DrumBeat: July 8, 2009

Oil Shocks: Biden, Iran and Fears of Another Price Jump

Oil analysts are jittery this week following comments on Sunday by Vice President Joe Biden that were widely interpreted as a green light to Israel to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. Many in the industry have long viewed such an attack as a prelude to a nightmare in global energy markets: Iran retaliating by sinking oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, blocking the route by which most Persian Gulf oil travels to world markets. "We will be in deep, deep trouble," says Leo Drollas, deputy director and chief economist of the Center for Global Energy Studies in London. "The market will go berserk."

The Obama Administration has hastened to correct the impression that Biden's comments represented a U.S. nod and wink to an Israeli air strike. The Vice President had said that while the U.S. believes that military action against Iran would serve neither American nor Israeli interests, Israel is a sovereign nation, and if it felt threatened by Iran, it would be "entitled to" launch an attack on the Islamic Republic "whether we agree or not." President Obama reiterated in Moscow on Monday that he opposes military action against Iran and instead wants a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long maintained that Israel reserves the right to take matters into its own hands if U.S. diplomacy fails to deliver results.

Oil Falls for Sixth Day, Gasoline Tumbles on Fuel-Supply Gain

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil fell for a sixth day, the longest losing streak since December, and gasoline tumbled after a government report showed a bigger-than-expected gain in U.S. fuel supplies as the recession curbed demand.

Gasoline stockpiles climbed 1.9 million barrels to 213.1 million in the week ended July 3, more than twice the increase forecast in a Bloomberg News survey, the Energy Department said. Inventories of distillate fuel, a category that includes heating oil and diesel, rose to the highest since 1985 as consumption dropped to a 10-year low.

Kuwait open to investing war reparations into Iraq

Kuwait is open to investing into Iraq some $25 billion still owed it in reparations from the 1990-1991 Gulf crisis, Iraq's parliament speaker said while visiting the oil rich emirate Wednesday.

Ecuador Jan-May Crude Oil Exports Down 63% At $1.82 Billion Vs Year Ago

QUITO -(Dow Jones)- Ecuador's crude oil export revenue totaled $1.82 billion between January and May, a 63% decrease from $4.97 billion in the same period of 2008, the central bank said.

Ecuador exported 50.65 million barrels in the first five months of 2009, down 9% from the 55.83 million barrels shipped one year earlier.

The Conspiracy Of Short-Sellers Is Driving Down Oil

At this point, the fall in oil prices is so severe that there can be only one explanation: market manipulation by short sellers. Just like what we saw in the financial stocks.

Tax Credit for Natural Gas-Fueled Cars May Be Doubled, Extended

(Bloomberg) -- Tax incentives for buying vehicles fueled by natural gas would be doubled in size and extended for a decade under legislation being introduced by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

The credits, which can be used to cover 80 percent of the added cost to buy natural gas-fueled vehicles over conventional automobiles, would jump to as high as $12,500 for passenger cars and light trucks and as much as $64,000 for higher weight-class vehicles, according to a summary of the legislation.

Korea's Hyundai Begins Its Hybrid Push

As Hyundai launches its first hybrid model in Korea, it begins its mission to take on Toyota and Honda in the global green car market.

Are you Ready for $20 Per Gallon Gas?

Forget the classic road trip. Americans are abandoning afternoon drives and summer getaways, thanks to the recession and an unemployment rate that's hovering dangerously close to double digits. The American Automobile Association estimates that the number of drivers traveling over the Fourth of July weekend — that penultimate holiday weekend of the summer — dropped by 10.5 percent over the last two years. And, while gas prices have fallen since the record high of more than $4 a gallon in the summer of 2008, filling up the tank can still set people back considerably.

In his new book, $20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better, Forbes writer Christopher Steiner argues that the increasing cost of fuel will radically change the way we live, from the cities we choose to call home to the way we grow food. NEWSWEEK'S Nancy Cook spoke to Steiner about why he thinks Americans will be forced to restrict plane travel to once a year at most, why solar panels will line the rooftops of apartments, and how gas prices will force suburbanites back into cities. Excerpts:

Global rig count up slightly in June - Baker Hughes

(Reuters) - The number of drilling rigs operating globally in June rose marginally for the first time this year, according to a closely watched data from Baker Hughes Inc.

The global rig count rose to 1,987 in June, from 1,983 in May signaling a slight recovery in energy demand, particularly in Canada.

Canada's rig count for June rose to 125, up 53 from 72 in May.

However, after it rose for the first time this year in May, the international rig count for June dropped by 26 to 967, from 993 counted in May.

Venezuela Oil, Gas Rig Count Falls to Five-Year Low on Billing

(Bloomberg) -- Venezuela oil drilling slowed to a five-year low in June after the country’s state oil company deferred payments to service companies, spurring rig shutdowns.

Oil rig use fell to 58 from 53 in the previous month, while natural-gas drillers kept using three rigs, according to figures released today by Baker Hughes Inc., the world’s third-largest oilfield-services company, which tracks drilling worldwide. The combined total is the lowest since October 2004.

It’s time to end a trade embargo that allow China to gobble up oil 45 miles off the U.S. Coast

FLINT, Mi. — The 47-year-old trade embargo against Cuba has been shaken by the revelation that drilling for oil and natural gas is about to take place less than 50 miles off the U.S. coast — in Cuban waters.

No one knows for sure just how much oil lies off the northwest coast of Cuba, but the consensus is that it’s sizable.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially came up with an estimate in 2004 of between 5-billion barrels and 10-billion barrels. But Cuba’s state oil company, Cubapetroleo, recently said the undersea geology was “very similar” to Mexico’s giant Cantarell oil field in the Bay of Campeche and that the Cuban field may contain 20-billion barrels, more than twice the previous estimate.

Cuban offshore oil drilling plans postponed again

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba and a consortium of foreign oil companies have once again postponed plans to drill for oil in the island's still-untapped fields in the Gulf of Mexico, diplomatic and industry sources said this week.

Cuba had announced the consortium, led by Spain's Repsol-YPF, would drill in June or July, but now it is uncertain when work will begin in the waters that Cuban oil experts say may contain 20 billion barrels of oil.

Curbing magic roundabout of oil trading

Rocketing oil prices are deeply inconvenient to motorists. While environmentalists may welcome more expensive fuel for the long term, the soaring cost has contributed to the collapse of Detroit's motor manufacturing industry, costing hundreds of thousands of blue-collar jobs. High energy prices also cause pain for some of the poorest in US society, often in rural communities, who use fuels such as propane to heat their homes.

But any action is going to face stiff resistance from the financial community. Michael Cosgrove, head of North American energy trading at GFI in New York, gave me a spirited defence of the commodities market in an interview today. He believes there's a very slim margin between production and demand - so any tiny change in either can cause a surplus or shortage, causing a seemingly broad lurch in the price.

OPEC Backs More Regulation of Oil Market as CFTC Plans Review

(Bloomberg) -- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries called for more regulation of energy markets, saying record oil prices in the middle of 2008 weren’t justified by physical supply and demand.

“OPEC has repeatedly called for better regulation and increased transparency in these markets, for the benefit of both producers and consumers alike,” it said today in its World Oil Outlook as the U.S. prepares to review exemptions to energy- trading limits.

Goldman, Morgan Stanley Threatened by CFTC Review

(Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley may never have the same leeway in commodities as they did when oil reached a record $147 a barrel last year.

The Commodities Futures Trading Commission will consider greater regulation of oil, gas and other energy markets at hearings this month. It plans to review exemptions to trading limits that since the 1990s allowed Goldman and Morgan to build multibillion-dollar ventures in futures, swaps and over-the- counter markets.

Oil in Downtrend, May Fall to $50: Technical Analysis

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil is in a downtrend that may lead to prices falling as low as $50 a barrel, according to Schork Group Inc.

“Oil has indeed entered a bear channel,” said Stephen Schork, president of the Villanova, Pennsylvania-based consultant. “The market gapped lower, therefore that gap - in between $66.26 and $65.65 - is now the top of resistance.”

Detectives search oil firm Sibir Moscow offices - Ifax

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's law enforcement agencies were conducting on Wednesday searches of the Moscow offices of oil firm Sibir Energy, Interfax news agency reported citing unnamed sources.

Oil companies warned against holding on to fuel

The government has issued a stern warning to oil companies to stop holding on to fuel.

It also dismissed reports by the National Procurement Committee, NPC, for oil companies of Zimbabwe that the nation’s reserves have run dry as a move to sabotage the country.

And the world's largest companies are...

Royal Dutch Shell knocks Wal-Mart out of the top slot. See which other global giants made the cut.

GM Running Out of Trucks and SUVs

General Motors is in trouble because it built too many trucks and SUVs, and neglected the fuel-efficient car market, right?

If so, the bankrupt automaker should have been well on its way to recovery by now. The company is running low on trucks and SUVs.

Lawmakers, businesses jockey for 'green' jobs

ELKHART, Ind.— In the empty factories and laid-off workers in this struggling section of the Rust Belt, entrepreneur Wil Cashen sees "unimaginable potential.”

Seeking to capitalize on the trend toward more-energy-efficient vehicles, Cashen has a plan to retrofit pickup trucks with electric motors at several of Elkhart County’s large, dormant manufacturing facilities and sell them to utility companies.

