Drumbeat: December 6, 2009

Shale Storm: How an energy revolution in the United States is battering natural gas prices and squeezing Albertans

Pleskie’s troubles stem from a dramatic slowdown in Alberta’s natural gas business, driven largely by an emerging new resource: shale gas.

This “shale gale,” as renowned oilpatch author Daniel Yergin has termed it, is relentlessly moving across North America, driven by technology that has unlocked major stores of the fuel.

And every Albertan, whether they know it or not, is caught in a downdraft, from out-of-work rig hands and rural hotel operators to white-collar executives in downtown office towers and ailing patients lined up in hospital emergency wards.

The natural gas industry — long the bedrock of Alberta’s economy — faces major threats amid a fundamental shift south of the border.

Oil ministers are happy just to go with the flow

To hear the Saudi oil minister tell it, the oil patch is coming up roses. So why am I doubtful?

Thorns are a hazard of rose gardens. But my thumbs are pricking insistently and a show of solidarity among Arab oil producers last Saturday seemed overdone.

US-EU benchmarks threatened by energy price policy switch Gulf region

The historic position held by the West Texas Price Benchmark of Arab crude oil exports seems to be eroding quickly. Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company in the world, and Kuwait have indicated that they are considering to drop its long-standing US pricing benchmark. Aramco has, after years of being frustrated by the price it is receiving for its crude, has ditched already the WTI benchmark last October. Saudi Arabia is not happy with the current pricing schemes, which are not taking into account the fact that the country holds the largest crude oil reserves in the world. Kuwait's state owned oil company Kuwait Petroleum Corporation has now also indicated to be following the same line of Aramco. KPC has indicated that it could be switching to a less volatile benchmark than WTI to make its oil revenues more predictable. Discussions already have been held with Argus oil pricing group officials at the end of last month.

‘Resources are needed so prices won’t fall far’

His view is largely based on the replacement cost argument, which is easiest to make for oil. There are huge discoveries being made offshore Brazil, but each well costs $250m (£150m, €166m) to develop, says Mr Lockwood. “So even before you get a drop of oil you are committed to spending $250m.

“So far they’ve been successful, but if you go off the west coast of Africa, you’ve had a lot of wells costing $100m that have been dry. And the cost of new mines has risen hugely. So we’re never going to go back to the [price] levels five or six years ago because we just couldn’t produce it.”

Hard times take a toll on Mexico City's subway

MEXICO CITY -- The subway here is a real deal, the cheapest in the world, at 15 cents a ride. But those days could soon be over as the city government plans to increase fares by 50 percent -- to 3 pesos, or about 23 cents a ticket.

Why the Copenhagen climate talks matter

They won't likely deliver a new global treaty on global warming, but the decisions made here may still change our lives.

Nature tourism doesn’t always help

People travel to exotic and pristine locations for all sorts of reasons. Besides adventure and relaxation, there is some comfort in thinking that your tourist dollars help protect the natural beauty you go to visit. But it doesn't always work that way.

A new study in Uganda found that people who spent more money to see gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park didn't necessarily help the local community more. Instead, backpacking on the cheap — but for longer stretches of time — might do more overall good.

Chinese pay toxic price for a green world

At this time of year the lake bed freezes into waves of solid mud. In summer, locals say, it oozes a viscous, red liquid. It is a “tailing lake”, where toxic rare earth elements from a mine 100 miles away are stored for further processing.

Seepage from the lake has poisoned the surrounding farmland. “The crops stopped growing after being watered in these fields,” said Wang Cun Gang, a farmer. The local council paid villagers compensation for loss of income. “They tested our water and concluded that neither people nor animals should drink it, nor is it usable for irrigation.”

This is the price Chinese peasants are paying for the low carbon future. Rare earths, a class of metallic elements that are highly reactive, are essential for the next generation of “green” technologies. The battery in a Toyota Prius car contains more than 22lb of lanthanum. Low-energy lightbulbs need terbium. The permanent magnets used in a 3 megawatt wind turbine use 2 tons of neodymium and other rare earths.

Int'l oil investment shrinks 20% amid financial crisis: OAPEC

CAIRO (Xinhua) -- Oil ministers of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) said Saturday that international investment in petroleum has shrank 20 percent due to the global financial crisis.

They made the remarks at the 83rd OAPEC ministerial meeting, during which a chorus of satisfaction over the current oil prices and production quota, set one year ago by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Oran, Algeria, was heard.

"The international companies have reduced their investments by 20 percent in 2009, compared to 2008, especially in the area of research and exploration," said Egyptian Minister of Petroleum Sameh Fahmi.

Saudi Cuts Europe January Oil Prices; U.S. Marker New

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest state-owned oil company, lowered its official selling prices for all crude grades for customers in Northwestern Europe and the Mediterranean for January. Asian price changes were mixed and a new benchmark was used for U.S. customers.

The company cut the price of its Arab Extra Light Crude the most, for European buyers, widening the discount versus the Brent benchmark to $1.65 a barrel in January from a discount of $1.05 in December, Dhahran-based Aramco said in an e-mailed statement on Dec. 5. The Brent price is the weighted average crude benchmark posted by Intercontinental Exchange.

Small producers find new energy

Chris Holden is betting this will be a big year for Canada's small oil and gas producers.

The co-portfolio manager of Investors Group's Canadian Natural Resources fund and Global Natural Resource Class fund believes smaller domestic energy firms are attractive because the price of oil and natural gas will remain high as demand from the developing world continues unabated.

When it comes to oil, the logic is inescapable.

"Two years ago if you had said, `There will be $100 (U.S.) oil and there will be problems filling supply,' it would have been a tough argument to sell," says Holden.

'Extensive' ice plugs found in leaky BP line

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - The pipeline that leaked oily material onto the tundra at BP Plc's Lisburne oil field in Alaska was filled with extensive ice plugs, including one about 1,500 feet (457 metres) long, state officials said on Saturday.

Total, Exxon Mobil most fined polluters in Texas

DALLAS — In one industrial accident alone, Total Petrochemical's sprawling oil refinery in southeast Texas sprayed tons of sulfuric acid and carbon monoxide into the sky.

The French company's 62-year-old facility also has released toxins such as cancer-causing benzene, regularly surpassed allowable pollution limits, failed to report dozens of emissions — or to even fully identify what or how much was released.

British Gas aims to become top insurance provider

First it was gas, and then electricity. Now British Gas is gearing up to become one of the UK's top 10 insurance companies and the provider of choice to its 4.5m customers.

Texas Refinery Boiler Failure Kills 1, Injures 2

TEXAS CITY, Texas (Reuters) - Workers at a Texas refinery were trying to restart a giant industrial boiler when a catastrophic failure killed one worker and injured two others late on Friday, a company spokesman said on Saturday.

Ghana: Oil And Gas Driven Industrialization

The Government of Ghana announced in its 2010 Budget and Policy Statement the plan to develop an Oil and Gas Industrialization Plan as a sustainable model of managing her petroleum resources. The oil and gas driven industrialization is expected to make Ghana’s oil a blessing. For this reason, the government plans to use oil and gas resources to boost the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, through economic diversification, create jobs and promote private sector development.

Water, the new green worry

“The tragedy of water is that for too long we have taken it for granted,” said Piet Klop, head of capital markets at the World Resources Institute, a Washington DC think tank.

“People ask me if water is the next oil. If only it were. At least then if would have a price that reflects its true value. There is no way out of this pickle unless we put a real price on water. The business world is just starting to wake up to this.”

National Grid fears ‘smart metering’ being rushed

British consumers could end up spending billions of pounds on redundant smart metering technology if the introduction of the energy saving devices to all 26 million homes in the country is rushed through too quickly, the chief executive of National Grid said.

Bloomberg Drops an Effort to Cut Building Energy Use

After intense opposition from building owners, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has dropped the most far-reaching initiative of his plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The plan, which the owners said was too costly, called for all buildings of 50,000 square feet or more to undergo audits to determine which renovations would make them more energy efficient, and for owners to then pay for many of those changes.

Alternative energy enthusiast confident

Tim Guinness, veteran energy fund manager, is the first to admit launching a fund at the end of 2007 was not the best timing. Six months into the credit crisis investors were thinking more about piling out of stock markets than investing in alternative energy.

The Guinness Alternative Energy fund was down 67 per cent in 2008 compared to a 70 per cent fall in the Wilderhill Clean Energy Index. This year it has gained 30 per cent, while the index has moved up just 18 per cent.

Renewables to supply one-third China's energy by 2050

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's renewable energy strategy through 2050 envisions renewable energy making up one-third of its energy consumption by then, the China Daily said, as the upcoming Copenhagen conference on climate change highlights the world's dependence on fossil fuels.

Coal-dependent China, the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter, last month said it would cut the amount of carbon dioxide produced for each yuan of national income by 40-45 percent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels.

Ethanol, biodiesel linked to water pollution

Growing U.S. production of biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel could increase water pollution, a government report warned this week.

Ethanol refineries discharge chemicals and salts that can contaminate drinking water and endanger fish and other aquatic life, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Monday.

Flying the flag for non-carbon energy

Some of the most innovative ideas hail from the developing world. Here they recognise that energy independence will offer environmental and economic benefits. Some use sugarcane, others prefer steam. But all are making a difference right now.

Ingenuity got us here; it will get us there; 'Transitions' champions human continuities as 'peak oil' answer

What's not to like about a proposition that expects the same ingenuity that created our hydrocarbon world will create its replacement?

"We demonstrated phenomenal levels of ingenuity and intelligence as we raced up the energy curve over the last 150 years, and there's no reason why we can't use those qualities, and more, as we negotiate our way down from the peak of the energy mountain," the Transition Initiatives Primer reads.

"If we plan and act early enough, and use our creativity and cooperation to unleash the genius within our local communities, then we can build a future that could be far more fulfilling and enriching, more connected and . . . gentle on the earth than the lifestyles we have today."

Seeking Profits at a Nonprofit

Zeus Energy Movement is a charity established last year by four engineers in Texas to develop devices to harness various forms of alternative energy, like a gadget that turns the energy from ocean waves into electricity.

Dennis J. Gray, one of the founders, said the group decided to establish itself as a nonprofit organization because it had trouble attracting federal grant money to support research and development.

“We’ve got no revenues, we’re poor, and we’re trying to access funding for these types of devices,” Mr. Gray said. “If we had revenues or some means of income, then we’d be a for-profit.”

He added, “Right now, we’re a scientific group spending our own money and time developing solutions to energy needs and problems that the world has got to figure out.”

New technology ‘must drive global carbon emissions cuts’

New technology including smart meters, “intelligent” electricity grids and teleconferencing systems could cut global carbon dioxide emissions by up to 20 per cent, according to the chairman of BP.

Carl-Henric Svanberg, the newly appointed chairman of Britain’s biggest company, said such technology would play a significant role in tackling climate change by cutting energy wastage and demand for domestic and international travel.

Climate change has silver lining for English vineyards

LONDON (AFP) – As world leaders grapple with how to tackle climate change in Copenhagen next week, England's winegrowers are embarrassed to admit that global warming is suiting them rather well.

This year's crop has been one of the best yet, with a record three million bottles produced -- twice the average production of the past five years -- and producers think the changing climate is the cause.

"We are benefiting from a global disaster. It seems horrible, inappropriate, but that's how it is," admitted Christopher Foss, the head of wine studies at Plumpton College in Sussex.

UN climate chief: hacked e-mails are damaging

The U.N.'s top climate official on Sunday conceded that hacked e-mails from climate scientists had damaged the image of global warming research but said evidence of a warming Earth is solid.

George F. Will: The climate-change travesty

The travesty is the intellectual arrogance of the authors of climate-change models partially based on the problematic practice of reconstructing long-term prior climate changes. On such models we are supposed to wager trillions of dollars -- and substantially diminished freedom.

Some climate scientists compound their delusions of intellectual adequacy with messiah complexes. They seem to suppose themselves a small clerisy entrusted with the most urgent truth ever discovered. On it, and hence on them, the planet's fate depends. So some of them consider it virtuous to embroider facts, exaggerate certitudes, suppress inconvenient data, and manipulate the peer-review process to suppress scholarly dissent and, above all, to declare that the debate is over.

Yellowstone a petri dish for climate change

Reporting from Yellowstone National Park - Roy Renkin is a biologist by training but a detective by inclination, and something about the willows was nagging him.

The shrubs flanking a creek in Yellowstone's Blacktail drainage had never grown so tall and lush. But why?

Many of the park's scientists theorized it was related to the successful reintroduction of wolves, which might have pushed elk out of the area, putting an end to the constant nibbling that stunted willows' growth.

But this summer, Renkin and a colleague arrived at their own theory: climate change.

The Most Surprising Results of Global Warming

At the United Nations meeting on climate change next week, scientists will be discussing some of the potentially devastating effects of global warming, such as rising temperatures, melting ice caps and rising sea levels in the near future. But Earth's changing climate is already wreaking havoc in some very weird ways. So gird yourself for such strange effects as savage wildfires, disappearing lakes, freak allergies, and the threat of long-gone diseases re-emerging.

Negotiators at Climate Talks Face Deep Set of Fault Lines

With the scientific consensus more or less settled that human activity — the burning of fossil fuels, torching of forests, and so forth — is contributing to a warmer and less hospitable planet, one might reasonably ask, why is it so hard to agree on a plan to curb those activities?

The answer lies with the many fault lines that cut through the debate over climate change. Those deep divisions will be on display beginning this week as representatives of 192 nations gather in Copenhagen for a United Nations conference on the issue.

Climate pledges 'sending world towards 3.5 C rise'

PARIS (AFP) – Current pledges from rich and developing nations for cutting carbon pollution will stoke potentially catastrophic warming by century's end, according to a study released on Sunday on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit.

National commitments proposed so far for the December 7-18 UN conference would mean the global temperature would rise by 3.5 degrees Celsius (6.3 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial times, way over a 2.0 C (3.6 F) threshold widely considered safe, the study said.

Arctic threats and challenges from climate change

OSLO (AFP) – Rising temperatures are causing the Arctic's ice sheets to melt, opening the door for an economic boom in the region but also posing a major threat to the survival of its indigenous peoples.

The mercury is rising twice as fast in the Arctic as elsewhere, offering a frightening preview of what the future holds for the planet and prompting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to describe the situation as "a canary in a coalmine."

Melting Himalayan glaciers threaten 1.3 bln Asians

KATHMANDU (AFP) – More than a billion people in Asia depend on Himalayan glaciers for water, but experts say they are melting at an alarming rate, threatening to bring drought to large swathes of the continent.

Glaciers in the Himalayas, a 2,400-kilometre (1,500-mile) range that sweeps through Pakistan, India, China, Nepal and Bhutan, provide headwaters for Asia's nine largest rivers, lifelines for the 1.3 billion people who live downstream.

But temperatures in the region have increased by between 0.15 and 0.6 degrees Celsius (0.27 and 1.08 degrees Fahrenheit) each decade for the last 30 years, dramatically accelerating the rate at which glaciers are shrinking.

