Drumbeat: February 13, 2010

Global shift sees Europe oil refineries on the block

Asian refiners want to take advantage of the crisis in European oil refining to buy up capacity from the majors, battered by 15 year-low margins, and shift the power centre of the industry to state-run firms.

Europe's BP and Royal Dutch Shell reported billions of dollars of losses from their oil refining business in the fourth quarter 2009.

Shell is looking to divest 15% of its global refining assets. US major Chevron also plans to close some of its refineries, but has not yet said where.

Tracking the Trends of Offshore Rig Construction Costs

With demand for newbuilds stymied by the recent credit crunch and commodity price collapse, virtually no new rig orders have been placed since late 2008, the tail end of a peak period for newbuild orders.

This Is Only The Beginning: Latest 2010 Supply-Demand Forecast Revision

To predict annual oil consumption for 2010, then revise that forecast before half the opening month is in the books, is a clear signal that such forecasting is an art, rather than a science.

Watching China Run

It was primarily a symbolic gesture. Way back in 1979, in the midst of an energy crisis, Jimmy Carter had solar panels installed on the roof of the White House. They were used to heat water for some White House staffers.

“A generation from now,” said Mr. Carter, “this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people, harnessing the power of the sun to enrich our lives as we move away from our crippling dependence on foreign oil.”

Ronald Reagan had the panels taken down.

We missed the boat then, and lord knows we’re missing it now. Two weeks ago, as I was getting ready to take off for Palo Alto, Calif., to cover a conference on the importance of energy and infrastructure for the next American economy, The Times’s Keith Bradsher was writing from Tianjin, China, about how the Chinese were sprinting past everybody else in the world, including the United States, in the race to develop clean energy.

Dmitry Orlov: Products and services for the permanently unemployed consumer

Developing and marketing products for a shrinking market poses an interesting set of challenges. Even if a company does an outstanding job and is able to steadily grow its market share, these gains are negated if the market itself continually shrinks by an ever larger amount. For instance, a company might have an outstanding electric vehicle design, but it is destined to by the wayside at a same time the number of consumers that qualify for a car loan is trending downward, the used car market is glutted by repossessions, and federal, state and municipal governments are unable to upgrade their car fleets because their budgets are far in the red.

The Endgame Begins

A year ago I predicted that there will be a “decoupling from the unwinding“, as “emerging markets” by and large ride out the temporary shocks of declining Western demand for their exports (China) and the interruption of Western credit intermediation (Russia) before resuming growth. This is one aspect of the trends leading to the imminent demise of Pax Americana, which will be replaced by “the age of scarcity industrialism” / “a world without the West“. We are now entering this Empire’s endgame.

Zero Point Of Systemic Collapse

Aleksandr Herzen, speaking a century ago to a group of anarchists about how to overthrow the czar, reminded his listeners that it was not their job to save a dying system but to replace it: “We think we are the doctors. We are the disease.” All resistance must recognize that the body politic and global capitalism are dead. We should stop wasting energy trying to reform or appeal to it. This does not mean the end of resistance, but it does mean very different forms of resistance. It means turning our energies toward building sustainable communities to weather the coming crisis, since we will be unable to survive and resist without a cooperative effort.

Climate change: calling planet birth

Family size has become the great unmentionable of the campaign for more environmentally friendly lifestyles.

Bill McKibben: Washington's snowstorms, brought to you by global warming

RIPTON, VERMONT -- You want to hear my winter weather story? No, really, I know you do.

The cross-country ski race I've been training for, set for today high in the Green Mountains: cancelled, lack of snow.

Meanwhile, across the continent, backhoes and helicopters are moving snow down British Columbia's Cypress Mountain in an attempt to cover the Olympic ski courses, and technicians are burying cooling pipes beneath the moguls to keep them from melting. Some climate-conscious jokers put out a video pushing the sport of "bobwheeling" for future snow-challenged Olympiads.

And apparently there was some snowfall in the greater Washington area last week.

It's time for U.S. to consider targeting Iran's gas imports

A rethinking of the administration's sanctions strategy may also be in order. In addition to the Treasury measures, the State Department has been pursuing a new sanctions resolution at the U.N. Security Council -- the fourth -- that also would be aimed at the Revolutionary Guard. But there's little indication that China's resistance to the measure can be overcome unless most of the resolution's teeth are removed. During his presidential campaign, President Obama spoke about much tougher measures -- including steps to prevent Iran from importing gasoline and other refined products. The administration has since edged away from that idea, partly because of the difficulty of winning support from other governments and partly out of concern that it would persuade average Iranians to rally for rather than against their government.

Yet for every expert who argues that a shortage of gasoline would somehow help Mr. Ahmadinejad, there is one who believes it will deepen popular rejection of the regime. France, among other European governments, has been talking tough about the need for sanctions that bite; a U.S.-backed gasoline embargo would put that resolve to the test.

Afghan Offensive Is New War Model

KABUL, Afghanistan — For all the fighting that lies ahead over the next several days, no one doubts that the American and Afghan troops swarming into the Taliban redoubt of Marja will ultimately clear it of insurgents.

And that is when the real test will begin.

U.S. natural gas rig count climbs to fresh 11-mth high

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the United States climbed 13 this week to a fresh 11-month high of 891, according to a report on Friday by oil services firm Baker Hughes in Houston.

The latest gas rig count is the highest since March 6, 2009, when there were 916 gas rigs operating.

Commodities For the 21st Century

When asked about Peak Oil—about whether or not we would someday use up all available fossil fuels, he just grinned and replied; “Oil derricks have been around for a long time. Back in the day, they used to capture the kerosene and burn off the petroleum.

Nowadays, they might keep the kerosene…but what they’re really going for is the petroleum.”

He made a simple point, one that stuck with me since I last attended the economics courses he taught while I was in college.

He was saying that there’s no real reason for alarm. That our world was much more complicated than some B-Grade science fiction movie where the oil suddenly dries up.

Instead, changes will happen at the margins.

Japanese firms acquire Venezuelan oil field rights

Major petroleum development company INPEX Corp. has acquired the development rights for part of the Orinoco oil field in eastern Venezuela with Mitsu-bishi Corp., according to INPEX.

Observers say the development rights for a part of the giant oil field could help secure a stable supply of energy for Japan, which depends on the Middle East for 87 percent of its crude oil procurement.

Mergers in Oil, Gas Seen ‘Buoyant’ in 2010 by Wood Mackenzie

(Bloomberg) -- Mergers and acquisitions of oil and gas companies recovered last year to reach near-record levels and may produce another “buoyant market” in 2010, the U.K. energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie Consultants Ltd. said.

Japan Calls Hummer H3 Fuel-Efficient

TOKYO — Hummer and “fuel-efficient” are rarely mentioned in the same breath.

But anyone in Japan who buys the Hummer H3 model — with its 5.3-liter, 300-horsepower engine — can receive a 250,000 yen ($2,779) subsidy under the country’s recently eased fuel-efficiency standards for imported cars.

The change stems in part from criticism, particularly from Detroit automakers, that recent tax breaks and subsidies intended to spur sales of fuel-efficient cars in Japan unfairly excluded foreign brands.

Obama nuke plant loan reflects new energy strategy

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration's planned loan guarantee to build the first nuclear power plant in the United States in almost three decades is part of a broad shift in energy strategy to lessen dependence on foreign oil and reduce the use of other fossil fuels blamed for global warming.

Climate sceptics denounced by Brown as he launches climate change group

Prime minister Gordon Brown today accused climate change sceptics of going "against the grain" of scientific evidence, as he launched a new group to raise billions of pounds for the fight against global warming.

Hunters Point Shipyard EIR ignores doubled ocean rise predictions with potential ‘Big One’

In December 2009, leading climatologist Dr. James Hansen cited new satellite data doubling or tripling previous sea level rise predictions. Climate change, he said, “is really a moral issue analogous to that faced by Lincoln with slavery,” an apt comparison considering the dangers for peoples of color in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Asks Court to Review EPA Carbon Ruling

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the country’s largest business-lobbying group, is asking a federal court to review the Obama administration’s decision to declare greenhouse gases a health risk under the Clean Air Act.

Re: Up top - "Major petroleum development company...has acquired the development rights for part of the Orinoco oil field in eastern Venezuela...Observers say the development rights for a part of the giant oil field could help secure a stable supply of energy for Japan.

Same old story similar to China roaming in our back yard and securing crude supplies our Gulf coast refiners had taken for granted. Just a new player in the game. Hugo probably has a big smile on this morning as he enjoys his breakfast.

Right, Rock. And Hugo can still smell the sulfur. If he can help it, he'll see us rot in an oil-depleted hell before we get much of his oil.

Hugo is smart, if you have ever listened to an extended interview with him, one will come to that conclusion. It will be interesting to see what happens when he leaves the leadership, but the country is shaking off its colonial chains that have crippled it in the past. Many lessons were learned during the last coup attempt. While not a huge fan of Hugo, I say let them have their revolution, they will eventually get it right.
I don't think Venezuelans will make us bow toward Caracas as we fill up the SUV in Dallas.

U.S. companies were drilling in Bohai Bay, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, etc. What goes around comes around.

In this late stage "last man standing" process of scrambling for the dregs of what is left of depleting resources, it comes down to what you can deliver, or conquer.
Not a pretty vision.

Climate data 'not well organised'


He said he stood by the view that recent climate warming was most likely predominantly man-made.
But he agreed that two periods in recent times had experienced similar warming. And he agreed that the debate had not been settled over whether the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than the current period.
These statements are likely to be welcomed by people sceptical of man-made climate change who have felt insulted to be labelled by government ministers as flat-earthers and deniers.

Maybe now we can get back to a serious scientific debate instead of the witch hunt that occurs after any thought crime that dares to suggest the debate is settled. The 2 periods he is referring to are the medieval warm period and the Roman climatic optimum - both of which had very little in the way internal combusuion engine operating -(which I add too - recent theories concering the idea that early farming might have influenced the climate have since been discredited in terms of the magnitude of their influence)

Of course this doesn't prove that the latest warming is not manmade but it vindicates those who feel harshly treated when it comes to qustioning some aspects of AGW theory which I think need MUCH refinement even if the underlying principals are correct.


If those who "feel harshly treated" had actually done some valid analysis, their complaints might be reasonable. It's a fact that some of the hard core denialist don't do very good research. One effort (Loehle 2007)which was apparently intended to show a warm MWP, was so flawed that a corrected version was published almost immediately. That newer analysis effort also used questionable methods.

The evidence for global temperatures from 1,000 years ago is not very precise, in spite of the claims from the denialist. For example, the notion that the Viking colonies in Greenland flourished because of warmer conditions then failed as the Little Ice Age appeared is just one example of an unproven claim. The Vikings in Greenland left no written account of their collapse, while we know that there are other possible reasons which can explain their disappearance, such as the fact that the Black Death appeared in Iceland in 1402-04, killing half to 2/3 the population. Since Iceland was the Greenland colony's closest trading partner, it's logical to conclude that this event had an impact on the colony even if the Black Death did not arrive there. All those empty farms in Iceland might have looked inviting and the colony may have simply picked up and moved there.