Coral no more

350 or 450? There's a split in scientific and political communities about which number—both represent parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere—is the tipping point into dangerous climate change. Actually, it goes sort of like this: Most scientists agree that 350 is the more realistic number, but most politicians say 450 is the best we can shoot for.

Greenpeace activists hijack Italian power stations

Four coal-fired power stations in several parts of Italy were today occupied by Greenpeace activists as G8 leaders met in L'Aquila to discuss issues including action on climate change. More than 100 Greenpeace activists from 18 countries took part in the protests, which hope to draw attention to the group's campaign for action by world leaders on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

OPEC: World will need less of its crude

OPEC says the world will need less crude oil from the group in 2013 than it did last year as the lingering impact of recession crimps demand and rising biofuels supply makes up for shrinking production elsewhere.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, whose members supply about 40 percent of the world’s oil, slashed its forecast for global oil consumption in 2013 by 5.7 million barrels to 87.9 million barrels a day. OPEC will have to produce 31 million barrels of crude daily in 2013 to satisfy demand, compared with 31.2 million barrels last year, it predicted in an annual report today.

“There is a growing perception that the economic slowdown will be U-shaped, that is the recovery will gather momentum only gradually,” the group’s Vienna-based secretariat said in its World Oil Outlook published today. OPEC sees demand for its crude “rising slowly over the medium term, returning back to 2008 levels by around 2013.”

Oil falls near $62 on recovery doubts

VIENNA – Oil prices slipped closer to the $62 a barrel mark Wednesday reflecting growing concerns over a slower-than-expected recovery in the global economy.

Prices were lower for the sixth straight day from a peak of above $73 last week, in tandem with continued weakness in Asian stock markets and a stronger U.S. dollar.

Does commute seem shorter? Report confirms less traffic

(CNN) -- Americans are spending less time stuck in traffic and wasting less gas, according to a new report.

Rising joblessness and stinging gas prices have put the brakes on worsening trends in traffic congestion, according to a study issued Wednesday by the Texas Transportation Institute, the nation's largest university-based transportation research facility.

U.S. Oil Fund Says It Didn’t Cause ‘Unusual’ Crude Price Swings

(Bloomberg) -- United States Oil Fund, the first exchange-traded fund for crude futures, said it didn’t cause the record high and subsequent collapse in oil prices last year.

U.S. trading regulators began an investigation of the fund in February in connection with a surge in the price difference between two crude-oil contracts. At one point early this year, the fund held 20 percent of outstanding March crude futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Hit the Speculators and Oil Bets Are Off

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's proposed crackdown on speculation in oil and natural gas, announced Tuesday, comes at an odd time. After all, the CFTC was largely dismissive about the impact of speculators on energy prices last fall, when crude still hovered around $100 a barrel. In the past week, Nymex crude has dropped 10% to about $63, in response to fears about the slow pace of economic recovery.

There is a strong argument to make that given the weak demand outlook and overflowing oil inventories, prices should be even lower. But market prices are set by competing "fundamental" views. There is a clear division between those who see economic "green shoots" and those who see weeds, just as there are "peak oil" aficionados set against less pessimistic opponents.

Insecurity tempers lure of Iraq's oil fields

Baghdad – International oil companies trying to get their foot in the door on some of the richest undeveloped oil fields in the world are grappling with a wide array of factors including lingering security fears and concerns that Iraq's climate for foreign oil investment is still shifting.

Why Iraq sees success in oil auction

Baghdad – Iraq is declaring a historic auction to develop some of the world's richest oil fields a success – despite a bidding process from which most international oil companies walked away emptyhanded – and is proceeding with plans for a second round of bidding at the end of the year.

"We showed the world two things – that the Iraqi oil industry is open for investment for the first time, and second, that the process was transparent," says Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.

Natural Gas Fund Says It Has Run Out of New Shares

(Bloomberg) -- The United States Natural Gas Fund, the largest exchange-traded fund in the fuel, said today that it has run out of new shares as it awaits government approval to issue more units.

The fund applied with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to register 1 billion new shares on June 5. The wait will temporarily halt the fund’s recent growth. Outstanding shares have increased to 281.4 million, more than eight times the level at the start of the year.

Nigerian militants attack Shell, Agip pipelines in Bayelsa state

LAGOS (Xinhua) -- Nigeria's major militant group in the oil rich Niger Delta region the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said on Wednesday it had attacked oil pipelines operated by Royal Dutch Shell and the Italian firm Agip in southeast Nigeria's Bayelsa State.

Russian auditors attack coal exporters over pricing

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's budget is losing substantial revenues because the country's exporters ship coal overseas at artificially low prices through various offshore schemes, Russia's top auditing body said.

A report published on the Audit Chamber website said up to 80 percent of Russian coal exports were going through offshore firms at prices often 30 percent to 54 percent below market rates.

"As a result substantial funds raised from coal sales are accumulated on offshore firms' accounts while Russia's budget is losing a substantial part of tax revenues," the auditing chamber said in a statement.

South Korea courts Poland on nuclear, LNG projects

WARSAW (AFP) – South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak Tuesday signalled Korean firms were keen to build Poland's first atomic reactor and liquefied natural gas terminal, projects key to its energy diversification bid.

"I know that in the context of energy security and diversification Poland is planning to build a nuclear electricity plant and an LNG terminal. Korea has a very strong position in these areas and awaits greater cooperation with Poland on these matters," he told a Polish-Korean economic forum in Warsaw.

EU fines E.On and Gaz de France

Energy giants E.On and Gaz De France (GDF) Suez have been fined by European Commission competition regulators for carving up gas markets between them.

Both Germany's E.On and France's GDF Suez have been fined 553m euros ($770m; £477m) by the Commission.

The firms agreed in 1975 not to compete with each other in their national gas markets when they started to import gas through a pipeline from Russia.

Iconic skyscrapers find new luster by going green

NEW YORK – When owners of the Empire State Building decided to blanket its towering facade this year with thousands of insulating windows, they were only partly interested in saving energy. They also needed tenants.

After 78 years, Manhattan's signature office building had lost its sheen as one of the city's most desirable places to work. To get it back, the owners did what an increasing number of property owners have done — they went green, shelling out $120 million on a variety of environmental improvements, a move would have been considered a huge gamble a few years ago.

Why toilet paper belongs to America

Even as the markets boom in developing nations, toilet paper manufacturers find themselves needing to charge more per roll to make a profit. That's because production costs are rising. During the past few years, pulp has become more expensive, energy costs are rising, and even water is becoming scarce. As the climate continues to change, toilet paper companies may need to keep hiking up their prices. The question is, if toilet paper becomes a luxury item, can Americans live without it?

The truth is that we did live without it, for a very long time. And even now, a lot of people do.

Pickens’ energy campaign marches on: Texas oil man made a big splash, but has little to show for it

After spending millions on television commercials and a public relations tour that took him to 74 cities and 22 town halls, his plan has run into some sizeable hurdles, most notably a crash in energy prices. As prices plunged, the Texas billionaire's hedge funds lost billions of dollars. Pickens also scrapped plans for the world's biggest wind farm, and California voters rejected a natural gas initiative he backed.

"I do wonder how long that I can continue at the pace," Pickens, 81, said Tuesday in an interview with Associated Press reporters and editors. "I know my time is limited. I'm in a hurry. I want to get this done."

Terminal Absence of Leadership

The alleged goal of globalization, at least if the superficial tag lines are to be believed, is to elevate the standards of living for all. What the tagline can’t reveal, and what the economists who are tenured to the service of globalized corporate and government interests fail to convey, is that the resource base of the world cannot support anything approaching the utopian standard of living touted by that lot.

The Land Of Plenty

The American economy seems only dazed from its first impact with Peak Oil and oblivious to the unyielding wall it just hit. Those unacquainted with the topic may want to read Twilight in the Desert by oil investment banker Matt Simmons, The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler or the novel World Made By Hand.

American oil production has been in terminal decline since 1971. Worldwide production appears to have peaked in 2005. The current crude oil stockpiles and recent demand destruction are immaterial to this foreboding storm. In the geo-political scheme this issue is guiding many of the decisions from Washington to Moscow to Beijing and Tehran. The gold to oil ratio does matter. Many may take our complex oil powered systems, like food production and distribution, for granted.

Pope calls for 'God-centered' global economy

The "true world political authority" that Benedict calls for should keep solutions as simple and local as possible but still create solidarity for the common good.

Reese notes the "strong language here on the redistribution of wealth — not something people like to talk about in the USA. If the Catholic right is against the redistribution of wealth, they're against the pope. He doesn't believe an unregulated marketplace is going to solve all the problems of economy and poverty."

Solar for Dark Climates

Solar technology that generates both heat and electricity could make solar energy practical in places that aren't sunny.

World's first fuel cell aircraft takes off in Germany

HAMBURG, Germany (AFP) – The world's first piloted aircraft capable of taking to the air using only power from fuel cells took off in Germany Tuesday, producing zero carbon dioxide emissions, its makers said.

"We have improved the performance capabilities and efficiency of the fuel cell to such an extent that a piloted aircraft is now able to take off using it," said Johann-Dietrich Woerner from the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

Time-of-day pricing and solar panels are smart ideas under Hawaii's sun

Recent passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of the Clean Energy and Security Act is a reminder of the threat posed to Hawaii by climate change: more frequent, stronger tropical storms threaten to erode beaches, submerge beachfront properties, and alter Hawaii's tourism and agricultural economies. Fortunately, Hawaii can do its share to combat global warming and in the process, help ameliorate its dependence upon imported oil for electricity generation.

