Drumbeat: November 29, 2009

Peak oil: the summit that dominates the horizon

These expressions of concern have stoked the fires of the "peak oil" community, which has been warning for some years that global politicians are failing to move fast enough to conserve oil and move to a low-carbon economy. The dissidents include experienced oil investors such as Matt Simmons of Simmons & Co, committed green entrepreneurs such as Jeremy Leggett of Solarcentury, as well as many more impartial MPs such as John Hemming and apparently independent academics.

Kjell Aleklett, professor of physics at Uppsala University in Sweden, is one of the latter. His new report, "The Peak of the Oil Age", claims crude production is more likely to be 75m barrels a day by 2030 than the "unrealistic" 105m projected by the IEA. This would clearly lead to massive price escalation in a world that expects to see demand grow to feed the expanding economies of China and India even while politicians try to grow wind, solar and other low-carbon energy sources.

The knock-on effects of peak oil

IF OIL really is running out faster than is generally realised then the real price of crude should be well over double the current already high price of about $75 a barrel, experts believe.

A level of $200 a barrel was predicted as recently as last year by the investment bank Goldman Sachs and the price did hit nearly $150 just 18 months ago, at the height of the global trade boom.

The sub-prime crisis, collapse of Lehman Brothers and subsequent recession have led to trauma in Dubai, which was built up on hot petrodollars from the Middle East producers such as Saudi Arabia.

Britain's oil business just manages to keep trickling along

Europa Oil & Gas has just started drilling in Lincolnshire, part of a long tradition of small companies hoping to strike "black gold" in Britain. But, whereas hope springs eternal in the minds of the oil men, Peak Oil came to Britain almost 10 years ago and many of the oil majors have come and gone. Production – largely from the North Sea rather than onshore – reached 4.5m barrels a day (b/d) in 2000, but since then it has been on a downhill path and is now little more than 2.7m b/d. There have been endless attempts to revive interest in the sector by offering tax breaks and other incentives, but there is no greater incentive than high oil prices.

Bringing gas supplies in from the cold, the task facing the former spy

It is teatime in the Swiss lakeside town of Zug. Matthias Warnig blushes crimson and shuffles in his chair. “It was industrial espionage,” the Nord Stream chief executive says as he recalls his Cold War days as an officer in the Stasi, the East German secret service.

Mr Warnig — an associate of Vladimir Putin — may be coy about his past but not of the present, as one of the most powerful players in a geopolitical game that is set to shape Europe’s energy future for the next 50 years. Nord Stream, a Gazprom-controlled project to build a submarine pipeline linking the vast gas reserves of Siberia directly with consumers in Western Europe, is on a roll, he says.

EDF, GDF Suez to Join Russia Gas-Pipe Projects to Secure Supply

(Bloomberg) -- Electricite de France SA, Europe’s largest utility, and GDF Suez SA agreed to join Russian natural- gas pipeline projects as European nations seek to boost security of supply following disruptions in the past three years.

EDF will take a 10 percent stake in OAO Gazprom’s South Stream pipe, which will run under the Black Sea, bypassing Ukraine, Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller told reporters today outside Paris. “The realization of South Stream will allow reliability and stability of deliveries to Europe for many decades,” he said.

Old salt mines offer a safe home for gas

Deep beneath the town of Northwich, Cheshire, lie four giant caverns. Created by salt miners, they have caused problems for decades. Buildings have cracked or collapsed as the ground settled, and recently the government paid to have the caverns filled with more than 1m tonnes of grout — a mixture of ash and cement.

The rest of the salt mines in England and Wales, vestiges of a sector that had its heyday during the industrial revolution, remain husks. Now they could get a new lease of life as companies line up to spend billions of pounds converting them into gas storage tanks.

Russia, Turkmen leaders meet, no word on gas

ZAVIDOVO, Russia (Reuters) - The presidents of Russia and Turkmenistan met on Sunday but failed to announce a breakthrough in a pricing dispute that cut Turkmen gas flows to Russia, likely delaying a deal until a meeting in late December.

The meeting between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Turkmenistan's Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov at the luxury Zavidoro hunting lodge near Moscow was the second in two months in a sign Ashgabat, short of budget revenues, is keen to resume supplies.

Petrobras’ Long-Term Prospects Look as Strong as Ever

Recent discoveries of pre-salt oil fields in Brazil’s Santo Basin, one of the most significant oil finds of the last 30 years, will be instrumental in achieving these new targets. But the real ace up the company’s sleeve is the Brazilian government’s proposal to make Petrobras the only operator of all new offshore pre-salt oil fields yet to be exploited; the company will also obtain the right to produce 5 billion barrels of oil in offshore fields. In addition to government support, Petrobras is unique among its competitors in its technological know-how and experience with pre-salt rocks, giving it an enviable competitive advantage over its peers.

With a strategic eye on its long-term future, Petrobras has also been aggressively expanding its renewable energy programs in wind, solar and biofuel. Petrobras’ total biofuel production, particularly important for Brazil’s energy needs, is set to increase at a 17.9 percent annual rate through 2013.

High Gold Prices: It's the Oil, Stupid

I'm constantly amazed at the inability of US economic and financial "expert policymakers" to understand the true reason behind gold's big move: OIL. The inflation adjusted high for gold was set in January 1980 at $2,290 an ounce. It is not a coincidence this high was set just after the oil crisis of the 1970s. The US was lucky then: it had Paul Volcker at the Federal Reserve and it had the oil reserves of Alaska and the North Sea coming online. The combination of Volcker's high interest rates and new domestic oil supplies saved the day. Unfortunately, neither of these two solutions will bail America out this time. Once again, as history repeats itself, gold prices are taking off after the 2008 oil crisis which saw oil prices of $145/barrel. Why is it so hard for the Harvard B-School "experts" and the pundits on CNBC to understand this very simple cause and effect?

Why we want gold to fail

For some reason, in markets, whenever prices move upward faster, there’s a contingent of investors who believe the price will never go down. I find this weird. A year-and-a-half ago I warned that petroleum prices would come down. I wrote this because I had begun hearing all this talk about how prices would never come down again. We were going to experience high gas prices forever. Environmentalists were pushing this, with “peak oil.” Media people were pushing it, with hysterical news stories.

So I thought it a safe bet. Oil would come down, at least by the end of summer.

And it did.

Oil companies in rush for London Stock Exchange listings

A group of oil companies is to cash in on rising fuel prices by floating on the London Stock Exchange next year in deals that will value them at more than £1.2 billion.

At least five oil and gas groups are in early stages of preparations for stock market listings. The wave of offerings will make millionaires of a handful of oil entrepreneurs and generate much-needed returns for the private equity firms that have backed some of the companies. Much of the activity is being driven by buyout firms eager to pocket some money.

BP battles Exxon Mobil over Ghana oilfield

A battle between Exxon Mobil, the American oil giant, and BP over one of the largest oilfields in the world is set to intensify this month ahead of a key January deadline.

Exxon agreed in early October to pay $4 billion (£2.4 billion) for a quarter stake in the Jubilee field off the coast of Ghana. The sale agreement, struck with Kosmos Energy, the US firm, was done despite requests from the Ghanaian government to slow down the process. When it was presented to the Ghanaians for approval, they refused and invited rival offers. The government has hired Freshfields, the law firm, to advise it on its legal options.

Shell seeks stake in giant Russian gasfield

Royal Dutch Shell is hopeful that it will gain an equity stake in a giant Russian gas field that could supply all of the world’s needs for a decade.

Peter Voser, Shell’s chief executive, said that talks with the Russian government about the Yamal project in the Siberian Arctic were progressing well.

Guenther Oettinger Is Named EU Energy Commissioner

(Bloomberg) -- Guenther Oettinger was named European Union energy commissioner, responsible for guarding the bloc’s oil and gas supply security and promoting the use of cleaner technologies to protect the climate.

The decision was announced today by the European Commission in Brussels. The appointment of Oettinger, who governs the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, still needs approval from the European Parliament.

U.S. is using less imported oil

A jump in U.S. oil production and lower demand for petroleum products this year have led to a sharp reduction in the amount of imported oil the country is consuming.

Defiance on Nuclear Work in Iran

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Lawmakers urged Iran's government on Sunday to prepare a plan on reducing cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), after the U.N. body rebuked Tehran for secretly building a uranium enrichment plant.

Parliament's move highlighted growing tension between the Islamic Republic and major powers seeking a diplomatic solution to a long-running dispute over Iranian nuclear work the West suspects is aimed at making bombs.

IAEA not the best solution to the Iran nuclear problem

Critics say Director General Mohamed ElBaradei was unduly cautious on accusing Tehran of working toward nuclear weapons. But even if he made the right decisions, the process isn't working.

An Economist's Invisible Hand

Mr. Pigou drew an important distinction between the private and social value of economic activities, such as the opening of a new railway line. The savings in time and effort that users of the railway enjoy are private benefits, which will be reflected in the prices they are willing to pay for tickets. Similarly, the railroad's expenditures on tracks, rolling stock, employee wages are private costs, which will help to determine the prices it charges. But the opening of the railway may also create costs for "people not directly concerned, through, say, uncompensated damage done to surrounding woods by sparks from railway engines," Mr. Pigou pointed out.

Such social costs—modern economists call them "externalities"—don't enter the calculations of the railroads or its customers, but in tallying up the ultimate worth of any economic activity, "[a]ll such effects must be included," Mr. Pigou insisted. In focusing exclusively on private costs and private benefits, the traditional defense of the free market misses out on a vital element of reality.

Exponential Growth, Finite World

Let's start with the obvious one: population growth. The table below comes from Wikipedia, but is based on UN data. Note that from 1750 to 1800, the world population grew from 791 million to 978 million -- an increase of 187 million, or 0.4% per year. From 1850 to 1900, it grew from 1.262 billion to 1.650 billion -- an increase of 388 million or at 0.53% per year.

