Drumbeat: November 21, 2009

Oil's expanding frontiers

In 1914, the Bureau of Mines said U.S. oil reserves would be exhausted by 1924. In 1939, the Interior Department said the world had 13 years worth of petroleum reserves. Then a global war was fought and the postwar boom was fueled, and in 1951 Interior reported that the world had ... 13 years of reserves. In 1970, the world's proven oil reserves were an estimated 612 billion barrels. By 2006, more than 767 billion barrels had been pumped and proven reserves were 1.2 trillion barrels. In 1977, Scold in Chief Jimmy Carter predicted that mankind "could use up all the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade." Since then the world has consumed three times more oil than was then in the world's proven reserves.

But surely now America can quickly wean itself from hydrocarbons, adopting alternative energies -- wind, solar, nuclear? No.

Keith O. Rattie, CEO of Questar Corporation, a natural gas and pipeline company, says that by 2050 there may be 10 billion people demanding energy -- a daunting prospect, considering that of today's 6.2 billion people, nearly 2 billion "don't even have electricity -- never flipped a light switch." Rattie says energy demand will grow 30 percent to 50 percent in the next 20 years and there are no near-term alternatives to fossil fuels.

The SEC Surrenders to the Oil Industry

What are the consequences of allowing multi-billion-dollar systemically important multinational corporations to report their assets using proprietary mark-to-model tools involving discredited Monte Carlo simulations? I think we all know the answer to that one. But unbelievably, after such shenanigans contributed enormously to the greatest financial meltdown in living memory, the SEC is now set to allow more or less exactly the same thing in the oil industry.

Mexico eyes risk contracts to offset Cantarell downturn

LOS ANGELES - Mexico’s state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos and the Secretaria de Energia (Sener) are preparing risk contracts that will be offered to oil companies—international and domestic—in order accelerate the search for oil and gas, according to local media.

Mexico’s daily El Universal reports that the contracts are the result of concern over output generally, but especially at Cantarell, which represents a loss of 272.425 billion pesos/year ($20.859 billion) in tax revenue for the country, or 2% of estimated gross domestic product for 2009, at current oil prices.

Dark truth about Latin American energy

Several Latin American countries have recently been hit by major power shortages, raising concerns that the region is facing a serious energy crisis.

In some countries, like Venezuela and Ecuador, blackouts have become increasingly regular.

But there have also been other less frequent outages as far afield as Cuba and Brazil.

What Can the U.S. Learn from China’s Energy Policy?

China’s economy is growing at a rate of 9 percent per year, and forecasts have its fast pace of economic growth continuing, though at a slightly lower rate. Eager to bring more of its citizens out of poverty, China will not let energy be a bottleneck for such growth. Because it has limited domestic oil and gas resources, China is investing globally to ensure supply. The world’s most populous country is also expanding its coal-fired electricity capacity at breakneck speed and making a major commitment to nuclear energy. In smaller quantities, and under international pressure from the environmental community, China is also constructing solar- and wind-powered generating facilities, to the point that 30 percent of its wind capacity cannot be supported by its electric grid. Yet even with all these other technologies, coal will remain China’s mainstay for a very long time since coal is its most abundant and least expensive resource.

Marathon on the Prowl in Poland's 'Unconventional' Gas Fields

Marathon Oil is seeking to exploit "unconventional" gas fields in Poland, the company said Thursday. The Houston-based energy company joins U.S. majors ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil Corp. in tapping the eastern European oilpatch. The area is one of the few resource-holding regions of the world still open to international oil companies.

Unconventional fields are harder to exploit and more complex than conventional fields. The move also comes at a time when demand for gas produced in Europe is expected to grow vigorously as countries intensify their efforts to reduce their dependence on Russia as a supplier.

Ethiopia records deflation of 3.7 percent

Inflation in the vast Horn of Africa nation hit a high of 64.2 percent in July 2008, driven by record high food and fuel prices, but it has fallen every month since.

"The main reason for the decline in General Consumer Price Index in October 2009 is the fall in the prices of food components especially cereal," the Central Statistical Agency said in a statement, adding that prices of non-food items had increased.

Chickens come home to roost in backyards around the USA

Small Midwestern farmers are increasingly trying to raise a diversity of organic produce beyond corn, oats and soybeans. But that movement faces an uphill battle, Bailey says, when locals who are passionate about high-quality eggs bypass their local farmers.

"We have a lot of small farmers around here making chickens and eggs available for sale," Bailey says. "My fundamental question is: Why aren't we supporting the regional economy?"

Slow Money: Bringing Money Down to Earth

Three trillion dollars a day zooms around the planet in currency markets alone. Our current financial system has, by cutting money off from people and place, allowed it to start circulating at such crazy speeds and in such complexity that no one can really understand it anymore. Even the experts don’t understand the consequences of what’s now going on. The derivatives and sub-prime mortgage mess is just one manifestation of that.

The way we slow money down is by bringing it down to Earth: connecting it directly to the land and to places where investors live. As long as how you’re investing is completely disconnected from where you live—meaning it’s just dictated by distant markets, distant companies, abstract securities—then the money can kind of circulate in this wild, crazy, volatile, and ultimately destructive fashion. If you bring money back down to Earth, connecting it to the place where you live, and all the way to the land itself, then you will be slowing money down and having a healthier outcome for all concerned.

A Growing Climate Change Movement Emerges

Groups like the anarchist-influenced Camp for Climate Action, known for its weeklong gatherings of mostly young people that end in direct action, and the suffragette- inspired Climate Rush have worked with international fixtures like Greenpeace since 2007 to wage a campaign against E.ON. They’ve shut down a coal conveyer belt, blockaded company headquarters in Nottingham, occupied the roof of the PR firm it employs and won a major criminal trial using climate change as a legal defense.

Due to such widespread and effective activism, many see Britain as a climate movement leader. British weekly political magazine The New Statesman recently said, “Climate change activism is more developed in this country than anywhere else in the world.”

Permafrost thaw threatens Russia oil and gas complex: study

MOSCOW (AFP) – Thawing permafrost caused by global warming is costing Russian energy firms billions of dollars annually in damage control and shrinking Russia's territory, Greenpeace warned in a new study Friday.

According to the report by the environmental watchdog, up to 55 billion roubles (1.9 billion dollars) a year is spent on repairs to infrastructure and pipelines damaged by changes in the permafrost in western Siberia.

"For Russia, the biggest threat of the permafrost melt is to oil and gas company infrastructure," said Vladimir Chuprov, who heads Greenpeace's energy programme in Russia.

Natural gas prices fall 12 percent in November: U.S. natural gas inventories higher than at any point in the nation's history

The recession has kept natural gas demand low most of the year. With manufacturers shuttering factories and closing offices, the country is using less electricity and power plants are burning less natural gas.

Analyst Stephen Schork noted that with industrial production still weak, home heating would be the primary source of natural gas demand for the rest of the year.

"What does that say about the current recovery, or lack thereof?" Schork said in a research note.

Smaller oil and gas players 'on way to recovery'

The rising oil price has helped the UK's energy industry move towards recovery, a survey of smaller firms in the oil and gas sector suggests.

Ernst & Young's index of activity registered a strong gain of 35% in the third quarter of this year, and a rise of 114% since the start of this year.

The survey found more than half of oil and gas company bosses said they were looking at acquisitions.

Irish Government Urged To Resist Fossil Fuel Tax Increase

Many commentators in the Republic of Ireland are forecasting a general tax across all fossil fuels in the country's forthcoming Budget.

Ahead of the Budget, The Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) has pointed out that many Irish consumers are already struggling to pay existing bills. In that context, a new carbon tax on home heating fuel would be most unwelcome, claims the training, standards and registration agency for the oil heating industry throughout the British Isles.

Next year looks brighter for Mexico's economy

MEXICO CITY — Rising oil prices and increased exports are slowly dragging Mexico's economy out of a severe recession, but the nation's financial system still confronts fundamental challenges, national leaders and experts say.

Outages dim Chavez popularity

Power failures, unpaid civil servants and falling oil revenue play havoc with support for the Venezuela leader.

Weak gas demand has refineries closing

WILMINGTON, Del. — Refineries from New Mexico to New Jersey are under severe economic pressure because of falling demand for fuel, with a number of facilities shutting down in recent months.

...Refineries in the Northeast are particularly vulnerable because many are older, operate less efficiently and must compete with gasoline imported from Europe.

Valero refinery shutdown punches another hole in Delaware's economy

The shutdown of Valero's refinery in Delaware City will have a devastating effect on the state and local economies while leaving a lingering question about whether a buyer could ever be found for the site, experts say.

While elected leaders clung to hope Friday that the 400-acre facility will not stay shuttered for long, economists offered a far less optimistic view -- at least for the next five to 10 years.

Delaware drivers to feel effect of Valero refinery closing at the pump

It takes drivers at Hillside Oil in Newark just 12 minutes to roll their 8,000-gallon heating oil trucks to the terminal at Valero's Delaware City refinery. Within a half hour of leaving, they're back.

Hillside gets 90 percent of its product from the refinery. But with it closing down for good, its drivers, and those serving similar area business, are going to have to prepare for a longer haul, said Bill Tuerke, the office manager there.

Will it drive up prices? Tuerke said he doesn't know, but having to send trucks to Philadelphia and back every day is bound to have an impact, he said.

Delaware environmental advocates saw Valero refinery as nemesis

Just about the time the federal Clean Air Act became law in 1963, Jake Kreshtool started checking up on the companies that spewed pollution in Delaware's air.

His industrial nemesis: the oil refinery at Delaware City.

"Their strategy was always delay, delay, delay," the longtime environmental advocate, former labor lawyer and former gubernatorial candidate said.

Dimock families say drilling harmed their health and homes

DIMOCK TWP. - In a field between Ronald Carter's trailer and the gas drilling site less than 500 feet from his front porch, a group of neighbors shared nightmarish stories Friday morning about the natural gas extraction they say has changed their lives and homes.

The 15 families were there to announce a lawsuit they filed Thursday against Cabot Oil and Gas Corp., the Texas-based natural gas operator that has drilled 63 wells in a 9-square-mile area around their homes in Susquehanna County, and has permits to drill about 60 more.

Henri Proglio Should Focus on EDF Rather Than Areva

Proglio called for a “rethink” of France’s nuclear industry, and especially of the shareholdings of reactor builder Areva, Les Echos reported two days ago, citing an interview. Proglio is “disappointed” by delays and safety concerns at two reactors being built by Areva and EDF and said France is “poorly represented” in a bid for a nuclear reactor contract in the Middle East.

2009 Vehicles sold were a Tad more efficient

U.S. consumers bought a slightly more fuel-efficient fleet of cars and trucks for 2009 than the model year before, but the vehicles Americans chose still burn considerably more fuel per mile and emit more greenhouse gases than the levels the government is targeting for 2016.

Buffett's advice on life: priceless

Goetgeluk asked what Buffett thought of the peak oil theory — that oil production has peaked and will only decline in the future — and what he believed would replace carbon fuel.

Buffett told him that in 20 years, he believes all the cars on the road will be electric. He's already invested in a Chinese company working on the technology to make it happen.

The Critical Unraveling of U.S. Society

Regardless of your beliefs, due to climate change, we are on the verge of experiencing major water shortages spreading “across the country. Sooner rather than later…” California has already been hit by extreme drought and water is in very short supply. As the Arctic continues to melt, California will continue to experience extreme drought. A new study revealed: “when Arctic sea ice disappears, the jet stream—high-altitude winds with a profound influence on climate—shifts north, moving precipitation away from California.” A recent “sweeping water-reform bill” in California temporarily eased public outcry, but the problem remains. The U.S. is confronted by a serious water crisis.

Study sees transit saving Californians' energy, cutting greenhouse gas

A new study says Californians could save billions each year and cut greenhouse gas emissions by developing neighborhoods within easy access of public transportation.

'Carbon tax' is sensible, and perhaps inevitable, advocate says

Dieter Helm of Oxford says climate change policy should focus not on carbon production, but carbon consumption. A tax on carbon-heavy activities places the emphasis where it belongs, he says.

Scientific evidence supports carbon storage technique

WHILE full carbon capture and storage systems have yet to be proven on an industrial scale, scientists say all the technology is in place for the technique to become a major player in the battle against climate change.

Dr Richard Pike, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemists and a former oil industry consultant suggests fears about the "unproven" nature of CCS have been overblown, and the cost of installing the technology is likelier to be a bigger barrier than any risk of it not working.

Top U.N. Scientist Laments U.S. Pace on Climate Actions

The United Nations' top climate scientist does not expect any major breakthroughs on global warming next week when President Obama hosts Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, because the United States has not acted to curb its greenhouse gas emissions.