Clean Cars Are Coming

I got into an interesting online debate with Matthew DeBord, the car blogger from Slate, who thinks the electric-vehicle revolution will be a long time coming. He's unconvinced that we're about to go through a profound change in personal transportation.

Price Is EV’s ‘Elephant in the Room’

The electrification of the automobile has been called the auto industry’s “moon shot,” an analogy that works because of both the technology involved and the cost to develop it. Automakers are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the effort with no promise that it will lead to affordable battery-powered vehicles anytime soon — or any guarantee people will buy them once they’re available.

Obama makes nuclear compromise to pass clean energy bill

The Obama administration endorsed a revival of America's nuclear industry yesterday in an effort to build forward momentum for climate change legislation before the Senate.

The seal of approval for nuclear power – a cause embraced by Republican senators – came on day one of a full-on lobbying effort by the White House for one of Obama's signature issues

EEI Expo: Secretary Chu Describes Life in a Carbon-constrained World

Chu said that "sooner or later we will be living in a carbon constrained world." He listed five things that "we need to do to get where we need to be."

Despite Shift on Climate by U.S., Europe Is Wary

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said during a visit to Washington in late June that she had detected a “sea change” in Washington’s approach to climate change since Mr. Obama took office, raising the odds for a successful outcome to the treaty negotiations, to be held in Copenhagen in December.

But Europe is also unhappy with the Obama administration’s reluctance to accept aggressive near-term goals for cutting greenhouse gases and its refusal so far to formally accept language that would limit the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above pre-industrial levels.

US to accept 2-degree target on climate change, EU says

L'Aquila, Italy - The United States is ready to accept a Group of Eight (G8) goal of limiting global warming to within 2 degrees centigrade, European Union leaders said Wednesday as the annual G8 summit opened in L'Aquila, Italy. "One year ago it was not possible, our American partners did not accept (the targets), now they accept it. So there is progress," EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told reporters.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, said US President Barack Obama had "made references to" the 2-degree target contained in the summit's draft conclusions.

Gore says climate deal needs more public pressure

OXFORD (Reuters) – Public awareness about the "catastrophe" of climate change is not high enough to pressure politicians into taking action, former Vice President Al Gore said on Tuesday.

Gore, who shared a Nobel Prize in 2007 for his environmental campaigning, said politicians will only do more once the people who elect them force the issue.

Senate tackles climate change

WASHINGTON — The Senate took up sweeping climate change legislation on Tuesday, with four Obama administration officials insisting that the measure is urgently needed to combat global warming, wean the U.S. off imported oil and revitalize the nation’s economy.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that the United States “has the opportunity to lead a new industrial revolution of creating sustainable, clean energy.”

Senate Democrats Begin Drawing Road Map to 60 Votes on Climate Bill

When it comes to climate change legislation, Senate Democratic leaders find themselves in a similar spot to where their House counterparts stood a few months ago: pledging passage of a comprehensive bill without a clear path on how to get there.

Gov. Barbour Dives, Once More, Into the Climate Fray

The longtime Republican leader and possible 2012 presidential candidate starred as the key GOP witness at the first Senate hearing on the issue since the House narrowly passed a major global warming bill last month. Following the path of recent Republican vocalizers like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia and ex-Sen. George Allen of Virginia, Barbour summed up the plan as an economic catastrophe.

Polluting Nations Drop Vow to Cut Gas Output 50%, Official Says

(Bloomberg) -- The world’s biggest polluting nations dropped a vow to cut their greenhouse-gas emissions 50 percent by 2050 after developing countries balked at the plan, according to a government official who attended a meeting on the matter.

Nations gathered in Italy this week had pledged in a draft declaration to halve emissions by 2050, with industrialized countries cutting 80 percent, said the person, who declined to be identified because talks haven’t ended.

Both numerical targets were stripped from the final document, to be released tomorrow, after representatives at the major economies forum scrambled to reach an agreement in Rome yesterday. The countries release about 80 percent of the world’s heat-trapping emissions blamed for climate change.

It can only get worse – so we must be prepared

Like most natural disasters, people give little thought to flooding until it occurs. Reaction is strong at the time, but apart from those seriously or personally affected, memories quickly fade and anxiety decreases until the next time. This is how it has always been – except now major flooding incidents are becoming increasingly common.

This is no surprise. In 2004 the Office of Science and Technology Foresight report on climate change, floods and coastal defence showed that we could expect the number of properties at risk from flooding to rise from 80,000 at present to 350,000 by 2050, with associated damage costs rising by a factor of seven. The report also concluded that the cost of managing flood risk would increase by a similar amount if present approaches to flood defence and drainage were continued.

Put bluntly, this is unaffordable, and we must find a new way to tackle flood risk in the future.

'There's something afoot in the Arctic'

Each year I guide ski expeditions across the pack ice to the North Geographic Pole and each year brings new surprises -- severe storms rarely seen in these parts, vast tracts of first-year ice where there should be years of accumulation, pack ice drifting faster and farther than ever before.

The veneer of fractured ice over the Arctic Ocean is changing, disintegrating before my eyes. Over the last twenty years more than 5000 kilometers of ice has passed beneath my skis during numerous expeditions to both poles, as well as treks across Greenland, Spitsbergen, Iceland, Ellesmere Island and the Patagonian Icecap. Add to this multiple voyages and flights to both Antarctica and the Arctic and I have come to feel part of the polar landscape. I've developed somewhat of a polar sense, and I sense there is something afoot that I don't much like.

NASA data shows 'dramatically thinned' Arctic ice

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Arctic sea ice thinned dramatically between the winters of 2004 and 2008, with thick older ice shrinking by the equivalent of Alaska's land area, a study using data from a NASA satellite showed.

Using information from NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Satellite (ICESat), scientists from the US space agency and the University of Washington in Seattle estimated both the thickness and volume of the Arctic Ocean's ice cover.

T. Boone Pickens


The brand-new Roberts County Fresh Water Supply District No. 1, acting as an alter ego of businessman T. Boone Pickens and Mesa Power Pampa, LLC, has launched a private venture that may force landowners in 11 counties to submit to the power of eminent domain so they can pump water from the shrinking Ogallala Aquifer and sell wind-generated electricity.

Is the water plan still on?

As one person I know commented
"Members of the Hitler Youth are usually where I go for my people-focused
ethics needs."

Or how about a Holy Word based labor policy:
"you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. "

And of course - its hard to say 'the boss is wrong' in a God-centered economic policy.

Barbour summed up the plan as an economic catastrophe.

Yes it is. But so are the money policy, banker/wall street/government interactions and the spending habits of FedGov.

The Carbon Tax effort gets to be the goat. Because that is 'everyones fault' VS the way FedGov runs or Wall Street or any other place where one can identify individual actors.

I assume the 'Barbour' in your quote is Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. Because a former tobacco lobbyist is who I usually turn to for energy and climate change analysis.

Given the present economic system exists because of the way underpriced cheap energy - yes, raising the price will be an 'economic disaster' to the present system/present way of doing things.

Pickens scraps 4K MW wind farm in Texas


Pickens's pullback could signal shift in the wind


Re: NASA data shows 'dramatically thinned' Arctic ice

NASA has spoken, yet again, about Climate Change. Just more confirmation that the Earth is changing much faster than previously believed. The denialist are losing out, but will likely continue to ignore reality.

E. Swanson

All the elaborate modeling efforts have severely underestimated the rapidity of onslaught of the consequences of AGW. Take heed, all who are enamored with Excel and the Chart Wizard.

I'm surprised how I can see just the changes in the local weather patterns. I've been in six sun-showers over the past year, more than I had been in during my entire life previously. I see cloud formations in the sky like they were taken out of The Matrix. Wild rain and temperature variations.

This, plus the effects on the local ecology, could screw up whatever collapse plans you have if you plan to stay put. To deal with climate chaos, there needs to at least be a backup plan for mobility, for picking up and moving.

Our summer monsoon started early and has already pretty much fizzled. Plenty of afternoon thunderstorms over the mountains with plenty of lightning but very little rain. Now the convection storms are already failing to even build. Ordinarily, the monsoon would just be getting underway. July and August look to be very dry. Last year we received a total of only 6.3" of precip. The longterm mean is 8.2". This year looks to be drier than average also, unless we receive quite a bit of early winter snow.

My ability to grow food depends entirely upon the availability of irrigation water. As the snowpack in the southern Rockies diminishes, the ditch flow becomes reduced. As population explodes in the intermountain West, more and more claims on the diminishing amount of available water are made. Maybe I should move to a region that receives adequate rainfall while the option is still open to me.

NO - that would improve your chances for survival, which is bad for the earth.

You ain't one of them Mormon vampires are you? My granddaughter is all into them this summer. :)

Nah, just a normal human parasite.

You ain't one of them Mormon vampires are you? My granddaughter is all into them this summer.

She must be a big fan of 18 Kids and Counting. Nothing more responsible in a resource constrained future than having as many kids as you possibly can. (And in all fairness, they aren't Mormon, just very conservative Baptists.)

Nothing more responsible in a resource constrained future than having as many kids as you possibly can.