Dutch defense against climate change: Adapt - As the world works to prevent disaster, the Netherlands plans for it

AMSTERDAM -- With the Copenhagen summit starting Monday, chances remain uncertain for a historic breakthrough in the fight to prevent climate change, but the Netherlands is leading a fight of a different kind: How to live with global warming.

As sea levels swell and storms intensify, the Dutch are spending billions of euros on "floating communities" that can rise with surging flood waters, on cavernous garages that double as urban floodplains and on re-engineering parts of a coastline as long as North Carolina's. The government is engaging in "selective relocation" of farmers from flood-prone areas and expanding rivers and canals to contain anticipated swells.

The measures are putting this water world of dikes, levies and pumps that have kept Dutch feet dry for centuries ahead of the rest of the world in adapting to harsher climates ahead.

Can I send you the bill if it ruins my chainsaw? I believe it's ok for four cycle engines. I've not heard a peep about two cycle ones.

Alcohol can be pretty efficient at scouring the oil off cylinder walls. With a constant replenishment of a pressure/splash feed of undiluted lube in a four stroke perhaps 15% is not all that deleterious but when the lube is at 50:1 and the alky at 7:1 I can foresee a disaster in the making. Traditionally, the solution was to use a vegetable oil such as castor instead, but it has long term stability [polymerization] and mixing problems that preclude its use by the 'consumer'.

I'd use Bardahl's 'polar organic' 2 stroke oil at 25:1 and cross my fingers. By the way, the back of my truck stank of Castrol R racing castor bean lube for years after I quit using it. Maybe Jojoba bean oil is less fragrant and tenacious. Synthetic oils will burn cleanly at high [low numerically] mix ratios and seem more alcohol tolerant but maybe that's just because you can mix them more heavily - if you can afford it. If you go to a radically different mix ratio you will need to readjust your jetting as much due to viscosity as ratio differences.

Two strokes seem to be as much an art form as a science. You'd think that the cooling effect of the alcohol would reduce the running temperatures and preclude piston holing, but much as it sounds implausible, the lubrication on the cylinder walls helps transfer the heat from the piston. A friend of mine just did in three engines - chainsaw - recently and it appears to be high alcohol fuel related problems.

Best of luck.

I went to many factory schools to keep certified for Stihl.

In one the instructor picked up a new Stihl and filled it with 'stale' mix.

Started it and held it wide open. It soon self-destructed. Locked up.

I used to get many locked up chainsaws. I would give them $25 or so or tradein on a new one. I then pulled the cylinder to see the usual metal transfer and gullying from piston to cyl right at the exhaust port.

Usually a poor mix or they had fussed a lot with the H/L jets mixtures. I would tear it down and sand out the transferred metal. New rings and back in service.

Here is the normal scenario.
They dull the chain. From then on it produces 'face powder' instead of slivers and chips of wood. This powder then clogs the air cleaner making the mixture rich. They then reach down and crank away on the H/L adjustments until it runs.

Finally one day they clean the airfilter. Its now going to
be quite lean since more air is supplied. They start it and start cutting. Soon the lack of lub seizes the engine. Lock up.

The cheaper chainsaws usually have the very small airfilter sometimes right behind the bar so it gets plenty of clogging right off.

Life is too short to buy and use a cheap chainsaw. Buy a good Stihl and maintain it properly. I am using some from the previous shop for many many years.

I brag that I can listen to a chainsaw cutting timber a mile away. Tell how sharp it is. What brand it is. Who is running it. What he had for breakfast and if he had sex the night before.

Well sometimes. But always I can tell how dull or sharp it is by how he cuts with it. Engine races up, hits cut, bogs down,lifts it up, engine races, over and over.

Soon the bar is burned and the temper lost. The chain was dull already and heated the bar. Lots of slack now since the chain rivets have lost temper as well and the tie rivets wear and produces a lot of slack. The saw is now hot.

Guy shuts it off and proceeds to tighten the chain. Cuts a bit more then quits. Chain cools, tightens up, pull a big clearance in the crankshaft seals and bearings on the sideplates.

That crankshaft pressure is what runs the fuel pump on the carb. It now will not start due to lack of piston crankcase vacumn pulses to run the small fuel pump.

What does the guy do then? Takes a 10 lb sledge hammer to it. Says it a piece of junk. Goes on to the next job as a master timber cutter. He is a jerk. I sold a lot of saws to jerks.

Still got my Stihl Tech baseball caps. Cut wood yesterday in fact. Lots more to cut and split. Yuppies die young, us old geeks keep on trucking. My woodstove is keeping my lodgings warm as toast right now. Nothing better than well cured hickory or red oak. (I only take downed trees and cut righteously). A good Stihl 028 AV Wood Boss will usually suffice in these days of smaller timber. A smaller one for trimming. Like an 024 with a smaller bar or 015.

New Stihl I tend to disparge. Lots of plastic and no ambiance to speak of.Lots harder to repair as you can't just jerk the cylinder out. It now appears to be one piece with half of the crankshaft. I did this a few months back and decided to never do another one. Farm employee had filled it with non-mix gas. I showed him but he lied and said it was not him. The saw seized while he was cutting and he had enough cuts on the ground to prove he had to refill. With the wrong container. Stupid farm employees tear up more than they are worth. I kid you not.

Airdale-all the above is true. I finally quit the business when folks stopped cutting firewood back in the early 90s as the yuppies decided "not for me Jose".

good info there. save to file. thx.

Thanks for chainsaw 101. Been using one for years but did not know half of what you just wrote. Question, once you torch the bar, yes dull chain, at what point must the bar be replaced?


Checking the bar. Well the wood is cut on the underside of the bar and right next to the forward portion of the saw body. So you always check that part of the bar for 'bluing' , which means overheating and the oxidation (heat) of the bar is blue and proof that you were usually running with a dull chain and bearing down to get thru the cut.

A good sharp chain does not require you to put much pressure at all on the saw. Check you chips. Are they real small and tending towards powder or nice and big. Big means sharp chain. Powder means dull chain and will soon damage you bar.

You can flip the bar over. But realize you have exceeded some parameter and will pay for it.

The bar also has a groove. This is called the 'gauge'. Mostly 50. If it wears a lot then it will exceed its gauge.
Usually by that time a razor edge has developed on the sides of the groove. You are putting a lot of wear on that bar and it might be past its life time.

Clue. Never put a brand new chain on a worn out bar. And vice versa. Carry a spare sharp chain.

If you keep developing a sag in your chain? You have likely a lot of wear in the tie rivets. Maybe not pumping enough bar oil?

You can use a grinder and take the razor edge off the bar but be aware you are going to have to replace it sooner or later. Take good care of you bar and chain.

The sprocket. Also do not put a new chain on with a worn sprocket. Most saws come with a 'spur' sprocket where the sprocket is integral with the clutch drum. A better way to go is with a 'rim' sprocket. You save money by only replacing one component of the clutch/sprocket assembly.

If you chain is sharp. Your using a good quality bar oil(never used or new engine oil), if your mix is correct, you bar in good condition, your sprocket as well and its tuned up properly?

Then you can cut plenty of wood with ease.

Do not cut a tree down at the ground level. Cut it up where dirt and grit has not splashed up due to rain. When your chain is getting duller might be a good time to cut it down low but again,,, just one rock and your chain is dull.

Handsharpening is possible, IF you have a chain that is produced as being able to be sharpened by hand filing. Some are not. There are chains that will stay sharp long and need machine filing and those that can be filed by hand but don't stay as sharp as long. Its all a tradeoff.

Problem with hand filing is you likely will not all the teeth the same length and then your saw will cut in seimcircles on the log.

Stihl makes a Green label chain and a Yellow label chain. Green as I recall is anti-kickback, for amateurs. Yellow is professional(or maybe vice versa?). Not anti-kickback portions are built into that chain. You must choose but choose wisely. Sometimes the amateur chain being anti-kickback can cut as well or even better than the other. Its a lot of technology in those good chains.

If you don't use Stihl then Oregon is a good second choice. But now Oregon is making 'knockoff' stuff and so you need to be a judge of good vs not so good. Experience counts here.

There is far more aspects to using a chain saw. I have covered some of the easy stuff. Knowing how to use a plastic wedge to keep the cut from binding your saw and as you wrench it free you put a bend in the bar...bad stuff,,,don't do that.

I use a big Sach Dolmar for my serious work. A monster. Sachs is quite good quality. Echo would be my next choice. I once had a two cylinder Echo that they made for only one year. The guy I sole it to says I can buy it back , which I intend to do. I have about 4 good saws now and some junkers , like Partner and so forth. I never buy those two brands sold at Home Depot or other big stores. One is green and the other...well name starts with H and thats not Huskvarna. Husky is ok but they brought out an old old manufacturer in Europe and then went downhill IMO.


One other item. Way back when pure alcohol was being added to gas at the pumps we had a huge number of saw problems. Dissolved the fuel lines and played havoc in other areas.
The manufactures resolved that but I recall that alcohol tends to react somehow with water and when I now tear a saw carb apart I can see droplets of water on the fuel pump gaskets. Where the valve flaps are. The water will bead up where the fuel does not.

So there is a lot of controversity about whether to store the saw with fuel in it or run it dry. Dry you take a chance on some types of diaphragm failing due to brittleness.
Also the fuel can become stale and also the lighter components of the fuel evaporate and leave a sludge in the carb parts where those diaphragms are located which will prevent your saw from starting. You can only remove the carb, take the ends off and clean it out. There is a small screen in there that will accumulate trash. Must clean this with carb cleaner. Also the round chamber where the fuel pump needle valve is will collect trash on the side where the small hole is.

All very excellent advice Airdale. I use only non-alcohol gasoline in all my small engines and especially in my chainsaws. Also only use fresh mix with Stihl synthetic oil. Keep the chain sharp and get rid of the old mix. I learned the hard way by keeping old gas in my saw and spent fifty bucks getting a carb rebuild to cure it.
I would also add that anyone using a chainsaw should never run one without safety chaps. I had a kick back on Veteran's Day while cutting sprung Ironwood which threw the bar back into my left leg. Was being as careful as possible, but it still happened in an instant. I was very happy to have been wearing chaps.


Stihl MS 026
Stihl MS 361

Several of your don't do or bad things will happen I have done and the bad things did happen. Had a Stihl but my ex ended up with it. New relationship came with a Huskvarna. Both ex and new insist on ground cutting. Must like watching the sparks fly. Seems I've done some things wrong but I have always taken the extra time to get the wood off the ground and clean it up if it was dirty. A sharp chain cuts so much better seems self evident but that a dull chain causes damage and why is not so.


I think it was Jonsred that Husky brought out or into.

I once had a Husky with a jammed up oiler. I was told to use a Jonsred part. I did. It was a perfect fit. And Jonsred I think is out of business and has been for a long time.

I have seen Jonsreds but never ran one. They did have a very good reputation.


It's my understanding that Jonsered and Husky are made in the same factory. The basic difference is the color. They are both very good saws.


Listen to Airdale , folks.

Alcohol free gasoline is very hard to find but if you can get it, use it.

If you have a real old saw it is just about gauranteed to have continious carburetor trouble if we get fifteen percent alcohol fuel.

My personal experience or opinion is that if you will be using the saw again within a month or so, leave the fuel in it.But of you are going to put it up for several months I reccomend running it bonre dry-pull the cord with the choke on till it won't hit another lick and store in a dry place.Mix fresh fuel every sixty days max.

I add old fuel to the tank of our gas tractor-it doesn't cause problems when you mix a quart or two with a ten gallon tank full that will be burned out in short order.I have never had a problem with smoke or a fouled plug, etc-there is just not that much oil in a small amount of fuel mix.

For you amatuers-never run your saw with the air cleaner off-not only does it let dirt in, it will run lean and a lean running saw like Airdale says is a dead saw.Running any aircooled motor with any of the shrouds or covers off for more than a minute or two -maybe less if pulling real hard-is liable to over heat it and ruin it.

And if your just cannot resist messing with the carburetor adjustments ABOVE ALL REMEMBER THIS:

The carburetors are made out of very soft metal and the mixture screws will distort the seats if you turn the screws all the way in and apply even a VERY small amount of torque once bottomed.

Nevertheless sometimes after repairs you need to bottom the screws and back them off to get the initial adjustment.BE AS EASY WITH THEM AS YOU WOULD BE CLEANING OUT A BABY'S EYES.Otherwise you will find out right quick that you have made a serious mistake.Most likely the carburetor will never "hold it's adjustment" after that and you may have to buy a new one.

Prying the idiot locks off of the screws on newer engines will void the warranty and pus you in violation of some clean air regs but I wouldn't worry much about getting caught. ;)

Turning the screws to the left-counterclockwise-will enrich the mixture,which will do no real harm except maybe for flooding, hard starting, fouled spark plug, or stopped up exhaust spark screen.None of these actually damages the saw other than you might wear out the starter cord.Most likely it will aggravate you so bad you can't stand run it enough to hurt it under these curcumstances.

Turning the screws clockwise-to the right-leans out the mixture and is playing with fire.

If Airdale feels up to it maybe he will post some more good stuff.

Personally I really like the translucent plastic fuel containers because in a strong light you can actually see if there is any water or trash in your gas.If thre is you can easily rinse out every last speck because these cans will drain to the last drop.Metal cans are safer by far but you can never be sure if there is a little water or trash in them.

Keeep a rag handy and clean around the gas and oil caps thoroughly before filling up.

If you spill ANY oil, clean it uop thoroughly before you run the saw or the cooling fan will suck it off the outside into the engine covers and it will trap sawdust and that will insulate the motor just like a winter coat.This can be fatal to the saw depending on how hot it gets.

Yes good advice also from OFM,

Its wise to make sure you oiler is pumping. While running the engine I point the end of the bar at something that will show oil. I rev the engine and watch for a fine mist to splatter on the object at the end of the bar. A few inches away.

Then I know I am getting oil.

Here is another thing you want to watch. A new chain.

Stihl pre-lubes their chains but someone in the back of the shop may have made up chain from a roll.Then puts it in the handy box that Stihl provides and hangs it on the pegboard in the storefront.

This chain will be DRY. Put it on your saw and start cutting wood and before the oil from your pump can penetrate into the rivet inner parts the chain will overheat from friction. From then on you will be dealing with constantly stretching chain.

Also cheaper brands and even Oregon will likely NOT be pre-oiled. In this case I used to take a 3 lb coffee can and put the chain in it. Pour enough bar oil in so that the chain is covered. Heat it up to about 100 or so degree and then let it sit , overnite is best, but long enough so oil penetrate to the inner most portions. Mount and saw.

Put the lid on the coffee can and save it for next time.

Some guys would come in the shop with a chain so stretched they would ask me to remove a link. I knew they would soon be a future customer. Some would boast of using old auto engine oil. Ditto.

The air filter may be flocked on your saw. Never brush it as you will likely be removing flocking. Blow it out with air, gently. My Stihl 028 has a pre-filter screen in the end cover as well as a flocked air filter. I pop the filter in half and blow air backwards thru it.

