Drumbeat: November 1, 2009

An energy game-changer?: Louisiana shale could change fate of U.S. energy supply

The gas found in the area's Haynesville shale and in other shale formations throughout the country has changed the nation's energy outlook in just a few short years.

Some see abundant North American natural gas as the gateway to reduced dependence on foreign oil and a bridge toward carbon-free energy sources since gas is the lowest-emission fossil fuel.

Others say the surge in next-generation gas production isn't paying off as promised and threatens local water supplies.

Some even see it as another speculative bubble, driven by hype that will never deliver the fuel it promises.

Oil to touch $100 per barrel in the longer term, say analysts

Not only are the current oil prices, hovering between $65 and $80 per barrel, sustainable in the short-term, going by the recent developments they could touch $100 in the longer term, according to analysts.

"Long-term prospects look a lot different, with all market fundamentals pointing towards oil at $100 and more," Philipp L Lotter, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Finance Group at Moody's, told Emirates Business.

"Tomorrow's oil will be more expensive to find and produce, thus leading to much higher break-even levels for producer countries, and significant investments are needed to extend reserve lives, develop deeper, high-pressure reservoirs and tap into non-conventional sources, such as oil sands," he said.

Winter crisis could see UK 'run out of gas in hours' - Tories want energy companies ordered to increase reserves

The UK could run out of gas within six hours this winter, the Observer has learned. The revelation has sparked a row between the Conservatives and Labour over who is doing more to keep the heating on. Last winter, the UK was left with only three days of reserves when foreign energy companies started exporting gas to supply their European customers after Russia cut supplies that used a pipeline through Ukraine.

A spokeswoman for Ed Miliband's energy and climate change department said that under a civil contingency act he had the power to halt exports from the UK if the Queen had signed the order.

After takeovers, Venezuela oil area languishes

CIUDAD OJEDA, VENEZUELA (Reuters) - Five months after Venezuela nationalized dozens of oil service contractors in Zulia state, the once-bustling industrial dock on Lake Maracaibo is nearly abandoned, and the 16 red flags raised to celebrate the takeovers are already tattered and faded.

A few small groups of workers remain, hoping to get the jobs they were promised after the expropriations.

Venezuela Wants OPEC to Maintain Output in December

Bloomberg) -- Venezuela wants the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to maintain production when the group meets in December, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said.

“For this meeting, Venezuela prefers to be cautious,” Ramirez said today in an interview in El Tigre, Venezuela. “The level of OPEC production has to be maintained.”

Nigeria rebels say truce could end

Nigeria's main rebel group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend), is threatening to call off its ceasefire with the government if foreign oil companies do not leave their land.

BP chief Tony Hayward says oil industry mega mergers are dead

The era of the oil industry mega merger is over, according to the chief executive of BP.

Tony Hayward said that there is “no industrial logic at all” to the type of big-ticket takeovers that transformed the industry a decade ago. The industry will be defined instead by partnerships between the big companies and the new generation of state-owned rivals and governments of resource-rich countries.

“We need access to new resources and we need access to new customers. Combining with another oil giant gives us neither,” he said in an interview with The Sunday Times.

Tony Hayward wants his BP revolution to be permanent

Ask Tony Hayward what his legacy as BP’s chief executive will be and he’ll tell you it is to leave behind a company that will not fall repeatedly into the man-made disasters that have periodically destroyed all the good work achieved at the £107 billion oil giant.

Oil bourse inaugurated

TEHRAN - The Iranian Oil Bourse was inaugurated on Monday in the Persian Gulf island of Kish as a venue to export oil and petrochemical products.

National Petrochemical Company's Managing Director Adel Nejad-Salim said in the opening ceremony that all petrochemical products will be gradually offered on the market, IRNA news agency reported.

Richard Heinberg: "Blackout: Coal, Climate and the Last Energy Crisis" (audio)

Coal fuels more than 30 percent of UK electricity production, and about 50 percent in the US, providing a significant portion of total energy output. China and India's recent ferocious economic growth has been based almost entirely on coal-generated electricity. Coal currently looks like a solution to many of our fast-growing energy problems. However, while coal advocates are urging us full steam ahead, the increasing reliance on this dirtiest of all fossil fuels has crucial implications for energy policy, pollution levels, the global climate, world economy and geopolitics.

The Paradox of Wealth: Capitalism and Ecological Destruction

Not only water offers new opportunities for profiting on scarcity. This is also the case with respect to fuel and food. Growing fuel shortages, as world oil demand has outrun supply — with peak oil approaching — has led to increases in the prices of fossil fuels and energy in general, and to a global shift in agriculture from food crops to fuel crops. This has generated a boom in the agrofuel market (expedited by governments on the grounds of “national security” concerns). The result has been greater food scarcities, inducing an upward spiral in food prices and the spiking of world hunger. Speculators have seen this as an opportunity for getting richer quicker through the monopolization of land and primary commodity resources.

Everybody in the Pool of Green Innovation

A POPULAR children’s song has a refrain — “the more we get together the happier we’ll be” — that may sound like a simplistic formula for solving the complex challenges of climate change and sustainability. But if any area is ripe for sharing and collaboration among organizations, it’s green innovation.

“We all want to save the planet, and the problems are bigger than any one firm, sector or country,” says Dr. Sarah Slaughter, coordinator of the M.I.T. Sloan Sustainability Initiative. In that spirit, several major corporations have taken inspiration from the open-source software movement and are experimenting with forums for sharing environmentally friendly innovations and building communities around them.

The Nuclear Wait

With climate talks starting in Copenhagen next month, many countries are eager to report advancements in nuclear power.

The United States now has new applications for 26 nuclear power reactors — impressive at first glance because the industry has been at a near-standstill for 30 years. But the government approval process is lengthy, and no new building has begun.

Timor Rig Ablaze as PTTEP Starts 4th Bid to Cap Leak

(Bloomberg) -- PTT Exploration & Production Pcl said a fire broke out on a drilling rig in the Timor Sea off northwestern Australia during efforts to plug the well that has been leaking oil for 10 weeks.

Thirsty Plant Dries Out Yemen

JAHILIYA, Yemen — More than half of this country’s scarce water is used to feed an addiction.

Even as drought kills off Yemen’s crops, farmers in villages like this one are turning increasingly to a thirsty plant called qat, the leaves of which are chewed every day by most Yemeni men (and some women) for their mild narcotic effect. The farmers have little choice: qat is the only way to make a profit.

Meanwhile, the water wells are running dry, and deep, ominous cracks have begun opening in the parched earth, some of them hundreds of yards long.

“They tell us it’s because the water table is sinking so fast,” said Muhammad Hamoud Amer, a worn-looking farmer who has lost two-thirds of his peach trees to drought in the past two years. “Every year we have to drill deeper and deeper to get water.”

His tiny agency has big role in energy debate

Newell took over Aug. 3 as the administrator for the Energy Information Administration . Utility companies make decisions about whether to build new power plants based in part on the EIA's long-term projections of energy use. The office is responsible for dozens of daily, weekly and monthly reports on all aspects of energy.

It tracks how much energy comes from solar, geothermal and biomass sources. It follows the production and use of coal, natural gas and petroleum. It tracks greenhouse gas emissions.

Its work can shake financial markets and propel legislation.

It does all this, by law, in a nonpartisan, neutral fashion. The only political appointee is the director: Newell.

Debate Flares on Limits of Nature and Commerce in Parks

The furor over the oyster lease has also drawn in partisans across the country because it plays into an old debate: Are the national parks primarily for preserving untouched wilderness, or for preserving the historic human imprint on the land, too?

Exaggerated claims undermine drive to cut emissions, scientists warn

Exaggerated and inaccurate claims about the threat from global warming risk undermining efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and contain climate change, senior scientists have told The Times.

Environmental lobbyists, politicians, researchers and journalists who distort climate science to support an agenda erode public understanding and play into the hands of sceptics, according to experts including a former government chief scientist.

Blame coal for slow U.S. progress on climate change

There are several reasons for U.S. inaction -- including ideology and scientific ignorance -- but a lot comes down to one word: coal. No fewer than 25 states produce coal, which not only generates income, jobs, and tax revenue, but also provides a disproportionately large share of their energy.

A Bid to Cut Emissions Looks Away From Coal

WASHINGTON — As Congress debates legislation to slow global warming by limiting emissions, engineers are tinkering with ways to capture and store carbon dioxide, the leading heat-trapping gas.

But coal-fired power plants, commonly identified as the nation’s biggest emissions villain, may not be the best focus.

Rather, engineers and policymakers say, it may be easier and less costly to capture the carbon dioxide at oil refineries, chemical plants, cement factories and ethanol plants, which emit a far purer stream of it than a coal smokestack does.

Republicans move to delay climate bill progress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – All seven Republicans on the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee plan to boycott next week's work session on a climate-change bill, an aide said on Saturday, in a move aimed at thwarting Democratic efforts to advance the controversial legislation quickly.

"Republicans will be forced not to show up" at Tuesday's work session, said Matt Dempsey, a spokesman for Republican senators on the environment panel.

Rove: Scrap Cap-and-Trade

There's much debate about the efficacy of controlling pollutants with economic incentives, also known as cap-and-trade. Its advocates dress it up with a lot of moral indignation. Cap-and-trade would not achieve its goals—and it would put America on a ruinous course. Here's why.

On the subject of "Energy Game Changers", would someone please tell me if this scenario is possible and/or probable?:

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I think it's theoretically possible. As the graph shows, there was a false peak before, when the bottom fell out of oil prices in the '80s. Something similar may be underway now.