E. Swanson

So esentially the proxies need far more refinement and the studies that build these proxies up MUST be more comprehensive, inclusive and methodical.

As the old Chinese saying goes "Study the past if you would divine the future"

edit, I hate to post a graphic from a website with the word 'skeptical' in the URL but it is actually quite a good graphic and the source data can be traced.


It basically shows a number of studies. The list has grown considerably since this graphic was made but it is by no means comprehensive yet. It basically shows the MWP as a global phenomenon with temps slighty warmer than now over a select 60+ studies listed here:


You are missing his main point though and that is the proclaimation that the science is settled when it is clearly not and this is straight from the horses mounth that originally said it was settled. It is clearly a climbdown.

I think underneath it he meant well but it was an "oversell" to scare eveyone on board.

To find large scale global warming with non-manmade factors one may need to go the Eocene fossil reco. Whlie there were mammals, there were no humans with firemaking capabilities. There were trees on the North Slope of Alaska while it was at similar latitude, not greatly affected by plate tectonics/continental drift. There were trees on Greenland and Antarctica. There were tropical forests in the Appalachain Mtns.

Current global warming may be both physical and manmade. It is not easy to determine the exact proportions of either. The effects of the warming may have been exagerrated and the likelihood of survivability in a warming event is higher than doomsayers have proclaimed.

Without worldwide cooperation on CO2 emissions, hydrocarbon burning increased faster than efforts to build clean energy facilities. One estimated the finding of shale gas has increased worldwide natural gas resources 19 fold. The world natural gas reserves were eqiuvalent to a trillion barrels of oil, with the newer estimate that number might reach as high as 19 trillion barrels of oil energy equivalent. Natural gas is primarily methane, CH4.

To find large scale global warming with non-manmade factors one may need to go the Eocene fossil reco

Completely incorrect. You only have to go back to the last 3 warm interglacials to circa 360,000 before present find temperatures higher(or indeed lower). If you are talking about rate of change then warming periods also occured faster than now in many recorded occasions - sometimes flipping by 6+degC in a few decades.

Current global warming may be both physical and manmade. It is not easy to determine the exact proportions of either.

I am with you 100% on that, and everything you write thereafter.

I think what scares people the most is, if the climate changes to much, we will have to stop living the way we are right now and start living a different way.

We depend to much on food grown with FF imputs. When the whole card game gets changed to a game of darts, which player will win? The one with a good poker face or the one that has good aim? We are now playing a game of cards, but we are about to start playing darts. The rules will change so drastically that few people will come out on top.

TPTB can't stand that, the common man can't fathom that, and the rest of us worry about those that will be left behind when we are gone.

Modern Man has only been living in a short window of time and has only just recently had this many mouths to feed, we really don't know what tomorrow will bring, and we are frightened of it.


rainey - I suppose it depends on how global you mean global. As someone esle pointed out: all weather is local. I just finished pointing out to Leanan how the deniers can use the Colombia Ice Field as an arguement against glacial reduction due to AGW. I've been there twice and it is very cool (pun intended). But there are big markers showing how the glacier has been retreating since the 1800's. Obvious not from AGW. Why? I'm sure someone has a theory or two.

Might not be the best example to counter your point. But I agree with the rest of your points especially the mix of causes. The retreat of the Kilimanjaro glaciers. Rising temps from AGW is not making it retreat. The temp never rises above freezing there. It is retreating and may well disappear completely in not too many years. But it's not melting...it's evaporating (sublimation). One theory is that increased ag around the mountain is keeping mosture down and thus inducing the sublimation. Maybe that effect is AGW related...maybe not. Not every significant change on the planet is due to AGW. But if some of the supporters overshoot and assign every change to AGW they'll be giving the deniers ammo. Trying to explain such a discrepency later won't be very effective IMHO: it just won't fit into a sound bite very well.


The Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous..., were all much warmer periods then anything anyone should worry about. Oil originated in periods of severe global warming.

I do believe in anthropogenic Global Warming, though I doubt any models take depletion into account, but I think Global Warming is over-blown and overpopulation and Depletion are under appreciated.

Not that I want to live in a Jurassic climate. My ancestors did not evolve under those conditions.


I'm much less worried about Global Warming than I am about overpopulation and depletion.

I would suggest a study of Near Eastern Neolithic (c. 9500-4500 BC) climate studies. There is limited data from the study of pollen grains and charred seeds in the soil of ancient settlements. Geologists studied pollen in lake sediment varves to show plant regimes verified with isotopal dating at Lake Van, Turkey going back tens of thousands of years. In the Egyptian Sahara there are remains of a culture that herded animals and cultivated grain during the Neolithic era where today less than an inch of rain fell. There are Neolithic ruins near the north end of the Dead Sea, named Teleilat el Ghassul. There were pollens in the town strata indicative of freshwater marsh by a stream where there is currently desert waste. The is evidence for AGW since the glacial maximum c. 18,000 bp that continued up until the time of modern historical records. Hydrologists dated Sinai and Negev ground water impurities with isotopal dating to show the water was deposited during the last Ice Age. Earlier global warming research stopped at the point where historical records ended and made broad assumptions of earlier times without much evidence. One deep ocean sediment study was not well understood nor was its callibration supported as it was contradicted by terrestrial data. If you were to divide an estimated sea level rise of 120 meters over the past 18,000 years, you might find a high rate of sea level rise, although the rise was not constant. It is also known that with higher air temperatures the atmosphere may hold more water vapor.

No reputable researcher EVER says that research is closed, done, all questions and anomalies answered. It is always an ongoing process of refining hypotheses. But if one is to be empirically sound, they should go with the hypothesis that best explains what is observed -that is until someone comes up with a better explanation.

There are things we know for sure, things we have observed and things which we predict based on what we know and what we have observed. Understanding how the MWP (for which there is conflicting data) is an ongoing process as are explorations of other anomalies in the climate record.

Marco, at the risk of inflaming further debate, I suggest that you look carefully at the graphs from "science-skeptical". Please note that the dates for the various periods claimed to be the MWP do not match up. If one attempts to put these data together in an average, this fact tends to lessen the extent of the warming on a global basis because the warm periods do not overlap in time. Accurate dating is essential and lacking that, some proxies may be useless for assessing the question of whether or not the MWP was global.

E. Swanson

The thing is that there have been warm periods and very cold ones in the distant past, none related to man. The question is, what caused them, and without out the efforts of mankind, what would the climate be doing to day, as compared to what it actually is.

Most large scale events look to be traceable to large-scale geological events. Huge volcanoes, such as the Siberian and Deccan traps, smaller volcanic eruptions, and meteoric impacts and the like. Absent those, there is an almost routine cycle that would, today, put us in a cooling period. What concerns so many weather scientists is that we are not experiencing the cooling we should be on the large cycles, and even on the smaller cycle of the sunspot minimum now taking place, we are not seeing expected consequences.

What is different is the volume of CO2 in the atmosphere. This is normally a following event, after natural warming begins, and acts as a forcing. When the natural levels taper off, cooling takes place and we return to an ice age. Today we have warming as the following event, and rising CO2 that is unnatural taking place, and forcing an abnormal warming. The concern is that no one knows the ultimate impact this will have, since it does not take place naturally. We are looking for analogous events, and they seem lacking.

If you want to make a name for yourself, as a weather scientist, find some analogous event, document it, and do a PhD thesis on how the current anomoly will resolve itself, based on that science. Otherwise, please take better care of my planet. My grandchildren live here, and you are screwing it up!


Some cooling events may have coincided with comet or asteroid strikes, massive outpourings of lava, ash, SO2, changes in the intensity of solar radiation etc. The sun cannot be considered constant as it is traveling through space. I am no Einstein, but if you know that solar flaring is not constant, you might also guess that the sun's heat might not be constant over time only constant for some intervals. The earth's core may have had some initial heat at formation that was lost due to radiation over time. I sat through a geology lecture where the prof told us that radioactive minerals in the earth's crust gave off heat as they decayed. What would cause heating after an ice age that thawed before mankind learned to ignite a fire? My answer might not be the rate of breathing of mammals and the amount of methane they farted, but rather changes in the sun. Other unknown factors includes unseen bands of radiation in space, unseen stardust/hydrogen pulled into the sun, eruptions of greenhouse gases including steam. Steam was listed as a greenhouse gas. Steam erupted from terrestrial and undersea volcanoes.

the sun's heat might not be constant over time

The sun's heat is known to diminish over time. We should be getting cooler.

In a few hundred million years, the sun will get hotter - actually larger in fact. And redder. Eventually it will grow to at least the orbit of Venus. Perhaps to Earth orbit, but that is not a given.

The episodics are known. There can be variations, and science does not know everything. That is why idiots say "all," "every," and "absolutely." Scientists say, "most," "many," and "very likely."

From what we know, it is very likely that the warming currently under way is anthropogenic. That is sustained by data from a multitude of sciences; geology, meteorology, volcanology, paleantology, paleobiology, astronomy and physics. It is based on what is known, and projected on the best available predictive science. It isn't perfect, and having fools contradict by assertions that are baseless is frustrating.

There are some overlaps with the science that is used to predict peak oil. Geology, for instance. And, of course, physics. PO adds chemistry as a science, and probably has better metrics, since the data is much closer to real time. Because it is more exact, denial of peak oil requires obfuscation to a greater degree than climate change denial. It is still frustrating.

And to me it all comes down to a study in greed and moronity. People willing to risk others' lives, health and future for their own present wealth. Stupid people. Stupid race.

Strange species, homo sapiens. Wonder if they'll be missed!


Astrophysics is something I do not know much about. If the sun cools in time and expands the net effect will be the suns' surface will be closer the earth. Some predicted the oceans might boil away. Some physicists do not support a constant temperature sun model. The earth is filled with semi-molten material. The continents moved driftged on convection currents. Occasionally there were eruptions that clouded out the sun with ash and noxious gases. There were extremely cold winters following supervolcano events. The earth is not constant either.

It is like carbon activists' hatred of coal power plants. They do not realize that the world emits about as much carbon from using oil and that primarily from gasoline and diesel fuel as oil use is greater than coal. They do not realize the steel industry is dependent on coking coal and by driving up operating costs for domestic steel makers they might increase steel production in China and India. Without a good domestic steel industry the auto and construction industries might suffer. While natural gas seems cheap it is more expensive than coal, nuclear, or hydro. The infrastructure to use natural gas in great amounts does not exist. Utility companies are already loaded with debt and switching to other power is not cheap. The costs were not well considered. Finally natural gas is loaded with carbon doomers ultimately try to cut it off if they can.

Rome was built with cheap grain from the Nile river delta. The United States runs on cheap energy. Without affordable energy the US might have to take massive reductions in standard of living.

"It's a fact that some of the hard core denialist don't do very good research."

--Does that mean that some of the hard core denialists do very good research?
--Black Dog, do you agree with Feynman and others that a true scientist should search for any evidence that contradicts his or her theories?

