DrumBeat: July 5, 2009

In Public Housing, Talking Up the Recycling Bin

Proselytizing on the issue in housing projects is an enormous challenge but crucial, environmentalists say, given the incentive to cut back on energy and garbage disposal costs and a housing authority’s power to impose recycling rules building by building.

In New York, the incentive may be greatest of all. Only 17 percent of the city’s household waste makes it into recycling bins, and New York has the largest public housing system in the country, with 2,600 buildings, 174,000 apartments and more than 400,000 residents in five boroughs.

Saudi Aramco Cuts All Crude Prices to U.S. in August

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest state-owned oil company, lowered its official selling prices for exports of all crude oil grades to the U.S. in August.

Saudi Arabia decreased the price of its heavy crude to all destinations, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. Aramco cut heavy crude prices to the U.S. the most, by 75 cents a barrel to $5.50 below the cost of West Texas Intermediate crude.

A New Chief at Shell, and a Rocky Inheritance

NEW YORK — Even as Jeroen van der Veer was preparing to pass the baton to Peter Voser, who took over as chief executive of the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell last Wednesday, the contentious legacy of the company’s activity in Nigeria was nipping at its heels.

Earthquakes in Texas get the attention of Louisiana agency

A series of minor earthquakes recorded as recently as last week in Texas have raised the specter of tremors in northwest Louisiana, where a natural gas discovery has launched a gold-rush style drilling boom.

A similar rush hit north Texas several years ago, after geologists found vast stores of natural gas in the Barnett Shale, a layer of underground rock spanning 5,000 square miles. Thousands of wells have been drilled, and some scientists have blamed the recent earthquakes on the intense process used to extract gas from the shale, called fracturing.

El Niño Variant Is Linked to Hurricanes in Atlantic

Scientists have known for some time that El Niño, the warm spell that turns up every four or five years in the waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean, reduces hurricane activity in the Atlantic. But in a new study, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have linked a variant of that pattern — periodic warming in the central Pacific — to more frequent hurricanes in the Atlantic, particularly on the Gulf Coast and in the Caribbean.

Five things John Stackhouse can do to improve the Globe and Mail

Pay attention to peak oil. Stackhouse should give all of his editors and reporters a choice of one of three books to read: The Empty Tank by Jeremy Leggett; The Party's Over by Richard Heinberg; or Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller by Jeff Rubin (which actually got covered in the Globe). Then Stackhouse should ask his reporters to investigate ways in which Canadians can prepare themselves for what will likely be the biggest transformation in their lives. The Globe could play a significant role in preparing the country for major changes in the global energy market, which will have ramifications on transportation, agriculture, and trade. Most federal politicians are asleep on this issue. They won't be if the Globe gives it more attention. Why not base a reporter in the oilsands? It's one of the biggest stories in the world.

This is not your father's energy crisis

Every recession has its own unique characteristics, but usually there are a few common threads. Economic and employment issues, for example, typically tend to completely eclipse all others when conditions start to tank.

This time around, however, one issue that has historically fallen off the public agenda during downturns is proving to be one of the most urgent and enduring: the environment.

Costa Rica tops list of 'happiest' nations

(CNN) -- Forget Disneyland! Costa Rica is the happiest place in the world, according to an independent research group in Britain with the goal of building a new economy, "centered on people and the environment."

Calculating Consumer Happiness at Any Price

As an exercise, Dr. Miller asked readers of the blog to list the 10 most expensive things they had ever bought, and then list the 10 purchases that had brought them the most happiness. More than 200 responded. As we expected, many people rued spending lots of money for stuff that hadn’t brought them joy. Boats seemed to have particularly low utility in delivering happiness per dollar; many cars fit that category, too, and so did many expensive weddings.

But we were struck by how much overlap there was between the most-expensive list and the most-happy list. People repeatedly included on both lists their homes, their college education, their vacation trips, their high-priced electronics (large-screen televisions, Blu-Ray player, audio equipment, computers) and certain models of cars (BMW 325, Audi A4, Jaguar, Subaru WRX, Toyota Prius, Honda Civic).

SNP Would Bankrupt an Independent Scotland, But Benefit England

The prime driving force for Scottish independence is that of the perceived benefits from North Sea Oil revenues going wholly to Scotland rather than to Westminister. Whist it is true that 90% of North Sea oil revenues are due come from Scottish waters, however North Sea oil peaked in 2001, since which daily output has fallen by 50% in 8 years, the trend in declining output is expected to continue in the coming years as new oil fields are not able to make up for the declining output from existing fields, this is called PEAK OIL. The revenue to the government from North Sea oil has now fallen to £10 billion, of which £9 billions is attributable to Scottish oil fields set against the block grant Scotland receives of £32 billion from central government of which £8 billion is the value of the net subsidy.

Poland also grapples with fossil-fuel issue

Wind turbines generating electricity dot a hilltop in the largely flat, grassy expanse lying between Warsaw and Krakow.

A few miles away stands evidence of Poland's main power source shrouded in a thin cloud of haze: one of the country's massive coal-burning plants.

The country, with rich veins of coal, produces about 90 percent of its electricity from coal, compared with 50 percent in the U.S. and 60 percent in Tennessee.

Funding Boost for Waste Methane Processor

Landfills, coal beds and cattle feedlots all produce methane, which is often either flared — that is, burned off — or released into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas.

Prometheus Energy, a five-year-old company based in Redmond, Wash., has developed a technology to turn that waste methane into liquid natural gas. And the company this week raised $20 million from the Shell Technology Ventures Fund, a fund related to the petroleum company Royal Dutch Shell and Black River Asset Management, a subsidiary of the agriculture giant Cargill.

Britain Could Be Wind and Wave Titan

Britain could become the largest producer of electricity from offshore wind by the end of the next decade, according to the Carbon Trust, a group funded by the British government.

With carefully targeted subsidies and regulations, Britain could build 29 gigawatts of capacity compared to a global total of 66 gigawatts by 2020, giving it 45 percent of the offshore power market, said the Carbon Trust. By comparison, Germany would have 12 gigawatts by 2020, the group said.

Food Stocks Look Good

In 233 years the world population has swollen from less than a billion to almost seven billion. The Japan Times reports that Canada produces 145% more calories of food than it consumes and the United States is close with 128% while the island nation of Japan has recently dipped to 39%.

Tough Senate battle likely on energy bill

Washington — - President Barack Obama's landmark bill on energy and global warming squeaked through the House this week only after the White House made dozens of concessions to coal, manufacturing and other interests. As the battle moves to the Senate, Obama faces demands for more concessions, including to open the coastline to offshore oil and gas drilling.