I dunno that Iraq will be the source. If oil prices spike, then all producers will be going all-out. Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Canada, Saudi, Angola, etc. I'm not sure Iraq has that much oil, investment or no investment. And the political situation there is still uncertain, and appears to be worsening.

Leanan, the false peak wasn't due to the fall in prices, it was due to the preceding rise. Policy makers believed that OPEC would be able to maintain strict quotas and so an era of permanently high prices had dawned. Energy efficiency became a focus ... for a while. Consumption dropped. Of course, the recessions helped.

However, it takes time for new beliefs to create new actions. Meanwhile, the temptation to "open the taps" proved too much for all the OPECers except the Saudis. The result was that consumption dropped away while prices dropped.

History is rhyming, or rather, alliterating - the start of the story is similar, but I don't think the end will be.

The current general belief is that oil will stay above $70/bbl, because that's the cost of new development. That price is high enough to get people looking for alternatives to oil and for energy efficiency improvements. Witness hybrid cars, increases in CAFE, and various fantasies such as hydrogen and algal biofuel.

So yes, while the curve is theoretically possible, it would require the development of several Ghawar-sized fields, each exploitable much more cheaply than any fields developed recently. The production glut has to be big enough to force prices to stay low for a year. Then people will change their beliefs, and following that, their actions. Consumption will rise.

I should say that all of this is based on the assumption that we will continue to use a market-based system through to 2030. If one entity, for the sake of argument China, ends up controlling most oil production capacity and undeveloped elephant fields, production could go anywhere... for a while.

The time frame in the graph is the problem. By 2017 we will have used another 200,000,000,000+ of reserves/oil in place. That's almost certainly a serious impact on future flows. Of course, those numbers could be both higher or lower, depending. But added to that is decline in fields in decline of 6.7 or so percent. More fields will be in decline by then.

Also, so far as I know, we still have not been replacing produced with new finds. And even if we were to start to, they won't be on line by 2017.

Worse, new fields are typically in places where declines start faster than they did in land-based, older fields.

At the end of the day, even with demand dropping 1%/yr, by 2017 we'll be needing @ 26mb/d of additional production.

Let's be nice and say there's five in SA and five in Iraq. Where's the other 16? Even with global net decline of 4.5 and 2%/yr demand destruction, we still need 12mb/d of new production. That seems doable, but just barely. And only in an absolute best case scenario for production.

Short answer: No.


I dunno that Iraq will be the source.

There is the story of Mr. 5% and the tale of conspiracy weaved about Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian - if true - would leave Iraq as a major supplier.

I believe that there have only been 14 oil fields that have produced one mbpd or more. Only two of them--Ghawar & Burgan--are still producing one mbpd or more of crude oil (versus four only four years ago). There are a couple of fields, on what appears to be the "receding horizon," that are projected to produce one mbpd or more of crude oil, but that appears, so far, to be it. IMO, Peak Oil is primarily the point at which new smaller fields coming on line can't offset the declines from the older, larger fields.

Shox, not a chance. If greater exploration and investments could lead to a massive upward revision of reserves and consequently production, then the US would have 300 billion barrels of reserves and production of 15 million barrels per day.

Colin Campbell says Iraq has reserves of 61 billion barrels. I would guess that is about right though the EIA and IEA put the figure at 112 billion barrels. They believe the figures published by the Iraqi government who dramatically increased their proven reserves during the 80s, along with every other OPEC country when quotas became dependent on proven reserves.

Iraq could possibly have more than 61 billion barrels but not a lot more. Nothing could possibly push Iraqi production to 9 million barrels per day. Iraqi production could possibly be increased to around 3 million barrels per day from the present rate of about 2.5 mb/d but they will never top their 1979 peak of 3.477 mb/d.

Wood Mackenzie says estimated, in 2003, that maximum Iraqi production could by 2012 reach 6.8 mb/d. Obviously that estimate is not going to happen. Estimates of massive Iraqi oil production keeps being pushed further and further into the future. You put it in 2020.

Former Iraqi oil minister Fadhil al-Chalabi says Iraqi production could reach 12 mb/d. Such very optimistic predictions are what we have come to expect from Middle East OPEC officials.

Check out TOD article posted in November 27,2008:
Iraq's Oil: The Greatest Prize Of All ?

Ron P.

Colin Campbell says Iraq has reserves of 61 billion barrels....Iraq could possibly have more than 61 billion barrels but not a lot more. Nothing could possibly push Iraqi production to 9 million barrels per day. Iraqi production could possibly be increased to around 3 million barrels per day from the present rate of about 2.5 mb/d but they will never top their 1979 peak of 3.477 mb/d.

Very soon, the US will have spent its trillionth dollar in invading, fighting for and keeping order in Iraq, not to mention the 4000+ lives which have been lost. There was never a provocation for the invasion in the first place. UN officials carried out a thorough investigation of the entire country prior to the invasion and found no WMD's. War and the immense cost that it entailed were hardly justifiable.

Shall we be mere mathematicians and, ignoring the above, guess that the oil in this country is insignificant in size, scarcely worth fighting for? Little or nothing is know about Iraq's oil from what I've gathered, and almost nothing about its future capacity. Here, I am rather more inclined to rely on intuitive guesses rather than on a few known numbers. I'm guessing the number is way upwards of 100 BBL, and that a small handful of powerful people know this. Therefore, I sway more towards optimistic estimates of Iraq's potential.

You are assuming that Bush's entire motivation for invading Iraq was for its oil. A lot of people on this list will agree with you but I do not. The Iraqis tried to kill Daddy while he was visiting Kuwait. That plus Baby Bush just wanted his won war so he demanded that evidence be found for weapons of mass destruction to give him an excuse for invading. Also, Baby Bush wanted his place in history and that would be for bringing democracy to the Middle East.

I don’t believe Bush had any idea the world’s oil supply was peaking and anyway, if it did it would not be on his watch so why invade Iraq just for a few barrels of oil.

I'm guessing the number is way upwards of 100 BBL, and that a small handful of powerful people know this, and so I sway more towards optimistic estimates of Iraq's potential.

The idea that Iraq has more known reserves than they claimed in order to get their OPEC quota is preposterous. If they knew of more oil they would have claimed it plus another 50 billion barrels or so. That leaves your "small handful of people" with this knowledge of all these massive reserves. Just who are these people, what do they know and when did they know it? If you are spinning a conspiracy theory then forget it, I am not interested.

Ron P.

No conspiracy theory. I have no real numbers to work with, so I'm speculating.

Okay, no conspiracy theory, but that still begs the question. Just who are these handful of people, how did they come about this knowledge and why are they keeping it a secret? If they are Iraqis then it makes no sense. Everyone in the area grossly exaggerates their oil reserves, why are the Iraqis the exception?

And if it is former contractors, like Schlumberger or Halliburton, then why did they keep it a big secret from the Iraqis? Perhaps it was Halliburton, who had Cheney as its CEO, then Cheney told Bush then…

Oh hell, this is beginning to stink.

Seriously Shox, your hypothesis is one of many that take for granted those massive OPEC reserves. The shock felt around the world will be when it is discovered by the world that those massive reserves are mythical.

Ron P.

What motivated me to make my first post is the doubt in my mind that the world will let go of BAU when oil production begins to wane. I anticipate that the world will work hard to put big bumps on the downward side of the slope. So I wondered if perhaps the scaling up of production in Iraq might be one of those big bumps.

But almost no data is available on oil in Iraq. Admittedly, I know little about the politics, so I was puzzled about why so much effort is being made to maintain that country by outside powers if there is no big payoff. It seemed to me that the oil reserves are large. I suppose, as Leanan points out below, that the idea is for the US to have a greater presence in the whole region, and not to monopolize the oil.

A commonly used estimate of the oil there is 113 BBL. There is much hype about the fact that most of the country is still unexplored and so the reserves could be much larger. This seems to point to a future Saudi Arabia of oil.

I agree that lots of people are and will be asking how we can maintain a virtually infinite rate of increase in our consumption of a finite fossil fuel resource base, but as noted down the thread, based Hubbert's Lower 48 work another 50 Gb would postpone the global peak by about five months or so.

A commonly used estimate of the oil there is 113 BBL.

Yes that is the number Iraq themselves have published so that is where that number comes from. Saudi says they have 262 billion barrels of proven reserves with at least another 200 yet to be found. The number reported by OPEC, for Opec is 1.027 trillion barrels.

What are OPEC's proven oil reserves?

At the end of 2008, OPEC had proven oil reserves of 1,027,383 million barrels of crude oil, representing 79.3 per cent of the world total of 1,295,085 million barrels.

And I take it that you believe those numbers? If so than that explains your first post above. There are many reasons to believe those numbers are purely fictitious. Those reasons have been discussed, in hundreds of posts on this list over the last three years. But if you believe them, if you believe that non-OPEC nations produce 60 percent of the world's oil with only 20 percent of the world's reserves, then there is nothing left to say.

Ron P.

It occurs to me that the point might not be to keep BAU going, but to have control of the last remaining oil (just enough to run the military, perhaps).

It's kind of like that joke about the guy who stops to put on his running shoes as the grizzly comes barreling down the mountain. His friend says "that's stupid, are you hoping to outrun the bear?" and the guy says "No, I'm just hoping to outrun you."

We can't stop producing what we have in the US, but production is dropping off. If we keep Iraq dysfunctional enough, the reserves over there will still be available when there is nothing else that isn't seriously depleted.

Then again, maybe that's another sort of conspiracy theory.

Then again, I'm afraid these guys are thinking pretty clearly, several hundred steps ahead of the American Public.