For the rest of the saw I use a air cleaning wand with the pickup stuck in a can of mineral spirits.

The wise man will over time learn most of this. He may ruin a chain or bar but will learn from that experience. The unwise will suffer and not learn. A chain saw can be a beautiful tool but used unwisely can cut your leg or arm off.

A guy I worked earlier with cut thru his work boots and took off all his toes on one foot. A neighbor of mine using a very small saw to cut brush in a fence row got it snagged, it came down on his upper arm and cut it to the bone. He bled so bad my wife had to keep his artery pinched off with her fingers as they drove 25 miles to a hospital.

I always wear a Stihl brand helmet with a mesh face plate and earmuffs.


PS. I think we have been using a very low percentage of ethanol in our fuel for long enough that problems would likely have surfaced by now. However if they increase it further then perhaps we will have problems. I have no source for pure gasoline so I use what is being sold normally. I use lead additive for my old tractors and engines that might need lead. Very old motorcyles and VWs.

I know avgas is pure but hard to get and costly. Has lead also. So far my heavily used 028 is doing well. My others also and I use Stihl 50:1 in all of them.

Lots of good advice. Been awhile since I was a sawyer, but the brand names are the same. Back in the 1980's you could always tell a real novice in the woods, he would put a brand new chain on a saw and start cutting withour first sharpenning it. I think you could do that with some of the very high speed cutting designs, but the second you cut through some crap they were dead. We always round filed our chains in MT because we just weren't cutting the size timber the coast boys were and crap was alway somewhere to be hit on a given day. Once round filed the high speed blades worked fine, a little slower but much easier to touch up on the mountainside.

Simple hand filing with a top angle gauge, and a raker depth gauge got me all the life out of blades I was likely to get. There always was a litte bit of art involved when filing the hook just below the main part of the cutting face every third or fourth sharpenning. You could always tell when you hadn't done a very even job of sharpenning as the blade would not cut straight. Even on our relatively small timber we often buried our 42" bars (close the ground trunks get big fast) so the ability to cut straight was very important.

As and aside: the forest service required a stump to be at a maximum height which varied from sale to sale. The shortest I remember was either 6 or 8 inches up from a very non uniform ground. The FS had spray painted the bottoms before the snow fell so they knew where the ground was, a can of spray paint in the tool kit was a cheat some fallers had been known to use but whoever bought the sale had to clean the site when the snow disappeared so the trick was found out and those sawyers just might find it hard to work for the contractor the next time.

This particular sale was for a trail head and had to be winter cut to minimize soil damage and to allow for the use of a snow bridge over a creek. The snow was 3-4 foot deep at logging time so a hole had to be dug to the base of the each tree. The sawyer was then locked in a embrace with 120' + tall timber, no way to get away if he screwed up. A sharp chain was critical to maintain directional control and the low stump height required frequent field sharpennings. You would have had to carry a dozen or two machine sharpen only chains with you to have made it through the day. Learning how to sharpen a chain and the importance of cutting with a sharp chain are among the most important lessons any chainsaw operator needs to learn.

Oh I had to cut dull sometimes. On one sale the landing was at the end of a gravel road that the skidders had to drag timber down for hundreds of yards. There was no avoiding the gravel when partial limbing (usually the about a quarter of the limbs or more could not be trimmed on fallen timber in the woods) and bucking the logs. It was a relatively small job so I both did the falling in the woods and the landing work. On the landing I sharpenned through a chain every day and half and had to cut dull half the time at least. It is tough to sharpen a chain that has been heated by lots of dull cutting, went through lots of files too.

Airdale, I just copied and pasted that in an email to a friend, and suggested he send it to another friend of ours.

Plus saving for myself to read many times.

Here's hoping it goes viral.


Aviation 100LL is used in most piston airplane engines and contains no alcohol. It does however contain lead. Far more expensive but that shouldn't be a major consideration since how much fuel do most people use in their chainsaws? --- I haven't a clue what the lead does to the engine though I do not imagine there being a problem other than for the lead pollution.

Aviation fuel, 100LL, contains 10-12 times the lead regular leaded car gas did before no-lead. You do not want to breathe that exhaust. It also fouls plugs.

Ironically we can get straight unleaded at the farm supply co-op. farmers don’t like ethanol in their old gas powered tractors and small engines.

Good idea. I will have to try them. I want to keep my little IH 140 running as well as possible.


I've seen references to 2-stroke engines running on biodiesel.

No idea as the common 2-stroke items of a weed wacker and a chainsaw in my life are electric.

So far as I know there aren't any very small two stroke diesels on the market and small four stroke diesels are a rare item but they begin to get more common above about the fifteen to twenty horsepower size.

There used to be a lot of two stroke diesel trucks and tractor around but most of them are long gone or semiretired on small farms.I read about some really big two stroke diesels being built these days for use in ships and maybe to drive large generators.

I've seen references to 2-stroke engines running on biodiesel.

No idea as the common 2-stroke items of a weed wacker and a chainsaw in my life are electric.

Thank you for posting this informative article. As long as my engine doesn't choke on it, and as long as ethanol production doesn't have a large adverse impact on food security and the environment (I don't see how its production is any worse than food production), then I welcome this as a tool to transition away from oil use, esp. ME oil use...this is part of the strategy for us to disengage from the whole ME tar pit and make our own solutions. We need to stop sending money to folks who don't like us and would like to cause harm to us...we need to make our own energy solutions and let the Middle Eastern peoples live in peace....or at least live without our influence.

Shifting cropland from soybeans to corn is MUCH worse for the environment.

Much more nitrogen fertilizer is used on corn than soybeans (which fix their own nitrogen, although farmers often add a little more) and excess nitrogen creates a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico every year, devastating fisheries.

Best Hopes for importing Brazilian sugar cane ethanol,


We need to stop sending money to folks who don't like us and would like to cause harm to us

Right. That is one reason to develop our domestic sources including offshore for the transition. The other reason is to shrink the trade deficit.

Corn cob cellulosic ethanol pilot plant progress.


Article by Jared Diamond posted in the NYT December 5:


Dear MoonWatcher and X - What about a little bit of meat on your bones ?

paal m,

I assesses Mr. Diamond's editorial to be a useful addition to the many fine articles Leanan has culled form the internet and posted up top to kick off the Drumbeat.

I find some of Mr. Diamond's points to be interesting, maybe even hopeful, but I think he has missed the big picture about how making adjustments within our current construct, while somewhat useful, are insufficient to escape collapse and create a sustainable society...the entire debt/consumption/love affair with the car/truck/export our energy use and pollution to China et al construct must change.

I don't always feel the necessity of me framing a link to an article relevant to TOD with my editorial preamble...sometimes folks can click on the link and invest a few minutes and come to their own conclusions, or not. I mistakenly thought that citing the author (Jared Diamond) might be sufficient motivation for folks to read his editorial, as I suspect that many of TOD's readers are familiar with Mr. Diamond's books.

MW, first of all thx for posting your link. The problem here on the information-superhighway is to select among what to read- I simply can't take it all. Leanan's 'Drumsticks' is to my taste b/c she gives good teaser-part of the story. You gave me (us) only a link to a 3 page story 'about who knows what'. Mr. Diamond may be known to many, but not all.
Also, I think an exert is good 'for your readership' and I have turned very choosy over the years due to lack of mental capacity.. ;-)

Interesting. He's arguing that being green can be profitable...in both the short and long term. And points to Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, and Chevron as examples.

Lots of sustainability people use that to get in the door (doing good for the environment only gets you so far, if you can't make an economic argument, you're not likely to have a project accepted).

Economic reasons furnish the strongest motives for sustainability, because in the long run (and often in the short run as well) it is much more expensive and difficult to try to fix problems, environmental or otherwise, than to avoid them at the outset.

Sure, but it still doesn't change the fact that we are like locusts as we use up resources.

“God forbid that India should ever take to industrialism after the manner of the West…If an entire nation of 300 million took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts."
— Gandhi, 1928

He's arguing that some companies are like locusts. Others are genuinely taking a long view. Unlike locusts, they are trying to replace what they use, because they want to use it again in the future.

By all means, let's honor the commitment of the people who are charged with growing their companies and also want to be "sustainable." It's by definition an impossible task, but they are trying nonetheless.

Let's keep things in perspective. Walmart's initiative has saved $26 million dollars as they travel over 900 million miles per year to over 4000 stores. Their fleet fuel economy is roughly 6mpg moving toward 7mpg. Let's be generous and say 7mpg. That means they are using:

900 000 000 miles / 7 mpg = 128 571 000 gallons of diesel per year

and spending a total of:

128 571 000 gal x 2.77 $/gal = $356 142 000

That's a $356 million dollar fuel budget.

So saving $26 million and the 9 386 000 gallons of fuel is commendable, yes. But no more impactful than me changing a few light bulbs in my home while I still have a hot tub, two dishwashers and an indoor heated swimming pool. (I don't have all that of course.)

Add to that that their purpose isn't just to drive trucks around. They service 300 million highly voracious (in terms of consumption) humans.

In my view, the sustainability people are losing the game they are playing. We just scored a three-pointer with Walmart, but the score is still 5000 to 6.

I think Ted Trainer has it about right:

Everything depends on how one sees the state of the planet, and the solution. In my view most people do not understand the nature and magnitude of the situation, including most green people. Consequently they are working for goals which cannot solve the problems.

Brian Davey Responds to Ted Trainer

Corporations respond to financial incentives and to law. There is plenty of evidence that appropriately structured incentives can motivate companies to operate in a more sustainable manner.

After a couple of decades doing engineering in companies big and small, I have little faith in corporate long-term vision implementing sustainable practices, but I have lots of experience with companies modifying their behavior to reduce impacts in response to financial and regulatory consequences.

Most of my current work involves California public utilities that have been "de-coupled" so that their profits depend on energy conservation achievements rather than on volume of energy delivered (which is the norm elsewhere). When the corporation's bottom line depends on energy conservation, suddenly lip-service becomes focused attention.

Diamond begs the question of why, in the first place, should a multi-national corporation be producing and promoting poisonous swill like Coca-Cola?


My family is extraordinarily lucky in that a really superb physician decided to semi retire and move to our rural community.He will take the time to talk to you..as long as you want...

and he is just about as down on hfcs as he is on tobacco and cocaine.

And while he will not comment publicly on artificial sweeteners if you ask as a patient he strongly reccomends that they be used very sparingly if at all.It seems that there is a rather substantial body of anecdotal information out there indicating an improvement in the general health of sick people who cut out the diet sodas.

But no clinical proof.

His position is that we are eating and drinking and breatheing and absorbing so many chemicals that there is no possible way that some of them are not interacting in some undesirable ways.

Incidentally he is not opposed to using pesticides and fertilizers as he says the ill effects of malnutrition are infinitely worse than POSSIBLE problems associated with residues.

Corporations figured that out a long time ago, not that they learned their lesson; the greater profit from preventing these problems beforehand, rather than cleaning them up later. Surprisingly BAU missive from Diamond but then what do you expect in the NYT?

My question is what kind of corporate environmental plan will we deploy a century from now? And thereafter? Are we engaged in a civilization for the ages, or is this just a party?

After fighting off having to go to Disneyland, I finally went. They have an area that highlights future technology. Based on what they highlight, the house of the future will probably will use 10 times more electricity than today. Countertops in kitches were lit, walls were lit movie projectors. It would have been nice to see a display highlighting solar technologies but I did not see one. They had a hydrogen car but it was in an area I could not ask many questions as I would have liked. The guy could not even tell me if the shell was carbon fiber.

I want to apologize for the way I responded to your stone age comment yesterday. It did little to allow for future conversations that we might be able to have here. (as with the above) I still felt that your comment was also unproductive, but I need to learn how to better interrupt such vicious cycles in these dialogs. I think Leanan does a really good job of responding calmly to viewpoints she might otherwise be riled about.. maybe I can keep moving towards that ideal.

I share your dismay that a Disney display of future tech doesn't bust away from pure techno-cornucopianism and suggest a more lively range of choices.. OR that it trumpets this tech, but leaves no place to TALK and Exchange about these actual technologies.. I know, it's 'Disney'.. and plays to an old motto of mine 'Remember where you are..' but still, treating future tech like a commoditized forecast, like a Christmas Wish List, instead of something we need to make choices about and approach as adults dealing with our world, not kids waiting for new gifties.

Well, it gives us the object lesson of 'How NOT to do it..' so we can seek out those opportunities to do it better.


"Strive Mightily, as Lawyers do in law. But eat and drink as friends." - Shakespeare

Rock, Rock, Rock ....


You only live in Newport Beach, I can see this so clearly now, as I've mentioned I come from there.

People who are from there never go to Disney Land. If somehow they find themselves there, they never admit it afterward.

Needless to say I've never been. Been to Knott's, once, when I was five. It was still largely a berry farm.

Anyway, Dizzeyland must be like the Nixon Museum, a shrine for the True Believers. There are still a ton of people in the US who think it's only a matter of time before we're living like The Jetsons.

Peak Intelligence ?

"Psychometricians have long been aware of a phenomenon called the Flynn effect—a widespread and long-standing tendency for scores on certain tests of intelligence to rise over time."...

"Ever since Flynn published his startling results, psychologists and educators have struggled to figure out whether people really are getting smarter and, if so, why. No clear answer has emerged. And now they have another curiosity to ponder: The tendency for intelligence scores to rise appears to have ended in some places. Indeed, it seems that some countries are experiencing a Flynn effect with a reversed sign."


A small bit about the Flynn effect in a short episode of RadioLab.

But more germane to this board, a discussion of 'universal morality' versus
'circles of morality.' My strained terminology, not the program's verbiage, to describe the ethics as an inverse power law - the further someone/something is from you, the less ethical responsibility you feel towards it. I feel more moral responsibility towards my neighbor's dog than I do for human beings on the other side of the planet. Although I don't mean to imply that this is a solely a matter of distance. The degree of separation is matter of relationships, such as "six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon"

Killing Babies, Saving the World

A more interesting RadioLab is their "Numbers" show, which describes our natural intuition of quantity as a logarithmic understanding of numbers.


experiencing a Flynn effect with a reversed sign

As famously epitomised by Fox Business' Phil Flynn

Peak oil in the near term looks about as credible as the science of global warming!

couldn't resist
(thanks KLR, that's a keeper)

peakoil.com has a whole thread on Phil if you can't get enough of his schtick. Tracks his trades and subsequent financial woes. Never watched his show myself, does he have toys and ringing bells ala Cramer?

And now they have another curiosity to ponder: The tendency for intelligence scores to rise appears to have ended in some places.

This is no curiosity. The cause is mainly dygenic tendencies in the developed world since at least 150 years and even worse the last 40 years since moderne contraceptiva are avaible elsewhere (the smart woman don't "forget" to take the pill for example) and social wellfare was strengthend.

The flynn effect coverd the phentotypic chances because of better nutrition and better education and other things like less discrimination and so on. But these effects are exausted now. Now the genotypic decline takes moment and will take everything with hime... It's like the technology - reserves race in the PO manner, in the long run all that count are reserves, even when technology can help you for some time. Many things are working against the "modern world", not only PO.

