civilization cannot sustain an indefinite, exponential growth.

Your so-called "leaders" are doing quite a bit about it. Hence the US presence around the world to defend Amerkun interests in general, and the ME in particular.

OK, that's not the action you'd prefer.

I would guess that soon there will be some sort of ELM shrinkage type effect with military use of energy - military use will take priority over all other uses of oil imports (even if you can afford to pay for them, which I doubt!) - leaving even less energy for the civilian part of the economy.

OK, so what do you think will happen when there are fewer peak oil deniers?

Several things could happen. The government may finally take action to conserve along with efforts to try to mitigate the decline. I don't expect that to help very much however. There is nothing the governments of the world can do that will prevent collapse.

My greatest hope is that it will provoke more people to take action that will enhance their chances of being among the survivors. And I really believe there will be lots of survivors. It is just a wild ass guess but I would estimate that the world population 50 years from now would be about 10% of the population today. That is an awful lot of survivors. So you, and everyone else under the age of about 60, should take action now.

Ron P.

I think it is generally acknowledged population growth and a non vegan type diet are 2 substantial contributing factors towards oil depletion and pollution. In other words the more population increases and the more meat eaters you have the faster you will use oil and in turn pollute the environment. My question for the doomers is do you follow a vegan diet and how many natural children do you have? Since doomers generally say people need to be aware of peak oil if their behavior turns out to be the same as the general population I'm not sure what good having the knowledge is. If doomers are not breeding like rabbits and a larger percentage of doomers have a vegan type diet then having the knowledge is probably a good thing.
On the other hand if Darwinian is correct and 50 years from now we have only 10% of todays population people may be encouraged to breed like rabbits now. The more offspring you have the better chance your individual gene pool will survive and the better chance for your individual survival as blood is thicker than water.

My question for the doomers is do you follow a vegan diet and how many natural children do you have?

No, and I have three. Actually I had four but lost one. But all that breeding happened 40 to 50 years ago, long before I became aware of peak oil. (Or anyone else for that matter other than M. King Hubbard.)

Since doomers generally say people need to be aware of peak oil if their behavior turns out to be the same as the general population I'm not sure what good having the knowledge is.

It doesn't do me a damn bit of good. I am 71 and hope to be safely dead by the time TSHTF.

I am not sympathetic with your cause Abureaucrat. Humans are omnivores by nature and all your veggie preaching will not change that biological fact.

...todays population people may be encouraged to breed like rabbits now. The more offspring you have the better chance your individual gene pool will survive and the better chance for your individual survival as blood is thicker than water.

That is the way it has always been. Peak oil changes nothing in that respect. People do not consciously try to get their genes into the next generation. They only consciously desire to have sex. Getting their genes into the next generation is a consequence of that innate desire.

Peak oil, or the coming consequences of peak oil cannot change human nature Abureaucrat. I have no idea what you are driving at.

Ron P.

Darwinian if you have been involved in the oil industry most of your life how could you not have known about peak oil? Once you became aware of how oil is created and man kinds increasing use of oil it should have been obvious at some point in the future oil would become a problem. The first clue I remember was in the 70's when everyone was waiting in line for gas. Granted the term peak oil was not generally used until recently but that does not seem relevant. My degree is in marketing and I have never worked in the oil industry but at least I was aware back then at some point in the future oil would become ever more valuable.
I am not a vegan and have no causes. I eat red meat about twice a month. I restrict it strictly for health reasons. I brought up the vegan issue to see how many doomers are walking the talk to conserve since a lot less oil is used to feed a vegan than a meat eater.
If humans did not want their gene line to continue there is effective birth control which has been around if I'm not mistaken since you were having children. Having children is a pain in the butt,expensive and brutal on a woman's body so why have them if humans only want sex? Just a guess but I suspect many couples discuss how many children they want. Darwinian are you saying you and your wife never discussed how many natural children you both wanted to have? If you did have this discussion its shows a deliberate effort on your part to get your genes into the next generation.
Abureaurat no c

Abureaurat, I worked for ARAMCO for five years, but with their computer system. I had nothing to do with their oil production. That, and the 30 days I worked as a roustabout out of Odessa Texas in 1959 is the extent of my work in the oil patch. I never stated, in any post on this list or anywhere else, that I have been involved in the oil industry most of my life.

I said nothing about people not wanting their gene line to continue. How was it possible for you to read that into what I wrote? People do discuss having children and often have them out of a desire just to have children. That has nothing to do with their desire to put their genes into the next generation. All animals have the innate desire to have sex, they do not have an innate desire to put their genes into the next generation. That is the consequences of the desire for sex. That is the gist of what I wrote.

Do you actually think that when a new lion takes over the pride and kills the young that are not his, that he realizes that he is not their daddy? Hell no, he has no concept of fatherhood. He is only driven by instinct, instinct that works to put his genes into the next generation. Men may want to advance their genes but that is not the primary reason they have kids. And I doubt that it is ever a reason for them having kids when they don't really want kids.

Ron P.

Darwinian you stated "people do discuss having children and often have them out of a desire just to have children." Why not just adopt if advancing their genes is not an issue?

You also stated "Men may want to advance their genes but that is not the primary reason they have kids." What is the primary reason and once again why not just adopt if that is not the primary reason.

I have no idea what a lion is thinking.

As far as your involvement in the oil industry from reading some of your previous posts it seemed you had some expertise on the subject gained through work or studying the subject because of an interest. Now it seems you are playing down your knowledge of the industry. Do you consider yourself to have an expertise on the subject through years of study or not?

Unfortunately I will not be able to reply to any post as I have to go to bed if I'm going to work tomorrow.

Have you ever tried to adopt a child?

It ain't easy. Nor cheap.

The gene pool argument is another example of too much book, not enough reality. Over-thinking a thing. When people choose to have children vs. adopting/not having children, it is emotional, and it is all about "mine." While you could argue that is nothing more than the expression of instinct, I would argue it is just an emotional need to belong, to own.

And, of those few people who actually think about their genes being carried on, virtually all of them are thinking about blood lines, not genes. Again, this is emotional, not rational.

I would also argue that about 6 billion people on this planet would never even contemplate this point. Their thought processes generally will be something like this:

Horny? Yes. Want pregnancy? Yes. Ooh! Ah. Ohh....
Horny? Yes. Want pregnancy? No. Safe sex. Ooh! Ah. (God, I hate these things...) Ohh....
Horny? Yes. Want pregnancy? No. Safe sex. UH...ain't got any. Well.... Ooh! Ah. Ohh... (Some time later) Oops!

Darwin and his genes rarely enter the picture. Again, you can argue this is biological imperative, but we are as much mentality and emotion as we are genetic predisposition, so it's a dancer/dance question, and moot in terms of people's day-to-day experiences.

As for the meat issue, as with all things, moderation is the key, as is choices of meat. Cows as we grow them are not natural-derived meat. We would probably do well to let them die out except for any naturally descended breeds, if any exist. But meat is not the problem, it's the scale of it. A little meat in the diet is a healthy addition. A lot of meat, not so much. As Darwinian pointed out, those animals evolved right next door, and are meant to be eaten, judging by our teeth.

Anywho... if you want to get people to look in the mirror, it's best to use a good mirror and not a fun house mirror. Asking people to contemplate their desire to add to the gene pool isn't one that's going to get you far, and neither is a vegan diet.

All that said, I have one child and hope to keep it that way... barring #3 above... and have stopped buying any kind of beef.