There is truth in the observation that production has to be related to reserves. After all the more of something you have the more of it you can extract at least when comparing similar fossil fuel reservoirs. While OPEC's reserves are a hoax, other countries are hiding the size of their reserves. Specifically, Russia, which cannot be pumping 9.5 million barrels per day from a reserve base of 60 billion barrels. If Iraq can't do it with more easily accessible light sweet crude fields then how can Russia with its heavy sour and billion year old fields? Estimates of Russian production imploding in the next few years are rather premature.

London, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Russian oil output will stagnate in 2010 and begin to decline as mature fields lose production capacity and only one new project comes on line, oil analysts at Bernstein Research said on Wednesday.

Russia 2010 oil output to fall -Bernstein analysts

The Russians are overproducing their oil fields. They really should cut back production because these levels of production are damaging to the reservoirs, but I guess the attraction of Yankee dollars or European Euros is too great for them.

We'll see how long they can keep it up. Probably not that long.

They have huge gas and coal reserves, so if they destroy their oil fields, it is only a problem in that it reduces the revenue they can make from exports. They can always burn gas or coal to keep warm.

I'm still stuck on "the 4000+ lives which have been lost."

There's also a somewhat larger number of apparently somewhat less important people who paid the ultimate price - and they didn't volunteer for the duty.

Exactly, NOliver. Why fuss over soldiers' deaths? It's what they signed up for.

Not so for all the poor Iraqis caught in the mayhem.

Every day in the newspaper I read the names, ages and home towns of the dead soldiers, where they were killed and where their home units were based. I remember many years ago when I,too, had little prospects for the future and joined the army to straighten out my life.

I choke up reading the names. They didn't sign up for a meaningless death in the flower of their youth. They were just trying to have a life and were, in almost every case, they were dealt so very little from the society into which they were born.

As a group they are at least as victimized as any innocent Iraqi.

As a group they are at least as victimized as any innocent Iraqi""

What a load of utter CR*P.

They are the frontline killers in an illegal and totally unjustified invasion by the world's worst terrorist nation.

And you pay taxes that support those "front line' killers Merv. At least they put their lives at risk. What are you risking Merv? Have you risked your life lately in an effort to stop the bloodshed? Or do you fight mostly a verbal war?

If these persons were risking their lives to protect themselves, their families. their homeland, etc, there would be honour and justification in their actions.

They are NOT.

They are part of the seemingly endless USA violent occupation and control of other sovereign nations, purely to support the greed of the citizens of the USA.

As far as I know, none of my taxes go to support the invasion forces in Iraq. NZ was recently blackmailed by the USA administration into sending more combat troops into Afghanistan to assist yet another of the illegal invasions initiated by the USA, so no doubt some of my taxes are wasted on that endeavour.

Why on earth should I "risk my life" to "stop the bloodshed"?? There should be no bloodshed, as there is no valid reason for a single US militant to be in Iraq. All foreign forces should be withdrawn, and compensation payments made to enable the Iraqi people to rebuild the infrastructure that has been destroyed by this illegal invasion. Compensation payments should also be made to the families of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have been slaughtered by the USA military.

This airing of scorn for the war and occupation are ultimately futile. If world oil production plays out as expected by Peak-Oil-Believers, then the whole world will soon be caught up in a battle for bare survival. I don't think many people or nations will cling to morals and ethics if their life is at stake.

then the whole world will soon be caught up in a battle for bare survival.

Survival or a believe that if one JUST fights and wins this battle, things will return to what they used to be?

You know your heavy on the hyperbole and way on the fringe, right? A quick Google says maybe 100K dead, mostly at the hands of insurgents and internal factions. What is the basis for your claimed numbers?

Is it absurd to think that survival and economic well being precede moral, ethical and cultural considerations? If peak oil is real, it gets more serious each day that policy-makers ignore it, and the economic catastrophe will be very severe.

4000+ is the number I used. The number is for the US Military only, not civilian deaths. The numbers are posted here on the US military site:

A quick Google of "Iraqi deaths" gives many sites on the first page of 10 hits that claim Iraqi Civilian deaths of over a million, and up to 6 million refugees driven out by the invaders.

http://www.countercurrents.org/polya210309.htm gives a lot of data.

justforeignpolicy.org estimates 1.3Million.

The Lancet estimates from March 19, 2003 to July 31, 2006 between 426,369 and 793,663.

projectcensored.org estimates 1.2million by early 2008.

Many other sites give kill rates of 6000 to 10000 per month, indicating a total of 470,000 t0 790,000.

Other numbers seem to indicate that about 80% of all Iraqi civilian deaths are due to the invaders, not the insurgents.

Maybe Google is heavily censored in your country (presumably USA).

These numbers are preposterous, and the sources have no credibility outside of conspiracy theory circles. Google ranks results by popularity and hits, not so much by credibility. And no, my search results are not censored.

Yes, the war and occupation are dubious, but there isn't mass murder and expulsion on this scale. This reads like something out of the pages of WW2.

Anyway, a far worse fate awaits us in the future. If human population growth continues at the current rate, then in 2-3 decades we shall witness an accelerated die-off brought upon by lack of food and resources. That is what needs to be taken seriously. This current war and occupation is a lost cause, and will come to an end and fade from our memories pretty soon, when each one of us will have to confront harsh realities.

If you choose to deny those sources, perhaps you might consider trying the following link.


Assessment by by many organisations including John Hopkins University are included. I believe that it is highly unlikely that any reputable source could show that the civilian deaths in Iraq caused by the totally illegal and unjustified invasion by USA led forces was less than many hundreds of thousands, and most probably well in excess of 1 million.

Just because it is almost inevitable that there will be a huge dieoff over the next few decades, this is no reason to try to hide the appalling record of the USA in its violations of international law and its interferance in the governance of a huge number of independant nations. The only reason that the USA refuses to accept the jurisdiction of the International Court for war crimes is that it knows beyond any shadow of doubt that a huge number of senior US military personnel including several presidents would be found guilty of multiple war crimes.

The USA has been the single greatest cause of international tension and violence since the 1940ish oil embargo of Japan, which directly led to the massive escalation of the second world war. I am well aware that the citizens of USA consider that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread, but most of the rest of the global population consider them to be the most rapacious gang of thieves that the world has ever seen.

Who armed Saddam Hussain for his (US instigated ) war against Iran.

Who armed the Taliban for the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Who armed Israel for the numerous ME wars that they instigated.

Who armed Saudi Arabia (ie Al Qaeda Wahabi sect)for their 9/11 attacks.

Whilst I realise that for normal US citizens it is hard to accept the truth, the simple fact remains that the USA has been, for about the last 70 years, the greatest cause of global tension, instability, and violence. All others such as Chairman Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Mihn, Ghadaffi, Idi Amin, Mugabe, etc have only been minor regional players, whilst USA has carried out terrorism on a global scale.

You might choose to believe the Faux News/US military BS on Iraqi civilian deaths, but no thinking person outside of the US will do so. The indisputable facts are against you.

I think we have to realize that nature has no morals. In general, humans have a thin veneer of morality that is mixed with less attractive and, in my opinion, overpowering tendencies towards self-preserving behavior, especially when challenged by life-threatening situations. Those participating in immoral behavior will find some justification for doing so. Nate provided a picture of a man riding an elephant. Morality is usually along for the ride on that rogue elephant.

From Merv:

Who armed the Taliban for the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

So, you're taking the Soviet side in that conflict? I think you are blinded by ideology if you think that the USA was on the wrong side of that war. Talk about an illegal war for occupation.

I am most certainly not taking "the Soviet side". They had no more justification for invading Afghanistan than the USA now has.

What I was trying to show is that by arming and training the Taliban to fight against the Soviets, the USA was increasing the level of violence for its own benefit. The highly expanded Taliban force is a direct result of this activity, and is now used as the excuse for the USA invasion. None of this was ever intended to aid the citizens of Afghanistan, merely to expand the USA global control.

If my stance against the USA invading any country that they fancy, without any justification, is being "blinded by ideology", so be it.

I don’t believe Bush had any idea the world’s oil supply was peaking and anyway, if it did it would not be on his watch so why invade Iraq just for a few barrels of oil.

"What people need to hear loud and clear is that we're running out of energy in America" - George Bush, May 2001.

Cheney speaking in 1999

For the world as a whole, oil companies are expected to
keep finding and developing enough oil to offset our seventy one million plus barrel a
day of oil depletion, but also to meet new demand. By some estimates there will be an
average of two per cent annual growth in global oil demand over the years ahead along
with conservatively a three per cent natural decline in production from existing
reserves. That means by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million
barrels a day.

HTML version: Dick Cheney, Peak Oil and the Final Count Down | Energy Bulletin. Thanks for that, OhMyGod. Did we pull this feat off? Little spare capacity and a demand collapse to go along with a price shock, but I think to most people in the oil industry these dire warnings of the need to produce X amount of Saudi Arabias by Y date are generally greeted with yawns. We have produced a staggering amount of new oil in the last decade, after all.

But we also only have to be wrong once, and it's baffling that fields and regions and nations can peak, yet somehow the world itself can't, according to cornucopians. What's the corresponding analogy? That we can always amputate another limb to stop the gangrene?

But we also only have to be wrong once, and it's baffling that fields and regions and nations can peak, yet somehow the world itself can't, according to cornucopians. What's the corresponding analogy? That we can always amputate another limb to stop the gangrene?

Ah, the ever optimistic and always cheerful cornucopians! Here is some proof that they are probably more delusional and less capable of parsing reality than the doomers. Heck any doomer worth his salt could have told these researchers that ;-)


SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) – Bad moods can actually be good for you, with an Australian study finding that being sad makes people less gullible, improves their ability to judge others and also boosts memory.

