DrumBeat: July 19, 2009

Time Is Running Out On Our Culture Of Consumerism

Our civilization now confronts its ultimate challenge. I refer to the disparity between declining supplies of essential resources and increasing demand for them.

Oil is not the sole concern; humanity is approaching a shortage of minerals indispensable to industry and the way of life it has engendered.

Price falls will prompt delays in Gulf construction sector

The trend of clients retendering contracts in the hope of securing lower bids on their projects has become an increasingly common feature of the Gulf construction market.

Costs are certainly falling in many areas, according to the latest industry data from UK-based construction cost consultant Davis Langdon. But while clients benefit, contractors are suffering.

Jackup count increases along with uncertainty

The global jackup rig fleet has grown significantly from January 2004 to May 2009. The rig count increased from 387 to 440 and is expected to add about 60 more before the year ends. However, 2009 expects to be a challenging year. Some jackups will be without contracts for all or part of the year and others planned for construction will not be built.

Sabic Net Tumbles 76% on Plastics, Fertilizer Demand

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s largest petrochemical maker, said second-quarter profit fell 76 percent, missing analysts’ estimates, as the economic slump hurt prices and demand for plastics and fertilizers.

Gas price record, one year later

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- It's been one year since drivers across America were stuck paying the highest gas prices on record, and the memory is not a pleasant one for consumers.

Oil May Rise on Slumped Earnings, Survey Shows

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil may rise as better-than- expected second-quarter earnings bolster the outlook for a recovery in demand, a survey of analysts showed.

Seventeen of 37 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News, or 46 percent, said futures will climb through July 24. Ten respondents, or 27 percent, forecast that prices will be little changed, and 10 expected a decline. Last week, 46 percent of analysts said oil would fall.

Debate on Clean Energy Leads to Regional Divide

WASHINGTON — While most lawmakers accept that more renewable energy is needed on the nation’s grid, the debate over the giant climate-change and energy bill now before Congress is exposing a fundamental rift. For many players, the energy not only has to be clean and free of carbon-dioxide emissions, it also has to be generated nearby.

The division has set off a fight between Eastern and Midwestern politicians and grid officials over parts of the bill dealing with transmission lines and solar and wind energy. Many officials, including President Obama, say that the grid is antiquated and that thousands of miles of new power lines are needed to allow construction of wind farms and solar fields in the most promising spots. Many of the best wind sites are in the Midwest, far from the electric load in populous East Coast cities.

An influential coalition of East Coast governors and power companies fears that building wind and solar sites in the Midwest would cause their region to miss out on jobs and other economic benefits. The coalition is therefore trying to block a mandate for transcontinental lines.

China’s Wide Reach in Africa

AMONG Westerners, the economic partnership between China and Africa is often overlooked. But in “China Safari: On the Trail of Beijing’s Expansion in Africa” (Nation Books, $27.50), Serge Michel and Michel Beuret examine the roots of this relationship — and argue that China is engaged in a conquest of Africa that will have worldwide economic implications.

U.S. Finding Its Voice in Africa Again

SHANGHAI — For several years, the prevailing winds blowing over the African continent have come from China.

Starting quietly, while the United States and Europe were preoccupied elsewhere, China has built up an impressive head of steam in Africa, winning large new markets in country after country and bringing welcome foreign investment on a scale not seen in many parts of the continent since the end of the superpower competition between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The Nigerian House Of Darkness

INCESSANT and inadequate power supply is a major bane of the development process in Nigeria. Its effect can be seen in the frustrations that have been expressed by the manufacturing sector and the citation of the country's power and energy crisis as one of the factors responsible for the flight of some companies from Nigeria (Dunlop, Michelin), away to more conducive neighbouring countries (Ghana, Republic of Benin), and also the low capacity utilisation in that sector. With companies having to rely on the use of diesel and petrol-guzzling generating sets, usually for 24 hours non-stop, and almost for the entire year, the cost of production is driven up to unsustainable levels. Worse is the effect on social life and national security: the average Nigerian is accustomed to darkness and the generating set, so many lives have been lost to generator-related acccidents, the entire economy is powered by generator noise and fumes, creating a helpless environmental crisis. Under the cover of darkness, sundry criminal activities are carried out. Doing business in Nigeria, any business at all, including artisanal engagements requiring the use of electricity is difficult and expensive. These are the facts.

Largest Green-Power Program Stumbles

The nation’s largest green-power program has seen enrollment fall far short of expectations as its wind power prices have soared.

Austin Energy, which offers homeowners and businesses the chance to power their homes with renewable energy (mainly wind) through its GreenChoice program, has signed up only 1 percent of its hoped-for customers for its latest wind power offering, according to The Austin American Statesman.

California: Jail Sentence in a San Francisco Oil Spill

The helmsman of a cargo ship that set off an environmental disaster in San Francisco Bay has been sentenced to 10 months in prison. The man, John Cota, was sentenced for two misdemeanor environmental crimes of illegally discharging oil in the bay and killing thousands of birds.

Peeling Back Pavement to Expose Watery Havens

SEOUL, South Korea — For half a century, a dark tunnel of crumbling concrete encased more than three miles of a placid stream bisecting this bustling city.

The waterway had been a centerpiece of Seoul since a king of the Choson Dynasty selected the new capital 600 years ago, enticed by the graceful meandering of the stream and its 23 tributaries. But in the industrial era after the Korean War, the stream, by then a rank open sewer, was entombed by pavement and forgotten beneath a lacework of elevated expressways as the city’s population swelled toward 10 million.

Today, after a $384 million recovery project, the stream, called Cheonggyecheon, is liberated from its dank sheath and burbles between reedy banks. Picnickers cool their bare feet in its filtered water, and carp swim in its tranquil pools.

The restoration of the Cheonggyecheon is part of an expanding environmental effort in cities around the world to “daylight” rivers and streams by peeling back pavement that was built to bolster commerce and serve automobile traffic decades ago.

Mercedes Reveals Electric SLS AMG

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is an exotic gull-wing supercar, still in the testing stage, that packs a 6.3-liter V-8 engine, capable of 570 horsepower — and consuming some gas, one assumes. Hardly en vogue these days, and that might explain the development of an electric version of the supercar, the SLS AMG with electric drive.

Raining savings

Rain barrels are an idea whose time has come — again. Rainwater harvesting has been around for centuries and used to supplement ground water supplies, but recently it’s found new life in the environmental movement as a way to conserve water, prevent runoff into storm drains and offer plants a better source of moisture.

“It’s a better water for the plants than treated water,” says Buchanan County extension agent Thomas Fowler. “It’s water that doesn’t have chlorine, fluoride or anything like that in it. Those types of things can build up in your soil eventually. So in a way, it’s a better moisture source.”