Drowning in the Garden of Eden

In August, Seychelles presented a report about its fate to the United Nations that reads like a script for a science-fiction apocalypse. It says that if nothing is done to correct global warming, rising seas will submerge 60 percent of the country's islands by the end of this century, possibly sooner. Drought, disease and fire will scourge the land. People will fight to the death for water and food. And the inhabitants will find themselves, as the report puts it, "in the unprecedented situation of being citizens of a state that no longer has a territory."

Imagine your country disappearing underwater forever. Where do you belong? Where do you go?

Bill McKibben: Obama needs to feel the heat

Obama's excuse is that the Senate won't sign tough climate legislation, so there's no use pushing for it. (And he's right -- the Senate is tough. At 350.org, an organization I co-founded that is dedicated to solving the climate crisis, we're working to organize candlelight vigils at senators' offices around the country.) But that's conceding the game without taking a shot -- he hasn't done any of the things Nasheed has tried to rally his nation and other nations.

The Day Global Warming Stood Still

"I proudly declare 2009 as the 'Year of the Skeptic,' the year in which scientists who question the so-called global warming consensus are being heard," Inhofe said to Boxer in a Senate speech. "Until this year, any scientist, reporter or politician who dared raise even the slightest suspicion about the science behind global warming was dismissed and repeatedly mocked."

Inhofe added: "Today I have been vindicated."

The Ada (Oklahoma) Evening News quotes Inhofe: "So when Barbara Boxer, John Kerry and all the left get up there and say, 'Yes. We're going to pass a global warming bill,' I will be able to stand up and say, 'No, it's over. Get a life. You lost. I won,'" Inhofe said.

Global Warming Research Exposed After Hack

Judging from the data posted, the hack was done either by an insider or by someone inside the climate community who was familiar with the debate, said Robert Graham, CEO with the consultancy Errata Security. Whenever this type of incident occurs, "80 percent of the time it's an insider," he said.

Limbaugh distorts apparently stolen emails to falsely claim global warming is "made up"

Rush Limbaugh -- who had previously condemned the "thugs" who hacked then-Gov. Sarah Palin's email account -- joined right-wing bloggers in touting a series of emails that were apparently stolen from the UK's Climate Research Unit [CRU]. Limbaugh proceeded to distort at least one of the emails in order to falsely suggest that it is evidence that global warming is "made up" and that leading climate scientists have been engaged in "substantial fraud."

Lester R. Brown: A hotter planet means less on our plates

China is the world's leading producer of wheat. India is No. 2. These two countries also dominate the world's rice harvest. But unlike in the United States (the third-largest wheat producer), where wheat is watered largely by rainfall, most crops in China and India are irrigated. The vanishing of mountain glaciers in Asia therefore represents the biggest threat to the world food supply that we have ever seen.

Americans may be tempted to see melting glaciers on the Tibetan plateau as China's problem. And they are. But they are also our problem. We live in an era of fully integrated global food markets; a major harvest shortfall in one corner of the world will drive up prices everywhere.

If China can no longer grow enough wheat and rice to feed its 1.3 billion people and goes shopping for massive quantities of grain, global food costs will rise dramatically. When domestic food prices skyrocketed in the 1970s, the United States restricted exports of grain and soybeans. This time around, with China holding $800 billion in U.S. Treasury securities, we won't be in any position to limit exports. China is our banker. China's food shortage will be our shortage, too.

Only one bank failure this week. Is the FDIC winding down and taking a breather in preparation for Thanksgiving?

The bank was Commerce Bank of Southwest Florida (Fort Myers, FL)

From a short announcement on Calculated Risk :

The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $23.6 million. .... Commerce Bank of Southwest Florida is the 124th FDIC-insured institution to fail in the nation this year, and the twelfth in Florida. The last FDIC-insured institution closed in the state was Orion Bank, Naples, on November 13, 2009.

I think the FDIC is just out of money, and so it's time for those banks to buck up and save themselves.

The Unfolding Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Debacle

Probably most of us have noticed something similar to what I noticed recently:

I went to get a haircut at my usual place--closed, out of business.

I stopped by a local restaurant to order some food to go--closed, out of business.

I stopped by a local camera shop to print some pictures--closed, out of business.

And here is an account of one strip mall, where the owner put 50% down on the purchase:


. . . after probate she sold their large Bakersfield home at the top of the market, moved into a rented condo, and invested the proceeds in a small strip mall—which quickly filled with tenants. Anchored by a franchise take-out, the rents made her, if not a wealthy woman, at long-last a fairly comfortable one.

But now there’s trouble brewing. Despite her seven-figure down payment, the interest-only loan that financed the place is resetting in March and a balloon payment of nearly a million more is looming. Two of her five tenants have given notice as of December 31, and a third is a month behind on their lease. Knowing I was “somewhat bearish,” as she put it, on the whole real-estate-as-investment thing, she called to tell me that in spite of her 50% equity position in the property, (good,) the lender (first the defunct GMAC, now the soon-to-be-defunct Capmark,) has refused to either refinance or re-negotiate the loan (bad,) and is demanding payment in full when the note comes due after next quarter (very bad.)

Although she’s tried to short sell, no one else seems to want to touch her little empire because of the location, (Bakersfield, one of the underwater capitals of the world,) and the fact that its future occupancy is now in question. The gift shop and the salon will soon stand empty, and the clothing boutique is obviously on its last legs. The food joint is hanging on, but doesn’t have the cash flow to justify taking over the loan. Apparently a medical supply concern expressed interest in leasing one of the spots, but because of her uncertain financial status the partners decided to pass on the location.

See it more and more here in the outback and a nearby medium sized city(40 miles away).

I was once involved in a venture there. About 4 acres of land very close to this city. The venture was to buy the land and set up an ISP..Internet Service Provider. I was to be the technical guru and others would provide the capital and buy they equipment.

One of the group was a previous honcho of a ISP that had just folded nearby with a huge number of subscribers and he had the list of all current subscribers.

I decided to not participate but a very good friend who I did computer work for brought the land and built a strip mall.

At first he was estatic. Now he is dying. All his renters are leaving. His business is in selling Cabinetry. He had clients even in New York and did once make enough to be a millionaire several times over.

Now cabinetry has faded. The shoe store faded. The jewerly store faded. The Doctors moved out of the dental office.

He is now selling peaches and pumpkins on his very small house lot to try to keep a cash flow of anykind.

He asked me to help him setup a Inkjet Cartridge Refill shop in an empty portion. I never responded of course.

This man is going down extremely fast. All around him are other strip malls. They are failing rapidly also. The nearby shopping mall is the biggest in this city and each time I go in more and more stalls are shuttered.

The employees stand around telling each other jokes or polishing their nails. The infrequent shopper comes in and is mobbed. To no avail.

What was forecast to occur is now occurring with an accelerating tempo and Christmas if fast approaching.

The only store in the mall thriving is one who sells cheap 'craft' items. I think the idea is to buy ready made craft junk that granny can give to the kids and try to convince them she actually crafted it herself. Really really cheap overseas trash but selling for the upcoming Elcheapo Christmas we are about to see.

I cruised that store and was looking for a Woodburning Set and some good airplanes models. All the real craft tools are very hard to find as the Chinese trinkets have taken over. No one does real crafts anymore AFAICS.

Airdale-its coming down with a vengeance IMO, right now

Hasn't everyone just gone to WalMart to "shop"?

In my area there is excited, titillating speculation that a WalMart is coming. And to hear the people talk -- even those who run small businesses and will be sunk if they aren't already, you would think it was the Second Coming and the Jesus of WalMart will save us all.

I see, but I don't understand.

ahhh, Walmart. Just walk around the store, you will be amazed...not at what they are selling, but at the shoppers. If you can't stand to go yourself, check out the "People of Walmart" website, people take cellphone camera snaps of what they see in the store and submit the photos to the site. No words can describe it adequately.


Agreed. You can't look away...

The occasional vehicle posting also speaks volumes.

rev karl

they are americans. same as you and me.
if they look funny, we look funny. we are all the people of walmart.
did walmart do it to us, or did we do it to walmart?

Ich bein ein walmart -ist

Wow! I haven`t been back to the States for 5 years and I had really forgotten how people dress, even quite huge people....so revealing. But I`m quite sure that as cars and food and incomes become scarcer people won`t be able to consume quite so much food and little by little this passing phenomenon--the huge Walmarts,the huge people, the huge cars---will become a faint memory. Probably already obesity rates in the US are plunging even as I write this.

www.peopleofwalmart.com. Bookmarked. Have barf bag at the ready...

Great little favicon to ID the site, too:

Now I have a reason to go to Walmart...

Now I have a reason to go to Walmart...

As a gawkers? Or as a photographer?

Link at the bottom of the page: Submit Your Wal-Creature. Told a friend to check it out, "You'll vomit/lose your faith in humanity..."

Must be the same folks that drive up and down about five or six lanes looking for a close parking place.

Forbes Intelligent Investing 11/19/09: Commercial Real Estate Will Collapse

The commercial real estate market is on its last legs and unless drastic actions are taken, the effects on the broader economy will be catastrophic. The obvious problem is the excessive amount of debt placed on the properties and the amount of debt that has to be refinanced during a relatively short period of time.

Between now and 2013, at least $1.3 trillion of financing comes due, of which $160 billion was the result of securitizations. Unfortunately, as a result of the virtual disappearance of the secondary market, the weakened condition of the banks, and the amount of debt already held by insurance companies and pension funds, even under the best of circumstances, less than half of the outstanding debt can be refinanced. This is compounded by the collapse of the commercial rental market in the last 18 months as a result of the Great Recession.

Mayors Sound Alarm Over Drop in City Revenues

Even as economists declare the recession over, local revenues continue to fall. That's because the lion's share of their receipts -- sales, income and property taxes -- are connected to the job market and real-estate prices. Jobs and real-estate prices are expected to lag the broader economic recovery, reducing city revenues for months or years after the technical end of the recession.

"This is unknown for our generation," said Chris Hoene, director of the center for research and innovation at the National League of Cities. Mr. Hoene said it was likely to be 18 to 24 months before local government revenues resume growing. The mayors said deep budget gaps have forced them to make cuts to basic services including police and fire protection, that the financial crisis has turned cities and states against each other and that fiscal strains emphasize the need for money-saving changes to pension and health benefits in the heavily unionized public sector. "Change has to come and this moment of crisis is going to force it," said Michael Nutter, mayor of Philadelphia.

Local news reports are coming out about how the recession which some parts of New Mexico has so far avoided is now manifesting itself here as well..

I have noticed local CRE having more and more 'For Lease' signs in from of empty strip mall store fronts over the last year.

My family and I rarely go to the mall anymore...

And I have started forsaking WalMo in favor of Tar-jé due to the fact that my local WalMo has huge lines 'cause the cheap managers always run far too few checkouts. Plus, the Target store and clientele are easier on the eyes.

Yeah, this money situation sucks big time. I've been on Berkeley campus for over 15 years now, and I've seen protests come and go, but this last one was something different, something real. Most protest on campus involve some group bussing in some hippies from God knows where to yell about Palestine or whatever; this time it was actual students, chanting, drumming, taking over buildings, police conflict, young girls screaming, the real deal. It's about public institutions running out of money, and California is on the front line.

We are graduating wave upon wave of heavily indebted college graduates, and many (most?) of them don't have a prayer of making enough money to service their students loans. I expect to see something like a student loan march on Washington.

The rules have changed on student loans. Payments are limited to a fraction of your discretionary income. At least for federal loans.

Yeah, my wife cuts my hair now. The advancing years have not been kind to my hairline, and I finally reached a point where it seemed pointless to pay someone to give me a haircut any more. A 20$ pair of clippers that I got from Target is all I needed, and that was a one-time deal. The first couple of times I tried doing it myself, but my wife now insists. Partly because she thinks it is fun, and partly because I would miss spots if I did it myself. My brother does his own however.

Plus that's one less reason to get in the car and drive off someplace..

Regarding CRE, I haven't noticed that many shops leaving the strip malls quite yet, but in our area there are lots of government jobs and the unemployment rate isn't as bad as it is elsewhere in the country. Some of the strip malls near me are going to die anyways - mainly because once the new subway line opens up the land will be too valuable to waste on something as mundane as a strip mall.

There is a building that formerly had a Cadillac/Hummer dealer that is now occupied by some sort of furniture store. But even that is temporary, or so they say. The owner of the land has grand plans to redevelop it with shops, restaurants, a hotel, and condos. As best I can tell, they are in a sort of holding pattern while they try and obtain funding to build this thing. Some might argue that it is a total waste, but there will be a new subway stop 1/4 mile from the place, so one could argue that it would make sense. But my gut feel is that when the subway line opens, the old Cadillac/Hummer buildings will still be there, and the furniture store will still be there laundering moneyselling overpriced furniture.

When I read Westexas' post, the thing that struck me is how little I shop. I cut my own hair. I didn't like how anyone else cut it, so I started doing it myself. Been doing it for years now. I don't go to restaurants much; I'm trying to improve my cooking skills. I can't even remember the last time I went to the mall. If the grocery store or the local farmer's market closed, I would notice, but otherwise, I wouldn't.

