DrumBeat: July 24, 2009

Study shows big savings with Cash for Clunkers

Car-buying research Web site Cars.com on Thursday released a list of five new cars and five new trucks, crossovers, and minivans that it believes will give new-car shoppers the biggest benefit under the government-backed incentive program.

Understanding the deals and then actually qualifying for one is another matter all together, however.

Solix Biofuels begins large-scale algal oil production | Northern Colorado Business Report

Digg TOD's '40 Oil Producing Countries Past Their Production Peak'

Peak Fuel Report Offers Sober Assessment of San Francisco’s Energy Future

The report is broken into seven sections: economy, energy, food, architecture and buildings, infrastructure, societal functioning, and transportation. The latter category, transportation, is particularly important to the report, since automobile use accounts for 45 percent of total energy use in San Francisco.

It offers a stiff set of recommendations for reducing transportation-related energy use: converting to electrical vehicles alone, it says, won't make much of a dent.

Citing a recent study, the report notes that, "given current capacity, California's electric grid would be unable to handle the conversion of more than 15 percent of the current automobile stock to electric vehicles."

Business Spectator - News - Iraq's burning question - Michael Klare, Salon.com

Texas cleaning up oil blobs on South Padre Island

At least seven 55-gallon drums of oil have been removed since Wednesday morning after tourists began calling in reports of seeing blobs of oil on the beach, Suydam said.

"We don't know the source. We suspect it's coming from south of the border," he said. Texas authorities are in the process of contacting Mexican officials for help pinpointing the contamination, he said.

UPDATE 1-Colombia says oil field holds 500 mln barrels

A Colombian oil field, operated by state petroleum company Ecopetrol ECO.CN and Canada's Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp (PRE.TO), is estimated by the government to have 500 million barrels in reserves.

If the estimate is correct, it would make the field, located in the southern province of Meta, the biggest producer in Colombia.

The Andean country is in a race against time to increase production in order to avoid becoming a net petroleum importer.

Business Books: Costly gas is good for you

The rising price of fuel will slash school busing, nearly empty the skies of airplanes, and turn many resorts into ghost towns. But Americans will become fitter, breathe cleaner air, and eat healthier food.

That's the future Christopher Steiner paints in "$20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better" (Grand Central Publishing, $24.99).

Ecuador signs contract to export oil to China

Ecuador has signed a deal to export crude oil to China for which the Andean country is going to receive $1 billion as an advance payment, state-run Petroecuador said on Thursday.

USGC: Ethanol co-product ready for global demand

"We have to realize the maximum value of the co-products, said Hany. “Simply put, exports are absolutely necessary in order to maintain the U.S. market as production continues to increase."

Europe Eyes Africa for Solar Power: Scientific American

Geothermal Energy Is the Most Efficient Renewable Energy Alternative and Improves Fastest | New Energy and Fuel

YouTube - Energy From Thorium: A Nuclear Waste Burning Liquid Salt Thorium Reactor

Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes: Areva launches at Newport News

Green Energy for All by 2030? « Stephen Leahy, International Environmental Journalist

ExplainingTheFuture.com: Mining Helium-3 On the Moon Video

Alternative, Renewable Energy Investing, Business, Case Studies, Opportunities

Petroleum Industry Fundamentals 2009

Irving Oil scraps plan for N.B. refinery - The Globe and Mail

NYMEX-Crude seesaws, eyes equities, mogas supports | Markets | Reuters

Negative folly by The Mogambo Guru

It would seem happier days are here again....

The recession is over. Cue the painful recovery

The recession is over, but not the pain.

Canada's central bank predicted Thursday that the economy would expand this quarter, suggesting the economic contraction lasted for about nine months, considerably shorter than the previous two recessions in the early 1990s and the early 1980s.

See: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/the-recession-is-over-...


Yes, isn't it wonderful. The wicked witch is dead!

This sites posting shows rather clearly what is going on. Or, the dark cloud behind this silver cover.