"Responsible" or not having as many kids as possible will be a viable survival strategy in the resource constrained future. It will be bands of brothers & first cousins who are capable of defending the fruits of their labor from marauders, or of becoming successful marauders themselves. Loners will be at a disadvantage and communities of unrelated individuals and nuclear families will be fraught with strife. Kin selection is real.


I'm unable to tell from context whether you are joking,serious,sarcastic, or jusy uninformed vis avis your remark about Baptists and Mormons.

These two faiths share a lot of traits but Baptists are most definitely not Mormons and if a Mormon ever showed up in real Baptist country the bolder little kids would be peeking out fron behind trees hoping for a glimpse of his horns and tail-if thier preacher has ever mentioned Mormons-some do,occasionally,but there are more things to be condemned from the pulpit these days than there are Sundays to condemn them.

It is amusing to hear them preach the Old Testament-speaking very favorably of Solomon,etc and all those wives and then condemn the Mormons for the same.

I've never had the chance to really discuss Baptists with a Mormon,so somebody else will have to tell the other side.

The days of large families among the Baptists are pretty much gone.I know of one or two families with three or four kids but any body with as many as five or six siblings is already on social security,or will be soon, in ninety nine out of a hundred cases.

One or two kids is the norm and three are not very unusual,but four or more is occasion for conversation.Six or more-not in the last thirty years at least in this entire community.
Farmer Mac reporting
from the heart of Baptist country.

I'll be heading to Crestone pretty soon-- one of the more water rich areas of the Southern Rockies.
DD- I believe you climbed Crestone Peak?-- maybe I'll get some insight on they one from you.

might i suggest a warm-up on crestone needle. crestone needle is one of the best sub/semi technical climbs i have been on. a traverse from needle to peak is for high skilled technical climbers, and i dont know where that leaves you. from the east side, west bound from westslope i believe, there is a brutal axle twisting road or loooooooong hike or possibly a bike ride. the ascent from the west, from crestone the city, has a decent road to the trailhead, unless you try needle to peak, that is the long way around. the peak from the eastside is also a technical climb. i made it to the lesser peak with just my hands and feet.

Yep. I've climbed all the Colorado 14ers & the Crestones & Kit Carson are among the best! I've actually climbed the Needle twice, the second time making the traverse to the Peak. The crux is the downclimb from the Needle to the notch. It isn't difficult but is horrendously exposed. Many make a rappel. The first time I was up there it was so windy that I was scared to make the downclimb but the second time I did it. That Crestone conglomerate is pretty unique - I've never seen rock quite like it - but it is very secure. The matrix is so hard that the embedded rocks break before it does. So your hand- & footholds are secure.


Listen to me. Listen to Airdale.

Nobody else who posts here on a regular basis except the two of us sfaik have LIVED this farm thing the hard way.

It's going to MORE than hard enough to make it on a small farm if we have to go back to the old ways even if you are very well prepared and in a damned good spot.

It's insane to handicap yourself by living in a place where THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT INPUT is in constant short supply.

You might as well try to run a marathon without drinking water as try to farm by hand in an arid environment.

I KNOW it can be done.

But Mr. Murphy's favorite field of operations ,after the battlefield,is the farm.
Even with a degree from a good ag college,a good up and running small farm with the long haul infrastructure in place,and a lifetime of experience I'm not very confident myself.

And we have a gravity flow irrigation /household water system in place adequate for our survival plan built to last at least one hundred years,if the spring doesn't fail.Even though we live in a place with plenty of rain,on average.

You aren't the only ones, just the only ones currently living it.

It is easier to be optimistic when you have experienced life off the grid in a serious way.

DD should be OK, as long as he takes advantage of the current high-energy situation to set up some good contingency plans. The SW is terribly unforgiving.

We are on the grid,and we will be right up until the day it goes down-which I am fairly sure will not be within my life time-a couple of more decades maybe-unless things go wrong in a big way.

(My parents spent thier early years w/o electricity though.I didn't mean to convey the impression that we are still living circa 1900,but only that we have continued to live that way in many respects,partly as a matter of economics,but mostly as a cultural thing.The last draft animal is long gone,replaced by a diesel tractor .)

But I estimate the chances of tshtf at twenty percent at least,the most likely result being open war and then all bets are off.Best be ready to the extent possible.

I would love to have pv but we just don't have the money-if prices come down some more,as most people seem to expect,we will buy enough to at least run a couple of appliances such as a refrigerator.

One thing that occurs to me is that most old mountian homesteads are well located to take advantage of microclimates.But that unfortunately rules out good wind exposure, and we could never get enough production from a wind rig to bother.

In any case I expect that times are going to get very rough,a lot worse than at present, and that the economy is going to stay in the pits.Lots of people are going to be very glad to go back to gardening,etc,in oder to stretch whatever income they have to the absolute limit.

Any wannabe farmer /gardeners /beekeepers etc,living in town should definitely get hands on involved with one of the sustainability movements.The experience gained may turn out to be priceless.

I can second that.

My father grew up on a sharecropper's farm, has degrees in Agriculture (BS U Ky), Farm Management (MS U Ky), actually managed a farm for a few years, and Agricultural Economics (PhD U Il), has always raised a garden (large until recently) and spends all but the winter on a farm in the Kentucky Bluegrass (half of farmhouse was built ~1788, dry stack spring house ~100 yards from house).

Even if he was younger than 82 y/o, it would be a struggle to make it there today. Factory across the street, bypass bisects farm, KMart within sight, new suburb a half mile away, Telephone maintenance center close by, etc.

Rain is more erratic today, development has changed drainage patterns, 220 years of farming has caused some erosion (still a foot of topsoil). Growing enough to store, to get through winter AND get through a crop failure year, w/o oil or electricity would be daunting.

Not impossible with dawn to dusk work every day with young hands, and improvised tools, but daunting.

If you can keep the neighbors away.


The ditch is across the road & up the hill from my place. The water flows thru a 2" id PE pipe and has about 70 ft. of head. Taking into account friction loss this gives me about 28 psi @ the level of the house - just enuf to run impact sprinklers. I grow a big garden, specializing in Mira Sol chilis, tomatos & sweet corn, altho this year I'm doing primarily legumes (got some F1 beans from 800 yr old "Anasazi" stash). After years of organic amendment my garden soil is pretty good. So long as the water flows I do just fine. The ditch was established in the 1890s so the water rights are senior. Years of neglect had left our portion of the ditch in bad shape. Russian olives on the berm made it impossible for the trackhoe to work on the ditch. Earlier this year my son & I cleared out the Russian olives so the hoe could come thru. So now we have a good flow. But we live near the end of the ditch and factors upstream that we have no control over interrupt the flow. Just recently the ditch was off for a couple days because a gas/oil crew needed to cross it, for instance. Social unrest in the post-PO future might close the ditch permanently. In any case, without gas & oil for the chainsaw & trackhoe keeping the ditch open will be well nigh impossible.

Yes, the Cognitive Gap is still with us. That's the term I started using for the gap between what climate scientists are confident in saying is happening or will happen, and what's really going on. The old perception vs. reality thing we all know so well.

This should not be a surprise. Until just a couple of decades ago we weren't prodded by reality to study GHG emissions and the resulting climate chaos nearly as closely as we now wish we had. As a result, the scientists are trying to play catch-up. They understand the urgency of the situation--much better than does the mainstream public (forming another Cognitive Gap)--but they know how bad it would be if they made wild guesses about how the climate works and responds to the disequilibrium state we've created.

I've been writing about the steady stream of these "it's worse than we thought" revelations for months, and it's terrifying stuff. Methane and CO2 levels are showing anomalous increases suddenly, the Arctic ice is thinning, and the probability that we've emitted enough CO2 to trigger an unstoppable and massive feedback (e.g. permafrost melting and releasing many billions of tons of carbon in the form of CO2 and methane), is creeping upward. No one knows yet if we've passed that killer tipping point, as best I can tell from my reading of published reports and papers, but given the amount of warming that's already "in the pipeline", thanks to CO2 emitted over the last century+, it's ever harder to be optimistic.

Amother one of these pesky little problems we discover long after it is too late to do anything to solve them.

Not that we'd want to solve them, anyway.

Why are there doomers?

Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen (R), in her remarks supporting a new uranium mine:

"It's time that we get beyond and start focusing on the technology we have and move forward into the future so that our grandchildren can have the lifestyle we have. And this earth's been here 6,000 years. . . . long before anyone had any environmental laws and somehow it hasn't been done away with. . . . You'll never even know there was a mine there when they're done."

Why are there doomers around when there are so many positive and uplifting and promising innovations at our disposal, and so many positive and uplifting and promising people to remind us of them?



And this earth's been here 6,000 years. . .

Senator Allen would fit in well with other GOP candidates for higher office.

Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble. - Joseph Campbell

What do you expect from a state that also brings you John Mcain?

You folks from Arizona, deserve what you get in the coming collapse.

Yeah, the Navajo and White Mountain Apache, the Pima and Papagao, the Yaquis and mestizo Hispanics, really have it coming.

Now, you're bright enough to know what I mean......REPUBS and a few others...I hope Natives take back everything....

How old do those science based cultures you mention think Earth is?

I didn't vote for McCain, and stand by my vote, but he seems to me to be a decent guy.


A compassionate conservative.