So Westexas, what is the central push, the central DRIVER of this ladies crisis. The pivotal sentence is this:

"......that in spite of her 50% equity position in the property, (good,) the lender (first the defunct GMAC, now the soon-to-be-defunct Capmark,) has refused to either refinance or re-negotiate the loan (bad,) and is demanding payment in full when the note comes due after next quarter (very bad.)"

This is what we are ALL facing. This is essentially THE GRANDEST THEFT in history by the financial community. They have been let loose on us like wild dogs by the government, and whether you have an "equity position" or whether you have a credit rating, or whether the property is worth EVERY PENNY of what you paid for it or have borrowed against it will not matter.

The financial community looked out at America (and other OECD nations) and saw the wealthiest, most productive, most creative, most inventive class (creating industries and services that most bankers didn't even know could even EXIST) of people in world history with the greatest nest egg of invested money and property and essentially said, "okay, time to re-syndicate the deal and bring the money home." The government gave them the green light and the robbery began.

The above is the explanation for what happened and what WILL happen as long as we allow it. The above IS the "financial crisis".


The National Geographic Channel is airing a show called Easter Island Underworld. It's about the cave system under the island, and the evidence that people moved from their traditional homes above ground to live in the caves. They built a series of walls inside the caves, to defend against enemies. But still had a hidden exit in back, in case the defenses failed.

A lot of really interesting stuff.

Buffett told him that in 20 years, he believes all the cars on the road will be electric. He's already invested in a Chinese company working on the technology to make it happen.

Buffett did not mention just how many cars would be on the road.

Precisely. I figure we may get as much as 20% of the current fleet running on some form of energy other than gasoline, some electricity but when the price of natural gas conversions comes down, mostly natural gas. The rest of the fleet will remain gasoline because people will not be willing (or have) the money to convert away from gasoline.

Buffett-Backed BYD Falls as Chardan Rates It ‘Sell’ (Update2) - Bloomberg.com

Nov. 18 (Bloomberg) -- BYD Co., the Chinese electric-car maker backed by Warren Buffett, fell the most this month in Hong Kong after Chardan Capital Market LLC advised investors to sell the stock following a fivefold jump in the share price.

The company dropped 6 percent, the biggest decline since Oct. 30, to close at HK$64.65.

Sales of their PHEV, the F3DM, have been spotty - in the hundreds - in the middle of one of the largest economic stimulus packages in history, too. So there's a ceiling on what voracious customers in the developed world are prepared to shell out. Conversely, customers aren't interested so much in the truly bare-bones Tato Nano - they splurge a bit more for A/C etc.

Does "cars" include eBikes? My scenario is we waffle through a few more price spikes, auto sales go absolutely through the floor, especially post Chinese bubble pop - oil peaks, shortages become evident, mandatory carpooling and other forms of rationing are imposed, sweaty politicians behind podiums promise more ethanol and XTL - consumers realize these promises will take 5 years to achieve fruition, and take up the art of pedaling. Car manufacturers just can't move fast enough. Even Toyota can't pump up production of Prii.

I think most of the world will move to scooters and motorcycles, perhaps some other new devices yet unthought-of, but they will be small and not all of them highway capable.

20% of the current fleet is still something like 40 million cars in the U.S. It would be a stretch but might be possible if things don't completely unravel for another five years. I think conversions to natural gas will be the majority of that 40 million, though.

My guess is that most ng cars will be new ones for a good while and that the purchasers will trade in thier gasoline cars which in turn will be sold to parts of the country where ng fueling infrastructure is not available early on.

My understanding is that gasoline supplies are expected to decline slowly over the next few years and that if you have the money -lots of money-you can probably still gas up for another five or ten years.

Maybe I'm way off base .

an "interesting" post at Mish's site today

"It's now official. Much of the hype about global warming is nothing but a complete scam.

Thanks to hackers (or an insider) who broke into The University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and downloaded 156 megaybytes of data including extremely damaging emails, we now know that data supporting the global warming thesis was completely fabricated."


I think science is dying, and not just climatology. How many times have you read a "breakthru" that never shows up in the real world? How many research papers have you come across that seem to be 180 degrees from a different paper you read last year?

Science has failed the world?

This is a story about one bad apple. When I hear the "it's official, global warming is all a scam" line, it makes me shake my head in wonder. And Mish should be ashamed of himself.

Science is dying? Science has failed the world? I think you are being a bit hysterical here.

As for how many research papers you have come across, I suspect the number is zero. You are confusing craptastic science reporting by the media with actual scientific journal articles.

How did you make the judgment that this Jones scientist is a bad apple? I have read the most widely distributed email excerpts and have not found anything to hang Jones on.

The Guardian

Well, I looked through the excerpts on Mish's blog, and there seemed to be some dodgy stuff going on. But I admit, I didn't really study it in detail.

Let me rephrase: this story is, AT WORST, about one bad apple.

It's a non-issue, really, but the blowhard deniers are going to town with it. All you need is for some fools to muddy the water, and people will believe what they want.

Well, I looked at this *dodgy* stuff in some detail and found nothing that leads me to believe that he is a bad apple. Also, people do not know how many emails a typical scientific investigator sends per day -- it is enough where they are constantly reaching their email disk quota limits. The average person never would have been able to sift through all of those emails on their own.

This is a war of disinformation.

I totally agree that this is a war of disinformation.

I guess what I've been trying to say is that EVEN IF the worst were true about this guy, which I don't believe, but EVEN IF...

...it doesn't mean that Climate Science is a scam.

And I will indeed go back and read more carefully, because I am going to have to defend myself (and the concepts) from my denier friends. (I am the local Peak Oil/Global Warming lightning rod.) They will jump on this faster than Rush "Rush" Limbaugh on meth.

Yeah, looks like disinformation. Check out the e-mail below the heading "Wang Fabrications". It's a cc of an e-mail between two denialist, one of whom is Steve McIntyre. It just happened to make it into the batch of hacked e-mails because it was cc'ed to Phil Jones. Quoting from that one is just a straight up quote from the denialist camp. That Mish lifted that one from the pile shows he doesn't know the "players" in the so-called "debate" over climate re-constructions.

E. Swanson

Agreed. There is nothing to indicate that this man is a "bad apple."

If you take someone's comments out of context, you can make anyone look bad.

"Science is dying? Science has failed the world? I think you are being a bit hysterical here."

The greatest irony is he used a computer to publish that on the World Wide Web.

Yeah, science has done nothing for us lately :-^

The release of the hacked e-mails is all over the denialist blogs. There are lots of folks that look at those e-mails as confirmation that the science has been manipulated to make a case for Climate Change. There was a story by Andrew Revkin on the hacked information in today's NYT.

The denialist camp, as indicated by Inhofe's comments, are in a frenzy of joy, thinking all this proves the science is being intentionally distorted. But, people like Limbaugh are cherry picking from the e-mails, again adding to the public confusion with their disinformation. Yes, science is in trouble, because anti-science groups are unwilling to accept the overall results of scientific research. They are still arguing against Darwinian Evolution and a large fraction of the public still sees the Earth as having been formed in 7 "days" less than 10,000 years ago. Sick people, such as Limbaugh, are feeding off the sheeple's ignorance, making all scientific efforts more difficult.

EDIT: The comments on Mish's blog make reference to an e-mail to Steve McIntyre. Steve has been in a long running feud with Michael Mann over Mann's tree ring based climate re-constructions. I had a bit of experience with McIntyre's efforts when he went ga-ga over Craig Loehle's E&E paper back in 2007. I showed that Loehle's work was deeply flawed, which completely invalidated most of McIntyre's comments. The "Moral to the Story" is, don't jump on the band wagon too soon...

E. Swanson

"Since emails are normally intended to be private, people writing them are, shall we say, somewhat freer in expressing themselves than they would in a public statement. For instance, we are sure it comes as no shock to know that many scientists do not hold Steve McIntyre in high regard. Nor that a large group of them thought that the Soon and Baliunas (2003), Douglass et al (2008) or McClean et al (2009) papers were not very good (to say the least) and should not have been published. These sentiments have been made abundantly clear in the literature (though possibly less bluntly).

More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though"


You only need to google "realclimate" and "censored", then read a few of the entries to see what's going on with "climate science". I've said it before, "Global Warming" will go down as one of the biggest scams in history. The hacked emails are just the tip of the iceberg:

Our models can't be wrong so it must be the data, right?

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.

Hey, let's get rid of the midieval warm period.

……Phil and I have recently submitted a paper using about a dozen NH records that fit this category, and many of which are available nearly 2K back–I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back….

Hey, let's strong arm the science journals so they only publish our opinions. All in the spirit of "science".

“This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?”

“I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”“It results from this journal having a number of editors. The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past. I’ve had words with Hans von Storch about this, but got nowhere. Another thing to discuss in Nice !”

Hmmm, so Hadley has been jury rigging the numbers just like Hansen at GISS. How unsurprising.

Hadley CRU has form in this regard. In September – I wrote the story up here as “How the global warming industry is based on a massive lie” – Hadley CRU’s researchers were exposed as having “cherry-picked” data in order to support their untrue claim that global temperatures had risen higher at the end of the 20th century than at any time in the last millenium. Hadley CRU was also the organisation which – in contravention of all acceptable behaviour in the international scientific community – spent years withholding data from researchers it deemed unhelpful to its cause. This matters because Hadley CRU, established in 1990 by the Met Office, is a government-funded body which is supposed to be a model of rectitude. Its HadCrut record is one of the four official sources of global temperature data used by the IPCC.

You're taking those comments out of context. For example, Gavin at RC explained the "travesty" comment:

Trenberth is talking about our inability to be able to measure the net radiation balance at the top of the atmosphere to the requisite precision to be able to say on short time scales what the energy budget is doing.

"We can't account for the warming" means "we can't measure it," not "It doesn't match the models, oh noes."


Kevin Trenberth wrote:
> Hi all
> Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming? We are
> asking that here in Boulder where we have broken records the past two
> days for the coldest days on record. We had 4 inches of snow. The high
> the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it smashed the
> previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about 18F and also
> a record low, well below the previous record low. This is January
> weather (see the Rockies baseball playoff game was canceled on saturday
> and then played last night in below freezing weather).
> Trenberth, K. E., 2009: An imperative for climate change planning:
> tracking Earth's global energy. /Current Opinion in Environmental
> Sustainability/, *1*, 19-27, doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2009.06.001. [PDF]
> (A PDF of the published version can be obtained from the author.)
> The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment
> and it is a travesty that we can't. The CERES data published in the
> August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more
> warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.

This site has the emails posted with a search engine:


Come on. The first part is obviously a joke. A climate scientist, of all people, would know the difference between weather and climate.

The second part, as explained at RealClimate, is about the lack of ability to get data to the precision required. Because "Our observing system is inadequate." That is what he's calling a travesty.

As of now, at 11:40 AM EST Sunday, Google lists 561 references to Trenberth's paper [doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2009.06.001. PDF]. I'd say that's a great indication of how well the denialist camp is able to spread their disinformation. Is that the way to discuss science, or is it a political hatchet job?

The problem is that local weather isn't the same as global climate. One projected result of increasing greenhouse gases is a reduction in the THC in the North Atlantic. If that is already happening, the likely result would be cooler conditions in some areas. Also, if the THC weakens, one result might be increased tropic to pole flows in the atmosphere, thus more cold air flowing back to the poles as the return flow. If you are living in the path of the return flow, you are going to experience colder conditions. The resulting cooler temperatures in some areas could be offset by warmer conditions when looking at the global average...

E. Swanson

This is why I prefer the term "Climate Change" to "Global Warming".

This uncontrolled chemistry experiment we are doing with our air and oceans will definitely change the world that we live in, but one of the changes may well be the freezing of Western Europe (as the Gulf Stream/THC slows or shuts down).

Best Hopes,


I must strongly disagree with your comment "let's get rid of the midieval warm period". From the e-mail quote:

I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”...

To my thinking, that implies that it would be better to have enough data to include the supposed Medieval Warm Period, in order to quantify the temperature change which may (or may not) have occurred during that period. From that perspective, it is grossly incorrect to conclude that the intent was to skew the data to exclude any evidence of the MWP.

E. Swanson

That period of time was included, but the warmer temperatures of that period of time were not. And we've heard this before:

I had another interesting experience around the time my paper in Science was published. I received an astonishing email from a major researcher in the area of climate change. He said, "We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period."


MWP was confined to the North Atlantic. Other regions were cooler during the same time period.

The oft repeated graph of historical climate which indicated that MWP was called "a cartoon" by it's author, Tom Crowley, in testimony before a Congressional Committee. The available data at the time the graph was produced was not accurate enough to support the claim that the MWP was warmer than present conditions. The more recent results indicate that the MWP was not all that warm. That's why the work by Mann, et al. has become so contentious.

