Drumbeat: December 12, 2009

Private oil cos contracts ready by early '10-Pemex

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Contracts that will allow Mexico to hire private energy companies as service providers in its traditionally closed oil sector will be ready early next year, the head of state oil company Pemex said on Friday.

Pemex has been working on the contracts since Mexico's Congress passed reforms to the country's energy legislation allowing Pemex to offer cash-based incentives to its contractors.

The government of President Felipe Calderon hopes to use these contracts to bring in foreign capital and expertise to turn around the country's flagging oil industry.

...Mexican oil production has slumped by nearly a quarter since peaking in 2004, and although officials have said they are confident output can be held steady at current levels of around 2.5 million barrels per day over the next several years, Pemex is anxious to gain access to new technologies.

As problems mount, Yemen teeters

If Yemen were a theater, which sometimes it appears to be, it would be an unnerving place of trapdoors and shifting facades. This is the poorest nation in the Arab world and one of the most strategically located, with 3 million barrels of oil sailing daily beyond its shores. And it is a mess in the making that some people in Washington fear could draw the U.S. into a conflict with extremists at the intersection of the Middle East and the lawless Horn of Africa.

"We are a failed state," said Abubakr Badeeb, a leading member of the opposition Socialist Party. "Yemen can no longer protect the rights of its citizens."

Analysis: Jackups are Backbone of Red Sea Drilling

As early as the 1860s, the Egyptian government began drilling for oil. In 1911, Shell started up operations at the Hurghada field on the Red Sea. Today, drilling activity is mostly confined to the shallow waters of the region as jackup rigs are actively drilling at multiple locations in the region, but there are no floaters currently deployed in the region. The jackups deployed in the region today are all independent leg cantilever units and most have a maximum water depth capability of 250 feet or more.

PIW Again Ranks Saudi Aramco No. 1

NEW YORK -- Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW) has released its annual list of the rankings of the world's 50 largest oil companies, and in what has become a 21-year streak, Saudi Aramco is No. 1.

That hold on the top spot seems unlikely to loosen, as mega-projects in a 2-million-barrel-per-day crude-oil-capacity expansion program are at or near completion. On top of that, expansion continues in the refining, gas and petrochemical sectors, according to a latest report carried by Saudi Aramco's Web-site.

The Missing Element: Why an aging Canadian nuclear reactor could keep U.S. patients from getting the care they need

The National Research Universal (NRU) reactor in Chalk River, Ontario, supplies about one-third of the world's supply and about half of the U.S. supply of the molybdenum isotope that decays to form technetium. The reactor, built in 1957, is operated by the government-owned company Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. The reactor was first shut down for safety only a year after it opened, when a nuclear fuel rod caught fire, and it has suffered sporadic accidents and outages ever since. In 2007, after the reactor was shut down for a safety upgrade, the Canadian government, due to fears of an isotope shortage, ordered it open again over the objections of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

Canada's Natural Resources Ministry, which oversees the nuclear power industry, never intended for the NRU reactor to still be operating. Construction of two new reactors, known as MAPLE 1 and 2, began in 1996 after it became clear the NRU reactor was nearing the end of its useful life. The MAPLES were supposed to have become operational in 2000, but after numerous construction delays and unresolved safety issues and hundreds of millions of dollars spent, they were finally scuttled by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government in 2006.

Lack of cooking gas threatens daily life

Gaza City: The gas shortage in Gaza has grown ever more dire, as filling stations for cooking fuel have been closed for over a month, according to Mahmoud Al Shawwa, who heads the committee to oversee gas stations in Gaza.

"At least 60 per cent of the bakeries here have run out of cooking gas," he said.

Mexican company quantifies lithium

The newly discovered lithium deposit in Mexico holds at least 143,140 tonnes of the metal used in laptop and electric vehicles batteries.

Double digit economic growth and empty plates

The economic trend in Ethiopia has got different views from the economic analysis and claims by the government. At a time where economic growth claims are diminished by looming famine, Ethiopian government officials are trying to hide the facts on the ground as millions of starving Ethiopians could not afford staving off hunger on a daily basis.

Authors say climate crisis a perfect storm for disaster

"Planet Earth, creation, the world in which civilization developed, the world with climate patterns that we know and stable shorelines, is in imminent peril. The urgency of the situation crystallized only in the past few years. We now have clear evidence of the crisis.... The startling conclusion is that continued exploitation of all fossil fuels on Earth threatens not only the other millions of species on the planet but also the survival of humanity itself -and the timetable is shorter than we thought."

That opening paragraph of James Hansen's book tells the danger of climate change on Earth. The rest of the book gives scientific proof to his prediction and offers some ways out of the crisis, if humanity acts fast enough. He is the scientist who first brought global warming to international attention in the 1980s, and is a Columbia University professor and head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Thelma, Louise and Six Degrees

I’ve got to stop and wonder whether comfort and distraction have been confused with joy, fulfillment and meaning. I acknowledge that it’s possible to find moments of comfort and happiness even in prison. That doesn’t mean we’re not in prison. I view this as our deepest denial, the denial of the truth of our own life experience, the denial kept in rigid place by our desperate story of The American Way. As David Edwards says in his interview with Derrick Jensen,

What prison could be more secure than one we’re convinced is “the world,” where the boundaries of action and thought are assumed to be, not the limits of the permissible, but the limits of the possible? Democratic society, as we know it, is the ultimate prison, because who’s going to try to escape from a situation of apparent freedom? It follows, then, that we must be happy, because we can do whatever we want.

Canada fiercely opposes proposal to extend Kyoto

Canada's Copenhagen nightmare may be coming true.

A draft proposal published at the climate-change summit Friday for the countries in the Kyoto Protocol, the only international greenhouse-gas reduction treaty, calls for five years to be added to Kyoto, taking it to 2017. Canada fiercely resists any extension of the treaty.

Iraq awards oil deals, but no boon for U.S. invaders

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The United States spent blood and treasure on an Iraq invasion critics said was for oil, but U.S. oil majors were largely absent from an Iraqi auction of oil deals snapped up instead by Russian, Chinese and other firms.

Degrowth Seminar, Copenhagen Klimaforum09 - Speech by Miguel Valencia

Economists introduced the idea of a world without boundaries and limits, unbridled exploitation of nature and the legitimization of big risk activities; in those days, modern states lost the notions of scale, size, proportion and limit and began to nurture industrial activities, international trade. In that century, the fundamentals of our legal system were created in order to protect pirates, bankers, corporations; and then, science and technology became the most important partners of economy. From this epistemic revolution evolved creeds of our modern thinking; nowadays everybody is deeply involved in only one dimension of life: the economic dimension.

The One Dimensional Man, denounced by Herbert Marcuse in the '60s, is now present everywhere in the world. Techno-scientists presently conduct high risk experiments using nuclear energy, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, robotics, in such a manner “to make humans an endangered species,” according to Bill Joy, the great American computer scientist. The global economy has conquered the mind of modern man and commands his life, needs, desires, and beliefs. The idea of scarcity, essential to economic thinking, saturates contemporary thinking. Nowadays, because of economic ideas, multinationals and states face a Shakespearean dilemma “to grow or not to be” -- as economy implements the ugliness, gigantism, and accelerated change that now subdue the modern world.

Iran Needs Up to 15 Nuclear Plants - Foreign Minister

MANAMA (Reuters) - Iran needs up to 15 nuclear plants to generate electricity, its foreign minister said on Saturday, underlining Tehran's determination to press ahead with a programme the West suspects is aimed at making bombs.

Manouchehr Mottaki, addressing a security conference in Bahrain, also cast further doubt on a U.N.-drafted nuclear fuel deal meant to allay international concern about the Islamic Republic's atomic ambitions.

"First I think we could just totally abandon the whole thing or we could propose something more moderate, a kind of middle way ... Iran has done that," he said.

Iraq oil capacity 'to reach 12m barrels per day

Iraq's oil capacity could reach 12 million barrels per day (bpd) in six years, the country's oil minister says.

Hussein al-Shahristani told reporters in Baghdad that oil producers would not necessarily operate at full capacity, but would take into account demand.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, has a capacity of 12.5m bpd.

FACTBOX - Fees, output targets agreed in Iraq's oil auctions

(Reuters) - Iraq has awarded international companies with contracts to develop 10 of its oilfields after conducting two rounds of bidding in its first oil auctions since the 2003 U.S invasion.

The 20-year service contracts pay oil companies set fees for each barrel of oil produced.

The combined plateau production targets for all contracts in the pipeline is 11.14 million barrels per day (bpd). Current Iraqi oil production is around 2.5 million bpd.

Crude calculations: Will a new auction of fields to foreign firms get Iraq’s oil flowing freely?

A COUNTRY with a shaky economy that sits on huge oil reserves would usually be reckoned wise to pump as much as possible out of the ground as quickly as it can. Western oil companies, desperate for crude that is cheap to produce and refine, should be ready and waiting to help. But arranging such a deal in Iraq is no easy matter. Iraq’s second round of auctions for the rights to develop it oil fields concluded on Saturday December 12th. The first round in June, a televised extravaganza, resulted in the embarrassing outcome that just one of the eight contracts on the block found a taker. By the middle of the day on Friday two big oil fields had attracted winning bids from foreign companies.

Alaska revenue official says oil future stable

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Prices for Alaska's main money source — oil — have stabilized following a volatile year, and a state official predicted a smaller drop in revenues than expected.

"What a difference a year makes," said Revenue Commissioner Pat Galvin, who released the 110-page revenue forecast.

Galvin on Thursday said oil prices are expected to be in the $67-per-barrel range in the 2010 fiscal year that ends June 30.

China's Hu arrives in energy-rich Central Asia

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Kazakhstan on Saturday, the first leg of a regional visit which highlights Beijing's growing influence over Central Asia's strategic energy resources.

China, Kazakhstan unveil natural gas route tapping into Central Asia's energy riches

ALMATY, Kazakhstan (AP) — The leaders of Kazakhstan and China jointly unveiled Saturday the Kazakh section of a natural gas pipeline that will tap into Central Asia's vast energy riches and loosen Russia's influence over the region.

The pipeline, due to come online in days, is part of China's efforts to secure energy supplies for its booming economy.

The 1,300-kilometer Kazakhstan-China pipeline is the Central Asian nation's first export route that completely bypasses Russia.

A Future That Looks Smarter

When the Green Energy series was launched six months ago, the goal was to inform Torontonians of Toronto Hydro's many initiatives in conservation and operations improvement, as well as of the countless efforts of their fellow city dwellers in the move toward energy efficiency and a greener environment. As 2009 comes to an end, the National Post spoke with Anthony Haines, Toronto Hydro Corp.'s president and CEO, about the future and what the smart grid will bring to the city in the new year.

Fitchburg protest to mark ice storm anniversary

FITCHBURG, Mass.—Protesters are planning a demonstration outside the Fitchburg offices of Unitil Corp. on the anniversary of last year's deadly ice storm.

The protest is scheduled Saturday and is expected to draw area lawmakers.

Last month, the state Department of Public Utilities issued a report criticizing Unitil's performance during last year's ice storm that left thousands in Ashby, Fitchburg, Lunenburg, and Townsend without power for around two weeks.

Brazil to Pitch Clean Cane Fuel to Schwarzenegger at UN Talks

(Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s ethanol makers are looking for a high-profile ally at the climate talks in Copenhagen to promote the use of biofuel made from sugar cane: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A Hot Future for Geothermal

Capturing energy from the earth’s heat is pretty easy pickin’s for geologically-active areas of the world like Iceland, Indonesia, and Chile. In some locations, hot fluids are so near the earth’s surface that heat from naturally-occurring hot fluids can be directly circulated through buildings for heating. Iceland, in particular, takes advantage of this low-hanging energy fruit.

However, in most areas of the world where geothermal energy is captured, the heat is used to generate electricity.

Unlike some of the more common alternative energies — hydro, solar, and wind — geothermal is impervious to weather conditions. This independence means it provides excellent base load electricity.

Dow Jones Index for Climate Change

ScienceDaily — Some people still question whether Earth's climate is changing as rapidly and profoundly as the majority of climate scientists suggest. But, what if the complexity of the Earth's climate were distilled down to one number, in the same way that the Dow Jones Index condenses volumes of data into a single figure? What, then, would be the general trend?

The IGBP Climate-Change Index is a first attempt to do just that. It brings together key indicators of global change: carbon dioxide, temperature, sea level and sea ice. The index gives an annual snapshot of how the planet's complex systems -- the ice, the oceans, the land surface and the atmosphere -- are responding to the changing climate. The index rises steadily from 1980 -- the earliest date the index has been calculated. The change is unequivocal, it is global, and, significantly, it is in one direction. The reason for concern becomes clear: in just 30 years we are witnessing major planetary-scale changes.