The Senate will take up issues that were glossed over or omitted from the House bill. Among them is giving the government sweeping new powers to overcome local objections and approve thousands of miles of new transmission lines to carry electricity to coastal cities from wind turbines in the Upper Midwest and solar power generators in the Southwest.

Environment Groups Find Less Support on Court

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court heard five environmental law cases in the term that ended Monday, and environmental groups lost every time. It was, said Richard J. Lazarus, a director of the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown University Law Center, “the worst term ever” for environmental interests.

Post-Bubble Landscapes

Are these portraits, perhaps, of the end of the age of unfettered consumption, simply a short pause before human communities resume their 150-years-and-counting fossil-fueled sprint, or a foretaste of Alan Weisman’s 2007 thought experiment, “The World Without Us”?

A House in the Woods, After the Woods Are Gone

When my wife and I bought land in Montana, the stands of timber were so dense you couldn’t walk through parts of the property. Then the beetles came, killing the stately old trees.

Thomas L. Friedman: Can I Clean Your Clock?

Over the past decade, whenever I went to China and engaged Chinese on their pollution and energy problems, inevitably some young Chinese would say: “Hey, you Americans got to grow dirty for 150 years, using cheap coal and oil. Now it is our turn.”

It’s a hard argument to refute. Eventually, I decided that the only way to respond was with some variation of the following: “You’re right. It’s your turn. Grow as dirty as you want. Take your time. Because I think America just needs five years to invent all the clean-power technologies you Chinese are going to need as you choke to death on pollution. Then we’re going to come over here and sell them all to you, and we are going to clean your clock — how do you say ‘clean your clock’ in Chinese? — in the next great global industry: clean power technologies. So if you all want to give us a five-year lead, that would be great. I’d prefer 10. So take your time. Grow as dirty as you want.”

Whenever you frame it that way, Chinese are quizzical at first, and then they totally get it: Wow, this energy thing isn’t just about global warming! In a world that is adding one billion people every 15 years or so — more and more of whom will be able to live high-energy-consuming lifestyles — the demands for energy and natural resources are going to go through the roof. Therefore, E.T. — energy technologies that produce clean power and energy efficiency — is going to be the next great global industry, and China needs to be on board.

T. Boone Pickens fueling dialogue on clean-energy efforts

In July of last year, Dallas billionaire T. Boone Pickens began a $60 million advertising campaign and speaking tour designed to persuade Americans to stop using foreign oil.

The oilman-turned-environmentalist proposed a seemingly simple plan: Convert cars, especially big fleets operated by companies and municipalities, from gasoline to domestic natural gas. And start generating more electricity from wind.

By the end of this year, Pickens predicts, Congress will finish passing laws to implement his plan. And within two years, oil imports will drop.

Kuwait needs oil majors to hit targets - minister

OPEC member Kuwait will need help from oil majors to reach its oil and gas production targets, the deputy prime minister for economic affairs said on Thursday.

"Not only for the oil (sector) but also for the gas," Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, also a former oil minister, said when asked about a possible role for international oil companies in the country's state-run energy sector.

"Now we have the gas production (issue) for which we will mainly need international companies," he told reporters without being more specific about the envisaged role of foreign firms.

Kuwait wants oil price to remain above $60

Kuwait wants to see the price of oil stay above $60 a barrel, the OPEC member's oil minister said on Sunday.

"We will be watching the market very closely," Kuwait's Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah al-Sabah told reporters at parliament. "We would not like to see the price go below a certain level so it at least meets our budgetary requirements."

Total Expects to Get Oil Projects in Iraq, De Margerie Says

(Bloomberg) -- Total SA, Europe’s third-largest oil company, said it will continue to bid for business in Iraq after the government there said it may allow competitor BP Plc to develop the Rumaila oil field.

RCMP confirms sixth pipeline blast in B.C.

POUCE COUPE, B.C. — There has been a sixth bombing of natural gas infrastructure in northeastern British Columbia, police say.

Officials said the explosion occurred early Saturday morning at an EnCana Corp. site, in the immediate vicinity of a blast that took place Wednesday.

"This is very frustrating," said Rhona DelFrari, EnCana's spokeswoman. "We're angry and we're getting very frustrated."

Nigeria militants attack Shell, amnesty hopes fade

LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigerian militants said on Sunday they had launched their third attack against Royal Dutch Shell since President Umaru Yar'Adua made an amnesty offer and warned their campaign of sabotage would intensify.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said in an emailed statement it had attacked a Shell oil well head in the Cawthorne Channel at about 0200 GMT, again dashing hopes that the amnesty offer would buy a period of calm.

David Strahan: Thirty contestants, only one winner in the Iraqi oil licence gameshow

The auction of Iraqi oil production licences last week was truly historic – not least because it was the first such exercise ever to be broadcast live on TV.

More than 30 companies were expected to compete for eight contracts, all in front of the cameras. In effect, the Iraqis had set up a high-stakes reality TV show, with Hussain al-Shahristani, Iraq's minister of oil, in the role of Sir Alan Sugar, and company executives as the desperate wannabes. Some bidders feared it would degenerate into an unseemly scramble, and with good reason.

Pakistan: City shuts to protest outages, raise in fuel prices

LAHORE - City witnessed complete shutterdown on Saturday as the traders and shopkeepers closed down their business and took to streets to protest against the worst power outages and increase in fuel and electricity tariff.

All the major political parties in the Opposition supported the strike call and urged the masses to took to the streets to force the government to withdraw steep increase in the fuel and electricity prices.

Saudi spending to surge 24 per cent in 2009, says Samba

Saudi Arabia will likely be tempted by the recent improvement in crude oil prices and increase public spending by nearly 24 per cent through 2009 as an expanded deficit could be easily covered, a leading Saudi bank said yesterday.

Although actual revenues are projected to be higher than budget forecasts, the surge in expenditure will sharply widen the shortfall but the world's dominant oil powerhouse need not borrow again given its massive financial reserves, the Saudi American Bank Group (Samba) said in a mid-year review of the economy of Saudi Arabia.

The food rush: Rising demand in China and west sparks African land grab

A million Chinese farmers have joined the rush to Africa, according to one estimate, underlining concerns that an unchecked "land grab" not seen since the 19th century is under way.

Some of the world's richest countries are buying or leasing land in some of the world's poorest to satisfy insatiable appetites for food and fuel. In the new scramble for Africa, nearly 2.5m hectares (6.2m acres) of farmland in just five sub-Saharan countries have been bought or rented in the past five years at a total cost of $920m (£563m), research shows.