The study, authored by psychology professor Joseph Forgas at the University of New South Wales, showed that people in a negative mood were more critical of, and paid more attention to, their surroundings than happier people, who were more likely to believe anything they were told.

"Whereas positive mood seems to promote creativity, flexibility, cooperation, and reliance on mental shortcuts, negative moods trigger more attentive, careful thinking paying greater attention to the external world," Forgas wrote.

"The Iraqis tried to kill Daddy while he was visiting Kuwait. That plus Baby Bush just wanted his won war so he demanded that evidence be found for weapons of mass destruction to give him an excuse for invading. Also, Baby Bush wanted his place in history and that would be for bringing democracy to the Middle East."

An absolutely ridiculous conspiracy theory there darwinian.

So one tempestuous little brat can mobilize an entire nation to war?

You are a real slice.

It must be nice to live in your comfortable little world where you get to make up what you perceive as conspiracy and what isn't.

There was absolutely no conspiracy involved Soup. A conspiracy requires people to conspire, no one did. Bush justed wanted his war, he wanted to be a hero, to avenge Daddy and to correct daddy's mistake of not going into Bagdad. In short he just wanted his very own war, and Cheney agreed with him. How on earth is that a conspiracy? Bush was looking for any excuse to invade Iraq and he got one on 9/11.

I really don't think you know what a conspiracy really is. But then that is the little world you live in where you can make up your own definition of a conspiracy.

Ron P.

"A conspiracy requires people to conspire"

People conspiring is the definition of human history and civilization in general.

When ever two people get together they conspire.

What planet do you live on where there is no conspiracy?

Are you saying that, yes people conspire but they do not conspire to do the wrong thing?

Again I ask what planet?

The history of the US over the last 5+ years IMO is a perfect example of the vertical leg of the exponential acceleration of the conspiring of the ever more immoral, unethical elements of society. It is probably global i'm sure.

Anyone who doesn't see this, doesn't call BS on it, and in fact actively denies it, is culpable in my opinion.

If you honestly believe that Bush did this then you believe that Obama can just declare health care for all, peak oil outreach, peace on earth, WTF!

Soup, this idea about Bush has been expressed on television, in books and magazines and tens of thousands of time on the internet. It has been expressed on this list dozens of times. (See Joseph Palmer's post below for one of them.) No one however, until you came along, ever called it a conspiracy theory. Anyway it is the prevailing theory as to why Bush did it though on this list the prevailing theory would be that it was all because of oil.

Again, you should do a little reading and learn just what a conspiracy theory is.

Ron P.

Anyway it is the prevailing theory as to why Bush did it

So you admit that what you've said is just a THEORY.

Now....how to get you to admit conspiracy.

Conspire - To plan together secretly to commit an illegal or wrongful act or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action.

But you aren't really giving a whole lot to go on with Bush justed wanted his war, he wanted to be a hero,

If one could show illegal or wrongful acts WRT the fighting in Iraq - would you admit you've committed the act of promoting a theory about a conspiracy?

While darwinian's choice of words is a bit - shall we say florid, - the underlying observation is historically sound, based on many reliable sources from within the Bush administration.

So one tempestuous little brat can mobilize an entire nation to war?

He undoubtedly would not have been able to make good on his long held desire to topple Saddam had it not been for the attacks 9/11, which mobilized enough of the nation to hit somewhere, anywhere.

Ron, don't forget that Matt Simmons was chairman of Dick Cheney's Energy Committee (or what ever it was called) I suspect Dick put all those ideas into Bush's head.

EdlinUser, It goes much deeper than that. Both Bush and Cheney definitely knew. Simmons gave a presentation to both houses of Congress on peak oil in early 2001. It was closed to the press by none other than Ted Kennedy who requested it be closed for reasons of "National Security" Prior to that presentation, Matt met for over an hour with Bush to discuss what he planned to say. It was at least partially as a result of that discussion that Bush gave three separate speeches, prior to 9/11, talking about the seriousness of our energy plight. For a short time it was all he seemed focused on. 9/11 seemed to change everyones direction.
I am still a firm believer that the US got involved in a war in Irag for a multitude of reasons. One was the daddy revenge thing but more so finishing what his father failed to, one was the snubbing nose at everyone by that asshole Hussein, one was the violation of the 17 UN resolutions, but the primary one was not to get Iraq's oil, but to ensure we can get all of the mideast oil by flexing our muscles and establishing a permanent military presence in the center of the middle east. Show me a actual withdrawal from the permanently constructed bases in Iraq and maybe I'll change my tune. It does not matter how much is or isn't in Iraq. It matters how much is in the middle east.

Please watch your language.

I am still a firm believer that the US got involved in a war in Irag for a multitude of reasons.

Let us not forget the fresh water.

Here is one link to the meetings/committee/task force you mentioned:


Shall we be mere mathematicians and, ignoring the above, guess that the oil in this country is insignificant in size, scarcely worth fighting for?

I don't think you understand the reason we invaded Iraq. You are correct, it wasn't WMD. And you are right, it's about the oil.

But it's not really about the oil in Iraq. That was a nice bonus, but the real interest was in the entire Middle East. Iraq was supposed to be the "low hanging fruit" - the easiest target, but not the last. It was supposed give us a footprint in the Middle East that allowed us to control the whole region.

Also...the US really had no way of knowing how much oil was in Iraq. After the war, but before the insurgency took off, the US surveyed Iraq's oil resources. They were supposed to announce their findings five years ago, but so far, it's still classified. According to Kjell Aleklett, the geologists involved have leaked the number, and it's half what they expected: 47 billion barrels, IIRC.

I suppose that makes more sense. If that figure is correct, then the future is as bleak as before.

When Hubbert made his Lower 48 projections in 1956, he basically made two If, Then statements:

If Lower 48 URR are 150 Gb, then the Lower 48 peaks in 1966.

If the Lower 48 URR are 200 Gb, then the Lower 48 peaks in 1971.

Note that a one-third increase in URR, a volume of 50 Gb, only postponed the projected peak by five years. The spread between the numbers we are talking about for Iraq--say between 50 Gb and 100 Gb remaining for the sake of argument--is a volume of oil that would only postpone the projected Lower 48 peak by five years. Globally, based on Deffeyes work, 50 Gb would increase total global conventional reserves by about 2.5% or so. So, based on the Lower 48 model, 50 Gb would postpone the global conventional crude peak, which I think has already occurred anyway, by about five months or so.

And then of course, there is the net export issue, and Sam's best case is that the (2005) top five net oil exporters are now--circa 2005 to 2013--depleting their post-2005 cumulative net oil exports at the rate of about 9%/year.

One of these days, I intend to sit down and re-do all of Hubbert's calculations myself, and with new assumptions which Hubbert would never have considered. What was the highest worldwide average recovery factor (if there is such a thing) that Hubbert assumed when he did his calculations?

I think that Hubbert's larger point is that a finite world has finite fossil fuel resources.

But in any case, you might start with Texas & the North Sea, two regions developed by private companies using the best available technology, with virtually no restrictions on drilling. Since peaking, private oil companies have kept the respective decline rates down to around 4%/year and 5%/year respectively.


I read most of your comments about Iraq, to get a partial understanding of how one 'little brat' can start a war you need to look up and read some of the PNAC document. The Neocons wanted to gain more control of the middle east. To do this they saw overthrowing Saddam as their best rout. Many of the people in power during Bush II's reign were PNAC devotees.

They even tried to get Clinton to do it while he was in power. ONE goal of this was to get permanent military presence in the ME. Iraq was the most viable. Yes I believe this is to have ultimate 'control' over lots of oil, but I don't think it will work and I don't think it was JUST Iraq.

There was a very famous letter written to President Clinton by the American Enterprise Institute in January 1998 urging him to overthrow Saddam. I downloaded the letter from:


Of course Clinton was too smart to pay any attention to them.

Unfortunately George W. "I don't want people to think I am too smart" Bush was elected president, and he appointed the co-signers of the letter to be his military advisers, with predictable consequences.

Saddam had nothing to do with the events of 9/11, and had no WMD, but they decided to invade anyway. They always wanted to invade Iraq whether there was good reason to or not.

They just wanted to prove American military superiority could triumph over common sense.

Leanan - I see it exactly as you do. Except I get a little annoyed when folks go on about not finding WMD's. As you say, that was always a false excuse. We might not have found WMD's but they did have them. They released the films to the world of dead Kurds killed with WMD...nerve gas. A small matter for sure but the debate over WMD's only blurs the discussion IMO.

It's always been about the oil since before WWII. Why would the Brits or anyone else bother with this big sand pile. We invaded Iraq solely to establish a huge military presence in the ME IMHO. And if we eventually leave Iraq in mass we'll likely shift the focus. We'll justify the Afg. build up in any number of ways but it will be about oil. If the KSA becomes politically unstable we'll send troops there to help defend "democracy". I see Iran as the over riding reason for our expansion into the ME. Americans might be unhappy now about the war costs and the body bags slipping back through Dover but if a situation develops in the ME that pushes gasoline above $5/gal or so Americans will just write off these "expenses" as the cost of maintaining BAU IMO. As long as we can print more money and recruit more young Marines...why not?

I pretty much agree with you and leannan on this. We now have troops on three sides of Iran--Iraq, Afghanistan and in the Persian Gulf. This was not by accident.

But another thing to keep in mind besides the positive advantage of laying our hands on Iraq's oil is the other advantage of keeping that oil out of the hands of our competitors.

Haliburton and Cheney are obviously huge players in all this.