Bottled Water Makers in the Hot Seat

Bottled water makers, it seems, are under seige. The Environmental Working Group, which found chemical contaminants in tests of bottled water, has begun calling for more oversight of the bottled water industry. Proponents of low-carbon lifestyles, meanwhile, are urging consumers to eschew bottled water and fill up reusable bottles with tap water instead.

Restaurants have started to pull bottled water from their menus, and cities like Toronto are delivering chilled, dispensable drinking water to public events so people won’t have to buy it.

Georgia: Judge Rules Against Atlanta in Water Dispute

A federal judge ruled against Georgia in the state’s water dispute with Alabama and Florida, deciding that Atlanta must stop withdrawing water from a massive federal reservoir within three years unless if can get approval from Congress. The judge, Paul A. Magnuson of Federal District Court, said that Lake Lanier had not been built for water supply and that the state’s withdrawals were illegal. Judge Magnuson acknowledged that it would be impossible to stop using the lake immediately because it is metro Atlanta’s main water supply. But he said that if the state could not get Congressional permission within three years, the withdrawals must end.

Are the deserts getting greener?

It has been assumed that global warming would cause an expansion of the world's deserts, but now some scientists are predicting a contrary scenario in which water and life slowly reclaim these arid places.

They think vast, dry regions like the Sahara might soon begin shrinking.

Limits on Logging Are Reinstated

In a move to protect endangered species, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Thursday that his department had reversed a Bush administration decision to double the amount of logging allowed in and around old-growth forests in western Oregon.

Mining Firms Could Post Cleanup Bonds

The Obama administration signaled its determination to ensure that mining companies clean up their toxic debris as the Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to require the companies to post bonds to guarantee, in the words of an agency release, “that owners and operators of these facilities, not taxpayers, foot the bill for environmental change.”

The Age of Stupid (review)

In “The Age of Stupid,” a frightening jeremiad about the effects of climate change, the craggy-faced British actor Pete Postlethwaite plays the Archivist, a finger-pointing, futuristic voice of doom in 2055. Peering into a retrospective crystal ball that shows scenes from the early 21st century, he scolds the human race for having committed suicide.

Schools foster climate illiteracy

The textbooks used in the Portland area -- texts that are playing a larger and larger role in the curriculum -- adopt a Rush Limbaugh-like skepticism toward global warming.

Bill McKibben: Comment & Analysis: A death warrant for Maldives

For years scientists had wondered where exactly the red line was for global warming—and they’d always hoped it lay somewhere in the future.

But two summers ago Arctic ice melted dramatically, and way ahead of the predictions of various computer models. Suddenly it seemed that wherever the threshold of danger lay, we’d already crossed it.

Disillusioned Environmentalists Turn on Obama as Compromiser

Compromises made to win passage of a climate-change bill have infuriated and disappointed environmental activists.


With “Fordlandia,” Greg Grandin, a professor of history at New York University, tells a haunting story that falls squarely into this tradition: Henry Ford’s failed endeavor to export Main Street America to the jungles of Brazil. Fordlandia was a commercial enterprise, intended to extract raw material for the production of motor cars, but it was framed as a civilizing mission, an attempt to build the ideal American society within the Amazon. As described in this fascinating account, it was also the reflection of one man’s personality — arrogant, brilliant and very odd.

The environmental problem the world is loath to address

A quick question: What's the biggest environmental problem facing humanity today. Is it global warming? One would certainly think so judging from the actions of various governments, which are trying to reduce those manmade greenhouse gas emissions we hear so much about. Is it dwindling energy resources, running up against the limits of agricultural technology in feeding the earth's population, or perhaps diminished supplies of fresh water, without which life cannot be sustained? All of the above are exacerbated by the continued growth in the number of people living on this planet. Overpopulation is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the attic. It is the most disastrous environmental threat we face, yet one whispered about rather carefully since there are no apparent solutions to it that are politically viable.

Cushing Refinery hub part of ABC oil special

ABC News' anchor Charles Gibson plans to get viewers up to speed with the whole story from gas pump to oil well in the special "Over a Barrel: The Truth About Oil," airing Wednesday.

"The real purpose is, if you drive a car or happen to be alive and live in America today, your life is deeply affected by our addiction to oil," said executive producer Tom Yellin, who is president and executive producer of the Documentary Group, and spent most of most of his childhood summers in Okmulgee and "at least 15 Thanksgivings in Tulsa."

The new scramble for Africa

AfriCom - currently headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, but aiming to transfer to Ghana - is a measure of how seriously Washington is taking the new scramble for Africa and how determined it is to compete there with China, which has major strategic and economic goals throughout the continent. It also shows how seriously the US takes threats from al-Qaeda-aligned Islamic movements which have footholds in several African states; and how seriously it intends securing its burgeoning oil and gas interests in West Africa.

U.N. Sudan chief raises alarm over oil area troops

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - The head of the United Nations in Sudan accused south Sudanese soldiers Saturday of straying into the contested oil area of Abyei, stoking tension ahead of a sensitive ruling on the region's boundaries.

The armies of north Sudan and its semi-autonomous south, which clashed in Abyei last year, had agreed to stay out of the area to prevent further escalations in violence, as part of a deal brokered by the United Nations.

New oil refinery in Kurdistan

ARBIL: Iraq’s largely autonomous Kurdistan region opened a new oil refinery yesterday, with a projected capacity of 40,000 barrels per day (bpd), the director of the group that built the refinery said.

Ecuador unlikely to nationalize oil sector

QUITO (Reuters) - Although Ecuador seized control of Perenco's oil fields over a tax dispute, the OPEC nation is unlikely to nationalize petroleum companies while it seeks to renegotiate contracts in a bid to increase revenue.

The leftist government of Rafael Correa, a key ally of Hugo Chavez, who has nationalized scores of energy companies as president of Venezuela, seized control of Perenco's operations on Thursday.

Michigan: Area experiencing oil boom

Jackson County's oil boom has been raging quietly since a Traverse City oil company struck liquid gold late last year. Now, with hundreds of oil and gas leases being signed in at least nine townships, oil suddenly is this economically challenged county's ace in the hole.

Napoleon Township Clerk Dan Wymer was serious Tuesday when he told fellow board members, ``It looks like Napoleon Township is on the verge of becoming the oil capital of Michigan.''

Uphill Road for Europe to Kick Russian Gas Habit

BRUSSELS — After hundreds of thousands of East Europeans shivered through a bitter winter because of a standoff over natural gas between Russia and Ukraine, European Union officials this past week sought to be reassuring.

Even if Gazprom, the Russian gas export monopoly, turned off the taps again, there should be enough natural gas to go around because of forward planning being done now, the E.U.’s energy commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, said at a news conference.

That applies even to such vulnerable countries outside the E.U. as in the Balkans, E.U. officials said.