"Lands that only a short time ago seemed of little outside interest are now being sought by international investors to the tune of hundreds of thousands of hectares," said a recent report by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). It described the huge deals reported to date as "the tip of the iceberg".

The report said farmland purchases are being driven by food security concerns, rising demand and changing dietary habits, expanded biofuel production and interest in what is, in theory, an improved investment climate in some African countries.

What the future of the auto industry will look like

Surging demand for cars in rapidly growing nations will mean a robust car industry in 20 years. The US will have a piece of it – though smaller than today – and the models it turns out will be much greener as the iconic industry reinvents itself.

'Green revolution' could create 400,000 jobs, claim ministers

A "green revolution" that should create 400,000 jobs is to be launched by ministers later this month in the most ambitious ever bid to transform the British economy, industry and sources of energy.

Energy-pioneering Austrian town exports its model

GUESSING, Austria (AFP) — After 20 years investing in renewable energy, the small Austrian town of Guessing, a model of energy self-sufficiency, is spreading its pioneering technology far and wide.

A town of 4,300 inhabitants near the Hungarian border, Guessing launched into renewable energy in the early 1990s and now produces more than it can consume.

Jordan - Mining company expands uranium exploration

(MENAFN - Jordan Times) A Jordanian-French company has expanded its exploration of uranium in the central region, after recent studies confirmed the presence of commercially viable amounts of the resource.

Extraordinary climate solutions presented in Manchester

Under a vaulted ceiling decorated with the arms of the countries and cities with which Manchester once traded, now lit by low-energy chandeliers, a panel of experts heard pitches for ideas ranging from a fleet of remote-controlled sailing ships that would spray seawater into the air to make whiter clouds to livestock farming methods modelled on the great migrations of the Serengeti.

Today it will hear a proposal to increase the carbon absorbing capacity of the ocean by adding limestone to it, a plan for generating energy from a 'big underwater stomach' digesting algae, and new ideas about harnessing tidal energy.

Global Warming Is Fake. What Matters Is Why This Fakery Is Being Promoted

The global warming movement is not about global warming. It is about the creation of an international political control arrangement by which bureaucrats who favor socialism can gain control over the international economy.

Prince Charles wants pension funds to take lead on climate change

Prince Charles is to convene a meeting of some of the world’s largest pension funds to discuss how best to invest their trillions of dollars to help reduce climate change.

The meeting, likely to be held at Clarence House in October, will bring together senior executives from 12 funds including Calpers, America’s largest public pension fund. Known as the P8 Group, after the number of founder funds, they control $3 trillion (£1.8 trillion) in total.

While Googling “Peak Oil” this morning the first link to appear was:

Encircling the peak of world oil production - an evaluation
The Oil Drum - Euan Mearns, Stuart Staniford - ‎1 hour ago‎
Duncan and Younquist tell us that peak oil will be buried in a bumpy plateau and that a number of years must pass before it will be evident from declining ...

Clicking on the link brought a big fat:

Permission denied
You don't have permission to access the requested content.

Why? Anyone have any ideas? Why would "The Oil Drum: Europe" post an article and not give us permission to access it?

Ron P.

Edit: Leanan, please delete this post when/if the problem is fixed.

Works for me. Worked for me earlier, too.

They had some technical difficulties this morning. That might have something to do with it.

Or they may have withdrawn the article temporarily, then reposted it. That sometimes happens when they want do editing/correction after an article has been posted.

Same thing happened to me a week ago refreashing the oil drum, but 5 min later I was back up on TOD.

The latter is what happened. Euan has taken down the article in order to make some corrections.

It will be re-posted (and probably front-paged) later.

Should be live now.

I confirm...that link is working now.

Re: Tom Friedman article

Tom Friedman's latest article about US energy technology and China clearly displays that he has a very poor understanding of both energy and technology.

In a nutshell, his contention appears to be that clean energy is going to be the Next Great Thing and that the US's advanced position in this area is the thing that will restore the US to competitive advantage over China.

Absolute rubbish! Nonsense! Tosh!

Over a remarkably short period of time China has mastered nuclear weaponry, rocket science, computer technology, and myriad high-tech manufacturing technologies. Yet, Friedman would have us believe that after having accomplished all of the above China is going to be dependent upon the US for wind turbines, solar power systems, bio-fuel plants, clean coal, and other energy technologies? More realistically, if we don't watch out, the flow of such 'clean energy' commerce could wind up being in the reverse direction.

What Friedman doesn't seem to understand is that in the modern world, with all sorts of advanced technical information no further away than a few strokes of a keyboard, it is very hard for any country to maintain a purely technical advantage over other reasonably advanced industrialized countries for anything but a short period of time. (Look at how fast Japan went from being an isolated and backward feudal society to an industrial power house well before the so-called Information Age.) These days the barriers to technology transfer are very porous indeed.

Whatever technology a country finds difficult to develop on its own, it can buy or steal. The area where countries ARE able to maintain extended advantages is in the size and sophistication of their manufacturing base in conjunction with availability of capital, and China seems to be doing quite alright in these departments also.

I wish I knew what Friedman is smoking, because I sure could use some of it right now.

Freidman is good at B/S and thus makes money as a speaker and journalist. The guy is old enough to remember when Made in Japan meant crap (hard as that is to believe now). If you shake hands with that guy count your fingers afterward.

BrianT -

On the flip side of the coin, I distinctly remember when 'Made in Great Britain' meant high quality. What immediately comes to mind are the Dinky Toys, Matchbox Toys, and Britain's Ltd metal soldiers and artillery of the 1950s, all of which were superior to much of the similar stuff made in the USA.

Are there any goods sold in US retail stores made in Great Britain these days?

And speaking of 'Made in Japan', I distinctly remember back in 1962 when my mother was shopping around for a compact car to replace my late father's 1955 Plymouth. A friend told her about a car called a Toyota and she asked me about it. After I stopped laughing, I said, "Ma, are you crazy .... don't you know that a Toyota is made in Japan?"

"Little Tommy" has always been challenged. and should at best be read for entertainment.
Just look at any of his analysis, from Iraq to the economy.
Carp Fishing on Valium.

hightrekker -

"Carp fishing on Valium."

Great phrase! Got to remember that one.

I've done carp fishing as a kid, and it's soporific enough even without the aid of Valium.

I have to admit (as a fly fishing elitist), that I have enjoyed carp fishing at times in my life.
From what I understand, they are now being targeted by fly fishers.

Lots of stuff on rough fish recently:
Carp bow-fishing

Gar on front-page of WSJ!

