Drumbeat: August 2, 2009

Warning: Oil supplies are running out fast

The world is heading for a catastrophic energy crunch that could cripple a global economic recovery because most of the major oil fields in the world have passed their peak production, a leading energy economist has warned.

Higher oil prices brought on by a rapid increase in demand and a stagnation, or even decline, in supply could blow any recovery off course, said Dr Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the respected International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, which is charged with the task of assessing future energy supplies by OECD countries.

In an interview with The Independent, Dr Birol said that the public and many governments appeared to be oblivious to the fact that the oil on which modern civilisation depends is running out far faster than previously predicted and that global production is likely to peak in about 10 years – at least a decade earlier than most governments had estimated.

But the first detailed assessment of more than 800 oil fields in the world, covering three quarters of global reserves, has found that most of the biggest fields have already peaked and that the rate of decline in oil production is now running at nearly twice the pace as calculated just two years ago. On top of this, there is a problem of chronic under-investment by oil-producing countries, a feature that is set to result in an "oil crunch" within the next five years which will jeopardise any hope of a recovery from the present global economic recession, he said.

Jeremy Leggett: Another crunch is coming – but will the world act?

There is one major similarity between the energy crisis and the financial crisis and one main difference. These two things tell us a lot about the role of cultures in how our modern version of capitalism plays out.

The similarity is that we are dealing with two massive global industries who have their asset assessment systemically, and roundly, wrong. The difference is that few people and organisations warned about the credit crunch as it approached, where as with the oil crunch, a host of people – many in and around the oil industry – are shouting a warning, and so to are a few good organisations concerned companies span British industry.

U.S. petroleum growth to be uneven in better economy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fuel demand growth will be uneven as the U.S. economy recovers, with immediate strength in diesel usage from more business activity than gasoline demand, as the hard-hit American consumer will be slower to get back behind the wheel.

US Energy Consumption - What Does It All Mean?

If the US had not out-sourced a big chunk of its manufacturing base to Asia over the last 30 years, industry sector energy consumption history - indicated by the green line presently hovering around the 30 Quadrillion Btu's per-year mark - would be tracking, now, closer to 40. How will industrial energy consumption shift between Asia and North America if climate action is taken?

U.S. Rules May Affect Russia’s Cash Cow

As regulators in the United States consider limiting speculative trading on oil exchanges, market players are engaged in their own speculation, wondering how the new rules will affect the country’s most important export.

Iraq oil sector sees militant attacks fall

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Attacks on Iraqi pipelines and other oil facilities have dropped sharply, a top security official said, boding well for the safety of foreign firms wading into Iraq's rich but risky oil sector.

The Iraqi oil sector has fallen prey to repeated attack over six years of chaos and insurgency since U.S.-led soldiers ousted Saddam Hussein in 2003.

A Quest for Batteries to Alter the Energy Equation

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — In a gleaming white factory here, Bob Peters was gently feeding sheets of chemical-coated foil one afternoon recently into a whirring machine that cut them into precise rectangles. It was an early step in building a new kind of battery, one smaller than a cereal box but with almost as much energy as the kind in a conventional automobile.

The goal of Mr. Peters, 51, and his co-workers at International Battery, a high-tech start-up, is industrial revolution. Racing against other companies around the globe, they are on the front lines of an effort to build smaller, lighter, more powerful batteries that could help transform the American energy economy by replacing gasoline in cars and making windmills and solar cells easier to integrate into the power grid.

Questar President: Natural Gas is Abundant

KAYSVILLE -- During the height of the energy crisis in the 1970s, then-President Jimmy Carter projected the United States would exhaust its natural gas supply by 1991.

What Carter did not take into account is the advancement in technology that would be made in directional drilling in drawing those natural resources from the earth, said Ron Jibson, Questar Gas president and CEO.

Florida: Drilling could top the Capitol agenda in 2010

Congress is offering Florida potentially billions of dollars in royalties if the state bows to the growing clamor to expand oil and natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. The new guard of leadership in the Legislature is more than willing to play.

UAE halts crude exports from Jebel Ali

Dubai - The United Arab Emirates halted crude exports from its Jebel Dhanna oil terminal late on Friday, and from its Jebel Ali facility on Sunday, due to a sand storm, a shipping source said.

Sustainability: utopian and scientific

To make the move to a sustainable future where people are no longer threatened by an ecological catastrophe will require a number of things – above all a strong and broad movement with effective and intelligent leadership and an accurate understanding of the current problems and how they can be overcome. Sadly, only some parts of this constellation of forces are in place today.

In particular the green movement is not an effective political and social movement and the left is still in disarray, largely concerned with defensive politics and harking back to a world long gone.

For Community Colleges, Wind Technician Training Is a Growth Business

Wind turbine technicians are strongly in demand — and community colleges are moving quickly to fill the need.

US Immigration Policy Likely to Boost Population: Growth-driven immigration policy risks bringing unfavorable socio-economic and environmental consequences

Contrary to popular thought, the dominant force fueling America’s demographic growth is not natural increase, but immigration. This is because immigrants not only add their own numbers to the nation’s overall population, but also contribute a disproportionate number of births whose effects are compounded over time. A couple of examples help to illustrate this important point.

Hydrocarbons in Deep Earth?

The oil and gas that fuels our homes and cars started out as living organisms that died, were compressed, and heated under heavy layers of sediments in the Earth’s crust. Scientists have debated for years whether some of these hydrocarbons could also have been created deeper in the Earth and formed without organic matter. Now for the first time, scientists have found that ethane and heavier hydrocarbons can be synthesized under the pressure-temperature conditions of the upper mantle —the layer of Earth under the crust and on top of the core. The research was conducted by scientists at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory, with colleagues from Russia and Sweden, and is published in the July 26, advanced on-line issue of Nature Geoscience.

Political fracture over oil extraction affects Colorado

The battle is now focused on a bill in Congress — co-sponsored by two Colorado Democrats, Reps. Diana DeGette and Jared Polis — to put the process under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

Hydrofracturing pumps millions of gallons of fluids into wells under high pressure to crack deep rock strata and release natural gas.

For industry, fracking is the key to unlocking vast reserves, while environmental groups say it is a pollution threat to groundwater.

Big oil reviewing ‘spending’ plans as demand wanes, profits slashed

NEW YORK (AP): Oil companies are taking a hard look at their finances following a woeful six months in which slumping energy demand slashed profits for every international integrated crude producer. Oil majors, including Exxon Mobil, French petroleum giant Total SA saw crude production fall during the second quarter. To cope with low energy prices, Royal Dutch Shell said it will cut jobs and capital spending, and Chevron Corp said it will stop natural gas drilling operations in North America. Chevron and Total on Friday were the latest oil majors to report that profits had tumbled by more than 50 percent, though neither said they would cut capital expenditures. The decision to cut spending, or even consider it several months ago would certainly have raised concerns about a price spike should the global economy rebound. In the current environment, cutting capital spending may be inevitable.

Gas shortages grow at Calgary stations

A number of Calgary motorists trying to fuel up found themselves running on fumes as temporary shortages continued to plague gas stations across the city Saturday.

Filling up the tank became a game of chance for many drivers.

Several stations were completely out of fuel, while others were out of certain grades of gas. Lineups plagued gas bars running at full capacity.