Two men and a website mount vendetta against an oil giant

A man obsessed indeed. His modest three-bedroom house in Colchester, Essex, is home to what is probably the world’s largest dossier on Royal Dutch Shell. It also serves as the headquarters for royaldutchshellplc.com, the website where Donovan and his father Alfred – frail but lucid at 92 – pursue a surprisingly effective crusade against the world’s biggest oil company.

Australia: Nationalise coal— to fund a just transition away from it

If we’re serious about this transition, we can’t afford to have coal companies skipping the country. We should be nationalising it, or at the very least upping the royalties to 80%, and that money would pay for the transition.

Because, make no mistake about it, these coal companies will skip the country once it starts to wear out.

Consciousness and Complexity

Global warming: it's a hoax, just ask conservative commentators such as George Will, Rush Limbaugh and Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe. Not to worry. Same response to peak oil concerns. The market will somehow always keep us supplied with all the energy we can use, or science will, or there is simply no foreseeable shortage of hydrocarbon energy to begin with. Not to worry-all is well. And so on for all of humanity's mounting existential threats.

Like the great apes we are able to comprehend reality abstractly through mathematics, and for humans, science, but at a concrete, tangible level, we are unable, as a species, to translate abstraction into changed action. Humans fail the test, though at a higher level of social complexity than great apes. This conclusion strongly suggests that a creature that was cognitively to humans as we are to great apes would NOT fail this test. Therefore it is possible to not fail. The question before us is: is it possible for humans to not fail it?

Study shows significant savings in alt-fuel cars

"The point we make is that it is not just about fuel," he added in the release.

Of the 51 alternative-fuel cars and trucks tested, 35 delivered cash savings over a five-year period when taking into account several factors such as maintenance, repairs and retained value. In some cases, the savings were huge.

The green revolution

Ed Miliband’s 1,000-page opus is big on aspiration but short on detail, say industry chiefs, and Labour’s low-carbon dreams will remain just that without investment.

A Growing India Sets Goal to Harness Renewable Energy

NEW DELHI - In the new India, villagers in far-flung areas might have cellphones but live in darkness because they have no access to electricity. The cellphone network towers in the villages run on diesel-powered, smoke-spewing, portable generators.

Indians say this is a clear example of how the country's woefully inadequate power supply lags behind an expanding consumer market.

Automakers seek battery ties as cars go electric

TOKYO (Reuters) - Rechargeable batteries could become the core technology for the auto industry if pure electric cars enter the mainstream -- a prospect that has carmakers racing to team up with battery makers.

Auto executives say that with fewer moving parts, easy-to-assemble electric cars may also lower the bar for entry into the cut-throat autos industry and make battery manufacturers the unlikely competitors for car giants.

Some See Exxon Investments Into Alt Energy Signaling 'Paradigm Shift' for Big Oil

Is Big Oil warming at last to the notion of an alternative-energy future?

Ready or not, here comes China

Outside of China's gleaming cities, the country's growth has been accompanied by tremendous pollution.

Trade and Climate

When leaders of the world’s richest nations and the big developing countries agreed at the Group of 8 summit this month to restart global trade negotiations, they sent a powerful signal about the need for concerted action to deal with the world’s economic emergency.

It was disturbing, however, that they could not agree on a common strategy for reducing the greenhouse emissions causing global warming. Trade and climate policy have become increasingly entangled. A failure to agree on how to address global warming could undermine half a century of opening world trade.

Re: the ABC documentry refered to above

"The real purpose is, if you drive a car or happen to be alive and live in America today, your life is deeply affected by our addiction to oil," said executive producer Tom Yellin,

It appears from the Tulsa article that the documentry is well researched and helpful in raising awareness.
However I find this growing use of the phrase "addiction to oil" a dangerously misleading way to look at the issue of FF. It implies that somehow it is a superficial condition that we can deal with by "just saying NO" or switching to some other drug. This mind set ignores the fact that the fundamental foundation of modern industrial society is cheap oil and to say no to oil implies fundamental changes in the economic structure of our society. Saying we are addicted to oil is just spinning us away from considering the deeper and more complex aspects of the issue.

Good point Jogfray. I hadn't previously considered the implications of the phrase "addicted to oil". You stated it well:

However I find this growing use of the phrase "addiction to oil" a dangerously misleading way to look at the issue of FF. It implies that somehow it is a superficial condition that we can deal with by "just saying NO" or switching to some other drug.

Perhaps a better way of phrasing it would be to say:
We are currently very dependent on oil

That seems to point towards changing our ways to first lessen then later break the dependency...

I think addiction is the right word. John Spencer, (I think a psychiatrist) compared alcohol dependence, which is a form of addiction, to energy dependence. [Spencer, John: Energy dependence syndrome. Search 1990, 21;8:7-10]

Alcohol Tolerance: The more we drink the more we can drink (within reason).
Energy Tolerance: We have an ever increasing demand for energy consuming equipment.

Take away Alcohol: we develop Withdrawal symptoms.
Take away Energy: we have Social disruption, commercial disorder, personal & domestic inconvenience

Get the alcohol back: Relief and further drinking
Return the energy: Relief when energy supply returns

Alcohol associated with compulsion and craving for more.
Energy: same thing. We have the urge/desire to purchase the new and discard the old manual power

Alcoholism: behavior repertoire is narrowed.
Energy dependence: Human behavior increasingly governed by proximity/availability of supply

Alcoholism: constantly striving to find alcohol
Energy dependence (addiction): Increasing priority to maintain consumption despite consequences

Stop and then restart drinking: relief
Energy: Return to former consumption levels following period of scarcity

In humans (and I suppose other animals), addiction refers to a physical dependence and withdrawal leads to physical symptoms. There is no true energy corrolary, but if we consider society as the 'human' in energy addiction, I think that all the nasty events that occur subsequent to energy deprivation would be a good corrolary to the physical dependence seen in addiction.

So, I think addiction is a good word.


Got something better than "addicted to oil" (which I don't like, either) that will fit on a bumper sticker?

This isn't snark, I'm completely serious. You're right about the mismatch between "addicted to oil" and reality, but in order to replace it we need something just as catchy and easily understood (albeit misapplied, in this case).

Agree and I think even the need for a catch phrase is an example of the way "complex" topics are reduced to sound bites, catch phrases, and to discussion forums where they cannot be properly, well, discussed (very unlike TOD)

At the risk of going, with apologies, off-thread for a moment one of the most recent examples of this was Denninger having a (somewhat surprise) audienc) on CNBC Kudlow Friday night in a tri-box shout down. I won't post the link out of "respect" to this thread's subject matter.

Having written all of that it is probably worth trying to kick the addiction habit in phrase as it were.

I don't suppose "Burning oil is stupid. Ask me why?" is any better.


This is kind of a humorous piece illustrating why the statistician Nate Silver is such a marketing genius. What is he marketing exactly?