If we have a 90% reduction in population. Who will live and who will be culled. I read so many articles about people preaching about "we should have less humans on Earth". They say we should have less people. Other than mass sterilization, firing squads, nuclear, I can't see how the population will drop by 90% in 40 years. I never hear people talk about the rest of the equation-who decides who lives(or Dies) and what if some of my family members are chosen for the latter part.
I understand that a large and growing population will put further strain on available resources. But simply culling the sheeple is not an entire solution in itself. That just means the 10% remaining can and will use what the other 90% would have used. So in the end--No net savings--SSDD.

Disease will do the culling.

Well, it will be more than just disease. It will be all four of the Four Horsemen, War, Disease, Famine and Pestilence. No one will do the culling. We did not control population on the way up, why does anyone think we will have any control of population on the way down.

Ron P.

Disease,famine ,war,pestilience as Darwinian remarks.

Peak lead is not a term heard yet,but it may become a part of the vernacular in the next few decades.

Have you bought ammo lately?
All signs point to peak lead.

War is the usual outcome of deteriorating economic conditions. Perhaps there will be a war that will become known as "The Great War" that will take care of the surplus population.

The social mood will turn down when peak oil finally is recognized. We will experience a stock market crash just like in the 1930’s, except while in the 1930’s it was recognized that what economists call “creative destruction” swept out the obsolete non-mechanized and non-electrified segments of the economy, along with a lot of former farm and factory jobs, this time it will be the automobile and oil industry and their massive infrastructures. Think of the high unemployment when refineries and chemical plants close, along the rest of auto manufacturing, car dealers, highway construction, auto repair, parking lots, etc.

Infrastructure transitions have historically occurred on a 55 to 56 year cycle, the 50% completion year being:
Canals 1836
Railways 1891
Roads 1946
Accordingly, airlines were due to be at 50% in 2002; however, they may have already peaked.
(From: Predictions, Fig. 9.5 by Theodore Modais based on Arnulf Grubler’s The Rise and Fall of Transportation Infrastructures)

By now we should have begun some new technology to power transportation in the future. It will not be synthetic fuels because production has barely begun, with oil sands being best developed and very little gas to liquids, coal to liquids and no oil shale. Electricity seems the only likely substitute, with nuclear being the most likely source. I see no possibility of hydrogen, besides, we will need that for fertilizer.

What remains to be seen is whether streetcars or plug in electric vehicles will be the mode. History shows streetcars as being the fastest transition, and I would assume the cheapest because were able to implement that technology 100 years ago.

Darwinian, your estimates are vaguely similar to those provided by Charles Galton Darwin during the 50's in various speeches and papers. His book The next Million Years is available free on the internet.


pain, dispair and agony on me......... deep dark depression, excessive misery. ...


Not 48 hours ago you posted a long reply saying my claim that there are many government organizations doing studies regarding peak oil and oil supply was simply rubish. In case your memory is weak, let me paste just a smidge of your attack as a reminder.

That statement is so wrong it is pathetic. The government hasn’t a clue as to how much oil is in the ground. The government is really a bunch of bumbling bureaucrats who get paid for producing reports and behaving as if they knew what they what they were talking about. What is truly amazing is that so many people, like you, actually believe that the government really knows what is going on.

Now you've quoted 3 government organizations which have produced reports and come to the same conclusion I predicted, although maybe not in the "ounces" range. These reports seem to confirm my "pathetic" conclusion and you seem to agree.

Have you had an epiphany since my last post, or were you just being angry for angers sake? Because really, it becomes a very difficult stretch to take your posts seriously when your position can change so dramatically in such a short time.

I'm not a big fan of personal attacks since they rarely provide any lasting value, but since you made a point of belittling my opinion, I just thought I would follow up and see if perhaps you can explain what you really meant. Take your time, organize your thoughts, and let me know. I truly am bewildered by your unexplained about face.

A rational discussion that does not personally attack my position would be quite welcome.

And I stand by that statement. The government hasn't a clue as to true world oil reserves. And if you remember that was what the debate two days ago was all about.

And for that matter neither I, nor anyone else I believe, has a clue as to what world reserves of crude oil really are. I believe they are about 350 billion barrels below what is officially published by the EIA, the IEA or OPEC. But that is just my opinion, just a wild ass educated guess. Reserves can be questioned, flow rates cannot because it is hard data.

Peak oil is all about flow rates, or were you not aware of that fact? And to find that out all we must do is look at the data. Data, as Matt Simmons is fond of pointing out, trumps all theories. Decline rates are also part of current hard data. Decline rates simply cannot be denied. That is why, after the study, the IEA changed its position on peak oil. (But not proven reserves as far as I know.)

Some EIA employees, as indicated above, now acknowledge peak oil. These few men or women are not the government though they work for a government agency. I once worked for a government agency, NASA, and I never considered myself part of the government.

The government is basically our elected officials. And they haven't a frigging clue as to what is going on. They basically think we will soon pull out of this recession and live happily ever after. They, or most of them, haven't a clue that peak oil has anything to do with the current recession. And they certainly do not know how much oil is left in the ground.

Ron P.

Edit: The government is swayed by public opinion. Obviously because the public votes. Witness James Hansen's opinion and the government's attitude to him during the Bush Administration. Notice how the government's position changed since then?


Likewise about the headline but later I realized that the average guy on the street would not know enough to make the distinction,as some folks think of peak as half used-which is not necessarily the same timewise as peak flow.

Thinking people not yet energy savvy who see that little piece will probably benefit from it- not that there very many thinking people.

Thank you for your kind reply.

My thesis has been that there are plenty of government entities which are well aware of what is going on and I believe this goes all the way to the POTUS. I do not believe that these organizations believe they have a vested interest in sharing this understand for a variety of reasons, chief among them is fear of fear.

I also think the organizations you quoted support my claim.

The good news is that we don't have to agree and I'm happy with that. In fact, if everyone did agree with me, I would probably change my position. I do completely agree that the numbers of entities in the denial camp are shrinking and will eventually shrink ascentotically towards zero, without ever touching of course. The facts will overtake the opinions soon enough.

I look forward to debating this and other issues further. I yield the last word if you wish.


I also think the organizations you quoted support my claim.

And your claim was:

It is my belief that the government knows within a few ounces how much oil is in the ground and what the ramifications are when we run out.

Within a few ounces??? No, nothing quoted in the article posted by Leanan this morning "Peak Oil, Myth or Reality?" supports your claim. As I stated, the government hasn't a clue as to how much oil is left in the ground. No one does. In fact the amount of recoverable oil in any given field cannot be determined until the last barrel has been pumped out. There is simply no way of knowing so the government, any government, cannot possibly know.

All that being said about reserves, what about the government knowing what the ramifications are when we run out. Well, besides the fact that we will never run completely out that statement is wrong also. Basically our elected officials, as a whole, have the same opinion as their constituents, and they know very little more. Have you not listented to their mantra? It is "Drill Baby Drill". A few know, like Bartlett and Udall, but on the average they are as dumb as dirt. And even those who acknowledge that the oil supply may be getting low believe that X will save us. Where X equals God, providence or technology. Our government is basically a mirror of the general public. That is they reflect the public's opinions. Hell, could it possibly be otherwise?

Ron P.

Written by jteehan:
My thesis has been that there are plenty of government entities which are well aware of what is going on and I believe this goes all the way to the POTUS.