The real inconvenient truth: The whole world needs to adopt China's one-child policy

The "inconvenient truth" overhanging the UN's Copenhagen conference is not that the climate is warming or cooling, but that humans are overpopulating the world.

A planetary law, such as China's one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently, which is one million births every four days.

The world's other species, vegetation, resources, oceans, arable land, water supplies and atmosphere are being destroyed and pushed out of existence as a result of humanity's soaring reproduction rate.

Ironically, China, despite its dirty coal plants, is the world's leader in terms of fashioning policy to combat environmental degradation, thanks to its one-child-only edict.

China’s November Crude-Oil Processing Rises to Record

(Bloomberg) -- China’s crude-oil processing volume reached a record in November, driven by economic recovery in the world’s second-biggest energy user.

Refining volume climbed 21 percent from a year earlier to 33.4 million metric tons, or 8.1 million barrels a day, according to China Mainland Marketing Research Co., which compiles data for the government.

A $586 billion stimulus package, record bank lending and incentives for purchases of cars and home appliances are supporting industrial production and boosting fuel consumption. China’s factory output grew 19 percent in November from a year earlier, the biggest increase since June 2007, the statistics bureau said today.

The heaviest snowfalls in six decades in China also helped increase crude processing volumes last month, said Gordon Kwan, head of energy research at Mirae Asset Securities.

Oil below $70 for first time since October

Prices tumbled as the dollar gained strength and investors took a second look at paltry demand figures in the West.

The declines came even as the International Energy Agency predicted Friday that global oil demand will rise more than previously anticipated next year.

Oil-Industry Lobbying Group Cuts Staff, Cites Push to Modernize

(Bloomberg) -- The American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry’s biggest lobbying group, let go 15 percent of its 250-person staff in an effort to modernize advocacy efforts, said Jack Gerard, the group’s president.

The cuts of about 40 jobs will come from departments including lobbying, media relations, research and training, Gerard said in a phone interview yesterday. He said he will replace some of those whose “skill sets” are no longer in line with API’s mission with more technology-savvy staffers.

Lackluster start for Iraq oil field auction

BAGHDAD - Iraq's hope of luring international oil companies with its mother lode of oil met with mixed results Friday, with only two deals struck as security fears appeared to weigh heavily on the country's second oil auction this year.

Of the eight fields on offer in Friday's bidding, only those located in the relatively stable southern region of Iraq attracted heavy interest, while five located in more restive regions were withdrawn and a sixth field drew only one bid. In all, 15 fields are being offered in the two-day round, covering roughly a third of Iraq's 115 billion in proven reserves of crude.

Dragon Oil Says Planned Acquisition by ENOC Won’t Take Place

(Bloomberg) -- Dragon Oil Plc said the resolution to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Emirates National Oil Co., Dubai’s government-owned refiner, was not passed by the required majority at a shareholders’ meeting today.

ENOC had pressed ahead with a 1.1 billion-pound ($1.8 billion) takeover of Dragon Oil, even as the emirate struggles to rebound from a debt crisis. The refiner, which owns 51.5 percent of Dragon, will drop the purchase and the company will remain a majority-owned subsidiary of ENOC, Dragon said.

Obama's Troops surge, The Greater Game Part III

China and Russia are emerging powers competing with US, and then there is Iran delicious minerals filled state but not obedient to US and west.

World’s second largest oil and gas reserves are present in Central Asia, keeping Peak oil in mind, race is for oil reserves. In words of one of my friend, Mid East and Central Asia are two Weights of Power Dumbbell, where as Pakistan and Afghanistan is the rod joining the weights. Whoever holds this dumbbell holds it through Pakistan and Afghanistan. Whoever holds this dumbbell is the most Powerful in the world.

Whatever Happened to Nazi Synthetic Gas and Oil Technology? Scarcity Scams Examined

Still even if abiotic oil has little potential for future needs, there was the technology that existed in the early 1930s that allowed the Germans to produce its own synthetic gas and oil.

What happened to it?

Other Voices: The World Energy Outlook and you

We've been seeing increased coverage of peak oil in newspapers, magazines, and online in the past few years. Now, in late 2009, there have been some brand new indications that we're already farther down the rabbit hole than we thought.

Let's back up for a second. What is peak oil, what is the world energy outlook, and what do they mean to you, your business, and your family?

The Cuts Won’t Work- 2nd Green New Deal Report

The second problem is that the first glimmers of recovery lead to a sharp increase in commodity prices – especially oil and industrial metals – and these in turn sow the seeds of the next downturn. Oil prices have doubled since the start of 2009 amid growing evidence that supplies of crude cannot keep up with demand. In the first Green New Deal report, we warned that the financial collapse was part of a triple crisis that had to be addressed. Peak oil and climate change were the other two legs of the stool; neither has been addressed.

Don’t let capitalism cost the earth

People are right to worry about emissions of greenhouse gases by big business and the threat they pose to the future of the planet. However, climate change is not happening on account of ‘human nature,’ because people are naturally greedy. Growth is not the problem. The problem is unplanned capitalist growth, growth driven by narrow selfish profit calculation and unconcerned with any wider considerations. The problem is capitalism.

Water, water anywhere?

You’ve heard of peak oil, but what about peak water? A new book by Scottish journalist Alexander Bell entitled Peak Water (Luath Press) was launched in Dublin recently. Bell argues that peak water occurs when a region starts to extract more water than nature can replenish. It doesn’t matter that there is lots of fresh water on the planet but that there will be very little in places where people live.

Carbon-Permit Revenue Would Go to U.S. Taxpayers Under Measure

(Bloomberg) -- Revenue from selling carbon-dioxide emission permits would be divided among U.S. taxpayers, and Wall Street companies would be barred from trading in carbon markets under legislation proposed today.

AP IMPACT: Science not faked, but not pretty

LONDON – E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data — but the messages don't support claims that the science of global warming was faked, according to an exhaustive review by The Associated Press.

7 Tips for Covering Climate Change

So in this super-heated political environment, how should journalists go about reporting on this topic? You can find many answers in a new online learning course offered by Poynter's News University, Covering Climate Change. Here are a few tips, some taken directly from the course, and others in response to recent events.

U.S., China trade barbs at Copenhagen

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei Friday taunted the United States' chief negotiator, who had earlier expressed determination that Washington would not subsidize China as part of deal to send aid from developed nations to poor countries struggling to meet greenhouse gas emissions curb targets.

"I don't want to say the gentleman is ignorant," He told reporters, referring to Todd Stern. "But I think he lacked common sense or he's extremely irresponsible."

He's comments came after Stern had said, "I don't envision public funds -- certainly not from the United States -- going to China. That's just life, and the real world."

Scientist: Copenhagen cuts 'clearly not enough'

COPENHAGEN — A key scientist says greenhouse emissions cuts on the table at U.N. climate talks are "clearly not enough" to assure the world it will head off dangerous global warming.

Thomas Stocker, head of the U.N. scientific group studying the link between emissions and temperatures, told reporters Saturday meeting the required target "may be too much to ask at this stage."

Re: Collapse the Movie.

Last night I drove 82 miles round trip to see a film about a middle-aged, chain-smoking ex-cop in an abandoned meat-locker in some lost industrial suburb of Los Angeles talk non-stop about a topic that less than one percent of the population has ever considered: Peak Oil. The astonishing thing about making that odd declaration is the fact that there are hundreds if not thousands of readers/bloggers/posters on The Drumbeat who might happen to read this who know immediately that I’m speaking of Michael Ruppert.

I laughed, scratched my chin and finally I wept. He told the story as clearly and concisely as it’s ever been told.

Thank-you Mike


What about the rest of the audience? Any obvious similiarities to the group? Any interesting comments or discussions afterwards?

Greg - I did interrupt a couple of people leaving the theater to get their take. Since it was the theater premiere for Collapse and it was at the Ken, which only has one screen, I assumed that people didn't wander in by accident.

One guy said he agreed with Ruppert until he got to the part where he based the growth of human population from the early 18th century to the exploitation of oil. I wish I would have had a longer opportunity to talk with them but I could tell his wife wanted to leave (and frankly so did mine). He did however follow Peak Oil and had invested in a large solar array on his home so I congratulated him on that and said good-night.

Unfortunately in San Diego Peak Oil is still delegated to the lunatic fringe.


You could argue that there were several factors. One is obviously an abundance of food, and that was clearly created by fossil fuels. But advanced in medicine also reduced the mortality rate which also contributed to population growth.

But going forward, not all medical advances are going to stay with us. Through overuse, antibiotics are losing much of their effectiveness. Other high-tech medical advances will probably become unobtainable for most people as well (examples might include organ transplants). Now that being said, knowledge of basic hygiene will most likely persist - I don't expect anyone fussing about miasma in the future. But then again, there are some in society that seem to be perfectly willing to disregard any science that they wish for whatever reason, so perhaps even here I might be wrong.

I was talking with a friend the other day, and he had a most interesting observation. There are movies about people going back in time for one reason or another - let's say to see what the dinosaurs looked like in real life. But assuming you could travel back in time, you would probably get sick and die before you got eaten by a dinosaur as the pathogens on the planet those millions of years ago would be things that our bodies would have no defenses again.

I give MR credit for early on having linked PO and 9-11 (and all the ensuing wars), which is really obvious in retrospect. Where I parted ways was in his survivalist bent. I have always thought we are toast until and unless we challenge the PTB politically and collectively. They'll one way or another expropriate the farms we run to, and will poison the water to drill the gas.

Glad to see he's back in action.

He must be a GOOD speaker because generally college lectures don't do well in the box office.

The Feynman Lectures, if filmed, could have done well but only to actual top few per cent students, Feynman taught to the smartest, since they needed it, and the dumber ones could just get along OK, he reasoned.

Carl Sagan could probably do a good entertaining lecture, but it's still hard to imagine it playing in many theaters.

There are some Feynman lectures to be found on the web.

"This month I bring to you a bunch of Richard Feynman physics video lectures, a few Feynman video interviews, and a few Feynman audios."

One that I linked last year had him speaking in Massachusetts somewhere, on the day I was being born! I thought that was cool.

Re: The real inconvenient truth

Yup, even if humanity somehow manages to make the transition to some other energy source a oil production declines, there are other "Limits to Growth" issues, all of which are directly related to the number of people attempting to use the limited resources. The coal will soon be gone (on geological time scales). Renewable energy sources using solar energy are all limited by the area available to build them. Nuclear power depends on supplies of "fossil" uranium, which are limited too (OK, maybe there's enough thorium?). Geothermal is also likely to be a small source of energy. Sooner or later, the population will be limited, perhaps at a level far below today's. Even China's policy of One Child may not be strict enough to keep the Four Horsemen away...

E. Swanson

So all the contrary arguments from engineer-poet or advancednano about uranium supplies didn't get through to you, or you found those of Dittmar et al more convincing?

Who is the real authority in these matters? This kept crossing my mind reading the above linked story about the AP investigation. A team of reporters read the whole batch of CRU emails - more than once - finding that their contents in no way invalidated the theory of AGW. Think this will satisfy or shut up Watts/McIntyre et al? Somehow I doubt it.

There needs to be a way of quantifying the veracity of arguments, and those who propound them. This is a notion I can conceive of but have no way of putting into practical use. It would put to rest an awful lot of useless debate. Anybody else on board with me? We can't rehash these things forever. "Men argue, nature acts!"

KLR suggests that there's plenty of uranium, citing posts by engineer-poet and advancednano. The title of the post is Uranium supplies are likely to be adequate until 2020 and included are estimates of uranium production to that date.

The problem, of course, is that after Peak Oil, any attempt to use nukes to maintain similar levels of energy consumption would require massive increases in the number of nuke plants, resulting in major increases in yearly demand for uranium. The year 2020 is just around the corner in the sense that the time to build all those nukes is rather short. But, aren't we supposed to be thinking long term, as in 2050? How much uranium will be available at reasonable costs after a further 40 years of consumption and a projected population increase to around 9 billion? Now, keep on keeping on to 2100 and tell us how rosey things will look by then.

I think the point of the article is that the increased per capita demands multiplied by an increasing population can not be met on the Earth we now have. You note: "Men argue, nature acts!" Yes, it's absolutely true that nature always wins and mankind better understand that fact sooner rather than later, or else mother nature will apply her unbending rules to cut us down to size...