Some of the denialist have gone to the effort to do research which supports their theories, such as Lindzen. Many of the denialist don't have theories to test, they just try to destroy the conclusions of others, IMHO. For example, Lindzen with his "Adaptive Iris" theory, suggesting that there clouds represent a negative which will counter AGW, doewn't seem interested in explaining the other side of the feedback. The question is, how could there be enough cooling to cause the onset of an Ice Age or, perhaps more germane, how could the Earth have warmed enough to end the last Ice Age if the "Adaptive Iris" opposed this warming as claimed for Greenhouse Effect warming?

Gathering the global data is a difficult and expensive effort, since much of the data is collected at sea or from orbit. I used some of this data to analyze the UAH data of those denialist "scientists", Spencer and Christy, showing an unexpected pattern in the annual averages. Spencer and Christy continue to present this suspect data as valid without any published comment that I am aware of.

E. Swanson

"Some of the denialist have gone to the effort to do research which supports their theories..."

If so they are not doing science. Black Dog did you see the Feynman question? do you do research to support your theories or to learn the truth?

Have I officially proposed a "theory"? If so, what is it? And, how would I, a lowly engineer without a PhD, lacking any creds from academia, ever get the gazillion dollars of funding to carry out a serious research plan of said "theory"? Have you ever applied for a government research grant as an individual without institutional support? I have...

E. Swanson

I an not a particular fan of government sponsored research. It can potentially lead to bias. Researchers might be tempted to write their proposals to suit fashion or what they imagine to be the acceptable politically correct beliefs of the funding bureaucracy. I did do self funded research in my specialty involving various aspects of xray film including silver substitutes and possible effects of xray film silver content. This was long before film was replaced by digital radiography. In the past there was surely less government and more self funded research though this would not necessarily prevent bias. There is no better example of self funded research than that performed by Darwin and discussed in the recent book "The Greatest Show on Earth" by Richard Dawkins.

-With all due respect I am not completely convinced that you deal in theory. You and other posters sometimes seem to be telling us what you consider to be absolute facts??

Some do not deny warming, but deny the severity of warming, the causes of warming, and the effects of the warming. I read a paper that warming was going to cause crop losses. 2008 was the best grain harvest year ever. Did you not know plants like heat and grow better in a greenhouse?

Have you ever heard of desertification ? Google and learn about the ongoing and new weatherpatterns around East Africa and Australia for that matter.

"Best harvest" at your latitude (area)- perhaps means "worst harvest" in another area ... or at least so goes the story if you read all the IPCC- analysis and commentary.
The weather patterns change and is skewed and propagated around, opening up for the possibility of "a completely new weather" many places. Frankly I thought this sort of info was well spread by now- but sadly obviously not.

Do you see anything strange in this table, Rainman ?


I an not a particular fan of government sponsored research. It can potentially lead to bias. Researchers might be tempted to write their proposals to suit fashion or what they imagine to be the acceptable politically correct beliefs of the funding bureaucracy.

IMHO, corporate sponsored research (such as Exxon supported climate research) is far likelier to lead to bias.

Unless people are doing the research on a completely uncompensated basis, I am not convinced it will be unbiased. Look at Robert Rapier's write up of the latest cellulosic ethanol report. Government sponsored reports definitely have a bias to them.

even if the underlying principals are correct.

Was that supposed to be a veiled reference to the shady underworld characters of the I.C.C.C. (International Climate Change Cabal)?

Oh, my bad, it was just a typo then, you meant, "principles"...the second definition of which is something generally lacking amongst the climate change denialists, (triple pun unintended)

Yes it is always better to spend time correting typos and word misuse than adress the point in a debate. It saves you having to think too hard, whilst at the same time knocking down the big straw man 'the denier'. You are another person that missed the other main point: that there is valid criticism to be had of current AGW theory.

You are another person that missed the other main point: that there is valid criticism to be had of current AGW theory.

And how's that beam in thine eye doing? What "VALID" criticism for pete's sake?!

Enough. Honestly, I'm seriously considering asking people to take it to RealClimate or something, if they want to argue about whether AGW is happening.

We can't ban discussion of climate change here, because it's so intimately entwined with peak oil. But this really isn't the place to debate the finer points of climatology, and I don't want it to become the kind of politicized "warmists vs. skeptics" type site.

I remember about a year ago things started getting really heated and suggested we have separate thread just for climate change. Would you maybe consider this? It would save it getting tangled up in the standard drumbeat and people could still have it out.

So anyway my lips are sealed on CC for at least a few months....as I don't want to get turfed out of the drumbeats permanently!!

I don't think we want more open threads, and the rest of the staff doesn't want any more about climate change.

I suppose we could let the occasional DrumBeat be eaten by the climate change debate, and that probably will happen from time to time, but honestly, I don't see the point. It's tedious and repetitive, and no one ever changes their minds, or even their talking points. And there's plenty of other places on the web where it can be discussed.

Climate change is something that is going to be resolved by climatologists. Unlike peak oil, it is getting a lot of scientific attention. (If peak oil ever got the kind of scientific interest climate change gets, we could shut this site right now.)

The kind of climate discussion I'd like to see here is the kind that isn't being discussed at mainstream sites. Are there enough fossil fuels to cause the kind of climate change James Hansen fears? And how will changing climate - whether natural or manmade - affect our preparations for peak oil?

Climate change is something that is going to be resolved by climatologists.

Climate change is something that will be resolved by future historians.
And by "resolved" I mean "re-written by the winners."

Science is an activity that takes place within the context of a society.
We have lived through a remarkable period in history - The Enlightenment.
Whether liberal society as we know it will endure the wide variety of stresses in store for it over the next century or two is very much in question.

This is an insightful observation. I think "progressives" too often forget just what a small group they are, and what an aberration their way of thinking is, historically speaking. Most of the world is still living in the Dark Ages, and given global demographic trends, this proportion is sure to grow exponentially. Maybe "peak enlightenment" is the biggest threat of all, since it makes scientific arguments an exercise in futility. I don't really see a solution at this point; the feminism, abortion, and general cultural suicide that progressives tout as the answer to the world's problems are just ensuring their own demise. I think we're well into a new Dark Age, but people in the enlightened enclaves are still comfortable enough that they don't see it. It should become pretty obvious to everyone fairly soon.

Climate change is something that is going to be resolved by climatologists.

Climate change has been resolved by climatologists; the only debate among climate scientists is the degree and nature of the changes. Even if humans could stop emitting carbon tomorrow, we've locked in another two hundred years of warming. Atmospheric CO2 hasn't been this high for 15 million years, so the level at which we stabilize very much matters for humans living today and for the next several generations.

I would agree that the discussion about AGW is getting to be repetitive, and doesn't really get anywhere. It also has very little to do with what this site is about.

With financial collapse likely to be an issue in the fairly near term, it is extremely difficult to see how the world could possibly use enough fossil fuels to cause the AGW everyone is so concerned about. A person really has to believe in long-term BAU, in order to get to the assumptions of the models. Luis and Euan showed with their fossil fuel assumptions that CO2 levels stabilized at fairly close to 450 ppm. Their model did not assume any financial collapse, however. If one puts financial collapse in Luis and Euan's model, I would think the result would be a whole lot lower. If our use has to be a lot lower than fossil fuel use after financial collapse, I think we are kidding ourselves about the feasibility of doing enough in conservation to prevent AGW.

In order to make a huge change in GHG, we would need to convince China to make a huge change in its fossil fuel use. I can't see any way China can do that without huge loss of life.

A lot of people have very rosy views regarding what can be done with CCS, wind, and solar, and are using AGW as an excuse to throw huge amounts of money in those direction. We need to be evaluating these carefully--everything I have seen indicates that on a "cash flow" basis (really "energy flow" basis), they add very little energy for a very long time.

The problem seems to me to be that those who query global warming are worried that measures taken to combat global warming will exacerbate Peak Oil problems. Well as far as I can see the few practical measures actually being taken do not seem to conflict with peak oil. Certainly not in the UK where we will be building new coal fired power stations (with carbon capture if it works - without if not practical) alongside wind power etc. Isn't that funny? - maybe the powers that be do know about Peak Oil after all (sarcasm by the way - of course they do).

In fact I'm certain that some here are partly skeptical because they know for a fact or suspect that AGW has been used by some parties as a cover for Peak Oil.

But unfortunately it looks to me as if we have to deal with both.

Diplomatic, well said, and I agree. Except for the part about climate change being resolved by climatologists. Perhaps, if those climatologists are multi-disciplinary.

"Specialization is for insects." -- Heinlein

Sorry Leanan ... posted before I saw your request.

Leanan -

I wholeheartedly support that view.

Some of the longest, most contentious, and dreariest threads on TOD have been about the global warming debate.

In the same vein, I personally could do without a lot of the largely academic stuff having to do with human and societal evolution, ecological dynamics, population issues, collapse, etc.

I'm not saying these subjects should be banned outright, but if that is what some people are single-mindedly fixated on, then I agree that there are better places than TOD to really get into it.
Having said that, I also feel that a little extraneous stuff now and then keeps a website from becoming stale and inbred. There is a balance to be maintained, and I think that by and large, you and Gail have been doing a great job at trying to maintain that balance.

In the same vein, I personally could do without a lot of the largely academic stuff having to do with human and societal evolution, ecological dynamics, population issues, collapse, etc.

I think we might actually be getting a lot more in that vein in the future.

As I've mentioned before, we've kind of outgrown our previous mission. Most of us believe peak oil is in the rear view mirror now. With "demand destruction" cutting consumption as well as production, it's no longer much fun to measure oil production, and predicting future production is more about economics than geology.

So what should we concentrate on, in the future? What do you want to see here?

What do you want to see here?

Peak people!

I personally could do without a lot of the largely academic stuff having to do with human and societal evolution, ecological dynamics, population issues, collapse, etc.

Isn't that ultimately what peak oil is about? It seems that the disscussion of PO has little meaning without the broader discussion of it's potential effects on societies (and the planet), including how we got to this point, historical precedences, mitigating future effects, and how our desperate attempts to cope could have environmental and economic impacts, or lead to more wars. It's sort of like analysing a disease outside of the context of individual and societal effects. Useful perhaps, but not as. If the consequences of PO are likely to be very broad ranging, it may be tough to narrow the focus of the discussion. I agree that AGW has plenty of other (very frustrating) forums. But the TOD group is a great bunch to discuss any subject with, so..........hopefully folks can do a better job of staying on topic.

I for one would like to see a full Climate Change 'exchange'.
You're correct that it does disrupt the dialog with everyone filling in propaganda anecdotes and that it can get interminable, just look at the comment section of Realclimate.
But people need to get this out of their systems.
Maybe as a Campfire topic (when the editors are too busy)?

Leanan -

That's a good question, and I'm not really all that sure myself. I know it's a negative frame of reference, but I am a lot more sure of the things I don't like to see than the things I do.

However, you are entirely right in that endless tables and graphs of energy production and consumption can get a little tedious. (It kind of makes me long for the days when you had to manually draw a graph, because the labor involved discouraged indiscriminate graph generation.)