Being aware of peak oil is different from acting wisely to deal with the problem. President Obama's stated and enacted policies show that he is not acting wisely to deal with peak oil. His stimulus plan wastes hundreds of billions (if not trillions) of dollars attempting to return the economy to growth while spending a tiny fraction on relevant projects. The income tax rebate squanders money. High speed commuter rail portrayed as necessary to compete with airlines will break the budget unnecessarily competing against an industry that peak oil will likely make prohibitively expensive for the general population. He is continuing the ethanol mandate to appease Illinois corn farmers. He supports CAFE standards which are responsible for the pathetic fuel economy of SUV's and pickups. The high priority project of electrifying our long distance freight rail lines as per Alan Drake's proposal has received no funding. Obama's plans to build out wind and solar power and put 1 million PHEV's on U.S. streets by 2015, are too slow. His energy and economic policies indicate that he is either unaware of or rejects peak oil in favor of responding to climate change and Keynesian economic theory. Being aware of peak oil is trivial if he will not use the knowledge to act appropriately. A failure to react appropriately creates a compelling argument that he does not truly get it and therefore does not accept the premise of peak oil.


Regarding your 11:59 rely to jteehan;

Your analysis makes great sense in every respect except one.

A politician must necessarily work within the confines of whatever paradigm exists during his term in office-no politician in the free world can LEAD the people,in the sense that a general can lead an army or the ceo(who owns enough stock) can lead his company.

A very small number of leaders such as Martin Luther King and Gandhi are successful in leading social change movements but thier methods take a couple of generations at least to bear fruit.

The President has only a limited amount of tactical freedom and very little strategic freedom in choosing among the POLITICALLY POSSIBLE and POLITICALLY FEASIBLE subset of the the universe of technically possible and desirable courses of action.

In other words the art of leadership in our society consists of figureing out where the herd is headed and getting out in front and bawling like hell in cow speak "FOLLOW ME!!!!!"

Personally I do not doubt that a great many congressmen and senators are scientifically as dumb as fence posts (or as subject to intellectual blind spots as every body else,to put it more kindly),but all have staff and I find it hard to believe most have not had a trusted staffer at least occasionally brief them on the "big picture" in regard to energy,if for no other reason than to be better prepared to cut deals in committee.

I believe that we can accept it as a given that O Bama (and all other presidents as far back as Carter at least)is fully informed-how much he really UNDERSTANDS is open to question in my mind, as personally I do not think the truth can REALLY hit you in the gut unless you have seriously studied some physics,chemistry,biology,geology, or engineering.

(Consider that if you were illiterate you would have to take someone elses word for it in regard to any mistake in respect to a checking account,rather than reading the statements/checks and doing your own factfinding.I don't know if O Bama has any science classes to his credit.)

I believe that OBama does understand the situation,and that most of the key members of the leglisative branch understand.

Maybe they're doing the best that they can in getting in front of the ACC and Keynesian crowds(which have been building up in size for a long time and are therefore politically extremely potent) and trying to steer the herd as best as they can by partilly by coopting these movements and partially by simply encouraging them.

All of them would be out of office next election-if there WERE elections- and there would be riots with tear gas and bricks flying in within a week if any body at the TOP of the power structure acknowledged the truth officially.

Maybe I'm being way too generous when I say as "the best they can" but the herd that put them in office is focused on right here right now prosperity and issues such as gay marriage,etc, rather than energy- and that herd can and will turn on it's leaders as fast as an old tom cat will scratch if you pet it the wrong way.

I'm afraid a crash is inevitable,as too little too late is going to sum it all up in the end anyway.

Now of course my analysis is only my personal opinion,but it is based on reading history and a few truckloads of newspapers over the years.

I think you are over-analyzing President Obama's policy.

As a candidate he advocated mitigating climate change and presented a list of methods. After being elected president, he implements his list on a schedule that is consistent with climate change but not the more immediate problem of peak oil. The agencies that advise the U.S. government about energy are the department of energy, EIA, IEA, and USGS. The Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, vigorously advocates biofuels consistent with the president's policy. The EIA is still making rosy predictions of ample supplies of crude oil for the next 20 years. The IEA published a WEO 2008 report that had a more somber tone than in the past but was filled with contradictory statements allowing the reader to pick and choose his interpretation. Last I heard the USGS is still optimistic. None of those sources are giving Obama sound advice about peak oil. A Congressional staffer is just a person with a degree in law, history or politics, not a scientist, geologist, engineer or mathematician. There is no reason why a staffer's research would extend beyond publications from the EIA, IEA and USGS. We do not know what advice the military has given Obama about energy, but whatever it is, he has not changed his energy policy from the one he advocated during the campaign.

As in science the simplest explanation is the most reasonable. He rejects peak oil because he does not talk about it and his policies do not address it.


I believe you have missed the main thrust of my argument altogether.

If there IS ANYBODY in the world who is sophisticated in the art of coverup,misleading arguments,straw men of every sort,etc,....then lawyers and congressmen are included.

Luck plays a big role in making it to the top, but brains are necessary too.

Such people are not easily fooled -but they have every reason to APPEAR to be fools sometimes-actually anytime the wise guys like us are few in number compared to the voting population.

Now as to whether they take the data seriously,you may have seen my comments a few days ago about evolution,death,religion,and cognitive dissonance.

Let me express this thing a little differently.

Suppose you are driving a bus load of little kids and thier moms down a long mountian and you realize your brakes have failed.

Now just what do you announce to your passengers?IF there is a panic,some mothers will throw thier kids out the windows and jump themselves.A couple of others may mob you and try to drive the bus themselves.There will be a panic on the bus as sure as sure can be if you announce the brakes are busted.

So you hope like hell you can ride her out to the bottom and just quietly announce that it's always a good thing to have your seat belts buckled-if there are any.

If there is both a successful descent of the mountian AND a panic,you lose your job and your assets in court,as well as your reputation.

Senior leaders who disturb the peaceful sleep if the citizens or the stability of the stock market are soon writing memiors and making speeches on the rubber chicken circuit-although the food is better at that level.

I expect that Stephen Chu for one knows as much as any body about the state of the energy industry-just from reading the scientific journals.I see no reason why the military spy satellites,which are substantially better than the ones used to Google the earth,have not been focused on the worlds oil fields occasionally,and I know for a fact that the navy knows to the nearest fifty meters where every large ship in the world is at any given instant.

I expect that a man who runs an atom bomb lab can see anything he wants to see simply by telling his secretary to put it on his desk if it's too hot for the local intranet.

(And yes I know the satellite can't see the oil as such,but the men,machinery, pipelines,etc are all in plain view.)

Now I do not doubt that 90 percent of the legislative branch is way behind the curve- but after all the cornucopians DO have a very long and mostly unbroken track record of making us doomer types look like idiots.

I myself won a local high school public speaking contest based on the doomer scenario- I was ever so wrong at the time,but the competition was worse. Somewhere around fifty to sixty years years later I will be proven right,I THINK.

I'm sure the president and his very closest advisors have off the record conversations. And I mean TOTALLY OFF the record.

So maybe they ARE doing as much as they reasonably can,give thier obligations to the people who put them in office-such as the auto workers ad infinitium and the corporations who own thier futures if not thier souls.

Of course we will agree that what they are doing is way too little and almost certainly way too late as well.

I have commented here before that the only hope for serious society wide action is a pearl Harbor type event that will set the stage for action.

Type usjfcom and joint operating environment into your search engine.

One thing they do is serve as a sort of in house think tank- and they offer stuff free for download.

Joe 2009 has evidently not been released yet.

You personally will not need to be reminded that even senior military people must speak indirectly and not disturb the stock market or the sleep of the tax payers,but some visitors here are not savvy to this sort of communication.