Thus, even very small growth rates can result in some very large increases extended long enough, and as the base grows, the absolute increase gets larger each year even if the rate of increase stays the same. Now look at what has happened more recently. From 1950 to 1999, world population increased by 3.457 billion, more than doubling from 2.521 billion, an increase of 1.78% per year. Lately we have seen a slowdown in the growth rate; from 1999 to 2008 it was just 1.29% per year, but that has meant an increase of 729 million in just nine years, or 92% of the entire world population in 1750.

Giving Thanks to Inspiration - Review of "The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community"

David Korten, long-time global justice activist, co-founder of Yes! Magazine, and author of such books as When Corporations Rule the World, lays out the fundamental crossroads facing the world in his 2006 book The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community. In response to global climate change, war, oil scarcity, persistent racism and sexism and many other mounting crises, Korten argues we must recognize these as symptoms of a larger system of Empire, so that we might move in a radically different direction of equality, ecological sustainability, and cooperation, which he terms Earth Community. This is a powerful and important book, which excels in overviewing the big picture of threats facing our ecosphere and our communities at the hands of global capitalism, and translating this into the simplest and most accessible language so we might all do something about it. It's pretty much anti-capitalism for the masses. And it has the power to inspire many of us to transform our lives and work towards the transformation of society.

Green Books: 'The Transition Handbook'

Oil prices dropped like a stone last year when the recession hit, and in some ways sank concerns about "peak oil" and declining petroleum reserves as Americans focused on more immediate economic issues.

But that has not stopped people across the country from starting Transition Initiatives, a grass-roots movement begun in the United Kingdom that seeks to prepare communities for changing weather patterns and unaffordable oil prices. Official Transition Initiatives are under way in 46 towns and cities, including Carrboro-Chapel Hill, Santa Cruz, Calif., Hohenwald, Tenn., and Berea, Ky.

All homes to get ‘smart’ power meters that measure exact energy use

Every British home is to be issued with a ‘smart’ meter which calculates how much gas or electricity is used each time an appliance is switched on.

Families will also know how much they are spending minute-by-minute.

Details will be announced by the Energy Secretary Ed Miliband this week.

In Theory: Biofuel no competition for oil

Oil reserves will be sufficient for the next 100 years, while natural gas is expected to last longer.

Energizer Bunnies: Turning Rabbits into Green Fuel

Sweden's Tommy Tuvuynger and his team of professional hunters don't have to go far to find their prey. Tuvuynger is employed to keep down rabbit numbers in the Swedish capital, Stockholm. The rabbit population there has exploded over the past few years thanks to owners setting free their pets. Last year the eradication squad killed 6,000 of the furry critters, which are not native to Sweden. When the city started killing the rabbits in 2006, officials realized they would have to dispose of their carcasses. At around the same time, the European Union passed a law that makes it illegal to dispose of raw meat or carcasses in landfills. Solution: use the bunnies as fuel to heat Swedish homes.

Cuts loom over UK’s nuclear clean-up budget

The Government is sharpening the axe for Britain’s £4 billion nuclear clean-up budget and drawing up plans for big spending cuts at contaminated sites including Sellafield and Dounreay, The Times has learnt.

The Treasury has begun a sweeping review of spending by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), the quango that over the past four years is understood to have spent about £1 billion of taxpayers’ money annually on cleaning up at Britain’s 20 contaminated nuclear sites.

Radiation leakage in India nuclear power plant act of sabotage: official

NEW DELHI (Xinhua) -- The radiation leakage in a state-run nuclear power plant in southern India is an "act of sabotage" possibly by a disgruntled employees at the plant, India's Atomic Energy Commission chief Anil Kakodkar said on Sunday.

Some 50 employees of highly protected Kaiga Atomic Power Plant in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, southern India, fell ill for being exposed to the radiation leakage, after they drank water from a cooler in the operating area on Nov. 24.

EPA: Uranium from polluted mine in Nev. wells

A new wave of testing by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found that 79 percent of the wells tested north of the World War II-era copper mine have dangerous levels of uranium or arsenic or both that make the water unsafe to drink.

And, more importantly to the neighbors, that the source of the pollution is a groundwater plume that has slowly migrated from the six-square-mile mine site.

The new samples likely never would have been taken if not for a whistleblower, a preacher’s wife, a tribal consultant and some stubborn government scientists who finally helped crack the toxic mystery that has plagued this rural mining and farming community for decades.

Sputtering breakthrough for Shell’s new superclean fuel

Two cheers for Royal Dutch Shell, which has solved the emissions problem with a novel fuel that is superclean. Next year, in a giant refining complex in the Gulf, the oil company will begin producing a colourless, odourless diesel with almost zero atmospheric pollutants.

It solves every emissions problem except the one that begins with the letter “C”. Shell’s fuel, a liquid synthesised from natural gas, will make the air cleaner, but it will not save the world from climate change. On a well-to-wheels basis, GTL from Pearl, Shell’s fuel factory in Qatar, emits as much carbon dioxide as conventional diesel, the company admits. Some critics claim that GTL emits even more carbon than the stuff sold at garages today.

Oil refiners fight back against global-warming legislation

WASHINGTON — The hot-button issue of climate change spurred Bruce Smith, CEO of refiner Tesoro Corp., to leave his headquarters in San Antonio and come to the nation's capital this September to lobby Congress for the first time since he took the post 14 years ago.

Smith's inaugural lobbying trip was motivated by what the oil industry has declared as no less than a life-or-death issue: climate change proposals to make refiners pay for both the greenhouse gases released from smokestacks when they process crude and the emissions expelled from vehicle tailpipes and jet engines when their fuels are burned.

Smith also exhorted Tesoro's customers and employees to flood Capitol Hill with calls, letters and e-mails opposing the measures — another first for the company.

Japan may bring in "green" tax in April: report

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan may introduce a 20 yen ($0.23) a liter environmental tax on fuel as soon as April 2010, partly to make up for a steep fall in other tax revenues caused by the faltering economy, the Yomiuri newspaper said on Sunday.

The Democratic Party promised in the run-up to its August election victory to abolish an unpopular "temporary" fuel tax of about 25 yen per liter in 2010, drawing criticism from environmentalists who said the policy would hamper efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

'Only free trade' will end hunger

THE threat climate change poses to agriculture makes the free trade of food crucial if the world hunger crisis is to be effectively tackled, Agriculture Minister Tony Burke says.

Speaking to The Age a week after he returned from the UN food summit in Rome, Mr Burke said productivity improvements in farming would not deal with climate-change-driven extreme weather events that would wipe out entire crops.

American farmers must step up on climate change

The reality is the impacts of climate change are being felt around the globe - whether or not U.S. farm groups and politicians believe it. Fortunately, most other nations recognize the obligation and opportunity to engage in deciding how best to respond.

The adverse impacts climate change has on food production and the critical role agriculture may play in addressing it means farmers have a major stake in the debate.

Is tackling global warming a good investment?

If global warming is real, what will it do to us? For one thing, it will help reduce deaths related to cold temperatures.

BNP leader Nick Griffin will represent Europe at Copenhagen climate change summit

The far-right politician, who denies the existence of global warming, will represent the environmental committee of the European parliament, to which he was elected in June.

He will be one of 15 representatives chosen to speak on behalf of the EU at the summit in Copenhagen, and is thought to have been given a place because he is the only member of the committee who believes global warming is a hoax.

Canada strikes deal on climate fund

Canada will contribute to a new Commonwealth fund to help poorer countries cope with the ravages of climate change, but the Harper government is refusing to change its much-criticized target for cutting greenhouse gases.

The Commonwealth plan for the "Fast Start" fund calls for developed countries in the 53-nation group to spend $10 billion a year until at least 2012.

Oil-sands hysteria only confuses climate debate

I noted with interest the outlandish comments made by Al Gore suggesting greenhouse gas emissions from Alberta's oil sands threaten our survival.

A realistic and reasonable discussion about oil-sands development must be based on fact. Sadly, Gore's doomsday assertions about an industry that makes up less than one-tenth of 1 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions are neither realistic, reasonable nor factual.

Global warming is real

That was me, once. I thought global warming was all bog-standard, apocalyptic nonsense when it first emerged in the 1980s. People, I knew, like nothing better than an End-of-the-World story to give their lives meaning. I also knew that science is dynamic. Big ideas rise and fall. Once the Earth was the centre of the universe. Then it wasn’t. Once Isaac Newton had completed physics. Then he hadn’t. Once there was going to be a new ice age. Then there wasn’t.

Armed with such historic reversals, I poured scorn on under-educated warmists. Scientists with access to the microphone, I pointed out, had got so much so wrong so often. This was yet another case of clever people, who should have known better, running around screaming, “End of the World! End of the World!” and of less-clever people finding reasons to tell everybody else why they were bad. And then I made a terrible mistake. I started questioning my instinct, which was to disbelieve every scare story on principle.

Protecting the Forests, and Hoping for Payback

“While healthy, functioning forests may serve as a means to sequester carbon, under current practices, many of our Western forests are at risk of turning from a carbon sink to a carbon source,” Tom Tidwell, the head of the Forest Service, told a Senate subcommittee on Nov. 18 in a hearing on forest management and climate change.

“Projections indicate that while these forests continue to sequester more carbon in the short-term,” Mr. Tidwell said, “in 30 to 50 years, disturbances such as fire and insects and disease could dramatically change the role of forests, thereby emitting more carbon than currently sequestering.”

Carbon trading: One burning question, no easy answers - Does carbon trading herald the green shoots of recovery — or add fuel to the fire of global warming?

A few weeks ago, in central Mozambique, I stood in a clearing of blackened tree stumps in a landscape of weeds. This was a classic example of “slash-and-burn” agriculture, in which dirt-poor farmers constantly move on from depleted fields to hack new ones out of virgin forest.

A few miles away, thanks to a carbon-trading scheme, another community of farmers was working differently. Through a few simple agricultural techniques they were able to go on cropping the same land year after year. They had surplus food to sell, some burgeoning rural industries providing jobs, a health clinic and a school in which every child sat at a solar-powered computer linked to the internet. And they were planting hundreds of thousands of trees, all sucking carbon out of the atmosphere.