He seems to have it backwards. It is not our job to convince the Chinese to pursue clean energy business opportunities. They are already doing that big time. It is ourselves who are at risk of letting this opportunity largely pass us by, and getting our clocks cleaned. The Chinese clearly get it, although their current energy strategy, which I would sum up as "all of the above" is still a threat to the climate.

Friedman is full of beans as usual. It's fine that he supports the flawed climate bill but his arguments betray his profound ignorance of all facts.

Ultracritical steam at Tianjin is not 'clean' or 'cleaner' coal. It is merely high efficiency coal and as every school child knows (since Jevon) if you raise efficiency you invariably lower cost and increase consumption increasing CO2.


Clean coal means carbon capture and sequestration.

The green alternatives are too small to make a difference.

One alternative is plant trees to offset coal electricity except that only sequesters 3 tons per acre a year so a single average 500 MW power plant would take over 1000 square miles of forest to absorb
all the CO2 produced.

If a 500 MW coal fired plant were run on biomass from trees it would take over 800 square miles of forest.

"Clean coal means carbon capture and sequestration"

Sorry, Majorian, but this is the pie-in-the-sky technocopian dream.

The only "Clean Coal" solution is to leave the filthy stuff in the ground.

Mother Nature worked this out a long time back. Pathetic human attempts to find a better solution are doomed to failure.

Bravo joule, good observation.

More realistically, if we don't watch out, the flow of such 'clean energy' commerce could wind up being in the reverse direction.

If not this actually will materialize - 'Chindia' may grab the "entire" export market in the rest of the world - on the formula "Grab 3 Pay for 1" ( eg. take 3 Chinese made WTs to the price of 1 US made one - given the same energy nameplate imprint)

Friedman came across to me as very 'sovereign' ...

How true. I just finished posting this in my blog Tom, Tom, Tom. When are you going to pay attention to reality?. It is the latest post on the subject of Tom Friedman's Pollyanna view of 'ET'. I really believe he and every other cornucopian believes that energy technology is subject to Moore's Law. As I said in the article, didn't anyone pay attention in physics class? Oh, that's right, most people don't bother to take a hard science course!


George.Mobus -

I just read your blog and thought your comments re Friedman and his ilk were right on.

You are also quite correct in pointing out the fundamental flaw in trying to compare innovations in the energy field with those in the dot-com business. You and I know that the two are not even remotely comparable, but convincing some people of that obvious fact appears to be nearly impossible.

As far as I can tell, the only talent that Friedman has is in identifying a hot issue early on, adding his own catchy sound-bite spin to it, and then shamelessly promoting his bloviating babbling as if he had just discovered some new law of nature.

He isn't the first, and certainly won't be the last self-promoting buffoon to make a tidy living out of spreading pure nonsense. Just think: he probably reaches many thousand times more people through his articles than you do with your blog. Discouraging.

But we just need to keep on plugging. For what else can we do?

> "Friedman would have us believe that after having accomplished all of the above China is going to be dependent upon the US for wind turbines, solar power systems, bio-fuel plants, clean coal, and other energy technologies?"

No, he's saying exactly the reverse, I hope. He has published similar pieces before, always in English - not the best language if you're talking to Chinese.

I'd like to think he's trying to light a fire under some American political slugs by telling them, in effect, "hey, the Chinese are going to clean our clock."

Maybe I'm overestimating him, but I don't think so. He still believes that action on Global Warming at the national or international levels can be effective, and we can party on; so he is only one step in front the deniers.

Well, they finally managed to do it:

How the hell do you run two trains together on a monorail track? If they are on the same track, it being a monorail, doesn't that sort of assure they are going to run together?

In Louisville KY they recently managed to get what was essentially a toy train set used to provide excursions around the zoo to jump the track and seriously injured a number of the passengers, including some children, riding on it.

My dad used to say about certain people that "they could screw up a soup sandwich." It seems lately that in this country, we can screw up what once seemed totally foolproof.


Sounds like we need a better training system for all US rail-transportation employees, engineers, and designers.

Perhaps our minimal exposure to such systems during the last generation has left us without train common sense...

Will we soon reach a point when the supply of unobstructed monorail track begins to decline? Yes, according to so-called “peak safety gap” proponents. They theorize that, since parked trains have not kept up with the pace of traveling trains in recent minutes, we will soon reach a point when the gap between trains starts going down. So goes the theory.

The theory does not match reality, however. Safety gap between monorail trains is a finite resource, but because it is so incredibly large, a peak will not occur this year, next year or for decades to come. According to the Disney Geological Survey, the Earth was endowed with over 3.3 trillion meters of conventional safety gap. Conservative estimates of candy cane and rainbow pony trackage push the total resource well over four trillion meters. To put these amounts in perspective, consider this: Since the dawn of Mickey Mouse, we have used a total of about one trillion meters of safety gap.

Moreover, new technologies — such as multidimensional mapping tools and advanced levitation techniques — have improved our ability to recover safety gap from previously abandoned dark ride attractions like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Flight to the Moon. Because of such technology gains, estimates of how much recoverable safety gap remains have consistently increased over time. Demand for it is increasing to support monorail growth throughout the theme park.

Thankfully, there is enough potential supply to meet this demand. Realizing this potential, however, means we all must do our part. Disney companies help through investment and technology. Governments help by providing a permissive inspection department. And we all can help by dragging our feet on the track when headways are temporarily compressed. With abundant track space available — and industry, governments and consumers doing their share — peak safety gap is nowhere in sight.

Fools are always going to win the "arms race" against engineers' attempts to make fool-proof systems. There's so many of them, and they're so creative and persistent.

Re: T. Boone Pickens and natural gas powered cars up top:

I'm not against natural gas powered cars. More power to Pickens (and RR) if it can be pulled off, but....

There is a lot of resistance to any change. Being an ethanol supporter I have found that just because something makes sense does not mean it will happen. People are very inventive at making up obstacles and and they can be hypocritical.

Pickens himself is not above hypocrisy. He doesn't like ethanol partly because of the subsidies. And like the Dallas Morning News ga-ga article supporting him seems to be oblivious to the contradictions. The subsidies he is now asking for and evidently going to get are no different than ethanol subsidies as far as tax payers are concerned. But it's okay if subsidies flow to Pickens and Dallas, but not okay if they flow to Midwest farmers/ethanol producers.

Consequences of larger use of natural gas are ignored. Like ethanol it is assumed that the base price will remain unchanged and that there will not be consequences of larger corn/natural gas use. There will be.

Should large numbers of vehicles actually use natural gas, the price will rise just as the corn price did. Corn is renewable, but natural gas is not. So while there will be a large savings benefit to the economy by a reduction in wealth sent abroad to pay for oil imports, it will not be as beneficial as it first appears as the price of natural gas increases.