When they say something like "four new Saudi Arabias" you are expected to figure it out for yourself-while you're making the decision to stay in and go see the elephant or get out and stay home and raise some kids who know thier Daddy.

You will find a wealth of thought provoking data in this report,regardless of your opinion of the armed forces or the use being made of them for the last few decades.

Thanks Mac, I will check it out.

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending June 19, 2009

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 15.0 million barrels per day during the week ending June 19, up by 354 thousand barrels per day from the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 87.1 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production rose last week, averaging 9.2 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production increased last week, averaging about 4.1 million barrels per day.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged nearly 9.3 million barrels per day last week, up 247 thousand barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged 9.2 million barrels per day, 628 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 971 thousand barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 289 thousand barrels per day last week.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) decreased by 3.8 million barrels from the previous week. At 353.9 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 3.9 million barrels last week, and are in the lower half of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and gasoline blending components increased last week. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 2.1 million barrels, and are above the upper boundary of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories increased by 3.6 million barrels last week and are above the upper limit of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 5.3 million barrels last week, and are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

What they were expecting:

Analysts expect the government will report crude inventories fell 1.3 million barrels in the week ended June 19, while stocks of gasoline likely rose by 1 million barrels and distillates likely rose 600,000 barrels. Analysts expect refineries upped operations 0.1 percentage point to 86% of capacity. The U.S. Department of Energy is scheduled to release the data at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

Separate data released Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute indicated gasoline inventories climbed 3.7 million barrels in the week, far more than expectations. Gasoline's price premium to crude has plunged in recent days on fears an annual summer spike in demand won't materialize.

Conventional motor gasoline stocks are down 22% from same time last year. Should this be cause for concern, or will my Nissan run off of blending components?

They're also up 4% over two weeks (supposedly).
Gasoline demand is stable while demand is in the toilet for other products. So it makes sense to store more of those than last year.

Your Nissan is supposed to run off gas produced by refineries. There's supposed to be plenty of crude around so I wouldn't worry too much. If availability is critical to you, stockpiling might be a good idea. You never know...

Is diesel available at the pump in your neck of the woods? That's been getting (relatively) cheaper over the last 6 months or so and there's a lot of the stuff in storage apparently.

Diesel and gasoline are two sides of the same coin. When you refine for one, you get the other.

When the economy was good and shipping was active there was high demand for deisel and gasoline was a valuable by-product. Now the situation is reversed.

Let's not belabour the refining platitudes.

The question for me is: where is diesel available at the pump? It seems like diesel would make sense for heavy drivers who need something beefier than a small, fuel-efficient car (these ARE available everywhere, right?). You can drive for quite a while on a couple of jerrycans with one of these.

In the UK the cheapest price of diesel in my area is now below the most expensive gasoline, this is a very telling, unusual, statistic.


In my experience, availability of diesel in the West Coast states is not a problem. I have a 12 year old diesel pickup (full size, weighs 6100 lbs), and I have traveled between Californina and Washington via Oregon more times than I can remember in the time I have owned it, and have never had a problem finding diesel. The I-5 route is well covered with truck stops and standard service stations that sell diesel. On the coast, every little wide spot in the road has at least one station that sells diesel. The truck gets around 22mpg highway and has a 34 gallon tank, so I can make it from the Bay Area to Puget Sound with one fillup.

What's the obsession about gasoline availability then? No more light diesel vehicles on the used market? Some kind of law against that?

I was partially joking, trying to point out the uselessness of blending components to an end user such as myself. Like saying I have 1 cup of water but 999 cups of flour, so I have 1000 cups of bread stocks? Sounds very reassuring when put that way. Plenty of bread to go around!

I'm not too concerned with availability since I lost my job 2 weeks ago. I only drive it once or twice a week now. Diesel is highly available in my area (Eastern Iowa) but I guess my worry is more about whether or not we have the petro products available to allow any kind of economic recovery. Like you said, there's plenty of crude and diesel but will that only hold true as long as we are in economic contraction? If the 18-wheelers get back out there in full force what will diesel availability be like then?

I was hoping peak oil would be more like permanent camping, but the real thing is slow like molasses! Still have a place to live and a car, but life is being hacked away piece by piece, beginning with unemployment.

Peak oil is not the rapture. It'd take war or something to get a fast collapse.

There's more than enough oil for a recovery... if the Saudis are to be trusted. Everything kind of hinges on that.
It doesn't look like there's enough oil for the Chinese to use 1/10th as much as the Yanks though. That's likely to be the issue of the next decade rather than a collapse of production. You might not like the price though.
Production could collapse any year for all I know but it sure isn't happening yet and few are betting on it on the open market. Hell, there's little betting on strong demand growth in China!

Don't forget to hack back at the rich on your way out. Good hunting!

There's more than enough oil for a recovery...

You may be right, but the real question is this: Do we have enough oil for what happens after that recovery?

Hansen got arrested for protesting coal mining in West Virginia according to the news Leanan posted.

This makes a whole lot more sense than the emissions rights boondoggle or even DC protests.

Has anyone got a good online news source?
Is there anyone those of use who aren't in WV could spam or boycott over this?

Recession generation? Young adults brace for simpler lifestyle

The Millennial generation, or Gen Y, ranges from people in their 20s to those still in grade school. But what they all have in common is the knowledge that the recession has in some way shattered the world they thought they knew. And, depending upon how long the downturn lasts, historians, economists and psychologists say it could shape Millennials' values and attitudes in much the same way the Depression shaped the attitudes of those growing up in the 1930s.

"I call it the end of Disney World," says Michael Bradley, an adolescent psychologist in suburban Philadelphia. But now, young people are reordering their values.

"It is their version of the American Dream," he says. "They talk more about having autonomy and freedom, and in so doing, not being as enslaved to material goals that they perceived their parents being caught up in. They do talk about life happiness not based on economic success or achievement as much."

I'm Gen X. I felt like I could see this coming when I saw the twin towers come down in 2001. I explained to my American fiance the story of Israel, the middle east, oil etc... This was of course all new to her as most American Gen X'ers grew up on Mario Brothers, Beavis and Butt-head and Waynes World. I think It dawned on her too that the attacks represented something more than just a loss of life for 3000 odd people. But an impending change of lifestyle for all Americans. Oil prices since 2001 tell the rest of the story.

Its sad but liberating. I got to dream and live the American dream for a while - I wondered if it could really last. Then in 2001 It was like the doctors told me I had about 10 years of it left. The last 8 years have somewhat resembled the "bucket list" for me.

When the financial collapse happened last year it felt like the point of no return. Its not just a thought experiment, its much closer to home.

I understand some think we are on a stair step of repeated L shaped recessions. I tend to think the forcing inputs are L shaped, thus the resultant output (the measureable economy) will be more like a bouncing ball bouncing down the L shaped steps. It could be argued that is worse than the repeated L shapes, because each time the ball bounces up the herd will assume that the panic is over and we can go back to BAU.

Its OK folks the captain says the ship is unsinkable - go back to your cabins.

I have always disliked DisneyWorld - it seems like a corrupting influence that tries to push both instant gratification and the idea that everyone is a consumer. I guess it is really just a symptom rather than the cause of all of this...

My wife doesn't agree with me though - she thinks if the kids are having fun then that's good enough..

I suppose. But its clones showed me that there could be walkable cities, pedestrian culture, and civic amenities, which was useful as my city had none of these. I told my parents I wanted to live in Disney World, so I could walk where I wanted (or take the train), ride rollercoasters, and people-watch. Aside from the rollercoasters, it's a pretty good description of Paris...