Australian aims to breed 'green' sheep that burp less

Australian scientists have said they are hoping to breed sheep that burp less as part of efforts to tackle climate change.

The scientists have been trying to identify a genetic link that causes some sheep to belch less than others.

University does U-turn on scientists' disputed statistics

LONDON: Leading British scientists at the University of East Anglia who were accused of manipulating climate change data have agreed to publish their figures in full.

The U-turn by the university follows a week of controversy after the emergence of hundreds of leaked emails, ''stolen'' by hackers and published online. They triggered claims that the academics had massaged the statistics.

The university said it would make all the data accessible as soon as possible, once its climatic research unit had negotiated its release from non-publication agreements.

Climate change data dumped

SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

...Jones was not in charge of the CRU when the data were thrown away in the 1980s, a time when climate change was seen as a less pressing issue.

For Maldives, climate deal is a survival issue

PORT OF SPAIN (Reuters) - For Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, the cold scientific numbers of the climate debate add up to the very survival of his tropical Indian Ocean state.

If global temperatures rise just 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), "we won't be around, we will be underwater," he told Reuters in Trinidad and Tobago, where he and other leaders of the 53-nation Commonwealth pledged support for a definitive climate deal in Copenhagen next month.

Nobel expert: Global warming causing Irish floods, climate change

Ireland's massive flooding has almost certainly been the result of climate change, says Nobel Prize-winner and Ireland's leading climatologist, Prof. John Sweeney.

"We have reaped what we have sown," he said.

Devastating floods have swept large parts of the country. Areas of the south and west of Ireland have been under water in the worst flooding in 800 years, according to experts. Major rivers such as the Shannon and the River Lee have burst their banks and thousands have been evacuated.

Capital markets gear up for climate change

LONDON (Reuters) - As the world wrangles over how to fight climate change, with national leaders to meet in Copenhagen early next month, capital markets are gearing up to handle the consequences if the effort fails.

The insurance industry, including reinsurers, who distribute risk around the sector, has traditionally been the main way to hedge against hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters.

But climate change could increase the scale and frequency of these disasters so drastically in coming years that traditional insurance might become unable to handle the burden.

The link up top: Peak oil: the summit that dominates the horizon touts the Tiber field in the Gulf of Mexico.

These "peak oil" believers say the high point of oil output could even have passed already. They argue it will take 10 years to develop the likes of Tiber while a string of similar discoveries would have to be made at very regular intervals to move the peak point back towards 2030 the projection used in some scenarios put forward by the International Energy Agency.

From: Wikipedia Tiber Oilfield

The Tiber oilfield is a newly discovered oilfield in the Gulf of Mexico, announced by BP in September 2009. Described as a "giant" find, it is estimated to contain 635 to 950 petalitres (4 and 6 billion barrels) of oil in place, although BP states it is too early to be sure of the size.

The oil from Tiber is light, and early estimates of recoverable reserves are around 20 - 30% recovery, suggesting figures of around 600 million to 900 million barrels (100-150 gigalitres) of (recoverable) reserves.

Picking 750 million barrels, the center of 600 to 900 million barrel estimate, then Tiber would supply the world with about 9 days at current usage. So all we have to do is find another Tiber every 9 days and we have nothing to worry about.

Ron P.

So all we have to do is find another Tiber every 9 days and we have nothing to worry about.

:-) The beauty of zooming out. Ron ,please don't debunk Santa before after New Year,. cuz I know you are tempted to.--.

I have a model for the expected daily or yearly finds of crude based on historical data. This takes into account discovery search rates and a range of explored volumes. I updated the chart a few days ago so I had a version that showed the data in terms of daily amounts.

The bottom-line is that the expected discoveries for 2009 amounts to 8 billion barrels recoverable (not counting non-crude alternatives of course).

If people have heard of the idea of the tax freedom day -- that is how many days that we need to work to make up for the taxes -- then I suggest an inverse alternative in terms of "oil unfreedom day". This calculates how many days that the new crude discoveries will provide to account for total demand for that year. For crude oil, this amounts to 110 days, or April 19. So for each year, we can feel confident in finding enough crude oil for 3-1/2 months out of the year. Tax freedom day is April 13. So if you get bummed about the pain of tax freedom day, this is an even more depressing concept. So instead of being happy to gain freedom from Uncle Sam on that day, we have to worry the rest of the year to figure out where our oil will come from :( :(

And then every year it will get worse. Oil unfreedom day will come sooner and tax freedom day will come later.

At peakoil.com: Catalog of recent oil discoveries.

Recoverable running total year to date: 11.652 billion barrels minimum to 17.19 billion barrels maximum
OIP running total year to date: 13.514 billion barrels minimum to 15.069 barrels maximum

The poster doing the tallying has never exceeded a year's consumption; 2007 was something like 26 bbo though. I've called him out on including boe occasionally, too.

Did a bit of work trying to compile major discoveries listed by the AAPG bulletin in years past, to see how many of them are turning into production.

RE: University does U-turn on scientists' disputed statistics
RE: Climate change data dumped

It's all about projection. The powers-that-be accuse the academics of dumping data that is required to prove their thesis, yet will never demand that the oil oligopoly do the same. Its all competitive data and proprietary they will say. Unfortunately we can't apply a full-nelson on the corporate bullies like we can on the science nerds to force them to spill their lunch money.

Projection is the scam of accusing others of doing what you in fact are doing. If we actually had records from the oil majors on their historical production data, we could start to piece together a future trajectory much more accurately. Come to think of it, why doesn't the CRU demand tens of thousands of dollars per customer as a license fee to see their data? That way that can emulate the oil business consultancies.

Oh yea, I forgot, they would never think about that, after all they are in it for the advancement of science.

US Mint to suspend American Eagle gold 1-oz coins

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Mint said on Wednesday it will suspend sales of the popular American Eagle 1-ounce bullion coins as rising demand depleted its inventory.

"The United States Mint has depleted its current inventory of 2009 American Eagle 1-ounce gold bullion coins due to the continued strong demand for this product," the Mint told its authorized dealers in a memorandum on Wednesday.

Could you get by after losing 40% of your pay?

Could you live with a 40 percent pay cut?

That's likely what many Americans are doing as they return to work but suffer huge reductions in pay, said Kenneth Couch, an economics professor at the University of Connecticut.

Re: Could you live with a 40 percent pay cut?

Obviously this guy is talking to people who have IRA's, mortgages and savings. What advice does this fella have for the people at the bottom?

The Census Bureau said the poverty rate -- the percentage of people living in poverty -- jumped to 13.2 percent, the highest level since 1997, from 12.5 percent in 2007.

There are now more than 41 million people below the poverty line. It is estimated that 10% of those numbers become homeless (Up to 4,000,000 homeless in the U.S.? Yes that includes that poor relation couch surfing.) Poor people do not have the advantage of stored wealth. Losing a job or unemployment benefits is often a death blow.

The media and the chattering classes are not going to shine a light on the growing inequities in America. Their personal affluence is dependent on the current economic model continuing...


I cite a figure of 10% OR LESS. Better see if you can adapt to living on 8%-10% of what you're used to earning.

Yes, I live on less than $5k a year.

I didn't show up as homeless when I was couch-surfing, got Food Stamps for exactly one month (they're streamlining the FS budget by making people re-apply every month and fight constantly for 'em, I decided "fudge it") don't use a bank because I don't trust 'em but mostly never have more money than is proper to keep in a Mason jar these days, live in a shell of a trailer that would do a South American favala proud, and I'm one of the LUCKY ones.

I don't qualify for job training, unemployment, the Food Stamp debacle is outlined briefly above, and don't qualify for any medical service other than what I can pay out of pocket or, hit the E.R. I'm seriously considering leaving my "papers" at home and hitting up the Homeless Health Services bus/clinic for a tetanus booster which I could really use, and maybe if I'm lucky get the Hep-B series which I ought to have.

I work, off the books, selling crafts. No names no numbers no nuttin'. On this I live, eat, keep my place warm-ish, buy used shoes and socks and keep my motorcycle in gas and registration and insurance and PARTS, and pay for EMT school. No, there's no funding for EMT school for people like me, I have a loan from the landowner here and hustle like crazy on the street to not pay for cigarettes or a drug habit but to pay that back. Hopefully I will within a year, at the end I'll sell my motorcycle if I have to pay for it, since I know I can cover miles on a bicycle and will be even more off the grid.

All money beyond bare survival goes to preps. Training (EMT) and basic food stores, stuff like medicines and supplies and hopefully enough contact lenses to last me 30 years (my projected maximum years left) and so on.

There are MILLIONS of ex-middle-class people like me now. Everything seems to be being done to make us have more contempt for BAU (since nothing is done to re-integrate us into the system and a lot ton to piss us off) so the end result is a lot of people who are fairly capable, rather hard-working, somewhat intelligent, with lots of time and resentment on their hands.

The coming Revolution is sure going to be interesting.

I used to be pretty blind, but now I can see! I was looking for a good investment and I decided to have my vision corrected with laser surgery. It was absolutely the best thing I ever did. Not only will I not have to worry about buying glasses or contacts ever again, but I can see better than 20/15 now, which is incredible.

You may have to save up for a while (I had mine done at Stanford, which was a little spendy) but it seems like this would be a better, and perhaps cheaper alternative to buying 30 years worth of contacts, solutions and glasses.

An excellent investment. I did the same, although with cataract surgery instead of laser surgery, and it was not really an option in my case but a necessity. Corrected my 20/800 vision to nearly 20/20.

My thinking is to invest in things that may improve the likelihood of survival in the event of a total collapse - hyperinflation, loss of all savings & income, etc., without spending money on anything not equally useful in the event of a more gradual catabolic type collapse (or even BAU but I think that is unlikely).

Tools, energy efficient measures I have taken with my house, appliances and vehicles.