The smart will vanish in the long run - the rest is up to your imagination...


I considerd this in detail on a post here (end of post).


Desdemona Despair has an article about the Asian Carp in the Illinois River.


I have posted her several times on the explosion of this invasive species. Seems to me that one was supposed to use sterile males carp for algae control way back as per Government Agencies advice.

This is a different carp. The others I recall we grass carp. We have had carp in our waters for as long as I can recall but no where near as destructive as these Asian Carp.

So chalk up another stupid plan put forth by the Government entities who are supposed to protect us but instead introduce species here in the USA that don't work as planned.

Such as Japanese Lady Bugs..we get to consume then when the swarm and enter our residences. I never see them in my garden. The swarming this last fall was worse than most falls.

Also Kudzu. Here is a bit from Wiki:
"From 1935 to the early 1950s, the Soil Conservation Service encouraged farmers in the Southeastern United States to plant kudzu to reduce soil erosion as above. The Civilian Conservation Corps planted it widely for many years."

I have seen entire hillsides for miles totally covered with kudzu. Killing trees and choking out everything. More stupid works by those who think they can tell farmers what to do and plant.

Stupidity run amok.

Then we have Multiflora Rose.
"In eastern North America, Multiflora Rose is now generally considered an invasive species, though it was originally introduced from Asia as a soil conservation measure, as a natural hedge to border grazing land, and to attract wildlife. It is readily distinguished from American native roses by its large inflorescences,"

Who is responsible for such ignorant activities? I look to the Agricultural Depts in Universities who promote this trash. This is only the worse.

I have been at farm programs where these ag guys were promoting the feeding of chicken house broiler litter to cattle? Feed chicken fecal matter, and basic trash to our beef cattle? Sheesshhhh.

Our food was once promoted as the best in the world. Now its likely among the worst. Right now I find it quite difficult to eat ground beef from the supermarket. It takes me hours to pick the gristle and small bones out of my teeth. Doesn't taste like what we ate at Drive Ins in my teens. Tastes like 'mystery meat'.

Ask for a 'chicken fried steak' at the diner and you get some type of mush pressed into a rough semblance of pattie which if you investigate has absolutely NO GRAIN. Meat is supposed to have a grain , unless ground up. Steaks are now this Mystery Meal from heavens knows where. Perhaps some South American country.

Around here a lot of Black Angus and Black Baldies go to the auction. I think its taken somewhere else and we get what they don't like of their own trashfood meat. Its for sure not what I used to buy and consume. Even if its labeled as such it is not.

I used to raise some Black Angus. If I wasn't in my 70s I would put some back on the pasture.

Asian carp just creep me out, both kinds Silver and Big-Head. Indeed, now Grass Carp don't seem so bad. Bullheads and catfish are downright like teddy-bears in comparison. I wouldn't even want to go in the water with Asian carp around.

I figure that once the Asian carp are everywhere (not up where I live yet) maybe we will grow them in fish farms. If they are that prolific, and get that big, it might provide another source of protein. Perhaps they can process them into "mystery meal", and people won't be the wiser.

Asian carp have floating bones, I believe, which make them hard to eat. They are more useful for making soup than filleting.
They could be ground up to make a bony fish meal.

Part of the solution needs to be a campaign by our government to find human or animal food uses for the carp. Perhaps even a bounty on catching them. Human are good at over exploiting a fishery given the right economic rewards.

The Silver Carp variation of the Asian Carp like to jump out of the water when disturbed. I have heard that people are starting to use guns, and cross-bows before that, to shoot at them while they are in the air.

I have heard that people are starting to use guns, and cross-bows before that, to shoot at them while they are in the air.

Yea, strange to see...

7 min clip of a show (check 4min in for an aerial swarm):

And a shorter vid of collected clips:

Aren't those jumping carp a delicacy in China? Maybe we just need recipes.

Bony, shelly, etc seafood is a problem. Where I grew up, there were enough "mole crabs" for the scooping to never go hungry. The problem, How do you eat mole crabs? I figure, you'd catch 'em, toss back the ones with eggs, and basically grind 'em up. You'd have to filter and let settle the resulting jelly, get the bigger pieces of shell out and let the sand settle, and somewhere along there maybe add a little vinegar to get the smaller shell grit dissolved, which is good for you anyway. The end product would be something like surimi, and you'd probably mix it with something to cook in cakes, or make a soup. A bit of labor but the reward is high-quality, tasty, protein.

Yes, it's really a cultural thing. Americans don't like fish with bones in it. They prefer big, bone-free filets.

In Asia, they eat fish like this by picking the meat from the bones with chopsticks. It's a delicacy in Japan and China - holiday food. They even raise them. Americans generally find them quite tasty, too. They just don't like dealing with the bones.

Bones are what makes flounder an affordable fish. Without small bones, it would sell for MUCH more.

Best Hopes for Good tasting fish,


I had some carp on a trip to china. It was quite good and, they served the fish whole on a plate.

They could be ground up to make a bony fish meal.

There's a small-scale business opportunity for somebody. Locally harvested fishmeal fertilizer. It could probably be promoted as renewable, and as eco-friendly because it removes a invasive species...

Is fishmeal normally sold as a liquid or a solid? Can it be dried and bagged?

I'd consider, first catch it, easy because this fish throws itself to you ....

Scale, gut etc., and boil it then just go through by hand and get the meat away from the bones. Then mix with stuff to make fish cakes. Corn meal etc., could be delicious.

I have never fished for them. The ones who have had them jump in the boat say the slime is very very bad and when you get it on your hands its hard to get off. They mess up the boat as well.

I have yet to hear of anyone here trying to eat one.

We always ate crappie, many kinds of cat, and some bass and bluegill.

I have caught regular carp in the past some time ago and ate those. We do catch 'white' carp out of the river when they migrate and white carp ribs are considered very good to eat. I have eaten a lot of that, but these? No thanks.

The folks around the Great Lakes are very worried for it would kill the fishing harvest for other species.
Already they are impacting sport fishing in Ky and Barkley Lakes.

Its not the bones. We can handle that. Its the nastiness of the fish and I understand its rather inedible at that. A real trash fish.

Excuse me but I think the Asians eat some stuff out of the water that most folks here would NOT eat. My son sat in a hotel room in Hong Kong with my video camera and taped a family in a tied up junk use a dip net to haul dead fish out of the bay. He then cooked them up and sold what he created with them to other boats passing by. My son only ate at McDonalds while there. Not even the Dim Sum,which one never knows what is in that.

I used to refuse to watch the Iron Chefs when they started with that weirdness. Eels and such.

I have ate some possum. I have ate bear. I ate some gator tail once. I have even sampled snake. I never ate any of the above items again.


Eels and such. --- sorry that is your prejudice of what is eatable. Eels are firm flesh and when smoked very tasty. Much of Europe appreciates the taste and is quite perturbed about their decline from the menu.

I've eaten eel as well. It's popular in Hawaii as a flavoring for sushi. (Sushi is not raw fish. It's rice seasoned with vinegar, which may be flavored with various ingredients, including cooked or raw fish. In Hawaii, sushi is usually the roll kind, and has either canned eel or canned tuna flavored with soy sauce. The eel is more expensive.)

The idea of what's edible and what isn't is very much cultural. Some people consider beef and pork disgusting to eat. For Americans, they're staples.

In Hawaii when I was a kid, tilapia was always considered a "rubbish fish." People used it as bait, or maybe fed it to the cat, but wouldn't eat it themselves. Now there are fancy restaurants that serve tilapia.

FYI only:

In Korea, sushi (cho bap, literally vinegar rice) and rice rolls (kim bap, literally seaweed rice) are considered different things. This is in part because cho bap is considered Japanese in origin while Koreans consider kim bap to be a Korean creation. Given the histories, the reality is likely lost in the fog of the past. However, the evidence suggests strongly that culture developed on the mainland fist, then spread to Japan. This is logically likely, as well. However, when laver, kim bap and cho bap were created, who knows? Korea and Japan have been in conflict many, many times over the centuries.

In Korea, kim bap is almost never served with fish, except tuna. Virtually any other combination of vegetables and meats are used. The most traditional uses egg, ham, pickled daikon, o-deng (sort of fish left overs made into a tofu-like substance), carrot and spinach flavored simply with salt, sesame oil, etc., all wrapped in the seaweed layered with unflavored rice.

Koreans eat this plain, but I like to dip it in soy sauce. Only in the last two decades has it become a sort of very commonly eaten snack food. This came with the establishment of the first restaurant franchise, Kim Bap Cheon Guk (Kim Bap Heaven.)

Airdale, what's bear taste like. Bear steaks....sounds like it could be delicious!

Antoinetta III

Bear I ate had a sorta woodsy, wildlike taste. A tad musky but the meat grain was very good and it looked good.

I could get used to it very easy. Its on the order of the difference between buffalo and beef.
A lot is in one's mind I believe which might color their perceptions.

I don't mind tough meat as long as its flavorable. Just so I can chew it. Coon and possum I tried and never got the jump on that. Its an acquired taste IMO.

Wild turkey breast is very very good, fried that is at least for myself.Many swear by fried squirrel and the gravy from it.

I grew up on cured bacon, cured ham and smoked sausage so that is my favorite meat.


The way I figure it, there is a good reason why supermarkets stock some types of food, and other types are almost impossible to find. If it was really good, there would be a huge demand for it, and good profit opportunities for whoever could figure out how to produce more of it. Stuff that nobody wants to eat doesn't sell, so stores don't stock it. Sorry, but that is the way things work. Different cultures do have different tastes, so what applies here in North America doesn't necessarilly apply elsewhere. However, due to the intermixing of our immigrant populations, we already have a greater range of culinary diversity here than what you will find anywhere else. If, in spite of that, a food still can't manage to generate much consumer interest, then that really does tell you something.

Food and its production is very strongly dependent on conditions, which then become culture, more so than the other way around. That is, industrialization, and the fact the US was born at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution factored into us accepting processed food.

Part of this is that processed foods often have salt, sugar and fat that unprocessed foods don't. These things are pretty addictive and would make traditional fare seem boring in most respects. All of that is more marketing than cultural.


Also a culture that simply did not value food resulted in, among many other "foods", super-sizing, Pringles, McDonalds and many gallons of Coca-Cola per capita per annum#.

Eat to live vs. live to eat is a cultural value choice.

Cajun and Creole cuisines are French cultural attitudes towards food dealing with an entirely different set of local foods.

Or as I put "Throw some French peasants into a swamp, season them with African foods, Native American foods and Spanish foods, simmer for 250 years and Viola !"

Although we learned to cook steaks from the Croats.

Best Hopes for Quality Foods,


# I drink about 4 Cokes/year and quite enough the taste. More frequently and I think the palate becomes jaded. Coca-Cola was once sold in 8 oz glass bottles.

Part of the problem with "Asian carp" is that there's no way to process it easily. You can't use machines to cut filets off the bones, because of those floating bones.

It's not just taste. It's also how easily it fits into our industrial food system.

I tried to get a truckload from the fish kill over by Chicago last week, but they wouldn't let me pick any up because of the rotonone (sp?). I looked it up and found it dissipates in sunlight and/or water pretty easily. Given making compost out of it takes weeks, if not months, there really is no issue.

More government doing the wrong thing by overdoing the right thing.

Gee, thanks, gov't.


Sometimes when I go fishing and catch only one or two blue gill out of the farm pond I feed them to the pigs rather than cleaning them.Every pig we have ever had loved fish.Some of them eat fish in preference to sweet corn or watermelons.

I expect anybody who lives where he could put his hands on some of these carp quickly and easily could find good uses for them on a homestead.

If available in quanity cooking and mixing in dog food probably would work great for a commercial dog breeder.

It might be not a good idea to feed a lot of fish to a pig for the last few weeks before slaughter-the meat might be off flavored.

There was an old farmer around here who 'traded' and took hogs to market(auction).

Before he took them he would lead a worn out mule into their feed lot and kill it. After the hogs had ate the mule he hauled them to market. Put on a lot of extra cheap weight that way.

Everyone here knew he did this and no one brought or traded with him as to his hogs.

Another old farmer had a wayward wife who he chased down and killed with his shotgum. He returned to the farm and hung himself in the hog lot from a tree.

Bury those carp in your garden for nutrients? Like the Native Americans did?


The SouthWest has been cursed by Tamarisk, also known as Salt Cedar.


The last time I lived in the SW a few years ago, I had this cursed plant back yard. I waged a continual battle for four years to get rid of it before I sold my house and moved to my next post.

Fortunately my new/current house land does not have any Salt Cedar. I also do not have any grass, which is great. Xerographic is a wonderful thing.

'Russian Sage' is also an import...



Your insights seem to justify the robust application of the 'precautionary principle'. It is unfortunately darn near impossible to contain life once imported to a new area...it escapes and thrives if it can.

Beware algae engineered to excrete biofuel!

What could possibly go wrong?

Well.. if the algae IS smarter than us, then they might KEEP the gas and steal our cars!

What is the difference between the scrubby red cedars and salt cedars?
The red cedars in the SW are ugly little bushes, since they always appear like they are dead, with a reddish-brown-gray color. I think they are non-native as well.

I'd have to do some research on that...the Tamarisk I had at my former house were >15 feet tall when I came on the scene...they spread their shoots underground and come up everywhere like grass and grow like there's no tomorrow.

We have the non-native Buckthorn up here which has similar invasive properties:

Most of the scrubby little things often called cedars in the southwest are various forms of native junipers.

The red cedars in the SW are ugly little bushes

Now, I was kinda fond of them. Rather than have a sharp lower elevation limit, like most other species, they just get smaller and further apart as you go down in elevation and up in aridity. Higher up they blend into the Pinon, Ponderosa, and Rocky Mountain Juniper forests, which were truly delightful environments to spend time in.

Tamarisk is a nightmare in Colorado. Growing along stream- and riverbanks, it crowds out the native plants and uses enormously more water. In some cases, the increased water uptake has completely dried up portions of streams and small rivers. A couple of the western counties have declared tamarisk to be a noxious weed, which obligates private landowners to take steps to eradicate it on their property. The stuff is difficult to kill by mechanical means because of the extremely deep/dense root system -- cutting it down to the ground multiple times is generally necessary, or treating the cut stumps with some fairly potent herbicides. Limited release of imported tamarisk beetles has shown some promise at providing eventual control.

Add Cheat Grass to the list of bad ideas.

So chalk up another stupid plan put forth by the Government entities who are supposed to protect us but instead introduce species here in the USA that don't work as planned.

The folk-lore I had heard had it as being some idiot ex-Senator trying to feed the world...but this story supports the 'government did it' claim.


Silver carp were imported to Arkansas in the 1960s where they were used in federally funded sewage treatment experiments.

Arkansas was also promoting the White Amur fish in the 80's to cattle farmers like my granddad. The carp was a solution to algae blooms in the farm ponds.

I love invasive species discussions, it's a popular topic between people of European descent, who live in North America.