Are you trying to make cats laugh? Every single word of Thomas Friedman's ridiculous post is a Big Brotherism.

I'm no fan of the Ayatollah system, but who the hell is Thomas Freaking Friedman, husband of a billionaire and pampered spewer of brainless business sophistry, to talk about being born on 3rd base and perceiving triples?

By the way, Iran is actually in compliance with the NNPT, unlike us, we who sponsored the very Shah that Friedman now uses as a club.

And, ahem, exactly when will oil be $25 a barrel, Tommy?

Spare us the propaganda, TOD.

Don't get me started on "Little Tommy"--

Next we will taking Freakonomics seriously.


You little piece on the Jewish Zombie in the Campfire Knowledge Crash essay was quite laughable and somewhat bizarre...

To bad we couldn't throw back a few margueritas and do some serious headbanging about it.

I think I could explain where your problem with it is for I have been hounding it for lo these many many years.....

The point in a nutshell is this..Its not what it seems to be. I know that takes all the fun out but its not literal...its rather mystic...and hidden...but worth the time...

I could say one word and cancel all of it out...to be replaced with something that ultra orthodox jews understand but Christianity does not...

There is a body of literature that precedes the bilblical aspects of it.

Chrisianity has become a cash cow...a business. Not a belief system and that is why it is under attack and rightfully so as it should be.

I left mainstream many years ago.

Anyway..I loved you piece and will keep it to spring on my self-righteous friends. They so badly need a severe jerking around.

Airdale-rib-woman....Makes me think of what it means to 'go get some ribs'.....forgive me ladies..I couldn't help it

I'm famous (well, maybe infamous) for my Margaritas. They started calling me Jim Jones down in Laguna Beach, but that is another story. I would love to have a few with you! I have a friend in Columbia Missouri, and if I'm out that way, I'll look you up.
As far as the religious thing, it is something we all must look at, as uncertainty often increases the extremes, and myth and story define most humans reality.


I want to read your zombie piece.Where is it ?

The fool says he will only talk with Iran if he's got "leverage".
Does he not understand that blackmail can backfire?

The Bulldozer and the Olive Tree. Coming soon to Basra, Dammam and Hormuz!

The NYT columnist is flat

Nonetheless, if you take a few minutes and can get past his tone some of what he says makes sense.

He is pointing his rhetorical weapons at the wrong target, and has a few grossly erroneous assumptions, yet his proposed remedy has a practical air to it.

I was pondering the set of problems associated with oil imports and the enrichment of madmen and dictators that it enables, as well as the weakening of our own position by being forced to take actions in regions where our only interest is oil.

I came to a slightly different, and likely more palatable idea:

An import tariff on petroleum and bulk refined petroleum products. $10/barrel would be enough to nudge everything in the right direction without being perceived as punitive by any of the active players.

Sanctions and low oil prices have been used against Iraq... to what effect? Sanctions strengthen the regime because they make the people dependent on the regime's dole.
It makes no sense whatsoever.

"You" are not forced to take action anywhere. No one forces gangsters to racket those have goods for sale.

You are funny.

So is Friedman, but at least he is coherent.

The trick here is to lead the herd, and most of that is best done by subtle means. People are contrary and won't do things that are good for them for the sole reason that they think someone else wants them to.

On the other hand, if you make the desired path just a tiny bit easier and the undesired paths just a tad inconvenient, most folks will end up where you want them.

I take it you do not see yourself as part of the herd.
I am honored to amuse you!

At least you appreciate it.

Of course I'm part of the herd.
Merely knowing how the flows work is insufficient to release yourself from them fully.

That takes more determination than I seem able to sustain these days.

The "Export Land Model" in English: NET is what matters, not gross

A commenter to the prior post mentioned Jeffrey (Westexas) Brown's "Export Land Model," which is a very, very important concept that I think everyone needs to be familiar with.

It's actually quite easy to understand, although I think the terms used are off-putting and confusing.

Off-putting? The name is spun off from some economics model, right - the Land Rent Model or the like? Never been confused by it, sometimes I'd get lost in Khebab's data perhaps, but as the author states it couldn't be easier to grok.

I think we need a grabby name that explains the concept in the name itself: I propose that, instead of referring to the "export land model," we talk about either the

* Oil Producers' Export Contraction curve ("the OPEC curve"), or, if you prefer, the
* Oil Exports' Continuous Decline curve ("the OECD curve")

Hah! I like it, and do agree that catchiness conveys your intentions more forcefully, whether intentionally (C.H.A.O.S, MADD) or not (WPPSS, OIL.) Basic marketing.

"ELM" suggests dying trees, too. Was that your intent, guys? Never made that connection before.

I really just proposed the simple little ELM to help me understand Net Export math (building on prior work by Deffeyes & Simmons, et al). It seemed logical that net exports would decline faster than production, but I was stunned by what the model showed, and then we compared the model to known net export declines like the UK and Indonesia, and we saw the same type of accelerating decline rate that the model showed. And now Mexico is showing the same pattern (Export Land, the UK, Indonesia and Mexico all were consuming about 50% of production at final peak).

Peak Oil is like a commercial airliner doing a gradual descent for landing. Peak Exports is more akin to an airliner doing a near vertical dive into the ground.

Even before exports reach zero, any countries in steep decline like this will see huge financial imbalances as the money that they would have received for selling the oil will no longer there be there. What that actually means will depend on the country I suppose, and who it is that actually gets the money.

Secondly, I suspect a similar dynamic will play out with food. As oil availability goes down, so will food production capacity, and exports will be the first place to start cutting.

ELM for Export Land Model is a good name. There is no need to tinker with it.

Never noticed that roads buckle under heat before. Asphalt is pretty pricey these days, too. Few samples:


North Dakota


Ever see the white limit line at a stop sign curved in an unusual way right where the wheels of a car line up? That happens because the asphalt gets hot, then when a car accelerates hard off the stop sign or traffic light the tires PUSH the hot asphalt backwards toward the car behind them. Just a little each time until the lines looks pretty weird.

In some states like Arizona and Nevada it is pretty common. I've lived in both places and seen some lines moved by as much as two feet !

Most of the time they do not repaint them for many years as it takes a long time to move very far.

If you seriously rode a bike,not a pedal type mind you, but a real bike and ventured onto blacktop in the summer then you would become extremely famaliar with the propensities of tar,oil,tarsnakes,cracks in same and what happens when it gets wet...

If you survived that is.

Then in the great shitzoid farm belt you might take a turn just right and before you lies a great string of spilled soybeans..little round hard marbles by the thousands...you are about to then get up close and real personal with those beans. Like some will become part of your epidermis. Again if you survive.

Or better yet you take that right smart tight turn and here is a huge corn header coming right at you at top speed. No flagers or flashers out in front. Its you and the corn or bean or wheat head and you learn then now grain feels as it passes the various stages of high speed threshing and out the flayers in the back you go ,,,piecemeal.

Ah yes the open road before you, a few brewskis to straighten the curves a bit and whamoooo...momma now has a nice will and setup for life if you were stupid enough to buy insurance...she will be f**king Jody before they scrap your remains into the ground.

Moral,,,never trust blacktop. Well concrete as well for that matter and if you see a female with a cellphone in her ear???Say a prayer.Fast and start shutting down...

Airdale-three times each day my ass is in my heart and my hands are whiteknuckled,if I ride that is. Amurkah..don't cha love it?