He calls it a "A Challenge to Climate Change Skeptics"


The gist of the story is that he is offering to bet money on variations of temperature from the anticipated average. He will pay someone who signs up $25 for each day that the average is 1 degree cooler and that person has to pay him $25 for each day that it is warmer.

Well of course this is a stupid bet, since Silver, who understands normal Gaussian statistics very well, knows that the amount of payoff either way will be marginally small. He says it is a way for people to understand that daily fluctuations do not matter too much. And to assuage the warming deniers that this summer has not been that cool throughout much of the USA, but that everyone just suffers from short-term memories.

It will make himself look good, but will it help anyone else? This is really not serious stuff and does not advance understanding. It is in fact a very safe bet that he took. The probability that he will pay out much over $25 either way is pretty small.

In comments on both those sites I linked to above, I suggested that I was considering depositing $100 into somebody's PayPal account that could find something wrong with one of my oil depletion models. I am no longer considering it. The offer is open. Grab something from my blog at http://mobjectivist.blogspot.com or one of the few posts I have written on TOD and take a go of it.

My latest here is a good start : http://mobjectivist.blogspot.com/2009/06/dispersive-transport.html

I realize that this won't change anything but it is not a safe bet for me, as I could be shown completely wrong. OTOH, Nate Silver would not try this because he actually doesn't try to advance understanding, but just plays around with conventional statistics, like a puzzle-master would.

I agree that the term Addicted is a misnomer, and it also spurs part of the defensiveness that the debate can stumble over..

I think the Simmons refrain (from memory here) of "A Billion Dollars a day goes out of this economy to pay for foreign oil." Probably reaches more ears.

I've also played with 'Gas is Cheap. Go back to sleep.' ..

".....the term Addicted is a misnomer...."

ok, how 'bout "drunk on fossil fuels" ?

the difference between a drunk and an alcoholic is that drunks dont have to go to all those damn meetings.

Germany, like Japan, has made some progress in reducing their oil consumption, but like Japan we need to look at total energy consumption, especially total fossil fuel consumption. Here is the most recent data that the EIA has for Germany's rate of change in consumption for three fossil fuels plus primary energy consumption:

Petroleum (2000-2008): -1.0%/year

Natural Gas (2000-2007): +1.1%/year

Coal: (2000-2007): +0.6%/year

Primary Energy (2000-2006): +0.3%/year

However, what really stands out is the rate of increase in German net coal imports (+5.5%/year, 2000-2007):

Yes-Coal is the future, which dovetails nicely into the Carbon Credit Trading Market. Things are working out nicely for some.

Tom Wolfe has an interesting reflection on Apollo 11, One Giant Leap to Nowhere
The money quote

Forty years! For 40 years, everybody at NASA has known that the only logical next step is a manned Mars mission, and every overture has been entertained only briefly by presidents and the Congress. They have so many more luscious and appealing projects that could make better use of the close to $10 billion annually the Mars program would require. There is another overture even at this moment, and it does not stand a chance in the teeth of Depression II.

The failure to follow up on the Apollo program after such a long period of time is the single best rejoinder to the techno optimists I can think of.

Here's an interesting take on manned space activities from Kim Stanley Robinson:


The last sentence in the Tom Wolfe article:

At this moment, that remains the only solution to recovering NASA’s true destiny, which is, of course, to build that bridge to the stars.

What Wolfe, and all other techno optimists do not understand is that there are limits. Most cornucopian optimists seem to believe we live in a world without limits. The closest star with a possibly habitable planet is at least 15 light years away. Traveling at half the speed of light it that would be a 60 year round trip. And space travel speed itself has limits that are way below half the speed of light. However the techno optimists you speak of will have none of that.

Noooo, we will travel even faster than light. Technology will advance ever onward with no limits to anything. The word "limits" is simply not in their vocabulary. After all, all those science fiction writers could not possibly be wrong could they.

Note: One science writer, Isaac Asimov, who wrote about interstellar space travel all his life, knew full well that interstellar space travel was impossible. Extraterrestrial Civilizations by Isaac Asimov (Book Review)

Why, just how implausible interstellar space travel à la Asimov or “Star Trek” really is.

Asimov goes through all the possible scenarios one by one and deflates them. Using black holes as an intergalactic subway? Maybe—assuming you could survive the tides ripping your ship to shreds on the way in and don’t mind the relative impossibility of ever getting home again. Time dilation? Get your ship going fast enough to have relativity dilate time and you’ll be fried to a crisp by interstellar gas. Hyperspace? No evidence for it. FTL via tachyons? No evidence for it, and some good (if controversial) reasons for thinking it impossible. And so on.

Ron P.

Ron: IMHO all these jokers realize this (they would have to be literally retarded not to)-usually they stand to benefit in some way from increased funding. Clean coal technology seems to be a major challenge, much less all this nonsense. I would be impressed if solar becomes a major energy source.

talking about space, I have a question.
After a plane crash initially you hear several possible causes for the crash. Rarely they never will find it out. Never you hear the possibility of a small meteorite that could have hit the plane. Considering the speed, a very small stone could be enough to bring down the plane.
Reason for never mentioning this (even if this happens only once in 10 years)? To avoid more people being afraid to fly ?

Rarely they never will find it out.

I beg to differ - and actually quite the contrary is the truth. Very few air crashes end unsolved and thanks to that - flights have never been more safe than ... this very day.
Have you ever seen the "Air Crash Investigations" aired on Nat Geo Ch. ? It's one of my fav programs - not b/c of the crash (belive you me) - but b/c of their approach to their ways of solving them.


and actually quite the contrary is the truth. Very few air crashes end unsolved

That is what I wanted to make clear.

Very interesting to read is:


My bad ! for some reason 'never' in your sentence must have disappeared for me - or perhaps I was about to light my cigar around that word.

What Wolfe, and all other techno optimists do not understand is that there are limits.

This is a tired, trite strawman.

That limits exist is widely agreed upon; The argument is over what the limits are.

Bill Maher had quite a closing monologue on Friday nights Real Time - IMHO.

The quip at the end on moon walking in light of Michael Jackson's death and the upcoming moon landing anniversary was...well you listen.

Bill Maher's "New Rules & Commentary" - 07/17/09


Funny because it is sadly true!

Bill Maher published a good peak oil book four years ago. The pro coal Montana governor laughing at his monologue is also peak oil aware.



There is no landmass on Earth quite like California. Here one finds the world's most ancient trees, bristlecone pines, more than 4,700 years old, the tallest and largest trees, the coast redwood and giant sequoia, respectively; the highest point in the lower 48 states, Mount Whitney; the lowest and hottest place in the Western Hemisphere, Death Valley; the largest western hemisphere estuary, the Bay Delta; an 800-mile coastline; the most irrigated acres; the most endangered species in the U.S.; the most diverse geology and biodiversity in the U.S.; and the greatest, most ecologically destructive water projects on Earth.

