Drumbeat: November 25, 2009

The Case Against An Energy Comeback: Demand needs more than recovery to surge

The accelerating rise in commodities prices may leave energy behind. Even if the economy recovers next year as expected, energy consumption in the industrialized world fell so far, so fast, that it will struggle just to meet 2007 levels.

Barclays Capital estimates that oil demand in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development nations will actually be down 8,000 barrels a day in 2010 compared with 2007, while U.S. demand will be down by 754,000 barrels a day. The sudden price rise last year to $140 a barrel followed by economic collapse had a dramatic effect on energy consumption, from automotive fuel to electricity.

"That is a lot of demand that has been lost, that definitely will not come back in 2010," said Barclays analyst Constanza Jacazio. "Even assuming a global economic growth forecast of 4.2%."

Energy Push Spurs Shift in U.S. Science

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. -- The Obama administration's push to solve the nation's energy problems, a massive federal program that rivals the Manhattan Project, is spurring a once-in-a-generation shift in U.S. science.

The government's multibillion-dollar push into energy research is reinvigorating 17 giant U.S.-funded research facilities, from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory here to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. After many years of flat budgets, these labs are ramping up to develop new electricity sources, trying to build more-efficient cars and addressing climate change.

T. Boone Pickens: End the Mideast Oil Addiction

Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, China had negotiated for a call on a significant percentage of the available oil from Iraq's huge reserves. After the invasion, when those contracts with Saddam were nullified, China embarked on a worldwide buying spree to ensure it has the oil it needs to fuel its growing economy.

China understands the laws of supply and demand. World oil production is currently 85 million barrels per day. OPEC is holding some production to keep the price between $75 and $80 a barrel, but at some point the global economy will bounce back, and demand for oil will climb steeply.

Gas shortage lingers in cities

Chinese cities are grappling for a second week with the most serious natural gas shortage in nearly a decade, triggered by unusually early winter weather, and the nation's top economic planner is urging suppliers to meet maximum distribution rates to meet the demand.

Energy analysts, while giving various explanations for the squeeze, including low gas prices, an insufficient storage system and a monopolistic market, are split over whether a price adjustment would serve as a viable solution.

China Faces Nat. Gas Shortages, Price Hikes

Taxis queue up to fill their tanks on an overpass in Chongqing, China, Wednesday, November 18, 2009

China has a new energy headache: natural gas shortages and price spikes. And those shortages are likely to persist for the foreseeable future.

Unseasonably cold weather, including heavy snow in northern China, has resulted in natural gas shortfalls of as much as 40 percent. Industrial facilities, office buildings, and even hotels have been closed to save gas and those closures have occurred in cities in the south -- Changsha, Nanjing, Hefei -- as well as in northern cities like Beijing, Harbin and Xian. Rather than close, some industrial users have begun using diesel fuel to keep their factories running.

Peak Oil, the Decline of the North Sea and Britain's Energy Future

We are so often told about the problems of climate change by the various political parties in Britain, but in fact the changing climate is just one of a number of factors that we will have to manage over the course of this century. If we take an ecological or biophysical perspective then we see that society faces a far wider set of problems to resolve as it adapts to the reality that growth within a finite environment has its limits. Such limits are not theoretical, and are being played out within our lives today under the guide of phenomena such as global food shortages, resource depletion or climate change.

Wet corn causes propane shortage

Gov. Jim Doyle has declared a state of emergency to help alleviate a shortage of propane.

Doug Caruso of the Wisconsin Farmers Union says the demand for the fuel is higher than normal because it’s needed to help dry a high-moisture corn crop.

Doyle’s declaration will expand the hours that propane terminals are open during the next two weeks.

Gazprom feels bullish for 2010

MOSCOW (UPI) -- Russian energy monopoly Gazprom announced a 5.4 percent spending increase for its 2010 budget amid growing optimism for an economic recovery.

Despite the threat of losing a significant amount of capital from stiff customs duties, the gas giant announced plans to increase its investment spending to $27.9 billion for 2010.

Agreements with Russia to be funded by Pdvsa

The Venezuelan government will pay with cash from state-run oil holding Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) the commitments arisen from an overarching deal made with Moscow in a wide array of areas, including purchase of Russian armament, according to the Official Gazette No. 39,312.

Kurdish oil gushing, Gulf Keystone says

ERBIL, Iraq (UPI) -- Estimated reserves of light crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan are greater than even the most optimistic expectations, said Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd.

Profits of Russian oil giant Rosneft fall 53.2%

The net profits of Russia's largest oil firm, state-owned Rosneft, plummeted 53.2 percent in the first nine months of 2009 compared to the same period last year, the company said on Wednesday.

Kuwait, Iraq discuss border oilfields

Iraq and Kuwait are engaged in "technical negotiations" to strike a deal over production from border oilfields that have been at the heart of previous conflicts, a Kuwaiti oil official has said.

Halliburton says drop in Pemex work will hurt profit

Halliburton Co., the world's second- largest oilfield-services provider, said a reduction in business from Petroleos Mexicanos will cut earnings by about 2 cents per share in the fourth quarter.

Halliburton's work in the Burgos, Veracruz, and southern areas is being affected by a decision from Pemex, as the Mexico City-based company is known, to decrease activity in part because of low natural-gas prices, Houston-based Halliburton said today in a statement.

Gold could push oil above $100 in 2010 or early 2011

Oil prices are projected to average $85 per barrel next year and they may jump above $100 by late 2010 or early 2011, according to a revised global energy forecast by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Earlier the investment bank forecast $75 a barrel for oil in 2010, but revised its expectations higher on anticipation that continued weakness in the US dollar will push commodities higher next year and gold may jump to $1,500 an ounce.

New Techniques Oil Companies are Using in Drilling for Oil

As the politics and philosophical arguments about “Peak Oil” continue to rage, science continues to move steadily onward, progressively creating new and better ways to both find and extract oil that we never could have previously discovered, as well as get a lot more bang for our buck by more effectively utilizing the oil that we currently have readily available to us in our current reserves.

Landowners' concerns over pipeline plan

PLANS for an 11 kilometre pipeline under the Over Wyre countryside to supply gas to a planned £600million power station near the river estuary have prompted concern among landowners.

The pipe, which will stretch from St Michael's to the new power station at Hillhouse, Thornton, is a vital part of the project aimed at helping Britain's looming energy crisis.

Enron and others pay for roles in manufactured energy ‘crisis’

EVERETT — Nearly a decade after Enron Corp., the bankrupt energy broker, bragged about gouging millions of dollars from West Coast grandmothers, Snohomish County utility payers will finally get some payback — what amounts to 92 cents a person.

Accident casts fresh doubt on nuclear safety

On Nov. 21, there was a radiation leak at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pa., less than 100 miles north of Baltimore up I-83. One hundred and fifty workers were evacuated, and 20 people were exposed to radiation.

The leak didn't get a lot of attention here, but Marylanders should care - not only because Three Mile Island is not very far from us but also because Calvert Cliffs in Southern Maryland may be the site of the first new nuclear power plant to be ordered since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979. Electricité de France (EDF), the largest merchant of nuclear power in Europe, has purchased an almost 50 percent share in Constellation's nuclear holdings and will try to build a new nuclear power plant in our state with millions of dollars in federal loan guarantees.

Carbon Creep

While corporate America works itself into a lather over the climate change bill, a far more insidious invasion is already under way: the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA doesn't quite want to regulate carbon dioxide the way the Food & Drug Administration controls tobacco. As one of the agency's officials says, it seeks to make regulation "a little more reasonable" by overseeing just certain kinds of polluters.

Canada backs Alberta CO2 pipeline plan

CALGARY -- The Canadian and Alberta governments said on Tuesday they will invest as much as C$558 million ($525 million) in a pipeline project to carry carbon-dioxide from an industrial region near Edmonton, Alberta, to aging oil fields.

The decline of the wage system

My girlfriend is setting up her own business. It is something she had always wanted to do, but her being laid off in the wake of the current economic downturn – as we have come to call what might very well the new economic normality – kicked her into action. She is hardly the only one in this situation. All over the country there is a flurry of new business creations. In normal times, this would bode well for a country which has indeed coined the word "entrepreneur" but had forgotten it quite a long time ago. We are not in normal times however, and this unprecedented wave of entrepreneurship tells in fact of an deep economic insecurity which can only increase with the coming energy descent. It also announces the end of an economic arrangement which had shaped the western social landscape for nearly a century : the wage system.

Jeff Rubin: Why the U.S., China are about to get divorced

The U.S.–China economic accord was the apex of globalization. It was a virtuous and seemingly self-reinforcing circle of trade and capital flows between communism’s last stand and capitalism’s fallen angel. The rapacious American consumer dined on China’s cheap labor while the savings of Chinese workers, recycled into the Treasuries market, paid much of the bill.

But the recession has already put a big dent in that model, and the return to triple-digit oil prices will soon bury it for good.

Kuwait's crude oil exports to China plunge 49.2% in Oct

(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait's crude oil exports to China plunged 49.2 percent in October from a year earlier to 311,000 tons, equivalent to around 73,000 barrels per day (bpd), for the third consecutive month of fall, latest official data by the Chinese government shows. Kuwait provided 1.6 percent of China's total crude oil imports, compared with 2.7 percent in September, according to the General Administration of Customs.

Shell chief says oil at $80 will halt rising debt

Royal Dutch Shell has signalled that the steep rise in its debts is coming to an end, with its chief executive saying the group would not need to borrow any more money if oil remains at about $80 per barrel.

The comments from Peter Voser, who took the helm at Shell in July, are a sign of how the oil industry has recovered thanks to the rebound in the oil price to about $76 yesterday from its low point of less than $33 in February.

The New Crude Oil Benchmark That Could Change the Oil Market’s Price Dynamics

Earlier this month, the world’s largest oil producer set the table for a move away from traditional light, sweet crude oil.

Saudi Aramco, the state-owned company of Saudi Arabia has decided to drop West Texas Intermediate (NYMEX: WTI) as the basis for pricing its oil sold to the U.S. market. The Saudis priced off WTI for 15 years.

Russian finance minister predicts oil price's fall

MOSCOW (Xinhua) -- If there were no drastic plunge in the U.S. dollar's exchange rate, then the oil price may be down to60 dollars per barrel within two years, said Russian finance minister here Wednesday.

"A weak dollar" raised the oil price, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin at a financial forum, quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency.

Oil to Extend Drop, Test Channel Below $74: Technical Analysis

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil, declining since touching a one-year high of $82 a barrel Oct. 21, is poised to test the bottom of a downtrend channel below $74, according to an analysis of price charts by Societe Generale SA.

Iran, China agree on $6b oil deal

(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) �The National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company and China's Sinopec company agreed a USD 6 billion deal on establishing and developing oil refineries in Iran.

Statoil, Sasol Apply for S. Africa Shale Gas Rights

(Bloomberg) -- Statoil ASA, Norway’s biggest oil and gas producer, Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Sasol Ltd. made a joint application for exploration rights of shale gas resources in South Africa’s Karoo Basin.

ANALYSIS-Smith move shows oilfield carve-up has room to run

On one side, state-owned oil companies are demanding more one-stop shop service contracts. On the other, there's little growth near home in a U.S. drilling market served by hundreds.

So Smith, with a new Schlumberger-flavored management team, has acted. But it startled investors by selling lots of equity -- a $742 million sale closed Monday, and maybe $111 million more on the way. Its shares dropped 12 percent this past week.

Dong Chief Expects Deeper Cost Cuts, May Sell U.K. Wind Stakes

(Bloomberg) -- Dong Energy A/S, Denmark’s largest oil and gas company, will make deeper cost cuts in 2010 after fuel and power prices fell and may also seek to sell parts of its U.K. wind farms.

France Has ‘Last Chance’ to Open Power Market With Planned Law

(Bloomberg) -- A French planned law that would further open the country’s power market is its “last chance” to ensure customers and new suppliers benefit from competition and get affordable nuclear power, utility Direct Energie said.

“There isn’t a Plan B because a compromise was so incredibly difficult to reach,” Fabien Chone, deputy chief executive officer of Direct Energie, said yesterday in an interview at a Paris energy conference. “Parliament needs to understand its importance and risks.”

U.K. Must End Power Monopolies to Meet CO2 Goals, Watchdog Says

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. should end the monopolies of regional power distributors to stimulate investments needed to meet the country’s carbon emissions targets, according to a government-funded watchdog.

Rising sea levels: A tale of two cities

When people talk about the impact of rising sea levels, they often think of small island states that risk being submerged if global warming continues unchecked.

But it's not only those on low-lying islands who are in danger. Millions of people live by the sea - and are dependent on it for their livelihoods - and many of the world's largest cities are on the coast.