The weird thing is, she actually thinks that 6,000 years is a very long time and as the Earth has been around for so long, we couldn't possibly do anything to harm it.

I wonder what she would think if somebody told her how long the Earth has really been in existence. Perhaps she would conclude that we should have a thermonuclear war, just for the hell of it.

She knows how old geologists think the earth is. She just rejects it.

Europeans generally find it hard to believe, but this is a controversial issue in the US. Many fundamentalist Christians believe in a "young earth." They reject carbon dating and such, preferring instead to count the "begats" in the Bible, and estimating the age of the earth that way - the number of generations since Adam and Eve.

It is very possible she realizes the Earth is very old, yet feels that the 6000 year statement helps her political career. IMHO the vast majority of USA Christians realize the Earth is billions of years old, yet verbalizing this realization often isn't done because it is not useful. The reality is that no one knows what another person believes, yet most seem very eager to accept such statements at face value.

ok, she is ignorant or sleazy, take your pick.

The thing is, when you look at politicians as a group and compare them to the general public (especially USA politicians) how do they stack up? Positives: hard working, ambitious, cunning, social, extroverted, goal oriented. Negatives: Untrustworthy, conniving, spineless and most of all DISHONEST. Therefore, everything comment they make must be viewed through the appropriate lens.

When you lump this misinformed State Senator in with everyone from Ron Paul to Al Franken, you end up with generalized conclusions that tell you absolutely nothing.

And there are possibly some virgin streetwalkers-guys like Paul and Kucinich stand out because they are as rare as Chinese guys the size of Yao Ming.

"Conniving, Spineless, Dishonest"

Come on, Brian. Surprise me, please.

That is an amusing comment coming from the most predictable poster on this site.

And there have been ambitious sociopaths willing to say and do anything to get and maintain power and privilege for far more than 6000 years, as well as religious nut jobs. Good enough reason for doomers all by itself.

Many people who call themselves Christians believe the earth is only 6,000 years old because that is what they have been told from the clergy. They say they beleive in the Bible, but this is not what the Bible actually teaches. Nowhere in the Bible is a specific date actually mentioned, nor is a timeline actually spelled out.

If one actually reads the 1st chapter with open eyes, an obvious fact emerges: this cannot be an eyewitness account. There were no people around for most of the time period covered, Unlike the Koran or the Book of Mormon, there is no claim that the books of the Bible were handed down intact from on high, or dictated verbatum; the Christian doctrine of divine inspiration is far more subtle and nuanced than that, and allows for the reality of the books of the Bible having been written by human writers, using their own individual styles.

Thus, the Genesis account MUST have been written after the fact, probably long afterwords. If it wasn't an eyewitness narrative, and it wasn't dictated verbatum, then what was it? I have always felt that the best way to understand Genesis 1 was as an account of a vision. When one assumes it to be such, then one immediately sees strong similarities with other such passages, like the accounts in Daniel or Revelation. For all of these revelatory visions, one must understand that symbolic language is very extensively employed. Time is often compressed, and events are not always presented in strict chronological order. You can't read these passages the same way you read historical narratives without being misled into all sorts of errors.

If one grants the premise of a supernatural creator (and I understand that for those that do not, all of this is just nonsense), then the question must be asked: how would such a being communicate anything at all to humans about how the universe had been created across unimaginable billions of years? A great amount of sumarization would be necessary to shrink the process into something that our limited minds could comprehend.

In particular, I am thinking that the seven "days" of Genesis 1 might be more properly understood as being seven visions, or seven scenes in the overall act, or a series of revelations presented to the author over a period of seven days. It is not coincidental that these seven days correspond to the approach of the Hebrew people to the reckoning of time, dividing their calendar into weeks of seven days with a day of rest on every seventh day. The point of Genesis 1 is that the Creator is the maker and lord of time as well as of space, matter and energy (and thanks to Einstein, we now appreciate that these are all inter-related and do not exist independently of each other), and that the Creator is to be honored by reckoning and using time in a manner which acknowledges the Creator and the maker and lord of our time. This is the real central point of Genesis 1, and it appears to have been pretty much entirely missed and obscured by those who are too wedded to an excessively literalistic hermaneutic and obsessed with finding refutations of modern science in its words.

If one approaches the first chapter of Genesis as a summary of the natural history of the universe and the earth, under broad topical categories, and if one grants the writer considerable artistic license, then I believe that the Genesis account can be accepted as a literary, even poetic, interpretation of the actual events as scientists understand them.

This in turn leads me to the conclusion that there is nothing in Genesis 1 that need be considered contradictory to the ages of the earth and the universe, and of all the events that have unfolded through natural history, that have been tentatively established by scientific investigation.

I suspect that there is not one person among ten thousand who believes the 6,000 year-old earth thing and who is even aware that such an alternative approach to Biblical interpretation is even possible. There are probably more than a few atheists who would be surprised to know of it as well.

how would such a being communicate anything at all to humans about how the universe had been created across unimaginable billions of years?


Sorry, dude, there was no Peyote in the Middle East in ancient times... Purely a product of the Americas.

My vote is for Cannabis.

this is not what the Bible actually teaches.

I prefer the teachings about fig trees.

Done in comic book form for you here.


I have been severely cutting back on my time allotted to TOD. But this statement by WNC cries out for a comment in return. Not that I am an expert but I have read and read and read ...the Torah, the Misnah, The Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi and of course many books in the Hebrew mystic venue and many bibles have passed thru my hands over these many years of my life.

This is my perception. The Orthodox Jews have no problems with evolution. Nor with the Torah,[contains Genesis]but note here that Genesis is a Greek word and ALL the books except a few are Greek names...we have in fact tried to steal the Hebrew Bible and the christian preachers/ministers/et al have then taken quite free rein to use it as they see fit..whether it is cute little Sunday School Lessons like "ohhhhh Moses in the bulrushes...how cute" and other tripe and nonsense.

We did, or at least the RCC did as it wished with the New Testament,,killing, torturing, those who it disagreed with in this area. And finally made it exaclty as THEY wanted it to be. Therefore it is NOT a protestant bible(New Testament) but has always been the RCC's creation.

Now all that said...Its my view that Orthodox Jews have no problem with evolution..but that man at 'some time' was imbued with a SOUL and became something entirely different.

In fact the Sadducees did NOT believe in resurrection. They had great differences with the Pharisees. And then many splinter groups arose, Essenes, Gnostics,etc....This was the period of time when what later came to be called Christinity, was birthed ,,also a splinter group.

The true Temple Priests of the Zadokite line having been ousted and replaced with the Hasmomean line.,the writers of the Dead Sea Scrolls picked up and left to Qumran and penned or preserved much in the way of scrolls that helps explain all this BUT most ALL current American preachers do not even KNOW these simple facts.

So IMO each must plow his own ground and its best to forget mainstream Christanity except as it suits. The bible has errors. Acknowledged errors and clerical errors as well.

In fact the very first verse of Genesis, known as Berashith to the Jews,since it is their book/s and their right and they use the very first word usually as the 'place holder'...says "In the beginning Gods created the heavens and the earth."...or Berashith bera Elohim et hashamayim waeth ha eretz.........

In actually I read that this verse can be translated 16 different ways. Its the Torah, no punctation,no spaces,no vowels,,etc......and the Jews(many at least of their rabbis} believe it to be a 'living' document and changes as needs be thru its aspects. This is its nature. Gemetria and other methods in use by those mystics. Not to mention books that proceeded other authors times as the dates of writing.

Elohim is plural for God and right there you have a problem...Gods? Of course this is all overlooked as is huge amounts of what is reduced by the pulpit to scams for cash in the offering plates to enrichen the preacher...and the real truth of the Hebrew is lost and repeatedly trashed and destroyed.

The Ruach or spirit or breath of God moves upon the face of the waters....a vibration? A means of what? The same breath is breathed into the nostrils of Adamah(red dirt).

So truly reading the early books of the Hebrews can be extremely insightful and rewarding BUT you must forget all the inane Sunday School lessons and much of what passes from the pulpits.

I spent 5 weeks on the first chapter one winter. It paid handsomely in my quest. I am still questing and I left 'mainline' Christianity long ago. When I go to my local church it is to meet with my neighbors and kinfolk mostly. Not too learn nor be led astray.

Truth is I also discount Paul for his was to build an edifice of organized religion that became an even worse dissertation than the Law of Moses. More do's and dont's than the 613 Hebrew strictures. More heinous. More error prone.

All I can say for sure is that the seeker oft times finds what he seeks. But if you do not wish to take that journey best to stay in the LazyBoy and watch the Jackson funeral,whatever...

The answers IMO are NOT in those brick buildings with the cross on top. They are in your soul, spirit and walk. Or I put it down as a 'Path that eventually leads to the clearing at the end of that path.'

No man can dictate to me how to deal with my soul. No man can tell me what to do with it or without it. It is not his right nor privilege. So say I to each preacher who stands and deems himself worthy to 'preach' HIS message to me. Fah on that. Most are totally lost,,,and 60 years of watching and listening has taught me this.

Take away their paychecks and they run screaming into the night. Its the last refuge of the scoundrel IMO of course. And under their care the influence of Christianity in this world has reached the lowest in many decades here in this USofA. Who is to blame then?

They have reduced it to drivel by their own efforts.

Airdale-btw I find JHK's article on M. Jackson to be clearly the truth and the best I have read of late. Two hands clapping for Mr. JHK

Good work, Airdale!