Utility Raises Cleanup Cost in Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority has raised its estimate for cleaning up a huge coal ash spill to $1.2 billion and partly blamed the cleanup for its third-quarter loss of $167 million.

Insurers blame rising home & car premiums on the weather

The cost of insuring your houses and your cars is going up. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise, considering the billions of investment losses insurance companies have taken since the market cratered last year. After all, insurers’ profitability depends on the returns they expect from investing your premium dollars.

Except, in the case of property insurers, investment losses aren’t really the problem. Nope, it’s the weather.

China energy efficiency 'improves in first half'

BEIJING (AFP) – China cut its average energy consumption by 3.53 percent in the first half of 2009 from a year ago, helped by massive stimulus spending on green projects, the government said Sunday.

The Food, Energy and Environment ‘Trilemma’

At the 2009 Bio World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology, held in Montreal last week, industry players and scientists found themselves pondering two seemingly contradictory concerns.

One focused on how rapid advances in genetic engineering and biotechnology can expand the market for cellulosic ethanol and other “second-generation biofuels,” which are touted as low-emission substitutes for corn ethanol (itself a partial substitute for gasoline).

The other involved the problem of ensuring that exponential growth in the global biofuel market — which is projected to grow 12.3 percent a year through 2017, according to one recent study of the industry — will not hurt the environment and divert vast tracks of arable land needed for food or grain production.

The 'vegan before dinner time' diet

New York Times columnist and bestselling author Mark Bittman has written Food Matters, in which he introduces a “vegan before dinner time” plan that is causing a stir across the Atlantic. “You don’t eat any, or much, in the way of animal products or processed food during the day. At night you eat what you want,” he explains. “In some ways it’s stricter than veganism in that there’s no junk allowed. In others it’s easier — milk in coffee is acceptable, and breaking the rules occasionally is okay. The basic line is this: no matter how you do it, you [and the planet] will benefit if you eat a higher proportion of plants and a lower proportion of everything else.”

Making world cities sustainable

The global economy means growth, but economic growth itself is now an endangered species, simply because of its previous excess, rather than success. Being an endangered species is however nothing special in an era of mass extinctions, like today, an era many scientists call the 6th Mass Extinction. This is unlike previous mass extinctions in geological history because it is man made and because species are being lost, that is wiped out by human beings at the fantastic rate of about 30 000 per year. Back of envelope calculations on a long, and increasing list of critical basic resources, from energy, water and food through to lithium metal and soil resources, show that conventional or 'classic' economic growth is for the least fragile and unsustainable. In other words conventional economic growth does not and cannot last a long time, and does harm the environment.

One particularly easy back-of-envelope calculation is what oil supply would be needed for China and India to achieve or attain average OECD oil consumption rates, of about 14 barrels per person per year in 2008. In China's case its present oil demand would need to expand more than 5 times, and India's current oil demand would increase by 9 times. This is entirely impossible.

Shell takes to high seas to escape oil gloom

It was a week of unrelenting gloom for the oil industry. As one boss after another revealed unprecedented plunges in profits, tens of billions of dollars were wiped off company values. They warned of savage jobs cuts to come and none ventured a guess as to when the recession might end. All is not well in oil-land.

Yet it was a largely ignored announcement by Shell that illustrates the depth of the probems facing the industry. The company approved a plan to build a fleet of floating natural gas plants. Each will be twice the length of a Royal Navy aircraft carrier and weigh 200,000 tons. They will sail to gas fields located either so far out to sea or in such environmentally sensitive areas that the pipelines and surface infrastructure required make them unviable. Until recently, the idea was dismissed.

...Shell, like its rivals, is facing a harsh reality. A combination of the recession, last year’s drop in the oil price, weak gas prices in America, high costs and dwindling natural resources could lead, say insiders, to a reshaping of the sector as profound as the 1990s merger frenzy in which several big names disappeared.

Iran says oil prices expected to rise by Jan

TEHRAN: Iran's OPEC governor said crude prices were expected to reach $80 a barrel by January, the oil ministry website, SHANA, reported on Sunday.

"Because of encouraging developments in the oil market, the oil prices will reach $80 per barrel by the end of this year," Mohammad Ali Khatibi said.

Ukraine May Get $1.7 Billion From International Lenders for Gas

(Bloomberg) -- International lenders will consider offering Ukraine as much as $1.7 billion in loans to support its overhaul of the natural-gas industry and increase the security of gas supplies from Russia to the European Union.

Official: Iran to Become Exporter of Petrol

LONDON (IranMania) - Despite a US Senate bill to put pressure on companies selling gasoline to Iran, a senior Iranian official announced on Saturday that the country will be a gasoline exporter within the next 2 years IRNA News Agency reported.

Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Company Seyfollah Jashnsaz said that the Islamic Republic already has 9 refinery development plans underway and major advances of between 80 and 90 percent have been made in this respect.

Pakistan: Operations at Badin oil field halted

BADIN: All the operations of Badin Pe troleum Field have been temporarily stanched in the wake of a strike call by a local organization, a report said on Saturday.

According to sources privy to British Petroleum, the work at the field is being affected owing to the strike announced by a local organization ‘Jaag Zamindar Jaag’.

Are wind farms a health risk? US scientist identifies 'wind turbine syndrome'

Living too close to wind turbines can cause heart disease, tinnitus, vertigo, panic attacks, migraines and sleep deprivation, according to groundbreaking research to be published later this year by an American doctor.

Love Earth, hate turbines

These aren't your grandmother's little Dutch windmills harnessing the air to grind grain and allow people to live below sea level.

Wind turbines are huge structures made of steel that can easily soar 40-storeys, towering over homes, farms and communities.

Those who tend to sing their praises loudest are people living far away from them, along with local landowners and politicians cashing in on the leasing fees and taxes the industry is happy to pay, given the huge financial subsidies governments are earmarking for wind power.

If Nuclear Power Has a More Promising Future ... Seth Grae Wants to Be the One Leading the Charge

The president of Northern Virginia-based Thorium Power Ltd. says he has a way to make nuclear energy safer, less expensive and more effective. So why isn't he getting more reaction?

GERMANY: Nuclear Power Fails, And Nobody Notices

BERLIN (IPS) - Seven German nuclear plants have failed to generate any electricity this month due to technical breakdowns. They have about half the production capacity of Germany's 17 nuclear reactors, but Germany did not suffer any power shortages.

The plants have between them a 9,000 megawatt (MW) capacity, but Germany generates more electricity than it consumes, and has been exporting some of the surplus to France, which is heavily dependent on nuclear power.

Soviet-Era Uranium Waste Sites Now Threaten Central Asia

Storage sites for uranium tailings that were built in Soviet times in Tajikistan are now leaking radiation into the surrounding atmosphere and ground water supplies, undermining the health and well-being of the people of a republic and a broader region that lack the resources to clean up a problem that it did nothing to create.

Exxon Expected to Face Tough Talks on Sakhalin

The government will step up pressure on U.S. major Exxon Mobil to sell cheap gas from Sakhalin, analysts said Thursday, a day before construction begins on a new gas link to the Pacific.

Nissan unveils zero-emission hatchback "Leaf"

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co took the wraps off its much-awaited electric car on Sunday, naming the hatchback "Leaf" and taking a step toward its goal of leading the industry in the zero-emissions field.