Have taken care of my eyes and teeth, and I try to stay in shape. My diet is simple, inexpensive and adequately nutritious. Learning how to cook is essential. Avoid prepared foods.

I'm 65 and I ride the bike paths around here 150 to 200 miles per month so if the car goes south I'll be in good shape to get around still. Rathole what money is left, because, what the hey, it may still be worth something down the road.

The following should be taken in the context that I believe it is possible, and even more likely than not, that the planet is warming (although certainly not positive), and I remain less positive that the cause is manmade but think it is possible. And I do remain concerned that there is a possiblity of manmade warming. That said, for those who have argued that it is 100% (and that all scientists all agree)...

From the NY Post Sunday 11/29/09

"Surprise: Hacked e-mails have revealed that sober, emperical, fact loving scientists at the heart of global research behave like a crazed group of Delta girls engaged in a war to paint the Kappas as a bunch of nasty skanks...
The British scientist at the Climatic Research Unit of East Anglia University and their correspondents, some of them American, apparently conspired to delete evidence to escape required public disclosure; fudged and buried data; tried to lock out skeptics seeking to publish non-alarmist research and even wanted to "beat the crap out of a skeptical scientist". Among the excluded data were tree ring studies that called climate change into question.


And from the Economist - Science and Technogy Section 11/28/09 issue

"A minority {of scientists} though are skeptical. Some think that recent well grounded data suggesting the Earth's average temperature is rising are explained by natural variations is solar radiation and that this trend is coming to an end" Others argue that longer term evidence that modern temperatures are higher than they have been for hundreds or thousands of years is actually too flaky to be meaningful.

...A lot of money and reputations are involved. Skeptics claim that this burden of resposibity is crushing the spirit of scientific inquiry. Scientist they say are under pressure to bolster the majority view".

Also, of interest..."One of the hacked e-mails from a climate scientist considers the likelyhood that SO2 or sulfur dioxide, being emitted by China's smokestack economy may be counteracting warming trends elsewhere" so a solution could be to build really tall smokestacks to inject SO2 above the earth's atmosphere to shield the planet like a windshield visor. The same solution is detailed in the bestseller Superfeakonomics".

Der Spiegel International wrote this week "The closer one looks at climate models the greater the temptation to doubt their usefulness"..."How much real science can be found in the models? How much is merely the result of tuning?"

Peak oil...plenty of clear data and a short term prediction that can and will be verified (likely during the next three years)...global warming...maybe yes, maybe no...

First, I'm not trying to defend shoddy science, or politically motivated science, or the fabrication of data, or attacks on sceptics, or people who question the basis of global warming.

However, the stuff that was hacked from the University of East Anglia in the UK, isn't, given my experience, particularly shocking or radically different from how people, even scientists, talk about each other all the time. Perhaps it's because most people think that scientists are somehow different than the rest of us socially and psychologically. That they aren't 'normal' and full of temperament, venom, jealously, contempt, hatred, ambition, malice, monsterous ego, deceit, etc.

The hacked and leaked e-mails, don't illustrate abnormality at all, but normalcy. Most science is 'messy' and the people involved are, like the rest of us, 'messy' people. If one hacked into the private correspondance of other departments one would find pretty much the same kind of language used in an ultra-competative, mostly male environment.

None of this is meant to excuse shoddy science though. But science and research into what we call 'global warming' and climate science are cutting-edge 'theories', not proven scientific laws, therefore it's only natural that there is going to be a lot of '****' covering the scientific diamonds of knowledge.

Models are only models, not reality. There is always going to be a difference between them. What's important to realize is that we are gradually moving away from models and are increasingly able to base our understanding on concrete observations of climate change in the world around us. Theory is being replace by imperical data which we can all fight over!

Who you agree that this debate over AGW is a smokescreen to hide the reality that there is no intention to realistically address rising CO2 levels? As far as I can tell, not one person actually predicts decreasing CO2 levels-the vast majority predict rising CO2 levels far beyond what many scientists feel is the danger zone. Here is the analogy: a tsnunami is coming. The AGW crowd wants to build a wall even though they agree that the wall will not stop it-the victory is that instead of 100% drowning, 95% will. When you point out that it makes more sense to run up the hill before the water hits, they get angry and very emotional. The kicker is the Goldman Sachs crowd has the contract to build the wall (in the distance you can see the mansions of the GS executives being built on the top of the hill).

I don't think that's accurate. People get angry and emotional at the crowd who says "there is no tsunami."

In fact, a lot of the AGW crowd thinks that adjusting to a different climate is what we should be doing, while others are in favor of drastic geoengineering. Your equating of belief in AGW with support of Goldman Sachs is off-base.

I've long said I think the onus should be on the denier crowd to demonstrate feedback mechanisms that prevent climate change. After all we know CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and we know we are pumping millions of years of it into the atmosphere. We know what that means, UNLESS there is a counteracting feedback mechanism.

So if you are a denier, where is it?

Anyway, the reality is that politicians and society will not address the threat because the change is too fundamental. We're set on a path and the only question left is how the individual prevents it hurting themselves. Group action and large scale community failed.

You need to pay a little closer attention to the news. What Climategate proves is what most of us skeptics aleady knew: The game was rigged.

Global warming alarmists have always pointed to the lack of skeptic's papers published in science journals. Now we can see that they've been doing everything they can to keep opposing views OUT of science journals, and the IPCC publications as well. Alarmists have dismissed in public the recent lack of warming as "normal variability". Yet clearly show a panic at the recent lack of warming (which proves their models wrong, btw) in their private emails. But the most damning evidence of all against the "Hocky Team" is how they've conspired to thwart freedom of information act requests (including the destruction of data). Now we find out (Climate Data Dumped) that the wizards of climate change no longer have the raw data before the addition of their "value added adjusmtents" to skew the data. It seems the raw data was "accidentally" erased. lol

That's what happens when you have the fox (Hansen, Jones) in charge of the hen house (GISS, HADCRUT). These people don't deserve their multi-million dollar grants. They deserve to be in jail.

There's a good article here:


There is just a problem with all these comment: they are all wrong. Data still exist and actually are publicly accessible except for a few dataset. Mann hockey stick has been reproduced by many tems using different proxies ans team. Very poor scientific paper from sceptics has been publish even if they were almost rubish.

I would add that most complain of sceptics as been adresses in following papers. Typically, the correction involved is smaller than the width of line traced on the graph.

Off cours, if you do not know all those facts, everything may look like bull****, but they are not.

Thanks for saying that. I'll swear that the dumb things that have been said over the last few weeks have made me convinced that come peak oil, 80% the population will claim that oil supplies are actually rising and its all a plot to enhance profits.

The one thing I'd add is that all the concentration on the words 'trick' and 'decline' mask the reality which was that duff data on the very recent history got replaced WITH EVEN MORE ACCURATE thermometer data, and highlighted as such. The debate was all about the medieval warm/cold patch centuries back, not about the last 30 years anyway. Its like saying Obama didn't get 834 votes in bumfluff Alaska, he actually got 833 - and miss the point that this changes the big picture not one jot.

After the recent games I have even less time for the deniers now, they are full of ....

You're a "believer" so there's probably nothing that would change your mind anyway. For the rest of the world, it's quite obvious that if the temperatures are being "made up", it doesn't matter much what the graph shows. Not just the medieval period, but modern times as well.

One thing's for sure, "Climategate" is just the tip of the ice berg. Once these investigations get going, we're apt to find a lot more evidence of the global scam.

You are the unthinking believer, who most likely gets his scientific analysis from a high school graduate with a serious opiate addiction problem.

No temperatures were made up.

I would LOVE to find out just who Exxon is funding to spread lies.

You are a likely candidate.

Best Hopes for Exxon eMails being hacked,


from a high school graduate with a serious opiate addiction problem.
Can you imagine the girlfriend of :Pill Boy"--
I bet she will not order Whale Rider from netflicks.

They deserve to be in jail.

Hyperbole much?

A claim of scientific misconduct is a serious business. I have seen nothing in these emails that even remotely approaches such a standard. There are people being rude. There are people clearly saying ill-advised things (one case in particular). There are people venting and indulging in hyperbole. None of that is scientific misconduct. If you want to insist that there is such a thing, make a case for it. Where is there evidence of plagiarism? Where is there evidence of falsification of data? This is completely separate from whether or not there is 'a problem' revealed here. The problem of harassment of climate scientists to the point where they can't do their real work is very real. It is a problem that they get defensive sometimes. Sure. But I'm not going to agree that there are undefined 'problems' revealed here that we need to tackle, just to gain some PR points. - Gavin Schmidt, 29 Nov 2009

What would you expect Shmidt to say, he's part of the Hockey Team. lol

FOIA is law in the US. The law may have been broken.

So if we take it to your logical conclusion, we should also consider placing charges on all the USA oil companies as they refuse to release their oil production data. They have gotten plenty of government money so that too comes under FOIA law.

Complete lack of honesty. You have proven that you have not read anything, but are simply repeating Dittohead-ish crap.

The FOI issues were all in Britain. You know this, of course. Or are you so damned foolish as to continuously post here without doing any research at all? (Rhetorical question.)

As for who wrote the Hockey Stick paper: It wasn't Schmidt:


Where are your responses to my challenge?

Where are your responses to the proven conspiracy by anti-AGW people?

Where is your science?

I know Schmidt didn't make up the hockey stick out of thin air, that was Mann. I just said he was on the "team". lol

BTW, it was McIntyre and Wegmen that have already discredited the hockey stick BS.

And yes, there's a few "issues" with the FOIA in the US as well.

McIntyre is a former mining industry executive who probably knows more about peak oil than he lets on (which is nothing), yet he concentrates on harassing climatologists. What's up with that?

Steve McIntyre has had a running blog fest over the notion that there isn't any warming. The so-called "hockey stick" graph is only one indication of the recent warming and is important because the analysis behind the graph connected data from periods before there was an instrument record with the more accurate measurements over the past century. While some of McIntyre's charges might have merit, other examples of denialist crap also appeared on his blog and he accepted these as absolute truth.