I'm getting a headache trying to figure out where the housing mess is going. Went out for coffee yesterday and was in line with one woman. She sounded as if she was in real estate... initially made some comments as to how restricted home loans had become; then said something about building contractors letting their employees live in unsold McMansions so as to make the residency rate in some developments seem higher than they actually are.

When she noticed that I was really taking this in, she seemed to change her tune to a positive spin ... saying something like, 'well, you need money to be a player.'

I think a lot of these realtors are getting ulcers.

There were way too many real estate agents even when times were good - about three times too many here in NC, probably similarly elsewhere. Now that times are not good, and unlikely to be good again, there needs to be an even more radical pruning. The vast majority of people in the real estate business just need to get out and move on; the sooner they do so, the better it will be both for themselves and everyone else.

The real estate racket, like retail & insurance & so many other sectors of the economy, is parasitical. I bought my property directly from the seller and if I ever decide to sell it will do so myself. The last thing I need is a parasite siphoning off a percentage for their own profit. If you buy property in order to live and grow food on it, its selling price is largely irrelevant. The trees on the property that provide fuelwood and the fertility of the soil and its potential for providing food are what determine the real value of the place, not some dollar value determined by the local housing market nor some appraised value set by the taxman. Growing food, mining ore, providing energy, fabricating useful tools.. these activities contribute to the real economy. The money lenders, middle men, paper pushers, marketeers, spammers , scammers, and all other parasites need to be purged. They need to get to work.

I personally prefer to use a real estate agent, as I happen to know an agent whose negotiating skills are far superior to my own. She has easily saved me more than her commission on the 2 houses I bought with her as my agent. I expect her to survive this downturn adequately.

Your mileage may vary, but merchantile specialists exist for a reason.

I agree that when you can't do something yourself you need to hire someone to do it for you. The problem with RE agents and the system they reinforce is that property is always higher priced to accommodate the service of the agents. The RE agency system has made it seem much more complicated than necessary which makes people less confident in their own abilities. Selling or buying a house is not rocket science.

I have sold all my properties FSBO. Not everyone can be a seller that way, but many more than do now certainly could.


My general impression is that about 90-95% of real estate agents are completely worthless at best; there are a substantial minority who are criminals, or are sharp enough to stay just barely on the right side of the law. About 5% or so really know their stuff, work hard for their clients, are totally trustworthy, and more than earn their fee.

DIY is fine, as long as that actually does work for you. It is when you REALLY do need help (and some people do, in some circumstances) that you need to seek out one of those in that top 5% - and hope that you have found them.

This is probably one of the best sites on housing I've seen. Its has a concentration on SoCal, but applies elsewhere with little imagination: http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/

"Alt-A, Option ARM tsunami..."

if you are thinking of buying r/e you should always look for a property that "has potential" and is "close to schools and shopping". always buy when the r/e agent thinks it is "a smart time to buy".

here is another good one, the sign says "new price". i dont know what it means but possibly they raised the price and are offering to pay closing costs ?

when comparing prices on a property i was thinking of selling, a comparable property said "liveable", i asked her what that meant and she wrinkled her nose and said she didnt think it was a very good house.

The recession is over and the depression is just beginning. The losses in housing and autos are nowhere near recovery. When oil production continues to drop at 5% per year, by 2012 people will get the picture that we will not return to the level of prosperity seen in 2005.

The US government is the next to go down.
The state governments are already there now. When the US can no longer bail out the states, then the system will crumble. Whiskey and gunpowder will rule.

Here is a taste of the ultimate ...DOOMER....FANTASY... 2012...


When oil production continues to drop at 5% per year, by 2012 people will get the picture that we will not return to the level of prosperity seen in 2005.

It will not drop 5%/year, unless the economy crashes.

Causality could go either way on that, but I agree that those 2 conditions will be tied together.

The recession is over and the depression is just beginning.

I suspect it isn't that bad. IMHO the recession is probably over, but the so-called jobless recovery will be long. Note officially recession means decreasing GDP. So our GDP may start rising at .1% per year, but given that population growth is much higher than that, it won't feel like a recovery.

is estimated by the government to have 500 million barrels in reserves.