Climate leader McKibben speaks to the hometown crowd

McKibben split his address between reporting on last month’s worldwide day of action and assaying the next steps in the fight to stabilize atmospheric carbon content at 350 parts per million. That figure, which he said was established by rigorous science in January 2008, was the focal point of the Oct. 24 action: Under the umbrella of McKibben’s 350.org, individuals coalesced into 5,200 groups in 181 countries to send the message to climate-change delegates meeting six weeks hence in Copenhagen that they want significant action on the issue.

It could be argued that no message was ever stated more broadly. According to McKibben, CNN termed it “the most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history.” That’s an accomplishment, certainly, but it was undercut by the news earlier in the day that President Obama had said the conference would not produce a climate treaty, as activists have long hoped and urged.

Naomi Klein on Climate Debt: Why Rich Countries Should Pay Reparations To Poor Countries For The Climate Crisis

With the Copenhagen climate summit two weeks away, best-selling journalist Naomi Klein examines the grass-roots movement behind the climate debate proposal that argues all the costs associated with adapting to a more hostile ecology—everything from building stronger sea walls to switching to cleaner, more expensive technologies—are the responsibility of the countries that created the crisis. Klein also discusses the 10th anniversary of the Seattle WTO protests and the 10th anniversary of her first book, “No Logo.”

Doing nothing will cost the earth

The Stern Report, the Garnaut Review and various CSIRO reports have detailed how inaction on climate change could ultimately prove much more expensive.

Money would be needed for infrastructure repairs in the face of more severe storms and cyclones, for medical treatment of more heat stroke deaths and tropical disease sufferers, tourism dollars would be lost because of coral reef bleaching, and food would have to be imported because of declines in production in the Murray Darling Basin.

''We are talking about horrendous impacts,'' Dr Kaye said. ''Every day you open the newspaper and it's worse than you thought. Look at the 13,000 people who died in France in the summer of 2005. Look at the consequences of even more protracted and severe droughts. Only 1.9 per cent of NSW isn't drought-affected at the moment.''

Scientists announce proof of mega-droughts

FRESNO, Calif. - While Californians worry about the three-year drought dragging on another season, researchers say climate change soon could create much longer dry spells - lasting decades or even centuries.

Climate change help for the poor 'has not materialised'

Large sums promised to developing countries to help them tackle climate change cannot be accounted for, a BBC investigation has found.

Rich countries pledged $410m (£247m) a year in a 2001 declaration - but it is now unclear whether the money was paid.

Peak Oil Reality: Industry Experts Offer Growing Drumbeat of Supply Warnings

Newly-released videotaped remarks reinforce statements by senior petroleum industry officials about looming world oil supply constraints

DENVER /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ - Groups and individuals speaking out about forthcoming world oil supply challenges are frequently stereotyped as a fringe element with little knowledge about the oil industry. But their warnings are increasingly supported by some surprising allies: senior petroleum industry officials, consultants and analysts. Call these serious-minded critics the Harsh Realists.

Most prominent are CEO's from several large oil companies. Christophe de Margerie, CEO of France's Total SA, said earlier this year, "world oil production may plateau below 90 million barrels a day (mb/day)" -- marginally more supply than today's 85 mb/day rate. Last month, CEO's James Mulva (ConocoPhillips) and John Hess (Hess Corp.), sounded similar warnings, though with less specificity about the numbers, at the Oil & Money Conference in London. At ASPO-USA's October conference in Denver, Ray Leonard, CEO of Hyperdynamics Corp., said, "world oil was nearing peak oil at 90 mb/day, and that isn't changed by recent events."

Peak Oil : IEA's predictions seeming more and more infeasible with time

On November 9, the Uppsala University in Sweden published a report titled "The Peak of the Oil Age - The Uppsala World Energy Outlook". The report performs an analysis of the oil production forecast done by the International Energy Agency in 2008. One day before the release of the IEA 2009 edition of its World Energy Outlook report, the team of researchers notably pointed to a world oil supply in 2030 some 26 Mb/d lower than the IEA's predictions. Dr Michael Lardelli, one of the co-authors of the study, answers Scitizen's questions.

The oil-economy connection

Saudi Arabia’s oil production company is Saudi Aramco. Its former Vice President of oil exploration and production, Sadad al Husseini, recently made the following comment on oil prices at the 30th Oil & Money Conference, held in London on October 20-21:

- as you go up to say $90 a barrel, you’re consuming 4.5% of the global economy [for oil]. That in itself is a ceiling - you cannot go indefinitely into more expensive alternatives without destroying [the] economy and therefore destroying demand. So we do have a ceiling on prices and how much expensive alternative fuel we can put into the market.

Peak globalization

Wishful thinking or apocalyptic doom forecasting? Fred Curtis, an economist at Drew University, has put together a mashup of peak oil, global warming, and patterns in global trade liberalization and arrived at the principle of "Peak Globalization." (Found via Globalisation and the Environment.) A double whammy of higher energy costs and extreme climate events will disrupt global transportation patterns, reversing the historical trend towards greater and greater levels of global trade and forcing a process of "relocalization" -- "The major implication is that supply chains will become shorter for most products and that production of goods will be relocated closer to where they are consumed, although this will happen neither quickly nor easily."

And there's nothing we can do about it.

Kunstler: Courting Convulsion

What's going on in the US economy is a slow-motion convulsion from which we will emerge as a very different nation with a different economy. The wild irresponsibility of the media in pretending otherwise is only going to make the convulsion worse, more painful, more socially and politically destructive. The convulsion can be described with precision as one of compressive contraction. Historic circumstances are requiring us to change our behavior, to make new arrangements for everyday life in all the major particulars: capital accumulation and deployment; food production; commerce; habitation; transport; education; and health care. These new arrangements must be organized at a smaller and finer scale, and on a much more local basis.

The main "historic circumstance" mandating these changes goes under the heading of "peak oil." We've come to the end of our ability in this world to increase energy inputs to the global economy. The routine "growth" in industrial activity and production that has been the basis of our financial arrangements for 200-odd years is no longer possible. Offsetting this decline in oil energy "input" with "alt.energy" is a dangerous fantasy because it distracts us from the urgent task of making new arrangements for trade, food production, et cetera - the very things that would provide jobs and social roles for our citizens in the future.

Tale of the two-headed giant

Today, our world faces a giant with two heads: Climate Change and Peak Oil. She is more dangerous than anything in a fairy tale.

Obama Bows, Iran Taunts, and Supply Peaks, Making it Time to Look at OIL, USO and USL

A series of events are making it highly probably that we are quickly approaching the day when the United States will suddenly attack Iran and oil prices will rise dramatically.

5 Heresies of Energy Tech Investing

I agree with Matthew Simmons, author of Twilight in the Desert, that our energy sector is facing the twin cancers of rust and an aging workforce. I think the very subtle but profound point that peak oil proponents are missing is the role that innovation plays. The rise of 3-D seismic imaging, for example, has had the effect of shrinking dry holes from seven per producing well to one, which is a huge leap in efficiency, especially when you consider that the greatest expenditure of energy in the world is the extraction of energy. Other innovations like fracking and directional drilling combined with the next advance in seismic imaging -- 4D -- could have the effect of more than doubling our existing reserves. The Department of Energy calls 4D seismic data potentially the most significant technology advance for the energy industry in the last fifty years. Acorn is scouring the industry looking ways to invest in this exciting area. The history of energy is littered with prognosticators who said we were running out of energy, and for hundreds of years they've all been proved wrong.

Oil Little Changed Before Report Forecast to Show Supply Gain

(Bloomberg) -- Oil traded little changed before a report forecast to show that crude inventories accumulated last week in the U.S., the world’s biggest energy user.

The U.S. Energy Department will probably say crude-oil inventories grew by 1.5 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey before the department’s report later today. Oil had gained earlier as the declining U.S. currency made dollar-priced assets more attractive for hedging against inflation.

Ambani’s Lyondell Bid Mimics Valero, Tosco Expansion

(Bloomberg) -- Reliance Industries Ltd.’s bid for bankrupt LyondellBasell Industries AF would give India’s biggest company a low-priced U.S. refinery, mimicking successful strategies by Valero Energy Corp. and the former Tosco Corp.

Wyo enviros oppose drilling in 1st national forest

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Environmentalists are questioning the legal justification offered for what would be the only active oil well inside the nation's first national forest.

Shoshone National Forest hugs the eastern edge of Yellowstone National Park. More than half of the 2.5 million acre forest is designated wilderness where motorized travel is prohibited.

"Climategate" and Other Nonsense

Cutting to the chase, in Climategate, the hackers pulled some "sensitive emails" between climatologists and discovered a few emails sounded a little fishy. However, from the "thousands" of emails, the deniers were only able to pull a tiny selection of text to "prove" their case. One UK source lists some of this compelling non-evidence in an anti-science diatribe.

However, this is not evidence, it's not proof, all it proves is that the climatologists involved assumed their emails would have remained private. The deniers have cherry-picked small selections of text and taken the discussion out of context.

GOP opens probe into climate science e-mails

WASHINGTON - Congressional Republicans are investigating e-mails stolen from a British climate change research center that they say show scientists attempting to suppress data that does not support man-made global warming.

Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, a global warming skeptic, sent letters Tuesday to the inspectors general of several agencies and to scientists asking them to retain records related to the e-mails.

Poll: Belief there is global warming drops

WASHINGTON, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- The percentage of Americans believing global warming is occurring dropped from 80 percent to 72 percent in the last year, a Washington Post poll indicates.

The Washington Post-ABC News poll's findings released Wednesday also show 55 percent of respondents said they think the United States should curtail its carbon output.

Cutting greenhouse pollutants could directly save millions of lives worldwide

Tackling climate change by reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions will have major direct health benefits in addition to reducing the risk of climate change, especially in low-income countries, according to a series of six papers appearing today (Wed., Nov. 25) in the British journal The Lancet.

China 'will not sacrifice growth' for emissions cuts

BEIJING (AFP) – China said Wednesday it will not sacrifice growth to cut gas emissions, illustrating the difficulty in reaching a global climate deal at a major summit next month despite US moves to boost the talks.

China Says Rich Countries Lacked ‘Good Faith’ in Climate Talks

(Bloomberg) -- China blamed a “lack of good faith” on the part of developed nations for hampering talks on a treaty to fight global warming less than two weeks before the start of the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen.

Obama, Singh boost hopes of climate deal

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama sought to boost hopes of a landmark deal at the Copenhagen climate summit, as a new report showed the crisis facing the planet is deeper than previously thought.

Climate change quickens, seas feared up 2 meters

OSLO (Reuters) - Global warming is happening faster than expected and at worst could raise sea levels by up to 2 meters (6-1/2 ft) by 2100, a group of scientists said on Tuesday in a warning to next month's U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen.

In what they called a "Copenhagen Diagnosis," updating findings in a broader 2007 U.N. climate report, 26 experts urged action to cap rising world greenhouse gas emissions by 2015 or 2020 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

"Climate change is accelerating beyond expectations," a joint statement said, pointing to factors including a retreat of Arctic sea ice in summer and melting of ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica.

BLS Weekly Jobs Data Wed Nov 25 2009:

Seasonally Adj. initial claims fall -35,000
Non-Seasonally Adj. initial claims rise +68,080

Seasonally Adj. continued claims fall -190,000
Non-Seasonally Adj. continued claims rise +187,642

Of course the MSM only talks about Seasonally Adj. Numbers
And a rosier future.


Sorry, but I find myself in the uncomfortable position of siding with the MSM on this one.

The MSM also reported the initial SA numbers of 505K last week even though the NSA was only 475K. As long as they are consistent, then reporting the SA numbers is perfectly legimate.

Re: GOP opens probe into climate science e-mails

OK, so Senator Inhofe wants to "investigate e-mails stolen from a British climate change research center" (according to the report).

Do ya think he will "investigate" the rapid dissemination of the stories about these e-mails to more than 560 web sites over a couple of days? Isn't that like trafficking in stolen goods? Aren't the people who spread these inaccurate stories guilty of a conspiracy to defraud the consumers of that information? What if the perps were working for the same people who later blasted the web with all these stories? There's more involved here than just the crime of the hacker who grabbed the e-mails.

Come on, Inhoff, bring it on, only don't just cherry pick bits and pieces out of the e-mails, lets get down and dirty...

E. Swanson

I believe in warming and climate change and know (just) enough physics and chemistry to understand the arguments.I am not trained in statistics but I do understand that natural variations in average temperatures are adequate to hide or disguise a gradual rise caused by our activities -which are far from limited to just rising greenhouse gas levels.

