DrumBeat: July 9, 2009

Oil falls below $60

LONDON (Reuters) -- Oil reversed early gains and dropped below $60 a barrel on Thursday as a downturn in the stock market added to pressure from high oil inventories and persistent concerns about the timing of any economic recovery.

Light crude for August delivery fell 45 cents to $59.69 a barrel and was on course for the seventh straight day of declines.

Pay More, Drive Less, Save the Planet

What is the appropriate response to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who as General Motors prepared to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection declared that he wants to "coerce people out of their cars"? One might be inclined to dismiss these words as overkill -- except for recently introduced legislation by some congressional heavy-hitters that would take us down this road.

Does Obama Want to Own the Airlines?

Only luck and falling oil prices saved Washington from having to face mass bankruptcy of the airline industry last year. Now the specter is rising again. Fuel prices are up. Traffic continues to plummet amid a global recession. United Airlines last week mortgaged its spare-parts inventory to raise cash at a usurious 17% interest rate.

Yet the Obama Justice Department has come out of the blocks trying to scuttle a promising experiment to stabilize the chronically unprofitable U.S. airline sector. The new administration seemingly won't let companies fail, and won't let them succeed either.

Eni declares force majeure after Nigeria attack

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian oil company Eni SpA has declared force majeure after rebels sabotaged oil pipelines in Nigeria, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Power struggle: The battle to create America’s biggest electricity generator continues

IT IS not so much a takeover battle as a war of attrition. It was back in October that Exelon, America’s biggest owner of nuclear-power stations, first offered to buy NRG Energy, a big generator which focuses on Texas and relies mainly on coal and natural gas. Exelon wants to create America’s biggest electricity generator, with a capacity of more than 47,000 megawatts, enough to power 45m homes. But NRG’s management rebuffed the all-stock deal, and its shareholders, at first enthusiastic, got cold feet as NRG’s rising share price made the terms less generous. Earlier this month Exelon raised its offer by 12%, but NRG’s management rejected the sweetened deal, now worth about $7 billion, on July 8th. The next skirmish will come at NRG’s annual meeting on July 21st.

Study: Bad roads push up crash-fatality rate

A new study by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) claims that more than half of U.S. highway fatalities are related to deficient roadway conditions – and that poor roads are a substantially more lethal factor than drunk driving, speeding or non-use of safety belts.

Panama Canal Project Opens a Tropical Window

The Panamanian government initiated the project for purely economic reasons. In its current configuration, the 51-mile shortcut between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans can grant passage only to boats carrying up to 65,000 tons of cargo. But many international shipping companies increasingly prefer to use mega-freighters that can haul up to 300,000 tons.

As a result, the Panama Canal has been losing business to other transoceanic routes; and with canal tolls amounting to close to $100,000 per ship per one-way crossing, and potentially more for the giant freighters, the government decided it had no choice but to widen and straighten the canal to make room for the S.U.V.’s of the seas.

Wind turbine maker gets loan to expand Idaho plant

Nordic Windpower USA, Inc. says it's gotten conditional U.S. Department of Energy commitment for a $16 million loan guarantee that will help it expand its plant in southeastern Idaho.

The Berkeley, Calif.-based company is hoping to use the low-interest loans enabled by the federal guarantee to expand its Pocatello assembly facility.

Nordic makes two-bladed, utility-scale wind turbines that flex to mitigate negative effects of turbulent winds before they can damage the drive train.

Hedge fund transparency key to curb oil spikes: IEA

"Transparency in the futures market is certainly the issue: who is trading, is it a commercial trade or a non-commercial trade. We need more transparency," Tanaka told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of an expanded G8 summit in Italy.

"But we think still that (market) fundamentals are more important to determine the direction of the oil price: speculation is amplifying the movement upwards or downwards but not necessarily determining the price of oil," Tanaka said.

He warned that oil markets could be "really tight" by 2014-2015 unless there was an increase in production and exploration investment. He compared the scenario to last year's market, when oil prices spiked to $147 a barrel.

China Car Sales Jump 48% on Economic Stimulus, Most Since 2006

(Bloomberg) -- China’s passenger-vehicle sales rose 48 percent in June, the biggest jump since February 2006, as government stimulus spending spurred a revival in the world’s third-largest economy.

Chinese motorists bought 872,900 cars, sport-utility vehicles and other passenger vehicles last month, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement today. Overall auto sales, including buses and trucks, rose 36 percent from a year earlier to 1.14 million.

Iranian protesters defy crackdown

More than 700 people defied government orders in Tehran and took to the streets on Thursday in renewed protest over the results of Iran's presidential elections.

The pro-reform demonstrators chanted "death to the dictator" as baton-wielding police attempted to chase them away and eventually fired tear gas to break up the rally, according to eyewitness accounts.

It was the first public protest in Tehran in 11 days and coincided with the anniversary of a 1999 attack by Basij militia on a Tehran University dorm to stop protests in which one student was killed.

G-8 Climate-Change Agreement Falls Short

L'AQUILA, Italy -- The Group of Eight leading nations agreed Wednesday to cut their emissions of heat-trapping gases 80% by 2050, but failed to reach an accord on shorter-term targets -- a setback that could have repercussions for a major meeting on climate change in Copenhagen later this year.

Forget gas, batteries — pee is new power source

Urine-powered cars, homes and personal electronic devices could be available in six months with new technology developed by scientists from Ohio University.

Using a nickel-based electrode, the scientists can create large amounts of cheap hydrogen from urine that could be burned or used in fuel cells. "One cow can provide enough energy to supply hot water for 19 houses," said Gerardine Botte, a professor at Ohio University developing the technology. "Soldiers in the field could carry their own fuel."

Swimming in Diesel: Huge Oil Stocks Show No Recovery in Sight

More than any other fuel, diesel reflects the current state of the economy because it is used by truckers to deliver goods and by factories to make products. It’s also a good gauge on the global economy: Unlike gasoline, the bulk of which is consumed in the U.S., diesel is used all over the world.

And what diesel demand is saying is that the economy is still in a sickly state. U.S. diesel consumption, which has been dismal for most of the year, was down an average 12.3% over the past four weeks. In the futures market, prices for heating oil, a proxy for diesel, tumbled more than 60% from their peak in July of last year. That’s a bigger drop than those of gasoline and crude prices, which have fallen 52% and 57% respectively since that time.

Developing World Consuming More Energy than Developed World. Price, Climate Will Suffer

The tectonic changes in the world’s population and urbanization the last twenty years now begs a question. Is it possible that instead of the developing world ever reaching the living standards of the developed world, as many had once thought–is it possible that the developed, OECD nations are rather now on a course to meet the developing world somewhere in the middle? If that’s the case, it is very bad news for those concerned with climate change. Because in that middle place, where the new and the old world may be set to merge, it’s likely that the primary sources of energy will be wood, and coal.

We are in the midst of the great baby-boomers economic stagnation of 2007-2017

Indeed, the era of excessive spending and of excessive debt is over. The era of excessive government economic disengagement and of financial deregulation is over. The era of irresponsible Ponzi-scheme finance is over. The era of unregulated derivatives is over. The era of greed as an ideology is over. The era of wild and predatory capitalism is over. The era of cheap oil, of cheap transportation, of cheap commodities and of cheap food is over. The era of excessive concentration of wealth and income is also over. However, the age of political corruption, of incompetent politicians and of destructive wars of aggression is not over. What has arrived is the age of hyperstagflation.

John Michael Greer: The wealth of nature

Let’s take a closer look at the land whose value Ricardo considered “indestructible.” He was talking primarily about land as an economic factor in agriculture, and so shall we. What he apparently did not realize, but ecologists have shown in exact detail since his time, is that fertile land suitable for growing crops does not simply happen. Like anything else of value, it must be made, and once made, it must be maintained; the only difference is that the laborers that make and maintain it do not happen to be human beings.

Foster Wheeler JV wins Aramco Shaybah contract

A joint venture between US oil and gas contractor Foster Wheeler and Saudi Arabian firm Sofcon has been awarded the pre-front end engineering and design (FEED) study for the development of gas supplies from the Shaybah field by the state-owned hydrocarbons giant Saudi Aramco.

The field, located in Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter, has already undergone a huge US$3 billion expansion to increase its oil capacity by 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 750,000.

Ghana: Chaos Over Fuel Shortage

There were chaotic scenes at some filling stations in Accra yesterday as motorists, especially commercial drivers, suffer the pangs of a biting fuel shortage in the country.

While some filling stations had anxious motorists lounging due to the winding queues, others were bereft of vehicles as prominent “no petrol” signboards stood ominously.

Long queues stretched out onto the streets, scenes which many Ghanaians could not remember witnessing in the past eight years.

Opinion: US Should Consider Exploring in Cuban Waters

The Cuban government is not only sitting on a potential oil bonanza but it has already awarded oil and gas exploration leases to companies from Canada, China, Spain, India, Venezuela and Norway. And Cuba is negotiating with Brazil's Petrobras, a company with years of experience in deepwater drilling.

If U.S. firms are forbidden by their own government to drill for oil and gas in Cuban waters, then the national oil companies of other countries will benefit while our investor-owned companies watch from the sidelines.

Our thirst for oil shouldn't trump fairness as the major reason for ending embargo

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Oil may soon trump politics in our relations with Cuba. Estimates of Cuban offshore oil reserves as recently disclosed by the Cuban government hover around 20 billion barrels. That would approximate known U.S. oil reserves.

Loss of Production Even More Dangerous in Times of Low Oil Prices

The 4th Annual Security for Energy Infrastructure Summit, taking place on 18-21 October 2009 in Abu Dhabi, is the preferred platform for Middle East security experts to share innovative solutions that counter the spectrum of threats currently facing critical energy infrastructure.

‘Twin calamities’ led to bankruptcy

The privately held parent of chemical giant LyondellBasell “genuinely believed” its $12.7 billion buyout of Houston’s Lyondell Chemical Co. in 2007 would work or it would not have committed billions in equity toward the deal, the company said in documents filed with a New York bankruptcy court.

But the “unforeseeable twin calamities” of a global economic crisis and volatility in commodity markets tipped LyondellBasell into bankruptcy a year later, Access Industries said in the filing, dismissing as “economically irrational” the accusations that the company was deliberately set up to fail.

Cap and Trade Shenanigans

Each year, the government will hand out fewer and fewer emissions indulgences. Meaning there will be fewer credits to trade. And we commodity buffs know that the less there is of something, the higher the price rockets.

And the Chicago Climate Exchange will score larger and larger sums from the corporate carbon largesse. Goldman and company have everything to gain from this.

And you’ve got to ask: What exotic new derivatives can come out of this? Will institutional investors bet on futures of how much the government will lower the cap in 2025…2030? Wait, there already is a Chicago Climate Futures Exchange. Of course, it’s the wholly owned subsidiary of the Chicago Climate Exchange.

Nuclear proponents address Saskatoon business leaders

Promoters of Canada's nuclear industry made a direct pitch to Saskatoon business people on Tuesday, as the province continues to ponder the future of its uranium resources.

Neil Alexander, president of the Organization of CANDU Industries, told a lunchtime audience of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce that a nuclear power plant in Saskatchewan would create jobs and generate other economic benefits.

Scientist shortage? Maybe not

As the push to train more young people in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — careers gains steam, a few prominent skeptics are warning that it may be misguided — and that rhetoric about the USA losing its world pre-eminence in science, math and technology may be a stretch.

One example: Numbers from the U.S. Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics issued Tuesday showed the unemployment rate for electrical engineers hit a record high, 8.6%, in the second quarter, more than doubling from 4.1% in the first quarter.

U.S. Moves to Shackle Oil Speculators

The solution to perceived market manipulation is overt market manipulation.

That's what federal regulators are saying with Tuesday's announcement that they will consider curtailing "excessive speculation" in energy markets. The move comes in response to last year's spike in oil prices, which soared to a record $145 a barrel a year ago next week and pushed gasoline prices above $4 at the pump in many parts of the country. Since the start of this year, crude prices have jumped 42 percent, even though the recession has crimped demand and storage tanks are full.

Speculators must be to blame.

No one seems upset about last fall, though, when those same speculators helped drive down prices by more than $111 a barrel in the last five months of the year.

Krugman: The Malthusian insult

What very few people realize is that Malthus was right about most of human history — indeed, he was right about roughly 58 out of 60 centuries of civilization: living standards basically did not improve from the era of the first Pharaohs to the age of Louis XIV, because any technological gains were swallowed up by population pressure. We only think Malthus got it wrong because the two centuries he was wrong about were the two centuries that followed the publication of his work.

The Import Land Model

Today I'd like to talk about another gimmick of the ELM. Veterans who have read a lot of Brown's writing will have noticed that he always focuses on a few carefully selected examples: Indonesia, the UK and of course "Export Land" (the fictional country he uses to illustrate the model). He never seems to bring it all together, and give a coherent picture of the net export situation for the entire world. There is a good reason for this. When you look at the big picture, the ELM "crisis" appears in a very different light.

Downturn dries up oil demand

Peak oil may have arrived in the developed world – but for the consumption of crude, rather than its production.

The recession has crushed demand across the globe, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said yesterday. It does not expect demand for production to return to pre-recession levels until 2013.

Consumption in the developed world will remain stagnant for many years to come, OPEC said, even as many economists believe the wealthy world's seemingly insatiable demand for oil may well have peaked permanently.

Oil rises above $61 despite uncertain demand

VIENNA – Oil prices rebounded to above $61 on Thursday, recouping some losses after tumbling 17 percent since last week.

But rising U.S. gasoline inventories suggested crude demand remains weak, fueling expectations that prices would resume their slide.

Crude Oil May Rise 35% in 2010, Morgan Stanley Says

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil may average 35 percent higher in New York next year and rise to $85 a barrel in 2011 as spending by governments boosts global demand, Morgan Stanley said in a report.

Benchmark crude futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange will likely average $48 this year and $65 in 2010, according to the report dated yesterday. Next year will mark the beginning of a recovery as governments’ spending provide the stimulus to maintain the re-stocking phase of a new commodity cycle, it said.