As Dave Ramsey says, "When you play with snakes, you get bit."

Calculated Risk has a post about skyrocketing credit card default rates, and about Chase increasing their minimum monthly payment from 2% to 5% of outstanding balance. One of the stories:


George of Thornton, CO June 23, 2009
Like Jack of Texas, I have 40,000 in Credit Card Debt with Chase at 3.99%, which by contract they cannot change. Now they increase the minimum payment from 2% to 5%, arbitrarily and without explanation. This increases my required payment from 800 to 2000, which will be impossible for me to do.

If I can't make a payment, my interest rate would go to about 23%. Strangely, by their new rules, the minimum payment would now be about 1000, but at an interest rate that will never allow the debt to be paid off.

What did they do with their Stimulus money? I'm going to ask Mr. Obama, Max Baucus, my Senators, and my Congressperson and the New York Times. Perhaps they can explain it to me.


Yergin is on Bloomberg radio now....4:45 pm eastern

That is just wrong. Yes, they are snakes - I am so glad I have no debts at all. Nobody can jerk me around like this...

Edit: In reading all of the sob stories, all of these folks are in debt up to their eyeballs, and didn't see any problem with that at all. Some of them transferred debt around shopping for good interest rates, but it didn't seem to occur to any of them that maybe they ought to just pay the thing off. And at 5%/month, the balance will actually decreases rather rapidly.

In most cases, it appears that Chase is waiving the 5% rule and going back to 2%, if the debtors agree to a much higher interest rate. Basically, it appears that they are trying to coerce many of their customers into agreeing to much higher interest rates.

Chase can not be trusted. I borrow not because I have to but to take advantage of good offers. Back in the day of easy credit there were a lot of them but now no so much. I took the offers on face value believing that the banks meant what they said. Most of them did, but not Chase. I held the cash in CD's until I needed it half suspecting the offers were too good to be true.

Chase offered 3.99% until paid in full. They are in the business of lending money and must have known that at the minimum payment of 2%, paying off the loan would take over 25 years. So in reality the offer was a long term unsecured loan. At least that is the way I viewed it.

It turns out that Chase simply defaulted on their offer and changed the terms. That is no different IMO than a borrower being late, falling to make payments or defaulting. The credit card agreements are suppose to apply to both parties not just the borrower or what is the point?

Chase started adding arbitrary $10 "service" fees to my account. Then they arbitrarily tripled the payment/month without warning all in violation of the credit card agreements. So I just paid off my balance. According to news reports their excuse was that the loan was not being paid off fast enough even though the credit card agreement was very explicit as to terms.

After a couple of months of fees after I paid off the balance I called to ask what was the reason for the charges. I was told after waiting for 1/2 hour for a live person that the fees would be refunded if I closed my account. I happily agreed since I do want to borrow from a dishonest lender.

A few weeks ago a check from Chase arrived for $20 for the no reason fees I paid before I closed my account. Then I got a statement showing that the $20 credit had been paid and that my credit limit was still $23,000. On an account that was supposedly closed!

Chase is really screwed up and does not know its own business. Watch out.

I remember a professor at school telling me one day. "There will always be oil. The planet will never run out of oil. It will just get to the point where it will become too expensive to produce."

This reference comes from a professor who recently passed and opened my eyes before his passing.

Well ... yeah.

Because somewhere deep underground there will be an obscure rock with a porous bottom side and a few drops of oil trapped in those pores.

Good luck finding that one rock. Good luck getting a drill to exactly hit that rock. And good luck pumping enough water and detergent down that borehole sufficient to flush out those last drops of oil.


I posted this question on yesterdays drumbeat but that's mostly history now- no response.

Does any body know of any reputable organization that can pass the mouthpiece smell test that has taken a position on peak oil that is not on board now?

No response needed if you can't think of one.

I do think that every group on board is helpful.Eventually the msm will cover PO seriously in spite of thier corporate masters,because the story is getting too hot to ignore.It will still be too little too late,but it might help some folks get ready.

Hello TODers,

I was offline for several days: till trying to catch up! Anyhow, I thought this might be of interest:

Just a Spoonful of Sugar: Finding Profit in Sour Gas Fields

Though this might sound comforting, there is a blot on this idyllic landscape. Only one blight spoils this idyllic landscape: about one third of the natural gas reserves contain high carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide concentrations, which considerably hinder commercial development of such deposits. Gas containing hydrogen sulfide is toxic, highly corrosive and can significantly harm the environment. Its treatment requires the application of sophisticated technologies and adds substantial costs. However, at present, the world structure of natural gas reserves is changing for the worse. Clean and easily accessible feedstocks have run low. Almost 50 percent of global reserves are considered difficult to produce, requiring heavy spending.

Consequently, more and more companies all over the world are interested in developing sour gas fields, i.e. gas containing hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and other gas impurities. For example, Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Ltd. announced its intention to invest about $25 billion in the construction of two large gas processing plants and ten new onshore pipelines with a total length of 1,500 kilometers. Abu Dhabi Gas joined ConocoPhillips and began development of the Shakh gas field, which contains 30 percent hydrogen sulfide. In the long run, such unconventional hydrocarbon sources may be of significant importance in the world fuel balance. There are over 400 sour gas fields in the world, and about 130 are located within the European part of Russia. Currently, development of such fields is impeded by engineering and environmental problems. Their development requires solving complicated tasks to ensure engineering and environmental safety and economic efficiency. One of the major tasks is to utilize produced sulfur, which is not in high demand at present...
It would seem to me that a Webb/Pomerene approach to severely constrain the amounts of [S]ulfur available on the world market, thereby vastly raising S-prices/ton, could do much to provide immediate cash funding to develop sour natgas & heavy, sour crude. The effect on forcing I-NPK pricing higher, which is where most S is directed, could also vastly accelerate the shift to plowing golf courses, relocalized permaculture, and Kunstlerization, as full-on O-NPK recycling would then begin in earnest [with AlanfromBigEasy's ideas & SpiderWebRiding].

A high S-price would also severely restrict many industrial processes, thus forcing the huddled masses to focus on vital essentials versus discretionary luxuries. I have no idea what the correct pricing should be, or even if the major IOCs & NOCs & Govts are discussing this possibility.

They might agree to various tiered pricing levels throughout various geographies and industries [phased in over time]. For example: allow S to be relatively cheaper for producing I-NPK in Africa so that these people can ramp agriculture yields higher than the current low level. A high S-price in First World exporting farming areas would severely curtail food exports, which would tend to help support the Third World to ramp their I-NPK and O-NPK supply chains.

Recall that S and S-acid is very bulky and/or hazardous: it is not easy to smuggle in meaningful, industrial-sized economic quantities if the natgas & crude producers, plus govts, keep a very close watch on recovered-S, plus also curtail the desire to reopen any Frasch S-mining, which is more expensive/ton than recovered-S.

All this would be in keeping with elevating S to #2 on Asimov's List so that the Circle of Life and Optimal Overshoot Decline has a more realistic chance of attainment.

Have you hugged your bag of NPKS today?