If the estimate is correct, it would make the field, located in the southern province of Meta, the biggest producer in Colombia.

Yeah right, how does a having a huge reserve make it the biggest producer?

Schlumberger CEO: $70/Bbl Oil Price Needed To Boost Activity
Last update: 7/24/2009 10:23:35 AM

HOUSTON (Dow Jones)--Although the price of crude has seen a significant rebound from its lows at the beginning of the year, it needs to be higher for a sustained period for global exploration activity to undergo a major boost, Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) Chief Executive Andrew Gould said Friday.

Benchmark crude prices traded at about $66.94 per barrel on Friday morning. In a second-quarter earnings call, Gould said that $60 barrel "is OK, but it's not going to lead to a rush in activity. $70 (per barrel) might be a lot more encouraging," he said.

The reason, Gould said, is that most of the easy oil is gone, and new projects are located in areas that are expensive to produce, such as the deepwater or the Alberta tar sands. In addition, borrowing costs - to finance these major projects - have gone up in the wake of the financial crisis.

(article continues)

And, I've seen another one where profits are down 57%!!!

Here's some food for thought:
Emphysema Severity Directly Linked To Coal Dust Exposure

The ability of scientists to confirm the intuitively obvious can be stunning at times, but it needs to be done.

Hi, I have a tech question:

Does anybody know of a way to save TOD posts to your hard drive that preserves the "nesting" of comments? I have tried SAVE AS HTML ONLY, SAVE AS WEB PAGE COMPLETE, as well as copying and pasting to MS Word. All of these methods leave the comments indented to the same place, so you can't see what is a reply to what.

I am trying to do this to be able to read offline.

If your a techie you could write a PERL script to handle the data.

Of course Perl is rather arcane but this is the sort of activity that Perl was created for.

I will caution you that there is very large learning curve with Perl...however you might find someone has already created a skeleton or one that you could slightly modify.

Airdale-PERL is free BTW

A couple of suggestions - you could save them as images (screenshots), but you would have to view the individual images in order to scroll from top to bottom.

If you use a Mac, or have access to one, Safari will save web pages as a pdf file. I do this occasionally when I want to do some reading on the train without internet access.

If you are trying to read it offline - why not use something like pdfcomplete and print the page to the PDF file?

If your goal is to parse the pages (like the perl suggestion) the Java swing classes do a better job.

I need to do it without downloading additional sofware. I am not using my own computer, and the owner of this computer doesn't like me to spend to much time on the internet, if you catch my drift. Therefore I would like to be able to read TOD, while only spending 2 minutes a day "online", downloading yesterday's threads.

If you can get a program that is just an executable and doesn't need to be "installed" and all that jazz, you can run it from a USB drive. There are actually quite a number of "thumb drive applications" out there which you can carry around and basically have your own computer in your pocket. I've even seen entire operating systems that were meant to be run from USB drives...stick it into a computer, boot from USB and you have your own computer right there, when you pull it out and reboot, it's as if you were never there.

Firefox doesn't seem to work correctly, but Safari works just fine. I see you are still messing around with MS products, so assume you are running Windows OS. If iTunes is installed, you might already have Safari; otherwise, you can get Safari from the Apple website. You could also "print" the webpage to a PDF file--if your operating system supports that.

Your browser should really do that for you when you "save as web page complete" but you seem to be missing the CSS files.
Downloading them individually and placing the in the appropriate local folders next to the HTML file you downloaded should fix this issue, though it's drudgery. The upshot is that you only need to do that once.
You get to find out what CSS files are used and their locations by examining the HTML document as a text file (your browser should have a some kind of "view page source" menu item to do this).

If you print to file (which I think windows can still do, although I have been using linux for a long time now), it will allow you to print the raw postscript files (.ps). These should be openable in acrobat reader or similar software.