And there will be implications and ultimately resistance as homeowners heating bills climb due to increased demand. I can foresee an anti natural gas auto fuel campaign based on rising heating bills. It would make the food price anti ethanol jihad look like child's play. There are millions of homes heated with natural gas and the bills are much larger than food costs for many home owners.

Then there is the not so small implications for oil distributors and gas stations: Who needs 'em? Seems to me a compressor hooked up to the house gas outlet could replace both with a little added safety equipment.

And there is the not so small matter of what to do with refineries that are no longer needed. Crude oil must be refined, not so natural gas. Are oil companies going to sit idly by as their business model is gradually wiped out. Perhaps they will as the oil supply drops due to Peak Oil and the ELM.

But the big obstacle will be getting vehicles actually on the road that use natural gas. Ethanol has been dealing with this for over 20 years. Fortunately for ethanol it can be blended with gasoline. Not so natural gas. This is huge road block. It means that one has to choose to use natural gas permanently in a vehicle. There is no switching back and forth as one can do in a flex fuel vehicle.

How many people are going to commit to that? Not many IMO.

It means that one has to choose to use natural gas permanently in a vehicle. There is no switching back and forth as one can do in a flex fuel vehicle.

Huh? Are americans not up to the job then?

CNG cars available in Europe are bi-fuel vehicles burning one fuel at a time.

from the dallas morning news article cited"

"A study released last month from the Potential Gas Committee, associated with the Colorado School of Mines, estimates that the U.S. has 2,074 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, ...."

the study said no such thing.


the csm study lists probable technically recoverable, possible technically recoverable and speculative technically recoverable resources.

but no matter, t boone pickens refers to these probable, possible and speculative technically recoverable resources as RESERVES.


“The 2,074 trillion cubic feet of domestic natural gas reserves cited in the study is the equivalent of nearly 350 billion barrels of oil, about the same as Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves.”

counting all the rush limbaugh et boone pickens saudi arabian oil reserves in the us, there must be about 5 saudi arabi right here in 'meraka.

Two very big differences between ethanol and nat gas are:

1. The EROEI of nat gas is about equal to that of oil so it can effectively replace oil. Corn ethanol's EROEI makes it virtually worthless in replacing oil.

2. Nat gas burns so much cleaner that motor oil doesn't get dirty, engines last two and three times as long, not to mention vastly less pollution than ethanol/gasoline blends.

great, clean burning speculative technically recoverable resources.


You're missing the biggest plus of ethanol of all; it is net energy positive. For every BTU of (say natural gas input) you get ~1.3 BTU of ethanol out.

It takes 126 cubic feet of compressed natural gas to equal a gallon of gasoline, so to replace 100 billion gallons of gasoline would take
12.6 Tcf. (BTW, the US uses 22 Tcf per year so going to 34.6 TCF seems unlikely.)


Let's say it takes ~66 cfh( it actually takes about 56 cfh) to make a gallon of ethanol which is .66 gallons of gasoline(GGE).
Therefore to replace 100 billion gallons of gasoline would take 10 Tcf or 66cuft/gal ethanol x 1 gal ethanol/.66 of gasoline x 100 billion gallons of gasoline = 10 trillion cubic feet.

The ever maligned ethanol beats CNG, at least by efficiency/EROI.

"It takes 126 cubic feet of compressed natural gas to equal a gallon of gasoline,.."

that is true on a btu basis, but compressing ng to 3000 psi requires a lot more energy than just the 126,000 btu content of 126 scf.

bau, glorious bau.

I'm a firm believer in heat pump technology; for the most part, high efficiency air-source systems for residential applications due to their lower installed costs and simplified installation, and, potentially, ground source systems for larger commercial and institutional spaces where greater heating, cooling and DHW loads help offset their higher capital cost.

Another small step in the right direction:

For college, pure energy 2,000 feet deep

If all works as planned, [Champlain College's] Perry Hall's "climate control" will be fossil-fuel-free. No need to burn oil or natural gas. The electricity needed to operate the pumps and the heat-exchange apparatus will come from the Burlington Electric Department, which burns renewable wood chips.


Each of the three Perry Hall wells is expected to cost about $50,000, said Wayne Nelson of L.N. Consulting, an energy consultant for the project. That includes both the drilling and the heat-exchanging equipment. He said the payback period - the time it will take for the college to recoup its investment - is eight to 10 years.

See: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20090705/EVENT03/90705001

Finally, an explanation for why so many failed banks are in Georgia...

For Banks, Wads of Cash and Loads of Trouble

Though few people have heard of it, hot money — or brokered deposits, as it is also known in the industry — is one of the primary factors in the accelerating wave of failures among small and regional banks nationwide. The estimated cost to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation over the last 18 months is $7.7 billion, and growing.

They've tried to change the law so that "hot money" isn't covered by FDIC insurance, but every time they try, the banks pitch a fit.

They don't want to be regulated, they don't want to pay taxes, but they do want the taxpayers to bail them out when they get in trouble. The biggest pigs at the welfare trough.

yes, so where is the credit crunch ? this should probably be called a credit worthy crunch.

the whole thing sounds like loan sharks loading the banks up with laundered money and demanding performance.

regulation bad, free enterprise good ?

More on "The Banks"...it could have been worse and it may very well be worse...

I hope Zero Hedge rips open a lot of this farce - they already have gotten a little bit of attention from Goldman Sachs. At the risk of being inappropriate I encourage people to add Zero Hedge to their daily must read list.

H. Rodgin Cohen's (Failed?) Quest To Backstop Every Bank... Ever (And Usurp Geithner's Throne)

Over the past two weeks many banks issued press releases and opened up the PR spigot to indicate just how stable they all are now that a few have managed to pay down their TARP commitments. This of course, is nothing but a complete farce, and simply yet another chapter in the "consumer confidence" game played by the administration and its financial underlings. In order to see just how much the banking system depends on the continued unlimited wallet of taxpayers and Geithner's printing presses, and how much certain law firms continue to depend on the somewhat less limited wallet of Wall Street, I present an October 31, 2008 letter recently obtained by Zero Hedge, in which Sullivan & Cromwell, Wall Street's #2 favorite law firm (or is that #1: I am sure Wachtell Lipton would have a few choice words with regard to that particular league table rating, although it may be hard pressed to match S&C's $241,975 in donations to the Democratic National Convention), goes to town to make sure that its well-deserving clients including Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, State Street and Wells Fargo get to not only have the taxpayers' cake (in perpetuity), but eat more and more of it each day.