Alternative energy initiatives, energy conservation, infrastructure issues, and energy technology are high on my list of things I tend to read with some enthusiasm.

Agriculture, the economy, and geopolitics also have their place as long as they are in some way tied to energy issues. I also enjoy personal anecdotes as long as they are somewhat relevant.

Human evolution, anthropology, sociology, and theoretical ecology tend to leave me a bit cold, as it seems to me that some of the people trying to relate this stuff to peak oil are making a stretch or a force fit. I think this is an example of the 'if you're a hammer everything looks like a nail' syndrome. For example, how really useful is it to me to know that hunter/gatherers have a lower energy footprint than I do, or that some ancient civilization or other might have collapsed because they handled their resources poorly, or that animal populations overshoot when food is plentiful and predators are scarce? I can only take so much of the purely theoretical stuff and no more.

It occurs to me that peak oil theory and AGW theory have too much in common to consider separating them. Both are controversial theories that attempt to model observable aspects of the physical world.
Both have predictive power and in time will either be proven or disproven. There will inevitably be new data and new observations coming in to buttress or undermine the validity of the theories.
They will both be in the news and people will want to discuss implications of any new data.
Opposing sides in both debates can't both be correct.
Either the cornucopians are correct and the world's economy can adjust smoothly to different energy sources or we peak oilers are correct and we face a collapse scenario due primarily to overshoot caused by cheap FF.
Likewise, either AGW is correct and we are facing sea-level rise, loss of polar ice-caps and a planet inhospitable to agriculture, or the deniers are correct and natural phenomena dwarf the human component and we are unlikely to see any dramatic climate changes on a macro level for hundreds of years.
Again, one side is right and the other is wrong. they cannot both be correct. so... let's digest the data together and discuss it in as respectful a manner as possible, whaddya say?
I do appreciate the prohibition on conspiracy theories, though... that helps elevate the discourse.

How about Energy & Our Future? The tagline of TOD is simple and at the same time is complex and complicated. It makes for interesting reading and a good source of contemplation for one who really enjoys energy issues.

(as an aside, I had no idea that you had made your global warming cessation plea before I posted my comment below. Great minds think alike)

How about an emphasis on solutions?
Does it occur to you Leanan that a lot of what people post on your site is just anecdotal? Journalists use the technique of anecdotal stories to avoid real analysis. What do you want on TOD? Analysis or anecdotes?
Those who would post useful solution based analyses, like for example Engineer-Poet, are sneered away.
It is quite clear to me that nuclear power is the only feasible way forward. According to:
the cost of obtaining uranium from seawater is $240/kg. There is no shortage of the stuff and even a CANDU reactor can run on this kind of uranium, let alone a breeder.
That gives us all the energy we could need for millenia.
Outside of that are issues of liquid fuels, and then outside that are other issues of sustainability.
Where is the critical thinking on this site that addresses these questions? Why do we have to wade through endless amounts of stupid anecdotes that people post up?

It is quite clear to me that nuclear power is the only feasible way forward.

... as long as you are an approved member of the nuclear club. If you are Iran or North Korea... well, tough shitsky.

Nuclear power is not the only way forward. It is the way forward that will most likely support the current economic and political structure. Personally, I don't care much for the present structure and rather hope that something better might come out of its collapse.

By the way, what the hell did you guys decide to do about the waste disposal problem? Last I knew, that wasn't entirely worked out.

So called waste is actually quite valuable. At the least it contains largely Depleted Uranium i.e. Natural Uranium from which the fissile U235 has mostly been fissioned leaving 99% by weight U238, which in future can be bred to Pu239 and then fissioned. Any other actinides can also be fissioned in any breeder reactor. Most of the fission products are valuable - the creation of valuable fission products is exactly why medical nuclear reactors are built.
Anyone who has looked into the subject knows all this and therefore knows the correct thing to do with almost everything that comes out of a standard once through reactor is to store it for future use if it cannot be used now.

I understand that some classes of nuclear waste might have value. Too bad we didn't have a plan for dealing with this from the very beginning.

In the United States alone, the Department of Energy states there are "millions of gallons of radioactive waste" as well as "thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel and material" and also "huge quantities of contaminated soil and water." Despite copious quantities of waste, the DOE has stated a goal of cleaning all presently contaminated sites successfully by 2025. The Fernald, Ohio site for example had "31 million pounds of uranium product", "2.5 billion pounds of waste", "2.75 million cubic yards of contaminated soil and debris", and a "223 acre portion of the underlying Great Miami Aquifer had uranium levels above drinking standards." The United States has at least 108 sites designated as areas that are contaminated and unusable, sometimes many thousands of acres. DOE wishes to clean or mitigate many or all by 2025, however the task can be difficult and it acknowledges that some may never be completely remediated. citation

The waste disposal problem is a huge concern but by no means the only one. Due to its inherent complexity and its potential dangers, nuclear power will always be controlled by a small clique. At best, that might be a rational, benevolent clique of scientists and engineers. At worst, it might be an Adolph Hitler. In fact, history shows, it is rarely the rationalists who make the final decisions. Hence, the other half of my problem with nuclear energy.

You raise a lot of points in one message.

Your citation from the wikipedia refers in part to nuclear weapons materials production facilities. I was referring to civilian nuclear power facilities. It is known that the nuclear weapons materials production facilities were not careful about waste handling - this has not been the case for civilian nuclear power facilities.

The United States has at least 108 sites designated as areas that are contaminated and unusable, sometimes many thousands of acres.

This does not come from the DOE paper cited (http://www.em.doe.gov/PDFs/170016EM_FYP_Final_3-6-06.pdf) so perhaps it comes from the American Scientist issue cited. It is not clear how to easily check online, so I do not know what is being referred to.

Due to its inherent complexity and its potential dangers, nuclear power will always be controlled by a small clique.

So far the NRC charges the same amount to certify small reactors as big reactors, so this is a deterrent to designing and making small modular reactors.
The IFR was supposed to be a modular type of reactor but the development was cancelled by the Clinton administration.

At best, that might be a rational, benevolent clique of scientists and engineers.

M King Hubbert was supposed to be such a technologist. As you intimate, they don't get the control.

At worst, it might be an Adolph Hitler. In fact, history shows, it is rarely the rationalists who make the final decisions. Hence, the other half of my problem with nuclear energy.

The problem I see with your problem is that you are not knowledgeable about the subject. Your criticisms are not founded in actual knowledge of the possibilities.
Although the podcast recording is hopeless, a comment exists here from an insider:
Clinton Bastin's letter to the New York Times is included in a comment and condemns the performance of the DOE.

I would also refer you to these posts:
contains a good review of how nuclear power stacks up against other forms of power production.
This comment in that post:
has a good photo showing how much spent fuel ("waste") there really is from nuclear plant

The latest post on bravenewclimate is
which shows how little "waste" there need be from a nuclear power plant.

Nuclear power is not the only way forward. It is the way forward that will most likely support the current economic and political structure. Personally, I don't care much for the present structure and rather hope that something better might come out of its collapse.

What way forward do you suggest?
Here is another reference given by Peter Lang about which way forward holds the best promise for a better world.

"Go to http://www.gapminder.org/ and click on “Explore the world”.

On the x-Axis select Energy/Electricity/Electricity Consumption (kWh per person). Select ‘log’ scale.

On the y-Axis select Life expectancy at Birht (years). Use ‘linear’ scale.

Now run play.

Points to note: 1) life expectancy increases as electrcity consumptions increases, and 2) all countries and regions are moving from bottom left towards top right as time progresses – meaning electrcity consumption and life expectancy are both increasing with time. Put another way, the world is becoming a better place, and electricity consumption is an important driver of this (correlation does not prove causation, but this correlation is persuasive).

Now try changing the Y axis but leave the X-axis. On the y-axis try the following:
1. Infant mortality,
2. Health,
3. Poverty and inequality / Extreme poverty
4. Children per woman (total fertility)

Points to note: in all cases, more electricity correlates with better outcomes. The total fertility is interesting. More electricity correlates with lower fertility. That is women are moving from having many children to more time in work, education and other more fullfilling persuits. As a result, the world’s population will peak earlier and and at a lower total population. Surely this is one of the key goals."

The problem I see with your problem is that you are not knowledgeable about the subject. Your criticisms are not founded in actual knowledge of the possibilities.

Passenger, you are correct; I do not know a great deal about the nuts and bolts issues surrounding nuclear power but I know a hell of a lot about human nature. What technocrats such as yourself always fail to account for is that human society is not a carefully controlled reaction. It is a messy, profit-driven thing which frequently (always?) produces unforseen results. So, to you I say that my "actual knowledge of possibilities" is very broad and if I had to bet what a nuclear powered future would look like I see (a) a population driven to absolute subservience to an authoritarian government which continually threatens to turn off the power, (b) continued political battles over just who is going to clean up nuclear power's messes and (c) never-ending military conflicts over who gets to possess the nuclear genie. In other words, more of what we already have.

As I said before, I'm not interested in supporting BAU. If you are, go for it.

I'm not interested in BAU.
The point of the Gapminder figures is to show that more energy, especially more electrical energy, is associated with a better world.
Nuclear power would allow for lots more energy, and it would be clean and safe to boot, just as it always has been.
I'm trying not to speculate but to quote actual results and then propose we ramp up nuclear power because it would provide lots of cheap clean energy which the Gapminder figures show is beneficial.
As far as I can tell the problems of the world have originated much more from fossil fuels than nuclear power.

Edit: I should say, fossil fuels were not necessarily in and of themselves so bad. If the rate at which nuclear power was being developed in the 50's and 60's had continued the USA would have no coal plants today, or at least no need for them. I believe (although I have nothing to back this up with) that cars could have been made as PHEVs a long time ago. We did not have to use up all the oil.
But even so the world has made great strides and we can see that this is so and that this progress came because of increased availability of energy.
The point is to be aware of what we can do to make things better. It is not too late to jump off the fossil fuels based world to a renewables based world.


if I had to bet what a nuclear powered future would look like I see (a) a population driven to absolute subservience to an authoritarian government which continually threatens to turn off the power,

I think there has been a quite successful attempt to turn off nuclear power, so that we will need to keep using fossil fuels, after the time we should have transitioned, at least for baseload electrical power, to nuclear power. The threat for us to counter is not of nuclear power being turned off but of it not being turned on.

(c) never-ending military conflicts over who gets to possess the nuclear genie.

I really doubt it. I think once all the countries of the world adopt nuclear power they will not need to fight wars over foreign supplies of energy. A major source of warfare will be removed from human history.

We all know a lot about human nature and the tendency to make pessimistic predictions about the future is as big a part of it as the tendency to make optimistic predictions

Interestingly one of the guys whose crystal ball doomer predictions were quoted regularly here is Stanley Jevons of Jevons' paradox fame. A link was put on this site to an ecopy of his work a month or few back and for some reason I haven't seen his name mentioned since. I fought my way through the relatively short work which you can download here and found myself much more optimistic about the future than before I read it. I suggest giving it a go. It is wild to read how wrong a fairly well informed intelligent person can be when he guesses about the importance of new and future tech.