Grab this,


Cut and paste into a file named style.css and save it in the folders where you want the page saved. This page for instance, if you save it it will save as 5602.htm and there will be a folder named 5602_files. Save the above style.css in the same folder in which you save the 5602.htm.

There will be another style.css that is different down in the 5602_files folder that was created when you saved the page, you won't have to bother it. In that one there is a line of code near the top,

@import "../style.css";

That style.css normally ends up missing when you save the webpage. If you drop it there manually the page should look ok.

Someone should be made to write KISS a hundred times on the blackboard.

Interestingly, my browser handles this situation by renaming this pesky eponymous CSS import and saving it along the other CSS files. But I guess it doesn't qualify as a normal browser.

Thanks all for the help. It seems that SAVE AS WEB ARCHIVE SINGLE FILE, along with the .css file is working.

You can download a a program called PDFdownload for Firefox, IE, Safari or Google Chrome. It will add a menu item for converting to pdf. The pdf conversion process is just one mouse click.


Some of the comments on the DIGG posting above made my head hurt. Is it legal to just walk up and smack stupid people yet?

Get used to it degar7. We have been hearing and will continue to hear the same objections - no matter how ill-informed - over and over again.

It takes a very long time for people to understand and accept new mental models of their world, especially if the new data threatens their current beliefs and way of life.

And no, it is not yet legal to just walk up and smack stupid people in the head, but I think Ron Paul is introducing new legislation to change that ;)

What is bothering you is the difference between your expectations and reality. Adjust your expectations. Or stop reading what morons say. Or both.

Food Safety post to be filled by Micheal Taylor


:Michael Taylor is a lawyer who has spent the last few decades moving through the revolving door between the employ of GMO-seed giant Monsanto and the FDA and USDA. Taylor is widely credited with ushering Monsanto’s recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) through the FDA regulatory process and into the milk supply — unlabeled. A Government Accounting Office (GAO) investigated whether Taylor had a conflict of interest and or had engaged in ethical misconduct in the approval of rBGH. The report’s conclusion that there was no wrongdoing conflicted with the 30 pages of evidence that Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) described as proof that “the FDA allowed corporate influence to run rampant in its approval” of the drug.

Change we can believe in!

"Authenticity comes when your thoughts, your words, and your deeds have some relation to each other. It comes when there's a real organic relationship between the way you think, the way you talk, and the way you act."

--- Abe Osheroff

I guess then that Obama is obviously not "authentic", genuine or bona fide by this thinking, but more bogus, fake, false, phony, unauthentic and a sham. Which sounds about right.

It's amazing how the American people and probably the entire Western world, can fall for the same trick over and over again, yet never learn. They'd vote for Hommer Simpson if the elite thought that they could get away with having a cartoon character for president.

What were people supposed to do? Vote for McPalin?

I didn't have very high regard for Obama during the campaign because I thought his rhetoric offered very little in the way of policy specifics. He wasn't my choice for the Dem nominee. I became even more disillusioned with him even before the inauguration due to his cabinet picks. Now I'm rather disgusted with him. Yet would a mean-spirited brain-dead geezer and his ridiculous bimbo have been any better? As should be apparent to everyone, the PTB would never allow US citizens a legitimate choice for president or any other high office. To get far enough along in the game of politics to even be considered for office requires being wholly owned by corporate interests. There's no point to even paying attention to campaigns or being involved in them by supporting one candidate over another or by voting. But if a person did choose to participate in the '08 election what other even remotely viable choice was there besides Obama?

The only viable option was to not vote. Voting for them gives them the franchise to govern. Ignore them and they lose their franchise. That's all people need do, ignore them and like a celebrity with no fans or media interest, they die. They lose their power to influence.

A rigged democracy is not a democracy. In a rigged democracy the only vote people are left with is to withdraw their vote and remove the veneer of legitimacy from the sham elections. That's why in communist countries and dictatorships people are coerced to vote. Even dictators have to legitimise their holding of power with elections.