Nothing like the US for a good mix. On my father's side a fair chunk of the the ancestors moved west from central Asia in the last couple thousand years. A good chunk of my wife's ancestors moved east from central Asia several thousand years ealier. She and I met west of the divide in the Rockies. Invasion of North America complete ?- )

The same geniuses who brought us all that now are proposing to "solve" GCC by pumping toxic sulfur into the upper atmosphere or spend gazillions on some sort of space-based solar shield. Smoke and mirrors, literally.

If we don't reign in these "problem solvers", they just might manage to wipe us out entirely.

George Will says this:

The travesty is the intellectual arrogance of the authors of climate-change models partially based on the problematic practice of reconstructing long-term prior climate changes. On such models we are supposed to wager trillions of dollars -- and substantially diminished freedom.

This climategate email story reminds me so much of the Intel Pentium floating point bug story of 1994. Of course that was a pure technology story and this is a science story, but the outrage was similar. This played out just prior to the web taking hold mainly on newsgroups and BBs. The similarity is in how much of the outrage was feigned based on some perceived notion in achieving "perfection".

The Intel bug was in a division lookup table that would affect one in every several billion random divides, and it would essentially affect the precision in the result. Intel knew about the bug beforehand, so it had the appearances of a coverup when a college professor first discovered it. People became enraged by the flaw and would not listen to reason in terms of the rarity of the occurrence. According to Wikipedia, "Publicly, Intel acknowledged the floating point flaw but claimed that it was not serious and would not affect most users." Ironically, Wikipedia's recommended way to verify the bug was to use Windows Calculator. (They totally forget that Windows Calculator in the day had huge problems in just adding two numbers and giving a correct answer.:)

The fact that floating point calculations are never perfectly precise did not matter, enough people became convinced in other people's certainty that something horrible had happened that the whole thing snow-balled. This is the attitude that columnists like George Will are promulgating once again.

Ultimately, this became a great example of a binary decision. That version of the Intel Pentium became completely discredited, unfit for any use. Intel promised refunds, but nothing really became of it and Intel went on to continue to dominate the market. In the end, we realized that some Intel design engineers made a mistake and their testing didn't find it. The Intel business department decided to take the risk and put it out on the market hoping no one would find the mistake, realizing the amount of sunk-costs already placed on their production efforts.

This analogy isn't perfect, but the snowballing outrage reminds me so much of that day that I had to bring it up. Certainly the climate scientists have made some mistakes, but in the end, the mistakes pointed out have to be weighed against all the other climate change evidence.

History shows that all the climate skeptics need to look for is some perceived scientific failing to nitpick against, and doubts will set in. So perhaps the climate skeptics treat the controversy as somehow indicating that the truth has been revealed. In the end, the Intel critics steadfastly said they had the consumer in mind, and ultimately didn't mind as long as Intel fixed the problem. Unfortunately, the climate skeptics don't think that way, and they just want the problem to go away.

The truth is that no matter how someone has fudged some results, someone will still be able to anticipate what will eventually play out. We just have to work their way through the murkiness. Unfortunately, there is no controlled experiment that we can run as with the Intel bug, and the progress will remain incremental.In this case science is an ongoing process and it won't stop just because of some emails.

Incidentally, this is partly why I am such a stickler for formal modeling in oil depletion analysis. I have seen how these things play out. The climate skeptics are gunning for the climate change scientists now, and I bet they have their sights set for oil depletion next. It may seem like a conspiracy, but it keeps me motivated and diligent.

I see there was a follow up story on the code analysis:


"There are three common issues that have been raised in my previous post that I would like to officially address concerning the CRU’s source code.

If you only get one thing from this post, please get this. I am only making a statement about the research methods of the CRU and trying to show proof that they had the means and intent to falsify data. And, until the CRU’s research results can be verified by a 3rd party, they cannot be trusted."

Thanks for this link.

I understand the "valadj" (value adjust) array perfectly and understand how it applies.

Let me give you an example from my own Oil Shock Model. We all realize that yearly oil production data shows fluctuations year-on-year. In certain years, perturbations will appear that will cause the numbers to shoot up or down. These can be due to some geopolitical event such as an embargo, or natural disaster, or due to a paradigm shift (change in technology, conservation strategies, or demand destruction, say).

If these kinds of events did not occur, the randomness of all the other events combined will tend to smooth the production data. That is the nature of stochastic processes in the large. In other worlds, in a perfect world, the profile would look like a logistic or some asymmetric variant.

Yet we still want to be able to account for these perturbations to understand the underlying cause. That is why I place a perturbation equivalent of a "valadj" in the own Oil Shock Model. Those are precisely the numbers that give the shocks to the profile.
In other words, the perturbation array exists to help to understand what is happening.

Here is an example of one that I did in a previous TOD post. http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3287

I am not trying to hide anything. The perturbation array is stated plain as day. The large perturbation here is due to an inferred reduction in extraction rate due to a combination of conservation measured put in place during the oil crises starting in the 1970's.

Leanan had a nice point the other day in saying that if nothing else, a valadj can be used as an internal test array. This could act as a sanity check to determine what the offsets are in comparison to another model formulation. The coeffecients are adjusted to reduce the variance, and then you know how much you are off by. Kind of a manual residuals analysis.

What the crap is wrong with these climate skeptics? Do they not understand the least little bit of what is involved in modeling? Do they have no intellectual curiosity whatsoever?

(rhetorical questions of course)

I suppose now that I have revealed the plain truth, the skeptics will now come after me.

What the crap is wrong with these climate skeptics?

As far as I can tell, they are operating according to normal human design.

When a person is being positional (i.e. argumentative), they have already made up their mind and simply seek evidence to support their world view. It's pretty hard to have someone see something new when they are in that "mode" — and collaboration is virtually impossible (see Congress, one's local community politics or the 50% divorce rate).

There are various terms for when the human brain enters that mode. You might say they:

  • are stuck
  • are on it
  • are on rails
  • are plugged in
  • are on a crusade
  • have their heels dug in
  • have strong views
  • etc.

This mode seems to be a fundamental "design feature" in how the human brain works. Presumably it has some evolutionary reason for being selected, perhaps for us to stalk prey?

People can move out of this mode but mostly they must do it themselves. An outside force often just locks in the mode rather than diminishes its power because force is interpreted as a threat that must then be defended against. That's why arguments don't work. And debates, when not done in an authentic context of inquiry, are the same as arguments.

In contrast, inquiry is when one holds one's views lightly, even playfully.

Debate sets people up each with a position and then they must defend it, which means they aren't allowed to change their mind. A debate truly is a competition — it isn't designed to move people forward as a group. If forward movement happens, that's a bonus and quite rare. Really, we shouldn't be having an debates. We should be having inquiries.

The stuck mechanism can be released and that is greatly aided with a certain kind of education. (Buddhism has tools to do this, for instance.)

You might hear someone say, "I was furious, then I got off it" or "I decided to let it go." That's a recognition by the person that their brain got stuck and they saw forward movement was impossible until they got themselves unstuck. Or they saw that the impact of the argument on their relationship with the person they arguing with wasn't worth being right.

Unfortunately, most people never receive this sort of education and thus you have the world as it is currently unfolding.

The best conversations (in my view) here on TOD are the inquiries. They are pleasant, intellectually gratifying and there is plenty of space for people to dance in the conversation. They happen often here, which is why I choose to spend time here on TOD rather than elsewhere.

Excellent analysis.

Let me quote what Andy Grove famously said when he lost the debate over the Intel chip flaw:

Bad companies are destroyed by crisis, Good companies survive them, Great companies are improved by them

Intel finally decided to let it go and move on. Whether something like that will ever happen with the climate skeptics (or with a very small probability the other side :) I don't really know.

So echoing what Grove said, will the whole ClimateGate make the climate scientists buckle down, admit some wrongs, and get better (as George Monbiot suggests they do)?
If they have a good fundamental model and smart people working it, this crisis will only make them stronger, IMO

this crisis will only make them stronger

I think so, too. The prevailing conversation in science is still overwhelmingly "be public with one's data and methods so that results can be reproduced and we can all move forward together." That's a powerful conversation and difficult to dislodge (although it does get undermined from time to time).

If they have a good fundamental model and smart people working it, this crisis will only make them stronger, IMO

There are different definitions of stronger.
(1) The people doing the science will get more rigorous.
(2) Public confidence in science will increase.
(3) Young people will see them as role models.
I only see (1) as being a yes. Being under concerted attack by people which seek to discredit them is difficult. I think it is almost impossible to defend against such attack, no one could possibly have crossed all the T's and dotted all the Is. And the
difference between professional use of terminology and popular is so easy to exploit. The ability to convict or at least cast doubt via false positives is a pretty powerful thing. And unless you can get the ground rules set to favor careful rational discourse the playing field can be sloped against you. In the battle for public opinion, given the prevailing intellectual practices in the USA -and especially in the media, I think the playing field is a cliff.


Thanks for a great analysis of what I like to call pissing contests. For past couple of years I have engaged in a regular series of pissing contests with a couple of friends in my somewhat naive attempt to convince them that peak oil is a real threat to the continuation of BAU and needs our attention ASAP. It always begins with me thinking that now I have got the bit of evidence, or new analysis or way of framing the issue that will finally make them wake up and see our collective predicament for what it really is (often the source is something culled from TOD :). Needless to say, it never works out as planned. I especially like your off the cuff evolutionary explanation. Even if that might be impossible to verify it is still suggestive of strategies for anticipating and maybe even avoiding the automatic response of digging in one's heels that so many people like to call "debate." Inquiry is definitely the ideal to strive for. The question is how to convince the people we are trying to engage with to distance themselves from their own ideas and participate in inquiry rather just pointlessly arguing. Maybe it needs to start with me being more playful about my own ideas, even if I think I have some pretty darn good reasons for thinking that they are correct.


"If you only get one thing from this post, please get this."
I get that he is from the Church of It Ain't Happening Now.
Does he get melting ice, migrating insects, and early bloom dates?

Virginia Burkett, chief scientist for global change research at the U.S. Geological Survey, told The Associated Press that, even if the data and studies mentioned in the e-mail exchanges were ignored, the evidence "is still hugely overwhelming in terms of the rates of changes that can only be attributed to the warming of the atmosphere. That includes melting Arctic sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets, decline of spring snow season, coral reef bleaching and earlier onset of spring in plants and animals," she said, referring to changing patterns of blooming, hibernation, and migration.

But certain village idiots will still just blame solar variances.

Correlation does not equal causation or whatever the saying is.

For a comment in a respectable source on these emails i would refer the the journal "nature" : http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v462/n7273/full/462545a.html

For a source which has a significant amount of discussion, but is probably biased towards human-caused-warming (because that's what they show the evidence suggests), the 3 part post on realclimate (more context, context, original thread ) is an intersting source.
The original content can be searched at eastangliaemails.com and a few choice, cherry picked fragments can be found here (the discussions at realclimate addresses those points).

I don't think the analogy is very good. The Intel floating point bug, actually was fairly serious. True, if you just took random operands you don't hit it too often. But for a large complex computation, you will almost certainly hit it. And it wasn't just the least significant bits either. In their case, they made an executive decision to stonewall, rather than pay the substantial cost of a recall. In climategate, the alleged indiscretions, are just the normal ways that imperfect data is manipulated to make it useful. In the real world, data is never perfect. You can either throw out imperfect data sets, or make a good faith effort to correct for any systemic errors as best as can be done. Of course the details of how this is done need to be transparent, maybe someone will be able to improve on them in the future.

I agree, not a good analogy. I remember the floating point bug as being a real headache. The precision didn't bother me. But every once in awhile, it would blow up the CADD software I was using at the time. You'd be working as usual, then BAM! No CADD, no Windows, just an error code.

But it is all relative. It turns out that the majority of purchases of Pentium were not returned. People still continued to use the chip. That is why I included the bit on the Windows Calculator. With that piece of software, you could subtract something like 5.0004 - 3.001 and get 2.002. It was really egregious but it didn't quite get the press because the engineering types did not care. A related support note is still up there by Microsoft.

My point is that it didn't completely marginalize the entire concept of scientific computing. People worked around it and eventually Intel came out with another product. If we think that the climate skeptics just want "better product" from the climate scientists, then I think we are sadly mistaken.

I realized that my posting this analogy would get people worked up but I think we need to discuss this in some sort of historical context. There must be some other incident that is similar to how Climategate is developing.

I replaced mine.

And at work, the computer services department replaced all the chips in the office - hundreds of them.

IIRC, it was a particular pain for civil engineers. Because of the scale at which they work, they ran into the problem frequently.

OK. We were on the tail end of the workstation cycle. Most of the CAD work was still being done on Suns and SGIs.

I only feel for the Intel logic designers and testers involved since I have built a behavioral simulator for simulating these kinds of systems. The combinatorial complexity is overwhelming in many cases.

In any case, I've seen two very meaningful turnarounds from Intel, when their business model was shown to be terribly wrong. The first was that floating point bug. I still hear technical people saying, don't use Intel, they can't do arithmetic. So even now, when there probably haven't been any of the affected chips running for at least a decade, their PR is suffering the effects. But, being shown wrong they got religion. Then more recently, they took the old IBM strategy with regards to performance. "We own the market, and will proceed at our own leisurely pace". That had prevailed for a long time, until AMD started eating their lunch. Now they have got religion big time.

Yes, but Intel had the 80-bit extended precision co-processor so they must have done arithmetic more accurately :)

As you and mrflash818 say, AMD provides the alternative. But that is not the case with the climate skeptics; they are not demanding an alternate set of scientists (e.g. an AMD to the Intel CRU) -- they just want the science to go away!!!

There lies the real underlying issue.

That 80bit x87 stuff had its own problems. It was 64bit IEEE format, with 16extra bits. But most implementations, if the data had to be spilled (i.e. the compiler needed the register for some other data), then only 64 (or maybe only) 32bits would be retained. So the accuracy of your code was not very stable at all, the next version of the compiler might just change what you got. Now that the vector stuff using the 128bit -soon to become 256bit registers that can do several operations in parrallel have largely taken over most of the non IEEE maralarky should be behind us.

"In their case, they made an executive decision to stonewall, rather than pay the substantial cost of a recall."

I remember this scandal well. It caused me to switch to AMD processors in all the PCs I built once the story broke. I still continue to build PCs only using AMD processors for my family.

I will not switch back, unless forced to by AMD going out of business.

Call me 'stuck', but I think it is for the best of reasons :)

As a modeler of a complex situation for the past year I sympathize with these climate scientists somewhat. After finding logical error in how one of 'my' model's metrics was calculated ( I was verifying code from another modeler who had written the majority of the code), I was nearly crucified. I calmly told my clients that they were attempting to speed to reach a conclusion and that they should be glad that, given the paltry resources they dedicated to the project, I was able to catch the error before they stepped on themselves trying to run a provisional estimate up the flagpole and present it as fact to some very big, very unforgiving decision-makers.

What makes my situation worse is that my clients and their partners don't want to hear what the model is showing them. Politicians and bureaucratic courtiers ruin many an analysts work. They don't understand GIGO and 'messy data' and they don't know the difference between subjective and objective information. They don't understand the concepts of 'estimates', 'provisional', or 'confidence'.