While I do not regularly read McIntyre's blog, Climate Audit, I did have some interest in one episode. Here's a link to the comments following the release of Craig Loehle's 2007 E&E paper which presented a climate reconstruction. Loehle's analysis was badly flawed, as Gavin Schmidt showed in a post on Real Climate. I hope you will read Schmidt's comments to see just how bad Loehle's work was.

E. Swanson

NOAA's takedown of the entire Climate Audit project, in one fell swoop:

Climate Audit's cherry-picked sites against all USHCN sites: the warming trend is the same in both cases. QED.

It was nice that they tossed you this little rag doll to chew on.

Try to make it last, it won't feel so nice when it's gone.

I continue to wonder at the allowance of lying, libelous comments allowed on these forums.

There is no justification for this.

On to the manure:

What Climategate proves is what most of us skeptics aleady knew: The game was rigged.

This statement can only be read to mean all climate science is lies. This is demonstrably false and libelous. Not only do these e-mails show only three to four people considering such a thing out of many thousands of scientists, they show no evidence, let alone proof, that such suggestions were a. serious and b. followed through on. Further, other scientists have condemned such statements.

Now we can see that they've been doing everything they can to keep opposing views OUT of science journals, and the IPCC publications as well.

See above. Add: given there are no papers that qualify for publication that in any way refute climate science, their not being published by professional journals and governmental panels is not only understandable, it is acting within the guidelines of scientific endeavor. The few papers that are worthy of publication have been found to be flawed, and would not in any way overturn climate science even if they had been perfect.

Alarmists have dismissed in public the recent lack of warming as "normal variability". Yet clearly show a panic at the recent lack of warming (which proves their models wrong, btw) in their private emails.

This is all false. There is nothing in the e-mails to support this. The last ten years have been the hottest decade going back many thousands, yea, millions of years.

But the most damning evidence of all against the "Hocky Team" is how they've conspired to thwart freedom of information act requests (including the destruction of data).

To refuse a request that is dishonest on its face hardly qualifies as subverting FOI requests. (And the poster's credibility is shot by his/her own lie that the FOI request had anything to do with American law elsewhere in this thread.) Still, those comments have also been condemned by other scientists. Also, the poster includes G. Schmidt in the "Hockey Team" even though he had nothing to do with the Mann, et al., paper.

Worse, the poster attempts to continue the fraudulent claim the original Mann paper was incorrect when it has been supported by subsequent research.


It seems the raw data was "accidentally" erased. lol

That's what happens when you have the fox (Hansen, Jones) in charge of the hen house (GISS, HADCRUT).

Here the poster attempts to imply Hansen is somehow implicated in these e-mails, when he is not a participant at all. He/She even implies Hansen controls HADcrut, which is of British provenance.

Is it possible to have more lies, distortions and libel in such a short post?

See other posts this thread for all links necessary to discredit this libelous crap.

The last ten years have been the hottest decade going back many thousands, yea, millions of years.

In the (picky to be sure) interest in correctness, current temps are lower than the previous interglacial (roughly 125,000 years ago). What is highest -in probably 20 milliojn years is the CO2 level. The climate system hasn't had enough time to come to equilibrium with the current concentration. And sea levels back then were several meters higher. But this isn't evidence against AGW, it in fact demonstrates that the sensitivity to forcing is large enough that we are going to be in for quite a ride.

What is highest -in probably 20 milliojn years is the CO2 level. The climate system hasn't had enough time to come to equilibrium with the current concentration. And sea levels back then were several meters higher.

Current research on the initiation of the previous interglacial (in particular, but others as well) is feeding a vigorous debate on the role played by greenhouse gasses in amplifying the effect of otherwise rather weak changes in orbital forcing. I think it's reached the point were a lot of the players agree that CH4 and/or CO2 played an important role, we mostly just differ on the exact mechanism.

When I look at the forcings we invoke to explain the (enormous) changes that happen naturally between glacial and interglacial climate over the last million years or so, and compare them with the forcing humans are applying to the earth right now through elevated GHG levels, I get knots in my stomach and everything starts to feel a little unreal (no this can't really be happening).

You may be right about temps, but it seems to me I've read differently. Even if so, it is incorrect to compare the highest temps of the past interglacial with the temps now on the up slope. Given we are a good hundred parts per million higher in CO2 than the last interglacial, and rising, there is no doubt in my mind we will not pass the last interglacial just with what is already in the pipeline and what will be emitted from man-made and natural sources in the next 40 years.

Perhaps we should say, "...at this point in the cycle..."

As for CO2, that goes back at least 2M years now.

Thanks for the comeuppance.


I'd say it is very widely accepted by Quaternary paleoclimatologists that there are at least several, possibly half a dozen or so, times in the last one million years which were most likely warmer than the present, of which the last interglacial is certainly one. Google "Eemian temperature" for some pointers on this (including an Oil Drum posting on the first page of results).

And before anyone tries to say "well that makes it all OK then" I'd like to point to the rate of change (of global T) as being far more important than its absolute value.

I already responded to these same points. The lit is not consistent on the temps being higher or lower, including with the Eemian, if memory serves. Regardless, you are still comparing max temps vs. pre-max temps.

Get back to me in, oh, 3009.


Once annual CO2 emissions are drastically reduced, then there are possibilities to start a slow reduction.

Carbon into soil (both forest floor & agrochar) is a primary sink. Using mature trees for long lived infrastructure (or just sunk to the bottom of fresh water lakes) is a secondary potential sink.

Reforest the Amazon, Iceland and everywhere else possible (parts of Greenland coast can support Siberian larch today, more tomorrow).

Best Hopes for Trying our best,


Yeah right! We are going to do all these things, dramatically cut CO2 emissions? No problem, just inform China. You know, those folks who are opening two new coal fired power plants every week. And India is not quite doing that well but they are trying.

And the deforestation rate in Brazil is now 4.3 million hectares per year. But they will turn that around next year when they stop cutting trees and start planting them instead.

Anyway Alan, your attempt at dry humor is greatly appreciated.

Ron P.

Even if you lessen CO2 emissions it doesn't lessen CO2 levels-I know you are aware of this-just clarifying for the readers.

This statement is false. If emissions are reduced below the ability of the sinks to absorb them, levels in the atmosphere must fall.

I should have said automatically-so congrats for once. Question: how much would current emissions need to be lowered to see any decrease in CO2 levels at all and exactly when would this CO2 decrease show up? Follow up: how much would USA emissions need to be lowered to accomplish this feat given projected China and India CO2 increases?

I should have said automatically-so congrats for once. Question: how much would current emissions need to be lowered to see any decrease in CO2 levels at all and exactly when would this CO2 decrease show up?

The current uptake of CO2 by land and ocean is about 40% of current emissions. So if we cut 60%, we would be in shortterm quasi equilibrium. It would be detectable within two or three years. The rate of uptake would slow down with time though, so you'd have to make much deeper cuts to get a longterm decline.

Note the use of the modifier "quasi" before equlibrium. The seasonal variation of CO2 is several ppm (annual secular increase is around 2ppm). During northern fall/winter norther hemisphere vegetation (mainly leaves) decays releasing CO2, and during spring/summer this is reabsorbed. Variable weather means the annual cycle varies somewhat from year to year.

According to this article, it isn't possible but I am not interested in raining on everybody's parade so I will stop pointing out the naked Emperor in the spirit of harmony http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,611818,00.html

I am pessimistic. That does not equal fatalistic. But actively dissuading action is abhorrent, particularly since you are actively conflating issues.

I stick to my characterization of you until/unless you *act* differently.


Howard Cosell: You are overusing that Conflating word.

You are aware the Copenhagen Conference hasn't yet happened, right?

The USA is the major problem, not China.

The USA has 10x as much CO2 already in the air as China. We are warming the earth today, not China.

Reasonable acceleration of what China is already doing will see their carbon emissions start dropping in the medium term. Long term, their population will drop. Only a prolonged Bush recession will keep down US emissions.


The NY Times says China will pass the USA this year as the largest emitter of CO2-where are you getting your stats? http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/07/business/worldbusiness/07pollute.html

Oak Ridge Nat'l Laboratory used to have on-line the carbon emissions, by type (solid/liquid/gas) by nation by year until removed during GWB administration.

China was <10% of the USA for most years.

Future carbon emissions are not warming the earth today, but carbon from 1937, 1973 and 2003.

I seriously doubt that China will EVER catch up with the USA in cumulative carbon emissions, despite their much larger population.

It is unfair to look only at future carbon emissions without also looking at past CO2.

And much of the 2009 Chinese emissions are US emissions by proxy, they are making stuff for the USA.

And, as I noted, the Chinese are actually doing something while the USA is not.

The problem is the USA.


95% of the Earth's CO2 emissions are natural, not man made. If you really want to reduce CO2 emissions, figure out a way to plug the active volcanoes (good luck). A much simpler method would be to just plant more trees. No one is talking about that because it won't generate any new carbon taxes. Global warming is a left wing control nut's dream come true. Government sponsors the climate scamster's research, and in return collects a huge carbon tax for more control programs. I'll wager peeps in the US are not quite stupid enough to fall for it though. And US politicians would rather save their hides than the planet. No global warming law this year, that's for sure. :)

Climate trouble down under:


95% of the Earth's CO2 emissions are natural, not man made. If you really want to reduce CO2 emissions, figure out a way to plug the active volcanoes (good luck).

Humans emit about 8 gigatons of carbon per year, far outpacing any natural sources. The total human-caused excursion in the global carbon budget is around 1 teraton, about half of which has dissolved in the oceans, with the other half residing in the atmosphere. This means we're about 37% higher than the highest atmospheric CO2 levels during the Quaternary interglacials.

A much simpler method would be to just plant more trees. No one is talking about that because it won't generate any new carbon taxes.

Many people are talking about that, but it's insuffucient for the task at hand. The soil carbon store can't hold more more than a few gigatons of carbon, and we need to draw down some 500 Gt of carbon to get back to the Holocene radiative balance.