Scientists Untangle Multiple Causes of Bee Colony Disorder

"One of the first things we looked at was the pesticide levels in the wax of older honeycombs," Sheppard said. Using combs contributed by U.S. Department of Agriculture, Sheppard found "fairly high levels of pesticide residue."

Bees raised in those hives "had significantly reduced longevity," he said.

One easy solution is for beekeepers to change honeycombs more often. In Europe, for example, apiarists change combs every three years.

"In the U.S., we haven't emphasized this practice and there's no real consensus about how often beekeepers should make the change," said Sheppard. "Now we know that it needs to be more often."

Family planning a major environmental impact

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Some people who are serious about wanting to reduce their "carbon footprint" on the Earth have one choice available to them that may yield a large long-term benefit – have one less child.

A study by statisticians at Oregon State University concluded that in the United States, the carbon legacy and greenhouse gas impact of an extra child is almost 20 times more important than some of the other environmentally sensitive practices people might employ their entire lives – things like driving a high mileage car, recycling, or using energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs.

The research also makes it clear that potential carbon impacts vary dramatically across countries. The average long-term carbon impact of a child born in the U.S. – along with all of its descendants – is more than 160 times the impact of a child born in Bangladesh.

Lobbyist Dick Armey’s Pollution Gospel: ‘As An Article Of Faith,’ It Is ‘Pretentious’ To Believe In Global Warming

As the hearing progressed, most of the witnesses spent their time recycling months-old debunked studies. But Armey distinguished himself by invoking a religious argument to back up his smears against what he called “environmental hypochondriacs” filled with “eco-evangelical hysteria.” Armey claimed that in his world view, because God created the heavens and the Earth, it would be “quite pretentious” for people to believe God would permit global warming to even occur.

Sandia: Climate-Derived Tensions in Arctic Security (PDF)

With its mission of national security, research at Sandia National Laboratories is evaluating the impact of climate change within the Arctic. A sister study addresses the physical impacts of uncertainty on the timing and extent of climate change on Arctic security priorities. This report presents the implications for the underlying drivers of security within the changing Arctic.

Sandia: Arctic Climate and National Security (PDF)

The Arctic region is rapidly changing in a way that will affect the rest of the world. Parts of Alaska, western Canada, and Siberia are currently warming at twice the global rate. This warming trend is accelerating permafrost deterioration, coastal erosion, snow and ice loss, and other changes that are a direct consequence of climate change. Climatologists have long understood that changes in the Arctic would be faster and more intense than elsewhere on the planet, but the degree and speed of the changes were underestimated compared to recent observations. Policy makers have not yet had time to examine the latest evidence or appreciate the nature of the consequences. Thus, the abruptness and severity of an unfolding Arctic climate crisis has not been incorporated into long-range planning.

US Dept of Defense - Navy Task Force Assesses Changing Climate

Rapidly diminishing sea ice, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, increased storm severity -- all are possible consequences of a climate that mounting evidence suggests is changing significantly.

As the scientific community works to understand the changing climate, the chief of naval operations has created a task force, headed by Rear Adm. David Titley, the Navy's senior oceanographer, to better understand and evaluate its implications for maritime security.

Scientists claim planet is heading for 'irreversible' climate change by 2040

CARBON dioxide levels are rising at a faster rate than the worst-case scenario envisaged by United Nations experts, with the planet heading for "catastrophic" and "irreversible" climate change by 2040, a new report claims.

The rise of greenhouse gases will trigger an unprecedented rate of global warming that will result in the loss of the ice-covered polar seas by 2020, much of our coral reefs by 2040 and see a 1.4-metre rise in the sea level by 2100.

The article up top: Lobbyist Dick Armey’s Pollution Gospel: ‘As An Article Of Faith,’ It Is ‘Pretentious’ To Believe In Global Warming is a real eye opener.

Armey says in the video: "I take it as an article of faith that the lord God almighty made the heavens and the earth and he made them to his satisfaction and it is quite pretentious of we little weaklings here on earth to think that we are going to destroy God’s creation."

And that, dear hearts, is the science that underlies the AGW deniers argument.

Ron P.

With the kind of logic that guy has, we could launch all of our ICBM's and, miraculously, humanity would not be wiped off of the face of the Earth, along with all manner of other fauna/flora. Humanity certainly has the power to destroy the Earth, as far as we know it, but haven't completed that task as of yet.

If this is the sort of opinion that pervades the US establishment then WWIII is likely to occur. This sort of infantile, primitive and superstitious thinking is what characterizes nutbars like Osama. It looks like the Rovian sneer at the "reality based community" is just the tip of the iceberg.

Actually, this type of thinking by Dominionists, as inculcated by James Dobson's freak show zombies into the fertile 'good German' minds of Air Force Academy cadets, is what might launch the ICBMs and SLBMs to summon the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, or some such nonsense. Might as well be Zeus pulled by four invisible (but pink) magic Unicorns. Zeus could be holding Russells's Teapot.

Thing thing is, this is deadly serious...the military has many, many Dominionists. I had a career in the Air Force, and still move in military circles, so my comments are observations, not parroting something overheard on the Intertubes. Climate Change denial, Peak Oil denial, scorn against anyone and anything environmentalist, and literal belief that the Earth is 6,000 years old are common amongst our 4-year college grads with Masters Degrees (many in management and military history from on-base and on-line diploma mills)...and a number of these people are key-turners and others in very sensitive positions. These people vote for Palin and her type of politicians.

I saw a news clip with a woman in uniform
at Offutt AFB who was claiming Obama was
the antiChrist. Is this at all related
to the Dominionists ?

I don't think that the Dominionist want to start WW III, but they would dearly love to jump in and take command were the economy to continue to fall off the cliff, taking internal security along with it. Kevin Phillips wrote a good book about that, "American Theocracy". Phillips is on the schedule to speak at the ASPO-USA conference in October. Maybe he could take a side trip to Colorado Springs and lecture the Zoomies...

E. Swanson'


I have personally dealt with fellow officers who belonged to the Officer's Christian Fellowship. To them being a military officer and a Christian and one and the same. They see non-Christian as 'the enemy'.

I also worked with an O who was an assistant coach to Fisher DeBerry...this guy sung the praises of how the Coach preached and instilled the Jesus stuff into the team and the Colorado School for Wayward Boys and Girls as a whole. Academy grads are well represented in the highest ranks...these folks end up justifying illegal wars, spending money on unnecessary weapons, claiming that the U.S. is 'a Christian Nation', and preaching that the US military should enact domestic 'actions' (Posse Comitatus, anyone?)


"My God is bigger than their God"


God is in the briefing slides in the previous Criminal Presidential organization:


Click through all the slides.

So much for the 'spirit and intent' of the Establishment Clause:


Interesting side note of the military Officer's oath:

" I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States form against all enemies, foreign and domestic"..."So help me God".


Good luck trying to convince commanders that the 'So Help Me God' is not required. I always wondered how the 'Domestic Enemies' and the Possie Comitatus Act squared. You might not want to think too hard on that.

Oh, and try this on for size (Note the extremely religious flag folding script [first one] as compared to the other, earlier scripts:


I almost gagged the first time I heard the Christian version during a retirement ceremony. I heard officers say that any Muslims, Atheists, or other non-Christians could "Shut their damn mouths" and/pr "Resign from the service and leave the United States" if they didn't like this script or any other military-religious trappings. So much for the government not favoring any one religion. Fortunately, as I was leaving the service, I remember an email policy-o-gram coming down the chain that this script was NOT the official flag-folding script and its use was being discouraged.

Land of the (not really) free, Home of the (knave, slave [pick one or both])

Retired Officer, never a 'yes Man', free-thinker, always advocated that military might is but one of the many and varied tools in the tool box of national power and should generally be held as a last resort. Always understood that Guns and Butter were paid from a zero-sum game budget, and that there are no guns without butter first. Always questioned authority (at least thought thoroughly about the logic and propriety of every statement, pronouncement, regulation, action, order, and whim of my superiors).

While rarely in agreement with Mao, I think he was one to something here:
"Religion is Poison"

I remembered the famous quote, thinking it from Mao:

"Religion is the opiate of the people"

Checking the source, it was Marx from 1843. Here's the quote in context:


I suppose Mao simply used the word "poison" instead of "opiate".

E. Swanson

That was Marx, who I'm often fully in agreement with.
In fact, he has possibly proven time travel (he must of traveled into the future, for the odds of him being this correct in his analysis are slim).
As the New Yorker proclaimed of Marx recently:
The thinker of the future
I'm a but more skeptical. and agree with Pinker, in that Marx was much to optimistic of human nature.
As Nate has pointed out, we seldom act rationally.

Let me add this book to your list of links. Heard about it over at Pharyngula.


The Brass are right on top of it.

From a news conference on the investigation of religious intolerance at the Air Force Academy http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=3233 (Q&A starts halfway down the page)

Q: General, I think you'd agree that this can be an explosive subject in today's world, beyond the Air Force and beyond the Academy because of the clash you have now around the world between the ideas in the Muslim religion and Christianity. You say in this report that there was a perception of religious intolerance at the Academy by many at the Academy. And that there was not overt -- overt intolerance. Why was there intolerance, any intolerance at the Academy? And was this by people in authority or leadership -- Christians -- at the Academy?

GEN. BRADY: I think there were -- I think there were some -- let me handle it in two ways. Yes, I think there were cases where people have said some things, perhaps from a lectern, that were overreaching, forgetting their position, that put cadets, perhaps, in an untenable position in terms of, "Gee, am I going to pass Physics 101 if I don't agree with this guy?"

Q: You mean Christians?

GEN. BRADY: Right. So -- so, yes. I think that occurred. And I think that a significant part of that, I'm convinced, was that we haven't -- this has been, as you point out sir, this is an issue of religious debate. We can all agree on -- there's no debate, there's no issue about disparaging remarks and religious slurs. There's a debate that gets enjoined if you talk about expression. I think that the people who have done this, in my experience talking to them, was that they were well-intended, but wrong. But we haven't sorted this out very well in terms of operational guidance that's useful to them.

(Cross talk.)

MR. DOMINGUEZ: I guess -- I'm sorry. To sum that up, there was -- there were instances of religious intolerance. Just not perceptions of it, but there were. There was religious intolerance.

Q: Is there a major outsider evangelical face on campus? Is it a place that -- because you talked about outside groups coming onto campus and how you need to regulate them. How prevalent is that?

GEN. BRADY: Well, there are -- we have -- there's a Problem at the academy called SPIRE. Like everything we do it has an acronym, Special Program In Religious Education. Think of it as Sunday school on Monday night. For an hour and a half, there are 19 groups who are sponsored by our chaplaincy -- overseen by our chaplaincy on the campus. They involve a number of Christian and Protestant groups.

Q: So General, when it says on the first finding that some faculty members and coaches consider it their duty to profess their faith and discuss the issue in the classrooms, that is no longer the case? Or --

GEN. BRADY: I don't know that -- I wouldn't say they don't still feel that way, but they will -- are being made aware that that -- that there's a setting where that is inappropriate. And what I found, as you discuss it with people, is that people sometimes have not thought this through about -- okay, let's remember: you are a professor, perhaps a relatively senior officer. You're talking to a cadet that's struggling in your class, who doesn't believe what you're saying. What position have you put that in? That can be construed easily as coercive.

And so that's what we're dealing with.

GEN. BRADY: Yes, ma'am?

Q: I just want to go back a little bit to the idea that you have no -- this is not institutional. And I want to see how you reconcile that with the fact that you've got staff members that are involved. You know, these aren't just cadets kind of preaching to other cadets with a religious flourish ?. You've got the coach putting up this banner, you've got General Weida, who was questioned about the e-mails and included things in it. And you've got faculty at the beginning of classes saying: this is what I believe, so. And you've also -- and one of your (attachments ?), K, said that the faculty is not diverse and the hiring practices tend to favor evangelical Christians. So -- (inaudible) --

GEN. BRADY: That's the perception; we don't know that that's true. But that's something we're looking at.

(Cross talk.)

Q: Given all that, I wonder how you can reconcile that with this not -- given all those factors, I'm wondering how you reconcile that with it not being institutional, because these people are certainly part of the institution.

We need to remind Mr. Army that part of God's satisfaction must be that He also 'created' the Scientists, Greenpeace and people like J. Hansen and J. Carter to help keep watch over this precious, but mortal and fragile creation.. and that we have to protect such noble souls from the Ploys of Beelzebub, who would poison their Good Works and Words with Superstitions, Lies and False Prophets.

"Gozer the Traveller; he will come in one of the pre-chosen forms.
During the rectification of the Vuldronaii, the Traveller came as a large and moving Torb!
Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the Meketrex Supplicants, they chose a new form for him -- that of a Giant Sloar!

Many Shubs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Sloar that day I can tell you!" http://www.videosift.com/video/Gozer-as-explained-by-Rick-Moranis

...we have to protect such noble souls from the Ploys of Beelzebub, who would poison their Good Works and Words with Superstitions, Lies and False Prophets.

Hi Bob,

When I read your post, I immediately thought of the opening scene from The Night of the Hunter.

See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mi2Dusyg5A

So, is it my imagination, or do Robert Mitchum and Mr. Army share a striking resemblance?


Wow, Paul.
That garnered a big sigh. I let the tattoo on his fingers help lead me into another, better sanctuary.


You can tell the truth with the same words that will tell a lie. ..and art is the lie that tells the truth.

'We're on a mission from God..'


Fantastic clip, Bob, but I'll match that and raise you this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3Gg8xxLKCI&NR=1

There are times when life truly is stranger than fiction.


Ok, here in the 'Room of Contrast/Compare'.. I've got one more story to link. Hope I can find it..

Then, it's off to watch 'Tropic Thunder' .. Sit on my Masses and enjoy a little mainstream Opiate!

While denouncing Joseph Stalin in a speech one day, Khrushchev was interrupted by a voice from the audience: "You were one of Stalin's colleagues," the man declared. "Why didn't you stop him?"

"Who said that!?" Khrushchev roared. This was followed by a terrified silence - only broken at last by Khrushchev himself.

"Now..." he said in a quiet voice, "Now you know why."


I don't know how legit that story is, but there is some sense to it, anyhow.

Looking at the Audience Cutaways there, you wondered how many people were holding it back, either being obedient, or just trying to keep faith, and afraid it and their contributions had been badly misspent.

Tag. You're it.

Funny you should mentioned it... I was struck by all the pained smiles in the audience (I recognize that look from my childhood recitals).

Enjoy your film and don't forget the liquid refreshments (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHYgjyGoV9s)


Dick Armey, evoking Evangelical Zeal as a defense of BAU, is an easy target for environmentalists and the high-minded eco-citizenry. After all he's representing the bad guys such as EXXON and the UAE.

But I propose that there is a parallel blind-spot on the part of those pushing for action to halt global warming. Newsflash: We're Not Going To Be Able Halt Global Warming

The notion that we can turn it off with some techno-solution is just as out to lunch as Armey's tin-eared evocations of "God Will Save Us!".

The smart money will be working to adapt to what's coming and get out of the way.


I am deeply sorry Joe but I find I must agree with you. C02 stays in the atmosphere for about 800 years so it really doesn't matter how fast we burn coal, or fossil fuels, we will eventually burn it all.

But neither my argument, your argument, the AGW people's argument nor Dick Armey's argument will make one whit of difference. The world is not convinced to act by argument, any argument. The only thing that, on the whole, affects people's actions are events. Events change people's mind, not arguments.

I have preached that argument for forty years and no one has ever paid any attention to one word of it. Hell, if they did that would disprove my argument wouldn't it.

Ron P.

The trouble is, actions by individuals aren't likely to make a meaningful difference. Only government can deal with a problem like Global Warming and even governments can't deal with the problem by themselves. China and India are rapidly ramping up their burning of fossil fuels, yet, their per capita use is still way below that of the U.S.

My hope has always been that humanity might gain enough understanding to change our consumptive habits and learn to live within our ecosystems. With all the negative backlash, such as that from Armey or from the Fundamentalist, I have come to think there's no way out. Just one example about population growth. Suppose 75% of women agreed to have only one child. If the other 25% averaged 4 or 5, it's likely that population would still increase. The more I hear from the right wing nuts, the more certain the future is going to be Hell on Earth...

E. Swanson


The left wingnuts will also be heading home to hear their constituents. They want to get re-elected too and IMHO the only thing that matters to all politicians is to satisfy enough people to get re-elected and maintain their implied power. This goal is almost always diametrically opposed to common sense, i.e. growth on fixed planet. Not one will approach the population problem because it takes these high producers to get re-elected (both left and right).

How can you live in harmony like the Waldon’s with no kids?

I only know one couple who do not want even one child. They are happily wealthy in their mid forties and take many (deductible) vacations in their 38 foot two story diesel pusher . Their carbon footprint is much larger than ours. They understand all about GW but and their logic is since they will not reproduce they can burn all they want because they will not be the top of a pyramid of human beans. They also believe that some technofix will happen since they have been heavy into computers since mid eighties and have seen it happen over and over.


In an insightful observation in The Guardian this month, Jim Watson of the University of Sussex wrote that “a new breed of climate sceptic is becoming more common”: someone who doubts not the science but the policy response. Given the pathetic (non)action on global warming at the G8 summit, scepticism that the world will get its act together seems appropriate

Carlson vows that IPY will finish its Arctic assessment in time for the meeting, and one conclusion is already clear. “A consensus has developed during IPY that the Greenland ice sheet will disappear,” he says


"The Climate" is already a lost battle and our kids have to take whatever comes. What is left to discuss is how much ink and 'hot air' shall be spent on this issue - 'verbal hot air' that is ...
As Ron said - events trumph arguments any day - and there it sits! Events did put 'Peak Oil' on top of the order of the day 1 year ago, it went away.

On another note : where have the hurricanes gone this year ? None materialized yet ?

stats for typical season:

thx goghgoner - I am an early bird it seems. But I'll have to stock up on coke, popcorn & sarcanol from now on it seems..

I agree whole-heartadley with your sentiments, BD.

However, unless I am screwing up counting on my fingers and toes today, your example is one of many, many birthrate demographic scenarios that would be just dandy if we could implement it world-wide, consistently, from now on.

Given 100 women:

75% have one child each = 75 children
25% have five children each = 125 children

Therefore, 100 women, in this scenario, have 200 children.

Voila, this is the zero-increase replacement rate! Population remains stable.

Actually, I think the replacement rate is 2.1 to account for infant mortality or some such...

Pardon my lack of accuracy. The point was that even if a large fraction of women agreed to limit their reproduction to only one child, population could still grow if the rest just kept pumping them out. The reality would be a range of 0 to as many as 69. 69 you say? I recall that to be the record for number of kids for an individual and it's rather startling. The woman had 27 pregnancies total, with several batches of twins and triplets.

E. Swanson

One way to see this issue in a fairer way is to stop saying it`s the women who want the children---or "the women who will limit their fertility" etc.

I know of two families, each with 4 children each, and in each case it was the man who decided they`d have #4. (I am friends with the women and they told me.) The women agreed, obviously, but it was the husbands who decided.

I know another family with three children and the father said he wanted #4 but the wife refused.

A woman often doesn`t decide to get pregnant---it might be an accident---a huge percentage of people are born not because their parents planned but because it just happened.

Men are just as much to blame, perhaps more, for the population problem.

So please stop making it seem that the women should bear all the responsibility/blame!

yeah .virgin births are kinda rare-so rare that you can get to be pretty famous if you can pull one off!;-)

In many parts of the world women have very little to say about what happens to them, reproductively or otherwise. Family violence is common even in more 'civilized' parts of the world where legal discrimination is not legal.
Assuming that the solution to overpopulation will be 'one size fits all' is silly. Blaming any one group,gender,religion is also silly - we have not yet evolved out of our imperitive to reproduce. We are pushing uphill on this one all the way.
Regards, Al


IIRC from my teenage obsession with the Guinness Book of Records, this woman was a Russian, and her birthing stats were:
4 sets of Quadruplets
9 sets of Triplets
13 sets of twins.

I guess she didn't feel it was worth wasting 9 months just for a single baby.


I have seen the replacement number stated from 2.1 to 2.3.

Written by Black_Dog:
The more I hear from the right wing nuts, the more certain the future is going to be Hell on Earth...

The socialists' desire to save everyone with retirement and health care programs encourages population growth as well. Their ideologies shift the burden of caring for the old, disabled and sick from the individual to society. Individuals who can not care for themselves may perish thus creating downward pressure on population. Under a social system, the resources of the society are increasingly diverted to sustaining the unsustainable population. Population collapse become more likely because the resources of the entire society, rather than the individual, must be exhausted before population can decline from old age, accidents and disease. Population collapse is the likely outcome of both left and right political ideologies.

Events change people's mind, not arguments.

I have been watching : National Economic Council Director Larry Summer on Meet The Press this morning. David Gregory has asked repeatedly: When will the economy begin to grow again?

When I hear Mr. Summers reply in urgent terms the actions of the Obama administration to get the economy Back On Track I get physically ill. In my twisted point of view I equate economic growth with cancer. I want to shrink the growth. Therefore in the long run I hope that the economic stimulus fails. But tell somebody who wants their IRA to grow so they can retire in comfort that the receding economy is a good thing and they'll shout you out of the room.

The groups that I'm interested in are working in small local communities. Sustainability has to start from the bottom up. Top down approaches will never succeed. These massive deficits have to be monetized.


In my twisted point of view I equate economic growth with cancer. I want to shrink the growth. Therefore in the long run I hope that the economic stimulus fails.

I think there is a middle way. Economic growth in ways that use less (or no more) fundamnetal resources. The cost of running a symphoney orchestra counts as part of GDP, and supports muscians and theatre buildings keepers, ticket sellers etc. But, it doesn't directly consume material resources. What we need to do is grow the parts of the economy (mainly services), which consume little or few resources. So we are trying to promote non-material growth. Even more urgently we should be pushing growth of those parts that result in net decreases in our environmantal footprint -say manufacturing and applying insulation etc.

At least this way you can have it both ways. And your message will hopefully be less painful to hear, that some might even be willing to listen.

The cost of running a symphoney orchestra counts as part of GDP, and supports muscians and theatre buildings keepers, ticket sellers etc. But, it doesn't directly consume material resources.

I don't understand. To me, a symphony orchestra does consume material resources.

A thought experiment: Grow the economy by adding another symphony orchestra. It needs instruments, a building to practise and perform in, furniture, instruments, sheet music, etc. These are material resources.

And it consumes energy. Energy to heat/cool and light the theatre building, energy for transport of the people, and if the orchestra stages performances, the energy the audience uses to attend them - this last being by far the biggest cost. Most of this energy originally comes from fossil fuels, which are material resources.

Maybe an orchestra consumes less energy and materials per year than a shipyard. But growing the economy by adding an orchestra is not "non-material growth".

I have been struggling to think of economic activities that consume no added energy or materials. The only examples I can think of are begging, busking, (unprotected) street prostitution, and the like.

For every other economic activity, doing more of it consumes more resources. "Non-material growth" is pure economists' propaganda. The best we can hope for is to reduce (not eliminate) our resource consumption intensity.

Even more urgently we should be pushing growth of those parts that result in net decreases in our environmantal footprint -say manufacturing and applying insulation etc.

I totally agree with this. It would have been a great policy back in the 70s.

I have been struggling to think of economic activities that consume no added energy or materials. The only examples I can think of are begging, busking, (unprotected) street prostitution, and the like.

You are trying to be too much of a purist. Any activity which moves people/organizations from high impact to low impact activities is a net positive. We only need to get our footprints down to sustainable levels, not to zero. If you let the quest for purity dominate your thinking, than all action is futile. So if having the symphoney orchestra means some people who would have gotten into drag racing, are now sitting around listening to music, the net change to our collective footprint is negative -even if none of the participants has a negative or zero footprint.

"Sustainability has to start from the bottom up. Top down approaches will never succeed."

Funny, I was just trying to make this point on the campfire thread:

"We'd probably be better off discussing what we will be left with and how to improve things from there. Rather than attempting to define top-down solutions that are unlikely to be implemented, unlikely to be achievable or probably turned into white elephants by the ongoing collapse".

Ron - "Events change people's mind, not arguments." -- yup this is the only working rationale.. events !

Here is a fresh event- example .The Norwegian National Broadcaster -NRK - was about to air the BBC series "Survivors" (2008) (a remake of the 70' version) already next week - but cancelled the whole thing off .... why ? Well the event ::swine flu:: is underway and they will not frigthen the whole nation . You see ?

The very same TV channel's newsroom on the other hand reports that 1/3 of Norwegians could contract the H1N1 virus during fall, just like that and no one even lifts an eyebrow.

... anyways I'm just finished with downloading the entire show from some of those 'pezky torrentz plazez' drifting about on the web.

"Events change people's mind, not arguments."

Exactly. Arguments are a dime a dozen. It could hardly be otherwise. They're very inexpensive, so as there are ever more people around to create them, they become ever cheaper and ever more ignorable.

This probably helps explain the ongoing long-distance urination contests over where the loops in the jet stream randomly become parked at this or that arbitrarily chosen moment. In the current configuration, the upper Midwest happens to be relatively chilly while Seattle and Houston have been very hot (Look! AGW is bunk! Look! Doom is nigh!) In a couple of weeks, or next summer, it may well reverse, but that would leave the take functionally the same (Look! Doom is nigh! Look! AGW is bunk!)

There seems to be nothing to discourage the protagonists from endlessly and tiresomely inspecting the random noise with a microscope, looking for an event that aligns with their thinking. It is noise after all, so nothing can be surer than that each and every one will find what he or she is looking for.

"nothing can be surer than that each and every one will find what he or she is looking for."

Tell that to somebody doing a medium stretch at Angola for selling a small amount of reefer while the banksters of Wall Street are sunning in the Hamptons this weekend.


Joe, I really don't think Paul meant it in that context. I believe he meant that if you are looking for evidence for your pet theory, no matter how absurd that theory, you will find that evidence.

Perhaps Paul could have worded his comments better and have avoided misinterpretation.

Ron P.

<scratches head in bewilderment> Sorry about that, but I have no idea what Joe was latching onto. I said nothing about bankers or reefers or anything even remotely related to them. The subject was weather-and-climate, not economics or drug laws. ???

You're right. Apologies to Paul

:-) Joe

Sorry, events by themselves never ever "change minds."

A humans, we need to have a mental framework to interpret events.

We could have a thousand hurricanes, droughts, floods, sea rise of meters...all the things predicted as results of GW, but if people had never heard of this theory (or if they were sure that it must be God, not CO2), then all those events will not lead to any change of behavior that matters.

Of course if by events you mean death, mutilation, starvations, plague...yes, those events tend to change behavior, but not always in ways that minimize future death, mutilation....

With 5,000 locomotives in storage, Class Is won’t be placing power orders any time soon

The dramatic drop-off in freight traffic has driven Class Is to store locomotives in droves. As of May 20, Union Pacific Railroad had stowed away 2,100 locomotives, or 25 percent of its 8,400-unit fleet. A bullet point on a PowerPoint slide in BNSF Railway Co.’s Q1 presentation (“Near-term Initiatives”) read thusly: “Over 900 locomotives stored or returned.”

Meanwhile, CSX Transportation had parked 600 or 15.8 percent of its 3,800-unit fleet. Norfolk Southern Railway had stored 400 locomotives or 11 percent of its fleet. Canadian Pacific had stowed 350 road and yard locomotives, or 23 percent of its fleet. Kansas City Southern had stored 360 units; CN, 281 units.

According to the Dow Theory, Rails, (modern day Transportation), are supposed to be a leading indicator. If the Rails were making more profit than the Industrials then their stock price would be leading the market up. That is because if the Rails were making a profit then shipping was up meaning the economy was on the rebound, or something like that. The Dow Theory is very complicated and does not always work.

What does it mean when the Rails are shutting down?

Ron P.

I think all it means is reduced traffic. If you look at the data here:


it looks like rail traffic has been more or less flat all this year - it was really last fall when the traffic dropped.

Consider that the areas of the economy that have been hit the hardest have been things like home building and sales of automobiles. All of these involve carloads of stuff that needs to get hauled from one place to another, and the link above has graphs that show this.

I ride Amtrak a lot, 20,000-25,000 miles a year, and normally delays due to freight traffic are a regular pain in the ass. But earlier this year, in April I went (from San Francisco) to Nashville, then in June to Philadelphia and Washington DC. On both trips, Amtrak's on-time score was 100%, we had zero problems with the freights.

I asked the Conductor about the remarkable improvement in Amtrak's on time record, and his reply was simply "The economy's tanked, and there are fewer freights out on the rails." Then we joked that this was likely how Mussolini got the trains to run on time; have a crashed economy and passenger rail's on-time performance goes up to 100%.

Antoinetta III

Jokes aside, though, remember that in the heyday of the rails (at least in the USA), passenger trains (aka "the varnish") usually got priority over just about everything except possibly for refrigerated produce trains. That rule could be restored at the mere stroke of a pen, if only anyone thought passenger service to be of any importance.

However, politicians seem to see it only as a form of decorative jewelry - it's quite enough for them merely to say it exists; it simply doesn't matter if the service is nearly useless. And perhaps they're right not to trouble themselves: Michael O'Leary's airline is apparently the only profitable one in Europe despite his horrifically abusive antics, which demonstrates that plenty of the average people who keep it profitable are just such sorry specimens of foolish stupid worthless rubbish (and this is in the big-government paradise of Europe, not just in wicked Anglo-Saxon America) that they simply don't care how badly they are abused, so long as they think they are "saving" a few pounds or dollars by being treated as vermin.

hat rule could be restored at the mere stroke of a pen, if only anyone thought passenger service to be of any importance.

However, politicians seem to see it only as a form of decorative jewelry - it's quite enough for them merely to say it exists; it simply doesn't matter if the service is nearly useless.

I'm not a politician, which gives me the luxury to declare that most passenger railway is less than useless. The bulk of train cars is just too great, too much material to be hauled around per passenger. Unless we plan to pack them in like they do in India and Pakistan, the energy cost per passenger mile just doesn't justify passenger rail. And, don't even get me started on high speed rail! Where rail is really valuable, is moving freight. We would be far better off to recognize this, and aggressively pursue replaces rubber tire freight with steel wheel freight.

From the IPS article ...

The French government has partially derogated environment laws aimed at protecting river fauna and flora in order to allow nuclear power plants to drain excessively hot water into the rivers during the summer. Water at temperatures above 28 degrees Celsius can cause the death of fish and other animals and plants in the rivers.

How many more of these are the proponents suggesting?

After seeing the green renovations that are being done on the Empire State Building and the Sears Tower, I got the idea that it would make a lot of sense to create a inventory of the largest energy consumers, possibly differentiating between industrial, commercial, etc. "Dream Green Teams" could do renovations on all the largest buildings in the country. The feds could even do low or zero interest loans for financing.

And we can also follow the example of new construction such as The Condé Nast Building (4 Times Square) and the Bank of America Building (One Bryant Park).

See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySeBgt64NEI

See also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBs0iHXvcgo


Considering that many of these buildings have single-pane windows, such as the GM HQ in Detroit that I worked in, I'm sure there are plenty of builings with similar inefficiencies.

It's kind of ironic that a company which is one of the larger contributors to BAU is also home to the largest Green Roof in the world: Ford Dearborn Truck Plant

Since these are probably union jobs, they should be a shu-in for stimulus appropriation.

Are these big buildings having occupancy problems like malls? Will they go TU in a few years?

Note: For about the same money the banksters got/are getting there could be a 5KW solar grid tie system on most every house in the US. About 125 million homes times $20K (probably much less at this scale) is about $4 trillion.

Speakin' of PV, how is your GolfCart setup working for you?

I'm about to score another 2kw Treadmill motor soon, and look forward to putting my Kyocera's to work in the transportation sector as well.


"There is well over a 100-year supply of untapped natural gas that is available, (Jibson) said."

scarcely a day goes by that another delusional person doesn't make that statement, some make the statement more often.

re: A Quest for Batteries to Alter the Energy Equation

Has Obama just invested $2 billion for research and development into perpetual motion :-) That money won't last till Winter. When the up swing comes, the scam market is sure to follow.

I can see snarking on many if not most of the Gov't expenditures of late, but why don't you think we should be investing in battery research?

I'm sure there will be scammers, there usually are.. we still put boats into the water, even tho' there are still pirates out there, right? Do you think there won't also be real research that can be moved forward?


Nissan Unveils "Leaf" - The World's First Electric Car Designed For Affordability And Real-World Requirements


I think more money for battery research is a good thing. It's just that I roll my eyes whenever Lithium batteries are mentioned. They aren't the only game in town, and questions about the ultimate size of the Lithium supply remain. IMO the real game changer is likely to be one of the brands of air batteries. I think zinc-air is the most advanced. Because one of the chemical reactants is Oxygen obtained from the free air, these have the potential for several times the density of the various Lithium Ion batteries. Even the lowly lead acid battery, with enhancements to increase the number of cycles before it degrades should be considered.

I don't remember where I saw the attached link, but going along with the above comments, concerning the demise of rail traffic, and the adverse economic impact thereby indicated, the "chart of the day" of the S & P 500 earnings since 1930 is a staggering testimonial to the depths of the economic bind we find ourselves in. This is not your normal recession. Further, financial institution structural weaknesses and peak oil will prevent a recovery. Figure out how to protect your family as best you can.


.... said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb...

Have any of these religious nut jobs ever read the bible? I think their "God" is quite comfortable with a bit of destruction on a global scale.


The "nut jobs" are mostly actually pretty nice but unfortunately ignorant people and yes they do EARNESTLY(sorry! I couldn't pass that up)read thier Bibles.

Just like doctors and lawyers and accountants read the news papers-and come away with whatever interpretation of the news best suits THIER particular world view.Libs and cons read the same article and draw opposite conclusions-conclusions that are of course consistent with THIER pov.

The God of the Bible is a pretty viscious spoiled brat kind of character but he is one hell of a symbol as a unifyer of small bands of people who,BECAUSE they are unified,tend to succeed and grow in very large bands.

(IEA) Warning: Oil supplies are running out fast
Catastrophic shortfalls threaten economic recovery, says world's top energy economist

There is now a real risk of a crunch in the oil supply after next year when demand picks up because not enough is being done to build up new supplies of oil to compensate for the rapid decline in existing fields. The IEA estimates that the decline in oil production in existing fields is now running at 6.7 per cent a year compared to the 3.7 per cent decline it had estimated in 2007, which it now acknowledges to be wrong.

"If we see a tightness of the markets, people in the street will see it in terms of higher prices, much higher than we see now. It will have an impact on the economy, definitely, especially if we see this tightness in the markets in the next few years," Dr Birol said. "It will be especially important because the global economy will still be very fragile, very vulnerable. Many people think there will be a recovery in a few years' time but it will be a slow recovery and a fragile recovery and we will have the risk that the recovery will be strangled with higher oil prices," he told The Independent.

Of course, when you plug in "Export Math," it looks a lot worse. Initial small declines in net exports, or even year over year increases, tend to obscure the fact that net export declines tend to be front-end loaded, with the bulk of post-peak cumulative net oil exports being shipped early in the decline phase.

Here are the simple percentage change in production, consumption and net exports for Indonesia in 1999, versus 1996 (the final production peak, EIA data):

Production: Down 4.3%
Consumption: Up 11.6%
Net Export: Down 21.8%

However, by the end of 1999, they had shipped 63% of post-1996 cumulative net oil exports--close to two-thirds gone, in three years. So, the post-peak cumulative net export depletion, by percentage, was about 15 times greater than the percentage decline in production, over a three year period.

I read this article and the first page of comments. Even with several years experience of Peak Oil/climate change/overpopulation etc reading, it was somewhat surprising how many denier/trolls were commenting on this article.

The article was a very mild, conservative, and even optimistic vision of future oil problems, but was mostly greeted with vicious and vituperative attacks. One of the few rational comments was from cjwirth, a sometimes commenter on this blog.

Hopefully this means that we are now in the third stage "attack you" (following ignore you, and laugh at you), with a prompt future move to acceptance of the problems that we face. (sarconol, perhaps on my part?)

In one sense, the fewer of us who understand and prepare for the future, the greater chance each of the prepared persons has of surviving the dieoff. Unfortunately the longer the idiotic attempts at BAU continue, the less survivable the future will be for anyone.


Under the general category of S**T happens, about 6PM this evening we had a 15 minute hail storm with over an inch of 1/2" hail on the ground and high winds. We only had two minutes warning. The garden got trashed. We will see what tries to stand up tomorrow but most of the leaves are shredded or stems broken. This is the most hail I have seen here in over 20 years.

Much of what we were trying to learn from this 300 sq foot of raised bed prototype garden with 15 vegetable varieties has been learned but mother taught us another lesson this evening.

I'm glad we are not to the point where we really needed to feed ourselves from the garden. A black swan event like this would be devastating.

In Omaha we had a thunderstorm one time with 2” hail that pimpled every car in town. It was earlier in the year and we had plenty of time to re-plant. Our growing season will be over in 40-60 days so about the only thing to plant now would be radishes and it might be too hot for planting; 90+ most days. We typically get a killing frost in September or early October.

My neighbor to the north had two horses out and couldn't get to them in time. I checked them after the storm. They didn't look too worse for the wear but I am sure they were hurting.

We are not crying. No one was hurt. Much worse things happen all over the world evey day. A 1/4" hail net might be a good idea about 8 feet up over the garden on thunderstorm afternoons (maybe 10-15 days each summer). I'll work on it. Any ideas?

No other human enterprises that I know of are left up to chance more so than farming (gardening).

I've seen a few permaculture documentaries, and they all talk of how easy it is to feed ourselves.

Without fossil fuel we are forced to confront Mother Nature on her own terms.


Boy, what a rough break!

As I look at my garden and my few little Solar Implements, I often consider putting in the effort to create covering flaps or roofs that can be deployed quickly in case the Heavens are about to open up. 2-minutes warning though, sheesh, you'd need a button on your belt-loop or on your phone to have much of a chance.

So far, only my Solar Hot Air box is protected this way, with Vinyl 'BarnDoors' that had to be built onto the system so it could remain shaded through the summer months and not overheat. With your KC-130's, you might look into having some 'storm covers' readily available, just folded off to the sides.. even tho' they are tempered glass and tested for hailstorms, many events could start rewriting the extents as we roll forward.

Sorry to hear it, Lynford!

(You also might look into growing some mushrooms in the basement, to have a 'cover crop'..)


Last week we had a heavy thunderstorm. The displaced air running in front of it in the form of high winds ripped through our valley, with the trees taking the brunt of it.

The high winds only lasted a few minutes but created enough work to occupy me for a day clearing up branches and tree limbs that were scattered everywhere, including blocking the stream. One of our large old plum trees groaning under the weight of plums was ripped to shreds, a mature walnut in the adjoining field was snapped in two (last year lightening killed 3 sheep in the same field). Even the potatoes were laid out flat.

Climate change and the corresponding effect on the weather is the one that really scares me. A severe or extreme weather event lasting a few hours could destroy everything and take years to recover from. And here in Europe the climate is benign compared with the rest of the World. In other parts of the World, where the lands are marginal and traditional occupied by nomadic hunter gatherers rather than settled, I guess things will quickly get out of hand.

Our one great defence against Climate Change is abundant cheap energy, without it we're defenceless.

tough luck Lynford,

You have my sympathy.

And although I feel your pain regarding the loss of your garden my guess is that the pain is more just frustration at losing a nice crop nearly ready to harvest rather than a sharp pain in the wallet.

The silver lining in this cloud is that now that YOU have been slapped upside the head,fortunately not too hard, by Mother Nature,you will be much less likely to underestimate the difficulties you will face in the event you ever really do have to look after providing your own food.

Believe me folks.

When I tell you that you can COUNT ON MAYBE A quarter or a third of the yields posted by by most all the sites I see mentioned,I'm telling you the UNVARNISHED TRUTH.

And when I say that here in the southeastern US where the rain is reasonably dependable and the soil is decent if not outstanding,that you will need two and a half acres per person to be REASONABLY sure of long term success as a subsistence farmer,I am not being as conservative as a financial planner who tells you to keep up the premiums on your BC/BS and to keep six months worth of cash on hand and to hang onto your job and match your employers contribution to your ira and save ten percent of your income.

Not even half as xxxxing conservative!

Cause in the world of bau there are foodstamps and unemployment checks and social services and relatives and if absolutely necessary stores where you can shop lift until you get arrested and THEY WILL FEED YOU IN JAIL.And social services will fid a place for your kids.

But if tshtf for real and the industrial economy goes down,and you really do succeed in getting out to the country and trying to make it on what you can grow and preserve,there will be NO fallback position.

A hail storm could wipe out the whole acreage but if you are doing things correctly there will be some things that survive or that can be salvaged-potatos just emerging will recover easily from a hail storm and green tomatos can be made into relish or canned for cooking later if the vines are ruined.Apples look like hell warmed over if hit by a hard hail storm but the trees always survive and the fruit is still edible although it will not store well.But it can be dried or canned.

Maybe there is ONE fallback position.You can murder your nieghbor if it looks as if he has a stash worth the risk.

If you have a couple of little kids with nothing to eat .....

If you make it for the first two or three years the die off will be finished and you will be able to WORK with your nieghbors.

Hang in there.I enjoy your posts and you come up with some good comments!

ps not to be too nitpicky but hail is not only a known hazard but one that is ROUTINE.Black Swans by the definition of the man who wrote the book are things that cannot easily be be foreseen.

Although expensive I use cages and row covers to protect plants from animals and hail. Cylindrical cages made from galvanized steel wire cloth with 1/2" or 1/4" squares will protect leaves because the hail usually falls diagonally striking the side of the cage. Only the top leaves that grow out above the cage get damaged. A row cover made from 1/2" flexible poly tubing and covered with a net protects the plants. I have not decided how to protect my grape plants yet, but it will probably be a net slung over the top wire of my trellis like a tent. It would protect them against hail and birds. Two of my tomato plants are currently vulnerable to hail damage because they have grown above their 18 inch tall cages.

A greenhouse is another option.

The Real Perils of Human Population Growth ... David and Marcia Pimentel


WTF! Why doesn't anyone else over here mention consumption as well?!

The average american citizen consumes 32 times more resources then the average african. The typical american consumes 70 times more energy then the average Bangladeshi.

American Population is much closer to 10 BILLION people if you simply multiply the consumption factor x the population. 32 x 305 million.

It's not population - it's consumption that's the greater threat to the planet and no one consumes more then America.