I agree entirely - Whether or not the US ultimately gains access to Iraqi and Iranian oil, it's critical that those resources not fall to China. Not without a fight, anyway.

Oh Yeah-the USA has really done a great job keeping China from accessing oil supply. Who do you think built China? China was nowhere 35 years ago and now its power rivals the USA-do you conclude this happened while the "USA" was doing everything to hamper its rise? Seriously?

Western transnationals gave China an oil consumer economy. Keeping control over the oil makes perfect sense. The US has been playing this game even with its EU allies since the Suez crisis.

Sure-it has worked out really well.

Well Noliver that war began over 10 years ago and we haven't fired a shot yet. China has been using their US $'s to buy up in ground and undeveloped reserves around the globe for years. The only reason they haven't made a big impact in the ME is because those folks have yet to need the Chinese investments. As we go down the PO slop I suspect that situation will change. Perhaps our military presence in the ME might give us some leverage but I wouldn't count on it. If the Chinese write a check and gobble up a big chunk of ME oil we'll be powerless to a great degree. Unless we want to start a shooting war. And this time we won't be the only ones with nukes. My best guess is that when PO really starts to damage the world long term China and the US will slip into a MADOR profile: Mutually Assured Distribution of Resources. And the EU and much of the rest of the world will be the losers. Who can compete against the US Navy and the Chinese checkbook.

They had WMDs. They had a very short shelf life, which we well knew. There was nothing left by the time we invaded, or Saddam would have used them.

We might not have found WMD's but they did have them.

And 'our intelligence' had shown that they were a 'threat to America'.

If the KSA becomes politically unstable we'll send troops there to help defend "democracy".

Osama wanted the troops out and America left. At a certain point the US of A won't be able to 'project power' like it has because, well, its darn expensive to move all that about. $400 a gallon fuel in Afaganastain and the $25 million or so spent to get $9000 worth of LPGas to troops in Iraq is not going to be able to be kept up.

As long as we can print more money and recruit more young Marines...why not?

Eventually that will come to an end. Is it not better to be ready to accept that endpoint with grace than sputtering outrage?

Leanan, Had not gotten down to reading your post when I made mine. Sorry if it was duplicitous but we apparently agree.

Kjell used 57 Gb in his slide show


with a peak production of slightly above 5 mb/d in 2020

Dr. Bakhtiari did his estimate here:


>>Shall we be mere mathematicians and, ignoring the above, guess that the oil in this country is insignificant in size, scarcely worth fighting for? <<

I believe there is a prominent member on this site -- Big Gav -- who thinks there might be 300 billion barrels in Iraq. I doubt it myself, but you can take a look at his argument:


Actually, I think Lennan's argument -- down thread -- is more plausible re: Iraq invasion.

There might be 300 billion barrels of oil in Iraq (some peoples guess), there might be 112 billion barrels (the official guesstimate), there might be 50 billion barrels (my guess). Nobody knows for sure if there's oil there until they put a drill bit into the reservoir, and nobody has drilled the western deserts where most of the hypothetical oil reserves exist.

Only about 2,000 wells have been drilled in Iraq, compared to about 1 million wells in Texas alone.

There might be some huge elephants out there in the Iraqi deserts where they haven't drilled, or there might be a few field mice.

not to mention the 4000+ lives which have been lost.

Yes, especially if you take into consideration the fact that Iraqis happen to be human as well...
While the number is quite difficult to pin down it is almost certainly above 100,000 actual casualties and then we have to consider disease and starvation due to economic embargoes.

Quite a nasty little fiasco overall.

Whatever the west does to destroy human lives it is never "human rights abuse". It is always in the name of God or Democracy. Westerners are afflicted with the crusader disease. Middle Easterners have seen this evil before and have every right to resist it.

Increased demand in 2020 indicates that the world's oil must be more affordable than now - tell us what the oil price is going to be in 2020 and the income of the consumers, compare to now, then you will know if it is possible or probable!

But of course! Oil production is all about economics and has nothing to do with geology.

Seriously Xeroid, I agree that higher prices decrease demand and if we are in a deep recession, or even a depression in 2020, then demand will probably be way down. However that does not change the fact that the amount of oil that can be extracted from the ground depends on geology. Peak oil, or more correctly the peak plateau, was 2005 thru 2008. Non-OPEC production peaked in 2004 and has been in decline ever since. Even prices above $100 a barrel could not increase non-OPEC production.

I believe OPEC production was at that point in 2008. In fact OPEC, less Angola, peaked in 2005. Not counting Angola, which has not yet peaked, OPEC could not reach their 2005 peak even with oil prices above $100 a barrel. OPEC less Angola will never exceed their 2005 peak and including Angola will never exceed their 2008 peak, in my opinion anyway.

My point is more dollars cannot create more oil than actually exist. If it could then the US would be the world's largest oil producer and increasing production every year.

Ron P.

Geology doesn't have anything to with the timing of world peak demand - deciding how fast to exploit oil is all about above ground investment decisions, politics, cost of finance, availability of substitutes etc, and most importantly what the consumer can afford.

At present, the flow rate is not dependent on geology so much as the number of profitable oil wells.

I think the peak is in the past (peak affordability was 11 years ago), but if somebody works out a way to make the oil more affordable than now I will be wrong.

My point is more dollars cannot create more oil than actually exist.

I totally agree, but knowing how much oil actually exists - reserves - tells you nothing about profitable flow rates.

Peaking does not just apply to oil production, firewood, seafish and whales are some other examples - and their peaks do not depend on geology either!

Geology doesn't have anything to with the timing of world peak demand -...

At present, the flow rate is not dependent on geology so much as the number of profitable oil wells.

Ahhh but geology has everything to do with both peak demand and the number of profitable wells. Peak demand depends on the price of oil, which depends on the amount of oil available, which is all about geology. And the number of profitable wells has everything to do with geology. As the cheap oil declines, because of geology, oil must be extracted from more expensive places, like oil sands and deep sub-salt areas of the ocean.

If cheap light sweet crude was not in decline, because of geology, then oil would be much cheaper and demand would keep increasing every year. But it is not cheap and because of this oil prices are very high. This in turn kills demand. And it is all because of geology!

Ron P.

xeroid -- I think I follow your thoughts. At first I was going to take issue with the "their peaks do not depend on geology either!" statement but then I thought how you might be viewing the situation. Correct me if wrong. If demand increases we can simply dill more wells in existing fields to increase delivery rates. That's is absolutely true despite anyone's knee jerk reaction that it wouldn't work. I can double the number of wells in every oil field in the world and greatly increase the global oil rate. But there are two problems with this plan. In the vast majority of cases I would never recover the drilling investments. I wish it were true because I know of thousands of locations to drill here in Texas alone. Secondly, ignoring the economic incentive, if these wells were drilled it would only deplete the reserves that much faster. A very nice bump up initially followed by a huge drop. How much oil is out there in fields yet discovered is anyone's guess. But the existing fields have a finite amount of oil in them and any effort to accelerate that production runs you even faster towards the worst effects of PO.

Rockman, I agree with everything you say. Prior to world peak (at a particular price) if a country peaks it probably can't afford to drill extra profitable wells to boost production since oil is fungible and cheaper alternates would be available from other sources with spare capacity.

However, once past world peak for oil (at a particular price) no cheaper alternates exist anymore so the higher prices required to make alternate production from (say) infill wells profitable can almost certainly be tolerated (in some parts of the world at least, maybe even Texas!) - as long as the rise in price of the oil is less than world's money available for oil purchases this new production would be more affordable and a higher peak rate might be reached. This scenario is what has happened up to about mid 2004 and is what the world's economists expect to continue soon.

I doubt oil will continue to get more affordable since the most afordable oil was 11 years ago at a seventh of the current price and Governments worldwide are making plans to reduce carbon emissions. But over the past couple of years the PTB have been cunning and even I can see ways it might be done (for a while at least!) delaying the timing of peak.

I have no idea how much consumers can afford to pay, but peak demand is what will cause peak supply - the cause comes before the effect.

xeroid -- I can see your price/infield drilling dynamics working to some degree in the bigger overseas fields. Hard to judge the magnitude of this potential given the lack of a valid data base. As far as a surge in US infield drilling as a result of PO driven price jumps I see little potential. Can't offer hard numbers but consider that the average US produces less than 10 bopd. If we just work with the average number I can't foresee any price of oil that would justify much infield drilling. You have to remember that the infield wells might capture some additional ult recovery but they'll also produce some amount that would have come out of the existing wells. A price jump would more likely lead to production gains from unconventional oil reservoirs though. But my guess would be that such an increase in these activities would cause the cost to rise also which is then counterproductive.

Possible but not probable because of the multi-decade damage done to Iraqi fields. In a best case scenario of political stability, a collective of global extractors could get started on trying to make this scenario a reality. How this would translate into actual flows is less clear. Western oil companies have taken a good look at Iraqi fields. They appear to have universally concluded they're a disaster. There is no question at all, however, about the massive resource base.


Yes. This was suspected before the invasion, and apparently confirmed afterward, if the rumors are correct.

It's not just that Saddam exaggerated his reserves, like all the other OPEC countries did. It's that Iraq, unable to export oil due to sanctions, ended up pumping it back into the ground to force out natural gas, which was needed domestically. This is the opposite of what is usually done. A lot of that oil will now be permanently inaccessible.

A lot of that oil will now be permanently inaccessible.

Why is that?

Because you can never get all the oil out of the ground. You're lucky to get 50%.

"Not only are the current oil prices, hovering between $65 and $80 per barrel, sustainable in the short-term, going by the recent developments they could touch $100 in the longer term, according to analysts."