All models are wrong. Some are useful. Unless the results take a big steaming dump into the decision-makers' cornflakes.

Clearly the denialist propaganda storm has succeeded in planting the notion into people's heads that there is something actually wrong shown by the e-mails. This is patent nonsense as the only actual data manipulation is to exclude some tree ring data whose dynamics were not understood. Claiming that all tree ring data at all times shows exactly the same dependence on temperature is a lie. Why get all hot and bothered about leaving out one piece of proxy data? Besides, such proxy data is only used for past temperature reconstructions and there is no need for it since the 1970s due to satellite observations (ignoring ground based weather stations, which have been around for much longer). The IPCC left out Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet melt in its sea level rise predictions and nobody ran around throwing sh*t.

Making blanket statements such as "all models are wrong" is nonsense. Wrong by what metric? GCMs are not weather forecast models and even if they were arbitrarily precise (e.g. microphysics resolving) there would not be enough observed information to initialize them and ensure that they would be on the Earth's phase space trajectory. That is not their function anyway. The radiative transfer calculations are robust and based on first principles. All of the noise in the global mean temperature comes from atmosphere heat exchange with the oceans, which is a nonlinear dynamical problem but one that does not negate the systematic effect of adding CO2, CH4, N2O, O3 (via NOx and VOCs), CFCs, etc. to the atmosphere. Most of business and government lives by far worse models than GCMs and again nobody is running around in a hysterical frenzy about how wrong they are. Trillions ride on econometric and financial models which are next to voodoo.

George Will is a political hack with an agenda. When he starts fretting about trillions wasted on foreign wars of aggression and reduced freedoms to fight the totalitarian "war on terror" (e.g. Patriot Act in all its parts) then he can come back and bitch about climate science being a problem. Until then, whatever comes out of his mouth is no better than what goes into sewage treatment plants.

The "all models are wrong" statement by MoonWatcher needs to be taken with a grain of salt. That is the famous quote attributed to the statistician George Box.

Indeed. The 'all models are wrong statement shouldn't be taken out of context with the 'But some are useful' part. '...are wrong' simply is statement saying that none are 'perfect'. Yet many can be used as aids to achieve useful insights and shape useful polices and take useful actions...without being 'perfect'.

He missed the meaning altogether...many AGQ skeptics hide behind the straw man of demanding that the model and the data be 'perfect'.

Dissident, peace. We are in agreement (I do not take issue with any of your points above).

See my reply to WHT above.

I know it is an editorial, but I thought the following in today's Orange County Register was excellent!


What if global warming isn't a threat? What if manmade greenhouse gases have little effect on temperatures? What if the slight temperature increase over 150 years is normal, not the path to global catastrophe?

Would we consider massive transformation of our fossil-fuel-based economy to a windmill- and sunshine-powered economy? Would nations gather to divvy up prosperous countries' wealth to dole it out to the less-prosperous nations?

Putting aside the AGW hypothesis validity or discussion of whether the consequences are fine, I am many others find other significant reasons to wean ourselves off of oil and coal.

1) The mountaintop removal mining is hideous

2) The heavy metals spewed by coal burning into the air and water are noxious and hazardous and I don't want them in my food.

3) It is in our best interest to stop sending trillions of dollars to people in the Middle East and elsewhere who take a portion of these proceeds to plot grievous harm to us. 9-11 was but a scratch compared to what could be done to us. And we could save boatloads of resources (including lives) by not having to garrison the Middle East with our armed forces.

4) Developing alternative energy sources (including negawatts) in this country will serve to put some of our people back to work with decent-paying, satisfying jobs which will require technical knowledge and promote better science, math, and technical education.

What say you to this?

Moonwatcher, I am in 100% agreement with you. I am so frustrated with TOD for running so many articles on global warming with a tilt toward AGW which I find dubious at best because I think it causes the peak oilers to loose credibility and takes away from the discussion embracing new technology that will end the constant money flow to the middle east, Venezuela, etc. Lord, just imagine if we never found it neccessary to have troops in Saudi Arabia. No 9/11 attacks and a boat load more money available for energy research which I find much more beneficial than war mongering.

Sorry about the poorly crafted comments. I am runnnig out the door!

The only way to lose credibility is if you put something on the line. If you don't, then there is no credibility to lose.

This remains a huge judgment call on everyone's part. I will continue to watch and learn from the AGW story as it plays out.

so many articles on global warming with a tilt toward AGW which I find dubious at best because I think it causes the peak oilers to loose credibility

I really think we are in the early stages of being attacked by the same forces, using the same techniques. Trying to avoid controversy by abandoning the early victims only lets the other side win via divide and conquer. Like it or not the case for recognition of PO and other limits to growth is joinded at the hip with climate science. Both are threats to BAU, and to the political ideologies that support BAU, and to the economic interests that want to squelch the message.

"Like it or not the case for recognition of PO and other limits to growth is joinded at the hip with climate science."

I just don't see it that way. In fact by trying to link the two I feel I am being played and start thinking maybe Exxon is right. With PO, you clearly have decline rates so it is not so theoretical to the average layman like myself. So from an outsider looking in, in my humble opinion, linking Global Warming to Peak Oil causes the peak oil discussion to loose credibility.

Just my Joe on the street opinion.

Do you think an average Joe even understands what a decline rate is?

All it takes is for the same force skeptics to point out that we are doing fancy, elitist decline rate calculations and not being consistent in some trivial way. This will then be used to attack the soundness of the PO science. Everyone will join in lockstep and there goes the awareness momentum.

I listen and read this stuff coming out of the right-wing and that is invariably how things go down. It is a huge echo chamber and you can watch it unfold for PO the same way it has for AGW.

Yes I do. Average Joe knows when he sucks his milkshake through a straw, at some point it will be empty. Average Joe knows that there is no oil under his house and that it is in pockets around the globe. Applying what he knows about his milkshake, he will understand that pockets of oil will be depleted.

In other words, Average Joe does not understand what a decline rate is.

The average Joe should knows that if you dump a lot of heat absorbing gas into our atmosphere it will change things.

Best Hopes for Common Sense and Realistic Planning,


But remember, they were told that that was going to reflect heat and put us into to a new ice age not that many years ago.

Isn't science neat in that way? It can actually adapt to a change in our knowledge-base. Better information comes around and replaces obsolete ideas. Wow, what a novel concept.

You should read this latest HuffingtonPost:
Steve Martin and the Latest Mammography Recommendations
This manages to slip in references to Steve Martin's Theodoric of York skit in explaining how science adapts to new ways of thinking.

Actually, that global cooling thing is a myth. The popular press went wild with it, but it was never taken seriously by scientists.

Good link

The state of the science at the time (say, the mid 1970’s), based on reading the papers is, in summary: “…we do not have a good quantitative understanding of our climate machine and what determines its course. Without the fundamental understanding, it does not seem possible to predict climate…”

Which seems to say they know more about the mechanisms now than they did back then. So however the mainstream science press portrayed global cooling (or warming) back then, it seems a moot point.

He/She knows that, Leanan.

And you know that.

Why should we pretend otherwise?

Are you calling WebHubbleTelescope a troll?

He's not.

Wow. That was weird.

1. WHT didn't bring up the subject of global cooling.

2. I didn't arrive at this site for the first this week, so I know WHTs posting habits fairly well.

I thought the reference would be clear. Oops.


Well, I was responding to WHT. I replied to him, not to anyone else. Your reply made it sound like you thought I was wasting my time talking to WHT.

I understood perfectly what everyone meant. No offense taken all around.

I read the science at the time (my undergraduate degree was in 1974) and I did not take cooling seriously at all. Not enough known and too many variables involved. And no clear trend was then established.


Kind of like today. Take out the data stations that have had parking lots built around them, air vents directed at them and you don't really have a trend for warming.

How do you explain the bleaching of the coral reefs?

I don't. But I am in the ocean here about twice per week. I don't see any warming trend from what I have eperienced. In fact this year it was way cooler. Usually I can go in without a wet suit around the 1st of May. It stayed cooler this year and never got as warm as past years. Hmmm.

Anyhow, it has been fun. I will be off line for perhaps a few days. (I can hear the sound of applause already)

Looking forward to reading TOD again but will ignore global warming and just read the oil stuff.

They can drop out the urban stations and still they see the same warming trend. Likewise if you look at spring ice melt times on northern lakes and rivers. Or the times when flowers bloom in the spring. Or the acceleration of glacier melting. Or the increase in tree growth near timberline.... They all point to the same inescapeble conclusion. But of course certain people with an agenda will try to tell you something that sounds plausible, but such people aren't interested in looking at real data, they just want to sell a point of view.

So from an outsider looking in, in my humble opinion, linking Global Warming to Peak Oil causes the peak oil discussion to loose credibility.

Speaking for myself, exactly the reverse applies. I have difficulty taking seriously arguments in other areas (like Peak Oil) from those that do not take seriously the results (spanning many decades at this point) coming from climate science.

With both Peak Oil and Global Warming tightly tied to our use of energy, and with both virtually certain to cause wrenching changes to our economy and way of life, and with public policy in desperate need of addressing both at the same time, talking about both in this forum seems very appropriate.

What I don't care to see rehashed ad nauseum are long discredited assertions that there is no problem. And that includes nearly all of the standard talking points of the climate science deniers.


I agree. Climate change is, at the moment and for the foreseeable future, far more respectable than peak oil.

What I don't care to see rehashed ad nauseum are long discredited assertions that there is no problem. And that includes nearly all of the standard talking points of the climate science deniers.

I think the current climate craziness is because of Copenhagen, and will die down afterwards, just as the tedious political screeds died down after the election.

If that's not the case, I may have to limit discussion here to the effects of climate change and climate change legislation, and tell people to take their debates on the existence of AGW to RealClimate.

In any case, there are probably going to be changes here in the new year. Not sure exactly what will happen, but my feeling is that we have to move past our strict focus on oil depletion. Peak oil is in the rear view mirror now. The economic crisis means it's the economy and politics that will determine oil production now, not geology. We will probably take a broader view, which may mean a lot more climate change. IMO, it cannot be ignored.

We will probably take a broader view,

If I can put in my two cents worth, I'm interested in energy in general, oil is just one part of the picture, and while we cover the other types, they are still undercovered for my taste.

This is a science-based site. If scientific orthodoxy bothers you, this isn't the place for you.

How in god's name does allowing posts on a topic in which you are so full crap in any way marginalize TOD? You know how you can tell a propagandist? They won't answer any questions.

1. Why aren't you upset that the same scumbags who rolled out the tobacco doesn't cause cancer crap are the ones who rolled out the anti-AGW crap? That is a true and documented scandal. Why aren't you upset about it? And why do you continue to trust what they say?

2. Explain all the physical phenomena we are seeing and the speed of the changes. What have you to explain it?

3. Why in 2004 - a time when a climate denialist administration was in office and had been for three years - did Naomi Oreskes literature review reveal ZERO papers supporting anti-AGW?

4. Why are there still ZERO papers that support it and are actually well-executed science?

5. Why, since there is nothing in the e-mails that undermines the theory and science behind AGW, do you continue to lie and state the opposite?

6. Why have you never responded to the publication by the NYT of a memo showing the climate scientists working for Big Industry accepted AGW? Again, a true scandal showing that money was paid and false statements made.

7. Given we know Big Business has bankrolled anti-AGW, how can you claim that science is untainted, yet decry science paid for by the public?


the same scumbags who rolled out the tobacco doesn't cause cancer crap are the ones who rolled out the anti-AGW crap

Yes indeed. Sourcewatch is a great site for info on the skeptics and their PR industry ties. It's run by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton authors of several great books on the machinations of the PR industry. They maintain a list of AGW skeptics that displays for whoever is not already convinced the paper thin credentials of the lot. I looked through the entire list recently and, as one might expect there are not many climatologists on the list, and not even many physical scientists, except for a couple of astrophysicists. (Note: the Sourcewatch server seems to be down at the moment but the above link should still work.)


1) The mountaintop removal mining is hideous


And it's an example of how bad things really are. No one cares anymore.

Those 'What ifs' are fine to ask, but then you HAVE to look at the other 'What if it IS true' and actually weigh them both out as possibilities, and find a reasonable set of precautions to take.

This isn't one boy crying wolf, here. There are thousands of people in the hard sciences who are crying out about this. Most of them are not PR people, they're not actors or politicians..

So OK, 'WHAT IF' it's really just groupthink, and they're all picking up a scary and addictive rallying cry?' How would one test for this, instead of just accusing it of the scientific community, and saying 'it's probably that, and we can continue on like there's no wolf.' Cause "WHAT IF it's NOT groupthink?' Are we taking any precautions for the Worst Case, in case that's where we're going?

'Benefit of the doubt' is a balance, not an extreme. In a capital court case, any doubt can quash the prosecution, but this is not a legal battle. (..fortunately, I never studied Law). We're so used to getting bailed out on technicalities in this culture, that taking sober precautions seems like an undue burden on our 'Freedom' to let it slide while we keep making money.

I found some intriguing information on one of the main climate skeptics, Steve McIntyre.

According to a recent article from The Weekly Standard on the climate controversy http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/017/300ubchn.asp

McIntyre is not a climate-science insider, with peer-reviewed articles in journals that the hockey team firmly controlled. He's an amateur with mathematical chops, with a serious track record for spotting statistical funny business. McIntyre, who spent decades in mineral exploration, was involved in exposing the Bre‑X fraud in Canada several years ago. Bre‑X was a gold mining company promising fat profits on a new proprietary technology for ore deposits in Borneo; McIntyre smelled a rat and demanded the raw data. Bre‑X collapsed shortly after.

Laherrere just had a TOD post describing Bre-X

A series of high profile resource stock scams took place in the 1990s, which culminated in the huge Bre-X scandal in 1995. Bre-X’s stock collapsed after its much-touted Busang gold project – thought at the time to contain more than 70-million ounces (2.1 kt) of gold - turned out to be a fraud; core samples from the drills had been tampered with and expertly “salted” with gold dust.

So although the Bre-X fraud was real, something really funny about how this ties into McIntyre.

Actually, I don't think that McIntyre had any role in uncovering the fraudulent aspects, apart from him being aware of Bre-X since he was a mineral company executive. None of the sources on Bre-X mention him or his company. I have no idea who is involved in making out McIntyre to be some sort of one-man crime fighter. There are some very strange things going on here.

Besides that, if McIntyre is such a smart man, why isn't he involved with the Peak Oil debate at all? He should be in there demanding all the production data from all of the oil companies in existence. He surely understands how oil interests might want to deceive the public. Why does he then concentrate on climate science?

This is all so bizarre.

"Those 'What ifs' are fine to ask, but then you HAVE to look at the other 'What if it IS true' and actually weigh them both out as possibilities, and find a reasonable set of precautions to take.

This isn't one boy crying wolf, here. There are thousands of people in the hard sciences who are crying out about this. Most of them are not PR people, they're not actors or politicians.. "

Having lived through the global cooling mania, one has to sceptical of those who make their living getting grants to study theoretical issues. Selling fear will probably result in more grants to the cottage industry of climate change.