With the current bankruptcy of the most populous state in the nation the proverbial sh*t has hit the fan.

Yesterday I posted an emotionally charged letter that was sent to me by a friend (who BTW is a college professor that may not have a job in the fall and is talking seriously about picking up and leaving his home state). I had not fact checked the statistics (that wasn't the point) but I was posting it as a tell-tale sign of a growing xenophobia that a lot of people in Southern CA are responding to. The backlash of accusations of posting "racist" propaganda was interesting.

California has a long and storied history of trying to stem the tide of illegal immigration:

California Proposition 187 (also known as the Save Our State initiative) was a 1994 ballot initiative designed to prohibit illegal immigrants from using social services, health care, and public education in the U.S. State of California. It was initially passed by the voters but later found unconstitutional by a federal court, with appeals against the judgement being halted by Governor Gray Davis.

The overturn of Proposition 187 is cited as a factor in white flight from California.

Going back to the thirties CA tried to stem the flow of "Okies" leaving the dustbowl for verdant California.

The Dust Bowl exodus was the largest migration in American history within a short period of time. By 1940, 2.5 million people had moved out of the Plains states; of those, more than 200,000 moved to California".

And then the dispossessed were drawn west-from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico; Nevada and Arkansas families, tribes dusted out, tractored out. Carloads, caravans, homeless and hungry; twenty thousand and fifty thousand and then 100 thousand and two hundred thousand...flowed into California.

...In the West there was panic when the migrants multiplied on the highways. Men of property were terrified. Men who had never been hungry saw the eyes of the hungry. Men who had never known want saw the flare of want in the eyes of the migrants.

...and then the local people whipped themselves into a mold of cruelty. Then they formed units, squads and armed them with clubs, with guns. We can't let these Okies get out of hand.

John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath

California is in the first stages of what JH Kunstler called The Long Emergency. To brand this rising tide of fear as simple racism misses the point.


"We had everything but money, A suggested guidebook for the "Greater Depression"

It's interesting how people's responses to this book (first person accounts of the Great Depression) differ. My daughter didn't want to read it because it seemed too depressing. Some Peak Oilers who have read it liked it because it was relatively optimistic.

BTW, Sharon Astyk has long warned of the "Brother-in-law on the sofa syndrome," i.e., incoming unemployed family members. One advantage of having a small farm is that you can take an incoming liability, unemployed family members, and put them to work on the family farm.

Tex,You can take'm in.Getting some work out of them is another story.Farms don't need a lot of snotty clerks,graphic artists,hairdressers,auto salesmen,dept managers,or bueracrats.

"California is in the first stages of what JH Kunstler called The Long Emergency. To brand this rising fear as simple racism misses the point."

No doubt, California IS in the first stages of the Long Emergency, Long Descent or whatever one wishes to label it. But the misleading stats you posted yesterday (well refuted in the Snopes link posted by Leanan) is an indication of one of the most troubling aspects of the emergency - the tendency to project blame onto the "other" rather than take measures to address the problem.

At its heart, the problem in California is citizens who want to maintain the status quo that has been achieved through catabolic government policies put into place by voters through the initiative process. It worked for a while but the state is now so emaciated that it cannot provide basic services. As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

I am supposed to teach California Government this coming semester and I have been gathering info all summer on the budget crisis. The only problem is, budget cuts in CSU are likely to result in my being laid off. Pretty ironic, huh?

I can certainly share your anxiety. Back in 1978, I went thru the process of applying for a job with the California Energy Office, apparently meeting all the criteria. After Prop 13 passed in June, there was a hiring freeze and my job never arrived. I've been mostly unemployed since.

The California Dream lifestyle which those of us in the rest of the United States have lusted after appears to be a dead end. The people in California wanted something for nothing and what they got was the destruction of what was said to be the best school systems in the U.S. Their philosophical delusions also put Ronnie RayGun into office, which began the downward spiral in regulation which has resulted in today's world financial mess. As they used to say in California, "You are what you drive". Without cheap oil, lots of folks won't be driving very much, if at all. Best of luck to you and yours...

E. Swanson

Prop 13 no doubt the granddaddy of all propositions.

California Proposition 13 (1978)

Proposition 13, officially titled the "People's Initiative to Limit Property Taxation," was a ballot initiative to amend the constitution of the state of California. The initiative was enacted by the voters of California on June 6, 1978. It was upheld as constitutional by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Nordlinger v. Hahn, 505 U.S. 1 (1992). Proposition 13 is embodied in Article 13A of the California Constitution.

The most significant portion of the act is the first paragraph, which capped real estate taxes:
“ Section 1. (a) The maximum amount of any ad valorem tax on real property shall not exceed One percent (1%) of the full cash value of such property. The one percent (1%) tax to be collected by the counties and apportioned according to law to the districts within the counties. ”

The proposition's passage resulted in a cap on property tax rates in the state, reducing them by an average of 57%.

The most painful fallout from Prop 13 has been delayed by 30 years due to the exponential growth of property valuations. The 2008 collapse of real estate values, like a receding tide, has left an under capitalized over promised economy high and dry. The point of my original post was to highlight that this rapid unwinding of the CA economy has stark implications for the rest of the U.S. Will this pain lead to scapegoating? No doubt. Immigrants are an easy target. But for those who live in less afflicted areas don't be smug. CA is the worlds 7th largest economy. What happens here matters.


Hi Joe,
when you quote something, please give the source for the quote. That helps the rest of us. Thanks.

klee: Your analysis seems spot on. I've only been here for a bit under eigth years, so I don't feel responsible for causing the problem. I never wanted to come here, but the need for employment forced me to give up mountain living for the suburban commuter lifestyle. It is frustrating to see how our species traps intself into selfdefeating ways, but refuses to climb out -preferring slow collapse to the short term difficulty of changing our ways.

"California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see;
But believe it or not, you won't find it so hot
If you ain't got the do re mi."
some dude named Woody

This is kind of creepy:

Amazon Erases Orwell Books From Kindle

I like the idea of a Kindle, but I am not tempted to buy one. It just gives Amazon too much power. Not only can they erase things off your device, they've been known to ban customers for no reason. Which would make your Kindle an expensive paperweight.

That is powerfully creepy. I didn't know they had the ability to do that - and I bet a lot of people that bought one would not have if they'd known about that. Would make a paranoid person wonder if they're equipped with tiny cameras and microphones which can be accessed remotely. Interesting the guy talking about not being able to lend books or sell books that he bought with it. Seems there's a lot wrong with it and not a lot right.

Well, don't think it's just the Kindle.