How To Buy Friends And Alienate People

The banking industry is exceeding all expectations. The biggest players are raking in profits and planning much higher compensation so far this year, on the back of increased market share (wouldn’t you like two of your major competitors to go out of business?). And banks in general are managing to project widely a completely negative attitude towards all attempts to protect consumers.

First, thank you for this post and link, this is an absolutely fascinating story, and just as in water polo, the real cheating is almost certainly going on well below the water line and out of sight.

One line caught my attention in particular:
"To attract the wholesalers, Security had to offer interest rates that, as of 2007, averaged 5.28 percent, or 20 percent higher than what local banking customers got."

I wonder if the American people really know how much the banks, credit card companies and mortgage brokers are stacking the game against the local customers.

Essentially, for most Americans, credit has all but frozen. The credit card companies can now pretty much as they please, because most of their customers cannot transfer balances, the person in mortgage or facing mortgage foreclosure is given no flexibility and cannot refinance, and the employee who wants to perhaps begin a new firm cannot obtain financing.

But, this does not mean that the banks do not have money. The never told truth is tht many banks have more money on deposit and in their cash reserve than they have ever had.

What we are seeing is NOT a cash shortage so much as a hyper cash concentration. The banks now have the government and others attempting to reward them for lending money, which is what banks supposedly do anyway. It is liking telling McDonalds that the country will bend over backwards if they will PLEEEEASE wait on teh customer and sell him a Big Mac! These are astounding times, absolutely astounding. This is nothing but the robbing of the American customer, and once more I do hope that people actually see the abuses going on here. The recent economic collapse was NOT, and I think this can now be almost demonstrably prove, was NOT caused by any type of real commodity crisis or shortage. Peak oil may be here, it may have started last week or last year, we cannot know, but it had NOTHING to do with this financial crisis. Peak and the fear of commodity issues and climate change are being used however, as one more way to hide what is the greatest robbery of the largest formerly wealthiest generation in world history. This is a story of EPIC proportions that will make the "robber baron" era look like a country picnic by comparison.

Please study this stuff folks, it will impoverish many people far more and far sooner than peak oil will get the chance to. Homeless people wandering the street do not worry a lot about peak oil, and are the ultimate "low consumption" citizens. We are at risk of making this low consumption class the new norm by way of financial theft by the financial class...peak oil is an affluent persons concern. It is meaningless to the poorest among us.


A lot of the banks are a mess and much of what is taking place is a not- well disguised robbery of the FDIC. Brokered deposits have been a part of banking for a long time:

Brokered deposits

One of the most important contributors to the problem (Savings and loan crisis of 1989) was deposit brokerage.[citation needed] Deposit brokers, somewhat like stockbrokers, are paid a commission by the customer to find the best certificate of deposit (CD) rates and place their customers' money in those CDs. These CDs, however, are usually short-term $100,000 CDs.[citation needed] Previously, banks and thrifts could only have five percent of their deposits be brokered deposits; the race to the bottom caused this limit to be lifted. A small one-branch thrift could then attract a large number of deposits simply by offering the highest rate. To make money off this expensive money, it had to lend at even higher rates, meaning that it had to make more, riskier investments.

This system was made even more damaging when certain deposit brokers instituted a scam known as "linked financing." In "linked financing", a deposit broker would approach a thrift and say he would steer a large amount of deposits to that thrift if the thrift would lend certain people money (the people, however, were paid a fee to apply for the loans and told to give the loan proceeds to the deposit broker). This caused the thrifts to be tricked into taking on bad loans.[neutrality disputed] Michael Milken of Drexel, Burnham and Lambert packaged brokered funds for several S&Ls on the condition that the institutions would invest in the junk bonds of his clients.

It probably even pre- dates the Depression, but I would have to take some time to look up sources so we'll leave it at Post- Reagan.

Keep in mind that most people are paying off their loans as fast as they can. The result is the credit card companies are losing customers. To compensate they are raising rates on remaining customers which causes them to lose even more customers in a vicious circle. Not a good strategy for either robbery or even staying in business.

While raising rates in an added incentive for borrowers to pay off and cancel accounts, those whose balances are very large simply do not pay at all. In these cases the same credit card companies and banks are accepting 50 cents on the dollar of principal for customers as settlement!

Times are indeed strange.

I can give you a complete argument about how the current situation was caused by shrinking availability of oil leading to an attempt to end- run around the problem by greatly expanding credit and accelerating asset values. This started a long time ago, probably in the mid- 1980's.

I'm putting some of this on my blog which is incomplete but the subject is actually quite large. I'm lazy and I don't want to re- write stuff here:


Matt Simmons says that oil problems did not cause the credit crisis. I don't agree; credit became unmanageable during the same period that oil prices were rising dramatically. It is hard to separate out one defect intertwined with another. The acute crisis was triggered by the increase in oil prices after 2002 which forced a rise in basic interest rates. That is on Federal Reserve System record and hard to dispute.

After Bear- Stearns failed the problem manifested as an unknown amount of worthless assets on primary establishments' balance sheets. Nobody knew and there was a general panic. Ironically, nobody knows now! It's a moving target. Good loans go bad every single day!

To cope, the world's governments have given entire banking systems a carte blanche guarantee so that any asset, no natter how worthless ... can find a buyer of last resort.

That's you. my friend!

With credit effectively nationalized, it is hard to see where defects in this part of the economic sphere can cause problems, except for the overall unwillingness to either lend or borrow, and that is a virtue.

It's called thrift.

Of course, you may suggest that the governments themselves are not creditworthy. You - and I personally - can agree with this assessment, our opinion does not matter. Governments are creditworthy to the world at large so something else - something equally systemic - is behind the 2009 economic decline.

James Hamilton suggests the oil price spike of last year. I disagree with that too! That spike was indeed impressive - window dressing. The real damage was done at a lot lower price level and the damage probably started manifesting itelf back in 2004 - 05 when oil prices started above $45 a barrel. That also marked the end of the real estate bubble.


The only input as systemic to economic activity as credit is crude. The 500% increase in price since early 1999 is on record. Such a percentage increase in credit costs would be devastating. It is hard to see where the same percentage increase in oil prices would not ba as devastating and by appearances the amount of ongoing breakdown seems to run along with that observation.

Personally, I would stay away from banks, and diversify any holdings. I think all kinds of tools are an excellent investment.

I found this from the Council on Foreign Relation which is oddly supportive of the idea of peak oil despite their usual stance on BAU and the like.


A 2007 study by the National Petroleum Council corroborates projections by a number of experts that the world is entering a period of growing demand amidst tightening supplies.