Russia floats $70-80 oil as fair price at G8

L'AQUILA, Italy (Reuters) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told other G8 leaders on Wednesday that a poll of oil company executives showed they thought $70-80 was a fair price, according to his spokeswoman.

Trade body calls for tax breaks for oil and gas sector

The British government was accused today of putting too much focus on renewables and nuclear while taking "for granted" the oil and gas sector, which supplies two-thirds of the country's total energy needs.

The accusation from a top petroleum industry body came as a report showed there has been a 57% reduction in the amount of North Sea drilling over the last six months.

Oil & Gas UK said 50,000 jobs were at risk unless ministers improved tax incentives. It said government had missed a "massive opportunity" to put the oil and gas sector back on the path to recovery by making only the smallest changes in the last budget.

New U.S. Natural Gas Pipeline Displacing Canadian Gas

A new natural gas pipeline in the United States is allowing cheap gas from the Rockies to displace more than 10% of Canada’s gas exports to the Midwest US, forcing more Canadian gas into storage and lowering natural gas prices for Canadian producers.

U.S. Natural Gas Fund Grows to Record on Demand Surge

(Bloomberg) -- The United States Natural Gas Fund expanded today to the largest position in its 27-month history as investors snapped up the last of its shares and it awaited government approval to issue more units.

As of early today, the exchange-traded fund owned the equivalent of 124,926 natural gas futures contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The number of shares outstanding reached a record yesterday, rising 14.5 percent to 322.3 million, more than 10 times the total at the start of the year, and worth $3.97 billion.

What (or When) Is Up with Natural Gas

The fact that there's a contango of such magnitude - at last look, the quarterly premium was 30% of the front-month price - should give bulls pause. A large contango for a storable commodity such as natural gas implies more-than-adequate supplies.

At the least, the current interest in natural gas seems premature given the commodity's inherent seasonality. Natural gas is primarily a heating fuel. Generally, gas is injected into storage during the nonheating season (between April and October). The fuel's then withdrawn from storage over the balance of the year; that is, in the heating season (November through March).

Saudi Aramco Cuts Heavy, Medium Oil Supplies to Asia

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest state-owned oil company, deepened cuts in supplies of its Arab Heavy and Medium oil grades sold under term contracts to Asia in August, refinery officials said.

The oil company will reduce overall supplies, which include the Light and Extra Light grades, by as much as 20 percent from contractual volumes, according to a survey of officials at refineries in Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

Qatar Petroleum Raises Oil Prices to 9-Month High

(Bloomberg) -- Qatar Petroleum, which exports most of its crude oil production to Asia, raised June official selling prices to their highest in nine months.

Qatar Petroleum increased its June price of Qatar Land crude oil to $71.10 a barrel, up $11.50, or 19.3 percent, from May, the state-run Qatar News Agency said on its Web site today. The June price of Qatar Marine grade was raised by $11.80, or 20.2 percent, to $70.10 a barrel.

Kuwait Cuts Crude Oil Official Price for First Time in 3 Months

(Bloomberg) -- Kuwait Petroleum Corp. reduced its August crude oil official selling price for the first time in three months because of a lower profit in producing fuel oil.

The state-owned company cut its price to parity to the average of Persian Gulf benchmarks Oman and Dubai grades, from the July premium of 30 cents a barrel, said a trader who asked not to be identified because of company policy.

No impact on Shell production from Nembe attack

LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday there were no injuries or impact on its crude oil production from attacks on an oil pipeline in Nigeria. The trunkline attacked was in Nembe Creek in Bayelsa state, Shell confirmed.

Nigeria wants Big Oil to cover amnesty

Nigeria's government has budgeted millions of dollars to an amnesty programme aimed at restoring peace in the Niger Delta, but has yet to receive any financial support from foreign oil companies, a senior minister said.

Shell May Close or Sell Montreal East Oil Refinery

(Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc may close or sell its Montreal East refinery in Quebec, Canada, as Europe’s biggest oil company carries out a global review of assets.

Other options include converting the 130,000 barrel-a-day refinery into a terminal, establishing a joint venture or leaving the plant running, a Shell spokesman said today by telephone, declining to be identified in line with company policy. The review could take some months and no decisions have yet been taken, he said.

Indonesia says seeking to revive Iraq oil projects

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's state oil firm Pertamina said on Thursday it was planning to revive oil projects it was involved in Iraq that were put on ice because of the security situation in the country.

Greenland May Mandate Carbon Capture, Petroleum Chief Says

(Bloomberg) -- Greenland’s government may require energy companies investing in oil and gas production to capture and store carbon emissions, Joern Skov Nielsen, director of the Greenland Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum, said.

“We will ask companies to develop carbon storage technology,” Nielsen said in a telephone interview from Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, yesterday. “It’s a requirement that you use the best available technology. If carbon storage is usable around the world, they will have to use it in Greenland.”

China Coal Cargo Rejection May Not Signal Market Turn, RBC Says

(Bloomberg) -- The reported cancellation by a Chinese buyer of an Australian coal cargo during shipment may not signal a slump in demand from power-plant operators in the Asian nation, RBC Capital Markets said.

An Australian cargo is being offered after a Chinese customer pulled out of a sale, Reuters reported yesterday, citing unnamed traders. The product appears to be coking coal used by steelmakers that has been marketed as thermal coal, RBC said today.

Chinese buying has almost single-handedly sustained the international coal trade and prices, RBC analyst David Haddad wrote in a note to clients. Early figures for June suggest Australian exports to China will be another record, he said.

Equatorial Guinea: Elites Hoarding Oil Revenues, Report Charges

The government of Equatorial Guinea has looted billions of dollars in oil revenue instead of improving the lives of its citizens, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released Thursday.

The report, "Well Oiled: Oil and Human Rights in Equatorial Guinea", details how the dictatorship under President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has used an oil boom to entrench and enrich itself further at the expense of the country's people.

Pakistan Imposes Fuel Levy After Court Suspends Tax

(Bloomberg) -- Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari ordered a new fuels tax effective today to circumvent the Supreme Court’s suspension of an earlier levy and avoid a shortfall in government revenue.

The tax restores state-controlled fuel prices to where they were before the Supreme Court suspended a week-old carbon tax on July 7, according to a statement on the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority’s Web site. The Supreme Court order forced the government to cut prices yesterday.

Simmons sees bright future for Midcoast Maine

Simmons still sees possibilities for the future of Rockland and the Midcoast. Referring to it as a potential "capital of the Silicon Valley for ocean energy," Simmons predicted that tens of thousands of people will be attracted to the region in the coming decades. He praised Maine's politicians and government for supporting exploration of ocean wind, tidal and other energy resources and said he believes the U.S. Department of Energy will soon put a research laboratory in the Gulf of Maine. "This wouldn't happen in Texas," he said.

Comparing Rockland to Aberdeen in Scotland, Simmons predicted that this burgeoning industry will combine with the high quality of life in the region to eventually provide at least 10,000 "fabulously high-paying jobs" in the Midcoast.

Areva’s European Wins Lift Chances in $1 Trillion Global Tussle

(Bloomberg) -- Areva SA, the largest builder of nuclear plants, is seeking to use a lead in its home European market over Toshiba Corp.’s Westinghouse Electric Co. to gain an edge in the $1.05 trillion of global contracts up for grabs.

Areva’s new model, the evolutionary power reactor, or EPR, has been chosen for at least 11 of the 41 new plants planned or under construction in the European Union. Westinghouse, which is pushing its AP1000 pressurized water reactor, hasn’t built a plant in the region for more than 20 years.

Vattenfall to Study Kruemmel Reactor After ‘Setback’

(Bloomberg) -- Vattenfall AB, the fourth-largest power supplier in Germany, will start a full inspection of its Kruemmel nuclear reactor in the country after the facility shut down due to the absence of a monitoring system.

The Swedish utility has appointed Stefan Dohler, who heads Vattenfall’s German power transmission operations, as special investigator for the plant, the Stockholm-based company said in an e-mailed statement today.

More Ethanol in Gasoline? Automakers say it will "Damage" Cars

Some 54 ethanol producers, grouped together under Growth Energy’s banner, are carrying the torch for dramatically increasing the amount of ethanol in pump gasoline from 10 to 15 percent. Will they succeed? There are technical and political arguments to be made on both sides, but for now the momentum seems to be against fast-tracking higher ethanol blends.

Nuclear dawn delayed in Finland

When it is finished, Finland's Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) nuclear reactor will be the biggest the world has ever seen, the excavation site alone is the size of 55 football fields.

It was to have been a pilot project for bigger, better, cleaner, Generation III reactors, which would lead the charge back to nuclear power in a continent which had gone cold on atomic energy after the accidents at Chernobyl and Thee Mile Island.

But hopes of an early nuclear dawn on the Baltic coast are fading - the May start up date came and went and the OL3 is now not expected to begin pumping out electricity until 2012 - three years later than planned and about $2.4bn dollars (1.7bn euros) over budget.

U.K. CO2 Auction Fetches First Premium to Prior Close

(Bloomberg) -- Britain, the European Union’s second- biggest economy, sold emission permits today at a higher price than yesterday’s close, the first such premium in the country’s four auctions over the past seven months.

In Major Economies, Many See Threat From Climate Change

Awareness is high, except in Indonesia, India, South Africa.

Global warming impacting Greenlanders' daily lives

NUUK (AFP) – From his trawler that motors along the Nuuk fjord, fisherman Johannes Heilmann has watched helplessly in recent years as climate change takes its toll on Greenland.

Global warming is occurring twice as fast in the Arctic as in the rest of the world.

G8 emissions pledge is 'scientifically illiterate'

It sounds big, but it just isn't enough. Leaders of the G8 industrial nations meeting in Italy this week are likely to agree that the world must cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2050. That means cuts of 80 per cent among the rich nations.

They will say that this is essential to keep global warming below 2 °C - widely regarded as the tipping point beyond which scary global feedbacks could wreck the climate system that keeps us fed and watered.

Sorry, guys, but this is scientifically illiterate. We might be lucky: if the atmosphere is less sensitive to those gases than most scientists suppose, it could be enough to keep us below 2 degrees, for a while at least. But the best estimate is that the world needs at least 80 per cent cuts in global emissions, and probably more like 100 per cent, to stay below two degrees.

Warming Arctic could teem with life by 2030

"Teeming with life" may not be the description that springs to mind when thinking of the Arctic Ocean, but that could soon change as global warming removes the region's icy lid.

A study of what the Arctic looked like just before dinosaurs were wiped off the planet has provided a glimpse of what could be to come within decades.

G-8 Sets 2050 Emissions Goal, Developing World Delays

(Bloomberg) -- The Group of Eight agreed for the first time to cut greenhouse gases 80 percent by 2050, and developing nations led by China and India pledged to set a mid- century goal by December, a person familiar with the talks said.

The biggest developed countries issued their target in L’Aquila, Italy, in a statement that called on less-wealthy nations to accept a 50 percent global reduction goal. The G-8 also said warming since industrialization began should be limited to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit).

Obama broadens push for climate change pact

L'AQUILA, Italy – Rallying rich and developing nations alike, President Barack Obama wants the world's top polluters to keep driving toward a deal to halt global warming.

Global warming accord spells lifestyle changes

Leaders of the world's biggest — and dirtiest — economies have agreed for the first time to limit the warming of the earth to a relatively safe 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) — an important target in fighting climate change.

It sounds simple, but it implies a dramatic shift in the way we generate electricity, fuel our cars and build our homes and skyscrapers.

As Argentina shuts down here's everything you wanted to know about swine flu but were afraid to ask...


Plus Swine flu sweeps the southern hemisphere

THE swine flu pandemic is intensifying. The White House will meet with state representatives on 9 July to discuss preparations for the autumn flu season in the US, while the UK has shifted its response to dealing with widespread infection.

Meanwhile, in the southern hemisphere, in the midst of its winter flu season, swine H1N1 virus seems to be replacing the seasonal flu viruses that circulated till now - classic pandemic behaviour. This raises concerns that seasonal flu vaccine, which some companies are still making, may be useless when the northern hemisphere's flu season arrives later this year.

Damn. That's over 500 pages of slides to wade through. That presentation must have been deadlier than the H1N1 virus itself.

Yeh, I know. But you can fast forward through it page by page rapidly on on broadband. There's a downloadable PDF version as well but the link I have for it seems broken.

I liked this slide ;-)

There's something uniquely Canadian about a poster warning of "deadly force" that includes the words "please" and "thank you".

You don't mess with a Cannuck.



The White House will meet with state representatives on 9 July to discuss preparations for the autumn flu season in the US, while the UK has shifted its response to dealing with widespread infection.

The US Flu Summit is live online at http://www.flu.gov/ - currently replaying the morning session during the lunch break.

Secretaries Kathleen Sebelius (HHS), Janet Napolitano (DHS), and Arne Duncan (ED), along with Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan, will host an all-day H1N1 Flu Preparedness Summit with states to further prepare the nation for the possibility of a more severe outbreak of H1N1 flu in the fall.

Federal, state and local officials, emergency managers, educators and others will discuss lessons learned during the spring and summer H1N1 wave, and discuss best practices and preparedness priorities.

Plenary sessions will air live from 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM EDT and from 2:45 PM – 4:00 PM EDT. The 8:30 AM EDT session will replay from 12:30 PM – 2:45 PM EDT.

I received a Swine Flu email from the White House today about the second wave approaching this Fall (I think the vaccine may be ready by mid-December).

Taking precautions for this fall's flu season is a responsibility we all share. Visit Flu.gov to make sure you are ready and learn how you can help promote public awareness.

We are making every effort to have a safe and effective vaccine available for distribution as soon as possible, but our current estimate is that it won't be ready before mid-October. This makes individual prevention even more critical. Wash your hands regularly. Take the necessary precautions to stay healthy and if you do get sick, stay home from work or school.