The analytical presentation by Loehle, which has been widely reported by the denialist camp, including Fred Singer in a recent book, was seriously flawed. You may read about the rather obvious errors HERE or read my comments on Loehle's later "corrected" version, which was published in E&E. There's still much uncertainty regarding the MWP, but as things now stand, it does not appear to have been a global event, IMHO.

E. Swanson

Excellent, that means the Arctic sea ice isn't really melting.

Correct. Arctic sea ice levels are increasing.


You are, of course, wrong.

Arctic sea ice levels are increasing.

Arctic sea ice continues to thin. A short term increase in surface area was noted in the literature; measurements showed the depth is diminishing at the same time, and the article attributes the increase in surface area to the solar minimum presently under way, and ending.

Distortions like yours arise from ignorance and contribute overall to the same. You obviously know better; my guess: you have a dog in the hunt.

My dog in the hunt is my grandchildren. If I am wrong and you are right, my grandchidren and you may be a bit poorer for trying to fix something that was not broken. If I am right and you are wrong, the risk is life itself! You are nuts!

my guess: you have a dog in the hunt

Maybe he truly doesn't understand the difference between volume and area.

I would agree with you on the solar minimum. But if this is true, couldn't it also be true that an active solar cycle in the last half of the 20th century caused the warming? And does this mean you don't agree with climatologists like James Hansen who say the solar cycle has little to do with temperatures? Or did you not know that was his position?

Some recent news on sea ice you all should be aware of:


We have had accurate space based measurements of the solar flux since 1961/62. Other than the 11 year cycle (now well into our fifth cycle) there are no significant variations.

Why the hypothetical question BTW ?

It is as if you are looking for a 1% probability that the IPCC might be wrong (like a defense lawyer looking for reasonable doubt) when the real world reality is that a 1% chance that the IPCC might be right would justify significant action !

Or do you not agree with that ?


Sound like you need to start studying solar cycles and their effect on climate. Start with the Maunder Minimum.

And more recently...

According to the forecast, the sun should remain generally calm for at least another year. From a research point of view, that's good news because solar minimum has proven to be more interesting than anyone imagined. Low solar activity has a profound effect on Earth’s atmosphere, allowing it to cool and contract.


I did study solar cycles, both as a course in astrophysics and as part of my 20+ year inquiry in Climate Change (which I concluded was quite real with conclusive proof in the late 1990s, after which I just occasionally "check in"). The first three plus 11 year cycles showed no trend and I have seen nothing that indicates a recent (last decade) change.

NASA is predicting a slight change WHICH HAS NOT OCCURRED whilst a general warming trend has already occurred. So since Climate Change preceded what may be the lowest minimum of sunspots since 1928 (yawn), reduced solar sunspots cannot be causing Climate Change.

I am quite aware of the 11 year cycle. And the apparent lack of sunspots from their first report by Galileo till their reappearance a century plus later. There appears, in retrospect to have been minimal if any climate impacts from this change in solar activity.

You are the one that does not understand science. You have made your conclusion (a false one at that) and are grasping at any straw of "evidence" to support it.

BTW, you never answered my question.

*IF* there is a 1% that the combined National Academies of Science (> IPCC) are right about Climate Change (and only a 99% chance that you and Rush are right correct), that that 1% risk justifies significant effort to reduce CO2 emissions ?


I am quite aware of the 11 year cycle. And the apparent lack of sunspots from their first report by Galileo till their reappearance a century plus later. There appears, in retrospect to have been minimal if any climate impacts from this change in solar activity.

Yes I'm sure the Maunder Minimum and little ice age was just a big coincidence. lol

With regards to the IPCC, it is a left wing political organization that has been discredited. IPCC models have already been disproved, and their methods are questionable. Global warming is religion, not science.

Should we kill all of our cattle IF there is a 1% chance a Xhosa prophet is right?


Your unthinking bias (and complete lack of logical thought) is showing.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a scientific intergovernmental body[1][2] tasked to evaluate the risk of climate change caused by human activity. The panel was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), two organizations of the United Nations. The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President of the United States Al Gore.[3]

The IPCC does not carry out its own original research, nor does it do the work of monitoring climate or related phenomena itself. A main activity of the IPCC is publishing special reports on topics relevant to the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),[4] an international treaty that acknowledges the possibility of harmful climate change; implementation of the UNFCCC led eventually to the Kyoto Protocol. The IPCC bases its assessment mainly on peer reviewed and published scientific literature.[5] The IPCC is only open to member states of the WMO and UNEP. IPCC reports are widely cited in almost any debate related to climate change.[6][7] National and international responses to climate change generally regard the UN climate panel as authoritative.[8]

More later tomorrow, but you are so brain dead/devoid of logical thinking that it is really not worth the trouble.


PS: There is not even a 0.1% chance of the Xhosa prophet being right, by any scientific analysis (outside the Rush Limbaugh show) so you did NOT answer my question.

Are you saying the UN is NOT a left wing political organization? lol

Alan, you are a "believer". No amount of evidence could change your mind on global warming. You could be under a 1,000' sheet of ice, and you'd still be babbling on about how Hellish the Earth's climate was about to get.

But let's put that argument aside and say your'e right. Now, what exactly can you do to stop CO2 emissions? Kyoto was a failure. Copenhagen is another failure. The only agreement is to put off making an agreement! lol And this current US government is as left wing as you could possibly hope for, yet nothing has been done to stop (or even slow) CO2 emissions. Even Hansen himself has testified that cap & trade would do nothing to slow CO2 emissions. And you can't even get that bill passed! lol And don't tell me you haven't noticed what an abysmal failure the current government is on the economy. Do you really think the liberals will maintain control after the 2010 elections? Do you think you will be able to reduce CO2 emissions with Republicans in control? So please, at least admit your failure.

And some more bad news for you here:


It shows how skewed your world view is if you consider the UN a "left wing organization".

For only if the world, taken as a whole, is left wing could the UN be considered left wing. The UN is a servant of it's member nations, with influence on the UN reflecting general real world influence (i,e the USA has out sized influence).

If left/right were measured by pH, the UN would be 7.0. It is the balancing point for the world political views.

But perhaps from your position on the extreme extreme, the right end of the spectrum, all the rest of the world looks left wing since they are to the left of you.


PS: I noted that your link to Xhosa was written by the Chairman of the Mises Institute, the extreme right of economics.

After over 20 years of study of the developing science, I reached my own, independent and logical conclusion that man was significantly changing the climate (and yes, CC might just cause glaciers in the Scottish Highlands if the Gulf Stream (THC) shuts down due to melting ice in Greenland). This was about 1997/98 and before any authority figure told me what to think. No IPCC then.

It was based upon reading a number of scientific papers and making up my own mind.

I am capable of independent thought and decisions.

I do not let others make my decisions for me (a review of my many TOD posts would confirm that).

I reached both my own conclusions about Peak Oil and I can be considered the source of using electrified rail as a primary mitigation strategy that will benefit energy, the economy and the environment.

So I am simply *NOT* a "believer" in the same sense that you are. I think rather than believe. And my conclusions can be altered by reasoned argument and facts.

Best Hopes for Independent Thinking & Reasoning,


Point of fact. The IPCC had already published 2 Assessment Reports by 1997. Al Gore wrote his book about environmental problems before the 1992 Presidential Campaign. I went to see him when he showed up in Atlanta for a book signing event. I suspect that I was the only person who handed him a copy to sign which had already been read...

E. Swanson

Yes, I misplaced my year. I was pretty well convinced (this is a process of shades of gray, not a quick yes/no judgment), when the second IPCC reports came out. My reaction was mainly one of confirmation with a number of details I missed in my own study. I do not think I ever read their first report.

I do not typically read politicians books, so I paid no attention to Al Gore's first book.


You asked what would I do ?

I would tax gasoline to pay for Iraq and Afghanistan (pay off the debts run up by the Conservatives plus on-going costs). Phase in a 3 cents/gallon/month perhaps.

A couple of hundred billion in carbon taxes. No "cap & trade", just taxes.

Enough to help balance the budget (Liberals Tax & Spend, Conservatives Borrow and Waste). Also rely on the old conservative principle that "if you want less of something, tax it. If you want more of something, subsidize it".

Give enough economic incentives to get 36,000 miles of US railroads electrified in 7 years, while also adding back double tracks torn up in the 1960s, building rail over rail bridges where N-S lines cross E-W lines, finish CREATE, increase grade separation. As this phase was half done, I would start on 14,000 miles of a 3rd semi-High Speed track on largely existing ROWs that would handle express freight at 90-100 mph and passengers at 110-125 mph. All electrified.

At the same time, I would use some of the gas tax monies to build 5,000 miles of light rail in the first decade, plus about 500 to 800 miles of "subway". And speed up in the second decade.

I would do "whatever" it took to promote bicycling. Take traffic lanes and turn them into 2 way bike paths, take auto parking and convert it into bicycle parking, public access showers in downtowns and other major work areas, etc.

I would stop building new roads and reduce maintenance on existing roads. I would follow Eisenhower's original vision and make all Interstate Highways into toll roads (another source of funds to balance the budget).

Raise cigarette taxes by $1.50/pack and increase federal alcohol taxes by 50%.

I would provide whatever incentives were required to have at least seven new nuclear reactors built in the next decade. And hopefully speed up from there.

Provide incentives for wind to grow by at least 30%/year compounded for the next 8 years and 20-25%/year for the next 8 years. Then pause and compare new nuke vs. new wind. More emphasis on geothermal and some incentives for new solar.

Mandate new construction to meet German/Swedish standards for energy efficiency, adjusted for local climate. Come close to mandating either tankless gas hot water heaters or solar HW.

Incentives/Penalties to improve rental, commercial and industrial energy efficiency.

A subset of above was modeled by the Millennium Institute. It kept teh US economy from sliding into a 3rd World economy (which is where R policies of last 8 years were taking us). After 20 years, vs. BAU

GDP +13%
Employment +4.7%
CO2 -38%
Oil consumption -22% (vs. BAU which also declined).

Enlarging the set of good policies can improve those #s.

Best Hopes,


I read the WaPost article and "ain't no smoking gun there".

Many thousands of Climate Scientists are involved in this research over decades. Your metal foil helmet sees a grand conspiracy. The numbers are too large and too long for that to happen in the real world.

Best Hopes for seeing the Exxon/API funded denial conspiracy,


Of course, the Maunder Minimum happened between 1650 and 1715 CE. And, there was a period of cooler conditions called The Little Ice Age at about the same time period. There were also several large volcanic eruptions during that period called the Little Ice Age. One could claim that the extra volcanic eruptions impacted climate as to lay the entire blame upon sunspots. But, where is your acceptance that those volcanoes had any impact, perhaps the greatest impact? Even James Hansen in his 1988 paper included both solar and volcanic effects in his climate modeling.

As for the recent period of low sunspot activity, it is premature to claim that another long period without sunspots is underway. We won't know the answer to that one until Cycle 24 has passed. And, it's beginning to look as though the sunspot cycle is strengthening. We'll know more in a couple of years, so don't jump to an unproven conclusion. Isn't that the sort of action which you claim that the climate worriers are guilty of? Well, pot-kettle-black, as they say.

E. Swanson

I've never claimed a long period without sunspots was underway. Nice strawman.

Then, why did you mention that in the context of present climate change? From a scientific point of view, it's important to understand the past climate in order to understand what effects might result from our changes to the atmosphere. Your mention of the Maunder Minimum and the Little Ice Age in the same sentence implies a direct cause-and-effect relationship which is not obvious from a scientific viewpoint.

E. Swanson

I am a skeptic about a global Little Ice Age, other than a few years with severe volcanic activity.

My thoughts - Most evidence is based in Europe. A slowing of the Gulf Stream (THC) would be enough to do that, with volcanoes added. A regional and not global event.

Other evidence elsewhere is mainly (AFAIK, not looked closely for a decade+) is advancing glaciers, but 1) glacier advances are not uniform (N & S Hemispheres get the same sun) and 2) increased precipitation can grow glaciers as well as colder temperatures. No records were kept of rain/snow fall and I never saw data on that possible explanation.

I am not convinced that there ever was a global Little Ice Age. I am open to new data though.

Best Hopes,


"Canada Free Press" is a right wing blog (ultra right in Canadian terms) with a countdown till Obama's first term ends.

But to quote your link "measured the current ice thickness at the North Pole and in areas that have never before been surveyed".

So "someone" unnamed expected the ice in these areas that had never been measured to be thinner than what was measured. No description of methodology for developing this a priori (I suspect just a wild ass guess).

Science for conservatives ! Who listen to a high school graduate with a serious opiate addiction problem and describes himself as an entertainer for interpretation of scientific facts.


Science for conservatives ! Who listen to a high school graduate with a serious opiate addiction problem and describes himself as an entertainer for interpretation of scientific facts.