I apologize for getting off track with this subject. I accept your point and will do my best not to react to other comments on this subject in the future. The problem I have though is when the arguments used have no basis whatsoever in reality, and are not rational. I don't care if the subject is tar sands, if someone starts talking about a bulldozer powered by pink unicorns, its hard sometimes not to rise to the bait. Anyways you are right enough.

Sure there is valid criticism...always is in science. And the evidence left is still, to my mind, overwhelming.

It is overwhelming, but doesn't fit into everyone's paradigm, on the Left or Right.
The rethinking that Climate Change forces one to do often leaves the ideologically committed screaming on the ground in a fetal position, and no one wants that.

If you want to do the criticism, do the science! You are not the only person living on Planet Earth!


Would someone wake me up when the incessant, tiresome discussion of global warming ends on the pages of DB.

You have exactly summed up what most of the general public are thinking. But yes I agree it has a time and a place and I have now committed myself (at least for a few months) to Peak oil related discussion.



One more suggestion, Marco. And, you might agree with this.

I have not seen a projection from the AGW group as to the effect of the end of the age of oil. In other words, when oil, coal and gas run out, emissions will cease. How long with they remain in the atmosphere. What is the projected maximum? Where does the climate go after those emissions have cleared out?

IMO, the AGW thing is a proxy for PO debate, because PO is not discussed in polite society. It is too scary, too final.

OTOH, the damage to the planet could be severe from the emissions already released, so let's exercise some restraint. Let's be what I like to call "conservative" about it. Okay?


Agree 100%.

Bill Gates: We need global 'energy miracles'

"What we're going to have to do at a global scale is create a new system," Gates said in a speech at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California. "So we need energy miracles."

Gates called climate change the world's most vexing problem, and added that finding a cheap and clean energy source is more important than creating new vaccines and improving farming techniques, causes into which he has invested billion of dollars.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation last month pledged $10 billion to help deploy and develop vaccines for children in the developing world.

The world must eliminate all of its carbon emissions and cut energy costs in half in order to prevent a climate catastrophe, which will hit the world's poor hardest, he said.

"We have to drive full speed and get a miracle in a pretty tight timeline," he said.


Don't bring the world's poor clean drinking water, just vaccinate them. What a moron. I really wonder if those vaccines have a little extra in them to limit birth rates... or maybe i'm just really paranoid.

The Gates foundation is very much involved in 'bringing' clean drinking water to the world's poor. Do a tiny bit of research before opening your ill-informed yap.


Who the hell are you to call Bill Gates a moron?

I am not exactly a big fan of Bill Gates myself but I am still trying to work out if "mymomishot" is "my mom is hot" or "my mom i shot" in which case perhaps we should call the authorities :-)

At times like these I am reminded of the old days when we called them trolls. Even with 15,000 readers it is hard to tell how many have accounts, how many read and never post at all, how many just showed up here from the ZombieSquad, or ChowHound forums and thought it'd be cool to play games, or sniff around for clues to good eats (chowhound) or where the zombies might be at the end of the world (zombiesquad). By the way both sites have been around for a while and have their own troll killing well in hand.

We should be civil, and hold our fingers (tongues don't type), and see if they act better next time they post.

Hugs all around, lets order another round of drinks, chat away.


I don't think Bill Gates is a moron, I think he knows what he is doing. I mean if you have a company that makes as many CDs and DVDs as they do you are raping the environment of aluminum and oil. So this foundation is the result of either his PR or his guilt.

Not te mention the fact that he has all that money in the first place is the REASON why other people are poor.

Yes, let me say that again, the rich create the poor.

But the poor have never been as rich as they are now. Microsoft has cut down on large OEM shipments and gone to digital distribution.

"But the poor have never been as rich as they are now."

What the heck does that mean? Does debt equal wealth?


"What the heck does that mean? Does debt equal wealth?"

Welcome to Capitalism.

re: "But the poor have never been as rich as they are now." What the heck does that mean?

It means that fewer people in the world are living in extreme poverty than ever before.

To quote an article in the Toronto Globe and Mail :

In a paper prepared for the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research, academic economists Maxim Pinkovskiy (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Xavier Sala-i-Martin (Columbia University) describe the elimination of poverty in the last generation as "staggering." They calculate that the global poverty rate fell by 80 per cent from 1970 through 2006.

A rise in income from $1 per day to $2 per day may not mean much to someone living in a rich country, but to a poor peasant it means their income has doubled in a generation and they are much better off than their parents were. There are billions of people who have moved up to a much higher standard of living, however, poor they may seem to us in wealthy countries.

The problem for people in wealthy countries is that many of them have suffered the reverse experience and have been backsliding into third world conditions. This is not the global trend. The average family in China could now be considered to be middle class by Chinese standards. It may not mean much to Americans or Europeans, but it's a big step upward for the 1.3 billion Chinese.

The rise in income means they are making more money. But is that the only measuring stick you use to determine your quality of life? How about fresh air, clean water, freedom?

Was this video factored in in that that study?

This study was a study of the world distribution of income. Do you understand then what he is saying? He is actually saying that income is being distributed more evenly. In other words, the rich countries are not hoarding as much anymore.

So while the poverty rate is falling in Asia, it is rising in the US. I mean, do you think the average US citizen sees themselves better off these days?

But I would like to read this study but I cannot find it for free online. If anyone has it please share it. Do you have it? Cause if you do not I do not know how you could give this study as much weight as you do. I mean you are saying that this ONE study proves that capitalism is fair so it must be a pretty good read.

Yeah, I've been in Hongkong so I know what it's like. China is burning huge amounts of coal to maintain their industrial growth. At some point they will have to put less emphasis on economic growth and more on pollution control - but they will be much richer at that point in time.

I don't have a copy of the study but the graphs in the summary you linked to were quite illustrative. I think it shows that most of the world's population is much better off than it was 36 years ago. The number of people living in extreme poverty worldwide is a fraction of what it was a few decades ago.

However, the paper does not really address the problem of increasing poverty in rich nations. Based on my own experience in various parts of the world, I would say it is true that the poor in poor nations are becoming richer, and the poor in rich nations are becoming poorer. That is a problem for the rich nations, but the formerly poor nations are doing relatively well.

So, you see, you agree with my original point. That the rich create the poor.

No, I wouldn't agree that the rich create the poor. I would say that the vast majority of poor are becoming less poor due to their own efforts. The poor in rich countries (or at least in the US) are not participating in this process.

The poor in rich countries (or at least in the US) are not participating in this process.

Ha, that was a great way to say that without saying you think people in the U.S. are lazy. A+ on doublespeak.

First, where is the data to back up what you just said? Oh, you have none, it is just your opinion based on....?

Really? People are poor now because they are lazy? They are losing their homes because the do not want to work? They just need to "pick themselves up by their boot straps"? 25% unemployment should be called 25% laziness?

And are the people who are not working lazy or are they smart? DId they check out of the system because they realized they were nothing but wages slaves?

Are you sure it was not because of the oil price spike that led to the housing meltdown? You think that had anything to do with it or no? You don't think it had anything to do with corporations "cutting the bottomline" (another doublespeak term which means laying off people")

You live in a simple world, and usually that is a good thing, but the simple world you live in is a myth created by the capitalist rulers to keep everyone fighting for the gold ring, fighting to be the boss and lord and ruler over others.

Ha, that was a great way to say that without saying you think people in the U.S. are lazy. A+ on doublespeak.

I did not say that people in the US are lazy. I said the poorer among them are sliding backward into third-world conditions.

I would say, though, that the poor in the US are undereducated by developed-country standards. Unfortunately, many Americans believe that the US has a good education system. This is far from being the truth, and many supposedly underdeveloped countries have better education systems than the US.

The incomes of people to a large degree depend on how well educated they are, and the better educated people in the world are gaining at the expense of the less well educated people. Standards are rising fast and there are more and more educated people in the world all the time.

Compare the number of engineers graduated in China and India versus the US if you want to see an illustration of what I am talking about. If you think about them, the numbers are frightening (if you are an American).

Have a nice day.

There is another possibility: he wants to do something that will, with hard work, result in "success" because it's being successful that's key to his personality. Although helping the world is surely a part of his motivation for picking up on this particular avenue of work, I don't think that's the most important thing for him. (Most of the stories about his early time at Microsoft make it clear he wants to win in situations, and that making mind-boggling amounts of money is just a side-effect of that.)

If you really believe that the rich create the poor, I sholuld like to read a detailed expliaination of how you reached this conclusion-not that I necessarily disagree, depending on the time frame , etc.

Assuming a fixed money supply, the more money one gets out of the money supply the less there is left for the others. This is independent of time frame. Individual wealth is hoarding. The more salary I get per year is the less salary someone else gets.

Simply, Say there is $100 in a pot and 10 people. If one person has $50, another person has $40, that means the last 8 have to split $10, making them poor comparatively with $1.25 each. Yeah, one of the rich guys can make them out a loan, but then they get into the situation we are in right now.

It always made no sense to me when I heard rich people complain about people on welfare. They do not see that those people are on welfare because the rich are hoarding all the money! Yes, we reached peak money a long time ago.

Christian, Christian, Christian... The economy is not a zero-sum game. A "workforce" comprised of people sitting on their bums is not going to generate as much wealth as a workforce comprised of hard-working individuals. Hence, your "$100 pot" analogy is not a very good one.

Clearly, those with $$$ have greater influence when deciding how the planet's limited pool of resources is allocated. The rich do not "hoard" anything, really. They invest their money in things that they think will most benefit them -- factories, farms, real estate, Porsches, Rolexes, sail boats, whatever -- and this, in turn, determines the direction of our economic activity.

I, for one, would prefer to see the wealthy invest in things that more broadly benefit society. I think this is precisely what Bill and Melinda Gates are doing. Had they not amassed a fortune in the tech sector, they would not now have the ability to do what they are doing in Africa and elsewhere.

"Christian, Christian, Christian... "

Please, that is patronizing.

"The economy is not a zero-sum game. "

Really? Like oil is not a Zero sum game? The only new money is money that is imagined, made up, printed. In other words, interest on debts from the have nots. Let me ask you, where does that new money come from? You say, it comes from "getting off our bums". But producing more steals from others because it steals from the environment that we all share.

The earth is FINITE so money must be finite. When it is not it is a fiat currency and worthless and used as a lever to further exploit the real world.

The rich do not hoard, they "invest"? I love Owellian spin. They want these nice things like Porches so the conscript people into wage slavery to get it. And as you say, it is THEY who determine the path of the economy. Why do you want someone else determining the path of the economy ? Since they have most of the money and therefore most of the capital( including land) they get to determine how YOU live your life. And you LIKE that? You want they to invest better but you have no power over that. None. Feeling impotent yet?

Gates is only giving away some of the money he is hoarding. Which PROVES that he created the poor, doesn't it? You see, he had the $50 and saw that it was making the world worse by hoarding it, so he gave some back to the poor people, like $1.

And why does one invest? (Funny word you chose.) They invest to get a RETURN on the capital. They do it to PROFIT. Profit, which you should know if you ever took an economics class, is always eroded and new people come into the market where the profit occurred. It reaches EQUALibrium. Nature hates the rich because it hate the hoarders.