I pity the poor Mormon librarian who has the gall to mess with your immortal geist.

I mentioned it a couple times before, but you might look up Karen Armstrong's 'The battle for God', which outlines the development of the extreme branches of Judaism, Xtianity and Islam over the last 5 centuries, starting with the Purges by Ferdinand and Isabella. Very interesting analysis, while I didn't see it as 'Anti-religion' .. just trying to put a human face on these devilish developments..


(If the Mormon Sanctifiers try to resurrect my imperfect ectoplasm, I'll probably just chatter at them til they run away... always worked in NYC)

Why don't we just ask the Talking Snake? He is my go to guy for biblical questions. I just fly over on Mohammed's horse and ask him.

Check out Armstrong. She's not a thumper. She's an academic, saying that these three modern Monotheisms got in trouble when they tried to put their message into the language of science.

If you want a go-to guy to tell you ABOUT talking snakes and flying horses, try Buddha, Campbell, Steinbeck or Freud. Religion and Literature are, I believe the original forms of Psychology.

Are your dreams telling you something, or are they all just lies?


You could look at the original hebrew for what in English is termed 'serpent' and the masses deign to refer to as snake.

The hebrew word as I view the translation is the word for snake and also the word for 'trickster' or 'joker' or one who misleads others.

The classical 'square biblical' hebrew does not translate well to english and certainly not to Elizabethan English and in fact I also read that what was written by King James's scribes was no easily read by the populace back then either...since it was flowery and designed to be flowery in form.Not in vogue in England at that time.

If you wish reality then you must study the hebrew and translate.

I suggest Robert Atlers 'Five Books of Moses' for rather good insight.



I always liked Lenny Bruce's take on christian preachers when he got arrested for impersonating one and was called a "cheap huckster":

"As long as there is one hungry child in the world any preacher with two suits of clothing is a huckster"

I can look out the window and see that god has abandoned us ...

You never cease to surprise me. Just when I figure you to be some kind of crazed hermit living out in the sticks, you come up with some of the most profound and honest statements I've heard in a long time. Thanks, brother.


The bible has errors. Acknowledged errors and clerical errors as well.

Yet, if one is going to "follow the Pope" on his "God centric economy" idea - what are going to be the errors and omissions?


I always read your contributions in full, and have gained much from them. Your knowledge of life and the actions needed for future survival always ring true.

Sadly, this latest screed of religious mumbo-jumbo has greatly lowered my respect for you as a person and a practical commentator, and disillusioned me as to your value as a guide to activities for coping with the approaching chaos.

No matter how great your scholarship, or the depth of your study into religious concepts, it is impossible for me to accept that there is any validity in any religion. Hence in future I will unfortunately be forced to discount much of your commentary as influenced by superstition.

The concept that humans are a special form of life, designed and administered by some supernatural being, is the single greatest obstacle to human survival and advancement.

There is not, never has been, and never will be any "god" that can influence human activity.

Please continue with your commentaries of life in your region, and advice on living in greatly reduced circumstances: these articles are worthy of their energy content.



Thanks for your input.

I understand your views also.

However for myself who had spent many long years 'inside' the walls of organized religion and then became suspicious I can easily understand.

What I was stating I thought was a rebuttal to the mass Christianity appeals that are mostly based on incorrect beliefs.

Not telling anyone what to do or how to act. Each I said "must go his own way." But if one does search then one MUST do it earnestly and with truth girded about him for aught else is folly. And there is worlds enough of 'folly' already.

Or take a different fork in the road. Freedom is what I mean. To believe or not and not be forced or led badly.


I sympathize with your viewpoint from a rational perspective. Unfortunately most of us are not entirely rational and can't get away from thinking there might be something more to reality than what we percieve. But it is probably just a consequence of being self-aware and knowing that we will die some day.

I recommend you read Dostoevsky. One of my favorite insights from his work is that an atheist is a religious person. An atheist fervently believes that there is no God. This was also pointed out in Eric Hoffer's work "The True Believer". The true opposite of a fanatic is someone to who it doesn't matter whether there is a God or not. Something to think about.



Thanks for your interesting comments. I am constantly aware of the fact that there are around two billion people now living (and who knows how many hundreds of millions in the past) who call themselves "Christians" of some form or another. About the only thing they all have in common is the mere fact that they call themselves "Christian". For a great many, unfortunately, they appear to either be unacquainted with or choose to ignore the few words and personal examples that have been passed down to us from the one they claim to believe in and follow. Unfortunately, some - all too many, really - have been guilty of all manner of hurtful acts, or worse. As far as these are concerned, the fact that they call themselves "Christian" makes no difference to me. Jesus himself is recorded as having said: "You shall know them by their fruits." While he also said that we are not to judge others, I do not believe he meant that to preclude discerning which people we are to find common cause with, and those with which we are to disassociate. I go on record here as having dissociated myself from those who claim to be "Christian" but who have engaged in harmful, hurtful actions against their fellow humans (or God's creation, for that matter).

There always have been a few who sincerely do try to follow the teachings and example of Jesus; a few, not many. Jesus himself predicted that there would only be a few, so perhaps this should come as no surprise. Some try with more success than others, very few come anything close to what might be called perfection, but they do try.

There are also a few who, for one reason or another, are not comfortable attaching the name "Christian" to themselves, but who nevertheless have been touched by the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Some of these people might actually have a more legitimate claim to the title of "Christian" than do the masses of those who proudly call themselves "Christian", but do not lead lives that reflect any influence whatsoever from the one they claim to believe in and follow.

You mentioned organized religion. As far as I am concerned, all of the church buildings, all of the clergy, all of the denominations and ecclesiastical hierarchies, and all the other "stuff" that constitutes "organized religion" in its "Christian" context - all of that could be swept away tomorrow, and it would make no difference to me whatsoever. I would not mourn; I might be tempted to rejoice. The only things that matter to me within the category of "religion" are things in the realm of what might be called spirituality, and world views, and ethics, and how one goes about actually living one's life. I also note that it is these that Jesus mostly talked about; he had remarkably little to say about "organized religion", and most of that was negative.

Thank you WNC and airdale for two very interesting/fascinating posts.

Soooo many leaders. Soooo many cultural and religious myths to twist their thinking. Sooo much 'educating' we have to do... (just kidding on that last line).

I know some born and bred democrats who believe in the Bible lock stock and barrel,and some of them are in public office.You could never in a thousand years get one of them to say anything about evolution in public.Democrats are by and large just more savvy politicians than republicans,and know how to get in to office and stay there w/o exposing thier shortcomings so readily.

Of course it helps that the truth is on thier side too,for the most part,regarding environmental issues and most of the big issues most important imo at the current time.

Republicans are imo not so likely to believe in creationism as most polls indicate.They are perhaps just more prone to say they do because they believe the church is a positive influence and because thier parents and grandparents might find out that they are godless athiests.

If you are interested in this as a thought experiment,try to find any unequivocal statements on the subject of creationism versus evolution made by well known democratic "reverends" involved in national politics.And if you do,notice the free ride they get in the press as opposed to right wing fundamentalists.

And when you are having a hard time figuring out how to put together a winning coalition,you may necessarily have to shoot yourself in the foot,if you are a conservative, in order to get out the religious vote,by openly courting the fundamentalists.

The dems have a lock on the votes of the largest groups of liberal leaning fundamentalists and don't need to curry thier favor by sucking up to the holy trinity.And they've got enough sense not to.Democrats,with the exception of the current vp,are remarkably talented at keeping thier mouths shut when it is to thier advantage to do so.

Incidentally,I personally am a a believer in evolution and most of the democratic agenda ,but any body that doubts that they have a near lock on the media,excepting Fox,is deluding himself.

At different times I have been both a long haired democrat and a Reaganite.

Right now I'm voting left.But that doesn't mean I have to swallow the agenda w/o thinking critically about how it is put together politically.

I listen to NPR as a regular thing,and some "talk radio" too.To compare the two is to compare a big well organized and very sophisticated army to a bunch of guerillas with rifles and hand grenades.

Just to address your last point, as the rest are mostly perceptual matters that cannot be argued effectively in this medium:

I suspect by your sentence ordering that you consider the largely individual funded NPR (yes, I am a member through MPR) to be the organized and sophisticated army as compared to the guerrillas in the advertising funded talk radio circuit.

The current "conservative" mantra is based around a philosophy of victimhood. They took our jobs! They're going to take our guns! They're out to get our religion! They want to take our money! "They" might be Liberals, Immigrants, or whatever other group is being attacked today. It makes Rush Limbaugh nigh-impossible for me to listen to. He should quit whining and grow a spine.

Mind you, the Democrats have a lot to answer for too. They should recognize that the Bill of Rights is there for a reason, even the parts they don't like. They need to get a grip and stop molly-coddling the rich and comfortable.

Both parties need to pull back the police state encroachment. It's all so reasonable "Think of the Children!" but it builds up and needs to be pruned with regularity or we start moving from Rule of Law to Rule of Men and that is a bad thing.

Ironically shes promoting nuclear power at the same time she asserts her belief that the earth is only 6000 years old.

So we should harness the power of atoms, but dont believe those quacky scientists when they tell you about carbon dating...

Carbon dating, analyzing the decay of a radioactive isotope = Just a silly theory, not god approved.