This said, I am a very cynical person when it comes to the mores and ethics of ANY profession-especially one that involves "going along to get along"-which is very much the case with any thing
financed by the govt or by large institutions such as universities and professional societies.

I would not believe unless (one ) I understand the basic science as well as the idea of disguised trends and (two) unless there existed plenty of evidence other than average temp. measurements, such as the decline of the Arctic ice cover, melting glaciers everywhere, etc.

The average man or woman on the street does not understand physics or chemistry and is not really aware of the remaining evidence.He is however perfectly accustomed to hearing on a daily basis all sorts of self serving propaganda from every direction and is thus thoroughly justified in concluding that there is some sort of conspiracy afoot that will enrich SOMEBODY , most likely at his expense.

He has to trust somebody-so he trusts those who are most sympathetic to his values and culture, even though in many cases his role models are unfortunately either mistaken or lying.

Personally I think Denninger is a far more credible journalist/blogger than the vast majority of the people involved in the mainstream media, who take thier cues from others leads.

After reading his piece on the emails I must conclude that if he is honest then there is good evidence of data tampering.

I believe he is honest.

This is unfortunate indeed, even though it was undoubtedly done with ( mostly) good intentions.

These emails will be used to good effect by the bau crowd for years to come-and given the length of the attention span of the public thier mere mention will be devestating in discussing a subject not at all well suited to sound bites such as climate change and global warming.

I think you might be missing my point.

The Republican Party has essentially become an arm of the Fundamentalist Christians and those with a libertarian philosophy. These folks do not accept some of the most basic science, including Darwinian evolution theory and the basics of geology upon which evolutionary theory rests. Many of the common folk think the Earth to be less than 10,000 years old and look to a life after death in Heaven or Hell. They think both are real places, with Heaven being "up there" somewhere. You might want to read "The Republican War on Science" for some further insight.

The denialist camp is not interested in truth. They have already decided to ignore the problem and are doing everything possible to subvert the scientific basis of the problem of Climate Change. Attacking the messenger by distorting the message is frequently their mode of operation. In this situation, we have a prime example of their efforts, using tactics which may be an example of a conspiracy to disrupt scientific research. I think that these people will not stop until there won't be any science but that which they decide to be in accord with their world view.

Those of us who are concerned about the need for open discourse on scientific issues must oppose these efforts, else the future may bring another example of the Dark Ages, where deviant thinking led to execution. Do you really want to live in a world like that of 14th century Europe, Nazi Germany or China during the Great Leap Forward? If these liars have their way, it's going to be very painful to reverse course.

So, as I wrote, lets have a real investigation. Appoint a special prosecutor who has authority to investigate the theft of the e-mails as well as their contents. Surely, the perp left a trail. If not, that might point to some professional hacking activity, perhaps by some unnamed government agency. What if the e-mails were actually intercepted before they reached the university server, stored for 10 years, then surreptitiously released at the appropriate time? That's a really scary thought to me...

E. Swanson

On this subject, the denialist camp is not interested in truth. On this subject, Goldman Sachs and those attempting to profit are not interested in truth. The whole thing is like a big public trial, with both the prosecution and the defense out to twist the truth in any manner, with victory, not truth the goal.

The only people interested in the truth are those poeple who haven't figured out how FUBAR things will get on the yellow brick road to zero carbon, be it on the flying carpet of climate change or the ghost train of peak oil.

You ask some unemployed hippie monkey sitting at a climate change protest what he/she knows about the fossil fuel - civilisation - economy - agriculture link is and you will be told to chill and smoke a doobie.

We want the truth .......We cant handle the truth :-((.

Unfortunately prescient.


I find it fascinating that apparently intelligent people actually "debate" creationism with true believers. Intelligent and with plenty of free time, it seems. 400 years of accumulated/documented evidence vs some arcane scribblings from a massively overtranslated Bronze Age text? Er, why not ask an insane person how we got here? His testimony will carry as much weight. This is really a telling insight into the human psyche that billions of people place their utmost faith in such musty gibberish.

I find it fascinating that apparently intelligent people actually "debate" climate change when we are going to sink like the Titanic due to energy / resource depletion anyway.

Er, why not ask an intelligent person on THEOILDRUM how we got here? His testimony will carry much weight.


Most people don't want to believe that some of their direct ancestors were apes, never mind fish or bacteria. Religion offers them an easy excuse to avoid thinking about it.

As for debating them, if they're the only ones talking, they end up setting public policy. You're aren't really debating them to convince them, but to avoid them drowning out all other messages.

As a certified insane person I object that insanity is a detriment to determining what is or is not good science. Consider Mr Nash's work in mathematics. Even though he was schizo his pioneering work was legitimate and independently verifiable. Salvador Dali created much better art than 99.99% of the sane could produce. Insanity may mean that a person sees the world a little differently than the majority and and may be a little more attached to reality. The insane can more easily recognize the insanity in many commonly accepted beliefs.

1) When has a court case really ever been about truth?
2) With Goldman Sachs as the carbon credit broker - how is part of the debate *NOT* about the use of the power of Government/Laws to line the pockets of Goldman Sachs?

With Goldman Sachs as the carbon credit broker

Up until this possibility came to light, I was firmly convinced that AGW was established fact and any realistic debate was over. Now I'm not so sure.

What in the name of god has GS got to do with over 100 years of scientific enquiry? WTH is wrong with you people? Where was carbon trading in 1900? 1950? Even in the 90's when the ice cores proved everything that was suspected? What has GS got to do with globally increasing speed of ice melt? They got a giant ray gun in a tower somewhere?

Get a freakin grip, people. If this is the best scholarship and critical thought we can find anymore on the oil drum, perhaps it is best to just shut it down!

Christ almighty...

I can see why anything Goldman Sachs is involved in immediately becomes tainted in a lot of people's minds. Maybe TPTB are trying to discredit AGW by having corporations the public does not like announce that they will be effectively be given the right to tax carbon.

For me, the entry of GS into the equation in no way negates the science that's been done to try to warn us all of what's happening. The entry of GS into the equation, even in a relatively small way initially, signals to me that the 'solution' is going to become a product and eventually as with any marketed product, profitability will trump all else. Big money will take over the process. Who's more likely to 'lead' us Joe/Jane 6Packs and their congressmonkeys towards a 'solution', BIG BIG Money, or the academic world? GS and others like them won't give a damn about the effectiveness of their product/solution, as long as it makes money. And naturally, they will be inclined to find ways to build ineffectiveness INTO the product, so that they can then sell 'improved' versions on and on into the future. What I'm trying to say is that the entry of GS-type entity on the side that's proposing a 'solution' means it's over before it's begun.

IMO most people realize this logically but emotionally they are afraid to admit it. It is very similar to the War on Drugs-anyone that points out it is not working is attacked as an advocate of drug use, which is illogical yet a compelling argument to those extremely emotionally attached to the subject. This subject is all about emotion, not logic.

I suspect you are right about the intent. There is an exceedingly simple answer to Big Business running the energy transition:

Grid vs. Households


Actually I do get your point and in general I agree with you.

My point is that if Denninger is the I T pro he says he is, and the emails say what he says they do, then it IS rather obvious that some data manipulation took place.

Of course a little cheating is to be expected any time and any place and doubtless you will agree with me that the cheating on behalf of the BAU crowd dwarfs any by the research crowd by a factor of several magnitudes.

This does not negate the fact that the research community has been and will continue to be tarred as a whole as a result of thse emails.

I believe the expression most appropriate is that "Ceaser's wife must be above suspicion."

Have you read his piece?

We may be on different pages but we are in the same book.

Going on the attack may be the best strategy- but again Denninger says the perps did a good job and spending a lot of time and effort trying to locate them might backfire by keeping the issue in the public eye for a long time with no results. Personally I am in favor of a serious investigation but I don't think we will get one.

Denninger a IT pro?

Well you are not going to delve too far into real emails UNLESS you have the 'full headers' present and most you see DO NOT have the headers present.

Denninger as I read his blog DID NOT state anything,as I recall, about the presence of headers. I doubt they were shipped with headers from their orignial sites. Transferring(forwarding) might not easily preserve said headers.

I recently traced an email that someone stalking my wife sent me. Since it was not from a 'portal' such as Yahoo I was able to see the REAL IP address it came from. It was from exactly the area where this stalker resides. It was sent from a medical facility, more like a semi nursying home or such where most any patient can access the available PCs here and there.

If Denninger DID see that evidence then he should have pasted that area of interest into his text.

As for me I am just not interested enough to go traipsing thru a database of email. Hours can be wasted there for just a few clues.

Also very very easy to alter email headers.

However all that said....I think there is likely all kinds of scams occurring in said activites of subterfuge, by whatever parties.

Electronic transmissions via POP and SMTP are far too easily altered.

Has anyone looked at the source of all this brouhaha and actually seen the evidence of tampering or not?


The e-mails were clearly cherry-picked. That is, only the ones that might be interpreted to cast a bad light on climatologists and/or AGW were released. There have been no allegations that any were edited, though the university says there are so many they can't say that all are unedited.

I don't think there's anything to be gained by trying to figure out who's behind the hacking. RealClimate said the person who tried to hack into their site to post the e-mails, along with a fake blog post, was coming from Russia through an open proxy in Turkey. But who knows where the perpetrators really were.

And, as far as I can tell, the globe is warming/no its not position *AND* carbon dioxide is to blame was flawed from the get-go due to the variability of the Sun's output and water vapor in the air.

The CO2 in the ocean and the destruction of that food chain is something that is harder to dispute however.

Hi Airdale,

He says he is a pro and that he formerly ran an IT type company.This is in his blog the last day or two. I really know nothing about him except that his blog is much closer to the truth in my opinion than most tv, newspapers, etc.Hence until proven otherwise he is honest in my book.

He made more or less the same points you are making but he says that as a pro he believes that the emails show all the right tell tale signs (the technical details are over my head) indicating they are genuine.It seems that experts in just about any field can detect fruads unless they are VERY well constructed and if this is true then there are probably going to be some slip ups found that will prove the emails themselves have been tampered with or faked.

Monbiot, who is a man with a lot of credibility in the environmental field posted on this topic at his blog today and he is saying that the s is in the f in respect to these emails and the credibility of the climate research community.

If you ever run up on a copy of The Farm Shop bt TJ Wakeman it will be a great addition to your library.


I strolled over to :

for example and looked at several of those emails.

I saw NO HEADERS..just the normal From,To,Subject,CC and the rest which is normal data BUT IS NOT HEADERS..

The headers are elements inserted by the POP,SMTP and every 'hop' inbetween as they transit the internet.

Those headers can be hacked and spoofed to a certain extent but when a server inserts data then that data and time of event can be proven or not by the server logs and other means.

So IMO it could easily be a scam. There is simply NO PROOF that would stand the acid test I indicate above.

If you have ever been a 'spam vampire' (name of an old program that played get even games with spammers) and spent any time in the trenches way back in the early days of spam then you were most always deciphering email HEADERS.

That is where the truth can be found. Here on TOD I sense very little knowledge then of the Header Data and the Timestamps showing its transiting of the internet.

If you say have a Yahoo email acct and you open an email then check down at the lower right side of your browser page and it should say something like "View Full Header"...then you can look at what I describe above.

Yes spammers can spoof email data but CANNOT steal or alter server logs or email client logs.

So once the internet gurus tear into this issue the truth should OUT.


Edit Add:

Further more I went to this :http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/19/breaking-news-story-hadley-cru-has-apparently-been-hacked-hundreds-of-files-released/

website where there was discussion and supposedly Headers displayed...There was chatter in the comments about HEADERs but looking closely I did not detect nor observe ANY HEADERS...so I assume those commenters just do not understand what headers are and are seeing the addresses and FROM, TO, Subject etc....as 'headers' when they are NOT.