That is the way I see it. I just hate to see peak oil and climate change linked. Heck, if we are at peak, problem solved anyhow.

Do you realize that the Climategate attacks right now are not against "theoretical issues"? As far as I can tell, they all concern the experimental side and the collection and interpretation of data.

So do you want all the money to go to more measurements? It sounds like you are only skeptical of the theory side.

I suggest that we give some of the money to Steve McIntyre and Watt's his name and let them collect and interpret the data and then we can take potshots at their skills.

If we are post-Peak, then that will make it WORSE !

More Tar sands
More Coal to Liquids
Maybe oil shale
NG being used to replace oil instead of coal
There are *NOT* "thousands of people in the hard sciences" doubting this.

I am, for example, a skeptic that "Medieval Warming" and "The Little Ice Age" were more than regional events (my eyes turn towards the Gulf Stream/THC) except for the global effects of some major volcanic events (part but not all of the "Little Ice Age" experienced in the North Atlantic). I could well be wrong, but I am not convinced otherwise.

Does skepticism on one point make me believe that it is OK to do an uncontrolled chemistry experiment on our only atmosphere ?

You know the answer.


I am, for example, a skeptic that "Medieval Warming" and "The Little Ice Age" were more than regional events

Does skepticism on one point...

Actually I think you are a lot closer to main stream climate science here. Not all parts of the globe saw those changes, so the effects are largely regional. And thats where stuff like the tree ring data that CRU is being raked over the coals for come in. There are only limited proxies that can be used to examine regional and microclimates, and how they changed in the preinstrumental period. So imperfect proxies have to be used.

Interesting. As noted before, I ceased reading a lot of climate science about a dozen years ago, when I accepted that Climate Change was proven to a reasonable certainty#. I thought I was out of the mainstream on those two eras (or has the mainstream shifted ?)

Best Hopes,


# Enough that action HAD to be taken.

If there is LESS THAN a 30% chance that AGW will be a problem (i.e. the consensus of scientists are right) then this potential problem should get at least the resources equivalent to what we spend on defense today.

THAT is the "what if" we need to worry about.

Best Hopes for Reality Based Decision Making,


BTW, all of this "denier" stuff is just Exxon reading the tobacco industry paybook, err playbook.

Maybe even the much-used Titanic analogy has an application here.

What if there's only really maybe a <2% chance of this ship sinking on it's maiden voyage? Do you still buy enough life preservers and lay out enough lifeboats for everyone and then some? Do you still leave the radios on all night and develop similar SOP's? (Knowing that these were not necessarily standards of the day.. but do we learn from that hard lesson?)

Why is this any different just because the stakes might be exponentially higher?

Striker : Tell 'em the gear is down and we're ready to land.
Elaine : The gear is down and we're ready to land.
Kramer : Alright, he's on final now, put out all runway lights
except 9er.
Towerguy: Captain, maybe we ought to turn on the search lights
MCrosky : No, thats just what they'll be expecting us to do.

(That's almost like Titanic, right?)

McCrosky said that last line with the far-away look of someone plotting a prison break or commando raid. (since everything in Airplane is an homage to some other movie)

So what are you planning?

I can't say, necessarily. But I've got the far-away look down pat.

"I picked the wrong time to quit sniffing glue..."

Based upon around 3,000 deaths in 2001, we will have spent trillions of dollars fighting terrorism directly or indirectly. We have and will spend billions more in Afganistan when it is estimated by military sources that less that 100 Al Qaeda remain in Afghanistan. And yet people are freaked out about spending to halt climate change when the future of thousands of species, including the human race is at stake. And the evidence for global warming is a helluva stronger than the evidence and logic behind our further efforts of this magnitude in Afghanistan. This truly is, as the movie says, The Age of Stupid. At least we will get some kind of return on our investment in negawatts and alternative energy.

Let me repeat. This is truly The Age of Stupid.

We have and will spend billions more in Afganistan when it is estimated by military sources that less that 100 Al Qaeda remain in Afghanistan. And yet people are freaked out about spending to halt climate change...

If other mother Gaia would send out a few terrorists with box-cutters she might get more respect!

Are we peak oilers all idiots? Or, are those who think the free market will solve all our problems the idiots?

Peak Idiocy

Of all the idiotic things that people believe, the whole "peak oil" thing has to be right up there. It is literally impossible for us to run out of oil. We have never run out of anything, and we never will.

Ron P.

The pattern in the public information space is to leave out numbers and any sort of quantification at all costs. This applies to debates about government debt even. In such a medium any clown can make any assertion since for all that average information consumer knows there is a quintillion barrels of oil in Alaska alone.

Of course only idiots would believe such statements knowing that there is less than 2 trillion barrels of oil left on the planet.

Dissident, people who make such arguments generally agree that oil is finite. They are counting "substitutes" as oil. In other words, substitutes will take the place of crude and these substitutes are a form of oil, like ethanol. Check out their #3 reason why we will never run out of oil.

1. Prices would rise, causing people to cut back on use.

2. Prices would rise, causing people to look for more. And they would find more oil, and more ways to get at it.

3. Prices of oil would rise, making the search for substitutes more profitable. At that point (though not now!) alternative fuels and energy sources would be economical, and would not require gubmint subsidies, because they would pay for themselves.

Now how can one argue with logic like that?

Ron P.

People don't know the difference between "logic" and "faith."

Catton's term for this thinking--"Cargoism"--is brilliant.

Related to the Cargo Cult phenomenon I presume?

That's exactly it. In "Overshoot" he describes the phenomenon of the islanders building the "airstrips" so the goods would continue to come, then draws a direct parallel with our current wishes to make the techno-fest go on forever.

The pattern in the public information space is to leave out numbers and any sort of quantification at all costs.

With the exception, that they like to use numbers as adjectives, meaning either really-really ginormous, or really-really-tiny. But, aside from that, you are right, they never try a good faith balancing of say numerical pros v cons -that would be like too mindblowingly academic.

Well then, Econ 101 to the rescue, nothing to see here!

I worked exclusively with a population of folks for 20 years who were college educated and many of whom had Masters Degrees,although many of these were from 'diploma mills' catering to the fact that military officers pretty much needed a 'Masters' diploma to make O-4 (Major (AF, Army, Marines), Lt CMDR(Navy)).

Now I work with a bunch of scientists, engineers, who all have at least 'real' Masters degrees (Science, math, engineering, from reputable institution) and many have PhDs.

As far as I can tell (I do not engage these folks directly...mainly listen to what they say around the campus), upwards of 90% (confidence is High)of these folks place zero credence in either AGW, PO, environmental stewardship, or any thinking that challenges BAU. All of these folks are US Government employees, and all are convinced of their pre-conceived notions wrt sustainability. Cornucopians to the max.

My daughter's math major boyfriend (in college, making a run at cracking the mysteries of prime numbers, particularly the Reimann Hypothesis) is a total technocopian.


Even though he is of the completely opposite political stripe of the scientists I work with, he is equally blind to the sustainability issues discusses here. Just the other day he all excitedly showed me a video on YouTube of some Intel researches working on 'programmable matter'. He referenced this as one of many technological developments which will solve all of our resource problems.



I don't know where to begin with folks who have made up their minds wrt technocopia...I. on the other hand, am open to science which would dispel my concerns about over-population, LTG,PO, AGW, EIEIO.

What I have read from cornucopians consists of platitudes about wonderful inventions coming down the pike and how increased prices cause the 'free market' to find new resources, substitute resources, etc. The idea of an over-arching finite system (the Earth) is glossed over (we can always mine asteroids, colonize the solar system and beyond, etc).

I used to be a technocopian when I was younger...I would now call myself a realist/pragmatists or maybe a 'decliner' as offered a few days ago by a TOD reader.

Who knows, maybe the Polywell Fusor and nano/programmable matter and vertical skyscraper farm will materialize and there will be spndex jackets for everyone...




Yeah, I'm sure that there are lots of younger ones out there that think the Space Elevator and the Space Solar Based Power will save us. that's because they haven't worked thru the math.

Suppose one wants to lift 1 ton (2,000 lbs) from the surface of the Earth at a speed of 100 mph (146.7 ft/s). It's easy to calculate that the power needed would be 293,400 ft-lb/s, or 533 hp. To do that on a Space Elevator tether, the 2000 pounds would need to include both a 533 hp motor, the power supply and electronics. The power supply is supposed to be a PV array being illuminated with a laser. Remember too that climbing at 100 mph will require about 9 days for a trip to GEO. Worse, if the climber is going to make the trip back to Earth, there must be a braking system of similar size with a mechanism to dissipate the energy. Worse still, remember that increasing the size of the climber offers no scale advantage, as the hp required increases in direct proportion to the mass. Of course, as the climber ascends the tether, the gravitational attraction diminishes, but the laser power is likely to also diminish as altitude increases.

Dream on, kids. Maybe the nightmares are only just bad dreams...

E. Swanson

The Just-in-Time Technological Fairy will arrive at JUST the right time/nick of time with just the right technology to give US what we want.

With the exception of the Haber-Bosch process (which kept WW I from ending in 10 months because the Germans ran out of ammo), I can see few other examples of the JIT Tech Fairy operating.


We have never run out of anything, and we never will.

Yes we have. We've run out of Dodo birds.

I ran out of toilet paper last week.

Ron -- Another fine example of why I occasionally irritate a few of our TODers with my rants about our phraseology. The IDIOT is correct: we will never run out of oil. Maybe 200 years from today we might only be producing a few hundred thousand bbls/day for pharmaceutical or cosmetic uses but we’ll still have oil production. Of course at that time the only ICE vehicles around will be in museums.

But he is wrong about never have run out of anything. Dodo birds come to mind right off. And, of course, with my patience for PO advocates who say we “are running out of oil.”

Actually, many large countries in Europe import 100% of their oil, ELM (and real world data) says net exports will go to zero soon after peak even though there is still plenty of oil in the world, so those importing countries ARE running out of oil.

xeroid -- You missed my point. I'm not talking about how you or anyone else at TOD views the situation. Read my posts again. I'm talking about how Joe6Pack judges our statements. His is a simple world: you either have gasoline to buy or you don't. All those importing countries you refer to have all the gasoline to sell at relatively low prices that their citizens want right now. So in the eyes of J6P anyone who says we're "running out of oil" is either stupid or a liar. The PO community is in a propaganda war with the cornucopians. The point I keep making is that we really don't need to supply them with the ammo to shoot us down.

As Xeroid noted, "Running Out" does apply to net exports, e.g., the US and China both ran out of net oil export capacity, even as their production increased. While I can't think of any examples of producing regions actually hitting zero production levels, there are lots of cases of exporting regions hitting zero net oil exports--and then slipping into net importer status. And at a 7%/year depletion rate, net oil importers worldwide will have burned through about one-fourth of total post-2005 global cumulative net oil exports in the 2006-2009 time frame inclusive.

Bahrain has stabilized its oil production at about 40,000 barrels (6,400 m³) per day, and reserves are expected to last 10 to 15 years.

So by 2025, that may be example #1 of an oil exporter (peak 77,000 b/day in 1977) going to zero.


The person who wrote "we will never run out of oil" simply doesn't understand what peak oil means (because they are uninformed). The free market will adjust but it will be a time of dramatic change and personal adjustment.

Sharing is caring, no ? I came across this site European Commission : A global map of Accessibility . It presents a lot of interesting maps on various topics. Here is an example displaying Global Railroads for instance, larger maps inside.

paal m,

Thank you for this link. Finding interesting info sources like this is one reason I surf TOD.


very interesting stuff.

Why is it that the effects of GW are almost universally portrayed as being negative?

Because we don't know, and we want to be ready for the bad stuff.. which some people have calculated might be REALLY bad.

It would be nice if all you have to prepare for is the silver linings, but it doesn't work out that way.

"Bring out the Soft Cushions! Put him in the Comfy Chair!!" - Monty Python's Inquisition Sketch

because many of the anticipated affects appear to be negative wrt the current/relatively near past climate. It seems that there may be some benefits, such as certain areas being able to grow crops due to more warmth, but overall the postulated effects would cause a hundreds-of-years painful transition as people moved back from their current sea-side occupation, as once fertile areas dried up, as Europe may experience a little ice age of its own due to the influx of fresh water into the Northern Atlantic...these effects and the upheaval they would cause, combined with the diminishing fossil fuel resources and overloading of global sinks with pollution will likely nullify our ability to successfully adapt and will likely cause a significant decrease in human population and a result in a very different standard of living/life experience than we now have for the survivors.

Lots of details wrapped up in that run-on paragraph...please feel free to hit the Internets and research and make an informed opinion of your own...

Because it is what our ecology, our population and our infrastructure has evolved for.

Consider the opposite, that human civilization and our ecology had evolved for 430 ppm CO2 and some greedy idiots started sequestering carbon (perhaps some genetic lab invented a weird plant called "trees" and greedy Eyyon was hell bent on making a fortune planting them every where).

The entire population of Antarctica would have to move, and the entire Antarctic ecosystem, with all of the species would go extinct.

Only a small remnant population could remain in Greenland and all of their great museums and cities would be buried under a mile of ice !

The coffee growers and banana plantations of Canada would be wiped out !

The beach resorts of Rochester NY, with their expensive properties, would be left high & dry and useless.

The Arctic Ocean would FREEZE OVER ! The most important commercial ocean in the world would become useless and trade between the great cities of Northern Siberia and the Yukon and Alaska would have to detour across the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans.

Almost all of the inhabited world would have to learn to deal with SNOW ! Frozen water would fall from the sky and pile up in massive drifts, making it impossible to travel.

As people were forced south, many would be sunburned and develop skin cancer from the intense solar radition.
If you are willing to hit the "do over" button for our ecosystems, our population and our infrastructure; scrap all of the above and see what Ver. 2 would be like, then support Exxon and the deniers.

I hope that explains why the world as we know it should not be tampered with by an uncontrolled chemistry experiment.

Best Hopes for Coomon Sense and Good Judgment and not Exxon $,


BTW, I expect California agriculture to drop by at least half (perhaps 90+%) during my lifetime. For a surprisingly long list of "specialty crops", California is the dominant US grower.


Alan, I have come to have a very high opinion of your broad knowledge and clear thinking .

But until I saw this post I had no idea you are also a rather talented comedian and satirist!

My hat is off to you.

Now at the risk of having everybody think I'm dense I will comment again on mailgate.

To the general public the cheerleaders of the environmental press who have been flooding the news with climate disaster news for the last twenty years are one and the same as the researchers.People can stay scared or stimulated for only so long, then they need MORE-more aclchol, more bare skin, more speed and excitement.But eventually the thrill goes away.

The msm and the scientists themselves (to some small extent ) have tried to sell ratings and advertisements at the same time while doing a good deed.But the attention span of the public was worn out long ago, and the strategy has backfired lately imo.The ultimate sin which can be committed against modern man, who is used to new music every week, a whole new fantasy world every fall, a new car every three years, and a new spouse every decade or so may be to BORE HIM.