From watching the conference it seems that a decision has apparently been made to be as open as possible and that includes broadcasting the event live. The speakers have been quite clear so far that a rerun of 1918 is what is being planned for but always with the hope it won't get that bad. Latest official estimate from Homeland Security (Janet Napolitano)is that despite their best efforts (as lead agency) they don't know which way it is going yet.

Obama addressed the conference from Italy briefly.

If it mutates (into either a milder or stronger form), will the vaccine still be effective?

It doesn't matter - as long as people believe it will then sales should be good. Profits can be increased even further if we use cheap preservatives like mercury. As long as they die after the pharmaceuticals get their money then all is good.

Don't be so cynical. This is a genuine screenshot of the closing caption

What is the one thing to solve most of the worlds problems, energy,climate change,pollution,resource limits, etc. .. ? Population reduction on a grand scale. This would also make it possible to achieve absolute control of human destiny.With a virus no one is to blame,mother nature is the scapegoat.Assuming the oligarchs are aware of p.o. and all the rest ,they find themselves in a prisoners dilemma,
let things run there course and you end up with resource wars, run away global warming and all the other unpleasantries of overshoot the chaos from witch would threaten there hold on order or you engineer a virus to correct overshoot while also remaining in power with a much more manage able population size. Now ready to go forth and design heaven on earth. Almost seems like a good idea except i dont think im in there plans for the future.

With a virus no one is to blame

We are all to blame, but certainly those who profit by it are most culpable - the industrial food mongers, the airlines, the disease care industry, the banks. After a while, yeah, we are all to blame.

Which doesn't mean PTBs won't use it to their benefit. I noticed a story on CNN a couple of days ago - where federal agents snuck bombs into federal buildings then complained about low security. More gravy-train security and checkpoints coming soon. As for the virus, we'll need chips to track everyone everywhere, because the disease vectors will be supermarkets, hospitals and schools.

cfm in Gray, ME

I doubt even a horrible epidemic would be very effective in reducing world population. Rather, just like everything that may have once been well intentioned, the process is corrupted by money. Eventually it becomes only about money.

Respectfully Disagree. If enough people hunker down trying to protect themselves and their families from the disease: no water or food, or other essentials everywhere, as Lots of Liebig Minimums rear their ugly heads. The deaths from the resulting machete' moshpits will be much worse than the pandemic.

Recall that most 'Murkns delusionally think that crabs and lobster are voluntarily ferrying bananas and chocolates across the continental expanse.

Recall that most 'Murkns delusionally think that crabs and lobster are voluntarily ferrying bananas and chocolates across the continental expanse.

Hmmm. I thought I had a pretty good handle on common delusions, but I tip my hat to you on this one.

Thxs! I just thought JHK's 1500 mile Caesar Salad wasn't descriptive enough to jumpstart synaptic wildfires in the huddled masses--so I came up with that analogy [metaphor?] hoping to further goose their awareness of how dependent we are on long distance food movement.

The form of mercury in vaccines, ethylmercury, does not appear to be dangerous. For example, since that form of mercury was removed from MMR vaccines several years ago, the number of new cases of autism has not decreased.

Too soon to say, and these aren't changes happening in a vacuum. We have so many untested and unreported chemical compounds we're being exposed to in ever-increasing blends, atmospheric, hydrologic, products, packaging, preservatives, perfumes, solvents..

We're soaking in it.

"If it mutates (into either a milder or stronger form), will the vaccine still be effective?"

This site has trustworthy information, however, they color it in pastels.

Swine Flu: Q and A

Will the vaccine still provide people with protection if the swine flu virus mutates between now and the autumn?

At this stage, it is impossible to predict if or how the H1N1 swine flu virus will mutate (change). However, experiences with the H5N1 vaccine (bird flu vaccine) would suggest that an H1N1 vaccine (produced using the same processes) would also provide a high level of immunity against closely related strains. The level of cross-protection is expected to be greatest for more closely related strains.

If it mutates (into either a milder or stronger form), will the vaccine still be effective?

I agree with your sites answer. A partial hit immune system wise, still increases the bodies defenses, so an H1N1-A vaccine should provide at least partial immunity -even if the virus mutates. A bigger issue may be if we can get the vaccine out in time. There is evidence from the age distribution of the early wave of victims that exposure to previous H1N1 strains a few decades back probably gives some immunity.

How could they not know?? Waterboard Rumsfeld now - we want answers!

Fortune 500 did their annual ranking of companies... Interesting list:

Top companies: Most profitable

1) Exxon Mobil
2) Gazprom
3) Royal Dutch Shell
4) Chevron
5) BP

Money losers

1) Fannie Mae
2) Royal Bank of Scotland
3) General Motors
4) Citigroup
5) UBS

Pretty consistent with Peak Oil, IMO... The petroleum producers are winning big, and the financials are losing big...

Deflationary trends in auto, housing, finance (and more broadly on the discretionary side of the economy) and inflationary trends in food & energy prices, e.g., Citgroup stock and the price of oil were both about $55 in early 2007.

I think it would now be safe to add commercial properties into the deflationary trend. Rents are being renegotiated downward as more vacancies are being constructed.

Pretty consistent with Peak Oil, IMO... The petroleum producers are winning big, and the financials are losing big...

That's been my investing strategy for years. I think the petroleum producers will make out big as a result of peak oil. There is another school of thought that says since they are in the business of a depleting resource, their stock will ultimately be worthless. What I think will happen is that oil prices will rise faster than their production will fall. Ultimately they will use some of that cash to enter any other energy business that they think might have staying power.

There is another school of thought that says since they are in the business of a depleting resource, their stock will ultimately be worthless.

In a world of depleting resources all equities will ultimately be worthless. Many like, General Motors, are there already. Many others have lost over 90% of their value. And it is quite likely that the rest will be at that point within five years.

What I think will happen is that oil prices will rise faster than their production will fall.

Yeah, that's what I thought last year also. I wuz wrong! Exxon Mobil is down over 30 percent since production peaked last year. World oil production has fallen only about 3 percent. I expect equity prices in the oil sector to decline a little slower than the broad market but decline nevertheless. And I expect oil prices to trade in the $50 tp $70 range until they completely collapse right along with the world economy.

Ron P.

Some companies that own hydroelectric dams should have enduring value.


Of course, there is that little problem with Earth First!

As Mentioned in peakoil.net articles 374 & 1037, the railway expansion linked to renwables is the hedge still missing in USA P.O. scopings. Alan's hydroelectric comment begs revisiting NAWPA, "North America Water & Power Alliance. Invasive, but (orders of magnitude)less so than tar sands and shale... And ethanol, and nuclear. By all means proceed across the board with all promising modes for energy/power generation, but rethinking hydropower is certainly necessary.

NAWPA was featured in "Engineering News Record" And "Western Construction" Magazines circa 1965, more or less pre-empted by Vietnam and focus on oil corridors like the Straitts of Malacca, Persian Gulf, etc. California's Aqueduct was center stage for big US water projects thru the '60's.

Water is now more urgent a concern nowadays, and when combined with electric generation for railway transport upgrades, NAWPA merits discussion on this site. "EARTH! First" members can certainly join in; suggest they bring a copy of Christopher C. Swan's "ELECTRIC WATER" along. Swan's 2007 book was published by New Society Press.

I love rivers and hence hate dams with a passion. I'm not too fond of ugly bird & bat killing windmills or life-inimical fission powerplants, either. So, nothing against electrified rail per se. It's what provides the electromotive force to run them that I object to.

Such irony.

Do you actually like anything?

shooting at windmachines with guns is one of the things he likes.

In a world of depleting resources all equities will ultimately be worthless.

And the sun will eventually expand to consume the earth. But there will be opportunities between now and then.

Yeah, that's what I thought last year also. I wuz wrong! Exxon Mobil is down over 30 percent since production peaked last year.

That's a short term correction on the back of many years of increases. Oil production is down because demand has been hammered, leaving more supply than demand. I have seen the tankers parked off the coast of Holland myself. I strongly believe that situation will reverse itself. Maybe not in 6 months, but in the long run I think that's what we will see.

If oil production continues to go down, you will see prices recover, and while they might not reach levels predicted by Simmons, I think they will get back up there. I think what we will see is that each time the economy tries to recover, oil prices are going to try to run up. But depletion will march on, and eventually the elastic demand will be wiped out. When that happens, we won't see any more corrections down to $50.

And the sun will eventually expand to consume the earth. But there will be opportunities between now and then.

I was speaking in much shorter terms Robert, like in the next decade.

That's a short term correction on the back of many years of increases.

Yeah, that's what they said about GM. Seriously all equities are going through such a short term correction, not just the oil stocks.

Oil production is down because demand has been hammered, leaving more supply than demand.

Yes and demand was hammered because of the recession. And things are getting a lot worse and demand will be hammered even worse. Demand will go down a lot faster than supply even though oil production has peaked, in my opinion anyway. Production is down about 3 million barrels per day. If OPEC produced flat out I believe we could be within half a million bp/d of 2008 production. (Obviously I do not believe that crap about OPEC having 6 mb/d of spare capacity.)

I have seen the tankers parked off the coast of Holland myself.

Huh? What is that supposed to mean? Do tankers off the coast of Holland mean the economy is on the verge of recovery? Are tankers kinda like "green shoots"?

If oil production continues to go down, you will see prices recover,

Production is down primarily because of the OPEC cuts. OPEC will likely try to keep oil prices in their current range or a little higher. This will mean that the economy will not likely recover. At any rate the world could, if OPEC desired, produce a lot more oil than could be consumed at prices above $50, or perhaps even $30.

But depletion will march on, and eventually the elastic demand will be wiped out. When that happens, we won't see any more corrections down to $50.

You would be correct if that was all that was involved. However constant depletion means a constantly shrinking economy. In a debt based economy such as we have, that is impossible. The end of growth is the beginning of collapse.

Economic Fragility Underestimated - Collapse May Be Imminent

Obviously rising unemployment, expiring unemployment benefits, prematurely rising interest rates, rising oil prices, and a weakening stock market will only exacerbate and add to the banking and broader economic problems outlined.

Everything is happening all at once. And because the oil supply will likely shrink forever, from this day forward, it means we will never recover from this collapse that has already begun.

Just one more thing, a post from TOD's own Rune Likvern.

Will Peak Oil Mean extremely high oil prices? NO

Consensus seems to be;

“Peak Oil” = Dramatic oil price increases.

I think these people are going to be disappointed. Big time!!

Ron P.

Huh? What is that supposed to mean? Do tankers off the coast of Holland mean the economy is on the verge of recovery? Are tankers kinda like "green shoots"?

You misunderstand. I am talking about the floating storage. Right now, there is a lot of excess supply (those parked tankers being an example), but that situation won't last forever. But it is definitely helping keep prices in check.

Every time I fly out of Amsterdam, I count the tankers parked offshore. They have been trending down.

I guess the bottom line is to ask whether you still own any oil stocks. If you strongly believe what you wrote, then you probably don't. Me? I do, and in fact loaded up on Petrobras near the end of last year. That investment is currently up 108%, and has been even higher before recently pulling back somewhat.

“Peak Oil” = Dramatic oil price increases.

But that's not what I think. Dramatic oil price increases will cause the economy to stumble, as we have seen. Back when some others were calling for dramatic increases, I was saying that this isn't sustainable. Remember my bet on oil prices? I did not expect to see dramatically higher prices. What I do expect to see is a jagged, volatile climb to ever higher prices.

I have been completely out of the stock market since before I retired in 2004. I should have stayed in a little longer but I have no regrets.

Warning! The Petrobras bubble is about to burst. Tupi will be a bust and the stock will sink like a rock when that becomes public. It is not that the oil is not there but recovering it will cost so much that most of it will be left in the ground.

But back to the economy and high oil prices.

Oil: What price can America afford?

In every case when oil consumption breeched 4% of GDP, the US has suffered a recession, and indeed, the current US recession began within two months of oil hitting the 4% threshold, that is, when oil reached $80 / barrel.

My argument is that high oil prices will knock the economy down every time. Yet an increase in the energy supply is required if the GDP is to increase. This is a general rule, I know folks can think of exceptions. But overall it is an absolute truism. And our primary energy supply, except for electrical generation, is oil. And it would take at least 20 years to convert to something else. We don't have nearly that long.

It is a catch 22. You cannot increase the oil supply without paying a whole lot more for oil. But high prices knock the economy for a loop driving prices back down. Meanwhile the shrinking economy means people get laid off, buying less, causing more layoffs.

One more point concerning the stock market. People invest in the market for growth! A ever shrinking economy means all industry must shrink. People do not invest for shrinkage! If it ever becomes obvious that the economy must shrink this will lead to the mother of all stock market crashes.

Ron P.

"People do not invest for shrinkage! If it ever becomes obvious that the economy must shrink this will lead to the mother of all stock market crashes."

Eg. if it is decided that we not exceed a certain amount of global warming, and hence must scale back all CO2 producing activities?


"People do not invest for shrinkage! If it ever becomes obvious that the economy must shrink this will lead to the mother of all stock market crashes."

When sentiment shifts, and people no longer believe there is any immediate prospect of capital gains, stocks will be re-valued based on dividend yields.

So a stock that used to pay a 1% dividend, and had a P/E of 30 based on expectations of growth, will fall in price 75% so that it now has a P/E of 7 and a dividend yield of 4%. Actually, companies at this point would be cutting back on capital investment and paying larger dividends in order to hold up their stock price, so you would probably see a P/E of 7 and a dividend yield of about 7% (pay out half their earnings). This was actually typical around 1980, before the long boom started.

Bear markets end when stock market prices make sense based on dividend yields alone. This implies a S&P 500 level of about 400, assuming there is no fall in profits. If profits fall 70% you'd see the S&P 500 at 150, a 90% fall.

If there is ever a widespread belief that corporate profits will decline year after year for decades to come, people would probably demand a 10% dividend from a stock, which implies a P/E of about 5 (if half earnings are paid out).

You saw this sort of valuation in resource stocks during the late 90s when they were deeply unfashionable.

So a stock that used to pay a 1% dividend, and had a P/E of 30 based on expectations of growth, will fall in price 75% so that it now has a P/E of 7 and a dividend yield of 4%.