E. Swanson

As I always say, I'm sure I'm talking to people smarter than me.
But there is something weird about the anti-nuke stuff on TOD (and elsewhere). We don't need just U235. Fission breeders can convert fertile thorium to fissile U233 or fertile U238 to fissile Pu239. The ratio of U235/U238 is 1/139. Then in a reactor like an IFR we can burn 100 % of the PU239. We've just made up several orders of magnitude of fissile material supply.
If you look at the nucleargreen.blogspot site or the bravenewclimate website they constantly post how nuclear is much cheaper than renewables will ever be. The people on these websites know what they're talking about. Look at the list of contributors to bravenewclimate. They include Charles Till who was a director of the development of the IFR. James Hansen is in the list. Do you think these people are stupid?
If really necessary we could probably develop an ADS fission/fusion hybrid. Heck if we needed to we could probably generate enough neutrons with a Hirsch-Farnsworth fusor, but in all likelihood the Polywell or FRC will do the job better still.
The people who I read who are talking about these possibilities are not idiots. The issue is the idiot politicians, and quite frankly, idiots such as on this website who can spout nothing but doom, instead of spending a bit of time looking for solutions.

I am inclined to say that the greatest obstacle to nuclear is financial rather than technical. It takes billions to build one of these things, and that kind of money isn't easy to come by these days. A company that makes a bad bet on a nuclear project can easily bankrupt itself.

A single wind turbine is orders of magnitude cheaper. You can't compare them directly, of course - it would take many turbines to equal the output of a single nuclear plant. But a wind farm can be built incrementally as finances permit. A nuclear plant cannot.

At least on paper, some of the new modular designs look promising. 50-100 MWe reactors are small enough that they can be built under controlled conditions in a factory and shipped to site, hopefully with greatly improved (and cheaper) quality control. Liquid fluoride reactors seem to have a bunch of advantages: high temp, low pressure, burns almost anything, a lot fewer moving parts. Disadvantages too, of course.

It seems almost inevitable that someone -- Japan, Korea, China, India -- is going to build these. I'd bet on China and India, both of whom can probably develop the technology and could use small reactors to serve rural areas without having to build a massive power grid.

In 2005, the US Congress gave the nuke building industry EVERY piece of candy that they wanted, they gave away the store !

Result to date: some semi-serious paper shuffling.

* Extends the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act through 2025;
* Authorizes cost-overrun support of up to $2 billion total for up to six new nuclear power plants;
* Authorizes a production tax credit of up to $125 million total per year, estimated at 1.8 US¢/kWh during the first eight years of operation for the first 6.000 MW of capacity; consistent with renewables;
* Authorizes loan guarantees of up to 80% of project cost to be repaid within 30 years or 90% of the project's life;
* Authorizes $2.95 billion for R&D and the building of an advanced hydrogen cogeneration reactor at Idaho National Laboratory;
* Authorizes 'standby support' for new reactor delays that offset the financial impact of delays beyond the industry's control for the first six reactors, including 100% coverage of the first two plants with up to $500 million each and 50% of the cost of delays for plants three through six with up to $350 million each for;
* Allows nuclear plant employees and certain contractors to carry firearms;
* Prohibits the sale, export or transfer of nuclear materials and "sensitive nuclear technology" to any state sponsor of terrorist activities;
* Updates tax treatment of decommissioning funds;
* A provision for the U.S. Department of Energy to report in one year on how to dispose of high-level nuclear waste;


Best Hopes for at least five new commercial nukes by 2020,


About a year ago I ran into an old friend - he works for an engineering firm that does power plants. He was saying that they actually did have clients working on new nuclear plants. For the most part, the plans were for additional reactors at existing sites - the permitting and all that is a lot easier that way apparently.

Financing was an issue for some clients, but for some it wasn't much of a problem.

One problem that they faced was that the construction firms that build the existing plants haven't built one in decades. All of the people with working knowledge are either retired or have forgotten all that they knew. Then again, any new reactors really should be newer designs and not carbon copies of 30-year old designs.

Still, the costs are going to be one of the greatest concerns for me. Both the cost to build, and my feeling is that the pro-nuke people tend to understate the cost per kWH of power generated by a nuclear plant (esp when you include externalities and subsidies).

Shortage of experienced and skilled personnel are the reason that the DoE study limited the number of new US nukes to 8 in ten years.

Maintenance and TVA will be the primary sources. TVA first rebuilt burned Brown's Ferry 1, then completed Watts Bar 1 (about 20 years hiatus) and they are now completing Watts Bar 2.

BTW, the Chinese are running into people shortages too.


And the pro nuke people still haven't said what we do with the left overs. Guard it for 10000 years is not an answer.

This is the local solution:

I would prefer a recycling solution where the plutonium and
other transuranics and the unused U-238 is used up in fourth
generation reactors. But a well done defensive plan is to
build the best you can while you got the chash flow and then
try for recycling. If both solutions work out we end up with
an overspec facility for storing fission products.

Perhaps you will notice that I mentioned thorium reactors in the first post. I've not followed the nuke industry for a long time, but I have seen many similar glowing claims about thorium as the best energy source for the future. If the multiplier factor you mention is correct, the fuel should be almost free, just like the old claim that "nuclear power will be too cheap to meter". Tell us, how many thorium power reactors are there in operation on Earth? How are the present crop of breeders doing?

BTW, there's more than one resource problem facing humanity which reducing population would benefit...

E. Swanson

A blog dedicated to thorium reactor news. There have been a few test projects, Shippingport etc. You know all this. The uranium cornucopians claim - pretty convincingly, it must be said - that U shortages will be an issue thousands of years from now, so why fret? The fuel is already a fairly small factor in the cost of operation anyway, too. Again, we cover the same ground until there's a fairly sizable trough there.

Agree about the panoply of predicaments humanity faces, though. So we have plenty of uranium, where will we find a substitute for the water in the Ogallala aquifer?

The appearance of the story about the IGBP Climate-Change Index is pretty spooky, that's exactly what I'm talking about.

Nuclear power is for rich countries, these countries got rich by consuming lots of cheap fossil fuel, take away the cheap fossil fuel and these countries become poor and IMO can no longer afford use nuclear.

Nuclear power is for rich countries, these countries got rich by consuming lots of cheap fossil fuel, take away the cheap fossil fuel and these countries become poor and IMO can no longer afford use nuclear.

Rich countries like China and India?

Come on, pay attention to what's really going on in the world. China is now the world's largest consumer of fossil fuels, but has about 150 nuclear reactors under construction or on the drawing boards. India is trying to play catch-up.

Last time I looked (two months ago) China had 16 new nuclear reactors under construction (i.e pouring concrete or more). Impressive, but not quite the inferred 150 (that # must include some very long range planning IMO).


In 2008, China ordered 100 nuclear reactors from Westinghouse Nuclear, all them to be completed or under construction by 2020. This is in addition to reactors from other companies already planned or under construction. They don't do things on a small scale in China these days.

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_China

I am aware of that order, but for a variety of reasons (shortages of skilled & experienced personnel being one) it will likely fall short by 2020. 2024 seems possible (STILL impressive !) IMVHO.

Some other reactors (a few EPRs, finish two CANDUs, two 600 MW domestic designs for the island of Hainan) will also be built.

Best Hopes for non-carbon generatioon in China,


Weird that McIntyre is looked at as such a great statistician, yet when he does statistics on his own, he completely botches it. His posting on the number of Google hits that "climategate" got is laughable

Updating the comparisons, “Climategate” has 32,000,000 google hits as compared to 4,080 news stories (Google), while “Tiger Woods” has 29,500,000 google hits with 54,018 news stories (Google). Although Tiger has over 10 times as many news stories, Climategate (remarkably) has more google hits than Tiger Woods (and many other famous search items e.g. Britney Spears, NFL, NBA or for that matter “climate”).

The number of non-news Google hits doesn't mean a thing. Funny that he of all people would not understand this. Because of that, I would discredit everything else that McIntyre has ever said. Payback is fair play.

I think this article is tongue-in-cheek. It's a bit of light relief for the 99.95% of the masses that don't understand his serious analysis.

I'd take Tamino's "serious analysis" over McIntyre's any day of the week.

I don't think McIntyre does any serious analysis. If he did, we would see him mixing it up on the physics and modeling.

Indeed, this Tamino is a sharp character. I am reading his post "AIC part 1: Kullback-Leibler Divergence" and it is brilliant mathematical writing, seriously. Thanks for the link !

There needs to be a way of quantifying the veracity of arguments, and those who propound them.

Impossible. Less impossible (but still impossible) is to quantify the stakes, the vested interest in each side of a debate!

One thing that the the CRU flap tells me is that the climate people are not adequately tying the climate scenarios to PO and the entire ecological disaster that is unfolding. A cold day comes along, and see -- GW is a hoax. But the broader ecological collapse is a lot more difficult to hide -- certainly here near the turnpike in NJ!

Debates over major issues are never just debates -- they are part of a struggle between interests. It's never just a matter of reason and logic. This is also true of 'good' guys -- are the climate researchers totally oblivious to funding concerns? Is there no pressure to cut corners? Etc.

"Men argue, nature acts!" Which is to say nature will join the debate soon enough.

Well you talk about PO and deniers will point to lower oil prices (and claims by some peak oilers of $200 price).

Deniers will deny - either for financial interest or because the implications contradict the ideology they hold. What we need is a better press corp which doesn't think all a journalist needs to do is "give equal time" - but do some home work and report truth.

Here's an interesting tidbit about what happens when you try to correct misinformation

Political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler provided two groups of volunteers with the Bush administration's prewar claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. One group was given a refutation — the comprehensive 2004 Duelfer report that concluded that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction before the United States invaded in 2003. Thirty-four percent of conservatives told only about the Bush administration's claims thought Iraq had hidden or destroyed its weapons before the U.S. invasion, but 64 percent of conservatives who heard both claim and refutation thought that Iraq really did have the weapons. The refutation, in other words, made the misinformation worse.

Washington Post

That's simply stunning, but not particularly artfully presented. Let's simplify:

34% of conservatives believed Bush's lies about WMDs in Iraq.

64% of conservatives believed Bush's lies about WMDs in Iraq after seeing evidence that they were lies.

Now I'm not saying that AGW deniers are all conservatives, or that all conservatives are AGW deniers, but I suspect the behavior would be similar.

How can you you ever hope to have a serious discussion with someone like that? The more evidence you present, the less likely they are to listen to the evidence.

The key is that it is evidence provided by the elites. Normal people should have no interest in getting at the truth, so if any additional information is provided it has to be coming from the elites. And since they are taught to mistrust anyone with a degree, that inversion in poll results is the logical consequence.

Well there just might something coming on the scene that could change the whole energy picture:


According to the company the launch is going to be this year: http://www.freeenergytimes.com/?paged=2

Thanks for letting me waste 2 minutes of my life. Oh well, as Flipper said Life is Cheap

OMG. Steorn is still trying. That's hilarious.

I wonder if they know they're scamming people, or if they truly believe they've discovered perpetual motion (they just have to fix that heat/friction problem).

If you lubricate with snake oil, the friction problem goes away..

Back when I had my little high tech business I got to know some people who are into this kind of thing. They were pretty normal seeming until you get 'em talking about zero-point energy etc.

Like a lot of people I used to know, I wonder, where are they now? Dead. In a homeless shelter? Ranting on the sidewalk when out of jail? Holed up in a nest of methies? Maybe old enough now to get SS and quietly renting a room somewhere.

Or maybe they're doing better than ever, in these times people are willing to gamble a bit more, in desperation. Maybe they're busily separating people from the last of their savings in exchange for odd contraptions of magnets and half-disassembled transformers out of switching power supplies.

The thing about zero point energy is a lot of it is based on this idea of energy in the "ether." I remember people mentioning something like dark matter many years ago. Then, not all that long ago, viola!, Dark Matter.

There is energy all around us. Everything is energy. The idea someone might be able to do something to tap into this sea of energy isn't all that crazy, if you ask me. People need to be careful in assuming we know all there is to know.

That's not to say I think anyone is necessarily close, but some people have made some amazingly efficient machines. One girl recreated one of Bedini's machines and won a science fair contest because it ran for weeks on a single little battery. (Newspaper story, not Bedini's claim.)

Back EMF? Dark Matter? Running systems in such a way that the batteries don't decay as fast? Who knows. But that something might be out there... Even if there is no way to tap the "ether," such tinkering often leads to amazing things.

Yes, there are frauds, but a few of these folks are serious.


These folks are the best kind of scammers because they ARE serious, they're True Believers!

That's the best way to take someone for all they've got, believe in your own snake oil.

That's the problem with me, I'm too scientific, and too honest, for most things that are respected in our society, If I'm really hard up, I'll stand by a freeway onramp with a sign saying exactly what I need and what for, or panhandle asking for spare change and be cheerful about it and insist that people only give what they can really spare, I honestly know I can get the necessities of life on the truly spare change, and have no desire to take what people need for themselves.