Actually, there is a option-- I went fly fishing for steelhead up on the Trinity.
Lets see, voting for BAU, or quality time on a beautiful river?
I can hear the sound of the drag right now, as I try and stop a long run.

The presidential race isn't everything. There were lots of people on my ballot running for lower offices. Some of them are pretty decent folks. I voted for the ones I felt were good, or against the ones I felt were corrupt.

One person cannot change the system, but the Christian Conservative movement proved that if enough like-minded people show up for the party things will move their way.

Exactly my sentiments and predicament, darwinsdog, and I ended up voting for Obama, as you did.

I did, for the first time in my life, consider not voting at all, for the reasons Burgundy cites. I was torn to the end, but finally voted. It really was Palin that pushed me over the edge. As bad as McCain is, I thought it entirely possible that he could die and leave her in office.

I think, however, that is my last time voting. Until there is some truly independent alternative, anyway.


Baker Hughes Reports the Rig count is up 23 rigs total. 13 oil directed rigs and 10 gas directed rigs. This is the first major positive build in a long time. It will be interesting to see if this is the bottom of the gas rig drop. Especially if storage hits capacity in early fall.

Aerocivic dot com: http://www.aerocivic.com/

What fuel economy does it get?

The approximate mileage on a level road burning non-ethanol gasoline at 85 degrees F ambient (29.4 degrees C) is:

* 95 mpg (US) at 65 mph
(2.5 L/100 km at 105 km/h ... 40.4 km/L ... 114 mpg (Imp.))
* 85 mpg (US) at 70 mph
(2.8 L/100 km at 113 km/h ... 36.1 km/L ... 102.1 mpg (Imp.))
* 65 mpg (US) at 80 mph
(3.6 L/100 km at 129 km/h ... 27.6 km/L ... 78.1 mpg (Imp.))
* 50 mpg (US) at 90 mph
(4.7 L/100 km at 145 km/h ... 21.3 km/L ... 60.1 mpg (Imp.))

Using E10 (10% ethanol/gasoline blend) drops these numbers by about 5 mpg. It was averaging mileage in the low 70's until E10 was introduced and is now averaging high 60's (see current fuel economy log). The flip side of the improved mileage is the increased range and I have no problems getting over 800 miles (1,287 km) from my 11 US gallon (41.6 liters / 9.2 Imperial gallon) tank in the summer.

I've been seeing this guy from time to time on gas savers dot org over the years - it's pretty nuts how much he's modified the car, but he has it looking a lot more practical than he did before. The numbers speak for themselves. I thought he'd swapped in an HX engine, but I may be mistaken on that. There's nothing seriously un-do-able in those numbers. No fancy technology, just an aesthetic conundrum because people hate the look of efficient cars.

"...because people hate the look of efficient cars."

-there's something wrong here because usually such cars look futuristic and 'space age' (e.g. Aptera). Think back to the sleek 'jet-like' lines of some of the big 1950s autos.

I guess we are just not currently being 'sold' this as being the right image for a car. Perceptions can change.


More info on GE's new heat pump water heater, which will be available later this fall:



your years of ranting about heat pumps has finally sunk in with me (no pun)
I'm at a place in life were I'd like to start exploring this technology. could you help me out by giving me some of your best links.

Thanks, I do kinda go on about these things....

Assuming you're thinking of a ductless heat pump or mini-split, as opposed to a whole-home system, you might checkout a couple of the following websites.

Fujitsu recently introduced an ultra high efficiency model that is rated at an amazing 26 SEER and which has a heating season performance factor or HSPF of 12.0; there's nothing else out there that can even remotely touch it, but be prepared to pay top dollar.

See: http://www.fujitsugeneral.com/wallmounted9-12RLS.htm

The heat pump I added last fall is a Sanyo, and I understand it was rated the number one pick in the July issue of Consumer Reports.

See: http://www.newswiretoday.com/news/53094/

More details can be found at: http://us.sanyo.com/HVAC-Single-Split-Systems-Wall-Mounted-Heat-Pumps/Wa...