Yeah Right! Like that is exactly what is happening right now. I am talking about shrinkage Ten, not growth. You assume that in a collapsing economy the companies sales would continue flat and dividends wold stay the same. Now that would be a truly absurd assumption. Profits would crash, as they are doing right now and dividends would be cut, as most companies are doing right now. And those that have not yet cut their dividend soon will.

Bear markets end when stock market prices make sense based on dividend yields alone.

No Ten, bear markets end when the economy recovers. If companies are losing money and going out of business right and left, then the bear market does not end.

You saw this sort of valuation in resource stocks during the late 90s when they were deeply unfashionable.

Of course you did. And because it happened in the past it will happen again in the future. People will all go back to work, companies will start making profits again and paying great dividends. That is what this whole flipping debate is all about Ten. Will we continue with business as usual or not?

The argument Ten, is that a continuing shrinkage of the oil supply will cause the economy to shrink...continually. Some peak oil folks are actually cornucopians and believe we can make a smooth transition to ethanol, solar power, nuclear power or whatever without the economy crashing. Others believe such a transition, if possible at all, would take at least two decades as the Hirsch report indicated, and also believe that we don't have nearly that long. I am among the latter group.

Ron Patterson

So, Ron, are all publicly traded companies doomed to never make a profit again?

If so, then your strong assertion is correct, but if publicly traded companies do manage to get themselves together to make a profit (however small) in whatever business environment presents itself then their stock valuation will reflect the dividend that they can afford to pay.

10% dividends are a pipe-dream in a tight economy though. I expect 4% to be considered generous in not too many years.

The long boom was nothing but a credit bubble that allowed enormous leverage. All has to end now.

Nobody knows what the future will be, but in order for the world to produce 2% less CO2 each year as our Governments alllegedly want or consume the declining oil using market machanisms IMO the only way to do it is to make the oil less affordable - that is the relationship between the real price of oil and real incomes. Either oil prices going ever higher or incomes going ever lower would do the trick (and either would have the same effect on the economy.)

In reality I expect some form of rationing, since this is what happened in WW2, and in the 1970s I was issued with ration cards but never had to use them - even the poorest people in our OECD societies need some affordable energy.

US$ long term debt held by foreigners looks less and less likely to ever be paid back, so I expect the oil exporters (who I assume are not stupid) to refuse to accept US$ debt for their oil at some stage.

Agreed ... and with less credit available the peaks will be lower, too.

I suspect the next 'major' inflection will be when oil is priced not as motor fuel but as a chemical feedstock. That use would support much higher prices. The higher prices would make it unavailable for motor use; the higher prices would be required to compensate processors for converting refineries to crack and distill chemical bases. The refinery reconfigurations would greatly reduce the amounts of motor fuel created out of each barrel of crude.

New refinery fractions might be 2 gallons of gasoline and 2 gallons of distillate per barrel with the rest reserved for chemical production. $200 - 300 (2009 dollar) per barrel would not be a problem.

Also note that all prices are relative. Inflation/deflation will cause the number value of each barrel to change along with useage price and wages, but the relative price will always trend higher, until motor fuel use is too costly.

Finally, OPEC has its hands around the throat of the market. I cannot see prices declining much further than current because OPEC has proven to itself that production discipline works, and that there are no energy alternatives - petroleum or otherwise - to their goods. Fifty dollar oil kills our businesses and sixty dollar oil is good for them.

What do they care about our businesses?

The only 'cure' for this situation would be the discovery and rapid production from new, super- giant non- OPEC oil fields.

OPEC has seen what the non- OPEC producers do when they discover large quantities of fuel, they produce it as fast as possible and @ the lowest possible price.

In other words, they have us pegged as morons.

Oil companies also have the possibility of being nationalized, as oil imports become harder to come by. This makes it less clear what their long-term stock prospects are.

I meant to make that point as well, because when oil companies are printing money and the country is going broke, the attraction of nationalization may be overwhelming. Hard to imagine that they would actually do it, but I think it will be on the table for cash-strapped governments.

I'm a retiree and investor also, and can't think of any better place to put my money than in energy. But in the longer (but not much longer) term, I think we are all screwed as investors and otherwise. My kids and grandkids won't be able to survive by thinking and acting as primarily investors. We've got to begin thinking outside the capitalist framework to survive.

I don't trust stocks and don't trust the market any more. I've never been an active trader, and don't want to become one. They always tell us ordinary folk that buy-and-hold and dollar-cost averaging is the way to go. I think we've been led down the garden path.

I'm with Stoneleigh. Cash will be king, probably for much longer than most people think.

It was easy to make $$ investing back in the late '90s. I thot I was a genius and was going to be rich. Fortunately, I got out around the turn of the millennium when the getting was good. The tax deferred variable annuities I kept on account of penalties for early withdrawal are now nearly worthless. Wish now I'd taken the penalty.

I don't trust stocks or the market, but I also don't trust my own ability to predict the future, both in direction or in time frame.

So my investments are a mix of (US and foreign) cash, real estate, stocks, bonds, etc. In every future scenario I fail to maximize returns but hopefully the diversity of investments preserves some capital in more possible scenarios. We minimize debt and leverage because it helps us sleep at night.

The scenario where cash and equivalents (especially US dollars) lose much of their value to inflation/exchange rates seems quite likely to me.

Farm land and the knowledge to make it work is the absolute best investment period.

Disagree. If I had Matt Simmons' money, sure, I'd invest some of it in farmland.

But for most people, I think that's a mistake. One, it has to be fully paid for. You don't want to be in debt for a farm, any more than for a McMansion. Two, you have to have the cash to pay the taxes on it. And property taxes may well spike as local governments try to raise revenue as the economy sours. Three, you have to have something to fall back on. What if climate change means your fertile farmland becomes desert, or is underwater? What if there's some other reason you need to leave in a hurry (war, say?)

And there's always the possibility of government confiscation. You can't hide land, or flee with it in your pocket. If you have a fertile farm, and other people are hungry, seizing your land is going to be irresistible.

Look at the Japanese-Americans during WWII. They took land no one else wanted, and turned it into fertile farmland via years of hard work. It was confiscated by the government during the war, and not given back to them. The internment camps weren't really about national security. California farmers had been trying to take that land for years before the war; Pearl Harbor was just an excuse.

Farmland was not a source of wealth as Rome collapsed. Taxes grew so high as Rome struggled to feed their citizens that farmers abandoned their land. Farms were abandoned by the Maya as collapse approached, too. It was too dangerous to be so isolated, so people clustered close to the cities.

The confiscation issue is an issue. Whatever works will get confiscated. Farmers in feudal times were expert at that.

My son, 16, tells me he plans a career in organized crime. Hmmm, how does a post-peak-apocalyptic-parent deal with that? This is a kid who "texts". Plonk. Nope.

cfm in Gray, ME

"My son, 16, tells me he plans a career in organized crime."

So, he wants to work for Goldman Sachs ??

Triff ..

That's what I asked him. Goldman Sachs or the pirate militia?

Not so fast...it's easy to think that food (because of its importance to our survival) will be the "best investment" but even in the worst situations I can imagine areas that would provide a better return.

For instance, I am assuming that we will still need many computers in operation to organize all the tasks we do in the world. Could a cache of computer hardware, stored safely and ready to be used when business' machines break down, provide a better return on investment?

I see a world of many many unemployed and each of us is going to have to find a way to add value. Many people will grow food. However, to bring in real wealth to a community will take more than just growing food, as it almost always has.

"Wealth" doesn't get a hell of a lot more "real" than food, when food is scarce.

Food is the original wealth.

I understand...my point is that there are many scenarios in which producing food will provide just a middling return on investment. I don't think we're going to go back to bows and arrows so industry will still make a difference, in my view.

I guess that's the point... whether you believe that there will be investments that yield returns (and what will they be), or is it back to bows and arrows. I sure don't know... being me, I figure it's something in the middle.

Yeah, I guess I'm in the "catabolic collapse" school of thought.

Buy the actual commodity not the oil companies and you won't have to worry.

duplicate deleted by author

Does anyone know about no. 10 on the profit list - Commercial Bank of China, up from rank 92 with a 48.8% profit increase? - it would be the one of the only financial entities to buck the trend (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2009/performers/industries/fastgrowers/profit1yr.html) -- "Banks: Commercial and Savings" on average are down 1/3.

all Banks with > 5B in profit, showing >10% growth

Name Rank Revenue %revenue_change Profit %profit_change
Industrial & Commercial Bank of China 92 70,568 37.0 15,948 48.8
China Construction Bank 125 57,977 40.4 13,324 46.8
Bank of China 145 51,317 31.9 9,260 25.2
Agricultural Bank of China 155 48,063 41.1 7,406 28.7
honorable mentions:
Banco do Brasil 174 43,984 53.8 4,802 84.8
and all the australian banks
Commonwealth Bank of Australia 267 31,654 25.0 4,287 22.1
National Australia Bank 272 31,213 -11.9 4,104 11.0
Westpac Banking 283 30,108 43.8 3,491 25.3

Edit: sorry about the large block of space at the end of this - i have no idea where it came from -- http://nopaste.com/p/aTSPduciq is what i put in the comment box -- possibly the automatic line + paragraph break addition over the definition of the table

United Arab Emirates devotes 1 billion DHM (about $275 million) to capitalize a railroad between the different emirates. For commuters and freight.


IMO, this will later hook up with Saudi rail plans and connect, via Iraq (possibly Jordan/Syria) to EU, Russia and China.

Abu Dhabi's seven per cent renewable energy target by 2020 translates into a $6 billion (Dh22bn) to $8billion investment over the next 10 years


Best Hopes for Reduced ELM and GHG,


I like the ideas behind the developed world's demand for oil has peaked.. however like all good ideas, it is based in my opinion on woolly thinking. In most developed economies today, most oil intensive activities, such as manufacturing, are done in so called less developed nations, and their products are imported (hence the large trade deficits in the USA and UK) into the developed nations. Globalisation over the last 20 to 30 years has therefore limited the rise of oil usage in the develop world. But let us now suppose that the oil demand, as OPEC have suggested, continues to increase in less developed nations as they boast their down domestic consumption to offset sluggish exports. Also let us assume that the supply of oil has peaked or remains stable. With raising prices for transportation of traded goods, globalisation in trade is likely to reverse, where it will become more economical to produce some goods back in the developed nations than transport them from overseas. This new localization of manufactured goods will, in my opinion, will result in an increase in oil demand in the developed nations as a percentage of GDP, or at a minimum will more than offset energy efficiency and alternative energy developments.

I agree with you on the shift in ratios.

It seems to me that the oil as a percent of GDP will rise in developed nations. This may happen partly because of an increase in local manufacturing, as you say.

But I think that ratio of Oil use to GDP in developed nations may also drop because of a disproportionate drop in GDP. Many forms of current GDP (financial, fine arts, medical, services that can done by people themselves) will disappear, but oil usage will drop less, because it is more essential. It will be expensive to build new manufacturing facilities in developed nations, and lack of rare (and not so rare) minerals will inhibit new production. Instead of manufacturing locally, I expect developed nations will make do with very old cars, very old clothes, and very few new homes. So GDP may go down, with less local manufacturing than one would hope for really developing.

There are two ways to fix a GDP/oil ratio that no longer "works"!

and very few new homes

Trees will continue to grow regardless of Peak Oil (GW will have, and has already had, some adverse impacts on forests, but not enough to impact overall timber supply significantly. Reductions in newsprint will free up acreage for timber production).

Roofs can be built of galvanized (or other treatments) steel. Cellulose insulation works well, but other types (fiberglass, isocyanate, etc.) should still be available in some quantity.

Retreating back from 2007 McMansions (SFRs average almost 2,500 sq ft, MANY excess angles & walls) towards 1950 sizes (1,0xx sq ft#) with shared walls and simple geometry will result in about 4x as many homes for given raw material and MUCH less energy consumption to boot.

Add to this the excess retail space (up 1000% per capita since 1950) that need not be replaced (and many malls & Walmart materials can be recycled). The energy saved by just shutting down malls & big box retail can make LOTS of fiberglass insulation and steel roofs.

It is true that the vast majority of the housing built since 1950 has been a waste of resources. Wrong size, wrong place, poor quality construction. Most will be scrapped, but this does not mean that replacements cannot be built.

A financial catastrophe may delay building for a few years (see hyperinflation during Weimer Germany & Argentina) but this is not permanent (unlike Peak Oil), a new currency will arise and an economy with it, hopefully w/o A. Hitler in charge.

But in those years, the trees will continue to grow.##

I disagree with your conclusion,

Best Hopes for Sustainable TOD housing next time,


# Or smaller since family sizes have shrunk since 1950. 750 sq ft is about right for a couple w/o children and not under undue financial stress IMHO.

## I also think that concrete and brick will remain available. Some brick kilns have relocated to use landfill gas for firing. Likewise, many cement plants use waste oil (motor oil) and old tires for energy.

IMO, McMansions will be convert into 2 to 5 unit appartment buildings. I lived in New Orleans, and there are more multi-unit mansions, than single unit.

That's what happened in the aftermath of the Great Depression. A lot of mansions became apartment buildings. Would be a lot easier this time, because new homes have multiple bathrooms.

One difference: McMansions aren't really built to last. The idea is that the buyer will either move or remodel in a few years, so good quality work and building materials are waste. You wouldn't want to be seen living in last year's house, would you?

This morning on CNBC, the hairdos were expressing puzzlement over the fact that landlords are having trouble renting apartments. With so many foreclosures, surely renting would be up?

The "brother in law on the couch" version of the apocalypse seemed to catch them completely by surprise. But of course, that's how most of the world lives. Heck, that's how most of us Americans lived, not that long ago. My grandparents raised six kids in a three-bedroom, one bathroom house grandpa built himself.