This seems more because of inflation and the depreciation in the American dollar. My royalty cheques have been staying flat because the loonie is appreciating against the US$, although it has the advantage that I have been buying gold all summer at a stable price.

When oil went up to US$65 a few years ago, there was an outcry that the high price would doom us all. Now oil is in the $70 range but that doesn't make headlines anymore. This appears to be because of steady inflation rates, not the fake CPI data manufactured to order by government agencies, but the real numbers the mass media never mentions. See www.shadowstats.com for details.

Why the U.S. uses energy as it does: An excellent book on the history of U.S. energy use from colonial times through the early 1990's, examining how and why usage developed and transitions between sources occurred as it did written by a Danish research historian specializing in US technology usage:

Consuming Power: A Social History of American Energies
The MIT Press, 1998

David E. Nye Professor, University of Southern Denmark Center for American Studies

Economic History Association EHNet book review

Thanks for the link, JMG3Y. Looks very interesting. It's something that we tend to overlook here, that production of energy has its roots in demand.

BBC coverage of the West Atlas fire: Australia oil well catches fire.

A director of the company, Jose Martins, said the only way to stop the fire was to plug the leak.

"The measures which we have been able to take so far can only mitigate the fire. They will not stop the fire.

"The best way to stop the fire is to complete the well-kill and stop the flow of gas and oil at the surface from the H-1 well, cutting off the fuel source for the fire."

What a catastrophe.

Can they not use one of those thermobaric oxygen sucking bomb things. The rig's a gonner anyway.


Actually Marco that's a technique used to kill such fires in some instances. There's an old John Wayne movie (Hellfighters) that shows the process well. But the problem they have is the oil flowing into the sea. The fire is an added problem making the effort only worse. They couldn't control the blowout on the platform so they are drillng the relief well. But they still need to keep as much hardware on the platorm intact as they can. Even when they kill the well that original hole still needs to be plugged properly to prevent future leaks.

The Wall Street Journal takes note now.

Swine Flu Fears Grip Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine introduced some of the strictest measures in the world on Friday to combat swine flu after a spate of deaths in the west of the country.

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko imposed travel restrictions, banned public gatherings and closed schools and universities for three weeks after the health ministry declared an epidemic of the H1N1 virus.

Road policemen wore masks on patrol in Lviv on Oct. 31, 2009.

The ministry released figures Sunday showing 53 people had died from flu and respiratory infections, although it was unclear how many of these were caused by the H1N1 virus.

...A team from the World Health Organization is set arrive in Ukraine on Monday to assist the authorities.

I'm not sure what the big deal is - my kids had it, and I suspect I did too (although it was so mild I did not realize it at the time). For most you get sick, it sucks, and then you recover. A small percentage have complications and die, which is very sad for those who love them, but those are exceptions and this is hardly a dangerous illness. Eat real food, take vitamin D, don't take aspirin, don't let the drug companies inject crap into your blood, and you'll be fine. I'm amazed at the hype over this thing - maybe the creators of it are just pissed that it didn't create the profits it was supposed to. ;-)

I know a lady that is living in a house with 12 people (5 kids 7 adults), all got it, 3 got pneumonia, one bad enough to need emergency care. It seemed to range from mild to very bad. My friend said that the kids actually had the least problem with it. All the adults were down for at least 4 days.

For a different reason my wife takes huge amounts of vitamin D and I have been taking supplements since reading WT's posts. Hopefully I won't get it or have it very bad/long.

Check also the advantages of megadosis vitamin C as can be read in many sites.
And be sure that your intake of omega-3 in comparison with omega-6 is optimal, THAT seems to be one of the most important issues in general health. People who just take supplements and think that they are ok because they take supplements are wrong: in a large study appeared that the people in the group who took the supplements (not mega-dosis) didn't live longer, in contrary.

I'm not sure what the big deal is - my kids had it,

it? What is it? h1n1? Whatever is going on in Ukraine?

One report claimed whatever is going on in Ukraine it had been tested and not found to be H1N1. Another report claimed bleeding from the lungs with whatever it is. I do not remember any H1N1 reports of lung bleeding.

Toll from India oil blaze rises

The death toll from a massive fire at an oil depot in the western Indian state of Rajasthan has increased to at least 10 people.

Dozens of people were injured as a result of the blaze at the depot near the tourist city of Jaipur, which is still reported to be burning.

It is unclear what caused the fire, which broke out on Thursday evening.

The depot, 16km (10 miles) south of Jaipur, stocks gasoline, kerosene and diesel fuel for state-owned oil firms.


Saudi police unveil al-Qaida weapons cache in the capital Riyadh

I guess it's just a matter of time before Al Qaida or some other group does some real damage to Saudi oil facilities.

If they wanted to do real damage, they should hit the seawater pumping stations that keep the oilfields pressurized and also the desalinization stations from whence KSA gets its drinking water. That would collapse both the oil fields and their society in general.

Regarding a comment post I made about 2 weeks ago regarding the possible harvest losses due to Climate Change in a DB.

Well today's WSJ has a front page article stating exactly what I stated previously.

The weather was and is still playing havoc with the fall harvest. Both here in my area and most all areas to the north as well as nearby Arkansas and Tennessee.

Its bad. Very bad. The Mississippi/Ohio is due to crest tomorrow at about 46+ feet. This will essentially cover ALL the river bottoms that I am aware of. Already they have been a total sea of mud such that combines must creep along very slowly. If they get stuck and the water continues? Bad peas.

But my area produces on the margins. Its the uppper Illinois,Indiana ,Iowa and further north that is now getting severely pounded by snow,rain and cold damp weather. The grains are rotting on the vine.
Mold is forming. High winds 'lodge' the already weakened soil the roots must cling to.

Some elevators in the northern tier report 'not a single kernel of corn has been stored'. Speaking of the grain elevators who must take in and dry (when possible) the very wet crops. Docking them severely for doing such and refusing other crops that have too much foreign matter(FM) and damage.

To buy and store such they take a chance on later finding no sellers for such damaged grain.

So the clock is ticking, the combines are mostly idle while India is reported to have a huge loss of their grains(rice,etc) and the rats are eating almost 50% of it.

I would suggest a huge diaster is possible both here and in other countries.

I have seen (the massive ice storm) and still am seeing weather that I have not experienced in my 70 years of life. Personally I was able to raise almost nothing this garden season. There are no pollinators so also zero fruit.

I have noted this before: No grasshoppers. No lightening bugs. No bees. Few moths. Almost no butterflies. No mosquitos. No ticks. No fleas. No bats. Very very few birds. The list goes on and on to frogs and invasive species in our lakes and rivers. (Asian Carp).

All of this is due mostly to the huge amount of crop spraying. I am surrounded by fields of soybeans and corn hence the spraying is very close but yet the whole county and region seems to be affected by this. You then add in the Climate Change events and it begins to look very very bad indeed.

I am hunkered down. Enough stored anyway from previous years. I am just sounded the alarm about what I read and see happening in Big Ag.

As for myself I would not shed a tear if Big Ag folded totally. Yes it will be painful but at some point the pillaging of our woodlands and soil and environment just HAS to stop!!! Else there will simply be NOTHING to rebuild back to.

Is the some form of arcane rocket science? Even though I taught rocket science in H'ville way way back even I can see its just simple observation. Observation without any signs of remediation.

Running away. Running out of track soon. I have friends and relatives who live by farming. They are stealing however. From the environment and nature. Something that will be very difficult to replace.

It takes many years to grow a good oak tree. Junk trees like sweet gum are worthless, mostly. Hardwood is something we will need badly in the future. To bad though for its almost all gone. At least in areas that I note. Gone. Just like the animal life I mentioned above.

Airdale-Where have you gone Rachel Carson? A world is dying. First its oil, then finance, now its the land. God is not making any more land you see. What we got is all we got.

My last post on the subject. Gets little traction on TOD I reckon. We talk about gardens but the rest is ,like,,, doesn't count. Surely millions will start to die in the future. Likely thousands already have.

Well Airdale, I, for one, thank you for the first-hand information. Terrifying as it is. Here in New England the weather is "normal", sort of, so I long ago gave up trying to discuss any of this with anyone. I'm sure if I pointed out weather problems in other parts of the country, or the world, the reaction would be "tough for them!" At least until there are higher prices or, gasp, shortages at the grocery stores...

I'm paying close attention to the events at the Temple Mount/Al Aqsa Mosque:
This is the most likely spot to ignite the ME. IMHO, a major event in the ME which cuts off the oil for a while, at least, is just what we're waiting for - collapse seems inevitable, but his way we can blame the "Ay-rabs", which is what we've been trained to do for a decade now.

Crop prices rise 7.7 percent amid soggy harvest

"This could be the worst harvest in history, really, in terms of delays," Wagner said.

Stats put IL's slowed harvest in perspective

The Agriculture Department's statistics service says it's been more than four decades - 1967 to be precise - since a smaller percentage of the corn crop had been brought in from the fields by the last week of October.

Just 33 percent of the state's soybean crop has been brought in. The state's records don't ever show the harvest so slow.

Crop waits for sun to dry fields

Thursday, Holzfaster watched 15 inches of snow fall on his corn, the third-heaviest snow to hit his farm in October.

Asked how much corn he had left to harvest, Holzfaster wryly replied: “In round numbers, 100 percent.”

Our soybean harvest usually takes five to seven days,” he said. “Monday will mark the fifth week we've tried to (finish) that five- to seven-day harvest. It's been very drawn out.”

Soggy corn concerns continue

This year's corn crop, once touted to be record-breaking, now looks like it may fall short of expectations. As rains continued to fall across the Midwest this week, farmers' woes worsened as pessimistic reports came in from around the Corn Belt.