Nuclear power, harnessing the power of radioactive decay = science is wonderful, god approves!

Doomers get no respect. Maybe a PR firm is in order - an image polisher like AIG and Goldman Sachs has, but I digress...

Yesterday we had apocalypticon and apocalypsos

But "we" are realists in need of a catchier label me thinks.

realtors? no that's taken

realisticons? too Star Trekky

Help me out here.



"If anyone here is in advertising or marketing ... kill yourself." -- Bill Hicks

Words are tools. If someone else harms your position with a single word, "doomer", then it's time to practice using the tools to better defend yourself next time.

The way to go about this is to figure out how to use the pejorative in your favor. Wear it like a badge, proudly, confidently, and back it up. Use what others consider to be weaknesses or shortcomings as strengths.

If someone else calls you a doomer to try to weaken your position, don't deny it. Admit it. "Yeah, I'm a doomer. But it's not about futility or pessimism, it's about taking the time to understand what the problems really are, so that they can be actually solved and not just swept under the rug." Quote Churchill about baffling expedients and consequences if it helps.

Then say, "And the irony about being a "doomer" is that if I suggest you go take the time to look into this and have a dialogue, you probably won't. Why? Because you are pessimistic about how much of your time it will take, and you'll expect the entire exercise to be futile, anyway. So maybe it's not me. Maybe you're the doomer?"

An even better tactic is to be the first to admit you're a doomer, and wear the badge honorably, but not arrogantly.

Remember that communication is 70% body language, 20-25% tone of voice, and the remainder is the above suggested content. If you slouch and speak weakly, the majority of hard work remains to be done.

I'm a fan of Kunstler's term:
"I'm an Actualist."

Why is she worried about her grandchildren? Doesn't she know the Rapture's a-comin'?

The latest EIA IPM for May has just been released. Crude production worldwide was down around 2 m/b/d in May. 09 from May 08. For the year, crude production is down around the same. The above article on OPEC future production would be consistent with these facts.

Please help me here.

Oil production is down, not because there isn't enough petroleum in the ground, but because the world demand for oil has declined with the economy.

But the economy tanked because there isn't enough oil in the ground to keep the price low enough to keep the economy rolling along in the manner to which we have become accustomed.

This sort of sounds like an argument for a geologically-based peak in production, but the talking heads don't look at it that way.

Average annual US spot crude oil prices (left scale) versus annual net oil exports from the top five net oil exporters (EIA):


I wrestle with that too. I think you are looking at it from too close up. The way I see it, our per capita income and oil production peaked in the 70's. Since then, it has cost us more for the energy we used, and therefore we created a culture of debit and an empire to keep it going. You pay for that oil in one way or another - if the oil was at times cheap, then the empire was not.

Now we're at the world peak in production, and the whole thing is falling apart. The debt ponzi scheme can't be held together anymore because using imperial tricks to keep (and grow!) our relative share of oil use doesn't work anymore. Without growth we can't repay the debt. Kind of a delayed hangover from the US passing our peak in the '70s, but refusing to curtail use.

So the trigger was hitting the world peak, combined with increased competition for what remains. The economy tanked because we hit the world peak and there isn't any way to maintain our disproportionate use of other people's oil for cheap. And without that oil fueled growth, the debt cannot be repayed. I figure the world economic crisis will delay and confuse the production profile, but ultimately it is a geological/finite resource limit problem.

Thanks Twilight. That is about as concise and coherent summary as I have ever seen

How about something the average guy on the street might understand:

Oil production had been climbing steadily until May 2005, where it reached a peak of 85 million barrels per day. After that prices per barrel increased a lot, so that in July 2008, $150 per barrel price pushed production up to 89 million barrels per day. But the economy couldn't afford that price, and began collapsing. Demand plummeted and since there are no shutoff valves on the oil wells, oil flooded the market and it's price crashed. This blew out all the circuit breakers in the normal supply and demand economics and we are now resetting.

If they ask "wouldn't that make the peak July 2008?" you know they were listening.
I know all the details aren't accurate, but I'm talking to the guy on the barstool next to me.

If they are still with you, then you can go on to explain why 89mbpd will probably never happen again.

Oil production had been climbing steadily until May 2005, where it reached a peak of 85 million barrels per day. After that prices per barrel increased a lot, so that in July 2008, $150 per barrel price pushed production up to 89 million barrels per day.

Turnbull, you make it look as if oil production was 4 million barrels per day higher in 89 than it was in 85. It was not. All liquids hit 85,266 kb/d in May of 2005 and 86,720 kb/d in July of 2008. That is 1,454 kb/d difference, not 4 million. But then you quote the crude prices, not all liquids prices.

In May of 2005 the world produced 74,241 barrels of Crude + Condensate. In July of 2005 the world produced 74,821 barrels of C+C or .58 mb/d more, not 4 mb/d more. However for the year the difference was far less. In 2008 the world produced only .05 mb/d more crude oil per day than in 2005. You would have to multiply that number by 80 to make it 4 million.

What actually happened in 2008 was, when the world saw oil prices well above $100 a barrel, heroic efforts were made by every nation to produce every barrel possible to take advantage of those very high prices. And even with those heroic efforts they were only to fractionally produce more crude oil than in 2005, well within the margin of error. (.066%)

2005 world oil production: 73,737,000 barrels per day.
2008 world oil production: 73,786,000 barrels per day.

I am sorry to nitpick this way but stretching 49,000 barrels per day into 4,000,000 barrels per day was just more than I could accept without commenting.

Ron P.

I think a lot of the USA is cutting back on their gasoline use to keep up with their meth habit. The real economy is shrinking with a huge sucking sound, more houses go vacant, and jobs are disappearing. But there's plenty of distractions and delusions to keep us busy through the summer.

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending July 3, 2009

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged nearly 15.0 million barrels per day during the week ending July 3, relatively unchanged from the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 86.8 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production rose slightly last week, averaging nearly 9.3 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging 4.0 million barrels per day.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged 9.2 million barrels per day last week, down 139 thousand barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged 9.2 million barrels per day, 775 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 1.2 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 221 thousand barrels per day last week.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) decreased by 2.9 million barrels from the previous week. At 347.3 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 1.9 million barrels last week, and are in the upper half of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and gasoline blending components increased last week. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 3.7 million barrels, and are above the upper boundary of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories increased by 1.3 million barrels last week and are above the upper limit of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 5.1 million barrels last week, and are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

Some graphs from this week's TWIP. It looks like crude oil inventories are headed toward more normal levels, even if they are above the range.

Gasoline stocks are headed back up. Consumption is off, but production is up. This makes stocks rise.

Inventories of distillate seem to be going to the moon. With industrial use off, and shipping most likely down, this may be the problem.

JH Kunstler was in fine form yesterday. The Free And The Dead

I was out on a big Adirondack lake in a canoe this weekend while the American economy was dying -- but you wouldn't have known it for the fleets of giant power boats dragging children back and forth across the water on rubber tubes, and the giant camping vehicles crammed into every bare spot. How do people pay for these things, I wondered.

I couldn't stop laughing as I pictured Jim paddling a canoe trying to contemplate the wonders of nature while being run over by tourists in speedboats.


Still haven't mastered "preview," eh? ;-)

Deleted the extra post and fixed your link. You left out the close link tag, and one set of quotation marks.

Also, this story was posted in Monday's DrumBeat.

The demise of cheap oil and all the nuisances that it fuels will not be an altogether bad thing.

Job losses sink oil prices (Video Warning)

Oil trader Anthony Grisanti says crude prices will continue to fall as long as the economy sheds jobs.

The talking heads are linking crude prices and job losses...

I've noticed the repeated pounding in of the theme that high oil prices are good and mean recovery.

I am also vexed by the steady peddling of the, "high oil prices are good!" meme.

For a society built on cheap energy this is like rooting for everyone to slit their own throat simultaneously. The elites might book some short-term speculative profit, but eventually they would be torn to pieces as well.

It makes about as much sense as Obama's continual trumpeting that increased debt is good.

"...Obama's continual trumpeting that increased debt is good."

where/when did obama say that ?

Debt is good. I believe Saint Regan said "deficits don't matter". The O man is just repeating that line of thinking.

not really on two counts.

1) it was cheney that said "You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter."


....and niether do treasury secretaries.

and in reality, deficits dont matter, because a deficit can be anything, e.g. as bogus as a $3 bill with bush's portrait.

and from the link above, cheney made that claim because, according to cheney, they had won the midterm elections. follow the money........ look at what happened/happens to the debt. i suggest that some on here take a dose of reality and study the recent history of the debt.

and 2)obama may have claimed the health care plan "deficit neutral" taken out over a decade, but that is a looooooooooooong way from "deficits dont matter." and "debt is good" as some on here have claimed.

and 'nother thing. tax and spend clinton managed to take a debt increasing by $ 350 billion in '92 to a debt that increased by $ 21 billion in fy ended 9-30-2000(with a little help from the spiteful "contract on america" republican congress). sometimes stagnation is good. tax and spend is waaaaaaaaaay more responsible than borrow and waste.

I've noticed the repeated pounding in of the theme that high oil prices are good and mean recovery.

Strange, I watched the clip twice and I did not see that message at all. In fact what the piece pounded on, from start to finish, was "The fundamentals are driving force behind oil prices." And: "The economy is controlling oil prices, the recession is driving prices lower." That makes a lot more sense than the link Leanan has posted above: "The Conspiracy Of Short-Sellers Is Driving Down Oil".