So you see, it will do not good in the long run, maybe he will appear less evil, but that is it.

You assign god like status to these people but they are crooks and robber barons duping you into servitude and making you fawn over their "generosity" while the steal the food from your mouth.

The economy is not a zero-sum game.

That's true, and a very important point - the economy is not a zero-sum game. It is a game in which all players can win if it is played properly.

Money is just a proxy for wealth, and the total amount of wealth can increase, which means the amount of money can increase without causing inflation as long as the growth in money supply does not exceed the growth in wealth.

Capitalism is a system for increasing the total amount of wealth in the system by harnessing individual effort to improve the return on capital. Ultimately, growth in individual incomes depends on increasing the amount of capital. Capitalism has proven to be the best system for doing so, and other systems have proven to be much less effective at creating new wealth.

Capitalism has proven to be the best system for doing so, and other systems have proven to be much less effective at creating new wealth.

I think this only holds true if access to resources is increasing. This was true for a long time, between colonialist expansion and the fossil fuel fiesta. But in the future, it won't be true. The economy will become a zero-sum game then. No one can get richer without someone else becoming poorer. The pie will no longer be growing, so if you want a bigger share, someone else has to have a smaller one.

Yes, thanks for helping clear my thoughts. It always appeared we had infinite resources, but it was always finite. It was always a zero sum game, but it is hard for the human mind to understand those limits when they are as huge as the earth.

The finite nature of our planet never changed, it was our perception that had changed. Well, at least for some of us.

It was always a zero sum game...

Not exactly. Unexploited resources are money in the bank but they generate their maximum benefit to the exploiter when, and only when, they are developed. The human race inherited a planet rich in resources but we hadn't the wisdom to exploit those resources in a wise manner. We had a party and for a time, anyway, we lived far better than previous generations did. We were gods.

Now, we find ourselves facing a future of diminished resources. We see that the low-hanging fruit have been picked. To further complicate matters, we have a lot more individuals than we ever had previously, all competing for that shrinking pool of resources.

As you note, some of us are beginning to sense our predicament but this would not have happened without an awareness that resources are not as easily obtained as they once were. If you had been born at the beginning of the American Century, you would have a far different outlook.

If I pick and apple and eat it; I win and everything else loses. It is that simple. That does not make me bad, it is a reality.

When we take more then we need and hoard it and make people work for us so they can get it; that is evil.


If I pick and apple and eat it; I win and everything else loses

Not at all so. If you pick and eat the apple and then travel some little distance and drop the seeds (one way or another) and a new tree takes root at a distance from its parent it could not have reached without your assistance and that tree then thrives, does everything else lose? Some will, like others that wanted that fruit when you ate it, or plants that were displaced or killed off by the new tree, but the apple family gains (it developed the stategy and spends the energy in growing fruit to accomplish such feats of mobility) as do all others that make their living off the new tree one way or another. Is that a zero/sum game?

Survival strategies rise, evolve or die off, though some last almost unchanged for very long periods of time. We are a little too close to the action to make that call on the survival fitness of capitalism, though we are certainly contributing to how that call in the end will be made.

I love a poorly extrapolated analogy in the morning.

It is a zero sum game because any other animal needs to exert more energy than I did to get the food and therefor are in an energy debt comparatively. The race was for the apple and I won. Also you made a bunch of positive affirmations. What if, like Monsanto, I keep the seeds, sifting through my poop, making sure no one else gets a tree? What if I think I own the tree and put a fence around it and keep shooing the birds away? Us humans are nuts like that.

So the tale you told is only told by humans.


Would you fight that hard if it were not a zero sum game? Humans act the same way but under the guise of the "fairness of capitalism". No, the capitalist is sifting through his poop, keeping the seeds, putting them in short supply so the prices rise.

I am not advocating we just start fighting each other. We have a huge mental capacity and we can escape the silliness of competing with the world, or at least stop fighting our own species. I can realize that life is a zero sum game and be more likely to feel compassion and share my seeds. This would mean that we abandon capitalism as well.

You are adding conditions, I merely said your statement 'I win everything else loses' is extremely myopic and only works for a snapshot time frame not in a continuing complex system. By the way I asked if it was a zero sum game. Now I'm taking the long view in which the minerals required by the tree will not be replaced but the energy of the sun that it and its dependent web capture may or may not have been captured by the organisms the tree and its related web replaces. I am still asking, as I don't know the answer.

Only humans tell tales, the tree and seed I mentioned didn't need humans but as you had already taken the apple humans were already in the tale. 'The Origin of Species' is a tale related by a human to humans about a process that certainly has no need for humans one way or the other.

I stand by my statement we are way too much a part of the action to make conclusions about capitalism, but by capitalism I mean some intermixing of its principals in an economic system, not some fantasy pure capitalism that may only exist in something like Rand's works (I'm only guessing about that as I never will bother to read any of her books, it takes me way too long to get through works like Darwin's to make time for stuff like hers). Best hopes for our finding the most advantageous competition/cooperation balance our species can achieve. That is what life on earth is all about.

Hah, PeakOil Tarzan, Apologist for the Rich and Powerful. That's a good one.

My point was merely that the total amount of wealth in the world at any given time, is a function of, among other things, the industriousness of the workforce. I don't know how you can argue with that.

I do not defend the wealthy. I am a working stiff, descended from a long line of working stiffs and feel that the working stiffs of the world frequently get a raw deal. I would prefer that the distribution of wealth was more equitable -- concentration of wealth is corrosive to civil society -- but I do not have a workable plan to make that happen. Absent that, the best that I can do is to hope that the wealthy commit their vast resources to things which produce some tangible benefit to society -- education, health, the arts, etc. Porsches are for weenies.

Ah, yeah, I see where I read into your post a little too much. Thanks.

Wealth is only a human concept. It has no reality outside of humanity. Does a rabbit think it is wealthier than another rabbit? So you see the zero sum game continues. We make up this thing called wealth and hoard, pollute and waste "resources" from other species. Humans benefit, wildlife loses. Even you only look at the benefit it has to human society, not realizing that every time we build a hospital we create an environmental debt; a lever that we use to extract money from the future at a faster pace then is sustainable.

My "economy" includes many things that the accounts or global corporations do not put on the balance sheet.

I am still amazed at how many "working class stiffs" do not see the value in anarchism. Anarchism is your workable plan. Please take the time to read about it. You can start here:

Us working class stiffs need to get together again, go on strike, stand up against the people who are stiffing us. Even that is a better place than polishing their boots.


There is a workable plan, because some people have worked it out and have been doing it in small scale pieces. The problem is getting the plans into the hands of everyone, and moving forward in an orderly manner. What we are bucky is human nature, our tendency toward selfishness, our habits of disliking others not like ourselves, and our ability to kill our own kind.

Communes were started with the plan to stop the rat race and fix the problems, and they have for the most part always tended toward failure, for one reason or another.

If everyone had an equal part in fixing the global problems, if everyone worked together, if everyone would be taken care of to at least a base level living standard, If, IF!

I do know what it feels like to live in a communal lifestyle, I am part of family that looks out for all its members. We help other's outside the family when we can.

All we need to do is first convince everyone there is a problem to solve and then all work together toward the solution. Yeah, I am aware of that being the challenge.


Say there is $100 in a pot and 10 people. If one person has $50, another person has $40, that means the last 8 have to split $10, making them poor comparatively with $1.25 each.

Let's do a reality check on that scenario and put it in a global context. Let's say there's an American auto worker making $50/hour (inc. benefits), a European auto worker making $40/hour, and 8 Chinese and Indian auto workers making $1/hour each. The question arises, "What are the American and European auto workers doing that the Chinese and Indian workers can't do for a fraction of the cost?"

The answer is "Nothing". It's not a highly skilled occupation, and the Chinese and Indians have more than enough education to do it. This will be disturbing to many and will lead to demands that imports be restricted. The fatal flaw in that solution is that the Chinese and Indian auto workers are building cheap cars for Chinese and Indians, and are not exporting them to the US or Europe. Mull on that concept. This is a reality check, after all.

Yeah, one of the rich guys can make them out a loan, but then they get into the situation we are in right now.

Yeah, and the really disturbing thing about it is that the guys making $1.25/hour hour have been saving $0.25/hour and lending it to the rich guys making $50 and $40/hour so they can maintain their unsupportable lifestyles. Reality check time again. Welcome to the 21st century.

Let's do a reality check on that scenario and put it in a global context. Let's say there's an American auto worker making $50/hour (inc. benefits), a European auto worker making $40/hour, and 8 Chinese and Indian auto workers making $1/hour each. The question arises, "What are the American and European auto workers doing that the Chinese and Indian workers can't do for a fraction of the cost?"

The answer is "Nothing".

I totally agree. But it is what they HAVE to do that makes the wages so high. They HAVE to pay off their credit cards, pay their taxes on government debt, and all the other interest on the debts we incur when we exploit the environment.

Companies pay people more because if they didn't those same companies would go out of business. Capitalism is a vicious cycle.

it is what they HAVE to do that makes the wages so high. They HAVE to pay off their credit cards, pay their taxes on government debt, and all the other interest on the debts we incur when we exploit the environment.

People do not HAVE to borrow money on their credit cards, governments do not HAVE to increase their debt, and companies do not HAVE to damage the environment in their efforts to extract resources.

They do these things because they WANT to do them. People have options, and they do not always choose the best option. Smart people do not borrow much on their credit cards, smart governments do not borrow excessive amounts of money, and smart companies do not damage the environment. The real problem is that we do not have enough smart people, smart governments, or smart companies.

First, I said they have to PAY OFF their credit cards, not borrow. They do not have to borrow, but the capitalistic system makes growth without debt impossible so the system encourages borrowing and spending. How can businesses grow if people do not spend their money?

Second, a family who lost there job does not have to use their credit card to pay for food, for medical bills? What do you suppose they eat? If they have no credit card, you suppose the government and neighbors let them starve? You do know that hunger is a primer for revolt, yes?

The US would not be such an "economic powerhouse" without borrowing. Can't you see the truth in that?

Smart people, well, yes, there are a lot of uneducated people out there who get educated by television that getting a Visa card sponsored by the Olympics makes you a better person. But you prefer this system that takes advantage of stupid people. You prefer a system that lets Payday loan sharks thrive and commercials that tap into the minds of our youth.

Smart companies do not damage the environment? Name me ONE company that does not damage the environment. Just one.

I had it up to my neck with people like you who forge the chains of their own bondage and in their need for companionship, reinforce the chains of others.

How is he chaining other people? You seem to be advocating communism, forced equality is chaining. Not everyone is equal.

No, not communism. Anarchism. And it is not force equality, it is liberation. The freedom to do what you can without any authority holding you back.

Do you work for a boss? Do you pay taxes to live on a piece of land? Do you pay rent? A mortgage to a bank? By supporting all of those processes he is an advocate for their continuation. It does not matter if he does it with his knowledge or because he has been duped into the American Nightmare. He is a pawn and my aim is to see how much dust he has in his eyes. And maybe the conversation will wake up an innocent bystander. Because until everyone is free, I am not free. Even the people I disagree with here.