Indeed. IIRC I've seen some work done on the owning, renting, foreclosing cycle in recessions. As a recession starts, rents actually firm as departures from homes hits marginal demand for rental units. But when recessions extend for a long enough time, different dynamics set in. And I think that's happening now. Apartment dwellers are leaving their units, and moving in with family. Foreclosed people are not moving into apartments--they too are moving in with family. The basements of Ohio, PA, Illinois, and the Southeast are filling up with young single people who have abandoned SF, LA, Seattle, and Chicago. America is about to find out it has quite alot of square footage, of living space. It had simply gone fallow in the post-war discretionary trend of people getting their own place. All that needs to be done now, is to sell the stuff that has collected in basements, attics, lofts above garages, and so on to make room--for your family.


Another difference:
Before the 1970's houses were generally built with lots of spaces. Average room size was much smaller with respect to total square footage than today.

The McMansion generation of homes frequently has a sparsely divided, airy architecture with high ceilings and large rooms that is more difficult to divide up.

Or, we might just have to get by with less stuff.

You are quite right, that in sending our manufacturing offshore, we have also send some of our oil consumption offshore. You are also right that as oil prices rise, global transport of goods will also become more expensive, thus rendering many of those manufactured goods unaffordable. Some of the offshored manufacturing will then resume here in the US, but some of it won't. As the economy declines, it is only going to be the most essential things that people will be able to afford, and thus it is only the essentials that will be produced here in the US. Offshore production of non-essentials isn't coming back, those non-essentials are just going away.

If there is something that you really need, or anticipate needing in the future, I would advise acquiring it ASAP if you can, and make sure that what you buy is high-quality, highly durable.

I was pleased by the report from HereinHalifax that a compact fluorescent manufacturer was moving production from China to the USA (Ohio ?). One of those "got to have it" products IMHO.


Unless I am mistaken, I believe that Lights of America still produces CFLs and LEDs in the US. I am making a point of searching for companies still producing in the USA and buying their products if I need them, in part to encourage them to hang on.

LOA (or as I refer to them "DOA") sources their CFLs from China.

E.g., http://www.lightsofamerica.com/Products/2830S.aspx

Their quality control, unless it has improved remarkably since my last experience with them, is [** insert slanderous words here **].


LOA (or as I refer to them "DOA") sources their CFLs from China.

Oh, my! You are right. Oh Crap!!!

Well, I should always be able to find USA made candles, I guess!

I wonder how much of the decision was based on economics and how much was political to have made in the USA as their selling point.
Also, I bet there will be increasing animosity among the chinese toward America and I wouldn't want to own a factory in a hostile country.
China, I am afraid is less stable than we westerners understand. I wouldn't be surprised to see them nationalize a lot of stuff inside their borders if things get real push and shove over the resources left.

I may be wrong, but I believe TCP Incorporated is a privately held company based in Ohio, and the owner(s) are Chinese nationals.


Denninger has some scathing things to say about retail sales.

Interesting that Wal-Mart no longer issues reports.

Denninger's comment about WalMart (aka: MaoMart) misses the fact that WalMart has been adding Super WalMarts with food sales to their previous lineup. Thus, one would expect to see the percentage of sales going to food to increase. That said, given that some 70% of the U.S. economy has been consumer oriented, as the consumers buy less, it's obvious that less will be produced. Of course, lots of that consumption is goods produced overseas. The story linked to on Denninger's site didn't even mention KMart holdings, aka: Sears.

We should be reminded of what happened in Japan after their real estate bubble burst in the 1990's. It took about 10 years for them to recover. Adding the growth in U.S. population to the number of newly unemployed suggests many years of "normal" growth will be required to catch up to levels of employment previously considered "normal". But, now we see a future without the cheap energy which made it possible for such growth after previous recessions"...

E. Swanson

Ten years for them to recover? I'd say they never recovered.

And Japan had the luxury of falling into their depression while the rest of the world's economies were relatively healthy. Now the entire world is collapsing into a depression.

Who and where are the consumers of last resort for everyone else this timezup?

At this point, China isn't even in a recession, much less a depression. Total USA and China auto sales are at approx 90% of the all time high.

But China is starting to approach the walls of the petri dish. My brother was just there, and the sky was green the whole time.
Can anyone say non survivable?

We're still early in the collapse - many people argue the US is not in a depression, and that the recession will end this year.

I suspect some Chinese citizens might disagree about whether or not they are in a depression - and they might riot over the conditions.

As for car sales -I'm not sure of your point or the significance of that single piece of data ??? Sales in china off-set the massive declines in US sales the past year? I wonder how long that might last?

Can china develop internal markets fast enough, and robust enough, to make up for the drop in exporting as the rest of the world's industrialized economies continue to deteriorate?

China's domestic market has expanded at the fastest clip of any large country ever. Re auto sales, if the premise is that the entire globe is currently in a Depression, then global consumption figures are relevant. The USA is currently in a private sector Depression, offset by a growing federal government and local governments that are fighting downsizing. This is not the 1930s-a closer analogy would be Soviet Eastern Europe, where government and monopoly positions were prized above all else, and the functioning private sector was driven underground. IMHO and contrary to MSM spin, the elite controlled USA fed government is currently in the process of attempting to extinguish the strength of the USA private sector entirely.

I just do not think China's domestic markets will continue to grow without their government stimulus and with a declining export market.

If their overall growth slows below their target 8% (as it has recently if I remember correctly) I wonder how long their domestic demand will grow (or when it might start to contract ... more riots???).

I think some parts of the US federal government are in panic mode. I think they have lost control and know it.

(A "private sector" depression ??? ?)

China is an enormous Potemkin village. They have hundreds of empty "ghost towers" put up on a "build it and they will come" model, priced for people on a Western salary, with virtually no second-hand market in apartments at all.
Think about what that means "no second-hand apartment market". It means nobody to sell too if you want to exit your investment. Rental yields are about 2% at the top end. There is an estimated 587 million square metres of empty apartments in China (according to FT). 100sq metres is a good size apartment, about 1000 square feet, and a smallish but adequate apartment would be 50 square metres. So that is 5 to 10 MILLION empty apartments.
Sure, there are a billion people in China who could live in these apartments. But not until the price gets cut 80-90%.

They have enough empty office space to cater for 14 years growth at boom time rates - and they are no longer booming.

Much of the money lent out to stimulate the economy since November has gone into creating speculative stockpiles of iron ore and copper, hence the recovery in the price of those commodities. When the recovery fails to materialise, thes stockpiles will be slowly sold off at a loss, as they generate no income to sevice the debt that funded them.

They built up an export-based economy to sell stuff on credit to the USA and Europe. Their boom was the flip side of the US debt binge.
If US and European demand slumps, they need to create domestic demand to replace this. But that involves a revolution in their society. They are decades away from having a real middle class.


Good stuff Margin, thanks.


In the link about ethanol being pushed to be allowed to be an E15 blend for gasoline instead of the currently allowed E10, the article references things such as the amount of CO2 emissions that can be reduced...

And it cites a University of Nebraska-Lincoln study that asserts corn ethanol can reduce greenhouse gas emissions 59 percent compared to gasoline.

My question on that study, is that according to the carbon output on a gallon to gallon basis, or does it include the reduced MPG from using ethanol? My guess is that it's purely on a gallon to gallon comparison. If you lose 25% of your gas milage from using E100 instead of gasoline, is there too much of a point?

The main benefit of ethanol is economic, not environment or energy savings. As Boone Pickens has pointed out many time, sending large amounts of wealth to oil exporters is a drag on the American economy.

And as JD points out in his attack on Westexas' ELM up top ethanol enables a reduction in oil imports. This reduction has the overall effect of nullifying the ELM's predictions since it offsets oil exporters increased usage with a decline in American oil consumption.

Left out of the argument is the growth in oil consumption of fast growing developing countries like China and India.

Govts will probably set off Un-intended Consequences by mandating high ethanol content laws. Imagine lots of vehicular Liebig Minimums [permanently parked, or very long repair wait-cycles] caused by damaged ICE or the complex control mechanisms.

I suggest again that we apply the Precautionary Principle by building Strategic Reserves of I-NPKS, wheelbarrows, bicycles, plus O-NPKS Recycling by SpiderWebRiding, and Alan Drake's RR & TOD. Owning a scooter, batt-bike, or buying a golfcart from the many defunct golf resorts is advised,too.

For those who have long commutes, when your ICE is junk: it is much easier to electrify a pickup than a car because of the pickup's heavier frame and ease of filling the bed with batteries to make the longer distance.

The other advantage of a pickup versus car is that rack-mounting a .50 cal/RPG combo is much easier in a pickup bed versus going to the hassle of cutting off the roof of a car or SUV. YMMV.

As usual, please continue your Peakoil Shoutout & Peak Outreach efforts: IMO, we really need the Google Unlucky button and Tiger plowing golf courses to jumpstart mitigation.

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

For those who have long commutes, when your ICE is junk: it is much easier to electrify a pickup than a car because of the pickup's heavier frame and ease of filling the bed with batteries to make the longer distance.

Yeah, and you can also charge up in the drive-thru...

McDonald's Recharges Customers and Cars

Many thought gas stations would be the first places to offer recharge points for electric vehicles, but McDonald’s is positioning itself to be the first destination where customers can recharge themselves and their cars.

Working with NovaCharge, McDonald’s restaurants in the southeastern U.S. will have ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations installed, allowing customers to drive in, hook up their car and go grab some food, according to a report by Geek.com.

The first ChargePoint-enabled McDonald’s is set to open July 14, in Cary, N.C.

Are YOU lovin' it?

"Yeah, and you can also charge up in the drive-thru..."

..with a 'technical' pickup to get all the free food desired for the hungry 'gentlemen' sporting a full complement of weaponry. I expect Drive-bys > Drive-thrus postPeak.

Quarter-Pounders for Ground-Pounders will be the postPeak theme. Let's hope a mortar doesn't accidentally erupt from the pickup bed during this process...It won't be a 'Happy Meal' for those so involved:



I was reading some stuff on the intensive gardens the French used to have around Paris. Only a few acres some of them, but they had internal rail to move stuff around. Walking paths were only 10". I'm doing a site plan for my garden now and thinking about that minirail system. I'd think angle iron or channels would work fine. Or maybe tubes like chainlink fence rail.

In Ireland, stables and chicken coops built of stone. Why not a small railroad within an intensive garden? Pay it forward. And it would be a whole lot better than dragging garden carts around and catching on stuff. 10" paths mean a lot more productive garden area. If it's all organized around the rail, and the small footpaths move, that solves a lot of compaction issues. The rail is off the ground,

cfm in Gray, ME

Hello Dryki,

Huge Kudos!--we need a lot more thinking and inventiveness on this topic. Consider that the chainlink railtubes could also internally move the water to your crops besides being your garden railroad. Again, consider how many wheelbarrow tires might you wear out compared to one set of steel wheels...

Even if steel becomes mostly Unobtainium: the railbed could be kiln-fired bricks, but hollow inside to move water. Then, your garden borders would be a Triple System as your bedding walls would also be the irrigation system and the railbed.

Let's say your hollow bricks are mortared 4 high--that would potentially give you 4 major routing paths or more [one per brick elevation level]. By installing/removing wooden plugs, this would give you tremendous flexibilty to route water where you want--no garden hose required or water buckets required. Then your 2,3,or 4 wheeled cart runs on top of the bricks. Thus, you could even have wooden cart wheels, like the Chinese of old did to keep things moving.

EDIT: It is too bad for me that none of my many speculative 'Wild & Crazy Ideas' are patentable--just intuited common sense. Alas...

Some more thoughts on this Triple System:

1. At the highest elevation of your property is where you want to hook up your garden to your water supply [city tapwater, roof-rainwater cistern, or personal well].

2. The major input point could be a concrete or metal bucket with holes and tubing to your garden bricks. Plugging/Unplugging the various holes would determine the routing, or one could have valving external to the bucket if you can afford it.

3. If you have any brick levels lower than the toplevel of your garden bed topsoil: when you dig down a few inches to pull the plug--it will subterranean water your plants by underground soaking--generally, this is much better for reducing surface evaporation.

4. If you are bucks up, screw digging for a plug. Have a very convenient, above surface valve to route the water through a short run of underground 'soaker hose'.

5. The brick levels above the topsoil could have easy-twist valves, too [again, more moolah]. Of course, surface soaker hoses would be handy here again.

6. If your manure pile is near the main bucket: then it would be easy to brew, then add your 'manure tea' at this point, then as desired, route it to your plants. Beats lugging buckets of really stinky tea all over the place. One could also take a piss or add, then dissolve I-NPK like Miracle-Gro in the main bucket, too.

Any other ideas from other TODers? Thxs for any replies.

If [a BIG IF,IMO] this Triple System is truly Patentable and also highly market viable as we go postPeak: I would donate the patent rights to TOD if they did the research, as I have no knowledge nor funds to get it done.

Let's say if this results in Billion$$$ in sales, then TOD would have lots of funding for Peak Outreach. I would only ask for a small amount for this 'Wild & Crazy Idea', as I would be highly gratified if this leads to Optimal Overshoot Decline. I guess here is where I need to legally state "All patent rights and copyrights are hereby reserved to Bob Shaw & TheOilDrum".

First, THANKS for making a post about plans and ideas. Projects to pull us away from the onrushing trains. Much more of the Sad Polemics and I'm going to hurt myself!

I'm building a set of Hoop-Roller toys for the gifties at my Daughter's 6th birthday.. some in Wood, some in plastic leftovers from a building project.. but it sure is nice to build simple things by hand.

I like the garden rails idea. I am thinking of pipes laid out at constant intervals instead of paths altogether, making that 10" path into about 3", and having a few lightweight platforms like Furniture Dollies that can straddle a row and ride on the two adjacent pipes. Guess that depends on having your ride over the 'Low Crops', and in alternate rows would be tall stuff like Tomatoes, Climbing Peas, etc.. that could be reached with this cart..

My attention is torn these days between Superinsulation schemes and building my Covered E-trike, both of which only live on graph paper and piles of accumulated parts so far. With luck I'll get the second HotAir box built and onto the roof this year. So much Sun, so little pipe!