My older unit is a Friedrich (a rebranded Fujitsu), and you can access their website at: http://www.friedrich.com/products/MLineOverview.php?line=DSS

Basically, look for a model with a high HSPF and SEER rating and one that utilizes a DC inverter. Also, as with any HVAC system, proper installation and warranty support are critical, so ask friends, neighbours and colleagues for their recommendations.

Hope this helps move things forward, but please let me know if there is anything else I can do to assist.


Here are a couple of sources of information on geothermal heat pumps and air source heat pumps including lots of design information.



Based on the estimated life of the systems and the much higher COP (Coefficient of Performance) I would recommend going with the geothermal units even with the higher initial installation costs. Think long term (and higher energy costs in the future - particularly petroleum based) and run your cost analysis on a 20+ year total cost of operation plus installation costs on a variety of heating/cooling solutions. You will find geothermal comes out way ahead of everything else.

Thanks for that, Paul. I have been curious how
this would work - and what the pitch would be.

The first thing to catch my eye is the 'ambient'
air extraction dynamic. Ambient in this case is
actually conditioned space, i.e. the home owner
has spent money to affect change to the air.
The homeowner isn't getting any help from Ma Nature.

So the pitch is made based on a single
mechanical system that is dependent on the
larger building system.

I can see easily where the claimed saving is elusive.

I don't understand
are you just picking nits or am I just totally clueless?

Yeah, apparently I am picking nits.

Since it is a heat pump that is pumping the heat into the stored water it would be drawing heat from whatever the ambient air was.

It might be annoying during heating season if it was not isolated from living spaces appropriately, but during cooling season it would be a win.

And your point is?

Hi Robert,

Most DHW tanks in the upper half of the United States and certainly throughout Canada are located in conditioned or semi-conditioned spaces (i.e., basements). In warmer climates, they're often found in garages where there's plenty of free heat to scavenge (no risk of pipes freezing and typically slab on grade construction).

In a non-conditioned or semi-conditioned space such as an unfinished basement, a HPWH will have little or no impact on residential heating loads. My electric water heater is located in a finished basement, so for about six months of the year a HPWH replacement would "steal" heat from this conditioned space (the other six, it would provide free cooling and dehumidification). This ambient heat in this case is provided by a heat pump with a seasonal COP of 2.7, so its cost is less than half that of electric resistance. Likewise, if I had a wood or pellet stove or even oil or natural gas heat, I would still come out ahead given that these fuels are generally less costly than electricity.


Mish discusses our Shrinking Cities with links to several articles.

50 US cities may have to be bulldozed in order to survive

"The Obama administration is reportedly considering plans to raze sections of 50 economically depressed US cities, condensing these towns’ shrinking populations and city services to smaller areas.

The plan, dubbed “shrink to survive,” may seem kooky, but it could be big news for environmentalists: In many cases, bulldozed districts would be returned to nature via forests or meadows.


In Detroit, shattered by the woes of the US car industry, there are already plans to split it into a collection of small urban centres separated from each other by countryside.

"The real question is not whether these cities shrink – we're all shrinking – but whether we let it happen in a destructive or sustainable way,?" said Mr Kildee. "Decline is a fact of life in Flint. Resisting it is like resisting gravity."


Obama isn't yet a complete failure. IMO, he is correct in: 1) encouraging the controlled deconstruction of some of our largest cities, 2) funneling more federal aid to 2 year schools (tech schools/community colleges).

For those of you who have been wondering what Tainter was talking about when he equated collapse with reducing complexity, and are wondering how that applies to us, this is an excellent example of how it is working, right here and right now.

Eventually this will extend beyond Flint and these initial fifty cities to impact just about every city of any size in the US.

As Kunstler will be quick to point out, it won't just be cities, either. Entire suburbs will be shut down as well.

As foretold by JHK, et al in 2004. End of Suburbia trailer:

It may be unavoidable, but the trouble with an abundance of random gobs of 'green space' inside a city is that most people have no activity to transact within them, making them little more than a nuisance that increases transportation distance, time, and expense while giving nothing in return. In a way this reminds me of Jim Kunstler's comments on wasteful space-consuming berms and whatnot imposed by zoning boards, which isolate retail spaces and other activities, and reduce walkability, while providing no benefit.