So what about everything else I wrote? I am pointing at the moon and you are looking at my finger.

C B, email me, mail addy in my profile.


If (Yes I know that is a BIG if) everyone were treated equally, and If everyone were part of the solution, then communistic living would work. Everyone is fed, a healthy sustaining diet, everyone gets a sustainable dwelling, Everyone helps build the systems that they live in, and no one is given total authority over the group.

There are a lot of If's , what happens when someon kills another, what happens when someone abuses the system, what happens when the space aliens attack (humorous event,). Who makes the rules that are set up in the first place? And a few other questions others can think of that I can't right now, but know there are holes in the thoughts here.

We (here at TOD, ASPO and several other places) know we have a problem, but there is a solution. We just need to start our OWN Tea Party type movement to get it kick started.


The US would not be such an "economic powerhouse" without borrowing. Can't you see the truth in that?

The US would not be in such an economic mess without uncontrolled borrowing.

Prudent businessmen borrow money because they have business opportunities which have a rate of return that exceeds the borrowing rate, and they can pay back the loan from the profits the business makes. If they cannot make enough money to pay back the loans, they do not borrow the money.

Only fools borrow money they cannot pay back. Only even greater fools lend money to fools.

In recent years the US banking system has been operating on the "greater fools" principle.

You make it sound as if it is possible to predict the future. It is all gambling. Good business is good luck.

Have a nice day.

Bill Gates is a major contributor to Planned Parenthood. His father served on the board of Planned Parenthood

There is one thing Mr. Gates is not and that's a moron, and I'm no admirer of Mr. Gates.

We'll probably get to view his presentation in full in the next few weeks, in the meantime there are a few news articles...

Gates said the world needs to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and suggested researchers spent the next 20 years developing new technologies and the follow 20 years implementing them. mongabay

Looks like Gates never read the Hirsch report.

"We need to create a new system," sez Bill Gates. Like this one:

Here's another 'system' that belongs to Bill. He has several hundred more, perhaps the whole fleet is the system:

And another:

And another:

I guess it would be a bit much for someone who plays successfully @ being a business leader to avoid being a blatant hypocrite.

Ha, thanks for that. Yes, he only wants to change the system because he wants to maintain his lifestyle. He does not want to change HIS system, just THE system.

If he wanted to change the system he should follow my footsteps. Consume, work, and save as little as possible. Nature abhors sustained profit.

Farmer plants landmines to discourage potato theft

The 73-year-old had apparently been concerned about the frequent theft of potatoes from his farm.

He was arrested after an intruder set off one of the tripwire-style mines in August and was injured in the blast.


This is a good one. Next time someone says that after peak oil they are going to grow their food in their yard this should be posted. As we get poorer from lower oil production rates we may all be looking at anti-theft solutions.

A New Jersey blueberry farmer had to set off firecrackers to scare away the birds who pilfered ripe berries during daylight hours.

Loud noises will not keep hungry birds away after a few days.One of my niegbors who raises sweet cherries has a propane cannon that literally rattles windows at a quarter mile.

After about ten days, the birds don't even temporarily leave a tree within fifty yards of it when it goes off at random, but not less than seven or eight times an hour.

I gonna see if I can't put some frat boys up to stealing the dxxn thing-it's not doing him any good but it sure does spoil a nice summer day having to listen to it.

Sounds like he would be better off having a trained raptor go out and snag one for a meal once in a while.

Rockman, Westexas, ect;

I was looking at the rig counts for gas in the USA. I noticed the growth rate is falling fast. They increased 30 per week until they got to the mid 800 level, then 27 per week, then another 23 per week. I expected a growth of 17 in Friday's report, but it was only a growth of 13 rigs.

Receding Horizons hitting already?

The Cheasepeake CEO said somewhere that it takes 1,100 rigs to maintain production? Meanwhile deferred NG futures are trending lower. Its as though the trade has its blinders on???

Thanks in advance for your input!!

Hard for me to be too definitve farmer. Up top it says we've hit an 11 month high in NG rig count. As far as rate of change I can offer some theoretical reasons. Seasonal changes but in some areas it's the spring thaw that slows up operations and not bitter cold. A lot easier to set up a rig on frozen ground then mud. Perhaps companies were holding back some capex until they saw NG prices start moving up but then slowed up as those prices seemed to level off. Another possibility: seasonal NG price changes. We tried hard to get as many holes in the ground producing by December to take advantage of any winter related price run up. But spud a well in February and it might be April before you can start selling NG. And if you're like most of us who expect something of a price collapse you might delay drilling until next fall. True you could drill a well today and cut back or shut it in completely until prices come back up. But that's not the nature of our biz: we always need the cash flow TODAY. Another possible factor: as rig demand rises so do prices. Some projects that were just doable at a lower cost aren't as attractive with a bump up in costs. But perhaps it's like many aspects in life: not one cause but a confluence of multiple factors.

Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

Working gas in storage was 2,215 Bcf as of Friday, February 5, 2010, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decline of 191 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 172 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 114 Bcf above the 5-year average of 2,101 Bcf. In the East Region, stocks were 1 Bcf above the 5-year average following net withdrawals of 116 Bcf. Stocks in the Producing Region were 54 Bcf above the 5-year average of 682 Bcf after a net withdrawal of 60 Bcf. Stocks in the West Region were 60 Bcf above the 5-year average after a net drawdown of 15 Bcf. At 2,215 Bcf, total working gas is within the 5-year historical range.

Natural Gas Advances as Supplies Contract More Than Forecast

“The market is drifting higher and it ought to,” Teri Viswanath, director of commodities research with Credit Suisse Securities USA in Houston, said in an interview. “The fact of the matter is that we’re going to end the heating season with a number lower than last year.”

Stockpiles may dip to 1.5 trillion cubic feet by the end of March, compared with 1.65 trillion in 2009, she said. The five- year average level for that time of year is 1.478 trillion, according to the Energy Department.

One day they were getting an IP from shale of less than 1 mmcf, some time later greater than 10 mmcf was more common. The technology was what made the difference. Offshore gas drilling must be less attractive. I read about offshore rigs being cold stacked. Ultradeep rigs were yet drilling for oil. They are looking for shale gas in France. Noble discovered gas off the coast of Israel to last Israel 20 years. Cyprus is looking for NG. France was being explored for shale gas. Dana found more natural gas in shallow water off the Nile delta. Russia does not need shale gas yet.

Actually rainey that's what so odd right now. Drilling for NG in the offshore GOM (as well as the onshore Gulf Coast plays) is more attractive now then it has been for a few years. You may have seen me mention a deep NG exploratory well we're drilling right now in Fed waters off La. A year ago the dry hole cost estimate was $23 million. Current estimate: $13 million. Across the board all drill costs are way down. An offshore rig rate a year ago of $200,000/day is now $80,000/day. Thus even though NG prices are lower now the economics are better today then a year ago. Same situation onshore. Add this economic incentive to the increased success rate we see today thanks to 3d seismic data we should, IMHO, see a lot more rigs drilling and especially so with respect to NG. My best guess is that the economic meltdown we went thru is still greatly restricting access to capex for many companies. I just found out yesterday that my partners made preliminary commitments to 15 different NG wildcats they saw at a prospect expo in Houston this week. And we only drill high probability success rate/high return projects. We're not doing anything the rest of the companies wouldn't do...if they had the capex.

I heard on a Fundie radio show this morning (don't ask) an interview with this guy who runs this oil company called Zion Oil and Gas (zionoil.com). He claimed something about biblical prohecy and billions of barrels off the USA coast, but no one in the government will allow him/Him to get to it.
Of course, since they all believe in dominionism, he had the host hooked.

And then he mentioned this site called OilInIsrael.net.

These people are insanely delusional.

It's ok. They've got The Rapture and now their pets are taken care of as well.

Caring for Pets Left Behind by the Rapture

Many people in the U.S.—perhaps 20 million to 40 million—believe there will be a Second Coming in their lifetimes, followed by the Rapture . In this event, they say, the righteous will be spirited away to a better place while the godless remain on Earth. But what will become of all the pets?

Bart Centre, 61, a retired retail executive in New Hampshire, says many people are troubled by this question, and he wants to help. He started a service called Eternal Earth-Bound Pets that promises to rescue and care for animals left behind by the saved.

Promoted on the Web as "the next best thing to pet salvation in a Post Rapture World," the service has attracted more than 100 clients, who pay $110 for a 10-year contract ($15 for each additional pet.) If the Rapture happens in that time, the pets left behind will have homes—with atheists. Centre has set up a national network of godless humans to carry out the mission. "If you love your pets, I can't understand how you could not consider this," he says.

What if the would be caregivers for your pet get raptured against their will? You would just be throwing money away if that happened.

Hmmm - what about all the money ? Don't they want someone to take care of that ?

If the Rapture happens in that time, the pets left behind will have homes—with atheists. Centre has set up a national network of godless humans to carry out the mission.


Hey I'm an atheist can I apply for a grant to start an animal shelter for the pets of the Raptured?! Maybe I can get ole Bart to make a contribution to it out of his newly found income stream.

But correct me if I'm wrong, aren't the atheist and their ilk supposed to be smitten or something when the rapture happens?

Oh well in the meantime maybe I'll invest in that Fundie's oil in Israel scheme so I can support the pets of the raptured.

Maybe the current economic climate is making it ever harder to keep the insane locked up for their own protection and they are slowly releasing them onto the streets. Yikes!

A church historian named Eusebius (c. 324 AD) included testimony from some church officials in Egypt that John did not write Revelation, but it was a fake written by a forger signing John's name to the fictional prophecy.

He named one of his oil wells "Eusebius" as well. Go figure.

Almost none of the New Testament books were written by their namesake (i.e., the Gospel of Saint Matthew wasn't written by Saint Matthew.) The exception were the letters by Saint Paul.

It was tradition in the 1st Century to put the name of a well-known disciple on the letter/book to give it recognition. The Book of Revelation was probably written by someone named John of Patmos who is believed to be different than Saint John, Christ's disciple.

This is common knowledge in most mainline Christian denominations. These aren't considered forgeries any more than Bach copying Vivaldi's works and making changes would have been considered plagiarism. The value system was different.

And Biblical prophecy doesn't necessarily mean predicting the future, but prophecy is meant to point to justice and the triumph of goodness over evil. Most mainline Christian denominations between that the Book of Revelation was written as a letter of encouragement in code to Christians during the Roman persecution.

Web -- I actually met this guy about 10 years ago. Didn't get know him well enough to determine if he was a "true beleiver" or just another con man with a pitch to seperate the novices from their wallets. We do have a few creooks floating around the oil patch. I did meet an associate of his with similar views who had been taken by con man on a play in Texas. By the time they brought me in for evaluation it was too late. Told him he could sue but the guy was slick enough to just skirt the SEC rules. Told him if he wanted some satisfaction it would be better to hire a couple of guys with baseball bats to "discuse" the situation with him in a parking lot late at night. I don't think he took my advice. I really do beleive he thought vengence should be left be in the hands of the Lord. That makes one of us who feels that way. All in all I do think this guy really believed in their biz plan. Doesn't make it any less nutty IMHO but I try to let such personal beliefs to their own.