Much of the corn left in the fields is suffering from rot, mold and fungus, which lowers yields and can make the corn unusable for animal consumption -- or even ethanol production.

Corn "in the bin" still has problems, as moisture levels are above acceptable levels, forcing farmers to pay high fees to dry their corn.

To give an idea of how bad the bottom land crops were I drove my Jeep Wrangler to the bottoms.

While I didn't have to resort to 4wd I very carefully picked my turn outs and not having my really big treads tires I wanted to play it safe.

My buddies brand new combine which I helped him setup programwise was hard at it running alongside a water filled ditch. Barely moving and trying to cut and thrash soybeans that were totally waterlogged.

Most I suspect were going out the beater bars in the back and sliding off the sieves as a loss. Others were probably cracked or mashed. It was either get what was gettable or write them off as a total loss.

Finally 4 more combines arrived to help and even they were being very careful. Today they are still at it as tomorrow most will unharvested will be under water. 46 feet crests are not that common this time of year.

He called for a grain truck(18 wheeler,40 foot dumpbed trailer). I helped the driver who had to back up about a mile on a very narrow gravel roadbed just to pull out one single load. The grain buggies were barely crawling as well.

Anyway the crops were saved but at a high loss rate. Fields left as mudballs. This stuff can tear up equipment as well. Very expensive equipment when a combine costs about $300,000 and a 40 foot Draper header up to $15,000 or more. Actually more like almost $400,000 for just the combine and headers.

Personally I have never seen it this bad before. Here on higher ground there are a lot of level fields with standing water in them. Corn has to wait meanwhile and suffer as well. Rain weakens the roots and then a high wind lays it on the ground. You don't get much yield digging it out then.

Airdale-who said farming was fun? Its not so fun when you go bankrupt and watch all your work be for naught. Thats how I got my farm. Absolute auction. The owner wouldn't even come to the closing and I never saw him in public again. He died a few years back. Thid auction was back in 1985. He never was the same they say. What I got for a tad over $400/ac I later sold some for over $3200/ac.

One thing as bad as a drought is a flood.

Not enough corn in the U.S. to meet fuel (ethanol) needs:


Scientists are yet looking for ways to make cellulosic ethanol work. The bill requiring cellulosic ethanol use was passed before there was proof that cellulosic ethanol might be energy efficient. No one in the world had figured out a way to make it economically efficient, nor was anyone producing it commercially at that time. Not caring about what is economically efficient produced an economic crash.

Unfortunately, the cold, wet weather is the very thing that our local village idiot is using to convince others that climate change is a socialist plot. He's got one column and I've got another. In three weeks, my column gets published (see below)


“…at the heart of the global warming movement is a deep-seated hatred towards democracy, capitalism and industry.”
Bill Greenwood column from October 23rd.

This is what is known as an ad hominem attack. According to Webster’s dictionary, it is “an attack on an opponent’s character rather than by an answer to his contentions.” Greenwood is certainly upset. In fact, he is apparently incensed about the “hockey stick” graph, which was intended to show that global warming in the latter half of the 20th century was significantly greater than any natural warming in the previous 1,000 years.

However, Greenwood should have been more careful to limit his attack to the creators of the hockey stick graph, in particular three researchers by the names of Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes. Greenwood correctly noted that Mann et al were figuratively hauled before the U.S. National Research Council (at the behest of the U.S. Congress) to answer for their alleged crimes. According to the NRC, “Critics of the
original papers have argued that the statistical methods were flawed, that the choice of data was biased, and that the data and procedures used were not shared so others could verify the work.”

So, in order to get at the truth, the NRC forced Mann et al to open their books. And they also looked at all of the other research on what the climate was like 1,000 years ago. In fact, their resulting 140 page document (called Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years) has 18 pages of references to all of the other scientific work on the matter.

At the end of it all, Mann et al get a lesson in statistics, and their initial conclusion gets blunted somewhat, but the overall situation remains the same. In fact, in their summary, on page 3, the NRC notes that “The basic conclusion of Mann et al was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence that includes both additional large-scale surface temperature reconstructions and pronounced changes in a variety of local proxy indicators, such as melting on icecaps and the retreat of glaciers around the world, which in many cases appear to be unprecedented during at least the last 2,000 years.”

Another smaller report known as the Wegman Report came out a few weeks after the NRC report and gave Mann et al another tongue lashing. But far from “debunking” the climate change issue (as Greenwood asserts), it shifted concern from average global temperatures to the warming at the poles and called it “much more alarming”.

So given that both reports were entirely at odds with what Greenwood asserted them to be, I have to wonder if Greenwood had actually read them. Or did he simply copy and paste his nonsense off the blogosphere?

A simpler explanation might be that he just needs a new prescription for his glasses, since he repeats his claim about the “steady cooling trend since 1998”. The graphs are there for anyone to see on either Wikipedia or the online version of Encyclopedia Britannica. There is a slight plateau, likely due to the solar influences that both Greenwood and I have talked about in previous columns. But all the temperatures are still well above what they were in the 20th century, with 1998 being widely acknowledged as an anomaly due to an extraordinary El Nino.

As for the average global temperature for the 1st half of 2009 (which Greenwood conveniently cherry picks particular locations for), the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration pegs it at being the 5th warmest in 130 years of record taking.

So I’m led to wonder what causes Greenwood to constantly spread disinformation about climate change. But I won’t wonder out loud. That could quickly devolve to ad hominem tactics, and I refuse to stoop to his level.

If he wants to stick to science, however, I would gladly debate him in public at the time and place of his choosing.

Here's a link to Greenwood's column from 23 October.

Does he realize that the U.S. is not the Earth? And, extremes in weather do not prove or disprove AGW is happening. Perhaps he has failed to notice that there's another El Nino forming out there in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific, where the warm waters just spawned a Cat 5 hurricane called Rick with maximum winds reported to be 180 MPH. That storm weakened as it moved over Mexico and added to the flood producing rain fall over the southern U.S. last week.

I also think that Greenwood is simply repeating the denialist stories about the Medieval Warm Period. The evidence of such a warm spell is very week and there are many problems with the data presented to support the claims. Also, the impacts of several massive volcanic eruptions is often discounted as a cause of the Little Ice Age, impacts which would result in the short term cooling, not a continuous period of overall cold conditions.

E. Swanson

I had a beer with him once. I got the impression that he's just intelligent enough to be dangerous. And there's enough people here in Red Deer that agree with him on all sorts of xenophobic stuff. Thankfully the editorial staff is quite progressive. They must despise him, but I guess they realize that he also sells newspapers. My goal in life is to get him fired. Never a dull day here in the Hummer capital of the world.

My goal in life is to get him fired.

Errr, isn't that a waste of gasoline?

Oh, fired. Not on fire.

(if you want him fired and that is really a goal - start going after the advertisers. Seems like a waste of your time however. And who's to say that, after you got your goal, the next job for 'em would not be better exposure to what is now said/done that has earned your ire?)

Sorry. I was being facetious. My real goal in life is to die of old age...and help as many others as possible to do the same.

I think the advertisers (and the power brokers in the community) are decent folks who are genuinely concerned about sustainability. They just need relevant information that isn't overly alloyed with ideology, and I aim to give it to them. I suspect that a lot of them think that Greenwood is a jerk, and that my columns are a useful antidote (in fact, just a few weeks ago, the most powerful man -- and richest philanthropist -- in the city came over and warmly shook my hand). As for Greenwood, I think that his real audience is Joe/Jane Sixpack. For that reason, he may always have a column, but I'll do my best to make sure that he doesn't tell too many lies.

These politically instigated reports on the "abuses" of Mann et al. all bear the characteristic pandering to the instigators. Any attack, including the feeble one on the statistics is vacuous and it is the instigators that should be fined heavily (hundreds of thousands of dollars per individual) for attempting to defame the authors and suppress the truth. Congress appears to be some variant of the Inquisition, where very ignorant, uneducated corporate prostitute has the authority to harass individuals on a whim. Scientific articles should be answered with scientific articles and not show trial type committee hearings.

The Wegman committee may have had show trial elements, but it's hard to fault the NRC (the research arm of the National Academy of Science). Read Greg Craven's book on the issue for some really good background.

Here's the WSJ link: Late Harvest Sows Problems for Farmers.

Living surrounded by fields sprayed with insecticides sounds grim. It's hard to grow enough food for all these humans if we let nature get a share. Just think that many people want us to grow our fuel this way as well. Thankfully it can't be done.

As for the weather being unhelpful to farmers. From the city it seems that farmers always complain about the weather. They farm for average conditions, but maybe they should take the standard deviation into account. As for floods, bad when they happen but no productivity without them: they don't call them flood-plains for nothing. [Puts on flame-proof suit, ducks behind parapet].

And here's a relevant presentation: Hedging the Weather, slighlty messed up by ppt to google docs conversion..

Hi Airdale, I've been following the harvest news too. IIRC the US has committed to record forward export sales this year of grains (or possibly soyabean), so either the US or some importers are going to be coming up short. China is stockpiling soya, wheat and corn and buying huge quantities from the US. US winter wheat planting is also suffering badly, meaning poor yields next year from possibly reduced acreage (US is the world's fourth largest wheat producer). Insurance companies are going to get hit and farmers with or without insurance.

Problems seem to be building across the globe for agriculture, even in Europe where winter wheat is getting off to a bad start (the world's top wheat producer) due to unseasonably dry conditions. China (world's second biggest producer) is suffering from just about everything. I've also posted several times on the serious situation in India (the world's third largest wheat producer), here's the latest I've been reading:

Indian wheat futures have posted another day of fresh contract highs this morning, with front-month November hitting Rs 1,421.10/100kg, that's just over USD300/tonne.