Usually cities tend to become (mostly) as compact as local attitudes about housing density will allow (even if, in the US, that's often a suburban sort of density), simply because wasted space is costly. I'd guess that at least from the point of view of transportation, the places Mish discusses would come to function as suburbs if they don't already.

That's where the Obamavilles will be located.

Right next to the Shruburbs.

I suppose they could serve as good firebreaks, to keep the ENTIRE city from burning down when the riots finally break out. That would require not planting trees in them, though. Community gardens would the best use of the space.

"The real question is not whether these cities shrink – we're all shrinking – but whether we let it happen in a destructive or sustainable way,?" said Mr Kildee.

Destructive vs sustainable shrinkage - I love it! Keep on shrinking sustainably forever, asymtotically approaching the infinitesimal eternally. What will these municipal bureaucrat types think of next?

Sustainable rate of increase in our consumption of finite energy resources?

They've already thought of that one. In fact, it's been the operating economic paradigm of Western technocratic society for quite awhile. And look where it's got us.

The obvious answer was in a movie several years ago ...



Let's see, the population in the USA is increasing from 300 million to 450+ million in the next couple of decades.
So we take whole sections of cities housing and demolish them. Now where are all those people that used to live in those houses going to live - And all the increased population going to live.
Ah Ha! We are going to build lots of NEW houses to keep BAU going.
And then we will demolish those houses in a couple of decades and build new ones where we demolished the first ones.
Just think of all the money to be made? (grafted) by the greedy off of Government subsidies to tear down the old housing and build new housing, all the new mortgages to collect fees off of, all the new furniture, ad nasuem.
Or maybe "they" think all those people are going to live (and enjoy it) under all those new and rebuilt bridges that are in the works?

I doubt that we are ever going to actually see that 450M figure. That was created by extending past BAU trends into the future - the one thing which, under the circumstances, is LEAST likely to come to pass.

Re: Mining 3He on the Moon

Many folks, particularly those of the doomer persuasion, will not bother to watch the video highlighted above. Indeed, the video is about what you would be expecting: a big piece of pie in the sky.

But then, you will be as shocked as I by this other video on that site:

The Death of Economics

Powerup vs. powerdown. Yin vs. yang.

You are correct, I did not bother with the first video, but the second video was quite fun, especially with the head bopping.

Even if the lunar regolith stuff is maybe still a little too much in the realm of science fiction, I hope the doomer types checked out the thorium nuclear power video on youtube, which is listed above. Might help to dispel some of their pessimism:-


thorium nuclear power video ... dispel some of their pessimism

Once the fission industry can show they can operate in a safe manner, then and only then should they be allowed to have their toys.

Won't happen.

Even if they do, there are too many people afraid to believe they can.

I could not ignore the posting on "Solix Biofuels Large Scale Algal Oil Production".

They plan to have 2 acres producing 3000 gallons per acre per year. This works out to 142 barrels per year or about .39 barrels per day.

I am not sure this is even a decent sized pilot operation. Keeping in mind that the USA consumes on the order of 18 million barrels of oil per day, to fill the US demand would require about 92 million acres to replace crude oil. These are very rough back of the envelope numbers but I would not expect based on these Solix numbers to see Algal Oil being a major contributor to replacing crude oil.

This kind of hype about "Large Scale" in my opinion causes a lot of problems. It is causing many uninformed people to think alternate energy technologies are ready to replace fossil fuels when that is not the case.

This kind of hype about "Large Scale" in my opinion causes a lot of problems. It is causing many uninformed people to think alternate energy technologies are ready to replace fossil fuels when that is not the case.

Correct. Very dangerous. And I read they still have to find out if EROEI is high enough to use algae oil on large scale for fuel production. And there is the problem of contamination. Algae oil is nice for f.i. the production of some cosmetica, food supplements and fish food.