This is a header:

X-Apparently-To: thelastce@yahoo.com via; Wed, 25 Nov 2009 06:54:35 -0800
X-YMailISG: G9Q9CugWLDv.f.16cGlVsSNtbGVuE1_78Qm2DIwI9I85Z6KG2ss0BoccqAAnDRvNBhbKkpZkVTjsQHkek9AdBlILElsXQfF80c_evZD.ciRBMHMmksKy2Eq2wlRdY3QHGFOP86HRnHftvsoxbo4r.C1HdT57EZmKcjLCbpxFpIi6jlpPb8zXhaUERHjKyXBjgbhZfSGWGmc3fWbC7ePea40HEfseba4hvICBn3.IsQer9FEFvqNniK9a5nZ8z_iGPZjEEZa84O0DMCF9oBUcFDapWPZ0xI9Y.higxXno1i4w4griVNnBSA--
X-Originating-IP: []
Authentication-Results: mta189.mail.ac4.yahoo.com from=techrepublic.online.com; domainkeys=pass (ok); from=techrepublic.online.com; dkim=neutral (no sig)
Received: from (EHLO alias4.c17-ave-mta-out4.cnet.com) ( by mta189.mail.ac4.yahoo.com with SMTP; Wed, 25 Nov 2009 06:54:35 -0800
DomainKey-Signature: a=rsa-sha1; c=nofws; q=dns; s=outbound; d=techrepublic.online.com; b=tkmdj+566Pimz7JPm7exsZoQ9RT/B7nN4s8zhYbJzFa48zC6St9QKnBu4HLNT7NJzX3fzrxbjkqj LWpbaILbkphvg+1dIX6GV1wJF7qdj5QNUi48/P7jJfpOAF6cjIVrYyvnBexv7eP45dDpWtNb6ftN VDlG/3PY5u8Ro1Wznqs=;
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Message-ID: <1956885250.1259160849001.JavaMail.app@c17-ave-nemoe6.cnet.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2009 06:54:08 -0800 (PST)
From: This sender is DomainKeys verified
"Windows XP Tips at TechRepublic.com"
Add sender to Contacts

of an email I received from Tech Republic.on my Yahoo email acct.

Observe the timestamps of passage,the SMTP data inserted...etc.


He made more or less the same points you are making but he says that as a pro he believes that the emails show all the right tell tale signs (the technical details are over my head) indicating they are genuine.

I've not looked at the e-mails themselves just snippets from places like Denninger and other blogs. I just don't see the smoking gun. I see the usual complaining about this author or that editor. A couple of vague allusions to massaging data, but there nothing is unusual about that -- models are often run through the wringer with wide ranges of data some realistic and some not before conclusions are arrived at.

The biggest issue I see with the bloggers is that they are manufacturing the context in which the exchanges too place, the assumption is that each and every comment has to do with some essential pillar to GW theory and there is no possible way the comment could have a boring and benign explanation when seen in the larger context it was surgically extracted from. Meanwhile back at the ranch, large floating chunks of ice are approaching New Zealand.

As usual, Denial Depot has the only rational interpretation:

NASA Fakes Email Leak

What makes me deeply suspicious is the complete lack of correspondence with Al Gore in these released emails. Where are all the emails showing Al Gore's involvement? Even more bizarrely there is no plotting and planning on how to raise taxes. I don't see any mention of the socialist new world order that these scientists are trying to bring about. Not once do they talk about how to best achieve wealth redistribution or world government.

So I have to conclude this this email release is a big con. It has all the hallmarks of a deliberate leak to make these scientists look better and to try and silence skeptics who question their motives. If we are to believe the emails, the scientists don't actually think their work is in error! But we know they must realize it's all a big con, so how can these emails possibly be true?

We will get a politically motivated, and run, investigation. The result will be an opportunity for Inhofe to mock climate science and squelch any action to mitigate global warming.

I haven't read Denninger's post, and I do think he is an honest person, but I also think there is a lot of cherry picking going on with those emails. I have read through the comments at Real Climate and Dr. Ian O'Neills blog and I have to wonder why we keep seeing the same emails being cited. If there is a coherent tale to tell here then why is the evidence of alleged chicanery so limited?

I am a retired IT manager who also did her share of working with poorly constructed databases and programs. Taking the time to sift through garbage to get to the nuggets of legitimate data so you can provide solid analysis and conclusions, and spending time to actually clean up the databases and programs is no picnic. I am unconvinced that the CRU scientists were engaged in an effort to fudge the data. Such an action, involving so many people over a protracted period of time, could not have gone unremarked. Someone would have spilled their guts at some point much earlier. And I don't believe they are a coterie of scientific incompetents.

Denninger's error margins seem to consistently favor the sensational rather over the boring.

There was no nefarious data manipulation. Just the usual correcting of data for biases. This happens all the time, just look at the monthly oil production figures, we are still correcting past data. The only thing that seems odd, is the fact that tree rings correlate to temperature until about 1980, and no-one knows why. So tree ring temperature proxies are trusted prior to 1980, but not after. But there is nothing nefarious about it, there is plenty of evidence to show temps climbing after 1980, so cutting these proxies off at that point is just good science. If thats all they can find from ten years of emails, there really is just not conspiracy there.

Actually, I think it's 1960, not 1980.

But yes, near as I can tell, the supposed fraud is simply the statistical adjustment of data that all scientists do. As long as you make clear you're doing it - and they did - there's nothing wrong with it.

Well said OldFarmerMac. Reminds me of how I was rated working for a computer co a few years ago. One Aw s--t equaled 1000 attaboys.


I'm glad at least one other person gets my point-I was beginning to feel sort of lonely.

I have no doubt whatsover that the emails were cherry picked-embarrassing the institution and the climate research community in general is the only likely explianation of thier being gathered and released.

The fact that they are cherry picked does not of course prove that there was no data tampering-I occasionally do things I shouldn't do and if I get caught the cops are going to be cherry picking my behavior to make thier case. It wouldn't do them much good to testify about me delivering free firewood to a sick crippled up nieghbor.

Of course Denninger is or may be exaggerating but it seems that he has a point when he says he can recognize many hard to fake signs that the emails are genuine-other than the lack of the headers mentioned by Airdale.I know almost nothing about computers but in principle I can understand that there is (possibly) lot more retrieveable data that can be teased out of the emails even without access to the servers and isp accounts, etc.

Denninger seems to be claiming that these emails will withstand close technical examination, inplying that if they are faked they are very sophisticated fakes.

Anybody who thinks any large group of people always plays by the rules all the time is in my opinion sort of niave.Human nature is human nature after all.This does not mean that the vast majority of researchers aren't scrupulously honest, or even that the ones who fudged data -if indeed date were fudged-are bad people.Sometimes human beings take shortcuts.Good cops often tell little fibs to get a bad guy on one charge if they are convinced he is guilty of another charge that cannot be proven.When I have worked on a time clock my buddies and my boss-all good people -have punched me in if I was running a few minutes late and called.Technically I stole my ten minutes pay.I have done the same for them and am an accessory nto thier theft.

I don't feel guilty but if I had been caught by the owner I would have been severely embarrassed and maybe fired as an example.

People take this sort of chance all the time and my guess is that this is the case this time.

This is an unfortunate situation-but not a disaster if honestly handled.Nixon would have been ok if he had come clean early on.

Now as to the motives of the culprit-if the emails are genuine and alleged data fudging turns out to be real-he was probably passed over for a promotion or something and decided that revenge is a dish best eaten cold.

If the emails are fraudulent the perp probably won't be found.

I think they are real. The RealClimate guys say the e-mails attributed to them are correct, and everyone at the university who has responded to the allegations has admitted writing the messages in question.

The problem is that they are cherry-picked, and neither Denninger nor Monbiot really know enough about climatology and the debates that were going on over 10 years ago to be able to recognize what they're talking about. If you remove comments from their context, you can make them mean anything you want.

So, if Denninger says there are headers and they're accurate, I believe it. But I don't believe his interpretation of the e-mails is correct. I enjoy reading Denninger's posts, but I've noticed he's awfully quick to jump to conclusions even when it comes to financial stuff. He talks about things he obviously knows little about, as if he's an expert. He's way out of his league with climatology.

Exactly. There is no fraud proven in the emails. The only thing this episode has proven is how willingly gullible people like Denninger and others are.

They could be real. They could be fake. Some of them might be real. Some might be fake. Some might be distorted.

There are many possiblities BUT the one thing that is certain is that
every time a packet is sent or forwarded(routed) a piece of data is inserted into the data and that is NOT just the FROM,TO,Subect and that other trivia...its routing data that each router or piece of the data transmission layers insert into the data stream so that TCP/IP can function.

This data is present in the received email.Its always there. It can be used as proof as to when,where and how that email was sourced, forwarded and received by the intended party.

All this can be verified.

I went right to the data and the conjecture of that data via the urls I posted previously..At that site there was a lot of chatter about 'headers'but I saw nary a one and I believe that the technical level of those at that site chattering about the faked or not faked emails , was very low. Not of the systems programmers level(some call SysOps but that is incorrect)...its the network techies that deal in this level of detail...

I sense NONE within the TOD group or they would have responded to my other posts...hence to me its ALL CHATTER and little is actually proven AND I now seriously doubt that Denninger is of the level he states he is...what I think he might have been is a manager possibily. Not a network technician..

I used to maintain an ISPs servers. The email and USENET areas. I did most of it remotely from my farm back when dialup was most of the network and DSL was just coming about.

You can look at the data I provided from an EMAIL on my Yahoo email inputl. This is the real HEADER data...the routing and timestamps of the various links the email had taken.

Period. End of subject unless someone wishes to dispute my arguements TECHNICALLY. And I will stand to be corrected if proven wrong but so far I see ZERO headers in the datasets or examples of what is being presented as Hacked Email.

Most users(we called the users Applicance Operators) are rather dismally unaware of the workings of the internet(TCP/IP) as well as the various nefarious crackers and bad guys that steal enormous sums of money via all the malware and phishing that they do.

Here is one shining example that I was subjected to last week. The method is spoofing the Destination URL so in this case it appeared that my browser was actually being directed to Bank of America when in fact the defect in even my latest Foxfire still contained the defect and allowed it. Miller shows how to detect such in the website stated below.


There are 'hackers'still lurking around the net that can create a 'one time' virus signature that NO virus checker will find since its not propgated..its just a one time infection directed to one user/PC. After the hacker/cracker scans you open ports and finds a chink in your armor.

Judge for yourself. Others trumpeting this and that are just guessing IMO. Based on no real data HEADERS and the logs of that equipment that handled that email traffic. Of course if the date is rather stale and some time ago then surely logs will most likely be overwritten. But not always.

On my own website I can pull every APache log that is created for my own domain. Easily. Good firewalls show one those who are scanning your ports....and so on. The tools are there but many run about naked and wonder why they are penetrated.

Airdale-believe what you want...this is how I look at it and really truth is I could give a damn less about that hacked data. I believe in CC for I am living it and see the dead timber for miles upon miles all around me and the total lack of many forms of insect life. Believe me, we are way way into the absolute and TOTAL destruction of this countrys environment and orgainic lifeforms. Way way into it.
OF course most living in the burbs and cities are blind since they live pretty much in a concrete cocoon.

Oldfarmermac wrote, and I quote him exactly:

"any large group of people always plays by the rules all the time"

How could anyone be so foolish as to think such an idiotic thing. You are clearly a total fool to think this. You should be banished from all intelligent conversation for putting such a foolish notion into print.

You cannot deny writing this. It is in your post just above so don't even try?


You say that the context shows that you were specifically denying this? So you think people should take context into account rather than just cherry-picking text from email when making judgments?


Please come down out of your clocktower and unchamber your rifle, Dohboi.

OFM is a nice guy, a decent contributor to this forum. Language is a slippery thing, and sometimes we just say something completely backwards, or meant something else.

Do chill.

jokuhl, I thought the same way you did until I went back and read OFMs post and the context from which the quote was taken. Then I realized that Dohboi was merely showing how misleading it can be when you pick a phrase and quote it out of context.

Original sentence:

"Anybody who thinks any large group of people always plays by the rules all the time is in my opinion sort of naive."

As opposed to:

"any large group of people always plays by the rules all the time"

quoted exactly but taken out of context.

Don't worry, not all of us detect the not so subtle sarcasm all the time. Lighten up ;-)

Alan from the islands

Johkul, Island boy,

Thanks for the understanding remarks.

Dohboi DOES have a legitimate point and I get it, although it is not necessarily obvious at first glance.

He was simply being sarcastic, rather than mean, showing me how my remarks can be misinterpreted by cherry picking just like the remarks of the researchers can be misinterpreted.

Unfortunately nuance and sarcasm don't come across well in short written communications.

I post a lot of comments that are intended to help people get "inside the heads" of people who don't think like they do.It is rather common for readers to think that I think that way myself if they are not regulars.Somebody a couple of days ago took me for a cornucopian because I posted a down and dirty rough hewn scenario of possible emergency public policy once the oil crisis really hits home.

Will has history on his side and the common man has at least a vague hazy grasp of history and has been bombarded with doom and gloom more or less constantly since the advent of television.Even newspapers for the last several decades seem to find it necessary to sensationalize every possible story and topic in order to maintain thier business.

Bad news sells.Eventually the man on the street becomes immune to it, discounts it, ignores it, except for the occasional story that captures his imagination.I have a couple of friends right now who are flu nuts, for example.I have met asteroid nuts, pesticide nuts, new agers, and even a couple of flying saucer and little green men nuts.Of course some day one or the other disaster really will take place and the doomers will be proven wrong-but for the time being, the man on the street is absolutely correct -logically- in dismissing the doomers, GIVEN the data HE has to work with.