He can make his mind up pretty fast,and his bulldoodoo filters are very sensitive, which is NOT the same thing necessarily as being very accurate.

Furthermore he has been bombarded with spin and advertising from the cradle, when his favorite cartoons were brought to him by the purveyors of his first favorite drug-sugar.A man who lives in a new world every year as the new shows come out makes his mind up fast.

Now for those of us who are so up in arms about whether the emails show spin , bias, data picking, and a general willingness to exaggerate,I pose this question.

Suppose they were hacked out of the denialist camp and looked just as bad to us?

Let's be honest, guys.Every last one of us would be just as sure that they accurately reflect the truth as under those circumstances as the denialists under the existing circumstances.

Since the vast majority of the denialist foot soldiers have essentially zero scientific training,our objective truth is opposed to thier experiential truth.

If a thinker so clearheaded and hard nosed as Darwinian believes that the people who run the oil industry don't understand peak oil, then maybe it is not so unreasonable for us to accept the fact that a lot of cc skeptics are sincere.

And the truth is that throughout history for the time span that matters to them-the twentieth century roughly- the cornucopians have basically been right.The alarmists have been like misquitos swarming around a elephant-an infernal nuisance but only a nuisance.Some day some brand new expansion team may be good enough to beat the Yankees when they have just won the world series for maybe the fourth time in a row, but try telling that to a Yankees fan.

I have tried hard to convince some very intelligent and generally well informed, well educated people that climate change s real.But since they lack a technical, as opposed to a liberal business oriented education,they take thier belief cues from people they trust-people like George Will.

Some of them are not at all religious and vaguely remember high school biology and since the evidence for God is so scanty and dinosaur exhibits are so plentiful, they believe in evolution.They take ranting intelligent designers and Bible thumpers as jokes.

Being realists, they see somebody who insists that a bueracracy full of people will behave in a totally impartial way as a joke-they know all about child molesting priests, sleeping cops, crooked politicians,and cutting corners on thier own jobs when it seems safe enough.

They take such a person as FURTHER PROOF of hanky panky.

If I have not made what I am trying to say clear, try reading Monbiot and the Archdruid JMG for the last few days.

The scientific people are in my opinion guilty of nothing worse than perhaps exaggerating thier case not actually technically but in the way they have presented it to the public, in terms of how they wanted it to be PERCIEVED.

Of course they had at least three very good reasons for doing so.They believe in thier work.They need to support each other politically in a fickle world.And they like to the idea of becoming well known and advancing thier careers.

There are lessons to be learned from this involving open debate and publicly accessible information.

Because with centuries of infrastructure investment any significant change to a different regime will cause more problems than it solves. And with rapid changes, nature doesn't have time to seemlessly adjust to a new equilibrium. For instance changing a forest to a praire, is likely to occur via a catastrophic fire, rather than a gradual dieoff. In steep tundra or alpine regions, slopes that are only stable because thay are frozen will destabilize. It is quite possible that equatorial zones might become too hot for widespread vegetation, cropland gained at high lattitudes is unlikely to replace that lost at low lattitudes. And those warmed high lattitudes will still have huge seasonality (difference between summer/winter), whereas in the tropics, other than wet/dry seasons temperatures don't change very much.

Why is it that the effects of GW are almost universally portrayed as being negative?

It's because people are afraid of change. They view whatever they have now as "good", and any change from that as "bad".

If you look back at the Holocene Climate Optimum, which had temperature increases about the same as the worst-case doomsday predictions for AGW, you find:

The Canadian prairies extended right up into the Northwest Territories. There were grasslands (potential farmland) instead of boreal forest and tundra.

Current desert regions of Central Asia were extensively forested due to higher rainfall.

Africa was much wetter due to a strengthening of the African monsoon. During this period, the "Green Sahara" was dotted with numerous lakes containing crocodiles and hippopotamus. (Most people don't know there was an African monsoon, and cave drawings of people swimming in the Sahara Desert freak them out.)

There were significantly wetter conditions in Australia and Japan.

However, the Midwestern United States turned into desert. If you live there, you might consider this a negative unless you prefer a hot, dry climate.

I'm okay with the potential changes in my area (and I know what they are). I don't know about you.

"Nature Tourism doesn't always help"

Amen to that !

There is "Travel" and then there is "Tourism".

In the US, there's been a huge amount of marketing of "Luxury Adventure Travel", which is really just another way of saying you can go anywhere you want, yet be as safe as if you were just watching on TV.

Everyone has their "List" of places to go - in and out in a week or two, since nobody gets any real vacation time.

Heard at "Travel" parties : "Did you do Namibia yet? I heard the dunes are a really cool color". (Sheesh...the Namib is one of the most fascinating ecosystems on the planet, if you camp out in a tent.)

People fly in, are met by a local guide, escorted to the air-conditioned bus, someone handling the (overweight) luggage full of new REI clothing & gear per the packing list, and driven to the air-conditioned McHotel, where one can order from a menu of food items from home.

Tours are by air-conditioned bus, and wherever one goes, there is a restaurant and a restroom, and the obligatory gift shop.

If one goes on a hike or a climb, the guides are incented to keep one from hurting oneself (they lose their jobs otherwise, and there are lines of folks waiting to replace them), and in the worst case, the Medivac helicopters can take an injured person out.

One is never anywhere without radio-contact with base. Nobody wants to get sued.

Most remote places have to provide all the amenities to the tourists, in exchange for currency, often despoiling pristine locations. And then there's the trash to contend with.

There's really no "remote" any more. Worse yet, I don't think people ever really "see" anything.

Ask them what most affected them by the experience, and they'll probably tell you they hated the local food. But they did check it off the "List" and took a zillion digital photos, at the designated photo-ops, to show the group back home.

Sigh.... /end of rant (sorry, hotbutton issue)


Have you gone to see the flying carp up on the Illinois River? Awesome!!!!

Airdale-T.I.C. of course

I'm hoping *not* to see them in my neck of the woods (Chicago River)

Wack Job Radio (Aka podcasts) strikes again!


This is the author of "The Jungle Effect" and discusses the food we shove in our mouths and suggests a diet.

I would like to offer an apology to Norman Baker, MP (Lewes, East Sussex, UK)

Mr Baker is a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament here in England. His constituency is just up the road from me. Regular readers of TOD may have noted that I hold British parliamentarians in very, very low esteem and indeed have been very scathing of them particularly with regard to their collective lack of knowledge of Peak Oil and the situation with Britain's farming and food supply. So it was with amazement that I read this article:


Here is an MP who totally gets it, 100%. He even correctly identifies the way the EU as part of the problem (The Lib Dems are the strongest pro-Europe party, so one of their own criticising the bloated dictatorship is note worthy)

I am traditionally a Tory voter, but were I to live in Mr Baker's constituency then he would certainly get my vote. It is good to know that at least one of our parliamentarians knows what challenges our small island nation faces.

It is good to know that at least one of our parliamentarians knows what challenges our small island nation faces.

Not to worry, but won't the voters correct their mistake next time around? Unless he lives in a safe district with an overwhelming majority of informed voters, he may not last long. The reason politicians are ignorant has more to do with voter attitudes, than it does with lack of understanding.

Our MPs know about peak oil and climate change (mine certainly does 'cos I gave him a half hour presentation on it)- but they don't know how to deal with those AND have growth.

In response my MP says growth is essential for our way of life, which includes democracy, and I agree with him.

I conclude that as PO is inevitable therefore BAU and growth most certainly isn't.

IMO, since that data for crude production is so poor, peak is actually when oil is most affordable, that was way back in 1998 so no surprise we have lack of BAU now.

from neatorama:

"Vision of the Automotive Future from 1958
This is a great little video, an excerpt from Disney’s "Magic Highway USA", showing what people from the late ’50s thought would be the future of transportation.

It’s really neat to see how far we have come, and how far we haven’t. Some of the predictions have come to some manner of fruition, such as real-time traffic stats, navigation, and autodriving vehicles. While some are still pretty far out and "Far Out!" like atomic-powered and solar-powered cars."


humbaba -

That is one precious little piece!

Having grown up during those now mythical 1950s, I find some of those contemporary futuristic visions from that era quite fascinating and more than a little bit creepy.

True, they made a few good calls, but overall it was total naive fantasy. One of my favorite parts was the one where all these super highways would be heated to melt ice and snow. Energy consumption wasn't even on the radar screen back then. Plus the US was swimming in oil at the time, and when (and if) that ran out, atomic energy was ready to take over, even including atomic-powered personal flying vehicles.

What is perhaps even more interesting are some of the societal developments that they totally failed to foresee. Notice that the family travels into the city in their automatically piloted transportation pod, which upon arrival splits into two parts: the father takes one part to his office, while the wife and kiddies take the other part to do shopping. The imbedded presumption is that a wife doesn't work. Most of those 1950s futurists totally missed the whole feminist thing .... as well as the civil rights thing, as well as the counter-culture thing, and as well as the demise of the American middle class thing. And God knows what else.

Lesson here: ignore all predictions.

To me (not having personally experienced the 50's), the 1950s-style 'visions of the future' commercials are no different than the modern ones (At least the ones the high priests of BAU put out). The modern ones are subtler and less chipper, and you're more likely to see a wind turbine than a heated highway, but it's the same idea.

Of course, things have changed since then and technology evolved differently than the creators of that video foresaw. They saw advances primarily in the areas of concrete and steel and engines, whereas modern technoutopian marketing shows people using ever-fancier mobile devices, with more shiny and fantastical displays downloading and transmitting incredible volumes of information. Mostly through facebook. Futurism is interesting, because it is always interesting to see what changes and what doesn't - for example, the Starship Enterprise uses CRT monitors and text-and-vector graphics on its computer displays, and that self-driving car in the video used punch cards to tell it where it was going.

The 1950s, extending into the early 1960s, were a time of wild and wacky ideas from the military-industrial-complex.

An nuclear ramjet mach-three low-altitude cruise missile equipped with lots of atom bombs and a radioactive exhaust to boot? You betcha...and we ran it up on a ground test stand in Nevada (vented into the atmosphere of course). Marvelous engineering achievements...horrible idea. Note the involvement of the Coors Porcelain Company...


This Air and Space Magazine article is MUCH better than the above Wikipedia link (link after excerpt):

It took 25 miles of oil well casing to store the million pounds of pressurized air used to simulate ramjet flight conditions for Pluto. To supply the high-pressure air, the lab borrowed giant compressors from the Navy's submarine base in Groton, Connecticut. For a five-minute, full power test, as much as a ton of air a second had to be forced over 14 million one-inch steel balls in four huge steel tanks raised to 1,350 degrees Fahrenheit by oil-burning heaters.


For some at Livermore, a lingering nostalgia about Pluto remains. "It was the best six years of my life," says William Moran, who oversaw the production of the Tory fuel elements. Chuck Barnett, who directed the Tory tests, succinctly sums up the gung-ho spirit at the lab: "I was young. We had lots of money. It was very exciting."

Then there is the nuclear-powered bomber...we actually flew an aircraft called the NB-36 (47 times)...the engines were not electrically powered, but the plane carried a live nuclear reactor...lots of lead shielding for the crew...when it flew it was followed by a C-97 transport full of paratroopers, to cordon off the crash site if that happened...




And I would be remiss not to mention Project Orion. Let me point out that the idea was to launch the from the Earth's surface...over and over and over!


For the technical among you:


These are but a sample of the awesome engineering we undertook, along with the incredible safety risks...after all, in the 1950s radiation was depicted to the public as being measured in 'sunshine units'.

All that being said, I believe that we could safely continue to develop modern-design nuclear fission power plants to wean ourselves away from coal.

And if you readers are hungry for an antidote to Freeman Dyson's Orion project, don't forget to look up this story of his son George Dyson's counterpoint to it, "The Starship and the Canoe", about living out of boats and treehouses, exploring the Pacific Northwest (Canada more than US), and making Baidarkas (Inuit Kayaks) to ply the waters.

The Starship and the Canoe - Kenneth Brower

or this one..

Project Orion: The True Story of the Atomic Spaceship
By George Dyson

thanksgiving day was almost 60 degrees F. next two days in 40's with high winds. then sunday was almost 60 again. so yesterday i get 6 inches of snow. just 20 miles south, squat. today was bright sun and cold. my 3KW grid tied PV system puts out zero. will do so until snow melts off array on roof. my "old" system will have 90% reduction of rated output with only 10% coverage of snow. so even if the top half of the snow slips off, the bottom covered half reduces output. they have converters for each panel now but the upgrade cost will not pay for itself unless i will the system to my heirs, if any. and a 1/6th of an inch is just as good as six inches in reducing panel output. snow absorbs the critical near IR the panels respond to. dont bother with 3 KW systems. go 6 or 9 right off the bat if you can afford the upfront costs, federal rebate notwithstanding. contractors dont install the system at the quoted after tax rebate. you got to put up the full cost and wait a year to get it. friday and saturday i burned wood. that heated my house much more than PV solar can do. lots of prep work with wood. sourcing wood, cutting, splitting, storing. then starting a stove requires attention to detail. tending the fire and feeding it. disposing of ashes. luckily, i had no where to go or nothing to do for two days except burn wood. it's economical but certainly not romantic. i didnt have a blonde, redhead or brunette keeping me company. i haint met any that i would trust to tend the stove as i dashed out to get a nice bottle of cognac. dont forget to check out my portable solar carts at:
imagine living on 300 or 600 watts per day. imagine burning wood and all that implies and manually tracking your solar carts also. all this talk of reducing consumption aint gonna happen until collapse. i went to the supermarket and bought a frozen pizza. i cooked it. mmmm....it was good.
we live in a paradigm that requires money. all status comes from money. only when money aint no good no more will anything change. in the future life will be brutal and short. "it's all good"

9 Kilowatts?

Instead of throwing in another $30-$50k (??) for such an oversized home PV system, why not get a roof rake for maybe $50, or put some heater tape behind those panels and run a few watts to clear them when it snows?

I like your carts, but if you have invested some serious bucks into a 3kw system in snow country, why not have a provision for removing the stuff? Did they used to say the same thing about front steps and driveways too? That they don't work, cause they get snow all over them? This stuff is really not that complicated.

Maybe a Windshield wiper inspired rig, spray a bit of hot water through the garden hose.. or have a catwalk to get up there and sweep it off..


I suspect this may have been shown here on TOD before. And my impression is that the hydrogen car is a dead end from discussions I have read here on TOD. But...here we are from GM...a car of the future...Happy motoring to continue?:


Thx PaBoo
If you skip to Time= 3:20 and listen to them next 10 seconds ..... but remember to activate your PowerDown- braincells beforehand and see where that takes you. The Grand Relief comes from Time= 4:30 and out.

People ask me if water is the next oil. If only it were. At least then if would have a price that reflects its true value

Really ? I don't think $80 a barrel is the true vale or cost of oil. I've seen atleast the cost calculated as $480.

FACTBOX-A history of foreign oil firms in Iraq


an abbreviated history at that. nothing from 1990 to 2003, nothing about Kurdistan.