Because of this, I'm hated and in a fair amount of danger.

But if I worked one of these bankster type scams, and took people for all I could, took food right out of their children's mouthes and put Grannies out into the cold, and made a LOT of money at some scam, that I believe in like Life Insurance or Health Insurance or The Big New Energy Thing, I'd be respected and loved. Fellows like Rife and Keeley did great with that, great American scammers! There are people selling scams now that are brilliant, all kinds of health hoaxes, and I could do a dandy job of selling them except it just bugs me too much, the honesty thing you know.

But no, the funny-energy people I knew were not intentional scammers. They believe in it, and that the Big Oil Co's assassinate anyone who gets one of these new contraptions running .....

I think a lot of the hoaxes depend on not understanding, and inaccurately measuring, power factors of various waveforms. I think a fellow named Bearden is one of the big go-to guys right now to get your own franchise in the zero-point scam.

Intentional scammers in these things tend to be at the top of these scams, then a lot of folks willing to suspend critical thought in exchange for dollars, and nearer to the bottom you find a lot of true believers (who slept through electronics class).

CCPO, i'm behind you 100% on this. My upbringing/ education and work have always been science / engineering based and I'm all for orthodox thinking.

Howevever if there is one thing i've learned in all of this - it is that we are just scratching the surface in terms of technology (and may not get to scratch much more unfortunately before continuing in self destruct mode!!)

Scientists and engineers are only now starting to understand how to manipulate energy and matter on an atomic level.


Hey if you guys want to read about something REALLY weird/fascinating, look up "sonolumenescence". Discovered in the 1930s, some of the newer "new" stuff.

The thing about zero point energy is a lot of it is based on this idea of energy in the "ether." I remember people mentioning something like dark matter many years ago. Then, not all that long ago, viola!, Dark Matter.

ccpo you are mixing your apples and oranges here. Your Dark Matter story is wrong and not remotely comparable to "energy from the ether". Dark Matter was never just dreamed up like energy from the ether. The Dark Matter theory was developed because there was gravitational evidence, in the rotation of galaxies, of something they could not see so they theorized that this was matter that did not give off light, reflect light or give off any radiate energy of any kind. The evidence of dark matter came before the discovery of dark matter. And no hypothesis of Dark Matter was ever discussed before the gravitational evidence was discovered.

There was not ever any evidence of energy from the ether as the nothingness of space was called in those days. Of course there is the magnetic energy and radiation energy from the sun, but that is all. There is no magic energy just drifting through the ether. There is no evidence of such energy just available free for the tapping.

Free energy is totally absurd because it would violate the laws of thermodynamics. Grown intelligent people should be above even discussing such nonsense.

Ron P.

I am all for observation-driven scientific theories but dark matter smells like voodoo. Even if it is not subject to electro-dynamics it is still subject to gravitation and as such should coalesce into "stars" just like with hydrogen in the early stages of the universe (a mixture of hydrogen and "dust" now). Yet dark matter is alleged not to form any compact objects. Why? If it has the problem of cooling itself off by spontaneous emission and has primordial temperatures then it should have escaped the galactic gravitational wells. Dark matter looks like an attempt to fix our knowledge of gravity by making up some missing mass. Who says that the gravitational constant, G, is really a constant? In fact, some of the more physical cosmological theories, ones that address the inflation hack, have a time evolving G.

I did my PhD in observational searches for dark matter, so could expound at length, but I'll try to keep it short. There are multiple independent lines of evidence that point to the existence of dark matter, both at different wavelengths and at different scales. The "missing mass" was first discovered in the early 1930s by analyzing the motion of galaxies in clusters. Their velocities indicated a much larger mass must be present than was observed. Then analysis of galactic rotation profiles indicated a halo of invisible material must be present around most galaxies. X-ray observations of hot gas in galaxy cluster gravitational potential wells track out a mass distribution far larger than is present in observed matter, and results are in good agreement with independent measurements from galaxy velocity. In short, there is an abundance of observational evidence for which the best theoretical explanation is a large quantity of unobserved matter. Other theories have less evidence, or suffer from being made to "fit the facts", eg additional modifiers to the standard gravitational force with fudge factors that can be tweaked until they match the observations. Variable G? Probably not, since observations at varying distances (=times) show similar results for dark matter quantities.

On one of your specific points, just because the matter is subject to gravitation does not mean it will coalesce into stars. Different types of matter group on different scales. For example neutrinos have mass, but their other properties mean that they will accumulate into gravitationally bound systems only on extremely large scales, eg galaxy clusters.

So basically dark matter is not an appealing theory, but it is the best there is for now given all the alternatives.

I wasn't taking the subject seriously except in the monkeys typing out hamlet sense. I won't mock people who are serious about this stuff, but I'm not holding my breath.

As for your tech comments, I think you are quite possibly wrong. Is there a more definite definition than "some crap we can't yet define out there in the universe?" I think dark matter would qualify to these tinkerers as crap floating around in the universe. What people called the "ether" may well end up being dark matter. But i really don't give much of a damn one way or the other.

Also, free energy might break the second law as you conceive of it, but not everyone assumes whatever energy they might tap into would necessarily be coming from nothing. Geothermal might be a good example. If they can do it successfully, the energy is being dissipated, but from such a large source that for all practical purposes it looks like free energy. On human time scales, the cooling it would cause might be noticeable at all.

Or whatever.

I think shooting for exceedingly efficient is the wiser choice, but the tinkerers don't take my counsel seriously.


I've got a copy of their engineering documents

Magic Motor

THREE MORE BANK CLOSURES Friday night. They were in KS, AZ, and FL.

So here's my question:
What happens to the owners of these failed banks? When the failed banks are taken over by a solvent bank do the owners get paid or do they lose everything?

And who actually owns small local banks? Stockholders or private owners?

Just a small note regarding "secret Nazi methods" of producing oil. In general there are no secrets. In the 1970's Mobil Oil was producing gasoline from NG in New Zealand. An expensive process but was doable because the NG was free...no market for it. All the methods of reorganizing hydrocaron chains require just a couple of things: some expensive chemicals and a heck of a lot of energy. No secrets.

If we have an energy input, we can synthesize liquid hydrocarbons from CO2 & water. But as they say, "If" is sometimes a pretty big word.

CO2, water and a Magnesium-porphyrin based catalyst.
The Nazi system used secret catalysts, maybe not so secret now.

Remember the Nazis were operating catabolically, in some cases extremely so. Conquest became defense became desperation, and I think some of those German rocket scientists were coming up with neato stuff so they'd be allowed to survive and work under whoever took over their part of Germany, us or the Russians. They were right, too.

They were fighting catabolically from day one. The conquest of France and the Netherlands was one giant exercise in looting of consumer goods with which to produce the prosperity Hitler promised and the Germans felt they were deprived of by the Versailles Treaty.

some are promoting ung in nz:


The banks are privately owned.

The FDIC is a quick way of doing a liquidation bankruptcy, with the FDIC added enough cash to pay the depositors.

Owners and shareholders are the same thing. If there is a sole owner, there is only one shareholder who owns all the shares.

In a bankruptcy, the owners should lose everything, and the creditors should take all the assets and sell them for whatever they can get. When a failed bank is taken over by a solvent bank, its owners should walk away with nothing and all the money should go to the creditors. I can't say that this is what really happens, but it is what should happen.

However, banks are insured by the government, so the taxpayer gets stuck for money owed to the depositors. Prudent countries (which would not include the US) insist that banks lend carefully, and carry sufficient reserves to pay the depositors in the event of a crisis, so the taxpayers don't get stuck with the bill.

I'm in Canada, which falls into the prudent country category. The government has very high reserve requirements, and most banks carry much more in reserves than they are required to. No Canadian banks have failed in the last 20 years, and none are in danger of doing so now.

Canada's pine beetles

Ahead of the global climate talks in December 2009, nine photographers from the photo agency NOOR photographed climate stories from around the world. Their goal: to document some of the causes and consequences, from deforestation to changing sea levels, as well as the people whose lives and jobs are part of the carbon culture.

The group NOOR has posted thousands of photos of the ongoing consequences of climate change around Copenhagen. My deep suspicion is that most of the participants at the climate talks are there for the photo-ops and invitation-only cocktail parties. Sad!


I find the idiotic nonsense about pine beetles and global warming highly annoying. The real problem in BC is the result of a century of fire control - man tinkering with the natural fire cycle.

Lodgepole pines are fast-growing, short-lived trees. Their survival strategy is to outgrow all the other trees after a forest fire. Fire triggers their regeneration - if you want to get their seeds to grow, you heat them in an oven.

Normally, the pine forests would burn down and regenerate every few decades, but as a result of 100 years of fire control, the forests now consist of nothing but old trees. Pine beetles kill only the old trees. If you let the fires run rampant, the result would be forests of young pine trees, which are resistant to pine beetles.

In the absence of forest fires, the slower-growing but longer-lived spruce and fir will eventually overtop the pines and take over the forest. That's why the old pine trees don't fight off pine beetles. They're trying to start fires and burn down the spruce and fir so the young pine can take over.

If you went even longer without a fire, the cedar and hemlock would overtop the spruce and fir and you would have a west coast rain forest. But there's not enough rain in the interior for that to happen.

Pine beetle larvae are supposedly killed off by a really good cold snap -50F or so. If you don't get one of these for a few years the populations build. Now that may not be the only change, if tree density and or health is changed in other ways that could also affect beetle population growth rates as well. But some sorts of weather events that people consider to be bad have important positive effects.

The real problem in BC is the result of a century of fire control...

One of the university programs in Colorado has put some effort into finding the exact positions where circa-1900 photos were taken in the foothills and mountains, and then taking the same shot from the same position. The difference in the "forest" is very striking: then it was stands of mature pine separated by broad meadows, today it's wall-to-wall stunted (from overcrowding) trees.

Colorado has on the order of 1.5 million acres of lodgepole pine forest where every tree is either dead or expected to die within the next five years. We are going to have some nasty forest fires.

Rocky - thanks for the notes on Pine Beetles. Are you a forest manager? If so how is the current drought and the longer "burn season" affecting the forests? Also it appears that the forests which are dying appear to be tree farms. They're too uniform for a natural forest and there doesn't appear to be any diversity. Is that right?


Tree age can also be important. The Ozarks are having trouble with beetles and the like, the two big issues are too much fire control, and that the farm land was mostly abandoned over a decade or two. Now the oaks are reaching the end of their 150 year or so life expectancy, so they are weak, and vulnerable to disease and parasites.

In my region, interior northern California, we have beetle problems with ponderosa pines which should live app. 200 years or more, and are now only 100 years old. Most foresters think that climate is a big factor. Yes, we also have lodgepole pines which are doing even worse, on average

No, I'm not a forest manager, I just live in a lodgepole pine forest and I pay attention to what is going on. I have a convincing simulation of a natural forest in my back yard, but actually I do quite a lot of management of my trees.

We're not experiencing a drought here (I'm in the Alberta Rockies at the gates of Banff National Park.) The interior of BC had a drought a few years ago, and there were some pretty spectacular forest fires, but that's over now.

The forests in BC which are dying are not tree farms, its just that all the trees are the same age and same species - they are all lodgepole pine which started growing after the last major forest fires.

Here in Alberta the government manages the forests more proactively than in BC so the problem is not nearly as bad. We lose some trees but not entire forests. On the other hand, BC just let the pine beetles spread until they were completely out of control. There's the real problem - not climate change but forest mismanagement.

My own pine trees are overmature (about 80 feet tall) and I've only got a few left because they just randomly die for no good reason. I've got packets of Verbenone up on them to protect them. It's an anti-aggregant pheromone which kind of puts a 'no-vacancy' signal on the tree for the beetles.

However, I knew the pines were not going to last when I bought the place, so I encouraged a bunch of spruce, larch, and aspen to grow up between them to replace them when they died. If you diversify your forest, there's much less chance that one pest will wipe out all your trees.

I find the idiotic nonsense about pine beetles and global warming highly annoying.

What I find idiotic are all those comments that show a complete lack of understanding of the carbon cycle. You'd think with all the graphs about that clearly show CO2 and temperature synced over millions of years that people would get it.

You know, that CO2 is now 30% higher than it has ever been during the entire glacial/inter-glacial cycle era, and that CO2 does trap heat in the atmosphere and that the differences between glacial and inter-glacial periods happened with just a 120ppm difference between peaks and valleys and we've now pushed it to a difference of 207ppm and that the ice core graphs show a sharp drop in temps after the peak going back at least 400k years, but the current era is not falling and, in fact, is the warmest period in a very, very long time.


Idiotic nonsense, isn't it?

Sometimes beetle kill caused die offs of forests most likely are largely caused by fire control, say in Ponderosa forests. But in many other forest types the evidence appears overwelming that the huge beetle kill caused die offs is caused global warning combined with a drought cycle. This link is to an exceptional artical that discusses multiple forest types and the probable causes of beetle kill die offs in each. We could be in the first stages of continent wide massive die offs, involving many forest types. The implications for extreme CO2 releases from wood decay is frightning.


It would help the cause of global warming alarmists enormously if they wouldn't warn us about the dangers of global warming when it's 30 below (Celcius). That's enough to turn any warm-blooded person into a skeptic.

I'm in Canada, and large parts of the country are currently experiencing really nasty winter conditions. "Dangerously cold weather hits Prairies", and "Ontario's cottage country digging its way out of record snowfall" read the headlines. "Millions of Canadians shivering and shoveling their way through an early winter blast" reads another. Many of these Canadian are wondering what could be so bad about global warming. After opening the front door this morning, I'm beginning to wonder, too. Man, it's cold!

If it stays that cold much longer, it will be enough to kill the mountain pine beetles here, and they won't be a problem next year. Of course, California is going to have to think of some other method to control them because their temperatures are unlikely to hit the -30 to -40 range needed to kill them.

Historically, the Indians used to have their own methods. They used to set fire to the forests on a regular basis tot clear grazing for the game and eliminate the forest pests. The white men, however, were interested only in the available timber to cut, and they've allowed the forests to become far too dense and uniform to be healthy.

Blaming everything on global warming doesn't work for me. I know too much about it.

Blaming everything on global warming doesn't work for me.

Your comment doesn't make sense. Changing habitats is part and parcel of climate change. Also, that any given effect has a GW component doesn't logically mean it is entirely due to GW.

My wife was talking to her brother in Edmonton today. Edmonton hit a record low of -46 Celsius for this date. Many people are beginning to wonder, "Where is this global warming when you really need it?"

At -46 C the credibility of global warming starts to become suspect. The previous record of -36 C was set last year, causing even more doubt about where the temperature trend is going.

It is really, freaking cold here.

At -46 C the credibility of global warming starts to become suspect.

Only if you confuse weather with climate, large fluctuations with much smaller long term trends, and local temperatures with globally averaged temperatures. Overall this year is still shaping up to be one of the warmest on record. Having said that, and having experienced winter in Edmonton, I'm certainly glad I'm not there right now...

SE Michigan has seen a very warm November and a warm December.

We're all going to burn up tomorrow!!!!


Re: Don't Let Capitalism Cost The Earth

From 280 parts per million (ppm) before the industrial revolution, it’s now 430 ppm and could reach 550 ppm by 2050.

430 ppm? In Defence of Marxism needs to get certain basic numbers right. According to co2now.org CO2 is at 385.99.


They are confusing total effective CO2 with actual CO2. If you include CH4 (which has increased since the start of the industrial revolution significantly), N2O (a product of agriculture and the green revolution), O3 (produced by pollution in the troposphere), CFCs (CFC-12 is over 1000 times more potent than CH4 as a greenhouse gas) and some other species you get the same greenhouse gas burden as you would have if you had 430 ppmv of CO2 and none of the others.

Yup. CO2e. However, I thought CO2e was higher than that.


From a review of James Cameron's new move, Avatar:

Earth is apparently in an energy crisis and the mining of a rare mineral called unobtanium may be the only thing that can save it. Unobtanium can only be found on Pandora and unfortunately the largest Na'vi village, a tree the size of the Empire State Building, rests on the greatest deposit of the mineral on the planet.

All the Elements past 111 have UN names. For example 137 is named for now Untriseptium. If you look at his name for the element he has used the naming standards.

UNObtanium,,, Unobtainable so tongue in cheek here.

I thought when I saw the trailer it was about limited resources and our need to mow down anything in our path to get what we need to survive. I thought about Fern Gully.

I hope it gets wider play than some people have hinted at in the reviews. It is a great metaphor for how we are living today.


They actually use the word "unobtainium"??

That's an old engineering joke.

I think it is next to "balonium" in the periodic table..

Not being an engineer I totally missed it.

The prefix Un is only for elements 100 to 199, after that you have another prefix in place for 200 to 299.


Bicyclists have long used "unobtanium" as a satirical synonym for titanium (a great material for bicycles, but unobtainable because you can't afford it).

Unobtanium does not match the naming standards for elements past those now named, which is 111. I know it is fiction and using an element name that is currently in the extended Periodic table would be quasi-okay.

I've been doing a lot of reading on the subject while doing research for one of my SciFi stories. I wonder what atomic number he choose if any, it'd be cool to find out if he thought that far ahead in his story.

Wondering if there are any elements past "The Island of stability" which is around 124, falls into possible good fictional explainations. But these have yet to be anywhere near found in our area of the universe. "Team reports back from mission to the Plantos BlackHole with new elements in the cargo hold."

Ah fiction, something to brighten up the gloomy doomy days of late 2009.


Some thoughts about infrastructure...

A couple of DBs ago, Wharf Rat and I had a series of posts about my well pump shorting out (In case readers didn't figure it out, he and I have known each other for 30 years or so - in fact we ran into each other yesterday at the store.). No cost; just time.

The next day I had 80 yards of gravel put down on part of our private, mountain road. It's a mile long and this did about 1,000 feet. Cost, including some grading, $2,800.

Then the power went off that night just before bedtime. I didn't feel like going out and cranking up the inverters on the PV system or the big back-up generator so I just ran the little generator I keep on our covered back porchuntil we went to bed. The generator is a cheapie - only $300.

In any case, this started me thinking about infrastructure. Most people don't worry about getting water much much less about keeping the system running. The same thing applies to road maintenance or power. It is all just there.

The above examples are obvious but the functioning of society requires lots of less obvious infrastructure. In fact, it requires an interlaced series of infrastructures all of which have to work. And, further, are totally out of our personal control.

As society devolves I believe we will find these hidden infrastructures fail with devastating results. Things that are taken for granted will be there one day and gone the next. Although I don't mean this quite literally, I do anticipate things falling apart rather rapidly. We've all heard that grocery stored have, at most, a three day supply of food in the back room and while this might not apply to chainsaw chain, when a store's stock is gone, it will be gone.

I think people would be wise to look at their lives to uncover the hidden infrastructures they depend upon, consider whether there are work-arounds and, if not, what they plan to do.


Todd -

I think that one facet of infrastructure which is not given enough attention is the overall spare parts supply network.

If one stops to think about all the many vital parts in one's automobile, home heating system, refrigerator, or washing machine, one realizes that keeping these entities operating requires a vast spare parts manufacturing, storage, and distribution network. Anyone who has dabbled with old cars knows what it means to scrounge around for sometimes weeks at a time to locate a particular part whose manufacture had been discontinued decades ago.

When whole chunks of our economy start to wither away, and when more an more companies either go out of business or curtail the scope of their manufacturing operations, we will start seeing more and more difficulty in obtaining the spare parts needed to keep our various mechanical and electrical systems running. And it doesn't even have to be the old stuff you have to worry about. Last year I had one devil of a time locating a replacement part for a washing machine that was only about six years old.

Things can get bad pretty fast. As the situation gets worse, there will be more and more 'cannibalizing' of older items for spare parts, with a whole underground network in junk spare parts developing. (Think of the automotive situation in Castro's Cuba, where vintage 1950s American vehicles are coddled into advanced old age through a combination of desperation and resourcefulness.)

While most of us recognize the wisdom of stockpiling food and water for an emergency situation, how many of us have thought about stockpiling things like spare tires, oil filters, windshield wiper blades, fan belts, light switches, or replacement washers, fittings, valves, etc. for home plumbing? The lack of some of these little mundane things can mean the difference between continuing to live in moderate comfort and a hardship situation.

Well, being 15 mils out of "town" and 60 miles from small big box stores, I store a lot of parts for the house and equipment. But, even I, Mr. Doomer, can't stock some stuff. For, example, I have several 8'wide by 8'high sliding glass doors. There is no way I can stock replacement thermopane glass. However, I do have things such as a replacement well pump (although pulling 450' of pipe would present a serious problem).


Joule what you talk about is why I am seriously considering going back to the noble bicycle for transportation. My motorcycle is great and thrifty, but still a magnitude more expensive than running a bicycle. And for the cost of a change of tires on the motorbike, I can set up a full workshop for bicycles with all Park tools. I can actually afford on my tiny trickle of income to stockpile tires and tubes and can repair 'em until they're much further gone.

If everything works out a certain way, this may be the plan once I'm done with EMT school.

Joule, My dad ran the maintaince department of a local family owned retail store chain for 26 years, and being the pack rat he is has oddles of things stored up in several sheds. Give us some gas to run a generator and he'll pull out his nail guns of various sizes, with boxes and boxes of nails. Welding supplies, spools of wire of different gauges. He has so much stuff that we don't know where most things are right off hand and if he can't find it fast enough, right now he'll go buy more of it.

Hand tools galore, more than we can use, but still packed away ready if we every run out of screwdrivers. We even have large amounts of sewing supplies. Several old Singer sewing machines, with parts.

But I know people who can't even figure out how to use a hammer, if they can find one. I am kinda glad I grew up into a packrat these days.



It sounds like your dad has a treasure trove of various goodies that will become quite valuable in the event of a major socioeconomic crash. Hang on to it. I also have inherited some pack rat tendencies from my own father.

The ability to effectively use hand tools is something that I took for granted, having grown up in a working-class environment during those now-mythical 1950s. But today, I know of many capable engineers who would be hard pressed to change the drive belt in their car.

We have gotten way too far removed from doing things with our own two hands. People are not nearly as resourceful as they once were. Up until very recently, one was able to make a comfortable living by plugging oneself into the System, but once separated from that system most people will find themselves floundering with few practical skills. It wasn't always the case. Which is why I think a second Great Depression will be far more painful than the first. Some people just won't know what to do.

If I were given the task of selecting a limited number of people for some sci-fi ark to start anew in some totally foreign environment, I would pass over the scientist and all the Best and the Brightest and would pick some rural dirt farmers, a few carpenters, some old mechanics, a weaver, a blacksmith, a potter, a few midwives, and of course some gunsmiths (plus maybe a few lawyers just for their protein content). Maybe a few old-school engineers, but not any young ones, as they would be lost without a PC. What would be needed is people who can make real things with little more than their own hands and who have the natural savvy to adapt to unfamiliar circumstances. In other words, pioneers.

You'll like my brother he is an Aerospace Engineer, knows the Cad programs better than most of his peers, but can still make a wood cabinet with hand tools. Maybe not as fast or easy as our father can, but still trained in the do it yourself school of hard knocks.

Oh I plan on keeping ahold of as much of this stuff as possible. My own bug out bag has one of my dad's old pair of Vise-Grips in it, the knock off brands just don't hold up to them. I've used it almost 20 years after he used it I don't know how many.

One of my friends who is a trained EMT and Wilderness Search and Rescue expert, always stuns me whenever we talk, about how in his "survive the end of the world" groupie squad he wants me in it. I have always been trying to learn more about edible plants in the wild.

One day in the future, we'll have a big gathering of all the groups/arks and trade war stories about the bad ole times.


ps, there is nothing like holding something you just made from wood. Or the smell of hand working wood.

Heh I was making stuff out of wood since little-kid times.

Making stuff is COOL.

I need to get over this "teeny tiny income" problem because I seriously want to set up my shipping container house-and-workshop thing, I want the workshop to be anything I want, a bit of chemistry (having fun learning some basic chem type stuff, just for fun, I'm getting seriously nostalgic for my chemistry set I had as a kid and my year of college chem), woodworking, electronics, whatever.

Last year I had one devil of a time locating a replacement part for a washing machine that was only about six years old.

six years ? that is an antique. you are not supposed to keep a washing machine for sixxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx years man, these are the disposable times. if we ever get smart enough to get off disposables, spare parts are a problem. the transition away from disposables may be the mother of all collapses.

It used to be that manufacturers kept using the same identical parts for years and years, but in more recent years they change things on a whim. This creates all kinds of headaches for those trying to maintain older equipment, of course, but the people designing the new stuff don't care.

Go into an auto parts store for example and look at how many different oil filters there are out there. You can even use the little book to look up filters for various makes and models. I used to drive an old Volvo, and it was pretty much the same filter for a wide range of cars. Other manufacturers weren't so considerate.

In some cases, I think it is the MBA mentality that is responsible. Someone figures they can save a nickel on a 30$ pump by substituting a plastic part for a metal one. As long as the thing works through the warranty period is all they care. After that, the end user is on their own.

"As society devolves..."

We ARE Devo.

I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts Todd. I come from a small Norcal coastal community (not nearly as far North as you), and if TSHTF that's where I'll find myself. Not nearly as well outfitted as you, but at least there's land and natural resources and community.

Devo (the band) is under appreciated. Pithy, superficial, but also deep human truths (Nate-like stuff - choice and determinism).

Jocko Homo
Gerald Casale, Mark Mothersbaugh
Booji Boy Records, 1974

They tell us that
We lost our tails
Evolving up
From little snails
I say it’s all
Just wind in sails

Are we not men?
We are Devo!

We’re pinheads now
We are not whole
We’re pinheads all
Jocko homo

Are we not men?
D-e-v-o ...

My mom's water pump died last year. The cost to replace one is $3500. They guarantee it to last 10 years, but my mom got hers to work for 17. I don't know what she'll do in the future if the cost of a water pump goes beyond her means. There is a creek on per property that stay wet for most of the year, but contemplating this solution is dire and dreadful. I don't even want to consider this scenario.

Next up for repair is the roof which needs new shingles, and my best estimate is $15K. I think she'll move into the city eventually.

I think the paradigm from here on out is to keep things operational for as long as possible. When they breakdown we will have to learn to live without or find a much cheaper and lower grade alternative.

Todd interesting enough this is why I argue that the nature of our infrastructure itself leads to a inelastic lower bound on oil usage. In your example of using a generator I'd argue that a significantly higher price for fuel would have been needed to reverse your decision and not take the easy road out because our infrastructure supports the choice of using oil while not using it has a cost.

Its not that we won't eventually conserve its just that we have all kinds of intrinsic infrastructure related support for burning oil that often result in you choosing the oil path as long as its viable.

Little stuff like this adds up so its hard to see oil remaining cheap long term.
As long as its cheap it will be used given the infrastructure is tilted heavily towards supporting oil use. Simply to get the playing field more level if you will seems to require high prices to offset the infrastructure support and force us to make alternatives just as easy to take when choices have to be made.
Even higher prices are needed to make alternatives the preferred solution and tilt the infrastructure towards them and away from oil.

My dad has access to a building that is part of local mall, he works for the owners of the building and maintains the systems there. While going there to put some things in a storage room, I noticed the 2 big potholes in the main traffic section of the entrance to the mall parking lot. It stands to reason that as time goes by things like those potholes won't be fixed.

What happens when we can't afford to fix the downed power lines in the winter months? Or the next time a storm blows down all the houses in town? What about all the dredging that every waterway in the world has to have done on a daily basis? Who is going to maintain all the channel markers in the shipping lanes?

We have this very complex web that most people never see, like you said, until it is broken.

I used to be a cartographer, I still love maps, but it is something that you see all the time, CHANGE. I specialized in Nautical Charts. Nothing stays the same for any length of time anywhere near the ocean, or rivers. There is a big system in place to keep all these waterways functioning. When the crash happens some harbors will fail faster than some roads.

To many things are taken for granted. FFs have made most everything we have today possible, without them going backwards will be faster than most people think.

Prepare Prepare and then when you think you have everything set, buy or get extra.


Marie P. Minniear

I just wanted to let everyone know (and esspecially WHT) that I contacted Marie Minniear about her paper on the the permanent decline in petroleum production that everyone was commenting on yesterday.

She has reviewed the comments and is reviewing her research notes for the paper and will be putting up some comments early next week.

"Water, Water, Anywhere?"

Interesting new documentary on Water :-

"Blue Gold: World Water Wars
(2009) NR
Narrated by Malcolm McDowell, this award-winning documentary from director Sam Bozzo posits that we're moving closer to a world in which water -- a seemingly plentiful natural resource -- could actually incite war. As water becomes an increasingly precious commodity, corrupt governments, corporations and even private investors are scrambling to control it … which leaves everyday citizens fighting for a substance they need to survive."


Available to watch online, or order, at Netflix, online at Amazon-on-Demand.

Several thoughts on a slow Saturday.

New computer chips in the works could see server farms cutting power consumption. I don't have a link, but it was in the news a few days ago. 48 cores in one chip, though experimental right now, having them make bigger faster chips will cut the number needed in the server farms.

What happens if Yemen decided to pirate Oil tankers like Somali pirates have done?

In China they do have a problem, not enough females for all the males they have. If we were to go to a one child per family, not a bad idea, we would have to watch the ratios of male to female babies or else we could go through a total crash in the next generation, or else ferment war with all the males wanting females out there. Or is say there is X number more males than females, a lottery is held and that X number of males is sterilized. Eugenics for the planet?

When are we going to have Water tankers tapping Water wells at the poles, and shipping to dry regions?


China needs gayness. We need to deploy the Village People over there ASAP.

fleam - is a fondness for YMCA and Macho Man MTV videos' a tip-off that you're gay?


The Village People do nothing for me, it just seems that honestly, it's a positive adaptation.


Don't know if you caught my offer yesterday or not. As one lower income person to another, send me a mailing address, and I'll send you a Christmas present to cheer you up.

Currently I am up to helping 3 formerly homeless people, all of them have help from some sources, but none of them have cars for rides places. One lives no where near bus routes.


My email address is alexandra.L.carter@gmail.com I admire anyone with the balls to actually email me.

LexBrodie@gmail.com also works.

My email address is on this site, always has been, and I answer all emails.

It's never a shortage of channels of communications, it's a shortage of balls.

I see your info on here includes a phone number, if I had a phone I'd try calling it just to see what happens. No email addy though, I was going to try shooting you an email.

Truthfully, I did not see your offer, sorry about that. Most offers turn to the vaporware they are anyway.

I'm not THAT hurting. I'm out of the rain, warm enough, and have $36 to my name - that actually buys a fair amount of stuff and I have stores here. Once this rain stops I CAN get out onto the onramp with a sign. I'm not about to die or anything.

Email me if you dare.


No email to either address I've supplied.

If I got an email, I could send a reply to it with my address here.

But note, this has not happened.

And why would this not happen? Well, I have a theory. First, it's a thinly-disguised attempt to get me to reveal my living address out here in the open on the board. Out in the open where anyone could read it. Thus, giving plausible deniability if some vandalism or attack happened here, "Oh, it couldn't be me, everyone saw the address, must be some lurker". Nice try, like I'd be that stupid.

Notice THEY do not supply an email address for themselves, or someone could email them. I could email them and say "Hey what's up, thanks for the offer, let's talk" but of course if you're up to no good, and right now unless given other data I must assume this is the case, then you never ever want to give out your email address or other traceable information, you want to fool others into doing so.

Even here, on this otherwise wonderful site, cowards/terrorists can't be assumed to be absent.

I think he was alluding to this drumbeat comment as opposed to an e-mail.

I just checked his profile there's NO email.

I gave him TWO email addresses he can send a note to, to contact me, and I'd have replied with a mailing address.

He's refused to email me, because the game isn't to help, it's to find my living address so an attack or vandalism can be arranged, and in such a way as to be deniable, IE, have it posted in-channel here which I WILL NOT DO since it's very very bad security practice.

I think the idea is to get me to lose the place I have to live here, and on to a much-shortened life on the streets.

Notice he's not even bothering to answer my allegations and STILL no emails have been recieved from him, because my allegations are true.

These guys, sadly, are easy to smoke out. It's a cyber version of the nice middle class kids who set the homeless on fire with gasoline for kicks, or beat them to death etc. The mentality is the same.

I have a funny feeling about this guy and that's why I adopted a "dare ya" tone, my "spider senses" were tingling right away. I've been probed by someone else here with an offer, which I also think is an attempt to project harm rather than any help so my defenses are a bit finely tuned these days.

Email him but there's NO email in his profile, what a load of BS. These predators come out when times get harder.

I just checked his profile there's NO email.

It's in there. Check under the heading Spam-protected email address in his profile.

OK I found it, and sent "it" an email.

Generally I don't trust people who:

(1) Don't have the balls to email me after giving them TWO email addresses
(2) Don't have the balls to answer questions, challenges, or allegations stated right in their faces.
(3) State eugenics is the answer, how am I to know they don't just wanna send me a nice mail bomb since I'm poor.

Let's see if "it" answers, I have a very strange feeling about this, and I have to assume they are up to no good until I know otherwise. I cannot afford to let hostiles know where I sleep at night.

If "it" turns out to be a friendly, I'll come up with an address to send things that's NOT going to be where I actually live.

Eugenics like I said would bring out the fear in people.

I never expected to get your real address, though I did post mine, as it can be found elsewhere online.

I might be a mean pool shark, but I am not a mean person. Though cyber world can't prove anything, it is the face to face world that tends to do that.


I think it's pretty easy to figure out that in the US, eugenics is going to mean people who brag about being CEO's, like you, wanting to wipe out people who have become poor, like me. It won't be about race, honestly. It'll be Haves against Have-Nots.

It doesn't scare me, it angers me. What makes you Haves so sure you'll win?

I'll venture to guess that CEO in this case is most likely an acronym for Charles E Owens as opposed to Chief Executive Officer.

Charles Edward Owens Jr, just happens to also play out to CEO which has this bad rep. I am not a cheif Execitive officer, When I realized long ago that the corolation was there I said things like Charles Entering Orbit, but got tried of having to explain that one to people.

I am not a company man in any way shape or form.

I got your email and sent you some back.

As far as being a Have, I have a steady 715 dollars every month coming it, until death it would seem, or the Gov't fails.

I grow as many plants for food as I can, and don't mind weeds, because most of them are edible that grow in my yard.

I am a packrat and have a place to store lots of things, My parent's house is paid for. If the evil hoardes show up someday, I'll be willing to feed them, and show them what is good to eat around here.

I can't shoot them, because I don't own a gun, but I don't want other people's guns taken away either. If you handed me a gun I can operate it and take it apart and clean it and all that. I just don't have the need for one.

I have lots of money tied up in tools, books, supplies, but cash money I have spare change by the end of the month. I have been homeless, but only when I was not near family.

Sorry to have ruffled your feathers.

You aren't the only one that hates the IRS. But seeing what you said I can understand the paranoia. There used to be sig files we could set up, but the one I had does not seem to work anymore, I was away from posting here for a while, so for whatever reason it don't matter now.

Sorry to have not proven myself better. Next time I make the same kind of offer to someone I'll just be ballsy and post it out in the open.

"I have dragon dogs protecting my yard, the zombies will get eaten if they come near here, said Gabby.

Four minutes later his head was rolling in the streets, after the Hun's got him. His dragon dogs only ate zombies. "


I don't really sit around "hating" the IRS, I'm just sort of in a chess game where I have to maneuver a certain way.

The IRS's way of doing things worked fine, up until the economic collapse. Normally, I'd handle it just like I handled student loans, just work and pay it off.

But now there are NO jobs, my biz collapsed, and I'm stuck with no biz, no jobs out there, and anything I get on paper low-paying and garnishable. The logical thing to do is bankruptcy but more far-reaching, the logical thing to do is to do that, but also to plan for a future with only what job you can make for yourself, and the whole idea of wealth is different.

Wealth now is stuff like land, chickens, skills, knowledge, stores of tools etc., and while suddenly being able to make $100k a year would make that easier to attain, you can get real wealth on a very low money-budget, and there's no longer work out there for those without connections to make $100k a year, or even $10k a year.

So, I just kind of shrug. The IRS thinks it's hurting me, but they're hurting themselves far more. I can make sure from here on out I don't make enough to tax, in fact that's a sure thing. And I can prepare to more vigorously resist anyone who is a threat to my peace and prosperity, which includes them, but includes a wide variety of possible oppressors.

Ultimately the US Gov't's war on its own people may well be a situation like Viet Nam - a first-world army against nearly stone-age agriculturalists. We all know who won. They won by being resourceful, resilient, needing little to survive and thrive, and never giving up. Kinda like hillbillies and we're all hillbillies now.

I'll not claim to be innocent, just slow.


It's listed under spam protected under all that other info.

Charles E. Owens Jr.
108 Larkspur Lane
North Little Rock Ar, 72118


And no I did mention I wanted it via e.mail not in public, but that was yesterday's post, in about 2 hours this will also be yesterday's post, but I am a night owl.

If I offer gifts, I don't pull the plug just to be mean, not my style. If you ever get this way, I'd buy you a beer, and offer to play you some billards at my local watering hole.


Well we've managed to exchange a few emails, let's exchange a few more so I can get some idea if you are OK.

AR's a long way to hunt down someone to turn 'em off for having screwed me.

it's edgy times.. hang in there, brothers.

And as far as my eugenics comment down thread, or up thread, whereever. It was in response to the post about having a global one child per family policy. And we are already using the methods. We have abortions available, we have doctors planting embryos in mothers, ones that have be sorted out in a dish in a lab. I am sure someone is out there trying to clone humans as we speak. I also mentioned Genomics, the study of the human genome. It would be cool to get a better picture of the DNA of the whole range of what Humans could be. But as with anything of this nature eugenics has the bad side of being used to purify humans so that any nasty THEM don't get mixed in with the PURE US..

This whole approach is what I would not want to happen. Everyone of us is human, and cutting out one trait is likely to kill us all in the long run.

But anyway, enough with my ideas that scare people.


Calm down. "Dan Ur" is a long-time poster here. He doesn't mean you any harm. He probably just wasn't online. Some people do go days without checking their e-mail, you know.

What is Oil? What is C+C? What are NGL’s? What’s the “real number”?

As the threads are floating around a little I’ll take the opportunity to broach a subject for consideration by Web Hubble, memmel and others who contribute so much to the mathematical analysis of PO. In particular, some of the reporting agencies are beginning to incorporate natural gas liquids (NGL) into the “oil” productions stats. Sometimes noting the numbers as C+C and sometimes not noting the mixture. Historically this might not have been too misleading. But over the last few years new exploration and production trends could be leading significant changes in reports of liquid hydrocarbons volumes….both currently producing and future reserves.

NGL’s have always been produced from various oil and NG fields. Heavier gaseous hydrocarbons are: ethane (C2H6), propane (C3H8), normal butane (n-C4H10), isobutane (i-C4H10), pentanes and even higher molecular weight hydrocarbons. When processed and purified into finished by-products, all of these are collectively referred to as NGL. In the US oil patch we call such products condensate. Under reservoir pressure these components tend to be in a gaseous form. But when production reduces the pressure of the stream these products “condense’ into liquid form. Simplisticly one could call these liquids oil. Thus would be the explanation by some agencies for reporting it as such. Not that big a point to argue over IMHO. But it could have a significant bearing down the road with predictions of future “oil” production.

Many have noted the development of a number of major NG fields around the globe thanks to the use of LNG plants. In many cases these fields would not have been developed just for the sake of exporting and selling this NG in the market place. Often these fields had yeilds of NGL, or condensate. Such yields can be as high as 40,000 bbl per billion cubic feet. Thus a 500 bcf field could deliver 20 million bbl of “oil”. Before there was a market for LNG many of these fields would have just seen the NG flared in order to recover the condensate.

The potential significance of this development is that such fields fall outside of many predictive “oil” field models. Such high yield NGL fields fall into a different genetic category then conventional oil fields. Beside tending to reside in diffent geographical trends they also tend to be segregated vertically. NGL fields tend to exist at greater depths then conventional crude oil. In fact, many NGL fields have been determined to have been crude oil fields initially whch became more deepely buried with the resultant higher temperatures cracking the crude into NG and NGL. Thus much of this future “oil” production won’t be coming from the same population of past oil fields.

We may be even seeing some impact on U.S. “oil” production and future reserve projection numbers from this new class of “oil field”. Remaining conventional oil fields in the U.S. are far and few between. I know…been hunting them for 34 years. But my current exploration efforts (as well as those of others still drilling) are on the deeper NG fields with high NGL yields. By this Christmas Day I’ll be on a well in S La. targeting such a reservoir. The 100 bcf NG potential alone would have been enough justification to drill this well. But there's also the potential for 20 million bbls of condensate. Despite reports from the MSM the oil patch is not completely dead. Badly wounded, perhaps, but not completely out of business. These high condensate yield fields have become an increasingly common target. In particular, 3d seismic has greatly aided in the hunt. These are expensive wildcats ($5 - $10 millon dry hole costs). And the targets don’t cover tens of thousands of acres. Several hundred acres is much more common. Thus the 3d is critical to reduce the risks and encourage drilling. Individually none of these potential fields would rival Ghawar. Not even as big a small part of 1% of Ghawar. But collectively hundreds, maybe thousands, of such wells could be drilled. Add this volume to the many truly huge NGL fields already proven (but not yet producing) around the globe and the reporting agency may have a useful tool avalable to them to confuse, to some degree, current PO projections. Not completely inappropriate as some NGL can substitute for crude oil in certain applications (some condensates have, in the past, been called “gasoline liquids”) but not in all.

Predicting the impact of future NGL fields is perhaps even more difficult then predicting global oil decline rates. In addition to the same old problem of most exporting countries refusing to publish actual numbers, NGL fields will generally have a much steeper decline rate then a conventional oil field. Another difficulty is the production characteristic of many of the NGL fields. As reservoir pressures decrease it’s not uncommon for the yield per volume of NG produced to increase. OTOH, as these fields tend to produce by pressure depletion drive, their recovery factor tends to be relatively low compared to rather high initial flow rates. Simply such a field could have very impressive initial flow rate that migh even improve a bit in its early lif but then deplete much quicker then those rates would seem to predict: when reservoir pressure reaches a lower level the NGL begins to condense within the reservoir rock and will begin to block the flow of NG out of the reservoir. Bottom line: a very complicated production model.

I offer this as an unquantified warning for the potential for confusing (unintentional and otherwise) predictions of future “oil” production by some reporting agencies. What I’ve described above is basic Reservoir Engineering 101. It is well understood by the geologists and engineers working with these reporting agencies. Whether these agencies make sufficient clarifications or not won’t be a matter of their not understanding the dynamics IMHO.

A related issue is "what to do with them".

Plastics (ethane > polyethylene I believe) but mainly for the lighter fractions. Home heating and crop drying (where NG is not available) for propane and butane. From my vague memory of Robert Rapiar's post, small amounts of pentane & pentene (~2%) can be used in winter blend gasoline but not summer blend.

Better chemistry could use them as a source of gasoline & hydrogen (two butanes = 1 octane +H2) for upgrading syncrude from tar sands, etc. but this is not economic ATM AFAIK. However, making transportation fuels from C3, C4, C5 and C6 hydrocarbons is a type of technical challenge that the industry has resolved many times before in other areas.

Best Hopes for Propane Power !


It is worth noting, for accounting purposes, that a barrel of NGL or condensate has less energy than a barrel of WTI. So 3 million b/day of condensate & NGL is worth less than 3 million b/day of "black gold". (My SWAG, 3 = 2.5, anyone have any #s ?).


Please excuse my ignorant question. Is there any overlap between these types of fields you describe and geographically suitable locations for long-term captured carbon storage?

Is there any overlap between these types of fields you describe and geographically suitable locations for long-term captured carbon storage?

i think you are talking about co2 eor, one problem with co2 eor in these reservoirs is the higher temperatures. co2 eor just wont be suitable for some of these deeper reservoirs.

hydrocarbon gas cycling works too.

i wonder if the day will come when co2 will be used as an egr(enhanced gas recovery) method for water drive gas reservoirs ?

Blue -- Overlap will generally be coincidental. Pressure depleted NG reservoirs would always be the best target for CO2 injection: lower reservoir pressure = less energy needed to inject the CO2. If the CO2 source isn't built on top of a disposal reservoir then it has to be pipelined there.

What I’ve described above is basic Reservoir Engineering 101.

retrograde condensation is fairly well understood, in theory at least. where modern day reservoir engineering 101 has failed is in understanding volatile oils. the old boys, craft,hawkins,arps, etal understood this, but the craft(pun intended) seems to have been lost on the new crop of perpetrators of power point presentation (p of 3p).

i think i may be infected with mugambo acronym disorder (mad).

Rockman just saw this post. I've actually dug around into NGL's with effectively the same result you came up with.

I will note that rising NGL production has worked to offset falling "real" oil production as they can be used in gasoline production allowing real oil to be optimized for distillate production. I think up until recently this has don a lot to offset falling oil production.

I don't know about the shale NG plays but I'd guess unconventional gas wells have a lot lower NGL fraction. I'll ask you about this again if I miss your reply.

But yes its time to start taking a serious look at NGL's. I think they have probably peaked also but its tough to say.

I do know that trying to find info in NGL's is very difficult. I've searched in vain for info on how NGL's are shipped if special tankers are used if so how many etc even finding that out has proved impossible. Here the question is can you actually tell if a tanker is carrying NGL's or oil ?

The lack of info makes me believe there is no real difference and most oil tankers can be configured to carry NGL's some info suggests they are mixed in with oil for shipment but I really don't know.

the vapor pressure of propane is 205 psig at 100 deg F. so a tank(er) would need to be designed for at least that pressure plus a safety factor. oil stock tanks are vented to prevent excessive pressure build-up and rupture. crude oil will also contain an array of lighter h-c's, including for example- methane, which are highly volatile. a temperature increase will cause a pressure increase and rupture the tank if not vented. an oil tank can also collapse upon a temperature drop (if not vented).

so that is the basic difference between a crude oil tank(er) and an ngl tank(er), vented vs pressure rated.

memmel -- looks like elwood covered your question pretty good. The main reason I brought up the potential for an NGL "surge" is that it could be used as a buffer by some agencies to say "well...we're not as wrong with our projections as some argue". Making the illusion worse: folks start to modify the oil models with the NGL gains especially if NGL declines rates are truly a very different animal then conventional oil fields.

Sounds about right thats the basics I agree.

Now of course the problem is all the tanker spotters don't report NGL tankers vs oil tankers I doubt they can even tell. Also as I said I did find some information which suggested that NGL's might be mixed with oil ( lower vapor pressure then ) however this is unconfirmed.

You can of course see where this could be problematic ...

Where does OPEC get its oil production claims from ?

condensate is routinely mixed with heavier crudes to raise the gravity and price.

condensate is also a general term meaning the liquid product of condensation, propane for example. not the same animal as "lease condensate" which is more or less stabile at atmospheric conditions and contains more heavy h-c's, gravities in the high 40's ,50's and 60's.

Thanks !

That clears up these ambiguous references.

The basic problem I'm looking at in this area is the Condensate/NGL's are tied to both oil and natural gas production not just traditional oil fields.

What we would consider real oil fields i.e the primary product is a liquid oil can decline at a rate quite different from how condensate/NGL production proceeds as both come from fields that vary from what we call oil to ones that are primarly NG.

My reading indicates that there is a substantial gray area where the product mix is fairly variable.

On the refining side as far as I can tell NGL/Condensate production is not that useful for distillates ie. they are pretty much a true oil product while gasoline can make use of condensate/NGL all the way up to some propane blending in winter months.

To some extent if you look back into the past you will see that at least until now distillates seem to have been the biggest issue with gasoline production which is more dependent on condensate/NGL being a far smaller problem.

Through 2008 it was really a diesel issue for the most part in my opinion not so much a gasoline issue.

Underlying this seems to be the continued expansion of wet gas fields and "gassy" oil fields keeping condensate and NGL production fairly high even as oil fell.

you are right, there is a wide range of compositions, and gravities, for compensate.

a definition used at one time for condensate was that it did not have lubricity, as compared to "oil" which has lubricity. that definition fell out of use quite a while ago, like maybe the 50's or 60's. the definition did not apply universally, because some condensates do have lubricity and can be made into diesel.

the bakken oil you have no doubt heard a lot about is an oil that is essentially crude diesel.

Condensate consist of hydrocarbons that are gaseous in the reservoir, but condense to liquids under surface conditions. Many natural gas wells produce condensate with the gas, but just to keep things confusing, some gas wells produce oil instead. They can either store the condensate in tanks and truck it away, or they can recombine it with the gas and flowline it to a gas plant. The more sophisticated Gas plants can process condensate into products, but for that matter, they can process oil if necessary, too.

Condensate is more or less unrefined gasoline, and in the old days, the low compression engines in the Model T's and Model A's could run on unrefined condensate.

The difference between condensate and light crude oil is somewhat arbitrary. If you dump condensate into the oil tanks at a facility, it will be deemed to be oil, but companies like to store it separately because it generally commands a better price than crude oil.

Today, they often blend condensate into heavy oil to reduce the viscosity and persuade it to flow throw the pipelines. At the receiving refinery, they sometimes separate out the condensate and flowline it back to the heavy oil fields to blend with more heavy oil because condensate from gas wells is often in short supply.

Condensate consist of hydrocarbons that are gaseous in the reservoir...

and gaseous hc's can start out life in the liquid phase. one tip off to a volatile oil is an increase in tank oil gravity with time. the "oil" evaporates in the reservoir, is produced, and condenses in the stock tank, leaving behind a heavier reservoir oil.

.... because it generally commands a better price than crude oil.

current postings in the us discount for gravities higher than 45 deg api in some areas.

More males than females was common before the fossil-fueled fiesta. It's one way to limit population growth, since the number of females determines how fast your population can grow. Indeed, that may be why males are considered superior to females in so many cultures: it makes it easier to practice female infanticide.