That claim was made by the author when prices first collapsed and now he is making it again. Stupid! In other words the recession and demand dropping by three million barrels per day has absolutely nothing to do with it, it is those damn short selling speculators that are to blame for such low oil prices.

Ron P.

Which means they expect oil prices to rise if/when the job market recovers.

Of course, since oil prices haven't dropped as much as labor earnings...

The second hour of the Diane Rehm show (at 11:00 EDT) is about oil pricing. Daniel Yergin is on the panel:

The Price of Oil

A year ago the price of oil was more than double what it is today, and in recent weeks, prices swings have been dramatic: What's behind the volatility and the long-term outlook for global production and demand.

J. Robinson West, chairman of PFC Energy, an energy consulting firm

Bart Chilton, Commissioner, Commodity Futures Trading Commission

John B Authers, reporter, Financial Times

Daniel Yergin, chair, IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates and author of “The Prize: The Epic quest for Oil, Money, & Power” recently released with a new epilogue.

There is a live stream at the linked website, and within an hour or so the archive is usually available.

That show is bound to be edifying.

Sorry I won't be able to watch it - I don't have a TV. But I hope someone digests it and regurgitates it to the DB tomorrow.

Its a radio show. Audio should be available around 17:00 ET


It's available now at:

Click a link under "Listen to this segment" to the right of the program description. Just started listening to it...nothing to report yet.

Ah, another occasion to rip our eyeballs out.

Not eyeballs - eardrums. It's a radio show :-)

Not sure if this is good news or bad news...

Consumer debt falls less than expected

And I'm not sure what to make of Denninger's latest. Holy crap, if it's true...

Nobody in their right mind would ever trade on our markets again if this occurred and does not result in severe criminal and civil penalties.

Nobody in their right mind would assume that such spurious activity isn't more or less the norm. If people haven't figured out that the game is rigged against them they have no one to blame for their losses but themselves.

True, but if there are a small percentage of us who don't believe anything the corporation/government says, it really doesn't matter. No one listens to crackpots anyway. If somehow the curtain fell down and it were there in plain sight for all to see, then there would be hell to pay. Following from that, this will be buried. If it is not, then either I am wrong and there is still something functioning that has not been co-opted, or the wizard has lost control.

It is pretty impressive that a relatively small number of people have managed to control the federal government of the largest national economy. The public might be unsettled if they weren't too transfixed by the funeral of the freak.

Since the largest (only?) trader on the NYSE is Goldman I guess this means they are frontrunning themselves ...

Just a thought ...

Good point-right now I have to say absolutely nothing I could read about GS or the USA federal guv would surprise me-what I have to remind myself is that maybe 5% of all this would leak out in the pre Internet days. Hard to argue that newspapers deserve to survive.

Between Denninger and Mish on the "outside," and Ron Paul and a small handful of others on the "inside," the majority of the Pigmen might be removed from power.

Maybe the public would then sober up enough to elect competent leaders.

Sweet Jesus! Please keep us updated about this as much as possible.

Just because you put a 'sniffer' on a network line doesn't mean you can read the data inside the IP packet - if it isn't encrypted so that only the correct recipient can read the very sensitive data it would have been tapped into long ago IMO.

So, what is happening here, what was happening in Italy with US bonds a couple of weeks ago?

Maybe somebody is trying to undermine the US dollar? - that would get a lot of countries out of a peak oil-stalling-their-economies problem since oil would become more affordable for everybody else.

We have another worldwide problem like peak oil that has to be adequately tackled but isn't, climate change. I don't think the world's largest producers of CO2 per person, the US public, will voluntarily reduce their emissions - the only way to do it is to make oil in the US less affordable and as a bonus slow the worldwide global warming problem if US emissions are forced to slow faster than the rest of the world continues to grow. The tables are turned, everybody wins at the expense of the USA.

A way to do that would be to crash the value of the dollar relative to all others - relatively easy since it is the world's reserve currency. This might be especially desireable if countries think that the US$ IOUs they hold are actually worthless and can't be redeemed, and helps with their climate change problem - why build up more unusable $ credit?

There was actually an episode of the BBC series "Hu$tle" where the con artists hooked a mark with a trading scam proposal alleged to work in the same manner as the one Denninger describes on Market Ticker.

Perhaps another example of art predicting life, much like the "Lone Gunmen" episode that foresaw the WTC incident.

I think Redford and Newman did the same thing in the movie "The Sting" in 1973

Norway oil production down again in June.

Norway's oil production, which dropped 166,000 bp/d in April, dropped another 182,000 bp/d in May and dropped another 29,000 barrels per day in June. The June figures are preliminary. I figured the May drop was for maintenance and would rebound in June. I am sure there is still a lot of maintenance going on but it appears that decline is having a major effect on these figures also. This is the third month in a row that shows major declines.

However they do state:

Several fields have been partly closed due to planned maintenance in June.

Well, what about April and May???

Petroleum production on the Norwegian continental shelf May 2009

Ron P.

Prince Charles is just giving the following talk

The Richard Dimbleby Lecture, titled “Facing the Future” as delivered by HRH The Prince of Wales, St James’s Palace State Apartments, London

The transcript is online even though he's still talking.


We are, Ladies and Gentlemen, as I said at the beginning, at an historic moment – because we face a future where there is a real prospect that if we fail the Earth, we fail Humanity. To avoid such an outcome, which will comprehensively destroy our children’s future, we must urgently confront and then make choices which carry monumental implications. In this, we are the masters of our fate.

On the one hand, we have every good reason to believe that carrying on as we are will lead to a depleted and divided planet incapable of meeting the needs of its nine billion citizens, let alone sustaining its other life forms. On the other hand, we can adopt the technologies, lifestyles and, crucially, a much more integrated way of thinking and perceiving the world that can transform our relationship with the Earth that sustains us. The choice is certainly clear to me.

I've always liked Charles, his view of the World and his outspokenness on key issues. He has long been a critic of architecture and our living arrangements (long before Kunstler), he not only supports organic farming but also practices it and has a long history of speaking out on behalf of endangered ecosystems around the World. His youth training schemes have helped many young people enter into the economy successfully.

Reading your post above, a thought suddenly came to me, perhaps the man and his moment are coming. Possibly soon to become king, during a political vacuum and time of chaos, when Britain desperately needs leadership. Someone who can bridge the gap between BAU and the real future, someone who has already been doing so in his own sphere of influence?

Maybe there is just a slight glimmer of hope for the UK after all. With Westminster leading the Country, there is non.

Very interesting, this deserves a good amount of attention IMO. Maybe ask him to do some guest posts on TOD? :)

Somehow, I doubt he would have time for us. Do you have his e-mail address?

If anyone is planning a trip to Argentina they might want to delay it.

Sanitary time-off due to H1N1 - No banks until next week

Private banks announced they will not run business on Friday due to the health time-off for administrative institutions arranged by the national government as a measure to fight the H1N1 A influenza spread, said several spokesmen of the Argentina Bank Association (Adeba).

Likewise, banks have decided to bring forward the pay of retirement pensions and pay them out today and not on Friday as it was scheduled.

Considering that Thursday is Holiday, Argentine private banks will remain close until Monday next week.

On Friday all national stock markets will also call for a time-off, as well currency exchange activities will not be run.

I think if anyone is planning a trip anywhere they better reconsider.

Imagine a nice GLOBAL bank holiday due to "swine flu" a panic...

- or just Global run on the banks as the world realizes our financial system is a lie.

Baby Face Geithner, Pretty Boy Paulson, Benny-Hill Bernanke, Sir Alan Rand... Obama, Bush...

Virutually all of the world's markets could be puking blood by this fall.

The good thing is there will be a lot of fat-asses I know who can come help hand-pick the crops in the county. So they have something to eat while watching The Trials on T.V. later this fall.

Imagine a nice GLOBAL bank holiday due to "swine flu" a panic...

The Oracle of Ure-Land channeled the chantings of the time monks and came up with this observation:


Dire sounding stuff, to be sure, but now it's looking like before we get to Thanksgiving that we could be in that latter - worst case - outcome as the Prison Planet web site this week carries a story about a possible "Bankster "Holiday" Plan for September?" Their source is Bob Chapman's International Forecaster newsletter.


And say there is a holiday in Sept? If you still owe on any credit cards my advice is to have an amount you can call them with to settle the account, then offer to convert the cash into a postal money order and send 'em their 10% (or whatever fraction you can get the settlement to) and be done with those albatroses.

Another small step on a very long journey...

Welsh terraced houses to become eco homes

A row of traditional Welsh terraced houses are to be transformed into light, spacious, energy efficient homes.


The scheme is part of an ambitious multi-million pound programme to improve energy efficiency in homes across the Heads of the Valleys and develop Europe's first low carbon zone.

The HoV Low Carbon programme is designed to tackle child poverty and fuel poverty - both commitments in the One Wales programme – and will introduce energy reduction measures that have never been undertaken on this large scale in the UK before.

See: http://www.greenbuildingpress.co.uk/article.php?category_id=1&article_id...


OT, but likely to resonate with anyone who travels frequently by air... a Halifax folk band screwed-over by United Airlines that ultimately gains the last laugh:

The story:


and the youtube video that kicked things off: