Drumbeat: October 4, 2009

World Bank welcomes new economic order from the ashes of crisis

Finally, there are those who believe the determination of the bank and fund to return as quickly as possible to the high levels of growth seen earlier this decade ignores the elephant in the room – that, by 2029, traditional fossil fuel stocks will be running dry.

Andrew Simms, head of policy at the New Economics Foundation thinktank, says: "One major thing that will describe the landscape in 2029 is that we will be beyond the point of peak oil. That will be the trigger for so many dominoes to fall." Decisions made in the next few years, he adds, will be critical. "There is the risk of enormous knock-on effects on trade and food supply, with the food price volatility of the last year looking like a vicar's tea party."

He believes food security will replace gross domestic product as the yardstick of success, and there will be an emphasis on the new "three Rs" – reduce, repair, recycle.

A bleak picture as oil production slides

A front-page story in The New York Times focused on a series of recent oil discoveries. But, as the story, “Oil industry sets a brisk pace of new discoveries,” published Sept. 24 acknowledges, none match the giant oil-field discoveries of the past. And despite these recent finds, world oil production has achieved a peak, or plateau, and eventually a steady decline will bring dire implications for the world economy and modern society.

Peak oil is not some fuzzy academic concern based on anecdotal information, but a geological reality. This is true for the United States (where production peaked in 1970 and has declined in most years since, despite enormous investments and technical improvements), and for most of the world's major oil-producing nations (including Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Norway, Mexico, Venezuela, and many dozens of smaller producers).

Iraq and oil majors agree terms on oilfield project

Iraq and oil majors British Petroleum and China's CNPC International have agreed commercial terms for a joint venture to almost triple production at the giant Rumaila oilfield, a report said on Saturday.

Turkmenistan Welcomes Trans-Caspian Gas Pipe Built by Europe

(Bloomberg) -- Turkmenistan is willing to ship natural gas to European partners if they build a pipeline across the Caspian Sea to transport fuel westward.

“We’ll be happy to work with European partners, should they choose to build a pipeline to our border,” Yagshigeldy Kakaev, director of state-run gas company Turkmengaz, said today at a conference in Bucharest. “Diversification for us means diversification of markets, but we won’t compete for a market at any cost.”

Thousands gather to watch Nigerian militant disarm

WARRI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Thousands of people gathered in the Nigerian oil city of Warri on Sunday to witness the disarmament of militant leader Government Tompolo, the final prominent Niger Delta rebel to accept a presidential amnesty.

Energy giant set to double profits

Scottish & Southern Energy, one of the UK's top six energy companies, is expected to announce a near doubling of interim profits next month, sparking fury among customers.

President takes aim at energy industry

Last week, before the U.N. Summit on Climate Change, President Obama took the stage, setting himself up as the world leader in the war against global warming and, at the same time, declaring war on U.S. oil and gas producers.

Alaska is set to lead in renewable energy

America's current energy use and lack of a comprehensive plan to reduce greenhouse gas pollution constitute a serious threat to national security -- militarily, diplomatically and economically. As a nation, America is critically dependent on imported oil and overly reliant on fossil fuels. Our nation's electric grid is fragile and poses a security risk.

We have identified a series of converging risks associated with future energy choices. Diversifying our energy sources to include cleaner and more efficient energy sources where possible is critical to our future energy security.

Can lean times also be green times?

As the giant cargo cranes at the Port of Long Beach loomed behind him, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last week cut quickly to a debate gaining intensity in his Republican Party: Should the state's passion for environmental protection survive a foundering economy?

S.F. renters get set to join mandatory composting effort

SAN FRANCISCO - With just 17 days to go before the nation's first mandatory composting law goes into effect here, most of the eye-rolling is over.

Now that the "only in San Francisco" reaction has died down, city workers are hustling to get the ubiquitous green and blue bins out to thousands of apartment houses and commercial buildings.

Greenpeace sets sights on Shell

Days after members of Greenpeace Canada were arrested for setting up a blockade at an oil sands site, the group is protesting Shell Canada’s expansion site at Scotford in central Alberta.

Nearly 20 activists are occupying three stacks at Shell’s expansion site of its Scotford upgrader to raise awareness of the “climate crimes” of the oil sands.

Record-breaking transit ridership saved fuel in Indiana

In 2008, Indiana citizens saved 11.7 million gallons of gasoline by riding transit in record numbers -- the amount consumed by 20,200 cars. Transportation is responsible for more than two-thirds of our dependence on oil, and about one-third of our carbon dioxide pollution Environment America outlined in a new report "Getting On Track: Record Transit Ridership Increases Energy Independence."

People are voting with their feet by driving less and taking more public transportation. Congress should listen to these voters and invest more in public transportation, which will increase our energy independence and reduce global warming pollution.

China tycoon resurfaces in US with green car plan

HONG KONG (AP) - Yang Rong was once celebrated as a pioneering automobile entrepreneur who founded the first Chinese company to be listed on Wall Street.

Then, seven years ago, he fled to the U.S. fearing arrest for alleged economic crimes.

Now, Yang is plotting a comeback as a hybrid car maker in the U.S. - a venture requiring billions of dollars that could face daunting odds amid a weak economy and against competitors such as Toyota and Honda that have already invested millions in "green" technology.

Technical, human factors to blame for Russian power plant accident

MOSCOW (Xinhua) -- The disaster that killed 75 people at Russia's largest hydropower plant in August was caused by technical shortcomings and human errors, the state industrial safety watchdog Rostekhnadzor said on Saturday.

Energy-storage plant developer picks Glenville as second NY site

Beacon Power Corp. plans to build a 20-megawatt flywheel energy storage plant at an industrial site in Glenville in northern Schenectady County.

Will California become America's first failed state?

But the state that was once held up as the epitome of the boundless opportunities of America has collapsed. From its politics to its economy to its environment and way of life, California is like a patient on life support. At the start of summer the state government was so deeply in debt that it began to issue IOUs instead of wages. Its unemployment rate has soared to more than 12%, the highest figure in 70 years. Desperate to pay off a crippling budget deficit, California is slashing spending in education and healthcare, laying off vast numbers of workers and forcing others to take unpaid leave. In a state made up of sprawling suburbs the collapse of the housing bubble has impoverished millions and kicked tens of thousands of families out of their homes. Its political system is locked in paralysis and the two-term rule of former movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger is seen as a disaster – his approval ratings having sunk to levels that would make George W Bush blush. The crisis is so deep that Professor Kenneth Starr, who has written an acclaimed history of the state, recently declared: "California is on the verge of becoming the first failed state in America."

There's Still Time To Cut The Risk Of Climate Catastrophe, Study Shows

ScienceDaily — A new analysis of climate risk, published by researchers at MIT and elsewhere, shows that even moderate carbon-reduction policies now can substantially lower the risk of future climate change. It also shows that quick, global emissions reductions would be required in order to provide a good chance of avoiding a temperature increase of more than 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level — a widely discussed target. But without prompt action, they found, extreme changes could soon become much more difficult, if not impossible, to control.

Greg Clark: Global warming is not on our back burner

Back in April 2006, David Cameron handed out silver birch saplings to journalists at a press conference in which he urged voters to "vote blue, go green". The next day, the Tory leader of four months was photographed perched on the melting Svalbard glacier in Norway, his hair windswept, an arm wrapped around a huskie which was nuzzling Cameron's North Face jacket. These were the 24 hours in which Cameron imposed his environmental credentials on the world. They were followed by a pledge to help prevent climate change with "green taxes".

Tomorrow, three and a half years later, the Conservative leader will lead his party conference as prime minister-in-waiting, with Britain's "broken economy", "broken society" and "broken politics" at the top of the agenda. In Manchester, climate change has been shoved into debates on the recession.

Climate change hits poor countries hardest: World Bank

ISTANBUL — The developing world will suffer about 80 percent of the damage from climate change despite accounting for only around a third of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the World Bank said on Sunday.

"The damage of climate change, about 75 to 80 percent, will be suffered by developing countries although they only contribute about one third of greenhouse gases," World Bank chief economist Justin Lin told reporters.

New Video from Oilyboyd: Wake Up!

The world faces an impending bottleneck: too many of us consuming limited resources on a finite planet, flooding the air, water and soil with toxins, fouling our nest. If you already know this and are doing nothing, its time to wake up.

On December 7, 2009, representatives of governments, NGOs, and businesses, as well as researchers into climate change and members of the press from all over the world will gather in Copenhagen, Denmark, to finalize a follow-up treaty to the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012. This is our last best shot at halting and reversing global greenhouse gas emissions before the 2015 date climate scientists posit as a turning point, beyond which escalating emissions could trigger catastrophic climate disruption.

Professor David MacKay: Britain ‘must go nuclear’ to control climate

THE government’s chief scientific adviser on climate change has proposed a quadrupling of Britain’s nuclear power generation to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.

Professor David MacKay believes nuclear power could be the only way Britain can meet its soaring demand for electricity while keeping emissions under control.

He has calculated that renewable energy sources such as wind and tidal power will never provide more than a fraction of Britain’s electricity needs.

...MacKay also wants to see an end to the use of gas for central heating and the replacement of boilers with heat pumps that extract heat from the atmosphere. They run on electricity.

“Setting fire to chemicals like gas should be made a thermodynamic crime,” he said. “If people want heat they should be forced to get it from heat pumps. That would be a sensible piece of legislation.”

Hi Undertow,

MacKay also wants to see an end to the use of gas for central heating and the replacement of boilers with heat pumps that extract heat from the atmosphere. They run on electricity.

With regards to this point, Mitsubishi's Ecodan heat pumps are particularly well suited to the UK market where "wet" systems dominate.

See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc7I2DeqUMQ


Hi Paul: What would be you top brand for Toronto? I know you have mentioned that Fujitsu is very energy efficient but I have heard sometimes there are maintenance concerns along with problems getting parts-a lot of people feel Mitsubishi is more reliable. I actually have a 12500 Mitsubishi AC unit I purchased years ago-working well.

Hi Brian,

One key consideration is the reputation of the dealer and their after sales service and support. These things are highly reliable as a rule, but proper installation is critical to good performance and long life. Mitsubishi is certainly one of the better choices and likewise Fujitsu, but both carry a considerable price premium. I'm very pleased with my Friedrich (a rebranded Fujitsu) and Sanyo. Sanyo offers name brand quality and good performance, but at a more reasonable price point; for overall value, it's tough to beat.

I opted for this one: http://www.sanyohvac.com/products.php?id=12KHS71

Note that the features table shows the HSPF as 7.7 -- it's actually 9.3.


Thanks again.

I LOVE my Sanyo heat pump. It's been reliable and I figure it has paid for itself after three winters (I replaced baseboard heaters with it).

Hi André,

Glad to hear it; same here. Even at -20°C, this Sanyo produces an impressive amount of heat at a fraction of the cost of residential fuel oil or baseboard electric. Plus, I'm a lot more comfortable in that I don't begrudge keeping the house at a more "normal" temperature, something I was loath to do when I heated with oil.


I'm in escrow on a two-story brick home with a finished basement, forced air and a fireplace. Luckily, it is south facing. Detroit. The basement should maintain a cool temperature year round, I'd think, without freezing. Might make a nice root cellar site, actually. The first floor has a fairly open floor plan making essentially a U shape with the kitchen and dining room on one side and the living room on the other. The second floor, with three BR's and a bath is the sticky part.

I had two thoughts. One, what about using the existing vents for the furnace to get air convecting through the house somehow? Heat from the fireplace would move up to the upper floor through existing or newly created vents in winter. With a correctly-sized intake vent in the basement, a well-sealed shell and an exterior vent on the upper floor, might that not work? Or would it be necessary to bring the air from the upper floor down somehow, too? In winter, the basement should keep the rest of the house cool with the system working in reverse.

At some point in the future, if we decided to stay in the home long term, we'd try to add a solar collector room/greenhouse on the front.

My inspiration is the envelope-type homes as modeled here: http://www.enertia.com/Science/HowItWorks/tabid/68/Default.aspx

The other choice would be the heat pump. There shouldn't be a need in the basement. Could I get away with one on the first and one on the second floor if, say, doors were open at night? Sleeping temps can be quite low and mornings can be handled by the timers. Or, would I need a multiple units upstairs on a split system?

Is it at all feasible to do something strange like have the pump in the basement rather than outside to create the sorts of flows I mentioned above? Obviously, I have no idea if there are any exhaust fumes to deal with or just exhaust air.

Any comments appreciated.


Hi ccpo,

Congratulation on the purchase of your new home. You mentioned that this home has a forced air heating system; that's great because it can be used to distribute conditioned air throughout the living space. If not already so equipped, I would install a variable speed ECM motor and operate it at continuous low speed to help keep temperatures more uniform. An ECM motor in this mode draws very little power, i.e., less than 20-watts (source: http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/obj/irc/doc/pubs/nrcc38443/nrcc38443.pdf).

A ductless heat pump consists of two components: an indoor air handler or "head" and an outdoor compressor, or two or more heads and a single compressor in the case of a multi-head system. If you decide to purchase a ductless heat pump, I would recommend a single head unit be installed on the main floor. We found one 12,000 BTU/hr unit was sufficient to keep the main and upper floors comfortable (an open centre hall allows heat to rise to this second floor). Last fall, we installed a second heat pump in the basement to improve comfort on this lower level and to eliminate our remaining dependence on oil heat.

You would need a proper heat loss calculation to determine the optimum size of your heat pump, but since your primary heating system serves as back up, the risks of undersizing your unit are greatly diminished. Whichever brand you choose, make sure it's an inverter system and that the HSPF (heating season performance factor) is 9.0 or higher.


A ductless heat pump consists of two components: an indoor air handler or "head" and an outdoor compressor, or two or more heads and a single compressor in the case of a multi-head system.

Right. I had posted after checking over the Sanyo site, but I was clumsy with my wording. I was trying to say a multi system with one compressor and 2 - 4 heads. The part of my question I'm not quite clear on is, if I wanted to not use the forced air at all, would it make any sense to place the compressor in the basement rather than outside to maximize the flow of air around the house? I think there was an admonition about humid places for the compressor... I have no plans to use the air conditioning function.


ccpo - It sounds like you want to put the outside unit in your basement? That won't work well at all. In heat pump mode the outside unit generates cold, your basement would get extremely cold and kill the efficiency of the system.

Hi ccpo,

The compressor must be installed outside. A 12,000 BTU/hr heat pump would cool your basement by an equal amount, and it wouldn't be very long before the pipes freeze and the whole place is turned into a giant meat locker.


Thanks to you both. That should have been obvious. I was thinking simply (simpleton-ly) about exhaust and *not* the very nature of the beast.

Silly me.



I know next to nothing about heat pumps but I have spent some time messing around old houses,and using an existing duct system to move heat from a wood stove is possible.

One of my nieghbors installed a range hood of the type used over restaurant stoves over a wood stove in his basement ,with hood leading into the first large section of hot air duct coming out of the old existing furnace.He also installed a "squirrel cage" blower in the duct, and turns it on anytime he has a wood fire.

His basement gets toasty warm,which is wasting a lot of the heat, but so does the rest of the house.
This is not a big problem for him-he cuts his own wood right on his place and we don't have nearly as much need for heat this far south as you do in Detroit.

He also installed a door in the duct above the stove that can be closed by hand, so if he needs to run the old oil furnace he can light it up-which is handy if he goes away for the weekend in cold weather-no frozen pipes.

Your house may not have cool air return duct work-meaning whatever goes up the hot air ducts must necessarily recirculate back to the basement by traveling thru hallways and staircases,against the natural tendency of hot air to rise-causing cold air to infiltrate lower down of course.

In such cases a lot of warm air leaks out of the house thru leaky windows, around electrical outlets, and so forth.If your house is old, you may have to spend some time and money on such problems.

But as you say, if you don't stay you might not profit from the investment-on the other hand ,if the local real estate market picks up and you can show some nice low receipts for your electricity , you might recover your money and make a nice profit on the improvements.

People out in farm country who tend to stay put on family property can afford to take a very long term view of such improvements.Double and triple glazed windows, styrofoam under vinyl siding,extra layers of insulation in attics and so forth are getting installed in modest farm country homes faster than in town around here-the expected payoff in in terms of reduced heating expenses is looked at as a PERMANENT thing.

Most of the younger folks in town seem to be still thinking in terms of a bigger house,a nicer car, and a better job to pay the bills.

Thank you both for your responses. They are much appreciated. I'll need to track down more detail to be sure I've understood what you've both said, but if I'm not mistaken you've essentially said, "Yes," which is very cool.

Thanks tons!


Re: Will California become America's first failed state?

Can California ever fix itself? More to the point, can the U.S., which has long looked to California for new ideas and directions and has built a society based on the same car centered life styles, fix itself?

Here's a quote that says it all.

Kotkin, who is writing an eagerly anticipated book about what America will look like in 2050, thinks much of it will still resemble the bedrock of the Californian dream: sturdy, wholesome suburbs for all – just done more responsibly. "We will still live in suburbs. You work with the society you have got. The question is how we make them more sustainable," he says.

Sorry guy, where's the energy to make it all happen? I left California back in 1976, after being unable to find work in the Recession of 1975. I also left because I could not tolerate the smog and I was in Northern California, not the Los Angeles area, which was much worse. When I left, the population of the San Francisco Bay Area was about 4 million and now it's about 8 million, TWICE AS MANY PEOPLE...

E. Swanson

Sorry guy, where's the energy to make it all happen?

I think there it's not as bad off as most other states. In terms of per capita greenhouse emissions, the state is around half of the national average. A very substantial amount of hydro power (some imported from further north of course). A very good climate for solar power. Not a good place for windpower -only a few places have sufficient wind, and these are mostly already covered with turbines. Silicon valley is reinventing itself as the alternative energy innovation center for America (and probably for the world).

No doubt the economic -and especially government funding issues are severe. Personally I don't like crowding -or its climate -which I regard as the most inhospitable to plant life of any state (endless hot sunshine for several months). I only came here because I was offered a job when I needed it.

What galls me about California is the arrogance and self righteousness on environmental/energy issues. The California Air Resources Board acts like it is has received insight from God in its Indirect Land Use Change policy. No science needed. And then the EPA adopts the rule without questioning it largely because California did it. California with all its problems is not a good state to be held up as a model for the future.

Many here believe that the future requires a stable or declining population. It requires local food and energy production. And both have to be renewable and sustainable. There are several states in the Midwest that are much better models for the future than California including my own.

It seems California institutions go out of their way to attack ethanol for example. Why? Do other states have public and private institutions spending time and money to attack California products like fruits and vegetables, movies or oil? I don't think so.

Yesterday I commented on Sen. Boxers requested GAO report on ethanol subsidies. Why doesn't she request a GAO report on oil subsidies? I suspect it is because California has more oil than ethanol. So from California's perspective ethanol is fair game.

Yet we see in "President takes aim at energy industry", up top, the reaction of oil to Obama's attempt to reduce subsidies. It is called a war on oil. What then is reducing ethanol subsidies? It is obvious using this standard that it is a war on ethanol.

Reducing oil subsidies makes sense especially if those subsidies are for foreign production. If oil is a finite resource it makes no sense to encourage more production/consumption since it only hastens its consumption and therefore its end.

Energy that is renewable should receive any subsidies. Removing ethanol subsidies while oil is left untouched is what Sen. Boxer is after. It is no wonder that California can't fix itself with people like her running the show.

Cornucopian Talking Points

(1) If oil prices are rising, it's due to speculation, and not to fundamental supply/demand factors;

(2) If oil prices are falling, it's because Peak Oil "theories" are wrong;

(3) If oil production is falling, especially in a rising price environment, it's because of "Resource Nationalism," i.e., if privately managed oil companies are developing a region, using the best available technology, with virtually no restriction on drilling, we don't see a production peak.

#3 of course requires one to pretend that: (A) Texas and the North Sea (which accounted for about 9% of total world cumulative crude oil production as of 2005) and similar regions don't exist; or (B) it requires one to believe in alternative history theories (Texas Communists & North Sea terrorist vegetarians) or (C) it requires one to believe that new and improved TFD (Technological Fairy Dust) will magically bring production back up to peak levels.

When I pressed Michael "Cornucopian" Lynch about Texas and the North Sea, he simply declared that these were not places where he would choose to drill wells, i.e., I think that he basically chose Door (A)--Texas and the North Sea were basically figments of my imagination.

There is nothing wrong with resource nationalism since it does the good job of driving up prices. I have yet to see a rational price for depleting resources (e.g. cod fish) even when it is apparent that they are running out. Consumer nations do not have the right to dictate the price of oil and natural gas. People were whinging when oil was at $147 per barrel. That price was a joke; here in Canada I was paying $1.35 per liter of gasoline (in the US it was cheaper due to much lower taxes) which is basically the price of bottled water. There is no serious price signal in this so-called free market that would clue in consumers that things are going to change and soon. The volume of street traffic is still a function of how sunny the weather is, in other words people's pocket books are not hurting enough for them to rationalize their driving. And cornucopians can spout their drivel safely.

If the economy cannot handle $150 oil then that says the economy is some sort of house of cards.

When people whined to me about the price of gasoline, I always asked them to calculate how much a beer would be if measured in barrels. That usually shut them up.

The problem with using price as a signal is that it cannot predict the deep future. Price is a function of the present and the immediate future.

Price is a function of the present and the immediate future.

After following the futures prices fairly closely for the last six months I'd say that price is a function of the present and the immediate past. Futures traders think they are predicting the future but I'm pretty confident that those predictions have fared poorly for anything out beyond even one month. (I guess that is what you mean by immediate.) Amazingly, front month futures range as much over a month as futures years out into the future.

I have purchased a lot of historical data and will be adding it to the Energy Futures Databrowser later this Fall to make a stronger case for my argument.

Happy Exploring,

-- Jon

A good history of "Resource Nationalism" is a former net oil exporter which went from finding one of its two largest oil fields (in 1930) to net oil importer status in only 18 years (in 1948). I am of course talking about the US.

EIA: The price of oil to be $131 per barrel in 2030.

Interview with EIA Administrator Richard Newell

As the world's economies recover, higher world oil prices are assumed to return and to persist through 2030. In our reference case projection, world oil prices rise to $99 per barrel in 2015 (in real 2007 dollars) and $131 per barrel in 2030.

Well, there you have it folks, right form the horse's mouth. Mr. Newell did not speculate on what oil production will be in 2030 but he did say that the Caspian region would produce 5 percent of the world's oil in 2030. Right now Azerbaijan plus Kazakstan produce 3.5 percent of the world's oil. If you add Iran's share of Caspian oil then they are producing pretty close to 5 percent today.

Ron P.

Ron -- It will always amaze me how folks just can't say "I don't know" when they are asked a question for which there is no defensible answer. Of course, they always defend their answer with "this is what my model, based upon these assumptions, says the price of oil will be". I've lost more than one contract by not generating a reserve report when there wasn't sufficient data to do so. The common response from the client was typically "well...no one has any data to prove you're wrong either. So here's the reserve number I want you to generate". Of course, I would tell them they can do it themselves since they already had the answer they wanted. And the response was, of course: "No, we need you to do it so we can hang it on your credibility." And, of course, we know what happens to one's credibility if you get sucked into such foolish games. With very few exceptions all these "experts" have a monetary interest in supplying any answer, right or wrong. As a life long consultant I can attest that saying "I don't know" just doesn't get those invoices paid.

The absurdity of answering the unanswerable has reached such limits that I intentionally avoid such reports/statements these days.

Good for you ROCKMAN!

It's so refreshing to hear someone who has the guts to say "I don't know." when there isn't enough data. If we could get people to understand error bars and insist that they include them in their reports then you could have given folks the reserve numbers they wanted -- albeit with error bars that range from %20 - %200 of their desired number.

What folks need to understand is that the "I don't know" answer doesn't usually mean "I have absolutely no idea." I, it often means "There are large uncertainties." It should be an invitation to inquire more deeply about what is and isn't known.

This lack of appreciation of uncertainties pervades everything we do. Uncertainties are very seldom reported outside of the scientific and medical literature and generating plots that include error bars can be challenging even for numerate folks.

Unfortunately for us data focused types, the behavioral economics folks have done enough experiments to convince me that most folks prefer to believe someone with a failed track record but who is certain about the future over someone with an excellent track record who hedges their predictions with comments about the uncertainty.

I think perhaps that's why those of us who hedge our statements are best suited to be influencers rather than leaders.

-- Jon

Thanks Jon but it's not so much guts as self preservation. In my world being wrong (especially optimisticly so) shows up pretty fast. Get it wrong often enough and bad enough and those referrals stop coming in. This is where the real problem falls with all our "experts"...no accountability most of the time. Same goes for our politicians. By the time their errors become obvious they are no longer on the scene. Then the next batch of "expects" start flapping their lips in front of the MSM. And if we're waiting for the MSM to seperate the wheat from the shaft we have a very long wait IMO.

I agree re I don't know.
We'd live in a better place if people were willing to admit things they didn't know or weren't capable of knowing. The pressure to not admit such has become a cultural arms race.

We'd live in a better place if people were willing to admit things they didn't know or weren't capable of knowing.

And then we have the more nuanced, I sorta know. Depending upon certain factors (which if they can be observed -or not partway through the forcast period) things ought to evolve like such and such. That allows an intelligent and hard working person to derive maximum benefit from your (I'm assuming expert) prognostications. But, such a discourse is far too involved for public communications, so we are stuck with something like I don't know, or error bars that are so large that the prediction has little practical value.

I had an interesting job for a while that involved getting to know a good number of front-line science research outfits (mostly not directly 'commercial'). These guys were mostly interested in telling me about what they didn't know - these were the exciting prospects.
(Think of it as expanding bubbles of knowledge like a cerebral cortex, creating an ever-growing surface area with 'the unknown'.)
Of course scientific knowledge in many areas was becoming increasingly proprietary, perhaps especially in one area of interest, biotechnology. Entering the proprietary world seemed to exact large costs, particularly the loss of "competitive but collaborative" group networking. I observed also an increasing element, and eventually it became overwhelming, of 'hype' designed for propaganda. The real boundaries, limits and context, got lost. Sounds a bit like recent financial and oil worlds?

From the article, 'World Bank welcomes new economic order from the ashes of crisis' comes this estimated peak oil date:

"One major thing that will describe the landscape in 2029 is that we will be beyond the point of peak oil. That will be the trigger for so many dominoes to fall."

2029? Most people on TOD assert peak occurred in July of 08, but this source claims it will not occur for another 20 years - wow! I keep seeing these estimates of peak oil thrown so far into the future, as if to say they agree oil is finite and understand the problems that will be associated with such an event, yet the can is kicked to some far off future date. But, I wonder what if any data they are interpreting to establish such timelines. Or is this simply the cornucopian interpretation of peak oil?

I interpret that sentence in an entirely different way

One major thing that will describe the landscape in 2029 is that we will be beyond the point of peak oil.

That will be true if the peak happens in 2028. It will be even more true if the peak happened in 2008. In my view this was a very clever way of warming the audience up to the idea of peak oil without being even vaguely specific about the date. The admission of the possibility of a peak anytime within the next twenty years is in itself remarkable considering the source.

Hopefully the world bank will bear this in mind when they are looking at funding energy or transportation projects in developing countries.

Alan from the islands

That's true. The article says by 2029 fossil fuel stocks will be "running dry." That implies being well past peak, not at peak.

Leanan, it's clear from the article is claiming we will be having big trouble in 2029. My point is we already are in trouble because we went past peak in July 08. The other point of my posting was the numerous articles putting peak oil problems off until 20 hence. See what I'm driving at?

I would not want to call a peak yet, because for a couple of years some people were sure 2005 was the peak. There are people who use petroleum statistics and other people who use petroleum + NGL's in their statistics. Others will add syncrude, coal to liquids, or natural gas to liquids into the mix. It is a bit tricky. Some want to add in ethanol, but will need to subtract grain stockpiles in the process.

OPEC has millions of barrels offline. If the oil price will spike, they might open the taps.

Some time ago Tom Whipple of the Falls Church News leaked a government document stating that the Cantarell field in Mexico would soon enter a phase of rapid production declines. In retrospect; he was right.

Not very long ago there was a series of TOD articles about Ghawar with colorful hydrocarbon reservoir modeling maps. Based on what I read there is serious near term danger of declines in parts of the world's largest oil field system. Near term is less than five years. If they shut in Ghawar to comply with OPEC quotas it might last longer. Shutting in a field does less damage to its reserves. Supposedily Ain Dar was already yielding water cuts indicating its maturity, then they switched to horizontal MRC fishbone pattern well recovery. They had smart directional drilling to try to reach the sweet spots indicated by advanced seismic imaging. It is like skimming the oil off the top of a water-flooded reservoir. Of course Ghawar may continue to yield oil for years to come, but at what rates?

I would not want to call a peak yet, because for a couple of years some people were sure 2005 was the peak.

According to the EIA, 2005 was the peak.

2005 Average     73,728
2006 Average     73,446
2777 Average     72,989
2008 Average     73,706

International Petroleum Monthly

Click on spreadsheet 4.1d

But the point is 2005 thru 2008 was the peak plateau. Everything within those four years is within the margin of error. Peak oil is in the past. OPEC produced flat out during those four years. Because of the very high prices in 2008 everyone made heroic efforts to produce every barrel they could. They have cut back now but they still could not produce more than they did in 2008. Also, OPEC without Angola, peaked in 2005. Angola joined OPEC in January 2007.

Ron P.

The admission of the possibility of a peak anytime within the next twenty years is in itself remarkable considering the source.

Sorry, wrote my original comment in response to the excerpt before reading the entire article and finding out that "the source" is a critic of the world bank. In that light they will probably bear no such thing in mind when looking at loan proposals.

Alan from the islands

And even if the quote was from an internal source that represented the official viewpoint of the organization, few members of the public are careful enough to parse that sentence to mean peak comes before (possibly long before) 2029. By all means the take-home point for 90% of the population will be "nothing to worry about, we got another twenty years".

The peaking of oil and energy, the financial crisis, and a whole lot of other things are rendered meaningless when one understands the implications of the discoveries announced in this article:

"Arctic Seas Turn to Acid, Putting Vital Food Chain at Risk.... Carbon-dioxide emissions are turning the waters of the Arctic Ocean into acid at an unprecedented rate, scientists have discovered."

I would chastize the editor because it's Food Chains--PLURAL. I've already commented on the article at its host site. The planet's obituary should read: Killed by the Industrial Revolution and its Class War.

Yes, and this considering that we've only had to deal with a temperature rise of 1.3°c so far:

Met Office: catastrophic climate change could happen with 50 years

Catastrophic climate change could happen with 50 years, five decades earlier than previously predicted, according to a Met Office report.

An average global temperature rise of 7.2F (4C), considered a dangerous tipping point, could happen by 2060, causing droughts around the world, sea level rises and the collapse of important ecosystems, it warns.

The Arctic could see an increase in temperatures of 28.8F (16C), while parts of sub Saharan Africa and North America would be devastated by an increase in temperature of up to 18F (10C).

Or, they could be honest and say " we don't know"!

Many here opined Peak Oil trumped Climate Change in immediacy and importance. I think we can now say they were quite wrong.

Don't forget that although the longest days(northern hemisphere of course) are at the end of June the real heat makes its appearance in late July and August.

In human terms peal oil may prove to be a more immediate concern for a couple of reasons.In human terms, decades are a fairly long time, and the real effects of peak oil will likely start showing up in terms of fast rising prices,a seesawing or a stairstep down economy,and war in less than a decade.The effects of climate change do not appear to be nearly as significant within such a short time frame.

Furthermore we cannot really predict how the world economy will react to the obvious coming oil crunch for lots of reasons-possibly the biggest one being that we don't know how fast oil production will decline because of the many feedback loops involved.Keep in mind that lots of the loops involve politics and economics as well as engineering and geology.

Maybe the world economy will just curl up in a ball and die-that would imo basically accomplish more than can realistically be done in terms of climate mitigation if the world economy recovers.

Or maybe the world will burn every possible ton of coal as fast as it can be mined and warming accelerates.Even so the time lags will be considerable.Burning the EXTRA coal will add to warming BUT at a LATER date.

I humbly submit that the two issues in effect are like congenital twins sharing essential organs-they cannot be seperated except as an academic exercise.

A 10°c increase within 50 years in parts of North America essential means not later but NOW. Such a shift in temperature would be noticeable on an annual basis and the accumulative effects would have people in a very difficult predicament very soon. Possibly within a few years.

All indications are that climate change is happening considerably sooner than expected and accelerating. The consequence of this are incalculable. For instance, India may soon tip into a permanent rainfall deficit due to climate changes affecting the monsoon, not to mention the effect of glacial retreat on river water on top. With a population that has increased 200m since 2004 to over 1 billion and with nuclear weapons to boot, a collapse of farming in the worlds second most populous nation would be catastrophic. India is also a major producer and consumer (second biggest wheat producer and consumer for example) and a collapse in farming would cause global food reserves to go negative. The fallout, possibly in as little as 5 years, would throw geopolitics into a tailspin.

The world's biggest wheat producer and most populous country, China, is faring little better than India due to chaotic climate conditions. Climate change is happening now and its affect will be felt sooner rather than later.

Burgundy - very interesting linked article. There are so many climate change consequences, with positive feedbacks that are melting more snow and ice. Increases in methane releases from actic circle tundra that has the potential to double CO2 in the atmosphere. Rising sea levels. And now a more dire prediction regarding the acidification of the oceans.

And in each case the predictions keep getting changed to occur earlier than previously predicted. We are really in a pickle now between knowing we need to stop our emissions of greenhouse gasses and our need to emit much more of them to keep the world economy satiated with energy.

If we run for home to get more economic expansion we emit more CO2 and risk a global catastrophe, but if we head back to 3rd and slow or stop the economy then we risk collapse. Oh yeah, we're definitely in a pickle alright!

And in each case the predictions keep getting changed to occur earlier than previously predicted.

And the problem is that the way the public responds to such changes is countreproductive. Rather, than letting the new results reinforce the precautionary principle, the more common reaction is "they (scientists) are completely clueless, why should we listen to them?" I think the second most common reaction is "we are doomed, why even bother to try?". Either one of the reactions are profoundly counteradaptive, but consistent with human psychology.

Now all that being said, this is the first I've heard of this effect. I will remain very skeptical of these particular results until I see some well reasoned scientific discussion of them.

" ...this is the first I've heard of this effect."

Are you referring to ocean acidification as "this effect"?

If so, there's a very large amount of literature on the subject, and I can recall it being discussed on many TOD/DB threads. Perhaps this search result and one of its hits will be of service.

Hello TODers,

Jon Stewart Schools Sean Hannity About History, The Food Chain (VIDEO)
Glad to see this in the MSM as the Circle of Life, ie the very fragile food chain and associated global energy & mineral resources, rules all creatures, great and small. The economy and related infrastructure is just a small flowrate subset of this Circle of Life and the fast-changing global climate.

As posted many times before: IMO, greater public awareness of endangered species and vastly elevated extinction rates can be a better change agent than trying to get J6P to understand the statistics of climate change. But obviously, when J6P puts both together mentally, then they should become even more alarmed.

Alas, as of this moment, I have not yet received an email reply from Victoria's Secret [just the normal auto-reply]. My thxs to all those who joined me in the email campaign to help raise awareness of WNS and the bat dieoff. I hope it was in the thousands, but I have no idea. Please continue your Peak Everything Outreach efforts.

Perhaps a future photographer will document these supermodels crying as their babies are dying...

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

After Stewart's performance on Crossfire several years back, I'm surprised Hannity had the nerve to invite him on. Short memory or hubris?

Heh, guess I should read (or watch) before commenting. Of course Hannity didn't have that kind of guts.

Not to worry Fine, typical liberal knee jerk response to Hannity.

Steward's show is interesting to go with these interesting times. The next Steward YouTube video was more interesting when he had Ron Paul on. Seems a lot of congress criters want the Fed to tell the truth.

So, I have missed something not having a TV for 30 years?

Well, you have missed about as much as if you hadn't had a heroin addiction for the same amount of time. Some people miss the euphoria and delusion. I myself have gone cold turkey on TV only since 2005 so I guess I'm still recovering. As for heroin I'll save that for when I'm dieing of pancreatic cancer or something and I'll have to self medicate due to not having health care. It will still be cheaper and more honest to get it from the drug dealers on the street as opposed to the government sanctioned doctors pushers. Or I could just buy a new Chevrolet on credit at that point just to build my self esteem...[/snark off]

Hello TODers,

Jay Hanson Thermo/Gene Quote: "The best the poor can hope for is a quick and painless death."

Waves of new fund cuts imperil US nursing homes

..The funding crisis comes as the nation's baby boomers age ever closer toward needing nursing home care. The nation's 16,000 nursing homes housed 1.85 million people last year, up from 1.79 million in 2007, U.S. Census Bureau figures show.

.."A 92-year-old woman was screaming and crying as she was loaded into the ambulance, saying 'This is my home,'" Griswold First Selectman Philip Anthony said.
IMO, I found it interesting that US golf courses = US nursing homes. If Tiger Woods doesn't plow Augusta National soon as a converted Master Gardener: I would expect nursing homes to close much faster than golf courses due to the increasing wealth concentration into ever fewer Topdogs.

As posted long ago with various scenarios detailed: I expect and accept that I will die under horrible conditions. I cannot imagine myself lucky enough to die of advanced old age in a heated or A/C room, with good food and medicine, plus caring nurses and doctors. Glad I have a wheelbarrow, I just hope I can convince somebody to give me one last ride...

Vitamin D and Programmed Aging?
Does maintaining higher vitamin D also maintain youthfulness?

A practical way of looking at it is that anyone 40 years old or older has lost the majority of ability for vitamin D activation. 

This often makes me wonder if the loss of vitamin D activating potential is nature's way to get rid of us. After all, after 40, we've pretty much had our opportunity to recreate and make our contribution to the species (at least in a primitive world in which humans evolved): we've exhausted our reproductive usefulness to the species.

Is the programmed decline of vitamin D skin activation a way to ensure that we develop diseases of senescence (aging)?

The list of potential consequences of vitamin D deficiency includes: osteoporosis, poor balance and coordination, falls and fractures; cancer of the breast, bladder, colon, prostate, and blood; reductions in HDL, increases in triglycerides; increased inflammation (C-reactive protein, CRP); declining memory and mentation; coronary heart disease.

Isn't that also pretty much a list that describes aging?

A fascinating argument in support of this idea came from study from St Thomas’ Hospital and the London School of Medicine:

 "Higher serum vitamin D concentrations are associated with longer leukocyte telomere length in women

Telomeres are the "tails" of DNA that were formerly thought to be mistakes, just coding for nonsense. But more recent thinking has proposed that telomeres may provide a counting mechanism that shortens with aging and accelerates with stress and illness. This study suggests that both vitamin D and inflammation (CRP) impact telomere length: the lower the vitamin D, the shorter the telomere length, particularly when inflammation is greater.

The vitamin D story has grown increasingly in credibility this last 5 years.
The role of 'environment' in aging is fascinating. A recent BBC documentary on identical twins in research, featured sisters who differed significantly in teleomere length in middle-age due to differing life-histories. If VitD plays a significant role in preventing 'stressors' it would not be surprising if there was a correlation with rates of aging.
(Could be hard to find segment but somewhere in second half of this episode? http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00n3wyg/The_Secret_Life_of_Twins_E... )

Hello TODers,

Evidently, the ruling IMF topdog countries haven't sufficiently contemplated WT's ELM & Duncan's Re-Equalizing, and it's starting to piss off the rest of the G20 and other smaller countries:

IMF members make little headway on power shift

.."The task of realigning quota shares with current global realities remains politically vexing," the IMF's board said in a report weighing in on the issue at the Fund's semiannual meeting here.

While the steering committee supported an agreement struck just more than a week ago by the Group of 20 nations to shift at least 5 percent of the IMF's voting power to developing economies, emerging powers said it was not enough...
Graceful US & OECD acceptance of inevitable Powerdown to the approx global uniform MPP of roughly 4 BOE/C by 2030, or my interim US WAG of [19 @ '19], could serve the planet well in terms of mitigation for all plus the assertion of Optimal Overshoot Decline. In short, since the US will find itself on the steepest roller-coaster ride down the final downslope, we might as well learn to enjoy the thrill ride:


It was certainly fun so far if one examines the US historic roller-coaster ride from '65 to '07. In my mind: the US can't wastefully continue to consumptively 'party like its 1999' @ 59.9, which was the third highest US BOE/C peak....


...We 'Murkans just need to learn to 'party like its 1999' @ 5.77 BOE/C like its was for 165 other Non-OECD countries just ten years ago...


My fond hope is that the typical postPeak party in 2030 requires adults racing happy, laughing kids in wheelbarrows instead of machete' moshpits.

EDIT: for reading clarity

Hello TODers,

I wonder if this article about Mugabe & his wife will be the typical model of how the global elites will build their own postPeak farms and eco-tech bunkers for warlord domination:

Zimbabwe's Mugabe Has Built Secret Farming Empire

..Raftopolous notes that Mugabe's acquisitions are further evidence of the rapid accumulation of land by the elite who surround Mr. Mugabe. He says it appears to be an emerging military agricultural complex of the military and political elite who now control key sectors of the state and economy.

Neither Mr. Mugabe nor his wife, nor the agricultural minister Joseph Made replied to questions about whether public money was used to equip and run the first couple's farming operations...
My bet is that lots & lots of Zim taxpayer money was used. I hope you read the entire weblink, not just the teaser segments posted above.

Hello TODers,

This old country club was once very exclusive and very discriminatory, but plunging economics have forced them to open their facilities to the general public. But IMO, this will only give them a brief respite as postPeak decline hammers home. I posted the link for the snippet below on other FL courses that have gone kaput:

..Economics, of course, compels the change. The old model no longer works. For one thing, tennis and golf have been in national decline. Florida golf courses were closing during the 2001-2006 real-estate bubble to make way for developers who never developed. Just up the street, the Williams Island golf course is overgrown with weeds rather than 825 townhouses. Recent South Florida golf course casualties are legion: California Club, Presidential, Fontainebleau, Miramar, and Raintree are just part of the list...

The Miami Shores Country Club is not likely to become yet another casualty, but it has dropped below break-even, with about $3.5 million in revenue this year, down from $3.8 million two years ago...

North Memphis Golf Course On Hold

Plans to build a golf course in North Memphis are on hold. Eight years ago, the First Tee program announced it was building a 9-hole course at the old Firestone plant just off Danny Thomas Blvd.

The site was cleared and a practice area built, but the course has yet to be finished...

..Bridges says given the economy, delays, and a decline in the interest of golf, the course may not be built. Bridges says, “The golf courses in the city are closed forty to fifty percent of the time. We just don’t know at this stage if we want to proceed with building a course.”
Let's hope not, converting it back to farm land maybe the better postPeak choice.

I've mentioned before a story that a friend of mine told me. He was inspecting, in the Fifties, a property that he had inherited from his father, which his father had bought for pennies on the dollar after the Twenties land boom collapsed. Something about the lay of the land was familiar, and he finally realized that it was a golf course that had been reclaimed by the forest.

Meanwhile, the exclusive clubs around Boston have taken to hosting weddings. The key differences of course are that 1. they're not in as big a hole, 2. they don't run golf courses, and 3. their members aren't whining about this to reporters (not the kind of thing that's done around our kind, dear...)

Paul Krugman is inviting questions at Ask Paul Krugman Questions About the Economy. Here's my question:

You estimate productive capacity (and hence demand insufficiency) based on the recent peak. What if the maximum productive capacity has been reduced for some reason: e.g. the world can never pump that much oil again [peak oil has to happen one day]? What if our productive assets are worth less now for some reason. E.g. they are optimized for the oil economy?

I've been hitting him with the same issue, again and again on his blog. I think that gradually the possibility that Malthus may again become important is gradually gaining respect, but main stream economist such as Krugman show little sign of having absorbed that lesson. The historic pattern of resource substitution gives false confidence that this time won't be different.

Well I think resource substitution will work OK eventually, but economists are useless if they can't sensibly factor in the cost of that when it happens, and admit that there are real-world considerations that are outside their expertise on the question of how long it will take to get there. We would also like them to be able to tell us how to manage the economy on the downslope (before we catch the next upslope). We've had 200 years fossil-carbon growth, so we don't have much experience of managing declines. Some TODers think that it is impossible to manage. I think just hard/different.

Your Quote: "Well I think resource substitution will work OK eventually, but economists are useless if they can't sensibly factor in the cost of that when it happens, and admit that there are real-world considerations that are outside their expertise on the question of how long it will take to get there."

There are No Substitutes to water or the Elements NPKS [plus other trace Elements] to leverage photosynthesis above a Liebig Minimum. As I-NPKS heads towards Unobtainium--we better make damn sure that full-on O-NPK recycling is up-to-speed as generally it is twenty times more bulkier than I-NPKS for the same plant-growth punch.

Massive quantities of Uranium, Plutonium, Cesium, Selenium, etc, won't work as substitutes for the basic Elements NPKS, but I expect some economist to stupidly say, "Oh, but it will, it will!"

Energy is king. Indeed water is the obvious case: saltwater+energy=freshwater. I don't currently believe that NPK are going to be a problem after we get to a point of having cheap electrical energy. However that's decades away, and O-NPK is one of many things we need to consider to try to avoid mass starvation.

Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve board, said on Sunday that the latest job report showing the nation’s unemployment at 9.8 percent was “pretty awful” and said he expected the figure to climb even higher...
Perhaps Greenspan could ask Krugman the following question: "Do you have any idea where I could catch a honest data-clue to what lies ahead?"

Maybe Krugman might email back to Greenspan the weblinks TheOilDrum and TheAutomaticEarth.

Naaah, we can't be that lucky.

Some firms are doing OK-this is the magic of the free market working as it should to benefit the greater good http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9170b5f2-b10f-11de-b06b-00144feabdc0.html

On the California issue; I think it's terribly unhelpful (and quite dangerous) to isolate states from one another. In an economy as intertwined and fragile as the United States', the GHG emissions or fuel usage of one applies to all, particularly as we are all ultimately equally liable for the import tab.

Furthermore, every state has externalized emissions. For example, our CO2 emissions here in Louisiana (and, presumable, our fuel usage) are among the highest per capita (if not the highest) in the US. But we also refine a huge percentage of the nation's petroleum and export a great deal of electricity to Texas, all in a state with a population less than 4.5 million. I would argue that the only reason the carbon intensity of the US economy has remained relatively flat in recent decades is because we have essentially outsourced our emissions to other countries along with our manufacturing sector.

Considering the size of the Californian economy and its relative carbon intensity compared to other, more polluting states, such as Texas or Georgia, I'd say they're doing pretty well. Their current economic malaise is a separate and distinct crisis from their environmental initiatives and their budgetary problems are more an issue of the penchant for Californians to place more demands on their government through referendum and then reject any sort of tax hike. I think they have suffered the worst symptoms of the irrational exuberance that tends to plague the American economy during good times. The resulting loss of revenue has forced them to gut important state services, such as education, but this may be a growing national trend as well. While not as dramatic as in California, almost every state has had to make cuts to education and increased the costs of attending public universities.

Fundamentally, we've spent too many of our resources reinforcing the consumer culture and have done little to build up public infrastructure and services. Furthermore, we've spent some 8 - 10 trillion dollars on defense and war making in the past decade. These sorts of investments have perhaps some of the lowest economic returns of any other sort of public spending. Building infrastructure or improving public services ultimately generate economic returns that bombs and bullets cannot match.

Finally, we are an externally financed country; a net importer of borrowed capital. Any interest earned is earned by outside shareholders, whereas in the past deficit spending was financed through the sale of war bonds, savings bonds, and other means of internal finance. We invested in ourselves and generally were repaid with dividends.

The problem isn't with California: they were a model of the American system for decades. The problem is with the American system and I think we're going to have to get used to 1 to 2% annual GDP growth for many years while we rid ourselves of our debts.

It's not reasonable to give California credit for being a low emission state without mentioning the th climate and the tendency of the state to import energy.

Similarly , if the State of Texas didn't have the petro chemical industry concentration it does have ,these industries would still exist-just across the state line in some other state.

I 'm not knocking Caifornis's record-they are making a more serious effort than most states, but when thier senators want to save tortoise habitat which is sfaik plentiful rather than use some of it for solar development(-which might incidentally not ruin it for tortoises,many kinds of animals can coexist with some development)at the expense of burning up coal ,natural gas, and diesel in the midwest to supply ethanol for thier freeway and automobile obsession it's time for somebody to point out thier hypocrisy.

I believe the federal /state system has been and continues to be one of the critical foundation stones of our country but it results in wind farms and solar installations being built in less than optimum locations among other shortcomings.

There should be a way devised for the desert states to get the solar money , where it will pay a much bigger dividend, and New Jersey (for instance )to get energy money earmarked for projects that make better sense in NJ-maybe a weather proofing and insulation subsidy.

Such a strategy might actually cause the renewables industries to grow faster in terms of capacity and better payback time.Obviously any given system in Las Verhas would ouyperform the same system in NJ.A Jersey man or woman would get a better deal by adding insulation now and buying pv equipment later anyway-and the longer the purchase of pv is delayed , the better the deal in terms of output per dollar invested as prices come down.

May be one of the engineering types here could run some numbers and give us some rough ideas as to how such a strategy might work out if implemented nationally.

""The problem isn't with California: they were a model of the American system for decades.""

That's it in a nutshell. They were a model of the American system for decades....

See a trend here?