The ultimate sources where naysaying is coming from is in itself telling. Global Warming is economically inconvenient for lots of corporations with deep pockets. Money isn't being spent on collecting data and constructing comprehensive models, it being spent on spokespersons to "interpret" data from entities that do, and possibly professional hacks.

Many other news sources also reported on the polar ice survey:




You've probably never heard of it because you only visit left wing news sites that bury this type if information.

Clue: It was a Polar Ice survey and not an Arctic Ice survey.

The flight over the Arctic Ocean passed over an area usually covered by multi-year sea-ice. The flight took place in March and April, the time of the yearly cycle when the sea-ice extent is close to maximum. First year sea-ice might have grown to 2 meter by then and multi-year ice would be even thicker. Later, in September, after the summer melt season had reached maximum, the sea-ice extent was again at a rather startling low, although not as low as that seen in 2007. It looks to me like the sea-ice is still declining with ups and downs with an underlying downward trend.

E. Swanson

I read fairly broadly in the scientific and engineering literature. But I no longer study Climate Science that much since I concluded that the case for man made Climate Change is conclusive a decade plus ago.

Twenty plus years of study was enough to finally convince me, as new facts developed and were discovered and published.

I noted that none of your three links were to scientific journals, just right wing rags not worthy of being linked (all the news that fit to distort, including the Telegraph and science in the Financial Post ???).


Like I said, the left wing needs to keep their sheep brainwashed. So you probably won't find any mention of the survey, or the ice being thicker than expected in your "accredited" journals. That doesn't mean it didn't happen (except in your mind lol).

Try reading the scamsters' emails about how they plan to censor opinions at realclimate. And punish science journal editors that allow dissenting veiws to be published. Of course those of us with a brain knew what was going on already. The emails are just written confirmation.

Given that it can take more than 6 months for new research findings to appear in the literature, you are being premature with your claim about lack of publication. Besides, the post by Watts overstates their findings:

...Multiple flights northwards from various stations showed an ice thickness between 2.5 (two years old ice in the vicinity of the North Pole) and 4 metres (perennial ice in Canadian offshore regions). All in all, the ice was somewhat thicker than during the last years in the same regions, which leads to the conclusion that Arctic ice cover recovers temporarily. The researchers found the thickest ice with a thickness of 15 metres along the northern coast of Ellesmere Island.

As for censorship, remember the outcry a couple of years ago over the editorial policy at Energy&Environment? Several editors resigned in protest over the blatant political tilt. When I presented my letter to E&E, the Chief Editor refused to publish it with a reference to the post by Gavin Schmidt at Real Climate.

I've seen lots of biased postings on Real Climate, so I doubt that they go to much effort to censor postings, unless, of course, the poster is being silly or abusive. In most cases, such posts are simply ignored...

E. Swanson

New NASA Satellite Survey Reveals Dramatic Arctic Sea Ice Thinning

And how about this, rightie? The Antarctic isn't supposed to be melting AT ALL yet, but, it is.


We use monthly measurements of time-variable gravity from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite gravity mission to determine the ice mass-loss for the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets during the period between April 2002 and February 2009. We find that during this time period the mass loss of the ice sheets is not a constant, but accelerating with time, i.e., that the GRACE observations are better represented by a quadratic trend than by a linear one, implying that the ice sheets contribution to sea level becomes larger with time. In Greenland, the mass loss increased from 137 Gt/yr in 2002–2003 to 286 Gt/yr in 2007–2009, i.e., an acceleration of −30 ± 11 Gt/yr2 in 2002–2009. In Antarctica the mass loss increased from 104 Gt/yr in 2002–2006 to 246 Gt/yr in 2006–2009, i.e., an acceleration of −26 ± 14 Gt/yr2 in 2002–2009. The observed acceleration in ice sheet mass loss helps reconcile GRACE ice mass estimates obtained for different time periods.

1. Cherry picker.

2. Ignores more recent data.

3. Presents ice condition at one point in one year as meaningful indication of climate, i.e. long-term trends.

Cherry-picking, unethical....

How very untrustworthy to talk about ice thickness in April 09 rather than the thrid-lowest minimum in Sept '09. Or the fact that the extent is currently matching the all-time low? After all, if the ice in April is important, isn't the ice in Sept. and Nov. more relevant, being more recent?


conservationist wrote:

I would agree with you on the solar minimum. But if this is true, couldn't it also be true that an active solar cycle in the last half of the 20th century caused the warming?

What warming?

Although not a total alarmist on AGW i think it is to big a risk to ignore. Peak Oil is likely to be a bigger problem In the short term.
By falsifying data to make AGW case look worse than it is the Authors do no one any favours. It gives the denialist a field day and dicredits all good science. If they made a mistake they should admit it and explain the cosequences. Any body caught altering data one way or another should be sacked on the spot. At the very least Use the Marines Punishment ie 100Hrs marching up and down a yard in full battle Kit.

I was going to post that very excerpt, Wharf Rat.

What part of the emails constitutes evidence of information fabrication? This?

No doubt, instances of cherry-picked and poorly-worded “gotcha” phrases will be pulled out of context. One example is worth mentioning quickly. Phil Jones in discussing the presentation of temperature reconstructions stated that “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all.

No doubt this was part of the Rushter's exhibit A, and that millions of dupes are taking his word at face value, but it still doesn't constitute fabrication.

LOL...you beat me with the other article

In comparison to Michael Lynch, Steve McIntyre looks like an Einstein. McIntyre has perfected the art of digging through huge piles of data to find the odd acorn that doesn't make sense. In other words, he puts ups a very good front of being comprehensive and rigorous, yet his work is also probably irrelevant.

The WSJ journal has recently lauded his rigor before this eamil thing blew up. He will now be known as some sort of high priest, IMO.

So when is some mainstream media outlet going to applaud the rigor of TheOilDrum?

When you tell them what they want to hear.

I agree. Science is dying-- of inattention and boredom.

It does not excite college students except for a rare geek. "Science" will soon be a classical discipline, and will appeal to the same sort of folks who read Gilgamesh from the original tablets.

But that doesn't change the underlying reality of global warming. Or North American desertification and deforestation. Many people will drink Rush's KoolAid and die. A few prepared individuals -- the lucky ones among the prepared -- will survive. The human species will survive, but its current cultural iteration will not, and will not be lamented.

In any event, Rush is soon toast -- if he isn't already. I wonder if he isn't just "the spirit of Limbaugh" played by a variety of bit-part actors. Like Kim Jong Il.

There is no doubt that mother earth is on the ropes, and humanity is mainly to blame.

I don't however see CO2 as the big evil. There's way to much CORPORATE in this whole global warming "movement" for me to swallow.
As much as a laughted the first time i heard "co2, we breath it out, plants breath it in" (fade in the oil rig) , its true. I have to believe that there is a self correcting mechanism. High levels of CO2 would spur massive plant growth. (if some @ssholes wouldn't cut them all down to make room for one more dollar tree).

One major reason i doubt the entire global warming scare are the "solutions". Tax, legislate, and outlaw; All managed from a the Top down. Some where, some board of directors will decide what's best.

It seems to me the no brainer solution would be to plant trees. Tree's consume CO2, provide shade, some provide food, and after 20 + years they provide a great renewable building resource. (at which time you cut it down, and plant three more).

Science is failing our mother earth. common sense has been replaced with coaxial wisdom and search engine logic.

Planting trees 'will not cancel out climate change' - SciDev.Net

Catherine Brahic

13 April 2006 | EN | 中文
trees between irrigation channels

Plant growth in a changing climate will be limited by nitrogen available in soils, say researchers

FAO / de Borhegyi

Attempts to limit climate change by planting trees to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere could be futile, according to two studies published this week.

It had previously been suggested that rising concentrations of the gas would boost plant growth and, with it, the amount of carbon dioxide plants absorb.

But two US-based teams — led by Johan Six of the University of California at Davis and Peter Reich at the University of Minnesota — say this is a false hope.

Insufficient amounts of nitrogen gas, they say, will limit plant growth regardless of how much extra carbon dioxide is available.

Nitrogen levels, also essential for plant growth, are not rising as fast as those of carbon dioxide. This means there is a limit to how fast plants can grow, and therefore how much carbon dioxide they can absorb, say the researchers.

Insufficient amounts of nitrogen gas, they say, will limit plant growth regardless of how much extra carbon dioxide is available.

That sentence is rubbish.
Trees DO NOT absorb nitrogen gas from the atmosphere. It needs to be in soluble form, ammonia salts, ammonium nitrate and the like.
Now, I do not believe that any agronomist or plant scientist or researcher worth his/her salt does not know that, so I have to put it down to the total ignorance of basic chemistry and science by journalists. I must have been, what, ten-twelve years old when I was taught at school that plants absorb nitrogen from soluble salts made by lightning or fertilizers both natural and artificial. There were even advertisements for "Nitrato de Chile" stuck on walls, I am talking the end of the 1950s here.

Trees DO NOT absorb nitrogen gas from the atmosphere.

not directly, but every time it rains, it rains nitrogen.

Then plant nitrogen fixing trees! Duh!

Then plant nitrogen fixing trees!

Yes indeed, some trees, some Leguminosae (by no means all species) fix Nitrogen, or rather it is the Rhizobia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhizobia, symbionts in their roots.
The diazotrophs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diazotroph are not limited by Nitrogen concentration in the air, it could hardly be higher than its present 78.08% by volume.

Classic MSM B/S-"Planting trees will not cancel out climate change"-as opposed to what? The reader is supposed to think that some other action undertaken by these grifters WILL cancel out climate change. Of course any child is aware that planting trees makes sense under the current circumstances-one wonders who is pulling the strings of these two research puppets.

"I have to believe that there is a self correcting mechanism."

We are the self-correcting method for the planet's "low CO2", and acomplished the task in 200 years.; self-correcting our correction by trees won't happen until after we have extinctified our elves.


Go Bears, Beat Stanferd

Trees are good silver BBs, tho. I just planted about 20.

I am highly skeptical of Copenhagen. It's not that I'm an AGW denier, but the cast of characters who are publicly supporting a global carbon agreement are not people I'm inclined to believe are really in it for anything except themselves. The amount of un-elected bureaucrats and corporate representatives at this meeting suggest that in addition to maybe reducing carbon output (hint: peak oil will do that) it will be a way for big business to de facto outlaw competition by making the process of setting up a business extraordinarily expensive and complicated because of the complexity of a cap and trade system.

In addition, Copenhagen, if successful will set up a world government, which will be unelected and eventually all-powerful. The next step is a global police state and what Zbigniew Brzezinski called the "Technotronic Era", where the state, through computers, is omniscient.

1) I think your fears are just a fantasy.

2) Climate Change will be FAR worse for humanity (not to mention the rest of nature) than the worst of your fears squared.


Alan: Climate change and actions undertaken by those promoting climate change are two totally different things that are continually mixed together or regarded as part of a package. He is stating that although he recognizes that man made climate change is occurring, he does not feel that the group of grifters and charlatans promoting actions to address it will do anything constructive, in fact their actions will be very destructive. It is his opinion that they are basically out to grab as much as possible using climate change as a cover, and appreciate anyone pointing this out being labelled as the tired climate change "denier". You state that climate change will be bad-the guy never once stated that climate change will be anything but bad, yet once again this is ignored in the mass hysteria.

Yeah? Well, you, the grifter looking to make sure you maximize the money in *your* pocket (Gee, you are such a different grifter than the one you label!), are advocating worse: do nothing. We can't change what we changed!!! Let's all die together, but rich! Well, as long as you're rich for causing Climate Change rather than stopping it!


I never said that climate change will be worse, I am skeptical of Copenhagen period. Obviously a totalitarian regime is better than extinction, I just doubt that Copenhagen will move us in the right direction any faster than resource depletion will, and I think it will hamper efforts on a community scale to cope with the local effects of resource depletion and climate change.

Imagine in the years of decline, if instead of producing bicycles, some corporate-run central planning forces us into some stupid EV boondoggle. What we need is innovation and flexibility, not centrally-planned corporate life support. If the police state survives long enough, once collapse finally comes, things will be more rigid, less flexible, more problems will have been caused by Monsanto et al, ect...

Not everyone agrees with you that human freedom is important-which is ironic considering it is used to justify almost every military campaign. On that topic, it is my understanding that the USA military, a huge consumer of oil, will be exempt from these proposed carbon restrictions.

When did I say to you that human freedom is important? It's a means to an end, just like human un-freedom is a means to an end. Government is all about balancing what people are free to do with what they are not free to do. If it becomes impossible to set up a small business, and if barter/alternative currencies become criminalized then it will be difficult to get anything done without the centrally managed boondoggle police stopping it. I rate the probability of a ban on alternative currencies to be high and a ban on barter to be medium-low but high with respect to food.