(The word "nuts" has bad connotations in some respects-but enthusaiasts or alaermists doesn't fit either.I am aware that flu and pesticides are real, actual in our face problems.But they are problems that will pass.)

Glad you got it. No meanness intended at all.

A happy turkey day to all!

Right on.. I hereby pledge to be at least a little less pissy today!

Peace. Now I'm off to implicate myself in the murder of an innocent bird that never did a damn thing to me!


Dohboi,Not a problem at all from my pov.

We all have a lot to be grateful for.When I finish this comment I will join the tail end of the line and partake of the bountiful food the women have prepared-the kitchen has been a very busy place for the last day or so.Our current youngest family member here today is only one year, walking and babbling like a spring brook.Aunt Margie has just turned one hundred and knows all about living without electricity, running water, and automobiles.

Later I pull a shift at the sink.When we moved into this house out of the original two room green oak board and batten house I was just a little kid.I can remember the well being dug-before that my Dad hauled most of our water but if we ran out while he was out on his jiob or in the fields my Mom put me on one hip and and headed for the spring-eight hundred and fifty feet away down a steep hill and brought back a bucket full.

Now we have air conditioning, cell phones, internet,and a life style that while very modest by American standards is beyond the wildest dreams of most of the world's people.

It is interesting that the older folks understand in some fashion that they have perhaps lived at the peak of history and that things seem to be headed downhill with no solutions in sight.

Black Dog, I hear you. But, I've come to a different conclusion. Maybe I've copped out but for what it's worth, I've come to believe that there is only one fate that awaits us all and it isn't a nice one.

In my view, we have already entered a new "Dark Age." Science has been thoroughly discredited. The fact that know-nothings like James Inhofe and Sarah Palin have greater cred with a large portion of the population than eggheads like the IPCC or James Hansen (or you), pretty much says it all. The "anti" forces have won and all that remains to happen is for nothing to be done and time and the forces of physics will do their thing.

Any belief system is defined and constrained by a certain limited frame of reference. There are bounds beyond which all human belief systems fail. If some should survive the coming catastrophe -- and it WILL be a planetary catastrophe on the scale of the K-T extinction event -- perhaps it will be recognized that "democracy" was a bad idea -- a really naive concept born of a false assumption that all resources, human as well as natural, would increase infinitely. Funny to think that the European "discovery" of the New World -- confirming to newly-enlightened Europeans, God's beneficience and the superiority of "white" culture -- was the "beginning of the end" for the human chapter of earth history.

The likelihood that anything substantive will be done to counter human-induced climate change, is nil. In our heart of hearts, we all know that. That's why, every time I land a trout from my favorite local stream, I pause momentarily to hold the beautiful irridescent creature in my hands and contemplate its elegance before I release it back to its dark lie. Even if he is not the last of a dying breed, surely I am.

In my view, we have already entered a new "Dark Age." Science has been thoroughly discredited. The fact that know-nothings like James Inhofe and Sarah Palin have greater cred with a large portion of the population than eggheads like the IPCC or James Hansen (or you), pretty much says it all. The "anti" forces have won and all that remains to happen is for nothing to be done and time and the forces of physics will do their thing.

Religious opposition to science and intellectualism has a long history in the US. Mark Twain worried about the religious fundamentalists. So did Heinlein, in "If This Goes On--". Interesting in Heinlein's view, science and engineering didn't disappear, it was just carefully contained (Department of Applied Miracles). Palin and Co. seem to me to be selectively opposed to science: certain parts of biology and climatology are off limits, but 4D-imaging and CO2-flooding of oil reservoirs are just fine. There have been prior attempts to do this: the Renaissance era Catholic Church put certain parts of astronomy off limits, but was okay with weapons technology.

I don't think you can make that work over the long term. Certainly the best engineers and researchers I have known were not inclined to let illiterates or innumerates tell them what problems they could think about. Absent the best people, progress eventually seems to come to a halt.

Of course, if you're a Hanson or Kunstler believer, we don't have enough time to worry about it.

The thing is, Hansen doesn't have anything to do with what will be done in the name of addressing climate change. Basically, you have the "denialists" vs the Grifters and neither side has any intention of addressing climate change. The Grifters have a lot more money behind their arguments because they stand to make gigantic sums off all proposed schemes.

certain parts of biology and climatology are off limits, but 4D-imaging and CO2-flooding of oil reservoirs are just fine.

Okay. I give up. Isn't "4D imaging" another way of saying "3D Movie?" And, what makes it so great for oil exploration? I can understand 3D as being important to help determine size and volume of an oil field, but how does 4D add anything to that?

There must be something I need to learn here, so help me out.


A 3D image is a static 3D model of something. A 4D image is a movie. Either that or it is a static 3d image with another measurement superimposed - imagine a 3d map of your room but with everything coloured to show how hot it is. That would be X,Y,Z and temperature, for example.

A 4D image is a movie.

you are correct 4d is a series of 3d seismic images presented with a time progression, so the 4th diminsion is time, x y z and t.

To expand on elwood answer 4d is just multiple 3d's taken over different time intervals. Under the right circumstances what can see changes in the oil/NG concentrations in a reservoir as it is produced. Often hydrocarbons move through the rock quit differently then the classic engineering models would predict. Just think in terms of time lapse photography. Typically not enough "frames" to make a motion picture. More common a digital net variance map of certain parameters is generated by integrating the various "pictures".

Got it! Thanks. That makes sense... seeing the motion might help determine viscosity, projected recovery rates, need for fracs and heat levels.

Great site, here! I learn something practical every day.

Where 4D seismic really shines is in Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) projects in the oil sands. The geologists can watch the steam clouds form and spread through the formation in real time.

It allows them to minimize steam injection volumes and minimize oil production. Steam is worth a lot of money, and so is oil.

They've managed to get a million barrels of oil out of one SAGD injector/producer well pair using these techniques, and when your producing formation is the size of Florida and will take hundreds of thousands of wells to develop, this begins to amount to a lot of oil.

I cannot believe you took all that space to say, "I trust Karl, so it must be true."

That is surprising - in a bad way. How utterly illogical.

Why don't you do something like, oh, go see what real scientists have to say. There are excellent responses, by scientists, all over the web. RealClimate is an excellent source on this topic.

I read Karl's screed and found it illogical and, frankly, nothing but a rant. The worst of the e-mails is nothing more than complaining about an FOI request. Egads! All science is debunked.

You can do far better than this, fmac. Far better. I am stunned you would listen to an exceptionally biased person with no climate training here!! Perhaps I should go to the vet for my next operation, eh?


I grog your frustration-I'm just trying to play the part of a realist in terms of people's group behavior and human nature.

I believe if you will read over all my commentary you will soften your opinion-I have not claimed that anybody falsified data -if indeed it happened-but there does seem to be a possibility that perhaps the researchers perhaps engaged in a little reverse cherry picking by discarding data and or papers with which they disagreed.

I find it rather amusing that the people who are the most ardent believers in global warming and climate change so often react to any dissent-even the mildest sort -with the same rage that a fundamentalist preacher attacks evolution.

ALL I am trying to get across is that people are people -including scientists-and expecting them to behave as if they were the Vestal Virgins, all the time, is a little too much to ask.

ALL I am trying to get across is that people are people -including scientists-and expecting them to behave as if they were the Vestal Virgins, all the time, is a little too much to ask.

That is actually what I find most interesting about this whole thing. People seem so surprised to find that scientists are actually human. Including many scientists.

Me, I think science would be a lot more accessible and interesting to the public if the human side of it were more widely acknowledged. Good and bad. (One of my favorite cartoons is that S. Harris one with three cages, each holding a mouse. They are labeled "control," "experiment," and "pet.")

Scientists are Vestal Virgins when compared to politicians, yet we consistently let the lies politicians tell us go by without consequences. The world would be a much better place if politicians had even half the integrity of scientists. I wonder if all the sites that published the emails would consider publishing them along side a history of Senator Inhofe's lies?

Those who live in glass houses...


There is no doubt that scientists as a group are more honest than just about any other group of professionals. The peer review system pretty much gaurantees that.

Everybody knows that there are a some crooked cops,some sleazy accountants, a few pervert teachers, more than a few hypocrite preachers,lots of scumbag investment bankers, etc.

But we accept these shortcomings and still support our cops, teachers,and accountants, although I do detect a certian amount of ambivalence as to the social utility of preachers and bankers on the part of the regulars here.;)

A good little speech along these lines by somebody with scientific credentials and well known to the general public might be the best way to defuse this situation and get it off the front pages.

but there does seem to be a possibility that perhaps the researchers perhaps engaged in a little reverse cherry picking by discarding data and or papers with which they disagreed.

Not if you go read what the scientists have to say about it. That is why I directed you to what scientists have had to say about it. At RealClimate there are two threads comprising over 1,700 comments on this topic! Nothing left not dealt with.

What you actually achieve with commenting on something you actually have not bothered to research is to add weight to a shovel full of bull poop. You give ammunition and support, even if unintentionally, to the denialists because they see they got to you. They got you to doubt the scientists. Other people have nor read your doubt. Some will be affected by reading enough such claptrap. How does that help anything?

I seriously doubt you would be so careless when discussing energy or food production, so why be careless here? The info is there for you to read, so supposition is completely out of place. Or do you not understand that the stated goal of the deniers is nothing more than spreading doubt and confusion? They don't seek to prove anything, just sow doubt.

You've made yourself a patsy of these immoral people.

Go read RC and see what is really up, then post back here if you honestly still have doubt.



You do have a case.I could be entirely wrong.On the other hand kids and adults caught with thier hand in the cookie jar usually deny it.

Hansen (?) wieghed in with a short comment to the effect that some of the people involved showed "bad judgement".Make what you will of that.

I have not set out to prove the case either way but rather to comment on the human elements of it.

The true believers who deny the evidence will of course use the emails as propaganda in any case.

Some of the dumber of the joe sixpack set will of course see them as smoking guns.
People who are able to think for themselves will understand the point I am making-that we should expect a certain amount of malfeasance in all human endeavour that involves large numbers of people over an extended period of time.

The problem is that you are saying nothing more than, "Yeah, good chance they did something bad." But if you go read the explanations, you find much ado about nothing.

Besides, the point is that the denialists are not saying, "Gee, look, there's a little bit of unethical behavior that has puts these fellows in a bad light," they are saying, "Gee, look, there's a little bit of unethical behavior that proves over 100 years of good science is a fraud!!"

You obviously are comfortable adding to that via supposition. I find this distasteful given the importance of the issue.

My previous points stand.


I personally want to see the email correspondence among leading energy producers, API, and their hitmen climate economists. I somehow suspect they are more carefully shielded from hacks.

Shouldn't we investigate allegations that Inhofe is a card carrying member of C-Street?

"God’s still up there. We’re [just] going through these cycles"

Don't get worked up over this email thing - it was inevitable that more severe tactics would eventually be employed by those who don't want to see climate change addressed in any way (for whatever reason). The specifics don't matter. People will be denying climate change and the human causes of it even when it is clearly killing them.

Climate change and ecosystem destruction are consequences of our massive 7 billion population, which is in turn a consequence of discovering and using fossil fuels. People will not voluntarily do anything useful about these issues. Peak oil is one of the only forces that can make a difference by setting in motion events that drive down the amount of FF energy we use as well as population. Peak oil will be a catastrophe for us as individuals, but it is vitally necessary for the future of our species (as well as others). In that context, none of these games matter

I agree that this isn't worth worrying about. These aren't the only people working on climate change, and the evidence will mount. But humans are unlikely to take significant voluntary action. Peak oil is another story - involuntary action will be needed.

Sometimes I think that the only thing worse than peak oil would be its absence.

Sometimes I think that the only thing worse than peak oil would be its absence.

Exactly!! yay for p.o., stop this run away train the longer it goes on the more damage is done, no county dares cuz there all in competition with each other. its dumb we're dumb, if one species had half a chance at self regulation its us. we can see it coming but we cant stop it.the higher brain is screaming but the lower brain is at the controls and not listening.
It all started with the tree of knowledge and now culminating in unmitigated disaster .But hey who could refuse the temptation of taking control of one own fate.
what do you suppose was the first piece of knowledge that really got the ball rolling?
language i guess and writing let we started to accumulate knowledge, now it moves at light speed all around the globe.
and all i want is a small tribe and a clean river.
we are ridiculous.