Do you have automatic updates active on any programs in your computer? Who's still got Windows here? (The typo was Widows.. should have left it)

I know we have a lot of programmers at the site who are probably much better protected.. but there's still a 'man behind the curtain' who can be pulling all sorts of levers on most of our PCs, PDAs, possibly CarComputers, CableBoxes and Phones.. another good vote for bikes, notepaper and guitars!


sounds like a marketing idea by one of those "smartest guys in the room".

I thought that the price response of the oil markets to lower demand, i.e., lower oil prices, was interesting versus the response by the US Postal Service, the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) and various newspapers to declining demand--higher prices for their products & services. For example, the NTTA, faced with declining traffic on their tollroads, is increasing tolls by about 32%, from about 11¢ per mile to about 14.5¢ per mile, and the Dallas Morning News, like virtually all newspapers, is seeing a steady decline in circulation, so they raised the daily price of the paper from 50¢ not too long ago to $1.00 now. An article regarding the USPS follows. Seems like a death spiral to me.

Economics of U.S. Postage Stamp Price Hikes (FDX, UPS)

. . . from the 2008 annual report, its mail volume was 202.703 billion pieces of mail. The number of mail pieces delivered has fallen from 212.234 billion pieces in 2007 and from 213.138 billion in 2006. The volume per day as also shrunk to 667 million/day in 2008 from 705 million/day in 2007 and 703 million/day in 2006. . .

As far as what the USPS gave for a 2009 outlook, it projected revenue to increase between 1.0% and 2.0% in 2009 on a volume decrease of 3.0% to 4.0% and it projected total expenses for 2009 to increase between 1.0% and 2.0%. First-Class Mail volume is expected to decline about 2.0% during 2009, which would come to a 89.863 billion pieces count.

USPS, to their credit, is picking up market share on package deliver to residences. One innovation is fixed price/standard package regardless of weight.

On my recent eBay buying spree (much of it heavy brass hinges, etc.), 2/3rds to 3/4ths came by USPS. Much different than my prior experiences with package shipping.

Another is the forever stamp. USPS gets interest rate loan now.


the usps has trouble delivering checks that are in the mail.

That reminds me of my experience in the Balkans a few years ago. The taxis in Skopje, Macedonia, were cheap and plentiful, especially the nice guys driving the old leftovers from the previous era (sometimes they drove slowly, but that was OK, especially if the suspension and steering needed careful coaxing). However, in Zagreb, Croatia, the local monopoly or oligopoly or whatever it was had decided to retain income levels by raising the fares. The result was a very limited taxi service used as little as possible. Foreign consultants were serious prizes especially if unwary enough to be driven round the ring-road (belt way?) before they got to their hotels. The economics produced obvious consequences, but at least people used the trams or walked more.

I posted this yesterday but maybe too late to get attention. Apologies for the repost but it seemed important. The article refers to the difficulty Saudi Arabia has in finding gas, which it is dependent on for its petrochemical industry. Shortages are apparently having a knock-on effect on oil production:


Saudi Arabia [...] faces the challenge of satisfying a gas market that will grow by 5 per cent every year. [...] [Aramco] had partly shut the capacity of the Ghawar field, which requires injections of gas.

Has this been discussed here before? Anyone know how much oil capacity is shut in because of constraints on gas availability? This seems like a significant development.

I was not aware that Aramco was doing gas injection in Ghawar. After all, most of Saudi's gas comes up with their oil. They have very little non oil associated gas. As the article states:

The country has the fourth-largest gas reserves in the world but almost all of it is tied up in oilfields. That means gas production depends on the country’s output of crude. When OPEC reduces output quotas, as it has in the past nine months, the country’s gas output falls dramatically.

So this is very puzzling. Also from the article:

In addition, analysts note, Aramco requires ever larger volumes of gas to provide the heat and energy it needs to get crude oil out of the ground.

They need gas to heat the oil to get it out of the ground? I have never heard of that one before. Something just don't sound right here. Anyway, I Googled "Ghawar gas injection" and came up with this from TOD: GHAWAR: an estimate of remaining oil reserves and production decline

Figure 11. N and S Ain Dar have secondary gas caps formed as a result of gas injection aimed at improving reservoir sweep. The presence of gas caps gives rise to a complex geometry for the remaining oil reservoir in these areas

Now I am more confused than ever. They only get gas if they get oil. That is what the GOSPs are for, Gas Oil Seperation Plants. But they cut back on Ghawar oil production because they did not have enough gas.

This all needs further explanation and I am not the one to give it.

Edit: It just occurred to me that perhaps there is very little gas in Ghawar. After all it is a very old field and perhaps the pressure, sometimes in the past, dropped so low that most of the gas bubbled out and is now collected in the gas caps and to drain them off might drop the pressure too much. They must get their gas from other oil fields that still has lots of gas in the oil. Well, that is just a speculation.

Ron P.

Maybe the are doing nitrogen injection, like Mexico??

Thanks for reposting this. I saw the article yesterday, but didn't notice the part about Ghawar.

I think some folks who might read this are off-line because they are away for the weekend. I will mention this on the site for Oil Drum staff members.

I know that natural gas is often reinjected to help reservoir pressure. I had always assumed that there would be enough gas either in the same well or nearby so that lack of gas would not be an issue--but I certainly am no expert on the issue. You are right, if there is not enough gas for reinjection in Ghawar, this could be a serious problem.

There was another link a while back saying that now that the Khurais field is online, Ghawar is being partly rested. http://news.alibaba.com/article/detail/energy/100116673-1-factbox-saudi-...

It sounded from the article you quoted that at least part of the issue on the lack of gas was the price of gas. In order for pumping gas to be attractive, the price has to be high enough. But for keeping reservoir pressure up, I would think that cheap gas would be important--who wants to pump a lot of expensive natural gas back into an oil well, unless the price of oil is very high?

Gail, doesn't Ghawar keep its pressure up from water injection. From my link above:

Ghawar has been developed using a large number of oil production and water injection wells (Figure 6). The principal reason for injecting water is to maintain reservoir pressure above bubble point. Formation of secondary gas caps in N and S ‘Ain Dar are most likely due to re-injection of produced gas.

That begs the question, why was the gas re-injected? Was it to improve the sweep, as stated in the article, or was it to keep the pressure. Or was it re-injected at a time in the past when the GOSPs produced way more gas than they could use or sell. Such gas was once simply flared and Iran still flares most of the gas from their offshore wells.

The pressure could be kept up by using water injection without adding to the gas caps. Or, it would seem that they could just increase the water injection and drain off the gas caps to get more gas.

But it is obvious I haven't a clue as to what is really going on here. As Gomer would say, "That is a poser ain't it".

A side note: My relative in Saudi Arabia tells me you can tell the line between the Saudi platforms and the Iranian platforms in the Persian Gulf by the flares. No flares from the Saudi platforms but all the Iranian platforms flare.

Ron P.