I am not so much afraid for my Charter rights as I am for the negative consequences of not being able to exercise them. Dimitry Orlov talked about how most food in the FSU was grown outside the collective farms. Imagine if Monsanto managed to make all non-commercial food growth illegal, and such a rule was actively enforced. By then there will be legions of people employed in the stasi because there will be little other work. In the final stages of looting and corporate takeover it would not surprise me very much.

Like everyone who attempts to predict the future on TOD, I will probably not be right. This is one of many scenarios that could come to pass. TPTB have most conspiracy theorists convinced that AGW does not exist, there is unlimited oil (or free energy technology, take your pick) being suppressed and that Copenhagen is a dirty commie attempt to take away their God-given right to cheap oil. For all I know this stuff about Copenhagen deliberately destroying the prosperity of the USA is just a way of getting the (only slightly less confused) part of the masses to focus their anger on some shadowy conspiracy rather than the real issues (which are hard to be angry about, who am I supposed to complain to if the earth runs out of the stuff I want?)

"We have met the enemy and he is us"
What "we" are doing to our habitat will pale into insignificance compared to what we can and will do to one another.
Like a fire in a theater, the exits and the route to the exits will be clogged with the trampled bodies of the women and children, the weak and expendable.

Will we (all) by degrees, slump into a degenerating world of less of everything and simply participate in facilitating a peaceful decline?
Or, will we as individuals, groups, countries, cultures and even races consider themselves more worthy of a better life and further down the track more worth of survival than the next and insist on perpetuating that ideal? (Exactly the world as it stands now).

Precisely unknowable, is the timing and degree of chaos we will inflict on one another. Habitat, species destruction and peak everything smashing into global warming are the catalysts.

Has anyone wondered what would happen, if a miracle occurred and everyone was immediately graced with an "understanding" (like most of us reading TOD, denialists excluded), of limits to growth, AGW and the present economic situation.

I think there would be a whole pack of psychopaths and religious freaks telling everyone that its not true that everything will be alright, while they are secretly preparing their own lifeboat and bunker. (Exactly the world as it stands now).
Rant off.............

"Has anyone wondered what would happen, if a miracle occurred and everyone was immediately graced with an "understanding" (like most of us reading TOD, denialists excluded), of limits to growth, AGW and the present economic situation."

Cool, the readers and posters on TOD have now become "THE ELECT", graced with special knowledge and understanding of science, growth, economics, climate, EXISTANCE ITSELF.

Why does that type of thinking make me extremely nervous...hmmm, let me think....


I should have also said jackasses.........

There's a lot of discussion in yesterday's DrumBeat. There's no "there" there. If this is the worst they got, they got nothing.

The real problem with the AGW deniers is the same as with the PO deniers. They are telling the masses what they want to hear, and so get away with it. That means BAU, which is what the evidently want.

Meanwhile, IMO things continue to deteriorate. Nothing is done, just as it hasn't been done for the past 20 years since world Peak Oil was obvious to anyone willing to set aside his beer, turn off the TV and pay attention. "They" will keep up the bull until things come crashing down. They they will try to spin it to say it was the Peak Oil and AGW advocates who made things fall apart. If only we had not said oil supplies were going to drop, they would have gone up instead! It is TOD who is to blame!

Looking back at the first item today: Ten Billion people in 2050? I think not! If things go the best possible way, maybe 4 Billion. Probably less than that. But of course, the climate will be fine. It is just too sad to be funny.

It doesn't matter, nothing will be done about climate change whether it is man made or natural. If it is anthropogenic, at least something could be done to mitigate it in theory if not in practice. If it is natural then we're totally screwed without recourse. But regardless little will be done one way or the other.

One good thing that may come out of the emails/hack is that the monetising of climate change may well be hindered. The only economic activity available to finance these days is to game the system for profit, but gaming the system means using the system against itself which is ultimately destructive. Better those involved in it go bust, even if they protest their good intent to save the planet.

Climate change is here now and is ripping through our ecosystems degrading our carrying capacity. The science, the arguments as to anthropogenic or not mean nothing. Only action counts and that is narrowed down to being in the right place at the right time with the right resources. All the rest is trivia, we're already in the bottleneck.

I thought Goldman Sachs was going to fix climate change-they have done a pretty good job fixing everything else.

LoL! Goldman Sachs is about as relevant to the real world as a computer game. Global finance has decoupled from the real economy and ascended into its own virtual reality where finance invests in finance and makes huge amounts of virtual money created by the central banks out of thin air. Meanwhile back on Earth the real economy crumbles and our ability to look after our basic needs deteriorates inexorably.

Fortunately, most people are mesmerised by the virtual reality and spend their life immersed in the pretend economy leaving the real economy to those that have left the game. The unfortunate bit is when the life support systems of those in the virtual reality gets cut off when the operating system goes down.

It's Faux News, link from yesterday: Grist on the NYT’s “baseless hit job on Gore,” plus the story’s origin in a Fox News doctored video « Climate Progress

Today [Monday] we have our answer: The New York Times, which has run a truly absurd and embarrassing piece from John Broder. It casts about desperately seeking something sinister about the fact that Gore invests in clean energy technologies. Listen to this piece of dark insinuation:

Few people have been as vocal about the urgency of global warming and the need to reinvent the way the world produces and consumes energy. And few have put as much money behind their advocacy as Mr. Gore and are as well positioned to profit from this green transformation, if and when it comes.

Gore is “positioned to profit,” you understand. No wonder he’s dedicated most of his adult life to schlepping around the world giving a slide show to tens of thousands of people! It was all to marginally increase the return on his future investments! Diabolical.

Who is saying this absurd crap?

“Critics, mostly on the political right and among global warming skeptics, say Mr. Gore is poised to become the world’s first ‘carbon billionaire’ …” Critics like loony Rep. Marsha Blackburn and denialist propaganda hack Marc Morano. These are the people driving the NYT news operation now.

But look down toward the bottom. No, farther … farther … farther … yeah, waaay down in the second-to-last paragraph:

“I believe that the transition to a green economy is good for our economy and good for all of us, and I have invested in it,” Mr. Gore said, adding that he had put “every penny” he has made from his investments into the Alliance for Climate Protection.

So all the money from Gore’s investments is invested in a nonprofit to fight climate change. He’s not “positioned to profit.” He’s not “poised” to become a “billionaire.” The entire premise of the story is false. I’m sure the tiny percentage of readers who make it down this far in the story will be delighted to discover they’ve completely wasted their time.

To summarize: Professional Gore haters, who make their living peddling lies, cast an absurd charge against Gore. The charge goes in the headline. It goes in the first paragraphs of the story. Then in paragraph 32 it’s revealed that the charge is baseless. And John Broder wasn’t embarrassed to have this appear under his byline.

Try again.

Incidentally I think Al Gore as a person is an unctuous drip.

Do you know him as a person?

Blessed are the geeks, dweebs and nerds..

Wondered if I'd get called on that. No, just assessing his personality based on movies and stiff TV guest spots on otherwise solid comedy shows, which, come to think of it, are quite nerdy in their approach. You're not funny, Mr. Former Vice President, or whatever the proper honorific is. None of which has anything to do with his message, which I'm on board with.

I like Al Gore, he has been out there on the global warming issue for a long time, when no one else would touch it. The article was a denier hatchet job. On the other hand he is invested in ventures that stand to make him a lot of money if renewable energy takes off. I think it a good thing if people put their money where their mouth is. On the other hand I think is inaccurate to portray him as a saint. When both sides of a argument rely on exaggeration you have a situation where "the first liar doesn't have a chance."

Should I sell all of my railroad stocks ? And perhaps buy Ford & Delta Airliens (pun intended) ?

After all, I would profit personally if my proposals are implemented !

Best Hopes for Reality,


Science is not 'dying', but it is suffering the problem of reduced return on investment, just like energy, health care, agriculture, infrastructure, high tech, and all the rest of our technology.

See Joseph Tainter's The Collapse of Complex Societies. Tainter's thesis is that reduced ROI is part of what makes civilizations 'brittle' and unable to respond appropriately to new threats, a condition that eventually leads to collapse.

This I agree with. I think we've reached declining marginal returns on science. In that sense, science has failed us, like so many other strategies have.

IOW...there probably is an "End of Science."

I think one good way to work out the problem of the decline in science is to sit down with your cat (or your neighbor's cat if you don't have one) and try to teach it to do algebra.

After awhile you will experience the same sensation that science in general experiences when trying to convey the gist of experimental findings to an increasingly uneducated public.


Doesn’t Mish have better things to do then contort the meaning of 13 year old emails? Perhaps he should concentrate on why his theories of deflation are not turning out quite the way he predicted? Sorry I fail to see how M1 money supply growing at a 14% rate in recent months, China’s money supply growing at a 29% rate, and loans by US banks doing a u-turn and now rising briskly over the past month is anything but inflationary. My forecast of $1200 gold in early 2010 that I made in the “case for deflation” thread on November 1 might even be a tad conservative.

The problem with the whole inflation/deflation debate is that there are numerous definitions for these being used-as far as I can tell from reading Mish, even if gold hits $5000 he will claim deflation if USA real estate prices and wages are down (which they likely will be). He defines deflation (it appears) as USA real estate and wage deflation (Hong Kong and Canadian real estate prices are at record highs).

Granted the job market is miserable and there is not much of a prospect that employment and wage gains will keep up with inflation.

But - that will not stop inflation from occurring. For example, doesn't PO mean that oil prices will rise faster than most other prices? An even if some other prices decline, it's likely just the effects of PO alone will raise consumer prices - whether wages increase or not.

And yes, there is still a wave of credit defaults. But the actions of the Fed/Treasury have increased total US credit faster than it is being contracted in the consumer sector.

Basically the Fed moves since early March, that is a plan for buying $1.5 trillion in Treasuries and mortgages, indicates that they will not allow overall credit deflation to occur.

Money supply is just half the problem. I think TAE is right: you have to consider credit, too. Most of America has been supporting themselves on debt for the past generation. Now that's going away, and there's no way wages can make up for it in this economy.

"money supply growing at a 14% rate in recent months"

How fast is money being destroyed? (bad debts being written off) Or is the 14% net?

We are a society of lies - we are bombarded with lies and deceptions from dawn to dusk and from cradle to grave, from people at every station. Any given statement, no matter how official sounding, may be true or may be false, and most of the time it is hard for people to tell. What this means is that all statements have equal weight, and so people simply pick the one they like the best and believe in it. Regardless of what those who believe in peer reviewed science like to think, science and mindless BS are indistinguishable - there is too much noise and too little signal (combined with an inability to process it of course). A society that works like that is ill equipped to deal with external events like resource depletion or climate change.

Now it's true that people can be influenced to change their behavior based on what they believe, but I don't think you can use the confusion born of continual lies to marshal people to do something. You can certainly use it to cause confusion and prevent anything from being done, and that is what is happening here - put out a bunch of crap from a multitude of official sounding sources and just let people pick their favorite version of "truth".

We only have two tools (deception and violence), and so that's what we try, but such external forces don't respond to those. Climate change will happen anyway no matter what we believe - regardless of the lies of the advertisers and marketers, perception is NOT reality. Or perhaps it's batter to say that droughts, fires, floods and rising seas will create new perceptions that cannot be so easily managed, but not until it is way too late to effect it. So this whole thing will not matter, as we were not going to do anything constructive anyway, even if there were time.

Real interesting, all the AGW crowd is now in the denialist camp, i.e., denying the collusion, conspiracy and obstruction shown in this series of regrettable e-mails. The facts are clear folks, don't try to massage them, will only make you look worst.

Imagine if a similar series of e-mails wrote by sceptics were made public!!! The AGW dogmatic mob would be in a mission to burn the infidels!

Since I've heard one respected teacher in my University, when applying for an Aquifer modelling grant project, say: "we've got to put some reference to global warming or the grant won't be conceded." I knew it was all about money.
Curiously, I can't find one climatologist in the same University who stands for AGW.

What strange university do you go to ?

Finding ONE climatologist who does not believe in man made climate change is difficult. Finding an entire department ?

BTW, API. Exxon et al find LOTS of funding for deniers.


It's a strange university indeed, beginning by it's age, it was created in 1559, closer to the MWP than today.

It's Évora university in Portugal.

Another strange thing about it, as I said before, is that our top climatologist, João Côrte-Real, is a AGW Sceptic, a position taken by other climatologists that I personally know.
See an interview with him here:
http://clix.expresso.pt/gen.pl?p=stories&op=view&fokey=ex.stories/236897 (in Portuguese).

Why are you trying to create a consensus that simply doesn't exist?

What I find rather strange is that you can't find ONE climatologist that is Sceptic of AGW, this tells me that you move in close group thinking circles, and adopt a dogmatic position which isn't very scientific as you should know.

The IPCC was the consensus of all of the national Academy of Sciences of all major nations.