Government sponsors the climate scamster's research...

Do you mean the world climate science community? What aspect of the science, specifically, do you think is a scam?

More climate trouble down under here.

Humans emit about 8 gigatons of carbon per year, far outpacing any natural sources.

You should write a correction for Wikipedia then.

Carbon dioxide is released to the atmosphere by a variety of natural sources, and over 95% of total CO2 emissions would occur even if humans were not present on Earth.


Do you mean the world climate science community? What aspect of the science, specifically, do you think is a scam?

The AGW theory.

In addition to the drought in OZ, there are a number of other problems allegedly caused by AGW. I doubt if any of them are true: http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

Read a bit further into the Wikipedia entry:

The increasing measured fraction of CO2 in the atmosphere over the last 100 years implies that the level of equilibrium [sic] between sources and sinks of CO2 is rising.

You're right; that should be corrected to read disequilibrium. [UPDATE] Done. Thanks for leading me here!

Before the human CO2 contribution, the natural sources and sinks were nearly balanced; humans have introduced an immense disequilibrium, far larger than natural sources. The only comparable natural events that inject this much CO2 into the atmosphere are flood basalt eruptions, which typically emit a few gigatons over several millenia; humans emit this much each year.

There is no distinction between climate science and the AGW theory. Climate science works for worlds other than Earth, even worlds that have very exotic atmospheres, like Titan. This is one of the reasons we have great confidence in it.

Re the "numbers watch", why would you expect a gigantic, sudden excursion in atmospheric and ocean chemistry not to have profound effects on Earth's biogeochemical systems?

Looks like your revision immediately got undone by Dragons flight.

Funny, thanks for heads up! I've posted a question on Robert's page -- we'll see what he says.

Planting more trees

The best estimate is that 6 gigatons of carbon (not 6 Gt of CO2 but C) were released from the trees and soil of Iceland due to deforestation following Viking Settlement. The almost mono-culture of Icelandic birch (rarely taller than 10 m or 15-20 cm diameter) and Icelandic willow (shrub) contained perhaps half (or slightly less) of the carbon with the rest being in the soil.

A reasonable goal using larger trees (Sitka Spruce, Lodgepole pine, Siberian larch, and hopefully Douglas Fir (currently being bred for an Icelandic variety) and one of my contributions, Sugar Pine# in initial trials) in semi-commercial rotation and continued human habitation is 10 Gt with half of that in the next 100 years.

Yes, a century. For "just" 5 Gt in one of the prime possibilities for "planting more trees" on this planet.

IMHO, *WELL* worth doing, but burning less coal is a far better and faster alternative.

Best Hopes for Icelandic Forestry,


# http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_Pine

If the system was at equilibrium before and after emissions reduction, I would agree. We've heard frequently (including enemy of state, upthread) that it may take decades or more for the Earth's climate to equilibriate after the addition of the CO2 recently added; similarly, the effect of reducing emissions now may not appear for decades.

In our lifetimes we might not see a YOY decrease in ppm CO2 regardless of reduced emissions, and regardless of policy.

It may take decades or more for the Earth's climate to equilibriate after the addition of the CO2 recently added

Centuries, actually. And it's almost certainly the case that in our lifetimes, we will never see a reduction in atmospheric CO2; we will not even see an inflection point in the rate of increase.

Better check your stats Darwinian. Best estimates are that Brazil has reduced rainforest destruction to 7000 sq. kilometers per year. The rate you state would clear it all in one year. Hell of a logging/ burning effort.

World deforestation rates and forest cover statistics, 2000-2005

South America -- where large tracts of the Amazon rainforest are being cleared for cattle ranches and soybean plantations -- suffered the largest net loss of forests between 2000 and 2005 of around 4.3 million hectares per year.

Ron P.

Darwinian , Sorry read kilometers not hectares. My bad.

Alan, you've always been more optimistic overall (or hide your pessimism better) than I am about adjustments. I don't think China or India or the interior western states of the US are going to quietly give up or even significantly reduce their coal use. China and India have their own reasons; in the US interior West, it's simply too cheap and easy a way to keep the lights on.

Farmers and ranchers LOVE wind turbines. They have political pull in excess of their #s.

Add carbon taxes (or even cap & trade) and things can change :-)


Brian, I think you're onto something. While I see some promising messages from the EU, let's say TPTB in the US or China have no intention of reducing emissions. What should the informed few do about it? Do we (1) advocate mass insurrection, (2) hunker down and wait for collapse, or (3) pray for peak oil, or (4) something else?

I don't know-first you have to attempt to outline the most probable climate change outcomes along with most probable timelines. It doesn't appear that even these have been firmed up yet. IMO the combo of oil depletion, carbon schemes, and fiscal disaster are going to hit the USA so hard and so soon that any climate change effects will be of little importance to the average American-others feel that climate change will overwhelm everything else. Hard to say.

About showing levels of propriety and restraint in communications, everyone should read what PaulS wrote in yesterday's DrumBeat

This is precisely the sort of thing that can happen, for example, when even the simplest time-series - say, noise near an airport or GPS positions of a vehicle - becomes the subject of legal action. Everything from time-stamps to whether a calibration was done a day late will be examined minutely by folks who have little or no idea what they're looking at or talking about, folks who are simply looking for a "gotcha" that they can explain to a lay person.

It's not just shoddy science, it is giving the appearance of shoddy science, through some flippant or even casual tossed-off remark.

I have always thought the problem with working in a restricted environment, where every engineering laboratory notebook page has to be signed by a witness, is that you end up losing the creative inspired types who just want to stretch out a bit. I believe the same thing happened to the defense industry; the minute everything became classified, progress just stopped because no one wants to work in that kind of environment.

"I have always thought the problem with working in a restricted environment, where every engineering laboratory notebook page has to be signed by a witness, is that you end up losing the creative inspired types who just want to stretch out a bit."

Yup. The people you most want working on these scientific problems are often the very ones who aren't going to hang around and put up with a lot of legalistic bull shnarkey like signing every notebook page. And yet it's downright ridiculous to expect the public at large to accept violently harsh prescriptions from boffins with flippant demeanors - even more so when said prescriptions are inevitably based on untestable projections, being that actual diagnostic data (distinguishable from noise) are still scarce.

So what we've got and will have for some time yet is nyah nyah vs. nyah nyah, gotcha vs. gotcha, which is how AGW comes to seem a waste of time. Every time there's a hot week, it's the coming end of the world, just you wait and see. Every time there's a cold week, it's just weather, it'll pass. And of course, whenever there's a flood, as in East Anglia, it's never down to the sheer stupidity of people who insist on building their houses in harm's way when higher ground is readily available a few hundred meters (or even feet) away. Indeed, the news pix are often carefully cropped to disguise that reality. In the end, it's all worthless from a public-perception point of view.

N.B. it also bemuses me that members of the tell-all Facebook generation, with their mind-bogglingly full personal details often posted for any and all to see, seem to have expected work emails on such a politically hot subject to remain secret forever. Some kind of weird cognitive compartmentalization?

This wasn't really the tell-all Facebook generation. Many of these e-mails date from over 10 years ago, well before Facebook and the rise of reality TV. Phil Jones, the guy whose account was hacked, is a baby boomer, born in 1952. He's a member of the TV generation, not the Facebook generation.

Writerman wrote:

'global warming' and climate science are cutting-edge 'theories', not proven scientific laws...

You may be a great writer but you apparently do not understand science. Your use of the word "theory" is the same as the common vernacular, which suggests that a theory is not the same as a law or fact. But, in science, a theory is the best explanation of the available facts and many of your so-called "proven scientific laws" are actually theories.

In a laboratory setting, one can perform experiments in which control can be assured and the effects of changes can be measured and documented. For the Earth, there is no laboratory and the experiment is ongoing without controls. We don't have another Earth to play with, running the experiment with one level of CO2, then doubling that level and measuring the effects. Models are the only means to conduct such an experiment.

When model experiments are performed, the model is first run at some fixed level of CO2 for a period of many years. Then the CO2 is increased (doubled, quadrupled or ramped up) and the data for the new case are recorded. The resulting changes are found from the difference between the two experiments. What tuning may have occurred would be included in both sets of simulations, thus it is reasonable to assume that the effects of tuning cancel out when the results are compared. The "tuning" in the form of flux adjustments were used in older models because the ocean components of these models did not include circulation, i.e., currents. More recently, the atmosphere/ocean coupled models have included these currents and those flux adjustments are no longer required to produce a realistic climate.

As we have seen in recent years, the climate data is not of great quality, thus difficult to interpret. The skeptic's ongoing rants about the depth of the Little Ice Age and the strength of the warming in the MWP are examples of this. That's why the latest attack by the denialist on the CRU is claimed to be so important, although I doubt much will come of it.

E. Swanson

Your use of the word "theory" is the same as the common vernacular, which suggests that a theory is not the same as a law or fact. But, in science, a theory is the best explanation of the available facts and many of your so-called "proven scientific laws" are actually theories.

Mr. Swanson - Thanks for keeping us honest.


When all fossil fuels are burned up and gone, then CO2 levels will drop, and the temperatures will return back down.

However, when all fossil fuels are burned up, there will not be enough energy to grow food for all the people living today.

Therefore, if population is reduced then there will be no problems for anyone......but, who wants to stop having sex?

When all fossil fuels are burned up and gone, then CO2 levels will drop, and the temperatures will return back down.

Of course it will. But CO2 takes about 800 years to be removed by natural processes. So in about 1000 years everything should be back to normal. (Actually it will be much longer than 1000 years but you get the point.)

However, when all fossil fuels are burned up, there will not be enough energy to grow food for all the people living today.

People living today will be long dead when the temperature returnes to normal. So what's your point?

As for my point, it is that peak oil is the problem we need to deal with. Not that there is anything you can do to stop it but a person can make preperations to try to be among the survivors. Peak oil will change things dramatically within one decade. Global warming will change things dramatically withine one century.

Ron P.