As my brother says.. "Why put off for tomorrow what you can put off for the day after tomorrow?"

Hello Jokuhl,

Your Welcome. My Triple System just needs various bricks to meet various functions. Then you just 'mix & match' them to meet your personal garden needs, or the much larger community permaculture design needs.

1. Solid bricks for levels where water does not need to be routed, or as a termination brick for a set of water bricks. Could also be used on the top run to provide an extra sturdy brick to attach a steel rail or steel pipe if desired.

2. Water brick: long hole running through it. Used for moving water where no outlet is required.

3. Water brick with outlet hole: long hole running through it, but also has short hole to allow water to run outside the brick. Plug or insert valve & tubing here as required. SWAG might be that a gardener might need one for every four of the #2 water bricks for best soaking pattern.

4. Switch bricks: since this will not only be your bedding wall, but also your railpath, curving bricks will be offered so the yard can be attractive and also take the best advantage of the land's slope differences. So some will have a curving hole inside like #2, and some will allow a Y-branching effect so water can flow to the next set of walls. Of course, some will be like #3, but curved.

5. + plus brick: where your garden walls meet you need to be able to send water in all directions.

6. It would be nice if the bricks had an interlocking design, like some landscaping bricks already on the market. That way it would be easy to originally build or relay out your Triple System without needing much mortar or concrete.

That way if all your neighbors had a 15" spacing, but yours was a 10" spacing--no big deal to standardize to the neighborhood design norm so that the tracked cart or Spiderbike can go anywhere without modification.

Have you ever gardened?

I find that I am on my knees between boxed raised beds for planting, weeding, thinning, mulching, harvesting, etc. The 24" mulched paths are great for this type of work. Knee pads work well. Fortunately my neightbor is a tree trimmer and has wood chips for paths. Another neighbor has a large lawn and does not use herbicides so I get his grass clippings for plant mulch to hold moisture in our hot windy climate.

Right now I am in the process of installing a drip system in the garden. Next is building two 4 X 4 X 4 cedar compost boxes.

This is my first year learning how to garden and I have learned a lot. If you have not gardened, I would suggest a few years learning about your soil and plants before you build the rail system. There really is a lot more to it than meets the uninitiated eye. Same for Toto lest ye be pissing into the wind on TOD. Of course it is always fun to hear your ideas.

Hello Lynford,

Thxs for your reply. I helped my father in his garden many years ago, so my knowledge is quite limited. As you probably already know: I am renting a bedroom in Asphaltistan [no ownership of any property], and my landlord refuses to read TOD, much less entertaining any ideas of food-gardening.

Where I lived before in Phx: I tried to get my neighbors interested in starting a community garden on the last patch of walkably-close city land--they said I was crazy. It has subsequently been concreted & paved over now [See my extensive posting series on this in the TOD archives].

The way I see it: my Triple System still allows a person to put as much mulch as required between the bedding walls for a soft place to kneel and work. The wheelbarrow/garden cart/railbike wheels won't be compacting this mulch because the wheels will be on top of the wall [Triple System Bricks or railtrack or railpipes].

You could even design/build a small, light-weight, rolling seat to place on top of the bedding walls so you won't even have to get down on your knees most of the time.

As posted before: still hoping for any TOD members with expertise in human biometrics to advance this thinking much further than I can. I am not the sharpest pencil in the box...

[See my extensive posting series on this in the TOD archives].

Bob, there is no way anyone can do that.

If you want people to be able to find your previous postings, you need to set up your own blog. The comments of someone else's blog is simply not an appropriate place to post a "series."

Just takes a minute with Google Advanced Search:


As posted before: I currently don't have the time, skills, money, or inclination to be a carefully cataloged blogger. I would rather try to stay on the forefront of what I consider the leading, bleeding edge of Peak Everything and help TOD get ever more eyeballs. Hell, I can't even read and email elsewhere as much as I used to do to stay current..

Just takes a minute with Google Advanced Search:

No, it doesn't. It can't give you the results in chronological order, or any other kind of order, which is important for a series. Many of those results are not your posts at all, but jokes about your posts. Then they have to scan down, possibly through hundreds of comments, to find the one Google found (which may not be relevant).

I would rather try to stay on the forefront of what I consider the leading, bleeding edge of Peak Everything and help TOD get ever more eyeballs.

You can still post here. But you can't use our comments as your own blog, nor expect anyone to look up your previous postings. Comments are a conversation. Short, transient, and not likely to be remembered later, except by the participants.

This is my first year learning how to garden and I have learned a lot. If you have not gardened, I would suggest a few years learning about your soil and plants before you build the rail system.

I'm writing about how the Parisians used rail in their intensive gardens in the early 1900s, not about first year raised bed gardening. Of now to your way-too-small-and-fancy-compost boxes.

cfm in Gray, ME

I was doing some more 'Wild & Crazy' brainstorming [brainfarting?] on Lynford's kneeling and possible backstrain problem in his garden. I hope this is a big human biometric improvement on my simple track-chair in the posting above.

It would be so much easier if I knew how to just post a picture of my latest napkin-sketch, but oh well... maybe some TODer can post their sketch of what I am trying to feebly describe below:

Picture a double-truck rail flatcar on top of the Triple System garden wall, but bend the frame rails way down below the Center of Gravity, and inside the railtrack width, so that it rides just above the ground. Next pile steel gardening tools, O-NPK, manure tea, water buckets, or even extra bricks so that it won't tip. This will allow you to attach an overhead framework or swinging crane arm. Then attach a comfortable chair, hammock, or padded belly harness to easily move and reach in your garden plot. Any needed tools, O-NPK, seeds, harvest baskets, etc are within easy reach as you pivot & swing back and forth as required.

Here are some photos of industrialized picking machines to reduce back-strain:

Picking strawberries the easy way, using the TEKTU T100 all-electric harvesting rig. This new machine makes harvesting comfortable and efficient as it runs quietly through our poly-tunnels, without producing any emissions.

Lazy weeders are used in crops where mechanical weeding is not possible, such as carrots and onions. They will reduce labour cost on average by 50% compared to manual weeding. Lazy weeders come in two versions: self-propelled and tractor-driven.

Please make sure you see the photos and the video in this weblink below, Lynford. Imagine this HPV being on top of the Triple System, but the worker is comfortably and smoothly pedaling along recumbent style, instead of pushing this rig thru the mud & dirt. Much less effort and a magnitude better precision, IMO.

This Finnish invention helps the small scale vegetable farmer with different ways of mechanical and thermal weed control. Different types of gas flamers, A-blades and finger weeders can be fitted. The frame can also be used to drill crops and as a fitness tool.
EDIT: for spelling correction and adding a little more info.

So there ya go--> you have two potential ways to easily move and work in a garden with the Triple System:

1. Rail-bikes or rail-carts that move INSIDE the space where you wheelbarrow and walk now. Ex: the low CG, swinging gantry work chair. This would be ideal where you have taller crops: just swing into a grapevine row to fill up your grape-baskets.

2. Rail-bikes or rail-carts that move OVER the space where you kneel now. Picture the photos and video from the posting above, but adapted to the Triple System.

Again, I hope biometric experts can flog my SpiderWebRiding ideas further, plus how best to interface with Alan Drake's standard gauge RR & TOD ideas for efficient postpeak logistics. IMO, some clever engineers should be able to design/evolve the optimal size for 'spine, limbs, and ribcage' as we descend down the Hubbert Shark-fin.

EDIT: Because Peak Outreach is spreading too slowly IMO, I worry that we won't even be able to summon the will for even a minimal half-ass attempt at mitigating our problems.

If the funds spent on military weaponry was instead diverted to leap-frogging ahead in SpiderWebRiding Design, so that it was a seamless Non-FF powered method to move vital goods--consider how much that would help to move us towards Optimal Overshoot Decline.


"Remember when the music...was strung with silver wire"--Harry Chapin

I understand what you were writing about. The reply was not to your original post but to the next ones.

Like I said, this is my first year gardening. I am trying to learn how to feed a few people. How big should the compost boxes be? The compost boxes in the book were scaled to a 1500 foot raised bed garden in the northeast and they had three 4 X 4 X 4 compost boxes.

Whoa. A rail system (packet) is not a stream (water). The Parisian gardens I mentioned used rail to distribute manure and amendments. Nothing I recall about water. [Now that I think about it, the whole setup - going to rail - might help enforce a bookkeeping/surveillance/police paradigm where what goes where might be tracked. Important for an intensive gardener.]

There are so many things to work out. For example, the weed profile and perimeter. What are your weeds and what is the zone? [I allow non-grass clovers, plantain, accumulators.]

Still, highest point water - those are permaculture patterns. Cycle to lowest point and return. [My highest point pond isn't high enough to drive the distribution. Enter the PV and driptape - and, sadly, the confiscation of same.]

Me, I piss everywhere - try to spread the wealth. Unlike the piss-powered US Army, when I piss it stays on my land.

My concern in this is two cycle engines. I've never seen them mentioned, but at 60-1 mix, the hot rod engines in chainsaws are darn delicate beasts. And so expensive to repair that you might as well buy a new saw.

Anyone know anything about this issue?


I've ran 100/1 Optimal mix in my saws before and they ran just fine. Chainsaw engines are simple; repair them yourself. I'm not much of a mechanic but I can work on chainsaws. In the past, ethanol made O-rings on saws brittle but I think they've changed the formulation of the rubber and this is no longer a problem. But please don't take this post as an endorsement of ethanol adulteration of gasoline! If I could, I'd pay extra for ethanol free gas.

The amount of gas you can use in a chainsaw is not going to hurt your wallet.Buy premium at a magor brand station-one that is busy.You don't need the octane but the bet is that your extra quarter gets you some good detergents and fresher fuel.

Run the brand of oil mix that matches your saw,or one produced by a major.STAY AWAY FROM OFF BRANDS.The few cents you save are nothing compared to the costs and trouble of repairs that may result.

Use no ethanol if you can find straight gasoline.

Use any mixed fuel in your car or truck or generator or tiller when it reaches three monhs of age.

An ounce of ash free two stroke oil diluted in a tank of gas will do no harm but don't publicize-possibl warranty problems,etc

Run your saw dry and pull the cord with the choke set (before storing it for any extended period) until it does not run at all.

These tips are the summarized wisdom of the pros.

And never allow a drop of oil to be spilled when filling the chain reservior.The suction of the cooling fan pulls it into the engine cases and covers and it holds the sawdust and overheats the engine thereby substantially shortening it's life and contributing to hard starting.

The Import Land Model

Usual Fair and Balanced work from JD.

Regarding Jeff Brown's call for an ELM crisis in 2006:

This turned out to be totally wrong in an interesting and unexpected way. The reason is that oil consumption in the US dropped by -1,262 kbd in 2008. This means that the decrease in consumption in the US alone cancelled out about 3 years of consumption growth by all exporting countries. Similarly, Japan's consumption has been dropping by about -166 kbd per year for the last 3 years, totally compensating for consumption growth in Saudi Arabia, the largest exporter consumer. There are also a number of other nations where oil consumption is steadily declining.

This of course ignores the fact that US consumption in 2007 also declined - by .03%. So all it'll take to reign in the world's biggest hydrocarbon junkie is a massive spike in crude oil prices and a century scale economic downturn. Brilliant. US consumption is far from down for the count - does he think driving/flying/trucking is dead and in the grave or something?

The whole point of the ELM is that increasing consumption cuts into what can be produced and shipped out, too, not how that impinges on total global demand. Work worthy of an AGW denier.

Strictly speaking, I proposed the ELM as a way to help me understand Net Export math. As we noted in our top five paper, the UK and Indonesia were both--like "Export Land"--consuming about half of their production at their final peaks. Export Land fell between Indonesia and the UK in terms of the production decline rate and between the UK and Indonesia in terms of the rate of increase in consumption (the UK had almost no increase in consumption over the decline phase). However, Export Land, Indonesia and the UK all showed accelerating net export decline rates--hitting zero net oil exports in nine, eight and seven years respectively:

With no increase in consumption, Export Land would go to zero net oil exports in 14 years, instead of 9 years, not exactly a big difference.

But the key issue that we are going to focus on with our upcoming paper is cumulative remaining net oil exports. Primarily because of a drop in consumption (and a small increase in production), Indonesia's net exports increased in 1998, after a decline in 1997, so that their 1998 net export rate was only about 9% below their 1996 rate. However, by the end of 1998, Indonesia had shipped 44% of their post-1996 cumulative net oil exports, on their way to hitting zero net oil exports in 2004. The key point is that these net export declines are front end loaded, with the bulk of post-peak cumulative net oil exports being shipped early in the decline phase.

Indonesia, in 1997 and 1998, was shipping one percent of their post-1996 cumulative net oil exports about every 17 days. Based on Sam's modeling, the top five net oil exporters are currently shipping one percent of their post-2005 cumulative net oil exports about every 50 days or so.

Who is "JD"?

This guy: http://www.theoildrum.com/user/JD

Homepage http://peakoildebunked.blogspot.com/

He is a peak oil denier who posts here from time to time.

He's not so much a denier as someone who thinks the worst of the predictions won't come to pass. Some of his work is pretty good, but I can take the tone of his blog only so long, so I visit it only rarely. He's not coming from "how do we figure this out together" so much as "I'm smart, you're stupid and here's why." His commenters are even worse.

He also insists on remaining anonymous so that he can snipe from the sidelines while many of us stick our necks out to engage the public. It's pretty cowardly, in my view.

Yet how I sometimes wish that we had antagonists of the order of http://climateaudit.org. These guys seem pretty sharp in statistics and do some service by keeping climate scientists on their toes.

But one could make the argument that we don't have opponents of that caliber because they wouldn't know how to start to counter the claims of the TOD oil depletion analysts. I would enjoy taking them on, but we only have JD (and Freddy a while back) online at the moment. The rest of the mass media is rife with peak oil denialists but nary a peep from them here.

But one could make the argument that we don't have opponents of that caliber because they wouldn't know how to start to counter the claims of the TOD oil depletion analysts.