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

Some evidence that S & S-acid is already mildly controlled by legal restriction:

..International commerce of sulfuric acid is controlled under the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988, which lists sulfuric acid under Table II of the convention as a chemical frequently used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances.[6]

In the United States of America, sulfuric acid is included in List II of the list of essential or precursor chemicals established pursuant to the Chemical Diversion and Trafficking Act. Accordingly, transactions of sulfuric acid—such as sales, transfers, exports from and imports to the United States—are subject to regulation and monitoring by the Drug Enforcement Administration.[7][8][9]

Sulphur transportation regulations and logistics continue to change as emphasis continues for increased security against international terrorist activities. Although incidents during transportation and handling are at all time minimum levels, all materials, including sulphur and sulphur compounds, are under scrutiny. TSI monitors for proposed changes to regulations impacting transportation and handling of sulphur and sulphur compounds. With assistance from its North American and European Working Groups, TSI serves as spokesperson for the industry.
It will be interesting to see if trends and/or legislation continue to severely constrain S availability, thereby increasing the price/ton, and increase stockpiling so that recovered-S will be postPeak accessible for future generations.

Hello TODers,

I wish I could get more recently dated market forecasts, but they are very pricey. Here is an older version for your perusal [10-page PDF Warning]:

Sulphur Supply/Demand Balance: The Outlook to 2015
Mike Kitto, British Sulphur Consultants
London, England

Although there have been apparent supply surpluses of sulphur in the last few years, their size has been small. As some sulphur producers at remote locations have continued to stockpile product, supply has in fact been tight, and some better-located producers have had to remelt stocks to keep the market in balance.

This tightness of supply now appears to be coming to an end as production gains in coming years, particularly from natural gas, will significantly exceed demand growth. We previously took the view that the return to higher levels of annual supply surpluses would be a relatively short-lived development as we assumed that greater use of acid gas reinjection would result in a slow-down of production growth and that new nickel leaching projects would add significantly to global sulphur demand after 2010. However, the uptake of re-injection technology has not been as widespread as we expected, and the nickel projects, though urgently needed, seem likely to be brought on stream more slowly than had previously appeared likely.

The sulphur market balance [Page 10]
Diagram VIII shows our latest forecasts of the balance of the global sulphur market from 2006 to 2015. In contrast with the paper presented in 2005, we now foresee large and persistent supply surpluses throughout the forecast period. This results mainly from changed assumptions regarding acid gas re-injection, Chinese demand growth and the rate of development of nickel leaching projects.

Over the 2006-2015 period, there is an apparent need for producers to
stockpile some 26.5 million tonnes of sulphur, with particularly large accumulations in 2008 and 2009. To put this in perspective, this implies an approximate doubling of world sulphur stocks over the next ten years or so. It would therefore seem essential for producers in Canada, the former Soviet Union and the Middle East to develop a coordinated stockpiling policy in the near future if chronically weak sulphur market conditions are to be avoided.
It is open to various intrepretations, of course, but this last sentence seems to argue for the Webb/Pomerene Act, and other International Acts, to coordinate higher pricing/ton for S. IMO, this only makes sense if we are headed into the postPeak era.

As I have been saying for awhile: "She comes down from Yellow Mountain.."

"Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter of Elysium,
Touched with fire, to the portal,
Of thy radiant shrine, we come.
Your sweet magic frees all others,
Held in Custom's rigid rings.
All men on earth become brothers,
In the haven of your wings."--Schiller

here is an abstract of an spe paper(10944-ms) you might find relevant:

"Acid Gas Injection Facilities for Gas Disposal at the Shute Creek Treating Facility"


Hello Elwoodelmore,

Thx[S] for the link on Acid Gas Injection, but IMO, IF my thinking accurately dovetails with Asimov's Foundations Concepts of Predictive Collapse and Directed Decline: we would be better served to keep the S on the surface by building giant S-block [S]hrines for future generations to use sparingly.

I think that postPeak yellow S-blocks will be more coveted than the yellow blocks of gold in Ft. Knox. Recall that ancient salt was valued equal to gold,too.

Recall my earlier, speculative posting series on building "Federal Reserve Banks of I-NPK". These primarily will serve as a 'bridge' to help tide us over as we ramp full-on O-NPK recycling. If the Fig 3 shark-fin of the net-energy Hubbert curve comes true...


...we should expect declining energy to severely impact our adaptation rate to a proper paradigm shift of Optimal Overshoot Decline. Since NPKS=>food surpluses=>job specialization=>thus, civilization: we should make every effort to have sufficient S-stockpiles so that we can beneficiate high analysis I-NPK and keep some measure of minimal industry going as far as possible into the future:

What is sulphur used for?
Sulphur is the primary source in the production of sulphuric acid, the world's most widely used chemical. Sulphuric acid is an essential intermediate in many processes in the chemical and manufacturing industries. Sulphuric acid also is used by the fertilizer industry to manufacture primarily phosphates, nitrogen, potassium, and sulphate fertilizers. It is also used in manufacturing other products, including non-ferrous metals, pigments, fibers, hydrofluoric acid, carbon disulphide, pharmaceuticals, agricultural pesticides, personal care products, cosmetics, synthetic rubber vulcanization, water treatment, and steel pickling.
Additionally IMO, high S-pricing can somewhat force a reduction in less monoculture acreage, greater relocalized permaculture, and much more efficient use of I-NPK [all good things to help the biosphere]:

Study highlights massive imbalances in global fertilizer use

..“Some parts of the world, including much of China, use far too much fertilizer,” Vitousek said. “But in sub-Saharan Africa, where 250 million people remain chronically malnourished, nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrient inputs are inadequate to maintain soil fertility.”
These possible Elemental NPKS trends I listed above are better to move us towards Kunstlerization, Alan's RR & TOD, and SpiderWebRiding too. Thus, it might help reduce the frequency, scale, and duration of machete' moshpits as more of us move towards cooperative endeavors.

Why do plants need sulphur?
Following nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, sulphur is an essential plant nutrient. It contributes to an increase in crop yields in three different ways: 1) it provides a direct nutritive value; 2) it provides indirect nutritive value as soil amendments, especially for calcareous and saline alkali soils; and 3) it improves the use efficiency of other essential plant nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus. Sulphur is necessary for plant growth and nutrition.

How much sulphur do plants need?
Most crops remove 15 to 30 kg for sulphur per hectare (S/ha). Oil crops, legumes, forages, and some vegetables require more sulphur than phosphorus for optimal yield and quality. Plants contain as much sulphur as phosphorus, with an average content of approximately 0.25%. Usual recommendations for correcting deficiency are 15 to 30 kg S/ha for cereal crops and silage grass; and 25 to 50 kg S/ha for oil crops, legume, sugarcane, and some vegetable crops. For more detailed information about sulphur demand for specific crops and regions, please see The Sulphur Institute's Publications.

Why is sulphur deficiency becoming severe in agricultural production in recent years?
Factors contributing to increasing sulphur deficiencies include:

1. More sulphur is removed from the soil as a result of an increase in agricultural production by increasing fertilizer use, intensifying cropping systems, promoting high-yield crop varieties, and improving irrigation.
2. Less sulphur is added to the soil due to the increasing proportions of high-analysis, sulphur-free fertilizers, such as urea, diammonium phosphate (DAP), and potassium chloride; decreasing use of traditional organic manures and sulphur-containing fertilizers, such as single superphosphate and ammonium sulphate, and sulphur-containing pesticides.
3. Lower sulphur dioxide emissions are reducing atmospheric availability, one of the important historical sources of sulphur for agriculture around industrial areas. More stringent environmental regulations in Western Europe, North America and increasingly in developing countries have reduced atmospheric sulphur deposition, which leads to sulphur deficiency in agriculture.

What is the role of sulphur fertilizer in crop production?
Both the yield and quality of crops grown on sulphur-deficient soils are reduced unless sulphur is included in the fertilizer treatment. Sulphur fertilizer can increase crop yields and quality and result in significant economic returns to producers. Sulphur fertilization also improves overall fertilizer efficiency.