He named one of his wells "Elijah". Say no more.

Sigh... another new model in Afghanistan. I may have simply grown overly cynical, but it certainly reads like "We're going to go into a tribal area, violently eject a few hundred bad characters, hopefully without too much collateral damage (but we aren't sure about that), then install a government consisting of people from outside the tribe." Everyone from Alexander the Great forward has eventually come to the conclusion that you can't make that work.

But while we fail at it, we're spending a bit north of $5B per month on the project. Just to put that in perspective (my perspective, YMMV), Afghanistan spending in 2009 could have paid for any of the following: (a) a dozen new nuke plants at $5B apiece; (b) 10,000 3MW wind turbines, assuming a cost of $2M per MW installed, (c) a $10K battery subsidy on each of six million serial hybrid cars, or (d) 1700 miles of light rail at $35M per mile.

I'm probably just grumpy because I didn't get to go fencing this morning. Amazing how much stress you can work off by simulating sticking people with a long piece of sharpened metal.

And now for something completely different:

Love For Sale.


My dog watches me and waits for me to wiggle my hand which means I want to pet her. She gets peaved if we don't have petting time.

From the article above, 'The Endgame Begins' is an amazing conglomeration of economic news and projections regarding the EU, peak oil, and the US.


This paragraph caught my attention:

The International Monetary Fund recently published estimates of the fiscal adjustments developed economies would need to make to restore fiscal stability over the decade ahead. Worst were Japan and the UK (a fiscal tightening of 13 per cent of GDP). [AK: Yes, Britain is screwed. So is Japan]. Then came Ireland, Spain and Greece (9 per cent). [AK: The PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain are screwed too, especially Greece and Spain at this point]. And in sixth place? Step forward America, which would need to tighten fiscal policy by 8.8 per cent of GDP to satisfy the IMF.

Sounds pretty harrowing. However the last paragraph of the article attemtps to paint a rosy picture of the US. I didn't agree with that one part and posted the response below:

Had you up until that last paragraph of the US coming through in pretty good shape. Don’t think so. At some juncture of economic descent, due to excessive debt load and loss of oil imports from peak oil supply crunches to come, the US will devolve into Kunstler style local communities.

The big question is; How does a system that is devolving support 7 billion people? It can’t, so who lives and who doesn’t? What percentage of 7 billion remains standing?

Spain, we are not among the PIIGS no more. After the scurrilous attack of the Financial Times the Economic Vicepresident Elena Salgado (the woman packs a mean set of statistics, and the appearance of a severe school teacher) and her deputy minister, a master of the Language of Commerce (English, Salgado disdains to learn it) actually went to London, to the offices of the Financial Times, and put them to rights.
The Financial Times, no doubt impressed by their performance duly changed their views, or did a U-turn, or saw that the light was 180º from where it was the day before.

It is a revolutionary development, if you care to reflect on it. Economic policy is no longer dictated by Ministers and Presidents and Central Bakers but by the interplay of what used to be called The Fourth Power (now perhaps the First) and the Elected representatives.

No longer must politicians adopt measures, or keep measures already adopted if the Media doesn't approve of them or they have not been properly explained.

Nor is the Empire free from this evolution in politics, and Obama, we saw him, debated with Democratic and Republican representatives in from of the TV cameras the merits of his Health Reform.
Now they call the newspapers and the TVs to better rule, that is, not as they would like but under the watchful eye of immediate public opinion.

It is a revolutionary change, that a ministerial delegation from Spain visits a foreign private newspaper to save the country from the alleged or real speculation of hedge funds but that has been the case.

If the newspapers were wrong previously, when their business is to get the truth (or at least the news, not always the same thing), how can we know that they are now in the right?

I found this read, via TAE, on Zero Hedge to be interesting:

Just How Ugly Is The Sovereign Default Truth?

I have to agree. People should look at Spain's trains, windmills, and solar thermal economy before panicking at the sight of empty condos on the Costa del Sol.

From the article.

After briefly stalling in early 2009, China’s economy roared back to life on the back of massive credit loosening to build (or overbuild) infrastructure and industrial capacity.

What if this did not happen ? What if China's economy is stalled ?
Not that they don't have a speculative bubble in real estate but we had one and our economy was not roaring.
Speculation was simply hiding the underlying weakness as credit was treated as wealth.

I see nothing that indicates anything else is going on in China.

A bit of a credit bubble leasing to asset speculation thats about it.
Their economy is not shrinking but its also now growing dramatically if at all.

So you don't believe this astonishing stat then?

China January Power Use Gains 40% as Economy Recovers

Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- China’s January electricity consumption jumped 40.1 percent from a year earlier as an economic recovery in the world’s second-biggest power producer spurred demand from factories.

Power use reached 353.1 billion kilowatt-hours last month, 2.7 percent higher than in December, the Beijing-based National Energy Administration said on its Web site today. Consumption by secondary industries, which includes manufacturing and construction, grew 46 percent to 262.4 billion kilowatt-hours.

China’s power consumption may rise 9 percent this year, 2 percentage points more than in 2009, the state-owned China Electricity Council said on Jan. 26. The Chinese economy, which expanded at the fastest pace in the fourth quarter since 2007, will increase four times faster than the U.S. in 2010, the United Nations said in December

China’s January electricity consumption jumped 40.1 percent from a year earlier

Maa-haaaan! That is an insane percentage (!) No wonder the energy prices went 'bonkers and put in jail' half of last year.

When did Chinese New Year occur last year, was it possibly in January?
This year I think it may be in February. It might simply be an artifact of that.
Is the New Year on a lunar calendar that moves around?

Well done paleo, you nailed that one : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_New_Year#Dates

- It's definitely the time of festivities over there ... 15 days of action .... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_New_Year#Festivities

Last year, NY January 26, 2009 (plus 15 days)
This year, NY starting right now, February 14, 2010 (plus 15 days)

Obviously, still the recession must have (?) taken the largest share of the el_cuts , b/c 40% is a too grand hike for even the biggest of NY-parties, IMHO. Thinking of it, we need the numbers for "this" New Year in order to conclude anything..no ?

Adding to the increase in e consumption I recall seeing a chart of Chinese oil consumption a couple of months ago. Their consumption dropped significant at the end of '08 just like everyone else. But in the first quarter consumption started a steady rise that continued thru the end of the chart period (Dec ?). I assumed that China saw $38 oil and decided it was time to start buying again. Since the gov't controls the game it was an easy call IMHO. They also still had the interest income from our debt payments to fund 100% of the acquisition costs. It seems to me that the free market across the rest of the globe had neither the capital nor nerve to pull the crude acquisition trigger. China had both and thus their economy received an infusion of cheap energy the likes of which they hadn't seen in a few years.

My reply to Perk Earl's comment on my blog @ http://www.sublimeoblivion.com/2010/02/13/endgame-begins/#comment-4093

Summary, I certainly don't make things out to be rosy for the US. Real living standards will plummet and it will likely lose its global empire. That does not mean I foresee it undergoing a Kunstlerian collapse back to the 19th century within the decade, however. ;)

The Vampire Squid (GS) has dirty fingerprints all over Greece:

For anyone that fancies a weekend laugh and cry at the same time.

Well readwriteweb.com published a story a couple of days ago Facebook Wants to Be Your One True Login. This quickly rose up Google search results for "facebook login" to currently number 2 spot behind the actual facebook login. Now it seems that vast numbers of people type "facebook login" into google search every time they access facebook and vast numbers ended up at the news story. For the ensuing chaos read the comments.

Even though the story now has a warning that this is just a news story and not facebook an endless stream off humanity still seems terminally confused.

Or as The Register puts it.

World of Google zombies mistake news story for Facebook

Just how deep is Google's hold on the minds of the world's netizens? So deep that if the web giant boosts a news story about Facebook and logins to the top of its search results, myriad net surfers will mistake the news story for the Facebook login page, wondering why they can't login to it and why it looks nothing like Facebook.

A million zombies or a million people spray painting the web? Just by saying that you have an event, you can create the event, through suggestion. When in reality you did not have an event to start with, until you started telling people of the event. A form of propaganda, how to herd the masses into doing something they would not otherwise do, or just creating a panic for the shear fun of it.

I go to my favorites to get to TOD, If I want to go into facebook, I'll tag it on the yahoo homepage. What gets me is you don't have to get at something on the web like you are a blind man.

Mass media leading the sheeple around, when they are having a slow news day.

Sighs, as he watchs the lemmings gathering for the year end party, before the cliff moument just ahead in their future.


I go to my favorites to get to TOD, If I want to go into facebook, I'll tag it on the yahoo homepage. What gets me is you don't have to get at something on the web like you are a blind man.

Mass media leading the sheeple around, when they are having a slow news day.

Uhm, I thought all the sheeple were on Facebook these days. :^)

I never did think I'd be on facebook myself. But when my brother who was on there because all his friends in the Huntsville Alabama theatre scene were posting pictures of themselves and the plays they were in, He joined up to post his as well and stay in contact with a bunch more people than having to send out loads of email with pictures and thus. Anyway, he found friends from college, and told me that a lot of them were there, I set up an account because of that.

I never had many real friends in highschool, or my first college experience, but at my second college experience I had a lot of really good friends that I had lost touch with. So we've grown apart and they have their lives, but if I am in their neck of the woods, we can get together again and share old home tales and a card game and beer.

Being a sheeple is okay, just don't get lame and become mutton chops.


Those are all fake comments. I guess you have to be a aficionado of National Lampoon newspaper gags to figure this out. Quite subtle but we have a 35 year history of perfecting the technique. The Onion is the latest to figure it out.

No the original comments are not fake comments. Many of the people who left comments ironically signed in with their real Facebook or twitter ID and a quick check of their Wall/Info/tweets makes it very clear the vast majority of these comments were real. Later on clearly the jokers pile in as well though.

Strangely even many supposedly educated people seem to lose all ability to comprehend a situation if anything unexpected happens on the web. I've seen a university professor complain that someone had hacked his PC or he had a virus as it kept displaying gay porn. Turns out he frequently typed hotMALE.com and not hotMAIL.com (I watched in astonishement as he typed in the incorrect address oblivious to his mistake). Despite the bleedin' obvious he could not spot this himself. At that time hotmale popped up the real hotmail window (no pop-up blockers) as well which helped the confusion.

By the way I don't suggest anyone click on the wrong hotmail unless you are prepared to see the obvious. You have been warned.

OK, then 99% were fake.

All surveys are suspect for this reason as well. People want to game the system.

I don't believe what you say about surveys then. You just want me to believe it :-) :-)

84.3% of blog statistics are made up on the spot.

Paleo -- Just heard from that Petrobras spokesman. He said you are completely wrong and should stop making a fool of yourself. He said the percentage is actually 84.4%.

Those people should have no trouble handling the transition to a new lower energy paradigm. :(