I wrote about the National Petroleum Council Report in 2007 here. The report was called Facing Hard Truths about Energy and included peak oil forecasts, among others.

I am sure that oil companies are aware of peak oil problems. It is just not in their best interest to talk about these problems, other than when they have to. The request letter from Samuel Bodman for the study specifically talked about peak oil, so the subject was difficult to avoid.

"Only 17 percent of the city’s household waste makes it into recycling bins, and New York has the largest public housing system in the country"

SF...The Board of Supervisors passed new recycling and mandatory composting rules on Tuesday in a 9-to-2 vote. The city already diverts 72 percent of the 2.1 million tons of waste its residents produce each year away from landfills and into recycling and composting programs. The new ordinance will help the city toward its goal of sending zero waste to landfills by 2020,

Re: Global Warming Is Fake. What Matters Is Why This Fakery Is Being Promoted

In the event anyone is interested, Gary North's blog entry is just a re-hash of the old OISM petition, which gathered lots of signatures form people who had no obvious expertise in the atmospheric sciences. The OISM Petition was begun by sending out a paper written by Frederick Seitz, composed as if it was peer reviewed work published by the National Academy of Science, which it was not. The whole thing has been shown to be nothing but empty propaganda since it appeared in 1998. And, I don't care if Edward Teller really did sign it.

North's contention that the science is fake and junk science is a repeat of the typical denialist line and offers nothing to refute the findings of thousands of people who work in the field of climate science. Actually, the "fakery" is his...

E. Swanson

Thanks for the summary, saves me giving them a hit.

Perhaps people should read ..

2009 Global Climate Change Impact Report

The Global Climate Change Impact report was released and its findings are not good.


full report can be downloaded

Gary North's blog entry

Gary North's blog reflects his knowledge about government deception as he was in the thick of it back in his 'day.

Given past governments/corporations that have deceived their (and other) populations - why is this a moment where its all being played straight?

Interesting intersection of climate and energy ...
(from July 3, but didn't see it posted)

France imports UK electricity as heat shut nuclear plants

France is being forced to import electricity from Britain to cope with a summer heatwave that has helped to put a third of its nuclear power stations out of action.

With temperatures across much of France surging above 30C this week, EDF’s reactors are generating the lowest level of electricity in six years, forcing the state-owned utility to turn to Britain for additional capacity.

Fourteen of France’s 19 nuclear power stations are located inland and use river water rather than seawater for cooling. When water temperatures rise, EDF is forced to shut down the reactors to prevent their casings from exceeding 50C. ...



Thx Ron, isn't there always 'something' ?
I have to admit, this info was new to me ....furthermore I have to try to minimize my imagination regarding this Global Warming and all ...

That doesn't sound right to me... OK, it's moderately hot, but there's plenty of water in the rivers. Usually, output gets cut during dry summers (the flow of the Rhone can range from about 1000 to 50 cubic meters a second). Reading the Times article carefully, they never actually say that overheating has caused power reductions. That's just as well, because it isn't true.

The fact is that an unlucky combination of scheduled maintenance and strikes has taken the equivalent of 5 or 6 nuclear reactors offline this summer. And that's the cause of the deficit.

(Background : In the late 80s, I worked on software that monitored the flow of the Rhone, power production, and waste heat for a nuclear power station.)

So, in sum, they have sexed up a story with a climate angle which is inaccurate.

Petrojam to raise billions for refinery project
(1 USD=89 JMD)

Watson is hoping that construction will get off the ground by early 2010, to be completed by 2011; however, the expanded facility is not expected to be in full operation until 2014.


The refinery, which was built in 1963, has a capacity to refine 36,000 barrels of crude oil a day, but according to project manager Andrea Reid, it is being outpaced by market demand because of its technology and age.

The planned expansion will increase daily oil production to 56,000 barrels.

So, just as some suggest the world is likely to start experience oil production declines with the concomitant increases in price and demand destruction, a small developing nation will be spending to increase refinery capacity by about 50%. Brilliant!

The upgrade will make the plant more hardy, capable of processing heavier - which translates into cheaper - crudes.

In another post related to Venezuela's influence in the region, I had said that Venezuela had already financed this. Obviously I was wrong but, there has been upgrading done at the refinery recently and there has been so much talk about processing heavier, sour crudes that, I guess I put 2 and 2 together and got 22.

Petrojam last year earned an estimated $119 billion in top-line revenue. But it also paid out $118 billion for crude and other production-related inputs.

It ended the year at March 2009 with a net loss of $3.8 billion, according to finance ministry figures, some $2.2 billion of which was foreign-exchange-related losses.

Obviously the planners of these projects have been drinking a lot of IEA, EIA, CERA Kool-ade, as there is no hint at a possibility of resource restrictions going forward. They need to have a sip of the latest batch of Kool-ade or, they could just have a read of Gail's "Peak Oil Overview" 2009 update when it comes out. On second thought, the "Peak Oil Overview" might make their brains explode.

Alan from the islands

Maybe not brilliant but canny.

There are fewer refineries that can process sour crude than the ligher grades. i recall a stock sales pitch from Valero claiming they were one of the few.

I suspect there will be oil traffic at some level for quite awhile and this refinery will get some business ... if they can finish it in time!

I don't know longer term how Jamaica will power itself without imports of some kind of energy. Maybe solar or current- derived electric. They will have to do better than lose $2 million a year to do so ...

I originally opposed T. Boone's natural gas car proposal. But now I do not see an alternative. Electric cars will help some. But when Peak Oil hits the public will be so unprepared that migration of existing cars to natural gas power makes the most sense.

Sure, we can build electric cars. Sure, we can electrify railroads. Sure, we can even electrify bicycles. But tens of millions of people can't move en masse into city centers in a few years. We need natural gas powered cars to ease the transition.

Just one small problem, the USA and it's atmospheric emissions aren't isolated - it is part of a larger world system.

We all get worsened climate effects if you emit all that extra CO2 as well as that from the displaced oil which will presumably be burned elsewhere in the world.

We need less emissions from the world's biggest emitters, not more.

Extra CO2? Displaced oil? What are you talking about? Our supply of oil is going to plummet. Do you want live in an economic depression? That's what's coming. Natural gas for cars will make that depression less severe but still very deep.

This recession we are in now is the deepest since the Great Depression and we haven't even hit the steep downslope in oil production.

Us living in an economic depression, unable to burn more fossil fuels, would in fact be the best thing for the planet and our children. Neat trap we're in, huh? There is no way out but to use much less FF.

But there is no need to worry about what the right choice is - whatever we might decide won't make any difference, as we're going to burn it all anyway.

Do you want live in an economic depression?

A lack of energy is going to be a factor.