I agree with you.
Peak oil will cause more issues sooner than global warming.
The other real problem is that converting from oil to coal may cause more pollution leading to many more costly health problems.
My point was about the "number" of people alive today is not sustainable, not the same people. In 800 years there may only be 1 million people left on earth. A similar society to the one on Logan's run may exist, where people live until 30 years old, and then are terminated. In other words, the real solution is less people.
Another solution may be smaller people that eat a lot less food.

Or the society enforces through custom, taboo, superstition, science, whatever that each woman, on average has 2 children during her lifetime. Then folks can live past 30, 40, or whatever their natural life spans are.

I take the opposite view. Peak oil has only just occured (or maybe it hasn't and is 1-5 years away) but global warming started 20 years ago (inperceptibly then but picking up speed now). We already feel its effects. A few examples
1/ people in certain areas (Ghanges delta an obvious example) are already losing land and houses.
2/ Insurance polices now specifically excude damage due to rising sea levels.
3/Here in Australia we had our hottest summer ever and then our warmest winter ever and now our hottest spring ever (also record bush fires and record dry spells)
4/ India is now experiencing unreliable monsoons (only affects a billion people)
5/ Worst floods in a thousand years in England.
6/Beetle damage to pines in the US due to mild winters, melting Artic ice, etc....
Climate change is now and kills houndreds of thousands a year already. It only takes 2-3 years of failed rains in India, the Sahel and the horn of Africa due to changes to the monsoons to kill 100 million plus. There is no chance that peak oil could do that for at least a decade (although in the long term it probably will in combination with climate change).

The following should be taken in the context that I believe it is possible, and even more likely than not, that the planet is warming (although certainly not positive), and I remain less positive that the cause is manmade but think it is possible. And I do remain concerned that there is a possiblity of manmade warming. That said, for those who have argued that it is 100% (and that all scientists all agree)...

Are you uneducated or just dishonest? You are expecting us to believe that your fist post on this topic has been done here and now? That you have never been engaged in the AGW debate before?

Are we to believe the only articles you could find - not science, just articles - on the topic are all anti-AGW?

Are we to believe you really aren't aware that the stolen e-mails are a lot of sound and fury, but in no way contradict the scientific proof of AGW, and have read nothing on this topic and could not find anything that contradicted the crap you posted?



Read these sites. Read the comments. (Do yourself a favor and use a search function to jump to those entries that only have responses. Use "Response:" It will save you a lot of time.)





Here's the history:


Here are the answers to all your "doubts":




Then go read how your opinion, or lack of one, has been manufactured for you:

The American Denial of Global Warming

ExxonMobil’s Tobacco-like Disinformation Campaign on Global Warming Science

Industry Ignored Its Scientists on Climate

The Denial Machine

In those links you will find evidence/proof of payment for distorted science, a memo that proves the anti-AGW lobby knew the science was solid – from their own scientists – back in 1995, an explanation showing how the cigarette denialists became the climate denialists (and if they are proven liars already, are supposed to trust them now?), and of how the government itself intentionally distorted the truth.

What you won’t find there, or anywhere else, is anything even remotely approaching a conspiracy to **support** AGW.

ccpo - That's exactly right!

"My spider sense is tingling...something is wrong here but I can't quite locate the source..."

Peter Parker

Forgive me for being a little slow, Yesterdays DB had a piece about the concerns of drilling for gas in NY state. I have a question about the Marcellus shale play. I have a friend who is an organic farmer, (as am I, but I don’t live in the center of gas heaven). Naturally, he and his family are concerned about the risks of drilling near their farm. They would prefer that the drilling didn’t happen, but realize that someone is always taking these risks somewhere in the world as long as we use fossil fuels. They have recently been offered $5,500 per acre for a non surface gas lease. They own 100 acres. This is more money than the farm is worth on the market. Unfortunately, they love their farm the way it is. They have spent 15 years building the infrastructure they wanted, and raised a family there. I believe many of their neighbors have already signed.

Here is the question: Do you take the money and why? Here are some of my random thoughts. Taking the money doesn’t mean you support drilling. You could still work to ensure safer environmental practices. One of the big fears in this area is that once they start drilling you won’t be able to sell your place and move should you want to. Taking the money would be like an insurance policy; you could use that money to move later. Does taking the money actually encourage them to drill? Is it remotely possible that by taking the money you are another small pin that will eventually pop this gas play? I like to say the only thing that will save us from a huge gas play with all the environmental damage is that many of the wells may never get drilled if we can’t afford the gas. If you are opposed to the drilling on the grounds that it is not safe, is taking the money a cop out?

Donn – I can offer some advice in general. With more specifics I can narrow answers down some. I assume a non-surface lease means no drilling on their land. Good news…bad news. Even if they don’t lease the well may still be drilled. I don’t know the oil/gas laws in NY. In some states a drilling unit has to be designed. That might force the operator to lease their land or not. They need to contact someone who knows state law.

Let’s assume the well will be drilled. The only real environmental damage (beyond a temporary noise and air pollution) could be to their ground water. I know NY is trying to catch up on their oil/NG regs. If they follow regs as they are in Texas then the potential damage from drilling ops should be minimal. Sufficient surface casing is set to protect the shallow water sources. Likewise, even though there has been a lot of publicity about fracing, the odds are still small. Probably the biggest immediate risk would be a potential surface spill of drilling/completing/fracing fluids. The best approach would be diligence. Not only watch but also have immediate contact info with some company that can quickly mobilize to catch samples of any leakage onto their property. Another recommendation would be to have a certified sample taken of their well water. Then do so at monthly intervals after drilling/farcing. It would be a very good idea to make the operator aware of their efforts.

My recommendation: If NY is watching over its folks as well as Texas does I would lease the land. I obviously know a lot about the business and understand there are no risk-free ops. The lease bonus would easily cover their monitoring efforts. And if the operator does screw up they can afford a lawsuit that should not only provide remediation but could be another good payday for them. Bringing lawsuits against offending operators in Texas is a cottage industry. If they have more specific questions just drop me a line. Also, there are some other critical negotiation points in a lease besides the bonus/royalty amount. They should get some advice from a local lawyer with oil/NG experience. If they want free advice I can give it but they'll have to feed me details...even send me the lease agreement for review if they woud like.

As far as the moral question goes that's up to them. I allow folks to set their own moral compass without advice from me.

I'd carefully read Rocks post. I think the dangers are overstated bycertain parties. I would find out something about the geology. If the gas layer is thousands of feet below the aquifer I would think the safety factor is much greater than if the gas layer is closer to the surface.

In any case, unconventional NG is sort of the great white hope as far as neartterm low pain carbon reduction goes. NG for power is more than twice the efficiency of coal, and could help us meet targets for the first couple of decades of any climate deal with only minimal environmental costs. Perhaps you could get them to buy solar panels for all the affected landowners. Not only would they be getting capital and royalties from the lease, but they could cut their own bills and footprint as part of the bargain. So, I'd probably go far it. I only wish I had their dilemma.

If you sign make sure you get a 25% royalty. This is the going rate for knowledgeable lessors in the Texas and Louisiana area. The royalty will far exceed the lease bonus if you get a good well.
I agree with Rockman, any pollution will be very localized and short term. Make sure you have a clause in the lease that is specific as to clean up of the well site.
There are several websites that cater to landowners in the shale plays. One is http://gohaynesvilleshale.com.
If you go to this website you will see a totally different attitude toward gas drilling from your area. Drilling has been going on in oil patch in Texas and Louisiana for over a hundred years and landowners are clamoring to be leased or drilled. Many people have become instant millionaires in the last couple years.

Good advice. I'd also suggest contacting the NYS Attorney General's office. They have been getting involved in the evaluation of the proposed drilling regulations in NY. I recently met an individual in the main (Albany) office who seemed to indicate they were taking a serious look at the various legal issues involving the drilling.

The best bet is to find a local geologist familiar with the relative location of the acquifer and the shale formation. Your regional office of the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation may be helpful. They should have staff that have some familiarity with the area in question.

My question for the oil and gas professionals who post on this site: How deep does t5he casing have to go and, given the extremely high pressures involved in the hydrofracturing, what is the probability of a "blowout" that that could follow up along the casing to the acquifer?

moose -- In Texas we have a state water board that sets the depth requirements for surface casing. Not difficult to figure out: you must set deep enough casing to protect all fresh water.

As far as blowing out up the annulus (the area between the casing and the rocks...that's where the cement should be) it can happen. Not very often though. Companies spend a lot of effort/money to minimize this problem. If it happens not only do they usually lose the well but then have to pay for any damages. A more significant potential harm to shallow aquifers is the corrosion/leakage that can occur in the casing that can occur after a prolonged production periods. But this would only be a problem if the well is production salt water with the NG. Not sure if salt water production is anticipated with this play. If not then the long term risk is really minimal IMHO. Something goes wrong during fracing you tend to know about it instantly. But a casing leak years later might not be noticed by the operator. And if he does catch on eventually he might choose to ignore it and hopes no one else discovers it. Out of sight...out of mind. This is an even worse potential problem with disposal wells.

That's a tough decision. I suspect the effects on the groundwater, effluents from drilling etc. could invalidate the farm's organic status for many years. If neighbors have already accepted this, the damage will be done either way. I think I'd want to do some research on the side effects. I'd also look into the details of the contract -- does taking the money include a gag order?

I think I would do it.

Yes, I would worry about groundwater contamination. It is a serious issue in NY. However, if your neighbors are all allowing drilling, your water could be contaminated anyway. Might as well get your share of the cash.

Well, I would do it, and have done it for a gas play south of Pecos. If the lease is to be a "no drill" lease, it should be spelled out in the lease contract. Rockman is correct about contacting an attorney. The lease contract should specify terms for drilling, if it is not a "no drill" lease. Access, surface damages, notice, and burying of lines are but a few of the items to be considered if it is not a "no drill" lease. Also, typically, a "no drill" lease carries a lower royalty rate.