I think the author of this article has got a bit confused. Saudi Arabia's quota based oil production cut has resulted in a shortage of gas in the country, since as Ron points out, most of the gas Saudi produces is gas that is associated with oil. So they are left with a balancing problem - how to cut oil production whilst maintaining gas production needed for domestic consumption and to run their expanding petrochemicals industry. The answer would clearly be to shut down low GOR production (gas oil ratio) in favour of high GOR production. They have injected gas into Ain Dar in the past and it seems they may still be doing so today - this may be in N Ain Dar where all dry oil production may have now ceased and gas injection may be used to push water wet oil from crest towards horizontal producers. So Ain Dar may in fact have negative GOR - consuming gas instead of producing it - a clear choice to be shut down.

This email from Ace this morning to the TOD group explains more:

Saudi Arabia's oil consumption up 40% from Mar to May 2009

This increase seems very high.

Saudi Arabia's oil consumption in Mar 2009 was 1.44 mbd. In May 2009 it increased to 2.01 mbd, up 40% or 0.57 mbd in just two months, according to JODI.


Last year Saudi Arabia's consumption increased by 12% from Mar to May 2008. Is Saudi Arabia burning more oil this year to generate electricity? Saudi Arabia's NGL production is down from last year so they might have to burn more oil instead of NGLs for power generation especially during the high demand summer months.


So another way to balance the oil - gas problem is to burn oil instead of gas in power generation - which will be used to power GOSP's and production pumps etc.

I think you're right, although we'll see if someone else has the same story (but not based on the same feed).

The story just reads like a mistake, because Ghawar hasn't "needed" gas injection in 40 years. It's more likely that Ghawar production is down for other reasons ("resting"), and the gas is down with it. They should be getting gas from Khurais at some point.

They should be getting gas from Khurais at some point.

Well, I don't know how much natural gas they will be getting from Khurais because it has virtually no natural pressure. That is why it was in mothballs for so many years. But Khurais does have GOSPs which means that it does have some natural gas in the oil. But with very little natural pressure within the reservoir there must be much less natural gas embedded within the oil than would normally be the case.

Khurais Update: Got Seawater?

What amazes, however, is the amount of seawater needed to loosen the oil from this “new” field. While Khurais was indeed discovered 50 years ago and developed a little, the formation behaves more like a dying giant than a new provider. From over 100 miles away, two millions of gallons of seawater will have to travel each day by pipeline to extract Khurai’s oil. There is simply not enough natural pressure.

I am beginning to see why Saudi is having a natural gas problem.

Ron P.

Two sources with conflicting amount of gas recovered and processing location. Whatever.


The Khurais Gas Facility will be designed to process the sour associated gas produced from the three oilfields into a natural gas liquid product and a dry, single-phase sour shipping gas. The plant will process a total of 563 million standard cubic feet per day of sour associated gas and 70,000 b/d of hydrocarbon condensate.


The Khurais field will also pump 315 million cubic feet per day of sour gas and 70,000 bpd of natural gas liquids to be processed at the Shedgum and Yanbu gas plants.

Saudi in 2007 piped up about 8 billion cubic feet per day, so at max Khurais would only provide a bit over a 6% boost.

If they were smart, they would just burn the oil in their electric plants and drive up the price of oil. They make as much money exporting half as much $100 oil as $50 oil. They might not have a choice.

I wasn't aware that Khurais had sour gas, suggesting that it will not produce produce light sweet but light sour oil?

Hello TODers,

DB toplink: "A Growing India Sets Goal to Harness Renewable Energy"
In the new India, villagers in far-flung areas might have cellphones but live in darkness because they have no access to electricity. The cellphone network towers in the villages run on diesel-powered, smoke-spewing, portable generators...
Has anyone figured out what an poor Indian villager like this would say on her cellphone?


The only thing I could think of is her Tweeting:
"I'm starving and thirsty, and every muscle in my body hurts. Have you figured out how to use a cellphone to magically send back cooked food, clean water, and aspirin? I desperately need a sip of cold water from my cellphone!"
IMO, I postPeak expect a lot more will be globally living with the nightly darkness, but we are evolved to handle that situation. I don't know how much solar energy/batt storage a cellphone tower requires for 24/7/365 uptime operation, but you would think that that cellphone towers would be the very first place that India would solarize.

Maybe the Indian elite don't want too many of the huddled masses talking and organizing? Recall that Iran shutdown their public networks when the rioting started. Will the US be any different WTSHTF?

If they can't afford it now, then perhaps these villagers would be better off to postPeak move to flag semaphore for text messaging, ala the Chappe Brothers in France:


Long distance, reliable, and quick Free Speech isn't free, but it comes damn close with an optical telegraph system. IMO, it is a good thing that the text messaging distance of a flag signaler is greater than the average skill of a sniper "..to reach out and touch someone".

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

I suggest obtaining a HAM radio in order to communicate, and an FTA Satellite receiver to obtain TV news from outside of the country.


~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com)

Hello Durandal,

Thxs for your reply. Nothing wrong with that advice, but I would expect that they would eventually triangulate on your position, then take your real ham, HAM Radio, any walky-talkies, etc, plus any equipment to power/charge these devices. You will be much better off if you have buddies willing to fight & die to keep you on the airwaves [assuming that the elite don't have jamming-equip or regularly release an EMP to cook an area's rebel radios.

The only way to stop semaphore is to lop off appendages, or worse. If the elite ever forbid owning monoculars, binoculars, telescopes, rifle scopes, and other long-distance optics--watch out! If you ever see such optics at yard sales: buy & hoard as I think they will be much more valuable than PMs.

I am not a camera-buff at all, but aren't high-quality lenses also good for distance viewing? Leanan, you take pictures--what say you?

EDIT: IF most lenses from film cameras are Not plug 'n play adaptable to the new digital cameras==>what a waste. I picture tons and tons of these lenses headed straight to the landfills.

This is basically Greek to me, but it seems like most earlier lenses are trash when you try to switch them over:

Why Film Camera Lenses Aren't Great for DSLRs

No, you're right, Bob.

There is a lot of really good glass out there, from Still and Movie and Video Cameras Alike. Without time to look at your linked article right now, I have to imagine that the absolute mountain of fine lenses that have been made for 35mm and larger-formats has to stand as a great threat for the Lens Companies who still want to sell their new glass, while scads of people are getting out of film and unloading their older gear for cheap.

I bought a Pentax DSLR which can accept EVERY old pentax lens made. (while some with the oldest screw-mount need an added adapter..) It ain't a Nikon, but I'm very pleased with it.

B Fiske

Hello Jokuhl,

I picture a [not too distant in time?] future human digging up graveyards, seeking O-NPK to recycle back to his topsoil, but luckily finding a quantity of binoculars, lenses & cameras that was buried with some bird-watcher, camera-buff. His/Her sale of these items is like cashing in a big lottery jackpot ticket.