Yes, it means there are some men who end up without wives. Especially in society where high-ranking males may have multiple wives.

As for China...they may end up marrying foreign women. That's what happened in Hawaii. One you thing notice in the Hawaii melting pot is that Chinese blood tends to be more mixed. A lot of people are part-Chinese (especially those of native Hawaiian ancestry). Japanese are more likely to have married within their own ethnic group. Why? The Japanese government was very good at getting Japanese wives for their emigrant citizens. The so-called "picture brides." China wasn't. So their men married women from other ethnic groups.

I still think they ought to give gayness a try. It's a positive cultural adaptation to limits to growth, and gay guys I know seem to get nagged by their partners a lot less.

According to Barry Burg, it has been tried.

Japan has traditionally been very accepting of gays. So much so that many Europeans moved there to avoid persecution. A man was expected to provide a male heir, but after that, he was free to sleep with men if that was his preference.

I do wonder if their historical tolerance is related to sustainability. Heck, even in Europe, homosexuality was tolerated more than you might think, at least according to Burg. Yes, there were laws against it, but it seemed to be viewed as less bad than fornication - because no bastards would result.

I just had to click it ..... LOL

"Arr matey, prepare to be boarded!"

Yes and besides tolerance of homosexuality here, there is another trick the Japanese have for reducing the birthrate: it`s the hostess club (adapted from the geisha house). Not a brothel exactly (although those were common and legal in certain areas ("pleasure quarters")) but a hostess club is a kind of bar where you can stay a looooong time while attractive women (if you are a male customer) dressed in long satin dresses pour you one $300/glass of wine after another and listen to your funny stories and laugh gaily at all your amusing jokes. The men who frequent these places lose all the desire for a family, which they can`t afford anyway. Actually, they save money (having kids and a wife costs more) and they have female friends who dote on them (or their money). There is a whole class of men and women here who have effectively stoppped marrying and having children as far as I can see and it`s all because of the economy. They do have the hostess club bars to at least retain some social life.

Those places are cropping up in the USA too. No sex, just female attention to the nines.


Heh years ago I had a friend, NO looker but a decent phone voice, she'd work for this phone sex line thing but she didn't do the sex calls, she'd hand her caller off to another number if he wanted sex, most of these guys just wanted to talk. I listened in on her talking with a guy, paying $3 a minute to talk about the situation in Yugoslavia! She said guys wanting someone to talk to and at least sound like they give a damn, was really common.

I can see the equivalent of geisha houses doing well in the US.

I'll add a little to the Chinese demographics discussion. I adopted my daughter in China in 2000. Obviously almost 100% of the babies adopted were female. Had some interesting conversations with the locals regarding the lack of marriage age women. The Chinese had a slang term for all those guys who would never get married. It translated as "barren branches". I saw an estimate at that time that upwards of 80 million men fell into this category. What was even more interesting was the fact that these men shared more the the lack of female companionship. Many shared the same career path: the military. A nice silver lining for the gov't in some ways. For one thing, there would be little expense to supporting the troopers families: there were none. Think of the money the gov't saved on salt peter alone (I know some of you old vets are smiling now). The troopers also had all the time in the world to train as they really didn't have much to distract themselves. And if you did end up in a conflict and loss a few million ground pounders it wouldn't even be noticed.

Yes, the military has traditionally been one way to deal with surplus males. (Along with the priesthood, and sailing crews.)

A little more light hearted chatter for a Saturday night: some may have noticed that westexas and I use "bbl" as an abreviation for barrel. Fortunately no one embarrased me by asking why because, until 3 AM last Thursday morning, I had no idea. In fact, the "why" had never even occured to me. It's just what we've always used in the oil patch. Chatting with one of our partners while logging a well he explained: way, way back in the day a barrle didn't have a standard volume. Different companies used different sized barrels. One company (he didn't remember which one)used barrles painted blue. In time folks started to use the blue barrels as a standard size. So to let folks know they were doing so they noted the volumes as "blue barrels" = bbl.

Who would have thunk?

I've seen "bbl" used for "barrel" relating to guns going way back.

Wonder if that came from "blued barrel"? Bluing is a common finish for gun barrels.

Not impossible .....

Mainly I think it's just an abbreviation that stands out well, catches the eye.

It was the original Standard Oil Company that shipped its oil in blue barrels. It controlled about 80% of the US oil market before it was broken up into 20-odd oil companies around a century ago.

At the time, most other oil companies used 40-gallon barrels, and frequently shorted the customers. Standard Oil used a 42-gallon barrel, and always put 42 gallons in it.

That's how the Standard Oil blue barrel became the standard oil barrel.

Wow. Cool.

i hadn't heard that one either. it gives a plausable explaination whether true of not. i prefer the term stb - stock tank barrels, don't have to worry about its dna.

Stock tank barrels are oil barrels measured under stock tank conditions, which is to say, at standard temperature and pressure, with all the natural gas vented off.

That could be considerably different from the volume measured at reservoir conditions, which would be higher temperature and pressure, with considerable amounts of dissolved gas.

The phrase seems to have come from from measuring oil under conditions found in a stock tank, which is to say a tank used by ranchers for watering livestock. That is probably what they originally used store oil a century or so ago.

Store it in a watering tank and ship it in a whiskey barrel by train. Ahhh, them were the good old days.

And let us not forget the colonies. For a good while Australia was a convenient sink for the undesirables that England wanted to get rid of.

Even during the early part of the 20th Century Great Britain had a program to send orphans and children from destitute families to farms in Canada, Australia, and her other colonies, more or less just to make them go away. There was also the hidden racist notion that these colonies needed more white Christians to make them more 'civilized'. Many of these children were exploited and badly abused, and just recently this scandal has received wide attention and some efforts have been made toward some measure of restitution.

One of the biggest and saddest myths is that human life is precious. Mine is to me and yours is to you, but ours is precious to almost no one else. The vast majority of people are totally expendable and represent more of a liability to their rulers than an asset. Human life is cheap and getting cheaper all the time.

Or as that great humanitarian, Josef Stalin, once said, "One death is a tragedy, a thousand deaths is a statistic."

Joule in the coming times life is going to become a lot cheaper. If you don't have connections and money, you're going to have all the human rights of a feral pigeon in the future.

If China does not use them to fight for their rights to the rest of the FFs left, then maybe they can use them as collective farmers like in the old days.

I still think we should use genetic science to even out the female to male babies, that way saving ourselves trouble later down the road.

Though it does remind me of a show called Century City, I watched on Hulu a few months ago, it is set about 50 years down the road and talks a lot about genetic issues from a legal stand point. One of them was being able to pick out the child you wanted to have by being able to see what they would be like later in life. Taking Genomics to a new level we have yet to achieve.


Across the board we won't have as many females to males if this practice is done globally, which is what the news piece was talking about. I still think that jealous unmarried males would be better off limited in some way from causing warlike notions from cropping up.

I know that eugenics has a bad taste factor, but if we want to control population, and extend survivability of the species, someone is going to have to think about it as a serious issue.

The human genomic projects out there could do with some funding.

If the piracy becomes much worse, the next logical step would be a true convoy system.

In WW1 and WW2, Britian hesitated to put in a convoy system. The reason was going to a convoy system reduced shipping capacity by 1/3 immediately, before any ships were sunk. This was due to the the delay in the ports. Before a convoy sails, ALL ships must be fully loaded. before the convoy returns, ALL ships must be unloaded. Convoys are an efficient way to make ships hang around harbors doing.

An easier and more productive way to utilize excess mails is wars of conquest with poorly equipped troops. Twenty or Fourty million chinese infanty with light equipment would be tough for any opponent to stop.

Since we're bouncing around with the threads waiting for Saturday Night Live, I'm curious if others have the same question about the Somali pirate threat. You don't have to be special ops to know that defending a large vessel against such attacks would be relative simple IF the ship owners employed skilled security personnel. These aren't enemy submarines torpedoing from 5000 yds away. These are small non-armored boats with men armed with small weapons. At worse they have RPG's. Rather dangerous weapons but they do have to be relative close to be effective. All the merchant vessls have radar capable of picking up those boats miles away. Equiped with a single 50 cal semiauto rifle (only cost around $7,000) one man could provide more then enough incentive for the pirates to alter their plans IMHO. Each ship wouldn't even need a 3 man rotating squad. The bridge crew is always monitoring the seas around them. A questionable bogey shows up on the radar and you wake up the shooter.

Thus the $25,000 question: if my proposition is valid and given the millions lost in revenue and ransom, why haven't the ship owners resorted to such methods? Given where most of TOD believes the world is heading with respect to PO such criminal acts should become more common place. Is there some conversation going on out there between ship owners and govt's that's preventing such actions? It just seems odd to me.

Liability. If a government was doing the shooting, then no problem. But with a private vessel, untidy issues arise.

I think you've got it, Joules! These are private vessels, and I don't think they've had the laws worked out for those to shoot back at bad guys for 100 years. They'll have to agree, "They" being most of the powerful nations, on the rules for this.

Maybe Blackwater types .... maybe Blackwater and such organizations have the legal backing (the right palms greased) to do work like this.

A .50 and a few M-14's with some decent marksmanship would make short work of any of the pirates in video I've seen.

Maybe we need to hear from sea lawyer out there. Liability could be an issue. The rules may have changed but at one time one was allowed to readily use lethal force in international waters. In fact, I seem to recall that merchant vessels were expected to defend themselves as no other authority existed which was required to defend them.

With respect to defending themselves from lawyers I suggest those M-14's would also be effective.

Harrgh! Have you ever been to sea, Rockman?

I am not a lawyer but I have been to sea. There are some very draconian laws against international arms shipping. Most countries do not permit armed merchant vessels to enter or transit their territorial waters, and to do so risks several years in jail. This is why merchant ships do not carry guns.

On the other hand, the US could issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal against the pirates. They could charter armed privateers and offer them a bounty for every pirate they killed. The privateers could roam the high seas, ignore international boundaries, run down pirate vessels, kill all the crews, and seize their vessels. Then they could go home, sell the vessels and everything they had seized, and collect a bounty for every pirate they had killed.

The US Constitution allows Congress to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal (look it up), and they are still legal under international law when dealing with pirates. However, although a Congressman recently suggested it might be a solution to the pirate problem, I believe the State Department is somewhat uncomfortable with the entire concept, believing it to be somewhat 18th centurish.

Wimps! Sometimes the old solutions are the best solutions! Hang the pirates from the yardarms and throw their rotting bodies into the sea!

Never been to sea Rocky but I like your tack. Was only thinking about ops in international waters. But your idea about bounties would work very well right now. Thanks to the bust in the oil patch there are quit a few unemployed coonasses sitting on the bank. Hell...forget the bounties. If the Feds supplied the fuel they'ld sail over there and do it just for the sport of it.

Carpet bombing! Land mines! Nerve gas! All come to mind in handling crowds.

I hope though that war is not going to be the result, that is why I mentioned Genomics and Eugenics. Both can scare people, but for different reasons.


Great stuff! I remember kids walking to elementary school in "convoys" we'd just tend to bunch up and walk together.

These kids are smart, form a gang or a tribe. Bicyclists are pretty much fair game, being considered less wealthy than drivers of cars and thus expendable. The more cyclists on the street, the safer it is for cyclists because any car driver who hurts one, there are witnesses to hunt 'em down. These kids tend to all have cell phones with cameras too.

They probably just decided for the most part to do this because it's fun and cool instead of lame like riding the bus.

Went to see Collapse with my wife tonight in SF.

Other than seperate clips from yester-year as a backdrop to Rupert's comments at times, most of the movie just shows him talking and smoking in a barren room. Occasionally an off camera person which we never see, asks questions. Rupert knows the peak oil talking points, climate change, fiat currency, over-leveraged lenders, population history and presumed die-off at some point.

As much as I agree with much of what he says, there are times when he gets emotional and one has to wonder if his apparently lonely life plays a role in his firm conclusion of certain collapse. He has a dog, but no family and has missed a rent payment. His book Collapse has sold very few copies and we are told he no longer talks about the subject.

Guess I'm wrestling with a question. What came first, the information leading to the notion of near term collapse, or the jaded perspective that predisposed that viewpoint? It's a perplexing dilemma, because we do tend to select the information that supports our position.

In any case, it's definitely a Peak Oil must see.

His book Collapse has sold very few copies and we are told he no longer talks about the subject.

Wonder when he quit? He was talking about it as recently as December 5th, 2009.

1 Mike Ruppert Q&A After Screening COLLAPSE Lumiere Theater SF, CA 12/4/09 (Part 1 of 3)

Ron P.

The comment about Rupert quitting was in writing at the end of the movie. Why they added that I don't know.