Leana -- something I've always wondered about our Yankee cousins. Ground water contamination is always a serious consideration. But I've never read about local concerns regarding the millions of pounds of salt spread on the roadways to help de-ice. You get caught intentially putting salt water on the ground in Texas not only will you get fined but if it's a very significant amount you'll never operate another well in Texas. And if it's discovered to be intentiaonal you could end up in the state pen.

I think Vermont tries to limit salt on the highways but there doesn't appear to be any noticeable limit on what they put on the highways here in NY. It's a combination of the relatively high precipitation and the expectation of drivers in NY that the roads will be snow and ice free. In the last decade they have at least done a good job of covering the large salt storage piles.

As we used to say when I worked for a state environmental conservation agency:

"The solution to pollution is dilution" And the rain and snowfall around here does a tolerable job of that. Although there are concerns expressed about groundwater contamination and the destruction of roadside vegetation. Although what the salt doesn't get in the winter, the highway crew douses with roundup in the summer.

Two years ago I drove through Colorado in the winter and they definitely did NOT use salt on the roads. At least west of the continental divide. I wish they would cut back severly in NY as it's always fun to watch the flatlanders deal with a couple inches of snow.

Salt also attracts deer (and other browsers) to the roadside grazing. I strongly suspect more collisions as a result.

We occasionally get icing on bridges, their approaches, etc. in New Orleans and we use sand. There is a strong fear of corroding some very expensive infrastructure (and this may be just twice/year). I wonder about more northerly bridges. Thicker steel to allow for corrision losses ?


It's definitely an issue. There are rules about adding new pavement (because it will be salted), and about spreading salt in certain areas. (Environmentally sensitive areas may require sand only, no salt.)

And if you're in a NYC aquifer area...forget it. You're not even allowed to go near the water.

That "Global warming is real" essay is a pretty impressive turnaround from a global-warming skeptic. Thanks for posting!

Still, 'convert' stories are always a little extra appealing.. they make me wary.

"Strangers have the best Candy.."

Words of wisdom.

Carbon trading: One burning question, no easy answers

The writer's enthusiasm for the Mozambique experiment stems from not looking at the combined system and from the differing wealth baselines. Those who buy carbon offsets are paying little to go on polluting as before. Almost certainly the CO2 savings are grossly exaggerated. The arithmetic is very large minus small (in reality) equals still large. If the villagers can abandon slash and burn mainly because of store bought fertilisers it means even more CO2 should be deducted from the claimed amount.

A better solution is that wealthy polluters cut back and not pay someone else a pittance to let them off the hook. Villagers should find more sustainable ways to grow food without synthetic NPK. If wealthy people want to help them they should do it out of altruism, not because it gives them an almost free licence to pollute.

Food Stamp Use Soars, and Stigma Fades

With most of his co-workers laid off, Greg Dawson, a third-generation electrician in rural Martinsville, considers himself lucky to still have a job. He works the night shift for a contracting firm, installing freezer lights in a chain of grocery stores. But when his overtime income vanished and his expenses went up, Mr. Dawson started skimping on meals to feed his wife and five children.

He tried to fill up on cereal and eggs. He ate a lot of Spam. Then he went to work with a grumbling stomach to shine lights on food he could not afford. When an outreach worker appeared at his son’s Head Start program, Mr. Dawson gave in.

“It’s embarrassing,” said Mr. Dawson, 29, a taciturn man with a wispy goatee who is so uneasy about the monthly benefit of $300 that he has not told his parents. “I always thought it was people trying to milk the system. But we just felt like we really needed the help right now.”

That's a very good article, it has the stories of several people in it and shows how the never-me's are discovering this Depression isn't excluding them.

The truth is, you can eat like a king on Food Stamps.

The truth is also, they're getting very hard to get. I've calculated that it would take me 4-5 days a month fighting with the folks at the local Food Stamp office to get them, with no assurance of getting them or of not being accused of some variety of fraud for the crime of going to school (EMT school) working (selling crafts) or improving my lot in any way (getting a job).

Little control over outcome and the chance of angering the Beast that's my enemy make it more worth it for me to collect cans, sell crafts, do odd jobs, etc., and just economize on food greatly. Actual food costs can be VERY small if you know what you're doing.

I feel there are probably a LOT of people in my situation, so that the actual number of eligible people is larger than the official figures.

I'm not a Republican and don't resent people getting Food Stamps, in fact I encourage people to try for 'em. If they can get 'em, great! They are one of the few gov't stimuli that work.

"Forget corporate welfare," said Leslie Paige, media director of Citizens Against Government Waste, in an email to the Huffington Post: "We are now seeing full-scale corporate adoption."

While conservative critics of traditional welfare payments to single mothers have bitterly complained about the flow of federal money to the "undeserving poor," the checks, loan guarantees and other subsidies flying out the door of the Treasury, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation dwarf the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program -- a.k.a welfare for poor people -- which, by the standards of AIG and Citicorp, get chump change: $23.2 billion this year.

Poor people in America get crumbs while the real cake is eaten by all of those free market pioneers from Goldman Sachs, B of A, Citigroup, GM, EXXON etc...

Here is a slide-show from CNBC that illustrates the most expensive U.S. govt projects in history. The Tarp bailout is beaten out by WWII.


I would encourage you to apply for food stamps anyway. Decide how much you want to declare for crafts income, etc.

Best Hopes,


On "Black Friday," the media reported that sales were up and the holiday season might be better than expected for retailers. Then yesterday, they reported that despite the high traffic, sales were only up 0.5% over last year. Now they are saying retail sales for the weekend were disappointing. And Denninger thinks even that may be overly optimistic.

Me, I usually avoid the malls like the plague between Thanksgiving and New Year's anyway.

On of my son's friends said that the store where he works (one of the major office supply retailers)posted a -11% initial markup (IMU) on Black Friday.

I was out a little on Friday visiting my daughter at Starbucks, gassing the car...lots of folks in the stores in the morning, but considerably fewer by the early evening. By this evening (Sunday evening), pretty dead, even at the WalMo.

As per my trend the past several years, most significant purchases I'm making over the internet...no need to have a gasoline @ss, no madhouse parking lots, and it is very easy to find exactly the size/color etc.I want vice looking in vain at racks with only the 'small' and '1X and above' sizes...no crowds...

Holiday shopping has mercifully become a lot less of a big deal in my family...we have all the stuff we need, and we enjoy watching movies, hiking, and playing board games...and eating great food!

Thanksgiving turkey bonanza:

One 16.1 lb bird provided:

- Dinner for 5
- Three leftover plates
- Eight turkey/mayo/guac/tomato sandwiches on 15-grain whole wheat bread (yum)
- several handfuls of bird from the 'Tupperware'
- 12 of my wife's prime green-chile cheese enchiladas.

That bird, along with some fixins and spices, fed us like kings for four days!

And it was ~$5.65 (35 cents per pound) from Albertons.

My daughter brined the bird overnight...ice water in the cooler, 1 cup of Kosher salt, some amounts of black pepper corns, allspice berries, and candied ginger and some other stuff (see below). Wash the brine off, pop in the oven pwer usual, juiciest white meat I've had. My wife went off the recipe and made her own aromatics, turned out great.


OK, TAE has posted an article today by someone named Bob Chapman, in which he predicts that the USG will devalue the USD by issuing 'New Dollars' sometime next year.

Sounds a little tin-foil-hat-ish to me.

'Doomer porn' may be a long way from peaking...

I have to give you some unfortunate information about Robert (Bob) Chapman of International Forecaster.

Within the last week, one of Chapman's business associates Pat Kiley had his assets frozen in a $190 fraudulent foreign exchange Ponzi scheme. Perhaps not large by Madoff standards but big for the midwest. This has been covered by the Minneapolis Star & Tribune fairly extensively and hopefully they will finally get a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting. Strange stuff to read:

You will see Kiley's name on Chapman's web site http://theinternationalforecaster.com/International_Forecaster_Weekly/Th..., and it looks like he is trying to distance himself from that but I know for a fact that they had a very close business relationship, with Chapman appearing on Kiley's radio program weekly for quite some time. That does not happen w/o some mutual benefit to both parties.

The local Forex is quite a complicated web with lots of other questionable people in the loop. These people pray on fear, bilking lots of senior citizens and others out of their money.

Bob Chapman thinks he knows what the next steps will be, and claims to have insider information to support his assertions.

This is the same paranoid rhetoric that Kiley used. Be very careful with these people. I follow these clowns because it is fascinating to listen (always on right-wing radio stations) to their psychological approaches.

Here is one story from this link
http://www.forexpeacearmy.com/forex-forum/managed-accounts/2737-universa... :

kelly lenti

Default this lawsuit might be only chance to recover funds - 08-14-2009, 02:08 AM
I was taken by Pat Kiley, I had my entire retirement, my children's college, my aunt and uncle's life savings, and my ex-husband's savings with pat and trevor. I also had people at work in it. The sad thing is I watched Pat's foreign currency trades through Bob Chapman's newsletter for two years before investing. He was right on. He had no reason to lie, cheat, and steal. I guess greed and laziness overtook that truthseeker. I have no doubt karma will deal harshly with Pat and Trevor. Meanwhile we need to recover the money. I think the best bet is joining the lawsuit by John Harper. He is a lawyer in MN, and is now representing approx. 30 of us. He is paid on a sliding scale. So if your account represents 10% of the pool, you pay 10% of the monthly bills. His address is 8000 Norman Center DR Minneapolis, MN 55437. Phone number is 952-346-1407. The more of us that join the better. Of course, file complaints with the SEC, CFTC, and Attorney General of your state also.

Be careful out there. I don't go anywhere near any of this stuff, investment-wise.

The guy could be crooked but to be fair the list of prominent persons very closely linked to Bernie Madoff is far more impressive. This kind of stuff goes together with the rise of the financial economy-Goldman openly short the same junk they sell their clients (it isn't actually the clients' money, they are supposed to be prudently watching somebody else's money).

Do you think this is some sort of game as to who is the most crooked? I just wanted to point this out so people don't lose their shirt. Jeez.