EDIT: Imagine what a future Warlord-King would barter for an exhumed, high-quality amateur telescope to look at the stars, or a sextant to navigate with...

There is a lot of really good glass out there, from Still and Movie and Video Cameras Alike.

That is true, but I think the pixel size for the modern digital cameras is quite a bit smaller than the grain size of the old chemical films. There would have been no point in making the lenses focus any sharper than the grain size of the film, so if my conjecture is true, you just won't achieve very good resolution with the older lenses. The active detector area is also much smaller than the 35mm (or larger) film formats, so all the fancy optical corrections to keep the image good on the edge of the field would be lost as well.

A typical office or home PC draws about 100-watts and the CPU accounts the bulk of this demand (my desktop CPU draws some 65-watts and those in my laptops anywhere from 27 to 35-watts). After steadily climbing upward year after year, we're are now thankfully seeing a sharp reversal in power consumption.

This fall, Intel will be replacing their current low-power Core 2 Duo CPUs with two ultra-low-power Core i7 chips that consume as little as 10-watts. These are fast processors and represent a huge leap forward in terms of their energy performance.

See: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1433700/intel-roadmap-leaked

AMD is likewise improving the energy efficiency of their chips.

See: http://www.itworldcanada.com/a/News/9cdcd235-9c0a-45cd-a1b2-99b15ae37da1...

This is fairly significant, considering the tens of millions of PCs sold each year, and in light of the number of older, power hungry PCs and servers that will be replaced over the next three to five years.


There is a need for networking equipment of all sorts to be re-designed with power in mind as well. While a server has at least a moderate correlation curve between utilization (generally about half power at no-load to full power at full load, more or less linearly, so you can have a goal in a server farm to move loads to power-down under-utilized processors), the power curve for a typical router is less friendly -- generally no-load to full-load creates about a 10% difference in power consumption.

For interfaces (DSL, Ethernet, etc.) the picture varies, but few have robust features to adapt line rates (and corresponding power) to traffic rates, and none do so adequately in real-time.

For the Internet to survive, let alone grow, in a post-peak world the electronics will need to re-focus on power efficiency.

You're right; the energy consumed by the supporting hardware needs to be addressed too, although my sense is that there's been some progress on this front as well. I had recently read of how server management software can dynamically power up and down individual servers as loads vary through the course of the day; it certainly makes sense to have one or more servers fully utilized and the rest put to sleep during periods of low demand (e.g., overnight and weekends), rather than have all of them powered up and consuming electricity with little or nothing to do.


Cloud computing and Thin client are interesting developments in rapidly reducing electricity consumption in computing.

There has been a gradual shift in the market towards thinner clients, i.e., laptops and netbooks, which are inherently more energy efficient. In fact, now that the price premium for laptops is largely gone, they're outselling their desktop counterparts. And, of course, CRTs have been replaced by LCD monitors which moves us further in the right direction.


Taking a Tesla for a Status Check in New York

The Tesla people promised me a great ride, and since my everyday ride is a second-hand Schwinn, I wouldn’t be hard to impress. But I did wonder, would New Yorkers be impressed? Could the roadster turn a few heads? . . it turns out the Tesla is a six-figure dude magnet.

They came from all corners, under bridges, out of stores, up from under the hood of their cars. Wherever I stopped, a steady stream of guys — executives, deliverymen, schoolboys — paused and stared. I felt like a mannequin in a 1950s amusement park diorama representing some hypothetical motoring life at the outer reaches of the solar system.

Hello people,

I've released a new version of my software. You can download it on http://sokath.sourceforge.net/. Have "fun", spread the word and report the bugs! (Please what you were doing when a bug occurs, thank you!)

Best regards,


Error: This application has failed to start because libgcc_s_dw2-1.dll was not found.

Windows XP Pro SP3

Hello TODers,

Pregnancy, STDs on the Rise Again Among U.S. Teens
Trend Threatens to Reverse Years of Positive Change, CDC Researchers Say

..""It is disheartening that after years of improvement with respect to teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, we now see signs that progress is stalling and many of these trends are going in the wrong direction," she said.
IMO, just more evidence that we will go full-blast into the Thermo/Gene Collision and off the cliff into Olduvai. Such is life..

If you consider that most of these teens and young adults have had countless chances to read about sex & STDs on their own in a library [books or computer], or even more easily google the info up on the home computer, or just pull it up on their enhanced cellphones lately--it does not say much for USA parenting and USA education to induce kids to become curious to research their own questions.

Sadly, I bet these kids know tons more about videogaming, shopping, celebrities, sports, and other pointless trivia than they know about vital info such as geography, history, science, Malthus, Darwin, Peak Everything, etc.

Hello TODers,

Countering Riots, China Snatches Hundreds From Their Homes
Although this is ethnically related [Han Chinese vs Uighur], I think it points out an instructive lesson for ASPOites, TODers, LATOCers, EBers, plus Peak book authors like Heinberg, Simmons, et al.

It would seem at some future point: the various PTB will want us to really help spread the Peak Outreach, or alternatively, to shut us up for good. I have no idea which fork in the road they will take or when, but if the Chinese Govt ever arrests the ASPO-China members: that might be an important first clue to how how it might go down elsewhere.

ASPO-China is formed by Kjell Aleklett [26th of October 2007]

This is where I hope the many global Govt orgs that read TOD will post their A or B response [Hey, you never know unless you ask]:

A. Yep, We, the Rulers of ______ want you to keep ramping Peak Outreach.

B. Nope, We, the Rulers of _____ will brutally kick your Peak-ass.

We often speak of the connection we have to our respective communities, and where we might wish to relocate should economic conditions and/or resource constraints dictate. Close friends and family members, or a past connection to a particular area are typically key drivers in the selection process.

I'm a fiercely proud Canadian and doubly proud to call Nova Scotia my home; whatever the future may hold, good or bad, this is where I want to be. My parents are both deceased and my father is interned in the UK where he spent the last twenty years of his life. My dad was deeply passionate about all things Canadian, so much so that there's a large Canadian maple leaf and words to that effect on his grave stone. It's one of the many things we shared in common.

I mention this because I learned earlier this evening that Jerry Holland, a hugely talented and highly respected Cape Breton fiddler has passed away after a two year battle with cancer. Jerry was "from afar", Boston more precisely, but in 1975 decided to make this part of the world his home, and since that time, has done much to preserve and promote a style of music that's unique to this area.

His love for his adopted land was only surpassed by that of his family and you can clearly see this in the two music videos posted on his website at: http://www.jerryholland.com/frame-news.htm (the song featured in the second video was written and dedicated to his son)

And if you want to learn more about the true meaning of "community", take a moment to read through the comments posted at: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2009/07/17/ns-holland-fiddle....