Wheat prices have now risen almost 12% this month. Despite protestations to the contrary, maybe that's what the government really want with planting about to begin for the 2010 crop.

There's six months to go before that arrives on the market however, so what is going to happen in the meantime?

Inflation is surging out of control, rising 1.51% during the week ended October 17, up from the previous week’s annual rise of 1.21%. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) now predict that wholesale price inflation will reach 6.5% by the end of March, 2010, a significant increase from the previous forecast of 5% and well above its target inflation rate of 3%. Some private forecasts are that Indian inflation will hit 8% by the end of March.

Meanwhile consumer price inflation is running at over 10%, with staple foods such as potato prices almost double what they were a year ago, and sugar up by almost 50%.

India, typically amongst the world's top three or four rice exporters, is now looking to actively import rice. The government announced a scrap on import tariffs on certain types of rice this week, in an effort to boost supplies after summer drought slashed production. Three state-run agencies have wasted no time in announcing tenders to import 30,000 MT this weekend.

It might only be a matter of time before something similar happens with wheat.

I don't think an El Nino is going to help things much either.

Airdale - I do hope you continue these updates. I, for one, very much look forward to them.

Thanks for all your reports.

- Rev Karl

I agree entirely.

First hand reports from intelligent and experienced observers are of far greater value than the usual puffery from MSM reporters.

Keep the info coming, Airdale.

Are the rats worse than normal this year?

If so, why?

"2009 has the worst honey crop on record"

"And the key player this year ... the weather! No surprise there if you ventured outside more than once this summer, no matter where you live ... it was one weird weather event, all summer long. Most of the east and mid-west was cool and wet, the south was hot and dry or way too wet and much of the northwest and west was dry and hot, too. Florida and the gulf states, particularly Texas and Louisiana did fairly well this summer, as did the mountain states and California."


airdale, thanks for your post regarding no insects, bats etc. I've noticed in recent years in our area a couple of hours north of San Francisco in a rural setting, that we have been absent almost entirely of bugs in recent years. Also the bats that use to come out at dusk have all but disappeared, maybe because there are no bugs to catch. Really find it eery the near complete absence of flying insects. When I was a kid there was so much of everything, from different species of butterflies, dragon flies, moths, bees, flies, you name it. They were called pests because they were everywhere, but now they are far and few between. That can't be a good omen for humankind.

I have noted this before: No grasshoppers. No lightening bugs. No bees. Few moths. Almost no butterflies. No mosquitos. No ticks. No fleas. No bats. Very very few birds. The list goes on and on to frogs and invasive species in our lakes and rivers. (Asian Carp).

However to most residents of shopping mall America what you have described is paradise...

I live in South Florida between the Everglades and some of the most incredible remaining coral reefs that are still accessible from an urban environment. I visit both of these ecosystems regularly.

Upon rare occasion I have the opportunity to coax some of the city folk out into the everglades at night. Before we go I ask them if they have fireflies in their neighborhoods, invariably they tell me there are no such creatures in Florida. They are quite surprised to see the light show.
When we cross the divide backed into "devastation land", I ask if they still think that there is no such thing as anthropogenic climate change, it is a trick question because climate change is just one small part of the impact humans are having on our ecosystems and my point really is about all of our impacts.

Airdale-Where have you gone Rachel Carson? A world is dying. First its oil, then finance, now its the land. God is not making any more land you see. What we got is all we got... My last post on the subject. Gets little traction on TOD I reckon.

I at least mourn with you, our dying world, because I have seen it at its most vibrant and alive, it saddens me greatly how very few people have any clue at all.

Well today's WSJ has a front page article stating exactly what I stated previously.

And what do you want for stating the obvious sooner than some other source?

My last post on the subject.

You've made that claim before. You'll be back.

Gets little traction on TOD I reckon.

What makes you think that? Perhaps no one had any comment they could add.

What are you expecting? Everytime you speak someone says 'good job airdale!' I do note every time you have an outburst you get 2-3 posters giving you a nice verbal stroking.

CIT Group Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- CIT Group Inc., a 101-year-old commercial lender, filed for bankruptcy with financing from investor Carl Icahn after the credit crunch dried up its funding and a U.S. bailout and debt exchange offer failed.

New York-based CIT listed $71 billion in assets and $64.9 billion in debt in a Chapter 11 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. None of its operating subsidiaries, including CIT Bank, a Utah-based bank, were included in the filing, and operations will proceed as normal, CIT said in a statement.

Probably not good news for stocks. Nikkei down 250 so far.

The taxpayers lose over 2 billion on this one and the owners of the USA make 1 billion-sounds fair http://www.businessinsider.com/henry-blodget-goldman-to-make-1-billion-i...

Ugh. Ripping off the little guys, and not even pretending otherwise any more. And nobody seems to care.


Get into the spirit of giving. For only $3000 a day you could sponsor an investment banker.

Oh, we don't have to worry about peak oil or other resources, not damaging weather or AGW or whatnot.

Not according to those pluck cornucopians at The Economist:

The Leader:

The Briefing:

And falling fertility is a boon for what it makes possible, which is economic growth.

Note the emphasis on the axiomatic mantra of growth. While The Economist mentions the huge use of resources by the minority of people in the developed world, the editors extol the virtues of the demographic transition because it provides economic growth, which when multiplied by the number people, equates to a huge drain on Earth's resources. The editors mention the sources and sinks issue, but wave it away with the following statement and others like it:

If population policy can do little more to alleviate environmental damage, then the human race will have to rely on technology and governance to shift the world’s economy towards cleaner growth.

The increase of population from ~ 7B now to ~ 9.2B by ~ 2050 is not seen as a show-stopper: better governance and technology will allow us to sort it all out.

I don't think there is an answer to the mess we have created...but we had a fighting chance when The Limits to Growth was published ~ 1972 and the world population was ~ 3.8B.

OMG! Time's running out, we're slipping over the edge into the financial abyss.

It is Japan we should be worrying about, not America

Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), told the US Congress last week that the debt path was out of control and raised "a real risk that Japan could end up in a major default"...

..."The debt situation is irrecoverable," said Carl Weinberg from High Frequency Economics. "I don't see any orderly way out of this. They will not be able to fund their deficit. There will be a fiscal shutdown, a pension haircut, and bank failures that will rock the world. It is criminally negligent that rating agencies are not blowing the whistle on this.".

Mr Hatoyama inherited a country that was already hurtling into sovereign "Chapter 11". The Great Recession has eaten up 27pc in tax revenues. Industrial output is down 19pc, even after the summer rebound; exports are down 31pc; the economy is 10pc smaller today in "nominal" terms than a year ago – and nominal is what matters for debt...

..."This is incredibly dangerous," said Russell Jones from the RBC Capital Markets. "The rate of deflation is shocking. The debt dynamics are horrible and there is the risk of a downward spiral."

Justin Raimondo has a good article on the US foreign policy rift between Hillary the Hawk and Barack the Dove:

In what the Los Angeles Times described as "a fence-mending trip" to Pakistan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton managed to tear down more fence posts than she repaired. Abrasive, arrogant, and condescending, she fired a series of verbal RPG volleys that nearly demolished what remained of good relations between the U.S. and its principal ally in the region.


This administration is hopelessly divided when it comes to foreign policy, with the Obama loyalists sending out hopeful signals in the form of the Dear Leader’s matchless rhetoric (e.g., the Cairo speech) and the the Clintonians in effective control of the foreign policy apparatus, contradicting and neutralizing whatever positive effects result from the president’s pronouncements.

Not only that, but at the policy level, where words are translated into concrete actions, Queen Hillary and her minions are carrying out another policy altogether, one virtually indistinguishable from the Bush administration’s in style and content. The same blundering crudity is used to express and justify a policy of unmitigated aggression and complete disregard for human life.


And some of us still remember Hillary would tell people that Obama cannot be trusted when it comes to international relations, because of his inexperience. I for one thought from the beginning it was a really bad move to appoint her Secretary of State. Obama should get rid of her, like, yesterday.

You are naive if you think Obama is a dove. Hillary is only saying what he wants her to say. They're playing "Good cop, bad cop."

And to be fair...Obama has to be tough on defense, if he hopes to be re-elected. Just as only Nixon could go to China, I think it will have to be a hawk who gets us out of the war(s). (Not that I'm expecting that to happen any time soon.)

Sadly true Leanan. A dove in the White House? I readily recall the two "doves' we had in the WH back in the 60's. That bought us 60,000 body bags. I can be sympathetic for our president. He may face some of the toughest (and possibly unsolvable) problems that any leader has had thrust upon him. Don't ask me why, since I agree with few of his positions, but I have some faith he'll take the hard road. MaYbe it's just my feeling his ego won't allow failure regardless of the costs.

I'm not so sure Hillary is saying exactly what he would like her to say. Neither Raimondo nor I think Obama is a man of peace as such, just that there is a difference between their worldviews. As Raimondo points out quite persuasively, Clinton really made a mess in Pakistan, and it's hard to imagine that's what Obama wanted. But with politicians, you just never know.

As Raimondo points out quite persuasively, Clinton really made a mess in Pakistan, and it's hard to imagine that's what Obama wanted.

I think it's exactly what he wanted. Remember, he campaigned on getting tough with Pakistan, and one of the first things he did when he took over the White House was order more drone attacks.

By both his words and actions, Obama is no dove. Hillary is doing what he wants her to do. And taking the heat for him, which is part of the job. (She knew that going in, so don't feel sorry for her.)