Quite frankly, I will take that "small closed world" over a Portuguese University Department.

I closely followed the accumulation of scientific evidence from the mid-1970s till the late 1990s, at which point I considered the scientific debate conclusively decided. Since then I have had better uses of my time than to CLOSELY follow the details. IPCC just confirmed what I already knew.

And as I have stated elsewhere, 30% probability is *WAY* more than enough risk to justify extreme actions to mitigate.

Best Hopes for Realism,


All good scientists are skeptics, almost by definition. How else could one advance the state of knowledge of the natural world except by questioning the prevailing wisdom? It's that innate skepticism which works as a check against wild ass claims which defy natural "laws" or which ignore basic facts. The usual presentation from the denialist camp tends to focus on some small issue by cherry picking facts from the universe of data, while ignoring the many other indications of a changing climate.

One example was the clamor over last summer's cool weather events in some parts of the US while ignoring the long heat wave in the Southwest. There were (roughly) as many record high maximum temperatures recorded last summer as there were record low minimums. Did the bubble heads at Faux News or The Drudge Report tell you about that?

E. Swanson

Imagine if a similar series of e-mails wrote by sceptics were made public!!! The AGW dogmatic mob would be in a mission to burn the infidels!

I don't think so. There's nothing all that surprising or incriminating in the e-mails.

Yeah, probably the political sites like DailyKos might try to run with it, like they did the "Sarah Palin's youngest child is really her grandchild" thing. But nobody else would really care.

Can you show us one piece of information, even cherry-picked, that disproves the anthropogenic influence on climate? (Rhetorical question.)

If you've any ethics whatsoever, you will admit the truth: There is none. You will further admit this truth: your posts are propaganda taking words out of context and misapplying them to an entire field of study when, at best, they may apply to one tiny part of the area of study. You will further admit you have no idea WHAT they scientists were saying in their e-mails and are unethically repeating what others have told you is true.

Yes they're seriously busted. I like the one about how they need to keep the payments under $10k to keep from alerting the tax authorities.

As if you haven't done the same? If you've had a need to transfer or transport more than $10k and didn't break it down to smaller amounts to, at minimum, protect your privacy, I'm calling lie here and now.

The implication that breaking your pay into chunks to more strategically handle your taxes is somehow "bad" is itself unethical. Everyone works to limit their tax liability, you conservatives more than anyone else. This is not illegal unless tax payments are evaded. That is, unless you actually lie about your income in some way.

And what tax avoidance, or even evasion, has to do with climate science, I know not. Of course, neither do you.

Re: Shutdown of Valero's Delaware Refinery

As a Delawarian who lives about 20 miles north of Valero's Delaware City refinery, I'd like to offer my brief admittedly biased views on the matter.

This refinery was opened in 1957 and has changed hands more times than a 1985 Yugo used as a Honduran taxicab. The original owner was Tidewater (later absorbed into Getty), and the refinery remained under Getty till 1984, when Texaco bought it. Then in 1988 it was sold to some sort of joint venture involving ARAMCO and named Star Enterprises. In 1998 it was sold to another joint venture by the name of Motiva Enterprises. The pace of changing hands now starts to pick up considerably, and in 2004 Premcor became the new owner. This only lasted a year, and in 2005 Valero became the new (and apparently final) owner.

It appears that each succeeding owner tried to squeeze as much revenue out of the refinery while doing an absolute minimum of maintenance and upgrade before passing it on to the next owner. (Or sucker?)

This refinery has had a long and atrocious history of serious environmental and safety problems, including a number of fatalities. It was constantly in the news regarding a whole host of water and air pollution violations. Though fined heavily, it appears that these fines were considered just a nuisance and a cost of doing business. Until fairly recently, the heavily pro-business political environment in Delaware prevented the state regulatory agencies from getting too tough on the refinery owners. However, in all fairness, Valero probably wasn't the worst of the lot, but not great either.

Refineries as a rule are not terribly labor-intensive relative to their size, but this shutdown will still result in the loss of over 500 full-time employees plus an almost equal number of outside contractors. With the closing of the Chrysler plant in Newark and the GM plant in Newport, this latest shutdown was another blow to Delaware's employment situation.

The important question that remains is: what is Valero physically going to do with the refinery after it is shut down (which it says will be permanent)? Will it mothball the refinery with the hope of someday reopening it when (and if) the price of oil goes through the roof again? Or will it just let it sit there and rot? Or will it actually demolish the whole thing? Whichever route is taken, there are sure to be major site contamination issues that will have to be addressed, and these can get VERY expensive to remediate.

I for one am not sorry to see it go, as it was truly a blight on the Delaware landscape. But the thing I find really scary is just how unstable and chaotic the oil business has become. Just a few years ago the Valero refinery was running flat out, raking in the dough, and had big expansion plans. A short time later it is now an enormous pile of scrap metal.

With things happening at this pace, how is it possible to make long-range plans regarding energy supply, both conventional and alternative? The level of chaos seems to be accelerating in many areas these days.

Maybe off-topic but does anyone know why wheat peaked in 2007/2008 at triple todays prices?

Graphic copyright to the FT.

A combination of factors: reduced arable land, land diverted to biofuel crops, reduced harvests because of droughts and possibly reduced fertiliser inputs because of cost. And it is not just wheat. The three major grains, wheat, rice and corn are all down. Check out the USDA website, days stored grains are around 52 days. 70 days used to be regarded as the emergency level, but it seems no one cares now. This is a bit old, but it has lots of relevant data: http://www.bitsofnews.com/content/view/7432/

There's more biofuel being produced in 2009 than there was in 2008, yet the price of wheat and corn are lower. So your answer doesn't make any sense. The correct answer is speculation. The same reason oil prices spiked in 2008.

"The same reason oil prices spiked in 2008."

should read

"The same reason oil prices spiked in 2008, in part."

In a complex world there are rarely (if ever) single causes. In the law this is recognized by apportioning responsibility among defendants.

Undoubtedly there was speculation raising the price, but oil is also very price sensitive.

Peak oil is going to shut things down immediately. Climate change is a silly distraction. I don't see any point on arguing over global warming because science has failed to determine how much of the disputed warming is caused by CO2. The sun, clouds, and dust are probably much larger factors and historical data is lacking. CO2 emissions will only drop after fossils fuel production has peaked because nobody has any reasonable plan to reduce dependence on fossil fuel. We will burn till we can't find any more to burn. Burn, baby, burn. All the climate change activists are fooling themselves if they think they have a solution.

Collapse of our industrial society is guaranteed. I wonder how 20 years from now we will be able to replace all our asphalt shingles and roads. The net energy won't be there. Our economic problems will be continuous. So far nothing has been done to mitigate the impact. Obama has not even proposed any plan to mitigate the impact. We are going off the energy cliff with no seatbelts.

You know, I agree that we probably aren't going to do anything useful about climate change, even if we all agree it's happening and it's human-caused.

But I still think it's something that must be studied. As Lester Brown points out (link up top), climate change might mean no food. We can live without asphalt highways and shingles. We can't live without eating.

I take it you're not familiar with the FACE experiments that were done a few years back. More CO2 in the atmosphere produced MORE plant growth (read MORE food) not less food. Higher temperatures would probably be better as well. But as the hacked emails point out - temperatures are NOT going up and the climate "scientists" know it.

But as the hacked emails point out - temperatures are NOT going up and the climate "scientists" know it.

The hacked e-mails say no such thing.

And I know that plants like CO2. Heck, I have a freshwater planted tank into which I inject CO2, to increase plant growth.

But agriculture is a far more complex problem than just the amount of CO2 or even heat. (Though a recent study found higher temps would result in lower yields for many of our major crops.) If the scientists are right, we are headed into a period of climate instability. More floods, more droughts, more extreme and unpredictable weather. That is a farmer's worst nightmare - whether you're a huge agribusiness or a subsistence farmer.

Enjoy it while you can..

But even still, your simplistic explanations, like 'More CO2 means more food' leave me to conclude that you don't get the idea of complex systems, and things getting out of balance. There are countless populations of animals that are already staggering under the loads of habitat loss and environmental toxicity, among other things. What if a 3 degree rise (which, I get it, you feel has been disproven by these emails) or a few more PPM of Carbon suddenly make it impossible for a key species to gestate, or make all the fry in river fish get born as males? Some of these things are already started..

You can drown in milk.

Yields of cassava, a "staff of life" food crop and the source of >50% of food calories for 200+ million people and a major part of the diet for over a half billion people, drop by 7/8s in greenhouses with elevated CO2 levels and the leaves (eaten as well as the tubers) turn poisonous. So increased CO2 = mass genocide on a scale that dwarfs Hitler, Stalin and Genghis Khan.



Hopes ?


I had heard about such experiments a ways back...here are some links:




I have only skimmed the top level pages...but I would guess that the bumper sticker of 'more carbon dioxide and heat are good for the planet' might be a tad of an oversimplification....

So conservationist ... what is it that you advocate conserving? My guess is "nothing." Your simplistic statements about plant growth indicate that you don't know squat about plants.

"Conservationist", you are making several fundamental errors in logic.

One such error is that you assume that we need certainty before extreme actions are taken to reduce CO2 emissions.

Logically, just a 30% probability that the scientific community is right is MORE than enough certainty to justify devoting as much GDP to reducing CO2 as we spend on military defense. The possible risks of Climate Change dwarf the possible risks from al Queda, China, North Korea et al.

Best Hopes for "Conservatives" who actually want to conserve SOMETHING,


Military defense from who exactly? The USA military, execmpt from these carbon scams, burns an awful lot of oil. So now you want to spend as much USA taxpayer money on CO2 scams as "defense" scams-great. Obviously there is a bottomless credit card that can be charged at will. Newsflash: the USA is BROKE.

Just cut the "defense" budget and reduce consumption as a % of GDP.

Transfer those resources to long lived energy producing (say wind turbines, geothermal) and energy efficient (insulation, electrified railroads, bicycle paths, etc.) infrastructure and after a few years you end up with a budget surplus, higher GDP (but much more sustainable !), higher employment, etc.

As the pile of good, long lived infrastructure grows, it adds to human welfare without requiring much in the way of fresh inputs.

An extreme example would be Grand Coulee Dam. Lots of money, energy, materials and manpower to build, but now it just sits there and produces up to 5 GW electricity at very low operating cost.

Best Hopes for Long Lived Infrastructure,


I don't see any point on arguing over global warming because science has failed to determine how much of the disputed warming is caused by CO2. The sun, clouds, and dust are probably much larger factors...

I don't see any point on arguing over peak oil because science has failed to determine how much of the disputed problem is caused by supply limitations. Environmentalists, oil companies and government interference are probably much larger factors...


Global increases in temperature will occur in fits and starts, rather than in a perfectly incremental manner. Deniers that site 98 as the hottest year and a cooling world following that year do not understand we will get more years that are hotter than 98, and it will be followed by years that are similar or even less, followed by an even hotter year. The cake is baking.

As deindustrialization occurs due to lower net energy levels, the dust or aerosols industrial activity spews into the atmosphere will drop, and more sunlight will reach the ground and that will greatly increase GW.

But we've just gotten started heating up the planet. There's thermal inertia that takes 30-40 years to take effect that will increase temps.

But also there are tipping points, like the point where huge amounts of methane begin to release from the tundra of Siberia and Alaska which will equal all the CO2 we've already added.

The biosphere can only absorb so much CO2, and the rest builds in for a hotter tomorrow, and increasingly acidified oceans.

Water levels are dropping, deserts are expanding, ice is melting, but don't let that stop the deniers from using a few selected emails to claim the exposure of GW as a hoax.

Why would PHD's in Science come together to perpetrate a hoax? They wouldn't. Game over.

Earlier this week, I contacted a local property management firm that owns and operates a number of fairly sizable office malls on behalf of Nova Scotia Power's Small Business Lighting Solutions programme. They signed up immediately and I'm now roughly half way through the audit of my first mall. There are some forty-four individually metered tenants and the suites range from 1,200 to 20,000 sq. feet in size. It was built in the early 70's and the place is loaded with 4-lamp F34T12 troffers -- on average, one every 30 to 36 sq. ft. That puts the current lighting load at 4.5 to 5.5-watts per sq. foot.

Normally, our retrofits call for a simple, one-for-one lamp replacement with 28-watt high-performance T8s powered by a low-output (0.77 BF) high efficiency electronic ballast. This reduces fixture load from 160 to 84-watts. The work is fast, easy and there's a minimal amount of waste as the old lamps and ballasts are fully recycled.

However, given the age and condition of these fixtures and given that power demand would remain excessively high at this close spacing (2.5-watts per ft2), they will be replaced by new 3-lamp troffers that consume 63-watts. Light levels should stay about the same due to the higher operating efficiency of the T8 system and greater luminaire efficiency, i.e., no dirt depreciation, optimal lamp spacing and improved fixture optics. Once this work is completed, the new lighting load will come in at 2.0-watts or less, which is still a little higher than it should be. I would be inclined to go with a two lamp replacement, but this might lead to tenant complaints; at least with a 3-lamp fixture, you can easily pullout the centre tube if the tenant is willing to accept a one-third drop in light levels.