I would make the argument that we don't have opponents of that caliber because, well, we aren't of that caliber. We just aren't taken that seriously.

IMO, this is the big difference between peak oil and climate change. There's a lot of scientific interest in climate change. A lot of climate scientists, with a lot of funding, doing a lot of research and publication on the topic of AGW. That is why it's pretty much a waste to argue about it here; it won't be settled by amateurs arguing in blogs. Rather, it will be settled the way science usually is: peer-reviewed journals.

It's another story with peak oil. There's very little scientific interest in the subject. It's seen as an economic/financial issue, not a scientific one. That's why there's room for us amateurs.

But it also means we aren't taken that seriously by those with the chops to do statistical analysis, etc.

AND, this crowd can barely work up the will to make a forceful plea to get the NAS assigned the task of getting more scientists' eyes on the issue.

If the NAS Petition was just an unworkable approach.. what are some other ways to target this issue of getting some 'Authoritative Attention' on this? Anybody have some better ways to skin that cat?

I think you're probably asking in the wrong place. This site attracts, well, nerds. Our forte is science, math, engineering, etc. - not communication or politics.

I don't think an online petition will do squat. Anyone can set up an online petition, and probably millions do, every day. Why should anyone pay attention to one about peak among all the others? Anyone can sign an online petition...as many times as they have e-mail addresses. Some online petitions are on serious subjects - the Iran protests, the Honduran unrest - but most are trivial or silly. Adding a LAN option to Starcraft, the cast of Twilight, being forced to wear school uniforms, a Michael Jackson world holiday. Peak oil just looks like more kookiness in that crowd.

I honestly don't know what the best approach would be. I'm a geek, too. But if it does happen...I think it will probably be like gay marriage. I never thought I'd live to see gay marriage legalized, let alone in Iowa. And yet it happened. And it was mostly a grassroots effort. The national Democratic party hated it. They feared it would hurt them in the national elections, and it did. But the grassroots did it anyway. And now there's a national effort to help the grassroots.

"I honestly don't know what the best approach would be."

Keep emailing Google to ask for the Unlucky button and emailing Tiger to start plowing golf courses as nearly everyone on the planet checks in on Google and Tiger. My feeble two cents.

I think that's a waste of time.

One, they won't do it. As with the petitions, there are likely thousands if not millions of people asking them for something. Why listen to us?

Two, that only addresses awareness. The problem really isn't awareness. People know about peak oil, or are at least aware of the "limits to growth" issue. It's been the subject of several movies. There have been peak oil documentaries on CNN, The History Channel, etc. Well-known people like Bill Clinton and Michael Moore have spoken about it. It is commonly used as a backdrop for computer games, including the mega-popular DOOM series.

No, the problem is getting support for doing something. That is why I think gay marriage is a useful comparison. Awareness wasn't the issue there; resistance was. And I think resistance is the main problem with peak oil, too. Very few people actually think oil is infinite. But most Americans think we'll just switch to something else and carry on, or that there are a lot more urgent problems to worry about.

I think resistance is the main problem with peak oil, ... Most Americans think we'll just switch to something else and carry on, or that there are a lot more urgent problems to worry about.

Speaking of resistance, I was just reading a book on what we could refer to as Verbal Judo.

When someone says, "Heck we can just switch over to coal ..."

The Verbal Judo artist does not resist.

Quite the opposite. He agrees.

"Yes, you are correct. We can switch to coal.

... And as you probably well know, that has consequences. Coal is solid rather than being a liquid like oil. So in trying to get solid coal out from deep underground, we must waste extra energy building mines or blowing up mountain tops. And we must waste yet more energy cutting the coal up into small rocks to ship to the power plant. And you probably also know that coal is full of dangerous chemicals like ..."

Wax on.

Wax off.

Funny how JD doesn't talk about the numbers for Mexico:

The stipulated conditions for "Export Land" were a -5%/year production decline rate, a +2.5%/year rate of increase in consumption, with consumption equal to half of production at final peak. After four years, we saw an overall 18% decline in production, with an 11% overall increase in consumption, that resulted in a 47% overall decline in net oil exports.

For Mexico, since 2004 (EIA), we have seen a -4.7%/year production decline rate, a +1.3%/year rate of increase in consumption, and consumption was equal to about half of production at final peak in 2004. After four years, we have seen an overall 17% decline in production, with a 5.4% overall increase in consumption, that resulted in a 42% overall decline in net oil exports.

Here's where it gets interesting. What does happen to Mexico's consumption from here? I am assuming some decline in consumption, but most critics of the ELM are thinking qualitatively, not quantitatively. At Mexico's 2008 production decline rate, in order for Mexico to still be (net) exporting 1.08 mbpd (their 2008 rate) in 2012, they would have to cut their consumption by more than half by the end of 2012.

I was mildly surprised to see JD's website linked on the Drumbeat uptop, given that Story #407, second one from the top, is the following:


Why would you be surprised? Have I ever given you any indication that I would boycott stories because they were critical of us or this site? Heck, I posted the article from Mises.org that compared Nate with a Nazi.

Well, Nate is one ahead of me. I've only been accused of personally destroying the Peak Oil movement, while being compared to Saddam Hussein. I was of course hoping for the Hitler comparison. I had to settle for Saddam.

Hmmm....clearly I'm still a piker in comparison, then. I've only gotten to "fear monger."

Jeffrey, didn't you take six weeks off last year to get an I'm-As-Badass-as-Saddam Certificate granted by the Iraqi International School of Thuggery? I can't take the time off work but I'd like to go for that designation someday.

Since Bush "liberated" Iraq, perhaps the new Axis of Evil is yours truly, Iran and North Korea.


Malthus and Mein Kampf come to Cork - Mises Economics Blog

September 16, 2007 4:57 AM by Sean Corrigan | Other posts by Sean Corrigan | Comments (674)

For those who like their environmental gloom'n'doom spread with a thick dollop of Utopian totalitarianism and garnished with a slice of Galtonian pseudo-science, the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas holds its sixth annual conference in Ireland this coming week.

Present will be the usual motley of silk-suited Carbohypocrites - each avidly promoting their tax-eating, alternative-energy start-ups - a gang of anti-capitalist activists, a squawk of sensescent members of the political elite, and a whole Bronze Age roundhouse of associated Gaia worshippers.

And that's just the article. Rather worked up, these disciples of the Misesmeister. I do like that term "Carbohypocrite," though.

yeah, JD obviously has his small Cornucopian - hallelujah - congregation over at his blog.
Must be a fine place to collect yourself whenever feeling low on energy or needing a smile on your face.

It's interesting that JD generally avoids actually talking about export numbers. He quotes my comment from my very first essay on Net Oil Exports, in January, 2006, that we were on the verge of a ferocious export crisis, which I think is accurate. I think that the bidding for declining net oil exports was a big contributor to the increase in oil prices, worsening the economic contraction, resulting in the decline in demand. Having said all of that, the scale of the decline in demand was a surprise to me.

In the January, 2006 missive, which focused on the top three net oil exporters at the time--Saudi Arabia; Russia and Norway--I introduced the Export Land Model. After conferring with Sam, my assessment in January, 2006 was that Saudi Arabia was on the verge of a production decline, Russia would probably resume its production decline within one to two years, and Norway's decline would continue. Note that we did not even have complete 2005 production data at the time.

In March, 2007, I posted a note to the effect that I did expect to see a future rebound in Saudi production ("Albeit to a level well below their 2005 rate")--probably the only time Robert and I agreed about the direction in Saudi production. My reasoning was that the water encroachment at North Ghawar took the Saudis by surprise, and it took them some time to partially compensate for the decline. Also the 2006-2007 production decline was below what the HL model predicted. I still think that 2005 was the final Saudi production peak, but I could of course be wrong, and time will tell. But IMO, there is very little chance that Saudi Arabia will ever again exceed their 2005 net export rate.

In any case, here is what the EIA shows for recent combined net oil exports from Saudi Arabia, Russia and Norway (mbpd):

2002: 15.3
2003: 17.2
2004: 18.1
2005: 18.6
2006: 18.0
2007: 17.4
2008: 17.5

If the top three's rate of increase from 2002 to 2005 had continued out to 2008 they would have (net) exported 22.6 mbpd in 2008, instead they showed three years of lower net oil exports relative to 2005, which is precisely what we warned about in January, 2006.

Westtexas: "The sun rises in the east"
JD: "OMG, you are so wrong, the sun sets in the west."
The more I read you two, the more I think you fundamentally agree and don't even know it.

I find JD's site to be some of the most doomerish stuff out there.

I've posted my ELP Plan stuff a few thousand times. Here is a question I posted for JD on his website:

A question for JD:

Other than your implied message to "Party On Dude," because Peak Oil if off in the distant mists of time, precisely what have you been advising people to do for the past three years?

And he answered that he's not been advising people to do anything. However, in fact, he's been advising people to ignore any, and every, argument that fossil fuel depletion will lead to anything bad. To extrapolate from that, he thinks that resource depletion, in general, will not be a problem and that market forces will always find a way. He doesn't deny peak oil, though I think he denies AGW.

I find his arguments clever but, ultimately, unconvincing.

Banks' 'courtesy' loans at soaring rates irk consumers

One strategy listed to boost overdrafts: "Allow consumers to overdraw their ... accounts at the ATM up to the bank's internally set limit." To increase credit card fees, banks can "delay crediting of payments not received in bank provided envelop (sic) or for which payment coupon is not received for up to 5 days," and "remove bar coding from remittance envelopes," slowing the payment.

..."We always thought what (the industry) was doing was deliberate. Now we know it is," Wu says.

After credit card reform, banking may be next. Though of course, banks are fighting it:

Banks are lobbying heavily against restrictions. Why? "Overdraft fees are the mother lode of (deposit) fees," says Michael Moebs of Moebs Services, an economic research firm. "If it weren't for overdraft fees, 45% of banks and credit unions wouldn't have made money in 2008."

My Dad kept getting phone calls about a missed payment on a HELOC. He's not fit to handle this sort of thing anymore, at 81 he's getting a bit pre-senile. I checked it out on his online account, and it was inexplicably not showing up. Had to dig into the WF website to make it appear - tellers at the bank couldn't figure out how to access it either. Suspicious; they hit him with a $5 late payment fee too, which is pretty mild for Wells Fargo.

"Courtesy overdraft," that's a pretty good oxymoron, like "live recording."

My wife, her bother, and to a lesser extent me have been delving into her mom's finances - also accelerating dementia - and it POs me how much the infirmed-elderly are taken advantage of. And not just by banks: credit card companies, extended warranty companies, etc.

If anyone out there is wary about intervening on behalf of "declining" relatives - just do it. It is not an easy choice to make and not easy to take on. We are just now starting to deal with physical care issues, but I am getting way of topic.


True enough, but why should seniors be allowed to vote or drive if they are not going to be held responsible like other adults?

I agree. The mother voluntarily gave up driving. I just filed an "alert" with the State of Florida to get her 87 year old husband off the freaking road. It may not lead to anything at which point I will escalate not knowing how.

We were waiting for "his family" to get him to stop driving voluntarily and I just ran out of patience.


All of the "privacy" rules are a real hassle. Telephone companies and other service providers insist on talking to the elderly person himself, so one needs to find someone of the correct sex to impersonate the elderly person, if they are not able to talk on the phone.

I would recommend someone getting power of attorney (both medical and regular) for your wife's mother, as soon as possible. Bank accounts should be put in joint name with someone else, I am told. If powers of attorney are not gotten early-on, you may need a court to intervene, as I understand it.

What Gail said! Get power of attorney for parents/whoever ahead of time! I had all the right papers my parents had done long before I needed to use them and sometimes even with the right papers I had some hassles! Most institutions, banks, insurance companies, etc were just fine when they had a copy of the papers but one credit card company said it was too old! POA don't go out of date! this annoyed their lawyer enormously. 90% of the time everthing went smoothly but like Gail said, phoen companies, even Social Security (I think) and some medical insurance companies will automatically ask to talk to the person you're calling about. Sometime with my mom there, she was more than willing to talk to them, sometimes you have to arrange it or, impersonate them! this is time from work, and whether your relative will cooperate!

there are good reason why these place ask for the person to talk to but it's a hassle for those trying to help their family members. Eventually you will get to the point, where you simply have to take over everthing to make sure it's all taken care of. I spent the last 10 years of my life with these hassles and this was without other siblings arguing with me about how to do it.

Also, don't completely discount whatever your parent says: don't assume they can't remember anything correctly. My mom always had part of whatever she was remembering correctly so you have to ask others who might have been involved.

At the end my parents and I had peace and parted on good terms--(yes, I think i'll see them again).

This frightening stressful time of dementias at the end of life has it's moments of great reward actually, too.

Peace to All,

Telephone companies and other service providers insist on talking to the elderly person himself,

FairPoint, here in Maine, wanted to talk to a friend's mom - dementia - to verify it was OK to let daughter handle account. At which point they got Mom to authorize direct charges on her bank account. Exceeding the balance due.

The whole Fairpoint Verizon deal is perfect example of regulators enabling the worst behavior.

cfm in Gray, ME

Thanks Gail (and the rest,) Seems as if some of you are or have experienced this.

My wife has "durable" power of attorney and more than one has said "we do not honor that - you have to file our paperwork". Now I figure that's probably illegal and she has called their bluff, but as you say...the hassle.

Wife is at the moment trying to get - not sure of the term - but essentially getting her mom declared incapable of handling her affairs which I gueess is the next "step up" from power of attorney.


And then there's the self-estranged aunt on father's side (not the husband above - sigh) in New York who had dementia and died alone in her house being discovered two days later. No will, no other next of kin but try to prove that in New York. Wow sorry for the digression.

Declaration of the leaders of the major economies forum on energy and climate

"The peaking of global and national emissions should take place as soon as possible"

I look forward to "the peaking of verbal emissions on energy and climate from leaders of major economies."

They meet, talk, take some photos and issue a nice PR just before going back to BAU.

It makes them and the gullible public feel like they are "doing something" as well as provides a nice side-show for the public to distract them from the economic implosion for at least a few minutes.