Perhaps a useful parallel to developing a consensus acceptance of climate change as scientific fact is the somewhat tortuous road we took to finally accepting that smoking cigarettes was not altogether a good thing for public health. At first there was massive denial, mostly funded by vested interests. The science was repeatedly challenged and flat out disbelieved when presented. I remember a friend's father saying he wasn't going to give up smoking since his brother got lung cancer without ever smoking, proving that all the science was hooey. (Even as a child, this logic seemed puzzling to me.) The fact that doctors themselves often smoked was presented as evidence that the whole business was a delusion of overactive do-gooders imaginations.

Eventually, people grew to accept that there was some type of correlation between smoking cigarettes and negative health consequences. It took even longer to accept that secondhand smoke also posed problems. Some people refused to change their behavior regardless of any evidence presented. Laws were passed, many disbelievers (smokers) died, consensus developed. The problem is, with climate change we don't have another thirty years to wait for consensus to build before we do anything.

It is a different situation entirely-you have advocates making or in the process of making gigantic sums of money off cap and trade or other proposed climate change measures, while no actual measures to decreased global CO2 have even been tabled. In your example, it would be like a group making gigantic sums of money off smoking restrictions and promoting the dangers of smoking, while not actually doing anything constructive to lessen smoking at all, in fact using arguments to promote smoking in China as a necessary evil.

IMHO this climate change topic is nothing like oil depletion-it appears that there isn't anyone on either side of the issue willing to speak truthfully and openly-everyone only presents one side of the argument as if it is holy.

Agreed. I think the science is convincing (ie. I am not a denier, don't spend an hour ranting at me), but the loud mouths in the environmentalist movement are entirely untrustworthy, and the cap-and-trade crowd are too obviously interested in making money off it rather than actually reducing carbon use.

Any cause that attracts illiterate protesters in mass rent-a-mobs is automatically suspect. They were anti-business long before they found out about AGW, and most of them probably couldn't spell science, let alone engage in it.

And most of the censorship is on the pro-AGW side, if you haven't noticed. Try getting research money or even keeping a university position as someone investigating non-AGW causes of warming.

most of the censorship is on the pro-AGW side

Examples, please.

What, pray tell, would they be investigating? You act as if once we found the sun is the center of the galaxy, we should have kept spending money on disproving it.

Where in the name of all that is holy and unholy have people's brains gone?

Everybody is an idiot-every scientist disputing mainstream knowledge, every person skeptical of Grifter trading scams thinly disguised as planet saving measures-you are the only smart one.

I address the sui-genocidal crap you toss out. Give me the same courtesy; address the content, don't just rant. If you've the cajones.

Have you seen me disagree with you about cap and trade? No. You've seen me address your call for inaction, i.e. global suicide. It is a tack taken by denialists. I trust nobody who spouts such crap. The evidence of collusion and intentional distortion is too well established. If you're going to allow yourself to look and act like a duck, don't be surprised if you're called a duck.

I object to you calling all people involved in this a grifter and lumping denialists and AGW activists together. I'm tired of the crap about Gore getting rich when he's stated clearly all profits from his green enterprises will *not* go to himself.

FYI, I support Hansen's tax idea which flows the money back into the lower income levels. (Though this brings up issues of increased consumption, which needs addressing.)


Everybody is an idiot-every scientist disputing mainstream knowledge

And, dude, please don't say stupid crap like this. The only scientists I slam like this are the anti-AGW scientists. Am I supposed to pay homage to lies? They are paid to lie. This is established.

Hyperbole is fine when it serves some purpose, but this is just foolish ranting.

I think you are comparing apples to oranges. The people who advocate a cap-and-trade system are not the scientists who are investigating the problem. The thread started with the e-mail problem, which is related to the accuracy of the scientific projections and the analysis of the temperature history of the past few thousand years. From a scientific point of view, a rationing system would likely provide more real reductions in CO2 emissions and would be harder to "game" than the cap-and-trade approach. But, the politicians have taken over, some promising to "solve" the problem while others claiming there isn't anything to worry about. The science is quickly lost in any debate down at the political level, IMHO.

E. Swanson

It just depends to what degree one wants to extend the comparison, which has plenty of good points to it.

Cigarettes were quickly a political issue, too, considering how much money was at stake for the Tobacco states.

The similarity, in my mind, is a debate that challenges people to break out of addictions and ingrained habits (or simply a familiar and comfortable lifestyle, if you will), and make changes based on some clear and growing evidence. (Some) People fight those changes tooth and nail, and it seems to be an opposition that is more about resisting change than it is about science or proof.

Black: Hard to say. IF the data was tampered with (IF) there would be a reason, and the only plausible reason would be money, which would mean whoever was paying for it stood to make a lot more from the falsified data. Scientists don't arbitrarily falsify data for kicks.

And if cows could fly you could use one to plow your field and commute to work.


Like you say, it would be absolutely impossible, not improbable-IMPOSSIBLE for data to be tampered with because everybody knows that everything EVIL is opposing Cap and Trade-it is the planet's only salvation-pass the Koolaid.

Another logical fallacy passed off as "truth." From the same people who practically live by the Heisenberg Principle when it comes to everything else, but convieniently go into religious mode when it suits them. I see them as fanatics out to destroy the reputation of climate science so GS and some academics can realize their goals of ruling the Earth. Al Gore useful as he is will buy carbon credits at a discount live in a mega mansion, jet over top the slums to attend a convention of well fed six figured tenured experts who will wildly applaud this "visionary" and leader of the new church. But as one wag upthread put it we must conclude since the science of tobacco smoke has been proven then so must the infinetly larger proposition of AGW be proved, pure faith.

Hardly !!

We need less than a 30% probability (actual >>95%) that GW is happening (whether it is all or partially A or not matters not) to take MASSIVE changes to our economy and our way of life.

Just as in 1935 there was already "good enough" evidence to make it unwise to start smoking and wise to stop, so there was "good enough" evidence to make massive efforts to slow AGW twenty years ago, in 1990.

If people had stopped smoking in 1935, over 100 million Americans would have lived longer and healthier lives. Waiting for complete scientific certainty on smoking cost more lives, just in the USA, than WW II cost around the world !

The cost of doing something significant is trivial (I would be reasonably satisfied with a sum = to our defense budget) compared to the cost of doing nothing. So if $1 will save you $10,000 if an uncertain risk comes to pass, spending that $1 (our defense budget) to prevent losing everything (billions dead, possibly our democracy or even our civilization) is quite cheap.

Best Hopes for not being the cigarette smoker that dies of lung cancer waiting for certianity,


The USA military is a huge user of oil-Obama has increased the military spending greatly-the tobacco analogies are not useful-there is no intention to address rising CO2 levels at all. IMO this whole situation is similar to the USA fiscal problems-lots of talk about addressing it for the last 20 years-just talk, just like C02 levels.

Sir its scale of interpetive evidence present. Open the lungs of a deceased chain smoker and one finds the damage, interpret the evidence of a cold year here, a hot year there massage the data and voila AGW, send money to GS, tenure some six figure gurus and impoverish the rest, no thanks. Dr. Gray was right and I would put it a different way the AGW folks are like stock market chart worshippers, hucksters out for a buck. Plenty of hard evidence to want to protect the enviroment, one would only have to fly into LA during the peak of an inversion to see that measures need to be taken, but not something so obviously the creation of human ambition and greed. AGW worship is not the marker of moral superiority, no more the wearing of a crucifix or any other religous symbol.

interpret the evidence of a cold year here, a hot year there massage the data and voila AGW,

This is propaganda. What you have written above does not reflect in any way the process of science. This is libelous.

The only evidence of manufactured science is on your side. First, go read the truth.




Then go learn how your opinion is manufactured for you:



Here's some more:


Global Warming Denial Machine

...Union of Concerned Scientists Exposes ExxonMobil Funded Organizations & Spokespeople:
The Union of Concerned Scientists, in their expose titled: Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air - How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco's Tactics to Manufacture Uncertainty on Climate Science (2007) show how ExxonMobil waged the most successful and sophisticated global warming denial campaign since that of Big Tobacco's campaign against the dangers of smoking. In their 64 page document, they show that ExxonMobil:

1. Manufactured uncertainty about climate change by raising doubts about even the most certain science.
2. Used a tactic known as information laundering by using seemingly independent front groups that pretended to be doing science but were instead just waging public relations for the company. Virtually all of these front groups publicize the work of the same people and these people typically serve as board members or scientific advisors for each of these groups. This tactic creates the illusion that there are many organizations and many people with doubts about global warming.
3. Funneled about $16 million to these front groups to manufacture this uncertainty.
4. Paid guilt-less scientists to cherry-pick data and misrepresent peer-reviewed scientific evidence whereby these scientists then used this misinformstion to persuade the general public and the media that there was still no scientific consensus.
5. Shifted the focus away from global warming action by questioning if the data was "sound science".
6. Used its extraordinary access to the Bush Administration to block regulation and to shape governmental communications about global warming.

This study quantitatively analyses 141 English-language environmentally sceptical books published between 1972 and 2005. We find that over 92 per cent of these books, most published in the US since 1992, are linked to conservative think tanks (CTTs). Further, we analyse CTTs involved with environmental issues and find that 90 per cent of them espouse environmental scepticism.

And still more:



All this proven scamming and lying by the anti-AGW pieces of poo, but














Go figure.

so GS and some academics can realize their goals of ruling the Earth

Where did you get that crazy idea ?


Where does Al Gore's name appear on the email archive?

I've obviously hit a nerve. Good. Perhaps you'll start thinking about what you post. Anger is one of the early stages of realization.

FYI, my response was pointing at the fact that what you were supposing has already been shown to be bull, but you apparently can't be bothered to go find that out. There is no proof, or even evidence of any data tampering.

Go read the threads at RealClimate to see why your statements are nothing more than passing on propaganda when you could have simply done some reading on the issue before posting.


You can plow with a cow and if you don't mind traveling at her walking speed you can use her as a commuter vehicle too.But I would rather walk than hook up the ox cart. ;)

Don't understand.

Myself I would rather hitch up the mules to the wagon and once more take a leisurely ride into town. Even though its 5 miles away.

In fact I raised a lot of horses and found much solace and enjoyment in a leisurely trail ride or ride to a neighbor.

Rather I get in the Jeep GC and speed over to the mall about 40 miles away. Near traffic accidents along the way. Much cussing and ranting on both sides of the wheel about life and strife in general.

All just to buy more worthless junk and later discard it.

Life in the fast lane. Got us here IMO.

I'll take the saddle anyday.

Airdale-yes I have a motorcycle and 4 other vehicles and not one horse but thats still where my heart is and my yearning as well

A saddle horse with a smooth gait is one thing.We have never had a saddle horse but I have been treated to a few rides.

An unsprung two wheel is something else altogether.We don't have one but I have had a ride on one.

Walking is definitely more pleasant unless the road is dead smooth.

The people who advocate a cap-and-trade system are not the scientists who are investigating the problem.

Add to that the Big Bad Bogey Man of them all, James Hansen, is **against** cap and trade. So, he's in on the part of the giant fraud that is the science of global warming, but as the leader of that pack, he refuses to go along with the part that is supposed to make him rich?

But one should never let logic stand in the way of good propaganda.

A cap and trade system has worked before in helping with lowering power plant emissions other than CO2.

But I strongly suspect that in the case of CO2 a straight up tax would work much better as it is not so easily manipulated for gain and commercial advantage.It would certainly mean that we would have ONE LESS PAPER SHUFFLING INDUSTRY to support.The bean counters who do tax work are already in place.

Furthermore taxes can be raised and lowered thereby fine tuning the system far more easily than permits and trades and caps can be modified once put into effect.

We should remember that the anti tobacco activists hads big tobacco on the ropes and probably could have finished off the industry but at the last minute the industry lawyers snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat and negotiated a settlement that VIRTUALLY GAURANTEES the existence of the industry AND big profits for the next few decades at least.

Furthermore this settlement locks in the overwhelming competitive-bad choice of word, near total monopoly -advantage held by the big players,of which there are less than a dozen , with the top two or three holding nearly all the marbles.

A tax might allow heavy indusrty a little less flexibility than a cap and trade but straight up higher energy taxes would allow the public more flexibility.

I would be in favor of the taxes thus collected being dedicated strictly to energy conservation measures as this seems to be the place where we will get the most bang for the buck for several more years at least.

Hmmm... let me see ...

On the one hand we have some scientists, a group notorious for their cunning and deceitfulness.

On the other hand, accusing the scientists of a conspiracy, we have politicians and political lobbyists: people who are proverbial for their unswerving alliegiance to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, even when it hurts them professionally.

Hmmm... whom to believe?

PS. Wait, did I get the descriptions mixed up? Never mind.


Are these people so drunk on power after 8 years that they will do absolutely anything to try and demolish the current administration?
Destroying the biosphere? Collateral Damage...