A savings of 2.5 to 3.0-watts/ft2 is a huge win for us. I don't know how the other buildings stack up, but if they're anything like what we've seen thus far, there will be a lot less coal burned in this province come the new year.

No more coal-fired power plants !


4.5 to 5.5-watts per sq. foot.

Thats pretty staggering when you consider that full sunlight would be 100watts per square foot. (I hope you screwed up and meant to say per square meter), cause that is quite a bit. If I multiplied it times the square footage of the average house, that would be pushing 10KW! So getting this down by morethan 2x is a big win, but it is still a massive energy hog!

Just picked up a couple of Sylvania micro-mini for the skinny candelabra style base 825 lumens 13watts. The twisty bulb isn't as pretty as the bulbs it replaces, but it is a lot brighter and hopefully will last a lot longer. This 5bulb candelabra sits over my computer, and is usually on during the evenings.

Hi EoS,

I wish that were true. I'll take some pictures and post them next week. For example, a private office that's no more than 12 x 18 ft. would have six 4-lamp fixtures; three rows of two, butted end to end, the first row 2 ft. from the window and running parallel to the glass, with 4 feet of ceiling tile separating it and the row next to it.

Originally, those fixtures would have been fitted with 40-watt T12s and standard magnetic ballasts so the initial draw would have been in the range of 190-watts each for a total of 1,140-watts. I'm assuming that the original ballasts were replaced at some point by energy saving magnetics, so that and four 34-watt T12s would bring us down to something closer to 160-watts, for a total of 960-watts. The replacement fixtures draw 63-watts, so the new load will be just under 380-watts. In addition to the significant drop in the lighting load, there will be a sizable reduction in air conditioning demand.

After nearly 40 years service, the dirt and grime will be pretty much baked on so these fixtures will be virtually impossible to clean. In addition, the luminaire efficiency of new fixtures is so much higher and the additional 25 per cent reduction in energy demand moving from 4-lamps to 3 makes the change-out worthwhile. (The old fixtures will be recycled along with the lamps and ballasts.)


My office, which is probably 12x12 has hour florescent ceiling bulbs, so a wild eyed guess would be 160watts. Even add in my 8core computer (200-350 depending on load), and thats a fraction of your fixed office. You see this all the time with real estate, overlit apparently sells. At that above office, the light switch has a motion detector, although during the part of the day with decent sunlight I turn it off). And this is an outfit who's owner is in the global warming is a fraud camp. But, then we are not in retail.

Day three with the PV, got 8Kwhours the first day, Friday it rained but it gave out four, today its own nine -can it reach 10 before the seun goes away (but I was robbed, clouds ruined the best two hour slot), so I'm pretty pleased, this is more juice than I expected. The frustrating thing, for a tinkerer like me who likes to record daily usage -the inverter display is powered by the DC from the panels, ten or fifteen minutes after the sun sets and the display goes dark till the next morning.

You folks are doing good things to throttle back energy consumption.

On the flip side, I finally went to a web site which is being heavily advertised on the local drive-time radio:

NOTE...link to a video


Wow...the radio machine says that this service can be had for only $600 for the basic package, and for a mere $1200 they can knock your socks off (and make your electric meter spin and the gas peaker plant snap to life!).

Who says we are in a recession?

And peak anything or climate foderol? Banish those scrooge-like thoughts with a holiday light display that astronauts can see!

...the radio advert actually had a line about getting a display that can be seen by the the astronauts...piffle, of course, but a fine display of good 'ole American disconnection from reality.

Dollars to donuts the LED lights are made in China with machinery powered by a coal-fired power plant...rush orders are probably air-freighted over courtesy of Jet-A!

That video almost made me throw up.

I have drawn a lot of perplexed looks and comments ranging from befuddled-to-snide about working in my two offices (company and government) without the lights on. In each office I get plenty of natural light from a big window, over my shoulder, the intensity of which I can adjust with venetian blinds.

Many people are straitjacketed by their conformity to perceived norms.

And both my company and my government client fret about costs and budget...

Hi MW,

My own experience pretty much mirrors what you describe; and it wasn't strictly a little good natured ribbing... you'd swear some of my colleagues were deeply offended. In any event, it didn't stop me -- I've always been more comfortable working with my overheads off and I could never see the logic of wasting electricity on something that only detracted from my working environment.



There are two things on the internet that I always know will make me happy, even slightly optimistic about the change that is possible: videos about bicycle infrastructure in Denmark and Holland, and your posts on TOD. Thank you for the work you do. Maybe you should take on apprentices who could later go forth and prosper as well?

Many thanks, taomom, for your kind words as they're greatly appreciated, however, I consider Nova Scotia Power the real hero in this story as none of this would be possible without their leadership and commitment. I'm extremely proud of the work I do on behalf of NSP and I have tremendous respect for my counterparts at the utility. I've been highly critical of some of their past policies and I don't see eye-to-eye on a few of their current initiatives (e.g., http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1152921.html), but they've certainly hit the ball out of the park on this one.

I'd also like to give special praise to the property management firm. Normally, NSP pays 80 per cent of the cost of our work and the account holder pays the remainder on their utility bill over 24 months, interest free. However, in this case, the landlord has agreed to pay the customer's portion in full. I find that rather remarkable.

I'm also pleased to report that one of our subcontractors has hired additional electrcians that will allow us to expand our efforts. They're providing us with both day and evening crews so we can take on work that can only be completed outside normal business hours; with that, between now and the end of the year we hope to upgrade the lighting systems in three more schools. [The owner of this firm is just 26 years old and the quality of his work and that of his employees is just phenomenal. This "kid" would make any parent proud.]

Every kWh of electricity we help our clients save is another half-kilo of coal that won't be burned, so each kWh saved is a gift in itself. I'm so thankful I've been given this opportunity to help make a difference, even if it's just one lump a coal at a time.

No more coal-fired power plants !


I am trying to write a college paper on peak oil. Can someone please help me out on how Mexico production is doing? Is this the #1 supplier of oil to the US? When they first go into decline? Any help would be very nice.

Sure-here is an interesting web address- www.google.com

Gee BrianT, that was helpful.

I'd start at the Pemex website. There are a bunch of documents at http://www.ri.pemex.com/index.cfm?action=content&sectionID=21&catID=12177, including production stats up through September.

Why didn't you just spit on him?

Do you suppose that a google search would send him here, where he might then be able to ask some actual human beings, and not a search engine, to help him wade through the chaff and look at helpful sources?

Imagine the response if the guy had asked for advice because his insurance just dropped him like third-period French due to his newly-discovered cancer after he had just lost his job?

Oh,wait, we don't have to imagine the compassionate conservative answer...just follow the health care debate.

Yea, yea...all yuse tea-partiers-Palin/Beck 2012 fans save the retorts about big government and socialism and death panels and the debt...I understand full well that we are not as bright as the citizens of the 36 countries which have superior health care outcomes to U.S. as detailed in the in the WHO report...most of these countries have some level of socialized medicine superior to the wild-west robber-baron insurance industry corporate welfare gig we've been running for decades...and they all spend less money on health care per-capital than we do...what's not to love about our system?

Moon: Jeez and all this time I thought you were the Palin fan in favor of death from cancer.


This website has a wealth of data by country. Click on Select a Country on the right hand side of the page.

This week marks another milestone for Canada's wind industry... we've now surpassed the 3,000 MW mark. Granted, small potatoes compared to other countries (and even some US states), but the rate of growth in the past few years has been pretty damn impressive, with an additional 4,540 MW currently under construction/contract.

See: http://www.canwea.ca/pdf/Canada%20Current%20Installed%20Capacity_e.pdf

No more coal-fired power plants !


we've now surpassed the 3,000 MW mark.

If I take the US pop to be 10 times greater, we would need 30GW to match you. I'm not sure what the figure is, but I suspect we have less than that.

Congratulations again, EoS, on the commissioning of your new PV system. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your experiences with it and, in particular, its percentage contribution to your household needs.

Peak electrical demand in beautiful Prince Edward Island (population: 120,000) is about 220 MW yet, interestingly, the Province has more than 150 MW of installed wind-generating capacity presently in place, and this number will rise to 162 MW by year end. In fact, the Province hopes to have 500 MW of wind capacity online by 2013, with the surplus exported by under sea cable to neighbouring New Brunswick. Pretty hard to top that !

No more coal-fired power plants !


PEI had about 100 microhydro power plants a century ago. I talked briefly with them about this (one 35 kW has been rehabilitated by a private owner). Potential about 10 to 15 MW (my SWAG).

They mentioned that so many summer residences (they used a Canadian term for McMansions) have been built on the north shore that it was limiting their WT siting. One cannot install a WT within falling distance of a residence, commercial property or any part of a school yard.

One PEI official I talked with thought that <200 MW was their on-shore potential because of siting issues.

One small town was putting up 10 MW of WTs, but most were going to generate power for New York.

Best Hopes for More Wind,


Hi Alan,

I understand Suez Energy’s West Prince wind farm supplies about 9 MW to the City of Summerside's municipal utility and that the remaining 90 MW from this farm is being sold to New England. The City is also installing 12 MW of wind power of its own so that wind power will suppply "100 per cent of [their] customers 70 per cent of the time".

Source: http://www.canadianbusinessjournal.ca/features/aug_09_features/summersid...

To learn more about PEI's wind ambitions, see: http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/wind_energy.pdf

Currently, PEI's export potential is limited to 142 MW and the one undersea that connects the Province to the mainland is already close to capacity. A second line cancelled by the Harper government is critical. Secondly, Hydro-Quebéc has reserved all of NB Power's export capacity to New England (this in advance of its purchase of NB Power), so that adds another variable to the equation.

Best hopes for PEI achieving its 500 MW target come 2013 !


Does anyone know anything about this documentary: H2Oil on the consequences of Alberta's tar sands mining operation?

One of the animations has been making the rounds on viral video websites and seems quite well done IMHO.

The trailers (also here) seem to focus mainly on the environmental impact rather than the peak energy issues, though.

Well, they're not particularly accurate, and they do ignore the Peak Oil issue.

The significance of Alberta's three bituminous sands areas (they only mention the Athabasca sands in the videos) is that they have non-conventional oil resources approximately equal to the conventional reserves in the rest of the world. Saudi Arabia is small potatoes by comparison.

When they talk about shortages of fresh water, they ignore the fact that Canada has about 20% of the world's fresh water and has fewer people than California. The Athabasca river is one of the biggest rivers on the continent and there are few people living near it. The oil sands operations are using less than 2% of the water, and they are unlikely to exceed 5% in the foreseeable future.

By comparison, the rivers in southern Alberta are about 70% allocated, and the American rivers south of it are more than 100% committed (the Colorado being an example of an overcommitted river). These are the rivers people should be worrying about.

I particularly have doubts about the statement, "you can see the mines from space." I can see the cars parked in front of my house on Google Earth. I'm sure the CIA can read the license plates.

The oil sands operations are huge in scale, but they're subject to strict environmental controls (unlike mining operations I have seen in other countries like the US) and only 10% of the area is shallow enough to mine (the rest will be produced through wells). Once they're finished (which will take centuries), nobody will realize they were once there unless they read the history books (or whatever book substitute they are using then).

Everything you say AND MORE could be said about mountaintop removal mining in eastern KY, West Virginia, etc. But hey, those are country folks...they'll be alright.



So, where is the next bubble?
It may be informative to listen to the language...
"Contrarians will get KILLED"
"Don't miss out, this may be your chance to buy before prices climb to even higher levels"
"Your chance to make up your past losses..." (referring to the multiple prior bubbles in derivatives, real estate, oil, natural gas, bonds, etc., etc."

And of course, my always sure indicator of a bubble, "hey, you can't lose money in it, God isn't making anymore of it (remember that one about land?)

Of course I am referring to gold and precious metals, about which all of the above and more is now being pronounced with ABSOLUTE CONVICTION. The run up has been staggering, but the peddlers and promoters of "CAN'T LOSE" are still pushing it hard, and telling customers "you ain't seen NOTHING yet!!"

The buyer is now being asked to buy AT or ABOVE all time levels, and they are actually doing with the promise that it will only go higher...Chinese and Indian investors are buying gold and jewelry at a fantastic pace (although the pace has recently shown signs of runing out of steam) and demand is projected as UP, UP, UP, even though demand is already slowing).

Once more around the same old "cannot lose investing" track...astounding how everything we learned in the recent collapse can now be forgotten ALMOST OVERNIGHT. If there is any comfort, it will be that China and India now have joined the hysterical investing community again as in the real estate collapse and will join the American and European sheep to be sheared...