The emperors are stark naked (and mostly raving mad). Their words meaningless, their deeds, dangerous.

I look forward to "the peaking of verbal emissions on energy and climate from leaders of major economies."

Don't hold your breath. ;)

Of course, they don't mean "as soon as possible", because that would be now. They mean as soon as they can figure out how to do it without adversely impacting economic growth. Which means it will never happen in a planned way.

Someone more knowledgeable please commment on this article; it is the second time I've seen it.
I am a Doomer even IF the article has any validity...peak water, soils, population growth, and global warming will still be issues even if there is 'unlimited oil'

here you go


edit; seems my link doesn't work
the article is called "Worlds Biggest Oil Reserves In South Dakota, E Montana"
On Rense.com it is in the seventh group down (Posts are in groups with a space between groups)

Try this link. It appears to work.

Old news (another oxymoron?). Send them this:

Edit: sort of funny that the Rense link calls it "the bake" instead of Bakken. How about the "half bake"?

I try not to be reflexively skeptical, but it made me laugh that the article appears under an ad for a 'New Immortality Enzyme.' Exactly!

Also this:

The Bake is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska 's Purdah Bay

Do you suppose he means 'Prudhoe Bay'? Nevermind.

Paul Krugman (and by extension the NY Times) is a joke. He writes an article about the last 200 years and doesn't even mention FF, as if everything would have been just identical without them.

House passes bill to boost food stamp spending

The Department of Agriculture announced this week that 33.8 million people, or one in 9 Americans, were participating in the food stamp program as of April — more than any other time in its history. That's up 1.2 million people from two months earlier and up 5.6 million from the same time last year.

The ruling elite's have always saw the need for bread and circuses, or the proletariat gets a little uppity.
That causes problems to the cash flow.
This will expand to help hungry people, and rightly so.

What I found kinda scary is that 1 out of 9 Americans needs food stamps.

And it's probably going to get worse.

And a lot of them have the same SSN.

'merka needs these slave wage workers to fuel the great 'merkun economy. 'merkins wont do these jobs for slave wages. only non-'merkuns are willing to do that.

I don't think that's true. Legal immigrants can get food stamps, but not illegal. And from what I've heard, they're pretty strict about enforcing it (though I suppose it depends on the state to some extent).

As far as jobs go...yes, everyone looks the other way. The employer loves it, because they get illegal immigrants to work under conditions citizens and legal residents wouldn't put up with. The government loves it, because they get to pocket all the unclaimed income taxes, etc.

But food stamps are a different story. There's no benefit to anyone but the recipient to give those out.

i think that is what i was trying to say.

And a lot of them have the same SSN.

That's hardly funny, lynford. What's your McEntitlement?

cfm in Gray, ME

GM to go green, cut execs as it leaves bankruptcy

Management, cultural changes on the way

People briefed on its plans say the company is looking into changing the background color of its corporate logo from blue to green in an effort to show consumers that it is leaner and greener, more focused on fuel efficiency.

What has been decided, though, is the need for management and cultural changes. New CEO Fritz Henderson is preparing to cut another 4,000 white-collar jobs, including 450 executive-level employees such as plant managers or engineering group heads.


Oooh, a new green logo. That'll do it. You can't make this stuff up.

IMO, we should pass a law against these pointless kinds of marketing tricks. When GM or any other Mfg finally makes a product that is truly green like a tree, horse, fish, bird, plant, etc--then they can have a green colored logo.

Notice the car commercials lately? Lots of them show the car moving along with birds and plants erupting from the vehicle's wake, even stars being created for the night-time sky when the car zooms through a puddle [Infiniti convertible, I believe]...but alas, consumers just love 'fairy dust'.

It's not easy being green...

GM to Lose Market Share on Lack of New Products, Merkle Says

General Motors Corp., poised to exit bankruptcy as soon as today, will keep losing U.S. market because it lacks new-model introductions for early 2010, according to Erich Merkle, an independent auto analyst.

GM’s only new vehicle slated for that time period is the Chevrolet Cruze compact car, said Merkle, who is based in Grand Rapids Michigan, in an interview today on Bloomberg Radio.

“One product, for a company the size of General Motors with its market share, quite honestly isn’t enough,” he said. “Their market-share results will go lower as a result of very poor product cadence. That’s what happens in bankruptcy. A lot of these products are being canceled or delayed.”

...It's not easy being green
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over 'cause you're
Not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water
Or stars in the sky... (Kermit The Frog)

The MSNBC article on "pee power" doesn't pass the sniff test.

It includes a claim that a fuel-cell-powered vehicle could travel 90 miles on a gallon of urine. According to Wikipedia, typical urine is 95% water, with the balance (5%) consisting of urea and other stuff. So, if we were to concentrate the "good stuff" in urine twenty-fold (high-octane pee, if you will), this would imply that a gallon of this magic potion would power the car for 1800 miles. Seems like some highly implausible energy density.

So, if we were to concentrate the "good stuff" in urine twenty-fold (high-octane pee, if you will), this would imply that a gallon of this magic potion would power the car for 1800 miles.

Oh, and here's where the laws of thermodynamics kick in...

One molecule of urea, a major component of urine, contains four atoms of hydrogen bonded to two atoms of nitrogen. Stick a special nickel electrode into a pool of urine, apply an electrical current, and hydrogen gas is released.

Ahhh... zap some pee, get H2. As anyone can see, this is not a source but a carrier of energy. And where are you going to get the electricity to make H2? And no doubt there is some losses in this process... Quackery at it's finest. Where's that damned perpetual motion machine when you need it? :)

Yeah: My solar powered golf cart has a 36V 3000 watt 110VAC inverter on it. In the inverter box is a 110VAC 30 amp 36VDC charger.

A friend suggested I can plug the charger plug into the inverter socket and have unlimited power. I told him that I didn't have time because I was working on reversing the solar panels to heat up the sun and create some sun spots in the very low sun spot year. He said he didn't think that would work unless I got a lot more panels.

They are among us.

LOL! Post of the Day!

Don't forget to tell him that he can drastically reduce his monthly water bill by reducing his property's albedo rate,too.

He can save lots & lots of swimming pool water and lawn sprinkler water usage by reducing the high summertime heat evaporation rates by filling his pool with reflective ice, and also totally covering his grass with scads of ice from his refrigerator and freezer.

EDIT: some more ideas for your neighbor to reduce his albedo:

1. Cover his cars with bags of ice to reduce interior heating before he hits the road.

2.Hire some people to constantly spread ice on his roof to reduce A/C costs.

Everyone just needs to move the North Pole and its arctic conditions to the desert areas to solve global warming--problem solved!/rant off

LOL - I had the same idea (unlimited power from a golf cart) when I was about 6 years old. I actually wrote it up and sent it in to someone at Ford, and they eventually wrote back a nice letter explaining why it wouldn't work :-).

Anyways, that's my excuse. I gather your friend is somewhat older than I was at the time..

I suggested to a Prius owner they put a wind turbine on top of the cars roof to charge the batteries when the car was moving. The only problem they saw with this idea was that it might troublesome under low bridges.


Yeah, the piss powers the soldier, as long as he gets water and food to make and a convoy to deliver it and fleets to protect the convoy and tanks and airships for close support.

"America's Army - pissing on you." There's a greenwash logo in there somewhere.

It's not an issue of a "smell test". This is why it's not even worth listening to the "news".

cfm in Gray, ME

this would imply that a gallon of this magic potion would power the car for 1800 miles. Seems like some highly implausible energy density.

You forgot the magic ingredient. That little cylindrical device with the words "Mr Fusion"!

I was starting to wonder how people down south were coping with the latest heat wave. Apparently they are just running the A/C full blast!

Record Energy Consumption

"Apparently they are just running the A/C full blast!"...on lots & lots of golf carts:

Summer Breeze: Laughlin Ranch sports air-conditioned golf carts

BULLHEAD CITY - The Mohave Desert's temperatures have reached 120 degrees this summer, and there are times when staying outdoors is simply unbearable. But golfers have nothing to fear because air-conditioned golf carts have arrived at one of the local golf courses as of July 1.

Laughlin Ranch Golf Club has answered the prayers of its golf enthusiasts by installing air-conditioners by Coolwell so its golfers can combat the summer heat and golf to their heart's content.

The club's general manager, Pat Laughlin, said Laughlin Ranch has 20 golf carts equipped with air-conditioners. “When you sit on the seat, the air-conditioner activates,” he said.
Are We Thermo/Gene bullheaded for disaster with ideas like this? IMO, I think we are screwed.

Tired of playing golf in the heat and humidity? How about an air conditioned golf cart?

A company called Wagner’s 12 Volt Air is offering a kit that converts any golf cart to an air-conditioned palace. It’s perfect for those people who went to Florida to escape northern winters, and now find that they can’t go outside in the summer...

Meanwhile many of our utility customers are not getting their summer peak energy use due to unusually cool weather - further reducing incomes at a bad time. Of course, that reduces CO2 emissions, so it's good overall.

How fast does 10 years pass?

JFK, Jr. died 10 years ago this month.

And he wasn't RFK, or JFK. And RFK and JFK weren't what we remember or want to remember.

I'm old enough and know enough to know that. You too, or you would not have been thinking this

Your question, though, has a different skew. "How fast?"

"How fast?" Doesn't matter. It's done. Past. Until we can warp to another time space, it's "been there done that". Roll back to the New Deal? Reading Gross' "Friendly Fascism" - I might be confusing sources - there was no understanding that perpetual growth would be desirable. Rather there was a "this is good" point. Keynes, all that blah, blah - there was a real understanding that enough was enough. Blows me away. RFK, JFK - babes in the woods - and from what I know historically, they weren't the missed opportunity. Truman. Why Truman and not HenryWallace?Talk about a "path not taken", Mr. Frost.

How fast does ten years pass? Ask the eel that returns now to find a dam that will chew her up and destroy the species - it's a 30 year cycle. Ask the salmon. We humans have evolved a lifestyle that is a second derivative of the eels and the salmon. As all those experienced with Y2K might put it, "Hello World". "Get f**ked". If you can. Toast. At least one can butter and eat toast.

Ten years. Ask a rock. A little more CO2, fine. "Give me ten thousand years and I'll catch up," says the rock. "Just wait until I get there before you add more."

Ten years. At an 8 or 9 percent decline rate (Rule of 72) that's a halving in possible consumption of fossil energy. A whole different world.

Too bad climate change, environmental toxicity, resource depletion and economic injustice aren't going to wait until we get around to them.

Ten years, not even one generation of this man-beast. Except it's the last generation. Full planet. Game over.

Edit: I realize Henry Wallace and I share the same birthday, Oct 7. Ahh, the Gods. What does it mean?

cfm in Gray, ME, this tiny corner of ten years after ten years ago.

IEA Says Oil Demand Will Rebound in 2010 After Two-Year Decline

..Worldwide consumption of crude oil will increase by 1.4 million barrels a day, or 1.7 percent, to 85.2 million barrels a day next year, the adviser said in its first monthly report to issue a forecast for 2010. The growth will be concentrated in emerging economies outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

House passes bill to boost food stamp spending


WASHINGTON (AP) — With rising unemployment forcing millions of additional people onto food stamps, the House on Tuesday passed a bill to boost the program's budget by 14 percent.

The Agriculture Department announced this week that a record 33.8 million people — or 1 in 9 Americans — were participating in the food stamp program as of April. That's up 1.2 million people from two months earlier and up 5.6 million from the same time last year.
Is Jay Hanson's speculative 'Society of Sloth' coming true? Or will these people eventually be forced to having Campbell's Cream of Cockroach Soup as their only food choice?

Will the Govt. move soon to set up lots of permaculture gardens so these people can grow lots of local fresh fruits, veggies, and chicken eggs? Will Peak Outreach sufficiently spread so that these people will be eager and happy to peacefully garden? Or instead, will they mostly create horrifying numbers of machete' moshpits when Big Govt finally takes away their Big Macs & Supersize fries?

What percentage of unemployed society can move to Food Stamps->while the others keeping working postPeak-->without creating major upheaval? 3 in 9? 6 in 9? 8.75 in 9? Will we reach approx. 68 million--2 in 9 on Food Stamps--by this coming Xmas?

Instead of Food Stamps Forever: would it be better if the Govt gradually handed out an increasing percentage of I-NPKS & seeds & gardening tools, while gradually reducing the non-labor food percentage?

What if they gave out true silver & gold coins [Precious Metals, PM] in exchange for those recycling lots of urban O-NPK? IMO, this could greatly help extend I-NPKS supplies. Would that drastically reduce the chance of Zimbabwe-style overflowing sewage and disease outbreaks when we can no longer afford to maintain our incredibly huge and complex potable tapwater & sewage treatment infrastructures?

Recall that currently: we stupidly make water flow uphill to money. Doesn't make more Innate Territoriality commonsense to make fully composted-crap move uphill for PMs so that the streams and rivers run clean to the towns and cities? Afterall, Healthy water is more precious than any amount of PMs or gems.

To myself this whole flu hysteria sounds too much like another Y2K bug (in the year 2000 all pcs were going to seize up due to a date glitch in operating systems/hardware). It will achieve the following..

1) Make elected politicians look more responsible than they actually are ('our early action was a success', when there was no problem to start with).
2) Boost the 'New World Order' (or should that be New World Entropic Order) - centralization of health care via WHO.
3) Boost sales of hygiene products.
4) Boost newspaper/media sales - exposure.

and that's about it. Unless I suffer from asthma I won't be letting that joke of a virus story run my life. Off to a London Friday night rave tonight, and if I catch the H1N1 cough, too bad.

10 foot (3 meters) tall and bullet proof.

Editorial: Get that high-speed rail killer out of state budget

Innocently or not, a poison pill for California's high-speed rail project has been slipped into the state budget. Lawmakers have to remove it before a budget is signed into law, or else the project approved by voters will suffer a possibly irreversible setback. At a minimum, it's likely to cost the Bay Area more than $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars expected for the project.