Is Forbes becoming the official Peal Oil magazine? Today another article that could have come straight from TOD:


Forbes goes to the top people in the country and is not liberal. When it publishes this stuff it seems to me everyone that matters now knows about Peak Oil not just the intellectual elite. What, if anything, is done about it is another matter.

But it must have some effect.

Yes, but in large print on the front page, right above the story you highlight is this:

Oil's Customers Will Go Away Before Oil Does

The first sentence mentions whale oil. Forbes is a peak oil magazine? ;)

I think I am very optimistic, but Amory's optimism puts me to shame. It's not going to be easy to replace all ICE vehicles with EV and PHEV's but it's not an impossible task either. I am sure oil will continue to have value even when the last ICE vehicle goes to the crusher.

I'm usually a lurker...but I thought this was interesting enough to share. Can't wait to hear the response...

:-) Suessigkeit

Justin Timberlake Opens First Eco-Friendly Golf Course


I was not a fan of Justin Timberlake as a singer, but I was really impressed when he hosted Saturday Night Live. That guy is talented!

Cantarell (in June) continues to decline, decline, decline...

bpd date
1243000 1.2008
1192000 2.2008
1110000 3.2008
1074000 4.2008
1038000 5.2008
1017000 6.2008
1010000 7.2008
988100 8.2008
940020 9.2008
901796 10.2008
862060 11.2008
811000 12.2008
772000 1.2009
744778 2.2009
754063 3.2009
713036 4.2009
692925 5.2009
658700 6.2009


At what flow rate would Cantarell become uneconomical and extraction would finish?

The more important question for the world's oil importers is when do Mexican 'net exports' finish?

Mexico is not a major oil exporter anymore. Only 1,2 million barrels, compared with almost 40 million barrels total export. So only 3% of total exports come from Mexico

I think that the EIA defines major net oil exporters as countries (net) exporting one mbpd or more, and I believe that there are only 15 or so countries that fall into this category. Mexico (1.08 mbpd last year in net exports) is one of the top sources of imported oil into the US, along with Canada, Venezuela & Saudi Arabia. In 2004, total net exports from Canada, Mexico & Venezuela were 5.0 mbpd. Last year they were down to 4.0 mbpd.

But in regard to your primary point, that is why we focus on the top five, since they account for about half of world net oil exports, and Sam's work indicates that they are currently shipping about one percent of their post-2005 cumulative net oil exports about every 50 days or so.

Plot that data and its on a trendline to hit zero at the end of 2010.

I'd guess production will stop before that time, no matter what they do. The curve would have to develop a serious kink to do anything. So next year I'd expect it to progressively shutdown as costs overwhelm production.

I suspect that by the end of this year, Mexico will have shipped about 90% of their post-2004 cumulative net oil exports, on their way to probably approaching zero annual net oil exports around 2012.

However, I do suspect that these countries heavily dependent on one field, e.g., Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Kuwait, Oman, etc., are very susceptible to rapid total production declines, followed by subsequent rebounds, in most cases to a production rate below their peak rate.

Mexico has the problem that their government is so dependent on oil revenues to pay the bills. At some point they hit a system collapse as they can no longer afford to keep the plates spinning - and oil production stops entirely in the ensuing turmoil.

Given the close feedback effects between these areas, I'd suggest failed state status calls before zero net oil exports can be reached, probably in the 2012 timescale.

When's the fence finished?

I drive a Saturn SC2. The vehicle mass (weight) is listed as 1105kg. If I hooked up an electric motor, assuming 80% efficiency, to a pully at the top of Willis (Sears) Tower in Chicago, I could lift the car all the way to the roof (442 meters high) with 1.664KWH of electricity. That's 1105kg*9.81m/s2*442m*(1/3.6*10^6J/KWH)*(1/0.8).

According to my electric bill, including all service charges, that's 37 cents worth of electricity. 37 CENTS!!!

(My bill was $83.23 for 375 KWH).