What sulphur fertilizers are available?
Most sulphur-containing fertilizer materials generally can be divided into two groups: 1) fertilizers containing sulphate, and 2) fertilizers containing elemental sulphur. Sulphate-containing fertilizers provide most of the fertilizer sulphur applied to soils. The most significant and popular sources are ammonium sulphate, single superphosphate (SSP), potassium sulphate, potassium magnesium sulphate, and gypsum. These materials have the advantages of supplying sulphur primarily as a component of multi-nutrient fertilizers in a sulphate form that is immediately available for plant uptake. Elemental sulphur-containing fertilizers are the most concentrated sulphur carriers. However, elemental sulphur has to be oxidized into sulphate form before plant products, such as granular sulphur-bentonite, have improved the effectiveness of elemental sulphur by providing elemental sulphur in an acceptable physical form so that it can be used for direct application and bulk blending with little dust and be converted more readily to sulphate form in the soil. Most manufacturers offer specially formulated sulphur containing nitrogen or nitrogen phosphorus potassium (NPK) fertilizers, such as urea-sulphur, elemental sulphur, modified/enriched monoammonium phosphate (MAP)/diammonium phosphate (DAP)/NPK fertilizers.
A fast shark-fin decline in FFs [Fig 3 again] will set off a desperate 'Last Bubble' race to hoard I-NPK and ammo [also sourced from NPKS]. IF Peak Outreach becomes successful: we will want strategic reserves of wheelbarrows & bicycles more than we will want rifles & machetes.


On the soil surveys I received back from UnivKy I do not ever recall seeing sulphur listed or tested. I could be wrong but don't know if I saved any of those samples.

When I worked on season for a BigAgChem firm hauling fertlizer on a nurse truck I also do not recall S ever being mentioned or in a bin. Might be mixed with P or K, Map or Dap...


Here is a website listing what they test.

Hello Airdale,

Thxs for your reply. As you already know: I am a city-boy, so I welcome any additional info from those who have their 'knees down in the dirt'.

My guess is back in the olden days when S was freely allowed to pour out of smokestacks, causing much acid rain, that sufficient S in the topsoil was generally Not a Liebig Minimum. According to prior links I have read and posted before: because of required smokestack scrubbing for enviro-protection--this is now changing.

FOCUS: Iran Removes Oil Chief Torkan Amid Political Unrest

Iran has unexpectedly fired one of its senior oil officials amid ongoing unrest on the streets of Tehran.

His removal comes as tensions run high in the Islamic republic, with reformist challengers to incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, led by Mir Hossein Mousavi, disputing the outcome of this month's elections with protests across the country.

The sudden dismissal could raise concerns that political unrest in the second-largest member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may be spilling over into the country's oil industry

"If his removal is for political considerations, it is sad to bring in politics into the oil industry," Manouchehr Takin, an analyst covering Iran at the U.K.-based Centre for Global Energy Studies. "He was considered a 'doer', someone getting things done. He got projects moving."

Torkan, said the oil ministry has appointed an interim caretaker, Ebrahim Radoafzun, formerly one of five director generals working under the deputy minister for planning, until a new deputy minister is appointed.

IMO often the news on this site is depressing-we should balance it out with some inspiring, feel good news-here is some from Germany-gotta love the backbone of those old Krauts http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1194891/Pensioners-kid...

Ignorant question, but I'm wondering if a 1400W, 220V microwave oven could be run off a 12V battery, with a converter to get to 220V? That is, even though it would suck a lot of juice, people would use it for only a few minutes to cook a meal, so they wouldn't necessarily quickly drain the battery dry. Or would they?

At 100% efficiency the current drain from the battery would be well over 100 amps. Not only would you drain the battery but you run a very real risk of a fire or explosion!

Most convertions from DC to AC run from 50% to 75% efficeint

Just checked my 200W walley world inverter. 107W in, 88W out, for 82%

skipping the AC conversion bit here to 220 V , but think 20% loss or so.

And say your 12V battery has the capacity of 100 Ah (Ampere hours)you get the Watt-hours available in multiplying => 12V * 100 Ah = 1200 Wh =1,2 KWh

... so in an Ideal World you could run your Microwave for 1200 Wh/1400W = 0.85 hours = 51 minutes
- In the real World say 1/2 hour then, this depends on your batterys capacity. Most batteries are better than my example. Having a battery bank (multiple 12V batteries in parallel) will add to the life of this setup => less amp-hours from each battery, less heat build etc.

You have to say a bit more about the battery to get an answer.

I have a 110ah Deep cycle battery that might be alright with that kind of loading, but you are really talking about a real battery bank and a household-scaled inverter. I mean this is really a 1kwh battery, and it would be asking for 1.4kw from it, or a 40minute time window to full discharge.. not what I would do to a precious battery.


That's an expensive one.. and it's a 24volt inverter (ie, TWO of your 12v batts in series), which drops the DC current-flow by half. When I can install a system, it's likely going to be 48volts or more.

I'd probably be looking for an alternative to the microwave (we actually don't use them anymore..), not knowing the situation you're working with. When it's with Solar-charged batteries, that's a lot of Sun-heat that was shunted off for a few watts of battery storage. Seems like some way of catching the HEAT itself would ultimately be preferable.


I use this one with 48 volt battery pack...


It will run a 120V microwave

I use it to run a chainsaw on my solar bio-fuel(wood) harvester


Could also run a 120V AC unit

can you use a solar oven ?

A typical battery has an amp hour rating (say 100 amps) and that rating has a specific time involved for that series of battery. Example, you can get 100 amps out of it @ 10 amps for 10 hours. If you put a 100 amp load on that battery, it will not last anywhere near one hour and furthermore, it may not recharge to full capacity ever again. In other words, it is possible to ruin the battery with too high a load even for a short time. You must look up the exact specifications for your individual battery and do not exceed the maximum discharge rating or amp hour rating. Often time the maximum discharge amps are called "Crank" amps, like you are 'crank'ing over a ICE to start it.

BTW: The term is "inverter" when going from DC => AC.


"Converter" has a DC output like a battery charger. A voltage regulator used on a solar system to regulate DC output to prevent overcharging a lower voltage battery is called a "converter" also though it is a DC => DC voltage regulator.

I have an off-grid PV system that uses 12 V batteries and a 120 V AC 1,200 W microwave oven. The difficulty of running a microwave oven is the requirement that the AC voltage remain high enough to allow the magnetron to operate. If the voltage drops too low, the magnetron consumes the same power but makes few microwaves. The high voltage supplied to the magnetron is multiplied by a transformer, not regulated, meaning that a nominal 220 V AC is required. A modified sine wave inverter will probably multiply the battery voltage by about 26 to produce the peak AC voltage. If the battery voltage drops down to 11 V under load, the output would be like a 202 V AC power source and underpower the microwave oven.

Assuming the inverter and wiring have an efficiency of 80%, expect the current draw from the 12 V batteries to be about 145 A. The inverter will need a power rating of at least 2,000 W. You will need 4/0 copper cable between the batteries and the inverter. Ten Crown 395 AH Deep Cycle Batteries interconnected with 2 gauge copper wire would be sufficient. Eight of them would probably be adequate provided they are near full charge and near room temperature.

If you are thinking of using a 120 A·hr battery from Sears, forget it. Even a 4,500 W generator can not run my microwave oven due to the AC voltage dropping too low, but my PV system runs it.