No wonder we are confronted with PO, run-away climate change, & doom and gloom... the ultimate answer has been found:


The Earth no longer needs us. There's nothing left for our human brains to do, our usefulness has been out-lived.





OMG!!! that was good.

My son is going to love this.

Don't forget to read the disclaimer!

I didn't see the disclaimer but then again I didn't need to.

"We intended no harm."

Famous last words! Now there won't be enough Pi for Thanksgiving!
Still, with 1.3 trillion places in it the distinction between it being finite and infinite is pretty fine..

Remember the April Fool's hoax about Alabama redefining pi to equal 3.0, in line with the Bible?

That was a joke, but Indiana actually did try to pass such a law in the 1800s.

The original purpose of the bill was to accept the validity of certain (incorrect) mathematical proofs done by an amateur mathematician, who offered to let the State of Indiana use the results in their textbooks for free if the proofs were defined to be correct as a matter of law, while other states would be charged royalties. Among other things, the bill established "the ratio of the diameter and circumference [of a circle] is as five-fourths to four", which makes pi 3.2. In the House it was referred to the Committee on Canals, then to the Committee on Education, then to the floor, where it passed unanimously. In the Senate, it was passed out by the Committee on Temperance. Several Senators had been prepared by a Purdue professor, and the bill was eventually declared to be not a fit subject for legislation and a motion to postpone indefinitely passed.

The complete (short) text of the bill is here.

I remember seeing (22 / 7) for Pi quite a bit in grade school.

"The history of energy is littered with prognosticators who said we were running out of energy, and for hundreds of years they've all been proved wrong."

Not true. The moment you start pumping oil you are depleting it, iow running out. We are now running out of easy energy

It's another variation on the FIM--Fantasy Island Model. Fantasy Island is a place where discrete oil wells peak and decline, but the field production--the sum of the output of discrete depleting oil wells, increases forever.

Speaking of Fantasy, I saw a documentary last night on Belgian Public tv about methamphetamine in Fresco (or Fresno?). No PO or CC needed for collapse there! I was quite shocked. Is this very widespread in the US?

I think many in the US are on something... this morning I heard that the big break in the US IRS vs. UBS case came when UBS bank managers in the US openly bragged about hiding their clients' money to avoid taxes.

Or how about the gang that posted their criminal acts on U-Tube... then put their names in the credits at the end...?

Crystal meth is a widespread plague. It's very nasty stuff.

I've been awake for 9 straight days and I haven't seen it.

Everyone is exaggerating-anyway that is what the talking rabbit told me.

Methamphetamine is a problem everywhere to some extent but there are places where it's a way of life, many of them in the US and most of those in the "Southwest" which is the Southwestern quarter of the US except for the affluent California coast. Fresco, or as it's also known, Fresno, or "I DON'T CARE WHAT THE NAME OF THIS PLACE IS, GET THESE BUGS OFF OF ME!!!!!!! Heyyyyy are you a FED?" is one of those places.

As for me, I spend hours with talking rabbits last night, of course that was watching Watership Down.

(My boring blog: http://alexlcarter.wordpress.com yawn is it beddy time yet?)

Drugs are a problem, and have been for decades. But I don't think they are a civilization ending problem. The net harm from illegal drugs, is probably less than or equal to that from the lagel ones (Tobacco, alchohol, and caffiene). Fresno is probably a hot spot, the southern central valley economy is in severe difficulties. I think they have come near the end of aquifer mining, and agriculture has to be cut back, leading to massive unemployment.

they have come near the end of aquifer mining, and agriculture has to be cut back

As shown clearly in this Terra satellite image:

Graph of the Day: Vegetation Decline Due To Drought in California's Central Valley

Note that much of the vegetation decline appears in squares -- abandoned agricultural fields.

I now live in Gilroy, California, about 20 miles north of Salinas. Yes there area lot of empty fields here. Some of this is "industries" that have collapsed along with the economy like flowers. Broke homeless people don't buy flowers, they steal 'em from cemeteries like the rich do! Another collapse is in high-end foods like endives and such. Another is in foods favored by immigrants from nations South of us, with 'em heading back home, we just don't need as much in the way of peppers and cilantro as we did. I personally can eat a LOT of peppers and cilantro, but I just can't make up for this. Lastly, we have home gardening, which is a HUGE thing now. People all over the place are growing their own peppers and cilantro and tomatoes and flowers, and even endives if they can figure out what they are.

(Take my blog with a bit of cilantro: http://alexlcarter.wordpress.com )

Thanks for the ground truth, Alex. Great blog!

Somehow that comment reminds me of this video - something Disney did back in 58 where they predicted things like flying cars, atomic TBM, cargo rockets, and even more. And don't forget that that nasty old physical activity is no longer required, yet in the video nobody seems to be fat. The bikingtoronto people gave it the funny title - the original from Disney was called "Magic Highway USA".

The war against Physical Activity

I guess it was originally intended to be prophetic, but to my eyes it is pure comedy.

Fantasy Island is a place where [all] discrete[s] decline, but the sum of the [whole} increases forever.

But, but ... you failed to account for:

Hu, the "Human element"

and for

Yankee Ingenuity

and for

Market Forces

and for ...

(Super Yergin)

Excellent point Paulus. I've debated the terminolgy that PO proponents use which leads to almost universal rejection of PO by Joe6Pack. Any discussion of PO that uses "running out" in any form is absolutely inappropriate IMHO. The folks at TOD understand the point being made. But I'm not talking about us. It's more then a semantic issue to me. Tell J6P we're running out of oil/gasoline and then passes a gas stiation with relaively cheap fuel and no lines and he instantly understands that those PO are lying.

Oh boy, Peak Oil and Climate change. Both here and now, both real and both collectively denied. I'll be finishing work in 20 minutes and I'm gonna get me a stiff drink.

"Any discussion of PO that uses "running out" in any form is absolutely inappropriate IMHO"
I agree Rman.
It is good practice when responding to articles or leaving comments to blogs, to not even mention peak oil, rather choosing phrases like "production decline/demand destruction" etc. I like the language of ELM too with phrases like "internal demand increases".
At least this way the conversation goes more than 2 minutes before they say Bakken Shale or ANWAR.

That's why I am not sure how much it matters what the messaging is. There are far too many people with their own motives floating about, and they try and hijack any discussion with all of these diversions. Couple this with lots of people who will grab a hold of the message that sounds like the one that they like the most, and won't let go of it.

It really won't be until there are physical shortages or the price begins a permanent climb that people will start to come around. But even then they will look for scapegoats rather than admit they were wrong. All of the usual suspects will be blamed - OPEC, oil companies, environmentalists, liberals, Hugo Chavez, China, and probably many others.

How do you prove anything any more? Proving peak oil amounts to proving a negative which essentially amounts to disproving a whole plethora of alternatives. Most people no longer have the attention span to follow arguments that are this nuanced. Instead people have become conditioned to believe that if they can shout down their opponents that they have won the argument.

I do have conversations, but generally not debates or arguments about PO.

I'm trying to put my energy into devising contingencies, at a personal, community and sometimes larger scales. A few thousand BB's waiting in the wings (or working on the sidelines, anyhow..) may not help everyone, but they ought to help some of us..

Searching for something completely unrelated to to Peak Oil led me to this song, You Don't Miss Your Water by a Memphis R&B singer/songwriter William Bell. It just struck me while listening to it that human beings very often don't miss things until they are completely gone. The reason most of us don't run out of gas more often is that motor vehicles come with a gas gauge and come to think of it, some people still manage to run out even with a working gas gauge.

The planet doesn't have a gas gauge, just a bunch of different "experts" telling us how much they think is left in the tank.

Alan from the islands

Whacha gonna do when th well goes dry , honey?

Whacha gonna do when th well goes dry babe?

Gonna sit in th creek and cry , cry , cry , honey baby mine.

I don't think most of them will believe it even when the cheap fuel is gone and the lines are there. They'll find someone to blame, though.

Leanan, 3rd blockquote above (Shell's debt) has no link

On the one hand, yesterday's news was full of good news on the U.S. housing market... (suggested much optimism).

On the other hand, last week I read multiple articles on the (?coming?) mess in U.S. commercial properties market (bad news), and yesterday heard a radio discussion on the (very confusing) U.S. credit card mess (also bad news... I think).

1 year ago, gold was at about $920. Today it is $1,170? Somewhere near that figure. About $250 up, about 27%. That would be the real inflation rate today of the dollar, as against something real.

Of course, we don't notice because the spin is that there is no inflation. Just like there is plenty of oil, no AGW, and Santa Claus is coming to town!

The thing many miss is USA wages are not going to increase simply because the US dollar plummets-the vast majority of US workers will have to eat it. Those that feel that inflation will bail out US homeowners miss this fact.

In a local newspaper article yesterday about foresters replanting redwood trees (in Northern California) there was a one sentence comment that there was less need for replanting because housing starts in the 12 western states was lower than any year since 1945. Did they build any houses in the 12 western states in 1945?

The official surrender of Japanese forces was in August of 1945.

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending November 20, 2009

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 14.0 million barrels per day during the week ending November 20, 177 thousand barrels per day above the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 80.3 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production increased last week, averaging 9.2 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging 4.0 million barrels per day.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged 9.0 million barrels per day last week, up 371 thousand barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged 8.6 million barrels per day, 1.4 million barrels per day below the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 928 thousand barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 234 thousand barrels per day last week.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 1.0 million barrels from the previous week. At 337.8 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.0 million barrels last week, and are slightly above the upper limit of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and blending components inventories increased last week. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 0.5 million barrels, and are above the upper boundary of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories decreased by 1.9 million barrels last week and are in the lower half of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased by 0.9 million barrels last week, and are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

With the farmers using extra propane, looks like the decline is steeper than average. Ag consumes 7% of the USA propane (2002).

Propane info (pricing, supply, demand, options-futures opportunities, in depth reporting etc., sought


Thank you for the mention of propane...do you have other links, research sites, market sites, etc. concerning propane?

I have been asking here on TOD for anyone doing research into how propane is traded, marketed, etc. other than the industry propane sites (which are really nothing more than sales sites) and found in depth information very hard to find concerning propane.

With the new "dash to gas" (natural gas) gaining widespread media coverage, propane prices and markets MUST be impacted, but investment opportunities and market data (supply-consumption-pricing-option trading, etc) seem to be available to a "closed club" of investors.

Has anyone done a study of the amount of cash that has been freed up in the U.S. economy by the collapse of natural gas/propane prices? This would be of economic impact to both corporate and individual buyers.

Thank you for any information you may have.


This is WOT...but today is our 49th wedding anniversary. It seems like only yesterday that we were out on the quad and I was trying to explain valences to her for her physical sciences class (she was a language major and I was a chem major).

Damn, time does fly.


You are one lucky guy.

49 years is impressive, my hat is off

Congratulations! You sure picked a nice day for it!


I am on my 48 year of marriage to the same female.

Lost most everything I had to lawyers and auctions for property settlements.

Lost most all but still have the wife!!!!

Guess I really am a child of the 50/60s.


Hi Buddy,

Yea, you've had some tough times. We've had some too but were able to finally get things worked out so we didn't split but came darn close. I know there were times when we each wondered whether it was worth the effort. We made it and I'm sorry you and your wife couldn't pull it together like we did.


Mere beginners. My folks got hitched in 46. 63 years and counting.

At least they tell me they got hitched ... I haven't seen the certificate and they couldn't afford photographs. Married in in flaming June, in the torrential hail shower.

Hi Todd,


Wishing you both many happy years ahead.

http://www.tbrnews.org/Archives/a2996.htm has a picture and discussion if you want to spend time worrying about something you can't change: US vs China over Iranian oil

Fascinating Gallup numbers-the USA is not the same country (politically) it was a year ago http://www.gallup.com/poll/124484/Obama-Approval-Slide-Finds-Whites-Down...

Not too surprising since he has turned out to be Bush III. That's why I voted for Nader.


Some of the numbers are very impressive-91% approval among blacks, 73% among non-whites-the big money has got to conclude that the white male puppet is finished at this point in the USA-there is no way anyone could have pulled off these numbers after the year the USA has had.

He and Pelosi have certainly proven that the democrats love the big guys just as ardently as the republicans in my humble opinion.

Perhaps the bailing out of the big boys was/is necessary.I don't really know and I don't think any one else really knows either-the cure may turn out to be worse than the disease.

I do think that the democrats lost an opportunity to cement thier grip on the congress and the White House for many years.If they had let the fat cats go bankrupt and put a stop to the investment banking industry ( along with it's obscene bonuses ) as such by reinstating a strengthened Glass Steagell or pursued some similar policy the electorate would be eating out of thier hand for the next twenty years.