So is a crooked money supply system.

"We need natural gas powered cars to ease the transition."

where is all this ng going to come from ?

Today's Drumbeat has two items that indicate a possible replacement or at least a supplement for NG. Firstly a US company has found a small scale way to liquefy landfill or feedlot gas. Second a town in Austria has a surplus of syngas from woodchips.

These two types of gas can be blended with NG as all three are each at least 80% methane if the syngas is catalytically converted. However the big if is that they still need oil based inputs. Cows are feed on FF intensive corn and the woodchips are harvested with petro fuelled machines. Ideally the leftovers should be returned to the soil and all the vehicles run on gas. Whether there is an energy surplus afterwards is yet to be demonstrated.

where is all this ng going to come from ?

Amazingly it seems to have become conventional wisdom that we have lots of NG. I think the fact that the unconventional (shale oil) worked better than expected a few years back has gone to peoples heads. Of course at current NG price, we aren't/won't drill many UNG wells. Boof did mention biogas sources. These are good, but the supply is limited, perhaps only a few percent of current consumption. The great wildcard are the methane hydrates (clathrates). There are some recent claims that we can tap into these. There is more total NG in hydrates, then all the rest of the fossil fuels put together, so perhaps we will have an abundance? The one possibility that makes environmental sense with the clathrates is to capture the CO2 from burning the NG, and pump it into the hydrate formations, where it displaces the methane.

Bottom line, maybe we will have lots of NG, maybe we won't.

A question with clathrates and carbon in peat bogs is whether they are in the soil-atmosphere loop. If not perhaps they should stay there undisturbed.

If there is a shift to NG as a vehicle fuel all is not lost because methane can be synthesised eg the Sabatier reaction. Thus nuclear hydrogen can be combined with organic carbon to create synthetic natural gas SNG. Combustion products will be recycled with no net atmospheric addition of carbon. Trouble is nobody knows what the EROEI will be. Maybe when there are no FFs PHEVs could keep a spare compressed SNG tank for range extension, albeit with an expensive fill up.

Nukes could make grid power when wind and solar are down. When not needed for load balancing they could send thermally dissociated hydrogen to a synthetic hydrocarbon plant nearby.

Prophets and disciples of Doom, have you seen the latest (July 5th) Dilbert cartoon? Right down your alley... http://www.dilbert.com/

Oh dear--Cannibalism the only viable livelihood in the future--that is bad!

It really is the worry and not the reality that is shortening our lives! I checked my financial situation over the afternoon...up 4.1% on the 401K and investments (could have been more but I listened to others again instead of taking my own counsel :-(, and more in savings and less in debt that at any time in the last 3 years. I have cut my oil consumption to nearly nothing, now driving less that 3.5 miles per day and living in a small apartment that costs about one quarter what it used cost to heat and cool my old frame house, in the summer I can cut it even more, a 90% plus drop from this time last year!

In my home state of KY, do you know how many bank failures we have had since 2007? ZERO. I have several relatives in IN across the river. Do you know how many bank failures they have had since 2007? ZERO. The firm I work for is now hiring again, and is so desperate for employees that they have re-hired people who had issues the first time they were there! The company promised to never rehire some of these folks, but you have to have employees to operate!

But I do need to find someway to stop the worry issues. They are now the worst possible thing for my health. I have done most of the other stuff...down from a high of 170 pounds to current 127 by eating mostly fiber foods and chicken, turkey and fish and getting off the sugar. But if I cannot get out of the worry/anxiety mood, all the other gains will be for nothing. And it is the HARDEST thing to cure myself from.


I once used that Irish prayer as the basis for a personal inventory to come to grips with myself, i.e. strengths, weaknesses, what I am that I want to, and can, change; what I am that I don't want to change; what i am that I honestly probably can't change, but can perhaps attack behaviorally/attitudinally.

So, two columns:

What do I like about myself? What do i not like?

Then I took the "not like" column and made two columns:

Can change Can't change

It was remarkably effective. I've not experienced much self-doubt since. I know who I am. (Also remarkably effective in finding a mate: when you know who you are, it's much easier to know what you need in a mate - and quite natural to recognize it when you see it.)

For you, list your worries as legit/not legit.

Make another list of the not legit.

Can change can't change shouldn't change (healthy fears)

Figure out strategies for dealing with the first two.

This basic psych stuff, so forgive me if too obvious and presumptuous.



Actually, I like it! I am a compulsive list maker, so this has some very informative possibilities.

I know that I am not prepared for job loss if it should occur, that is really the biggest on the worry side. I have been in business for myself on several occasions, and despite all of it's difficulties, the greatest thing about it was that your fate was more in your own hands. If you did well, you got the rewards, if you did poorly, you get the loss...working for a corporation, the decisions are made far away in a boardroom, and your individual performance and effort doesn't count for as much, and no matter how well you do, your rewards will be limited by what the corporate leaders have decided to pay...

As long as I can retain gainful employment and the health holds up, I don't have too much else that bothers me. I am a careful hedger so what direction the economy goes in is not a real worry...except for the gainful employment thing!

Thanks for the method, I will do a more involved list and see what I find. But I am beginning to think that some people are just compulsively worried, and I am one of them...hey, maybe that's why I am here! :-)


Biologists, thanks for that link. But your link changes each day so today, July 6th, we get a totally different cartoon. Here is the link that will not change.

From the BBC...

G8 leaders to set emissions goals

Leaders of G8 nations are to set a target to cut greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050, the BBC understands.

They will also call for any human-induced temperature rise to be held below 2 degrees Celsius, says BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin.


However our correspondent said that environmental campaigners fear that the United States is blocking the short-term emissions targets which scientists say are needed for us to keep to that two degree mark.

"American officials have privately told BBC News they just can't cut emissions as fast as they know is required" he said.

See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8135261.stm

May I have some of that "change you can believe in"? please


Potential human dieoff scenario - Ug99 wheat stem rust, prophesised by Major Ed Dames with remote viewing many years ago.


I saw a report yesterday about nuclear power generation in France. There is (was ?) a heatwave underway and the lack of cooling for the nuclear reactors resulted in reduced production of electricity. Here's a link from 3 July. An earlier story describes similar problems in Germany as well.

This story might be added to today's DrumBeat if it wasn't included in an earlier list.

E. Swanson

No, that's not how it works. If a story is posted in the comments, I don't re-post it up top. Sometimes I miss a link that's been posted in the comments, and sometimes things are cross-posted, but I try not to duplicate links that have been posted before.

And Ron Broberg already posted this story upthread.

Sorry, I missed Ron Broberg's post.

E. Swanson