For a long time the liberal faction of the electorate could be easily embarrassed by someone on the right simply sneering the word "liberal".

Nowadays the pendulum has swung to a long ways to the other side and a liberal can often embarrass and marginalize the opposition merely by sneering the word "conservative ".

Both groups have been maligned unfairly in many respects and the country is much the worse for it.

The way things are going we are fast losing sight of our common ground and we may wind up balkanized in the end.

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.


"Abortions for all!"

It was the only sane thing to do, if you voted at all (I was steelhead fishing, and skipped the whole game, as the only thing that wasn't decided was prop 8).
I voted for Nader in the previous two elections.
When Obama appointed Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff (his first appointment), one knew this was a hopeless situation. It got worse from there.

t boone pickens:

"The Potential Gas Committee released a report indicating the U.S. has as much as 2 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, or a century's worth at the present consumption rate. "


If you get the price up high enough (and get it to stay there), you can get out most anything in close to infinite quantity--extract gold from sea water, for example. But people's salaries don't go up, and you need money for food, and to pay mortgages, and for transportation costs--so high prices on things people deem essential tend to push the economy into recession.

There is a possibility there is quite a lot of natural gas is available for extraction, but there is at least as good a possibility that the needed price for extraction is too high for society to afford. The shut down of a lot of natural gas drilling rigs last year pointed to the need for higher prices. The question is how much higher.

Gail, you wrote:

If you get the price up high enough (and get it to stay there), you can get out most anything in close to infinite quantity--extract gold from sea water, for example...

I think your comment demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of our problems. It's not "price", but available energy that limits what can be extracted from the Earth. Sure, with enough energy, the water in the oceans could be "mined" for it's trace minerals. But, where's that energy to come from? That is our ultimate problem, not the accounting we call "economics". The pieces of paper we call "dollars" can be printed as long as there is paper (or computers to store the numbers), but the energy supply is not unlimited. In any case, dollar prices are relative. That is, the price of some commodity in the market is relative to the income/earnings of those who want to buy the commodity.

What I think you are driving at is that if no one has a job and the price of gold hits a million paper dollars per ounce, it's likely that almost no one would be buying gold, so the supply would be "infinite" in the market sense, even though the supply offered to the market might be only a few ounces. As it is, almost all the gold. ever mined is still here on Earth, minus the small amount which was lofted beyond Earth's gravitational field...

E. Swanson

It's price, too. It's not either/or.

Well, if that's the only metric one sees. But, how much of the cost (and thus the price) is the result of the cost of the energy used to extract (i.e., concentrate) the gold from the ore (or from the ocean)? Would the price of gold double as the cost of the energy used to product it doubled? Isn't it a fact that the gold simply represents a store of energy, in a sense? If so, the problem is that it is not possible to recover any useful energy from the gold, accept when it is traded for some other primary energy source. That works only as long as the traders place some value on the gold to allow the trade to go forward. Doesn't that make gold rather like paper dollars, in that it's value is a variable and subject the whims of market forces?

Why not use aluminum instead, a metal which is widely dispersed, but difficult to separate in energy terms from it's natural chemical forms. Aluminum can be used in a battery and energy recovered by some chemical reaction. Thus, the energy "stored" during aluminum refining could be returned to the user, thus aluminum could well be a "store" of real value, i.e., useful energy. There are other metals which might also fill this role, but gold isn't one of them. Gold just sits there looking shiny. Besides, lead is a whole lot cheaper than gold and history shows repeated instances where lead is "exchanged" for gold...

E. Swanson

Don't be so harsh elwood...it's the holidays. But I would agree with your sentiment. In then oil patch it's assumed when one says "reserves" you are talking about a volume recoverable at current market conditions. As Gail points out the pricing will determine recoverability. Boone is from the oil patch and he knows the implication of those words. Thus he also knows just how disengenuous his statement really is IMHO.

Kurdish oil gushing, Gulf Keystone says...

Thought that would be good news... turns out to be a possible 30K/bpd 'gusher.' Or did I misread?

Not a big deal. When we need 3MB/d

gulf keystone's website:


according to their consultants, keystone has discovered an estimated 2.79 gb oil in place in the jurassic and triassic. the jurassic looks like it covers roughly 3 x 20 km. with 167 m net pay in a 729 m gross oil column. oil gravity in the jurassic is 17 - 22 deg api.

further, according to their consultants they have encountered an additional 33 m net of 270 m gross oil column in the triassic with a smaller areal extent. the triassic contains 43 deg api oil.

for whatever it is worth, their consultants appear to be legitimate. ex texaco, gulf, chevron and conoco geophysists, geologists and engineers.


according to their consultants, keystone has discovered an estimated 2.79 gb oil in place...

Wealth Daily estimates 881 Gb recoverable. 2.79 in place means about, what, 1.2 or so Gb recoverable, or about 0.1362%. In place will last about 29.5 years, so that adds 17 and 1/2 DAYS to our oil supply. Great. Even if they could recover every single drop, that would be about 6 weeks. Good going. That makes all the difference. 29.6 years vs. 29.5. My grandkids will be so happy.

Actually, I believe that current estimates include projected new finds, like this, don't they? Leanan, you should know the answer to that. What is used in the estmiates made by Wealth Daily in their Peak Oil Clock? For those who don't have access, here is the address:


Just a little anecdote from my island outpost.

I visited my local branch of a world wide courier service to send a check to a supplier of mine yesterday. The place is usually busy with all kinds of people sending all sorts of stuff mainly to the US. Yesterday, only one customer and three counter agents one of whom I know. The person ahead of me was sending a little package of gold jewelry to take advantage of cash for gold deals in the US. Apparently the spread between what is being paid locally and in the US makes sending by courier very worthwhile. The girl I know told me that she noticed that "a lot of" people were doing this. I had to explain to her that the stimulus bills in the US were being funded by printing money and that the smart money was probably going for gold. Greyzone reported in this reply in Ace's recent key post "World Oil Production Forecast - Update November 2009", without stating any sources, that even some countries were buying significant quantities of gold.

Could it be that the Fed chairman and the Secretary of the Treasury are going to have to start spending more time and effort on preventing the greenback from going into the toilet? The atmosphere was surreal in that couriers office yesterday. Kinda like the Twilight Zone.

Alan from the islands

You might find this article from Jim Willie interesting http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/willie/2009/1124.html

Even when the federal government raises taxes, I doubt that it will bring in much new money.

I suppose they could drastically curtail spending. (Time for everyone to laugh now)

So, if new revenue (in material amounts) is unlikely, and if huge spending cuts are unlikely, we keep borrowing until our creditors come to their senses, leaving us with the Federal Reserve to "fund" the deficits. My theory is that constrained oil exports are acting as an accelerant in this whole process, pushing us faster along the path to more and more Fed monetization.

The dollar index broke down today:


Support at 75 failed and it looks to me that the index wants to test support at 72 again. That might be a double bottom, but with gold making almost daily new highs I have my doubts.

Crude is still basing with resistance at about $80 and the charts looking very bullish IMO. If it breaks down it will be doing so against the background of a declining dollar and rising gold. Not only that but the grains especially soybeans have been rising too lately which is unusual for the harvest season. So I expect crude to eventually break out upward from this base.

Inflation is the tax of choice. It requires no legislation and treats all holders of dollars the same, rich or poor. Only debtors and government, the biggest debtor of all, benefit. Holders of dollars, especially countries like China, should be exchanging them for gold or other commodities as fast as they can.

Wrong. Inflation is a boon for the big players who borrow from the taxpayer at almost 0% interest and pay back in a depreciated currency. I think you meant to say inflation will be used to tax the general public and attempt to paper over Wall Street corruption and/or incompetence.

Many of those of us who are still in the red are also likely to benefit from this dirty dealing. I am among them, which is why I don't feel right offering anyone my opinion on what the US government should do. Makes me feel dirty.

The dollar index broke down today

The index is still slightly aboved its March 16, 2008 low of 70.698 (isn't Wikipedia great?), but not for long IMO.

Also, what does that mean if there is global inflation? I mean if all the currencies in the basket are inflating, and we are dropping in value as to that basket, what does that say about the USD? It almost sounds like simultaneous inflation and deflation.

And, if, as I believe to be the case, there is worldwide inflation as governments worldwide try to bail out by printing money, what will be chosen as the world's default reserve currency after the dollar drops into oblivion?

Right now oil is staying in the $75-$80/bbl range because worldwide inflation is lowering currency values as fast as demand drops for oil. If inflation increases, and currency values drop fast enough, oil will go up even at lower demand. And, as the (Dep)recession deepens, GDP will continue to drop, meaning that the 'disaster price' for oil, where need for oil combined with price causes economic chaos, will remain constant or perhaps even drop, even if demand for oil does not rise.

New Techniques Oil Companies are Using in Drilling for Oil

As the politics and philosophical arguments about “Peak Oil” continue to rage, science continues to move steadily onward, progressively creating new and better ways to both find and extract oil that we never could have previously discovered, as well as get a lot more bang for our buck by more effectively utilizing the oil that we currently have readily available to us in our current reserves.

I suppose the first order of business would be to mention the continual fine tuning and innovative advances that are taking place almost daily within the technology of “Three Dimensional Seismic Imaging. For those with their head in the proverbial sand, this most awesome of scientific advances may single handedly do more to save the future of our #1, primary source of energy, Oil.

I'm amazed how many times I've heard that a new technique called 3D seismic imaging is going to save us from peak oil. However this technique isn't really that new -- 3D seismic imaging has been used for mineral exploration since 1994 -- 2D seismic imaging since about 1925.

Then of course the talk turns to horizontal wells that have been in use for decades.

re: New Techniques Oil Companies are Using in Drilling for Oil

They seem to be unaware that these techniques, such as 3D seismic and horizontal wells, have been in use for decades, and have not found any new supergiant oil fields.

They also talk about the depths that it is possible to drill to, in ignorance of the fact that in any given area there is a certain depth below which you find nothing but natural gas - all the oil will have been destroyed by high temperatures.

The Gulf of Mexico is the exception that proves the rule. There, the subsurface temperatures have been abnormally cool, so you can find oil at rather extreme depths - but it is an unusual region.

To assume other areas of the planet will be the same as the GOM is taking an awful lot for granted. Unfortunately a lot of otherwise intelligent people make that assumption when talking about areas that have not been drilled yet.

Oil company geologists are relatively smart and will have drilled the best prospects first. If nobody has drilled in an area already, either the chances of finding oil are very poor, or it's too expensive to make a profit on even if you do find oil.

I can certainly comment on the decline of the wage system in the US. As this Depression deepens, people are losing their jobs and taking on informal work. They're doing jobs immigrants and teenagers used to do, most of it not paid in wages.

In my own case, I've been staying alive by selling "awareness" ribbons in Santa Cruz, a hustle that doesn't pay in wages but in just what's left over after expenses. It can pay $100 or a bit more on a nice summer day, now that it's winter, the last time I was out there I made about $7 over expenses, that after 8 hours of work.

Henry Mayhew's books on the street culture and street economics of mid-1800s London are worth reading for preparation for what's coming, and also some idea of the tenacity and mindset you will need. I will have made about half the poverty rate this year; I could have done a lot worse. I credit Mayhew plus my own ability to make things and figure costs, for my success - I'm living, eating, and going to school on what I earn, and very few non-elite can say that these days.

We will become a nation of farmers, but also of lawn-mowers, window-washers, shoe-shiners, small artisans and craftsmen, and all-around handy types.

(You didn't hear the tree that didn't fall for it: My blog http://alexlcarter.wordpress.com )

Slightly OT, but here is a link for a photography book relevant to a site like TOD:

I love Edward Burtynsky's photographs. Some nice examples can be seen here.

Dubai under scrutiny after debt payment delay

Dubai World, which has total debts of $59bn (£35bn), is asking creditors if it can postpone its forthcoming payments until May next year.

Dubai World has also appointed global accountancy group Deloitte to help with its financial restructuring.

The company has been hit hard by the global credit crunch and recession.

It was due to repay $3.5bn of its debts next month.

I heard this on the radio this morning. No-one's immune.

This is a frightening sight:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Much has been made about China making plans for post-peak oil. Al Bartlett commented that, from one of his conversations with high level Chinese officials, he gathered that this issue was firmly in their consciousness. If this is the case I don't understand why there are as yet no visible signs of transition away from industrialization based on the use of oil. In many places in Europe they make a huge effort towards conservation, such as high taxes. In Germany, fuel is $8 a gallon. Here is one hint that at least Germany "gets it".

Sometimes I wonder what the hec is going on in political circles. In places such as this forum, all we do is guess.

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